Title of story: The Blues They Send
Main Character(s): Leah/Embry
"The Rain Scene" Challenge
All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer and I do not own the lyrics quoted at the end
Author's Note: Thanks so much to Project Team Beta for doing a sterling job on this and keeping me humble!! I had NO IDEA I made so many grammatical errors when I wrote...Hope you enjoy!:-)
The Blues They Send
Ring ring. Ring ring. Ri-
"Good afternoon, this is Clearwater Designs. How may I help you?"
"Hi. Is Leah Clearwater there?"
"Let me just check if she's busy. May I ask your name sir?
"Tell her it's her brother, Seth."
"Certainly sir. One moment please."
Kathy dialled the connection to Leah's office and waited.
"Kathy, I'm kind of busy at the moment – can it wait?"
"Miss Clearwater, your brother is on line four and wants to speak to you. Shall I tell him to call back?"
There was a short pause on the other end of the line, then: "Seth? Oh. Put him through then please, Kathy."
"Yes, Miss Clearwater."
A moment later, the phone in Leah's office rang again. A slender, French-manicured hand reached out, shaking slightly, to pick it up.
"Seth? It's been a while..."
Driving back to La Push was literally going down memory lane for Leah Clearwater. It had been three years since she had been here and she had spent those years doing her utmost to forget. Her last visit to her hometown had been...difficult. Coming home for her mother's funeral had never been part of the plan. Just when Leah thought that Fate had dealt her all the blows it possibly could, her mother had been killed in a freak car accident a week before Christmas. She had been on her way to do some last minute Christmas shopping and her car had hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a tree. Sue had died on impact. Leah had been going to come home the next day to celebrate Christmas with her family after graduating from Design College. Instead, she had come home to help organise her mother's funeral and comfort her younger brother.
After saying goodbye to yet another person she loved, Leah decided that she could not remain in La Push any longer. La Push was unlucky for her. It had spelt the doom of too many of the things she valued most in life – her fiancé, her best friend, her humanity, her father, and now her mother. It held too many unhappy memories, and it was best, she believed, if she simply left and shook its dust from her feet.
And so that's what she did. She left without a backward glance. Seth had put up a half-hearted attempt to make her stay, but he knew that once she had made up her mind, no amount of persuasion on his part would convince her otherwise. It never occurred to Leah that she was doing to Seth exactly what everyone else had done to her.
She stopped phasing. Completely this time; cold turkey. Not like what she had done at college where she had phased once a month to release her pent up energies. She worked odd jobs until eventually she was able to start up her own business in interior design. She remade herself – now that she was no longer in constant danger of bursting out of her clothes, she could afford to wear the pretty, feminine clothes that she had enjoyed in the days before her change. She got her ears pierced and her nails manicured. She grew out her hair again and had it professionally styled. And in all this time she had never gone home. Until now.
It was raining when she arrived. Fitting weather to welcome back the prodigal sister, she thought ruefully. Gravel crunched beneath the wheels of her car as she turned into the familiar driveway. Turning off the engine, she sat still for a while, steeling herself for what was to come, before unlocking the doors and getting out.
As she opened the trunk to get out her luggage, she felt a warm hand close over hers and an oh-so-familiar voice murmur, "Here, let me get it."
She relinquished it without saying a word and watched silently as her luggage was deftly removed from her car and placed on the wet ground.
"Hey! That bag was expensive you know!"
Before she could protest any further though, she was being enveloped in a heated embrace by a huge pair of arms, her face pressed firmly against a broad chest. She stood still for a moment, then tentatively reached out her arms and wrapped them around her not-so-little brother's back.
She was surprised and embarrassed when she felt something warm and wet, something that was assuredly not rain, land on her head.
"Seth? Um, why are you crying?" Leah hadn't cried in three years and wasn't quite sure how to handle her brother's tears.
He cleared his throat and responded in a husky voice, "It's just...it's just so good to have you back home again, Lee. I've missed you, y'know, and I wasn't sure if you would come. It...it means so much to me that you came."
Leah swallowed the sudden lump in her throat and pasted a smile on her face.
"Of course I came, Seth. After all, it's not every day that my little brother gets married, now is it? Now come on, let's get inside out of the rain. I want to meet this girl of yours."
Leah lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling of her old room. Seth's fiancée, Stacie, was at work until five, so Leah would only get to meet her later. She was going to come around for dinner; apparently Seth had become quite the cook since Leah had seen him last.
It was strange being home again after all these years; in some ways it was like being in a time warp – La Push hadn't changed at all. Their old house looked exactly the same, down to the posters on her bedroom walls, the squashy cushions on her bed and the large maple tree outside the front door. Seth hadn't bothered to rearrange any of the furniture or repaint any of the walls, so in many ways it felt as if her mother had just left.
But whilst the buildings and the greenery were the same as ever, the people were not. It was amazing what just three years could do to change one. Take Seth for instance. The last time she had seen him he had been a rather leggy nineteen-year-old boy who still needed to grow into his cojones. Now, he was...well a man, mature, engaged and fully capable of looking after himself. It made her feel proud, but also a little old. And regretful that she had not been here to see him make that transformation.
A soft knock sounded on her bedroom door. "Yes?"
"Can I come in?"
"Of course, Seth."
The door opened and her brother's large form slipped inside and stood there awkwardly for a moment.
"Um, I just wanted to let you know that Embry's coming for dinner tonight as well. Sorry I forgot to mention it earlier."
Leah felt a flicker of surprise at this news. "Embry? As in Embry Call, Embry? I didn't know you two were that close?"
Seth nodded. "Yeah, actually we're best friends. Ever since Jake left with the Cullens and we had to rejoin Sa-the other pack, Embry and I have gotten pretty close. He's a good guy y'know, Leah." Seth flushed a little at his slip-up in almost saying Sam's name.
Leah ignored his blush and simply replied, "Yeah. I just never pictured you two as being best buddies, but hey, I've been away for three years so I guess lots of things can change in that time."
"Yeah, they can. He was the one who introduced me to Stace y'know – she's his cousin on his mom's side. She had come to visit him and he introduced us." A grin spread across Seth's face as he mentioned his wife-to-be.
"Really? Wow, I didn't know that. So he's gonna be like your...cousin-in-law?"
"Yeah. I can't wait for you to meet Stace – I know you'll love her. She's such an amazing person. I've never met anyone like her."
Leah smiled at her brother's palpable enthusiasm. "I'm looking forward to meeting her. Tell me more – what does she look like?"
"Really pretty, but in a very natural way, y'know? She doesn't wear a lot of make-up and she likes to dress casual but she has the most gorgeous hair and eyes and a really nice figure."
"And... is she your imprint, Seth?" Leah held her breath, waiting for the answer to this crucial question.
"Nah, she's not. I just fell in love the normal way. I don't think I'll ever imprint though."
"But if you do Seth? You'll break her heart if you leave her." Leah spoke from experience.
"I won't leave her. She's the kindest, sweetest person I've ever met and I won't leave her, OK?"
"Seth, I know you say that now, but...."
"I won't leave her. Do you think that I would do to her what Sa-what Sam did to you? I love her, OK Lee, and that's a choice, not an accident. Which means that I am not about to stop loving her. Please just believe me on this and be happy for me OK?"
Leah wanted to say more, but could tell from the look on her brother's face that she had best keep her mouth shut. So she pressed her lips firmly together and simply nodded.
Seth sighed in relief at her silence, and putting his hand on the doorhandle, he turned to go, saying "I need to go start making dinner. They're coming at six." Opening the door, he left Leah to her thoughts.
Later that night, Leah once again lay on her bed, contemplating the events of the evening, trying to make sense of them in her head. Embry and Stacie had both arrived promptly at six o'clock, with big grins on their faces and a bowl full of salad. It appeared that they had come together because Stacie's car was temporarily out of action and was waiting to be fixed at the garage that Embry, Quil and Seth ran (something else that she had discovered for the first time that day).
Stacie was everything that Seth had described. She was pretty in a very girl-next-door kind of way, with large, expressive brown eyes, a wide mouth and shoulder-length curly black hair. She was very warm and friendly and had given Leah a huge hug upon being introduced to her. She was one of those people, as Seth had said, that one couldn't help but immediately like, and Leah was no exception. It had taken her a while to relax and unfreeze as it were, but by the time dinner was served, she and Stacie were chatting animatedly like old friends. Leah hadn't realised until this evening how much she had missed having a close girl friend to talk to. She had friends of course, but no best friend – not since Emily. Somehow, chatting and gossiping with Stacie had filled a gap that she didn't even know she had. Leah never would have thought she would say it, but after they had all left, she had confided to Seth that she was actually looking forward to having a sister-in-law. Especially if said sister-in-law could be Stacie. Seth's face had beamed and he had given her a giant hug for that.
And then there was Embry. Embry had changed as much as Seth had over the last three years. He had gone from being a shy, somewhat reserved boy to a young man filled with quiet confidence and strength, with a subtle sense of humour that showed through when you least expected it. He had welcomed her back with a sweet smile and a soft "Nice to see you again, Leah," and somehow (she couldn't understand it), it had meant more to her than and amount of fanfare and banners. He had been genuinely pleased to see her again, and that made her happy.
After dinner, whilst Seth and Stacie were washing up together (they insisted it was tradition and they didn't need any help), she went and sat outside on the porch and after a short while Embry joined her. They sat together in a strangely companionable silence for a few minutes, just drinking in the cool night air, until Embry said, "He loves her, you know."
Leah turned her head to look at him, sitting next to her, gazing out at the woods. After a moment she replied, "I know."
"I know that you're probably worried that he will imprint and leave her, but he won't. Leave her, I mean." His eyes met hers for a moment, before turning back to the trees again.
Leah felt a momentary shock that he knew her so well. He hadn't seen her for three years and had said but a few sentences to her all night and yet already he had hit to the heart of what was worrying her. Instead of feeling annoyed at his directness, she felt... a pleasant warmth; something that she hadn't felt in years. It was strangely nice to be so understood by someone else. At the same time that she felt this warmth spread through her however, she also felt her old defences start to rise up, and so she automatically responded to him with a similar and very typical directness.
"Have you? Imprinted I mean."
Embry sensed the abrupt change in her and glanced quickly in her direction before answering in kind.
"Oh." She had expected more than that somehow. "Do you want to?" She could not restrain her morbid, self-flagellating curiosity.
"Actually I don't." He turned his head and met her eyes fully, pinning her where she sat with his gaze. "I want to fall in love the natural way, like Seth did. I don't want someone or something else to determine who I end up with. I want to choose her for myself."
Leah couldn't help herself. She had to know. "But what about destiny and all that?" She sneered. "Don't you want to marry your soulmate? Carry on the line and have lots of little werewolf puppies?"
She wasn't sure why she was attacking him like this; all she knew was that she had to hear his answer. It seemed suddenly as if everything depended on it. Embry seemed to understand however, because instead of bristling with defensiveness as someone else would have done in his position, he simply replied with a soft voice that was yet firm with conviction, "Destiny is overrated. And I don't believe in soulmates. Sure, I've seen Sam and Emily together and Kim and Jared, and yes they're happy. But I believe that they could be just as happy with someone else. I think this whole soulmate thing is just in their heads, really. And as for little werewolf puppies, I don't actually want my kids to have to go through all this. What's wrong with a normal life?"
Leah was amazed at his answer; she had never heard one of the other wolves speak like this. It was actually kind of revolutionary - and very attractive. But her masochism wasn't quite sated yet. There was one more question she had to hear his answer to first.
"What about me and...Sam? Could we have been just as happy as he and Emily?"
Embry looked as if he had been expecting this question ever since she had started to ask him about imprinting. He looked like a man who was steeling himself for battle as he took a deep breath before answering.
"I'm not a seer Leah, and I can't make predictions. But yes, I think you and Sam could have been happy. Equally happy. Maybe not in the same way, but happy nonetheless. But Leah," and his tone suddenly became very earnest, "don't think that just because Sam has found happiness with someone else that your chance is past. If anything, it should encourage you that happiness can be found with more than one person. You don't have to be alone, Leah."
Leah blushed at his words and the tone of voice in which they were spoken. Things had suddenly become too intimate for her, and standing up abruptly, she cleared her throat loudly and announced in a falsely cheery voice, "Oh look! The lovebirds have finished washing up! Let's go inside and get some coffee, shall we?"
Embry looked up at her with eyes that saw too much, causing her to blush even deeper. Then he smiled ruefully to himself, saying simply "Nah, it's OK. I think I'll stay outside for a little longer."
Leah nodded and rushed inside without a backward glance, looking for all the world as if someone had set her tail on fire.
Fortunately for them, Stacie and Seth had wisely decided not to say anything about Leah's dramatic, Embry-less entrance. They had kept their comments to a knowing smirk, which was all the encouragement that Leah had needed to make her retire early, keeping what was left of her dignity intact.
Lying on her bed that night however, staring at the ceiling, she could not stop her thoughts from wandering back to the conversation on the porch. The way that Embry had looked at her and the sound of his voice when he said, "You don't have to be alone, Leah" kept on repeating itself through her tired brain like a broken record. And try as she might, she couldn't suppress the fluttery feeling somewhere in the pit of her stomach that it produced. She, twenty-seven-year old Leah Clearwater, felt like a lovestruck teenage girl again. And it was remarkably uncomfortable. As to what she was going to do when she saw him again, she had absolutely no idea.
As it turned out, she needn't have worried. Embry was around at the house so much that his presence soon became second nature to her. Seth had asked him to be his best man and so he was constantly meeting with Seth and Stacie to make plans and discuss things. As Seth's sister, and a woman with an eye for design, Leah also became intimately involved in all the arrangements; which naturally meant lots of interaction with Embry. If she was honest, Leah would have to admit that she wasn't complaining.
Over the next few days, Leah realised that despite being in a pack with Embry and thereby sharing his mind for several years, she actually hadn't gotten to know him at all. She had been so caught up in her own miserable thoughts that she hadn't really had the time for others'. Now that she was spending lots of time with him, she realised how much she had been missing out on all those years. Because Embry was fun. He was quirky and interesting, full of random pieces of information, and actually extremely funny. And the more she talked to him, the more she realised how much they actually had in common. Like a love for creating things, for example.
She had gone over to see the garage where Embry, Quil and Seth worked and on the wall, she had spotted a painting. Going to look closer, she had realised that it was a painting of the wolf pack, as it used to be before Jake left and the pack split and everything got messy. The attention to detail was so precise that she could easily recognise which wolf was which – not just by the distinctive colours of their fur, but also by the shape of their faces and the expressions in their eyes. It was a masterpiece. After a couple of minutes, she had heard footsteps coming up behind her and turning around she saw Embry standing a few feet away.
"Do you like it?" He asked, with a mysterious smile on his face.
"I love it. It's beautiful and the attention to detail is just...amazing. Who painted it? It has to be a member of the wolfpack obviously and I didn't know that any of them could paint?"
Actually, I painted it." Hence the mysterious smile.
"You?" She couldn't believe it. "Since when are you an artist?"
His smile broadened. "I've always enjoyed art. It's just not something I really used to broadcast – it's kind of viewed as sissy for a guy to like painting, you know. But, now that I'm older and wiser," she snorted and he winked at her, "I guess I don't mind what people say about me. I like painting. I like creating beauty. It's...therapeutic somehow."
She laughed. "Big words, Embry, big words! But I know what you mean. It's why I went into interior design. Being able to create something of beauty is so rewarding, you know? It's worth all the hard work that goes into it."
He had nodded and they had grinned at each other with all the joy of two people who have discovered that they share a special secret.
And so it went on, from one day to the next, each day discovering something new that they shared with each other; some quirk that they had in common, some joke that they both found funny, some opinion that they both shared. Before Leah knew it, she had fallen in love. But in typical Leah style, it would take something far more dramatic than a mere realisation to force her to admit her epiphany.
It's one of life's many quirks that the days on which our lives will change forever start just like any other day. On the morning of her brother's and Stacie's wedding rehearsal, Leah woke up at her usual early hour, went for her typical 5 mile run, had a quick shower to freshen up and had a normal breakfast of cornflakes and coffee. The rehearsal was in the evening, so she had a whole day to get relaxed and decide what she was going to wear.
Towards three o'clock, she began to get ready; carefully styling her hair and picking out her second best blouse and skirt for the occasion. At around four o'clock, it started to rain and Leah looked out of the window with a wrinkled nose, hoping that the downpour would stop before she had to leave so her hairstyle wouldn't get ruined on the way to her car. At four thirty, she was sitting on the couch, browsing through a magazine, when the front door burst open to reveal a frantic looking Seth and Stacie, rain dripping down their faces and from the tips of their hair.
Leah leaped to her feet and rain towards them.
"Seth? Stacie? What are you doing here? What's the matter? The wedding rehearsal is in two hours' time and you haven't even started getting ready yet! Look at you both – you're sopping! What's wrong?"
Seth steered Stacie towards the couch and then turned to Leah. "Leah, I don't have time to explain. Sam just picked up the scent of a whole group of vampires – about five of them – and I need to go. Don't worry she already knows about us," his in response to Leah's alarmed glance in Stacie's direction, "but they need everyone and I must go. I know you haven't phased in years but you're still effectively a werewolf Lee, and all the other werewolves are needed. Please look after her for me?" He looked at her pleadingly. "I wouldn't trust her with anyone else, Lee."
Leah nodded, feeling dazed. "Of course Seth. I won't let anything happen to her, I promise. And Seth?" she added as he turned to leave, "Take care out there."
"I will." And with those words, he ran towards the woods and phased.
The next hour passed slowly in a state of anxiety. Both women were too nervous to make small talk and so they simply sat in silence, gnawing their fingernails to the quick, waiting for news. Leah felt particularly antsy as the wolf within her, which had lain dormant for so long, was now itching to get out. Leah remembered her promise to Seth however, and strove to remain calm and in control and most of all, human. It was difficult though. Every rustle, every creak, made her jump and shift in her seat like a spooked horse. In fact, she had almost decided to go out and do a quick recon around the house, when she heard a sound that, if it could, would have chilled her overheated blood.
A sharp keening sound came from the woods, not twenty yards away from the house, followed almost immediately by an agonising howl. Without a second thought, Leah leaped to her feet, and pausing only to shout a quick "Wait here!" to Stacie over her shoulder, she ran outside towards the source of the noise. It was probably not the wisest thing she could have done, especially as she hadn't phased in three years and there was almost definitely a vampire out there, but she couldn't help herself. The thought that Seth - or Embry - could be hurt, propelled her forwards faster than any human.
The howling had been replaced with a pained human whimpering, and entering the woods, Leah's heart stopped as she beheld the scene before her. Seth lay unconscious, but seemingly unharmed near a large tree, still in his wolf form. A few metres away were the decapitated head and arm of a female vampire. A few metres from these, a little deeper in, and lying near the rest of the dismembered vampire was Embry. Or at least, she guessed it was Embry, because although he had phased back to his human form, he was covered in blood and lying on his side which made his features somewhat hard to distinguish.
With an anguished gasp, she ran over to him, rolling him over carefully to see where all the blood was coming from. His chest heaved with pain and he shut his eyes tightly as she moved him, biting down on his lip to keep himself from crying out. There was a huge gash in his left arm and bright red blood was spurting from it too fast to allow his werewolf healing powers any time to act. Leah was no doctor, but she knew that this was an arterial bleed, and that if she didn't do something to stop it immediately, Embry could bleed to death within a few minutes. Looking around frantically for something to staunch the bleeding with, her eyes landed on the pair of shorts tied to his right leg. Ripping the piece of thread that tied them on, she pulled them off and pressed them firmly to the wound. However, these were not his usual jean shorts and the material wasn't very thick, and before long the blood was seeping through the fabric. Muttering frantically beneath her breath, Leah unbuttoned her blouse one-handed, keeping her other hand pressed down on Embry's arm, and pulling her blouse off, she added it to the shorts, hoping to goodness that the bleeding would stop enough to allow Embry's healing powers time to kick in.
Rain dripped from the trees above them, soaking through her remaining clothes, and causing the blood to wash away in little rivulets along the wet grass. It appeared that her rough and ready method had worked, because after a few minutes, Embry opened his eyes and unclenched his teeth from his lip, letting it heal automatically. His eyes moved over her wet, half-naked form with confusion and...something else. Leah felt herself blush and irrationally wished that she had worn one of her sexier bras instead of the plain, now virtually see through white cotton one she had on. She could hear Seth starting to stir again, and seeing that the bleeding had now stopped and Embry's arm appeared to have healed, she removed her blood-covered hands and tried to cover herself up, muttering "Don't you dare say anything. I did it to save your life, OK?"
A mischievous grin spread across Embry's face, which was slowly returning to its normal colour, and he chuckled weakly, murmuring "I wasn't going to say anything. Besides it's not like I haven't seen it all before."
She slapped him at that, not caring that moments before she had been frantically trying to save his life, and grabbing her now hopelessly ruined blouse, she stalked back to the house, tossing back a "And don't forget to clean up your mess and burn that vampire while you're at it" before she entered.
Stacie gasped at Leah's state of undress and the bloodstained blouse in her hands. "Leah?" she said uncertainly. "Is everyone alright? Is...is Seth alright?"
Leah paused for a moment to meet the other woman's pleading eyes, and smiled at her briefly, responding, Seth's fine. Everyone's fine. Embry was hurt but he's OK now. They'll probably be coming in just now, so I suggest you start getting ready for your wedding rehearsal."
Ignoring Stacie's second and even louder gasp, she made her way to the bathroom to get cleaned off and redo her now completely ruined hairstyle.
The wedding rehearsal went surprisingly smoothly, considering that half an hour beforehand the groom had been unconscious and the best man had almost bled to death. Stacie looked lovely, thanks to Leah's skilled and speedy handiwork. Seth was beaming, and Embry, whilst still a little pale, also looked surprisingly happy. The reason for his glow became apparent when he asked her to dance after dinner.
Leah looked at him, eyebrow raised. "People don't dance at wedding rehearsals, Embry. They save that for the wedding."
Embry just laughed and raising his own eyebrow back at her responded, "Of course they do. Or they do at this one anyway. Look – Seth and Stacie are dancing. You wouldn't want to offend them now would you? Besides, I want to thank you for saving my life." He grinned disarmingly at her.
"By dancing with me? Oh gee, I'm honoured Embry. Save the thanks for next time then." But nonetheless, she got up to dance with him, because whilst she would not admit it, she actually did feel a little thrill at the thought of being in his arms.
As they swirled around together (he was actually a pretty good dancer), they bantered together aimlessly. When a slow dance came on however, and Embry pulled her closer, she knew that she couldn't stave off the inevitable much longer.
"You know," he murmured softly in her ear, causing a little shiver to run down her spine, "I have never been happier than when I saw you leaning over me in the woods this afternoon."
She laughed dryly. "I'm sure you weren't Embry. Isn't it every man's dream come true to wake up to a half naked woman leaning over him?"
He chuckled. "Well, maybe, I won't deny that. But that wasn't the reason I was so happy."
She scoffed and he raised a hand to place a finger on her lips to indicate that she should listen.
"No, the real reason is because when I saw you there, bending over me like that, doing all you could to save my life, I knew you cared. I mean, I had suspected it before, but then I knew. And it made me happy."
Try as she might, Leah couldn't stop the wave of heat that rushed up her neck from invading the delicate skin of her face. She had never used to be so easily embarrassed, and yet around Embry she constantly found herself blushing like a shy high schooler. It was mortifying. She wasn't used to having her feelings so clearly displayed for all to see, being typically a quite private person. To cover it, she buried her heated face in his neck, and murmured "I do care Embry. I just....I just don't want to end up hurt again."
Embry pulled her even closer and then gently lifted her head so that her eyes could meet his. What she saw there made her heart pound and her stomach flutter and her knees go weak all at the same time. His eyes were filled with such love and understanding that she couldn't bring herself to doubt what he said next.
"Leah, listen to me now. Listen carefully. I love you. I loved you before you left to go to college and I love you now. I will always love you. I'm not Sam. Please believe me, Leah. I'm not going to leave you. I give you my word."
And she believed him. How could she not, seeing the sincerity on his face and hearing it in his voice? As he leaned down to kiss her, he chuckled softly to himself.
"What?"She asked, feeling suddenly shy.
"It's nothing. Just...just listen to the music, Leah!"
And as she did, she also laughed, and with laughter and joy still ringing in their ears and hearts, they joined their lips in a sweet, passionate kiss full of the promise of the joyous life they had ahead, whilst the music played on in the background:
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling.
But there's one thing I know:
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me;
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me...
A/N: I would love to hear your thoughts on this, especially as I've never played with these characters before;) Also, if you are a Jacob/Bella fan, go and check out the first chapter of my new multi-chapter fic, To the Rhythm of the Ocean's Tides – I would love to hear your thoughts on that too;-)