The Mythical Creature's Guide to Living in the Modern World (14/23)


"That's what I want in my life […] something worth fighting for."

Eric in Wonderfalls: "Lying Pig"

Chapter Fourteen, Omicron

"Can't this damn thing drive any faster?"

"Well, Clearwater, I am going eighty in a thirty-five, but if you think you can run faster..."

"I would say something, but everything I can think of somehow ends in you mocking me for how 'fast' I am."

"I wasn't going to say anything..." he said in a way that implied that he would have, "though I did wonder what the application packet for Playboy was doing on your desk."

"If I didn't want you swerve off the road and have us die in a fiery ball of pain, I'd hit you right now."

"Ah, Leah, I didn't know you cared."

"I'm in the car too, sphincter."

"I take my victories where I can."

I seriously considered punching him at the moment, but instead leaned forward and pointed, "There's the turn-off to the Manor."

He shoved my hand distractedly from his line of sight before griping the emergency break. "I saw this once in a Jason Statham movie," he told me entirely unreassuringly. "You might want to hold on."

Hold on? Hold on? My nails were already biting into the plastic of the door. I couldn't hold on much tighter if I tried. "Jake, if you kill me, I'm never speaking to you again."

"If I'd known that's all it'd've taken to shut you up..." and then, without slowing, he pulled on the parking break, jammed the steering wheel all the way to one side, and forced the car into a sharp turn. Once the front wheels were on the narrow drive, he did just the opposite. The car dove-tailed a little, the back end refusing to get back under control, and I swore my life flashed in front of my eyes. It was kinda depressing.

"Oh my God, I'm alive," I breathed. "How is that even fucking possible?" And then, because I really didn't want to see Seth get his lily-ass beaten to a pulp by werewolves I'd be then forced to kill – or worse, have him saved by vampires, who I'd then have to be nice to, - I forced my way over my seat and into the back. And then started pulling off the dress I'd been wearing. I rather wanted to keep it – it was the longest I owned, coming fully an inch above my knees.

"Not that I'm not grateful for the invitation, can't the you're-so-amazingly-awesome,-I-can't-believe-we're-still-alive sex wait until after we've saved the day?"

I flipped him the finger, which he probably didn't see, and flung the back door open ("Hey, you'll ruin the paint," he admonished, tree limbs indeed brushing loudly against the open door). Then I did the most idiotic thing I've probably ever done, short of falling in love with my Alpha: I jumped out of the car.

Granted, I did phase before I landed, but it was still a lot of pain on my paws that I had to run through. Seth. Where are you? Are you okay? Is Sa-?

The West Spur. The border of "our" land and the Cullens' then. Not good. I can smell the other pack. They're not that far out.

By all that was holy, we'd made it in time. I'll be there in a second. Jake's parking the car. And possibly warning the leeches.

Oh. Good. A pause. Mind telling me what's going on?

What do you think's going on, you wart-chewing mushroom-vendor? Behind us are "veggie" vampires and their half-breed spawn. In front of us are werewolves. One is the natural enemy of the other. I always knew my brother was going to win a Darwin Award... but what I actually told him was, Divide and conquer. Get rid of one Alpha and one Beta and all you've got is a... I paused, what are you? Does that make you the Omega, or just a Gamma?

Not helping Lee.

I was starting too smell them too – and was struck by how much they smelled like ocean, at least compared to us. Maybe that's what the bloodsuckers had been talking about: we were a different pack, so we smelled different. Piney, since we were farther away from the ocean. I was such a homebody, it'd effected me the most, but it was starting to effect Jake too (hadn't I noticed it just the other day?) and had effected Seth the least 'cause he kept going back to La Push to visit Mom and stuff. Ha. I'm smarter then a Walking Dead doctor. Go me – and knew I was close. I could just make out Seth, in a fighting stance, inside the border. His sandy fur was doing an impression of hackles raised as I'm sure mine was too (there was enough girl left within me to be angry at this, especially after the drama of trying to get it untangled in the first place) and every now and then he'd bare his teeth towards the murky distance. One is easier to fight then three, Seth.

The Cullens-

We're too far out for the mind-raper to hear us, and by the time we'd be close enough it'd probably already be too late.

He gave a little whine. Why would Sam do that? The Cullens've never heart anybody.

It seemed that I knew more about the leeches then my brother did. Or, at least, the reality of what it meant. I knew some of their backgrounds. I knew they didn't just magically come upon some of their fighting skills. And some members of PETA might have something to say about their dining habits. They're afraid, Seth. People destroy the things they don't understand. I moved to stand just in front of him, growling at the beasts I smelt in the shadows.

God, when did you get so wise?

I've always been wise, I quipped, waiting, you've just been too dumb to notice.

And then the wolves came, trotting out from their hidey-holes, hanging back about a foot from the border. The silver-black wolf I knew to be Paul looked surprised to see me – well, all of them did, but none so much as him.

The largest of the wolves, Sam, came to stand right across from me, and made a strange, shaking movement with his head that I took to mean, "Phase so we can talk."

My growl deepened. Not in a million lifetimes, you nut-chewing butt-cleaver.

I felt Jake phase in the distance. He can't hear you, you know.

It makes me feel better, I told him, while Seth did a, Jake, I'm so glad you're here, that, you might notice, he didn't do for me. Just feel the freaking love here, people. I jumped out of a fucking car for him! The least I could get is a, "Hi, Leah. I'm so glad you're hear to save my lily-ass." But do I? No? Why? Because I'm stuck in a low-budget bromance with no hope of ever getting laid myself. It's awful.

Edward and Jasper are on the way; I'm right behind them. Try not to do anything stupid, okay, Leah?

Oh, yes, because I'm the one likely to do something stupid. On the grand scale of stupidity, I think falling for Jake still falls somewhere above telling a vampire's father we're his child's mortal enemies. Aye, Captain my Capitan, I said blithely and continued to glare at Sam.

We stayed like this for a minute or so, but it turns out those vampires are freaking fast, and I was shocked to discover the mind-reader falling into one of those West-Side-Story-crouches to my right, and Jasper doing a slightly – slightly – less girly one on Seth's other side.

"Sam seems to be of the impression that Billy was inviting you and Jake tonight."

He did... and then Jake and I were troubled by the lack of food.

"Leah would like you to know that next time you enlist Billy in your doings, you should probably inform him first."

Oh, yes, just edit my words you circus freak-show why don't you. Wait- Billy didn't know?

The vampire gave a quick jerk of his head.

Well, that's good. I'd hate to have to kill Jake's dad. I'm okay with killing Paul.

I'll bail you out afterwards, Jake assured me, his surprise palpable that Billy had rather side with his own son then with those who wanted to destroy Renesmee.

"Leah feels that Paul should not have gone behind his future father-in-law's back in such a manner."

What are we?Girls? I'll show you what I 'feel' you ice sculpture-

"Sam expresses his need to speak with you about the destruction of my daughter."

Tell him he can bite my furry ass. Use those words.

"Leah denies."

'Denies' you blood-whoring Bambi-killing freak? No matter how stupid your daughter's name is, I'm not going to let Sam try to hurt her over it.

"Jacob will be here momentarily. Until then, Leah has full diplomatic digression."

Stop talking and just beat Sam into a bloody pulp for interfering in my life again.

Seth saw fit to add his two cents in, I think it was Renesmee's life he was trying to interfere in.

I think we can knock Ambassador out of possible careers for your sister, Seth.

"Leah would ask your pack to kindly back away from our lands."

That sounds like a plan. Just ask them to leave. And then we can go back to the manor and have a tea party.

We did miss dinner.

Shut up Jake and run faster.

"Sam would prefer to stay until Jacob arrives."

I'll fight the pansy. Anyone who wants to hurt a child can't be that tough.

"That is agreeable with us, though we would still like you to send some of your pack away. We've no interest in fighting any of you, especially the younger ones."

I can't believe he brought the younger kids out for this.

Jake was just a bend in the path behind us. This is Sam we're talking about. He'd fight with an army of children if he thought it'd help his chances. If I was in his place, I'd keep them from phasing as much as possible until they were old enough to take care of themselves.

He's gonna get them killed, I agreed.

"Jacob invites those who would care to join is pack to do so."

I knew even as the bloodsucker was saying it that this was not the thing to say to Sam, and I wasn't even in the jerk's mind any more. But I saw him flex his forearms just a second before I acted – and maybe it was because I was beginning to like the Cullens in some deep, deep disturbed part of my psyche; maybe it was my don't-let-anyone-(especially-the-kids)-get-hurt damned maternal instinct spilling over; maybe I was just insane – and lunged sideways at Edward, actually surprising enough to knock him off balance, and Sam to fly harmlessly over him.

Sam spun on me in an instant though, and I jumped back to my feet, growling. This means war, you mother-fucking son of a whore. I'm going to enjoy ripping your throat out and trampling it.

And then he lunged.

Chapter Fifteen.