Title: Fly With Me
Summary: "Love and sickening, heart-wrenching agony. Basically synonymous if you ask me…"
Song: Long Way to Happy Pink
In The Pieces
The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
I nodded at Billy in greeting as I stepped into the house from my early morning trip down to the store. A Coke can was grasped in my hand, perspiring as it was exposed to my extreme body heat. Billy looked up from his paper, removing the glasses perched on the end of his nose. His eyebrows scrunched in the middle as he shot a glance at my bedroom door, then back at me.
"I thought you were still sleeping," he said, his voice an echo of the low, masculine growl it used to be, "how long have you been out?"
Smiling, I placed another Coke in the fridge, watching it creak shut as I let go of the handle, "An hour or so," I said lightly, "I went with some of the guys to take a swim." Shaking my damp hair for emphasis, I leaned on the counter, sipping from my can.
Dad opened his mouth, and I could see in his eyes that he was about to reprimand me for not sleeping, but a knock on the door interrupted him. Billy switched his razor-sharp stare from me to the doorway, where Quil and Embry were now standing, looking like very big deer caught in the headlights of a semi.
I chuckled, "Hey."
Billy didn't much appreciate my relief of the fact that my friends had shown up, and he snorted, pulling his newspaper back up to his face. He continued to grunt and mumble as I sidled past our tiny kitchen table and out the door, shoving Quil along as I went. Embry was already standing on the dirt road in front of my porch.
"Trouble at home?" he asked, making a line in the dust with his bare toe. I shrugged, dropping down to sit on the steps. Quil lingered by the small railing.
"I've heard it all lately; 'Are you sleeping?' 'You're still awake?' I just don't think he gets that I'm not really into shut-eye right now," I waved my hand around in the air, reaching up to pass my fingers through my hair.
"Don't you think it's making you less alert?" Quil asked, almost as if he were talking to himself, "I mean... couldn't you use a nap?"
As if to prove his point, a yawn erupted from my mouth and I grinned lazily up at the morning sun, "Nah."
Embry rolled his eyes, probably thinking how childish it was to try to escape my dreams. He returned his watch to me, "Sam wants us at Emily's. It's about the new kid."
I cocked an eyebrow, mildly interested, "The girl?"
"Nope," Quil grinned secretively, taking my intrigue for something more significant, "her brother."
"Oh," I drew out the word, "Sam thinks he'll phase?"
"We're about to find out, I guess."
Emily had made muffins, and I was downing them like a starving man at a buffet. She was watching me from the counter; her elbows perched behind her to hold her weight, her face twisted into a disgusted frown.
"You're sweeping my floor after this, you know."
I laughed, swallowing a rather large bite of blueberry muffin, "Got it."
Sam swept through the door, shooting me a strange look as he went to peck Emily on her ruined lips. I turned away from them, back to Embry and Quil whose rapt attentions were on the tiny television. Sam was muttering something to Emily as he sat down across from me, reaching for the last muffin.
"So I hear the new kid's gonna be one of us," I said, trying to make my voice nonchalant to hide my interest, "and his sister?"
Sam's shaggy hair fell into his eyes as he shook his head, swallowing before he answered me, "Evie hasn't shown any signs of a transformation. Alex on the other hand, has a constant temperature of one-oh-two."
"You've met them?" one of my eyebrows rose as I contemplated their names. Evie and Alex, Alex and Evie.
"Emily did," he smiled at her over his shoulder, and I almost felt smothered by the tangible waves of tenderness that tainted the air, "met them both at the store yesterday night while we were… busy. The father came to talk to me this morning as well. He knows about the myths."
"They're sweet kids," Emily chimed in (cutting off my interrogation of her fiancée) her gaze somewhere out the open door, "Evie is shy, though I'm sure that will change when she meets you boys."
"Ah yes," Embry rose from his spot on the floor, coming to lean against the wall behind me, "survival of the fittest." Distantly, I wondered why there was only the four of us here. Brady, Seth and Collin, I understood were still in school, as was Jared. But Paul and Leah should have been present.
"And Alex?" Quil asked, drawing my mind back to the conversation. His eyes were glued to the TV, but he was speaking to Emily, "does he have the temper yet?"
Before she could answer, something nagged at the back of my mind, "Wait… why is he phasing at all? The… Cullens are gone."
Sam bobbed his head, contemplating, "It seems Forks is an attraction for vampires. I mean, it is the perfect place to remain anonymous. The rain, the clouds, the population…"
I growled quietly, "But we haven't found anything, any trace, in all these weeks."
Quil's brow came together to form a dark 'V' in the center of his forehead, "Do you think they're… humane? Like the others were?"
"Humane?" Embry spat, sucker punching Quil in the shoulder, "they eat humans for breakfast, no way are they anywhere close to humane."
Quil scowled, rubbing his sore arm, "You know what I meant."
"Anyways," Sam drew all attention back to him with a loud cough, "Jake, I want you to take Paul and Embry with you tonight, and stake out the Caddo's place. If Alex phases, get him out of there before he hurts someone."
I nodded, looking around for Paul, remembering that he was absent, "Where is that hot-head, anyways?"
"Leah is down at the school, watching Alex, and Paul… I have no clue where Paul is," Sam looked to Embry and Quil for an answer, but they just shrugged.
"Sorry I'm late, guys," Paul shuffled through the doorway, face dirtied, clothes torn, "got in a little scuffle with Seth, here."
Behind him, Seth came in looking disheveled but better than his companion. A large smile spread across my face and I chuckled at Paul, "Got beat by another newbie, Paul? Losing your touch?"
"Care to see?" he growled, flexing his fist.
"Relax," Sam warned us, secretively shooting a look at Emily through the corner of his eye, "aren't you both old enough to know violence isn't the answer?"
"Oh," Paul rolled his eyes, "right, right, so did you not freak out last week and practically tear me a second whole to breath out of?"
Sam gave him a partial grin, "You always did know how to piss me off."
Embry, Paul and I took over Leah's shift of babysitting. I knew I wasn't too happy, having to be the guard dog. I always got stuck with the security jobs, never the SWAT missions. Except, maybe, for the fight in the mountains.
How was school? I asked Leah as she passed us, her bulky form shaking with repressed growls of irritation.
Don't start with me, kid.
I watched her go, disappearing through the trees as lithely as a shadow. Her thoughts still lingered though, Stupid Jacob… until they were suddenly cut off. She had phased back.
Guess that's him.
Embry had spotted Alex, blazing out of the school with a teacher hot on his tail.
"Mr. Caddo!" she trilled, her voice like fingernails racing along a chalkboard. I'd had her my freshman year and she was more a harpy than Leah could be.
"Mr. Caddo! You have detention!"
Alex didn't turn; the only change in his demeanor was a slight smile quirking up one side of his lip. Embry gave a low growl of satisfaction. Detention on his first day, huh?
Paul, on the other hand, was not pleased, Looks like he'll be another Jake. Dropping out as soon as the going gets tough.
We stayed in the trees, trailing Alex as he made his angry way down the dirt road. Unlike everyone else in the reservation, the Caddos seemed to have a nice sized house, buried back in the woods that surrounded the reservation. It was one story—two would be a little like a mansion in a place like this—but still spacious. The kitchen was the space visible through the front window, and a small portion of the living room.
They must be pretty well off, Quil reciprocated my thoughts as Alex slammed the door to his room somewhere in the house where we couldn't see him. The next minute, a computer booted up and then quiet music was heard.
I guess we'll have to wait for the perks, Paul decided, shooting me a look, you know, the sister.
I rolled my eyes, settling down in the dirt. Quil mimicked me, though Paul stayed alert, always taking things too seriously. I could tell Quil was still tense, but I ignored the questions lingering on the edge of his subconscious. I didn't really want to know what he was thinking. My own mind was challenge enough for me.
It wandered to Bella every time I had a moment to myself, which was why I was trying to keep busy. What was she doing now, human or vampire? I imagined her new life in a place so far from home, with only the leeches to keep her company. I worried for Charlie too, a little angered that Bella would leave him like that, alone and oblivious just like when her mother had deserted him. The old police chief waiting in his recliner for the daughter that would never come home.
What had she told him, anyways? I'll be gone for a couple of years dad, you know, nothing big. Just being turned into a parasite by my new hubby.
My thoughts raced everywhere at once, creating scenarios, remembering happier, more normal times when there was only humanity in the picture. No werewolves. No vampires. No one but Bella and I to pass the days.
Memories crept up on me like forbidden shadows, one's I'd locked away in the farthest recesses of my mind, hoping to never dwell on them again. But who was I kidding? I would never really let her go.
"You think we'll stay like this forever?" Bella had asked one night, sipping on a coke I'd just bought for her down at the store. We walked, hand in hand, side by side back to my house, where Charlie and Billy were watching the game. She looked up at me, those big, brown eyes full of questions and hurt. Always hurt.
"Nah," I'd shrugged, my smile falling as soon as she wasn't looking, "we'll get older, and live next door to each other," or in the same room, "get married," to each other, "and be happy, you know?" with me, Bella, couldn't you have been happy with me?
Quil pawed at me, and I opened my eyes, surprised to see that dusk had fallen while I'd been lost in my head. He gave me the same look he'd been giving me since they'd left, a look of pure concern, before switching his gaze back to the house. Something was happening in there.
His mother was home, her figure visible in the shaded window. Her tone was anxious, and the next second, sounds of a struggle were heard in the room behind the kitchen. Alex's room.
Time to move, Paul said seriously, and I could tell now why he'd stayed so alert. It wasn't a show, a way to suck up; it was the action we all should have taken.
What do we do? Quil's mind was worried, split, bust in there and say 'hey Mrs. Caddo, we're taking your son, have him back by morning.'
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