WARNING: coarse language and maybe a few innuendos.

The plane trip was slow as hell. It took over half hour of nonstop boring conversations with my mother and father, and then another two and a half hours of absolute silence between the three of us. I guessed that it was then, after that half hour, that they realized that I was furious with them for dragging me all the way from sunny New Mexico to dreary La Push, Forks, Washington – a city that I didn’t even know existed. Mom said that it was so I could connect to our old roots, since her and my father both were born there but, truthfully, I didn’t really care about my roots. I only cared about my life now, with my friends back home in Santa Fe.
I wasn’t exactly excited when the plane finally landed in Seattle, because that meant that we had another awkward, silent forty-five minute drive to La Push. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to that, since my parents and I have been having some friction since I found out about the move. Plus, while my parents were the type of people who had no problems at all talking 60 miles per minute, I was the complete opposite. My dad actually considered himself lucky if he could get me to speak more than two words to him or my mother at the dinner table.
“Maya, can you please attempt to smile?” my father asked in aggravation after thirty-eight minutes, looking at me through the rear view mirror.
I answered him honestly. “Not unless we go back to Santa Fe,” I said. For emphasis, I crossed my arms over my chest and looked out of the car window. Okay, I was overreacting, but, hell. That’s what parents get when they bring something like this up on a teenage girl.
Dad sighed. “You’re going to thank us for this someday,” he told me.
“Not today,” I muttered. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the headrest. I really didn’t feel like talking about this with them or anyone; I’d rather suffer in silence.
“You need to know your roots,” Mom intervened. “You’re going to enjoy this when you don’t have to deal with your silly parents embarrassing you.”
I snapped my eyes open and turned to look at them. “WHAT?” I yelled. “You guys aren’t even moving with me?” Now, I was furious. This was beyond unfair. They weren’t just dragging me cross-country; they were leaving me cross-country. So much for developing a parent-daughter relationship, I thought sardonically.
“No, we’re not staying with you,” my father sighed angrily. I swear that man hated me with all of his being. “Your mother got a new job in Madrid, so you’re going to be living with your Uncle Seth until you graduate high school.”
“So, instead of taking me with you to a place as awesome as Spain, you drag me to Forks, Washington, where everything is dull,” I accused. Then under my breath, I added, “That makes perfect sense.”
Mom turned and smiled sadly at me. “Maya, you know we can’t afford to bring you with us, even though we really want to, but you’ll be fine without us.”
“Mom, you do know that I only say that to you to piss you guys off, right?” I asked, basically using every trick I could, even guilt, to get them to take me with them.
“Maya, you’re not coming and that’s final,” Dad said, his voice ringing with faux authority.
“And I get no say on the matter?” I demanded angrily. Then, under my breath, I added, “I love you too, jackass.”
Dad slammed the breaks on the outskirts of the Quileute Reservation, right outside of Forks. “Maya, don’t make any harder than it needs to be,” he hissed. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Then don’t be such an ass,” I retorted, watching the little blue vein in his forehead pop as I spoke.
That was his breaking point.
He opened his door and walked over to mine. Opening it, he growled at me to get out the car and walk to Uncle Seth’s. When I refused, he threw all of my stuff out of the car and yelled at me again to get out of the car. I looked over my mother, who had tears streaking her face, while my father was screaming at me.
Mom mouthed the words that made it all okay. “Go, Maya. I’ll call you when he’s calm.” I nodded and unhooked my seat belt and got out of the car. Dad yelled at me for being disrespectful, slapped me in the face and walked away.
He slapped me.
He turned to look at me from the driver’s seat, and, with my bitchy poker face on, I smiled as cruelly as I could and raised my hand at him, palm facing me. Then I bent all of my fingers into a fist, except for my middle finger, and whistled like I was calling for a dog.
I had always wanted to do that to him.
Dad grew so angry that he immediately drove away, driving at about 60 miles per hour. I found myself sending a silent prayer that he’d be pulled over by a cop for speeding or something.
I picked my stuff up off of the ground and walked into La Push with my head held high, not willing to let him get me down.

Uncle Seth lived a long way from the place where my parents left me, so by the time I had gotten to the middle of the reservation, I was exhausted and plopped down on my butt. My legs were tired and aching, and my feet were in no better condition. I kicked my shoes off and lied down, planning to sleep on the sand.
It felt like a good thirty minutes when five guys found me lying on the ground. They all asked me if I was alright or if I was drunk or stuff like that, and that’s when I realized that they were half naked. Holy shit, I thought to myself, I’ve died and gone to heaven.
I told them that I was alright but I needed help to get to my uncle’s house, and they agreed to help me. I stood up and dusted myself off and reached back down to get my suitcase, when an olive-toned hand touched mine and reached for the suitcase himself. I stood up and looked at the man this hand belonged to, and my breath caught in my throat.
He was very handsome. He had this short hair that was black as pitch, much like his eyes. Like the others, he wore no shirt, which allowed me to take advantage of his masculine chest. Also like the others, he had this unusual tattoo on his shoulder, which was beautiful itself.
“Allow me to take these,” he said, his voice deep and smooth. Unable to speak, the best I could do was nod in agreement. He smiled a brilliant smile, which took my breath away even more, before turning to walk away towards a big F-150. I stared after him like an idiot before following him and the others to the truck.
Once at the truck, the man who took my suitcase opened the passenger’s door for me and waved a hand that indicated me to go in. I did obediently, mumbling a quiet “thank you” before he shut the door. He walked around to the back of the truck where his friends were all sitting and gave one of them my suitcase, telling them something with a serious expression on his face. He then walked around to the driver’s seat and closed the door.
Buckling his seatbelt, he asked, “So, who’s your uncle, anyway?”
“Um, Seth Clearwater,” I answered nervously, looking at my hands.
“Oh, really?” he asked, seeming stunned.
“Yes,” I replied. “His older brother, John, is my dad.” Well, he was my dad, I thought bitterly.
“Huh,” was his only response. “You know, Harry never did tell anyone what happened once his eldest son got married.”
“He moved to New Mexico and had me,” I told him, tasting acid in my voice. “That’s what happened.”
“Okay,” the man said, putting the car in gear and starting the drive to my uncle’s home. “I’m Embry, by the way,” he says. “Embry Call.”
“I’m Maya Clearwater.”
“Nice to meet you.” He smiled that brilliant smile again, and I found myself struggling to breathe.
“You, too,” I managed to spit out. God, I was making myself look like such an idiot. If I kept this up, this boy wasn’t going to like me very much.
Trying to calm myself, I inhaled deeply, which turned out to be a huge mistake; my throat burned at the smell. Ugh. He was recently around a vampire or something, because he smelled horrible. It was like sticking my nose into a rotten tomato and, stupidly, inhaling. God, it smelled horrible.
Wanna know I can smell vamps? Yeah, I’m a werewolf. Cool, huh? Yeah, you’d think so. It’s really not, though, considering that I’m so new at it. I found out when I was sixteen and found that my usually caramel-colored skin was sickly pale, and my emerald green eyes had turned glowing blue. It was creepy.
The rest of the trip to my uncle’s house was completely silent. Neither of us spoke and I guessed it was because he didn’t like me. I couldn’t speak because my throat was still burning. Because of this, I was relieved when we stopped in front of Uncle Seth’s house. I opened the door and walked over to the house, where Uncle Seth was waiting for me.
Uncle Seth was only nineteen, which was two years older than me, while my dad was in his early thirties. He looked a lot like the guys who drove me here, the same dark eyes and pitch black hair and olive-toned skin. Also like the guys who were now coming from the truck, he wore no shirt, even when it was only twenty degrees. Was there some kind of no-shirt rule around here for guys? If there was, it was good that they let me know now.
“Hey, Maya,” Uncle Seth greeted me eagerly, stepping forward to hug me. I accepted the hug. We were interrupted by the group of boys running towards the house and whooping. My uncle let go of me and greeted Embry and the others. He slapped hands with all five of them before turning back to me.
“Maya, these are a few friends of mine,” he told me. Then he went to introductions. “These are Paul, Jared, Quil, Jacob, and Embry.” I shyly said hello to all of them, keeping my eyes down. They smiled at me and said hello back, all except Embry, who just looked at me intensely. I cleared my throat and looked at my uncle. “I’m going to go lie down, if you don’t mind,” I told him. “Jet lagged.” He nodded and without another word, I went inside of the little barn-look-a-like house. I walked around the halls for a little while until I found the guest bedroom. When I found it, I went in, closed the door, and immediately lied down on the bed and went to sleep.


Seth welcomed us all inside, telling us that Leah wasn’t home. That was all the invitation that we needed. We followed him inside and instantly went into the kitchen. Paul was as hungry as a dog – no pun intended – so we all went to find food.
Jacob grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me aside while the others were in the kitchen, keeping me in the den.
“Embry, what the hell is up with you?” he asked me. His eyes narrowed as he waited for my answer. Of course, I knew what he meant, but didn’t want to acknowledge it.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jake,” I replied, unable to look him in the eye.
“Embry, why were you looking at Seth’s niece like that? What happened?” He asked these questions quietly, as if not to alert the others, though they’d know soon enough.
“Jake, I-I think I imprinted on her,” I admitted, not exactly sure of my emotions. A part of me wanted to go over to room where Maya was sleeping, to follow her scent there and make sure that she was alright, but the other part – the scared little pup part of me – wanted to just stay here.
“Are you sure?” he demanded. “How did you feel when you first saw her?”
“Euphoric,” I answered honestly. “It felt like she was the only thing that kept me to the ground.” It also felt like I might explode when she looked upset when we spoke in the truck, when she was telling me about her father. I guessed she had a bad relationship with him, so I made a mental note not to mention him again.
“Okay, so you’ve imprinted with Seth’s niece. Hmm…” He deliberated for a moment. “I guess the only thing we can do right now is just waiting for a clear sign,” he finally said. “If we notice that it really looks like you really have imprinted with her, then we’ll tell her what we are.”
I nodded. “That sounds fair,” I agreed. And it did. Plus, it meant that I had the chance to get to know Maya a little bit before weirding her out. That was a good sign. “So I guess this means we’re telling the others?” I guessed.
Jake nodded and not a second later, the others walked into the den. “What’s up, Jake?” Paul asked while stuffing a handful Dorito chips into his mouth.
“Embry thinks he’s imprinted on Maya, Seth’s niece,” Jacob explained. Everyone’s eyes bulged out and they turned to stare at me, incredulous.
“Really?” Quil asked. I only nodded in response, still unable to speak.
“Well, that makes six imprinted wolves,” Jared muttered, “and counting.”
“No shit, though?” Paul asked. “I mean, he really imprinted on her?”
Jacob nodded again. “He thinks so, but I want to be sure, just in case,” he explained. “I want to keep watch over them for the next few days, to make sure he really has imprinted on her. If he has, then Embry will tell her what we are. If not, then we don’t tell the girl anything. Everyone got it?”
We nodded in agreement. Everyone in the pack knew that imprinting on someone was pretty confusing stuff, so we all just wanted this to go over easily.
We moved on to cheerier topics after that, teasing Seth for the next few hours about how he was going to handle having jail bait living in his house. Well, it was cheerier for them; for me, the very idea made me want to rip Seth’s throat out.
Then, I heard Maya’s voice down the hall, and my heart almost shattered at her tone.
“So, you guys are just going to stay in Madrid?” she asked, sounding heartbroken. She paused. “No, I mean, I’m happy that you got the job, but couldn’t you take me with you? I’m not that difficult… Well, that’s his problem, not mine… I know, Mom, but I’ll still miss you… No, I won’t. In fact, he can go to hell for all I care… Because he’s a bastard! I don’t know what you saw in him, Mom, but he’s just not my favorite person right now, just like I’ve never been his… Yes, that’s absolutely true… Oh, no, Mom, you don’t have to do that. Mom, don’t do that.” She paused for a long while as she listened to whatever her mother was saying.
“Damn it,” she groaned after a while. “Yeah, I love you, too. I’m sorry I caused this… Yes, it is my fault, so don’t blame yourself… Got it… Bye.”
I heard her exhale heavily and snap her phone shut. Then she growled and there was suddenly a loud thump followed by a loud hiss and a string of profanities.
“Shit, shit, shit!” she yelled at the top of her lungs. I jumped out of my seat on the floor and almost ran over to Maya’s room.
“What wrong?” I asked, unable to hide my concern.
“I got mad and punched the wall,” she answered in a hiss, clutching her left hand. “Goddamn, this hurts.”
“You need to go to a hospital,” I told her, pulling her by her good hand to her door.
“No!” she yelled, her eyes bulging out. “I’m not going to a hospital, Embry. I’ll be fine without a doctor.”
“Don’t be a martyr, Maya,” I begged her. “Your wrist is broken and you need to see someone about it.”
“Embry, listen to me,” she insisted. I looked her in the eyes, those beautiful deep green eyes, and waited for her to speak. “Embry, I need to show you something, so please don’t freak out.”
“What is it?”
“Look at my hand,” she said simply. I did as she said and looked at her hand, amazed at what I saw. Her wrist was completely healed; the bone had been threatening to stick out was back in its right place. The blood that been coming from her knuckles had dried up and faded away. And I thought I healed fast.
“How is that possible?” I asked, my voice only a whisper. What the hell was she? “How can you heal so fast?”
“Because I’m not exactly human,” she whispered.
“Yeah, I figured. So, what are you?”
“I’ll explain after I get a bag of ice. My hand may be healed, but it still hurts like a mother.”

We went to the kitchen and got that bag of ice and wrapped it in a washcloth before putting to her left wrist, which didn’t even look bruised. I was a little freaked out by the fact that she healed even faster than one of us ever could have, so I was very curious to know what she was.
The guys looked at Maya’s wrist and narrowed their eyes at me. Oh, so they thought that I would do something to hurt her. Nice. I rolled my eyes at them, hoping that they’d realize that she inflicted this on herself. They seemed to understand, their eyes widening back and turning back to the girl.
“Maya, what happened?” Seth asked.
“Oh, I just got pissed and punched the wall in my room,” she answered angrily.
“You didn’t break the wall, did you?” Paul joked.
Maya smirked. “Actually, I left a dent the size of Texas,” she replied, seeming smug. “Plus, to make it even better, I really fucked up my wrist.” She sighed and added, “Well, at least it isn’t broken.”
Like it was before, I internally added. I wanted to say that, but I instead said, “I’m gonna take her outside for some fresh air.”
Jared snickered. “Ten bucks says they’re going for a romantic walk on the beach – hand in broken hand,” he chuckled.
“Ten bucks says that I’m going to knock you out with my good hand,” Maya retorted. Jacob, Paul, and I laughed at that, while Jared just rolled his eyes and pretended that she hadn’t spoken.
Maya turned for the front door and I followed, not enjoying the lovesick puppy jokes that I heard on my way out. We walked out to the truck and sat in the bed, our feet dangling off the edge. I waited for her to speak, to explain what she was, and I didn’t have to wait long.


She exhaled deeply, a heavy sigh. “God, I have a feeling I’m going to regret telling you this,” she whispered, a hint of pink spilling across her caramel-colored cheeks.
“How could you think that?” I wondered.
“Because I’m a freak, that’s why. People always run from people like me, because of the damn stereotypes and it pisses me off.” She sighed. “I guess I can’t put it off any longer,” she said, taking a deep breath before continuing. “There are a lot of myths about my kind, about what we are. Some are way off, and some are right on target. But humans … they only ever listen to the ones that make us look like evil monsters. But that’s not what we are. We protect them. We kill the creatures that kills them and what, in the much earlier years, killed us.”
I listened to her silently, not wanting to interrupt, though I wished that she’d get to the point.
“If your parents told you the legends of your tribe, then you already know what I am,” she said, surprising me. She finally looked up at me. “Are you aware of the legends?” she asked. I nodded. I was only too aware of the legends, since I was now a part of them.
“So, you’re a werewolf,” I guessed, knowing I was right. She nodded and looked back down at her hands. “Well, that’s a relief,” I added, making her head jerk up in astonishment.
“How is that a relief?” she demanded, her expression confused.
“Because now you know what I am, what the others are,” I told her truthfully. “Welcome to the pack,” I added, making her smile. She leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. “Thank you for this,” she said.
“Anytime,” I replied, meaning it. Then I leaned in to kiss her on the cheek, but she leaned back and leaned forward just as fast, jumping off the truck. Her suitcases were now in hand. “Denied,” she teased. She winked and skipped back into the house, laughing the whole time. I could only watch as she left, smiling at her playfulness. I loved how she could be all serious one minute and sarcastic the next.
While I was still sitting in the back of the truck, Jared and Paul came out of the house, followed by Jacob and Quil, who were saying their goodbyes to Seth.
Ah. It was time to go.
“Let’s go, Romeo,” Jared joked as he reached the truck. “Juliette will still be here tomorrow, dude. Get a move on.”
I rolled my eyes at the Shakespeare reference. “Stop being such an ass, Jared,” I responded, smiling just a little.
Jared grinned. “You say it as if that’s possible,” he chuckled. “So, how’d it go with the new chick?” he asked.
“Maya is great,” I replied, my smile growing. “She’s a very feisty little thing, you know.”
“For your sake, hope that he doesn’t know,” Paul interrupted, laughing. I rolled my eyes again at the innuendo and hopped off the bed of the truck. Walking to the front of the truck, I heard Maya’s voice again.
“It was nice meeting you guys. Um, I hope you guys come back soon.”
Jacob and Quil both laughed. “Oh, I think that can be arranged,” Jacob replied, still laughing.
“Is there something you guys aren’t telling me?” Maya asked, sounding confused.
“It’s an inside joke,” Quil explained. “You’ll probably be in on it soon enough.” There was a hushed “shit, that hurt” following that, so I guessed that Jake elbowed him for revealing something.
If Maya noticed, she didn’t say anything. Instead she chuckled. “If everything goes well, I just might,” she replied cryptically, chuckling still. “Nice meeting you.” And then the door shut.

“So, does it seem like you’re imprinted?” Jacob asked me in the truck.
“Yeah, it does,” I replied, not looking anywhere but at the windshield. “It’s pretty much the way the legends say it would be: protective, loving,” I continued. Then I blurted out the thing I knew would get me in trouble: “with no secrets, either.”
Jacob sighed heavily. “Ah, so I’m guessing you told her?” he asked. His voice was resigned as if he already knew the answer.
Well, as long as he didn’t rip my throat out…
I nodded, not giving any other answer or response. I’d decided not to tell the pack about Maya being a werewolf, since it wasn’t really my secret to reveal. It was Maya’s, and it would stay that way.
To my surprise, Jake laughed once. “It didn’t take you very long, did it?” he chuckled. Sighing again, he said, “Well, I guess it happens to the best of us.”
“If it helps, she reacted well,” I told. No reference to the fact that she was the exact same thing. “She didn’t even gasp or anything; she just … smiled.”
“Of course she didn’t scream,” Jake replied, grinning. “Of course, she did probably think you’re crazy, but she wouldn’t scream. She’s your other half, remember? No matter what, she’s gonna support you.”
“Oh, well, that’s helpful,” I replied, still refusing to look anywhere but out the windshield. He was right. That’s what imprinting was: finding your other half.
Jake’s phone beeped and he pulled out of his pocket and looked at a text message. “Paul says to hurry the hell up. He’s hungry again,” he told me.
I laughed. “Well you can tell him to go screw himself because I’m not going any faster,” I retorted. He typed in my response and sent it to Paul. Then he turned to me. “It’s Nessie’s birthday tomorrow,” he informed me.
Nessie, or Renesmee Cullen, was the object of Jake’s imprint. She was a hybrid, a combination of a human and a vampire. She was an odd little thing – perky, trustful, and clever – but she was very likeable, I had to admit.
“And for a weird kind of present, she asked me to introduce Maya to her,” he continued, completely catching me off guard.
“Wait a minute, what?” I demanded, hitting the break. That wasn’t exactly a good thing.
“Don’t worry, they won’t bite her or anything,” Jake assured me.
“How reassuring,” I muttered. The Cullens biting Maya wasn’t exactly what I was worried about. In fact, it was the other way around. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling that Maya wouldn’t react to being around a whole coven of vampires. “How’d she find out about Maya, anyway?” I asked.
“Seth told her,” he replied simply. Okay, that makes sense, I thought. Seth liked the Cullens for some odd reason that made no sense to the rest of us, even Jake; he only put up with them for Nessie’s sake (that, and her mother was his best friend.)
“So, how old is Nessie turning?”
“Three, though she could probably pass for a twelve-year-old.”
“Does that ever get weird, the whole aging thing with her?” Hey, I had to ask.
Before he could answer, his phone beeped again, and he looked at another text message. “Paul again,” he said, laughing. “He says, and I quote: ‘Tell Embry that I’ll screw myself when hell freezes over and that he needs to drive faster ‘fore I bust his ass up.’ In other words, hurry over to McDonald’s before he fucks up your truck.”
“Fine,” I replied. “But tell him that he’s paying for all of it.”

The next day, Jacob and I drove down to Seth’s place to pick up Seth and Maya to drive them down to the Cullens’ place.
Maya was sitting on the porch, cigarette in between her index and middle fingers and IPhone on her right leg. She was singing along to Eminem’s Cleaning out My Closet when I stepped out of the truck.
“I wonder if she knows that shit isn’t real good for her,” Jake said. I could only shrug.
“I wonder if you guys realize that my headphones aren’t in my ears and I can hear every word you’re saying,” Maya countered, putting the cigarette to her lips. “And this isn’t even a real cigarette,” she continued. “It’s water vapor, not smoke. My friends and I started using these when we were fifteen so we can smoke without getting lung cancer.”
“Smart,” I complimented.
“Thank you; it was my idea,” Maya beamed. Then she looked both of us over and smiled slyly. “Wow, you guys are actually wearing shirts,” she teased. “What’s the occasion?”
“My friend’s birthday is today, and we’re going over to her house to celebrate,” Jacob answered.
“We’re just waiting on Seth, but you can come if you want,” I added.
Maya chuckled nervously. “Thanks for the invitation, but I’m not the partying type, so…” she trailed off.
“Don’t worry about it, Maya,” I said. “Neither is her family.”
Maya smiled. “Are you sure they won’t mind if you bring along an uninvited guest?” she asked.
“We just invited you, didn’t we?” I questioned in return, smiling. “So, you’re not an uninvited guest.”
Maya nodded and turned her phone off. She put in her pocket and then removed the tip off of her fake cigarette, dropped it on the ground, and smashed it with the toe of her boot.
Seth came out on the porch at the same time Maya was standing up. He closed and locked the door behind him. “Okay, let’s go,” he said, bounding towards the truck with Maya a step and a half behind him.
I walked over to her and she took my hand. We walked over to the bed of the truck and I jumped up, pulling her up with me. She smiled and sat. “What, you’re not driving?” she asked.
I shrugged. “Seth wanted his turn at the wheel, so I said he could,” I explained.
“Plus you wanted to see if you could get lucky in the back of your truck, in twenty-eight degrees, while your friends can do nothing but keep driving,” she finished sarcastically, rolling her eyes and smiling wider.
I grinned wickedly and shrugged again. “Maybe those were my intentions,” I replied. “You never know.”
Maya chuckled in response. “You never know,” she agreed, smiling sweetly now. The truck started and soon we were driving out of the reservation, heading to Forks and the Cullens’ place.
Raven black hair blowing in her face, Maya shivered at the cold breeze. I guessed that she wasn’t used to this type of weather, and I wanted to help her so she wouldn’t freeze or anything. So I opened my arms wide, an invitation for her to come, and she took it easily, quickly scooting over from her place on the bed to where she was sitting right next to me. She leaned her head against my chest and rested in my arms, not shivering anymore.
It felt good to have her here, wrapped up in my arms like this. Hell, it felt better than good; it was amazing, sensational, exciting, and wonderful. It felt like I finally understood the whole love aspect of imprinting, even though I probably didn’t.
A few minutes later, we arrived at the Cullen’s place, where they’d lived for the past three years, since Renesmee at least wanted to stay in Forks through middle school. Jacob and Seth both got out of the truck and walked right into the house, while Maya and I took our time.
Warn her, yelled a voice in my head. Warn her now!
“Hey, Maya, I should probably tell you something…” I trailed off, uncertain of how to continue.
“Go on,” she prodded.
“This family here are, um …” I took a deep breath before continuing, bracing myself for her reaction. “They’re all vampires.”
Maya hissed angrily. “Wait, what?” she demanded, her voice low. Before I could try to calm her down, Renesmee walked out of the house and towards us, smiling.
Sometimes, and I’m being completely serious about this, God will just throw some of us hopeless pups a bone.