"Embry said he wanted to talk to you and me and Brady," said Collin as we stood on the beach. I assumed that when he said "talk", he meant "think", and it immediately annoyed me. We couldn't just meet up somewhere? We had to phase in order to have a conversation? I sighed and turned to the younger werewolf.

"Why?" I asked exasperatedly.

"I think he said he wanted to form a pact between the members of the pack that haven't imprinted," answered Collin, turning towards the woods. I frowned.

"Why isn't my sister invited?" I asked edgily. Collin turned, eyeing my rigid stance warily. He shrugged.

"Guys only, I guess," he replied, taking off into the woods and slipping off his shorts. I groaned, but then ran after him, undressed, and phased easily. Unlike my brothers, I enjoyed the short transformation in which we changed into wolves. I liked the tickling sensation as fur sprouted out of my skin, and the strange elongation of my nose, which felt like yawning. I liked to watch my nails grow into claws, and how my arms thickened and extended as I bent over and balanced on them.

Too soon, the metamorphosis stopped, and I was in my wolf form. I began to run, my huge paws pounding into the earth, my head down, turning nimbly to avoid trees.

Embry? I asked, trying to sound annoyed through the tenor of my thoughts. He got it.

Seth, you didn't have to join if you didn't want to, thought Embry, sounding hurt.

What? I demanded. Collin just said to meet you here! He didn't exactly clarify other options. I felt him cringe.

Sorry, Seth. Maybe if Embry had been a little more specific I would have known better. Collin's mental voice was layered with frustration, and I knew that he was mad at Embry.

Well excuse me for not covering every tiny insignificant detail! thundered Embry, and I could feel him tense.

Guys, chastised Brady, who we had not known had phased, stop fighting. Embry and Collin relaxed. Finally, I reached the clearing where the other wolves were convened. I was the last one there.

Seriously, Embry, what's up? I asked, irritated. He bristled, but then relaxed and calmed down.

Well, I was thinking, since we're the only four that haven't imprinted-, he began, but I cut him off.

Leah hasn't imprinted, I reminded him.

The only four guys that haven't imprinted, we should form some sort of…inner pack. He seemed hesitant, as if he were afraid that we were going to attack him.

That isn't such a bad idea, thought Brady, sitting down. We all followed. Embry seemed heartened by Brady's remark.

We could promise that we would never imprint on anyone, declared Embry.

But what if we do? wondered Collin.

I think that, if we concentrate hard enough, we won't imprint, answered Embry. I wasn't so sure, but I agreed, and, after a while, the other two did, too. We all phased and went home, and something strangely ominous tugged at the corner of my mind as I crossed my yard.