Entry for the LittleNessie12's Crayola contest: http:/www()fanfiction()net/u/1817805/LittleNessie12
Thanks to my betas Sharebear and CullenObsession.
Disclaimer: Embry belongs to Stephenie Meyer, Anna is mine though :)
Embry settled into a crouch. A large sandy-coloured wolf coiled next to him.
The word wasn't spoken, but both launched off their hindquarters, sprinting for their goal, a peak in the distance. As always these days, another mind shared their space. Jacob was somewhere to the north, where he'd gone when he got the invitation to Bella Swan's wedding. His thoughts weren't ordered like Embry's and Seth's. They were wild, like the animal he had become.
Seth recalled Bella asking how Jake was. Embry tried not to think about Jacob. It was obvious Jake wanted to be alone. Instead he focused on Seth and trying to push ahead of him.
Another mind joined their circle, decidedly feminine. Seth's sister, Leah, appeared to be where they'd started. Embry pushed harder, stretching his stride. A grey shape streaked past them, just as they reached the summit.
I win, Leah chortled.
Embry and Seth both skidded to a stop, side by side. No winner tonight.
You suck, Leah. Rematch? Next week? Embry asked.
That long? Seth whined.
That's as often as Mom will let me sleep over at Quil's.
It really sucked that Embry couldn't tell his Mom why he was out nights, let her know he needed new clothes because he shredded his old ones changing shape, tell her that he had a part in protecting the tribe.
Instead he was perpetually grounded. That had gotten better, actually. Since the pack had grown, he only needed to patrol one night a week. He could manage that.
I'm out, he told the Clearwater sibs and walked down toward the beach. He heard heavy breathing, rustling and whimpering. It sounded like a girl. A few feet away she stumbled through the trees.
"Get your fat butt back here!" An angry man came tromping after her. Embry could smell fear from her. She huddled under a cedar.
"Anna! You get back here or I'm gonna-"
That was enough for Embry. The girl was honestly afraid of this man. Embry phased and stepped into the man's path, straightening his shoulders so he stood at his full height.
"Going to what?" Embry asked menacingly. He stood at six foot three inches and was easily as broad as the young man before him. The man quickly hid his shock at the giant boy, and sized him up.
"My cousin was supposed to wash the dishes, not spend the night reading in the backyard," he grumbled.
"I did wash them!" The girl didn't emerge but raised her voice to be heard.
Embry smiled a little looking over his shoulder. The girl had spunk. "She says she washed the dishes. And reading isn't usually a crime."
"Anna, you better be in your room in an hour." The man glared at Embry before turning and leaving.
"You can come out now," Embry said with a smirk. He turned to the girl. She was still cowering.
The girl peeked around the cedar. She continued to cringe. Even in the dim moonlight, Embry could see the full curve of her breasts and hips. She was perhaps a little over-weight, but not fat. Her cheeks were full and streaked with tears. Her hair had needles caught in the coarse waves which fell past her shoulders. She wore short sleeves and he could see darker patches on the skin of her upper arm. They looked like finger prints. Embry felt a growl forming in his throat. He swallowed it down, not wanting to frighten her any further.
"I'm Embry Call." Maybe knowing who he was would ease her fear.
"A-Anna." She stepped out from the tree and Embry could see her better still. She had spots on the sides of her nose that made him think she normally wore glasses.
"Are you all right, Anna?" he asked. She wasn't much younger than himself. Fourteen, maybe.
"I'm fine, now." Her voice was soft. "Thank you," she whispered.
"No problem. Kinda my job." Embry shrugged. "Who was that, anyway?"
"My cousin, Eli Stone."
"Are you sure you're all right, Anna?" She flinched when he said her name. She shivered a little but stayed in place when he put his hand flat over her bruises. His skin was a shade darker than hers.
"I'm fine. Eli is impatient, but I'm only here for a few weeks." She gave herself a shake and straightened, thrusting out her round chin. Turned this way it hid some of the roundness of her face.
Embry smiled. There was something about this girl. He hadn't imprinted; he had seen that enough times to know, but still... something. "Well, I guess I should let you get home then."
Her face fell. She still hadn't smiled, but her eyes and mouth both curved down. "Yeah. Home."
"Or wherever you're staying," he tried instead. He smiled broadly, hoping to see the same. The girl sighed and walked around him. She stopped, turning back to him. "Thank you, again, Embry."
Embry ran through the trees on two legs. Quil was at a birthday party with the Clearwaters, leaving Embry on his own for the day.
He jogged past a waterfall and caught a familiar scent. Anna. He slowed and found her on a beach towel, lying on her stomach, reading a worn paperback.
She wore cut off jeans and a sleeveless shirt. Her skin was lighter than his, more milky, less red. She looked up and met his eyes. They were a soft warm brown. Her hair was tucked under a baseball cap, but a few curls escaped. Her hair wasn't the black he expected, but a deep mahogany; a dark red-brown.
Her eyes held a question and Embry realized he had stopped and was staring. She pulled her glasses off the brim of her cap and onto her nose. She squinted at him. "Embry?" she asked, her voice still soft. He got the impression she didn't raise it often.
"Anna, right?" He paused a moment. "What are you reading?"
"Um... Just some fantasy crap." She quickly tucked the book under her towel as if embarrassed. He saw the title though, The Fires of Heaven. It was thick too. He wondered why she hid it. She was blushing now, turning her milky brown skin pink.
Embry found himself crouching and pulling the book out. It was part of a series. He flipped the pages, nearly a thousand of them. "It's good?" he asked pursing his lips.
She shrugged and twisted one of her curls around her finger. "I like it."
"You said you're only here a few weeks?" he asked, sitting beside her on the towel.
She sat up, taking the book he held out to her. She dropped it on her crossed legs. "Yeah. I spend the summer here with my dad and cousin."
"How is it I haven't seen you around before?"
"I don't know. You probably never noticed me," she muttered, but he was able to hear it. Maybe she was right.
"Well, Anna, I've noticed you now. And I notice you have a new set of bruises." It had only been a few days since he'd run into her the first time. He brushed the back of his hand over her thigh.
She turned her face away from him and took a deep breath. "It's only a few weeks." She turned back to him, but her full lips still didn't turn up.
What was it about this girl? Why did he want to make her smile so badly? "Where do you live the rest of the year?"
"Fort Bragg. My Mom moved back to her family when she split with Dad. She wants me to keep in touch with him and his family, though. So I come here every summer." She met his eyes again. The sadness in them made his heart lurch.
"Does she know?"
"No." Anna looked away again. "She gives up so much for me. She can have a few weeks of her own." She pulled off her cap, letting her hair fall around her face. Embry wished she hadn't done that.
"Look, Anna." He took her hand now and she stared at it. He let it go again. He was warmer than the average person; she probably noticed. "I'm here, if you need someone to talk to, somewhere to go."
"I appreciate that. I really do. What would they say if I just disappeared, though?" She looked into his eyes again, a curl stuck in the arm of her glasses.
"Yeah, I guess you're right." He pulled the curl off and tucked it behind her ear. There - almost. One corner of her mouth twitched. He never would have guessed it would be so hard to make a girl smile. "Ever jumped off a cliff?"
She gaped at him. "No."
"Want to?" he asked with a smirk.
And there it was.
She didn't meet his eyes, but the corners of her mouth finally curved up. "All right."
Embry took her hand again and turned her back the direction he had just come from. He led her down to one of the lower cliffs, the one sane, human jumpers used. She clutched his hand as they stood at the edge. "You're serious?" she asked him.
"Yes. Don't worry. People do it all the time. I'll hold your hand the whole way." She looked to him again. Then pulled off her glasses and set them on top of her towel and book.
"Ready?" he asked her.
She nodded, her eyes as wide as saucers.
"You go, I'll jump with you," he whispered in her ear. She gasped, then stepped forward until her toes hung over the edge of the rock. She closed her eyes and the wind ruffled through her hair. He crouched when she did and jumped a split-second after her. His enhanced senses helped him time it just right.
He expected she would jump simply, straight down. She spread her arms out and leaned forward. Just before the water she curled her legs up under her.
She surfaced and looked at their still linked hands. "You didn't let go."
"Of course not."
Embry found her more and more often after that. She took to bringing her books to First Beach. He noticed when she moved onto a new one, Lord of Chaos. He was sure it was the same series and nearly as thick as the last. She often left her towel and book behind when he found her, swimming or walking with him instead.
"So, are these from Eli or your Dad?" Embry asked, running a hand down her arm over the fresh bruises.
She pulled her arm away and took a step away from him into the surf. She covered her bruises with her own hand, grasping the other arm as well. Her arms crossed under her breasts pushed them up in her suit. Embry swallowed hard and looked away before her eyes returned to him.
"Not my Dad," she declared, a little heat in her voice. "He wouldn't care if I didn't leave my room all summer." She rolled her brown eyes. "Eli seems to think I should be his house slave while I'm here." She shook her head and the light bounced off the red in her hair. "I do anything less than perfectly, and he drags me back to show me my mistake." She sighed and looked out to the ocean again, the sun beginning its descent. "Speaking of them, I should go start supper."
"Can I walk you home?" he asked as she walked back to the towel and book.
She graced him with a smile. She still seemed to have few enough of those. "If you want to."
"What's for dinner?" he asked, trying to stop her blush as it formed.
She shrugged. "Whatever they left for me to cook. I hope someone gets groceries soon; I'm running out of options." She plucked a handful of raspberries from the hedge and he copied her. The first berries of the summer. The hedge was littered with more pale lumps that would swell and ripen in the days to come.
Embry followed Anna into the house, leaning on the counter beside her. She set her book on the table and wiped off her feet on the towel before tossing it on one of the chairs. She opened the fridge and sighed. "I guess I get to be creative." She pulled out a tomato, mushrooms, two eggs and some cheese. She opened the freezer and sighed again. "I'm going to get hell for not having any meat. It's not even my fault," she muttered, throwing the door shut. She looked over what she had gathered. "I'll be right back." She returned with green onions and chives from outside. She started chopping these with the tomato and mushrooms. She pulled out a can of beans and opened it while heating oil in a pan. "They're going to hate this." She started shredding cheese in frantic motions. Her arm rippled a little as it moved up and down the grater.
She stopped at one point, setting the butt of cheese down and covering her eyes. She leaned on the counter for a minute taking deep shuddering breaths.
Embry put an arm around her shoulders. She straightened, pushing her shoulders back, throwing his arm off. She twisted and stepped away from him. As her watering eyes met his brown ones he saw her palpable fear.
"It's going to be okay, Anna. I'm sure whatever you make is going to taste great."
She shook her head quickly, turning to the stove. She stirred the vegetables, adding the beans and egg. "Whatever I make will not be good enough." She tossed some seasoning into the mix and ripped open a bag of tortillas. "You should go," she said meeting his eyes again.
He didn't want to leave her. "Will they be angry I'm here?"
"No," she said slowly. "I don't think so. But won't someone be looking for you?"
She was right. Mom would be home from work soon and wondering where he was. "Yeah. I guess I should go. Here." He found a pad and wrote his number on it. "I'm meeting a friend to go to a movie tonight. If you'd like, you can join us."
She looked from him to the number and back. "Really?" she asked.
"Sure. I'll understand if you'd rather spend the night with Jordan though." He stuck his thumb in the direction of her book.
She chuckled once, smiling briefly. "I'll let you know," she said turning back to the stove.
She didn't call that night and he didn't see her on the beach the next day. Embry wandered by her house the day after. It was quiet inside. He went to the waterfall where he had found her reading, but there was no one there either. He tried the cliff he'd taken her to. She wasn't there, but he could smell her now, not far away. She stood on the edge of another cliff, higher. She would need to jump out to miss the rocks at the bottom of this cliff.
He crept up behind her, slowly. He didn't want to startle her. He was right behind her when she first noticed him, turning and slipping on the edge. Embry's arm snaked around her waist, pulling her to him and preventing her fall. He wrapped the other arm around her shoulders and held her tight to his bare chest. She shuddered. She was soft, her flesh cushioning against him.
"What were you doing, Anna?" he asked. "This isn't a good choice for diving."
"I know. I was thinking about going home early." She looked up at him, tears in her eyes again. He noticed one of her cheeks was redder than the other, one raw sienna, one burnt. She tipped her head down, letting her hair cover it.
"Anna?" She shook her head again, trying to step away from him. That was when he saw the bruises on her chest, next to her suit strap. He pulled gently on her arm. "What's -?"
She shifted the strap, covering the bruises again. "I'm fine. Dad stopped him."
Embry's eyes narrowed. She flinched and drew away further. He let her go this time and sighed. "Let's go down to the beach," he suggested.
On the beach, she decided to sit on the swings and people watch. Embry knew she was a quiet person, but he didn't want her quiet right now. "What are you looking at?"
"The families," she answered honestly. "Yours isn't the normal kind either, is it?" She looked at him now.
He snorted. "What's a normal family?" he asked.
"That one." She pointed. Two little boys ran ahead of their parents. Huge smiles shone on both dark faces. The mother and father walked hand in hand, one white, one black. "My parents looked like that. Only my Mom is the white one." Her lips twisted into something approaching a smile. "I wish I had a brother or sister."
"Really?" Embry asked. "I'm not sad I don't."
She scoffed. "That's because Quil and Seth substitute quite well. I don't have any friends as close as that." She twisted the chains of her swing and let herself unwind. "Speaking of Seth, where is he today?" she asked.
"A wedding." Embry grinned.
"Why aren't you there?" she asked, her brow furrowed.
"I wasn't invited." His grin broadened and bordered on goofy. He was imagining the whole pack at Edward and Bella's wedding. That would be a bad idea. As it was, Seth was there and Jacob was breaking his neck trying to get there in time for one last goodbye with Bella Swan. Jake was a glutton for punishment, no way around it. Still, it was great to have him back.
"Embry?" Anna asked.
He shook his head. "Yeah?"
"Nothing." She blushed a little and looked at her feet.
He touched her chin lightly with his pointer finger. "It wasn't nothing."
"Just - I keep telling you, but-" She looked up and shook her head again. "Nevermind."
"I was thinking about a friend who came back for the wedding. Maybe I'll introduce you to him tomorrow. Assuming you don't go home early."
She rolled her eyes. "No. He doesn't try that often. It just hit me harder this time." She adjusted her strap again.
She shrugged. "He gets drunk and decides I should sweat off a few pounds. But since he drinks with Dad, he never gets far before Dad kicks him out to the yard." They swung in silence for a while. "Now you know why I spend my summers reading. I can live in Fort Bragg, but when I come here, I don't stay."
Embry nodded. "Will you let me show you some of the good things around here? Maybe steal you back?"
And there it was again. Her warm full lips parted and stretched revealing two large front teeth, bright and white. She caught him staring and closed her lips, blushing again.
"You aren't embarrassed of your smile, are you? Because you shouldn't be."
The smile was small this time, but still warm. "Not embarrassed, no. Maybe of being noticed quite so much." She pushed off setting the swing in motion. "Especially after not being noticed for so long," she whispered, not intending him to hear.
Anna didn't get to meet Jacob the next day; he was still too much of a wreck. He was taking the news of Bella's honeymoon very badly. He expected her back either a vampire or not at all. Embry met her at her house in the morning and took her on a hiking tour of the area, all his favourite spots. They ate peanut butter sandwiches on top of a mountain.
"I don't think I've ever climbed this high. The view is amazing."
"Can I steal you again tomorrow?"
She blushed. "You can steal me everyday."
"What about nights?" he asked, tucking a lock of her hair out of her face.
"Nights are harder, maybe." She leaned a little away from him.
"Anna, do I make you uncomfortable?" Embry asked. She seemed to flinch from his touch. She shrugged. He tried to fathom it. "Am I too much like Eli?" He hoped that wasn't it.
"Sort of. Why should a man like you be interested in me? It's a little scary being with you, but I feel safe at the same time. It's confusing." She slouched into her knees, resting her chin on them.
Embry put a hand on her back, stroking gently. "How old are you, Anna?" She wasn't so young that she should think of him as a man.
"Fifteen. Which is why having someone at least five years older hanging out with me is a little weird."
Embry laughed. Anna stared at him blankly. "I'm only a year older than you, Anna. I don't turn seventeen for a few months."
Her brow wrinkled. "I don't believe you." He pulled out his license to show her. Her mouth fell open. "Really?"
"Really. Seth is even younger. He's fifteen like you."
Her eyes boggled. She shook head. "Well, that changes things." She reached out one hand tentatively to take his.
"Hello, Jacob." Anna kept her head down, not meeting Jacob's eyes. Jacob had finally come down enough that Embry risked introducing Anna to him.
"Hey. You're a friend of Embry's?"
She shrugged. "I guess so." Her voice was little more than a whisper.
"Yes, she is, Jake. Could you be a little more intimidating?" Embry's voice raised with irritation. He'd told Jake she was shy.
"I heard you... lost a friend," she said even more quietly.
"She's not lost yet!" Jacob's voice was loud and growling.
"I'm glad to hear that," Anna whispered, cowering a little more.
Embry put an arm around her shoulders. Anna had been warming up to him and Quil and Seth, but Jacob was going to set her back again at this rate. "He's just a bonehead, Anna. Don't let him bug you."
"Yeah, you seem like a nice girl. Don't mind me." He turned and walked further down the beach.
"He has lost her, hasn't he? He seems so sad, and so angry. My Dad was like that. Now he's just empty. Mom moved on, but he never did." She followed Jacob with her eyes. "And what about you? What's got you angry?" She turned her soft brown eyes on him.
"Me? I'm not angry."
"Something bothers you. Something that you see in Quil and Jacob. What is it?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," he grumbled. Embry always wondered which of those two were actually his brother, but he would never know. It might be Sam, but Anna had never met him. Embry had a sense it was one of his two friends though.
"I see." She turned into the waves and took a step into them.
"Wait, Anna." He followed after her.
"It's all right, Embry. You don't want to talk about it." She watched the waves crash into her knees, covering the bruise just over the left.
"I found out, recently, that my dad isn't my dad." This was hard to talk about. He certainly couldn't explain how he knew who his father might be.
She nodded. "That's pretty bad. Do you keep in touch with him?" she asked, wrapping her arms around herself. As so often when she did this, her breasts jumped up and snagged Embry's attention away from the conversation. He licked his lips. "Do you have any idea who your real father is?" she asked, looking over her shoulder.
He snapped his eyes to hers. "Um-" What did she say? "Yeah, a couple ideas."
"Are you all right, Embry?"
"Yes." He was still having trouble focusing. She was wonderfully soft next to him, and he was having trouble bringing his mind back from the flesh she held on display. "Anna?"
He put his hands to her shoulders and turned her to him. He bent deeply to put his head level with hers and pressed his lips to her full ones. She tasted like sunlight, warm and bright. She pulled back with a little gasp, her eyes wide. Then her lips turned up, a playful smile on her face. It wasn't one he'd had a chance to see yet. He didn't see much of it before she put her lips back to his. He slid his hands down her arms, relishing all the softness of her body. She still thought herself fat, but she was deliciously plump. It made her so easy to hold, so easy to squeeze. He pulled her bottom lip between his, rolling it. She gasped again. Her breathing ragged.
"No?" he asked as she backed up a bit.
She shook her head. "It's not that." She blushed turning her milky brown skin red again, raw sienna becoming burnt. He put a hand to her round cheek. Even in his large hand it fit perfectly. His mind went lower to something else as round that would fit as well. "That was my first kiss," she admitted shame-faced.
"Oh," Embry whispered. "Really?" He quirked an eyebrow.
She nodded vigorously.
"No boys at home?"
She shook her head, her chest still heaving.
He smiled at her. "Well. Lucky me." He pulled her up for another kiss and she squeaked a little. He chuckled in his throat. She relaxed a bit now. Her lips less tense, even softer. He sampled her top lip this time and she took his bottom in return. He felt her teeth graze his lip and shivered.
"Get a room," Jacob called from farther up the beach with a smirk. Embry flipped him off even as Anna pulled her head down. Embry took her hand and turned to walk back down the beach.
"No, Eli! Let go of me!" Embry was still a half mile from the house, but he could hear the strain in Anna's voice.
"Come on, sugar. Daddy's not here to say anything. You can give me a kiss."
"No! Stop. Please." There were tears in her voice now.
He broke into a run, appearing in the yard. He could see her through the window. Her cousin had his hands on her arms, pulling her to him. She was struggling, but he held her tightly.
Embry ripped open the door, hearing the wood of the latch tear too late. It had been locked. Anna took advantage of Eli's distraction to rip out of her cousin's grip.
"Good night. Eli." Embry had never heard her voice so hard. She ran to his side and he gratefully wrapped an arm around her.
"You again." Eli's eyes narrowed.
"Me again." He grinned cockily. Embry didn't wait for any more retorts. He turned Anna and took her back through the doorway.
"You'd better be back-"
Embry looked over his shoulder and growled at Eli. He pulled his lip back, looking a bit like an animal protecting its mate, but didn't say anything else. They left the house and Embry took Anna out under the clear sky. "I was hoping to find you outside."
Anna sniffed and wrapped her arms around Embry's waist. "Thank you. Dad wasn't home. I didn't know what to do."
"Shh," he stroked her back. "You don't have to go back there. We'll think of something."
"No, no. I'll go back. My mom's coming for me tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" He supposed it was September already. He was starting classes next week.
"Thank you." She hugged him again. "Thank you for making La Push somewhere I want to come back to."
He held her, unable to answer. He didn't want her to come back to La Push. He didn't want her anywhere near Eli ever again. "Come on, let's get out of here."
On the beach they lay down side by side. The stars were clear overhead. Embry turned to look at Anna's profile. A tear was still clinging to her lashes. He reached out to it. She gasped at his touch and reached up to wipe her eyes. "Guess I'm still coming back down."
Embry leaned on his arm. His eyes wandered over her face. Her skin was silky like clay, creamy like clay too. He brushed the back of his hand down her cheek. She held her breath, but didn't flinch like she used to. "I'm glad I met you, Anna."
She sighed and closed her eyes. "I can't begin to tell you how glad I am I met you Embry. Every summer I've spent here has been worse than the last, until now." She propped herself up on her elbow. "I don't know what you see in me, but I'm so glad you did." She leaned in and kissed him.
Her hand caressed his cheek now. Her touch was so gentle. Embry put his hand to hers and slid it down her arm, around her back. He pulled her on top of him, running his hands down her back. She seemed to fold right into him. She was so soft, so round. He felt rigid, rough, holding her. Her kisses didn't bear any hint of complaint though. It hadn't been that long since their first kiss, but she was willing to let him lead her. He turned again, rolling over her.
His hands followed the curve of her hip, past her waist. "You're sure?" he asked breathily. He always worried when he touched her. He never wanted it to be a reminder of his grabbing.
Rather than answer, her hand reached down to his and brought it up to her breast. "I'm sure," she whispered then, her tongue finding his ear. He groaned and tipped his head, putting his nose to her neck. "Thank you, Embry," she whispered.
He lifted his head suddenly, looking to her eyes. "Why are you thanking me?"
"For making me feel special. For making me feel good to be me. No one's really done that before." She put her fingers into the short brush of black hair on his head. "For giving me a summer worth remembering. I'm going to miss you."
"Don't thank me when I'm kissing you, okay?"
Her face fell a little, that beautiful smile fading.
"Let me thank you, for letting me kiss you, all right?"
She laughed and laid her head back. "Letting you? Can I ask you to?"
"Yes, please." He put his lips to the side of her neck, kissing his way back to her softest parts. "Tell me what you want."
"I want tonight to never end." He sighed but continued to kiss his way over her collarbone. He didn't want it to end either. He didn't want to go back to a fractured pack, a half-breed vampire, missing friends. He would much rather stay right here, held by Anna.
"Embry? Where did you go?" Anna put a hand to his chin, lifting his face. "What's wrong?"
"Just thinking how much I want the same thing. How I never want this to change."
"Then it won't." She smiled at him again. She shifted under him, sliding until her face was under his again. "We'll close our eyes and be back here, together." She closed her eyes and put her lips to his again.
So, raw sienna is obviously Anna. Don't ask me why Embry, I can't answer that, but he worked, didn't he? :D
If you didn't know it, Anna is reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. It's currently 12 books long and none of them are under 800 pages. I LOVE them! :D
Update - June 2011: Make that 13 and the last is due out this winter! :D