Elsa sat quietly in her room, finger hovering over her phone. She had been sitting there for hours, debating whether or not she should make the call. She was just about to press the green button when a familiar voice floated in behind her.
"She still needs space, Elsa."
Elsa turned around to see her red-haired sister leaning against the doorframe to her room, then walking in and taking a seat on the couch next to her, sitting in silence. She nodded and put the phone down, screen going dark on Rapunzel's contact page. It had been months since she talked to her other sister. She never even had the chance to apologize for killing her boyfriend. She had acted in defense of Honeymaren though, Eugene had been going for the kill and nothing was going to stop him.
Honeymaren she thought quietly. Three weeks had passed since Honeymaren and Anna saved her from exposing herself to the humans to prompt her death at the hands of the Volturi. In that time, Elsa savored every moment she could with Honeymaren, though having withdrawn from school, that time was rather limited. And she respected Honeymaren's need for space and to do things independently. It seemed that each new day brought its challenges and hurdles for them to get over, talk through and come to an agreement on. But they were working together to rebuild their relationship and she was hopeful for the future.
"I can't believe how much has happened in such a short time, Anna." Elsa murmured finally "Rapunzel. The wolves. Vanessa is still out there doing gods know what. The Volturi could check in on us at any moment. All because I fell in love with a human?" She shook her head "How are you holding up? How is Kristoff doing?" Anna had told her that Kristoff was staying up with their 'cousins' in Alaska, grieving for the loss of his brother in his own way. Iduna and Agnarr had returned though, trying to keep some sense of order and balance in their divided family.
Anna put a hand on Elsa's shoulder, "I'm alright. I send her letters every now and then when I know she needs it, and I know Cassandra is taking good care of her... But I miss her. And Eugene. Kristoff is healing, he'll be back soon. He's almost ready." She sighed softly, "We'll be okay, Elsa. We're getting there."
Elsa nodded slowly "Thank you, for being there for me. And for keeping an eye out on Honeymaren. And I'm really sorry for what I put you through. I was hurting so badly that I didn't consider how my actions would affect the people I love most in this world."
Anna sat down beside her, "Thank you for the apology... Now, can we both agree that you deserve this chance at happiness with Honeymaren?" She smiled softly, they needed a happier topic.
Elsa nodded "I was thinking of taking her to visit her parents in Guatemala for winter break. Get away from Forks for a bit, change in scenery. And..." she fiddled with the little black box in her hand. She had almost slipped up when Honeymaren had asked to see her keepsake box the first time she visited Elsa's room.
Anna grinned, letting out a happy little squeal, "Yes! Okay, let me see it..." She took the little black box and opened it up to admire the jeweled ring, a huge sapphire in the center surrounded by ornate golden 'petals' with little diamonds all around. "Wow... Mother's ring." She smiled softly, she might have cried if she could.
Elsa nodded "I kept it, just in case... and since Kristoff proposed to you, he didn't ask for it." She smiled and closed the box. "I still want to ask her parents for their blessing. But more as a formality, I've decided that I'm going to ask her either way. We don't live in the 1800's anymore."
Anna grinned and nudged her with a wink. "Look at you, miss modern woman... And in case it wasn't blatantly obvious, I completely approve."
"Ha ha, very funny." Elsa nudged her back but couldn't hold back her smile "Thank you. Maybe a wedding is just what we need to liven things up a bit. I mean, she has to say yes, first... and I have to ask her... but eventually."
"Keep that ring on you. You'll know when it's the right time. I'd tell you, but that would take the fun out of it." Anna winked again.
Elsa snorted "Yeah, please don't tell me... it would make me so nervous I would probably fuck up the whole situation!"
Anna nodded, "It would. So don't worry! It'll be perfect."
Elsa smiled and checked her phone “ah, Honeymaren should be getting done with school soon. We were supposed to hang out today since she’s not working and I thought I would surprise her with making dinner. Thanks sis.” She gave Anna a big hug and bounced out of the room.
Elsa hurried to Honeymaren’s apartment with the groceries she had purchased earlier that day and let herself in, ears listening for the rumble of her motorbike while she worked in the kitchen.
Honeymaren headed home after school, happy to see the familiar silver Stingray parked at her apartment complex. She bounded up the stairs and flung open the door, "I'm home!"
Elsa emerged from the kitchen where she was preparing handmade meatballs "Hey babe! How was school today? I'd hug you but my hands are covered in goop." She tossed a raw meatball between her pale hands to get the air bubbles out.
Honeymaren snickered, "What? You don't want to smear raw meat all over me? I'm disappointed." She set her backpack down and kicked off her shoes.
"Ummm. No. That's really gross." Elsa snorted and placed the meatball on the tray, quickly forming another. "I hope you're hungry... I kinda made enough to feed an army."
"I'm starving, and I know Ryder will be happy to tackle it too."
"Of course! Is he coming over, too? I need a Mario Kart rematch if he is." Elsa chuckled and started forming another meatball.
Honeymaren grinned, "He's coming over for exactly that reason."
Elsa warmed a little. Things had been a little tense at first with Ryder, but she was convinced he had the biggest heart of anyone she knew, second only to Honeymaren of course, and he had warmed back up to her relatively quickly. Yelana was a different story, but she wasn't at all surprised by that.
Honeymaren washed her hands, "Want me to get some pasta started?"
"I'd love that. Thanks." Elsa grinned and snuck a quick kiss as Honeymaren was at the sink. She was looking forward to game night. Honeymaren had allowed her to splurge and buy her a whole new gaming system, which included the latest XBox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, a 60 inch monitor, and rumble chairs.
Honeymaren had only agreed to the gifts because she knew it would bring Ryder around more often, but she had gotten quite into Assassin's Creed as of late, so she certainly wasn't complaining. She started working on pasta when there was a knock at the door. "Come on in!" She shouted. Ryder had a key, of course.
Ryder bounded in with a grin, having been dropped off by Yelana, "Ready to get your butts whooped in Mario Kart?"
Elsa snorted "Oh you wish! Benefit of being awake all the time? I get to practice while you humans get your beauty sleep." She didn't mind that Ryder knew what she was, in fact she was grateful she didn’t have to be so secretive about it. She didn’t like it when Honeymaren had to lie on her behalf. And to his credit, he had only ogled at her for a couple hours as he asked her a million questions the first time he saw her after they returned from Italy. She had even allowed him to poke her in the arm. Once. But then he had gotten over the novelty rather quickly.
Ryder snorted, "I would've thought our newfangled technologies would be too much to handle since you're like, you know, old ." He grinned, enjoying the teasing.
Honeymaren gave him a look.
Elsa snorted but didn't have a come back. "I...... have nothing to say to that."
Ryder beamed, "Whacha making?"
"Nothing for you after that comment!" Elsa joked back "Honeymaren is going to enjoy spaghetti and homemade meatballs… I'm joking, I'd never withhold food from someone."
Honeymaren smirked, "But you're getting your plate last since you made fun of my girlfriend."
Ryder rolled his eyes, still grinning, "Fine, fine... I'll get the game going, maybe a few practice rounds."
Elsa chuckled and turned back to the task at hand. Once she finished making the meatballs, she set about to heating up the pan to cook them. As she waited for the oil to heat, she was finally able to give Honeymaren a proper hug, now that her hands were clean again, clinging to her from behind like a backpack and making it very difficult for her to finish the pasta.
Honeymaren finished up the pasta and got to work on some sauce, Elsa still in tow, and soon enough dinner was ready. Honeymaren grabbed a plate for herself first, then let Ryder load his up.
Elsa watched them eat, it still fascinated her how much food they could both put down. While it was possible for her to consume food, there was nowhere for it to go and her body would start to immediately reject it, so she would inevitably be sick shortly after eating.
After they'd knocked down a couple plates of spaghetti and meatballs each, Honeymaren grinned, "Time for a showdown."
Elsa tried to keep up with the cousins, but mostly her goal was just to finish the course. She still was not very good at controlling the joysticks and had actually broken several controllers because she didn't realize how much strength she was using. Often times she just sat back and watched the two compete. Their banter was equally entertaining to her.
Ryder went full tilt, not wanting to be bested by Honeymaren. "So, I don't know if I should tell you this, but I'm going to anyway... I know you’re not exactly on speaking terms with her, but I was talking with Seth the other day and he said he's really worried about his sister... she keeps disappearing for days on end, and as far as I gathered, it's not been sanctioned by Sam. Like, she's going rogue or something..."
Honeymaren frowned, "Really?" She kept her eyes on the screen, trying not to let her worry for Leah keep her from winning the game, but concern built inside her. "Do you think she'd even want to see me?"
Ryder shrugged "Maybe... I mean, you do have a little thing called a cell phone. I can understand if that one" he winked over his shoulder at Elsa "isn't used to making a phone call... but I expect more from you. At least you were born in this century!"
Elsa rolled her eyes and tried to keep Princess Peach from going off the side of the track into the ocean barrier. "Ha ha, enough with the age jokes. And for the record, I can make a phone call... I just prefer to talk in person."
Honeymaren steered Bowser narrowly around one of Ryder's banana peels, barely keeping her cart on track. When it was just her, she played as Rosalina, she reminded her of Elsa. "I'll text her. Feel it out."
Ryder nodded and threw a couple bombs strategically behind his cart, urging King Boo forward toward the finish line with a victorious whoop. "Ha! Eat my banana peels and bombs!" He got up to get another plate of spaghetti while he waited for Honeymaren and Elsa to finish.
Honeymaren threw up her hands as she hit a bomb, losing any chance she had at winning. "Damn it!"
Elsa just chugged along, pretty much beyond last place if that was even possible, though she made up ground when Honeymaren kept hitting the bombs. She was thinking about her role in the Leah drama. She didn't like having Honeymaren stuck between them, but Honeymaren was free to make her own choices. She might not trust Leah and liked her even less, but she trusted Honeymaren and she knew that Honeymaren was safe with Leah, even if she didn’t want to admit it. She could tell that Leah loved Honeymaren and just like her, would do anything in her power to protect her and keep her safe. Selfishly she was glad that Honeymaren chose to let her back into her life. But if she had gone with Leah, she would have respected the choice and faded away. "Not like it's my business, but I think you should reach out to her..."
Honeymaren nodded, "I will. I still care about her. I want to make sure she's okay."
Elsa nodded "Do what you need to do, I don't want to make things more difficult for you. I'll be here when you're done, okay? I just... it's probably best she and I stay away from each other."
Honeymaren smiled at Elsa, "Thank you. I understand that, and you're right." Elsa had made such strides in respecting Honeymaren's choices, in supporting her instead of just telling her what to do. Despite Elsa’s quiet protests, she still wanted to be turned, the idea of having forever with Elsa was more and more and more appealing.
Elsa nodded and leaned over to kiss her quickly when she finally got Peach across the finish line.
Honeymaren got Bowser across last and chuckled, "You and your bombs, Ry..."
Elsa smiled "Well, I'll admit I am pretty terrible at this game, but no one can out drive me in a real car."
Ryder laughed, his mouth full of spaghetti and gave her a goofy thumbs up.
Honeymaren chuckled, "That's the truth."
Ryder groaned "I would kill to drive that car of yours. I still dream about it sometimes!"
Honeymaren smirked and looked at Elsa, "Well, maybe you could take him for a joyride sometime? Happy medium."
"I told you I would let you once I was convinced you wouldn't crash it." Elsa chuckled "And sure, we can go for a drive in it...."
Ryder balked "Fiiiiiine... Oh, hey, Mare! I bought a little VW Rabbit, but it needs some work. If only I knew of an awesome mechanic who could help me? Maybe you could bring Elsa along? I know it's a little tense, but I think ma's coming around to her again."
Honeymaren smiled, hopeful. "If I can get Yelana to agree, then of course. I mean, I'll help regardless, but hopefully Elsa can come along too."
Ryder grinned and plopped back down in his chair "Sweet. You up for another round?"
Elsa politely declined, watching the two battle each other long into the night. She stayed to clean up the kitchen while Honeymaren drove him home later, mulling over what she and Anna had talked about. She planned on suggesting the trip to Guatemala later that night when Honeymaren got back.
Warning: Explicit sexual content...
Honeymaren took Ryder back to the rez, pausing in the kitchen as Yelana did the dishes. "Soooo... Yelana, I was wondering..."
Yelana turned to face her, leaning against the counter "Nuh-uh… I know that look. Whatever you have to say, spit it out."
Honeymaren sighed, "I know you're not the biggest fan of Elsa right now, but... Ryder asked us to come over and work on the Rabbit. Can she come with me?"
Yelana bit the inside of her cheek. It was true that she did not particularly like Elsa at this time, which was a shame because Elsa had really been growing on her. She stood there quietly, rubbing her hands in the drying towel as she thought. Finally she sighed "I... want you to be happy. I suppose everyone deserves a second chance and I know Ryder has grown rather fond of her, even knowing what she is." she tossed the towel on the counter "But mark my words, if she does anything to hurt you again like that, I will make damn well sure she never steps foot on this land again."
Honeymaren beamed, "Oh believe me, if she does anything like that again, she's going to hear about it from me, too. She's growing even more now, you'll see. Thank you, auntie." Honeymaren threw her arms around her.
“I guess I’ll just have to see for myself then.” Yelana smiled softly and hugged her “now scoot back to your gal and don’t be a stranger, you hear?”
Honeymaren nodded, "I'll be around, I promise!"
Yelana smiled and gave her a playful swat as she left, chuckling to herself before turning back to the dishes.
Honeymaren headed back to her apartment, bounding in the door. "Yelana said you could come!"
Elsa grinned and emerged from the bedroom, “really? That’s fantastic!” She had changed into sleepwear, red flannel pants and a white tank top. Despite the fact that she did not actually sleep, she did rest and wearing pajamas made her feel more normal. And Honeymaren seemed to like the soft fabric.
Honeymaren grinned wide, "Yeah! And you won't have to eat human food this time."
Elsa snorted “thank gods. That was not very pleasant the last time. I barely made it to the border... But Ryder was so excited to feed me, I felt bad saying no.” She plopped down on the couch, holding her arms out to Honeymaren to join her.
Honeymaren flopped down beside Elsa with a smile. "You're sweet."
Elsa snuggled against her “if I didn’t, he would have asked why I wasn’t eating. But I’d do it again if the situation called for it.” She thumbed Honeymaren’s jaw idly, thinking how to breach the next question she had. “So I’ve been thinking... winter break is coming up... would you like to go on a trip with me?”
Honeymaren brightened, "A trip? Where to? Of course!"
“Well... umm.. I was thinking Guatemala. I thought perhaps you would like to see your parents. You said you missed them. And I’d like to meet them... if you’re comfortable with that, of course.” Elsa offered quietly, unsure if she was overstepping.
Honeymaren's eyes glistened, "Really?"
“Really really.” Elsa smiled, kissing her forehead “would you like that? Because I'd really like to take you. I think you'd like it.”
"Are you kidding? Yes, I would love that!" Honeymaren threw her arms around Elsa and squeezed, "Yes!"
Elsa grinned broadly, gently pressing their foreheads together. "I'm very happy to hear that. We can go as soon as the break begins. We can stay as long as you like, go wherever you want. You won't have to worry about anything. Other than getting your immunizations, which Iduna can take care of easily. And if you wanted to go somewhere else while we're out and about, all you have to do is ask. I’ll take you anywhere."
Honeymaren beamed, "But... What about the sun? For you, won't that be difficult?"
"One of the great things about Guatemala this time of year, is that it is surprisingly cool, so long sleeves wouldn't be out of the ordinary." Elsa chuckled. "If it's too sunny, I can blame jet lag and stay inside." she leaned back against the armrest of the couch, lazily looking up at Honeymaren, stroking her cheek with her cool fingers "I wish I could make you that excited every day. Seeing you smile like that is worth everything in the world to me."
Honeymaren could only grin back at her. "Well, soon we'll have forever."
Elsa smiled softly, reaching up to cup Honeymaren's jaw in her hands and gently pull her forward to kiss her. "Forever..." she whispered softly. She was still conflicted, but she had made a promise and she had to admit, the more she thought about it, the more she wanted it, too. It was the most selfish thing she could want, and she hated that she wanted it. Ending Honeymaren's life before it barely began. But as Honeymaren had pointed out several times before, this was not her decision to make, but she hoped she could at least influence her to consider other possibilities. "I know I can't change your mind, and you know how I feel about this... But I gave you my word and I will honor it... Once we do this, there's no going back. So maybe we should make a bucket list for you, things you want to experience while you're still human."
Honeymaren thought a moment, "I like that. Yeah!"
Elsa grinned “so, any thoughts?”
"Graduating high school, that's an easy one. I want to pet a snake."
Elsa chuckled “pet a snake?”
"I've never gotten to!" She gave her a puppy face.
Elsa snorted “I’m not judging, it’s just not what I was expecting... anything else? There’s no money restriction. Anything you want.”
"Mmmm..." She thought for a long moment. "Most of them are animal related. I want to hold a bird of prey. Like, a big one. What are the chances of taking up falconry as a vampire?"
Elsa chuckled “well, most raptors are diurnal, so that is kind of a problem... you know, for one who is usually such a daredevil, these are really, um, tame.”
"Because I can do even more daredevil stuff after!" She chuckled, "Scuba diving sounds fun, but when you don't need to breathe, I'll bet it's even more fun without a need for all the gear... skydiving could be fun?"
“That’s true... I’ve swam across the Pacific Ocean before... for the record, sharks do not taste very good. Skydiving is a good start. Can I add some things to your list? Things I’d like to do with you while you’re still human?”
Honeymaren nodded, "Yeah, shoot."
“Take you to Paris at night and kiss you under a full moon at the very top of the Eiffel Tower.” Elsa grinned
Honeymaren blushed, "I'm up for that... but what's so different about doing that as a human?"
“Umm... I just remember seeing the Tower being built and it’s always held an odd sentiment in my heart. It’s a beautiful view and it’s just breathtaking.” Elsa hedged.
Honeymaren smiled, "I'm not saying no by any means... That sounds romantic." She laid her head on Elsa's shoulder.
“What can I say, you bring that side out of me.” Elsa grinned, gently stroking her arms, enjoying the little goosebumps that formed on Honeymaren's skin wherever she touched her. It was a simple action but she found it oddly arousing, intimate. She could feel herself starting to harden, but she wasn’t going to initiate anything. They were still working on repairing their relationship and she was not sure if they were ready for doing anything physical yet. She definitely wasn't going to take that chance if they weren't. Honeymaren would have to be the one to tell her when she was ready. She nuzzled her cheek against her soft hair, her eyes closed and enjoying the moment.
Honeymaren shivered happily when she noticed the shift in Elsa’s pants, excitement rushing through her. A thought popped into her head, and she felt like it was time to add another element back into their relationship. Honeymaren nuzzled her, "I want to try something, if you're up for it..."
Elsa noted Honeymaren’s tone and turned her neck at a funny angle to look at her, “what did you have in mind?”
Honeymaren got up from her side and knelt in front of her on the couch. She reached up to gently palm at her bulge, "Can I undress you?"
Elsa watched her closely, sighing softly when she felt Honeymaren’s warm hand against her, unsure of what she was doing “if you want to... I’ve never... I’ve never been naked in front of someone else before.” she shifted nervously.
Honeymaren smiled and softly began to pull down the waist of her flannel pants, eager to finally see her length in full. "I want to taste you."
Elsa’s eyes widened. That was not what she had been expecting to hear. She just nodded dumbly, already imagining what it would be like, unable to use her words. “Uh huh...”
Honeymaren grinned and pulled down her soft boxers next, taking each layer off completely. She looked at Elsa's pale cock, full, upright and ready for attention, which she was more than happy to give. It was much bigger than what she had expected from the few times she had felt it before, but that had been through several layers of clothing. She leaned forward and kissed the tip, listening for Elsa's reactions.
Elsa tried to watch and not miss a moment, but when she felt Honeymaren’s lips against her erection, she involuntarily threw her head back against the couch’s arm rest, gasping slightly.
Honeymaren grinned and took the head of her length into her mouth, sucking gently on the tip, her tongue swirling around in soft circles, quite enjoying listening to Elsa's quiet gasps and moans. She grew a bit braver and sank down a little further, starting with a slow bobbing motion along the thick shaft as she ran her hands over her legs, not quite enough to tickle.
Elsa closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Honeymaren’s warm mouth. “Honey...” she shivered happily, her breathing becoming more ragged.
Honeymaren grinned, spurred on by her breathless sounds. She bobbed faster, taking a little bit more of her in her mouth each time.
Elsa struggled to keep herself still. She folded her arms in front of her face, covering her eyes, clutching her elbows for something to hold onto. She couldn’t risk grabbing Honeymaren and accidentally breaking a bone or worse. She moaned quietly “that feels amazing.”
Honeymaren went faster, humming around her with a smile as she sucked at her cock. It was cool at first, but had begun to warm up as she went.
Elsa groaned, overwhelmed by her lust. She could already feel herself nearing the edge. “Fuck...” her moaning was getting louder and she didn’t care. “Honey... I’m... I’m close... fuck.”
Honeymaren grinned and kept at it, taking all of her in her mouth now with every movement. She wanted to bring her over the edge.
Elsa shivered and squirmed under Honeymaren’s relentless attention. “Honeymaren, please...” she begged for release.
Honeymaren didn't let up, sucking and stroking her thighs. She squeezed down on her legs, encouraging, hoping it would send her over the edge.
Elsa felt herself explode in a wave of pleasure like nothing she had ever experienced before. She didn’t bother trying to hold back her scream as she felt her entire body start to convulse, leaving her in a tingling, panting mess. After a few moments her body started to relax and regain control of her movements “wow.” was all she managed to say.
Honeymaren swallowed her down and finally pulled off when she'd finished, grinning proudly.
Elsa looked down at her with heavily lidded eyes “that was... wow.”
"Good, huh?" She smirked and climbed back onto the couch to sit with her, snuggling up to her side.
Elsa nodded “yes... that was amazing...” she sighed and pulled her bottoms back on, then held Honeymaren close, wrapping her arms around her.
Honeymaren grinned and kissed her cheek. "I'm glad."
Elsa kissed her softly, “I assure you, the pleasure was mine. I wish I could reciprocate.”
"One day soon, we'll be there." She assured her, "But I enjoyed that immensely, and I can do a little something for me in bed too finish myself off, if you'd like to join me."
Elsa nodded quickly, “absolutely.” She scooped her up in her arms and sprinted to the bedroom.
Honeymaren laughed and held onto her.
After the school week was over, she headed back to the rez to catch up with Yelana and Ryder. She barged in with a grin, "Yelana! Elsa is taking me to Guatemala over winter break to see my parents." She grabbed a biscuit out of the basket on the counter and bit in, excited. Hopefully this would get Elsa some brownie points with Yelana.
Yelana looked up from her knitting and raised an eyebrow "That... is rather extravagant a gift. Are you sure that's a good idea?"
Honeymaren nodded, "I miss them... And I'd love for them to meet Elsa. She's a big part of my life now, so..."
Yelana nodded quietly "If you say so... Please forgive me, I'm just a little wary of her still, for your sake."
Honeymaren nodded, "I know... But we've come a long way from where we were before. We've both grown a lot, auntie."
Yelana shrugged "If you trust her, then that's all that matters. I must admit, you seem very happy. And that's all I want for you. So you'll be gone for the whole break?"
Honeymaren nodded, "Well, most of it. We're leaving a few days buffer at the beginning and end so I'm not going back to school with jet lag."
Yelana nodded "Just, be safe out there, okay? There have been some reports of folks going missing in Seattle and a rash of animal attacks in Port Angeles and I think you and I both know what that means."
Honeymaren nodded, "I'll be careful. Not planning to go into town or anything except for the flight, and I've got wolves or vamps around me at all times. I think I'm the safest person in Forks."
Yelana actually laughed loudly at that "I guess you're right... well, give my sister a hug for me, please."
Honeymaren grinned, "You bet! The biggest hug. Well, I'm gonna go to Leah's and see if she'll talk to me."
Yelana nodded "Good, she's in a rough spot. That's nice of you to try to reach out, seeing how she was there for you when you needed a friend."
Honeymaren sighed, "I know. And I feel awful for how things went down. Wish me luck."
Yelana snorted "I'm sure things will work themselves out. You coming back for dinner later? Made some meatloaf out of that venison you brought back."
Honeymaren grinned, "For meatloaf, you bet I'll be coming back."
Honeymaren headed out of the house and for the Clearwater home, knocking on the door.
Seth bounded to the door "Hey Maren! What brings you over?"
"I was hoping to chat with Leah, is she home?" She smiled, hopeful. Seth was such a sweetheart, maybe he could help smooth all this over.
Seth shook his head "She's not around much anymore. Is everything okay?"
Honeymaren sighed, "She hasn't talked to me since Elsa came back... I know she's mad, but I just... want to try and make things right between us."
Seth nodded "Yeah, I know. Look, my sister can be a bit of a hard head and a pain in the ass, but she means well... she'll come around eventually. She just needs time. She's really hurt, Mare."
Honeymaren sighed, "I know. I feel like we've just been taking turns hurting each other, but my count is much higher than hers, I'll admit."
Seth shrugged "It's not a contest... I'll tell her you came by."
Honeymaren shook her head, "Not one I want to win, at least. Just... Yeah. Tell her I stopped by and that I want to talk."
Seth gave her a thumbs up "Will do." He waited for Honeymaren to leave and closed the door with a sigh. "Are you sure that's how you want it to be, Leah? She's trying..."
Leah sighed and shook her head. "She's still with her . That's all I need to know about her right now."
Seth shrugged "I guess it's your call, but I hate to see a lifelong friendship go out the window. And Elsa seems nice, at least from what I hear from Ryder."
Leah growled, "Don't." She warned him, shooting Seth a glare.
Seth held up his hands to pacify her "Sorry... I'll just, uh, leave you to your thoughts."
Honeymaren finished out the semester, grinning ear to ear as she brought her luggage out from her apartment to meet Elsa at her waiting car. "I'm ready! Managed to fit it all in one carry-on. I travel light. Learned that from my parents. You're going to love them."
Elsa smiled broadly as she leaned against the silver Jeep, not wanting to leave her Stingray at the Seattle airport for so long. "I'm looking forward to meeting them both." She wore a black hoodie and jeans to cover as much skin as possible, just in case the sun shone, but this time of year, Seattle was always overcast. "Just one bag, hmm? Well, I guess we won't have to worry about the weight limit."
"Makes travel so much easier." She nodded, "I can't wait!"
Elsa chuckled and started up the Jeep, heading for Seattle "So, this is your first trip out of the States? I mean, like for vacation, not on a ‘save your idiot of a girlfriend from herself’ kind of mission."
Honeymaren nodded and chuckled, "Yep, aside from Italy this is the first time. All their other stations have been in the States and we never did many vacations."
Elsa nodded "Well, I'm glad we will have the chance to relax. I think you will enjoy Guatemala. There's nice jungle hikes and hidden waterfalls we can go to."
"My parents send me pictures every now and then, I'll show you on the way." She grinned, "So, my mom's name is Yara and my dad is Brian. He's big into plants and bird watching, I guarantee you he's going to try and get you to go watching with him, and my mom's really where I get my handiness from. She loves getting her hands dirty."
Elsa smiled, "I'm sure they are fantastic, they made you, after all. And you are absolutely amazing."
Honeymaren blushed, "Flatterer."
"Doesn't mean that it isn't true!" Elsa countered.
Honeymaren laughed, shaking her head.
Soon enough they were on the Arendelle’s private jet bound for Guatemala. Honeymaren slept a good part of the way, leaning against Elsa. Finally, she felt the plane land and woke, grinning. "I can't believe we're here!"
Elsa grinned, loving how excited Honeymaren was "Yes, just a quick cab ride and we'll be there." She looked outside, fortunately the sky was overcast, but she adjusted her hoodie just in case.
Honeymaren grabbed her suitcase (Elsa had tried to take it but she had insisted she could handle carrying her own luggage) and followed Elsa. She texted her parents along the way to let them know they'd be there soon.
Elsa hailed a cab and settled in. She spoke fluent Spanish to the driver, giving him the address provided by Honeymaren. She sat back and watched Honeymaren gaze out the window in wonder as the little cab bounced along the roads.
Yara and Brian lived in a little house in a quiet suburb of Guatemala City. They had been beyond excited when they heard that Honeymaren was coming to visit, and with her girlfriend to boot! They bustled about getting things ready for the girls to arrive, speculating about the mystery girl who had apparently stolen their daughter's heart. Even Yelana had kept the details to a minimum, and the suspense was killing them.
Yara squealed excitedly when she saw the cab pull up in front of the house. "She's here, Brian! Come on!" she ran out the door "You made it!"
Honeymaren launched herself out of the car and threw herself into her mother's embrace. "I missed you guys so much!"
Elsa waited a moment before getting out of the cab, wanting to give Honeymaren some space with her parents. She observed their interaction, smiling at how genuinely happy they all looked. Yara might have looked like her sister, but Elsa could tell that she was much less reserved than Yelana and more willing to openly express emotions. Brian reminded her a lot of Anna in terms of general excitability and warmth. And Honeymaren looked more relaxed than she had ever seen before. She got out of the cab and handed the driver some large bills, pulling their luggage to the sidewalk.
Honeymaren hugged her father and then remembered their guest, "Oh! And this is my girlfriend, Elsa. Elsa Arendelle." She rushed over to Elsa to 'lead' her to them with a beaming smile.
Yara took a moment to stare at Elsa, she was beautiful, no question, but so pale and her movement so fluid... could she be... ? She put on a smile and held out her hand, only one way to find out. "Welcome, Elsa. We're so pleased you could come!"
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to meet you. I've heard so much about you from Honeymaren." Elsa smiled politely, noting Yara's suspicious look, but gently accepted the handshake.
Yara felt the chill of her skin and her suspicions were confirmed. She held Elsa's gaze for a long moment, but couldn't be sure how much Honeymaren knew. "Come on, let's get you both inside and we can catch up properly."
Elsa smiled softly and released her hand, following Yara and Honeymaren toward the house.
Brian grinned and grabbed the bags, oblivious to the awkward interaction between Yara and Elsa "Are you girls hungry? We have breakfast ready! We even made your favorite, Mare Bear, bacon and French toast!"
Honeymaren blushed hard, "Daaaad..." Still, she smiled and followed him to the kitchen.
Yara smiled, "We'll meet you there. I'd like to show Elsa around a bit first. Don't wait on our account, dig in!"
Honeymaren chuckled, "Don't need to tell me twice!"
Elsa stiffened a little, glancing over to Honeymaren for help, but she knew that when it came to food, Honeymaren was a one track mind. "Of course."
Yara smiled and gestured for Elsa to follow her, leading back outside to the garden, "I know what you are." She said as soon as the other two were out of earshot. "And I have no doubt Yelana does too, but she didn't tell me ahead of time. Which leads me to believe she trusts you. First question: does Honeymaren know?"
Elsa knew that Yara had been suspicious of her the moment they met, so she was not remotely surprised that this was what Yara wanted to talk about, and her bluntness reminded her even more of Yelana. She simply nodded "Yes. She does."
Yara nodded, "Good. Judging from your eyes, you're a 'vegetarian', which is another good sign. Second question: what are your intentions with my daughter?"
Elsa nodded again "I love her and I just want to make her happy. I will do everything in my power to make sure she is safe and cared for." She answered with equal bluntness because it seemed that Yara wanted to cut straight to the chase.
Yara looked at her intently, thinking it over. She nodded and smiled softly, "Then I'll give you a shot, Dracula. Come on, I'll find some excuse for Brian as to why you don't eat."
Elsa raised an eyebrow at the nickname but otherwise chose not to react. "I will manage. If he does not know of the existence of my kind, I take it he does not know of your family's legacy and own unique ability?"
Yara smirked, "No, we try and keep that detail a need-to-know. With us being so far from the rez, he's never needed to know."
"That makes sense. It's safer for him not to know about me as well." Elsa paused "And I do greatly appreciate you giving me this chance. I hope to one day earn your trust."
"So do I." Yara nodded, "Let's get inside before Brian makes you a plate." She chuckled, "He's a bit presumptuous sometimes, in the best way."
"That's fine if he does. Ryder fed me once and I survived." Elsa smiled, relaxing a little.
"You ate food for Ryder's sake?" She lifted a brow, impressed. "Well, I'm starting to see why Mare Bear likes you so much."
Elsa smiled at Honeymaren's nickname, it was adorable. "Yes, the first time Yelana allowed me to visit. He knows what I am now and has thankfully stopped trying to make me eat."
"That's good to hear. Now if we can only say the same for Brian..." She led her into the house, "Honey, fix me a plate but none for Elsa, she's trying to be polite but I can tell she's not hungry, love."
Brian looked up "Really? But it's my secret recipe!"
Elsa shook her head "It smells delicious, but I am fine, thank you." She took a seat next to Honeymaren, her fingers twitching nervously under the table. She was bracing herself to have to eat solids again.
"Don't pressure her honey, you know how long flights can mess with your stomach..." Yara smiled, fixing her plate to her liking, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a few slices of strawberries with a drizzle of syrup.
Brian shrugged "Whatever you say, dear. If you get hungry later, just let me know and I'd be happy to whip something up for you!"
Elsa smiled politely "Thank you, I certainly will."
"So, how did you two meet?" Brian looked up from his stack of French toast
Honeymaren spoke through mouthfuls, "School last year, we had Biology together."
Brian nodded "A smarty pants, hmm?” He grinned and turned to Elsa “are you from Forks originally?”
Elsa shook her head “No, I was born in Norway. My family moved around quite a bit, but it’s home now.”
Brian smirked “and how long have you two been going steady?”
Honeymaren groaned, "Dad, no one says that anymore..."
Elsa laughed softly “our first date was December last year.”
Brian beamed “well, I will say I was a little surprised to find out Mare Bear found someone who can keep up with her. But you two seem very happy, and that’s all a dad can hope for when it comes to his little girl.”
Yara smiled, "I'll toast to that. You're positively glowing, Mare... You look happy."
Honeymaren blushed and nodded, "I am happy."
Brian took a few more bites before speaking again “so, tell us about your family. Siblings? What do your parents do?”
Elsa glanced quickly at Honeymaren before answering “I have a sister, Anna. She and her boyfriend have been together for a long time, so I consider him a brother. My mother is a doctor and my father deals in stocks.” She couldn’t bring herself to talk about Rapunzel.
Honeymaren smiled, "Dad, you'd love Anna. She's as sweet as they come."
Elsa nodded “that’s true. She has a way of seeing the best in people, much like this one here.” She gently squeezed Honeymaren’s hand before folding her hands back in her lap.
Honeymaren smiled at her, excited to see it going so well. "And Elsa is just brilliant, she plays piano, too. It's lovely."
Elsa smiled shyly “it’s just a hobby, but it helps pass the time.”
"Doesn't make it any less beautiful." Honeymaren shoved the last bites of French toast in her mouth.
Brian winked over at Yara. “So, is there anything in particular you wanted to do while you’re here?”
Elsa perked up “I’ve read about some nearby hikes, it might be nice to get out and see some of the flora and fauna in the region. It’s so very different from Washington.”
Brian nodded enthusiastically “that sounds fantastic! There’s a rare bird of paradise I’ve been trying to spot, maybe I just need some fresh eyes!”
Honeymaren snorted and gave Elsa a wink, "I'm sure Elsa would love to go bird watching with you, Dad."
Elsa nodded “I’m rather fond of being outdoors. My family goes camping a lot.”
Yara smiled, "That sounds like a family outing if I ever heard of one. We have a few days off, but there will be plenty of time for you both to explore on your own."
Elsa smiled “sounds perfect. Is there anything you recommend we do while we’re here?”
"Oh, you should definitely visit Lake Atitlan and Antigua." Yara offered.
"But be careful, we'll list out some of the places to avoid," Brian added, "there's a good bit of muggings around here if you go to the wrong areas, they love tourists."
Yara smiled at Honeymaren and Elsa, "I think these two are going to be fine, love. But we'll still make sure you know where to go."
Elsa and Honeymaren followed Brian and Yara to some of their favorite hiking trails and even helped Brian find the bird of paradise he was looking for, much to his delight. They spent some time getting to know Elsa and catching up with Honeymaren, but soon it was time for them to get back to work.
Brian left a map on the counter as they prepared to leave for the day. "Alright, I've circled in red the areas you need to avoid, okay? Be safe, just steer clear of those red circles."
"Honey, they're both adults now. They have the map, they'll be fine." Yara smiled, "Have a great time."
"Let us know if you'll be camping or anything so we know if we should worry if you're not here!" Brian added as Yara prodded him out of the door.
Once the door closed, Honeymaren smiled at Elsa, "So... Is it bad that I want to go take down some of those muggers? You could give them a good scare, I bet." She winked, "Kidding. Let's not draw attention to ourselves... How about that lake?"
Elsa raised an eyebrow at the joke “the lake sounds good... I am rather thirsty and it would be nice to get out of town for a little while.”
Honeymaren nodded, "Let's do it then!"
“Should we make it an overnight trip?” Elsa wasn’t particularly fond of hunting during the day.
Honeymaren nodded, "I'll get the tent mom said she'd loan us."
Elsa helped pack up the gear and supplies for their overnight camping. She left a note for Yara and Brian detailing where they were going and they would be careful.
They drove as far as the road allowed, them hiked the rest of the way. Honeymaren grinned, refreshed by being in nature like this. "It's so beautiful here..."
Elsa smiled “it really is. There’s a place up the trail a ways that would be a good place to camp. Then perhaps we could go for a swim?”
Honeymaren grinned, "I wore my swimsuit under my clothes just for that purpose."
Elsa smiled “perfect. And if you’re feeling up to it, I would like to take you properly cliff diving. I understand if that’s not something you’d be interested in, the lake is still beautiful just to swim in.”
Honeymaren shook her head, "No that sounds amazing!! And I know I'm safe with you, even if I screw it up somehow."
“You won’t screw it up... you will have to be on my back though. From the height we’ll be jumping, it would be too dangerous to let you hit the water. I can safely break the surface tension.”
Honeymaren grinned, that sounded thrilling. "I'm so in."
After a few more hours of hiking and setting up camp, Elsa led the way to the cliffs overlooking the nearby lake. The drop was almost 150 feet, three times the distance of Honeymaren’s first jump.
Honeymaren looked out over the edge when they arrived, in awe. "This is amazing... I can't wait!"
Elsa grinned broadly “this is extremely dangerous for you, and I know you like to bend the rules a bit, but I ask that you listen to my instructions this time and do exactly what I say.”
Honeymaren faced her with a lop-sided smile, "I promise I'll behave." She got up on her toes to kiss her cheek. "Well then... Order me around. I think I'll like it."
Elsa purred softly “oh really?” She explained the jumping safety and protocol. “Any questions?”
Honeymaren gave her a salute. "Hold on tight, don't move until we've broken the water's surface. Got it."
Elsa grinned “good girl.” She winked and started to undress, revealing her own swimsuit top and board shorts.
Honeymaren stripped out of her clothes, but stopped short when she saw Elsa in her swimwear. She blushed brightly, "You look... Hot. Very hot."
Elsa grinned “as do you, my love.” In honesty her brain was barely functioning. She had never seen Honeymaren in any state of undress. And even though she was still mostly covered, she could see that her skin was so smooth and a perfect natural tan. She wanted to hold her, but given how hungry she was, she knew her self restraint was questionable at best.
Honeymaren was a little envious of Elsa's shorts, she'd just gone will a simple one piece with a back cutout. "Thanks."
“You ready?” Elsa turned and crouched for Honeymaren to climb on.
Honeymaren jumped onto her back and latched on tight, her heart pounding in anticipation. "Ready!"
Elsa grinned and stood up “hold on tight...” she sprinted toward the cliff, not quite full speed, she wanted Honeymaren to get to experience the rush, and kicked off hard, launching them far out away from the rock face and into a free fall.
Honeymaren watched the ground disappear from beneath them and clung to Elsa tight as gravity took over. She shouted out in glee and closed her eyes as they hit the surface of the water entirely too soon. She released Elsa and swam to the surface, grinning as she broke through. "That was amazing !"
Elsa quickly swam back to the surface with a smile ear to ear “I’m glad you enjoyed that.” She pushed a wet strand of hair from Honeymaren’s face “you’ll be able to do that alone soon enough.”
Honeymaren beamed, so glad that Elsa was starting to warm up to the idea. "I can't wait! I mean, I can, but I'm excited."
Elsa nodded, treading water “I’m glad you got to experience this with me... you asked me why I wanted you to make a list of things you should do as a human. It’s because even though you’ll be able to do more as a vampire, there’s a rush you don’t experience, because there’s no real danger.”
Honeymaren nodded. "I'm glad you did get me to think about all that... As per the usual, I was ready to run head long into it without much afterthought."
Elsa chuckled “I know... you’re very decisive, which I admire. You know what you want. I just want you to experience all life has to offer first.”
Honeymaren snuggled up to her in the water, kicking her feet to keep herself afloat. She shivered a bit, the water was fairly chilly. "Shall we go dry off?"
Elsa noticed her shivering and quickly swam them to shore. “Sorry, I forget that you can be cold and snuggling me probably isn’t helping. Let’s get you warmed up.”
Honeymaren chuckled, "It's much warmer here than back home, it's not bad."
Elsa nodded and walked up onto shore, shaking her arms off a little “climb on, I’ll take us back up the cliff. Unless you wanted to walk.”
Honeymaren shook her head, "Walking might help warm me up. Get the blood flowing. Thanks though, love." She took her hand instead with a smile.
Elsa nodded and held her hand, walking up the switchbacks. She had to learn a great deal of patience, doing things like this at human speeds. But she enjoyed being able to savor these little moments with Honeymaren, too.
The rest of the camping trip was fun but quiet, sitting around a small campfire, Honeymaren snuggled inside a sleeping bag next to her. Elsa was grateful for the opportunity to go hunting once Honeymaren was asleep, not straying too far from their campsite. She spent the rest of the night mulling over how she was going to bring up the conversation she wanted to have with Honeymaren’s parents. Yara recognizing what she was definitely complicated things.
They took a small hike the next day then returned to Guatemala City near dinner time. By then, Elsa’s nerves were eating her up inside, though she did her best to hide it.
Brian looked up from cooking dinner when he heard the front door open “Mare Bear? Elsa? Is that you?” He yelled out from the kitchen.
Honeymaren grinned, "Home safe! What're you making, Dad? Smells good!"
“Pork tacos! You girls have a good outing?”
"Yum, yeah! It was great, we swam, we hiked, we loved it all."
Brian grinned “glad you were able to get out and enjoy! Your mom should be home soon, she ran to the store real fast.”
Elsa smiled and sat at the table “can I help with anything?”
Brian shook his head “thanks for the offer, I got it. You girls are on vacation after all!”
Honeymaren smiled, "Thanks, dad. We'll at least set the table, though."
Elsa nodded and followed her into the kitchen and together, they set the table for dinner. Yara arrived home shortly after, smiling when she saw both Honeymaren and Elsa home. "Just in time for dinner, like always."
"I never want to miss dinner!" Honeymaren grinned.
Elsa smiled apologetically, "I ate on the way home, so I'll politely decline. Thank you for all of your hospitality, you've been so welcoming to me."
Brian shrugged “if you say so.” He pulled the pan of shredded pork from the oven “looks like it’s ready! Come and get it!”
Honeymaren sat down with a grin, eagerly diving in once they were all seated and served, with the exception of Elsa.
Elsa sat politely and waited for everyone to finish. She was glad that Brian was not as insistent on her eating and wondered what Yara might have told him.
Honeymaren finished and sighed, "That was so good, Dad, thanks... I'm gonna turn in, I'm suddenly exhausted." She excused herself and took her plate to the dishwasher, then headed to her room to crash.
Elsa went to check on Honeymaren but when she was certain that she was fast asleep she went back out to the dining area, wringing her hands nervously, “I was hoping I might have a word with you both?”
Yara looked up from her nightly cup of tea, curious. "Of course. Take a seat."
Elsa nodded and took a seat at the table. She sat stiffly, looking between Yara and Brian “thank you. Yara, when we met and you asked me of my intentions with Honeymaren, I was not completely forthcoming. I wanted the chance for us all to get to know one another a little better, but seeing as we are set to depart tomorrow, I would be remiss not to be completely honest with you both. Before I met Honeymaren, I did not believe that I would ever have the chance to find love and happiness in this world. And I never thought I could be loved in return. And yet she has proven me wrong time and again, and I wish never to be parted from her. And I intend to ask her to accept me into her life... in marriage.”
Yara narrowed her eyes a bit, the cogs in her head turning. Brian, however, jumped right in with a grin. "That's wonderful! I mean, a little soon, maybe, but you two seem so happy together, don't they love?"
Yara looked at Elsa with an even gaze, inscrutable. "... And what does that mean for Honeymaren?"
"It is her choice." Elsa said simply, knowing full well what Yara was getting at "I just want her to have a full and happy life."
Yara took a deep breath, "If we're going to have this conversation, everyone should be aware of exactly what this means for Honeymaren. It sounds like she's made her decision, but Brian... Surely you've noticed that Elsa is a little... Different from most people?"
Brian looked between them, clearly confused "I mean, I didn't want to assume anything… I mean, no one has ever been able to resist my French toast before, but clearly whatever diet you’re on is working for you and as long as you’re healthy..."
Elsa looked at Yara, "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
Yara took a deep breath, "Brian, dear, the less you know, the better in this case. But if Elsa is going to be family you should at least know that she is very different from us. It's not my place to say the details, but it would seem that Honeymaren wishes to become like Elsa as well."
Elsa nodded "Yara is correct, the less you know the better. But I assure you that she will be safe and will want for nothing."
Yara nodded, "That, I believe. My only reservation is how young she still is... But I know that once Mare has her mind set to do something, trying to change it only makes her dig her heels in harder."
Brain chuckled softly, "Wonder where she gets that from..."
Elsa nodded "Believe me, I tried to get her to consider her alternatives, but it seems I was overruled."
Yara nodded, "Then I suppose that's that. It's not our choice to make for her. But... I appreciate that you took the time to talk with us."
Elsa nodded "I want to be fully transparent with you."
Brian looked between them again, lost on their innuendos and half-truths "I'm so confused. What are you talking about? How are you different?"
Yara took Brian's hand with a sigh, then looked to Elsa. "It's not my secret to share..."
Elsa held her breath, holding her gaze a moment "I'm... sorry I can't tell you more. I wish I could be more forthcoming but on this particular front, I cannot..."
Brian's eyes widened as he realized "Wait... I get it... you're like in a witness protection program or something! I'm so sorry for being insensitive, I won't press."
Yara couldn't help but smile at Brian's cluelessness. She simply patted his hand, "All you need to know is that Mare will be safe. She might not always be able to see us, but I'm sure she'll keep in touch."
Elsa just sat their dumbly. That was not what she expected Brian to say, but perhaps it was better this way. "Thank you for your time, I think I should retire for the evening, we have a long flight tomorrow."
Brian smiled and got to his feet, "Of course. Now come on and give us a hug!"
Elsa paused a moment but obliged, grateful she was wearing several layers and a hoodie. She hugged them quickly and hurried to the guest bedroom, chuckling to herself when she heard Honeymaren snoring softly and apparently having a very good dream.
Warning: they try some more diddly do... with tasteful nudity.
Also, I personally squee'ed a little bit writing this section... so I hope you enjoy.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next morning, Brian and Yara drove them to the airport. Elsa caught a meaningful look from Yara and engaged Brian in a conversation as they messed with the luggage.
Yara took Honeymaren aside "It was good to see you again, Mare Bear. And as much as it pains me to say, I think you found yourself a good one... just... think about your options, you're still young and this is not the time to be making quick or rash decisions, okay?"
Honeymaren nodded, "I know... Elsa and I have been through so much together already. This isn't rash... I love her. More than I thought I could love anyone."
Yara nodded slowly and pulled her daughter into a firm hug "I know. And I truly believe that nothing will stop her from doing everything she can to make you safe and happy. And I can see that she honors and respects you, that much is certain. I guess that's all I could hope for." She looked over at the jet idling on the private runway "well, at least you get to travel in style."
Honeymaren blushed, "She likes to spoil me... I can only fight it so many times before it gets easier to just say yes to all the splurging."
Yara chuckled "You deserve to be spoiled every now and then. Just make sure it doesn't come at a cost."
Honeymaren smiled, wrapping her arms around her mother tightly. "I've missed you, mom..."
"I've missed you too, Honeymaren. We'll always be here for you, whatever you decide." Yara's eyes swam a little. "Now go say goodbye to your father."
Hours later, Elsa was reclined comfortably in her seat with Honeymaren curled up against her. Honeymaren had long since fallen asleep. They had to land in Miami to refuel, but otherwise the trip to Paris had been smooth and uneventful. She watched out the window as she idly played with Honeymaren's hair, combing it softly between her cool, pale fingers. The lights of Paris finally came into view and the plane touched down near 3am local time. "Honey, we're here." she spoke softly, trying to rouse her from her slumber.
Honeymaren groaned as she woke, blinking her eyes one at a time as she tried to focus. "Oh... Oh!" She sat up, looking out the window. It was too dark to see much, but she was still excited.
Elsa nodded and waited for Honeymaren to stand up. She took the luggage in one hand and led them through the airport and out into the chilly Parisian morning to get a cab. It didn't take long, there was not much demand at this hour. She spoke softly to the cab driver in French as they wound their way through the quiet streets towards a quiet neighborhood.
"Ah, Mademoiselle Arendelle..." the bellhop announced, taking their bags and ushering them into a posh yet modest hotel.
"Merci, Gaston." Elsa addressed him casually "This is Honeymaren." she spoke in English this time.
"Tres bien." He bowed low and opened the elevator door, pushing the PH button.
Honeymaren blushed, this all felt so fancy, so over the top, but as long as she was at Elsa's side, she felt at home. "This is amazing... can we go to the Tower?"
"So eager! Do you not want to rest first? It's been a very long trip." Elsa grinned, leaning against the couch as she watched Honeymaren explore the hotel room.
Honeymaren nodded, "Rest first... but there's so much I want to do!"
Elsa smiled "Of course... whatever you want." She stood up and pulled Honeymaren close "Would you like me to draw you a bath? Perhaps something to help you relax?"
"Mmm... a bath would be heavenly. Would you join me?"
Elsa grinned "I would love to. I didn't want to assume."
Honeymaren winked back, "Good. Let's get some water going. I want warm water snuggles."
Elsa growled softly and hurried into the bathroom to start filling the king sized tub, adding a generous amount of bubbling soap and bath salts. "You will have to adjust the water, I cannot tell what is too hot or cold for you."
Honeymaren nodded and knelt beside the tub, feeling the water and making adjustments until it was just right. She got up and started to take off her clothes, smiling at Elsa over her shoulder.
Elsa watched, greedily taking in the sight of Honeymaren’s naked back, nearly keeling over at the sight of the bare skin of her shapely ass. "You're so beautiful." she whispered quietly. She wanted very badly to reach out and touch her but she didn't trust herself. She snapped out of her daze and started to pull off her own clothes, grateful that Honeymaren was looking away. She still felt rather shy.
She smiled back with a wink, "So are you, love." Honeymaren stepped into the water, sinking in with a quiet groan.
Elsa quickly followed suit, lowering herself into the warm sudsy water "Mmmm, this is nice." she sank below the surface, not breathing.
Honeymaren chuckled and stretched out, the bath was more the size of a hot tub, and just as warm. "Show off." She smirked.
Elsa sat up after a few minutes, rubbing her eyes clear "This was a great idea, love. But I believe I owe you 'warm water snuggles'." She held her arm out for Honeymaren to join her.
Honeymaren grinned and floated over to her, snuggling up against her. She felt Elsa's soft length against her and flushed a little more. Feeling each other skin-on-skin like this was pure magic. Everything she could want.
Elsa shivered happily. They had never touched like this and it felt far better than anything she had ever imagined. "I want to touch you so badly." she murmured against Honeymaren's head.
Honeymaren nuzzled her from behind, "Then do. I trust you."
Elsa clenched her jaw, her hand rested gently on Honeymaren's arm "I don't trust myself."
"We could try just a baby step." She suggested. "But if you're not ready, I won't push. But... why don't you try my chest? Just... cupping?"
Elsa nodded slowly "I... we can try that..." she twisted around in the tub so she was settled above Honeymaren, her icy gaze locked on those soft brown eyes. She reached up and held Honeymaren's face, leaning down to kiss her softly. Her hand slowly trailed down her neck and across her collarbone. Her fingers dipped lower and came to rest on her left breast. She pulled out of the kiss and looked down into the soapy water, amazed at how soft the skin felt. She gently rubbed her hand against the soft mound, feeling her nipple start to harden under her touch. Then moved her attention to the other one, giving it the same loving treatment. She could have stayed like that for hours, alternating her attention between those two perfect breasts. "Is this okay?" she whispered huskily, trying to keep her excitement at bay, though she knew her body was betraying her.
Honeymaren looked up at her with a grin, nodding. "It's perfect."
Elsa groaned softly, her own desire and excitement building, her cock was now at full attention. She clutched the side of the bathtub with her free hand and gently pressed herself down, just wanting to feel Honeymaren's warm body against her for a moment, but she wasn't willing to let anything further happen. At least not this night. "You may touch me, too, if you like," she whispered quietly.
Honeymaren let out a breathy sound at the feeling of Elsa's body against hers. She reached up and started to slide her fingers over her chest, exploring her breasts, her collarbones, her neck.
Elsa shivered happily at the soft, delicate touches. After a moment she pulled away "I don't think I can handle much more. I might get carried away."
Honeymaren smiled, "Okay. I'd say that was a solid step of progress, wouldn't you? We're getting better at this!"
Elsa nodded and scooted away from Honeymaren "yes, and for the record, you feel heavenly." She leaned back against the edge of the tub and watched Honeymaren with a grin. "I can't help but wonder what it will be like to go all the way with you. If it feels this amazing just being close... but that's something I do want to wait for. I’m sorry, I know it's old fashioned..."
Honeymaren chuckled, "Wait until what, I'm turned? I mean, I could always ride you if you're worried about hurting me..."
"I'm sure you can... But I meant waiting until we're married..." Elsa offered, curious to see Honeymaren's reaction to the idea.
Honeymaren blinked, she hadn't really thought about marriage. "Oh." She blushed, was it really that big of a leap? They were spending forever together, marriage was just as much of a commitment as turning was. "Yeah, I think I could handle waiting for that... But how long are you thinking? I mean, I feel like that's something we should do before turning me, right? So we can have all my family there?"
Elsa nodded "I agree, it would be nice to have them there. And I'm sure they would appreciate it, too."
Honeymaren nodded, smiling to herself. Somehow all of this talk about marriage was making her giddy. "It would be a good chance to kind of close the human chapter of my life..."
"I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that. It was another item I wanted to put on your human bucket list, but the timing didn't seem right to bring it up." Elsa smiled broadly "None of us got the experience getting married as humans, and it may seem silly, but it's a very meaningful passage in life. And then we will have each other forever."
Honeymaren reached out to take her hands, "That sounds perfect..."
Elsa smiled, wrapping her cool hands around Honeymaren's "Absolutely perfect. Would you like me to help wash your hair?"
Honeymaren smiled and nodded, "That sounds heavenly."
Elsa grinned and positioned herself behind Honeymaren, lathering up her hands with soap and gently rubbing the suds into Honeymaren's thick hair, massaging her scalp lightly as she went. When finished she rinsed her off and rose out of the tub "We should be getting you to bed before your sleep pattern gets any more out of sorts."
Elsa let Honeymaren sleep as long as she wanted the next day, but they soon set to exploring everything Paris had to offer. Thankfully in December the sky was slightly overcast. After a late lunch at a little cafe, she took her on a boat tour on the River Seine and to see Versailles, followed by a romantic dinner at Le Cinq , one of Paris's top rated restaurants. Usually you needed to make reservations months in advance, but Elsa and Honeymaren walked right in.
Honeymaren fawned over the sights and sounds and foods, in love with the city. "It's beautiful... Everything here is just amazing."
Elsa grinned as they walked arm in arm along the banks of the River Seine. It was a cool evening, the full moon shining brightly overhead "I'm glad you are enjoying your time. There's so much to do here, we can always come back."
Honeymaren leaned against her as they walked, "Good. I definitely want to."
Elsa smiled "Anything for you. But tonight, I have one more surprise for you." She pointed up ahead to the giant metal structure that rose like a beacon against the skyline. "The Eiffel Tower."
Honeymaren grinned with delight, "I was hoping you'd say that!"
Elsa could barely contain her excitement and her nervousness. Once they approached the base, Elsa ducked them into an alleyway. "You'll have to hold on really tight, I have to climb as fast as I can to avoid detection."
Honeymaren latched herself onto Elsa with both her arms and her legs. "Ready." She beamed, eyes alight with excitement.
Elsa smiled and waited for Honeymaren to get situated before shooting off into the night, making the 1,000 foot vertical climb in seconds. Once at the observation deck she slowed and let Honeymaren wander around.
Honeymaren barely blinked and they were at the top. She gasped as she looked out over the city, marveling at the sights with a wide grin. "That was amazing! This is amazing."
Elsa wrapped herself around Honeymaren, hugging her from behind as she looked over her shoulder at the city below. "I'm glad..." she stood there quietly for a long moment, just savoring the experience. After a few minutes she loosened her grip, pulling the small black box out of her pocket. Honeymaren seemed to not have noticed, still enamored by the sights of the city. She let go entirely and lowered herself down behind her "Honeymaren?" she waited for her to turn around before continuing.
Honeymaren turned around, pulled away from the sights to be greeted with Elsa on one knee. She gasped and danced around in place a little. "Oh my god-"
Elsa beamed up at her "Honeymaren Nattura, from the moment we met, I knew there was something exceptionally amazing about you. I have walked on this earth for many lifetimes and in all my years I have never met someone as kind, warm, and loving as you. You've accepted me for everything I am and shown me what it means to love and be loved in return. I promise that I will honor, respect and love you forever. I cannot imagine a day without you and I wish never to be parted from you from this day henceforth. Will you do me the extraordinary honor of taking me as your wife and becoming mine in return?" She opened the black jewelry box and revealed the ring inside, looking up hopefully at her girlfriend. She was so nervous she forgot to breathe or blink, just waiting quietly. After a few minutes her eyes shifted from Honeymaren, down to the ring and back.
Honeymaren gasped as she saw the ring, it was beautiful. A large deep blue sapphire with diamond accents on golden petals around the central stone. She got so distracted by the ring she almost forgot to answer. "Yes! Sorry, yes, absolutely yes!"
Elsa smiled like never before and stood up, sliding the ring onto her left ring finger. She had measured Honeymaren's ring size one night while she slept and had the ring adjusted accordingly, so it was a perfect fit. She leaned down to kiss her long and slow and full of love.
Honeymaren kissed her back deeply, clinging to her. Her heart was full, bursting with passion and thoughts of their life (and afterlife) together.
Finally! It only took them like, forever...
Anna looked up from the vision that had interrupted her conversation with a broad smile and relieved sigh. "Finallllllllly... looks like we're going to be having a wedding this summer!" she bubbled happily to Iduna, Agnarr, and Kristoff, who had come back home from Alaska earlier that week. "But on a more serious matter, I've been following Vanessa's thoughts. They're very broken and scattered, but I keep getting some glimpses here and there. She's been lurking around Forks. I'm not sure what her play is, but I'll keep trying."
Kristoff nodded "And there's the activity down in Seattle to worry about. Do you think it's at all connected?"
Anna shook her head "I haven't seen any indication that Vanessa is behind that... but we're going to have to act soon, it's getting worse. If it continues, the Volturi will certainly intervene."
Iduna nodded solemnly "I'm surprised they let it go on this long." She looked over at Kristoff "And how is she?"
Kristoff looked to Iduna, "Rapunzel? She's... It's good she has Cass to turn to. We all did our grieving, you know, and now she's starting to get back to herself, at least more than she was. She's painting again, which is a really good sign. Less color than usual, but it's a start."
Iduna smiled sadly "Well, I'm glad that Cassandra is there for her. I hope she knows we're here for her, too, and that maybe one day she will find it in her heart to forgive Elsa."
Anna nodded "If anyone can, it would be Rapunzel. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She probably just needs some time away."
Kristoff nodded, "I think she's already forgiven her, honestly. She just still needs some time before she comes home. And she knows you all care."
Anna sighed "Does anyone feel like going out for a quick hunt? I could certainly use a good run."
Iduna nodded, "Absolutely. Kristoff, we've missed you, will you join us?"
Kristoff nodded with a small smile. "Yeah."
Anna took Kristoff's hand and led him out into the night before sprinting through the dark forest.
It felt good to get out and stretch her legs and finally have a chance to clear her mind. Anna had been wracking her brain trying to lock in on Vanessa for weeks now with little to show for it and her frustration had reached a near boiling point. Suddenly, she had a vision, clearer than anything before. It was happening now and it was happening close by. Vanessa was running in the woods, too. "She's here! To your left!" she shouted to the others and veered toward the river, recognizing the characteristic waterfall and rock face in her vision.
Kristoff stayed close to Anna, protective as they chased down the rogue vampire. As soon as he caught onto Vanessa's scent, he barreled forward and rushed at her. A flash of dark hair and pale skin caught his eye as she jumped over the small gorge and he didn't hesitate, leaping over the rocks after her.
"Kristoff, NO!" Anna screamed as she saw him jump the territorial boundary.
Jacob growled and launched himself into the air at the large sandy-blonde vampire, headbutting him hard and knocking him back into the watery gorge below. He paced on the rock ledge looking down, his fangs bared menacingly.
Kristoff hit the rocks with a crash. He looked up at the wolf through wet locks and then peered into the forest behind the wolf. She'd gotten away. He got up and climbed back to Anna and his family, "I'm sorry, I thought I could catch her."
"It's okay, you're safe..." Anna held him "Don't you ever scare me like that again, you hear? If we cross over, they are within their rights to attack. You know what they'll do to us! I wish they could see we're not the bad ones though."
Kristoff held her close, "I know... I just hate that Vanessa got away. We were so close!"
Anna nodded "She's not worth losing you, though. I have a feeling that we'll have another chance soon. Come on, let's go back."
Kristoff hung his head, "Maybe we'll find a bear on the way..."
Leah caught up with the pack, standing on the river bank opposite the Arendelles, watching. She could feel her blood boiling. She didn't see Elsa there, but it didn't matter. All vampires were the same to her. When she saw the four pale figures turn and disappear into the night she headed for home. Seth hadn't been feeling well and she was worried about him. "Hey, bro, you here?" she called out as she entered the dark house, her mother must still be at the restaurant.
Seth paced in his room, covered in a sheen of sweat that just wouldn't go away. "In here! I... I think I'm getting sick or something, I'm burning up and I just feel like crawling out of my skin!" He burst out of his room, too restless to keep himself contained. "You should keep your distance..."
Leah’s eyes widened when she saw him, she held her hands up passively to try to calm him “Seth... I want you to take a deep breath, okay? Try to be calm... Let’s go outside, okay? It’s cool out there and that will help.”
Seth took a deep breath and let it out, he felt like he'd just run a marathon but at the same time like he needed to burst through the wall like the Kool-Aid man. "Yeah... Yeah, fresh air. I want to run. Can we go on a run? I just need to move, I need to-" he rushed for the door, the need too strong.
Leah moved out of the way and followed him outside “Seth! Stop!”
Seth growled, anger bubbling up in him so fast it scared him. He took a step away from her, eyes wide with fear. "Leah! Leah, I don't- I don't know what's wrong with me!"
“There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re gonna be okay. I know this is scary. I went through it, too.” Leah sighed. She had hoped Seth was spared the gene but it seemed that he wasn’t that lucky. “You know the tribe’s stories? Well, they’re real... you’re shifting.”
Seth whined and wrapped his arms around himself as if it would keep whatever was inside him from bursting out. "Sh-shifting?" He shook his head, he couldn't think, couldn't process, not when everything itched and burned. He had to move. Seth lunged away from Leah and started to run, but just as soon as he did, everything exploded. He exploded, into long limbs that tripped over themselves, covered in fur, and suddenly he could smell and hear everything. It was so overwhelming that he simply trembled on the ground, looking up (not really up anymore) at Leah, begging her in his mind. “ What's happening to me? What's going on? Why is this happening?!”
Leah held up her hands again to try to pacify him “Seth, it’s okay...” she took a couple of steps back, pulling off her jacket. She thought a split second about Honeymaren and then imagined Elsa walking up behind her, hugging her, holding her. She wasn’t sure why that was the image that came to mind, but regardless, her rage boiled quickly and she shifted almost instantaneously. She looked at her brother, who was visibly shaking “ so... yeah, we’re wolves.” she spoke to him telepathically.
Seth took a step back, then hesitantly sniffed at Leah. It was her, without a question. “ But how? Why?”
Leah snorted "perk of being a Clearwater, I guess. Not everyone can do this, I was trying to keep it from you so you could live a normal life. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I was just so hopeful you didn’t have the gene.”
Seth paced in place, still restless. “ What do I do now? What if I can't control it?”
“You have to keep your temper in check. It will get easier with time, but for the next week or so, it will happen spontaneously. Best you stay home, away from people, until you learn to control it.”
Seth whined and looked to the forest. The itch to run was still rising within him. “Will you run with me? I need to run.”
Leah nodded “ of course. We need to stick to the forests, the rangers have been trying to track us. Idiots. They should be tracking those damn bloodsuckers instead!”
“Bloodsuckers... They're real too?” He started for the forest, too restless to wait. His legs moved gracelessly beneath him, awkward as he got his footing.
Leah ran with him, patient as he got his footing “yeah, the Cold Ones are real too. You need to know our tribe’s boundary lines. I’ll show you. If we cross into their land, they can attack us.”
Seth whined a bit as he picked up speed, but eventually running on four legs began to feel natural. Once he got the hang of it, he picked up speed, enjoying it.
Leah grinned big as he started to run faster. It felt good not having to lie to him anymore “ oh... so now that you’re part of the pack... here comes the shitty part. Sam’s the alpha. We have to do what he says”
Seth tossed his head, “Really? He's so... Ugh. Why did he get to be alpha?”
“Because no one challenged him” Leah responded simply.
“Nobody else wants to be alpha? Would've thought Jacob might, but I guess since he's Sam's boyfriend…”
Leah nodded “Yeah, those two imprinted on one another. Real fucking power couple... ugh. Best keep your thoughts private. Anyone in the pack can hear us when we’re in this form”
Seth slowed down, Wait, really? And wait, what's imprinting? I have so many questions!
“Imprinting is like, your soul mate or whatever... not everyone does it though.” Leah trotted beside him
Seth nodded, catching his breath. “So... The Cold Ones. You said there was a border, right? Where can't we go? Why?”
“Yeah, our ancestors made a deal with a group of Cold Ones like a hundred years ago. We stay off our land, they stay off ours. We can defend our lands and people from them by any means necessary if they come onto our land. And if we go onto theirs, they’re within rights to kill us” Leah sneered “ Unless you’re that special little tick that has permission to visit the Nattura property.”
Seth blinked at her, the wheels in his mind turning. ”Wait... You mean that Elsa Arendelle and her family are vampires?!”
“Yes…” Leah growled “So don’t be their friend, got it? They might have Honeymaren and Ryder fooled, but I’ll be damned if I let anyone else I care about fall under their spell.”
Seth gave her a nod, then his eyes widened with worry and he tucked his tail between his legs, “Is Ryder in trouble? Do you think they'd hurt him?”
Leah shook her head “No... and if any harm comes to either of them at a vamp’s hand, the treaty is void and I get to rip her smug little head off.” while she didn’t like the idea of Honeymaren or Ryder being hurt, she did like the idea of hurting Elsa.
Seth frowned, but at least Ryder would be safe. Hopefully. “He's not a wolf either, is he? So I have to hide this from him, huh?”
Leah snorted “ Well, he knows about the pack... I kinda revealed myself to them both last fall... but it’s up to you. You can keep it a secret if you want. Honestly I thought he was going to wolf out, too. Yelana said he was sick and stuff last year, but it turned out to be a really bad stomach flu.”
Seth whined a bit, but at least he didn't have to lie to Ryder. “We should go home now, huh?”
“Up to you... you feel like your jitters under control yet?”
Seth shook out his fur and took a moment to breathe. “Yeah... Yeah. I'm good.”
Leah nodded “ Okay, let’s go back. Phasing out of wolf form is pretty easy. You just gotta be calm and imagine being on two legs again. Your body does the rest. Also it’s best to hide clothes around. Those don’t come with you, so unless you want to run around in your birthday suit…”
Seth snorted, Sooo... Should I just go into the house like this? Or could you grab me some shorts?
“Not unless you want to be on vacuum duty for a month! Ma complains about the shedding.” Leah laughed but it came out as a big deep rumble in her chest yeah “ I’ll bring you something.” Stay here she went behind a tree that she had stashed some clothes in to phase and change. She gave him a wink and ran across the lawn and into the house, quickly grabbing a shirt and gym shorts for him before returning.
Once Seth had phased back to a human, Leah suggested they go over and say hi to Ryder. Really it was just an excuse for her to get an update on Honeymaren, but also an opportunity for Seth to tell Ryder about his phasing if he wanted to. She knocked briskly on the door and waited next to her brother.
Ryder bounded to the door, hyped up on Mountain Dew from an intense gaming spree. He pulled it open with a grin, "If it isn't my favorite Clearwaters!"
Leah grinned "Hey Ry! Glad you're up, we just wanted to come say hi and see what's going on... is, um, Honeymaren here?"
Ryder smiled and stepped aside "Yeah, come on in, want something to eat?" he headed for the kitchen "Nah, Honeymaren and Elsa went on some big trip for Winter Break down to see Maren's parents. I think they’re actually supposed to be getting back tonight. You coming in, Seth? I don't bite!" he looked over his shoulder, noticing that Seth had not moved an inch from where he stood on the porch.
Seth stared at Ryder, his jaw slack as his entire world seemed to shift around him. Ryder. Ryder was everything. It was more than his crush, it was the entire universe converging, all of the vastness of space suddenly condensed into one person. The purpose of everything was Ryder. He snapped out of it as soon as he heard Ryder say his name, it sounded better than any music he'd ever heard. "Oh, right, yeah." He chuckled, blushing hard. Keep it together, man!
Leah subtly lifted an eyebrow at Seth and shrugged "So... how's the Rabbit coming along, Ry? I assume Mare's gonna help you with it?"
Ryder beamed "Yeah! And Yelana said that Elsa could come over while she's here helping me! It's gonna be so awesome. We should go driving when it's done!"
Leah felt herself start to heat up at that news. "That's just... awesome."
Seth bit his lip, suddenly worried for Ryder. Protective. "Could you show me how you do it? I'd love to see the process in person!" He blurted out. He didn't want Ryder left alone with a vampire, even if she'd been okay so far.
Ryder beamed "Yeah, I'd love for you to be there, you're my best friend, man!"
Seth grinned so wide that his cheeks hurt. "Great! Yeah, just uh, let me know when! I'll be here." If he'd had his new tail, it would have been wagging. Hard.
Leah looked between the two of them, picking up on some serious awkwardness "So... uh, I'll just... uh... I think I'm going to go... you two have fun and don't stay up too late."
Ryder grinned "You sure? Okay... Seth, you wanna play MarioKart? I got a sweet new system from Elsa for Christmas!"
Seth grinned wide, "Really? Yeah! I mean..." He sobered, remembering what Leah had said about his new skill. What if he got too excited and hurt Ryder? He couldn't risk that. "Man, I totally forgot, I haven't done any of my homework... But uh, rain check?"
"What homework do you have on winter break?" Ryder asked, confused.
Seth blushed hard, "Uh... Well, it's less of homework and more of a... A project. Right Leah?"
Leah raised an eyebrow "Uh, yeah... restaurant stuff... Sorry, Ryder, we should get going. Thanks for hanging out."
Seth felt like his heart was splitting in two. "But we'll definitely play soon! One hundred percent!" He wanted to stay, wanted to spend all night playing games with him and laughing with him, but he couldn't risk hurting him. Not even a little bit.
Leah nodded and pulled Seth out into the cold night waving to Ryder as they left.
That was weird Ryder shrugged it off and went back to playing his game, quickly losing himself in the world of Monster Hunter World.
Leah waited until they were far from the Nattura cabin before turning to Seth, continuing to walk towards their house "You want to tell me what the hell that was all about?"
Seth looked at Leah with the biggest puppy eyes, "I... I just... the second I saw him, it was like the world turned upside down and inside out and it was all centered on him and now all I want to do is be around him all the time and keep him safe and make him smile for the rest of my life." He blurted out, looking up at her helplessly.
"Fuck... you seriously just imprinted on him?" Leah groaned.
"Is... that what imprinting feels like?" He wrapped his arms around himself, "I wanted to go play games with him so bad but I remembered what you said and I don't want to get too excited and hurt him or anything..."
"Yeah, that's probably for the best to stay away from him until you can get a handle on controlling your phasing." Leah shrugged "So, you good for the rest of the night? I think I need to take a drive and clear my mind a bit."
Seth sighed and rubbed his face. "I guess... I just wanna camp outside of his window and make sure he's okay, but I think I should go to bed instead..."
"Dude… Don't be a creeper." Leah patted him on the back "Okay. I'm gonna head out then."
"Bed, then." He nodded, taking a deep breath. "This is a lot... thanks for helping. I'll see you in the morning? Or should I like, report to Sam or something?"
"Of course, I'll always be there for you. You can count on me. I'll take you to meet the pack tomorrow, okay?"
Seth nodded slowly, "Okay. Yeah. That's good. I'm.. gonna sleep."
Leah nodded and hopped in her truck, heading out towards Honeymaren's apartment. She knocked on the door but there was no answer. She went back to sit in her truck. She would stay there all night.
Elsa smiled as she drove them back from Seattle "Did you have a good trip?"
Honeymaren yawned and beamed, holding out her hand to admire her new ring. "The best trip... though I should probably put this away until we're ready to tell people."
Elsa nodded "Of course... soon enough you'll get to wear it all the time. You know, that was my mother's ring."
Honeymaren smiled and admired it a moment longer, "Really?"
"Yes" Elsa smiled "It looks amazing on you."
Honeymaren blushed and carefully took it off. "I'll be careful with it. Do you have the box handy for now?"
Elsa nodded "Yes, it's still in my handbag in the back, can you reach it?"
Honeymaren nodded and reached back to get her back, finding the ring box easily. It was all so neat and organized. "There." She set the ring in its box and put the box in her pocket.
Elsa smiled and pulled Honeymaren's hand up to her lips, kissing her softly "Perfect."
Honeymaren grinned, "How is it you always manage to make me blush?"
Elsa chuckled "I'm sorry, my love. You must make me so happy... And honestly with everything you say to me, if I could blush I would..."
Elsa smiled and pulled into Honeymaren's parking lot "Well, we made it back. I had fun but I'm rather looking forward to being in your bed with you again..."
Honeymaren grinned, "Me too... there's no place like home."
Elsa's grin quickly fell when she saw a familiar beat up truck "Looks like you have a visitor." her blue eyes flashed to where Leah sat in the old truck.
Honeymaren followed her gaze, "Oh... stay here, I'll talk to her." She climbed out of the car as soon as it stopped and approached Leah, "Hey..."
Elsa opened her mouth to protest but closed it and sat back in her seat, "Fine, but I'm listening in" she conceded and cracked the window.
Leah got out of the truck. Her eyes flicked over to where Elsa sat, then she turned to face Honeymaren "Ryder said you went out of town."
Honeymaren nodded, "Elsa took me to visit my parents. It was a fun trip." She shrugged, "I tried to... I stopped by, before I left. To talk to you."
"Well, I'm here now. What would you like to talk about?" Leah scoffed quietly.
"I..." Honeymaren sighed, "Leah, I wanted to see how you were doing. Is that so hard to believe?"
"I'm fine." She folded her arms across her chest "I just had to see you were safe and still you."
Honeymaren softened, "Well, I am. Both. I'll always be me. Even after I'm... different."
Leah glared when that comment registered, then nearly lost it. She surged forward and took Honeymaren by the shoulders "NO! You can't be serious! You can't become one of them, Mare! I won't let you!"
Honeymaren gasped and staggered back, "Leah, that hurts, stop!"
Elsa couldn't stay still any longer, rushing to Honeymaren's side, shoving Leah off of her "Get back..." she snarled.
Honeymaren stumbled free of her grip, "Leah, it's my choice. Elsa didn't even want me to do it, but I want this."
"You can't be fucking serious!" Leah was starting to shake "You want to be a monster like her ?!"
"She's not a monster any more than you are!" Honeymaren insisted. “And I would appreciate it if you minded your tone. I’ve been patient with you, Leah, but you’re really being a shitty friend right now.”
Leah looked like Honeymaren had slapped her across the face. She huffed "Fine… But help me understand then… How can you choose her?! She's not even alive!"
"Perhaps you should go, Leah." Elsa warned, trying very hard to keep herself under control.
“You don’t get to speak for her, tick.” Leah spat.
Honeymaren clenched her fists, "Can we take this inside? I have neighbors."
Elsa stood up a little straighter and nodded stiffly "Certainly, love."
Leah glared and followed behind Honeymaren and Elsa, imagining what it would feel like to bite her, liberate her head from her shoulders.
Honeymaren led them both into the apartment, facing Leah with her arms crossed. "This isn't your decision, it's mine, and I've made it."
Elsa stepped inside, then stiffened, crouching defensively in front of Honeymaren "Stop... someone has been here."
Honeymaren blinked, "You mean... in my apartment?"
Elsa nodded, "Stay here with Leah..." she stepped forward, smelling and investigating. The scent was strongest in her room, as if the intruder had stood there, but the apartment was empty. She came back to where Honeymaren was standing "I don't recognize the scent..."
Leah stiffened as she smelled the air. Sure enough there was a different scent lingering. "Whoever it was left her stink behind. It'll be hard to miss if we cross it again."
Honeymaren frowned, "Was it a vampire?" She asked, looking between the two of them. "Was it Vanessa?"
Elsa shook her head, "No, I would recognize her smell and Anna has been tracking her movements. It's different, a nomad perhaps... but I can't leave your side, if she got in once, she might come back..."
Honeymaren huffed, "Elsa, you can't hunt for Vanessa, keep yourself fed, and take care of me. I can spend some time on the rez when you can't be with me. I'll be safe there."
Elsa glared when she saw Leah smirking triumphantly. "Fine."
Honeymaren sighed, "It's the best solution. Just until we figure out what's happening."
"Don't worry, tick... I'll take good care of her." Leah sneered, earning an icy glare and a hiss.
Honeymaren shot Leah a look, "Can you at least pretend to play nice? For like, a second?"
Leah snuck in one last glare at Elsa and then straightened up. "Fine."
"Thank you." Honeymaren sighed, shaking her head, "I'll pack a bag to keep some things at Yelana's. Elsa, we can stay here tonight and I'll go to the rez tomorrow?"
"I don't like this plan, but I can't think of any other way to keep you safe..." Elsa kept her eyes locked on Leah.
The next several weeks were tense at best, Elsa and Leah sharing protection detail over Honeymaren. As much as Elsa hated to admit it, she was glad the wolves were there because their list of problems to worry about only grew and grew. The reports of unexplained killings and disappearances in Seattle kept flooding the evening news each night. Agnarr recognized the pattern as newborn activity, but they still had no idea who was behind this army. Anna had been following Aro and Vanessa's thoughts, but she saw nothing that indicated either of them was organizing this.
Elsa dropped Honeymaren off at the border one evening so she could go hunting. "I'll be back first thing tomorrow. Have fun tonight."
Honeymaren kissed her and pulled away, "I'll miss you."
“As will I, my love.” Elsa kissed her back, a little deeper than appropriate for public, but she wanted Leah to know who had Honeymaren's heart.
Honeymaren blushed and took her things, "I'll see you soon. Text me updates."
Elsa nodded and sped away in the Stingray.
Leah smirked "So, you're in luck, there's a bonfire tonight, and you know what that means!"
Honeymaren snorted at Leah, "More stories about how the Arendelles are untrustworthy and monsters?"
"Not just them... but yeah, kinda..." Leah chuckled "But it's important to know the histories and stuff, Mare."
"I know." She shook her head, "Just seems like the only thing that gets you excited anymore is trying to convince me how awful Elsa is."
"I'm still holding out hope that you'll come to your senses one day. She's not as perfect as you think she is. I mean, she probably can't even kiss you without hurting you. You wouldn't have to change for me, Mare. Or give up anything... your family, your life... I can make you happy... remember when it was just us? We were planning on going on our trip together? That could be every day!"
Honeymaren thought for a moment, reflecting on what time she had left. "You know what, Leah? Let's take that trip. Spring break. Florida. Disney World and Harry Potter World and all of that jazz. Let's just do it. You and me."
Leah's demeanor suddenly changed "Seriously? That would be awesome!" she was practically bouncing on her toes. Just time with Honeymaren, that's all she wanted.
Honeymaren grinned back at her, "Yeah! It'll be great, just like old times."
Leah nodded enthusiastically, her anger at Elsa forgotten for the time being. Nothing could bring her down as they sat by the campfire eating burgers and hotdogs, listening to stories of the past, something about the first encounter with the Cold Ones and the sacrifice that a young woman made to save the village. Apparently there had been some vengeful leech hellbent on killing the village to avenge her mate and the girl cut herself so that her blood would distract the bloodsucker so the spirit warriors could kill the woman.
Leah was still walking on clouds the next morning and didn't even make a jab at Elsa the next morning when they traded watch duty.
Elsa got into the car, utterly confused at Leah's shift in behavior. "So, do I even want to know what has her so happy?"
Honeymaren slipped into the car with a chuckle, "Well... We're going on a trip together. Spring break. We'd planned it for summer, we started talking about it last year, but I think with everything... Spring break is better."
Elsa stared ahead at the road as they drove away from the border, her expression unreadable. She finally spoke “I... think that’s a great idea. Where?”
Honeymaren was worried Elsa might disapprove, but her answer made her smile. "Orlando. We're going to do all of the best tourist traps, Disney, Harry Potter, not Sea World though because they're awful."
Elsa nodded “that sounds fun. Can I pay for your trip at least? I suppose I should express my gratitude to Leah for all she’s done. Even if she’s trying to steal my reason for existing.”
Honeymaren chuckled, but softened. "Really? You'd do that?"
Elsa nodded “when I left, I hurt you. And she was there for you. I’m not surprised it left a mark. But yes, I would like to do this for you. Both of you.”
Honeymaren smiled, "Thank you, love. That means the world to me."
Elsa nodded “of course. She’s your friend. My love for you is not so fragile that I can’t handle you spending time with her like this. And besides, you know how she feels about my kind. It might be your last opportunity to have a trip like this with her.”
Honeymaren nodded, "That was part of my thinking, too..."
Elsa reached over and took Honeymaren’s hand, stroking her knuckles with her thumb. “We can get your trip taken care of tonight. I’m glad of the timing, too. The violence in Seattle is escalating and we need to figure out what to do before the Volturi step in. And also you’d be really far from danger. And Leah can protect you. I really don’t see a downside to this.”
Honeymaren smiled, "Good points... So what's happening in Seattle? Fill me in."
“Agnarr thinks it’s like someone is creating an army of vampires, but we don’t know who or why. Anna has been trying to get a read on the situation but so far it's been nothing but a headache for her. But I feel like it's all connected somehow. Especially with the intruder that was in your apartment. It was too deliberate. Someone is pulling the strings but using the blind spots in Anna's visions to stay in the shadows... I don't think it's the Volturi, if they were coming to kill us, they'd be sure to make a big spectacle of it as a display of their power. And I don't think it's Vanessa either, she keeps making random appearances in Forks, not in Seattle. I'm really at a loss.” Elsa vented, her frustration quite evident.
Honeymaren put a hand on Elsa's shoulder, "We'll figure it out."
Elsa nodded "As long as I know you're safe, that's all that matters." She drove quietly for a while before speaking again "So, out of curiosity, once we're married, will you keep your last name, or would you like me to take it or would you like to take mine?"
Honeymaren thought for a moment, "I'd like to hyphenate, I think. I want both. A reminder of my family and my old life and a part of my new one."
"Arendelle-Nattura or Nattura-Arendelle?"
"The latter." She smiled, "I'm a Nattura first."
"Of course." Elsa smiled and gently squeezed her hand "So... how involved do you want to be in planning the wedding because I'm absolutely certain that Anna will want to help. And by help I mean she will most likely take over everything unless you put your foot down to her. She would never listen to me."
Honeymaren laughed, "Mmm... I'm not big on the whole process. I think my only request is that it has some natural feel? Like, natural wood kinda stuff. What do you think?"
Elsa chuckled "That can be arranged. So, are we giving Anna the green light to pretty much move forward? Let her plan the ceremony, reception, guest list... Because I just want you. Honestly, I'd be happy just going to court... but I think both our families would enjoy a big to-do about it."
Honeymaren nodded, "Yeah... I mean, she can see what we'll like, right? So it'll be good."
Elsa nodded "I'm sure she has seen it, and she hasn't warned me that anything bad will happen. I'm sure it will all turn out wonderfully. No one can plan a party like Anna... maybe Rapunzel... but she's still in Alaska."
"How is she doing?" Honeymaren asked gently.
"She's... coping. Kristoff said that she has been spending time with her friend Cassandra and has been working through processing her grief, though she's not ready to come home yet." Elsa sighed as they pulled into the apartment complex.
Honeymaren nodded, she didn't want to press on the sensitive subject. "How are you doing?"
Elsa pursed her lips, considering brushing it off, but she promised Honeymaren full honesty and she knew Honeymaren would see through her bullshit immediately “I’m... hanging in there. It’s tense.”
Honeymaren stayed in the car, not quite ready to leave even though they were parked. "We never really talked through it all... I think we should, if you're ready to."
“Talked through what?” Elsa’s voice was barely above a whisper
"What happened at my birthday." She said gently.
Elsa turned off the engine and sat quietly “I chose you. I’ll always choose you.”
"I know." She squeezed her shoulder gently, "But I'm 99.9% sure you haven't stopped punishing yourself for it since it happened."
Elsa pulled her lips into a thin line “I didn’t mean to kill him. I was so certain it was Hans. I saw Hans hurting you... I’ve doomed Rapunzel to an eternity of loneliness. I know I don’t deserve it, but I hope she can forgive me one day. But if I were in her shoes and someone took you away from me...” she shuddered “well we both know how that went.”
Honeymaren nodded slowly,"She has lost so much, but that doesn't mean you've doomed her. She can find love again, even if it's fifty years down the road, or three hundred. And you deserve to forgive yourself, Elsa. I have a feeling that even Rapunzel's forgiveness wouldn't be enough because you care so deeply that you might never absolve yourself, you know? But it's okay. It doesn't have to be today or even this century, but promise me you'll forgive yourself, at least at some point?"
“Could you forgive yourself if you killed Ryder?” Elsa said grimly. It was blunt, but the closest thing she could think of to describe how she felt. “I’m sorry... that was not fair of me to say.”
Honeymaren thought on that for a moment, "If I was alone, no. The guilt would eat me alive... But Yelana would make me confront it. Leah wouldn't let me wallow for too long either. Maybe I'd never stop wishing I hadn't done it, but... Ryder wouldn't want me to define the rest of my life around his death. He'd haunt my ass if I did." She took a deep breath, "I didn't know Eugene that well, but I guarantee you he wouldn't want you to punish yourself for the rest of your life. And you have too many people in your life that love you too much to let that happen."
Elsa nodded slowly as she listened “I don’t know how to forgive myself...” she admitted quietly.
Honeymaren nodded, "That's something we can figure out together. You deserve to heal, too."
Elsa nodded “thank you, Honey. Maybe you’re right... it’s time I stopped living in the past and letting my regret hold me back and start living for the here and now. And if that’s the case, would you like to stay at my place tonight? There’s something I need to do.”
Honeymaren nodded, "Of course. I'd love to see everyone, too."
Elsa started up the car again and headed for the Arendelle house.
Everyone was sitting around, watching the news. Anna perked up first when she heard the car in the driveway. “Honeymaren! It’s good to see you again! I trust you had a very memorable trip?” She wiggled her eyebrows and looked down at her hand, her smile falling to a frown “you’re not wearing it?”
Honeymaren blushed and pulled the ring box out of her pocket, taking the ring out to put it on. "I wasn't quite ready to tell my family yet. I've got to work up to that."
Anna nodded “I understand, it’s a big step... well, you have nothing to hide here. We’re all very excited. Oh... and I miiiiiiiight have gotten carried away with planning...” she added sheepishly.
Elsa rolled her eyes at her sister and went to talk with Iduna.
Honeymaren laughed, "I don't need future vision to have seen that coming... But I'm excited, show me what you have in mind?"
Anna beamed and grabbed Honeymaren’s gently by the wrist, tugging her upstairs to her room “oh you are going to love it!”
Elsa pinched her nose and gave Honeymaren an apologetic smile. She did try to warn her...
Honeymaren chuckled and followed Anna along, but her eyes widened as she stepped into Anna's room. It was covered in vision boards and fabric swatches and samples of decorations. "Oh... Wow."
Anna grinned and twirled around “like it? Let me know if there are any elements you want incorporated... Elsa gets no say in the matter, she has no sense of style or design. And tell me what you would like to wear. I already have Elsa’s dress in the works so I can match styles.” She hurried over to her desk and pulled out a folder of stationary designs. “While you’re thinking about your clothes, tell me which one you want for your announcements! And I need to know the date for sure... I mean, I know , but I want to hear it from you that it’s what you want and not me getting carried away, you know? And do you have a middle name? Sorry if I’m overwhelming you. I’m just so excited!!”
Honeymaren took a deep breath, her eyes wide. "Umm... Let's start with the dress. I don't know about the exact date but... Summer, sometime. And I'm not sure that I want a dress. I never felt quite right in them. What other options are there?"
“Well, you don’t have to wear a dress, silly!” Anna grinned “it’s your day and you should feel comfortable. Elsa said you looked positively amazing in your prom suit... would you feel better in something like that?”
"Something like that... But maybe not quite a tux. Is there something in between?"
Anna nodded “why don’t you do some looking and send me pictures? I can whip up some designs based on what strikes your fancy.”
Honeymaren nodded, "I can handle that. Yeah. Thanks." She smiled, "It makes me happy that you're so excited."
Anna beamed “I’ve been waiting nearly 200 years for my sister to find someone. She’s been through so much. You make her so happy.”
Honeymaren blushed and shrugged, "I just want her to see herself the way I see her."
Anna nodded sadly “she’s very hard on herself. Always has been, even as kids she put up the highest walls. Her own icy fortress. But I will let her tell you about her past when she’s ready. It’s not my place.”
Honeymaren nodded, "We actually just had a great talk about self-forgiveness... I trust her to tell me more when she feels like it's time. I know who she is now, and that's enough for me."
Anna smiled “I can see why she’s so taken with you. Come, we should get back. But think about those wedding elements and send me stuff.”
Honeymaren nodded, "I can do that."
Elsa looked up from the piano where she was playing a quiet tune when she heard Honeymaren and Anna return. “Did she talk your ear off?” She smirked “I told you she was a little over excited.”
"No, it was great! She's got a lot of great ideas. Most of which I was too overwhelmed to process, but it all looked nice!"
Elsa chuckled, her pale fingers drifted over the white and black keys “join me?”
Honeymaren sat on the stool beside her, watching in wonder as her fingers flitted over the keys effortlessly. The music was beautiful, gentle and a little haunting, but still light.
Elsa played quietly, finishing her song. “Thank you. I don’t like leaving things unfinished. Let’s go to my room to talk.”
Honeymaren nodded, "I love the way you play."
Elsa smiled lightly “I’ve had lots of practice. I’m glad you like it.” She closed the piano and stood.
Honeymaren got up as well and followed her up to her room, "So apparently Anna already has your dress picked out."
Elsa snorted “this is my shocked face.” She draped her arm across Honeymaren’s shoulders as they walked to her room. She had redecorated and rearranged a little, a large bed stood in the center of the room where her couch once was. She sat down on the bed “just in case you ever wanted to sleep here.”
"Aww," she grinned, "Thanks love... I think I'd like that tonight. I'm safer with all of you around anyways."
Elsa nodded “between us and the wolves, I think you are the safest person this side of the Mississippi.” She nervously wrung her hands together “Honeymaren. I haven’t told you everything about myself... but I think you should know while there’s still time for you to reconsider your options.”
Honeymaren frowned, sobering. "You can tell me anything. And I doubt there's anything you could say that would change my mind."
Elsa looked at her lap “a few years after Iduna created me and Anna, I rebelled... I hated them for trying to curb my appetite... so I left. I wanted to know what it felt like to hunt, to be a vampire. To taste human blood.”
Honeymaren nodded slowly. She looked at Elsa, "For how long?"
“Long enough... I was insatiable. A monster. I’d lose myself in the kill. And I liked it. My body count...” she looked up and met Honeymaren’s gaze for a moment before shooting off the bed to the bookshelf and returning with a very old, leather bound book. She looked at it, then handed it to Honeymaren. “This is everyone who has died at my hand.”
Honeymaren opened the book, looking over the names. She saw on the final page, 'Eugene Fitzherbert' in fresh ink, the rest all faded and old. She kept her eyes on the page, "How did you choose your victims?"
Elsa closed her eyes, reliving those horrible memories “often I’d follow them, observe them. But sometimes I didn’t... some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Honeymaren took a long breath, in and out. "How long has it been, aside from...?"
“98 years, four months and 17 days.”
Honeymaren nodded and looked up at her. "It's who you are now that matters most. And the fact that you feel so much remorse over it means more than the acts themselves, you know?" She looked down at the book, thinking. "... One day, do you think we could put these names to rest? We could even give your book a burial, or scatter the ashes, but as long as you're carrying this with you, you're holding on to pain almost a century old."
Elsa smiled softly “you never cease to amaze me, Honey.” She took the book “I’ve never shown this to anyone, not even Anna. But I agree with you... it’s time to move forward. And I think I’m finally ready to let it go and let the past be in the past.”
Honeymaren smiled back and nodded, "I'll do it with you if you want. Or you can do it alone, whatever you think sounds best."
"I want you there..." Elsa said quickly, standing up, offering her hand to Honeymaren "You've been an instrumental part of helping me move through this..."
Honeymaren took her hand and wrapped herself around Elsa with a smile. "I'll be there."
Elsa nodded and went out onto her wrap around porch, gently placing the journal in the small portable fire pit "You know, I always have this thing ready to go but I've never used it." she chuckled, striking a match.
Honeymaren looped her arm through Elsa's, "No time like the present."
Elsa felt anxious at first, watching the flame catch, but as the paper charred and curled, she felt an enormous weight starting to lift off her shoulders. She stood in silence, watching the ghosts of her past disappear in front of her until they were nothing but ashes. "It's done..."
Honeymaren watched the flames die into embers as the last remnants of the book turned to ash. She leaned up to kiss Elsa's cheek, "I'm proud of you, love."
"I never realized that I was stuck in an eternal darkness, and now it feels like the breaking of a new dawn." Elsa smiled softly "You helped me find the light within myself that I thought had extinguished long ago. I can't tell you how much that means to me."
Honeymaren beamed up at her, "I'm so glad... I just want you to see how special you are, Elsa."
Elsa wrapped her arms around Honeymaren "with you, I actually am starting to feel that way."
She snuggled against her in a deep embrace. "Good. Then I'm doing my job."
"Are you feeling tired? We could try out the new bed" Elsa chuckled and winked.
Honeymaren grinned, "Hell yes."
The beginning of the spring semester started off like a rocket. They nailed down their wedding date, Elsa confirmed all of the accommodations for the Orlando trip, and spring break was upon her before Honeymaren knew it. She packed her bag and within hours, she and Leah were in the happiest place on Earth, staying in the Grand Floridian resort. Honeymaren grinned as she pulled Leah onto the monorail, "Okay, so we start with Magic Kingdom today, Animal Kingdom tomorrow?"
Leah had to admit, albeit rather reluctantly, that this was a pretty awesome way to spend Spring Break and that she was grateful that Elsa had footed the bill for everything. Though the catty part of her wondered if she was just trying to buy Honeymaren's affections. But she wasn’t going to insult Honeymaren by implying she thought she was a gold digger. So she swallowed her pride and enjoyed the view "Yeah, that sounds great!"
Honeymaren hadn't stopped grinning since they'd touched down in Florida. "I've heard we have to try a Dole Whip, and Space Mountain is a big deal."
Bring it on!" Leah laughed, happy to see Honeymaren seem so light and happy. And the leech was across the country, so things really couldn't be any better.
Honeymaren bounced on her toes, "Oh! And we should get Mickey ears!"
Leah grinned and casually looped their hands together "Let's go!"
Honeymaren bounced out of the monorail with her, grinning ear to ear as she took in the wonders of the park. It was huge, positively magical. Here, it felt like nothing had changed.
Leah followed Honeymaren, practically being dragged across the park. But it was fine, she would follow Honeymaren anywhere...
The rest of the week passed in a blur. Each day was a new adventure of eating until they were sick, riding on the rollercoasters, seeing the special shows. Leah was so tired by the end of each day that she just collapsed into her bed, though she wanted to talk with Honeymaren about her feelings. One last effort to change her mind before her best friend made the mistake of a lifetime.
Honeymaren even began to tire out by the end of the week. They spent their final day poolside at the resort, coming down from it all. Honeymaren floated in the warm waters, "This was perfect. I'm so glad we did this, Leah."
Leah basked in the sun "Yeah, me too... it was fun."
Honeymaren sighed, "I will miss suntanning... But not that much. Besides, I've still got a few months to enjoy the little things."
Leah’s eyes flashed open “Months!?” she sputtered
Honeymaren got to her feet in the shallow water, "Yeah, I..." She hadn't told her about the wedding yet, had she? "We're... We're getting married this summer, and after that..."
“Wait... You’re marrying her?!” Leah clutched the side of the lounge chair she was sitting in. She was starting to shake. “For a second... a second I thought... maybe you invited me on this trip because you actually feel something for me... It might not be the same as how I feel about you, but I can tell you feel something for me...” she got up and wrapped a towel around herself “I can’t be here.” She left Honeymaren standing in the pool. She couldn’t afford to wolf out in front of the mass of spring break goers. She ran to their room, barely getting the door closed before she ripped out of her swimsuit. She paced and whined. Unable to run it was all she could do.
Honeymaren watched her go, her heart torn. She didn't know whether to follow her or leave her be, so she gave her a few minutes head start, then made her way back to the room. She knocked, "Leah...? Can I come in?"
Leah was curled up in a ball in the corner of the room. Her chest was heaving in silent sobs. She heard Honeymaren’s voice through the door and whined softly.
Honeymaren let herself in slowly. She closed the door behind her and approached the silvery white wolf in measured steps. "Leah... I love you, but it'll never be the same way that I love Elsa. I'm sorry, I really am, but you are so important to me... You're my best friend. That's why I wanted to go on this trip with you. And I'm so glad we did, even if... Even if it doesn't end the way we'd hoped."
Leah opened a golden-brown eye, regarding Honeymaren a moment before huffing and turning her head away from her. But after a moment her tail annoyingly started to wag on its own accord, thumping strongly on the ground. She turned her head and gave her a wolffish smile, uncurling a little as if to invite Honeymaren to lean against her.
Honeymaren relaxed as she saw her tail wagging, and as soon as she saw that smile she knelt to the ground and snuggled up to her side. "You're so soft and snuggly..."
Leah snorted and laid her head on her paws, looking up at Honeymaren. She lifted her head and whined softly, pressing her cold nose against her cheek.
Honeymaren reached up and pet her head, running fingers through her fur. "I meant it, Leah. I do love you. As my best friend."
Leah couldn’t help herself. In her mind they were kissing, but in reality she licked a long strip of Honeymaren’s face with her wet tongue.
Honeymaren laughed, shaking her head. "Leah..."
Leah chuckled awkwardly, which came out more as a rumble deep in her chest, and rubbed the side of her face against Honeymaren’s to clean off the slobber.
Honeymaren snorted, letting her. "Thanks. You know... I know you're not the biggest fan of Elsa, but ever since we were kids I always wanted you to be my maid of honor... Would it be too much to ask?"
Leah huffed and stood up, slow enough that Honeymaren could get to her feet.
Honeymaren got the hint and climbed to get feet you face Leah. "I'll never get over how huge you are like this..."
Leah snorted and poked her in the shoulder, trying to spin her around.
Honeymaren blinked and spun around in a circle. "Leah?"
Leah shook her head. She lowered herself to the ground and tried to cover her eyes with her giant paws. She looked up at Honeymaren, hoping she understood.
Honeymaren watched her, then gasped, "Oh! Yeah, I'll just..." She turned her back to give her some privacy.
Leah sighed and shifted back into her human form, feeling much calmer than earlier. And their attempt at inter-species conversation had not been going well. She pulled on some shorts and a t-shirt “thanks.” She sat down on the bed “look, I’m flattered, I really am. And I know it’s your big day and all... just... all this. It’s a big pill to swallow.”
Honeymaren turned once she was sure it was okay. "I know... And you don't have to give me an answer right this minute. Take your time with it. If it's too much, of course I'll understand. I know Ryder would love to be maid of honor if not..." She smirked a little, but it was soft, without any bite. "But you're my first choice."
Leah sighed “You wanna know what’s really fucked up? I’ve been in love with you since we were kids, and up until this moment I still hoped that you would maybe choose me first. And now I know that you’ve only ever seen me as a bridesmaid but never the bride.” Hot tears welled up in her eyes as her heart was breaking “Look, I’m glad we were able to have this trip together... because once we get home, I think it best you just stay with your new family. You’ve made it really clear what you want, and I respect that these are your decisions to make. But you should know, your choices make me sick to my stomach. Frankly, it will be easier for me to just think you’re dead than one of them. So no, I don’t think I can be your maid of honor. Because I know what comes next. And I’m not sticking around to watch.”
Honeymaren wrapped her arms around herself, taking deep breaths through the heartbreak. She should've known this was how it would end. She should've seen this coming. "... Okay."
Leah sighed “I’m sorry, Mare. I wish that we weren’t in this situation. Gods... You don’t know how much I wish I was enough for you. That this wouldn’t be our last time together.” A hot tear fell down her cheek “but there’s really nothing you can say or do to make me stay though. I’m not going to follow you around blindly anymore like a sad, stupid puppy holding out hope. So I guess I’ll make this easier on you and just leave you alone.”
Honeymaren nodded, "I never meant to lead you on, Leah. I'm so sorry."
Leah turned away "Yeah, I know... it was stupid of me for hoping as long as I did. But I guess our feelings are out there now and I'm glad we're finally being honest with one another. Come here" she held her arms out for a hug. She didn't want their last moments together to be a fight, even if it was the healthiest way to address their situation.
Honeymaren quickly wrapped her arms around Leah, eager for some kind of closure, if this was really the end.
Leah hugged Honeymaren tight, greedily breathing in her smell, her warmth, the way their bodies felt together. She didn't notice the steam rising off Honeymaren's swimsuit as her own body heat dried her clothes. "You'll always be in my heart, Mare..."
Honeymaren nodded against her, her eyes closed tight. "And you'll always be in mine, Leah."
Leah was content to just hold her like that but finally she let go "I think I need to go for a walk. I'll see you later, okay?"
Honeymaren nodded, pulling away. "I'll... Start packing."
Leah nodded and pulled on a sweatshirt, even though she didn't need it, she didn't want to draw any attention to herself. She walked around the city well into the early hours of the morning. It didn't matter, she was about to be on a very long plane ride and she could sleep then.
Elsa was waiting at their private tarmac for Honeymaren and Leah to arrive. She was grinning broadly when she saw the jet touchdown. She had missed Honeymaren immensely but she could spare a week in exchange for an eternity. And it did give her and the family to do more investigating into the Seattle situation. They had caught a glimpse of one of the new vampires. It was a short, fleeting look, but enough for Anna to get a read on them. Whoever it was did not know much, probably just a lackey and not a decision maker, but at least it was something. They would have some warning.
Honeymaren was quiet when she left the plane, silently mourning the loss of her best friend. She let Leah leave, they'd already said their goodbyes. Instead she rushed into Elsa's arms, desperate for her comfort.
Leah saw Elsa standing there but she couldn't bring herself to acknowledge her as she ran to her truck. The hurt was still too fresh.
Elsa raised an eyebrow as she watched Honeymaren's strange behavior, wrapping her arms around her "What's wrong, love?"
"She... We can't be friends anymore. We had fun and we... We said our goodbyes." Honeymaren closed her eyes, clinging to her.
Elsa sighed and nodded quietly. Seeing Honeymaren like this hurt, but she also knew it was for the best. "I'm sorry, love. Let's go home. You can talk about it if you want but if you need to just process, that is fine, too."
Honeymaren nodded, "I just need time."
Elsa drove quietly "Of course."
Honeymaren looked out the window, eyes misty as they made their way back to Elsa's home. Once they got inside, she tugged Elsa to bed with her, leaving her luggage in the living room, and pulled Elsa in for a long, quiet snuggle until she eventually fell asleep.
Elsa obliged, laying with her through the night, gently stroking her back to try to calm her.
Anna came rushing into Elsa’s room the next morning, barely noticing the sleeping Honeymaren in Elsa's arms "Elsa, Elsa! Oh, hi, sorry to wake you Maren... I need my sister, now!"
"Anna!" Elsa groaned "What is the meaning of this?"
"A decision has been made..." Anna flapped her arms "The army... they're coming here."
"They'll be here in five days..." Anna spoke more calmly once the family had gathered in the living room.
"Did you see who is behind this?" Iduna asked
Anna shook her head "No, but they're definitely coming for us, more specifically, for Honeymaren. I saw them passing around one of her shirts, smelling it.
Elsa growled as a memory struck her like a ton of bricks "The intruder from winter break... that's what they were after. Her scent."
Agnarr stood and walked next to Iduna "How many?"
Anna shook her head, "A couple dozen, at least."
Honeymaren looked between the two of them, dread filling her. "What do we do?"
Agnarr stood quietly for a moment. "That's too many for us to handle... perhaps we reach out to Sam and see if the pack will help. It is a threat to us all, and they have sworn to protect this land... perhaps we can reach a temporary understanding. Honeymaren, aren't you friends with one? Would you be able to arrange a parlay?"
Elsa stiffened, this was just opening a dangerous can of worms... but Honeymaren's safety was on the line.
Honeymaren took a slow breath as she weighed the options. There weren't that many. "I'll ask him. An army like this being here puts the tribe in danger too, so... I think he'd be willing to fight."
Iduna nodded "Thank you, Honeymaren. If they're willing to join us, we will all need training fighting newborns. Training that Agnarr has."
Agnarr sighed "Iduna is right. Newborns are very different from us, it requires a different fighting style and technique."
Honeymaren nodded, "I'll see what he says... But I think this request should be made in person. I'll go to the rez right now." She got up and started to put on her biking gear.
Elsa stood up "I'll accompany you to the border."
Honeymaren nodded, "Come on, I'll drive. It'll help me clear my head."
Elsa followed Honeymaren to the garage where they had stored her bike while she was away on her trip. "You know, this is our first ride together. I wish it were under different circumstances."
Honeymaren climbed on and scooted forward a bit to give her room. "Well, we can still enjoy it, can't we?" She smiled a little. Everything was so heavy right now, maybe they could escape it all for a few minutes at least.
Elsa nodded and chuckled as she strapped a helmet on her head. Not like she needed it, but better to keep up appearances and also it was the law. "I'm looking forward to this." she sat down behind Honeymaren, pressing herself up against her back, her arms looped around her waist. "This is nice."
Honeymaren smiled and revved the engine a little. They could have these moments, if nothing else. She started for the rez, engine rumbling beneath them.
Elsa held on to Honeymaren, her chin resting against her shoulder. She wasn't expecting the rumble of the engine to be so strong, it pressed her front flush against Honeymaren's rear and she felt herself starting to harden. “Damn it," she murmured quietly to herself.
Honeymaren couldn't help but chuckle. She wiggled her hips a little, as much as balance would allow, pressing herself back against her.
Elsa groaned and carefully rubbed herself against her for a moment, but then she closed her eyes and tried to calm herself down, she couldn't risk losing control.
As soon as they reached the border, Elsa hopped off the back of the bike and quickly readjusted "So... I did not see that happening." she chuckled softly "Next time we ride together we need to go to a more private spot..."
Honeymaren chuckled, already feeling better. Fresh air and a little friskiness did wonders. She stayed on the bike, "I'll come right back here as soon as I'm done. Unless you wanted to come visit Ryder and Yelana?"
Elsa shook her head "I don't think visiting your family in this state would be such a good idea. I'll be here when you return."
Honeymaren nodded and sped off down the road, finding Sam's place (complete with Jacob's truck parked out front). She climbed off her bike and headed to the door, giving it a few solid knocks. "Sam, it's urgent, I need to talk to you!"
Jacob answered the door with a sneer "What do you want? You smell like the walking death..."
"Enough Jacob... Honeymaren is one of us, even if she chooses to associate with... them." Sam came walking down the hallway, pulling a black t-shirt on "Come in."
Honeymaren closed her mouth, having been moments away from telling Jacob off. That would've been an awful way to start this conversation. She walked past him to follow Sam inside, "Thanks. So, I'll cut to the chase. There's an army of newborn vampires headed our way, they'll be here in about five days. It would be safer for everyone if we could work together."
Sam bristled "Yeah, we've sensed it... how do you know this?"
"The Arendelles have been keeping their eyes on them for a while now..." She didn't want to give away Anna's gifts, not so freely. "Agnarr has worked with newborns in the past, they're different. More dangerous. He's willing to teach you all the best way to take them down."
Sam thought a moment "If this is a matter of safety for the town and the tribe, I suppose we can set our differences aside for the time being. We've never faced newborns before, and so if they claim to have information that can help us, it would be stupid not to accept the offer. Just tell us the time and place."
Honeymaren sighed with relief, "Thank you. I'll text you the when and where. Thank you, Sam."
Jacob looked at his boyfriend, clearly frustrated "Seriously? You want us to work with the leeches?"
Sam nodded "I won't risk the safety of the tribe. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is my ally. But once this is over, we can go back to hating each other."
Honeymaren nodded, "All we're asking is for this one time. And, just so you're aware... They're after me, for some reason."
Sam snarled a little "They're targeting you specifically? That will never happen. We look out for our own."
Honeymaren smiled softly, "Thanks, Sam... Yeah, they've got my scent. They broke into my apartment at some point. They're... More organized that we hoped, but we still don't know for sure if Vanessa is behind it or someone else."
"That's the black haired tick we keep seeing, isn't it?" Jacob butted into the conversation.
Honeymaren nodded, "We think it's her. She's got a vendetta against me, so it makes sense."
Sam nodded "We'll handle this. Tell them that we agree to a temporary cease-fire until the outside threat has passed. Thank you for coming to warn us."
Honeymaren nodded, "I'll let you know about the training."
Honeymaren hurried out and drove to the boundary, whipping off her helmet when she saw Elsa. "They're in. We need to let them know when and where.
Elsa waited patiently at the border for Honeymaren to return. She kept in close contact with the others, who were busy scouting out the location for the impending battle. She was relieved to see Honeymaren riding up the road and even more relieved to hear the news. "Perfect. It seems that Agnarr has found a secluded mountain meadow that will offer us the best advantage and is far enough from the town. We will begin our training will begin there at sundown. They're welcome to join us at any time."
Honeymaren nodded and quickly relayed the text to Sam with all of the details. Once she got a confirmation, she nodded, "They're in."
Elsa sighed, a mix of relief and anxiety. "Well, let's get you something to eat since breakfast got rudely interrupted. Can I make you French toast? Your dad told me his secret recipe when we were down there."
Elsa did not leave Honeymaren's side the rest of the day, carrying her to the training grounds. Her family was already waiting there, Agnarr and Kristoff were sparring lightly.
Honeymaren had never felt so useless. Everyone at the training grounds were ready to fight for her, and all she could do was be bait. She leaned against Elsa, "Are you sure turning me wouldn't help?"
Elsa shook her head "Newborns are uncontrollable, driven by instinct rather than any sense of logic or reason. You would be in even more danger, an easy target."
Agnarr nodded "Elsa is right... but we can use your scent to lure the newborns here..."
Honeymaren sighed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"I'm sorry, love... I know sitting this out isn't your first choice... but if it's any consolation, I'll be there with you." Elsa hugged her gently
Honeymaren frowned, "I just hate feeling like the damsel in distress..."
"I know, but it's the only way I can ensure you're safe. You and I will be away from the battle, with the wolves it should be an easy win." Elsa sighed, unsure of how to console her. She looked over Honeymaren's shoulder when she heard low growling in the forest. Seven huge wolves stepped forward out of the shadows. "They're here."
Honeymaren frowned, looking out into the woods. It was getting dark, it was hard for her to see much, but she saw several sets of eyes emerging from the trees. She saw a familiar silvery pelt. Leah had actually come.
Agnarr looked over and smiled warmly "We're glad you came. As you know, there is a threat upon us that poses a danger to everyone in town and on the reservation. While it seems that they are after Honeymaren, there's no saying they'll stop if we allow them to get a foothold in the area. It is imperative that this end here. The plan is to lure the newborns here with Honeymaren's scent. But the trail needs to end here. If there is one of you who will be willing to volunteer to carry her to a safe site, I believe that your scent will mask hers. Is there anyone who would be willing to test this theory?"
Leah growled softly, trying to keep her emotions in check as she took a step forward. She couldn't bring herself to look at Honeymaren. But she was here because Sam had set the order and she didn't have a choice. And despite everything that had happened, she wouldn't let her friend come to danger.
Sam nodded “Thank you, Leah.”
Leah snorted and trotted over to Honeymaren, still looking away, lowering herself to the ground in front of her.
Honeymaren watched Leah, surprised, she hesitantly climbed onto Leah's back, gripping her fur. She didn't say anything, what could she say?
Leah waited patiently for Honeymaren to get situated before standing up.
"Good, now just run out a few miles and come back. I will try to track her scent once you've gone." Agnarr smiled, unaware of the tension and drama.
Elsa stood stiffly, not particularly excited about who volunteered, but at least it was someone Honeymaren knew and trusted, despite their recent fight. Elsa knew Leah still had feelings, no matter what she had told Honeymaren. "Run." she said simply.
Leah rolled her eyes and took off at a full gallop, carefully choosing a clear path through the woods.
Honeymaren held on, gripping her tightly to keep upright.
Leah ran out a ways before turning around to return to the meadow. Once there she lowered herself down and let Honeymaren dismount, then went back to standing in ranks with the rest of the pack.
Agnarr gave Leah a minute head start before starting to track. He followed Leah's trail but all he was able to pick up was the smell of wolf, no Honeymaren. He returned with a big grin "It worked, all I was able to pick up was Leah's trail, and the newborns will want nothing to do with that. This will work." He returned to the center of the meadow "Thank you for indulging that test. Now, when it comes to fighting newborns, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, they are significantly stronger, because their human blood still lingers in their tissues. Second, they are driven by instinct, so do not go at them head on or go for an obvious kill, their survival instincts will kick in. Third, never let them get their arms around you, they'll crush you instantly. This goes for all of us. Any questions?" He waited a moment but when no one said anything, he continued "Who would like to do a demonstration? Elsa?"
Elsa nodded and stepped forward, squaring off against her 'father.'
"Don't hold back..." he taunted her quietly, knowing it would get a rise out of her.
“Not in my nature…” Elsa smirked and formed ice daggers in her hands, then lunged at him. He parried her away, she spun for a counterstrike... back and forth they went, neither gaining an upper hand. And then suddenly she was flat on her back, coughing a little as the air escaped her lungs.
Leah couldn't help but chuckle, watching Elsa get her ass handed to her was worth the trouble of coming out here. Though she reluctantly had to admit, it had been a good fight. And the ice was a big surprise.
Agnarr held his hand out to her to help her back to her feet "So... the first part of that was how mature vampires fight. More back and forth. But newborns will go straight for the attack, full offensive. And if you're not ready for it, you're done for."
Honeymaren watched them as best as she could as they continued sparring. The night grew darker, and as fast as they were going it became harder and harder to keep track. Finally, though, they ended for the night and she got back to her feet, reaching for Elsa.
Elsa hurried over to Honeymaren, her clothes and hair completely disheveled from the sparring. Everyone had gone several rounds practicing with each other as Agnarr offered advice and critique. Even Seth had come forward to try, but none of the other wolves trusted them enough.
"Let's go home?" She suggested.
Elsa nodded and crouched for Honeymaren to get on "Where would you like to go?"
"Your house is probably safest."
Elsa nodded and took off running toward her house. Besides, she wanted to bathe and change her dirty clothes. She felt hopeful about the situation, having the wolves helping was definitely going to tip the scales in their favor but she was still worried about it.
Honeymaren didn't sleep well that night, or the nights following. School felt ridiculous with all of this going on, and every time the others sparred, she felt more and more useless. The wedding wasn't until July, was she really going to wait that long to change? So much could happen between now and then.
Elsa sensed how restless Honeymaren was, feeling her toss and turn in her sleep each night. She wished there was something she could say or do that would help comfort her. The day before the battle she drove them back to her house after school "Honeymaren, please talk to me. What's going on in your mind?"
Honeymaren sighed, twisting her fingers in her lap. "I'm just... wondering if waiting is going to put us in danger. Even if we take out the newborns, even if no one gets hurt, what's to say this won't happen again and again? I'm a liability, the longer I stay human the more people are at risk."
Elsa pulled her lips into a tight line and sighed, unsure of what to say "I... I don't really know how to respond to that. I want to assure you that you are not a liability. We all love you and will do whatever it takes to keep you safe, you're a part of our family now."
Honeymaren nodded, but she didn't feel much better. "It's just... Not fair. You're all putting your lives on the line for me, but I can't do the same for you."
Elsa sighed, "Please don't think of it like that... we would do this for anyone in the family if they were in trouble. Sometimes it's give, sometimes it's take."
"But right now I'm stuck taking and taking and taking. I know there's not much we can do about it right now, but it still makes me feel, just... Ugh."
"You give in more ways than you know." Elsa tried to reassure her.
Honeymaren shook her head, "It doesn't feel like it."
Elsa simply nodded "I understand that feeling. This isn't going to be like this all the time, it's just a few short months away..." she held out her hand for her.
Honeymaren nodded and took her hand, finally looking up to meet her eyes. "Thanks... I needed that reminder."
"And then you and I will have forever together..." Elsa smiled softly, lifting her hand to her lips, planting a soft kiss along her knuckles.
Honeymaren smiled a little, though it was still unsure. "I love you. I just... I hope no one gets hurt."
"It will be fine. We've been working surprisingly well together, and I truly feel like everyone has each other's back and understands that we cannot risk the consequences if we are not fully united." Elsa pulled the Stingray into the driveway, checking the time on her phone "Hmm... we don't have much time. Leah will be waiting for us in the meadow in an hour and we need to walk so that your scent forms a trail for the newborns to follow. I'll be watching you but you'll need to walk alone. I can't risk them smelling my scent too."
Anna came out of the house with a backpack full of supplies "Here you are... there's a storm rolling in so you guys should get going soon. I'll see you tomorrow when this is over, Maren." she quickly hugged her and went back inside.
Elsa nodded and pulled the pack onto her back "ready, love?"
Honeymaren hugged Anna back, then turned to Elsa. "Ready."
Elsa nodded and started walking, keeping about 100 feet away from Honeymaren as they hiked to the meadow.
Leah was pacing as she waited for Honeymaren and Elsa to arrive. She perked up when she heard footsteps approaching, her tail starting to wag when Honeymaren came into view.
Elsa emerged from the treeline a little ways off "I'll meet you up at the campsite, you remember where you're going?"
Leah snorted and rolled her eyes, crouching for Honeymaren to get on.
Honeymaren climbed onto Leah's back and gripped her tight. "Ready." She said simply.
Leah lurched forward and took off running at full speed.
Elsa sprinted up to the campsite and set to making a modest sized yurt out of ice.
Honeymaren held onto Leah until she reached the yurt, impressed at the structure Elsa had been able to build in such a short time. She shivered a bit, riding in the wind had gotten her a bit more chilly than she'd started. Winter seemed to be making a comeback, even in March. Were those snowflakes in the air? She hurried to the yurt with a quick 'thanks' over her shoulder at Leah.
Leah snorted and trotted away to do perimeter checks.
Elsa smiled when she saw Honeymaren standing there “oh good! You made it!” She pulled her in for a hug “come on, let’s get inside, the storm is getting worse.”
Honeymaren snuggled up to Elsa, shivering. "Good plan."
Elsa held her close for a while as the sun went down, then she felt Honeymaren shaking violently “you’re so cold!” She unwrapped herself from around Honeymaren and scooted away “what can I do?”
Leah came into the yurt “I can’t freaking concentrate with all that teeth chattering!” She sat down next Honeymaren “Jesus, Mare, you’re freezing. Come here, I’ll warm you up.”
Honeymaren bit her lip and moved closer to Leah. Oh, she was so warm. She wrapped around her and closed her eyes, drinking in her warmth.
Elsa gritted her teeth. It killed her to not be able to help and more so that it was Leah that could . She looked away, unable to watch.
Leah smirked, this was worth everything. She wrapped her arms around Honeymaren "You tired?"
Honeymaren sighed, "I guess..." As soon as her body started to soak in Leah's warmth, she felt the exhaustion setting in. "Yeah, actually."
Leah opened the sleeping bag "Well, get in..." she waited until Honeymaren was in the sleeping bag before getting in next to her.
That pushed Elsa too far "Is that necessary?! " She glared at Leah
"Survival 101..." Leah smirked back, "Unless you want her to get sick or lose her toes, then fine."
Honeymaren snuggled into the bag, scarcely even aware that Leah was the one behind her. Sleep took her fast, and she fell into a deep slumber.
Elsa scoffed "Fine. As long as she's warm."
Leah smirked to herself, quite content. Once she was sure Honeymaren's breathing was slow enough for deep sleep, she spoke again. "You know, she had a chance at being happy with me. If you hadn't had your little emo phase and made her come save your ass, I could've made her happy."
"My 'emo' phase?" Elsa spoke in a cool tone "And I did not make her do anything. I just wanted her to have a chance at happiness..."
"And she had it. If you hadn't been so melodramatic, she would've been able to forget you. She would've had a chance. "
Elsa looked down at her hands "I know. You were there for her when I couldn't be..."
"Damn right." Leah huffed, but softened a bit. "... I still don't see what she sees in you."
"I don't either.” Elsa shook her head “and I know that I don't deserve her. But I sure as hell am not going to make the same mistake again. I won't leave her until she orders me away."
“Wish she would." Leah sighed, eyeing Elsa. "But at least you know you don't deserve her. That's... something."
Elsa glared over at her "What do you want me to say? 'I'm sorry?' She is free to make her own choices."
"Like her choice to turn into an undead tick?" She growled low.
Elsa sighed "I don't want that... I never wanted that... and I've tried to convince her otherwise, but she is so damn stubborn!"
Leah snorted, backing down a bit. "She is... seriously, you don't want that? Color me surprised."
"Why does that surprise you?"
"I just figured that was your end goal."
"Then you must think very lowly of me." Elsa shook her head.
"I guess so." Leah admitted.
"What did I ever do to deserve your hatred?" Elsa looked at Leah in the eyes for the first time that night.
Leah looked at her seriously. "... You took the only person I ever loved from me." Shaking her head, she looked back down at Honeymaren.
Elsa sighed "I guess I can't blame you for that... if she chose you... it would be hard to watch. But I would never hate you. Even now when you're still trying to steal my reason for existing."
Leah snorted, "I'm not fooling myself anymore. She's picked you."
"Uh huh..." Elsa raised an eyebrow.
Leah shook her head, "Listen, if that spring break trip taught me anything it's that I don't get the girl. Yeah, I'm gonna take my opportunities where I can, and I'm not going to stop trying to convince her to stay alive ... but I know when I've been beaten."
"Let's just... set this aside until she's safe... I know seeing us fighting hurts her."
Leah sighed, "Fair enough."
Elsa sighed again "Well, at least something we can agree on."
"Who'd have guessed?" Leah lifted a brow.
"Good. You should get some rest for tomorrow. I can keep watch. Enjoy sleeping with my fiancée and I hope you get this out of your system." Elsa got up and went outside. It burned to see Honeymaren sleeping next to another woman, looking so content and warm.
Leah snorted, "Alright. Yeah, this ought to do it." She snuggled in with Honeymaren, drinking in her scent.
Elsa stood outside the hut through the night. The snow from the blizzard swirled around her but it didn't bother her. In fact, she amused herself by using her powers to arrange the flakes into little shapes as they fell to the ground.
As dawn broke, Honeymaren awoke to a radiating heat behind her. She blinked awake and looked at Leah behind her. "Mm... Thanks for keeping me warm."
Leah grinned "My pleasure... though I don't think your leech liked it." she added a little smugly. She didn't have much leverage, but she'd take her little victories whenever she could. She pulled Honeymaren close, her lips almost brushing against her ear.
Honeymaren pulled away from Leah, or at least, she tried. Leah was strong. "Leah..."
"Come on, Mare... you weren't complaining last night." Leah didn't move
"Because last night, you were keeping me warm. And you weren't being that inappropriate." Honeymaren looked over her shoulder at her. "I trust you, Leah. Don't take advantage of that."
Elsa heard Honeymaren's voice inside the hut and opened the door. It took her a fraction of a second to register what was going on when she saw the look on Honeymaren's face and Leah's arm draped over her tightly. She narrowed her eyes "... Get. Your. Hands. Off. Of. Her." She seethed, each word punctuated, it was all she could do as she tried to breathe through her anger. But something inside her had snapped and she struggled to control her rage.
Honeymaren turned to Elsa, "Elsa, it's okay." She looked at Leah, "Because Leah is backing off. Right, Leah?"
Leah sighed "Yeah, whatever Mare..." she loosened her grip so Honeymaren could scoot out of the sleeping bag.
Elsa was not going to back down, her hands clenched at her fists trying to keep her ice contained, but frost was starting to radiate out from her as she struggled to keep her temper in check "If you ever touch her against her will again like that... then you and I are going to be the ones meeting in the field. I have been patient with you, entertained your weird fantasies for Honeymaren's sake… but enough is enough. That is my first and only warning."
Honeymaren got to her feet, "Elsa, please. She won't do it again." She shot a pointed look at Leah, a warning.
Leah got out of the sleeping bag and stared Elsa down "Oh yeah? Is that a threat? Fine, you filthy bloodsucker, let's settle this."
"With pleasure..." Elsa raised her hands and dissolved the yurt around them.
Leah growled and paced back and forth, eyes locked on Elsa.
Honeymaren tightened her jaw, "Both of you, STOP!" She quickly put herself between them. "Just STOP. You can't hurt each other without hurting me. Remember we all want the same thing here, to fight the bad vampires, not each other!"
“Like there’s a difference.” Leah scoffed
Elsa was seething, breathing hard through her anger. "Fine... for you... but mark my words... if she puts one toe out of line, I will not hesitate..."
"She won't." Honeymaren glared at Leah as she spoke.
Leah was shaking "Whatever, Mare. Keep lying to yourself... I'm done. I'm so done." she turned and stalked off "You know, I might not be able to kill your leech, but there's a whole field of them coming. And who knows, maybe I'll just let them kill me and make it easy on you."
Honeymaren softened immediately, "Leah... Leah, please don't."
"Why? Just give me one good reason to stay." Leah huffed over her shoulder, still walking away.
"Leah, stop this." Honeymaren stormed after her, "You don't get to just bait me with a threat of suicide, that is not happening here."
Leah glared “oh, but it’s okay if she does it? You go jet setting around the world to save her? You’re such a damn hypocrite.”
"She thought I was dead! Because of you I might add! " Honeymaren glared right back at her, "You're doing it to try and manipulate me into... Into what? What's your goal here? It’s fucking bull shit and you just went too far! If you were being even half a friend you wouldn’t even think like that, let alone say something like that!"
Leah stopped “I... you’re right. I’m being a dick again to you and I’m sorry... it’s not fair. I guess that despite what I said in Florida, I’m still kidding myself thinking I can move on.”
Honeymaren sighed, "You still mean a lot to me... But we both know how this ends. We can't fool ourselves. You were right. It's best if we keep our distance from each other after this. All we do is hurt each other."
Leah stared at the ground “yeah... I guess you’re right. And I need to keep my promise to you that I’d never hurt you. So, I guess I’ll see you on the other side. I gotta go. Seth will be coming up to keep you connected to the pack.” Leah turned and looked at Honeymaren, not trying to mask the hurt or her tears “Goodbye.” And with that she turned and ripped out of her clothes, phasing and running away as quick as her four legs could carry her.
Honeymaren watched her go with tears of her own. She wrapped her arms around herself, crying softly in the cold winds.
Elsa hadn’t been trying to listen in, but there wasn’t anything else to hear on the mountain side. She wondered if she should give Honeymaren some space or go to her immediately when she heard Leah leave. Her pocket buzzed and she checked her phone. It was starting. Now it didn’t matter if Honeymaren needed time and space, she couldn’t let her be out in the woods alone.
Honeymaren heard Elsa's approach and turned to bury her face against her.
Elsa held her close, feeling her hot tears soaking through her shirt “I’m sorry love, I know this isn’t easy on you and I shouldn’t have lost my cool like that.”
Honeymaren shook her head against her, but words were too hard right now. What if that was the last time she ever saw Leah? What if something happened to her?
Elsa held her close, gently rocking her. She looked up when she heard padded footfalls approaching. A gray wolf with brown splotches approached, “hey Seth.” She recognized his fur pattern. He looked at them and shook his head, trotting off.
Honeymaren looked up, she hadn't even known that Seth had turned until today.
Elsa gently pulled Honeymaren away from the edge and back to camp where they had some cover.
Honeymaren sat where their yurt had stood, looking out over the forest. "The fight started, huh?"
Elsa nodded “yes...” she kept her expression calm and neutral, but she was very worried for her family.
Elsa stood still for an undetermined amount of time, though the sun had risen higher in the sky, her arms protectively around Honeymaren, waiting, listening. There wasn't much else that she could do. She felt her phone vibrate and quickly checked. It was a hurried text from Anna "She found you." Elsa's heart sank. "She's here... knew I wasn't in the battle and she probably knew you'd be with me."
Honeymaren tensed, "She's coming here?"
Elsa nodded "Yes... she must have caught my scent..." she crouched defensively, one arm back trying to shield Honeymaren, the other forward, ready with ice.
Ahead, Seth's ears prickled and he growled, facing west, then slunk away to take cover in the trees for an ambush. Two figures emerged from the woods, first a young woman with short dark hair and bright red eyes, then Vanessa with her black flowing locks and hungry scarlet eyes. Honeymaren recognized the first girl, she'd been in the missing persons segment on the news. Drizella.
Elsa bared her teeth aggressively “you don’t want to do this...” she threatened the young girl “Vanessa is just using you to get back at me for killing her true mate. Just turn away and we will forget this ever happened.”
Drizella scoffed “you lie. She loves me. Made me immortal so we could be together. You and your clan threatened her and I won’t let that stand. I’m going to destroy you.”
As the young woman lunged, Seth burst out from his hiding spot, grabbing her with his strong jaws and wrestling her to the ground.
Honeymaren watched helplessly, hating how useless she was in this fight.
Vanessa looked at Drizella, then walked right past her towards Elsa. "You won't get into her head."
Elsa flinched slightly when she heard a sharp crack and then Drizella screaming for Vanessa. Seth must have landed a solid blow to Drizella. "Not one step closer." she warned, a small flurry forming around her outstretched hand.
Vanessa smirked, "You really think your little powers are going to work on me, Jack Frost?"
“They worked well enough on Hans. I’d tell you to ask him, but I guess we all know how that turned out for him. Want a demonstration?” Elsa taunted cruelly. If she could keep Vanessa’s attention on her, Honeymaren would be safe.
“Don’t you dare!” Vanessa snarled and lunged at Elsa, who leapt forward to meet her.
Seth battled with Drizella, snapping his jaws in hopes of taking her head off, but she flung him into a tree and he fell, unconscious. Drizella rushed in to help Vanessa, charging at Elsa from the side.
"Elsa!" Honeymaren cried out, trying to fight the urge to join the fray. That's the only thing she could do that was sure to get Elsa killed.
Elsa fought hard against Vanessa, but she was a formidable opponent. She tried to gain the upper hand but each time she moved she was blocked or parried away. With her attention on Vanessa, she wasn’t expecting to be hit from the side.
Drizella rushed to help Vanessa, tackling Elsa and pinning her to the ground. She held her arms so that Vanessa could get a grip on her neck.
Honeymaren clenched her fists. She had to do something. Even with her ice, Elsa was losing this battle. Her mind flashed back suddenly to a story from the bonfire, and she knew what she had to do. She quickly dove into her pocket for the pocket knife attached to her keys and snapped it open, then slashed it across her forearm. Fresh blood like liquid rubies trickled down her arm to her wrist then onto the ground.
Elsa felt the grip on her arms and neck weaken as Vanessa and Drizella’s attentions became fixated on the scent of Honeymaren’s blood. She flung Drizella off her, into Seth, who had regained consciousness just in time. He got a firm grip on the girl’s neck and started pulling her away, kicking and screaming for help. Elsa spun to her feet and shot a huge bolt of ice directly into Vanessa’s chest, knocking her off balance. She grabbed her by the neck and started to freeze. With one last shot of ice, Vanessa’s body crumbled before her. Still panting from effort, she pulled out a lighter and tossed it on the pieces.
Seth started bringing pieces he had torn off of Drizella, adding them to the fire.
Honeymaren quickly started to wrap her torn sweater around her bleeding arm, applying pressure. "Are you okay? Elsa? Seth?" She rushed forward, "Is everyone in the clearing okay?"
“I’m fine... I’m not hurt, thanks to you.” Elsa looked over at Honeymaren, relieved to see she was not otherwise hurt. She hurried over and helped wrap her wound. She hugged her close a moment, coming down from her adrenaline rush. She felt her phone buzz in her pocket, “it’s done. Anna says we’re needed at the meadow.”
"Okay. Yeah." Honeymaren climbed onto her back, grateful to see Seth already running for the meadow. It looked like he'd come out of this alright, too.
Elsa carried Honeymaren back down to the meadow. Thankfully everyone seemed fine, a couple of wolves had a limp but otherwise no injuries “Anna, what did you see?”
“Jane, Alec, Felix and Dmitri are on their way. 5 minutes.”
Iduna nodded to Sam “the pack needs to leave, they won’t honor our truce if you’re here.”
Honeymaren climbed off of Elsa and turned to the wolves, "Thank you." She said sincerely, hoping they could tell just how much she meant it.
Agnarr faced the wolves as well, "We thank you for your help. We can take it from here."
Leah came trotting out of the forest after having chased down a newborn, its head was still clamped in her mouth. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Honeymaren standing there safe. Then she saw a new vampire emerge a hundred yards away.
Anna sucked in a breath as the future suddenly shifted, "Wait, don't!"
Jacob rushed at the newborn first, running headlong into it. They crashed together and the newborn fought ferociously, going for the kill.
Leah instinctively lunged forward, sprinting across the field, pulling the newborn off Jacob, twisting around as they fought.
Jacob went tumbling aside, having been nearly crushed by the vampire. Sam rushed to his side, but Anna's focus was on Leah. "We have to get him off her!" She ran out to her, but by the time she reached Leah, the newborn had gotten his arms around her and squeezed, several loud cracks resounding through the meadow as Leah whined and fell to the ground.
Honeymaren ran without thinking. She sprinted to Leah's side, but she was the last one to make it to her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Anna and Seth take out the vampire, removing his head. "Leah-" Honeymaren gasped out.
Iduna hurried to Leah’s side as she shifted back into her human form, curled into a ball, screaming out silent cries of pain. She tossed her jacket over her body for some attempt at concealing her modesty. “The bones on the right half of her body are shattered...”
“We’ll take her home.” Jared offered, gently reaching under her shoulders. The other wolves had shifted back to human form and helped carry her away.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Iduna nodded and got to her feet.
“They’re coming!” Anna announced, grateful the wolves disappeared out of the field at the last possible moment.
Honeymaren watched them take Leah away, her heart aching. Reluctantly she took her place at Elsa's side to face the Volturi and watched as three black robed figures strode into the meadow.
"Pity we missed the excitement." Jane said simply, "I've never seen a coven escape an attack of this magnitude intact."
“We were lucky.” Iduna responded curtly.
“I doubt that.” Alec sneered
Jane eyed Iduna carefully, then her gaze shifted to Elsa and Honeymaren. "Luck. Of course. Aro will be glad to know that you survived. He will be especially interested to learn that this one is still human." She turned her nose up at Honeymaren.
Gritting her teeth, Honeymaren straightened and nodded, "The date is set."
“Hmph.” Jane snorted and turned to her posse “Well, it seems we are not needed here any more. Come, I’d like to go home now. Remember, the Volturi don’t give second chances.” She added with a glance over her shoulder.
Honeymaren held onto Elsa tightly, anger bubbling up in her chest. At least it was over... Except for Leah.
Iduna fled for the rez as soon as the Volturi had left, and Sam had escorted her to the Clearwater home.
Elsa carried Honeymaren back to her house “would you like me to take you to see Leah? I won’t stay of course, I just don’t want you to go unprotected.”
Honeymaren hesitated. She couldn't help but remember how she and Leah had parted. "... I don't think that's a good idea. I'd only upset her."
Elsa nodded and led her inside “it’s your call... whatever you want to do.”
Honeymaren wrapped her arms around her knees, shaking her head. "I'll just... I'll send muffins or something. She won't want to see me. She made that pretty clear."
Elsa thought quietly “I’m not good with feelings... but if it were me, I’d want to see you. No matter what”
Honeymaren bit her lip, "... I'll text Seth and see what he thinks. He'll know if it will help or hurt more." She took out her phone, sending off a quick text. "Hey Seth. How's she doing? Do you think it'd help Leah if I stopped by or would it be too tough?"
”She was asking for you on the way home.” Seth’s reply was short and to the point.
Honeymaren sighed and closed her eyes, maybe she'd been projecting. Maybe it was harder for her than it was for Leah. Maybe because it was kind of her fault she got hurt at all. "Let's go." She said simply, getting up and heading for her car.
Elsa nodded and slipped quietly into the car, driving in silence to the reservation. She held Honeymaren’s hand but wasn’t sure how else to comfort her.
Honeymaren rode quietly, taking solace in Elsa's grip. If Leah hadn't been so distracted by their fight, maybe she wouldn't have been so reckless. Had she done it on purpose? No, she couldn't think like that.
As they pulled into the Clearwater's driveway, Honeymaren got out of the car and headed for the door. Elsa could follow if she wanted, but she kept her eyes forward as she stepped past the rest of the pack at the front door, save for Seth who was surely inside. "How is she?" She asked softly as she passed them.
Elsa cringed as she heard a blood curdling scream coming from inside. She took a step forward with Honeymaren and was stopped by Jacob shoving her in the shoulder “that’s close enough, tick. You have no right to be here.”
“Enough, Jacob. Now is not the time.” Sam reprimanded quickly. “You both may come in.”
“Doc had to rebreak all the bones... it’s been going on for a while now.” Jared said quietly, holding Emile close.
“It’s okay, I’ll stay out here. I think it would be inappropriate to go in.” Elsa gave Honeymaren’s hand a squeeze and released it.
Honeymaren sucked in a deep breath and stepped into the house, following the sound of the screams. If being here really would help Leah, of course she'd do everything she could.
Iduna finished wrapping the soft cast with a sigh. “That’s the worst of it,” she told Sue and Seth “I’ve given her some pain meds but her body temperature will burn it off. I’ll come back to set up a morphine drip.” She looked at Honeymaren in the doorway and nodded to her as she slipped past.
“Hey Mare. Thanks for coming.” Seth gave her a quick hug “we’ll give you two some privacy.”
Honeymaren nodded, giving Seth a weak smile as she moved into the room to take her place beside Leah's bed. She reached for her hand, but hesitated before taking it. "I'm so sorry, Leah..."
Leah groaned softly as she turned to look at Honeymaren “‘s not your fault. Jacob is an idiot.”
Honeymaren sighed, "But this all happened because Vanessa was after me. I know it's not directly my fault, but... I can't help feeling some responsibility."
“Don’t worry about it. This time they were after you. Maybe next time they’re after someone else. As long as there are still bloodsuckers out there then there’s always a risk. I’m glad you’re safe.”
Honeymaren smiled weakly, "You're not wrong... And I'm glad you're gonna be okay too."
Leah sighed “and I’d endure this again if it meant your safety.” She squeezed her hand softly “cuz I know that no matter how hard I try not to, I’ll always love you. And I don't want you to feel like you owe me anything... and I'll stay out of your way. Maybe one day you can forgive me for being an ass and we can try to be friends again like we used to be.”
Honeymaren smiled and squeezed her hand back. "That's all I ever wanted. I don't want to lose you as my best friend, Leah... Ever. If I can help it. But if you need some time, I get that. And I'll respect it. And I know me turning is the last thing you'd want for me but... It'll still be me."
"I just need time. But I'll always be here for you. Until your heart stops beating." Leah sighed "And maybe even then..."
Honeymaren smiled softly, "As much time as you need. I'll always be here for you, Leah."
Leah nodded and turned her head away, exhaustion overcoming her.
Honeymaren watched her,"Want me to stay?"
"It's okay... I just need to sleep." Leah closed her eyes "You probably have places to be."
Honeymaren sighed, "Not really... But if you'd rather rest alone, I'll go."
Leah huffed "Thanks... I guess I’ll see you around.”
Honeymaren got to her feet, taking that as a dismissal. "See you around." She left the house, heart still heavy, but reassured. "Elsa, let's go home."
Elsa stood up from the table where she was sitting and took Honeymaren's hand. "Home," she repeated softly, kissing her hand and leaving the house. "Thanks for everything, guys... we actually kind of made a good team, wouldn't you say?"
Sam snorted "Don't get used to it. The danger has passed, and with it our temporary truce."
Elsa nodded "Understood, you still have my thanks. I will leave and only return when granted permission."
Sam crossed his arms "Oh, and Miss Arendelle... I'm sure you haven't forgotten an important detail in the treaty..."
"I haven't forgotten." Elsa murmured quietly.
“What are you talking about?” Honeymaren frowned at Sam, unsure what he was getting at.
"If any one of us bites a human..." Elsa started but was interrupted.
"Then the treaty is void." Sam finished the sentence.
Honeymaren stopped, "But... But it's my choice, it's not... Sam."
Elsa just nodded and tugged Honeymaren away before the situation escalated. "Come on, let's go home. I'm sure the others will be happy to have us all back together."
Honeymaren got into the car with her, but she was far from done. "That's so not cool! This is my choice, it has nothing to do with Sam!"
Elsa shook her head "I've been telling you from the beginning, there's a lot of history between us and some sides are less inclined to change their thinking. I'm sorry. We'll figure it out, I promise."
Honeymaren sighed, "We will. I'll see if Yelana can help smooth things over... And I should probably tell her the plan."
Elsa nodded "That's probably not a bad idea... what do you think she's going to say?"
Honeymaren took a deep breath, "I... Have no idea."
Elsa squeezed her hand "Do you want to do this now or later?"
"Might as well do it now. Before I can freak myself out over what she might say."
Elsa sighed and turned toward the Nattura cabin. "Then, let's go. I'll be right here by your side. Always."
Honeymaren focused on taking deep breaths until they made it to the house. Once they stopped, she made herself march up to the door and into the house. "Yelana?"
Yelana was cleaning for something to do while she waited for news from the Clearwaters. Sue had filled her in on what had happened "Maren?" She threw her towel on the ground and wrapped her arms around Honeymaren in a very uncharacteristic display of emotions "I was so worried!"
Honeymaren gasped, shocked by the sudden affection. She hugged her back after a moment of shock, "Yeah, I'm okay. Everyone is. Well, Leah's healing, but we all made it out alive."
Yelana nodded "So, what brings you over here then?" Her eyes flicked over to Elsa standing in the hallway, giving Honeymaren a look of encouragement.
Honeymaren pulled back and blushed hard, trying to find the right words. "Well, I know I told you about our engagement, but there's... One more thing I wanted to tell you. Need to tell you, actually. And it's not easy to say, and I know it's probably harder to hear, but I... I've made up my mind and I... I've asked Elsa to turn me, after the wedding." She looked at Yelana, holding her breath.
Yelana snorted "Yeah, I'm not surprised by that at all. And let me guess. You need my help to get through that detail in the treaty?"
Honeymaren blinked at her for several moments. "... Uh, yes? Please, if you can."
Yelana folded her arms "Have you told your mother this?"
Honeymaren blinked, "I... Didn't think she knew about vampires. Does she? I didn't want to put them at risk..."
Elsa swallowed "Uh... yeah... she knows... she knew exactly what I was when I met her... your father doesn't, nor does he know about your tribe's legacy. She asked me what my intentions were for you when I told them I was going to ask you to marry me... I told her it was your choice and I was going to respect it. I... kind of thought you had already talked with her. I didn't mean to keep that from you."
Honeymaren turned to Elsa, surprised. "Oh... So... They do know, then. I... I think I should call my mom sometime soon."
Elsa nodded "Uh, yeah... that might be a good thing..."
Honeymaren sighed, "Well, at least I don't have to hide it from her."
Yelana just shook her head "I'll see what I can do... but honestly, some decisions have consequences, Maren. You can't always have your cake and eat it, too. And so you know, I'll always love you, so will Ryder and your parents... but I can't say the tribe will feel the same way."
Honeymaren closed her eyes. She nodded, "I know. I just... I just hope that they'll be able to accept me no matter what, even if it takes time. I'm still me. I'll always be me."
Yelana nodded "Never thought I'd actually be welcoming vampires into my home..." she pulled Honeymaren in another hug, then held an arm out for Elsa to join them. "You surprise me, Miss Arendelle. But when push comes to shove, I know you love her and will do whatever you can to make her happy. So I'm glad for you both."
Elsa smiled shyly and joined them. She shivered a little, Yelana was really warm.
"Treaty or no, I'm not going to lose my niece because I can't see past the past. And if this is your choice, then, so be it. We're family, and family always comes first." Yelana smiled at them both. "I was wondering when we were going to have this conversation. I'm glad you told me and I'm sure your mother will want to hear it, too."
Honeymaren's eyes watered, though she quickly wiped it away, instead throwing herself at Yelana for another big hug. "I love you, auntie." After a long embrace, she pulled away, "What about Ryder?"
Yelana chuckled "Well, he gets a lot of credit for turning my opinions about this one." she tilted her head toward Elsa with a smile. "I'm sure he'll be just fine with it."
Honeymaren smiled, "I'll tell him too, soon. Thank you, Yelana. For everything."
"And I'll save a hell of a lot of money on groceries if you ever come over for dinner." Yelana added with a soft snort. "But I don't mind having the fresh game around, so you can keep that coming."
Honeymaren snorted, "True..." She shook her head with a smile, hopeful again. "Elsa, why don't we invite Ryder over for Mario Kart tonight?"
Elsa nodded "Sounds perfect... we're all in this together, whatever comes next." She smiled softly at Yelana and walked with Honeymaren out into the still night. For the first time, she felt like things were falling into place and might actually turn out all right for everyone.