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Animalistic Tendencies

Mackenzie, a not-so-ordinary girl, is uprooted from the only home she has ever known and forced to move to the small town of Forks, Washington. Miserable at first, she eventually sees that the town is much more interesting than she'd expected when she befriends a peculiar boy named Jacob Black. She soon finds they have much more in common that initially thought and within hardly a few months, her once-normal life becomes a complicated mess fraught with confusing emotions, mythical creatures and a great danger that threatens everything she holds dear.




2. Chapter 2

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The two weeks had passed so much quicker than I’d wanted. The house was emptied, I’d said my last goodbyes to my friends -- promising that as soon as the internet was hooked up I would email them and tell them how everything was -- and then I was on a plane. The flight was a mere hour long, since we were only coming down from Vancouver, but it was the longest hour of my life. I was so nervous I felt ill. Flying didn’t scare me… What I would see when we landed is what scared me.

Everything from the moment I stepped off the plane to when we pulled up in front of our new house was a blur. I’d been there in person, but not in mind. I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. The house was nice, I noticed vaguely as I found my way to my new room. It was bigger that my old one. My bed and dresser were already there, placed exactly how they’d been back in our old house. I found this somewhat comforting and waded through the many boxes to flop down face-first into my pillow.

I was woken up by a soft knocking at my door. I checked my watch to discover I’d been out for nearly two hours. Hannah peaked her head in, a timid smile on her face.

“Hi. Want some help unpacking? I’ve already finished my room.”

I smiled back at her. “Nah, it’s okay. Go explore the neighborhood or something. Tell me if you see anything interesting.”

She nodded and closed the door again. When I could no longer hear her footsteps, I sighed and sat up, eyeing all the boxes. Where the hell did I start?


The ringing of my alarm clock sounded in my ears like nails on a chalkboard and I groaned loudly, rolling over to switch it off. I slowly opened my eyes and, for a moment, I had no idea where I was. After waking up to the same four walls my entire life, I’d had a mild panic attack when nothing looked like it should.

I closed my eyes again, rubbing my forehead as reality set in. New house, new town, new everything, I reminded myself with a grimace.

I eventually got up, kicking a random empty box on the way to my dresser. I dressed slowly, not really caring what I was putting on. I ended up with a pair of jeans and a black and grey striped sweater. I had no idea what one should wear for a first day at a new school. Should I try to blend in, or stand out? I decided I didn’t care. Mom was already gone to work when I trudged downstairs, finding a note on the counter that read:

“Good luck, guys!
Everything will be fine, don’t worry.

– Love, Mom

Wesley, I swear, if I get a call from the school on your first day…”

I couldn’t help but smile at her open-ended threat. I put the paper back down and glanced at the clock. I had ten minutes to eat before the bus came by. I heard two pairs of feet on the stairs and a moment later Hannah and Wesley appeared in the kitchen. Wesley immediately went to prepare himself a huge bowl of cereal.

“How do I look?” Hannah asked, gesturing to her hair and clothing. Her dark hair was down, curling past her shoulders, the bangs held back with a green clip and she was wearing her favourite purple shirt and jeans with the sparkles down the legs.

“Very cute,” I told her with a smile. “How do I look?”

She looked me up and down critically and made a face. I laughed.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”


Forks High School was nothing special. It was a basic red-bricked building with small, square windows whose frame’s desperately needed a new coat of paint. It basically looked like the kind of school that hadn’t updated their history books or gotten new sports equipment in decades. As I made my way to the front office, I briefly wondered if they had a girl’s basketball team here.

I spoke to a kind, middle-aged woman at the front desk and she handed me my schedule. I was lucky enough that they’d been able to fit me into all the same classes I’d been taking back in Vancouver, though not in the same order. She also gave me a map of the school that I stared at for a moment. The school wasn’t that big. Would I really need a map? I thanked her and left the cramped space in search for room 106, which was my homeroom.
The hall was filled with people, all talking and laughing in groups. As I walked by them, they all turned to look at me and their voices dropped to a whisper. I fought the urge to roll my eyes, wondering how often they got new students here. These people had probably all known each other since kindergarten and I here I was, some random Canadian girl, popping up in the middle of October.

Room 106 was at the end of the hall and I stepped inside to find it empty. There was ten minutes before the first bell rang. I bit my lip, unsure where to sit. Everyone must already have their own seat. Just then, another person joined me in the room.

“Mackenzie Phelps?”

I nodded at the stranger, whose crisp, clean clothing hinted that he was a teacher.

“I’m Mr. Walkerton.” He told me as he made his way to the desk at the front of the room.

“Uh, where do I sit?” I asked.

He began rummaging through a large, messy stack of papers and nodded vaguely to the seat closest to me. I shrugged and sat down. I was only a few feet away from the door. At least I could make a quick getaway if need be.

As the minutes ticked by, students began piling into the room, bringing their noise with them. Each person to walk through the door gave me a curious glance, some would smile but most wouldn’t. One boy in particular caught my eye. He was fairly attractive with his intense brown eyes, deeply tanned skin and shaggy, black hair. I knew he must’ve been over six and a half feet tall. It wasn’t just his striking appearance that made me notice him, though. It was also his scent. It was different than the other students, a scent that seemed somewhat familiar but at the same time, was like nothing I’d ever smelled before.

I realized I was staring at him and looked away quickly, but not before he noticed. He gave me a strange, almost angry look before turning back to the boy next to him. Apparently he didn’t like to be stared at. I could sympathize.

The bell finally rang and the noise in the room quieted down. Mr. Walkerton did the attendance -- I learned that the boy’s name was Jacob Black– and then got up to stand in front of the class. I narrowed my eyes as he gestured to me, knowing this would not be good.

“As I’m sure many of you have noticed, we have a new student in our school. Her name is Mackenzie Phelps. Mackenzie, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?”

I pressed my lips tightly together to keep from growling, and leaned back in my chair. “I knew this was going to happen…” I muttered, and then spoke louder, “Okay. I’m 17, I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia and I play basketball. That’s pretty much it.”

Mr. Walkerton nodded, smiling brightly. “Terrific. We have a basketball team here. It’s a little late, but you might be able to get yourself in if you talk to Ms. Hayford. She’s the coach.”

I forced back a smile. “Great.”

“So, everyone try and make our new student feel welcome, alright?” He announced and the class murmured unenthusiastically in response.

I dared to look to the other side of the room again and found the tall boy staring at me. His brows were furrowed and he didn’t bother to look away. After a moment, I turned back in my seat, feeling a little strange. Thankfully, the bell rang a moment later and I was the first to leave the room, my schedule in hand. First class was gym. I scoffed. ‘Great, now I get to be sweaty all day. Fan-freaking-tastic...’ I thought bitterly to myself.

Suddenly, a girl with short, curly brown hair popped up at my side. She smiled warmly at me and asked, “Need any help finding your next class?”

I smiled back. “Well, now that you mention it… Where’s the gym?”

“This way,” She motioned for me to follow her.

As we walked, I continued to get stares from everyone I passed. I sighed loudly and the girl next to me chuckled.

“It’s always like this with new kids. Give it a week and you’ll be fine.”

“Oh, good. I thought I was the only new kid ever to show up in Forks or something.”

“Nah, I was the new kid back in freshmen year.” She glanced up at me. “I don’t think I got quite as many stares as you, though. Could be the fact that you’re so freaking tall.”

“You have taller people in this school,” I said defensively. “What about that Jacob kid?”

“Yeah, all the Quileute boys are freakishly tall. But, I think you’re officially our tallest girl. By the way, I’m Nikki.”

I nodded and returned her smile. She stopped in front of a set of heavy double doors.

“Here’s the gym,” She stated the obvious, then asked: “Can I see that?”

She reached out for my schedule and I shrugged, handing it over.

She scanned it quickly and then gave it back. “Your next class is science. The room is just down the hall.” She pointed left. “And you have the same math class as me after, so how ‘bout I meet you at the door and walk with you there?”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Alrighty, Mac. Have fun in gym.”

I grinned after the small girl as she made her way down the crowded hall and disappeared from site. Making friends already, I thought to myself in slight amusement. My mood was quite improved as I pushed open one of the heavy doors and stepped into the room. I looked around as I walked over to a bench placed against the right-side wall. The room wasn’t huge, but it good enough for a school this size, I supposed. The walls were painted a pale blue with a red stripe in the middle and floors were old, chafed wood. I smiled when I noticed the basketball nets at each end of the room. Now, if they had at least one decent ball, we’d be in business.

The door opened and I turned to see two boys walk in. One was Jacob, and the other I didn’t recognize. He was also dark-skinned and very tall; not quite as tall as Jacob, but definitely above average. I guessed he was another “Quileute boy”, as Nikki called them. The boy whose name I didn’t know smiled at me and walked over; Jacob followed.

“Hey, I’m Quil. You’re the new girl, Mackenzie, right?”

I nodded. “Yeah. Nice to meet you.” He smelled different too, just like Jacob. They didn’t smell like your average human did and this confused me. They had a whole new scent of their own.

“I’m Jake.” The deep voice brought me out of my strange thoughts and I looked up to the source of the pleasant sound.

“Hi,” I murmured, once again feeling intimidated by his scrutinizing gaze.

“Wanna warm up with us?” Quil asked.

I looked back at him and nodded. “Sure. Let me just go get changed.”


When I came out of the girl’s change room, Quil and Jacob were already playing a game of one on one. I walked up and they both turned to me.

“So, I hear you like basketball,” Quil stated, tossing me the ball. “Are you any good?”

“Pretty good, yeah,” I replied with a smirk.

“Let’s see then.”

I dropped the ball, dribbling it casually. He lunged forward, attempted to steal it from me and I quickly ran passed him. When I was close enough, I grabbed the ball between two hands, jumped and dunked it into the net.

When I landed, I turned to see him gaping at me. He looked over to Jacob whose eyebrows were raised in a curious manner.

“She can dunk.” He stated the obvious and Jacob merely nodded.

“Of course I can,” I half-laughed. “Basketball is my game.”

The three of us turned when a new voice echoed in the gym. “Very impressive!”

A stout woman with curly blonde hair made her way over to us, a grin on her face. She wore sweats and a plain white t-shirt with a red whistle around her neck. “Mackenzie, right? I’m Ms. Hayford.”

“Hi,” I replied, picking the ball up off the floor.

“We could use a player like you on our girl’s basketball team, if you’re interested.”

I smiled. “Sure, I’d love to.”


I fought the urge to giggle at the woman’s enthusiasm. I looked between Quil and Jacob to find them both smirking. More kids piled into the gym and Ms. Hayford left us, not before telling me my first practice would be Thursday afternoon at 4 o’clock.

“You’re going to be a great addition to our team!” She’d beamed, before walking away.

“Well, she’s peppy.” I murmured when she was out of earshot.

Quil laughed and Jacob’s faint smirk grew a little. I smiled in response.


The first week at my new school went smoother than I’d expected. I had all the classes I wanted, people were becoming more and more used to me and I was once again playing my favourite sport. The fact that I’d already made some friends was a plus. Some days I would sit with Nikki and her friends at lunch and other days I would sit with Jacob, Quil and Embry, who was the third piece to their little group of friends.

I’d gotten to know most of them pretty well within those next five days. Nikki was a quirky individual who I found to be quite entertaining. Quil was friendly and outgoing, if not a little conceited. Embry was also very friendly, but he was shy and quiet. The two seemed to balance each other out nicely.

As for Jacob, he was still a bit of mystery. Though we shared two classes, he rarely talked to me. He rarely talked to anyone. At first, I thought maybe he was one of those people who often got stuck in their own little world, but I soon realized that was not the case. I often caught him staring at me, his face thoughtful, like he was trying to figure me out as much I was trying to figure out him. By the end of the second week, I finally decided to ask Quil about it.

“He wasn’t always like this,” He told me when we were alone in the gymnasium. “He used to be a really happy guy. Usually you couldn’t get him to shut up.”

“Well, what happened to him?” I asked curiously.

Quil sighed, running a hand through his long, unruly hair. “It’s not really my place to say. He went through some pretty crappy stuff and it… just changed him, I guess. Now, he’s kind of a hollowed out version of his old self.”

“Oh,” was all I could say.

I was beginning to think that perhaps Jacob Black would remain a mystery.