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.
This entry is from the Point of View of Emily Young.
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.
“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.
Thank you for reading! I sure had a blast writing this entry and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it! Like Leah’s Diary on Facebook here and be sure to comment and like a lot so that you have a chance at becoming our next Fan of the Month! Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this entry, any others, the ring, anything; just talk to me! Love ya XOXO Annee
Note: This entry is Part 2 to the previous entry and is from Sam Uley’s perspective. Also when Sam is in wolf form, the dialogue is in italics to differentiate between the two forms.
“Any ideas?” Emily asks me.
I’m about to shake my head when I catch sight of the Black’s house, which does give me an idea. Rachel. She lives in Seattle which isn’t too far, and I know she and Leah are close friends.
I pause before answering, “. . . Possibly.”
She follows my gaze. “I’m sure they’ve asked them all.”
“Maybe so, but if Leah came to you, asked to stay, and asked you not to tell anyone she was there, wouldn’t you do it?”
Emily barely has to think before she answers. “Yes. But I wouldn’t do it for more than a week.”
“And a week is all Leah needs.” Emily considers this and nods. I can tell she’s not sure, but she knows it’s possible. Now that I’ve thought of it, it seems like the only solution. Christmas was never Leah’s favorite holiday and it would probably be even more miserable for her now. I cringe with guilt, and know the only way to get past it is to reach over and take Emily’s hand, so I do.
“Wait. Em, Leah doesn’t want to be found. At least not yet, which is why she ran away. If we go in and tell Harry and Sue, and we’re right, and the Leah finds out that we figured it out and tattled on her—”
“She’ll be more upset with us than she already is.”
“Exactly. But on the other hand, we could use it to our benefit and say we found her because we know her and love her best,” I whisper, grateful that Seth had fallen asleep.
Emily thinks it over. “I don’t know, Sam. What if she’s not with Rachel? Then what?”
The thought sends another twinge of worry through me. I miss Leah. And love her. I’m in love with Emily, but I will always love Leah.
“I know what to do, ” I say. “Don’t say anything about our theory tonight and I’ll check into Rachel tomorrow. “
“You mean go to Seattle?”
She sighs, and I know she’s not happy with it but knows it’s best.
I pull the car onto the side of the street behind the Forks’ Police Cruiser and we get out. Seth wakes up as I shift the gear into park and gets out of the car, leading us into the house in a zombie-like posture. He leaves the door open behind him and Emily and I follow him in, her soft hand in mine.
Harry, Sue, Charlie, Billy, and Jacob are all placed timidly about the brightly lit living room. Seth heads straight for the stairs without saying a word.
“I believe Seth may have sneaked out to talk to us,” I announce while closing the door.
Sue sighs, “Sorry if he bothered you two. And thanks for bringing him home. At least that’s one kid.”
“So we heard. And nope, no bother, ” I say, realizing afterwards that her words implied Emily and I had been together when he showed up.
“Well since you guys are here, ” Charlie says to us, “Mind answering some questions?”
“Nope, not at all, ” Emily answers. I like that we speak together; answer for each other and trust that we know each other well enough.
“Have either of you seen or heard from Leah in the last . . . hmm, week or so?”
Emily and I both shake our heads.
Charlie sighs, seeming to be giving up.
“Seth told us what was going on, ” I say. “I think I might have an idea—”
I haven’t finished speaking when Sue interrupts. “Where?”
“Have you checked Rachel?” On instinct, my eyes move toward Billy and Jacob. Billy looks tired and worn out. I automatically scan Jacob for any changes. He is expected to phase any time, being old enough. Guiltily, I look forward to the day when he does, so that I can step down from my leadership position in the pack and Jacob will be alpha. I can feel Emily’s speculative gaze examine me, wondering what I’m up to. I want to tell her; I don’t want them to be surprised that Rachel lied, if Leah is there.
Sue, Harry, and Charlie all look disappointed when I ask them this. Harry nods. “We’ve called twice.”
“Think about it. This is Leah we’re talking about. She hates Christmas, and she disappears a week before it. I’d bet she’s just trying to get away from here for the holidays. And I’d bet she’s staying at Rachel’s whether Rachel says so or not.”
Billy shakes his head. “Rachel’s supposed to be down here the day after tomorrow.”
“Which makes it even better for both of them. Leah gets to go away for a week. Rachel gets housekeeping,” I argue.
“I don’t know, ” Charlie says looking doubtful.
I let out a long breath in frustration. “Well do you have any other leads? I know Lee. She just wants to get away for awhile, especially because of me and Em. Just give her a week, she’ll be back.”
“No we don’t have any,” Charlie answers.
“Rachel wouldn’t lie about something like that, ” Jacob says in defense.
“Sam’s right. Just let her be. She’ll come back just like he says,” Harry says from the corner. I see Sue give him a glare. “Whether she’s with Rachel or not, ” he adds for Jacob and Billy.
“Well, it’s up to you guys, ” Charlie says, “I’ll keep an eye out. Let me know if she comes back.”
Sue still looks upset. Emily sees her at the same time I do and lets go of my hand to go to her. I hear her murmuring words of comfort and take the chance to look at Jacob again. Billy sees me do so and gives me a look that seems to ask how much longer I think it will be. I shrug my shoulders slightly, trying to avoid drawing attention, but Jacob sees and his eyes narrow at me.
Emily returns to my side a few minutes later. ”Well, we should probably get going, ” she says to me, as well as everyone else.
“Thanks for bringing Seth back, ” Sue whispers.
Emily answers her as we return to the car. We are both quiet on the ride home, lost in our thoughts. I am trying to plan what I will do tomorrow once I get to Seattle. I don’t know where Rachel lives, or even have an idea of the area.
“Have a goodnight, Em, ” I say as I drop Emily off.
“You’re really going to Seattle tomorrow?”
“I have to, ” I answer and the look on her face tells me she understands. She sighs anyways.
“Goodnight.” She walks toward the house and I think I hear her say ‘I love you,’ but it might just be my imagination since that’s what I wish she would blurt out someday.
Once home, I don’t go inside but instead run into the forest and phase after I park the car.
Yoo-hoo, I holler in my thoughts. Anybody here? You’re supposed to be you know.
Paul answers back yawning, Yeah, yeah, I’m here.
I thought Jared was supposed to relieve you after he had dinner?
Yeah. He was. Never showed up, and you weren’t answering your phone when I called thirty minutes ago. No one else did either.
I relay the evening’s events for him and he understands. Well ya could-a howled, I joke with him. Anyhoo, I’ll go see what happened to Jared, you go ahead and sleep. We’ll be okay for awhile. And hey, any idea of where Rachel lives? I show him my plans to go to Seattle in the morning.
Thanks, Sam. And no idea. I’d like to though; she’s hot! Images replay in his head of his memories of her and I groan.
Please spare me, Paul.
Why? You don’t for us. Sam and Emily sitting in a tree, k—
I interrupt his chanting with a command, Go get some sleep, Paul. So that you guys can take care of stuff for me tomorrow. Make sure that if anyone new phases, I hear about it. I don’t want to come home and find a bunch of surprises.
Yes, boss. His voice fades from my head and I race toward Jared’s house.
When I am close, I phase back to my human form and dress quickly. The lights are on in Jared’s house where he lives with his older brother and sister-in-law. I hurry to the door and knock, loud and hard. Jared’s brother, David, answers the door.
“Hey, Sam. What’s up?” he says nonchalantly, and I can tell he knows where Jared is and where he’s really supposed to be.
“Where’s Jared?” I question, skipping the small talk.
“I don’t know,” he lies.
“Yes, you do.” I can hear other voices inside so I ease my way past him into the small living room.
Seated on the couch is Jared, trying not to laugh, along with Kim, a girl I recognize from school. She’s in Jared’s grade and has always had a crush on him. The pieces click, when I see their hands intertwined. “Well, crap. Great timing, Jared.”
He is to his feet in a moment, looking alarmed. Kim looks confused, trying to figure out what is going on, which tells me he hasn’t explained much yet.
“What’s going on?” he asks.
“Long story. You need to be running. I sent Paul home. I’ll explain on the way.”
The word running, seems to make sense to Kim and in unison sadness crosses over both of their faces.
“Say your goodbyes, ” I tell him with a sigh, “I’ll be outside. Make it quick.”
I exit the house and go to the forest where I phase. I’m just about ready to go back in and drag Jared out by his ear when his thoughts glide into my mind. All he can think about is her and I am tempted to roll my eyes. But as Paul said, I’m just as bad for them with my thoughts of Emily.
He starts to run the perimeter we’ve set, and I catch him up on what’s happened. So I need you guys to figure out something for tomorrow, I don’t care who runs but don’t be slacking just cuz you’ve got a girlfriend now. Oh, and I’m happy for you by the way.
M’kay, yeah, thanks. Jared sounds as if he’s speaking on the phone with all his distracted thoughts.
So do you happen to know where Rachel lives? I ask.
No. But, hey—I can have Kim ask Jacob. Tell him she was wanting to go visit or something.
I smile, grateful for imprints, Do that. And thanks. Let me know as soon as you can. I’ll probably run there tomorrow, so just pop in when you find out.
Will do. Sorry about Leah.
What is there to be sorry for? I might actually be able to talk to her for once. The thought makes me smile again. I don’t wait for a reply, since I am home now. I phase and dress, and go inside to bed. Tomorrow could be a long day.
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“Well I can’t just stay here for Christmas, Sam. If I did that, my dad would just drive up here and drag me back kicking and screaming if he had to,” Emily’s voice came through the receiver.
“I know. I understand that. My mom doesn’t have anybody to be with for Christmas,” I point out once again. “I don’t know. Maybe you should just go, and I’ll go to my mom’s.”
Emily lets out a long sigh that I know means she doesn’t like that. “I want you to meet my parents though, so…”
“Yeah, and I want to. I just—”
“I know, ” She finishes.
We’ve had this conversation so many times now, it just keeps circling back around without anything being decided. The doorbells rings, distracting me from what I was going to say. I’m sitting in the kitchen of my small mobile home which gets more and more lonely, the more time I spend with Emily in the house I bought her.
“I don’t know, Emily. Can’t we just decide later?”
“You’ve been saying ‘we’ll decide later’ for weeks now. I think we need to decide now.“
“Maybe we need to just let things fall into place. It’ll all work out, ” I say this to comfort her though I’m not sure of it myself since there’s hardly a week left until Christmas. The doorbell rings again and I start walking, flipping lights on in the dark house as I go. “I gotta go, Em. Someone’s here.”
She sighs again, “Fine. But this conversation is not over.”
“Okay, ” I say smiling at her bossiness. “Bye, Emi. Sleep well.”
“See you tomorrow, Sam.”
I snap the cell phone shut and open the door. The screen is still shut, but the porch light illuminates Seth Clearwater’s face.
What is he doing here? I wonder. It’s nearly eleven at night, long past Leah’s curfew when she was Seth’s age.
I open the screen door and gesture for him to come in.
“What’s up, Seth?” I ask.
“Hey, Sam. You haven’t talked to Leah, have you?”
“Uh, when? The last time we spoke I think was when Emily…” My voice trails off. I’m afraid to speak the words, afraid that saying them will bring bad luck.
Seth’s head hangs low, “Yeah, that’s what I guessed. Still had to know though. Thanks, Sam.” Seth moves toward the door.
Suddenly, my mind is conjuring up the reasons he would want to know. Maybe bad luck just follows me anyways.
“Wait!” I call out before he is off the porch. He turns, hopeful. “Why?”
“Leah…she’s missing,” Seth starts to ramble. “We all thought she was just sleeping in yesterday, but when mom went in to offer her lunch, she wasn’t there. So we talked to Charlie Swan and he said that if she was still missing at lunchtime today, then they could file a report. She’s eighteen but—” My heart speeds up and the sound of blood traveling through my veins overpowers my hearing. I may not have imprinted on Leah, but I still love and care about her.
“So everyone’s out looking for her now?” I ask interrupting.
“Yeah. Well, sorta. We’re all just talking to the people she might have said something to. Charlie’s idea. I think it’s pointless, since she probably doesn’t want to be found but…”
“So what do you think we should do?” I interrupt again.
“I don’t know. You know her as well as I do. So does—”
“Emily, ” We say in unison.
“Let’s go over to Emily’s, ” I say. “Where are your parents?”
“Home. Charlie’s there too.” Seth avoids my stare as we walk outside together. He climbs in the passenger seat of my car and I start it up. I narrow my eyes at him.
“Seth?” I ask after a few minutes. I turn to look at him for a moment, since the quiet roads of La Push at this hour require little attention.
“Do your parents know where you are right now?”
He continues to avoid my gaze, answering my question. He mumbles something incoherent.
“Well gosh. Now I’m a kidnapper and probably a suspect on your sister’s case. Thanks, ” I joke, trying to lighten the mood.
Seth only chuckles nervously, “Or else they’ll blame me.”
I can tell how worried Seth is about Leah and I don’t blame him. I’m the same way. We pull into the driveway of Emily’s and the automatic porch light comes on. I see Emily watching from the kitchen window. When she recognizes my car, she steps out onto the porch in a white bathrobe and pink pajama pants with multicolored polka dots on them. The corner of my mouth pulls up in a lazy smile. Emily looks so cute that I wish I was coming over just to spend time with her.
“Sam?” She inquires as we get out of the car in unison, “What’s wrong?”
“Leah, ” Seth answers. “She ran away.”
I see Emily’s face turn from wonder and confusion to worry.
She doesn’t even hesitate, “Give me one minute.”
She returns inside and I see her scurry through the house quickly flipping lights on and off again as she goes. Finally she comes outside again wearing the same clothes she had been earlier that day. I climb back in the driver’s seat and Emily into the passenger, since Seth has moved to the backseat. Seth catches Emily up on the events from the last few days.
Although the ride from Emily’s to the Clearwater’s is short, Seth appears to be exhausted and falls asleep on the way over.
Emily turns to me just as we pull off the main street.
“Any ideas?” She asks me.
Thanks for reading! Part two is coming soon In the meantime, head on over to our Facebook Page here or Twitter here to give your opinion on Emily’s question, “Any ideas” for where Leah is?
Los Angeles Times recently visited the set of Chaske Spencer’s new film, ‘Winter in the Blood.’ You all know Chaske as Sam Uley in the Twilight Saga movies.
Lead actor, Chaske Spencer studies his script between takes. Photo taken August 16, 2011.
Photo by Patricia Williams/For The Times
Reporting from Havre, Mont. ——
If, as has been said, Montana is a small town with really long streets, that’s never more true than in the remote but stunning area known as the Hi-Line.
Originally created by the tracks of the Great Northern Railway, this region close to the Canadian border features venerable hamlets such as Cut Bank, Shelby and Rudyard (“596 Nice People, One Sorehead”) strung out along U.S. 2 like links in a long and stubborn chain. “When you drive Highway 2,” says Chaske Spencer, shaking his head, “you really go back in time.”
Despite brooding grain elevators dominating the skyline and lonesome freight trains bisecting the endless fields of winter wheat, no one has brought a movie star like Spencer — he plays werewolf Sam Uley, a mainstay of the “Twilight” series — to the Hi-Line in years. Until Alex and Andrew Smith’s “Winter in the Blood,” based on the landmark novel by James Welch and featuring Spencer, “Twilight” colleague Julia Jones, David Morse and Gary Farmer, filmed here this summer.
Brimming with so much vibrant Montana history and connections that the good wishes of the entire state have lined up behind it, “Winter” is the quintessential little film that has used what one crew member called “smoke and mirrors and miracles” to get made. A genuine passion project for everyone it’s touched (including Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who made his plane available to fly in potential financiers and visited the set over the Labor Day weekend), the film got on its feet against considerable odds.
Welch, who died of a heart attack at age 62 in 2003, was a product of the Hi-Line, born in Browning of a Blackfeet father and Gros Ventre mother and raised on the Ft. Belknap Reservation. He put everything he knew about the area and about modern Native American life into “Winter in the Blood,” a landmark debut novel published in 1974.
The story of a nameless young Native American man who struggles with his heritage and his life, who feels “as distant from myself as a hawk from the moon,” “Winter” is a book where not a lot happens but everything is revealed. As costar Farmer explains, raising his outstretched arm ever so slightly, “the character’s arc goes like this, nothing really changes. It’s the audience who grows. I’ve known this author my whole life, and that’s what I love about his writing.”
The book, which has been translated into eight languages and remains in print, was a foundation stone of the literary Native American renaissance and has inspired countless writers, from Louise Erdrich (“what astounded me was that something so familiar could be made into literature”) to Sherman Alexie.
Alexie returned the favor by becoming an associate producer on “Winter in the Blood.” When he spoke at a fundraiser in Missoula, remembers co-screenwriter Ken White, he said that reading the book “was the first time I read a story about myself, the first time I saw my story represented in literature. It gave me permission to speak. It’s why I became a writer.”
White’s co-screenwriters, the twin Smith brothers, have deep Montana connections as well. Born and raised in the state, their first film, the Ryan Gosling-starring Sundance hit “The Slaughter Rule,” was also shot on the Hi-Line, and their mother, writer Annick Smith, was the co-editor (along with William Kittredge) of a renowned anthology of Montana writing, “The Last Best Place.”
More than that, the Smith brothers had been close to Welch for as long as they could remember. “We just grew up knowing him; he was one of the constants in our lives,” says Andrew. A friend of the boys’ parents, Welch even met his future wife, Lois, at a party at the Smiths’ house. Adds Alex, “after our dad, Dave, died [in 1974, when the twins were 6], we looked around at men and wondered, ‘Would he have been a good dad?,’ and Jim was always high up in that category.”
Once the brothers read “Winter in the Blood” in high school, says Alex, “it was, ‘Whoa, this guy who’s been so sweet at Thanksgiving and Christmas has this sadness, this depth he didn’t display all the time.’ He became someone we admired.”
The novel, which features a narrator who deals with the deaths of his father and his beloved brother, haunted the Smiths. Says Alex, “Obviously, we’re not Indians, but we grew up isolated and rural, and we suffered the traumatic loss of a family member.” Adds Andrew, “The book is also about losing a brother, and we had such a tremendous fear of losing each other.”
Despite all these connections, the brothers never thought of filming “Winter in the Blood,” even after the success of “The Slaughter Rule”made them bankable directors. “Maybe,” says Andrew, “we were too close to see it.” Instead, they pitched other ideas and wrote any number of screenplays without anything coming to fruition.
Then in 2007, White, an actor-writer friend of the brothers, house-sat at their mother’s place near Missoula. “I couldn’t sleep that night and opened a copy of ‘Winter in the Blood,’ which I had never read,” White remembers. “At 5 in the morning, I emailed Alex and Andrew and said, ‘Why are you not making this movie?’”
Convincing everyone took awhile, but, says Alex, after years of “getting so close on so many projects that were not getting made, we thought we should go back to how we did it on ‘Slaughter Rule’ and make something close to our hearts.” Not surprisingly, agents and managers said, “‘What? You want to do a period drama that’s 80% Native American?’” Adds Andrew, “They thought it was suicide.”