Main Entry: toy

Etymology: Middle English toye

1. obsolete a: flirtatious or seductive behavior b: a sportive or amusing act

'The wolf hunched over Emmaline's limp form, grunting and snarling with wet, heavy breaths against her naked and torn back. As a shape-shifter, he understood the passionate urges of two entities- the voracious hunger of the beast that he currently displayed in form, as well as the inner lust of the man trapped inside. Both passions combined to drive him harder into the fragile body below, in an effort to claim her as his own. With bared fangs, foamy white drool dripped from his muzzle and ran thickly down her shoulder while he plunged into her helpless womanhood…'

"Womanhood? Who in the fuck writes this shit?" Rosalie tore her eyes from the small electronic screen from which she had been reading aloud. "Why don't they just say 'pussy' if they mean 'pussy'?"

"I don't know," I muttered, shaking my head. "Maybe they were trying not to be offensive?"

"Emmaline is getting fucked by a giant dog," Rosalie snorted indelicately. "I don't think that the author would have to worry about the word 'pussy' being the main source of offense!"

I laughed lightly at her logic. Rosalie was my college roommate, and had been my best friend since eighth grade. We were as different as night and day. She was beautiful; I was plain. She was loud; I was quiet. She was brave… I wasreserved. But I loved her. And I was especially thankful that her current obsession with supernatural online fan fiction was keeping me entertained while driving down a twisting highway in the middle of the night through a torrential downpour.

Truthfully, she could have been bitching at me. It was my fault that we were traveling at a snail's pace through the Olympic Peninsula instead of sitting on a beach in Cancun for our Spring Break. Well… kinda my fault. I won the coin toss. I thought it would be fun to drive back to our little home town in Washington, to surprise family and friends. And I just didn't have it in me, to spend another vacation avoiding topless beaches and Rosalie's attempts to get me drunk enough to finally lose my virginity to some random hook-up. She was convinced that my being a virgin at twenty-one was half a step away from me turning into some scary old cat-lady.

I sunburned easily. I wanted to wait for true love. And I didn't like cats anyway.


My windshield wipers slapped ineffectually at the rain coming down like a sheet outside. Inside, my heater vents popped and spluttered, doing a piss-poor job of keeping the condensation from fogging up my windshield. I cursed under my breath and pulled the sleeve of my jacket over my hand. Reaching as far forward as I could, I swiped at the glass in front of my face and tried to clear a spot to see through.

For at least ten minutes, we traded alternative crude slang words and euphemisms for female genitalia. Laughing helped keep the stress at bay while I leaned over the steering wheel.

"Lucy," I supplied, having run out of other choices.

"Lucy?" Rosalie scoffed.

"My Grandma used to call it her 'Lucy.'"

"Like… loose?" Rosalie choked. "Loose-y? Okay. That's just fucking disturbing!"

A loud metallic crunching ended our game when the car ran over something in the road. We screamed in unison when the vehicle immediately lurched to the side, and Rosalie gripped my forearm hard enough to leave bruises.

"Hold on," I ground between my teeth. Which was kind of stupid, considering she already was. I threw my weight against the steering wheel, trying my best to keep us from losing control in a spin or flipping over. Despite my best efforts, the car skidded sideways down the rain slickened road. My forehead bounced angrily off the top of the steering wheel when the rear of the car bent around a tree. And then we came to a stop.

My car made angry hissing noises. But other than its death-rattle and the accompanying thwack of the wiper-blades, there were no sounds. I turned with alarm to see if Rosalie was alright.

"Rose? Rose?" I whispered, with dread in my voice.

"Fucking shit," she yelled out, startling me. "I broke my goddamned phone when I hit it on the window!"

Relief flooded through me as I saw her twist her body upright and pound her fingers against the flickering blue lights of her phone buttons. "I have my phone in the trunk," I reminded her. "We'll be fine."

"What the fuck did we hit?" Rosalie looked around anxiously.

"A tree, I think." I winced when my car choked once more and the engine died. "I'm not sure what we ran over, in the road. I think it took out our tires."

"Oh my God." Rosalie sat with wide eyes staring forward. The reality of the situation was sinking in for both of us. "We could have been killed."

"I know. I'm so sorry," I whispered.

"You would have died a virgin!" Rosalie turned to me and laughed. My shoulders shook, and before I knew it, I was laughing with her. It was a shaky and near hysterical laugh, but leave it to Rosalie to try to make the best out of any situation.

"Are you sure you're alright?" I asked, after we calmed ourselves.

"My wrist is screwed up," Rosalie answered. "I don't think it's broken. But I hit it pretty hard against the window."

"And you broke your phone."


"Well… let's get mine and we can call 9-1-1 or something," I suggested.


My headlights cut crooked patterns into the darkened trees in front of us. If anything, they only served to remind me how dark the night around us really was. The rain had all but stopped, just as suddenly as it had started. But the cloud cover hid any sort of light that might have helped to see the extent of the wreckage.

I reached across Rosalie's lap and took a tiny flashlight from the glove compartment. Luckily, it worked. Its small slice of milky light would be better than nothing.

After coming to the realization that Rosalie's car door would not open, we both exited from the driver's side. Making our way toward the rear of the vehicle, I groaned while Rosalie cursed. The entire back end of my car was twisted and mangled from hitting the tree it now rested against. With shaking fingers, I tried to pop the trunk.

"Please God… let it open. Please baby Jesus… let the trunk open. Shit!" If at first prayers don't succeed, try throwing a fit. I slapped my palms against the trunk and kicked the shredded back tire. "Shit, shit, shit!" I cried. Rosalie leaned against the trunk and lifted one red-heeled foot up to rest on the bumper. I wiped at my face and looked up to see her with her arms folded over her chest. Her eyebrow was raised while she waited for me to calm myself.

"Let me guess," she suggested wryly. "The trunk won't open."

"Nope," I groaned.

"And your phone is in there."

"Yep," I nodded.

"And so are our clothes." She extended a leg in front of her, and looked down at her pointy high-heel. "It's going to suck-ass to have to hike in these," she murmured.

"Hike? Where?"

"To get help," Rosalie huffed. "Or to get out of here. I don't know."

"Maybe we shouldn't leave," I shook my head. "I'm pretty sure that we shouldn't leave the scene of an accident. We should just wait in the car."

"That's not an option," Rosalie argued. "I smell gas, Bella. If you ruptured your gas line, it is not safe to stay anywhere near this thing."

"Gas line?" I asked skeptically. "Since when do you know anything about cars?" But my skepticism was cut short. Rosalie was right. I could smell gas, too. "Okay," I sighed, feeling defeated. "You're right. We need to walk."

"I'm sure we won't have to walk far," Rosalie shrugged nonchalantly and moved herself away from the bumper. I wasn't sure if her show of bravado was for my benefit or her own.

"How can you be so sure?" I asked.

"These are my Jimmy Choos." Rosalie stuck her toe out again to show me her shoe. "They are my lucky heels. I've never worn these and not met a hot guy!" I looked around at the eerily dark forest that surrounded us and shivered.

"I'm not sure your Jimmy Choos are going to be so lucky tonight," I muttered.

"We'll see." Rosalie tossed her hair over her shoulder and stepped up toward the front of the car. "Where are we?" she called back. I moved to join her.

"I don't know," I admitted with a sigh. "It was raining too hard for me to see the last mile marker. But I'm pretty sure we passed the last sign of civilization over an hour ago."

Rosalie nodded slowly.

"So, we should be getting close to a town. Let's start walking the direction we were driving. Someone is bound to drive by, eventually."

"Maybe a hot guy with a thing for blondes in red heels?" I teased.


I ducked back inside the driver's side door and reached into the glove compartment.

"What are you doing?" Rosalie asked.

"Leaving a note," I explained while pulling the lid of a marker off with my teeth. I unfolded a map and began making thick black lines across the creased paper.

' PLEASE CONTACT: CHARLIE SWAN' and I left my father's phone number under the large upper-case letters.

"Your Dad doesn't even know that we were coming," Rosalie reminded me. "It was supposed to be a surprise. Remember?"

"Right. But if someone calls and describes the car to him or gives him the plate number, he'll be able to figure it out!"

I shoved the map into the windshield so that the writing would be visible to a passer-by. And then I reached into the small storage space in the dash one more time.

"What now?" Rosalie tried to look over my shoulder.

"Pepper spray," I said, turning to show her the small cylinder before I palmed it.

"Good idea," she nodded.

"All right," I glanced around quickly before retreating and shutting the door. "I'm ready. Let's go."

Together we began walking down the dark road, dodging puddles and chatting about aimless topics to keep our minds off our current plight and relative discomfort. I was willing to bet that my ballet flats were a far cry more comfortable to walk in than Rosalie's dangerously high heels. But her black turtle neck and skinny jeans must have been warmer than the denim mini-skirt and tank top I wore, even if I did have a light jacket to go over it.

The light from our tiny flashlight bounced along the white line at the side of the road while we walked. It was easy for us to come up with things to talk about. But eventually our feet began to slow, giving away our exhaustion and indicating the distance we must have travelled. Still, we saw no traffic and didn't seem to be any closer to a town as far as I could tell.

"Let's just rest a minute," I mumbled, leaning forward and pressing my palms to my bare knees. I took a deep breath and tried to control the panic that I felt setting in. The darkness pressed in on us from all sides, and almost made me feel claustrophobic.

"Maybe we got our directions turned around when the car was spinning," Rosalie whispered beside me. I cringed. I had been afraid to state that fear aloud when I had considered it earlier. The darkness was disconcerting.

"I'm sorry," I shook my head. It was starting to rain again, and I felt like sitting down and crying.

"Hey. What's that?"

Rosalie had raised one arm, and was pointing toward a ghostly white shape several yards in front of us. I squinted and moved the beam of the flashlight up to illuminate what had caught her attention. A rusted old mailbox sat perilously tilted on top of a paint-chipped wooden post. The letters 'C' and 'N' were the only discernable markings.

Rosalie and I walked toward it. I pressed my fingers to the latch, and had to pull hard to get the door to swing down. When it did, something large and hairy flew out of the shadowy space and landed on the top of my hand.

"Ahhh FUCK!" I screamed and flung my hand to the side, dropping my flashlight into the bracken beside us while trying to dislodge the creature that had landed on me. I stood, shaking for a moment. Rosalie bent to pick up the flashlight and pointed the beam at a rather large spider that scurried away from her foot.

"Just a spider," Rosalie said calmly. I shivered strongly and tried to get past the totally creeped out feeling I had from that thing surprising me as it had.

"The box was hard to open," I muttered, trying to get my mind off the scary little beast that had been inside. "No one has used it in a very long time."

"But where there is a mailbox there is a house!" Rosalie's voice sounded hopeful, and she spun the light of the flashlight out to look at the tree line beside us. "Maybe a cabin or…" Her voice stopped when the light did. Barely noticeable through the over-grown brush and ferns, there was a small dirt road cutting from the highway just ahead.

"It doesn't look as though anyone has used this road for a very long time," I said quietly, while we walked up to it. The rain drops were getting heavier, and landing on the dark brown dirt with pitter-pats.

"So the place is probably deserted," Rosalie said. "That doesn't mean that we can't find it and get out of this weather for a while. At the very least, we'll have some shelter so we can sleep. And then we can figure out what in the hell to do in the morning!"

"I don't know," I said doubtfully. I was still shaken by that spider on my hand. I didn't want to imagine what sort of creepy-crawlies were out there in that thick over-growth.

"Come on." Rosalie's voice finally wavered and I saw the flashlight lower when she dropped her arm. "I'm tired, Bells. And my feet are really fucking killing me."

"Okay," I agreed quietly. I was exhausted and cold. And my head was pounding. I touched my fingers to my forehead and winced when I felt the tender spot that was likely bruised from the steering wheel.

Side by side, we stepped off the main road and began pushing our way through the heavy foliage. We walked in silence. After a while, I wondered if Rosalie might have regretted suggesting that we deviate from the easier path. The dirt road beneath us was full of ruts and potholes. And the brush grabbed greedily at our hair and clothing. The rain was heavier, and certainly wasn't helping matters at all, as we slipped and slid through the forest.

"What the fuck?" Rosalie groaned harshly when a low branch tangled in her long hair. I could hear her voice catch and knew that she had almost reached the end of her limit of tolerance. She had been trying to remain optimistic for both of us. But now it was my turn. I reached with careful fingers and unwound her long locks from the twisted snare.

"It can't be far, now," I offered softly. I linked my arm through hers and offered her what was left of my strength. "It's probably a cozy little house, with a fireplace," I suggested. "Maybe they'll have some food…"

"Spaghetti," Rosalie played along.

"With meat sauce," I added.

"And garlic bread!"

Rosalie was fantasizing about carbs. Which meant I had done my job in getting her back to her happy place. We picked up our pace with renewed determination. After a short while, we both gasped. Just ahead, through the trees, we could see warm yellow light.

"Is that…?" I squinted.

"A house!" Rosalie exclaimed. "The lights are on! Someone is home!" She dropped my arm and started practically running toward the beacon of light.

"Wait!" I called out breathlessly. Rosalie stopped and turned to look at me.


"What… what if they aren't nice people?" I asked. We were awfully far from the main road. What kind of people would we find staying in this secluded place?

"You've got your pepper spray," Rosalie reminded me. "I'm fucking cold and wet. I want the hell out of this rain and out of these woods. And I swear to Christ that I would eat dinner with Charlie Manson right now, if he offered me pasta."

"Fine," I reluctantly agreed. We traversed the remaining brush together and clomped up the stairs to a cabin that looked much larger than I would have initially guessed from a distance. Up close, it was decidedly less ominous with its cheery yellow windows and quiet music playing from within. I was able to make out the faint strains of a popular radio hit coming from inside. Rosalie fidgeted, trying to smooth her tangled hair while I took a deep breath and knocked loudly on the door.

The music inside was muted immediately, and we could clearly hear footsteps approach the door. And then the door swung open and we both flinched against the sudden outpouring of light. When my eyes adjusted, I blinked up at the hulking figure that filled the doorway.

The man looked to be in his early to mid-twenties. He was clean-cut and shockingly handsome with short, dark hair. And he was enormous; tall and extremely muscular. While I couldn't quite make out the color of his eyes while he stood there with his back to the light, I could see a definite twinkle in them when his cheeks creased with large dimples and a wide smile pull at his lips.

" Thank you Jimmy Choo!" Rosalie breathed with an answering smile.

Reviews are better than arachnophobia. Leave one.