Chapter 16: Christmas magic
The boy in the mirror looks dashing. He has a red shirt on and his hair shines because he took a bath and used his sisters hair conditioner ˗ all of it! He took everything there was left in the bottle and he didn't confess when his sisters started yelling at each other for using up the conditioner. The boy in the mirror is clever enough to not confess to any crimes and get yelled at. But he is not only smart, he is very handsome too!
I smile a brilliant smile and the boy in the mirror smiles back. That is because the boy in the mirror is me!
I know that a lot of girls scream and cry and faint when they see their idols who they love. I've seen that on TV. I bet Leah will do the same when she sees me because I'm so good looking.
People on the street will probably stop me and ask me for my autograph. I won't give it to anyone, I will only give my autograph to Leah!
I have already written it on the Christmas gift I'll give to her. I wrapped it up all by myself too. It doesn't look perfectly even like Rebecca's gift wrapping, but who notices the wrapping? Its only on the gift for a couple of seconds before it's teared off anyways.
"Jake! What's taking you so long? Stop staring in the mirror! Let's go!" My whiny sisters call.
I check my kissing technique for the last time then I wink at my own reflection before I rush to join my sisters and dad.
Don't think that I forgot the magic stuff for my lips, the lip-gloss. I remembered it! I smile tapping my pocket, it's safely there and my sisters have not suspected me for borrowing it. I heard them look for it for hours but I was able to keep my mouth shut and not reveal that I knew where it was! I'm clever like that. I had to hide in my room so they wouldn't see me laughing and realize I know where it is.
I'll put it on just before I stand under the mistletoe. There is no way Leah can resist my lips then!
"Merry Christmas!" Harry booms as he opens the door to us.
The mistletoe does not hang over this threshold. That's good because I don't want to kiss Harry. I want to kiss Leah.
I charge inside to find out where my Princess is and to discover where the mistletoe is.
I see Embry sitting on the living room floor together with Seth trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle.
Sue, Embry's mom, Leah' boring two cousins – Emily and Hannah – and her aunt are in the kitchen. My princess is there with them. She is scowling. I know she doesn't want to be in the kitchen helping with the cooking. She rather wants to be with me! Lucky for her I have arrived.
Soon the puppies will appear under the Christmas tree also, then she will never scowl again in her entire life.
But first my kiss!
I spot the mistletoe. It hangs over the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. Perfect!
"Come and help us with this puzzle. " Seth calls.
"It has 500 pieces." Embry smiles. "We sure could use your help!"
I shake my head.
"Later!" I shout as I rush to the bathroom. There I carefully apply the goo on my lips. Now they shine brightly. Leah won't be able to tear her eyes off of my lips. They look very kissable.
I pretend to stroll past Leah casually, brushing my arm against her so she will notice me as I just happen to stop under the mistletoe, quite by accident.
I close my eyes and start counting down.
Where is she?! What is taking her so long?
I peek with one eye.
She is still helping her mom. Stupid Sue! She is the reason why Leah hasn't rushed to kiss me. She is like the evil stepmother making my Princess work and work and work just like Cinderella, instead of kissing Wolfboy like she wants to! Evil dragon keeping my princess chained to the stove!
"Leah, could you run into the living-room with these snacks?" I hear Sue asking. Quickly I close my eyes and make myself ready again puckering my lips.
She will definitely pass me now, and she won't be able to resist my shiny lips when she passes me.
I wait... and wait... and wait...
I open my eyes only to see that she took the other route. It's the wrong one! Leah I'm standing here! Don't go that way, it's the wrong way!
Perhaps the steam from the kitchen is making her eyes foggy so she doesn't see that I stand under the mistletoe? That must be it.
I walk back in to the kitchen when Leah returns. I snatch three gingerbread cookies that the Emily girl is placing on a tray, making some pots fall on the floor with a loud clatter at the same time. That will wake Leah from her trance.
"Jacob Black! No gingerbread before dinner!" Sue scolds.
I smile brightly at her and shove all three cookies in my mouth at the same time.
"You eat like a pig Jake!" Leah laughs.
I nod and laugh too. Now she knows I'm here! I hang over her shoulder and watch her clean vegetables for a while, sniffing her hair. It smells good! Better than the dessert that is being made. After a while I coolly skip back to stand under the mistletoe all the while singing loudly so Leah will follow my movements with her eyes and notice how I just happen to stop under the mistletoe, then she will rush and kiss me.
Four puppies trot after their brave daddy, Wolfboy, and their pretty mommy, Princess Layla. The Uley-troll is looking at Wolfboy very jealously, before he runs home to his momma and cries. He hasn't got any puppies and even if he has, they aren't as smart and funny and cute as Wolfboy's and the Princess. Wolfboy, princess Layla and their happy puppies start digging the deepest hole in the world, sand spraying everywhere. They find a treasure! When they open the treasure chest there is a...
A voice interrupts my daydream that soon will come true. It's Sue's voice.
"He's been standing there for almost half an hour now." She whispers.
I wonder who she is talking about. Is Santa Claus standing outside the window looking at us?
"Mom!" Leah protest in a whiny voice. "Do I have to?!"
Her mom I probably making do something she doesn't want to, like cooking more instead of coming to kiss me!
"It's Christmas after all, Leah!" Her mom orders and I hear Leah sigh in defeat.
Stupid Sue shouldn't be making Leah do anything she doesn't want to.
I'm about to go over to Sue and tell her to stop tormenting my Princess when I see my beautiful Leah approaching! She has seen me! She is coming in my direction! She is coming here! My princess is coming to KISS me!
She stops just one inch away from me and starts leaning her head down towards me. My heart thunders in my chest and I feel tingly all over.
Her lips touch mine! OH MY!
Angels start singing and bells jingle. My toes are curling. I feel great!
It's wonderful and amazing! Lights are flashing too. Fireworks! Or is it Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is shining his nose for me and Leah? It is!
"Mom!" Leah shouts as her lips leave mine.
I'm going to stand under the mistletoe again after dinner. I might even lend some of my magic lip gloss to Embry, so he can get a kiss too. Maybe Sue will kiss him! That would be funny. Then Harry would probably chase Embry around the house with a pitchfork or his shotgun just like I would if anyone else ever tries to kiss my princess.
"Why were you taking a picture?!" Leah sounds angry scowling at the camera Sue is holding in her hand. Then Leah storms off hair fanning after her like a veil.
I laugh. That's my princess. I like when she is angry and stomps because then her eyes flash just like lightning and her voice booms like the thunder. I love thunder storms, they are exciting!
I smile widely at Sue because this will be another great picture Leah can put in the photo album I've made her.
I'm gonna give the photo album to her right now! That's a great idea.
First I rush to look under the Christmas tree because our puppies might be there by now and they will want to look at their mommy's and daddy's wedding album too.
They aren't there. Oh... Taha Aki probably got delayed because Santa Claus is getting in his way with his sleigh and reindeer causing a traffic jam in the sky. Stupid Santa making Taha Aki come late with our puppies. Santa could deliver his presents on another day, because today is mine and Leah's special day.
Leah is frowning where she sits on the living room floor helping Embry and Seth with the puzzle.
"Don't worry Lee! They'll be here soon!" I tell her because I know she's just as miserable as I am since our puppies haven't come yet. That's why she is frowning. Leah furrows her brows and is just about to open her mouth, but I cut her off.
"This is for you!" I shout as I hand her the fantastic photo album.
It's very hard to keep still because I am giving her the best gift ever! She will love it just as much as I love it.
Slowly she turns the present over in her hands, squeezing and shaking it.
I have to fight hard not to rip the wrapping off myself. Why does it take her so long to open it? Just unwrap it already!
"What is it Lee?" Seth asks with gleaming eyes leaning over Leah's arm his nose almost touching the present.
"It's some kind of book, I think." She ponders.
"Open it!" I encourage her. Now the twins and her cousins have all gathered around us too.
Leah slowly unwraps it and I scoot even closer to look at the huge grin that will break out on her face lighting up my heart when she sees our wedding album.
"It's a photo album!" I shout when the wrapping is off. "I've made it myself."
She starts turning the pages and smiles sweetly at me.
"It's great Jake! Look, there are pictures of all of us. There's you Sethy with me and Jake and Becca and Rach. An there's the soccer-picture. And look, there's you Embry." She shows the pictures pointing us out in them and laughs.
I'm glowing! She loves my present. I knew she would.
"Jake!" Rach says sternly looking at the baby-pictures. "You've taken pictures from our family photo albums. You can't do that!"
"Can too!" I tell her sticking my tongue out, because of course I can. Otherwise Leah wouldn't get this great wedding album.
"There is room for more pictures on the last pages too Lee, so you can keep adding to the album" I tell her thinking about how she will add the picture of our kiss under the mistletoe and then she will take a lot of pictures of our puppies and put them in the album as well.
"Dinners ready!" Embry's mom comes and tells us.
After dinner our puppies will definitely be here.
When every plate has been polished and we all have stuffed our faces and are so full that it's difficult to move my heart starts beating rapidly with excitement. That's because I know what time it is. It's puppy time!
"What are you laughing about Jake?" Seth asks me curiously.
"The puppies!" I tell. "Come Lee! Hurry!" I grab her hand and start pulling her off her chair.
"What's the rush?" Leah giggles.
"Come and see. There will be a Christmas miracle!" I shout.
Everybody follows us into the living room where I and Leah will meet our puppies who will be sitting under the Christmas tree.
They aren't there... Where are they? Where are our puppies?!
"But where are they?!" I don't understand.
"Where are who honey?" Embry's mum asks me.
"THE PUPPIES OF COURSE!" I howl.
"What puppies?" Sue asks, voice suspicious.
"Our puppies, the once I and Leah will get for Christmas! The once that were supposed to be sitting under the Christmas tree of course!" I wail looking everywhere. I look under the sofa, behind the armchair, everywhere! There is no sight of them.
"Harry! I have specifically told you there will be no more dogs in this house, the kids can't get puppies. Tell me you haven't bought a dog!" Sue's eyes are flashing as she look sternly at Harry. "Have you told the kids that they can have a puppy?! Have you made them promises!"
Harry scowls. "No, I haven't bought a dog, I wish I had…" he trails off looking unhappy. Of course he is unhappy too, since our puppies are his grandchildren and they are lost.
I have to blink very fast and hard because my eyes get watery... I want our puppies! I already have planned everything we will do together. We will go ice skating and I will teach them to play hockey and we will build a snowman together and then I and Leah will tuck them in when they get sleepy, because they are babies and need to sleep early and I and Leah will sit up and watch TV together and kiss when our puppies are asleep.
"Look! I already have their collars and everything. Somebody must have kidnapped them!" I'm very worried because our puppies are probably crying somewhere, being lonely and scared.
"You can play with my teddy" Seth tries shoving his teddy bear in my face.
I don't want a stupid baby-toy! I take it and throw it away screaming, "I DON'T WANT A STUPID TEDDY! I WANT OUR PUPPIES!"
Then I'm stumbling outside because now my stupid eyes are spilling over.
WHY?! Why aren't our puppies here? What has happened to them?
Someone must have stolen them!
Then I know who it is.
It's the Grinch! He always steals Christmas. I've seen it on video. He is mean and green and he is jealous of my and Leah's happiness. I bet the Grinch has teamed up with the Uley-troll and taken our puppies. He can't take them! Just because nobody wants to have puppies with Uley he can't make the Grinch take mine and Leah's.
Evil Uley! Evil Grinch! They can't have our puppies! I will free them.
"Where does the Grinch live?" I demand as I rush back inside wiping my eyes, my chest feeling like it's going to explode with anger.
"The Grinch?!" Harry scratches the back of his head.
"That boy makes absolutely no sense." Sue mutters to her sister as they move in to the kitchen again.
"Yeah, the Grinch hates Christmas. Where does he live?" I demand staring at dad and Harry. They must know where the Grinch lives. They are on the council. They know everything.
"That must be Old Quil Jake's talking about." Harry laughs. What is there to laugh about? Our puppies are gone missing. They are probably terrified and crying now, and Harry is laughing!
"I don't understand why the Ateara's refuses to celebrate Christmas with us. Old Quil's always been very strict with keeping our Quileute traditions, but we must be able to adapt for the sake of our kids and there is no harm in adding on new traditions. We must move with the times..." My dad continues speaking with Harry. How can they remain so calm, when Old Quil has taken their grandchildren?
Don't worry puppies! I'll save you!
I've always thought old Quil is nice and funny, but now I know that he is the Grinch! I should have guessed it's him, because he is kind of hairy. I've seen that he has more hair on his chest than a bear. I was fooled because it isn't green, but maybe he has used grey dye to cover up his green colour? I won't let him fool me again.
"Hey! Jake! Where are you going? It's cold out, don't forget your scarf and mittens." Rebecca yells after me as I rush outside. I don't have time for scarves and mittens now, I'm saving on a mission of saving mine and Leah's puppies.
"Where are they?!" I shout the minute I enter the Ateara's home.
"Hi Jake!" Quil looks happy to see me. I wonder if he knows that his grandfather is the Grinch?
"Give me my puppies back!" I shout and start pounding my fists into Old Quil's huge stomach.
Old Quil looks shocked. That is right! I'm on to your game! Give us our puppies back!
"Jake! What on earth are you doing?" Old Quil looks at med all concerned as he grabs my arms bending down so his his face is on the same level as mine. For an old man he is very strong. That is his Grinch muscles, they have come from carrying around all the presents he always steals from others.
"Give. Back. Mine. And. Leah's. Puppies." I hiss through my gritted teeth.
"I don't follow Jake."
"You are the Grinch! Harry told me. You hate Christmas! That's why you stole our puppies."
"I and Leah got married in the summer and now it's time for us to have our puppies, but you have stolen them!" I shout trying to free my arms from his steel grip aiming a kick against his leg.
The Grinch lets out a rumbling laughter, the kind of laughter the evil forces give when they do something mean, like when they step on a baby's toys so they break or throw a pie in someone's face. That adds to the list of proof of him being the Grinch.
"Jake. I haven't taken any puppies."
"But you hate Christmas!"
"I don't hate Christmas, I just don't celebrate it. There are no puppies here. You can look for yourself." The Grinch says smiling and lets go of my arms.
I run around the Ateara's home and look everywhere. There is no sign of puppies or any other stolen Christmas presents anywhere. I don't find a kidnapped and tied up Santa Claus in the broom cupboard either.
"What are we looking for" My friend Quil asks as he follows me around curiously. I wonder if he is a Grinch too? He isn't hairy like his grandfather and I think I would've noticed if he was green.
"Do you hate Christmas?" I ask just to be on the safe side. I have to know if I can trust him or if he is as evil as his grandfather.
Quil shakes his head. "I wish we would celebrate Christmas. It seems fun. I like presents." He looks sad. It must suck to be the Grinch's grandson and not get to eat Christmas dinner and sing Christmas carols. Poor Quil.
The Grinch has been spying on me and Quil because he obviously hears when his grandson says this.
"You wanna go over to the Clearwater's?" he asks smiling at Quil. Quil nods his head looking hopeful. "Well let's go then. I'll come with you" The Grinch says. "I guess this old dog can actually learn new tricks. Let's go and celebrate Christmas!"
The Grinch is acting strange. Didn't he hate Christmas? Why would he go over to the Clearwater's where Christmas is?
There are no puppies to be seen anywhere either. Maybe he hasn't stolen them after all?
It's a riddle. I try to think very hard on our way back to the Clearwater's. Where are our puppies?
"I don't understand where our puppies are." I tell Quil. "When you are married you get puppies but they have disappeared." I'm sighing. I don't think I can face the disappointed look on Leah's face when she sees that I return without our puppies.
"The mommy and the daddy has to be naked and wrestle before the babies come!" Quil tells me. They have to? I didn't know that. I think it sounds weird, but Quil's mom is a teacher so maybe Quil knows.
"That's how I got my little sister. Where you naked when you wrestled with Leah?" Quil asks.
Old Quil starts to chuckle when he hears what Quil says.
I shake my head. I didn't know I had to be naked and wrestle! It's my fault that Leah and I don't have our puppies, because I didn't know. Now she is probably gonna cry and be sad and think I ruined her Christmas.
I ponder if Leah would want to wrestle with me when I get back. But I don't think she wants to get naked because it's cold outside and Sue has a rule that wrestling isn't allowed indoors. I have to wait until summer, then we can have bathing suits on and wrestle on the beach.
I feel sadder and sadder as we are walking back to the Clearwater's together with Quil and Old Quil.
I don't want Leah to cry when she hears the bad news, when she realizes we won't have any puppies this Christmas.
When we arrive I feel so bad that I don't want to go inside. Leah's heart will be broken and it's my fault.
Quil and Quil try to make me go inside, but I refuse. I slump on the porch. My heart hurts.
I've ruined everything.
It's cold and snow is falling on me soon covering all of me. Maybe I will freeze to death. That would serve me right for making Leah disappointed.
I wanted my princess to be happy and laugh all the time. I wanted her to have the best Christmas ever! I wanted to prove to her that Wolfboy is the best husband in the whole wide world! I wanted puppies! Why did everything go wrong? It all started so perfectly.
I hear the door creak.
"You'll get a cold if you sit here Jake! Why don't you come inside?" It's my princess. I smile sadly at her. Maybe she is here to divorce me like Sam Uley's mom divorced his dad when she wasn't happy with him anymore. Then I too will become a troll like Uley. I don't want to become a troll.
"What's wrong Jakey? You've been crying. How come?" She asks looking worried.
"There won't be any puppies Lee." I choke out. Soon she will be crying too.
"You were hoping to get puppies as a Christmas present?" She says it's like a question.
I nod. Of course I wanted puppies, just like her.
"That's why you are sad." She says and wraps her arm around me. "I brought your scarf, your beanie and your mittens" She says and starts wrapping the woolen scarf around my neck. It feels warm and comforting.
"I had chosen their names and everything and made them collars." I tell her sadly. "We were going to be very happy and now..."
"Jake." Leah wraps her arms around me. "Don't cry."
"I know what to do! Come!" She says pulling me up. "We make snowpuppies!" She tells sounding excited.
Snowpuppies. What a brilliant idea!
"Come on Jake! It'll be fun!" I start feeling excited too. "Seth, Quil, Embry! Come out!" She shouts before rushing to the garden holding my hand.
It's fun to make the snow puppies.
They look perfect. Even better than the way I imagined our puppies. When they are finished I put the collars I've made around their necks. We sit and admire them for a long while and I pat their heads so they will feel as good as we do. I bet they are very happy! They have the best mom and dad in the world!
"They look awesome!" Leah says eyes shining like the stars that twinkle in the sky above us.
They really do! But how could they not? After all they have been created by me and Leah. That's why they are the best puppies ever.
"Wow! They look cool." Embry tells us.
"Look at our snowman!" Seth says pointing at the snowman that he and Embry and Quil have made. It's a great snowman too, but nothing compared to our puppies.
After tumbling around in the snow for a while we head inside, but first I tell our puppies to be good while mommy and daddy go inside to warm up. I tell them that they can't come inside or they will melt. This makes them sad, but they understand because they are smart like me and Lee.
"There is eggnog kids, if you want. The one on the kitchen table is for you kids, stay clear of the other one by the counter. It is for us adults." Sue tells us.
I fill mine and Leah's cups from the one that is for the grown-ups, because we are married with puppies now, so we are allowed to take from the one for the adults. I make sure nobody sees me take from the adult one, so I don't have to get into an argument. I drink several cups. It tastes good, but a little stronger than usual, making me cough.
I sit on the couch with my Princess watching the fireplace where the flames dance merrily. When I get sleepy I rest my head in Leah's lap looking into her pretty eyes. The room spins around me and I'm giggling.
Outside our puppies are barking and playing in the snow. I hear and see them through the window. They have come alive! It's the Christmas magic! The same magic that has made everyone double. There are two Seth's and two Embry's and two dad's and two of everybody. Only Leah and I are one. It's very funny.
Our puppies are jumping outside the window, wagging their tails and waving to us. I wave back.
"I love you puppies" I whisper.
I'm so happy I feel like bursting. Better than anything is that Leah still loves me! Despite my failure she loves me. That is why my Princess is the best of all the princesses in the world. She always saves her Wolfboy from suffering.
I turn my head looking at my Princess.
"I love you Princess." I mumble before everything goes dark and I fall asleep.
This has been the best year ever!
AN: Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who have reviewed this story!
I hope all of you get yourself Jacob sitting underneath the Christmas tree, or at least a nice dream of Jacob or Embry or whichever wolf you prefer to keep you warm all through the winter. Merry Christmas!
Disclaimer: don't own anything...