Last year the entire world around me shifted, no pun intended. My best friend and everyone I knew turned out to be wolves. I grew up hearing the stories about the Quileute tribe and Taha Aki, but to me those were just fun stories Billy would tell us around a warm bonfire to teach us about our heritage. I happened to love those stories and a part of me believed in them, just like I believed witches used to live in Salem, and gods used to walk to earth. I love stories and I love history.
When all the people you care about turn out to be shapeshifters defending people from vampires, though? That's not a fun story to hear around a bonfire. It's fucking terrifying. Life was falling apart around us.
Jake left the pack to fight a war to defend Bella Swan. Sam left Leah for Emily, his imprint. There's been bloodshed and fighting for so long I forget what it's like to be a normal person. Leah in her devastated state left the pack to follow Jacob, and Seth followed along. We all used to be so close, Embry, Quil, and Jared used to be like Jacobs brothers. Everything is different now.
I forgot what it's like to live a normal life with normal friends a long time ago. Every day I'm patching up Jake, Leah, and Seth at the Cullen's house, trying to keep everyone put together.
Things are so tense with Bella's pregnancy and Jacob isn't doing so well with it. Leah is still depressed over Sam and Emily. Seth..
Leah and I used to not be close. We actually hardly interacted at all. She's our age but she was so wrapped up in her relationship with Sam I hardly saw her. I grew up being close with Jake and then Embry and Quil came along later on. Jared and Kim came when the pack started. Seth was always around though, he was always Jake's number one fan. He's a year younger so we also barely spoke for all those years.
When Leah first got dumped by Sam I had no idea how Sam could be so evil and cruel. I thought they'd get married and start a family, they even got engaged so young. They were always so head over heels together. I didn't understand at the time because no one else did either. Sam was the first person to shift.
He saw Emily, Leah's own cousin, and it was instantly over for the couple. He found his lifelong partner in an instant.
Leah, at the time, didn't understand and she was devastated. She wasn't close with anyone anymore, everyone got pushed aside when Sam came along. The guys are just guys, they can only do so much. She needed a girl friend to lean on. So I did my best to be there for her, every day. She would ignore me, cast me aside, try to push me away with mean words, but I knew she needed me.
Then one by one everyone started shifted and Leah finally did too. She was horrified about her fate and she finally got an answer about what happened with Sam. Of course that did very little to lighten the blow, it probably just felt worse knowing Sam found the love of his life and she was alone. Worst part? She has to read his thoughts and spend time with him, constantly.
So when Leah shifted she told me, or rather showed me. I was in utter shock and I was horrified, rightly so. There was a giant wolf in my backyard staring back at me where my friend once stood. She told me everything that was going on, everyone who shifted, the imprinting, all of it. It was a shock to me just as much as it was to her.
We've been closer ever since that moment and we lean on each other through these times. She was eager to leave Sam's pack when Jake did, she needed the space from Sam. I understood why she did it, but it doesn't make me any less sad for all the friends we've lost.
It's not just like a regular friend fight, I'm horrified someone will die. Every day I'm scared. And I'm not a wolf nor a vampire, there's nothing I can do. Actually, they all do a pretty good job of reminding me that I'm vulnerable. That I am no actual help.
Every time I go to the Cullen's Jake, Leah, and Seth hound me about how dangerous it is for me to be there. I know what the Cullen's are and I'm careful not to spill blood. Nothing can stop me from being there for my friends, those that I have left. Plus, the Cullen's and Bella have always been super nice to me.
I know Leah can't stand them, neither can Jake. Leah is jealous of how much attention Jake gives Bella, at least I think so, she would never admit it. I know she hasn't imprinted on him, but she deserves someone to give her attention again. To feel loved again.
Jake is so far lost, I don't know what it is that draws him to Bella Swan. She's a sweet girl, but she loves Edward. She's married to Edward, and pregnant with his vampire baby. There's no room for Jacob in that situation.
Seth likes the Cullen's too, they get along great. Him and Edward are buddies and Bella adores him. The whole family loves him, probably a whole lot more than Jake.
So in the middle of my life being totally flipped upside down my heart betrayed me. I really like Seth Clearwater. I can feel it in my heart, in my bones. I really want to be with him. All this time I've spent with Leah, I've unknowingly also spent with Seth. He's always around now, I see him everyday.
When I stay over at the Clearwater's he's there morning and night. When I come to the Cullen's, he's here. He's everywhere.
The problem is Leah. Leah is my best friend in the world. I was there for her with Sam and then again when she left the pack. It's been such a hard year for her and she's still in a difficult place. There's so much going on with her and I just want to provide her with support and love. She needs me so badly and I need her too. I've never had a friend like her. She would see me liking Seth as me using her, or as if I'm betraying her. I just don't want to cause her anymore pain.
Plus, I can't just date a wolf. If what happened to Leah taught me anything, I can't just date a wolf. They imprint and it can happen at any time. If I started a relationship with Seth I would just be left devastated. He hasn't imprinted, so it's not me. He wouldn't imprinted by now. That's why I don't understand Jake, he's known Bella for so long. It would have happened a long time ago.
So I'm left to crush on Seth from afar. I'll never tell him how I feel. I'll never tell Leah either. It's a good thing I'm not a wolf, cause the whole mind reading thing would not fly with me. I cannot control my thoughts, especially when I try harder to keep them maintained.
I hear Esme sigh deeply from the kitchen and turn on my heel to go offer my assistance. They've been kind enough to feed us all every day despite not eating human food themselves. I catch her struggling to stop the boiling water from continuing to bubble over and hand her a lid to the pan. "Thanks hun." She shoots me a kind smile. I've grown to really like the Cullen family, honestly.
Esme and Carlisle are very sweet parental figures. Alice and Jasper are the sweetest couple I've ever met I think. They just work so beautifully together and I adore Alice's style. She's been really nice to go shopping with me lately, and Jasper usually tags along and trails behind us. Emmett is like a big brother figure and I like messing with him. I've spent many hours binge watching TV shows with him while everyone else was out. Edwards always been a kind man to everyone and I'm glad to see Bella has a good husband.
Rosalie on the other hand was not easy to deal with at first. She's angry. Angry that the wolves are in her space. Angry that Bella is pregnant and she can't be. Angry than I'm human, something that she misses. She's just unhappy and it makes me sad.
So while everyone tries to avoid her altogether I try to show her kindness. I try to remind other people to do the same too. I try to stay out of her way as well unless it seems like she needs a quiet companion around.
Otherwise everything is fine here.
"It's been a long day." I offer her a small smile as she adds the noodles into the pot. "Can I help out?" It never feels like I do enough. Everyone's literally risking their lives constantly and I help Carlisle with some wounds and assist with cooking. I don't even know why I come around at all sometimes. I feel like I more or less just take up more space in the already crowded home. But I'm here because I'm scared something bad is going to happen, every fucking day.
She shakes her head with a smile. "I'm okay, I just got distracted. If you're free though Carlisle needed some help organizing some new med supplies in his office?" I think Esme knows how badly I want to help, despite being limited in what I can do.
I appreciate the small chores I'm offered. "Great, I'll get right to it." I walk out of the kitchen, passing Emmett who's playing a video game in the living room next to Bella. She's gotten so big lately and she's been sucking down bottles and bottles of blood to suppress the angry vampire baby. It's been pretty terrifying to see honestly. I knew Bella when she was a human, I even met her before Edward was in her life at all. So much has changed. So much.
"Fuck!" Emmett grumbles, tossing his controller dramatically. I roll my eyes and make it to Carlisle's office. I love it in here. It's a calm, quiet space..when no ones hurt of course. I find all the new shipments of supplies and start putting them away in the correct bins he had neatly organized. He tries to balance time between working at the hospital and patching everyone up here. We're lucky he has such good connections because the wolves go through so many bandages.
Luckily they heal quickly but initially they can lose a lot of blood. I've learned to handle blood pretty well being here all the time, I actually used to be squeamish. Watching Bella suck down that blood though..not easy still.
Carlisle actually got me a part time job assisting him at his job at the hospital. Most of us graduated high-school last year, right when everything went down. The guys all have different jobs on the Rez, but I needed something else. I moved out of my dad's house into a tiny home on the Rez. Rent is very cheap, but I still needed money. I get paid pretty well for having pretty much no experience and only working part-time. I think that's thanks to Carlisle though.
"Gwen." Carlisle walks into his office with a smile as he shrugs on his white doctor jacket. "I'm off to the hospital for an emergency. Thanks for putting all that away, I haven't gotten around to it." He's filling his suitcase with paperwork in a rush.
I shake my hand at him. "It's no problem, I'm thankful that I can help in some way." I shoot him a quick smile.
He pats me shoulder kindly. "You're always a help. I'll be back later." He's quickly walks out of the room. Carlisle is a real hard worker. For someone who's been dead for years and has enough money to not work for another hundred years or so, he works damn hard. He helps people though and that's an important job to have.
"Dammit Seth!" Leah lets out an exaggerated huff as they stumble into the office. Seth has his arm slung over his older sisters shoulder. She drops him down on the leather couch. "Gwen he fell right into a cactus." She rubs a hand over her face, glaring at her brother. "He has needles coming out of everywhere."
I snort and drop what I'm doing to inspect the sheepish looking Seth. "I didn't see it and dripped right into it." He rubs the back of his neck. There's needles covering his stomach and thighs through his clothes.
"Jesus. It's alright I can get these out, it's just gonna take some time." I move over to the cabinet to find some tweezers, alcohol, and cotton pads. "Is your pain bad?" I offer, pausing in front of the medicine.
"I'm fine." Seth assures me. Their pain tolerance is very high but with all those needles and how long it's going to take me..we'll see. I pull on a pair of gloves.
I see Leah shaking her head at him, crossing her arms. "I need to get out there for patrol. Stay here, you're done for the night." She shoots him a warning look before stomping off.
I chuckle at her anger and kneel down in front of him, taking a closer look. "You really fell into it, huh?" He has tons of little needles penetrating him. This position is a little awkward and reminds me a bit too much of something else. Seth seems to think the same because he won't dare to look at me and his face is beat red.
"It came out of no where I'm tellin ya." He shakes his head.
I slowly pull one out and pause to see if he'll wince, but he's fine. I get to work pulling them out slowly, hoping to avoid them breaking inside the skin. That would suck. His leg starts bouncing and I press a flat palm to it. "Be still." I hiss. "I'm trying to be careful here."
"Sorry I just get a little crazy when I'm still." I roll my eyes at him jokingly, he's so..I can't even describe it. Maybe like a golden retriever puppy. I suppose that's not too inaccurate giving the fact that he's a wolf.
I go back to the needles, plucking them out. "Be patient please. Tell me about school." I hold back the laugh. Seth's just a year younger, but everyone likes to tease him about it. He's eighteen already, his birthday is in early September. But poor Seth is in his senior year of high school still, on top of all this going on.
He sighs, his head slumping back. "It's fine. I'm just tired. I can hardly function for the first half of the day and then by lunch I'm just thinking about how much time I have left until patrol." He shrugs his broad shoulders. "Sleep is getting harder to come by."
"I know the feeling." I look up at him to see him staring down at me. I feel my face flood with warmth and turn back down to his stomach. "Have you heard anything from the others?"
It's something we hardly talk about. Times are tense. They're out their patrolling so the other wolves don't come invading this side of the boundary. Our friends are fighting us. "No I haven't. This whole thing is just a mess." He scrubs his hands over his face. "But it'll all be okay soon. They can't really want anyone to kill this baby, right? They'll realize that soon."
I nod my head. I hope he's right. "Okay I got them all through the shirt, but just take it off so I know nothing's left in the skin." I pull away.
He quickly pulls of his shirt, tossing it on the couch next to him. His abs shift under his movement and for a moment I can't peel my eyes away, but my hands are frozen. I see a lot of half naked wolves. I've seen Seth without his shirt on countless times. But there's no denying his beauty. He's sculpted perfectly and I just want to touch him.
I get it together and inspect his belly. "Yeah you have a few left. Just hold super still, they're tiny." He obeys and I get a closer look. My one hand lays flat against his chest to steady myself as I lean over closer. His body is hot beneath my cold hand. The wolves run with a naturally high temperature, I often forget that. I start plucking little bits out and luckily nothing is being left in the skin. I rub alcohol pads over him as I work, little pricks of blood staining the pad.
He hisses at the sensation and my whole body tingles for a minute. God, I am just pathetic aren't I? This is my best friends little brother. This is Seth, I've known him forever. Why do I feel like this now? After all this time?
There's plenty of guys around here that aren't wolves. That don't imprint, or risk their lives everyday. I need to go on a date. Find a normal guy. But Seth..he's so adorable, and sexy, and funny. Get your shit together Gwen, this is not happening for you.
I do another swipe of the alcohol over his belly and then pull away, a little reluctantly if I'm honest, but distance is good right now. "Okay all cleaned up." I shoot him a brief smile, collecting all my garbage.
"I think I have a few in my leg too." He innocently points to his thigh which indeed has cactus needles sticking out.
A shiver threatens to course through me as I stare down at his leg. It's ever so close to..oh god, no. "Right." I let out a breath. "Right, let me just get more pads." I slowly rise to my feet, turning my back to him as I throw away the pads and find new ones. I'm moving much slower now, maybe hoping that Carlisle will arrive home and take over for me. He just left Gwen, just do it.
I clear my throat as I turn back to him, giving him a brief smile. "Okay, just keep still." I kneel before him again, this time his eyes are staring back at me. I don't want to break the gaze but I do, my eyes going to the project in front of me. I pluck out about five needles before pausing. "Um."
"What?" Seth's voice sounds different, maybe a little husky? I try to tell myself he's just tired, but he's an eighteen year old boy and I'm a girl awfully close to his..package.
I pause for a moment. "I need to make sure there's nothing left in the skin.." I trail off, looking up at him.
His eyes meet mine. "Right."
I chuckle a little when he doesn't make a move. "I need you to take off your pants so I can get a closer look." I lean back on my knees, my feet supporting me. I stare at him but he continues to make no movement to remove his sweats. "Seth." I motion to his pants.
"Yeah. I can't." He replies sheepishly, a red glow appearing on his face.
I frown. "I just want to double check, it'll only take a moment."
He just looks anywhere but my eyes, grazing the room. "I'm not wearing any boxers." His voice squeaks a little. "Not in a weird way but I just usually skip out on those when I had patrol, one less thing to potentially lose when I shift." He rants on, still not looking at me. We're both silent for a moment before I giggle a little, rising to my feet. He runs a hand through his hair, looking nervous as he finally looks back at me.
"Okay. I'll just hand you these." I hand him my supplies carefully. "Just do it slowly so nothing breaks off." I instruct, pulling off my gloves and throwing them into the waste bin. "Swipe the alcohol pads over the area when you finish so it stays clean."
I walks out of the room, slowly shutting the door behind me. I let out a slow breath, wiping a hand over my forehead. I try to avoid intimate situations like that with Seth, but that clumsy dork can't seem to stay away from the medical room. Every other day he has a new cut, a bump on the head, it's always something.
Every time I get worked up by him I feel like Leah can sense it or something. She always asks me why I'm flushed or why I look so nervous. It just embarrasses me further. Luckily though I've done a good job of keeping it to myself all this time and no one knows about it, not even Jake. I don't even think Jake would remember if I told him though, he's so caught up with Bella. I move on to the kitchen to check in on Esme, counting down the hours until I can go home.