Chapter 1:

I roll over in bed as I hear my dad's pick-up truck's distinctive engine come to life. It breaks through the morning air ferociously and threatens to awaken the whole neighborhood. I listen to the engine travel down the road away from the house. I picture the faded blue, old, 1965 Ford pick-up truck that is still my father's pride and joy drive down to the stop light, make a left and head down to the diner that he owns to begin work. I roll over again unable to find sleep. I'm a light sleeper, ever since the accident, I wake up at the slightest of sounds.

Cold wind blows through my open window. I always leave it open. I close my eyes, letting the cool air act as a lullaby to soothe me back to sleep. Just as I begin to fall back asleep, a thud comes from close to my window. I sigh; I know who it probably is so I'm not in a rush to see them. I look over to my clock, it reads five-thirty. I sigh again and then look over to the intruder.

Embry has his arms crossed as he eyes me in my bed. I roll over away from him. "Can't a girl sleep in every once in a while?" Embry chuckles with his deep voice and it gives life to the previously quiet house. I hear him walk over to the bed, he pulls back the covers and after a second, he crawls into the bed, he wraps his arms around me and I feel safe in his warm arms.

I smile, "I'm never going to get a boyfriend with you coming into my room in early hours of the day, especially if they see you cuddling with me." I giggle.

"Good, you're my Melly." He says and I can hear his smile. He playfully pulls me closer to him.

Another thud.

I look to the window. It's Jake. I suddenly wish Embry wasn't in the room. Jake smiles and crosses his arms as he looks to Embry and me. "Embry, I was supposed to beat you here." He laughs. He walks over to the bed; he sits on it instead of getting in the covers like Embry did. He smiles to me. "How are you Melaine?"

I pull out of Embry's embrace, he grunts a little in disapproval, I sit up and look at Jake. "I'm tired. You guys do know that you don't have to come see me as soon as my dad leaves for the diner right?"

"We were just excited to see you Melly." Embry chimes in. Jake smiles.

"No… you were excited for breakfast. Really couldn't you go to Emily's or something?" I ask as I stretch and crawl out of bed. There's no way I'm going to be able to go back to sleep now.

"Your pancakes are the best, and your muffins are to die for." Jake smiles. I nod and I grab my brush and run it through my jet black hair, the hair my mom had passed down to me. My dad used to always mention it after she died; now he avoids talking about her. I guess he just goes through stages and this is his avoiding the subject stage. My hair is straight so when I run my brush through it, it cascades down passed my shoulders and ends at my mid back. I turn to look at them.

"Which will it be today? Muffins or pancakes?" I ask them as I begin walking to the kitchen. They follow me routinely. I go into the kitchen and I begin cleaning up the mess Dad left after he ate breakfast. They seem to be contemplating the idea.

Suddenly an answer, "Muffins, definitely." Embry smiles. "Let me know when they are done." He walks out of the kitchen and goes into the living room.

"Here, let me get that." Jake offers to take the juice and put it into the refrigerator. I smile to him and hand it to him. There was a time when I would have fought that gentle gesture, as if to show him that I could stand on my own, but now I know he prefers to feel like he is helping me so I let him take the juice. I search the kitchen for the ingredients and I lay them on the counter. I rummage for the mixing spoon that I can't find. Jake chuckles as he watches me. I glare at him and continue searching. Minutes later after I haven't found it, arms wrap around my waist and pull me against a firm but soft body.

"Looking for this?" He giggles as he dangles the spoon in front of me. I grab the spoon, playfully hit him and glare at him.

"Jerk." I mutter as I begin mixing. He laughs as he pulls out one of the table chairs and sits in it.

"You were just so cute looking for it. I couldn't resist." He smiles an unbelievably gorgeous smile.

"Asshole." I say as I pour the mix into the cups in the pan. He laughs again. "Is Quil not coming?" I ask him as I place the muffins in the oven.

I join him at the table. Jake shakes his head. "Claire is visiting today, he's so excited he won't do anything but sit and wait for her to get there and that started last night." He laughs amused at what he sees at silliness.

"It's cute Jake." I say to him.

He laughs again. "It's pathetic. I can't imagine a girl controlling me that much that I just wait for her."

"It's love. It will happen to you eventually." I say and I suddenly wish I hadn't thought about that, Jake, finding love, loving someone else, someone who isn't me. I almost can't take it; I plaster a smile on my face when he looks to me wearily.

"No woman will control me. I'm an Alpha after all." He smiles proudly.

I laugh. "It will happen to you Jake, you'll be swooning over her, you'll wait hours for her to arrive, you'll constantly think about her. It will happen to both you and Embry, and you'll both forget about me." I say solemnly.

Jake is serious now. His eyes, their always so strong, they burn into me as if trying to reassure me of something, as if trying to tell me something. "That could never happen, Melaine."

"Promise?" I ask him just as the oven timer goes off. I rush over to the oven. I pull them out and Embry is at the table before I turn around. He looks ready to eat them. I smile. I lay them on a plate and then on the table. Embry grabs one cursing as it scorches him, and that is saying something since he's already so hot.

"Idiot." I laugh as he has trouble eating after his first bite burns his tongue.

"It's not my fault," Embry insists, "I'm the victim." I smile at him and look to Jake, who is serious and deep in thought. "Jake, did you tell her we came by because we have an early pack meeting?" Jake shakes his head and suddenly it is as if he shook away all the worry.

"No, I didn't really want to think about the meeting." He says.

"What's it about?" I ask him.

"Leah… she wants to go out on her own for a while, be away from Sam and Emily and Emily's baby whenever it is born." Jake answers. "Sam is still very protective of her, imprinted or not, he still loves her. Plus Leah's mom begged him to order her not to. Leah has called everyone together to vote for her "rights". It's going to be exhausting really. With all the stress, Emily could go into early labor, which everyone but Leah is really worried about." Jake says.

"I understand where she is coming from. I wouldn't want to be around that. Especially since she hasn't imprinted yet, it's so hard for her to see everyone else happy." I say.

Embry gets serious. "We have to go." He says as he grabs another muffin. "Sam wants to meet with us before Leah gets there."

I nod. "Come see me later." I smile. "Oh take these," I hand Embry the left-over muffins. "Make sure Quil gets one and tell him I missed him. Lovesick or not, he still needs to eat." Embry nods and gets up from the table. We begin walking to the door. Embry hugs me tightly, kisses me on the cheek and then walks out. Jake hugs me for a while. I can smell the forest on him. It's soothing, holding him like this is so natural. Suddenly I get nervous when the thought enters my head that we haven't hugged for this long before. I laugh nervously wondering why he keeps holding on.

Jake leans close, and for a minute I think he is going to kiss me. His mouth is inches from mine and his eyes burn into mine passionately. My breath catches in my throat and my heart rate increases and I swear Jake can hear it. "I promise." He whispers as he lets go of me and he walks away leaving me breathless in the doorway.