You should never leave your window open at night, not when you live in a town full of half-crazed werewolves. Drabble-ish. Blackwater.
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Despite what Mom says, I sleep with my window open. If someone wants to break into the house through it, they can go right ahead. I am a werewolf and get hot, and anyone who tries to get in can just deal with that.
Even Jacob Black.
I heard the soft thud of bare feet landing on the wooden floor, and, still half-sleeping, threw my alarm clock at the noise. He chuckled. “That’s no way to treat houseguests, Leah.”
Groaning, I felt for a blanket to pull over my head. I’d kicked them all off in the night, it seemed, and couldn’t find any, so I settled for burying my face in the pillow. “I’ll throw anything I want at boys who come into my room in the middle of the night.” The sound, though, was muffled by the pillow, and next thing I knew I felt my mattress dip as Jake settled onto the end of it. The idiot child was bouncing a little, which, when done by a six-foot-something man-child, tends to make the whole bed shake.
I threw the pillow at him instead.
He didn’t seem to care. “Guess what.”
“I don’t care how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a tootsie pop. It’s not my night to patrol; ergo, I don’t have to be bothered by furry balls of testosterone. Go bother someone else.”
“No, no sugar involved.”
“If it’s got nothing to do with anything sweet, I don’t want to hear about it. Now GET OUT!”
He frowned, finally pausing in his excited bouncing. “If I get you something sweet, will you listen?”
I thought about this for a moment. “No.”
“Oh.” His frown deepened. Stupid boys. How long does it take to realize you’re not wanted around? Having stuff thrown at your head is usually a dead giveaway, but…
I scowled in return, offering him Death Glare #47 (patent pending). “Fine,” I huffed, scooting up to lean against my headboard. “Tell me. I’m dying to know.”
He looked, for a moment, about to break his face with the smile he plastered it with – which meant, obviously, he’d missed the sarcasm dripping from my voice. Idiot. “I imprinted.”
Great. Just great. More fodder for the idiot brigade. I pinch the bridge of my nose and, after a deep breath, say very – very – slowly, “And I care why exactly?”
“‘Cause it’s just about the greatest thing that ever happened?”
“Sure, whatever,” he didn’t seem to notice my disparaging tone. Instead, he was looking, eyes glazed over, at a spot slightly above my left shoulder. Other girls would be excited to gossip or whatever the fuck he wanted at, well, whatever time of night this is, but not me. I resist the urge to throw something else at him. Mostly because there’s nothing left in arm’s-reach and I really don’t feel like getting out of bed just to break something else against Jake’s hard-boiled head. “Can I go back to sleep now?”
The frown returned. “Don’ you want to know who I imprinted on?”
“That’s not a reason.”
“Yes it is. Nothing you can say can make me care who you imprinted on.”
“Yes there is.”
“No, there isn’t.”
“Yes, there is.”
“Can’t you go bother someone who cares?”
With a dismissive wave, he tells me, “Seth’s asleep.”
“And I wasn’t?” I point out the logical flaw in his argument.
“Your window was open.”
“Not an open invite for boys with fleas to invade my house.”
“I don’t have fleas.”
“Sure you don’t, Balto.”
“Balto was only half-wolf.”
“Have you been watching Disney movies with Quil and Claire again?”
“No – well, ye – but that’s not the point.”
“Enlighten me then,” I groaned, closing my eyes and hoping that, when I opened them, I’ll have only been talking to myself. Life’s pretty bad when you start wishing you were just crazy, I know, but it’s the only recourse I have. It’s not healthy to spend as much time as I do in idiots’ heads, and a nice rest cure at the nearest mental institution would be a nice break from patrolling…
“I told you already, I imprinted.”
“And I told you already, I don’t care.”
“No, I shouldn’t.”
“Yes, you should.”
“But I don’t.”
“It’s someone you know.”
“There are like all of 300 people on the Rez, idiot. Of course it’s someone I know.”
“Well, it’s someone you actually like.”
I paused to consider this. Who did I actually like? Let’s see, certainly not anyone from the pack, or school, or- “God, that’s gross, Jake. I mean, she’s my mother for crying out loud. This is-” I felt about to be sick. I mean, just the idea of Jake and Mom, I mean… oh god, oh god, I-
Quickly, “God! God no! Not Sue. Gross. I mean…” he shuddered. It shook the bed, annoying me further. Why wasn’t he in his own house, or anyone else’s for that matter? Why didn’t he go tell Sam, or Jared, or one of the other imprinting-cronies who, again, might actually care and give him tissues or something when he got over-emotional about how perfect his imprint was…
“Okay then, I’m at a loss.”
“Really?” This seemed to surprise him.
“Your mom’s the only person on the entire Rez you like?”
“Most the time, yes.”
“Well, what about the rest of the time?”
I thought about this too. “Then there’s no one,” I huffed. “Are you just going to tell me, or are you waiting for me to push you out the window?”
“No, I mean you.”
“You mean me what?”
“I mean the person I imprinted on is you.”
There was silenced and then, seconds later, there were tears of laughter coming out of my eyes.“Oh… Oh, that’s great,” my stomach was starting to hurt. “Very nice. How much did Quil and Embry bet to get you to do this?” Breathe, Leah, breathe.
But he was frowning again. “I’m being serious here, Leah.”
“Sure you are, and I’m the Queen of England.”
“You idiot.” I leaned forward and reached for my pillow. “I’m going back to sleep.”
He wouldn’t let the pillow go, putting his serious face on. I began to get worried. The joke was over now. He was supposed to be laughing too and telling me how ridiculous it was anyone would want to imprint on me, and all that other jazz. Faulty goods, you know. “Leah-”
That was all it took. No one should be allowed to say anyone else’s name like that. It was just too- No. You don’t just fall magically in love with someone over night, not even if magic’s involved. I mean… no, this is Jake, my brother’s annoying friend who probably would wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me exactly how many licks it took to get to the centre of a tootsie pop. Jake, Rachel and Becca’s annoying kid brother who they used to rope into playing their games with when we were little and I refused to play tea party or whatever with them.
Jumping off the bed, I grabbed the top of Jake’s head (the first thing I could reach, given that my choices were either grab his hair or a loop on his cutoffs, which I wouldn’t have touched anyway) and started tugging him back to the window. “Ow! God, Leah, I tell you I imprinted on you and this-”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Didn’t what?” he asks, grabbing onto my wrists and trying to pry my hands off without going bald.
“Imprint. On me. You didn’t.” It was impossible. Not only impossible, it was stupid, ridiculous, idiotic, illogical, stupid- well, you get the drift.
“I think I’d know if that was the case. And will you let go of my hair?”
“No. You are delusional, and delusional people get thrown out of windows.”
“If I promise to leave, will you let go?”
I let go, but forgot his hands were still wrapped around mine as I pulled away. Next thing I knew, he was standing close – too close – to me. I’d not been this close to anyone, let alone a boy, in a long time. “You said you’d leave,” I pointed out when it became evident a moment later that he wasn’t going anywhere, and the desire to lick my lips was becoming almost unbearable. Hormones. That was it. Any hot-blooded girl would feel the same when pressed up against these abs….
“That’s great. Now get out.”
But my voice is faint, and his response teasing. “If that’s what you really want…”
“Yes, it is. Now leave.”
For a second, I thought he was going to kiss me. But just for a second. The next, he’d let go of my hands and started climbing the window. Once outside, he turned around and, ducking his head back inside, asked, “If I come back with chocolate tomorrow, will you believe me?”
I rolled my eyes, and trotted off to annoy someone else, leaving me in blissful – idiot free – peace. A smile crept onto my face of its own accord. Chocolate…
Maybe I would.
It was chocolate, after all.