I don't know what he's doing.
But he's chasing me.
I ran for about ten miles, thinking myself free.
Jacob must have found somebody to watch them so he could come after me.
I can't look at him in this moment.
There is too much shame and guilt.
I can't make heads or tails of how I feel about him, about those kids, or anything else.
Stop! he screams in my head.
I don't answer, and he's gaining ground.
Maybe that cliff isn't such a bad idea.
I can catapult myself straight off the side.
Don't do it! Leah, no! I love you. Just stop and listen to me . . . I have a plan, he begs.
My legs slow. I am apprehensive, but I think I want to see him one more time.
One more time before I either leave or end myself.
I find myself entering a meadow in the woods, and Jacob races up to my side.
He phases back, and so do I.
I want him out of my head so I can think clearly.
"Please . . . we can do this . . . If you can't be near her children, then I'll go ahead and give them to Seth, but I'll check in on them regularly. I have to do this, Leah. I need to make up for all of the problems I've caused. This is all my fault. If I had told you how I felt about you from the start and stayed away from Bella and the Cullens' then none of this would have happened," he says.
He walks towards me, and I let him. I stand my ground, and don't shy away from him.
His hand reaches out for me and I take it.
"Please . . . just be with me. I'll do anything you want," he says.
"Including run away with me? We can leave Seth in charge," I say.
I watch him closely for his answer, to gage how he truly feels about this.
His eyes shine and he is completely on board.
"Yes. We can do that," he says.
The guilt of leaving and not taking responsibility weighs heavy on him, but he loves me this much he'll leave.
I gasp, and cover my mouth with my free hand.
"You really do love me?" I whisper.
"With all my heart," he answers.
And I do the only thing I can. I kiss him.
My hands wrap around him tightly, and even though I'm naked, I'm not worried or afraid.
It feels right. All of it.
His hands in my hair, our lips softly exploring.
And I am not afraid.
For the first time in what seems like forever—I am happy, complete, and feel safe.
Jacob's warm hands are gentle, not brutal.
His sweet breath washes over my neck and shoulders as he presses his mouth to my skin.
I sigh, and pull him down to the ground with me.
He is slow and cautious, so I take control.
"Jacob . . . I love you. We're not leaving, and we can figure out how to take care of those children together. Now, show me how you feel about me," I breathe.
His mouth drops open, and his eyes go wide. He stiffens for a moment, then exhales heavily. "Finally!" he groans with a chuckle. "Finally you see it too!"
I laugh. His mouth is on me, his hands everywhere and I am happier than I've ever been as we make love in the middle of a beautiful meadow.
When we are finally able to let go of each other, we phase back and head home.
Jacob . . . ?
What happens now?
Whatever you want.
Do we rule? Is that what we want?
We rule—not because we want it—but because we are called to do it.
He is right.
I didn't choose this life—it chose me.
I never asked to be a shape shifter. It happened.
I never wanted to love anybody but Sam. That was before I loved Jacob.
I never wanted anything more than to be loved. I have that now, and now I can give more.
It's time to be Leah, the woman who can tear down the whole planet if she chooses.
I choose to stop surviving and stop thriving. My example will hopefully shine and help bring together a crumbling country.
"You will," he says.
"You will heal. And the country will follow you," he declares.
Phasing back, we step up to Emily's front door.
Hand in hand, we step through it, and start our new legacy—the United Order of Leah and Jacob Black.
I've always wondered if we had a massive bomb attack and all of the major cities were bombed, who would be left? I can't imagine that the reservations would be hit, and the Native American's would take back their land which they owned first.
I know this wasn't the happiest tale, but I enjoyed exploring it. Thank you all of you for taking a chance and reading it. I enjoyed your feedback.
Thanks so much!