Disclaimer: I do not own any elements you recognize from the Twilight Series.
A/N: This is my first Twilight piece! I hope you all enjoy my little dabble into the series and let me know what you think. Any feedback is fantastic!
The story takes place after Eclipse and does not follow Breaking Dawn. It is a year later and Jacob has graduated high school.
The story is more humor/romance based so no, it will not be angsty.
Chapter One. Breathe
Some days are harder than others. The dreams are less frequent, but every now and then I wake up with the image of her burned into the back of my eyelids. The unfortunate thing about heartache is that when it becomes dull, it's even worse. At least when the pain was sharp I could embrace it, wallow in it. The dullness that's taken it's place hovers like a shadow. Consistently there, irrevocable.
But it is bearable. Sam and the rest of them have been teaching me this; how I can live with it. Somehow, inexplicably, life goes on. And I go on with it.
It's incredibly easy to say you will plan a wedding. Unimaginably easy. But when your older sister has spent a good ten years of her life mothering and fathering you, backing out of such a thing is just plain selfish. Tempting, but selfish.
And when you're surrounded by tons of matching red luggage (because, according to Layne, it must match) in your future brother in law's home while the matrimonial couple are making out in the kitchen as you and the cat have an awkward stare down, well, there's no backing out now, is there?
I stare at the black cat as it licks its paw and looks back up to me with its large grey eyes as if to say oh please, you won't last here a second. Sadistic little cat.
"Darth Vader," I whisper into the dark hall, deciding that a cruel cat deserves a cruel name.
"Did I just here you sporadically calling out the name of a fictional Star Wars characters? You must be tired." Layne leaned against the door leading into the kitchen and smiled at me.
"Did someone say Star Wars? Addison do you like Star Wars? Because I have all the movies! You know what would be fun? A marathon! Yea, we could stay up all night and watch all of the movies." Carver leaned over Layne's shoulder and looked at me eagerly. Ever since the movers had dropped us off at his home in La Push, Carver had been acting like a mother hen on pure crack; scrutinizing everything and clucking out enough words so that Layne and I barely had to talk.
Layne must have seen my eyes widen because she came to my rescue, as any good sister would, "Um, Carver, I think we can give it a rest tonight. Let's let her sleep, okay?"
Carver looked slightly put out at my sister deflating his excitement about Star Wars but shrugged nevertheless. I took it as my signal to go.
Mouthing thank you to Layne, I grabbed the smallest red bag and climbed up to my new room, shaking with silent laughter. I was trying to imagine how Carver would react if he knew that his very own fiancé and little-sister-to-be had watched all six movies out of order and in fast forward (just slow enough so that the captions would quickly skitter across the screen and we would be able to discern the gist of the story).
I opened the door to the room at the end of the hall and felt my heart melt. Above the headboard of the bed, Carver had hung a big banner in red letters reading Welcome Home!
Despite all of his incessant clucking, I had to admit, he was going to make a wonderful addition to our tiny family. I silently promised myself that the next time he brought up Star Wars, I would make an effort to look interested. Maybe I would even watch a movie or two. I shuddered at the thought.
As I apprehensively eyed the cream colored walls and plain furniture, I resigned to begin decorating in the morning. Right now, there was an incredibly inviting pillow and I simply could not turn it down.
"You are a mess."
Well, that is something I most certainly cannot disagree with. I am an eighteen-year-old, frantic mess covered in green and yellow paint and a hideous pair of outdated overalls. My hair looks like a birds nest, which is only a slight demotion, considering its usual tangled state.
I shrugged and continued rolling green paint over the walls of my room. Layne sighed and grabbed a tiny paint brush and joined in on creating a yellow border along the top of the walls.
"So," she eyed my skeptically, "how do you feel?"
"Well, Dr. Phil, today I'm feeling a bit murderous. A killing spree sounds good right about now – "
"I'm good Layne. I'm happy we're here." I flashed her a grin to reassure her the words were genuine and the worried expression on her face was wiped away.
Layne had been feeling guilty about me moving with her into Carver's house, as if this were some kind of punishment. Considering that I was planning to attend Seattle University in the fall, I truly didn't mind coming back to a secluded, beach reservation during the vacations. She wanted me to stay close, even if it was just during the holidays.
"You know," Layne looked at me conspiratorially, "Carver tells me there are a lot of young boys at La Push."
I rolled my eyes, "Are you shitting me?" Leave it to Layne to nag me about men in the midst of her own upcoming wedding.
She continued relentlessly, now donning a mock-dreamy expression, "You could wear a bikini and parade around the beach."
"I wouldn't even look leisurely! It would be an obvious cry for attention because it would probably be raining."
"Even better! You would be cold and helpless as the waves would crash over you and some sappy hunk would run in slow motion and resuscitate you."
"And even though I would look like an unconscious, slimy, pale cretin he'd use a little tongue for the resuscitation."
"Well duh, it's the standard mouth-to-mouth-with-a-little-but-of-tongue. Don't you know anything about romance?"
I grinned and flicked a bit of paint at my sister. After returning the favor, she resumed painting the border, "Hey, would you do me a favor?"
"Carver has some tools down in his shop to help reassemble our furniture. If you go get it we could start moving your stuff in after lunch."
"No problem. As long as this isn't a ploy to get me to watch Star Wars with him."
"What is he going to do? Tie you to a chair and tape your eyes open?"
"Layne, he left a toy light saber on my pillow this morning," I said, cringing at the memory.
"Good point," she smiled at me as I walked past to dip the roller in paint.
Darth Vader was curled up on top of my dresser, swinging his tail and watching us as if we were his subjects. I swear he was smirking.
"I love Carver, don't get me wrong, but who the hell names their cat Wonder Bread?"
"Hey maybe the cat will have kittens and we can name them Mustard, or Jelly, or Ketchup!"
"Well it's a boy, so I highly doubt that," Layne pouted and I couldn't resist giggling, "We are horribly judgmental people."
"Yes, and we'll have to bring Carver over to the dark side soon," Layne brought her finger tips together maniacally.
"Okay, no more Star Wars references for the rest of the day. I'm tired of convulsing."
Dinner parties and I don't get along. You could say we are arch enemies (without the spandex and the external underwear wearing habits).
When I was six, I mooned my immediate and distant relatives (Mom wouldn't let me watch Aladdin).
When I was twelve, the neighbors had me over for dinner and I ended up telling a longwinded, failed joke about a hardcore S&M obsessed teddy bear (and, of course, it had all started with a knock-knock joke to which I had forgotten the freaking punch-line).
When I was fourteen I somehow ended up explaining what each of the 'bases' entailed to my boyfriend's parents (needless to say, that relationship went down the crapper).
Miraculously, I have survived for four years without letting my word vomit get the best of me, and having only moved to La Push recently, I would desperately like to keep it that way.
Sam Uley ruined it for me. As soon as Sam saw me walk into Carver's shop, he extended an invitation to "meet the people of La Push". Sam Uley will promptly be going on my list of people I plan to exact revenge upon (well, at least once I'm past the height of 5'4"… I mean, he's practically a walking tree).
"Are you sure I should come? I mean, it's more of a party for adults."
"You're eighteen, I think you can handle it," Layne piped over her should as we walked towards Sam's house. We barely lived half a mile apart.
"The invitation was for you, Addison. They already met Layne during the spring when she stayed for a week."
"If I moon anyone, it'll be your fault," I grumbled, dragging my feet slightly in the dirt path.
When we reached Sam Uley's house, I realized that the party had spilled into the front lawn because the house had become too crowded. Someone gasped and I saw five tall shirtless boys eating at a table which had been moved onto the lawn, an older man in a wheelchair, two girls around my age, Sam, and his wife. I soon realized that the aforementioned gasping had come from me.
Did the bastard want me to meet all of La Push?
Carver and Layne grinned at me, both grabbing each of my arms and shoving me into the midst of the party in order to announce our arrival.
"Addison!" Sam boomed in his thundering voice and bounded over to me, clapping me on the back, "Everyone, this is Addison Lansing."
"Nice." One of the nameless, shirtless boys winked at me. I didn't have time to blush because his friends in the seat next to him promptly hit him on the back of his head, "It's nice to meet you Addison," he said, smiling.
Sam's wife approached me and shook my hand, "I'm so glad you could come!" I knew it was Emily because Carver had already warned me about her bear injury (it's a good thing he did because this removed another potentially mortifying moment for my mouth and I).
"Thanks Emily," I muttered, trying to smile. I have this problem with smiling in awkward situations where all I can accomplish is a grimace. It's probably a miracle that I have friends.
Sam was on my other side, ready to introduce everyone. He pointed to the man in the wheelchair first, "This is Billy. He only looks old, but he's actually ancient." Billy rolled his eyes, "Hello Addison." I couldn't help but smile (Sam's still on my list though; making funnies does not exempt you from my wrath).
"This is Seth, Paul, Quil, and Embry. I wouldn't suggest being alone with them unless you want an everlasting migraine. That's Kim and Jared. Always knock before you enter a room where they are. And that's Leah."
I waved and smiled to each of them, feeling slightly like a cheesy Pageant-girl. Little quips of 'hello' and 'nice to meet you' rang through the group.
I tried to follow Layne and Carver inside where they were headed to help Emily. "You stay and mingle," Layne whispered to me.
"I don't mingle. Do I look like a mingler?" Defeated, I sat down between Leah and Quil who had just made room for me. Across the table sat Embry (the winker) and Paul (the hitter).
"You're from Seattle?" Leah raised her eyebrows.
"Yea. The big city." Short answers were good. Short answers were safe.
"Good luck here then," she chuckled and grimaced. With our attempts at smiling we could be the motley pair.
"So, when are Layne and Carver tying the, you know, noose?"
"Embry, it's 'tying the knot', you dumbass," Paul rolled his eyes and scoffed.
Again, I found myself laughing. I relaxed, "They're getting married in July."
Somewhere between Embry's random questions and Quil jokes, I realized that I was enjoying myself. Not to mention, my pants were still snuggly on my waist and not around my ankles.
"Hey guys, I bought more drinks!"
"Finally Jake!" Paul grumbled.
"Way to move like a sloth!" Quil jeered.
"Shut it or you're not getting more soda!" I whipped around to put a face to the voice and saw a tall, expectedly shirtless, boy gracefully walking towards the yard with cartons of soda. He suddenly froze, dead in his tracks, his smile wiped away and a shocked expression invading his face. I turned around again to see what had surprised him behind me and realized that everyone had become silent. Their eyes slowly moved from him and landed on me in a unanimously bemused expression.
I had stopped breathing.
I realized this immediately, but somehow I couldn't will myself into inhaling.
It was as if all of my senses had honed in on this one person. This girl. Some stranger who had no right to have this effect on me. Suddenly she was the only thing I could see. I immediately realized that even if I closed my eyes, even if I looked away, she would always be the only thing I could see.
After a moment that stretched over an eternity, I could breathe again.
The air tasted like ecstasy. For the first time, my heart beat as a whole.
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