Author: einfach mich PM
Riley captures a strange creature in the woods outside of Forks, that will force him to change how he sees Victoria. AU Eclipse, Fire and Ice, Heartfail.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama - Riley & Leah - Chapters: 2 - Words: 9,866 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 11-29-12 - Published: 11-05-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6453899
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He circles around her unconscious form, perplexed by the incongruity of the last few moments. Only seconds earlier he'd been attacked by some large animal, claws and teeth bared and aimed at his throat. His speed and strength had saved him. A swift kick to the creature's chest sent it flying into a nearby tree. It's heavy body landed on the forest floor with a thud, and immediately melted into the form of a nude woman. She was sprawled out on the wet leaves blanketing the forest floor, one arm laying at unnatural angle, as her dark hair covered her face in damp clumps. He sniffed the air, a damp musty scent surrounded her, but he could not detect blood or decay. Her heartbeat was strong, but her breathing indicated continued unconsciousness.
It was curious and unexpected to find a creature like this on his way out of Forks. His mission had been simple enough. Victoria had left a trail of clues, options for his choosing. She said the decisions were his, could only be his. He treasured her trust and faith in his ability to lead their army.
"You're stronger and smarter than any of them. That is why I love you."
Victoria was generous with her praise, and her love. He smiled as he thought of how she would reward him for his clever plan to use the scent of the Cullen's pet. It would focus the otherwise chaotic newborns, using their hunger to keep them focused and lead them into the heart of the Cullen's coven. The plan was flawless, except for the sudden appearance of this strange creature.
He looked down at the woman once more, and pondered for a moment. A howl split the night air, drawing his attention away from his thoughts and reminding him of the creature at his feet. Were their others like her? If there were, and they were somehow in league with the Cullens...the thought was unsettling. He would have to tell Victoria about this creature. He frowned, knowing that this new development blew any chance of Victoria rewarding him.
Whether she was associated with the Cullens or not, it wouldn't due to leave a witness to his presence. Killing her wasn't an option either. A dead body would draw even more suspicion. He plucked the woman from the ground, set her on his shoulder, and began to run back toward Seattle. He wondered if he could study this creature, figure out if there were more of her kind to be dealt with and maybe divine a weakness in the Cullens' impenetrable domination of this territory. Maybe Victoria would see this as stroke of luck, and would reward him after all.
"Who's there?" She shouted, and thrashed in the chains. He stepped back, watching how she cradled her arm close to her chest. The bone seemed to be healing quickly, another fascinating discovery. She proved to be a very curious creature.
"I wouldn't move it too much, you might hurt yourself more," he told her, stepping from the shadows so she could see him fully.
The sneer made her look prettier somehow. His own lips spread in an answering smile.
"Let me go, you fucking leech!" She spat, jerking forward and immediately flinched in pain as the chain tugged at her injured arm.
"Not going to happen," he said, kneeling down to get a better look at her angular face. Her dark eyes were darting all around, scanning their surroundings.
"Where the fuck are we?" She growled, shifting in the mud. She leaned forward, trying to peer out into the depth-less black surrounding him. A horn sounded in the distance, it's source was hidden from view.
"That's not important. I need you to listen to me," he said, leaning closer and reaching out a hand. She immediately shrunk away.
"Go fuck yourself!" she snarled, rolling her eyes.
"Listen!" He spoke in a stern tone, snapping his fingers to catch her attention. She slowly turned her gaze back to meet his, and frowned. "I will set you free-" she cut him off with a snort.
"Sure, when I'm dead," she replied, clawing at the chains holding her, and let out a soft grunt of pain.
"I have no reason to kill you, if you cooperate," he insisted, leaning closer and reaching out a hand. "I can loosen them."
"What do you want?" She pressed her back to the damp concrete bridge support.
"I want to know about the Cullens. Tell me everything you know about them, and I'll let you go," he said, giving her a sincere smile.
She fixed him with a menacing glare that quickly melted into a loud cackle of laughter, and shook her head. "I'll tell you something about the Cullens..." she said in a low, conspiratorial tone, jerking her chin to urge him closer.
He leaned in, curiosity making him bold.
"I hate them," she growled, and launched herself across the short distance between them. Her body exploded above him. He rolled out of the way and onto his feet. Her hulking form, a monstrous wolf, gave him pause as she turned to launch herself again. He caught her easily, twisting his body to the side, and slammed her into the bridge support, cracking the concrete.
He felt the sudden shift of muscle, and bone, gripping her tightly as she collapsed in human form. She was unconscious in his arms, hot, and trembling with the rapid beat of her heart echoing like thunder in his ears. He let out a laugh of stunned awe. What had he found?
"In this form she is fast, and strong, but I can take her down easily enough. It's in the wolf form that she is the most dangerous," he said, gesturing toward the unconscious woman chained to the iron support beam of the empty warehouse.
"How did you find it?" Victoria frowned, sniffed the air, and grimaced. "I suppose all you had to do was follow the smell."
"She found me," he replied, puzzled by her disgust. The wolf-woman's smell was different, pine, mossy, and damp fur, like the forest floor after it had rained, but it didn't not bother him. "I thought that we could study her," he continued to explain, hoping that it would help improve her mood. He hadn't expected Victoria to be happy about the change in plans, but he had been surprised to see her so...hostile.
"Clever boy," she mumbled, nudging the creature with the toe of her boot.
He didn't reply, unsure if he could say anything that wouldn't increase her irritation. The creature shifted, and moaned.
"Why is it still alive?" A sneer twisted the beautiful features of Victoria's face as she lunged toward the prisoner.
"No!" Riley intercepted her using his strength to knock her off balance, and tackled her to the dusty ground. "We need her."
"How dare you?" Victoria growled as she struggled uselessly underneath him and finally settled. "This is ridiculous, why would we need this thing?"
She sighed, turning to look at the horizon as he pressed his forehead against her neck.
"She knows the Cullens," he whispered along her smooth skin and felt her tense beneath him.
"Then she can't be trusted," Victoria hissed, and jerked up hard, trying to throw off his body, but he held her down.
"Victoria, trust me, she hates them as much as we do, maybe more," he tried to soothe her, but she continued to struggle beneath him. "Just let me keep her for a little while, get the information I need, and then you can kill her yourself."
"You promise?" She turned her head and gazed at him with a hopeful expression.
"Of course," he sighed as she relaxed underneath him and allowed him to kiss her.
He set the food down on the floor in front of her, hoping that she wouldn't throw it at him again. It had taken him an hour of bathing in the bay to wash the milkshake out of his hair and ears. He'd given her a two days with a case of bottled water and a small black and white TV to keep her company in the hopes that she'd calm down and be more receptive to his next offering of food.
The television was in pieces on the floor, but most of the bottles were empty at least. He took it as a sign that she might be coming around. He placed a grease-stained bag a few feet in front of her with a small container of soda beside it. She didn't move from the crouched position on the cot he had set up for her.
"Why haven't you killed me yet?" She stared at him, fearless and defiant. Her courage was intriguing. She was far from the trifle that Victoria discounted so easily.
"I'm desperately in love with you," he smiled, taking a seat on an upturned crate.
"Sick fuck," she snarled, reminding him of the beast that had first attacked him.
Feral and ferocious, she was ten times the fighter of any of the newborns. The image of a large number of creatures like her was enough to give him pause, to rethink his plan, and to question Victoria's wisdom. How had she not seen this as a threat? If she had seen it, why wouldn't she want him to know about it? Was it something to do with the Cullen's power to see their thoughts and plans? Or was it something else? Before he could continue on that uncomfortable train of thought, his captive spoke.
"Why feed me if you're just going to kill me?" She grumbled, and snatched up the bag. She tore it open, and devoured the contents in a matter of seconds.
"I won't harm you, if you tell me what I need to know," he replied, trying to sound earnest even as her laughter echoed around him.
"You promise?" She smirked, her inflection sounding eerily similar to Victoria's when she asked the same question.
He hesitated before answering, feeling oddly guilty, though he was unsure why.
"Yes," he finally replied, and tried to look earnest.
It was the second promise he'd made that he wasn't sure he could keep.
"Kill it," she commanded, turning back to him.
"I will, after I get more information," he explained, hoping that she would see his line of thinking. "If there are more like her or if I could persuade her to help us-"
"No! Don't tell me!" She shook her copper curls and covered her ears. "Just get rid of it."
"Victoria, please listen, if we don't find out more-" she cut him off with a hard strike across the cheek.
He took the punishment, pressing his lips together, and waiting for a crack in the side of his face to slowly close.
"Riley, I'm sorry," Victoria's stern expressions melted to an apologetic smile as she cradled his face in her hands. "Please trust me. This creature is of no significance to whatever plan you've made."
"Okay," he lied, and thought of how he could hide the creature so he could continue to study her and accepted Victoria's kiss, a reward for his obedience.
"Thank you," she whispered lovingly while he tried to understand why he felt so unsure of his mate.
Dread pushed his legs to move faster, drove him to leap the distance between the rooftops, and land on the ledge above the small alleyway. The alleyway was narrow, dark and filled with newborns. He could hear their growling and screeches of hunger. They packed in, shoulder to shoulder, at the entrance to the garage where he had been keeping the creature. How could they have found her? Was her scent truly that strong and alluring to them or had someone set them on her trail. Victoria couldn't have known that he had lied, could she?
The thin metal of the roll up door screamed in protest as it was ripped from it's tracks and tossed down the alley. Panic and anger filled him as he jumped from the ledge and landed in the center of the mob. He tore at them with his teeth, tossing them from his path, screaming and fighting his way to her.
"Come and get me you pale pieces of shit!" He could hear her screams above the roar of the bloodthirsty horde.
"Shut up!" He screamed, stomping on the head of a newborn before sending another smashing into a nearby wall.
"Fuck you!" She spat, lunging forward in the chains, and exploded in to a giant furry form. The beast dove into the crowd, crazed and furious.
"NO!" He chased after her, ripping and tearing at the bodies that piled on top of her massive form.
He could smell the blood, and grew even more violent, slaughtering every one he touched. He dispatched them with fevered efficiency until he uncovered her collapsed form. The wolf lay atop a pile of dismembered vampires, baring her teeth, a long pink tongue dangling from the corner of her muzzle. It was a strange expression on such a large creature, almost like satisfaction or humor.
As he neared her the wolf melted away, and she was a woman once more. Deep bruises covered most of her dark skin. She could not stand, but she was alive, still. Even two more like her could prove to be more than enough of a threat to the army that Victoria had built. They would need to at least triple their original numbers, and that was before he destroyed this group to protect his...prisoner.
"That was suicidal," He spoke harshly, lifting her into his arms, while her broken legs dangled uselessly.
"Better to die fighting," she said in a pained cough and blood slipped from the corner of her full lips.
It was insane, but fitting for her. He held her close to his body, and jumped up to the nearest rooftop. She gave a strained cry of pain as he landed. He glanced down, and saw her eyes flutter close, as her heartbeat faltered.
"Stay with me!" he shouted, panic seizing him. Her eyes flew open as she screamed in pain. He frowned and looked up, scanning the city for a new place to hide her.
"Promise," she whispered, drawing his attention back to her. The smooth dark skin of her face was marked by the glittering impression of teeth. The crescent cut through the smooth line of her jaw and made him strangely angry.
"What?" He asked, frowning at his own reaction to the mark as much as at her strange words.
"I promise I won't die before I kill you," her lips trembled as she smiled weakly. Her dark eyes made him feel off balance and confused.
She was insane, there was no other explanation, and yet it didn't explain why he felt so relieved.
Her skin was clammy, but her heart rate had stabilized. Riley had stood vigil over her unconscious form for two days, unsure if she would ever awaken. He had broken into a hospital, ransacked it for supplies and medicine. He did what he could, easing her pain, and tying her shattered limbs in splints to guide the bones as they healed. The hours passed slowly as he listened her heart drum unevenly and her breath came in wet coughs.
Finally, she opened her eyes and parted her dry, cracked lips to speak.
"Water." It was a hoarse whisper.
He sprung into action, grabbing a glass of water and pressing the rim to her lip. Moving with great care he slowly poured the liquid. She sipped, coughed and spat. Once she had drained the glass, she pushed it away and looked up into his eyes.
"Why?" It was a simple question that he had asked himself many times during the hours as he stood watch and clumsily tried to save her life and succeed by the barest margin. Why did he save her at all?
"I'd hate for you to miss out on killing me," he replied with a shrug, and returned the glass to her lips.
"The sooner you tell me what I want to know, the sooner you get what you want," he told her in an tone of annoyance.
He was growing tired of this game, trying to get answers from her, and getting only frustration.
"I've told you everything I know," she countered, shifting slowly on the small cot and reached out to him.
"You are sure?" he pushed, dangling her reward just within reach.
"Yes, they only eat animals," she said with a groan and moved forward.
Her yelp of pain startled him, making him drop the bag as he dove to catch her before she fell to the floor. She was healing fast, but he'd kept her legs bound tight to splints to ensure they healed straight.
"Get off me," she hissed, swatting at him even as he gently returned her to the pallet.
"Fine," he growled, scooping up the paper sack that he'd dropped and tossed it over to her.
"Finally," she said, pulling out a greasy paper-wrapped burger and tore open the paper to eat it with relish.
"Good?" he asked, not hiding his disgust. His change had made even the smell of cooked meat completely unappealing to him.
"Yes, even though it's cold," she answered with a mouth full of food. A piece of bread dropped from her mouth, and rolled down the center of her body to land on the small nest of hair between her legs.
He reached out, and brushed it away, unthinking of the gesture until he realized her dark eyes were fixed on him. They stared at each other for a long, silent moment.
"I need to hunt," he mumbled awkwardly, backing out of the small room and quickly ran from the run-down house into the cool night air.
"What do your people call you?" He asked, and watched her lips wrap around the thin plastic straw and make a loud hollow slurping sound.
"Harpy, bitch, nag, the list goes on," she replied, burping, and tossing the empty cup on top of the pile of grease-stained wrappers.
Her humor was strange, but it never failed to make him smile.
"No, I mean your name," he insists, sweeping up the trash into his arms and dropping it into the metal barrel in the center of the room. The flames quickly consumed the garbage and added to the stench of cooked flesh in the room. He ignored his repulsion and turned back to see her frowning at him.
"Why do you want to know?" She was rubbing her bandaged legs. He was sure that her wounds were almost completely healed, and yet she insisted that there was pain when she attempted to put weight on her legs. He assumed that the sheer magnitude of injuries may have overwhelmed her body's rapid healing abilities, though he took her ravenous appetite as a positive sign.
"I'm curious," he shrugged, setting himself to the task of drawing water from the sink in the corner of the warehouse to fill a large metal bowl. He pulled a small cloth from his pocket and set it in the warm water and returned to her side.
"Why do you need to know my name?" she said, laying down on her cot with a sigh and turned her back to him.
"I think it's my right to know the name of my killer," he teased, smirking at the shudder that ran through her body.
He pulled the cloth from the water, twisted it, and shook off the excess water before wiping it over her skin. She hissed, shrinking away from the cloth.
"Too warm?" He asked, and pulled back his hand.
"Too cold," she answered, and rolled back to gaze at him.
He felt his lips pull up into a smile seeing the look of annoyance on her beautiful face. She had told him a great deal in this short time of being in his care, though much of the information she revealed only served to disturb him. The Cullens rarely moved outside of Forks. Despite her belief that they were just as tainted as him, she claimed that they had only had a brief period of human victims being taken in their area. She said that the Cullen's claimed that another vampire was to blame for those deaths, but she was speaking from hearsay. Her own transformation took place after the killings ceased.
Still with every new bit of information, Riley found himself questioning what he knew of the situation with the Cullens. If they only drank the blood of animals why would Victoria believe that they owned and feed on the population of Seattle.
"You know I'd be a lot more cooperative if I could have a hot bath and a decent meal." Her playful tone drew him out of his thoughts and made him focus on her full lips as she smirked up at him.
It was strange to have this kind of reaction to someone other than Victoria, but it had been several days since he'd seen his maker, and longer since she'd shown him any kind of true affection. She was still punishing him for keeping his "pet". He slid his tongue over his bottom lip as he contemplated how to properly respond.
"How cooperative?" He finally asked, with a raised eyebrow and equally taunting smile on his lips.
She immediately frowned, even as her cheeks filled with color, and she snatched the damp cloth from his hands.
"Keep dreaming, leech!" She tossed the cloth in his face, and turned her back to him.
The dark crimson color tinted the skin of her neck and shoulders as well.
"I'll arrange for a bath and a hot meal," he said, rising up to stand over her as he dropped the cloth into the bowl of water. "but you better have compelling information."
He turned toward the exit, and wondered if he was being played for a fool.
"Leech!" She called from behind him, stopping him mid-stride.
"Yes," he turned back to see that she was still facing away from him.
"My name is Leah," she spoke softly, pulling the thin blanket over her shoulders.
The knowledge filled him with a euphoria that he couldn't quite understand.
"My name is Riley," he replied, fighting the urge to return to her side.
"Who asked?" She grunted, and shifted under the blanket.
"Get some sleep," he replied, and yanked open the door. "I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
As he slammed the door closed with wide grin on his face, he could have sworn he heard her whisper Promises, promises.
"This place is huge." Leah's voice was filled with awe as he walked them around the living room and shifted her in his arms so she could see out the sliding glass doors.
"I picked it for the view," he said, pointing out the open sliding glass door toward Elliot Bay. The condominium was smaller than he'd hoped, but the building was mostly empty, and it had a large tub that would suit her demands.
"Where are the people that live here?" She asked, glancing out the glass at the skyline of the city framed with the golden rays of the setting sun.
"I ate them," he replied with a smirk.
She tensed, and quickly turned her head to glare at him. Riley laughed uncontrollably, and shook his head.
"They're out of town," he continued to chuckle as the frown on her face deepened. "Honest."
"You've got a creepy sense of humor," she grumbled, and crossed her arms over her chest.
"Comes with the sparkling skin and devilish good looks," Riley replied with a smirk.
"Take me to the bathroom already," she sighed, looking petulant and annoyed.
"As you wish," he replied, walking down the hallway to kick open the bathroom door and walked inside.
"Holy shit!" she exclaimed at seeing the large tub.
"It has jets," he said, setting her down on the porcelain ledge, and began to unbutton her blouse.
"Whoa!" She slapped his hands away. "I've got this. Go get that hot food you promised."
"Oh, yes...of course," he sputtered, and backed away. "Your bandages..."
"I can manage them. I'll call if I fall and can't get up," she said, gesturing toward to door. He nodded reluctantly, and walked out.
"Hey Leech!" she called out, and he rushed back through the door to find her exactly where he left her.
"I like peperoni and garlic on my pizza," she said with a smile, and he returned the gesture.
"Right," he sighed, turning toward the door, and silently wished that his life could always be so...comfortable.
He made it to the elevator before he got a strange feeling, like a chill passing over his skin. Doubt like a many-legged insect crawled up his spine as he turned his gaze back down the hallway and stared at the front door of the condo. She couldn't walk yet, her legs were still useless and painful to bear weight on. He continued to reassure himself as he walked back down the hallway toward the condo and turned the doorknob.
"Leah," he spoke her name in a hush as he took in the sight of her standing in front of the sliding glass door.
She frowned, and shook her head as she yanked the door open. Despite his speed she managed to get through the door and over the railing before he could catch her. He landed on the rooftop just in time to see the shift of her body exploding into wolf form before she began to run. As she leaped to the next roof top he closed the distance and tackled her. They went rolling and he landed on his back. The massive wolf laid heavy on his chest, its muzzle pressed against his cheek. He held tight, eyes closed, and waited for her teeth to tear into him, but all he felt was her hot breath on his face. Minutes ticked by as they stayed there entangled with each other, neither one moving.
Finally, He slowly removed his arms off her massive body, and laid them out on the ground, awaited her attack. The wolf snorted, hot air searing his skin. Then the weight above him shifted, and reformed. He opened his eyes, and she was staring down at him with human eyes, a frown on her face. A silent moment passed between them, before he finally had the courage to speak.
"You promised to kill me," he whispered, his hands slowly, tentatively touched the hot skin of her cheek.
"I lied," she sighed softly, closed her eyes, and leaned into his touch.
Their first kiss was savage, his only hesitance was to keep his teeth from slicing her soft lips and delicious tongue. His hands slid over her naked skin, soaking in her heat as he greedily explored every inch of her. He was throbbing for more and could tell by the scent hanging in the air, she was too.
"Son of a bitch," she gasped, rearing back from his mouth, and he smiled. He'd forgotten what it was like to kiss someone that needed to breathe.
"Never knew how much I wanted this," he whispered against the rosy skin surrounding her erect nipples and flicked it with the tip of his tongue.
"I must be insane," she groaned as her fingers slid into his hair and pulled his head closer.
Riley didn't argue, but instead took her nipple into his mouth and continued to tease her as his hands cupped her ass. The fabric of his shirt gave little resistance as she tore it open and slid her hands over his smooth, hard skin.
"Every part of you is this cold?" She shivered as his fingers slid between her legs and he carefully dipped them into her damp sex.
"Every part," he replied, smirking at how her whole body responded to his admission as he slowly slid a single finger inside her.
She sucked in a gasp of air as her body gripped his finger and her nails dug into his stone hard skin. He felt his flesh give just a little and shuddered at the titillating sensation of pain. She had almost as much strength as one of his kind, even in this form. The realization startled and aroused him.
"Yes," she hissed, her hips shifting forward as he slid another finger inside of her and began to move them at a steady rhythm.
His fingers were on fire surrounded by her strength and desire. There was nothing he wanted more at that moment than to feel more of it, to see and feel her riding him.
"Want to be inside you," he spoke against the heated skin of her chin and curled his fingers inside of her.
"FUCK!" She groaned, as she slid her cheek over his face and shuddered, the movement shook them both, and left him dazed.
She tore away the rest of his shirt, her scalding hand gliding down his chest and over his belly to the top of his jeans. He closed his eyes, tilting his head back as she quickly opened his pants and wrapped her hands around his length. He was throbbing in her grip and her body tightened around his fingers.
"Leah," it sounded like a prayer and curse, as she gently stroked her hand up and down his shaft.
"What do you want?" She whispered the question against his lips, even as she shifted to straddle his lap.
He opened his eyes to gaze up at her and slowly pulled his fingers from her. She shuddered at the slow withdrawal and gave a final gasp as they slipped from her body.
"You know what I want," he answered before sliding his moist fingers into his mouth and pulled her hips down toward him with his freehand.
He reached between their bodies, and rubbed his head against her entrance to further punctuate his words. The heat was excruciatingly intoxicating. It sent a shock of delight up his spine. He couldn't imagine how intense it would be to be surround by her and this volcanic heat.
"Then fucking take it!" She growled, setting herself over his cock, pressing herself to him.
He was overwhelmed, consumed by the feel of her slowly sliding over him. It was too much, he grabbed her waist to stop her decent. She growled, and shoved his hands away, forcing herself down the rest of the way with one downward thrust. They both gasped and closed their eyes. His toes curled, and she bowed her spine backward, each overcome with the sensation of being joined.
"Move," he spoke first, opening his eyes and sliding his hands along her hips.
She gasped and shifted up, making him groan. Her hot palms pressed against his chest as she continued to move over him and found a rhythm that left him shuddering. He was inflamed with sensation, baring his teeth as she increased the violence of her movements.
"You like that?" She asked with a smirk, continuing to ride him with inhuman speed and strength.
"Yes," he cried out, gripping her thighs, and straining to move against her thrusts.
"Yes, harder," she gasped, quickening her own movements as she clung to him.
He could feel her muscles shift, coiling beneath her hot flesh as her pleasure built toward its climax. She was captivating, dark hair fanning out against the starry sky, skin glowing. He could watch her like this forever. He had craved seeing her like this since that first time she'd parted those beautiful lips to curse him. She was glorious, terrifying, and in his arms. How had he ever thought that he could kill her? The pleasure he felt being joined to her body, the intensity of her touch eclipsed any connection he'd ever felt with Victoria.
She screamed, shaking their joined bodies as she tightened around him and shuddered violently. Pleasure ripped through his body, throwing him over the edge into his own climax, and making him cry out her name. She collapsed on top of him, panting, and trembling. He wrapped his arms around her, threaded his fingers through her damp hair, and kissed her forehead.
Everything had changed, and now so had his plan. He wasn't going to be Victoria's soldier anymore. He was through with her lies and half-hearted affection. The woman he held in his arms was alive and desired him. Leah was all that mattered now.
"Leah," he whispered, and gently shifted her off of his body. "We should get you someplace safe, inside."
He gestured toward the city, the churning sounds of humans filled the air around him.
"And get me some clothes?" She laughed, holding his hand as they rose to walk together.
"I don't know about that," he said, and kissed her knuckles softly.
She looked perfect lying on a lush blanket of grass. The meadow seemed to capture the sunlight, framing her in it's golden light. She stirred and rolled onto her back, the morning dew making her skin glisten. He gripped the branch that he was perched on tighter, making the wood crack under his grip. She gasped, and rose upright, her dark eyes squinted as she scanned her surroundings.
"Riley," she spoke his name in a whisper.
The heartbreaking sound tore at him, but he stayed quiet. He believed that he was doing the right thing. She would be safe with her people, and they would take care of her. He would be free to carry out his plan.
The sound of her crying gave him pause. He didn't understand it. Why would she be sad to be home?
"I told him that I could have handled that fucking tick!" Leah's voice was music to his ears despite the jarring tone of anger. She stomped across the moss covered ground as she followed Edward.
"This isn't about that, Leah," he replied with a tolerant sigh, turned his face to the trees, and smiled as he caught sight of Riley perched above them.
Riley smiled, remembering how Edward had so passionately pleaded with Cullens to accept him into their coven...no, their family. After Edward had explained how Riley had helped him kill Victoria, and had told them that Riley wished to attempt to live as they do, off the blood of animals, he savored their comforting embraces, and how they called him brother.
Thank you, Edward.
Riley thought as he dropped down from the tree to land next to him.
"What the fuck?" Leah stepped back, her posture was defensive. She was as beautiful and fierce as ever.
"It was all part of my plan. Edward and I worked together to defeat Victoria. To keep you safe, so we could be together," Riley's face filled with joy and excitement while Leah's expression darkened with anguish.
"Wait," Edward placed a hand on Riley's arm, stopping him from rushing over to her.
They stood, all three frozen in tension, as Leah's eyes darted between Riley and the ground.
"Leah," Riley whispered, his eyes on her tortured expression.
"No!" She screamed, turned away from him.
It was Edward's turn to move. He closed the distance, grabbed her arm, and stopped her for a moment.
"He loves you," He pleaded, empathy for their situation plain on his normally stoic face.
"I can't," Leah choked, yanking her hand free, and ran.
"LEAH!" Riley screamed, running after her, but she'd already shifted, and disappeared into the forest.
He turned back to Edward, confused and heartbroken, as he watched the older vampire sigh.
"I am sorry," Edward apologized, shaking his head as he continued. "I should have known that something was wrong, given her behavior since she returned."
"I don't understand," Riley said, walking closer, wishing he had Edward's gift so he could understand what was going on in her mind.
"NO, you do not," Edward replied to Riley's unspoken wish. "She is confused about you, especially in light of the circumstances under which...that is to say, she believes that what happened between the two of you was..."
Edward fell silent, grief, and frustration playing over his face as he struggled to explain the details of this heartbreaking revelation.
"She hates me," Riley's voice was a guilty whisper.
"It's not as simple as that," Edward explained with a frown. "I think that this would be easier for her if she did. Her pack does not understand what occurred, they believe...they are saying unsavory things about her behavior with you, but that pales in comparison to how harshly she judges herself."
"What should I do?" His eyes bore into Edward as he pleaded for an answer that Edward didn't have to give.
"You can wait, in the hopes that she will change her mind," Edward sighed, reaching out his hand to Riley. "The offer to join us here still stands. Though, I will understand if you choose not to stay."
"Where else would I go?" Riley shook his head.
I love her.
His mind plead with Edward, as he thought of the night he shared with Leah, remembering her smile and laughter.
"Let's pretend that we're who we were before all this," he whispered, pressing his cold body against her side and slid his hand against her cheek.
"It's not that simple," she protested, even as she pressed her face into his palm.
"Actually, it is," he insisted, and pulled away to sit up.
"What are you doing?" She groaned.
"Hi, my name is Riley Biers. I'm a student at South Seattle Community College," he said, holding out his hand to her, with a bright, genuine smile.
Leah snorted, and rolled her eyes.
"Fine," she sighed, sliding her hand into his and shaking her head. "Leah Clearwater, I live with my mother."
Riley's smile widened. "Nice to meet you, Leah."
"Don't torture yourself, brother," Edward whispered, wrapping an arm around Riley's shoulder. "Let's go home."
Note: Wime infected my mind with the idea of this pairing, she deserves credit for motivating me to write this story. If it weren't for Chele681 this story would have never been finished.