Chapter 3

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A couple hours later, Sam stretched his neck up toward the branches above them, flexed his shoulders, and groaned. He longed for a hot shower to help ease the rigid tension he felt all over his body, but as long as Rachel was in her wolf form, he would be, too.

 

In the meantime, Leah had brought some clothes for Rachel since the shorts Sam had brought wouldn’t fit and wouldn’t cover enough when she did finally phase back to human. In Sam’s defense, he had been expecting it to be another male wolf.

 

Jared and Seth had gone out on patrol, and Collin and Brady had gone to school even though they had tried to talk Sam into letting them stay in their wolf forms so they could hear everything that went on. He was glad he had ordered Paul not to phase until he had spoken to him again.

 

His eyes swept around the rim of the gully, taking in Embry’s curious look and Leah’s surprisingly unruffled countenance. When his gaze returned to Rachel, he cocked his head and chuffed at her. Rachel, that’s pretty much the gist of it all. I’m sure you have questions. You may speak.

 

Well, fuck you very much, your High-Alpha-ness. Her lips peeled back from her teeth again as she snapped in his direction. I knew I should have never come back here! I only came to see my sister because how often has she visited since moving to Hawaii? Never! That’s how often. Rachel snarled and was on her feet, pacing back and forth in front of Sam. As soon as we could, we got the hell out of this dump, and we should have stayed away. This place isn’t blessed by the gods, it’s cursed!

 

Unfortunately, Sam recalled thinking the same way when he had first phased into one of the Spirit Wolves. He’d come to feel differently, but it had taken some time. Rachel, it’s not cursed, we’ve been chosen to perform a sacred—

 

Perform a sacred duty? Chosen? Bullshit! Rachel barked and changed her direction, walking stiffly in a wide circle, grumbling and groaning, her eyes darting between the wolves above her. You weren’t specially chosen. You said it was the wolf gene, passed down through the bloodlines. How fucking hard is it to pass down your genes? So how the hell did Embry end up as a wolf? He’s not even a Quileute!

 

Sam looked up at Embry anxiously. We don’t know.

 

Don’t know? Don’t know!?! DNA—ever hear of it?

 

We can’t have our DNA tested. The technicians would see it’s different and—

 

Sure, sure. They can’t know because we have to keep the secret. Her biting sarcasm came through loud and clear. Rachel whipped around and growled at Sam again. Now that I know this curse is real, I never want to have kids if they’re going to be doomed to this shit!

 

Above and behind Rachel, Leah snorted loudly and jumped to her feet. Don’t worry, Rach. You won’t have any. Since I phased, I haven’t had a period. No period—no babies. Pretty simple.

 

We don’t know that for sure, Leah. Sam raised his head to look Leah in her hardened gold eyes. Maybe when you stop phasing—

 

Who says we’ll ever be able to stop? As long as those Cullens are around, we’ll never be able to. Leah began to stalk along the ridge, her claws digging into the soft bracken of the forest floor. They’re still around because of that Bella Swan. She’s supposed to be marrying that leech of hers!

 

What the fuck? Rachel spun around and stared up at Leah, her mouth hanging open.

 

I know, right? The light grey wolf stopped at the edge of the gully, cocked her head, and peered down at Rachel. And I think it’s that Swan girl’s fault more of us kept phasing. She had that bloodsucker stink on her and kept coming over here to see Jacob. Why the hell he wanted to imprint on her so bad …

 

Sam dropped his head and let out a rumbling moan. If he was in his human form, he’d be holding his aching head in his hands.

 

Imprint? Rachel padded toward Leah. Bloodlines! You said bloodlines. Does this mean Becca’s baby is going to turn into a wolf? Oh, my God! She needs to get the hell out of this place and never come back!

 

Enough! At Sam’s frustrated exclamation, Embry’s head snapped up while Leah and Rachel both dropped to the ground. Sam hadn’t had the chance to explain imprinting yet. Rachel, being the daughter of the Tribe’s Chief, and thoroughly exposed to their legends, had seemed to accept the reality of the spirit warriors faster than some of the others. Certainly a lot faster than her brother had. But the delicate topic of a wolf’s imprint hadn’t been touched on. He had the definite impression she’d be even less happy to hear about that.

 

Sam had been hoping to get her to calm down enough to phase human. It looked like it might be a while yet and he was getting hungry.

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