"Babe where are the keys for the boat?" Hunter yelled from his office.
I sighed, "Bottom drawer of your desk, with the contracts for the customers."
He huffed grumbling, "I'll look again."
Travis looked at me across the table, "He's anxious huh?"
I nodded, "Yeah, well she's been refurbished and looks amazing and runs great."
Travis smiled, "I'm glad. She was Todd's pride and joy. Clara loved that boat also. I think Hunter spent most of his summers on that thing."
I smiled, "I can see why."
Hunter walked out with a manila envelope and keys in hand, "You were right. Somehow I didn't see them. I need to get going." Hunter kissed my cheek quickly, "Bye babe." He was out the door.
Travis smiled, "See you later." He patted my shoulder and followed Hunter. The door shut, and I sat alone in the kitchen.
I pulled out my old journals and decided to look back over them. So much had happened in three years. I felt like my life was like on a clock. Every hour was scheduled during the week. Weekends were a bit more relaxed. I would make sure everything was set up Friday evening for Saturday's story time. I'm glad I've documented most days of my life; well at least I've tried to. I decided to pull out on from 2007.
The WHOLE family is here. I'm trying desperately not to drown. Chloe and Seth have had their eyes on one another. I have no idea if he's imprinted. That would be a bit awkward, but hey if it's meant to be, well then it is. Nobody can change that. Everyone else has been chatting, and having a great time. My mom has fallen in love with Sandra, and Leslie, and vice versa. Charlie feels at home with Alex, and George. Right now I feel out of place. Everyone is between my living and dining room. I'm in the kitchen. I'm leaning on the kitchen bar, and looking out. Hunter keeps glancing at me and offering an apologetic smile. I chose to host dinner. People offered to help with clean up, but I've refused. I'm on my second round of dishes through the dish washer. Pies are just finishing in the oven. Cookies are all set up on a massive plate. Coffee mugs are all lined up to be filled. Half and half cream, sugar, spoons, napkins, they're lined up like a drum line. Tonight we have sixteen people sleeping here. That is including Hunter, and I. Am I crazy?
I flipped through the pages. A lot was about work, school, and well boring stuff it appeared. I stumbled across my entry about bumping into Fred again.
August 18, 2007
I was sitting in the book shop alone today. Well there was the jingle of the bell, alerting me someone had walked in. It was soo rainy, and raw. Leave it to August. That's when I had a customer.
I sat there and remember the day. I saw someone come up to the counter, I looked up. "FRED!"
He smiled, "In the flesh."
I walked around, and offered a hand shake. He pulled me in for a hug. "I've missed you. I see you've been busy."
I looked at him, "How would you know?"
He smiled, "I keep an eye on you. A pretty young girl shouldn't be going home alone late at night. I know Hunter's been busy with the boat. I just don't want to disturb you. I just came from Alaska. The Denali's are well. I'm on my way to the Cullen's. I just wanted to see if you were ok. You hang in there?"
I shrugged, "Its life I guess. Just seems like the same old thing, just a different day."
He looked at me, "What do you mean?"
I sighed, "I don't really do much. I spend my time with my nose buried in books, either studying for school, or here. I feel like Hunter is bored with me."
Fred let out a deep laugh, "Oh please. You're making him quite happy. He loves you. Don't worry ok."
Well we chatted for a little bit, and then he had to go. I decided to close up shortly after he left. Nobody was coming in. When I got home, Hunter hadn't come home, matter of fact he still isn't. He must be cleaning the boat up. I'm just not super hungry. I think I may call it an early night.
I continued forward through the pages. Our first Anniversary held no entry. Instead it was a picture of the bookstore, and us. We were just looking at one another in one photo. The other photo captured Hunter kissing my forehead, and my eyes were closed. A soft smile was on my face. There was a receipt from dinner. The restaurant we first ate at. Then a receipt for ice cream was taped down. We relived every moment we'd spent together on our first date. There was no entry needed, for the photos were enough.
I flipped through the pages. It was like I was a robot. I'd documented date, time, weather, and day's events. It was mundane. Who'd want to read my boring thoughts? I was your average human being for the past several years. A knock at my back door, pulled my attention to it. I looked around and Rosalie was standing at the back door smiling. "Come in." She opened the door, and stepped in not making a sound. She crossed the kitchen, and sat down with me.
"You don't answer your phone?"
I looked over at it, 5 Missed Calls from Rosalie. "Oh sorry." I never heard it.
She looked at me, "What is it"? Something is really bothering you. You never miss calling me back."
I knew she was right. Alice in her persistence had created this amazing cover up that they could wear, and it allowed them to be in the sunlight. Well for Rosalie to come up here on foot, and cover herself in the makeup, she was concerned. I looked at her, "It's nothing I'm ok." I smiled half heartedly. It didn't help, the tear streamed down my cheek, hitting my bare thigh.
"Hey," She was in-front of me wiping the tear away, "What is it? You can talk to me."
I shook my head, "It's stupid. It is just stupid."
She looked at me; her warm honey colored eyes searched mine. "Nothing is stupid if it makes you cry." Rosalie and I had become so close, almost like sisters. She stood up, and brought me to the sunroom.
We sat on the couch, and she sat sideways looking at me. I laid my head against the back cushion. She looked at me, taking her hand in mine, "Now deep breath. Explain to me what's going on."
I looked at her, "Hunter is on the boat today. Jacob, Seth, and his friend Travis are all down there."
She nodded, "Ok so what has you upset though?"
I sighed, "It was my first weekend off from the hospital in a couple of months. Well I was so excited, told him I couldn't wait to spend the day with him."
She nodded, "And he is now not here. You're home alone, and your balloon deflated."
More tears streamed. "I'm not usually emotional like this. Even since I've stopped phasing, and have a menstrual cycle."
Rosalie looked at me, "Are you pregnant?"
I shook my head, "No we're extremely cautious." I just feel disconnected.
Rosalie looked at the window, and I could tell she was thinking. "You're still imprinted right?"
I nodded, "I get a dull heartache when we have to be apart for any length of time. My body temperature is no longer elevated. I'm at a typical human temperature."
She nodded, "I've noticed they're not phasing like they were before. Carlisle thinks it's because we're not a threat. Maybe we've somehow altered the wolf genetic makeup. It's interesting if you think about it."
I nodded, "I just stopped phasing. There was no desire to, nor did I feel it anymore. Even when you're around, I used to feel the tremble. That was when we were friendly."
She smiled, "Before we became best friends?"
I nodded, "Exactly."
She looked at me, "Have you tried?"
I nodded, "Nothing happens. Fred's come by, and I stand there like an idiot who looks like they're playing Simon says."
Rosalie laughed, "Next time video tape that. "
We continued to talk for some time. I yawned, "Sorry."
She smiled, "Take a nap if you want, I can occupy myself. Now I can go shopping in downtown. I could come back in a little bit."
I smiled, "I feel bad though."
She shook her head, "Don't worry about it. I will come by in a little bit." She stood up, and let herself out.
I got up, and went to our bedroom and lied down. The waves were crashing on the rocks, and it was louder than usual. It was a nice distraction, to the absolute silence of the house. I tossed, and turned trying to get comfortable. My body ached and being comfortable seemed near impossible. Finally after about thirty minutes, I felt myself slip away into the waves of sleep.
I woke up, and looked around. It was near sunset. I went to sit up but had difficulty. Something prevented me from sitting up. I rolled onto my side, and swung my legs over the edge of the bed. I hadn't opened my eyes because I was still groggy. I went to place my hands on my thighs to, but my arms bumped into something. I slowly moved my hands towards my stomach to see what it was. That's when I felt it. My skin was stretched out over a sizable round bump, that protruded from me. My eyes shot open, and I looked down. A noticeable movement caused me to jerk my hands away. I stood up quickly trying to maneuver around the bed to our mirror. I looked at myself sideways. I was wearing khaki colored shorts, and a black tank top like I was wearing earlier in the day when I laid down. The clothing fit over the bump. I slowly moved my hands, feeling the life inside give a small kick. I was caught off guard once again. I smiled, "Hi little one." I quietly pulled my shirt back down. I wandered out of the bedroom, and started downstairs.
A voice I'd head only once before came from the living room. "Ah she's awake. I do wonder what she'll think of our visit." The voice was smooth, but held the darkness I feared so much. I kept one hand on my stomach; like a natural instinct to protect, the other on the banister. Each step brought my heart rate up one beat at a time. A dull pain in my chest started to develop. "I'm growing impatient waiting for the disgusting wolf." That voice! That voice caused me to freeze on the second to last step. "Now Caius you must be patient. She is with child, Come my dear girl, we know you are there. Felix, Demetri help her." A tall, ghostly white vampire with a hint of olive complexion, and black hair was on my left side. On my right was another tall vampire with olive skin, and black hair but he was a few inches shorter. "Come." Felix spoke, and we walked into the living room.
As I entered the three leaders stood there in front of me. Aro was front and center as usual. Caius was on his left, and Marcus on his right. Strong hands were now on each of my shoulders. The cold hands felt like they were burning my skin on a colder winters day. "Now child. I'm not going to harm you. I'm quite intrigued as you how you've come to be with child. From what I know of your history, your body is frozen as long as you phase into a wolf. This means you don't age, unless you're no longer phasing." A grin licked across his lips, and I felt my stomach flip.
Caius cocked his head to the side, and eyed me from head to toe. "Well answer us you filthy mutt." Caius emphasized the last word trying to raise emotion from me. He was looking for a reason to destroy me, and my child.
If I phased I was a threat. Aro moved forward taking my free hand and held it, watching my stomach. "Ah you no longer phase child. This is quite interesting."
Caius growled, "Enough already playing memory lane."
Aro while still holding my hand, turned enough to look at his brother, "You mustn't threaten the young woman. We want answers, and in due time we'll have them." He turned back to me, and smiled.
The smile didn't ease me at all, if anything it added more tension, and alarmed me. "Now child relax, I won't hurt you." He closed his eyes once again. A sharp pain rippled through me. In reaction I yanked my hand away and clutched my stomach, dropping to my knees. Aro's hands clapped together, "Oh this is an exciting time, and a welcomed surprise." Marcus watched quietly, as Caius seethed with anger.
"Hunter?" I called out as another sharp pain rippled through me. Caiuses methodical grin told me Hunter wasn't coming. He turned his gaze to our dining room. I picked up my head enough to see the table. "NO!" I cried out as another pain ripped through me. Lying there on the table was his lifeless body. A scream escaped my lips, spit flew from my lips as the exasperated breath went with it. Then everything went black.
I came around to thudding, and whooshing sounds. "Leah it's ok. You're safe." Hunters voice was there. I couldn't will my eyes to open.
"It's the Volturri she's dreaming about." Edwards voice stopped.
Finally my brain came around from it's state of coma, and my eyes flew open. I quickly felt my stomach but it was flat, "The baby did they take it?" I was so confused, I'd just seen Hunter on the dining room table.
Quickly pulling me into his lap, he held onto me tightly. Gently he kissed my forehead, "Baby relax. You're safe. There's no Volturri here. It's Edward, Bella, Rosalie, and myself. We were downstairs, then heard the commotion up here. What baby?"
I felt so desperate for air, like I'd been drowning for hours. They say the average dream is only two minutes. That sure as hell felt like hours of torture. I buried my face into his chest, inhaling deeply. His scent was still there, this was real. "You're alive."
I whispered. He gently stroked my back, "Of course. I was just working on the boat today. I'm a little tanned, but no worse for the wear."
A cool hand touched my face, "Let's get you something cold to drink, and maybe something to eat. I think you slept the whole afternoon away. I looked at Hunter, "I could feel the baby move." He kissed the top of my head, unable to say anything.
The evening was quiet, as we all sat out back and had a few drinks. Hunter sat beside me holding my hand. His thumb gently caressed my knuckles. I was relaxed to a degree, but part of me was still on edge. Bella looked at me, "It doesn't just go away. I know how you feel. You're left on edge. You never know when they might come back, or if they ever will. After I saved Edward from Volterra, I was anxious about it. Then once the newborn attack happened, I knew they would be back at some point. Then when they came because of Renesmee, I was fearful. Now I'm not as anxious, but I still stay on guard."
I smiled a little, as she smiled in return. The conversation continued, as night fell. I dozed off in my chair. "Put her to bed she's exhausted. We'll wait for you if you want." Rosalie spoke.
Hunter stood up picking me up, "I will be back down in a few."
Once he had me upstairs, he gently laid me down on top of the covers. "I love you baby." He kissed my forehead, and went back downstairs.
I woke up as the sun started to warm up the bedroom. The windows were open, and the gentle breeze was nice. I smiled feeling better after having a full nights sleep which was uninterrupted. I rolled over onto my left to find Hunters side already fixed. I smiled, he's always been an early riser on Sundays. I decided it was time to get showered, and dressed. The whole family was coming up, and I couldn't wait to see them.
I got up and checked my phone. On the screen read Text Message. I opened it wondering who'd have sent it.
"Hey cuz. I know you've been super busy. I hope you're doing well. It was nice seeing you on Fourth of July. We should do lunch soon. Love you. Emily" I took a second to process the message. She and I were speaking again. Not as close as we had been. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. She and Sam had been married two years now. I was glad she was happy. I still found Sam to be a sore spot. I was happy, geez I was thrilled I had Hunter, now it sounds bad. When you give part of yourself, you never can reclaim it as your own. A new layer forms, but it's never the original; or if it's returned it's not the same. The part you gave was used, and returned because it was no longer needed. That's what Sam had done. Hunter now had second hand goods from me. It didn't affect him. He still cherished them as they were absolutely brand new out of the package. He chose to polish them, fix the broken parts, and make them beautiful. That's why I would marry this man one day.
I replied to the text, "Hey Em. Things
have been crazy busy. Sorry we've not done lunch recently. Maybe this week if you're free?" I hit send, and headed to the shower. When I was done I walked in our room shutting the door, and rummaged through my clothes. I found a long navy blue halter dress, with a peach and white stripe on it. It was loose, and kept me cool, I slid on flat sandals and left my hair down to air dry after brushing it. I gave myself a quick one over in the mirror, then headed for the stairs.
Voices were converging, and laughter from Emmett brought a smile to my face. I walked into the kitchen, as the iHome played Train's Marry Me. I smiled kissing Hunter on the cheek, "Hi handsome."
He smiled hooking his arm around my waist, and kissing my neck, "Morning beautiful."
My mom smiled, and stood with her arm around Charlie. "Oh you two are amazing to watch." My mom smiled at us.
"I agree." Esme spoke up.
"We'll no offense I'm hungry." Charlie sat down and started to eat, with Jacob. Renesmee quietly ate some yogurt with a peach.
"So we were hoping to go out for a little bit. Alice's makeup is doing wonders" Carlisle spoke.
Emmett, and Edward started, "Oh I know it brings out my features." Edward smirked.
"As long as it makes the boys notice me, I guess it will work." Emmett motioned with his hand to himself as though he were a diva.
Jasper took great restraint trying not to laugh, as Alice glared at her brothers, "If it weren't for me, you'd be home right now."
Jasper nodded agreeing with her, but secretly wanting to laugh. Edward, and Emmett continued to snicker. The music played and it just was such a beautiful scene playing out. "Sounds fun." Hunter whispered in my ear.
"Awe." Alice gushed, and I rolled my eyes. Esme smiled softly.
After breakfast, and a lot of laughter, we headed to downtown to do some shopping. Bella smiled, "Oh bookstore. Nessie dragged Jacob inside as he sighed."
"Babe how many books can you fit in your room?"
She snickered, "My grandparents have a big house."
Carlisle laughed. Hunter looked at me, "You miss coming here all the time?"
I shrugged, "At times. I love helping people."
He smiled, "I want to see if you guys have something quickly. I will be right back."
I sat down on the bench.
Alice sat beside me, "I love your dress, it's super cute."
I smiled, "Thank you."
Renesmee popped out, "Hey Aunt Leah can you come here for a second. I wanted to know if you've seen this book before?" I stood up, and headed inside. The other's followed us.
Renesmee stopped by the counter, and music started playing. The chords to Marry Me by train started, as the guitar came to life. There was a small card sitting there and it read,
Forever can never be long enough for me
To feel like I've had long enough with you
Forget the world now, we won't let them see
But there's one thing left to do
Now that the weight has lifted
Love has surely shifted my way
I smiled, as Renesmee guided my attention over to the small cafe we had. Another note sat on the table,
Today and every day
If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe
Say you will
Say you will
As she guided me along. A black and white picture of Hunter and I cuddled up on some holiday sat there framed. She next guided me to a display where a bridal magazine sat. There hanging beside it was a t-shirt saying, I love you & you're beautiful.
Together can never be close enough for me
To feel like I am close enough to you
You wear white and I'll wear out the words I love you
And you're beautiful
My eyes saw a smaller card in front of the items. There was a watch, and a map.
Now that the wait is over
And love has finally showed her my way
Today and every day
If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe
Say you will
Say you will
I was tearing up. I realized all the notes were in Hunters handwriting. She'd finally brought me to the aisle where Hunter and I'd met, and covered my eyes. I had no idea what she was doing. So I giggled nervously. I felt movement behind me. I was facing the section of books where I had pulled my book out from when I'd imprinted. My family was watching as it unfolded. The butterflies really started now. I teetered between smiling, and tearing up. Renesmee chuckled softly. I kept listening.
Promise me you'll always be
Happy by my side
I promise to sing to you
When all the music dies
That's when the music stopped. And all of the sudden, she uncovered my eyes. I turned around and bumped into Hunter. Just like when we first met. The tears started to stream down and he smiled, and started singing.
Today and every day
If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe
Say you will
Say you will
He slowly got down on one knee. "Leah the first time I saw you, I told Travis, "That's the girl going to marry." You bumped into me that day, and I couldn't get you off my mind. For the time we were apart, I often wondered where you were, and what you might be doing. Not a day passed I didn't think about you. Then when we bumped into each other the last time, I knew you were mine forever. You'd imprinted on me." I smiled biting my lip. "So I'm asking this, will you marry me Leah Clearwater? Will you become Mrs.Leah Emerson?"
I smiled nodding, and tearing up. He stood up as he opened the box, and slid the ring on my finger. I pulled him up, and kissed him deeply. Whistles, and cheers filled the shop. Customers applauded, and chatter filled the small shop. Today was the beginning of another new journey.
We all returned to the house, and were outside enjoying a nice evening together. Hunter kissed me, "I'm so sorry about yesterday. I was setting it up for today. That's why I left abruptly yesterday."
I kissed him back, wrapping my arms around his neck, "It's ok you're forgiven."
He smiled, and whispered, "Mmm really now," I blushed, biting my lip and nodded. After dinner, things started to wrap up. The family gathered their stuff, and decided it was time to make the trek home.
After we'd seen off the family, Hunter stood behind me his arms around my waist. He gently rested his chin on my shoulder, while we watched them drive off, and disappear into the woods. "One day, we'll watch our children from this spot. They'll go to proms, leave for college, leave with their families. I will always hold you like this. I will remember every time because, I'm yours forever."
My heart melted, and I gently turned around in his arms. I carefully slid my arms up around his neck, and kissed him softly.
He smiled, "I will do this, and many other things as well." His grin gave away what he meant, and I just laughed as he scooped me up. He walked inside kicking the door shut, and walked upstairs with me to our room. He shut the door, and we made love happily ever after.