A/N An entry into the Tribute to Leah... Diamond in the Rough Group on JBNP. We were asked to write a scene about Leah's life that showcased a moment before the wolves began to phase. This is one of the ones I chose.

It was beta'd by the lovely Prettyflour. She's amazing!

I Disclaim...

Beginning of Forever

The scene had been set perfectly. Tiny candles that smelled faintly of lilacs flickered in the otherwise darkened room. A bottle of sparkling white grape juice chilled in the wine bucket- I couldn't judge him, he was only nineteen and I was seventeen; where were we going to get alcohol? Rose petals were scattered around the room and across the pillow tops of the queen-sized bed that sat centered in the otherwise sparsely furnished room. The only other furniture was a small table and two chairs. The table had been covered with a beautiful lace cloth, flowers and candles scattered amid a small feast resting on the surface. It was beautiful and perfect.

Plates were already filled and waiting for us. Some kind of baked chicken and rice with a wine sauce tasted like heaven in my mouth. Roasted vegetables, steaming hot from the pan and a warm roll completed the plates, but there was also a heaping bowl of fresh fruit in the middle of the table. Apparently my man had decided to order room service.

He was tall and beautiful- his russet skin gleaming in the candlelight. His beautiful eyes glimmered and brightened as they took me in again. His lean muscles were dressed in a killer pair of jeans and a button-down shirt. The black hair crowning his head was styled to in a perfect messy style- bedhead, and it was sexy.

While we ate, we talked of inconsequential things. Little things that didn't necessarily matter- what we'd done that day, what our plans for the next day were, and funny stories from home. Pieces of us that we wanted to share. I wanted him to know me, to be able to put the pieces together and view my scattered puzzle as a whole picture. I needed him to know me, to appreciate me, to see and feel me.

One of his hands reached over and covered mine. My heart skipped a beat. Butterflies appeared in my stomach making me feel giddy and light. My breath hitched at his touch. It still amazed me how he could make me feel so absolutely smitten with just a touch. My body heated more from each sweep of his warm thumb over my hand. He was so tender and careful with me- treating me like a china doll that he didn't want to break, and yet, I was his equal in every way.

We'd been dating for a little over a year. My heart had firmly been captured and now rested in his big hands. He was very careful to cradle it and keep it safe. I knew we'd be together forever- we had an eternal love. Nothing could break us apart. I needed him as much as I needed air and water. He was the other half of my soul. I didn't know how I'd ever survive without him. It would be like falling off a boat with no life preservers- drowning in a violent sea.

I thought back to when he first noticed me and asked me on a date. It had been so cold outside and I was walking home after school. It wasn't snowing and for once it wasn't raining either. My coat was wrapped securely around me and Seth and I were trudging through the mucky grass on the side of the road. We were both shivering from the whipping wind that gusted around us, the ends of our scarves flying about our heads. There was a roar of a motor behind us and then it slowed; the truck coasting along beside Seth and I. The tall giant rolled his window down and asked if we'd like a ride. Of course we accepted- neither of us cared to go any farther in the freezing temperatures. I squeezed in beside his lean frame, Seth taking the spot by the window. His leg pressed against mine and his elbow rested on my knee as he shifted gears. Pulling into our drive he pulled to a stop. Seth was already out of the truck and running inside in search of whatever treat Mom would have left on the counter for him. My eyes met his and I sucked in a breath. He really was beautiful. I managed to mutter a thank you out, feeling my cheeks heat in a blush as the words stuttered on my tongue. His deep voice answered quickly, "It's no problem Lee-lee. I'd bring you home every day if you'd let me. See, I really like you. You're so pretty. Would you… would you want to go on a date with me? F-Friday night?" I'd answered affirmatively and we'd been joined at the hip since then.

"Leah? Lee-lee? Where'd you go beautiful? You were here and then you weren't."

"I was just remembering when you asked me out the first time. I was so nervous, riding beside you in the truck. Your touch still leaves me breathless."

"Good," his deep voice showed he was thrilled with my admission. "I love you so much, Lee. You know that right?"

"Yes, and I love you, too. Sometimes I think I love you more than I could ever tell or show you."

He stood from his chair and knelt before me. Love shining brightly in his eyes, and it was all for me. My heart skipped a beat as he leaned in, pressing his lips to mine. He leaned his forehead against mine, still on his knees before me. "I would love to spend the rest of my life showing you just how much I love you Leah. From the moment our eyes connected in the truck, I knew I loved you. But I'd wanted you for so much longer. I think about you all the time. Would you let me show how much I love you every day for the rest of our lives?"

My heart was beating frantically as I listened to him pour out his heart. I knew he loved me but this was more than I'd thought possible. I am normally a very intelligent girl, but this night- my intelligence fled as I sat, stunned, listening to him. His words not registering in my mind at all at first.

"Leah, I want to wake up beside you and fall asleep beside you every day. I want to have babies with you- not now of course, but in a few years- down the road sometime, anyway. I need you in my life. I'd be so lost without you. Will you marry me, Lee-lee?"

"W-what?" I managed to ask.

"Leah Clearwater, will you marry me?"

Tears flooded my eyes as I looked into his eyes. A smile flashed on my lips, dragging the corners of my mouth higher and higher until I thought my face was going to split. My heart felt as though it would burst from the swell of emotion within my very soul.

"Yes! Yes, I will," I cried, crashing my lips to his in a kiss that raged with passion and the ferocity of my love. He returned the kiss, desire burning between us like a wildfire. His tongue slipped into my mouth and danced with mine, stoking the fire hotter and hotter.

We'd come here because I was ready. I wanted him to have all of me. After a year of putting him off- not that he minded- I wanted to be with him in every way. And he surprised the hell out of me with a marriage proposal. I couldn't have been happier.

When we broke the kiss, he presented me with a ring. "It's not much, Lee-lee, just my class ring, but I promise, I'll get you a better one soon. I just, I need to know that you want to be mine forever just like I want you."

"It's perfect, baby. C'mere," I stood and walked to the bed, an added sway to my hips. "I need to show you just how much I love you now."

"Are you sure? You know you don't have to. I would be happy to just lie beside you until morning."

"Of course I'm sure. Now shut-up and love me, Sammy."

And he did- lovingly and gently until we both shattered in blissful love.

A/N: So, what did you think? Can you understand why it hurt so bad a little more now? I want to hear your thoughts!