All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of S. Meyer. The original plot is the only thing that belongs to me. All poems are credited to their original owner. No copyright infringement is intended.
Credit to SarcasticBimbo for her beta skills, coppertopj and starsmina for pre-reading.
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And I have a blog for better (read: x-rated) pictures- MeteorOnAMoonlessNight dot blogspot dot com
I came up with the idea for this story when I was looking at Twilight pictures on Tumblr that focused on the wolf pack. Bella has no recollection of her past or how she came to be a shapeshifter; she doesn’t have Quileute blood, but she still considers them family because they have spent years raising her as their own. Her independence is reflected in her refusal to toe the line, resulting in extreme tension between the vampires and the werewolves. We follow her journey as she struggles to find her place in the world off the reservation, with Edward by her side. With or without the tribe’s permission.
So far, I’m considering this to be moderate angst, but it depends on your definition. I won’t be offering any more warnings in author's notes.
She balances the dualism
Of her mind
Strength is her essence
There's no need for pretense
She's a thinker
Not afraid to learn
And forward unto others
The passionate burn
Yet spirit staying free
Wild animal that is inside her
This wolf that is she.
~ Michelle Schaper~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They call me wolf girl, or sometimes just kwoli. They say I'm strange; I don't follow any of their rules, and that perplexes them. They are an ancient people made up of complex rules passed down throughout the generations. I have no true family, surviving on my own in the deepest part of the woods so far north I was nearly in Makah territory. The wolves were my friends, the deer my constant companions. The mountain lion was my prey, Ozette Lake both my bathtub and swimming pool. When I needed shelter, I huddled with the wolf pack under a rock outcropping. I am, and always have been, a fierce survivor.
They tell me there have only been two earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest in the last half century, one sixteen years ago and again when they found me five years ago.
Earthquakes are feared by the Quileutes as a sign that they've angered their ancestors in some way. From what they tell me, there was a shifting of the ground the year I was four that caused my parents’ car to crash into a hemlock tree. The vehicle was never found, and neither were the occupants. I can't say that I remember anything of how I came to be living in the forest, just that it's been my home for a very long time.
Or it was. The year I was fifteen there was another seismic shift. It started far north and moved down toward the reservation in the town of La Push, Washington. The elders ordered a scouting party to head all the way to the beginning of the massive crack left in the earth to determine the cause. That was when they found me.
To better survive, I wasn't in my human form, and the Quileutes didn't know what to make of me. Not the first shapeshifter, and surely not the last, I was the only one to not have been born within their tribe. I didn't know English, or the Quileute language, and I couldn't communicate with them nor they with me. However, there was one among them that knew what I was.
He showed me how he changed, and I watched the air shiver and sparkle, his skin glittering moments before it exploded into fur the color of the moonless night. In that form, we communicated without words, using our visions and memories of the past to explain. He showed me his reservation, his people, and the only other man like him. Like us. He showed me a beautiful dark haired girl he held great affection for, and her parents and brother. I got the impression I was to come with them and not return to the forest.
Part of me yearned to run, to let my muscles bunch and coil and then finally release, sending me far from these men that wanted my life to change. But then I recalled his feelings of affection and love, the warmth and comfort of home, and the parts of my soul that were still human craved to experience what he felt.
With no self-consciousness, I concentrated on the remnants of my mortality and allowed the current to run untethered through my veins. It felt like an electric shock, like lightning striking, and with a sound like rolling thunder I was standing there on two legs instead of four. Long brown hair fell over my shoulders, and I stretched my fingers and toes simply because it felt good to do so.
It wasn't until I realized the men were standing yards in front of me with their eyes closed that I regretted not having clothing. It was not something I'd had to worry about since I was a very little girl. A long jacket was held out to me, and I accepted it to cover a body even I was unfamiliar with. The walk was long but not arduous as we headed back toward their village. I didn't understand what they were saying once the man shifted back, but I know now they were discussing how best to deal with me.
The Clearwaters were respected members of the tribe, and the only family with a girl my general age. When we reached the reservation in the town of La Push, I was taken immediately to their home. The introductions were rudimentary at best, but that day I gained a mother and father figure and two siblings, Leah and Seth. Over the next five years, Sue was tireless in taking on the role of my mother; teaching me to speak not only English, but the complicated and ancient Quileute language. She taught me how to cook, she taught mathematics and science, how to read and how to love books. I found such a passion for books and the places they could take me. I was often in the woods reading, using the stories as a means to escape, when I should have been doing something else. It didn't take long for me to outlearn Sue and her school books.
One of the things my new father, Harry Clearwater, and the other Quileute elders tried to teach me was their legends. I couldn't understand why I was an anomaly, why I wasn't a tribe member but I could still call upon the shape of my spirit animal. I didn't know why I could change into a giant white wolf when I concentrated hard enough, but I was as pale a pale face as any other caucasian in the area outside the reservation. I didn't have tribal blood running through my veins, at least I didn't think I did, but I was a shapeshifter and so were two others in the tribe. Sam, who had come to find me that day in the woods, was now twenty-five, and Jared, who was twenty-three. They spent hours talking to me about the true purpose of the werewolves, as they called themselves, to protect the members of the tribe.
I admit, at first I found it laughable when they explained the legends, and that they all believed that there had been a gang of rogue cold ones that enjoyed drinking the blood of the pretty young women in the tribe, and that the men had exploded into wolves in anger to protect them all from their imminent peril. But then, the more they spoke of the Apotamkin, the more believable they sounded. I actually found myself picturing a few of them with their pale skin and strange colored eyes and unnatural stillness. When they confessed that a coven of blood drinkers lived nearby and were forbidden from stepping one foot on our land, I wondered what they looked like, smelled like, how they lived and what they ate. Were they ruthlessly killing the townspeople of Forks? Did they venture to Alaska to pick off Eskimos? I was intrigued.
I was reprimanded for not taking the legends more seriously. I was told to buckle down and study about the cold ones and the legends so that I would know to always avoid them. I was cautioned to not be so reckless and to stay away from them no matter what.
My acquiescence appeased them, but they couldn't contain me. I was twenty years old, and I often left the reservation whenever I wanted to wander in the woods. I could cover distances most of them had never considered, and that didn't include what I was capable of when I phased. Unless Sam and Jared were in their wolf form as well, I could escape to solitude.
It was on a day full of rare northwest sunshine that I first stumbled across one of them. He was laying on his back in a meadow, almost obscured by the tall purple wildflowers that shuddered in the wind because even they knew to be frightened of him. I caught his scent, an intoxicating blend of leather and pine and, I don't know, cinnamon and honey, maybe. In my human form, I crouched on a boulder downwind of the creature in the hopes of observing him for awhile before I was discovered.
When he lifted one long fingered hand, his skin sparkled like mine did in the exact moment I shifted. He absently flicked at a fat bumble bee that hovered near his temple, and I watched in fascination as it fell to its death. His hair shone red in the light that filtered through the canopy of trees, and it was mesmerizing to see it blow in the breeze like invisible hands were running through it.
I never saw it coming; one second he was lazing in the grass as though he hadn’t a care in the world, the next he was perched on the boulder a foot in front of me, depthless black eyes glaring at me furiously. Despite thinking I was brave, I had the same reaction most people would have when coming face to face with a vampire.