Chapter 1 – Let's Get Started
Muddy blue eyes fluttered open and looked around the childhood bedroom that never changed over the years much. She remembered when her walls used to be light violet and then when she got older and in high school it was painted white and the walls were covered with posters and pictures. Sedona Uley sat up in bed as she stretched.
Her eyes ventured over to her cell phone that sat on her bedside table. She hit the side button to light up the outside screen and saw it was already ten in the morning. She'd driven all night the night before to get home from college. A week prior she had graduated from college and it took her a while to get everything packed; then a few hours to get her Honda Civic hatchback loaded to the ground with everything.
She slowly rolled from the bed and stumbled into the bathroom getting in the shower, letting the warm water wake her up and bring her whole body alive. Once she was out she wrapped a towel around herself and got back to her room as she got dressed in her jeans and a red form fitting t-shirt and her white sneakers. She combed the knots from her hair as she smiled. She knew her parents were having a graduation party for her and everyone would be showing up soon.
Everyone from the pack and their imprints would be attending the party; Sedona sighed softly. Imprints; she wished she was one. She was part of the Quileute Indian Tribe. The legends of her tribe were that they were descendents of wolves. Most of the legends were completely unbelievable, but insanely true. Some of the guys in the tribe possessed a special gene that gave them the ability to shape shift into wolves. They were given this gene to protect their tribe and land from the cold ones; better known as vampires. An imprint was someone who when a wolf looked into their eyes for the first time after shifting was that wolf's soul mate for the rest of their lives. The wolf be it female or male would be whatever their imprint needed at whatever stage in life they were in; brother/sister, best friend, lover; but always a protector.
Sedona's father was the first to shift in a few years and was the alpha for all intense purposes. He was waiting for the Chief's son to shift and take over the alpha position, but once he had he knew her father had more experience with the alpha position and asked him to keep doing the alpha thing until he was older and then he'd take over the alpha position. Her father had been dating her mother's cousin Leah when he shifted and imprinted on her mom. It caused a rift between her mother and her mother's cousin.
Aunt Leah and her little brother Seth were forced to shift when their father suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Leah being part of the pack, even though everything was explained to her she was still bitter for a long time. That was until she imprinted on Sedona's Uncle Embry and Uncle Embry was a wolf as well and he imprinted right back on her. They'd married and were currently working on their first child; much like the rest of the older generation of the pack. The younger ones Brady, Collin and Seth were barely getting to know their imprints.
Uncle Quil Ateara had imprinted on her younger cousin Claire. They haven't started their dating relationship yet. They were five years apart. Claire was barely fifteen getting ready to be sixteen in a few months and Sedona was twenty getting ready to turn twenty-one in a few weeks. Claire and Quil were practically inseparable since Quil had imprinted on her when she was two.
The packs rightful alpha Jacob Black imprinted on Sedona's best friend Sephia Call, she just happened to be Uncle Embry's little sister. Sephia was seven when Jake imprinted on her. When she went to college at sixteen Jake went with her. They'd both decided to get an education at the same time; there were plenty of wolves to cover Jake's part of the patrols.
Then there was Paul Lahote. Sedona remembered meeting Paul when she was seven and Paul was sixteen. He spent a lot of time catering to her happiness. He took her to the movies and to the park. She would sit on his lap and he'd read stories to her. He was practically her best friend. He actually was her best male friend. Sephia was her best female friend. She'd missed him for the five years she was gone for college. She spoke to him over the phone every night and every weekend but never saw him, he was taking care of patrols and the pack business; they built new homes in La Push, Forks and Port Angeles and sometimes they were even hired to go built in Seattle.
Once she'd dressed she jogged down stairs and naturally the first two faces she saw were her mom and dad; dad sitting at his normal spot at the kitchen table as mom glided around the kitchen cooking a feast of epic proportions for breakfast. It could only mean one thing; everyone would be there not only for the party later but for breakfast as well. She watched as her dad leaned over and grabbed her mom's apron ties and pulled her over to sit on his lap as they kissed sweetly.
"Gosh you guys. Can't you keep your lips off each other for even a few minutes?" Sedona faked out a gag.
Emily jumped up as she turned and faced her oldest daughter standing there with a huge smile on her face. "Oh my God Sedi, when did you get home?" She went to her daughter immediately pulling her into a loving embrace; placing a million kisses all over her daughters face and head.
Sedona giggled as her father stood from his seat and wrapped both of them up in his arms and squeezed as both females groaned. "Last night, probably more around 1 A.M. I drove straight through; I just wanted to sleep in my own bed."
Once her dad released her and her mother, Sedona looked up at her dad. "How's Sammy dealing with the phasing?" Her little brother Samuel Uley Jr. was sixteen and had phased a couple of weeks ago for the first time and she was clearly concerned for him.
Sam nodded down at his oldest. "He's taking it all in stride. He seems to enjoy being in wolf form; though he hasn't said why. I'm sure he's got some kind of reason." Sam couldn't help wrapping his oldest into another hug as he kissed the top of her head. "I missed ya kiddo."
"I missed you too dad." Sedona confessed right back to her father, also returning his hug. She looked up and smiled softly. "So is Paul coming today?"
Sam chuckled. "I don't know why you're asking. You already know he would rather cut off his arms then miss your party. He hasn't seen you in five years; I'm pretty sure he's dying to see you."
Sedona felt something strange flutter in her chest. For some reason growing up Paul was the one guy in her life she never referred to as her uncle. It seemed weird for her to call him Uncle Paul when they were so close.
About ten minutes later everyone started showing up for breakfast. Sedona made herself comfortable sitting on the kitchen counter as everyone slowly moved around the overly crowded kitchen; though she had yet to see the one person she'd truly missed for the five years she was gone. Maybe her father had been mistaken and Paul had to work or patrol or maybe he'd out grown their friendship and gotten himself a girlfriend finally.
The idea that Paul had a girlfriend left a bad taste in her mouth.
Sedona ate her breakfast and ran her fingers through her hair. She looked over at her mother.
Emily's eyes cause Sedona's and she knew the little bit of people that had already invaded the house had activated her eldest daughters slight claustrophobia. Emily's eyes traveled down and saw Sedona's hands ringing together in her lap as she cringed. The relatively large group of people who'd already showed up were definitely starting to crow the house; more specifically the kitchen. Emily walked over as she kissed Sedona's temple. "Why don't you go for a walk and get some fresh air. You'll feel better."
Sedona smiled down at her mom; she always could read her like a book. "Thanks mom. I think I'll go to the beach for a few minutes." She hopped off the counter as she took off out the door and across the yard to the extremely worn path. It was the best short cut to the beach and she knew in five minutes she'd been sinking her feet into the sand.
Sedona was gone no longer than ten minutes when Paul walked into the house and was greeted by everyone but Sedona. His blackened eyes scanned every nook and cranny in the Uley home but there was no sign of her. The only thing that let him know she even made it home safely was her still loaded Honda; which he would remember to offer to help her unload later.
Paul found Emily standing in the kitchen by the counter. "Em…" She turned and smiled up at him as he leaned down and kissed her cheek softly. "Where the hell is she?"
Emily giggled. "You know Sedi; too many people filled the house too fast."
"Claustrophobia of course; damn it. Where'd she disappear to?" Paul asked.
Emily fixed a look on her face. "She probably went to the beach. Paul, you are going to tell her right? You're going to finally tell her you imprinted on her right? I mean it was your idea to wait until after she'd graduated before telling her."
Paul nodded. "Of course Em; I don't know when I'm going to tell her, but I will. I just have to figure out when." It wasn't exactly HIS idea to wait until after she'd graduated, but since he'd been alpha ordered he had no choice. He could only hope she would be completely crushed when he told her everything.