Yes. Weird. Maybe weirder. Definitely weird. And it all starts with a chapter called “Imprint”.
Jacob and Bella are still talking and Jacob starts to tell her the story about how Sam and Emily got together (meanwhile also letting slip that as long as he keep shifting then he won’t age past where he’s at now, which caused Bella to rail about the injustice of being mortal). It turns out that the werewolves do something called “imprinting” where a werewolf will look at someone else and something will go click inside them, and then that other person is their mate as far as the werewolf is concerned. Sam was actually with Leah Clearwater, Emily’s cousin, when Emily came down from a different reservation to visit, Sam saw her, and that was it. Apparently the other person doesn’t really get much of a say in the matter, as it’s “hard to resist that kind of commitment and devotion” or something.
This is not the weird part. That part will come later. This is just background weirdness.
Bella eventually leaves Jacob, but not after he insults Edward a whole bunch. On the way back to her house a certain silver Volvo of the thug-running over variety tails her because nothing says “I’m concerned for your safety” like driving threateningly close. Instead of going home Bella heads to Angela’s house for some girlfriend time, which is apparently so rare for Bella that it’s noteworthy. After helping Angela do her graduation invitations and talking about how Jacob is jealous of Edward, Bella goes home and gets bitched out by Edward (number five in continuing the “Bella doesn’t get to have a say in her own life” count) and pretty much blaming her for his lack of control.
Bella,” he whispered. “Do you have any idea how close I came to crossing the line today? To breaking the treaty and coming after you? Do you know what that would have meant?”
“If he’d hurt you—”
“Enough!” I cut him off. “There’s nothing to worry about. Jacob isn’t dangerous.”
“Bella.” He rolled his eyes. “You aren’t exactly the best judge of what is or isn’t dangerous.”
Bella then apologizes for making him anxious, i.e. for deciding to go see her friend who has, I think, 100% fewer instances of warning Bella he could flip out and tear her to pieces at any moment. Or, at the very least, has many, many fewer instances. Edward then tries to put his foot down and Bella seems to remember that thing she has inside her near her back called a spine and basically tells Edward that she can see her friends, especially one as close to her family as Jacob, and that he can get stuffed. Still, I think this constitutes number six.
Edward had to leave his hunting trip early to come back and be a douchebag so he leaves again and Bella thinks she’s home free to go see Jacob on Saturday. Thursday rolls around, Bella goes to work, and when she comes out she’s promptly kidnapped by Alice.
What’s going on?”
“All the boys went, and we’re having a slumber party!” she announced in a trilling, singsong voice.
“A slumber party?” I repeated, the suspicion firmly settling in.
“Aren’t you excited?” she crowed.
I met her animated gaze for a long second.
“You’re kidnapping me, aren’t you?”
She laughed and nodded.
Apparently, Alice’s price for helping completely railroad Bella’s life (number seven) is a shiny new Porsche. Even though we know she’ll forgive him the moment she lays eyes on him, Bella calls it like it is.
I slammed my door and stomped toward the house. She danced along next to me, still unrepentant.
“Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit controlling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?”
“Not really.” She sniffed.
Bella’s kidnapping is so complete that Alice has already gone through her stuff so she has no need to go back home and very nearly tells her she can’t use a phone to call anyone, especially Jacob as she protests the idea (and intimates that if Edward had said “No calling werewolves” Bella would be screwed in that regard). Once she’s done cancelling on Jacob she leaves a very threatening (who is she kidding) message for Edward.
And, to make the evening less awkward, Rosalie asks if she can come in to talk to Bella as Bella’s trying to go to sleep.
Rosalie then proceeds to tell Bella the circumstances of how she was turned into a sparklepire, that she was more or less gang-raped by her fiancé and some of his friends, left for dead, and found by Carlisle. She then hints that after she got a hold of herself she went and found the five men who were responsible for her death and did pretty unspeakable things to them, which I can imagine left Bella staring wide-eyed at her and wondering if she might be next (since Rosalie doesn’t like her and all).
She broke off suddenly, and she glanced down at me. “I’m sorry,” she said in a chagrined voice. “I’m frightening you, aren’t I?”
“I’m fine,” I lied.
“I got carried away.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Rosalie then goes on to tell Bella the real reasons why she doesn’t like her. It’s not because she smells nice or trips all the time but because Edward wants Bella, not that Rosalie has ever really wanted him, she’s just annoyed that he’s paying attention to someone else, and that Bella has a chance to have the life that Rosalie had stolen from her and, in Rosalie’s opinion, Bella is going to throw it away becoming a vampire. She sees that last thing as the major “sin” of Bella, that she’d voluntarily take up an existence that Rosalie fundamentally detests. Rosalie then joins in on the Bella-oppressing-fun with:
“…I know you’re frustrated that he’s keeping you locked up like this, but don’t give him too bad a time when he gets back. He loves you more than you know…”
Just remember, kids, there’s no expression of love truer than locking someone up in your basement after chaining them to the wall.
“Why don’t you just lock me in the basement,” I suggested [to Alice as she took Bella to schol the next day], “and forget the sugar coating?”
See, she just needs to have Edward not be around and she almost becomes her own individual, if not for the vampires constantly squashing any attempt at expressing her own agency.
It gets so bad that Jacob shows up to school to “spring” Bella; he roars up on his motorcycle, Bella hops on the back of the bike and they roar off to leave a very angry Alice behind.
Remember that weird I told you about? The weird back at the beginning of this post, the whole imprinting thing?
This is where we get weird.
They end up back at the La Push beach and Bella makes an off-hand joke about a scandal with the pack, which of course inadvertently hits the nail on the head. Jacob fills her in that Quil imprinted (and then tries to stare at Bella to somehow force his own imprinting on her), that he imprinted on one of Emily’s family members, and that he imprinted “early”.
He then asks, “Try not to be judgmental, ok?”
Oh, this is going to be good.
Want to know what’s so scandalous about Quil imprinting? Well, the young woman in question, the focus now of his love and devotion?
Yeah, she’s two years old.
I mean, the creep-factor of this whole situation is so high it even gets to Bella:
I was trying my hardest not to be critical, but, in truth, I was horrified.
Jacob tries to describe the situation:
“When you see her, suddenly it’s not the earth holding you here anymore. She does. And nothing matters more than her. And you would do anything for her, be anything for her…You become whatever she needs you to be, whether that’s a protector, or a lover, or a friend, or a brother.”
Nice order of operations there, sport; you should interpret that last sentence as “Hey, Bella, I could totally protect you from that sparklepire…or shag you rotten, friendship would be ok but being a brother, well, that’s last on my list.”
He then goes on to describe how Quil will act towards her as she ages, changing his role depending on how old she is (remember, Quil is now, physically, stuck at about age twenty-five and won’t age so she could catch up to him in physical maturity) and tries to talk down the very creepy part of this.
Let’s get one thing clear her: imprinting is meant for one thing and one thing only, shagging. It’s the werewolves’ mating instinct, the thing that draws them to that supposedly one, special person. And Meyer had someone imprint on a two year-old. I don’t care if he’s not going to have “romantic” (to use the term that Jacob uses) feelings toward her at such a young age, Jacob has basically described how Quil is going to lurk this girl’s life for the next sixteen years (presuming they don’t hook up before she’s of legal age) so that he can stick his penis in her.
“Doesn’t Clare get a choice here?”
“Of course. But why wouldn’t she chose him, in the end? He’ll be her perfect match. Like he was designed for her alone.”
Maybe she might not want him, may fall in love with someone else, or that she could be a lesbian. I know, I know, silly Matt, there are no gay people in Meyer’s Twilight universe. Regardless, by him simply hanging out and his sheer force of personality Claire, the two-year old, will be with him. Gross.
The conversation changes incredibly quickly after that point. They go riding on their motorcycles for a while before stopping to get drinks. Jacob asks Bella about whether or not she meant it when she told Jacob that it was none of his business if Edward bit her. Bella confirms it and then, petulantly, Jacob says that the treaty (which he already broke by telling Bella about werewolves and vampires) was not geographically limited, so if any Cullens bites her then the treaty is broken. When Bella explains that she only has a matter of weeks until her graduation, Jacob loses it and tells her she’d be better off dead than be a sparklepire and said that’s what he’d prefer to the alternative.
Bella doesn’t take that too well. She heads back to the Cullens’ home and Edward comes home that night. Unsurprisingly Bella completely forgets him the moment she can smell his breath.
I could almost taste the sweetness of reunion in the air, a separate fragrance from the perfume of his breath…
The two of them start to fool around some and Bella clearly indicates she’s ready to go but Edward stops it from going too far, disappointing her. He also manages to apologize for holding her hostage, admitting it was wrong and that he goes a tad mental whenever he’s not around her (funny, he goes crazier and she gets saner). Why?
“I decided that you were right. My problem before was more about my…prejudice against werewolves than anything else. I’m going to try to be more reasonable and trust your judgment. If you say it’s safe, then I’ll believe you.”
Well, we’ll see about that.
And for now I’ll end this write-up here.
I just don’t know what to say about this, really. We have a one hundred and change year-old sparklepire in a relationship with a seventeen year-old and a teenager in love with a toddler. Yes, I know, they tried to talk up how he’s going to be more of a guardian but it doesn’t change the real purpose behind their relationship, does it? The level of screwed up relationships in this series is rather high.
In other news, I finished Eclipse on Saturday (just really behind on the write-ups) and have moved on to New Moon. The Scotch is gone and I’m onto the Maker’s Mark starting tonight so I might not quite finish a bottle of booze a book. I think that’s probably a safer thing for my liver.