Chapter 1: The Stalker

She was the only soul that truly knew what I was going through. That's why I started stalking her. I listened to her thoughts and empathized with them. Her thoughts screamed out about her hurt and betrayal. Every day, she questioned how he could leave her, knowing how much she loved him. Every day, her pain tore her up inside, but unlike me she had learned how to mask it. I yearned to obtain her ability. It had been almost a month since Bella had decided to stay in Jacksonville with her mother. I understood, well, at least I tried to understand. She said she would come back, and that she just needed time to think about things.

A week after I'd left her there, I received an email explaining the real reason she had stayed. She admitted to being in love with both me and Jacob Black. She didn't feel it was right to commit to either of us until she was sure. She felt that time apart from both of us would clarify the situation. I expected her to be gone another week at best. Each day she failed to return, my worries grew. How could she be that unsure about us, after everything my family and I went through to ensure her safety? How could she stand being apart from me for this long? She hadn't even called. I felt miserable inside, not only due to her absence, but also as a result of the thoughts, stares, and pity I received from my family.

I had never opened my heart up to anyone, and then Bella came along, she opened my eyes to love and other human emotions I'd lost a long time ago. Now she had crushed the one part of me that could be broken. I sighed as I closed my eyes; my hands were clenched around the steering wheel. I lay my forehead against them as I tried to force my self-pity to the back of my mind. I lifted my head and peeked over the steering wheel. She was still inside the 24 hour gym, and it was 3AM. She was a night owl; every night we went to another city in Washington. Tonight we had travelled to Kent. Each night I felt like she was running from the pain that lurked around her in Forks; little did she know that I was running with her. She liked gyms. She'd usually stop where she could find one. Other times she'd pick places that I didn't even know would interest her, like bookstores, poetry dives, museums, and the like.

Tonight, it seemed, she planned to take out her frustration on the treadmill. She had forced the machine to the breaking point. She hopped off the machine and disappeared, then came back to it with one of the gym's attendants. Something the man said upset her and she stormed out. This was my chance. Tonight I was going to talk to her. I was hoping that we could become friends and I wouldn't have to feel like such an imbecile for following her this way. She made her way out into the parking lot fumbling with something in her bag. I exited my car quickly and began to follow her. I didn't want to catch her off guard, but something told me that confronting her from behind would be better. If she had to chance realize it was me, well not me, but a vampire, she probably would have phased and tried to attack me.

"Leah." I was nervous. Not about talking to her, but not knowing what she was going to say worried me. Leah, well she had a way with words … colorful words. She stopped walking, but continued to look through her bag until she found her keys. She turned to me, and smirked.

"Let me guess, you drive a silver Volvo?" She arched her eyebrow, and continued her stride to her car.

"Yeah." I followed her over to her car. She didn't seem annoyed, as a matter of fact she seemed a little amused, but mainly indifferent.

"I get it; your life must be boring now that Bella's MIA. Don't worry, she'll be back." She opened driver's side door of her little black Honda Civic.

"What makes you say that?" I held the car door open so she couldn't close it and take off.

"She emailed Jacob and he talked to me about it. I assumed she emailed you too considering what it said." I nodded because she spoke like she needed conformation.

"She's gonna come back. I don't know who she's gonna choose, but once she makes her decision, the only way to be with either of you is for her to come back and lay claim to one of you poor saps." She huffed. "This is ridiculous by the way. I have to deal with Jacob during the day whining about Bella and you at night! You can't possibly believe that I didn't realize someone was following me." She complained. "I knew it had to be one of you vampires, and in all honesty, you were the only one that made sense. My nose burns whenever any of you are in the area, and each night you do damage to my sinuses. Knock it off! Get your own life Edward!"

"I forget about how are smell bothers your kind. I apologize." I still made no motion to leave.

"Yeah well," she mumbled. Silence fell between us. She tapped her finger on her steering wheel, she was thinking about nothing in particular. The time kept running through her mind. She didn't want anyone to know about her midnight runs. "What made you stalk me? I mean, I get that your life is dull, but there are billions of people in the world. I'm not saying I'm not spectacular or anything, but I'm most definitely not your biggest fan."

"Yes, I know that. It's just with everything that happened; everybody at my house has pitied me. I needed an outlet. I heard your thoughts one time, when you were in the woods. I was hunting and you were phased I think. I just related to what you were going through… and I wanted to be around someone that understood, even if I didn't talk to them." She looked up at me and her eyes seemed a little softer, if only for a minute.

"You're free to follow if you wish. Just keep your distance! Seriously, my nose is on fire right now!" She pinched the bridge of her nose.

"You don't smell too good yourself!" I countered, even though her scent didn't disgust me anywhere near as much as the male shape shifters. I wondered if that indicated the stretch of her supernatural abilities.

"I'm not the one following you, am I? Can I please close my door and go home now?" I released the door and she slammed it, for effect. "Bye, Bloodsucker!" She called as she started the engine.

"Goodnight, Leah." She drove off. I analyzed our conversation as I walked slowly to my car. "I think that went well." She gave me things to think about. She had reassured me better than anybody else that Bella was coming back, and for that I was grateful. Even if she didn't choose me, it would be good to see her again. I'd rather her tell me to my face that she didn't love me so that I could gauge if she was being truthful. If she did choose Jacob, I'd want her to see the hurt in my eyes, but I would never beg her to stay with me. I knew better than to cling onto someone that wasn't mine.