Finished. Six years after Breaking Dawn, a brutal murder is committed near Forks. When called in the middle of the night, Charlie Swan rushes off to do his civic duty and protect the public. Three hours later, he returns home with a new ward: the only survivor of the double homicide. From the beginning, it is clear that the poor thing needs a new start, a new life- and someone to save her from her old one, especially when ghosts from the past resurface. And, with Nessie determined to overcome her own demons, the two realize that friendship can come from the strangest places.
All of this belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Duh…
14. Chapter 14
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This was taking too long. He was pushing her limits, time and time again. All this nobility and honor--virtue: it made her sick. It was quite plain that he wanted what she offered freely, but he was too much of a goody two-shoes to go all the way. These weeks of foreplay were driving her batty. Her nerves were frayed, and she was constantly on alert now, afraid that somehow, something might slip. Chief Swan would blow a gasket if he found out she was trying to fuck a man six years her senior. She needed to fuck Seth. This intense, coiling sensation in her stomach was growing hotter with each passing day. It was painful almost. One roll beneath the sheets should be enough to quench it, she reasoned. If only she could get him to participate.
She had tried to be coy and seductive. He would blush as her fingers trailed up and down his muscled arm. If her hands traveled too far south for his liking, he would gently take hold of her wrist and push it away. He would give her soft, gentle yet firm grins and tell her that she wasn’t ready. He acted like he knew her body, and her mind. It was infuriating.
Pouncing on him unexpectedly never seemed to work either. His heightened senses could smell her coming before she was in the same room as him. He would catch her in mid leap. Holding her tightly in his arms, he spun her around in circles, laughing like a child all the way. Setting her down, he would press a chaste kiss on her forehead as a farewell. He was wise to depart after refusing her in such a childish manner. After those encounters, Iris wasn’t sure whether she wanted to fuck him or murder him for being so immature.
Pity parties were also a fail. She had been sitting on the back porch with her knees drawn up to her chest. She hugged her knees tightly, but contorted her arms so that she could look at the scars that marred the milky flesh. He had found her that day, silently crying. The bruises on her body had long faded, but she still could feel the blows, and the insults. Flashbacks for Iris were always painful, and it broke his heart to see her in such a state.
He sat down beside her pajama clad form. The wind blew, picking up those long locks and toying with them in their invisible currents. Her neck was exposed, arched in such a delicious way that no bloodsucker stood a chance at resistance. Seth himself was struggling to not latch onto it and suck until she screamed his name.
“Is it because my body’s ugly?” she whispered tentatively to him.
Seth faltered. The question had been unexpected, and took him off guard. She refused to look at him, not with those great eyes shining with tears. She was too proud to let him see her pain. “Iris,” he said softly in return. He reached out to touch her, but held his hand slightly away. He knew she didn’t like to be touched. “What––?”
He stopped and shook his head in anger. Mouth pressed tightly together, he hissed through tight lips, “Who told you were ugly? Was it Nessie? Rosalie?”
“Don’t try to protect me from the truth, Seth,” Iris instructed him with a throaty voice. “You can’t hide the truth. I am not blind. I see the scars just as easily as you. They’re…” Her voice faltered for a moment. “I know that they are hideous. They show really how stupid I’ve been.”
Iris turned her head to look at him. “I’m sorry that you can see them,”
“They are not ugly,” he told her fiercely. “Anyone who says they are is lying. You are absolutely perfect. Every last thing about you is beautiful.”
At his declaration, Iris’s tears began to fall even faster. Before long, she was crying again, holding onto her knees for dear life. Seth did not have to think about it. His muscled arms immediately wrapped around her, and pulled her close against him. He pressed a loving kiss to the top of her head and held her. Iris leaned into him, content to let him hold her. She was not bawling; only translucent tears slowly trickled out the corners of her eyes.
Iris was so sick of crying, so sick of being weak. Sometimes, it felt like all she did was cry. It was pathetic. She was strong; her marred body was proof enough of that. She could handle herself well and was not afraid of anything. But still, she cried, and cried and cried. She wanted it to stop.
They sat for sometime like that, watching the fall leaves blow in the wind. It would be winter soon, and their time together would be limited. They wanted to take the time and enjoy the moment as much as possible. Yes, self-pity did not work. Every time she tried it, she ended up not being in the mood.
School came, and school went. It probably should have interested her more, but it didn’t. Sue enrolled her in the reservation school where Iris stuck out like a sore thumb. She didn’t talk much, didn’t care much. School was just a place for her to go everyday until Seth picked her up. No one approached her after her first day; she made sure of that.
“Well, hello!” a chipper girl popped up out of no where, starling Iris. At first, all Iris could see was her bright smile, but after her eyes adjusted to the brightness, she could see other things. Like the girls large, glowing black eyes and her shimmering shoulder length hair, or her slim build and matching outfit. “You must be new here,” she chirped. “My names’s Germain, and I’ll show you around if you want.”
Seth promised her that she had to try. That was all he asked: that she try. So she got up extra-early that morning and did her best to make herself look good. Her waist length hair was curled slightly––it was naturally straight––and Iris actually attempted to put decent make-up on. The dark shadows under her eyes had faded significantly, so she used liner and a dark silver shadow to make her green-gray eyes really pop. Her clothes were simple, but they were clean and matching, and her lips were slicked with lipgloss. In her mind, she was utterly presentable.
Iris looked the girl up and down. She was supposed to try. She promised, and only for Seth would she keep such a ridiculous promise. The girl before her looked like a perfect guinea pig of a friend. “Thanks, but no,” she said stiffly.
Germain stopped smiling and blinked her owlish four eyes in surprise. That was not what she expected for an answer. Most new kids were shy but desperate for friends. Iris blew any preconceived notions Germain had about new students. “Really?” she gasped in surprise.
“Really,” Iris said as she closed her dull yellow locker. She turned on her heel and walked down the hallway. Germain stood there with her painted mouth hanging open, collecting dust. She was completely dumbfounded. Students swarmed around her in the hallway, bumping past her on their was to class. Who cared about Germain’s latest revelation? She was in the way, as usual, and no one cared.
People left her alone all day. The whispers were all around her like wildfire; the rumors spread faster than she could walk. She was brutally aware of the shifting eyes and the dark looks. Stories had been created; already her past was catching up with her. Somehow, they knew what had happened, what her family had done. They knew, or they were making up stories, each more fanciful than the last. It was shockingly scary for her. It was possible that their stories were even worse than the truth.
Then, like vultures, they circled her, and went in for the kill. It was lunch time, and people were curious. She could not blame them, but she did. People had heard from a trusted friend or brother…or was it a distant cousin?…this or that. It was all tedious to her. She didn’t care what they thought or what they said. She tried to tell herself that, anyway.
An arm linked through hers. “Come sit with us,” a voice said. Iris looked up to see a kind boy grinning down at her. She could feel the heat of his body through her jacket. Damn, she hated always being cold.
A thin arm grabbed her other arm. She whipped her head around. Germain was back. “Yeah! It’ll be fun,”
Iris could not have protested even if she wanted to. The two pulled her over to their bright green table and shoved her butt down. She let out a runt when her butt hit the bench hard. Iris tried to glare at her assailants but they smiled a blinding white at her. To add insult to injury, they decided to sit on either side of her. Any chance of escape just went down the drain.
“You already know me,” Germain grinned. “And this,” she gestured toward the grinning boy who looked quite a bit like her. “This is my twin, Cheyne,”
“We’re the resident hooligans of the school,” Cheyne informed her with a wink. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,”
She wanted to snap at him, to be mean, make him go away. She wanted to say ‘Fuck you’ and storm away from the table. But she did not. Instead, she found herself saying, “You, too.”
Cheyne grinned at her. He was all smiles, she realized. Just like Seth. “So, what’s your name?”
“Iris,” she whispered. “Potter.” She added. Just in case.
“Well, Iris Potter, do you like your new school so far?”
A nasally voice interrupted. “I heard you were a part of Sam Uley’s gang,”
“Kenzie!” Germain hissed in a horrified manner. But Iris saw the curiosity in her eyes. She had heard the rumors, too.
The bold Kenzie really did not care. She sized the new girl up and won. The curly headed girl with purple streaks in her hair giggled impishly. “Did he really help you murder all of your family?”
Iris stood up. Her cheeks turned blotchy and red while her skin turned pale white. Large blue tears frothed at her eyes, though she fought valiantly to keep them back. She did not even have to think about it when she grabbed the beef stroganoff and umped in on Kenzie’s hair.
Iris waited until the girl’s shrieks of pain and surprise quieted down. It did her know good to deliver her final remark. “Fuck you,” she whispered in her softest, most deadly tone. It was meant to slice through any walls surrounding the idiot’s ego, and let her know just how inconsequential she was. She was nothing more than a maggot on the bottom of Iris’s shoe. She was a worthless idiot that no one really liked and never would. Her life would be horrible five to ten years after high school. She was pathetic, and Iris wanted to make sure she knew it.
With that, she turned on her heel and marched off. There were no calls for her to come back, not loud rebukes to her attacker. So that’s how it was. That was just fine by Iris. As long as she tried, Seth would be pleased.
He felt horrible about school. He had no idea that it would be so bad. A long time had passed since Charlie Swan attended high school, and he forgot just how cruel children could be. The movies, he always thought, over embellished the malice that children had. Apparently, he always had been wrong.
Iris had left school after lunch that day. She tried to walk back to Sue’s hose, but had gotten lost. She wondered around for several hours before Officer Jim Ewell found her. He was a friend of Charlie’s on the Rez, and instantly recognized his ward. It took very little convincing to get Iris to get into the cruiser with him. Jim brought her back to the precinct where she fell into Charlie’s arms, sobbing.
He had been taken completely by surprise. The strong, solemn girl he had always known fell apart. He knew that she would have preferred to be with Seth––her closest friend––but he would have to do. So he sat there, and held her. And listened. She cried about school, and the horrible things that the kids had said. No matter how much she wanted to brush it off, Charlie knew just how deeply it cut her.
Then, she cried about her parents. She was miserable. She missed them terribly, and wanted to go home. Back to when everything was normal. Normal. She maniacally chuckled when she sobbed that word. Nothing had ever been normal, she told him. She did not know what normal was.
He whispered comforting words. He told her that everything was all right. But they were just words, words that she had heard a thousand times. He was not sure if they held any meaning to her any more. It was moments like these when he realized the futility of life. He could never tell her the truth of her origins. It would destroy her entire life and desecrate all of her memories. She would never know that she was his child, and he would never know the loving bond that they might have had.
But it was his fault, and he knew it. There was no going back. He made his bed, and now he had to lie in it.
He had considered pulling her from it as soon as he heard the dreaded stories. That, however, would not solve anything. Homeschooling her would protect her from the harshness of reality, but not from the truth of it. Iris needed to learn how to face life, problems, and people head on if she wanted to survive in the world. He had not done a good job raising Bella during her high school career. Charlie had learned a thing or two. He would not make the same mistakes again, no matter how much it hurt her.
The call came in the middle of the night. She did not know what was happening, but she heard a quiet clamor downstairs. People were walking about quietly, trying not to make any noise. The red numbers on her clock read 2:52. It was too early for people to be up, she groaned. It wasn’t even the weekend. She had school the next day.
And still, she found herself rolling out of bed and stumbling down the stairs. All the lights were on. Sue and Seth pulling on jackets as Chief Swan pulled a coffee mug out of the microwave.
“What’s going on?” she asked as she rubbed her sleep swollen eyes.
“It’s Old Quil,” Sue said hurriedly. “He woke up with chest pains and numbness in his right arm. They’re taking him to the hospital now,”
Iris never had the pleasure of meeting the old coot, but according to Rachel, he was quite the hoot. She wanted to meet him. Seth said that he was over a hundred years old, and had run with the pack back when the Cullens first came to Forks. He signed the original treaty. He was the shit among the wolves, and could drink anyone under the able. He sounded like her kind of guy.
Iris numbly nodded. “Okay,” she said. Dashing back up the stairs, she pulled her Northface jacket out from under Harley. His fat butt was laying on it, and he barely moved an inch. She glared at him when she saw his thick blonde fur all over it, but slipped it on anyway. No one was expected to look good at the hospital.
They looked at her with surprise as she rushed back down the stairs. Not a one of them had thought she would actually go. Iris did not know Old Quil, nor was she an inducted member of the pack. Plus, she had school in a few hours. Yet not a single one of them protested as they climbed quickly into Sue’s old pick up. It was a tight squeeze, so Iris volunteered to sit in the truck bed.
“No!” Both Seth and Chief Swan thundered at the same time.
She winced, surprised that they both actually raised their voices at her. That was a chocker. What was worse, they actually agreed. Though an altercation or even an argument had occurred between the two of them, Iris had seen the old man glaring at Seth. She was not sure why, since both she and Seth were super careful to stay at least a foot away from each other when he was around. There was no way he should even have had a reason to suspect them. Perhaps, Chief Swan felt awkward because he was dating Sue and it was weird since she used to be married to a good friend. Iris agreed with the last statement. It was awkward.
She ended up sitting on Seth’s lap. Chief Swan did not look too thrilled with that, but he had no argument. At least, this way, they all had seat belts.
The drive to the hospital was solemn and quick. Sue broke many traffic laws. The steely glint in her eyes dared Chief Swan to challenge her. Wisely, he kept silent. He, too, was worried about the old dog. He had known Old Quil since he was Iris’s age, when Billy and Ron introduced him. He was Ron’s father, one who Charlie still visited even though his son had been dead for nearly fifteen years.
What a sight they must have made, frantically running down the halls of the hospital. The nurses looked at them in alarm and shock. They were used to seeing families rush past in them, desperate to get to their loved ones. But not a one cold remember seeing a family as big as the pack come barreling down their hall. The Clearwaters had met up with the Uley’s, with their little boy, James, in tow. Paul was frantically pushing a pajama clad Billy down the hallways as Rachel struggled to keep up. The old man would have enjoyed the speed his son to be son-in-law was creating had the situation not been so dire. Jared and Kim were already sitting with Quil and his mother.
Quil looked heartbroken, as did his mother. He sat with his back bent and his head in his hands. He tried to hide the tears on his face, but no one was fooled. His mother––who looked surprisingly young for her age––sat next to him ashen faced and lips pursed. Kim had heard arms around her, but she was giving her little comfort. She really did not know Kim very well, and vice versa. Both were part of the pack, but had little cognizance of the other.
“Abigail,” Sue said as they ran up to them.
Abigail Ateara broke free of Kim’s grasp. She wrapped her arms around her friend, and held on for her life. A strangled sob broke through her throat. Sue held the woman tightly and tried to keep her from falling apart. She was so much like Seth, it was creepy. She, too, was the strong rock when the world seemed to crumble, the one who everyone turned to in a crisis. Seth was lucky that he had such a good mother.
“Dude!” Seth rushed towards Quil as did the rest of the pack. Quil’s brothers surrounded him with all the warmth and support they could give him. Suddenly, there was one massive lump of men. No one was distinguishable from the next. Arms were linked or crossed, heads were bowed. Whispers filled the cold hospital air, comforts, mourns, and sympathies. They were brothers in all but blood, and a pain of one, a pain of all.
Iris shifted on her feet, suddenly uncomfortable. Chief Swan was conferring with Billy Black, Sue with Abigail, and Seth his brothers. Maybe she should have stayed at home in bed. At least that way, she would not be dead on her feet at school the next day. Kim stood up and joined her.
“Hey,” she said as she awkwardly shoved her hands in her pants. She had taken the time to get dressed, Iris noted. She ran a brush through her hair, too, so she actually looked presentable. Iris felt a pang of jealousy as she looked at the pretty girl. “I know we’ve met, but it’s been very brief,” Kim said.
Iris nodded her head. “Yeah,” she tried once more, for Seth’s sake. The things she’d do for him. “It’s Kim, right?” she asked even though she knew.
Kim smiled. “Yes. And you are Iris,”
Iris nodded again. “I am,”
“I’m sure that there are more fun ways to meet everyone in the pack,” Kim told her. “We’re normally not so solemn,”
Iris looked at the grieving people. Old Quil had not even died yet and they were already mourning. It was sad to not know the fate of loved one’s. She could tell them truth, spare them the grieving. But that was not how it was supposed to work. They weren’t supposed to know. It wasn’t time for him to die yet. He had unfinished business in the world of the living.
A nurse came out into the waiting room next to the ICU ward. She looked at the gathered crowd with resigned eyes. “He’s requesting to see you all,” she told them. “It might be his final goodbyes,”
Quil and Abigail stood up. No one questioned their right to go to him first. He was their’s first and foremost. Sue squeezed Abigail’s hand. It’ll be all right, her eyes said. Trust me. Iris grinned softly. Sue was such a dependable person. Together, mother and son walked into the Intensive Care Unit to say their goodbyes to Old Quil.
Sam Uley let out a chortled sob. Little James did not understand why his father and mother looked so serious. He pulled on Sam’s pants, trying to get his father’s attention. He wanted to see him smiling again, like his Daddy normally did. Death was not something he understood, and he did not like it. Mommy was crying, too. She was too pretty to be crying. Daddy needed to know so he could make her stop. James yanked harder on his pants. He needed to know.
Iris nodded to Kim and made her way to stand in front of Seth. He was looking at the floor, trying to make sense of it all. In his world, Old Quil had been an unshakeable presence, firm and resilient. The old man should have died a long time ago, and was still kicking. Seth could not imagine a world without Old Quil. He felt Iris wrap her arms around his head and pull it against her stomach. This time, she held him tightly as he cried. For once, she was the rock, and he was the one being held together.
Suddenly, Quil walked out. His face was grim, and his mouth was pressed into a firm line. Everyone gathered gave him their immediate attention. No one breathed. They all waited for the terrible news. Quil sighed and Abigail opened the door behind him.
Neither one of them was crying. It must have been a peaceful death.
“He wants to see Iris,” Quil managed to say, though it took several attempts and stutters. He glanced at his mother, who was just as confused. “Alone,” he added.
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapter 23
- Chapter 24
- Chapter 25
- Chapter 26
- Chapter 27
- Chapter 28
- Chapter 29
- Chapter 30
- Chapter 31
- Chapter 32
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- 21 Nov 08
- 29 Aug 10