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The Mythical Creature's Guide to Living in the Modern World (19/23)


"If it weren't for your maturity, none of this would have happened.
If you weren't so wise beyond your years, I would've been able to control myself.
If it weren't for my attention, you wouldn't have been successful, and,
if it weren't for me, you would never have amounted to very much."

Alanis Morissette "Hands Clean"


Chapter Nineteen, Upsilon

I could get very used to kissing Jacob Black. The way his mouth was hot and fierce and seared me deep in side my soul... But now, as I kissed him, pressing us so close that I'm surprised our clothes didn't turn to ash from the friction, it wasn't just kissing him. It was marking him as mine – a strangely lupine reaction, but one I supposed I should have expected – and making sure he knew too.

I don't think he had much of a problem with it, because he was kissing me back just as deeply, our need to breathe momentarily forgotten as lifted me off the porch, my legs wrapping instinctively around his waist. My back collided with the wall of the house, but I didn't much care, because, for once, all was good. I didn't know where my life was going, only that it involved Jake, and that was good, no matter what was going to come, be it more stupid Vampire-Lycan wars or half-breed children or pack members.

From nearby came the sound of a door opening and then, before I could even consider what this might entail, a male voice – Charlie's voice – began to call out, "See you, Bel-" and faltered before completing the thought. A dim, "Oh my," escaped as, realizing that we'd just been walked in on (out on?) by the closest thing to a stepfather I might ever have, we slowly, blushingly, disentangled ourselves. Somewhat. Which was to say, Jake blushed, I didn't, and we still staid fairly close, though my feet were now back on the floor.

"Hey there, Charlie. Heading home finally?"

"I, er-" he sputtered, probably never having to worry about this particular issue (ie, finding someone, mainly me, pressed up against the wall in a very intimate position with her boyfriend, mainly Jake, and remaining very, but not quite as, close to him while calmly inquiring about his day) with Is-a-vampire and Sir Edward the Thought-Stealer. It is probably something most fathers or potential stepfathers don't want to see their (potential step)daughters doing either. But the key to getting through life is acting, I've discovered, as normal as possible through the pain. Throwing insults, clever nicknames, and the use of the ever-popular double entendre, I've found, tends to distract people from many things, including the fact that you were just found rounding second with your Alpha.

"Don't worry, Chief Swan: the only monsters that'll be hanging around here," in addition, that is, to the Bloodbank Raiders inside, and The Thing, "'ll be us. Unless, of course, the bogeyman stops by again..."

This, for some bizarre reason, got Jake to speak up; his voice reverberated in his (bare) chest and stirred things in mine. "The bogeyman?"

"Yea. Sleepless Beauty, her beau, Sargent Sulky, and Dead Ed are in the basement, cleaning they old me, but I just know they're doing battle with the bogeyman and holding out on us. Well," I said after a moment of thought, leaning my head back against the wall, "either that or they were trying to house train Bigfoot and didn't want us to know."

"I hope not. I mean, what'll we do if they get other pets?"

"I say we work as Bomb Sniffers or something for Forks Police. The pay's better, and we don't need any training at all. Human," I pointed at Charlie. "Werewolf," I jerked my finger at Jake, then, spinning it on me; "even cooler werewolf-"

"Hey!"

"Well, it's true Jake. I'm the coolest wolf ever."

"No, you're the only girl wolf; big difference."

"Oh, yes, because it's so easy to pull off the I-look-like-the-back-alley-Port-Angeles-whore without actually being the back-alley whore."

"It's not my fucking fault we don't have running water at the rock."

"Still, though, Charlie. If you ever need a K9 unit, you know where to find us."

Charlie, being Charlie, just stared at us wide-eyed for a moment and then, completely irrelevant to my cash flow problems, "I didn't realize you two were dating."

God, he must have been the only one in fifty miles not to know. Resisting the urge to roll my eyes, or say something along the lines of, "Neither did I," or, "What? No? Where did you get that idea?" Jake instead managed a, "Well, you know," while I thought about just how oblivious our small town cop was and what this boded for the safety of of the town if we supernatural freaks of nature didn't patrol. "We don't really advertise it."

I heard a tinkly laugh from inside, and, because I couldn't tell which of the vampires it was that made the noise, I settled for a mere, "Shut up, blood-for-brains," as I smashed my fist against the wall. The paint cracked a little; this made me unduly happy. Charlie looked startled at my reaction – presumably his poor human ears hadn't heard anything. "Wolf-hearing..."

"Oh, well..." he said dimly, "I'm off to meet Sue..."

My eyes followed him as he walked to the cruiser parked in the drive and climbed in. "There's something seriously wrong with Charlie. I don't know what, but he's not nearly as fucked up about all of this as he should be – Mom must be making him special brownies or something. 'Cause this just isn't fucking right."

"Maybe he just thinks it explains a lot."

"All the rain makes people here dumb if they haven't realized the small town doctor is a blood-sucking fiend."

"Well, that certainly explains you then, Leah."

"Oh, does it now?"

"Of course. 'Cause thinking I'd 'break up' with you today when I told you last night I wouldn't is pretty dumb. Or you're loosing your short term memory."

I punched him in the shoulder and peeled myself away from Jake. I went to lean against the porch rail and look out over the misting landscape. "I meant it, Jacob, when I said I'd destroy you. You've seen me. I don't think I've ever said two kind things about anybody in my life, I'm a bitch thirty days a month, and, according to Emmett the Dog-Sniffer, I apparently smell a lot like a freaking dog going into heat."

"I-"

Turning around, I looked towards Jake, leaning back now with my elbows on the rail. "I'm not saying I want you to go anywhere. Hell, I'm saying I want you that much closer. But I'm just warning you what you're getting into."

"Lee," he said, coming to join me, looking out at the perfectly cultivated and absurdly green lawn that curved gently around the drive and ended without shock at the tree line. The perfection was almost too much to bear, if only because it was too damn naturally built into the woods. Vampires, in movies and stuff, had always been creatures of cold stone castles and throbbing, packed cities; the manor here in the forest just seemed to me to be a sign of them trying too hard for something they could never have. Between them, I figured, they'd lived a millennium. Seven vampires, a thousand-something years. It wasn't right. It wasn't how things were supposed to be. Granted, werewolves lived a long time too, but we still, in the end, died. Things were supposed to die. If they didn't, the world wouldn't have made it so they did. Things changed. People changed. Vampires didn't. They were stuck in time for ever and ever, and no matter how many Porches or stocks they owned, Carlisle would always be some creepy dude from the 17th century that should be wearing powdered wigs and big shoe buckles and stuff, and Jasper a civil war remnant who'd I'd already heard twice proclaiming that the success of the US was based off of its successful operation as a federation and should aim to stay that way, and Bella would be a strange Gen Y-er even when people flew around in fucking air-cars and had colonies on Mars and junk. It was evolution, or something. "I don't want white picket fences or someone to cook and clean and pop out puppies. I want you, because you're funny and you're smart and you are who you are and don't give a shit about what people think about it."

"So it's not just because of me having the rock?"

"Well, it is a big plus... but it doesn't seal the deal."

No, my stupid mind thought, we did that last night. "Well, that's good. I'd hate for you to be Frenching me just because of my real estate."

"You have serious issues, Leah."

"More like subscriptions, but that's life when there aren't enough razors in the world to solve your fur problems."

Snorting, "I've got no problem with that."

"You wouldn't, would you?"

"What can I say? You're amazingly hot as you are now," he gestured vaguely in my direction, "and incredibly sexy when phased."

"That's more then moderately creepy, Jake."

"And yet I've seen you checking me out-"

"Have not!"

"Have too!"

"Oh yes, I recall the words, 'sexy beast,' being uttered in my direction as well."

I rolled my eyes and shoved him away. "There will not be any amateur werewolf porn."

He shoved me right back. "Who said it'd be amateur?"

"Conceited."

"Arrogant."

"Egotistical."

"Vain."

"Smelly."

"Bitchy."

"Don't you have homework to do?"

"Yeah – I was wondering if you could help with it."

"What?" I think my mouth dropped in shock. This was just odd. "What in?"

"Biology –" wait, I was pretty sure he wasn't even in biology, "we're studying sexual repro-"

"You are such a nerd," I laughed. How long had he been waiting to say that? Years, maybe?

"Yeah, but you know you love me."

Still laughing, I leaned in and gave him another kiss, "No idea why, though."

"'Cause I'm just that amazing?"

"Yeah, right," but I still kissed him, not caring at all that we were still on the vampires' front porch and there was the soft crunch of feet on leaves coming from the forest that could only be Seth and the others returning, because I liked kissing him and planned on doing it often and they could just learn to live with it or, well, not. Live, that is. I still had that brilliant axe-murdering plan...

Chapter Twenty.