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...
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2296 Review this Chapter
Time is funny sometimes. When I was with Paul and my boys, time seemed to fly like fast forward, never stopping for a single moment, never slowing down. One moment flashed to another with those boys. I was beginning to think they had no setting between off and high. My time with the Cullens flew by even faster. Between shopping with Alice (hell yeah!) and proper ‘family time' with Emmett and Rosalie, I felt cheated. It was like there weren't enough hours in my lifetime, and none of those hours were solely mine anymore. Meanwhile... all my intentions pulled me in other directions. But I was dead set on all the monsters in my life being happy. And maybe that was just that. I was dead.
"You should really sleep more," said Paul, a heavy (and very hot) arm draped around my shoulders as I snoozed in his arms.
I blinked sleepily at him. "I can sleep when I'm dead."
Paul frowned. "If you don't slow down, you'll be dead."
I had blown him off at that, closing my eyes again and dozing. Of course, he was probably right. Which was probably why I ignored him so completely. I hated it when he was right. Especially when I was wrong in the process. I felt him kiss the top of my head softly, which is probably about the most affectionate thing he's ever done in his life. I smiled and drifted to sleep. When I woke up, I was snug in my own bed, having smothered myself in my comforter in my sleep from the draft of my wide open window. Damn sneaky werewolf. He snuck me in. I yawned and stretched, getting up to shut the window. I could almost hear Rosalie in my head.
Rosalie: Oh, you poor thing! Didn't that dog think you could get a cold from all that wind?
Me: Probably not. He can't exactly feel the cold anymore.
Rosalie: You could have gotten so sick!! What would I have done then?
Me: Geez, I dunno. Go buy a nice baby doll or a Barbie or something?
Rosalie: Maybe you are sick and we just don't know it! Oh, how horrible!
Me: I'm sure Lissy would loan you a baby, if you don't mind that she's colored on all of them with pen.
Rosalie: Let me take your temperature!
Me: Emmett! Save me from your lunatic wifey!
Emmett: I have to go hunt bears, sorry.
Me: I'm doomed!
Rosalie: I got the thermometer, baby!
It was a horror show in my mind. I shook my head, yesterday's ponytail bobbing awkwardly where it had pulled and shifted to the side of my head and my school clothes from the day before sticky and sweaty where I had slept in them. I needed a shower. Pronto. I rubbed my eyes, unintentionally giving myself the biggest coon eyes you ever did see by smearing my mascara halfway down my cheeks. Oh yeah. That's hot.
I stayed in the shower for a long time. Longer than I really needed to. I should probably invest in a shower clock... one of those cool ones with a radio to sing along with. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I must admit that the best acoustics in the world are in my shower and in my car. Especially in my car when no one else is there. Yes, yes.
I got dressed as slowly as I bathed, throwing my hair into a messy bun. I had taken the time to straighten my bangs so they wouldn't frizz everywhere, but not the rest of my hair. I tucked them behind my ears and applied minimal makeup. I had made up my mind somewhere in the middle of my ridiculously long shower that I was staying home today... no matter what. Paul calls, wants to see me immediately? No. I'm busy. Leave me alone. Alice calls, wants to go shopping? Okay, maybe. But probably no. Rosalie calls, wants to have family time? Dear god no, even if I wasn't planning on staying home. For Emmett, maybe. Rosalie? Uh-uh.
I went down stairs, my feet leading me to the kitchen at my stomach's bidding for a late morning breakfast on such a lovely Saturday-almost-noon. Lucky Charms seemed appropriate, so I dished myself a bowl hurriedly, spilling the uber yummy marsh mellows and not so yummy cereal-cereal onto the counter.
"Ooh... Em-mutt made a mess," Lissy cooed from somewhere behind me. I smiled, turning around and squatting down to her level.
"Yeah huh I did," I said in my special Lissy voice, tickling her. She giggled instantly, and my heart panged. I'd missed this. Laughing with her, I scooped her up, balancing her on my hip. I kissed her temple and she wrapped her arms around my neck in one of her awkward, small child hugs. I finished pouring my cereal, filling the bowl with too much milk so that I spilled even more cereal than before. I brought Lissy and my bowl to the table, putting her in her booster seat and fetching her some graham crackers so she would sit still for more than thirty seconds. It was effective, and she stayed put while I ate.
"Em-em," Lissy said, sounding very much like she wanted something. She looked up at me expectantly through her swoop of pale blonde hair.
I cocked my head at her. "Yes, dear?"
"Angies," she said simply, a wide smile on her face. "Mo."
I gave her a stern look. "I don't speak baby, sweet thang. Be a big girl, thanks."
Lissy giggled happily. "Angeles. Movie!"
I rolled my eyes and tapped her nose. "Well I got that part!" I teased her. "I just don't know what you want with Angeles and a movie. Even Blue gets three clues..."
At that point, my sister burst into a full out fit of giggles, the sound infectious and a small laugh escaped me as well. And it was then I knew; I would be in Port Angeles tonight, on a date with the most precious, my baby sister. I stopped laughing when my mom came in to see what the fuss was about. I gave her the best smile I could, grabbing my bowl and taking it to the sink.
"Can I take Lissy to see a movie, mom?" I asked politely, rinsing out my bowl and shoving it in the dishwasher.
Mother crossed her arms. "What for? Nothing going on in La Push today? At Alice's?" mother asked, slightly venomous.
I crossed my own arms, turning on the defensive. "Can't I spend time with my sister of my own accord?"
She showed up her hands. "Look, I'm just saying, you've ignored her the past month. Why now?"
I pouted. "She asked me."
"She didn't have to ask in Gatlinburg."
My calmly collected expression cracked. That one had hurt. "That's not fair, mom," I said, a little firmer than I'd meant to. Behind us, I heard Lissy snacking on her graham crackers loudly.
Mother showed up her hands. "Whatever, Emmette. Just don't keep that baby out too late. It's not good for her."
I scowled. "I know that, thanks."
She shot me what I thought must be a ‘warning' look, but I basically ignored it. I picked Lissy up from her seat. "Let's get you ready, kid," I said, carrying her upstairs. She kept eating her graham crackers, oblivious of the goings on of the household, the way I hoped she would stay.
I fixed her hair into pig tails and dressed her in jeans, Keds, and a pink long-sleeved t shirt with a red heart on it. I left my hair messy, pulling a on hoodie over my tank top with jeans and a long-ignored pair of running shoes in my closet. I grabbed a light jacket for Lissy (theaters are always freezing in my experience), my purse and my keys and led her out the door. I was in the process of transferring Lissy's car seat from mother's car to the backseat of the jeep when my phone rang. Oh yeah. Only I could be this lucky.
"Hello?" I said, snapping the phone open and holding it between my ear and shoulder, trying to talk, secure the car seat, and keep an eye on my sister, who was moving ever closer to the woods at the edge of our lawn. All at once. I wasn't overly worried about Lissy, though. I knew that our house was inside the boundary line, which I was thankful for because of two reasons. One, vampires who were not the Cullens scared the bejeezus out of me, and two, it meant that Rosalie couldn't harass me in my place of residence.
"Emme." The voice was instantly recognizable, even if the number hadn't been.
I smiled in spite myself. "Hey, Balto."
There was a low groan on the other end and I laughed. "It's really not that funny, Emme. I don't know why..."
"Because it is funny. You're just too lame to see it."
"Har har," said Paul, not amused. "Are you busy tonight?"
My heart almost literally panged as my earlier resolution to spend the day wolf and vampire free left me. But I was already taking my sister to a movie, and I didn't want to let her down just yet. "Yeah, actually. I'm taking my sister to a movie in Port Angeles.
"Oh," said Paul flatly. "Too bad. We're doing the bonfire thing tonight."
Then I got creative.
"Aw," I said sarcastically. "Too bad. But you know, you could always come to Port Angeles with us."
I could almost hear him thinking. I bit my lip waiting on him to answer, leaning against the open door of the car. Lissy was playing just inside the woods, but I could still see her bright pink shirt. Finally, he answered.
"Alright. Give me a minute, I'll be over."
"You're amazing, Balto," I said, blowing a kiss into the receiver. I heard him laugh.
"I'll be there in a minute, just wait."
"Oh, I believe you," I said with a small laugh.
"Whatever, Em. Bye."
"Tootles." I hung up, throwing my phone in the passenger's seat. "Lissy!" I called, heading towards the edge of the woods where all I saw her pink shirt bobbing between the trees. She giggled and I went in after her, intent on stopping her before she sucked me into nature or something, looking at bugs and the wildlife for the rest of the afternoon. She'd been known to do that before, back in Gatlinburg. Living in the Smokies didn't leave you with a shortage of woods and furry little creatures and bugs to look at, believe me.
"Look!" Lissy squealed, pointing a small finger in the general direction of the deeper woods. I followed her direction, spotting what looked like a big dog several hundred feet off. Balto, clearly. I led Lissy out of the woods at that point, to the jeep where I buckled her into her seat. They didn't make those buckles for those of us with the average intellect to operate. They are designed for use by only the smartest of the smart, which was why it took me a few tries to get everything clicked where it should clack. By the time I'd finished, Paul had stumbled out of the woods, half dressed in shorts and flip flops, a solid polo over his shoulder. His hair was messy, as per usual, but he was otherwise in pretty good order. I smiled and waved him over, slipping into the driver's seat of the jeep.
Paul slammed the door behind himself, leaning around his seat and waving hello at my sister before he even acknowledged me. Sometimes, I think he likes her more than me. He turned back around and pulled his shirt on, a muffled "Hey, Em" filling the jeep, made nearly incoherent through the fabric of his shirt.
"Hey there, Balto," I said, cranking the car and pulling out of the driveway. Almost immediately, Paul turned on the radio, flicking stations.
"Don't call me ‘Balto,'" Paul complained, making Lissy laugh. "And tell your sister to stop kicking my chair." He glared at Lissy in the rearview mirror, and she laughed harder at him. I laughed, too, and Paul glowered.
I leaned over and pushed him slightly. "You're such a baby."
He smiled reluctantly. "Maybe."
"That's what I thought," he said smugly, leaning back in his seat. I chuckled and flicked the radio purposefully to a station he complained about often. He cast me a sideways glance and flicked the radio back. And so the war had begun. Violently, we flicked stations, the sport slowly becoming more and more angry and hostile. He won in the end by snapping the plastic knob off of the dial, swearing loudly as he did so.
"Paul!" I scolded, slapping his hand and sounding an awful lot like his mother for just a second there.
"Ha!" he exclaimed, "you didn't call me Balto for once." He looked smug, the radio knob still in his hand.
I glared at him, then returned my attention to the road. "You just broke my car and cursed in front of my sister," I seethed. "You're gonna pay for this one of these days, bucko."
Paul smirked at me darkly. "Looking forward to it," he said suggestively.
My cheeks flushed red and my throat got tight. "Paul!" I scolded again, losing my eye on the road and my tone almost identical to my patronizing earlier.
He chuckled, and Lissy chuckled with him for lack of knowing anything better to do with the situation she'd watched unfold. "Just shut up and drive, Emme, before you kill us all."
"Yes sir," I muttered, my eyes back on the road again.
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