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.
5. Chapter 5
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2166 Review this Chapter
I whirled to my right, seeing Jacob standing about a yard from me, inching slowly closer. He must have seen the scared look on my face because he stopped moving and held up his hands, saying “Don’t worry, it’s just me.”
When my lungs started to work again and my heart rate slowed, I stepped out of the shadows and he resumed moving closer to me. We met in the middle of the clearing and I stopped, simply staring at the large rock between us, feeling uneasy being so close to where that thing had been sitting only a short while ago. Jacob looked between me and the rock before finally settling down on it.
“At least it doesn’t smell anymore,” He muttered, patting the space beside him, inviting me to sit down as well.
I did, hesitantly, my eyes and ears as focused as they could be on the woods around me, expecting something to pop out of the bushes at any moment.
“You can relax, you know. There’s none around here.”
After a moment, I turned to him, really looking at him for the first time since we’d been there and noticed he was wearing a pair of torn jean shorts and nothing else. I glanced down to where his feet were propped up on the rock; the light sprinkle of snow surrounding them had been melted. Mine had done the same.
“So,” He said, clearing his throat. “Might as well just get it out there, huh?”
“Get what out there?” I asked quietly, speaking for the first time. My voice cracked.
He rolled his eyes. “Come on, Mac. I’ve got you figured out. You were here last weekend. You saw what happened.” I stared blankly at him. “The bloodsucker. Or vampire, if you prefer.”
“It was a vampire…” I heard myself murmur, once again so quiet that if the wind blew past you wouldn’t have been able to hear it.
He nodded. “I was here too. I smelt you. I recognized the scent right away. You saw the whole thing, didn’t you?”
Without thinking, I answered. “I saw a man sitting here. Pale, red eyes, inhumanly fast… Then there were two wolves. I’ve never seen wolves as big as they were. And they just… tore him apart.” I stared off into space as I remembered the scene for the thousandth time.
“You weren’t human though.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.
I was silent, bringing my knees to my chest and wrapping my arms around them.
“Neither was I,” He continued. “I was one of the wolves.”
The only thing that shocked me about what he said was that it hardly shocked me at all. A part of my mind had prepared me for this. I was almost expecting it. A feeling of relief washed over me, though I wasn’t quite sure why. Perhaps it was because both our secrets were out. He knew about me and I knew about him. Our suspicions of each other could finally be put to rest. The relief only lasted a moment, though, before what he said really clicked. I turned to him, my eyes wide.
“That was you? You ripped that… that thing apart?”
“It’s what I was made for.”
“You… kill vampires?”
He nodded, an amused smile spreading across his face.
“Why?” It seemed I couldn’t stop the questions flowing from my mouth.
He shrugged lightly. “That’s how the world works. Everything has an opposite, right? Dark and light, up and down. Y’know, that kind of thing. Vampires and werewolves, we’re basically polar opposites; enemies. We, the werewolves, protect people from the vampires.”
I suddenly thought about something I’d seen in every vampire movie. “Why the wolf thing, though? What about a wooden stake?”
Jacob threw his head back and laughed. His laugh was nice, I noted, pleasing to the ears and I found myself smiling broadly, despite the circumstances.
“These are real vampires,” He told me when he stopped laughing. “They’re bodies are like rock. A stake would end up a pile of splinters if you tried to stab them with it.”
I remembered Wesley telling me about Grandma’s story. “Virtually indestructible…” I repeated aloud.
“Exactly. The only thing that can kill a vampire is another vampire… or us. Tear them apart and burn the pieces.”
I sat silently and processed all this new information and he waited patiently while I did so.
“I have another question,” I said eventually.
“How did you know I was… what I am?”
He smiled at me again and I marveled at how white his teeth were. “All signs pointed to it. Your scent, your speed, your heat… I take it that cut healed up nicely.”
I automatically turned over my hand to look at the finger I’d sliced. There was no trace at all that the finger had ever been maimed. I almost laughed. I had been so worried about him seeing it, and for what?
“Can I ask a question now?”
I looked back up at the tall figure beside me and nodded.
“What are you exactly? I mean, I smelt you and I heard you, but I didn’t really see you. All I caught of you was a... blur.”
“I’m a moutain lion,” I replied, and it sounded so weird to say out loud.
“A moutain lion?” He sounded surprised. "That's interesting..."
I simply shrugged.
A minute of silence passed between us before he spoke again.
“Can I see?”
I blinked. “You… wanna see me as… a lion?”
He nodded, a small smile playing on his lips. “I mean, I’m just curious, y’know? The only shape shifters I’ve seen have been us werewolves.”
I stared at him, thinking it over. “But… My clothes…”
“I’m not going to watch you undress,” He said quickly, sounding offended.
“Yeah, I know- I mean… Well…” I stuttered, feeling a blush rising on my cheeks.
“I’ll go first if it’ll make you feel better.”
Before I had a chance to reply, Jacob was on his feet and marching off toward the edge of the clearing. He disappeared into the darkness and I began to feel uneasy again. I heard the sound of rustling and in less than a minute, he returned, but this time he was much bigger, furrier and not at all human.
I gasped audibly as he approached me. Height-wise, he really was as big as a horse, but he was also much thicker. I got to my own feet and for once, with him all fours, we were eye to eye. Slowly, I reached out a hand and lightly touched the thick, russet coat. He nudged his shoulder forward, as if telling me I didn’t need to be so gentle, and my hand was engulfed in the fur. I giggled slightly.
“Would you like me to scratch behind your ear too?” I asked, while running my fingers through the surprisingly soft hair.
I felt his shoulders shake slightly and I assumed he was laughing with me. After a moment, he bumped me with his nose, pushing me in the direction of the bush. It was my turn. Reluctantly, I removed my hand and said “Give me a second,” before exiting the clearing the same way he had. When I could no longer see him and was sure he couldn’t see me, I undressed, leaving my clothing pooled on the snowy ground and then changed. In a split-second bones shifted, muscles distended and then I was my feline self.
With slow, deliberate steps I made my way back into the clearing where Jacob was sitting on his hind legs waiting for me. Seeing me, he stood up and like in our human forms we were no longer eye level. He bent his head and sniffed at my face, so much like a dog that I thought he might slobber on me next. Two could play at that game, I thought. I quickly turned around and flicked my long tail at his nose and he made a strange snorting sound. Looking back at him I saw there was humor in his eyes and he showed me his teeth in a way that I knew he was grinning at me.
Suddenly, he turned and started walking in the other direction. When he reached the bushes he looked back at me, beckoning me with a nod of his head to follow him, and then dashed into the darkness. Intrigued, I bound after him. He was running very fast and I kept up easily. I could’ve passed him, but I was unsure where he was taking me, so I stayed at his side. We’d have time to race later.
We ran for about a half-hour, though it only felt like a few minutes and then he slowed his pace. As the forest came to an end, the texture of the ground changed from moist dirt to dry sand. We were standing on a beach. The lake in front of me was a deep blue, almost black, and it shimmered brilliantly beneath the moonlight. The sand was cool and soft under my paws and the breeze that passed smelled fresh and crisp, pure and comforting. For a moment, I simply stood in awe, staring out at the water that seemed to go on forever. It was like my place in the woods back in Vancouver, but so much more magnificent.
I looked around to see where Jacob had gone off to when I heard a loud splash. I immediately turned my gaze back to the water, where, from a towering slab of rock, he’d jumped in.
‘What the hell is he doing?’ I thought as I scaled the rock and looked down at the rippling water.
Jacob finally broke the surface, and to my surprise he was human again. It was early November and he was taking a swim. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to yell at him or just laugh at his idiocy. Surely that water was freezing cold. But, waving up at me, he seemed unaffected by the temperature.
“The water’s nice,” He told me. “Jump in!”
I tried to adjust my face so he could see how insane I thought he was, and he laughed, still beckoning me with his hand.
“I promise it’s not cold.”
I stared down at him, unmoving. He was crazy. And I suppose that meant I was too, because I was actually considering diving off the cliff. I huffed audibly as I stepped closer to the edge, and then I jumped. The water was cold, but not unbearably so. To someone with a normal body temperature it might cause mild hypothermia, but to me it was actually quite nice. While still under the water I phased back to my human form and then swam to the surface.
“For a second there I didn’t think you were going to do it,” Jacob stated as I pushed the wet hair out of my face, seeming highly amused. “Thought maybe it was a cat thing.”
“I like water just fine,” I replied, rolling my eyes as I moved closer to him, all the while making sure the water was at my neck. “I still can’t believe I did that, though.” I said as an afterthought.
“To be honest, I can’t either. It is nice, though, isn’t it?”
“It would be nicer if I could actually swim,” I said, looking down at the dark water - the only thing that was hiding just how very naked I was.
Jacob chuckled quietly. “Next time we’ll bring our bathing suits.”
“Next time?” I repeated, sounding shocked. “I’m not doing this again any time soon. I prefer swimming when it’s warm and sunny.”
Jacob laughed again. “Warm and sunny? In Forks? Good luck with that one.”
I grimaced as he made his way over to a rock that jutted out of the water, leaning casually against it. I followed, but kept a fair distance between us.
“So,” I eventually said, remembering yet another question I wanted to ask him. “Why exactly did you avoid me all week?”
“I didn’t avoid you,” He replied quickly, then after a moment, “Okay, I kinda did. I didn’t… mean to, though. But every time I saw you it started all these crazy thoughts and I was so sure what you were, but maybe I was wrong… All signs pointed to yes, but none of us had ever heard of it outside the tribe… And if you were what I thought, I didn’t know weather you were… friend or foe. It was all just really confusing and frustrating. I guess I avoided you in an attempt to get my brain back to normal again.” He ended the jerky speech with a shrug and a smirk.
“Well, you confused me too, you know,” I told him. “We were so much alike and a part of my mind kept telling me you weren’t human, but I pushed those thoughts away because I thought I was being ridiculous. I didn’t avoid you, though.”
He sighed, running his fingers through his wet locks. “Yeah, well… I’m sorry…” He mumbled, not looking at me.
I smiled lopsidedly at him. “Half-assed apology accepted.”
He grinned sardonically at me. “Good, ‘cause I wasn’t about to get on my knees and beg for forgiveness.”