Leah’s Diary: Memories
Dear Diary, 
It was the last day of summer and the sun was shining through the treetops. My Junior year would start tomorrow as well as Sam’s Senior year. We walked hand in hand on the our trail that runs through the forest.
“Sam?” I ask with an austere tone.
He responds by ending his lengthy stride mid-step and kissing my cheek. I grin despite the seriousness of my awaiting inquiry. 
“What’s going to happen to us? After school is all finished?” I say, spitting the words out before I change my mind.
“I think we both already know the answer to that, silly.”
I wait, not saying anything. I may already have an idea or two about what I hope will happen, but I want to hear him say it.
“I’ll talk to your dad, you’ll pick out a white dress. It’s a love story. Baby, just say yes.” Sam sings the Taylor Swift song off key, making me laugh. He twirls me but I force myself to a quick stop and face him.
“I’m serious,” I tell him sternly, fighting my lingering urge to laugh at his answer.
“So am I. There isn’t anything I want more. Nothing and nobody can manke me change my mind, Leah.” 
I raise an eyebrow although I’ve already accepted his answer; now I’m just teasing and perhaps flirting a bit, hoping to spend every last minute of our summer together.
“I,” he says and kisses my forehead. “Love.” Kisses my nose. “You.” He kisses my lips gently and pulls me closer, wrapping his arms around my waist. With a giggle, I sneak my arms to his neck and lace my fingers together.
When we end the kiss, I move my arms to around his waist and lay my head against his chest. I can hear his steady heartbeat slowing its rhythm after the acceleration caused by our kiss.
“I love you too,” I say. He continues to hum “Love Story” quietly. “Is that really what will happen?”
“Absolutely. I promise. I love you, Leah. Nothing will ever change that. “
We stand there for a long time, maybe minutes, maybe hours, before continuing to walk until we reach our little clearing. A large rock sits hidden a bit deeper in the trees than our clearing; it’s covered in moss that is cool but not too damp, so instead of getting my new jeans dirty on the unusually dry ground, we sit against the rock. If we were string, it’d take a good amount of time to untangle us the way we intertwine our arms, legs, fingers. 
After a few minutes of quiet, my thoughts drift to school. “If I can, I’m going to take on some extra classes, maybe online so I can earn my credits.”
“Why’s that? So you don’t have to see me as much?” Sam teases.
“So I can graduate earlier and see you more,” I counter, reaching up to press our lips together. The kiss lasts awhile and before I know it, the sun is setting and we’re even more tangled up.
My eyelids dart open and I blink rapidly as a waterfall of tears pour down my face. His name escapes my lips in a yearning whisper as I remember he’s with Emily now. I am not his and he is not mine, despite the promises I know I meant and thought he did too. Breathing heavily, I sit up and bring my knees to my chest. With my arms around them I rock back and forth. Little did I know that less than a mile away, Sam was waking from the same dream. Neither did I know that Emily, his new fianceé, was by his side. 
It’s the dreams that make everything worse. They are the same memories and daydreams that I used to replay over and over in my mind to put me in a good mood. I wish that still worked. I turn to look at the clock after a bit, when my tears have slowed. It’s four in the morning. I crawl out of bed anyways and head to the shower, knowing that sleep won’t come easily for another day or two. I’ll probably wake up everyone else since I don’t bother to be quiet but at least they’ll know not to talk to me in the morning. I can’t help but wonder as I step under the blazing water if Sam has dreams and flashbacks like this too, and if he does, how he handles them in front of her. Does she even know? Maybe he recreates our memories with her, replacing the old-ugly-Leah ones with new gorgeous-exquisite-perfect-Emily ones. 
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Leah’s Diary: Roses Are Red, Topaz is Blue (Emily’s POV)

This entry is from the Point of View of Emily Young.


Dear Diary,

I was painting my fingernails a maroon color when my phone rang. “Snap, ” I say, using my preferred form of cussing—not that I hadn’t adopted worse from being around Sam and his friends. My phone was in my front pocket and I couldn’t get it out without smudging my polish. I wipe my nails on the towel, smearing the wet polish which leaves behind a mess and take my phone out. It’s Sam. Of course; tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day so I expected him to call.
“Hello?” I say.
“Hey, beautiful,” Sam greets, his voice smooth and steady.
“I’m sorry, who’s this?” I tease.
“Oh! I must have the wrong number. Oh well. You free tomorrow night?” He says, playing along.
“Won’t your girlfriend mind?” I chastise.
“No way. She knows I live for—”
My voice raises into a high-pitched scold, “Sam!”
“You know I’m just kidding. But anyways, do you have plans tomorrow?”
“Yeah, Sam, I totally have a date with this guy I met last week. He’s into modeling,” I say in a sarcastic tone. 
“Just checkin’.”
“So what are we doing? ” I ask him.
“It’s a secret, ” he says intriguingly.
“I’ll pick you up from work at four. I have to run for awhile, otherwise you could call in sick to work.”
I sigh, “Yeah well, be careful, ” I reply, trying not to let the worry that’s always in my voice show. When I know he’s running, it sometimes keeps me up all night. What if he got hurt? Or a vampire—No. I can’t even think about that. “Oh, and what should I wear?”
“Anything you want. I’ll probably just wear jeans and maybe a nicer shirt than normal, but don’t worry about dressing up. Anything else?”
“See you later, Em. Have a goodnight, ” Sam says, reminding me of how late it is.
“Goodnight, Sam. “
I hang up the phone and repaint my nails, this time leaving my phone beside me although there’s no need; no one but Sam ever calls this late. As soon as my nails are dried, I check tomorrow’s lesson plans and then get ready for bed. I fall asleep quickly, knowing Sam’s safe at home for the night. I dream of running beside him in the forest under the clouds made light pink by the sunrise.
Morning comes sooner than I would like and too soon, I have to go to work. I dress in a red shirt with ruffles that compliments my nails, and black dress pants as I’m not allowed to wear jeans to work. I add a chunky black necklace and a pair of black sandals with a small heel for accessories.
All through my classes, I am distracted, wondering what on earth Sam could have planned for the evening. I let my students work on their projects and instruct only when I have to. In one class of Juniors, my students notice my lack of contentment despite my attempt to act normal.
“Miss Young? You seem really out of it today,” Karina says to me.
“Yeah, ” I say, trying to quickly think of an excuse. “I haven’t slept well this week. It’s catching up with me.”
“Are you sure?” She asks. “Cuz Jess thinks it’s because today is Valentine’s Day and you have that guy who always picks you up.”
I blush, giving them the answer. “Yeah, maybe that’s it. None of you are much better. Karina’s been making googly eyes at Cade, and Cade at Jess, Caleb at Karina, Draven at Mary, and so on, ” I say, revealing some of their crushes lightheartedly and making them forget about me for the moment. I allow them to talk through class as they paint and sketch, playfully teasing each other and revealing more crushes.
Finally the last bell rings and I gather my things, heading out to the parking lot. It’s not quite four, but Sam is already there, leaning casually against a car, his hand behind his back. The car isn’t ours, since Sam runs here everyday and carries me back. Whenever the subject comes up with co-workers or others, I say that he parks around the corner.
He’s wearing a pair of black jeans that I don’t recall him owning so they must be new. His shirt is a tight white polo with half sleeves rolled up a few times. The pounding in my chest and sudden outbreak of butterflies in my stomach don’t even begin to describe how he’s making me feel as he embraces me with a hug and kisses me on the cheek. He smells fresh and clean, but not like a clean hospital smell, more like waking up in the morning after spending a night in the forest under the stars. After letting his side embrace drop to take my hand, he brings a single short-stemmed red rose from behind his back. I smile and thank him and he tucks the flower into my hair.
“Hey, you,” I kiss him back on the nose.
“Ready?” He asks.
I’m about to answer when a group of my students start chanting a few yards away. “Miss Young and…a stranger, sitting in the lot, k-i-s-” That’s all they get out before another teacher ushers them onto the bus. I shoot her a grateful glance and then take Sam’s hand and we walk around to the street, where Sam ‘parks.’
When we are out of sight of any bystanders, Sam runs into the woods ahead of me, sprinting out of sight. I wait for him about ten yards inside the forest, facing the street. Silky fur grazes my arm and I turn to see him as a wolf towering like a shadow overhead. He lies down and I crawl onto his back where I sit, holding his fur tightly in my fists. He stands and begins to run. I’ve always hated not being able to talk as we travel this way, but Sam knows that and always makes up for it by running his fastest and after all, it’s the cheapest form of transportation. He slows his run to a walk and then I can hear cars passing by again. He lies down again and I climb off. Watching the ground carefully so as not to stumble in my raised heeled shoes, I begin walking forward. Soon I can see the edges of a town I don’t recognize from the view since the backs of buildings face the forest. I hear Sam’s quiet human foot-falls against the forest floor and wait for him to catch up.
We walk hand in hand into the town and once we pass by a few buildings, I recognize Port Angeles. He leads me in the direction of the several stores and restaurants facing the bay. He stops when we are in front of a nice restaurant that I’ve heard costs a fortune.
“Hungry?” He inquires.
“Yes, but are you sure this is where you want to go?”
“Absolutely if it sounds okay to you.”
“I’ve heard the food is fantastic, but also expensive,” I say, feeling guilty for even addressing it.
“Don’t worry about the money, Em. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t have stopped here. Trust me,” Sam says, kissing my hand.
“Okay,” I answer and let him lead me inside.
The food is incredible to say the least. We both have the special—Champane Shrimp & Pasta—and after taking the first bite, I sigh with delight. Sam chuckles and makes a guttural sound of agreement. We eat mainly in silence, enjoying the food. When we do talk, we laugh at the cliché cheesy couples around the restaurant (before realizing we’d be included in that group), as well as the single people along the bar, treating themselves to a night out. For dessert, we shared a slice of Chocolate Lasagna, topped with pink sprinkles in honor of Valentine’s Day. Delicious was an understatement that everyone in the restaurant seemed to agree upon. 
Later in the evening we end up on the beach back in La Push, building a fire from driftwood. Sam pulls a box of matches from his pocket and ignites the fire. A blue flame spreads slowly, until the whole pile dances in the dark. The sun has already set but the sky still glows a perfect Valentine’s pink.
I sit on the sand with my back against Sam’s chest, watching the fire. He rests his chin on top of my head and laces his hands with mine. We listen to the crackling of the fire and the familiar whoosh of the ocean for several minutes without speaking.
“Emily?” Sam asks.
“Hmm?” I say contently with my eyes closed.
“Can I ask you something and you answer as honestly as you can?”
I straighten a little, turn to see Sam and open my eyes, becoming more attentive of what he’s saying, “Okay.”
“When I imprinted on you, you were mad and hated me and wanted me to go back to Leah.”
“That’s not really a question, ” I think about it for a moment before answering. “Yes, I was mad. No, I never have nor ever will hate you. And yes, I wanted you to return to Leah.”
Sam thinks over my answer, “You didn’t even hate me when this happened?” He brings his hand to my face and gently moves his finger along my scars.
“No. It was an accident, Sam.”
Sam is quiet for a moment and I think he is done with his questions and I turn my attention back to the fire until he does speaks again. “Do you still think I should go back to Leah?”
“If that’s what you want to do, I won’t stop you. I do like you, Sam, but I miss Leah. If the only way she would forgive me was for you to go back, then yes. But even if you did, I don’t know if she would forgive me. And I would miss you. A lot. If she ever decided she didn’t want you anymore…Well, I’d probably be there waiting.”
Sam sighs, “I wish this all were easier.”
“Me too, ” I agree.
“One more question, ” He pauses “okay maybe not. There will be more no matter how you answer.”
He hesitates again and I turn to look at him. His brown eyes reflect my silhouette against the rainbow flames.
“Do you…love me?”
I am taken aback by his question and have to turn away from his stare.
Do I love Sam? Do I? I realize I do. . But does that mean I don’t care about Leah anymore? Can’t I have both?
I turn back to him bravely, “Yes. I love you.”
Sam smiles and my heart melts with the power of this newfound  love. I love Sam Uley. I want to shout and proclaim my love for him to the world. The look in his eyes says he does too, but we settle for a kiss. Gently, he places his hands on either side of my face and comes closer, closer until our lips meet.
“I love you, Emily Young, and will continue to love you, until forever ends, with you in my arms.”
“I love you too, Sam.”
“So, another question then,” Sam draws himself away from me and kneels as if getting ready to stand. He reaches into his pocket and holds out a small box. My heart pounds like a jackhammer and it’s like we’re the only two people on earth. “Will you marry me, Em?” As he opens the box to reveal a silver ring, a clear round gem in the middle and lined with light topaz on either side. My eyes fill to the brim with tears.
“Yes, of course, ” I answer and saltwater spills onto my cheeks. He comes closer and kisses me again and I see that his cheeks are tear streaked too.
“I was hoping you’d say that, ” Sam says when we finally stop kissing.
I laugh, “I bet.”
Sam remembers then what he was doing before he kissed me and removes the ring from the box. He takes my hand and slides it onto my finger. In the colorful, shimmering light from the fire, the silver of the ring seems to bend and change colors. The contrast of the diamond against the topaz and the russet color of my skin is beautiful. Sam did a wonderful job choosing a ring and in that, I know I’ve made the right choice. He knows me so well and there is no one else on earth or even imaginable that I’d rather spend my eternity with.
We sit there for hours in each other’s arms, until the clouds above break and water falls down on us, putting out the fire. Sam scoops me into his arms and runs home, both of us with enormous smiles.
emilysoutfit samsoutfit thering
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Leah’s Diary: Family (Emily’s POV)

Note: This entry is from Emily’s perspective.

“Are you nervous?” I ask Sam.

We are holding hands across the front seat of Sam’s car on our way to my parent’s house in Makah for a New Year’s get together. Sam’s mom, Allison, is asleep in the backseat. I had offered her the front seat but both she and Sam insisted I take shotgun.

“A little, ” Sam admits with an anxious chuckle.

“It’s okay, ” I tell him. “They’ll love you.”

I squeeze Sam’s hand and he lifts my fingers to his lips, kissing them gently.

“Who’s running tonight?”

“Nobody, but they’re each supposed to run a quick lap, every time they get a chance.”

I nod. “Things been pretty quiet lately?”

“Yeah, which is good, but also means Jacob probably won’t be phasing anytime soon.”

“You’re ready for him to take over?”

“More than ready. It’s okay being in charge, but it’s a lot of responsibility. I’d rather spend more time with you, ” Sam explains with a smile. He leans over and kisses my cheek, never taking his eyes from the road.

We slow down at the edge of town and I direct Sam through the streets to my family’s small house. The house isn’t really that small in comparison to the majority of homes in Makah, but it is compared to where I live now.

Allison yawns from the back seat and both Sam and I glance back to see her stretching, her eyes glazed over from her nap.

“This one here, ” I say to Sam, pointing to the yellow house.

He pulls up next to the curb and we climb from the car. Sam retrieves the soda we brought from the backseat and then joins me and Allison on the sidewalk. I let us into the house and we follow the noise to the kitchen.

“Emi!” My two year old niece cries, running towards me.

I let go of Sam’s hand and lift her into my arms.

“Hi, Claire!” I exclaim.

“How are you, Em?” My mom asks.

“Good, ” I say taking hold of Sam’s arm and smiling at him. “This is Sam, and his mother, Allison. And this is my mom, Christa, my dad, John, my brother, Luke, and his daughters Cally and Claire, ” I introduce everyone, pointing and gesturing to each person as I say their name.

They all say hello and greet each other and my mother leads Allison further into the kitchen, chatting up a storm. Sam strikes a conversation with my father, and they head outside leaving me with Luke and his girls.

“Where’s Amy?” I ask about Luke’s wife.

The last time I talked to Luke was just before Christmas and he and Amy were not having the best time. She was hardly ever home and when she was, she was sleeping, leaving Luke to take care of the girl’s, provide money to pay the bills, cook, and clean.

Luke shakes his head and a look of sadness crosses over Cally’s face. I make a mental note to ask later when the girls aren’t around.

Mom ushers me and Allison into the kitchen and the men go to the family room with Claire. Cally disappears outside, a notebook in her hand.

I join Mom in loading the dishwasher, our backs to Allison who begins wiping down the counters.

“We’re so glad you could make it,” Mom tells Allison. “You must have done well in raising your son to make Emily leave Makah for him.”

Allison nods, “Thanks for having me. He’s a good boy. I think he could make any girl fall for him.”

I frown, upset at her seeming disbelief in the reality of our love. Pretending to look at the clock, I sneak a glance back to see that Allison is yawning, forcing a break in her words.

“But he’s very lucky to have Emily. She’s a hard worker and not totally dependent on Sam like some of his girlfriends in the past have been.”

A glare forms on my face. The only other girlfriend Sam has ever had to my knowledge is Leah and I hate what she’s implied about her. As I reach for another dish, I find that we’ve finished.

“Anything else you need, Mom?” I ask.

“Nope, I think we’re set.”

I reluctantly leave the kitchen and head outside since through the window on the backdoor I can see Cally still in the yard. She’s sitting on a swing staring at the ground in deep thought. The notebook is on the grass a few feet away. I take the 2nd swing and sway lightly back and forth.

“How’s it going, Cal?”

She sighs. “I don’t know.”

“Life giving you some pretty sour lemons?” I ask.

“Yeah, I guess,” Cally hadn’t looked at me until now when she turns her head up and I see the wet streaks running from her eyes.

“If you ever need to just talk, call me. Or have your dad drive you up. I know how rough things can get sometimes. I can always come find you too. Okay?”

Cally sniffs, “M’kay.”

We are quiet for a moment and I am about to go find Sam when she speaks again.

“It’s just…I’m afraid my mom’s going to leave us, you know? I heard you and Dad talking when we were at your house just before Ann and I came back from the beach.”

Alarm crosses through my mind but I keep a neutral expression. “You did?”

She nods.

“I’m sorry, Cally. It’s just…sometimes couples just can’t be happy together anymore. It might mean that things will get even better for you guys. Wouldn’t it be easier if you didn’t have to be rejected by your mom every time you want her to do something with you? She wouldn’t be around to ask, but what if your dad found someone else who stayed home with you and Claire all the time? Wouldn’t that be nice?”

Cally sniffs again and shrugs.

“You know Seth’s older sister Leah?” Cally nods and I continue, “Well she and I used to be best friends. We did everything together. We even made a pact that we would help each other plan our weddings. Then boys came along. She started dating Sam Uley—”

“Wait, ” she stops me. “Sam that came with you tonight?”

I nod, “I hadn’t been going to Leah’s as much after that since we were both more busy with our lives. I hadn’t even met Sam officially, only seen him from a distance and in pictures. One day, I went to visit and I got to where we were all eating before Leah did. Sam was already there. I suppose you could say it was love at first sight. Everything was different after that. And even though they loved each other, it just wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes it’s not.”

After a while, we all end up in the backyard, watching the display of sky fireworks set off by the town. It’s eleven-thirty and Claire has been asleep for a few hours inside on the couch. Cally insists on staying up until midnight but she yawns more and more as the time goes by.

I’ve hardly been with Sam all evening because he’s been busy talking and laughing with my family. He was the one who put Claire to sleep, rocking her and singing, since she wouldn’t let anyone else. That makes me look forward to our future; on those sleepless nights when our baby won’t stop crying, Sam will get up and gently rock them to sleep, allowing me a few much needed minutes of sleep.

“How’s it going, beautiful?” Sam’s familiar voice whispers warm into my ear.

I smile and turn to him, wrapping my arms around his waist.

“Good, except I’ve hardly seen you tonight, ” I say.

“Well you were right, they love me, ” Sam says with a smile.

“I knew they would.”

Sam doesn’t say anything and instead kisses my head. Luke comes to stand by us and Sam lets go of my so we can both face him. He keeps one arm wrapped tightly around my waist.

“So, Amy?” I ask Luke.

“She’s supposedly at a party for work. One that families weren’t invited to,” he explains. His face is worn and he looks much older than the last time I saw him, only weeks ago.

I draw my lips into a hard line. “You don’t think that’s where she really is?”

“No. What kind of workplace does that? And more importantly, what kind of mom abandons her family on a holiday to go to a work party?”

Sam and I don’t answer his questions.

“I’m sorry, Luke. That must be hard.”

He nods and his eyes travel to Cally who gets closer to sleeping every minute. She’s now moved to a lawn chair and her chin rests in her hand.

“I’m happy for you though, sis. You two seem perfect for each other.”

I smile and turn to see that Sam is too. He kisses my lips quickly just as my parents and Allison come to join our circle.

“Thanks,” Sam says to Luke and then turns to my parents. “You raised the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met.”

My parents smile and as happy as I am, the smile on my own face falters as Leah enters my mind.

“It’s time, it’s time!” Cally exclaims, looking at her watch. “Ten!”

I join in counting, as do the others, grateful for the distraction from my thoughts.

Later when it is time to leave, we say our goodbyes and climb in the car and head home.

We are all tired and I’ve lost my excitement for the new year, my thoughts focused on Luke and Amy, on Leah.


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Leah’s Diary: Apologies (Emily’s POV)

So this is what Leah felt like when Sam first went missing, I think to myself. The thought makes me feel even worse after talking to her at the store. I haven’t seen or talked to Sam since that day in the forest. I feel so bad for the things that I said to him. Jared, Paul and now Embry all say they haven’t seen him. He hasn’t been home, and he hasn’t called.

The doorbell rings and I turn off the TV, since nothing good was on anyways, and open the door. Jared stands there with Paul beside him. I invite them in and offer them cookies, which they each take several of. I’ve learned to always make extra of everything, doubling or tripling the recipe since I know none of it will ever go to waste.

“Have you guys heard anything?” I ask when they are seated at the table munching down cookies.

Jared nods. “Actually yes.”

“What?” I ask excitedly. I miss Sam so much.

“He’s back. He’s . . . ,” Jared says.

“Having a hard time, ” Paul finishes, and Jared nods again

“He wanted us to be here when he came over—just in case.”

I sigh but my heartbeat quickens. “When is he coming?”

“He should be here anytime, ” Paul answers.

As if summoned by their words, the doorbells rings. I go to answer it and am quickly flanked by Jared and Paul. Jared takes the lead and opens the door. Sam stands there, looking handsome as ever, cleanly shaven.

“Sam,” I say and dive into his arms. Paul and Jared hesitate beside us, not knowing whether to intervene. Sam hesitates too, to wrap his arms around me but he does.

“I missed you so much, ” I tell him, and he lets go.

I take a step back to see him better. Paul and Jared hover nervously and Sam nods. His hand reaches toward me and stops. He drops it and then lifts it again, closer to my face this time.

“It’s okay, ” I say taking his other hand.

“I don’t . . . I don’t even know how to begin to tell you how sorry I am, Emily. If you never want to see me again, I understand. You should just tell me right now to . . . go jump off a cliff or take a bullet or something. I don’t know if I can live with this”—his hand grazes my scar—”knowing I hurt you —so your wish is my command. I wouldn’t ever do those things unless you told me to. I wouldn’t leave you . . . if not, ” Sam whispers, looking down and stuffing his hands into his pockets.

I shake my head and look away so he won’t see the tears filling my eyes when he looks up. I wipe them away.

“Stop. No. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said what I did. I didn’t mean it at all. You’re not like him—you’re so much better than that, Sam. I just feel so bad for Leah. I do want to see you. I’m just afraid you won’t want to see me . . . like this. And if you ever did, any of those things you just mentioned, I-I would have to, too. And then Leah probably would and then we’d raise the suicide rate in La Push by like, a ton, ” I finish off my words, laughing through my tears. Sam smiles.

His sad smile nearly breaks my heart, so I kiss him, wrapping my arms around him once more. I’d all but forgotten Jared and Paul were even there and they hover once more but back away when Sam pulls me even closer. We end our kiss and I rest my head against his chest with my eyes closed, both of us relaxed.

“I’m so sorry—” Sam begins again and I interrupt him.

“Stop. Are you hungry?”

“Starving, ” he answers and I take his hand, leading him inside.

He sits at the table while I heat up leftovers for all three of the men. While the food is heating, I grab plates and set the table.

“Gosh, I missed you, ” Sam says as I serve his food.

I laugh, “I’m sure. You don’t know how lonely it gets. Especially while I’m not working.”

Sam looks up, “Not working?”

“They gave me some time off. I go back after Christmas break, ” I explain while dishing food for the others. I’ve already eaten, so I sit in the empty chair at Sam’s side, pulling it closer to him.

He nods, “That makes sense. And that gives us like an extra week together right?”

Paul and Jared groan in unison and I giggle.

“It was bad enough when you were gone, ” Paul says. “Even with Embry’s help.”

“How is Embry? ” Sam asks them.

“Ehh, he’s okay. He’s got a lot of questions, that’s for sure, ” Jared says and Paul nods in agreement.

“Serves you guys right then, ” Sam retorts. “You two asked more questions than a classroom of four-year-olds. Is he running now?”

“Yeah, ” Paul says. “I’m supposed to go trade with him soon. You want me to send him in?”

Sam nods, “Yes, please.” He turns to me, “We can go out tomorrow if you want, Emi. I gotta take care of this tonight.”

“I understand,” I tell him. “I’m just glad that you’re finally back.”

I lean my head against his shoulder and he wraps his arm around me, the other guys making faces and pretending to gag. Paul leaves and a few minutes later, Embry comes in. He stands in the doorway awkwardly, not yet feeling welcome at my house like the rest of the pack does.

“Come on in,” I tell him. “Foods on the counter, plates in the cupboard. Help yourself.”

Embry nods and goes to the counter. Jared gets up and helps himself to seconds after Embry has his food, then they return to the table.

“Emily makes lots of food, ” Jared says to Embry. “And we eat it for her.”

I smile, “Isn’t that right? I guess that’s what comes from being the one and only imprint.” I lean over and kiss Sam’s cheek.

Embry nods but stays silent. Sam’s eyes are on him and I, too can tell Embry has a question.

“So, uh, ” Embry begins. “How does the whole imprinting thing work? I don’t really get it. I mean, You and Leah—”

Sam’s body tenses next to mine and I assume he wasn’t expecting this question.

“We don’t really know how or why it happens, just that it does. I think, ” Sam clears his throat. “That, uh, you imprint on the person that…How do I put this? That you, have the best chance of reproducing with. So that…the tribe will always have protection for our enemies when it’s needed.”

My cheeks grow warm and I know they must be bright pink. I look to Sam to see that his are too and then look away. Being the only imprint doesn’t really allow anyone to make many theories about imprinting.

“That makes sense I guess, ” Embry says. “So, like, how do you know?”

“You just do. The first time you see her, everything changes and she’s the only thing that matters anymore. You would do anything for her, ” Sam stops to kiss my cheek and I smile.

Embry nods.

“Anything else?” Sam asks.

“Nah, I’ll let you know if I think-a somethin’.”

Embry continues to eat and Jared stands up to get more. Later we move into the living room and Jared leaves to relieve Paul. Sam answers more questions of Embry’s throughout the evening while I snuggle into his side, happy and content now that he is back.



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