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"I really felt for kids like Embry, whose parents didn't know what they were..." Embry's mom screams. He stands there and takes it in silence. Three in the morning and his best friend's breaking through the bars on the window, all to remind him what his duty is.

really wanted to write this.

1. Duty

Rating 5/5   Word Count 903   Review this Chapter

She screams at me. Screams. And I stand there and take it. Though each word falls on me like a blow, I am still. And silent. And above all, calm.

“What’s wrong with you? Don’t you trust me any more? I’m your own mother, damn it, and I’m all you’ve got! What is it, Embry? What are you doing?”
Saving your life. Every day, again and again. No matter what it costs me. I bow my head and let the words fall onto the back of my neck like the chops of an axe. Execution.

“Drugs? Sex? A gang? A cult? You can tell me. Tell me.” Her voice grows sweet here, tender, heartbroken. It’s even harder than the anger, hearing the sadness in her tone and knowing I can do nothing. “Please, Embry. I can help you, whatever it is. Stop sneaking out. Just tell me. Please. I’m begging. I have to know. I have to. You’re my son, Embry. I love you. Why won’t you just tell me? Come on?”

She waits. I wait. Silence.

I have patrol tonight. I dream of running fast and far with the ground firm beneath me and leaving this behind. Only for a while. After all, I can’t pull a Jake and not come back. I have my mother’s life to protect, even if she doesn’t know it.

“No. You won’t, will you?” More silence. “That’s it. You’re grounded again. And this time I’m going to stop you from going out. There will be a lock on the door and bars on the windows when you get home from school.”

“Mom…” I say, softly.

“What? Going to break down?”

I shake my head. “I can’t tell you. I’m sorry.”

I’m sitting on my bed that night, trying not to think about how many attempts on my life Sam’s going to make tomorrow, when I hear a rattle against the window. I jump a little, and then a familiar deep voice comes.

“Open the goddamn window, Embry!”

“What…” the hell are you doing outside my window at three in the morning, Quil? Little uncomfortably Romeo and Juliet for my preference, thanks.

“Where the hell were you? You’re on patrol. I had to cover for you while I was supposed to be with Claire!”

Stupid imprinted people and their stupid imprinting. I shove the pillow over my face and groan to express my disgust. “Sorry to interrupt your child-molesting quality time, buddy, but I couldn’t file through the iron bars on my window fast enough.”

He grasps one of them- I hear the shake. Could he really not have noticed it before? “Embry,” he hisses, and I know he’s close to loosing it, “There’s a line. You’re crossing it. For the ten thousandth time, I am not a pedophile.”

If it weren’t for the fact that my best friend was about to turn into a giant wolf outside my barred window at three in the morning, that would have been really, really funny. But I always forget how new Quil is and josh him like I would have in the old days, before there was a risk of phasing.

That would help convince Mom to take the bars off the window, for sure.

“Sorry, man. That wasn’t nice. I’m just pissed that there’s iron bars on my window. I’m not allowed to tell my own mom but you can tell your imprint’s parents. Doesn’t seem real fair.”

Quil grumbles. “Just break the bars already so we can talk face to face. Man, you’re a wuss.”

“I’m not as strong as you are, idiot.” All brawn, no brains. As opposed to me and my perfect mix of the two.

“Owned, from your own lips. Hang on…” And I hear a horribly loud wrenching sound as the iron is snapped. “Oh yeah! Who’s your daddy?”

I growl. “Quil. Line.”

“Right, sorry.” He grins as he shoves himself through the window, dragging his huge frame through.

“No big. Anyway…”

He sits down on the bed. It groans under the weight of two werewolves. “Sam’s pissed you cut patrol.”

“I was locked in my room.

“Think he’ll count that as an excuse?”

We laugh. “Knowing Sam…”

“Yeah. I know. We had to talk him out of coming here to kick your ass.”

“Appreciate it, bro.”

“Hey, ma…” suddenly, he sounds uncharacteristically serious, turning to look at me. “I know it doesn’t seem fair that I can tell Claire’s parents but you have to put up with this shit. It sucks, dude, and I’m really sorry. But… look, I have to be near Claire. I have to. Or I can’t function. I’d be a crap member of the pack if I was without her. So Sam let me spill. You, well, you phase just fine putting up with this. Until the bars on the window, of course.”

“Of course.”

I grin and playfully punch him in the shoulder. He shoves me off the bed, and I land on the floor with a clank. Then he’s serious again.

“I’ll try to loosen Sam up.”

“Don’t bother,” I say with a sigh. “After all… it’s my duty.”

Quil stands, turns, leaves. “Yeah. It is.”