Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
AN: Finally the end. This shows her final choice although its not really Leah's choice, it's just the way the world ended up, the way she knew everything would end eventually. This is shorter than the other chapters; it's just to tie up all the loose ends. Enjoy!
Epilogue – The Choice
I stepped out of my car and took a deep breath. It had been years since I set foot in La Push; ten long years. My younger brother Seth had called me last week to tell me that Embry Call had imprinted. And so I came home. Not to try and win Embry from his imprint, but because now that he had someone I could come back and not be expected to chose between him and Jacob. I could have chosen all those years ago, but then I would have had to see Embry's face every time he saw me with Jacob and I couldn't stand that. I loved Embry far too much to hurt him like that. To put him through what I went through when Sam broke up with me would be unforgivable.
Jacob understood my distance; I wrote to him and Embry, but I called Seth and my mom often to see how things were going. Embry had resented my leaving, blaming himself. I told him time and time again in my letters that it wasn't his fault; it was something that I needed to do for me but Seth told me Embry took my leaving the hardest. Jacob kept telling Seth I'd be back one day, not a doubt in his mind. Billy passed away while I was gone; I only found out after the funeral. That was the only phone call I'd made to Jacob in the past ten years. I had almost jumped on the next flight back when I had heard Jacob's sad and broken voice but he had told me that I needed to come back when I was ready, that he would always be waiting for me.
I walked down the familiar street and it was almost like nothing had changed, I certainly had not aged at all. I passed the Black house and paused there staring at the front door. It was strange to see the house and know that Billy wasn't inside with his endless words of wisdom and stories about our tribal history. I shook my head and continued on, now was not the time to break down about Billy. Especially not when I was in the middle of the road. Down the street there was the sound of music and laughing and talking, at Embry's house. There was no one outside, the guests were all inside the house and I stood on the road staring up at his familiar house. Remembering all the times I had snuck in through his window, and the times I had gone to visit him. It seemed like a dream, a long forgotten memory. My Embry wasn't mine anymore..
As though sensing I was there the front door to Embry's house opened and he came to stand out on the porch. He looked just the same as ever; that was the benefit of being a shape shifter, he hadn't aged, though he would now that he had an imprint. He smiled, almost sadly, when I saw me. He looked so handsome in his dress jeans and button t-shirt, for a second I felt like I had never been away. I wanted to kiss him, to hold him, but instead I stood my ground.
"Leah," Embry said my name softly but my shape-shifter ears picked up the word. Embry stared at me like I was a mirage, "You came."
"Of course," I replied grinning as I walked towards him and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek. His arms wrapped around my waist briefly; I had missed his touch.
He pulled away and I noticed the girl standing behind him for the first time; his imprint I deduced. She was a lot shorter than he was, but he was a shape-shifter so he was abnormally tall like the rest of us. She was petite and reminded me a little of Alice. Her hair was blonde, cut short to the tops of her shoulders, and she had bright green eyes and a friendly smile. Seth told me she was a hiker whom Embry had come across one day and wham, that was it. Embry's life was changed forever. His imprint pressed a gentle hand on his forearm and Embry turned to look at her; a smile of complete and utter adoration coming to his face. She was his sun, moon, and stars; his reason for living. I forced a smile. I thought that it wouldn't hurt to see them together but it did kind of sting a little. Embry turned his head back to me, as though remembering I was there.
"This is Kelsi," Embry gestured behind him to the girl who smiled, "Kelsi this is Leah."
"It's so good to meet you Kelsi," I greeted her holding out my hand to shake and Kelsi extended her tiny hand towards me and we shook.
"Embry's told me so much about you," Kelsi gushed and I nodded wondering exactly what it was Embry would have told her about me. On second thought, I didn't want to know.
I walked into the party and talking ceased. Me coming home must have been more of a shock than I thought it would be. All members of both packs were present, although now there was only the one pack led by Jacob and the numbers had dwindled slightly. Sam had retired from phasing as did Jared and Paul so that they could age with their respective imprints. They all had a couple of kids each, I didn't know which ones belonged to whom but I was sure I would find out eventually now that I was planning to stay. Brady had imprinted and a couple of the younger pups too so they also ceased phasing. In fact the only members left in the pack were Quil, Embry, Jacob, Seth, myself, Collin and Becca. I was greeted by people I hadn't seen in many years. Sam, Emily, Jared, Kim, Paul, Rachel and the rest but those who I missed the most stayed back so that they could see me separately.
"Leah!" a voice cried out above the rest happy to see me. I was enveloped into a tight hug by a bronze haired young woman I recognized as a grown up Renesmee.
It had been quite a scandal when Renesmee declared she was moving in with Seth. The council had gotten together and there had been a huge argument about whether allowing a half breed to stay was in the best interests of La Push. The Cullen's also had not been happy that their youngest member wanted to leave their family. I remember Edward had called me in a rage cursing my brother for making Nessie fall in love with him and for stealing away his daughter. Eventually it had all worked out, Nessie had moved to La Push and she visited her family once every two months. I hugged her back tightly. I had seen photos of her from Edward, and she had been visiting the Cullen's the same time I did a couple of times, but she looked happier here in La Push than I had ever seen her. Seth came up behind her and crushed both of us in a hug. I'd seen Seth a couple of times in the past ten years when he visited the Cullen's with Nessie the same time I did and I never got tired of seeing him. My mother and Charlie I saw as well when the Cullen's flew them out. I planned to spend a lot more time with both of them now I was home.
"Look at you two," I gushed feeling my heart swell with pride at how handsome my brother had become, and that he had a wonderful girl he loved.
"Move aside!" Quil boomed loudly coming to swing me up in his arms and I laughed tapping his shoulder for him to let me down.
"Aunt Leah!" a girl about sixteen cried out and I was shocked to realize this young girl was Claire. She had grown up so quickly.
It wouldn't be long now until Quil stopped phasing as well. Judging by the shy looks Claire sent Quil's way Claire was already starting to feel the effects of the imprint in a grown up way. I gave Claire an affectionate hug and then Quil moved her out of the way as Brady came forward with his arm around a pretty young girl. She was small, but her eyes were fierce. She was fair skinned, with strawberry blonde hair and sapphire blue eyes that sparkled with life. She seemed like the kind of girl who could keep the Brady I remembered in line. When I left Brady had been a girl obsessed teenager and now he was engaged.
"So you went and imprinted you little horn dog," I said fondly pulling Brady into a hug as I ruffled his growing hair. He must have stopped phasing recently for his hair hadn't grown out the way the others had.
"I'll always love you best," Brady quipped winking and his imprint threw him a dirty look and elbowed him in the stomach.
"I'm Amy," she introduced herself when it became apparent that Brady wasn't going to do it for her. I think he did it on purpose to tease her because he smiled fondly and pinched her rear end.
"Nice to meet you," I said to Amy who grinned as we shook hands.
"You too! It's nice finally putting a face to the legendary Alpha female," she commented and I felt a little embarrassed at her apparent adoration and Brady just rolled his eyes apologetically.
"She gets like this when she sees Jacob too, anyone would think you two were royalty the way she goes on," Brady said mockingly and Amy glared at him and punched his arm while Brady just laughed and pulled her out of the way as Nessie came back to stand beside me as the crowd around me faded away. Quil and Seth were both guzzling beers together, while Brady was trying to placate Amy who looked to be still angry with him for embarrassing her in front of me.
"I told you I would marry Seth when I grew up," Nessie said to me contentedly and I gave her a smirk.
"You aren't married yet," I reminded her grinning and Nessie returned my grin with a mischievous one of her own.
"Give me time," Nessie whispered conspiratorially, I had to laugh. Seth heard my laughter and looked over at me waving, not realizing that Nessie was planning his wedding proposal to her.
"I would love to have you as a sister-in-law," I assured her and Nessie just shrugged her shoulders confidently.
"Of course you would. I'm a catch," Nessie said preening herself and I had to laugh again. Her confident demeanor reminded me of Jacob and my laughter faded away. Nessie noticed the way my eyes searched the room and she gave me a knowing look before asking, "Have you seen him yet?"
"No," I said softly shaking my head and Nessie gave me a weak smile as she placed her hand on mine.
"He missed you so much," Nessie assured me and I gave a small smile and bowed my head. I'd missed him too. I'd missed everyone so much.
There were two people I had yet to say hi to and I approached Becca with a wicked look in my eyes as I noticed the man attached to her.
"Well, well, well and I thought Quil was a pedophile," I quipped jokingly as Becca engulfed me in a tight hug. Collin stood beside her smiling proudly, his arm around her waist.
"He's perfectly legal now," Becca winked lustily squeezing Collin's bicep and I had to laugh.
Becca was still the same as ever. She looked the same way she did when I left; Collin did too, as did Seth and Quil. Brady only looked a little older as he only just stopped phasing. Everyone else had started to age and I knew Embry too would start to age, along with Quil when Claire was of age. The rest of us could choose to age or not. I knew that Seth was worried he would imprint and hurt Renesmee so he was careful to not leave the Res, and they lived just outside of the Reservation towards the woods and kept to themselves. Becca and Collin had a house on the outside of the Res too, right near Seth and Nessie's. The four of them kind of seemed like outcasts to the people of La Push but they liked the little family vibe that they had going. Now that I was back I was hoping to join their eternal family with Jacob if he still wanted me.
"Collin, I missed you," I said giving him a hug and he blushed shyly but hugged me back.
I was startled by a hand on my arm and turned to see Kelsi standing beside me.
"Can I talk to you for a moment Leah?" she asked quietly and I nodded. She was Embry's imprint and I wanted to remain friends with Embry so I wanted to make a good impression on her. Just because Embry and I couldn't be together didn't mean that we couldn't be friends. I led Kelsi out onto the front porch so that we could talk in private and Kelsi looked down at her hands.
"I know that Embry loved you, I'm pretty sure he still does in spite of the imprint," Kelsi began her green eyes turning up to mine, burning intensely and I shook my head.
"Imprints are forever Kelsi, you're soul mates," I assured her, wanting her to know that I wasn't trying to interfere between them and Kelsi nodded accepting my answer.
"I really, honestly and truly love him," she revealed quietly, all her emotions going into her words and hearing her speak of Embry like that warmed my heart. I could tell she was trying to tell me in her own way that she was worth of him.
"Good, Embry deserves someone like you and I know that you will make him happy," I told her approvingly as I felt tears prickle my eyelids knowing this was the moment I was giving Embry up forever, "That is all I could ever ask for him."
"I'd like for us to be friends," Kelsi offered sweetly and I smiled back at her. She was a gentle girl and kind and accepting; the perfect girl, and she was Embry's. A perfect girl for the perfect boy.
Kelsi retreated back into the house and I turned to the darkness raising an eyebrow.
"You can come out now," I called out then gave a smirk when Embry emerged from the darkness as I quipped, "Didn't anyone ever tell you it's rude to eavesdrop?"
Embry didn't smile at my sarcasm. He came towards me and then held out his arms wordlessly. Like falling into an old habit I found myself moving into his arms and his arms wrapped around me as mine crept around his waist. We didn't speak for a long time. This was the last time we could hold each other like this, like we were lovers. This was the end of us together.
"You should go out to the beach, I think I've kept you and Jacob apart for long enough," Embry whispered sadly and he kissed my forehead, his arms still wrapped around me. I tried to pull away from him but he held me tighter, "Just a moment more."
I stood there with my arms around Embry and not for the first time in my life wished that things had turned out different. But things were what they were and Embry was going to live a wonderful life with Kelsi, his imprint. It was just the way that things had to be.
There in the distance was the white cottage by the beach, exactly the same one Jacob had promised to build for me many years ago. A white picket fence with a path leading up to the door, large windows that overlooked the beach, a welcome mat with a wolf figure on it and a red letter box. The white picket fence and the red letter box that I had asked for; he remembered. I approached the front door in awe and then lifted my hand and rapped on the door gently. I heard the shuffling of heavy feet and then the front door swung open to reveal a tall, well built Quileute that I knew so well wearing only a pair of sweat pants. He looked just like I remembered him; perfect.
"I've been waiting for you," Jacob greeted me, a lazy smile lighting up his face and I just smiled as I drifted forward into his waiting arms. Our lips met in a kiss that had long been coming and I felt the world around me fade away.
There was only me and Jacob; my Jacob. Just as it was meant to be.
AN: I named Brady's imprint for loveBLACKWATER who kept on my back to finish this story. She got my butt into gear. So thanks heaps!
Well this is the end. I'm sorry if you wanted Leah and Embry but I am a Blackwater girl at heart and I couldn't help myself. Hope you enjoyed it and I'm sorry if the ending was kind of lame, I lost my Twilight mojo.