Chapter 21

Time With the Boys

After Christmas, the remainder of the holidays flew by. Seth and Embry went back to La Push to check on the tribe and my father. I have yet to speak to him since he said all the hateful things to me before I left. Even though the pack has mentioned several times how sorry he was, Billy has yet to make a phone call.

For New Years the Cullen family went on a family hunt. They all wanted Nessie to go, after all, it was a family tradition to hunt to ring in the New Year. We all tried to get Nessie to hunt but she refused, in the end I stayed behind and we watched the ball drop from Time Square on TV. I know that the family has been concerned with Nessie's lack of hunting, especially Carlilse. Ever since Nessie had been born, he made it a point to keep very close tabs on Nessie's development. After all, she was one of a very limited number of hybrids. He became incredibly fascinated with Ness after the shark attack. Even though he hasn't said anything out right to anyone, I knew he was thinking something wasn't right with Ness. Then again, how are things supposed to be when you lose an arm so traumatically.

"Yo, anyone home," Embry's voice shouted from the front entrance.

Seth and Embry walked into the living room where I was on the couch playing Xbox with Emmett. Emmett dropped the controller and stood up fast to give Embry and Seth a man hug. I just nodded my head and continued to race my car around the track,

"Ah, I won!" I shouted and stood up.

Emmett stood there as he looked at the screen with his mouth opening and closing. "That's not fair, we have company."

I walked over to Seth and Embry and shook their hands. Even though I spoke to them daily while in wolf form, it was nice to have them back.

"So," I said as I walked toward the kitchen where Esme cooked up a storm an hour earlier in preparation of the return of her favorite wolves. "Anything new going on that I need to be aware of?"

Embry grabbed a plate and piled it high with ribs, potato salad and homemade yeast rolls. "Nothing new that you already don't know."

I nodded. "And Billy?"

Seth shook his head before he replied. "The same hard ass he always is. He asked if you're ready to come home yet and apologize."

I spit out my drink at that reply. "What they hell do I have to apologize for?"

My two best friends just shrugged their shoulders and continued to shovel food into their mouths like it was the last meal of their lives.

"Oh, good, you're back," Pixie came to a halt in the doorway. "I knew it was going to be soon since my vision became very murky. Come on lets go, we have to finish your school shopping."

"Alice," Edward walked in with Bella and the rest of the family. "Embry and Seth just walked in the door and besides, I think you have everything already for us to start school."

Alice crossed her arms over her chest and stared at Edward. I could tell by the flinch of his brow that he didn't like what Alice was telling him. "I thought so."

She turned back around and stood next to Seth. "As I was saying, we need to finish shopping."

"But I thought only Jake was going back to school, for Nessie's sake."

I cleared my throat and scratched the back my head. The two young wolves turned my direction with their eyes wide. "You didn't1" Embry said with a screech in his voice.

"I sort of was like suckered into it."

Embry's brow creased. "How? Their just bloodsucker, you can bite their heads off."

"I don't want to go back to school,": Seth said.

I backed up against the wall with my hands in surrender. "There has been some changes in the last week since you've been gone, one of which is going back to school. The other is Ness and the fact that Edward thinks she needs more protection." I eyed Edward at that line.

"More protection?" Embry looked to Edward and Bella then back towards Pixie. "More than one wolf, and six vampires? What's going on?"

Bella walked over and sat down. Edward stood by her and put his arm on her shoulder.

"Alice saw something and she's not sure of what to make of it," Was all that Edward said.

"And Rose and I aren't going," Emmett spoke up

I nodded my head. "Yeah, she still has this chip on her shoulder. She doesn't want to be associated with Ness. Stupid."

Embry and Seth looked around the room and I could see the questions forming in their heads as they took inventory of who wasn't in the kitchen.

"Carlisle is with Ness checking her out," Edward answered their unspoken questions. "Rose is out hunting with Esme and Jasper." Speaking of which, Bella, I think the two of us should go as well. Tomorrow is a busy day and it will be your first time as well back to school."

Emmett followed Bella and Edward out of the kitchen leaving just me with Embry and Seth. The three of finished up all the food and then cleaned up the kitchen.

"How have things really been going since we've been gone?" Seth asked as he followed me out of the sliding glass door to go tot eh house that the three of shared. "I mean with Ness."

I shrugged. "Same, I guess, but not."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Seth asked.

"I don't know. Some days are better than others, but she still hasn't really talked to anyone. She's back to the way she was before we went to the hospital. Carlile has taken her a couple of times to go visit the little girl, Susan, but yesterday, he called Edward from the hospital to let us know that Susan died in the middle of the night. He was expecting it to happen soon. We haven;'t had the heart to tell Ness yet."

"What's Carlisle doing now?" Embry asked as he went to the fridge to grab a few beers. The three of us sat down at the small kitchen table.

"I don't know really. He's been keeping an eye on her. He's really concerned about her diet. She hasn't hunted since the accident and now she has refused to drink the backup of blood that the guys usually bring back."

"Well, she is part human, maybe it's all part of her growing up." Seth said after taking a huge sip of his Bud Light.

"Edward has been in touch with that other guy, Nahuel something or other, he's like Ness, a hybrid. Edward said that it's more typical for them to favor their vampire side then closer they reach maturity."

"Ness, just turned four," Seth said. "Didn't the other guy turn like seven before he fully matured?"

I nodded my head in agreement. "Yeah, but since the accident, Ness has changed. She looked like she was fourteen at the time of the accident, but now closer to sixteen."

"And that's different how?" Embry asked.

"Her rate is much faster now than it was before," I said. "But there are other things that are standing out. Carlisle is doing a full check up and then he's going to have a conference with us tomorrow after school. He wants to make sure he has everything all worked out first, I guess."

The rest of the afternoon, the three of us hung out in the house or in the woods running in wolf form. It was nice to be out and about with them. This freedom and having no worries. We were half way to Montana before turning around to head back. The pain in my chest letting me know that the imprint was pulling me back toward Ness was starting to get unbearable. It was while we ran through the trees that this was the first time that ness and I have been this far from each other and for this long. It was nice but it hurt.

You're ready to get back aren't you? Embry's voice called to me in my head.

I nodded my head. Yeah, but it's nice to be out like this.

So what's the story going to be when we head all head back to school tomorrow? Seth and Embry both asked at the same time. I barked a laugh at the duality of them.

We are all brothers. And we'll be seniors. Ness is a sophomore and The others are going to Juniors. That way Ness will have a year totally by herself.

We'll be here for three years then? Seth asked.

Yeah, as far as I know unless something happens, but what else could go wrong? Ness had enough bullshit to last her a lifetime.

The two of them nodded their heads in agreement. After all, how many times can Ness cheat death?

A/N: I know that it has been forever but trying to get back in the swing of things. This is a very short chapter I know but things will pick up both for the story and for myself personally. Please review!