Starlit

Story summary: AU set after BD. What if Jacob didn't imprint on Renesmee? What if, instead, a certain moody female werewolf did? Leah/Renesmee, canon pairings.

Author's note/disclaimer: Yeah, last chapter was super short. This one will be much longer, promise. This chapter starts more than six years after the confrontation with the Volturi. Renesmee has finally stopped aging. She now has the appearance of a seventeen/eighteen year old, and the mindset of an adult.

---

It had all started because of Renesmee. Renesmee had finally stopped growing – she would no longer be changing lightning quick before their eyes. Her birthday was significant in other ways, as well. Now that Nessie had stopped growing, it was time to leave Forks for a while, and find new grounds.

Emmett had suggested Mobile, Alabama. That was quickly voted down. Bella had wanted to stay in Washington, but her suggestion had also been nixed. It had been Alice who had come up with the winning idea.

"Let's go back to Arleigh," She had said brightly. Arleigh was a small town in Oregon, close to Astoria and the Columbia, and the family had spent some time there many years ago. All had agreed to going to Arleigh in the end, even Bella.

After that had been settled, Bella had started pushing for a party. It could be both a birthday party for Nessie and a farewell party for all of them. She wanted especially to invite the wolves – they had helped so much, and she would miss them. She considered them all dear friends, even if they only rarely spoke to them these days. But Sam's pack had stood with them and the other vampires against the Volturi, and that was something none of the Cullens would ever forget.

Bella had also only recently started to talk to Jake again, after he'd walked out of the house on that terrible day so long ago. Jake had since moved on, and they had rekindled their friendship. Edward, surprisingly, hadn't been the least bit jealous, after seeing Jacob's thoughts.

And of course, Bella got her way. She always did.

That is the story of how Leah had found herself in hell.

---

Leah had never liked parties. Even before her life started to fall apart, she had never liked them. Parties had just never been her scene, and she had much preferred hanging with a few close friends, or staying in with Sam.

But now she stood in the corner of the Cullen's living room, wearing a borrowed black dress and uncomfortable heels. She'd even consented to wear a minimum of make-up for the evening. Common sense demanded she flee – she was surrounded by blood suckers, after all, and she owed them no loyalty. She did owe Jake her loyalty, though, and because of that, here she was.

She'd promised to come, but she hadn't promised to like it, nor had she promised to mingle and be pleasant. And so she stood grumpily in her corner, replying with short, tense answers when anyone dared speak to her.

Disgusted, she raised her glass for another long sip. Much to her chagrin, she found the glass empty. Damn. She'd gone through that one fast. At least it had only been her first. Only one more, Leah. You don't want to go home in the back of someone's car again, she told herself sternly, before setting off to fetch some more. At least the blood suckers had good taste in alcohol.

Moving through the room, she noticed Jake speaking with Bella. She allowed herself to watch them for a moment. They hadn't seen in each other since the day Bella had given birth, and things were obviously nowhere back to how they had been. Probably never would be the same again.

Bella was stunning now, and moved with grace, but she had lost the things that made her Bella. She had become an entirely new creature. Jake no longer loved her, but it still obviously pained him to see her so different.

He had Sara, though, who'd he started dating over three years ago.

Leah had been alternately thrilled and worried by that. She was glad he had been able to choose who he wanted, of his own volition… It gave her hope she would be able to make that choice for herself. But someday, she knew, that choice might be taken from him and that scared her. She hoped that day never came.

She also knew that because he hadn't imprinted yet was his main reasoning behind why he hadn't asked Sara to marry him, and probably never would.

Another reason to hate our heritage, Leah thought bitterly, watching Bella and Jake talk for another second before turning away.

Sam and Emily were also in the room, but she pretended they weren't there. She didn't want to ruin her evening any more then it was already had been. She didn't think she'd ever be able to get over their past and the incredible pain she still felt. Sam may not have been able to help falling in love with Emily at first, but Leah could not help her feelings of betrayal.

Shaking her head, she remembered her goal. The snack table, and then back to her corner for another twenty or minutes before she could flee gracefully. She could people watch when she was back in her corner, not when she was out in the open where she could be ambushed at any moment by a good intentioned friend.

From her side, she heard a flurry of feminine laughter. She instantly pinned one laugh as belonging to the vampire Alice. Out of all the blood suckers, the one she disliked the least was probably Alice, though Leah was unsure as why exactly. The petite vampire had always been the friendliest, at least. The other laugh was unfamiliar, and that made her frown. She had been sure she was at least acquainted with everyone in the room. Catching a glimpse of bronze curls, she frowned harder. Of course, the birthday girl. Ugh. She disliked Bella's spawn ever more then Bella, even without having met her.

She made a face at the back of their heads, and rolled her eyes. She may have stood with the vampires in defense of Renesmee against the Volturi, but that didn't mean she had to like the creature (or any of the Cullens, for that matter). She had always done her best to avoid Renesmee, considering the girl an abomination.

Then Renesmee turned to face her. She was gracefully tall, and as unnaturally beautiful as the rest of the vampires, perhaps even more so. Her skin was ivory pale, but pink flushed cheeks spoke of her human heritage. Artfully arranged curls fell around her shoulders, and a smile tugged at the corner of full lips. She may be beautiful on the outside, but she's still a monster. With a scoff, Leah made ready to turn away, when her eyes caught those of the younger girl's.

Everything changed in that instant, and time seemed to slow, stretching the moment into infinity.

Leah's breathing hitched, and the world went dark around her. It seemed as though as all senses but eyesight had failed; voices faded and even the off-putting scent of the bloodsuckers was gone. Nothing else mattered, except for that one bright spot, in the sea of darkness. Renesmee was a shining beacon, and Leah could not tear her gaze away.

And Renesmee's eyes were so bright, so warm; Leah was captured in them against her will as Renesmee took a step closer to Leah, and another. Then a quiet squeak (from the direction of Alice) permeated the darkness, and suddenly the world came rushing back.

Momentarily blinded by the bright lights of the party, Leah swayed dizzily a moment as she regained her senses. Nobody seemed to have notice the moment, save Alice, and Edward who was now staring at them from across the room. There was a fierce look on his face, and Leah shivered.

Renesmee took another step. She was close now. Her skin looked to be impossibly soft and like it would be cool to the touch, but Leah could feel the heat radiating off the younger girl's body. Swallowing hard, she realized how badly she wanted to feel Renesmee.

She had never felt anything so wonderful and so terrifying, and so she ran.

---

She didn't phase. She didn't want Jake or any of the other pack members picking up on these feelings.

It was dark out, and no moon out, but the stars glittered brightly in the sky, guiding her. She kept running, losing herself in the feel of air rushing past of her face.

Finally, she stopped. Her breathing was labored, and her lungs ached. Even with her way above average stamina, she couldn't run nearly as long or hard in human form. Leah took a deep, calming breath, before lowering herself to rest beneath a large tree. The bark was rough against her skin, and she realized it was probably pulling at silk of her dress, ruining it. She didn't care. She didn't know how'd long she been running, and she didn't care. It didn't matter.

She was deep within the woods, she was certain. When she looked up, she could barely see the stars for the leaves and branches blocking the view. Her feet ached, and her feet were bare and filthy. She'd removed her heels as some point, kicking them off with a curse because they made it impossible to run normally.

Her calves ached as well, but they were just a small part of the overall pain she was feeling. The pain from her run was nothing compared to the pain in her heart. What's worse is that some small part of her is so content, so in love, so happy to have found the missing piece. The rest of her is just depressed and confused and angry.

She will let her emotions win, out here with nobody to witness. With a strangled scream, Leah buried her head into her arms and cried.

She could not run forever, she knew. Eventually, it would become too much and she'd be forced to return. Perhaps killing herself would break the bond, but even in her depressed state, she could not seriously contemplate taking her own life.

She sat up after some time, wiping at her eyes. Her minimal make-up was probably ruined now, and her eyes hurt. Wrapping her arms around the trunk of the tree, in an attempt to ground herself, she sighed softly.

Was this similar to how Sam had felt? She'd hated him for so long for what he'd done. She couldn't see it as anything but cruel, even after she learned the truth. He hadn't chosen Emily – Emily had been chosen for him. That hadn't made her hurt any less, and so she had continued hating them.

She couldn't bring herself to summon up any of that old hatred, and only traces of her long held anger. Because this was horrific. This invasion of her heart and mind, the loss of free will, terrified her and pissed her off, and it was almost funny that she could forgive Sam and Emily so completely when she was in such turmoil.

She felt fresh tears springing to her eyes, hot and shameful, and she wiped them away harshly. No time for tears, Leah, she reminded herself. Think. What can you do?

If anybody knew, if anybody saw her, what would they think? Poor Leah, pathetic Leah, hiding in the forest, crying her eyes out and running from love. Would any of them understand? Even she didn't fully understand her own reaction, though she knew it was partly because imprinting on Renesmee was a combination of her worst fears.

She'd have to face the light soon, but for now, exhausted by her feelings, she fell asleep, and dreamt of monsters.

When she awoke, Renesmee was there.

---

End chapter one

Review please? I could really use some constructive criticism. (: