Embry Call heaves once again into the toilet positioned between his hands. Wiping spittle from his chin, he flushes the toilet once again and collapses, hugging the toilet around the base with his body, waiting for the next bout of nausea. He moans slightly, feeling light headed and very, very sick.

The door opens suddenly and, lifting his head, he sees Leah Clearwater standing at the door, chewing on liquorice with a beer in her hand, looking a mixture of amused and disgusted.

"That's disgusting," she comments. Embry glares, or tries to, anyway.

"You've never seen vomit before?" He asks.

"I wasn't talking about the vomit. I was talking about the fact that you've had, what, two beers? And you're already hurling your insides into the toilet, which, by the way, needs to stop, because I have to pee."

Embry lets his head rest on the cool bathroom tile again. "Can't you use another bathroom?"

"You know, I could, but this one is much closer, despite smelling overpoweringly like vomit. Get up, little boy. You shouldn't be drinking anyway. You're underage."

He glares at her. "So are you."

She shrugs. "Yes, but at this point, I'm far past the point of redemption. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, that's what rules my life. Just substitute rock and roll for alcohol, anyway." She walks forward and picks up his discarded beer bottle. "How'd you get in here, anyway? You're like, what, twelve? This is a graduation party."

He glowers. "I'm fourteen. I came with Jacob Black and Quil Ateara."

"Nice friends, leaving you here."

"Well where's your boyfriend?" He shoots back accusingly. She looks at him.

"Simmer down, tiger. He's with his friends- but I'd just like to point out that if I were barfing in a toilet, he would be here with me. Now, get out. I told you, I gotta piss."

Muttering to himself, Embry leaves the bathroom. As soon as the door closes behind him, he fells the familiar feeling in his stomach.

"Leah? Leah are you done?" He shouts through the door.

"Yes, believe it or not I actually can finish by business in a second and a half. No, I'm not fucking done!"

He clutches his stomach. "Leaaaahhhh…"

He hears the toilet flush and the sink turn on and as soon as she opens the door and says, "What?!," he throws up on her feet.

She looks at her vomit covered shoes and then at the boy standing in front of her, his hand over his mouth and his eyes half closed and for some reason she still hasn't figured out today she wraps an arm around his waist and hoists him up against her. "Alright Call, let's get you home before you die of alcohol poisoning or something," she says, and he leans on her and moans and she loads him into her car with a firm warning that, "If you throw up on my seats, you will clean them. And then I will kill you." She drives him home and, because she doesn't think his mother will be very happy, even sneaks him into his bedroom, which thankfully is on the ground floor. As she tucks him into bed he whispers groggily that he loves her and she laughs and tells him not to drink anymore.

Then, she drives back to the party and yells at Jacob Black and Quil Ateara for half an hour.


By now the story has spread all over town and everyone knows, and he wonders just why there's so little privacy here and why people can't respect other people's secrets, because it's not like all those people who are feeding off of her pain and misery right now have perfect lives, he's sure all of them have a few skeletons in the closet and he knows they wouldn't like it too much if their secrets were broadcasted over town. But he still sits there and listens as his mother tells him the scoop, her eyes lit up and he can't understand her infatuation with gossip but he listens to her anyway because she's his mother and she deserves to be happy, even if it is because of somebody else's misery.

She tells him that Sam Uley left Leah Clearwater because he was in love with her cousin, that he dumped her in the forest and didn't even seem sorry about it, that he didn't even wait to get together with Emily Young.

Embry sits there and for the first time he doesn't need to feign interest in his mother's gossip, and he remembers Leah bringing him home that night and he remembers her saying, "if I were barfing in a toilet, he would be here with me." And for some reason at that moment Embry starts to hate Sam Uley.


Sam looks stressed, standing up in front of them, and as he's seated on the forest floor watching him, he can't help but be reminded of being in a classroom with Sam as a teacher, and he knows that if Sam had been his teacher, maybe he would have paid more attention in school.

"We have a problem. There have been more transformations."

Jared speaks up. "How is that a problem, Sam?"

"It's with the Clearwaters."

At the plural, everyone's attention is focused on the man in front of them.

"The Clearwaters? I thought they only had one son…?" Paul asks. Sam nods.

"They do."

The answer is right in front of them but they refuse to admit it. Everybody is looking at Sam as if expecting him to tell them that Harry and Sue Clearwater had had another boy nobody knew about, but everyone knows that is not the case.

"Both Seth and Leah Clearwater have undergone the transformation," Sam says, pinching the bridge of his nose. Embry stares at his Alpha in confusion. But… Leah was a girl.

He voices this thought and then feels completely idiotic. Sam of all people would know Leah was a girl.

But Sam doesn't seem to remember his relationship with the now female werewolf. He just nods before he starts talking about what they are going to do with the revelation.


He is sixteen when he sees a naked woman in the flesh for the first time, and its right after Leah phases back to a human. He can't stop his eyes from seeking her out, can't pull them away once they've found her- all he can do is stare. All he can do is stare, taking in the way her neck gave way to shoulders gave way to soft looking breasts gave way to waist to hips to that tantalizing triangle between her legs and god, had girls always been so curvy? Had they always been so beautiful? And had they always been so out of reach?

She sees him staring and she glares so furiously that he brings himself to look away but she comes after him anyway and she presses herself up against him and asks if he's never seen a naked woman before and he runs away, turning his back before anyone can see his erection.


He can't quite believe that it's really Jacob Black standing there defying his Alpha like that, can't really believe the words that float into his brain, but they're really there, and even as he speaks he can feel the waves of power floating off of Jacob and he has an undeniable urge to listen to Jacob, to follow him, to do what he says.

And then suddenly Leah and Seth both dart after him, and for some reason Embry is left with a strange feeling of emptiness and he wonders just who it is he's missing.


He wants to see Jake and Seth (and Leah, wants to see Leah, why does he want to see Leah?) but he knows they'll never let him, knows they're worried about his faltering loyalty and he doesn't blame them, because they all have something to hold them down to this pack but what does Embry have?

Who does Embry have?


He sees her one day, walking down the street, and suddenly he finds himself sprinting down the street to catch up to her, and when he reaches her he's out of breath, but not from his run (why is his heart beating like this?).

"I want to join your pack," he tells her. She stares at him as though there is something growing out of his forehead.

"My pack?"

"Well, Jake's pack."

"Why the fuck are you telling me this?"

He wonders the same question himself but he just says, "well you're the Beta."

She snorts. "By default, Call. Take it up with Jacob, I don't want to get into any of this politic-y shit."

As she starts to walk away, the words slip out of his mouth before he can stop them.

"Leah? Do you even want me in your pack?"

She smiles (she smiles!) and for a second it looks as if she might say something nice, something sincere, but then she says, "Take it up with Jacob, Embry," and walks away.


He takes it up with Jacob, and after a few muttered complaints about how this 'isn't even a damn pack!' and how 'I just wanted to be on my own!' He finally consents. Embry beams.

Jacob simply shakes his head.

He expects it to be awkward, but he fits right in with them like he had never left. He even visits the Cullen's occasionally, and even though he never really gets used to the smell, he likes them quite a bit, even if he'd never admit to Leah.

And Leah and him… Embry has matured enough to admit that he has a bit of a crush on her, but he's trained himself not to think of it in wolf form, so unless she can read minds in human form, he's quite confidant she knows nothing.


It takes quite a lot for a werewolf to get drunk and Leah Clearwater has always been known as being able to hold her liquor, so as she stumbles in front of him he wonders just exactly how much she's had to drink.

"Leah, what are you doing?"

She stares at him as though he's the one who has shown up randomly on her front step at three in the morning and not the other way around.

"I- I wanna ask you. Something."

He waves his hand in front of him. "Ask away."

"Wh- why do you. Like me?"

He blinks. "Excuse me?"

"LIKE ME? Why?"

He feels like a little kid called out as he stammers, "I, er… I don't."

She blows out in annoyance. "Don't be… stupid. I KNOW. You look at me like… like boys USED TO. When they WANTED ME. YOU WANT ME."

He winces. "Leah, please stop shouting."


"Do I what, Leah?"


"If I answer, will you stop shouting?"

She contemplates this.


He takes a deep breath.

"No, Leah. I don't want you."

She blinks and then leans close to him. The smell of booze is overpowering, and, true to her word, whispers,

"fuck. you."


Embry knows he's done something wrong when Leah refuses to look at him and speaks in clipped tones to him only when necessary. He asks both Jacob and Seth what she's so angry about but they just shake their heads and say they don't know.

Embry knows he had better figure it out because the pack was happy before he came and ruined it. So, much in the same manner of her, he goes to her house at three in the morning and throws a rock at her window to get her attention.

She comes down in pyjamas and a scowl on her face that literally frightens him, and he wants to hightail it out of there but her glare holds him to his spot.

"What. The fuck. Do you. Want?" She hisses, and he feels so incredibly stupid and foolish as he says,

"I want to know why you're angry at me."

He's never felt as foolish as when she stares him down, but then she looks away and laughs and commands, "get the fuck off of my porch, Call."

"I'm not leaving till you tell me!" He stage whispers, and she leans in close and whispers, once again,

"fuck. you."

And suddenly he understands.


He lays in bed at night and as he goes over it in his head he thinks about Leah and how she was after Sam left and he realizes how she probably felt so unwanted when he (lied) told her he didn't want her. So that morning when he wakes up he goes to her house and pounds on the door and when Seth answers he tells him Leah left last night to go to Port Angeles and she said she'd be home in the morning.

'Morning' to Leah turns out to be five in the afternoon and when she gets back she smells strongly of cigarette smoke and cologne and she gives him a smirk that tells him all he needs to know.

"Leah, listen-"

"Not interested."

"I'm sorry I embarrassed you."

"Don't give yourself credit, little boy."

"Leah, please, listen to me-"

"Not interested, Embry."

"I want you Leah!"

Her gaze is intense and he half expects her to say she wants him back but what she says instead is much worse.

"I imprinted."


The guy's name is Connor and he has blond hair and is so totally not Leah's type Embry would laugh if he could remember how. But as he watches Leah smile widely (has Leah ever smiled widely?) and clutch onto his hand like he is about to float away he thinks that he might never laugh again. Connor likes to talk about sports and speaks loudly and drinks beer and seems to think he is invincible and he holds onto Leah like she's nothing special.

Embry hates him, Jacob hates him, Seth hates him, but they have no choice to respect him and that makes them hate him even more.

But what makes Embry hate him even more is that he makes Leah happier than she's ever been, and for that reason alone Embry can't hate him as much as he would like.


Leah has been giddy for four months and five days. Leah has smiled for four months straight. Leah hasn't made a sarcastic comment in three months and twenty three days.

Sometimes, Embry wonders, if he had never gone to her house that night, if she would have stayed. If she would never have seen Connor. Never have imprinted.

He's responsible for her happiness and his misery.


"I'm getting married."

These are the first words out of her mouth and he almost can't stop the bile from coming up, but he keeps it down and asks a stupid question, "to Connor?"

She nearly rolls her eyes like she would have done but instead at the mention of his name she beams and nods and he sinks.


"Next month."

"You've only been together for five months."

"I've imprinted, Embry. I want to be with him for the rest of my life. I want to marry him."

I want to marry you.

"Leah, if you hadn't imprinted on him, do you think you would still love him? Do you think he would still love you?"

"Of course."

That's not true and he knows she knows it, but she's so goddamn happy that all he can say is "Congratulations, Leah."


Jacob shows up at his door an hour before the wedding with a tux in his hand and some advil that won't work but Embry takes it anyway, hoping that it might take away the pain in his chest.

It doesn't.

He walks into the chapel and they're all getting ready and he tries to pretend that he's fine but Jacob's hand on his shoulder lets him know they all know he isn't. He excuses himself to go the bathroom and goes into a different room instead.


"Connor, you're not supposed to see me-"

When she turns around Embry is left speechless because she's so beautiful and he's never seen her so different, and even though she's glowing with happiness he can't help but think that she looked more beautiful with bed head and sweatpants.

"Embry," her voice is soft and all at once he knows that she knows and that she pities him and he wants to scream but more than anything he wants to bury his head in her hair and forget.

But instead he says, "I love you. I loved you first. I love you harder."

She shrugs and all at once she's the old Leah, the one he hasn't seen in ages, the one he's missed, the one he loves.

"I loved you before. Before you were all smiles. I loved you when you were sarcastic and cynical and a bitch and mean. I loved you without fates help."

"What do you want me to do about it, Embry?"

He takes a step closer, holds her like he's always wanted to, cups her face. She's so goddamn beautiful.

"I want you to tell me that you would choose me. That you would love me."

She stares at him and he realizes that it's not that she won't tell him, it's that she can't.

He takes a step away and with his hand on the doorknob whispers, "I hate him, Leah."

Her words sting his ears, "so do I."

He doesn't look back at her as he says, "then why are you marrying him?"

Her voice sounds choked with tears but he doesn't turn around to look. "Because I love him more."


Embry Call heaves once again into the toilet positioned between his hands. Wiping spittle from his chin, he flushes the toilet once again and collapses, hugging the toilet around the base with his body, waiting for the next bout of nausea. He moans slightly, feeling light headed and very, very sick.

The door opens and he lifts his head. "Leah?" He whispers in a voice hoarse from vomiting.

Jacob sits down next to him and puts a hand on his shoulder and listens to him dry heave into the toilet, waiting for her to come.

She doesn't.