Only At Night
The Half Naked Truth
Author's Notes: I'm surprised at how many people put this on story alert, but without reviewing. Rest assured since I know the story's being read, I'll still be writing this and will merely wait patiently for the time any one of you guys who are hiding decide to drop a review. Please do so. It's a writer's boost – getting feedback (I sound like I'm begging wtf xD). Still your choice of course, I'm still going to write anyway. I'm pathetic that way.
By the way, thanks to the three readers who dropped a review, it means a lot. With that, here's the third chapter. :) [ Edited 24/11/09 at 6:55 pm. Hopefully I caught all the spelling and grammar mistakes I missed when I first wrote this chapter. ]
I'd always enjoyed being able to phase into a wolf – after the initial shock and confusion of turning into one had time to melt away of course. It gave me a wider berth when viewing everything around me, because I was able to see a lot of things in a different perspective. In wolf form, everything seemed sharper and clearer, and what I wouldn't have noticed as a human seemed too painfully pristine with my heightened senses.
Yes, being a wolf rocked.
Oh shut up Seth, Leah snapped with an annoyed huff, my musings about the wonders of being a werewolf getting the better of her, as usual. I merely laughed mentally at her displeasure. Unlike myself (and maybe Quil), she did not enjoy this werewolf business as much as everyone else tried to, my dear pessimistic sister, and she always had to drag everyone down. This wasn't new – unpleasant as it was, I was getting used to it because she was constantly in my head. Since she was in mine too, why couldn't she just feel the same way? There was absolute coolness in being a massive wolf.
A resounding growl came from somewhere far to my left, amidst a thickset of trees, and I grinned as my sister's thoughts cut through my own like newly sharpened razors. Her annoyance flared like a beacon for the entire pack, at least those who were on patrol tonight, and I noted a few mental cringes from Quil and Embry. I said shut up Seth, do you want me to make sure your imprint never gets pregnant?
Threats to my manhood. Not funny, but I only chuckled and let that one slide. I was too much in a pleasant mood anyway, so not even my sister's negativity could replace the rainbows and butterflies I was seeing. After the events with the Cullens, Jacob's strange imprinting with a half vampire, and the Volturi's visit, things had been really slow in Forks and La Push even though the split La Push packs kept a constant watch of the surrounding area near the reservation. It had been very boring, and it often made me feel like I was more of a guard dog than wolf. But not today, thank heavens, thus my wonderful disposition that my sister didn't seem to share.
Earlier this morning during a routine check of the perimeter assigned to our bunch, Leah and Embry had picked up a foreign vampire scent which was all over the outskirts north of the reservation. It was fairly new, a couple of hours old. Naturally, they informed Jacob about this discovery and after a brief meeting between the two Alphas, our pack went up with Jake to inform the Cullens of the news while Sam met up with his own pups to do whatever it was they did when situations like these came up. There was no threat yet obviously, but as was protocol with such cases, all the more experienced wolves were to have rotating shifts in pairs and triads starting tonight as a precaution. This was going to be kept up as usual until everyone was sure this was just a stray vampire passing through the area and not some vampire serial killer or worse.
And although the concept that this bloodsucker was merely passing through was kind of strange – ever since that fateful day in the meadow, no vampire had crossed this part of Washington post Volturi visit without any kind of business here – it could happen of course. So as much as we wanted to rid the waking world of the stinky smell that could only come from the living dead, we weren't about to attack an innocent bloodsucker unless it gave us a reason to.
But still. Now we could escape normal, colorless sentry assignments for some action. It had been months on end without a bloodsucker within the vicinity.
I suppose when the bloodsucker starts killing it won't be as exciting as it is now, Leah snapped at that moment, disrupting my whirlwind of thoughts and dampening my enthusiasm. She certainly knew how to be a killjoy – sometimes the mind connection we had to share, being in the same pack and all, sucked. But then it was either that or being a part of Sam's, so with hardly any choice, I'd rather be stuck forever tuned to my older sister's crazy mind instead.
Another growl, this time angrier than the first, but I only burst into another round of mental chuckles. I nearly forgot there were four of us on duty tonight – not until Quil finally groaned in reply, seemingly unable to help himself anymore. Seth man, don't push her. She'll make this watch hell for everybody!
I was supposed to snap at Leah for feeling so smug about what had just been said – as if she had that much of an effect to everybody (maybe a little bit)– but Embry chose that moment to agree and broadcast his own thoughts, feigned with desperation. If he was in human form, he would have been on his knees, and he made sure I saw that mental image of a begging Embry in his own head. So shut the fuck up man and be a good wolf please.
Rolling my eyes, I gave a huff that seemed volumes louder in the eerily silent forest. Yeah, whatever, I muttered,and we all got back to running in laid back, uniform speed to head to the river that ran along the length of the area were going to be watching tonight. We were going to split in pairs somewhere near the bank – Embry and I, Leah and Quil – and patrol the area for the next few hours until Sam's appointed pack members came to relieve us.
It was in the middle of my reviewing the agenda for tonight in my mind when Leah, running a little ahead, gave us a mental command to slow down. Hang on guys, I smell something. I sensed more than saw everyone halt eventually, and I lifted my nose in the air, sniffing as I did the same.
I don't – I was saying, but that was when I caught it and I put a complete stop to my thoughts. A slight shift in the breeze carried with it the faintest smell of vanilla and cigarettes. Just by the river, our destination. On my far right, a few kilometers away, I heard Embry growling but I quickly snapped at him. Easy man, it's not a bloodsucker. It's human, but nothing I've ever smelled before.
Quil was also sniffing, but he was anything but hostile. It smells kind of familiar though… he thought then, struggling to recall something. I saw flashes of Claire and the Uley househould, but he was thinking too quickly that nothing was making sense coming from him. Like from earlier, I just don't remember…
We'll have to investigate, Leah said then in all her Beta glory, and I reluctantly volunteered myself to the task since either Embry or Quil were doing so. I gave an exaggerated sigh – why was I always the first one to be risked? What if this was some hunter waiting on the rumored "bears" in the area? Yes, everyone in La Push and Forks still thought we were giant teddy bears. Leah rolled her mental eyes at my jumble of thoughts, and at such an uncalled for moment. Just go Seth – hurry up.
All right, all right. I'll check who it is.
Grumbling obscenities in my head, I swiftly but stealthily maneuvered between tree trunks until I was close enough to see the river without being seen myself. The running water was loud, but apart from that, someone was muttering hysterically and squealing softly to themselves. The squishing of shoes on mud and wet leaves was evident, so this someone was obviously moving about – or jumping maybe, the sound of movements were too frantic for just plain pacing or walking.
With silent steps I crept closer, keeping to the shadows, finally spotting a figure in the distance. It was a girl – around my age or younger maybe – and she was half naked, her shirt and jeans somewhere on the forest floor, jumping up and down and reaching behind her as though she was trying to swat something away, going in circles where she stood in the process.
A low chuckle came from me. Guys, it's just a half naked girl, I told them, my wolf eyes drinking in the scene of this panic-stricken female teenager clad only in her cute, heart designed undergarments. Embry was quick to react. A half naked girl? I'm gonna howl! He saw her through my thoughts and was about to really howl, but Leah cut him off.
Shut the fuck up, do you want to cause a fuss? Our oh so lovely Beta snapped then, but I was too busy surveying the girl who was, of course, still oblivious of her audience. She stopped jumping then although she was restless and shifting her weight from foot to foot, still squealing a little bit, and finally I found myself looking at her face as her entire body turned toward my general direction.
My heart stopped beating and the world came unhinged as my wolf eyes found itself looking at the center of my own personal universe.
Shit! I heard Quil mentally say, but I was too far removed from everything around me that I didn't even realize he was talking in the background. My eyes were only for this wonderful girl – strands of her dark wet hair all over her disgusted face as she picked up her shirt from the ground, still darting glances (or trying to) at her bare back as though she was looking for something.
Seth, what are you doing?! Leah's voice was panicked as opposed to her usual annoyed tone, but I didn't notice at all – I didn't even know what she was talking about. And besides, I wasn't doing anything wrong; I just wanted a closer look at this girl. Before I realized what I was doing, my feet had taken me past the trees obscuring me from view, nearer this dark haired, semi-dark skinned beauty.
A twig snapped and broke underfoot, and my dark haired beauty jumped in surprise as she became aware of my presence, eyes widening in shock as her gaze landed on me. Our eyes met – and I was enthralled and lost in her black, almost brown eyes. I would imagine I was gazing at her in awe, but why was she looking at me like that?
A string of curses brought me back to reality, and I realized Leah was screaming in my head (as well as Quil's and Embry's, to their misfortune). Fuck it Seth, you're in wolf form! You're scaring her, get away now!
But I hadn't moved an inch when my precious imprint took a frightened, shaky step back, still half naked, before screaming at the top of her lungs for the whole of La Push to hear. I mentally slapped myself for my stupidity as I watched her run away with nothing else on but her underwear and bra, clutching a shirt to her chest.
The eating festivities which had lost all warmth to me carried on until nightfall. As I ate on my corner of the kitchen silently, occasionally being talked to by most of the temporary inhabitants of the house, I took the time to study everyone present. None of them really held my interest for very long, mainly because of one particular person. Emily.
My brother's fiancé, Emily Young. I noticed the scars adorning one side of her face when she greeted me by the door of course, who wouldn't, but it was only then that I could really look at her, at it. She was beautiful, if not for those scars pulling her eyes and mouth down to an eternal frown. And she still was I soon realized, as I looked at my brother look at her – with so much love, that it hurt for me to look at it. In my half brother's eyes, I saw past the facial disfiguration and realized that if Sam loved her and found her beautiful, why shouldn't everybody else?
I watched them with a soft smile on my face. They looked so happy. And here I was, distraught… I sighed and tried my best to finish everything in my plate, and actually managed. I was pretty hungry, despite my disposition, and I wasn't about to overlook my nourishment just because I was feeling bad. Although after the joy of getting my stomach filled wore off, I was almost miserable again. And that was because Sam hadn't even glanced my way once ever since the introduction.
True, it was because he was all eyes on his fiancé. I doubted that was the only reason though. And if I had any doubts earlier, I sure didn't have them now: my brother didn't want anything at all to do with me. As much as that fact affected me, I put on a happy face. I didn't want to make a bad impression on everyone else; they didn't deserve that after accepting me so genially, as though I belonged when I didn't.
At ten past six after nearly an hour of questions all directed toward me (Sam, and the group of Paul, Jared, Embry and Collin did not join this conversation at all), everyone finally decided to call it a night and dispersed. With so many able hands in the Uley house, it took about a full twenty minutes for everyone to clean up and by six thirty pm, the house was almost deserted except for myself, Samuel, and Sam. As my half brother walked Emily to the door, as I expected him to do, Samuel pulled me aside to talk.
He still had that apologetic look on his face as he spoke to me in a low voice. "Look Aiyana, about earlier. I'm sorry about Sam –" he was saying, but I didn't want to hear it, whatever he was going to say. My happy face was slipping away now, with no audience… but I wasn't about to make my dad feel bad. This was just… this. None of us could do anything about the situation.
"Please, I don't want to talk about it Samuel. It's fine. I… do you mind if I take a walk? I'm just going to clear my head a little, if it's okay." I was probably speaking very fast and so obviously trying to evade the conversation we were having, but I was pretty sure my old man understood. Maybe we could talk about this, but not just now.
He sighed and towered over me. My dark Santa. Memories flooded my head, and I felt the familiar tightening in my chest. He smiled slightly, and it took all of my power not to bawl. I was not going to create such a pathetic sight, especially since Sam could walk in anytime. "All right, all right… your things are already upstairs. Don't go too deep into the forest if you decide to wander ovr there okay? I'm sorry again kid." He leaned forward and planted another kiss on my forehead, and I simply nodded as I hurried for the backdoor and out of the house, fumbling for my cigarette pack and a lighter.
Once outside, I lit a stick and inhaled the noxious smoke, closing my eyes as I willed myself to relax and to just stop thinking. Ever since Mom died, I'd succumbed into the bad habit of smoking. No one really stopped me – they realized it was my way of relieving stress what with the funeral and all and thought I would stop after Mom's burial. But I didn't. It got worse and now I was a chain smoker. I couldn't stop anymore, because I found that only nicotine could calm my nerves.
A couple of sticks more and a coughing fit later, I finally returned my pack of cigarettes and lighter inside my pocket, remembering that I was supposed to be taking a walk. The forest. I remembered Samuel's words as I stared at the forest which was our backyard. From what I could see, there was a path there. So I wouldn't get lost right? Right. With that, I got off the back porch and welcomed my new surroundings, walking into a thickset of trees and finally getting lost in the shadows of nature.
I sighed as I walked, not really seeing anything, and for a long while my mind replayed the day so far, catching my breath as I began to have difficulty breathing. I hadn't been in La Push for more than three hours and here I was, a sobbing mess. I didn't even realize I was crying until I finally tasted the salty tears upon licking my lips, but then I hastily brushed them away with the back of my hand. This wasn't the time to pity myself. Sure I lost a mom, had to live with a dad I barely knew and live in a house with a brother who doesn't want me, but there were other people with huger problems right?
Although at the moment I couldn't think of worst problems than mine. And I was still crying, angrily wiping every tear drop as it fell, and nothing I told myself could stop me from crying because the truth was, I was officially alone. I harked back on the night my life came crashing down almost literally.
According to police reports, Annalise Brown had been driving home from work when the accident happened. The driver of the truck that hit Anne's car beat the red light, causing the crash. Such was the severity of the collision that the car she was in, including herself, was hardly recognizable. The casket remained closed during the entire affair (and of course even after) because there was scarcely any body parts left to form a body. My mother, reduced to a bloody pulp. It wasn't a nice mental image – and my mother's friends wouldn't let me look at her remains even if I told them I could take it. Even though I wanted to, not caring that it was going to be my last memory of her.
But I was able to sneak and look at what had become of the parent who'd raised me for seventeen years, and found myself regretting it. I didn't know how long I sat on the cool bathroom floor, retching on the toilet after. The vision of incomplete body parts would forever haunt me. I even had nightmares days and nights following that.
But nothing was more nightmarish than this: being an outsider in a foreign land, with people I didn't know, in a place that was alien to me. If only my mom hadn't died, I wouldn't have to force myself into this place, prove myself to a brother who looked like he wasn't about to acknowledge the fact that he had a sister. If… so many ifs that I didn't even want to name them one by one. It was useless, to hang on to them, but at the moment the if onlys left in my life were the only things that made sense to me.
A sort of small clearing opened during my stroll, and I found myself by a small running river. It distracted me somewhat, and I headed over to wash my face. I only ever saw rivers during camping trips that I never really liked, and it somehow delighted me. I crouched down then to do as was planned, but I slipped on a patch of wet leaves – sending one foot on the water and the rest of my body flat on my back on mud to a soft splash. I groaned and for a few minutes only lay there like the dead, looking up at the darkening sky.
So much for my first day in La Push.
I actually considered staying there forever, but at that moment something like goosebumps crawled from the base of my spine, upwards. At first I ignored it, but it got worse… as though something was squirming between my skin and my shirt. It took about a few seconds before panic kicked in, and with a squeal, I was up on my feet and jumping up and down like an idiot, managing to slip a second time, this time to fall fully on the river.
A snake! A leech! What is that on my back?!
But I was not distracted by my very graceless toppling on the water. Something's crawling on my back, something icky, something yucky! I thought as I scrambled towards the bank, taking off my shirt and tossing it to the side as I clawed on my skin, going round and round in circles where I stood as I continued hopping like a bunny, occasionally slipping on patches of wet leaves. The crawling feeling got worse, and I got paranoid even though I knew this had to be a psychological effect – I took off my pants too. "Oh my god, oh my god…" I hated things that crawled, and whatever it was on me, it was certainly doing that. Crawling.
Squealing embarrassingly loudly, I continued clawing at myself everywhere, and in my favorite bra and matching underwear. I knew I had to look disheveled. I wondered what Samuel would say if he walked in on me like this. He would probably think I'd been raped. Yes, I'm being raped by a creepy crawly thing! I didn't know how long I was madly dancing about, removing something unknown, but it felt like ages.
When finally I was sure that there was nothing on me that wasn't supposed to be there, I picked up my shirt and breathed a little sigh of relief. As I did so however, I couldn't help looking over my back to try and see if there was something horrible there. "This is ridiculous… how will I go home, caked in mud…" I muttered to myself.
I was just looking around for my pants then, trying to figure out a fitting explanation on why I looked the way I did once I went back and Samuel found me, but at that instant the sound of a twig snapping made me look up.
I wish I hadn't.
It was impossible. Completely, utterly impossible. A few feet from me, opposite the way I had come from, was a wolf. A massive, sandy furred wolf the size of… of what was the size that I could compare it to? I literally stopped breathing as the giant animal surveyed me with a leveled gaze, and I didn't want to move but my body was betraying me. It wanted to run away as fast as I could, somewhere safe.
Oh my god, I thought. The wolf continued to stare, and I continued to stare back. How could a wolf grow so big I had no idea, but that was it for my sanity. I clutched my shirt tighter to my chest, took a wary step back… before turning around and screaming like the girl that I was. I didn't even care that I didn't have pants on.
Oh yes, so much for my first day in La Push. I was prepared to go stark, raving mad.
Author's Notes: Finally I got that over and done with. Seth imprints. More later, and please feel free to review. :)