It was finally here. This would be my last night in this house. This place held so many memories. I sat for hours in my room, quietly thinking. I went through memories, like it was a private movie. I decided to give my journal one final entry. What do you say? I just let my thoughts bleed onto the page.
December 29, 2006
I know I've neglected to write. I'm sorry I've done this. Life has just been so busy. It's like I'm standing in the middle of a highway, and everything is flying past me. I'm not trying to complain, there's just to much to process. It's hard right now because, my life is going to come, to an end. Hunter gave me an Eternity bracelet. It was a promise to love me forever. How can you love forever, when someone won't be around forever? I just want to tell him what's going on, but I can't. He needs to stay safe. This battle will end everything. My mom has a story all conjured up, to tell him. I hope he'll find someone to make him happy, once I'm gone. This isn’t how I saw my life going. I finally had everything I wanted.
I stopped writing, because the tears were blurring my vision. It was almost time for dinner. I shut my journal, and put it back in its usual spot.
Charlie had come over for dinner. My mom was happy to have Seth, and I joining them. "It's nice to have a family dinner. I miss these."
We both smiled at her. This was our last meal. We laughed, and reminisced about the good times. I'd not seen Hunter in a week. Christmas Eve was the last time. We'd been talking. I had made up excuses that I was really busy, and needing to spend time with my family. He was very understanding.
We'd finished dinner and were hanging out in the living room. There wasn't much to do. Everyone was happy. There was no fighting, or arguing. We just enjoyed each other’s company. My mom looked over at me. I stared at the window.
Charlie glanced over and whispered to my mom, “Is she ok? It’s like she’s become a statue.”
My mom turned her head slightly, not taking her eyes off me, “She had a rough week. She’s been depressed since Christmas. Not having Harry around was really hard on her.”
Charlie nodded, “Oh. Seth seems ok.”
My mom smiled, “He seems to not hold onto it so hard. He’s also a lot quicker to open up. He’ll tell you how he’s feeling. Leah has become very reserved about, how she feels regarding Harry’s death.”
Seth smiled and kissed my mom’s cheek, “I will be home tomorrow. I’m going to hang out with the guys. I love you.” He smiled, and hugged her.
She hugged him back tightly, “I love you. Please be careful.”
He nodded, “I will. Love you too mom. Bye Charlie. Leah I’ll see you later.” He took off out the door. Charlie settled into the couch. He held my mom’s hand happily. I got up and went to my room and shut the door. My mom looked down, trying not to cry. One child had left, one to go.
I pulled out a piece of paper and started to write.
I want to start by saying, I love you. You’ve always been there for me. I couldn’t ask for a better mom. You’ve taught me so much. I will remember all the great times we had together. You were such an inspiration. You never turned your back on me. Thank you. You always understood. I know this is going to be hard, but you’ll be strong. I will always be with you. I’m glad you found happiness once again. Charlie is a great guy. The way he makes you smile, makes me know you’re in great hands with him. I’m sorry this isn’t longer. I love you mom. Always smile. Don’t be sad. Everyone has a purpose. Mine along with the others, was to keep people safe. You were the best friend, anyone could have asked for. I will miss you.
I folded the paper in half, and left it on the desk. I got up and grabbed the phone, and sat on my bed. I dialed Hunters cell phone. It rang, and rang and finally went to voicemail,
“Hey you’ve reached Hunter. You know what to do.”
I waited for the beep, “Hey it’s me. I just wanted to say I love you, and miss you. Hope you’re having fun. Thank you for everything you’ve given me. Guess we’ll talk later. Hunter I love you.” I hung up. I clenched my jaw trying not to cry. I quietly opened my window and slipped out it like old times. Once I was out, I made sure to shut it behind me. I made my way down to the beach.
I looked off at the dark water. The snow was starting to fall again. It was sticking to the ground now. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt cold. I’d felt numb. I needed some time before I went to meet up with the others. I wondered if they were with their imprints. What were their final words to the ones they loved. Were they truly prepared to give up their lives. Were they scared like I was. As the snow started to slowly amount I decided it was time to face the inevitable. It was some time after midnight when I walked through the wood. Foot prints of the others were left in the snow. As I walked I became extremely nauseated. I tried my hardest to fight it. The knot was unbearable. Before I could take another step, I doubled over vomiting away from the trail of footprints. I leaned against the tree for support. I felt a hand gently touch my shoulder.
I turned around to find Embry. “You ok?”
I shook my head, “Yeah. Dinner didn’t agree with me.”
Embry looked into my eyes, “You’re a horrible liar. Do you need a hug?”
I smiled a little at him and nodded. He, and I hugged. It was totally out of character for both of us.
“I know you’re scared. So am I. We won’t be alone.” He was absolutely right. We wouldn’t be alone.
We’d witness each other’s deaths. Our last images would be our brothers, and sister dying. Slowly we let go.
“Time to meet up with the others.” Embry spoke softly.
We had split up, and stripped of our clothing leaving it by trees, and phased.
We walked to find the rest of the pack, including the newest wolves. I could hear the other’s eagerness ready for a fight. So they weren’t scared. Sam nodded at us once we joined the others. A few others showed up, and we were all assembled.
“This is the time for rest. No fighting. No practicing. Nothing. Just rest for now, and take it easy. We’ll know when it’s our time to meet up with the others.”
We did as we were told. It was quiet as the snow fell. There was no movement on our end. Just the sounds of our hearts beating. Sometimes a soft whine, or growl. There was the mental chatter. Some were picturing what would happen. Others thought about their mates. Seth’s thoughts were loud to me. I’m not sure if I focused on them. I could hear his louder than anyone else’s it seemed.
I looked over at him. I was lying on the ground, my head resting on my paws. He was remembering the first time he phased. Then he thought about our dad. All the good times we had together. Then the heart attack memory was painful. Seeing it through Seth’s eyes, crushed me. That was the first time I saw the pain Seth was in. He wasn’t over it. He put on a brave face. Seth continued to flip through thoughts. Good times he had at school. The happiness he felt joining Jacob’s pack. Keeping the Cullen’s safe. Bella’s pregnancy. When I went missing after the council meeting. I saw how scared he was about losing me. Then he started going through everyone’s faces. He spent some time on our mothers. He focused on her happiness. Then the last face was mine. He was remembering me smiling, and laughing. He turned and looked at me. His warm brown eyes showed it all. He was going to miss me. I felt a knot in my stomach. He quietly moved over and laid down beside me.
Sam was thinking about Emily. He thought about her getting hurt. He was remembering touching her scar for the first time. He kept flipping through all the images of Emily smiling. He thought about her moving on without him. The conversation between them was hard to listen to.
“I’m so proud of you. I know this is going to be hard. You’re doing the right thing. I promise I’ll be ok. There will never be anyone to replace you. I will move back to the Makah reservation. I couldn’t be in this house without you. I love you.”
Sam just held her. I could see the tears streaming down her cheeks. Sam shook his head trying to push the thought out. For as much resentment that I had towards them, I felt bad. Emily would never find love again. She cared too much for Sam. She’d rather be alone, then try and replace what they had.
Paul’s thoughts, along with Jared’s were all about killing. They were both too eager. Their thoughts bounced all over the place. They thought about Rebecca and Kim but weren’t focused on them. They had their goodbyes as well. They had left both girls teary eyed. They kept imaging ripping vampires apart. Paul was too happy remembering the battle with the newborns in the same clearing. They both wanted the kill, no matter what cost. They kept thinking, “We’re designed to do this. We’ll die protecting our land.” They both looked at each other and nodded. Sam looked at them nodding. He agreed with them.
The newer wolves were roller coasters. Some excited for the fight. Others afraid of going up against such a large number of vampires. Somewhat startled by hearing others thoughts. Some very intrigued, others feeling like they were invading our personal space. I looked around again. They were so young. They didn’t deserve a judgment day. How must their parents feel? First the shock of their son, turning into a wolf. Now they’re going off to die. It was a war that wouldn’t be won.
The night had passed, and dawn was breaking.
Sam looked at us. “Time to move. No one is to speak. Just listen to what I say. Let’s line up within the tree line. We need to be able to see the Cullen’s, and the others that have joined them. We also need to be able to see the on comers. Keep your eyes, and ears open at all times. Do not go off alone. You follow orders.”
We lined up as we were instructed and waited. It was quiet, too quiet. If you listened hard enough, you could hear the snowflakes hit the ground. The Cullen’s, along with the others arranged themselves into formation. Jacob had come over to see us. He, and Sam nodded at each other. There was no dialogue between them. The nod was a simple, thank you on Jacob’s behalf. He turned around, and left us to rejoin the Cullen’s. The only noise from our side was panting, and our beating hearts. Our hearts that wouldn’t be beating much longer.
It was as they appeared out of thin air. There was very little noise on their part. They emerged from the trees in perfect formation. Covered in long grey cloaks from head to toe. We were unable to see their faces. They didn’t speak. They moved in such a graceful manner. Slowly they shifted their positions. It was intriguing to watch. We’d never seen anything like this. There were a lot. Sam tensed up at the sight of them. Others started to tense up as well. They were moving towards the Cullen’s formation.
Sam gave the order, “Move forward now. Split up and join on either side. We stand behind our brother, and these innocents.”
If I could have allowed it, my jaw would have dropped. Sam considered them innocents. Just back in September he was ready to kill Bella, and her unborn child. It was amazing how a bond, could change everything.
We watched as the formation came to a stop. Nobody faulted their movements. They stopped once eyes were laid on us. Bella turned around and looked at us, then put her focus back on The Volturri. Edward was speaking to Carlisle. We listened quietly, “They’re worried about the faces they don’t recognize-Zafrina and Senna in particular-and the wolves, naturally. They’ve never been outnumbered before. That’s what stopped them.”
We watched as they stood there in front of us. The tension in the air was like a thick fog. The crimson eyes that watched us, terrified me. The honeys colored eyes were no longer a threat. Whispers amongst the vampires were being listened to carefully.
“Should I speak?” Carlisle asked.
Edward hesitated, and then nodded, “This is the only chance you’ll get.”
We watched as Carlisle moved forward several steps alone. He was not looking for a fight, only to speak calmly.
The one who appeared to be the true leader, stepped forward as well. Some of the vampires behind him, crouched down, and bared their teeth. They were ready to attack. The leader who Carlisle referred to as,
Aro raised a hand to stop them. “Peace.” was all he said.
We listened to Carlisle protest, that he had not committed any crime. Aro wanted to punish those who had committed the supposed crime. We the wolves had protected this child because she was Jacob’s imprint. She was innocent. Carlisle continued to argue for Renesmees life. Another ancient vampire with white hair stepped forward. He looked around demanding that the informant come forward. What informant? Was this the vampire that saw Renesmee. She had sentenced us to death.
This beautiful vampire walked forward. She didn’t say a word. She kept her eyes locked on the other two blonde female vampires. That was one thing about them, beauty. The ancient white haired vampire was standing in front of her. In one fluid movement, he slapped her across the face. My stomach turned at this. The other two vampires she was looking at were furious. They hissed at this. Nobody said a word, nor dared to move. Renesmee kept her fingers tightly entangled in Jacob’s fur. It took everything Jacob had to keep his thoughts clear. He just growled at the vampire. There was some confusion going on. It went quiet as Aro had taken, Irina’s hand and looked lost in thought. Moments later he spoke, “And so we have a mystery on our hands, it seems. It would appear the child has grown. Yet Irina’s first memory was clearly that of an immortal child.”
Aro wanted the complete truth. He looked at Edward. I looked out of the corner of my eye as Renesmee, clung to Bella. She stayed quiet. I couldn’t imagine the pain, or fear Bella felt. She could lose her daughter, and for what? Just because an impulsive vampire, ran off without the full story. She was so quick to assume, when she didn’t have the correct facts. Edward gave his mate and child a kiss before leaving their sides. He touched Carlisle’s shoulder as he passed. Esme’s whimper caused a lump to spring up in my throat. I could only image what must be going through my mother’s head back in La Push. Was she waiting by the phone for the call. Was she busying herself, or had she shut off.
We all continued to watch in silence. Aro’s eyes closed, as he held onto Edwards hand. The thoughts of the pack members were silent. Aro’s eyes snapped open, as he looked at Edward. Calmly Aro asked if he could meet her. Within that second, Bella was cradling her daughter in her arms. Edward agreed to allow the meeting to proceed with a simple nod of the head. The two vampires started walking back towards us. The guard tensed up, not trusting our side. They walked to the middle of the field. Edward asked Bella to bring the young child. Aro had two guard members on either side of him. Bella did the same as well. She had the big vampire Emmett, and Jacob on either side of her.
The meeting flowed smoothly. Caius was very distrusting of Aro. He was furious the whole time. Aro was eyeing Jacob.
Edward spoke, “It doesn’t work that way.”
Aro looked right at all of the wolves. “Just an errant thought.”
Edward spoke again, “They don’t belong to us, Aro. They don’t follow our commands that way. They’re here because they want to be.”
That’s when Jacob growled. I did not want to be here. Being part of a pack, sometimes you have to do what you’re told. Aro spoke again, commenting on our loyalty to the Cullen’s. Edward replied explaining we coexist in each other’s worlds. Our commitment was to protecting human life. This was something the Volturri disregarded.
Jacob let out a soft whine.
Edward murmured to Jacob, “He’s intrigued with the idea of . . . guard dogs.”
This outraged the entire pack. Multiple thoughts of, “I will not be a guard dog. I’m a wolf. There’s a difference. I would never work for them.” were being shouted loudly. Snarls filled the air from the entire pack, including myself.
“I’m done being a guard dog.” I remarked.
Sam barked a sharp command at us, “ENOUGH!” We all fell silent.
Aro continued to stand where he had been speaking with Edward. All of the sudden he motioned for his guard forward. Edward quickly retreated back with the others. Jacob stood there baring his teeth at Aro. He was cursing more, than I think any of us ever knew possible. Renesmee pulled on his tail to make him follow. We all continued to watch, and wait for the word. Aro, and the white haired vampire he called, Caius started talking. Caius was furious with Aro. Once again Aro spoke calmly, and Caius listened. What was going on. Everyone was curious. Then all ears perked up when we heard, “The werewolves.” My heart stopped beating. It felt like the rug had been pulled out from underneath me. I felt like I was going to vomit. Just by this ancient vampire uttering those words, struck such fear. Aro spoke calmly trying to reason with Caius. Suddenly Edward spoke up. He explained we weren’t werewolves. We weren’t controlled by the moon. The final thing that was mentioned was, we knew their secret. Yet again, Aro explained to this vampire, who was to anxious to kill that we weren’t a threat.
Things were quiet momentarily. So the questions lingered, “What was going to happen? How was this going to unfold? How many minutes did we have left?” Caius demanded to speak once again with Irina. She came forward quietly. We listened with everyone else. That’s when we found out that she’d come to spy on us.
Paul was angry, “So all of this is happening because we killed her mate. She’s angry because the leeches,”
I quickly interjected, “Paul, you mean the Cullen’s. Respect them please.”
Paul nodded, “Sorry for my lack of better terms.”
Seth looked at me, and smiled faintly.
We listened to what Caius had to say. He’d prompted Irina if she’d wished to make a formal complaint against the wolves, and Cullen’s. She wished not to. She looked at the Cullen’s and apologized. She truly was remorseful. It didn’t matter. Nothing could change what was going to happen. In an instant Caius raised his hand, giving a signal. All that was heard throughout the tree’s was a metallic screeching sound. It rang through our thoughts, and ears for what seemed like hours. The vampires moved away, and flames, were now occupying the space, where Irina had been standing. Caius was all too amused by this. It was hard to watch her sisters, who stood there in shock. They were furious. In seconds one of the sisters lurched towards Caius. Edward quickly caught her arm, as Carlisle caught her by the waist. Her other sister took off. Rosalie, and Emmett tried to stop her. She used her ability to shock people, and broke free of both of them. She was once again stopped by another male vampire. One who seemed to care about her deeply. Edward shouted out someone’s name. I could hear one of the sisters demanding her sight back. I wasn’t aware of what happened. Carlisle quickly explained that attacking wouldn’t solve anything.
All eyes were on our side. We looked at the Volturri. The guards were ready to attack. Aro spoke to a vampire named Amun. He was so tense. His mate stood beside him not moving either. Aro asked simple questions. Amun answered him, but remained on guard. Aro continued to ask about Renesmee. Amun explained what he had seen while here. Then my stomach knotted up.
Aro smiled. “And do you believe that she should be allowed to live?”
I couldn’t believe he was asking such a question. I growled, “Why shouldn’t she be allowed to live. Her mother died for her. Every child needs their mother. Every mother needs their child.”
I could swear all eyes were on me after that thought. Bella hissed hearing Aro’s question. Amun explained that there no danger with her. Aro turned around. Amun called on him once again. He wanted to leave, with his mate. Aro nodded, and spoke to him before Amun, and Kebi took off leaving us.
We all continued to watch as Aro moved down the line of witnesses. Once again he asked another vampire about this precious child. Once again the female vampire Siobhan agreed with what Amun had stated. So she was safe. We all were. They were going to leave now. Well one could only wish.
Aro was back by his guard when he spoke, “She is unique . . . utterly, impossibly unique. Such a waste it would be, to destroy something so lovely. Especially when we could learn so much . . .” He sighed.
This sent us all on to a high alert, even more so than before. Was this it now? “But there is danger, danger that cannot simply be ignored.”
Then a Nomad named Garrett stepped forward, and spoke. There was quite some discussion. Garrett was honest. He was going to protect this child, family, and witnesses. I admired him. Aro listened carefully. After this Aro spoke, “Let us counsel.” Caius repeated him, and they disappeared amongst the grey cloaks.
This was when I knew Renesmee would survive, but we wouldn’t. Bella’s voice was calm, and soft, “You remember what I told you?”
I watched out of the corner of my eye. The scene unfolding was heart breaking. It was hard enough to know what lay ahead of us. Watching Bella say goodbye to the child she fought so hard for, killed me. Edward spoke softly to Bella. Jacob kept quiet. His thoughts were silent. I watched as Edward said goodbye. She was on Jacob’s back now. Jacob looked at Bella. His thoughts were too personal for me to even listen.
I focused on the dark cloaks across from us. We could hear the farewells amongst the vampires on our side. That’s when I saw why Seth liked the Cullen’s so much. I saw why he trusted them. They were very close to being like us, humans. Why had I never listened to Seth? I felt absolutely horrible now. There was no time to apologize. It was strange to watch what happened next. It distracted me from my guilty feeling for the time.
Edward whispered to Bella, “Chelsea is trying to break our bindings,”
Sam looked at the vampire who stayed with Aro, his bodyguard. Edward moved quickly to Carlisle. It started making us nervous. What was going on?
“Keep your eyes, and ears open.” Sam thought.
So these vampires had mental weapons. It was very intriguing, yet scary. The small blonde vampire with the guard let out a loud snarl. Bella smirked. Everyone, including guard members were shocked by her snarl. There was something going on we couldn’t see. There was some sort of invisible attack between the two sets of vampires.
The ancient Volturri members had finished speaking amongst themselves.
Aro spoke, “Before we vote,” I hated that they kept delaying the answer. Were they enjoying this? Then I realized, of course they were. They enjoyed torture. “Let me remind you,” Aro continue, “whatever the council’s decision, there need be no violence here. “
Aro watched quietly speaking to Edward, and Bella. He wanted to take them for his own. Have them join the Volturri.
Aro’s voice pulled me back to reality, “Let us vote, then,” he spoke reluctantly. Caius voted to, “DESTROY IT!” The other ancient vampire, Marcus saw no theat. He wanted to leave us in peace. Aro still had to vote. My stomach turned more, and more. It was like someone was trying to ring it out, like you would wet clothing of excess water. The knot in my chest was so tight, I was having trouble breathing. What kind of wolf was I? I was panicking. Sam looked over at me. I looked back at him out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t say a word, in fact nobody did.
”I must make the deciding vote it seems.” Aro said.
Edward spoke with Aro about Renesmee. I could no longer follow their conversation. This buzzing in my head started. Things sounded different, almost muffled. What was going on? Then I heard her name, ALICE! She had appeared out of nowhere. Her mate followed her direction, with two others accompanying him. There was a male and female vampire. Both were tall. They looked like the two vampires from the Amazon that had already been here. Alice introduced them. Hulien, and her nephew Nahuel were the newest vampires to come into this death sentence. Hulien spoke, and explained how her sister became pregnant with the child, and died giving birth. I swallowed hard hearing that. My tailed twitched nervously. I could remember how Bella looked. I could remember her scream of pain. I felt a shiver run down my spine. Aro started question Nahuel about his diet. He could survive on blood, or human food. He continued to explain he stopped growing physically at age seven. Nahuel was approximately 150 years old. There were several more questions asked. Bella answered. Caius was anxious for Aro’s vote. Bella and Aro exchanged a look. All was quiet. The tree’s creaked in the distance, as the wind blew gently.
“Dear ones, we do not fight today.”
Carlisle, and Aro spoke momentarily, before Aro returned to his guard, and they disappeared into the woods.
Everyone was in shock. Then electricity ran through the air. Everyone was ecstatic, including the wolves. Slowly the pack moved away. The howls of excitement, and victory rang through the woods. I took off on my own. I waited patiently in the woods til I heard the last pack members thoughts disappear. I took the time to do one perimeter check back around the big white house. I wanted to make sure the Cullen’s would be safe. Nobody, or nothing was there waiting to ambush. I took off running through the woods. I ran back to where I’d left my clothes. I phased back and pulled them on. I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I made my way after some time to the edge of the highway. It was a two lane road. It was dark, and nobody was on the road. I needed some time to clear my head. I walked quietly not sure where I was going. I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was alive, but I no longer knew who I was. I used to be Leah Clearwater. I was the damaged girl. I was the girl who had her heartbroken. I was the girl who imprinted. I found my happiness in the end, but now everything had changed. My relationship would be different with Hunter. Would he choose to stay once he knew the truth? My mother thought I was dead. Was it worth going back? Should I run away, and start fresh? I wasn’t sure where to turn. In the end, I was the girl who’d lost everything. I’d lost myself.