"My only point, the only point I'm making, is life has got to be allowed to continue
even after the dream of life is – all – over…."
Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Chapter Six, Eta
The thing about being a supernatural creature is, apart from the infrequent vampire-lycan wars and the birth of strange hell-beasts from wombs that have to be torn open by their daddy's teeth, for the most part it's rather dull. I mean, its not like we can hold down jobs or anything, so we don't have any money, and so we live with our parents. Okay, I mean everyone but Paul, Jared, Sam, and I are high school, so they'd be living at home anyway, but Jake and Seth and Embry and Quil will be graduating next year, if they ever get to go to school enough to pass. So, when we do move out, it's to glorified rocks that, while we've made quite comfy, what with the sleeping bags, tarp roof, and the wonderful holly bushes that serve as fairly well-insulated walls, are still glorified rocks.
And, yes, while we do have the whole patrolling thing, the only enemy we ever come across any more is one of the other pack running the border between the Rez and the Cullens' land, which is to say, our new pack's. It gets kinda dull sniffing the same things every day, and while I'm glad it's quiet, the thing is now that The Thing (as I've decided I shall call the unfortunate hybrid) is born and the Rez school is about to start up again soon, I'm kinda freaked that I'll be left alone on the land with the Cullens. This is both creepy and worrisome, because Sam's pack might decide to make a surprise attack and...
Third thing I hate about being a werewolf: since I can't choose to have kids (not that I wanted any anyway, but I'd rather the choice then fate reaching down and twisting off my ovaries), I'm kinda actually concerned about Sam's pack hurting Renesmee. She may have a stupid name, drink blood, and grow at an alarming rate, but she's just a baby. It's not her fault her parents are idiots.
It's been three days, Jake sighed. He wasn't far up the path from me, just out of sight, and with a little push I was beside him.
Since Monday? Yes. That makes it...
Stuff it, Lee.
Wrong, your royal russet-ness; the correct answer is Thursday.
He huffed and tried to knock me off the trail. When that didn't work, he trotted ahead a few steps so that he was nominally "in the lead," which was designed more to annoy me then actually do anything. It's been three days since Bella was bit.
Apparently, the change is supposed to take three days.
So he wanted to go see if we had a new Bella-pire to play with or a funeral to attend. I hoped it wasn't a funeral: that would mean having to go home and get clothes that covered more then 1/3 of my body. Not that I was opposed to the idea of larger clothing, mind, it was just that any larger was hard to carry around or made me feel I was running a fever. Then go to Monster Manor and see.
Do you spend all your time thinking of rude things to call the leeches?
No. I obviously spend some of my ways to put you down, O Emperor of the Floppy-Ears.
All that time and the best you can come up with is an insult to my ears?
I've said it before, Black: you're such a hot and rugged man-beast that it's all I can do not to jump you. These "pathetic insults," as you call them, are the best I can do with my limited female brain capacity – when I'm not drooling over-
You know, he said, turning down a path towards the Cullens', if you say that often enough, I might start to believe you.
I gave a low wine at both that and the leech smell, Keep it in your pants; breeding season isn't until January.
Now at the manor, we headed behind desperate bushes, me to change into one of those tiny dresses I wore for phasing-convenience and most certainly would have called whorish on any other girl I might see it on, him into vastly less asking-for-inappropriate-comments shorts. How on earth, he began before phasing, "do you know when werewolf mating season is?" He paused just long enough to pretend he was coming to a vast thought process, "If this means you're going to start humping my leg, I'm buying you a leash and a muzzle."
Kinda annoyed by the turn this conversation had taken – we were supposed to be insulting him, not my hormonal deficiencies, "I was kinda creeped out that first month after I phased." Yeah, that was putting it mildly; I'd the whole pack a nervous wreck when I didn't get my period that month. I mean, I couldn't be pregnant – I knew that, having slept with Sam only once, before finals my senior year. It was rushed and hurried and he was done before I'd even gotten started, which is what I suppose unpractised sex is like, but I never cared for a repeat performance and used finals as an excuse not to do it, and then almost right after graduation I went to the Macaw Rez for two weeks because of Adam's wedding (Emily's next oldest brother; her oldest, David, is Claire's dad. And another ick for imprinting) and then Emily came back with me to get away from the idiots...
And I was so glad I wasn't in wolf form, sharing these wonderful thoughts with Jake or, God forbid, my brother, who was supposed to be sleeping but was a guy and any guy who didn't wake up immediately at the words "food," "sex," or "baseball" was one I didn't know.
"Yeah. Tell me about it."
"So I... I kinda went online and searched everything I could find about wolf mating habits."
"Has anyone ever told you you need to get a hobby?"
"Yes," I sighed long-sufferingly as we, for some reason unknown to God or werewolves, willingly entered vampire headquarters. "But I can tell you come disturbing things about cat breeding-"
I was cut off quickly by a, "Gross, Leah," from Jake and a, "So can Emmett – he went through veterinary school in the eighties," from Alice, who was sitting with her husband in the living room, as if waiting for us. Only they were watching Dr. Phil, and rather intently I thought, so probably not.
"Emmett? College?" Jake gasped mockingly, "I want proof."
"In the basement, first filing cabinet on the right. Try not to touch Carlise's diplomas from the Università di Bologna – some of them are very old."
This actually piqued my interest. "How many does he have?"
"Three: two from the 1700s and another from 1830, right before he came to the Americas."
And I thought Bella like creepy old guys. Papa vamp must be ancient. Which bothered me less then I thought it should, which in itself bothered me.
"We came to see if Bells is up yet," Jake said, dragging me towards a free couch. The whole thing with me being dragged in this place was kinda bothersome. I could walk people – I wasn't Bella Swan! I suppose it was the guys way of seeing I didn't drop dead of hunger, starvation, or stomach viruses caused by uncooked deer, which was sweet in a way I'd never admit, but mostly annoying. I mean, I had been feeling better since the day he forced me to eat Esme's cinnamon rolls, but the bad thing about about this whole pack-mind thing was that they knew I was lying when I said I felt completely better. So I wasn't completely cured of my wolf hunting experience? Big deal. I'd dealt with worse things in life then a stomach bug; hell, when I still had periods I'd worse PMS then this. Still, though, I sat down. And put my muddy feet on the couch.
"She should wake up in seventy-three minutes and eighteen seconds." I thought of jokes I could make about atomic clocks, but found none insulting enough to warrant sharing. "Bella should be perfectly fine."
Her husband, who'd remained with most his attention of Dr. Phil, spoke out of nowhere, "Her pain has begun to subside." Oh, yes, this one was the vampire mood ring. No wonder he was watching Dr. Phil – no matter how gay it seemed.
"It is. Rosalie and Emmett have taken Renesmee towards the mountains, so she won't prove too strong a temptation when Bella first wakes up. The others are upstairs, waiting."
Hmmm... what jokes could I make about her eating her own young? So many choices- that it distracted me for a moment that I didn't immediately laugh when Jake said, "I guess we have to tell Sam and the Elders."
"And get lynched? No, let them find out in their own damn time," I insisted.
"It's their right to know. Once we make it clear to them that Bella and Nessie are going to stick to the treaty-"
"Like logic ever worked on those boneheads."
"Good, I'm glad you volunteered."
"I'm sorry Jake. You must have been hearing voices again, because me going back to La Push and telling the Elders that the leeches are going to be good little boys and girls is exactl how I wanted to spent my afternoon."
"If I go, you know that Sam-"
"-will want to have a bitch-slapping contest for Alpha of the Year-" Or his dad would try to set him up with toddlers next, in case he leaned like Quil, one of the two."
"-couldn't say no to a vampire, let alone Mom-"
"-so you have to do it-"
"-because I don't give a damn."
"I'd knew you'd say yes." Before I could point out I hadn't, he asked, "Mind picking me up some clothes while your at Billy's?"
"What am I, your mother?"
Jasper spoke again, turning the TV off and looking at his wife, "You were right."
"I'm always right," she said smugly.
"Right about what?" Jake asked, hunkering down to wait for the next sixty-whatever minutes.
Continuing as if her super-vamp ears hadn't heard them, "I give it two weeks, a month at the outside."
Now I was curious. "A month on the outside of what?" How long it takes The Thing to surpass Jake's SAT scores? It wasn't that hard, all you had to do was fill in the little bubbles-
"I think it'll be Thanksgiving."
"The usual bet?"
"I have six weeks," I asked "if you'd like to tell us non-porcelain people about it."
Jake laughed. "I think Seth wanted someone to pick up another sleeping bag whoever went back next – he seems to think you shed too much."
"Sure, that's what he tells you," I huffed, and stomped towards the door. "Anything else while I'm at it? Pizza? A pony? A couple of bags of dope?"
"Fuck you, Jacob Black," I snorted, and marched out of the white explosion that was called a living room. Whatever he replied, I was too far away to hear properly.