I was taken back. The eyes were extremely unusual, yet still familiar. I was left absolutely speechless. I couldn’t break away from those eyes. As fast as they were there, they vanished. A lump had formed in my throat. I wasn’t sure if I’d really had this encounter. It had me wondering if I had dreamt my father’s voice? Was it that I wanted him so badly, I’d do whatever it took to relive him? I laid down on the couch and slowly dozed off.
“Leah, Hun are you ok?” Hunter was squatting beside the couch. I rubbed my eyes blinking. The room was now light. The sky was covered by clouds. “I woke up and your side of the bed was empty. When I came downstairs, you weren’t anywhere in sight. Usually you’d wake me up.” I sat up, and looked out the windows. Hunter turned looking out the windows as well. “What are you looking at?” I shook my head. “Leah tell me now.”
I looked at him, “Last night I heard my dad’s voice. I was half awake, half asleep. After I heard it I came downstairs and wrote in my journal. Once I was done I looked up.” I took a deep breath before telling him what happened next. “I saw eyes looking at me. As fast as they were there, they were gone. I thought maybe I was seeing stuff.”
Hunter stood up, and walked over looking out the windows. “You should have woken me up.” He turned around looking at me.
I offered a smile, “I’m just exhausted. I need to look for a car, work, and school. It has my mind playing tricks on me.” Hunter was not taking this lightly, as I had hoped he would. “I’m going to sell my dad’s truck for whatever I can get. I’ll use what I get, and put it towards a new one.”
Hunter smiled at me; the stern look had disappeared thankfully. “You can drive my car babe.”
I smiled, “It won’t be all the time.”
He kissed me softly, “I don’t mind ok. Relax.”
A few weeks passed and my dad’s truck was sold. I put the money away and was walking to work after my classes. Work was great. The business was steady and so was my course load. I’d been working 6 days a week. Granted they were short shifts, but there was no time to just breathe. Hunter and I only saw each other at meals, or in passing. I decided to call out of work one day. I was exhausted and could barely stay awake. I walked home, since Hunter worked at the after school program. Once I got in the door, I went straight for the couch, in the sunroom. I laid down and fell asleep.
When I came around finally, it was almost dark. I could hear talking coming from the living room. The familiar laughs were those of Jacob and Seth. I got up to find them lounging in the living room, eating pizza. “Hey stranger;”
Seth jumped up, and hugged me tightly. “I’ve missed you around the house. It’s been quiet”
I smiled, hugging my little brother back. “So how’s mom doing?”
Seth shrugged, “Good I guess. She’s really become serious with Charlie. He’ll sleep over at our house, or she’ll sleep over there.”
Wow my mom was moving on already. My dad hadn’t even been gone a year. “So have there been any new pack members?”
Jacob looked over, “No actually. It’s weird. I think since The Cullen kids are all off doing things, there isn’t that much of a “threat”.” I understood what he meant. Sam’s been handling any that do phase.”
My face must have shown my distrust for that name still. “Well I’ve been busy. I’m doing home schooling, with Bella and Esme’s help. I’ve been working on cars in town, earning some money. I’m learning how to be away from Ness and not let the bond hurt.”
I nodded, “That’s good.”
He smiled, “So we came here to give you something.” Jacob gave that grin I loved. The innocent grin of a goofball.
We all headed outside. Jake’s rabbit sat in the driveway behind Hunter’s car. Beside Hunter’s car was a 1999 Volkswagen Gulf. It was black, with black interior. It was in great shape. Jake smiled, “Everything works. I just did an oil change. You’ll be ok for a while.”
I stood there stunned, “I haven’t saved enough for this Jake.”
He smiled, “Well your mom helped out as well. I had these two bikes I fixed up before, and I decided to sell them. I wasn’t going to ride them anymore.”
Hunter came up behind me wrapping his arms around my waist, and resting his chin on my shoulder.
Seth quickly piped up, “Mom, and Dad. I mean Charlie are paying for your insurance.”
Jake looked at me, “The cars already registered, and had an inspection.” Jake smiled.
“I can’t accept it. It’s too much.”
Jake shook his head, “It has low mileage which is great. An old lady owned it. Took great care of it. All I ask is that, you keep me as your mechanic.”
I smiled, “Most definitely. I will pay you for labor.”
He nodded, “Deal Clearwater.” I laughed.
After I checked out the car Jake, and Seth headed home. “So you ready for class tomorrow?” Hunter asked.
I nodded, “I just need to print out my paper and I’m all set.”
Hunter smiled, “So you closing tomorrow at the shop?”
I smiled, “Yep. So I’ll be home shortly after dinner time.”
Hunter let go slowly, “Well I will have dinner ready for you when you get home.”
I grinned, “Awe so sweet.”
We headed back in the house. Hunter went for the sunroom and I printed my paper, leaving it by my backpack. I joined him curling up beside him.
“Come to keep me company?” he asked, wrapping his arms around me.
“Sure why not.”
He laughed, “Smart ass.”
I winked. “So you like the car?”
I thought it was an odd question. I’d already answered that while we were outside,
“Yeah.” He was trying to make small talk. I knew there was something he was desperately itching to ask, but respected me too much to do so. He went back to reading, and I just remained quiet. After some time he broke the silence between us.
“So how are you holding up?”
I knew this wasn’t what he really wanted ask. “I’m doing good. Just been busy with school, work and applying for grants.”
Hunter nodded listening, "Well I was wondering if you’d like to move the rest of your belongings into the house. You do technically live here now.” I nodded sleepily. My eyes had closed, and I was barely hanging onto consciousness. “Baby go get some sleep.”
I sighed and pulled myself up to kiss him. “See you in the morning.” I mumbled sleepily dragging myself upstairs.
He called after me, “Yes beautiful. Sweet dreams.”
The alarm went off and, I groaned. I felt around in my sleepy state, trying to shut it off. Finally I succeeded when I heard the thud of it hitting the floor. I reluctantly gave up the covers and slid out of bed. I grabbed my running pants off the chair pulling them on, and then pulled on a sweatshirt. I got on my socks and sneakers and crept downstairs so I wouldn’t disturb Hunter. I grabbed my keys and ipod slipping out the front door, locking up behind me. It was still dark and I had the streets to myself. I just ran feeling so free. I hadn't felt this way in a long time. Between school, work and daily life; it felt like a hamster wheel had replaced my life. I was enjoying myself. I loved Hunter but, everyone needs some alone time. After three miles, I decided to head back home.
Once I was home, I went upstairs and climbed into a hot shower. I was letting the water trickle over my skin. There were warm lips against my bare shoulder, and goosebumps were all over my body.
“Mmm such soft skin. I could get used to sneaking in your showers with you.” He continued kissing towards my neck, just below my earlobe.
I turned around and his lips eagerly met mine. He held me close keeping his hands on the small of my back. I smiled against his soft lips,
“You know if we’re not careful, something could happen in the shower.” He gently pulled my bottom lip with his teeth,
“Maybe I want something to happen in the shower.” I laughed as he kissed my neck. “We need to get ready for class.”
He ignored me and continued kissing down my neck. I let my head fall back. Why resist the beautiful moment we were about to have. I gave in, and let myself melt into his body, and became one.
“That was an amazing shower.” He smirked as he walked in the bedroom with a towel around his waist.
I couldn’t help but blush while drying my hair, “Well I”m glad you enjoyed it. I know I did.”
He smirked making his way over to me.
“Oh no you don’t.” I squealed laughing.
He nuzzled his nose against my neck, “Oh come on, one more?”
I shook my head no, “We’re going to be late.”
He smiled, “Actually you’ll be late. My class is starting late today. Professor had an early meeting. He told us last week.”
I smiled continuing to get ready.. Hunter sat down on the bed quietly. The mood had drastically changed. A puzzled look was painted on his face. I walked over kissing his cheek, “Get dressed, and we can have breakfast together.”
He shook himself out of the daze, “Uh... Yeah. Be down in a few.” I left him to get dressed.
I poured coffee for both of us and quietly made breakfast - Cheese and Pepper Omellette, with wheat toast. I placed the plates on the table. I waited for him, but he didn’t come down. I checked the clock, and I wasn’t able to wait any longer. I quickly ate my breakfast. rinsing my dish leaving it in the sink. I walked out to the front door and grabbed my hoodie.
Hunter was sitting in his office. “Hey what happened to breakfast?” He was glued to his monitor.
He looked up, “What?”
I sighed, “You never came to breakfast. Anyways I left yours on the table. I will see you at lunch.” I grabbed my back pack slipping it over my shoulder, and grabbed the keys off the hook, slamming the door behind me. Hunter jumped, startled by my outburst.
He retrieved his breakfast, and coffee and brought it back to his office. I left for school. He continued to read. His eyes moved from left to right taking in the words on the screen. He finished reading, and cleared the history on his computer. He quickly shut down the computer heading off to class.
It was finally lunch time. I went to the cafeteria. I pulled out my lunch, and waited for Hunter. I sent him a text,
“Hey where are you. Going AWOL for lunch also?”
Never received a reply from him. I was disappointed and it hurt. What the hell was going on? I shoved my food back in my bag, and went to my next class. I mumbled to myself, “So much for lunch together.” I went into robot mode for the rest of the day. When I left campus for work, I still hadn’t received a reply from Hunter. I decided to try calling him. It rang five times before I got the standard message, “Hey you’ve reached Hunter. Leave a message.” I hung before the beep. This sinking feeling was foreboding feeling, my whole way to work.
I walked in, and headed for the back room and punched in. There was still an old time clock on the wall. A manilla colored card hung on the wall with my name on it. I was just about to walk out front when Brendan greeted me, “Hi Leah.”
I smiled, “How are you today?”
He nodded, “Not bad for an old man.”
I laughed, “You’re not that old. I probably own books, which their first copyright is older then you.”
He laughed, “They must be some great books then.”
I smiled. “So anything you need done in particular?”
He nodded, “Actually the shipment came in for the book signing. There are about 200 books currently. If you can put one on display in the window, and make a sign that a would be great."
I smiled, “Not a problem.” I grabbed a small poster board, and the markers and went to work. Art was never really my talent. Lettering was always something fun for me to do. I sat behind the counter and quietly worked. I finished the sign and showed Brendan. He leaned back in his chair, “Leah you never disappoint. I’m glad I hired you. You’re a hard worker, and you enjoy your work.”
I smiled, “Well this book shop means a lot to me.”
He smiled, “I’m glad to hear that. It means a lot to me as well. Go get yourself a coffee. I’m going to be heading home soon.”
I nodded, and headed over to the coffee shop.
While I was waiting, I turned around to check out the community board behind me. A flyer hung on the board, and it grabbed my attention.
HAVE YOU SEEN ME?
NAME: FRED KANGER
D.O.B APRIL 19TH, 1985 AGE:20
HEIGHT: 6 FT 2 INCHES WEIGHT: APPROX 215LBS
DESCRIPTION: FRED HAS BLUE EYES. BLONDE HAIR. HE’S A STUDENT AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY. HE WAS LAST SEEN IN THE OREGON / WASHINGTON AREA. IF YOU’VE SEEN HIM, CALL PORT ANGELES POLICE AT (360)452-4545 OR 911
I grabbed the flyer off the board. I folded it up and shoved it in my pocket. “Large hot, cream, no sugar.” I scarfed the coffee off the counter, and went back to the shop.
I went back behind the counter and did an inventory check. Brendan walked out to me. He handed me a set of keys, “Since you’re locking up.”
I smiled, “Ok. I will give them back to you tomorrow.”
He smiled such a genuine smile. You could tell he was a father and a grandfather. His warm heart, showed through the windows to his soul. “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” He smiled, and my stomach flopped. This emptiness took over the space, where my organs should be. “Relax you’re not in any trouble.” Shit, did my face show it. I realized my breathing was rapid, and my knuckles had turned white. I took a few deep breaths, and slowly got back to a normal pace. I let go of the counter, and the color slowly came back to my knuckles, returning them to their normal color. “So I want to make you assistant manager. I”m willing to work with your schedule. It would pretty much be what you work currently. I would just like to spend some time with my wife and family. We both know I’m no spring chicken. You’ve shown great responsibility, and such an amazing passion for what you do. I’m confident in my decision. You’ll have your own set of keys. I just need you to close up on some evenings. If you’re unable to, or have to close early it’s fine. So will you take it?”
I smiled, “Oh my god of course. Thank you so much.”
He smiled, “Well maybe one day it will be yours.” He winked at me, “Well I will see you tomorrow. You know how to close up. So you’re in charge.” He buttoned up his jacket, and left me alone with the store.
I had several customers come in. Sales were great for a monday. It was a small independent shop, but it was a magical store. It was just shy of six o’clock. I locked the door and turned around the closed sign. I swept the floor, and turned down the lights in the store. I left the display lights on in the front window. I took the cash drawer out of the register, and counted it out, and put it away in the safe. Once I’d finished everything, it was seven o’clock. I grabbed my bag, along with my jacket,and left the shop.
When I pulled into the driveway, Hunters car was there, along with one I didn’t recognize. I parked and climbed out with my bag. I locked my door, and walked towards the house. As I approached the porch, I whipped around. I swore someone was right there with me. That feeling of being watched, crawled eerily up my spine. It tickled like an invisible feather. I fumbled getting my keys in the lock quickly unlocking the door. Once I got the door open, I was inside and slammed the door shut behind me.
“Jesus Leah.” Hunter walked out of his office greeting me, taking my bag. “Why’d you slam the door?”
I scrambled for an excuse, “Wind caught the door, took it right out of my hand.” I hung up my keys, and my jacket. He looked at me, and I knew he didn’t believe it for one second.
He smiled at me, wrapping his arms around me, letting his hands find the small of my back. “Mmm so beautiful, and cold.” He pulled me close to him. He nuzzled his nose in my hair, and inhaled, “I’ve missed you.”
I wrapped my arms around his neck. His warmth felt amazing. In the back of my mind, that little voice reminded me, I’m angry with him. “Well you blew me off for breakfast, and lunch.” I didn’t speak the inner monologue going on inside my head.
“So my friend Travis, well he’s back in town. He was on vacation for a while. He was actually in Boston doing a photo shoot for work. He’s a freelance photographer, in his spare time.” I nodded acknowledging him. “Oh come meet him.” Hunter pulled me into the living room. Travis stood up and looked at me. My brain just about froze, and I almost needed a new change of clothes,
“You’re the guy from Port Angeles.”
He laughed, “You’re the girl Hunter told me he was looking at so I couldn’t eat.”
I laughed, “You have a good memory.”
He smiled, “It’s a talent of mine.” I shook my head smiling.
“So Travis is spending a few days with us, if that’s alright?”
I shrugged, “Doesn’t bother me.”
Travis smiled, “Thank you for the hospitality.”
I smiled, and kissed Hunter on the cheek and quietly went up to our bedroom.
I kicked off my shoes and changed out of my clothes. I took the bathroom as my hostage. I filled the tub with hot water, adding some lavender. I quietly slipped in and laid my head against the back of the tub. I shut the water off with my foot, and closed my eyes. What a long day, but a strange day. It was good, I received a promotion. There were several ways to describe my day. Interesting I think would be the most fitting. I kept thinking about the flyer. Do I call the authorities? What would I say? “Yeah I saw these eyes peering in my sun room window. They looked like this guy on your flyer. Yeah well the eyes were red.” They’d have my ass thrown in a looney bin. I sat up quickly, “Shit!” I got out of the tub quickly slipping in the process falling on the floor. THUD!
Hunter looked up at the ceiling.
“That didn’t sound good. Go check.” Travis sat down on the couch, and put his feet up.
Hunter hurried upstairs. I tried to push myself up. Unendurable pain shot up my arm. I NEVER cried. This was one of those moments. I rolled to my side, and got my self to a sitting position, keeping my injured arm against my body. There was a knock on the bathroom door, “Leah?” Hunter was there, “Come in now.” He carefully opened the door, and kneeled on the floor. “Baby what happened?” He grabbed my robe off the back of the door, and helped me put it on.
“I slipped getting out of the tub. I landed on my arm. I can’t move it.”
He looked at it carefully, “Bad news, I think you broke something.”
I whimpered, “Help me get dressed please.”
He nodded, helping me to my feet, “Of course.”
He dressed me, and I was in agonizing pain. I was laying on the bed. My arm propped carefully under a pillow. He came running back up and gently placed a ice pack, wrapped in a towel on the now black, and blue discolored skin. Travis came up, and leaned in the doorway. “Can I take a look?” I looked at him. “I’m an EMT. I’m working on becoming a paramedic.”
I nodded, “Please kill me.”
He chuckled, “Sorry I don’t assist in murders.” Carefully he moved my arm, and I cringed, practically ripping the comforter off the bed. “Sorry I’m trying to be gentle. You definitely broke something. We, well Hunter need’s to get you to the ER. I can drive if you want.”
Hunter nodded, “I’ll ride in back with you.”
Before I knew it, I was checked in, and sitting on a stretcher. I had an obnoxious plastic bracelet on my good wrist. The damn thing aggravated me. I was so itchy. Travis, and Hunter sat on the two chairs they provided.
“So what happened exactly?” Hunter was curious.
“I was trying to get out. I went to reach for my robe. I stepped off the rug and bam.” I couldn’t say what really happened. “Yeah those creepy ass eyes I saw, well they were real. I think they belong to a guy who went missing, and well is now a rogue vampire."
Hunter nodded and reached over and rubbed my leg gently. Luckily it was my left arm, and not my right.
“Hey I’m going to grab a coffee. Can I get either of you something?”
Perfect opportunity, “Yeah actually I’m a bit queasy, pain and all. Could you grab me a ginger ale?”
Travis smiled, “Not a problem. Hunter?”
Hunter looked at him, “Anything is fine.”
Travis stood up, “Alright I’ll be back in a little bit.” He left us shutting the glass sliding door.
Hunter looked at me, “What?”
I took in a deep breath, “Between us, and only us. Those eyes I saw, I’m pretty sure they belong to a nomadic vampire. Their eyes are red because they survive off of human blood. Well there was a flyer I grabbed earlier. It was hanging up in the coffee shop. Some guy named Fred Kanger is, or was missing. The eyes are the same, just a different color.”
He looked at me, “Are you sure?”
I sighed, “Hunter I’ve seen vampire’s eyes. These are the same eyes.”
Hunter looked at me, “So what are you going to do?”
I shrugged, “There’s nothing I can do. If it wanted me, it would have already attacked. I don’t think there’s any threat.”
Hunter sighed rubbing the back of his neck, “Damn Leah.”
Great! Just, great! So now Hunter is left speechless.
After 4 hours and multiple x-rays, my left wrist is wearing a beautiful black air cast. It’s until my follow up appointment, and x-rays with the orthopedist. It supported my wrist and hand. It was held on with three thick velcro straps. They offered me medication for the pain. I refused it. I could take a large dose of Advil, every six hours to help with pain and swelling. It turned out I had a Stress Fracture on my Radius. Tomorrow I’d have to call the office, and set up an appointment. It looked like at least six weeks in a cast. What a highlight of my life. I’d gone through a lot of stuff. Being in a cast for six weeks, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle this.
Once we were home, I went to bed. I was exhausted, and in pain. I just lied down on top of the covers, and slept in my clothes. Hunter sat down on the sofa in the living room sighing.
Travis sat beside him, “What’s wrong?”
Hunter stared up at the ceiling his fingers were interlaced, and placed behind his head, “Leah seems off. She’s been so focused on school and work. Otherwise she’s not talked to her family in several weeks. Her brother, and friend dropped off a car for her, but that was it. She’s either at work or home with her nose in a book. She’s not eating as much.”
Travis looked at Hunter, “So why don’t you talk to her. Explain your concerns, and how you feel.”
He shook his head, “I can’t really. There’s just no good way to approach it.”
Travis raised an eyebrow, “Now you’ve peaked my interest. What the hell is your question?”
Hunter let out a long needed sigh, “I looked up stuff on pregnancy.”
Travis’s eyes just about popped out of their sockets, “Holy shit dude.”
Hunter sighed once again, “I know. It’s not like I can just ask her.”
Travis quickly sat up straight, “She had an x-ray.”
Hunter didn’t understand, “Yeah so?”
Travis shook his head, “Bro she has to tell them if she’s pregnant, or might be before having an x-ray. The radiation could harm the fetus. In the morning ask her if they made sure to cover her abdomen with a heavy vest. If she asks why, explain you were concerned about the radiation exposure.”
Hunter shook his head, “Glad you thought of that.”
Travis nodded, “Just doing my job as your friend to look out for you.”
He finally headed to bed. He carefully climbed in behind me, and draped his arm around my waist. He grabbed the blanket off the end of the bed and covered us. He gently stroked my cheek, and smiled. “I love you baby. I will be with you forever, no matter what. I will always be your best friend. Promise you that, through thick and thin.” He laid there quietly for some time, just listening to the waves in the distant, as they hit the rocks. Slowly the sleepiness draped itself over him, and he fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning, and the bed was empty beside me. Had he come to bed? I got up and saw the alarm clock, “SHIT!” 7:15 am. I still had to shower, have breakfast, and make sure I had everything together. I couldn’t shower easily at the moment with just one arm. I looked on the nightstand, and there was a note.
First of all, RELAX! You have a note from the emergency room doctor, excusing you from school today. So don’t worry. I also left a message on the Orthopedics answering machine. They’ll call back with an appointment time. I’m coming home after class. I’ve already emailed Susan, and let her know I won’t be at work this afternoon. Don’t worry the kids will survive a day without me. If you need anything, Travis is staying at the house today. So don’t be surprised when you head downstairs. If you need me, call me alright? I will see you soon. Love you
I sighed, and folded the note up placing it in my bureau drawer. I quietly went to the bathroom, and showered as easily as possible with one arm. I kept my other arm outside of the curtain the whole time. I swear if anyone walked in, they’d have a good laugh at my expense. Once I was done, I got dressed and made my way downstairs.
Travis was sitting in the kitchen, “Good morning. So how are you feeling?”
I shrugged, “Sleepy. Not that hungry. Just came down to get something to drink.”
He nodded, “So everything is clean. I was up early. I washed out dishes. If you want anything, or need anything just holler.”
I smiled, “Thanks.” I grabbed a bottle of water, and went to the sunroom, and lied down on the couch. I looked out the windows watching the tree’s blow in the wind. I pulled the blanket off the back of the couch, and curled up under it. The morning passed, and I fell back to sleep.
Hunter had come back home. “Hey how is she?”
Travis looked up from the paper, “She has an appointment at 5:00pm. Sorry it’s late. She’s been sleeping all day. Hasn’t had anything to eat. She’s in the sun room. She said she was sleepy, and then went in there.”
Hunter sighed, “See why I’m concerned. I just don’t know how to approach her. This family she’s close with, well the father is a doctor. I could give him a call.”
Travis nodded, “That may be the best thing to do. I’d let her sleep if I were you. She doesn’t have a fever. I felt her forehead while she was sleeping. I was concerned about that. I think with everything like work, and school. It’s all catching up. The break didn’t help anything.”
Hunter left his bag beside the couch, “I’m going to check on her.”
A soft voice stirred me from my sleep, as a hand gently caressed my cheek, “Baby, are you ok?”
I stretched a little, “Mmm.” I licked my lips, and started to doze back off.
“Leah you need to wake up Hun.”
I stirred again. When I opened my eyes, they were met by the most beautiful blue eyes. Those eyes were the ones I loved looking at in the morning in bed. Those were the ones across from me when we’d be having a meal together. Those were the ones that flirted with me, when I first met him. The one’s that connected, when we made love. The one’s I would look at, until we were taken away from one another, by the hand of God.
He smiled softly, “Hi Hun. I hate to wake you. You have an appointment at 5:00pm. I wanted you to be able to get ready.”
I moaned softly, “I’m showered, and dressed. I just need to put on my shoes.”
Hunter nodded, continuing to caress my face. “Do you want something to eat?”
I shook my head, “I’m not hungry.”
He sighed softly, “Travis said you weren’t hungry earlier. If you’re hungry at all, let me know, and I will make you something to eat.”
I gave a half hearted smiled and he helped me sit up.
So I’d be in a cast for 6 weeks. This would be great. I’d be spending Valentine’s Day flaunting a cast. It was all black. I was offered an array of colors. Travis and Hunter snickered, when they tried to convince me I wanted fluorescent pink. I had to come back in two weeks, for a checkup. We headed to a pizza shop, after my appointment. The guys ordered a large cheese pizza, and a large pepper and onion pizza. I had a slice of cheese, just so I wouldn’t be pestered because I didn’t have an appetite. I had a lot on my mind. Why hadn’t my wrist started healing, and what was up with my body temperature. The guys talked and laughed. Every so often they’d say my name, and I’d smile to pretend I knew what was going on. Finally after the two of them finished off the pizzas, we were able to go home. I went upstairs to bed, and once again didn’t bother changing. I crawled under the covers, and welcomed their warmth, like a much needed hug. I was lonely, and I’m not sure why. I had a great guy, whom I was sharing my life with, so what was it?
I returned to work the following day after class. “Leah, you’re back rather soon.”
I smiled, “Well Brendan, staying home doesn’t allow much work to get done here.”
He chuckled, “So how are you doing?”
I shrugged, “It’s called a Stress Fracture. I’m in a cast for six weeks. I go back in two weeks for a checkup.”
Brendan nodded, “Well just leave me a note, with the date, and time. That way I will remember.”
I smiled, “Thank you.” I quietly punched in, and got to work. Brendan left shortly after I’d arrived. It was quiet in the shop today. I walked over to the window, looking out when this overwhelming wave of nausea hit me. I tried to work through it. By 5:00pm I closed up early. I took care of what I needed to, before leaving.
I stopped by the grocery store, and did some shopping then headed home. I pulled into the driveway, to find the outside lights on, and only the living room light on. Hunter mustn’t be home. I grabbed one bag, and carried it to the porch, then went back for the other one. Just as I leaned in the car, I swore something whizzed pass me. I had no idea what it was. I quickly stood up looking around. My eyes cleared the tree line that ran along the property line. Then out of nowhere that nausea hit. This horrendous odor infested itself within my sinuses. I grabbed the last bag, and dropped it on the porch. The whole time I fought the nausea. “Please God, if you let me make it inside, I promise I will not be a bitch for a month.” I went back to grab my bag, and slipped it over my shoulder. I left it on the ground at the bottom of the stairs. I was trying to get up the stairs, “Hunter.” I called out with all the energy I had. I waited, and there was no response. I sighed laying my head against the railing.
I’m not sure what time it was. It was cold. I was chilled to the bone now. Not having the wolf warmth sucked. For all the reasons I hated being a wolf, being a human with the normal body temperature, and normal healing was worse. I shivering, and didn’t have the energy. What the hell was going on with me. I sat there with my eyes closed, until I heard the footsteps, “Hunter?”
He saw me, and practically tripped over his own feet racing over. “What happened?” He asked scooping me up in his arms.
“I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I closed the shop early, wasn’t feeling great. But when I got home it just came at me full force. Something stunk outside here. I just couldn’t keep my energy up.”
Hunter sighed, “Let’s get you inside. I will grab the bags in a minute.” He carried me into the living room and sat me down on the couch.
I stared at the dark television, as he walked through carrying the bags, setting them on the counter. I could hear him quietly putting everything away. Once he finished he came out, and sat on the coffee table in front of me. “Hunter please.”
He held a finger up to silence me. “Listen. You’ve not felt good for a little while now. I’m really worried about you. I think you’re working too hard. If you don’t slow down, you’re going to pay for it. Sorry to be so blunt about it.”
I sighed knowing he was right.
I passed on dinner and sat quietly in bed resting against the pillows. “Hi there beautiful.” He set down a coffee mug on the nightstand. “It’s Ginger tea. Thought it might help. It’s a preventative measure.” He shut the door, and walked around climbing in beside me.
“Just being an assistant manager, and school is great but, tiresome.” I looked down at my knotted fingers.
Hunter pulled my face up to his eye level, “Hey you’re doing great. Everything you’ve gone through and you’re still marching on. Geez you don’t give yourself enough credit. Why do you doubt yourself so much?”
God did he really ask that. I had to think about it. I pulled the mug into my hands. The warmth felt so good. My hands were frozen. “The reason I doubt myself is, because of Sam honestly. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t good enough. He dumped me and I never understood why, until I learned about imprinting. Even then though, he never apologized really. He used to wish I’d disappear. I wasn’t wanted anywhere. Neither pack did I ever feel truly wanted. I was already a social outcast, being the only female wolf. To be miserable, and hearing his thoughts, all the time;”
Hunter looked at me, “I’m so sorry. I never knew.”
I shrugged, “Not something I advertised. I don’t want anyone feeling bad for me. I’ve moved on, and I’ve started a new life with a great guy.”
He leaned over kissing me softly, “Drink up, and sleep. Doctor Emerson orders.”
He smirked. “Yes sir.” I sipped the tea, and then set the mug back on the nightstand. “Hey you know, I never got you a birthday present. I feel bad.”
I shook my head, “There was so much chaos back when it passed. I don’t need material things. Just promise never to leave me.”
He smiled, “I will never leave you.” He laid down with me, enveloping me in his arms. “Sweet dreams my dear Leah.”
I smiled falling asleep.
Two weeks passed, and the house was quiet. Travis had finally got an apartment squared away in Seattle. He had a job and things were great for him. We were on our normal schedules. I was living on Ginger tea, and toast. I was able to stomach cereal, and soup as well. Heavy foods just didn’t settle. Hunter was in his office, and I was asleep upstairs. “Carlisle she’s still not eating really. She’s been working a lot. I did call Sue, and she wanted me to call you.” Hunter paused listening to Carlisle. “Twice that’s it. Once back at new years. Then a few weeks ago also. The last time she phased that I know of was New Years Eve, if I’m correct. Nothing after that.” His voice fell silent. He stopped pacing, and sunk into his chair. “Alright we’ll see you soon. We’ll talk soon. Goodbye.” He hung up, and slid the phone back in his pocket. He leaned forward, using his desk to support his arms. His lips rested against his steepled fingers. He let out a long sigh.
At the shop, work was rather steady. Business had really picked up. We’d hired two people to help with the shop, and give me a break on the weekends. I was closing during the week now. Elizabeth was a recent high school graduate. She was doing online courses, and worked from 9am - 4pm. She’d open for us, and I would close, and do all the paperwork. Jeff worked on the weekends, which he loved. He was a junior in high school. Brendan was closing on the weekends only now. I liked that we had such a great schedule. One evening while I was at work, Elizabeth poked her head in the back office. “Leah I don’t mean to interrupt, but someone’s here to see you. The Chief of Police.”
I dropped what I was doing, and quickly walked out.
Charlie stood there smirking, “Well it takes me saying that, instead of your dad to get you out here.”
I shook my head, and walked over hugging him. “Follow me.” We walked out back to the office.
We sat down looking at one another.
“How are you doing?”
I shrugged, “Ok. I’ve just been extremely busy.”
He nodded, “Well your mom was a bit worried. Nobody had heard from you. Even Carlisle, and Esme were wondering how everything was. We told them, we had no idea.”
I nodded, “We’ll come visit soon, I promise.”
He looked around. I could tell this was just any ordinary visit. “Out with it.”
He looked at me, and cleared his throat. He rubbed the back of his neck, “Listen you know I consider you my daughter. Well I worry about you.” Charlie shifted uncomfortably.
“Hunter called you didn’t he.” I stood up shaking my head, looking around the small office.
“Now listen he’s worried about you. Not eating, not sleeping well. He’s really worried. I can’t stress that enough.”
I walked over to the office door, and opened it. “Elizabeth you can head home. I’m closing early. I will pay you for your full shift.”
She smiled, “Alright see you tomorrow.”
She left us. I locked up behind her and shut off the lights, flipping on the lights in the display window.
I walked back into the office. Charlie looked up.
“Just need to do a few things before I leave.” I sat down, and counted out the drawer, and organized all the credit card receipts. I made sure to finish my paper work. “Alright so you want to talk?”
He nodded, “Hunter told me about the eyes.” I felt my entire body tense up. “Leah relax for me. What happened exactly?”
I closed my eyes, inhaling deeply. “They were just eyes looking at me.” I bit down hard on my lip. “The eyes I saw were the same on the flyer I found in the coffee shop.” I was between nervous, and freaking out. These eyes were crimson. They were no longer a human shade. How do I tell Charlie, “Yeah a vampire was watching me? Go get him!”
He stood up, and hugged me. “You’ll be ok. We’ll get this whole thing figured out. Let’s head back to your house. We can have dinner, and talk more.”
I finished up, and we left.
I walked out to my car. I looked around like usual. Ever since I’d had the feeling of being watched, I always stayed alert to my surroundings. As I scanned once again, the nausea, and odor took over. I couldn’t hold it. I made it to the trashcan. I clutched the sides of it, with my good hand, as my muscles were ached. Charlie pulled up behind my car.
He was beside me, “Let me drive you home.”
I stood up, wiping the back of my mouth with my hand. “I’m ok. Just follow my car.” It’s not far from here.” I climbed in, and waited for him. He flashed his headlights at me, and I started home.
I pulled into the driveway. A black S550 AMG Mercedes was parked in the driveway. I let out a long sigh. What was going on? Why did I feel like I’m being ambushed? Family, I understand they worry, and care. A phone call would have worked. Then again, I’ve not called. I shut the car off, and climbed out grabbing my bag.
Charlie had parked, and walked over taking my bag from me. “Feel any better?”
I nodded, “Probably something I ate at lunch.”
He wrapped an arm around my shoulder, and we walked inside together.
“We’re in the living room you two.” Hunter called out.
I turned and looked at Charlie, “You knew. They were here.”
He nodded, setting my bag down. “Carlisle and Esme came to us. Hunter called them.”
I walked into the living room, and sat down on the couch. Carlisle and Esme sat quietly, and smiled up at me as I entered.
“How was work?” Hunter asked. Charlie sat down in a chair.
“It was fine. I closed early. I had an UNEXPECTED visitor. You know I had to send an employee home early.” Charlie cleared his throat, I looked at him, “Do you need some water?”
He gave me a stern look. “This is when you need to be honest. You’ve never lied to us before.”
I scoffed at Charlie. “God you live in one fucked, up delusion of a world. You only know part of it. I won’t burst your precious bubble.”
Hunter was upset by the outburst, “Leah stop.”
I turned and locked my eyes on him, “YOU! You’re always trying to fix everything. You know where it gets you, people getting hurt. You know whose hurt? I am Hunter. You went behind my back. You should have just come to me. I’m not a secretive person.”
Carlisle and Esme watched nervously. The tremble wasn’t there, like it was before when I was about to phase.
“Leah I was worried about you. Not eating much, not sleeping well, losing weight. Jesus Christ, I love you. I’m with you forever. I wasn’t sure how to approach everything.”
I stood up, “It’s as simple as saying, “Can we talk?” It’s that easy.”
Charlie spoke up, “Well then you need to let Carlisle know you got sick after work.”
I shook my head, “God you all gossip like girls.” I stormed out of the room upstairs.
Hunter followed behind me. “Leah please wait up.”
I slammed he bedroom door shut.
Carlisle, Esme and Charlie exchanged glances.
He came in the bedroom, “Babe please. Before you get yourself angrier then you are. Calm down. I’m sorry.”
I shrieked, “Sorry? You’re sorry. You have no right to tell me to calm down. I think I need to pack some clothes, and go back to La Push. I will commute to school. I’m so angry right now. That way they can all be in my business.”
Hunter sighed, “I know you don’t mean that. You’re angry at me.”
I got in his face. “You should have never said anything to Charlie, about the eyes. They were crimson. You know what that means, a vampire. It’s a vampire who drinks human blood. Now you could have sentenced Charlie, and anyone else who may be human. This vampire might be still watching me.”
Hunter looked at me with such remorse, “I had no idea.”
I hissed, “Exactly.” I stormed passed him and went back downstairs, and went right into the kitchen.
I pulled out each knife, out of the block that held them. Hunter had followed me downstairs, and stood in the doorway, “What are you doing?”
I looked at him, “Oh just making sure you washed off all the blood. Clean blades for when you stab me in the back again?”
Carlisle and Charlie had come into the kitchen, while Esme stood in the doorway.
“Everyone relax.” Carlisle spoke calmly.
“Oh enough with the relax, and calm down.” I snapped at him. “What are you going to sedate me, or arrest me?” I looked at the two of them.
“Neither of those Leah.”
I stood there and thought about everything. “Really Carlisle, why are you here?”
Esme stood there, and I looked at her. It dawned on me, “You think I’m pregnant. That’s why they’re here. I should have figured it out sooner.”
Hunter moved over to me carefully and held my hand. I pulled away. “I need a few minutes to myself. Chat, have coffee.” I went back upstairs to use the bathroom.
Sitting on the counter was a box, and a note.
I bought this for you. I just want to make sure you receive proper care if you are. I love you Leah. Having a child with you, it would be incredible. I’m always here for you. I was scared. I’m sorry I went about it this way. You’ve not phased in a while, and I put the pieces together, and contacted Carlisle. They came because they care. Be angry all you want, but it was done out of love.
I sighed and felt bad. I locked the door. I needed some privacy. I pulled out the instructions, and read over them carefully. I opened the foil packet carefully, and discarded it. Two vertical lines meant not pregnant. A vertical line, and a horizontal line meant pregnant. Easy enough. I removed the plastic from the tip, and peed on the little device. It said results as early as one minute. Once I finished, I replaced the little plastic cover, and set the test on the counter. I flushed the toilet, and washed my hands. I stood there waiting. Slowly the lines appeared. I looked down, butterflies in my stomach. I looked at the test. Two blue lines had appeared, and I was left speechless. How do I tell everyone the results?