"I really pity you,"

The grey clouds from overhead showered us with angry vibes of rain. The thunderous roar was inevitable, but the shiver that I felt from my spine was unavoidable nonetheless. However, something tells me I wasn't afraid of the noise, but rather of the girl standing right in front of me.

This was La Push, and the dreary, depressing feelings suffocates us all like a deep blanket. It covered all of us. However, I was always protected. Despite this, today I felt an uncanny feeling of vulnerability while standing under my porch ceiling and staring the person who I had once loved the most, yet hurt at the same time. It dawned on me that there was a slight possibility, that I wasn't as safe as I thought I was.

I looked at her and felt a stab of envy. She was so beautiful. Even standing outside in this horrendous weather, she never managed to lose her natural grace. Her eye lashes swept through the rain as if swatting to protect her gloriously brown eyes- which seemed black from where I was standing. They captured me...I marveled in her surreal perfection; she was hurt way too many times in the past, however the cold beauty prospered on her full lips. The dampness of her hair clung to her neck sickly, but she remained firm. Just like I knew her to be; strong.

I looked at her once more and realized that she decided to embrace the undying heat of loneliness just from standing outside, alone. Unprotected. Uncovered. She simply stood there and drenched herself in the painful truth. She may have rejected it a few times, but comprehension flicked in her expression; so complex that I didn't understand the level she was on.

Leah had always been faster to understand things. Ever since we were children. She was always first. She was the quickest on our Cross Country team, she was the smartest in math class, she even fell in love before I did. She always experienced more than I ever had. Or will.

I always followed right after.

Leah however, was very hard to impress. She could keep the same monotone face and Mona Lisa smile even if someone had told her she was on fire. She could drive someone insane, but she never lost her cool.

She could send men into whirlpools of delusion and conflict, just dreading over seeing her smile, and toy with them when they achieved a taste of perfection, only to return back to her emotionless, unimpressed state. She could get any jealous girl to talk about her in nothing but worshiping prayers. She could get them to kiss her ass, with a snap of her finger. Whether she knew it or not, she had that type of power on people.

I used to be one of the select few that could make her smile. But now, I was a reject. Sam used to be one as well. Currently, the only ones that remain are Seth, Sue and Jacob, sometimes including Embry and Quil; her new brothers of Jake's renegade pack (only occasionally). However, the main three people in her life, are only here to give a blind eye and a listening ear, and any words of wisdom when needed. I was still here for her...whenever she wanted, but she wasn't interested in my help anymore.

The sadness would fill me on those rainy days where I mused of Leah and I. My heart would wrench at the deterioration of our valued friendship. I loved her...I still do, and I expected to be with her until the day I died. She was the type of friend who I could trust no matter what. The loss of our comradeship was just one of the crosses I had to bear, for my relationship with Sam.

She stood staring. Not even shivering, whereas I clutched my chest pathetically. The cold chill however was absent. I was trembling because I was scared...because of this confrontation.

"Leah..." I spoke at once. My tone shocked. My heart hopeful. My eyes weak.

"I thought you were my friend..." she whispered, her voice not in the painful way that I was used too after our falling out, but she used a superior tone that somehow succeeded in making me angry. Even though her words were words of the weak and hurt; words that described the simple minded, she somehow managed to sound disdainful. "I trusted you"

Those three words sent my head into a whirlpool of guilt. Leah didn't trust easy, it'd take a hell of a lot to gain something like that from her. I understood from those words, that Leah was more shocked in her mistake in trusting me, then the fact that I betrayed her.

"Leah..." My voice broke. How could I even talk to her anymore? I've said this a million times, but it has never made a difference "I'm sorry"

"It doesn't matter," Leah said, her indifference poking out in substantial numbers, causing me to flinch and realize that Leah was in a healthy place. She was back to her old self. Only, she was now the better and improved version. She was wiser, she gained knowledge from this experience and she was going to utilize it against me.

"It does," I attempted to argue

"It doesn't. It doesn't matter if you're sorry. It doesn't even matter that it happened. It doesn't. You just don't understand"

"I don't. Make me"

"Life will end for you," She said simply "It will end for Sam. It will end for me. It will all end anyway"

I did not understand what she was saying, before I could squint my eyes in indicating confusion, she turned her head.

Leah looked out towards La Push's flourishing, yet deceiving beauty. "You know, I used to get so pissed. I used to be so angry. I was in denial. I couldn't believe that anything like this could ever happen. I-I couldn't believe you could do this. But now I realize that it doesn't matter. It just doesn't. You're happy. Sam's happy. Two out of three's not bad"

I opened my mouth to object, but she held her hand for me to stop.

"And it bothers me the most that people think I'm the victim..." She looked at me and traced the scars along my face with no fear. I flinched. Something in her stare signified that she wasn't pitying me, she was expressing her superiority...and she chose to do so in a very blunt, merciless manner. No one had ever spoke of my scars to me, so openly, not even Sam, so the verbal and visual pain she inflicted on me was shocking...even for Leah, however I kept my mouth shut.

"Karma's a bitch, ain't it?" She said. "Most people think you deserved what you got. You know, having your faced fucked up and all. I used to think that too, you know...but it never made me happy. All it left was some empty feeling. You didn't deserve that."

I looked down from her harsh choice of words, but I couldn't complain at her truthful tone. Leah was speaking from her heart and I needed to listen.

"You didn't. You're a sweet person, Emily. You may have a lack of strong will, but you're kind and gentle"

It was quiet for a minute or two. This time I finally took time to look at my cousin. Her beautiful face still intact, her invisible scars have long since healed, but I knew she was still hurting, for different reasons entirely.

"You and I always wanted to escape this place, Em" she added thoughtfully "Now, you're chained here forever. I'm thankful Sam imprinted on you now, because I realize that after all this wolf crap I can actually be something. I can contribute to society. I can fall in love again, the normal way. I can travel the world. I can be on my own. I can do what I wanted to do all my life; follow my dreams, while you're stuck loving Sam. You have him, Emily. But I have the world"

"Sam is my world" I interfered

"But I have so much more than that..." she added, not in a rude tone, but a cautiously understanding voice. "I have so many choices. You might be content with just one, but I'll be able to choose my path. I'll make more of myself..."

"That may be true, Leah." I spoke "But I don't want choices. I want Sam. I need Sam..."

"Listen to you," Leah sneered, getting angry "You just flat out said that you didn't want any choices. Do you know how mentally handicapped-"

"I don't," I replied simply "I'm fine with that."

"Life isn't all about love," she hissed "You loving Sam won't do anything for anybody. You won't make discoveries, you won't help the human population. All you'll do is pathetically love him...doesn't that bother you? Knowing that all you are is a baby machine?"

"I don't care"

It was quiet for a second, we glared at each other. Her anger was temperamental. She could control it, I could tell that Leah was in the fact the one that didn't care. I was pissed beyond belief.

"You've lost your human sense," Leah frowned, as if the case she was ready to embark on was a complete and epic fail. As if she was a scientist who realized that this experiment was a lost cause...that I was a lost cause "You've lost any respect for yourself. You're an animal...just like Sam"

"I don't care." I said more defiantly

Leah shook her head once more, her voice groggy and sharp "The thing that gets me, is that the Emily Young I knew, would've died before ever saying something like that"

I stared at her head on, "Maybe "

"I used to hate you for stealing Sam," She admitted "I had it all wrong. I should be hating Sam for stealing you."

My eyes wavered a bit in our full staring contest, her pain radiated onto me effortlessly. I looked at her once more. She was still as beautiful as I remembered. She still held that classic Clearwater charm...she still had that superior structure, she still walked like a Queen. She was still Leah Clearwater.

Who was I?

She mumbled something else before speaking more clearly "This is a shame...pure shame"

My irritation caught up with me, "Who cares?

Leah rolled her eyes "I guess that's what an imprint really is. Strips you of your choices. Changes people. I remember when you were a quiet, yet intelligent and opinionated girl who could get her point across just like that"-she snapped her fingers loudly-"whenever you felt like it" Leah smiled at the memory "You respected yourself. You wanted to be a lawyer and you would have made a damned good one. Now you're just a housewife. You might have a couple of kids...but besides that, you'll contribute to the world in lame, useless ways. Maybe bake sales at your sons school. That's it"

I looked away, those truths didn't trouble me, but I knew that without this scandal, I would have cackled at Leah. My dreams were never consisting of being a housewife...I had too much pride for that. But that was what I was.

"And when you meet new people at those bake sales, you're gonna have to deal with their squinting eyes and blunt questions. Sam's gonna hear snide remarks made by teenagers in the store. People will judge you your whole life. It might hurt. It might not. But you'll always have to deal with it."

I gulped loudly.

Leah then tilted her head to the left "You know...I think that this is a bigger punishment on Sam's part. He has to deal with it. He has to live with himself, knowing that he did that. And I can't bring myself to feel sorry for the sick bastard."

I opened my mouth again, but Leah held her hand, asking me to pause. I ignored it and spoke words that I knew where beneath me. "I'm tired of you hanging up on Sam. Get over him. He loves me"

Leah snorted, I grew angrier

"Look at you, Em," Leah chuckled, not even phased by my words. She truly went numb. "You don't even stand for yourself, but one bad thing I say about Sam and you blow a freaking gasket. Calm down."

"I love him," I spat "You insult him then you insult me"

"Well jeez," She said, not one ounce of surprise in her monotone voice "I guess I'm supposed to be sorry,"

"Apology accepted" I allowed confidently, pointing my nose in the air indignantly.

Then she grinned "You're a whole different person when it comes to Sammy boy, eh?" She raised her eyebrow "I used to be like that. I'm over that though. I know who I am. I don't need someone to make me feel complete."

"I'm sorry about that," I said truthfully "being in love is the best feeling ever"

Leah gave me a look of pure loathing, "Being free is better"

I had no response due to her deafening glare and she continued on with a sick tone filled with vicious words and sounds "Besides, are you forgetting that I was in love with Sam before you even knew he existed? Do you remember that you stole him from me? Do you? You act like it's just you and him, but there's so much more than that"

Then she got defensive, "I don't need someone to feel complete. I can live and be myself, by myself. Maybe one day, I could deal with an addition. But I doubt I can trust anyone easily after this..." She noticed my wince "But don't feel bad, Em. Remember I'm the one pitying you."

"I don't need pity. I have everything I have ever wanted."

"And I know that you know that you don't deserve that. I know that you know that he was my first and only; that I gave him everything. You know that he would be with me if the world wasn't so twisted and demented."

"Regardless..." I mumbled, not so strong in my words "I love him. He loves me"

She looked around my house and back to me and then snorted when I finished. Her tone grew vindictive "I'd hate to know that I am going to bed with a man that wouldn't be there if he had a choice, Emily. Is that what you call real love?"

I flinched. That was a sore spot in our relationship. Sam never did have a choice. If he did, I undoubtedly knew that he would have chosen Leah...that he would have the right to choose to be with the woman he was with for four years. The one who was there for him for half his life, the one who actually earned his love. The one who argued with him day and night for something stupid. The one who sobbed and searched for him when he went missing; the one who lost hours of sleep just bickering over him...the one who deserved his heart. Not the one who came in and stole his love cheaply because of some animalistic trait.

Despite my tormented look, Leah continued. I should have never been so optimistic. Leah was never one to hold out on the truth.

"Is this what you want, Em? A man who was forced into loving you because you'll give him bigger and better babies? A man that you cannot even separate from for more than 24 hours because it causes you too much pain? No freedom whatsoever! A man that's breathing down your neck every second of the day? A man that's so hung up on you, that he can't take a little rejection from you without scarring you for life? Is that what you call real love?"

I looked down. Those were reoccurring feelings. Sometimes I'd get so distressed, I'd sleep on the couch. I never had the guts to threaten leaving him, but I knew the rejection I faced cost me enough. Plus, if I left, I'd be feeling an undeniable amount of pain. I was stuck here. And she wasn't.

Leah looked at me pitifully before adding "...The world that you and I know, wasn't like this. The world that everyone else knows. The world where I didn't have to worry about someone imprinting on my cousin. Where I can't be chained to someone for all of eternity.

"Every time you kiss him, you'll be thinking of me. You'll be thinking how I kissed those same lips. You'll be thinking how he chose to kiss me, and how he's forced to kiss yours" She began to crack in her voice, and I knew this was what hurt her the most. She wasn't saying this as an insult, she was saying this as fact. She was simply pointing out truths I chose to ignore. She was hurt over my short comings.

Good Lord, she was in pain over the fact that I would be feeling this? What have I done to deserve her as a friend?

"And what's worse is, you'll always feel guilty, for what you did. You'll never feel completely happy. Not when you have your first child. Never. You may not realize it, but I'm the lucky one. I'm finally free. I wish you were too...And I'm so sorry, Emily..."

She twisted her lip and nodded her head off to the west, sniffing the intruder. "And here comes Sam. Always coming to your rescue. He knows I'm here. He thinks I'm hurting you, but hiding the truth will only make it worse." she shook her head "You think you're safe with him. You aren't. You're stuck living in this insane denial...this disbelief that has made you too ignorant to understand the complexity of the real world; real love."

She looked down, and I thought I saw tears in her eyes. "Real love. I'm sorry you've never experienced real love. It is truly the best feeling in the world. But it's the most devastating to lose"

She looked away again and bit her lip. Her face suddenly grew disturbed "I hope you realize that you don't have that. Not because I'm shoving it in your face, but because I love you and I want the best for you; imprinting wasn't the best for you, Em" She looked at me again and frowned "Everyone deserves real love, Emily...and I'm truly sorry that you have never experienced it, or ever will. I'm so sorry that you're stuck"

She looked straight in my eyes, and when she noticed my clear objection within my body language, her face paled at my disagreement and suddenly her tone grew cold. " No. I was wrong. What's actually worse is, you're stuck believing that he was made for you, when you know that he's only bound to you by some supernatural bond to protect you and your uterus." She twisted the last word, and I felt my blood boil. She smirked at my reaction before dauntingly adding, "It's just a bloodline thing."

I couldn't take it anymore, I choked back on my anger and screamed my fury in words that I didn't even believe myself. "If you're going to be like that, I hope the memories of you and Sam stick forever. I hope you realize that you are still in pathetic love with him. I hope you know that he doesn't feel that way about you. I hope you see me with him and wish you were me,"

"Ouch," Leah smiled, she truly beamed "A couple days ago, I would have probably ran away and cried in a little corner. Too bad you didn't get the result you wanted, Em. Now you just seem like a heartless bitch."

I looked away, my tears clouding my vision. I said things that I didn't wish myself. I said cruel words. I intentionally tried to hurt her even more than I have.

"I would never want to be you," she admitted "Imprinting made you a bitch. Tragic."

"Like you have room to talk," I hissed through my tears.

"I don't," she admitted and I cursed at how she remained still even when she realized her own faults "I was a bigger bitch than anything. That's my only regret, you know? Taking it like it was. I should have just brushed it off my shoulder...but instead, I clung on it. I tried to make others miserable, I was a heartless bitch. Now, I know. Now I've learned...Emily, you'll never learn. You'll always be like this...and what's even worse is, you're stuck with him," she whispered

She gave me one more look that sent shivers up my spine. It was a scary look. A demented look. One that saw within soul. One that managed to keep me tangled in the deranged world that she brought me to. I saw the truth in her eyes. I saw her anger melt away. I saw her running from the cuffs, I saw her free in the meadow. I had never been so scared in my life

And then she spoke one word that I knew would end this friendship, end this madness, end everything I have ever known. She grinned evilly. "Forever"

And with that, I watched as my beloved cousin walked away before jolting at high speed towards wherever she was going. She was escaping, she was finally leaving this thick bubble that we all knew and loved...she was free.

The thought that I never would be, made me cringe in undeniable scrutiny...I was stuck...I was stuck living in this terrorizing world I call home. She was right, she was so right.

"Emily!" Sam called, he ran to me and held me in closing comfort. His hands reached all over me at once and I only shrugged him off. My imagination tried to believe that I was safe. "Are you alright? Did she hurt you? I'll kill her-"

"I'm fine," I pushed away from him and walked inside the house that I would be confined to until my first child was born, until I was reduced to cooking for the werewolves all through my life, until I was on my deathbed.

Now that she has honestly spoke what my life revolves around, I didn't know if I would be content with turning back to what we were, but I had no choice but too. The old me would have screamed at the pressure of this world...but the new me with Sam would suck it up and love him even though I didn't deserve too.

Those words may be true, but I would never look back on them. She failed to affect me, forever. I would move on, I would continue living this lie. The fact that I knew the truth, wouldn't mess with my synthetically made happiness. I refused to let her ruin me. Somehow I knew that this wasn't Leah's goal.

The unrealistic love that Sam and I had would always shelter me from the truth that Leah Clearwater understood more than me.

The truth that could set me free.

A/N. This actually made be feel bad for Emily...
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