The Mythical Creature's Guide to Living in the Modern World (1/23)

The Mythical Creature's Guide to Living in the Modern World
Blackwater at Cullen Manor

"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream
and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."

Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Chapter One, Alpha

I was a good person once. In high school, I mean, before the world got out of whack. I was an honour student, did volleyball in the fall and track in the spring, and, in my own way, pretty. I'd a steady boyfriend (Sam, then a sophomore) from Christmas my freshman year all the way 'til the summer I graduated. I was argumentative, yes, and rude, and a bitch at times, but not overwhelmingly so. Sam had taken a year after school to take care of his mom, who was dying of breast cancer, and was going to go to Mount Rainer Tech with me in the fall. I could've applied to the University of Washington, but I wanted to be with Sam, who was far more into Quileute culture then I was and wanted to stay close to home and the Rez.

Then that summer he dumped me.

The next day he started dating my cousin, Emily – who, up until then, had been my favourite cousin, not that it was saying much; her brothers David and Adam were awful.

And then I started turning into a large, hairy, menopausal, hive-minded werewolf where I was not only forced to share the mind of my ex (whom I was understandably bitter towards) but also that of my younger brother and his gross friends. While it could have been "tre cool" (a phrase I used only to annoy the pack, as words like "tampon," "period," and "pantihose" were no longer parts of my everyday vocabulary) to be a mythical creature, or should have been, bloodsuckers, of both the insecticoid and vampiric kind, ruined that for me too.

Then, of course, Dad died. Which was probably my fault anyway for being such a freak of paranormal nature.

And now I was sitting through what had to be the rainiest day in Forks history, guarding said bloodsuckers from my former pack, all because the leechlover had to go and get herself knocked up. God, this was pathetic.

But at least I'd found myself a nice little space between some holly bushes and a large rock that was relatively warm, or, at least, not subject to most of the wind or rain that was currently falling. I'd outfitted it with a rain coat, three changes of clothes, a towel, and a bar of soap, all conveniently stuffed into a rainproof bag I was using to keep my lupine head out of the mud. Except the jacket. I'd thrown that over me as best I could, so at least I wasn't completely soaking.

Leah, Seth intruded into my peace, you're being stupid.

Beware leeches bearing gifts, I snorted back and adjusted my forepaws for a more dejected look.

It's dry… he tried again… and Jake's there.

Jake's an idiot. You just don't go pining after knocked-up married leechlovers. It's like a triple dose of stupid. Then, with all his parents dropped him…

Ah, come on Lee, he begged. I could practically see his puppy-dog eyes – and he'd perfected that long before he started turning into a sandy furball – through our mind link. Normally, at times like this, when one of the pack bothered me, I'd think back something bound to disgust them, but as the pack was just me and Jake and Seth and Seth had grown up with me and now was mostly immune and Jake was so wrapped up in the latest Bella crisis I didn't see the point in it. You know you like him.

Anyone's better then Sammy dearest, I paused to think of the best insult, watched a drop of rain fall off my embarrassingly furry snout, and decided it wasn't worth the bother when no one was around to appreciate it.

Not as an Alpha – you'd have been better then Sam-

My petulance returned full force – Sam always brought out the worst in me, even when we were dating – Technically, as I'm the only girl here… I am the Alpha female, but still, it was something.

A mental roll of the eyes, and he continued, You like Jake as a person-


-whatever, or else you never would have followed him. A fake tear, Oh, my little sister has her first friend

I growled aloud.

Fine, whatever, I'm just saying-

-and I was just saying that if you wanted to crash here, instead of the leech's place, I was going to let you…. Hey, he might have been an idiot, but he was still my idiot brother. Besides, I'd joined this pack to make sure he was looked after (well, that, and to get away from Sam), not because I thought Jake could do any better. Hell, Jake was a few brain cells short of a dumbwaiter, but at least I didn't have to listen to Sam think about how great Emily was or the other guys think how great it'd be if I'd just go away and let Sam and Emily have their stupid werewolf happily ever after. At least Jake was too wrapped up in Bella to have an opinion in the wonderful, unwanted triangle that had sprung up in my life. And too busy to be bossy. At least so far.

Ah, come on Lee, you know you love me.

The sad part was, I did.

Chapter Two.