As the moon light shone between the branches above me, I realized that another day had passed and it was now over twenty fours since I had slept or even rested. I wasn't about to quit though. My pack was in the company of the Cullens and since sleep wasn't something the leeches needed we weren't going to submit to it without a fight.
Sadly, despite how determined we all were, I could still feel Seth and Embry lagging and my own legs growing weaker with every mile that passed beneath them. We were also all starving, having not eaten since yesterday lunchtime and moral was at an all time low.
Even more disconcerting was that all was quiet on the alpha front. Jake was dealing with whatever Nessie crisis was currently happening, and Sam, who had spent most the day retracing our steps, had reluctantly given into exhaustion some hours ago. Neither of them had been in contact since.
Despite my exhaustion, I somehow managed to push through a few more miles, ignoring the growing burn in my limbs. I even managed to send some words of encouragement to Embry and Seth. I felt like a bad alpha driving them into the ground, but they had reassured me they didn't want to stop until they had to.
I tried to take my focus off of the pain and onto something else. The Cullens and their two friends from Denali were scattered around us and spread out so as not to miss anything, but that was just as discouraging as we were still coming up with blanks and any trail we did find was broken and once again lead to the ocean. We had even been swimming in an attempt to find any hidden coves or caves they could have been using, but that was just as useless.
I tried to think of something else. Sam was still annoyed with me for making him send two of his pack home and was only speaking to me when necessary. It was something I would have been pleased with normally, but under these circumstances I would rather he opened up to me so I could keep a check on his mental state.
I quickly realized that thinking about Sam only made me more stressed.
There was also no point thinking about Jake who was going stir crazy. I kind of missed him, in the way that this was the first big thing I had faced without his guidance or support, but he also frustrated me in that he kept getting incredibly angry at the situation and his inability to join us which, as I pointed out the last time he phased in, was his decision. He did kind of shut up after that and has left me alone since.
As for the girls, I felt sick every time I thought of them. For all of their wrong doings, they didn't deserve this, nor should we have let it happen.
The only one good thought I had was that Cris was OK. He had phased in while I was talking to the Cullens and spoke to Jake and Sam. Supposedly, he had some pack stuff to sort out and would be out of contact for a while, but no one would tell me anything more than that. It's a shame because I thought we were past secrets.
As I continued to worry about everything, I suddenly noticed a fallen tree ahead and prepared to leap over it. Normally, such a task would be trivial, but the idea of pushing that little bit harder to clear the tree was disheartening. Nether-the-less, I wasn't about to go off course and around it and so with excellent timing I pushed out with my legs to clear the height. Too late, I realized that I'd just expended my last piece of energy and somehow my feet got left behind. It seemed to happen all in slow motion – my front paws hit the top of the log, sending me head first into a tangled heap on the forest floor. I felt and heard the thump as there was nothing to break my fall and I didn't even have the heart to try and save myself.
Seth and Embry sensing me stop, started heading in my direction. I waited for them and didn't bother to get up as I knew with my momentum gone it was game over and we finally had to rest.
At the same time as my pack arrived, Emmett also came tearing through the undergrowth towards me. I felt shattered and waited for him to say something mocking.
Surprisingly, he only looked concerned. "I told Edward we needed to take a break," he grumbled disapprovingly.
I shrugged my shoulders, hoping he would understand my nonchalance without me phasing. I realized the rest of the search party had also come to a halt and were now turning towards us. Edward was the next to arrive, shortly followed by Jasper, Kate and Tanya.
I'd noticed that Edward had gradually been looking worse and worse. There was a look of desperation in his eyes and the deep dark rings around his face made it even more sallow than normal. The toll of Bella's disappearance was evident.
Emmett looked directly at Edward. "We've been going in circles for hours with nothing new. The shifters are on their last legs and we all need to stop and feed."
Edward looked at me. "Leah?"
I'm fine. Just give us five minutes. I tried to hide the exhaustion in my mind, but I knew I'd failed.
He looked at Embry and Seth too. "You're right, Emmett; they're all dead on their legs."
Jasper was the one to speak next, breaking his normal reserve, "You know, we're actually quite far north again. Denali's only about an hour's run from here. Maybe Leah, Seth and Embry should rest there and get some food. We could also check in on everyone."
Edward let out a low growl. "I'm not going home without Bella. I can't."
And we aren't giving up the search for the girls. We just need a short break, I added.
Seth and Embry nodded beside me.
"Leah, says they aren't giving up either." Edward clarified for everyone without a physic link
"So what do we do because we can't keep doing this?" Emmett said, gesturing at all of us.
"I don't know, but..." Edward stopped talking mid sentence and quickly felt for his jean pocket. He hesitated as he pulled out a vibrating phone and then quickly flipped it open.
"Alice... " His face hardened as he lifted the phone to his ear. "She's there? I'm coming." He clicked the phone shut forcefully.
"Looks like you'll all be getting that break after all. It appears that Sophia has requested our presence in Denali. Apparently, we are to return immediately so that we can discuss our options." He snarled.
"Options? What the hell is that meant to mean?" Emmett asked confused.
"Perhaps we were right about Joham using leverage to get what he wants," Jasper muttered, causing Emmett to go into an angry rant and Edward's face to sink.
I tried to get Edward's attention with my thoughts. Edward, look, we can all brood about this later. Let's just go to Denali and see what she's got to say. It's not like we have any choice at this stage anyway.
He finally looked at me and nodded. "I know you are shattered, Leah, but if you can manage it we can be in Denali in thirty minutes at full speed. Everyone else will take about fifty."
I looked to Embry and Seth. I wasn't sure about leaving them behind as I could feel their tiredness and anxiety, but we had to take any chance we got at finding out more about the girls.
"It's fine. Go. Embry nodded.
I looked to Seth next.
He's right. We'll follow. What about Sam though, shouldn't we tell him what's happening?
No, Seth. At this stage he'd be more likely to go in all guns blazing. This might be our only chance at gaining some information. That's why Edward and I need to get there as soon as possible. He may be able to read this leech's thoughts and get a location. I explained.
Seth understood my dilemma and nudged me away from them and towards Edward.
So, what way, mind reader? I questioned.
Edward didn't answer and merely pointed in one direction before taking off through the forest. We all followed his lead, but within seconds it was evident that Edward and I had left the others behind. It was proof that we really were the fastest.
I lost track of time, even with the speed in which the trees were flickering past me each minute seemed to last forever. Despite being phased, my head was also eerily quiet. Seth and Embry were dealing with their own demons and anticipations of what to come and Jake surprisingly hadn't contacted me. Luckily, Sam was still ignoring me so I didn't have to lie to him as well. I really was beginning to get overwhelmed with balancing everyone's needs.
To my relief, Edward seemed to finally slow his pace. I followed his lead and finally came to a halt by a small brook. I took the opportunity to lap some of the cool water up and quench my thirst.
I quickly realized we were on the edge of a property and there was the clear stench of vampire all around. I figured we had arrived.
It was strange that in all the years none of my pack had ever been to this area before. I took everything in, memorizing my surroundings, as I approached the main house. The first thing I noticed was that there were numerous logs cabins scattered throughout the vast wooded area. It seemed to confirm that we were still deep within a forest and by the looks of things only one dirt track seemed to wind in and out as well, ensuring isolation.
After passing almost a dozen cabins, we finally came up to a huge wooden house. It wasn't as glamorous as the Cullen mansion, seeing as there were no glass walls and fancy architectural designs. Instead, the house was made from beautiful aged timber and had a rustic appearance. It fitted in perfectly with the surrounding forest. After admiring the thatched roof, my eyes finally settled on the homely looking porch and it was then that I noticed Rosalie standing on it. She looked stressed.
Edward immediately approached his sister and hugged her tightly. "Where is Sophia? I can't hear her thoughts," he asked, breaking away and looking around frantically.
"She tailed off about fifteen minutes ago and said she will be back at noon tomorrow. The damn bitch ordered that we are all to remain here until that time or there would be consequences. If it wasn't for those stupid imprints and Bella I would have ripped her head off there and then – I could sure teach her about consequences." She growled.
"So we have just wasted time coming back here when we could still be searching?" Edward said frustrated. "I'm fed up of these games. They're never ending."
"Look, you haven't wasted any time. At this stage we have no choice but to hear her out. We should make the most of this reprieve. Nessie is inside and we still haven't told her what's going on. She's not stupid though, Edward, and when she sees Bella isn't with you she is going to freak out."
Edward's fists tensed. "I can't stand this. I feel so torn. How can I tell my daughter I lost her mother?"
"I don't know, but I will help you." Rosalie comforted and gestured to the door. "Just give me five minutes."
Edward nodded and didn't even look back at me and headed into the house.
I had to admit after running at full pelt for thirty minutes only to find that our presence had been postponed and then left standing in the middle of a drive way annoyed me. It was bad enough that this Sophia thought she could just summon us as she pleased. If I didn't suspect she had news of the girls I would have turned my tail straight around.
As I progressed into my mental rant, I realized that Rosalie was descending the steps slowly towards me. She had in her hands a cotton dress which she held out to me as she turned her head away. I actually appreciated the gesture coming from my only, sort of, leech friend and I phased back quickly and put on the garment.
Once dressed, I took a second to stretch. I hadn't been human for a good few hours and all the running had made my body feel incredibly tired and tense. Some of the tension seemed to ease just by the change of form and posture.
Finally, I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the overwhelming smell of leech. Satisfied I could handle it, I looked at Rose who was now staring at me uncertainly.
"You aren't going to hug me, are you?" I raised my eyebrow at her.
"No. I might like you, but you still stink." A ghost of a smile appeared on her face briefly. "Glad to see you in one piece though, She Wolf."
"Yeah. You too. I just wish the circumstances were different," I replied solemnly. "Your husband should be following shortly."
She nodded before gesturing to the forest. "So, no luck out there I take it?"
I sighed. "No. How are we supposed to trace something through the ocean? That's where it all leads."
"I have no idea. I wish I could have joined you though. This situation is too messed up for words and there's no way I could leave Nessie. Enough about us though, how are you holding up?"
I shrugged. "I'm fine. I don't remember ever being this tired, but it comes with the gig, right?"
"Some gig," she muttered. "What about the imprints and the packs? I guess Sam's lot are frantic?"
"I think they are close to losing it. The imprint pull is too strong for them to manage and the fear overwhelms them. It makes me worry that they are going to do something stupid. I want to find the girls too, but their pack won't be any good to anyone at this rate." I ran my hands through my hair and realized just how matted it was.
"Yeah, well, you need to look after yourself as well. I guess Edward didn't want you guys to stop though?" Rose looked irritated.
"He's freaked out, understandably, I guess. Besides, I didn't want to stop either." I didn't really care too much about Edward's feelings, but could understand his perspective. His wife and kid were in danger and he was as helpless as we all were.
"I know, but I'm just so tired of everyone chasing around after Bella and him. I'm not saying we shouldn't, after all they are family, but I always said that girl was trouble and now look at the mess we are in. This shouldn't be happening again. Not to us and not to you." Rosalie sighed. "I swear Bella's cursed us."
I shrugged tiredly. "Same shit, different day. I guess we all just have to play our part as usual. I'm past caring. I just want to get the girls and everyone back to La Push in one piece." I paused and changed the subject so as not to dwell on our current situation and make myself feel worse. "Anyway, while I'm the first person to hate on Bella, you did once remind me that you do have Nessie because of her."
Rose merely scoffed. "Nessie... yeah, because that worked out so well for everyone... Don't get me wrong, I love her as if she was my own, but I do wish she didn't come with a wretched dog attached that just so happened to break your heart." She raised her eyebrow at me.
"My heart is just fine." I patted my chest mockingly. Despite the world falling down around us, it felt good to be speaking with Rose again. She was one of the few people who didn't think everything was made of sugar and rainbows.
"Speaking of my ex alpha, where is he?" I asked.
"He's in the main house. He's not in the best state. He hasn't slept since this all kicked off and he's now riled up after Sophia's appearance. No doubt he will want to see you immediately. That can wait though. We've been given the gift of time apparently and you look like you are ready to drop. Plus, there's someone else you might want to see first."
"Who?" I said utterly confused and taken aback by the revelation.
A shadow of sadness crossed Rosalie's face. "I think it's best if you just follow me." She started to walk off towards some cabins.
I trotted to catch her up. "I don't understand. Who is here?"
Rose ignored me and picked up pace until reaching a cabin set back some way from the house. She nodded at the front door ahead of us. "You can't over react ok? You aren't supposed to know."
I felt dread. "What aren't I supposed to know exactly?"
"Your friend Cris is in there. He arrived two hours ago with a burnt polar bear in tow. Some stuff has happened to them." She paused and looked away uncomfortably.
My stomach dropped and I felt nauseous. "Rose, is he ok?"
Rose hesitated. "I'm sorry, Leah, but it's been all over the news so you're going to find out sooner or later; the city of Barrow was burnt to the ground yesterday. The authorities are blaming it on an industrial accident to do with the fuel lines, but the truth is that at sunset last night a coven of vampires attacked the city and started a fire."
I felt numb as I tried to process everything.
Rose continued. "Cris thinks Joham is responsible. He arrived two hours ago with the bear guy wanting to join the fight. They made it down from Barrow in record time, but Cris collapsed with exhaustion a mile out. He's resting now, in there." She nodded at the door again. "The bear filled in what he could, but Jake already knew most of it from speaking with Cris this morning."
"Why didn't anyone tell me?" I said hoarsely.
Rose frowned. "Cris wanted to, but it seems Sam and Jake convinced him that you had enough on your plate. There's more to it than that though."
The notch in my stomach grew tighter. "What?"
"One of Cris's pack mates is dead and the remainder of his pack have stayed behind to protect their home. That's why it's just him and the bear. They know about the baby and everything." Rose looked worried. "I know you've got a lot going on, but nothing is going to happen until lunchtime and there's no way we can track Sophia. It might be none of my business, but I really think you two should be together right now."
My hands were trembling with shock. "Who died?"
"A guy named Lee," Rosalie said quietly.
"Shit." I felt my legs weakening and my head spinning. It was all too much. Finally, I found my resolve. "I have to see him."
"I know." Rose nodded and squeezed my shoulder supportively before moving off towards the main house.
As soon as I was alone, fear enveloped me and I realized I was petrified of what I would find behind the cabin door. At any other time, I would have felt excitement to know Cris was so close, but not now, not like this. I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle someone else's grief, I was far too familiar with it.
I took a deep breath and tried to steady myself when I saw my hands shaking. I felt like there was only so much I could take in one day and that this could be too much. I turned my back on the cabin and took a step away from whatever horror it held. I couldn't bear to see someone I loved hurt.
Someone I loved.
That thought was enough to bring me to my senses. I would never turn my back on anyone and I certainly wouldn't do that to Cris.
Despite my own exhaustion, I turned around and walked nervously back towards the porch. Slowly, I climbed the wooden steps one by one, feeling them shift slightly under my weight. As I reached the front door, I noted that all the shutters were all closed, and no light seemed to be coming from inside or escaping through any cracks.
Cautiously, I lifted my hand and knocked. I listened for a sound of movement, but it never came so I gently turned the handle and eased the door open.
The room itself was dark and it took my eyes a second to adjust to the light. Once I could see, I began to scan the room, looking for Cris. It didn't take me long to settle upon his shape, sitting on the edge of the bed in the center of the room. I felt my breath hitch just looking at his muscular silhouette and the desire to run and hug him overwhelmed me.
I realized just how much I needed him in that moment as memories of the last forty-eight hours hit me, but one glimpse of his slumped shoulders told me that right now he needed me more.
Eventually, Cris finally seemed to sense my presence and he raised his head and looked at me. He stared at me for what felt like ages and I waited for some kind of emotion to filter through his face. It was a long time coming, but suddenly I saw something register.
It all happened so quickly. One minute I was standing in the door way and the next I was being hauled inside as the door slammed shut behind me. I was caught off guard to say the least, but before I had time to react or worry I was engulfed in a hug.
My body automatically relaxed as I took in Cris's scent and he held me against his naked chest. I felt his arms wrap tightly around me and he kissed the top of my head before resting his chin on it.
After some minutes, he seemed to stir as if realizing something. He released me slowly and cupped my face in his hands. "I've been so worried about you." He kissed me lightly on the lips.
It was unexpected. "Cris..." I mumbled against his mouth, but failed to say anything else as he continued to deepen the kiss. I couldn't refuse him nor did I really want to and so I sunk into the moment, caressing his face gently in return. It was when I felt something damp run against my finger that I broke away and really looked at him.
His eyes were broken and I wouldn't have ever believed he could look so vulnerable if I had not seen the trail of the single tear that had run down his cheek.
His eyes looked away from mine ashamed and he moved away from me, slumping down on the side of the bed.
I closed the distance and sat down next to him, taking his hand. "Cris, what happened?"
He sighed. "I'm sorry. I was ok until I saw you." He pulled his hand away and placed it with his other in his lap. His shoulders were hunched as he stared at the darkness ahead of him.
"Cris..." I started.
He cut me off. "Lee's dead," he said coldly.
I raised my hand to my mouth in horror. I felt my own tears coming. Hearing him actually say it was too much.
"How?" I whispered hoarsely. I made no move to touch him. I understood grief all too well.
Cris didn't speak immediately and when he did it was barely audible. "Last night. Sunset. We were attacked. They burned Barrow to the ground. We tried to save as many as we could, but there were still casualties."
I remained silent, letting him go at his own pace.
He shuddered. "I was careless. I went into a house and there was a girl, except, she wasn't a girl, she was a vampire. I wasn't quick enough when she attacked and was losing. That was until I thought of you, but it was too late by then. Lee came to help me and he got hurt." His shudders started to become shakes as his whole body vibrated.
I stroked his hair soothingly, trying to calm him while whispering that I was here. It eventually seemed to work and he stilled.
"You can't blame yourself," I whispered. "I know that's what you're doing."
He looked at me then, his deep blue eyes piercing mine. "I should have been looking out for him. Not the other way around. A vampire had already taken a chunk out of him and I hadn't even noticed. If I'd have been paying more attention to my pack I could have saved him or got him help sooner. I should never have even split us up. I should have been phased. Instead, I let them all down."
"Cris, you listen to me. You are the best alpha I know and you haven't let anyone down. Lee followed you as much out of love as duty. He was your pack brother and nothing you could have done would have ever stopped him from protecting you or getting hurt. I know that you would have made the best decisions you could in a hard situation." I realized he wasn't listening to me and so I got on my knees in front of him, forcing myself into his view. I didn't know where my strength was coming from. I think I had hit the point where this no longer felt like reality and a part of me was going through the motions, while the other remained numb. I continued, "Cris, you are right to grieve. This will hurt on so many levels, but you can't let guilt consume you. What about the rest of your pack, hey? They still need you. Don't give up."
"Leah, my pack is in tatters. I feel their grief without even being phased. Then, there's this Joham monster that instigated the attack. He's still out there and he has Maxi's baby. He's continuing to hurt and threaten the people I care about. This has to end. I need to find him, Leah. He needs to pay." His voice was cold now and he let out a low growl.
"Joham is going to pay. Trust me," I reassured him. "I will see to that." I meant every word. With every second passing, Joham was destroying lives as if it was some kind of sick game. I couldn't allow this to go on. I had to come up with some way to find him before anyone else got hurt.
Cris suddenly clutched my arms. "You listen to me, Leah. You are not going anywhere near that beast. Jake told me that you are a candidate. The bastard speaks of you as if you are some experiment subject. Didn't you understand what I meant about him threatening people I care about? I would never let him within five miles of you." He started to shake violently again.
"Ok. Ok. We'll talk about it later. Please, just calm down." I soothed, but it fell on death ears as the trembling rocked through his body.
I did the only thing I could and kissed him quickly, which seemed to work until Cris pushed me away.
He looked disgusted as he stood up, putting distance between us. "What are you thinking? I could have hurt you. I'm too unstable tonight. Please, Leah, you have to go."
I shook my head. "I'm not going anywhere. You need me and quite frankly I need you too."
Cris looked ashamed again. "I'm sorry. I heard about the girls. We will get them back, I promise. They'll be ok." He seemed to study me. "You look tired."
I sighed. "I feel tired in every way possible. It's been a long day."
Cris seemed to frown. "You really should go. You need to rest."
"I already told you I'm not leaving," I said stubbornly. "Besides, I'm not even sure I could sleep."
"Me either." He didn't rejoin me on the bed and instead sat down in an arm chair in the corner of the room. "Where is your pack?"
"I don't know about Quil, but Seth and Embry should be arriving here any minute. It's ok though, I'm sure Rose will fill them in on where I am." I stood up and walked over to the kitchen area and in the darkness felt for a fridge.
"Oh. How come you are here anyway?" Cris questioned, watching me. "I know why I am. I was going to join you out there as soon as Shay was up, but I didn't expect you to break off. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you did, but I just wondered why?"
I thought about how much he needed to know right now. I figured that some things could wait until the morning and so I ignored his question and opened the fridge door. I was pleased when the interior light revealed some well stocked shelves.
"When did you last eat?" I asked, pulling out some ham and cheese and grabbing some bread rolls off the counter.
"I don't know, but I'm not hungry," he said tiredly.
I didn't feel hungry any more either, but I knew we had to keep our strength up. I silently tore open the rolls with my hands and filled them with the meat and dairy products. It was the best I could manage without searching for cutlery and plates. I carried them over to where Cris was sitting and handed him one. He took it reluctantly and just seemed to stare at it. In the meantime, I sat on the floor in front of him and leaned back against his legs, seeking some kind of contact.
We sat in silence for ages, eventually picking at our food until it was gone. I didn't know what to say to Cris or if he even wanted to talk about what had happened and yet it didn't seem awkward.
After some time, the chair behind me creaked as Cris reached out to stroke my hair tenderly. "You never answered my question. How come you're here?"
I left out a light breath. "Do you trust me?"
There was a short pause. "More than you know."
"Then it doesn't matter right now. I will tell you everything you want in the morning, but until then it's late and we need to try and rest," I reassured him and stood up.
Without his permission I made my way back to the bed and stripped down to my underwear before climbing in. The sheets felt cold and crisp and the soft mattress folded around my body. "Are you coming?" I called across the room. I was determined that I would get him to sleep. I was in no doubt he wouldn't be able to do anything tomorrow without it.
Reluctantly he followed me and to my surprise tucked me in and kissed me on the forehead. "It's ok. I'll sleep on the floor."
My hand reached out and grabbed his arm before he could move away. "Please don't."
His eyes met mine in understanding and he gestured for me to move over. I did as he asked and he slipped in beside me. I inhaled his scent and as we lay on our side, facing each other in the dark, I could just make out his eyes which were level with mine and watching me.
We stayed like that for ages, just looking at each other as I thought about everything that had happened between us. All of it seemed so unimportant in the light of the day's events and I reached for his hand on the pillow by his head and took it in my own.
The sadness on his face lifted slightly and he kissed my hand lightly. The warmth and comfort I took just being next to him was unexplainable. Even with the terror and trauma of everything that had happened his contact brought me some sort of solace. I just hoped that Cris would be able to take some comfort from it too. I didn't want to bring up the subject of Lee again with him until he did and while I knew that I couldn't take his pain away, I still hoped I could help him in some way.
As we lay there in the dark, my thoughts eventually moved back around to the events of the day. I went over all of the trails in my memory, but time and time again they led to dead ends. I had a nagging feeling we had missed something though. We knew that the coves and caves were clear, but there had to be a reason that all of the trails lead to a general area of the coastline.
Then there was the latest development that had brought me to Denali - Sophia. What was she going to say tomorrow? What part of Joham's plan was this? What did me being a candidate have to do with anything or was I another decoy? It all seemed far too complex if all Joham wanted was Nessie.
"Stop it." Cris grumbled, his hot breath fanning my face.
"Stop what?" I said surprised.
"Thinking. Whatever it is, let it go. I may not get any sleep tonight, but I'll be damned if you don't," he replied gruffly.
I sighed. "It's not that straight forward. There's so much I'm still trying to process."
"Then tell me, maybe I can help." He offered,
I shook my head against the pillow. "I will tomorrow. I promise."
His frown was easily visible. "Don't shut me out. I know I lost it earlier, but your arrival just caught me off guard and everything still feels incredibly raw. I'm here for you though, Leah."
"I know you are," I said gratefully and squeezed his hand. "I just want to shut it all out though. Even if it's just for a few hours."
"Ok," Cris whispered. After watching me a minute longer, as if trying to work me out, his free hand reached over and started to stroke my head. "Close your eyes and sleep then. Just try, for me."
I frowned, but saw the seriousness and concern in his face so reluctantly I did as he asked. It didn't take long with his fingers playing with my hair and caressing my face for me to relax. I had never been this close to him before and my body was melting at his touch. I felt safe and secure, and as the memories of the day began to drift away, I wished with all my might that this feeling would not leave me.
Hopefully a second update makes up for things a little bit! I hope you all enjoyed it and thank you to the reviewers that I haven't been able to reply to personally yet. They are appreciated and each time I see an email with 'review' in the subject I'm so excited!
Also, a massive thanks goes out to Leahlover who nominated this story for the she wolf awards. I was so excited to get a nomination as I'd already made some of my own and know what kind of standard of writing I'm up against. I would seriously recommend checking it out at - shewolfawards (dot) blogspot (dot) co (dot) uk
There's some great stories listed, which are well worth the read and voting will open in about a week!
As always, I have to end with credit to my beta dontcallmeleelee and add that one of her amazing banners is also nominated on the shewolf awards!