The next morning, I woke up stretching. I was upstairs in the bedroom. I figured Hunter must have carried me up after I fell asleep. A soft giggle was beside my ear. “Good morning Auntie Leah. Are you awake now?”
I smiled, “This is the only time I’ve been awake.”
She giggled, “Oh you were talking in your sleep earlier.” I cringed. Her sweet reassurance put me at ease, “Don’t worry. You just talked about Uncle Hunter.”
I turned my head looking at her. She smiled that beautiful dimpled smile. Her curls lay perfectly spread out on Hunter’s pillow. Her small hands were folded and resting on her stomach. “So I was wondering if I could see where you work.”
She was hoping I would say yes. I had to set up for the week anyways. “Yes you can. I need to do some work ok?”
She shot up straight. She grinned, “Oh my gosh. This is so exciting.” She hugged me, and then bolted downstairs. I decided it was time to get up, and start getting ready.
Once I was ready, I headed downstairs. I walked into the dining room to find everyone sitting in there. Charlie was reading the paper. My mom was talking with Renesmee. Hunter and Edward were talking quietly about school. Jacob looked over a text book. Bella walked in carrying a plate and a cup of coffee and set them down.
“Leah please sit and eat. I made this for you.”
I looked at her, and then the food, and thought to myself, “Peace offering, sympathy, or poisoned.”
Edward smirked, “Both La Push, and Port Angeles are beautiful area’s to live. Seattle’s not bad; however it’s not my choice.”
I looked at Edward, and was fully aware of him answering my questions. Hunter smiled at me, knowing I’d asked a question. Bella looked at me, then Edward.
“Relax ok. I just want to talk.”
So I carefully slid onto the chair beside Charlie, and Bella sat beside me.
I quietly picked up the coffee cup, and took the amazing aroma. It was fresh ground. Charlie set down his paper, “It’s amazing, I’m telling you. With this whole change, Bella could really work on becoming a cook.”
She rolled her eyes, “I’m not that good. I don’t however put metal cans in a microwave.”
Charlie’s face turned a shade of red, and mumbled something inaudible.
Bella smirked, “Dad here isn’t the keenest of cooks.”
He looked at her, “I make great Peanut Butter, and Jelly sandwiches.”
I smiled shyly, unsure whether to make noise. I literally was in the middle of a conversation. My mom glanced over at me, and offered a smile.
“So Bella and I have talked. There’s no blame on you. She’s explained to me, what I can handle right now. It’s a lot, but I need the truth. So I won’t tell anyone, I promise that. I will try my hardest to understand.”
I smiled, and Bella looked at me, “I’m truly sorry for how I reacted.”
I nodded, ‘It’s ok, I was scared to tell Hunter, but I had to.” She smiled completely understanding what I meant.
The day passed swiftly, and Renesmee fell asleep in the car on the ride home. I carefully brought her inside. Edward took her upstairs to her room. Bella smiled, “Lasagna ok? We also have fresh garlic bread as well.”
I smiled, “Thanks." I set hung up my jacket, and walked into the kitchen. “She had a great time. It was nice having a helper.”
Edward returned, “She’s out for the night now.” He walked over to Bella, and carefully wrapped his arms around her waist. I smiled, and slipped downstairs to the basement. I pulled the clothes from the basket, and put them in the washer.
“Why are you hiding, or is it avoiding?” Hunter was beside me.
I looked at him, “It’s neither. I’m just tired and have class tomorrow.” He looked at me, and I turned to him, “What?”
He crossed his arms, leaning against the dryer, “That’s all. I know the date and everything.”
I sighed and slamming the basket on the top of the washer, “It doesn’t matter ok. This has just been a shit weekend. I chase some vampire. Bella has a freak out attack on me. We have a car accident, which I dreamed about. It’s just one, just one messed up weekend ok. Now I get to go back to my routine, and pretend its all normal. Well it’s not. I live this secret life, and have this secret family and this huge secret all the god damn time. Jesus Christ.”
Hunter looked at me, “Let’s eat, then you go get some sleep.”
I sighed, “That’s all I do. I’m like a freaking house cat. Eat, sleep, school, bathroom, work, repeat.”
Hunter smirked, “Cat’s have three functions of those actually. I refer to it as ESS. Eat, sleep, and well shit.”
I shook my head, “I’m going back upstairs.”
He called after me, “Come on babe laugh.”
I walked up and out the back door. I sat down in the Adirondack chair, and just sighed. I could hear the waves as they slowly met the rocks. It was soothing and I drifted off.
I came around the cloud cover made it appear darker then it truly was.
“Still run to the water to think.” Jacob was sitting beside me in the other Adirondack chair.
“It’s the only place where, I can think without ten million noises.”
Jacob stared off, “So a lovers’ quarrel?”
I shook my head, “No Hunter worries, and it’s like, there doesn’t always have to be something. I had to do laundry, and I now need to switch it over.”
Jacob smiled, “Your mom did it for you. She even folded it.”
I sighed, “See it’s like everyone is afraid to let me do stuff. I understand helping, but I’m not handicapped, or broken. My dad dropped dead. Seth doesn’t have anyone up his ass. He can live his life.”
Jacob held up a hand, “Seth talks to us though. He also hasn’t been stalked by a nomad. He didn’t go chasing after said nomad to protect family. He didn’t have a dream, and then have it happen right before his eyes. So see the difference. I understand what you’re saying though.”
I pulled my sleeves over my hands, and pulled my knee’s to my chest, “I’ve lost a lot in one year. I’ve also gained a lot. However I’ve lost who I am. I’m a zombie. I have the same set routine. I’ve not even bought anything for Valentine’s Day for Hunter. I just feel like I’m drowning right now.” Jake gave that look that showed, he knew what I was feeling. “I have an idea, but I’m not sure if he’ll like it. Just for once, I want to do something right.”
Jake turned his chair, and looked at me, “Leah Clearwater, you’ve done a lot right. I couldn’t have a better sister in my pack. Now get inside, eat some of the pizza, and then head to bed. We’re here all week.”
I smiled, “Pain in the ass, but you’re great yourself.” He let out a boisterous laugh. We headed back inside to join the rest of the family.
I grabbed a slice of pizza, and headed into Hunter’s office. He was sitting at his desk, working on the computer. I walked over and leaned against the desk, and he looked at me, “Hi.” There was hurt in his eyes. I offered him the slice, “Already had a few. What’s up?” He leaned back in his chair looking at me. Even though he was sitting down, he still somehow held that commanding way about him.
“I’m sorry I was so rude downstairs. I just have a lot going on. It feels like, I’m a marionette in my life right now. I don’t know if it’s everything that’s happened in the past year, or what. Anyways, it’s not an excuse for me speaking to you like that. I’m just scared.”
Hunter leaned forward, and pulled me down so I was at his eye level, “You’ve gone through a lot. I know anniversary anxiety. It’s hell. That number rolls around, and it’s like your world is ending. Just talk to me. You’ve been doing a lot recently. I’m so amazed by all you do. You’re a strong and powerful person. You don’t give yourself enough of you.”
I looked at him, “Enough of me to myself.”
Hunter stood up and put his hands on my shoulders, “What I’m saying is, you do everything for everyone else. You make everyone else happy. Protect everyone else. Do you ever do any of those things for yourself?” I thought about it. “Exactly, you’re quietly standing here, and you can’t remember a time. I know that when you protected The Cullen’s it was because you were part of a pack. You were doing what was right. Even though it was killing you, with all your energy you pushed it down. That takes a lot out of someone. I know you try to protect yourself emotionally. That’s why you snap at people, you become rigid, but I know that’s you trying to hold it all together. All I want for you is to be happy. Not to feel like you have to do all these things for everyone, and forget yourself.”
I looked at him, “I..I...” I stumbled over the thoughts and words in my head. His hands moved slowly from my shoulders to hold my face.
His thumb caressed my right cheek, “I love you, all your moments good, and bad. Now go relax, I will be up soon. I’m just doing some work on the books, for the boat.” He kissed me softly on the forehead, and laid his against mine. “I love you. I don’t think I say that enough.” He slowly pulled away, and let me go.
I walked upstairs past Edward, and Bella who were sitting quietly in the living room. Charlie and my mom were in the sunroom. I grabbed a cup of Chai before retreating upstairs. I went in our room, shutting the door behind me. I set the mug on the nightstand, and changed into my flannel pj bottoms, and a long sleeve black shirt. I tossed my clothes into the laundry basket. I pulled back the blankets, and climbed into bed. I sipped my Chai quietly looking at the window. A soft knock and my mom appeared. She walked around, sitting on the edge of the bed on my side.
“I wanted to talk to you.” I looked at her, and remained quiet. “I’m aware of the dream you had. I know most people would say, I can’t imagine what that must have been like.” She took a moment, and averted her eyes to the top corner closest to the side of my bed frame. “I know what it’s like. I never have told anyone about it. Not even your father. When you were little, my dad passed away.”
I nodded vaguely remembering, “I was 6 or 7. I remember. Grandma died shortly after.”
My mom looked at me with red rimmed eyes, “They say a broken heart.”
I never saw my mom show emotion like this. I felt bad but I wasn’t sure what to do. She quickly wiped at her eyes, “Well a few months before my dad died, I had a dream that was too real. In my dream I received a phone call from my mom, telling me my dad had died. His heart just couldn’t handle it, and the cancer was just too much on his body. I saw the exact date, September 4th, 1992 and time, 12:17am. I saw what I was wearing, and the room I was standing in.” She took a moment to catch her breath. “Well on September 4th, 1992 at 12:17am, I received the phone call from your grandmother. My parents anniversary was September 3rd. They’d been married 58 years. She spent their anniversary by his bedside. They looked at photos of their wedding. I’m rambling here. What I’m saying is I know the fear that’s running through you, and the unexplained questions. You’re safe, and that’s what matters. There’s no explanation why we have these dreams. I think each of us, in our own way has the ability to have visions. You being a shape shifter, your senses are much more keen, then those of typical humans. I grew up knowing the truth, so I’m open as well. Sorry to have overwhelmed you, if I did. I just wanted you to know.”
I leaned over hugging her, “I thought I was crazy. It was so scary. I saw it all happening, and I couldn’t say anything to Hunter.”
She gently rubbed my back, “Don’t worry about it. Hunter and I talked already about everything. So get some sleep, and I will see you tomorrow.”
She kissed my forehead, and left me alone. I didn’t bother to finish my tea; I just lied down and shut off the light. That night, I finally didn’t feel that knot in my chest before I fell asleep.