Give Me Love
From the beginning, Collin was completely against what he was destined to be. He hated the idea of never being in control of his own fate again. He saw no hope in the future after he changed. He would forever be trapped in this 23-year-old body. Some saw this as a blessing, but to him it was a curse. Who would want to never age again? It was barbaric to him. Sure, he thought it was an amazing idea when he was fully human- never aging seemed to be a distant idea that only existed in books. But, when he shifted, it became a reality that he couldn't handle. There were several times he thought of just ending it all- no more pain, no more uncertainty. But there was always something that held him back- something he couldn't quite put his finger on- this distant feeling that something good was to come out of this curse.
The only thing he never imagined would happen, happened. That promised redemption that he felt was in the form of a petite girl that was not special to the untrained eye, but to him, she was a cool drink of water in the middle of the desert.
Jacqueline hasn't had a very hard life, but she always thought that something was missing- something that she desperately wanted and could never achieve. She never imagined that what she wanted- what she needed was in the form of an attractive male that burst into a spotted wolf twice the size of a horse. But once she meets this man, he was never off her mind. There was something about him that fascinated her and terrified her at the same time. He seemed to offer something that she wanted but was hesitant to grab- a promised happy future. Something as shaky as the future shouldn't be messed with- much less by something that defied anything natural. I mean- a man that turned wolf in a split second? That was highly unusual and impractical. But, it was the little acts that he did that drew her in- and she couldn't resist that pull. So why try?
Jacqueline and Collin were much the same but total opposites. Between finding their footing on shaky ground, an elusive vampire that has been stalking any of the younger imprints and a love that seems to not be fading fast enough for Jacqueline made tensions high all over La Push. Who would ever think that the wolves of La Push would depend on the once foes, transformed into adherents to a treaty, morphed into a family they were bound to protect?
"Love is like an accidental tragedy- it starts off with good intentions, but something happens and the world turns to chaos for those involved. But it's worth the risk."
"I will not- refuse to- fall into the trap that most others have before me. Nothing can change my mind on that."
This is still a work in progress, so the plot might change slightly, but not a lot. Give me feed back, guys. Both good and bad are accepted! Let me know if I should even bother with completing this...
Also, the idea came to me from a story that my cousin is writing on this site. Here is the link:http://thetwilightsaga.com/group/fanfiction/forum/topics/through-th... You should totally go check it out! There is a story that came before this one, and the link to it is on this story.
Interesting..Keep Me Posted!
The water caressed her skin, sliding over her pale, slender arms before dripping off the fingers she often compared to as a babies'. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back to feel the rain against her eyes and cheeks. She loved the rain, the feel, the smell. She loved the fact that this easily manipulated, unsuspecting, inferior substance could quiet a whole city into eerie submission. It made her feel like she could do something as well, like she could make an impact.
She sighed and looked back at her new house. It wasn't anything special to look at. In fact, it was the exact opposite- it looked more like a shack than anything else. It was rundown and in desperate need of a new coat of paint, but she loved that about her new home. It was something that could be morphed into a home that she could stay in- a project that won't bail on her. She smiled while admiring her shack of a home.
She pulled her suitcase out of her passenger seat and carried it inside. The rest of her things would have to wait until tomorrow. Her hands were shaking with giddiness as she took her keys out of her pocket and slide it easily into the lock. It took a little persuasion, but she eventually got the rusted lock to open. One thrust of her shoulder and she was inside. She breathed in the woody smell and closed her eyes. Yup, she could definitely live in here.
School started again in two short weeks and that limited her time on what she could do with her house. However, she didn't let that damper her attitude. The sun was out and the birds were singing and that was enough to make her smile- in other words, today was going to be a good day.
She was currently unpacking the U-Haul trailer behind her Jeep. She had only just started and she was already sweating.
Mental note number one, make time to go to the gym! Frequently, she added as an afterthought.
When she made it back outside, after dumping another box in her unfurnished living room, she saw a man standing by her U-Haul. He had black, cropped hair and russet skin. Did she mention that he was shirtless? Not that she could blame him or anything. She was in a sports bra and shorts- it was way too hot to wear anything more than that. He smiled warmly at her.
"I didn't realize I was getting a new neighbor," his voice vibrated the air. "I'm Seth," he smiled.
She smiled back, finally reaching where he was standing. "Jacqueline," she said politely, putting out her hand to shake his.
His skin made contact with hers and she was surprised to see that he was insanely warm. She knew it was hot, but it wasn't that hot. She gasped slightly and retracted her hand. She blushed when she realized how rude that truly was.
"I'm sorry, that was rude of me," she looked up into his brown eyes.
"Don't worry 'bout it. I get that a lot." He smiled jokingly.
Jacqueline heard a car door slam and looked over to find a red 1960 Fastback Mustang pull into the driveway to the right of her house. A petite girl with brown curly hair climb out.
"Seth," she smiled. "Who's this?" She looked at Jacqueline.
Seth had this wistful smile on his face as he looked at the petite girl. She came up and he immediately wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He smiled down at her before turning his attention back to Jacqueline.
"Jacqueline, this is my girlfriend, Angie. Angie, this is our new neighbor, Jacqueline." He motioned from one of us to the other as he introduced the two of us.
"You can call me Jackie," Jacqueline offered. Nobody ever said her name right anyway. She shook Angie's hand and smiled sweetly at her.
"So, we did get a new neighbor? That's unusual for around here. But, welcome to the neighborhood!" Angie spread out her arms to take in all of the six houses, two of which stood empty. "Well, what's left of it." She giggled and folded her arms back to her chest.
"Thanks," Jackie said shyly.
"Hey, do you need any help bringing things inside?" Seth questioned.
"I don't wanna put y'all out..." Jackie shook her head, taking half a step back.
"Nah, it's no problem. I'll help ya. Then, maybe, we could have you over for dinner?" He looked down at Angie for approval. She nodded in agreement. He smiled back up at Jackie.
"Really, you don't have to. I mean-" She was just sticking her foot further down her mouth. She really needed to learn when saying enough was enough. She shook her head again.
"Don't worry. It's no problem, really. Just point me in the right room and I'll get it done." He smiled down at her.
She blushed but nodded with no other argument. Who was she to turn down an offer that would cut her work time in half?
"Goody, I'll go start dinner," Angie clapped her hands. Before she went skipping away, she gave Seth a quick peck on the lips. He smiled after her before turning around, back to the duty he agreed to.
Three hours later, Jackie's house was almost all the way unpacked, she knew Seth a lot better, and dinner was ready and waiting on the two sweaty unpackers.
After everyone was settled and the food was distributed- Seth's having the most on it, Jackie couldn't help but notice- she finally realized that weaseling herself into this small town wasn't going to be as hard as she had planned on.
"So, Jackie," Angie said around a broccoli rolling around her mouth. "what brings you to La Push?"
She swallowed the chicken in her mouth and wiped it. "A teaching job," she mumbled.
"Oh?" Angie's eyebrows rose slightly. "What do you teach?"
"This is officially my first year teaching Honors English for the high school here. This was pretty much the only place that was accepting first-year teachers." She smiled slightly at her amateur experience.
"Well, that's cool. We need newer, fresher teachers around here," Seth mumbled around the half masticated chicken doing somersaults around his mouth.
Angie clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes. "He swears that our biology teacher during our sophomore year was well over one hundred years old."
"Name one teacher that tried to tell us that the Nazis were going to come down on our heads and always tried to make us practice how to stay under the desks 'for our own protection'?" Seth changed his voice when he quoted the teacher.
Jackie couldn't help but giggle at how ridiculous that sounded. "I once had a teacher that was nineteen when my mother was born." Jackie piped up, putting her unnecessary two cents in.
"See?! Case and point. I think that once a teacher reaches a certain age, they should be let go." Seth sat back in his chair, a smug glint in his eyes.
"I wouldn't go that far..." Angie cautioned.
"Yeah, that's my lively-hood you're talking about, Seth," Jackie warned, shaking her fork at him.
He chuckled and shook his head, leaning back over his food and stuffing his mouth as a way to make himself shut up.
Before she left Florida, she thought that it would be hard for her to get acquainted with the area and the people associated with it. However, after meeting Seth and Angie, it all seemed a little easier. Although, that was assuming that everyone acted the way that the couple in front of her did. That idea was almost dashed right out of her mind as soon as it popped in there. The world was made up of billions of people who had different personalities that often clashed. There was no doubt in her mind that all was not well on this otherwise quaint Reservation. However, she still had a little hope in humanity and gave them the benefit of the doubt- those differences could change into somewhat of an understanding that could surpass the tensions they cause.
The dinner passed with ease. The small chatter that flitted between the three was light and easy. Seth was hilarious and Angie was slightly more serious, a woman of few words. They fit perfectly together, like polar opposites that made the world go round. Jackie thought that she and Angie would get along quite well. Angie only further proved that when she invited Jackie to go with her to Port Angeles so that Jackie could go to the furniture store there and pick out the things she needed. Jackie was quick to agree. Her mattress was fine, but the wooden floors in her house were a bit drafty and she would greatly appreciate it if there was a little space between her and the floor.
Jackie helped Angie pick up the kitchen while Seth caught up on the latest baseball game- occasionally screaming when his team hit a homer. Jackie got to know Angie a little better and her relationship with Seth. The way the petite girl talked about the bear-of-a-man in the next room was endearing. She talked of him as if no other man existed on the face of the earth. It made Jackie yearn in a way that she wasn't exactly used to.
After the chicken carcass was disposed of, Jackie briskly walked to her shack. The neighborhood was warming- during the day. At night, there was only one street lamp to light the way home and it was dim. The temperature had dropped at least twenty degrees in the two hours that Jackie was over at Seth and Angie's. It sent shivers down her back the way that the forest was eerily quiet and the way that the cold laid over her like a blanket. That combined with the way that it felt like eyes were glued to her made the hairs at the nape of her neck stand on end.
She glanced over her shoulder to see Seth staring out their kitchen window. He had an intense look on his face and he would not look away from her, even when he knew she was looking directly at him. His eyes held this appearance of pure concentration. That look also sent shivers down her back. What was she getting herself into by making friends with her seemingly nice neighbors?
She turned back around and quickened her pace. She finally made it to her door and dug her keys from her pocket. Her hands were shaking badly. She had no clue from what- the cold, the eerie silence or the way that Seth's eyes had dug into her. She fumbled, looking for the right key to fit in the lock.
A howl tore through the night, scaring her. Her keys fell to the porch with a light tinkling sound. Her eyes scanned the dark trees, not finding anything alarming. She heard a door slam open and the screen door closely followed. She glanced at Seth's house and saw him running- sprinting would be a more appropriate word- to the forest, not once falling in the darkness. He flew with a grace that was inhuman.
She swept her keys into her hand and fumbled again, still looking for that evasive key. She wasn't normally this jumpy, but all the events leading up to this point left her feeling a little more alone in this old shack. What if that animal decided to come closer to home? There wasn't much blocking him from her. It frightened her to think of a wild animal in her house. Floridians often got gators in their back yard, but those were easy to deal with. Don't bother them and they won't bother you. If they follow you, run in a 'z' and you'll be fine. Somehow, being further north caused her to think that these animals were more territorial and they seemed to stalk. She was not comfortable with this.
She finally found the stubborn key and slid it into the lock. the door was easier to open than the first night she was there, but it still seemed to not open fast enough. She shut the door behind her and locked it, leaning against it trying to catch her breath and calm her heart. There was a second howl to join the first. Then, a third and a fourth. Soon, there was a whole chorus of different animals that howled in unison. She vaguely put the sound to a wolf but she couldn't be certain.
However, there was one howl that seemed to rise above the others. It was deeper in pitch and seemed like it was singing rather than acting on instinct. to her, the animal was singing for her. It calmed her heart rate more than any breathing exercise could. She closed her eyes and listened to this one voice and she slid down the door. She was at peace now.
Then a thought hit her- Seth was out there. Her eyes flew open and her heart rate picked up again. He was a little creepy just before the wolf howled, but he was still her neighbor. Did Angie not care?
Jackie quickly scrambled up, unlocking her door and flying over the lawn, stumbling on her two left feet. She banged on Angie's door, out of breath.
Angie answered with a worry crease between her eyebrows. It quickly disappeared when she saw that it was Jackie at her door. "Hey," she smiled.
"Seth-" breath- "is out there," she gasped out. That one wolf was still singing to her heart but it did not calm her when she thought that her neighbor was out there. He could get hurt...
Sorry, guys. It limited the amount of words I could put on one reply for some reason. :/
I Love It!
Mr. and Mrs. Liar
Sweat poured down her back as she grunted, lifting the final and heaviest box. She sighed, brushing her hands together. Soon, the box was opened and the tape was discarded. The smell of salt water and the sensation of heat blew into her face, reminding her of her lost love: the beach. Florida, in general. The humidity, though she could leave it some days (like, a week, once a month), the smell of salt that hung in the air, the constant sunshine.
She sighed and looked out the window. It amazed her how fast the weather changed. Yesterday, it was insanely hot. The day before that, it was raining 'cats- and-dogs'. Today much resembled that first day. Rain hit the windowpane and slithered down to pool on the windowsill. She liked rain... every so often. So far, out of her three-day experience, this place rained too much (also, reading the tourist brochures alerted her to that fact).
It'll have to do, she sighed.
A clap of thunder made her think of last night.
"Oh, Seth? He's fine!" Angie smiled. "He just... ummm... went for a run?"
The way that she said it made her sound like she was questioning herself. Was she asking me if he was or was she asking if that was a believable idea? She seemed unsure of herself, switching from foot to foot. What was she so antsy about?
Jackie tried catching her breath. Mental Note Number Two, remember to do mental note number one! "Are you sure?" she gasped. "It's about to rain and I thought I heard a wolf howl. Is it safe for him to be out there?"
"Yeah!" Angie exclaimed with a smile, waving a hand in the air. "Seth does this all the time. He says that the rain cools him down." Angie's smile was kind of getting on Jackie's nerves now, even though it hadn't earlier.
Was Jackie mistaken? Was she wrong in thinking that she could be friends with her neighbors? They seemed nice enough at first. They still are! Then, why are you questioning that?! They are good people, don't do this to yourself. Don't alienate!
Jackie sighed, nodding, finally gaining her breath. "Alright, if you say so."
"Would you like some coffee?" Angie asked.
"I'm good,"- I don't like having coffee with liars- "I have to get some rest. Lots of work to do tomorrow." Jackie shrugged and trudged back to her shack as it started to drizzle.
Last night got Jackie thinking: Who were her neighbors, really?
Mental Note Number Three: If watching SVU is going to make you suspect everyone you meet, STOP WATCHING IT!
She pulled out the various pictures of her friends, the trinkets she got to remember Florida and innumerable quantities of books. People often found it funny that she kept books in her house when she has all these technological advances at her disposal that would take up less room and provides more. She would just laugh with them, never really knowing why she didn't want those kinds of things.
She continued picking up the living room and setting it up, trying to make the house a home. She sighed and put her hands on her hips, admiring her decor work. She smiled. Even though the shack was in shambles, it was still hers and that made it special in her eyes. Although, it still needed work (which was apparent even to her) but that would have to wait for a while.
"So, this is 'your style'?" The voice behind her startled her.
She jumped and turned. Her heart started to race even harder when she saw who was behind her. Seth's eyebrow crinkled.
"I didn't mean to scare you." Liar. "I was just coming over to show you that I am okay. No 'wolves' got me."
The way he said wolves made him sound sarcastic. What was his problem? She had a heart that cares too much, so what? He shouldn't try to act like it was completely ridiculous that she cared for his well-being. He should have been thankful that she cared enough to be concerned. You ungrateful-
"So, you lived"- he squinted at the pictures she had hung up- "down south, I'm guessing. We don't get too many beaches like that up this far north." Duh.
"Yeah. Florida, actually."
"Nice." He nodded his head.
Then there was silence. Jackie shifted uneasily from foot to foot. Seth coughed and scratched the back of his head. Something was off. Jackie could tell this like a sixth sense. You could cut the tension between them with a knife. It was almost like he were hiding something from her- something essential and important. Honestly, with the events that led to this moment in time, she wouldn't be surprised if he had a knife on him. Although, she imagined him slicing her rather than the air.
Why was she thinking so negatively about her neighbor? She hardly knew him and he had helped her quite a bit since she first got here. She knew nothing about him and maybe that was what was wrong for her. She didn't know and anyone that ever knew her knew that she hated that. She had to know everything, everything. If she didn't, she might go crazy. It was asinine.
Seth sighed. "Well, lunch is going to be done in a little while. Would you care to join us?" He jammed a thumb over his shoulder, motioning to his unseen house.
Jackie shook her head. "Naw, I ordered take-out a little while ago and would like to be able to work a little more on it. Get it done and over with, ya know?" She shrugged her shoulders and pursed her lips.
He nodded. "Yeah, I know." He turned to leave, but she stopped him.
"What were you doing in the woods?" she blurted before she could stop herself.
"Didn't Angie tell you?" Seth's eyebrows knitted together, cocking his head to the side in question, like a dog. (Sorry, I had to.)
"I want to hear it from you." Jackie took a small step toward him, her hands in the back pockets of her jean shorts.
He swallowed and his Adam's apple bobbed. He was holding something back. "I-I'm-I'm part of this group that-uhh- has these-umm- weather watcher things. I was just- just... making sure they worked." He nodded and looked at her, his smile looking too strained.
She squinted her eyes and nodded, her pursed lips only getting more pursed. Her hands came to cross over her chest. "Alright." She turned back around and started to move the empty boxes out of the living room.
She heard the wood panels creak as Seth began to leave.
"Seth?" She called, looking over her shoulder.
"Yeah?" He turned and had his hand caught in his tangled hair- he desperately needed a haircut.
"I'm glad you're okay."
He smiled and walked away, nit giving her a second glance.
I'm not happy that you're lying to me, though. Her thoughts were filled with acid, which was out of character for her.
Her Lo Mein was delicious along with her orange chicken. Not the best first meal in the new house, but it was what she could afford after a whole summer of only getting money from a coffee shop gig she got in Florida- and that money only lasted for a little while. Between getting a truck to move all her stuff to Washington, buying a new house and helping her parents out in Colorado (they were having money issues... again), she had very little free money to spend all willy-nilly. That is why the home-makeover was going to have to wait until next summer, when she had more money.
She got all she could get done today. She didn't have much, seeing as how her roommate for college owned most of the stuff in their apartment, there really was no need for more. She didn't even have a microwave. Old fashioned warming-things-up: the stove! Hopefully she wouldn't burn anything (down or otherwise) in the process.
She was currently de-weeding her front garden-bed. The rain had stopped about half an hour ago and the mud below her was soaking her knees but she didn't care. This was relatively the last thing she could do without spending money, and she was going to do it thoroughly.
She looked at the faded yellow side of her house. Yes, faker? She sighed and turned her head. "Yeah?" She called, seeing Seth waving behind the Fastback with Angie slowly approaching her.
"Some of our friends are having a get-together. Would you like to join us?" Angie asked, stepping beside Jackie in a pair of old hiking boots, folding her hands behind her back.
Jackie thought for a minute. Are they liars like you are? I think I'll skip on this one, Ang. "Nah, I have to get a couple of groceries and I have mud all over my legs." To prove her point, Jackie stood up and rubbed her hands over the offending thing that nature called a 'necessity'.
"Oh," Ang said, looking disappointed. "I understand. See you around?"
"Yeah," Jackie nodded.
Angie smiled at her one last time before turning and high-tailing it back to Seth, who was in the passenger side seat already. They conversed for a moment before pulling away and leaving Jackie alone. Thank God.
After a shower, which lasted about half an hour to get all the mud off, Jackie was in her 1996 Ford and on her way into town. She had to drop the U-Haul off and get a few groceries. Kill two birds with one stone?
She pulled up to the U-Haul center (on the WAY outskirts of town) and parked where it specified for someone to drop the trailers off. She got out and met a man with a rather large beer gut.
He made her sign a couple of papers that made sure it was really her and that she was dropping it off in the right condition. When everything checked out, he told her where to drive to drop it off. She made it there, in the back of the center, and saw a young man slouched over one of the work trucks with the U-Haul emblem on the side. She pulled up beside him and rolled her passenger window down (it took some effort because it was a crank window).
"Hey!" She called. when he didn't turn or even acknowledge her existence, she called to him again. "Hey!"
This time, he turned. He had black cropped hair, much like Seth's, he had a white wife-beater on and green eyes that spoke volumes. His eyes almost seemed like they were laughing. He had a hint of a smile.
"Yeah?" He called back.
"Ummm..." Jackie shook her head. Get a hold of yourself! "Where should I pull into?" She asked, jamming a thumb toward the U-Haul.
He glanced at it and motioned for her to pull forward. "Just up there, where the one with the spider on the side is."
Oh, great. Doesn't help the arachnophobia, dude! "Okay," she sighed.
Once she had it parked and was out of the truck, he was already there, starting to get the hitch off the car. He worked fast as she observed, amazed. It had taken her at least twenty minutes to figure out how to even work the thing, much less get it attached to her truck. He was sitting there and getting it off in less than four minutes! What's up with that?!
After it was off, he used his hands and feet to roll it out from behind her truck. That right there had to be near-impossible. It was too heavy for that to be possible! After he had set it down, he straightened, wiped his hands on a towel, and watched her. It was kind of creepy the way he watched her. It was sort of... intense.
"Yo, Embry! You're off, man! Time to take your nasty face home, bro!" A man shouted from the center.
Embry just waved him off. "So," he gazed back at her, "I have a couple of friends that are having dinner together. Would you like to go?"
Was he serious? There was no way that she was going anywhere with a boy she hardly knew. "Thanks, but I think I'll pass."
He shrugged. "Suite yourself, foreigner." He brushed past her, stuffing the towel in his back pocket.
"Excuse me?" She whirled on him, holding her door in her hand.
He sighed and turned on her, folding his hands across his chest. "You make it too obvious. Your outfit isn't from 'round here, it's too new and fashionable. You're far too tan to be from here." You're one to talk. "Then there's the painfully obvious fact that we are currently at a place that rents trucks to people who are moving."
Ouch. Now she felt like an idiot to think that she would actually fit in here.
"I just figured you could try to fit in here better if you knew more people. By the way, the invitation was not so I could get you alone and 'take advantage' of you. You're cute, but not that cute."
"I wasn't thinking that." She mumbled, though she was, in a way. "Fine. But I'm driving my own car."
"Good. I wouldn't want your out-of-state germs all over my car anyway." He turned and stalked off.
She sighed angrily. Who was he to make assumptions? He had no right!
Forty-five minutes later, they pull up to a little cottage with alot of cars in front of it. He parked and got out, waiting for her to catch up with him.
Why had she agreed to this again? Oh, right. Because you're an idiot! So what he called you out on a painfully obvious fact? Who cares?! Let it go!
But she was here already. She sighed and shoved her door open.
The cottage itself was quite small and it seemed impossible to hold as many people as it seemed to be holding. There were cars everywhere. In the driveway, on the lawn, in the street. The place was bursting at the seams with cars and chatter that wafted toward them. Was that basil she smelled? It was a baby-blue color and had white shutters that looked worn from rain. Although, it had this sense that said Home: People live and love here! It was warm and inviting. There was even a little swing hanging from one of the trees in the front yard.
Embry made a sound. It sounded like a bird call. Though he did it rather quietly, the door opened as if he had heard Embry.
There stood an enormous man. He also had cropped hair and laughing brown eyes. He had to duck a little in order to be seen by the two slowly approaching.
"Embry! you made it! I thought you had to work late." The man's voice rumbled in his chest.
"Got off early, Sam. You know you would have missed me if I hadn't shown. Plus, I brought the life of the party!" Embry motioned to Jackie.
She looked between Sam and Embry several times before it clicked who he was talking about. She blushed and shook her head. "I'm not..." she mumbled.
Sam laughed. "Don't worry! He's just teasing you. Glad you could come, miss..." Sam waited for her to finish the sentence.
She glanced longingly at her truck. However, her eyes snagged on another car. Oh no! Nonononono. This could not be happening! Please, God, don't let this be happening! There, not four yards from her truck, stood a black, 1960 Fastback. God, no.
Hope y'all enjoyed it! Again, sorry but it won't let me post the chapter as one thing.
good so far keep writing!
Still the Outsider
She couldn't imagine a more awkward situation. She felt horrible! She felt like a lying, backstabbing faker. She could tell that both Seth and Angie were a little hurt and perplexed at the situation itself. Seriously, how could a complete stranger convince her to go to a get-together when her own neighbors couldn't? That was unbelievable. It was a backstabbing move that Jackie never pictured herself doing, but she did.
Seth sat across from her at the table, watching her with hurt eyes. His usual chipper attitude was dampened by her low blow. She was so ashamed of herself that she couldn't even meet his eyes. Angie was in the kitchen with Emily, Sam's wife who had scars running down her face because of a freak incident with a bear, preparing food for everyone in attendance.
The house was scattered with different tables, none of which matched, that were cramped with people. The house was filled with their voices. The low alto of the men and the high soprano of the girls' made a constant hum that Jackie was not inclined to dissect further. She was sitting at a table that held Seth, Angie and Embry. There were two other boys, that had no names at the moment, that sat with them.
"Jackie?" She turned her head to see that it was Angie that called to her. "Mind helping us in here?" Angie ducked back into the kitchen before Jackie answered her.
She sighed and thought for a moment. She could either sit here and not face Angie or she could go in the kitchen and face whatever Angie felt like dishing to her. She glanced at Seth. His eyes have gone hard as he stared at her, his glare digging a hole in her face. That made her decision. She'd rather talk to Angie about the situation than sit here under his scrutinizing gaze.
She sighed and stood up, reluctantly trudging toward the narrow doorway. She stood there for a moment, watching the six women, two of which were pregnant, bustle around the small room, finishing up the preparations for the feast they made.
"What can I do?" she asked hesitantly.
"You can mash the potatoes while we set the table," a very pregnant Emily said. She flicked her hand over toward a white plastic bowl next to the stove.
She sauntered toward the bowl, taking the old-fashioned masher in her hand and continuously thrusted it onto the potatoes. They were pulverized under the harsh force of the smooth metal. Some days she feels like the potato-masher, strong and powerful, able to conquer anything that was thrown at her. Others, she feels like the potato, crushed and bruised and just waiting for the next swing. Today, she was the potato.
The other women in the kitchen scurried about, calling to each other every so often. Jackie couldn't even make eye contact with one of them. She just continued to mash and ignore the other women, as they were ignoring her. They chatted and laughed amongst themselves, completely unaware of the personal turmoil that boiled in Jackie's chest. She hated herself at this moment. Couldn't she just get a paper bag and die in a hole? No? Okay…
"You okay, Jackie?" Emily reached her hand to Jackie's shoulder, making the younger woman jump. "Oh," Emily chuckled. "I didn't mean to scare you." Emily smiled sweetly.
Jackie smiled weakly. Emily seemed nice, she wasn't blatant about the thoughts Jackie knew she contained in her head about her. "Just-" She shook her head. No need to make her feel guilty, too. "I'm fine," she smiled.
Emily smiled and nodded, turning back to the job she had at hand, rubbing a continuous circle on her bulging stomach. Jackie sighed.
"Oh, and Jackie?" She turned to Emily's voice. "You can just put the potatoes into that bowl." Emily pointed to a white bowl with an elegant, blue floral print on it. Jackie nodded.
By the time Jackie was scooping the potatoes in the specified bowl, everyone had left the kitchen and the noise in the rest of the house amplified. I deserve this, Jackie thought. I was a horrible person and I must suffer in silence.
Someone entered the kitchen again, but Jackie didn't look up. The person sighed.
"Jackie?" She was surprised to find that the person was Angie. What was she doing?
"Yeah?" Jackie questioned, turning cautiously to her, eyes glued to the floor.
When Angie didn't say anything further, Jackie looked up. "I don't blame you," Angie whispered. "I know that Seth and I can be a little over-bearing- a little too friendly, if you will. I knew we should have toned it down a little, but we were just so excited! This town doesn't get very many new-comers. It was just refreshing to see a new face. I thought it was only natural that you would decline our invitation. It just-" She took a deep breath."-stung a little to see you come here with Embry instead of us. But, it's in the past, so you can stop playing the 'oh, look at me, I'm such a horrible person that I'm going to sit silently in self-loathing' card. It's not a very attractive quality." Angie smiled, a playful light in her eyes. "I'm just kidding. But, seriously, we're okay."
Jackie sighed. "Originally, I just didn't want you guys to wait on me. I had mud all over me and I wanted a little relaxing time after a few more errands- which I still have to do." She laughed lightly, as Angie did. "But, when I dropped the U-Haul off, Embry pointed out the painfully obvious fact that I just don't fit in here, and I let my ego get in the way and fell for what he was spitting out." She sighed, stuffing her hands in her back pockets.
"I'm sorry. I know I'm not the best neighbor to have, but I thank you for putting up with me so far." Jackie smiled shyly at Angie.
"Nah, you're not that bad." Angie lightly hit Jackie in the shoulder. They both laughed and sighed.
"Seth hates me, doesn't he?" Jackie grimaced at Angie.
Angie thought for a moment. Her hair rolled across her bak as she shook her head. "No. Seth just isn't that kind of guy. As soon as you apologize to him, he'll accept you as a friend again." Angie smiled reassuringly at Jackie.
Jackie smiled. "Okay." Sh nodded her head and grabbed the potatoes, following Angie back out to the other people.
Jackie set the bowl on what looked like a buffet table and sat in her original seat, across from Seth. She smiled shyly and he watched Angie with question in his eyes.
"Okay," Emily clapped her hands together by the buffet table. "You all know how this goes, so have at it." She went to turn away and all the local guys started to stand up and get food. "Wait!" She yelled, spinning around (much too fast for a pregnant woman) and held her hands up. "Ladies first, gentlemen."
"Hey, Leah isn't a lady!" Someone yelled when all the ladies stood up.
A girl with really short hair and muscled arms turned, and stuck her tongue out, childishly, in the direction of the man who spoke out against her. That got a deep rumble of a laugh from the guys. Jackie smiled slightly and giggled.
After twenty minutes of eating and light chitchat, Jackie knew she couldn't put it off any longer. She took a deep breath.
"Hey, Seth?" When everyone looked at her, she waited. Angie got the hint and distracted the three other men at the table with some other topic of conversation.
"I'm sorry. I didn't intend on stabbing you in the back or making you feel like you aren't important to me, as a neighbor. I just didn't want to put you out by waiting for me and then my ego got in the way and- OOF!"
Seth suddenly had her in a bear hug and was squeezing while laughing. "It was hard to keep the facade up for as long as I did. I physically can't stay mad at someone for too long. It starts to hurt in my chest. But, I felt I needed to stick to this one for Angie's sake." He held her at arm's length and looked in her eyes with this goofy look that she couldn't help but giggle at.
Angie's mouth was agape and she was looking at him incredulously. "Do not-" she hit him in the shoulder with her bunched-up napkin- "put this on me, Seth Clearwater! We were tag-teaming this! We both had agreed that it wasn't the greatest thing that she could do, but it wasn't the worst either. It was a mutual decision."
Seth shook his head and mouthed 'no' to Jackie. Jackie smirked. Why had she ever doubted them, again? It was stupid not to like these two. They fit perfectly and could make you smile in the worst of situations.
A wolf howled in the distance. The house went dead-silent. Everyone was listening, waiting for something, waiting for- Jackie wasn't exactly sure what they were waiting for. It was something. By the looks of the people around her, it was something important.
Another howl echoed outside, this one sounding more urgent than the last. With that howl, the house was a flurry of motion. Everyone bustled around, preparing for something that eluded Jackie. Then it hit her- they were preparing for the wolves!
Were they dangerous? Did they hurt people? Are they why everyone is on edge? There are two pregnant women in the house. You've got to protect when there are things like wolves to be concerned about.
Jackie stood up quickly. Had she locked her front door? Are all the windows closed? Will she have a surprise guest when she gets home? She was now on edge, along with everyone else. She very obviously needed to prepare for things like this, just like the rest of the people in the house have.
In the mess of bodies, Jackie found Angie. "Hey," She grabbed Angie's shoulder and turned her to face her. "What's going on?"
All motion stopped. Everyone watched Jackie and Angie now, making Jackie very uncomfortable. "What?" Jackie couldn't move from her spot.
"I think it's time that your little friend went home, Ang." A man said as he pushed through the crowd. Wasn't his name Sam? Jackie couldn't remember.
"Uh, yeah. Jackie, go home." Angie looked Jackie right in the eye when she said this.
"Well, is there anything I can do to help?" Jackie only focused on Angie, the most familiar one in the room for her.
"Yes." Jackie waited for her to continue. "Go home, Jackie. Lock your doors and don't answer them until morning. Get some rest and we'll see you tomorrow."
Lock the doors? Don't answer them? What, is the wolf going to knock and ask politely to come in? One, two, three, I'll blow your house down! Seemed very unlikely. What was going on?!
"Lock my doors?"
"Just go home!" Angie exclaimed.
Jackie jumped back, startled by her volume. The wolf howled another three times in the distance. The guys were really getting antsy now.
"Ang," Seth warned.
Jackie can take a hint. "Alright. Well, it was nice meeting y'all. Maybe I'll see you again."
Once she reached the door, she grabbed her jacket and walked out without a backward glance.
Across the street, there were woods. And Jackie could have sworn she saw a man within them, watching the house, watching her. His eyes seemed to glow in the darkness, following her every move…
Lock her doors, Ang said?
So, I'm not dead! My computer crapped out on me and I didn't have access to internet for quite sometime, among other excuses that I can just pull out of my hat! :D Sorry, for the late update. Hope you enjoyed it, nonetheless.