I know it might seem like the situation Natasha is in isn't a very realistic one, but it really would be, if you think enough about it. I mean, everyone but her knows that Embry has imprinted on her; they obviously are going to want her to stay so she and he can be together. I just felt like I had to make that clear, not to, like, degrade anyone or anything; I just felt I needed to. Now on to chapter four! :)))
I was sitting on the couch, reading a book when I just put it down and sighed. It was too quiet in the house with my boys gone. Everyone else had something to do today so I was home alone. Let's hope no one comes to rob the house…
But anyway, the past couple of days, I had been able to spend a lot of time with everyone (I even learned that Emily isn't the only girl in the group; there's a girl named Leah that just doesn't really like coming to the house for some reason. I haven't met her yet) and now on Friday, everyone had something to do. And it was much too quiet! That was the biggest thing, the silence here. No cars drove by, no insects buzzed (they had all probably died already); it was just silence. Every now and again the wind would rustle what few leaves remained in the trees or a bird would chirp, but that was it. I went to my room and got my ipod out of my purse and started playing it.
I had my ear buds in as I was picking up around the house and didn't hear Emily when she came back in, so when a hand placed itself on my shoulder, I jumped.
"It's ok, Tasha," Emily laughed (everyone had started calling me Tasha by now), "It's just me."
"My Lord, Emmie, you scared the hell out of me!" I panted.
"Sorry, scaredy cat, I just wanted to know if you wanted to help me make lunch."
"That sounds awesome," I smiled.
We were having beef and potatoes for lunch today. Emily had me peeling the potatoes while she seasoned the beef. I was beginning to pray that I'd never see another potato ever again. I mean, I like potatoes and all, but after you've peeled 10 or so and you aren't done, you begin to get sick of that raw potato smell. But Emily and I's conversation was intriguing enough to keep my thoughts away from potato smell for the most part.
"So, Tasha, are the boys treating you alright when you guys go hang out?" she asked.
"Yeah, they treat me like a freaking princess. Why do you ask?"
"I know they can be a bit…overwhelming at times."
"Haha, I know what you mean. But they're nothing Natasha Reede can't handle!" I exclaimed as I held my potato peeler high in the air.
"Well, that's good to know," Emily smiled, "So, let's talk about other things then."
"Oh, girl stuff." Oh no.
"I don't know, maybe boys?" NO. I DID NOT WANT TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.
"But weren't we just talking about boys?" She didn't seem to hear me.
"More specifically, if there were any you might be interested in." FUCK.
"Oh, not really."
"Come on, Tasha, you've been surrounded by these boys for almost a week, and I'd say there pretty good looking, wouldn't you?" she winked. WHY.
"Well, yeah, I guess so…"
"And they're really nice guys too, especially Embry." PLEASE DON'T DO THIS, EMILY.
"Oh, come on! I see the way you look at him, Sweetie! Don't try to deny it," she winked again. SUGAR HONEY ICED TEA! I looked down at my potato and pretended that peeling it was the most interesting thing ever to happen. EVER.
"I don't want to have this conversation."
"Just… Just 'cause…"
"No, that's not good enough. I know you like Embry, Tasha. It's as plain as writing on a wall."
"Do you think he knows?" I asked as I looked up from my potatoes again.
"Believe me, hon, he has no clue, NONE AT ALL."
"Thank goodness!" I sighed.
"But I think you should let on a little as to how you feel. I think you might like the outcome."
"I doubt it…"
"Fine, be that way. Suffer the consequences for not heeding the Great and Knowing Emily."
I went back to peeling potatoes. Later, I successfully changed the conversation topic to how much these boys eat. We agreed that they must be completely hollow on the inside, because no one eats as much as they do without throwing up halfway through.
"Eeew… Why is there still some peel on the potatoes?" Quil whined.
"Because the peel is good for you," I said, "Now hush and eat your food."
"So, Tasha," Embry started, "What have you been up to today?"
"Not much, really. I read for a bit, then helped make lunch."
"Sounds kinda dull," Jake joked. (lol see what I did there? Consonance, it's a funny thing.)
"It was! I missed my boys real bad."
"Aaaw, we missed you too," Jared said as he gave me a big bear hug. I felt so at home here. I just couldn't believe how little time it took for me to become so comfortable in a complete stranger's home. I was beginning to believe more and more everyday that I would be telling Emily that I would be staying, but I wasn't quite ready to jump the gun on it yet.
"Tasha," Sam said.
"Yeah?" I asked. Sam wanted to talk to me? I was feeling a little nervous about that. He was just always so serious…
"We're having a council meeting tonight."
"And you want me to go to Port Angelis again?" Why would he have to talk to me about this?
"No. We want you to join us." Oh.
"Oh, um, ok. That sounds… fun." Why do they want me there? They don't even know if I'll be staying or not, and even if I am, what business do I have going to a council meeting?
"Yeah, we want you to know what you're getting yourself into if you choose to stay," Jake winked.
"Ah, ok. What should I wear?"
"Typical girl, always worried about the wrong things," Paul fumed. He did NOT like me much, that I knew. As a fact. Or maybe more like a rule of life.
"Just something warm," Emily said, "It's supposed to get pretty chilly tonight."
"And drive your own car," Sam said.
"Why?" I asked.
"So you can leave after the stories if the real meeting gets too boring for you, or the elder wish you to leave," Sam informed.
"Alrighty then," I sighed. Tonight was going to be…interesting. I could feel it.
"What's for dinner tonight, Em?" I asked as I walked into the kitchen around 4ish.
"We'll be having hot dogs and hamburgers at the beach tonight and Jacob's dad is going to be grilling them, so we don't have to worry about a thing," she assured me.
After lunch, my boys were free and they took me into Forks to show me around. I got to meet the sheriff and find out where all of the stores were. It only took a few hours to see everything and talk to Charlie before they dropped me back at Emily's place. They had to get ready for the meeting tonight and left right away. I was still very unsure about what to wear so I asked Emily to help me pick something out.
"So, what have you been doing today?" Emily asked.
"Jake and Embry took me to Forks and drove me around some. It didn't take long to get a tour of the place."
"Did you get to meet the sheriff?"
"Yeah, Charlie's a pretty cool guy. It's sad what happened to his daughter though… And not too long ago, either."
"Yeah, Jake feels that loss pretty bad too," Emily frowned. But it wasn't quite the frown I would have expected. It wasn't as soft and heartfelt. Did Bella and Emily not get along or something? I knew I was missing something there.
"I could tell, he got a pretty mad look on his face when Charlie started talking about her. Was she an old girlfriend of his?"
"Oh, no. They never dated. But they were very close friends and he loved her dearly."
"That's so sad… I know how it feels to lose someone close to you…"
"You do?" Emily had that worried-mom look on her face.
"A friend of mine died when I was 17. Every time I see an eagle, I think about him…"
"Why an eagle, if you don't mind me asking?" Emily was still worried, but I could tell she was curious too.
"Because he would always tell me this story that his mom told him when he was little about this eagle that had fallen out of its nest into a chicken nest. It would look into the sky and see all of the eagles flying around and would say, 'I wish I could fly too,' but the chickens would tell him he couldn't because he was just a chicken. He lived his life as a chicken because he let everyone around him tell him what he was and what he could and couldn't do. He died still longing to fly, but believing he couldn't. Adam told me not to listen to the chickens telling me I couldn't be an eagle; that if there was something I wanted to do or be, not to let others get in my way and tell me I couldn't. He lived this philosophy; he was an eagle to the day he died, flying high above all the chickens that told him he couldn't. He literally flew above them, he loved planes. Planes were his passion and he flew them almost every day. He died in a plane crash, and at least he could say he died doing what he loved to do. Which is how I find peace with it," I said. Emily was wide eyed and her mouth was open.
"That is one of the most beautiful stories I think I've ever heard!" she cried, "I'm so sorry that something like that had to happen to you and your friend…"
"Don't be, he went out in a good way, and it was more his style anyway. I think he would have chosen this over dying as an old man in a nursing home."
"Do you still listen to his advice?" Emily asked.
"If I didn't, I wouldn't be here today. I would have listened to everyone who told me traveling the United States of America instead of going to college was a stupid idea. I wouldn't have ever met any of you, and I would have been the poorer for it," I said as I hugged her. She hugged me back. We stood like that for a few moments before we broke apart and smiled at each other. We both had tears in our eyes.
"We would be the poorer too, if it wasn't for Adam," she said.
"Hey, girls," Sam called, "We need to leave soon."
"Oh shit," I said.
"What?" Emily asked.
"I need to get dressed."
I decided upon wearing grey, knee-high socks over dark skinny jeans with tall brown boots and a navy blue v-neck long-sleeved shirt under my mulberry winter coat. I also threw on a grey knit cap for extra warmth. But none of that helped me much because this is the Olympic peninsula. And if you are outside at night in the Olympic Peninsula, you are going to be cold. Unless of course you are a Quileute boy and you don't understand the meaning of the word. I swear, these boys are crazy, wearing shorts and t-shirts in the wintertime. They're going to be the death of me.
"Hello, Natasha," Billy greeted me, "It's been a while since I've seen your face."
"Yeah, it has been," I smiled as I shook his hand.
"This is Sue Clearwater, she's the only other tribal elder," he introduced. I saw Quil's face change to a look of sadness. I wonder what the story there is…
"Hi, Tasha. Oh, sorry, Seth just talks about you so much, that I've even begun to refer to you by that name as well. I hope you don't mind," she smiled.
"Not at all, Ms. Clearwater," I assured. She seemed like a very nice person, I was beginning to see where Seth got it from.
I followed Emily over to the fire and sat down next to Embry.
"Hey, Tasha," he greeted.
"Hey, Embry." I noticed he had a plate full of hot dogs.
"Where can I get one of those?" I asked, pointing to the hotdogs.
"I'll go get you some. How many would you like?"
"Oh, no, I can get them myself." I tried to stand up, but Embry pushed me back onto my seat gently.
"Don't worry about it, make yourself at home. How many would you like?"
"I guess two… Maybe some ketchup if there is any?"
"Alright, two hotdogs with ketchup coming right up," he grinned. He was just soo cute… Maybe I should take Em's advice and flirt with him tonight?
"Hi," a girl with beautiful, bronze hair said.
"You must be Natasha, Jacob's told me a lot about you," she smiled. She had to have been the most beautiful person I had seen in my whole life. Her skin was very pale, but it just seemed to suit her so well. And she had the most gorgeous brown eyes.
"Oh, you know Jacob," I smiled.
"Yes, we hang out a lot," she laughed, "I'm Nessie by the way."
"It's nice to meet you. Jacob never told me he was seeing anyone," I said as I sent a sly look his way while smiling. Nessie laughed.
"You're even funnier than I thought you'd be," she giggled. Jacob walked up behind her and put his arm around her shoulders.
"I told you she was pretty awesome though, didn't I?" he teased.
"Well, Billy's about to begin his big speech, so we better go sit down," Nessie said to Jake, "It was nice meeting you, Natasha."
"It was nice meeting you too," I called.
"Here we are," he said as he returned. When he sat back down, he sat a little closer than he had been before. I was pretty happy about that; I won't lie. I munched on my hot dog happily as Billy began to make his speech.
(All the stuff that you read in New Moon. Skipping ahead to Third Wife part.)
"And the third wife plunged the dagger into her stomach. As the blood oozed from her body, the cold woman ceased paying attention to Taha Aki long enough for him to pounce upon her and rip her to pieces. By sacrificing her own life, the Third Wife saved the Quileute tribe and her beloved."
"Wow… That's so… I can't even describe it," I whispered to Embry.
"I know, right?" he whispered back. The wind blew and I shivered.
"Are you cold?" he asked.
"A little," I replied sheepishly.
"Here," he said as he draped an arm over my shoulder and scooted closer, "You'll be warmer this way."
He was so warm, I couldn't believe it. But I defiantly wasn't complaining.
"It is because of the story of the third wife that we Quileutes believe in a love so binding, death cannot even break it," Billy went on, "We believe that each and every one of us has someone out there that is ours, and we are theirs and nothing could break our love. But this love is rare, and not all of us will find it. We call this love an Imprint." I saw all of the couples around the fire make eyes at each other. Sam and Emily shared a sweet kiss. I could see that they had found the love Billy was talking about. Embry held me closer to him and I blushed.
"Well, that's it for stories," Billy said, "Everyone grab some more grub if you want some. The real meeting will begin soon."
"How did you like that?" Embry asked.
"I really enjoyed the stories. Especially the last one," I smiled.
"Typical girl," I could hear Paul say.
"Well, Tasha, we have a confession to make…" Jake said.
"They aren't fictional stories," Sam said as he put a hand on my shoulder, "They're real."
"I would expect that kind of tomfoolery from the other guys, but not from you, Sam," I laughed.
"I'm not lying. All of that stuff about us turning into wolves is true." He was serious. And when Sam is serious, he's serious. I began to be scared. Where these people crazy? I mean, I'd grown to love them, but if they really believed something like this, they were in serious need of mental attention. Or maybe they had just made friends with me so they could use me as a sacrifice in some sort of weird "werewolf" ritual thing?
"But guys, seriously. You can't really turn into wolves. It's just not physically possible." I began to nudge toward my car.
"You think we're crazy, don't you?!" Paul yelled, "You don't believe us! You can't wrap your pretty little head around a simple fact, can you?"
"Paul, calm down," Jared tried to sooth him.
"Ok, guys. I'm leaving now. I can't take this." My voice was shaking. As soon as I turned around, I heard this loud ripping noise, like a lot tearing cloth. I turned around to see a giant, grey wolf staring at me from where Paul had been standing. I freaked. I screamed. I ran to my car.
I was on the highway now, determined to get as far away from all of that as possible. I kept replaying the last couple of moments in my head: I saw a giant wolf, I ran, I heard the boys calling after me, Embry grabbed me, I punched him with my keys between my fingers, I paused as I watched blood trickle down his cheek and saw the pained look in his eyes, I ran again. I was scared out of my mind and all I wanted to do was get far, far away from here and never, ever, EVER come back.
I drove for hours before I was sure I was far enough away and I found a nice motel to stay the night at. I had a hard time falling to sleep as I listened to wolves howling at the moon.
There we are! What'sa happen next?! :DDDD