Author's Note

Hey there...posting again! =) Hope you like it! It's kind of shorter than normal, but...I'm sure you don't mind at all, do you? Not sure anyone actually reading, but...whatever !

Okay...so. Again, I'm trying really hard to interweave four different things (the Twilight books and movies, the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and the True Blood series from HBO)...and it actually fairly difficult. Sorry if my view of the characters, which do NOT belong to me in any way, do not match what you see in your mind.

And...just a reminder...don't forget that I'll be posting any "Author Updates" in my "Reviews" section...just in case I have something to say between story posts.

Author's Response to Questions, Comments, Reviews

Twilightdragoness (9/21/2010) – Oh yeah, definatly gonna get ugly fast, yet I can't stop laughing. Looks like Sam's gonna have to get used to some even stranger stuff now that he's offically part of the pack. *~*~*~* Yeah, it occurred to me that, with Sam joining Jacob's pack, he'd suddenly be under the same mystical pack rules of the Quileute tribe (i.e. mind-sharing with other pack members...being under Jacob's alpha control), which would probably be quite difficult for a man who's, for the most part, always been on his own. Obeying Jake, a stranger who's only about 20 when he's a man of 30+ (don't know Sam's age...it says he's "over thirty" in book eight), seems like it would be...well...difficult. But then, though I love him, Sam's a difficult character for me. And, I'm having trouble deciding if I want my Sam to be the one in the books or the one on the show. I described him as the SVM Sam, but I can't stop thinking of him as the TB Sam (who's VERY yummy). *sigh* And, I'm considering bringing in Tommy Mickens (Sam's brother in TB...who I absolutely can't stand), because I think it would be funny for the brat brother to be under Jacob's control. How great would that be for Sam to not have his idiot white trash brother under control? Hehe. About the getting ugly...IDK, really...it just sort of comes out as it comes out. =) I'm going to have to do some rereading of the Twilight books, so that I can reacquaint myself with Sam Uley's pack, because...well...did you really think I wouldn't be bringing them to Bon Temps for the wedding? *giggle*

Twilightdragoness (9/21/2010) – Also to be honest I think Leah resisting the imprint is right along with her personality and background. Remember Jake wanted to imprint so he could move past the pain of Bella getting married. Leah blamed it for ruining her life. Jake going with it fit for him, and the other wolves didn't care one way or the other, and Sam didn't know about it before it happend, but Leah... yeah she hates the whole concept. *~*~*~* Exactly, Dragoness! That's what I was thinking too...you just summed up my thoughts perfectly! I did end chapter two with her quietly going along with Sam and the rest, but that doesn't mean it's the end of her resistance. Oh no, it's definitely NOT! Think of all the times she rebels against Jacob (unless he gives a direct order...which he doesn't like to give...doesn't he say something about not giving orders unless it's absolutely necessary? I guess I need to do some rereading). Oh no...not over! =) But still, as the Borg (Star Trek) saying goes, "resistance is futile"...Leah WILL be with Sam Merlotte! =)

And thanks to the following members who have added my story to his/her "favorites" and/or "story alerts" – To A cErTaIn KiTsUnE (interesting handle choice...love your RL name though, Anya).


Posted: Monday, 4 October 2010 (4,601 words/16.5 double-spaced pages in Word)


Chapter Three

Much to Sam Merlotte's frustration, Leah Clearwater had closed the door of the cottage in his face—after first stepping in, removing his shirt (from safely hidden behind the door), then smiling as she tossed it at him. For a moment he thought she was kidding, that she'd quickly go and put on some clothing, but when she didn't return shortly (and then he heard the television turn on), he frowned, tentatively tried the door handle (locked up tight), then knocked (fairly hard).

"Come on, Leah," he shouted after several ignored knocks. "Open the door, damn it! This isn't funny." Aggravated by her resistance, when they both knew it was pointless, he slapped the closed door with the flat of his hand—it did no damage, and kind of stung, but somehow helped (his mental state anyway)—then sighed and leaned against it as he went on. "Come back to the party. Please."

"You won't get anywhere with Leah like that," someone (his voice full of amusement) said from not too far away.

Sam's head came up to see Jacob and Seth standing a short distance from him, the former leaning casually against a tree, he large hands tucked in the pockets of his pants, and smiling mildly, the latter almost doubled over in his laughter, no doubt enjoying (thoroughly) the spectacle before him.

"I'm so glad I amuse you," Sam sneered, his tone thick with sarcasm.

Jacob chuckled at this. "Seems I've heard that line before."

Seth nodded. "Bella, right?"

Jacob shrugged. "So I've heard."

Glancing behind the two younger men, Sam frowned. "Where's the rest of your pack?"

Jacob smirked. "My pack is right here," he said as he pulled a hand from his pocket and made a circle in the air to indicate the three of them (and Leah in the cottage). "Well...mostly. We left a couple of 'em back in Washington; their imprintees are there," he explained—because he'd not yet mentioned Embry Call and Quil Ateara. "The Cullens are...just the Cullens. They're their own pack."

"They went back to the party," Seth added, then glanced up at Jacob (more over at and less up, as Seth Clearwater had grown to nearly the size of Jacob now). "I'd like to get back...if you don't mind. I don't wanna miss Esme's desserts."

Jacob nodded. "Go ahead. Let them know we'll be right in," he said, gesturing at himself and Sam.

Seth didn't waste any time responding—instead he just nodded at Sam, then turned and left.

"Did...did he just ask your permission to go back inside?" Sam questioned with a frown as he pointed at Seth retreating figure. What the fuck have I gotten myself into?

Both hands stuffed in his pockets again, Jacob shrugged. "Kinda," he said, pushing off the tree with his shoulder. "I keep telling them it's not necessary, but...Seth seems to like being told what to do."

Sam continued to frown. The idea of having to ask to do every little thing would soon become bothersome—especially if Jacob was a control freak (though he claimed not to be)—not to mention the fact that he'd be asking for permission from someone significantly younger. Then something else occurred to him. Will I have to ask permission to take a piss? he wondered.

"Leah, on the other hand," Jacob went on, "loathes it."

"Can't say I blame her," Sam said with a snort.

Jacob chuckled. "Well, I don't make a habit of pushing my will on 'em. In fact, I didn't even want them to follow me when I split from our original pack. But they insisted. Seth did anyway—and Leah came with her brother, because of the other Sam. But he didn't usually either...force us to do anything, I mean." Jacob shrugged again.

"That's good to know," Sam said—almost sarcastically. "I have a life, you know. A bar to run. I can't really be bothered with your pack shit."

Jacob snorted. "Our pack shit, you mean," he corrected with a smirk.

Sam ran a hand through his reddish hair and sighed. "This is gonna take some getting used to, Jacob."

With a shrug, Jacob said, "Yeah, for you and me both, man. As far as I know, no outsider's ever joined the pack, so...this is weird. It's kind of a Quileute thing, you know?" he said as he moved toward Sam.

Sam just stared at the younger man, frowning as Jacob approached him.

"And shit !" Jacob went on, dropping a heavy arm over Sam's shoulder and starting back to the Cullen's house (and party), effectively pulling him away from the cottage (and Leah locked inside). "You don't even know the legends. I'll have to call Sam tomorrow and see what he says. He's not going to be too happy about someone else knowing our tribal stuff. It was bad enough when Bella found out, but...well, she kinda figured it out on her own." Jacob frowned, because his statement wasn't exactly the truth; he'd given Bella a lot of information (prior to his change and Sam's subsequent alpha orders).

Sam frowned. "Is this going to be a problem?"

"I don't see how it can be," Jacob said. "I mean, you shifted into one of us. I could hear your thoughts. Sounds like, whether we like it or not, you're part of my pack."

"Sounds like it to me too," Sam mumbled, not sure he was thrilled about what was going on.

"Hey! You have any family?" Jacob cut into his thoughts.

Sam frowned again. "Ahh. Not really."

But then he paused. For most of his life he'd thought he had no one; his biological family had given him up at birth and he'd been raised by the Merlottes—who'd abandoned him when he was about fifteen, because he was...different (a shifter). Fuckers! The years following had been very difficult—so difficult, in fact, that he'd not told a soul about them (not even Sookie Stackhouse—and she knew a lot more about him than most people...and vice versa). But then, everyone's life was hard, right?

So, he'd been abandoned (twice), found out he could shift into almost any animal, had dealt with all kinds of crazy shit (MaryAnn the maenad), and then, somewhere in there, after he'd grown up some (and gotten used to his lot), he got his shit together, purchased a building, and opened his own bar/restaurant (Merlotte's)—and it was quite successful. Things were good—relatively.

Then vampires came out of the coffin and everything went to hell in a handbasket. At the time, he'd thought himself in love with Sookie (he now knew it was never love...infatuation, maybe, but not love)—but she'd only had eyes for Bill Compton (a vampire). So, though he'd voted for the vampire rights amendment, he'd found himself suddenly hating the bloodsuckers and hoping they'd all just burn. And of course it didn't help that he kept getting sucked into all of Sookie's vampire messes (there'd been a few). But, what could he do, right? She was his friend (and employee), and he loved her (platonically, he knew that now for sure).

And then came the serial murderer who'd been living right under everyone's noses—Rene Lenier (Drew Marshall, really)—that wasn't fun either. The crazy fuck was going around murdering women who'd been with vampires (and some that hadn't, like Sookie gran...and her cat), which caused him to worry about Sookie's safety—though she didn't seem to (which drove him crazy); she was such a danger magnet!

And then MaryAnn the maenad passed through Bon Temps, wreaking havoc and turning all the townsfolk bat shit crazy! What a mess!

Then, not too long after all of that, he'd done some digging and he'd found the Mickens (his biological family), and they too were absolutely crazy! Complete trash actually. But he did find out he had a brother—not that Tommy Mickens was much to write home about. In fact, Tommy was as much a dirtbag as their parents were. But...well...at least now Sam wasn't completely alone in the world. He had connections—fucked as that connection might be.

"Well actually," Sam said, "I do have a younger brother." He decided to leave his, worse than trailer trash, parents out of it for the moment. "But he's a complete ass."

"He a shifter too?" Jacob asked curiously.

Sam rolled his blue eyes and nodded. "Unfortunately," he said, thinking about the first time he and Tommy had been out running together. They'd only just met and the jackass had drawn him out into the road, then shifted into a bird (and flew off) just as a truck was coming. The little fucker'd almost gotten him killed. Sam had been furious, but Tommy'd only laughed about it—it was a joke to the idiot kid. Truth was, Tommy was jealous that his brother'd had a better life (if you can call it that) and he'd taken it out on Sam.

But shortly after that, when Sam found out the parents were forcing Tommy to fight (in dog form), for money and whatnot (booze and cigarettes), he'd offered him a place to stay and given him a job—not that that had been going well. Tommy was a piece of work! Sam had nearly killed him one night when he'd caught him stealing from his safe (took the entire safe, actually)—he'd fired a gun at him and everything; he'd missed on purpose, of course.

"Hmm. What's he turn into?" Jacob asked.

Sam shrugged. "Anything he wants to...but mostly just a pit bull. Thinks it makes him look tough," he said with a smirk.

Jacob snorted. "Wait till he sees your new form," he said with an amused chuckle. "It'll blow his mind."

Sam nodded. "I can hardly wait."

XxXxXxX

With both her palms, and her left cheek, pressed flat up against the cottage door, Leah'd strained to hear the men talking on the other side of it (which wasn't easy since she turned on the TV). Initially, she'd had to giggle (to herself) when Sam was banging on the door. First he'd begged her to open up—then he'd sounded angry. Did he really think it was going to be that easy?

"Hah!"

But Leah didn't really care what he thought. She was too confused to care. Ever since the whole vampire/shifter thing happened back on the rez in Washington, she'd been confused—and angry. And horribly bitter. She hated the vampires because they'd made her shift. She hated the shifting because it had taken Sam Uley from her—made him imprint on another (her cousin, no less). And now she had cause to hate the imprinting even more—and thus the vampires—because now it was happening to her, forcing her to connect herself to someone she didn't even know.

As she heard the men's voices fade (thank God they were leaving), she turned and allowed her body to slowly slide down the door until she was crumpled in a heap on the floor against it. Tears welling, Leah leaned her head back until it rested on the thick wooden door, and whimpered softly as the tears rolled from her eyes. Her knees were pulled up, she dropped her hands to the floor on either side of her body, gripped at the shaggy brown entry rug (another of Esme's thoughtful purchases meant to make their home comfortable and inviting), and let out a scream through her clenched teeth.

Desperately, she wished she could go home—back to La Push, that she could be walking on the sands of First Beach.

But that wasn't the answer either because...well...Sam Uley would be there, and she couldn't take that either.

"Oh my God," she wailed as she pushed to her feet. Then looking down at herself, she made for the stairs—she'd better put something on before her brother returned (not that he hadn't seen her naked—they all had).

Padding to her closet—which was jam-packed with clothing she'd not even been allowed to pick out herself (clothing she'd never live long enough to actually wear)—Leah reach for the first article she saw—a fluffy charcoal gray chenille robe—and yanked it from its hanger (the hanger flipping over the rod and dropping to the floor). Pulling the robe on, she couldn't help but notice how soft it was.

"Nothing but the best," she said sarcastically as she zipped it up, then cinched the belt around her narrow waist and headed back downstairs. Once there, she remembered the mess she'd made before going up to the Cullen's house—the broken window and the glass she'd just left there. Sighing, she went to the broom closet, fished out a dust pan and broom (Esme Cullen had thought of everything), then quickly swept of the evidence of her fury and promptly disposed of it in the kitchen trashcan.

But then, staring at the back door (and the broken window), she frowned. Can't hide that! she thought. Then shrugging, she tossed the dust pan and broom in the closet and went into the dining room, where she retrieved the couch pillow she'd thrown over the dining room table, straightened the table runner, then went back into the living room. Plopping down on the sofa, Leah hugged the pillow and stared (without seeing) at the television.

XxXxXxX

"Where's Leah?" Alice almost screeched as soon as Jacob entered the room with Sam.

Jacob glanced at the alert little pixie. She was sitting in the same place she'd been before they'd gone outside, but several others were moved around—Hoyt was now sitting in Bill's seat next to Jessica (who was grinning up at him adoringly); Bill was sitting in Sam's seat chatting with Jasper (probably about the war), and occasionally sending glares down the table at Eric (boy, they seemed to hate one another); and Renesmee...was gone. Jacob frowned (because of the child's absence), but spoke to Alice.

"She's locked herself in the cottage."

"Pfft!" the tiny woman snorted as she pushed her chair back and rose. "She can't keep me out."

"You should just let her be, Alice," Esme said gently from her seat. "Leah's had a rough evening."

Emmett glanced up at Sam Merlotte and snorted—and everyone knew exactly where his mind was.

Alice, however, frowned. "She needs to eat, Esme," Alice said as she reached out and picked up Leah's plate (which had been pushed to the center of the table in the shifter's absence), started filling it (heaping it, really), then zipped into the kitchen for some plastic wrap.

"Who's coming with me?" Alice asked as soon as she'd swooped back into the room.

No one answered.

"Oh, come on," she said with a small pout. "We gotta show Leah the love."

At this Jacob laughed. "Yeah right! Like Leah's gonna love you showing up at the house."

Alice's golden eyes sparkled. "Of course she will," she said, then looked at her newest sister. "Please come, Bella."

Bella glanced at Jacob (who shrugged), then got to her feet. "Sure. Okay. Leah hates me, but whatever."

"Leah doesn't hate you, love," Edward said as he rose with his wife (not to go with her, but to kiss her cheek before she left). "She just doesn't completely trust us yet."

Bella pouted. "It's been three years and I haven't even come close to killing anyone."

"Yet," Jacob added.

Glaring at the huge man, Bella's hand shot out and cracked him in the back of the head. "Shut up...mutt!" she tacked on at the end (causing Rosalie to snicker).

"Dammit, Bells," Jacob said as he rubbed the back of his skull. "Why do you have to be so violent?"

Shrugging, Bella grinned. "It's in my nature, I guess," she said. Then, frowning, she continued. "But, I've been really...controlled. Haven't I? I've not given Leah any reason to doubt me."

All the Cullens nodded—as did both Jacob and Seth.

"Ahh, Bella, don't feel bad," Seth put in. "It's not you. Leah's never been too trusting."

"That's true," Jacob added.

"Okay. So !" Alice cut in. "Who else is coming? Rosalie?" she said, looking at her stoic blonde sister. "Leah does like you."

"Me?" Rosalie said with a frown at the same time that Jacob snorted.

"Leah does not like blondie there," he said as he jabbed a finger in the air toward Rosalie—and shuddered. "She just...gets her."

Rosalie continued to frown, then opened her mouth to comment—but she was cut off.

"Whatever!" Alice said with a dismissive wave of her hand. "I need you. You're coming! Up, up! Stand up!"

Though she'd like to argue (because that was in her nature), Rosalie got to her feet.

"Well, if she's going, then so am I," Pam Ravenscroft said with a troublemaking grin—causing Bill to roll his eyes. Pam stood then, ignoring the glare her maker was sending her (he'd expressly ordered her to keep her distance from these strange new vampires), pushed her chair, then smiled at the vampire with bouncy black hair.

Alice, grinning back at her, quickly tossed Leah's plate across the table at Pam (whose hands instinctively reached out and caught it), and cheerfully said, "Great! Who else? Come on, guys."

Jessica, who'd been playing footsies under the table with Hoyt, looked up, then down the table at Bill. "Can I?"

Bill frowned. Jessica wasn't his favorite person, but she was his progeny and he did worry about her—and those with whom she spent time. "I do not know, Jessica, if that's such a good idea."

Sookie rolled her eyes and stood up. "Come on, Jessica, I'll go with you."

At this Eric stood up, as if he was going to join them, but Alice suddenly appeared at his side. "Uh-uh, Northman," she said with a vigorous shake of her head. "Ladies only."

Narrowing his eyes at the tiny woman, he stared into her feisty amber ones.

"Don't worry. We won't hurt her," Alice teased the tall, blonde Viking, then linked her arm though Sookie's. "Esme?"

Esme hadn't thought they should disturb Leah—after all, they'd already completely disturbed the woman's life as it was—but now that hardly seemed to matter as the rest of the women at her dinner table prepared to make their assault. "All right," she said with a motherly smile.

"That just leaves you, Tara," Alice pointed out.

Frowning, Tara glanced around. Every other woman was on her feet, ready to go, but she really had no interest in going with them. "I don't know," she said. Then it occurred to her that, if she didn't go (with the six vampire women—and Sookie), then she'd be staying in the house with the men (six vampires, four shifters, JB, and Hoyt Fortenberry). Looking at her husband fearfully (JB was always so calm—it drove her crazy), she was torn—she didn't want to leave him and she didn't want to stay. Then feeling him squeeze her hand reassuringly, she slowly got up. "Oh, all right!" she snapped. "What the hell."

"Great !" Alice said, unhooking her arm from Sookie's long enough to clap her hands. "We should bring Leah some dessert too," she suggested. "Cake or pie or ice cream?"

"Let's bring it all," Esme said, then reached for the cake (which was closest to her) and sliced off a huge piece, then moved to do the same with the pie, and then handed the dessert plate over to Rosalie. "Will you get the ice cream, Tara dear? Just grab the whole thing."

The black woman stared for a moment, then her dark eyes focused on the container in front of her. Picking it up, she clutched it tight, wondering what the hell she was doing here with these bloodsuckers.

"All right, ladies," Alice chirped excitedly. "Grab your drinks! We're cottage-bound."

XxXxXxX

Leah had just drifted off to sleep when she heard a tapping on the front door. Thinking she'd just ignore it, she closed her eyes again and waited.

More tapping—this time harder.

"Go away, Sam!" she shouted without opening her eyes.

"It's me, Leah," the tapper chimed.

Leah groaned. "Go away, Alice," she said as she listened to the door handle jiggle back and forth.

"Oh, come on, Leah," Alice griped, her voice still as pleasant as can be. "A locked door's not going to keep me out."

Leah rolled her eyes, but didn't move to open the door—she didn't think Alice would dare breaking down the door.

"Please don't make me break in, Leah," Alice begged—but somehow it sounded more like a scolding. "There's already the broken back window to repair. Do you really wanna make it worse?"

Leah frowned, but didn't respond.

"Leah," came a second voice—it was Esme—and another gentle tap on the closed door. "Please let us in, dear. We've brought your meal...since you didn't have time to eat much."

Still frowning, Leah swallowed—she was hungry.

"Come on, dear heart, open the door," Esme continued. "You need to eat."

Squeezing her dark eyes closed, Leah groaned. Why does that bloodsucker have to be so...thoughtful...and sweet...and perfect...all the damned time? her brain screamed while she clenched her teeth in frustration. Still not moving off the couch, she listened to them whispering (she couldn't understand them), all the while chanting quietly to herself. Go away. Go away. Go away.

"There's dessert too," Alice added. "Esme made your favorite."

"Please, just go away," she finally called out weakly, hating herself for the begging whine she heard in her voice.

"There's really no use resisting, Leah." It was Alice again, with her annoyingly cheerful tone. "I've already seen us inside. Please just open the door is we don't have to make more repairs."

"Dammit!" Leah snarled. "I thought you had trouble seeing shifters," she said angrily as she stomped to the front door and swung it open. Then her eyes widened.

"Surprise !" Alice sang. "I thought that, since you wouldn't come to my party, I'd bring it to you. You know...like the saying, 'If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain.'" Stepping over the threshold, Alice gestured for those with her to follow. All entered behind her except one—Jessica. "What are you doing, Jessica?"

"I...ah...can't come in...without an invitation," the redhead said, clearly embarrassed.

"Oh. Right. Of course," Alice said as she stared at the young vampire, feeling silly for not considering this. "I never thought all those silly vampire myths could really exist. How annoying!" she mumbled.

Everyone else's eyes went to Leah, expecting her to immediately offer an invitation—but she didn't.

"You're pulling my leg, right?" Leah asked.

Jessica shifted the ice cream she held, then shook her head, her blue eyes looking sad—and almost ready to fill with her ruby tears.

"You can easily uninvited her later, Leah," Sookie said quickly, trying to be helpful. "Just by verbally rescinding it. It's not hard at all and she'd be physically forced to leave, no matter what," she said—then grinned. "I've actually done it to Eric and Bill on numerous occasions. It's quite handy," she said with an apologetic smile at Jessica.

Leah frowned. "Wish that worked on my leeches," she mumbled—completely missing the possessive she'd used for the Cullens (but they didn't—they were beaming). "Well, I don't own the place," Leah said, suddenly remembering the myth that it had to be the homeowner who granted the vampire permission to enter, "so you're barking up the wrong tree."

Alice rolled her eyes. "You're just full of idioms tonight, aren't ya, Leah?" Alice said, then went on. "But you live here, Leah, so it's up to you...or Seth, but he's not here."

Leah frowned, then shrugged. "Whatever. Come in. Everyone else is in," she said as she glared, first at Alice, and then at the rest. Then she turned and went back to the couch.

"Great!" Alice burst with excitement. "We brought you food."

Actually noticing the food for the first time (Rosalie, Jessica, and Pam all had plates and everyone held a glass—Bella a box of TruBlood and Sookie two bottles of wine), Leah sighed, then reached for the glass that Bella held out to her. Wine. Perfect ! she thought as she gulped down the liquid.

"So, what're we watching?" Alice asked as she picked up the remote and clicked off the television.

"I was watching a great show called eyelids...before I was so rudely interrupted," Leah mumbled as she heard music fill the room. Glancing up she saw Bella standing at the expensive sound system (probably chosen by Edward) in the corner of the room—she'd plugged in her iPod. Sighing again, Leah knew she was in for a long night.

XxXxX

"Those are great pumps," Leah heard Pam saying to Rosalie, then rolled her eyes when Rosalie's lit up—she was constantly surprised by how easily the vain vampire could be distracted.

"Aren't they? Alice found them for me last week," the golden eyed vampire gushed as she extended a perfect leg out so that her shoes were very visible.

Blech ! Leah thought as she looked away.

"Sergio Rossi?"

Rosalie nodded. "Alice had them overnighted from Italy. She's our shopper," she explained. "Wanna try them on?"

Smiling, Pam displayed her perfect teeth. "I'd love to," she said as she kicked off her own heels and eagerly waited for the other blonde to do the same. The rhinestone encrusted, gray satin pumps didn't exactly go with her outfit, but they were absolutely stunning—and probably cost well over a thousand dollars (she wasn't poor, but she wasn't rich either—Eric would never permit her to spend that much on shoes).

Rosalie grinned (she liked it when people noticed her and didn't seem to mind at the moment that it was Pam noticing her), then pulled off her shoes and handed them to the smaller vampire. "Wow! They fit," she said when the shoes were firmly on the other woman's feet. "I thought they'd be too big for you...since you're...smaller than I am."

Standing now, Pam was walking about the room, and Rosalie's eyes were following her back and forth. "They're perfect on you actually," she said.

"They are nice," Pam said. "And surprisingly comfortable. That's so rare. Recently, Eric sent me out into the mud where I ruined my favorite pumps," she said with disgust. "I haven't yet been able to find a decent replacement."

"You know, you should just keep those," Rosalie offered.

Pam stopped walking and stared down at the seated woman. "You're giving me your brand new Sergio Rossi pumps?"

Rosalie shrugged. "I have far too many shoes in my closet and Alice'll never let me wear them again anyway."

Watching, Leah frowned. Rosalie was never this friendly. Then she realized the woman had several drinks in front of her—three empty TruBlood bottles and a glass of wine—and wondered just how much the woman had consumed (she looked quite tipsy).

Then she looked around the room—Alice, Jessica, and Sookie were over by the speakers trying to get Bella to dance with them (and Bella might just have had enough TruBlood and wine to be in an accepting mood), and Esme sat at the dining room table with the one called Tara watching her shovel chocolate ice cream into her mouth at an alarming rate.

Shaking her head, Leah wondered if Tara would ever recover from this night—she knew that she definitely wouldn't.


Books read between posts (just for fun)

How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake #1), by Kerrelyn Sparks – kind of corny, but decent nonetheless (accidentally started this series out of order (grr), read #6 first)

The Ghost and the Goth, by Stacey Kade – young adult (cute story)

Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #5), by Heather Brewer – final book in the series (I think), the main character (Vlad) is finally in 12th grade.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer – AGAIN (research, research, research)

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer – AGAIN (gotta check my facts)