When I finally came around, I was confused as to where we were. Hunter smiled at me, “Good morning beautiful. Don’t panic. We’re in your room. It became really chilly, so I decided to bring you home. I know you’ve been exhausted. I don’t know why but, that’s not the point. I wanted you to be warm, and get the rest you needed.” He smiled at me.
“I do stay warm at a constant 108 degrees.”
Hunter nodded, “I know that but, I don’t think of that. I see my girlfriend who’s just physically drained. So I just did some simple addition and decided to do what I felt was best.”
I smiled because I didn’t have any way of explaining why I was exhausted. I couldn’t tell him what happened. I could see it just going horribly, “Hey Hunter, so I was almost killed in a battle with insanely powerful vampires. They were ready for a fight to the death, until they listened to us.” I laid there explaining this to him in my head.
He watched my quietly, “I’m not trying to rush anything but, when do you want to head back to Port Angeles?”
I looked at him, “Maybe later today, or early tomorrow.”
Hunter nodded, “Alright. Let’s just see if your mom minds us leaving this evening?”
I nodded, “Sounds good.”
We had showered, dressed and packed up the car with all of our stuff. I had packed up some stuff I was going to take back with me. My mom pulled up as Hunter put the box in the trunk. She had just shut off her car and was climbing out, “You two are heading back now?”
Hunter shut the trunk shaking his head, “Just wanted to be ready to go when it was time. We’re heading home later. We wanted to spend the rest of the morning and afternoon with you.”
She smiled, “Well you’re both invited to dinner at Charlie’s this evening before you head back. Edward, Bella and Renesmee will be there. Jacob will probably be there as well.”
Hunter smiled, “That sounds really nice. I can help you cook.”
This made my mom very happy, “This will be nice. After dinner you can take off from Charlie’s.“
Hunter and I both nodded. “Alight then. We should get over there at 4:00pm. My mom gently patted Hunters shoulder and, then quietly headed inside.
He looked at me, “Are you alright? You’ve been awfully quiet.”
I nodded, “I’ll be back.” I kissed his cheek softly and, left. Hunter headed inside with my mom.
I went to the beach. I sat down in the sand, pulling my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. I just needed to be alone for a little bit. Hunter had said something that caught me off guard. It kept repeating, “We’re heading home.” It just sounded so strange. He was my perfect companion. That’s why I imprinted on him. What was wrong with me?
I continued to sit there for a while. I mulled things over in my head. How could I let Hunter meet Bella, Edward and Renesmee?
“A penny for your thoughts?” Hunter asked sitting down beside me.
I looked up rather startled. “A what?” I had no idea what he had said.
“A penny for your thoughts? It’s just an expression.”
I shook my head, “I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve heard it before. I just didn’t hear you.”
He looked at me, “What’s with the attitude. All I was trying to do was explain something.”
I shook my head, “I don’t have an attitude alright. I just have a lot on my mind.”
Hunter gently placed his hand on my back, “I’m here to listen.”
I sighed, “It’s really nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
He carefully turned my head so I was looking at him. “Leah it’s my job as your boyfriend to worry about you.”
I pulled away, “I can’t talk and well I don’t want to talk about alright?”
Hunter looked at me a bit taken back. “What the hell is going on? You’ve never spoken to me like this before.”
I looked at him, “Well I guess there’s a first for everything. “
Hunter just looked at me speechless. “I love MY Leah. Not THIS Leah.”
I looked at him, and could see the pain I had just caused him.
“Leah you can’t leave me in the dark. We have a life together. I don’t keep any secrets from you. Please be honest with me.”
It took about ten minutes before I spoke. “Hunter, I don’t know where to begin?”
He shrugged, “Where ever you feel comfortable.”
I sighed. This was going to kill me. I bit my lip then let go letting out a long sigh, “Well a lot has happened in the last month. I have to tell you the truth now. There was supposed to be a battle between good and bad,” I paused on the word I dreaded saying.
Hunter looked at me, “Leah you can’t scare me away.”
I took a deep breath, “They thought Renesmee, Charlie’s granddaughter was an immortal child. Quick version immortal children aren’t allowed to live. Anyways the Cullen’s gathered all these vampires to witness on the child’s behalf. Well all the wolves stood behind them as well. We thought it was going to be a battle to the death.”
Hunter looked at me, “So I would have lost you.” I gave a timid nod confirming the answer he already knew. “So you weren’t going to say goodbye?”
I sighed, “I didn’t have it in me to say goodbye.”
He looked at me, “So how would have I found out? I’d get a phone call from your mom?”
I nodded shyly acknowledging him, “When I told her to tell you some story, I could tell she didn’t agree. I was going to write a letter, but I didn’t know what to say. I tried to call you. I couldn’t risk your life though. I care too much about you.” Hunter got to his feet and walked down to the shoreline.
I hesitated before getting to my feet. Hunter just stared off at the waves. I walked down beside him, wrapping my arm around his waist. I laid my head against his shoulder, “Hunter I couldn’t stand knowing you were going to lose me. I couldn’t hurt you.”
He quickly moved, so he could look directly at me, “You didn’t want to hurt me.” He scoffed, “Leah you lied to me. You were going to have your mom lie to me, even when she didn’t want to.”
I felt a knot in my stomach grow gradually. This hollowness slowly filled my chest. Then my heart suddenly felt like a hundred pound weight. “Hunter please just listen to me.”
He looked at me, “Any other lies? Just tell me everything now.
I sighed, “There’s nothing else to tell you ok.”
He looked at me, “No more lies. That’s good. I can’t believe you lied to me. Only one person has ever lied to me, you’re that one person.”
I felt my heart slowly come apart. The strings that held it together slowly were coming undone. “Hunter I’m,”
He cut me off, “Leah don’t. I will see you back at the house.” He walked off leaving me alone on the beach once again.
I waited until it was almost time to head to Charlie’s house. I walked back inside and made sure one last time I had what I needed. I grabbed the keys to my dad’s truck and slipped on my jacket. I walked out and unlocked the driver’s side door and slid in. I tried starting the truck, but nothing happened. I tried again and again but no life came from the old truck. Panic started to set in. I let my forehead rest against the steering wheel, and called Jacob. “Hey Leah, this is a surprise. What’s up?”
I let out a sigh, “How quick can you get to my hou…, my mom’s house?” I waited for him,
“Probably about ten minutes in wolf form.”
I quickly responded, “Perfect. Please com I need your help.” Jacob was moving, I could hear the rustling of his clothes through the phone.
“Alright I’m on my way.” He hung up, and I tossed my phone on the seat beside me.
A familiar voice was beside me, filling the space between the open door and my seat. “Hey stranger. So what’s going on?”
I sighed, picking up my head, “It won’t start.”
He opened the hood, and looked it over. I tried to start it again. There was no response what so ever. He shut the hood, and walked over to me. “So what needs to be fixed? How long do you think it will take?”
Jake shifted uneasily, “Leah I can’t fix it. There’s so much work that needs to be done. The amount it would cost to fix,” he rubbed the back of his neck. “Leah it’s cheaper to get a new, well used car. I could help you if you’d like.”
I looked at him, “Jake I will give you some money right now.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “I can pick up extra hours at work. Jacob I will pay for the parts, and labor I promise.”
He put his hands on either one of my shoulders, “Leah there’s no fixing the truck. I’m really sorry.”
I just stared at him. “You, you can’t, you can’t fix it?” The words tripped over one another trying to escape my mouth.
“I wish I could but there’s no way. “
I felt it rush through me. The taste of fire licked every inch of my skin. “STOP!” Hunter was quickly pushed back by Jacob. “Just give her space to calm down.” I ran off into the woods, until I was deep enough to phase safely. I quickly stripped my clothes before phasing. I picked up my clothing in my mouth and started running.
“What just happened?” Hunter asked extremely confused.
“Leah took off to phase. I pushed you back so you wouldn’t get hurt, just in case.”
Hunter looked at him, “Just in case?”
Jake sighed, “Leah’s cousin Emily is scarred for life because Sam phased to close to her.”
Hunter took a moment to process what he was just told. “So how do we find her?”
Seth spoke up, “Leah has her usual spots. Maybe she took off to the banks of the river by the Cullen’s.”
Jake quickly spoke up, “Seth go check and see if she’s there. Hunter just go ahead with Sue to Charlie’s. When we find her, we’ll let you know.”
Hunter nodded, “Thank you Jake.” They shook hands. Jake took off checking the beach, the cliffs and the other surrounding areas.
I broke free from the tree’s that hugged the edge of the cemetery. I phased back to my human form, and slipped back into my clothes. I walked across the new blanket of snow. I found myself standing in front of the stone that read Clearwater. I squatted in front of it. My fingers traced the letters that were etched in the polished granite. It felt as though time was standing still. I just closed my eyes feeling the warmth of the tears, as they streamed down my cheeks. “Dad I’ve missed you so much. There are no words to describe the pain I feel. I’ve kept it dormant as one human being possibly can. The pain of losing you felt like, a splinter of wood under my skin. It’s always there, every time it’s touched, it stings. It hasn’t hurt yet, and I’m not quite sure why. Mom’s moved on. Her happiness is what truly maters. I feel like she moved too fast. I wonder if maybe she’s imprinted on Charlie in her own way. Today your truck finally stopped working. I guess you’re truly gone now. All I have is this stone to talk to.” I stopped talking because there was nothing else to say.
After some time of just reflecting quietly, I placed my fingers to my lips. I gently placed them against the cold stone. I pulled my hand back, and placed my hands on my knees and pushed up. I was standing up looking down. “See you later.” I walked away and entered the safety of the woods once again. I was emotionally drained. My body felt physically numb. After everything that had happened today, I couldn’t take much more. My heart was just sitting there in the gutter, of a litter filled street of emotions. I stripped out of my clothing once more, and before phasing tied my clothing to my leg. I phased and picked up my shoes in my mouth, and ran to Charlie’s house. Once I was in the woods beside his house, I phased back and dressed.
I walked out to be greeted by Hunter. He held his arms open for me. I just walked over wrapping my arms around his waist. He held me close against his chest and with a free hand and rubbed my back. “Edward told me it would be best to greet you out here. He just said you needed me.”
I just remained quiet and buried my face in his chest. I don’t know how long we were out there, but it didn’t matter. “Let’s head in.” He gently shifted me, and kept an arm around my shoulder. We walked inside and Hunter returned to the kitchen to help finish dinner. Edward, Bella, Jake, Seth, and Charlie were in the dining room talking and laughing. I stared out the living room window watching as a dusting covered everything. An unusually warm hand touched my cheek. Images of myself in wolf form flitted by. As fast as they were there, they were gone. My eyes met these beautiful brown eyes. These beautiful eyes were the same her mother once had. “Aunt Leah please don’t be sad.” I tried too hard to smile. “I’m glad you’re ok. Momma, and Jakey were worried. They hoped you would come here.”
I just looked at her, “Your mom was worried about me?” I had to ask her. I was in disbelief. She nodded, and her beautiful bronze curls bounced up and down. She quietly climbed up into my lap, and looked out the window with me.
She turned her gaze away from the window, and turned it on me. “Aunt Leah why were you sad?”
I took a deep breath before answering her. “I miss my dad a lot. His truck stopped working today.” She looked at me waiting for more of an answer. “The truck was the last living piece I had of him.” Renesmee looked at me, and had understood what I meant. It amazed me that such a young child, was so wise beyond her years.
“He’ll always be living. You just need to have to remember him. When you stop remembering, he’ll stop living.”
I looked at her, and felt a tear form. Her small hand quickly caught it. “You’re wise young one.”
She smiled, “As are you.”
I hugged her gently, and she returned the hug. “Why do you call me Aunt Leah?” I asked her.
She smiled, “When momma was carrying me, you kept her safe. Plus you kept me safe from the Volturri. That’s what a family does. They protect one another, no matter what cost.”
I smiled at her, “I’d love to have a daughter like you.”
She smiled once again, “Why don’t you?”
I remained quiet then whispered, “Because I can’t sweetie. It’s ok though. I have a wonderful niece.”
She smiled, “Let’s go eat.” She hopped off my lap, and pulled me along.
After dinner, we had coffee and desert. Charlie sat back placing his hands on his stomach. “Hunter, Sue that was delicious. Thank you so much for everything.”
Everyone else nodded in agreement. Hunter was trying to figure out how Renesmee ate. Edward chuckled hearing his thoughts. I just patted Hunters hand. I spoke softly, “I’ll explain later.”
Bella smiled softly, “Dad I hate to do this but, we need to get going. I need to get her into bed.” She gently stroked Renesmee’s hair.
He yawned, “I need to get up early anyways.” He stretched and stood up. “We should get going also.”
My mom stood up smiling, “You two do have a long drive home.”
My thoughts started to spin.
We all gathered at the front door. We exchanged hugs. “Call when you get home please.” My mom smiled, hugging me. I pulled back and stared at her. I turned on my heels and, walked out the front door.
She quickly followed afterwards, “What’s wrong? Talk to me please.”
I looked at her, “It’s stupid alright.”
She grabbed my hands, “It’s not stupid if it gets you this upset.”
I took a moment to compose myself. “When you said, “Call when you get home,” it just set off something. I feel like I’ve been rushed recently. My home now is in Port Angeles, I guess. La Push was home. It’s where I had a lot of experiences.”
My mom let go of my hands, and held my face, “Leah you’ve started a new life. You’ve had wonderful new experiences in Port Angeles. You imprinted on an amazing guy. It’s scary I know, but you’ll be ok.” I just hugged her, and she hugged me back.
Hunter walked over to us, “Hope I’m not interrupting.”
We shook our heads, “No we’re all done.”
He smiled and took my hand, “Are you ready to go?”
I nodded. Renesmee had hugged Charlie and my mom. She smiled up at me, “Aunt Leah can I have a hug before you leave?”
I smiled and knelt down hugging her. She wrapped her arms around my neck smiling. “I will see you soon sweetie.”
She smiled and ran back over to Bella. “Momma come over and say bye.” Bella walked over to me. “Before you say anything, I’m sorry for how I treated you before.”
Bella smiled, “Thank you for keeping us safe.” I smiled,
“By Uncle Hunter.” Renesmee hugged him, then ran to the Volvo and climbed in the back. I smiled, and then climbed into Hunters car, and put my seatbelt on. Hunter said his goodbyes, and then climbed in.
The drive home was very quiet. We parked and I climbed out grabbing my bags. Hunter soon followed unlocking the front door, and opened it for me. I headed down to the basement with my bags. Hunter quietly followed me. He set his bag down beside mine in front of the washer. “Are you angry with me?”
I looked him, starting the washer. “No. Should I be?”
He shrugged, “Not that I know of.”
I smiled, “Alright then.” I headed back upstairs with him. Hunter leaned against the counter in the kitchen. His eyes were locked on me. I looked back at him. “Leah let’s talk.” I felt like I was sitting in the principal’s office. I was now on edge.
He pushed off the counter and pulled me over to the kitchen table. We sat down, and he held my hands. “What happened earlier?”
I sighed, “When the truck stopped working?” He nodded. “When it stopped, when Jake said he couldn’t fix it,” I stopped searching for the right words. “It was like being told he didn’t make it all over again. It’s like his heart has truly stopped beating. It was the last thing I had that I truly felt connected to him. So I took off to the cemetery. I’ve never been to his grave except when we buried him. This afternoon, I had to finally realize he’s gone. He’s dead. He’ll never pull up in his truck again. He’ll never laugh again. He’ll never see what I become.”
Hunter looked at me, “Leah,”
I stood up from the table, pulling my hands from his. “Leah?”
I yelled, “NO! There are too many things that will never happen, Hunter. I will never experience pregnancy. I will never have children. I will never be a grandmother.”
He stood up slowly and pulled me into his arms. He held me close resting his chin on top my head. “For everything you named of, you’ll gain something in its place.” I felt myself calm down, “You have to trust me Leah.”
I nodded, “I do.”
I waited for the clothes to finish in the dryer then folded them. I carried the laundry quietly up to our bedroom and put everything away. Once I finished, I changed into pj’s and crawled into bed. I laid there listening to the waves in the distance. The wind blew through the trees outside and they creaked, and groaned with each large gust of wind. Hunter was still awake downstairs watching a movie. I had so much on my mind. I sighed softly, before giving into my sleepy stupor. As I dreamed I was on the beach back in La Push. I slowly came to, blinking a few times. I could feel Hunters arm draped over my waist. I laid there half awake. That’s when I heard his voice.
My sweet child
I never truly died
I became one with the earth
I’m the air you breath
I speak among the trees to you
As the air passes by their leaves, it whispers softly
I’m the one drop of water you feel on your cheek
I do still cry, but now from the sky
I’m the fire that courses through your blood, when you need to protect someone
Last of all,
I’m the space in which everything happens
You see now, I never truly left.
I’m always within your sight, and the touch on your heart
I will always love you my sweet daughter
I quickly looked around the room. There was nothing there. Hunter was still asleep. I quietly slipped out from underneath his arm and climbed out of bed. I made my way downstairs. The house was eerily quiet. I decided to head to the sun room. This was my favorite room. It was in the back of the house on the first floor. It was tucked away from everything. I turned on a lamp, and sat down on the couch. I reached over to the bookcase beside the couch, and grabbed my journal. I flipped to a blank page, and started writing.
It’s only been a few days since my last entry, but it feels like forever. I feel like a complete stranger now. We are living in peace with one another. Long story short, the Volturri didn’t find her to be of any threat. They killed the vampire who informed them of the child. I can’t erase that image from my mind. Among other things my dad’s truck stopped working. Jacob is unable to fix it. I guess I’m in the market to buy a new car. I’m not sure what I can afford. Maybe I can sell the trunk to a junk yard. I just don’t want to deal with it. Now Port Angeles is technically home. I’ve not changed my address yet. I technically live here. All my clothing is here. We brought up what belongings I want. Hunter calls it OUR home. Why am I not more excited? I feel like I’m broken. I should be happy. I’m alive, and healthy. I have a beautiful home, and amazing boyfriend. I have a great family now. I have a precious little girl who considers me her aunt. Part of me still feels that guilt for how I treated Bella, and the Cullen’s. I would do anything to keep them safe now. Well another subject, back to school soon. Guess I will get some normalcy. Well what else is there to write about? I’m not sure where my life is going now. There’s school, marriage, grow old. That appears to be my agenda.
I closed my journal and returned it to the bookcase. There was a lot of rustling outside from the wind. I felt like there were eyes on me. This wasn’t the first time. It was so dark outside; I couldn’t see much through the windows. I got up and went to the kitchen to get a drink. When I walked back into the sun room, there were eyes looking at me through the window.