A/N: Set during New Moon, with Leah having phased before Jacob.

Introduction: Concern

(Leah's POV)


It was some fucked up shit to say the least. But no-one had expected that it could turn ugly.

Even I, with due reason to hate it, could see the symmetry between Jared and Kim, the deep love shared between Sam and Emily, though I'd never admit it to them. It sickened me to the pit of my stomach, yet I could still see the beauty in it, still feel the appeal it had to the rest of the wolves.

Yet with Jacob and Bella it was utterly different.

Out of everyone, I would have expected them to be the most disgustingly happy. Jacob had been in love with her since he was 4 years old for Christ's sake. Everyone knew Bella loved him too, even if she hadn't managed to figure it out herself yet, the stupid, naïve girl. They had been close friends for years, and when he phased we had all hoped with Jacob that he would imprint on her. If anyone should have been lucky enough to imprint on the person he loved it was Jake. The boy was always kind, always had a smile on his face. Even I wanted him to be happy, and that said a lot.

And with one look it happened: the magical imprint that would solve all their problems and bind them together in eternal happiness. Only it didn't.

Maybe it was because Jacob was so newly phased when it happened. Maybe it was because Bella had freaked out and refused to even speak to him for weeks when he found out, a reasonable response to finding out her best friend was a werewolf and she was shackled to him and therefore La Push for the rest of her life if you ask me.

Whatever the reason was, the imprint changed Jacob's Wolf, and Jacob's wolf changed him. Long gone was the light-hearted, easy going Jacob we all knew and loved. This new Jacob was volatile, angry, and always on edge. He had a constant need to control and dominate, especially Bella. He claimed he was protecting her from everything, even herself. The deluded kid actually thought he was doing what was best for her; he couldn't see she was miserable.

It took a while for the pack to notice just quite how wrong it was though. We mistook Bella's discomfort for her struggling to adjust to the hand fate had dealt her. We mistook Jacob's need for control for the erratic impulses of an over-protective, newly imprinted wolf. We honestly though that things would settle down, that Bella would adapt and embrace the life of an imprint, and that Jacob would settle down after a few weeks as all the other imprinted wolves had. By the time we tried to do anything to help them a life-long friendship had been irreparably damaged, and we didn't know how to mend it, or if it ever could be mended.

It had officially gone too far when Jacob marked her without permission from Bella or the council. Bella had fled to Sam's in floods of tears, and whilst Emily checked her over, Sam had mistakenly tried to alpha order Jacob's wolf into submission in the hope that it would win Bella some much needed freedom. Jacob flipped his shit and took alpha, kicking Sam's ass and destroying half of his house in the process. His first alpha order prevented the males from being in the same room as his imprint. It divided the pack, keeping Bella away from her friends, and making the other imprints torn between being with their mates and consoling their friend.

From a distance, I watched as the strong, feisty Isabella Swan was smothered, lost beneath the tidal wave of Jacob's irrational wolf. She stopped coming out to La Push, becoming introverted to the extreme and only leaving the house for school. Every time I saw her she was anxious, twitchy almost, like I got when I went too long between phasing. To put it lightly, she was a mess. But what scared me the most was the lack of life in her eyes; she'd slipped back into that zombie like state that she'd been stuck in after the leech left her. The scary thing about it was that I was the only one who seemed to notice. She put on a good show for Charlie, Jacob, and her school friends. The girl was a better actress than she was given credit for. But I saw her when no-one else was around, and I knew it was all an act.

I don't pity easily, but the poor girl was so alone, so isolated in the glass case her imprint had built around her that I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Honestly, I don't know how she coped with it. So I started visiting her, giving her a friend and a confident. Pretty soon Emily and Kim started visiting too. One day she let slip that she was planning on running, maybe staying with her mother in Jacksonville. Together, the four of us planned her escape, avoiding her mother's house as it was the first place that Jacob would look. A couple of days later, Bella received new ID's and bankcards through the mail. She wouldn't tell us where she'd got them from, but I suspected that her bloodsuckers, the Cullens had sent them, though how she'd gotten in touch with them was beyond me. The plan was set, we were all agreed, and Bella was ready. It was only a matter of time before she got away.

I just hoped and prayed it would be enough to save her.