For someone who couldn't sleep...I was exhausted.
Alice's shopping 'fun time' from last night had felt like forever. Nessie was out cold.
Though, as much as I hated the shopping, I liked spending time with 'the girls,' it felt like I was a part of a true family again.
I woke Nessie up before heading out the door, for once, with a smile on my face.
After signing in at the office, I made my way down the familiar hallways with a certain lightness I wasn't used to.
As soon as I opened the door to my classroom, I noticed the bright red apple sitting on my desk.
I walked over to my desk, confused and flattered at the same time. I picked it up; feeling the smooth, glossy texture in my hand, then noticed the small note card tied on the stem.
On it was written, "An apple for my teacher"
It was written in a smooth, elegant script that I recognized only too well.
I held it in my hands a bit longer while internally debating with myself. Losing the battle, I sighed and placed the apple in the trash can next to my desk.
As I got myself ready for school, I let my mind wander back to last night.
I can't remember the last time I had that much fun!
Last night's shopping trip with my aunts and my mom was amazing. I've never seen my mother so happy being miserable.
It was also an educational experience, I learned that aunt Alice loved to play dress-up...especially with my mom, I believe she referred to her as Barbie Bella.
It was hard to believe that I was finally with my family. The stories my mother used to tell me about them had always left me longing to have them in my life, and now I do.
Even if some of us don't have the smoothest relationship with one another, and they're not exactly what one would call a 'normal family, it's still a family...my family.
Like always...the day zoomed by. Full of lots of information I've already been over a billion times and blah blah blah. By the time I got to biology at the end of the day, I was beat.
My dad was already in his seat when I arrived, and smiled at me when I walked in.
"Hi Nessie, how are you today?" he asked once I was situated in my seat next to him.
"I'm really good, thank you." I answered truthfully
"I heard about your little adventure last night." he said with a knowing smirk.
"It certainly was an adventure." I said smiling "but I had a lot of fun."
"I'm actually surprised Alice was able to drag your mother into that, before she would rather have died than become 'Barbie Bella'." he said and we both started laughing, we were shushed by the teacher who was trying to get class started.
"Wow... you guys actually called her that?" I said lowering my voice but still laughing to myself.
"She was the one who started it, then it sort of caught on from there." he replied lowering his voice as well. "Everyone always got a kick out of watching Alice play with the human."
He chuckled quietly to himself, his eyes getting a distant as he reminisced in his memories, then I watched as his face slowly started to fall. "How is she by the way?" he asked sounding concerned.
"She's doing well. She'll never admit it, but I think seeing everyone again has really been a good thing for her." I said honestly, that seemed to lift his spirits slightly, but only slightly.
"I really do miss her you know, and I'm really trying to win her back." He said to me "I even put an apple on her desk this morning."
I couldn't help but chuckle to myself before putting on my serious voice. "Look, I understand that you are willing to do anything to get my mother to listen to you, and I did say I would help you, but my mom isn't the type of person who has her heart broken then forgives you just because you say you never meant to hurt her.
She threw you through a freakin window, for goodness sake! And let's face it, if they hadn't pulled her away, she would have literally tore you apart. I honestly don't mean to sound insensitive by bringing all this up again, but you left her all alone for thirty years without any kind of contact what so ever.
It certainly doesn't help considering you knocked her up then just left!" I said getting angry. The bell rang and all the students rush out of the class as fast as their little human legs could take them.
I stood and gathered my things, "You may have loved her, but you did a pretty shitty job of showing it.
"Maybe instead of spending so much time moping around waiting for someone to feel sorry for you, you should actually get off your ass and do something about the problem you caused." I said before leaving, my father still in his chair.
"Hey honey, just give me a minute." My mom said when I walked into her classroom after she texted me to meet her there.
"No worries." I said sliding into a desk and pulling out my book.
It was a few minutes before my mom finally spoke, "ok, all done." she said shutting off her computer and walking over to me.
"What's up?" I asked
"Well, Jacob called me earlier and said that the pack is getting together tonight and he invited both of us to stop by." she said
"That sounds like fun, I'm in. Wait... won't grandpa Charlie be there?" I asked
"No, Jake said all the elders are going on some fishing retreat and won't be back for a few days."
"They sure do like to fish, don't they?" I said and we both laughed
"You have no idea." she said looking nostalgic as she led the way out the door.
We stopped at home first to drop off my car and headed towards La Push in mom's Mustang.
We were both silent for most of the ride, excited and anxious for similar reasons. Mom has told me many stories of all the adventures she and Jacob had been on together and that they had been best friends back in the day. She even told me about how the pack took her in after she got pregnant, and how I was born on the reservation.
I could always tell, when I listened to her stories, how much she really missed the way things used to be.
It wasn't long before we arrived at a worn looking house with a large barn peeking out from the back.
"Are you ready?" Momma asked smiling
"Absolutely, lead the way." I said returning the smile.
"Oh sweetheart, could you grab my bag from the trunk for me please?" She asked as we got out of the car. I nodded and made my way around to the back of the car.
At the same time, the screen door of the house burst open and Jacob came rushing out and immediately made his way towards my mom jumping off the porch, skipping the stairs entirely.
He pulled my mom into a massive bear hug and spun her several times before putting her down. While they were laughing at each other, two more massively muscular men made their way outside.
"Holy crap...Seth is that you? You're bigger than Jake!" I heard Momma exclaim happily to the biggest of the three, also giving him a huge hug.
"It's amazing what veggies will do." Seth said jokingly "You don't look too bad yourself."
They all laughed and started talking amongst each other again. I couldn't help noticing how huge they all were, I guess it's just a werewolf thing.
But my eyes kept wandering back over to Jacob. He was wearing cut off jeans and a very tight light gray T-shirt that certainly showed off every muscle he had.
My eyes trailed up from his strong calves and thighs to his very prominent and tight 6-pack and chest muscles, lingering slowly over his very nicely toned and muscular arms, and who couldn't notice that very nice back side of his.
No doubt about it...he was hot, but he also had a certain beauty about him. When you looked at his face, he didn't seem intimidating or scary. He had sharp muscular features, but at the same time they were soft and inviting.
Oh my god...stop! I cannot be checking out my mom's best friend!
As I started to come back to reality I redirected my attention to getting the bag out of the back like I was supposed to be doing.
"So I see we have a new face in the family." Momma said gesturing to the smallest of the three boys.
"Oh yes! This is Jared and Kim's boy Chris. He just joined the pack a few months ago." Jacob explained
"Well it's very nice to meet you, I'm Bella." Momma introduced herself. "And my daughter is around here somewhere..."
On that cue I shut the trunk and stepped out from behind the car making my way towards the group.
At that moment, I looked up and my eyes connected with Jacob's and I felt the world freeze. His dark brown eyes held mine, like there was some kind of magnetic chain that wouldn't let me turn away.
It felt as if there was some sort of bond between us, like we had already known each other for years.
"Sweet mother of all that is Holy" I heard Seth say to himself and I brought myself back to reality. "Come on Jake, let's go buddy." he said pulling Jacob away and walking him towards the truck that was sitting in the driveway.
"Seth, what the hell is going on?" Mom asked confused
"We have to go talk to Sam, and then we'll explain." He answered.
We pulled up to an old house on the edge of the woods. Despite its obvious old age the house looked homey and welcoming.
The boys led the way up to the porch where an older man with caramel skin was already sitting. "Sam we need to discuss something important." Seth said
"I know" he answered standing up and gesturing for us to enter the house. "Bella, lovely to see you again."
"Likewise, Sam." Momma answered back, slightly squeezing his hand as she passed.
Once everyone situated themselves in the living room Sam was the first to speak. "Now, please enlighten me on our problem." he said sounding like a dad mediating a fight between his kids.
"Jacob has imprinted..." Seth started but fell silent for a moment as his eyes wandered around the room, before finishing his sentence "on Bella's daughter."
"WHAT?" Momma exclaimed furiously jumping out of her seat so fast she basically flew. "Jacob Black how the hell could you do this to me!"
"Bella, I told you there is no controlling this kind of thing. There is nothing I could have done even if I wanted too!" Jacob said on his feet as well.
"That was freakin 30 years ago, and you could have at least tried! We weren't even here for 10 minutes, Jake! She's my daughter for crying out loud!" Momma said as she started pacing the room, her fists clenched tightly at her sides, obviously trying to refrain from throwing someone through a window again.
"What is going on in here?" a woman about the same age as Sam asked entering the room, also looking unaffected by the bickering in her house.
"Jake imprinted on Bella's daughter." Chris answered bluntly, not taking his eyes off mom and Jacob, like he would have missed something if he looked away for two seconds.
"How about someone tell me what's going on, considering I seem to be at the center of everyone's' problems around here!" I said starting to get frustrated.
"I think that would be the ideal thing to do." Sam said calmly, still unaffected by all the commotion. "Sit down...both of you."
They both sat, but continued to glare at each other like to little kids that were just put in time out. Sam gave them a warning glance before turning to me in his seat.
"Now Reneesme, as you already know, we Quileutes are werewolves." he said speaking directly to me. "Like bloodsu...vampires, we have certain things about us that make us who we are, one of those things is imprinting. When a werewolf has imprinted on someone it means they have found their soulmate."
He paused and I realized how quiet it had gotten. "Um...can you maybe elaborate a little more?" I asked cutting through the silence.
"It's similar to love at first sight, but so much stronger." As Sam spoke his eyes moved towards the woman standing in the back of the room.
"Once a werewolf has imprinted they have found their absolute soulmate, their one and only forever. They are your everything; you would do anything for them no matter what it may be. Without them your life has no meaning, and nothing can break the bond you share."
It took me a minute to take in everything before I broke the silence once again, "So just it happens just like that? Without any kind of warning?" I asked and Sam just nodded smiling slightly towards the woman.
"But what about the whole being a vampire thing?" Chris asked
"It is certainly something that we've never encountered before, but I guess a little change is in order around here." he answered
"So what do we do now?" I asked still confused
"I would like to speak to Jacob in private." Momma said her expression unreadable. Jacob agreed, giving me an apologetic smile as they made their way out the door.
"Mom!" I called after her, catching up with her in the drive way. I took her hand and felt it as she drew back her shield.
"Please be nice." I said to her mentally "We don't need another window incident."
She just smiled and kissed my forehead before making her way into the trees.
Boy, do I have one whacked out family. Now I know why my mom stayed away from Washington.