Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Twilight characters.
It just wasn't fair and in my mind there's no way of justifying it. I'm sure some people would say 'karma's a bitch' but this – this was just too much. Not only had I lost my best friend, family, friends but also my child. At first I felt as if losing the baby was my punishment for having betrayed Leah, for choosing Sam over my own flesh and blood and then making her suffer every step of the way by asking her to still be my best friend, demanding her support. But all of that was thrown out the window when faced the grim reality that Leah could've gotten pregnant all along. She wasn't sterile, infertile or even broken. She was perfectly fine – better than that even. She could heal from any wound inflicted upon her except for vampire venom meaning that no matter how angry Jacob was to get that even if he did 'accidentally' phase near her that she'd heal in a matter of hours. Her face would never bare the permanent and disfiguring scars of a protector having gone off the deep end.
Growing up she was always more popular than me, she had more friends than me and even my own friends looked forward to hanging out with her. Mom and Aunt Sue just always said, 'the squeaky wheel gets the oil' whenever I would complain about Leah being the center of attention. It's just never been fair that Leah simply received more attention because she was the most vociferous. I craved the same attention she received but I – I just didn't want to earn it the way she did by showing off by doing flips, telling some funny story about something that happened while out with my friends or – or interrupting someone while they were talking to ask some question.
Throughout our childhood Leah was always the star and after Sam it was finally my time to be in the limelight. To be the most popular and have people like me for me and not because I craved and desired their attention like some lost child. And yet, somehow, Leah has found a way to take it all away from me – again.
"I'm not even going to pretend that I understand the pain you must've felt over losing the baby." Leah says snapping me out of my thoughts. My eyes narrow for a second as I take in the sad and steady gaze that she is giving me. "It's not fair that a life was lost." She tacks on slowly shaking her head, her hands instinctively going to her stomach and rubbing over the bulge. My eyes begin to sting as Jacob pulls Leah close and places his own hand on top of hers offering some silent form of comfort.
"You always have to beat me, don't you?" I ask through clenched teeth. There's no doubt in my mind that the baby will be healthy and strong so much like its parents and so instead I focus on my own demons. I've tried to ignore these feelings but I can't – not anymore.
"Beat you? What are you talking about?" Leah asks with a surprised look upon her face. I don't know what annoys me more, the fact that she constantly beats me without even trying or the fact that she's completely oblivious to the competition between us. All siblings are competitive; she's competitive with Seth just as I am with my own sister but I can't beat her either.
"You always have to find a way to stand out more, don't you?" I ask as tears begin to well up in my eyes.
I know that life isn't fair but this seems to be just too much. My life seemed as if it was finally going right – perfectly but then Leah had to leave and join Jacob's pack, she refused to be in my wedding, offered a curt congratulations before leaving suddenly and then cut me out of her wedding altogether to Jacob Black. The whole rez seemed to bow at her feet, always praising her for her attitude, artwork and her role on the Council. There was a time when it was me that they praised for being the kind, supportive and patient wife of Sam Uley, for having to put up with Leah's nasty attitude.
"The entire rez loves you now, again." I explain as Leah stands looking at me with a confused expression upon her face.
"Say what now?" Leah asks leaning forward, her head tilting to the side as one eyebrow furrows in a look of pure and utter confusion.
"You heard me the entire rez loves you and despises me." I screech out and immediately the pack disagrees with me. Their soft words of comfort mean nothing because I know the truth. I know what others say behind my back when they think I'm not listening.
"HA!" Leah says with a loud, sharp bark of a laugh. "The entire rez does not love me." Leah states matter-of-factly while shaking her head. I feel my face scrunching up even more so I try to combat the next bout of tears that are threatening to fall. "Emily you can't seriously believe that everyone loves – let alone likes me." Leah asks with a half-smile that seems almost condescending despite her questioning tone.
"Of course they do. Back in July for the Quileute Days they all bought your artwork and even glared at me when you were talking about the pain you were in." I explain as hot tears begin to run down my face, along the scars of my face and to my collarbone. "They hold me and Sam responsible for that, we're the bad guys instead of the ones who tried to reach out to you and help you the most."
"You weren't trying to help me – not in the least." Leah states coldly, her eyes darkening and chest puffing out. "I just needed time away from both of you but neither of you could seem to wrap that concept around your little pea brains." Leah states with a low growl. "Look, Emily, you and Sam both hurt me. You know that, we've done this dance before." Leah says slowly shaking her head.
"I needed the time to deal with the pain and my demons on my own terms. The wound never had a chance to heal and all you and Sam kept doing was picking at it every time you two got all kissy-faced and lovey-dovey. Like I said before I don't care if y'all do that I just don't want to be around to witness it. There's only so much a girl can take and I had hit my breaking point."
"As far as the rez, most of these people are just gossipers that are desperate to know what the big 'secret' is." Leah says making air quotations and her voice elevating as if there was something mythical about our world – which there is but the entire rez didn't know about it. "These people will go with the flavor of the week. If it wasn't for Jacob here they probably wouldn't care so much about me until they realized it was my day to work at the Hall and deal with their problems of the day. So this has nothing to do with me and you." Leah says shaking her head.
"I certainly didn't blame you for my sudden drop in popularity. Now Sam I will blame because once I became a wolf I had to completely cut off all of my friends and you had already burned your bridge with me. I was alone and it was my anger that only made it worse." Leah says surprising me with her attitude. After all this time I felt certain that she blamed and Sam wholly and solely for her fall from grace.
"But things have gotten better for me and I'm repairing a lot of relationships that were lost to me. I have better avenues to vent out my anger and frustration." Leah states with a smile but stops as Jacob clears his throat and the two of them share a look. "Okay…so maybe I still get violent every so often but it's only with these morons."
"Hopefully, that'll stop now that she's been knocked up." Paul mumbles under his breath before being shushed by Rachel.
"So if your reason for saying that life isn't fair is because you think the entire rez loves me then you need to open your eyes Emily. The entire rez doesn't love me anymore then they loved you when you first arrived." Leah says crossing her arms and uncrossing them, wincing in pain before letting her arms fall at her sides with a heavy sigh. "They've talked about everyone in this room – even my own mother because she started hanging out with Charlie for that while and even Billy because he suddenly started trying to hang out with my mom instead of Charlie." Looking over I see Billy look away with a small blush on his cheeks before looking back and seeing a disgusted look on Jacob's face.
"You've always been more popular than me. People have always been more willing to stand up for you than me." I throw out weakly and Leah laughs.
"Are you serious? The family has always stood up for you more than me because you were the 'quiet one'. I was always told to tone it down whenever they felt I was doing too much when it was supposed to be your 'day'." Leah says with a roll of her eyes.
"Who's been standing up for her?" Jacob asks with a suspicious look upon his face as if he already has a culprit in mind.
"The rez bought your fry bread and Mason," I'm interrupted as Leah cries out 'fry bread' and Jacob says 'Mason' at the same time.
"When the hell did I ever sell fry…bread…wait? You mean back when we were teenagers?" Leah asks with a surprised look on her face.
"When was Mason standing up for her?" Jacob growls out.
"Quileute Days?" Leah asks and I nod my head. "Dear God, Emily, let's not bring that up again. I thought we settled that after you sat up crying in the back of Dad's truck about the muffins that didn't sell.
"Well everyone bought your fry bread," I shout not enjoying the fact that Leah is so easily dismissing my arguments.
"I only made eight dozen but you made enough muffins to feed all of fuckin' South Africa. Nobody told you to make so many damn muffins. And Seth snuck most of the fry bread away when he thought I wasn't looking." Leah frowns as I stare at her in shock. I do remember making a lot of muffins and Leah commenting on them but only jokingly. She never mentioned that I had made too many after that and instead did her best to sell as many as she could.
I can't help but look down in shame as I begin to think over our lives together. Leah always has been the more outgoing girl between the two of us. It was never a big deal for her to walk up to someone and strike up a conversation, even if they were a perfect stranger, while I would just hang back and wait for her to make the introductions or not speak to the person at all if I was alone.
"Look, Emily, I'll agree with you that life isn't fair but your reasoning behind it is…well…stupid." Leah says with an unapologetic shrug. "At some point you gotta stop blaming the world for your troubles and start taking responsibility for your actions. It took me a while but I've finally started doing it." Leah admits and for a moment I see a glimpse of my old cousin, my best friend that always shared with me some of her most vulnerable moments. "Sometimes the hand we're dealt sucks but all you can do is work with what you got until something better comes along." As she says it, she turns and smiles up at Jacob who leans down and kisses her on the lips lightly.
"We all have our issues and insecurities because believe me I was cornering the market in them but most times they are just what's in our head. The entire rez doesn't hate you anymore then they hated me when this whole wolf-vampire bullshit started. I'm not in competition with you for anything so you can quit thinking that I'm trying to one up you. And William Mason is an asshole who is just always looking to get under someone else's skin. He finds any reason whatsoever to claim that someone isn't 'red' enough. He's even told me the same thing because I cut off my hair." Leah says and Jacob growls darkly thinking of the man mentioned.
"Look, I'm sorry that this announcement was sprung up on ya but I had hoped that your husband was paying attention to me when I was talking and would've said something." Leah says glaring darkly at Sam. I can't help but turn and look at him in hurt wonder because he knew but never said anything? "Don't feel that you have to be like ecstatic or over-the-moon for me because I'm sure that this will just be a reminder of what you've lost."
I can only slowly nod my head because truth is…I am happy for my cousin, happy that she's in love with someone that isn't my Sam, smiles more and is having a baby. It just stings recalling on how much I've missed out on since that accident.
"So I leave it up to you when you're ready to actually face the whole change. I'm not going to rush you, push your or even gripe about you not being here because in a way I understand." Leah says slowly nodding her head. I nod back in response as well and before I know it I find myself wrapped up in a tight and yet awkward hug from Leah Black. "Okay…and that's the extent of my…touching." Leah says with a look of disgust as she pulls back and looks down at the space in between us. Her boobs are practically spilling out of her shirt and I can tell that she's leaning forward at an awkward angle because of not only her height but her belly as well.
I can't help but laugh at her as I take a step back and listen to her grumble about how fat she is and feels.
I don't leave as I had originally intended to do but stick around for the rest of the meeting that thankfully doesn't remain centered on Leah's pregnancy. During the evening I manage to catch Sue alone and ask her about the lecture that Leah served me and Sue can only smile at me stating that each of the Elders sat her and Jacob both down and had a serious talking to. That it did take a while but eventually Leah got over her issues, hurt feelings and found herself and that it was Billy's talk about taking responsibility that caused her to leave and head for south of the border over a year ago. Leah was following down the same road as Sam and blaming the imprint for her actions and that she needed to be reminded that she had been told the same thing for a long time. The imprint was rare and seemed to have been weakening the older E.J. got and even at the wedding he was more than happy to see Leah marrying someone that she genuinely loved despite all of their faults.
Looking over at my cousin I see that she has truly grown up into a wonderful and strong woman; that it's the trials and the heartaches that she learned to deal with that have transformed her from that young girl that felt like she was invincible to a woman that is more careful and visibly aware of the world around her. She doesn't seek out the approval of everyone around her but seeks it first from within and then from those closest to her. Even though I am the oldest out of the two of us it's amazing how even after all that we've been through I can still look up and admire her. And even though Leah said there was no competition between us I'm going to try to be just as strong as she is. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm sure that in a few weeks that I'll be hit with another bout of jealousy and envy for the life that she's living but no doubt she'll give me another taste of reality.
So in the meantime I'll make sure that I can forgive myself for hurting Leah instead of placing the blame elsewhere.
A/N: Alright, so I am going to officially call this story complete because there's a Blackwater with kids story in the making and I don't want use up all of my ideas on this one. Woohoo! This story is complete! My laptop hasn't frozen up on me and I seem to be on a roll…but let's see if I can still keep this up after laying some Turf Builder down in the yard. -_-; It should be fun…and shouldn't take me long to treat 2/3 of an acre of land. *groans* Happy 4th of July to the Americans and Happy Territory Day to my Aussies! WOOHOO!