Unblinking Eyes

Chapter Twenty-Two

Tuesday 13th June 2006

5:45pm

Seth's POV

Tomorrow. They were coming tomorrow.

I sat on the edge of the tree house, Eve on the swing below me. She was quiet, gazing at her feet as she slowly swung back and forth. She knew it was tomorrow, too. I let out a quiet sigh that carried on in the wind. It felt as if the world was getting colder, more dark in preparation for the army.

Army?! We'll knock 'em dead in minutes! Paul had exclaimed on last nights patrol. To be honest, I think they were all too full of themselves. I know they had killed a vampire before, but these ones would be different. More lethal than anything we have ever encountered before.

We all wanted them dead. That was evident.

To my ultimate surprise, and happiness, Brady and Collin had finally joined the pack at the weekend. It made Evelyn happier, too, but I knew she was still sad because of Gina. I wanted to tell her to go and see her, but I was kinda selfish. I knew it was wrong, but... I wanted her all to myself.

So Brady and Collin were out with Sam today, getting ready for the fight (which they were vastly unprepared for). All the rest of us were spending the day with out families, apart from Jacob, who couldn't stop running to the boundary line.

I lithely jumped down to Eve and she looked up to me with wide eyes.

"You're not going yet, are you?"

"No, not yet." I sat myself on the grass near her and she smiled sadly. Her feet were bare and skimmed the short grass as she swung lightly. I pulled my knees up to my chest and watched her. She noticed after a minute and looked to me with a soft smile.

"Can you push me?"

I grinned, jumping to my feet and running behind her, my hands gripping her shoulders.

"Ready?"

She nodded enthusiastically and I began to push the swing gently. She kicked her legs.

"Seth, come on, I'm not a baby! Push higher!" She exclaimed and I laughed, pulling her fully back- almost falling over myself- and pushing her forward. She giggled and I moved around, wanting to see her pink cheeks and happy smile. Her eyes crinkled when they met mine.

"You promise to come back, okay?" She said with a look of delight and I nodded.

"Yes. I promise."

10:18pm

"It'll be okay." I told her as I hugged her small form on the veranda. I lifted her a little so she was off the floor. Breathing in deep her scent and I tried- desperately- to let go. But I couldn't. It was like there was some unseen force keeping us together.

"It better be." She mumbled stubbornly, reaching back to look at me. Her eyes were misty and she tried to smile. Reaching up to ruffle my hair, she shook her head. "I love you, Seth Clearwater."

I felt my cheeks heat. Did best friends tell one another they loved them- especially in the way we did? "I-I love you too." I spluttered out. She laughed a little, untangling herself from me and escaping to the front door. Turning to look at me, she nodded.

The nod meant I was coming back. It meant that whatever happened- not just this, but anything- that we would always return to each other. Along the way, we had lost one another, but found ourselves again. I was as determined not to lose her as she was not to lose me.

So I nodded too and turned, my heart thumping quickly as I sprinted into the cover of the forest, melting into a wolf.

Wednesday 14th June 2006

7:21am

Standing upon the cliff face, overlooking the forests and lakes and mountains, I tried to quieten my thoughts. I was, after all, a key element to this whole process. Edward Cullen relied on me to keep him up to date about everything. I wanted to fight, really, but I knew it was too dangerous. There needed to be a wolf up here with Bella and Brady and Collin were too inexperienced.

Besides, I knew this had worked out well for me. At least I wasn't in constant danger of being killed. Sam had made sure the youngest of us weren't to fight if necessary. We were, after all, the 'next generation'.

I listened to their thoughts- the wild inhibitions of Paul and Jared, the steely confidence of Sam, the silence of Leah as she trotted, Brady and Collin back at the Quileute river and pacing slowly. I saw what they saw- as Sam's eyes roamed over the Cullen's, Jared and Paul beside him. He asked me when Jacob would return and I replied that there were high emotions running up here... and I couldn't calm him down.

I bunked down in some pine needles- almost the exact same colour of my sandy fur. My large head fell onto my arms and I watched the snow swirl around in little pin-wheels in the air.

I can smell something. Can you? Paul asked suddenly.

But the future-seeing blood sucker said they wouldn't be here for a few more minutes. What's going on? Jared growled.

I stood gingerly, a whine coming from my throat. Bella suddenly appeared in my vision- had she been watching me? I hadn't noticed her.

"What is it?" She asked. I fought the urge to roll my eyes at her. How was I supposed to tell her? I moved past her, walking to the edge of the trees, looking west and whimpering. "Is it the others, Seth? In the clearing?" She asked behind me. I glanced at her and yelped quietly, then I looked back to the west, trying to get at least a little communication across. I could sense something- some presence- and it made me very alert. My ears laid back and I began to whine.

I decided this wouldn't help. I moved back to the pine needles and laid back down, trying to calm my thoughts yet again. The vamps wouldn't come up here... surely? We had marked the forest with Bella's blood. Dammit... what was I supposed to do?

Jared growled and in that instant I leaped to my feet, trying to sense anything around me. It made me all very jumpy. I wasn't cut out for this. I moved quietly to the cliff edge, a growl forming in my throat.

"It's just us, Seth." Jacob said suddenly and I looked around, seeing him looking over the cliff as well. His face was like stone. There was a certain glint in his eyes that made me feel as if I had to bow to him. Jared called it the Alpha Complex. They were very complex, actually. I barely understood Jacob at all.

Well... at least I didn't think I did.

Then I saw Edward far away, behind the trees, and I decided to walk up to him to tell him what was going on. He was very calm about the whole ordeal and told me serenely what was to be done. I nodded dutifully, glancing to Bella quickly. Her arms were crossed and a scowl masked her face.

Edward explained to her that we needed to sort this out. I knew there was something brewing between her and Jacob- her surprise engagement to Edward was evidence of that. I kind of looked at her accusingly. I mean, how could she do that to her best friend? I'd never do that to Evelyn.

Evelyn. Her face suddenly centred in my mind and I wondered what she would be doing right now. Had she slept alright? Was she nervous for me? God, I hope not. I was nervous for me.

And so it came to Edward and I trekking down through the forest to Sam. It was all very quiet for a moment before his voice suddenly rang out quietly.

"You haven't realised it."

I looked to him, confused. His face was smooth and there was trouble behind his eyes. But he looked at me and smiled a little. Crookedly. I didn't know vampires could have anything crooked about them.

Realised what? I asked him, dumbfounded.

"The girl. Evelyn?" He gazed up at the sky for a moment. "You haven't weighed on the slight possibility. But, since I'm old, and I am an expert in reading people... I saw it instantly. But it seems you haven't realised... and probably never would if I didn't tell you."

What are you going on about? I questioned, seriously lost now.

He then smiled, and even his eyes smiled. "It's a very beautiful thing. To see how you see her. A friendship built over the years..." He sighed, looking into the distance, his steps quickening now. "Jared and Quil... they're both very different. As is Sam. Since you are young, you do not yet understand the wills of the heart."

Edward. You're scaring me. I narrowed my eyes at him. What's wrong with me?

"Nothing." He replied. "Nothing at all."

Then what is it?

"It's just that you've imprinted on her. That's all."

What? No, that's impossible. I've seen what imprinting does- I thought back to what Jared had felt when he imprinted on Kim, Quil on Claire, Sam on Emily. They were all different. Claire was too young for it to be romantic. Kim was Jared's high school sweet heart, and Emily was older, thinking of marriage and children.

But then there was Evelyn and I. We were different. Best friends from the start, before all of this. I remembered being tied to her the first time I met her all those years ago. Sitting on the graveyard bench, sharing a packet of Twizzlers. Then... at my dad's funeral. When I had seen her- hugged her- there had been a certain kind of energy that hadn't been there before. My eyes had widened and I was sure my pupils dilated.

She had been beautiful before. But when I saw her that day- in her black dress, her hair wild in the wind- something had snapped in me. She wasn't just beautiful. She was everything.

Oh my god. Why hadn't I realised? It just felt normal to me to feel that way when I saw her! Wasn't imprinting meant to be mushy, flowers-and-chocolates? I had never understood before. But when I thought back to last night... hugging her that last time... I remembered the feeling of breathlessness.

Before I knew it we were by Sam, but I couldn't meet anyone's eye. I stared into space, my mind racing with a million thoughts, my body gently quivering. Everything- everything- over the past couple of months- the strange dreams, the hopelessness, the heart-wrenching feeling I felt whenever I was away from her- suddenly made sense. It all came to light and it made me dizzy. Why hadn't anyone told me? What... did this mean?

Then I was back at the tent, in the snow, silently pacing as Edward disappeared inside the shelter to confront Bella. I could barely hear the other's thoughts- I was too wrapped up in my own. But I knew I needed to push past them, to keep in the now. With a sick feeling in my stomach, I plunged into the pack mind.

Jacob seemed much happier. I almost vomited when he gave everyone a mental image of kissing Bella forcefully, his hands tightening around her. It didn't matter that everyone was fighting newborns.

Hey, if I'm gonna die, I'd want to tell you guys about my last kiss! He laughed as he snapped one of their necks. I winced, trying to listen to Sam. All of the wolves were determined- we were the surprise attack and the newborns were scared of us. One by one, they were killed. It seemed as if we were winning. I felt a jump of rejoice fill me and I looked around to Edward as he and Bella emerged. Her eyes were misted, and for a moment, I felt a little bad for her.

I wanted to join in now. We were winning and I wanted a piece of the glory. Leah scampered quickly and I felt a tinge of pride and sibling jealously for her. She had been practising. A lot.

Then, suddenly, I stopped breathing. I could smell a vampire. Very close. I growled and Edward looked to me with wide eyes.

"Go, Seth!"

I turned and sprinted into the forest, the trees becoming strips between the white light, my heart becoming the only sound I could hear. There were two distinct scents- both sickly sweet. I swallowed back bile and tried to get as far away as I could.

But then I thought to the small Bella and how much she meant to Jacob, and my own 'imprint' instincts kicked in and I ran right back around, defiant of Edward's commands.

They were both there in the clearing, preparing to fight the lone Edward. I gritted my teeth and snarled, leaping onto the blonde vampire and pinning him to the ground, ripping and tearing at his rock-hard flesh. He hit a boulder and I smugly began to run back to him. But then he got up and suddenly flung his foot at me, hitting my shoulder. I heard the bone crack and I whined, backing away from him, limping in a circle. I forced my way through it and grabbed him again, ripping off another chunk of him that made him roar with anger. I skipped back, taunting him.

But then he grabbed my throat and I coughed, pushing him off. My shoulders shook with the pain.

Come on Seth, I told myself. You can do this. For Eve.

I swallowed, moving back to the cliff near Edward and Bella as the vamp hissed at me. My shoulder didn't hurt any more. I brushed my tail on Edward's back to tell him we were in this together.

The blonde vamp was distracted as Edward spoke to Victoria. She was identified now. I recognised her scent.

And so I leaped forward, biting off a huge chunk of him. He seethed, hitting me on the chest painfully hard, making me soar twenty feet to hit a boulder. My vision went red with fury and pain. I struggled to stand. I made it a few feet and then I collapsed, my breath whistling through my teeth as pieces of rock showered down on me.

I felt defeated. It was like all my organs had lurched up and been squished together. It hurt. All I could think of was funerals and Evelyn's desperate blue eyes as she stared at the gravestones. I closed my eyes as the blonde vamp neared. I had only just realised I had imprinted... and now it was going to be taken away from me.

But then the smell of blood hit me, woke me up, made my eyes open. The vamps were coming close to Bella- who was shaking, her sweater torn at the elbow and blood dripping from her arm.

Instantly, the pain wore away. I grabbed the vamps arm and tore it off. He hissed, backing away from me now, his other arm going to where his other one once was. I smiled in my mind and ran forward, tearing off his other arm, throwing it away. I snickered as he whimpered.

"Victoria!" He shouted for her. But she didn't care.

I ran towards him again, my strength back. I hit him and we flew into the forest, and I tore, ripped and shredded his horrible-tasting flesh apart. Eventually, his screams stopped, and I knew I had done it. I had killed him.

Edward quickly met me and we grabbed all evidence of the vamp, walking back to the clearing. He lit the corpses on fire and the smoke pillowed up into the sky, the smell horrendous.

Still, I bumped my nose against Edward and he let out a low laugh.

"Nice teamwork," he commented. I coughed a laugh.

And then he turned his attention to her. "Bella, love..." He whispered, and I was left by the burning vampires, my heart beat calming a little.

They kissed. A lot. It made me wince, but I knew they were in love. It hurt in my mind- Jacob had been so obsessed over her. This would surely kill his good moral. I tried not to watch them and so I turned my attention to the fire, trying to find myself in the heightened emotions of my mind. I could barely think of Evelyn before pain hit me out of nowhere, making me whine, falling to the ground as it clouded my head.

It was not my own pain.

Jacob.

I howled and whimpered. I needed to go. I needed to-

"Seth, no!" Edward shouted at me. I weakly looked to him. I was already on my feet, preparing to join the fight. "You go straight home! Now! As fast as you can!"

I saw a glint of alpha in him and I tore away, running through the woods in blinding speed. Jacob, his agony, filled my ears and I howled quietly. I barely knew what I was doing. The ground beneath me was so familiar... and I knew that I was nearing the reservation. I wanted to help. I wanted to do so much but... but I couldn't.

But instead of finding myself at my home, I found myself at the Hund's. I phased, the pain too much. Shakily, I pulled on some ratty old shorts, weakly moving to the front door.

She was already there. My heart soared to see her drop her book and stand from her seat, running to me, her hair flying behind her as she hugged me tightly.

Though it hurt, and I was more emotionally wounded than anything, I smiled.

Because now I knew.

She was my imprint.

END OF PART THREE

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