Tuesday 23rd May 2006
I ran quietly through the night, my sister in front of me. She was ever silent, not uttering a word to me as we drifted through the darkening forest. The clouds above us were dark grey, stormy, and the air had a bite to it. We were in the national park now, on the usual patrol, and I was thinking of how tired I was when someone's thought snapped me back to reality.
Instantly Leah and I were off, scampering over the forest floor, my heart beat rising astronomically as we thundered our way beside the pack. Millions of thoughts came at once and then I smelt it. Sickly sweet. Vampire.
Not a Cullen? I asked Jacob as we tore off after it.
Hell no. She's a red head. He told me. I quickly glanced to my side, seeing we were running beside the river now. I could see flashes of pale white- the Cullen's. They had smelt the vamp too. My vision glided back forward and then I saw it- red hair streaking its way over the forest. I sprinted faster than I ever had before, my mind racing, barely able to stop on anything for long.
Then she jumped over the river and we had to run along side the Cullen's. They were getting dangerously close to the tribal line and Sam knew it too. The woman jumped lithely again and one of the large Cullen's reached out to get her.
My eyes widened as he crossed the line, falling into the water as Paul attacked him. I couldn't stay for long- Sam was shouting orders at me- and we took off after the vamp again. But she was far ahead of us now. Her scent filled my nose and I had the urge to sneeze.
Then, before we knew it, the chase was over. She had leaped off the cliff and into the water, her red hair disappearing in the dark depths. Jacob growled beside me and Jared cursed. Leah was mumbling that Sam's strategy was all wrong while I just stared out to sea, realising I had just endangered my own life for the first time.
Sam was furious that she had gotten away. Paul was more furious about the Cullen's- who had apologised deeply for the vamp named Emmet. Everyone had growled at them apart from me. I drifted in the back, getting my first real look of the vampires we shared our territory with. They were so pale, inhumanely perfect-looking with glowing amber eyes. Instead of being afraid or angry or even cautious of them, I was curious. They were ancient creatures and, like being a wolf fascinated me, I was oddly fascinated with them.
I tried to hide those thoughts as Leah barked at me to go home. But I didn't want to go home. My thoughts went onto Evelyn and my fears of leaving her suddenly came to light. I couldn't change who I was- danger was in the name of the shape shifters and I couldn't hide from that.
So instead of going to my home, I found myself below her window, my heart thumping wildly with the memories of this night. It had been exhilarating- believe me- but I hadn't realised that if Iwas gone- so easily like Sam had told me the others were- then there would be nothing yet another funeral for Evelyn to go to.
The thought made me slip out of my wolf form and I stared wide-eyed at my hands. Human once again. Stop being a baby, I told myself. This is what happens. Once you're a shape shifter, you have to protect the tribe. At whatever cost.
Evelyn was part of the tribe to me, and that made me feel a little better. I dressed and gazed up at the window ledge. How was I going to get up there? I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to have her in my arms, to make sure she was safe.
So I took to half climbing up the drain pipe and clutching onto the thin tree's by the house. I knew it wouldn't hurt much if I fell, but I might bring down the drain pipe with me. And I was sure Mr and Mrs Hund wouldn't like that very much.
I knew she almost always left her window slightly ajar and so I slipped in quickly. It was deathly quiet in the house, Evelyn sleeping soundly, her pillows cradling her fair head. I grinned, walking to the edge of her bed and gently shaking her shoulder.
She mumbled incoherently and turned away from me. I rolled my eyes and decided to jump right in next to her. I was horribly tired and I always slept the best when I was with her.
She started when she felt my arm go around her and looked around to me with bleary eyes.
"Seth?" She croaked.
"Who else would it be?" I smiled, hugging her tightly and letting out a sigh of relief.
"Weirdo..." she mumbled and I just grinned, though deep inside of me I was silently afraid for what the red head meant for our equilibrium. Though I was fearful, I knew I now needed to be stronger than ever. I hugged Evelyn close to me, closing my eyes and listening to her heart beat. She always thought I was the one saving her, when, really, she is the one saving me.
After that, I had to miss a lot of school.
On odd intervals I went in, sometimes after lunch. But most of that week, I hardly went in at all. Sam made me stay up late and study and Eve helped me. But it felt like I was drowning in all of this- there was an uneasiness in the pack now. We didn't know what the vamp had wanted, but she blatantly went through our territory, and that meant something. And with the red head came Quil, the newest member to our team. It certainly made Jacob a little happier, in the least. His thoughts were so mournful these days, and I knew he tried to hide them behind his angry looking face. We were all in pain in some way or the other. A part of me liked to think we were the Lost Boys from Peter Pan- with the exception of my sister, of course.
"It'll be okay in the end." Eve smiled at me as we ate lunch together on Thursday. She hugged my arm as we were sitting outside and she got cold easily. Simple things like that made me feel like nothing bad had happened, that we were safe. I hadn't told her exactly what was going on, just that there were things happening. But Evelyn, my lovely Evelyn, she totally understood. Her face brightened whenever I came into the room and I knew that she had been waiting for me.
Every time I saw her now I got a hungering feeling. I wasn't used to it- I mean, she's my best friend- but I kind of liked it. I liked how she blushed when I caught her hand and tried to hide her face behind her hair.
In all honesty, she made me feel special.
On Saturday morning we both decided to go to the beach. I didn't like us walking through the forest and so we travelled along the roads. It took longer, but I didn't mind that. She talked happily about normal things, like her brother writing to colleges for night-time cookery courses. I let out a content sigh, closing my eyes briefly as I listened to her voice.
"Seth?" She asked. My eyes opened and I stopped, seeing she was gazing at me curiously. I grinned, wrapping an arm around her. She shook her head at me but continued talking anyway.
When we got to First Beach, we both skipped stones like the good old days and chased the waves. I thumped down on the sand after a while, watching her as she stood on the edge of the tide- barefooted. Her fair hair lifted in the breeze, her arms crossed over herself to keep herself warm.
After a while she turned to me and skipped over, lying down next to me and closing her eyes. I laid back too, feeling grains of sand roll over my bare feet in a soft breeze. I took her cold hand and she turned on her side, cuddling next to me.
We were silent, and in that silence a sickly sweet smell wafted up to me and I sat up, looking around, my heart beat rising. But then I saw Jacob and the Cullen's pet- Bella- in the distance, laughing, and I let out a sigh of relief.
"Hey, that's Bella!" Eve jumped up into a sitting position. I glanced to her.
"Yeah. With Jacob. She smells like a vampire." I grinned.
She frowned at me. "Seth Clearwater. A person's smell does not define who they are."
"Say so for yourself." I chuckled and she scowled. Suddenly she was on top of me, pinning me to the ground, her cheeks flushed.
"Right. And what do I smell like?"
I felt my cheeks heat and my smile faltered. "You smell better than wolves... and you smell better than vampires."
"Wow. That's a compliment and a half." She laughed, rolling off me. I deflated, glancing to see Jake and Bella still walking. Eve was watching them too, sitting close next to me as I shielded her from the cold. "He always looks so sad when I see him." She murmured.
"Yeah. Has... he... um, imprinted on her?" She asked. I looked around to her. She flushed. "I don't know what it is- isn't it like a baby duckling..."
I let out a burst of laughter. "Eve! Jacob doesn't think Bella is his mother!" I began to laugh, clutching my stomach at the absurdity of it. She smiled next to me, pink cheeked, and ruffled my short hair. When we both looked to them again, Jacob spotted us and waved. Bella did, too, meekly. Eve smiled and waved at her, as did I.
"Does she really love that vampire guy?" Eve asked me quietly. I remembered the heartbreak Jacob was feeling right now and I felt as if it was my own.
Saturday 3rd June 2006
Huddling in my brother's large blue jumper, I smiled at Sue as she handed me a hot dog. "Thanks," I mumbled and she smiled at me. Seth sat close to me to keep me warm even though the fire was right in front of us.
We had finished school yesterday, and though I was happy the weight of not seeing my past friends everyday was gone, I knew they'd be there next year.
Still, a whole summer with Seth was the best thought on my mind. Days on the lake in a canoe, swimming in the ocean, climbing trees, building teepee's and tents in my backyard... they were all small things, really, but they made me insanely happy. I would feel all weightless in my stomach when I thought about it.
Billy Black chuckled with Old Quil and I smiled, pulling up my legs up as I nibbled my dinner.
"Hey, look," Seth whispered to me. I glanced over and saw Jacob- with his hands in his pockets- come towards us with Bella beside him. I smiled.
"Go talk to them." I nudged his shoulder. "She looks nervous."
He nodded, standing and smiling at me. "I'll be back."
"Okay." I whispered, but he was already gone. I looked to Kim across the fire and grinned. Jared, beside her, was chomping down a huge bacon hamburger. She smiled meekly and I rolled my eyes at him. She let out a burst of laughter, blushed, and hid behind her hand. I gazed over to Seth and saw him play fighting with Jacob. I smiled and lifted my hand at Bella in a greeting. She smiled back nervously.
Seth came bounding back to me and sat down, frowning as I slowly ate my dinner.
"What?" I asked. "Is there something on my face?"
He grinned and pinched my cheek lightly. "Nope, still as radiant as ever. It's just you're eating that so slow. Come on, bite bite bite!" He exclaims, biting his white teeth together. I scowled at him and I took a big bite just to make him happy. He beamed and pulled out a home-made spit made out of a bent coat-hanger. He grabbed two marshmallows by Paul and began toasting them.
I'm finished with my dinner by the time he's done and he gently takes one off the end, offering it to me. I take it and pop it in my mouth, smiling happily at the gooey texture. He pops the other one in his and grins, sticky residue on his lips. I giggle as he licks his fingers, diving to Paul for more, who tries to swat him away.
It's a happy, small gathering on the cliff top, a good way to start off the summer vacation. Seth and I lean back and gaze up at the stars before Billy begins to tell the legends. He waits until everybody has finished eating so they can all concentrate and visualise what he is saying.
I've heard his voice tell stories before- on short school camping trips, in history class when he visited. But never like this. I knew it was a special occasion- with it being Seth and Quil's first time, and Bella and I coming to listen.
I closed my eyes and remember the stories I read in the book Bella gave me. Those were the key to me unlocking Seth's secret- that had put me here, right now. I snuggled close to Seth as it got darker and he wrapped an arm around me, always cautious of keeping me warm. I glanced to Kim and saw she was doing the same thing- instead Jared kissed the top of her head. My eyes focussed on the flames, feeling the heat on my cheeks.
For a moment... I wondered.
What would it feel to be loved that way? To be so fondly kissed and cradled? It made my throat tighten as Seth's arm shifted around me. Seth, I mentally whispered.
You know it's not like that.
We had both said that, many times before. My heart fluttered as I weighed in on the slight possibility...
I snapped out of it, Billy's voice entering back into my mind, the crickets and ocean in the distance filling the void my thoughts had left. I felt like there was a giant weight on my heart, pushing me down, making me unable to breathe. I felt his arm around me, his fingers gently stroking the curly ends of my hair. The moonlight soaked the waves and the canopy of the forest, leaving us in our little dark nook, the fire cracking and sending up embers into the crisp night air. For a moment, everything was strangely perfect and I willed my worries and thoughts away, snuggling into Seth's side to get warmer.
More hamburgers and hot dogs were toasted, Seth creating smores for the both of us as Billy and Old Quil continued to talk about the legends. I glanced to Bella and saw she was asleep. I smiled, catching Jacobs eye as he feasted on a huge burger. He grinned toothily at me and I knew he was truly happy for once.
Good for him. It was about time.
As we were walking back to the car, Seth reached out to hold my hand. I glanced to him and he grinned at me.
"Had a good time?"
"Yeah. It was great!" I exclaimed with way too much enthusiasm. I blushed and tried to hide in myself.
"It was!" Seth laughed. "Hey," he was suddenly whispering in my ear, "I don't have to patrol tonight. Can I sleep in your room?"
I looked to him in the darkness to see if he was kidding or not. I pressed my lips together.
"Okay." I whispered back. "Be careful, won't you?"
"I seriously doubt it." He murmured with a grin, and then we were back at Sue's car and we both sat in the back. Leah and her mom talked to each other as Seth played with my hand. I kept falling into something like a swoon- it was the only was I could describe it. I wanted to pull him close and hug his chest. However, I was exhausted and so I tiredly sat back, smiling as he caressed my skin, his fingers going across each line of my palm.
When we dropped her off I gazed around at the house, seeing her gently walk up to the porch. Once we were far enough away I turned.
"Yes?" She asked.
"Can you drop me off here? I... ur..." I felt my cheeks heat up. Leah gazed at me and rolled her eyes.
"You softy. Can't spend a minute away from your little girlfriend."
I scowled. "She's not my-" I sighed. "Never mind."
"I'll stop." Mom said gently, looking to me in the mirror. "I understand such things... but I would like to see you more often." She smiled as she stopped the car. "Bring her to the house more, okay? She's a wonderful girl. You're lucky to have her."
I beamed. "I know." I said, grabbing the handle. "Thanks mom. Night."
"Good night son."
I smirked at Leah and stuck out my tongue as I got out the car. She frowned, huffing and looking forward, crossing her arms. I slammed the door shut and watched them drive away to the end of the dirt track. Then, with a heightening excitement building inside of me, I turned and ran- as a human- through the thick, dark forest.
I had almost forgotten what it was like to run as a human. When you were a wolf, the ground just seemed to slip away beneath you, the tree's moving aside, your heart pumping like the beat of a steady drum. As a human, it was quite different. I almost fell over a couple of times.
I scaled up her house again and entered her room. It was deathly quiet and she was already curled up in bed. I pushed the window down and chucked off my shoes, coming closer.
She must have heard me because one of her eyes peeked open and looked at me. She smiled tiredly and moved to let me have some room. I bunked down with her, wrapping my arms around her small form. She made a little sound and hugged my chest, her face covered with her thick hair. I smiled at her, gently brushing some back. Her eyes were closed and the corners of her mouth were tilted up slightly.
"Eve?" I asked quietly.
"Mmm." She mumbled.
"Do you still trust me?" I questioned her. It was something that had been in the back of my mind. She nodded acutely and yawned.
"'Cause I do."
I let out a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness."
"Night night Seth." She whispered like a child. "Love you."
I pressed my lips to her forehead. "I love you, too." I said, but she was already asleep.