Jacob had taken off to check on Bella. Seth and I were on a perimeter check. Seth’s thoughts were quiet. My mind was still a bit jumpy. I couldn’t believe I’d broken free. I no longer had to see Sam’s happiness. I just continued looking for any sign of intruders. Either Sam or his pack members.
Then Seth thought, I’m sort of glad yo u’re here you know.You really do deserve a break from Sam. But, you’re my sister and well I do worry about you, like you do about me.
It was nice to hear Seth say that.
Thanks. Was all I was able to get out.
We continued on our separate circuits. Then the sudden thought from Seth snapped me out of focus.
We’ve got company. He thought.
The both of us howled loudly at the same time, trying to alert Jacob. Within seconds he was in our thoughts again.
What is it? He shouted
Incoming. Seth answered. At least three.
Did they split up? Jacob thought.
I had turned and changed direction. I was desperate to get back to Seth.
I’m running the line back to Seth at the speed of light, I promised pushing myself fast as possible. Everything blurred past me. I kept alert. Nobody was around me.
So far no tother point of attack. I told them.
Seth, do not challenge them. Wait for me. Jacob quickly told him.
Then Seth’s tone changed. They’re slowing. Ugh-it’s so off not being able to hear them.
I think . . .
What? Jacob was on edge now.
I think they’ve stopped. Seth thought still listening carefully.
Waiting for the rest of the pack? I wondered.
Shh. Feel that? Jacob asked.
He had picked up on something.
Someone’s phasing? Jacob kept listening.
Feels like it. Seth agreed.
I was there. I broke into the small opening, where Seth waited. I raked my claws into the dirt, spinning out like a race car.
I got your back, bro. I thought trying to reassure Seth. I felt better knowing he wasn’t alone. We heard them coming. They remained quiet, and so did we.
They’re coming. Seth thought nervously. Slow. Walking.
I stood there looking around. Waiting. I didn’t even want to imagine what might happen.
Almost there. Jacob told us.
The next few minutes, Jacob’s thoughts became all fatherly. He was truly concerned for our safety. More so for Seth’s, because he was so young. It caught me off guard.
Look who’s getting all paternal. I thought wryly.
Head in the game, Leah. Jacob thought.
Seth broke through. Four. Three wolves, one man.
Finally Jacob arrived and took over the front. I was becoming nervous. Seth moved to Jacob’s right side. I moved to Jacob’s left side. I couldn’t believe it.
So now I rank under Seth, I grumbled to myself.
Then Seth had a quick comeback as usual.
First come, first served. He thought smugly. ‘Sides, you were never an Alpha’s Third before. Still an upgrade.
Under my baby brother is not an upgrade.
Jacob was trying to hear.
Shh! He complained. I don’t care where you stand. Shut up and get ready.
We all waited quietly. It was too quiet. Then they were in our line of sight. Jared was leading in human form. He held his hand ups so we wouldn’t attack. Paul, Quil, and Collin followed behind him in wolf form. They just listened quietly. I was rather shocked. Sam never showed up. This really put us on edge.
A diversion? I thought.
Jacob stood quietly thinking about my question.
Want me to check? I can run the line and be back in two minutes. I offered.
I was just waiting on Jacob’s order.
Then Seth asked. Should I warn the Cullen’s?
What if the point was to divide us. I asked.
The Cullen’s know somethings up. They’re ready. Jacob told him.
We all were curious to see if Sam was sneaking around. He still held power. He probably had the Elders on his side. Who knew what he would do at this point.
Sam wouldn’t be so stupid . . . , I whispered as fear was in my mind.
I was picturing Sam attacking the Cullen’s. Only having Embry and Brady to attack. I knew Embry would fold under Sam’s order. Nausea had crept up on me. I didn’t like the Cullen’s but the idea of Seth or Jacob getting hurt, that’s what really worried me.
No, he wouldn’t. Jacob assured me.
The group stood there looking at us. Then Jared told us there was a truce. Jared had just come to talk. I couldn’t understand, if they were here to talk, why were they in wolf form. Did they think we might attack them? How did we know anymore what anyone was thinking. We stayed on guard. It was so aggravating, the whole wolf telepathy thing. Jared was annoyed that Jacob wouldn’t phase back to human. Jared wanted to hear his thoughts. As Jared continued to speak, the tension grew thicker. I stood listening. Then Seth’s thought caught me.
He growled. overreaction? And attacking our allies without warning isn’t?
Jacob quickly tried to calm Seth down. I listened to what Jared had to sat. I thought.
Translation: They’ve already lost the element of surprise.
Jared continued to talk. I stood listening. Jacob let out a low snarl. Jared was quickly trying to get Jacob to ease up. I listened to Jared as well.
Ha, I thought. What a load.
You don’t buy it? Jacob thought.
Here it came out and I was being truthful.
I know what they’re thinking, Jake. What Sam’s thinking. They’re betting on Bella dying anyway. And then they figure you’ll be so mad . . .
Jacob’s tone spoke before I heard the words and could hear what he said. The heaviness was there.
Then I’ll lead the attack myself.
Jacob let it process. I couldn’t say anything. The idea really was sinking in on him and Seth. Then
Seth broke through with a whisper. I’ll remind you.
He was too innocent for all of this. I had to understand, Seth saw the Cullen’s as friends. Well at least Bella and Edward. He didn’t see danger with the others. I couldn’t. I saw them as mortal enemies. It didn’t matter what I saw them as. I was part of Jacob’s pack.
I know you will, kid. Question is whether I’ll listen to you.
Jared had waited until he broke up our inner conversation.
“Jake?” He kept his eyes on Jacob.
Jacob huffed at Jared and gave me orders.
Leah, make a circuit - just to be sure. I’m going to have to talk to him, and I want to be positive there isn’t anything else going on while I’m phased.
Give me a break, Jacob. I’ve seen you naked before - doesn’t do much for me, so no worries.
Jacob snapped at me. He was really on edge now.
I’m not trying to protect the innocence of your eyes, I’m trying to protect our backs. Get out of here.
I took off running. I couldn't seem to run the perimeter fast enough. I pushed myself checking the circuit. I wasn’t seeing any sign of the others. I heard what Jared was saying to Seth. Hearing the words, broken hearted. How could our mom do this to him.Then the crushing blow, “Abandon her this way, when your dad barely died.” How could she. How could Jared. I was furious. I fought to keep my anger in control as I made my way back to the others. I came up beside Seth.
I looked at Jared. My muzzle pulled back over my teeth a little.
Then Jared spoke, “Leah you know you don’t want to be here.”
I snarled at him. Who the hell was he to speak to me. I was fuming, still. Seth nudged me gently.
Then Jared stupidly opened his mouth again. “Sorry. Guess I shouldn’t assume. But you don’t have ties to the bloodsuckers.”
I looked at Seth. Then precisely turned my gaze on Jacob.
“So you want to watch out for, Seth, I get that,” Jared said.
Did he really get it. He did run with Sam.
He cut in again. “But Jakes not going to let anything happen to him, and he’s not afraid to be here.” Jared’s face changed.
“Anyway, please, Leah. We want you back. Sam wants you back.” My tail twitched out of aggravation. “Sam told me to beg. He wants you home, Lee-lee, where you belong.”
When I heard my old nickname I flinched. My hackles rose and the snarls started. I was furious.
Who the hell do you think you are. None of you have any right to call me, that name. Sam doesn’t have the right anymore. What bull crap. He wishes he could get rid of me. He would make me disappear if he could. Son of a bitch. I hate you and Sam. You’re siding with Sam. Trying to make me miserable.
My thought continued to race on along with some pretty vulgar words. I kept snarling. Finally I calmed down enough to let Jacob talk. After he finished speaking, I growled again glaring at Jared, showing my agreeing with Jacob.
Then it hit me. They’d be gone soon. The Cullen’s that is. Seth and I would have to return to La Push. We’d be stuck back with Sam’s pack. Seth and I whined and turned our noses at the same time towards Jacob. Jared got his answer. Seth and I were staying put. Then after everything happened, well? Who knew at that point. I stayed quiet until the others left, except Quil. He pressed his nose against Jacob’s forehead. I snorted. I waited until they were done talking and Quil left.
I thought you were going to make out with him. I snickered.
Jacob was back in wolf form. He was concerned about what we thought. Had he told Jared the right things. That was a difference between Sam and Jacob being Alpha’s. Jacob seemed to care about us. Even though he hated to show it. Sam was only concerned about us following his orders. Jacob wanted to keep us happy. My only thought was,
You could have hit Jared. I wouldn’t have minded that.
Then Seth changed the whole conversation. I guess we know why Embry wasn’t allowed to come.
Jacob was confused. Not allowed?
Jake, didya see Quil? He’s pretty torn up, right? I’d put ten to one that Embry’s even more upset. And Embry doesn’t have a Claire. There’s no way Quil can just pick up and walk away from La Push. Embry might. So Sam’s not going to take any chances on him getting convinced to jump ship. He doesn’t want our pack any bigger than it is now.
Then Seth and I saw what Jacob had seen. Jacob was thinking about her again. She was drinking blood. Warm blood from a cup. The nausea hit quickly. I shook my head back and forth.
That is easily the freakin’ grossest thing I’ve heard in my life. Yuck. If there was anything in my stomach it would be coming back.
The nausea still made my stomach churn. I was glad hunger wasn’t on my agenda. Then Seth was at it again. It was like the image hadn’t phased him
They are vampire’s, I guess. He waited for our reaction. Then continued.
I mean, it makes sense. And if it helps Bella, it’s a good thing right.
Jacob and I stared at Seth.
What? Seth thought.
I couldn’t resist. Mom dropped him a lot when he was a baby.
Oh his head apparently. Jacob thought.
I quickly added. He used to gnaw on the crib bars too.
Lead paint? Jacob was fighting back a laugh.
Looks like it. Was my final thought.
Then Seth snorted. Funny. Why don’t you two shut up and sleep?
Jacob had taken off to the house. He wanted to let them know everything was fine. Seth and I started doing a perimeter run. Seth thought about Bella as we were running. He wondered how much she’d changed. We only knew she was swollen, pale, and dying. This thing was sucking the life from her. Seth was desperately, trying to remember Bella on her wedding day. He was trying to hold it together. I felt bad. God why was this girl so hell bent on ruining people’s lives? And for what? So she could be with the blood sucking leech? It's not worth thinking about.
I was starting to get tired. My thoughts were slowing down. I wasn’t running as fast.
Leah, get some sleep, ok? I’ll run until midnight. Then you can take over.
I thought back a sleepy, ok.
I made my way back to the river near the house. I found a comfortable spot on the river’s edge and laid down in wolf form. I didn’t feel comfortable phasing back to human. If Seth needed me I wanted to be ready. I laid my head on my paws and watched the river rush by. In a few minutes my eyes closed and I was out like a light.
I woke up finally stretching.
Welcome back sleeping beauty. Feel better? Seth asked.
I stood up and made my way to the path, we had created around the Cullen territory. Seth had just stopped in front of me.
Where’s Jacob? Thought he’d be back by now.
I started running the perimeter nervously. I was trying not to think the worst. In the end, I didn’t trust Sam. I whimpered a bit running.
Leah relax. He phased to human don’t forget. Remember he went to the Cullen’s to check in. He was exhausted. So he probably crashed human. I’m gonna phase and check in at the Cullen’s, see if Jake’s there. If I don’t phase back he’s fine. Be careful out here. Love ya sis.
Then Seth was gone from my thoughts.
I ran the perimeter for several hours. I was about to pass the house again, Seth was standing there.
“Hey. Esme made breakfast. Here you go.” He held the plate offering it to me. I looked at him and shook my head. I went behind some tree’s and phased back.
“I’d rather eat road kill. Go ahead eat it if you want. I’m fine.” I phased back and walked back out in my wolf form. I started my run of the perimeter once again. The blurs of various greens, browns, were all that surrounded me. There was an occasional rabbit hopping along. Birds flying over. Early morning was starting to roll around. I came around in front of the Cullen’s house again.
Jacob was waiting for me. He set down a basket with clothes and food for me. “Esme tried to be helpful.”
I took the basket and dragging it down to the rivers edge. With one steady kick, I sent everything into the river. I watched as if floated downstream. I returned to Jacob. He discretely disposed of the food he had. Once he was done he disappeared behind the trees. A few minutes later I was no longer alone in my head.
Try and be nice
I looked at him
That was nice. Trust me.
I stared running again. We ran along quietly. There was nothing to say. When I really just saw blurs of green and browns once again. Memories started to flow. I tried quickly to stop them but I couldn’t. My dad dropping to the ground. It replayed with the thud, thud, thud, thud, of my paws. I snarled trying to break free from the painful memories. Jacob didn’t intrude this time. Then the pain I started feeling in my chest the heartache was becoming to much with my hunger.
Just give in and eat something. You sent all that food down river. You could have ate. Instead of being hungry and bitchy.
I growled but kept running.
Well at least the Otters and fish have a nice meal. I was not going to eat that food. You and my brother have fun kissing . . . I stopped myself.
I took off running again when I spotted a small Elk. I took off chasing the animal. I attacked the animal killing it quickly. The snap of it’s neck made me feel remorseful. I didn't like the idea of killing living things. I quietly with great disgust ate the raw meat. It took all I had not to throw up the meal. I worked my way back to the river and quietly drank from it. I realized how much I missed the beach right now. How much I missed the waves crashing over my bare feet.
Feel better? Jacob thought to me.
My mood was quite evident. I was so grumpy. I made my way back to the house. I found myself at my usual spot by the river and laid down. A few minutes later I was out.