I kept walking along the highway, unaware of what direction I was heading in. It had become dark out and I was alone.
Back in La Push, Seth had just walked in the front door of the house.
“Charlie, dinner’s almost done.” Our mom called out.
“Not Charlie, but one of the other men who you need to feed.” Seth said smirking.
My mom ran out of the kitchen grabbing Seth, and pulled him close hugging him tightly. “Oh God I’m glad you’re safe.” She squeezed him tightly, and he hugged her back,
“Yeah. They decided Renesmee wasn’t a threat."
She smiled holding him at arm’s length now examining him. “Well I’m glad everyone is safe. Come get something to eat.” She pulled him into the kitchen, and made him two sandwiches.
He devoured them instantly, “Thank you mom.” She just smiled happy to have him home, and safe.
My mom sat down at the table, looking at him, “Where’s your sister?”
He shrugged, “I’m not sure. She’s probably collecting herself. She was really upset, it felt like somethng was eating away at her.”
My mom let out a soft sigh, getting up to finish cooking dinner.
I must have walked several miles. I found myself back once again at the Cullen’s property. I walked down the edge of the long driveway and then ducked into the woods. I walked along the river for a while. I quietly phased, after tying my clothes to my leg. I moved quietly so I wouldn’t disturb anyone. The house had lights on now, which I could see in the distance. I could hear the voices from inside. I lay down by the river’s edge and watch everything around me. I still didn’t trust The Volturri. It was the least I could do for the Cullen’s. I had been a complete and utter bitch to them. They hadn’t done anything to deserve the way I treated them.
I decided I wouldn’t stay long. I just needed to make sure they were truly free to live. I felt horrible the way I had acted towards them before. If they only knew how sorry I truly was and how sincere my feelings towards them were now. It was amazing how quickly my feelings towards them had turned around. They were a strong knit family. They weren’t out to harm anyone. Renesmee was asleep in Bella’s arms. Edward sat quietly beside her, gently stroking Bella’s hair. Emmett and, Rosalie were having a conversation with - Carlisle and Esme. Jasper and, Alice sat there looking at one another, having their own private moment. I imagined what life would be like once I left the area. I wondered how Hunter would go on without me? What story would he be told? I knew once I truly broke free of Jacob’s pack, they’d never hear my thoughts again. I would be safe unless they sent someone looking for me. I whined softly as the cold night air blew through my fur. Usually I didn’t feel the cold but the events of the day, had left me beyond exhausted. My body was barely hanging on.
I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up, I caught a familiar scent. Beside me Rosalie sat there holding clothing, and a sandwich. I shook my head coming around.
She looked at me, giving a small smile. “Please don’t leave. Just hear me out. I brought some clothes for you and food. Edward heard your thoughts. He became concerned. He told Esme and I overheard the conversation. I realized you, and I are about the same size. I wanted you to have something warm to wear. I know you stay warm naturally, you know being wolf and such. I understand if you don’t trust me.”
I looked at her, realizing we were very much alike. She was misjudged, just like I was. I dared to test the waters, and gently nudged her hand with my head. She sat there rather shocked, and then a smile spread across her face. “Would you like to come inside?”
I shook my head no. I had no right imposing on them. She nodded understanding, “Well would you like to at least talk? I’m willing to listen.”
I nodded agreeing to talk with her. I started to stand up when she caught me off guard,
“Leah, I need to apologize for how I acted. I’m sorry I was so rude to Jacob. He really is a great guy.” She smiled sheepishly.
I nodded accepting the apology. I started to go behind some trees.
“Are you leaving?” she called out after me. I phased back, and put on the clothes she had given me.
I walked back out in my human form looking at her. I must look horrible.
“They fit you perfectly. I’m so glad. It was the least I could do.”
I smiled, “Thank you. I really appreciate it.” I sat back down beside her. I’d never had been this close to a vampire in my human form. Rosalie didn’t pose any threat towards me. It felt like the old times when I used to hang out with Emily.
“So you’re leaving. I’ll be sad to see you go. Any idea as to where you’ll go?” she asked looking rather sad.
I shook my head, “All I know is I can’t stay here. It’s too dangerous for everyone. It’s too dangerous for,” I went quiet momentarily.
“It will be too dangerous for whom?” she pressed on.
“Hunter. He’s my imprint. If I hang around, it’s too dangerous for him. I don’t want him to get hurt.” That’s when it happened. A noise I had no idea where it came from, surrounded us. Someone was gasping for air. I was gasping for air. The heavy sobs made it absolutely impossible to catch my breath. Tears were streaming down my cheeks.
“Leah calm down please. Slow deep breaths. Come on.” Rosalie’s soft voice pleaded, fear hidden just beneath it.
I tried to calm down, but I was unable to. I was giving up everything I’d ever know. I was breaking someone’s heart, like someone had done to mine. I couldn’t stop the sobs. In between each sob, I tried to speak, “I…I’m…so…sorry. I…I…was…so…cruel.”
She gently touched my hand, with some hesitation. “Calm down please.”
I couldn’t calm down though. This caused me to panic even more. More tears fell, and then the gasps stopped as everything went black.
“Carlisle is she alright?” a soft feminine voice asked.
“Well she’s a little under weight and a bit pale. From what I can see though, she’s going to be fine. She’s just exhausted. It appears as though her body couldn’t take any more stress, nor could her mind.”
Rosalie spoke timidly, “I tried to calm her down but she was so upset. I’ve never seen her like that. She’s always so quiet and serious. She was just hyperventilating and then passed out.”
Carlisle nodded, “Hyperventilating causes one to pass out due to lack of oxygen.” Someone’s cold hand touched my cheek, “Well someone needs to call Sue, and Charlie.”
Esme spoke softly. “I will stay with her.” Esme smiled softly looking at my semi unconscious body.
“Momma, is Jacob’s friend going to be ok?” Renesmee asked.
“Yes sweetie.” Bella replied taking Renesmee upstairs to sleep. I tried to hold on, but the darkness sucked me back in.
Edward greeted Charlie and my mom as they approached the front door.
“Where is she?” my mom asked. She still wasn’t completely comfortable being at the house.
“She’s resting on the couch. My mother is sitting with her. Carlisle examined her, and said she was ok. It appears as though she’s just exhausted and it caught up with her.”
My mom sighed, “So what exactly happened?”
Edward showed them to the living room, “My sister Rose was speaking with her when, she just passed out on her.”
Charlie kept an arm around my mom’s waist, as they followed Edward into the living room.
“Hello Charlie, Sue. I’ve checked her over. She can go home, as soon as she wakes up. I’m not super concerned about this. I think the stress of school, probably had something to do with all of this. She’s been resting for some time now. It appears she may have suffered from a panic attack. She wasn’t able to stop hyperventilating and passed out. Once she’s awake, you can take her home.” Carlisle’s gentle voice trailed off.
Warm hands touched my face, “Oh Leah, its mom sweetie. Charlie came with me ok.”
I tried to open my eyes, but they weren’t cooperating.
“Carlisle, Esme, thank you so much for taking care of her.” My mom smiled at them.
Charlie was he one hovering over my mom.
Slowly I stirred once more, “Mmm my head. Where am I?”
My mom along with Esme and Rose smiled when I finally came around. Esme, Rose, along with my mother were all gathered around me.
“You’re in the Cullen’s house.” My mom spoke.
“How are you feeling?” Esme asked.
I slowly opened my eyes looking around, “Ugh I feel tired.”
Carlisle stood beside Charlie at a distance. They were looking at the television. “Can we go home please?”
Carlisle walked over, “Yes you may. Just take it easy. Rest, eat and keep up the fluids.”
My mom looked at me, “You heard him.”
I nodded sitting up. “Alright let’s get you home. Thank you again to all of you.”
Rose smiled at me. Esme and Carlisle walked us to the door.
We were back at the house in La Push, when my mom gently shook me. “Leah it’s time to wake up. We’re home now.”
I stretched climbing out and lumbered straight inside.
Seth practically knocked me over hugging me. “I’m so glad to see you. I was so worried something had happened to you.”
My mom walked in with Charlie and hung up her jacket. “Leah go get to bed Hun. You need your rest.”
Seth put an arm around my shoulder and walked me to my room. I was confused as to what was going on. Once we were in the room, I kicked off my sneakers and Seth shut my door. I laid down, and he sat on the edge of my bed. “Why did you go to the Cullen’s? That really shocked us all to hear you were there.”
I took a minute to take a deep breath. “So who’s all of us exactly?”
Seth shrugged shyly, “The whole pack does. When we didn’t know where you were, phone calls went out.”
I sighed, “I needed to apologize and make sure they were safe.”
Seth looked at me, “You apologized? Wow Leah that’s great. Make sure they were safe though? The Volturri left. What happened if someone was waiting for them, you could have really been hurt?”
I looked at him, “Then I would have died for what I was created to do. Keep people safe. Mom would have had to tell Hunter, a story. It didn’t matter if nothing attacked me.”
Seth looked at me, “Leah what are you talking about?”
I sighed, “I was going to run away. Start a new life somewhere else. I was going to give Hunter a new, normal life.”
Seth looked at me, “You were going to leave without saying goodbye. You would hurt me? Hurt all of us like that. Hunter needs you. You’re his life.”
I started to cry again.
Seth leaned over and hugged me, “Sis I love you. But you can’t leave like that. We need you here. I need you here. Listen get some sleep for now. I will check on you later.” He stood up, and left me alone.
I was really going to leave everyone. That was my plan. I don’t know how I would have done it. I slowly drifted off to sleep with a knot in my stomach that ached.
Hunter had driven down from Port Angeles to visit. He parked behind my truck and grabbed his bag and headed inside.
“Hi there stranger,” Charlie smiled. “Long time no see it seems like. Keeping busy?”
Hunter smiled, “Yeah that’s what you can say. Family, work, you know how it goes.”
Charlie nodded, “Oh yeah. We’ve been ok. Not too busy luckily at work. Sue’s had it quiet at work also. It’s nice though. It’s given us some time to relax.”
My mom had just come home from grocery shopping. She walked in with a couple of bags. Hunter was quick to help her. He brought the bags into the kitchen, helping unpack them. “Thank you Hunter. You didn’t have to unpack them.”
He smiled, “It’s the least I could do. I hope you had a good Christmas?"
My mom smiled, and nodded, “Yeah it was very nice.”
He smiled, “Well I felt bad and I didn’t really know what to get you and Charlie for a gift. I was thinking maybe both of you would like a nice night out. I bought you guys a gift certificate to a nice restaurant up in Port Angeles. I was thinking you could spend the night at my house after having dinner. I wouldn’t want you having to drive all the way home."
My mom smiled, “That was so sweet of you, thank you Hunter.”
Charlie walked out hearing Hunter, “Thank you. I really appreciate that.”
He smiled, “Well I’m glad. So where’s my lady, if I may ask?”
My mom smiled faintly, “She’s resting. She ended up not feeling too well. She overworked herself. She’s going to be ok. We had her checked out. She’s to rest and take it easy.”
Hunter nodded, “Alright that’s fine. I will keep an eye on her.”
As I continued to sleep, I was lost amongst my dreams. I walked into a rather large white room. It had off white paint on the walls. The carpet was wall to wall, in a disgusting pale beige. There were several couches along the walls. They were fancy looking but showed their age. There were intricate designs carved into the wood on the arms of the couches. The cushioning was also a creamy white color. There were beautiful mahogany tables, each holding a box of tissues. I continued to look around, taking in everything. In the back of the room was a closed casket. It was beautifully polished mother of pearl color. On pillars around the casket sat multiple arrangements of flowers. I wondered who had died and then I wondered if I was back at my father’s funeral again. As I stood there examining the casket, I heard voices behind me. Quietly an older man opened a set of French doors, and stepped in moving out of the way. Seth and Hunter entered first. Then Charlie and my mom entered after them. Seth stifled a sniffle. Hunter’s eyes were red; his skin was pale as though he was ill. They formed a line standing beside one another. People quietly started filing in the room, forming a line. I didn’t recognize some of them. Then I saw familiar faces. I really was confused once I saw pack members showing up. Emily and Sam had walked in with Billy. Emily walked over to Hunter, and just hugged him, and you could tell she had been crying. Their voices were muffled. I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. The pack hung around for a bit, taking seats on the couches.
Other family members from mine and Hunters came in as well. I made my way over to the casket, which was now open. I hadn’t noticed that it had been opened by someone. I decided to see who was inside of it. Once I saw inside my legs buckled and I quickly grabbed on to it, trying to keep myself up. It was my lifeless body I was staring at. My hands rested on my stomach, one placed on top of the other. I couldn’t understand what had happened. I quickly turned around to ask my mom what was going on. She and the others were gone. I quickly looked around the room. When I turned back to the casket, it was gone. I was standing in a cemetery now. There was a headstone with my name on it. I started running through the cemetery screaming. I was begging for someone to save me. Hunter quickly woke me up, and turned on the bedside lamp. “Leah baby, it’s ok I’m here. Wake up you’re safe.”
I came around, my eyes darting around the room, making sure I was truly home.
“Breathe. Deep breathes. You’re safe here with me.” He pulled me into his arms, wrapping his arms around me. I laid my head against is chest. “I will hold you while you sleep. Just relax.” I calmed down and let the drowsiness, pull me back into sleep.
The next morning I woke up and blue eyes were staring at me. “You look a little better, then when you first woke up. You’re still a bit pale though.” He smiled softly at me. “Are you hungry?” he asked lying on his side propping his head up with his hand. I didn’t respond, “Well young lady?” he smirked. “I’m a little hungry.” Hunter climbed off the bed, kissing me gently. “Take a shower, get dressed. Meet me in the kitchen.” He left me to get ready, while he made breakfast. I showered and dressed quietly. I slowly ran the brush through my hair, and went to brush my teeth. I looked in the mirror; dark circles framed my eyes like a pair of glasses.
As I walked into the kitchen, Hunter was leaning against the counter drinking a cup of coffee. Once he saw me, he set down his coffee mug on the counter. He reached out for me pulling me close to him. I wrapped my arms around his waist taking in his cologne. God he smelt so good. “Alright love to the task at hand your breakfast. What would you like to eat?”
I gently rested my head on his shoulder, “Just a bowl of cereal. I don’t have much of an appetite.”
Hunter smiled kissing the top of my head, “No worries babe. You’ve had a rough night’s sleep. He carefully reached up grabbing a bowl, and set it down for me.
I slowly and reluctantly let go of him, to pour myself some cereal. He retrieved the milk from the refrigerator, and poured it over my cereal. I took the bowl, and sat down at the table and started to eat. “What no sugar?” Hunter asked. I shook my head no. “You’re sweet enough as you are.” Hunter moved across the kitchen, and joined me at the table. He looked at me smiling, “Well it’s “Our” New Years Eve. What would you like to do?”
I shrugged, “I have no idea. Maybe we can head down to the beach. Just spend some time together.”
He picked up my hand, gently rubbing his thumb across my knuckles, “Why Ms. Clearwater are you proposing a date?”
I laughed, “Why yes I am.” I let my eyes wonder and they stopped on my dad’s chair.
Hunter gently picked up my hand taking it within his, “Hey you sure you’re ok?”
I looked at him, “Yeah the dream really bothered me.”
He sighed, “Babe it was only a dream I promise.”
The afternoon passed quietly into the evening. Hunter smiled at me reaching for my hand, “Let’s get going. Let your parents have the house to all to themselves.”
They were quietly watching the television when we left. When we arrived at the beach, Hunter laid out a blanket on the sand. I sat down, and he sat behind me pulling me against him. I rested my head against his chest. I could hear his heart start to beat faster. His breathing quickened as well. I grinned knowing I caused this reaction in him, as he caused the same feelings in me. I had not felt this happy in a long time. To have someone you were so in sync with, it was truly amazing. His fingers gently grazed my neck, as he moved my hair exposing my neck. His lips gently danced along my neck. I let my head gently roll to the side. He continued to plant soft kisses along my neck, moving to just below my ear. My muscle twitched, and Hunter felt it against his lips. He spoke softly, “Mmm Mr. Emerson are you trying to distract me.”
He let out a soft chuckle, “Oh not distract you, but seduce you.” I blushed feeling my face heat up. He pulled his lips away, “We need behave, we’re in public.” His smirk told all too well.
Hunter gently let me go, and moved so he was sitting in front of me. His legs were crossed, his hands sat gently on top of his knees. I looked at him, letting a grin form on my face. “What are you doing?” I asked never taking my eyes off of him.
He reached for my right hand, taking it in his. He looked down at his watch. “Well there’s still a few minutes left in the day.” I raised an eyebrow. “Just listen no talking, alright?” I nodded. “Here it goes. Leah the first time I ever laid eyes on you, my heart stopped. I regretted never getting your number. I knew you were the girl I would marry. The person I would spend forever with. There was a way your eyes told me. Our souls spoke to one another on that day. Now I have you. Every day I wake up and realize I’m the luckiest man alive on the Western Sea Board. I’m glad that I will spend the rest of my life with you. I love you so much, beyond words able to describe it. You’ve made this an amazing year for me. I look forward to creating, a memorable new year with you.”
I smiled, and pulled his face to mine, gently kissing him. He looked at his watch, “Well Happy New Years beautiful.”
He gently pushed me onto my back, hovering atop of me. Slowly he started kissing me again. He laid down beside me, wrapping his arms around me. As we laid there, our eyes slowly shut as we kissed. The sounds of the waves were a perfect way to cover any noise we might make. After some time, he looked at me and smiled, “I love you.” I slowly let myself drift off to sleep in his arms. We just had the most amazing night together, and there were many more to come.