Leah's point of view the next morning:
The next morning, I woke up feeling a little tired and sore but like my old self. While I had been in "heat", all I could think about was reuniting with Felix again and the physical discomfort I felt. With the imprint, there was always a constant pull toward Felix. Soon after he had left, my pull on him became so strong that it was slightly uncomfortable.
Then my joints and head hurt terribly, and I had an extremely urgent desire to have sex with him. I never felt such a pull to be with him physically. Even my imprinted brothers hadn't felt that kind of pull to their imprints. I was worried that there was something wrong with him. The worry for Felix's safety caused me to focus more on that than my physical discomfort.
When he finally came home, I felt relief wash over me, both physically and emotionally. My joints quit aching and my headache cleared up. Another part of my body wanted his attention, and I hoped I could stop myself from jumping him with all of those people there. Normally I would have been embarrassed by my strong arousal, but my desire for him was too strong to feel anything else. I was grateful when Felix and I got some much needed privacy.
I stretched and winced. I felt a little sore even with my quick healing.
"Are you feelings alright?" Felix asked.
Placing my chin on his chest, my eyes held his gaze. His eyes shared his concern and worry as his hands ran up my bare back.
"I'm fine." I gave him a chaste kiss.
"You aren't going to jump me again, are you?" He teased, hugging me close.
"Not planning on it."
I giggled as he kissed a sensitive spot just below my ear.
"I'm glad you're home," I said.
"I am too." Felix nuzzled my neck. "If I could, I would never be apart from you."
I hummed in agreement as I enjoyed the feel of his hands and lips on me.
"What are you doing today?" he asked.
"I have to help throw Emily's bachelorette party tonight." I sighed.
"It won't be that bad."
"No, but I don't want to be away from you so soon."
"Me neither. I hate worrying about you."
"Were you really worried about me?"
"I didn't know what was wrong, and that scared me. I was so worried that you had been hurt or worse. I couldn't lose you, Leah."
"I wish you wouldn't worry about me so much, Felix." I frowned at him.
"If our roles were reversed, wouldn't you feel the same?" He lifted an eyebrow at me.
"I guess," I muttered.
"I love you too much not worry about you."
I gave him a dirty look, and he kissed my nose. I melted slightly.
"I know you love me too."
"I guess so," I said, giving him a smirk.
Hours later, I forced myself away from my man, showered, and dressed to go to Emily's bachelorette party. Rachel, Kim, and I decided on a simple party at Emily's house. The party would be more along the lines of a bridal shower than a bachelorette party. We all knew Emily wouldn't be into having a party with products with male anatomy on it.
"So who's all is coming to this?" Rachel asked as she pulled plates, knives, and forks out of drawers and cabinets. Emily kept a lot dishes around since the pack ate here often.
"Well my mom and sister, Leah's mom, and most of the imprints," Emily replied. "Sam's cousin, Ashley, is also coming down to stay with us until the wedding. She should be here any moment."
I remembered Ashley from when we were dating. She and Sam had been close, almost like brother and sister.
"Emily, where do you want me to put this?" Rachel asked, holding out a large pink bachelorette sign.
"Um, maybe over there above the couch?" Emily said, looking wearily at the sign.
"So, is Felix going with the boys tonight?" Kim asked.
"He is," I said, smiling.
"That is good that they're getting along," Kim said as she arranged party favors.
"It is," I replied. "Did Emily tell you about the plans that he and Sam have?"
I quickly told her of the motorcycle shop they wanted to open.
"Actually they are out looking for a building for the shop now," I said.
"When Jared told me about Felix, I thought there would be blood between him and the guys," Kim said.
"You saw how they were at the bonfire, and there almost was," I admitted. "But they worked at getting to know each other and get along great now. I think it also helped that I imprinted on Felix. I'm sure if I hadn't imprinted on him and were just dating, they wouldn't stand for it."
"I'm really glad you found someone, Leah." Kim smiled warmly at me.
I felt touched. Kim and I weren't close since we never had a chance to get to know each other since I phased. Before Felix, I was bitter and didn't want to be near imprinted couples. Ever since I imprinted, I spent a lot of time with Felix, leaving little time to get to know Kim.
"Thank you, Kim." I gave her a brief hug, and she looked mildly surprised.
We finished setting up decorations and food before people started arriving. We talked quietly while we ate and laughed as Claire decided to play hostess and try to help her Aunt Emily.
Halfway through the party, I found myself talking to Ashley. I found out she had just became an accredited nurse, and she had decided to come up the Forks and apply at the hospital. Her eyes lit up as she described her desire to work with babies, and I could tell that she would be great at her job. As I talked with her, I realized that I had a protective feeling towards the younger girl.
Ashley's point of view:
Emily, Leah, and I talked quietly while Leah and I cleaned up from Emily's party. Emily had tried to help us, but we wouldn't let her. It was her party, after all. I smiled as Leah handed me another dish. I had just met Leah, but I could tell we were quickly becoming friends. This was something I loved about coming to La Push. I connect with the people here, making me feel like I belonged here. At home I didn't have many friends, not that I minded most of the time since I had thrown myself into getting my nursing degree. This place was home, and I hoped to get a job so I could stay in La Push permanently.
After we finished putting the party things away, we spoke for half an hour before Sam and several of his friends entered the house. Jealousy ran through me as I watched Sam hug Emily. I was so glad for my cousin had found someone who loved him so much, but I wished I could have someone look at me like he did her.
My eyes flickered to Leah as she hugged and kissed the largest man I had ever seen. I guessed this to be Felix, someone that Leah brought up quite often. My eyes dropped to the floor as I my jealousy grow due to the couples that surrounded me. I had been so focused on becoming a nurse that I didn't have time to find someone; not that I regretted on following my dreams. I loved what I did but at times I wished I had someone to talk to about school or work.
My thoughts were distracted when Sam scooped me into a big hug. Despite living in different cities, Sam and I were close. I loved coming to see my honorary big brother.
"I missed you so much," I whispered.
"I missed you too." Sam placed my feet on the ground. "How long are you going to stay?"
"I'm not sure …" I told him. I didn't want to tell Sam that I had applied at the hospital to work at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where I would get to work with sick newborns.
"You can stay as long as you want," Sam invited. "Take some time off since you worked so hard at school."
"I'll think about it." I smiled up at him.
Sam moved to go sit by Emily at the kitchen, and my eyes shifted to the man standing in the doorway. He was large, not as big as Sam or Felix, but he was over six feet tall. My eyes ran over his muscled body, and I swallowed hard. I always had a weakness for muscles.
When my eyes reached his rich, brown eyes, my world stopped. His eyes drew me in so much that I didn't see or hear anything around me. His eyes widened as they stayed linked to mine. My mind was screaming for me to look away, and normally I would've, but I didn't want to break whatever connection I had to him. I frowned when he finally did break my gaze. I wanted him to keep looking me so I could continue to get lost in his eyes.
I followed his gaze to look at Sam, who was saying something to the man. Sam stood up to his full height, crossed his arms, and glared at the man when I finally snapped out of my strange haze.
"Please tell me you didn't just …" Sam said in a dangerously low voice.
The man didn't say anything, but I glanced between Sam and me with a worried look on his face. I could hear a deep rumbling in Sam's chest that I didn't think was possible for a human to make.
"Sam," Emily said in a calm voice as she put her hand on his arm.
Sam sighed and shook his head before glaring at the man again. I bit my lip and looked down. I slowly peeked back up at the man. He was staring at me intently, and I felt chills run down my spine.
"Come on, Sam," Emily said, placing her hand on his arm. "Let's go for a walk."
Sam frowned as Emily grabbed his hand and led him out of the kitchen. I got the feeling that he wanted to stay but seemed unable to resist Emily. My eyes flickered back to the man, and I saw him talking to Leah. His voice was so low that I couldn't hear what they said. He nodded and accepted a hug from Leah.
"I'm happy for you, Seth," Leah said in a loud enough whisper that I could hear.
Seth. His name was Seth. I got a hug from Leah before she took Felix's hand and left with him. I smiled at the pair. Much like Sam was with Emily, I could see how much Felix adored Leah by the way he looked at her. I turned to clean the dishes that had been soaking in the sink to avoid looking at Seth. I was sure he would feel awkward if he caught me staring at him, and I didn't trust myself to keep my eyes off of him.
I could feel Seth's eyes boring into the back of my head, and I couldn't help but feel self-conscious. I nearly jumped a mile when he stepped up next to me. How could a man so large move so quietly?
"Sorry," he said sheepishly. "I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's okay." I looked down at my soapy hands.
I realized I had been washing the same dish for the last few minutes. He was it that this man could distract me this much? I hoped he didn't notice.
"Do you need some help?" he asked.
"Sure. You can dry."
A smile crossed his face. I couldn't help but notice his white teeth and dimples. He has such a great smile, I thought, and I hope I can see more of it. I handed him a towel as he stepped even closer. My fingers brushed his large hand, and I could feel the warmth radiating off of them. I wondered how it would feel to have those large, warm hands roaming over my body. I managed to suppress my shiver at the thought.
"Sam told me you're here for the wedding?" Seth asked, interrupting my inappropriate musings.
"Yes," I replied. "Sam doesn't know this, but I'm going to apply at the hospital tomorrow."
"Oh cool. Why don't you want to tell Sam?"
"Just in case I don't get it." I shrugged.
"I'm sure you will." Seth flashed me his amazing smile again. "I'm Seth, by the way."
"I'm, I'm Ashley."
I couldn't help but feel gooey as he smiled at me. I looked back at the dish in my hands. How could his smile make me feel so weak?
I had a serious relationship my senior year of high school. Trevor had done things to make my knees weak, but that was after we had been dating for awhile. I had just met Seth, and he was doing simple things to make me feel weak in the knees. I didn't want to date after my relationship ended with Trevor, so I hadn't. I was too scared to enter into a relationship and have my heart broken again, and I ended up throwing myself into getting my degree.
"Do you know where the hospital is?" he asked.
"I do. I used to volunteer there when I was in high school."
"Oh." Seth's voice sounded disappointed.
I frowned, not liking the thought of him being disappointed. Could there be a way for me to see him tomorrow? Maybe if I asked…
"I could use a ride tomorrow," I told him, which was a total lie.
I had my car here, so there really wasn't any reason why I'd need him to take me. I would be taking up some of his time from his busy day. I didn't want to be an obligation. If I was being honest with myself, though, I just wanted to see Seth again, to have him close to me, and to see his infectious smile.
"If you wouldn't mind," I said quietly.
"With you, I'd never mind." His voice was just as quiet as mine was.
My heart leapt out of my chest. I bit my lip as I looked down. Normally I would have been nervous at a man being so upfront with me. I had stayed away from dating after Trevor and I split up and had focused on school. I shied away from any man pursuing more than just a friendship to avoid another disastrous relationship.
With Seth, I wanted more. I didn't understand how I could feel so at ease with him. Even though we had just met, there was an obvious connection between the two of us.
"So, what position are you going to apply for?" Seth asked.
"A nurse in the NICU."
"NICU?" Seth's face scrunched up in confusion.
"It's the area for sick newborns. Most are from premature births or birth defects."
"What made you decide on that?"
"I love working with newborns. I like helping them grow to be healthy, strong, normal babies."
"I bet you're great at it."
"I hope so. It took me years to graduate. So, what do you do?"
"I'm a mechanic at my buddy, Jake's, shop."
Images of Seth in a white tank top and tight jeans while smeared with grease filled my mind. I shook my head to clear my thoughts.
"Do you like working there?" I asked to distract myself from the onslaught of mental images.
"It's great," Seth said adamantly. "I love working with my friends from the tribe, and I really enjoy working on cars."
I smiled up at him. I was going to ask how he learned to fix cars, but we were interrupted by Sam and Emily walking in. Sam glared at Seth again, who looked sheepish.
"Thank you for helping with the dishes," Emily said, smiling at us. Huh, I guess I didn't realize we had finished doing the dishes. "I think it would be a good idea for you to go home, Seth."
"Yeah, I guess." Seth rubbed his neck. He looked like he wanted to leave as much as I wanted him to. I wished he could've stayed longer. I felt sad at the fact that we were to be separated.
Seth started towards the door, and I started to follow him. I heard a growl from Sam, but the growling stopped as Emily started talking to him in a low voice. Seth and I walked out the front door and stopped at the edge of the porch.
"I'm really glad I got to meet you." Seth smiled down at me.
"I am too," I whispered.
"I'll see you at eleven tomorrow?"
"Yes," I greed. "That would be perfect."
"And … if it's not too much, may I take you out to lunch after?"
"I'd really like that." I looked down at my feet, blushing.
"I would too."
I felt Seth pick my hand up in his large, warm one. My eyes shot up to his face as he brought my hand up to his lips. My eyes grew wide as he placed a kiss on the back of my hand. I felt sparks shoot through my body.
"I'll see you tomorrow," Seth said.
Seth was so close that I could kiss him if I really wanted to. It was very tempting, but way too soon.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I whispered.
Seth slowly walked away to his car. I wrapped my arms around myself at the lonely feelings invading me. I really wished he didn't have to leave. I heard a door open and close behind me. Emily came and stood beside me as the car drove out of sight.
"He'll be back soon," Emily said.
"Yes, he's taking me to lunch tomorrow," I admitted.
"Good," Emily said. "I'm sure you had a long day. I can show you to the room you'll be staying in."
I nodded and turned to walk towards the house. I looked back over my shoulder one more time before stepping into the house.
I think I just met the man I'm going to marry, I thought.
That night as I slept, I dreamt of Seth's arms keeping me warm.