I knew it the moment my toes touched the icy water…

The two packs had met by the lake in order to mend wounds, to try to make rights out of wrongs and to sort things out once and for all. It couldn't continue to go this way, two packs working against each other, heirs exiled from their land. The negotiations had taken place, the terms laid out on the table, both parties had agreed and it seemed as though for a while at least, everything would turn out great. The future would work itself out, it always did in time.

The future.

"…yeah, except for Leah who's a genetic dead end!"

It was Jared's remark that brought me out of my daydream as we stood there, seven shirtless boys and myself, the only one even close to fully dressed with just my shorts and a tank top. Why were we still standing there, I didn't have the remotest notion and the whole conversation taking place wasn't even a vision of a blur in my head but one thing was for sure, Jared's comment had brought me back to reality and hit me square where it hurt the most.

"Jared, shut it." Sam commanded.

The scenario could have played itself in many different ways for sure. I could have come up with a quick, sarcastic retort or at the very least I could have just given him the kind of glare that would have brought a chill to his bones and make him wish he could take back his words. Instead I did nothing. I was tired of games, of playing both offence and defense at the same time All my energy was drained, gone.

"I'm going for a swim." My voice was relaxed, calm, even as I turned and slowly walked to the water's edge. My tone hadn't given the slightest inclination not even a trace or a hint of the sting his comment had caused me.

"Oh come on, that water has to be freezing. It's friggin' winter for heaven's sake!" It was Embry speaking. Mr. Know it all himself.

Two more steps and I was standing at the water's edge, my bare feet tapping it's glacial surface.

I knew it the moment my toes touched the icy water.

"Don't come in after me." I smiled as I glanced over my left shoulder at the group that stood by the shore before returning my gaze forward and wading waist deep into the lake.

I could hear them talking behind me. It wasn't as if their muted tones could escape my wolf hearing, I just didn't care what they were talking about. Leaning forward I broke into a lazy breast stroke before I crawl stroked my way farther into the lake. Before my body had intruded into its waters, the dark surface had been smooth as glass, now ripples broke the surface and moved away from my body in every direction. Pushing forward, I kept a steady pace, a soft breeze biting at my ears each time they surfaced, the only sounds caused by my moving body.

I swum for a while stopping only once or twice to sneak a quick glance behind me making sure that at least one of the guys was looking at me, that they could see I was fine. If this was going to go smoothly, I couldn't raise any suspicion, couldn't cause any reason for alarm. Leaning all my weight backwards, I allowed myself to float on the dark surface. The always gray sky smiled above me, soon darkness would come and around the lake, birds could be heard as they picked out their spot pass the night in.

I floated in peaceful silence only lifting one of my arms every so often to arrange my position, my ears perked, listening closely for the sounds coming from the shore. They were still there, conversing about god knows what, their topic of conversation was beside the point. All that mattered was their tones, slowly increasing in decibels as what appeared to be an argument between Jacob and Sam eased to a start. Leaning my head to the left served to corroborate the auditory information I had gathered, all attention was now centered on the two fighting males. It was now or never.

I knew it the moment my toes touched the icy water… in this lake I would be released from life.

Returning to an upright position I looked at the pack for what would be last time before I slowly inhaled and then forced out every single bit of air left in my lungs and then completely submerging myself in the lake, not stopping till I dug my feet into its sandy bottom.

There I waited for it. For that last uncontrollable urge to inhale. I watched as my dark hair floated and gathered around my face. I was suspended in time, anchored to the lake's gritty bottom. Waiting. Welcoming and no longing prolonging the inevitable.

The moment I had stepped into the icy cold water I had known I was not willing to wait anymore. I was not willing to wait for the future when the news would reach my ears that Emily was pregnant. A time when even my own mother would expect for me to be happy. Happy that not only had my own cousin taken the man I had loved, but she would also be having the only thing I could not, a child. I was not willing to force any more smiles, to conjure up all my strength in order to mutter "I'm happy for you."

I was not willing to wait for Jacob to realize that through the course of events that had unfolded, somehow, mysteriously and at some moment I was not aware of myself, I had fallen for him. I was not willing to wait for the inevitable rejection that would be cast on me upon this dawning. I was not willing to continue watching him pine over the already married Isabella Swan anymore. I was unwilling to see him coo over her spawn. What had this world come to anyway when the not-living could bring life into this world but I couldn't? I was not going to continue playing the leeches' guard dog, hopelessly following Jacob around and I would certainly not subject myself to the agony that would come when he eventually imprinted. I'd had enough suffering over an imprinted male to last me two lifetimes.

But this was not all about love lost and love not found, this was also about a life planned but not achieved. This was about all the goals I had set for myself and having to reluctantly watch as they were either destroyed or kept getting pushed farther and farther away. This was about having choices crushed under fate's hateful weight until there were no more options left behind. It was about being trapped and held as a hostage. It was about having my life wronged in every single possible way.

I waited. Waited for that moment when it would all come to an end and as I did so, I tucked my hands deep inside my pockets not wanting them to float up. I would not allow them to hover freely over me because I did not want to be saved.

It was quiet down here. Only the sound of my own thoughts echoed through my head as a racing heart beat banged against my ears. I could feel its rhythmic thumping in my chest as it mirrored through my neck all the way up my temples.

And as sudden as my decision to drown myself had been, it came. The urge to breathe. Mad, angry and uncontrollable it took over me filling my lungs with the icy cold water. It burned. It hurt. A sudden gag and a silent scream.

My own body was now out of my control and slowly but surely, it gave in. A sudden wave of cold hit me forcing my muscles to jerk instinctively. For the first time since I had gotten here I actually felt how cold it was instead of imagining it and just as quickly as I had felt it, it was gone. My thoughts too started to quickly fade along with the rhythmic beating of my heart. My body suddenly relaxed.

Then darkness came and it too slipped into nothingness. All my senses were gone. My thoughts too disappeared.

I was no more. Leah Clearwater was now nothing more than an empty shell at the bottom of a dark lake.

But before it all slipped away, one last thought remained, I was free.

I had been released.

My first story ever! Please review. ^^