Chapter 6: Post Las Vegas
“It was an up and down day,” Brad tells the media following the Kobalt 400. “We played the strategy there at the end hoping to catch a break – some kind of break and make steal a win. It just didn’t play out. I thought we were probably about a second or third place car at times. I don’t know if we ever had anything for the 4 but it was a good kind of never say die effort to recover from being a lap down in the middle parts of the race. That was the story today. Good job by the team to rally there and get what we were able to out of it.”
He then heads off, glad to be done for the day. A seventh place finish marked a solid run, but it wasn’t the true strength that he would’ve liked to have shown. However, following a pit road penalty, he was stuck playing catch up all day and only made it back to seventh.
“Nice job driving out there,” Paul comments as he gives his driver a high-five. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but it’s still good.” Brad shakes his head yes.
“I’m sorry I got us behind on that pit road penalty,” he shares as Paul gives him a pat on the shoulder.
“It happens. The main thing is that we fought back. We’ll go get them next weekend at Phoenix.” Brad then lets out a sigh as that seemed so far away – especially with the dinner on Tuesday.
“That’s if I survive this week.” Paul then looks at his driver a little concerned. “Family dinner this week with my parents, Brian and Dawn. Dawn sent the invite the other night. She said to bring my ‘special guest’.” Paul shakes his head, understanding. Having been one of two people that Brad told about being a werewolf and Juliette being a vampire – Joey was the other – it all made sense to him. He also was aware of what Brad’s family thought of Juliette.
“Maybe it will go better than you think. Maybe Dawn wants you to bring her because she’s had a change of heart.” Brad shrugs his shoulder, knowing that was a possibility. That was better than the other options on his mind.
“Then why not call me by my name, Paul?” A female voice chimes in the conversation. “Why call me a guest? It seems forced to be me.” Paul thinks it over, understanding the point that Juliette was now trying to make. He could now understand where both were coming from in not looking forward to the dinner. “And I thought we agreed that I didn’t have to go?”
“We discussed it – but hadn’t fully decided yet, remember?” Brad reminds her as she rolls her eyes.
“I thought you said that you were fine with me going to see Yolanda and Edward to discuss things.” Paul then looks between the pair, growing a little nervous by the tone of each of their voices.
“Is there something wrong, besides disgruntle parents?” Paul asks quietly as they both glance towards the crew chief.
“I want to be a mother and have kids,” Juliette starts. “However, we’re not sure about it due to….well, the obvious. So I’ve discussed it over with Edward and Yolanda, and Edward was supposed to see what he could find out.” Paul shakes his head, understanding, somewhat.
“Isn’t a family dinner more important, though?” Juliette rolls her eyes, not wanting to think about the family dinner.
“I don’t want to go to the family dinner, Paul. Why should I go see people that don’t like me? That’s why I’d rather go see my family and have some fun.” Paul thinks it over, knowing that she was stubborn as ever with her comments.
“But – what if you go to do the dinner? Perhaps you could convince them to like you. Perhaps you could show the sweet side of you and they may come to agreement.” Juliette shakes her head no, remembering Bob’s words.
“Bob told me that he’d never like me because I was a vampire.” Paul looks on surprised, as that seemed very out of character for the normal caring Bob. Normally, he only got like that if someone bothered his children – hence his anger towards Carl before.
“What about Dawn? What about Brian? You could maybe convince them, and that’d be a start.” Juliette glances between the pair and lets out a sigh. No matter what she said, she knew this was something that Brad was not going to let go. It was even worse now that he had Paul’s back-up.
“So basically I’m forced to go to this family dinner?” Brad shrugs his shoulders, hating how harsh those words sounded.
“It’d mean a lot if you came with me, but you don’t have to go,” Brad tells her as he pulls her close to him. She then thinks it over, before letting out a sigh. Maybe there was a chance to convince them to like her.
Chapter 7: The Dinner
“I can’t believe that I am actually going to this dinner with you,” Juliette comments as she follows Brad into the house. They had agreed to meet at Dawn’s house.
“Just keep quiet and behave,” he tells her. “It may go better than you think it will.” Juliette rolls her eyes, knowing that she was hoping for a miracle. They then make their way through the house, meeting up with Dawn and Brian in the kitchen.
“Brad – glad you could make it!” Dawn lets out before turning around and giving her brother a hug.
“I wouldn’t miss a family dinner for anything.”
“Oh really?” Brian questions over Dawn’s shoulder as Brad eyes his brother.
“Hey – I couldn’t get out of those commitments,” Brad comments before giving Brian a hug as Juliette stands there, nervously. Nothing about this felt comfortable. She wondered if it would ever feel comfortable.
“Is that Brad’s voice that I hear?” A new voice chimes in, walking into the kitchen. Brad then looks over at his dad with a smile. “Hey.”
“Hey Dad.” Bob’s eyes then land on Juliette, and she could immediately sense the resistance of acceptance and anger and whatever else was laced in there. It was as if he was telling her that a vampire would never fit in their family.
“Hello Bob,” Juliette says, holding out her hand for him to shake. Without the acceptance, she hadn’t crossed the bridge for hugs or calling him her father. Till he accepted her for who she was, she wasn’t willing to budge on that.
“Hello Juliette,” Bob replies, not even laying his eyes on shaking her hand as his focus remains on his son. “So, did you figure out what happened at Atlanta?” Brad could sense how uncomfortable Juliette felt, and how things were not going anywhere near as promised. His siblings had barely acknowledged her, and his father wouldn’t even shake her hand.
“Paul says he pretty much knows and we’ll be set for Auto Club in two weeks,” Brad answers, wrapping an arm around Juliette to offer her some sort of comfort, if possible.
“But the plan is to win Phoenix this weekend, right?” Brad shakes his head yes, no doubt having his focus on a win. He wanted to joins his teammate in the Chase.
“I have total belief that he can get it done,” Juliette comments, trying to engage herself in the conversation. Perhaps if she kept the doors open, it would welcome a fair trade off from the family.
“Why else wouldn’t you?” Brian questions as he walks out of the kitchen. Juliette then lets out a sigh, glancing towards Brad’s brother. Perhaps she needed to take a different approach.
“Excuse me….” She then leaves the kitchen, following Brian through the house to the living room. “If you have something that you want to say to me, why avoid me? Why not just say it to my face?” Brian then turns around and faces her, surprised.
“I told you what I thought of you when I met you. Vampires and werewolves don’t go together.” Juliette rolls her eyes, getting annoyed of hearing that same argument from everyone.
“They can go together if both sides can have co-operation. We’re not the only pair who have done this, Brian, as I can let you meet my friends.” Brian rolls his eyes as he closes the gap between the pair, keeping his eyes focused on her.
“Oh really? Then why did you need my brother’s stamp on you to protect you?” Juliette crosses her arms, honestly not wanting to face the situation with Jason anymore. She had thought that was left in the past.
“Because he was a crazed sicko. That wasn’t due to being a werewolf and after a vampire; that was due to being sick in his own head and wanting to harm people. If your argument is any valid, then why hasn’t your brother tried anything? Why haven’t any of the other werewolves – Jacob – tried to hurt me?” Brian flips her hand over and places his finger on the stamp.
“You have a protection against you. That saves you from all boun-”
“Jacob never tried before the stamp, or others that I came across. Why don’t you get off your high horse and realize that you’re totally wrong? Love knows no bounds. I love your brother so much and will do anything for him! I want to be with him because I love every bit of him, and want to take care of him and be there for him. I want to be the dream girl of his dreams. You saw the friendship that we had when he started at JR Motorsports – you even applauded it. Why the issue?” Brian freezes, remembering that moment at JR Motorsports when he commented that they were great together, and should go out. So here they were together, and he was one of the few who were denying it. What had changed?
“I don’t know…” He then lets out a sigh as he glances away from her, before returning his eyes to her. “I guess I’m caught up on old morals that said I was to stay away from your kind. I guess I forgot that there are some nice people in the breed, including yourself.” Juliette smiles, glad that she had made some sort of break through. So far, that meant Kay and Brian were on her side. Only two more people to go.
“Just like not every werewolf is bad, either. There are those who can be very loving, and not violent at all. One of those is your brother. Now, can we get along?” Brian lets a smile cross his face as he shakes his head yes. “And can you convince your sister to like me?”
“I think you’d have better luck with Dad than you would with Dawn. When she’s set on something, she’s set on it. That’s going to take a lot of work.”
Chapter 8: Her Family
She honestly didn’t want to make the trip. She was having fun with Brad and knew this trip would be only an option if Edward had found some answers for her. However, she was requested to attend and after being bugged, she had agreed. Besides, Brad was busy that evening going on an outing with the team. She knew that she could quickly head up to their home, see them and return before morning.
“Juliette!” Yolanda lets out as she immediately walks over and wraps her arms around Juliette. Juliette barely accepts the hug in return, more than annoyed with her best friend. Yolanda noticed the response as she took a step back to look at Juliette in the eye.
“Why did you tell him?” Juliette questions as she keeps her eyes focused on Yolanda. She didn’t care what the rest of the night entailed as she was ready to handle it. However, she wasn’t ready to handle her friend going behind her back.
“I felt it was necessary to make Danny aware of your decision, that’s all.” Juliette rolls her eyes as she crosses her arms. She was growing tired of the over-protective brother act from Danny.
“Oh, because my brother has to know everything that’s going on in my life?” Yolanda lets out a sigh, knowing that perhaps she had made the wrong decision. However, she wasn’t ready to admit that.
“It’s a big decision and risk if you are to have kids with Brad. It’s a decision that comes with heavy consequences if things aren’t right – mainly being death. It’s also a decision that nobody feels comfortable with you doing as Brad has said that, Edward has said that and I have said that. With that in mind, I felt it was necessary to let Danny know because I didn’t need you taking a big risk like that.” Juliette rolls her eyes. She had heard this same type of excuse before. It was the same reason why Yolanda had told Danny about her dating a racecar driver, followed by dating a human, and now dating a werewolf who drove racecars. Thankfully, Danny had finally accepted the lather.
“I get it, okay? You want to protect me because you don’t think that I can do it myself. However, if I actually decided that yes I want to have children, I think I would be fully capable of telling Danny myself before I got pregnant. I can handle my own life so please stop handling it for me.” Yolanda lets out a sigh and puts her hands up in the air.
“Look – I’m sorry, alright? I was scared based on what you told me and needed someone to talk to. Sorry that led to talking to your brother.” Juliette rolls her eyes.
“You could’ve talked to Edward or Bella or Jacob – anybody but Danny! Now, where is he?” Yolanda points out back as Juliette takes a deep breath. “Thank you.”
She then makes her way through the house, freezing as she glances over at the picture of their parents that hang on the wall. She takes a deep breath, letting that run through her mind and shaking her head. She could understand with what happened to her parents that things were on edge about taking risks, and she missed them more than anything. However, it still didn’t explain how she was treated.
She then makes her way through the rest of the house, going out into the backyard. She slowly closes the door behind her, looking out into the woods. She sees Danny perched up in a tree, gazing out towards the field behind their house. She thought back to when they were kids and remembered that he would do that whenever he wanted to think about something. It wasn’t a surprise that he was back there once again.
“I’m here – what do you want?” She calls out, as his eyes immediately snap to her. He then returns her gaze to the field with a sigh.
“It took you long enough,” he comments as she makes her way out to a tree, sitting on a branch across from him.
“You could’ve came and seen me if you wanted. You’re not banned from the house or my life.” He lets out a sigh, knowing that was an option. However, it wouldn’t be the same as having a good private discussion in their yard.
“Yolanda told me that you’re going to hav-”
“We’re thinking about it, Danny. We haven’t decided whether we’re actually going to have a child yet.” He then glances over at her, intrigued. “We’re looking into the pros and cons and seeing whether it’s possible. Edward is supposed to see what he can find, and then once we know more, we will decide.” He lets out a sigh of relief as it was nice to hear that Juliette was finally being thoughtful about her decisions.
“Well, at least you’re taking the time to find out more information. I appreciate that. Even still, though, are you sure that this is a good idea?” Juliette glances away, not really wanting to discuss this openly with everyone yet. Why was it so hard for them to understand?
“We love each other, a lot. I think you know how much I love Brad. We want to be together forever. We always talked about when we were dating before about having our own little family. Now that we’re together, we want to make that happen.” He looks over, feeling some sympathy towards the situation. He understood those wants, having similar wants for when he finally found someone to be with forever.
“I understand – but is that want worth the risk? You guys are finally together and it’s nice to see you happy. I just don’t want that ruined.”
“Hence why we’re talking it out before doing anything. Hence why we’re taking our time moving forward. Hey, I made progress. I got his brother to like me.” Danny glances over with a smile as Juliette shifts over to the same branch that he is on. “Tell me something. Why does it bother you so much? Why do you feel no matter what I’ve done that you need to tell me what to do and how to run my life?”
“I care about you, and I worr-”
“I’m a big girl, Danny. I can make my own decisions. I’m an adult now and know what I want and whether it’s going to work out for me.” He then lets out a sigh, knowing that.
“Well then?” He then looks out into the woods, thinking things over.
“You’re my baby sister and I’ve always been there for you, protecting you from whatever the world dished out at us. It’s always been just us, Juliette. Since we were little, it’s been us against the world. When mom and dad died, I made a promise then to them that I’d protect their little girl and make sure that she got the happiness she deserved. I guess I’m just afraid of you getting hurt and breaking that promise.” A small smile forms on Juliette’s face as she wraps an arm around Danny.
“Danny, no matter what, you don’t have to worry. Mom and Dad would be proud of how you’ve helped me grow and become who I am. They’d also be proud to know that you’re ready to let me explore on my own and make my own decisions, based on everything that you’ve taught me. I love you. You’re the best big brother that a girl could have.”
“So, does it bother you that somehow our cousins, aunts and uncles found out about the baby possibility?” She then lets him go and gives him a look. “They kind of overheard the discussion between me and Yolanda.” Juliette rolls her eyes as she glances back towards the house. If they got word that she was in town, it’d be time to answer way too many questions. “And, I hate to tell you, they’re not feeling too strongly about it either.”
“That doesn’t surprise me. They didn’t feel too strongly about Brad and look at where that has gone. Maybe they’ll learn in time to like him, and maybe in time they’ll warm up to the idea of a baby werewolf in the family.” Danny looks at her in surprise.
“I was hoping that the baby would turn out as a mini you – if you do. However, my word stands true. I still don’t endorse the idea, but I’m not going to stand in your way. I trust you.” She then smiles as while he wasn’t ready to fully agree on a baby, there was a sign of support.
That was enough for her at the time because in truth, she wasn’t too positive on the idea yet. It all depended on what the future held.
She had come to a consensus with her brother at least, and had a great time in California. The race couldn’t had turned out any better as Brad was able to make the move at the end, taking home the victory. The win brought forth happiness in victory lane with tons of kisses traded back and forth, along with some celebrating of their own afterwards.
“I love you so much,” Juliette commented later on Sunday night. “I just wish that we were making something really special out of this.” Brad rolls over and runs his fingers lightly across her cheek with a smile.
“Give it time,” he reminds her. “We’re working towards that happening. Edward is looking into things, Danny is at least willing to agree to a baby under the right circumstances, and my family is starting to like you more. Patience…” She smiles in return, loving the encouraging words. They only added to the high that she was riding as it was certainly nice to have another person on her side.
It was nice to be able to talk to Brian following Brad’s win at California, without any signs of hesitation in the discussion.
It was also nice to be back on an even page with her brother as she hated fighting with him. No matter how frustrated she got with him in times, she loved him dearly and didn’t want any of that change. It was always Danny and Juliette, and that was the way things would stay.
“So is that to say that you’re warming up to the idea?” She questions, noticing the lack of hesitation in Brad’s voice to talk about it. While he knew answering ‘yes’ would make her quite happy, he couldn’t quite say the word yet. He was still concerned about things, based on the simple risk – he didn’t want to chance losing her, again. He knew the feeling and hated it. However, even with not opening his thoughts yet, he was willing to accept her search of knowledge and see where it took them. It was all about keeping an open mind.
“Not yet – but we’ll see what happens,” he tells her before kissing her lips lightly, trying to smooth off his confession. “By the way, has Edward called you yet? I thought he was supposed to call you if he found something.” That was a call that she had been patiently anxiously awaiting, as she just hoped and prayed for some good news one way or another. She was also curious as to what he would find out as it could determine their future of children, based on Brad’s comment.
“Not yet – but give him time. He wants to go through everything closely as possible so that way he can give me the most information possible.”
That option of receiving the most information possible came about 12 hours later, as Edward showed up at their house on Monday afternoon. Juliette normally wouldn’t had been home during the day, however the busy weekend and time change had her tired and staying home versus going out.
“So I found some information out, and some of it is good news,” he comments as he follows her into the house. It felt weird to be discussing things inside of her house each time that he did it as he was used to being out in the woods with other vampires, or within the openness home feeling that he got at home. “However, there are also concerns.”
“That’s to be expected,” Juliette comments as she sits down on the couch, eager to hear what Edward has to offer.
“I went and spoke to Jacob as I wanted to figure out as much as I could about werewolves and babies. Based on what he told me, it could help you in going through the process.” She then looks at him intrigued, interested in the information. Before when they talked about a werewolf inside of her, it had always ended in horror stories.
“Go on….” He then chuckles a little, knowing how eager and excited Juliette was to hear whatever information that he could offer.
“Jacob says a werewolf-human split normally have one or two per litter, unlike a regular wolf that has seven to eigh-”
“Thank God!” Edward shakes his head in agreement.
“He also says that they don’t know right off the bat how to attack and what they’re supposed to eat. For the first two weeks, they simply eat their mom’s milk and nothing else. Then at the age of three to four weeks, that’s when you’d introduce actual food and begin training them as to what they’re supposed to eat and such. Oh, and you’re normally pregnant for a month.” Juliette’s jaw drops in shock, as she had expected a longer period of time, based on the fact that humans go nine months for their pregnancy.
“Wow. It’s like instant baby! So, based on what you said, there’d be no danger inside of me?” Edward thinks it over, going back through the things that Jacob told him and what he knew was most significant right now.
“Jacob still says that he’d be scared of a wolf being inside of you because it’s natural instinct for wolves to try and eat vamp-”
“But look at Brad! Look at Jacob! They didn’t do that, now did they?” Edward slowly shakes his head no as he lets out a sigh.
“It’s a complicated thing. Per wolf/vampire belief, what I said is supposedly true. However, as we’ve seen, it’s been proven time and time again to be wrong. Then there’s the fact that you’re marked, and protected from any werewolf that would try to attack you. Nobody knows whether that will help you from the inside, and Jacob says probably not in his opinion.” Juliette lets out a sigh as she glances out the window. While there was so much hope when Edward showed up, it seemed to be dwindling with each moment that he spent there.
“So in other words, we’re back at square one, still worried?” Edward glances over, sensing the frustration immediately. He had expected that based on what he knew.
“We’re still worried – but while it was a 100% no chance at working out, you’ve now improved your chances to 50% in my eyes. That is some development, right?” She lets out a sigh as while that may be for Edward, it was always 50% in her mind. “I’m going to talk to my parents about having vampire babies of our own, and also Bella wants to talk to you about having a human-vampire hybrid baby. Jacob is also trying to find more information and will contact me as soon as possible.” He then places a hand on her leg, catching her attention. “I’m trying, okay?” She slowly shakes her head yes.
“I know…but it’s just frustrating. What if there’s no way to be certain?”
“Are we ever certain in our lives?”
“Uh…yeaa…” Brad comments as he glances up, surprised to see her. Well, partially surprised. The question had caught his attention, but realization came easy in her appearance as she was able to go anywhere she wanted quickly. “I’m guessing you have information?” Juliette shakes her head yes as she sits down on the edge of his desk. “You couldn’t wait till I got home in a couple hours.”
“I’m excited – isn’t that worth something?” He lets out a sigh. He knew by those words that the news was probably very positive and could answer their questions. Thought while they were receiving answers, he still worried about the possibilities. What if something went wrong no matter what they were told? What if they were told all this and something happened? It wasn’t fair to risk the chance of losing her.
“Enlighten me…please…” She smiles, glad that his tinge of anger in the surprise was gone.
“Edward went and talked to Jacob since he figured that’d be a good place to start. Honestly, it’s helpful information based on what we thought before. Thankfully, if you do get me pregnant, it will be one or tw-”
“Versus six to nine babies. Remember, I’m a wolves. I know how it goes for werewolves and wolves.” She then looks at him, quite intrigued.
“And you couldn’t ease the mind of multiples for me?” He then smiles back at her in return.
“I thought you would’ve known something like that before.” She then lets out a sigh, followed by an eye-roll. Baby discussions never seemed to go smoothly for them. “Remember how we were worried about them attacking me from the inside? Well, according to Jacob, they don’t know what they’re supposed to eat or those instincts, till they’re trained.” Brad shakes his head, understanding, seeing the positives in this discussion already. His nightmares were disappearing.
“That’s good. Did Jacob also share that they drink the mom’s milk for two weeks and you’re only pregnant for-”
“A month, as yes, he told me.” Brad shakes his head, undersantding, as he relaxes back.
“The wolf then earns his human form at about two months. So for the first two months, he could be our pet to humans, or just kept hidden. Now being that you lead a normal life, how are you going to present a human baby form that looks like us both to the world and only have been pregnant for two months?” She then looks at him, surprised. she hadn’t even thought about that worry right now. first, they were to be worried about getting pregnant – and then how that’d go – and then born. From there on, she would worry about the rest.
“I’d just hide said baby till the right time, and then explain that it was a cousin of one of ours – whoever the kid looked closest to – that we adopted.” Brad thinks it over and shakes his head no.
“Do you really think people would believe that?” She rolls her eyes, in disbelief of the discussion,
“We haven’t even decided whether we’re going to do this yet so why bother discussing that? We can worry about that later, Brad!” He then puts his hands up, seeing his frustration, admitting defeat on the topic. However, it was bound to return to discussion in the future. “Now, despite what I told you, there’s still a fear about a wolf being inside of me because of natural instinct, despite the fact that you and Jacob have overcome that.” Brad rolls his eyes. Despite everything they said, they were back and square one with fear in the eyes.
“So why are we having this discussion? It sounds like the first discussion that we had!” She then lets out a sigh as she glances out the window.
“I thought you’d be curious as to what Edward told me, but I guess not.” Brad keeps his eyes locked on her, feeling guilty that he was being the route of her current frustration.
“I am curious – but I’ve told you from the beginning that I want no interest in this if there’s a chance of something happe-”
“Are we having sex and making the kid? No! We’re simply discussing it. I thought discussions were warranted.” Brad lets out a sigh.
“Then why are you arguing with me over this? At least be a reasonable person and accept the information, and then debate what to do with it afterwards. Just because I’ve heard all this doesn’t mean I’m coming to you right now and telling you to make me a kid. I just wanted to keep you informed.” He then grabs her hands, catching her attention back to his eyes.
“I’m sorry, okay? The whole situation just has me on edge.” She shakes her head, slowly beginning to understand. She was on edge for the same reasons, but handled it differently.
“It’s okay – I understand. Now….Jacob also mentioned the marking. He says that it could probably help from the inside, but no definition. So I then told Edward that we’re back at square one as you said, and he said we are, but at least we have information. He’s going to talk to his parents, and Bella, and see whether we can find out more.” Brad shakes his head, understanding. That was a start. More information would certainly be good as it could possibly ease the tension and give a definite answer.
“Hopefully it’s good information.”