A new score of vampires threatens the inhabitants of Forks. The Cullens barely escape the massacre but are forced to return to help save what is left of the town. But with Emma on the fritz and Bella's own conflicts of right and wrong, vampires or werewolves, the future of Forks does not look very promising. The worst part… vampires that don't know when to quit keep popping up. And people keep dying. This is the much anticipated sequel to Nightshade. It will be finished before Breaking Dawn is published!
All of this belongs to Stephenie Meyer. If you know what is good for you, you will review.
4. Chapter 4
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Embry sat up, panting heavily. Sweat dripped off his burning body, driving him insane with the heat. He was always hot, always burning, and he was tired of it. He looked around. The sheets were twisted around him, only adding to the constant heat. His door creaked open ever so slowly. His mother’s head peaked in. She didn’t know how to treat him now, now that he had suddenly changed so much. She feared him, of what he was slowly becoming. Neither knew what to say to the other, how to interact. She breathed a sigh of relief whenever she saw him sitting up in bed. It was late in the afternoon- he had been on patrol last night and didn’t sneak back into the house until almost four in the morning.
“Are you all right, Embry?” she asked in her light voice.
Embry looked at his mother’s pretty face. She really was a very pretty woman. In her mid-thirties, her face bore only a scant few laugh lines, and those were not deep at all. She had waist long ebony hair and large inky eyes. She had gotten pregnant with Embry when she was seventeen, and raised him alone for many years. Then she met Gary Aldrige, A man in his early forties, he too was good looking, though Embry personally thought that his mother could do better. She did seem to love him though, and Gary certainly adored his mother. Together, they had three young children. Sometimes, it felt like she loved the Aldriges more than she loved her Call, but he knew otherwise. Their fights were getting harder and more viscous. He wanted to confess everything to her, but could not. He had been forbidden to. Even though it would have made his life so much easier, he had to keep them ignorant to keep them safe.
“Yeah, Mom. I’m fine,” Embry panted.
“Nightmare?” Melina Call-Aldrige asked her son with a comforting smile.
“Uh-huh, just a nightmare.”
“Can I come in?” she asked timidly.
Embry bobbed his head, “Yeah. It is your house,”
Melina chuckled at her son’s flippant remarks. She truly treasured the boy in front of her. It surprised her just how quickly he was turning into a man. And quite a man he was. He loomed over them all, even taller than Gary. And Gary was six-three. There was an angsty aura that surrounded him, a maturity beyond his years. He seemed to possess the strength of many men, a deadly and poised strength, ready to eliminate any threat that came his way. Yet he was still gentle with his siblings, treating them with such a restraint and love almost impossible of a man with his sheer size.
“It is,” she laughed gently as she sat on his bed. “What was your nightmare about?”
Embry flinched. “Nothing,” he lied quickly.
Melina shook her head. “I can tell when you are lying, you know.”
“I know,” he agreed.
“Then why lie?” she countered.
“Because you won’t like the truth,” he whispered softly.
Melina blanched. Her son was correct in that assumption. “I heard what you were saying,” she confessed.
“I talked in my sleep?” Embry asked, surprised. He had never done that before.
“More like screamed,” his mother replied.
“What did I say?” Embry was almost afraid of the answer.
“Nonsensical things, mostly.” Melina answered, “You did say a name several times, but I couldn’t understand what it was. It almost sounded like Embry,”
Embry. No, he thought. He was not saying Embry. It was Emma. Of course he would say her name. He dreamed about her all of the time, she was almost constantly the center of his thoughts. Amusingly, they did have similar names.
“Hm, I don’t remember dreaming of anyone,” he lied again, trying to make it sound like he was not lying.
Melina gave her son an appraising look. He couldn’t tell if she was on to him, or not. However, she let it pass. “Maybe I heard you wrong,”
They both knew that she didn’t.
Stretching, Embry threw off the bed sheets. His mother looked on his nearly bare form in awe. When did he have the time to become so muscular? He was an avid football player and she was an avid fan. But, he had never once gone to the gym and school had been out for almost two months. Coach Creek had called again to complain that his star quarterback had missed practice… again. Melina was fed up with her son’s obstinate ways and had decided to do something about it.
“I think I’m going over to Jacob’s today,” he informed his mother.
“No,” she said seriously.
“Huh?” Embry turned, sure that he had heard her wrong.
“You, young man, are in serious trouble. You have been sneaking out every night. Don’t think I haven’t noticed, young man. And now you are skipping football practice. I don’t know what to do with you! You know that you have to get a scholarship or else there is no way that you can go to college! You’re just throwing your life away for some midnight gang, Embry! I won’t have it!” she raved and ranted.
Embry flinched. “I am not throwing my life away, Mom. You just have to trust me,”
“No. I don’t trust you. You are not worthy of my trust, Embry Allen Call. I am so angry with you, I can’t even talk to you. Have you even gotten your summer reading done yet?”
“No? Ha. I’m not surprised. You used to be my responsible little man, but now that you’re all grown up and have joined that ridiculous gang- which I also forbade and was completely ignored- you have lost of your responsibility. You are out every night romping around and doing only God knows what and I have had it. You are here by grounded for the rest of the summer. If I even catch you so much as looking out the window, there will be no more football. No more Jacob and Quil. No more anything. You are to sit in this room- no computer, no television, no magazines, only your summer reading. You are not to leave until you have finished it all. And I have inspected it to make sure that it is satisfactory. You will keep the door open at all times, and the windows closed. Is that clear?” she yelled.
Embry nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” He was used to his mother’s tirades. As much as they loved each other, it was impossible for them to be in the same room with yelling. Or at least, Embry being yelled at by a furious Melina. He was so used to it that her words meant almost nothing. But if he thought Melina was bad, it was nothing compared to Gary. Gary- who truly loved Embry as a son, and wanted what was best for him, was outraged out Embry’s disregard for his mother’s rules. Gary yelled at him every once in a while- mostly when he made Melina cry, but those were some horrible rants. No one ranted better than Gary. Except for maybe Paul on a good and eloquent day. Their words had no effect on him any more. He had heard every reason and argument in the book, and still, he would not give up his duty to the pack.
“Good,” Melina gave her son a curt nod before storming out of the room.
Embry waited until he heard her footsteps below him. Miles and Mitchell were watching cartoons. Embry groaned, it was Saturday. He could smell the waffles that his mother made every Saturday morning. Jenny was somewhere, probably with Paws, their German Shepherd. He had no idea where Gary was, and he didn’t care. Pulling on a clean shirt and a pair of jeans, Embry slid open his window. Despite the fact that his room was on the second story, he didn’t think that the jump was too big.
He landed on the ground with a soft thud. Not even stopping to look back, he took off running. His mother had to look out the window at that time. “Embry Call!” she screamed, loud enough for him to hear. “HOW DARE YOU!”
Quietly sobbing, she returned to making her waffles. He was already a lost hope to her.
I sat beside Edward at the piano. His graceful hands trilled lightly over the ivory keys as we both savored the music. It was such a soothing sound. We were currently alone in the house. I lay my head against his shoulder, content with my little world. I had long since forgiven Edward for misinterpreting my emotions. I wasn’t jealous, I tried to convince myself, just concerned for Emma. The werewolves were volatile around vampires, that much was always apparent, even to little ol’ human me. Still, I could not help the slightly fear that welled inside of me. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps Emma and Embry could be happy together. Perhaps they could overcome the natural animosity and stay in love forever.
“What is it?” I asked, aware that he had suddenly stopped playing.
“Dogs,” he hissed.
“What?” I asked. “Jake’s here?”
“No,” he shook his head, “Not your friend. Embry Call,”
Now it was my turn to stiffen. “No,”
“He just wants to talk to Emma. It’s all right, Bella. There is nothing to fear,” Edward tried to calm me. It had little effect.
“No!” I snapped, “Besides, Emma isn’t here. She’s out with Rosalie,”
“She’ll be back, soon,” he reminded me.
“Make him go away, Edward. Please,” I begged.
Edward sighed. “I do not understand why you are fighting the inevitable, Bella.”
“I don’t understand why you are willing to let your sister die at the hands of the werewolves! You yourself said that the hate is instinctive, that nothing can be done about it. I don’t want her in danger, the obvious danger that comes from just being near them. But suddenly, it doesn’t seem to matter to you anymore!”
Edward chuckled. “You’re starting to sound like I used to.”
“What happened to that conviction, Edward?” I asked heatedly.
“Bella, you are completely right. The dogs are volatile and ruthless and lack control. But to their imprints, their life mates, they tend to be more gentle, more restrained, tender almost. They will never hurt another’s imprint, that is an unspeakable horror to them. It would destroy whoever completely, and no wolf would ever do that to his brother. From that perspective, Emma is completely safe. You, on the other hand, are human and not an imprint. That is why I am so fearful to let you away from my sight whenever one of them is around. They won’t have such restraint around you, and you cannot defend yourself from them.” Edward explained.
I sighed. He would put it so poetically. Still, I reasoned that even if she was protected because she was an imprint, it still did not necessarily cancel out the primal instinct to destroy anything and everything vampiric. In a thousand years, I knew that I would never trust them completely with Emma. She was too kind and sweet, she would never suspect them of doing anything wrong. But I knew better. I knew that eventually one of them would try something.
The doorbell rang. Edward was instantly gone from my side. I got up as I heard the door swing open. If I could, I would be growling and hissing like a vampire. That’s how angry I was to see Embry standing before the door.
“Is Emma here?” Edward was kind enough let Embry speak his question out loud.
“No. She is out with Rosalie shopping.” Edward replied civilly. I was surprised that they spoke to each other in an affable manner, like they were not mortal enemies. Had Embry’s imprinting changed it all that much? Had the world gone tospy-turvy in my sleep?
“Oh. Damn. Thanks, dude.” Embry turned to leave.
Out of curiosity, Edward called out, “What did you need my sister for?”
Embry flushed bright red. “We’re having a bonfire tonight, and…”
“Oh, I see.” Edward nodded. “What time do you want me to send her up?”
“I can pick her up at six-thirty,” Embry replied.
“If you think that that is best. She will be ready,” Edward even went as to give Embry as slight grin.
Embry nodded his head in acknowledgment. “Thanks, Edward.”
“It’s no problem, Embry.”
No more words were said. Edward watched Embry disappear into the forest. I was sure that as soon as he was in the forest, away from prying eyes, he would strip down and transform. The wolves of La Push, at least, were reducing their carbon footprint by running everywhere.
“Do you think that that is a good idea?” I asked Edward several minutes later, whenever I was sure that Embry had had ample time to leave. We still had not moved from the door.
Edward nodded, slowly. “Perhaps. I believe that tonight, Embry shall confess his imprinting to her,”
I flinched. “Then, she probably shouldn’t go.”
“Why do you insist on being so damn stubborn, Bella?” Edward cried exasperatedly. “You cannot try to shelter Emma from the real world, no matter how naive she truly is. It is unfair for you to try to keep something like this secret from her, especially whenever it could so drastically change her life,”
“Or end it,” was my heated reply.
“Yes, you’re right.” Edward agreed with me, “There is always the possibility that the natural animosity could be the end of Emma’s life. It could be the end of any one of our lives. But you don’t seem to care about any of us. Just Emma,”
“Now that is not true, Edward Cullen, and you know it!” I screamed at him, tear clouding my vision. “You know damn well that I love each and every one of you. It’s just that Emma is so young… so naive as you put it. She doesn’t understand the danger in the world. She doesn’t get that there are bad vampires, bad wolves. She just thinks that we are all nice and good and that nothing bad is ever going to happen. I tried to tell her- to explain, but she didn’t listen.
“It’s my fault if she dies, Edward. I was the one who introduced her to them, tried to get them to be friends. If I lose my best friend over this, then I don’t know what to do! She can’t die, Edward! She just can’t!” I started to sob.
Edward pulled his arms comfortingly around me. He held me tight against his body, soothing me. “I promise, Bella. She won’t die. She is much smarter than you are giving her credit for. She knows that if the situation gets dangerous, she needs to leave. And she will. Self-preservation first. That’s the vampires unspoken law.”
I sniffled, “So, no matter what, even if you have a mate, you always look out for yourself first? That doesn’t seem very fair.”
“It’s not like that, Bella. I follow the self-preservation rule as well.”
I looked up at Edward, startled. “Yo… you do?”
He nodded. “Of course I do. You are my entire world, my entire existence, the very core of my essence. I will always do everything to save you. You are everything to me and if it were to come down to saving you and saving me, I would immediately make sure that you get away. Since you are myself and I follow the self-preservation rule, I get you to safety.”
That was so beautiful. I felt my heart flutter bashfully. Edward grinned at my erratic pulse. “Then I suppose that I’ll have to follow the self-preservation rule, too.”
Edward stiffened. “Only if you actually save yourself,” was his only answer.
I sighed. Whenever I was a vampire, I could protect Edward the way he protected me. That’s what lovers did.
I wrung my hands together as Emma, smiling, clambered into Embry’s truck. She looked so beautiful tonight. I feared deeply for her. Edward comfortingly rubbed his hands up and down my arms. I was too tense that night to sleep until she came back.
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