This particular chapter is dedicated to my mothers memory. She left us on 9/13/2010. I'm posting this on 9/13/2013. Mom it's beeen three years since you left us, but every time I write, you're right beside me cheering me on. I love you, and miss you. Thank you for being my angel.
The numbness slowly passed. Numbness had become a new feeling I was becoming quickly accustomed to. It gnawed at my soul. The test was negative. There was no child in our future. I felt like my hopes had been shattered. They were in pieces like a glass that had shattered all over the floor. All different shapes and sizes there they lay. I threw the test in the trashcan and washed my hands. I left the bathroom hitting the light switch as I walked out and back to the bedroom. I changed into my faithful flannel pajama bottoms, and my navy blue fitted tee. I tossed all my laundry into the basket and slipped into my favorite button up sweater.
Esme quietly knocked on the door. She stood in the doorway, “May I come in?”
I was staring out the window. I nodded a little, she proceeded to enter and join me at my side. Her soft voice broke the silence, “I’m here if you want to talk, or,”
I didn’t let her finish the sentence. I just turned to her, and wrapped my arms around her. I didn’t feel stone, or cold. I felt the warmth of a person whose heart was enormous. I felt safety. I felt compassion. I felt the warmth of a MOTHER. Without hesitation, she cradled me in her arms. “You don’t have to talk. I’m here for you, as a shoulder to just let it all out.” She whispered the next part, “I’m not your mother, but I’ve worried about you since, well you came to protect Bella.” I hugged her tighter after hearing that.
She ushered me carefully to the bed, never releasing me from her safe arm. She pulled back the covers, and I laid down. I cradled the pillow carefully around my head. She covered me up, and sat down on the edge of the bed. I was lying on my side, curled up. Out of nowhere the sobs ripped me apart. Esme carefully picked up my hand, gently patting it, “Slow your breathing down Hun."
I tried so hard not to cry, to hold it all together. It failed. I just saw her perfect face, and soft eyes, filled with such concern.
Hunter and Carlisle quietly spoke with Charlie. “I’m sorry I dragged both of you into all of this.”
Charlie shrugged, “No apology necessary. We’re family for starters. Second, we were becoming concerned. She hadn’t called us at all. Plus we hadn’t seen her in several weeks. We weren’t sure what was going on with her.”
Hunter looked at Carlisle, then Charlie. Carlisle quietly excused himself and headed up stairs.
Once he was upstairs, he quietly knocked on the door.
Esme spoke softly, “Come in Carlisle.”
He stepped in, shutting the door behind him. Quietly he walked over to Esme, kiss the top of her head. “Everything ok now?”
She nodded gently stroking my cheek, “She cried herself to sleep. She was sobbing. I felt horrible.”
Carlisle looked down, “We could hear her downstairs. Charlie looked at me. Hunter said she was having a rough couple of weeks of not feeling well. He was honest with Charlie, explaining how he thought she might be pregnant."
“How’d he handle that?”
Carlisle smirked a little, “Turned several colors. Red and white were the more prominent ones.”
Esme smiled, “Well she’s an adult anyways.” She nodded, keeping her gaze on me.
Charlie sat with Hunter, “You know, at first I felt like things were happening to fast. You take great care of her.”
Hunter smiled, “Well she takes care of me as well.”
He was trying to hide the exhaustion that was displayed on his face. “I’m sorry Leah spoke to you like that. She had no right to.”
Hunter shook his head, “No she had every right to be upset. The stress of everything on her, it caused her to snap. I should have expected it. I should have been fourth coming with her. She didn’t deserve to be surprised. I blew her off at breakfast and lunch. I knew she was hurt, she just didn’t say anything. I was looking stuff up online about pregnancy.”
Charlie sighed and stood up, “Well we can’t change what we’ve done in past. Don’t dwell on it. Move forward together, and be honest. No secrets is how you to live.” Charlie smiled.
Hunter stretched, and stood up and followed Charlie to the front door.
“Call me in the morning. Let me know the outcome of that test. I know she was crying. I didn’t want to pry. I will let Sue know what’s going on.”
Hunter nodded, “Alright. Listen how about you and Sue don’t come up Saturday. Spend the night. Head home Sunday evening.”
Charlie nodded, “I will run it by her and let you know in the morning. Let Leah know please.”
Hunter nodded eagerly, “Of course.”
Charlie smiled, and slipped his jacket on, and patted Hunters shoulder, before leaving. Hunter closed the door, and locked up.
Upstairs everything was quiet. Esme, and Carlisle remained quiet.
Hunter quietly crept in the room, and whispered, “How is she?” He asked walking around the bed, and sat down.
“She’s heartbroken. The test was negative.”
Hunter sighed, “It sounds bad, but I’m sort of glad she isn’t right now. She’s so stressed. I want to have a family with her.”
Esme smiled, “When the time is right you will.”
Hunter leaned over kissing my cheek, “So what’s causing this then?” he asked sitting back up.
“I’m not sure. Let’s talk downstairs so she can sleep.” The three of them left me, and headed downstairs.
They converged in the living room. Esme sat on Carlisle’s lap and Hunter flopped in a chair. “I honestly don’t know what’s going on from a medical standpoint. Those are common symptoms. Also with lack of sleep, there’s paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite. Depression can happen as well.” Hunter let his arms rest on the arms of the chair; he caressed the end where his palms sat. “She said the eyes she saw were crimson; and that they belonged to either a new vampire, or one who drinks human blood.”
Carlisle nodded, “Yes that is true.”
Esme smiled, answering Hunters question before he could even ask it. “We survive by drinking animal’s blood. That’s why our eyes are a different color. It also helps us not stick out so much.”
Hunter nodded understanding. “So why was she so upset about me telling Charlie about the eyes?”
Carlisle and Esme exchanged a look before she spoke, “Charlie doesn’t know about us. He only just recently found out about the wolves. Even then that was extremely risky.”
Hunter looked at them, “So why do I know about you?”
Carlisle took over, “Because you’re with Leah. Well it’s extremely risky you even knowing about our secret. The Volturri, if they found out, well Leah or you could be punished. This could also cross over onto us. We trust you.”
Hunter smiled, “Thank you.” There were still questions, that were left to be asked, and someone needed to answer them.
“Listen it’s late. Go get some sleep. I will leave a note; in-case Leah needs one so she can stay home tomorrow. We’re going to head home. We’ll see you soon.”
Hunter smiled, “Alright.” He watched as they pulled out of the driveway and the lights of the S550 faded as it went down the road. Hunter shut off the lights downstairs, after locking the doors. He quietly climbed into bed with me and wrapped his arm around me.
Friday passed quietly, and quickly. I worked after classes, and made sure everything was set up for the author’s corner on Saturday. I wouldn’t be in; Brendan would be working for the day. I just needed some time off. Plus mom and Charlie were coming up. I wanted to relax. Yes, I Leah Clearwater am taking time and relaxing. I know it seemed like such a foreign concept. Hunter and I spent the evening watching television, and eating junk food. I’ve relaxed, and this is what I needed.
Saturday morning I sat down and looked over the paper. Headlines read, NEW SIGHTING OF MISSING HIKER! There's been a recent spotting of the missing hiker, Fred Kanger. A witness reported to Port Angeles police, someone matching the description had been seen at various points throughout the city. No further information is available at this time.
I felt my heart drop to my feet. I sat there, mouth half hanging open.
"Hey what's wrong?" Hunter asked sitting beside me.
I couldn't speak. All I was able to do was look at him.
I looked at the paper, his eyes followed mine. He stared at the paper for several minutes. We were both in shock. The door bell rang, causing us to both startle.
"Be right back." He kisses the side of my head, before bowing out. How was this possible?
"I'm so excited to see her." My mom smiled, holding Charlie's hand.
"I know. Well at least we have a weekend to spend together."
Hunter opened the door, "Sue, Charlie. It’s so good to see you. Glad you could make it." He moved out of the way, allowing them to come in.
Charlie set down their bags, while Hunter closed the door behind them. Charlie took off his coat, and hung it up along with Sue's.
"So where's the misses?"
Hunter smiled, "In the kitchen reading the newspaper." She's a little startled. Something she read something in the paper. Its possibly pertaining to what she saw before with the eyes."
Charlie looked at Hunter, "We'll talk. If it's anything, we'd have to go to the authorities. I’m sorry.”
“Hey Kiddo.” Charlie walked in, and hugged me, then sat down beside me. My mom hurried over, squeezing me tightly. I smiled, and took in her scent. God I’d really missed my mom a lot. She, and I slowly let go of each other, and she sat down as well.
“So what’s going on in the paper?” Charlie asked, reaching across for it.
“There have been some sightings of that missing hiker. Well a supposed sighting.”
Charlie nodded, “So It’s someone matching the description, but nothing saying it’s definitely him.”
I shook my head, “No. The problem is we’re not just dealing with any regular person.”
Charlie looked at me, Hunter stood frozen in the doorway.
“What do you mean a regular person?” Shit. How stupid could I be? I bit the corner of my lip.
“Leah?” Charlie called my name, wanting on an answer.
I could feel my heart start beating faster. It thudded against my chest cavity, like someone playing a bass drum. There was no way I could do this. The Cullen’s would hate me forever. My mom reached over, and gently rubbed my arm, “Hun talk to us.”
I stood up, and started pacing the kitchen floor. Charlie looked, at my mom, and then Hunter.
“I’m so lost. What is the big secret? Come on Leah. I’m not going to be upset.”
I ran my hand through my hair, “Oh Jesus Charlie. I shouldn’t be doing this. No, no, no. God they’re going to kill me. I’m really ruining everything. Geez I thought Jacob had screwed up before phasing in front of you.” I was rambling. It was becoming nonsensical words.
Hunter walked over to me, and stopped me, “Breath. You’re not making any sense. Deep breathes in.” He inhaled deeply, and then blew out warm air at me. “Just like that Leah. You’re going to hyperventilate, then pass out. We don’t need that.”
I just looked at him, “I can ruin a lot of lives, and put a lot of people in jeopardy.” I glanced at Charlie, and my mom.
“Leah they’re you’re parents, you need to talk to them.”
I looked at Charlie, “Remember when Jacob phased in front of you?”
He nodded, “Yes, and it’s something I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around. I still don’t quite understand why you kids turn into wolves.”
I nodded, “Well it’s to protect the humans, and the Quileute land.” Charlie looked at me, raising an eyebrow. “Shit! Charlie this world you live in, well it’s not as it seems. Things blend in, so they’re not noticed easily. There are some things that are noticeably different, but people usually shrug them off. Sometimes someone can seem different.”
His eyes scanned around the kitchen. He was racking his brain, trying to figure out this encryption I was speaking. “Leah, I’m so confused, just spit it out.”
I snapped, “Charlie there are vampires. Those eyes I saw are ones of a nomadic vampire. They were crimson. This means, this particular vampire lives on human blood. He may not completely drain the victim, he may turn them. He could also steal blood from a hospital. There you have it all.”
He looked at me, and then chuckled. “Leah, come on.”
I felt so hurt. I just told him the truth. My mom looked at the table.
I took what last ammunition I had left, “Bella is a vampire. She wasn’t sick. Edward changed her. Renesmee is her biological daughter. I stayed at the Cullen’s with Jacob, and Seth protecting her. There was a battle not too long ago; I was ready to fight to the death to protect people. I’m not lying.”
Charlie looked at my mom, “Sue?”
She looked up, and nodded slowly, “Charlie I couldn’t tell you.” She sighed. “Now I’m dead. Humans aren’t supposed to know about vampires. Jesus Charlie, all the killings in Seattle. That was a rogue vampire, trying to destroy the Cullen family.”
His eyes went wide, and he went white. “The Cullen Family?”
I’d opened a whole can of worms, and a full weekend of complete shock, and questions could run the length of the Great Wall of China.
I walked into the living room, and curled up in a chair.
“Sue, why didn’t you tell me?”
My mom sat there tearing up, “Charlie it’s not as easy as she made it seem. There are secrets for reasons to keep people safe. Now you know. That’s why I’ve been uncomfortable around the Cullen’s.”
Charlie swallowed, and let out a long sigh, “Is there anything else I should know?”
My mom shook her head, “Nothing honestly that I can personally tell you. It’s up to Leah. There are some things. Well Leah’s body is frozen due to phasing, so she can’t have children. She needs to have a,” Charlie nodded wanting to avoid that topic. “She phased in our house, and then Harry had his heart attack. Seth phased right afterwards.” Charlie’s became teary eyed, remembering my dad. “She didn’t cause it Charlie, in no way what so ever. She still blames herself to this day for it.” She stood up and walked over to him, and rubbed his back. “No talking to anyone about this at all.”
Charlie nodded, “Where is she?”
My mom spoke softly, “Living room.”
Charlie got up quietly, and walked out, and sat down in the adjacent chair.
I was curled up in the chair. What the hell had I done? I felt so sick to my stomach.
“Leah, I’d like to talk.”
I nodded, “So talk then. What’s it matter, you don’t believe me.”
He sighed, “It’s hard to believe. Since seeing Jacob, I guess anything is possible.”
I nodded, “You are sworn to secrecy. Hunter knows as well.”
Charlie rubbed his face, “So Bella, she’s a vam,” He couldn’t finish it.
“Yes. She conceived Renesmee while she was human. She carried her as long as she could. Edward turned her, so she’d live. She wasn’t truly “sick” as you thought. Now you have your daughter, and granddaughter. All of the Cullen’s are vampires as well. There are some things that I can’t answer. Don’t ask questions if possible. I need to tell them I’ve told you. This isn’t on anyone’s shoulders except mine.”
He looked at me, “On you?”
I nodded, “Charlie this is a world, a life I wouldn’t wish on anyone.” My heart was breaking.
He quietly reached over, and rubbed my arm, “Your secret is safe with me. I don’t think I want to know anymore right this second. I need a beer.”
I laughed, “I don’t blame you.”
He smiled, “We’ll take this one thing at a time.”
I nodded, “Agreed.”
My mom and Hunter joined us. Hunter leaned down kissing me, and pulled me over to the couch. “You ok?” I looked at him. “Listen Carlisle and Esme talked to me last night. I know how dangerous this is now.”
I swallowed down the bile that had crept up my throat. “I won’t let them hurt any of you.”
Hunter nodded, and held me close, “It will be ok.”
I shook my head, “It won’t be. I need to talk to them, The Cullen’s.” I stood up, and walked outside. That unnerving feeling of being watched was thick as fog in the air surrounding me. “If you’re out here watching me, you won’t want me. Leave my family alone. They’ve done nothing wrong.” Slowly heat coursed through my body, traveling down my arms, to my hands and my fingers. The same happened with my legs, to my feet, and then my toes. The shiver shot down my spine, the tearing sound of clothing, and a howl echoed through the air.
“SHIT!” my mom ran out of the house. “LEAH?”
I had escaped to the woods that were on the side of our house.
“Leah where are you?” My mom quickly glanced around.
I let out a soft whimper. She found me lying on the ground, with my head resting on my good paw.
“Let me look at your paw. If there’s any pain, just somehow let me know.”
I looked at her. The last time we were this close, and I was in this form, we’d had a fight. She carefully picked it up, and examined it. Her hands were so small compared to my enormous paw. I winced a little, “Sorry.” She continued to look. Even in wolf form, there were no holding back tears.
“Well it appears with even just phasing now, the healing is starting. That’s a good thing.” She saw my fur glisten where the tear had slid down, and gently wiped it away. I could smell him. I could smell that burning bleach smell. I stood up quickly and nudged my mom out of the woods. “Leah stop; what’s going on?"
Charlie came out with Hunter. “Sue, Leah?” Charlie called out.
I continued to shove her. “Leah stop this please.” I looked at her. She looked past me, the color draining from her face. I kept pushing her until she finally cleared the tree line. I whipped around, and spotted it. The crimson eyes, which had watched me that night, were staring at me now.
I took off in the direction of the vampire, and it took off running southward. I ran ignoring the ache that was now in my front paw. My wrist had healed in that short time. Thank god for the ability to heal quickly again. The feeling of the cold hard ground beneath my paws brought comfort. The cold air rushed through my fur, as I ran at full pace. As my warm breath exited my body, it mixed with the cold air showing the steam I’d created. Whooshing was all that I could hear. The sound of the vampire running, and my body as I dashed through trees, ferns, down limbs; filled the quietness in my head. We’d already cleared at least two miles. He wasn’t giving up. We were running through the Olympic National Forest. Nobody would see us. I was on my own, chasing a vampire. What was wrong with me? The last time I did this, Jacob got hurt really badly. I couldn’t risk losing him.
We were now in familiar territory. We were close to the highway 101. I could hear the cars, and trucks on it driving along the rain slicked road. The tire’s made a hissing sound, as they made contact. The vampire only looked back at me once before he darted across the highway. Without hesitation I followed. Screeching tires and a thud was all I head. I continued running, and an achy sensation licked my hip. I continued running after the vampire. I’d not run in a while. I recognized the scent of the Cullen’s. I knew I was close to the territory. My thoughts quickly were consumed with Renesmee. What if the Volturri had sent this new vampire? Granted they’d pardoned her, but what if they’d changed their mind. He took off down the banking that was beside the house and into the river. I continued to follow.
“What’s going on?” Bella’s voice was alarmed. “They could hear it all."
I ran up the other side of the embankment to come face to face with the vampire. He stood there holding his hands up, “Please stop and listen to me.” I stopped baring my teeth. “Thank you.” He spoke softly. I heard movement behind me. I didn’t take my eyes off of him. “I’m innocent. I’m not looking to hurt anyone please trust me. You’re Leah. You’re from Port Angeles. You work in the bookstore, and you attend school at Peninsula College. I know you’ve recognized me. I wasn’t going to hurt that woman.” I was extremely tense.
“What’s going on?” Edwards’s voice was beside me.
I could smell Jacob.
“Where the hell did you come from?” had invaded my thoughts.
I thought back, “Port Angeles, in the woods beside my yard.”
I kept my eyes locked on the vampire.
“You chased him from your home?” Edward asked me.
I nodded a little.
“Listen please make sure she’s ok. She was chasing me, and when we crossed 101 she was clipped by a car.”
Jacob looked at me, “Leah?”
I nodded slightly. I heard the heavier sounds of Emmett’s footsteps come up behind me.
“Everything ok?” Jasper asked standing beside Edward.
“I’m not quite sure. Leah has chased this Nomad from Port Angeles. Someone go check the highway. She was clipped by a car. Make sure everything is ok.” Jacob thought,
“On it.” Jacob turned, and took off running.
The Nomad sighed, “I’m looking for the Cullen’s. I’m not here to cause any harm. I was hoping to talk to Carlisle?”
Emmett had his arms crossed; his deep voice startled me, “Why do you want to see him?”
The vampire spoke, “My name is Fred Kanger. I was created several months back while I was in Seattle. I was supposed to be part of some attack. I chose not to and took off on my own.”
Edward scanned his thoughts, “Continue.”
Fred relaxed, “I saw Leah when she was in Port Angeles. I picked up her scent, and knew there was something different. Well I followed her, but kept a distance. I saw she was interacting with your coven. I wanted to wait, just to make sure it was safe. Well today, I was watching her again. I’ve become genuinely concerned for her. I felt bad for causing such stress.”
Jasper spoke, “What stress?”
I shifted my weight a little. “Fred locked eyes on me, “
"I tried to keep her from seeing me, to keep her safe. I have a gift. I can make people become physically repulsed when looking at me. Instead she became ill. Nauseated it appears.”
Edward looked at me.
I nodded, and thought, “Hunter thought I was pregnant.”
Edward looked back at Fred. “Come to the house with us. We’ll speak there.”
Fred nodded, and followed Jasper who led the way.
I turned following them.
“Are you alright?” Edward asked walking with me.
“I’m a little sore, but I’m alright.”
He smiled, “Thank you for following him. I’m guessing you don’t have any clothing with you.”
I continued crossing the river, “Correct.”
Edward smiled, “I will get you something to change into.”
Esme was standing outside with Carlisle when we arrived back at the house. Rosalie stood inside the large living room with Bella, and Renesmee.
“Is everything alright son?” Carlisle asked Edward.
He nodded, “We need to talk, but don’t worry about it. Jacob will be right back; he had to go check on something.”
Esme smiled at me, “I will be right back," and she let go of Carlisle’s arm, and returned a moment later with a pair of jeans, and a blue blouse for me to wear. I walked behind some cover and she followed setting the clothing down, and turned around allowing me privacy to dress.
Once I had phased back and dressed, I thanked her.
“You’re quiet welcome. Where’s everyone else?” She meant Charlie, Hunter, and my mom.
“I left them in Port Angeles.”
She looked at me, “It has something to do with that guest.”
I nodded, “I chased him down here.”
She smiled, and hugged me, “Thank you for thinking of our safety.”
I smiled, and walked with her, I gently held my hip.
Oh I didn’t want her worrying, “Nothing. It was just a minor encounter with a car while crossing the highway. It was a tap for me. It’s a little sore. Plus I’ve not run, or phased in some time. I’m a bit sore.”
She looked at me, “Please let,”
I shook my head, “Esme I’m alright. Plus I heal. Jake went to check on the car.”
Just as I said it, he was beside me all dressed, and back in human form. "Nobody was there. I’m assuming they continued, or Charlie will hear about it.”
I swallowed wanting to avoid that topic at the current moment.