Minutes become a lifetime when you're staring death in the face. Okay, maybe not death but a stinking mythical creature that should be harder to come across than Emmett not wanting sex.
And trust me to find the ugly thing.
I heard his jaw open, his tongue scraping across the bottom of his teeth and saliva rolling heavily around in his mouth. His breath was hot and stunk of road kill. As it rolled over me, I fought the urge to gag.
I squeezed my eyes tighter, waiting for the inevitable ripping apart of my flesh followed by my subsequent death.
It never came.
Instead, the nasty ass werewolf sprung away from me. My head snapped up, watching as he stared into the darkening woods. Then without so much as a glance at me he bolted into the undergrowth. The sound of thundering paws disappeared quickly as I stood up.
What the fuck?
"Aren't I good enough for you?" I yelled after him.
Yeah cause that makes sense. Dumbass.
Now that he had legged it, the horrible stressed out feeling and paranoia had disappeared, leaving me feeling a little euphoric and a bit cocky. I danced lightly on my tiptoes throwing jabs at an imaginary foe.
Hey, I had survived a werewolf attack. I am awesome. I am the greatest. I am doing a stupid impersonation of Rocky Balboa.
I shook my head as the heels of my feet touched the ground again. I couldn't understand why he hadn't made me a doggie chew toy. I pivoted around, staring into the growth that seemed to have spooked him. I couldn't see anything or hear anything, but then again a real werewolf has senses ten times that of a vampire.
Whatever it was, I was not sticking round to meet it. I had enough excitement for one day.
Isn't that what you wanted?
Well yes, but I want to experience the life of the undead not of the dead dead.
I quickly ran back the way I had come, noticing that Emmett had finished hiding the wreckage and was probably getting a lecture by the family. I smiled to myself realising that with my run in with the wolf man meant I could by-pass the whole discussion.
I slowed up considerably when I came into view of the house. Ashmore was a beautiful place especially in the winter, but its beauty was marred for me by being under house arrest. I hated it here, itching to get out into the real world and experience life again.
Hell, I'd go back to high school for a chance to break the monotony.
"You let her go out alone?"
I sighed as I heard Edward growl at Emmett. They seemed so busy chewing Emmett out, and they hadn't noticed my approach.
"Dude, have you met Izzy? You can't fight her one on one, man," Emmett snapped. I could hear Edward run his fingers through his hair, obviously frustrated with Emmett. I shook my head sadly. While Edward had let go of some of his restrictive behavior, he was still uptight in regards to my safety.
"You could have gone after her," he huffed angrily.
"Yeah 'cause I really like the look of my ass when it's all shredded up. That's what Izzy does."
Yeah, like I really shredded up that werewolf.
I sighed loudly, indicating my presence.
"You…oh wait, here she is now," Esme said, relief colouring her tone. I grimaced as I walked through the front door. They were all there in various permutations of pissed off. Okay maybe not Rose or Esme, but they still disapproved.
"Before you start-"
"How could you Izzy?" Edward snapped.
"What part of 'Before you start' don't you get, Edward?" I snarled back. Edward huffed, throwing his hands in the air and leaning back on the arm of the sofa. I pulled my fingers through my hair, coming away with twigs and dirt that were entirely too sticky. I stared at the gunk that coated my hand in disgust.
"Oh, my God. That bastard drooled on me."
Edward stood up immediately, growling possessively. "Who drooled on you?"
My eyes snapped to Edward's face and then to Jasper's. "You might want to back away Jasper. This could get nasty for you."
Edward snarled and turned on his brother. "Jasper drooled on you?"
Alice frowned before moving protectively in front of her husband. Confusion and agitation seeped out of Jasper, and the room became stifling. I couldn't understand what was happening, though I'm sure everyone else was in the same boat. Edward crouched, readying himself to pounce. Jasper let out a hiss as Edward advanced on him and his wife. The air cleared as Jasper concentrated on protecting Alice. I shook my head, and my brain thankfully started working again.
"What? Oh, God. Edward calm the fuck down. Jasper did not drool on me," I yelled.
Do we need to get away from each other or what?
Edward straightened up and shot Jasper an apologetic shrug. Jasper however was not pleased and hissed at him again.
"Jeez, you can be such a douche Edward," he muttered as he pulled Alice into his arms. I rubbed my forehead, figuring the annoying pounding was the closest a vampire could get to a headache. Suddenly, I felt Edward's hands on my shoulders. I looked up into his eyes which were sadly laced with worry.
"Izzy? Are you okay?" he asked, his voice soft and smooth. His worry only spurned my anger which had been simmering just below the surface for some time. I snapped.
"No! I am not okay. I was just in a helicopter crash. My favourite jeans went up in smoke, and now they barely resemble a pair of daisy dukes. I am sick of being stuck here. I hate how you all baby me, and I just had the most terrifying experience of my two lives. So no, I am far from okay, Edward."
I turned away and rushed to my room. As I sat down on our crisp white covered bed, I wanted nothing more than to have Tanya here. It had been nine months since I had seen her, and I missed her so much. She and Fredericks surprisingly got married, much to her sisters' disgust, and were now on their honeymoon. Emmett and I laughed our asses off when we heard of a small earthquake in northern Ireland which was exactly where they were staying. Luckily no one was hurt, but an old castle had bitten the dust. No doubt the centre of their earth-shaking love making!
My head snapped up as Esme entered the room. I tried to smile at her, but it took to much effort. I sighed and flung myself backwards onto the bed.
"I know it's been difficult for you dear, but we only want what's best for you."
"I know Esme. I get that, but I was doing fine by myself long after you all left me. I don't mean to be cruel, but you are all going to have to deal with the fact that you can't control me or my actions."
"We're not trying to con-"
I sat up quickly, effectively cutting her off by glaring into her topaz eyes.
"Yes. You. Are," I all but snarled at her, struggling to keep my anger in check. My hands curled into fists as I stared at a shocked Esme. I closed my eyes as I heard everyone file into my room. Edward pushed me behind him and hissed. My eyes snapped open. Edward was crouched, growling lowly at his family, at our family.
"What the fuck, Izzy?" Emmett yelled. "You don't talk to mom like that. Show some fucking respect."
Edward snarled. "Leave her alone, Emmett. I seem to remember you weren't the most polite newborn either."
Emmett rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but I was never rude to Esme."
I felt shame and guilt roll over me. Emmett was right; there was no excuse for snapping at Esme like I that.
But the anger…
My neurons finally fired brilliantly in my head as the reason popped into my mind.
"The werewolf," I whispered. Everyone was staring at me. Edward turned around, cupping my face with his hands.
"You saw Jake?"
"No, not Jake," I murmured.
"Show me, baby. Show me what happened."
I closed my eyes and pushed on the feather light film that was wrapped around my mind. It was easy to stretch it out to envelop Edward. He smiled when he heard the whispers of my mind, indicating he could hear me. Apparently, I was still quiet to him. He could hear me when my shield was over him, but my inner voice was on a lower frequency than the others.
I glanced nervously at Jasper. This was what I was worried about before everyone jumped to conclusions. By showing Edward what had happened, I would effectively be opening up the same emotions I felt when I was with the beast. I wasn't sure how Jasper would cope.
I closed my eyes again and showed Edward. The fear came back, bringing with it the hopelessness and the despair. I heard everyone gasp as Jasper's knees buckled, and he crashed to the floor.
"Jazz? Baby? What is it?" Alice shrieked.
Edward stumbled away from me as the memory came to a close, and I wrapped my shield back around me.
"What the fuck was that?" he whispered.
"A werewolf, a real one, and I think he's the cause for my anger, among other things."
"What other things?" Alice asked as she helped Jasper to his feet. He palmed his forehead, his eyes clenched shut as if he was still in pain. I winced when I realised he had felt it through both Edward and myself, making it twice as bad as it actually was.
I looked over at Alice, taking a breath before answering her. "Ever wonder why your visions are slow to return? I mean my pelt should have worn off months ago, yet you're still not seeing anything."
It dawned on everyone within seconds. Emmett rushed over to the window, staring out into the darkened forest.
"You mean this thing has been hanging around?" he muttered. Rose joined him, glancing first up at the moon then back to the trees.
"So it's true? The full moon and shit?" she asked.
"Kind of," I murmured, trying to think back to my research. My memories were hazy at best. "A person becomes a werewolf by being bitten. In their first turning, they are wild and untameable. In subsequent full moons, they gain more control over their form, although in regard to vampires, they have no control. It's in their very essence to kill us. The thing is, they have a choice on whether or not they turn on the full moon."
"A choice? Interesting," Carlisle said ,the nod of his head telling me to continue. I snorted rather loudly then ducked my head when Carlisle raised an eyebrow at me.
"Yeah, interesting my ass. While they don't have to change, if they get a whiff of a vampire they bust out the fangs and go on a rampage. And it doesn't matter who is watching."
Comprehension dawned on Carlisle's face. "You mean humans, don't you?
"Yes. Do you remember about eighteen years ago there was a huge fire that wiped out an entire town just south of Winnipeg?"
"I remember that," Alice chimed. "There were no survivors."
"Yeah. Turns out the Volturi cleaned up after a werewolf skitzed out when a nomad rocked up. Too many people saw it, and the Volturi acted."
Esme sat down. "Oh, dear Lord. How horrible."
Everyone was silent, each thinking of the ramifications this creature brought rippling through our lives. Emmett was the first to speak.
"So if they turn on a full moon and then revert back, would they still go bananas if they smelled a vampire?"
"No. That's why most of them go wolf on the full moon. It equalises the human and the beast inside of them. If they by-pass it, then the werewolf is just beneath the surface ready to be unleashed."
Edward had been quiet for a while, and I walked over to him. I wrapped my arms around him as he breathed my scent in deeply. I knew this calmed him when he felt overwhelmed. I leant my head against his chest and stared at my family. Jasper had recovered well enough that he didn't need Alice's assistance anymore, however he held her protectively, his eyes darting to the door and then to the window where Rose and Emmett kept watch. Carlisle wrapped his hands around Esme, but his eyes were on me.
"So how does one become a werewolf?"
I sighed as I pulled away from Edward. "From what I can remember, it's a family tradition. It started out when vampires were not hidden in the shadows, taking humans when they pleased. Most humans revered them as gods or nymphs or whatever helped them sleep at night. Human sacrifices helped curb the massacres, but it got to a point where a group of humans had enough. Druids I think."
"Anyway they did a blood exchange with wild wolves while in the process of changing a newborn."
"Wait. What?" Edward asked. I sighed softly trying to think back.
"Yeah, I couldn't believe it either but when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. A human had been bitten, and the venom started to burn its way through their veins. While they were still human enough to cut, they immersed the poor soul in a wolf's blood and systematically cut at him. They wouldn't have understood how it worked at the time, but cells from both species would have mixed until the venom had taken control and closed the wounds. So in the end, there are two different types of genomes now residing within the human, and it alters the state of the transformation. Essentially, it traps the wolf gene within the humans, mutating it while trying to turn."
"Thus creating a werewolf. Amazing," Carlisle murmured.
"That's not exactly what I would say Carlisle," Emmett said. "So they have a bit of vamp in them?"
I winced. I knew he was struggling to understand how this occurred. Hell, everyone looked confused. No one in our family was stupid, but trying to wrap one's mind around a creature that is supposed to be close to extinction and is an indirect relation of our own species was difficult. I tried to think of an easier way to explain it.
"Okay, just think of it this way. If you went out and bit a wolf, and our venom could change animals that's what would happen."
Emmett nodded and then screwed up his face. "Can you imagine a vampire wolverine? Those suckers are already pissed at the world, pumping full of venom would make them insane."
I smiled at Emmett. Only he could make fun of a situation as dire as this, which led me to my next point.
"He's been in the territory for a while," I whispered. No one moved. The shock was evident.
"How? Wouldn't we have seen him or smelt him?" Alice asked her usual perky voice now soft and low.
"No. The closer you get to a werewolf the less you can sense unless he's right on top of you. Most vamps will smell one and turn in the opposite direction. This one has been meeting all his full moon appointments, so he doesn't go ballistic. There's another thing as well."
Everyone tensed, waiting for me to tell them more bad news. I took a deep breath.
"Something was hunting him."
Chapter End Notes:
Oops, who is hunting the big bad werewolf? Little Red Riding Hood perhaps? Grandma?
On another thiing...sorry for the epic lateness of this chapter...time got away from me what with three point two children (a newborn and two toddlers) and the crazy reno's the house is still going through...stay with me though love you all :)