Chapter 1 - Prolegomenon

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight but I do own this story and any of my original characters

Amber's POV

I sat silently on my small bed with my legs hanging over the side. My hands fidgeted in my lap. I listened to my parents scream their lungs out at each other, their words clear even through a closed door and multiple walls. It was unbelievable that they had stayed together for so long, a miracle actually. It's not that I cared about their relationship; I had realized that a long time ago. It meant nothing to me. I figured out that they hated me and that I didn't matter to them. So why should I care about their lives?

An annoyed groan escaped my mouth as the arguing got louder and I flopped down onto my side. Why do they have to fight so much? It didn't make anything better, if anything, it made the situation worse. I heard the front door slam shut suddenly and the sound of a car engine roaring to life. It was probably my mother leaving; she never had the guts to face my father. A coward, that's what she was.

The silence rang in my ears as the house stilled, almost as if it was an old dog settling down onto its bed. The silence was almost immediately interrupted when I heard a crash and the sound of glass shattering across the floor. Mom was definitely the one who left, I thought to myself.

I figured it was time to eat dinner and that it was safe enough to go downstairs. I pulled my fingers through my long, auburn locks as I left my room, unknotting them as I went. I continued to do this as I crept down the stairs. I saw my father seething on the couch. Broken glass was scattered across the wooden floor in front of him. Beer bottles. I just rolled my eyes at the mess I would have to clean up and headed into the kitchen.

"Did you make any dinner?" I questioned from the kitchen, rummaging through the nearly empty fridge. I heard no response and huffed. Why did he have to be so difficult? He couldn't answer a simple question just because his wife left the house? I stomped my way into the living room to see him in the same spot he was before. His fists were balled and he was glaring at the floor.

"I said...did you make any dinner?" I repeated, my voice low and aggravated. I stared at him with narrowed eyes, the left one green and the right one black. My father's head snapped up at me, his dark glare attempting to overcome mine but I refused to back down. I never back down.

"Don't talk to me that way, you bitch. I don't need to take care of you. You're what, twelve now? You retarded or somethin'? Make your own damn dinner," he growled, his glare intensifying and his black eyes showed the rage that was boiling inside. My own temper flared up inside me, my fists clenching and my fingernails digging into my palms. How similar we are!

"I'm eighteen, actually. I can't believe how immature you get. I was just asking you a fucking question! You don't need to get so angry at me just because Mom hates you," I shot back, taking a step forward to prove I wasn't scared of him. I crossed my arms over my chest as well.

"Just shut up and get out of my sight. I don't want to hear your fucking mouth running," my dad said, giving up the fight with me. He reached for the TV remote and turned it on, settling into the cushions of the couch. He didn't even glance at me a second time.

I didn't waste any more of my time on him and quickly walked back to the kitchen. I began to look through the cabinets for something edible. Mom hasn't gone to the grocery store in a couple of weeks, great. I would go to the supermarket every once in a while but I always got Pop Tarts or a bag of Doritos that was gone in less than a day. I dug past some rotten things and found a box of macaroni and cheese. It was Kraft and I could easily heat it up over the stove. I got some water boiling and poured in the stale noodles into the pot of water. I absentmindedly stirred the pot and let my mind water.

It was Sunday, which meant tomorrow was Monday. Which meant another day in Hell. I hated school; teachers order you around, you have to deal with idiots that won't leave you alone, you learn pointless shit, and it's just a waste of time. I'm often alone when I'm at school; I don't have any friends. I don't really like the whole "friendship" deal. You get emotional around that person and you have to deal with their emotions and worry about what they think of you. It's just annoying. So I just avoid it. I enjoy the loneliness, it keeps me strong and I learned that being vulnerable is the worst thing you can be. Emotion makes you weak and the person you trust could turn their back on you in the blink of an eye. Nobody is allowed to hurt me.

Life for me has gone spectacular so far. I've been as low as being molested by my own father when I was young. I've been through eating disorders and overdoses. I've been through alcohol poisonings and court dates. I've been through bullying, self-harm, and multiple abortions. I've seen it all. I've even been through letting my guard down to my first love. I lost my weakness and my virginity while he gained the satisfaction of humiliating me. I was eleven at the time. All of that bullshit helped me maintain this hard shell that nothing can break through.

The shell has its cracks of course, the darkness still slips through every once in a while. But not nearly as much as it used to. I am unbreakable, I remind myself.

My dad was born on the Quileute Reservation; where we live now. He had all the features of a Quileute: the black hair, the dark skin, the dark eyes. My mother was from Oregon and she moved here for him. Quite a big devotion for someone you can't stand to be around anymore. My mom is the one who has the auburn hair and the green eyes. People claimed I was a perfect mix of the two of them. I had my father's temper, my mother's looks, and I had both of their eyes. Literally. Having two different colored eyes was a curse to the already strange, white girl in a Native American Reservation. Some of the boys thought it would be funny to go as far as calling me gringa. As far as I knew, I had no other relatives; my parents never really talked to me about that stuff or let me meet them.

My parents started fighting since I can remember and haven't stopped. When I was younger, I would always cower in my room; hiding from their yelling as if my blankets could protect me. I sneered at the stove, thinking about how spineless I used to be.

I learned how to fight after I watched two guys go at each other after school one day. I must have been thirteen at the time. It fascinated me and I wanted to learn. I joined the one and only boxing gym in La Push; it surprised me that there was even one around. But I practiced all the tricks and techniques until I perfected them. Usually, I fight illegally for money. It's a dangerous game but I usually win. Plus, it helps me unleash my anger I have towards my family. If you can even call it a family… It's more of a way to de-stress rather than a hobby. And it's the only way for me to get money; I wouldn't be able to get a job if I tried around here. I don't have a particularly flawless attendance record nor the best reputation in La Push.

The strange smell of cooked noodles wafted up to my nose and I pulled a noodle from the pot. I chewed it slowly, making sure that it was cooked all the way before turning off the stove. I grabbed a bowl from the dishwasher and dumped the entire pot of macaroni into it. I was being very strange lately; I was way hungrier than usual which annoyed me since I wanted to stay in shape as well as maintain my weight. The steam rushed up towards my face from the disturbance of the noodles and I breathed it in, liking how the hot steam felt against my skin.

After dumping in the packet of powdered cheese, I stirred the macaroni and took a seat at the kitchen table. I surprised myself with how fast the entire pot of macaroni was devoured and how I felt that I could still eat more. I just ignored the strange appetite, blaming it on an odd growth spurt. I peered out the window above the sink as I scrubbed the cheese off my bowl. It wasn't too dark yet since summer was drawing near. I decided that I would go for a quick round at the gym before going to bed. It was a school night and a pile of homework was sitting untouched in my backpack but whatever.

I finished cleaning the dishes and jogged upstairs. My dad was still watching TV and my mom was still gone; which was good because they always criticized my "obsession" with fighting. I walked into my room and rummaged through the mess on the ground in search of my gym bag. My workout clothes were always kept in there along with everything I needed to fight with. I found the bag and wrinkled my eyebrows at a brown paper bag sitting in one of the pockets. I pulled it out and realized it was the weed I had bought yesterday. I hid it under my pillow before checking to see if a pack of cigarettes was still in the bag. My black tank top and red shorts quickly replaced my clothes from today.

I tied my hair into a ponytail before checking my reflection in the mirror on the wall. I stared at my strangely colored eyes for a moment, blinking, and then turning away. With my gym bag in on my shoulder, I jogged down the stairs. I stepped into my Converse at the front door and just as I reached for the doorknob, a voice stopped me.

"Amber, where the hell do you think you're going?" my dad asked, not taking his eyes off the television. I narrowed my eyes at him even though he hadn't bothered to look at me.

"Out." My voice was cold and emotionless. I ripped open the front door and slipped outside before he could reply.

My mom's car was still not parked in the driveway. I wondered if she was even coming home tonight. Sometimes she would just stay at a motel for the night or come running back home, crying in my father's arms for forgiveness. Whatever, doesn't matter to me. I took the keys out of my gym bag and unlocked my car. It was a big, old, black pickup truck and I loved it. I had gotten it cheap from some crazy old man that lived way out in the woods. I hopped in the front seat and plopped the gym bag down in the passenger seat.

As I pulled out of the driveway, my fingers drummed impatiently on the steering wheel in anticipation of being able to get back into the familiar air of the gym again. It wasn't my first time going to the gym today; I had gone in the morning but I couldn't stay away. The feeling I got when I fought was unparalleled. I drove past the isolated houses of La Push and the overgrown forest as I neared the gym, everything passing by at a comfortable pace.

Even though night was coming, it was still light out and something caught my eye in the shadows of the dense forest. I whipped my head to the side to see a pair of seemingly glowing eyes peering at me through the trees. I stared at the golden orbs for less than a second before they were gone. The flash of a brown colored blob disappeared into the forest. What the hell was that? I stared at the forest some more, searching for a sign for any other animals. But I found nothing. What sort of animal was that?

Soon enough, I pulled into the parking lot of the gym and quickly pulled the keys out of the ignition. I stuffed them into my bag and nearly sprinted to the gym door. But when I tugged on the handle, I found that it was locked. I knew that the owner, Joe, stayed until nine so I just knocked loudly on the glass door. The words Joe's Gym were fading on the glass.

I felt eyes on me and whipped my head around to see who it was. I saw no one but when I peered closer at the forest, I could swear I saw a couple pairs of eyes that reflected the light of the orange sunset. My eyebrows scrunched together as I strained to get a better look but the sound of the door unlocking pulled my attention away.

"There's my superstar," Joe greeted, a large grin on his round face. He was probably the closest thing to a father I had. I told him everything about me except for a few major things. I had to keep my secrets. Joe's been teaching me since I was thirteen. He happened to find me bruised and battered on the sidewalk after I tried to beat up some girl. It wasn't very successful. He offered to teach me and my training has been going on ever since.

"Hey, Joe. Mind if I stay for a bit?" I asked, already stepping inside. Joe stood aside, letting me in with a soft smile. I always enjoyed his smiles, his tan skin always wrinkled around his eyes.

"Of course you can. But Amber, you know what I've been saying. You always train too much. You need a break every once in a while." He was teasing but there was worry in his voice.

"Joe, you've been saying that for the past four years," I replied, a crooked smirk on my lips. Joe shut the door behind me and locked it again.

"I know, I know. But you know…"

"It's fine, Joe. Don't worry," I said. We had this conversation nearly every day when I spent excessive amounts of time in the gym. It's not that I particularly needed the training though, I was great at fighting. It was just a way to clear my mind and to help me get better. You can always be better...

Joe knew that I fought illegally and that I needed to prepare for those fights. But he never came to watch me in fear of the police finding out and shutting down the gym. I knew that was a lie. He just didn't want to come see me get hurt. I never pushed him though.

Without another word between us, I strode off to the girls' locker room. My gloves were already on my hands by the time I had reached the entrance. The gloves I wore for the type of fighting I did were just skin tight ones. They exposed half of your fingers but covered the rest of your hand with a slight padding over the knuckles. I did not box and the goal of illegal fighting was to spill as much blood as possible.

Then I kicked my shoes off and pulled on my boxing ones. They were made special for the mat and were only to be worn on the mat. The shoes were required for the illegal matches as to have a fair chance. I put my other shoes in my bag and threw the bag into the nearest open locker, not bothering to shut it or lock it. No one else was around anyway.

I cracked my knuckles as I walked to one of the punching bags hanging from the ceiling. I knew I should stretch first but decided against it and began punching away at the sandbag. I went through all my different combinations multiple times until I was drenched in sweat. I needed to get a drink.

My breathing was heavy which made it harder for me to drink out of the small stream of water coming out of the fountain. Water dripped down my chin and chest but I didn't bother wiping it away. When my throat wasn't dry anymore, I sighed―feeling better about releasing some stress―but I wasn't even close to done yet.

I rolled my wrists around before putting my fists up in front of my face again. I wiped my side bangs out of my face and left them cemented to my cheeks with sweat. Sounds of my fists making impact with the heavy sand-filled bag and my grunts sounded through the empty gym for about ten more minutes until I noticed something strange. I saw a little tear in the punching bag where I had been hitting it seconds earlier and the sand was starting to leak out. My forehead creased and I ran to go get duct tape.

This was strange. This had never happened before. Maybe the bag was just getting old. Maybe it was a little too worn.

I made sure that the hole was patched up nicely before getting back to my combinations. The sound of the front door opening reached my ears and my eyebrows crinkled in confusion. No one ever came in this late except for me. This person must've had keys too. I paused in my relentless punching to look at who entered the gym.

A slight gasp escaped my open mouth as the man's black eyes probed me. It was the same man who I had seen three times earlier this week. He was always around the corner or in the same store as me. He would even be on the streets, hanging around the sidewalk. But he was always watching me with a strange look in his eyes. Like he was waiting for me. But waiting for what?

It wasn't just the man who watched me; there were two others who often seemed to follow me around with the same look in their eyes. All three of them looked the same: short, black hair (abnormal of Quileute tradition), toned, muscled skin, abnormally large builds, clothes that were strange for the weather of La Push, and the same tattoo on their bicep. It was like a cult or something and it was freaking me out.

The man didn't look surprised to see me. He seemed to have known I was here the whole time. He just continued to stare at me with that strange look in his eyes that sent chills down my spine. He kept walking, never faltering in his step as he went from the front door to Joe's office.

I watched him as he rapped his knuckles twice on Joe's door before entering; he gave me one last glance before disappearing behind the door. My eyes were still wide and my mouth still slightly agape. How the hell did he manage to find me here at this time? This was my sanctuary and now those stalkers have invaded that too. I sighed, glancing at the closed door one last time before grabbing a towel to wipe my face. I headed towards the locker room, deciding to take a shower.

I wanted to spend as much time here as I could before going back to that hell of a mess at home. I turned the water to a scalding temperature and shed my sweat-soaked clothes. Before the coolness of the air could reach me, I hopped in and let the hot water cascade down my aching muscles. I ignored the pain from my protesting skin and refused to lower the temperature of the water. The water soothed the burn on the inside and I almost drifted off but I forced my eyes to remain open.

When I had finished scrubbing my skin with a bar of soap and taking extra time to rinse out all the suds in my thick hair, I dried myself off with a towel. The towels at the gym were old and rough but it was like home. Steam lingered in the showers, making me feel sticky and like I was suffocating so I quickly exited the area. I changed into a different tank top and shorts and threw my wet hair into a messy bun. It was strange...I hadn't felt cold at all lately. I stuffed my boxing shoes and sweaty clothes into my gym bag and zipped it up before slinging it over my shoulder. I snatched a cigarette out of my bag as I dropped my dirty towels off in the bin.

I put the cigarette in my mouth while I searched for a lighter. I found it as soon as I passed Joe's office and my gait faltered slightly. I glanced at the door where I knew that man still was. Suddenly, the closed curtains to Joe's office window opened to reveal Joe waving.

"Bye, Amber! See you tomorrow!" he called, his voice slightly muffled. I waved quickly once, half-smiling with the cigarette still in my mouth. But my smile faltered when I spotted the man staring at me through the window as well. I shifted my eyes away uncomfortably before quickly walking for the door.

Once I stepped outside into the cooled, spring air, I lit the cigarette. The craving was immediately subsided when the cancerous smoke filled my lungs. Joe had a rule about smoking in the gym and I knew I needed to respect the old man's wish.

I swore I could feel eyes on me as I walked to my truck but I saw nothing in the darkness of the night. I tried to shake the feeling as I got into my truck but I couldn't. I just inhaled as much smoke as I could and braced myself for the chaos at home.

Third Person POV

Sam walked out of the gym just in time to see the taillights of Amber's truck speeding off down the road. Within a few seconds, Sam was back in his wolf form with Paul and Jared joining him in a clearing that was spacious enough to fit three large wolves. Sam and Jared were sitting calmly on their haunches, watching Paul as he paced quietly. Their minds were buzzing, exchanging information about Amber's past and other things.

"So, is she the next one?" Paul asked, referring to if Amber was going to be the next wolf. Sam was keeping a list of who could possibly phase, he wanted to be ready to welcome the new wolves but it seemed to be getting harder and harder with the growing amount of candidates.

The person at the top of the list was Amber Lahote. Her last name was what made Sam suspicious about her heritage but when he looked further into who she was, she looked nothing like a Quileute. She had long, auburn hair that resembled nothing of the usual pitch color of a Quileute's. She had pale skin that seemed to glow against the tanned skin of the Quileute's around her, making her stand out even further. Her eyes were probably what threw him off the most and make him keep tabs on her. One was pale green; it matched her other features, but the other eye was black. Just like a Quileute's. Sam asked Paul about her since they shared the same last name but he knew nothing about her.

Sam then had to take into consideration that she might be adopted or she could have married someone with the last name Lahote. But Paul didn't know of anyone else with the last name Lahote. His family was dead except for his father. They had also never had a shewolf before. It left them scratching their heads but Sam made sure to keep an eye on her. There was still a possibility of her turning.

"I'm pretty sure. I could smell wolf but...it doesn't seem right," Sam mused, flipping through all the information he knew about Amber so far. Paul was the most restless out of all of them. He didn't know much about his family and he had his mind set on thinking that Amber was his sister. Sam and Jared felt pity for him; he seemed so desperate for family other than his father. Though Sam and Jared tried to his brothers, it wasn't the same.

"She doesn't look right! Her skin is pale and her hair is red. She's a fucking ginger for crying out loud! She doesn't seem to be Quileute," Jared exclaimed, shaking his head as he pictured Amber's face. They both looked to Sam for an answer, their minds inquiring their question. But Sam just stared at the ground with a thoughtful expression.

"We can't be sure about anything. We will continue watching her as we have with the others. We must be prepared for anything," Sam declared and the younger wolves nodded in agreement. "Run the perimeter one more time. When you're done, Emily made steak," Sam said and he could practically see the drool dripping from the two boys' mouths.

He smiled softly as he watched the two wolves disappear into the brush as brown and silver blurs. They were eager to get to Emily's house and Sam was sure they'd be done running the patrol in no time. He shook his head at them before trotting off in the direction of his imprint.

Translations:

Gringa: Spanish for "white girl" or "white foreigner"