Hey guys! I'm really sorry about the unintentional hiatus I took, but my muse is a finicky little thing lately and just keeps up and leaving me! So sad to say this story is coming to an end, maybe one chapter left but I have an idea for a sequel possibly involving the Cullens. If any of you who have held out for this story are interested let me know! I don't own anything but the plot and the OC's! On with the chapter!

Leah and I remained silent the drive back to my house. I could feel her worried glances but I was happy she was giving me the space I needed to process everything. Come morning my twin would murder my mate for a crime he didn't commit and I promised to just sit by and do nothing; to not even go and watch the product of my selfishness. I scrubbed my hands across my face trying to keep the tears at bay, not for the first time I wondered just what in the hell the spirits were thinking in deciding that I would make a good choice for "The Great Peace Keeper". I snapped out of my thoughts at the feel of someone touching my shoulder and looked over to see Leah smiling at me sadly.

"Do you want me to come in with you?" I looked up at the house in front of me, a sense of resignation and dread settling over me. I just wanted to go to sleep and wake up next to Paul and have this all be just one big nightmare.

"No, I think I need to be alone. Maybe you should go talk to Jacob, I don't want to come between you two more than I already have." I sighed guiltily.

"Bella, I've already told you, Jacob makes his own choices and I happen to not agree with them this time. This is completely on me and him. He's being a jackass who wants to order me around like one of his little wolves, no offense, and that's just not going to happen. I wouldn't be the Alpha's mate if I just bent to his every whim and neither would you." I looked up at her startled to see her smiling softly at me. I was about to respond when she cut me off.

"You are stronger than you give yourself credit for or you wouldn't be an Alpha's mate, especially a hot-head's like Lahote's. We're a special breed you and I. We're caring and nurturing but have steel backbones and don't take anyone's shit. We're fiercely protective of the ones we love even to the detriment of ourselves. That's what makes us good Alpha females, shifter or not. You were destined to shift and to be the mate of Paul for a reason. Maybe that reason was to bring the packs together, to show them the error of their ways and where blind hatred can take them, destruction. Just like maybe I didn't become a wolf but still the Alpha female because I had to remain objective to help guide you into getting your head out of your ass." I giggled as tears streamed down my face at Leah's speech. She chuckled lightly and swung her around around me as much as she could in the constraints of the car. "But seriously Bells like I told you last night. This is not your fault, Sam sealed his fate the minute he tried to go against the laws of imprinting and tried to kill you. You can't change the past, what you can do though is decide the future. You're smart, deep down you know what the right decision is, but it its up to you. Sometimes breaking a promise is necessary." She hugged me lightly and kissed my cheek. I nodded once and got out of the car.

Trudging up to the house and through the door, my heart heavy and my mind even worse, I barely noticed the figure in the doorway to the living room.

"Isabella." My father's cold voice rang through the room. I paused in my step but didn't turn toward him. "I warned Jacob about letting you run so free and now look what has happened. Samuel is to be given a warrior's funeral tonight just as the sun sets. You are to be there, other than that you are not to leave this house. That scum who took Samuel's life will die at sunrise in front of the pack and the elders. After this business is finished you will marry a man of my choosing and you will produce the next pack heirs and that is it. Am I clear?" I had no response for him so I said nothing. "I said am I clear?!" He yelled causing me to flinch. I nodded once sharply. I was about to turn to go up to my room when he gave one last parting sentence. "You have brought shame to this family, to this tribe, and to the name of the protectors. I am ashamed of you." My heart clenched. Despite our differences, deep down I loved my father and just wanted his approval and acceptance just like any child wants from their parent.

Just before sunset the entire tribe gathered around the oceanside to pay their final respects to Sam. My brother stood up in front of the gathered people next to the canoe that held Sam's covered body with a torch and a stoic expression. He talked about Sam and how brave and honorable he was, how great of a beta he was to the pack as well as a valued member of the tribe. I stood next to my pack but slightly off to the side, my hand gripped in Leah's. People were weeping, especially the females, mourning the loss of him. Inside my emotions raged a war of their own. Part of me mourned for my pack brother, my beta, while another was bitter towards the whole scene. Sam had been intent on killing not only my mate but myself as well and yet here he was being celebrated like a hero while my mate was caged like an animal waiting for his death. I must have showed some sign of my inward struggle because Leah squeezed my hand, bringing my attention back to Jacob. He said some final blessings in Quileute before the Seth and Colin stepped forward to push the canoe further into the ocean. As the tide started to pull the canoe out to sea, Jacob stepped into the water and touched the bright flame to the woven cloth that covered Sam's body, stepping away when the canoe start to blaze as it was pulled further out to sea. I stared at the flames for a minute before I felt a heavy hand come down on my shoulder.

"Come on B. Let's go home." My brother said softly, the first words he has spoken directly to me since he locked me up in the house two nights ago. I nodded softly, accepting the arm he slung around my shoulder, his other arm wrapped around Leah.
As we settled into the house, I could feel my brother's gaze on me. I ignored it for as long as I could, choosing to busy myself with making a meal for the three of us. As I popped the chicken into the oven, my brother cleared his throat, I sighed and looked up at him. He had an odd look of confusion and determination swirled on his face.
"I don't know what happened in the clearing that night, nor do I really care. Our packmate is dead. No matter how much I hate Paul, I do not wish to cause more bloodshed but it is our law. We will fight and he will die. Those are the facts. You must come to terms with it." He paused, taking a deep breath before continuing, "I do not want you there."
"But Jakeā€¦" I tried to interrupt.
"No. Paul's pack is coming, we know they will come. Right or not, laws or not, as soon as Paul falls more blood will be spilt. I cannot have you there. I cannot see you hurt." He says softly, stroking my cheek before crushing me to him in a desperate hug. I feel tears sting my eyes as he lets go, grabbing Leah's hand pulling her with him towards his room. I struggle to control my sobs as I pull the now done chicken from the oven and place it on the stove top, no longer in any mood to eat.

I didn't sleep at all that night. At about a half hour until dawn I hear my brother moving around getting ready for the fight and Leah's soft begging. He tries to sooth her but its no use. She sobs quietly as he leaves. I make my way to his room and climb into bed beside her, wrapping her up in my arms. She continues to sob on my chest for a few minutes until she tires herself out and I hear her breathing even out. I stay completely still for a couple of minutes turning everything over in my head. I gasp out as I get hit with a surge of love and apology from within my imprint bond. He's saying goodbye. My gut wrenches and my heart feels like its being torn from my chest. The realization hits me like a ton of bricks and I quickly but carefully unwrap myself from Leah. He needs me just as much as I need him. I look back at Leah before quickly stripping and tying my night dress around my ankle. Leaping from the window and phasing midair, letting my paws take off toward the clearing as soon as they touched the ground. Sometimes breaking a promise is necessary.

Thanks for reading! Question, comment, review! I'd like to know what you think! What do you think is going to happen? Is Bella going to make it? Will it make a difference? Stay tuned to find out!