Leah’s growl became louder as she surveyed the scene before her – me still on चोटी, शीर्ष of Jacob – our mouths hanging open with shock. We jumped to our feet. Both our faces red with embarrassment. Leah continued to snarl menacingly at Jacob. I kept my face on the ground.
I was relieved that it was just Leah. If it was my father who caught us this way…. I shudder to think what he would do to Jake. I saw a lavender cloth tied to Leah’s left ankle. Remembering how pretty she was at the ball, I immediately felt guilty.
I’m terribly sorry, Leah.”
She sniffed haughtily.
“Geez, Leah. आप didn’t have to come charging here like this. I was about to take Nessie back….” Jacob was cut short द्वारा Leah’s growl – it sounded like she was shouting an explanation to Jake who now looked slightly alarmed.
“Let’s go, Nessie.” He shrugged out of his tuxedo जैकेट and inner shirt. “Hold these for me, please.” He कहा tightly, handing me his जैकेट and shirt. He quickly hid behind the trees and in less than a सेकंड emerged as a huge russet wolf. His pants now tied to his left ankle.
Where are his shoes? I started to look for them but he nudged me towards the way back home, whining.
We raced home, Leah ahead of us. What’s the hurry? I wanted to ask them but I don’t want to anger Leah even more. We saw Aunt Alice on the front porch, her hands on her hips, glaring daggers at me. Leah left us with an angry huff while Jake hid in order to phase back.
“OH YOU! How could आप this?!” Aunt Alice wailed.
“I’m terribly sorry Aunt Alice.”
“Let’s better go inside before your father….” She turned and saw Jake, immediately at my side after phasing back, my hand in his.
“Really dog, what were आप thinking?” She almost hissed at him.
Jake ignored her and led me towards the door.
“Oh Nessie! Where have आप been?” My mother कहा as soon as she caught sight of me. “I could hardly restrain your father. He wanted to look for you.”
Seeing my Dad’s grim face, I doubt that look for me is what he exactly has in mind…
“Come on, Bella. How many times have आप snuck out on Charlie?” Aunt Rose teased, instantly coming to my rescue.
“I told you, she just went out to get some fresh air.” Uncle Emmett told Dad while winking at me.
I later found out that my dad could hardly contain himself, angry and worried at the same time. Sam almost stepped in when Uncle Jasper suggested to go and look for us. Before things could get out of hand, Leah, being Jacob’s Beta, decided to look for us herself.
A sense of calm washed over us.
“What? We need to get on with the rest of the program don’t we?” Uncle Jasper कहा innocently. But he threatened Jake with a low “Later, mongrel.”
My father sighed.
“Come on, it’s time for gifts.” Aunt Alice कहा leading me towards the center of the dance floor.
“Uhm, Alice. I think we better step outside.” My father कहा now smiling a little. My Uncles’ eyes lit with excitement.
They took me out to the garage. Some of the guests followed us. Some still swayed their bodies in time to the music. I’m relieved my party could still be salvaged.
I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the shiny black thing in front of me. I looked at my family, all of them grinning hugely now. I threw my arms around my dad’s neck. I knew this Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a गुलाबी ribbon tied on its front bumper, could only be from him.
“Oh Daddy! I don’t deserve this after what I did tonight.”
“Well, let’s just say that after running off with Jacob like that, you’ll have to pay for your own gas.” He कहा chuckling.
“Oh Daddy! Thank you! Thank you!” I said, चुंबन him all over his face. I squealed in delight as I hopped inside the driver’s seat.
“What are आप still doing there Dad?! C’mon let’s test drive this baby.”
* * *
My family took turns on the passenger सीट as I drove them up to Port Angeles – It was a short, fast, exhilarating trip. Driving my spyder is almost as good as running. Of course, Aunt Rose made improvements on my car’s engine – making it faster, smoother, earning another round of delightful squeals from me.
“She’s every bit like his father when it comes to fast cars.” My mother grumbled.
Mom gave me a collection of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry. और jewelry from Aunt Rose. CD’s and DVD’s (my all time प्रिय chick flicks) from Gramp. A plane ticket to Greece from Grandpa and Grandma. I was told a closet full of designer clothes were waiting for me at घर (do I need to tell who they’re from?) My personal, state of the art audio system was already installed द्वारा my uncles in my room.
* * *
As we reached the front door of our cottage, Dad turned to Jacob.
“After tonight’s excitement, I think it’s time for Nessie to rest.”
Translation: You’re not welcome inside. Better leave now.
He still blamed Jacob for our missing in action episode. My parents entered the cottage leaving the door ajar.
Okay, so no privacy….
I sighed and stood on my tiptoes to किस my boyfriend goodnight. He lifted me up in his arms so my face would be the same level as his.
“Sorry for the trouble, Princess.”
“It’s also my fault, Jake.”
He kissed me tenderly this time – but it still left me almost breathless.
“Nessie!” My mom hissed from inside.
I gave Jake one last किस and rushed to the door before Dad decides to drag me inside the house.
I paused at my parents’ bedroom door to say a quick goodnight then hurried to my room. I was eager to try out my Uncles’ gift, only to stop and stare horrified at my room.
There before me was my bedroom, filled with dozens and dozens of long stemmed bloody red roses.