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 1992 Review this Chapter
“How was your first day?” my mother asked as soon as Bella and I were in the door that afternoon.
I threw my messenger bag on the couch as I turned to her, “Fabulous. Hunter Crowley never shuts up and… I’m pretty sure he thinks we’re about to go out. My teachers are all fresh-out-of-college weirdoes with no sense of how to control a classroom, except for Mr. Macpherson, who is probably older than the Roman Empire…”
That was just the beginning of my rant as I took Lissy from my mom; the dear little tyke had been reaching for me since I walked in the door. I continued to spit the pros and cons of Forks High from the kitchen where I was feeding Lissy applesauce. It was a messy event, purplish Blues Clues applesauce flying around the kitchen. Bella was cackling over a particularly animated reenactment of my lunchtime experience sitting between Edward and his sister, Alice Cullen. I thought she was going to die of severe lack of oxygen when she literally stopped breathing she was laughing so hard.
“…Really, Bella, it’s not funny,” I said, wiping Lissy’s face with a washcloth. “I felt like I had some disease or something; like they thought if they touched me they would be infected with my evil Emme-itis germs.”
Bella cackled louder and I sighed, sending Lissy into the living room with Bella and my mom while I cleaned up the applesauce. That was our ritual, the after school snack adventure for Lissy and Emme. It had started when she was probably seven or eight months old, chewing on baby crackers from Gerber while I rambled nonsense about my day to her. It became habit after a while.
I tossed the washcloth into the sink and stormed to the living room, where Lissy was explaining something animatedly to mother and Bella, complete with sound effects and brows. I sat down in Uncle Charlie’s sagging lazy boy, slipping out of my heels and paying attention to Lissy’s story about her experience in the backyard today. Apparently she had found quite the selection of tiny green bugs at the edge of the forest before rain had forced her inside.
“There was a billion of ‘em,” said Lissy enthusiastically, throwing out her arms and twirling on her toes.
Bella laughed one more time and went to the kitchen, to cook dinner, I presumed. She had said something to Edward in the car about needing to cook tonight, considering she hadn’t cooked in ages. I had had a fit with that mentally, imagining how helpless my dear uncle was in the kitchen. I snickered, picking up my bag and pulling out a stack of papers around an inch thick. I dropped them in my mother’s lap. They were the standard, first day of school type of forms. Basically the school needed to know every little thing about me since I was in the womb.
“Sign it,” I said, heading to the kitchen to aide Bella in feeding the army. I figured she had been cooking for two for so long that she could use some help preparing the grub for five… especially if one of us happens to be an extremely picky four year old.
“Need a hand?” I offered, not giving her the chance to reply as I reached under the counter by the sink for a pan.
“Uhm, sure,” she said, setting out steak to marinade.
I placed the pan on the stove, poured the oil and turned it on, then began hunting for a decent sized bowl. “I’m warning you now that I’m only really good at frying and toasting things,” I said. “You want cheese toast? You got it. You want fries? You got it. You want cornbread? You so got it…”
Bella snickered, pulling a bag of potatoes from the pantry, “What if I want eggs? Or maybe some sort of muffin?”
My face was in the fridge, hunting down the half used package of corn meal I had seen the night before. My reply was a slightly muffled, “I might burn the house down.”
“Are you serious?” scoffed Bella, wrapping the potatoes in foil and poking ventilation holes in them.
I measured out two cups of cornmeal and added salt and sugar, “Oh yeah. I’m pretty horrible with anything that doesn’t involve grease, the toaster oven, or the microwave.”
“We’ll work on that,” Bella said sarcastically, putting the potatoes in the oven.
“You can try,” I replied mockingly, adding water to the bowl and mixing it with a vengeance.
I finished stirring and started spooning small little lumps of the doughy goop into the now hot oil. The moment it hit the oil, I felt a rush of home hit me. I blinked, and I was ten years old again, short for my age and standing on a stool in front of the stove dropping little lumps of dough into the grease. I took a sharp breath. I could almost feel my dad, large and bulky, hovering behind me while I cooked. I smiled, turning the cornbread over.
“Could you get me a plate with a napkin or two spread over it, Bella?” I asked calmly.
Bella shuffled to the cabinet and grabbed a poor piece of supermarket china with all the flowers washed off. She passed it to me and left the kitchen, muttering something about homework. I acknowledged her exit with a nod and fished the bread out of the pan and placed it on the plate. I finished up around fifteen minutes later and turned off the grease, taking it off the hot eye and covering the plate of cornbread with a new napkin. I left the kitchen, intent on starting my own homework. It was my first day, sure, but I had transferred in the middle of the year - the middle of the week, even. It was Tuesday.
I never liked Tuesdays. They’re like my own personal Mondays, only not everyone is in a bad mood. I guess it’s kind of better that way, though. Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around, and on Tuesdays there were lots of happy people just waiting to be brought down… Goodness, I really am awful, aren’t I? I brought my things to the kitchen table and set to work on the five billion math problems that my teacher assigned. I could already tell we weren’t going to get along as well as we should.
I was on problem seventeen when the phone rang. I stood up, continuing to count on my fingers as I went. I picked up the cordless and pressed talk.
“Hello?” I said, sitting back down at the table and realizing how weird it was of me to answer the phone like I lived here. Shouldn’t I have said ‘Swan Residence’ or something like that… probably. Did I… No.
“Uhm, hi… is Bella there? Wait, who is this? You’re not another bloodsucker, are you?” the voice on the other end of the line was most definitely male and angry.
“Whoa buddy, slow down,” I said nonchalantly, scratching down an answer. “Yes, Bella is here. She’s upstairs doing homework. This is her cousin, Emme Fenway, and I am NOT a ‘bloodsucker’. What the hell are you even talking about? Who are you?” I said, getting more heated as I thought about it.
He had just called me a bloodsucker. If that wasn’t a what the hell moment, I don’t know what is. I listened to the crackling landline a moment. There was silence until he finally spoke up.
“Bella has a cousin?”
“I’m here, aren’t I?” Look! Sarcasm!
“Ha ha ha, funny. My name’s Jacob. Can you please go get Bella?”
My heart nearly stopped. “Jacob Black? As in the Jacob Black? As in the little boy who broke all my Barbie dolls Jacob?”
“Emmette? Emmette McCarty?” disbelief was dripping from every syllable.
“I’m touched you remember me so well, Jacob,” I said slowly, starting another problem.
He laughed. “Funny, Emmette. You know what?”
“What?” I indulged. Jacob and I had been fairly good friends’ way back when- in the days that Bella and I were like sisters. I sort of followed her around La Push apologizing for her agonizingly effective attempts at making everyone else as miserable as she was. Jacob followed around, too, sometimes, and we played when he wasn’t too busy destroying my Barbie’s or something like that.
“You should come see me out here in La Push. You know, before you decide to go back to Tennessee indefinitely.”
I laughed, “Why? Did you miss me or something, Jacob?”
“Ha, no. I just figured you missed me.”
“Cocky, aren’t you?” I shot back, giving up on my math homework and jotting down random numbers. The kid next to me said she didn’t check for accuracy, just for completion. Maybe we would get along.
“Just a little. So are you gonna come visit me or not?”
“I don’t know, Jacob. I don’t know if I want you breaking my big girl toys,” I said, teasing. “I’m kind of attached to my ipod… and my phone…”
He roared with laughter, just as Bella made her way into the kitchen to start the steak. She looked at me curiously and I covered the receiver. Like he couldn’t hear me by just one little gesture.
“It’s Jacob Black. He wants to talk to you.” I told her. Bella’s eyes went wide and she mouthed something at me that clearly stated ‘I’m not here.’
I took my hand off the receiver, “Hey, Jacob? Didn’t you want to talk to Bella?”
“Yeah, is she there?” He asked, ridiculously hopeful.
“Sure is,” I reached out the phone to Bella, speaking loud enough for him to still hear. “Bella, phone!”
If looks could kill, I would be six feet under. She snapped at Jacob a little and went back upstairs to talk to him. I grinned to myself, jotting down some more numbers. The conversation over head was getting heated. I snorted to myself, slamming my math book shut and hopping up to get to the English torture of the evening. We had workbook pages. I despise bookwork. It’s horrible.
“You,” screeched Bella, storming into the kitchen and slamming the phone on the hook. I was slightly peeved. I had just gotten into my rhythm on those questions and was flying through them.
“Yes, Bella dear?” I antagonized, feigning innocence.
“You so just hung me out to dry,” she said, slumping in the seat beside me. I patted her hand.
“It was for the best,” I snickered. She jerked away.
“Anyway,” Bella continued, glancing shiftily at me, “What were you two talking about? He said something about us coming to see him at La Push.”
I blinked. “Well, after he called me a bloodsucking fiend, he asked me to come and visit him. I had to remind him who I was, though. You know, with the whole Barbie incident?”
Bella’s eyes got wide, like I might have been let in on some deranged secret. I looked at her quizzically for a moment and she put on a straight face. It was painfully forced. Half of me wanted to ask what had her panties up in a bunch, but the rest of me screamed that I really didn’t want to know. I sided with my more reasonable half, backing off and out of interrogation mode for the time being.
Bella snorted nonchalantly, but her voice betrayed her with its shakiness. “They never did go back to normal after he yanked off their heads, did they?”
“Never,” I agreed, returning to my problems. Bella picked up the phone again and dialed.
“Who ya calling?” I chirped from my seat.
“Edward.” What a simple reply…
“What for?” Take that, Isabella Swan.
“To ask if he’ll give us a ride to La Push.”
I glanced out the window at the ‘green’ car and the truck. “Because we don’t have our own transportation, right?” It was just a small dose of sarcasm.
“Like I would subject you to that,” she spat. “Hello?”
She left the room and I packed up my things, unaware that I had just witnessed tip-off number two.
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