Tess didn't think Jacob should be this apprehensive about meeting his people.
"It'll be all right." Tess felt she was almost dragging him to the wolf den at Sam's. Really, she didn't care what they thought of her. But now she could say what she wanted. She could speak her mind. But did she want too.
"Hold on," Jacob pulled her back. He was gripping her hand. "You know how important they are to me. I rely on them. They rely on me." He gave her a serious glare.
"Uh, huh." She nodded. She knew they were a family to him.
"But we don't always see eye to eye on....everything."
Tess just nodded, wishing this wasn't such a challenge. But she knew they'd see what they wanted to see in her. And she couldn't help it if they found her to be an outsider. She took a deep breath. Best to put on a steady smile and wait.
Before Jacob could knock on the cabin door, Sam opened it wide. They could hear laughter inside. And there was the smell of something sizzling on the fire. Steak.
"Well, well, we've been expecting you two." Sam put an arm around Jacob and Tess, too.
It was warm inside and much more homey than Tess expected. Naturally, a few boys were wrestling as if they were in a competition of some kind. Tess tried not to watch.
Sam called them to attention, and it was the thin one who caught her eye first. Or did she catch his eye first. He smiled and came over from the livingroom area to see her. It was as if Jacob wasn't even there.
"Hey," he grinned. "I know you." He shook her hand and gave her hug, smelling her hair all the while. "Yeap, thats you. No mistaking."
Tess just looked at him, wondering what he actually meant.
"What in the hell are you doing with this guy!" He teased giving Jacob a punch in the arm.
"Embry, you runt, shut up." Jacob winced.
It was hard for Tess to tell if he were teasing his friend back, or not.
"Hey, I know she knows these woods. Probably like the back of her hand. I've seen her around. Like little Miss Red Ridinghood, out there in the cold." Embry looked back at Tess. "She could be with me right now, if it wasn't for you. She still might be, you know. I started a band. What girl doesn't like a dude in a band?" He smiled then.
"Don't josh me, you know, you can't carry a tune." Jacob slightly snickered, but no one was laughing. It was as if they knew something he didn't know. Tess suddenly felt she'd been keeping him to herself far too long, these days.
"Oh, my howl is so much better than yours." Embry grinned more. He grabbed Tess' hand then and showed her to the table where someone was laying huge platters of steak and baked potatoes. Tess didn't see a vegetable in sight. "She is sitting next to me."
"Honestly, I don't know what got into him." Jacob followed behind them. "He's the shy one."