Hope you like it! Chapter 2 is out and Chapter 3 is coming soon! xoxo mrsblack
"I just can't believe how big they are!" Emily cooned as she and I watched the twins sleeping. The blue-ish, green-ish light of the bonfire flickered across their faces where they lay on Jacob's lap, breathing steadily in and out.
I could never get over how breathtaking my two little children were. When Jennifer was sleeping she was more beautiful than any vampire. Her cheeks were a creamy russet color, with just a hint of pink in them. Her ebony black hair was in ringlets to her shoulders, and her eyes--when open--were a dark shade of brown.
Jeth was every bit as handsome. His long, shaggy black hair stuck out in random directions under the backwards baseball cap he wore. His skin was darker than Jennifer's, more rich earth colored than creamy. He had the cutest sprinkling of freckles across his nose from his long afternoons outside on the beach with favorite 'Uncle', Paul, and his eyes were exactly the same warm, dark, mysterious shade as his father's. Emily was like a second mother to both of them.
"I'm having a hard time believing it myself," I laughed, brushing a strand of loose hair off of Jennifer's face.
The whole pack, plus Billy Black, Grandpa Charlie, and his wife, Sue, were all at the beach having a bonfire. Jared, Sam, and Quil had gathered up a big pile of driftwood and stacked it in a neat pile in the center of the circle of logs we were using for chairs. The driftwood burned blue and green because of the salt. Billy and Grandpa had brought the food; super-sized bags of chips, 2 liter bottles of soda, package after package of hotdogs, marshmellows, chocolate, and graham crackers were just some of the things they had brought to feed all of the people at the bonfire.
"Anyone want anything else?" Grandpa called from next to the open door of Embry's pickup. Weak groans sounded from all around the fire. Grandpa chuckled and slammed the door shut. He circled around the logs and came to sit next to me.
"I hope you had enough sense to not eat yourself sick, Nessie," he said, eyeing Jared across the fire meaningfully. Jared was slumped against a log with his a grimace on his face, holding his stomach. He and Jacob had just finished a hotdog eating contest. After Jared had stopped after hotdog number 36, Jacob had preceded to eat 12 more but was still as perky as ever. I laughed. "No," I said sympathetically. "I prefer to actually taste my food when I eat."
Jared moaned. "Ugh," he said. "I can't believe I let you talk me into that!"
"I didn't talk you into anything," Jacob objected, grinning. "It was your idea."
"Whatever," Jared grimaced again and closed his eyes. "I just hope I can stand up without puking in time to run patrol tomorrow morning."
Jacob just laughed. "Maybe you shouldn't push yourself so much, Jared. I mean, everyone has to have limits." He paused. "Except for me, of course."
Jared's eyes flashed open and he glared at Jacob. "When I can move again--" he said. "you had better watch out."
"Wow, scary," Jacob said sarcastically.
Jared scowled and let his eyes slip closed again.
"Geez, you're so full of it, Jacob," Leah said. She was sitting in the shadows gazing at the fire, her knees drawn up to her chest. Being a part of Jacob's pack had changed Leah, for the better. Jacob had turned out to be exactly what she needed: a real friend, and she had even warmed up to the Cullensa little bit. She came over all the time to visit the Jacob, the twins, and I, and she spent hours talking to Rose and Emmett; they were getting to be extremely close friends. Despite the harsh words Leah had said, she glanced up at Jacob and grinned fondly at him. Jacob grinned back.
We'd all been down at the beach since early in the afternoon. The time had flown by; there was so much catching up to do! Everyone was so busy these days (Emily and Sam were working on building their first house as a married couple, Jared and Kim were engaged, Paul and Rachel had been married this past spring and were living together near Rachel's college campas, and Paul was even taking some classes there. Seth was finishing up highschool here in La Push as a senior, and Leah was taking courses at a community college an hour away from La Push, just like she always said she wanted to do. Embry still lived in La Push by his family, and he was happy enough with that. Jacob, the twins, and I still lived in the cottage Esme had built us.), and it was really nice to be together as a 'family' again. I never wanted to go home; this was the best night I'd had in a long time.
But of course the good times couldn't last forever. The sun was an hour away from setting, but Quil heaved himself up off the ground and helped Claire up as well. "Guess we'd better get going," he said, brushing dirt off his jeans. "Claire's got soccer practice." Claire stared up at him, her huge chocolate brown eyes pleading in a heartbreaking way. "Please can we stay a little longer, Quil?" she begged. "Please?" "Sorry, kiddo," Quil frowned, always hating to refuse her anything she wanted. "Your mom'll kill me if I get you to practice late again." Claire's tiny face crumpled. Quil tucked her under his arm and led her to his car, waving to us over his shoulder.
In another hour or so everyone was packing up to get home. Jared had fallen asleep by the fire, and Paul and Seth had dragged him to Embry's truck where they threw him in the back with the rest of the food. Nothing would wake him; he was out cold.
"I'd watch out for Jared tomorrow," Embry said to Jacob as he slammed the door to the pickup shut. I peeked inside the window and laughed quietly; Seth and Paul had stretched Jared out across the back seat and piled the food on top so only his face was visible--it looked hilarious. His pillow was half a package of hot-dogs.
"Why?" Jacob snorted. "I can take him."
"I know. But you know Jared. He hates to lose any bet, even when it's something as stupid as a hotdog eating contest." Embry rolled his eyes. "Plus he'll be extra cranky, first for the stomachache he'll have tomorrow, and then for taking double shifts..."
"Wait--double shifts? What?" Jacob gave Embry a confused look. I looked at Embry, too; things had been so quiet lately. The boys ran the perimeter daily to double check everything, but Sam hadn't felt the need to take along more than two wolves to go with him lately, much less give out double shifts.
"Oh. Um. Well..." Embry glanced at me and nervously licked his lips, then leaned in closer to Jacob to talk, though I couldn't help overhearing. "I'm surprised no one mentioned it to you before," he said. "Sam and the others found something, a trail, the other day when you were...off duty."
"What?" Jacob glared at Embry, and his arms started to quiver.
"No one recognized it," Embry said, putting a steady hand on Jacob's arm. "It definetly wasn't the Cullens or the Denali clan. Not the Volturi either. Whoever it was, it circled around the Cullens' place, then went around to your cottage. Pressed its face right up to the window."
Jacob snarled through his teeth and cussed under his breath.
"Hey, hey!" Embry said quickly. "Probably just a visitor. Didn't look suspicious. Just a nosy bloodsucker."
Jacob had recovered enough to shoot a disaproving look at Embry. "They're not 'bloodsuckers' anymore, Embry."
"Not the Cullens or Tanya's clan," Embry grinned. "Just the other ones."
Jacob rolled his eyes. "Where'd the trail end up?" he asked, calming down a little.
"From your house it went 'bout a hundred miles to the south, then we lost it in the water." he shrugged.
Jacob just nodded, jaw tight. "You'd better get him home," he said, jerking his thumb towards Jared in the truck.
"Right," said Embry. "See ya, bro." He patted Jake's arm, then circled around to the drivers' side of the pickup and drove off.
I waited until Embry was out of sight to go by Jacob and wrap my arms around his waist. "You OK?" I asked.
"I guess," he shrugged, his eyes restlessly flicking around the darkening landscape. "I can't believe this! I didn't notice a thing."
"Things have just begun to settle down," I said in a soothing voice. "It's not your fault."
"I'll keep a closer watch," he promised, clenching his fists.
"You heard Embry--it's nothing."
"It's never nothing," he said, his eyes narrowing. He frowned down at me. "I'm so sorry, Nessie."
"There's nothing to apologize to me for!"
"But what if they were up to something; after the twins? Or you? Something could happened right under my nose, and I wouldn't have noticed a thing." he continued to beat himself up for nothing.
"You're so overprotective," I said, rolling my eyes, trying to lighten the mood. "Just like my dad." Jacob smiled in spite of himself; he knew just how overprotective my dad could be. "C'mon," I said, happier now. "Let's get the kids home." We walked hand-in-hand towards the Rabbit, where the twins were strapped in, still asleep. We said a quick good-bye to Emily and Sam, and then Jacob sped off, never quite looking at the road--always watching around him, his eyes never resting.