I phased taking off into the woods. I felt so out of place in their house. I was mortified to be standing there with dirty clothes. I was no longer needed. I thought why not take off for a bit. Head to La Push. Take a shower. Get some food. Clean clothes. Major priorities. I ran along the river. I breathed a sigh of relief, once I crossed over the treaty line. Home was close, so I continued to run. Once I was at the tree line, that met our property, I phased back to my human form. I put on my dirty clothes and hurried for the house. I walked inside and looked around.
"Charlie?” my mom called out asking.
“No. Not last time I checked.” My mom came flying around the corner and hugged me tightly. I hugged her back.
“How are you?” she asked looking me over.
I shrugged, “Ok. Alive.”
She smiled, “I’m glad. Go take a hot shower. Leave me your clothes to wash. Lunch will be ready soon.” She smiled and gently touched my cheek, and returned to the kitchen. I went to my room.
Everything had sat there untouched. I then realized my bed had been sat on, several times. Then the picture of my dad I had, was moved. My mom must have come in here. I could picture her sitting in here alone. I wondered what she thought about. I brought myself back around to reality. I needed a shower and, I needed it now. I changed out of my clothes and grabbed my towel and hurried to the bathroom. I turned on the water and climbed in. The feeling of hot water on my skin caused goosebumps. I’d so badly wanted a shower for days. I took my time just standing under the running water. I took the alone time to reflect. I’d broken free of Sam’s pack. No longer was I under his authority, to be controlled. I was still under an Alpha’s orders, but one who seemed to care. I quietly washed up. I scrubbed so hard trying to feel clean. My skin was red now. I decided to rinse off and then get out. I grabbed the towel wrapping it around me and went back to my room.
I pulled out a pair of denim shorts, and a navy blue tank top. It felt so weird wearing a bra, and panties again. I was still adjusting to being human. I ran the brush through my wet hair once. The clothes that I had lived in since, I was at the Cullens were dreadful. I threw them in the laundry. I would never wear then again, but keep them as a reminder. To remember what I could truly achieve once I put my mind towards something. I was sitting on the bed and looking at the floor. My mind was still on overdrive.
My mom was leaning in the doorway to my room, “Lunch is ready.” she smiled.
I just looked up with watery eyes at her.
“What’s wrong?” She came and sat beside me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder, and pulled me close to her. She gently rested her chin, on top of my head, “Hun let it out. Does no good to hold it all in.” After a few minutes of crying, I broke my mothers soft, “Shh.” I wiped my cheeks and sat up carefully pulling away.
“I’m so sorry about the way I left you. I should have been more responsible about it. I was just thinking about, keeping Seth safe.”
She looked at me, “And breaking away from Sam’s pack. Hun I heard. I’m proud of you. It took a lot of courage to do what you did.”
I sighed, “Well yesterday, I kept him safe up until then. See Bella snapped at Jacob, after she’d found out about his imprint on the baby. So she lunged at Jacob, who was in wolf form. Well Seth stepped in while in wolf form. He got hurt. He’s ok now. Carlisle fixed him up.”
My mom smiled a bit, nervously. She didn’t care too much for Seth being so cordial with them. “As long as he’s ok now. That’s all that matters. We can’ change the past.” She smiled and stood up. “Let’s have some lunch, shall we?” I nodded and followed her out.
We sat down at the table. I quietly and slowly ate my tuna melt. Food never tasted so wonderful to me. Just sitting here with my mom, I wanted to remember this moment. Who knew when I wouldn’t be able to any more. She was still young, but with everything that happened. I closed my eyes momentarily, taking in my mom’s scent. The smell of the food, the house.
“Leah, I can make more sandwiches. Go ahead and eat.”
I smiled, “It’s ok. I’m just enjoying it. It’s nice to have real food again. I hunted twice with Jacob. It took all I had to eat it raw. Jacob tried to help once. Told me to go with my animal instinct. Never again.”
That caught my mom off guard. “What about Seth then? What did he eat?”
I smiled and finished my sandwich, pushing the plate away. “Oh Esme fed him. He also had clean clothes. She felt really bad.”
My mom nodded, “Well that was very nice of her. Now why didn’t you and Jacob get any?”
I rolled my eyes, “Well we did. I sort of had a bratty outburst. I was ungrateful. What I did with it, well I was a jerk. I kicked the clothes and food into the river. Please don’t lecture me. The guilt is actually torchuring me.” My mom nodded.
We moved out to the living room, after dishes were put in the sink. My mom curled up in my dad’s char. I sat on the couch. “So there’s some other stuff that happened.”
My mom nodded, “Sam had told us about Jacob imprinting on the child.”
I nodded, “Well Jacob decided to phase in front of Charlie. He was a bit shocked, but he’s fine.” My mom’s jaw dropped. Great now what was going to happen. “I watched the whole thing happen. I was hidden, so was Seth. Charlie never saw us.”
She sighed, “Charlie had been asking where you two were.”
I smirked a little, “Well you could say, “The wolfs out of the bag and you wouldn’t be lying.”
My mother eyed me. “Charlie wants to keep on a, “Need to know” basis. So don’t worry.” She just nodded. What else could she do. “I’ve gotta tell him about you kids. He and I are spending a lot of time together. Things are starting to get a little more serious.” I just listened, “Leah I know it’s been several months since, your dad passed away. Please don’t be angry with me. I’m happy again. Charlie fills the missing piece of me.”
I smiled, “I’m happy for you. You deserve it.”
She looked right at me, “But so do you. You deserve to have a life. One where you’ll one day get married.” She paused there. Where else could she go with it. She knew it, “Oh Leah you know what I meant.”
I just nodded, “It’s ok. I’m going to get some rest.” I got up and retreated to my room.
My mom was casually moving on with her life. My dad had not even died six months ago. My mom was a big girl. I had to realize this. She could take care of herself. I looked at my dad’s picture, for quite some time. His warm smile frozen in that moment. I sat consumed with this memory. I remembered his scent. The way his voice sounded. I was pulled from the moment, once I heard noise outside. Billy had wheeled himself here.
“Hey Sue. How are you doing?” He asked wheeling himself inside.
“Wonderful. Leah’s home now. She’s in her room resting.”
Billy smiled. “I’m glad to hear that. I’m assuming Jacob’s still at the Cullen’s.”
My mom shrugged. “Of course he is Billy. Where else would he be.” I called out from my room.
“Hello Leah.” Billy chuckled.
I wasn’t ready to get up. So I laid back on my bed relaxing.
Billy and mom mom sat at the table. They quietly spoke, “So she came home today?” My mom smiled, “It was a pleasant surprise. I thought it might have been Charlie. By the way, I heard Jacob phased in front of Charlie.”
Billy sighed and shook his head, “What am I going to do with this boy. Any word on why?”
My mom looked at Billy, “Leah was the one who told me about it. But Charlie is coming for dinner.”
Billy sighed once again, “Well he now obviously know’s about Jacob and phasing. I just wish Jacob had waited. Ran it by me first.”
I quietly slid off my bed to my feet. I sat at my desk, and pulled out my journal. I found a blank page, snatching a pen out of the drawer as well. I started an entry.
September 14th, 2006
HOME!!! I’m FINALLY HOME! I’d only been gone a few weeks, but I’ve had nothing. No clothes. Well I was offered some. They ended up in the river. No Food. Same with that as well. Some was offered to me. I shared it with the river animals. I did hunt and eat raw meat twice, yuck. No bed. Sleeping on the ground was tolerable. But the worst was, no shower. I had absolutely, NOTHING. It’s so nice to be home. So there’s a lot to fill in. I don’t feel like really getting super detailed. Bella gave birth miraculously. She had a hybrid it’s called. Half human, half vampire. Her name is Renesmee. She was transformed into a vampire. Jacob imprinted on her. Bella almost killed him when she found out. Seth got hurt trying to protect Jake. Bella broke Seth’s shoulder. Luckily he’s ok now. Jacob phased in front of Charlie this morning. I’ve decided I’m going to enroll in a school for nursing. I’ve done a lot of thinking. This is something I truly want. There is an excelled course. I would take on more of a course load, but be done sooner. I’ve looked at Peninsula College, up in Port Angeles. I think it’s perfect for me. I’ll have to wait until January. I can work for a little bit. Maybe find a part time job in Forks.
Charlie pulled up, with Seth in the cruiser. “Charlie’s here mom.” I called out.
She smiled and was off her chair. She waited anxiously by the front door. Seth came barreling through first.
“MOM!” He picked her up hugging her tightly. “Oh I’ve missed you.”
My mom struggled, “Missed...you...too...can’t...breath...Seth.” He put her down grinning.
Charlie was behind him. She kissed Charlie gently on the cheek. He turned red. Charlie nodded towards Seth. “I found him hiding out with Jacob at the Cullen’s.”
She just smiled. Seth walked down the hallway to our bedrooms. My mom, and Charlie were in the kitchen with Billy. “I say we order pizza’s.” Charlie nodded along with Billy. My mom called and ordered five large pizza’s. One cheese, one pepperoni, one pepper and onion, one sausage, one hawaiian.
“You know it’s weird bing here.” I looked up, to find Seth standing in my door way. I smiled, “But it’s a nice weird.” He nodded then handed me an envelope. “Carlisle asked me to give this too you. He didn’t say what it was.” I looked at it carefully. In such precise hand writing, was my name. It appeared to have been written with, a very expensive pen.
“Hey, I’m going to grab a shower.” Seth left me alone with this strange envelope. I studied it carefully, turning it over. It was sealed shut. Carlisle’s writing was exquisite. I carefully opened in it.
I do hope you are well? First, and foremost I would like to thank you. Your efforts to keep us safe, was not an easy task. You really have had to prove yourself. I’m quite aware of the great courage it took, for you to leave Sam’s pack. I’ve spoke to Jacob. He’d mentioned that you both had a plan. I understand since the Imprint occurred, the plan has now changed. I was made aware that you’d like to study the nursing field. I’ve spoken with Esme, and we’d like to pay for your schooling. I do mean for each semester. This would include books, and what ever else your course calls for. I would like to help you start next week. I made a few phone calls. Peninsula College in Port Angeles is available. They have an excellent Nursing Program. You could start Monday. You could take an excel course where you’d graduate sooner. It’s more of a work load. You’d have a job at the hospital in Forks, if you want when you’re done. Please think it over. Do not feel pressured. Let me know as soon as you’ve, made your decision. I will call the college and you’ll be all set. I do look forward to speaking with you soon.
I read the letter several times.
“Leah, dinner’s here. Let’s go.” Charlie called out.
I slowly folded the letter back up, and slid it back into the envelope. I folded the envelope in half and shoved it in my back pocket. They didn’t bother calling Seth. His nose told him when it was time to eat. I grabbed my journal and stuffed it back into the desk drawer. I shut off my light, and headed out to eat.
The table was all set. Pizza boxes were being passed around. Charlie was passing a bottle of soda, when I took my seat.
“It’s nice to see you kids again.” Charlie smiled looking at both of us.
Seth had a piece of pizza hanging out of his mouth and looked up and grinned at Charlie. “So what have you been up to?”
Seth had just devoured his slice of pizza and was working on his next.
“Well,” what was I going to say. I was going to be honest. “We’ve been keeping an eye on the Cullen territory.” Charlie had taken a bite of pizza and stopped chewing. “Charlie chew, and breath.” I smiled. “We were making sure everything was ok. It’s time you know. This is a, “Need to know” thing.” Charlie eyed me and took a sip of his soda. “How do you know about that? Did you talk to Jacob?”
I shook my head, “Seth and I were there, when you both talked. We saw him phase on you.” Charlie’s color drained from his phase. “Eat up. We’ll talk after dinner.” So we quietly ate with everyday chatter. Charlie was tense and I felt bad.
After dinner, I curled up in my dads chair. Billy wheeled himself in beside me. Charlie, and my mom, took the couch. Seth was on the floor, using his elbows to prop himself up.
“So getting back to everything. You were there?” Charlie looked at me.
“Yes I was. But so was Seth. We were hidden. I was in my wolf form. Seth was in his human form. We can phase like Jacob does. There are others as well. I know you don’t want to hear it, but you have to. You're part of this family now.”
He smiled a little at that. “Well, do I dare ask who else? I looked at Billy,
“The boys on the reservation, Jared, Quil, Embry, Colin, Brady, Paul and Sam are able to phase. Sam is there Alpha. He has his own pack. Jacob has, Seth and Leah as part of his.” I knew this was a lot for Charlie to take in.
My mom gently rubbed Charlie’s arm, “You’ll understand eventually. Trust me.”
Charlie took a deep breath in, and slowly let it out. “I can’t believe you’ve all known, this whole time.” We all nodded. “Wow, ok different subject please.”
We nodded and the room fell silent for a few moments. “Well, I met my granddaughter today. Re...Nessie. That’s what Jacob calls her. I find it easier. She’s quick as a whip.”
Seth chuckled, “That’s for sure.”
I was lost in my own thoughts. It was like, my body sat there, and my mind had left. Could I really take Dr.Cullen up on his offer? I had to at least speak to him. But where? I hated being in that house. I couldn’t go now. I decided I’d sleep on it.
I forced a yawn and stood up, “I’m going to get some sleep. Goodnight everyone.” I stepped over Seth and hurried to my room, shutting the door behind me.
Once I was safely in my room, I turned on my bedside lamp. I rummaged through my drawers finding my black sweat pants. I grabbed a white t-shirt and slipped it on, then crawled into bed. I didn’t feel as though it was wrong to take the offer. Then again, I didn’t have an issue with Carlisle, it was his, kids. My thoughts took off. I needed a part time job. I’d need to put gas in my truck. I’d be commuting every day. There was the opportunity of moving to Port Angeles. But then I’d have to pay rent, and bills galore. I’d always be in school or working. I decided to just stay at home. It wouldn’t kill me. Plus my mom would miss me too much, and vice versa.
Seth poked his head in, “You awake?”
I sighed, “Yeah thinking.”
Seth smiled, “Just do what makes you happy sis.” He slipped back out and shut my door. I finally relaxed enough and fell asleep.
I came around the next morning. Seth had left for school. He couldn’t afford to miss anymore. Carlisle was able to makeup a nasty stomach flu. Gave Seth a doctors note, excusing him from school. Now he was all caught up on his work. My mom had to work a morning shift. So I decided, might as well head over to the Cullen’s. I was up and showered in thirty minutes. I pulled on a pair of short khaki shorts, and a soft pink colored blouse. I slipped on some sandals, and ran the brush through my hair once. I took a deep breath, “Leah, just breath. It’s going to be fine. This is a great opportunity.”
I grabbed the envelope, my keys and wallet. I walked a little to fast through the house. I was out of the house, and in the truck in seconds. Once I got in, I rolled down the window. A warm gentle breeze blew through the. I could hear the wind chimes sing softly. “Thank you dad.” I smiled and started the truck up, and headed to the big old house, hidden within the woods.
The drive over was quiet. I found the turn off the main road, and made my way to the house. My uneasiness just grew worse, and worse. I finally pulled up to the big white house. I gut the engine and climbed out. I grabbed the envelope and walked up on the front porch. Emmett and Rosalie were sitting out there talking quietly.
“He’s inside. Last I knew he was eating.” Emmett smiled at me.
A whisper of a, “Thanks.” slipped through my lips. I opened the door and stepped in. I quietly shut the door behind me.
“Hey. Everything ok?” Jacob said walking out.
I nodded, “Can we talk?”
He looked at me a little concerned, “Yeah. Bella I will be right back.” We walked outside and went down by the river. I handed Jacob the envelope. He looked at it and pulled out the letter. He quietly read it. After he was done he folded it back up, slipped in the envelope, and handed it back.
"Seth gave it to me last night. I took all of last night and a little bit this morning to think about it. I have nothing against Carlisle. I just don’t trust the others.”
He just nodded, “So I take it your here to talk to him.”
I nodded, “I wanted to talk with you first. I’m part of your pack. You’re my alpha and,”
Jacob cut me off, “Leah, do what you need to do. If I need you, I’ll find you. We’ve butted heads. I know you’ve gone through a lot. I have a much better understanding of you. I want to see you happy again also.”
I smiled, “Thanks, Alpha.” He shook his head laughing, and it echoed through the area.
“Alright. I need to go talk to him.” We walked back to the house. I followed Jacob into the living room. I surveyed the scene in front of me. Renesmee was back in Jacob’s arms within seconds. Edward and Bella sat together on the couch. The pixie one was curled up in a chair. Her mate was standing right behind her in a protective mode. His eyes caught me from the corner. He kept watching Bella. Carlisle was in the room. He slid in so quietly. Esme was behind him.
“Hello Leah.” His smile was so genuine. He didn’t post a threat.
“Hello Dr.Cullen.” I smiled.
He chuckled, “Call me Carlisle.” I heard a few snickers, Jacob’s stood out. “Please come this way.” He left the large room. I followed behind me. Esme smiled at me. I half smiled back. I was letting my guard down a little.
We stepped into his study. There were huge book cases. A beautiful pine desk stuck out. In front of his desk were, two hand crafter arm chairs, with black leather upholstery. Carlisle sat behind the desk. I took a seat quietly. The envelope still clenched in my hands, along with my keys. I felt like I was in the principals office. I was so nervous. The vampire scent burned my throat, but I remained quiet. I had to deal with it. My heart continued to race. I felt my stomach do flips. There was a lump in my throat.
Carlisle looked at me, “You’re not in any danger. I know how uncomfortable you are being here. Thank you for coming.”
I took a deep breath, trying to calm down. “I trust that you can control yourself. It’s just hard.” He nodded understanding. I took in the vast amount of books that were behind him. “So Seth gave me the letter last night. I’ve read it and took time to think it over. I appreciate the offer but,”
Carlisle looked at me, “But what Leah?”
I took a deep breath, “I won’t be able to repay you.”
He chuckled, “Leah, you’ve already repaid us. You kept our family safe, while Bella was pregnant. That took a lot on your behalf. So please, take the gift. It’s from Esme, and myself.”
I swallowed and looked at him. My mouth felt so dry. I clenched my fists trying to keep from tearing up. I could see now, why Jacob trusted Carlisle. “Alright, I will take the gift. Thank you.”
He smiled, “Excellent. Thank you again. So what school have you chosen?”
I smiled, “I actually love the nursing program at Peninsula College. They have an accelerated program. I would get out in three years instead of four.”
He smiled, “Alright let me make a quick phone call.”
I quietly sat there, as he made a phone call. He spoke quietly, and calmly, sometimes smiling. I’d catch him every once and while, and we make eye contact. I felt relaxed around him now. Now my next hurdle was to tell my mom. Before I knew it, Carlisle was done on the phone.
“Well I pulled some strings. You’ll start Monday morning at, 9:15am. Early I know. You’ll be picking up your books before class. Your books are covered for every semester. So I suggest if you can get up there for 8:00am. If you need, I can drive you. I don’t mind.” He smiled.
“I will let you know. Thank you again.”
He smiled, “It’s our pleasure.”
We both stood up. He walked around his desk, and over to the door, opening it for me.
“You’ll do great Leah.” He smiled and I stepped out, and he followed behind, shutting the study door. I quietly walked down the stairs. I heard some whispers and ignored them. I went straight for the front door. I passed by Emmett and Rosalie and went straight for my truck.
Once I was in my truck, I had some privacy. I wasn’t in direct line of sight. I took a minute to process what was going on. I laid my forehead against the steering wheel. A moment later someone was in the truck with me. A warm hand, sat on my shoulder. “Seth please,”
I was cut off, “Wrong person.” I picked up my head to see Jacob sitting there, smiling. “I’m proud of you. You really handled yourself well.”
I smiled. “So Seth told me your plan. Well Carlisle and I were talking. He asked what our plans were, you know each of us. I told him your plan, his eyes lit up. I had no idea why.” I smiled and felt my eyes tear up.
“Leah Clearwater. So help me, if you cry.” I smirked. Jacob put his hand on his chest. “Oh no. I’m going into shock. Leah’s smiling, and being nice.”
I jokingly punched him in the arm, and he laughed. “Another thing. You’ll be driving a lot, I’m assuming. Well, I’m coming by tomorrow. I want to make sure your truck, can handle the drive. I need to keep my pack safe.”
That made me feel good. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
He hopped out and I was back down the drive, and on my way home.
Once I was home, I was out of the truck and back inside. I sat down on the couch, setting the envelope down. My mom came around the corner smiling with some clothes.
“Hello there. Where’d you disappear to?”
I smiled, “I had to go talk with Carlisle Cullen.”
My mom raised an eyebrow. I just picked up the envelope, handing it to her. She quietly opened it and read it. “Wow. Leah this is amazing. What did you decide?”
I smiled, “I accepted his offer. I’ll be taking an accelerated course.” I will finish in three years instead of four."
She smiled, “Well that’d be awesome. So would you continue to live down here, or would you move to, Seattle, or Port Angeles?”
I shrugged, “Not sure at the moment. I will see what happens, when I graduate.”
She smiled, “That was very generous of him.”
I agreed, “He wanted to repay me, for me staying there keeping them safe.”
She walked over and sat down on the edge of the couch. “Well, I was going to leave this on the, the table for you. This is something I’ve been holding onto for you.” She handed me a small envelope.
“What is this?”
She just smiled, “Don’t worry about it ok. I think you need to get yourself a wardrobe. You may want to pick up a few scrubs. Two, or three pairs. You decide.”
I raised an eyebrow, “Mom I don’t need them for class yet.”
She laughed, “I was able to get you a job. Part-time. Two or three days a week. They’re only four hour shifts. You’ll be a nurses aid. You’ll be helping, bath, move, and chart patients vitals and such. The pay is $9.00 an hour. So it’s not too bad.”
I was stunned, “Mom, thank you so much. I don’t know what to say.”
She smiled and gently patted my leg, “Thank you is all I need. Go get yourself some clothes, young lady. You’ll be working in different departments. So you’ll get a feel for each, area the hospital offers. Well I hate to cut this short, but I’m meeting up with Charlie after work. I just came home to change, and grab a change of clothes.”
I looked at her, “Ah, staying the night at his house.”
She blushed, “Bagged mom. Go have fun. I will hold down the fort.”
She hugged me then stood up, “See you later. Call me if you need anything.” She was out the door.
I sat there and then opened the envelope. There were a lot of twenty dollar bills. I counted it twice to make sure. Two thousand dollars was sitting in my hand. I quickly closed it. I couldn't take this money. Maybe a hundred dollars. I felt this knot in my stomach start. Then I realized there was a small note, scribbled on the back of the envelope. “
Please do with the money, as you see fit. You can’t repay me. Live your life.
I stood up grabbing my keys from my pocket. I headed back out the door and climbed into my truck. I was on the road heading toward Port Angeles. I’d be there by 3:00pm. So that would give me, plenty of time to go shopping. Maybe grab a bite to eat. I turned on the radio and headed down the road.
My drive was quiet but nice. The windows were down and the wind blew through my hair. It felt so nice. I was happy, I felt great. As I was pulling into the city my dad’s favorite song, I Hope You Dance came on. I smiled. I listened to the lyrics carefully. A warm breeze blew through the truck, and my dad’s picture fell from the visor onto my lap. I don’t know how it happened, because it was held up there with a clip. I smiled and knew it was my dad, letting me know he was happy as well. I drover farther into the heart of downtown. I found a space and parked. I killed the engine and climbed out. I shoved my phone in my pocket. I locked up the truck and started out on my adventure.
My first priority was to find scrubs. I was in luck. I found a uniform store right away. I went in, and purchased three sets of scrubs. After I was done there I headed into a small, thrift shop. A thin girl stood behind the counter. She was pretty. She had short auburn choppy hair. She was wearing, jeans, flip flops, and a faded Rolling Stone’s t-shirt.
“Hi there. If you need any help let me know.”
She smiled, and I smiled back and looked around. I found several pairs of jeans. A few shirts, and a really cute dress. I made my way to the book section.
As I poked through the girl came over, “Would you like me to take those for you. I can fold them up, and bag them. I will ring you up when you’re done.”
I nodded, smiled, “That would be great. Thank you.” I went back to looking.
I spotted a book on legends and folklore. I pulled it out and started reading it. It was very interesting. It covered a little bit of everything. I was reading about Vampire’s. Nothing like what I knew back home. There was a picture of Nosferatu and Bella Lugosi. This is what vampires were supposed to look like. I chuckled a little to myself. I got so wrapped up, I’d not noticed there was someone behind me. I closed the book backing up, so I could get a look at the top shelves. I backed right up into him.
“Whoa.” a male voice said.
I quickly turned around mortified, “I’m so sorry.” Then I looked at him. He was amazing. A smile spread across his face. He had gorgeous light blue eyes. He had the beginnings of a beard growing. His smile, oh his smile. He was wearing light blue jeans. A black fitted t-shirt, and a grey zipper hoodie, with flip flops. I tried to hide my grin, I blushed deep red. He chuckled.