"No, you're not insane," said another voice. This one had the same calm tone and was also unrecognizable as well. My eyebrows crinkled in confusion.
I looked around the room once again, searching for anyone that these voices belonged to. I tried speaking but my voice came out as a strange bark. What the hell? I examined my surroundings once again. I could see my father sitting in front of me, still looking amused. The black wolf standing next to me was ready to protect my father. And then I noticed something I hadn't before, another wolf. It was standing to my right in a defensive stance. The wolf looked at me like I was the danger.
The wolf was silver and as large and muscular as the black wolf. Maybe even bigger. He bared his teeth at me when I looked at him. I growled as a warning and he growled back with the same intensity. I felt that it was best if I removed myself from this situation, I was outnumbered and I knew I couldn't win. It was the instincts again. I tried to slink away to the open front door but the silver wolf jumped in front of me. I snarled at it, lowering my head and pulling my lips over my teeth again. He did the same.
"Stop it! Both of you. We need to explain this to Amber before she hurts anyone or herself," said the first voice. I heard other voices in my head sigh in frustration. The silver wolf backed down at the command, it was as if he had heard the voice in his head too. But I refused to listen.
I took this opportunity to attack the silver wolf, letting these strange new instincts I felt take over. I jumped at him and grabbed his left shoulder with my teeth, narrowly missing his neck. He yelped and snarled at me, ripping his shoulder out of my mouth and snapping his teeth at me. I jumped out of the way easily.
"Paul, get her outside," ordered the first voice. Paul? Who the hell is Paul?
The silver wolf complied with the voice and ran through the front door. I shook the temptation from my head, I wouldn't take the bait. I turned back to my father, pulling my lips back over my teeth and growling viciously. He put his hand in front of his face as if he was trying to protect himself. But before I could do anything, something hit my side, causing me to stumble. I turned to find my attacker with bared teeth but I heard a new voice in my head.
"Amber, come and get me. I bet your scrawny ass couldn't get me even if you tried," taunted the voice in a smug tone. The silver wolf poked his head through the front door; his mouth was turned up in a smirk. It surprised me that the voice knew my name but my anger overpowered my shock.
I let out a menacing bark and shot out the front door, tackling the wolf into the front yard. We tore up the grass with sharp claws as we struggled to find purchase but ended up rolling into the woods. The wolf easily untangled itself from me and shot off into the woods like a bullet. I howled unintentionally and took off after him. The wolf was fast but I was faster, I caught up to him easily. I ran up right behind the wolf, his hind leg just in reach of my open jaws but I was shoved to the ground by a dark brown blur.
The newfound brown wolf stood over top of me in a dominant way, growling into my face with razor sharp teeth. The wolf didn't move, keeping me in my spot on the ground until the black and silver wolves emerged from the shadows of the trees.
"Damn it!" I snarled at my defeat. I stayed tense, waiting for the brown wolf's next move. The black wolf walked forward and stood above me. The brown wolf backed away, leaving me alone at the black wolf's feet.
"Amber, you need to calm down. We are trying to help you. Stop trying to attack us and we'll stop trying to attack you," said the very first voice I had heard in my head. I glared at the black wolf but remained still. "I'm Sam Uley. The leader of this pack and your alpha. We have been waiting for you to join us," said the voice. Wait, was he the black wolf? "Yes, I am the black wolf," he answered my thought, chuckling slightly.
"How can you hear what I'm thinking?" I asked, still lying on the ground in a way that made me feel vulnerable.
"The pack mind is all connected. We can see out of each other's eyes, smell out of each other's noses, hear every thought and memory. You get the point," Sam Uley answered.
"Wait, so what am I? Some sort of werewolf?" I asked.
"Yeah, pretty much," the second voice I had heard answered. The silver wolf that I had chased leaned forward from where it was sitting. There was a small wolfy smirk on his lips. I scooted away from Sam and got up, shaking all the dirt off my body before facing Sam.
"Let me introduce everyone, then we'll explain how everything works," Sam said, watching me carefully. I could feel the suspicion rolling off of him.
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna kill anyone," I reassured him, rolling my eyes and my ears twitched in the wind.
"This is Paul, the silver one who you chased. And Jared, the brown one," Sam listed, pointing to each wolf with his nose. As he went through the wolves, pictures of their human faces flipped through his mind.
"Hey," I greeted, nodding to them. I suddenly felt a little suffocated with all the voices in my head. My ear flickered to the sound of movement from Jared. I lifted my head up to face him. He walked towards me, looking into my eyes with curiosity. My eyebrow rose at him and I leaned my face away from his in obvious discomfort.
"What's up with your eyes?" he asked, still staring at me. I bared my teeth him as well as flattening my ears against my head.
"Do you see anything wrong with my eyes?" I asked, daring him to anger me. I stepped towards him to make my point and Jared stepped back in defense.
"Nope. Nothing out of the ordinary," he said quickly before walking back to his spot in the misshapen circle around me. "So touchy…" he muttered quietly but I ignored him.
"So, Amber, you are probably wondering how you became a wolf and how this whole thing works," began Sam, sounding a bit annoyed about having to explain all of this. He sat down on his haunches, facing me, and paused for me to sit down but I refused to relax. So he continued. "Your grandfather was the brother of Paul's grandfather. So you two are cousins, not siblings," he said, more to Paul than me. I could see Paul scowl. "As I was told by my grandfather, your grandfather was distant from the family. He did not want a life as a wolf and refused his duty of protecting the tribe; he stopped phasing and grew old. I can only assume he started a family since you are here with the wolf gene. Your father was his son obviously, and the wolf gene skips every other generation. So, it missed your father but now you have it. Since you are only half Quileute, you have some different traits than we have," explained Sam and my mind raced as I tried to process this.
"Like your eyes and fur," commented Paul.
"But doesn't a wolf's fur show their personality?" asked Jared, his mind running through each of the wolves' fur colors and stopping on mine with confusion.
"That's true, but she's different. Maybe her inheritance from her mother's side made her fur color the same as her hair color. Or we may just have to wait to find out her personality," mused Sam, his mind going through all of the past knowledge he had about the wolves.
I stood there a bit awkwardly, sort of torn between patient and impatient. I wanted to understand what the hell was going on but I also didn't want this, I just wanted what my life was. Sure, it was shitty but it was mine and this whole wolf thing wasn't.
"So, Amber, since you are new and have the most energy out of all of us, you get to have the first patrol in the morning with Paul. He will show you the ropes. I expect you to be up bright and early by three o'clock," said Sam, turning away from me to finalize his order.
"Three o'clock in the morning? Are you crazy? On patrol for what?" I asked, my ears flickering in agitation.
"For vampires," he responded, looking back at me before turning to Paul and Jared to give them orders.
What? Vampires? Vampires aren't real, that's impossible.
"News flash, this just in. Vampires are real and are attacking. I repeat, attacking. Luckily, the wolves of La Push are here to save the day. We can rely on them to keep the humans safe," said Jared in a faux news reporter voice.
I growled at him when he mocked me. This made him shy away from me.
"Don't tease her, Jared. She's new and she doesn't know what's going on," said Paul, backing me up. "Hey, Sam. Have any idea when the almighty Chief Black is going to show up?" said Paul, his voice sarcastic when he said "Chief Black." My expression showed confusion so Sam explained.
"Jacob Black is expected in the pack soon. He is supposed to be the alpha but since he isn't here and I'm the beta, I am the next wolf to become alpha," he explained, showing me Jacob's face in his mind. He looked somewhat familiar. "Well, I'm going back to Emily's. Jared, you're on patrol. Paul, answer any questions Amber has," he ordered before running off. He seemed to fade out of my mind after I saw a view of a house in the woods through his eyes. Jared also ran off into the woods but he wasn't going to any place in particular.
"Emily is Sam's imprint," said Paul, pulling up a picture of Emily's scarred face.
"What happened? What are imprints?" I asked, my head tilting to the side.
"Sam went ape shit on her one day. She was too close and he clawed her. The excuse is that she got mauled by a bear," said Paul, showing me the wounds when they were healing and Sam's face twisted in pain.
"Imprints are sort of like soul mates, but stronger," said Jared, trying to explain it to me. He conjured up an image that showed me what Sam's mind was like after he imprinted. "It's like she's the only one who holds you to the Earth. Everything else doesn't matter; you would be anything for her. Whether that's a lover, brother, or friend. Or in your case, he...I guess...unless you don't swing that way…" he added a bit awkwardly.
I am not imprinting. That's not going to happen. I will not be attached to some guy like that. I want to be free of feeling anything for someone. Not stuck with some weak boy who slows me down. I felt a grumble of discontent in my chest as I thought about it. I shook my head to get rid of the disgust.
"You can't control it," Jared said, his mind flashed a picture of a cute, brown-haired girl who looked to be about our age. "Once you look into her eyes, everything changes. Fate has already decided. That person is the best one for you to carry on the wolf gene. But I never really thought about how it works with girls. Since you probably can't have kids anymore," he said, blushing a bit in his mind.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"You stopped growing. Well, kind of. You stopped aging," explained Paul and I blinked.
"So, I'm assuming you can't have children. And since the guy can't have a baby, that leaves you with no child to pass on the gene," said Jared. I sat in silence for a moment, processing what that meant. Sure, it would've been nice to have a small, red-haired child following in my footsteps but it didn't matter to me much.
"Who is she?" I asked, meaning the brown-haired girl Jared had showed me earlier. Jared's mind showed the girl again and the picture dripped with love and adoration. I wrinkled my nose in disgust.
"Kim. I met her earlier this year, she went to school with me before I had to drop out," he said, sighing as he pulled up a bunch of different pictures of her. I rolled my eyes and moved onto another topic.
"So, what's up with the whole vampire thing?" I asked, still confused about their existence.
"Well, you have to wait till the next bonfire to hear the stories but we can tell you the facts. Vampires aren't the ones you're imagining. They're pale, strong, don't sleep, and smell terrible," explained Paul, images appearing at the speed of light as he thought of all the traits. "Bloodsuckers, leeches, red eyes," he spat.
"Not the Cullens…" said Jared in a small voice.
"Cullens?" I questioned, my mind eye scanning the wolves for an explanation.
"We made a treaty with them a long time ago. They agreed not to kill anyone and we would stay off their land and they stay off ours. They don't drink human blood, only animal blood. Their eyes are yellow instead. They try to live like civilized people," answered Paul, showing me pictures of the seven Cullens. They were all beautiful and had yellow eyes. Their skin was white as snow and didn't look that intimidating.
"So, no patrol in Forks, only La Push," said Jared, his eyes seeing a little family of deer sprint off into the distance.
"Got it," I answered, my mind going through their faces again. I watched in disgust before getting rid of the images. Just the sight of them was enough to raise the hair on my neck.
I spent the rest of the night listening to the endless rules and limits. No fighting, listen to the alpha, be on time, show up for patrol, no backtalk; it never ended. I sat there rolling my eyes endlessly.
"Are you even listening?" asked Paul, huffing in frustration.
"Of course not, why would I?" I snorted, my mouth curling up into a half smirk. Paul scoffed and prepared to answer but a voice interrupted him.
"Because, Amber, rules are very important in this pack. Without them, you could be in serious danger or someone could get hurt," said Sam. I didn't even notice him joining us. I scowled at his words but didn't say anything back. "Go home, Amber. You need to be up early for tomorrow's patrol," ordered Sam and I sighed in annoyance before taking off into the forest, enjoying the isolation. Physically, that is.
I could feel the dirt squish between my toes as I dug my paws into the soft, damp ground. The wind whistled through my fur as I flew through the forest effortlessly. I appeared before my house in what seemed like a matter of seconds. Had I run that fast?
"Amber, to phase back, you need to bring the heat of the wolf back into your core. And when you phase into a wolf, you need to spread the heat out," explained Sam, looking through my eyes at my house.
I closed my eyes and focused on pulling the heat back in. I could feel it leaving my paws and slowly from my legs. The feel of cool air swept across my skin in a way that it didn't when I was a wolf and I opened my eyes. I looked at my hands to see fingers and my feet to see toes but then I realized I was completely naked. My ears picked up on a sound and I turned to see Paul in human form walk through the trees. I jumped in surprise and tried to cover myself.
"Oh, right, sorry!" exclaimed Paul, covering his eyes abruptly. "Here, take these. They're Emily's," he said, holding out a pair of shorts and a tank top. "You might want to scatter some of your own clothes around the woods just in case you need them. And don't forget to take off your clothes before you phase. That sounds really weird but if you don't, those clothes are just shreds. We keep a string attached to our ankles to tie our clothes to. Here's one, you'll need it," he said, holding out a string as well. I gave him a suspicious look, making sure he was covering his eyes before slowly walking over to grab the clothes.
"Thanks," was all I said before slipping on the clothes. They were a little small but it was better than nothing. When I was done, Paul had already gone. I tied the string around my ankle and stepped out of the trees.
I walked to my house and opened the front door; well, I only needed to push it lightly for it to swing open since it was hanging off the hinges. The house was a complete mess. The floor was dented with big claw marks, picture frames were shattered on the floor, plants were knocked over, the couch was out of place, doors were wide open. It looked like a tycoon had flown through the house.
"So, you finally came back," said my father and I turned my head to see him walk into the living room from the kitchen. He seemed a little hungover but he was still sober enough to function. He saw my awed expression and gave me an annoyed look. "Yeah, you did all of this. Now, clean it up."
"No. I've had enough with the orders. I'm not cleaning up anything. Why should I do anything nice for you when you treat me like shit?" I snarled, remembering our previous conversation. My fingers began to shake. I could feel the heat from my chest leaking out and I struggled to pull it back in. Controlling my anger suddenly seemed a lot harder.
My father opened his mouth to say something back to me but my mother walked in the front door with her arms full of grocery bags. She looked around the house with wide eyes and screamed. The bags full of food in her hands fell to the floor and the food spilled out across the already destroyed floorboards.
"What happened?" she yelled, sounding almost hysteric while she gazed around the house. I looked at my father and gave him a shake of my head. My eyes told him not to tell my mother about the wolves. Paul had said that keeping the secret was one of the most important rules.
"We were attacked. I'm guessing it was wolves," said my father, lying smoothly. I was a little surprised that he had actually listened to me. "Amber came home before me and the house was already like this."
"We have to call animal control," said my mother desperately. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms but stayed silent.
"What's that going to do? They're already gone, there is no way animal control can catch them now," argued my father, blocking her from the phone. I could already feel the tension building between them.
"Just to be safe. I don't want anyone getting hurt," said my mother, trying to step around my father to get the phone.
"No, that's just unreasonable," said my father, crossing his arms while still blocking the phone. They argued like that for a couple minutes before I couldn't take it.
"I can't do this anymore," I growled under my breath, trying to control my growing heat.
I stormed upstairs to my room and slammed the door shut. I grabbed a duffel bag from my closet and started throwing clothes into it. I didn't even pay attention to what I was grabbing. I did go through my drawers to find some necessary things like my weed and cigarettes. I changed into some more comfortable clothes that fit me before zipping up the bag and walked towards my door, pausing in the entrance.
I took one last look around my room, not quite sure when I would see it again before walking out. I ran down the stairs and found my gym bag that was slightly ripped on the ground. I snatched it and quickly walked to the front door, past my still arguing parents.
"Where do you think you're going?" asked my mother, her voice a bit scratchy from yelling. I didn't answer while I grabbed my jacket from the coat rack and slipped on my shoes.
"Amber!" yelled my father angrily. I turned to them with my hand on the front door knob, I could feel the metal denting slightly under the pressure I put on it.
"I'm leaving," I answered coldly before I walked out the front door into the dark night and slammed it shut behind me. I ran to my truck and hopped in a fast as I could. I saw the now familiar bright eyes through the trees before they knew that I saw them. I ignored them and whipped my truck out of the driveway.
I didn't know where I was going but I hoped that it would be far from here.