"Did you seriously imprint on the leech lover, Em?" Jacob asked.
"Yeah," I sighed. "And the worst part is she seems to be a really sweet girl."
"Sweet or not, the girl mixed with vampires. From overhearing Charlie's conversations with her these past seven years, she's definitely still dating Cullen. Even Charlie's disappointed by the fact, though he won't tell her," Leah informed me.
"Well, what the heck am I supposed to do? It's not like I wanted to imprint on her; it happened by chance."
"You're going to have to deny the imprint, Embry. I can give you an alpha order if you'd like. It might make it easier," Jacob said.
"Nah, I don't like to be alpha ordered. I can deal with it myself."
"Alright, but just say the word, and I'll do it for you."
I left Jacob's house, ran to the woods, shed my clothes, and phased for the first time in years. Just my luck to imprint on the leech lover. I truly didn't need this. Bella Swan seemed like a nice girl, but the fact that she was mixed up with vampires didn't sit right with me. She lied to her father stating she had no contact with the Cullens save for a yearly birthday card and a few correspondences with only one of them, but Leah said she had overheard conversations between Charlie and her in which she kept mentioning some guy named Eddie. We all knew the vampire she dated in high school was named Edward. Well, I didn't want to get mixed up with a liar, that much was for sure. I made a decision to stay away from her during her stay in La Push. She was only here for two nights anyway.
Forty-eight hours later, Bella Swan left La Push after saying goodbye to her father and Sue. Fortunately, for us wolves, she didn't come to seek us out. In fact, it was almost like she was avoiding us. Seth was the only one who hung out with her while she was here, and he didn't have a problem with her at all. He said she was a really nice girl, and that's all that really mattered to him.
It mattered to the rest of us though. The Cullens were the reason why we were all wolves. They moved away from the area, at the end of the school year, around six years ago—a year after Bella Swan left Forks, but we had to patrol the woods during that time. It really took a huge chunk out of our lives.
I resented vampires and had no time for people who were friendly with them.
Charlie inadvertently found out we were wolves because he was there the first time Seth and Leah phased—the same day Harry Clearwater had a massive heart attack and died. After that, we had to let him in on the secret. To say that he was pissed off when he found out Bella had dated a vampire was an understatement. When he discovered Bella was still dating Edward, he refused to go and visit her while she was putting herself at risk—even for her high school and college graduations.
He invited her to his wedding, but only if she showed up solo. Bella didn't seem to mind. Apparently, Edward had some sort of family commitment that weekend so she said it worked out perfectly. Pfft. It wasn't a family commitment; the guy knew he couldn't set foot on the reservation. Oh, well, I guess Taha Aki, for some reason, decided I needed to be punished with the leech lover as an imprint on top of everything else.
Four months later...
It was Saturday and the entire pack, Old Quil, Billy, and my mother were gathered in Charlie and Sue's living room watching a football game. Sue had just walked in with the mail. She opened an envelope then gasped. Her face turned as pale as a ghost. She switched off the TV
"Hey. We were watching the game," Charlie protested.
With a serious expression on her face, Sue replied, "Charlie, you need to see this."
Charlie took what looked like an invitation from Sue. He dropped his face in his hands and cried, "Jesus Christ, Susie, what the hell did my daughter ever do to deserve a bastard like me for a father?"
"Charlie, I'm so sorry."
"What's going on? What's the matter?" Leah asked worriedly.
Charlie passed the invitation to Leah who read it out loud, "Mr. & Mrs. Phil Dwyer and Mr. & Mrs. Mark Cheveyo request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children, Isabella Marie Swan to Edward Mark Cheveyo on Saturday, the seventeenth of December at four o'clock in the afternoon, Mission Indian Community Church, Mission Indian Reservation, Lakeside, California."
There was a photo of the happy couple enclosed with the invitation, I could read the writing on the back, 'I thought you might want a copy of our engagement photo. Bella.' Leah passed the photo around so we could all take a look.
"That is definitely not Edward Cullen." Paul pointed out the obvious.
"Um, no, he's a bit too tanned to be Cullen. He's also not white," Jared said.
"Obviously, he's Native American." Leah stated. "And really hot by the looks of it."
"Oh, Charlie, I'm so sorry," Sue repeated. Why she was sorry, I had no idea. She always encouraged Charlie to be involved with his daughter.
"I missed her high school and college graduations all because of my lack of trust in her. I thought she was still dating Edward Cullen. You know, she was here for two days in August and didn't even bother telling me she was engaged. I've been that bad of a father. What's even worse is that it looks like Phil and Renee and the groom's parents are hosting the wedding. I wasn't even asked to participate."
"Charlie, first of all, you didn't ask her to participate in your wedding while you asked Leah and Seth. Second, you kept telling her that you didn't want to know about Edward or his family throughout the years. Tiffany, Sue, and I told you that you should have shown interest in her life regardless of who she was dating," Billy chastised. "Because no matter what, Bella is still your daughter."
"I know, Billy. I screwed up big time on this one. You know, she didn't mention Edward once in the two days she was here out of respect for my wishes. It must have hurt her tremendously."
"Yeah, well, I wasn't so polite to her and neither was the rest of the pack with the exception of Seth," Leah said.
"That would explain why Seth has been invited to the wedding, but not you," Sue said.
"This was a pack error of epic proportions," Jacob admitted, and then he turned to me. "I'm sorry, Embry."
"Hey, I'm just as much at fault here. But, as long as Bella is happy, I'll be fine."
"But Embry, she's your imprint and she's marrying another man."
"And her happiness is all that's supposed to matter to me, and she's clearly happy. Besides, she's been with this guy for years. I can't break them up just because some supernatural force demands we be together. It's wrong on so many levels."
"I think you're making a mistake. Acting on an imprint is your god given right as a wolf."
"But on a very human level, Jake, it's wrong. It's wrong to go and break up a couple who is happy and in love. She has no idea I'm a wolf, or even what a wolf is. It's not her fault I imprinted on her. Heck, it's not even my fault. Some big guy up there made it happen, but I refuse to go and break up a happy couple for the sake of imprinting. How long have they been together, Charlie?"
"Since her freshman year in college. They've been dating that long. I remember how excited she was when she first told me that she had met Eddie. Ironically, it was the same day I told her that I didn't want to hear about Edward or any other guy she was dating."
"What are you going to do now, Charlie?" Billy asked.
"Go to her wedding. I'm guessing Phil is going to be giving her away."
The man looked as bad as I felt. I let misinformation and petty prejudice guide me to judge Bella, and because of this, I forced myself into the position of being the asshole who has to watch his imprint marry another man. I made a decision at that moment. Though I could never be with my imprint, I decided to work on myself as a man. I wanted to become more honest, open, less judgmental, and—above all—I needed to think for myself instead of letting the pack sway my decisions.
What happened to all of my dreams? My goals? Sure, I went to college, but I'm still stagnant in La Push following Jacob's lead. Once upon a time, I wanted to travel the world because I've always known there was more out there than just the Olympic Peninsula. Instead of exploring the world, I was living with my mother and stepfather in Jacob's old room. When did I lose myself? What happened to my independence?
When I really thought about things, the only reason why I remained in La Push was because I was a wolf. Prior to phasing for the first time, I had always made my own decisions. As soon as I found out I was a wolf, I started following the Alpha's lead like everyone else. In the process, I lost myself. What an idiot!