Chapter 5

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The sun was setting as the group of six wolves made their way toward Sam’s house. Rachel had stopped her howling and growling, and had finally admitted she was hungry and thirsty. She had also attached herself to Leah.

 

They had not been what anyone would consider friends when they were younger, but being the only two female wolves had created an almost instant bond between them. What surprised Sam the most was Leah didn’t seem to mind at all. She had maintained a definite distance between herself and the rest of them, but she could certainly sympathize with a lot of what Rachel was dealing with and would be going through.

 

Sam had them stop in the woods near the yard. I’ll phase and go talk to Emily. It smells like she’s been making sausage and biscuits. Maybe chicken, too. He was practically drooling, he was so hungry. He looked back at Rachel who was standing so close to Leah their shoulders were touching. If you can phase back, we’ll go eat. You can stay here tonight. Emily …

 

Emily can stay at our house with Mom. Leah offered. Seth and I can stay here with you and Rachel.

 

Sam quickly covered his shock. Uh, thanks, Leah. I appreciate it. He hadn’t been sure what he would do with the new wolf. He couldn’t let her stay at her father’s. If she became upset and phased inside the house, that would be a disaster. He didn’t want her near his imprint yet, either.

 

Tell me again why I can’t stay at Dad’s? Rachel tipped her furry head to the side and gazed at him with her pale gold eyes.

 

New wolves are … predictably unpredictable. Often very angry and can’t control themselves. I told you what happened with Emily.

 

Rachel took in a deep breath, closed her eyes, and nodded slowly. I understand. I wouldn’t want to take a chance on hurting Becca or the baby.

 

Sam studied her with no small amount of suspicion. She had acquiesced a little too quickly, and she was entirely too calm for someone who had been a wolf for less than twenty-four hours. It had taken her younger brother three days to turn back into a human the first time he phased.

 

From what he could remember of them as children, Rachel had always been the more vocal and headstrong of the twins. He gave her a cautious nod. You see if you can phase back to human. I’ll be right back. Sam caught the eye of each of his wolves, stepped away from them, and stiffened a bit as he felt the heat flow up his spine and saw the air shimmer around him.

 

He had grown used to being naked in front of them, so he tried not to let it bother him that a new girl wolf was in their midst as he pulled his shorts from his leg, yanked them up, and zipped them. He raised his hand at the pack of wolves. “I’ll be back.”

 

They all blinked at him as he turned and jogged toward the back porch, calling to Emily.

 

Embry padded forward. Okay, Rachel. Try to think about what you look like as yourself, and me and the guys will turn our backs, okay?

 

Rachel cocked her head the other way. Is there anything else? Any magic words like abracadabra? Or do we use an Homorphus Charm?

 

What? Quil gawked at her, baffled

 

Seth yipped happily and poked Quil in the side with his nose. It’s from Harry Potter. It changes the animagus back to its human form. Wish we could do that.

 

Having no idea what they were talking about, Embry just shrugged. You’ll probably feel heat at the small of your back.

 

Give it a shot, Rachel. We’re starvin’. Seth’s tail was wagging eagerly.

 

Are you guys going to explain why Jacob would want to imprint on Charlie Swan’s daughter? Rachel closed her eyes, lowered her head, and tried to visualize herself—her human self. She wasn’t even really sure what she looked like as a wolf.

 

She heard three crackling snaps behind her as she felt a burning begin at the base of her spine. Or maybe it was her tail.

 

“When we eat,” Seth said, laughing.

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