I was so nervous. I so badly wanted the pack to like me, the way they liked my mom when she was human. It had been ages since I'd held hands with either of my parents, but as I walked along hand in hand with my mother, I was filled with a calming sense of love. I glanced up at her, and she winked at me. I giggled. Mom was using Uncle Jasper's powers on me. She smiled at me and I realized with a shock how gorgeous she was. I mean, I knew she was beautiful; all vampires are, for some reason. But I'd just never clicked before how much your personality and love can affect how you look. No wonder Dad fell in love with her. I decided I was going to look harder at all my family - and I got the feeling that they'd all be just like Momma.
Jake and Leah were a little in front of us, heads bent together, talking. They looked cute. I sent this thought to Mom, and she sent one back.
'They love each other.'
Shock. Then happiness. They both deserved a little happiness.
'Why aren't they together? Or are they?'
'No. They don't realise their love is mutual - so I'm going to help them along a bit.'
Oh my god. Mom was starting to sound like Aunt Alice! Her mind voice sounded smug. And... It sounded like she was enjoying herself.
'Need any help?' I raised an eyebrow.
She laughed, bells ringing through the trees. It sounded like a richer, slightly different version of my laugh.
'Sure, Ness. This will be a good mother-daughter activity.' She raised an eyebrow back, and we both laughed.
Jacob looked back at us. "What are you two laughing at?"
"Nothing." We replied innocently.
"Riiight." Jake eyed us suspiciously, but apparently decided to let it go. "Well, we're here, Ness. You ready to meet everyone again?"
All at once, the nervousness returned, full force. I really wanted them to like me! Sam and Emily, Jared and Kim, Paul and Rachel, even the younger ones, Collin and Brady. Please, let them like me, I thought. Please.
I saw Renesmee's face and I pitied her. She looked so worried, about meeting my idiotic brothers. She shouldn't worry though. They would love her, just like they loved Bella, just like they loved all the imprintees of the pack. Seth, who had bounded ahead, and had probably already reached Sam and Emily's, loved her, I knew. She was his little niece and he enjoyed spending time with her. I would never admit it to anyone, but I liked hanging out with Nessie too. She was just so soothing to be around, didn't feel the need for girl talk all the time - just like her mother. Bella and her daughter were probably my favourite Cullens. Weird, since I used to hate her.
Now I could smell Emily's awesome cooking and I realized I was starved.
"Sorry guys, but I gotta go. Food's calling!" And I took off, running as fast as I could in human form. I could hear the others laughing behind me and I grinned. So what? I was hungry, and I wanted to eat.
I burst through the door to Sam and Em's little house, went around hugging the guys and kissing the girls - including my ex and my cousin. And it didn't hurt. But I had no time to think about that. After I finished the rounds, I continued on to the kitchen and joined Seth in devouring Emily's famous muffins.
The pack and their girls followed me into the kitchen, looking shell-shocked.
"What?" I asked through a mouthful of crumbs.
They cracked smiles, rolling their eyes. "That's more typical Leah!" Paul said, laughing.
"Whaddaya mean?" I demanded after swallowing my mouthful.
"You hugged us!" Jared exclaimed. "You, Leah Clearwater, finally got around to hugging your pack!"
"And you kissed me." That quiet statement broke through the sounds of agreement and laughter. Everyone - me included - turned to face Emily. She had a smile on her beautiful, scarred face, and tears running silently down her cheeks.
"Oh Em." I felt awkward with everybody around us, and I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to say. What could I say? 'Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean too, I just kissed everyone and then I realized I'm not mad at you anymore?' I didn't think so.
But that was the good thing about Emily. She always knew what to do. She came forward, tears still glistening in her eyes, and put her arms around me.
"I'm sorry Emily!" I cried out, throwing my arms around her and holding on tight. I burst into tears and buried my face in my cousin's shoulder. I couldn't believe it. This was so not what I'd expected. Although... I was happy. I was glad me and Em were good again.
Now time to fix one, more thing. I gently disengaged myself from Emily's arms and smiled tearfully at her. She smiled back. Oh yeah. I still had my sister/cousin.
Then I turned to Sam, who, along with everyone else, was looking a little shocked.
"I'm sorry for being such a bitch. If it's okay with you, I wanna be friends again." I held my breath. This, apparently, was really important to me. I wanted to be normal again.
"Oh Leah. Of course it's okay!" He stepped forward, arms out, and I hugged him hard, then let go.
"Whatta you guys looking at? Show's over, kay. I'm still hungry." But I was grinning.
They laughed and left the room, Paul muttering, "Same old Leah."
Sam and Emily, who left last, turned back and Sam said, "Yeah. We got the old Leah back."