If anything Leah says sounds hypocritical or contradicting... well it probably is. This is first person point-of-view, and I like to write it as realistic as possible. This is how I imagine Leah's head or thought process to be like which is why she rambles and goes off on a tangent some times.
It also gives you guys really long chapters. I think this is my longest yet.
Also, special thanks to Lita of Jupiter for reminding me that I hadn't worked on this in a while.
"And so the sons of our tribe again carry the burden and share the sacrifice their fathers endured before them," Billy finished up.
The way he had spoken made me remember what we were doing. We were saving people and keeping them safe. We were protectors, spirit warriors, and I felt my pride inflate at the thought.
"Burden," Quil scoffed, making me open my eyes. "I think it's cool."
Billy chuckled and the spell was broken, turning the atmosphere nice and friendly. I chuckled as well. I might have thought it was a burden, if I had still been a wreck; heart broken. Of course, the person who made it so was right behind me.
I turned to look at him and he looked down at me as well, and we shared a smile.
Yeah, not a burden indeed.
We blinked and turned to Jake's shoulder and found Bella nodding off.
"Looks like its past someone's bedtime," I stated. Jacob let out a snort, and I pulled away, allowing him to pick her up gently. I grabbed Bella's cellphone as it fell out of her pocket in the process of getting picked up, and decided to be a responsible adult. Jacob eyed me warily as I went through her contacts and dialed her home.
"Hey Charlie, I'm just calling to let you know that Bella's going home a little late," I said without preamble.
"Billy warned me it might. Thanks for calling anyway," Charlie answered.
"Cool." I hung up and looked for the next idiot I loathed to call.
"Isabella is asleep right now," I said in the coldest voice I could muster. The pack stopped what they were doing to loosely gather around me. I don't think they were aware they did it though, but it certainly calmed me down. "The bonfire ran a bit late and she ended up nodding off. We'll drop her off at the border in fifteen minutes."
"...Thank you," the bloodsucker said. I blinked and felt annoyed at his unnecessary politeness.
"Whatever," I said hanging up. As soon as I did the pack dispersed and continued on with picking up all our crap. My hand was shaking in anger from having the mind-reader address me even though I called him—again, I had no control these days—and I felt the girl's phone strain under my hand.
"You okay ?" Jake asked me, worriedly as per usual. I rolled my eyes and decided I needed to rid myself of Bella's phone. Jake might want to mess with it, so I needed to put it in a secure place.
So I shoved them in her breasts. It seemed logical to me.
Jacob shook his head at me, smirking all the while. I don't get what's so amusing, so I continued on to the Rabbit, opening the passenger door for him and laying in the back.
It was supposed to be Embry, Quil, and Jacob on patrol, but my body was wired to not having much sleep, and I was wide awake, and I thought I might take a run anyway to get rid of some energy. We drove to the border and just a second later, headlights came into view. I pulled myself out through the open window, and the bloodsucker got out and watched, eerily frozen. I could see him clearly from here and his eyes flickered to where Bella was as Jake tried to wake her up. I watched him already bored of the proceedings and wished they'd hurry their asses up 'cause I needed to do something productive. Finally, the girl crossed the border and we headed over to Jake's to drop off the car.
"Where are you going?" Jacob questioned as I followed him out.
"I'm not sleepy," I answered with a shrug. I wasn't remotely tired either so I didn't see why I couldn't patrol with them. I don't like that they're pretty much staying up all night, but considering its summer vacation and they all somehow managed to pass to the next grade, I can't really tell them what to do.
"Don't you have work tomorrow?" he questioned, his eyebrows raised.
"Like at two," I muttered stubbornly.
"You should rest," Jacob pleaded. I hated it when he got like this. Ever since that day with the redhead, Jake was mother henning every time I was out on patrol. Don't get me wrong, I understood. Sometimes my thoughts strayed to the what ifs, but I wasn't a girl about it. I sucked up my morbid thoughts and trusted that he could take care of himself. It bugged me that he couldn't offer me the same courtesy.
"I'm fine," I said with a roll of my eyes. Fuck I wasn't Bella. I didn't need to be protected!
"You're my world," Jake suddenly whispered, pulling me into a hug. I tried really hard to keep my face from getting hot, and I buried my face into his chest in case I couldn't stop blushing. That was a new one.
"I'm sorry that I can't leave you alone sometimes," he muttered into my hair. "But just the thought of being separated from you hurts and imagining you out there—"
"Jacob," I cut off, grabbing his lips between my fingers to shut him up. "Its like that for me too." Jake visibly calmed and I let go of his lips to cup his cheek. "But I don't let it get to me. I believe in you—trust that you won't get yourself killed if not for me, but for your family and friends."
"I know, but... its hard," he mumbled. "And getting harder. I love you—always have, but now I'm starting to think its different, like I'm—" I don't know why I panicked, but my hand slapped over his mouth like a reflex. While it hadn't been very hard, I could see the hurt written all over Jacob's face and I immediately felt guilty.
"Jacob... don't, don't tell me things you don't full heartedly mean. I'm not some one to be strung along in some creepy little love triangle. You're sixteen. Its okay to not have everything figured out. I don't have everything figured out. Its okay to wait. We don't have to jump into things. We have lots of time. Not to mention your feelings for—haven't we been over this?" I questioned, feeling like I was repeating myself.
"Leah, we can't keep ignoring the way we feel," Jake argued, furrowing his eyebrows and running a hand through his hair in frustration.
"Yes we can," I said not budging.
"I won't have my heart broken again!"
Oh crap. I hadn't meant to say that. I slapped a hand over my mouth in a pointless gesture that I could somehow shove the words back in, but the damage was done. Jacob's eyebrows rose in clear surprise and I didn't know what else to say. I was kind of frozen at the moment. God, saying that out loud made me feel pathetic. Here I thought I was finally getting over Sam, but here comes the extra baggage. I know I'm not ready for a relationship. I was in one for four years and I thought I needed more time to rediscover myself. A year away was what I thought enough time, but coming home made me realize that I had merely been avoiding everything and that I really didn't know myself at all.
Becoming a werewolf gave me a whole new spectrum of feelings—mostly primal that affected the ones I already had. It turned my world upside down by binding me to another person, something I hadn't wanted. Except it all turned out for the better. It gave me a bigger purpose than I ever pegged my life would be and being tied to Jacob wasn't bad at all... when we didn't complicate things.
Having lovey-dovey feelings was certainly complicating things.
I was confusing myself with this introspective bullshit. I don't want to deal with any of this. So I unfroze and began to head out toward the road to my house. There was no way I was phasing now and I sure as hell wasn't about to stay at Jacob's.
"You can't just walk away when you say something like that!" Jake yelled, grabbing my arm. I struggled, but his grip was tight and unyielding and I was getting doubly irritated.
"Yes I can!" I didn't want to explain that the whole time that I seemed mature and calm about our relationship, it was actually a facade. That I was just scared shitless about loving someone again, especially with my soulmate. It meant that unlike with Sam, Jake could honest to god destroy me if something bad happened. This imprint crap wasn't as absolute even if it felt like it sometimes.
Sam still had feelings for me. When he wasn't around Emily and around me, he thought about us sometimes. What it would be like if he had never imprinted. The pack never talked about it because they were fleeting, but the fact that he wavered even a little bit was enough for me. Just like when Jared finds himself bumping into his old crush, he still can't help, but act a little shy around her unconsciously remembering what it was like before Kim,when he hadn't even realized she existed.
And with Quil imprinting on my two year old cousin. There is absolutely nothing disgusting about the way he feels about her. Its a mixture of a father-brother feeling. The way he looks at her like she's a miracle, like he'll protect her, and raise her to be a good person. He can't even think of her being older, he just lives in the present. He doesn't want to believe that his feelings will ever change.
But what if I was wrong?
What if it was like there's a switch. Once you turn it on there is no turning back. Sam just wonders out of curiosity. Jared's is just an old habit, and there was no knowing with Quil. What if Claire wants him? Would it be possible to deny his own imprint what she wants? Even I felt like I was just putting off the inevitable sometimes.
The whole thing wasn't without it's issues and I suppose it was different with Jacob and I considering we were both wolves, and it was double the imprint. I don't know... sometimes I wonder. It was so different between us that I began to speculate if it was really an imprint or something else entirely. Something new that had never happened before because I was the first female werewolf in existence.
"No you can't! We'll never solve anything this way!" Jake argued, pulling me to him.
"I don't want to solve it! I want to ignore it! Why the hell can't we just stay the way we are?" I questioned, my hands fisting in frustration. "We worked so fucking hard to define our relationship, and keep it platonic. We said we weren't like the rest of them. We said we didn't want each other like that!"
"And I didn't! You didn't! It wasn't love at first sight. But, then one day I found myself thinking about kissing you, and holding you, and our future. I kept forgetting about Bella, why I wanted to spend time with her, the things I loved about her. They slowly started to seem so trivial compared to you!"
I don't know why, but I just started crying. His declaration hit me hard and there was no more denying the growing feelings we held for each other. It was hard for me to accept that he was honestly slowly falling for me. That it wasn't because the imprint was compelling him. I was so fucking confused that I couldn't do anything else, but cry.
The sight of my tears made his eyes widen in panic. He grabbed my face and tried to wipe my cheeks with his thumb, but they just kept falling. I couldn't help, but let out a laugh even as I began to cry harder—I was practically sobbing at this point. I felt so helpless, like things were spiraling out of control, that this would change everything, and that I honestly just wasn't ready for it.
"Please, I just can't. Not right now. I'm sorry," I managed out, shaking my head. His reaction was instant, his eyes squeezing shut and his body tensing. After a moment of his body shaking, it seemed like he managed to get it under control, before suddenly looking determined.
"At least... at least tell me this—do you have any feelings for me?" he asked, almost desperately.
"Of course I do you idiot! Why the hell else would I be crying? What do you think makes this so damn hard!" I yelled, furiously wiping at my tears. Jacob let out a breath that I hadn't realized he'd been holding, and sagged in relief.
"Okay. We'll wait." Jake let out a sigh and placed his huge palms on my shoulders. "But there will be a time when we'll have to face this and you won't be able to push it off."
"I know that," I agreed with a tired nod. Being emotional made me feel fatigued and now all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. "But that time isn't now."
Jacob grimaced, but conceded with a nod. I yawned, then sniffed, my nose a runny mess after my sudden bout of crying, and I felt embarrassment once I realized what an emotional wreck I was. Jake grinned and kissed my forehead before pulling away. "Go to bed."
I wanted to protest, but yawned before I could, and I pouted in annoyance. Jake laughed and bent over, knocking me over from my knees and carrying me in his arms. I instinctively grabbed onto his neck, glaring all the while. I distinctly remember who was in this same position not too long ago after all. We climbed into his room through the window, and he laid me down on the bed. He did it so tenderly that I couldn't reprimand him for it.
"I'm falling for you Leah and I want you to know that I don't think it's because of the imprint, but because of the old fashioned way. Where even the things you do that irritate me make me like you even more," he teased in a whisper.
When he told me that—well, I felt no regret at pulling him down to me so I could kiss him. Jake was clumsy at first, but soon his mouth seemed to meld perfectly with my own. I cupped his face when he pulled away.
"You're a hopelessly sappy, stupid boy," I decided with an affectionate scoff. Jacob grinned at me hugely.
"You love it," he stated smugly.
"I do," I admitted, my voice growing soft despite myself. "I really do."
I woke up kind of... I woke up horny. I felt my face flush, and I opened my eyes and turned back to see if Jacob was awake. Thankfully, he wasn't, but when he wakes the scent will be there. Normally, I'd be able to take this in stride, but after what happened yesterday between us, it was just horrible timing.
It was odd all things considering. I wasn't too much of a hornball unless someone got me going... Oh. Huh, Jacob's hand was cupping my breast. He probably squeezed or something while we were asleep. It might explain my dream at least and why I'm so turned on at the moment. And since I haven't had sex in a long time now, that little bit was probably enough. Ugh, that makes me feel like a sexual deviant taking advantage of a virgin.
At least this wasn't the first time its happened. I'd woken up a number of times with something poking me, but for a teenage boy I found that it was healthy and nothing to be embarrassed about. Regardless, Jake couldn't even look at me for the remainder of the morning.
But that was months ago now. I kind of miss the way he reacted to my teasing. Since he woke up early as hell in the morning we don't have incidents like that anymore. I wanted to move his hand, but I had a feeling he'd wake up. Maybe if I moved around a bit...
Okay that's a no. He just pulled me closer to him, squeezing my breast in the process. I bit my lip in irritation. I liked that a little too much, and now I really felt like a fucking perv.
"Jacob," I whined. His hold was tight and I couldn't even turn around.
"Hm," he mumbled sleepily.
"You're suffocating me, you fucking cuddle monster," I hissed, hoping he didn't notice where his hand was.
"Huh?" Jake's hold squeezed once more and I let out a small, involuntary yelp, before it went lax. I smacked his shoulder as I sat up. There was no way I was going back to sleep now.
"'m sorry Lays," Jake mumbled as he burrowed into his pillow. I rolled my eyes as he fell back to sleep. Looking at the clock, I realized he's only slept about three hours.
Suddenly, a howl echoed throughout the forest, and I instantly recognized it Sam. I guess he was calling for a pack meeting.
"Damn it," Jacob muttered. Oh, there was an alpha command in that if it woke Jake up. Wonder what the big deal was.
"Duty calls," I murmured sarcastically. I rummaged through the pile of clothes we created in the corner of his room, remembering that I had thrown some shorts in there. I came up empty and sighed, resigned to grabbing one of Jake's larger shirts, hoping that would suffice.
"How was last night?" I asked in a lackadaisical manner. We phased, his answer coming flashing through my mind. He couldn't stop thinking about me the whole time.
...Hey guys, Seth awkwardly greeted. I did a mental face-palm, and ran a little bit faster, ready to get out of this.
Are you patrolling? I asked, distracted by Sam switching our shifts. It was annoying as hell.
Uh, no. I'm supposed to stay phased so that Quil and Embry know what's going on.
What's up guys? Quil greeted just as awkwardly as Seth. Embry merely snickered.
Why haven't I been told of the switch in schedules? I mumbled, irritated. We didn't have to be phased to be told things. We had fucking phones after all and he could easily reach me through Seth or Jacob.
I think that's what this is about, Seth suggested, trying to keep me from blowing up. I registered the attempt and tried not to get to worked up.
Its probably about the boundaries I changed yesterday too, Jake added. Ugh, I just knew that Sam was going to be an ass and make our lives a living hell.
How do you know that? Embry questioned dubiously.
Please, its Sam, I answered with a mental shrug.
Riiight, Quil said sarcastically. These boys could make an argument out of anything. Some days it was actually pretty amusing. Most of the time though, it was aggravating as hell. Especially when the king of contradiction was my imprint. All cute, considering, comforting person aside, he was still a teenager. They all were and it was something that suddenly came to attention some times.
They were all in this precarious position of responsibility and young naivety. We weren't all the same age. We were in different stages of development and with our minds linked, we picked up different habits from each other; sort of blended thoughts while still remaining separate entities. As a teenager you were still trying to figure out who you wanted to be, not just a career, but who you are—though it could take years—and our situation made it infinitely more difficult than it already was. Heaven knows I wasn't the same person I was, but a year ago and I thought I had everything figured out. I was pretty proud of my boys, the way they didn't let anything truly get to them—to make them stop trying.
Crap. I was thinking nice things about them. Next thing you know I won't mind being around them when we weren't phased. Talk about annoying.
Finally, we reached the edge of the forest where the trees began to thin out and give way to the unnaturally place plotted plants. Emily's doing no doubt. It was a werewolf thing to be able to tell what should or shouldn't be there. Again, like most of the stuff we were exposed to now, it was hard to explain without actually experiencing it. The way the roots moved around the man-plants was different compared to deeper in the forest where most people didn't wander into.
I phased back and put on Jake's shirt, walking over to the clearing where the rest of the pack had already gathered. Farther, Emily was sitting at the porch observing. I tried to pretend that her presence didn't irk me, and hopefully Jacob was the only person to notice it.
"What's up lady-wolf?" Paul greeted in his usual idiotic tone. I'm sure it made other naïve girls wet in their panties from just how suggestive his face and tone were. It was all sultry-like, I guess. It had the opposite effect on me and it made my lip curl up in disgust briefly before I managed a sneer in return. I refrained from rolling my eyes when Jacob stood straighter and drew closer to my side.
Somehow, after working myself up before on our way here, my interest was gone, and all I wanted to do was get this over with. Not that I had wanted to stay and have a nice long chat with my alpha before, but my mood changes were much more drastic these days. I was an emotional wreck, but there was nothing I could, but learn some control again.
"We need to run more patrols. Another vampire is after Bella, one that can evade a coven of vampires despite one being with her at all times," Sam said. He was quick and to the point I'd give him that. Still, I yawned and leaned back against Jacob, making his lip twitch before he frowned down at me, and looked back up at Sam. They all hated how insubordinate I was, Jacob included. Sam helped them out with every aspect of their transformation. They all admired and respected him and it was hard to see someone who didn't.
Sam didn't help me with mine, I stubbornly refused any help from anybody. When I found out I was the first girl werewolf in existence, I decided that I would learn things on my own, just in case I was different from the rest of them. So I didn't see Sam as my savior, I merely saw him as the guy who just happen to phase first and so gained the leader role out of seniority.
I think my opinion of him gave him a reality check, why I tended to bring out all his faults and insecurities, at least from before, the ones they all thought he grew out of because he was such an adult, a figure of undisputed authority that they all looked up to. It was hard to believe that those two different personalities were from the same person.
When I stare too long, size him as I end up doing, Sam fidgets. Always has. When I scoff, Sam twitches—whether it was one of his fingers, eyelids, eyebrows, or, rarely, his ears—he twitches. When he has to explain things that don't have to do with the pack, and I'm there, he suddenly becomes bashful. Rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.
Sam had always been a bit shy, but being the first wolf to phase and having to figure everything out on his own matured him, and all those old habits had basically disappeared. But suddenly bring in his high school sweetheart i.e. me, and he's seventeen again.
It probably didn't help that I made everything purposefully hard for him. For four years, I wore the pants in our relationship. However, as wolves, the roles were reversed and I had to take orders from him. If it wasn't an Alpha command, I was there arguing about it. I made sure to constantly critic his judgment, point out the flaws in his logic, and mention that while luck would have him transform first, fate and lineage would eventually take his power and give it to Jacob, the rightful Alpha.
I was good at bringing people down. It was a gift, I swear.
"So we will all be patrolling in bigger groups and longer shifts," Sam stated. I should have bet money because I would have won.
"Told you," I murmured for my own benefit. Jacob covered my mouth with his hand and I glared up at him. The boy had a habit of doing that to me.
"So we'll be running all day and letting the vampires patrol the night," Sam concluded.
"I have a job," I stated with furrowed eyebrows. "So I'll be taking a night shift anyway." If I was going to be keeping my job I was going to have to make some sacrifices. Even if it meant running into those fucking blood suckers.
"No. We need everyone to be patrolling. Quit."
It grew silent as we were thrown back by Sam's order. I recoiled, feeling like I just got slapped, before bristling indignantly.
"Wait—" Jacob started off quietly. I didn't give him the chance to finish.
"What the fuck! Who the hell do you think you are to tell me to quit my fucking job! I've been doing my part as a fucking wolf, having a job at the same time just fine, and all of a sudden you want me to fucking quit!"
"We need everybody, Leah," Sam said in a placating manner.
"You are so full of shit! You act like my not being there will be detrimental to how we patrol. Everybody knows that Seth has the best ears and that Jared has the best sense of smell. I'm the fastest, but that doesn't mean shit if what happened the last time was any indication considering you won't let me attack a vampire even if Embry was with me! Not only are you a sexist, you're a fascist too and I sure as hell am notgoing to quit my fucking job. We all know that we've all wished at one point or another that I had never phased into a fucking werewolf!"
Whoops, that was a whole other issue, so I ignored the winces and guilty looks my words induced and continued on in a different vein.
"How do you think most of these boys get fed? Is it because you being Alpha magically makes food appear for us? No, its because I give these kids' parents money for food. I buy them clothes even if I can only afford two or three pairs. Just because you got Emily to make everything easier for you doesn't mean we have the same. Stop being a self-centered bastard and think for a fucking minute. Not just about us as wolves, a pack or a reservation—but individually as humans!"
My rant ended and I was left breathing in through my mouth and out my nose, shaking uncontrollably. I managed to hold out until I finished what I had to say, before I phased, growling and digging my nails into the moist dirt to keep from doing something stupid. Pissed didn't even begin to cover it. Rage blanketed over my vision, but Jake's hand landing on the scruff of my neck managed to bring me back to my senses.
How dare this fucker tell me what to do!
Sam was frowning down at the floor like a petulant child, not liking being called out one bit, but accepting my points all the same.
I was expecting him to walk away—to cool down. Not talk to me for a couple days before we finally talked again to try to fix our argument.
Ew. Relationship flashback.
But we couldn't put off a decision and we certainly weren't together so I wasn't willing to back down on this.
"You don't have to quit your job," Jacob finally said once I stopped shaking. I blinked up at him, surprised. "If you really don't want to quit your job and you say you can still do you duty as a wolf, then just change your schedule. That way you can still patrol with us and work too." He patted my neck, left side where I knew he knew made me weak in the knees. "That should be okay right?"
I had a lot to say and none of them were "okay". Still, it was the best we had at the moment and what Jacob was suggesting was pretty practical, even if I wanted to destroy something. So even though I growled, I also nodded.
"...As long as she can patrol with us."
"Great," Jacob said with a somber nod. I felt robbed of winning, but didn't want to undermine Jacob's decision. "Anything else?"
"No. We begin tomorrow," Sam ordered before walking off to Emily.
I was still pissed as hell, so with a barked curse at Sam, I ran off into the woods.
Jacob didn't follow me.
Um, wow this chapter really got away from me. It was actually supposed to be longer, but I got stuck on a conversation that Leah and Bella were having and how it would affect the rest of the story in the long run. Inspiration's a bitch like that—always having to accommodate the lazy whore.
Anyway, I'm on twitter now so if you want to follow my random musings on any of my stories the link is on my profile.
Thanks for being so patient and reading.