The Mythical Creature's Guide to Modern Warfare (3/26)


"I don't think of the future. As long as I have enough money for three weeks' rent
and a pound or two over for food I never bother. Life wouldn't be worth living
if I worried over the future as well as the present."

Mrs. Nesbit in W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage

Chapter Three, Charlie

You know the part that annoyed me the most about Carlisle picking up the phone in the middle of the "discussion"? That he didn't say "Hello" in a cool British accent. How said is that? God, that would be so cool though... On Buffy and everything all the vampires still had their accents. But, then again, on Buffy the vampires could be killed by sunlight and pointy sticks. My life would be so much easier if that was the case. I mean, a) when Emmett begins to bug me I could taunt him with a curtain, which would be hilarious, b) Bella would never, ever have fallen in love with a guy who wonders around only by night and on only the cloudiest of days here in Forks, even if she is a complete nutcase who, again, hasn't realized Edward's überloseryness or his general gay douche-bagginess, and, if the idiots had never fallen in love, she'd never have been knocked up, and I'd not be here to protect her demon spawn, living at a rock; and, c) I wouldn't have to play Monopoly or Xbox or Jinga with them all freaking day when I get too close to Jasper and he lets it out that I'm bored. I've even helped them (or attempted to help them) tidy (or, again, attempted to tidy) their basement; I did get a couple pairs of bell-bottoms and some flip flops out of the deal, though.

Anyway, Jake seemed interested in staying to find out what the bloodsuckers decided, I guess 'cause he's Alpha and all and that kind of thing is important to the existence of the pack, so I stayed to – though I did plop down on the nearest couch, pulling Jake with me so I could rest my head on his lap. God, even the vampire's ceiling is perfectly white. I'd been hoping after last week's incident with Emmett and a homemade pudding gun, something would have stained.

"...heard from you in a while, Kate," Carlisle continued. Kate? I thought the problem was with Tanya. Were they sister-vamps or gay lovers or something (that's another thing: why haven't I heard about any gay vampires. Oh, yes, there are all these vampires out there getting and avenging mates of the opposite sex, but have no homosexuals been turned into vampires, like, ever, or does vamping "cure" it or what? Hell, this is going to bother me for the rest of the day, I just know it)? Or was this someone else wanting to come and bother us for Christmas? "Yes, everyone is here. Let me put you on speaker."

I guess the speaker phone thing was for the phone's benefit, not the leeches – who, as surely as I could, hear everything that this "Kate" person was saying, but, without yelling, could not make themselves be picked up by the mic from across the room.

"Allo, my kuzins," this Kate person said, heavy on the Russian accent. I restrained a smile, which Jake noticed. He smiled back down at me, and started to play with my hair as we listened. Or, at least tried to listen. No matter how cool an accent is, Jake playing with my hair makes it kinda hard to concentrate... Still, it was only vampire catching-up I was missing out on.

"Hey," "Hello," and, "Hi, Kate" came from various corners of the room. Except from Emmett. He asked, rather plainly, "What's up with the accent, Katie baby? Last time we heard from you, you were doing Catalan."

"I got nostalgic, da – and tired of Carmen and Eleazaar getting angry wiz me about it. But it took me ages convincing Tanyen'ka, but, if you do not mind, all of us – well, not Irina, she still razer... upset ower ze loss of her mate – but Tanya, Carmen, Eleazaar and I're descending upon you for Christmas."

The vampires looked around, and then, typically, Esme answered for the group. "No, we wouldn't mind having you visit." I guess we'd have to find a way to convince the overgrown ticks that Nessie wasn't a monster... at least, not in their sense of the word.

"Good. I-," suddenly she stopped and, when she returned a moment later, her accent had disappeared entirely, becoming as flat and unspectacular as I imagined my own was. Which just sucked. "Oh, shit. It looks like Carmen discovered the-"

And the phone went dead.

"Well," I said, sitting up, "that sure was enlightening. Do all you vampires get that bored and play practical jokes on each other, or is that just a vegetarian peculiarity?"

Carlisle looked at me oddly and, rather sombrely I thought, answered. "No. She was just something of a jester in the court of Grand Prince Vladimir I of Kiev..."

I'd no idea how long ago that was, let alone who this Vladimir person was, but didn't much care either way. "Whatever. I'm heading out before Seth starts crying man-tears over the cake," I don't think I could take any more freaking drama today. Really, I don't think I could. Feeling sorry for vampires, baking cakes – and, of course, being interrupted when I was trying to have a good time with Jake – was just too much for me. At the door, I turned around and asked, "You coming?" to said AWOL Alpha and headed out.

That didn't stop me from hearing him sigh and tell the leeches, "Sorry, but duty calls," before he ran to catch up with me. I punched him when he did. "Hell, Leah, what was that for?"

"Duty am I?" I was seeing red now. I told you. My stupid emotions. I'll probably be giggling in five minutes or something else incredibly stupid and caused by the presence of too much pink. Pink can cause cancer and mood swings, you know. Some guys with cool German accents proved it.

Sounding surprised, "You don't want to circle the wagons and run double patrols?"

I looked at him like he was crazy. "Over dinner guests who aren't coming for a month? Hell no!" Then again, he was dating me, so that was probably a given. For a fleeting moment I wished he'd a shirt so I could grab him by it, then I realized what I was thinking and dismissed it entirely. If it wasn't for the fact I knew the Rez school had a no shirt, no shoes policy, I'd have wondered if he even owned any. Not that I'm complaining. He may be seventeen, nearly eighteen, but I like looking at him. And being around him. And, of course, kissing him, too, and having sex with him. Yes, I have no shame. "We are going to go back to the rock, and we are going to finish what we started."

He laughed. "Why, Miss Clearwater, are you trying to seduce me?"

"Trying? No. I just spent the better part of the day trying to bake you a birthday cake, failed utterly and completely, and then had you show up and be all sweet to me. Plus," I said, pushing him against the nearest tree and, standing on the tips of my toes, pressed myself close to him so I could whisper in his ear, "in case you haven't noticed, I kinda have this thing for you..."

I intended to pull away then, and have him lusting after me so damn bad he practically carried me back to the rock – I dunno. Try to be sexy and mysterious or something (I guess I'd been watching too many James Bond movies; stupid vampires and their collection of every DVD every made). But no. I was my own undoing, because, pressed against him like that, not only could he feel all of me, I could feel all of him. And he smelled just so God-damned wonderful I couldn't stop myself, and was kissing him along his jawline and he was trying to find my lips and our hands were going everywhere, right there with him pinned up against a tree 'bout quarter mile from the rock, where anyone could see us.

Not that I cared a fucking five-pence about anyone else at the moment, I was just thinking with the girlier parts of me – the parts affected the most by those duck-raping ass-grabbing fertility treatments I knew now somebody had to be slipping me, because I'd not been this much of a freaking hormonal roller coaster since... I dunno, whenever my last period was, ages ago now. That's the one great thing about this whole menopausal werewolf thing. Okay, make that two. One: no annoying periods to worry about. Two: no need to worry about not having condoms when you're doing it with your werewolf boyfriend against a tree in the middle of the forest – and forcing my tongue into my Alpha's mouth.

What the fuck was I doing thinking now, anyway? Because every time with Jacob was like the first, and he made me feel so God-damned loved it was amazing the rest of the pack hadn't sent us to S.A.A. yet just so they could get some fucking peace. I mean, in the past two months, I'd heard more "Alpha pair" jokes then had probably existed before, well, two months ago. No, whatever it was, there was no denying the undeniable attraction between the two of us, and it made me feel really stupid to look back and wonder how I'd fought him for so long. I didn't worry so much about him leaving me any more, or really anything. I'd given up worrying. Or, at least, had tried to. Because I had him now and so what if the visiting vampires might cause problems for us or he might imprint on someone and leave me here, alone, with only a rock to my name, or anything else. Okay, so largely the non-worrying thing had failed, but it was so hard not to forget everything and just be when I was with him. He made me feel alive for the first time in my life.

"Wow," Jake managed when we found the strength to pull away from each other and collect our now thoroughly dirt-smudged clothing. "Remind me to be nice to you more often."

I snorted, shoving him slightly as he went to wrap an arm around me as we walked – a habit of his that carried over to when we were both wolves, so that we'd bump into each other as we walked, or he'd rest his head behind mine like I was a giant headrest or something, or we'd find up curled about each other when we slept phased, no matter how far apart in our like rocky den we might have fallen asleep. Seth and Quil, who ran the night shift and thus were the ones usually phased when Jake and I took over for the morning patrol (Embry did afternoons and evenings; he was the most uncomfortable abound the leeches out of all of us, and preferred to have us just bring him the leftovers then actually go inside their house whenever possible), called it the most ridiculous flirting they'd ever seen. Well, that's what Quil called it. Seth called it disgusting and would have been happier if Jake avoided me entirely. Like that's going to happen. "I swear I think Emmett's right, despite being an idiotic, fantasy-football-playing jock, and I'm going into heat. That's the only explanation I can think of."

It was Jake's turn to snort, walking backwards so he could look at me as he said, "I love you, Leah. You love me. We are teenage werewolves with minimal hormonal control and no parental supervision. I think it'd be stranger if we could keep our hands to ourselves."

"I tried to bake you a freaking cake today, Jake. I think something's wrong with me."

"You have many issues, Leah, but that's not one of them."

I looked at him blankly. "Bake. Me. Cake. What part of that strikes you as normal?"

"It was a nice thing to try, and nobody ever said you weren't nice."

"Let's see... Embry did this morning when I kicked him awake... Emmett did on Thursday – and Wednesday, and last Monday – and Seth did yesterday-"

"Ah, you only kicked Embry 'cause you didn't want us to be late for school again."

"If you try to make me out to be a nice person, Jacob Black, I will shave you." See how he liked running around as a hairless werewolf. He'd look like an overgrown Mexican Hairless or whatever those bald dogs are called. Or maybe a poodle, with his legs and arms all hairy, and his head and back bald? Creepy. I'll have to borrow a camera from the leeches if I ever try it.

"I'm just saying, Lee. If, for some strange, bizarre reason Emmett is right and, somehow or another, you manage to get pregnant, I don't think you'd be a bad mother."

Askance. That's the only word to describe the look I gave him as I stopped to try to make sense of what he was saying. "You've been sniffing something, haven't you? In Wood Shop. You and the boys have been sniffing glue in Wood Shop haven't you?"

He paused and walked back to me when he realized I wasn't going to go anywhere for a long time. With a resigned sigh. "I'm being completely serious, Leah."

I blinked at him. "I don't know who you're thinking about, but could you imagine me with kids? I mean, there's a reason I never baby sat." I thought about it for a moment. "I must have concussed you pushing you into that tree." Damn, it was worth it though. I felt marginally better already, but which I mean less likely to shred innocent sleeping bags.

"Dad his this idea-"

"Say no more. He's probably drugging us both. Viagra and Clomid and aphrodisiacs galore. I don't know how, but he-"

"-that life is one big chocolate chip-"

"-is. I know! He must have sold his soul to the Dark Side-"

"-cookie, and that-"

"-and is getting Carlisle to drug us for- Wait. Did you just say cookie?"

"Yeah. Dad his this idea life should be like a cookie, unplanned and full of grandchildren for him."

"How on earth does he get grandchildren out of 'life is a cookie'?"

"I dunno," he shrugged (and I, who have enough issues to be a class in psychiatrist school, watched is muscles ripple as he did. It was a guilty pleasure, especially as, for today at least, he was still under-age), "a lot of what he says doesn't make any sense. I'd have gone to Old Quil, but he was out fishing or something, so Dad was the best I could do."

"Is this your not-so-subtle way of telling me you want kids? 'Cause, unless Emmett's 'miracle' happens, I've gotta tell you, it's not happening."

"I still say you'd be a good mom, regardless of whether your ovaries ever function again or not."

"And I still say you're smoking something – but it's all moot anyway, as I am a person, not a dog, do not go into heat, and distinctly menopausal." Unless Emmett was right...

God, I hope not. The world might end if that happens.

I think.

Chapter Four.