A/N: Hello, Everyone! I hope you enjoy this next story as much as the last one. Just an FYI, this story is not beta so I apologize in advance. I'm sure there are tons of mistakes and I'm sure there are many of you that have an urge to print this off and shower it with red marks and send it back to me, but I wanted to post it anyways. Hopefully you can get past it and enjoy Leah's story in spite of the bad grammar.
There I stood on the dance floor, a little shocked but more irritated than anything else, with a bouquet of flowers mocking me in my hands. The surrounding single ladies that I stood next to on the dance floor slowly walked back to their tables in defeat…looking longingly at the flowers that I was grasping. I sighed, as I realized that they still had a far better shot than I did at ever getting married in the future. It was pretty pathetic, that I was even up here. As the crowed cheered and clapped, I fought the urge to fling them on the floor and proceed to stomp on them. What an awful wedding ritual. The only thing stopping me was the look on Nessie's face. She squealed and clapped while she nodded her head as if to tell me that she was right and the possibility of love was still out there for me. I looked at her suspiciously as I had a crazy notion that she had been aiming for me all along. Before I could roll my eyes, she gave me a big hug, followed by the many flashes of cameras. I smiled for the picture and made my way back to the table.
I sighed as I sat down on my seat placing the flowers delicately on the table. They were absolutely beautiful; each flower…each petal on this arrangement was perfect; Swarovski crystal's danced on to several petals as they were wrapped together by a dark blue satin bow. It was a pretty extravagant bouquet…actually; it was a pretty extravagant wedding. It was probably the most extravagant wedding in the whole world. I couldn't fathom the amount of money was spent. We had all arrived to this private island, at this recently built private resort, on private jets that apparently all owned by the Cullen Family. Island Esme was heavenly. It was absolutely beautiful and every view on the island looked like it belonged on a postcard.
The ceremony had taken place on the beach, just before twilight. If I hadn't thought that the sparkling that came off of the guests who were vampires as the sun was setting was so freaky, made the scenery all that more stunning. It was unreal and I'm sure Alice had planned it that way. Sam was officiating. He had decided to get ordained as it was becoming a necessity with the amount of weddings that were taking place every year.
I looked back out on the dance floor and watched Jacob hold Nessie close to him, his hand laid protectively on her back, as they danced on the dance floor. Her loosely curled unusual bronze hair, identical to her father's hair, gently sway across her shoulders. She looked spectacular, an absolute perfect bride. Though her dress was the most beautiful I had ever seen, worth the 11 years of design and handwork that had crafted it, it only complimented her, never out showing her beauty. I watched enviously as they looked longingly at each other as if there was no one else in the room. Jacob had that same goofy grin that hadn't seemed to leave his face, not even for a second, which had been plastered all week and now miraculously grew even bigger today.
I continued to watch as more couples made it out on to the dance floor. Times like this I had wished I had brought a date, but that was not even an option for me. I grabbed my empty glass of water and began chewing on the ice that was let. As my eyes grazed across the dance floor, they landed on Edward who was dancing with his wife Bella. An involuntary smile formed on my lips that I couldn't help. I could no longer look at him the same way again…not after I knew what happened at the Bachelor party. The vision of him, courtesy of Jacob, being almost mauled by that drag queen flashed in my mind. It was a scavenger hunt mission gone bad. His eyes immediately narrowed at me and I mouthed an apology. He rolled his eyes and looked back to smile at Bella who was looking at him suspiciously. I was ordered by Jacob that I was to keep my mouth shut about the incident and I was in no way allowed to tell Nessie, though I had been dying to. But because he was the Alpha and I respected his effort on making sure he kept things on good terms with his new father-in-law (which was weird for me to imagine since Edward looked so much younger than Jake) I had to comply. I couldn't help that it sometimes popped in my head, especially when I needed a good laugh.
After Jacob's bachelor party, I looked at all of the Cullen men differently. I always thought of them slightly uptight, so overly proper, well maybe not so much Emmett but the rest of them were so serious all of the time. So being part of the pack, secrets of what they did at the bachelor party was something that they just couldn't keep from me. I would have been a bit smug about being the only girl to know what happened at this top secret testosterone induced outing that they were making it out to be if I hadn't wanted to tell someone what they did so badly. It was too hilarious to keep a secret. While Emmett and Seth planned the elaborate scavenger hunt, Jasper and Edward had planned an even more elaborate game of capture the flag. Which in itself is not that funny but what was, is how into it they all got. Imagine all of them, even Dr. Cullen, in all cameos from head to toe, even their face was painted in cameo. I quickly glanced over to him as he was dancing with his wife Esme. God, it was so weird.
Ten years ago, such a game between vampires and us wolves would have been hard to imagine without someone losing their temper or possibly a fatal casualty. But the tie that bonded us all together, Jacob and Nessie, had made us much like family over the years. And though, I still sometimes resent the vampires for coming, being the catalyst that turned me into what I was today and losing Sam, was completely overshadowed at the peace I saw fall on all of us and the love that we all had for each other that seemed to grow over the years.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, had seemed to be my life motto. This was my 15th wedding this year alone that I was a bridesmaid in. But this wedding was different, since it was a wedding of my two closest friends. Everyone else had put me in their wedding party just because it was a great honor to have an Alpha and a Beta to be apart of your wedding. Jake had been in just as many weddings as I.
I tried to date; I really gave it my best effort. But it was useless. Any connection that I might have made with someone from the opposite sex could never be as strong and nearly as satisfying as a relationship with an imprint would be. How I wished for blissful ignorance. It is unfortunate that I, being part of the pack, knew exactly how it felt. I had seen it and felt it through my pack brothers. As much as I wanted to just settle for something second best, I just couldn't.
I looked back at the bouquet of flowers that I had caught that was still sitting on the table. I bit my bottom lip as I admitted to myself that deep down I still did have a small glimmer of hope that it would still happen for me. No matter how cynical I was, no matter how much I tried to convince myself, I could be happy with just myself, I still allowed myself to hoped. One day, it would be me dancing with my new husband on that dance floor. One day, I would be just as happy and in love as everyone else was.
I looked up to find Claire, who was moving not very successfully in the same brides maid dress as I, stumbling in her heels, making her way to our table balancing two plates stacked with an array of different types of deserts. Usually she moved with more grace, this was just a clear sign that she had a lot to drink tonight. Quil would be having a good time in the bedroom tonight. Tipsy Claire was always a huge turn on to him…she had less inhibitions. It's sick that I know that.
"My diet officially starts tomorrow," she said as she sat down next to me, immediately picking up a chocolate covered strawberry and shoving it into her mouth.
"Claire, you look great. There is no reason why you would need to go on a diet," I said to her as I picked up a chocolate truffle off of one of her plates. She did look good; I would have told her if she didn't. It's not in my nature to lie and honestly, I'm just blunt like that.
"Are you kidding me? Do you know how hard it is to have best friends who all have amazing bodies? If I didn't love you all so much, I'd hate you all. I'd really, really hate all of you."
I smiled at her. Sometimes I felt that way being standing beside Annabel or Nessie, whose beauty was out of this world. You couldn't help it but compare, it's the nature of women, I guess. But I was secretly pleased that she had put me in the same category as them.
She took another piece of dessert and took a bite. I watched her chew slowly and then sighed.
"How I wish I had your metabolism, Leah. If I did, I would take that chocolate fountain," she said pointing to the corner where the desserts and the over the top wedding cake was displayed, "and I would make Quil install it in our foyer and I would keep it on constantly. It would be awesome. Chocolate deliciousness anytime I want. "
I laughed as she said this with such a very serious face as if she was seriously considering it. That was a big bonus of this life I had acquired. Because my body's heat ran a lot hotter than normal, and shifting seemed to burn a lot of calories, I was always hungry, could eat whatever I wanted and never gain an ounce of fat. Small price to pay for love, I suppose.
"You know you look good and either way Quil would still be obsessed with you, no matter what size you were."
I watched her look across the room to Quil who was talking with Emmett. As if he sensed she was staring at him, he looked over to her a flashed a smile. She waved back and turned back to me.
"You're probably right," she said with her mouth still full but still grabbing for the next piece to put in her mouth. "These are sooo good!"
I heard two giggling girls coming up from behind me. I turned around to find my two other best friends, making their way to our table. Nessie's arm was Annabel's shoulders and Annabel was pulling her forward.
Nessie flopped down on the chair.
"I am worn out!" she said as she tried to put her feet up on another chair but was slightly awkward by her big white dress.
"You better not be too worn out. Jacob with be disappointed," Claire said as she picked at the piece of cake on her plate.
"He only waited 11 years for tonight," Annabel said teasingly.
Nessie rolled her eyes, in the exact same way her father does.
"I defiantly won't be too tired for that. I waited 11 years too!" she said laughing. "I can't wait for the honeymoon. 15 more hours!"
I smirked at her. She had been counting down since last year to her honeymoon. The wedding was just an obstacle to get through to get to the honeymoon to her. Jacob was taking her across Europe, a trip that he had saved and planned since he proposed. They would be gone for a few weeks and then would return back to New York City to start school with all of us. I would have probably been just as excited if I had a father as strict as hers and one that could unfortunately read minds. All that suppressed sexual frustration was just dying to come out. I just hoped the three weeks would be enough to get it out of their system. Hopefully they would do it so often, they would be so sick of having sex they couldn't even think about it, especially Jacob.
I watched as Jake made his way to our table, whispering something in Nessie's ear and gently caressing his lips to her neck and then walked away. I internally groaned. My wish being granted seemed very unlikely. It had been near unbearable shifting with Jacob who seemed to find it impossible to keep his fantasies to himself over the past year.
We sat for a while, chatting and goofing off like we always do when the four of us are together. I liked our tight group that we formed together. Each of us was so different from one another, not just in personalities but in species as well: a vampire, a half-vampire, a shifter and a human. But we all found common ground within each other and loved one another as sisters. I should be happy with what I have. I had amazing friends and amazing family. I was living in New York City, in my own amazing town home, getting to go to college this year…for fun. I should be happy. But as the end of the night was drawing near, and one by one, my best friends left with their husbands, I couldn't help but feel utterly sad and so utterly alone as I made my way by myself to my room.
It's funny how a day can start out just like any normal day but ends up being one that alters your life forever. Everything starts out normal, doing your typical routine of waking up, taking a shower going throughout your day completely oblivious to what is about to come. It would have been nice to have a warning of sorts to let you know what was to come, someone to tell you to enjoy the last few hours of your life because soon your world will be turned upside down.
Yes, that would have been nice.
It hit me hard when it finally happened. Like getting the wind knocked out of you. I almost fell out of my seat when I saw him. I wanted to march over to him and say, "Where the hell have you been?!" But instead, I couldn't make it out of my seat. I sat there in shock, my legs frozen and unable to move. All I did was sit there and stare at the back of his head.
It was the first day of my economics class at New York University. I was sitting in a large lecture room waiting for class to begin. I glanced at the clock that sat high on the wall behind me. I made it early to class purely by accident. It didn't take as long to get there as I anticipate. I sighed as I pulled out my planner out and was doodling on it to pass the time.
A girl with dark brown bob that outlined her face sat down next to me and introduced herself as Jenny or Penny, I couldn't remember. Her thick black glasses danced on her face as she repeatedly pushed them back up on her nose as she droned on and on about nothing. I smiled and nodded my head to be polite. But really, I just wanted her to shut up. I had no interest in making friends. I was content with the friends I have and it was really unrealistic to let anyone in my circle. It would be safest for them to keep my distance.
I kept my eyes on my planner, skillfully coloring in all of the Es, Bs, and Ps in word September. Jenny or Penny went on and on about how excited she was to finally be in college. I smiled, lied and said I felt just as excited starting my first year as well. Unfortunately this was my 3rd time I would be starting my freshman year. To be honest, I was in my 30s pretending to be 19 years old.
I looked up from my planner and looked at the clock behind me, praying that time somehow moved faster. As I looked back to the front of the classroom, my eyes caught sight of two guys coming into the classroom and walking up the steps to find their seats. It was hard to miss the first guy. He was as tall as my pack brothers and maybe just as wide. I silently wondered how he would fit in the seat. He stepped aside, carefully making it through the aisle, when he came into view. It hit me like a wreaking ball, enough for me to grasp the edge of the desk. Instantly my world was shifted and he became the center. Our eyes met for a brief second and I was taken aback at the color of them. They were a color I had never seen before. I have seen many blue eyes before, some lighter than others, but this color was unique. If I could give the color a name it would be silver bullet blue. It was bright blue color that had a touch of silver in them. It stood prominently against his tan skin and dark brown hair that I desperately wanted to run my hands through. He was tall and lean. I could see his muscles press against his white t-shirt. I watched him make his way through the aisle and sit down next to the big guy he came in with. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I could hear my desk legs squeak against the floor as I unconsciously moved forward as if there was a tight elastic rope pulling me to him. I immediately wanted to get up and sit next to him. But like a coward, I just sat there and continued to stare at the back of his head.
I watched the big guy lean into him.
"Did you see that hot brunette back there?" the big guy whispered to him. I watch him slightly nod his head.
I had never been more thankful for my superior hearing than I was now, hoping that they were talking about me. If I wanted I could listen to the lecture down the hall. It was nice to eavesdrop, even if it was impolite. I quickly took inventory of other brunettes behind me. I saw a few pretty brunette's in the class and started to wonder who they had been talking about.
"Too bad she is out of your league," the big guy joked.
"No one is out of my league," I heard him say; a little taken aback at how serious he sounded. I gazed at the perfect profile of his face and decided that he was probably right. I couldn't imagine any girl saying no to him.
"Lucas Westcott," A whisper said next to me. I looked to see Jenny or Penny smiling back at me.
"What?" I whispered back.
"That's who you are staring at. His name is Lucas Westcott," she said.
I looked back over to him and I saw his ears slightly perk up.
Westcott? I thought. Where have I heard that before?
"As in Westcott Hotels and Condominiums, Westcott Enterprises and Westcott Tower. His family basically owns all of New York City," she continued to whisper. "I don't even know why he is going to school. I'm sure he is just going to take over the family business from his father."
"Maybe he doesn't want to take over the family business," I said softly, my eyes still focused on the back of his head.
"I highly doubt he has a choice."
I frowned wondering if Lucas was unhappy.
"See that big guy next to him?" Jenny or Penny said. I quickly looked back at her to find her practically jumping of anticipation to tell me. She was excited to share the gossip with me.
"He is always with him. I heard that he was trying to pass as his cousin or something, but rumor is that it's his body guard."
"Bodyguard? Why would he need a bodyguard?"
"His older brother, who was supposed to take over the business, was murdered a few years ago. Lucas is the only one left to take over. I heard his father is so afraid of loosing another son; he won't let him go out without a bodyguard. Especially with the crime rate in this city continues to sky rocketing."
I started to analyze Lucas even more. He definitely didn't look like a man who needed a body to take care of him. With those piercing eyes and body, he looked more like a threat than someone who was vulnerable. The word beautiful didn't describe him well enough. His look was far too dangerous for that.
"Extremely hot, right?" she asked.
"He's… cute," I said trying to sound nonchalant about it. Though I'm sure my body language said otherwise. She raised her eyebrow to me in disbelief.
"Well, he is as cocky as he is hot."
I smirked at her comment.
The teacher strolled in and finally started class. I didn't pay much attention to the lecture as I was still completely enthralled with Lucas. I tried to think of what my next move would be. Should I try and catch him after class? What would I say to him? I love you and we are soul mates? No, that would be too soon. I could just introduce myself. That sounds a lot better. I tried to think of how my pack brothers did this when they first imprinted. Jacob imprinted on Nessie when she was just a baby. So, there was no big introduction there. All he had to do was pick her up and play peak-a-boo for an hour and she was in love, same with Quil. Seth imprinted on Annabel when she had come over to the Cullen's house for dinner so many years ago. After that dinner, he had gone to see her at her house. She seemed just as taken aback as Seth was. Lucas, even though his back was facing me, didn't seem that interested at all. He never turned back to look at me. He seemed relaxed and completely unaware I was even in the room. A flash of worry shot through me. Was it possible for the person you imprint on not feel the same way you do? Everyone one of my pack brothers that imprinted on someone, everything worked out beautifully. All of their imprints were just as obsessed with them as they were.
The cynical side started coming out. Of course it wouldn't work out for you. It is life's crazy way of laughing at you. Nothing goes as you want it to, remember? I was Leah, destined to be alone and miserable. My track record in the love department had never gone well. Whenever I though I might just have a slice of what true happiness of what love was like, it is quickly snatched away from me before I ever had time to enjoy it.
My feelings for Sam had changed over the years. I knew what he had with Emily been something he couldn't deny. I spent a lot of time hating him for it, trying to find ways to punish him for it too. I wanted everyone to know how miserable I was those first years I was in his pack. But could you blame me? Being part of his pack made everything even that much worse. I knew everything about his new relationship. His first kiss, the first touch, everything. I could exactly how he felt when he looked at Emily. It was a constant reminder that of what I never would be to him…what I never really was. And I hated him and I hated the Cullens for taking my piece of happiness that I had. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if they never came back to that rainy town called Forks. Would I be happily married to Sam? Would I have been happy? Breaking away from Sam's pack was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was then I began to accept the cards that were placed in front of me. I took pride in being the only female shape shifter between both packs. It made me feel special….unique and one of a kind. I especially loved being Jacob's beta. I cherished being second in command, telling all those smart ass pack brothers what to do. I couldn't help but feel a bit self-righteous about it.
"I told you she wasn't out of my league. She said I was cute," Lucas whispered to the big guy.
"She only said cute. Puppies are cute…babies are cute," the big guy said.
Lucas snorted at him.
My stomach dropped. How could he have heard me from all the way here? But before I could grasp that concept, I felt a wave of excitement when I realized that I was the hot brunette they were talking about. My attention was brought back for a second as I watched Lucas get up from his seat and walk out of the classroom. I didn't realize class had ended. I got up quickly trying to gather my things as fast as I could to catch up to him, but it was nearly impossible with so many people walking down the aisle way. I tried to slide through everyone as fast as I could trying not to be rude about it. As I made it out of the building I was looking all around for him. My eyes caught him getting into the back seat of an expensive town car. The driver was holding the door for him. Before I caught up to the car, the door was shut. I stood there as the car started to drive away, deciding that I would be treading on crazy if I were to run up to the car and start knocking on the window. But just before the car would be lost in the traffic, I saw him turn around and look out the back window. I could have sworn he was looking right at me.
I didn't know what to do. I don't know how long I stood there, staring down the street at the path that his car took off in. I wanted to follow. I was upset at myself for not just going up to him and at the very least introducing myself. This is what I mean when I said some warning would have been nice. I could have planned ahead to what I would say to my imprint for the first time. I would have rehearsed it and our first meeting would have been perfect. Instead, I just stood there on the sidewalk; with I'm sure a dopy look on my face looking like an idiot. I shifted my bag on my shoulder and decided it was best just to go home. I decided not to take the subway and walk the many blocks to my townhouse.
I loved my home. It was given to me by Jake as a birthday present. Apparently the extravagant Cullen gift giving had rubbed off on him. I wasn't complaining. I walked, lost in my head, thinking about Lucas and how I would have handled the whole situation a lot differently. Before I knew it, I was at home. As I walked in I heard voices in my kitchen. I sighed as I really didn't want company. All I wanted to do was take a bath or lounge around and watch TV. It was the first night that Jake hadn't put me on patrol. With our numbers growing, I was thankful that I did not patrol as often as I used to. I almost lived a normal life.
I walked into my kitchen to find Claire, Annabel and Nessie talking at the table. They always escaped to my place when they needed time some girl time away from the husbands. There were never any men at my place. I never allowed any of the pack at my place, they are complete slobs and they eat all your food. As I walked in the kitchen, setting my bag on the floor, they all stopped talking and turned to look at me. I bit my bottom lip. Oh god, I thought. Can they tell?
"There is something different about you," Claire said as her eyebrows furrowed and she squinted at me as if a closer look would help her figure it out.
"Really?" I said trying to act nonchalant. "I bought some new makeup."
"No…that's not it," Annabel said. "And you didn't get new makeup. I raided your bathroom when I got here."
I gave her a questioning look.
"You always find really nice lip glosses," she said shrugging her shoulder.
"So if you lied about buying new makeup then…you must be hiding something," Nessie said.
I laughed nervously.
"You guys are crazy. I'm going to change into some sweat pants," I said walking out of the kitchen as fast as I could.
I made it to my bedroom, pulling my sweats and quickly changing into them. I didn't bother going back into the kitchen. I laid on my bed with my arm covering my eyes. I hoped that maybe they would get the idea that I just wanted to be alone and leave, but I could hear them coming…well I could hear Claire coming and only assumed the other two were right there with her. I picked up Nessie's scent to my right, Annabel on my left and Claire by my feet. I sighed and opened my eyes. They were all sitting on my bed looking at me.
"It happened, didn't it?" Nessie said her eyes wide. "You imprinted."
A/N: Thanks again for reading. Reviews are appreciated!