A/N: This is a oneshot of some of Leah's thoughts and feelings, and her POV of Eclipse's epilogue.
Thanks to leiahlaloa for looking over this story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, Leah, Jacob, or Sam. Stephenie Meyer does.
I am tired of life.
It's not that I'm suicidal. I could never kill myself; I do have a purpose, a reason to continue forcing myself to breathe in and out. The pack needs me – though they wouldn't like to admit it – to fight off the bloodsuckers that invade our territory.
At least, I think they do.
The thing is, the pack is larger than it has been since the very beginning; since the "sons" of our tribe first gained the ability to transform. They could handle that family of bloodsuckers, if they attacked, though it would be a long and bloody war. Do they really need me? Some of them consider me an intruder, an imposter in their midst. They don't think women should be wolves, that women are a hindrance. But it really doesn't matter what they think.
I, too, am a wolf, a child of the wind. I am responsible for my people, and for our territory. I will fight, and have fought, alongside my brothers, whether they like it or not. I am strong. I will survive in the face of my inner turmoil. I disguise the ache of love lost and the shame of disrespect with a blanket of scorn and stinging sarcasm.
But it is all beginning to get to me. I have enough to deal with without their attitudes.
This constant emotional exhaustion leads me to snap back at anyone and everyone – I will even go looking for a fight, just to release even a speck of my inner chaos. Which was why I ended up at the cliff's edge with the only person I could in any way provoke.
I knew I should be grateful to Jacob – and a part of me is – but it was his actions during the fight that truly showed that I didn't belong with the pack, in some of their opinions. Their minds mock me; their eyes accuse. I'm a freak, I don't belong. And so I erect walls of disdain - the only defenses I have left.
"Jacob, do you think this is going to take much longer?" I considered how long it would take to make him lose his grip, for him to let go and allow instinct to take over. I smirked as his teeth clenched together, his irritation at my insight apparent. The pack was linked - I knew what tormented him, what frustrated him. I followed him to the remotest place of our territory for this, the only means of release I have access to. Let the game begin. But eventually a smug look crossed his face and he was able to respond unperturbedly.
"Jump off a cliff, Leah." He pointed to the edge nearby.
"Really, kid." I ignored the suggestion, sprawling down on the grass next to him and commenting on his age, putting him beneath me - my barriers were strong, resistant to verbal assault. "You have no idea how hard this is for me."
"For you?" He stared at me incredulously. "You have to be the most self-absorbed person alive, Leah. I'd hate to shatter the dream world you live in – the one where the sun is orbiting the place where you stand – so I won't tell you how little I care what your problem is. Go. Away."
I paid no attention to anything he said. I'd already heard it all in his thoughts; insults just bounced off. And I was tired of him feeling sorry for himself. "Just look at it from my perspective for a minute, ok?"
He suddenly started laughing, though painfully, as though the sound was foreign to him. Huh. I hadn't expected that.
"Stop snorting and pay attention." I scowled at him; he was trying to ruin my fun.
"If I pretend to listen, will you leave?" He glanced my way, taking in my glare. He looked resigned, as though it was what he expected to see. But could he really blame me for my mood, after all I had been through? My scowl deepened. It was time to take it up a notch.
"This is making me sick, Jacob. Can you imagine what this feels like to me? I don't even like Bella Swan. And you've got me grieving over this leech-lover like I'm in love with her, too. Can you see where that might be a little confusing? I dreamed about kissing her last night! What the hell am I supposed to do with that?"
I could see his anguish at the mention of her name, moving under the mask of bitterness and anger he consistently wore. But he was good at hiding his emotions.
"Do I care?"
"I can't stand being in your head anymore!" Although my initial intent was to annoy Jacob, it didn't mean I couldn't make a point. And it was slightly disturbing to be involuntarily thinking about Bella Swan in ways I really didn't want to. "Get over her already! She's going to marry that thing. He's going to try and change her into one of them! Time to move on, boy."
"Shut up," he growled. I could see my words slicing into him, and while I realized (in some remote, distant part of my being) that he was hurting in a similar way that I was, it gave me a strange sense of release to watch the upheaval and fury on his face. And I wasn't finished yet.
"He'll probably just kill her anyway," I continued, sneering. "All the stories say that happens more often than not. Maybe a funeral will bring more closure than a wedding. Ha."
His rage was mounting; I could see it as his hands, then his entire body began to tremble. It made me feel better just watching him trying to keep in control. I mocked him, smiling, knowing that I had gotten through his barriers while mine remained intact. Glee and triumph overcame me as I considered that I was not the only one in constant emotional agony. I had an outlet, and I was determined to enjoy the release.
Then Jacob opened his eyes, and my stomach clenched slightly at the hard, cold look in their depths. He was ready to fight back.
"If you're upset about gender confusion, Leah…" he began slowly, eyebrows narrowing. "How do you think the rest of us like looking at Sam through your eyes?"
The pain slapped me like a wave and washed over me, tumbling me over and over, beating me with the agony that ripped through my heart. Sam. A simple, three-letter word that represented so much to me: joy, desire, comfort, promise… loss, ache, depression, betrayal… love, no longer directed my way… I began to shake, heat crawling up my spine, and I could barely keep from launching myself at him, teeth bared and claws outstretched - anything to stop him from speaking. That word. Sam.
My walls of disdain, my somehow friendly barriers from the attacks of the world, began to disintegrate.
But still he spoke, his face twisted into a pained, but still malicious, smirk. "It's bad enough that Emily has to deal with your fixation. She doesn't need us guys panting after him, too."
I couldn't take it anymore, my limits had finally been surpassed. I got up – barely keeping from stumbling as my entire body shook - and spat at him, though it fell far short. I couldn't speak for the tears welling in my eyes; my voice would wobble if I attempted retaliation. I had to be strong; showing weakness was unacceptable.
Unfortunately, it was already too late.
His derisive laugh didn't begin to cover the pain in his voice, any more than running away could be an escape from mine. My walls had been breached; they crumbled into the dust as the cries of my heart were set loose - a high pitched wailing, riding mournfully on the wind - and I raced into the forest. I barely heard jacob's last words, a final barb.
Please review! This is my first fanfic, and I want to know if you liked it, hated it, have any suggestions, etc. so I can improve in future stories. Thank you very much!