Bella thought all the werewolves were killing hikers. Jacob said, “Nuh-uh!” Bella accepted that without question. Then she puked and passed out when she finally made the connection that it was Victoria and/or Laurent (who’s now deader than dead) running around killing people. So, Jacob arranged a meeting with the rest of the werewolves, and that’s where we are now.
And I’ve decided to keep a running Paul tally, since he has proven to be a hit. Last chapter it was four. And believe me—I’ve got something special lined up for the next book that involves Paul. It should be fun. But that’s for later.
Chapter 14 – Family
We open up the chapter with Bella “[cowering] into Jacob’s side”, which just serves to piss me off. Then the posse shows up, and they are “just four really big half-naked boys”. So…what, exactly, is the problem here? I’d love to have a little foursome of half-naked guys. Include Jacob in all that, and you’ve got a fivesome. Seems to me like everybody wins. Sorry—getting distracted. They all move in synch (you should see them swim, man) and then strike a pose across the road, probably looking like some 50’s motorcycle gang or the swarthy Sharks opposite the Cullens’ white Jets (but only Wardo may Jaaaaaaames Deaaaaaaan). Bella then calls them redskins (well, she doesn’t, she says they all have “red-brown skin”, but the
Jacob insists Bella can be helpful, and the same RAAAAAAGE boy calls her a “leech-lover”, and Jacob gets all pissed at RAAAAAAAAAGE boy, who starts vibrating (a fiveway with this bunch is sounding better all the time). Sam then lays down the law and gives our RAAAAAAAGE boy a name—he’s Paul. This is about to become highly amusing. Paul gives Bella a glare, and Jacob gets all protective, prompting Paul to do this:
"Right, protect her!" Paul roared in outrage. Another shudder, a convulsion, heaved through his body. He threw his head back, a real growl tearing from between his teeth.
"Paul!" Sam and Jacob shouted together.
Paul seemed to fall forward, vibrating violently. Halfway to the ground, there was a loud ripping noise, and the boy exploded.
Dark silver fur blew out from the boy, coalescing into a shape more than five times his size—a massive, crouched shape, ready to spring.
The wolf's muzzle wrinkled back over his teeth, and another growl rolled through his colossal chest. His dark, enraged eyes focused on me.
Yes, all the mentions of “fursplode” (© cleolinda) you’ve seen on the web? They are clearly not exaggerated. However, what do I find even more amusing than an exploding werewolf? The fact that the werewolf named Paul…kind of went Paul on us. So, let’s give Paul a Paul!
PAUL SMASH PUNY BELLA FOR MAKING PAUL ANGRY.
Which makes no sense, because…um…the werewolves are protectors…eh, screw it.
So, Jacob goes HELL NO and leaps at Paul, all while Bella screams mightily, and then Jacob goes *poof* and IT IS ON. Paul and Jacob have a big old
"Totally shredded," Jared said. "Billy said this was the last pair he could afford—guess Jacob's going barefoot now."
"This one survived," Embry said, holding up a white sneaker. "Jake can hop," he added with a laugh.
Then, unfortunately, they remember Bella as they go about collecting the clothes (or shreds of clothes left) and ask if she’s going to pass out or throw up. Then they tell her to sit down and take a breather, which she does. And that’s when they start ragging on Jacob, saying that it was stupid for them to bring her here and that “the wolf’s out of the bag now”, which just made me facepalm, because I hate plays on sayings like that. Bella then demands to know why the two aren’t worried, saying that one of them could get seriously hurt. And then the two boys laugh at her, and I just love it. Jared says that he “hopes Paul gets a mouthful of him” and that it will “teach him a lesson”. Embry disagrees, and says that Jacob can take Paul and that he’s a natural at being all werewolfy because he “phased on the fly” even though he’s new and inexperienced. Jared insists that Paul will take a chunk out of Jacob, and they bet ten dollars on who is going to scar who.
Bella’s all pukey at the thought of the werewolves fighting and can’t seem to accept the fact that these two—who are also werewolves—are perfectly fine with the fact that they’re fighting like that. So, they get back to their original subject at hand and they start heading to Emily’s, asking if Bella can give them a ride. Upon seeing her pallor, Embry decides that he’d better drive and promptly hauls Bella up and stuffs her into her seat, and they make another bet about whether or not Bella will hurl. I truly adore how these people do not treat Bella like a special and delicate snowflake (despite the fact that they spend too much time talking about her at all). It makes me all tingly.
Anyway, Embry maintains that Bella won’t puke because “she runs with vampires”, which is going to be her Indian name, you just know it. Embry then tells Bella not to throw up, as he won’t be able to pay Jared the full amount if Paul gets a chunk of Jacob. Hmm. That was funnier when Percy did it in Harry Potter. As they drive, Embry wants to know how Jacob got around the “injunction”, and don’t you just think Meyer is soooo smart for knowing big synonyms to the word “edict”? Bella says that he didn’t tell her exactly, and that she just guessed it. Then she asks where they’re going, and is informed (again) that they are going to Emily’s, who we learn is Sam’s fiancée. They are going to her place to wait while Sam “gives it to [Paul and Jacob] for what just happened”, and now I’m not sure that my jokes about Paul, Sam, and Jacob going off into the forest for a threeway were that far off after all. I mean, they were vibrating.
Bella asks if Emily knows about them being werewolves, and Embry says yes and informs Bella that she had better not “stare at her” because “that bugs Sam”. Bella asks why staring is something she might do, and Embry says that “hanging out around werewolves has its risks” before changing the subject and asking if Bella is “okay about the whole thing with the black-haired bloodsucker in the meadow”. She says she is, and that he wasn’t her friend. Embry is pleased, because they were worried about breaking the treaty, prompting Bella to ask why killing Laurent would break the treaty with the Cullens. Embry “[snorts], like he was amused the vampire had had a name”. Meyer, we get it—the werewolves calling them “bloodsuckers” and “leeches” and not thinking that they count as people and not even bothering to think of them as creatures with names and thinking minds is your “subtle” way of telling us that the werewolves are prejudiced and bigoted and you are drawing a parallel to, more than likely, the way the evil white man was racist against blacks (that, or it’s Meyer painting the people who don’t fall and worship at the
*breathes into a paper bag* Save your rant for Eclipse, Mervin.
Anyway—Embry elaborates and says that they were on the Cullens’ land, and that they aren’t supposed to attack the Cullens unless they break the treaty first, and tells her that them breaking the treaty would mean they would have to bite a human. Bella thanks him, and Embry says it was a pleasure, and “he sounded like he meant that in a literal sense”.
*slaps Meyer* WE GET IT, GODDAMMIT!!!!
Embry then informs Bella that her truck is slow, and we groan when she reminds us of the fact that she has a junky old truck—we’d been rather relieved to not have to deal with that a lot as of late in this particular book, as Bella’s been too busy going on about The Goddamned Hole™. They arrive at Emily’s, who we are informed is cooking something. They head inside (after Embry asks Jared to pay up, who cops out by saying he doesn’t have his wallet on him), and our first view of Emily is of her in the kitchen and cooking with her back to everyone. And “for one second, [Bella] thought the reason Embry had told [her] not to stare was because the girl was so beautiful”. Are you kidding me, Bella? Not to mention that if that were indeed the case, that would make Sam a creepy little shit. “DON’T LOOK AT MAH WOMAN, SHE’S MINE AND MINE ALONE.”
However, Emily quickly drives that stupid thought out of Bella’s head when she turns around:
The right side of her face was scarred from hairline to chin by three thick, red lines, livid in color though they were long healed. One line pulled down the corner of her dark, almond-shaped right eye, another twisted the right side of her mouth into a permanent grimace.
So, basically, Embry wouldn’t tell her what was wrong with Emily so we could have this dramatic reveal. More on this later.
Oh, BTW—that really doesn’t sound like a realistic disfigurement. It sounds like bad movie prosthetics.
Emily asks who Bella is, and Jared tells her. “Apparently, [she’d] been a topic of conversation before.” Naturally—this is your story, and the world revolves around you, right? So, Emily gets hostile upon hearing this and calls her the “vampire girl”, to which Bella responds by calling her the “wolf girl”. That breaks the ice and everybody’s friends again. Emily returns to her cooking (more on that in a moment), and tells them all to help themselves to the muffins. Bella nibbles at one while the two boys eat like cliché badfic!Ron Weasley. Then we hear a random description of the house and how bright and homey it is, and Emily continues to cook and we see that her scars cover her right arm, too, and DAMMIT, I’m having trouble holding back. I’ve got to save this!
Then Sam arrives.
"Emily," he said, and so much love saturated his voice that I felt embarrassed, intrusive, as I watched him cross the room in one stride and take her face in his wide hands. He leaned down and kissed the dark scars on her right cheek before he kissed her lips.
And at this point, I can’t hold back any longer.
These two? They disturb me in more ways that you could possibly imagine. They disturb me more than the Edward/Bella relationship, and they even disturb me more than the Jacob/Renesmee relationship (and that’s saying something).
Spoiler: Sam was not originally in love with Emily. He imprinted on her. And, naturally, that meant that Emily returned the love as well (I’ll be going into a deeper discussion of imprinting later, though, so that’s not for here), and now they’re engaged. While they were in a relationship, Sam apparently got out of control, wolfed out, and horribly mauled and disfigured her. Did this cause any kind of strife in their relationship? No, it did not. We hear all about how sorry Sam is for it, though, and, as we can see, Emily is very blithe about it and pretty much doesn’t care.
There’s the summary. And now, here is the break down.
- Sam kissing Emily’s scars is supposed to be him showing that he doesn’t care that she’s disfigured. It’s supposed to be the usual cliché of the person looking past the ruined beauty and seeing the REAL beauty inside. There are two problems with this, one of which turns this into something quite sinister. 1) Sam has no choice but to be in love with Emily. He imprinted, remember? 2) Sam caused those scars. So, basically, he’s kissing his own handiwork. HE IS KISSING THE SCARS THAT HE GAVE HER. There is so much wrong with that I don’t even know where to start—so I’m not going to
- It’s already said that they wolf out when they’re young when they become angry. This means that he wolfed out around Emily—the only assumption I can make was that he became angry with something that she did. He got mad, turned into a werewolf, and sliced her up like a Christmas ham. But as we see here, they’re perfectly fine with this, and have no problems with it. Is it just me, or does Emily’s attitude towards her scars ring of, “I’m sorry I made you hit me, Sam”?
- I know Bella is one of the worst when it comes to the subservient female doing whatever the Almighty Male says, but Emily here is just a cardboard cutout stereotype. Look at her—she apparently does nothing but cook for the werewolves, spending most of her time in the kitchen, she bears the scars of her fiancée but stands by him anyway, she can’t do anything to upset her husband because if she does, he’ll viciously
beatmaul her, she stands prettily to the side for others to admire her, and once one boy displays interest in her, she drops everything and cleaves to his side like a good, submissive woman. Basically, Emily is the “barefoot and pregnant” cliché woman. It’s vile enough when a man writes a woman like that. But a female author writing like this?
So, the short version: Stephenie Meyer makes me very, very unhappy.
Jared tells Sam and Emily to break it up, which they don’t, and just what do you think seeing them being all lovey-dovey prompts Bella to do?
Come on. If you don’t know by now, I’m not going to tell you.
That’s when Jacob and Paul arrive, and they are laughing and play-fighting and Bella is shocked to see them both in one piece, which just makes me think they’re both stuffed into a singlet. Jacob makes a beeline for Bella, stuffing his face with muffins as well, and apologizes for scaring her and asks how she is. She says she is fine, and that’s when Jared laments that he just lost fifteen dollars, as Paul has a mark that’s already well-healed on his arm, and when Bella asks how it’s healing so fast, Jacob says it’s a “wolf thing”. Sam then calls the meeting to order (while continuing to fondle Emily, I might add) and says that Jacob’s got a scoop.
Jacob tells the story of Victoria, saying that she’s after Bella and she’s trying to get into Forks. Jared says that this is great, because now they’ve “got bait”, and GOD, I think I just passed out from that. Jared, I officially love you.
However, Jacob is not pleased and throws a can opener at him. Jared catches it as Jacob snarls that Bella ain’t no worm (I disagree), and Jared tells him to lighten up (I agree). Sam gives some football formation orders, and they mention that they’ll soon be able to be paired up evenly since Quil’s on the verge of wolfing out himself. Everybody is rather distressed by this, which I actually don’t understand. Aside from Jacob briefly being distressed by the idea of being a werewolf, all of the people who are werewolves think that it’s just about the coolest thing that’s ever happened.
Sam keeps giving out the orders, and then tells Bella that she should hang out at La Push as often as possible, prompting Bella to demand what they’re going to do about Charlie. Jacob tells her that Billy and Harry can keep him away from Forks as much as possible because of all of the sports stuff going on. Sam then interjects that Bella needs to decide if she wants to hang out at La Push or not, because being around young werewolves can be dangerous. Bella informs them that she doesn’t want to lead Victoria around tasty people, so Sam agrees to have her around areas where they can bring about Victoria’s end, and Bella angsts again that she doesn’t think the werewolves can take on Victoria. *sigh* All of the boys are pretty relaxed, and when Bella demands that they be careful, they laugh at her. Ah, man—I’m starting to love this bunch. It’s a shame that Meyer knows that people started liking them and flushes their characterizations down the shitter later. Emily doesn’t laugh, though, and Bella notes that, even though she’s all mangled and stuff, she’s still beautiful (because that’s how Meyer rewards the females in the story who do as they are supposed to do—makes them beautiful. Notice that all of the submissive females are gorgeous? And the only two who aren’t completely submissive—Rosalie and Leah—are punished later by being forbidden the ultimate reward for appropriate female behavior?). Then she brings all the food to the table and they all eat it as if they were raised by wolves (ha ha, c wut i did thar?). And then Meyer tells us explicitly that Emily considers these people her family, because she has absolutely no idea how to SHOW anything.
And then we have a time jump, because Meyer thought that maybe we missed them—we sum up the entire day in one paragraph. She spends the day at Billy’s, Charlie comes over with pizza, and we have a brief conversation about Jacob’s hair.
Then they all go home. Bella angsts about Jacob out there hunting Victoria, and he scoffs at her. She agrees to come back to La Push tomorrow ASAP, and when Charlie and Bella get home, Charlie demands to know what is going on, as Bella and Jacob have done a complete 180. Bella brushes him off, and Charlie informs her of the story everybody else has regarding Emily’s face—a “bear” apparently mauled her. Bella “[shudders] at the thought of how Sam must have felt every time he looked at Emily’s face”. Judging by the fact that he lovingly kisses those scars every time he sees her? He’s damned proud of himself that he put his woman in her place.
So, Bella goes to bed, but can’t sleep. And…this must be transcribed.
I thought about what Jacob had said early this morning, about hypocrisy. I thought about that for a long time. I didn't like to think that I was a hypocrite, only what was the point of lying to myself?
I curled into a tight ball. No, Edward wasn't a killer. Even in his darker past, he'd never been a murderer of innocents, at least.
But what if he had been? What if, during the time I that I'd known him, he'd been just like any other vampire? What if people had been disappearing from the woods, just like now? Would that have kept me away from him?
I shook my head sadly. Love is irrational, I reminded myself. The more you loved someone, the less sense anything made.
It’s real nice that Bella finally spells it out for us: She really doesn’t care that Edward murdered people, because they were bad guys anyway. Not that it matters—she’d fawn all over him even if he had skipped blithely around and eaten innocent people.
Bella, just because you love someone does not justify the fact that they did bad things. A man who murders somebody may be remorseful for it immediately afterwards—but guess what? He’s still going to jail. The crime was still committed, and how the hell are you personally supposed to know he’s remorseful or not? You can’t read his mind. And how come killing is okay so long as he’s killing the RIGHT people? That is your justification for Edward killing people? He’s not a killer because they were just scum? Just who made him judge, jury, and executioner for those people? The cynical part of me wants to say you are okay with him killing those people because A) they weren’t you, B) you didn’t know them, and C) they were probably poor and ugly anyway.
So, Bella falls asleep and GUESS WHAT HAPPENS.
SHE HAS A SYMBOLIC DREAM.
This one involves her holding hands with Emily while they both “[wait] anxiously for [their] werewolves to come home”. Because that’s how Bella defines herself—by what man she’s currently hanging onto at the time.
And that’s all the news that’s fit to
Stinger: “No, Edward wasn't a killer. Even in his darker past, he'd never been a murderer of innocents, at least.”
( Chapter 15 - Pressure )
This one’s short because the next two or three chapters go together, meaning they all end with “cliffies”.