AN.. This is my very first story.. EVER. Please feel free to leave feedback. Tell me what you think! *biting my nails in anticipation*

Disclaimer: I own nothing in the Twilight universe.. I am simply borrowing some of Stephanie's charaters.

Chapter 1

In the Clearing

Leah POV

As we approached the clearing, we could hear them. They were talking in whispers. I could just make out their stark white figures against the blackness of the field. We were all so tense, and on edge. Their cloying scent burning our noses.

"They've been holding out on us!" said the one standing beside Bella. I could only assume that this was the infamous Edward. Bella's own personal bloodsucker. I shuddered, and tried not to look in his direction. I made a mental note to not notice - in the future- how like velvet his voice sounded.

"Ew! What the.." I heard Sam think in my head, along with the whispered oaths and a general feeling confusion from the rest of the pack.

Their leader stepped forward to welcome us, and thank us for coming. This "truce" was so sensitive, and in spite of our collective hatred for all vampires, this "family" (I mentally rolled my eyes at the word) seemed to be on the level about their lifestyle choices.

I sensed disapproval from Sam and Paul especially as I allowed my mind to wander down this path. Go figure, SAM disapproving of something I was thinking. I huffed and tried to empty my mind of anything but the intricate "ballet" of fighting taking place in the field as the blonde haired male leech danced with the little black haired spritely female.

As they came to the end of their elegant match, I was in awe of their speed and skill. It was certainly an eye-opening experience. Of course, nausea almost overtook me as the pixie vamp kissed the male's neck, her eyes softening into liquid pools of love as she gazed up at him. It reminded me of the looks that Sam used to give me... the longing, loving gazes that now belonged only to Emily.

At this thought, I felt the hackles rising in my pack. I refused to even think the word sorry. I was not sorry that Sam got to feel my pain. My heart had not been ripped out of me, I still felt it setting like a stone in my chest. The fact that it still beat was merely a biological habit. It had been crushed, and died in its cage that fateful day, almost a year ago.

Sam came through the back door, and walked up behind me as I was spreading butter on toast. Emily, my cousin, and dearest friend (practically my sister) had spent the previous night with me, and was going to meet "My Sam" for the first time that day. We were going to go out to the movies in Port Angeles that afternoon.

Snaking his arms around me, Sam pressed his lips to the back of my neck, and rubbed his thumbs back and forth across my stomach. (Nobody but Emily knew that Sam and I had been sleeping together for almost a month now.) Sam was like air to me. I needed him beside me, and inside of me as much as I needed my next breath. We were already trying to decide when to announce our engagement to everyone... all I was lacking was a ring.

Today had been planned for the last two weeks, and I was so happy that everything had fallen into place. Sam was able to come! He had not been feeling well lately, and had been surly. He was constantly running a fever, and was so easily upset... I was afraid that he was coming down with some terrible illness. Even this morning, his arms around me were too warm, but I was not about to say anything for fear that he would get upset and call off our plans.

Emily walked into the kitchen then, and sighed out "Good morning!".

I felt a stiffening of Sam's posture immediately, and thought he was afraid my mother had seen our intimate position. It didn't take long to figure out that this assumption was incorrect. We turned together, me still in his arms.

"You MUST be Sam!" Emily said quietly, extending her hand in greeting.

Sam's arms dropped, and he froze. His breath started to heave, and his eyes looked wild. He kept looking back and forth between myself and Emily. I couldn't for the life of me understand what was going on. He looked like he had seen a ghost or something.

"Sam?" I questioned, reaching for his hands. "Is everything okay? What's wrong, baby?"

Emily was staring at Sam, wide eyed, and confused. Sam just started shaking his head, still looking like a mad man as his eyes swing back and forth between me and Emily. It was the strangest thing I had ever experienced. I mean, Sam HAD been acting strangely recently, but this was something entirely new. I watched as his whole frame began to shake. I reached out to grab his arm, and withdrew my hand immediately. It felt so very hot, almost like it could burn me.

Sam started backing towards the door, shaking so hard, so fast that his entire body seemed to be vibrating. As he stepped out of the door, an oath strangled itself out of his throat. I walked after him, calling his name, but by the time I made it to the low porch, there was no one in my yard. I saw the branches of a small bush at the edge of the woods shaking, and ran towards it, screaming out for him, but he was gone. I walked into the woods a short distance, my eyes searching for him, finding nothing.

I stumbled, twisting my ankle on an unseen object. Sitting on the ground, my hand searched out source of me fall. I found a torn shoe, and puzzled over it. I puzzled over Sam's strange behavior, and disappearance. I just plain sat there puzzled as I rubbed by ankle. Fifteen minutes later; Emily stood at the edge of the woods, her eyes frantic, and her voice frightened as she called out for me…

I didn't see Sam again for about three weeks, and when I did I was so relieved that I didn't even care about the drastic change in his appearance, I simply ran to him, and tried to throw my arms around him. He side-stepped me. I thought it odd that he was at the Makaw Rez. I had just come to see Emily, and was shocked to see him there.

"No, Li-li." he said softly, his eyes on the ground in front of me.

"What? Why?" I implored. I was so angry. It took me a moment to realize that Emily was just off to the side, and slightly behind him. Her eyes were swollen and red, as if she had been crying. Alot.

"What is THIS?" I shrieked.

Emily just began to cry, and shook her head. I refused to understand the scene before me. My brain not willing to accept the betrayal I could see in front of me.

I turned and ran back towards Emily's house, away from the back corner of her yard where I had found them. I stopped just inside the door, panting. Trying to steady myself against a tide of confusion and heartache. My brain only vaguely registering the angry voice of my dear cousin, and the pleading voice of my estranged, almost fiancee. It wasn't until I heard the odd ripping sound, followed by a fierce growl and a blood curdling scream that I was able to move again.

I ran out of the door just in time to see a horrific scene.. Emily, her hands over her bloody face, screaming uncontrollably, and an ENORMOUS bear standing in front of her. As I ran towards the scene of the disaster, screaming out for Emily, the bear ran off. It was while Emily was recovering in the hospital that I learned the truth... Sam loved Emily. He said that he had simply "fallen in love" with her at first sight. The betrayal cut so deeply. I was sure that Emily would send him packing, but by the time she was released from the hospital, the betrayal was complete. Emily moved into Sam's house the day after.

As my recollection drew to a close, I realized that all eyes were on me. Sam threatened to send me home if I could not keep my thoughts under control. I huffed out a deep breath, and lay down on the ground with my head on my paws, deciding to empty my mind and simply watch the action in the minds of my pack mates. It didn't seem like a very long time had passed before things began to wrap up. Sam asked if we could get the scent of each member of their "family" so that we could avoid any accidents in the big fight.

We could have just allowed one or two of the pack to "take a sniff", but Jake pointed out that every person has their own particular sense of smell, and that it might be safer if everyone smelled for themselves. We approached warily, our noses burning as we breathed in the scent of each individual. Their nuances were subtle beneath the general sicky-sweetness. I barely looked up to identify the vampire to their scent, figuring it really didn't matter so much which scent I was avoiding. Let's face it, I was not going to be forming any lasting relationships with these animated statues.

I knew that Bella's mate was at the end of the line. How sick, I thought, that a human would choose to attach themselves to a re-animated corpse. When I reached the last vampire, I didn't want to look up. I didn't want to smell… this was the person who had set this whole thing in motion. Why could he not have left her alone? I knew he could hear my thoughts, so I tried to think about something else, but it was useless, as I had to now smell him.

I closed my eyes breathed in, bracing myself for the inevitable burning, and involuntary gagging. It didn't happen. I paused, and breathed in again. The scent was still too sweet, but oddly attractive.

"This can't be." I thought, sniffing again. There was a strange tension building in the air, an odd atmosphere began to surround me. I could not understand it. I smelled him again. Each time I breathed in this scent, it became more enticing. I drew closer with each intake of air, until my nose was pressed against his stomach. By now, everyone had noticed, and the pack was... INCREDULOUS to say the least.

Ignoring all of the shouting voices in my head, I continued to breathe in this scent. I opened my eyes, and looked up. I froze. I fell.

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