So here's the wrap up. Not as long as the last two chapters, but it was needed. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have enjoyed my drabble. I know I'm satisfied with the way I could find a happy ending (if only in my mind) for these two beloved characters.
A few things to address as to the reviews:
1. Yes, I know Leah is OOC... duh! The werewolves go through major personality changes when they imprint. And you can tell she has a great capacity to love if only given the chance, which I tried to do in this fic.
2. And this was never meant to go over more than five chapters. I'm surprised how many positive reviews came back on this; I never actually meant for it to go this far. Now I know why I can't do oneshots, I have way too many ideas to settle on one scene.
And if anyone happens to know Michael Welch's number, send him my way! heehee...
Hmm, that sparks the thought of who they are going to pick for Leah in the movies. I hope they cast better for her character than they did for Bella. *shudders, sorry Kristen, hon, but let's face it, your face is perpetually pinched and doesn't show any emotion. You were happier to get that ugly truck than you were when you ever saw lovely Robbie (who needs to learn how to use a comb outside of the make-up room!).
Okay, I'm done. No more soap box (Has anyone ever understood that expression? A soap box? There's that one scene in that cartoon, Brave Little Toaster, where the toaster throws down a box marked Soap and gives a speech to his friends, but I've never seen anyone else make a reference to that saying. It's so wierd if you think about it...)
Oh sorry! Now, I'm finished, I promise!
Read the story and Review. Stephanie Meyer holds copyright claims.
The low afternoon sun came through the windows and captured the dancing dust motes in Mike's bedroom.
The glossy pages slid against each other as I turned the next page. A rare Western Bluebird was sitting on its nest with a patient expression. The image was taken from six different angles and truly looked spectacular.
The opposite page held several pictures of a single badger. The lighting and angles were just as brilliant.
"Hey, here's that brochure of apartments on campus," came Mike's voice from somewhere in the closet.
His head popped out the sliding doors and he was holding up a three-folded purple paper triumphantly. I took a moment to appreciate the sight of his bare torso above his khaki shorts as he dropped the folded pamphlet on the open album in my lap.
"Go ahead and keep it. Look through it and pick out which ones you like best." He blushed as he smiled at me, but otherwise didn't seem too affected by the implications of what he was saying. It was really amazing how well he had already adapted to this new outlook on his life.
I folded the rumple brochure and stuck it in my back pocket as Mike disappeared into his messy closet again. Hockey sticks, tennis rackets, and baseball gloves in increasing sizes spilled from the closet. And the only things actually hung up included football gear and a snow suit. I wondered where he was looking for his clothes.
While his car might be nicely organized, it didn't quite extend to Mike's messy room. The bed I was sitting was made-up at least, even though it looked like it had been hastily thrown together. It wasn't as bad as Seth's room at least.
But there was some order to the chaos. The junk in the corner, including a microwave and an extra desk lamp, must be the college dorm supplies in their summer holiday storage. And the pile of heavy books on the desk looked like old textbooks. The bookcase held CD's, novels, and comic books, each on their own respective shelves, but haphazardly shoved in every which way.
Everything else in the room seemed to be hanging from the countless baseball, football, basketball, and tennis trophies that covered every little spare inch of space. It was quite a collection, to be able to use the different gold figurines as hangers for the baseball caps and Mardi Gras beads. I couldn't the small spark of pride for all his accomplishments. The very best of which I was holding in my hands.
I turned to the next page of the album and found the famous red-fox pictures. The vixen was looking directly at the camera in one shot, like some diva who was telling the photographer he was lucky to have the honor to be in her presence let alone take her picture.
And the pups were wrestling and rolling about on the leaves, taking swipes at each other with their little paws and biting each other playfully. The quality really was incredible. You could almost reach out and stroke the fine orange fur on the pups' head.
A small white slip of paper fell out of the back of the album and my hand whipped out to catch it before it fell to the floor. It was a receipt to the copy store in town, for ten copies on film paper. Eight dollars addition had been added for captions. The date and time at the top of the paper said the transaction had taken place last night at seven twenty-three.
I glanced around the room and spotted the first-class envelope sitting on Mike's dresser. He was still rummaging in some drawer inside the closet, and it wasn't like I was completely snooping. I was just curiously investigating.
Tip-toeing over to the dresser, I picked up the cardboard envelope. The front address was labeled National Geographic Natural Photography Contest. Unable to resist, I opened the envelope and peeked inside. There were the exact same images I had been admiring moments before: the pretty Western Bluebird, the grouchy-looking badger, and the family of foxes. Clear block letters across each picture read Not Original and a cover letter with an application form were stuck in the back.
"So which one do you like be-" Mike cut off as he stepped out of the closet and saw what I was holding.
I looked at him with glowing eyes. "You're going to send them in?"
He smiled warmly as he adjusted the collar on his unbuttoned white dress shirt. Underneath was an orange T-shirt, and the cowry shell necklace gave him a surfer look. It was quite dashing.
"You're the one who encouraged me," he said. "And I figured I should take advantage of the rest of the summer months while I'm home. It's going to be hard finding willing subjects in California. The first prize of the contest is a five thousand dollar scholarship and an internship next spring."
I smiled at him and couldn't resist throwing my arms around him, my heart swelling with hope and adoration. "Oh, Mike. I'm so happy for you."
His finger curled around my chin and lifted my face up to his. "It's all thanks to you, Leah. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. You get all the credit." And his lips brushed mine softly.
"You know, I happen to have one of the best noses around. Instead of waiting around for animals to come to you, I could take you right to them," I said.
His eyes widened as he recognized the implications of the golden opportunity in the suggestion. You could almost see the possibilities unfolding in his expression. "Leah, that would be... unprecedentedly amazing!"
I grinned more broadly, so happy to see him pleased.
"We could even explore some locations inaccessible to a walking human," I offered. It was really breath-taking to watch his blue eyes lighting up in excitement. I wanted to make sure I did it repeatedly and often.
"I'm quite sure there has to be a rule somewhere about exploiting your powers, Leah. Something about not using ancient talents to further yours or others' benefits?"
"Oh, rubbish! If I'm cursed to be furry, I might as well enjoy what I can get out of it," I scoffed.
"I wouldn't call it cursed," he said softly, his fingers stroking down my cheek. "You look beautiful when you transform. Strong, fierce, majestic... say Leah, what would you say to posing for a photo spread? We could set it up just the right distance away to make you look like a regular-sized wolf, and you could give me model images that have never been seen."
"Oh, well..." I wasn't sure if I was wiling to go that far. And despite what I had said, I did feel slightly offended that he was hoping to exploit my other form.
"Just a passing thought, Leah. We really don't have to. Although,..." he paused to waggle his eyebrows at me, "any pictures of you in your human form I would selfishly keep to myself. Displayed in a secret album for me to look at when you have to go home for the night."
"Oh," I gasped. He just knew what to say to make everything alright again!
I fairly attacked him with the next round of kisses. He wasn't expecting my sudden burst of strength, and I had forgotten to warn him. We both ended up on his bed, him beneath me, and it had happened too fast for his human senses to follow. His starlted expression at our suddenly new position was so cute!
"Whoa, girl. Nice doggie," he teased when he regained his bearings.
"Ahem! Excuse me?" I grabbed his wrists and pined them by his head, trying hard to scowl down at him.
"I mean, Big Bad She-Wolf."
"That's what I thought." I released his wrists and clutched his shirt collar, pulling his face back to mine in a false show of strength. (As if I would ever do anything that would really hurt him.)
Mike didn't mind though; slowing down my desperate kisses to a more leisurely pace. His hands stroked up the sides of my arms, creating a more gentle mood than my aggressive start. I melted into the calming effect. He had a way of pulling me back from my more violent tendencies, and I liked it a lot.
Our lips parted. I snuggled into him, feeling adored at his acceptance, and cherished in his embrace. There was truly nothing so wonderful and comforting than settling into his arms like his. The few moments of inner peace I had known in my life always seemed to originate from this position.
"Leah, Mike? Aren't you two going to be late for dinner? I could throw a few more chops on the grill if you kids want to stay here," called Mr. Newton from downstairs.
"We're leaving, Dad," Mike called back, then he took a second to press a quick kiss to my lips.
We walked downstairs hand in hand. Mr. Newton grinned at us and waved cheerfully good-bye. Mrs. Newton, who was sitting at the kitchen counter, waved skeptically at us. I hoped her slight animosity towards us was only due to the fact that I was dating her youngest son, but at least Mr. Newton had approved of us straightaway. Maybe Mike's mom wouldn't hold out for long. She seemed like a no-nonsense type of lady.
Seth had gotten his driver's license at the beginning of summer. And despite my constant worries that the collision statistics in La Push would rise, he had managed to drop me off at Mike's house in one piece. He had been in a hurry to get home though, something about meeting Jacob before the cookout. This turned out great because Mike could drive us there and drive himself home afterward.
"So aren't you going to give me the meet-the-parents speech before we get there?" asked Mike after we had gotten out of his neighborhood. Our hands were intertwined across the armrest again, our fingers twisting and playing with each other.
"Why should I? You didn't give me one before meeting your parents," I teased. He just rolled his eyes and murmured something about his parents being Forks celebrities.
"Mike, my mom is thrilled to meet you. There's nothing for you to worry about." Except staying as far away from my pack brothers as possible.
"Then I'll trust you to know what's best for me, Leah," he said with a smile, quoting me from the other night.
Unfortunately, I knew exactly what was best for him. Staying away from this barbecue. And I was betraying his trust by bringing him anyway.
But he had insisted! I was conflicted between giving in to his desires and protecting him from himself. I was so nervous about what was about to happen tonight that I could feel my meal from lunch hours ago threatening to make another appearance.
Surprisingly though, I didn't feel the overwhelming need to shift forms in the face of this extreme emotion.
Huh, that was peculiar. I should be feeling the change rippling across me and fighting the urge with all my might, but I only felt sick to my stomach and nothing else.
It couldn't be just because Mike's fingers were intertwined with mine and settling the worst of my nerves... could it?
Even yesterday, when I finally allowed myself to shift after the long dry-spell, I turned it off again so soon afterward.
The stories said that the changes became less frequent with time. That once a wolf calmed down a bit, he (or she) could completely stop the shifts and become human again, growing old and normal healing rates and everything.
Of course, I was the exception of the rules, because I was female. And the technical trait that had made me female had dried-up when I got frozen in werewolf time.
Fifteen years, I had been told. That was the minimum it had taken my forefathers to step back into mortality, for the fires rolling around inside to become still again. In fifteen years I could have the shifting under control and my 'girl-stuff' might pick up where it left off. Might being the key word.
But it made sense that it should. I had Mike now, so there had to be some form of natural selection that had proved me fit for survival.
But what if-- if I dared even hope against hope-- that by imprinting on Mike, the solidifying process had somehow begun early? It wasn't like I could wait for Mike to grow much older, so what if I might be getting a Get-out-of-Shift Free card because there had to be more puppies to carry on the werewolf genetics?
This time last week, I would have been running around trying to find a fight to let off some steam. I didn't want to now. There didn't seem to be any steam in me anymore, just a lot of anxiety for Mike's state of mind.
Even yesterday I had been angry with my brothers for what they would unintentionally do to Mike, but there was no anger now. Just a strong urge of protectiveness of him, a little sadness and disappointment too. But I was even hoping to avoid a fight. Maybe my fire was burning-out quicker than the others.
Oh! That was definitely something to be happy about!
I always knew there would be an advantage to being a female someday!
My hand instinctively dropped to my stomach, and all my sorrow over my lost chances were swept away. It was kind of funny, because I had thought my maternal instincts had dried up with my body, but now I couldn't get the image of blue-eyed puppies out of my mind.
Not yet, of course. But someday, sooner than anyone had predicted, Mike and I could rejoice in what it meant to have been the only female werewolf.
And it was all thanks to him!
My grip on Mike's hand had tightened. He looked over at me and smiled, squeezing back slightly, and my heart soared.
I was going to be free, sooner than the rest of them. And my life was going to be complete with Mike beside me.
Leaning back in my seat, I closed my eyes and spent the rest of the car ride thanking whoever had listened to my prayers.
"Here we are," Mike announced when we reached La Push's park. He put the car in park and looked over at me as I scanned the crowd of people arriving.
Ever since December when the seven new recruits had popped out of their wolfie shells, a lot more families in La Push had been invited to the group functions. A lot of the parents of the young kids did not know the secret, so the veteran parents like my mom and Billy tried to ease their worries and support the boys, encouraging the distressed parents to keep giving them the benefit of the doubt.
I glanced back at Mike. "You ready for this?" I asked him.
I bit my lip, not quite sure. Although no one in my pack or immediate family would argue with Destiny's decision of my mate, the others would still unmistakably doubt me for bringing a white boy to dinner. This had to be karma for all the crap I had once given Jacob about letting Bella in on tribal secrets.
Oh, well. Their opinion hardly mattered. Small-minded people would have to learn to butt-out. I was happy, for goodness' sake! An emotion I had thought had been lost to me forever.
I lifted Mike's hand and held the back of his palm to my cheek, taking a moment to savor his cooler temperature.
"Okay, let's do this," I said, smiling affectionately at him.
Before he let me get out of the car, his hand curled around my head and pulled me closer for a deep kiss. The gesture eased my nerves considerably. "I probably won't get to do that anymore tonight with your mom watching, so do you think that can last us until tomorrow?"
"It will have to." I said and pressed one more kiss on him.
We got out of the car and started toward the gathered group of friends. The sun's rays were streaking orange lines across the sky above the pine trees. The needles mashed beneath our feet gave off a sweet smell. The atmosphere in the group of werewolf families was welcoming and cozy. It felt so wonderful to be here. And with Michael walking beside me, I felt like there could be no where else I belonged.
I spotted my mom setting up the assorted salads at one of the picnic table tables and led Mike over to her.
"Mom," I called. She turned and her eyes lit up when she saw us.
"This is Mike Newton, Mom."
"It's a pleasure, Mrs. Clearwater," Mike said, and from somewhere in a back pocket he produced a scented, red paper flower. Bowing slightly, he presented it to my mother.
Mom's eyes widened, but then they warmed and she accepted his small offer, completley charmed by the gesture. "It's wonderful to meet you, Mike. Leah's told me a lot about you."
Mom sniffed the flower and stuck it behind her ear. Then she took his arm and turned to the other gathered guests, motioning a few over.
"Mike, I would like to introduce Billy Black. He's Jacob's father." Mike shook Billy's hand, and then mom introduced Mike to various others.
He smiled to them all politely and even made jokes with Billy. I was beaming with the pride I felt and inwardly sighing with relief. There were one or two guests who raised questioning eyebrows, but Mike's perkiness and laughter won them over in mere seconds. It was another needless worry I had gotten myself worked up for.
"Where are the guys?" I asked Billy as Mike was talking to Claire's mother; the three-year-old girl was squirming in her mother's arms, obviously looking for her favorite six-foot Barbie doll. None of the wolves from Jacob or Sam's pack were present.
"Secret meeting. Jacob said they'll be by later."
I scowled. "Why wasn't I told? Am I suddenly no longer a member of the pack because I'm expected to settle down and get married?"
Billy smiled secretly. "I believe it was some special present to do with you, Leah."
A present? For me? Why would they go and do something that? It didn't make any sense.
But before I could ask Billy for more details, another sharp scent filled the air.
"Oh great. Looks like Bella and Edward brought Renesme for Jacob," I commented, turning to the back of the park where the eastern sky was darkening.
The two white figures came out of the shadows, a little girl the size of a five-year-old clutching Bella's neck.
"Who's that with Edward?" asked Mike. He must have heard me mention the familar names.
I glanced back at him, not sure how to explain with all these uninformed humans around. Mike saw the apprehension in my face and wrapped one arm around my shoulders protectively as we faced the newcomers. It was a useless gesture, of course, but it still felt nice.
I heard Edward stop about twenty feet away, glaring at Mike. With a tiny hiss, I stepped in front of his line of vision. Edward's expression abruptly changed into one of disbelief. He looked over to Bella, who only nodded, and a bemused expression spread across his face.
I did not want to take Mike over there.
Did not! Did not! Did not!
Except he was looking down at me expectantly, wanting an answer to his question, and interested in the couple who were once his friends.
I sighed. "Come on, Mike. I might as well get this out of the way." I took his hand and led him over to the wretched smell.
As much as I wished otherwise, they were family, in a way, and Mike needed to know about them.
Edward looked like he was going to throw up with the laughter he was holding back. The murderous thoughts I aimed at him were the only thing that kept him from bursting his lungs out. He kept coughing and clearing his throat to prevent that outcome.
"It's nice to see you again, Mike," said Bella in her bell-like voice. (I snorted softly at the thought. Her name now matched the physical trait.)
"Bella? Whoa, it can't be you. What happened to you?" said Mike.
He tried to take a step closer, but I kept my stance at the six-foot distance, refusing to get a full whiff of the smell. Mike glanced back to me and I sent him a reluctant plea, begging him not to make me go closer, although I would if he really willed it. Thankfully, Mike stepped back to my side and didn't press me for a reason.
"It's okay, Leah," said Bella, drawing Mike's attention back to her. "You see, even though we are allies, we are still natural enemies. It goes against instinct to be in close proximities."
"Natural enemies? What are you, Bella?" Mike looked back to me and measured the disgust on my face. "Oh no. Don't tell me... the cold ones? Seriously?!"
He looked back at Edward accusingly. "All this time? All through high school and everything? But Bella, that would mean you... you knew?"
Bella nodded slowly. "I knew all along. It didn't influence my decision at all." She glanced at her husband and beamed.
"S-So you... you volunteered...? Oh my god!" He took a step back, watching them both warily. I put a foot in front of him, sheltering him from the objects of his fear and glaring at the two of them.
"We aren't going to attack." Edward said exasperated.
"B-But Bella," Mike kept staring at her disbelievingly, not seeming to have even heard Edward. "You wanted this? You wanted to be... Oh God, you're... you're dead!?"
At least he's reacting at the right level of freak-out mode, I thought.
Bella's eyes were kind as she returned Mike's gaze and smiled slightly at him. "Do I look dead, Mike? I've given up a lot of human things, but I'm not dead. And I have enough of a conscience to stay away from murdering helpless humans."
"Is she serious?" Mike turned to me for an explanation. He didn't look particularly afraid, just wary. I was glad. If these... people were upsetting my Michael, I would've had to send them away. And it would've pained Jacob if Renesme left.
I saw Edward roll his eyes at that thought.
"None of us can understand it either," I told Mike. "She was somehow blinded by infatuation and gave up mortality for her hubby."
"I like to think of it as giving up human weakness to spend eternity with my soul-mate," Bella said breezily, apparently not at all offended by the thoughts others had of her decision.
Mike was still shaking his head at her incredulously. He turned to Edward. "And you just let her throw her humanity away? I thought you loved her!"
"Of course I do! If I had my way, Bella would be starting her sophomore year in New Hampshire. We fought the whole way until I had to change her in order to save her life," Edward argued.
Mike's eyes widened. "You were going to die, Bella? How?"
"It's a long story Mike. Maybe I'll tell you someday."
The child in Bella's arms had been listening to the conversation patiently, but she didn't look too interested. When Bella paused, the girl tapped her hand to her Bella's cheek. Bella looked around swiftly, then down at the child and shook her head.
Renesme looked agitated and she leaned over towards Edward. "Daddy, where is Jacob?"
Edward turned to me for explanation, and since I couldn't help the knowledge that sprang into my head anyway, I answered Renesme's question. "He'll be by soon."
"Daddy?" asked Mike, looking from the girl to Edward, and then turning to Bella suspiciously.
Bella smiled and lifted Renseme higher in her arms. "This is our daughter, Mike. Say hello Renesme."
"Hello," she chirped, then glanced around the assorted guests, still looking for Jacob.
Mike was shaking his head at Bella again. "Should I even bother asking?" he posed the question to me.
"It's another long story," I replied.
Mike murmured something that sounded like "crazy" and Edward glared at him, not liking whatever he was reading in Mike's thoughts.
I snarled at Edward in warning. He should be grateful Mike wasn't pining for Bella anymore, not scorning him for finding her repulsive!
Edward must have heard the wisdom in my thoughts because he started trying to hold back snickers again. I huffed in exasperation, wanting to leave and take Mike back to normal people like my mom and Billy.
Before we could turn around, however, Renesme squealed, "Jacob!" and my Alpha was bounding into sight.
Renesme reached for him as he reached for her; Bella relinquished her hold without complaint.
"Nessie, Nessie, Nessie," Jacob crooned, lifting the girl up in the air above his head. She smiled down at him with her abnormally white shiny teeth. Then he attacked her with quick tickling kisses on her neck, at which Renesme shrieked with delight .
"Um, is this normal?" Mike stepped close and whispered softly to me. It took me a second to focus on his words because his soft breath sent shivers down my spine.
"Nessie is to Jacob what you are to me," I explained softly. Mike's eyes almost bugged out of his head again. I patted his arm reassuringly. "I'll explain later, but they don't have the type of relationship we have."
He nodded, seeming dazed.
Quil approached us, holding a bouncing Claire in his arms. He shot me a secretive smile, glancing quickly at Mike then back to Jacob.
Huh? What was that smile about?
"I'm so glad you came, Nessie," said Quil. "Claire was asking about you."
"Nessie!" Claire squealed, squirming to be put down. Renesme saw her friend and wanted down too. The little girls took each other's hands and smiled at each other, still gripping the hands of their respective boyfriends.
"Come on! Come on! Brady's mommy brought baby kitties! We gotta go see 'em!" said Claire, dragging along both Nessie and Quil.
"We're coming, we're coming, Claire," Quil laughed. The four of them formed a chain that clumsily took a few steps.
"Just a second, Nessie. I need to speak to your Aunt Leah, but I'll be right there. I promise," said Jacob, letting her be pulled off by Claire.
"So Mike, what have you been doing all year?" Edward suddenly asked. "University of Sacramento, right?"
"Yeah, how'd you remember that?" said Mike confused.
"We need to catch up. Come on, let's grab some drinks." Edward took the puzzled Bella's hand and took a few steps toward the coolers, looking back at him expectantly.
"Uh, sure." Mike turned back to me, but I caught Jacob nodding at Edward from the corner of my eye.
"I'll catch up in a sec." I let go of Mike's hand. He took one more glance at me, then walked off behind Bella and Edward.
"Wait, do you guys even... drink normal human beverages?" I heard him ask.
I turned back to Jacob, hoping he kept this short. Treaty or no treaty, I didn't trust those blood-drinkers so close to Mike.
Jacob had a winning smile on his face. "Be prepared to owe me big time, Leah. You're going to get down and kiss my dirty feet when I tell you this."
I scrunched up my nose and snorted. "Don't count on it."
Seth and Sam appeared next to him. "You can't take all the credit, Jacob. We both agreed to tell her together since both had to concede to the point," said Sam.
I looked at the three of them. "What? What's with the 'boys-only' secret meeting?" I demanded, thinking again of the present Billy mentioned.
"You're going to love this, Leah. They commanded us not to tease Mike," said Seth excitedly.
Sam and Jacob sent him seething looks.
"Seth! We were supposed to tell her! It was our job."
"Why can't you just keep your big mouth shut, Seth!"
"Oops, sorry. Uh, Leah, a little help here?" Seth turned to me with his embarrassed expression, his eyes pleading with me to save him from the fierce glares the Alphas were giving him.
But I was too stunned to speak. They, Sam and Jacob, had given Alpha orders to keep my pack brothers off Mike's back?
"They are not allowed to taunt or make any jokes at his expense about anything to do with his human limitations," Sam explained to me when I didn't respond.
"No one can single him out for challenges or mockery. They can't give him special treatment, he still will be involved in family jokes, but they can't unintentionally expend countless, needless insults, puns, or double-meanings meant to torment. We don't harass members of our family," Jacob went on.
"And no cougar jokes either," Seth put in.
I didn't know what to say. After my mouth had fallen open in shock, it seemed incapable of moving again.
They had done this? For me? For Mike?
I knew my eyes were fairly glowing with gratitude as I stared up at them. Tears threatened to fall as their faces blurred.
"Oh, you're not going to cry, are you?" Jake suddenly looked very uncomfortable. It looked like some things never changed.
Ugh, would he never get over my woman stuff?
"Thank you," I whispered, wiping away the tears to alleviate Jacob's uneasiness. "You have no idea what this means to me."
"I think we do. After what we heard yesterday, you made your feelings heavily known," said Seth with a slight wince.
I stepped to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Seth. You might be the one person I exempted from my frustrated rage. You are the best brother I could ask for."
I kissed his cheek. Then I turned and kissed Jake and Sam's cheeks as well to show my gratitude.
Jacob put his hand to the wet mark then looked at his palm incredulously.
"Crying, and now kissing? Are we sure you are really Leah?" Jake asked jokingly.
"See! That's what I said. I told you, this Mike has mellowed her out and turned her into some kind of girl!" Seth shuddered at the word.
"Oh, ha, ha. Very funny." I rolled my eyes at them, but couldn't help the beaming smile on my face for them. I was beyond grateful to them. It was the best present I could ask for.
No, it was better, because I never would have been to ask for it. They had had to give it.
"Thank you again, so much," I said with feeling. The Alphas smiled back at me, and I felt like the very last worry that could cause me unhappiness had been dissolved in this one Alpha command.
"You're welcome, Leah. I'll catch you later," Jake said, and bounded across the lawn to where Nessie waited for him with Claire, Quil, and the kittens.
I saw Emily approaching from behind Sam, and I knew he knew she was there too. If he felt at all like I always did, he was desparate to hold her, and I didn't begrudge him the desire at all anymore. Quickly, I excused myself and ran toward the coolers where my own imprintee mate was waiting for me.
Mike turned towards me just as I reached him. He went 'umph' as I threw my arms around him enthusiastically, the tears leaking out of my eyes again. I was giggling hysterically as I rubbed my face against his shirt. Mike patted my back in confusion, but I was too ecstatic to explain.
Edward quietly led Bella over to the picnic table where Billy and Sue sat, the only ones who might welcome and speak to them. It was obvious they would be watching a lot from the sidelines tonight, but I couldn't feel sorry for them right now. Although, I had a inkling my gracious new mood might allow me to view them with new sympathy from this night on. My new personality seemed to make my feelings much more tolerant and accepting, maybe even to leeches.
But right now, I was only happy that they had left me alone with Mike.
"What did Jacob say to you? It's certainly something I need to say to you everyday if it makes you this happy," Mike laughed into my hair.
I couldn't even reply. I just turned my face up and captured his lips with mine, pressing quick kisses against him that were filled with my teeth because I couldn't stop smiling.
"Everything is perfect, Mike," I whispered. "You have made my life completely perfect."
He chuckled and returned the next kiss.
"I can't take all the credit, Leah. You're the one who's shown me everything that I've been missing. Suddenly, this small town is interesting and special enough to be worth coming back to."
"So you wouldn't mind making this place our home?" Was it possible that all my dreams could really come true in less than a week? I would get to stay near my family and the town where I had fallen in love?
"Of course, Leah. After all, you've given me the reason to stay."
I changed my mind. Fate didn't hate me; She loved and adored me like Her favorite child.
My life was blessed and absolutely perfect.
Eh, corny ending, I know. Just wanted to tie that line in there somewhere.
Oh, it's all over! Now I'm going to have to find something else to do at 2 am.
Thanks again to everybody who reviews. Uh, I've never had to end a story before, I really have no idea what to say... Thanks for accompanying me on this journey? I suppose. (Man, how am I ever going to finish my other epics if I can't even say good-bye in this little thing.)
Everyone have a wonderful summer! And remember, Midnight Sun isn't that far away!