What if Bella and the Cullens left Forks before Renesmee was born? What if Jacob and Leach married each other, out of fear of being lonely for the rest of their lives, and started a family together? What would then happen when the Cullens return, with Renesmee in tow, and Jacob lays eyes on her? Who will he choose? He will have to fight between his true love, and his destiny.
The day that Bella abandoned me has always been permanently and vividly etched into my memory. That worthless, filthy bloodsucker impregnated her with another parasitic spawn, and the entire family fled Forks, leaving without a trace. My life seemed worthless and meaningless now. I first considered suicide, but I knew that I would only hurt the other people that I still truly cared about.
Billy would most likely become depressed, and it would only allow me to stare at Bella from above—hopefully—wherever she was, living her content, flawless life. Without me.
After a long, pain-stricken year had passed without her return, nor letters or phone calls, I gave up hope on her return, and attempted to redirect my focuses to school. I graduated, by the grace of God, and now I’m still living at home with Billy. My new goal has been to focus solely on the pack. When I turned twenty-one, still lonely, Leah came to me a proposed an idea; an idea which would change both of our very lives as we knew them.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday; August 18th, 2013. I was lying face down on the couch, sulking in my misery and depression over Bella. I seemed to have relapsed; I had gone almost two years without so much as a thought about her, but Sam and Emily tarnished my record.
Sam and Emily finally got married, and had their first child, a baby girl. They named her Isabelle, in honor of Leah’s grandmother who had passed away just a few months before her birth. When the news reached me of the newest addition to the Uley family, I exploded. Literally…straight into wolf form.
How dare he have the audacity to name her that! One letter away from Isabella. I had myself convinced that he intentionally did it, and that he was trying to drive me insane. I nearly ripped out his throat. Jared and Paul thankfully were quick-reacting, and they both restrained me long enough until I calmed down enough to phase back.
Although I was still shaking with rage, Leah calmed me down enough, and convinced me to go inside. Normally, I wouldn’t have allowed her to touch me; Leah and I have never gotten along, and we practically loathed each other. Recently, however, she has become more…humane…and less sarcastic and bitter. She’s slowly realizing that she was pushing away some of the only people who would accept and love her.
“Jake, stop, look at me. Everything is going to be fine, just breathe.” She had her hands on my shoulders and was staring me straight in the eyes. I closed my eyes, concentrating on my breathing, and tried my hardest to push the thoughts out of my head. Unfortunately, the words Isabelle…Isabella…Isabelle…Isabella… taunted back and forth in my mind.
“Why do you care, Leah? No one here cares about me; I might as well just feed myself to one of those leeches.” I hissed. I thought I was going to be okay, to be able to deal with this, but Sam has driven me over the edge.
“I doubt he did it on purpose. He wasn’t thinking.” She whispered.
“CLEARLY. Leah, he knew what he was doing. He is the one who found her in the GOD DAMN FOREST. HE KNEW HOW CLOSE THEIR NAMES ARE!” I roared, ripping away from her arms. I could feel the veins in my temples popping out against my skin as I knocked over the coffee table, sending Billy’s fishing magazines flying every which direction.
Hot, angry tears invaded my eyes, stinging the edges. I felt my knees give out beneath me as I dropped onto the couch, balling my hands into fists and pressing them against my temples.
“Jake,” she murmured, and I felt the cushion to my right bend beneath the weight of her body as she sank down on the couch next to me. For a few minutes, the room was silent, minus the faint sound of my nearly sound-less sobs. I felt her hand as she placed it on my forearm.
“Jake, there’s something I’ve needed to talk to you about.” She whispered. “And I need you to listen, and not interrupt until I’m finished.” I could hear the pleading in her face as she spoke.
“In case you haven’t noticed, now is not the best time.” I grumbled. I know, I’m being an ass, but I didn’t want to risk saying things to Leah that I would later regret.
“I don’t want to wait any longer. I’ve been thinking about this for over a year, Jake, and I have to tell you. Now.” Her voice hardened a bit on her last word; she was serious about something.
I hesitated a moment, and stared at her. Leah and I had never once—really—had a heart-to-heart conversation. The most we have talked was when discussing hunting tactics, and even then we rarely agreed on anything.
“Jake, look at me,” she pleaded. I took my fists away from my face and turned to look at her. Her big, caramel-colored eyes were filled with tears. “Jake, I want…I want you to marry me.” For a moment, I didn’t process the words she spoke. When the words registered correctly in my brain, I spoke.
“Ha, you’re funny Lee. Now c’mon, really. What did you want to talk about?” I had expected Leah to curse since I saw through her joke, but rather, she frowned.
“Jake, I’m not joking. Too many years have we both been alone; rejected and thrown aside by the people we loved, who had once loved us back. Neither of us has imprinted, and we are already twenty-one, and I’m not getting any younger. I’m not going to die alone, Jake, and neither is my bloodline. Neither of us has much of a choice. Rachel doesn’t carry the gene, and if you want to keep the pack alive, then this is the only way.”
I half-expected her to look away from my gaze, to look at the floor blushing with embarrassment. But instead, she did quite the opposite. An intense, fire of determination blazed in her eyes, and she held my gaze the entire time. She was right. I had no other way to keep my bloodline alive, and I couldn’t wait any longer to find out what might happen if I waited. The answer was sitting before me, and I knew I couldn’t say no.
With a lump in my throat, I took Leah’s hands in mine, and whispered, “Okay.”
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Word of our engagement spread like wildfire in California; however, it was my fault that everyone found out. Not long after the “decision” was made, I had an intense desire to go on a run—a real run. Hence I phased and tore off into the thicket of the woods that surrounded my house. The familiar buzzing voices of the pack filled my mind, and soon people were shouting at me.
Jake, are you kidding me? Jared’s voice rang like an alarm in my head. Oops.
Don’t you dare phase on me, Jake. Jared warned, seconds after the thought crossed my mind. You owe me an answer. Regardless if he was right or not—which he was—I contemplated whether I was going to phase or not. It wouldn’t do much good if I did, though. I sighed—well, snorted, rather, being in wolf form—and frowned.
Yes, it’s true. Do you have a problem with it?
LEAH? Jake, you’ve got to be kidding me! She’s a biddy! She’s a cynical, know-it-all, sarcastic, stuck up—
ENOUGH! I interrupted him, and he shut up. Although I wasn’t the alpha, I was the beta, and still had somewhat of an authority over the other pack members.
Jake, that’s disgusting. I can’t believe you’d stoop that low…I mean, I know you miss Bella and all, but that’s just pure desperation! Paul’s voice chimed in my head. He was clearly revolted.
Screw you, Paul. You think you ever deserve to be with my sister? Well here’s new for you, pal. If I didn’t love Rachel and care as much about her happiness as I do, I would have done anything and everything in my power to make sure that the two of you didn’t get together. So you can take your opinion and shove it up your ass. I spat, and despite being at least thirty miles away, my lips curled back over my teeth, bearing my razor-sharp fangs.
YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT HAPPINESS, JAKE? DO YOU KNOW HOW PATHETIC AND WORTHLESS YOU WERE TO THE PACK WHEN BELLA FIRST LEFT? EVERYTIME YOU PHASED, ALL WE HAD TO LISTEN TO WAS ‘OH, BELLA THIS, BELLA THAT.’ YOU ARE THE MOST WRETCHED PIECE OF—
Then I phased back, butting him off. I knew he would be livid; knowing Paul, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t come after me to start a fight. He was like a child, really; a hot-headed infant who has multiple tantrums during the week. That is what made him such a reckless fighter, especially when he was angry; he led with his emotions rather than his head.
That’s when it struck me; why was I being so defensive? It’s not like Leah and I are seriously in love. This whole concept of us as an item was still relatively fresh in my mind—literally a day old—and I was reacting to their preconceptions as if she were actually my…my fiancé. For God’s sake, I haven’t even bought her an engagement ring! What on earth is going on with me?
I just insulted my best friend, my brother, and caused tension among the pack for no reason at all. All I had to do was let their comments roll of my back and ignore them, but no. I had to open my stupid mouth.
Or was I not overreacting at all? Could I really have feelings for Leah? I hadn’t ever thought of her that way. Hell, there wasn’t time for me to think of her that way. I had been completely and totally consumed with Bella while she was here, and even when she wasn’t here. I was an obsessed, love-struck puppy, and I was her crutch and doormat.
In my defense, Leah didn’t make any effort to appear attractive to me at all. Granted, she was absolutely gorgeous. But that’s not the type of attractiveness I am talking about. She was always grumpy, bossy, and overly sarcastic, especially at the wrong time. She would always say something about Bella, and it would make my blood boil, which made me resent her more than I had the day before.
But was she reacting out of jealousy? Leah always hated Bella, and I had always thought that Leah did not have a concrete reason to hate her. Sure, Bella put the entire pack and towns of La Push and Forks in jeopardy multiple times, but never had she directly done anything to Leah.
Oh my God. Leah was jealous of Bella…because I was in love with Bella… when really; Leah has been in love with me this entire time.
This made perfect sense, because Leah always beat me up and tore me down. She flirted like a kindergartener, always challenging me to races, punching and hitting me when I pissed her off, etc. She’s been hiding these feelings under a mask this entire time, and I was too blind to see this until now.
Could I learn to love Leah? Learn to cherish every moment I spent with her? Yearn to be by her side when we were apart, and miss her every waking moment that she is not beside me? With the old Leah, this was impossible. However, Leah has shown me an entirely new side that she has not shown me before. She is… tamer, softer, and more kind. She is sensitive, and really listens to you when you talk to her.
Could I fall in love with Leah? I guess it’s time to find out.
* * *
I didn’t phase for another two weeks after my argument with Paul, and I avoided everyone in order to remove all chances of being ambushed. Leah came over almost every day, and I knew Billy was suspicious about something going on between the two of us. We had both promised each other that we wouldn’t break the news to our parents until we had a ring, and until we were ready.
Thanks to my stupidity, however, we knew it was a just a matter of time before one of the guys said something to our parents, and then we would have no choice but to tell. Additionally, my doubt about falling in love with her seemed to dissolve each day I spent with her.
I knew I wasn’t in love, but I had developed some sort of feelings for her. A crush perhaps. She had this laugh that lit up her entire face, and made my stomach tingle. She would throw her head back, her black hair swishing behind her, and sometimes even clap her hands together. I would catch myself staring at her face, lost in her beauty, and swiftly move my eyes elsewhere if she caught me. She would smile then, and ask me what I was staring at. I would then smile and say, “Nothing,” and she would blush and return to whatever she was doing.
That was, of course, only after the first week.
During week two, I felt empty and lost when she wasn’t with me. She brought in a wave of joy when I was around her, and it seemed to extinguish mere minutes after she left. She was like my own personal sun. I wanted to be with her every waking moment of the day, even if it was just sitting in my living room, watching the T.V.
I could feel myself slowly, and surely, falling in love. Falling for the one girl I never would have thought of that way, and falling hard. I was irrevocably in love with her, and there was no turning back.
* * *
It has been three weeks since Leah and I have been engaged, and it’s time for us to pick out a ring. I picked her up from her house in the Rabbit, and drove her to Jared’s. Her hair was down—as usual—and since I still had not yet installed the air conditioning, we rode with the windows rolled down. Her hair was black like a raven, and it billowed and whipped around her as the breeze blew through the windows. If Aphrodite were real, I was sure that she would look just like Leah.
We arrived at Jared’s soon after, and before we walked through the doors, Leah made it very clear that I would not be spending a lot of money on this ring. What she didn’t know, was that I would be coming back here before dinner tonight, to get her the real ring. You see, I’ve been saving up since I was fifteen—all my work money—for this very occasion. I wanted my fiancé to have the best ring in the store, and Leah would get just that.
“Jake, we are setting a limit on the ring. Actually, no; I’m setting the limit. You have to promise me right now that you will not pay over two thousand.” Her arms were crossed, and her eyes were narrowed, daring me to argue.
“Two thousand… Leah that buys you the band. Come on, let’s be reasonable here. Five thousand.”
“Forty-five hundred; say any more, and it goes down even farther.” She ended the discussion and entered Jared’s, leaving me standing outside. I love it when she does that; it’s really quite alluring.
Leah and I were looking for almost two hours when she finally found the one she wanted. It was only four thousand, and was a silver band entirely encrusted in diamonds. I, on the other hand, had already found the real ring that I would buy her. It was—unsurprisingly—one of the most expensive rings in the store, and it was the first ring that caught her eyes. She explained that she didn’t want it, but I could see in her eyes that she was in love with it, and I knew that was the ring I would come back and buy for her.
We left the store at three o’clock, with three hours until we were due to appear for dinner at Leah’s. When I dropped her off at her house, she kissed me on the cheek, thanking me for the ring, and got out of the car, strutting back to her house with enough grace to make a ballerina cry.
I idled there in her driveway, dumbstruck by her kiss, before I realized that time was ticking, and I still had to get ready, help Billy make his famous spaghetti, and get the real ring. With my cheek still tingling from her touch, I peeled out of her driveway and sped back to the jewelry store.
* * *
Six o’clock finally rolled around, and I was more than eager to get to Leah’s for dinner. Seth—being a part of the pack—was beside himself with glee and excitement, for tonight was the night we would announce the news to Billy and Sue. Leah had to threaten Seth so he wouldn’t open his mouth; and when Leah is angry, that’s one storm you don’t want to be in the way of.
My heart jumped into my throat when we arrived at her house, and my nerves began to kick in. As I helped Billy out of the car, I was so shaky that I nearly dropped the spaghetti sauce. He shook his head, rolling his eyes—probably thought Bella rubbed off on me—and rolled toward the house.
Sue answered the door, and she threw herself at me, kissing both of my cheeks before doing the same to Billy. I had always been like a second son to Sue. She was such a sweet woman.
“Oh, it’s been too long, Billy!” She enthused,
“Ah, I agree, Sue. I’ve missed that good cooking of yours.” Billy chuckled.
“Well, what are you two waiting for? Come in!” She then took the spaghetti from us, and led us to the kitchen.
“I hope you two don’t mind, but Charlie is joining us for dinner.” Sue’s voice echoed from the kitchen. Charlie—I hadn’t seen him in awhile. It would be nice to see Bella’s dad again. I was hoping it wouldn’t be awkward, however, considering that Charlie had always wanted Bella and me to get together. And considering the news that was going to be delivered tonight, I did not know whether his hopes would be crushed or not.
Leah appeared then; she was dressed up. Her hair was curled, little ringlets bouncing around her face as she walked, and she was wearing a skirt. I couldn’t help myself, and my eyes trailed down her legs. They were muscular, lean, and tan from running.
I caught myself then, and knew she would probably sock me in the face had she caught me. She was wearing a navy blue bubble skirt, with an asymmetrical, white, scoop neck shirt. It was accented with a flower on her left shoulder. She had on three inch gladiator heels, so her head was even with my shoulder instead of my chest. Leah wasn’t short—I was abnormally tall, reading six foot six—but I loved the fact that she was short enough for me to bow my head, resting it against hers. Needless to say, she was devastatingly gorgeous. Billy and Charlie had followed Sue into the kitchen, and it was just Leah and me, now.
“Hey,” she smiled, walking toward me. Her heels clicked against the wooden floor like a melody.
“Hey. You look nice,” I had never, ever, seen Leah in more than basketball shorts and a tee shirt; it had to be that way, however, since we were always phasing.
“Thanks, you don’t look to shabby yourself.” She straightened the collar on my shirt, and I could feel my skin burning—yearning for her hand to brush up against me.
“Ha, thanks. I wonder if the parents… suspect anything.” I mused out loud.
“I don’t think so… but there is only one way to find out.” With that being said, she led the way toward the kitchen for dinner to begin.
* * *
Dinner went smoothly, as according to plans, and we were now waiting for the pack to arrive so we could reveal the news to Sue and Billy. Although many of them were still furious with me—Jared, Paul, Sam, and Collin—Quil, Embry, and Seth were on our side. Leah was in the kitchen doing the dishes, and I would have helped her, had Sue not insisted that I have a conversation with her
She was in the process of explaining to me how she spent her last few days crocheting, when Quil, Embry, Paul and Jared arrived. They were not fighting among themselves, which was good, I guess, but Sam was one who was most upset about the situation. In all honesty, I think he still has feelings for Leah. Obviously not love, but it almost feels like that middle school, I-dated-her-so-no-one-else-is-allowed-to attitude.
Sue freed me, and went into the kitchen to assist Leah, leaving the pack and me in the living room, alone.
“Jake, my man,” Quil hugged me, and Embry followed, patting me on the back. Jared and Paul stayed by the door, looking everywhere but at me. I had a feeling that they were not completely against Leah and I getting married; I felt as if they were acting this way more out of loyalty to Sam.
I was about to say hello to them when Sam himself walked through the threshold. The air in the room tensed, and I could feel his eyes as they glared at me.
“Sam,” I nodded my head, acknowledging him before plopping down on the sofa. Sue returned then, hugging each of the members before rushing back out to retrieve Charlie, Billy, Seth, and Leah. The Pack, Sue, Billy, and Charlie believed that we were here for a tribal meeting. Only Seth, Leah, and I knew what was really going to happen—we were the ones who called the meeting, of course.
They were under the impression that Seth had picked up a fresh bloodsucker’s trail, and we were going to discuss how we were going to handle it.
“Leah, hurry up, sweetheart. The dishes can wait!” Sue called when she returned to the room with Billy and Charlie in tow.
“Okay, Mom, just give me a second.” We heard a few pots and pans clanking around in the kitchen before her quick click, click, click’s from her shoes sounded her arrival. I stood when she entered, and she came to my side. Everyone’s eyes were on us, confused expressions painted across each and every one of them.
“Ahem,” I cleared my throat, “I know many of you are under the impression that we are here for a tribal meeting, but that’s not why we are gathered here. We wanted you all to hear this.” I looked at Leah, and she nodded for me to continue. “Long story short, Leah and I are getting married.” Sue gasped, Billy’s eyebrows raised, and Charlie smiled. Sam stiffened in his seat, but Sue’s cheers and tears stole the spotlight.
“Oh, Leah, my little girl is getting married!” She squealed, bursting up from her seat and barreling into the two of us. She hugged me, kissed Leah, and was crying tears of joy. It took her a few moments to regain her composure, and when she did, she took her seat again.
“But, I want to do this the right way,” I continued before turning to Leah. Her eyes widened—we had not planned this part—as I knelt down on me left knee, taking her hands in mine. “Leah Abigail Clearwater, will you marry me?” I pulled the velvet box from my pocket then, and revealed her engagement ring—all six thousand dollars worth of it. She gasped, and had the ring not been so beautiful, I was sure she would have slapped me. Her eyes glazed over as I slid the ring onto her finger, and the three diamonds glistened in the light.
“Jake,” was all she whispered as she gazed at the ring, and I swore I saw a tear streak down her cheek before she was in my arms. Some of the guys began cheering and clapping, and Sue was crying all over again, soaking Charlie’s shirt. Leah pulled away from me then—seeming to remember that we were in the presence of others, and she was grinning from ear to ear.
Now, some of you may be wondering—how could I spend money like that without regretting and missing it? How could I spend money in the blink of an eye on something that seemed so insignificant in the whole grand scheme of things? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is that I am in love.
* * *
After everyone went home, Leah and I went for a walk through the woods.
“Sure, sounds great; let me change real fast.” She replied, before disappearing into her bedroom. When she returned, she was wearing a simple, above-the-knee, white sun dress. Her feet were bare, and with that, we took off into the forest. For awhile, the only sound was our feet crunching against the gravel and rocks. About a mile into the forest, she stopped walking.
“Why did you ask me out here, Jake?” Her head was slightly cocked to the side as she said these words.
“I wanted some time with you, alone.” I admitted, and I could feel my cheeks flushing, despite the darkness. She smiled then.
“Why did you buy me that ring?” Her eyes narrowed slightly as she remembered this.
“Because I knew you wanted it; and it’s the ring that any fiancé deserves.”
“But why did you spend so much money on it? I know how much it cost, remember?”
“Because, Leah,” I whispered, taking a step toward her. I cupped her face in my hands, and continued, “I love you.” And before she could respond, I pressed her lips to mine.
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