The next day I woke up and walked out to the kitchen, “Good morning sweetie. How’d you sleep?” my mom asked.
I just shrugged. Seth came out and poured a glass of orange juice.
“So any word on Charlie’s daughter, Bella?” he asked sitting down at the table.
I raised an eyebrow, “Wait, what happened to Charlie’s daughter?”
My mom turned so she could look at both of us, “Well Charlie called me last night rather worried. Bella left him a note and took off. Jacob thought she maybe in trouble.”
I was a little taken back. “Tell him I’m sorry and, I hope she comes home soon.” I hugged my mom and walked out to the living room and, slipped out the front door.
I walked down to the beach. I just needed to be alone. I sat quietly in the sand looking off at the ocean. I still had no idea what caused me to turn into a wolf. Sam appeared out of no where.
“Why are you here? Wait, how did you know I was here?”
Sam took a deep breath and sat down beside me. He kept his knee’s bent leaning forward resting his arms on them. I sat there with my legs crossed laying back on my elbows, keeping myself propped up. He spoke slowly staring off at the water, “I need to talk to you. I saw you from the cliffs, that’s how I knew you were here.”
I rolled my eyes, “What did my mom or Billy send you to spy on me?” I spoke with a rather sharp tone to my voice.
He shook his head, “I was on...” he stopped and sat motionless. “Listen I know you phased. Yesterday before the funeral, well the pack could hear your thoughts, and so could I. It’s not safe for you to be alone in the woods.”
I couldn’t believe him, he was telling me what was safe for me to do and not do. “Le-Le calm down.” he sensed my body tighten up.
That pissed me off, “Who the hell do you think you are Sam. You don’t nor will you tell we what’s safe for me to do. I’m a grown woman. Don’t call me Le-Le! You lost that chance once you ran to Emily.” I got to my feet and started to walk away.
Sam quickly followed and grabbed my arm. “Your not going into those woods.” and he pointed.
I snarled at him, “Don’t touch me. Sound familiar.” I looked into his eyes and saw the pain, then yanked my arm away and took back to walking.
“You phased because of vampires.” Sam called out.
I stopped and didn’t look back at him, I waited to see what else he had to say. When he didn’t say anything I turned around, “Vampires. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
He shook his head, “No Leah, I’m serious. The Cullen’s are vampires or as we call them “Cold Ones.” He looked at me with pleading eyes, “You’ve got to trust me. Charlie’s daughter Bella, she’s friends with the family. Well Jacob has informed us she took off with one of them, her name is Alice, Alice Cullen.”
I looked at him, “Is there anything else you would like to share with me?” I asked with a sarcastic tone.
“There is a vampire. A red headed woman after Bella. Jacob informed us her name is Victoria. She’s after Bella because the Cullen’s, or I should say one of them killed her mate.”
I remembered the day in the woods when the fire flew past me. That must have been what knocked me to the ground.
Sam looked at me, “What’s wrong Leah?”
I must have let my face give it away. “Between us, well a few days ago before all of this happened, I was in the woods near my house.” I paused for a second, “There was something that looked like fire that knocked me to the ground. It was there and gone within a second. I’m not crazy.” I just looked at him.
“You saw her then.” was all he said.
We walked together for a little bit “Your a shape shifter, so is Seth. As you know we’re wolves. When you turn from human to wolf or vice versa it’s referred to as phasing. When we’re in our wolf form it’s to protect our lands, the reservation and the Quilete people. The Cullen’s made a treaty with Ephriam Black and as long as they don’t bite a human we won’t expose them. They are not allowed to hunt on our lands, and they can’t pass our treaty line.” Sam stopped and looked at me, “There’s also something else,”
I raised an eyebrow looking at him.
“You and your brother are part of my pack.”
I felt myself tense up. “What does that mean Sam?”
He continued, “That means you take orders from me when we are in wolf form. I’m the alpha of the pack.”
I glared at him, “So alpha, anything else you’d care to spring on me.” I spoke with a sarcastic tone.
“Yes one more thing. As long as we phase, we age at a much slower rate. Our bodies sort of freeze for a couple of years then we age a little.” he just looked at me.
I looked back at him and then I asked, “Wait you said we don’t age and our bodies go through a freeze.” I was a little confused and then it dawned on me and, Sam’s eyes connected with mine. “Wait does that mean,” I stopped short.
“Leah I’m sorry you can’t have children. Billy thought it best I break it to you.”
My heart sunk and my gaze broke away as I turned and walked back towards my house.
When I arrived home Charlie’s cruiser was in the driveway. I opened the front door and walked in. My mom and Charlie were sitting in the living room talking.
“Hi sweetie.” my mom smiled.
I was in a fog, “Huh, oh hi.” I just nodded a little. “If anyone is looking for me I’m not home and you haven’t seen me ok. If Sam calls well, I don’t care tell him to leave me alone.” I went to my room and shut the door.
“What was that all about? She was out of it.” Charlie asked concerned.
“I have no idea.” my mom said shrugging her shoulders. “She and Sam were dating a few years ago but they broke up. Ever since then she’s held this grudge against him and my niece Emily. Sam broke up with Leah and now he’s engaged to Emily. This was several years ago.”
Charlie nodded, “That’s gotta be tough on Leah though. Seeing them together would bother me if I were her.”
My mom nodded, “Yep.”
Seth knocked on my door, “Can I come in?”
I opened the door and laid back down on my bed. He came and sat down on the floor beside my bed. “What’s wrong sis? I heard you talking to mom.”
I felt a tear slip down my cheek.
Seth noticed that. “Hey let’s go down to the beach and we can talk a little more privately.” he nodded his head towards the door.
I sat up and wiped away the single tear that streamed down my cheek. We walked out to the living room and headed for the door.
“Leah and I are going to the beach for a little bit. We’ll be back in time for dinner.” Seth hugged my mom and we were out the door and on our way.
We arrived at the beach and it was quiet. We found a quiet place to sit,
“So what’s going on with you and Sam?” Seth asked.
I took a deep breath and spoke slowly, “Well he told me about the cold ones and use being wolves. I guess we phase to protect our land. He said the Cullen’s are vampires. I guess Charlie’s daughter is friends with them. Now Bella took off with one of them named Alice. Then there’s some red headed vampire named Victoria after Bella.” I just shook my head.
“Ok. So did he tell you anything else?”
I felt the tears building up, “I guess we don’t age as fast as normal humans do. Our bodies freeze for a couple of years and then we age a little but,” I stopped.
“But what?” he asked curious now.
“Well the freezing process of our bodies and us not aging well, I can’t have children.” The tears started to slide down my cheeks.
“Leah I’m so sorry.” Seth hugged me.
“I can’t have children. I lost the love of my life, and now dad is gone. I don’t think I can take much more. Plus our thoughts aren’t safe when we’re in wolf form with the rest of the pack. There is like this wolf telepathy.”
Seth sighed. “Leah we’ll get through this. I will be here for you.” He just kept his arm around my shoulder.
We just sat there quietly for the rest of the afternoon. We headed home after the sun started to set. In the driveway was Emily’s car parked beside Charlie’s cruiser.
“Leah please don’t kill Sam. Mom can’t handle the clean up of that mess, plus Charlie doesn’t have his handcuffs.” Seth smirked and I laughed.
“But Seth.” I smiled and we walked in the house.
“Kids are home.” Charlie informed.
They were all in between the kitchen and dining room. Emily was in the dining room with Sam setting the table. Charlie was put on stirring duty. My mom knew Charlie’s cooking abilities and well, she liked her kitchen in one piece and attached tot he house.
“So are you trying to get back into your routine?” Charlie asked my mom.
“Yeah, I’m hoping it will help the kids transition a little easier. I don’t want them to think I don’t care. It’s too hard to think about, him being gone.” She turned off the stove and started putting the food onto serving dishes.
Sam and Emily grabbed the dishes and placed them carefully on the table. “Dinners ready.” Emily called and I rolled my eyes.
Seth nudged me lightly, “Be nice even if it kills you.”
I smiled at Seth, “Fine.”
Seth and I sat down. Emily and Sam at across from us. Sam was directly across from me. My mom sat in her usual seat and Charlie took my dad’s old seat.
“Dig in.” my mom said.
Seth was the first at the food. “A little hungry there!” Charlie smirked.
“Yeah I’m starved.” Seth smiled.
I took some food and ate quietly. “So Leah what did you and Seth do today.” Charlie asked.
I shrugged there was nothing much to tell “Nothing really. We went down to the beach and talked for a little bit.” I looked at Sam and made direct eye contact with him.
“Sounds like you guys had a relaxing afternoon.” Charlie replied.
“Oh we did. I got a lot off my chest.” I kept looking at Sam.
He shifted uneasily in the chair and cleared his throat, “Sue this is delicious. Thank you for inviting us over.” he smiled.
I finished eating and brought my plate to the sink and headed into my room. “She ok?” Charlie asked.
“She’s still not herself since everything happened.” my mom smiled softly.
Once I was safely in my room I looked at myself in the mirror. My long shiny black hair fell over my shoulders half way down my back. The scissors were sitting there on my desk tempting me to touch them, It was as if they were screaming my name. I felt as though my life was going down a different path, it was time I did too. I grabbed the scissors and slowly started cutting. The first snip almost killed me, I stared long and hard at my reflection in the mirror and continued with what I was doing. My hair fell almost in slow motion to the floor beneath my feet. I watched as it disappeared. I finished cutting it and it was now just about my shoulders. It wasn’t even but I liked how it looked. I looked different to, perhaps a new me? My life had crumbled before me, from this moment it would be DIFFERENT!!
There was a gentle knock on my door. “Leah can I come in?” Emily was outside my door.
I hesitated to respond, “What do you want?” I snapped back.
“I just wanted to see how you were doing, I was worried about you.” she sounded so sweet.
I sighed and turned the door knob letting the door open partially. She walked in and saw me and gasped.
Her hands covered her mouth, “Leah what did you do to your hair?” She walked over and touched my now short hair.
“I have a new life now, so I needed a new look.” I just looked in the mirror as she touched it.
“Oh Leah. What’s your mom going to say?” she was in disbelief.
“Doesn’t matter what she says. It’s my hair and my body.” I bent down and picked the hair up off the floor and threw it in the trash can. I looked back at her and where she was standing.
“Girls time for desert.” Sam called out.
I flashed a sarcastic smile, “Well there’s our cue. Now to see what the other’s say.” I turned and walked back out to the dining room.
I sat down at the table and Seth’s eyes just about popped out of his head. Charlie choked on his coffee. My mom’s jaw dropped and Sam just stared at me in disbelief.
“Leah, your...what happened to your hair?” my mom got up and walked over and touched my hair.
“I cut it off. My hair, my body. I don’t care if you don’t like it. I do.”
Emily sat back down beside Sam and whispered to him, “She’s not acting like herself.” Sam just nodded a little acknowledging Emily.
“Leah-” my mom tried to speak and I cut her off.
“Listen I don’t wanna hear it.” I pushed away from the table.
My mom stood there, “Excuse me mom.”
I looked at her. “Where are you going. We have company and we’re about to have our desert.”
I tilted my head and looked into her eyes. “They’re YOUR company not mine. You’re about to have desert I’m leaving.” I moved around her and walked through the living room and opened the front door and left letting it slam behind me.
“What the hell is going on with her?” my mom was so hurt. Charlie walked over to my mom and put an arm around her.
“She’s going through a lot right now.” Emily spoke softly.
“I can go check on her if you would like.” Sam offered.
“That would be nice if you could.” Charlie spoke to Sam.
Sam stood up and left the table and Emily followed. Seth sat quietly and worked on his desert.
“Charlie I don’t know what I’m going to do with her. Now that Harry’s gone.” she watched the door as Sam and Emily left.
“Shh, Sue we’ll get through this. I promise I will be here as much as possible to help.” he just gave her a hug.
“Thank you Charlie.” and she smiled faintly.
I had walked down to the beach and was walking along the shore line. “Leah, I know your out here.” Sam called out.
It was dark and the moon was illuminating the water. I stopped and Sam and Emily walked over to me.
“Talk to us. What’s going on?” Sam spoke with the voice that used to make me feel so safe.
Now it was the voice that killed me because he wasn’t mine. Emily stood beside him.
“What’s there to tell you Sam. You know what’s going on. Your the alpha. Your the one running the show.” I spoke sarcastically.
“Leah stay calm and talk to me.” he looked at me with those warm eyes that showed he still cared.
“You wanna know what’s wrong. I am the reason my father’s dead. I am a freak. My whole life has been uprooted. My plans for my future are down the drain now. My life is ruined.” I spoke through gritted teeth.
“Leah it’s not your fault your dad died. He had a weak heart. You can’t blame yourself.”
I clenched my teeth and you could hear it because Emily cringed a little.
I held back the tears. “Your not a freak. You should think of it as an, honor. Your protecting your people and your lands.” he was trying to reassure me.
“Sam that’s a load of crap. Don’t try and make me feel better about this. I am a mutant. I turned into a wolf, a giant wolf. That may work for you and Emily, but there’s nobody out there for me. Nobody wants to be with a girl who turns into that.” my breathing started picking up and my heart rate sped up a little.
“Leah stay calm.” Sam kept a steady tone with me.
“You know what, I can’t have kids now. The one thing I wanted in life, to have a family. I dreamed of having one with you one day. But it will never happen! Neither of them. No more us and no kids.”
Emily looked down. I felt bad at the moment. I knew I said the wrong thing. Sam sighed and I started to sob my chest rose and fell faster now. The tears fell and so did I. I was on the sand on my knee’s sobbing. “It’s not fair.”
Sam sighed. Emily came and was beside me rubbing my back and holding me. “Leah I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”
I let the anger leave me and leaned my head against her.
We were there for a while. Sam finally spoke, “Leah I need to explain something to you. I never meant to hurt you. I loved you and cared about you but, you weren’t the one.” I just listened. “I imprinted on Emily.”
I spoke softly, “Imprinted, what’s that?” Sam looked at Emily and then looked at me and spoke softly. “It’s when a shapeshifter finds the one they are meant to be with. Their soulmate.”
I looked at him and realized what he was saying. “Once you imprint you can’t stay away from the object of your imprint. Mine ordered me away and I tried to stay away but I couldn’t. It almost killed me too.” He smiled at Emily, and then it clicked.
“Oh my god. You imprinted on Emily.” I sat there in shock.
Emily spoke softly, “Leah I’m so sorry. When it first happened I ordered him to come back to you but he wouldn’t. He didn’t want to lead you on and hurt you more than he already had.”
I just sat there taking it all in. “So you didn’t want to break up with me, you had to.”
Sam nodded slowly. “I’m going to let you two talk.” Emily smiled and got up and left us to talk.
Sam took her place beside me, “Leah I never stopped loving you.” He gently touched my hand and my heart started to race then sunk.
“I still,” I stopped short. Sam looked at me and knew what I was going to say. I felt the tears build up.
“Leah I know you still love me. I can just tell. I’m so sorry I can’t be with you. If I had never phased this wouldn’t have happened.”
I looked at him and started thinking. “Wait when you disappeared when we were together.”
He cut me off and nodded. “I’d phased and was hiding in the woods as a wolf. I thought I had gone crazy. It took me two weeks to phase back to human.”
I looked at him, “The whole town was looking for you. I asked you what happened and you never told me. Now I find out because I’m part of your crappy little pack.”
He looked at me, “Leah I couldn’t tell you. I was sworn to secrecy.”
I looked at him, “You told Emily everything. You couldn’t come clean to me.”
He straightened up, “Leah I had to tell her I imprinted on the girl.”
I became infuriated, “Damn you Sam. I sat there thinking I had done something wrong. I thought you just left and ran away. No you were off screwing my cousin. You jerk. I hate you. I gave you two things that meant something really special and what did you do, you used them. I hate you.” I just yelled at him. It was out of pure frustration. I kept it all bottled up for so long. I couldn't stop myself. I yelled til’ my voice was horse. Then I sat there afterwards feeling like a jerk. What had I done. I still loved him I was just angry at him. I didn't mean to say what I did. I started crying knowing what I said was wrong. It hurt me so bad.
“Leah I loved you and still do but it’s different now. I never used you. How could you think that. We were together and I was only with you because I loved you.”
I just got up and left him sitting there and took off running down the beach and phased into wolf and disappeared into the woods. “Dammit.” Sam punched the sand beside him and went back to the house.
He walked inside alone. Charlie, Emily and my mom looked up at him.
“Where’s Leah?” my mom asked.
“Sue she took off into the woods. I couldn’t stop her. She’s upset.” Sam said with a pained look to his eyes.
“Oh no.” Emily said. Sam nodded.
“Should we try and find her?” Charlie asked.
“Let’s give it an hour. If she doesn’t come back then we go look for her.” my mom said.
The others nodded. “Sue I’m sorry. We were talking and everything was fine and,”
My mom smiled, “Sam it’s ok I understand.” They sat there waiting watching the time tick by.
Meanwhile I was in the woods and I phased back to human. I found the pile of clothes I had shoved in a bag. I stuffed the bag in a tree trunk that had a hole just big enough to hold it. It held a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt and flip flops. I got dressed quietly and shoved the bag back in the trunk. I walked quietly crying and feeling the tears stream down my warm cheeks. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this.” I sat down against a tree trunk and leaned back and dozed off. The sun had set and it was dark and damp. The air was getting colder now.
“Well it’s been an hour we need to see if we can find her.” Charlie stood up, “Sam and I will go look for her. Sue and Emily stay here and wait for her.”
My mom nodded and watched as they left.
“I didn’t mean to get her so angry.” Sam spoke to Charlie.
“She’s an emotional roller coaster right now.” Charlie replied as they walked through the woods.
Then it started to rain lightly.
“Leah.” Charlie called out.
I tried to open my heavy eyes and look around.
“Charlie over this way. She took off into this section.” Sam called over his shoulder. Charlie spotted me and scooped me up, “Leah are you ok?”
I just looked at Charlie with red eyes. “Come on sweetie let’s get you home.”
He carried me back to the house and set me down on my bed. Sam stayed out in the living room.
“Leah are you ok?” my mom came in and felt my forehead and took my pulse. “Well your vitals are good. Change into your pj’s and lay down.” she kissed the top of my head and left with Charlie. I did as she instructed.
Charlie said goodbye and headed home. Emily and Sam hung around for a bit.
“So what happened.” my mom asked.
“I explained to her that I imprinted on Emily and she was ok with it. Then she just lost her cool.” Sam looked at mom.
“Nothing else happened.” she questioned and he shook his head.
“She’s resting now. I will call you in the morning if anything happens. Have a good night.” She shut the door behind Sam and Emily. She shut off the lights in the house and came into my room.
“Leah are you awake?” I had fallen asleep. She pulled the covers over me and kissed my forehead. “Goodnight sweetie. Sweet dreams and I love you.”