Chapter 24 Loose ends
Disclaimer: the characters and all recognisable situations belong to Stephenie Meyer- this is a work of fan fiction, except for the legends and histories of the Quileute which, of course, belong to them. I pay my respects to their gods.
Thanks to BanSidhe for betaing.
AN: this is the last chapter and the end – bring your tissues –
Jake convinced her that there was no time like the present and she should go and talk to Emily and Sam now. He assured her that he would go with her, but after that, she had to deal with it on her own. She knew he was right and she suspected he was going with her to make sure she actually did go and didn't chicken out at the last minute.
They just got dressed and went straight over there.
"We didn't shower. We stink of sex," Leah pointed out as they were sitting in the Rabbit.
Jake grinned at her, "Yeah we do; tough. Sam has to deal with it. He must have stunk of Emily to you and you had put up with that for how long?" he asked.
"I suppose so." She reached out and brushed her hand down his face. He just leant into her touch without taking his eyes off the road. They drove in silence the rest of the way.
She stood on the porch and rapped on the door.
The door opened and Sam stood in the doorway and looked at her. Jake stood behind her. He wasn't touching her, but just knowing he was there gave her strength.
"Leah?" Sam queried. It was not a 'what the fuck do you want?', but it almost sounded like one.
She cleared her throat, "I came to say congratulations… to you …both."
There was silence.
"Who is it Sam?" she heard from inside the room. Emily's head appeared in the doorway. Her jaw dropped open when she saw it was Leah.
She had been avoiding them, but she hadn't thought about how obvious it was. Her brave face had failed her recently. The fact that Emily was so shocked to see her, made her feel slightly ashamed of her behaviour.
She felt a light touch at her back from Jake; an extremely gentle, but insistent push.
"Can I come in?" she asked.
Emily's natural homemaker side won out, "Please," she said.
Sam stepped back but he sniffed at Jake as he came in the door. Jake just looked at him. Sam puffed up his chest and opened his mouth as if he was going to have a go at Jake, but Jake pre-empted him and just said, "No."
Sam paused; his face looked conflicted. Jake stared straight into his face from his full height. Jake shook his head. "Don't," he said; it was a warning and in the face of his unyielding authority, Sam deflated. Leah felt her heart race; this was the real pack behaviour. The alpha males fighting over her, the alpha female. Truth be told, that is how it really was in a wolf pack.
Jake hadn't even needed to use the command timbre of his voice; he was the Alpha and she was his. Sam could smell it and there was nothing he could do about it. He had made his choice a long time ago. If he was unhappy about it, that was his problem. She would really have to thank Paul the next time she saw him; Waggener the Wise was right.
Emily looked uncertain of what was happening, but she handled it the way she always did. "Would you like a drink? And I just baked some muffins…"
Leah realized she sounded as nervous as Leah felt. Maybe Paul was right about that too. Fuck, she might have to actually take more notice of him in the future.
"Muffins sound great," she smiled at Emily.
"I need to go," Jake put in. He kissed Leah on the side of the head. "Come home when you are ready." He squeezed her hand. She looked into his eyes; they told her, he loved her and he knew she could do this and even if she couldn't, he would be waiting for her and he would pick up the pieces. She tried to tell him she loved him with her eyes, but she wasn't sure she was any good at that stuff. She really felt like jumping him, but in the middle of Sam and Emily's living room, that might be a bit rude.
"Sure, sure," she said.
He winked at her.
"Sam," he acknowledged him as he left.
Leah felt instantly nervous. Emily walked towards the kitchen and Leah followed. She sat at the table and let Emily fuss. She had no appetite and she picked at the muffin Emily placed in front of her. Sam had taken the discrete path of valour and had hidden somewhere.
"So you and Jake, huh?" Emily asked.
"Yeah," she admitted. She inhaled deeply; she could do this. She was Leah Fucking Clearwater. "Congratulations on the baby," she blurted out.
"How many weeks are you?" Fucked if she knew what to say, but that seemed like a safe question.
"Ten weeks. I didn't want to tell anyone until 12 but Sam was so excited. He told everyone the first week we knew; he couldn't keep the secret."
I'll bet he was, she thought. And then she mentally slapped herself. Let it go Leah.
She picked at the muffin and told herself off. She had felt so much better after she had dealt with all the other stuff. This would hurt but she had to deal with this shit, too. She inhaled and readied herself for her next statement. Maybe if she just got it all out in one go, it would be done. Like ripping off a band-aid. But perhaps she should give Emily a warning.
"I need to get some things off my chest if you are up to it."
Emily looked grave, but she nodded. "That would be a good idea," she said.
"I did some serious thinking recently," Leah began, "And I realized that I was still angry with you and Sam. Angry with the imprint, angry with Sam for dumping me and angry with you for taking him from me. I actually thought that when he stopped phasing, the imprint would fade and he would love me again." She uttered a small laugh, but it sounded border line hysterical. "How fucked is that?"
Emily just stared at her.
She was almost there, just one more thing to say. "What I could never understand was why you took him so fast. He had to be whatever you wanted him to be; you didn't have to fuck him the first day." Her voice broke. Oh jeez, she was going to lose it.
"You were like my sister; my best friend," she wailed. "How could you do that to me?" A tear trickled down her cheek.
Emily's head was low. Her voice was muffled but Leah could hear her. "Do you know what we were fighting about? The day he took half my face off?" her voice was bitter.
She looked up at Leah. Her own eyes were bright with tears. She lifted her hair away from the ruined side of her face and pushed it towards Leah. "We were arguing about you," she said.
Leah inhaled sharply.
"I knew we had done the wrong thing; we had both betrayed you. I told him I wanted to end it. I told him he had to go back to you and make it right. And he panicked. He thought he had already lost you …and then he thought he was going to lose me too…" A sob escaped her.
Leah couldn't move. She had never imagined this. Sam had kept an extremely tight lid on that memory.
"It hurt so much…Leah, and the whole time I was healing I hurt even more for what we had done to you, but I couldn't let him go, then…" she begged, "who else would have me with this…this face."
"Every time he sees me, he kisses the scar first… have you noticed that? Every single time, he reminds me of what we did to you… and every time I look in the mirror…" Emily was openly sobbing now, great ragged breaths that tore Leah apart. "…and I am so sorry… I am so sorry…"
She couldn't have said who moved first; maybe she did, with her greater speed, but they met somewhere in the middle. The two friends clutched each other, standing in the middle of Emily's neat kitchen and they sobbed their hearts out. Their knees buckled and they fell to the floor in a heap.
"No Emily," she finally managed to say, "I forgive you… it's not your fault… it's the stupid imprinting… I would never have wanted you to be hurt like this… it's not your fault." She knew then, just how much she had missed her cousin and her best friend. So in the spirit of this new insightful Leah, she told her.
"I missed you so much, Emily." She hugged her tighter.
"Ouch," Emily said.
"Sorry, did I squish the baby? Leah panicked.
"No you squished me!" Emily said and then they started to giggle. They giggled and wiped at their snotty faces and they smiled at each other.
Sam tentatively came into the kitchen. He looked petrified. "Is everything okay?" he asked in a very small voice. Emily reached a hand up to him and he pulled her up to a standing position and then they both reached for Leah at the same time. She took one of their hands in each of hers and when she rose, she kept going and she hugged Sam. His whole body was as stiff as a board; he had no idea what to do, so she hugged him harder. She could feel when he softened a little and put his arm around her shoulders. He felt so familiar and he smelt like him but it just didn't do it for her anymore.
She pulled her head back. "Everybody's forgiven," she told him.
"Okay," he agreed, but he looked doubtful. She couldn't really blame him.
"I need to go," she told them. She gave Emily another hug and she left them. She left them together.
When she got out the front door, she felt like she could breathe properly for the first time in years. Her chest had always felt so tight; like there was some thick elastic band around it. It was the anger; she had carried that shit around with her for years.
She looked up at the sky and she thanked her own personal Yoda; her Father. She said a prayer of thanks to the Gods for giving her the strength and the opportunity to heal herself.
She gave a little excited hop in place and then she ran; she ran back to Jake.
She ran in the front door so fast and she threw herself at him. He had come partway to the door to meet her. He must have heard her coming.
She threw herself at him and he caught her.
Paul thought it was an image he would probably never forget.
Leah had gone into heat and Jake had taken her into the forest; it seemed the safest place. He had been watching her like a hawk around the time period Charles had suggested. And he had never left her alone. Normally she would have got snarky with him, but she was fine with it and that made him more concerned. Quil was always sniffing around her, so that he had ignored. But when Embry started to do it; he had whisked her away. He Alpha ordered the others not to phase and not to try and follow them or track them, just in case. It seemed like a necessary insurance.
Wolf Jake would kill anyone who tried to touch her and they knew that as humans, but as wolves they might try to take the risk and no one, least of all Jake, wanted to be responsible for what could happen.
Any vampires who came through the area this week would be in luck.
As the new Beta male, Paul was assigned to meet them.
So here Jake was, coming out of the forest after days of being missing. He was carrying Leah and he was covered in scratches and bites.
It was definitely an unforgettable image.
"Is she injured?" Paul asked with concern.
"Nope, just can't walk," Jake answered. He was walking pretty gingerly himself.
"Hey Paul," Leah muttered and buried her face in Jake's neck.
"Damn, guys," he breathed as he totalled up the damage and the kind of sex they must have been having to both be quite so marked and unable to walk. And then he gave his odd barking laugh. "You are the MAN, Jake… hey did you guys do it in wolf form… did she pass out… you can tell me." He danced around them like an eager puppy, as Jake walked slowly across the grass.
Jake just gave him a look; admittedly it was a bit smug.
"Oh come on," whined Paul. "That would be amazing! Sex for women is all about the mind anyway, so if you could be in her head when she has an orgasm… fuck… that would be incredible… oh come on… I am never going to do that… you can tell me…"
Jake just ignored him and kept walking towards the house.
Paul was sure he heard him laugh.
AN: thanks for reading and reviewing – I am messing with the next part of this series – it will be Embry and Quil playing detectives to discover the identity of Embry's father – maybe I should call it "who's your daddy?" bwahaha
And I did call it that! The story is posted and you can find it here:
FF_2154210_ - 1/12/2011 01:52:00 PM