Leah Clearwater phased, pulled on one of her father's oversized shirts and stood, waiting patiently in the clearing. For once she was glad for all the time she had spent as the only female in a pack of wolves. If nothing else, she had learned the hard way how to keep a tiny part of herself separate from her pack. The skill had become even easier when her pack shrunk from seventeen to six and it was the only way she had been able to leave the Volturi mess without having to answer myriad embarrassing questions. It was also the sole reason she had been able to come here, alone, to wait for Him.
Demetri watched the little wolf from his perch in the tree. When she had fled, following the Cullen confrontation, he had been able to follow her trail with ease. He was, after all, an expert Tracker. Now, as Demetri looked down at her human form, he had to admit that she was certainly a magnificent sight to behold.
Midnight black hair that was way too short for his liking, barely reached her nape and gleamed like spun silk in the moonlight. Russet, flawless skin seemed to beg for his touch and her lips! Her lips were plump, red and did not bear thinking about. Even though she had been the smallest wolf in her pack, she was not a tiny woman. In her bare feet he would wager she stood a good five ten. He was irrationally pleased that, although tall for a woman, she would be dwarfed by his six feet six. He smiled as he took a breath. What a surprise, no wet dog smell. She smelled of ... Earth and . . . Desire?
"Are you going to hide up there all night Bloodsucker? Don't be afraid. I promise I won't bite."
The words were barely out of her mouth before a sudden breeze caused her to shiver and a tall vampire was facing her. Leah flinched as an ice cold finger caressed her cheek. Yet, almost against her will, she could not help but lean into the touch as he whispered almost too low to hear.
"It is you who should be scared Lupa. I cannot make the same promise."
She actually closed her eyes and tilted her head to the left, baring the slender, tempting column of her throat. Her voice was a bare whisper that threatened to set Demetri ablaze.
"Do it, Bloodsucker!"
As Leah stood before the vampire she realized that she was exhausted. She would never have admitted her despairing thoughts to her brother or Jacob but here, now, in the darkness and the silence, everything was different. As Leah stood before her Bloodsucker Imprint, she gave up.
It wasn't enough that Fate decided she was not good enough for Sam, the love of her life.
It wasn't enough that Fate took her father away and turned her into a monster, the first of her kind, a barren freak.
It wasn't enough that Fate denied her the ability to conceive. No, none of that was enough!
The Ancestors, the Great Spirit, the Universe, God, or that heartless bitch Fate, whatever, then saw fit to crush the last bit of hope for happiness that was left to her. Today, Leah Clearwater, only female werewolf in the history of her tribe, had imprinted with an enemy who had come to kill her and everyone she cared for.
In that instant Leah made her decision. If her Imprint was a killer the very least he could do, since he could not love her, was put her out of the misery her life had become. A tear slid down her cheek. At the very least he owed her an end to her pain.
Demetri was mesmerized. Leah's slender neck looked so fragile he was sure he could snap it with minimum effort. As she tilted her head back, the pulse at her jugular beat frantically, calling to him even as she begged him for death. Demetri bent his lips to her throat and smiled as a shiver went through her.
"Not until I get a few answers Poca Belleza."
Leah took a deep breath and Demetri's eyes were drawn to breasts that seemed the perfect size for his hands. Then she stepped away from him and he felt . . . bereft? Leah turned and walked away with a sigh. Just her luck, she couldn't even die easy.
"What do you want to know, Bloodsucker?"
Demetri followed her almost against his will but forced himself to keep his distance.
"What did you do to me? Back there . . . I couldn't see anything or anyone but you."
Leah's heart sped up at his words. Could he possibly be affected by the Imprint? She took a deep breath, turned to face him and promptly forgot what she was about to say. The Bloodsucker was magnificent. He was more than a head taller than she was with chiseled, perfect features. His dark hair fell in waves beneath his shoulders and his eyes . . . She should have been repulsed by the crimson pools which marked him as a predator and proved that he was a recent killer. Nevertheless, despite the obvious warning, Leah wanted to drown in the depths of those dangerous eyes. Before she knew it she had flown into his arms and pulled his head down for a kiss.
Demetri's first thought was that no blood in the world could be as sweet as her lips. His second thought was that he needed more of her. With a growl he pulled her into his arms as he deepened the kiss. No surprise she was too short to reach his lips comfortably, so he used one hand to lift her while he tangled the other in her short locks. He had been right, she was silken sweetness in his arms and he didn't want to let her go.
He didn't taste of blood. That's what Leah had expected when she had tackled him. Honestly it was what she had hoped for. In the split second before her libido had gotten the upper hand over her logic, she had told herself she would taste every person he had murdered in his centuries of life. She was so very wrong. He was every delectable treat Leah had ever loved as a child or craved as an adult. He was simply irresistible. When he lifted her to reach his lips, she wrapped both legs around his waist and opened her mouth to deepen the kiss but soon even that was not enough.
Demetri was pleasantly surprised at the strength of his little wolf when she dropped out of his arms and swept his feet from under him with one leg. He was on his back in two seconds but before he could protest she had straddled him with what could only be described as a feral grin.
"Is this how you answer questions, Piccola Loca?"
Leah's eyes were glowing an ethereal blue and as she looked down at Demitri her smile widened to show fangs. When she spoke her voice was a sensuous growl.
"Talk later. Mate now."
Demetri laughed and moved his hands under her shirt, marveling at the velvety softness of her flesh.
"Name first, Wolfing. I'm Demetri. Get it right so you can scream it later."
Leah laughed and leaned forward for another kiss.
As the rays of the morning sun broke through the trees Demetri was glad he didn't have to sleep. While Leah slumbered in his embrace he was able to memorize every glorious inch of her. Her midnight black hair was tousled because he had been unable to keep his fingers from the arrow straight strands. Her lips were slightly swollen from his endless kisses and her skin . . . As his eyes caressed Leah's body, Demetri was suddenly concerned. He hadn't bitten her during their hours of passion but he was a vampire after all. Even though, by virtue of her werewolf nature she healed quickly, Leah's flesh was covered in bruises. He had been unable to resist the slender column of her neck so the skin above her jugular sported a dark bruise. Her arms, her thighs . . .
Leah moaned and snuggled closer to Demetri before she opened her eyes. She smiled at him and Demetri felt as if he was the only one in the universe. Before he could stop himself he bent and captured her lips.
"Il mio cuore . . ."
Demetri couldn't help but roll over and trap her beneath him as he deepened the kiss. Her slight sound of pain brought him to his senses and in a heartbeat he was away from her. He turned his gaze away from her and presented his perfect back.
"I hurt you last night."
Leah really couldn't remember the last time she had been so happy. Last night when she had attacked Demetri she hadn't cared about anything but then he had returned her passion with such ... Enthusiasm. Even now he seemed concerned, for her. It was such a novelty for someone to show interest, far less genuine concern, that Lean almost looked around to see if he was really talking about her. She got to her feet and didn't bother to pull on her Dad's shirt before she walked across the clearing to slip her arms around Demetri's waist and drop a kiss on his bare back.
"Now I know what that song means. You know the one, 'Hurt so good?'"
Then she laughed. A real laugh, not the bitter cackle that she was now known for on the Rez. Demetri however was not amused. He turned swiftly but didn't release her. He couldn't, the thought of being away from her was agony.
"I'm being serious, Leah! I could have . . ."
"Say it again!"
"Say what? Ragazza Pazzesca, you didn't let me finish . . ."
"Say my name again, Demetri. I love the way you say my name."
Demetri smiled slightly and gently cupped Leah's chin in his cool hand.
"Leah, sweet girl, I could have killed you last night. Even now, I don't know how I can stand here and withstand the siren call of your blood. We cannot see each other again."
Leah figured she should be used to a broken heart by now, but apparently it didn't get any easier with time. When Sam had left her she had begged. Then she had told herself she would never beg another man again. She had been wrong. Her arms tightened around Demetri and her eyes filled with the tears she had sworn to herself she would never shed over another man.
"Demetri, please ... I cannot live without you."
He closed his eyes against the pain in hers and Leah allowed herself the tiny bit of solace that maybe her bloodthirsty vampire cared a little.
"You cannot live with me, Leah. You would not survive in my world and I cannot survive in yours."
Leah pulled his head down to kiss his lips.
"We could live in our own world, Demetri. I would follow you anywhere."
Demetri tightened his hold on her.
"In another life I would never let you go, sweet Leah."
Demetri kissed Leah's perfect lips one more time and slipped a heavy gold ring off his little finger. He brought her left hand to his lips and kissed it before he slipped the ring on her ring finger.
"I want to give you the world Leah, but I can't even give you myself. This is a poor substitute but, wear it and think of me sometimes."
As Demetri walked away from Leah, leaving her alone in the clearing, her wolf had been desperate to follow him. She had actually taken a step in the direction he had taken before she admitted to herself that it would be pointless. She pulled on her Dad's shirt, sat on a log and stared at the ring on her finger. The objective part of her couldn't help but admire it. It was so heavy her finger felt weighed down. Yet, at the same time, it was almost fragile in its ornate design as it swirled in golden filaments around a large V. As Leah stared at the ring she could not help but think that it was not unlike her. So very tough and hard yet easily broken again and again. Leah put her head in her hands and wept.
When Leah returned home that night she wasn't surprised to find Sam waiting on the porch. Why not? He was just what she needed to end a disaster of a day. His voice as usual was gruff and demanding. If nothing else, Sam was always the epitome of and Alpha who would be obeyed.
"Where did you go? No-one's seen you since last night. We were worried."
Leah sighed. In the past she would have been angry. How dare Sam Uley of all people question her? He had given up any right to ask any questions. In the past she would have raged that her so called tribe was so concerned for her wellbeing that they couldn't even be bothered to send someone she didn't despise to check on her. That's what she would have thought in the past. Right now, still reeling from Demetri's desertion, Leah couldn't bring herself to care.
"I went running, Sam. Now I'm back. Do you need something?"
For a second Sam was surprised at her calm response. She was almost pleasant. A huge change from the angry, bitter woman the pack had been forced to deal with for the last couple years.
"No, we were just concerned. No one heard from you..."
Leah shrugged, she was staring into the horizon and she looked ... For a moment Sam couldn't describe the look, then it hit him. She looked so lost and forlorn.
"Just needed to be alone. I'm back now. Do you need anything?"
Sam shook his head.
"The vampires are gone. The Cullens seem certain that we won't be bothered again."
Leah nodded but her mind seemed far away.
"That's good, Sam. You should probably get home now. Emily might be worried. Tell her I said hi."
"Okay. Good night then."
Sam decided to walk away before the miracle disappeared. Leah never asked about Emily. And she hadn't been that civil since before...everything. He shook his head. Something was up with her but Sam Uley was no fool. He was definitely not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
As Sam hurried away Leah didn't spare him a second thought or glance. Her eyes were fixed on the mountains as she stared at the horizon. So they were definitely gone. She wasn't surprised though. She had spent most of the day sitting in the clearing, reluctant to leave the place where her broken heart had been healed. . . and almost immediately crushed. Then, around mid day, she had suddenly felt as if a piece of her soul had been torn from her. It was physically painless but at the same time she had never felt greater agony. At that moment, Leah had known then that he was gone. Not dead. She knew that the second Demetri died she would cease to exist also. But he was gone from her life.
Leah stared out the window of her bedroom. It had been one month. She had hoped she would be able to get over Demetri but she wasn't really surprised when she had not. The heartbreak she had experienced with Sam was nothing compared to what she was going through now. She remembered the Elders describing the legends about Imprinting when the entire Pack had succumbed to their shapeshifting destiny. She had barely listened when they spoke about the story of the wolf whose Imprint had been killed but now she remembered.
The young woman had been killed in a hunting accident and her wolf lover had never been the same. He had killed himself shortly after her death. Leah could understand why. With Demetri gone she was a walking corpse. She hadn't even left the house in a month. She couldn't sleep. The few times she drifted off her dreams were filled with images of their one night together. She would awake in tears and spend the rest of the night sobbing quietly into her pillow.
The one stroke of luck in her blighted life was the Cullens' assurance that the vampires weren't coming back. As a result, Leah hadn't shifted in a month and, by keeping away from Edward Cullen, no one had any idea about her Imprinting.
Leah sighed as she went to her door, unlocked it and opened it a crack.
Seth lodged his foot in the doorway so Leah couldn't close it and smiled widely.
"Hey sis. Mom made breakfast before she left for Forks. Your favorite."
Leah shook her head.
"I'm not really hungry, Seth. You can have my share."
Seth didn't move his foot and his smile faded into an expression of concern.
"Leah ... You didn't have dinner last night and before that you only had coffee for breakfast. You gotta eat, sis."
To Seth's surprise Leah opened the door without another word and preceded him downstairs.
Jacob couldn't hide his shock when Leah walked into the kitchen. Seth was absolutely right. Something was definitely up with her. Hair that had been chopped off in a fury when she had become a wolf was now much longer but pulled into an untidy ponytail as if she couldn't even be bothered to cut it. Eyes that had been previously filled with anger and bitterness were now empty of any emotion at all.
She gave him a small smile before helping herself to bacon and eggs. Seth threw Jacob a meaningful look as Leah took a seat beside her brother and began moving the food around the plate with her fork. Jacob cleared his throat and took a bite of his own breakfast.
"So how have you been, Leah?"
She shrugged, refusing to meet Jacob's eyes as she continued to rearrange the food on her plate.
"Tourist season's over so I guess I'll look for a job in town."
"Lee Lee ..."
There was a shocked silence after Jacob's use of the forbidden nickname. Seth's eyes widened in horror as he waited for the explosion of Mount Leah. 'Lee Lee' had been Sam's name for her. In the past, Leah would have erupted, probably thrown the plate at him and phased before going for his throat. Now ... Nothing. She didn't even seem to be paying attention to them as she played with her food. Jake was beginning to get a little worried.
"Uh .. Leah, how have you been feeling? Seth says you haven't been eating."
Leah paused before, very deliberately, taking a few bites of egg and washing it down with some of Seth's milk. Then she pushed the plate away.
"Look Jake, thanks for the concern. My brother is a worrywart and you've done your Alpha duties. I'm fine."
"Prove it. Let Carlisle exam you."
Leah surged to her feet angrily.
"I'm not going anywhere near the Cullens! They may be your family but I refuse to have anything to do with them!"
Leah was shouting by the time she finished speaking. Then she suddenly paled, slapped her hand over her mouth and ran out of the room. A few seconds later both Seth and Jacob heard the sounds of retching coming from upstairs. Seth shook his head worriedly.
"Do you see what I mean, Jake? Something's wrong but she won't talk to me or even our mom! She barely even leaves her room anymore."
Jacob was about to respond when they both heard a thud.
Jacob broke the bathroom door down and froze. Leah was passed out on the floor, as pale and still as a corpse except for the blood leaking from a gash on her temple. He heard Seth's horrified gasp behind him as he gathered her carefully into his arms.
"Start the car kid. We're taking her to the hospital."
Leah groaned and brought a hand up to cover her eyes from the blinding light that was exacerbating her pounding headache.
"Nice of you to rejoin the living Ms. Clearwater. You had us all worried."
Leah's eyes snapped open to find Carlisle Cullen standing at the foot of her bed with a friendly smile and a clipboard. She looked around frantically expecting to see Edward Cullen lurking in a corner but relaxed slightly when she realized she was not at the Cullen house. She was in a hospital room.
Carlisle glanced at his clipboard then met her eyes again.
"I was hoping you would tell me. Jacob and your brother rushed you in about an hour ago. He said you were throwing up and passed out. He thinks you hit your head on the sink."
Leah's hand came up to touch her aching head.
"That would explain the headache. So what do you think V Doc? You've been doing this for hundreds of years, can't you just look at me and diagnose me?"
"Be that as it may, I do have a few questions. Seth also mentioned you haven't been eating? That's odd since wolves tend to eat a lot."
"I just don't have much of an appetite and I haven't phased in a month so it's not like I need all the calories or anything."
Carlisle nodded and wrote something on his clipboard before he moved to her side and sat in the chair beside the bed.
"Perhaps. I'm a little concerned though Leah. You seem to have lost weight, your brother says you haven't been sleeping..."
Leah was out of patience.
"Look Doc, save me the bedside manner and cut to the chase. Do you have a diagnosis?"
Carlisle sighed and smiled a little. These wolves might never make things easy for him but they sure made his life interesting.
"Okay, Ms. Clearwater. You're severely undernourished, anemic and pregnant."
Leah blinked, closed her eyes for a second and shook her head before she looked at Carlisle again.
"Um, I think I misheard you . . ."
"You're pregnant, Ms. Clearwater. I'll have to get the blood tests back to know how far along but ..."
Leah was shaking her head vigorously.
"No, no, no. You're wrong V Doc. I'm barren, remember? Haven't had my period since I became a wolf. Do your test again."
Carlisle shook his head.
"Ms. Clearwater, I admit I know next to nothing about werewolf physiology but . . I can hear your baby's heart beating."
Leah gasped and her hand covered her still flat belly. How was this even possible? She was a werewolf! The only man she had ever been with was a vampire and, despite Renesmee's existence she had not thought vamp pregnancies were that common. Carlisle started speaking again.
"Although I am not an expert with werewolf physiology, I would be willing to act as your doctor if you would like."
Leah ran a shaking hand through her hair.
"I need to think. I ..."
At that moment the door banged open and Jacob and Seth stood in the doorway.
"She's awake. Good, what's the problem, Doc?"
It was just like Jacob to get straight to the point. No beating around the bush for her Alpha.
Leah's eyes widened in panic and silently begged Carlisle for understanding. He sighed, hoping he wouldn't regret his decision.
"I just need to run a few more tests, Jacob. Can you give us a couple minutes?"
As the door closed behind Jacob and Seth, Leah breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at Carlisle. He shook his head thinking of how his wife, two adopted daughters, daughter-in-law and granddaughter had him wrapped around their fingers. He had a sneaking suspicion that Leah would soon have him dancing to her tune also.
"Thanks Doc. I just ... I just need a little time before...before everything."
"I have no problem being discrete Leah, but I'm going to need you to follow my instructions. You have to start eating and I want to see you back here in a month. Okay?"
Leah didn't know what Carlisle had told her brother and Jacob, but it was enough to get them off her back, temporarily at least, and for that she was grateful. It gave her some time to think. When she returned from the hospital, after spending an hour convincing both Seth and Jacob that she didn't need to spend the night, she immediately went to her room. Once her bedroom door was locked, Leah went to her dresser and pulled out Demetri's ring. She sat on her bed and stared at the ring for a minute before slipping it onto a necklace and securing it around her neck.
"I may not be able to have you in my life but I can always keep a piece of you near my heart."
She smiled wistfully and placed her hand lightly on her belly, already imagining the baby growing there. Would he have his father's pale skin or his mother's darker tone? Would he have his Father's thirst? Leah's smile faded into a worried frown. Regardless of how her child turned out she would protect him with her last breath and kill anyone who meant him harm.
Three months later Leah was sitting in Carlisle's office as he looked at her chart and frowned at her from behind his desk.
"I thought we had an agreement, Leah."
Leah sighed. You would think Carlisle would be too busy with his practice and his bloodsucking family to remember her but, oh no! No such luck for Leah the Luckless! Well, in all fairness, she had enjoyed three months of luck before that luck had run out. Carlisle had left her alone, perhaps knowing that if he pushed too hard she would flee, regardless of pack obligations and links. So that had left Leah alone long enough for her to think she was off the hook then . . . Bam! Three months to the day of her emergency room visit, Carlisle had called her and reminded her that she was two months late for her appointment. Now Leah was sitting in his office feeling like a naughty puppy.
"You've lost weight since the last time you were here Leah, and at that time you were underweight. Your core body temperature is ten degrees lower than is usual for a wolf and ..."
Carlisle paused for a minute and seemed to weighing his words.
"I can't think of a nice way to put this but...frankly my dear, you look ... Well you don't look well at all."
Leah sighed and brushed hair out of her eyes. She kept meaning to cut it as it was now just past her shoulders but ... Whatever. When a vampire was telling you you looked like shit you probably had bigger worries than your hair.
"I'm sorry Carlisle. I... I've been trying. It's just ..."
She looked down. What was there to say? She had been trying but, sometimes she just forgot to eat and when she did...
Carlisle was getting impatient.
"Do you not want this child, Leah? Because if that's the case there's a limited window for..."
Leah shook her head vehemently and placed a hand protectively over the small mound she was careful to keep hidden under oversized sweaters. When she spoke her voice was low and anguished.
"I can't keep anything down, Carlisle! I ate a slice of toast this morning and spent half an hour throwing up. I'm cold all the time and I . .was just afraid that if I came back here you would tell me something was wrong."
Carlisle ran a hand through his hair and sighed.
"Leah, these are warning signs that there may be a problem... If not with the baby then with you. You are the first female werewolf. You need to tell your family and the father..."
"The father is gone, Carlisle. Please don't mention it again."
Carlisle shook his head and backed down. Now was not the time to pursue this issue.
"Okay, Leah, but I must insist that you undergo some prenatal tests that are long overdue."
Leah paled slightly.
"Carlisle, I feel fine, really. I don't need. . ."
Carlisle interrupted her gently.
"Don't be afraid, Leah. We both want what's best for the baby and we'll only know for sure how it's doing..."
"He. How he's doing. I just know my baby is a boy."
Edward frowned at Carlisle's closed office door as he played with Renesme. His father had been late again. The third time this week. Then he had excused himself and gone to his office where he had remained for the last couple of hours. Ordinarily Edward wouldn't be concerned but, given the fact that Carlisle had asked Bella to shield his thoughts, Edward was a little suspicious. He left Nessie with Rosalie, knocked on Carlisle's door and walked in.
Carlisle looked up from the papers he was studying with a faint, distracted smile.
"Do you need something, son?"
Edward shrugged and took a seat, noticing he had already lost his Father's attention as Carlisle's eyes once again returned to the papers he was studying intently.
"Well, Nessie and Jake eloped. Rosalie's beside herself..."
Carlisle looked up in confused shock and Edward smiled.
"What's up, Carlisle? You haven't been yourself lately. You're distracted, and worried."
Carlisle sighed. Edward was perceptive, too perceptive.
"I'm just concerned about a patient. She's in a difficult situation, refuses to even tell her family and I practically have to drag her into the hospital for care."
Edward shook his head. Carlisle Cullen could't help but care about everyone.
"You can't help people who don't want help, Carlisle. Maybe you should just let this one go."
Carlisle smiled looking back at Leah's blood tests.
"You know me better than that son."
After Edward left, Carlisle once again poured over Leah's test results. For the most part he was relieved. She was about four months pregnant and, despite the fact that she was a werewolf, the pregnancy seemed normal. The baby was the right size, the ultrasound seemed normal... But Carlisle knew that something was wrong. Leah was hiding something...or someone and Carlisle just hoped that the subterfuge didn't cost her everything.
Leah awoke in a cold sweat, but for a few seconds could only lay in bed shivering. She threw on a pair of sweatpants and a couple sweaters and headed downstairs to the kitchen. Despite the cold that seemed to grip her like an arctic winter, for the first time in several months Leah was actually starving. As she opened the fridge she realized the last time she had been this hungry was the first time she had phased. After a couple seconds she closed the door with a growl of frustration. Everything in there turned her stomach but she was so hungry her head was spinning. Half out of her mind she pulled on a pair of sneakers and stumbled out the door.
Carlisle slammed on the brakes, stopping a bare inch from Leah when she darted in front of the car and froze like a deer in headlights. For a second all he could do was stare at her. Despite the warmth of the night, Leah was dressed in a pair of sweatpants, sneakers, and two or three sweaters that appeared to be splattered with blood. Carlisle's headlights were a spotlight illuminating a face that was too pale despite her dusky complexion. Leah steadied herself on the hood of the car with a hand that trembled. Loose hair fell forward and obscured her face, but not before Carlisle had seen the smudges of blood on her face. Wild, dark eyes met his for a second before they rolled back in her head and she collapsed.
Leah opened her eyes and found a very concerned Carlisle leaning over her. She smiled.
"We have got to stop meeting like this Dr. Cullen."
She started to sit up and gasped in horror as the sheet slipped and she realized she was naked. She immediately started to shiver.
"W..Where the ..the h..hell are my cl..clothes?"
At that moment Esme bustled in with a wide smile and immediately wrapped her in a thick blanket.
"Oh good, you're up, Dear. There you are. Is that better? Are you hungry? I threw your clothes in the drier. I'm sorry, Dear, that blood is not coming out."
Leah was taking in her surroundings for the first time in horror.
"You brought me to your house?"
She jumped to her feet and swayed as the room started spinning. Esme was immediately at he side lifting her easily and depositing her safely on the bed. Carlisle placed a gentle hand on her shoulder when she tried to get up again.
"You came to me for help, Leah. Don't you want it?"
Leah hesitated then placed a hand on her belly with a sigh.
"Yeah, I do. I told you yesterday that I haven't been eating but this morning... I woke up and I was so hungry. I haven't been that famished since the first time I phased back to a human."
She shivered again and pulled the blanket closer.
"I went to the fridge but everything in there... Even the smell made me want to hurl. The next thing I know, I'm standing over the dried husk of a deer and covered in blood."
Carlisle was frowning.
"You didn't eat any of the deer?"
Leah shook her head, absently rubbing her belly.
"But I'm pretty sure I ... drank it."
Leah shivered and Carlisle's frown deepened. He touched her forehead lightly.
"Your temperature is 88 degrees, Leah. Now you're running lower than a wolf and a human."
Carlisle and Esme exchanged a glance then Esme took a seat beside Leah.
"Dear, Carlisle tells me that you haven't told your family about the baby yet. Is there a reason you don't want your family to know about the baby?"
Leah didn't answer but her hand immediately went to the ring she wore around her neck.
She pulled the blanket closer around her shoulders.
"I'm just tired of disappointing everyone and causing an uproar."
With a sigh she closed her eyes and leaned back against the bed. Suddenly the door crashed open and Jacob stormed in.
"Leah! What the hell are you doing here?"
Jacob paced the small room with a growl.
"Who is the father?"
Leah grinned as she pulled on one of Emmet's sweaters over two of his baby was really growing fast. She was actually relieved that she had come clean, partially anyway, because Junior had become impossible to hide.
"Doesn't matter, Jake. He's not here and he's not going to be a part of the baby's life."
"I want a name."
"Is that an order, Alpha?"
Jake's eyes narrowed and he backed down.
"Leah, I'm just worried about you. If some bastard took advantage of you and broke your heart..."
Leah actually laughed.
"What? Only Sam can break my heart? Jake I'm a big girl."
She patted her belly.
"Getting bigger by the minute."
Jake watched Leah with a frown. He hated to say it but she reminded him of Bella when she was pregnant with Nessie. Although Carlisle assured him the pregnancy was normal, Leah still seemed off. She seemed so pale, if he ignored the baby bump she seemed almost fragile. She shivered and pulled a blanket around her shoulders.
"So are you gonna give me a ride home?"
Jake raised a brow.
"Carlisle wants you to stay overnight ..."
Leah laughed again and pushed the blanket to the side to get to her feet. She swayed and Jake steadied her gently.
"Jake, you know I'm not sleeping in a house full of bloodsuckers. Even if they are your future in laws."