Emme Fenway's life is heating up, spurred on by her father's death and an impromptu move across the country.
That heat isn't the problem, though. The problem is that Quileute boy, and he's bringing a heat all his own...
10. Stop That.
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2045 Review this Chapter
I'm a very honest person. So I feel no guilt when I say that Edward Cullen is extremely good at harassing people. He was everywhere at school on Monday. Even in my classes, and how exactly his Senior butt managed that, I'll never know. Maybe he really was just that good. Who knows? Not me. But I do know that if I could rip him to shreds and toast marsh mellows over him, I would. In a heartbeat.
"Emme! Emme, wait!" Edward called as I attempted to force my way through the crowd to my car. Story of my day. What the hell did he want now? He had stopped me after third hour to tell me that I smelled nice, though it sounded fairly sarcastic. I had applied extra DO in gym after that. Did he feel like insulting my hair cut now?
Now, I will admit that my hair is looking a little shabby. Split ends and the like. The weather of the Pathetic North Wet does notagree with my hair, lemme tell you. I wheeled around to face Edward and he grabbed my arm so I couldn't get away like I did after lunch, springing into the nearest girl's room.
"I think you should come and visit this afternoon, Emme," he said, his eyes cast above my head to the parking lot as he spoke. "Alice bought you some things on her last shopping trip and Emmett is as close as he could ever get to dying to meet you."
I stared at him stupidly. "Why now?"
Edward continued to peer over my head. "Why not?"
Following his gaze, my eyes fell on an old, 1980's model two tone Ford that I had definitely seen once before. Memories of my disastrous trip to La Push came flooding back, including parking beside that same old Ford. My eyes flashed to the tall boy-gone-man leaning against the cab and lit up. "I think I have plans, Eddie," I said, trying to shake his arm away from me. Useless, I know, but I still tried.
Edward's grip on my arm tightened a fraction. "No. You'll run off with that dog."
"Look, Edward," I eased, trying to shift away again, "I know you feel some weird... obligation... to ‘protect' me from the guys, but really, it's not necessary. It's just the boys."
"I don't think you fully understand, Emme. The dangers that the wolves pose..." he started, but I cut him off.
"Are nonexistent?" I tried, finally pulling away from his iron grip because he let me. I glared at him and rubbed my arm where I was sure I had Edward-shaped bruises. "Just back off, Eddie," I said bluntly, turning away from him and stepping deliberately away.
"Emme!" I heard Edward holler after me. I turned around to make sure he wasn't following me. He wasn't. "If I'm not back by the morning, send in the troops!" I yelled sarcastically, making Mike Newton look at me funny. "Take the warpath!" I added, earning a strange look from Eric Yorkie as well. Not that I really cared, all that much. I continued down my own personal warpath, Paul and his truck at the very bloody end.
I approached him with a scowl, smiling while showing too many teeth. "Hello, Balto," I said cheekily, tossing my messenger bag in the bed. I hadn't seen him since Friday night when he had split early from my house, but I'd spent most of Saturday morning on the phone with Jared, listening to his ‘expert analysis' on the subject. When we hung up, the general consensus was that Paul had been pissed when he got there, Quilly Ateara made fun of him a little and pushed him over the edge, so he decided to run before phasing in front of me again. And then he'd given the phone to Kim and I had gotten all of the latest gossip without all the weird pack plural. Oh heck yes.
Paul cast a downward glance at me. "Get in the truck," he ordered gruffly. I stared.
"What about my car?" I asked, blinking.
He shrugged. "Jared and Kim will come and get it. He owes me anyway."
I nodded, taking his word for it. I had just recently been informed that Jared was Paul's baby brother, so I didn't really want to know why he owed him anything. I didn't want to be knowledge-keeper to whatever sibling rivalry they had going on. Instead, I clambered into the truck from the driver's side, putting up the middle console to sit beside him. Paul squished himself inside the cab somehow after I'd settled in his seat, comically half-squatting to slide into the truck. He was a little too tall for the Ford, which was at least a foot shorter than him.
He cranked the car to life and maneuvered us out the parking lot, through Forks and down Quileute Road to the rez, faint music screaming in the background. I cast a sideways glance at him through my bangs. He drove refreshingly carefully, both hands actually on the wheel. I smiled slightly. Finally, a safe driver. I was beginning to doubt their existence.
"Where are we going?" I asked as the song switched. He shot me a stupid look then returned his eyes to the road.
"La Push, smart one," he said with a chuckle.
I rolled my eyes. "Okay, wrong question. My bad. Why are we going to La Push?"
Another stupid look. "I thought it was obvious."
He smiled brightly, eyes still on the road. "Well in that case, let me make it clear. I'm kidnapping you."
If I was drinking something, I would have choked. "Wha? Kidnapping me?"
"Not literally," he clarified, then thought about it. "Well I guess yeah, literally, but you get the idea."
I glared at Paul. "No, I don't get it. What the hell?"
Paul spared a glance from the road and waggled a finger at me. "Now now, temper, temper."
I sputtered a sound of disbelief. "Look who's talking."
"Hilarious," I insisted.
Paul grunted and I knew the conversation was over, but whatever. I was done with the verbal sparring anyway. I leaned my head against his shoulder, the cloth of his t shirt warm against my skin. I sighed, closing my eyes. The music had stopped yelling, but seemed louder now that we'd shut up, and I could pick the lyrics. Tantric. Astounded. I smiled. He had good taste. I felt him shrug his shoulder beneath me and lifted my head, noting we were still on Quileute Road. I guess he just wanted me in my own seat. I sat up straight, contorting my position slightly so that I could kick him playfully. Paul elbowed me back, which hurt a little more than I'd care to admit.
"It's raining," I said bluntly as the first few drops of rain pelted the windshield.
"My book bag is in the back. Pull over."
I grabbed the wheel and started tugging to the right, forcing him to pull over. I clicked out of my seat belt and hopped car, climbing the back wheel so that I could reach my now damp book bag from the bed of the truck and climbing back in. Paul looked pissed. I grinned at him sheepishly and slammed the door. "Sorry, Balto, but that biology book in there is sacred."
"Sacred?" he snorted.
I nodded solemnly. "Sacred."
Paul rolled his eyes, then he ignored me blatantly. I sighed, settling in a corner of the cab, propping my feet in his lap. I closed my eyes again and the music shut off. How courteous, I thought sarcastically. I felt the car pick up speed slightly then slow. I peeked an eye open at Paul, then out the window. Nothing but green. I closed my eyes again. I was just starting to drift when Paul pushed my feet off his lap. "We're here," he all but growled.
I groaned, getting out of the car. "Where is here?"
Paul glanced at me dumbly, grabbing my book bag for me and slinging it over his shoulder. "My house."
My mouth formed a small ‘o' in realization and I followed him inside. Paul left me in the foyer, storming up stairs with my messenger bag to stash it, my guess. I stepped around the staircase, into a small living room full of furniture that should have been replaced a few years ago and screamed late eighties early nineties. Jared was sprawled on one of the couches, and a woman I had never met before I my life was perched in an armchair. I fought the urge to gulp. The word parents was attacking my conscious.
"Hey, Emme," said Jared, noticing my presence and sitting up straight. "Take a seat."
I nodded, sitting down as daintily as I thought I could manage without looking like a robot. "Thanks, J."
"Don't mention it." He returned his attention to the base ball game on the TV screen. It looked like something Uncle Charlie would watch, old and obviously on the ESPN Classic station. I tried to watch it, but lost interest. I picked at my jeans. Why was I even here? I didn't even like these people that much. I looked out the door where I could see the stairs. No Paul. I turned my head, getting the panorama of the room. The woman in the chair had her eyes directly on me. Our eyes locked and I was trapped.
"I'm Virginia Rushing," she said primly, her tone and expression unreadable, "Paul and Jared's mother.
"I'm sorry," I said meanly without thinking. I slapped a hand over my mouth, eyes wide. My dad would be embarrassed. He was always really big on respect and elders, usually when the two subjects coincided. "I'm sorry," I said again, this time sincerely, "that shouldn't have happened. I'm Emme Fenway."
Virginia nodded. "So I've heard."
Beside me, Jared grunted a hardly contained laugh. His mother shot him a look. I smiled, almost nervously. There was pounding from the stairs as Paul reappeared, t shirt and jeans from earlier missing in favor of athletic shorts. His bare feet slapped against the floor as he turned sharply around the end post of the railing, all but throwing himself into the room and plopping in the other arm chair beside Virginia. I stared at him with wide eyes, hoping he would realize I did not appreciate what he just did.
"See you met mom," he said lightly, propping his hands behind his head.
I shot him an exasperated look. "Yeah. Sure ‘nuff did."
"Good," Paul said. "We're past that."
He sprang to his feet, reaching for me and pulling me up as well. I squealed a little and he laughed. "Stop being a baby," he teased. I looked at Jared for some support. He shrugged.
"Don't look at me," said Jared. "You should enjoy him while his in a good mood. They don't last long."
"Right," I said as confidently as possible, being drug to the unknown upstairs against my will. He marched me in front of him, directing me to the first door on the left as he bypassed me to the door at the end of the hall. Slightly dazed, I entered, the woodsy smell I had begun to expect from my pack friends filling the air inside the room. There were dusty trophies on the shelf against the wall, CDs and a stereo balanced carefully atop a dresser, teetering on the brink of being gravity's victim.
Clothes littered the floor, and I kicked a few of them aside to sit on the bed. A Carhartt jacket was hung on the bed post by its hood. Guess he doesn't need that anymore. I smiled to myself, just as Paul slipped inside the room. "Catch," he said, tossing something red at me. I caught it, flipping the rubbery feeling Nokia in my hands.
"Huh?" I asked, four or five questions in one word for simplicity.
"Call your mom. Tell her you're spending the night with Leah Clearwater," he said, sitting on the bed beside me.
I laughed. "Ready to get rid of me already, Balto?"
"No," he laughed, "not really."
Smiling, I dialed the number. He really was in a good mood. "Hey mom..."
"You're staying here."
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