*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 6 - SCARY STORIES
During lunch the clouds started to advancce, slinking across the blue sky, darting in front of the sun momentarily, casting long shadows across the beach, and blackening the waves. As they finished eating, people started to drift away in twos and threes. Some walked down to the edge of the waves, trying to skip rocks across the choppy surface. Others were gathering a socond expedition to the tide pools. Mike - with Jessica shadowing him - headed up to the one duka in the village. Some of the local kids went with them; others went along on the hike. kwa the time they all had scattered, I was sitting alone on my drifwood log, with Lauren and yler occupying themselves kwa the CD player someone had thought to bring, and three teenagers frmo the reservation perched around the circle, including the boy named Jacob and the oldest boy who had acted as spokesperson.
A few dakika after Angela left with the hikers, Jacob sauntered over to take her place kwa my side. He looked fourteen, maybe fifteen, and had long, glossy black hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck. His skin was beautiful, silky and risset-colored; his eyes were dark, set deep above the high planes of his cheek-bones. He still had just a hint of childish roundness left around his chin. Altogether, a very pretty face. However, my positive opinion of his looks was damaged kwa the first words out of his mouth.
"You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?"
It was like the first siku of school all over again.
"Bella," I sighed.
"I'm Jacob Black." He held his hand out in a friendly gesture. "You bought my dad's truck."
"Oh," I said, relieved, shaking his sleek hand. "You're Billy's son. I probably should remember you."
"No, I'm the youngest of the family - wewe would remember my older sisters."
"Rachel and Rebecca," I suddenly recalled. Charlie and Billy had thrown us together a lot during my visits, to keep up busy while they fished. We were all too shy to make much progress as friends. Of course, I'd kicked up enough tantrums to end the fishing trips kwa the time I was eleven.
"Are they here?" I examined the girls at the ocean's edge, wondering if I would recognize them now.
"No." Jacob shook his head. "Rachel got a scholarship to Washington State, and Rebecca married a Samoan surfer - she lives in Hawaii now."
"Married. Wow." I was stunned. The twins were only a little over a mwaka older than I was.
"So how do wewe like the truck?" he asked.
"I upendo it. It runs great."
"Yeah, but it's really slow," he laughed. "I was so relived when Charlie bought it. My dad wouldn't let me work on building another car when we had a perfectly good vehicle right there."
"It's not that slow," I objected.
"Have wewe tried to go over sixty?"
"No," I admitted.
"Good, Don't." He grinned.
I couldn't help grinning back. "It doe great in a collision," I offered in my truck's defense.
"I don't think a tank could take out that old monster," he agreed with another laugh.
"So wewe build cars?" I asked impressed.
"When I have free time, and parts. wewe wouldn't happen to know where I could get my hands on a master cylinder for a 1986 Volkswagen Rabbit?" he asked jokingly. He had a pleasant, husky voice.
"Sorry," I laughed, "I haven't seen any lately, but I'll keep my eyes open for you." As if I knew what that was. He was very easy to talk with.
He flashed a brilliant smile, looking at me appreciatively in a way I was learning to recognize. I wasn't the only one who noticed.
"You know Bella, Jacob?" Lauren asked - in what I inagined was an insolent tone - from across the fire.
"We've sort of known each other since I was born," he laughed, smiling at me again.
"How nice." She didn't sound like she thought it was nice at all, and her pale, fishy eyes narrowed.
"Bella," she called again, watching my face carefully, "I was jsut saying to Tyler that it was too bad none of the Cullens could come out today. Didn't anyone think to invite them?" Her expression of concern was unconvincing.
"You mean Dr. Carlisle Cullen's family?" the taller, older boy asked before I could respond, much to Lauren's irritation. He was really closer to a man than a boy, and his voice was very deep.
"Yes, do wewe know them?" she asked condescendingly, turning halfway toward him.
"The Cullens don't some here," he alisema in a tone that closed the subject, ignoring her question.
Tyler, trying to win back her attention, asked Lauren's opinion on a CD he held. She was distracted.
I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the dark forest behind us. He's alisema that the Cullens didn't come here, but his tone had implied something zaidi - that they weren't allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success.
Jacob interrupted my meditation. "So is Forks driving wewe insane yet?"
"Oh, I'd say that's an understatement." I grimanced. He grinned understandingly.
I was still turning over the brief maoni on the Cullens, and I had a sudden inspiration. It was a stupid plan, but I didn't have any better ideas. I hoped that young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn't see through me sure-to-be-pitiful attempts at flirting.
"Do wewe want to walk down the beach, pwani with me?" I asked, trying to imitate that way Edward had of looking up from underneath the eyelashes. It couldn't have nearly the same effect, I was sure, but Jacob jumped up willingly enough.
As we walked north across the multihued stones toward the driftwood seawall, the clouds finally closed ranks across the sky, causing the sea to darken and the temperature to drop. I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my jacket.
"So you're, what, sixteen?" I asked, trying not to look liek an idiot as I fluttered my eyelids the way I'd seen girls do on TV.
"I just turned fifteen," he confessed, flattered.
"Really?" My face was full of false surprise. "I would have thought wewe were older."
"I'm tall for my age," he explained.
"Do wewe come to forks much?" I asked archly, as if I was hoping for a yes. I sounded idiotic to myself. I was afraid he would turn on me with disgust and accuse me of my fraud, but he still seemed flattered.
"Not too much," he admitted with a frown. "But when I get my car finished I can go up as much as I want - after I get my license," I he amended.
"Who was that other boy Lauren was talking to? He seemed a little old to be hanging out with us." I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.
"That's Sam - he's nineteen," he informed me.
"What was that he was saying about the doctor's family?" I asked innocently.
"The Cullens? Oh, they're not supposed to some onto the reservation." He looked away, out toward James Island, as he confirmed what I'd thought I'd heard in Sam's voice.
He glanced back at me, biting his lip. "Oops. I'm not supposed to say anything about that."
"Oh, I won't tell anyone, I'm just curious." I tried to make my smile alluring, wondering if I was laying it on too thick.
He smiled back, though, looking allured. Then he lifted one eyebrow and his voice was even huskier than before.
"Do wewe like scary stories?" he asked ominously.
"I love them," I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.
Jacob strolled to a nearby driftwood mti that had its roots sticking out like the attenuated legs of a huge, pale spider. He perched lightly on one of the twisted roots while I sat beneath him on the body of the tree. He stared down at the rocks, a smile hovering around the edges of his broad lips. I could see he was going to try to make this good. I forcused on keeping the vital interest I felt out of my eyes.
"Do wewe know any of our old stories, about where we came from - the Quileutes, I mean?" he bagan.
"Not really," I admitted.
"Well, there are lots of legends, some of them claiming to tarehe back to the Flood - supposedly, the ancient Quileutes tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark." He smiled, to onyesha me how little stock he put in the histories. "Another legend claims that we descended from Mbwa mwitu loups - and that the Mbwa mwitu loups are our brothers still. It's against tribal law to kill them.
"Then there are the stories about the cold ones." His voice dropped a little lower.
"The cold ones?" I asked, not faking my intrigue now.
"Yes. There are stories of the cold ones as old as the mbwa mwitu legend, my own great-grandfather knew some of them. He was the one who made the treaty that kept them off out land." He rolled his eyes.
"Your great-grandfather?" I encouraged.
"He was a tribal elder, like my father. wewe see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the Mbwa mwitu loups - well, not the wolf, really, but the Mbwa mwitu loups that turn into men, like our ancestors. wewe would call them werewolves."
"Werewolves have enemies?"
I stared at him earnestly, hoping to disguise my impatience as admiration.
"So wewe see," Jacob continued, "the cold ones are traditionally our enemies. But this pack that came to our
territory during my great-grandfather's time was different. They didn't hunt the way others of their kind did - they weren't supposed to be dangerous to the tribe. So my great-grandfather made a truce with them. If they would promise to stay off our lands, we wouldn't expose them to the pale-faces." He winked at me.
"If they weren't dangerous, then why...?" I tried to understand, struggling not to let him see how seriously I was considering his ghost story.
"There's always a risk for humans to be around the cold ones, even if they're civilized like this clan was. wewe never know when they might get too hungry to resist." He deliberately worked a thick edge of menace into his tone.
"What do wewe mean, 'civilized'?"
"They claimed that they didn't hunt humans. They supposedly were somehow able to prey on wanyama instead,"
I tried to keep my voice casual. "So how does it fit in with the Cullens? Are they like the cold ones your great-grandfather met?"
"No." He paused dramatically. "They are the same ones."
He must have thought the expression on my face was fear inspired kwa his story. He smiled, pleased, and continued.
"There are zaidi of them now, and new female and a new male, but the rest are the same. In my great-grandfather's time they already knew of the leader, Carlisle. He'd been here and gone before your people had ever arrived." He was fighting a smile.
"And what are they?" I finally asked. "What are the cold ones?"
He smiled darkly.
"Blood drinkers," he replied in a chilling voice. "our people call them vampires."
I stared out at the rough surf after he answered, not sure what my face was exposing.
"You have goose, bata bukini bumps," he laughed delightedly.
"You're a good storyteller," I complimented him, still staring into the waves.
"Pretty crazy stuff, though, isn't it? No wonder my dad doesn't want us to talk about it to anyone."
I couldn't control my expression enough to look at him yet. "Don't worry, I won't give wewe away."
"I guess I just violated the treaty," he laughed.
"I'll take it to the grave," I promised, and then I shivereed.
"Seriously, though, don't say anything to Charlie. He was pretty mad at my dad when he heard that some of us weren't going to the hospital since Dr. Cullen started working there."
"I won't, of course not."
"So do wewe think we're a bunck of supersticious natives au what?" he asked in a playful tone, but with a hint of worry. I stil hadn't looked away from the ocean.
I turned and smiled at him as normally as I could.
"No. I think you're very good at telling scary stories, though. I still have gooes bumps, see?" I held up my arm.
"Cool." He smiled.
And then the sound of the beach, pwani rocks clattering against each other warned us that someone was approaching. Our heads snapped up at the same time to see Mike and Jessica about fifty yards away, walking toward us.
"There wewe are, BElla," Mike called in relief, waving his arm over his head.
"Is that you're boyfriend?" Jacob asked, alerted kwa the jealous edge in Mike's voice. I was surprised it was so obvious.
"No, definitly not," I whispered. I was tremendously grateful to Jacob, and eager to make hhim as happy as possible. I winked at him, carefully turning away from Mike to do so. He smiled, elated kwa my inept flirting.
"So when I get my license...," he began.
"You should come see me in Forks. We could hang out sometime." I felt guilty as I alisema this knowing that I'd used him. But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be Marafiki with.
Mike had reached us now, with Jessica still a few paces back. I could see his eyes appraising Jacob, and looking satisfied at his obvious youth.
"Where have wewe been?" he asked, though the answer was right in front of him.
"Jacob was just telling me some local stories," I volunteered. "It was really interesting."
I smiled at Jacob warmly, and he grinned back.
"Well," Mike paused, carefully reassessing the situation as he watched our camaraderie. "We're packing up - it looks like it's going to rain soon."
We all looked up at the glowering sky. It certainly did look like rain.
"Okay." I jumped up. "I'm coming."
"It was nice to see wewe again," Jacob said, and I could tell he was taunting Mike just a bit.
"It really was. inayofuata time Charlie comes down
to see Billy, I'll come, too," I promised.
His grin stretched across his face. "That would be cool."
"And thanks," I added earnestly.
I pulled up my kofia as we tramped across the rocks toward the parking lot. A few drops were beginnig to fall, making black spots on the stones where theey landed. When we got to the Suburban the others were already inapakia everything back in. I crawled into the backseat kwa Angela and Tyler, announcing that 'd already had my turn in the shotgun position. Angela just stared out the window at the escalating storm, and Lauren twisted around in the middle kiti, kiti cha to occupy Tyler's attention, so I could simply lay my head back on the kiti, kiti cha and close my eyes and try very hard not to think.