Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight nor any of the characters in this story.

LEAH POV

She was going to be a virgin forever. Unfortunately, when most of your time is spent in the alternate form of a giant dog which had the unfortunate side effect of stopping the ageing process, forever was a pretty long time.

Embry snapped out of the haze he'd been drifting in at the thought that intruded on his brain. What the...with the ease of long practice he reigned in his surprise; he wanted to hear this conversation.

Continuing to listen, Embry realized it wasn't a conversation, but a train of thought. And it was coming from the one and only female shifter in the state of Washington. He smirked; this would be good.

Running in her usual circle patrolling around the leeches house, Leah sighed.

Every single one of the boys in both packs had had sex. She was pretty sure even her baby brother had had sex. She knew that for his birthday Sam, Paul, Jared, Jacob, Quil and Embry had taken Seth to a strip club up in Seattle. She was also pretty sure that a lap dance was not the only thing those girls had on offer. However, because she figured she already had enough mental scars; what with the Sam/Emily thing, the pack mind thing, and the fact that she had "seen" every single one of the guys naked and in sexual situations she never would have wanted to see them in ever, she refrained from thinking about "that night."

It all just brought home to her that, unlike the guys, she had never had sex.

She was glad she had never had sex with Sam. At the time waiting had been so hard, in more ways than one, Leah snickered as she remembered how frustrated Sam had gotten even if waiting till marriage was both their ideas-but when he had dumped her, not having slept with him had been the only thing she was thankful about.

She was even more thankful when she joined the pack and saw the images of Sam and Emily having sex; apparently Sam didn't need to wait for marriage with Emily.

Leah wondered if that said something about her, Emily, Sam, or all three of them.

The last thing Leah wanted was naked images of her in that way running around several teenage boys minds. Granted they got naked images of her anyway; her control had definitely not been the best in the beginning or, well, even now to be honest, but at least she wasn't doing things like moaning or wriggling around in those projected images.

The boys were better about it now or they had been before the pack split. They never fantasized about her anymore. For the most part she was extremely happy about that and Seth was even happier; downright giddy about it actually.

But there was a tiny part of her that was not happy with it. The tiny part of her that remained still feminine. Most of the time Leah forgot she was a girl. Granted she spent most of her time in dog form. She never dressed up or anything; she took most of her baths in the streams that ran through the forest, she didn't have any feminine issues any more thanks to her menopausal in her twenties body state.

Hell, if it wasn't for her name she would think she was a guy. She did guy things, spent all her time with guys and was-god help her-even beginning to think like a guy, and they all called her Lee anyway. She might as well go get her boobs chopped off and just make the final transformation.

Jacob had tried to tell her that he, unlike Sam who thought it would be too dangerous for her, didn't have a problem with her dating, but she wanted to know who exactly she was supposed to date.

Disgusting as she found it to admit every single male in both packs was drop dead gorgeous. They had girls drooling all over them. In fact the only time Leah had seen Emily angry lately was at this one girl who would not take the hint and back off of Sam despite him constantly saying things like "my fiancé" or "the love of my life". Yeah, Emily had snapped at the girl and sent her running.

Leah had also gone running, promptly phased into wolf form, and spent the next 30 minutes laughing hysterically at the image of the girl literally running away from Emily, the sheepish expression on Sam's face and the mortification on Emily's when she'd realized what she had done.

Just thinking about it now sent her off into snorts of laughter again.

Leah, on the other hand, was not drop dead gorgeous. She wasn't even beautiful or pretty and was fairly sure she didn't even make cute.

While she didn't have the bulging muscles all the boys had she did have muscles. That's what happened when most of your time was spent running around on all fours, arms and legs got really strong, and those muscles were kind of obvious.

She was tall too; taller than all the girls and most of the guys her age. She had to keep her hair short otherwise it flopped into her face and obscured her vision. She had tried to grow it out, but after an unfortunate meeting with a pine tree she gave in and kept it short. Seth and Jacob had laughed at her for days after that. Even Carlisle had been trying to hide a smile as he tended to the obnoxiously large cut on her head. Only Esme had refrained from showing any amusement as she wielded the scissors and cut Leah's hair for her into a nice pixie cut.

Oddly enough her boobs had gotten bigger, she was now a C cup, but to her mind that just made her look even freakier due to the fact that her appetite was actually decreasing and she was getting thinner and thinner every week. Now she looked like a stick with a mop on top of its head and two huge growths on its chest. Yeah, she was definitely no longer the beautiful girl that half the res had been in love with.

Most of the guys on res were scared of her; those that were not scared of her were either stupid or scared of the guys she was always hanging out with.

She was pretty sure a lot of them also thought she was some sort of slut since she was always wandering around half-dressed with a multitude of half-dressed guys. Plus she was not attracted to any of them.

Of course her hormones had been pretty much dead since she phased. Not that she had been all that into them or anything but she had been using them. She did have a boyfriend and they did make out and they did enjoy it very much. Well, until he dumped her. But she'd always figured she'd move on one day and find another guy and those hormones would get some usage again.

Though that nameless guy would never ever be introduced to her cousin Emily. Just in case...

But then she had phased and while she was used to being the only female shifter around, the Cullen's had checked, there were a lot of things happening and not happening with her body that confused her.

Now that she was Beta of Jacob's pack, which she fully expected to change once Embry stopped wasting time and left Sam's pack, as well as being constantly around the leeches, Carlisle had taken the opportunity to ask Leah if she would be willing to submit to some tests to see if he could discover why she had shifted in the first place and how exactly she differed from the boys.

They already knew a few things. She healed slower than the boys. They had learned that the hard way. Well, really Leah had learned that the hard way. She'd gotten caught by Jane and Alec as it seemed that they had decided not to leave with the rest of the Volturi.

She had been completely caught off guard by them which still pissed her off no matter how many times Jasper and Edward tried to tell her that was the way Alec's power worked.

But they had been so involved in torturing her they had not noticed Rosalie and Emmett off for a hunt.

When Leah regained consciousness there was a lovely roaring fire and Emmett had saved Jane's head for her to throw in.

She really did love Emmett.

Still that had not been a pleasant lesson learned.

But at least she had survived the learning of it. Unfortunately it had the side effect of making Jacob think she was fragile. Seth already thought that about her; it was a side effect of being her brother. She'd had to whip Jacob's ass several times for him to get that thought out of his head.

She was not fragile! The very thought disgusted her.

In the end Leah had agreed to the testing. She'd forked over her blood samples, her skin samples and her hair samples warily and gone off for a run, muttering about how she really needed to beat someone up. Which led her to thoughts of Embry as, in Sam's pack, he or Paul had borne the brunt of her temper. Paul for being Paul and Embry for being there. She'd needed something to get the rest of the guys to leave her alone so she'd picked the one thing that all of them had a stake in. The matter of Embry's father. Lord, she had been a Grade A Bitch to poor Embry. She would have to apologize; not that she expected him to accept it. She was prepared to pay in blood when Jacob replaced her with Embry as his Beta.

But she did wonder when Embry would get here. She and Seth had a bet going and once Embry got here she would totally win. Seth thought both Quil and Embry would show up. Leah knew only Embry would. That's not to say Quil wouldn't want to. But Claire lived in La Push and so Quil needed to be in La Push.

Jacob, predictably, had not really thought about what would happen in probably as little as two years but Leah had. The Cullen's would have to leave. As Nessie's mate, Jacob would have to leave with them. Quil would wind up going back to La Push anyway to be with Claire and would have to re-join Sam's pack so why should he bother leaving it in the first place? The whole situation would just cause bad feelings when he got sent back with his tail between his legs. No, Jacob might not have thought about it, but she'd bet money Quil had.

Embry was the most practical of the three of them but Quil had moments of insight that could astonish people and, since Claire came before everything in his life now, he based everything he did on how it would affect Claire. He would stay with Sam.

Jacob had already promised her that when he left with the Cullen's she was going with him. He would not leave her behind in Sam's pack. In fact all of the Cullen's had promised her the same thing; even Nessie.

The promises didn't mean much, though she'd not told him that. She got along great with Jacob ...when there was a crisis. After the crisis they got along okay. But as tranquility reigned they began to rub each other up the wrong way.

At heart, Leah was a loner. She enjoyed spending time alone and only occasionally needed the company of others. Frankly, Leah believed she was in the wrong form, she should have turned into a giant cat. Cats were loners just like she was. But instead she turned into a dog with a built in pack full of sex-crazed boys.

This fact brought her right back to the problem of being the only virgin in either pack. Well, technically it wasn't really a problem per se, but lately the aforementioned never-used hormones were beginning to stir.

Carlisle was anxious to get started on the testing because he was wondering if her body was mirroring that of a regular female wolf. Female wolves matured sexually at around three to four years old and then they went into heat.

Well, Leah had now been a wolf for almost four years. She didn't feel any different but the next heat season was still a few months or so away. She really hoped she didn't have to deal with that.

But she was beginning to think about guys again in a dating sort of way. It was entirely too annoying in her opinion. She had just settled into being a wolf-so it took her three plus years, so what-and was moderately content with her life. Leah wouldn't say she was happy; she was wary of happy these days. It seemed every time she was happy something bad happened. So she had decided to settle for content and she was content.

Unfortunately while she was not attracted to any of her pack mates-thankfully seeing as Seth was her brother and Jacob was imprinted-being around superior examples of the male form both shape-shifter and vampire had lessened the appeal of a muscled chest that was sculpted only by gym time.

It was upsetting.

Just last week she had seen a guy she and her friends would have drooled over in Forks. He had everything pre-shifter Leah would have been gasping over.

Yeah, nothing.

So very frustrating.

Edward had wondered if she was only attracted to other wolves. She had pointed out that it would be disgusting as Seth and Jacob were pretty much her brothers and Leah had never been into incest. Seth had gagged and Jacob had tried to hide behind Nessie at that statement.

Once she and Edward had recovered from their laughing fit Edward had taken his life in his hands and pointed out that there was Sam's pack and her past attraction to Sam.

Again Jacob had tried to hide behind Nessie. This time Seth tried to join him.

Leah had rolled her eyes. Past attraction, she had stated. I'm so over that.

Still Edward wouldn't let it go. He'd discovered a pack of shifters in Montana. He wanted her to go meet with them.

They'd been bitching about it for days now. She didn't want to go; she didn't feel she needed a guy to be content. Edward felt that she should not settle for content nor should she settle for happy. He, for some reason, wanted her to be 'Thrilled With Life!'

She was pretty certain Bella was having a bad impact on his mental functions; as in a downward impact.

She knew she would end up going though. Jacob was curious about the other shifters. She would probably get sent off because Jacob couldn't leave Nessie behind and Edward couldn't survive without his man-crush Seth. And their secret hope that she would fall in love with a Montana shifter would never even be mentioned ever if it was the entire basis for sending her.

Of course, if Edward's theory was right visiting this pack might get her the opportunity to have actual sex. Frankly she was a twenty-three year old woman trapped in her nineteen year old body and she had never imagined she would still be a virgin at this age. Not that there was anything wrong with that. It was just...damnit she was curious. It had been a long time since she had even been kissed and she was bit worried that she had forgotten how to do that.

She normally wasn't a one night stand type of girl. But it was a cliché for a reason; curiosity killed the cat.

Besides satisfaction brought the cat back, after all.

And there was no way in hell she was having sex with one of Sam's boys even if that new kid kept trying to hit on her.

Rose had offered to lend her Emmett. Emmett had enthusiastically agreed.

Leah had very politely said no thank you and then quickly run away. Not for the first time she had thought vampires are weird.

Granted now that she was out of Sam's pack she was no longer hit every single day with images of one or more of the boys getting it on either with their imprint or some random girl they picked up and at least they were all using condoms. But sheesh...even the wolves that had joined when they were just 13 had a hell of a lot more experience than she did.

Of course they also had it easier. They got to pick the so called "best tips" from the other guys' minds and so even their first time having sex had been, as they called it, a smokin' hot success.

There were no other female shifters, there had never been any other female shifters and, for the sake of those yet to come, she fervently hoped there would never be any more female shifters. So she had nothing to go on really unless she wanted to take it from the guys' point of view. And that would be difficult seeing as she was, in fact, a girl with girl parts-even if they were fairly useless-and not a guy with guy parts.

Still, just in case there ever was another female shifter, she had started writing an account of everything that had happened to her starting with Sam's disappearance. Hopefully it would never be needed.

There were only a few pages left in her current journal. Perhaps, if she was very lucky, she could finish this journal off with a smokin' hot success story of her own.

Again, Leah sighed, this time following it up with a very ungraceful belly flop to the ground underneath a cliff overhang.

She really didn't want to have sex with a random guy and, to be honest, it would be rather difficult to have sex with a normal guy because she had no way to explain her extremely high body temperature. For some reason girls never had any problems believing her brothers stupid reasons for having a temperature of over 105 degrees. They were normally too busy drooling and they didn't exactly pick the girls for their brains.

Leah just could not give herself to a moron and any guy that would buy her excuses would be a moron.

Maybe she should just give in and have sex with that kid in Sam's pack...what was his name, Rick, or Mick, or Nick. She wasn't entirely sure as she tried to avoid Sam's pack. Well, more like tried to avoid Sam. He kept staring at her like she had crushed him by leaving. The only time she had tried to spend the night at home since the split he had snuck in her bedroom while she was in the shower.

Yeah, that had been a shocker for both of them as she'd forgotten her clothes in her haste to get to a nice bubble bath.

She hadn't expected Sam in her room and she was pretty sure Sam hadn't expected her to walk in naked.

She flushed bright red just thinking about it.

They'd just gaped at each other for like a full minute before she screamed and he fell off the bed and rushed out the window. She'd slammed and locked it behind him and then pulled the curtains.

She hoped that image of her wasn't roaming around his pack somewhere though she figured it probably was. Sam had never been good at hiding his thoughts. She'd seen more of Emily than she had ever wanted to.

Yawning, Leah stretched. Her virginity wasn't really a problem. Just an inconvenience. She'd figure something out about it. Though really you'd think trying to find a guy to have sex with wouldn't be so hard. Maybe her standards were too high. Hell, maybe she should take Emmett and Rosalie up on their offer.

She chortled to herself imagining Jacob and Seth's reactions to that.

Mmm, she was tired. It had been a long forty-eight hours. She was just gonna take a short little nap. Right here. In the shade. Not...for....long......

Embry POV

Embry phased out and dressed himself. He had just learned a lot about Leah Clearwater that he had never known.

Now he felt guilty. He had, in fact, just joined the pack that day. Jacob and Seth had said Leah was out running but that she would be back in a couple hours and they could tell her then. They had then promptly gone off to do their thing. Embry had decided to take a nap and had been just dozing off when he'd decided to sleep in his wolf form. It soaked up the sun's meager warmth better and he enjoyed feeling his fur heat up.

So he had phased. He'd learned a long time ago how to phase pretty quietly; something only he could do actually. No one else was ever able to effectively hide their presence.

If Leah had known he was there he never would have heard anything she had just thought about. It was like he had read her diary, if, you know, she had ever kept one.

He should forget everything he had just heard.

Yeah, right, that was not going to happen. Somewhere in the back of his mind Embry realized he had already known Leah was a virgin. She had not had sex with Sam; they had both wanted to wait. Sam's real motivation had been that he wanted to be the only one to touch her; Sam was possessive that way.

But then Emily had come and Sam had broken up with Leah. Afterwards, Leah had fallen into a deep depression; in her mind she had been betrayed by two people she trusted the most. Then she had phased for the first time; there had been no time for Leah to find herself a new boyfriend.

No matter what she was thinking about now, Leah was not the kind of girl to have sex with a random guy. Sam and Leah's sexual relationship had basically consisted of Leah giving Sam pleasure; Sam had never returned the favor and frankly, Embry thought that was quite selfish of him.

Actually he was now almost certain that Leah had not only never had sex or had a guy pleasure her...he was also pretty sure she had never even had an orgasm.

Stop, he told himself firmly, this is not your concern. You know Leah would kill you if she knew you were thinking about this. Not to mention Seth and Jacob. Or Sam. Especially Sam.

Sam had been beyond pissed off when he had discovered Leah had left. He had raged for almost a full 24 hours and Embry could honestly say it was one of the scariest things he had ever seen. The scariest was the icy calm Sam had descended into afterwards though.

The pack had, for the first time, been shown exactly how deep Sam's feelings went for the female shifter and now a lot of things made sense that hadn't at the time.

Now Embry understood the reason Sam treated Leah the way he did. Sam was desperate; Leah had been ripped out of his life, Even as he kissed Emily for the fist time he had known that Leah would cut him out of her life once she found out about it.

He'd been proven right and been devastated.

When Leah had phased, he'd gotten her back. Even better was that he could force her to listen as he tried his best to explain. He could make her do whatever he wanted and at first he did think about commanding her to do things. But just having Leah there with him, in his pack, where he could watch her pleased him. Now he had both Leah and Emily; the two women he loved most.

Yeah, Leah had just loved hearing that in his head. She had gone ballistic on him and it had taken an Alpha Command and Seth's begging to get her to stop.

He smiled remembering that. Sam had been so shocked by her attack that she had broken two ribs, ripped one ear and almost snapped his right leg in half and that wasn't even mentioning the long claw marks she had left on his ass before he snapped out of it and went on the offensive. For being a wolf less than a week Leah had a excellent grasp on fighting techniques.

After that Leah had found a new way to hurt Sam. Mental warfare. And she had applied it against the entire pack. Embry himself had been one of her favorite targets and at first he had tried to let it go. But Leah was a master at verbally flaying someone to pieces.

Many's the time that Embry had fantasized about simply backhanding her across the face to get her to shut up. Other member's had darker fantasies. There had been several times when Paul had literally wanted to strangle her.

Leah reveled in it. She went out of her way to twist them, tempt them, and hurt them. What made it worse is that they all fell for it. They all wanted her; wanted to be the one to tame her and make her theirs. She had won because even as they attacked her they wanted her. She knew it too. And Sam knew it. And that was what she wanted.

Embry had admitted to himself a long time ago that he wanted to do things to Leah Clearwater. He wanted to make her scream his name, writhe under him, beg him to take her. But those were simply fantasies that he would never act on. They had been relegated to the back of his mind only popping out when he was in a dark mood or in his dreams.

He cursed to himself. Not seeing her every day he had gotten better at forgetting about her. He'd known he would see her if he joined Jacob's pack but he hadn't realized that, along with seeing her, his desire for her would come back too. After hearing what he'd just heard...it was all he could do to keep from going to look for her to seduce her.

He could do it easily. Leah had little experience and he had quite a lot. He'd been quite the man-whore in his early werewolf days; taking advantage of his new form and the girls it drew him. Leah would not even be his first virgin if he went down that road. He could make it so good for her....

Frankly Sam wasn't the only possessive one. It seemed to be a trait they all shared. And now that he knew Leah was still untouched....he wanted to be the one to touch her, teach her, to pleasure her.

She would not want him, he knew. But he could make her want him; could make her burn for him.

If he did, though, it would not be a one night stand. He would want her for eternity. Leah Clearwater was that kind of girl. Embry wasn't sure he was ready for eternity just yet.

But the choice was about to be taken out of his hands by Mother Nature herself.

*****

It started at a bonfire. In the last few months Jacob had been working hard at mending ties with Sam and his pack. He had no intention of joining back in with them but he did want Leah, Seth, and Embry to be able to go home when they wanted to.

Leah's thoughts had slipped when Jacob told them that and the entire pack had found out about Sam's little late night visit. Only the mortification rolling off Leah's grey form in waves had prevented Seth from tearing down into La Push and killing Sam.

So Jacob had made sure to tell Sam he needed to stop coming uninvited into people's houses or he would make sure Emily found someone uninvited in her house when she was unprepared and vulnerable.

Sam had gotten the message.

Embry was just relieved he didn't have to hide the knowledge that he already knew anymore. His obsession with Leah had gotten worse over the intervening weeks.

When Jacob told her Embry had joined the pack she had silently held out her hand to Seth who had grumbled but pulled out his wallet.

Edward had laughed at Seth's grumbling and Seth had been forced to explain to their audience why he was giving Leah the money.

Jacob had just rolled his eyes and chided Seth for betting against Leah.

Embry had fought a sudden urge to, as the subject of the bet, demand a prize of his own; namely shoving Leah up against the wall and thrusting his tongue down her throat.

Edward's laughter had trailed off into a strangled gasp and Embry looked up to find topaz eyes pinning his own. He'd forgotten about Edward's gift.

Edward had never said anything to anyone as far as Embry was aware. At least, the other three never acted any differently around him.

Leah had, as she had said she would in her thoughts, apologized to him for her actions against him in Sam's pack. She had made no excuses; simply saying she wanted to hurt Sam and he was the best way to do it. Sam had always been afraid of turning into his father and also afraid that his father did to other women what he did to his mom. He'd always wondered if Embry was his brother. Embry was convenient to her and the fact that he was a wolf himself and Sam could hear his thoughts about it simply made it better.

Despite his desire for her, Embry had found it difficult to accept the apology. Leah had simply told him he didn't have to accept it but that she had to make it. It infuriated him that while she apologized for being the bitch she somehow made him look like the bad guy for not accepting the apology.

She was good at the mind games, Embry ruefully acknowledged.

She then simply went on about her business. Jacob had asked Leah if she would mind if he made Embry the pack's Beta, and she had agreed without a fuss; something that still surprised everyone. While both Embry and Leah were good strategists, Embry had the people skills Leah lacked and they all knew it. Embry would make a better Beta than she would.

So now she technically had no responsibilities, Leah generally disappeared during the day. She would wander around the forest, in either form, or go to the parks in her human form and sit on the swing. Sometimes she would go to the beach for cliff diving or swimming. No one was entirely sure exactly what she did all day but she appeared to be enjoying herself and when she phased her mind was calm so Jacob had decided not to ask about it; Leah could take care of herself.

She still avoided Sam and his pack though so the invitation to the bonfire had annoyed her. Jacob wanted the pack to go together so Leah didn't have any choice; she had to go.

All of this had led them to this point. Jacob and Sam were standing and talking together; putting on a show of solidarity to the elders. Seth was enthusiastically telling Collin and Brady about how he had beaten Emmett at some video game. Embry stood chatting with Quil and Jared but his main focus was on Leah.

She lounged on top of one of the logs they used for seating looking into the fire and ignoring those around her as if they were beneath her.

She'd gotten some bad news from Carlisle about the testing; he had not been able to figure out why she had phased yet but he had been able to figure out that her sexual maturity was following along the lines of a regular wolf. He had gone on to explain that the reason Leah had noticed her hormones' beginning to stir was because she was going to go into heat. While her sexual encounters would not be limited to only the heat season, Embry mentally thanked God for that, this first heat season would start them off.

Her scent would change and this would attract potential mates to her. She would still be Leah; she was not about to go into a mindless rut or anything, but she would likely have to put up with unwanted suitors and of course her own bodily reactions to those suitors.

The entire situation pissed her off to no end as she really did not want to deal with that sort of complication-as if her life wasn't complex enough already. Still she had not lost her temper. She had, in fact, thanked Carlisle politely for helping her, and then left to go decide what she wanted to do.

She had been gone for a whole week and during that time she had not phased once. They had all left her alone knowing she needed to come to terms with this on her own.

When she had come back she had calmly told them her plan.

Jacob would, for the time period she was in heat, forbid any of Sam's pack from crossing the border. Sam would be told to place an Alpha command on all un-imprinted wolves in his pack; Leah didn't really care about the imprinted wolves. She wouldn't even bother with it but there were some wolves in Sam's pack-some of the new ones-that had been eyeing her lately and she didn't feel like dealing with them.

When Seth had questioned what to do about Embry, Leah had simply blinked and informed Seth that she was fairly sure Embry could a) control himself and b) wouldn't be interested in the first place.

Embry had fought to keep his expression blank while Edward had to leave the room so he wouldn't give Embry's feelings away. But, Leah continued, if it made Seth feel better he could play watchdog to Embry.

So far Leah's scent hadn't changed. In a way that disappointed her; she'd been hoping to use it as an excuse to get out of going to the bonfire. Carlisle had told them it would likely happen within the next few days.

Sam and Jacob motioned for everyone to quiet down; they were about to begin their big speech. Jacob had muttered for days over Sam's dramatic sense; he'd said there should be some sort of speech between them showing that they were all still brothers so Jacob had had to write one.

As they all settled in Embry maneuvered until he was between Leah and some of Sam's wolves. He'd met them all and the only ones he remembered were the ones that kept trying to hit on Leah. He really didn't like them.

Though Leah said nothing to him he felt her minutely move herself so that she was closer to him on the log than before; a silent thank you. Seth claimed her other side

It happened in the middle of the speech. Jacob's had been short but Sam was still rambling on and on. Embry was fighting laughter; Seth had fallen asleep and was slumped on Leah's shoulder. Leah herself was fighting sleep and kept slumping towards him and then jerking herself back awake and upright.

On her next slump towards his shoulder Embry simply curled his hand around her head and drew it down to lay against his chest. She tensed for a second and then relaxed. Her breath evened out as she began to doze off.

Embry was pretty sure he'd smelled it first. The scent wafting towards him was of pure sex. Before he had a chance to move a breeze sprang up and suddenly every shifter nose at the bonfire was twitching. Jacob's eyes met Embry's eyes and in their gaze was mutual horror; this was not good.

LEAH POV

Curled up in one of the bolt-holes that she was using for the next week or so Leah grumbled to herself; fate was totally out to get her. Ignoring the whole first female shifter ever thing, Fate had decided to further screw everything up by making her so like her animal counterpart that she had to suffer the indignation of going into heat! And, to make it even worse, it had started in the middle of a pack bonfire where every single wolf was in attendance.

She had never in her life been so embarrassed.

The damn thing couldn't have started even two hours earlier so that she would not have had to even go to the stupid bonfire? No, of course not. Because that would be something she wanted and Leah never got anything she wanted anymore.

Hell, she hadn't even realized what had happened at first. She'd been well on her way to falling asleep against Embry's surprisingly comfortable chest-and if she hadn't been downright exhausted she would never have allowed him that liberty-and the next she knew she was in Embry's arms and he was running away towards the Cullen's while she jolted awake and turned shocked eyes towards him.

Though her first reaction was to scream and hit him to make him let her go something in his face had her lying motionless and allowing him to carry her.

The first inkling she had was when Embry had all but shoved her into Edward's arms, said "It's starting", and run off back to Jake and Seth.

Edward had been the one to explain to her what had happened; she smelled no different to herself though Edward assured her she smelled different to him; different, he told her, but still unappetizing.

According to Seth who had come to talk with her, Sam was not reacting well to the news Jacob had about her new scent and the reason behind it. Jacob was worried that Sam might try to entice her back to his pack though for the life of her Leah couldn't think what he could use to do that. She was over Sam. It had taken a long time but she was over him. She was not meant to be with him and she was honestly okay with that.

Most of the wolves her age were imprinted, in fact, Embry was the only one who wasn't and he was not in Sam's pack. The others were too young; they had all phased between fifteen and sixteen.

In the end Sam had agreed to tell his pack not to cross the border but he had refused to lay down an Alpha Command on them. It was day four and so far not a single wolf had crossed over. If she was lucky she only had a couple more days to put up with this.

She twitched restlessly on her bed. She wanted to run but she knew better. Carlisle had briefed her well; running was the wolf's way of enticing a mate. A male wolf that caught her scent would have to chase her and whichever one caught her would be the one to have her. So she was pretty much stuck here; only venturing out to get a drink or some food. Jacob and Seth usually brought her something from Esme a couple of times a day in between patrols. They wanted to make sure no one from Sam's pack crossed over as even Sam had admitted several of his young wolves would love to imprint on Leah.

Poor Embry was relegated to an even deeper patrol. As Seth and Jacob were both immune to Leah's new scent, they'd tested the reach using him and then decided having him around was too much of a risk.

He'd been a good sport about it but Leah knew she would owe him huge after this. He'd done a good job at hiding it but her scent was affecting him. Maybe Seth and Jacob didn't notice it but Leah knew when a male was looking at her and having certain types of thoughts. A shiver ran down her spine as she remembered the way his dark eyes traced over her body the other day. While they had lingered on the obvious places like her chest and her ass they had also roamed over her stomach and the curve of her neck. He'd licked his lips as he'd looked at her mouth and she'd had to leave before the wetness between her legs became noticeable to anyone else but her.

She knew Carlisle had said her body would be an enemy in this battle but she hadn't realized he had meant it quite so literally.

While she would admit to finding Embry attractive before this she had never really thought of him as a possible anything before. He was a pack-mate; granted, Mother Nature had been good to him; very, very, good actually, but Leah knew better than to even entertain those types of thoughts. Embry would imprint one day and she was not about to start anything with another wolf. She had learned that lesson the hard way.

Leah twisted around to lie on her back. The rock ceiling of the cave she was in stretched above her.

She was so bored. Glancing at her watch she realized neither Seth nor Jacob would be by until tomorrow morning for breakfast. She would go insane with boredom before that.

Testing the water she shifted into her wolf form. Immediately she could feel the effects of being in Season. Her body felt...different; alive in a way that she had never felt before. The feel of the air ruffling through her fur was decidedly sensuous though it never had been before. As she walked forward to the cave opening Leah realized even her gait had changed.

Great, now not only was she emitting pheromones but she was also beginning to act like a slut too. She phased back into human form; instantly feeling more comfortable. Getting dressed she pondered what she felt like doing.

Grumbling to herself she left the safety of one of her temporary homes. The Cullen's had offered to let her stay with them but she had refused. She might be tempting fate by being out here in the forest alone but she had faith in her pack; they would not let her be harmed and really it was just sex when it came right down to it. If she happened to get caught by someone she didn't have to have sex with them and if she did have sex with them its not like she had to stay with them for the rest of her life.

To be perfectly honest while she could stand the vampires smell for a lot longer now there was no way she would be able to handle it for a week straight. So she had opted to set up three little sanctuaries deep inside Cullen land.

There was a fourth one just over the treaty line that she had used before in Sam's pack but she thought that might be too close for even her to risk. But she headed in that direction anyway. There was a stream there and Leah wanted to take a bath.

Sure there was a stream by the Cullen's house too but it wasn't deep enough to submerge herself into the way the treaty stream was.

Leah saw no one on her way to the stream. She half expected to be accosted by one of her pack-mates but it looked like they were at the other end of the forest. Good, she could have her bath uninterrupted.

Reaching the stream Leah looked around carefully. There was no sign of any wolves. The forest was quiet but not the kind of quiet where you just knew something was about to happen; no, this was just the normal quiet of night. The usual night sounds were there so she felt fairly safe.

Stripping off her clothes Leah dropped into the water. Instantly the heat from her body dissipated as the cold water slid over her skin. She sighed in pleasure.

A slim arm reached towards the bag on the side of the stream and she withdrew a special bio-degradable soap. Esme had bought it for her and the rest of the boys after discovering that they spent a lot of time rolling around in the water to get clean; this soap would clean them and not poison the water.

Frankly Leah thought it was a wonderful gift and had said so. Of course Leah also enjoyed being clean more than the boys did. They could go days without showering and never even notice.

Leah had to bathe after every single patrol to get the dust off her or it drove her insane.

Humming softly Leah finished the actual cleansing part of her bath and submerged herself under the water. She kicked herself forward a few lengths and emerged; enjoying the feeling of the water flowing off her.

She turned around to go back to her bag so she could get her towel and froze. Staring straight at her was a brown wolf and it had her towel in its mouth.

Realizing the wolf's eyes were trained on her breasts Leah sank back into the water so that only her head was above.

She could tell without even needing to ask that the wolf with her towel had no intention of giving it back. In fact, judging from the looks of him he had no intention of doing anything but trying to have sex with her. She of course recognized him; it was Nick. He'd been trying to get her to sleep with him since the day he had phased.

Leah calculated her odds. In human form she would be no match for Nick. In wolf form she could, possibly, outrun him. Nick was both bigger and stronger than her like all the other boys so if he was able to pin her down, well, she was fairly confident he wouldn't actually rape her, if nothing else, he would not survive his next phase with the pack if he did. However he could attempt to seduce her and, with her hormones playing up as they had been, she was not entirely sure how that would play out. He was, like all the wolves, extremely attractive, and Leah was not immune to the hotness that her fellow shifters were anymore.

She would have to walk out of the stream though. Phasing in the water would only slow her down and give away her plan. In order to get the traction she needed for her retreat she needed to be on dry land. Behind her were the Quileute lands and possibly more wolves. In front of her were Nick and her pack's territory.

Gritting her teeth Leah began to walk forward. Nick's eyes crept over her and it was all she could do not to cringe away in disgust; she felt dirty all over again.

Finally she reached land and as soon as she got her feet under her she phased and bolted. She had taken Nick by surprise but he was not chasing her. Leah had just enough time to wonder why before she was hit from the side and went flying to the ground. Her head hit with enough force to make her see stars and she lay there dazed.

Dimly she heard shouting but it took her a few seconds to realize it was in her head and that it was Embry. Opening her eyes she saw Nick staring down at her; if a wolf could smirk he would be doing it. Oddly enough Leah was seeing double; she must have hit the ground harder than she thought. Then a nose butted at her side and she realized she wasn't seeing double. It was Nick's brother, Adrian; he had been the one to hit her.

Nick must have had him waiting in the wings and when she had run she had run right into him. Adrian would be no help to her. While Nick had always tried to hit on her Adrian had been the one distracting the others so Nick could get her alone.

Embry swore in her head as he took in what Leah could see and then he began to run towards her.

Shaking her head Leah tried to get to her feet but Nick growled warningly at her. She growled right back. No way in hell was she about to submit to some little kid. He nipped at her flank and she yelped in shock that he had actually dared touch her. Embry roared in anger and his howl of rage carried through the forest to Leah's ears. Adrian barked something at Nick but Nick shook his head and turned toward Leah again.

Inwardly Leah cursed at herself and her stupid desire for a wash. Embry agreed with her but she could feel the underlying worry. It would be difficult for anything to happen in this form so Leah wasn't too worried really.

But then Nick shocked her completely by diving at her throat. Before she could react her throat was between his jaws and he was squeezing. As her ability to breathe got less and less Leah realized Nick's plan. When she lost consciousness she would reflexively shift back into her human form. When she was unconscious Nick could do whatever he wanted or take her where ever he wanted. He'd obviously had this planned for a while, judging from Adrian's presence. There was no telling what he had set up next.

Her struggles were getting weaker now; she could barely get any breath at all. Blackness began to cover her eyes. Her legs stilled; she fought to hold onto her wolf form.

A growl rang though the air and the pressure on her throat slacked a little bit. Then suddenly the hold on her throat was ripped off luckily taking only a bit of fur with it. Leah could hear growls and snarls as well as yelps of pain. Fighting to open her eyes she watched as Embry effectively and efficiently kicked Nick's ass.

Embry whipped around and growled at her and she didn't need the translation in her mind to know that he was telling her to run. She forced herself to her feet, hesitating slightly she wondered if she should stay to help. She winced as Adrian launched himself at Embry and got himself thrown into the water for his trouble. Embry glared and Leah ran. He didn't need her help to deal with the two of them.

She couldn't run far though; she still felt too weak. She stopped a mile or so away and sank down into a crouch as she waited for the dizziness to fade. Leah shivered as she realized that if Embry had been but a few moments later she would have shifted back into human form, and though she had no idea what would have happened next she could make a pretty fair guess, and it wasn't pretty.

She heard a thundering sound coming towards her. Leah got to her feet warily; poised to run. Her mind reached for Embry's but couldn't find it. Well, she could feel it, but there was no rational thought behind it.

He was on his way to find her she could tell that much but after that...all that was there was rage and pain and lust. Leah froze. Crap! Had she just traded in one bit of trouble for another?

As Embry broke into the clearing she was in and raked his eyes down her form, lingering on her throat, Leah felt her stomach suddenly clench deep down in a way she remembered feeling only when Sam had been about to kiss her. She also realized that Embry's eyes on her didn't make her cringe in horror the way Nick's had.

Catching her thoughts Embry growled and before she even realized she was doing it Leah whimpered and lowered her head in submission to him. She caught herself an instant later; confusion racing through her, but it was too late.

Embry had been holding onto his lust by a thin thread for days now. Leah's gesture of submission towards him had just snapped it.

He leapt towards her. She caught his intent from his mind and her instincts took over. Leah fled. He chased.

EMBRY POV

Growling, Embry pinned Leah against a tree. She'd phased back into human form in desperation hoping it would stop him. It didn't.

The sight of her naked body with the moonlight shining down on it only inflamed him more.

He'd tried to fight it; the last thing he wanted was to have Leah given to him by a biological function she couldn't control.

But she'd been careless and almost been caught by two of Sam's wolves. He wasn't prepared to let someone else have her. He'd ripped them off her and urged her to run. Then he'd made sure neither of those two would be getting up any time soon and raced after her. She hadn't gone far, perhaps thinking he simply wanted to yell at her.

The situation he had found her in combined with her scent and his feelings for her had ripped away that Embry; the safe Embry who had done everything possible to resist his basest urges. All that was left was the darker, hormone-driven Embry he'd been fighting down for weeks now; the Embry that wanted to bury himself balls deep inside her and hear her moan his name as she came around him.

Small hands tried to shove him away, but he didn't move. Pressing himself up fully against her he phased back and caught her mouth with his. Easily forcing open her mouth he thrust his tongue in to do battle at the same time grinding his hips against hers.

A gasp, muffled by his mouth, told him that she had definitely taken notice of the hard length pressed intimately against her.

In one smooth motion he had Leah in his arms. For the moment she was dazed and lay there quietly but, as he bent to lay her on the soft grass, she blinked back to herself and tried to struggle free.

She babbled at him, broken sentences about how he didn't really want this, it was just the wolf reacting, that he could fight the urge but he ignored it all. The only thing he wanted to hear from her were moans, sighs, and his own name.

Ignoring her, Embry pressed himself against her again and took her lips again. God, she tasted incredible, so sweet; a hint of strawberries and more than a hint of sharp-sweet orange. She must have some fruit for a snack earlier.

Even better than her taste was the scent wafting from her skin. There was the scent that had started this whole mess, of course, the scent that basically called all unmated male wolves to come and play, but just as strongly as that was the scent of Leah's own arousal. She wanted this.

Growling in happy excitement Embry left Leah's delicious mouth and nuzzled her throat. Recalling the bruises on it from Nick's actions he gently pressed kisses and laved them with his tongue even as his hands slid from her rib cage to her breasts. Flicking his forefingers over both nipples he was rewarded with them pebbling instantly and with Leah's gasps of pleasure. He pulled the left nipple into his mouth and began to suck while rolling the right one between his thumb and finger. Her hands speared into his hair and she arched against him, pulling him even closer.

Switching his attention to her other breast he tugged that nipple between his lips and nibbled at it lightly with his teeth. A strangled cry escaped Leah's throat and he felt her long legs wrap round his waist.

It would be so easy to slide inside her right now but he wasn't done with his explorations yet. He moved back up to kiss her and then pulled away.

Breaking free from her grasp he knelt between her spread legs. Her eyes locked on his and he could see the confusion in them. She wasn't sure what was going on, what he was about to do.

Smirking, Embry picked up her legs and threw them over his shoulders; her hips were now tilted up and he placed his hands under them to keep them in that position. Dipping his head down towards her moist folds he inhaled deeply.

Fuck doing this slowly was going to kill him but he had to be careful.

Leah realized what he was going to do a split second before his tongue touched her and her hands flew to his head to pull him away. But then he was tasting her, licking her fast and then slowly, using his teeth to gently nibble at her clit and her hands convulsed in his hair and then gripped hard; no longer trying to tug him away.

Plunging his tongue inside as deep as he could he caressed her inner walls. Unable to control her movements, she started to rock against his face, her wild cries urging him on, demanding more; the sound of her pleasure mesmerized him. He felt her begin to tense up and knew she was about to come. Eagerly he waited for it, never stopping his ministrations.

She came hard, bucking up against him, and it was his name that tore from her mouth. "Embry," she called. "Oh God, Embry!"

Even as she rode the waves of her orgasm he moved his focus to her swollen clit and gently lowered her back to the ground; his head following her, his mouth never losing contact.

He was working her body hard towards another orgasm, this time he worked one finger into her sheath. His senses were working overtime and he could hear the whisper of grass as it moved beneath her head as she writhed in pleasure, unable to stop her reaction to his touch.

Her hands were still clutched in his hair and he could feel her tugging him up. Another finger joined his first as he worked her; stretching her gently so that he wouldn't hurt her too much when he took her.

Giving into the pulling he replaced his tongue on her clit with his thumb and moved up her body. Leah pressed her mouth to his and her tongue drove forward to twine about his. Embry groaned.

He felt one hand leave his hair and travel down his back; nails gently scraping even as she drew away to gasp for air. He was just about to kiss her again when her exploring hand slid around his waist and brushed deliberately against his cock. Gasping, Embry's back arched involuntarily and his thumb pressed down on the tiny button it had been rubbing while his fingers curled inside of her.

Leah yelped and then, apparently liking the reaction her touch had aroused, her hand made for his cock again.

Embry quickly put a stop to her tormenting fingers; there would be more time later for playing, right now it was time for him to make her fully, irrevocably his. After this no one would ever come between them again; not even Leah herself.

With one last kiss he positioned himself. He had to do it fast; going slowly only prolonged the pain and he never wanted to cause Leah pain. With one quick thrust he was inside; her walls clamped down on him in reaction and he stilled immediately. Her cry of pain rang in his ears.

Fighting to control the urge to pound relentlessly into her he forced himself to stay motionless as she adjusted to his size. He forced himself to breathe deeply and evenly; a sharp contrast to Leah's harsh panting as she grew accustomed to his intrusion.

Gradually she relaxed around him and Embry began to move again. He wasted no time, moving in and out of her body at a fast pace and using his mouth on her breasts and his fingers on her clit again to entice her body to respond.

He could feel the pressure and pleasure building with every thrust and when Leah's hips began moving in time with his own he knew he couldn't hold out much longer.

He thrust harder and faster; it felt like he was going deeper into Leah with each movement. He could tell she was getting close; her legs suddenly tightened around his waist and her back arched a split second before she cried out and he felt her walls slam down on him. Two more thrusts and he was joining her, spilling into her.

After getting his breath back Embry moved to roll off her, sure that he had to be crushing her with his superior weight, but her arms tightened around his back in an unspoken request to stay. Since he happened to like the position he was in, still deep inside her, her body molded to his and her breath flowing past his left ear as he'd buried his face into the right side of her neck and was currently inhaling her scent, he obliged.

After a few minutes he realized Leah had fallen asleep, he wasn't surprised after the day she'd had.

Carefully he pulled away from her and scooped her up in his arms.

One of the little hidey-holes she had been using was only a short walk away and that place had food, water and a nice pile of blankets. They would stay the rest of Leah's heat cycle there and Embry would kill any wolf who dared try to take his mate.

Finally, after so many years of longing and fantasizing, Leah Clearwater was his.