Disclaimer: Twilight and all characters are owned by S. Meyer.

Leah (POV)

Who has a party in the middle of a gale force storm? My perfect, self absorbed cousin Emily of course! Why, you ask? The scar-faced whore and my douche of an ex Sam Uley wants to announce their engagement. Although every weather man in the state of Washington has broadcast the storm of the century for the past two weeks it had to be on this night.

Why, again? It would have been me and douche's fourth anniversary and our wedding day. Its my cousin's passive-aggressive way of putting the final nail in the coffin of my relationship with Sam. Here I sit in my room while Mom, Dad and Seth dress in their Sunday best for the party. How could my life have gone so wrong in the space of six months?

It was then I had been planning my wedding with Emily as my Maid of Honor. She came to my home in La Push from Makah where she lived to help. After being here a week, I came home to find her getting up close and personal with my fiancee in MY bed. Needless to say, my father came home to find the two of them trying to run and get dressed at the same time while I chased them out of the house with my Louisville slugger. It was the talk of the reservation for weeks.

The whole situation caused a rift in my family. My Mother had always favored Emily with her girly ways so that wasn't a surprise. But my Father singing Sam's praises as a future leader of our tribe was a shock. They didn't realize my heartbreak was made worse by their actions. Their acceptance of Sam and Emily's actions convinced the future Uleys that they had done nothing wrong.

My saving grace during this time was Seth. My sweet brother was always on my side back then. Two months after "the incident", my parents began a campaign to force me to not only forgive the two assholes but to somehow be happy for them. When I went home, they were there. At my after school job at Forks hospital, they were there. Even running errands, there! When I confronted my parents, my Father gave me some bullshit about the eventuality of my having to be part of tribal council with Sam one day.

I coldly informed the both of them that their actions were ensuring my decision to leave and never come back hence their future plans for my life were moot. My Father or Harry as I had started to call him started yelling words like duty and loyalty. I asked him about his loyalty to me. I think that I finally got through to him. He looked into my eyes and went pale at the hostility he saw there. Hostility that had never been directed at him. My mother cringed at the look I shot her as I left the room.

The next day Sam and Emily were finally banned from our home. They weren't done in their attempts to try to approach me. But after being called a few choice names in addition to broadcasting Emily's extensive sexual background and Sam's lack of one, they realized the humiliation wasn't worth it.

Soon after this Jacob, Quil and Embry started coming to the house asking after Seth. These were the same assholes who tried to bully my little brother until I beat the crap out of them. I asked him about it he informed me that it was all in the past and that I should start practicing forgiveness. When I saw him coming from the direction of what would've been my house with Sam, he just stated that they went there for free food after cliff diving. I rose from my seat and slowly walked from the room. He followed me trying to explain how bad the terrible twosome felt and that they never meant to hurt me etc. He was still babbling when I slammed my door in his face.

That was two months ago. Seth has been miserable or so my parents have said. I've only ever seen him sparingly between school and work. When I'm not at either of those places, I'm at the Forks Public library. Sam and I had scholarships to the University of Washington. I hadn't told anyone, but I had also been offered an academic scholarship to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. I had planned on turning it down because the control freak I had been engaged to flipped whenever I even thought of going somewhere else. Thank God he showed his true colors before I formally declined.

I have been tiptoeing around the formerly warm home now turned gloomy house getting ready for my escape. Call me a coward, but I haven't told anyone about my new plans to attend college across the country. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal except I'm due to leave on the 3:00AM bus. I looked at the clock that read 7:15PM. I think 8 hours is enough time for them to get used to the idea. I guess I'm still a little angry.

There's a soft knock on my door. I recognize my Mother's timid knock anywhere. If you had told me six months ago that the strongest woman on Earth wouldn't be able to look me in the eye, I would've said that you were insane. While I may have been a Daddy's girl (once upon a time), I would always admit to getting my strength and personality from Sue Clearwater. After this mess with her favorite niece and her daughter she initially took her niece's side. The thought of losing her daughter because of it never crossed her mind. I guess she thought the former bond I shared with my Father would always keep me close to her as well. My break with him and Seth cemented the fact that there was nothing keeping me here.

"Darling, are you sure you don't want to come with us tonight? I know that Sam and Emily would love to have you there. They really miss you and never wanted to hurt you you." She looked at me imploringly.

I glared. "No thanks, Sue. The last thing I need is to help them pretend that they did nothing wrong."


"NO, SUE! I don't want to talk to them. But I do need to talk to you and Harry. Now. Before you leave."

Ignoring the pained look at my use of their first names, she called my Father into my room. I could hear Seth's heavy footsteps in the hallway trying to eavesdrop. I gave my acceptance and scholarship award letters to them and waited for the inevitable explosion. I didn't have to wait long.

"WHAT IS THIS!" my Father screamed. My Mother just stared at the paper in shock.

"What do you think it is?" I asked calmly. I felt proud of myself for not screaming.

"You can't leave! I forbid it! We were wrong to coddle you. I've had enough of you moping around. Get dressed. Your coming to congratulate your cousin on her engagement. NOW!"

I looked closely at my Father and realized his anger was a mask. There was a desperation and a real fear underneath. He was losing his daughter and a lot of the blame was his. Sam and Emily broke my heart, but his acceptance of them broke my spirit. He was my best friend and my hero. When I needed him, he wasn't there. Despite all of that, I still loved him. So I would try to explain to him one last time.

"Sue? What's today's date?" I asked her.

"July 31. Why, sweetie?" she asked.

"Six months ago. You and Emily were the first to know how special this day was to me and Sam."

She paled as she realized Emily chose such a painful day for Leah. "I'm sure she just forgot."

I barely refrained from rolling my eyes. "Did they ever tell you how I found out about them?"

My Mom crossed the room and took my hands in hers while shaking her head. I would've loved this gesture a few months back. Now, I gently but firmly pulled my hands from hers.

"I came home from school and found them having sex on my bed. Not even in the guest bedroom where she was staying. She made sure I found them in my bed."

I noticed Seth in the doorway looking green. My parents looked more than a little disgusted.

"Princess. I had no idea. But that's no reason to leave. Your giving them the power to make you leave your home," she pleaded.

Now I was frustrated. "I'm leaving because this isn't home anymore. All of my life I was taught Clearwaters stick together but when I needed you, all I heard was Tribe first or your cousin doesn't have anyone but Sam. But that was wrong because she had all of you. Whether it was because she bagged a future tribal leader or was a perfect homemaker in training or had free food to bribe you with."

Each of the points I listed had Mom, Dad and Seth's head bowing in shame. But I wasn't done. "I know that there's something else that you're not telling me." At this, three heads shot up. "But none of that matters now. Apparently the secrets you keep are more important than me."

They all started talking at the same time about how much they loved me and never wanted to make me feel like I didn't matter, yada, yada, yada. Deep down I know they love me, but I don't trust them. Not anymore.

"Honey, the only reason I'm going tonight is because Emily's family refuses to come." my Mother said.

"Yeah, Sis. Outside of the guys there probably won't even be any girls there. Sam's Mom is even refusing to come." Seth said.

"Lee, just rethink going across the country. There are good colleges close to home. And at least it will give us the chance to be a real family again. There's no reason to leave," Dad said. He still wouldn't admit to any wrong doing on his part. I smiled sadly at him.

Apparently, that was all he needed to convince himself that I would give in. He ushered Sue and Seth out of the room while stating that we would talk in the morning. I listened to the truck's engine slowly fade as the distance lengthened between me and my family. I then picked up the phone and called for a taxi to take me to the bus station. Once I was told the cab was on the way, I pulled two packed suitcases from under my bed and sat on the sofa to wait.

3rd Person POV

Ten minutes later three very subdued people arrived at the most depressing engagement party ever. Emily had run up to them like an over eager puppy. She hoped that the appearance of the Clearwater family would add a sense of joy to a pathetic event. Of the Elders, only Old Quil and Harry was there. Even Chief Billy Black begged off citing the effects of the weather on his diabetic joints.

The rest of the guests only included the seven members of the pack and Kim who just hit the jackpot by becoming the imprint of her long time time crush. Unfortunately, outside of her safety Jared seemed to want to have nothing romantically to do with her. But Emily was teaching her and as long as Kim forced the issue she would eventually wear him down. How can a man fight his imprint and his wolf? If his will continues to be stronger than hers, Emily has decided to drop hints to Sam. Maybe he'll Alpha command Jared to give in to what Kim wants.

She tried to shrug off the embarrassment of the horrible showing at what should've been a joyous occasion with tons of people congratulating them but it was still painful. All of her life she felt as if she was in a losing battle against her stronger more beautiful cousin, Leah. So when the imprint occurred she was ecstatic. The Elders told her over and over again that she could choose the type of relationship. That the only requirement of the Spirit Warrior was her safety. But she knew what she wanted and there was no going back.

She then spent hours crying fake tears on Sue, Harry and Seth's shoulders to appear the victim. People on the reservation have long memories and she'd been called skank and whore more than a few times in the past six months. Her own parents were disgusted by her and Sam's own Mother refused to be seen in public with her. Upon meeting her she declared Emily to be the same type of woman who took Joshua Uley away from a happy home. Emily felt a pang at that and finally realized she would never truly usurp Leah's place at La Push.

She then had an idea. If it appeared that Leah was somehow fine with her and Sam, then perhaps some of the animosity towards her will go away. Sue and Harry promised they would get Leah to come to the party tonight. When she told Sam she was more than a little angry at how his eyes lit up at just the possibility of seeing his precious Lee Lee. She knew what she wanted which was Leah being her Maid of Honor, helping her plan the wedding, and generally being seen with her for appearance's sake. To get what she wanted, she was going to have heavy emotion and waterworks. Little did she know that her needy, helpless act would backfire this night.

"Where's Leah?" she asked making her voice tremble.

"She's not coming." Sue said flatly.

"But, why?" Emily whimpered. Seth could see Old Quil rolling his eyes.

Harry, finally seeing through Emily's act asks, "Why do you really want Leah here?"

"I miss her and I wanted her to be my Maid of Honor." she stated quietly.

"Are you really that thick, Emily? Why would Leah do that for you when you screwed Sam in her bed before he even broke up with her?" a very blunt Seth asked to everyone's shock.

Emily's eyes widened at Seth's tone and words. Sweet Seth who, although very loyal to Leah, was starting to see her side in this situation. Its not like she forced the imprint to happen, so who can blame her for making the best of it.

Old Quil who loved Leah like a daughter threw the bottle of beer he was holding against the wall in anger. "We TOLD you both that the mind of the man was ALWAYS in charge! We also told that if you weren't going to fight the imprint to break up with Leah BEFORE YOU WERE TOGETHER! But I guess you are more like your Father than we thought Uley!"

Sam, stricken at the dressing down in front of his pack, didn't even comfort Emily who was starting to cry real tears.

"Neither of you respected my sister. All she did was love you both." Seth brokenly said. He was guilty of hurting Leah as well. Of the three in the love triangle, Leah was clearly the strongest. In his bliss of having pack brothers, he just wanted all of the bad feelings to go away. The day he tried to lecture her on forgiveness she looked at him like he was a stranger. He followed her babbling nonsense in the hopes that the ice that had settled in his spine would dissipate. When she entered her room, she slammed the door in his face. He then knew it would be a cold day in Hell before she would forgive him his betrayal. It was at that moment that he was put into the same category as Sue and Harry. On a smaller level, Sam and Emily.

Meanwhile, unnoticed by all, Kim sat in the corner and observed the disaster of the engagement party. She couldn't help but recall Jared trying to politely decline her hints at a romantic relationship. As if sensing her need, he crossed the room and went to his knees in front of her.

Those beautiful eyes that Kim crushed on for two years looked into her face earnestly and said, "Ask what you will."

"Emily told me that the imprint would never have happened if you hadn't had some feelings for me, deep down. That I needed to make you realize that we were meant to be together. Is this true?" Kim asked.

"Dear God! Emily, what were you thinking?" Old Quil all but yelled. Emily bowed her head unable to look anyone in the face.

"She was thinking that she would have another female to hang out with since no other female on the Res would give a home wrecking whore the time of day," Sue stated. This proved to be too much for Emily and she ran to her room crying. Sue knew that she may never win her daughter's trust back, but whether Leah witnessed it or not she would never forsake her for another again.

Meanwhile, Jared looked deep into Kim's eyes and said, "Its my deepest desire that you be safe. But you will never be truly happy unless you are someone's choice. If someone is forced to love you its not genuine and like the imprint, it won't be permanent."

Shocked, Kim stared at him. "The imprint is temporary?"

"The pull will ease after a year. The need to protect you from harm is a lesson for the Spirit Warrior and a gift for the imprintee. Sam and Jared were the first two Spirit Warriors in generations. How can they protect the Tribe or teach those who shifted after them with no experience? Protecting a single person is meant to give them that. The pull is to ensure devotion to that task, not the person. Unfortunately, the imprintee has the ability to warp the gift and twist the bond." Old Quil stated.

"So does that make Jared abnormally strong or Sam weak?" Paul asked. He was still angry that Sam commanded everyone outside of Seth to stay away from Leah. Sam may have stated that he didn't want Leah to be hurt anymore than she'd already been. But being inside his head, he knew that Sam was afraid of someone else imprinting on her.

"Sam is settling. He knows he was undeserving of my daughter. And even if he left Emily tonight, Leah wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. Hell, I wouldn't allow it." Harry stated, finally realizing he was wrong to put the Tribe before his family.

This proved to be Sam's breaking point. He stormed out of the back door. Moments later everyone heard an agonized howl and even the humans in the room shivered at pain heard in it.