A/N: Hi there everyone! So yes, I'm alive. I know it's been a couple YEARS since I've updated. But I've been meaning to. Life just got in the way. I am currently in a car on a family road trip, so I have a ton of time. I plan to update a few chapters while we are on the road. I forgot where I was going with this story. I kinda have an idea, but it's been a while. If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see happen, let me know. Enjoy!
"Jacob! Would you slow down? Jeez!" Leah huffed as she stepped out from the bushes. She was still fixing her clothes and glancing around.
"Hurry up, we need to get going." I replied, scanning the shops. My eyes rested on the grocery store. "We need to buy some non-perishables so we can eat in the woods for the next few days. And maybe buy a tent."
"A tent? So I can get bitten by mosquitos? Really?" Leah snapped as she fell into step beside me. "Why not a hotel, Black?"
"Do you have hotel money?"
"Then be my guest. We are only a day or two away. It won't kill you Leah."
"Whatever." She grumbled before folding her arms.
"What can you cook?" I asked her as we stepped inside the store. There were busy shoppers everywhere, minding their own business, as if today was a normal day. Today was another day I would have to figure out how to go on without…her. A part of me cringed at the thought, but it was my reality. She was no longer here. I had no choice.
I blinked and looked down. Leah was scowling. "Huh?"
"I said yes, I can. What do you want?"
"Rice…beans." I said slowly.
"What's wrong with you?" Her face softened as she noticed my defeated expression.
"Nothing, I'm fine. Let's go." I brushed past her before she had the opportunity to say more.
45 Minutes later, we had gathered everything we needed to take with us on the remainder of our trip neatly packed into our duffle bags. Leah had cleverly thought up a lie to tell Joseph and his wife: our insurance company would be towing our car to a repair shop in the next town, and we would be catching Uber to the next city. Earlier this morning, we had spent breakfast with the couple and thanked them for their hospitality before saying our goodbyes.
"You know, taking an Uber doesn't sound like a bad idea. Don't give me that look. I know, we don't have 'Uber Money'. Yeah yeah." Leah rolled her eyes as we continued to walk on the outskirts of town, towards the forest.
"You're just lazy." I smirked when Leah scowled at me.
"Whatever Jacob! Do you know what direction we are going?" She asked.
"East." I said, pointing to the right of us.
"Okay. So let's get going." Leah said before stripping. Before I could reply she was in wolf form.
I phased, but was careful to block Sam out immediately, so I would not be bothered with questions. If it was urgent, he could tell Seth to tell Leah to tell me. I absent-mindedly remembered that I needed to buy a phone to check in on my dad.
I'm sure your dad misses you.
Yeah, I know. Images of my father started to swirl in my head. Leah was quiet as we continued to run, with our duffle bags tied around our ankles.
We had been running for hours. The grumble in my stomach made me slow down.
Do you know where we are? I asked Leah. She had slowed down too.
Kansas, I think.
I think we should stop and eat. No sooner had I finished my thought then my stomach growled in agreement.
I think we should stop for the night. I'm tired.
Tired? You ran patrol for way longer than this…
Jacob. We've got all the time in the world. What's the rush?
I tried to block my thoughts, but the visions came to my mind before I could control it: visions of Bella's lifeless corpse on the table, as Edward continued to place bitemarks on her. I wanted to get as far away from Forks as possible.
I know you think putting distance between you and the bloodsuckers is going to help you get over them, but I think your wrong. You can't run from your problems.
I sighed. How do you think I solve this problem then, Leah? Honestly?
Well…I think taking a break from everything is okay. But you must go back. So I propose this: we go on vacation to Florida. For maybe a week? And then we head home. Face the Cullens full on. Then you can start to heal. Trust me.
I thought about it. She had a point. We can come to a full stop in the middle of a small clearing in the forest. I nodded my colossal wolf head at her. Okay.
I'm phasing out. Why don't you go get some wood so we can start a fire while I set up the tent? Leah's body was barely visible in the night as she began to reach for her clothes in her duffle bag.
20 minutes later, I brought wood and dropped it in the middle of some stones we had found and placed in a circle.
"Seth called. Sam say's it's important." Leah stated when she saw me.
"It's always important." I said, rolling my eyes. She gave a small smile while stacking the wood into a neater pile. "I'll be right back."
"Alright." She nodded.
I walked farther into the forest and phased. As expected, Sam was waiting for me.
Jacob. He greeted me.
Sam. I said. I was careful not to show him anything concerning myself and Leah. This didn't stop him from asking questions.
You wanna tell me what the hell is going on with you and Leah?
Nothing. I lied.
Yeah, right. He growled, clearly not believing me.
Leah said you said its important?
Sensing the irritation in my thoughts, he continued. Yes. Do you know how long the leeches can go without hunting?
I tried to remember how long they'd gone before. A week I think. Why?
We need to speak with Carlisle. But we don't want to initiate a war—just yet.
Why? I repeated, not understanding.
I haven't killed the offspring yet. But it is a threat to our people. It cannot be allowed to live.
Trying to ignore the irritation I felt in response, I answered him back. Do what you must, Sam.
Do you have a problem with it?
No. Carlisle won't agree to anything, if that's your plan.
Maybe not, but we want to be as diplomatic about this as possible. Give him a chance to hand over the leech before we are forced to take matters into our own hands.
So your plan is to wait him out?
He has to hunt eventually. Sam growled.
Maybe. But—I remembered him walking in moments before I was about to pounce on the thing, and I think he and Esme had gone to get more blood. So they may be fully stocked.
Meaning they wouldn't have to leave for a while. I snapped, thinking it was obvious.
Oh. Okay. We'll wait them out then.
Okay. Good luck with that.
Thanks, Jake. We'll keep you informed.
Alright. I nodded, before blocking him out, and phasing out.
I walked back into the clearing, where Leah was scooping the hot food onto paper plates.
"Hey. You're just in time." She smiled. I concluded that a smiling and happy Leah was so much better than the scowling one I'd always been used to.
"Smells good." I observed, rubbing my hands together.
"I bet you're glad I suggested getting some plastic spoons and paper plates now, huh?"
I rolled my eyes, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of being right. "Yeah, yeah, whatever." I waved her off.
"What did Sam want?"
"He wants to attempt to reason with Carlisle before starting a war."
Leah snorted. "Does he really expect the leeches to hand over their baby?"
I mentally winced at the word. "Dunno," I shrugged, "don't care."
"What?" I glanced at her as I dug into the food.
"You should, you know."
"Should what?" I said with a mouthful of food.
"You should care!"
"But I don't."
"You do. I know you do. You don't have to act like this you know." Her voice was soft.
"Leah, Sam is going to do whatever he needs to do to protect our people. Whether I care or not is not going to change a damn thing."
"Jacob, you're an alpha too. You two should be working together. You know the Cullens better than anyone."
She's right. I closed my eyes. It was happening again. I was hearing her. I thought I was doing better. It had been over a day since I had heard her. Come back to me, Jacob.
"There's nothing to go back to!" I snapped, replying to both of them.
Leah's eyes narrowed as she fell silent and finished eating.
Then the guilt set in. I know she had a point, but I could not bring myself to go back to Forks. I had too much to accept. I was not ready.
"Let's just stick to the plan. Give me a week in the most unreachable place, okay? Then I'll deal with everything. But I can't right now."
Leah remained silent for a few moments longer before nodding. "Okay."
We sat in silence for the remainder of our makeshift dinner.
Afterwards, we set up the tent and tended to the fire. Sleep would not come easy tonight, but I didn't want to keep Leah up.
"You go on, I'll be to bed soon."
"You okay?" She asked, her voice full of concern.
I wanted to tell her no. That I doubted I'd ever be okay. But instead I nodded. "Yeah. Just want to patrol a little." I gave her an excuse, because we both knew we were perfectly fine. There were no threats.
"Okay. Have a goodnight."