Her long black hair went wild as the wind from the beach played with it, but she paid no attention. Her eyes were locked into the horizon where some boys were jumping off the cliffs. She smiled. Cliff-diving, the rush it gave. Too bad Dr. Fang had restricted her to light physical activity. But all for the better she supposed. Her hand unconsciously drifted to her abdomen. As if realizing his mother's presence, the baby kicked. Silly baby, she thought. You wouldn't go off and act like those hooligan uncles of yours, would you? Never mind she herself had done the same a little more than a year back. But would the baby? Would he or she be born with the shape-shifter gene like the rest of the pack? Or would they be like their father?
The thought made her smile drop. After all, she had no idea who the father actually was. Sure she remembered the brilliantly shy smile he had on his face as they first met. The glow that surrounded him had been ethereal and at long last, after years of wishing she had finally imprinted. And mated. On a one night stand. Resulting in a baby and she did not even know the name of her baby's father. Great, Leah, she thought. But she had people, lots of them who would help her. No matter how much she refused it.
There was Jacob, her pack's Alpha. Of course the pack really wasn't one as such. They had all gone their separate ways after the battle with the Vampire overlords. Phasing to check in with each other every other Friday. There was Seth, her innocent brother. How a boy could remain innocent even at eighteen was beyond her yet her brother managed it all. Fool, she thought with a gentle smile. Then there was the leech family…who she wasn't sure how they exactly fit into the equation but for some reason little Nessie had taken to rubbing her belly and claiming to "show" the baby some pictures when she had stayed with them earlier in her pregnancy. And of course after that the entire vampire clan seemed intent on making sure the baby was safe and healthy. It was the first time they seemed to watch the miracle of birth; Nessie's horrific birth did not count in her mind. There was her mother, the tribal Elder after her father died, Sue Clearwater who was glaring at every person in the small town who dared look at her daughter the wrong way. Thankfully she had police support of her partner, Charlie Swan as back up on her threats.
Then she thought with an awkward grimace, there was also Emily. Who had been coming every other day to her house with some or the other food item. Sometimes though, very awkwardly, Sam accompanied her. Now it seemed it did not hurt her to see the two of them together. She had finally broken the connection between her and Sam after she had imprinted. And she had told Emily that. She thought back to that conversation.
"The two women stared at each other awkwardly. Emily despite having the scars on her face, it seemed could not lose the look of a kindly innocent woman. Leah knew Emily would never ask her if the rumors were indeed true, about the baby. It just in her nature to ignore all the reservation gossip and believe only the things people themselves confessed to her. Her gentle and kind nature was one of the reasons that Leah could never hate Emily, even after what had happened with Sam. Maybe, she thought, I was never right for Sam. We both have too much of a temper on us. We would have raised the roofs with the shouting. The thought brought a smile to her face. It was the first time she had not thought of a 'what if' with Sam. She had finally let Emily have him completely.
"Emmy," she started. Emily looked up in shock and Leah realized her mistake or maybe not a mistake. It was the first time after Sam's imprint incident three-four years ago that she had called Emily that. "Emmy," she restated, "I have finally let Sam go. I know now that he was…will always be yours. I know why you have waited all these years to get married. I know about the vow you took… that you would not marry him until I imprinted," she bit her lip and slowly continued, "…and I have. So you can continue your lives now." It was as she said it that she broke down crying. Emily hugged her tight and it was the first time that her dam broke. She spilled everything to the woman she had once considered her almost twin sister.
It had happened three months back in Scotland. She had been studying there, a course of animal management. Her specialty- wolves. Go figure. She had just ended in fact. Gone was the bitter Leah of La Push. In her place was a vivacious young woman, a confident strong and independent 23year old. If she ever admitted it to herself, she had Jacob to thank for that. After the Volturi episode, he had disbanded the pack. Everyone was free to do as they wished in his opinion, just one condition. Every other Friday, they had to phase and talk to each other, checking up. Wolf telepathy never saw a limitation in distance and frankly it saved Leah a pretty penny on long-distance calls. Jacob had finished his high schooling (he fights Vampire overlords on a daily basis and still hasn't finished high school, wow) via distance learning option and chose to travel with the Cullens and his little Nessie. Seth was restricted to La Push and taking care of their mother who apparently saw it more in Seth's well-being than hers for her little boy to stay at home rather than travel with either Vampires or his crazed elder sister.
She had been celebrating the end of her course with a couple of her guys from the course who had taken her to a horrible tavern with a funny ass name- some Leaky Cauldron. Gotten her drunk on the most amazing whisky she had ever tasted. If she was a dragon she would have burnt this place down by now…her throat was on fire! They were creating a damn ruckus at that inn when she saw him… his messy black hair was so long it fell in front of his eyes and he kept brushing them back a tad. Leah suddenly wanted to run her fingers through those locks of his. He was looking from here as if someone was going to pop out any second and kill him. Yet he was shyly smiling with his friends… she supposed. But she paid the other man and woman no attention. What was it about this man that attracted her so…this paleface. It was funny how his face seemed to be enveloped in a golden glow. Funny how this little whisky in her hand seemed to make her think she had imprinted…..WAIT! Her head snapped back to his face and changed from shock to a woman who had seen her lover back from the war after years…. Imprint. Mine. It all seemed slow motion from then on. Her friends were hardly conscious to pay any heed to her as she felt her body move from its spot and move towards him.
In a bold move, she sat down next to him. "You look like you could use some company," she breathed…shocked out of her mind that she could sound so breathless and her heart could beat that fast, "You look lonely in a crowd." She saw the corners of his mouth jerk up a tad before disappearing. "I'm Leah…you are?" it was then that he became astonished and gave her a genuine smile.
"Interested to get to know you. Coffee?" She nodded. And they had walked out. Morning till evening they had spent together. Not talking. Just walking together. And she…Leah who was quite a socially awkward person…had never felt more comfortable in her entire life. The moon was nearly up when he had pulled her into her arms and dragged her into a nearby hotel.
She fell on top of the bed as he fell on top of her. As she stared into his green eyes, her eyes were dragged to a scar on his forehead… she traced her fingers over it. His eyes had hardened and his body suddenly became tense. She wondered why. "Interesting scar," she whispered slowly, "must have hurt when you got it" she kissed it gently and locked eyes with him. All of a sudden he kissed her like crazy…and Leah relished her bond… too happy to complain.
The next morning she woke to an empty bed. A note was lying there… "Thank you, Miss Leah." And a single white rose lay on top of it.
She had tried to contact her friends and see if they knew anyone with messy black hair, green eyes and a scar that frequented a tavern called the Leaky Cauldron, but none of her friends had heard of such a place, and the guys she had gone with had disappeared. To grant them this, they had gone out for their last meeting drinks because the guys were going to travel out of the country and said they could not be in touch. Both didn't even have mobiles! She was walking around like a lost woman… she had lost her imprint before she even had a chance to properly acknowledge it. One chance at happiness…gone. It was this reality crashing through to her that she had fainted in broad daylight.
She had phased a week later at the Friday meetings… "Jake, Seth…am pregnant." Next day, Jacob, Seth, and surprisingly Dr. Cullen as her "family" doctor had shown up and flown her back to Canada where the vamp family had been staying. She had already told Jacob what had happened. Why ,she who thought she was barren, bore a child. Maybe her womb was waiting for her imprint before her biological clock ticked away. But phasing was restricted for her, the shift in the positioning in her body especially the uterus might cause the baby to be in pain. She had relented her temper, her independence, her wolf-half for her child. At least she had some part of her imprint to get her through life. She smiled and laid her hand on her stomach. Her baby.
She had confessed all this to Emily who knew the power of the imprint bonds and found in her a confidant. Though they weren't back to where they used to be…at least now Leah didn't cringe when she saw Emily's face. Everyone had judged when they found themselves welcoming a bulged Leah Clearwater as she stepped out of the cab with Jacob and Seth with her but at least some had relented, especially from the Pack, when she excused herself with "imprint". Funny how that word could now excuse it all, and couple of years back was a meaningless justification in her dictionary. Though the slight slurs from some cough*PaulandJared*cough still came now and again, Leah didn't let it get to her. Because they were intent on hurting who had died a long time back- Bitchy Anger Fest Leah was gone and in her place was a new Leah Clearwater who was going to become a mother. So she smiled at them whenever they said something. Had freaked both of them out the first time she did that and she had gotten more revenge than ever before. Don't get her wrong she still wouldn't touch Paul with a twelve foot pole but somehow seeing him act like a puppy around Rachel who refused to hear a word against Leah and the baby was like icing on a cake.
Maybe, just maybe- Everything would be okay.