Leah breathed a sigh that tasted of the salthingyer below her. She raised her arms in a postion that was almost as familiar to her as shifting. She did this often. It was her only means of escape.

Imagining the thrill of the dive, the immense pleasure as she hit the water, she crouched low, preparing to jump. Smiling, she threw herself into the dark waters beneath her, spinning over and over in the air, relishing the brush of her black hair against her skin. In the air, she was neither werewolf or human, freak or normal, Emily's second cousin or Sam's exgirlfriend. She was simply free, subject to the will of the wind only.

Leah hit the water gracefully, barely breaking the surface. The water rippled lightly, as though she had doven from a height of fifteen feet rather than the hundred and fifty that it must have been. Grinning as she rebroke the waters surface and gasped for air, she shook out her hair and relived the jump over again in her mind. She hauled her body to the sands of First Beach and pulled her knees up to her chest. She was once again Leah, neither human or wolf, but a mixture of both. But, for the moment, she was still a fragment of the creature she had been as she dove, free and cautionless.

She laughed truly for the first time in as long as she could remember, and shifted into her other form, once again burdened by both the worries of human and those of the wolf.