For those who don't remember, Embry imprinted on Alex. A few chapters ago, a brief mention of a pesky leech occurred. This was the chapter where Brady accompanied Lily to her brother's soccer game! POV switches are clearly marked this chapter!
I jolt out of a deep sleep as a loud ringing goes off. My hand unwillingly leaves the warmth of the blankets as I reach over to blindly swipe at my phone to turn off the infernal alarm. After somehow getting it on my first try, I pulled the covers back over my head.
"This seems a little early for you Lily Ann," Alex said from beside me, sounding disgustingly wide awake.
I grunt at her as I pulled the blankets down and cracked my eyes open, blearily taking in her clear green eyes and dark tousled hair. It looks like she's catching up on her reading or emails or something that requires brain power. Yes, she looks absolutely, disgustingly wide awake.
However ill-advised it might be for a Sunday night with work early on Monday, we had stayed up until two in the morning the night before, still catching up even though she had been in town for a few days. So we've basically had a two night slumber party because Skype, texting, and phone calls weren't the same as being with your best friend in person. It was easy enough to escape the things you didn't really want to talk about, but that wouldn't happen if we were face to face.
So here we are, at 6:30 on a Monday morning. I know that Alex is a morning person, so I sucked it up and set my alarm early to talk to her before I had to leave for work. After a few minutes I finally feel marginally awake, at least awake enough to have this conversation.
"So, how's Mike been?"
There was no point in beating around the bush as we've done the last two days. Her face tightened before she could stop it, and she deliberately took a deep breath and set down her iPad.
"I was wondering when you would ask."
"Well you're obviously a million times more important to me, and we had to get all our catching up out of the way first. I know he's important to you, but when you didn't bring him up I decided not too either." I said as I propped myself up in bed, flinging my hand out towards the bottle of water on my nightstand.
There was steel in her voice when she answered, "Yeah well apparently I'm not as important to him as he is to me."
I opened my mouth to say something, but closed it when she shook her head.
"No, I just need to get this out all at once with no interruptions." She looked over to me, and I nodded. "As you know, Michael refuses to grow up, and he expects everything to be handed to him or done for him. I will admit to doing my fair share of that, but the last few months I've been getting fed up and calling him on his bullshit. We've been fighting, and he tells me all I do is yell at him and treat him like a little kid."
"Well he is clearly acting like one," I mutter. I feel chastised as she gives me a look. "Sorry, continue."
"I fucking knew you couldn't do it without any interruptions," Alex says with a slight look of humor on her face.
"Anyways, we go back and forth, and it was like I was the one yelling all the time. But it wasn't like he was telling me the things he didn't like me doing. It seemed like all we did was argue and make up without really solving anything. So long story short, he apparently found someone who didn't treat him like a child and he fucked that whore. It went on for a few weeks before I found out, like he didn't think I would be interested in who was texting him at one in the morning. So then we broke up, and that was about a month ago. He's shacking up with his new bitch." Alex's voice was bitter and a bit broken, her eyes were watering by the end, but she didn't look quite as devastated as I expected her to be.
"What in the actual fuck?!" I exclaimed bolting upright, staring at her with an incredulous expression.
"I know Lil, I just, I couldn't tell anyone around me. I just didn't want to deal with it, and the lease isn't up until January, and …" She trailed off as I threw my arms around her. Her arms came around just as tightly, and she just sagged into me. Even then I barely hear her whisper, "I was just embarrassed."
"I know. You don't have any reason to be, but I know." I said as I ran my hand up and down her back trying to extend any comfort I could.
She pulled back, but she refused to meet my eyes, "I also may or may not have gone out and picked up a few times."
"If you're expecting me to chastise you, you have another thing coming Alexandria. If you were broken up, then cool, do what you want. Even if you weren't, do what you fucking want. As long as you were being safe," I stated. Double standard and all, but Mike isn't the love of her life and clearly didn't treat her in the way that she deserves.
"It's just I felt guilty, and Mike found out, and I don't know. I love him, even still, and I think a part of me always will. Except I hate him for making me feel the way I do. I hate myself for going out with those other guys even though what Mike did was worse. It's just, I'm a mess. I don't know what I expected, only that it wasn't this, maybe I just deserve it." She sounded almost resigned as she said this.
It was as if these thoughts had been plaguing her for weeks, and they probably had. Alex was one to keep things to herself until she felt like sharing. Her parents never wanted to hear about the things that were going on with her life, and she still had a hard time opening up to people.
"Al, come on. I don't believe that you could ever do something bad enough to believe that you deserve to be treated poorly and to be cheated on." I rubbed my hand up and down her arm as I tried to calm her down. It was no wonder she was looking to escape, and she was probably making herself sick having kept all this in.
"What would you even know about what I deserve or not? You haven't been there for me. You moved three states away, you're all loved up by your new boyfriend, and you have this perfect job and life that I maybe just don't fit into anymore." She bitterly spit out, shoving my hand away and standing up from the bed.
I was shocked by her outburst, not expecting it all with Alex never being anything but supportive and positive about the whole experience.
"No, that's not true," I stated weakly, in shock over the turn in this conversation. I was frankly a little hurt as well.
Alex gave me a look of disdain, "The fact that you don't want to accept it says everything you won't."
"Well on that note, I have to get ready for work."
I was in shock and hurt, and I just couldn't do this. She was lashing out at me, obviously hurt as well, but I went into shutdown mode. I mechanically got up, gathered the clothes I had set out the night before, and made my way into the bathroom. After finishing my morning routine, I went back into my room.
"I'm off to work, and I'll apparently be getting loved up after school. See you sometime tonight I guess." I gave her one last look before I left the room. I wasn't surprised to see her staring unflinchingly back at me.
I couldn't leave without Alex getting the last word in, "Typical Lily Hawkins avoidance. I'm so fucking shocked."
To say I was completely distracted all day would be an understatement. I thought I had played it off well enough, but concerned glances from Claire and Kim told me otherwise. I was currently in my classroom on lunch break sulking over a chicken sandwich and soda, replaying how my terribly my morning went.
I could count on one hand the number of times that Alex and I had even gotten into a serious fight, and even then, this would mark only the second time. I was completely thrown off and I was seriously questioning my actions these past five months. Had I become absorbed in setting up my new job and relationship? Yes. Had I thought I was making a good effort in staying in contact with my best friend? Also yes. Before I could continue on, I was drawn out of my thoughts when my phone rang.
"Hello," I said without looking at the display.
My grandfather's cheerful voice came in over the line, "Hello my Lily flower! How are you doing today?"
"I'm doing good Gramps. How are you?" I tried to inject some happiness into my voice, I probably failed.
"Doing well, so is Gram. We haven't heard from you which is why I'm calling. Your Gram and I were chatting about how it is our oldest granddaughter's birthday tomorrow and how we haven't seen her recently. We would love if you would be able to stop by today after your school day is over."
A visit with Grandma Louise and Grandpa Quinn was just what I needed to soothe my nerves and to remind me that getting my life together was important.
"I'm so sorry Gramps, it's no excuse, but time's gotten away from me. You remember my friend Alex right?" He hummed an affirmative. "She's been in town, and we were catching up this weekend which is why I missed my weekly visit. I'd love to come out after school, if you think that will work for the two of you?"
"Sounds good, we will see you in a few hours Lily Ann. Love you." As always, Quinn hung up without a definitive goodbye and before I could get a word in edgewise. I returned to my lunch with a bit more enthusiasm and methodically worked my way through it until the bell rang.
The last two periods of school went by rather quickly, the opposite of the earlier part of the day which had drug on and on. The final bell finally rang, dismissing both the children and me. I gathered up some stray papers that I planned on grading later tonight and put them in my bag along with my calendar and lesson planning book.
Already looking forward to seeing my grandparents, I distractedly sent off a text to Paul letting know I was heading out to the hospital and would be by his house later if he thought he would be there. I didn't see the message from Embry however. It might have saved me if I had.
Hey Lily, it's Embry. Paul's patrolling and he asked me to check in. Let me know if you are planning on heading off the rez today it smells like fire.
I decided to stay at Paul's house to catch a nap and play some FIFA while he went off on patrol. Brady had picked up a heavier scent from the leech that had been sniffing around the rez the last few weeks. Jake had decided that all of us weren't necessary in tracking the bastard down and that the girls and Creed didn't need to be put in lockdown yet.
Which is why I was laying on Paul's comfortable couch waiting for Lily to text me if she needed to go somewhere that wasn't Paul's, her house, or other safe places that Paul had designated. Lily was a new enough imprint that she didn't realize yet how often the pack checked in on her. Or that Paul had an actual list of places he considered safe enough for her to be without prior knowledge to the pack in times where leeches were sniffing around.
I couldn't wait for the day that she found out; it was always hilarious to witness the yelling that went on. I couldn't knock it though. Alex was now included in my nightly sweeps around the rez.
I imprinted. Not on a tribe member, or even a girl who lived in this state, but a girl who was attached to someone else and lived 18 hours away. What the fuck is my life?
I heard someone coming up toward the door before I could continue to dwell on the situation, and I couldn't quite tell who it was. I heaved myself up off the couch and went to open the door.
Alex stood on the other side of the door and she looked surprised to see me, "Hey, how's it going? Embry right?"
"Yeah, nice to see you again Alex." I couldn't keep from raking my eyes over her form, assessing each visible part of my imprint.
"You too, Lily isn't here is she? She said she would be stopping by after work." As I took in her face, I realized how upset she looked.
"No not yet, Paul's still at work and Lily should be here any minute. Why don't you come in and wait," I trailed off as something strained my hearing. It sounded like someone was trampling through the woods a few miles away. It couldn't be the boys because someone would have sent up a howl. The sickly sweet smell reached my nose a second later, and there came the howl I was waiting for. I started shaking in a way that hadn't happened to me since I first turned. It must be because of the imprint.
I turned and grabbed Alex, shoving her through the door, "I'm sorry about this, but lock the door behind me and stay there until I come back. I'm sorry."
I couldn't hold off the phase any longer, and I saw the questioning look in Alex's eyes change to something I couldn't recognize. Her face paled as I vibrated myself into my other form, but I had to put her out of my mind in order to keep her safe. The leech suddenly went streaking behind Paul's house, not bothering to stop for whatever reason. There was a part of me that wanted to badly join in the hunt with my brothers, but the safety of my imprint was my top priority right now.
I was blasting my music as I headed toward the hospital, still distracted from all the thoughts racing around in my head. I would have to apologize to Alex after I visited my grandparents. I don't think I'm all in the wrong, but hopefully we can have a rational conversation. I started to think about what I could even start that conversation with. The song clicked over to the next, and I still wasn't paying close enough attention to the road as I normally did.
So it was a complete shock to look up and see a person in the road. They weren't quite a person though, as they were literally sparkling and held onto what was apparently their own detached arm. My mind went almost completely blank, but one word came out "Vampire?" I slammed on the brakes but there wasn't enough time to stop before hitting the monster. It felt like I had crashed straight into a brick wall but with less give. The pain was almost instantaneous.
Before the airbags had a chance to deploy, my head slammed into the window and I could feel a bone snap in my left arm. The airbags then went off and they caused me to whip back in my seat, dazing me even more. The glass broke, and I could feel it slicing through my skin. I could do nothing as the vampire shoved the truck back, the motion causing it to spin out. I finally came to a shuddering stop.
My head was swimming and I couldn't gather myself to try and get out of the car. I tried to fight the black that was coming in over my vision. Paul was the only coherent thought in my head right now. I needed him. The driver's side door was ripped off of its hinges, and I saw a pale sparkling face with horrific red eyes staring hungrily at me.
This is it. I wouldn't be able to tell Paul that I love him for the first time. Or tell my family that I loved them just one more time. Or apologize to Alex, and tell her I love her too. They have to know. They have to.
"You will be a nice snack my dear, just what I'll need to beat those beasts." The lilting French accent was a surprise.
"Fuck you." I whispered. My last words were fuck you. Honestly. I could no longer fight the darkness, and I could only hope that my impending demise would be painless. With thoughts of Paul, I tried to be brave, it wasn't working very well.
The last thing I heard before I passed out was the howls of several angry werewolves.
Maybe I wasn't doomed. This was my last thought before I succumbed to the darkness that had been calling my name.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support in the form of reviews/faves/follows. I would love to know what everyone thinks about this chapter.
I've had it vaguely mapped out in my head for literally years. Shameful of me, sorry! The story should be wrapped up within the next ten chapters, and I've already started on the next so you shouldn't be left hanging for too long.