Chapter 1- Current state of affairs
If someone has the luck to grow old and gray, they tend to look back at their lifetime and reflect on what went wrong, what went right and all the missed opportunities in between. Of course, some people aren’t that lucky. They are taken from this world too soon to even think about reflecting.
Or you could end up being stuck in a never aging, mythical shapeshifters body. And also happen to be the only female among the other supernatural shapeshifters, in a pack of teenage misfits, chosen and deemed competent enough by their ancestors to protect their tribe.
Any guesses as to which scenario applies to Leah Clearwater?
Sitting on her ex-fiancé and ex-best friend/cousin’s worn out leather couch, listening to the aforementioned pack(s) of teenage misfits argue about who can beat who in “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Leah wonders why she didn’t just let those Royal vamps end her misery when she had the chance. Not that she actually wanted to die, but seriously, whatever the Volturi could have done to her in that almost-war seems preferable to Emily trying to slide her a muffin every 5 minutes, Sam throwing her anxious/guilty looks every 2 minutes and wanting to punch Paul for existing literally every second.
Geez, I know I have anger issues, thought Leah, but at least I don’t have a vein popping out of my neck every time a 13-year-old chooses rock and beats me.
Looking over at Brady covering Paul’s hand with paper beats rock, and Embry having to calm Paul down, Leah wonders again how she got here. How did these idiots become her constant? Why did their ancestors give her the gene to explode into a wolf when no other female in the Quileute tribe’s history had ever been before?
She has asked around, of course. She always did like a scientific abnormality, even if this abnormality is literally her life. The elders have their opinions. Old Quil says that Leah shouldn’t question these things. That the ancestors have their reasoning and that to look into why she changes and to think on it negatively is ungrateful and disrespectful. He always was a old fart, Old Quil. Billy Black thinks it’s because this time around, the vamps came in numbers we couldn’t fathom (thanks Bella Swan-Cullen), increasing the number of wolves that were needed. To which Leah pointed out that that’s all fine and dandy until you think about the fact that neither of Billy’s daughter’s, Rachel or Rebecca shifted. Granted, Rebecca is living it up in Hawaii, but what about Rachel? She is the chief’s daughter. But nope, she got to be an imprintee, which in retrospect is worse considering her soul mate is Paul. Even though Paul does have abs for days.
The point being is that no one really knows why Leah is the only person with a vagina that the Quileute gods decided was “worthy enough to be a protector,” (Sam’s words, the spaz).
Pfft, worthy my ass. Quil literally has ketchup falling down his chin and they expect me to believe that being chosen as a wolf means you’re special. Ha!
“Leah, Leah? Hey Leah…YO! Earth to the beta of my pack who is supposed to be paying attention and not embarrassing me in front of the other pack?!” Jake, Jacob Black that is (Alpha Prime as she calls him in her head), is currently looking at her as if he caught her with her hand in a cookie jar. As if she wasn’t paying attention to the “very important” meeting about treaty lines and patrols they have every week. How dare he look at her like that? Okay, so she wasn’t paying attention, but he doesn’t know that for sure!
“Me? Oh, I’m embarrassing you? Jake, Quil is wiping his face with Sam’s underwear.” Leah smirked, looking as Jake’s eyes widen and sure enough the “Quil Ateara! I JUST WASHED THOSE” from Emily as she runs to swat him over the head makes all the guys cringe. Seth is doubled over in laughter next to him and as Leah looks at his happy face, a wave of affection runs through her. She is grateful that she can be a wolf with her baby brother.
At least being what I am allows me to be with Seth and protect him.
“Besides,” Leah continues, “None of this stuff is new. I mean no offense you guys, well, actually, all the offense to you, Sam,” to which Sam just rolls his eyes, “but we do this every week. We all get together, the pups fight, I sit in a corner and bitch, Jake and Sam have a pissing contest and nothing changes. There aren’t any immediate threats from unknown bloodsuckers that we know of. Jake, Nessie is safe. Can’t we all just take a relax a little?”
The pack stares, Jared looks over at her with a smirk of approval. No doubt he was also getting tired of the pointless pack meetings as well, wanting to spend more time with Kim.
“Well, Leah, we have to make sure everyone is on the same page. Since Jake and I are running separate packs, we need to ensure that we have open communication in case something happens” Sam answers back, crossing his arms the way he always does when he’s annoyed, no doubt because she alluded to the fact that they all have to sit on the sidelines every week as he and Jake compare whose muscles are bigger (Jake does).
“Yeah come on Lee, we need to be able to make sure that everyone is up to speed. Not everyone is as good as you with keeping up with the patrol schedules. Some of the guys need extra help” Jake adds in, eyeing Quil who was still rubbing the back of his head. “Besides, don’t act like ya don’t like hangin’ out with us.”
The big goof ball then proceeds to plop down next to her on the sofa, throw one arm around her shoulder and takes a huge bite of his muffin, ensuring all of the crumbs fall onto the front of her shirt.
“Ugh, Jake! I swear you need to be house trained!” Trying to scoot away from him but failing as he has her locked in his freakishly strong Alpha grip, Leah furthers her point, “And anyways, not to tell you guys how to do your “Alpha-ing” but have you ever heard of a cell phone? Group chats are a thing, ya know. The pixie lookin leech showed me this really cool app on my phone! I mean seriously, it could save a lot of- JACOB BLACK, IF YOU DON’T STOP DROPPING YOUR MUFFIN CRUMBS ON ME I SWEAR TO ALL-”
Jake decides his life is precious and releases her. He goes into dust the crumbs of the front of her shirt but the glare Leah gives him freezes his hand inches from her right boob. He slowly inches his hand back because Leah assumes he likes all of his limbs attached to his body.
“As I was saying-”
“Look Leah,” Paul, of all people decides to interrupt, “It’s not like ya got shit to do anyways. Why do you care if we have a meeting every week?”
Ugh. And they wonder why he can’t be taken out into public.
“Actually, Paul, I think if we reduce the pack meetings to once a month, and cut down patrol times it could actually benefit everyone and give everyone more chances to do other things rather than be up each other’s asses all the fucking time” Leah knew she was getting heated but dammit, Paul instigates her on purpose.
Before Paul could further irritate her however, Embry jumps in, “Why do you think we should cut patrol hours?”
His question is genuine and so Leah answers without any of her previous heat, “Well, I’m willing to pick up more shifts if we’re really that worried about dangers but…” Leah stutters, shooting a glance at Seth, “I think we should cut the hours for the younger kids,” Now she looks to Sam and Jake both, who are thankfully both listening to her intently, “I mean, they shouldn’t have to be patrolling around in the middle of the night. We should give them a chance to go to school. I mean, Seth and Colin and Brady definitely need to go back and properly apply themselves. Quil and Embry can go back to graduate, they are only missing a few credits. And even you Jake, if you wanna....” Leah trails off, looking at Jake expectantly.
Jake looks at her, a soft gaze in his eyes. She knows Jacob’s affection for her as a friend and pack sister has only grown since she left Sam’s pack for him, and stood by his side against the Royal leeches, but it still makes her uncomfortable when he shows it in front of the rest of their pack, and Sam’s pack. She has a reputation to uphold, after all.
“You make some good points Leah. Jake what do ya say we talk over the details and we can discuss the patrol hours? I see no harm in switching some stuff around and maybe everyone can get less hours, not just the kiddos.” Sam says, giving Leah a look of pride that she internally scoffs at. Damn, one whole meeting without have a bitch fit and suddenly she’s both Alpha’s favorite she-wolf.
“Sounds good to me. Yo!” Jake bellows to get everyone’s attention again “Anyone willing to take a couple of extra shifts a week, let us know so we can try to get the pups less hours. We can alternate. We’ll talk about it in next week’s meeting.”
Leah groans. Getting up from the couch she decides not to argue the point. Cutting the youngers kids hours is a win at least, and maybe it will loosen them up to the idea of reducing pack meetings. Stretching her arms and legs which have been sore from sitting so long, Leah tries to make a beeline for the front door before Emily tries to do something grotesque, like talk, but as she approaches her escape, Sam calls “Won’t you be staying for lunch Leah?”
Sighing Leah turns around to face them all, her boys. She sees Sam giving her a hopeful expression and she desperately wishes he wouldn’t do that. She has come a long way from spewing hateful words every time she sees him, but she is still so far from sitting with him and Emily, eating and singing Kumbaya. She hates his hurt expression when she says, “No thanks. I have plans already.”
“Watcha doing sis?” asks Seth while piling a mountain of potatoes on his plate.
She sees the Packs look at her curiously, Jake even quirking an eyebrow at her. So what? She can have plans! She does have a life outside of them. Honestly.
“Well if you must know, I’m going to get a dog!”
He always valued beauty. He was a collector after all. For millennia his life has been dedicated to finding the most precious jewels and adding each of their rare qualities into his rank. His guard. His prizes. Lately his endeavors have been eluding him. He has been unsuccessful. But no matter. Not again, never again. She will be his prize, a most perfect pet.
The only one of her kind. Unique.
Mio caro Leah.