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Hot and Cold (Part 1.1)
It had been about five years since Edward and Bella got married, had Nessie and Jacob imprinted on her. ‘Cause everyone dates their ex-girlfriend’s daughter, right? Sam, Jared, Paul, and their girlfriends had all gone to college, except for Rachel, since she already graduated. Jared, Paul, and Kim were in their last year. Jared was interning with Carlisle for the summer.
As for me, I was working part time at Cold Stone in Port Angeles. It paid for the gas in my car and the clothes my mom refused to replace if/when I ruined mine. And I had imprinted. Her name was Gabrielle, but we all called her Gabby. She had shoulder-length dark blonde hair and beautiful blue-green eyes. She was tall and kind of quiet.
Collin and Brady had also imprinted. Collin had imprinted on a girl named Alyson and Brady imprinted on Gabby’s best friend Veronica, aka Vonie. Since then, every day seemed like a miracle to me. I guess that is what Jacob felt for Nessie. I guess this is love.
I groaned in my head. I came out here to get some sleep, but I could not escape Seth. Why had I joined Jacob’s pack? Why? WHY?!
What is it Seth? I asked groggily.
Party at the vamp’s house, Leah said unenthusiastically. Yay.
That’s great, I said tiredly and yawned.
Gabby’s going to be there, Seth told me.
I was suddenly awake. What time are we going?
Any time, Seth said.
I’ll tell Jacob to bring you some clothes, Leah said. Then she phased and I could only feel Seth’s mind.
Hey, Embry, where are you? Seth asked.
I think I’m a few miles from the Cullen’s house, I said, sniffing the air around me. The trees definitely smelled like vampire. Do you know who else is going?
Collin, Brady, Vonie, Alyson, Sam, and Emily. Emily’s making pie.
Well, that’s reason enough to go.
See you later, Seth said.
I felt Seth phase. It was weird, the vastness in my mind. Everything was so close, yet so far at the same time. I guess that’s a werewolf thing you never really got used to.
I started running north on the familiar path we made for ourselves to get to the Cullen’s. I wondered who would win in a race like this: Edward or me? Probably Edward. Then I ran west, the scent getting stronger. I had gotten used to vampire scent, so it was not as bad now. It didn’t feel like I had paper cuts in my nose every time I inhaled.
Finally I reached the place were the scent was strongest. From the trees, I could see the big house made almost entirely of glass. On the driveway, Emmett and Jasper were setting up a volleyball net. Alice, Rosalie, Nessie, Vonie, and Alyson absently bumped the volleyball to each other on the garage side of the drive.
Vonie had chin-length brown hair, gold wire-rimmed glasses, brown eyes, and was short-ish. In her defense, short-ish is taller than just short. Alyson had long blonde hair pulled into her usual messy bun, blue eyes, and was pretty tall.
Gabby sat with her back to me, just out of the shade of the trees. She was scribbling in her notebook, like usual. I pounced on her gently, and she let out a little scream of shock.
“Embry!” she said, looking up at me when I got off her.
I touched my nose to her forehead, our kiss while I was phased.
“Hey, Embry!” Nessie called to me.
Hey, Edward, I said, two things: one, hi. Two, tell everyone that I said hi.
“Embry says hi,” Edward said from the porch step were he and Bella sat.
So what’s going on? I asked.
“Nessie and Alice have something planned,” Edward said, “but they won’t tell us what.”
“I don’t want Seth to overhear,” Nessie said, coming over and helping Gabby off the ground. “I’ll tell you when Jacob gets here.”
Collin and Brady drove up in Brady’s beat up old Ford truck. Alyson and Vonie walked over to them. Well, Alyson walked; Vonie skipped.
“Hi, Collin,” Alyson said, almost shyly.
A breeze of wind ruffled Collin’s black hair and Brady’s light brown. Brady scooped up Vonie in his arms and they kissed deeply. Collin just wrapped his arms around Alyson.
I sat on the sides as everyone split up into teams for volleyball. I was counted for Emmett’s team, the team Gabby was on. After a round where the ball was dropped a lot, and Emmett claimed was just practice, Jacob and Seth arrived.
“Jacob,” Nessie said, dropping the ball she was about to serve.
She walked over to the driver’s side of the Jacob’s VW Rabbit where he got out. Seth got out on the other side, holing a grocery bag with my clothes in it.
“Hey,” Jacob said to Nessie, holding her to him.
“Heads up!” Alice called as the white volleyball whirled through the air. Seth dropped the bag and caught the ball.
“Bella hit it,” Emmett said.
“No, I didn’t,” Bella said defensively.
“Emmett threw it,” Gabby ratted him out.
“Here’s your clothes,” Seth said, throwing back the ball and picking up the bag.
I trotted around the back of the house and Seth followed. I phased back to human form, happy to stand on two legs and not have a tail. I pulled on the T-shirt and jeans that Seth brought. We walked back out front to join the volleyball game.
“Seth, you’re on our side,” Emmett said.
We took our places our side of the net. Gabby smiled shyly when I stood next to her. Nessie gracefully served the ball overhand.
“So,” Brady said while the ball was on our side, “what’s going on this weekend, besides this?”
“The ‘rents are away for a few days,” Emmett said, saving the ball from hitting the ground. “Carlisle went to this lecture thing about Swine Flu and Esme went with.”
“’Cause she wants her babies to be protected,” Jacob teased.
“Nessie, can you get Swine Flu?” Alyson asked.
“I don’t think so,” Nessie said, hitting the ball back over the net. “I think I’m immune to it. I mean, I’ve never gotten sick, ever.”
“Good for you,” Vonie said sarcastically.
“Thanks,” Nessie said in the same tone.
The game continued for a while. No one really kept score, but Jasper and Emmett kept insisting that we were winning. It was starting to get dark behind the clouds when Sam and Emily drove up. I could smell Emily’s apple pie as they got out of the car.
“Hi, guys,” Sam said, putting his arm around Emily.
“Hi,” Bella said.
“Let’s go in and eat,” Nessie suggested.
When Nessie was born, she could only drink blood. When she was about a year old-- she looked like she was seven or eight-- she began to eat food. Jacob was ecstatic when he found out he could have a romantic candle-lit dinner that didn’t involve a dead deer.
As I began to feel rain falling, we went into the Cullen’s huge house. The thing about being around the Cullens in that they could make you feel welcome-- with Rosalie as an exception. Their house almost always carried that same aura. Most of the time it felt like a safe haven.
In the kitchen, Nessie pulled out plates, forks, and vanilla ice cream. She handed Emily a knife, and she started cutting the pie, warm apples-and-cinnamon aroma spilling out into the room.
“Ew,” Emmett said in a mock grossed-out way. Then he pretended to barf.
I could see Edward roll his eyes.
“Yum,” Nessie said, scooping ice cream next to a slice of pie. Brady grabbed the plate and handed it to Vonie.
“Thanks,” she said, and leaned against Brady after he got his own piece.
The pie was passed around. I sat down with everyone and pulled Gabby onto my lap.
“Oh my God, no,” Nessie said in a voice I knew meant she was arguing with someone. “Death Cab for Cutie is so much better than Muse.”
“‘Super Massive Black Hole,’” Collin said, “versus ‘Meet me on the Equinox.’ Not much competition.”
“Because ‘Equinox’ wins,” Alice said. “But ‘Bleed It Out’ is awesome.”
“Bleed?” I pointed out.
“Whatever,” Alice said. “Anything by Linkin Park.”
“I don’t think I could take all the screaming,” I said.
“But you do,” Gabby said.
“I do?” I said. “Since when?”
“You listen to it in your car,” Gabby pointed out.
“Yeah, well that’s different,” I said. “You like that alternative station, so I play it for you.”
“How sweet,” Vonie said. “But, she listens to me all the time.”
“Oh, we know,” Collin said. “We know too well.”
We went on arguing about which band was better. Somehow, Paramore got into the mix. Gabby probably put it in there. No one had won the band debate, so we let I drop-- for now.
Seth had to leave after that. We decided to watch a movie.
“So what are we watching?” Emmett said, flipping through the On-Demand choices with the remote.
“Something romantic,” Emily said.
“Ew, no,” Nessie said. “Something scary.”
“No,” Gabby protested. “I can’t watch scary movies. I get nightmares.”
“Come on, Gab,” Emmett said. I could tell he would try to get the horror movie on. “You haven’t watched Child’s Play since you were what, ten?”
“Twelve,” Gabby corrected him. “I’m 17 now, but I don’t want to know if I’m still scared or not.”
“You’re sleeping over at the most dangerous house ever,” Emmett pointed out, “and you’re not scared.”
“Lay off, Emmett,” I said defensively. “She doesn’t want to get scared, so shut up.”
Emmett rolled his eyes, but went back to the TV.
“If Chucky was a vampire…” Jasper muttered. I’d get him for that later.
“Thanks,” Gabby whispered, leaning back against me.
“Anytime,” I whispered, wrapping my arms around her. Feeling the tightness in her body unwind was a relief for me.
“Are you going to tell us what you two have been thinking about all day?” Edward said to Nessie and Alice.
“We’re having a surprise party for Seth’s birthday,” Alice said.
“Oh, I want to help,” Vonie said, bouncing where she sat.
“Calm down, girl,” Brady joked, rubbing her shoulder.
“But I don’t want to calm down,” Vonie said fake-whiney.
“When is it?” Gabby asked.
“Monday,” Alice said. “We need your guys’ help with some stuff.”
“I make good brownies,” Vonie said. “Runs in the family.”
“Yes, bring your brownies,” Nessie said eagerly. “I love your brownies. We need to make sure he’s distracted until seven o’clock.”
“I can do that,” Jacob said.
“Someone besides Jacob,” Nessie said. “I need you to help set up, sweetie. You’re tall.”
“I’ll do it,” Sam said.
“Great,” Alice said. “We’ve already taken care of the cake and décor, but we still need music.”
“He likes The Fray,” Jacob said.
“I have a Fray CD,” Gabby said. “I’ll make mix CD too, if you want.”
“Okay, you do that,” Alice said. “Who else does he like besides The Fray?”
“I think he likes Rhianna,” Edward said.
“I think we should call Leah,” Alyson said.
“That would be smart,” Nessie said.
“Very S-M-R-T,” Gabby said.
Nessie dialed the Clearwater’s number on her phone. After a few rings, Leah picked up.
“Hello?” she said.
“Hi, Leah. It’s Nessie.” She had her phone on speaker.
“What do you want?” Leah said. Irritable, as always.
“What kind of music does Seth like?” Alice asked.
“The Fray, Rhianna,” Leah said. “Daughtry, David Cook, David Archuleta, Jordan Sparks. That stuff.”
“Gracias,” Nessie said without any effort at a Spanish accent.
“Bye,” Leah said, and hung up immediately.
“I think I have all of those artists,” Gabby said as Nessie closed her phone. “I don’t think I have too many David Cook songs though.”
“Just put on what you have,” Alice said. “Sam, can you tell the rest of your pack about it? And ask who can help decorate.”
“Sure,” Sam said.
“We’re forgetting one thing,” Jacob said.
Nessie frowned. “Cake, lights, music…. What are we forgetting?”
“How am I going to keep this from him?” Jacob pointed out.
Oh yeah. When we are phased, we can search each other’s minds, not just hear each other’s thoughts. Pretty annoying just about, oh, all the time.
“Just tell him not to,” Sam said simply.
“You know I don’t like to do that,” Jacob said, trying very hard to sound like he wasn’t complaining. Jacob, being Alpha of our small riff-raff pack, didn’t like to command us as official Alpha.
“Seth won’t know anything’s going on if we don’t act like it,” I said.
Jacob nodded. “Hey, who’s coming to the campfire tomorrow?”
“I can’t,” Vonie said. “It’s my mom’s birthday and I have to be home.”
“I’m going with,” Brady said. “Sorry.”
“I’m visiting my cousins,” Alyson said, “and I won’t be home in time for the fire.”
“My mom’s sick,” Emily said, “so I have to stay with her tomorrow night.”
“Rachel’s not going,” Jacob said. “Does anyone know about Jared and Kim?”
“Jared’s going,” Sam said, “Kim’s not.”
“You’re going, right Gab?” I said.
“Yeah,” she said.
Oh God, I wish she hadn’t.