Chapter 2 – Could this day get any worse? Apparently, yes.
It felt like hours had passed by but I still sat there, with my forehead on my knees and my arms wrapped around my legs, trying to hold myself together. Why did it still hurt so much? Stupid Paul, I hated him anyway, what did I care what he thought? Why after all this time, did their words still continue to hurt me? I felt like today I had reached the end of the road, I couldn't ignore it anymore. I had made such a big effort to change from 'bitter Leah' to 'new Leah' and the fact that they didn't notice the change I'd made really just made me wonder why I even tried in the first place. I didn't even notice that I was no longer alone; I didn't even smell the sickly sweet scent before she spoke.
"I was wondering what stank over here," Rosalie commented rudely striding into the meadow then she looked down at me and came to a stop, "Oh jeez are you crying?"
"No," I said not bothering to raise my head from my knees and I could hear her shifting her weight from one leg to another as she contemplated whether to leave me to my own devices or ask me what was wrong. She decided on the latter; lucky for me.
"What happened? One of the other wolves steal your chew toy or something?"
"No," I replied a little stronger this time. Why wouldn't Blondie just get the hint and leave me alone?
"Jeez, I've never seen you look so…so…" I finally lifted my tear stained face to find Rosalie crouched in front of me and she visibly winced at the sight of my face, I mustn't have looked good because she took out her phone and showed it to me, "You want me to call Jake?"
"He knows, I just wanted to be alone," I replied emphasizing the word 'alone' in the hopes that she would get the point but instead she put her phone away and sat down beside me lazily.
"What happened?" she queried and I didn't understand her curiosity. Rosalie barely knew I existed, apart from making snide remarks at Jacob, I'd never really even heard her talk to anyone. She was always glaring at me when I came over and I was always glaring back, just for the hell of it. In reality I had nothing against her, and she had nothing against me that I was aware of. She was the vampire and I was the werewolf, we hated each other, it was the way nature made us.
"Why do you care?"
She breathed a deep sigh of annoyance at having to explain herself. I hated that she was so beautiful, and she looked like perfection even wearing old jeans and an enormous flannel t-shirt.
"Well out of all your little wolf friends I thought you were the strongest in spite of your size, it had to be something pretty big to make you sit around naked crying in the woods," Rosalie said slowly and I shrugged my shoulders resting my head back on my knees. Wow, a compliment from Blondie. If I didn't feel like crawling into a hole and dying I would have been really impressed. God I really wished I hadn't shredded my dress; it was uncomfortable to be sitting here naked in front of a vampire, although to her credit Rosalie didn't make a big deal about it.
"It's nothing really, just me overreacting," I muttered and I felt something stinky get laid around my shoulders. I looked up and saw that Rosalie had taken off her flannel shirt and placed it around me. This was just getting more awkward by the minute, but Rosalie didn't seem to care she was only in her bra now, not that she had to. Damn vampires and their perfect bodies. She looked like a model. I considered resisting talking to her, but I was just so tired. I was tired of being angry, I was tired of being rude, I was just so tired.
"The other pack were saying it was a good thing I couldn't be a mother," I finally admitted hoping if I told her she would go away and Rosalie hissed at my words as though she were personally offended by them.
"Those bastards said that?" Rosalie asked incredulously and I nodded shielding my eyes as the sun came out over the clouds.
Rosalie pursed her lips, then grinned at me, those teeth sparkling in the sunlight, her skin shimmering like diamonds. She looked more dangerous then, in a bra and jeans glittering like a fairy, than I had ever seen her. I had never seen one of them in the sunlight like this, it was quite spectacular.
"Want me to kill them?" she asked seemingly innocent but her smirk was otherwise. I was tempted to set Rosalie on them. It would serve them right. But I was a protector of human life, and besides there was her family to think about. I could just picture the bloodbath and I couldn't have that on my conscience.
"No, it would just cause trouble for you guys and Jake would kill me if I let that happen."
Rosalie 'humphed' with disappointment and it went silent between us again and the sun disappeared behind the clouds as a darkness settled over the meadow.
"It's going to start raining," Rosalie said looking up at the darkening sky. I didn't care, I was just so…done. I was done caring.
"I'm taking you back to our place," Rosalie said decidedly standing up and I shrugged my shoulders. She could do whatever she liked; I really didn't care about me, or anything or anyone. Not right now. I felt numb, like I didn't exist. I didn't want to exist.
"Okay," I agreed absently and Rosalie dragged me to my feet and forced my arms into the shirt before buttoning it up. I was glad that it reached down to my thighs. It must have been Emmett's. Rosalie then swung me up into her strong arms and I offered no hint of protest. I had nothing left.
"They didn't leave any fight in you did they?" she murmured sadly looking down at me and I closed my eyes. No they didn't. Today had finally broken me, I was broken.
I opened my eyes to find us at the Cullen's house. It just started raining as we reached the porch. Rosalie put me down gently then took one of my arms and put it around her shoulders so that she could help me stumble in. Emmett was at the door in a second, he must have caught my scent and his face was concerned.
"What did you do now Rose?" Emmett asked in a worried voice coming up and inspecting me a little closer than I would have liked and I half-heartedly tried to slap him away but he moved before I even got close.
"Nothing, why would you assume I did something?" Rosalie asked darkly, her voice threatening but Emmett didn't seem to realize.
"Well that's a werewolf and since I know you wouldn't touch one with a ten foot pole, I thought you must have done something to her," Emmett explained his logic and Rosalie continued to glare at him until he moved out of our way.
"Your faith in me is astounding Emmett," Rosalie said sarcastically, her eyes burning into Emmett's and he held up his arms in surrender backing away further.
"Someone's getting moved to the guestroom tonight," I heard Alice say in a singsong voice as she came into the lounge room and Rosalie smirked nodding her head to affirm. Emmett moaned and disappeared up the stairs, presumably to move his stuff to a guest room. Rosalie helped me lie down on their couch and I screwed up my nose at the smell. Alice picked up blanket and laid it across me. I vaguely wondered why a family of vampires had blankets handy but that thought flitted from my mind as I closed my eyes.
"What happened Rose?" Alice asked and I opened my eyes to see her and Rosalie staring down at me with concern.
"Her pack are bastards, that's what happened," Rosalie spat angrily and Alice frowned in confusion and frustration. I know that she hated not being able to see.
"No, Sam's pack are bastards, my pack is only one fifth bastard," I corrected her weakly from the couch and Rosalie shook her head angrily.
"It's not right, they are supposed to be your family," Rosalie muttered and I forced myself to sit up. Why did Rosalie care so much? I didn't understand.
"Why do you care so much how cruel they are to me?"
Rosalie's face went dark and she left the room quickly. Alice watched her go then sat on the edge of the couch. She was careful not to touch me.
"Rose and I can't have children either, we know how it feels to have to live with that knowledge, I can't imagine how it would feel to have someone throw it in your face on a daily basis," Alice said her voice becoming pained as she tried to imagine it and I was immediately on the defensive. They were pitying me? I didn't need their pity. I did have some pride left, although it didn't seem like it. I was Leah Clearwater, and I did not need pity.
"I don't want you leeches feeling sorry for me," I snapped and I knew I was being rude but I couldn't stand the thought of people pitying me, vampires or humans.
"We don't feel sorry for you Leah, we just understand, that's all," Alice explained softly and I lay back onto the couch a little stunned by her words. They understood. Funny that our 'supposed' enemies could understand me better than my pack ever could, even Jacob and Seth, though that wasn't their fault. They weren't female, they didn't have the same fears, wants and needs that I did, they were the best pack members I could have asked for but they could never completely understand what it was like to be me. Rosalie and Alice could understand to a certain point. At least they weren't the only ones of their kind; that was my cross alone to bear.
"You hungry?" Rosalie appeared again looking more composed and she even smiled. It was unnerving to see her smile so warmly. I wanted to say that I wasn't hungry, I didn't want to impose, but I was starving.
"Yeah a little," I admitted shyly and Rosalie nodded, still smiling. It was strange to see her smile, but she was so beautiful that the smile looked like it belonged there. I thought if I had her face I wouldn't stop smiling ever.
"Ok, I'll make you something," she said decidedly and I looked over at her in shock.
"You can cook?"
"Renesmee and Nahuel eat normal food too you know," Rosalie retorted smartly and I blushed a little. I'd forgotten that Rosalie practically helped Bella raise Renesmee.
"Don't worry Leah, just relax, we will take care of everything," Alice assured me then her and Rosalie disappeared into the kitchen and I heard them banging around. I really hoped the food would be edible, I was starving.
I wondered how impolite it would be if I asked if I could stay here. I just really didn't want to go back to La Push and since I was already on the couch with a blanket it made sense. But I was too proud to ask.
"You are welcome to stay Leah," Edward said walking into the room following by Bella and I nearly jumped off the couch at the sound of his voice.
"Mind reader, awesome," I murmured to myself then I settled back down on the couch. Well at least I didn't have to beg out loud, I thought to myself, which meant I still had some pride left.
Edward smiled having heard my thoughts and moved off into another room as quickly as he had appeared and Bella sat down on the couch near my feet. She looked uncomfortable. I guess that was because the last time we were alone together I bawled her out for leading Jake on. That was years ago, it seemed like another lifetime.
"Renesmee said Jake called and told her what happened," Bella said, her musical voice subdued and sad. I never understood what Jacob saw in Bella, as a vampire she was gorgeous, but I remembered her before, when she was clumsy broken Bella. We were the same to a point, we had both been left by the men of our dreams; our difference was that Edward came back for her. Sam would never come back for me, not that I wanted him to now. I was long over Sam and the pain he brought me, I had been for years. I was always a little jealous of Bella. I think because she had two men who loved her and would never leave her and I had none.
"Oh, well I don't need your pity," I replied snidely, not wanting to appear weak in front of her and Bella gave me a wry smile.
"I'm not giving it," she replied smirking then she laid a hand on my leg over the blanket, "I just wanted to let you know that Jake is really worried about you and wanted us to tell you if we saw you to please come home. He's afraid you will run away like he did."
I was stunned at that. I was always amazed by the fact that someone cared about me.
"I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye," I told her surely and Bella smiled with relief.
"Good, I'd hate to see Jake in pain again," Bella said softly, her face becoming sad and I agreed with her. I'd seen him in enough pain to last a lifetime, and a lot of it was her fault. I think she knew that and that was why she wanted him to be happy so badly. I bet she was glad when Jake imprinted on Renesmee, because she knew she would be able to finally see Jake happy.
"I called Jake, he said he would come around straight away," Edward appeared again and I felt panicked. I can't believe he called Jake. Stupid leech. Edward glanced at me his eyes narrowed as he caught onto my thoughts, and I didn't care; he deserved to be called names for calling Jake when he didn't even ask me if I wanted him to.
"Jake asked for us to call him if you turned up."
"I didn't want to bother him."
"When I said you were here he said he was coming over and hung up," Edward said shrugging his shoulders and I think he was a little miffed that I was thinking such mean thoughts about him when he was only doing what Jacob had asked.
"Where is Renesmee?" I asked thinking that must have been why Jacob was so insistent about coming over. Maybe he hadn't seen her at all today and was having withdrawal.
"With Nahuel, they went to Port Angeles to watch a movie," Bella said, frowning with disapproval and Edward looked over at her quickly then back at me.
"Oh, does Jake know? He probably won't want to come around if she isn't here," I said dismissively and Edward gave me a strange look and a smile came to his lips.
"Why wouldn't he come just because Nessie isn't here?" Edward asked me curiously.
I didn't say anything. The way Edwards was speaking to me made me feel stupid. Maybe it was because of what Paul said today and my self esteem had hit rock bottom but I just didn't think Jacob would care enough to come check on me and me alone.
"You don't give yourself enough credit, you are in Jacob's thoughts as much as Nessie is, he really cares about you," Edward said warmly and I looked up at him in surprise. He heard all that from Jacob's thoughts?
"I didn't have to read his thoughts, its all in the way he talks about you, and the way he looks when he says your name," Edward answered my muted question and I couldn't help the blush that came to my face. I spared a quick glance to Bella and she was biting her lip, a frown on her features as she looked at Edward.
"Dinner's ready!" Alice called out and Rosalie appeared with a tray of food.
It was spaghetti and my mouth was watering before she even set it down on my lap.
"Everyone avert your eyes, this is not going to be pretty," I warned them and Rosalie and Alice chuckled and went back to the kitchen and Edward and Bella retreated to the piano and Edward started playing a lullaby. Once I was sure they weren't looking I stuck into the spaghetti. It was delicious; I would have to compliment Rosalie and Alice later. I was shoveling the food into my mouth when Jacob burst into the house. It was quite an impressive entrance and he stood there wearing just cut off jeans and looked frantically for me, his body soaked from the rain. And here I was, spaghetti hanging out of my mouth. I quickly bit it off as he approached and gave a small smile while I tried to swallow the food quickly. I hoped I didn't look too awful.
"Leah are you ok?" he asked urgently taking the towel that Bella provided for him to dry himself. I hadn't even noticed Bella leave the room, those vampires were so quick.
"I'm fine Jake, Rosalie found me and brought me here," I said and Rosalie strolled out of the kitchen and leant against a wall nonchalantly.
"Rosalie?" Jacob asked his face twisting at her name.
"Yeah turns out I can be helpful," Rosalie said snidely and Jacob looked over at me and theatrically shrugged his shoulders.
"Who'd have thought?"
Rosalie threw a tea-towel at his head and went back to the kitchen. Jake picked up my legs and sat down on the couch then put my legs on his lap gently. His eyes never left my face; he was so worried for me. I thought back on what Edward said about me being in Jacob's thoughts as much as Renesmee, it made me feel all warm on the inside. I looked over at Bella and Edward and she seemed to be asking him questions that he refused to answer. She looked like she was getting upset.
"You sure you're ok?" Jacob whispered to me taking back my attention and I thought about it. Was I ok? I guess. Well not completely okay, but I wasn't feeling like I wanted to curl up in a ball and die, that was a plus.
"Yeah," I said and it was true. I was feeling a lot better.
"I told Rachel and Emily what happened, right now all those guys are getting a good talking to," Jacob assured me and I grinned. Sweet justice, I only wished that I was there.
"You want me to drive you home?" Jacob offered, his eyes still focused on my face intently and I shook my head.
"I was just going to sleep here tonight and then go home in the morning."
"I'll stay with you," Jacob said decidedly and I tried to protest.
Jacob ignored me and turned to Bella with raised eyebrows. She stopped her whispered argument to Edward when Jake whistled for her attention. I saw Edward frown at the derogatory gesture but he said nothing.
"Is that ok?"
"Of course Jake," Bella said sweetly and Jacob winked at her.
Rosalie and Alice said goodnight and disappeared upstairs. I could hear Emmett's complaint about how boring the guest room was without her and Rosalie telling him to harden up. Edward and Bella went back to their cottage, still whispering furiously. Jacob turned on the TV and flipped through a couple of channels absently. He wiggled closer to me and pulled my head down onto his chest. His hand started to play with my hair. It felt so wrong it was right. I wanted to say something, to tell him that he shouldn't be sitting so close to me and he shouldn't be touching my hair, but it felt so good I didn't want him to stop.
"You didn't have to stay," I said to him quietly and Jacob looked down at me, his eyes intense as he replied,
"Yes I did."
Jacob and I sat watching the enormous TV until I fell asleep.
AN: Thank you so much for your reviews. I was trying to be clever like Stephanie with the Preface. The Preface is Leah's feeling in the scene towards the end of the story that is coming soon. So much Blackwater its making me giddy :) I hope the characters weren't too OOC or anything.