Chapter Fourteen: Family
Better Title: Hey Lady, What's Up With Your Face?
Despite both Bella's expectations and my own wishful thinking, the other werewolves do not come to the meeting in wolf form. Instead, the four guys (Sam, Paul, Jared, and Embry) walk out of the trees "half-naked." Bella doesn't tell us which half, but it's safe to assume the guys are wearing pants. Or perhaps Bella is a prude, and describes anyone showing just a hint of ankle as being half-naked.
As they approach Jacob, they spot Bella and get angry. Paul, who has a temper problem, yells at Jacob for bringing Bella. He hollers and scolds, but Jacob sheepishly says Bella can be a great asset. When Paul calls Bella a "leech-lover," Jacob gets mad and shouts back at Paul--and rightfully so. Using the derogatory L-word to describe a vampire is unforgivable . . . unless you are a vampire rapper and use the term to describe your fellow vampire friends and colleagues.
Sam tries to settle Paul down, but it's no use. Bella hears a loud ripping noise, and Paul transforms into a werewolf in one quick gesture, sprouting fur and growing five times his normal size. Wolf Paul growls at Bella, but before he can attack, Jacob turns into a wolf and springs to her rescue. You're probably wondering why I'm not writing this in capital letters and shouting, "Werewolves are rad! Werewolves are rad!"
Werewolves are indeed quite rad, and this transformation scene was amazing. But I'm a little bored by reading about another scenario where a nice monster's "brother" attacks Bella, forcing the nice monster to turn angry and protect her. Instead of Jasper and Edward, we now have Paul and Jacob. I only hope that after the attack, Jacob doesn't tell Bella, "Listen non-girlfriend, for no good reason, me and the other werewolves are going away forever. You will never see me again and I'm going to go through all your crap and steal anything that reminds you of me. Well? Aren't you going to thank me?"
The two wolves fight violently as the remains of Jacob's clothes gently rain down. Wolf Jacob is bigger than Wolf Paul and is able to fight and push Wolf Paul away from Bella and into the woods. Sam needs to stop this and orders Jared and Embry to take Bella to Emily's house while he handles these two crazy kids. Sam takes off his shoes and goes after the wolves, probably to offer them Snausages and a car ride if they stop fighting.
Embry laughs and jokes that this isn't something you see every day. But Jared says he sees this too often. I guess Paul and Jacob fight a lot, or Jared read the first three chapters of this book too, and finds the similarities between this fight and the Edward/Jasper fight a bit too contrived.
Jared and Embry joke around like regular teenagers and pick up all the ruined and torn clothing, including Jacob's sneakers. One of them makes a comment that Jacob can't afford to replace his shoes all the time, so Jake will have to be barefoot for a while. That's so sad. Jacob wouldn't have this problem if he wore Velcro shoes like my grandma. In fact, all the werewolves should invest in some tear away clothes like the kind worn by exotic male dancers. Wearing a fake fireman's outfit is easier than buying new pants every day, and you can make some extra cash by grinding into women at wild, sexy parties or by fighting naughty, sexy fires. Or just wear smocks. That's what I do. (I'm still hoping to turn into a werewolf by flexing my calves. It could happen...at…any…moment.)
Bella doesn't like Jared and Embry's lackadaisical attitude, since two giant wolves just ran into the forest fighting each other. But the two guys aren't worried at all and are shocked that Bella is so concerned. (I guess Bella's secret of being a were-whiner is still unknown to these guys.)
Jared and Embry bet on who will win the wolf fight. Jared sides with Paul, while Embry sticks with Jacob, saying Jacob is a better werewolf. I'm rooting for Jacob, too. I always bet on Black. (I've been waiting to say that for three months, but the right opportunity never presented itself until now.)
On the ride to Emily's, Jared and Embry bet on whether the shocked and stunned Bella will vomit or not. Again, it's nice to see guys goofing around and not taking things so seriously. I'm trying to savor this moment because I know that Edward will eventually return, and everything will become dark and brooding again. I'm getting sleepy just thinking about it.
Embry explains that Emily is Sam's fiancée and acts as a sort of mother for the werewolves. Sadly, she is not a werewolf. Embry advises Bella not to stare at her but doesn't say why. Instead, he hints at the dangers involved in a werewolf/human relationship, and I don't think he's talking about trying to paper train a werewolf.
They talk about Laurent, and Bella tells them that Laurent wasn't part of the Cullen family. The guys are glad to hear this because they didn't want to break the treaty. The werewolf-vampire treaty forbids werewolves from crossing over into Cullen territory or attacking any members of the Cullen clan. In return, the Cullens must never drink human blood. My neighbor and I have a similar treaty, except it states that I'm responsible for trimming the hedges on the property line, but I'm not allowed to use his big TV when he's not home. In exchange, my neighbor will not drink human blood.
Technically, the werewolves were not allowed to attack Laurent until Laurent bit Bella, but Jacob didn't want things to get that far and had the pack attack prematurely. Bella offers up some truly thought-provoking and meaningful words of appreciation by saying, "Oh. Um, thanks." That is something you say when a stranger holds the elevator for you. That is not something you say when heroic werewolves save your life. When you are saved by werewolves, you should cry out, "Thank you, mighty wolves! Thank you! Thank you! Can I try out one of your jet packs real quick?" (It never hurts to ask.)
They arrive at Emily's house, and the boys smell food cooking. Emily usually has food ready for the guys, because werewolves burn a lot of calories. A-ha! Stephenie Meyer must have read the previous blogs and knew I was going to ask about werewolf metabolisms, just as I had asked about a vampire's caloric intake. Thanks, Steph. I appreciate it. And I'm still waiting to hear back regarding the following questions:
Why do the Cullens run away all the time?
How, exactly, does Alice's future-telling ability work?
Do vampires go to the bathroom?
What possible reason is there for the vampire's glittery skin?
Why do vampires go to school?
If the Cullens have been hanging around Forks for a long time (judging by Jacob's stories of his grandfather, they've been here for a few decades), why has no one noticed them?
Seriously, what's the point of shimmering skin?
If Edward had changed into a vampire when he was 60, would he still be lusting after 18-year-old Bella? And are you OK with that? Really? What if he was a vampire at the age of six? So watching an 18-year-old make out with a six-year-old is totally cool because they are true loves?
How's Emmett doing?
Is Emmett your favorite character?
Do you think Emmett would be my friend?
What kind of music does Emmett like?
If I want to send Emmett a letter, do I just send it to you?
Why do bike shorts always come in black? (This has less to do with Twilight and more to do with general curiosity.)
You included the glitter skin as a joke, right?
Since Bella didn't puke on the ride to Emily's, Embry won the bet, but Jared says he doesn't have his wallet on him to pay up. This brings up another interesting werewolf question: Where do werewolves keep their keys? Perhaps they wear elastic fanny packs or hide them in a fake rock by the back door, like my neighbor does.
When they walk into the house, Bella notices the beautiful woman working at the counter with her back turned toward Bella. When Emily turns around holding a plate of muffins, Bella understands why Embry told her not to stare. Due to a werewolf attack, Emily's face is scarred and disfigured. Bella tries to divert her eyes and looks at the muffins, possibly making the muffins feel self-conscious.
At first, Emily isn't very nice to Bella, calling her "the vampire girl." But sassy Bella calls Emily a "wolf girl" and this breaks some of the tension. Emily offers Bella a muffin as the other two guys begin inhaling food.
Sam comes home, grabs Emily's face, and kisses her passionately. Who said only vampires are romantic? Who!? The public display of affection is too much for Bella and the imaginary holes in her chest hurt. Or maybe she's suffering from an allergic reaction to muffins, and/or scars.
I owe Sam an apology. A few blogs ago, I accused him of being the villain. But I was wrong. I will amend my motto "Always bet on Black" by adding, "Always wager on the werewolves." Sam, I am sorry. Can I try one of your jet packs real quick?
Paul and Jacob are friends again and fight playfully with each other. Jacob says hi to Bella and asks how she's doing after witnessing her first werewolf transformation. She says she's fine and continues to eat the muffin.
Sam quiets everyone to let them all know the news about Victoria. Jacob explains that Victoria is after Bella and that she's trying to break through the werewolf line of defense to get into Forks. They assume the only way to get to Bella is through the well-protected forest. Apparently no one in La Push, including Tricky Vickie, has ever heard of a helicopter.
Sam offers up a strategy to corner Victoria. He wants the pack to split up, hoping that Victoria will try to sneak past them. Once they spot Victoria, they hope to surround and trap her.
I'm not sure this is the best plan. Instead, they should dig a big hole, cover it with leaves and sticks, and then make a Bella dummy out of straw, an old Wuthering Heights T-shirt, and a wig. Then place this dummy gently over the hidden trap. Inside the dummy, insert a cassette player that plays back Bella's voice saying the following statements, "I'm Bella Swan. I'm really her. Edward is my love and he would be mad if I was dead. James was smelly and he cried when he died, just like a baby. Like a fat, smelly baby. My neck is exposed. I sure hope a bee doesn't sting my exposed neck. La la la. I'm Bella Swan for real…" You'd have Victoria trapped in no time.
Still, Sam's plan beats anything the Cullens would have come up with, as vampire strategies include running away or covering Bella's neck with hair.
Jacob recommends that Bella stay in La Push instead of Forks, because she'll be safer here. They're also going to try and convince Charlie to come up as much as possible, which shouldn't be a problem since the NCAA basketball tournament is underway, and Charlie likes watching sports with Billy and Harry because he's an empty shell of man without any hope of finding love again.
Bella agrees and spends the rest of the day at Billy's house. Charlie comes over after work to watch the game but isn't sure what to think of Bella's relationship with Jacob, since a few chapters ago, Bella was screaming that Jacob was in an evil cult. When Bella and her dad leave, Jacob goes on wolf patrol.
All right, here's another question regarding the plot. James was smart enough to go after Bella's mom. (Or at least an old VHS tape of Bella's mom.) So why doesn't Victoria do the same and kidnap Renee? Is there a clan of werewolves in Florida? Does Vickie hate humidity? If I wanted to get to Bella, and wolves just ate my only friend, I might try a different approach and take the former Mrs. Swan hostage. While in Florida, I would also ride Space Mountain, like, twenty times!
At home, Charlie asks what's going on between her and Jacob. Bella says they're friends again, and Charlie is slightly ticked off at the sudden change in attitude. It's just like the time I said I hated Honey Nut Cheerios, but now it's my favorite breakfast food. (And once I even ate it for dinner. Don't tell!)
She has trouble sleeping, and thinks about what Jacob said earlier, that she was a hypocrite because she liked vampires but thought werewolves were killers. She contemplates what would happen if Edward was a killer, instead of vegetarian. Would she still love him? She can't decide and goes to sleep. In her dream, she's still lost in the woods but is holding Emily's hand and waiting for the wolves to return.
Prediction: Victoria tries a different approach. She uses Simon and Garfunkle songs and bath salts to soothe the guys so that they don't turn into werewolves. The plan nearly works, but just as Victoria is about to bite Bella, Jacob becomes angry and frustrated by the song "America" because he wants to know if Kathy and the narrator ever find America. He turns into a wolf and gobbles up Victoria and Bella (by accident), realizing too late that the song was about hope and a quiet sadness, and not about the destination at all.
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