Chapter 1 – Welcome Home

Veronica Call sat in the back seat as her brown eyes with blue specks in them stared out the window, of the white Toyota Camry. She couldn't believe her mom and brother Embry came and retrieved her. Not more than an hour ago she'd been sitting in a small room at the Seattle Institute. The same place she'd been for the last ten years.

She'd been staying there since she was ten. She watched as her father had been murdered in front of her. Her mind was plagued with nightmares and the depression of losing her father, that she was by far the youngest female admitted to the institute. Her mother Diana and her brother Embry would go to the institute every weekend and see Veronica. It would be strange for her to be living with her mom and brother finally after ten years. All the doctors and therapists involved with her at the institute figured it was time for Veronica to move on with her life. No better time to do it since she'd turned twenty recently.

Embry glanced in the rearview mirror at his sister, knowing this was going to be very weird to be living with her after all the time that passed; he knew his mother was extremely nervous as well. Not having Veronica in the house for the last ten years was nerve racking for his mom. It had been extremely hard and took its toll on both Embry and Diana to have to continue their lives outside of the institute without a member of their family.

Embry had visited nearly every weekend with their mother. He glanced over at her and could tell how nervous she was, reaching over to take her hand in his warm one. Embry watched his mom glance over at him and winked back at her, letting her know everything was going to be alright now that their family was finally reunited again.

Veronica watched as they pulled into the drive way of the house. Once she exited the vehicle her mom put her arm around her shoulder as she watched Embry grab her suit cases. Veronica smiled softly up at her mom, "Home Sweet Home."

Diana Call looked down at her daughter and smiled as she leaned down and kissed her temple, "Finally baby girl. I'm so happy your home to complete the family." Diana threw a wink at Embry over her shoulder when Roni didn't pull away or shrug her off, "C'mon let's get you inside, Embry painted your room white, so you could decorate as you want." The girls laughed as they heard Embry grumbling about the heavy suit cases.

Embry grinned from ear to ear and showed his sister her room, buckets of paint along with brushes strewn all over. "Do your worst, Roni." He challenged with a smirk, kissing the top of her head, knowing how artistic Veronica was. He watched as she slowly walked into the room and looked around, setting her stuff down, chewing her bottom lip thoughtfully.

He knew this was a big change for her, but also knew it was for the best at the time. Now it was time for his sister to be with the family. Embry thought it was unfair that their mother had kept Veronica's father around but yet claimed she didn't know who his father was. Their mother had slept with a few men in the tribe, which is why she never knew who his father was; and clearly they didn't have the same father.

Roni smiled up at her brother, "Thanks Embers." She kissed his cheek as she picked up a pencil and started drawing on the white walls what she wanted to put up. An hour later he came and said bye because he had to leave to go to work. He was part of the La Push Fire Department. She followed him out of the house as she looked at the way he was dressed, his navy blue cargo pants, steel toed boots and a navy blue dress shirt with the La Push fire patch on the sleeve and the patch with his last name on it over the left chest pocket. It was a complete polar opposite to the guy she saw two hours ago in a t-shirt and cut off jean shorts walking around the house barefoot eating a big bowl of cereal. Veronica had to stifle a giggle, but hated that he was already leaving the house.

Embry smiled and watched as his sister walked out to bid him goodbye for the time being. He would have to definitely tell her about what was going on in La Push sooner or later, but right now he had to go. He walked over to where she sat on the steps and kissed her forehead, forcing her eyes to meet his. "I'll be back in a few hours when I finish my shift and then we can hang out, we'll do whatever you want, alright?" When she just nodded with that sad smile, it nearly tore Embry's heart open. He pulled her into his arms, hugging her tightly. "I'm so glad you're home." He whispered, feeling her tighten her arms around him even more, breathing her scent in. "I'll be back, I promise." She watched as he left and went back inside to do some more drawing.

A few hours later, Roni needed a break so she walked outside and sat on the steps of the porch. She'd missed him so much. She missed their mom too; But her brother the most. For the last couple of years Embry had been helping the tribes council and wasn't able to go up every weekend like their mom. So she settled for phone calls with him most of the time. Embry had left tons of paint in her room, but made sure to cover all the walls in straight white to leave her a blank slate. She'd been heavily into drawing and painting and had been offered a job in Port Angeles at an art gallery. Some of her work would be displayed while she worked there as well to get critics opinions and see if it would sell.

Embry was walking through the doorway of the firehouse in deep thought when the high pitched ringing came from his cell phone. "What?" Got to love the way a man answers his phone.

Sam chuckled on the other end, "Emily keeps reminding me every three minutes to call and remind you were having a dinner at our place on Friday to help welcome your sister back to the tribe and to La Push. Like you of all people would forget; because Emily hasn't sent you and the rest of the pack 14 dozen reminder text messages."

Embry chuckled, "Umm, she is my sister and we have excellent memories and yet she still feels the need to remind us. I'm waiting for a carrier pigeon next."

Emily scowled as she smacked Sam with a wooden spoon, "You all wouldn't be able to find your way out of a paper sack if someone didn't draw you a map on how to do it."

Embry continued to laugh as he hung up the phone.

Veronica had made her way to the beach; she just needed a moment to herself. She'd let her mother know where she was going and her mother told her to stay close and if anyone messed with her to come home immediately. What were the chances of a stray fisherman swimming to shore to mess with her?

Hopefully slim to none. She wasn't Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and this definitely wasn't Kansas.

She kicked her sneakers off and pulled her socks off and stuffed them in her shoes as she carried them hooked on her index and middle finger while she walked along the water edge letting the chilly ocean water hit her bare feet. It got about an inch of the hem on her jeans wet, but she didn't care. The cold liquid against her flesh was a nice feeling. She thought she heard some rustling in a bush but nothing ever came out and she wasn't about to go in. She sat in the sand and watched as the sun started to set.

He was on his way to the firehouse to meet with the others before the nightly patrol began. Something had caught his attention and Paul couldn't ignore it. He felt like he had to investigate because it could've been a bloodsucker. Instead, it was a girl –he hadn't seen her around the La Push area-, a beautiful girl with long hair that brushed against the sand she sat in. He watched as she stared out at the water and could feel the sadness radiating throughout her body.

His fur stood on edge and Paul could feel something was wrong; groaning when he heard a howl in the far distance, knowing it was Sam. Reluctantly, Paul turned away from the beauty and raced through the woods, heading towards his destination.

Roni made her way back to the house once the sun had set. It was the most beautiful thing she'd seen since watching the sunrise that morning. Once she got back in the bedroom she turned the radio on and grabbed the paint brush and started working on the billowy clouds she was painting on the ceiling and tops of her walls in her room. Once she got closer to the middle of the walls she started darkening the paint and started sketching her favorite animal's wolves. She put a few together as a pack and made one howl at a full moon she drew.

Diana Call walked by and saw the wolves and stifled a giggle as she continued walking, she couldn't help but think, 'If she only knew the half of it.'