Chapter 7: Tell Me What to Do
Oh, come on!
That's it, one more and then I'm done! I have been at this for hours now and haven't hit a damn mark and I've broken four out of the twelve arrows from this –
Cheap ass –
Make that five.
Fuck this, I'm over it!
I can hear the wood of the bow moaning from the pressure of my tightening grip. A shudder ripples from my shoulders down to my fingers as my temper boils and all I desire is to snap the blasted thing in my hands, but somehow I am able to remember that the device does not even belong to me. It was a gift, or a loan. Whatever it was I had no right to destroy it, though I would probably get some kind of release from it, even if just for a fleeting moment.
Doubt floods my mind about my revisit to the shop, the man named Terry. He had been kind and all too trusting of a stranger with his personal belongings. Therein lay the problem. I may have promised to return his item in the way he had given it to me, but I never go back. In all the years I care to remember I have never "gone back", never "stuck around". I am always running. The less who know of me, the better. So what in the hell am I still doing here?
I glare down at the flimsy object in my grasp as if willing it to catch fire. I truthfully hated this thing. Archery, or whatever they call this crap, is not as easy as it looks. I cannot decide whether it's the fact that this sport is actually difficult or if the unwanted thoughts bombarding my head are too distracting.
That must be it. I am never bad at anything.
After slinging the empty quiver from around my shoulder I leave it in a pile along with the bow at my feet and quickly fall to sit in the damp grass of the forest floor. I rest my elbows on my knees and keeping my gaze forward I attempt to take count of all the stray arrows. Useless, I gather, upon noticing that everything blends in with itself. Just a mess of hazy green and extravagant texture is all that surrounds me.
The heavy sigh that passes my lips is unwelcome. It reminds me of boredom, and after spending nearly twenty years on my own, out in the untamed wilderness, it's easy to find ways to escape being bored. I can't even remember the last time I felt blasé, or indifferent. If I run out of things to do I turn to my thoughts and then the days just soar by. After a life like mine it is rare to run out of memories or inquiries and my imagination tends to take on a life of its own.
When there are no distractions it is no difficult feat to get lost in your own head.
The only problem I am currently sustaining is that my mind is now clouded with so much more than it is used to. I am suddenly faced with multiple decisions to make rather than moving on a whim like I always have. My intentions for coming to this town were practically nonexistent, much like any other move I have made over the years. However, I now find myself entangled in this web of unwarranted emotions and the desire to be around some male I have just met. Or maybe I do want this… I don't know it's too complicated.
I like to think that I have survived this long because I have steered clear of all complications. I pride myself on being considered heartless and void of feelings; a wandering soul of sorts, journeying this world alone. Though the only source that can make these accusations is myself considering the only human interaction I have endured since I was nineteen are the likes of shopkeepers, bar backs and truckers. Since I have kept to myself I have not had to suffer through any disappointment or hard goodbyes, and I won't even mention heartbreak. I have had enough of that to last me a lifetime for generations.
But here I am, feeling torn between doing what I have always known to be best and doing what has always frightened me – staying. At this moment I blame my other half, the canine that shares my organs and lives within my flesh. We have always agreed, even when our natural instincts can be so conflicting. But now it is the wild calling that is keeping me from disappearing again; that is the most probable explanation swimming around in my currently indecisive mind.
I can feel the wolf gnawing at the bit, wanting complete control. More often than not I let her lead and tackle every obstacle that comes across our path - there is nothing more exhilarating than surrendering my mind to the feral intuition while every human aspect, so calculating and incompetent, lingers in a dark corner - but the overzealous need to be near Jacob is causing me to keep a tight grip on the reigns of our mentality. I need to analyze the situation before letting her jump.
There is no denying that I find myself attracted to the male in question. He is, after all, an exquisite specimen - from the depths of his intelligent, dark eyes that seek so many answers to his tall and chiseled frame, all wrapped and presented in his flawless, ochre skin -
To put it simply, the man is sexy; otherworldly and altogether sexy. I have never even dreamed of such a god-like creature and my body has never craved to be touched as much it does now. My skin literally vibrates at the thought while my legs cramp and fingers curl into the moist earth.
I let my back fall to lay flat on the ground beneath the glowing sun as I restlessly mull over the details. I find myself intrigued by Jacob for so many reasons I can barely comprehend, mostly his undeniable knowledge for what he is and why he is here. However, it strikes me as odd that he seems so out of touch with his wolf, as if they are two separate beings. Does he not realize the benefits and the freedom he could reap should he abandon his boring human impulses and succumb to a life where the two live as one? I can only imagine the potential he could reach, and this only fuels my reasons for staying. He could possibly help me figure out what I am, besides what is already obvious, while I teach him the advantages of getting more in-tune with his wolf.
For fuck's sake, this is too much…
Trying to shake the familiar feeling of abandonment and certain memories I have often attempted suppressing by digging my palms into my eyes and letting my fingers coil in my hair only provokes my anxiety further. I become more apprehensive when I have any sort of reaction (regardless of it being with my consent or not), to the devious games of my mind, but at this point I welcome these uneasy thoughts. The memories alone give me reasons to doubt the part of me that wants to temporarily settle into this Podunk town.
Memories of Joe, of Matthew…
Memories of my mother…
She keeps her ear pressed against the old wood, listening for the sound of the screen to close downstairs. Once the familiar thwack resonates throughout the house, she cracks her bedroom door open and peaks out into the empty hallway. Her movements are slow and breathing steady as she brings her head through the threshold, letting her blue eyes wander towards the stairs. When it seems there is no movement throughout her home, she swallows thickly and moves forward.
A girl, about the age of thirteen with raven-black hair and faded bronze skin, emerges from the room and shifts to the right as she quietly makes her way down the dark hallway. She carefully moves around the old wooden floor board that has been loose for years as each foot fall is planted delicately and with caution. Her hands rise at her sides to keep her balance and her eyes focus on the end of the hall. There stands a closed door framed in golden light from the lightly curtained window on the other side.
When she reaches the door her hand finds the knob and she turns the hardware subtly, waiting for that expected creak in the lumber. The door opens and her skin is kissed with the warmth of sunlight streaming into the room, filling all of the cracks and emitting an ethereal glow around a still body lying in the bed. The girl holds back the smile trying to mold on her lips and makes her way to the edge of the bed.
"Mom?" she whispers.
No movement in response, save for the soft rise and fall of breasts beneath a yellow, woolen blanket. The girl takes a seat in the small armchair by the nightstand and reaches out to grab her mother's hand, lying so still at her side, before taking a moment to survey the woman before her.
The woman is on her back, just like every day. Her groomed, graying blonde hair cascades around her face and down her pillow and her hazel eyes, which were once so full of life, are now just open slits staring off into nothingness. Everything about her is detached. For years there has not been a single twitch or a whisper - just an empty shell of a body taking up space in a full-sized bed.
"You look good today, mom." The girl says quietly as she strokes the woman's hand.
She watches for a moment as the slight glimmer of hope that remains clings to thoughts of a miracle. But when nothing more happens she lets out a heavy sigh and rests her head on her mothers belly.
"It happened again," she begins. "Yesterday when I snuck out into the field, all of a sudden I could hear everything, and smell and see everything. And then I had this sudden urge to roll around in the mud and dig my nose into the dirt because I was… hungry – I think…"
Her whispers pause when she examines her mother again from where her head is rested and a faint smile tugs at her lips.
"Sometimes I think there is magic in me, like I'm not normal. What do you think?" she laughs almost instantly at her question. "No, I know it's silly." Her gaze lowers and her voice drops to barely a whisper when she adds "but it would be pretty cool."
The girl sits up in her chair and turns toward the window, staring against the thick light as if deep in thought.
"How about we start another book?" she says once her moment has passed. After viewing the titles of the decaying spines of her mothers book collection on the shelf from her seat she turns back to the woman again, another smile on her face.
When her lips part again she does not speak, but sings so gently -
"Sov gott, vackra delfin
Sov gott, svart varg
Vi har kärlek för varandra"
Her giggle rings out and disturbs the settled air. "I was never any good at that lullaby. I remember when you used to sing it for me, every night, before I feel asleep…"
Sov gott, vackra delfin
Sov gott, svart varg-
"I can't believe I still remember it," she announces.
When the voice from downstairs reaches her ears, the girl cringes and forgets how to breath. She unconsciously squeezes her mothers hand until her knuckles grow white while her heart flutters in panic.
"Get down here, girl." The voice calls again.
"I love you, mom" she whispers against her mothers temple before placing a chaste kiss against her skin and makes her way quietly out of the room before stumbling to the head of the stairs. With each step down she takes a deep and steady breath, readying herself for whatever may come.
"What took you so long?" the voice asks before she can reach the last step.
"Sorry, Joe." She pushes out the words and makes her way to the couch where the man sits, dressed in faded blue jeans and a grey under shirt. She notices that his wirey red beard is unkempt along with his thick hair that dangles from his scalp to the lobes of his ears. After planting her feet beside the couch she awaits what is to come.
"Grab me a beer, girl." Joe orders as he sinks into the cushions.
Sarah nods and makes her way to the fridge where she grabs a cold bottle, pops the cap and brings it back with haste. As she leans over the table to place the beverage before him she notices the pungent odor of fresh alcohol heavy on his breath.
"Where were you?" He asks as he takes the bottle into his hand.
"In my room."
His emerald eyes lock with hers. "You're lying."
"No-" she stutters. "I was in my room, reading."
"You were with your mother, weren't you?"
"No, I-" Sarah shakes her head stiffly.
Joe watches her for a moment before taking a long drink from his beer and waving his hand in the air. "Just get out of my sight."
Without hesitation the girl quickly makes her way up the stairs and to her room where she shuts the door, hoping she will be easily forgotten behind the wooden trap by the drunk downstairs. She slides down the surface to the floor and rests her chin between her knees, waiting and listening for what could be happening below. As she concentrates, she thinks she can hear the tapping of his fingers on the couch and the movement of the liquid in his bottle. Moments later she hears footsteps towards the kitchen and the sound of whiskey pouring into a glass. She can hear his throat taking in the drink and finally the glass being set down on the counter before nothing but silence.
It isn't until he is on the landing when she hears him again, his heavy bootsteps falling with a determined pace towards her room. Sarah scrambles to get up but is thrown to the floor when he swings the door open. She turns over to face him and pushes herself back with her feet as he approaches.
"There's a lot of things I hate." He says as he moves closer, backing her against her bed. "But the thing I hate most is liars."
"Joe, I wasn't –"
"Don't give me that bullshit!" His voice raises. "Now tell me what in the hell you were doin' in your mothers room!"
Sarah can feel the hot sting of tears expecting to fall as she cowers at his feet. "I was singing to her," she finally mutters.
Joe grunts. "Singing?" He stares at her for a moment. "Singing?" He asks again with disbelief lacing his tone.
The air is thick and a young heart pounds against an immature chest in fear while bloodshot green eyes blaze into blue with anger. Sarah feels her body begin to tremble in anticipation as she keeps her wide eyes on Joe. They nearly explode when he moves closer.
Joe reaches down and grabs her wrists, yanking her small frame from the floor. She struggles against him and lets out a broken yelp when his grip tightens.
"I have told you too many times to stay out of your mothers room, girl." He seethes through his yellow teeth.
"I'm sorry," Sarah cries and continues to struggle, her skin now vibrating under the stress as she struggles further. "Please let go," she begs weakly." You're hurting me."
He laughs and tries to bring her closer but she slips free of his grip. In one swift motion he connects the back of his hand hard against her cheek, instantly leaving a red mark on her skin. He grabs her shoulders and throws her onto the bed, the frame moaning beneath the force.
"No!" she shouts and flails her fists and feet at his advancing figure as he tries to pin her down.
He takes hold of one of her ankles and drags her back towards him. The second slap he delivers across the same cheek elicits a savage growl from her lips. A frenzy of flashing teeth and black fur bombards his sight before the world around them goes dark...
The girl awakens in a grassy field. She has no idea of the time that has gone by or the events that led her here and her head is pounding. When her eyes focus she finds that she is naked and covered in blood, but she finds no wounds save for her swelling cheek.
Sarah rises from the forest floor with a jolt and a fire in her eyes. Her jaw is tight and tears threaten to spill but she holds them back defiantly as she rises. She takes the bow from the ground and finds a loose arrow then takes her stance, drawing back the line with precision. Her eyes focus on the tree, gathering it stands about seventy yards away. She holds the grip and waits, letting the equipment move steadily in her arms with the rise and fall of her chest.
She lets a single tear fall down her cheek while she grits her teeth at the refreshened memories in her mind. The rage boils in her blood and settles in her bones, down to the tips of her fingers and with one last steady breath, she releases.
Her grip loosens on the bow while it feels as though the animosity is seeping from her pores, leaving her. When she raises her eyes again she sees that the arrow is dug stiffly into the tree and it doesn't take her long to notice the smile playing on her lips and in her drying eyes. A laugh escapes her throat as the tension in her muscles lessens and the air begins to settle.
She begins to collect all of the arrows that have yet to be broken from the area and places them neatly in the quiver around her shoulders before planting her bare feet into the same spot. She lets her weight sink into the indent previously made in the soil and readies the bow once more, aimed for the poor tree just ahead. Her fingers pinch the grip and she pulls back with the little strength it takes, ready and focused. She waits for the long exhale and releases.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" She shouts at the newly broken arrow to the left of where she thought she had aimed. Before she can get a grip on her anger she hears the wood of the bow splinter beneath her tightening fist and the sound causes her to take a step back to recover and collect. Her eyes close and twitch beneath their lids and her nostrils flare as she sucks in a forced breath, all while mementos of Joe flash in her mind.
She pulls the arrow from her quiver and spins around so fast into a perfect stance, line taught and ready to fire when she hears the movement behind her. A snarl ripples through her teeth when her eyes are met by ones so similar to the man that has been terrorizing her attention.
At the edge of the clearing stands a man clad only in a pair of ripped shorts. He is tall and his build is finely detailed, each muscle tense and toned, but smaller than Jacob though it is hardly noticeable. His hair and eyes are the same dark shades and his skin glows with a perfect tan. His features look older, though again not much more than Jacob. His stance is confident and ready as he watches her in return – not a single twitch or blink, even with a jagged weapon pointed directly at his person.
Sarah immediately feels a pull toward the male for reasons she is unable to fathom, though her brain is already trying to process the possibilities. Meanwhile the pair remain still, watching and waiting for whatever may come.
"Who are you?" the male speaks, his voice strong and eminent.
"None of your concern." Sarah replies.
She watches the sly grin spread between his jaws and his posture slacks so subtly. "Unfortunately for you it is my concern, so do you mind lowering that arrow and telling me who you are?"
She likes the sound of his tone, so authoritative, but not like Jacob's. This man is not confident because of power. He reeks of untamed and primitive strength and this especially calls out to her wolf. "The name's Sarah, and yes I do mind." The woman remains still and keeps her aim. She hears the man chuckle.
"Fine by me," he shrugs. "Judging by your shooting I have nothing to worry-"
His words are cut short by the soft break of wind just inches from his ear and the final thunk! behind him. Sarah watches with a cocky smirk as the man turns to view the arrow planted into the tree just behind his left shoulder, then suppresses a maniacal cackle when he turns back to face her, baring his teeth. Once he is in a full charge towards her she drops the bow and quiver and matches his pace before they collide.
His odor changes drastically and she is relieved to know he is no different from Jacob when she can see the changes rippling within his structure, so before he has fully shifted she pounces and grabs him by the throat sending them both back into a heap on the forest floor. A roll of limbs and exposed skin raises the dirt from its bed in clouds and clumps until the man is able to pin Sarah beneath him by her shoulders. He snarls a warning through his teeth and nearly loses his mind when a wild growl erupts from the woman beneath him.
Sarah takes his pause as an opportunity and shifts her hips beneath him, rolling him to the side until she has reversed the position. She digs her knees into his sides and holds her palms flush against his shoulders to push him as far into the dirt as he will go, all while growling and grunting in his face. Two sets of eyes burn into each other, both ablaze and curious as to what each is.
"Who the fuck are you?" the male's heaving chest meets her breasts with each inhale.
Sarah merely grins and leans down towards his neck where her she takes in a deep drink of his essence, so raw and wild. Though the man is on edge and unsure, he can't help the aroma of the woman above him that floods his senses. His eyes close to prevent from rolling back into his head and his hands unwittingly reach up to grasp her hips. The woman shudders on top of him and a moan howls from her throat.
"Who the fuck are you?" he asks again breathlessly.
The desire to lick his skin and claim him here is overwhelming as Sarah lifts her head to meet his dark, honey eyes again. "Sarah." she replies mischievously.
"No, no – I mean –"
Sarah slides her hand over his mouth and lowers his lips to his ear then speaks in an alluring whisper,"I'm just like you."
When she can hear his heart skip a beat and all of his blood rush south, she grabs his chin and turns his head to devour his lips in hers. The man rears up to sit and holds her firmly in his lap, gnawing and sucking on her lips. The scene is a frenzy, movements so fast and desperate with hands roaming and groping and hips gyrating against each other. Sarah pulls him in closer when she feels him begin to back down.
"Stop," he grumbles between breaths, yet finds it hard to even listen to himself as his tongue dances across her bottom lip. "Stop," he tries to push her.
Sarah moans in return and tries to push him back to the ground. When he pushes her violently from him she snarls at his retreating figure and wills her skin to stop from ripping and letting her counter-part escape.
"No, no, no, no, no," the man chants as he hits the sides of his head, pacing back and forth. "I'm fucking married!" he finally shouts down at her.
"Fuck," the woman mutters in return.
"Ah fuck, oh fuck oh –" the man takes one last look at the breathless woman on the ground with desire and eagerness in his eyes, but quickly draws back and runs until he is out of sight.
The raven-haired beauty sits for a moment trying to yet again process the recent events but cannot focus on a single coherent thought. Her wolf is clouding her brain and her lust is boiling over in her loins. With eyes almost black she rises from her seat and marches a determined step in the opposite direction of the male until she is in a full sprint. Her sense of direction is piqued and she lets her desires guide her through the woods.
As she runs she conjures the curiosity for the male she had just met and what relation he may be to Jacob. The man smelt nothing close to an Alpha but he had a sure sense of power, or a strength that was unlike Jacobs. He was so sure of himself and not just the confidence of a human. He was completely at the mercy of his wolf, letting it take control and mold with his human instincts, and that was what had Sarah in a stupor. She blames the majority of it on her being in heat, but the male's obvious aggressive and domineering nature played a large part in her actions.
While her interests are heightened more towards Jacob, she hopes she can get through to him and reverse his close-mindedness about his situation. His potential, should he surrender more of his human aspects, is great and nothing gets Sarah more hot and bothered than a wild male who takes what he wants and has a commanding presence.
She slows her step for a moment, mulling over the last thoughts going through her head. It seems as though her mind has already been made up, what with these cognitions of Jacob's potential and her desire for helping him. Though some of it is selfish in the sense that she believes he can help her figure some things out about herself, she still doesn't feel ready to have made a decision on the matter.
By this time she has reached the edge of the clearing and can see the old cottage where she had been the night before. The sun is minding its last goodbyes as it kisses the peaks on the horizon and the winds are quiet. No sounds save for those coming from the house, though the woman hears nothing with her clouded mind and her hell bent ideas.
Sarah picks up the pace towards the house to a fast walk and begins to undress on the way. She unbuttons the shorts and steps out of them gracefully as she moves. When the front entrance is in sight she grabs the bottom hem of her shirt and rips it off over her head. The steps to the porch are merely yards away when the door opens, causing her feet to move faster and the growing smirk on her lips to spread as far as it can.
However, she is met with a new face and stops dead in her tracks.
This man is even more similar to Jacob than the one before with his dark hair and eyes and his beautifully perfect build, though he appears much younger in age and in experience. There is a childish swell to his face and a playful fire in his eyes, but his current expression is unpredictable. His jaw is slack and eyes wide and she can see the want and need in them, but there is also a fear deep within.
"Yo, Jake?" the man swallows thickly as he directs his call towards the house, his eyes remaining on the female and his posture stiff and unmoving.
"What?" Sarah hears Jacob call from within.
The other man clears his throat. "Dude, get out here."
"Just a sec, Em! I'm finishing up with the marinade."
"Get out here now, Jake!" the man says through gritted teeth in a sing-song tone.
Sarah cocks her head to the side as she watches the frozen male before her, grilling tools and a cloth in his hands. Her eyes dart towards the house and are met with the delicious chocolate orbs, wide as saucers. The silence that falls over them is uncomfortable and no one can gather how long it lasts before the younger man breaks it.
"Um, Jake?" he mutters. "What do I do?"
Author's Note: Okay, I know. It has been a long time since I last update and I deeply apologize for that! I have been working so much and have had so many other projects to deal with, including my novel, so this had to be put on the back burner for some time. Again, I am so so soooooo sorry!
But, here is an update for all of you, and I really hope that you enjoy it. I promise it will not take me anywhere near as long to post the next chapter! That is a guarantee!
Also, for those of you who have stories I read and review, I am so sorry I have not gotten a chance to get into those for a while now, as well. I have so many messages I need to tend to and so many series to get caught up on, so that is what I will be doing for the time being!
A shout out to those of you who reviewed the last chapter – Wolfasaurus, Aesthetic Butterfly, GMB7064, NAN, Bumblebee88888, SethsMYwolf, Song Of The Moon, Optimistic Theory, Mebs2010, A.J. Scarlet, Venetia Carianna, and Meg Storm. Thank you all so much for the reviews and your support! It truly means the world to me and I hope I am to continue in not disappointing you!
Again, I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Please tell me what you think