"Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love — and now become as the most hated one — the one — You have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone ... Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like 0sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?"

Mother Teresa

Chapter Two, Beta

I woke miserable and with the worst stomach ache ever. I blamed Jake. Because, if Jake hadn't decided to go all Rambo on the old pack, I'd never have wound up here, with my muzzle in the mud, and nothing in my stomach.

I hate you Jake, I thought, just in case he was shifted. Life had really sucked before this, but this was a new level of suckiness.

He wasn't. Seth was, and sounding dead tired but still chipper enough to peal paint. Esme made waffles, he told me, resplendent with an image of him inhaling said waffles.

Go to sleep kid; and didn't Mom ever tell you not to take food from vampires?

It's good!

And probably poisoned, but what could you do? I could only tell the kid so many times before you just had to give up on him and use your energy for something else. When was the last time you slept, kid? He paused. I sighed and, for some ungodly reason, offered, though I felt like crap, Get some sleep; I'll run patrols.

I still-

Sleep. Now. I pulled myself to my feet – paws, whatever – and stretched.

No, you're not feeling good-

I'm perfectly fine, I hissed. And I ran.

So it was me who got to hear Jake's tale when he – finally – phased.

I think Carlise's been slipping Edward a little too much Xanex.

I snorted. What, the mind-raper try to make a move on you?

No. He said this, as he ran to join me on the border, in the tone other people would "I wish." He offered to share Bella with me.

The conversation replayed in my head, and I found myself gagging. You've got to me kidding me.

God, I wish I was.

I thought old bints like him were supposed to be chivalrous and sexually repressed, not into threesomes.

It was his turn to gag. That's disgusting, Leah!

Ponderously, Well, there are like... I paused to count, seven of them. Maybe he was trying to invite you to their weekly orgy or something.

I could see him not too far away now. Bleach. I need mind bleach for that thought.

At least I didn't send images. I would have sicked up for real if I had. Oh, great, they were forming... And then I was sick, which just goes to show sleeping in the mud without a decent meal does wonders for a werewolf's constitution.

Jake came up beside me and butted my shoulder with his head. What's wrong, Lee?

Thoughts... such wrong thoughts... I managed, then pulled away from his too-close stance. I'll head north, you take south?

If you're not feeling well, you should see Carl-

I'm not letting Dr. Frankenstein or his monster spawn near me. I'll be fine. God, go girly on me why don't you. Need me to pick up some panty liners for you?

Fuck off.

So many choices for comebacks, so little time. I've tried, I settled on solemnly, but you girls keep stealing the vibrators. Trotting north, I hoped that would be the end of it. But, no, Jake chose to further annoy me and jog alongside me. It was kinda annoying, and where the path got narrow, rather then hang back or anything normal like that, his shoulder would bump against mine.

Personal boundaries, Jake. Look it up.

You smell weird.

And you standing three inches away is less weird how? He'd spent all night curled up in his little doggy bed with a food bowl and collar at the Cullens', which would leave anyone smelling minty fresh I'm sure. Those of us sleeping in the mud to protect the bloodlovers had to make do with what scents nature provided.

Maybe you are getting sick, Leah. You should really-

I should really get cable brought out to my rock-den-thing and much on pizza. I was only here to make sure Seth was okay. That, and even I admit killing unborn half-vampire babies is wrong. God, I was getting maternal now. Next thing you knew I'd be baking cookies in some stupid '50s apron with the leeches, waiting for the he-wolves to come home.

Note to self: get rid of hormones. And eat. Probably not in the order.

I'm perfectly fine, oh mighty Alpha. But, now that you mention it, I could do with a pizza or-

Esme made-

I'm not touching anything the leeches-

I could sense him rolling his eyes. It's not poisoned.

I imagined the brunette pouring a bottle of rat poison into the eggs. Hell, with the werewolf thing, we probably wouldn't even notice unless they used elephant tranquilliser or something. And I was really hungry...

I shook myself, and Jake continued to push against my side.

I can walk on my own- And then I saw that he'd pushed me off the path, towards the Manor. You stupid fucking cock-

"Language," the mind-raper tisked from the porch.

Jake, at least, growled at the leech, which meant the world was somewhat normal. Take care of her, he said as briskly as possible, then turned back to the boarder, running to make up time.

I am not a dog. You don't just drop me off at the vet and- a dress landed on my head.

"You're hungry, we have food," he said, "and Esme hates the thought of you being uncared for in the woods on our account."

Then she can hook up a hot plate at my rock, I turned. My rock – some kids got apartments or bought houses when they moved out. Me? I got a rock. A cozy rock that blocked out the wind and had some convenient hollies for shelter, but it was still a rock.

Leah, Jake pleaded. He had the whole puppy-dog-look down almost as well as Seth. I blamed hunger for weakening my resolve.

Fine. But turn around first.


a/n: woot. I updated again. I don't know why. Just having some trouble with aeSTHetic I guess.....