Disclaimer: All Twilight Saga characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. Unless stated otherwise. This plot belongs to me, please respect artistic creativity. This is a non-profit story. No copyrights infringements intended.

A/N: This is a general reply to most reviews on the last chapter. If Bella seems like a "bitch", it's because she is out of character in this story. I am portraying her as an emotionally angry, easy to trigger, Pistanthrophobic girl. I wanted a new perspective to write on her point of view. And the way I am writing her in my other stories is beginning to dull on me. I get bored very easily if there is any constant repetition. All I can say is that Bella's "sparkling" behavior isn't a permanent aspect, but it will be there for a while. If it's not to your taste, then I can't force you to read this story. Also if she seems "selfish" to some readers, well obviously … first, the story is told through HER narrative. It explores HER relationship with the pack. And since she is going through changes not typical in the books or movies, then I wanted to explain them through her. Because I know if I didn't then I will get people asking me to explain it anyway.

The bonfire went better than expected. I was rather surprised. I kept to myself and held my tongue through the entire night. The elders told stories about their legend. It wasn't the rushed and chopped version I heard last year at La Push beach. And it wasn't all about the Cold Ones. Although I guess that was my fault, technically. Since it was such a fascination back then that I mostly focused on it and disregarded the entire tribe legend.

But now I listened closely to Billy's words. The way he spoke about the past tribe, and the legend of the first spirit warrior to phase into a wolf was filled with pride. Between the Billy that often joked around with Charlie, and the stern stranger I encountered a few days ago, this was a whole new side of him. As a tribe elder that passed knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation.

And the pack, they listened intently. It wasn't just stories to them, it was their history, their ancestors. It was a lesson. Embry, especially, was the most avid among the group. His eyes shined with what this new life unraveled for him. It reminded me how I was exactly like him last year. I was enthralled with vampires, their life, their strength, everything.

I was naïve and gullible.

And I genuinely hoped that Embry wouldn't follow the same mistakes I went through …

After the stories ended, they started to barbeque the food they brought over.

I rubbed my hands nervously on my sides. I was the only one there who couldn't eat human food. I cringed at how awkward the situation was going to be.

Sam picked up on my edgy behavior. "What's wrong?" he whispered so the people around us wouldn't hear.

I gave a tight smile. "Nothing is wrong. But … umm .. I want to head back to the house if that's ok?" I whispered a reply.

Sam's face suddenly pinched in concern. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, really. I just want to go back."

"I'll come with you." Sam declared and was about to stand up.

I reached out and grabbed his shirt. "No! It's fine, I can find my way on my own. Don't worry about it, just stay with the pack." I tugged his shirt so he would sit.

Sam sat down, but I could tell he wasn't all that convinced. "Are you sure?"

"Of course, Sam." I placated as I stood up from the log we shared as our seat for the night.

"Alright, but if something happens call me on my phone and I'll come home."

"Sure." I nodded. Before I could manage to leave however, I heard someone approaching us.

"Are you going somewhere, Bella?" Embry jogged over to us.

I blinked a few times and couldn't form a proper excuse on why I needed to leave. Until Sam intervened. "Bella is tired. She is going back to rest." He replied smoothly, covering for me.

"Oh, well, I kinda wanted to sit and chat with you a bit. I haven't seen you since you used to come over to Jake's garage to fix those bikes. So …" he shrugged his shoulders and a faint blush appeared on his face.

For reasons beyond me, I sort of felt guilty. I mean I owed Embry nothing but just that hopeful look in his eyes did bring back those on and off memories in Jake's garage. We did have a few rare occasions when we laughed and joked around back when I thought I was finally getting to be my normal self again. And Embry was completely clueless about the existence of wolves and vampires.

And now that he knew they existed, he was one and I was the other.

Except, I wasn't the monstrous bloodsucker his kind was meant to hate. I was the special case to their rule.

"If its ok with Sam …" I shared a look with the Alpha, leaving it up to him to make the choice. "then you can perhaps come over to his house tomorrow?"

Sam looked between me and Embry, then rose from his seat. "I don't see why not." He placed a hand on my shoulder in the most casual manner.

Embry's eyes zeroed in on Sam's hand on my shoulder. His eyes widened. And I am pretty sure he wasn't the only one. I could feel the entire group behind Embry, tending the food, stop all their loud chatter and focus on our little discussion. Only I was much too nervous and awkward to meet their gazes.

Sam, on the other hand, pretended like what he did was completely unambiguous. Completely normal. But in reality, this was the first time he broke that certain touch barrier in front of someone who wasn't me or him. Nor was it a hostile or dire situation where he needed Alpha intervention. It was a casual touch.

Embry just looked like he was weirded out that a werewolf was calmly touching someone who was supposed to be their natural enemy.

My pulse quickened. I needed to leave.

"So yeah ..." I suddenly said, clapped my hands together loudly, and proceeded to step back and away from the hand on my arm.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Embry. Good night." I gave a tight smile.

Without meeting Sam's gaze, I offered my regards. "Good night, Sam."

"G…good night, Bella!" Embry called back while I walked in a faster than human pace back to Sam's house.

A few hours later I was in bed, wearing an oversized navy shirt, and seconds away from falling asleep.

I didn't have a clock in the room but I was certain it was past midnight.

I didn't realize I was not alone until the door to the bedroom I was in slowly creaked open. The bedroom was dark, so the light from the hallway shone into the darkness like a beam.

I turned in bed towards the door and faced the figure standing by the frame. Just from the outline of the body I knew it was Sam.

"Your still awake?" he asked.

I bit my lip. "Yeah. I was just about to sleep."

"Oh … Well then, I'll leave you be." Sam stated.

But I suddenly found myself stopping him. "Wait …" he paused, body half turned. "It's ok, I wasn't that tired anyway." I sat up in bed and leaned against the headboard. I had no bottoms on so I pulled the blankets around my waist.

Sam slowly walked into the dark bedroom, leaving the door open, and approached the bed. He perched himself on the edge and rested his hands on his knees.

He was within arm's reach. And I could smell his scent better from this distance. He smelled strongly of burnt wood, charred meat, sea breeze, … and, of course, Sam's own unique scent.

I bit my lip harder and tried not to smile. His musk was starting to grow on me. I cleared my throat. "How was the rest of the bonfire?" I asked.

"All good – always a good time when there is enough food for the boys to fight over." He smirked.

I tucked a loose hair behind my ear. "And the elders …. Did they? – you know …" I left the question open to interpretation.

"Harry was sure you wouldn't show up to the gathering, being as cynical as he is. But your presence there proved you can hold your ground – it's a good start." Sam reassured


Sam nodded once. "After you left he … heh …he had somewhat good things to say about you to Billy when he thought no one was listening."

"And you just happened to eavesdrop on it?" I raised a brow.

Sam lifted his hands in defense and shrugged. "Hey … I can't be held responsible for our heightened sense of hearing, now can I?"

I laughed. "When you say it like that, I guess not."

He lowered his hands down and stared directly at me. His gaze never wavering, his expression suddenly serious. "I'm proud of you, Swan."

I stopped breathing. My heart began to pound uncontrollably. I knew he could hear it. No one ever complimented me like that before.

Slowly, Sam edged closer. Carefully testing my reaction. I held still, I didn't even dare to breath. And I certainly didn't have the urge to push him back. This, whatever it was, didn't feel quite so wrong.

He tilted his face towards me. I could feel his hot breath on my cheek. I remained still. He inched even closer. I close my eyes the moment I felt his lips press against mine. It was instinctual yet it felt so surreal. Like I was out of my own body, looking on us in this moment.

I carefully moved my lips when he started to move his. I didn't have any experience with kissing beside a few chase and subtle kisses in the past. So I mimicked what Sam was doing.

That is until his torso pressed much closer than I had a body in that close of a proximity in a long time. Every nerve in me knew it. I was lacking. But Sam, he instantly took charge, his movement bolder in a different way.

When I moaned as his arms wrapped around my waist and pulled me roughly against him, I let him do what he wanted. He had a confidence I never witnessed in a man before. I rested my hands on his upper arms while our kiss grew deeper. Much deeper than I ever experienced. The type of kiss that I always yearned for. That curls your toes and warms your stomach, and arches your body in a sensual titillating thrill!

Sam's large hands went under my shirt – his t-shirt – and rested on my spine. His hot digits warming my cool skin. His fingers began to caress my lower back. I became self-conscious a bit when I figured my skin temperature might be a turn off. There is a reason why people take "cold showers" to banish any unruly feelings. And to realize that I was a walking buffer of the similar concept made me quite nervous.

However, that thought was pushed to the back of my mind when I unconsciously groaned against Sam's mouth. And he gently bit into my lower lip – again, he showed no hesitation and no aversion. He had desire for me.

I opened my mouth and his tongue delved in. I honestly didn't know what to do next, or how to kiss this way. But Sam seemed to realize this as well. And very carefully he touched his tongue to mine. In that one moment I tasted Sam for the first time. He tasted of that strong male musk, but there was also a hint of raw sweetness, and a hot spark that traveled all across my body. Woah!

"Sam …" I whispered against him.

I can feel more than see his smile. He knew he was having a good effect on me. Cocky bastard.

He pressed me flat onto the mattress and stretched to lie next to me. His arms were still around me. Holding me tightly.

One hand slowly inched further into my shirt as he pressed his lips to mine again. His fingers crept closer to my chest. I pulled away from his lips and looked into his eyes. His face barely illuminated by the light from the open door. The full moon has long been shielded by the clouds.

His hand paused. "Do you want me to stop?" he asked seriously.

My pulse hammered in my ears. I felt high and light. Did I want him to stop? And then I had a flashback of all the times I was stopped and never had a say in the matter. And I knew what my answer was. I shook my head. Our eyes were still gazing into each other. And the hand, that hovered so close, covered my breast.

I tilted my head and sought his lips. Half moaning, half kissing back, as his fingers moved under my clothes.

His thumb brushed over an erect peak and I bucked my pelvis against his sturdy hips.

The motion was like a trigger. Next thing I knew we were running on wild instincts. My hands were in his short, dark, hair. His hand squeezed my breast, rougher than before but much gratifying than ever. And our hips pressed against one another. We didn't hold back. Our bodies were strong and durable. We curved into each other so very well. This moment felt so right.

It wasn't until Sam's other hand rested against the waistband of my underwear that I froze.

I broke our kiss and tucked my head under his chin. I didn't think about it; the reaction was so automatic. Pressing my lips together and wishing I could kick myself. We had a pretty good moment going there. But my dumbass had to go and ruin it.

"What's wrong? Did I do something?" I could hear the growing fright in his voice.

I shook my head against his throat. "No, you didn't ….. I'm just not ready … for that."

I closed my eyes shut and hoped he would take the hint.

But it seemed the werewolf currently sharing my bed wasn't satisfied with my vague response. "You've never …" he cleared his throat as he tried to get the question out. "been with anyone before?"

"No." I replied.

"What about … Cullen?"

Even though any reference to Edward didn't hold the same significance as it used it. I still cringed at it in passing mention. And it was noticeable enough even yards away, let alone having someone pressed close to me feeling my muscles tense.

And it wasn't just me. I could feel tension in Sam's form as well. His arms were so flexed they were practically rock hard.

For the first time in mentioning anything related to Edward in months, I smiled. "Oh please …" Sam couldn't see my smirk but it was such a validation. "We never even saw each other naked."

Sam actually seemed relieved. His entire body relaxed. We didn't say anything to each other for the rest of the night. And we couldn't resume what we were heatedly doing before. The spell was cracked but not fully broken. Because Sam still held me to him, and I slowly fell asleep as I listened to his heart beating strong and steady in his chest, with my nose buried in his shirt.

I didn't want to jinx it, but it seemed things were slowly going forward in a promising direction.

I woke up the next day with the sun being unusually higher in the sky and much warmer. I never slept more than a couple of hours at best. But it seemed I slept for more than what was accustomed and woke up around noon.

I turned over and I was alone in bed.

For a second I thought last night was a dream. That is until I spotted a note by the bedside table:

I didn't want to wake you up. I had an early shift at work. I'll finish up and be home at 2-ish if not earlier for lunch. Till then have fun with Embry. Go easy on him. He is very "enthusiastic" about everything. It will wear off eventually.
Stay strong.

I smiled as I held the note between my fingers. 'Stay strong.' – it definitely sounded better than 'Be safe.' It was written in bold, thick letters in confidence and spirit. Unlike the careful, calculative, elegant script that looked too beautiful and too perfect to be real.

I sighed and placed the note back on the table. Instead of brooding, I decided to take a shower before Embry arrived. I'm surprised he didn't stop by while I was asleep. He looked just about ready to internally combust with excitement. I didn't know why but my gut was telling me Sam might have something to do with it.

In fact, in the past four days after our little sit down with Billy downstairs in the kitchen, it seemed that Sam was much more considerate and attending. He was at his house more, and mostly around me, even though he had a busy job and an even busier duty being Alpha leader.

He also spoke to me more often. It wasn't anything significant, just small talk, and it wasn't intrusive, nor offensive, and certainly not boring. For someone I thought to have a stick up his ass at first, I was surprised to find out that Sam had a sense of humor. And he was way more relaxed that the overbearing man I met when I first awoke as a vampire.

I can now totally understand better why the other guys in the pack look up to him. he wasn't just a leader they were forced to follow. They wanted to follow him. He was like a big brother they could all depend on.

I suddenly found myself anxious for him to return.

I finished my shower, got dressed in another one of Sam's borrowed shirts. And one of the summer shorts of the few that Sam surprisingly got for me. And even more astonishing is that he got them in exactly my size. It has been quite a while since I wore something that fit. And somehow, it didn't strike me that Sam was the type that could figure women sizes.

I didn't ask, but Sam did mention before that his mother was living nearby and that she knew about … everything. She also, apparently, was intently involved in his life. I shuddered a bit when I remembered him telling me it was his mother that cleaned me up when I fell unconscious the first time by the lake. I never met the woman, nor do I even know what she looked like and she saw me buck naked and washed me, and clothed me from head to toe. If I could blush, I knew I would be hot red right now for the sheer embarrassment.

I heard footsteps slowly approaching the house. It must be Embry. I went down stairs into the living room and opened the front door to greet him just as his feet reached the final steps of the front porch.

However, when I opened the door I was surprised to find that it wasn't Embry standing in front of me. But instead, it was a woman with long, black hair.

"Oh, Hi!" She spoke as she waved a hand, while the other held a large, cloth-covered basket. Her dark brown eyes were wide, but she wasn't startled by me as she cheerfully greeted with a wide smile.

She didn't seem frightened about my semi-red/brown eyes, which were obviously visible even from behind the screen door. Unless she already knew about vampires. Which means she also knows about werewolves.

"Can I help you?" I said as I crossed my arms and leaned against the frame

"No. Not really – you must be, Bella. Sam has told me all about you." She spoke so self-assumingly.

I instantly disliked her.

"Funny," I quipped with a plastic smile. "Sam told me virtually nothing about you."

"Really?" She raised an eyebrow. "Well, I'm sure he had his reasons. I'm Emily Young." She waltzed right up to me, opened the screen door, and extended her hand casually to shake mine.

I didn't know how to describe it, the feeling that overtook me as she got closer. But I could swear I was feeling threatened by her presence. Especially when I didn't shake her hand, she simply shrugged and walked pass me and into the house. she proudly invited herself into Sam's home. Like she has been there too many times for me to even want to know how many.

She went straight to the kitchen with her large basket beside her. I felt numb and confused as I followed behind and stopped just behind the invisible line that separated the living room from the kitchen. I watched her as she moved around the island-counter in the middle of the kitchen with utter effortlessness.

"You seem like you know your way around." I stated, I was surprised I managed to keep the sneer from my tone. Let alone other hostile urges.

This woman didn't just know her way around, her hands reached into cupboards and drawers without even looking at where she was touching. And took the things she needed out like she memorized their places by heart. Or worse, like someone who knows where things went because they arranged and tidied up the place.

Just like when I moved to Charlie's house. His kitchen was so unorganized for any use, I had to take everything out of the inventory and systematize the entire place accordingly, before so much as I can use the area.

"Yeah, I come here often to cook and help around when Sam gets too busy. I swear if I wasn't around I don't think that man would be able to feed himself properly." She replied jokingly as she deposited what was inside the basket. Which was groceries. And started to cut the vegetable on the chopping board all while she had a subtle smile on her face. Like this act gave her some great internal pleasure.

Fuck .. this was too much to handle. I tried to keep a cool face on the outside. But inside, I was a mess. I felt I was close to being suffocated. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't think, my chest hurt. The close that I could describe it is like having a fucking panic attack.

I cleared my throat from the ever expanding, uncomfortable lump. "So why is it that I haven't seen you around here in the past few days, if you say you come here so often?"

She stopped cutting for a second as she lifted her head and gazed at me. She pursed her lips then she replied, "Sam suggested I stay away for a while. That it wasn't safe to come over," And then that sickly sweet smile returned as she resumed her task. "But when I called him this morning he told me things were going very smoothly. So I didn't see the harm in coming over."

He spoke to her today? While I was sleeping. They even talked about me? – I was so distracted by how the entire room seemed to suddenly pulse and shake around me, that I didn't hear someone knocking at the door. The person walked into the house and headed towards us in the kitchen.

"Hey, what's up." Embry greeted. Which instantly made me snap out of my delirious haze.

"Embry! What a pleasant surprise. Did Sam invite you for lunch?" Emily spoke with a smirk.

My tongue felt too limp to greet Embry as I stood shell-shocked.

Embry's eyes slightly widened and his smile melted as he stared between me and Emily. Despite Emily's unfazed behavior, it seemed Embry could feel the thick tension in the air along with the hard expression on my face.

"Ummm … I actually came to see Bella," Embry replied awkwardly. And shifted from one foot to the other as he tucked his hands in jean-short pockets. "We were planning to hang-out today."

Emily clapped her hands together. "Oh that is so thoughtful and sweet of you Embry. I'll let you guys know when lunch is ready."

Before I knew it, my mouth suddenly moved without even consenting with my brain. "Actually, me and Embry are gonna go over to his house."

"We are?" Embry whipped his head towards me. I kicked him in the leg and gave him a look. "Ouch! … I mean, yeah, we are. We … me and Bella … my house."

I pressed my lips into something that looked like a smile and grabbed Embry's hand, and practically dragged him towards the door.

But before we could walk through the front door, Emily's sickly sweet tone asked, "Are you sure Sam is ok with this, Embry?"

Something in me finally snapped. Embry gulped, completely horrified, as he saw the look on my face as I slowly turned around to face the woman standing in the middle of Sam's home.

I spoke with the calmest voice I could muster. "In case it has escaped your attention, Emily – But I am perfectly fucking capable of doing what I want, with whoever I want, and wherever I want. And if I feel like I don't want to be in this house then it's my prerogative to go wherever I please. I don't need Sam's permission. And I certainly don't need you to ask on his behalf. So kindly, mind your own damn business – let's go, Embry."

I grabbed Embry and left the house without even looking back. For all I cared, I don't ever wanna go back to that place for as long as I lived.

After my little tirade, we went to Embry's house. I was grateful he had his own place so we didn't run into anyone on the way.

I was still wound up and pissed off. And I tried to think of any way to blow off some steam. Ironically, the only thing that seemed to calm me down in the past, before I was a vampire and before I became completely catatonic, was cooking meals for me and Charlie.

Embry didn't object when I asked permission to use his kitchen. His refrigerator wasn't adequately stocked, but it had just enough to cook something up.

Embry lingered at the small breakfast table at the corner of the kitchen while I poured my silent frustrations over the stove. Mindful not to break anything – it was a difficult challenge with the mood I was facing. And the tornado of thoughts and unsettling information I was trying to block.

"Bella, are you ok?" Embry asked.

I continued to stir the pot, as I gave the boy my back. "Does Emily know about me, and the pack, and what we really are?" I asked in return.

"Yeah. Her mom is friends with the Tribe Elders, and some of their wives." Then Embry quickly added. "Her mother doesn't know, of course, but Emily does."

My face pinched in confusion. That doesn't make any sense. "Why would Emily need to know about the Quileute legend if her family isn't involved?" I asked as I cast a questioning glance over my shoulder to Embry.

"Well, Jared told me something along the lines that Emily saw Sam when he phased for the first time."

"What?!" I screamed without realizing.

Embry jumped and then tried to immediately explain. "That's what Jared told when he informed me who knew about the secret, so that I didn't stupidly expose us to people who didn't know."

I tried calming down and turned around to resume what I was doing. "How long has Sam known Emily?" My mouth felt completely dry that I was amazed I even managed to ask.

"Since they were teenagers, I guess. Emily isn't full Quileute, she was initially from the Makah reservation before she and her mom moved to La Push."

"Oh." I didn't know what else to say. Clearly Sam and Emily knew each other for years. Yet Sam didn't feel the need to tell me about her. But he felt comfortable enough to tell her about me.

I turned off the stove and grabbed the large bowl I had set aside, and emptied the contents of the pot into it. I grabbed the bowl and a clean spoon and walked over to the table and sat across from Embry. I didn't care that the hot contents of the bowl were burning my bare fingers as I numbly placed the dish in front of the confused boy.

Carefully, Embry tasted the meal in the mostly inoffensive way possible. After all, I made a meal with whatever I found lying around in his fridge and pantry.

But somehow, it seemed I did something right as the boy started to eat faster and in a more relaxed manner. I smiled as I saw the bright and content expression on his face. Had I ever had a little brother, I was sure he would behave and look something close to Embry's mannerisms.

"Y'know, Bella." He suddenly said. "If it's any consolation, you are a much better cook than her."

That statement both warmed and broke my heart all at the same time.

I felt crestfallen but I tried to smile as I said. "I don't care, Embry. It … it doesn't matter anymore."

Right now, I just felt like the world's biggest fool.