The Darwin Chronicles, Book One: The Mountain Ranges

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Chapter 11

Emmett scurried through the forest as a mouse, looking for herbs his mother needed to cook that night's herbs. He heard noises in the cold night air, rustling of leaves and quiet voices talking. He looked up and saw Isaac and Amy sitting on some rocks, chatting quietly.

"I don't know," Amy was saying. "My mom-well, she still blames Legends for Dad's death. I-" Tears started to pool in her eyes for the first time. "I think she's going to disown me soon."

"That's okay." Isaac gently put his hand on her back as she sniffled quietly. A tear fell off of her nose, landing on Emmett's muzzle, dripping into his mouth. It was disgustingly salty. He quickly spat it out.

"Thanks for talking with me," Amy mumbled, quickly wiping her eyes and stopping her tears. "I came out here to be alone. I honestly didn't expect anyone to be out here."

"Anytime." Isaac's voice was soothing, and tinged with something Emmett couldn't identify. Longing? "I'll do anything for you, Amy."

She looked up at him. "What?"

Isaac wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a deep kiss. Amy's hands rested on his arms, her face hidden. Irrational rage coursed through Emmett's veins as he watched them, and he acted out stupidly-he dashed forward and sank his teeth deep into Isaac's ankle, who let out a yelp and pulled away from Amelia. Emmett kept attacking the flesh, clawing and biting.

"Ouch!" Isaac looked to see what was causing the pain, and caught a glimpse of Emmett, who promptly fled. He stopped in the same clearing where Amy had performed the Awakening on him. He wiped the blood off his mouth hastily before he had to taste it, spitting again and again. Then he found the herbs and hurried back home.

Emmett walked into his bedroom to the sight of Isaac carefully sticking plasters onto his ankle. He watched with cold satisfaction as the boy winced.

"What happened?" Emmett asked casually. Isaac looked up at him, a mixture of triumph and annoyance in his eyes.

"A mouse attacked me in the woods." He paused, then allowed himself a small grin. "But I kissed Amy."

"Is that so?" Emmett sat down at his desk and started to work on his mouse drawing again.

"Yeah. I don't know if she liked it or not, though. I just pulled her in and kissed her, and then a mouse just started biting and scratching my ankle. Talk about bad timing. Then she just told me that I should go clean it up and she should get back."

"Was it nice?"

Isaac nodded sincerely. "She's a great kisser. Makes me wonder if she's ever had a boyfriend before. She's a lot better than all of the other girls I've kissed before in the past."

"Great." Emmett added the finishing touches to his drawing, then added some blood on its muzzle and claws. For memories. He hung it up next to his bed where Isaac couldn't see it.

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