"No matter what you do, someone always knew you would,"
Ami McKay, The Birth House
The brown kitten (whom I had named Zahra) was lying on her back, trying her best to catch the shoelace I was swinging back and forth in the air.
"Wha's t'is?" I jumped but realized it was just my mother. "What are you doing home so early?" I smiled as I hugged my mother.
"I'm not sure I'm well." She sighed, giving me a knowing look. I nodded glumly and patted her back.
"I made tea. I'll serve you a cup." "Thanks, dearie. But who's t'is young fellow?" My mother picked up Zahra and smoothed her wild fur back.
"She's a cutie!" My mother exclaimed as Zahra purred and rubbed her head contently against my mother's hand. "I found her outside." I chuckled.
"She might 'ave fleas like!" My mother's eyes went wide for a moment before she shrugged, "Oh well, we'll just take her t' a vet o' somet'in'."
"Ye di'n't end up goin' to work after all hi?" Mum asked as she stood up and helped me get down the tea cups in the high cupboard.
"Who brought ye home too, hmm?" My mum raised her blonde eyebrow. "Paul Lahote." I muttered, turning away as I poured the hot water into the tea cup, keeping my hands steady.
"Is tha' a friend o' tha' Uley family?" She scrunched her nose. I nodded, silently handing her the teacup. She gave a strange grin as she accepted the teacup. "What's that look?" I demanded, feeling my cheeks heat up.
"Oh, nothin'!" Mum blinked innocently but grinned again as she took a sip of her tea. "Mum!" I groaned.
"Was he good t' ye?" She asked a bit more seriously. I grimaced but felt an amused smile come up to my lips as I thought of the angry yet amusing expressions that would grace his face as he spoke.
"He's okay." I nodded. "Good." She nodded firmly. "I think we shoul' keep her." My mother nodded to Zahra, who was shakily making her way towards the kitchen.
"I think she came to me, mum." I confessed in a murmur. My mother's hazel eyes snapped up to meet mine but she nodded in understanding.
"Ye'll be fine, sleeven." She nodded.
"And you, mum?" I asked in a scared whisper.
"Why, I will be fine too, ye auld tattyboggle!"
The day was pretty quiet afterwards. Mum went to her bedroom to rest, and I was upstairs in my room with Zahra.
"'Being the invisible, most hurtful hosts. Yet the first words mine infancy did hear, the thing which my dumbness did appear'…" I quoted Thomas Traherne as I gently played with Zahra's little clear whiskers.
We both stiffened when we heard a wolf howl.
"Don't worry, Zahra. There are wolves all over La Push but I won't let them hurt you at all." I assured her, cuddling her closer to me.
The wolves continued, and I was surprised they were out at this hour. It was hardly even three o'clock yet.
I thought of the grey/silver wolf, his intelligent eyes reminding me so much of Paul.
"I hope he's okay." I murmured to Zahra, feeling a small smile come to my lips as I remembered Paul's fierce glares and amusing expressions, kissing Zahra's little head while she pawed at my loose hair.
She trembled again when a wolf howled close to the house. I rubbed her chin, remembering how the silver/grey wolf hadn't attacked me.
"We'll be okay."
Frickin' Atlöe just couldn't seem to grasp the idea that I didn't need or want his advice on girls or on anything.
Although he was annoying, I was relieved that I wasn't alone at the garage. His annoying voice helped me keep my mind away from Briella.
"I see that strange focused-slash-dreamy look on your face, Paul." Atöe taunted again from across the garage.
"Shut up." I groused angrily, but I knew he was right. Somehow the wolf seemed to always bring up Briella to my mind.
"Why don't you just ask her out or something? Get it over with, ya know?" "Because I don't even know her." I snapped, not wanting to talk to him but knowing I wouldn't be able to help but retort back to him.
"Well, then get to fucking know her!' Atlöe exclaimed his eyes wide as if though he were suggesting the simplest solution. "Maybe I don't want to?" I challenged.
Atlöe turned to look at me then, his eyes wide in shock before he burst out laughing.
I simply glared at him with a bored expression, waiting patiently for him to stop laughing. But he never seemed to finish.
Soon, he was rolling on the ground, his jeans and hands filthy with grease and oil. "You'll have to mop the floor when you get back up." I warned.
He got up then, but his laughter continued. "Aw, man. Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh so much but I couldn't help it." He chuckled three minutes later, wiping the tears away from his eyes.
"You're fuckin' Paul Lahote, dude! Since when do you not want to get to know a girl that invades your thoughts every, what, like five seconds that I turn to look at you?" The bastard quirked his eyebrows in that annoying way of his.
I simply ignored him, keeping my eyes on polishing the wheel-rims but he pointed a screw-driver at me, "You're quiet 'cos you know I'm right!"
"I'm quiet 'cos I want you to shut the fuck up!"
"Ooh, someone's on their period!"
I growled, beginning to stand but he pretended to shake in fear, "Oh, no! Is Pauly gonna come and threaten to knock my teeth out of fucking head? Oh no, but he also might throttle me and wrinkle my best T-shirt and threaten to knock the breath out of my fucking lungs!" he squealed mockingly in a falsetto voice.
I began to shake then. Atlöe glanced down wearily at my shaking fists. He knew when I began to shake I was in a different level of anger.
"Okay, Paul, I was just joking. I didn't mean to insult your pride or macho ego. No need to be so emotional all the time, okay? Just take in deep breaths, man."
What I hated the most about Atlöe was that he was probably the only one who could really get me to calm down. Him being a human and being clueless about the legends of La Push, I had to be discrete and so much more careful around him.
He always attempted to soothe me after riling me up, but I always found it unfair; like stabbing someone and telling them not to bleed.
"You're a fucking prick, you know that?" I growled between my teeth but sat back down.
"Yeah, it's true." He sighed forlornly but brightened up quickly in that annoying way of his. "But don't worry, man! You'll get that woman soon. You just gotta loosen up a bit. You're so fucking serious all the time!"
"Thanks for the tip." I said sarcastically but he failed to notice and simply nodded, beaming.
It was around four o'clock, when I arrived home, that I received a call from Abira.
"WAZZAP?" Her cheerful voice boomed through the speaker of the phone.
I laughed, having to hold the phone away from ear to keep my eardrum from exploding.
"Hey, Abi! What d'you need?" I asked. "Just wanted to know how you're doing, of course!" She laughed, "Nah, seriously, I hadn't heard for you in about, what, two days? I dunno, but I just wanted to check in on you."
"I'm okay." I shrugged, lying on my couch, stretching my legs. "What's up with you?"
No matter how small or awkward the conversations I had with Abira were, I always enjoyed them. They managed to relieve me of such stress and worries.
"Ugh, fucking work, that's what's up!" "Mr. Asshole still giving you a hard time, huh?" I chuckled.
Her boss, Mr. Acossta (a.k.a Mr. A, or Mr. Asshole) wasn't a quitter when it came to hitting on pretty girls in the company. He constantly called her up to his office for a 'meeting' only to end up asking her out.
"Yeah, and like, yesterday he set up a meeting for all of us assistants and manager's assistants to meet up and apparently all others had to cancel so I ended up being the only one there!" Abira paused for effect before adding, "He did the same fucking thing with Candace and Brittney yesterday and the day before!"
"What a prick!" I gasped sarcastically just to humor her but she either ignored it or never noticed it.
"I know, right? Gosh, it's like some guys just don't know when to quit! I bet you a million dollars he was dropped as a baby."
"Pfft, you don't have a million dollars!" I reminded her. "Well, if I had any, I would fucking bet it all on that." Abira said stubbornly.
"Fine, whatever, it's your hypothetical money so it's yours to spend as you wish." I shrugged. "Thanks!" She giggled.
"Are you okay?" She asked a bit more seriously after a little silence.
"What do you mean?" I frowned although the wolf's quiet and uncomfortable growls were enough to remind me what had been in my mind all day since the day I went to that fucking nursery to pick up Ava.
"Like, you seem like so down or focused on something. What's pressing your mind?"
"Nothing much." I sighed.
"Oh, c'mon, Paul! We've been friends since like, what, third grade?"
"Fifth grade, actually." I corrected her.
"Oh, okay so since the fucking fifth grade, whatever, but we're like fucking friends, Paul! We're fucking buddies, and fucking buddies fucking tell each other about all this fucking confusing shit!" Abira persisted.
"You cuss like your mother." I stated sourly. "Whatever." She sighed exasperatedly.
"If I try and guess, will you tell me?"
"Maybe." I nodded.
"Okay, I got this!" She chirped in that hyper tone of hers, I could practically picture her popping her knuckles and tensing her shoulders as she always did when it came to guessing games.
"Let's see…uh, is it a girl?" "Maybe."
"Aha! So it is a girl, isn't it?" "I said 'maybe'." I scowled. "You're a sore loser, Paul!" She snickered.
"Well, what's going on with her? Are you trying to fuck her?" She asked.
Despite us being friends with benefits, we always spoke to each other about who slept or wanted to sleep with.
It might sound strange but that's how much of good friends we were.
"Not exactly…" I hesitated. Abira simply waited patiently on the other line, I could hear her breathing.
I knew that imprinting on Briella meant having to be committed, I mean, that's what imprinting is: finding your soul mate.
Perhaps Abira wouldn't want to continue being my friend after I (or if I ever) began to date Briella.
We stayed quiet for a while, although honestly, I was feeling better. Her foul mouth was what really brought a lot more charisma to her personality.
"Okay, fine, you win this one!" She sighed loudly, I could practically picture her throwing her hands up in that way she always did when she surrendered.
"You don't have to tell me what it is, but at least let me know you're alright!"
"I'll be better than alright soon." I assured her. "Well, that's music to my ears!" She laughed then.
Every time Abira laughed when we were talking through the phone, I always had to hold the phone away from my ear. Her loud laugh was enough to pop anyone's ear drum.
"Ohmigosh, now that we're talkin' 'bout music, I have to tell you about this guy I met at the club on Friday!" She gasped as if it were vital that I hear her story.
I rolled my eyes but listened because listening about her 'adventures' was like a TV episode that you never want to miss.
By the end of the conversation, which lasted three hours, I felt much better and although we didn't talk about the topic pressing my mind, I felt more relaxed and peaceful.
The wolf's consistent growls quieted so that soon we were both pensive.
I fell asleep, and my dreams were filled with entrancing strange pools of green and with the sound of a beautiful melodious accent.
Third- Person POV
"Why must you torment me so?" Briella asked in a groan as she picked up a whining baby Jenna..
It was nap time for the babies, and Briella was falling asleep on her seat.
All these strange dreams of wolves kept her up all night, she even went to Christina's bedroom to try and sleep. Christina's soft snores never failed to make Briella doze off but last night was different for Briella.
She kissed baby Jenna's head as the baby leaned her forehead on Briella's shoulder, sighing tiredly. "Wee darlin', you know you can't sleep in my arms! You have to learn how to sleep on your own." Briella sighed, rolling her eyes but smiled as she patted baby Jenna's small back.
"You can just bottle-feed her, she'll fall right to sleep!" Mrs. Jay smiled fondly at the scene before her as she entered the nursery. "I think I'll try that." Briella frowned in concentration as her tiny arms struggled to shift the chubby baby from one arm to the other.
Mr. Catori and Julie were with the bigger kids in the Art classroom, they were cutting papers into the shapes of turkeys for the upcoming Thanksgiving.
It seemed as if though Julie were avoiding Briella, making her feel strangely hurt and alone.
What Briella didn't know was that, somehow, the news of Paul finding Briella had reached Mrs. Jay's ears through Emily and Kim and Mrs. Jay soon realized that Paul had imprinted.
Mrs. Jay, being the loudmouth she couldn't help but be sometimes, spoke to Julie and Jaime about how Paul rescued Briella, bragging how much of a gentleman he was and how sweet Briella was.
"What are you planning for Thanksgiving?" Mrs. Jay asked Briella as she tucked Annabelle's blankets deeper into the crib.
"Oh, nothing, I guess." "What? Nothing, you say?" Mrs. Jay's dark eyes went wide. "No big dinner or no family reunion?"
"All of my family is in Ireland or Scotland, and we have big dinners every day, Mrs. Jay." Briella whispered, smiling as baby Jenna's eyes began to close.
Mrs. Jay was quiet a moment. "Well, I'll go check on how Mr. Catori and Ms. Sanders are doing with the Art classroom."
Briella nodded silently, standing slowly to place Jenna back into her crib. She grimaced when Jenna began to whine again. "Yer aff yer heid, lass!" Mrs. Jay heard Briella whisper in a pronounced accent to Jenna.
Mrs. Jay chuckled, exiting the nursery.
"Hi, Mrs. Jay." Mr. Catori smiled as he passed by Mrs. Jay. "Hello, Jaime, how's your day going?" She smiled back.
"Gregory and George fought over a paintbrush so it's been exciting." He said sarcastically but Mrs. Jay laughed.
"Well, I'm going to make a quick phone call so I'll be in the lobby."
Mrs. Jay waited for Mr. Catori to be out of sight before she rushed to the phone behind the desk and immediately dialed Emily's number.
"Hi, Mrs. Jay!" Emily chirped on the line.
"Emily," Mrs. Jay gasped to catch her breath from all the sudden movement, "We have a party to organize!"