Chapter 23 – The Battle Part 3

Leah's Story

I came upon the house to hear the sounds of things being broken inside. My heart froze in my chest. Someone was fighting in there. Suddenly Skylar in her werewolf form came flying through the front window as glass flew everywhere and I saw a vampire standing in my house grinning triumphantly. Skylar hit a tree nearby knocking it down and Seth raced over to her phasing into a human as he ran, worried for his imprint.

I turned my attention to the vampires who were in MY house. With MY children. They would not live through this night. Suddenly I smelt them, more shape shifters. I turned my head and saw three giant wolves running down the street; Sam, Paul and Jared. I had never been more pleased to see them in my whole entire life. Embry started growling and stomping his feet furiously into the dirt and I turned my attention back to the house. The front door opened and slowly, four vampires emerged holding my pups in front of them by the scruffs of their clothing. Cowards, they were hiding behind the pups. The vampires should be scared, they were outnumbered and they were about to die very painful deaths. Esther was crying at the mistreatment and I felt Embry's rage as the image of his imprint in distress nearly tore him apart. Abby was trying to kick the vampire who was holding her, and the boys were struggling as well.

"Careful wolves, we wouldn't want your little puppies to get hurt," one of the vampires addressed us mockingly and we all bared our teeth and growled threateningly.

Suddenly Harry phased startling the vampire who was holding him and the vampire let go stepping back in surprise. Harry quickly turned and latched onto the vampire's leg. Even though he wasn't fully grown, his teeth were strong and more than enough to pierce a vampires skin. The vampire howled and shook his leg shaking Harry off and Harry flew through the air towards us. I phased into human form and caught Harry in my arms mid air then landed softly snuggling Harry to my chest with relief. Ephraim, Abby and Esther all followed after Harry and phased; the vampires were left holding the remnants of their clothing. This was the one time I was glad that when they phased, they phased out of their clothes. As soon as the kids hit the ground Sam, Jared, Paul and Embry lunged for the vampires. I put Harry down on the ground and phased back to wolf form.

Run Harry, take your bother and sisters and run, I yelled through our link and Harry understood me immediately. He ran away from me and rounded up his brother and sisters and then urged them off into the woods like he was a border collie herding sheep.

The one vampire who was left, the one who had spoken earlier moved to follow them but he was blocked by Seth and Skylar, and Skylar let out a loud howl.

This one is mine, Skylar hissed lunging from him and they began fighting.

I looked back around and saw that Sam and Jared were focusing on one vampire, and Paul and Embry were on the other, and the last one whom they thought was injured was sneaking up on Embry. He had only one arm, but his teeth and venom were what we were most susceptible to.

Seth and I jumped at the same time and I latched onto his arm while Seth grabbed his opposite leg and we tugged at the same time ripping his limbs off. The vampire screamed with pain and Seth and I spat out the arm and leg and then went in to rip the vampire's other leg and then finally his head off.

You Clearwater's are vicious, Embry commented in our heads. Of course Embry would try and bring out some humour in the middle of a battle.

Imagine what will happen to you when you try and go for your first kiss with Esther, I managed to growl back jokingly as I tore the broken vampire body to shreds and Embry chuckled chowing into his vampire as well.

Now that the vampire was in pieces, and the other two were close enough we started thinking that we were going to need fire to make sure they didn't come back from the dead, so to speak. I was about to order Seth off when he ran away to Skylar's rescue as the vampire she was fighting got the upper hand and was trying to choke her. I looked around wondering what I could do when I saw Quil Senior rolling Billy Black up the road at breakneck speed. If it had been any other situation, two old guys pushing each other up the road would have been an amusing sight. Billy had a huge pile of logs balanced on his lap precariously. As they came close Billy tipped the logs onto the ground and Quil Senior lit a match and started up the fire then they backed away to a safe distance.

I yelped to alert everyone that there was a fire then set about retrieving whatever pieces of vampire I could find on the road. We had started up quite a commotion, our neighbors were on their porches screaming and yelling with shock and disbelief. Billy and Quil Senior were yelling at them to get back in their houses. Well, I suppose now the whole tribe had to be told about our shape-shifting. I thought that would be fair, since we were their story too, their tribes legend in the flesh.

Sam and Jared disposed of their vampire, and Paul and Embry finished playing with theirs and ripped him apart as well. Skylar however was enjoying torturing the one she had. The sun rose and Skylar became human again though her body still shook with rage.

"Mercy," the vampire was begging. Skylar had ripped off his arms and legs; all that was left was a head and torso. Seth was pacing nervously around her, but Skylar paid him no attention, her entire focus was on the helpless vampire she held in her hands.

"Did you show mercy to my family Corin, before you and Caius and Aro slaughtered them?" Skylar growled at him, her eyes burning with hot tears as her voice broke, "there will be no mercy for you, you will pay for what you took from me."

She threw the body to the ground and Seth and Embry jumped on him and ripped him apart, tossing his remains into the fire as well. Skylar collapsed to the ground naked and pulled her knees to her chest and cried, heart wrenching sobs.

I phased back as my pups came bounding towards me and I hugged them to me, not caring if I was naked, relishing the feel of my children back in my arms. They were safe and unharmed, although the girls had quite a scare, Harry and Ephraim seemed to have enjoyed the little scuffle. I don't know how long I sat there choking on my sobs, but it must have been a while because Ephraim and Harry were soon struggling to get away from me. They hated being smothered. I felt someone put a blanket around my shoulders and looked up to see Billy looking down at me. His familiar face reminded me of Jake.

"Oh god Jake," I breathed getting to my feet about to phase when Embry's arm reached out to hold me back. I turned to face him and grimaced. He was using our welcome mat to cover his nudity. Jeez, now I would have to burn the mat too since it was infested with Embry nudity.

"I stayed phased to contact Jake, he is fine, their battle is over, Caius and Marcus came, he said to meet them in the meadow as soon as we can," Embry passed on his message dutifully and I nodded with relief. Esther was in wolf form and nipping at Embry's feet wanting his attention and Embry phased and nuzzled her gently.

Seth was also in human form and was using one of our blankets to hide behind. Another item I would have to burn; nuts; I really liked our household items. He was placing another blanket around Skylar who was sobbing into her knees. She hadn't moved since she collapsed there. Seth looked over at me helplessly and I wandered over.

"She says she needs to talk to you," Seth whispered to me, worried for his imprint and I patted his back comfortingly. I would do what I could for her.

I approached Skylar carefully. She hadn't moved from her sitting position and she was muttering to herself. I sat beside her and placed a warm hand on her shoulder. She flinched from my touch and raised tearful eyes to mine.

"I'm so sorry Leah," she whispered apologetically and I stared down at her. How could I not have realized that she was working for The Volturi?

"How? How did I not hear that you had a made a deal with Aro? How did Edward not hear?" I asked her in disbelief and she turned to stare at the fire that was still burning brightly. She seemed so destroyed and empty.

"Corin, that vampire I killed, his gift is to take away memories and to make new ones, when we first met he had taken away all my memories of being captured and tortured by the Volturi, all he allowed me to remember was that I had to find shape-shifters and become their friend. I didn't know why or that I had made a deal to save my mate, I didn't even know he was still alive, I thought he was dead. The other memory Corin left me was that I had to meet someone in the woods two days ago," Skylar explained reluctantly and all the pieces started falling into place. Two days ago Skylar had become withdrawn and silent. She had obviously been hiding this huge secret.

"And you met him and told him about us and the Cullen's?" I urged, and Skylar buried her face in her hands.

"I had to, he returned my memory and I remembered the deal, that they would free Vulcan in exchange for my information," Skylar told me, her voice breaking as she said the name.

"Your mate?"

"Yes, but they lied, I should never have believed them but I was so desperate to save him," Skylar said brokenly, then she continued, "After I reported to Corin, he warned me to stay away from the Cullen's and not to transform, I only realized they were attacking when you told me today. The vampires turned up when night came, and I snuck away to transform in hopes of warning you when I heard Aro…"

Skylar's voice broke off as she recalled Aro's words that evening. Everything that she had done, betraying us, had all been for nothing. Her mate was dead. No wonder she had been so intent on killing the vampires before we arrived.

"I'm sorry for your loss Skylar," I told her shaking my head. I could only imagine how I would feel if I lost Jacob and had been given an ultimatum like she had.

"I did try to make amends, I am sorry that I lied to you, I will leave La Push tonight," Skylar said her voice and face devoid of emotion and I raised an eyebrow at her.

"Where will you go?" I asked and Skylar shrugged in response. Clearly she hadn't given it much thought at all.

I looked over at Seth who was watching us anxiously. There was no way I could let her leave; I could never do that to Seth. Skylar had to stay, betrayal or not.

"Two wrongs won't make a right, it will kill Seth if you go," I told her, placing a warm hand on her shoulder and she looked down at my hand then up into my eyes. Her face was shocked.

"You would let me stay here? After I betrayed you all?" Skylar asked in disbelief and it was my turn to shrug. I knew some of the others would want her to be kicked out of La Push but if we all put ourselves in her situation, I'm not sure all of us could say that we wouldn't do the same thing she did.

"I don't know what I would do if I had been in your situation, but I certainly can't judge you, all that matters is that you make things right, you have to stay," I told her certainly and Skylar's eyes darted to Seth who was shaking hands with Sam, thanking him for coming and helping.

"Before I got my memory back, I had fallen in love with Seth. I still love him. But Seth won't want me, not now," Skylar whispered despondently and I got to my feet hiding a smile. All this time, and she still didn't understand imprinting. Seth would love her no matter what.

"You should ask him and find out," I told her holding out my hands to help her up and Skylar took my hand and allowed me to help pull her to her feet then she threw her arms around my neck and hugged me.

"Thank you," she whispered then pulled away when Seth came towards us.

"Are you ok Skylar?" Seth asked taking in Skylar's tearstained face worriedly and Skylar took his hand hesitantly.

"Do you still want me Seth?" Skylar asked, her voice timid, afraid of the rejection that she thought was coming and Seth gave her a playful grin.

"Sweetheart, I will always want you," Seth assured her then he pulled her roughly to him and captured her lips with his.

I could only stand there was two seconds before the fact that my brother was making out with someone was too much for me to handle and I had to look away.

"You ok Clearwater?" Paul slapped me on the back with more force than necessary and I turned and hugged him, startling him and me.

"Paul, thank you so much, you have no idea how glad I was that you were here," I gushed pulling back to find Sam and Jared standing there arms crossed over their bare chests smiling, "You too Sam, and Jared."

"We take care of our pack," Sam said smiling and I ran up and hugged him quickly then doing the same to Jared. They laughed at me, having not experienced my nicer side in quite some time. I was just so thankful that they came to my rescue. They helped save the pups, I owed them everything.

"Leah, we need to go to the meadow to meet up with Jake," Seth called out his arm wrapped around Skylar possessively and I nodded.

"Ok, I'll see you guys at my party?" I said hopefully backing away from them and Paul bellowed loudly with laughter.

"Our wives would kill us if we even thought about missing it, Rachel would beat me with a fry pan," Paul reminded me and I smirked at the thought of tiny Rachel beating Paul with a frying pan. I loved my girlfriends.

"Thanks again," I said then I looked at the crowd of La Push residents gathering behind them, Quil Senior and Billy Black were trying to calm them down but they were asking questions and I pointed them out to Paul, Jared and Sam as I added, "I think you guys have some explaining to do."

With that I turned and ran into the woods phasing to find Embry already there with my four pups ready to go. We started running towards the Cullen's, Seth and Skylar followed us in human form.

I came upon the meadow to find everyone calmly talking and chatting. I had phased back in the woods and pulled on a dress I had left there previously, but the pups remained in wolf form. They were curious about the new vampires and set about sniffing each and every one of them separately. Embry followed them around, so I figured they would be fine. The vampires seemed intrigued by them.

"So how's the head count?" I asked running up to Jacob and throwing my arms around his neck. He kissed me lingeringly then pulled away.

"Pretty good," he confirmed and Emmett gave a gruff, sarcastic laugh and I turned to look at him, nearly laughing at how ridiculously he looked.

"Pretty good? I lost my freaking arm!" Emmett protested looking pitifully down at his stump. Poor Emmett.

"I'll get Brady and the young ones to try and sniff it out," I told him and Emmett smiled happily appeased with my response.

"Thanks Leah," he said and Rose came over and threw her arms around Emmett's neck kissing his cheek lovingly.

"So you two survived in one piece, lucky you," Rosalie said chuckling at Emmett's expense and Emmett huffed and stomped away grumpily. Rosalie rolled her eyes and ran after him muttering something about him being a big baby.

"Brady, can you take some of the young ones and search out Emmett's arm?" I called out when I saw Brady walk by and Brady ran up to me nodding his head.

"Sure thing boss lady," Brady said giving me a gay little salute and then he and a couple of the young ones bounded off into the woods on the search for Emmett's arm.

I looked around to see Edward treating a couple of the young wolves, it looked like a few broken bones were the worst of their injuries. They were laughing and joking with each other so they couldn't have been in too much pain. Nahuel and Ness were hugging Jaylah between them with relief. Alice and Jasper were running around with the pups and Embry. The members of the Volturi Guard were absolutely spellbound by them.

I turned back to Jacob and wrapped my arms around his waist. He bent his head to kiss my lips lingeringly again. In the background I could hear Alice and Jasper calling with the pups and their happy yelping.

"We didn't loose anyone, the Volturi lost two including Caius from our side, Aro and his followers were completely destroyed," Jake whispered to me thankfully and I pulled back in surprise. Caius, he was one of their leaders wasn't he? And that Aro dude was too.

"Caius?"

"Yeah, looks like Marcus is the least surviving leader, he, Felix, Jane and Carlisle are ironing out a peace treaty between The Volturi, The Cullen's and the Pack as we speak," Jake informed me grinning happily and I pressed a hand to my chest as the news washed over me. This was the best news I ever heard.

"Thank god," I whispered. Hopefully this would mean that this was the last we would see of the Volturi forever. That would be perfect. Jacob hugged me closer to him and trailed kisses down my neck.

"I have never in all my life wanted to celebrate with you as much as I do right now," Jacob said seductively his hands roaming and I giggled.

"I don't think the Cullen's would mind watching the kids for half an hour," I told him winking and Jake chuckled gruffly in my ear.

"I was thinking maybe a couple of hours," he suggested and I kissed him passionately on the lips before pulling away with a sly smile.

"Let's go," I urged him taking his hand to together we snuck off into the background, to our home for peace and quiet. The battle was done, and now it was time for celebrating.

AN: All that's left is the epilogue. Please don't be cut at how easily Leah forgave Skylar but she is Seth's imprint. To harm or hurt her is forbidden, like all imprints and Leah doesn't want her brother to be sad. Plus like she said, she wouldn't know what she would do if someone had Jacob and blackmailed her into working for them.