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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…

18. Chapter 18

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3104   Review this Chapter

Chapter Eighteen––

Here she was again. Somehow, she kept ending up in the last place she wanted to be. A part of her believed that she truly would prefer Hell to the hospital. Of course, since she hated the hospital so much, her personal hell might have something to do with crazy doctors and the sterile rooms.

She blew a strand of hair out of her eyes and watched as it settled back down on her face. Her effort was worthless; the damn hair barely moved. “So, Iris,” a man with a shiny bald head said, as he looked down at his notes. “Can you tell us what happened?”

“I think you already know,” Iris snapped. “You got any gum?”

His partner, the handsomely fat man, rifled around his jacket pocket for a moment. Pulling out a pack of gum, he chivalrously offered her a piece. “We would like to hear it from you,” he told her.

Detective Johnson, the first one, continued on. “You were there, and saw everything first hand. You know what you saw with your own eyes, don’t you?”

Iris scoffed. “‘Course I do,” she snapped. “You got any gum?”

Detective Jameson balked. “I just gave you a piece,”

Iris shrugged. “I don’t like the red kind. It makes my mouth sweat. Tastes like crap.” She was not dumb enough to swear in front of the cops. They worked with Chief Swan, and would rat her out. Besides, they might think she was defensive, and hiding something––which was true, but still, a moot point.

Detective Johnson sighed. “Here,” he tossed her a pack of Trident White: the good stuff. “Take whatever you want,”

Iris grinned as she popped a piece into her mouth. “Thanks,” she pocketed the gum. Detective Johnson glared in protest but his partner brushed him aside. Good thing, too; that was a battle he would have lost.

“Start from the beginning, please,” pleaded Detective Jameson. “We need to know the details,”

“Why?” Iris questioned. “Nobody was hurt,”

Detective Johnson sighed in exasperation at the girl. “Two students are missing––two students who were last seen with you. You need to tell us what happened, to clear your name, if nothing us,”

“Oh, yeah, because all ninety pounds of me could take on a lardass like Brady,” Iris drawled. “You have to have seen him. He’s six-five, and weighs like two-fifty or something of solid muscle. It’s scary. There is no way you all could have missed him,”

The two detectives shared a glance. “We saw your friend on the school’s security camera,” Detective Jameson admitted. “He was protecting you, diverting the wolf’s attention to him so you and Germain Yassen could escape,”

“Yeah,” Iris nodded her head. “It was going wonderfully until Germain’s’ heels made too much noise for anyone to think straight, let alone for us to sneak past a bear,”

“A bear?” Detective Jameson repeated.

“Yeah,” Iris nodded her head. “The large furry thing in the middle of the cafeteria. It’s carnivorous, sleeps during the winter, eats fat people.” She added when she saw their blank stares. Eyes rolling wildly, Iris leaned forward on her elbows. “Okay, a train leaves the station at twelve-forty, and another––”

“We understand what you are saying, Iris,” Detective Johnson rudely interrupted her. “It’s just that…it wasn’t a bear in the cafeteria,”

“Really?” Iris leaned back. “You sure? It was pretty damn big. Looked like a bear to me. Chief Swan says that around here is full of them. You always have to be on the lookout incase one of them decides they’re hungry. Everybody says I’m a prime target for the lazy, hungry bear. Aren’t I just special?” she sarcastically smirked.

“Never thought I’d see the day when a bear suddenly popped up into the lunchroom,”

“Iris!” Detective Johnson halted her irritated ramblings. “It wasn’t a bear,” he told her slowly, like saying it slower would make her comprehend it. Iris rolled her eyes. She was not a complete idiot. “It was a wolf,”

Now it was her turn to look at them like they were idiots. “You sure? ‘Cause that was one big wolf,”

“It was, Iris. Trust us,” Detective Johnson said.

“Why should I?” Iris retorted. “I don’t know you at all,”

“We’re the police,” Detective Jameson explained.

“The way I hear it, half of y’all is on somebody’s payroll. Not exactly following that motto,”

Detective Jameson chuckled. “Movies often make that mistake,” he told her. “It really isn’t like that,”

“And if I don’t believe you?”

“It really doesn’t effect things, Iris,” Detective Johnson said. “All we want is your story, and then we will leave you alone,”

“Video camera tells it better,” Iris snapped.

“Iris, please!” cried Detective Johnson. “Just answer the question,”

Iris rolled her eyes. “You all are such a pain,” she told them. “It wasn’t really all that. I was sitting in the lunchroom with Brady. He was telling me that I have surprisingly nice boobs. They aren’t really big, or jiggly, or anything, but I can work on that. He said that I should be proud to have a B-cup. They’re hot,” she winked. “And, even though they don’t bounce––”

“We are not here to listen to you praise your bust, Iris,” Detective Johnson cut her off once more. She glared. “We are here to find out what happened,”

“If you would shut up, you’d hear me telling you,” retorted Iris. “You asked for the whole story, so this is it.

“As I was saying, my boobs really aren’t all that jiggly, but they do have some jiggly in them. That really makes me happy. Boobs, if you do not know, are very important to a developing girl.

“Anyway, Brady and I were talking, hanging out, being stupid. Then, I heard a scream. Brady shoved me under the table––I hit my head, which hurt very badly––as he ran to help people get away from the wolf-bear-thing.” Iris suddenly cocked a triumphant grin. “Who knows,” she drawled. “Maybe it was Man-Bear-Pig. Quick! Somebody call Al Gore and let him know he’s still an idiot!”

“Iris! Please! Focus for us,” Detective Jameson pleaded.

Iris rolled her eyes. “You have no sense of humor. So anyway, Man-Bear-Pig, was fat, and he broke the table that Germain was sitting at. Brady, being the idiotic hero he is, ran to save her. He tossed her over to me, and we tried to run away, but Man-Bear-Pig tried to eat us. I tossed Germain back over to Brady, and they ran out. Then I ran out.”

Iris gave them the cheekiest grin she could muster. “That’s what happened,” she blew a bubble. “Wasn’t all that,”

“Both Brady and Germain are missing,” Detective Johnson reminded her.

Iris rolled her eyes. “No, they’re not,”

“We don’t know where they are,” Detective Johnson said.

Iris shrugged. “And?”

“That qualifies them as missing,” explained Detective Jameson patiently.

Iris shook her head. “You all aren’t listening. They aren’t missing,” she rolled her eyes.

The two shared a look. “Do you know where they are?”

“Uhm…duh,” she drawled.

“Can you tell us where they are?” Detective Jameson asked.

Iris nodded. “Of course,”

Detective Johnson continued irritatedly. “Will you tell us where they are,”

Iris shook her head. “Sure. All you needed to do was ask,”

Detective Johnson slammed his hand down on the table. The wobbly, old thing dangerously shook. Iris jumped and flinched. Her lips curled and she tried to calm her racing heartbeat. He wasn’t going to do anything. He couldn’t. He was a police officer. “Stop wasting our time! Two of your schoolmates are missing! Gone, just like that!” he snapped. “And a wolf appeared in your lunchroom! Something serious happened today, and we are trying to get to the bottom of! This isn’t your fifteen minutes of fame! We are working on official police business. So stop wasting our time!”

Angry, Iris stood up and clenched her hands. “Don’t yell at me!”

“Then stop acting like an impudent child!”

“Or what?” Iris challenged. “Will you hit me? Police brutality!” she screamed loudly. “Police brutality!”

“Iris!” Detective Jameson called. “Calm down! It’s okay,” he said in a soothing tone. “It’s all right. We are not going to hurt you.” He glared at his fuming partner for emphasis. “We just want to get to the bottom of this, and find your classmates,”

Iris nodded. “Good,”

“We’ll need your help,” Detective Jameson continued. His partner had been forbidden from further speech.

“No,” Iris shook her head. “I don’t think so.” She stood up, and walked to the door. “You’re the police. Do your job. Find them yourself,”

With that, she stormed out of the E.R. and down the hallway. How the hell was she supposed to get to Sam’s house? Seth said that all new members were brought there so that everything could be explained. She wanted to get there before they were finished. Cheyne might need a helping hand around school, and she knew instinctively that Brady would be chosen, and that he would volunteer her for Germain. There was no way Iris was hanging around that four-eyed freak unless she had to. And though her brother was a werewolf, that did not mean she had to pretend to like her. It was not worth it.

She glanced up. Old Quil was at this hospital, one floor up in fact. He was going to die soon, but she was going to live for a long time. More importantly, she was going to go live for a long time as the tribe shaman. Already Iris had seen more strange memories that she would care to count. If anyone knew how to turn off this useless ability, it would be him. Truthfully, there was much she could learn from him, and being the tribe shaman. He had been it for a long, long time. He could teach her more than she every wanted to know.

Iris bit her lip in consternation. Maybe she should go visit him.


Seth shifted uneasily back and forth on his feet. He leaned against the wall in Sam’s house, listening but not really hearing what the Pack explained to Cheyne. It was a speech he heard many times before. He agreed with every word uttered, but he really did not care at this point. He was more worried about Iris. Hours had passed since the incident in the lunchroom, and there was still no sign of her. Something bad must have happened to her.

“This is ludicrous!” Germain suddenly shouted. She threw her arms up into the air as she stood. “It’s insane! Bonkers! You can’t actually expect us to believe this drivel?”

Sam stared solemnly at her. “I do,”

Germain blinked. She had not expected him to be so blunt about it. “Well,” she stuttered. “We don’t believe you! Come on, Cheyne! Let’s get out of here,”

Cheyne stood obediently. His head hung and his shoulders hung, embarrassed that he was being ordered around by his sister. She obviously wore the pants in the relationship. He had every right to be ashamed. “Okay,”

“Sit down,” ordered Sam. Immediately, the youngest boy fell back on the couch. His sister glared at him, but he did not stir. Thank God for the power of the Alpha. His intimidating glare silenced any snide comments, and Germain’s quivering lips. The towering man was in no mood for teenaged drama and moodiness. The girl could shut up for all he cared.

“You can’t make us stay,” she hissed.

“Not you,” he snapped. “But him,” he pointedly looked at Cheyne, “I can, and I will,”

“Your mind games might work on these criminals,” she snarled. “But we are good people! We don’t get involved in cults like this! You can’t just scare us!”

Seth shifted his feet agin. He stared out the window and shuffled. It had been two hours since Cheyne’s first transformation, and still no word from Iris. He was more concerned about her. She was alone in only God knows where, and either scared or about to kill someone. Neither was good, especially for other people. Iris could hopefully handle herself, but she would easily maim someone else.

Sam glanced at him. He was being annoying, distracting, and no help. Though h was understandably worried about Iris, they needed to focus on the twins right now. “I’m not trying to intimidate you,” he told them. “I don’t need to scare Cheyne to make him listen. He knows that what I am saying is true, even if it is hard to believe.”

“It’s just…” Germain floundered. “…impossible,”

Sam shook his head. “I know that is seems outrageous,” he told her, “But sometimes that’s all you can believe.”

“I don’t believe it,” Germain snapped.

“You don’t have to,” Paul snapped. Germain gasped and galred at him. Paul wasn’t intimidated. He stared pointedly at Cheyne, “He does.”

“Cheyne,” Germain turned to her brother and wailed like a banshee, “You can’t honestly tell me that you believe this bull,”

Cheyne gaped. She took his silence as his agreement. Really, he was just flabbergasted that she was going to let him speak. “See,” she intervened before he could, “he doesn’t believe you,”

Everyone groaned collectively. This kept getting harder and harder. If the girl would be quiet for just a few seconds, Cheyne could get a word in edgewise. Then, maybe, they could all know where his thoughts stood on this. He was wolf, that much was obvious, and there was no way for him to undo what had been done. They were there for him, to help him in this strange transition. Or at least, they would, if Germain would shut up.

“Seth!” Sam snarled. “Calm down,”

“She isn’t back yet,” Seth glared at his Alpha. Germain, the only one who had been utterly oblivious to Seth’s continual moving worry, turned to stare at him. She had forgotten all about the startling silent man in the back of the room. “I can’t,”

“She’s fine,” Sam said reassuringly. “She’ll be back soon. Right now, we need to focus on what’s going on,”

Seth shook his head. “I can’t,”

“She’s not your imprint,” Brady pointed out.

Jared glared at him. “I keep telling you dude, you don’t need to imprint to fall in love,” he snapped. “Most people don’t,”

Embry rolled his eyes from the side of the room. “Only half the pack has,”

Germain looked at them all. Shouldn’t they be at work? There were seven grown men crowding into the living room, each one shoved shoulder to shoulder so that they all would fit. It was pathetic that they would all sacrifice their lives and careers for something so stupid. Germain rolled her eyes. It was ridiculous and she was not going to let them brainwash her brother into believing it.

“Imprint?” Cheyne spoke up, with shining eyes. “What’s that?”

Sam shook his head. “It isn’t something you need to be concerned with right now,”

“But he,” Cheyne pointed to a flushing Embry, “said that it has happened to over half the pack,”

Sam nodded. “It is rare,” he stressed the word, “But it is possible for a member of the pack to imprinting. Imprinting means that he sees his soulmate and falls in love, Cheyne,”

Cheyne’s face lit up at the prospect. Germain scowled. “You have enough girls as it is,” she slapped her brother’s arm. “You don’t need to buy into these stupid stories to get a prom date,”

“Prom?” he gurgled somewhat incoherently. That was the thing furthest from his mind.

“Oh, God,” Iris suddenly groaned, “Don’t say that,”

“Iris!” Brady cried with relief! He was the first person to realize that Iris has suddenly materialized out of thin air. She stood by the doorway into the kitchen with her head cocked to the side ever so slightly and that permanent scowl etched onto her face. Her eyes scanned the room darkly, judging the entire occupancy of it.

“Your still here?” she jerked her head as she stared at Cheyne and Germain.

“They are just as welcome here as you are,” Sam told her. There was a tone to his voice that told her not to press the subject. Like she cared.

“We’re having a hard time convincing these two that it’s all real,” Brady snorted, ignoring his Alpha just as easily as Iris did. It came as natural to them as breathing––ignorance and usurping, that it.

Iris shrugged and rolled her eyes. Arms folded across her chest, she replied, “Don’t convince them. It doesn’t really matter one way or the other,”

“He’s pack,” Embry reminded her.

“Yeah,” Iris agreed. “She––” she jerked her head towards Germain, “Isn’t,”

Embry conceded, “Good point.”

“Besides,” Iris tacked on as she walked into the kitchen, ignoring the others. “She’ll come around,”

“How do you know?” Brady yelled after as.

The sound of the fridge opened and then slammed shut. A soda can popped open. Someone downed it quickly.

“Iris!” Emily yelled suddenly. “I swear to God, if you’re drinking a beer!”

There was a slight pause and the sound of a giggle. “You’re so uptight, Em,” she laughed out. “But don’t worry. It isn’t a beer. It’s a diet.” Walking back out to the living room, Iris leaned up against the doorframe. “And I know because I’m psychic like that,”

“So where were you that made you take so long?” Paul asked her. Seth still could not bring himself to think or speak. He was still startled to see her appear from nowhere.

Iris grinned to herself. “it’s a secret,” she toyed with him.

“Secrets aren’t fun unless we all know them,” Connor pouted.

Iris laughed again. She was in a good mood. “I went to see Old Quil,” she confessed. “And I learned a new trick,”

“Really?” Sam asked, letting the quiet clamor settle down before he spoke.

“Awesome!” Brady exclaimed. “What was it?”

“This,” Iris said as she snapped her fingers.