Friday, 24 July 2015

Fallen



So, I decided to try something different from Twilight fan fiction. Here it is...Fallen....an angel, a human and a vampire. It is a work in progress, I am working on one chapter at a time, no planning ahead, I will let the story take me where it will.........come along for the ride.




FALLEN

Prologue

 Eyes glittering sapphires set in a visage of perfect astounding symmetry, a nose so finely formed. 

Lips of the ripest strawberry red, plump and juicy with a hint of wickedness. 
When you could tear your gaze away, there was more. 
Translucent perfect skin, with a blush of pink. 
Strands of silky red hair perfectly waved, a neck swan like on top of bare shoulders.

Then the rest.............a vision of impossibly beautiful proportions. 
Taut muscles, sleek lines and form. 
Lean and shimmering in black leather, dangerously high heels, a stance full of confidence as she stood before me pointing the 44 magnum revolver at the middle of my forehead. 

"At last........we meet", she whispered huskily in a voice of melted honey, seductive and sinful, both angelic and devilish at the same time.

Her scent drifted over me like a gentle summer breeze, Crimson and clover. 
I could not move, I could not speak. 

Was this the end of me? 


CHAPTER 1

EVANGELINE

I am an angel. My name is Evangeline, which means "bringer of good news." Angels are spiritual or mythical beings that are portrayed as messengers of God who protect and guide human beings. Most angels are thought of as having a halo, wearing white and floating through the air with beautiful wings.

Okay let me put a few things straight in that statement. Yes we are spiritual beings, yes we are messengers. Yes, we can try to guide human beings, but you people are stubborn and resist change. As for the latter part of that statement; hell no! I have no halo, apart from the light which emanates from me naturally. This can be seen by other angels and spirit entities, but does not show on the earthly plane to mortals. I never wear white! Black is my colour of choice, it compliments my scarlet red hair. 

My purpose is to guide a mortal towards their " good news " or "good tidings" whatever you like to call it. I was a young angel, compared to some, as I was created a mere three centuries ago.  I had only recently been sent to the earthly plane. I had been assigned a human and I needed to make sure they had something good happen to them whilst in my care.  Now, this may sound easy to you, but believe me it wasn't! You mortals are not easy to work with. 

My human was Asher Xavier Smithson, or Ax as his friends and family liked to call him. Hey, I had no problem with shortened names or nicknames, just don't mess with mine! I am Evangeline, not Eva, not Angel, not Lina okay?  

When Ax came screaming into this world during a wild thunderstorm on the last day of the year 1994, I was there watching the whole performance with fascination and a touch of horror. So this is how mortals were born! How gruesome!   

Asher was a beautiful baby, creamy skin, black hair and the greenest eyes. I was smitten with him, as was his Mother. She was tiny with long raven hair and an exhausted demeanour. I didn't blame her for that, Asher had taken over six hours to push his way out of her body. she kissed his smooth forehead and whispered words of love to him. Outside the rain lashed against the hospital room window and the lightning seared the sky. 

I was invisible to the humans in the room. I stood at the other side of the bed from the Mother and I gently touched the baby's soft cheek. " I am Evangeline. I am your angel. I will help and guide you for the rest of your earthly existence".  

Asher's green eyes appeared to focus on me and he gurgled happily. Surely he couldnt see me? Although, I had been warned that some humans can see spiritual entities. 

Just as that thought fleeted through my mind, I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye. An older lady, the image of the Mother was standing at the foot of the bed, smiling down at the pair. "Hello Asher, I am your Grand-mother my sweet boy. I am so sorry I didn't live long enough to meet you, but I will always be here, watching you",  she said sadly. 

So this was a ghost? I gazed at her, she slowly returned my gaze with a smile and a nod of her head. Then she disappeared

I smiled and nodded to myself, happy to witness this event. There was such a resonance of love in this room, it was tangible and bittersweet for me. Angels are not allowed to fall in love, it would distract us from our heavenly duties. It didn't mean we were immune to such feelings, we just had to stay focused. Anyways, once we were assigned a human we rarely came into contact with our own kind. No-one else could see us, apart from ghosts apparently! 

I reached out to stroke Asher's dark hair and an immense feeling of protectiveness flowed through me. He was perfect. Human, yes, but he was sheer perfection.

I would strive to do my very very best for this human, no matter what.  

Thursday, 5 February 2015

EVERMORE




EVERMORE

This story is about the events which unfolded after Newborn (please read first!). Bella had recently been re-united with her family after a spell of absence where she tried to adjust to becoming a vampire. The new life wasn’t easy for her, but with the help (and sometimes hindrance!) of her new vampire friend Etienne Lucier she became stronger and more able to resist the blood thirst. She returned home to her family; to the love of her life Edward Cullen and her daughter Renesmee. But Sam Uley and the wolf pack were determined to make her pay for biting her best friend Jacob Black and breaking the treaty. Luckily Etienne re-appeared just in time and saved Bella from her imprisonment. Now we pick up the story a year later…










PROLOGUE
The scent of her skin drove me crazy with hunger and desire; the beating of her heart delicate like the sweet throbbing of silky butterfly wings. The sound was music to my finely attuned ears. I listened to the beating quicken and heard the rush of blood in her veins. I tried to rein in my monstrous desire to slake my all-consuming thirst, but the touch of her skin and the sighs from her perfect lips were too much for me and I felt my fangs brush her neck with acute longing. It was very apparent that I should not have let myself get into this predicament. How will I stop now? How can I stop now? She is all I’ve ever wanted and needed. Time stood still for one precious second before my vampire brain kicked in and the red mist descended before my deep topaz eyes.


CHAPTER ONE
CONFESSION
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I, Leah Clearwater have a confession to make. It’s deliciously secret, it’s devilishly controversial, and it’s also very surprising! No one would ever expect me to do this. It’s virtually unthinkable!
I’m in love…with a vampire.
Etienne Lucier is his name. He is immortally eighteen; devastatingly beautiful, dangerously exciting and forbidden.
Yes, I thought I’d been in love before: Jacob Black. But I was only fifteen then and Jacob was an exciting seventeen year old. I thought he and I would end up together. It was a teenage crush, everyone gets them right?
Then Renesmee Cullen came along. Bella and Edward’s beautiful infant daughter, a half human, half vampire child. Jacob looked into her eyes when she was born and instantly imprinted upon her. That was it. Jacob Black was out of bounds…forever.
To my shame, I threw myself at him and tried my hardest to win his heart. But he loved Nessie in inexplicable ways, unfathomable ways; he would always love and protect her, always.
A year later and this hasn’t changed. In fact his love has become stronger and deeper.
Renesmee has grown into a young lady in the space of a year. Such is the way of a hybrid. Luckily when she reaches eighteen this growth should slow down to minute proportions. The only other hybrid in this world’s growth spurt had stopped at age eighteen – that was over one hundred years ago!
So in human years Nessie was fifteen, in a couple of months she would reach eighteen.
Jacob Black was now eighteen; so handsome and muscular. He was beautiful inside and out. His love for Nessie had never wavered or faltered. Now she was on the brink of womanhood and everyone expected a happy ending for the pair.
They adored each other. It was sweet.
My feelings for Etienne were far from sweet. He had awakened passions and lusts in my body which had just been simmering under the surface. We had taken things slowly at first; he was very old fashioned (well he was actually 407 years old!) and gentlemanly. My sixteenth birthday had happened just days after meeting Etienne.
It was the first day I spoke to him. I will never forget that day.
I promise I will tell you everything soon, but for now I must hurry. A year has passed and tonight is my seventeenth birthday party. I am determined that this is my last night as a girl. Tomorrow I want to wake up a woman; in the arms of my soul mate, my destiny, my reason for being in this world.
Etienne Lucier.


CHAPTER TWO
HAPPINESS
RENESMEE CULLEN:
Happiness means different things for each and every one of us. For me it was a rare sunny day in Forks; blue skies; birds singing; my parent’s laughter in the meadow and most of all my own personal sun Jacob Black.
I was born just over a year ago and I am fifteen years old in human terms. Strange? Yes! But if you live in my world nothing is really that strange at all. I’m a hybrid. Born to a vampire father and a human mother. My beautiful mother Bella died having me, but was re-born as a vampire. Now she and my father Edward will always be together, young and beautiful forever and ever.
Jacob Black was a shape-shifter. He could phase into a beautiful russet wolf and run free along with the rest of the Quileute pack. Wolves could imprint. This meant that when they found “the one” their whole life now revolved around that girl. They would love and protect her for the rest of their lives. I was Jake’s imprintee. I knew when I was an infant that we had a special bond. His smile lit up my days and I always felt safe around him.
Now I was fifteen my feelings for him were changing. I was falling in love with him and it made me feel funny inside. Funny in a good way! Not a day went by when we didn’t spend our time together. Lately his dark eyes had been lingering on my deep chocolate brown ones with greater intensity. His fingers would gently sweep away a stray lock of auburn hair from my face and my heart would skip a crazy beat in my chest. I would feel my face flush as he took my hand in his whilst out on our long walks together. I felt his wolf heart beating as he phased and ran with me on his broad furry back through the trees at high speed. We hunted together. I could survive on animal blood just as my family could. We laughed and joked together. We swam together. We read each other old classics on First Beach on moonlit nights. Life was perfect.
It was simple I needed him like air, I needed him like water. He was an essential part of my very being. I loved him. I knew in a few months I would reach eighteen. Adulthood. Surely then we would be together in all ways? I know Jake feels the same. It was just a matter of time. My parents had slowly came around to the idea of his imprinting on me. They knew Jake was good for me. But what would they say if we became more than friends? My Dad was very protective of me and I knew it wasn’t easy having a daughter who had grown from a baby to a teenager in such a short space of time!
I knew as surely as I knew the sun rose every day that Jacob Black and I were destined to be together. It was like our whole future was mapped out for us in the stars and we were on a collision course towards our destiny. Yes, it did worry me that we were different. I was a hybrid, who could possibly live for hundreds of years. Jacob was a shape-shifter who although aged slower than mere humans could still leave this Earth years and years before me. I hated to think that we wouldn’t be together forever and ever.
So, tonight is Leah Clearwater’s seventeenth birthday party. I think it would be a perfect night to declare my undying love for Jacob. I knew in my hybrid heart he was waiting for me to say the words. He was holding back making sure I was ready for all that our future held.
Well tonight, dearest Jacob I am ready to show you how much I adore you.


CHAPTER THREE
DANGEROUS LOVE
ETIENNE LUCIER:
This last year has been one of the happiest of my long, long life. Who would have thought that I’d be where I am now a year ago? I live with a vampire coven; I am in love with a shape-shifter; I have changed from a lone vampire to one who loves the diverse company of both my own kind and the company of wolves and humans!
Such a strange change in me! To think if I hadn’t met Bella in Vancouver…! My life would be so dull. I hadn’t realised how dull it had become. I had been just existing, not living, not finding pleasure in anything at all. When I came to Forks Leah Clearwater had caught my eye right away. She was stunningly beautiful with a definite hint of vulnerability. To find out she could phase into a small grey wolf was simply amazing. I’d heard of shape-shifters but had never encountered one before, let alone a whole pack.
My cruel and sadistic maker the now deceased (thank you Edward Cullen!) red-haired demon Victoria had made me wary of getting close to anyone. I’d been alone for centuries until I spotted the beautiful Bella that night. We became friends, I fell for her even though I knew she was married and deeply in love with her husband. I am ashamed to say I used my mind control powers on her to try to make her fall for me too, but I realised my error before it was too late. I did make amends by saving Bella from the fate deemed to her by the enraged wolf pack. Luckily my mind control powers came in handy that day and I persuaded the vampires and wolves to live peacefully together and forget the age old treaties. So far there had been no more trouble although Sam Uley looked at me often with angry eyes and disgust in his face.
Of course Leah and I’s relationship was very much secret! Could you imagine the reaction of everyone? It’s hard keeping this secret to ourselves, but also deliciously deceptive and exciting. I think her brother Seth has his suspicions about us, but he has no proof.
It took a while but Leah eventually fell under my spell. And no I didn’t have to use my mind control on her. There was no point in doing that. I wanted her to like me for me not because she was made to! Leah had never been a fan of vampires. I am still not sure she is to be honest, except for me!
From the first moment my topaz eyes met her dark ones there was a strange, undeniable chemistry between us. I pursued her relentlessly. At first she was hesitant and scared. But one magical night we kissed and the stars exploded in the sky and I knew without a doubt I truly loved her. Since then we have been spending as much time together as we can. Its tricky being with a human so much. On one hand I’d never hurt her, on the other the scent of her blood drove me crazy with desire. No other human scent had ever had this effect on me before. I abstained from human blood the same as the Cullen’s did.
I wished I could talk to Bella about Leah. She had been a human girl in love with a vampire boy once. How did Edward refrain from giving in to his vampire instincts? How did they conduct their relationship? Leah was passionate and fiery. So many times I’ve had to flee from her bedroom into the night filled with frustration and evil desires. I was determined that we could be together somehow. I needed her, I loved her, and I desired her so much.
I wished with all my heart that I was human. I know it’s a stupid wish to have, but it was my greatest desire. If only I could be like an angel, a fallen angel. When an angel decided they wanted to be human again they fell back to earth. I don’t think there is anything in this world which could make me human again. I’m dead, indeed undead.
To be able to touch Leah without restraint, to kiss her without fear of hurting her, to hold her without crushing her to death would be heaven. But then again my vampire senses can hear her heartbeat when I kiss her, I can hear the blood singing through her veins, I can marvel at the beauty of her with my attuned smell and taste.
It’s not all bad. Best of all I can fly through the forests with her clinging to my back, far away from prying eyes, where we can be alone together. I exist for those precious moments. Tonight is Leah’s seventeenth birthday party. Another year older. Another year closer to her being snatched from me by inevitable human death. I didn’t know if I could let that happen, but the alternative?
It made me shiver both with horror and desire.


CHAPTER FOUR
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS
JACOB BLACK:
I am beaming like a Cheshire cat as I escort my beautiful date into the Cullen house for Leah’s seventeenth birthday party. Renesmee looks simply beautiful tonight and definitely all grown up. Her long auburn hair is free flowing past the pale white skin of her shoulders. Her chocolate brown eyes are deep with excitement and shine so heavenly. She is wearing a backless green silk mini dress with a high halter neck which shows off her hair and skin to perfection. Her long elegant legs are enhanced by the high heeled shoes she is wearing. Her face is glowing with happiness and joy. Such a vision of beauty on my arm! I am so proud I could burst!
Leah twirls up to us as we enter the house. She is also looking lovely in a red tight corset teamed with a flowing skirt which nips in tightly at the waist and falls to the floor in folds of fabric. Her dark long hair is piled high on her head. She looks amazing! I’m used to seeing her in jeans and tee shirts or in wolf form. Not this vision of sophistication in front of me! Leah and I have a slight history. First she annoyed the hell out of me! Second she developed a crush on me. Third we shared a couple of passionate moments when Nessie was a baby. But we both knew it was never meant to be. I loved Nessie since the minute I laid my eyes on her. I imprinted on her. There was no greater bond.
She had grown up fast as hybrids do. Scarily fast. But we were all assured that once she reached eighteen her growth spurt would literally stop or at the very least slow down to minute proportions. In only a year she had reached fifteen years of age. It had been a magical year sharing everything, being the best of friends and gradually falling in love. Yes, I was so much in love with this beautiful girl I thought my heart might burst if I didn’t tell her soon. I wondered if I should wait a few months until she was eighteen. But tonight seemed perfect. Tonight would be a good night to tell her. I didn’t want to shock her or embarrass her, but I needed to tell her how I felt.
We’d shared fleeting touches and tender moments but that is as far as our friendship had gone. I burned with desire to kiss her full lips, to feel her slim body close to mine. My wolf temperature dial nearly went off the scale when she held my hand or playfully wound a lock of my hair around her finger. Nessie loved my long dark hair, which was tied neatly back tonight.
Leah kissed both of us on the cheek as we wished her happy birthday. She looked so radiant and full of joy, I couldn’t help but grin widely at her. Music was blaring out of the large speakers in the Cullen’s large recreation room. Alice was playing DJ and some wicked tunes were teasing my ears. Nessie handed Leah the small parcel we had brought for her. Leah’s eyes lit up as she ripped it open to find a thin piece of leather with a small wooden carving of a wolf dangling from it. I had a talent for making these little trinkets. “Oh I love it! Thanks you guys!” Leah gushed, kissing us both again.
We made our way into the room, where I was pleased to find all eyes were on Nessie. It was hard not to stare at such beauty. Bella was frowning slightly at her daughter’s dress. I guess she most probably thought it was way too revealing for a fifteen year old, but Nessie had such a timeless quality to her that I reckoned she looked ethereal and not of this world. Classic beauty was so rare. Bella had never rested easy with the whole
Imprinting thing. It was actually Edward who had talked her round. Nothing could keep Nessie and me apart though so it really would have been futile of her parents to try. We danced together and laughed with our friends for a few hours until I was desperate to get Nessie on her own. I took her small hand in mine and led her out to the Cullen’s secluded garden. We sat on a sturdy wooden bench with weeping willows above our heads. The full moon shone down on us, making Nessie seem even more other worldly and goddess like.
We engaged in small talk for a short while, whispering to each other in the moonlight. I suddenly felt the mood shift and change. Electricity sparked between us as I gazed into her deep chocolate eyes. I gently brushed away a strand of hair from her cheek as she sighed softly.
“Jacob”, she began to speak.
I placed my finger gently onto her soft full lips, “Shhh Nessie,” I whispered as I rubbed her bottom lip softly with my fingertip.
Her eyes were like molten pools as she gazed lovingly into my face. The moment felt so right between us that I was compelled to bring my lips slowly to hers. It was as if time stopped and everything moved in slow motion. Finally our lips slowly met and gently touched as soft and silky as butterfly wings moving together.
I hardly dared breathe for fear of spoiling such a perfect and innocent moment. I held back my natural instinct to pull her closer and kiss her passionately. That’s not what tonight was about. Those feelings and emotions could wait for now. This kiss, this moment between us now was a perfect union in time. She was only fifteen, even if she was a mature fifteen and I did not want to rush her into more confusing and emotional feelings than needs be. I gently stroked the smooth skin of her bare back as she caressed my cheek. Finally our lips parted. I felt lost. The barely there kiss so sweet and innocent made my head spin and the blood rush through my body.
Nessie giggled softly, “You are so warm Jake. My own personal heater. Hold me,” she whispered.
I gladly enveloped her in my arms. I felt a small shiver go through her body so I grasped her more tightly to me.
“I have wanted to do that for ages my love,” I admitted in a whisper.
“Me too,” she softly replied against my chest. “I love you Jacob,” she softly spoke, raising her eyes to meet mine.
I felt as though my wolf heart might explode straight from my chest with sheer joy.
“I don’t just mean as best friends either. I mean I love you as my soul mate,” she softly said as she kissed my warm cheek.
“Renesmee Cullen, I love you too. Until the stars fall from the skies and all the oceans run dry,” I exclaimed passionately, my eager lips meeting hers again in another soft sweet kiss.
She sighed deliciously against my mouth and it took all my restraint not to crush my lips down onto hers. But I resisted and broke off the kiss with a smile. “My sweet Nessie. I have loved you since the moment you came into this world and I will love you forever. Let’s take this slowly darling. I know you are mature but you are still only fifteen. In a few months you will be eighteen and then we can be together properly. I don’t want your Mom and Dad freaking on me again! “I laughed.
She smiled sweetly back at me as she gently squeezed my hand. “Jake, no one can stop us being together. We are meant to be. It’s our destiny. I think we both know that! Now let’s go back to the party. I want you to hold me close and slow dance with me until the end of the night. Right?” she asked with a cheeky smile.
How can I refuse this girl anything?
I took her hand as we ran giggling back towards the house. My heart was so full of happiness and love. I was glad I’d decided to open up to Nessie tonight. The last few weeks had been torturous. I had a feeling she’d felt the same. I was in tune with her mind, body and soul. Soon we would be together properly. The whole world would know that Nessie was mine and I was hers. As soon as she turned eighteen I was going to ask her to be my wife. My heart leapt in my chest at the thought of it. Yes, I Jacob Black was going to ask Renesmee Cullen to marry me, come hell or high water.
No matter what Bella and Edward had to say on the matter!


CHAPTER FIVE
SWEET SIXTEEN
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I forgot to mention before, but my birthday is actually New Year’s Eve. As birth dates go it wasn’t too bad, could be worse I suppose. Could be Christmas Day!
On my birthday last year I kissed Etienne Lucier, the vampire, for the first time ever.
Our eyes first met in the clearing as he stood up for Bella; making Sam Uley change his mind about punishing her for biting Jacob when she was a newborn. He had an intense stare and I tried to look away but found my eyes drawn to his. The deep topaz colour drew me in like a moth to the flame.
I later found out that he had used mind control on Sam. I reckoned he’d used it on me because I couldn’t stop thinking about him since our eyes met. He was a vampire for crying out loud! Why was I so attracted to him? He was a very old vampire but he was only eighteen when changed. Very handsome; with his shoulder length dark hair, kaleidoscope eyes and pale luminous skin. He seemed to favour clothes which were formal and never wore anything casual like jeans and trainers. He was always impeccably dressed in silk black shirts, black linen trousers, and black boots with his favourite black overcoat. His choice in attire made his skin glow with even more luminescence. The pale features against the dark silk was very attractive to me. So very very attractive.
Sometimes he wears deep purple shirts for a change, a colour which is also beguiling on him. But the day I met him he was dressed all in black. After the trial was over Alice Cullen had arranged a celebratory homecoming party for Bella up at the Cullen’s large house. It was also designed to bring the wolves and the vampires together in peace following the recent troubles. I was leaning against the wall deciding to make my exit from the party when I heard a deep masculine voice introduce himself to me, ” I am Etienne Lucier. Pleased to make your acquaintance”.
I turned to gaze into those hypnotic eyes again. “I’m Leah Clearwater and I’m a shape shifter. We don’t normally go out of our way to speak to your kind, “I had replied haughtily.
Etienne’s perfectly formed eyebrow shot up as he stared quizzically at me. I tried to look away and pretend I wasn’t the least bit interested in him. But I found his face fascinating and beautiful.
He smiled, “What do you mean my kind? How interesting to meet a shape shifter! I had heard you existed! ”
I narrowed my dark eyes at him, “I know you are a vampire! It was the talk of the reservation when you turned up to save Bella!” I exclaimed.
“Ah! So you have decided we should not be friends then Ms. Clearwater? That is a shame. I think we could have great fun!” he smiled cheekily.
His smile made me feel strange deep inside. I was determined to not let him see that he interested me. But I found my lips curving into a smile as I gazed into his eyes.
“Well Mr. Lucier, we’ll see won’t we?” I replied with what I hoped was a flirty response.
“I would love a guide to show me around Forks. Would you do me the honour Ms. Clearwater?” he asked.
“As long as you call me Leah!” I replied with flushed cheeks.
Oh please Leah don’t get all shy now I chided myself. He smiled and took my hand in his. His skin was cool but smooth as silk. He brought my hand up to his perfect red mouth and gently kissed my skin. He seemed to inhale my scent as he did this and I saw him shiver slightly.
“I will meet you in the clearing tomorrow at ten am then Leah,” he said recovering his composure instantly.
I watched him walk away, my head spinning with the feelings his touch gave me. Just what was happening here? Bella appeared at my side with a smile. “I see you have met Etienne? He is quite the character as I’m sure you’ve gleaned already! His special talent is mind control Leah. He used it on Sam today. He has used it on me before too. He tried to make me succumb to him, to betray Edward!” she said with a warning tone in her voice.
I gasped! Was this what had happened to me?
“I’m just letting you know Leah. Etienne is very charming but can a vampire and shape shifter ever have a relationship?” she asked.
I glared at her indignantly, “Do you think I’m that weak Bella? As if!” I snorted. “I hate vampires, as well you know it!” I added with a glare, not caring if I hurt her feelings. Did she have feelings anymore?
Okay in those days I wasn’t the vampire’s greatest fan, despite knowing that the Cullen’s were actually all right and not really our enemy. But it was something that was ingrained into shape shifters. Vampires were our natural enemies, even if we did now appear to get along with this coven.
So the next day curiosity got the better of me and I went to meet Etienne in the clearing at ten am. As I arrived the sun suddenly came out from behind the clouds and shone directly onto Etienne making his skin dance with glittering rainbows. I gasped at the beauty of him. He smiled a devastatingly breath-taking smile. “Good morning Leah,” he said in that deep velvety voice which caressed my ears so sweetly.
“Hhhi!” I stammered.
I inwardly cringed at my awkwardness. Etienne didn’t seem to notice my embarrassment as he smiled and held out his hand towards me. I slipped my warm hand into his cool one, praying that I didn’t have sweaty palms from nervousness. It did feel quite natural to be holding his hand which surprised me somewhat. We spent the day walking in the woods as it was an unusually sunny day for Forks which made going into town impossible, for obvious reasons. Etienne was good company; he had a dark sense of humour and was very witty and intelligent. He asked about shape shifters and I found I could ask him things I’d always wanted to know about vampires. The time flew by and soon I was time for me to go. I didn’t want the day to end, but I had promised my Mother I would be home. She wanted to finalize some plans we had for New Years and of course my sixteenth birthday.
Etienne walked me home and as we said our goodbyes I blurted out an invitation to La Push for my birthday celebrations on New Year’s Eve. He smiled and accepted politely. He kissed my hand again, his deep topaz eyes gazing up at me. I shivered with delight and a little bit of fear. Something was happening between us. But could it? Should it? Despite his youthful appearance he was very old. How could he possibly be interested in me? A silly (almost) sixteen year old girl? More importantly a shape shifter? I tried to put all negative thoughts out of my head as I practically skipped home with joy and excitement.
In the two days leading up to my birthday all I did was think about Etienne. I alternated between smiling and chiding myself for being silly. I’d had a crush on Jacob! Look where that had got me! I’d had a childhood sweetheart in Sam Uley! Look where that had got me! Still I couldn’t stop smiling when I thought of Etienne, although I knew it couldn’t possibly work could it? Look at Bella and Edward. But look at what Bella had sacrificed to be with Edward. But then again look at what she had gained! So there I was a smiling love-struck fool wandering around in a daze!
New Year’s Eve came. My beach party was in full swing. I acted carefree and happy but secretly I was awash with nervous anticipation. Etienne was fashionably late. I was standing by the impressive bonfire on the beach gazing dreamily into the leaping orange and red flames when I felt a cool hand touch mine. I jumped and with a gasp turned around to see those beautiful topaz eyes gazing into mine. “Happy birthday Leah,” he whispered as his cool lips brushed my warm cheek.
Luckily the glow of the fire hid my blushes. I felt my face flush at his touch and I tried to act cool.
“Glad you could make it Etienne,” I replied with a wide smile.
So much for acting cool!
“I brought you a little gift,” he smiled as he pressed a small box into my hand.
Inside was a beautiful antique silver bracelet. It was very thin and delicate and decorated with small silver roses, so tiny you wondered how anyone could design such a thing. I slipped it onto my wrist and held out my hand to admire it.
“It’s so beautiful Etienne. So unique and special,” I gushed happily.
His eyes glowed mysteriously in the warm glow of the flames.
“Just like you,” he smiled as he gazed at me.
He held out his hand and I took it gladly as he led me away from the fire, away from my party and along the moonlit beach.
We walked along the sand hand in hand in the moonlight. The air was frosty and I shivered even though I had my fake fur jacket on. Funny how us female shape shifters don’t generate heat like males do. Etienne sighed as he looked at me. “What?” I enquired with raised eyebrows.
“You are cold Leah,” he softly said.
I nodded and smiled, “Well it is almost midnight. It’s December. It is cold here next to the sea!” I exclaimed.
He looked at me sadly, “Yes, all you say is true Leah. I am regretful because I cannot put an arm around you to keep you warm. I cannot draw you close to me to give you my body heat. I am as cold as the sea, as the winter air, “he said with another sigh.
I felt myself shiver again but this time it wasn’t with the cold. He wanted to hold me close? Oh my! I think I might just have died and gone to heaven!
I smiled softly at him in the moonlight, “Heat is over rated any ways. I’ve always thought so.”
He gave me is most dazzling smile which almost took my breath away. “Leah, it is two minutes to midnight. Your birthday is nearly over and I haven’t kissed you yet!” he smiled again as his fingers brushed away a strand of hair from my face.
“You did! At the fire!” I replied stupidly.
He cupped my face in his icy hands and drew me to him. His lips like smooth cool silk softly touched mine. I think I actually did stop breathing at that moment. He tasted of honey and cinnamon, rich and sweet. Oh so sweet. As he gently drew away I opened my eyes to find him gazing into mine intently. His eyes hypnotised me with their hidden depths. Time stood still as we stared deep into the other’s eyes. I slowYly reached up to run my fingers through his dark wavy locks which fell to his shoulders beguilingly. We did not drop our intent gaze as our lips slowly moved to meet again. I closed my eyes with a soft sigh as his cool soft lips moved against mine in a gentle kiss. Soon the kiss turned more intense, more passionate as his hands found my waist and drew me close to him. Both of my hands were entwined in his dark hair as we kissed in the dying moments of my birthday. Finally our lips parted reluctantly. Etienne held me close, his thick black coat not successful in disguising the chill from his body nor the hardness of his marble like chest.
“Happy New Year Leah. I hope we will have many more moments like this,” he sighed against my ear.
I shivered pleasantly, “Oh we will Etienne, we will,” I said with utter conviction.
So that was how we fell in love.


CHAPTER SIX
SURRENDER
ETIENNE LUCIER:
I smiled fondly to myself in the mirror as I remembered a year ago tonight. Leah’s sixteenth birthday celebrations; the night we first kissed. I ran my fingers through my unruly curls and smiled again. My reflection was pleasing to the eye. I looked dapper in my purple silk shirt, silver cuff links, black tight trousers and black Chelsea boots. Thank goodness that the old myths were untrue. We vampires could see our reflection in a mirror! I wasn’t vain, but I loved to look smart. Especially for a certain gorgeous wolf girl. The girl I loved. Leah was devastated she’d turned seventeen today. She bemoaned that in another year she would be the same age as me. Then another year later she would be older than me at nineteen. She could see her human life slipping away quickly whereas I would stay eighteen forever and ever. I tried not to think of it as it made me so sad. I promised Leah I would love her even when she was old and grey, but my statement made her cry so hard I tried not to speak of the future with her.
As I mentioned before, this year had been so fantastically amazing. I was completely captivated by Leah Clearwater. She was bold, fearless and passionate. She was kind, sweet and loving. She was everything to me. It had been so hard hiding my feelings from everyone, pretending that Leah and I were just friends. I was sure Jacob Black knew the truth but he was so wrapped up with Nessie that he didn’t seem to notice much else. I just had a feeling by the way he grinned knowingly at me sometimes that he knew our secret.
Leah had warned me that the pack would not tolerate one of their members having a relationship with a vampire. Although peace reigned here in Forks between the two beings there would always be a bitter history ready to make itself known at any given time. I did not want to be responsible for a war! I was the newcomer here, I must try to fit in and not displease anybody. Carlisle and Esme treated me like another member of the family and I had been attending Forks high school as if I was a regular student. I was due to graduate this year though. Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper had graduated the year Bella and Edward had married. Now the four of them travelled all over, as they pretended to go to university in a different state. No one must suspect they did not age. Carlisle was still happily working away at the local hospital as a highly regarded doctor. It would be awhile before the Cullen’s were forced to move away from Forks. Bella and Edward were supposed to be at University in Seattle, which was the story any ways. Renesmee was described as Esme’s much younger orphaned half-sister as a cover story. She also attended Forks high school with me.
The time to go to Leah’s party was upon me. Another night, another year of pretending I wasn’t in love with her. She looked radiantly beautiful as I watched her dance with Jacob Black. Jealousy welled up inside me as I observed their bodies close together. Leah was smiling up at Jacob, her face so perfectly pretty. I felt envy course through my veins where blood once ran. I wanted to hold her so much right now. Why did I have to fall in love with her? This wasn’t going to be easy! Leah avoided me for an hour or so as I mingled with other party goers. I smelled her scent behind me and I smiled widely.
“Hey you,” she whispered.
“Meet me on the beach in half an hour okay?”
Then she was gone.
Again I caught her scent on the breeze as I made my way down the sand. I found her sitting on a large rock hugging her arms around herself to keep warm. I gazed at her profile silhouetted against the moonlight, her hair blowing out gently behind her. The stars were all out lighting up the sky perfectly. I swiftly and quietly snuck up behind her placing my cold hands on her shoulders. She gave a small gasp as I jumped in front of her and placed my cool lips on her warm soft ones. Her arms went up around my neck pulling me closer as she always did. I tried to keep some distance between us and let my arms dangle by my side as I always did. It was our strange dance. She wanted me close to her, I didn’t want to hurt her. Leah gave me her frustrated look and I tried to give her my best smile. She took my hand and led me up the beach. We came upon an opening in the rocks which led into a cosy cave. The interior was lit with lots of small candles giving it a warm glow which reflected off the white stone of the cave walls. There was a round sandy clearing in the middle covered with a thick fleecy blanket. I looked around the cave with wonder.
“Surprise!” Leah exclaimed squeezing my hand.
“Do you like it?” she asked me.
I turned to smile at her, “It’s beautiful my love, just like you. Why have you kept this place a secret for so long?” I asked.
“I was saving it for something special,” she replied.
She entwined her fingers into my hair and pulled my lips towards her. Her scent was intoxicating me as always and I couldn’t resist kissing her sweet mouth. The heat of the moment and our passion quickly took over and I felt her press her body insistently against mine with lustful abandonment. She grabbed my hands and placed them on the curve of her hips as she kissed me fervently. My head spun with her scent and taste. I could hear her heart pounding, the blood a train of fire rushing through her veins. I pulled away quickly as I felt the venom rise in my throat. My vampire senses were screaming out to drink her blood. I was usually so controlled but sometimes I couldn’t help be swept away by my emotions. Tonight was exceptionally charged.
Leah’s face said it all. She always looked so crushed when I had to pull away. “Etienne I love you! I want you! Please!” she pleaded.
Devastation flooded through me. I hated to disappoint her. I hated not being able to hold her properly, to let nature take its course between us as a normal loving couple could. She looked so beautiful and desirable in the candle light.
“Leah you know I cannot let myself go around you! One drop of my venom could kill you! Please don’t be sad, my love. Come lie down on this blanket you have so thoughtfully placed here on the floor. We will talk and kiss and hold each other carefully!” I pleaded as I brushed her long hair away from her face tenderly. I laid down on the fleece and gestured for her to join me.
She smiled down at me so sadly, “Etienne you would not hurt me! I am a shape shifter! We are made of stronger stuff!” she argued.
I rolled my eyes, “Yes, but only when you are a wolf, Leah. I could kill you before you had a chance to phase!” I stated quietly.
She sighed and folded her arms across her chest. “What would happen? Seriously? A few bruises here and there? I can handle that! To be close to you in all ways, that’s what I want Etienne!” she exclaimed with frustration.
We stared at each other in the candle light. Both stubborn. Both sure we were right. “You’ve left me no choice Etienne, it’s time to play dirty!” she grinned wickedly.
Then she pounced.


CHAPTER SEVEN
EMBRACING DEATH
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I was straddling Etienne’s hard marble chest, my knees pinning his arms down at his sides when I had a sudden flash of fear. Was I really trying to seduce a vampire? After all I knew about them? After what had happened to Bella? Yes, it seemed I was that stupid!
Etienne’s dark topaz eyes were boring into mine, his face set in cold determination. I could see him desperately trying to control his emotions as I ignored my fears and quickly unbuttoned my red velvet corset top leaving my top half exposed to him. I shivered in the cold air of the cave, which twinkled with the lights from my carefully placed candles. I had planned this seduction for weeks. My seventeenth birthday had seemed a good time to carry out my plan. I knew I was looking my best tonight with my dark hair piled high on my head, my scarlet red velvet corset top, and my floor sweeping skirt in the same colour and material. I had sneakily swapped my high heels for trainers to come out here. Luckily no one could see my footwear under my long skirt!
Etienne was gazing up at me hungrily. I felt so powerful. I had him under my spell for once and it felt so good. I gently stroked the cool marble skin of his cheek. “Like what you see?” I asked softly. He nodded, his eyes transfixed on my skin. I wanted him so badly. I was ready to become a woman. I loved him so much. What was the worst that could happen? I lowered my head and my lips met his; fire burned within me as we kissed. I knew he felt it too as his mouth moved to the smooth skin of my neck. We precariously balanced on a tight rope of passion as time seemed to stand still.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
The scent of her skin drove me crazy with hunger and desire; the beating of her heart delicate like the sweet throbbing of silky butterfly wings. The sound was music to my finely attuned ears. I listened to the beating quicken and heard the rush of blood in her veins. I tried to rein in my monstrous desire to slake my all-consuming thirst, but the touch of her skin and the sighs from her perfect lips were too much for me and I felt my fangs brush her neck with acute longing. It was very apparent that I should not have let myself get into this predicament. How will I stop now? How can I stop now? She is all I’ve ever wanted and needed. Time stood still for one precious second before my vampire brain kicked in and the red mist descended before my deep topaz eyes.
A deep growl came from my throat as I resisted the urge to taste Leah’s blood. I was better than this; I did not need human blood, although she was more than human. But I needed her. I wanted to taste her blood so badly; blood which sang to me with an insistent rhythm. I swore I would never use my mind control on Leah, but this was life or death for her. I clasped my hands around her beautiful face and turned her gaze towards mine. I couldn’t let our passions overtake us, it was too dangerous. She may be strong but I knew if I lost control I could hurt her easily or kill her. How did Bella and Edward conduct their relationship? I didn’t know, but she had gotten pregnant whilst still human. I wished I could ask her. I wished Leah and I could be like a normal couple in love. Most of the time I was scared to kiss her too passionately for fear of bruising her, for fear of losing control. So I did what I had to do and soon Leah was on her way back into the night.
I silently followed her up the beach, watching as she sadly trudged up the sand. My mind control put a suggestion in the mind which lasted for a few hours. After that the object of my powers was left confused as to what had actually happened. Their memory was hazy and their thoughts blurry. I hoped Leah would not be angry at me. I knew she would though. I should end the relationship now before we become closer and deeper in love. This past year had been the happiest of my life though. I truly loved and adored Leah and I didn’t want to be without her. How much longer could we keep our love a secret? How much longer could I resist the call of her blood despite myself control? How much longer before we dangerously gave into our passion? Questions, questions! I couldn’t answer them. I raged silently to the moon as I followed my reason for existing up the beach towards home. I must not surrender to what lay in my still, silent cold heart.
 I must not!


CHAPTER EIGHT
DECISIONS
JACOB BLACK:
Six months have passed since Nessie and I declared our love for each other. Our relationship had gone from strength to strength. She was now a beautiful eighteen year old with an amazing hourglass figure, long wavy auburn hair which fell down her back luxuriously and a face which could stop traffic.
I loved her beyond distraction. Luckily I knew she felt the same about me. She was now my fiancée. I had asked her to marry me last night. To my joy she had said yes, adding the sooner the better as far as she was concerned! I proposed to her on First Beach, under the night sky full of twinkling stars. I had planned to whisk her away for a romantic weekend; just the two of us on a camping trip up in the mountains. But my plans had been thwarted by pack business. Business which couldn’t wait. I was on my way to meet Sam Uley and Sue Clearwater now.
To be honest I could’ve done without this meeting today. When Sue, Leah’s Mom had phoned me yesterday my heart had sunk with dread. They needed to discuss matters that were integral to our pack’s future. I knew this was going to be something I wouldn’t like much! So I had to leave my Nessie at the Cullen’s showing off her sparkling diamond engagement ring and make my way back to La Push and the reservation. Sam and I were both Alpha’s now. I was actually descended from an Alpha, Sam wasn’t but he had assumed the role before me when I wasn’t the least bit interested in it. Now I was we both governed the pack.
Sue greeted me at the door and ushered me into her living room where Sam was sitting waiting patiently for me. There were pictures of Sue and Harry Clearwater on the wall above the fire place. Old wedding pictures and photos of the couple with Leah and Seth on various family vacations. It was so sad that Harry had suffered a heart attack and died a few years ago. My Dad Billy and he had been such great friends and had often fished together along with Bella’s Dad Charlie Swan. Sue’s brow was furrowed with worry and anxiety. I sighed and sat down in the armchair opposite Sam and Sue on the old worn leather sofa. “Where’s Seth?” I asked.
“Out with Embry and Quil, “Sam said curtly. “He doesn’t need to know about this yet,” he added.
Sue glanced over at Sam and nodded slightly. I guessed it was his cue to get this meeting started. Sam cleared his throat and began to speak in his deep voice. “Jacob, as you know Leah Clearwater is the only female shape shifter in the world that we know of. She must marry and breed with another of our kind. Females don’t imprint, nor can males imprint on a female shape shifter. We must arrange a union for her. Preferably from within this pack. Someone who hasn’t imprinted yet. I need you to put your head together with Sue and think of someone suitable Jake.”
I stared open mouthed at Sam and Sue. This was not going to go down well with Leah at all!
“But Sam, what happens if we match Leah with someone, they marry then he imprints on someone, isn’t that a bit risky?” I asked curiously.
“That’s the risk we must take Jake. The male we choose must know imprinting is not on the agenda. We need to ensure we don’t waste the opportunity to obtain pure blood shape shifters for the pack. If Leah has female children the pack has a chance to become pure as it used to be. Our ancestors always wanted this Jacob. Why would Leah resist this opportunity to help her pack?” he asked me directly.
But it was Sue, Leah’s Mother who spoke up before I could reply.
“Leah was so looking forward to going to college away from Forks, Sam. I know she is going to hate this idea. Can’t we postpone until she at least gets her college degree? She has such a talent for Art, I really don’t want to see it wasted! You of all people should know how creative that girl is!” Sue stated with sadness in her voice.
Sam’s dark eyes narrowed. “Sue, we cannot postpone any longer! I wanted to put this plan into action when she was sixteen but I gave you two more years. Now she’s almost eighteen we simply can’t wait any longer. Jacob? You need to agree to this. As Alphas we both must decide. I need your decision now I’m afraid, “he said as I sighed with exasperation.
Who was I to decide Leah’s future? What was more important – one girl or the future of the pack? I knew which way I had to go.
“Do it Sam. Put the plan into action. I’ll talk to Leah. “


CHAPTER NINE
FRAGILE
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Etienne has not used his power of mind control on me since my seventeenth birthday at the beginning of the year. He deeply regrets going back on his word. He said he would never attempt to control my mind, yet that night he did. He said it was to save my life, but I don’t believe it. My life was never in danger! He thinks if we give into our desires for each other he will forget his strength and hurt me or kill me. I don’t believe he will. So he has treated me like a fragile flower all year and I have attempted to behave myself when we are alone, which is hard considering I feel such love and passion for him.
Tonight we are lying together in our special cave, alone and safe in each other’s arms. I have a large fleecy blanket wrapped around me, protecting me from the chilly November air and from the ice coldness of my beloved Etienne’s skin. He is trailing feather light cool kisses down the smooth skin of my neck. I sigh deeply at his touch as my fingers tightly entwine in his dark curls. He is being so evil to me as he knows fine well that I love what he is doing to me very much! He moans against the warm skin of my neck inhaling my scent. I feel his hard marble body shudder with thirst and desire for me. But Etienne has had way too many years of drinking animal blood to break his self-control now. Sometimes I wished he would just bite me; let the venom flow into my veins so I could die and be reborn as a vampire. Then we needn’t be worried about death or pain or fear. We could just simply be together and love each other.
I have brought up this subject many times. Etienne always dismisses my idea without fail. He loves the life force that runs through me. He loves the uniqueness of me. I am the only female shape shifter in this world as far as anyone knows. My love does not want me to become cold and immortal. He does not want to be the one responsible for turning me into something so different. He reminds me of the troubles Bella had going through the change. I wished I could talk to Bella about all of this! She had once been in my shoes. But our love was still a secret and had to remain that way. A vampire shape shifter relationship would so not be welcomed especially by the pack.
Etienne’s cool soft lips have moved their way up to mine. He kisses me slowly and tenderly with underlying passion and hunger. His cool strong hands are gently stroking my face and my mind races and refuses to believe once again that our love could hurt or kill me. I sigh against his mouth and feel him shiver once again as he tastes my scent. I must be a form of torture for him, but we cannot let ourselves get carried away by the overwhelming feelings we have for each other. I love him with all my heart, body and soul. I am his. He is mine. For evermore. However long that may be. “I love you Leah” he whispers softly against my cheek. His words send electric currents running through my veins as I announce that I too love him. Oh how I love him! Was there ever such a tragic pair as us? Romeo and Juliet maybe. I liked to think we were better than that famous pairing. I liked to think that we would have a happy ending, just like Bella and Edward did. Now I knew how Bella had felt, I truly did empathise with her.
My dark eyes stare deeply into his topaz ones. Etienne’s eyes are mysterious and full of hidden depths. The things he has seen with these beautiful eyes! My mind reels with the thought of it. He has lived like this a long time in that magnificent body of his. He has seen centuries come and go. He says he has never met a girl like me before though. He has never clamoured so much to be human again. He didn’t ask for this life. But it was forced upon him mercilessly. Now all he wanted and needed to make him happy was me. That never ceased to amaze and astound me. We held each other’s gaze steadily, almost hypnotically. I could drown in those eyes. When we shared moments like this it was as if the real world had disappeared and there was only us two left. This would suit me just fine! Suddenly my phone rang, breaking the spell between us. The real world had come knocking. Should I answer? The neon blue display flashed with Jake’s name. Why was Jacob Black calling me? I frowned as I pressed accept call, my voice annoyed and sharp as I barked out a hello. “Hey Leah, it’s me Jake,” his friendly voice sang out.
“Yeah I know dummy!” I snapped back, rolling my eyes at Etienne who was annoyingly kissing my neck again.
I tried not to gasp as I asked Jacob why he was calling me at this time of night! In reality I had no idea what time it actually was, but I guessed it was around 10pm.
“Been trying to catch up with you all night Leah! I wanted to talk to you in person! Can we meet? Now? “He asked in his deep voice.
I sighed. I hated to cut short any time I had with Etienne. “Don’t sigh Leah! It’s important!” he replied to my exasperated utterance.
“Okay Jake! But I cannot imagine what you need to say to me that is so important that you would interrupt my Saturday night for!” I snapped.
“Meet me at mine in half hour Leah. Please?” he pleaded.
I sighed again for good measure. “Fine,” I said hanging up abruptly.
Etienne’s lips were doing a very good job at persuading me to ignore Jacobs call but I was curious. What was so important? I reluctantly prised myself away from Etienne’s grasp. “I am sorry Etienne, Jacob needs to see me. He sounded quite agitated on the phone,” I said with an apologetic shrug.
“No problem my love. I will miss you though. Can I come to your room later?” he enquired.
I beamed with delight, “I’d love you to!” I said planting an enthusiastic kiss on his white marble cheek.
We stood in the romantic candlelight of the cave, my heart beating against his chest. “I love the sound of your heartbeat Leah. You are so alive,” he softly said against my hair.
My arms wrapped themselves tighter around him, feeling the chill of his body through my thick blanket.
“Once again Etienne, I have to tell you how much I love you! You mean the world to me. I wish we could shout it from the roof tops how much we love each other!” I said fervently.
He laughed and kissed the tip of my nose. “I wish for that too my love. I want everyone to know you are mine!” he exclaimed with a low growl.
“I am yours,” I whispered my lips brushing his gently.
“Not quite my love. But let’s not dwell on that for now shall we?” he said with a hint of sadness.
We said our goodbyes and as I left him at the mouth of the cave I couldn’t help the words which fell from my lips. “I am not as fragile as you think Etienne Lucier! We will be together properly you mark my words!” I announced as I ran away from him, down the beach towards Jacob Blacks small house, where my life as I knew it was about to be shattered into a million tiny pieces.


CHAPTER TEN
SURVIVAL
SAM ULEY:
When the vampire Etienne Lucier used mind control on me during Bella’s trial I was mortified and deeply angry to have my authority undermined. Especially by a blood sucker! Although bringing Bella to justice for breaking the age old treaty would have caused a war between us and them, I still wanted to do what was right. It was important to me as Pack Alpha to uphold the traditions and laws of our forefathers. Jacob Black was way too caught up with the Cullen’s to ever want what was the ultimate best for the pack. I was surprised he’d agreed that an arranged marriage to another shape shifter was what was best for Leah, best for the pack’s future. Maybe I had underestimated him, after all he had more claim to Alpha than I did. This was a life or death situation for the pack. That’s how I saw it. We needed to keep the blood lines pure. We would never get this chance again. After much research we had drawn a blank. There seemed to be no other female shape shifter’s on this planet.
I knew Leah would not be happy at all. She always believed that we would end up married. I did too until I clapped eyes on Emily. That was it BOOM! My body, heart and soul belonged to my imprintee forever from that moment on. How cruel that had been for Leah. I remember the day I’d had to break her heart. I told her I was in love with another girl and nothing she could do or say would change that. I would always love Leah though, she was my first love. We were boyfriend and girlfriend from aged nine. We were inseparable and everyone expected me to imprint on her when I came of age. Males usually imprint at or after the onset of puberty. I met Emily just days after my fifteenth birthday. There was no going back. We were now engaged to be married and I couldn’t wait for her to be my wife. She still wanted to marry me despite the unfortunate incident which had occurred between us. I had hurt her and scarred her face whilst in wolf form. I wanted to kill myself for hurting her. Luckily she forgave me because our love was so strong.
I knew this newcomer, Etienne Lucier would try to thwart our plans for Leah. She seemed to be quite close to him from what I could gather. Rumours and whispers echoed around the reservation that Leah and Etienne were much more than friends. Leah certainly looked as if she was lit up from an inner glow. No one had actually witnessed anything though so it could not be proven. There was no way a vampire shape shifter relationship would ever be tolerated by me, the Elders or the pack. It was heinous to even consider it. If Etienne tried to use this mind control of his on me or any one of us he would get a mighty shock! I had procured something very special with help from one of the Elders. Something which had been hidden away carefully for many centuries. Our ancestors had known that the cold ones often possessed special powers which varied between vampires. So a shaman had cast a spell. A spell which could counteract a vampire’s power.
I had started researching this almost three years ago after Bella’s trial. My search had finally led me to this special object a month ago. It had taken a lot of persuading and bartering to acquire this precious object, but my case was put forward to the little tribe of Quileute people who lived apart from us in a small corner of the Amazonian rainforest. Billy Black explained to me that many moons ago one of our tribe and his wife had gone hunting for cold ones who were believed to live in the rainforest. They hadn’t found the coven, but they had decided to stay where they were as the wife was heavily pregnant and could not make the journey back home.
Now I could put my plan into action. Leah would be married to another shape shifter. He was one of us. It was Embry Call. Embry’s mother, Tiffany Call, was a woman from the Makah tribe who moved to La Push when she was pregnant with him, and it was assumed that she had left his father with the Makah’s. However, when Embry phased in early 2006, it became apparent that his father was a member of the pack as the shape-shifting traits are inherited only within the Quileute tribe. All three of the prime suspects were happily married at the time of Embry’s conception, causing some stress in the pack as we all wonder which of us has a half-brother. It is hoped that Embry is my half-brother, as my father already has a bad record, having abandoned my Mother when I was very young. If his father were Quil Ateara Junior or Billy Black, there could be more new disputes among the people at La Push.
I suppose a DNA test could be obtained but none of us really wanted to know the truth, and neither Embry nor his Mother had pushed for it. Tiffany had dropped enough hints to my Mother that Embry was indeed my half-brother. My Father wasn’t around to deny her claims so we always assumed Embry was his son. Tiffany didn’t know about the pack and our special shape shifting abilities. Embry figured she didn’t need to know. Embry was perfect for Leah, as he had not imprinted. Generally the imprint will take place between fourteen and eighteen. Quil had imprinted on Claire at fifteen. Jacob had imprinted on Nessie at seventeen. Embry was now almost twenty years old and he had not imprinted yet, so I believed Jake’s fears that he would, once married to Leah, and were unfounded.
I knew the next few months would not be easy, but as joint pack Alpha it was my responsibility along with the Elders to make sure our Pack stayed strong. We had no better chance of this than we did now. Leah would inject new life into our pack, she would bring pure bred children into our midst. The pack would be stronger because of it. Our people would remain protected and cherished. The ordinary Quileute people did not know of the existence of shape shifters and vampires. They lived a simple life on the reservation leaving the Elders to run things. Running things included the Pack and all that it meant to life as we knew it. I had to believe we were doing the right thing in pairing Leah and Embry.
Now I had this extra bit of power up my sleeve in the form of this ancient talisman. Hopefully it would work on Etienne Lucier and any other vampire which may try to interfere in pack business. I wished we could rage war on the Cullen’s! They were harbouring Etienne Lucier in their coven. Did they not see what was going on between him and Leah? Too wrapped up in their strange lives to care most probably. I was sure Carlisle would have acted if he had known? Although they seemed to have no problem with Jacob and Nessie. It disgusted me to my core that Jake had imprinted on a hybrid! But as we had no control over imprinting I had to let it slide.
I opened the small wooden box which I had retrieved from under the floor boards in my room. In it was a black velvet draw string bag. From this bag I removed my secret weapon. I stroked the smooth iridescent surface and said a quick prayer to the Quileute gods to help me should I ever need to use this treasured find. One side of the object had been carved squarely off. I had been advised by the Amazonian tribe leader to make smaller versions of my weapon. We all needed protection from vampire powers if we were to put this plan into action! I stroked the moon stone reverently and prayed Jacob was persuading Leah what was best for her, our pack and our future. He had to.
Our very survival depended on it.


CHAPTER ELEVEN
BETRAYED
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I sat on Jake’s bed, a whirlwind of emotions rushing through me violently. Was he really saying I had to marry Embry Call? The Pack and the Elders had decided my future? All because they wanted to make a pure bloodline. I was the only female shape shifter, the honour lay with me to produce offspring! I didn’t even want children! They certainly weren’t in my plan for life. Mind you that plan had changed dramatically since a certain vampire came into my life. How could I tell Jake I couldn’t possibly ever marry Embry? Yes, he was cute. Yes, he was my friend. But husband and father of my children? Uhmm no! This could not be happening!
“Sorry Leah I know it’s a shock. I thought it would be better coming from me than Sam. You have a very important part to play in Pack history Leah. Would it be so awful marrying Embry? “He asked me softly.
The events of the night suddenly caught up with me and my answer was to start sobbing…loudly! “I can’t do this Jake! Not for you, not for my Mom, and not for the Pack either!” I wailed.
Jacob put his strong arms around me and held me tightly to him. “Leah, I know why you don’t want to do this. But you must reconsider Leah. The Pack’s very future is at stake! You have been given this important task! You are the only one who can do this!” Jacob said with grave determination against my hair.
I sharply pulled away, my sorrow turning quickly to anger.
“Jacob Black! How would you like to be told who to be with? Who to marry? “I shrieked angrily.
“Well, there is imprinting…” he started to say but I cut him off abruptly.
“You cannot compare imprinting with an arranged marriage of convenience! And just what did you mean when you said you know why I don’t want to do this?” I asked with extreme annoyance.
Jacob’s dark eyes looked into mine knowingly. “Leah tell me the truth,” he pleaded. “Are you and Etienne seeing each other?” he asked me imploringly.
I gasped, astonished by his question. How could he possibly know? Did they all know? Oh this was worse than I could’ve imagined! My eyes glittered with defiance as I curtly told him it was none of his god damn business!
Jacob slowly shook his head and gazed sadly at me, “As Pack Alpha it certainly is my business Leah,” he stated quietly but confidently.
I crumpled again as racking sobs tore through my heart and soul. “I love him Jacob!” I confessed. “I truly love Etienne, more than anything in this world. I am his and he is mine,” I stated through my bitter tears.
“Oh Leah!” Jacob said with a sigh as he sat down next to me again, taking my hand in his large one. “How long has it been going on?” he asked. I watched his facial expression change from sympathy to shock in an instant when I informed him we fell in love properly on my sixteenth birthday. “Wow! We had our suspicions that you were more than just friends, but only for the past few months. Well everyone else maybe, I kind of guessed something was going on, on your birthday last year, “Jacob said with a sigh.” I wish I’d spoke to you then, but I let it go. I just assumed you were good friends and I was happy you had finally stopped hating vampires!” he exclaimed with a wry smile.
“I could never hate Etienne. He is my world. I want to be with him always,” I said quietly.
Jacobs rage came suddenly out of nowhere. “THERE IS NO WAY YOU ARE BECOMING LIKE HIM LEAH!” he bellowed at me.
I cringed back away from his angry voice. “Losing Bella was bad enough! I will not let you die and become a vampire! Over my dead body!” he exclaimed angrily.
“I thought you were happy I liked vampires?” I asked quietly with a small smirk.
“I don’t want you to be one though, stupid,” Jake replied, his anger dying down.
I sighed, “Jake I totally get Bella and Edward now. I wish I could talk to her about this. I’ve wanted to talk to someone for nearly two years! I love Etienne, Jacob. Surely you can understand why I can’t go through with this plan?” I pleaded.
“You have to Leah.” Jacob stated flatly. “You and Etienne can never be. He is a vampire you are a shape shifter with a historical task on your hands. No other chance has or will come to produce a pure shape shifter. It will ensure our race never dies out. We may have made peace with the Cullen’s but they aren’t the only vampires on Earth!” he stated with emotion.
I rubbed my tears away and stared defiantly at him. “I will get Etienne to use his mind control on ALL of you and there will be nothing you can do to stop him!” I crowed.
Jacob sighed and showed me a small piece of luminous stone on a leather thong around his neck. “The moonstone protects us from vampire’s powers, especially mind control. We all have a charm around our neck made from the original gem. I have one for you too Leah. Please take it,” he said pressing the necklace into my hand.
I opened my hand to look at the moonstone. I put it in my jeans pocket, my mind whirling with possibilities on how I could use this to my advantage. I must flee to Etienne at once and tell him what was happening. “I’m going home now Jacob. I cannot bear this conversation anymore. I trust you will not tell anyone what I have told you tonight?” I asked wearily.
“You know I can’t promise that Leah. I have to do what’s best for the pack. Tomorrow you will meet with me, Sam and the Elders. Your mother Sue is now an elder, she supports our decision too.” Jacob said as he showed me to the door.
I glared at him, my voice like ice, “I thought we were friends Jacob. Good friends. Imagine if someone tried to separate you from your beloved Nessie? You would move heaven and earth to stop them from doing so!”
“I am your friend Leah, that’s why I am telling you all this before the Elders and Sam enforce this on you. This was decided when you were born, you cannot escape your destiny Leah! It is madness to think you have a life with a vampire! You cannot believe it could work Leah! Sleep on it, in the morning you will see what is right, “he called after me as I quickly walked away into the night.
I ran as fast as I could until I reached home. I could not face my Mom knowing what I did. All of them had decided my future for me. I ran upstairs, into my room throwing myself onto the bed, my tears falling easily. I heard a soft knock at my door, “Are you okay Leah?” my Mom asked concern in her soft voice.
“Go away!” I screamed, my tears falling steadily.
My Mom had betrayed me, my brother had betrayed me, and even my best friend had also betrayed me. Etienne was the only one I could trust. As if my thoughts had magically made him appear I felt strong arms envelop me from behind and cool lips graze my cheek gently. “Leah, my love,” he breathed hoarsely in my ear causing delicious shivers to run up and down my spine like little electric currents.
“Oh Etienne!” I cried turning around to bury my face in his chest with a sob.
“Shhh my sweet, your Mom will suspect you have someone in your room,” he whispered softly.
“I don’t care!” I sobbed more violently.
Etienne prised my sobbing wreck of a body away from his and gazed deep into my eyes. “Whatever is the matter Leah?” he asked gently.
I explained what had happened tonight at Jacobs’s house. Etienne did not speak until I had finished. He looked crushed and extremely annoyed all at the same time. “They have the moonstone?” he asked his voice full of awe. “I didn’t know if such a thing was rumour, legend or if it actually did exist! Oh I could have used that back in the day with Victoria!” he exclaimed to himself.
I punched his arm angrily, “Forget the stupid stone! Didn’t you hear me Etienne? They have arranged a marriage for me to Embry Call! To make pure shape shifters! ”
Etienne held me to his hard marble chest and tenderly stroked my long dark hair. “Leah, this does not worry me. They can’t make you do this. We will stand together!” he proclaimed with passion.
I raised my head up to look in his eyes, “Etienne they will kill you! Without your power you can’t control them and the Cullen’s won’t be able to save you without a war! They will not want a war with the Pack. Not now there has been peace between us for the last couple of years!”
Etienne brought his lips down to meet mine. His kiss temporarily made me forget my troubles. I sighed and swooned in his arms as usual. “They cannot force you Leah! They cannot kill me either, I am stronger than them! “he stated forcefully.
“You might be stronger, faster and deadlier than any wolf Etienne, but this is deeper than just an arranged marriage. This union would make our Pack the strongest in the world! They want me to produce a female shape shifter to carry on with the pure blood line. The blood line gets diluted every time we mate with humans. In years to come there will be no shape shifters left,” I stated matter of fact.
Etienne held my hand and whispered “Great for us vamps,” under his breath.
Would he ever take this situation seriously? He caught the look on my face and his expression changed to a more serious one. “They know about us Etienne. Well Jacob knows for sure now because I told him, believing he was my friend. I doubt that he will keep it a secret now. In fact he is probably telling Sam Uley and the Elders right now!” I sighed.
Etienne stared off into space, his mind in deep thought. “Also I have broken our Pack law. Shape shifter’s and vampires are natural enemies. We do not have relationships with you. Jacob is the exception because he imprinted on Nessie,” I continued. “Etienne if I do not do as they ask I will be put to trial. Sure they want me for breeding but they can still do that in a less civilised way with me locked up!” I said my voice and face full of worry at the magnitude of this situation. I sighed heavily, “I should have guessed this would happen one day. I’m the only female shape shifter. Embry hasn’t imprinted. I was too wrapped up in us to notice what was going on under my nose!”
Etienne held my face in his cool hands, “Leah I love you so much. Even though we cannot love each other like normal couples do I cannot bear the thought of you with someone else! I am selfish, so selfish! I should leave you alone to have a normal life! Marriage, babies, everything!” he said sadly as he kissed the tip of my nose.
“But Etienne marriage, babies and all that stuff is being forced onto me! I didn’t choose it! I don’t want to be responsible for the Pack future! It’s too much! “I cried.
“Leah, don’t cry. This is something you must do. I will leave you alone. I must! I cannot interfere in this. No good can come out of us…I love you but we can’t ever be together properly, we can’t get married or have children. You will grow old and die, I will continue on in this undead life!” Etienne stated with deep sadness in his voice.
I looked at him with utter horror! My life would be over without him. I needed him, I loved him! Was this what Bella and Edward went through? Edward left. But they loved each other, they overcame! Bella didn’t have the future of her race hanging over her though.
Etienne kissed me with less restraint than usual, his lips crushing mine, bruising them with passion and a hint of despair. I knew this was his goodbye kiss to me so I clung to him desperately. My eyes were full of sorrowful tears as he traced every inch of my face with his finger. “Don’t go Etienne, please don’t go,” I pleaded with him.
His beautiful topaz eyes gazed directly into mine. “Leah I have to, for both our sakes my love. Now would you like me to use my power on you? I could persuade your mind to hate me, would that be easier for you? “He asked with a shaky voice.
“I don’t want to hate you Etienne or forget what we had! Not ever!” I exclaimed my heart breaking in two.
He reached out and pulled me to him, I buried my face in his hard marble chest, breathing in his scent, dying inside all the while.
“May I stay with you until morning Leah?” he asked quietly.
I nodded against his chest, too upset to speak. I desperately wanted to get down on my knees and beg him to stay. I wanted to fling myself at his feet and plead with him not to go. But I restrained myself. These last few hours were precious and I didn’t want to waste them wailing and crying. We lay on the bed, our limbs entwined, whispering, kissing and gazing into each other’s eyes intently. I wanted to remember every detail of his face. I would store every feature away to bring out later when the memories did not hurt so much. Though I couldn’t imagine being without Etienne would ever not hurt. I could hardly breathe with the pain I felt in my broken heart. When morning light came, Etienne disentangled himself from me reluctantly.
“Leah I will always love you until the end of my existence. I have never, or never will feel this way again. I promise you I will think of you every day but I won’t try to contact you. It’s for the best my love. You are so brave and beautiful. I am proud of you. You are doing a great service for your pack despite your feelings. You must do as they wish Leah, for me,” he spoke softly, his topaz eyes sad and remorseful.
My tears began to flow once again at his words. How was I supposed to marry someone else when I loved him so truly and deeply? Even if I was being true to my Pack how I could ever let another man touch me and kiss me? I did not imagine it would be easy. Etienne watched my face go through the rainbow of emotions.
“Leah I have decided to use my power on you,” he said quietly. I started to protest but he put a long finger to my lips to hush me, “Listen to me Leah. I won’t make you forget me, but I will put a suggestion in your mind which makes you believe that you broke up with me. The reason for us breaking up is you have feelings for Embry Call. That will make it easier all round for everyone.”
I shook my head but remembered the small piece of moonstone Jacob had given me and I slowly nodded. Etienne kissed me again, softly and sweetly. Then he held my head between his hands and gazed into my eyes, boring deep into my mind and soul as he performed his mind control on me. Or so he believed. He told me what he wanted me to believe then he commanded me to sleep, so I lay on the bed and pretended.
I felt his cool hand stroke my hair just once and he sighed deeply, such a sorrowful sound. I wanted to jump up and cry and plead for him not to go but I had to keep up the pretense. Etienne must believe he had me under his spell. I knew the exact moment when he exited through my bedroom window. The atmosphere changed and the room felt empty and sad. I couldn’t stop the tears now and they flowed like a river. I didn’t think my heart could break any more but I was wrong, so wrong.


CHAPTER TWELVE
EXISTING NOT LIVING
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I have nothing to say. The pain is too raw. He is gone.


CHAPTER THIRTEEN
GHOST
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
you don’t know how lovely you are
I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I’ve set you apart
Tell me your secrets
and ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start
Running in circles
coming up tails
Heads on the science apart
Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start
I was just guessing
at numbers and figures
pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science
Science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
Oh tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles
chasing our tails
coming back as we are
Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I’m going back to the start
copyright Coldplay 2002
The song played over and over, stuck on repeat, the words tearing my heart apart again and again. I had been in my room for four weeks, only leaving to go to the bathroom. My Mom left food at my door, sometimes I ate nothing other times I picked away at small morsels. Seems I did want to live without my love after all. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I’d not fallen under the spell of Etienne’s mind control. He had hoped I would not be sad over us parting, that I would believe I had been the one to break us up because I had romantic feelings for Embry Call. This was Etienne’s way of ensuring my heart stayed intact. Also he wanted to make it easier for me to enter into a marriage with Embry. Etienne believed when he left that his suggestions had been put in my mind. He was wrong. I had the small piece of moonstone in my jeans pocket that morning.
Apparently it works even if you don’t have it tied around your neck. I wanted to feel the acute pain of my heart breaking in two, I wanted to be reminded every day of the love I’d lost. Otherwise what would be the point of us falling in love? I could never regret the time we’d had together and I would never want to forget it, or diminish it somehow. I was praying that something would happen, anything, to make my world right again. Nothing made sense without Etienne.
The song ended, and started up again. Just like my tears. I wondered how it was possible to have so many tears. It was almost Christmas, soon it would be my birthday. I would be eighteen this year. Two years will have passed since I kissed the man of my dreams. We never progressed beyond a kiss; something I really regret now. I wish I’d pushed Etienne more. I wished I’d had the moonstone the night of my seventeenth birthday. I would be a woman now. But it hadn’t happened. Etienne was too scared to hurt me. Now I had to get my head around the thought of marrying someone else. Embry Call. He was to become my husband on New Year’s Eve next year. My birthday and also Jacob and Nessie’s wedding day. A double wedding. How lovely.
The Elders along with Jacob and Sam had appeared at my house the very same day Etienne left. I was zombie like, a ghost. Jacob led me downstairs where he sat me down in front of everyone. My judge, jury and executioner. I didn’t care anymore. I sat there staring at the floor as they talked to me about Pack duty, the importance of being the only female shape shifter and my forthcoming arranged marriage. They thought they were being thoughtful giving me and Embry a year to get to know each other better before our wedding day ( and night, oh dear god the wedding night filled me with fear ) . The usual feisty fiery me had gone into her shell, a very deep dark place. I numbly sat there and half listened to their words. All I could think of was Etienne’s lips on mine. Our farewell kiss. The unfairness of it all. Why did I have to fall in love with a vampire? Why did he have to fall in love with a shape shifter? I just wanted him back. I would gladly face a trial by the Elders and the Pack if I could only touch his face again, gaze into his deep mesmerising topaz eyes and kiss his cool sweet ruby red lips.
I heard the wind howling outside my bedroom window and I suddenly longed for some fresh air in my lungs. My room smelled stale and I felt like a troll in a cave. I flung my window wide, breathing in the cool night air. The wind whipped my hair up and around my face. Tears fell down my cheeks once again as a memory of Etienne playing with my long thick hair flashed into my mind. He loved my hair. He loved to brush it, run his fingers through it, braid it and generally touch it a lot. I cried even harder when I remembered the way he would appear through my open window at night. Beautiful nights spent curled up on my bed together, talking, listening to music, reading to each other. Then the kissing…he could make me melt with his kiss. I literally swooned every time his lips had met mine. He loved to hear my heart thudding and my blood pulsing around my veins. Now I was alone and hurting. Dying to see him once more. Did he feel the same? The wind stung my face where my tears had left tracks.
I closed the window with a sigh. I lay on my back on the bed, watching shadows from the trees outside dance on the ceiling. The moonstone glowed on my bedside table giving off an eerie light. I knew I couldn’t hide in here forever. Tomorrow I will go downstairs. I may even go outside. Blow the cobwebs from my mind, help still the memories and thoughts for a little while if possible. I drifted off to sleep, Etienne’s face in my mind as always. He was laughing at something I had said as I turned over and curled into the smallest ball. Make myself small and insignificant was my last thought before sleep overtook me.
I don’t know how long had passed. A minute? An hour? No matter. I felt someone stroking my hair so I unfurled myself and turned around to find Etienne sitting on my bed. His eyes looked like kaleidoscopes in the hazy light coming through the window from the full moon above. In fact he looked like an angel. I gasped in amazement and shock. His long finger shushed me as he shook his head, his dark curls falling perfectly around his shoulders. He replaced his finger with his cool lips. I sighed and automatically my hands entwined themselves into his luxurious hair, pulling him closer to me. Reluctantly I pulled away so I could stare at this beautiful apparition once more. Still no words had been exchanged between us. Etienne smiled his dazzling smile at me as he reached out to curl a lock of my sleep messed hair around his little finger. I smiled back. This was wonderful. I wished for him and here he was.
Suddenly he broke the silent spell between us, his deep voice soothing to my ears and painful heart. “Leah, my love. I ache for you. I miss you so much. If my heart still beat it would hurt for you. I need you to be strong my darling. Can you do that for me?”
I nodded, afraid to speak, afraid to ruin this perfect moment.
“I want you to know that I won’t rest until I find a way back to you. It doesn’t matter if they try to marry you off a dozen times. But I don’t want you to suffer my darling. I know you are suffering now, but I promise I will do my best to make it right again. No matter how long it takes I promise I will. Now you need to remember that okay? ”
I nodded again as his topaz eyes hypnotised me.
“You will try to live your life normally until the day I come back for you. Do not be sad, do not cry my Leah, my love. The love of my existence! The reason for my continued existence! This is a dream my love, a beautiful dream. You haven’t really seen me but you will remember all I say and you will remember how much I love you and you will know that I will sort this mess out. You will not be so sad anymore. I have watched you all day and all night. You had this moonstone on your person the morning I left didn’t you?”
I nodded again as if in a trance.
He smiled lovingly, “Ha! I should have known you would pull some trick on me Leah! But I don’t understand why you have put yourself through so much pain when it could’ve been easier for you? Well that’s you I guess and that’s why I love you so passionately. So I will leave and you will believe you have dreamt me. But my words will stay with you. I adore you my sweet Leah. Now kiss me my love, the thought of your lips on mine again is driving me insane with desire!” he exclaimed as he lustfully brought his mouth to mine in a kiss so passionate it made me gasp and moan. His lips bruised and stung mine but we clung to each other hopelessly.
I awoke with a start to the morning light streaming through my window. My first thought was of Etienne as always. But this morning I wasn’t so devastated with sadness and loss. I smiled as I remembered my dream. We had almost given in and offered our bodies to each other at last. I remembered his white marble chest bare in the moonlight which flowed through the window. I remembered his sighs as I ran my warm hands over his cool skin. I remembered him tearing the flimsy material of my silky short nightdress, one thin strap disintegrating under his fingers. I remembered our gasps of sheer delight as our almost bare skin touched for the first time. I remembered his lips burning a fiery hot trail on the fragile skin of my neck. It had been our most passionate and exciting encounter, that’s how I knew it had all been a dream. Etienne would never let himself go like that, he was too scared to hurt me, too scared to let go of his immaculate self-control. I hugged myself tight and tried not to cry with longing for him. Even though I felt less sad and somewhat hopeful I still felt as though he had taken my heart and soul with him when he left. I hoped I dreamed of him again. My skin was tingling all over deliciously with the memories of my dream.
I jumped out of bed with a small smile, my first in four weeks, and skipped to the sink to wash my face. I recoiled in shock at my reflection. It wasn’t my tousled hair nor the dark circles under my eyes which shook me. It was my attire which gave me cause for concern. One strap was broken in two, the silky ribbon hanging down in tatters. The neckline was ravaged, as was the hem. I must have clawed at myself whilst writhing around in my dream of Etienne and me. Well it was a passionate dream! My face looked different this morning. Not so sad. Not so crumpled. My lips looked bruised and sore. I glanced over at my teddy bear, had I been kissing him last night believing it was Etienne? Gosh I really had lost the plot! I ran a finger over the swollen redness of my mouth and remembered the dream once again. Etienne’s lips. Etienne’s hands. Etienne’s whispered words of love. My cd was still stuck on repeat and our song was playing over and over.
Oh tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
I ran a brush through my tangled mane singing softly to myself under my breath. For once I felt hope instead of sheer despair. I don’t know how or when but I had a small feeling I might see my love again. Oh please let it be true! I could get through what was going on in my troubled life if I clung onto that one thought.
Etienne would return to me one day of that I was sure.


CHAPTER FOURTEEN
EVERLASTING LOVE
ETIENNE LUCIER:
“Hearts gone astray deep in hurt when they go.
I went away just when you needed me so.
You won’t regret I’ll come back begging you.
Won’t you forget, welcome love we once knew?
Open up your eyes, then you’ll realise.
Here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side.
Girl to be my pride.
Never be denied everlasting love.
From the very start open up your heart, feel that you’ve fall in, 
Everlasting love…… “
I would get Leah back, of that I was sure. She was and always would be my everlasting love.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN
GIRL TALK
BELLA CULLEN:
There was a blustery wind blowing though my long hair as I swiftly walked along First Beach, towards the rock with a desolate lone figure sitting on its smooth flat surface. Jacob and I had frequented this site a lot when I was human. Now I tended to go out only at night to hunt with Edward. I and my husband were meant to be studying at University in Alaska. That was the cover story. Charlie of course knew the truth, thanks to Jacob Black. My Mom did not. She assumed we were in our 3rd year at University, due to graduate soon. I hadn’t seen her since my change. It was hard avoiding her. It had to be done though. She didn’t know she had a granddaughter. Renesmee was now eighteen and engaged to be married to Jacob. She had reached this age very quickly. How could Renee possibly understand? The wind howled and whipped my hair into frenzy again. I drew closer to the figure sat cold and lonely on the rock.
“Hey Leah,” I softly spoke as I approached. She turned around with a weak smile. She looked tired and pale.
“Hey Bella. What are you doing out here?” she enquired.
“I’ve come to speak with you Leah. Jacob has told me everything. I think it’s about time you and I have a chat!” I said with raised eyebrows.
Her face fell into a quick frown and she looked most annoyed. “Trust Jake not to keep his big mouth shut!” she raged.
“He’s worried about you Leah,” I said putting my hand on her shoulder. I sat down on the big flat rock next to her. Her eyes looked puffy and red from crying. “Are you okay?” I asked.
Tears welled up in her eyes and slowly tracked their way down her cheeks. “No, not really Bella. It’s all such a mess!” she exclaimed with a sob.
I put an arm around her and tried to give her a gentle understanding squeeze. Must be careful with humans, I was still classed as a newborn and I was very strong. Ask Edward. Or look at the state of our bedroom furniture!
“Leah, I am honestly shocked that the Elders and the Pack want you to enter into an arranged marriage with Embry. You are an independent young woman. You should be able to make your own choices! Though I am guessing you wouldn’t choose Embry, or even another shape shifter? Or a human? Hmmm?” I queried.
Leah shook her head sadly. “I would choose Etienne.”
I gave her a gentler than gentle squeeze again taking care to keep my touch feather light. “I understand Leah. Of course I do. I was a human girl desperately in love with a vampire. Even though I was only human and not a shape shifter like you, I still had expectations and ideals forced onto me by my parents, society and the rest of the Cullen’s!”
Leah half smiled at me. I took it as a good sign and continued, “I take it Etienne has done an Edward on you? I haven’t seen him around in a while.”
She nodded sadly in reply.
“I know how gut wrenchingly awful that feels Leah. I almost died of a broken heart when Edward left. He thought he was doing the right thing, but it was the wrong thing. We needed to be with each other. It was that simple. I am guessing that you and Etienne feel that way too?” I said Leah nodded vigorously but still didn’t speak. “Leah you can talk to me,” I promised sincerely.
Things hadn’t always been friendly between us but I’d hoped we’d got passed all that rivalry now. Leah smiled gratefully at me, her dark eyes shining with tears as she opened herself up to me and began to speak honestly and with such passion I was overwhelmed with emotions myself. “I truly do love Etienne Bella. He thinks I would be better living a normal life without him. Marriage, babies all of that. But I don’t want any of that. I want him. I dreamed last night that he had come back to me. It was the happiest I’ve been since he left a month ago. Nothing is right. I want to run away and hide. The Pack mean everything to me. Being a shape shifter is a privilege. I don’t take that lightly, it has been my only way of life I’ve ever known. Until I met Etienne it kind of made sense. I never suspected what the Elders had planned for me. My own Mother must’ve known about the arranged marriage. She didn’t mention it, like ever! I feel so betrayed by those close to me, Bella. I feel so lost without the love of my life!” she cried.
I sighed and pulled her close to me, mindful of my own strength again. I hoped the coldness of my body didn’t chill her too much on this winter day. Mind you she was probably used to that being with Etienne. “Did you and Etienne ever? Well you know?” I asked curiously.
She smiled and shook her head. “No, we didn’t. He was too scared in case he hurt me and it would be too late to turn back, “she admitted.
I smiled to myself. Just like Edward and me. The times I had tried to seduce him! He was strong when it came to suppressing his passion for me. We waited until we were married. It had felt right to do so. Of course it ultimately led to my death. Now we couldn’t keep our hands off each other as we had no fear now. Or lovemaking was intense and passionate. Most probably dangerous too, if you weren’t a vampire.
Leah and I sat in silence for a minute and gazed out to sea, both lost in our own thoughts. Finally Leah broke the silence between us, “I’ve wanted to talk to you in so long Bella. I didn’t know how. I was scared to tell anyone. Vampires are supposed to be our enemies, except for the Cullen’s of course,” she added. “The Pack will not tolerate a romantic relationship between our two species. Except for Jacob of course. He is allowed to marry Nessie cos he imprinted on her! I do hope he hasn’t told Sam and the others about me and Etienne,” she said, her voice laced with worry.
“Jacob assured me he hasn’t Leah. I believe him. He would not lie to me. Not now I’m going to be his mother-in-law!” I joked.
Leah smiled weakly and attempted to laugh. The sound came out hollow and insincere. Who could blame her? I knew how devastating it was to lose one you loved so much. One you would give up everything to be with. What could I do or say to help her without interfering in Pack business? It was difficult. The wolves and vampires of Forks had made peace with each other. The treaty that had stood between us and them was no more. Instead we lived each day as we wished and didn’t encroach on the other’s existence too much. Obviously we were close to Jacob still. Obviously Etienne had something to do with this. He used his power on Sam at my trial, quickly saving me and at the same time dissolving any treaties which had been in place.
“Leah, I have thought about your situation all night last night. I know you don’t want to let the Pack down and you feel there is no way out of this arranged marriage. I say there is. There has to be. I will help you find a way. Edward and I found a way to make it work whilst I was human. Tell me Leah did you ever discuss your future with Etienne? Did you discuss changing?” I asked quietly not wanting to push her too much.
She sighed long and hard, her dark eyes glittering as she turned to face me, “All he wanted and wished for was to be human again so we could have a normal life. But that wasn’t likely to happen! We never discussed me becoming like him. I had hinted and he had hinted but we didn’t come right out and say it. I guess we were both scared to mention it. I mean I’m a shape shifter, not just human. How would the change affect me? As far as I know no one like me has ever gone through the change. He wouldn’t want to take my life away from me, Bella, “she replied succinctly.
I nodded, understanding completely. Edward had been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea too. He had wanted to be with me always but he didn’t want to change me either. He kept putting it off, until he didn’t have a choice. I was going to die so he was forced into it there and then. I hoped that situation didn’t arise with Leah and Etienne. Although I would never change a thing. Renesmee was my beautiful daughter and since the first kick I had loved her unconditionally. I would kill for her. I’d end my existence for her. I would always love her no matter what.
I stood up to leave, glad that I had talked to Leah today. “I will help you Leah. Jacob needn’t know what we have discussed. I know you two are best friends but he is Pack Alpha and for that reason I wouldn’t confide in him anymore. Call me or visit soon and we will discuss what to do next. In the meantime try not to be sad. I know it’s hard but try to live a little Leah. I will go home and try to come up with some ideas for you. Although we rarely have secrets from each other, I will not tell Edward about any of this yet. He can’t read my mind thankfully. But he can read Jake’s so I will keep them apart for now!”
She smiled up at me, this time with a little sliver of hope in her dark eyes. “Thank you, Bella. You are being too kind to me. I am ashamed how unkind I have treated you at times. For that I apologise,” she said sheepishly. I bent down and hugged her oh so gently, being careful not to squeeze too hard. She shivered slightly at the iciness of my hug.
“I will be in touch,” I said as I turned and ran at speed up the grey and cold wintry beach. As I rounded the corner I turned to see the small forlorn figure get up and walk away from me in the opposite direction towards the reservation. Her stride was now purposeful and full of determination. I smiled to myself, happy I’d had something to with her change of heart.
Hopefully Leah would get her happy ending too, we all deserved one didn’t we?


CHAPTER SIXTEEN
IN DREAMS
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Christmas had been and gone, I barely noticed. Now it was about to become a new year. It was my birthday and I felt so alone, but did not want to celebrate with anyone. Why should I celebrate another year older? Another day without my love. My Mom and Seth had tried to persuade me to go out for a meal with them and some others, but I point blank refused. I barely spoke to them if I could help it these days. Although my brother didn’t deserve that as he hadn’t known of the Pack’s plans. My Mom had, she tried to talk to me about it one day but I got so angry and stormed off so I don’t know the full story yet. Bella hadn’t been in touch so far. I was waiting patiently. I was trying to give her time to think of an idea, a plan, anything which would help. Embry had called around today with a small birthday gift. I simply didn’t know what to say to him anymore. He looked embarrassed as I’d grabbed his gift and slammed the bedroom door in his face. Well what did he expect? Really?
I was now eighteen years old and supposedly an adult. I had never felt so adrift from life. All I wanted for my birthday was to be with Etienne. I realised that wasn’t going to happen. I tried every day to be strong but it was so hard to keep up the pretense. Luckily Jacob had stayed away. I hadn’t seen anyone else from the Pack or the Elders, but that was because I pretty much kept myself to myself. I didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. What did I have to say to them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I felt completely disconnected from life. I was numb. Still I clung to the hopeful thought that I would see Etienne again. He would not walk away from me forever. He would find a way and I had Bella on my side too. Both of these thoughts kept me from plunging into the dark, deep abyss that I stared down into every single day. I sat at my window, my head resting on my hands, looking out into the night sky littered with twinkling stars. One bright star fell from the sky, shooting down towards Earth and I wished with all my might that Etienne still loved me. I wished so hard.
I heard my Mom and brother come back home, then soft footfalls on the stairs. “Leah? Are you awake? I just wanted to wish you a happy New Year,” whispered my Mom.
I ignored her once again. We’d barely said two words to each other in weeks. I hadn’t accepted her birthday wishes and I wasn’t accepting her new year wishes either. This year would suck any ways. No Etienne and my lovely arranged marriage to look forward to. Happy days. Then Seth was at my door, his knock much more forceful than our Mom’s. “Leah!” he hissed. “You have upset Mom, Leah! Stop being so selfish and self-absorbed!” he said with an exasperated sigh.
Huh what did he know! I didn’t answer and I heard him huff and puff down the corridor to his own room. My pesky little brother was now seventeen and was tall and muscular. His hair hung down his back like Jacobs, who he looked up to immensely. He had imprinted on a girl from Seattle where he attended college. The same college I went to. Seth was training to be an architect, this is where he met Christa. She also had desires to be in the same profession. She was a nice quiet studious girl. I thought she was boring to be honest. They were both going to attend Vancouver University in the fall to obtain their degrees. They would get married after University. I was supposed to be picking out an Art School. I was currently doing my art foundation course at Seattle College. Well, when I attended any ways. I hadn’t been there at all since Etienne left. How could I concentrate on my art work? Impossible. What was the point if the Pack expected me to be a good wife and mother?
I sighed heavily and lay down on my bed, leaving my curtains open so I could gaze at the stars. I might get a second wish if I was lucky. The window was open letting the cool breeze drift in. I hugged my fleece blanket around me as I cuddled down for the night. My mind was full of the last two birthdays I’d had. My sixteenth…Etienne and I kissed for the first time. We fell in love that night. It was perfect on the beach in the moonlight. My seventeenth…Etienne and I almost went too far. I tried my best to seduce him and I’d almost succeeded. It had been magical in the candlelit cave. My eighteenth…I’m alone in bed desperate for my love’s arms around me, his cool lips on mine and his soft whispers in my ear. The pain once more tugs at my heart and I double up with the pain of missing him. It is a physical pain as well as mental torture. There is no release. Sleep is temporary and I haven’t dreamed of him since that night weeks ago. I don’t dream now.
My dreams left the day he walked out of my door.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
This time her window was open. I silently made my way into her room and stood at the side of her bed watching her sleep. My beautiful Leah. She was now eighteen, a woman by rights. In all ways but one. I wanted to be the one who made her completely a woman. I wanted to take the girl I loved in my arms tonight and let her awake in the morning all grown up. I shivered with desire as I looked down at her face, her long eyelashes curled against her cheek, her pouting lips inviting a kiss. She was hidden under a fleecy blanket, all curled up warm and cosy. I had missed her so much. I had to come back and see her. I’d missed her birthday…she was still awake then. I saw her looking sadly out at the stars, a complete vision of loveliness at her window illuminated by the candle burning within. Now it was a new year. I hadn’t yet discovered an answer to our problems but I was working hard on it. My head ached at times trying to sort it all out. The easy thing to do would be to come back here unannounced. Take Leah back. Damn the pack. Let them do their worst, if they killed me so be it. But I couldn’t take that option. Leah would suffer more.
I curled up behind her on the bed, spooning my body to hers. I hoped the fleecy blanket would disguise the coldness of my body. Maybe she would not notice as her room had been cold any ways due to the night air blowing in her window. For ten minutes or so I held her close to me, reveling in the warmth and the perfect contours of her body. Then she stirred in her sleep and turned over onto her back, the blanket fell open revealing her silk nightdress, similar to the pink one I had just about destroyed the last time I visited. Her tanned skin was inviting and smooth against the white silk material. I placed a pale cool hand very lightly on her collarbone, the comparison in our skin tones fascinating me. I gently leaned over and placed my lips on hers in a barely there kiss. She sighed ever so sweetly against my mouth causing me to moan. Her eyes fluttered open and her confusion was replaced with joy at the sight of me. Her hands moved up to my face, causing the blanket to fall away from her body. She traced the contours of my jawline and ran her fingers through my hair drawing me close so our lips could collide in ecstasy once again. Our sighs intertwined as we kissed slowly and sensuously. My whole being was alight with electric currents and behind my closed eyes fireworks exploded. How could our love be wrong?
I prised my lips away from hers very reluctantly. Our kiss was becoming deeper and more intense. I fixed my topaz eyes onto her dark ones. “Leah,” I breathed in awe. “Leah, you are so beautiful. Your lips are so perfect. Your kiss burns my soul,” I whispered holding her gaze. Her eyes were deep dark pools of desire. It took all my self-restraint not to take her there and then.
“Etienne, I love you. Have you come back to me?” she asked.
If I could cry there would have been tears on my pale cheeks right now. I had to use my power on her once again. She must believe this was a dream. I focused the will of my mind into hers through her dark eyes. I told her I hadn’t come back, not really. I was a dream. A lovely dream. I loved her and always would. I was working on an answer to reunite us again. I didn’t want to be apart from her but I had to for now. Everything would be all right in the end. I hoped my words were true. Her eyes glazed over slightly and she nodded. I hated to do this, but she must not think I was really here. It would destroy her for me to leave again. So once again I convinced her it was a beautiful dream.
“Now forget words my love. Kiss me again and let my senses be taken over by your taste, your scent, your very essence,” I whispered hoarsely against the soft fragile skin of her neck as I trailed my lips down her skin, my restraint tested to the maximum again.
She pushed the blanket away from her impatiently as she moaned and pressed her body against mine. Her legs entwined with mine and the silk of her night dress slid against the roughness of my overcoat as we molded our bodies together. Her eager hands pulled at my hair passionately as I slid my coat off and kicked it away from us. Her hands now ran up and down my back, her nails scratching me lightly, teasingly through the thin material of my shirt. My hands ran firmly over her body, making her shiver with their coolness and with her desire for me. I pin her arms above her head and kiss the hollow of her throat, my breathing ragged and hoarse. I gaze down at her face flushed with desire and passion. Her lips are bruised and moist from my kisses. Her neck is red and tender from my eager frantic mouth. The white silky material of her night dress is torn and riding dangerously high above the tops of her thighs and dangerously low over the swelling of her breasts. She is gasping slightly and looks deeply into my eyes as I my gaze travels over every inch of her. Then I feel like I’ve been slapped severely in the face as I notice purple bruises blooming on the skin of her upper arms where I am ruthlessly pinning her down. I’m hurting her! My worst fear! I let her arms free and hold her close.
“Leah my love look what I have done to you!” I wailed.
“Hmmm?” she slowly answers.
She is lightly teasing my neck with her small tongue. I moan into her hair and call upon all my self-restraint in an attempt not to let myself go completely. I pull away and hold her gaze once again. “Leah, you will awake on the floor. You fell out of bed during the night and bruised yourself. You were dreaming of us, “I instructed.
She nodded again. This was too easy. It always had been for me. The moonstone was still by her bedside. Its powers useless unless actually on the person who was being mind controlled. I had to leave before I hurt her again. I hated myself for bruising her precious skin. My passion for her was aching to be sated. I must leave before I gave into it and her pleas for me to kiss her, to hold her, to be with her. I kissed her again, this time gently and softly. My lips just grazing her bruised much kissed ones.
“I have to leave now Leah my love. We will be together soon. I love you so much. Please try to be patient my darling. Please try to smile at least once a day and don’t forget me whatever you do! Be kind to Embry if you can. I think he may be a little bit in love with you!” I smiled down as I gazed into her eyes. “But remember you are mine and always will be,” I growled.
I commanded her to sleep as I lifted her off the bed and gently placed her on the floor. I put the blanket over her again. It wasn’t long until morning, perhaps only a couple of hours away, she would be fine. I gazed longingly at her as I left. This was dangerous coming here tonight. I had to try to stay away. I didn’t know if I could. I leapt out of the window and into the night, speeding back home to Vancouver.
Leah was a drug to me and I had to have my fix. I needed her so badly.


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
A MOTHER’S LOVE
SUE CLEARWATER:
When I was pregnant with Leah, I prayed hard each day for a boy. On the day Leah was born I cried with joy and sadness when the midwife announced we had a girl. Harry, her father was overjoyed with his little girl. I was too, but I knew life would be difficult for her, being the only female shape shifter in the Quileute tribe. The Elders made me and Harry promise that when she was eighteen we would allow her to be married off to a Quileute male who had not yet imprinted (or seemed he was unlikely to). We had to sign documents to say we would. I didn’t want to do this at all, but wives were not meant to argue with their husband, especially husbands who were Elders of the Pack.
I hoped that one day I could persuade Harry to forget about it all. Times moved on and the Pack did not seem to be under any threat of extinction to me. Sam was marrying Emily. Quil was marrying Claire. Jacob was marrying Nessie. Although I was not sure if the latter could have offspring? The tribe would carry on. But that wasn’t good enough for the Elders, oh no they wanted pure bred shape shifters. The mating of a female and a male shape shifter would produce pure blood children. These children could pass on the pure genes no matter whom they mated with. I was desperate to make Harry see sense before Leah was eighteen. Sadly he died four years ago. I had no one to back me up. I was alone with two children to raise.
Leah was to be married to Embry Call come New Year’s Eve. It was now summer. Only six months to go and she would give up her hopes and dreams for herself and become Mrs. Leah Call. I hated the stupid Pack ideas. I wanted Leah to have her own life, make her own choices. I was powerless to stop them. I had signed away my daughter’s future all those years ago because I was a naïve young girl who loved her husband dearly and would have done anything he asked. Now my actions had caused a massive rift between me and my daughter. She barely spoke to me at all. I tried to explain to her why the Elders had made this decision. I tried to tell her how unique and special she was. For years the Quileute tribe had hoped for a female child to be born into the pack. All of the Elders wives had boys. No wonder Harry was so over the moon when Leah appeared into this world. He finally had something all the other Elders hoped for.
Of course there had been females born into our tribe before and since Leah but none of them were shape shifters. Only children of the founding fathers could be shape shifters. Everyone knew where they had come from except Embry Call. His Mother never told anyone especially her son who is father was but it was a well-known fact that he was a member of the Quileute tribe. Definitely a shape shifter as Embry had first phased at fifteen, the same age Seth had been when it had happened to him. Strong rumours have it that Embry is definitely Sam Uley senior’s son. He left Sam’s mother when Sam was only young. He sometimes comes back just to keep a hand in pack business, which I find extremely unfair. Sam does not have anything to do with him in the slightest.
So, I was stuck in the middle between my daughter and the Elders. I wished I could find a way to stop this marriage. I wanted my daughter to go to University to obtain her art degree, to follow her dreams, have a magnificent career and settle down with a man she truly loved when the time was right. Seth’s life was going so well. He had imprinted on Christa, a lovely girl who was studying to be an architect like him. They were going to marry in a few years. He was so in love it was a joy to see. Then there was Leah. These days she shuffled around unhappily looking at the ground dejectedly. Gone was my feisty girl who I secretly admired. She was like a ghost of her former self. Although this past month I had noticed a difference in her. She seemed happier again. She was drawing and painting again. I hoped she would be able to persuade Embry to agree to her still attending art school when they were married, although I guessed he would be under pressure from the Elders to start a family right away.
My daughter had been spending a lot of time with Embry lately. I hoped he was the reason for her smiles. They did seem to get on well, which was a blessing if they were to be married. I sighed as I took another sip of my morning coffee. Seth had gone to college. Leah was out with Embry. He had taken her on a hike into the woods. He was a great nature lover, just like Leah. The house was quiet and at times like this I felt Harry’s loss more keenly. He had been bad tempered and domineering at times, but he was my husband and I respected and admired him. I loved him too. He had given me my two amazing children and I was forever grateful for that. Now I was going to get some pretty special grandchildren. Although I didn’t totally agree with the marriage I had to admit I was a bit excited about Leah becoming a Mom. I would get to babysit and care for babies again. That would be lovely. I sent a little prayer up to the heavens for my daughter. I hoped she would learn to love Embry and be happy. That’s all us mother’s really wanted. For our children to be happy always.
I prayed it would be so.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
DREAM NO MORE
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I last dreamt of Etienne two months ago. Until that point I had been dreaming of him every fortnight in vivid, colourful dreams which felt so real at the time. When morning came I realised they were only dreams despite me bringing evidence of them back into the real world. I woke up with torn clothes, bruises, mussed up hair and bee stung lips where I had dreamed of my love and I entwined on my bed; his hands on me, his lips on mine and his body close to me. I just lived for the night time. I prayed every night before I lay down to sleep that Etienne would appear in my dreams. That I would experience dreams so real I felt as though he was really there. That he really did kiss me. That he really did let himself go further than we had when we were together. I tried to be happy but always he was there in the back of my mind. My suspicion that I would see him again was still burning strongly in my mind. I clung to it for months and months. Then the dreams stopped.
Oh how I missed our closeness we shared in my dreams. I didn’t remember any of my other dreams, only those ones in which we shared passionate embraces and kisses. I wondered why those dreams had stopped. I remembered the last one very vividly. We had almost given in completely to our passions, I woke up with just ribbons of material left covering me. My body was bruised and bitten. I didn’t understand how I caused such damage to myself in dreams. I considered a couple of things; one I was going completely crazy and two Etienne had really been there and I wasn’t dreaming. I discounted both those ideas because; one if you think you are crazy then you are most probably not. Crazy people rarely think they actually are crazy! And two there is no way Etienne would act this way with me so it had to be a dream each time. I decided that I had taken to sleep walking in my grief at losing my one true love. I often awoke on the floor in a crumpled heap, or slumped in my armchair, or sitting upright on my window seat. I didn’t ever remember how I got there.
Strange times but I missed them because it was the only time I got to see my love again. At first I’d been as devastated by my lack of dreams as I had the day Etienne left. Then I realised that it must be my subconscious telling me that it was time to move past this heartbreak and sorrow. So I tried to smile and laugh again. I tried to paint and draw again. I let Embry Call into my life. Surprisingly we got on really well. We had different temperaments. He was shy and quiet whilst I was boisterous and feisty. But we could talk and laugh together quite easily. It wasn’t a chore being around him. Before he was just a Pack member, now I could say we were good friends. He was sweet and kind. Lovely and gentlemanly. Funny and clever. But I did not love him. He did not make my heart race and my palms sweat. There were absolutely no romantic feelings there at all. Well, I can only speak for myself but I am almost sure he doesn’t have any feelings of intense adoration for me.
Only Etienne could make me swoon with sheer unadulterated pleasure and passion. Only Etienne could capture my heart and hold it captive forever. Only Etienne could touch my mind, body and soul so deeply and perfectly. Embry was a nice distraction but I wouldn’t ever fall in love with him. How could you force feelings that just weren’t there? Jake reckoned when we spent more time together, those feelings would come naturally for both of us. But I doubted that very much. Embry and I avoided talking about our impending marriage to each other. I confided in Bella, who had become a good friend to me. She was still trying to search for a loophole in my situation, but it was hard with Edward constantly at her side. I managed to meet up with her alone every month for updates. She said she wanted to go to the Amazonian rainforests to visit the small tribe of Quileute’s which had settled there years ago. Maybe there was a female shape shifter living there which no one knew about? It was worth a try. Bella promised to go soon whenever she got the chance. I was so grateful to her for helping me. It was strange but good that we were now friends and not enemies. Why could all of my tribe not try harder with the vampires? Yeah, I know I’ve changed my tune. The Elders wanted Embry and me to marry this New Year’s Eve, on my birthday. I was nineteen this year, soon a teenager no more. I would be a married woman whom I suspected would be required to produce offspring soon after the wedding. I tried not to think too far ahead into the future.
Even though my life was different now without Etienne, I was grateful for Embry’s friendship. It could be worse. I could find his company hateful. I still ached for Etienne and missed him every single day. I wished I could have just one more dream of us. Although it did make it worse because I wanted him back even more. I sighed heavily causing Embry to ask me what was up. I’d been deep in thought for a while now and he had been waiting patiently for my attention. “I’m fine Embry, sorry I was in my own world there,” I said with a smile. We had been to the cinema in Port Angeles to see the latest horror film, a genre which we both loved. Embry parked his Jeep outside my house and turned off the engine. He turned to me with a serious look on his face.
“What is it Embry?” I asked.
“Leah, will you kiss me? I feel it’s time for us to find out if we are compatible in other ways,” he shyly said.
He leaned in towards me so our lips could meet, I decided to go with the flow and see what happened. As soon as our lips touched it felt so wrong and I quickly pulled away. Embry looked at me sadly, but knowingly.
“Well that was strange!” he announced. I looked at him curiously. “It just didn’t feel right kissing you Leah. I don’t understand why though, I mean you are a beautiful girl, I really like you and we do get on, but I felt nothing. No electricity, no spark, nothing. Sorry,” he apologised.
I pretended to be upset but I couldn’t keep up the pretense and I dissolved into giggles. Embry joined in and soon we were clutching our sides in laughter. Really it wasn’t a laughing matter but we found it hilarious. Soon our laughter subsided and we looked at each other.
We smiled wryly and both said in unison, “What now?”


CHAPTER NINETEEN
SECRETS AND LIES
BELLA CULLEN:
It was early April when I arrived at Etienne’s house just as night was giving way to the dawn. The Vancouver sky was red and orange as the sun crept through the clouds. He better be home or I would have to hide myself somewhere as it looked like it could be a sunny day here today. The large solid oak door creaked open and Etienne peered out at me. “Mrs. Cullen, a joy to see you as ever!” he announced with a flourish. “Please do come in sweet Bella, this is a most pleasant surprise!”
I entered the large hall of his old house, the cool air and familiar scent enveloping me. I’d once felt safe here. As a newborn I hid here with Etienne, who had helped me ease into the new world which I’d found myself in. Unfortunately he had taken advantage of my vulnerability and used his mind powers to try to seduce me. Luckily we had got past all that when he turned up in Forks to save me from The Pack’s retribution for my treaty breaking. I had bitten Jacob right after my transformation and tried to kill my own daughter. The Pack had brought me to trial on my return home. Etienne “persuaded” Sam not to take further action against me.
Etienne showed me into his study and closed the door behind us. “You look as beautiful as ever Bella,” he said with a beaming smile.
“Cut it out Etienne. I’m here to ask you a favour, “I replied, my voice a touch icy. He motioned for me to sit down on the battered old leather sofa.
“Anything for you Bella,” he grinned.
“Leave Leah alone! You are messing with her mind appearing to her at night in what she believes to be dreams of you and her. I know they aren’t really dreams Etienne. You must not do this to her. If you truly love her, then stay away! “I demanded, my eyes glittering with anger.
Etienne gave me his cocky smile, but when he saw the look in my eyes he slumped into an armchair opposite me dejectedly. “Bella, I can’t!” he wailed with anguish. “I love her so completely, so insanely. I need to be near her but I don’t want her to suffer so I pretend it’s a dream. I make her believe she has dreamt me. She couldn’t stand me coming to her then leaving her again. I had to make her believe the day I left was the last day she would ever see me! How did you find out?” he asked me his head in his hands despairingly. “Who else knows? Oh god almighty is Leah safe?” he demanded to know.
I reached out and put a cool hand on his leg soothingly, “Only I know Etienne, well apart from Jacob that is. But you know that already. Leah and I have become close, she confides in me. I see her being torn apart each time she “dreams” of you. It isn’t fair Etienne. Unless you have a plan, a plan to end the Pack’s actions then I suggest you keep away and let her heart have a chance to heal! I know all too well what it feels like to be abandoned by the one you love most. Edward left me once, he thought it was the best thing for me. He was wrong. You are wrong. You should have stayed and fought for the girl you love,” I said passionately.
Etienne sighed deeply his shoulders slumped in defeat. “Bella, what could I do? Fight against the whole wolf pack? Plus my gut instinct was telling me I should leave Leah alone to have a normal life. I know it worked out for you and Edward in the end, but I cannot even contemplate taking her life and making her like me forever!” he said sadly.
“Have you spoke of her being changed?” I asked him.
He shook his head, his dark curls falling around his handsome face. “I cannot contemplate it Bella!” he cried out with intense emotion.
I went to him now and hugged him to me. Etienne was my friend and I hated to see him in pain. Edward would have agreed with him. He hadn’t wanted to change me either. It was me who craved to be a vampire, so I could be with my love forever. Etienne thought he was being kinder to Leah by leaving her. I disagreed. Being separated from your one true love was too painful to bear. I believed there must be a way through this whole mess. I had been determined to find one. I had come up with the idea of travelling to the Amazonian rain forest to search for the lost Quileute tribe who supposedly lived there. If we could find a female shape shifter maybe just maybe the Elders would re-consider the arranged marriage. This would give Leah and Etienne more of a chance to work things out. Though Etienne seemed determined to stay out of her life, he obviously couldn’t as he visited her every two weeks at night, telling her poor tortured mind it was all a dream. I knew as soon as she told me about her strange dreams that they were real. I could not tell her I’d seen Etienne today. It would knock our fledgling friendship right back down to earth with a bump.
“Etienne please promise you will not visit Leah at night anymore. Not only are you breaking her heart even more, you are making it impossible for her to move on. You say you don’t want to rekindle your romance but you cannot stay away from her! Admit you still want to be with her and I will tell you what I have discovered in my quest to help Leah!” I bargained.
He jumped up, pushing me away forcefully. “Bella, you witch!” he laughed.
I smiled knowingly.
“Of course I want to be with her Bella. I love the girl. I have never felt this way. I wish I was human. I wish she was human! I wish we could run away together and be happy. I want her to stay the way she is though!” he exclaimed passionately.
“Well let’s try help her first, then we can deal with the other stuff,” I said.
Then I proceeded to tell him my plan. I told him we would go as soon as I had told Leah of my plans and as soon as I had a suitable excuse for Edward. My darling husband would not like my interfering in this. I knew that for certain. I couldn’t help myself though. It wasn’t fair what was happening to Leah and I hated to see my friend Etienne so broken.
He deserved to be happy. He had lived a long lonely life, never letting himself get close to anyone due to his vampire nature and his mistrust of women after what Victoria had done to him.
(Note to reader you must read NEWBORN to find out what happened!)
If I could help him at all then I would, after all he had helped me so much in the past. I really didn’t think I would have made it home at all if it hadn’t been for Etienne.
I owed him my life and I intended to repay him in any way possible.


CHAPTER TWENTY
LIFE GOES ON
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I am trudging dejectedly through the autumn leaves, with my eyes looking downwards and my face full of sadness. Time is flying by, the year is almost over. It is 31st of October today, Halloween. Scary for me as it signaled that there were only two months left until my birthday. Or as it’s more commonly known around here “the double wedding”. I inwardly cringed as I thought of my impending marriage to Embry. Everything was arranged now. My Mom had helped out a lot. We were kind of speaking now. She just wanted what was best for me, but she also didn’t completely agree with the Elders, but annoyingly enough she went along with it all. Everything was flashing by me so quickly and I felt like a grain of sand in a whirling sandstorm. I was blown along, powerless to stop the inevitable happening. Now Bella had just informed me that there were no female shape shifters living with the Amazonian Quileute tribe. I was devastated.
I was on my way to see Jacob Black, whose emotions right now were the complete opposite to mine. He was ecstatically happy to be marrying his Nessie. Lucky him. Mine and Jacobs’s friendship was still there but we definitely were not as close. I resented the fact that as joint Pack Alpha he had sided with the Elders on the decision to arrange my marriage to Embry. Don’t even get me started on Sam, we barely spoke before all this happened due to him dumping me for Emily. Now we didn’t exchange any words at all. That was just fine with me. I’d had enough of all the Pack males except Embry! We got on fine, in fact we got on really well but there was no hint of any romance or passion between us at all. Not just on my side but his too. We just didn’t feel that way about each other. It made what we were about to do much harder in a way, because at least if I’d been a little in love with Embry I could’ve entered into the marriage with some hope in my heart that it may work somehow.
Embry and I had spoken of the situation to each other, and of course I’d confided in Bella but no one else knew. The Pack and Elders all thought they’d created the perfect match in me and Embry. Huh, what did they know! We agreed we would keep up the pretense that we were the perfect couple but we had both decided that once we were married we needed to think up a plan quickly to get out of our responsibility to produce offspring! I know everyone was just dying for me to have shape shifter babies, especially girl ones. We didn’t know what we would do, we just needed to get the wedding out of the way, then decide what to do. Keep them off our backs for a while. It was a crazy situation.
Of course I still loved Etienne. It was almost a year since he had left. Silly naïve girl that I am, I still believed he would come back for me. I still had this burning feeling I would see him again. The dreams had definitely stopped. I hated that I couldn’t even see him in dreams now no matter how hard I tried to remember them every morning when I awoke. The strange sleepwalking and bruising which accompanied my dreams of Etienne had stopped too. I missed the dreams. They were the only connection to him that I had left. Bella reckoned the dreams had stopped because I was finally enjoying life again even just a little bit. She was right. Embry was like my own personal sun and I needed him in my life now.
When I arrived at Jacob's house all he could talk about was Nessie this and Nessie that. Wedding this and wedding that. Yawn! He finally got around to asking how I was and he told me he was glad Bella and I were finally friends. He was also happy that they had made a good choice of a husband for me in Embry Call. He winked at me when he made a comment about how good we looked together and what a change there was in me. Huh! Obviously his love for Nessie had made him blind to the real world! It was probably due to me and Embry actually getting along together so well for real. No one else had to know it was only friendship. Jake knew I wasn’t the type to gush, I held my feelings close to my chest most of the time. He would not think it was strange that I didn’t ramble on about Embry and how much in love we were. He did enough of that for the two of us! I didn’t mention Etienne ever again to him since I first confessed my true feelings last year. I kept that to myself. Bella was the only one who knew how I really felt. I brought out my special treasured memories of Etienne when I was alone in my room at night. I played our favourite songs, I gazed at and stroked his photos and I held whole conversations with him in my mind. I smiled and nodded appropriately at whatever Jacob was prattling on about now. Something about how he couldn’t wait for us both to be part of a married couple. We could socialise together and have each other round for dinner. Yawn!
I soon made my excuses and left to make my way home. The air smelled of winter. It would be here soon. There were a few children out trick or treating, I made a swift short cut to avoid them. I so couldn’t be bothered with Halloween. I already lived the supernatural life for real. My Mom was sitting by the cosy fire when I got in. She smiled at me from her fire side arm chair as I pulled off my boots and wriggled my toes to warm them. “Hey Leah, fancy one of my special hot chocolate drinks to warm you up, love?”
I shook my head, “I’m fine thanks Mom. I’m just gonna head for a bath then bed,” I retorted.
She smiled but I saw her sigh. She was sad that we didn’t have the same mother daughter relationship that we used to have. Normally I would go in and sit with her and chat about our day. When I was small my Mom was my hero. When I was a young teenager we were such good friends. That was before I knew she’d signed the dotted line giving the Elders permission to take over my life. I could not see us being close again after this. But she was my Mom, so maybe one day I would understand. “Goodnight Mom,” I said with a plastered on smile.
“Goodnight Leah,” she replied.
After my lovely relaxing bath I lay on my bed listening to our song over and over. I hadn’t done this for little while. A few lonely tears escaped and ran down my cheeks. I took out my favourite photo of Etienne. I had taken it on First Beach one moonlit night two summers ago. He was gazing out towards the ocean, his face in profile. So handsome. He had a beautiful, perfect face. I traced his jaw line with my finger, a sudden rush of sadness and loss overwhelming me. Would I ever see him again? Ever touch his cool skin or kiss his lips? Would we ever talk deep into the small hours again? Or just hold each other close? My heart would never heal. I needed Etienne. Where was he? Why hadn’t he come back? New Year’s Eve was looming like a dark shadow. Embry and I would soon be forced into forming a union we neither did not want nor desire. We didn’t deserve this. To be married off to someone neither of us were in love with. It wasn’t right or fair. I considered running away. Where would I go? I would never know if Etienne came back for me if I ran. I couldn’t make Bella betray her friends and family to help me again. I had to stay. Just in case. I couldn’t win no matter which way I turned. I didn’t want to be ostracised from my friends and family forever. There was no choice, I had to stay and marry Embry. For better or for worse.
I lay face down on the bed and let my tears flow like a river.


CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
ADDICTION
ETEINNE LUCIER:
I kept my promise to Bella Cullen for a few months until the craving got too much and I had to cave in. I had to see Leah again. It had been too long since our last “dream” meeting and I was missing her so badly my still heart ached. Any ways I reckoned I was allowed to cheat seeing as Bella had withheld information from Leah. How would my girl feel if she knew her new friend had actually seen me and knew where I was? Not happy I can assure you! I had just got back from a trip to the Amazon rainforests. I eventually tracked down the lost Quileute tribe who dwelled there and persuaded them that although yes I was a vampire, I was not their enemy. I managed to talk to the Elder in charge. I gleaned from him that there were no female shape shifters there and they were all worried that the tribe would fade away in the future. They figured it might be time to move back home soon, to where they belonged. No non shape shifting females had been born in two decades. The males had no females in the near vicinity to marry, so the Elder was very worried for the future of his small Pack. The only females left were not of child bearing age. It was looking grim for the small Quileute tribe. I implied that he should leave here and return to the fold in La Push, but he was worried they had been removed from society too long and wouldn’t fit in.
It was quite a sad story. I had enjoyed my trip out there though and I even visited the Amazonian coven whilst out there. Bella had told me where they lived. She didn’t make the trip with me. Edward had found out her intentions and they had rowed. The conclusion was that although helping Leah was admirable, she shouldn’t get so involved in Pack business. Bella reluctantly agreed with her husband. I stayed with the Amazonian coven for a week, but had to make a quick getaway when Zafrina, the leader took a fancy to me. She was fierce some and wild and there was no way I would’ve escaped her clutches should she have got hold of me. I was just a slip of a boy to look at; no one would suspect my strength and speed unless they knew I was a vampire. I think Zafrina wanted to mother me, I had that kind of little boy lost look which older women seemed to love. Leah always said I was too beautiful for my own good. I guess I can be a little vain. There is nothing wrong in taking pride in your appearance though. Especially for the girl you love. Leah was stunning with her dark hair, dark eyes and slim figure which curved in exactly the right places. I was captivated by her beauty the first time I saw her. I couldn’t be happy unless I was gazing at her. That’s how I found myself here in her bedroom again. It was Halloween, perfect for being ghostlike.
Oh tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Our song was stuck on repeat again as I entered her room through the open window. I stealthily crossed the room to stand by her bed. She was curled into a ball with a patchwork quilt covering her body. I gently moved her hair away from her face, my still heart bursting with tender love for her. She was so beautiful in sleep, so innocent, so untouched. I bent to kiss the soft skin of her cheek ever so gently. Her eyes suddenly flashed open, their deep dark depths scared for a second, then recognition flooded them and she pulled me down on to the bed.
“Etienne!” she whispered with wonder.
I hated doing this. I had to command her to believe this was a dream again. I so wanted her to know I was here for real but I couldn’t do that to her either. Oh what a situation to be in! There were photos of me and the two of us scattered on the bed. Leah loved taking my picture, she said it captured a little bit of my essence every time and that little part of me was hers always. I laughed and joked she was crazy but it was actually quite beautiful what she said.
“Leah, my love it’s been so long. You haven’t dreamed of me in months!”
She sighed and played with my hair, “I tried and tried to dream of you Etienne. I thought you were lost to me forever! I have been waiting patiently for you to return to me in dreams and reality but neither happened,” she said, tears falling from her dark eyes.
I gently kissed the tears away, my lips trailing down her cheek, to her jaw, then sliding onwards to the smooth soft skin of her neck. Mm mm so fragile, her scent was strongest here and I had to stop the red mist from descending by sheer will power. I loved the taste and scent of her skin, it was an elixir to me. A drug. I’d missed her so much. I pulled away and let my lips descend on hers.
She sighed so sweetly I wanted to bite her so bad. This girl would drive me crazy. I shouldn’t have come, but I had to. This was torture. Her lips were kissing and biting mine with pent up passion. Oh how I loved her! We must talk though. I had to tear myself away from her sweet lips. I sat up with my back resting on the headboard and pulled Leah up so she could face me. She sat cross legged in front of me, her face flushed from our kisses. Her eyes were like glittering onyx in the low lamplight of her bedroom. Concentrate Etienne!
“Leah, tell me all that has been happening please,” I asked.
My icy hands held her warm ones as she proceeded to tell me all that had happened since spring when we had last met in our “dream”. She told me about her and Bella being friends. This one I knew of course. She told me how Embry really wasn’t so bad, in fact he was a lovely guy whom she counted as one of her closest friends now. I didn’t know about this. She told me how she and Jacob were still friends but she was more guarded around him. She told me about the difficult relationship with her Mother. Seth and she were the same as ever, arguing like brother and sister did but ultimately best friends. She told me she was painting again and had been back to college. I was glad. Her life seemed to be going well without me, apart from this marriage looming over her.
I had to stop the events of New Year’s Eve somehow. Leah couldn’t marry Embry. It wasn’t right. Also I could not stand it if she did. Some of my reasons were selfish, yes I admit it. I wanted to be in her life so much. Was this what it would be like from now on? Me making her believe she dreamed of me now and again? Whilst she was married to another man? No, it couldn’t happen. If I was ever to get her back then I had to come up with something fast! The wedding was fast approaching. Leah was now showing me some photos she had taken recently. There were pictures of her and Bella, smiling in the Cullen’s large garden. Then there was a picture of Jacob and Nessie smiling happily and so in love. Then there were a couple of Embry on his motorbike, and in his Jeep on the beach. The last one she shyly handed me was of her and Embry. They had obviously been attending a party because they were dressed to the nines.
“This was Quil’s birthday party,” she informed me as I gazed at the picture, jealousy welling up in me like poison. Embry had his arm around Leah, who looked simply stunning in a figure hugging scarlet mini dress. He was gazing at her as she beamed at whomever took the photo. With their long dark hair and almost black eyes they looked so alike. Embry was like a male version of Leah in a red suit. She said they’d both thought it was kind of cool to dress up alike for the night. I quickly put the photograph down and looked at the next one she showed me. It was of Emily, her second cousin, the girl who was Sam Uley’s imprintee. Sam was in the background looking over at his fiancée. Something clicked in my brain when I looked at this photograph. I stored my thought away for future reference, as now Leah’s hands were making their way under my shirt and up my back, making coherent thought impossible.
I pulled her towards me forcefully, making her gasp with delight as our lips met with more insistence this time. I lost myself in our kiss. Lost myself in the feel of her skin next to mine. Our gasps, our moans, our whispered words of love. It seemed this time I was destined to take it way too far. I came to my senses at the very last possible minute and I had to run or else it really would have been a disaster. I flew out of the window into the night at high speed after a quick command to Leah to sleep soundly and awake in the morning with no recollection of me at all. I didn’t look back as I leapt out of the window. One last look might have just pushed me over the edge of temptation.
I flew home as fast as my long legs would carry me, my mind a whirlwind of emotions and passions, with one thought persisting through my brain. I finally had something which may help me stop the wedding and win Leah back for good.
I prayed my instincts were right.



CHAPTER TWENTY TWO
MIXED EMOTIONS
EMBRY CALL:
Leah and I were in the woods near to First Beach, running free together in wolf form. I was large and had grey fur with dark spots, she was small and had grey fur minus the spots. We were both the same shade of light grey and our fur was luxurious and thick. Sometimes it was good just to be free and wild. I liked to phase on my own without the Pack. It gave me a sense of release and at the same time peace. When the Pack were as one we really were because we could hear and sometimes see each other’s thoughts which was often annoyingly uncomfortable. Leah hadn’t run with the Pack for years. No one pulled her up about it though. Being the only girl with such female thoughts made the males feel awkward. Leah seemed happy to phase on her own, but today I’d caught up with her. We were about to be married, we should take up a mutual interest hobby!
She had looked surprised to see me when I came across her half way through a kill. We had dispatched the creature together and ate in companionable silence. Now we were running through the trees, our paws thundering on the ground as we raced each other. Leah was smaller and faster than I, but I had strength and stamina and eventually I overtook her and won our race. We sat next to the river and took long cool satisfying drinks of water. I guess it was because we were close now and maybe because Leah was relaxed with me, but she let her guard down for an instant whilst rolling around having a dust bath. Her thoughts flashed in my mind and I recoiled as an unwanted mental picture bloomed in my head.
In this image Leah was kissing the lone vampire Etienne Lucier. Her hands were entangled in his shoulder length dark curls, moving down to his bare pale chest as their lips entwined. I growled and Leah whimpered as she realized I’d seen and heard her thoughts. She ran quickly back in the direction of the clearing where we’d left our clothes. By the time I’d reached her she had phased back, dressed and was sitting on the grass her head in hands, sobbing. I quickly phased back, dressed and made my way over to sit next to her. I put an arm around her shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze. I waited patiently for her sobs to subside.
“Leah are you okay?” I asked softly.
She shook her head and sobbed some more so I just comforted her. Finally she stopped crying and turned to face me. “Embry, I’m sorry I was careless and let you see and hear my thoughts. That is why I don’t run with the Pack anymore. I’m so transparent!” she wailed. I nodded and waited for her to continue. “I have been in love with Etienne since my sixteenth birthday. Only Jake and Bella know, and now you Embry. He left, when he found out about the arranged marriage. He left because he did not want to cause trouble in the Pack. He wants me to lead a normal life. All I want is to be with him no matter what. I don’t know what I’m going to do!” she wailed as tears fell from her dark eyes again.
“Oh Leah! It is so much worse for you than me. I don’t have anyone special so I didn’t mind too much about the wedding! Everyone else has someone. It doesn’t look like I am going to imprint. Ever. How can you go through with this knowing you love him so much?” I asked feeling terrible for her.
She shook her head sadly, “Without him nothing makes sense, nothing is right. Plus I don’t know what else to do but go along with it! The Pack can be very vengeful Embry as you well know. I guess when Etienne left, my spirit, heart and soul left with him,” she said quietly her head hanging down.
I felt so much pain radiating from her and wondered why I had never realised before. She was a very good actress! Poor Leah. Even though I couldn’t condone her relationship with a vampire, I still hated to see her heartbroken. Etienne had done the right thing though in leaving Leah alone. It was for the best. They could never make it work. Maybe she and I could eventually fall in love? Though I doubted it. She was beautiful and intelligent. Kind and funny but I felt no romantic link whatsoever. Very strange indeed, but there it was. It was certainly no hardship having to marry her, but I wished I was going to pledge myself to someone who loved me insanely, who would fight tigers for me and would get butterflies when they saw me walk into a room. Like Leah and Etienne. Bella and Edward. Jacob and Nessie. They all had that special connection.
I gave Leah a hug and promised her I would keep her secret. I told her she could confide in me any time she liked, I’d be here for her with a shoulder to cry on. She looked like she might start bawling again, “Embry, you are such a lovely kind guy. I wish I loved you instead,” she sighed.
I grinned at her and finally got a small smile in return. “I wish I was in love with you too sweet Leah,” I said truthfully. Things definitely would be easier. Leah was staring into space, deep in thought whilst she fiddled with a piece of small silvery stone around her neck. “That looks like the necklace Sam gave me to wear,” I stated.
“It is Embry. It’s the moonstone. It protects us shape shifters from vampire powers. Especially mind control powers. Sam didn’t want Etienne to freak out and try to control him again, like at Bella’s trial.”
I gasped in shock. “Etienne did that?”
She nodded. “He had to save Bella from being imprisoned by Sam,” Leah said. “Did Sam not tell you what the necklace was for?” she asked.
I shook my head, “Not really. He said Emily had made them for us all as a gift. I didn’t think anything of it. Emily is always doing sweet things for us,” I told her casually. “Oops sorry!” I added, but she dug me in the ribs with an indignant snort.
Hey! You don’t have to be sorry, silly. Emily is my second cousin, I’m over all that now!” she said rolling her eyes.
“Why are you wearing it Leah? If you think Etienne has gone for good then why would you need to wear it? “I queried.
She looked away into the trees, a strange faraway look on her pretty face. “Leah, what’s wrong?” I asked curiously. She turned to face me, her dark eyes deep pools of mystery.
“Keep a secret for me Embry?” I nodded in agreement, waiting for her revelation. “Promise?”
I nodded fiercely, impatience gnawing at me now. She took my hands in hers and smiled a funny smile which was full of joy but tinged with sadness too.
“He’s back. Etienne is back.


CHAPTER TWENTY THREE
HOPE BLOOMS
LEAH CLEARWATER:
After Halloween I waited every night for Etienne to return. Now I knew none of his visits had been a dream I was both astounded and filled with joy. But I was also extremely angry! How could he do that to me? Make me believe it was all a dream when really the time we had spent together had been for real. I couldn’t believe he had nearly let himself go completely with me a few times. So unlike him. It must have been because he told me it was all a dream. In dreams you can do as you please. Usually I kept the moonstone on my bedside table or hidden away in my drawer. By coincidence, on Halloween I had put it around my neck, but not on its usual leather thong. I had threaded it through one of my thin silver chains because it looked prettier. It was a long chain and hung down low between my breasts. Etienne had not noticed when he appeared to me in a “dream” on Halloween night. He was so caught up in kissing my lips and nuzzling my neck frantically (definitely his favourite part of me) that he must not have noticed or felt the chain. Maybe because he had not seen me for a while he was not concentrating on such things as a thin chain around my neck. He probably thought it was just my usual Saint Christopher pendant which I had worn regularly around my neck when we were together.
No, he definitely hadn’t been concentrating on anything else but me. We had come so close to giving in to our passions that night. I shivered with delight at the memory. He ran because he was so very close to being out of control with me. He told me to sleep and forget I’d seen him as he leapt out of the window. So careless Etienne, my love. That was when I had gasped with horror and pleasure because I knew right there and then that the night had been no dream. Which meant by easy deduction that the other nights were not dreams either? Etienne had used his power on me to make me believe I had only dreamt him. The moonstone had done its job, it had served its purpose again. Etienne was real! Oh it was evil! But deliciously so! All those months of being sad, pining for my love when all along it had really been him I was holding and kissing. I wanted to thump him so hard! I wanted to kiss him so hard too. He hadn’t left me! He still loved me! When would he return?
I had now waited a whole week and not a trace of him. I was getting impatient. I wish I knew where he was. If I knew I would go to him. He couldn’t be too far away. Did Bella know where he lived? She must do! Surely she would have mentioned it though? I twirled with the moonstone as I deliberated whether to go over to the Cullen house. I could do with a chat. I hadn’t told Bella yet, Embry knew though. I told him the next day. Well I didn’t really tell him as such, he heard and seen my thoughts whilst we were wolves. I had to explain to him about Etienne and me after that.
It was November now. Time was flying by even quicker now. My birthday slash wedding was approaching at lightning speed. I’d almost got my head around it happening until Etienne came back. Now I was in a quandary. Now I didn’t know if I could marry Embry knowing my one true love was waiting in the wings for me. Now it was complicated. I was dying for Etienne to return so I could tell him I knew our trysts were not a dream. Maybe he would take me away with him then. Every night as I lay down to sleep I prayed tonight would be the night he would return, but every morning I awoke with no trace of him around. I ached for him as I had never before. Now I knew he was real my feelings and emotions intensified to fever pitch. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, I couldn’t be bothered to go out or talk to people. If it wasn’t for Embry I would have become a recluse, just waiting and waiting on my lost love to come back to me. Embry was fantastically understanding and sweet. I truly don’t know what I’d do without him. Life would be just so easy and simple if I was in love with him, then this marriage would be a match made in heaven. Mind you he would have to be in love with me too, something he clearly wasn’t. It was quite strange how we weren’t in love because in all other ways we were very similar and we got on so well.
Embry deserved someone to love. It would have to be a very special girl for my husband to be. I prayed he would imprint on someone after we married, that would put the Elders plan in disarray! What would they do? Who knew, they were a law unto themselves. That was if I got as far as the altar. Now I wanted to run more than ever. I couldn’t though, not yet. Etienne had to come back to me first so we could plan something! Surely he had been planning something all these months we’d been apart? I made up my mind I must go and see Bella today. She would help me figure out what to do! She had to, I was going crazy here. Just waiting and wishing and hoping like mad.
Time was running out, the sand was nearly all gone, slipping quickly through the hourglass. It was time for action. It was time to fight back against these men who thought they could control my life, my feelings and my friendships! Seeing Etienne for real had fired me up to fight. I wished that at the time, on Halloween’s night, I had known that my love was with me for real and not just a beautiful dream as I had thought. I had no reason to think it was real until he left me with his parting words. Oh if I’d known I would have manipulated him into giving in to our passions. I wanted my first time to be  with Etienne. I wanted it to be special with someone I loved more than life itself. I jumped up from the bed to run a brush through my tangled hair. I was going over to see Bella now. We would work something out. We had to.
It was now or never.
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
REVELATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS
BELLA CULLEN:
“He’s back Bella! Etienne is back!” Leah stated gleefully as I opened the front door to her excited knock.
I raised an eyebrow in surprise, how could he be back? Unless… unless he broke his promise to me. But why did he not command Leah to believe it was a dream again? I was confused, but I am sure Leah will tell all. I took her through to the sitting room and gestured for her to sit down.
“Would you like a drink, Leah?” I asked.
She shook her head, “No thanks Bella. I always feel weird being the only one eating or drinking around you guys!” she smiled.
“So tell me all about it Leah,” I said, sitting down to face her.
She proceeded to tell me what had happened on Halloween night. She also told me that Embry knew her secret now too. Then she begged me for help in finding Etienne. I felt shame flood through my empty heart. She would hate the fact that I had concealed Etienne’s whereabouts from her. She would be even more annoyed to find out I had known about her “dreams” actually being reality. I didn’t know what to do. I valued her friendship and I had only hidden the truth because I didn’t want her to be hurt anymore. I wanted Etienne to come back for her and for them to be together. But I did not want to find he had come and gone again, leaving her heartbroken and anxious once more.
She seemed so very happy that she had spent time with him again after all these months but also so very sad because he had disappeared again without trace. Poor Leah. She had so much to deal with. The wedding day was looming quickly in front of her and Embry. She told me how close the two of them had become, they were best of friends now with so much in common. Neither wanted to be in an arranged marriage, but if they absolutely had to be then they agreed it was definitely with the best possible person it could be under the circumstances.
I had to decide what to do. Should I risk Edward’s wrath and help Leah? Should I risk Etienne’s wrath and take Leah to him? I would also risk her friendship too if I told her what I knew. Oh I wished Edward were here to advise me! He was away on a hunting trip with the family. I stayed behind to do some last minute wedding arrangements with Nessie. Now I wished I had gone with Edward. I didn’t know how to deal with the situation at all. Either way I would be damned for my actions. I took a deep breath, deciding that Edward and I had a long, long time for him to forgive me.
“I can take you to Etienne’s house in Vancouver, Leah. I do not know if he will be there though. Since moving here I do not know if he visits the house very often,” I blurted out before I could change my mind. I decided not to tell her some of the finer details, like that I knew everything that had been going on. Best stay quiet for now.
Leah’s dark eyes widened with surprise, happiness and a little bit of shock! “Why didn’t you tell me where he lived before?” she asked.
“You never asked,” I simply replied, hoping she wouldn’t make me elaborate further.
She seemed too agitated and excited to question me more so I jumped up and motioned for her to come with me. We made our way out to the garage where I selected Alice’s yellow Ferrari. It would get us to Vancouver in no time. Leah’s eyes lit up with excitement when I told her to get in we were going to Etienne’s house. I would deal with the consequences when we arrived. Etienne had gotten himself in this mess by not paying attention to detail. For a vampire it was shockingly sloppy behaviour. How could he have not noticed the moonstone? Surely his honed senses would have picked it up? He was old enough! I guessed he was too entranced with Leah to pay much attention to anything else. Not catching her alluring scent for months would only have made it that much sweeter for him when he finally breathed it in. He would have only been concentrating on not going too far with her. He had slipped up, but who could blame him really?
Thankfully Leah didn’t talk much in the car as we sped towards Vancouver. I tried to stay at kind of sensible speed as it was daytime and there was other traffic on the roads. Luckily it was an overcast, cold November day. No chance of me dazzling the other motorists with my glittering sparkly skin. I hoped Edward would forgive me for interfering. I hoped Leah would forgive me too if Etienne chose to tell her my involvement. I just wanted the two to be happy. If only there was a way to stop this arranged marriage. The Elders and the Pack would never ever accept a union between Leah and Etienne. I knew it, she knew it and Etienne certainly knew it. It was so unfair when they clearly loved each other intensely. I guess they reminded me of Edward and I when we first got together. I smiled at my human memories. Soon we arrived at Etienne’s large old house which did look rather Gothic in this gloomy afternoon. Leah looked terrified and excited at the same time.
“Wow,” she whispered under her breath as we stepped out of the car. Naturally we had attracted some attention. With the bright yellow sports car and the two stunningly beautiful women in it we were bound to! I grabbed Leah’s arm and steered her quickly up the path leading to Etienne’s heavy oak front door. I rapped the gold door knocker once, loudly. I waited nervously for the door to open, trying to imagine which one of Etienne’s expressions would greet us. Surprise? Anger? Shock? Delighted? However there was no answer forthcoming. It appeared that Mr. Lucier was not at home.
Inwardly I sighed with relief. I hadn’t been looking forward to explaining myself to either Etienne or Leah. I did feel for Leah though, as I knew she’d built herself up for seeing him again and letting him know she knew the truth. I knew how to get in Etienne’s house if he was out, handy that I’d lived here for a few months whilst a newborn. I motioned to Leah to walk around the back of the house with me and there in the courtyard I delved into the cornicing around the porch which led to the back entrance of the property. I held up a large silver key with a satisfied smirk. Leah grinned back at me as we made our way into the porch to put the key in the lock and enter Etienne’s abode without his knowledge. The large kitchen was spotless and gleaming. A useless room to a vampire really.
We made our way into the sitting room, then the lounge where there was no sign of Etienne. I swiftly ran upstairs and checked out all the rooms, there was no trace of him here either. I didn’t catch his scent anywhere apart from the study/library downstairs, the only place I hadn’t searched yet. I steeled myself as I opened the large oak door into his study room, but there was no one in here either. The large desk was scattered with papers and books as if he had been searching for something. Leah and I gazed down at the mess, trying to decipher anything meaningful from it. I switched on his lap top, entered the password which was luckily the same as before and went into his browsing history. There was nothing of much interest really. I rifled through the things on his desk, but couldn’t make sense of his scribbles. Leah was searching on the book shelves for anything which might indicate Etienne’s whereabouts, when something caught my eye.
It was a photocopy of Embry Call’s birth certificate. My eyes widened with shock when I saw who Tiffany had named as his father. Why did no one know about this? How did Embry not know? He can’t have ever seen this at all. How could Tiffany Call live with this information? Etienne had come up with something very interesting here. I wondered where he had gone. I flipped up my phone and punched in his number. It went to voice mail straight away.
“Etienne, where are you? I’m at your house in Vancouver with Leah. I found the birth certificate. We need to talk, NOW!” I demanded as I quickly hung up.
Leah was looking at me with a puzzled but curious look on her face. “Bella? What is it? What birth certificate?” she asked quickly coming over to see what I’d found.
“Sit down Leah,” I requested, guiding her arm to the old chair by the window. She looked so confused but did as I asked. I handed her the photocopy to read. I watched as her face turned from curiosity to incredibility to sadness to joy, finally settling on a mixture of all four emotions. She looked up at me, her dark eyes brimming with unshod tears.
“Bella! I can’t believe this!” she exclaimed as the tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks, splashing onto the paper in her hands.
Embry Call was Leah and Seth Clearwater’s half-brother.


CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
THE TRUTH
ETIENNE LUCIER:
Tiffany Call opened the door of her small house on the very edge of La Push with a suspicious look on her face. I smiled perfectly at her as she looked at me with fear and distrust. She made to slam the door shut but I’d already wedged the toe of my boot in between the frame and the flimsy wood. If I wanted in there was no way she could stop me. It was a complete myth that we needed to be invited first. “No vampire will enter my home!” she said with a shaky voice.
“Oh please! I am not going to hurt you Mrs. Call. I need to talk to you,” I stated I
“I don’t want to talk to you!” she cried out trying to close the door.
I sighed and reached out to gently clasp her head in my hands. My eyes bored into hers as I commanded her to open the door and let me enter. She asked me to come through and sit on her battered old sofa, the room was shabby and uninviting.
“I need to see Embry, Mrs. Call,” I asked politely.
She took off through the back, still under my influence, to shout on her son who was busy tidying up their small garden. Embry appeared in the living room, looking shocked to see me sitting there. I don’t believe we have actually spoken before. “Embry,” I said with a nod to greet him. He nodded back but did not speak. He sat down in the tatty armchair opposite me. Tiffany started to ask if I wanted a drink, but quickly stopped herself, remembering what I was. Instead she sat down on the other arm chair next to her son’s. I looked at them both, wondering how to bring up the subject I desired to speak about. I could clearly see Embry had a piece of the moonstone around his neck, so there was no chance of me trying to get into his head. I decided just to broach the subject directly, there was no other way really.
“Embry, has your mother ever told you about your father?” I asked. He shook his head as Tiffany let out a low moan.
“Please, don’t do this!” she whispered. Embry glanced over at her in confusion.
“Embry, your mother has not been honest with you. Have you ever seen your birth certificate? “I asked him.
He once again shook his head. Tiffany Call suddenly jumped up and flew at me screaming like a banshee. Quick as a flash I was up and out of the way, neatly side stepping her in a millisecond. My quick vampire reflexes caused her to fall onto the sofa as she grasped at thin air. I was shocked the woman had actually went for me, given that she knew what I was. Embry’s strong arms wrapped around her waist and gently sat her down next to him again.
“Mom, do you need your tablets?” he asked softly, tender worry clouding his dark eyes.
Tiffany shook her head and reached out for a pack of cigarettes on the side table next to her. She shakily lit one and took a long drag, blowing out smoke dramatically. The smell assaulted my sensitive nostrils. I hated it. Embry’s dark gaze was fixed on me angrily as he saw me looking in disgust at the pathetic figure of his mother.
“What do you want with us Etienne? My Mom has Bi-polar disorder! You are upsetting her greatly just by being here! She would never have let a vampire in to her home, what did you do to her? Ah mind control no doubt!” he said, his voice wracked with fury.
I simply nodded, he was not as boring and timid as I had first thought. The boy had fire in him. This was good! “I notice you are wearing the moonstone Embry, but your mother is not?” I enquired.
“Sam made the Pack all wear a small piece around our necks, to protect us from you and your powers of persuasion! Only the pack, not their families,” he stated, anger still lingering in his eyes.
I nodded, I knew this already. Leah had warned me. I didn’t need to control Embry’s mind. I had wanted to get the truth out of Tiffany though. Now I wasn’t sure if I could mess with her mind. Her poor mind was already in a bit of a state with the bi-polar. Embry sighed impatiently, “Just tell me what you know Etienne, please!” he asked.
“Embry, your mother did not tell you who your father was, she kept it from you all of your life. This was probably due to her need and others needs to avoid causing trouble within the pack. You all assumed Sam Uley senior had fathered you. You were all wrong, “I said, pausing for effect.
Part of me felt sorry for the boy, another part was relishing the shock I was about to bestow on him. But I wanted Leah back. This was the perfect opportunity.
Embry sighed impatiently, “Spit it out Etienne!” he demanded, fury once again glittering in his dark eyes.
“It’s Harry Clearwater. You and Leah are half brother and sister. You must not marry or procreate,” I stated gleefully, triumph shining deeply through my voice. I fixed my topaz eyes directly onto Embry’s as I waited for my words to sink in. He looked shocked and stunned.
He turned slowly towards his mother, “Mom? Why? All I wanted to know when I was growing up was who my father was! Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me NOW especially?” he raged at her. She cowered away from his anger, from his words. “Tell me Mother!” he roared. Even I flinched slightly from his rage.
Tiffany began to sob relentlessly. “I won’t tell you Embry! Don’t make me! “She howled.
Embry looked up at me, “Etienne, make her tell me please. I need to know the truth! How could she let my wedding to Leah go ahead knowing all the time we were related? No wonder we felt nothing for each other! We are so similar, we even look alike!” he exclaimed, tears beginning to form in his dark eyes.
I reached out to grasp his shoulder, “Embry that’s why I decided to look into it. I saw you and Leah photographed together. You were so alike. By contrast you are nothing like Sam Uley! I had to find out the truth. I love Leah more than my own existence! I had to find a way to stop the Elder’s plans!” I told him passionately.
Embry nodded, his face filled with different changing emotions. He had found out who his father was. Now he also had a half brother and sister. It was a lot to take in. Tiffany sat sobbing next to him. He looked down at her pitifully. He also looked at her with resentment and anger. In a quiet, but firm voice he demanded once again that he be told the truth. Tiffany cried some more and begged for her son’s forgiveness. Embry did not budge, he simply stated once again that he wanted the complete truth from her. Tiffany tried to use her illness as a get out clause. Embry’s steely determination would not be swayed though.
He looked at me steadily, “Etienne, please use your power on my mother. I have to know the full story!”
I gave Embry my best smile, glad I had permission to delve into Tiffany’s mind.
“With pleasure Embry.”


CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
HOMECOMING
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Bella and I sped through the streets of Vancouver towards home, both of us speechless at what we had found in Etienne’s house. Embry Call was my half-brother. Fast forward a month and he would have been my husband. That was the scary part. I couldn’t believe his Mom had never come forward with the information. Why would Tiffany Call keep that secret when she knew me and her son were about to marry? My brain was starting to hurt from thinking about the whole thing too much. At the back of all that confusion and mess there was one thought glowing like a neon sign in my brain. I was going to see Etienne very soon. He had phoned Bella whilst we were leaving and told her he was just about to arrive at the Call’s house to find out the truth from Tiffany. I desperately wanted to speak with him but Bella was very curt on the phone. She consoled me with the fact that I was going to see my beloved very soon. The thought of seeing Etienne again made little delicious shivers of delight and anticipation run up and down my spine.
Bella’s long auburn hair was blowing loose and free in the breeze through the open car window. She looked deep in thought, her topaz eyes glittering dangerously. She was so breathtakingly stunning, her natural beauty enhanced by the change from human girl to vampire. She was slim, petite and pale, but I knew appearances were deceptive when it came to vampires. She was strong and fearless in reality. I envied her in a way. She had her true love by her side for always. She felt my gaze on her and turned to smile at me, “Are you okay, Leah?”
I half smiled back and nodded with a sigh, “I think I’m still in shock, Bella. I have a half-brother! Now I know why neither Embry nor I had romantic feelings towards each other. We share the same blood! My Father’s blood! “I exclaimed, my voice raised to an incredulous pitch.
Bella shook her head, “I can’t believe Harry would have an affair!”
My father’s face flashed into my mind. I couldn’t believe he had betrayed my Mom. They had been together for years before they married. Embry and I were the same age. I had been born nine months after my parents married. My Mom had always said I was a honeymoon baby. I was born on New Year’s Eve. Embry’s birthday was before mine, but only by two weeks. He was going to turn nineteen in just a few days’ time. My brain hurt some more as I tried to work out the implications of my calculation. I rubbed my temples and sighed. Today had been emotional enough, it was about to get a whole lot worse.
Now my mind shifted to Etienne, a much more pleasurable option but still as confusing as my previous thoughts on the Embry situation. I really would see him again, not a dream but the real thing. I could hardly contain myself. I was so very angry at him, but I was also even deeper in love with him than I’d believed possible. Now the wedding was most definitely off, we would have to have a long talk about our future. That’s if we had one. That was the trouble I guess. Etienne had a long long future stretching out in front of him for centuries to come. I had a very short future compared to that. Every year, every birthday brought me closer to the end of my life. Depressing, but true. I couldn’t imagine life without Etienne now. Could he imagine his future, his existence without me? The alternative to growing old was a subject we’d both avoided like the plague. We’d skirted around the issue, barely touching on it, merely skimming the surface of what ifs.
But now as I sped towards our reunion, all I could think of was what if the alternative was the only way for us? Even though the Elders couldn’t marry me off to Embry now I was sure they’d have another plan up their sleeves. There was no way they would abandon their hopes and dreams for the Pack now. I still featured heavily in their future’s scenario. My head ached with all of these thoughts rushing through my mind in a tumble of emotions. Soon we would arrive at the Call residence. I didn’t know what would greet us there. It was time to greet Embry as a brother. I was glad he was a blood relation to me as he was a lovely guy and I did love him. Now I knew why I’d harboured love for him. It was sisterly after all. It was time to greet Etienne as …… well we’d see.
I loved him insanely, I thought madness had taken me over when I had those strange dreams. Now I know it was all so real. Now I know he loves me. Really loves me. Bella drove faster and faster so we arrived at La Push in no time at all. Here we are. Time to get a big slap in the face from reality. Was I ready for it?
I hoped and prayed that I was.


CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
LAID BARE
TIFFANY CALL:
I was powerless to resist the vampire’s deep topaz eyes, I fell into their intoxicating depths willingly, despite knowing what he was. He wanted me to tell all my secrets. In a way I was relieved to empty my mind to him. His cool hands clasped around my temples as he stared with mesmerizing intensity deep into my eyes. Carrying these dark secrets around with me had done me no good whatsoever. In fact, it had made my illness worse. I suffered from bi polar disorder and had done since I was five years old. My Mother and Father had been killed outright in a bad car accident, whilst I had been loving my first day at school. The shock of it all had caused a chemical imbalance in my brain, setting off extreme depression followed by extreme joy and also periods of reckless abandonment. I was put into care and the next twelve years were spent with doctors poking and prodding me. I was given drugs, then I was taken off them. I was given electric shock therapy which was so traumatic for my young body. I was bullied, I in turn bullied others. I was unruly and misbehaved at every opportunity. I couldn’t wait to leave the care home, leave this life behind me. I ran away and didn’t look back when I was seventeen years old. I left my old Seattle life to run wherever the wind would take me. I’d hitched a ride with a Native American, in his old beat up truck. We’d talked, he was in his fifties, wise, friendly and definitely a family man. He said his wife was looking for a young girl to help with their six children and if I wanted a home, food and somewhere to hide from the authorities then I was welcome to join them at the Makah reservation to the north of Vancouver. All in exchange for child minding and some housework.
I jumped at the chance of a new life, a worthwhile job, and a secure home far away from the troubles and strife. His wife was as lovely as he was and I fit into their family right away. The three girls and three boys, ages ranging between one and ten were delightful children. I kept myself to myself. I confided in my new family about my disorder. The mother used herbs, potions and spells on me. I don’t know if they really worked or if it was just that I was happy and settled, but I certainly felt better than I had since that awful day when I was five years old. I finally felt like I had a purpose in life. I looked after the children in the day time whilst the parents made ends meet. The father had a job with the local forestry commission whilst the mother cleaned big fancy houses on the outskirts of Vancouver. Three of the children were at school so I only had to get them ready in the morning, dispatch them off in the big yellow bus and pick them up again at four pm. During the day I cleaned, cooked and played with the small children. I taught them about nature, we drew pictures and we took walks down the forest paths. Life was good.
At nights I stayed in my loft above the barn, all cosy and warm reading lots of books. Some fiction, some not. I was determined to teach myself more about the world, I hadn’t learned much from the care home. One night the mother told me of a barn dance happening a week Saturday. She persuaded me to go, meet some young people my own age. I had never been any good at mixing with my peers, but decided a night out couldn’t hurt. The mother came home one day with a gorgeous second hand dress she’d found discarded in the trash at one of the homes she cleaned. It was red with thin spaghetti straps, a thin belt nipping the waist in which gave the full skirt much more emphasis. The mother washed and pressed the dress for me and when I tried it on you would have thought it belonged to me always. It showed off my slim curves perfectly. I had washed my hair and left it to dry naturally. Dark ringlets cascaded down my past my shoulders, making me look sultry and exotic. My tanned skin shone with the almond scented oil the mother had given me as a gift. I wasn’t used to any sort of gifts, except on my birthday or at Christmas, both which were a long way away. It was a balmy June night on the occasion of the barn dance and I decided to go without a jacket. I walked in the twilight to the location of the dance, my heart skipping and dancing in my chest with nervous anticipation. A few local girls looked me up and down as I made my way straight over to the punch bowl. I needed something to make my head buzz, to make me feel less shy and awkward. I heard the girl’s giggling behind me, but I held my head high and shook my curls defiantly. I found a lone seat in the corner, where I sat demurely sipping my drink. I had had alcohol before. We’d stolen some from the care home kitchen one night. I had followed the ringleader, not wanting to be left out. Everyone had made themselves sick except me, I liked the taste. I liked the feeling too.
I had consumed about three cups of punch when a short chubby boy shyly appeared in front of me. “Would you like to dance?” he asked.
I smiled up at him, the alcohol making my damaged brain so fuzzy. “Why not?” I winked cheekily, feeling my inhibitions float away.
It was an upbeat tune that was playing and I gyrated and spun to the music not caring who stared at me. Let them stare! The boy pulled me closer and told me I was beautiful. I smiled and laughed, spinning around faster. He asked me my name. I told him. He said wasn’t Tiffany a pretty name and that his name was Harry Clearwater and he and his friends were visiting our small town especially for the dance tonight, because one of them had some business to attend to here. He was twenty one years old. I had a feeling he kind of liked me. The feeling wasn’t mutual. Yes he was friendly but I had no desire to have a boyfriend. All the boys in the care home had been rude and difficult. I decided long ago it was much better to stay away from them altogether. I saw the way they looked at you. A slow song came on and Harry tried to pull me towards him with his chubby hands, but I deftly dodged his advances in time. I decided I needed fresh air, so I bid him farewell, much to his disappointment. I made my way out into the moonlit night, glad to leave the stuffy barn behind. I felt footsteps behind me and I turned around quickly with fear. A tall dark handsome young man stood there, grinning at me confidently in the light of the moon.
At this point in my confessions, there was a rap at the front door. Etienne told me to stop talking. Embry came back into the living room with Bella Cullen, another vampire! With her was Leah Clearwater. I shuddered. The vampire boy’s face lit up when he saw her, as did hers. Etienne gazed into my eyes again and commanded me to finish my tale. I did as I was told, there was no other choice as his will forced itself into my head.
“Hello. I’m Samuel Uley. Don’t mind Harry, he’s not very sophisticated I’m afraid! We’ve been friends since childhood, but he is such a clumsy jerk at times,” the handsome stranger told me in a deep velvet voice. I gazed up into his deep brown eyes and felt a little tug of desire. He sure was handsome and worldly wise. “Walk with me?” he asked in that voice which felt like someone had poured warm melting chocolate down my back. I nodded, totally awestruck that he would want to spend time with little old me. He took my hand in his large, strong warm one and led me into the trees, down a worn path where I could hear the river gently flowing past. “What is your name, pretty lady?” he asked as he guided me to a rickety bench, where weeping willows made a bower of greenery above it.
I turned to gaze into his dark eyes again, “Tiffany Call,” I replied, my voice breaking with nervousness.
He lifted my hand to his soft lips and gently kissed the skin. I shivered slightly although there was no chill in the air. His husky voice spoke to me again, “Well Tiffany Call. I like you. I was watching you at the dance. You are very sexy. I think you and me are going to get on just swell!” he smiled, but this time his smile reminded me of a lion just about to eat his prey. I flinched as my senses all cried out danger. Too late to run as his lips crushed down on mine violently and his strong arms grasped mine and held me tight in a vice-like grip. My brain screamed at me to move, run, get away but he was too strong and I was overpowered by fear, shock and surprise.
Under that beautiful full moon my second hand red dress, which had made me feel like a princess for once; was left in a torn shredded pile in the dirty leaves on the dirty ground. Sam Uley did the worst thing a man can do to a woman. He humiliated me, degraded me, as all the while he told me it was what I wanted, what I’d asked for. I’d looked damn fine tonight, I’d danced like a slut, and I’d made eyes at all the men whilst I was full of punch. This was my fault, I asked for it and no one would believe otherwise. He called me names, he hurt me, he raged at me but I took the part of me which was my soul, my essence and I curled up tight in a ball in the furthest recesses of my poor little brain. He raped me, while I lay silent, motionless and far away. When he was gone I quietly picked myself up, silent tears falling into the dirt where my discarded dress lay. Once beautiful, it now looked soiled, old and used. I felt its pain. I pulled it back over my head, the tattered material falling around my bruised and battered body. I don’t know how I did it but I got back home somehow. I grabbed a towel and soap from my attic bedroom and made my way outside where the tap and hose lay. I doused myself in cold water, rubbing the soap over my poor abused body until my skin was red and raw.
Finally I turned the water off and pulled the towel around me. Once safely upstairs I lay down carefully on my bed, as carefully as my sore body would allow and I let the tears flow freely. The racking sobs tore through my body causing me more pain than I already had. My throat was swollen and sore from my hoarse cries. Thankfully sleep overtook me and the next thing I knew the morning sun was streaming through my skylight, making my swollen red eyes sting so badly. I reluctantly opened my eyes and I knew I’d never be the same again. I was damaged before but I’d survived, I’d built a nice peaceful life here with the mother, the father and children. Now it was shattered. Now I was damaged beyond repair.
I told the family I’d tumbled down a hilly path taking a short cut through the woods. I couldn’t tell them the truth I was so ashamed. A week later my body was starting to heal, but my mind was a mess. Two weeks later my body was almost back to normal, but the mental scars were still there. Four weeks went by and I realised that I hadn’t had my monthly bleed. I hitched a ride into the next town with the father one day when he went on an errand for the mother. I had stolen some pennies from the children’s piggy banks so I could buy a home pregnancy testing kit from the pharmacy. I used the left over to buy a soda in the little café nestled in the small town square. I drank it slowly my mind purposefully blank. After a while I made my way to the small toilet at the back of the building. Three minutes later and the little stick showed two pink lines. The leaflet said two lines meant I was pregnant, no matter how faint the second line was. My second line was dark and strong. I sighed and dug my nails into the soft skin of my palms, little pin pricks of blood rising to the surface.
I was seventeen, alone and pregnant.
I had to tell the family. They stood by my decision. I knew when this child was born I’d give it up. I couldn’t look after a child. Certainly not a child which was born of these awful circumstances. I kept myself hidden away as I usually did. No one suspected. When the contractions came, the father took me to the hospital. Ten painful hours later I gave birth to a healthy seven pound baby girl. It was March the 1st. I called her Rebecca Call, then she was whisked away from me. As soon as I’d looked into those big dark eyes so full of love for me who had carried her I knew I didn’t want to let her go. It was too late by then to have maternal feelings of love. She was gone, forever. I cried and cried until my heart broke in two and there was just an empty hollow space left in my chest. I told the father I loved him and the mother and the children very deeply as if they were my blood. But I couldn’t stay with them any longer. I had to leave. The father had nodded and the next day he took me to Vancouver where he’d found me a job in a restaurant washing dishes and clearing up. There was a room above the restaurant where I could live for a small amount of rent. I hardened my hollow heart when the father said his goodbyes. I promised to stay in touch, although I knew I wouldn’t. I got on with life, if you could call it that. I sometimes felt so depressed I thought I would jump right into the path of a bus. Then there were days I felt nothing but pain, days where I laughed manically and my head filled with funny insane thoughts. I knew I should be on medication, it would make me numb, which would be good. I tried not to think of my daughter, but her little face crept into my dreams. I longed to hold her. I ached to see her. But I couldn’t, not ever.
Five years passed in a hazy blur of work,eat,sleep. It was nearing the end of March, my birthday. Her birthday had passed again. I decided for once I was going to have a meal and a glass of wine or two. Toast the future. I had formulated a plan, something which might fill the big gaping hole in my life. I needed someone to love. I needed to be needed and wanted. I went to a little Italian place by the river where hopefully no one would stare at a woman on her own. I glanced over at the other diners, there were mostly couples eating out tonight. There was another woman alone, then there were two women dining together. In one corner there was a lady dining with her teenage daughter which made me sad. In the other corner there was a man on his own, but he was elderly. Too old for my purposes. I sighed and downed another glass of red wine as I waited for my Spaghetti Bologna to arrive.
“Happy birthday to me,” I toasted in a whisper to myself.
The wine was going to my head and I felt all fuzzy and warm. The food came and I picked at it, all the while watching the other diners come in. There was no one who interested me. I drank more wine. By the time I paid the bill I was quite drunk. I staggered slightly on the way out and giggled to myself. I made my way to a small, dark club with dance music pounding, spilling out into the night. The beat made me forget everything, I danced freely to the music in my short skirt, dangerously high heels and skimpy top. My hair was longer now but still as curly and as dark. I lurched over to the bar desperate for another drink. I ordered yet another red wine and surveyed the club on the lookout for someone who would fit the bill. The lack of proper lighting made it difficult to focus, or was that the wine? Suddenly a familiar face appeared to me out of the gloom ghoulishly illuminated by strobe lighting.
Harry Clearwater smiled at me. The events of that night came flooding back and hit me like a sledgehammer. That was the last time I had saw him. The wine, the music, the emotions all hit me at once and I started to cry as Harry stared at me dumbstruck.
“Hey what’s up?” he asked his voice full of concern.
We ended up going to sit at a private booth, where Harry kindly brought me a drink of water. I found out he was on a business trip to Vancouver from where he lived; a small reservation called La Push, near the little town of Forks. He was taller and slimmer than before but still had the same ruddy chubbiness to his cheeks. I found out from Harry that Samuel Uley had married and had a baby son, also called Samuel, but he’d had several affairs and eventually left his young wife and baby. No one knew where he was just now. I shuddered as I thought about the cruelty of that fateful night. Harry told me he was about to marry a girl called Sue, whom he loved dearly. To be honest I thought she sounded boring. Harry was dull but he was quite nice and he was caring and in this light he could almost be attractive. Suddenly a bright light of inspiration switched on in my brain and I knew I’d found the man I needed. Harry Clearwater could father my baby.
I knew we didn’t have much time. Soon he would be married to his sweetheart Sue. I must act now. So I took Harry to my dismal bed sit and as I seduced him I told myself it was fine, he would give me what I needed, what I wanted so badly. Sue would never need to know. Harry told me how he had fallen in love with me at first sight that night at the barn dance. He said I was a goddess in a red dress with my wild dark curls and uninhibited dancing. He told me Sam had told all the guys I’d given him my virginity willingly. He said he wasn’t surprised as handsome Sam had always won over the girls with his charming good looks. I shuddered when he said that. For the next four nights Harry visited me. He wanted to take me out dancing, I said no I wanted him in my bed. He wanted to take me for a meal, I said no I wanted him all to myself. Soon it was time for him to return home. He promised me he would stay in touch and he would look me up next time he was in Vancouver. I was handed a business card with an address and phone number of his office. He looked sad and wished things were different, but I put him straight. Marry Sue I told him, she is the one for you, not me.
Two weeks later I once again sat facing two pink lines on a pregnancy test. This time, instead of feeling fear, I felt extreme elation. My plan had worked! Harry had unwittingly and unknowingly given me the best gift ever. I was due in the middle of December, just before Christmas, how perfect. I had to tell Harry. I waited until New Year’s Eve then I sat down in my lonely bed sit and wrote him a letter. Days later he turned up at the restaurant. I made him coffee when I was on my break. We sat staring at each other over the table. I let him twitter on and on about how he would leave Sue but they had just found out she was pregnant too. Harry the stud. He said he would give me money and support any time I needed it. I told him I didn’t want him to leave Sue. I wanted to have this child on my own. I would go back to the mother and father to have the baby. I would tell them all it was a man from the Makah Tribe. I would lie about the dates. All I wanted from him was a house, on a quiet part of his reservation where my baby and I could live peacefully. I would say I was from the Makah tribe and my baby’s father did not want anything to do with me or the little one. He agreed. Harry was so soft. I reckoned he was a bit scared of me. Probably worried I would tell Sue. I betted he would want me close by to keep an eye on me and the baby and to make sure I didn’t tell.
Embry was staring in amazement as the truth came pouring out my mouth. Now he knew where he’d come from. Leah was also staring incredulously at me as her mind slotted the facts into place. There was another female out there, possibly a shape shifter! Etienne’s hands clamped around my temples again as he directed his gaze onto mine with intensity again.
In November of that year, I moved away from the Makah tribe for the last time. I would never forget the kindness shown to me there. I moved to La Push, into the little house Harry secretly bought for us and in December I gave birth to a healthy beautiful boy whom I named Embry Call. The rest is kind of, as they say, history. Increasingly over the years my mind has got fuddled and things have been confusing for me. I didn’t fully grasp the concept of the Elders plan for Leah and my son. Harry was dead and gone but he’d made a death bed confession about his son and me to Billy Black. Billy told me I had to let Embry marry Leah, or Sam Uley Jnr. would find out who Embry’s father was and great trouble would be caused. Trouble which would cause Sam Uley Sir. To leave his new family in Port Angeles to come investigate what was happening with the Pack. His very name drove fear into my heart and I had to hide in my room for days at a time as I was terrified he would come for me again. Harry had another child too, a boy Seth. Embry had a brother and a sister living on the reservation he knew nothing about. Until now. Now he knew he also had another sister Rebecca. I had no clue where she might be. I wasn’t allowed to find her. I had never tried. My heart had always been way too hurt to open that old wound. I was scared of too many things it seemed.
So now the truth was out there. I hoped Embry could forgive me for not telling him before. It was too hard with his real father and family living nearby. I had lived in fear of Sam Uley for over twenty years. I needed my son to still love me, we were so close before this happened. Etienne’s gaze left mine and his hands dropped from my temples. I sighed deeply and closed my eyes, letting myself sink back into the sofa with exhaustion.
There was silence in the room as they all tried to digest the story I had told. I had to agree it was a lot to process all at once. I gingerly opened my eyes. Etienne was holding Leah close to him, tears flowed down her cheeks as she sobbed quietly. Bella was trying to comfort Embry, who was desperately trying to take in the story of his father and his birth. I sighed and lit a cigarette, a bad habit, but just another crutch of mine really along with the red wine and my medication. I hadn’t felt a real honest emotion for years. I stood up and walked outside to the back garden. Tears streamed down my face in torrents of despair. I had finally told the truth. I wasn’t sure if it was better or worse than before. I guess I no longer carried the heavy burden of my secrets now but I was frightened what it would mean for my son. I was frightened to feel. I loved him with every fibre of my being. My heart ached and I wanted to hold him, tell him everything would be fine. I also found a new ache I’d long ago buried.
I wanted to find Rebecca, my beautiful daughter.


CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
NEVER, EVER
ETIENNE LUCIER:
Seeing Leah walk into the Call’s small living room with Bella had been one of the best moments of my existence. She looked so beautiful, so radiant, and so alive. But she looked crazy angry with me too. We would have time to talk soon. At that moment I’d been busy extracting the truth from Tiffany and what a tale that had been. I now felt sorry for her and even angrier at the Elders! They tried to dictate to people when they were far from perfect themselves! Of the founders, one was a rapist and deserter, one was a blackmailer and one had betrayed his fiancée with another girl days before their wedding! Not only that he had fathered a son with the girl. That was how Embry had come into the world, the secret love child of Harry Clearwater and Tiffany Call. My still heart went out to Tiffany. An orphan at five, put into care, having bi polar disorder, being raped, having a child at such a young age and giving up that child and finally living alone for years before falling pregnant to a man betrothed to another. She had wanted another baby to love. Someone to need her and love her in return, unconditionally. She had a fine son in Embry, I knew that for sure.
Tiffany’s daughter Rebecca was out there somewhere. Was she a shape shifter? Surely if she was she would have sought out her natural parents to find out what was happening to her. It was something much worse than normal puberty! She was born of a Pack male, Sam Uley Snr. so there was every chance that she could be a shape shifter, although it was a long shot. That would give the Elders something to think about! Sam Uley now had an older sister he knew nothing about. The Elders and the Pack had to be told of the latest developments despite the hurt and pain it might cause. They had tried to manipulate Leah and Embry, I hadn’t and would never have any sympathy at all. I phoned Jacob once Tiffany had retired to her bed for a much deserved rest. We had set a meeting for this evening at six pm. I didn’t tell him everything on the phone. I just told him that something had come to light which made Leah and Embry’s marriage impossible. I knew that was enough of a hook to reel them in. Embry was sitting with his head in his hands between Leah and Bella. They each had a comforting arm around the boy, who looked really shell shocked by today’s events. Leah glanced up and caught my eye, I smiled widely at her and winked. She tried not to smile back but couldn’t help the corners of her pretty mouth turning up into something resembling a smile. God, it was heaven to see her again. It had been too long since Halloween.
Leah dropped her gaze and turned her attention back to Embry. “Embry I am going to leave you with Bella. Etienne and I need to talk. I won’t be far away though. Call me on my mobile if you need me. We’ll be back before six, ready to face the Elders, “she said as she stood up.
Embry looked up at her with sad eyes, but behind the sadness there was a glint of happiness shining through, “Okay sister”, he joked with her.
Leah smiled and leaned down to hug him. “Now I know why I love you so much silly!” she whispered into his long dark hair.
I frowned, she loved him? Relax Etienne I chided myself. She means as brother and sister of course! Bella shooed Leah away then took Embry’s big hands into her pale slender ones and began to speak quietly and reassuringly to him. Bella had always had a soft spot for Embry, he had never teased her as much as Quil when she was a human girl. Leah held out her hand and gestured for me to come with her. I didn’t need asking twice! We left the Call’s house and came outside to a crisp frosty winter day. The dull orange sun was starting to set as dusk approached. We had just under an hour before the meeting.
It was a simple joy to hold Leah’s hand, although I knew my icy skin was making her feel this winter’s day more keenly. We walked in silence to a pretty glade in the woods, where orange and brown leaves made a carpet beneath our feet. Under the large oak tree with its sprawling branches and thick trunk, Leah pressed me against the bark with her slim body; then proceeded to bring her warm inviting soft lips to my cool ones without ever speaking a word. I moaned with pent up lust and desire as our mouths met with passionate abandonment. It was as if she had been starving and I was her first meal. Her lips devoured me, her hands entwined in my dark curls, her body writhed against mine in a not so innocent way. I had to gently remove myself from her before the red mist descended in front of my topaz eyes and I took her right there and then on the leafy floor of the woody glade. I held her head between my hands and gazed down into her dark eyes so full of love for me.
“I missed you my darling Leah,” I whispered.
Her dark eyes turned from love to pure fury as her small fists began to beat ineffectually at my chest. “Etienne you pig! I could end your existence for what you have done to me if I didn’t love you so damn much!” she exclaimed with an exasperated smile.
“Leah? What have I done? I thought you would be happy to see me after all these months?” I asked innocently.
“Dear Etienne, don’t you mean since Halloween? Huh?” she demanded her dark eyes glittering.
Oh she was beautiful! But how did she know I had “seen” her Halloween night? As far as I knew I had commanded her mind to believe that once again I was a dream! Something wasn’t right. Leah opened her fleecy jacket and delved into the neckline of her thick jumper. A glint of a silver chain, then a flash of iridescent light as the small piece of moonstone caught the failing light of the day. Truly I was shocked! How long had she been wearing that? I had not noticed. How very careless of me not to notice something like that! Usually she wore a little saint Christopher on this silver chain. When had she changed that to the moonstone? I racked my brains but could not remember!
“I decided to wear it on Halloween night Etienne, if that is what you are wondering. Going by the grimaces you are making I think I have guessed correctly?” Leah asked cockily.
I nodded. “So you knew it wasn’t a dream? I commanded you to go to sleep and believe you had dreamt me once again so of course you being you easily worked it out!” I said with a hint of admiration in my voice. “Now I know why you are furious with me! Leah I had to do it! I had to use my mind control on you because I didn’t want to hurt you even more. I didn’t want you to believe I had returned. I couldn’t come back to you without stopping or finding a way around the whole arranged marriage thing! Please forgive me, my love I did it only for you!” I pleaded, kissing her small hand fervently.
Her dark eyes looked into mine and all her anger flooded away. She smiled and threw her arms around my neck. “Oh Etienne! All I wanted was to have you back, so when I dreamed of you I was happy! Our dreams were so passionate, I knew it had to be a dream because you would not be that way with me! You were very good at persuading me I was dreaming, my love!”
I smiled cheekily and stroked her hair, my fingers playing with the soft long strands of dark silk. “I could almost lose control with you. I could let myself go just enough, but then I saw your bruises and I felt like I would die! I never wanted to hurt you Leah. That I truly regret. My self-control is not as tight as I like to think it is when it comes to you!”
This time our kiss was long and slow and deep. I felt and heard her heart beat against my chest. Such a glorious sound. My hands ran over her body as gently as I could manage, memorizing every delicious curve slowly and deliberately. My mouth moved its way lazily from her lips, to her jawline to her soft enticing neck. I kissed her there, my most favourite place of her body I had discovered so far. She sighed and moaned as my mouth became more frantic. I wanted to devour her. The venom rose in my throat and I quickly and softly pushed her from me onto the blanket of leaves on the winter’s ground. She cried out but then laughed as the leaves swirled around her. She was a goddess, a goddess of nature. Wild, free and so very beautiful. I laid down beside her as the orange sun finally set and the moonlight lit up our glade.
We gazed up at the moon hanging in the deep blue starry sky and held hands somberly. “I love you Leah Clearwater. It’s just that I also want to sink my fangs into your neck and drain the lifeblood from you!” I half-jokingly added to my declaration of love for her.
Leah giggled, “I love you too Etienne Lucier, even though there is nothing I would desire more that to drive a stake through your still heart and then chop off your insolent head!” she evilly replied.
Luckily I knew she was joking. Was I joking though? I could make Leah like me and I would never, ever have to be parted from her again. I would never have to hurt her or desire to drink the most deliciously scented blood I had come across ever in my long, long existence. For now though I was happy to be with my love again. I was happy she was not going to marry Embry. For now we were together, the rest I would deal with later once we knew what the Elder’s had planned. Reluctantly I pulled Leah up onto her feet as it was time to leave now. I gently kissed the tip of her nose and wrapped my long scarf around her neck a few times. Out of sight out of mind. We made our way back to the reservation with our arms wrapped tightly around the other, as if afraid to let go ever again.
I knew for sure I was never, ever going to let her out of my sight again. Ever.


CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
CLOSER
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Stranded in this spooky town
Stop lights are swaying and the phone lines are down
This floor is crackling cold
She took my heart, I think she took my soul
With the moon I run
Far from the carnage of the fiery sun
Driven by the strangled vein
Showing no mercy I do it again
Open up your eye
You keep on crying, baby
I’ll bleed you dry
The skies are blinking at me
I see a storm bubbling up from the sea
And it’s coming closer
and it’s coming closer
You, shimmy shook my bone
leaving me stranded all in love on my own
what do you think of me
where am I now? Baby where do I sleep
Feel so good but I’m old, 
2000 years of chasing taking its toll
And it’s coming closer
(Copyright kings of Leon 2008)
The deep pounding of the bass line reverberated around the stadium and deep into my belly. I had butterflies as I sat up in the wings of what was usually home to the BC Lions football team. Their stadium, BC Place in Vancouver had tonight been taken over by my favourite rock band ever in the history of the world Kings of Leon. The opening sounds of one of my most loved songs of theirs “Closer” was sweeping around the stadium over the heads of the fans on the pitch and way up here where we sat in the rafters. Etienne and I were seated in a private VIP box. How did my lovely boyfriend pull this one off? Yes, he really does know the band! In fact he swears that the Followills not only know what he is, but they even wrote the song “Closer” about him! I was impressed, very impressed. But also very angry because why in god’s name had the dim with blood sucker never mentioned this momentous news before? Like duh!
So here we were, arms around each other taking in the music and the atmosphere. It was the day before New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow was my birthday, tomorrow was Jake and Nessie’s wedding. By the time the clock struck midnight and a new year arrived they would be husband and wife. Etienne and I were invited to the wedding. Are you surprised? Well I was, a little, but after the events of the meeting which took place between us and the Elders then it really wasn’t too much of a surprise. Etienne told the Elders and the Pack all of the information he had on Embry and his Mother. Jacob and Sam were dumbstruck. They couldn’t believe what both their father’s had done. Sam was shocked to the core that his Father had raped Tiffany, although Sam couldn’t even remember his absent father as Sam Snr had left when he was very young. Sam even tried to nullify Tiffany’s claims by saying it was only her side of the story we’d heard. Embry had jumped up in defense of his Mother. She had no reason to lie about it he had stated angrily. Jacob was shocked to the core that his father had found out about it all and had not stopped proceedings, instead he had blackmailed Tiffany, threatening her with the return of the very man she feared more than anything in the world. Billy Black defended himself, saying he was only doing what was best for the Pack. His son would never look at him in the same way though. So to cut a long story short, the meeting had gone our way. I was free to do as I pleased with my life, except have relations with a cold one. Did I forget to mention that part? In fact they told Etienne although they were happy he’d gotten the truth from Tiffany (were they really I asked myself? It certainly didn’t make them look good at all!) They wanted him to stay away from the reservation for good.
Of course he agreed, with one provision; he could attend the wedding. We knew it didn’t matter what they said. So we had separate invites to the wedding tomorrow? Big deal! I had to go, Jake was a good friend. The main thing the Elders wanted to do now was track down Rebecca, Tiffany and Sam’s daughter. They wanted to see what the circumstances were with her, to see if she was a shape shifter. Thankfully the heat was now off me. They decided that since Sam Uley Snr was not around anymore and Tiffany was happy to trace her adopted daughter then that is what they would do next. Personally I thought it would only cause trouble, but I may be wrong. Etienne bent to kiss me under the flashing rainbow coloured lights emanating from the stage where the band were rocking out another classic tune. I was so happy right now. My love was back in my arms, no one would stop us being together no matter what orders the Elders and the Pack issued. I gave myself up to the music and Etienne’s kiss. It was a perfect night.
After the gig, Etienne drove me back to my home on the reservation. I made him promise he would come back later when the household was all asleep. Seth and his girlfriend were staying over this weekend and my Mom was definitely home. Since the meeting she had stayed home every night, poring over old photos of my Dad and crying. She was so upset about the affair with Tiffany before they’d gotten married. Even worse there was a child from that union. My Mom had never liked Tiffany Call before all this happened, she sure wasn’t going to invite her around for cakes and coffee now. Though from what I had heard and seen Tiffany preferred much stronger beverages. Who could blame her though? Her life hadn’t been easy, yet she had survived. Now those old wounds were about to be re-opened. I had gained a half-brother though, I had a lot to be happy about. Now I could plan my life the way I wanted. With Etienne still a main feature things couldn’t be better.
Don’t they always say there is calm just before the storm?


CHAPTER THIRTY
THE WEDDING
JACOB BLACK:
At last the day I had been waiting for has arrived. It is New Year’s Eve. It is my wedding day and I am going to marry my soul mate in an hour’s time. I really can’t wait to make Nessie my wife. I love her intensely, uncontrollably and unconditionally. When the clock struck midnight and the New Year began I would finally be able to say Nessie and I belonged to each other in all ways. It had been so hard waiting until we were married but now the waiting was over and I was so pleased we had. Tonight would be even more special because we waited until we were man and wife to give ourselves to each other completely. I sighed as I straightened my tie and slicked back my long hair. I was so happy right now. Nothing could spoil it. Not even the unpleasantness of the last few weeks. What a surprise it had been to find Embry was related to Leah and Seth. Sam had a half-sister too, that was a shock. I was very upset that my Father had tried to blackmail Tiffany Call though, he would be at the wedding of course but I still hadn’t forgiven him. Everything was going so well. Leah seemed happy. Too happy maybe for a girl who had been told that there was to be no relationship tolerated between her and the vampire Etienne. I hadn’t asked her about him. I didn’t want to know. I’d interfered in her life enough. I wished I could take back my previous actions but it was too late now. Still, she did seem happy, so who was I to question it?
There was a sharp knock at the door. I opened it, surprised to see Sam Uley standing there. I thought he would have been headed to the church by now, eager to see the bride and groom like everyone else. I had asked Embry to be my best man, not Sam, which I think he was most unhappy about. Originally it was supposed to be Quil as Embry was going to be marrying Leah today. Embry had faced some life changing news recently so I wanted to give him something good to focus on.
“Hey Jake, hey Embry,” Sam greeted me, nodding his head towards Embry who was making sure he had the wedding rings on his person.
“What’s up Sam? We are about to leave in five minutes,” I stated.
“Jacob, after the wedding ceremony please meet me in the woods behind the reservation. It’s important,” he said somberly. His face was serious and his eyes were troubled.
“I have something to tell you, which is of paramount importance to the tribe and the Pack.”
SUE CLEARWATER:
It was Jacob Black’s wedding day. He was marrying Bella and Edward’s hybrid daughter Renesmee. This was a big deal for us Quileute’s. Shape-shifters and vampires were not supposed to be friends let alone fall in love and marry. Jacob had imprinted on Nessie, so there was not much he could do. He had to love her forever. Tears fell onto my silk dress. I hastily rubbed them away, not wanting to ruin my makeup I’d taken ages to apply. I had to put on a brave face today. I felt as if my whole life had been a lie. Harry had betrayed me, he’d had a child with another woman. Tiffany Call.
She was well known on the reservation for being shy and unfriendly. I knew she suffered from bi-polar disorder so I’d always felt sorry for her. She kept herself to herself. Everyone assumed Sam Uley Snr. was Embry’s Father. He had a reputation as a ladies man. All the girls had a crush on him back in the day. Now I couldn’t believe he was a rapist. I felt my tears threaten to fall again as I felt sick to my stomach at the ordeal Tiffany had to endure. Then I felt anger too that she had made love to Harry, my Harry knowing full well he had a fiancée. How could she come to live here with the knowledge that the father of her child lived nearby with his wife and children? I had so many questions, so many thoughts swirling around my head, threatening to engulf me. After the wedding I had to speak to Tiffany Call.
I had to know the truth about Harry.
RENESMEE CULLEN:
My Mom is helping Alice and I pile my hair up high onto my head. I gaze at my reflection for the last time as a single girl. In under an hour I will be Mrs. Jacob Black. I was just so excited. My whole life had been leading up to this point. Jacob was my destiny. I was his imprintee. I knew without a doubt that getting married was our fate. He would look after me, he would protect me and most of all he would adore me. I couldn’t wait until his ring was on my finger, then we would be a proper couple. Tonight, I would give myself to him, my body, my soul, my complete love and trust. It was going to be a special night because we’ve waited so long, which at times was torture. I wanted to go further and further each time we were alone together, but now our wedding day had arrived I was so happy we’d waited. My Mom is sad because I am no longer her little girl. I hardly had a childhood, I grew into teenage years so quickly. I knew her and Dad were happy for me, but I think they would rather I’d grown at a normal pace and not had Jacob imprinting on me. But life doesn’t work like that. My Mom gently strokes my pale cheek and whispers how much she loves me. I feel tears welling up and I try to keep them at bay. I want to look perfect for my Jake. Now it’s time to leave, time to fulfil my destiny.
It was written in the stars, Jacob is mine and I am his forever and ever.
LEAH CLEARWATER:
I am so happy for Jacob and Nessie, but I am also jealous of them. They get to be married and have a normal, wonderful life together as husband and wife. I wished the same could be said for Etienne and me. All I wanted was to be with him in all ways and to grow old together. I adored the bones of him. I needed him, like I needed water and oxygen. I wished for a different life, a life where we could just be two normal humans, a boy and a girl in love with their whole lives ahead of them. I didn’t know how we could overcome our problems but I knew he loved me as much as I loved him. I longed to walk down the aisle with him. He would be handsome in a tailor made suit with his curly hair falling around his shoulders. I would be beautiful, graceful and elegant in a long white dress of the softest satin which would cling to my body perfectly. We would exchange our vows of eternal love and that night, our wedding night, Etienne would take me in his arms and make passionate, hot, sweet love to me. I sighed. What use did dreaming do? We were stuck as we were with no future, no solution, just pain and anguish. But we had love, our great all-consuming passionate love, even if we couldn’t act upon it physically. The rest would work out somehow I prayed.
The Elders and the Pack instructed Etienne and I not to see each other anymore. They said Etienne could stay with the coven if he wished, but he wasn’t to make contact with me or see me. They said his mind control would be of no use as they would always wear their moonstone pendants around their necks. If any harm came to any one of the Elders or Pack, then Etienne would be immediately suspected and ran out of town. We both agreed. They didn’t have to know we still loved each other immensely. We had sneaked around for years without anyone having a clue, it would not be hard to continue our charade. I wished I’d never told Jacob Black. Hindsight is a great thing though isn’t it?
I was just about ready to leave for the wedding. Etienne was also attending. Nessie had insisted on it, he was an adopted Cullen, which gave him some clout in the little community. My mind was wandering to last night over and over again as I attempted to apply my lipstick once more. Etienne and I had spent the whole night together, in my room, in my bed, whilst my Mother cried herself to sleep again. His cool lips had enthralled me with their insistent hunger. I had clung to him as I pressed my warm human body against his cold immortal one. I had wished for no barriers between us, I wanted to feel his hard marble chest against my skin, but Etienne was back to being his usual restrained self. Every time I frantically tried to take my clothing off he gently stopped me. It was a crazy dance we shared. I tried to make him succumb and he fought off my advances. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic! He drove me crazy with lustful desire. I loved him so much that I needed and wanted to show him. When the clock had struck midnight he had whispered happy birthday against the hollow of my throat, his breath and lips cool on my skin. I shivered with pleasure and pent up desires.
So, today was Jake’s wedding day, the happiest of his life. The hardest day of mine, being in close proximity to Etienne but not being able to touch him or kiss him. I would have to wait until tonight when he flew through my bedroom window to be with me. I could hardly contain myself. It was time to leave. I checked my reflection one last time deciding that I would do. New Year’s Eve was frosty and crisp so I pulled on my fake fur jacket to keep me warm. My high heels clacked on the frosty ground as I teetered to the car where my Mom was waiting impatiently for me. Her face was pitiful and tear stained when I got into the car, her makeup not hiding her sadness. I smiled lamely at her and gave her arm a gentle squeeze. She smiled wanly back and commented how pretty I looked today all dressed up. I thanked her and we drove off to make our way to the Cullen’s for the wedding which was to be held in their grand drawing room. Vampires and shape-shifters all celebrating together for today.
Suddenly my Mom spoke, “Leah I know you had someone in your room last night! I could hear you! “She stated.
I turned to look at her my mouth open wide. Oh no!
How was I going to explain this?
SAM ULEY JNR:
I couldn’t fathom my absent Father’s actions. Did he really rape an innocent girl? Or was he the victim of a troubled and mentally ill mind? I guess I would never know. My Father didn’t write, he didn’t visit, and he just simply didn’t care about me or my Mom. I had Emily now, the chance to start a new perfect family. I didn’t care if I never saw him again. Finding out about him and the truth about Embry’s real father had really shook me up. Not only that but my plans for the future of the Pack lay in tatters now. Unless we could find Rebecca, my half-sister. She might be of some use to us, other than that I wasn’t sure I wanted to meet her and get to know her. Although it wasn’t her fault she’d been born, I still couldn’t get my head around the circumstances of her conception. If my Father was evil did that make me evil? Would I suddenly develop signs of it? Was that why my beautiful fiancée’s face was scarred all down one side?
There was also the small matter of Leah Clearwater’s complete disregard for the Pack laws and rules. It had become known to me that she was having a relationship with Etienne Lucier, the vampire. Shape-shifters do not have any kind of relations with vampires! Jacob Black had got away with this purely because he was Pack Alpha – higher in rank than I was if truth be told – and because he had imprinted on Nessie who was only half a vampire. Leah knew this was forbidden yet she flaunted our rules and she cavorted with an old enemy. Deep in my heart I still had feelings for Leah. She was my first love, my teenage sweetheart. I loved Emily so much, she was my imprintee, my everything, and I probably would never have met her if it hadn’t been for her being related to Leah. It didn’t stop a little bit of my heart still yearning for Leah and the times we had. We shared our first innocent kiss together, we shared our dreams, we thought we would marry and settle down. As soon as I saw Emily though that was that. I and Leah were over forever.
Now the thought of her with the vampire sickened me to the pit of my stomach. His cold hands on her, his icy lips kissing her, his power controlling her mind and his danger to her life made me shudder with horror and disgust. Their relationship must be stopped. Leah thought she was above the law, she thought all we did was forbade her to see him again. Maybe the Elders thought she could be trusted but I saw the way she gazed at him. She was insanely in love and would do anything to be with him. Our mere words would not keep them away from each other. No, it had to be something more, something permanent. Etienne must be stopped in his tracks. We would do what we always did with the enemy. We would destroy him. I would destroy him myself if I could, but he was old, very old. I would enlist my closest friends Jared and Paul. They would help me make sure Etienne and Leah’s relationship came to an abrupt end. It would be easy. Leah would think he had left her again. Simple. I had called Etienne last night and asked him to meet us today, after the wedding in the woods behind the reservation. I had asked Jacob too. I wanted him to witness this.
Vampires, unless Cullen’s unfortunately, will not be tolerated under any circumstances.


CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE
TURMOIL
BELLA CULLEN:
It was beautiful. The wedding ceremony which made my daughter Jacob Black’s wife had finished. Nessie’s face was a picture of sheer joy. I was glad she was happy. I knew Jake was good for her. He would be a great husband of that I was sure. They had sealed their union with a sweet kiss afterwards. Edward had squeezed my hand tightly, and I knew if we could have cried we both would be in floods of tears. Our baby was a grown woman now, a married woman! Unbelievable. Such was the way of a hybrid. At least now she would not age quickly. Our side of the small chapel was sparse with only my family and Etienne sitting there. Jacob’s side was full. Shape-shifters and vampires on opposite sides once again. I caught Leah and Etienne giving each other smoldering glances when they thought no one was looking. I wished Etienne would use his mind controlling power on Sam and the others. I wanted Leah and him to be happy together. They were so in love they should be a proper couple. But I knew it wasn’t possible, not whilst they remained here.
We are now in a large decorated gazebo, where the reception is to be held. Charlie is standing alone by the arborio of willow trees planted for the occasion. He looks awkward and oh so slightly scared by his fellow wedding guests. Edward suddenly goes stiff by my side as Alice enters the gazebo.
“Edward, what is it?” I ask worriedly. Alice’s light topaz eyes are boring into my husband’s with an intense stare. “Edward!” I say impatiently, shaking his arm a bit too violently.
Edward turns to me as Alice quickly approaches, “Bella love, Alice has “seen” Etienne fighting with the wolf pack. She thinks it is going to happen soon, somewhere in the woods not far from here. She sees the wolf pack angrily tearing at his limbs!” my husband says matter of factly.
I gasp in horror, why would the wolf pack want to hurt Etienne? He is an honorary Cullen now. I really don’t need this on my daughter’s wedding day! I narrow my eyes and scan the room for Jacob, but he is nowhere to be seen and I am not picking up his distinctive scent with my sensitive nostrils. Please don’t let Jacob condone this course of action! Alice and Edward are having a silent conversation which really annoys me at times. I glare at them both and flounce off to find Jacob.
I hear Alice soothe Edward, “Don’t worry brother, I didn’t see Bella anywhere in the fight”.
My husband sighs gratefully, even though he doesn’t need to worry, I am strong and powerful.
I made my way swiftly to the woods surrounding Forks. If the wolf pack and Etienne were here I should be able to sniff them out quickly and easily. Etienne especially. I run so fast I am almost flying, my feet barely touching the leaves below my feet. I don’t feel the icy winter chill, my skin is cold now. I zoom through the trees breaking branches in my way and startling birds from their homes. I am not picking up a scent yet, at least not the one I want. I can smell wildlife, nature, trees and traces of human scents. I climb up a tall spruce so I can get a panoramic view of the area below me. My vampire eyes spot Etienne about a mile away, he is sauntering through the trees whistling to himself by the looks of it. I look a little bit further. I spot Sam, Jared, Paul, Quil and Jacob standing in a clearing, which appears to be behind Tiffany Call’s house. Embry is not present. Just what is Jake playing at? It’s his wedding day and I bet my Nessie is frantic down at the reception wondering where he is. It will be time to greet their guests soon! I shake my head angrily at my new son in law. A low menacing growl issues forth from between my clenched jaws. If he ruins my daughter’s special day I will ruin him, that’s a promise! Why is Jacob getting involved in this nonsense? I guess because he is joint Pack Alpha Sam has summoned him here for whatever reason. I am guessing it has something to do with Leah. She and Etienne’s romance must be common knowledge now. This was serious. I swiftly made my way back down the thick tree trunk and took off at great speed to where my friend was about to come upon the wolf pack. Did Etienne know why he was meeting them? Would I be able to avert disaster?
Today was turning out to be an eventful last day of the year.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
I think Sam Uley Jnr one hundred percent knows that I am totally in love with Leah Clearwater. Why else would he phone me up early this morning at the Cullen’s to ask me to meet him in the clearing in the woods behind the Call residence? He had his suspicions before, he told me to stop seeing Leah at the meeting, but I think the Elders and the Pack assumed we were just good friends? Did Jacob betray Leah? Did he tell Sam how involved this vampire boy really was with the wolf girl? I didn’t know but I think I am about to find out. I left the wedding secretly, I didn’t even try to tell Leah where I was going. I had to try and stop this animosity between myself and the Pack. Surely we could come to some agreement which would benefit us both? We’ll see. I was almost at the clearing now where I could hear Jacob arguing loudly with Sam. I thought about hiding to spy on them but I was too curious. Yes I know, curiosity killed the cat.
I entered the clearing just in time to hear Jacob yell “Sam Uley I override your decision to kill Etienne! I am ultimately the Pack Alpha and I command you to stop this course of action now!” his loud voice boomed out, echoing off the tall spruce trees.
Sam narrowed his dark eyes at Jacob defiantly, “You gave up your rights to be Alpha when Renesmee was born Jacob. Don’t come crying to me now. It’s time we made a stand against this devious vampire in our midst. He has Leah brainwashed! She must not carry on this evil union with Lucier! I will not stand for it! Jared, Paul and I will take him down, I swear to you Jake! With or without your help. I just need a witness! This vampire must die and all traces of him be removed from our lands,” he spat out angrily.
I couldn’t help let a sarcastic laugh escape my lips. Sam whipped around to see me standing right behind him. “You see Jacob! He is devious! Despite me wearing the moonstone he still managed to sneak up on us unawares. Guys, I hope you all have your moonstones about your person! Or else this bloodsucker will heinously control your mind!” he exclaimed with pure venom in his voice.
Wow. He did really hate me. I was over four hundred years old. I was strong. I was deadly. I reckoned I could take the five of them easily if they tried to harm me. Jacob looked at me with sorrow in his eyes. I knew he wasn’t part of this bloody lust to kill me. Suddenly the Pack minus Jacob phased into large wolves. I had only witnessed Leah shape shifting before. To see these guys do it was quite something. Jacob sighed and phased into a large russet wolf who bared his teeth at Sam. He leapt through the air making for his target. Sam wolf and Jacob wolf met in a frenzy of snapping teeth and flying fur. I couldn’t make out two separate wolves.
Jared and Paul were now amongst them and I heard a yelp of pain as Jacob was overcome by the three strong wolves. Obviously being Alpha didn’t make you the strongest physically? Jacob was flung onto his side, bleeding heavily from the mouth. I crouched down low in a defensive position as the three large wolves closed in on me with menacing growls. This was going to be tricky. I’d never had to fight wolves before. They had sharp teeth. Teeth that could easily remove my head; the only way to kill me apart from fire. Suddenly I was just a bit afraid. I braced myself for the onslaught of fur and fangs, but nothing happened. Instead I found myself spirited away to the top of a tall tree. Strong arms were gripping me tightly around the waist. I turned around to find Bella grinning at me.
“My turn to save you!” she winked.
“Bella! You used your invisibility!” (See “newborn” for details dear reader!) I exclaimed with glee, so happy to be saved from the snapping, slavering jaws of the wolves below.
Bella smiled, a look of satisfaction on her beautiful face. “Of course I did. It comes in handy sometimes. Even better, the Pack know nothing about my special ability!” she crowed.
“Well thank goodness you arrived when you did Bella, I think those wolves were going to eat me!” I said with a shudder.
Bella hugged me briefly, before announcing that she was going back to make sure Jacob was okay. I tried to tell her not to be so stupid, but she was gone in a flash. I sighed melodramatically as I made my way down the tree and back to the clearing.
This could be a really really big mistake.


CHAPTER THIRTY TWO
LEAVE THIS LIFE
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Edward Cullen had approached me at the wedding reception with a distinct worried expression. His topaz eyes were dark, which told me he needed to feed. I loved Etienne’s eyes when he had fed, they were such a light amber colour with flecks of brown. Most gorgeous.
“Leah, there is trouble out at the reservation. Alice has “seen” most of it, Sam wants to kill Etienne,” he stated matter of factly.
I think my heart stopped beating at his words. I gave a gasp of sheer terror and fear at the thought of my loved one being harmed. “Don’t worry Leah. Bella is in the clearing with him. I am going there now to see what is happening. Let’s go,” he said as he took hold of my arm.
I could have phased but it was just as easy to hop onto Edward’s back and let him run so fast through the trees that I had thought we were flying.
Now we had arrived. My heart was thumping loudly and my mouth was dry with apprehension. Edward let me down with a warning to proceed slowly into the clearing. I didn’t pay heed as I rushed through the trees desperate to make sure Etienne was all right. I should have listened to Edward’s words of warning. If I had I might not have run head first into the big black wolf which was Sam Uley. No one could stop his strong powerful jaws as they clamped around my body, the sharp teeth easily slicing through my flesh and muscle. I gasped and held my stomach, suddenly feeling very cold. It was winter but this was a deep bone chilling cold which now seeped into my veins. Between my clasped hands blood ran out onto the ground as I fell forward to join it. Dust and leaves filled my mouth and hair as I lay there. I was so cold. So very cold.
“Leah!” a now human Sam screamed as he bent to move my hair from my face. His warm hand touched the clammy deathly pale skin of my cheek.
It was the last thing I would remember until later.
BELLA CULLEN:
I left Etienne in his safe haven up the tall spruce tree as I dashed back to the clearing to make sure Jake was okay. I couldn’t believe that Sam and the others could hurt him like that. I switched on my invisibility cloak as I made my way back through the trees. Jacob was now sitting on a tree trunk, human once again. His face was bleeding and he had an old hanky tied around a wound on his arm. Apart from that he looked just as Jacob should, except his wedding suit was now ripped and torn. My poor Nessie! I hope her day wouldn’t be ruined by this silliness. I appeared in front of Jacob making him jump in shock.
“Jeez Bella! I am in a bad enough way as it is without you sneaking up on me!” he said clasping a hand over his chest.
I smiled sympathetically at him, as Sam approached from the left, clapping his hands mockingly. “Very clever Bella. Very clever indeed. You kept that quiet. I take it you knew Jacob?” he asked.
Jacob looked up at me and winked. “Yes, I knew. Invisibility is Bella’s special power, just like Edward’s mind reading.”
Sam narrowed his eyes at Jacob and growled. “Jacob you and I are no longer friends. I will respect you as a fellow Alpha and Pack member but that’s as far as it goes. You clearly support the Cullen’s and their “friend” Lucier more than you do your own kind. Nessie I can understand, at least she is half human and she is now your wife. But the rest…well you and I will never agree, so that’s that!” he stated.
Jacob sighed and nodded, “Fair enough Sam. I think you are insane though. We can all get along just fine together. If you would only get past your prejudices.”
I caught Edward’s scent and another’s coming close. I smiled, trust my husband to come try “save” me! Suddenly Etienne appeared. He must have followed me. This was not good! Sam’s face went purple with anger and hatred as he phased in the blink of an eye and lunged towards Etienne with his jaws open wide. Etienne deftly side stepped the angry wolf, just as Leah came crashing out of the undergrowth, straight into the path of Sam. The sharp wolf teeth collided with Leah, ripping and tearing and slicing into her skin.
If my heart had still beat I think it would have come to a standstill in utter shock.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
I couldn’t let Bella go back into that clearing to save Jacob alone. Bella had been a good friend to me, sometimes I hadn’t deserved her love or loyalty. Without her I would still be a lone vampire in Vancouver. I would not have met and fell in love with my girl Leah if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Cullen. I wasn’t going to leave her side now when she needed me, despite my fear of the wolves. Bella was standing next to Jacob, who seemed to be okay apart from some cuts. Shape shifters appeared to be most resilient. Sam and Jacob were having a heated discussion. Sam stopped talking and looked up to see me standing there. His face turned to thunderous rage, a black cloud of anger suddenly descending upon his features. As quick as a flash he phased and lunged towards me, jaws drooling and snapping. I was fast though. I sidestepped neatly out of his path just as the most precious thing in the world to me stepped out of the trees and ran right into the mad slavering creature. Now time seemed to flow in slow motion as I watched the horrific scene unfolding before me. Leah’s blood soaked the ground as she fell onto the leaves. Her face so pale and deathly. Sam was now in human form and leaning over her.
I seemed to be frozen still like a marble statue. Now my body decided to move as my mind took in the full horror of the situation. I was on Sam in a moment, flinging him away into the trees with a roar. My strength knew no bounds when it came to protecting Leah from harm. I scooped her up in my arms despite Bella and Jacobs cries not to move her. She was limp and rag doll like as her long beautiful hair trailed in the dust. I wailed and raged at the dull winter sky and prayed to anyone who would listen to let my love survive this.
“Jacob, run! Get Carlisle! Quickly!” Bella screamed.
Jacob, his face wild took off at a sprint through the trees. Leah was trying to speak through cold pale lips, her body was trembling as I held her.
Help me,” she whispered weakly against my cheek.
I looked at Bella, she nodded and gave me a half smile. I knew she was giving me her blessing. Edward was here now. I didn’t even notice him come into the clearing. He stood with his arm around his wife, he gave me a crooked smile which I presumed meant he agreed with Bella. I had to change Leah or she would die. Not here though. Luckily Leah was stronger than most; her shape shifting half was desperately trying to heal her body, whilst her human half was tenuously clinging to life. I decided my own two legs would be quicker than any car, even though vampires could drive at great speed safely. I had never quite got used to the modern way of getting around and I really could run faster than a gazelle, maybe even faster than a cheetah. With Leah securely tied to my back using my belt and Edward’s fashioned into some sort of carrier, I zoomed off into the trees. Towards sanctuary, towards my home. Hopefully towards our new life together. This was not planned, not discussed but it had always loomed between us. Now we had no choice.
Leah must become Immortal or leave this life for good.


CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
IN THE GENES
SAM ULEY JNR:
I picked myself up from the trees where Etienne had thrown me just in time to see Leah being spirited away on his back. She seemed to hang there quite lifeless and limp. I shuddered with self-hatred and disgust as I limped over to where Bella and Edward were embracing.
“Where is he taking her?” I asked the couple.
Bella turned to face me, her topaz eyes blazing with anger and hostility towards me, and who could blame her? I had behaved despicably, I saw that now. I was so wrapped up in my hatred of Etienne that I had begun to look at events with tunnel vision. Now Leah was hurt, most possibly dying and it was my entire fault. Looks like the apple didn’t fall far from the tree after all.
“Sam just what were you playing at? Luring Etienne here with the intention of killing him? Why? Because he dared to fall in love with one of your kind?” Bella spat angrily at me, a low growl rumbling in her throat. “And don’t even get me started on Jacob! You and the others hurt him! I noticed they ran off when Etienne came back, the cowards!” she added, her voice full of venom.
Edward discreetly restrained her with a pale hand applied to her shoulder. I looked down at the ground, unable to face the completely deserved wrath of Bella Cullen. I felt sick to my stomach. I had never meant to hurt Leah. Oh yeah? A little voice asked inside my mind. You didn’t mean to hurt Emily either. I tried to block out the memory of my claws raking down Emily’s beautiful face, but now I saw Leah and her blurred together in one awful incident. I clutched at my hair and shook my head, trying to dispel the awful visions in my head. Now Emily and Leah stood staring at me, tears pouring down their faces.
“I didn’t mean it! I didn’t mean to hurt either of you!” I cried out loud as I stumbled out of the clearing and into the woods.
“Sam! You come back and answer me!” Bella screamed loudly behind me.
But I ran blindly into the trees trying to escape the images which whirled around my brain. No one followed me as I made my way into La Push and down to First Beach. I ran along the sand until my breathing was ragged and my lungs ached. I slumped down onto the big flat rock which looked like a good place to lie. The winter sky loomed over me, swollen and dark with heavy black clouds. The frosty air burned my chest and bitter tears were flowing freely down my cheeks. My father had proved himself to be a loser, now I was becoming like him. I didn’t know how I had gotten so full of hatred. The vampires had never caused us any harm, yes Etienne had used his power on me but he didn’t hurt me in any way. He only wanted to help Bella. I took it too far then as well. Bella didn’t mean to harm Jacob, the treaty was outdated by then. It was only me who had a bee in his bonnet about it all. Bella had to be changed or else she would have died.
Now it looked like the same thing might be happening right now to Leah. I clawed at my face in anguish. I didn’t want Leah to be dead, or undead! What could I do now? How I wish I could take back my actions! Whatever Leah’s fate was it was my entire fault? How could I live with myself now? How could I explain this to Emily? I couldn’t stand my thoughts any longer. I got up and ran straight towards the shore line, where the grey waves broke angrily onto the sand.
The cold sea welcomed me with open arms.


CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR
DEATH BECOMES HER
ETIENNE LUCIER:
Leah lay on my useless, but decorative, opulent four poster bed, her dark hair framing her face perfectly. Even this close to death she looked beautiful. Her lovely wedding outfit was stained with blood. This morning she had woken up and smiled at the gorgeous dress she was going to wear for Jake and Nessie’s big day. She had frowned at her reflection in the mirror as she cursed turning nineteen. She didn’t want to be older than me, it was her worst nightmare coming true. I had kissed her full pouting lips passionately, my hunger making her forget this birthday temporarily. How could we have known the events that would unfold today?
Twilight was descending over Vancouver, the deep blue sky welcomed the orange sunset into its wide arms. Night would soon be upon us. I could not delay any longer. I had needed to look at Leah as human one last time. I needed to hear her heart beat, which now thudded slowly and erratically. I needed to feel her warm soft skin, which at this moment felt quite cool and clammy. Nothing was as before. I needed to tell her how much I loved her, how much I hoped she would understand and forgive my actions. My words fell into the deep silence of the bedroom. Even Leah’s breathing had slowed down, soon it would stop if I didn’t hurry. This was so difficult for me, despite my love for her. I had dreamed of us being together forever. I had dreamed of her being like me. Now the reality was here I was finding it hard to let go of my hopes and dreams that my beloved would have a normal human life. There was no future for her now, unless I changed her.
The ticking of the Grandfather clock sounded like it was counting down the last moments of Leah’s life. I sat here staring at her, knowing what I had to do, knowing it really was inevitable. As much as I didn’t want to change her, I knew I couldn’t let her die, not when I had the power to prevent it. How could I live without my love? How could I live without my life? I could not. I would bring the final death upon myself somehow if I lost Leah. I had to take action and I had to take it now. The orange setting sun had given way to the night sky now. Stars twinkled and the Moon shone into my window, giving Leah a bluish glow. I put my hand over her weakening heart. So slow were its dying beats. It stuttered once, but resumed its faltering pulse. Her shape shifter side was so so strong. It fought for life. It clung to life tenaciously but for how long? I had to stop this sentimentality and save my girl from the stealthy creeping feet of death. I had to.
In the bright moonlight I lowered my head onto Leah’s breast. One last listen close up to her beautiful human heart. One last listen to her weak pulse as it tried to carry wolf like blood to her wounded limbs. I gently moved her dark silky hair away from the soft delicate skin of her neck. Cliché? Yes you could say it was. But I’d always favoured this part of her body and that had nothing to do with old fairy tales and legends of vampires. My sharp teeth slid easily through her soft flesh as the venom filled my mouth in eager anticipation. I had ashamedly dreamed of this moment so many times. How it would feel to bite her. How it would feel to taste her. How it would feel to completely lose myself in her. Now I knew that my dreams of this moment distinctively paled in comparison to reality. I was overwhelmed with both intense love and extreme hunger. I had to rein myself in as her sweet intoxicating blood smeared over my mouth and tongue. I didn’t want to damage her, all I needed was for the venom to enter her bloodstream, where it would make its way rapidly to her slow heart, stopping her life in its wake. She had enough healing to do without me causing more. If I went too far I would kill her, it had to be just enough to change her. It would have been too easy after one drop of her life nectar to go into a frenzy of violent abandonment. For me it was easier not to. I didn’t want to kill her, just change her.
Her body bucked and writhed as the venom entered her heart. Thankfully she did not regain consciousness. I really don’t think I could have stood to see her in tremendous agony as she left her human life behind. Her face actually looked quite serene and peaceful which made me smile slightly. I liked to think she knew I was trying to save her because I loved her more than my own existence. I held her hand as her heart gave its last beat. I sighed as she finally died. She lay peaceful and still. I knew it wouldn’t be long before she started to burn from the inside out. The venom was already rushing through her body, filling up her veins, changing her very being. She could burn for days. I hoped she didn’t. It would be so hard to watch her in immense pain like that. If truth be told I didn’t even truly know how a shape-shifter would react to the changes. This was a first in more ways than one. I stared at her waiting and watching carefully. I didn’t know what to expect. It had been so long since I was changed, the memory was distant and weak in my mind. Or was that my mind’s way of protecting itself from the horrors of the change? At least I had my mind control to help her through it, maybe we could lessen the evils of the newborn phase? That would be good.
A few hours had gone by and still Leah had not moved at all. I sat by her side holding her hand and stroking her hair as I spoke soft words of love and encouragement to her. I was prepared to stay by her side for days. The thirst could wait. I was fine. I didn’t need anything except to be close to her. She was going to need me to help her through the changes. I was scared but also excited. Leah was now eternal, immortal, forever mine. Now we could be together in all ways. We could be lovers. I shivered slightly with desire as I tried to rein in my less than pure thoughts. The moon still shone in my window bathing Leah in its magical light. I watched in fascination as her skin became paler and luminescent, her features became sharper and her hair grew even longer and more lustrous. The venom was doing its magical work within her veins. I hated how I couldn’t hear her heart anymore. I hated how she was so still and motionless. But I had to love the fact that she so obviously hadn’t left me. She was so alive in her undeadness. My mind is a jumble of emotions so please forgive my ramblings! I stroke her cheek as the clock strikes midnight. It is a New Year. Time for changes. A new chapter, a new beginning. Hopefully, I silently mouth in a fervent wish.
Then Leah opens her eyes.
CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE
FORGIVE AND FORGET
JACOB BLACK:
I returned to the clearing quickly with Carlisle, the good doctor, in tow. Some wedding reception this was turning out to be! I had briefly explained to my new wife what the situation was. Nessie was as worried for Leah as I was. There was no sign of her here, however. Bella and Edward stood with their arms around each other, looking disconcertingly worried. Was it possible that Leah was okay? Bella turned away from the comfort of Edward’s arms as I approached.
“Oh Jake!” she wailed as I looked at her worriedly.
Something was definitely not right.
“Bella what is it?” I asked softly.
Bella’s beautiful topaz eyes were full of sadness. I felt a lump in my throat and my stomach go into knots as I braced myself for bad news. Bella just stood shaking her head, so Edward took over the conversation. “Jacob, I’m afraid Leah was in a really bad way. Close to death I’m sorry to say. If she’d been human she would not have survived Sam’s attack. Etienne took her to Vancouver,” he spoke quietly but firmly as he put a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
“No! Carlisle would have fixed her!”
I shouted pointing to the doctor behind me. Carlisle’s eyes were fixed on Edward’s. Edward nodded his head slightly at something Carlisle must have asked in his mind. I frantically whipped my head between the two hoping my worst fears hadn’t been realised.
“Please tell my Leah hasn’t been changed?” I demanded.
Bella came to me then and put her arms around me. “That was Etienne’s intention Jacob. She spoke to him before losing consciousness. She begged for help. Edward and I witnessed it. I truly believe she wanted it. Sorry Jake!” Bella stated quietly as her strong arms enveloped me.
I struggled to be free but she held me pinned to her. Boy she was strong! Gone were the days when I had the superior strength. I slumped against her as she soothingly stroked my long hair which was tied back neatly in a ponytail especially for my wedding. Tears sprang out from my eyes as I thought of my dear friend Leah dying. I closed my eyes as I tried to blot out the image of her lying bleeding and torn. Was it worse for her to die and I never see her again or was it worse that she would be changed most probably beyond my recognition? She would live but she wouldn’t be her!
Then I thought of the girl with her arms around me. Bella was basically still the same person. Yes, she was stronger, yes she was to all intents and purposes dead, but she still had a kind heart, even if it did not beat any more. She still had a beautiful soul, although Edward believed that vampires had no souls. I believed the opposite and I had my suspicions Carlisle did too. Carlisle was looking at my face when I opened my eyes. His kindly expression made me want to cry again. Yes, I knew from personal experience that not all vampires were bad. In fact most of them were just like us really. They wanted to be loved, they needed family around them and they cared for their friends deeply. Leah would still be Leah. If Etienne had managed to change her, that is. What if she had succumbed to death’s cold arms, never to wake again? I decided there and then that I hoped she had been changed. To never see her again would be worse. To lose her to such a tragic accident would be worse. Talking of which, just where was Sam? I asked Bella what had become of him.
She gazed into my eyes, her face pure fury. I flinched, she certainly could look scary when she tried to. “He ran off when I confronted him! The horrible coward that he is!” she raged.
Edward nodded in agreement behind her. I wondered where he had gone.
Carlisle put a cool hand on my shoulder, “Jake we should be getting back, my Granddaughter will be getting worried and I don’t want her special day spoiled any more than it already has, if you don’t mind?” he asked me politely.
My mind was whirling with the day’s events. I wasn’t ready to go back to the reception right now, there was something I needed to do first.
“I will be back within the hour Carlisle, I promise,” I called back over my shoulder as I sprinted away into the woods, quickly phasing into the large russet wolf with ease. I hoped my discarded wedding outfit would survive.
“Jacob! Come back! This is my daughter’s wedding day you idiot!” shouted Bella in exasperation.
Nessie would forgive me. She loved me and I know she wouldn’t want me to turn my back on a brother. Despite our fall out, I still wanted to make sure Sam was okay. I caught his scent on the trees as I swiftly ran through them. Night had fallen and the bright full moon shone down over the woods illuminating the way. Not that I needed it, my wolf eyes could see perfectly fine in the dark. I followed his scent all the way to First Beach where I heard a weak voice call out. “Jake?”
I saw Sam lying naked on the sand shivering with cold. We wolves did not feel cold. Something wasn’t right. I sprinted over to him, quickly phasing back. I had tied my smart trousers to my leg before phasing, they had survived the journey here, just. I quickly pulled them on, feeling very grateful that we had already done the wedding photographs or Nessie would have killed me!
“Sam! What’s happened?” I asked as I knelt down to check he was okay.
Through his chattering teeth he managed to whisper to me. “I went for a swim.”
I shook my head in confusion.
“Wolves like to swim,” he whispered again as he shivered and shook.
I picked him up in a fireman’s lift and hurried up the beach with him to my Dad’s small house. I practically lived at the Cullen’s now and would continue to do so. I wrapped him in a large blanket and made a cup of hot sweet tea. I sat watching him drink it, my mind racing and my tongue itching to ask questions.
“Thanks Jacob. I don’t deserve your help,” Sam spoke quietly.
I shrugged, “It’s not a problem Sam. I still consider you a brother. I was just mad at you because of your crazy actions,” I replied with a half-smile.
He made an attempt to smile back, albeit weakly.
“So are you going to tell me just what you were doing out there?” I asked.
Sam’s troubled dark eyes looked up into mine. “Honestly?”
I nodded. “Of course.”
He sighed and looked down at the old wooden kitchen table. “I was running away Jake. Mostly from myself. I realise now what damage I have caused to people I am supposed to love. I guess I wanted to punish myself,” he admitted with a long sigh.
“By going for a swim in the freezing cold ocean in the middle of winter?” I chided him gently.
He laughed weakly. “It wasn’t my best plan I admit. I went into the water as a wolf. I got quite far out, then the bitter cold got right into my bones causing me to phase back involuntarily,” he said with a shiver.
I topped up his mug, he was still shaking. This was most un shape-shifter like.
“That must have been quite frightening,” I observed.
“It was. My body went in to complete shock. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t move. I was drowning and it was so dark and cold. I realised Emily needed me, she loved me and I adored her. It was too late though, I had sealed my fate,“ he admitted sadly.
“So how did you end up on the sand?” I asked with much curiosity in my voice.
“That’s the strange part. I felt arms around me, pulling me back to shore. I thought I was delirious with the cold and my lungs filling up with water, but no it was real.”
I nodded, eager for him to continue. Sam leaned closer to me, his dark eyes glittering in the lamp light. “I was placed on the sand very gently. I looked up and there was a dark haired angel above me. She had my eyes Jacob!” he said softly.
I gasped with shock. “But how could that be?” I stuttered, my mind trying to process the information.
“Jacob, it was my half-sister. She was there, I am not making this up.”
I stared incredulously at him, wondering if he had completely lost it.
“I’m not making it up Jake!” he repeated defiantly.
“It was my sister, Rebecca!”
CHAPTER THIRTY SIX
THE CHANGELING
ETIENNE LUCIER:
When Leah opened her eyes I gasped out loud in joyful surprise. Joy because she had been returned to me and surprise because her dark eyes which I loved were now scarlet red! I knew this would happen but I still got a shock as she gazed up at me for the first time as a vampire. I had been using my mind control on her whilst she was unconscious, all the while never knowing if it was working or not. I didn’t know how she would react to the changes. Bella told me she had been violent and out of control after her change. I really didn’t want Leah to be like that. And what if she hated me? I had hated my maker with a passion. I still did even though she was no more. I watched Leah’s face carefully to see what her first reaction would be. It was as if time had stood still, but in reality it was only a few seconds. She gazed directly into my eyes and in her beautiful voice, which now had musical undertones, she uttered her first words as a vampire.
“Where is my silver bracelet Etienne? The gorgeous thin one with the roses? You gave me that for my sixteenth birthday! That was the night we first kissed. I had bruises on my arms where you held me tight. I didn’t tell you because I was scared I would never get to kiss those lips again and I was already so in love with you I could hardly breathe!” she smiled up at me, her face so perfect and beautiful. She always was beautiful of course but now she shone.
I was dumbstruck by her words, by her face, by this momentous occasion. After removing the pesky moonstone from around her neck, all I had suggested to her was to remember how much I loved her and how many special times and memories we had shared together. I didn’t expect her to utter that sentence as her first words though! But oh how delightfully Leah!
“I feel so strange Etienne, did I die and go to heaven? You sure look like an angel to me,” she said admiringly, her red eyes gazing deeply into mine.
I traced my finger delicately down her cheek. Her skin was cold like marble. Cold like mine. “Leah, I adore you my love. Listen carefully to me now darling,” I quietly spoke.
She nodded but didn’t speak.
“You were going to die Leah. Do you remember what happened in the clearing? Sam hurt you badly, you were bleeding to death, my love, “I said gently as my fingers ran through her long hair, which was now thicker and silkier than ever.
She gazed up at me mesmerised, her eyes never leaving mine.
“Are you listening to me Leah?” I asked with a smile.
“You are so beautiful, Etienne. I knew you were, but tonight you are so so amazing,” she whispered in awe.
I forgot how it was to have new vampire eyes and I sighed in exasperation. “Leah! You can admire me soon, my love! For now please let me talk to you!” I demanded.
She smiled up at me with a smile so dazzling, it threw me for a second. Now I was mesmerised! I must try to concentrate.
“Leah, I brought you here to my house in Vancouver because you begged me to help you as you lay bleeding in the clearing. I knew I had to choose; lose you or change you. Well, this isn’t the other side my love. You are real, but you are now like me. You are a vampire Leah, you are Immortal now,” I said nervously awaiting her reaction.
Her red eyes widened with shock, surprise and dare I hope a little delight? She smiled. Suddenly she was above me, her strong arms pinning me down. I gasped in shock at her speed and strength. She looked magnificently powerful and frightening in her majestic position. Her long dark hair waved around her shoulders, her skin shone and her eyes glittered. I found myself hopelessly and completely under her spell. Like a fly caught in the spider’s web. “Thank you Etienne. You saved me. You changed me. Now we will be together forever. It was my secret wish, my only dream. Now it is real and I am happy my love so happy!” she gushed, her face radiantly beautiful like a goddess of the night.
I smiled up at her, still feeling slightly vulnerable as I was used to being the strong one. “Leah, I wished to be with you always too. I wouldn’t have chosen these circumstances, but I am pleased everything went well and you are okay. I did use my mind control on you, my love, but only because I did not want you to suffer the newborn rage and anger!” I stated.
Leah must have reached over to the small table nearest to us and quickly placed the moonstone around her neck. Her movement was so rapid I actually only noticed when I saw the shimmering of the stone in the moonlight through my window.
“No Leah!” I shrieked in horror.
She smiled at me, then she was gone.
I leapt to my feet in a flash to find her by the window, looking out into the bright night.
“Leah?” I softly questioned.
She turned around and smiled at me, beckoning me closer. I did as she commanded even though I had a flash of fear and apprehension ride through my body as I approached her. Newborns were fast. Newborns were strong. Newborns did not care. However I smiled in surprise as her pale arms wound themselves around my neck and her cool lips found mine in a kiss so thrilling and intoxicating. It was like our first kiss all over again. Her cool lips transferred little electric shocks all over my body. I sighed against her mouth as she pulled me closer. Our kisses became deeper and more passionate. She pressed herself against me frantically. I gasped loudly as the nearness of her made my body shake with lustful desire. I did not have to think about hurting her, I did not need to rein in my emotions. Now, for the first time we could do as we wished. It was the best feeling ever.
I was drunk on her scent, her taste, her very essence. Our hands roamed over each other passionately. Our lips hungrily devoured each other with fervent desire.
“I love you Etienne!” she breathed against my mouth.
“I love you too Leah!” I replied, my passion clouding my mind.
I forgot about the moonstone. I forgot about her being a newborn. All I could think about was the sensual and emotional overload of my senses. We fell to the floor in passionate bliss, our only thought to possess and overcome the other.
So far, in my long long long life, this was the best night I had spentever.


CHAPTER THIRTY SEVEN
ALL IS QUIET ON NEW YEAR’S DAY
EMBRY CALL:
It was a frosty, still New Year’s Day as I jogged along First beach at seven a.m. I loved to run at this time of the morning when the day was just beginning. I felt free. I emptied my mind and concentrated only on the sound of my feet pounding on the sand. When I reached the woods I might phase and run as a wolf. My mind would not be blank today however as I dwelled on the events from last night. Before Jake and Nessie went on honeymoon, he had pulled me aside and told me what had occurred in the clearing. I was shocked and worried for Leah, but Jacob assured me Etienne was looking after her. He also told me about Sam and his “swim”. This story was actually harder to believe than the Leah one! Sam had acted incredibly reckless and extremely stupid. We would all be devastated if anything had happened to him, especially his devoted fiancée Emily.
I frowned to myself when I remembered the weirdest part of the story. Sam had told Jake that Rebecca had saved him from the icy ocean. As far as I knew Sam Uley had never met Rebecca or seen a photograph of her. My Mother had shown me one black and white photograph her foster Father had taken when Rebecca was born. It was old and faded, but my Mother had kept it hidden away all these years. I sighed. I had another half-sister out there whom I knew nothing about. At least Leah and I had gotten to know each other really well over the past year. I pushed myself harder and faster along the sand as I tried to rid my mind of these annoying frustrating thoughts.
I decided I would take a detour away from the woods and down into town. It was Sunday, it was New Year’s Day. It was unlikely the small town of Forks would be busy. I successfully managed to make my mind blank as I concentrated only on my breathing. I reached the town centre without any infuriating chatter from my inner voice. I slumped down to catch my breath on the old wooden seat which sat outside the Pacific Inn Motel. I breathed in the cold frosty air as I stretched out my legs. The sun had begun to shine and it felt good on my skin. Today was a New Year, a new start. The doors of the Motel swung open and a tall, dark, long legged amazingly beautiful girl walked out into the frosty sunshine. She had really cropped short dark hair, dark eyes and very defined cheekbones. I gaped at her in amazement. She definitely wasn’t from Forks! I thought that nothing could top the natural beauty right before my eyes but I was wrong. Right behind the beautiful stranger was another girl. She was shorter and curvier with long wavy honey blonde hair which hung almost to her waist. Her face was sweet like an angel’s. Her eyes were as blue as a summer sky. All the things the songs sing about when it comes to beautiful girls. She caught my stare and smiled hesitantly at me.
Suddenly the strangest thing happened; my ears started ringing, my vision blurred and the world seemed to tilt and turn. I gasped out loud as I gripped the bench in sheer panic. All I could see was that beautiful face staring down at me, her perfect lips seeming to ask me if I was okay. I tried to speak but found I couldn’t. My mind, my soul, my entire body was transfixed on her and her only. It felt as if fireworks were exploding behind my eyes. My veins burned and my nerves sang. I hadn’t a clue what was happening to me, all I could see was this beautiful angelic face in front of me. Then I felt her hand on my arm, her face full of concern close to mine. I could see her lips moving but I could not hear anything. My body had become tight like a coiled spring and electricity hummed through my entire being, lit up with sparks of blue and white light. I realised in that split second that I had imprinted on this girl.
That’s when the world went dark and I fainted.
TIFFANY CALL:
I stood outside in my small back garden deciding whether I really should make this my last cigarette ever. New Year’s resolution maybe? I could stop drinking a bottle of red wine almost every night too. That would help. I knew alcohol didn’t help my condition, it certainly didn’t mix with the medication I was on either. I did feel better though since telling the truth to Embry. I no longer felt burdened by my secret. Embry had been very forgiving. He was upset about the way I had been treated in life, he understood my reasons for not confessing who his father was before. He was happy Leah was his half-sister, they got on so well together. I had used all my meagre savings to pay for a private detective to track down my daughter Rebecca. I had to see her, even if it was only once.
She might hate me, she might feel like I abandoned her, like I didn’t love her. She was entitled to think all of those things, I certainly couldn’t or wouldn’t blame her. Not ever. I waited every day for news, but nothing concrete so far. I was patient though, after all I had waited a long time to find my daughter again. I heard someone knocking at my front door so I quickly stubbed out my cigarette and made my way back into the house, wondering who would visit me on New Year’s Day?
Sue Clearwater stood defiantly on my doorstep, her arms by her side, her fists clenched. I was surprised she had waited so long. Now here she was, come to confront the scarlet woman.
“Happy New Year Sue, please do come in,” I said as politely as I could.
She barged past me with a face like thunder. She spun around as I followed her into the living room spitting out her words with venom and fury, “I need the truth Tiffany and I need it now!” she spat.
“Please sit down Sue. Would you like some tea?” I asked, a stupid silly smile plastered to my face.
“Tea? Tea? ” Sue asked me incredulously.
Then she promptly burst into tears. Oh no. Now what was I to do? Ignore her? Sympathise? I decided on the latter, I had no bad feelings towards this poor woman. I put my arm around her as she sobbed. We sat like that for maybe ten minutes before she spoke.
“I came here to rage at you Tiffany Call! I was so mad! But now there seems little point in dragging over the past. Harry is gone. There is nothing I can do to bring him back,” she sobbed.
“Harry loved you Sue. He didn’t love me, not really. He met me when I was only seventeen, the night Sam Uley raped me. Years later I met him by chance. I was lonely and damaged. I needed someone, I wanted a child to love and who would love me back. Embry is all I could’ve asked for and more. He married you Sue. He always was going to marry you!” I started to sob too.
Sue looked at me and we hugged, two women whose lives had been affected by the Pack men. I leaned over and took two tissues from the box by my armchair. I handed one to Sue and used one to blow my nose. We both had matching red eyes.
Sue half smiled at me, “So Harry never ever carried on with you after you moved back here with Embry?” she asked me.
I shook my head, “No, I had what I wanted from him, he had you so that was that,” I admitted quietly.
“He didn’t want to see Embry?” Sue asked. “Not like that, but he saw him around the reservation every day, he saw him at Pack meetings, he didn’t need to be a Father to him Sue, he had you, Seth and Leah. You were his family, not us,” I stated truthfully.
Sue frowned and looked like she might cry again, “I just feel that our life together was a lie. You and I were both pregnant at the same time to the same man! My children have a half-brother! It has been driving me mad!” she wailed.
I quickly passed her another tissue. She wiped her eyes and smiled at me, ” I am so sorry what happened to you. Sam Uley was an evil horrible man and I was so glad when he left without a word. Yes, Judy was heartbroken but she did a great job bringing up little Sam on her own. Just like you Tiffany. Embry is a lovely boy and he is so like you. I do see Harry in him too though! Leah and Embry are so alike! Seth is like me!” she gushed, as she squeezed my hand.
Well today was turning out to be a surprise.
“I’m sorry for your loss Sue. It must be hard without him, but you are coping well. If you ever need to talk you are most welcome. I really mean that!” I said honestly.
She smiled and squeezed my hand again. “Maybe we’ll end up best of friends huh? Who would have believed that?” she said with a laugh.
Then there was another knock at the door. I once again wondered who could possibly be visiting me on New Year’s Day. I opened my door to find a tall striking young woman standing there. She had a strange look on her face. Embry was behind her with a pretty blonde girl. He also had a strange look on his face. Just what was going on now?
“Tiffany?” the dark haired girl asked.
I nodded and smiled expectantly.
“It’s me Mum. Your daughter. Rebecca.” she said
That’s when the world went dark and I fainted.


CHAPTER THIRTY EIGHT
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
LEAH CLEARWATER:
Well, my birthday had turned out to be quite unlike any other birthday I had ever experienced! As last days go I guess it was quite eventful. On Jacob and Nessie’s wedding day, my nineteenth birthday, I left my human life and became a vampire. I opened my eyes to a new year and a new life. I was now eternally nineteen. Looking on the bright side I was still a teenager! I don’t remember much of what happened yesterday. A wolf appeared from nowhere and I felt teeth slicing into my arm, lacerating my stomach, and sliding out through my back. I fell to the ground in a heap, the world becoming dark and hazy around me. Although I had realised through my confusion that the wolf was actually Sam. My childhood sweetheart had killed me! On my birthday too, how shocking!
I vaguely remember asking Etienne to help me before I passed out. I remember thinking I was glad that his face would be the last I would see on this Earth. The rest was like a dream; blurry and inconsistent. I recall a burning fire raging in my body for a second, then I was floating on a sea of calm, where there was no pain and no fear. Death wasn’t so bad. The next thing I knew was hearing the clock strike midnight, so I opened my eyes. I thought I must be alive then. Sam hadn’t killed me! Etienne had been looking at me and he gasped in surprise. I must’ve been in a bad way for him to look so shocked to see me alive. I seemed to remember a fleeting dream I had just been having of my sixteenth birthday party. I had dreamt of Etienne giving me the beautiful thin bracelet with the intricate silver roses. I couldn’t remember where it was! Oh please don’t say I’ve lost it!
“Where is my silver bracelet Etienne? The gorgeous thin one with the roses? You gave me that for my sixteenth birthday! That was the night we first kissed. I had bruises on my arms where you held me tight. I didn’t tell you because I was scared I would never get to kiss those lips again and I was already so in love with you I could hardly breathe!” I had asked with a smile.
I had wondered why my voice didn’t sound like mine. Something wasn’t right. Not right at all. I had felt as if all my senses were over sensitive to everything in the room, especially Etienne.
“I feel so strange Etienne, did I die and go to heaven? You sure look like an angel to me,” I had gushed admiringly as I gazed into his beautiful face as if for the first time.
This almost dying had done some strange things to me for sure! Etienne had stroked my cheek making my skin tingle as he always did. But now he didn’t feel cold. Maybe I was cold too because I had almost entered the realm of death? Etienne had tried to explain yesterday’s events, but I had found it impossible to concentrate on his words. His voice spoke to me but I was too busy drinking in the beauty of this man. His topaz eyes, his pale skin, his shoulder length dark curls and his perfectly kissable lips. Of course I had always admired his looks but tonight it was more than that. Tonight I was seeing him as if for the very first time. How could I not have noticed he was this perfect? I must’ve been blind before my brush with death!
“You are so beautiful, Etienne. I knew you were, but tonight you are so so amazing,” I couldn’t help interrupting him.
He had smiled and gazed down at me, a perfect moment between us. He had broken our reverie first and he continued to explain things to me. I decided to ignore the distraction of his eyes, his skin, his lips and concentrate on his words. He had said the words I’d been hoping, wishing and dreaming for. I was Immortal. I had found myself above him, pinning him down. I had only thought about it and in a split second I was on top of him. He had looked shocked, scared and totally in awe of me. I had definitely liked this powerful feeling. My veins had felt as if pure energy were running through them. I had felt invincible. It was truly amazing!
“Thank you Etienne. You saved me. You changed me. Now we will be together forever. It was my secret wish, my only dream. Now it is real and I am happy my love so happy!” I had stated with joy in my now still heart.
Oh my! I really was a vampire. I was dead but alive. I was undead, just like my darling Etienne. He had smiled up at me with a hint of vulnerability which was so cute! He felt uneasy, I had felt that radiating from him! Well he didn’t have to worry I wouldn’t hurt him. That was slightly untrue because right at that moment I had such an overwhelming desire to take him forcefully. I had been shocked at my lustful thoughts. I didn’t realise my desire for Etienne would be multiplied by a million times over.
Then he had mistakenly mentioned how he had used mind control to calm and soothe me so I would not feel the normal newborn rage and lack of control. I did not want to be controlled! I wanted to feel and experience everything the change had to offer. In another split second I had located the moonstone on the table next to us and had it back around my neck quicker than a flash. Etienne had cried out in warning, but I felt no rage, no confusion, and no desire to kill him. I had felt another desire so overwhelming I had to swiftly move before I acted on it. I found that I only had to think about moving and I was already up and at my destination in less than a second. It truly was a strange but amazing feeling to realise this strength and agility in my shiny new vampire body.
I reckoned my shape shifting genes must have prevented the change from being too traumatic. It looked like I was not going to experience any newborn problems, but I was going to have all of the pleasures instead. How amazing was that? There had only been one thought invading my mind. I had beckoned Etienne to me. He had seemed to be aglow from within such was his beauty. I was transfixed as I wound my now pale arms around his neck and drew in close to place my now cool lips onto his in a kiss so divine, so perfect I could have really died. This was our first kiss all over again, except this time I think it may have been even more thrilling because now we were the same, now we were as one.
We had so many memories and experiences between us but none would beat the feeling we had tonight in that room. I had wanted to possess him. His mind, his body and his very soul. His vampire heart. All of it was mine to take now. That is exactly what I planned to do! Three years of pent up desire welled up out of me and I almost burst into flames with the intensity of it. Now we could be lovers. Now we would be lovers.
We had breathed ‘I love you’ against the other’s lips as we fell to the floor in passionate abandonment. At last we could be together properly. There was no fear, no obstacles, and no reasons to keep us apart. As we had gracefully fell I had caught my reflection in the mirror, I had smiled in satisfaction at my image. I was simply stunning.
Even if I did have scarlet blood red eyes.


CHAPTER THIRTY NINE
THE ONE
EMBRY CALL:
I carried my Mom through the front door, into the living room and laid her down on our old threadbare sofa. Sue Clearwater got a glass of water from the kitchen tap to gently splash her face with. Seems like my Mom and I reacted the same way to earth shattering events; we checked out for a while as our minds couldn’t cope with the situation. Seeing your long lost daughter for the first time since you gave birth to her definitely fell into the earth shattering category. So did imprinting and then meeting your half-sister for the first time! I had spent the morning getting to know them both. It had been fascinating and interesting. Now it was time for my Mom to be introduced to both girls. I knew my Mom would freak, even if she had been trying to find Rebecca. The PI had found her, but my half-sister wanted to break the news in person and come meet my Mom and me.
Rebecca was such a character; she was feisty and sarcastic, and she was a shape shifter. Yes, Leah wasn’t the only one after all. Sam Uley’s genes had produced a female shape shifter, just as my Father, Harry Clearwater had created Leah, along with me and Seth. I hoped my Mom was proud of this girl. She was a marine biologist in Seattle, very clever and very pretty too, like Mom. But before my Mom wakes up, let me tell you what happened outside the Pacific Inn Motel in Forks, earlier today.
I imprinted, I fainted, what a jerk! When I came to only a few minutes later, I was lying on the wooden bench with the two beautiful strangers gazing down at me worriedly. The tall dark haired one was offering me a drink of water whilst my imprintee was fanning my face with a book. I noticed the book was Wuthering Heights and I smiled to myself. Not only was she beautiful and kind, she also had great taste in literature. I didn’t even know her name yet.
She spoke to her dark haired friend, her voice so soft and beguiling, and “I think he is waking up Rebecca! What do you think?” she asked.
Rebecca promptly threw some of the water in my face!
I jumped up with a start, “Hey!” I exclaimed in angry protest.
“Well what do you expect? You fainted in front of us you wuss! A little water won’t hurt you, man up!” the dark haired girl Rebecca snorted indignantly.
Her friend, the beautiful blonde turned to me with a smile so dazzling it rivalled the summer sun, “Are you okay now? Don’t mind Rebecca, it’s just her way!” she smiled up at me.
I grinned down at her, I loved how she was much smaller than me. It just made me want to protect her more. Rebecca on the other hand was tall, fierce and beautiful like a warrior princess.
“I’m Rebecca,” she said with a cheeky grin, “Sorry about the water!” she smirked.
“No worries!” I smiled back.
Her friend put out a hand to me, a small soft hand for me to take. I gulped as I felt her smooth silky skin. I tried not to shake, but I could feel tremors of electricity between us. Oh my! Imprinting certainly was a strange process. I’d die for this girl and I still didn’t know her name or anything about her.
“I’m Katherine, pleased to meet you. Rebecca is my sister,” she announced in her sing song voice which thrilled me to my core. I still held onto Katherine’s hand, I didn’t want to let go not ever. How delicious and completely captivating that her name was Katherine, just like my favourite heroine in Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw. Spelled with a K it was even prettier.
“I’m Embry Call. It’s a pleasure to meet you both, even if it was highly embarrassing,” I stated with a self-deprecatory laugh.
Rebecca’s face suddenly went through a thousand different emotions. “As in Tiffany Call’s son?” she asked.
I nodded with a smile wondering how she knew that. It was like the penny had dropped for both of us at once, as we both stared at each other in amazement. “I’m your half-sister Embry!” she grinned suddenly shy.
“Oh wow!” I stuttered.
Katherine looked from one to the other, a beautiful happy smile on her face. “We’ve found you!” she exclaimed clapping her small hands.
“I have so many questions Embry! Will you come for a coffee with us, so we can talk? I’m so nervous about meeting your Mom, our Mom that I need to compose myself first!” Rebecca gushed nervously.
I didn’t need asked twice so I nodded and smiled with a happy grin. It would be great to get to know my half-sister and it also meant I got to spend time with her sister too. They couldn’t be real sisters as Rebecca was adopted. Katherine must have read my mind as she suddenly answered my question. “Rebecca was adopted by my parents four years before I was born. I’m eighteen, she’s twenty two. My parents thought they couldn’t have children, but then I came along! Their little miracle!” she laughed.
You can say that again I thought to myself. Rebecca gestured for me to follow them to the small café just a few buildings south of the motel. We ordered coffees as I sat opposite the two very different girls. Rebecca looked a lot like Sam I observed. I didn’t want to mention her real father, I didn’t know what she knew. This was the strangest new year’s I’d ever spent.
Rebecca told me about her life, her job, and her friends. Then she had got around to the subject of shape shifting. I think she was scared to ask in case I didn’t know what she was talking about. We both confessed how scared we’d been the first time it happened and how it made us feel so different from everyone else. I was lucky though I had the Pack to help me, poor Rebecca had no one. She believed she was a freak for many years, until she started properly researching it with the help of her sister. She had been trying to find her real family but had drawn blanks. My Mom had made sure she remained anonymous. If it hadn’t been for her change of heart we might never have met today!
All the while she spoke Katherine was listening and watching. I tried not to stare. There were a few times I couldn’t help it though, when I thought she wasn’t looking. Often she would catch me out and we would smile shyly at each other. My eyes were drawn to her like magnets. She was the most impossibly lovely creature I had ever seen. I wanted to wrap her up in my arms, protect her, and care for her forever more. I tried not to blush when I thought about kissing those full pouting lips. It was torture being so close. Now I had met her, I couldn’t let her go, but how did I tell her I’d imprinted on her? At least she knew about shape shifters; that was a bonus. Maybe explaining imprinting wouldn’t be too difficult. What if she didn’t like me? Although all my Pack brothers who had imprinted didn’t ever seem to encounter that problem. I hoped I could get to know her and tell her how I feel. She caught me staring at her again and gave that shy sweet smile that melted my heart.
A few minutes later Katherine left the table to visit the ladies room and I was alone with Rebecca. I couldn’t help myself, I blurted out my secret to my new sister.
“I imprinted on Katherine! I couldn’t help it, it just happened. Just like everyone always said. Boom! And I was hers forever,” I confessed.
Rebecca smiled, “Yeah I kind of guessed! You passed out, you can’t keep your eyes off her and you’ve got a goofy look on your face!” she counted off on her fingers.
I blushed, embarrassed that I was so obvious. “Okay you got me! So obviously you know about imprinting already. Did Katherine also read up on it whilst you were doing your research on the Quileute’s? “I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
Rebecca nodded, “Yes we both know everything there is to know. I will be honest with you Embry. I think my sister knows how you feel, but I am sorry to tell you she has a boyfriend.”
My face fell and I put my head in my hands with a long sigh. “Thanks for the heads up Rebecca. I will just have to work extra hard to convince her then won’t I?” I said with a cheeky smile, determined to remain upbeat and confident even though inside I was a melting mess of awkward shyness! Katherine was making her way back to our table, her hips swaying conspicuously in the tight dark blue skinny jeans she wore with cowboy boots. She had on a turquoise blue chambray vest top which matched the colour of her eyes. Her long blonde hair swung as she walked. She was a vision and my eyes were glued to her. I couldn’t prise them away, until Rebecca kicked me under the table. You’d think we’d been siblings for years.
So we’d finished our coffees, we’d learned a lot about each other and we’d decided it was time for Rebecca to be reunited with her real Mom. I felt nervous for her and I felt sick wondering how my Mom would react to this. I had explained to Rebecca that she suffered from bi-polar disorder and had done all her life. Luckily Rebecca had told me she wanted to ask Mom herself about her life and how she had found herself pregnant at seventeen. I was glad about that because I didn’t want to explain her conception to her. This was going to be hard for Mom too, but she knew all this when she’d decided to find her daughter. Rebecca knew from a very young age that she was adopted, but she’d put off delving into her family history mainly because she was really happy with her life and was basically scared of what she might find. I had told Rebecca briefly about my Father. She was neither up nor down about it, I guessed it was her personality. She must have got that from her Father, as she was very confident and not prone to worrying about things. This was just my first impressions, I’m sure there were many more layers to her. I was excited to learn more as time went by. I had went from only child to having three half siblings in just a couple of months! Amazing how life turned out. And now I had imprinted too after believing it would never happen to me!
As we made for my small home on the reservation I felt both full of hope and trepidation. I gazed over at Katherine as she walked along between me and her sister. Perfection. I was scared of telling her my feelings but I was scared if I didn’t I would never see her again. This day was really intense as days went. I still hadn’t heard anything about Leah either so that was also on my mind as we approached my front door.
The butterflies in my stomach were dancing for all they were worth.


CHAPTER FORTY
FAMILY
REBECCA CALL:
Tiffany had eventually come round after fainting because of me. I felt awfully bad for that but what else was I meant to do? I feel it’s better to confront situations head on. No pussy footing around has always been one of my mottos! Her friend Sue had excused herself as had my sister and Embry. I hadn’t got used to saying “my brother” just yet! It was time for a heart to heart with my real mother. There were a lot of tears and there were a lot of hugs. My Mom told me the truth about my conception. It was shocking to say the least. My poor Mom hadn’t had the best of times in her life. I didn’t blame her for giving me up for adoption. I really don’t know what I would have done in that situation myself. Maybe my positive outlook was due to the wonderful family I was placed with. Mike and Angie Constantine were the best parents a girl could ask for. They were kind and caring. They were always honest and loving. They were full of fun and a joy to be around. I loved them both to distraction and I always would. But I still wanted to know where I came from. I needed to know.
When Katherine had come along when I was four years old I was overjoyed to have a little sister to play with. That was when Mike and Angie sat me down and explained how I was adopted. I had asked to see photographs of when Angie was pregnant with me, after I saw Mike taking pictures of her developing bump. Obviously there were no photos so my adoptive parents decided it was time to tell me the truth. They had explained it in such a lovely way to me that I had never felt unloved or unwanted, not once. They told me my Mom hadn’t been well and her condition meant it was impossible for her to look after a child. Obviously the authorities had to tell the Constantine’s about my mother’s bi polar disorder just in case it was hereditary. Thankfully, so far I had shown no signs of developing it. I loved my adoptive parents and Katherine (or Kat as I liked to call her) as if they were my own flesh and blood. Which in my eyes they were as they were the ones who loved me, who stuck by me, who brought me up to be the person I am today. I also had some kind of love for this woman who gave birth to me. How could I not? I could see parts of me in her, as she sat next to me on the sofa telling me about my other siblings. Seems I had another brother too. He was my father’s son. Sam Uley Jnr. Nice to have two half-brothers as well as a sister. I hoped to meet Sam one day soon. Just because his father had been a terrible person didn’t mean his son was did it?
My Mom explained that Sam and Embry were quite different. Sam was hot headed and impulsive. Embry was shy and kind. Tiffany reached into a drawer and pulled out a box of photographs.
“I have a recent one of the boys here somewhere,” she said as she flicked through the box.
I smiled as she handed me one. Then I gasped aloud as I recognised the boy next to Embry! This was the crazy guy I had pulled from the ocean last night when I’d been out for a walk to clear my head. I recognised his cropped dark hair and black eyes. Eyes that I now realised were so like mine. He had been floundering just a little way out when I happened to walk past deep in thought. All I saw was an arm coming out of the waves. My eyesight was very sharp, blame the wolf genes. I was an excellent swimmer so I didn’t hesitate about jumping into the cold dark water to save this stranger. Now it turns out he was my half-brother! I had left him on the sand when he’d insisted upon it. I wasn’t one to intrude on other people’s problems so I left him to it. Before you go thinking I am cruel and heartless, I did wait for a while out of sight to make sure he was fine. That’s when another guy had found him and took him away. I had phased and ran through the unfamiliar woods, trying to calm my mind in preparation for meeting my mother today. Now I was here, staring at a photograph of my two handsome half-brothers.
Tiffany and I talked some more and I promised I would visit again the next day. She tried to persuade me to stay with her but I still wasn’t ready for that and assured her my Motel was fine. I also promised I would bring Katherine to meet her tomorrow too. So all in all our first meeting had gone well, although Tiffany had cried a lot, something I wasn’t so comfortable with. Mainly because I simply didn’t know what to do in those situations. I wasn’t over emotional nor sentimental myself so when others were I found it difficult. Still, I hoped she didn’t find me cold or unfeeling. There was one thing I was dying to ask her but I just hadn’t found the right words yet. I had to know before I left.
So I plucked up the courage and turned to my real Mom, “Tiffany, before I go can you please answer a question for me?” I said with a smile.
She took my hand with a smile and nodded, “Of course Rebecca”.
I took a deep breath and blurted out my enquiry quickly before I changed my mind. “Do I get my shape shifting side from you or my father?” I asked with trepidation.
There was no answer though, just silence.
My real Mom had fainted again.


CHAPTER FORTY ONE
SWEET SURRENDER
KAT CONSTANTINE:
I admit it, although only to myself, I have a massive girly crush on Embry Call. He is so tall and gorgeous with his shoulder length dark hair which shimmers and shines in the light. His dark dark eyes seem to penetrate my soul and his smile could warm the cold winter’s day so perfectly. I only met him yesterday on a momentous first day of this New Year. Today we are going on our first date. I was overjoyed when he asked me to go out with him. I thought I’d been imagining the admiring glances and surreptitious looks from him yesterday. Seemed not. We’d both definitely been on the same wavelength. I am meeting him this afternoon outside the Pacific Inn Motel. I just got back from visiting Rebecca’s real Mom. It was nice to see where she’d really come from even though I knew I’d always think of her as my real sister. Always.
Rebecca was getting on just great with her Mom, even though I could see she was a completely different person from my bright vivacious mother. Rebecca had told me the awful story about her father and what he had done to her real Mom. She never ever wanted to try to find him. She had another brother too, Sam Uley, who was her father’s son. Rebecca told me he was actually the boy she had saved from the ocean the other night. One day soon she would call on him for a chat if he wanted. She didn’t want to judge him on his genes, after all the same blood ran through her veins. Tiffany Call had definitely had a hard life, but she seemed fine, although a little shocked to find her long lost daughter on her doorstep New Year’s Day. Not only was Rebecca turning up a surprise, albeit a nice one, finding out she had inherited her absent Father’s shape shifting abilities was a very big shock! Tiffany was used to having a shape shifting son, but female shape shifters were rare. In fact it seemed there was only one other, Leah Clearwater. Her whereabouts were currently unknown according to everyone around here, even though when Leah’s name was mentioned everyone developed a strange look and started acting weird. Something wasn’t right there, but I didn’t know exactly what.
I gazed at my reflection in the mirror. A girl with happy blue eyes looked back. Her hair was tied back in a long plait, some thin honey gold strands escaping at her brow and nape. A secret smile played on her lips as if she was on the brink of telling somebody something wonderful. I was happy with how I looked for my date. I didn’t want to be too dressy so I wore my dark blue flared denim jeans with a scarlet red gypsy blouse which skimmed my narrow waist. I was quite short, so I wore my wedge heeled cherry leather boots which were my absolute favourites as they were so comfortable but gave me some height. Embry was so tall, so strong and masculine. I laughed at the speed at which my mind honed onto an image of him. I had butterflies in my stomach and my mouth was dry with nervous excitement. Rebecca had confided in me ages ago about her special ability. My Mom and Dad didn’t know, it was a lot to take in for a normal human. I wasn’t normal though. I believed in the strange and supernatural. I always had. I was so excited to find my sister was a shape shifter. She could phase into a wolf whenever she liked. When she first told me she had been so scared. The change had happened when she was fourteen but she waited until she was sixteen to tell me. We had found out stuff together and she felt so much better when I knew her secret. Rebecca and I had always been close, after her confession we became even closer. Now, here was another who could do the same. Embry was already pretty special in my eyes, his shape shifting was just an added bonus. Unfortunately I didn’t possess any special talents. I was good at what I did. I was a kindergarten teacher. I loved my job so much, the children were fantastic.
I glanced at my watch, it was time to go. Embry would be waiting. I grabbed my old brown leather jacket from the pile of clothes on the floor. Rebecca was so untidy, the complete opposite to me! I ran down the stairs and out into the frosty January day. There in the winter sunshine stood Embry Call. A vision in black jeans, black t shirt and a denim jacket. It was a beautiful day. I had been told the sun rarely shone in Forks, but the last two days had been sunny although cold. Ever since I met Embry. He held out his hand to me and I willingly let him take mine. He kissed my cheek as he led me around the back of the Motel. There sat a large motorbike with two helmets, one black and one red. Embry’s large grin told me this shiny machine belonged to him. I felt excitement build up in me. How exciting to ride on the back of this bike, my arms around Embry, our bodies close. In reality it was even better than I had imagined. He drove me to Port Angeles, a slighter larger town close to Forks. I was used to the hustle and bustle of Vancouver, however I found Port Angeles to be quaint and quite beautiful. We ate seafood in a romantic harbour side restaurant. We chatted easily with no awkwardness, which I usually found first dates to be. Embry often brushed my hand with his, or touched my arm when he was talking to me. My skin burned slightly when he did this. It was if there was an electric current flowing between us. I was having such a great time. To end our day we took a walk down the cobbled harbour side to watch the sun set. The sky was orange and red. It was perfect and beautiful. Embry turned to gaze deep into my eyes, which made me shiver. In response he put a strong arm around my shoulder. The warmth from his body spread to mine quickly. So it was true about male shape shifters temperatures running higher than the ordinary male. It wasn’t the cold evening air that made me shiver though but the close proximity of him, the way he looked at me and the electricity in the air when we touched accidentally on purpose.
We wandered down onto the stony beach, where time seemed to stand still as he lifted me in his strong arms and placed me on a large flat rock. I was now in line with his face, his eyes, and his lips. He sighed as he gently brushed my cheek with his fingertips. I pouted and brought my lips closer, waiting for him to kiss me. But he didn’t, he just kept staring at me. I smiled shyly, wishing he would kiss me. I wanted his mouth on mine.
“Kat, I need to ask you this. Rebecca mentioned you have a boyfriend. Is it true?” he softly said.
Oh Rebecca! My sister was being protective. I did have a guy whom I went on dates with occasionally, but he was nothing serious. Just a bit of fun really. She obviously didn’t want me to get involved with Embry for some reason. I told him this. He smiled at me, he had a lovely smile.
“Kat I think I know the reason why your sister is worried. When you did your research on the Quileute tribe did you ever read about imprinting?” he asked.
I shook my head. I couldn’t remember that part.
Embry looked confused, “Well that’s strange. Rebecca definitely told me you had heard about it!” he said shaking his head.
“Rebecca is very very protective of me Embry. Ever since I was born she has been like that! So, are you going to tell me what imprinting is?” I asked curiously.
Embry suddenly looked nervous and awkward. He seemed lost for words and I don’t know what came over me but I kissed him. I placed my hands on either side of his handsome face as I pulled his lips down onto mine. We kissed gently and slowly. I had never experienced a first kiss like this. It felt as though we were the only two people left in the world and all that existed was this pure perfect moment between us. As we reluctantly pulled away our eyes were locked onto each other’s gaze. I did not, I could not, speak.
Embry breathed “Wow,” very softly as he stared deep into my eyes. His dark eyes were mysterious pools of liquid onyx. He gently took my hand in his, our gazes still holding strong and true. “Katherine Constantine, from the moment I saw you I was entranced, enraptured and intoxicated by you. I knew life would never be the same again, I will explain this to you in greater detail, but I have to tell you this now or I will explode!” he said dramatically. As I looked into his dark eyes I knew something magical was about to happen.
“I imprinted on you Kat” he said.


CHAPTER FORTY TWO
MINE AT LAST
ETIENNE LUCIER:
The dull light through the curtains finally signaled that dawn had arrived. This wasn’t our first dawn together as vampires but our second. We seemed to have missed New Year’s Day completely. We had become completely lost in each other, three years of denying our lustful feelings had taken its toll and we had spent hours and hours making up for it. I kissed Leah’s hair as we lay curled up together on my large bed in the new morning light. Now I could hold her freely with no fear of crushing her or freezing her to death. It was wonderful. If I could have cried I would have. I could never ever regret changing her. I really didn’t know how we would drag ourselves away from each other and back out into the real world. But then I suppose none of that mattered as we had all we wanted right here, right now. Explanations were needed though, but they could wait for now. I looked around my room at the trail of destruction we had left in our wake of passionate love making. I smiled as I remembered how strong, seductive and entirely beautiful my Leah was. There was something I had wanted to do for ages, but I’d put it off because with her being human I didn’t see how it would work. Bella and Edward had overcome it, but it had ultimately led to Mrs. Cullen’s human death. Yes, I burned with desire to do this, and the moment was perfect right now. I pulled Leah up from the bed, wrapping her in a silky sheet of the darkest burgundy which complemented her new pale skin to perfection. She pouted down at me as I knelt before her.
“I preferred my state of nakedness, my love,” she said sexily.
I just smiled up at her as I knelt at the feet of this goddess of mine.
“Leah Clearwater, would you do me the very great honour of becoming my wife? For now, for tomorrow and for evermore?” I asked solemnly.
I actually felt a bit nervous as I asked this wonderful creature to marry me. Well I might be old but I had never proposed marriage to a girl before! There was a first time for everything! Who says vampires cannot get married to each other? I was old fashioned and I believed we should marry. If I had my way then Leah and I would have waited until our wedding night to consummate our love. But ours wasn’t a normal relationship so my rules of gentlemanly etiquette didn’t apply. It was all too late for that as now we were absolutely and completely besotted lovers. I gazed up into her stunningly gorgeous face as I waited for her answer. Her scarlet eyes looked down into mine with wonder and surprise. I would be glad when her eyes changed to topaz like mine. It shouldn’t be long as I had been feeding her animal blood from my freezer heated up to the right temperature in the microwave (a marvelous invention!)
There was no way Leah was ever going to taste human blood if I could help it. She had none of the rage or thirst of a typical newborn. Her shape shifting side had miraculously cancelled that out. I thought it had been my mind control but Leah proved me wrong by putting the moonstone on, the night she awoke to this life. Then she promptly seduced me. I shivered as I remembered our first time as lovers. There were no words. I waited patiently for what seemed like hours for her answer to my proposal, but in reality it was only a minute if that.
“Etienne Lucier, there is nothing in this world I would rather be than your wife! What took you so long? Yes! Yes! Of course, my answer is yes!” she shrieked as she fell on top of me.
We rolled on my wooden floorboards, our lips hungrily devouring each other again. She was so distracting. I wanted to talk weddings but Leah was determined to possess me once again. The January morning sun flooded through the gap in my luxurious deep red velvet curtains. We had never gotten around to closing them the other night. Rainbows danced and glittered on Leah’s skin as she shed the bed sheet and like a beautiful butterfly she emerged from her cocoon of silk. I simply stared at her beneath me in awe. There was nothing as perfect as her, there never would be. She had my heart and soul years ago, now she commanded my body too. There was no point in discussion just now. Leah kissed me and pressed her sparkly amazing body against me and everything else was forgotten as our cold skin came together in perfect synchronisation.
Much, much later as the sun set for another day, I finally took a sated Leah downstairs for some re-heated blood. Another day in which we’d spent reveling in each other completely. Another wonderful day spent together in this new world of ours. Leah drank the blood thirstily from the cup, a small trickle running down her chin. I reached over, licking it off with my tongue. She smiled at me as she finished the rest. So strange to see her drinking blood, but she was a natural at this. I kissed her lips, her tongue touched mine and drops of blood filled my mouth. I must pull away from her now or next thing we would know was the dawn breaking once more. She was highly addictive though, more so now than ever.
I sat opposite her at my large dining table, her red eyes watching me full of desire. “Leah my love, I want to marry you as soon as possible. It may sound strange when we have all eternity together, but I want you to be my wife. I have always wanted you to be my wife. I just could never see how it would work before. Now I can be yours completely, nothing would make me happier than being your husband!” I stated lovingly.
She smiled at me, her beautiful perfect mouth beaming with love for me.
“Etienne I want to marry you so much too, but first I must confront my family with the truth of what I am. I do not want them to think that I have died, or that I have abandoned them! I must tell them the truth, my love. Will you come with me tomorrow?” she pleaded.
I nodded, despite my misgivings. Just how would her family and friends react to her? She was now a vampire. There was not a trace of her human or shifter side left. To me she was as she should be, I had never seen a more natural newborn. Would everyone else agree with me or not?
Or was I about to cause an almighty war in Forks?


CHAPTER FORTY THREE
OUT IN THE OPEN
EMBRY CALL:
It was the day after my amazing date with Katherine or Kat as she had instructed me to call her. I was on cloud nine as I made my way over to Sam’s house. Rebecca was going to pay him a surprise visit today and she’d asked if I would accompany her. I wondered how Sam would react, although he was aware he had a half-sister so their first meeting might hopefully go well. Her two newly discovered brothers together. She and I shared the same Mom, she and Sam shared the same Dad. I was glad Harry had been my Dad, at least he had been half decent. Who knows what else Sam Uley Snr. may have done?
Any ways, all I could think of just now was the beautiful Kat and our first amazing kiss. I had been shocked but very pleasantly surprised that she had made the first move. Her soft lips were so enticing on mine, I had to pull away, not because I wanted to but I’d needed to tell her about imprinting. It was such a big deal to me that she knew. I was a little angry that Rebecca had lied to me. Kat knew nothing about imprinting or what it entailed. Female shape shifters didn’t imprint, so Rebecca would have no reason to talk about it, but she had known because she told me so in the café on New Year’s Day! It was like Kat had said, she was very protective over her younger sister. I hoped Rebecca wasn’t going to cause problems for us now we were a couple. Yes, it’s true she was now my girlfriend!
After I had explained to Kat what imprinting was she had accepted it so quickly and readily? I reckoned it was because we were meant to be together. I promised I would take things slowly with her. After all she lived and worked in Vancouver, I didn’t just expect her to drop everything to be with me. We had time to get to know each other. I was overjoyed to have imprinted on someone at last, I really thought I was going to be the only wolf boy without someone to love. Now here she was. It was truly wonderful. Once I had explained imprinting to Kat we had kissed again but it was more intense than the first kiss and I found my hands around her slim waist pulling her closer to me. She sighed against my mouth and held her body tightly against mine. My head spun with her taste, her scent, her very presence. This year was already turning out to be my best year ever. I heard someone call my name. I turned to find Rebecca running towards me. She was tall and athletic with her lean figure and short hair.
“Embry! Wait up!” she called.
She didn’t look too pleased to see me. “Hey sis what’s up?” I asked with a smile hoping to soften the blow.
“What’s all this about you and Kat? I don’t like it Embry!” she exclaimed with a scowl.
I sighed. I knew dealing with Rebecca over my imprinting wasn’t going to be easy. “Rebecca, you know as well as I do a shape shifter cannot help who he imprints on. As soon as I saw Kat that was it for me. Luckily she likes me back. Am I really such an awful choice of boyfriend?” I asked with as sweet a smile as I could muster.
Still she scowled. “I told you Kat has a boyfriend already! Didn’t you listen? Why couldn’t you just leave her alone?” she spat out with surprising venom. I actually took a step back as her anger scared me a little. I didn’t want to risk her phasing. I hadn’t seen her as a wolf yet but I was worried she would be a scary angry one!
“Kat said he wasn’t her boyfriend. They had been on a few dates together but it was nothing serious!” I exclaimed.
Rebecca narrowed her dark eyes at me, “She lied!” she stated as she folded her arms defensively across her chest.
I raised an eyebrow at my half-sister, “You lied! You told me Kat knew about imprinting! You told me she’d guessed why I reacted that way the first time we met! You lied Rebecca!” I said triumphantly.
Now she looked really mad. Oops. “Yes I did lie. Only to protect my sister! I didn’t want you to imprint on her Embry! She didn’t tell me about your date or I might have been able to persuade her not to see you! Already she is hiding things from me! This guy she’s been seeing, he doesn’t think it’s just a casual fling. Quinn believes Kat and he have a future. He is extremely jealous of anyone who gets in the way of that!” she said with exasperation in her voice.
By now I was getting angry as I believed she had lied about everything and was still doing it now!
“Why would Kat lie to me? She said she didn’t have a boyfriend. I believed her. She said she didn’t know about imprinting. I believed her!” I said, emotion rising in my voice.
Rebecca sighed again, but in a less angry voice she replied, “Embry. Katherine believes in fairies and happy endings and all that soppy stuff. She either is not aware of bad stuff or she chooses to ignore it. She needs me to protect her from the horrible things in life. I had no need to tell her about imprinting as it will never happen to me. Who is going to want me huh? Yeah I can just see me having a boyfriend and he finds out I’m a shape shifter or I accidentally tear his eyes out one day! Nice! ”
It looked like there might be tears in her eyes, but she sniffed and carried on with her speech. “Embry you are a lovely guy, a decent guy, but please don’t do this to my sister! Imprinting is so final! It takes away choice. She is only eighteen, I don’t believe she is ready for a serious full blown relationship! No doubt you will want to marry her and procreate as soon as possible!” she sighed rolling her eyes.
I laughed a little at her words, “Give me a chance Rebecca! We are only getting to know each other! Yes I am already in love with her but that’s imprinting for you! Of course I will take it slowly. You have to realise that I needed to tell her. I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening. I needed to know her feelings before you both left for Vancouver. Now I know she does have feelings for me I will not give her up, I can’t! She is my imprintee and I will do whatever it takes to care for her and protect her Rebecca, and I do mean that. You can trust me, I swear! Your sister is very special and I would rather die than hurt her okay?” I stated passionately.
To my surprise Rebecca’s strong arms encircled me, giving me a big hug. “Hurt her and I’ll rip your face off okay?” she growled.
I laughed and I felt her chuckle against my neck. She pulled away to penetrate me with her dark gaze.
“I mean it Embry! Now let’s go meet this other brother of mine. I’m a bit nervous! Is he like his Father?” she asked.
I shook my head, “No one knows Rebecca. Sam Snr. left when Sam was only a baby. He cannot remember him at all. His Mom, Judy, doesn’t keep any old photographs,” I replied.
Sam had always had a big chip on his shoulder when it came to his Dad. I did feel sorry for Sam but his childhood had made him the strong Alpha he was today. At least I thought so. I was about to be proved wrong. As we approached the house Sam came running out, his eyes wild and frightened.
“I knew it! It was you! The dark haired angel! You are evil though, evil through and through! Leave me alone, get away from me!” he screamed as he ran towards the woods.
Rebecca looked at me in shock as we both started to give chase. We saw a flash of black fur disappear into the trees so without thinking I phased too. In a flash Rebecca had also phased. She ran beside me as a magnificent tawny wolf with silver flecks running through her shaggy fur. I was mightily impressed.
“I’m your sister Embry! Don’t admire me too much!” she spoke in my mind.
“Jeez, someone loves themselves a LOT don’t they?” I said back with a sarcastic laugh.
“Well listen up brother dearest. Sam Uley is disturbed I’m afraid. He tried to kill himself the other night but I saved him!” she stated.
I couldn’t believe Sam would do something like that!
“Believe it Embry! Why else would he be in the cold water late at night? A midnight swim in the depths of winter? I don’t think so!” she snorted disdainfully in my mind.
Was it because of Leah or what he’d recently found out about Sam Uley Snr. playing on his mind? “Leah?” she asked.
“Sam and Leah had, well let’s just say there was an incident, Leah got hurt; the only other female shape shifter in the world!” I replied in my head to her.
“Oh, I thought that was me,” she said back with disappointment in her voice.
I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as we ran swiftly through the trees. This was not good news about Sam. We had to find him and calm him down before he did something stupid, again. I wished Jake was here, but he had gone on honeymoon yesterday with Nessie to Isle Esme.
Me and my sister would have to deal with this ourselves.


CHAPTER FORTY FOUR
RE-BORN
LEAH LUCIER (NEE CLEARWATER):
TWO MONTHS LATER –
I had phoned my Mother three days after I was re-born as a vampire. I told her not to worry I was fine. Yes I’d had a run in with Sam whilst he was in wolf form but I was recovering well at Etienne’s. Yes we were back together and no I didn’t care anymore what anyone had to say about it. She’d accepted my words. She had no choice. So today, two months after I became Immortal, I was going back home to face everyone. Bella and Edward knew I was changed but no one else did. I had asked them not to tell. Now I had another surprise. Etienne and I were married. We’d had a private ceremony in his garden earlier in the evening. The registrar who married us was from the humanist society and I really don’t know what she thought of the couple she was marrying. I guessed Etienne had used his power on her! It was short and sweet and over in five minutes. Still, it was perfect and amazing because now I could call Etienne my husband.
In the days after my transformation Etienne and I had spent our time distracting each other. I had loved and admired his physique and beautiful face many times before but now he was so much more than perfect in my eyes. He was a bright beautiful jewel, a rare entity that shone with light and glittering rainbows. His skin fascinated me, his eyes mesmerized me and his lips drove me insane with desire. I had thought him perfect and handsome as a human, but now I saw him through my vampire eyes, it was like seeing him in all his glory for the first time. Amazingly and completely true: he felt exactly the same about me. Those first few weeks were magical. I did not have the raging thirst for blood or the incapacitating hunger which newborns usually had. This meant we had plenty of time to revel in our new found lust and desire for each other. And revel we did, without boundaries.
I always knew deep down that Etienne still held fast to his old fashioned ideas on courtship and love. He believed a couple should be married before they were intimate in a sexual way. I know when I was human he had gone much further down that path with me than he would have liked, but we had always been in lustful admiration of each other in the physical sense since our first passionate kiss. Of course I loved so much more about him than his mere physical beauty. He was kind, he was intelligent, and he was inquisitive and surprisingly childlike. He was amusing, he was brave, and he was loving and gentlemanly in all ways. I loved him. I really loved him. Would my family accept him as my husband? I couldn’t answer my own question.
Not only did I have to explain that I had married in secret I also had to explain why I now had translucent pale skin, amber eyes, speed and strength beyond human comprehension and a totally different demeanor than before. I didn’t know how I was going to do this, but I knew I had to for my sake and my family’s sake. I could not start a new life with Etienne unless I tied up the loose ends of my old human one. Then I would be free to spend eternity with my husband. My husband. Two words I would never, ever get sick of saying. Two words I relished and treasured for ever more. I gazed at my reflection in the mirror as I slowly brushed my long, lustrous mane of dark shiny hair. I loved how my eyes had turned beautiful warm amber. So much more appealing than the scarlet blood red they had been in the beginning of this life. Although Etienne had confessed to loving my red newborn eyes once he had got used to them. He said I looked wild and sexy with them. Now, he really loved the colour my eyes had turned, he said I was beautiful as ever. He said I was as I should be.
He was right, despite all of the troubles in my past, despite my distrust and hatred of “bloodsuckers” I truly did make a great vampire. I didn’t have the terribly frightening out of control feeling that most newborns suffer. I didn’t change into a soulless empty shell. I didn’t become a mindless killing machine. I was quite refined! Etienne kept animal blood in his freezer, once defrosted it tasted fine to me. I didn’t know any different though and I never wanted to find out. I did wonder how Etienne had resisted me when I was human though. Lucky for me he was old and wise and very very restrained when it came to human blood. But my scent, my taste, my skin, well it must have driven him mad with vampire desire. I had only ever come into contact with two humans. Once when we married only hours ago, and once when I had accidentally answered the door to the postman.
Etienne liked to bid for antiques online and he often won due to being very rich, something he never boasted about. This day, about two weeks ago when my eyes were thankfully amber the postman had delivered a parcel for my love. Etienne had gone hunting in the early morning light leaving me home alone. I didn’t think. I answered the knock at the door. I knew as soon as I opened that door that I shouldn’t have. The poor postman was dazzled by the vision of beauty which answered the door. I was wearing a short, low cut almost see through silky nightdress in seductive midnight blue which complemented my pale skin perfectly. The guy’s eyes almost popped out of his head. I was too busy concentrating on blocking out the smell of his delicious blood. It only took a minute or so for me to banish all thoughts of preying on him out of my mind. Etienne had planted seeds in my mind, but I didn’t honestly need them as it seemed my shape shifting half cancelled out the blood thirst. Yes, I needed blood to survive, but I did not need to kill innocent people to obtain it. By the time we were married I was simply not that affected by the sight of a pulse or by the aroma of sweet thick blood flowing through human veins. Thankfully.
So, it was nearly time to leave for La Push. I felt nervous and apprehensive. I didn’t realise I would still have these human emotions. If I thought about the vampires I knew then it was ridiculous. Bella was still the same. She looked different but basically she was the same girl inside. I hoped I was too. I hoped my family and friends did not disown me, but I needed to know. I needed to go home, even if it was for the last time. I caught Etienne’s unique scent before I felt his hands on me. I breathed in the essence of him as his cool lips touched the bare skin of my shoulder. I shivered intensely as his mouth inched its way up my neck to my ear lobe.
“You look like an angel my love. A beautiful perfect angel I wish to devour,” he whispered seductively in my ear.
As ever I was captivated by him. I turned my head so our lips could meet in cool passionate desire. His taste, his scent envelop me as we fall deeper into the kiss, deeper into each other, lost again and again. As we fall into each other’s arms and into our bed I thank my lucky stars for the day I first set eyes on this perfect creature. I love him so much. So much more now he is my husband, if that is possible. Our sighs, our movements and our bodies rise together and clash in passion and love. Always will he be mine. Always will I be his. Home is forgotten for now. It can wait for a few hours. It is our wedding night. He is completely and irrevocably mine.
At last.


CHAPTER FORTY FIVE
BONDING
REBECCA CALL:
Me and my Mom were spending some quality time together. We were shopping in Port Angeles, it was much smaller than I was used to but still it was quaint and charming I supposed. I usually shopped alone, quickly and purposefully, but today my Mom and I perused the small boutiques with leisurely ease. I’d always known she was out there, somewhere. My real Mom. The woman whom I got my name from. The woman who couldn’t keep me. I didn’t blame her and I didn’t want recriminations from the past. She had told me what had happened that night with Sam Uley Snr. She had explained to me how scared she was to find out she was pregnant at seventeen and she had implored me to believe that she had never stop loving me all those years we were apart. I believed her.
She was still only in her early forties, her next birthday would see her turn forty one. My mother’s birthday was three weeks after mine on March 22nd. Today was March first, it was my birthday, the one and only birthday we had spent together if you don’t count the few hours after I came into this world. It was bitter sweet but kind of cool that now on my twenty third birthday we were enjoying a lovely day together as a proper mother and daughter should. My Mom had bought me a pretty silver charm bracelet with a small silver wolf dangling from it. I could add to the bracelet with my own charms. It was a lovely present and I liked it very much. We had fun trying on clothes and giggling at ourselves in the changing room mirrors. Tiffany was surprisingly good company. Embry had told me she kept herself to herself and didn’t mix well with others. He said she had been scared about her secrets from the past coming out. She was also nervous being around people due to her illness. I was determined to bring her out of her shell. Today was going really well. I was happy.
Now, we were sitting in a cosy booth of a small Italian restaurant we’d found. My Mom raised her glass of red wine to mine as she toasted my birthday. Tears sprang into her eyes as she smiled at me over the candle lit table.
“I am so happy to spend your birthday with you Rebecca!” she exclaimed with emotion.
I nodded as I took her hand across the table. “I am happy too Mom! I dreamed of finding you one day, “I smiled.
We grinned at each other through happy tears as the waiter approached to take our order. We both laughed as we ordered the same thing at the same time. I noticed that our laughs and smiles were similar, but I had the dark hair and colouring of my Father. I was also tall and athletic. We ate our food and we drank our wine. We chatted about our lives and our hopes and dreams. When it was time to catch the bus back to La Push, we walked companionably along arm in arm to the bus station. I heard someone calling my name behind us and I turned to find Quinn Taylor running towards us. Quinn and Kat had been on a few dates in the past. I knew he was totally in love with my sister and he was totally jealous and possessive too. He looked angry as he approached. My Mom looked slightly worried. I squeezed her arm to reassure her.
“Hey Quinn,” I pleasantly greeted him. “What are you doing in Port Angeles?” I questioned.
He narrowed his eyes at me, “As if you don’t know Miss High and Mighty!” he spat out, his handsome face creased with annoyance.
I look at my Mom who still looked worried and shrugged my shoulders.
“I had a phone call last night from Kat! She told me the reason why she’d disappeared of the face of the earth! She was helping you at first but then she met someone! This half-brother of yours, this Embry Call she says she is in love with him!” he exclaimed angrily.
I shrugged my shoulders again much to his annoyance. Quinn had never been a favourite person of mine. Kat was much too good for him. They’d dated casually over the last year, but Kat had always made it very clear that it was nothing serious. Quinn did not see it that way and when I tried to warn Kat she always laughed it off. Quinn was obsessive about my sister, in my eyes.
My Mom suddenly spoke, “That’s my son you are talking about mister! Yes, he and Kat are in love and they are very happy together! Embry imprinted on her and there is no greater bond than that!” Tiffany proclaimed proudly.
I cringed inwardly at her words. Quinn knew nothing of imprinting or shape shifters. He narrowed his sapphire blue eyes at my Mom and ran his big hands impatiently through his messy dark blonde hair. He was tall and very muscular because as well as being obsessed with my sister he also had an unhealthy gym obsession too!
“Imprinting? Huh? What the hell is that?” he sneered.
I nudged my Mom discreetly so she would take the hint to say nothing else on the matter. “Quinn, my sister is in love with Embry. They are happy together, you need to go home to Vancouver and get on with your life,” I said with as much kindness as I could muster.
“No! No way! I came out here to see her and I am not going home until I do!” he exclaimed passionately. “You will tell me where she is staying Rebecca. She told me she was living near Port Angeles. I came here on the off chance I might run into her. I’ve been trawling the streets since early morning, then I spot you!” he smirked.
“She is staying with me. That’s all you need to know. Now, it’s getting late we must be heading home. Goodnight Quinn,” I said firmly as I took my Mom’s arm and walked towards the bus station. I could feel Quinn’s eyes boring into my back as we walked off. I prayed he wouldn’t start anything. If he decided to become more forceful I didn’t know what might happen. I was quite volatile, especially when it came to protecting my family. I prayed he would stay where he was.  “Yeah goodnight Rebecca. I’ll be seeing you soon, very soon!” he said quietly behind my back.
Of course my hearing acutely accurate so I easily heard his parting shot. I shivered slightly at his words. Why had Kat never listened to me when it came to Quinn?
“What an awful person!” my Mom whispered to me as we made our way to the bus station.
I glanced behind but there was no sign of Quinn. I must tell Kat about my encounter with him as soon as we got home. We were both staying in a small home I had rented on the reservation near to my Mom’s house. Her house was only big enough for her and Embry. My brother spent most of his time at our house any ways, as he couldn’t bear to be parted from Kat at all. Kat had taken two months unpaid leave from her teaching job. She was due to go back next week. I had also taken time off from my job as a marine biologist. Luckily I had a good salary and a lot of savings, so I could afford a bit of time off. I was going to go back when Kat did next week. My Mom was not looking forward to me leaving, the last two months had been great. Kat was already breaking her heart about leaving Embry behind, but I suspected he would soon follow her to Vancouver. I really hoped it worked out for them. They seemed so perfect for each other. All I wanted was for Kat, my little sister, to be happy.
I wasn’t going to let Quinn Taylor ruin that for her.


CHAPTER FORTY SIX
FACE TO FACE
LEAH LUCIER:
The full moon shone down on my husband and me as we hunted together in the woods which lay on the outskirts of Forks. Hunting wasn’t a new concept to me, although I was rather exceptional at it since becoming a vampire. I wanted to face everyone in the morning with light coloured topaz eyes. I needed to have no trace of hunger within me before I saw my family and friends. Finally when our thirst was sated we gave into our other desires, underneath the moonlight on a bed of leaves and pine needles. How I loved my beautiful husband. His pale skin glinted and shone like marble in the waxy light of the moon above us. His dark hair fell enticingly in luxurious waves to his shoulders, soft as silk to the touch. His cool lips made me shiver as they always did, except now everything was more heightened, more magnificent. Etienne was perfect. He was mine and I adored every part of his mind, body and soul. It was easy to lose track of time, to lose ourselves in each other. Soon the grey light of dawn lit up the misty woods with an eerie glow. It was time to disentangle myself from Etienne. This part was always difficult. I wondered if my obsession with him would ever wane. I guessed not. I sighed as I pulled myself out of his strong arms reluctantly. It was time to face my old life.
Once Etienne and I were respectable again, we held hands as we made our way through the woods. We didn’t run, we didn’t even walk fast. We ambled along like we didn’t have a care in the world, two newlyweds out for an early morning stroll on a spring morning. Truth be told I was in no rush. Seeing everyone again filled me with apprehension. Etienne was so attune to me and my feelings that he knew exactly what was going through my mind. This was a situation he had never come across when he’d been changed. Victoria did not allow him to see his family ever again. But that probably had been for the best as Etienne had been vicious as a newborn, something I know he hates about himself even after all these years. I just knew I could not go forward with my new life until I had said proper goodbyes to my old one. Just as we left the woods a figure appeared before us. To my shock it was Sam Uley standing in front of me. Face to face with my killer! He looked just as shocked to see me. “Leah?” he asked in astonishment as Etienne issued a low hiss through clenched teeth beside me. I squeezed my husband’s hand tighter as we faced the reason for my untimely human death.
“Hello Sam,” I smiled, dazzling him. He gazed at me as if in a stupor. In fact he looked like he had been sleeping rough for a few days. He wasn’t his usual clean and tidy self and his eyes were wild and bloodshot. What had happened since I had left? To my utter shock, confusion and amazement Sam threw himself at my feet and began to sob uncontrollably.
“Leah I am so sorry I hurt you! Are you okay now? You look fine. You look really good! “he gushed weirdly.
This was so unlike Sam, my worry began to increase with each passing moment. “Get up Sam. Come sit here with me,” I softly said, indicating to a soft mound of grass which looked comfortable.
His troubled dark eyes looked into mine with pain and fear. He didn’t seem to notice that my eyes were now topaz. I took his hand as Etienne looked at the scene with quiet disgust. There was no way he would forgive Sam. I didn’t feel the same. Yes, my first love had caused me to leave my human life, but how could I be sad when I now had an amazing new life with Etienne forever? There was nothing to forgive as far as I was concerned.
“Sam, after the incident in the clearing after the wedding I was badly injured beyond repair. I’m afraid without Etienne’s help I would have died. Well I say died, technically I am dead, but I am more alive than I have ever been if that makes sense. I am a vampire now Sam, I have become like one of our old enemies. But I am not your enemy, I am still your friend and I forgive you all of the things you tried to do to me and Etienne. Okay?” I asked as I squeezed his hand.
He looked up at me with that vacant faraway look again. Even though I could not feel cold any more I felt a shiver run through my veins. Just what had happened to the confident, cocky Sam I once knew? His eyes were sad but in the depths I thought I saw a trace of his old self resurfacing.
“Etienne changed you? I was so worried you might be dead Leah! Then I was worried you might be undead! I hurt you, I hurt Emily! My Father hurt Tiffany and probably countless others. I felt like I was losing control, losing my mind! I went into the sea, I didn’t really want to die, and I just wanted to stop the pain! I didn’t want to be evil like my Father! Then she saved me! Rebecca! The dark haired demon! She must be evil right Leah? She must be! My Father’s bad blood runs through us both. Why did she save me? Jacob hates me, everyone hates me! I’ve been living in the woods for weeks now, I keep thinking I may just phase and never change back! Run free and wild as a wolf with no human concerns to plague me!” he sadly exclaimed as he slumped down with his head in his hands.
I gazed up at Etienne, who suddenly looked worried too. His hatred and distrust for Sam had been replaced by something else. I recognised the change in his expression. It was pity which now laced his perfectly beautiful features. I put my strong arms around Sam and pulled him towards me.
“Oh Sam! You really are in a bad state of mind. You need to be with Emily, not running around the woods half crazy! Now you listen to me right now okay?” I said firmly as I stroked his dark cropped hair.
He nodded against my shoulder in tired defeat. “Okay,” came the muffled reply. I could smell his scent, feel his warmth and hear his blood rushing through his veins right next to my skin. There was no way I would attack Sam nor anyone else. I simply had no desire to. Unbelievable really wasn’t it?
I pulled Sam onto his feet and gazed into his dark troubled eyes defiantly. “For once Sam Uley you will let me tell you what to do! You are going to call Emily on my phone and tell her to come pick you up. You are going to tell her how sorry you are for messing up. You are going to tell her exactly what’s been happening okay?”
He nodded and half smiled at me. “You really are a bloodsucker huh? Still a bossy madam though!” he added cheekily.
I laughed and shook my head. “Sam, I just want you to be happy all right? Emily is your imprintee, you can’t just leave her just cos times got a bit tough for you! You two are meant to be together. Just like Etienne and I are. No one can tell us any different now,” I stated with a defiant glint in my eye.
Sam nodded. “You are right Leah. I have been an idiot, but it’s not too late to change! I love Emily so much! I’m so sorry I gave you and Etienne a hard time! I’m sorry I tried to arrange a marriage between you and Embry! Now we can both be happy. I hope it all works out for you Leah, but can I ask what are you doing in Forks? It seems a weird, but lucky coincidence that I ran in to you today?” he asked me curiously.
His dark eyes seemed brighter now, more like his old self. I was glad. I reckoned I had helped him. I made the decision to tell him the truth, seeing as there was nothing he could do to stop me any ways. He was powerless against me now that was the absolute truth of the matter.
“I’ve returned to see my family and friends, Sam. I need to show them that although I am now changed, I am perfectly fine and more alive than I have ever, ever felt before. I need them to believe this and I need them to let me go. I want to move forward with this new life whether they accept it or not. Hopefully they will still love me as I am. If not, I have Etienne’s utter complete love and devotion, “I stated confidently as I reached out for my darling’s cold hand.
Sam nodded and smiled hesitantly. I could see he was still struggling slightly with the concept of the new me. It was strange that I felt so nervous, but Sam had been my first love, my teenage sweetheart, the one I thought I’d grow old with. I never once thought he would turn out to be the death of me. The old me. I stared him straight in the eye and took a deep breath.
“Etienne and I are together forever in this new life of mine.” I exclaimed proudly, before adding, “I am forever his and he is forever mine, the way it should be; everlasting, as husband and wife.”


CHAPTER FORTY SEVEN
IT’S A WOLF THING
EMBRY CALL:
My temperature was running sky high, my body feverish and hot. So hot, I felt like I was burning up from the inside out. It wasn’t some terrible virus running through my veins, oh no it was worse than that. A virus I could beat, I could recover from. This fire in my veins was pure passionate desire for this gorgeous creature that lay beneath me on the sand of our cosy cave. Katherine Constantine, a beautiful wholly desirable angel whom I wanted to possess completely. On the other hand I wanted to wait until she was mine properly. I planned to make that happen soon. Last night we spent the night together in this candle lit cave I had found a few weeks ago. It was hidden nicely away on First Beach just awaiting discovery. I hadn’t ever spent a whole night with Kat yet, I didn’t want to rush into anything. I believed my first time should be firstly with the person I loved wholeheartedly with my body, mind and soul. Secondly she should be my wife. I was finding it difficult to stick to my rules because Kat was so beautiful, so desirable and just plain damn sexy to me.
We had spent our first night alone together talking and cuddling, laughing and joking. The candles I had strategically placed around our special hide away had given off a romantic warm light which set my soul ablaze with even more love for this girl. We had kissed softly at first, but our passion soon rose and we were close to losing control with each other. Her lips, her touch, her sighs were too much for me to bear. I had to stop this before we went too far. So as morning light invaded our perfect cosy retreat I reluctantly prised myself away from my beloved Kat. It was probably a really sensible thing to do, as I was running such a high temperature fuelled by desire for her. I imagined I could set the cave alight with my own heat. It was a male wolf thing! I kissed her soft cheek and pulled her up onto her feet. I had to say this to her now or I would lose my nerve.
I dropped down onto one knee, “Katherine Constantine, I love you so much. I need you and I want to be with you always. Would you do me the very great honour of becoming my wife?” I asked as I gazed up into her beautiful blue eyes.
Tears filled her eyes as she nodded and smiled. “I would love nothing more, Embry Call,” she whispered.
I sighed with relief and joy as I picked up the little box containing the ring I had bought a week ago, from where it was hidden beneath my jacket. I opened the box and showed Kat the plain and simple diamond ring I had chosen. I hoped she liked it, I didn’t think she would like anything showy or over the top. Kat’s eyes lit up as she squealed with glee. I lifted the engagement ring from its red velvet bed and placed it carefully on her finger. It fitted perfectly. I stood up and put my arms around her, holding her tight against me. “I love you Kat,” I whispered against the soft skin of her neck.
“Oh Embry, I love you too!” she exclaimed happily.
My heart skipped a joyful beat at her words. These past few months had been amazing with her. I had never felt such powerful emotions. Imprinting was special, it really was, but I honestly and truly believed that I would have fallen deeply in love with Kat anyway. She was simply a beautiful girl, inside and out. We were so compatible in all ways. The phrase “made for each other” certainly seemed to apply to us two. She was leaving here next week. The thought filled me with dread.
“Kat, when you leave for Vancouver I want to join you as soon as I can,” I softly said as I kissed her sweet lips. “I will miss you so much,” I moaned against her mouth as her lips moved against mine in perfect harmony.
Now we were lost in each other again and I had to remind myself we had both agreed to wait before taking our relationship to the next level. It was so hard to resist her though. My hands were under her soft wool jumper on the smooth bare skin of her waist. Stroking her skin was heavenly. Her hands were in my long hair as she pressed her hips against me with desire. Our mouths and tongues explored, licked and kissed the others with fervent heated passion. I could not bear to tear myself away from my gorgeous fiancée. How I loved to call her that! I planned to marry her as soon as possible. I think she will feel the same. Now she is sighing against my neck as her lips kiss me there. I shiver and groan involuntarily. Our passionate embrace is suddenly interrupted as two figures appear at the cave entrance, their silhouettes dark against the early light of the dawn. I gasped aloud in shock. Who could have found us here?
“Embry?” a voice called out. A voice I knew. Although it was changed. Just as she was undoubtedly changed. Before me stood my half-sister Leah Clearwater. Before me stood a beautiful vampire girl with the equally stunning Etienne by her side. Their magnificent presence filled the cave as we stared at the couple with awe.
“Leah!” I squealed as I gingerly made my way forward to greet her.
Her face glowed with pale luminosity. Her topaz eyes shone and shimmered like kaleidoscopes. Her whole being seemed to be alight with an otherworldly energy. She was stunningly beautiful. She also seemed to be extremely calm, peaceful and happy. I realized that I had tears in my eyes. I really thought I would never see her again. Before we discovered we shared the same Father we had become good friends. I was really pleased to see her, even if I wasn’t sure how to react.
Leah solved the problem by hugging me to her. I could feel the coldness of her next to my wolf heat. “I missed you Embry! Now I find you and your girlfriend have stolen our cave!” she laughed, the sound like a tinkling bell.
I laughed too, “Your cave? Ha! Leah, this is Katherine Constantine, and I am pleased to say she is now my fiancée, since she just agreed to marry me!” I beamed with pride.
Etienne and Leah smiled widely at us both. “Hello Katherine,” Leah smiled.
“Hey,” said Kat shyly, her eyes fixated on the vampires. “Embry has told me all about you and Etienne,” Kat added with a friendly smile.
Leah nodded and smiled too, “Well there is one thing neither of you know! Etienne is now my husband!” she announced as she gazed deeply into his eyes.
Etienne gazed just as intently back. These two always had been very much in love, now it seemed that their love had been intensified by Leah’s change and their marriage. Kat was staring at them both, mesmerized completely by their dazzling beauty. Of course I had told her all about vampires, but still seeing them up close in the flesh for the very first time really was quite overwhelming.
“Congratulations to you both,” I said kissing my half-sister’s pale cheek and shaking Etienne’s cold hand.
“How is everyone Embry? Seth? My Mom? “Leah asked.
I nodded and said they were all doing great, except for the fact that they missed her a lot. She sighed and looked sad. “I had to come back Embry. I can’t move on until I see them. I hope they understand that Etienne saved me! I would have completely died without him! Sam would have been a murderer!” Leah exclaimed passionately.
I nodded again, “Sam has been in such a bad way,” I admitted.
Leah nodded in agreement, “I saw him. We talked. I think he will be fine now. He was on the phone to Emily when we left him. I really believe he can sort himself out,” she smiled.
We made small talk for a while until my stomach began to rumble and we all laughed. “I think it’s breakfast time!” I announced.
We made our way out of the cave into the spring day. The sun had made a rare appearance from behind the clouds. Etienne and Leah glittered like diamond rainbows in the light. Kat gasped and stared at the beautiful couple. “Let’s go tell everyone we are getting married my love, I want to shout it from the rooftops!” I happily exclaimed as I put an arm around my girl.
Leah looked worried again. “Whilst I go tell my Mom and brother that I am now a vampire, a cold one, and an ancient enemy of shape shifters!” she grimaced as she gripped Etienne’s hand tightly. “I think I am gonna win hands down in the ‘whose news is most shocking competition’ don’t you Embry?” she added with sarcastic humour, just like the old Leah would.
I nodded and smiled as I imagined Sue and Seth Clearwater’s reaction. Back from the dead, reborn as a blood sucker and newly married to an ancient vampire?
Awesome.


CHAPTER FORTY EIGHT
TRUTH HURTS
ETIENNE LUCIER:
Leah appeared at the front door of her Mom’s house just as I jumped out of her old bedroom window. I had been listening in and spying on their reunion. Sue had been so happy to see her daughter again that at first she didn’t even notice the changes in her. Then her happiness turned to shock when she felt her cold skin, looked into her kaleidoscope eyes and saw how much Leah’s looks had changed. Sue simply couldn’t comprehend that Leah had been so close to death the night of her nineteenth birthday, that I’d had no choice but to change her. She had demanded to know why no one had taken her daughter to Carlisle Cullen or even the hospital. She simply didn’t want to think of her daughter as a vampire even if the truth was staring her right in the face. It was sad for Leah because I knew my beloved wife so wanted her Mom to be okay with this.
Seth had arrived home too because Leah had phoned him earlier in the day. He was pleased to see her and instantly hugged her, tears pouring down his young face. It was only Sue who was unhappy with the situation. She cried and wailed telling Leah she had brought shame on their family, one of the oldest families on the reservation. What would the founding fathers of the Quileute tribe say? What would the rest of the pack and the Elders say? Sue was distraught at the thought of others being horrified by what her daughter had become. This caused Leah to say some mean things about Harry being less than perfect, which caused more tears from Sue. Poor Seth was stuck in the middle. I had been surprised at Sam Uley’s reaction to us. I hadn’t even used my mind control on him. I guessed he still wore the moonstone around his neck any ways and always would. Embry had taken the news well too. He was happy to see his half-sister again and he had never had anything against me in the past.
I hated hearing my love in pain. I knew she was acting all cool and collected but inside she would be angry, hurt and lost. We vampires couldn’t cry but we did feel pain and loss, perhaps even more acutely than humans. When Leah marched to the front door to escape her Mother’s wrath, I jumped down ready to embrace her. When Sue saw me she gave a wail of distress.
“Get away from this house blood sucker! Leave my daughter alone! You killed her! You changed her! You took her away from us, you monster!” she screeched.
I stepped back in surprise and shock. I guess I had underestimated a Mother’s love for her child. I took Leah’s hand in mine and led her away, but she stopped and whipped around quickly to address her Mother for the last time.
“I love this “monster” with all my heart and soul Mom! In fact I love him so much that I became his wife! Yes, you heard me! Etienne and I are married, we’re vampires and we will be together for all eternity! If you want nothing to do with me anymore then that’s your loss!” she spat out with venomous fury.
She looked even more beautiful when she was angry and I wanted her right here and now so badly. Her topaz eyes shone with indignation, but she smiled at Seth and told her brother she would call him. He smiled back and waved before Sue could bite his head off for taking sides. I knew Seth and Leah would not lose touch. Hopefully Sue would come round but there was no way we were staying around here. It was too difficult for a vampire to remain in their home town, amongst their old friends and family. We would stay young and untouched by time whilst everyone around us would grow older every second of every day. It was impossible to watch that happen. I wondered why Bella put herself through it with Charlie. Victoria had taken me away from my family who had believed me to be murdered. So she told me any way. I never did know for sure and never would.
Leah and I walked away hand in hand. She was defiant, proud and determined not to let me see her pain. I had never loved her more. We had another visit to make before we left. We sped through the woods towards the Cullen house, the wind in our hair and a purple twilight sky above us. Through the trees the house came into view, Bella stood on the raised decking gazing out into the garden, waiting for us. Leah and I swiftly arrived at her feet nervously awaiting her reaction.
“Well well look what we have here? A fledgling vampire and her lover. Or should I say husband? ”she said with a smile. Leah gasped as Bella laughed, “Alice can see you now Leah. You aren’t hidden to her now. Not now you are one of us! Come here, my friend,” Bella softly said with her arms outstretched.
Leah gladly ran up the steps and into her arms for a friendly hug. I smiled at the happy scene. Bella indicated I come forward, so she could give me a welcoming hug too. “I’m so happy for you both, and I’m so glad it all turned out well in the end. I know you had to go through some hard times to get here but now all that matters is the two of you,” Bella gushed happily.
Leah and I smiled as I took her hand in mine. We did have our happy ending. We should be happy. We would be happy once we were living our lives together as husband and wife properly. We spent a few hours with Bella and Edward and the rest of the Cullen’s talking about old times and times to come. When it was time to leave we promised we would stay in touch no matter where we were in the world. I suddenly felt a little sad that I was taking Leah away from everything she had known, but we could not stay here. I hoped I would be enough for her. Judging by the way we felt about each other I was pretty confident I would be. Now we flew like the wind back to Vancouver, back to my old mansion which would be our base whilst we travelled. There was a whole world waiting out there that I couldn’t wait to show my new wife.
In our bed, in my loving arms, Leah finally told me how sad she had felt today. If she could have cried she would have been in floods of tears. I held her tightly to me; how good that felt now that I could! I kissed her sweet cinnamon and vanilla lips softly at first then hungrily and passionately as my desire for her became intense. The spring moon shone into our window bathing our pale bodies in its light as we entwined together and lost ourselves to each other again and again. I had eternity to worship her perfection and her beauty. The absolute beautiful truth of this hit me and I thought my still unbeating heart might burst with sheer love and pleasure. Leah was not only my wife but she was also my whole life. Totally and completely until the stars fell out of the sky and the universe blew away into nothingness. I had lived a long, long,long life and never ever in all that time did I believe I would find someone to love. Someone who would love me back. Someone who was just like me. Someone who knew me inside and out. But it happened. It happened to me.
Now she was here, forever.


CHAPTER FORTY NINE
BREAKING IN TWO
KAT CONSTANTINE:
Rebecca and I were packing ready to go back to Vancouver. It was an emotional day for us all. Rebecca didn’t want to leave her Mom, I didn’t want to leave my Embry. My Embry. My fiancé. Embry had a good job in Port Angeles. He worked as a builder for a construction company who specialised in building new homes with solar energy. It was the new thing and he was very busy at the moment. It would be sensible to keep this good job of his, especially as we wanted to get married as soon as possible. But he also wanted to forget everything and come to Vancouver with me today, I loved my job, teaching was what I was supposed to do. I just knew it. I could do this anywhere of course but there were no jobs for me near La Push just now. Embry worked for a big company so he had put in for a transfer to the city. We were waiting to hear some news on that soon. I felt sick at the thought of leaving him behind today. He said he was going to be lost without me and he didn’t remember what life was like before we met. I feel the same. It’s like my life started the moment we ran into each other outside the Pacific Inn Motel on New Year’s Day.
Tears tracked down my cheeks as I let my emotions take a hold of me. Rebecca looked over and smiled at me shaking her head. “Hey Kat, cheer up Vancouver isn’t that far away you know!”
I nodded but the tears kept flowing and I gave a little sob. My sister came over and hugged me to her. I gratefully let her hold me as I sobbed pitifully. My heart was breaking, breaking in two. “C’mon little sis! You don’t want Embry to see you like this! Go wash your face and put on some slap okay?” Rebecca said as she smoothed my tangled hair away from my face. I loved my big sister so much, even when she was infuriating. I splashed cold water on my face and brushed my mussed hair. I applied a little tinted moisturiser and some blue mascara to bring out the blueness of my eyes which Embry adored. I packed away my makeup and grabbed my toothbrush as I gazed around our little bathroom for the last time. Our short lease was up now, it was time to go home. Back to reality. Away from my love, my hero, my everything.
I closed the door with a sigh. Rebecca had moved all of our bags out onto the drive way ready to put them in the taxi, which would take us to the bus station in Port Angeles. The distance was about one hundred and seventy miles to Vancouver by road, but it felt like a million miles away to my heart. Rebecca and I held hands as we gazed around the home we had shared for a couple of months. It had been lovely living in the country, I hoped Embry and I could buy a house somewhere just as nice. Vancouver was very green for a city though, I did love my home town a lot. It was a wonderful place to live, but it would now seem a little bit empty because the light of my life would be here and not with me. I smiled as I heard the roar of his motorbike approaching. Embry had come to say goodbye to me. I had my hankies ready as I knew there would be tears. Rebecca closed the front door for the last time and posted our set of keys through the letterbox ready for our landlady to pick up later. We both gasped with surprise as Tiffany Call climbed off the back of her son’s bike. She took off her helmet and smiled at us both as she shook out her hair. Rebecca laughed with glee as she made her way over to hug her Mom. Embry approached me with dark sad eyes and a sad smile on his handsome face. He took my hand and led me away into the woods without a word spoken between us.
My back was against the rough bark of a tree as Embry’s lips on my neck caused me to moan and shiver with pent up desire. His lips made their way slowly upwards to meet mine as we clung to each other in a last desperate bitter sweet kiss. How I loved him. His warm body was pressed close to mine making me feel flushed and warm. He stroked my cheek as he gazed down into my eyes.
“Kat I will miss you so much, but this weekend I am coming to Vancouver to see you I promise,” he softly said, his dark eyes sad.
I nodded as tears fell down my cheek once again. Even a few days would seem like forever to me. I jumped up into his strong arms, my legs wrapped around his waist as we hugged each other tightly. It was time to go. He carried me out of the woods, kissing me and whispering words of love. Rebecca and Tiffany were waiting by the taxi which had arrived early. They hugged. Tiffany had been crying but my sister looked fine. She didn’t show her emotions much at all but I knew deep down she would be sad to leave her real Mom whom she had gotten to know so well these past few months. I clung to Embry one last time, as I inhaled his special scent.
“Call me tonight,” he whispered against my cheek as he kissed me softly goodbye.
As the taxi sped away we waved out of the back window to the Call’s. I couldn’t speak for a minute or two or I would sob uncontrollably, Rebecca knows me so well, she just gave my hand a gentle squeeze but didn’t speak. I noticed she had a bunch of large sunflowers with a small card attached. “Your Mom get you those?” I asked.
Rebecca shook her head, “No, a delivery guy dropped them off just before you came out of the woods” she said quizzically.
“Open the card then!” I demanded impatiently.
Inside in small black writing were the words ‘Welcome back to Vancouver’. We both looked at it blankly. Who had sent the flowers to Rebecca? She wasn’t seeing anyone, she avoided relationships because she was scared they would find out something she would rather keep hidden. It hadn’t been easy being a shape-shifter on your own in the city with only your younger sister knowing the truth. I imagined Rebecca moving to La Push to be with her own kind, although she hadn’t mentioned it to me as yet.
“Who could have sent that?” I asked.
Rebecca shrugged her shoulders. “Not sure Kat, but they are pretty!” she exclaimed.
I nodded and smiled.
Soon we were at the bus station and on our way home. I missed Embry so much, I felt all hollow inside. I tried to keep my spirits up for Rebecca though as she also looked sad and thoughtful. It would be lovely to see my parents again. I had missed them a lot, although we’d spoke on the phone every day. I couldn’t wait for them to meet Embry. My Mom was overjoyed for me but my Dad was a bit more cautious of our whirlwind romance. I knew I would have to explain everything to them soon. Rebecca wanted to tell them the truth also, she was sick of the lies and deceit. I reckoned our cool parents would handle the truth just fine. After all they had produced me and I was very open to the supernatural around me. We decided to stay at Rebecca’s tonight seeing as it was late by the time we arrived home. My Dad worked early shift at the Post Office so we didn’t want to wake him. My Mom was an art teacher at the local art college. She had sold a few paintings when she was younger but got more satisfaction from teaching others. I think I got that from her too. Rebecca had a lovely one bedroomed water side apartment which was her pride and joy. I was sleeping on the sofa bed tonight. We arrived at her home tired and emotional from our day.
As she opened the front door a horrible fishy smell invaded our nostrils. As she flung open the door we were shocked to see piles of rotting fish in the hallway. There was worse to come in the living room. The furniture had been wrecked, the walls had been smeared with blood, most possibly from the dead fish. Rebecca gasped as she tried to take in the devastation, I of course, started to cry. Who could have done this? Burglars? Rebecca was checking to see if anything had been stolen, so far nothing appeared to be. I heard her gasp loudly from her bedroom so I ran through to find her staring at the wall incredulously. There in huge letters glaring at us in black paint were the words ‘WELCOME BACK TO VANCOUVER’. Rebecca looked so angry I was afraid she might phase there and then.
“Obviously our flower sender is the same person who wrecked my apartment!” she growled.
I put my arm around her, devastation flooding my body. Who could do this? A light bulb went on in my head, I was the only person who knew where the spare key was kept. Unless you count the night I had stayed over with Quinn when Rebecca was away on a course. He had seen me retrieve the key from its hiding place. Quinn had done this! I told Rebecca what I knew. Her dark eyes glinted with anger and disgust. “I haven’t seen him nor heard from him for ages though!” I exclaimed shaking my head.
“But I have,” Rebecca replied quietly.
My face was a picture of shocked surprise.
“Quinn Taylor will pay for this Kat I swear to you.”


CHAPTER FIFTY
BLACK HEART
QUINN TAYLOR:
I sat smiling to myself as I knocked back straight whiskies at my favourite bar in the middle of the city. Vancouver had many bars, but this dark and dingy one was my favourite. It had an intensely brooding atmosphere and I always felt pumped up on adrenaline when I first came in. Until the alcohol numbed my brain and senses. Until the whisky made my heart ache less. Katherine Constantine. I wish I’d never laid eyes on her. Since the day I met her I had been under her spell. I had gone to the kindergarten where she worked to pick up my nephew one day last spring. My sister had been sick with the flu and couldn’t go herself. I grudgingly said I would do it as I normally work the graveyard shift as a security guard for a large pharmaceutical company. This week I was on annual spring leave.
I don’t like children. They are extremely annoying, snotty and clingy. My nephew was four years old and I had nothing to say to him. The one and only day I picked him up was the day I saw this blonde haired vision walking towards me with a beatific smile and the bluest of blue eyes. Instantly I turned my scowl of annoyance at having to pick up the brat into a dazzling smile of wonderment.
Kat had smiled and nodded to me, “Hello. I’m Katherine Constantine, Joshua’s teacher. You must be Quinn? Sarah phoned to say she was sick and that you would be picking her son up today,” she had said in a perfect soft voice of an angel.
I had nodded, dumbstruck for a second by her beauty. “Yes, I’m Quinn,” I had replied when I had composed myself.
God, she was stunning. I had to have her. Could I ask her for a date here and now? What were the rules? I didn’t like rules, so I had decided just to come out with it. Josh had annoyingly tried to hold my hand. I had let him just this once because I didn’t want Kat to think I was a heartless monster. Truth is, I don’t even think I have a heart. Or if I do, it’s black and empty. And dead inside. Until that day. My heart had stuttered and beat wildly as soon as I saw her face. I had ignored my nephew’s sticky hand in mine as I had asked the beautiful Kat if she would mind accompanying me to see a film that night. She had looked stunned at first but then she had smiled as she accepted my offer. That night, in the dark of the cinema, I took her hand and I knew there and then that my life was never going to be the same again.
Somehow this girl had gotten to me, she had broken down barriers I had been carefully building since I was a kid. I was born two months premature. I was small and scrawny as a child. I was bullied at school. I was called names, like stick insect and other hurtful jibes. I didn’t have any friends at all. Sarah, my older sister was my only light in the darkness. Mother and Father died when we were small in a fatal car accident. We were sent to live with our much older aunt Betty Ann, who had never had children of her own. She wasn’t really interested in us, she carried out the basics but nothing else. I learned in high school it was time to toughen up or forever be the victim. I started training every day in the gym when I was fifteen. By the time I turned seventeen I was tall, muscular and strong. No one messed with me anymore. No one bothered with me either, I had only made friends with dumb bells and machines, and no real people were allowed in my life. That was the best way. Sarah had turned out just fine, she was popular and outgoing. She tried to help me at first but soon got tired of my refusal to take part in society. She went to university when she was seventeen to study Chemistry and Maths. She was the clever one of the family. She met a boy in her first year there, in her second year she had fallen pregnant with Josh. She dropped out of Uni. The boy Harry, became her husband a year later. She is happy being a mother and wife. How dull. I rarely see her.
I had thanked my sister silently a million times for being ill that particular day though. The day I met my Kat was the best day of my life. Before that I drifted through my life. I got up at midday every day. I showered, I ate a simple meal, and I trained down the gym for four hours solid. I showered again at home, I watched one of my favourite war films or I surfed the net aimlessly. Then I made two ham and cheese sandwiches for my break at work. I often took an apple as well. I walked the short distance to work at nine pm. I spent my night looking at camera screens and patrolling the buildings. At six am exactly I clocked out and walked home in the early morning light. My life was simple until Kat came into it. After that I obsessed over her constantly. Where was she? What was she doing? Who was she with? I expected her to have the same feelings I was experiencing, but although she enjoyed my company now and again she simply wasn’t in love with me in the slightest. I think she liked having a big strong handsome guy to show off when she needed a date. Apart from that I was nothing to her. She didn’t even call me her boyfriend. We kissed a lot but nothing more. When I kissed her I felt a deep longing desire well up within me. I needed her. I wanted her, but she didn’t feel the same way. Every time I tried to take our relationship further she pushed me away. Every time I tried to see her more often or suggest we do stuff together as a couple, she became more and more distant. She sat me down and explained she wasn’t looking for a relationship at this point in her life. She said she liked me a lot, but only as a casual dating arrangement. I nodded and agreed with a smile whilst a fiery rage of unrequited love burned inside me. The more she ignored me, the more I burned. I burned with anger, I burned with love and desire. Sometimes I burned with hatred for her too. At some point I believed my heart had turned black because it could not burn any more. She stopped calling me, I only spoke to her if I made the first move. I began following her, recording her every move in secret. I had to be near her, had to have her in my life. Stalking seemed a reasonable way to go about it.
The last time we met up she told me she was taking some time off work, but she wouldn’t tell me why. I only found out when she randomly phoned me a few weeks ago. That’s when she told me about him. Embry freaking Call. She felt like she should tell me she had met someone. So much for not wanting a relationship. It was me she hadn’t wanted all along. I had pretended to be friendly and courteous on the phone to her, all the while my knuckles turning white as I had gripped the phone with madness and rage. Yes, this girl had driven me crazy. Crazy enough to go look for her. I needed my daily fix of stalking her. I needed to see her and the thousands of pictures I had taken in secret were not doing it for me anymore. She had innocently let it slip that she was staying near Port Angeles. I had gone there looking for her when I had seen Rebecca, her half-sister. I hated Rebecca Call. She looked at me suspiciously with those dark cold eyes whenever she saw me. She annoyed me so badly. Why wasn’t she proud to have Kat’s family name? Why did she insist on calling herself Rebecca Call after the mother who abandoned her? In Port Angeles she was her usual prickly stuck up self. Her pathetic excuse for a real mother had tried to stand up for her son and Rebecca’s half-brother, Embry, in my eyes he had taken Kat from me and that knowledge did not rest easy with me. Rebecca needed to be taught a lesson.
I smiled to myself again over another whisky as I pictured her face tonight as she got home from her trip. I should have stayed hidden away to watch and hear her reaction, but I knew it was better to be careful. Kat had unwittingly shown me where the spare key for Rebecca’s apartment was kept one night. I had thought she would mine that night. I was excited to be alone with her, but when she told me I would be sleeping on the sofa bed because she didn’t want to be alone whilst flat sitting, I felt the rage burn through my chest again. She had led me on for months, she had kissed me and held her body close to me, and she had made me believe something was happening between us. I took an angry swig of the neat whisky, barely grimacing as its flaming heat hit the back of my throat. Kat needed taught a lesson too and I had a seed of evil planted in my mind that was slowly growing into a fine idea of revenge. Gone were the days when Quinn Taylor was a weak sniveling wreck, bullied and jeered at by others. No, now I was strong and I was not going to let anyone make a fool of me.
Not now, not ever.


CHAPTER FIFTY ONE
DISCOVERY
LEAH LUCIER:
I had gotten used to being a vampire with ease. Of course it helped having Etienne, my loving husband by my side. I loved him so much. I loved being married and I loved our new life together. But still, my old life resonated in everything I did. Every time I felt the need to phase and run as a wolf I remembered my past. I didn’t phase much these days, being a vampire was everything and more. I was a stronger much faster wolf since the change though. But I could run just as fast, if not faster as my vampire self. Memories, emotions and shadows would come out of nowhere to engulf me. Etienne said feelings and images from my past would take a while to leave me. I had centuries I supposed. The thought of my family growing older and getting closer to death with every passing minute scared me. I didn’t want to become cold and unfeeling, I didn’t want to forget them and my old life. When I was in Etienne’s strong marble arms I could forget everything. All I needed in those moments was his lips, his touch, his pale body pressed close to mine. Etienne didn’t know that I’d made a discovery. A few days ago I felt myself go into a strange trance. Whilst in this state I had seen mental pictures so vivid, so true that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that they were real. Somehow my mind was showing me events. I hadn’t worked out if these were past, present or future events. Was this my special vampire power? Like Alice Cullen?
Etienne and I were currently in London. It was a beautiful city where old met new seamlessly. We had rented out the penthouse suite of the Savoy hotel, it was expensive and sumptuous with rich dark tones of velvet colours in the furnishing and décor. I loved it. I adored it. I felt like a vampire princess in the huge four poster bed every night. Not that we used it for sleeping. This was our proper honeymoon at last and we made the most of the luxurious surroundings. London was rainy like Forks so we got to play the American tourists easily. I found the climate to be similar to Washington State, not that vampires cared about the weather at all, but I loved the cool damp air and the warmer nights which signaled summer would be here soon. I tried to forget my old life and just enjoy the simplicity of my time with my adoring husband. Etienne was rich beyond my wildest dreams, something he had never mentioned before but which really should have been obvious to me. Money didn’t interest me that much, but now it was very handy as we could do what we liked. Centuries of studying the stock market had paid off for Etienne as well as his love for buying and selling properties. He had a vampire friend in London who welcomed us both. I had never had a problem with being a newborn. I didn’t crave human blood. I wasn’t violent or untamed. I loved to walk amongst the humans, smelling their unique and varying scents as they went by me, scurrying and hurrying through their short lives.
Today I was strolling through Regent’s Park, the sky was cloudy and overcast, perfect for a vampire. The good inhabitants of London were not ready for my rainbow glittering skin, should the sun shine. We checked the weather religiously every day on Etienne’s new-fangled mobile phone. That phone could do anything, I swear! My darling husband was back at the hotel making some international calls wheeling and dealing. I left him to it, that part of his life was his and his alone. I had never been good with numbers! I breathed in the smell of skin, blood and leaves as I strolled aimlessly. People stared at me, mostly men. My beauty was dazzling, my presence radiant to humans. They couldn’t help gazing at me with a mixture of awe and fear. I always tried to play down my appearance so I didn’t attract too much unwanted attention. It was hard to look inconspicuous when you were a vampire. That is why we preferred the undercover of the night times.
I let my mind go blank and was happy just to walk along with no memories, dreams or visions to plague me. I sat on a bench and took in the view from my hill top location. Someone sat down next to me. I didn’t look, but I could smell their scent. It was strange, almost vampiric in nature, I chanced a sneaky glance. The stranger’s dark eyes were intensely focused on my deep topaz ones. I gasped in shock. This was no ordinary human male.
“Hello madam, I am afraid I had to come speak with you. I am clairvoyant. I see an aura around you. There is much trouble to come. You need to go home. A close friend needs you,” he spoke in a soft velvet voice with a hint of an Irish accent.
“Who are you?” I asked.
I found myself strangely drawn to his brown eyes, pale skin and handsome face. His black hair was cropped short which accentuated his eyes more sharply. His face was angular and symmetrically pleasing, with just a hint of stubble. His lips were full and red. Yes, he was a lovely human specimen and for once I did imagine sinking my teeth into his smooth neck to taste his blood. I shook the mental image from my mind.
“I am Daniel. I have been following you, watching you. I was trying to get up the courage to tell you what I “saw” as soon as I first set eyes on you three days ago. You are quite intimidating Miss!” he added with a throaty nervous laugh.
I raised my eyebrows at him, as I smiled with what I hoped was a friendly warm smile. “My name is Leah and I am actually a Mrs.,” I told him.
He smiled sadly and nodded, “Yes of course you are Leah. Pleased to meet you. I am sorry for approaching you in this weird manner but when the spirits show me things I have a duty to pass it on,” he somberly said as he held out a hand for me to shake. Luckily I was wearing my new expensive leather gloves, a recent gift from Etienne. I took his hand and the world went black.
I came to after what seemed like hours, my panic and disorientation rising quickly through my fearful body. Daniel was stroking my arm, a worried look on his face. I dreaded to think what had happened. “Are you okay Leah?” he asked kindly. I shook my head as my mind was filled with visions again. When I blacked out Daniel had reached for my pulse. I saw not horror on his handsome face but a look of astonishment and wonder. Here was a human who was not afraid, but very curious. They were more dangerous than the poor ignorant ones who went through life assuming there were no monsters and no weirdness. He knew I wasn’t just a normal girl. I think he knew that before he discovered I was talking and moving but I had no pulse.
“Daniel, I know you are wondering about me. I am afraid I can’t explain anything to you at this moment. I am afraid because I have been having visions which I don’t understand but are so real for a few days now. Today when you touched my hand was the first time I have actually lost myself for a few moments. Today was the first time I actually saw something which made sense. Something which has frightened me beyond reason!” I shuddered as I let the horror of what I had seen in my vision sink in.
Daniel nodded with a small knowing smile, “Leah I knew you were different the moment I saw you. Your husband is too. You both stand out like rare flowers amongst a bunch of weeds. I should know I’ve always been different too. I can guess what you really are, and it fascinates me, but I know we have more important issues to deal with here,” he said, his dark eyes serious.
I nodded as I asked him to please tell me about this vision he had which featured me somehow. When he had finished I began to shake with fear and horror, my body felt colder and hollower than ever. Daniel looked at me with such sympathy and kindness that I felt tears springing to my eyes even though I knew there were none, I could not cry, not anymore. His vision, the events he had seen unfolding in is mind, shown to him by spirits or whatever were exactly the same as what I had just pictured during my black out.
I had to get back to Forks right away or someone I loved dearly was going to die!


CHAPTER FIFTY TWO
CAPTURED
EMBRY CALL:
I got on a bus to Vancouver the very next morning after Kat phoned to explain that Rebecca and she had arrived home to some unexpected trouble. My fiancée sounded much shaken on the phone, there was no way I could stay here in La Push whilst she needed me. The dawn had barely broken as I boarded the bus to take me to my love. I had left a message for work explaining I would need the rest of the week off. I hoped they would be understanding, given the circumstances. I had to be near Kat, I had to protect her and make sure this jerk Quinn Taylor was out of her and Rebecca’s lives for good. I’m sure a large wolf with grey fur and dark spots might be able to persuade him, I jokingly laughed to myself. I knew without a doubt that Rebecca would be raging angry with him. I would be afraid if it was me who was in her bad books. I wondered what she had planned for him.
I had booked into a hotel near to Kat’s parents’ house. I hadn’t met my future in laws yet so I didn’t feel it was appropriate to put them to any trouble on my behalf. I made myself comfortable with a nice hot shower before ordering a late breakfast. I had just finished eating when there was a knock at my door. My smile was wide and happy as I found my beautiful Kat on the other side of the door. She leapt into my arms, her long blonde hair falling around my face and shoulders.
“Oh Embry,” she sighed against my neck. I carefully placed her onto my large king sized bed. She let herself fall, her hair fanning out behind her in a silky yellow curtain. She had on skin tight black jeans and a red clingy t shirt under a short denim jacket. Her red high heels were sexy on her small feet as she pointed a shoe at me cheekily. I gently removed the provocative item of footwear and kissed the smooth skin of her lovely foot. She giggled deliciously as my lips made their way up to her ankle. I fell down onto the bed beside her, eager to kiss her soft enticing lips.
Our lips came together in perfect synchronisation as always. Her scent and taste overwhelmed me as always. But this time there was something different in our passionate embrace. This time we didn’t try to stop our desire for each other. When the midday sun reached its zenith our clothes seemed to dissolve and disappear until our skin molded and melded into each other as we gave ourselves completely in pure love and passion. No words were spoken between us, just sighs. No barriers, no discussions, it all just happened without conscious action. We had broken our promise to each other, but promises were sometimes made to be broken. I would never love another girl; I would never hold another girl like this, making love to her with my heart, body and soul. It had happened as it was meant to happen, despite our intentions of waiting until we were married. It almost felt as if a higher power was guiding us. We both let this mystical force sweep us away on our passionate journey.
Later, I held her close, our hearts beating as one and kissed her softly on the forehead. “That was even more unbelievable than when I imprinted on you Katherine Constantine,” I whispered lovingly. She smiled and kissed my cheek, salty sweet tears on her face.
“Don’t cry my love. Are you all right?” I asked with concern.
“I couldn’t be more right,” she said softly with a sweet smile. “That was amazing for me too. I love you so much Embry!” she exclaimed.
We hugged and kissed gently. We talked about what had happened with Quinn. Kat told me Rebecca was very angry and humiliated. Kat was upset because she believed it to be her fault. “I led him on for months Embry. I didn’t love him, he was just a distraction really,” she said with a frown.
“It is not your fault Kat! The guy is unhinged! Rebecca and I will sort this.” I stated with confidence.
I had spoken with Rebecca on the phone this morning after I had arrived at the hotel. She and I planned to give Quinn a fright he wouldn’t forget in a hurry! Kat didn’t need to know. All I wanted to do was protect my girl.
Tonight we planned to stop his campaign against the girls dead in its tracks. I needed to tell my fiancée a little white lie first. I told her I was tired from travelling and I needed to take a long soak in the bath and have a nap. “Then I will come to your house, meet your parents and take you out for a late romantic meal, just the two of us,” I said with a smile.
Kat nodded, “Of course my love! You must be so tired, especially after this lovely afternoon we’ve spent together,” she winked cheekily.
I laughed as I disentangled myself reluctantly from her. We kissed and hugged as she left my room. I sighed as I closed the door. I would miss her even though we would only be parted a few hours. I quickly showered and dressed. I sent Rebecca a text as I was leaving the hotel, asking her to meet me at our agreed place. I hoped our idea went to plan. She knew where Quinn worked. She knew he worked all alone. We had to nip this in the bud now.
I made my way out of the hotel and began to walk through the leafy park to meet Rebecca. I was in a world of my own dreaming of my Kat and the love we shared when I was suddenly jolted back to reality. A girl had rode into me on her bicycle and promptly fell over onto the pathway. “Oh I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed as I helped her up. “I wasn’t looking where I was going!” she added with a smile.
“That makes two of us,” I said wryly. With her bicycle still discarded on the path she quickly flung her arms around me and pressed her body against me in a more than friendly manner. I put my hands on her hips as I gently tried to restrain her.
“I’m such a clumsy fool,” she whispered hoarsely in my ear. I pulled away from her, but she put her hands on either side of my head and pulled my lips down to hers before I could protest! She kissed me passionately and strongly, her hands gripping my face, her body rubbing against mine. At first I did nothing, so great was my shock. It wasn’t every day good looking young ladies threw themselves so willingly at me! My mind kicked into action and my body followed quickly after as I pushed her away.
“Sorry about that too,” my mystery girl smirked as she picked up her bike and cycled away down the path. I stood open mouthed as I watched her leave. Just what was that all about me asked myself as I shook my head in confusion? The city sure was different to what I was used to!
I was almost upon the meeting place Rebecca and I had agreed on, when my phone beeped in my pocket. It was a text from Kat. She asked me to come meet her at a bar down town. She said it was urgent; she needed to see me right away. What was wrong? I tried to call her but all I got was the answer machine. “Hey Kat, it’s me. I’m on my way sweetheart. I hope everything is okay!” I said trying not to panic.
I quickly sent a text to Rebecca telling her I would be a bit later than planned but I would make it soon. Hopefully Kat was just having a mini crisis of some sort and it could easily be sorted. I would have to lie to her again; Rebecca was desperate to put her plan into action tonight! I flagged a taxi down to take me to the bar where Kat was. I didn’t even question why she would be in a bar when really she should have been at home, waiting for me to call round as planned. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was stopping to help a guy who had a flat tire. Next thing I knew I was in the back of a white van with a fuzzy head and a thick rope tied round my ankles and wrists.
“If you make a noise I will stuff this dirty rag in your mouth,” the guy with the dark hair and soul less eyes informed me. “I don’t believe we’ve been introduced. I’m Quinn Taylor and you, of course, are Embry Call, the stealer of girlfriends,” he said as he punched me square in the face. I felt the blood run down my throat from my busted nose. I choked and spluttered but quickly turned my head to the side. “Just in case you don’t believe I’m serious,” Quinn added.
So this was Kat’s ex-boyfriend. He smirked down at my bloody face as he leaped into the driver’s seat. As he started the engine, he turned to me with a snake like grin, “If you think I am just going to let Kat walk out of my life and be with you then you are very much mistaken,” he hissed at me, his eyes dark and menacing with a hint of madness.
We drove along, my head full of fear and my ears full of the song he played over and over and over again.
All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
nor do the wind, the sun or the rain 
(We can be like they are)
Come on baby 
(Don’t fear the Reaper) 
Baby take my hand 
(Don’t fear the Reaper) 
we’ll be able to fly 
(Don’t fear the Reaper) 
Baby I’m your man


CHAPTER FIFTY THREE
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
KAT CONSTANTINE:
“Life, what is it but a dream?” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass.
I had left Embry’s hotel in a hazy love sick dream. I took a long detour back towards home, so I could dream and smile to myself in the spring sunshine. I definitely belonged to Embry Call now. In all ways. We had broken our promise of celibacy to each other this afternoon, but it had felt right to give in to the passion between us which had been simmering since we first kissed. Embry was my first lover. My only lover. As I was his. I felt like I was walking on a cloud of happiness, all wrapped up in a bubble of joy. Until my phone vibrated in my jacket pocket and I was brought back to reality with a terrible jolt. The message was from Quinn. He wanted to talk to me. He asked me to meet him in a bar down town. He said he wanted to apologise and explain a few things. I decided I would go. I needed closure from the whole Quinn situation. I wanted to ask him nicely not to target my sister because of things I had done. I sent a quick text back saying I would be there shortly. I hoped I was doing the right thing.
I spotted Quinn right away as soon as I entered the bar. He seemed to be much more muscular than the last time I’d seen him. I found his gym obsession boring. I had also found his slight drinking problem boring too. I would rather be outdoors than in a bar. It had never much appealed to me. Really, Quinn and I were like chalk and cheese. Whereas Embry and I were one of a kind, true soul mates if you believed in that sort of thing. Quinn had been a mistake, a big mistake. He was controlling and clingy. He was petty and mean. I didn’t know why I’d ever agreed to date him. I guess I’d liked the idea more than the reality. So here he was sitting at the bar nursing a whisky glass which was almost empty. I pulled up a stool next to him as he turned to face me.
“Hey Kat,” he slurred slightly.
I wondered how many whiskies he had drank. “Quinn,” I nodded curtly in response.
“I guess you are mad at me huh?” he smirked. I nodded again. “I’ll buy us a drink and we can talk over there,” he said indicating the leather sofa by the window.
“I’ll have an orange juice then please,” I replied.
He shook his head, his dark fringe falling into his brown eyes. “Still uptight I see,” he remarked caustically.
I sighed as I made my way to the comfier seat. This was turning out to be a bad idea already.
I noticed Quinn’s white van which he used for fishing trips parked on the other side of the road. I shook my head with a sigh. I hoped he wasn’t planning on driving that today! Quinn must have noticed my disapproving look as he approached the table. “Relax Kat, look I’m on Coke now okay?” he huffed as he held up the red and white can in front of my face. I relaxed back into the comfortable soft leather, trying to appear cool, calm and collected. Quinn always did make me feel slightly on edge. “So, you still with this Embry guy then?” he asked.
I nodded, “Yes, of course. We are engaged,” I stated, although I suspected he knew due to the state of Rebecca’s flat.
“I know,” he said taking a gulp of coke. “That’s why I need to show you this,” he said as he took a camera out of his pocket.
“Wait a minute now Quinn! I thought you asked me here to apologise and explain why you wrecked Rebecca’s flat?” I exclaimed as my temper flared.
“Now now Kat. You can’t accuse me of anything without proof now can you?” he smirked.
My face flushed with anger as I spat out the truth, “You were the only one who knew where the spare key was! I showed you the night you stayed over! No one else has a key! I know it was you Quinn Taylor!” I fumed.
“You are so beautiful when you are angry Kat. I miss you, I miss us,” he said softly.
I didn’t melt and cave in though. This was just an example of him messing with my head. I wasn’t the same Kat now though. “Quinn there never was an us. There never will be. I didn’t ever let you believe that there would or could be. You knew it was a casual fling. I didn’t mislead you! I love Embry. That’s it,” I stated quietly.
The atmosphere shifted and changed for the worse.
Quinn started to laugh. He turned on me venomously, “You bitch! You led me on for months, just waiting until something better came along! Well I hope you are happy with your choice because he isn’t your Prince Charming! Oh no not at all!” he exclaimed through gritted teeth. He shoved the camera at me, “Look at these photos Katherine! I took them a very short time ago, look closely, go on!” he smirked again.
I sighed impatiently as I grabbed the camera from him. I gasped as a photograph of Embry in the arms of a stunning dark haired girl greeted my eyes. My Embry kissing another girl! His strong hands were on her hips as she pressed her body close to his. This was too much! I flung the camera away from me, not caring if it broke! My throat tightened and my eyes began to tear up. “Why? Why were you following Embry? How? Where did he meet this girl? He’s only been in the city since early morning!” I exclaimed, my mind whirling with unanswered questions.
Quinn shrugged, “Maybe she’s not from Vancouver. Maybe he brought her here with him? Or maybe not. Don’t they look cosy though?” he smiled nastily.
Although I was sad and hurt and upset, my brain was still functioning. Things weren’t adding up here! Quinn had some explaining to do; I would deal with the Embry situation when I had more information.
I narrowed my eyes at Quinn as I tried to hold back the tears of sadness and betrayal. “How did you know who Embry was? How did you happen to see him by coincidence in a city full of thousands of people? I need to know Quinn!” I demanded, my voice hoarse with pent up emotion.
He turned to me with an evil grin, “I came to Port Angeles to find you after that phone call you made. Remember the one where you told me you’d met him? Coincidentally I bumped into Rebecca and her real Mother. It was simple. I followed them home and I found photographs of Embry in his Mother’s house. She really should lock her doors at night!” he laughed.
I gasped in amazement at his cunning behaviour. But there was worse to come.
“Every minute I have spare I have been following you Katherine, stalking you since, oh let me see, since you decided to cool things between us, you heartless bitch!” he spat out furiously.
I recoiled from his anger, my face pale with shock. “I need to go to the ladies room,” I whispered as I hauled myself up in a daze. I ran cold water over my face and pressed my forehead against the cool mirror. A few tears escaped, but I quickly brushed them away. Time for tears later. I needed to confront Embry. I couldn’t believe he had been seeing another girl behind my back. He imprinted on me for god’s sake! This wasn’t meant to happen. Surely it couldn’t happen?
Quinn watched me walk back towards him, his eyes following every movement and curve of my body lasciviously. I ignored his hungry eyes as I strode purposefully to the table. “I’m leaving now Quinn. I wish I’d never met you here today. In fact I wish I’d never met you at all. Period. You are going to be alone and unloved forever, “I stated defiantly.
His hard eyes bore into me with their dark intensity. He chucked my phone at me, “You forgot this. I hope in some way you will see that I was trying to help you Katherine. Goodbye,” he said with that funny smirk on his face.
I didn’t reply, I just turned and walked out of the place before he could see me cry. I blindly ran to the park where I threw myself onto a bench and sobbed quietly under the weeping willows. I sat there for at least an hour, my mind conjuring up different explanations for that photograph. I could think of none. With red eyes and a heavy heart I made my way home. I fished my phone out of my pocket and frowned to myself. How could I have been so silly to leave it with Quinn? I don’t remember taking it out of my jacket pocket though. It must have fallen out. I quickly scanned through my phone but there were no suspicious messages, calls or otherwise. I decided I had to talk to Embry right now. The phone rang and rang at the other end with no reply, eventually going onto voice mail. I didn’t leave a message, what could I say? He was probably with his secret lover. Maybe it was a wolf thing and they all cheated on their wives and girlfriends, whether they had imprinted or not?
There must be some explanation for this nightmare. I had been living a wonderful perfect life in the arms of my beloved just a little while ago. Now it was completely backwards. I had gone through the looking glass to the mirror world beyond, where everything was topsy turvy and nothing made sense.
Just like Alice, I prayed I would find a way back to my reality.


CHAPTER FIFTY FOUR
LIKE ROMEO AND JULIET
QUINN TAYLOR:
It was so easy to put my plan of revenge into action. I was an expert in following and stalking as I’d had plenty of practice since I’d met Katherine Constantine. I didn’t mention to her that I’d also noticed Tiffany Call’s calendar which was clearly marked with the date of Rebecca and Kat’s return to Vancouver! My honey trap plan worked very well and Kat’s phone falling out of her pocket was an immense stroke of luck. I’d met the dark haired Gina in a bar one night, she was being hassled by an old boyfriend. I stepped in and warned him off. It was handy being big and muscular at times. The irony of it wasn’t altogether lost on me. I spent a night of passion with her but that was all. I loved Kat and no matter how beautiful Gina was, there was no way I could get into anything with her. But she had been willing to help me out today, and she did do a magnificent job! I could tell by the hurt in Kat’s blue eyes that she had believed Embry really was caught in a passionate embrace with Gina. I didn’t like hurting her, but needs must.
Embry had also fallen for my fake text from Kat. I had quickly erased it along with the missed call and voice mail which he left her. Everything was going well. I smiled to myself as I sang along to my favourite song, which I had on repeat in the van. “Come on baby don’t fear the reaper.”
Embry was in the back all trussed up. I was taking him to my cabin in the woods, which I normally used for fishing trips. I always went on my trips alone so no one knew where it was located except me. I planned to keep Embry here until I decided on my next plan of action. All I really wanted was for Kat to hate him and never want to see him again. If I made out that he’d left her, then she might, in time, be ready to fall in love again. I wanted her to fall in love with me. My plan got a bit fuzzy at this point. Was I meant to keep Embry Call in the cabin forever? Summer would be fine, but in winter he would freeze. I would also find it difficult to come here in the snow and ice because the road was basically just a track for miles. He would starve and die. Another unclear point in my plan was Kat falling in love with me. She hadn’t the first time around so why would she now? I couldn’t make her, could I? Really I didn’t want anyone to have her if I couldn’t. I didn’t want to dwell on that though. Going down that route was dangerously forbidden and enticing. I dreamt of a Romeo and Juliet scenario happening between us.
I quickly turned the music up to drown out my thoughts and the sound of Embry begging and pleading with me. I should have used the dirty rag on him. I would stop soon, I decided. I needed to eat and I needed to phone Kat. I wanted to act all sympathetic and as if I was her shoulder to cry on. I wondered what she was doing now. Embry’s phone had been ringing nonstop. I looked at it on the passenger seat and thought about pretending to be Embry too. That way I could buy some time, time to think and time to plan. All in all though today had been a good day! I whistled under my breath as I drove the van off the main road and onto the track which would shortly arrive at my cabin. As soon as the van was out of sight I stopped and dealt with Embry. Now all he could do was make muffled sounds. Good. That shut him up. I stepped out of the van and walked into the trees. I found Kat’s name on Embry’s phone so I punched out a short text to her.
“Kat, I am sorry. I need to be on my own just now. Hope you can forgive me. E. “
Then I added a kiss on the end, as I knew that’s what he would have done. I had read the texts he sent to Kat. They were all loving and soppy with lots of kisses. So I added another couple of x’s to the text and pressed send. She would notice that his words were short and to the point, that should make her even more upset. Maybe I should have erased the kisses though? Too late now. The text was winging its way through space and time to reach Kat’s phone. I wished I could see her face. I hated her crying. I loved her crying. She was all vulnerable and needy when she was upset. I wanted to be there but I couldn’t be in two places at once!
After a quick snack of a cheese and ham sandwich I had packed especially for the trip, I started the van engine up and began to follow the track further into the dense woods. There were no stars out tonight; the twilight sky was a very deep blue. Soon the dark night would be here. There were no neighbours for miles. I really had this whole area to myself. That was the way I liked it. My fishing trips were always times I looked forward to. Just me and my thoughts. I could eat when I liked, I could sleep when I liked and I didn’t have to make small talk with anyone. I had wanted to bring Kat here once, but she fobbed me off with some excuse or other. She most probably hated the idea of being alone with me in the middle of nowhere for a whole weekend. I wished she were here now, in different circumstances of course. I wished we were going to the cabin for not just a weekend but forever. No one could interfere in our relationship, no one could tell us what to do and I could just be with her. No one else mattered.
Rebecca had a hand in Kat’s dumping of me, of that I am sure. She always gave me disapproving looks whenever we met. I always thought there was something strange about Kat’s sister. If looks could kill, well let’s just say she always looked at me like she wanted to tear me apart with her bare hands! Strange girl. I think she is jealous of Kat. After all, Kat is the prettiest. She is the biological daughter. She is popular and outgoing. She is basically the opposite of Rebecca in my eyes. I was surprised Rebecca hadn’t come after me. She must have been so angry after I trashed the flat. She deserved it. Interfering, stuck up cow. Has Kat got my text? Why hasn’t she replied? Kat, Kat, Kat, Katherine…I’m here waiting for you. I kept pressing repeat on the CD player. “Don’t fear the reaper, la la la la la.”
The cabin was just as I left it. I got my rifle out from under the small bed and made sure it was loaded. I went back to the van and untied Embry’s feet. I pointed the rifle at him. Why didn’t he look scared? He looked angry; in fact he looked very angry! “Call, quit looking at me like that! You will walk very slowly into that cabin and sit on the wooden chair. I will then tie your feet again. You won’t try to escape or attack me or trust me, I will shoot you. Understand?” I asked calmly. He nodded. He was a strange one too. Why wasn’t he all meek and scared? Once he was securely tied to the chair, I removed the rag and gave him a cold drink of water. He nodded gratefully as he drank it quickly.
“So Quinn, what are we doing here?” he asked.
I smiled slowly as he watched me, his eyes not leaving the rifle. “I need Katherine to believe you have screwed up Embry. The girl in the park wasn’t a coincidence. She was a set up. Kat now believes you have cheated on her. She wants nothing to do with you Embry and after my text from your phone she will be even more convinced!” I bragged. He nodded and smiled. Why was he smiling? Infuriating! “Don’t smile at me, Call!” I said through gritted teeth. “I am leaving you here for the night; let you come to terms with the situation. Meanwhile I will go find Kat and offer my shoulder to cry on!” I smirked. “Don’t worry I don’t think the mountain lions will pay you a visit tonight. It’s mating season,” I laughed.
Embry still smiled at me. I wanted to wipe the smile off his face so badly, but for now I needed him. “I’ll be just fine Quinn. When morning comes I’ll be feeling much more like myself,” he grinned.
Just what was his game? I walked through into my little kitchen, sat at my solid wood table and put my head in my hands. I needed space to think for a minute. Something was bugging me, tickling and nibbling away at my brain incessantly. I couldn’t place it. Rebecca’s hard features popped into my mind. That night in Port Angeles, her Mother had used a strange word when describing Embry. Imprinting. I had also seen that word on Embry’s phone. I took it out of my pocket to double check. He had text Kat saying “When I imprinted on you my life suddenly had a purpose and a meaning. You are mine now, always and forever xxxxxx” Jeez, the guy was a sap! He was also very wrong. Kat was mine. Just what did that word mean though?
“Imprinting? What kind of weird word is that? “I asked him. He looked shocked, like I’d found out a secret I wasn’t supposed to know. “I will find out Call. I promise you that! I’ll make Kat tell me! No one keeps things from me!” I raged. Now he didn’t look so cool. In fact he looked positively frightening with his lip curled and a low snarl escaping his lips. “Just remember who has the gun here all right?” I growled back. He seemed to be having some sort of inner turmoil as his body shook and shivered. I unconsciously took a step backwards. I decided to use the chloroform again. Embry Call suddenly seemed to be an equal adversary. I couldn’t let that happen! I was in charge here! I clamped the chemical soaked pad to his mouth before he knew what was coming. I’d given him a much larger dose because to my surprise the first lot had only knocked him out for thirty minutes. There was something not normal about the guy. He succumbed easily and I reckoned I had a couple of hours or so to do what I needed to do. I left the cabin quickly, driving the van deftly and swiftly down the track back towards the main highway. My brain was buzzing with excitement and adrenalin overdose. I sang loudly all the way back to Vancouver.
Valentine is done
here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity


CHAPTER FIFTY FIVE
ACROSS THE SEA
LEAH LUCIER:
At last we were in the air. I had nearly torn the check in attendant’s face off when she told Etienne and there was a delay on our flight to Vancouver. I had to get home. Embry was in danger according to my strange visions. If I hadn’t met Daniel I would have dismissed them maybe, but since he was seeing the same as me then I had to believe they were true. The long four hour wait at Heathrow airport was torturous. I kept having visions. I gripped Etienne’s hand so tightly each time they assaulted me. In my head a song kept playing over and over Come on baby (Don’t fear the Reaper) Baby take my hand (Don’t fear the Reaper) We’ll be able to fly (Don’t fear the Reaper) Baby I’m your man. A constant loop of noise over and over. I saw a dark haired man abduct Embry over and over. Even shape shifters were not immune to chloroform, although they could recover quicker than a human could. I saw a dark road and a small cabin nestled deep in the woods. Embry was there I could see him, he was unconscious again. The trouble was I had no idea who his abductor was nor where he was being held captive, or indeed why? Another vision washed over me, this time it was different than the rest. I cried out a little as I was bombarded with images of Katherine, Embry’s fiancée. Somehow she was at the centre of this. Etienne stroked my cheek and softly kissed my hair as I went rigid with the strength of the visions behind my topaz eyes. I don’t know what I would do without my husband, my rock, my everything.
“Leah, my love, are you okay?” Etienne asked as he ran a finger down my pale cool marble cheek.
“Oh Etienne! The visions are getting stronger and more vivid the closer we get to Vancouver! Why does there have to be all this sea between London and home? Why can’t vampires fly huh?” I smiled weakly trying to make a joke. The flight was taking far too long; I just wanted to be back on home soil.
“I am sorry you are suffering with your special ability Leah. Maybe Alice can advise you? Her ability is similar to yours,” he smiled, his full lips curving upwards perfectly.
I tried to share his optimism but found it hard to muster up any at all. “I wish I knew what is real and what isn’t! The visions are so jumbled and so repetitive I don’t know if I am seeing the past, the present or the future. Damn this stupid airplane! I can’t even get a signal on my phone! If only I could speak to someone, find out what is going on!” I exclaimed.
I could feel panic rising in me again as an image of Kat crying came into my head. She was looking at a photograph of her and Embry taken on First beach. Then the vision would change again and I heard the music playing over and over as I saw the sky turn dark above me. How did Alice stand this all the time? How did Daniel, my new physic human friend take this mind assault each day?
After Daniel and I had our strange meeting in the park, I had taken him to meet Etienne. At first my husband was suspicious of him especially when he confessed to following us. Daniel looked positively scared and awestruck at the same time. Etienne and I in the same room could do that to a mere human. Dazzling. That is what my dear friend Bella called it. I had explained to Etienne that Daniel was clairvoyant, that he had been guided by the spirits to find me and that he had similar visions to my own. I also told Etienne in private that Daniel had inadvertently discovered I seemed to be missing a pulse. I had shrugged nonchalantly at my husband as he looked at me with shock. I told him that Daniel confessed that he could guess what we truly were.
Etienne was convinced we should not discuss our true nature with this human. Although Daniel was no ordinary human my husband still did not feel comfortable revealing all to him. I had to respect his decision, it wasn’t just up to me, and we were a team now and forever. Daniel had explained to Etienne about his visions. We compared notes and discovered even more so that the visions were very similar. There was no other action that we could have taken. We immediately made our way to the airport and booked flights to Vancouver. Daniel had driven us to the airport and as he dropped us off he gave me his number. He wanted to know how everything worked out, even though he would probably know before it happened!
Now, here we were flying high above the Atlantic Ocean with still no clue as to what was really going on at home. We were flying first class of course and had private seats at the back. There were others on the plane but we paid no attention. Etienne put his arm around me and drew me towards him. He placed his cool lips on mine, his mouth moving slowly and sensuously against mine. I knew he was trying to distract me. He knew this would always work. His hands entwined in my hair and he pulled it roughly, moving me closer to him so our lips crushed against each other’s with bruising passion. How I loved Etienne kissing me. I could never tire of it. His hands now moved to my waist and snaked upwards under my soft cashmere jumper to teasingly stroke my smooth marble skin. His touch was like ice and fire to me. Electrifying. Magical. I sighed against his mouth as I entwined my hands in his thick dark curls. Never ever would I need anything more than this perfect amazing creature who had given me so much? His love. His devotion. This new strange life. I was lost in our passion once again. Then a vision struck and I pulled away from Etienne sharply. The last thing I saw was his face gazing down at me with worry etched all over its perfect structure. Then the world went dark and I blacked out again.
I was floating. Floating in the night sky above the woods. I thought to myself this is nice. Then I was in a cabin which smelled faintly of rotting fish and pine trees. Then I smelled wolf. There was Embry, my dear friend, tied to a chair; his head slumped forward on his chest. I knew he was alive, but he wasn’t conscious. I shouted “Embry wake up! Please Embry! Wake up!” Then I was gone. Now I was in a cosy warm bedroom with the scent of roses all around me. Katherine lay on the bed hugging a teddy bear and sobbing her heart out. “Why Embry? Why did you do it? Why did you leave me Embry?” she cried to the empty room. My cold still heart broke for her. Obviously she didn’t know where Embry was or what had happened. I reached out to stroke her hair. Then I was gone again. Now I was in a vehicle sitting in the passenger seat. The lit up signs on the highway revealed that the next exit was for Vancouver city centre. I turned to see who my driver was. It was the dark haired guy. He was singing along to the music blaring out from the speakers. Come on baby (Don’t fear the Reaper) Baby take my hand (Don’t fear the Reaper) we’ll be able to fly (Don’t fear the Reaper) Baby I’m your man. I recoiled with shock, this was Embry’s kidnapper! Then I got angry so I launched myself at him. Then I was gone, once again.
I came to on the plane high above the Atlantic, with my loving husband holding me and whispering over and over, “Come back to me Leah,” I smiled weakly at his concern.
“I’m back darling,” I said quietly in his ear.
Etienne stopped squeezing me so tightly and gazed into my eyes with worry clouding his. “Don’t do that again Leah!” he scolded.
I smiled half-heartedly, “I’ll try not to my love!”
He really did look worried. “That’s what happened when I met Daniel,” I told him.
He frowned, “It was awful Leah! It was like you were here in body but your soul was very far away. I couldn’t reach you!” my husband exclaimed fearfully.
I shushed him and kissed his cheek. “We have bigger things to worry about Etienne. We must find Katherine as soon as we reach Vancouver. We need to find out what’s going on and we need to do it quickly! I am so afraid for Embry, so very afraid.”
Etienne hugged me close to him as I looked out into the dark sky. Soon it would be dawn and we would land in Vancouver. As close to home as I’d been in a while.
I prayed we weren’t too late to stop the terrible situation unfolding behind my troubled eyes.


CHAPTER FIFTY SIX
CRY WOLF
EMBRY CALL:
My eyes opened to reveal the grey light of dawn permeating the small dirty windows of this place I’d been taken to. I groaned as my head began to pound. Taylor had drugged me with some sort of sedative. I never even took an aspirin for a head ache before. I didn’t like medicines and drugs; they interfered with my shape shifting abilities. I had hoped I would have been able to phase last night and escape my confines. The chemical soaked pad had put that idea right out of the window. Mind you, I don’t think I was ready to phase in front of a human. A human who was clearly unstable and unhinged. Plus he had a rifle. I wanted to escape but I wasn’t desperate to get shot! Katherine had spoken about Quinn but I hadn’t realised just how crazy he really was. My heart ached to see my love. She must be worried. I was meant to pick her up for a late romantic dinner last night. I bet my phone had a dozen missed calls. I hoped she had told Rebecca, hopefully between them they would know something was up. I would never let Kat down. She knows that. Memories of her and me in my hotel bed yesterday filled my head. I smiled. I had to get out of here. Time to phase. As the grey wolf with black spots I easily broke out of the ropes binding my arms and feet. I growled as I shook my fur vigorously, it was good to be free; it was good to be a wolf.
I needed my strength so first I needed to hunt. I broke down the door of this shack easily despite my weak limbs. After finding some small animals in the woods, I felt more like myself and I was able to think clearly. I phased back. I didn’t want some lone hunter thinking it was his lucky day. I went back into the wooden shack to retrieve my clothes. My jeans were now shorts and my shirt was now sleeveless. I could cope with that, at least my trainers were still intact. I quickly got dressed. I didn’t know how much time I had before crazy Quinn reappeared. He had indicated he was going to see Kat. I cringed inwardly at the thought. To be honest though I really didn’t think he would hurt her. Would he? He seemed besotted with her. I knew that feeling. I had to protect her, so was I best to wait here? Or should I try find my way back to Vancouver? I had no idea where he had taken me. It felt like over an hour had passed when I was in the back of the van, but I couldn’t be sure. My head had been fuzzy and my mind was racing with thoughts of escape. Should I risk trying to find a way out of these woods and back to my love? My head hurt again from my dilemma.
After a bit of deliberation I decided to wait at this deserted place to see if Quinn brought Kat here. I found my mobile on the table in the kitchen. Of course there was no signal. I saw that there were a few missed calls from Kat. There were no voice mails but there was one text from her.
“Embry you’ve broken my heart. I thought imprinting meant forever? Who is the other girl? Do you love her? I don’t understand. You could have spoken to me instead of leaving town with just a pathetic text to explain your absence! I am so hurt. K. “
No kisses like usual. No I love you s. I had no idea what she was talking about! What other girl? As if! Kat was my world, my everything. How could she even get this silly idea in her head? I didn’t leave town either! Well literally I suppose I did but not through choice! This had something to do with Quinn Taylor. It had to. I racked my brains for five minutes. A light bulb went on suddenly in my mind. The GIRL! She kissed me! Somehow Kat knew about my random encounter in the park. She followed me? No! Not Kat. Her crazy ex-boyfriend was the stalker not her! I had another brain wave. I checked my phone for outgoing messages. There were the usual ones to Kat, telling her how much I missed her, how important she was to me and how much I loved her. The stuff I told her about ten times a day at least! Then there was one which had been sent last night when I reckoned I was trussed up in the back of that van listening to that damn song playing over and over Come on baby (Don’t fear the Reaper).
This one said “Kat, I am sorry. I need to be on my own just now. Hope you can forgive me. E xxx”. The sneaky, crazy deranged fool had pretended to be me! So that explained Kat’s angry, hurt text to me last night. She wasn’t worried about me, she was annoyed and upset! Quinn must have either told her about the girl or ……he set it all up! My mind was clicking all the parts into place now. The final loud click rang out like a bell when I realised that Kat had never sent the text asking me to meet her in the bar either. Of course she hadn’t. Embry Call you fool! I chided myself. I knew there was something strange about that but I let my heart rule my head as I always did. If I had used my head we wouldn’t be in this mess. I was really scared now. Scared for Kat. Quinn was a lunatic. He had asked me what imprinting meant. Now I knew he’d read all of my texts to Kat. Damn! I was sure he wouldn’t find out what it meant. How could he? If he knew what I was he would hunt me down. Just what did Mr. Taylor have planned for Kat and me? What was the purpose of holding me captive up here in the middle of the woods? I wished I had my half-sisters here. Rebecca and Leah would know what to do. They would be able to help me. I walked around the perimeter of the cabin trying to find even a small weak signal on my phone. Nothing. I tried to quell my panic. I wished I had my wolf pack around me. I walked further out into the woods. There in a clearing dotted with beautiful wild flowers, I observed one bar appear on my phone.
A signal! At last! My happiness was short lived though when I noticed that the power only had one measly bar too. It had to be enough! I didn’t want to risk using my last vestige of battery power on a phone call. Surely a text would use less juice? I typed out a quick message to Kat.
“Not left. Taken by Quinn. All a set up. At a cabin in the woods. Not sure where. Don’t worry I’m safe and I’m ready for him. Get Rebecca! I love you xxx”.
I pressed send and prayed Kat would get it. Now I had to formulate my next plan of action. I had definitely decided to wait here. That would be the best plan. It was coming up for midday. I found it hard to believe that twenty four hours ago I had been holding my beloved Kat in my arms on my hotel bed, kissing her, touching her, and becoming one with her at last. I must not let my mind wander! I didn’t want to spend a long lonely night up here in the woods. If Quinn did not come back in two hours then I was going to try my luck at finding my way back to Vancouver myself. He was going to get a big shock if he did turn up! I prayed Kat got the text. I prayed it wasn’t too late. What if he had her now? I didn’t want to think about that. I phased again to distract myself from the various horror scenarios in my head.
Katherine Constantine I love you. Please get that text, please please please!


CHAPTER FIFTY SEVEN
TANGLED
REBECCA CALL:
I scrubbed and scoured my flat clean again and again. It felt so soiled after Quinn Taylor had carried out his pathetic attack on my home. I had waited impatiently on Embry turning up last night. He was meant to meet me early evening. He was seriously late. It was now early morning, I expect my sister had something to do with it! I decided he probably wasn’t coming at all now, wait until I saw those two later today! Lovesick fools! I needed to pay a little visit to Quinn. He wasn’t going to get away with this. I planned to give him a few frights of the animal kind, and then I had a nice little set up plan in mind for him. He worked as a security guard at a pharmaceutical company. My plan involved him getting the sack as well as leaving him scarred for life mentally. Hopefully it would be enough to get him off our backs. I had taken an instant dislike to the guy the minute I’d met him. Why Kat had to get tangled up with him I don’t know! I was happy she was with Embry. He was good and kind and definitely husband material. He obviously wasn’t a good timekeeper though. I took off my rubber gloves and decided it was time for a cup of coffee. Everything was looking just so again.
Just as I got the bottle of milk out of the fridge someone knocked loudly at the door. I sighed as I put the bottle back and made my way to the front door. My brother better have a good excuse for his lateness! I flung open the door ready to give Embry an earful. I was shocked to find Leah Clearwater and Etienne Lucier on my doorstep. Oh wait, Kat told me they were married now. Mr. and Mrs. Lucier, the vampires, here on my doorstep, their deep amber eyes glowing in their perfect pale faces. The dawn had barely broken, but they didn’t sleep, a lot like me lately.
“Rebecca, listen carefully, Katherine and Embry are in trouble. We need your help. Can we come in?” Leah asked in her musical sing song voice.
I nodded, dumbstruck at their very presence.
KAT CONSTANTINE:
My hair was disheveled and my eyes red from crying plus lack of sleep. My heartbreak had turned to worry. I was sure something wasn’t right. It was now early morning and the more I puzzled over the situation, the more I became convinced that there was no way Embry would cheat on me. He wouldn’t leave me, he loved me, there had to be another explanation. My phone suddenly beeped and I jumped up off the bed to retrieve it. It was a text. From Embry! “Not left. Taken by Quinn. All a set up. At a cabin in the woods. Not sure where. Don’t worry I’m safe and I’m ready for him. Get Rebecca! I love you. xxx” I clamped my hand over my mouth as I gave a strangled cry of shock and dismay. Quinn had taken Embry captive? All because he couldn’t have me? He was crazier than I thought! What did he plan to do? Hurt Embry? Keep him a prisoner indefinitely? I had to go to Rebecca’s right away!
I quickly called her, “Rebecca, it’s me. Something has happened, something terrible!” Wait, wait, I’m all right, promise! It’s Embry! Quinn abducted him! He made me believe Embry had left me. He made me believe Embry had cheated on me! What? Leah and Etienne are with you? Right! Okay I’m coming over now! Yes, I’ll drive! Okay Rebecca, I’m hurrying. Yes! I’m leaving now!” I exclaimed as I pulled a brush quickly through my tangled mane and grabbed my denim jacket from the floor.
I searched through my jeans pocket, then my room frantically looking for my car keys. Where did I leave them last? I ran out to the garage where my yellow mini cooper sat. I tried the door and lo and behold it was open with the keys jangling in the ignition. I was such a careless fool! Dad would kill me if my car got stolen seeing as it had been an eighteenth birthday gift from him and Mom. I smiled at the key ring as always. It was a picture of me and Embry taken the night he asked me to marry him. It was lopsided and a bit fuzzy seeing as he’d held the camera above our faces himself! But I loved it, just as I loved him. “Don’t turn around Kat; just drive your car to the end of the street. Then you and I will take a little trip in my van. Okay sweetheart?” he said his voice soft and loving as if he and I were lovers going on a romantic date.
Quinn,” I stated with a sigh.
QUINN TAYLOR:
As I drove back to Vancouver I tortured myself with images of Katherine and Embry together. I imagined their limbs tangled together in a passionate embrace. His lips on hers, whispering words of love and desire. I should be the one to hold her! I loved her beyond reason, not this Johnny come lately with his “imprinting”. I was going to find out what that was just as soon as I got home. I needed to pack any ways. A new plan was formulating in my head as I got closer to home. I had decided I couldn’t live without Kat. I would take her with me far away from Vancouver. Away from her family, away from her supposed fiancé, away from everything she had known to begin a new life with me. Just us. Before that could happen I had to go back to the cabin. Embry needed dealt with. I would give him some more chloroform before the second lot could wear off. Then I would put him in the cellar. Well it is actually more like a bomb shelter. The guy who had owned it before me was obsessed with a nuclear war. He thought if it was going to happen then he was going to be prepared by building this awesome shelter beneath the cabin. It had reinforced steel walls; no one would find Embry there. Not until I decided he could be found. I would leave him enough supplies of food, water and clothes. I would even throw in some books for entertainment. If he went crazy down there then that was up to him!
I laughed out loud as my plan started to take shape. The city loomed in front of me in the grey morning light. New day, new start for me. “Yeah baby, come on, don’t fear the reaper!” I sang at the top of my voice. I would make the Embry problem disappear. I would have Kat. I would be happy. Now, there was just the small matter of persuading Katherine to come with me. I decided I would have to take the tough love approach with her. She wouldn’t expect anything less of me I’m sure. Soon she would be mine again and this time it was for keeps, no matter what.
LEAH LUCIER:
At last we were in Vancouver and on our way to Rebecca Call’s house. Etienne had called Bella who had asked Jacob to get Rebecca’s address. Jacob had been full of questions, as usual. Bella told him I needed to see her. That was enough for my old friend. He quickly got Rebecca’s address from Tiffany with no problem. Thank heavens most of the people I knew, whether supernatural or human, were either unable to sleep or simply did not sleep. Jake had told Bella to say hi to me and Etienne. Bella said Nessie and he were so very happy. That made me glad. I would hopefully get to see everyone soon, although I knew Etienne preferred me to stay away from home, from my human family, as he knew it would hurt me to see them. My Mom did not approve of my marriage or new life. I think she might have preferred me dead and gone forever after Sam’s attack. Anything rather than a vampire.
Etienne hugged me close to him and kissed the top of my head as our taxi sped towards Rebecca’s flat by the riverside. He knew I was coiled as tightly as a spring since leaving London. All the time during our long flight I had visions. They kept changing. I called Alice when we finally landed and she explained that if one person changed the course of destiny then everything could change at once. I had to be patient and wait to see the clearer picture. Patience was not one of my strong points. I had a responsibility to Embry and Katherine. They featured heavily in these visions of mine so I had to help them. There was no question about it. I knew Etienne was worried about me. He wanted us to continue our new life together, not be back here, close to home where it all started. He wanted me to be happy, to be free and not be tangled up with the humans and their lives with their human problems. The visions put paid to my new contented life with Etienne though. How could I ignore them? There was no way I could. I knocked impatiently on Rebecca’s door, desperate to find out something, anything that could help. She looked surprised to see us standing there at this early human hour. Then she looked almost dazzled, but quickly recovered her composure. She was a shape shifter after all. The only female one now I had come to the other side. (A joke I shared with my darling Etienne!)
“Rebecca, listen carefully, Katherine and Embry are in trouble. We need your help. Can we come in?” I asked politely. She ushered us in quickly.
“What’s wrong?” she asked worriedly.
“You better sit down Rebecca, this may take a while!” I stated with a wry smile.
I began to tell her about the visions. Her face changed as she went through a variety of emotions. She looked like she was dying to say something but she waited until I had finished. “I know where the place is that you described Leah! Just before exit thirteen on the highway there is a track. I think it’s signposted “Private Road” It’s worth a try surely? “Rebecca gushed excitedly.
The phone suddenly rang; it was Kat, who had received a text from Embry. He had confirmed my visions. Rebecca looked pleased with herself, “Kat is on her way! We’ll sort this out in no time Leah!” she exclaimed with a wide grin. “Quinn is really going to pay now,” she added with a low growl.
I felt myself stiffen as another vision gripped me. Etienne held my hand as the mental pictures flew past my closed eyes. Rebecca was wrong, so wrong.
This was about to get worse, much worse.


CHAPTER FIFTY EIGHT
ROAD TO NOWHERE
KATHERINE CONSTANTINE:
So here I was sitting in the passenger seat of Quinn’s van, watching the traffic flow by as we made our way out of Vancouver. He actually had the nerve to look happy. I crossed my arms and glanced sideways at the rifle next to him. He kept it tucked down by the driver’s door but still within reach. Surely he wouldn’t shoot me? Or anyone else for that matter. He wasn’t that unhinged. Was he? Was there anything I could do to get out of this situation? I was racking my brains. I hated guns and I hated violence so I had to think of a solution which involved neither. I would keep my wits about me whilst I secretly planned.
Quinn smiled over at me, “You really do look beautiful this morning Katherine. I am so happy we are here, right now, together.”
I stared straight ahead and decided not to reply.
“Since the first moment I set eyes on you I’ve been in love with you Katherine. You looked like an angel the day we met. Sure, we’ve had our problems, most couples do. But soon all that will be in the past and we can concentrate on us, my darling,” he gushed.
He had never been this way with me before. Where did all these words come from? He was the strong silent type normally with a mean temper simmering just below the surface. I wasn’t used to this gushingly romantic Quinn. Did he really believe we had a future? Embry was my future! Unless Quinn had something really evil up his sleeve. I glanced at the rifle again and shivered.
Now we were reaching the outskirts of the city I loved. I hoped Rebecca would be worried that I hadn’t turned up at hers. She might realise what had happened. I prayed she would. Leah and Etienne were with her. They were strong vampires. She had strength and speed on her side, coupled with her own abilities; she must be able to do something. Rebecca had always been there for me, there was no reason to believe she would let me down now. Poor Embry! He was all alone somewhere in that cabin in the woods. He had obviously decided to wait there in the vain hope that Quinn would bring me there. Looks like Embry was right. I didn’t know what Quinn had planned though. I started to concentrate really hard. I needed a plan and I needed it quick. Quinn didn’t know that Embry had sent me a text. So that meant that he didn’t know that Embry had managed to break free from his prison. So we had the element of surprise there. Was Quinn taking me to the cabin? I wished I could ask him outright, but I must be clever.
I turned to him with a fake smile plastered on my face, “So Quinn, where are we going? Am I allowed to know?”
He smiled back. His face was so handsome with his brown chocolate eyes and his dark long fringe falling into his eyes which framed his sharp cheekbones and strong jawline perfectly. Shame he was only beautiful on the outside.
“Of course I will tell you Katherine. We are going far far away from here. We will be heading south down the west coast until we reach California. I’ve always wanted to live there. Laguna Beach, can you imagine it? You and I together in the sunshine, walking on the beach at sunset, listening to the Pacific Ocean waves. Bliss!” he smiled.
I was surprised by his answer once again. Quinn didn’t sound like himself. Was it possible he really did love me? No! He’s a monster! He was an obsessive stalker despite his romantic words.
“But first I need to stop at my fishing cabin in the woods, my sweet,” he continued. “I have some full petrol cans up there. It will save money and time on the way to Laguna Beach, “he added.
So, we were going to the cabin after all. He must have something planned for Embry! Maybe I could persuade Quinn to just let Embry go and I would go with him. I would let Quinn take me if it meant Embry was safe from harm! Embry would never let that happen though. Imprinting meant that he would always protect me no matter what. That’s why I was worried. If Embry was lying in wait for Quinn at the cabin and he saw me turn up he could go crazy and attack Quinn! I was scared for him, even though he was a strong wolf when he phased. I had to think of some way out of this mess! Think Kat, think think think! Quinn took my hand and squeezed it gently. We came to an exit on the highway, Quinn indicated and off we drove up a small road which was more like a track. The cabin must be close now.
My brain was whirling and swirling with random ideas and thoughts. None would stick though. Think Kat, think think, think!
QUINN TAYLOR:
Did I tell you that along with expert stalking I am also very adept at hacking? No? Well let me introduce myself. Master hacker most extraordinary Quinn Michael Taylor!
I already had Rebecca’s email address courtesy of Kat. She had forwarded me a photograph which Rebecca had taken of her one Christmas. She was going to a festive ball and she looked gorgeous in a floor length scarlet backless dress. I had asked her to send me a photograph of her as I wanted one to keep. This was in the early days of our relationship when I believed there really could be something good and right between us. She hadn’t removed Rebecca’s address, so I inadvertently had it. Of course I kept it, you never know when you might need information do you? Tonight I needed to hack into Rebecca’s email account. It was easy if you knew how. It took me around half an hour, but soon I was in and I was scanning her emails eagerly, looking intently for some information I could use. I came across an email from Embry Call.
He was talking to Rebecca about his feelings for Katherine. How deep his love and loyalty were since the first day he had set eyes on her and imprinted. There was that word again. He asked Rebecca for help. He wanted to explain to Katherine in the best way possible all about imprinting. I was impatient to find out what this strange new word meant. I scanned through Rebecca’s sent emails to find her reply. I gasped when I read it. I knew the world wasn’t always straight forward and uncomplicated. I knew strange occurrences and weird stuff went on. But I was shocked at Rebecca’s words to Embry.
“When a shape-shifter imprints on a specific person, he becomes unconditionally bound to them for the rest of his life. When it happens, the experience is described as being pulled toward that person, while a glowing heat fills him; the connections of everything else become severed, or simply secondary, and only the imprintee is left to matter, leaving the shape-shifter with a deep need to do anything to please and protect the person.” (Copyright twilight wiki site)
Rebecca told Embry that this explanation would really let Kat know how he felt about her. She added that she kind of wished females could imprint because she was scared of having a relationship being a shape shifter herself. WHAT? Just what the hell was going on? How could such creatures exist? What did they shift into? I quickly googled “shape shifter”. I sat in fascinated horror as I read that in legends some tribes of peoples could shape shift from human to wolf and back again in the blink of an eye. This was all made out to be hearsay and stories, not real. It looked like all those legends were very real, if Rebecca and Embry spoke the truth. Kat must know what Embry was but still she wanted to marry him! It was sick! Sick and twisted! The whole world had tilted and I wasn’t sure what was happening anymore. I clutched my temples, rubbing furiously to alleviate my sudden and violent headache. I didn’t have time to sit here and think about how weird the universe had suddenly become. I needed to grab Kat and put my plan into action. The further we got away from these creatures the better! Kat had obviously been brain washed by them. I would save her, I would protect her. Firstly I would need to dispose of the threat. Rebecca and Embry would have to die.
I would be the hero to kill them.


CHAPTER FIFTY NINE
VALENTINE IS DONE
LEAH LUCIER:
We sped along the country road, Etienne’s skilful driving proving to be a must have advantage. I sat in the back of our rented Jeep with Rebecca, her face pale and worried. Luckily we had managed to hire a Jeep quickly. Money talked and we had plenty to say. I took Rebecca’s hand in my icy one and gave it a gentle reassuring squeeze. Kat hadn’t turned up at the riverside apartment. Rebecca tried to call her; the phone rang and rang with no reply. Then the vision hit me. Kat being abducted by Quinn, her fear, his madness, all off their emotions assaulted me at once. There was no need to confirm the accuracy of my visions. We immediately hired the Jeep, and following Rebecca’s directions we sped off into the misty morning on our rescue mission. I would tear Quinn Taylor limb from limb if he harmed Embry or Kat! The trees became more dense and darker as we came close to the cabin. I knew without a doubt we were not far away because my mind was swamped with mental pictures. They were becoming fast and blurry as they whirled behind my closed eyes. I gasped out loud as I became overwhelmed by the things I was seeing.
“Leah! Are you all right my darling?” Etienne asked worriedly as he maneuvered the vehicle up the perilous track.
I moaned softly as I shook my head in denial at this latest mind picture I was being shown. It was clear and imperative to me that Katherine Constantine must be saved.
At any cost and above all others I must help her.
EMBRY CALL:
I thought maybe just maybe I was heading in the right direction. It was easier as a wolf to navigate this unknown territory, but it was also more risky. I didn’t want to be seen by anyone, not here, not now. I had to get back to Vancouver; I had to make sure Quinn didn’t have Kat. I couldn’t wait at the cabin any more, it was driving me crazy and I had promised myself to wait only a couple of hours. When Quinn didn’t return I decided to make a move. I made the journey away from the cabin in human form, but I often phased into my wolf state so I could move more quickly and freely. I thought about Kat a lot. I ached to see her. I hoped she’d got my text. I tried to concentrate, tried to get a sense of where I was but her sparkling blue eyes kept invading my thoughts. Kat. Kat. How I loved her. I sent out a silent prayer to whomever may be listening to bring her back to me safe and sound. A humming of an engine in the silence of the woods broke me from my reverie. I ran towards the sound keeping low and close to the ground. I was human again. I saw a white van making its way up the road towards me. I crouched in the bushes out of sight. It was Quinn! Kat was in the passenger side. She looked sad. Quinn looked happy. The evil bastard! I pulled at the tree roots violently with my hands in sheer frustration as I phased. I tracked the van all the way back to the cabin. I must rescue Kat from Quinn’s evil clutches. Why had he brought her here? I felt anger flood my body making my muscles tense and my fur stand on end. I growled low in my throat as I felt the strength of my bond with Katherine. I imprinted on her and that was the strongest connection anyone could have. No one was allowed to treat her badly or harm her. No one! I had promised her I would never let that happen, not as long as I had blood in my veins and air in my lungs.
I would kill for her. I would die for her.
KATHERINE CONSTANTINE:
I shivered as we arrived at the lonely little cabin nestled in the woods. Quinn opened the van door and held out his hand for me. I took it graciously with a small smile. Please forgive me Embry I silently prayed. I had thought of a plan. It was distasteful, it was awful, but I could do it. I had to do something. I hoped Embry was watching. He would know it was a ruse. He had to. I didn’t let Quinn’s hand go; I gave him a gentle squeeze and smiled.
“You are right Quinn. We belong together. I didn’t see it before. I was so blind! Embry means nothing to me, not now I know we can have such a lovely future together,” I gushed as I leaned up on tip toes to kiss him softly on the lips. His look of surprise and sheer joy let me know he believed me. How could he be so egotistical? I shuddered inwardly at his stupidity and naivety. Part of me wanted him to know I was lying. I wanted him to get mad and try to hurt me. If Embry was watching he would react badly. But I needed to distract Quinn. He had a gun. That wasn’t good.
“I think we should maybe stop here for a while. I bet the cabin is nice and cosy,” I smiled up at Quinn.
His eyes clouded over with lust at my words. I could practically see his mind racing with impure thoughts of he and I together just as he had always wanted. I had to make him believe it was all true. I led him by the hand towards the cabin, his mind now completely and wholly on me. The gun was in his other hand. I would soon make him forget that. I just had to think of Embry. That’s all. I had to.
I would do anything for my beloved Embry, anything at all.
REBECCA CALL:
Quinn’s van was here. Were we too late? I shivered inwardly as I longed to phase. My brother was in trouble, how could I save him in this human form? Quinn Taylor must be stopped! If Quinn was here Katherine must be here. My sister had to be saved too. I loved her with every fibre of my being. Blood didn’t matter. Genes didn’t matter. Love was all that mattered. Etienne parked the Jeep a little way behind the van. We quickly got out of the vehicle and I instantly caught Embry’s animal scent. I shuddered and phased in the blink of an eye as Embry appeared out of the trees. We both gave a howl as we bounded off towards the cabin. We must kill Quinn. Save Kat. This was our universal thought as we surrounded the wooden house pacing and growling. Quinn appeared at the door with Kat. He looked scared but also elated. He knew!
“So it’s true! You are freaks of nature! I must protect Kat from you! She is mine and always has been!” he shrieked in fury and hatred.
Kat looked like she had been crying. I had seen pictures from Embry’s mind. Kat had planned to seduce Quinn, make him weak and vulnerable. Make him give up his weapon. Oh no! He had a gun!
Now it was pointing straight at us.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
My beloved and I ran swiftly after the wolves. Leah was frantic because the visions were assaulting her every single second now and they slowed her down. We saw the wolves circling the cabin. We saw Quinn and Kat appear at the door. Leah was doubled over as the visions kept their hold on her. It took all her strength to stay with me. I picked her up and flew like the wind to the wolves’ side, just as Quinn pointed a gun at Rebecca and Embry.
“Katherine tried to fool me! She pretended she wanted me to save you both! But I read all about this imprinting, I knew she wouldn’t be unfaithful to him, not ever! Die freaks!” he screamed.
Time seemed to stand still as Katherine jumped out into the path of the bullet which was surely heading for Embry. I placed Leah down as gently as I could and dived into Kat’s path. Everything was happening so fast but so slowly if that makes sense. I heard Leah scream. I felt a short sharp pain. I saw Katherine fall. The wolves jumped and I heard human skin tear and rip. Blood was everywhere. Kat lay on the ground. The bullet had hit me, but shattered on my cold hard marble skin. The splinters had flown around me. Unfortunately one had hit Kat; it was lodged in her head, right on her temporal lobe. All I could hear was Leah screaming and screaming.
“Save her! Save Kat! She’s pregnant! Save her and save the baby!”


CHAPTER SIXTY
AFTERMATH
LEAH LUCIER:
My visions had shown me a small spark of life beginning inside Kat the day the wolves killed Quinn Taylor. It was barely there, not even a proper embryo yet, but most definitely going to become one. Kat had seen her crazy ex-boyfriend raise his gun and point it at her beloved Embry. She tried to put herself in harm’s way instead of him. What a brave human she was! Luckily Etienne had stepped in but a deadly shard had pierced Kat’s temple. The metal had lodged into her head. She was limp and unresponsive but had a weak pulse. Embry was holding her close to him as he sobbed. Rebecca was stroking her sister’s hair as she cried. Etienne stood gazing around him in disbelief. Everything had happened so quickly. I felt useless because I hadn’t done more. The visions had led us here but they had rendered me incapable of any real action. What use was that to a powerful vampire? I felt so sad and low. Etienne dragged Quinn’s mangled body away to hide it in the woods. When he was found his death would assumed to be from an animal attack;which really was the truth!
“Tell my husband I’ll be back, please Embry. I am going to run like the wind to Carlisle and bring him back here as quickly as I can! I need to do something useful!” I cried out my voice full of self-loathing.
Modern technology appeared to fail in this area; I had to do something right away! Before Embry or Rebecca could turn around I was gone. Now I had been here once I knew the road back home quite easily. I flew in a blur back to Forks and straight to the Cullen’s house. Carlisle was a brilliant doctor but luckily he was also a qualified and accomplished pilot and he had a helicopter waiting to be used right here in the grounds. Bella and Edward were home when I flew into their house at high speed. Bella was shocked when I told her what had happened. She hugged me close to her.
“We need to ask Alice to speak to you Leah. These visions are taking their toll on you!” she said sympathetically.
Edward ran to get Carlisle who was upstairs in his study. After saying goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Cullen I was soon in the air with Carlisle. We arrived at the cabin in no time. Embry and Rebecca were where I had left them. Etienne was standing beside them as they cradled Kat. Carlisle examined Kat quickly.
“I need to get her back to Forks. I have equipment at my house which will help sustain her life. She is very weak but there is no blood loss which is good. She appears to be in a coma though. I will know more when I get her to my home,” the doctor said somberly.
Embry looked up at Carlisle with tears in his dark eyes, “Please Carlisle, save her!” he cried.
Rebecca held her head in her hands and sobbed her heart out. Carlisle looked down kindly upon the brother and sister in their united grief as my strong, handsome husband swiftly swept Kat up into his arms and made his way into the helicopter.
“I will do everything I possibly can,” Carlisle stated with a reassuring smile.
“She is pregnant,” I blurted out.
“It’s simply impossible for you to know that!” Embry snorted.
“She is. My visions have never been wrong yet, Embry,” I smiled weakly. Embry began to cry again. I put my cool hand on his head. “Don’t worry, go with Kat now. We will all follow on in the Jeep. If I see anything else I promise to tell you,” I reassured him.
The helicopter left and we assumed our previous positions in the rental Jeep. Rebecca had stopped crying. Her face was sad and desolate as we approached Vancouver. Twilight was approaching fast and the city lay in front of us, her lights twinkling like stars. We would be bypassing the city tonight though. I had just come out of a vision. I had pretended to close my eyes and drift. As a vampire I couldn’t sleep but we could sit in an unmoving state as if we were.
“Don’t be sad Rebecca. I see a dark haired boy. He is Katherine and Embry’s son. It must all turn out okay if he is in my thoughts,” I smiled softly as I gently squeezed her hand.
She smiled weakly at me, “I’m not sure I believe in your predictions of the future Leah but thank you for trying to cheer me up,” she said in a monotone voice.
I frowned. How could she doubt the visions? She noticed my quizzical expression.
“You didn’t tell me about the gun!” she hissed.
I sighed. “I only found out through Embry that Quinn even possessed one!” she added.
“I didn’t know about the gun until the last few minutes Rebecca!” I said. Oh this was all I needed! An angry wolf girl on my case.
“Events got beyond our control, that’s all,” Etienne spoke sagely from the driver’s seat.
Rebecca sighed but turned to me and squeezed my arm, “Sorry Leah. I’m just upset about Kat. I know you did all you could! Things could have been much worse without your visions,” she said quietly with a small shudder.
Etienne smiled at me in the rear view mirror. It was times like this I needed to be alone with him. Only he could make me feel better. I needed his arms around me, his lips on mine, our cool skin touching seductively. I wanted him right now but we had to wait until we got home. I guessed that wouldn’t be for a while. We had to get to the Cullen’s house right now.
Rebecca and I were deciding what to tell her parents. We decided that we would tell them that Embry and Kat had been out for the night when Kat had suddenly suffered a fit. Embry had taken her to his own private doctor rather than the hospital because he believed she would have better care. Unfortunately Kat had slipped into unconsciousness on arrival at Doctor Carlisle Cullen’s private surgery. Rebecca reminded me that Embry was meant to be visiting Vancouver so why would he not phone Mike and Angie Constantine right away? Trust my devious husband to come up with the perfect explanation. He raised a perfect eyebrow at me in the mirror, “Of course Embry wouldn’t want his fiancée going to the regular hospital here in Vancouver would he? She is pregnant and they are not married yet. Her parents might flip out and Embry hasn’t even met them yet! The dates of her pregnancy can easily be made up,” Etienne smiled slyly.
Perfect!
Rebecca nodded and smiled. “That sounds plausible actually. My parents would not be happy about their youngest daughter being pregnant out of wedlock. They are cool in most ways but old fashioned in other ways,” she said.
So our story was decided on. Rebecca phoned Embry to see how Kat was and to tell him the ruse we had set up. There was no change with Kat, which Rebecca was sad about but also happy because at least she was still alive. She decided she would tell her parents face to face. She would tell them she had only found out about Kat, so they could all drive to Forks together as a family. I told her we would pay for the Jeep for as long as they needed it. She squeezed my hand gratefully. It looked like we were now going into Vancouver so Etienne indicated right and moved over to the lane which would take us back into the city. My husband and I would run like gazelles to Forks to see Kat and Embry before the Constantine’s descended with Rebecca. We had to get everyone’s story straight at the Cullen’s end. I felt so sad for Kat’s parents. They were about to receive devastating news.
At least for now Kat was fine. There had been no more visions since the last one featuring the dark haired boy. Although Rebecca was skeptical I could tell my description of the child pleased her no end. I didn’t want to tell her the boy was with his Father in my vision but Kat was nowhere to be seen. That didn’t mean anything though did it? I hoped not. For now we would pray Kat would survive this. She was in the best place, of that I knew for sure. We were almost at Rebecca’s family home. All I could think about was being alone with Etienne. I needed him. We dropped Rebecca off and made our way fleet footed out of the city and into the forest. We both stopped running at the same time as we fell into each other’s arms with the divine intent of devouring and possessing the other. Etienne was as essential to me as the blood we needed to survive. He made the visions in my head recede for now. He made me forget everything else.
All I could see, taste and feel were him and him alone.


CHAPTER SIXTY ONE
TWO MONTHS LATER
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME
ETIENNE LUCIER:
I sat on the porch at the Cullen’s watching the orange and red glow of the sunrise. The sky was beautiful. It was the beginning of summer now. I wondered if the sunrise had been as pretty in London this morning. Time ran eight hours ahead over there. Leah was there, in England’s capital. She was with Daniel, the Irish clairvoyant. I missed her so much I felt my insides ache with it. Alice had tried to help, but Alice’s visions were not as strong as Leah’s. It must be due to Leah not being completely and fully human before I changed her. My beautiful wife could no longer stand the visions which assaulted her daily. At least ten times a day they plagued her. They changed all the time too so it was hard to know what the real future was and what wasn’t. Daniel had given Leah his number when we’d left London. She had told him what had occurred when we’d arrived back. Guess what? Yes, he already knew! He didn’t even wait for Leah to ask if she could fly over to see him. He told her to come right away he would be happy to help her. Leah asked me to stay with Embry. She wanted me to give him support in her absence. I hated to let her go without me, but I must respect her wishes. I think she is worried by how these visions of hers will affect me. The truth is I just wanted her to be happy and I did indeed feel somewhat responsible for her condition since I brought her to this life. I sighed as I watched the sun come up. I felt a presence behind me. I smelled Bella’s unique scent before she spoke. “Hey friend. What’s up?” I turned around to give her a wan smile. She sat down next to me loosely draping an arm around my shoulder. “She’ll be back soon,” she said sympathetically.
“What’s happening in the house?” I asked Bella, neatly changing the subject.
“Embry is reading Alice in Wonderland to Kat. He started last night and is about half way through. Carlisle said she may be able to hear voices despite being catatonic,” she informed me.
I sighed deeply. I couldn’t go through what poor Embry was going through just now. Katherine had never recovered from the bullet shard entering her skull. Yes she was alive but machines and drips were keeping her so. Every day Embry sat by her bedside. He talked to her, he read to her, he sang to her whilst he stroked and brushed her long blonde hair. He rubbed her belly where new life was still miraculously growing. His son was still thriving. According to Leah he was going to be a handsome strong boy. She was still seeing him a lot in her visions. I felt partly responsible for Kat too. I had stepped into the bullet path causing it to shred into little pieces which flew into the air. Unluckily one made its way to Kat. Both Embry and Leah had chided me for my thoughts. They said without me she and the baby would be dead. This way there was still a slight glimmer of hope. Rebecca was also devastated as was Mike and Angie Constantine. Kat and Rebecca’s parents were a lovely couple. They had rented a house in Forks so they could be near their injured daughter. They had accepted the story we conjured up readily. They really did think that the Cullen’s house was a small and very secluded private hospital. As well as Kat’s room Carlisle had set up a couple of others to look like hospital rooms. Alice, bless her, was posing as a rehabilitating mental patient. Jasper joked that it was an easy role for her to assume!
I reckoned that Katherine would be overjoyed to know she was pregnant. I hoped she pulled through this. Embry and she would make great parents. Another shape shifting male for the Pack. Talking of shape shifter’s, Rebecca’s life had taken a surprising turn. Whilst in the midst of all this grief and devastation over Kat she had fallen in love. It had happened with a shape shifter from the small Amazonian tribe. They had made their way back to the La Push Quileute tribe when their survival became an issue. I had visited with them last year in my quest to find another female so my Leah would not be forced to marry Embry, who of course later turned out to be her half-brother. A tall bronzed muscular member of the lost tribe called Caleb had set eyes on Rebecca and instantly imprinted on her. Luckily she was also completely smitten with him, as seemed the way when males imprinted on females. Rebecca and Caleb made a very striking couple. To say the Elders were overjoyed was a bit of an understatement. Now they had the chance to procure the pure bred shape shifter female babies they craved so much. I hoped Rebecca wasn’t going to be put under pressure by the Pack. She was glowing from the inside despite her sadness over her little sister’s condition. She had finally found someone she could love and who could love her back with no fear or recriminations. Bella was staring at me and I realised I had been quiet for ages.
“Sorry Bella, I’m not very good company today,” I said sadly with a weak smile.
“It’s okay Etienne. I understand. You miss Leah terribly. I would be the same if Edward were in a different country. I hope she gets the help she needs in London,” Bella replied as she squeezed my arm kindly.
“I miss her Bella; I miss her so incredibly much. I feel like a part of me is missing. I never thought I would love someone like this! Especially after the change so very very very long ago. I thought I was doomed to wander an immortal eternity alone,” I exclaimed, becoming very emotional all of a sudden.
Bella gave me a hug. She was such a lovely friend to me. She stood up to leave with a loving and playful ruffle of my locks as she left me sitting on the porch. The sun was climbing up into the blue sky now. My hands sparkled with rainbow colours as I held them out in front of me. My wedding ring shone in the morning sunshine. My wife was so very far away. Should I go to her? I wanted to. She had asked me not to come. I think she imagined that I was getting sick of her problems and all the trouble she was encountering with the visions of the future. I couldn’t ever think that. Leah was stubborn, if she wanted to do something then she set her mind to it and that was that. I would just have to be patient and hope that she returned with less anguish than she left with.
I decided I would go make Embry take a break from his fiancée’s bedside vigil. I loved books too. I would like to read to Kat myself. I had been inconspicuously trying to use my mind control on her whilst she slept her unnatural sleep. Maybe if I could get closer I could do some good. That’s if I could persuade Embry to leave her side at all. Before I went to Kat’s bedside I needed to talk to Leah. I had to hear her voice. I needed to tell her how much I loved her. I direct dialed her hotel room. A male voice answered. Daniel’s Irish accent invaded my ears. I demanded to speak to my wife!
Hearing her voice made me long for her more. I didn’t want to come over like a jealous idiot so I pretended I was fine with Daniel being in her room. I told her I loved her and I missed her so much. She seemed distracted and busy. I felt like I was interrupting something so I said my goodbyes and came off the phone feeling worse than before if that was possible. Something wasn’t right.
I could feel it in my old old bones.


CHAPTER SIXTY TWO
HEARTLINES
EMBRY CALL:
Quinn Taylor may no longer walk this Earth but he still managed to inadvertently take Kat away from me. She was here in body but I wasn’t sure where her soul was. Her mind seemed to be closed off to me too but as Carlisle kept telling me there was no reason to believe she couldn’t or wouldn’t hear me. So I kept talking to her, singing to her and reading to her. What else could I do? She was my girl. She was the mother of my unborn child miraculously conceived from our first and only time. She had been this way since the bullet meant for me had shattered off Etienne’s hard marble skin causing a shard to enter her temple. Her heart still beat, she still breathed but she was on a drip to feed her and the baby. The baby was strong and healthy. He appeared to be growing normally. Leah said I was definitely having a son, which made me smile in these difficult times. I hoped she was right when she told me about her visions of him. What would happen if the baby was ready to be born and Kat was still sleeping? I didn’t want to think that far ahead. If Kat would only wake up life would be perfect. I would marry her and we would be the best parents ever.
Kat’s parents were devastated. Both to find out she was in a coma and that she was pregnant. They soon got over the latter and just wanted what we all wanted; for Kat to open her eyes and speak to us, to know she was all right and not be stuck in this awful limbo. Mike and Angie had been nothing but friendly to me despite what they believed to have happened. I had told them I planned to marry their youngest daughter as soon as possible. Mike had shook my hand and Angie had hugged me. They were lovely people. They had to go back to Vancouver for a few days every week basically to keep earning money and make sure everything was okay back home. This morning they had said their goodbyes to Kat and I had promised to call right away with any news on her condition. They couldn’t believe it when Carlisle had told them they didn’t need to pay anything towards their daughter’s care. The doctor had conjured up some story about doing a study on coma patients which would turn into a book eventually. I hated seeing the pain in Kat’s parent’s sad eyes when it was time to leave her for a few days.
I prayed every day that she would wake up. I cursed myself for letting Quinn fool me that day. I wished I had kept my beautiful Katherine in my arms and in my bed that afternoon. Maybe none of this would have happened. I knew my thoughts were useless though. It had happened and we had to deal with it. At least Quinn couldn’t hurt us anymore. Rebecca and I had seen to that. Permanently. It had felt good to tear his flesh apart. Rebecca was inconsolable about Kat too. Luckily she had someone to kiss away the pain now. Caleb, a new pack member had imprinted on her to her utmost delight. My sister deserved to be lucky in love for once in her life. I hoped the happy beautiful couple would marry soon and make gorgeous babies. The Elders did too but for their own selfish reasons!
I held Katherine’s small pale hand as I told her about the dream I’d had last night. Every night was the same, when I dreamed I dreamt of her. I only slept a few hours a night as I couldn’t bear to be away from her bedside. I told her how we had been lying together in our cave on First beach. It was a warm balmy summer’s night and we had been swimming half naked in the sea. Now I was holding her close in our candle lit cave, using my special wolf heat to warm her soft smooth body against mine. In my dream we now wore no clothes, only a fleecy blanket wrapped around us. Her skin against mine was causing me to tingle all over and in my dream it felt so real as I gently brought my eager hungry mouth to hers in a much longed for amazingly beautiful kiss. We whispered I love you as we kissed perfectly, our passion rising quickly as our bodies melded together as one.
I hoped Kat could hear me as I told her about my perfect dream of us together. Sometimes my dreams were very passionate. Sometimes I dreamed of us as a little family and other times I dreamed we were walking along the beach hand in hand just talking. The worst ones were my nightmares in which Kat was lost to me and I couldn’t find her. I either ran through long complex mazes with tall dark trees lining the pathways, forever calling her name, or I dreamed of rows and rows of doors all with nothing behind them but brick walls. I hated those dreams. Thankfully they didn’t occur very often. Mostly I missed her smile, her laugh and the mischievous twinkle in her sapphire blue eyes. I gazed at the vision of perfection which was her face and it seemed like she was just sleeping. I whispered to her as I laid my head next to hers, “Katherine Constantine, I love you so much, please come back to me.”
There was no response though. I stroked her small hand as I turned her palm upwards to face me. I traced the lines there, especially her heart line which was long. No indication of a short tragic life. Maybe she would come back to me after all. I kissed the smooth skin of her palm as I began to softly sing one of our favourite songs.
“Goodbye to the sky,
I know I can’t fly, but I feel love
do you know how I feel?
You are my Achilles heel.
Hello to below, I feel love flow
like a river flow
you and I standing still
you are my Achilles heel.
With my mouth against the pulse of her soft wrist I continued to sing to her.
For there’s a child in your eyes
and the child never dies
so keep the dream alive
with the aid of second sight
I can push with all my might
to make a statue in the sky
of my Achilles heel”
(Copyright Top loader Achilles heel)
Etienne quietly entered the room to enquire if I wanted a human moment. I did desperately need a shower and a small bite to eat. I’d been here since waking at three a.m. this morning. I thanked him kindly for his offer. He replaced me next to Kat. I hated to leave her side. Etienne’s pale features looked sad and lonesome. “Missing Leah?” I asked.
He nodded with a wry smile. “Every single second,” he exclaimed softly.
I nodded back, understanding his words so well. I leaned over to kiss my love, planting my lips on her cool forehead. “I won’t be long sweetheart,” I whispered against her skin. Etienne smiled at me sadly. I had wanted to ask something for a while but didn’t know how to. Now I chose my moment to do it. I don’t know why I picked Etienne to confide in. “What would happen if you changed her Etienne?” I asked quietly with my head lowered.
Etienne shook his head. “I believe she would change and be healed Embry, but your son would not survive. How could he? Impossible for a baby to be changed before it is born to this world. I am sorry friend. I have considered that option myself,” he replied.
He didn’t seemed shocked at all by what I was asking. I supposed with him being so old it was hard to shock him.
I smiled weakly, “I hope it doesn’t come down to a choice Etienne.”
The vampire raised his perfectly shaped eyebrows at me “A choice?” he enquired.
“Between the baby and Kat!” I said with a strangled cry. I was scared something would happen and I would be forced to choose life. Would it be my choice? I shuddered.
Etienne shook his head. “Please Embry; do not think thoughts like that. Go eat, shower and nap. I will talk to Katherine, “he smiled.
I left the room with my head hurting from thinking too much and lack of sleep. I would never ever regret meeting my Kat but I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone! I took a quick shower and grabbed a sandwich. The Cullen’s kept a fridge stocked with human food for all of us visitors. I laid down on the large double bed in the room Bella had kindly given me, my eyes closing as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I fell into a dream of soft kisses and delicate sighs as my heart and soul dreamed of her once more.


CHAPTER SIXTY THREE
LONDON CALLING
LEAH LUCIER:
Daniel Merryweather sat opposite me in the Soho café, drinking his small cup of strong black coffee. It was evening and the streets thronged with people. It didn’t bother me. I could smell all of their human scents intermingling and entwining together but I felt no thirst nor urge to kill. I loved how I was such a cool newborn. I hated how my new life had introduced me to the visions. I guess there had to be a price to pay. This was mine. Daniel spoke in his deep soothing voice. He was trying to convince me that I could control the visions. He found it hard to believe that I did not trust in the inner power of my own mind. Especially as I was a vampire. Yes, he knows my secret. Hardly surprising really, how could I live with no pulse? He knew of the supernatural and was extremely excited to discover me on the park bench that day.
I drifted back to our conversation as he was explaining how easy it was to shut out the visions. According to Daniel it was simple to filter out all the noise and concentrate on the meaningful stuff. He had been showing me various techniques he used himself since I had arrived in London. Of course I missed Etienne like crazy but this was something I needed to do for us both to lead a happy existence. I couldn’t go on the way I was. My marriage would begin to feel the strain and I wasn’t prepared to let that happen. I couldn’t expect Daniel to fly out to me so here I was in London again. Daniels voice soothed me. His Irish undertones were gentle yet commanding. His brown chocolate eyes became liquid pools when he was animated about something or other. He certainly was handsome and a very good second best chaperone around the city.
I gazed at him as he talked, pausing briefly to take sips from his coffee. We had abandoned my hotel room for this busy West end street because Daniel wanted to show me something. He was gesticulating at all the people passing by the window as we sat there. Him with his coffee, me with a napkin I was shredding to pieces bit by bit.
“Look Leah, look at all these humans scurrying past here like ants. Blood pumping through their veins, their fragile hearts beating, and life all around us everywhere you look,” he smiled.
I nodded and smiled back. I could tell he was dazzled as always but he was very adept at hiding it.
“Leah, you sit here a magnificent beautiful creature who could cut through these humans like the grim reaper wielding his scythe! Yet you don’t! You have no desire to kill them. You have suppressed your true vampiric nature,” he smiled again.
I nodded, “Yes Daniel. I didn’t do it consciously though. It happened naturally, “I smiled back.
He raised his eyebrows at me and his dark eyes were mischievous. “That’s where you are wrong Leah!” he winked.
Gosh, he was cute at times. I tapped my long red fingernails on the table top impatiently.
“You have the power in your mind already Leah. You’ve proved it! Now you just need to apply it to this little problem. You must listen to your inner voice more,” he chided gently.
I sighed. “But how?” I asked him in frustration.
He leant forward so his brown eyes were gazing directly into mine. “When a vision comes you ask it to move into a special room in your mind. This room is the processing plant for all of your visions. Once in this room the vision is captured and can be controlled by you. It can be broken down into little pieces so you can see the bigger picture. I am sure I am not making much sense to you Leah, but all will become clear. You have this ability already. You are in control not the vision,” he spoke softly and calmly to me.
I smiled, unable to resist his Irish charm. We walked arm in arm into the bright lights and humming noise of the city at night together. I always felt surprisingly calm with Daniel. It was exciting to have a new human friend. I treasured his guidance and calming influence on me. With Etienne I was never calm. He had excited me from the moment I set eyes on him. Electricity flowed through my veins when he was near. I loved him right up to the moon and back. Daniel was the polar opposite of my husband, but nevertheless just as fascinating to me. As I was undoubtedly to him. I saw him stare at my perfection with awe when he thought I hadn’t noticed. His eyes skimmed my being with admiration and something else. Lust? Love? I didn’t know for sure and I didn’t question. I was a happily married vampire, so completely in love with my beautiful husband that no other man nor supernatural being could compete. So why did I care what he thought? I put it down to a vampiric need to be accepted and wanted. I let those thoughts fleet from my mind.
Daniel was pointing out old buildings to me as we walked by the river. London really was an interesting place, Maybe Etienne and I could spend more time here soon. Things had to be sorted back home first. I hadn’t forgotten about poor Kat. I couldn’t do anything about that situation so had decided to sort out my own problems first so I could be there to support Embry. All my visions showed my friend with his son. Kat did not feature in my visions so far. I didn’t want to think about that too deeply. We arrived back at my hotel just in time. A vision struck me hard as we entered my plush hotel room. Embry was crying by a graveside, his tears striking the damp soil below. There was no child with him this time. I gasped as I fell onto the bed. The vision kept shifting to a picture of Katherine and Embry’s wedding day. The images began to blur and whirl behind my eyes and I could feel the darkness edging closer.
Daniel was holding my hand and talking steadily to me, “Stay with me Leah. Control the visions. Remember the room, your special room deep in your mind. Open the door and let the visions flood into that room. Now close the door and let everything just settle. Calm your mind. Now you can go back into the room whenever you choose. At your own pace. In your own time, “he spoke softly and gently to me.
It worked. I was calm once again. I opened my eyes and smiled. “I did it Daniel!” I cried excitedly, hugging his warm body to my cold one. I felt him shudder and I quickly let go. “Sorry,” I said quietly.
He shook his head, then smiled and took my cold hand, “I knew you could do it Leah. You have the strength! Plus it helps that I am a master hypnotist! I didn’t know if it would work on you but I think something got through!” he crowed, looking very pleased with himself.
I didn’t mind how he’d got me here, I was just glad I had managed some degree of control. I was confused about the visions though. I told Daniel about them and explained that they had been such extreme outcomes of the current Kat situation. One meant her death, one meant she lived. Daniel didn’t know. He didn’t share my visions this time. What circumstances made the vision change from a funeral to a marriage? I didn’t know, not yet. Daniel was gazing at me very intently. The ringing of the phone broke his stare. It was Etienne. Oh how good it was to hear his voice but also he couldn’t have phoned at a worse time! I was close to having a revelation, I could sense it acutely. I think Daniel could too. Etienne told me there was no change in Kat’s condition. He told me he loved me and he missed me so much. I felt sad when I put the phone down. He was so far away, so very far away. Soon I would be with him though and we did have all of eternity so this time apart was just a drop in the ocean really.
Daniel was staring at me again, “Leah I can help your friend Kat. I can try to reach her. People in a coma are sometimes not as far away as you think. I could try if you’d like me to?” he asked with a soft smile. I hugged him again. “Ow,” he uttered.
I must remember not to squeeze so hard! This was it, the action that could change the course Kat was on at this present time. It had to work. It just had to.
We immediately booked flights to Vancouver on Daniel’s lap top. Now we were in mid-air and the stars twinkled in the night sky through the little airplane window as I pressed my forehead against the glass. This had been easier than I thought. I was now on my way to controlling the visions and my new friend was going to help Kat too. I would soon be back in Etienne’s strong arms. I shuddered with desire at the thought of him. It had been too long since I had felt his lips on mine and his pale body against me. Daniel was staring at me again. Did he know what I was thinking? I realised that he most probably had talents I knew nothing about. It was so lovely of him to help me. Even I wasn’t that naïve to think he was completely unselfish in his kindness towards me. I had been through quite a lot in my life, especially since I had come through the changes but even I was shocked at the words which now came out of his full pouting mouth. His smile was so devilishly wicked too as he uttered his request to me.
“If I manage to awake Katherine, will you make me like you please Leah?” he asked in that soft charming voice of his.


CHAPTER SIXTY FOUR
INTO THE LIGHT
KATHERINE CONSTANTINE:
I inhabited a strange shadowy world now. I heard muffled voices. I saw shapes which were fuzzy. Everything seemed out of reach in this new place I dwelled in. It was like existing in a hazy bubble of air, there was no exit, no substance and no sunlight. It was twilight all the time here. I felt as if I wasn’t alone in my new world though. I felt a presence. I didn’t know how long I had been here or how long I was going to stay. Something was niggling away at my brain, something very important. Embry. That word swirled around my brain constantly when I was conscious. I sometimes slept here in this strange universe. That’s when I dreamed of a different place and a different time. Images that were fleeting and insubstantial. I knew I didn’t belong here, I knew I was meant to get back somewhere away from here. I felt like I had no body. How do I get home, wherever that might be, without a body? Frustration poured through me as well as sorrow. I had no body, so no eyes to shed tears when I was sad. It was all very confusing and strange. Embry, Embry, Embry. The word teased me and drove me insane. I had to get out of here somehow. It was of paramount importance that I did. Although I wasn’t sure how I knew this. I couldn’t fathom how things worked here, but I knew without a doubt that I had to go back to my old life very soon indeed.
Suddenly a door appeared before me and I was bathed in a pure brilliant white light as an angel greeted me warmly with an outstretched hand.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
A vampire as old as I should not be able to use the word heaven in any sort of context. When I was a human I had firmly believed I had a soul which left our mortal bodies for somewhere infinitely better when we died. But I had been living as an immortal being for so long I reckoned I had no right to believe in my old human ideas anymore. When I was hunting in the dense woods near the Cullen’s house tonight I found my piece of heaven. Leah’s arms had encircled me as I fed on a deer. I had gasped with pleasure as I felt her cool lips on my neck, her sharp teeth lightly grazing me. I loved her to bite my skin, it caused electric shocks to run up and down my spine and I had surrendered to her passionate embrace willingly as I always did. Tonight had been even sweeter as I had been apart from her for what seemed like an eternity. To us vampires a day was like a second, so you understand how much I had missed my dearest wife! Her wild cold fire kisses penetrated my being with their longing desire. Her marble white arms pinned me to her with passionate strength which would take my breath away if I still had oxygen to steal. As we sunk to the forest floor clinging together desperately I was happy to the very depths of my cold still heart that she had clearly and undoubtedly missed me as much as I had missed her.
Much later as we lay under the stars she whispered words of love and adoration to me. She spoke of her time in London with Daniel and why he was now in Forks awaiting on a meeting with us both. I didn’t want to leave our makeshift bed in the leaves but Katherine needed our help once again. So we made our way to the Pacific Inn Motel to pick up Leah’s new friend. We sped off into the night in Edward’s borrowed silver Volvo, Daniel looking somber and pensive in the back seat. He was staring at Leah intently as she obviously ignored him. What was going on between them? Leah had failed to mention any thing to me. I was old and wise enough to know that Daniel Merryweather had an insanely huge crush on my beautiful wife. I didn’t blame him nor did I feel the need to warn him off. Leah loved me without question and besides we were used to dazzling humans, it happened all the time. I wondered why there was an uneasiness between them though.
I concentrated on the road ahead as we approached the Cullen’s home. Once inside, we led Daniel to Katherine’s bedside. Embry was keeping vigil of course. Only brief introductions were required as Leah had already explained things in length to Embry on the phone. Daniel would enter the spirit realm to bring Katherine out of the limbo land which she was currently living in. She was precariously balanced between life and death at the moment but Daniel could go into a spiritual trance and talk with his angel guide who would hopefully help him bring the love of Embry’s life back to him. Carlisle had worked his miracles to keep all of Katherine’s vital signs functioning. Her baby grew healthily inside her despite the coma. You could see the slight swelling of her stomach which gave her pregnancy away. Carlisle had scanned her, revealing a healthy fetus with a strong heartbeat. In only a few weeks he would be able to tell us if Leah’s prediction of a boy was correct.
Once everything was in place Daniel began his preparations whilst Leah, Embry, Carlisle, Rebecca and I looked on. Luckily Mike and Angie Constantine were at home in Vancouver just now and weren’t due back until tomorrow. We had managed to keep the supernatural hidden from them so far. Leah gripped my hand in a tight squeeze. “Are you having a vision?” I whispered. She nodded, but I noticed instead of her usual panic she was calm and serene. Daniel had really done a good job with her. I needed to thank him personally for that when all this was over. We all stood around Kat’s bedside praying that Daniel’s plan would work. It had to. Embry was very nearly destroyed by this. Carlisle had researched the subject of coma patients who were pregnant and found some information which was useful to know when and if the time came. Actually, although it seems counter intuitive, women in comas are capable of birthing vaginally. In fact, it is often considered safer for these women than a C-section because of the risks of anesthesia. The body does not need the conscious mind to be on board whilst the body labors. There does often need to be some interventions during the final delivery, however, because the woman cannot participate in the actual birthing. I hoped tonight would work so that situation would never arise.
Daniel’s eyes were tightly closed and he muttered incantations under his breath. The lights were all dimmed and the room had a surreal atmosphere. Daniel’s hands were lightly resting on Kat’s small pale ones. Embry was sitting close by watching the goings on with tired dark shadowed eyes. I reckoned he was in two minds about all this but was willing to try anything. Kat’s eyelids began to flicker as Daniel’s lips silently moved faster and faster. Leah squeezed my hand again with a small half smile on her face. I turned quickly back to the scene unfolding before my topaz eyes. Kat’s eyes began to slowly open. Rebecca and Embry both gasped with surprise as she smiled beatifically at Daniel’s shocked gaze. Maybe he hadn’t truly believed in his own powers of the mind? My mind control was good, but even his feat had amazed and astounded me beyond my wildest dreams. Kat was awake! She truly was awake! Embry was crying happy tears which fell onto Kat’s hand as he brought it to his lips. “Oh Kat!” he exclaimed. Rebecca began to cry too. I gazed at Leah with a happy smile. She was smiling back too so I guessed her visions had been good. Kat turned to look into her beloveds dark eyes which brimmed with tears of joy. “You came back!” Embry whispered as he kissed the smooth pale skin of her delicate wrist.
Kat’s voice was hoarse and raspy when she spoke. “I had to. For you. For us. For him,” she whispered as she gently rubbed her swollen belly.
Embry’s eyes widened with joy and surprise. “You know?” he whispered back.
Kat’s big sapphire blue eyes gazed up into the depths of his dark ones serenely, as she smiled beautifully and knowingly.
“Of course, my love. The angel told me all about him. Our precious son. Our precious Nathaniel.”


CHAPTER SIXTY FIVE
PROMISE
LEAH LUCIER:
How delightful it was to be back in Etienne’s strong arms. How I had missed him. I decided I would never be parted from him ever again! Equally delightful was the joy seeing Embry and Kat reunited. Embry was filled with an inner glow which lit up intensely whenever he gazed as his pregnant fiancée. His hand never left hers, not for a moment. Even when Carlisle was performing blood tests and other medical stuff, his large hand held her small one. I was eternally grateful to see Katherine Constantine alive, happy and well. She seemed otherworldly now. Meeting an angel had given her a new meaning and purpose to life. She was calm and serene with the knowledge that angels existed and miracles happened. She was blooming. My prediction was right. They will be blessed with a son in approximately six months’ time. Initially I had felt a small pang of jealousy as I dreamed of Etienne and I having a family. If only things had been different and we had been a normal boy and girl meeting and falling in love. But that wasn’t how it was and I still wouldn’t trade this new life with my beloved for anything in the world. Embry and Kat would be parted by Death someday (not now thankfully!) whilst Etienne and I would be together for all eternity.
I always knew deep down that I wasn’t meant to have an ordinary life. Etienne was all I needed and more. Currently, at this moment in time, my dearest husband was not speaking to me. He had flown off at high speed out of our window in an almighty sulk. The reason? Daniel wanted me to make good on my promise to him. He had awakened Kat that meant I had to change him. Etienne was not happy about this and only found out after Daniel performed his miracle on our sleeping beauty. Hence the sulk. Daniel wanted to be like us. He wanted me to change him. Etienne reckoned I shouldn’t do it, not under any circumstances. He said Daniel would make a powerful and possibly ruthless new born. I argued that it was his choice and I had promised. Etienne questioned the authenticity of my promise which he believes was made under duress. I guess he is right because I was so desperate to bring Kat back to Embry that I would have promised Daniel the moon and stars.
I was a strong powerful vampire with an equally if not stronger powerful vampire for a husband. We did not have to do anything we didn’t want to do. Daniel certainly couldn’t force us. But although I liked and respected him, there was part of me that didn’t trust him either. His clairvoyant abilities were frighteningly accurate and real. He tracked me down in London to warn me about the whole Quinn situation. It was spooky how he’d found me, how he’d known a lot of things about me, especially about vampires. Most humans dismissed vampires as folklore and fairy tales. The stuff of books and the silver screen. Not Daniel. My new friend had his own view on the matter of my promise. He was 99.9% certain that he was alerted to my presence in London that first time because he was meant to become one of us. I really couldn’t find an argument with his logic. So I was in a bit of a quandary.
Etienne was back. I felt his presence and smelled his unique scent before I felt his arms envelop me. “Sorry,” he whispered against my hair. I could never stay angry with my beloved for long. I turned to kiss him, our cool lips easily sensing and connecting in the darkness of our room. It was lovely to feel the familiarity of my surroundings again. We had returned home for some well-deserved alone time. “Am I forgiven then?” he asked as his fingers trailed through my long hair.
I nodded with a smile, “Yes my love, I forgive you.”
His hungry passionate mouth found mine again in a thrilling long kiss. Arguments between us forgotten now. Etienne could always distract me this way. How I loved the feel of his lips, the scent and taste of his skin and my hands plunging deep into his unruly dark curls with passionate abandonment. Nothing compared to our times alone together. Even if we were just talking he mesmerised me. Even in silent contemplation he never failed to excite me. Just gazing at him made me happy. He was simple perfection. Soon we would need to leave here and make our way to Daniel’s hotel. I didn’t want to make a final decision yet so I pulled Etienne closer to me, running my hands down his bare back and letting my teeth graze his smooth neck. I knew this was guaranteed to keep his interest and avoid him asking me questions about my promise. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore; I just needed to be close to him again. He moaned seductively as my mouth moved over his neck and down his hard marble chest. Everything else was forgotten for now as we possessed each other over and over again.
The orange light of the early morning sun was shining in our window bathing our pale bodies in its happy glow. I sighed as I prised myself from my lover’s arms. I pulled back the curtains and the light hit my body causing cascades of rainbows to dance on my skin. Etienne lay on the bed, his chest bare, leaning on one hand as he gazed at me in total admiration. “Come away from the window my love. Your magnificent body is for my eyes only!” he smirked with a cheeky wink. I smiled wryly as I closed the light out with the heavy velvet curtains. I grabbed my discarded clothes from the various pieces of furniture they had landed on last night. Etienne frowned as he watched me dress.
“We need to get to Forks and see Daniel,” I announced.
Etienne sighed and rolled his eyes. “Not this again Leah!” he growled.
He looked so delicious with his tousled hair and full pouting red lips. I could easily discard my clothing again and lustfully leap on him. I shook those wicked thoughts from my head as I brushed my long dark hair roughly. “I have made a decision Etienne. Now listen to me before you make any judgments!” I commanded. He nodded and grinned sexily. He loved it when I was dominant. I tried not to be distracted by his naked perfect marble white body just out of sight under the silk sheet. “I am going to change Daniel. You don’t have to help me. I wouldn’t want you to be part of anything you aren’t happy with. I truly believe he was meant to be something more than a mere human. If I can give him that gift then I am happy to. He knows too much about us and our friends Etienne. I must admit I don’t fully trust him so the best thing to do is give him what he wants. Keep up my end of the bargain so to speak.”
I sat down on the bed, feeling emotionally drained after my speech. Etienne took my hand and kissed it gently.
“I respect your wishes, Leah. I also owe Daniel. He helped you make the visions bearable. For that I can’t thank him enough. Do it, my love. Change him. Let him have the gift of immortality,” my husband said softly as his lips rose to meet mine in a gentle sweet kiss. My hands wound into his hair, roving through the wild curls, excitement building again as his tongue flicked sensuously against mine insistently. Would we ever get out of this room today?
Midday sun now shone through the small crack in the heavy luxurious velvet curtains at our bedroom window. I needed to achieve willpower when it came to Etienne and our glorious love making! We had spent too long apart in the last few weeks. We were certainly making up for it now. Etienne said he would only let me disentangle myself from him if I promised that we would go on a very long vacation soon. More promises! He wanted me all to himself somewhere secluded and beautiful. Maybe Isle Esme if Carlisle permitted it. I sighed and agreed that yes we needed time for us, with no problems or people; whether super-naturals or humans in the way. It would be bliss.
Whilst we had been in Forks for a while I had been meeting up with Seth. He hadn’t changed his opinion of me at all. I might be a vampire now but I was still his sister. He was still my baby brother and I loved him. I spied on my Mom from afar. Sometimes I think she saw me but refused to acknowledge me. It was sad. It was my new reality. It seemed I couldn’t have everything. Etienne always warned me to keep my distance from humans after the change but it was hard. Especially when they needed saving like Kat and Embry. We dressed quickly and left the sanctity of our old Vancouver house to make our way to the Pacific Inn Motel in Forks. Luckily the day had turned cloudy so we could go out amongst the mortals without fear of dazzling them and drawing unwanted attention to ourselves. I always wondered what would happen if we were ever discovered by a mere ordinary human. Of course Etienne would be able to control their poor weak mind should that situation arise so I didn’t really worry too much. We were travelling conventionally today in a hired Jaguar. Etienne never purchased vehicles, he preferred to swap and change as his mood saw fit. We sped past the Forks sign; soon we would arrive at our destination. Tonight Daniel would leave his human life behind. He would become one of us.
I crossed my fingers as I prayed fervently and silently that I was doing the right thing in keeping my deadly promise.


CHAPTER SIXTY SIX
ELEVATION
DANIEL MERRYWEATHER:
My blood burned fiercely through my veins and a white hot fire raged within me. I did not think I could take the heat of the changes wreaking havoc on my body. After what seemed like an eternity the heat subsided and I felt cool, calm and collected. The whole time the fire raged I had listened to Etienne’s husky voice telling me to be still, silent and stress free. It was hard to keep a coherent train of thought when your blood was being quickly eradicated by a raging forest fire of venom. I felt my beating human heart cease and I did not mourn. I felt the venom fill up my body, rendering me strong and powerful. It was like a switch being flicked and I had made the transition from ordinary to extraordinary. I was elevated up and beyond my usual self. Although Leah assured me that I had never been a normal human just before she bit me and let her life changing venom enter my bloodstream.
I had wished to become something elevated from human as far back as I can remember. I was overjoyed to find out I had clairvoyant powers when I was only seven years old. My talents grew and by the time I had reached fifteen I was already captivating audiences with my psychic abilities. I could hear the spirits of the dead, I could walk amongst them, and I could easily communicate with souls on the astral plane. I found out about astral travelling completely by accident one night a few years ago. I thought I was dreaming when I flew through the starry night sky and found myself in a dark alleyway in Dublin. I watched a tramp being stalked by a creature that appeared to be more than human. This woman was beautiful and magnificent with flame red hair and scarlet eyes to match. I stood open mouthed as I watched her pounce on the man and bite into his neck ferociously. Bright red blood oozed in a trickle from the side of her mouth as she appeared to drink the poor victim’s blood. He slumped to the floor in a discarded sorry heap when she had sated herself. He was quite obviously dead. I saw his spirit leave his body and float up into the night sky like a balloon whose string had been cut. The creature narrowed her blood red eyes at me with curiosity. “Who are you?” she spoke in a sweet musical voice. I stuttered out my name in fear. I had seen many things in my life but this vision of beauty and terror frightened me beyond belief. “Pleased to meet you Daniel, I’m Victoria,” she smirked.
She came up close to me and I swear my astral body shivered with shock and fear. “What are you?” she asked as she passed a pale white hand through my shimmering barely there astral body. I explained to her that I had been sleeping in my bed and presumed this was all a dream. She assured me that she was not a dream but most possibly my worst nightmare. She was so beautiful and powerful I was completely blown away with fear and also desire for this strange creature. “Lucky for you I have slaked my thirst, Daniel,” she purred. I nodded and tried to plaster a smile on my ghostly face. I hoped she would leave soon. I wished she would stay and take me in her deadly embrace. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Then she was gone. Just like that. I fervently wished I was back in my warm safe bed. Then I was. How strange.
So that was my first experience at astral travelling. I knew it was real because the newspapers were full of the story of the tramps murder the next day. I recognised him, the alleyway – everything. It had all been real which made me surmise that my red haired and red eyed demon was also very real. I shivered with desire and fear once again. Another year passed and my family moved to London when I was nineteen. I loved the vibrant city with its old history and ancient spirits. I set up my own business doing one on one clairvoyant readings with the public. My best friend Lukas had died in a car accident when we were only sixteen. He was my angel guide. He had brought Katherine Constantine back from the brink of death. He had shown her marvelous sights which had changed her outlook forever. We were still best friends despite him now existing beyond the veil. I was a night owl and very often couldn’t sleep. I still astral travelled when I had mind to but other times I liked to walk the city and see what the night would bring.
This night a couple of months ago I had passed a most striking and beautiful young couple by the river bank. They were engrossed in each other and did not notice me. I knew what they were though. They were just like Victoria! At last I had finally come across not one, but two of her kind once again! She had plagued my waking and dreaming moments since that night in the dark, damp alleyway. She had fascinated me, thrilled me and sent chills of fear through me every time I recalled her perfect face. I read up every little morsel I could find on vampires since that night. Until I saw Leah and Etienne taking their midnight river stroll I honestly believed I would never ever encounter the creature or her like again. Here were two perfect specimens’ inches from me! I shivered with excitement and fear. These two did not have red eyes like Victoria. They seemed very much in love and at peace. How fascinating. You know the rest. I started having visions featuring the female vampire. I had to find her and tell her. I knew right there and then, when I spoke to Leah for the first time, that I wanted to become like them more than anything else in the world. I just had to find a way. Luckily my powers gave me an edge over other humans. Leah and I became friends. I helped her out twice. She promised to make me like her so here I was about to open my eyes to this new world. Etienne was softly calling my name. I felt power hum through my venom filled body like electricity. I opened my now red eyes. Leah was the first thing I gazed upon as a newborn vampire.
I instantly fell in love with her all over again, deeper and deeper until I knew I had to have her no matter what the consequences might be.


CHAPTER SIXTY SEVEN
SIX MONTHS LATER:
LIFE CHANGING
EMBRY CALL:
Kat gave one last almighty push and our son was delivered into this world. After a quick clean he was handed to Kat. He lay gazing up at his Mother with adoring blue eyes, so similar to hers. I kissed his precious soft cheek and marveled at the perfection of him. “Hello Nathaniel,” cooed Kat. I had never loved her more. She became my wife three months ago. We had a quiet low key wedding in La Push doubling up with Rebecca and Caleb. Kat’s sister had just announced her pregnancy two days ago. Everyone was delighted for her, especially Mike and Angie. Kat looked tired but oh so proud. Her labour had been long and hard but all that was forgotten now as we gazed upon this little miracle we had created. I knew everyone else was going to be in awe of our son too. Rebecca and her beloved were waiting outside to meet their nephew. Kat’s parents were here too. Jake and Nessie had also turned up with big bunches of flowers, baby clothes and other gifts. Unfortunately they could not have children due to Renesmee being a hybrid. I had a feeling they would spoil Nathaniel though! Rebecca now lived right next door to us. She had given up life in the city to marry Caleb and settle down. I couldn’t wait for Nathaniel to have a play mate in a few months. My Mom, Tiffany was overjoyed with her new gift of an extended family. She was much better now. She had my wonderful Kat as a daughter in law and now Rebecca had given her so much joy too.
Life was good. To think I almost lost my Katherine, my reason for breathing, my everything. Thankfully Daniel had helped bring her back to me. Kat told me all about the angel Lukas who had saved her. She wished I could meet him, and then she would laugh and say I would find out one day too. I wished my other sister was here to see our beautiful boy. Leah had not been back to La Push for months. Etienne and she left just after Kat’s miraculous recovery. She has text me and phoned but she wouldn’t explain why they couldn’t return. I took a photograph on my phone of Kat and Nathaniel. I punched in Leah’s name then pressed send. At least she would get to see our son on his first day of life even if it wasn’t in the flesh. I couldn’t wait to get my wife and baby home. It was a new start, a new life and I couldn’t wait for it all to begin.
We had been given a second chance and I wasn’t going to waste a precious second of it.
ETIENNE LUCIER:
Why did my darling Leah have to be so stubborn and wilful? She won’t give up once she starts something. Daniel was now a vampire, he was articulate and handsome. He was strong and dazzling. A fine example of a new born. Until the thirst overcame him. Then he was a raging, terrifying and powerful fledgling. Leah had to physically restrain him from going out and killing some innocent human. His desire for their blood was so strong. In truth I was exasperated with the whole situation; we had been holed up in our Vancouver home for six months now. I had a cellar you see and it was easily adaptable into a prison for Daniel when Leah thought he had become uncontrollable. I didn’t realise changing Daniel into one of us meant we had to babysit him too, but my darling wife said she had a responsibility to her fledgling because she changed him into this monster. I had tried mind control on Daniel and it seemed to work for a while and he would consume animal blood with us, but then the thirst would take over again. To be honest I just wanted him out of our house. I wanted my wife back; I wanted our life together back. Daniel was besotted with Leah and whilst I knew this could happen between a new born and their maker, I wasn’t impressed because I was almost certain that he was already in love with her before. Leah swears she wasn’t aware of it. I have my doubts.
So all in all the past six months have been torturous for me. I didn’t like sharing my beloved with anyone. Daniel’s hungry red eyes watched her every move with lustful desire shining in them so plain and evident, I was scared. What if he managed to persuade Leah to leave me? Then I chided myself, I was Leah’s maker, her husband, her lover, so she wouldn’t leave me surely? My head actually hurt from over thinking the situation. Leah spent all her time trying to make Daniel into a refined and restrained vampire. Secretly I think she loved modelling him into something she wanted him to be. Me? I wish we’d never laid eyes on him. I had a bad feeling right from the beginning which had just grew and grew.
Something had to change, and it had to happen soon.
LEAH LUCIER:
I was so tired of leading a double life. I was Etienne’s wife. I was Daniel’s maker. I shouldn’t have changed him. My husband was right. I was a one off. I should not have been so caught up in keeping my promise to Daniel. He didn’t turn out like I did. I had hoped and prayed deep down that he would be fine because he was no ordinary human. I was wrong. It didn’t work like that. Now I had this fiendishly evil and devastatingly handsome fledgling on my hands. My marriage was suffering. My heart ached for poor Etienne; he wanted me all to himself, quite rightly so. My body betrayed me whenever Daniel was close to me; I wanted to make him mine in all ways possible. Why did there have to be this attraction between us? I didn’t want it. I hated it. I was stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, as they say.
Something had to change, and it had to happen soon.


CHAPTER SIXTY EIGHT
ANGEL WHISPERS
DANIEL MERRYWEATHER:
I watched the curve of her hips in the impossibly tight black jeans as she walked purposefully towards me in the half light. I studied the shapely form of her leather encased calves in those sexy knee length boots. I let my gaze travel upwards to the swell of her pale breasts and shoulders exposed by the pretty low cut black lace top she wore. Her long dark shining hair was loose and flowing down to her waist. Her touch was gentle as she chained me to the wall. Her closeness made me shiver with forbidden desire. I gazed into her face with awe. Her full pouting lips were ever so close to mine as she wrestled with a particularly strong lock. I growled deep in my throat as I stared mesmerized at the smooth marble skin of her swan like neck. I wanted to bite her and kiss her so badly I ached. But, the object of my desire was taken. She wasn’t mine. Unfortunately. She was Etienne’s. Maybe I could persuade her to be mine. I had been trying since I first opened my eyes to this new world.
I loved being a vampire. It was amazing beyond words. Leah didn’t like me to drink human blood, although I craved it like a drug addict craved heroin. On the occasions I’d escaped my beautiful maker I had gorged myself on it, not caring whose life I had to end to get to the satisfying thick red blood. Leah and Etienne survived on animal blood. I couldn’t understand why they would want to betray their true nature. They said that being a vampire didn’t mean you had to kill humans. I disagreed! Surely humans were put on this Earth for us. They were merely prey for us to hunt and feed on. Why would I want to suppress my true nature? Well there was one reason. Leah. I would do anything for her. If she wanted and needed to make me an ideal vampire in her eyes then I must try to please her. If I did maybe she would fall in love with me too. My desire for her was as strong as human blood. I wanted to possess her mind, body and soul so badly. Since the moment I had first saw her I had been captivated.
She tightened my chains and locks as strongly as she could. We both knew if I really wanted to escape my bonds I could. Simple. I was a new born and I was very strong. Leah seemed to know the signs that indicated I was becoming restless. She knew what to look for now. As soon as she thought I was becoming predatory she would lock me down here. Sometimes she stayed. Sometimes I was alone. She always looked sad when she set me free again, like she was disappointed in her naughty child. The doors to the cellar were reinforced steel. Etienne believed I couldn’t escape through layers and layers of hard metal. I didn’t need to. I played a game with Leah. I used my strength to rip apart the chains and locks so I was free. She panicked when I escaped because she knew as well as I did that there was a secret passageway leading out of this cellar that even Etienne didn’t know about. The spirits had shown me it. I had shown Leah. She rarely left me now when I was in the cellar. When I escaped she brought me blood bags. She pleaded and begged me not to leave the cellar. I drank the blood from the bags gratefully; it wasn’t the same as clasping a warm human to you and draining their life blood. That was entirely delicious and addictive. Much like my beautiful captor.
“Please don’t escape Daniel. I am trusting you. I want you to try to become like me. It’s been six months now. Etienne is losing patience! He is not stupid. He notices your eyes are still red. They should be topaz by now! “She sighed shaking her pretty head. One day, maybe I would listen but not today. Not when I knew what would happen. It was too easy. I broke my chains and bonds in one swift movement with a happy grin on my face. “No Daniel!” she cried out.
I swiftly wrapped my arms around her, letting my hands rest on her tiny waist. I pulled her roughly to me with a snarl. My lips found hers easily and we gave into our hunger and desire for a few minutes of unbridled passion. As usual after a short while Leah pushed me away forcefully.
“Daniel please stop!” she cried angrily.
But her eyes betrayed her. She wanted me to kiss her again. I was on her in a flash my hands roaming over her beautiful figure as our lips crashed together with passionate abandonment. I could never get enough of her. She was pushing at my chest with all her might. Her resistance just made me want her more. Our encounters were so exciting. Leah finally pushed me away and threw me a couple of blood bags. I greedily tore them open letting the liquid flow down my throat. Ah she had warmed them up for me, how thoughtful. Leah knew this was only a temporary satisfaction for me. I would need to feed soon. There was only one way to stop me. I looked at her hungrily. She sighed and let her head fall to one side exposing her dangerously gorgeous neck.
There was a little resistance at first because her marble skin was harder to penetrate than soft human necks. Soon I was in and drinking her glorious venom blood. I took small slow sips as I held her to me, my hands running through her hair seductively and sensuously. At these times there was no roughness. I was gentle as I could be as I drank in her essence. I heard my friend Lukas in my mind whispering to me to please stop. Since the change I could block out spirits easily. So I told him to go. I concentrated on her scent and taste which seemed to penetrate my very soul if I indeed still possessed one. Even Etienne did not share these times with her. Maybe he didn’t know? He was very very old though surely he must know if you drink another vampire’s blood you become even stronger and your bond with each other becomes virtually unbreakable? More fool him for not taking the time to find out this hidden gem of information. Leah sighed as my mouth moved away from her neck. The wound I had made was already healing. Oh my she was even more beautiful and perfect in this moment than ever before. I loved her beyond distraction. I wanted her and I needed her. I don’t think I could stand another minute of her being his and not mine.
Something had to change, and it had to happen soon.


CHAPTER SIXTY NINE
POSSESSION
LEAH LUCIER:
I was possessed by the demon vampire Daniel. In trying to do what was right I had managed to achieve the complete opposite. I stopped Daniel from killing people, but he was killing me instead. Bit by bit I was losing myself to him. Etienne had never discussed this with me at all when he told me all about his kind. Who knew vampires could drink other vampire’s heavily laced venom blood? Who knew it would make you bind yourself to the drinker and become a slave to them in all ways? I didn’t. Etienne surely didn’t? How did Daniel know? Ah my husband had been so right when he said I shouldn’t change Daniel into one of us. I should have listened. Now, it seemed too late to save Daniel, to save myself and most of all to save my marriage. I had dug an almighty deep dark hole and even my vampire strength and keenness couldn’t pull me out of it. I tried to fight it, but Daniel had a strong hold over me. He looked at me and I became like jelly. He kissed me and I swooned. He bit me and I succumbed. What a mess! I loved Etienne so badly but I knew I was hurting him. Daniel had been diverting all of my attention away from Etienne. Why did I not listen to my inner voice warning me? Why did my visions of Daniel as a devastatingly attractive and seductive vampire not hamper me? So many unfulfilled questions. I had no answers though.
I sat alone in the large living room of our home. Twilight was descending and the sky was a lovely blush of deep pink. Bella had just called me. I must’ve have frustrated my good friend no end as I had nothing to say to her. She told me how perfect Kat and Embry’s son was. I still had the photograph Embry had text to me. Nathaniel was indeed gorgeous and I was a proud Aunt. I had sent a brief message back to Embry stating I would be home soon for a visit. Home was really Vancouver now. Home was now an exquisite trap from which I could neither see nor sense escape. My visions did not include Daniel anymore. I suspect he had something to do with that. I saw Etienne but he always looked sad. His twinkle was gone in my visions. This was also true of real and present time. He was morose and definitely not himself. I knew this was because of me. I must escape from this hold Daniel had over me! If I didn’t let him drink from me I knew he would escape and run rampage through the night streets. How was I going to stop him? After the first time he drank from me I was enslaved to him and my strength was useless against that hold he had over me. I would have to tell Etienne. Oh dear god! He would be so upset but I must do something. I had made Daniel and I felt deeply responsible for him. Etienne would tell me to leave him be, let him get on with his existence. How could I have innocent human murders on my hands though? It would just be the same as if I’d killed them myself! I sighed with exasperation. Etienne had escaped the house for now. He said he had business to attend to. I didn’t know if that was true or not. He probably just wanted to get away from the oppressing darkness which had fallen over our usually happy home.
The hairs on the back of my neck prickled as I felt Daniel’s presence behind me. I tensed my body waiting for his attack. I felt his index finger trace my spine, his hand lifting my hair away from my neck, then his cool lips trailing down my skin gently. I shivered with desire. I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to. I struggled internally with my feelings and emotions. Daniel roughly turned me towards him and pressed his body up against me, a low growl escaping from his lips. He fastened his mouth to mine eagerly. My lips disobeyed my brain as I kissed him ferociously with red hot fiery passion. My brain clouded over as his scent and taste bound me to him. I weakly tried to push him away from me but didn’t succeed as his lips found their way down to my neck and onto the swell of my breasts in my low cut vest top. He growled again as his teeth grazed my neck. I felt the burning pain as my marble skin broke. He drank greedily from me this time and I felt all my strength zap away. When he was done he gazed into my hazy eyes with adoration and lust. “I love you Leah,” he said huskily in that beautiful voice of his. His perfect mouth was lightly smeared with my venom laced blood. I wanted to lick his lips with lascivious intent. His hands easily ripped my top from me and it fell to tatters on the ground. I clutched my arms around my near naked top half. Daniel bit his bottom lip with desire as he pulled my hands away so he could gaze at me in my scarlet red bra. “Beautiful,” he whispered reverently.
He dropped to his knees and held me tight around the waist as his lips and tongue traced the smooth skin of my flat stomach. I gasped and let my hands wander roughly through his hair. This was wrong, so wrong! I was in love with my husband, only he should touch me this way. His nails were lightly raking my back as he kissed and licked every inch of my exposed skin. I felt as if I were falling into a spiral of pleasure and pain mixed together. I loved what he was doing to me; I was caught up in the excitement and passion. I had no strength to stop him. But a little far away voice in my head was screaming no no no, over and over! I knew I was letting the situation go way too far this time but I was in a trance, powerless to resist Daniel’s touch. He easily picked me up and carried me to the large Persian rug in front of the big fireplace. The orange flames of the fire danced and writhed in a wild cacophony as Daniel laid me down. His shirt was off in a flash and he was on top of me, his arms pinning me down, his lips singing with frenzied desire on mine. I tasted my blood on his mouth. His cool skin slid against mine as we melded together. My passion and lust for him was as hot as the flames which cast shadows on our pale marble skin. I was lost to him. How would I ever find my way back? I tried to release my arms but my body had gone soft and weak. Daniel was whispering hoarse words of love and passion against my ear, his lips moving down to my neck and beyond. His strong hands were deftly undoing the zip on my skin tight jeans. I sighed as I tried to push my body upwards. Daniel moaned lustfully as he mistook my movement for passionate abandonment.
This was going way way too far now. I couldn’t resist him.
Suddenly the large dark oak door of the living room opened and in a whirlwind Etienne flew in, his face even whiter than normal with sheer fury. He flung Daniel away from me in one swift movement and picked me up in a fireman’s lift as he flew out of the room with me. It all happened so quickly. “Alice was right!” he was muttering under his breath as he carried me out of the front door like lightning away from the city lights of the frosty November night. He carefully placed me down on a bed of autumn leaves in the woods just on the outskirts of Vancouver. He took off his long black overcoat and placed it around my half naked body gently. Our kind didn’t feel the cold but I knew this was Etienne’s way of trying to look out for me. His beautiful eyes were sad but laced with venomous fury. I couldn’t look at him. I turned away and put my shameful head in my hands. If I could’ve sobbed my heart out I certainly would have done so. I was scared to look at Etienne’s disappointed and angry face. I felt his strong arms envelop me and his embrace tighten around me.
“Leah, I know what that monster has been doing to you! Bella was worried after your phone call so she asked Alice to try to “see” what was happening. She called me right away. I am so sorry my love, please forgive me! I’ve let you down!” he cried out against my hair.
I gazed up into his beautiful kaleidoscope eyes which were becoming dark, “Oh Etienne! It is I who has let you down. I was concentrating so much on making things right with Daniel that I didn’t see this coming! I am so sorry my darling! I didn’t want to be intimate with him, I swear!” I swore solemnly.
His gentle familiar lips sought out mine with a forgiving sweet kiss. I was so happy he was here. Hopefully we could sort this out together now. I prayed we could because I loved this husband of mine with the whole of me. Right down to my immortal bones. I smiled weakly at him, my mind clearing quickly now I was away from Daniel. Away from the house and his presence I began to feel more like myself and I hated myself even more for falling under his spell. “What did Bella say about the situation?” I asked meekly.
Etienne squeezed my hand tightly as we sat amongst the leaves under a large shining full moon. “She asked Edward and Carlisle for advice. They are not happy with you I’m afraid Leah. Making another vampire without them knowing has annoyed them immensely. But that’s by the by, my darling. They did have advice for us though,” he said with another strong squeeze of my hand.
I sat quietly waiting for him to speak again. “Carlisle said that when a vampire has their blood drank by another of their kind, they become beholden to that vampire unless the bond is broken. Edward also said that vampires are not known for doing this heinous crime to each other normally, only when the vampire committing the act wants to possess the other for whatever reason. Daniel is in completely besotted love with you Leah! Even before the change. He wants you for his own. Drinking your blood gives him the edge. Soon he would have possessed you completely. You are his maker so that made the bond even stronger. Victoria tried to drink my blood once you know,” he added with his head bowed.
I gasped and shook my head in horror. “What happened?” I asked.
He sighed, “I distracted her with a fresh young male that I’d found working on a farm close to our home. Thankfully it was the only time she tried it. I escaped from her shortly after that.”
I kissed him and hugged him close to me, my hands stroking his dark curls. “So did the Cullen’s mention a solution?” I queried my husband.
Etienne’s even darker eyes stared deep into mine. He desperately needed to feed. “Yes,” he simply stated.
I gazed into his face impatiently, “Tell me Etienne!” I demanded.
Etienne stared directly into my eyes as he uttered the answer to my demand.
“The preying vampire must be destroyed Leah, it’s the only permanent way to break the bond between you“.


CHAPTER SEVENTY
ON THE OTHER SIDE
KATHERINE CALL (WAS CONSTANTINE)
I placed my precious infant son in his Moses basket beside our bed. Embry was sleeping soundly too. We took turns to do the night feeds. Tonight was my turn. I loved the special closeness of these nights spent with my son, holding him until he fell asleep in my arms. I kissed his soft cheek lightly so as not to wake him up. Then I leaned over and kissed my husband very softly. He stirred slightly but did not wake. Nat would sleep for two hours approximately then awake once again for his bottle of milk. After that I would grab some sleep whilst Embry took over in the morning. I decided I would leave my boys sleeping and retire to the lounge to catch up on my book. Life was just perfect. I had my beautiful husband Embry and my perfect son Nathaniel. To think a few months ago I was at death’s door. I would have hated to miss being a wife and mother. It was the best, most rewarding thing in the world. Embry loved me so very dearly, just as I adored him. I still couldn’t believe how my life had changed since meeting him. Yes, we’d had bad times but we’d come out fighting even stronger than ever.
I settled down on our comfy sofa and picked up my book. I was reading about angel encounters. Since the night I had come back from beyond the veil I was fascinated in the subject. I was tired though and I felt my eyes continually drifting shut. I shook myself, desperately trying to stay awake. I decided to go into the kitchen to make a coffee. Some caffeine would help. I switched the kettle on to boil and rubbed my sleepy eyes. I was just in the middle of a big yawn when I heard a soft fluttering coming from the lounge. With a quizzical frown I walked back into the other room to find Lukas the angel sat on my sofa, just as dazzling and handsome as I remembered him from our last encounter. He came to me frequently in dreams but this was the first time he had materialised in the real world. I gasped with surprise.
“Lukas!” I exclaimed with a wide joyous smile.
He nodded at me sagely. “Hello Katherine. I see Rebecca is pregnant. She is carrying your son’s future wife. The girl will be a pure bred shape-shifter named Marisa. She will be very beautiful, strong and determined. They will carry on the precious bloodline,” he spoke calmly with a beatific smile.
I gasped with amazement. I completely believed that my angel spoke the truth. He had shown and told me things beyond belief. Some people don’t like knowing what the future holds, but after what I’d been through it gave me some relief. I sat down beside Lukas. His eyes were deep deep green and his hair was as smooth as black silk. He kept it short, which only drew more attention to his beautiful eyes and his pale flawless skin. He was only young when he had died sadly and tragically in an accident. He wasn’t gloomy about his life being cut short though, he was happy to be of use in the after world, helping poor lost souls like me who were stuck in limbo land.
“Katherine, I didn’t just come to tell you about your future daughter in law. I need your help!” he said quietly.
What? An angel needed me? Whatever could he need me for?
“My friend Daniel, the one who helped me bring you back to this world, he is in deep trouble. Can you help me Katherine?” he asked as he lightly touched my hand.
It felt as soft as feathers landing on my skin. Lukas was from beyond this life but he was as real to me as if he was human. I think it was because of my near death experience. I was now in tune with the other side.
“I would do anything for you dear Lukas, my angel friend,” I stated with a smile.
“Daniel is now a vampire. Leah Lucier changed him. He has not adapted to the changes successfully I’m afraid. I have known Daniel since we were children; he is not a merciless killer. It doesn’t suit him. He is draining Leah’s essence, binding her to him, stealing her away from her husband ruthlessly. I have tried to stop him but he is so strong. He blocks me out now, he doesn’t listen. Etienne Lucier wants him destroyed!” Lukas sobbed.
I reached out to stroke his arm but of course his body was ethereal and could not be touched by someone on the earthly plane. “How can I help?” I asked sincerely.
“Daniel must be weaned off human blood and also the blood of his maker. There is a witch in London called Tilly, who owns a little curio shop called Hocus Pocus, close to Tower Bridge. Etienne or Leah must travel there and purchase an item from Tilly. It is an old silver antique box containing an apotropaic which must be used to seal Daniel into a room. Within seven days he will be cured. If this does not work then I agree he must be destroyed,” my angel said sadly.
I nodded excitedly. I had a secret task to perform! I must phone Leah right away. “Can this apotro thingy not be sourced in America?” I enquired.
“Apotropaic, Katherine. It means an item which can be used to ward off vampires. It is a part of the hawthorn plant. I know it sounds crazy, but please trust me,” he said somberly.
I nodded vigorously, “Oh I do trust you Lukas, implicitly!”
He smiled his angel smile at me. How I wished I could hug him, he looked so upset. We said our goodbyes with the promise that he would come visit me again soon. Of course he would be watching to see how events unfolded. I hoped this plan worked. It sounded like Leah and Etienne were having a really hard time and although I didn’t know much about vampires, I knew without a doubt that those two were meant to be. Daniel had saved me, so it was my turn to save him. All was quiet from the bedroom so I dialed Leah’s number in the kitchen where I wouldn’t wake my sleeping boys. Her voice was shaky and hoarse when she answered. I explained what Lukas had told me. She was shocked that I knew about the situation. I could hear Etienne telling her not to underestimate spirits from beyond. She agreed that any situation was better than Daniel’s destruction and decided Etienne would fly to London right away. Leah thanked me for the information and sent her best wishes to Embry and our baby son. She promised to visit her nephew soon when all this was sorted.
I sat at our large kitchen table and finally drank the cup of hot black coffee I’d been waiting on. This had turned out to be a strange night. I mused again on how much my life had changed. I heard soft whimpers coming from the baby monitor so I padded softly barefoot back to the bedroom.
Nathaniel’s blue eyes fixed on to mine in the early morning light. The red numbers on the clock said it was six a.m. Embry stirred when he heard me cooing to our son as I picked him up out of his basket. “Good morning Kat,” he beamed at me, his sunshine smile making me instantly glow. He leapt out of bed towards us giving me and Nat a soft kiss each. “Hey beautiful boy,” he smiled at our baby. Nat had my eyes but he had Embry’s dark thick hair. They were my world. “Go to sleep darling. I’ll take over,” he said as he ushered me over to my side of our bed.
I shook my head, “No Embry, I have to tell you something! I will make us coffee while you prepare Nat’s feed,” I said excitedly.
He raised his eyebrows at me curiously as he took our son from me. “Okay,” he nodded with a smile.
I shooed my husband away so I could brush my hair and wash my face. I didn’t like him to see me when I wasn’t at my best although Embry thought I was beautiful at any time of the day. I splashed cold water on my face and applied my moisturiser. Then I brushed my long blonde hair vigorously. Ten strokes in total. It was a ritual I had been performing since I hit puberty. I tied my hair up in a long ponytail and gave a small smile to my reflection. Not too bad. Suddenly the face of my angel appeared in the mirror, although he wasn’t actually in the room this time. He smiled at me, that perfect smile which was innocent but immensely wise.
“Thank you Katherine. Etienne is already at Vancouver airport waiting to board a flight to London. Daniel is one step closer to being saved! I am indebted to you,” he said meekly.
I shook my head at his perfect reflection. “Lukas, it was my pleasure to help you!” I stated as his image faded and disappeared. Leah and Etienne would be saved too. I prayed this plan of Lukas’s would work.
Everyone, whether angel, supernatural or human deserved to be as happy as I felt now. Simple.


CHAPTER SEVENTY ONE
SALVATION
ETIENNE LUCIER:
I gazed down at the twinkling lights of London at night as the plane flew over the city. I was going home. It had been a quick twenty four hours but I had achieved what I came here to do. Tilly, the witch had known I was coming. I didn’t ask how or why, but when I’d entered her shop late afternoon she’d smiled and nodded. “Mr. Lucier, a pleasure to meet you,” she had purred huskily, grasping my cold hand with her deliciously warm one. I had nodded a greeting in reply.
“Please call me Etienne,” I had offered pleasantly.
She had long scarlet red hair, perfect porcelain skin and sea green eyes. She certainly was beautiful. I hadn’t expected this. I thought of witches as old and ugly, which had been very presumptive and wrong of me to do so! Tilly had put up the closed sign, locked the door and taken me into the back of the shop where she had pulled out the silver antique box that Kat had told Leah about. Before passing it to me she had gazed right into my topaz eyes then boldly asked me if I was a vampire. I had been taken aback at her forwardness. Not many humans knew of our existence. How was it possible that this wickedly gorgeous witch assumed I had been blessed or indeed cursed with immortality?
I had dazzled her with my smile in return. “Why do you enquire such a thing?” I had asked. She had smiled coquettishly at me, her green eyes twinkling mischievously in the dimmed lights of the small room.
“I am fascinated by you Mr. Etienne Lucier. I fell in love years ago with the strange and supernatural. Ever since I discovered my own unique talents I made it my mission to become an expert in such matters. I never, ever expected to meet a being such as you in the flesh. I read of you, I dreamed of you but never did I imagine I would meet a vampire like you!” she had gushed, her breathing quickening and her heart racing.
Oh dear. This impossibly beautiful creature was bewitched by me, excuse the pun. She was very beguiling. She was very alive. I hadn’t tasted human blood for centuries except when I changed Leah. That was different. Something about this witch had made me want to sink my sharp teeth into her pale slender neck and drink from her ravenously. Had she put a spell on me; I had questioned myself? My eyes had fixed on her pulse, beating quickly, pumping the precious blood around her body. My hungry eyes had roamed downwards to the swell of her breasts, accentuated by the smallness of her waist and down to the curve of her hips. I had to visibly shake myself as I had watched her walk slowly and purposefully towards me.
Her green eyes were mesmerising as she had approached. The silver box was in her hands behind her back. She had worn a low cut black dress which skimmed her curves in all the right places. Her smile was predatory, almost vampiric! Her lips had curved up into a smile as she came closer to me. So close I could smell her skin. I felt and heard her heart beat. I missed this. I had loved Leah as a human. Of course I loved her even more now. Visions of my darling wife had invaded my mind and stopped me in my tracks. What was I doing having lustful thoughts about another woman! She had leant in so very close, her rose pink lips inches from mine, tempting me with her beauty and humanity. “Etienne, I would love something in return for this precious item I hold,” she had whispered seductively.
I had once again fallen into the depths of her green eyes. They held me there like a fly trapped in a spider’s web. Falling, falling into the dreamy sea of her hypnotic beautiful eyes. Her lips had been moving slowly, talking to me softly as I fell deeper and deeper. “Kiss me Etienne, kiss me beautiful vampire, unholy one, immortal devil. I want you to,” she had intimated most perfectly as her lips inched closer. I felt the softness of her mouth brush mine as gentle and as sweet as a butterfly wing. Oh the deliciousness of being close to a female human. It had overpowered all my vampire senses. I had growled with passion and hunger as I had pulled her towards me, the silver box falling onto the floor. Her lips were like honey and cinnamon, sweet as sugar and hot as fire. My mind was consumed by her. She had taken her mouth from mine; I had missed it instantly and had gone in quickly to crush her to me again. Her lips were bruised and swollen from my violent passionate kisses. I was shocked and disgusted at myself for my shockingly bad behaviour. What was wrong with me? I loved my Leah. How had this beguiling witch got to me? She had let her head drop to the side, her long red hair flowing like waves down one shoulder, exposing her pale neck to me invitingly. I had snarled softly, but hungrily “Bite me Etienne. Take me, do what you will with me, make me yours forever,” she had demanded, lust and excitement colouring her voice. Her request had snapped me suddenly out of this strange trance I had found myself in. I had pushed her away from me in disgust. I had quickly picked up the silver box and slipped it into my overcoat pocket.
“Leave me alone, witch!” I had cried out.
She had laughed at me, her green eyes fierce and determined. “I have dreamed of this moment forever Etienne. A dark handsome stranger turning up on my doorstep to change my life, to take me away from this humble shop to exciting places and a different life!” she had confessed. Her hands were on her hips defiantly and her green eyes were fixed on me intently. She was still very beautiful to me, but the spell had been most definitely broken.
“I am not only a vampire Tilly; I am a married vampire who is very much in love with his wife. I am hers and she is mine. No one can change or erase that,” I had spoken gently.
“That’s not what I heard!” she had snorted with a defiant toss of her luscious thick red hair.
I had smiled savagely. “It is the truth. I am guessing you know why I need the apotropaic then? Daniel will never come between me and Leah. Not ever again, “I had growled with passionate anger. Tilly had stared at me, her eyes no longer held any allure for me though. “Your spell isn’t strong enough for me my dear witch! Pity help the poor human you beguile with it though! It’s very potent. You are a beautiful, fiery, determined and passionate woman who can go anywhere and do anything she likes. Do not be held back by people or places Tilly!” I had exclaimed to her, meaning every word.
She had sighed as she smiled at me weakly. “It was an honour to meet you Etienne. It was also a pleasure, a great pleasure,” she had said with a sexy wink. I had laughed out loud. She certainly was a character. In other circumstances, we might have made fantastic companions. A witch and a vampire? Indeed! I had bowed politely to the gorgeous Tilly, and then quickly bid her farewell before I was off into the approaching evening in a flurry. I had quickly looked back as I sped off into the dark shadows of Tower Bridge. Tilly was locking up the shop, her eyes turned heavenwards, her lips moving silently. My vampire ears had easily picked up her words though. “Oh Goddess! You play such a cruel trick on me! Sending me such a fine specimen but one who could never be mine!” she had scolded.
I laughed to myself as I had flagged down a black taxi so common to this city. It wouldn’t do to go rushing at the speed of light to the airport, it was only early evening and many inhabitants of this fascinating city still roamed its streets. I must blend in, if at all possible. So, now I flew over the Atlantic, back towards home and Leah. I had told her not to go home until I instructed her to do so. The timing had to be perfect. We had a plan to trap Daniel so we could use the ancient plant on him as instructed by Kat via the angel Lukas. I hoped it worked. I wanted Leah back. I hated her being beholden to another man. I would tell her about my encounter with Tilly, of course. She would hate it but she would understand, she had to do her? That was harsh Etienne, I chided myself. Seems like neither of us were immune to compulsion. I couldn’t wait to be back in her arms again, but first we must bind Daniel with the apotropaic. To do that we must use the one thing he wanted more than anything. My wife. My heart was heavy as I got closer to home. I would call Leah soon. I would tell her to seduce Daniel. It went against everything I held dear. We had to lure him though. False promises, kisses, touches and Leah’s surrender would secure him so I could carry out the task in hand. I desperately wanted to kill him, but Leah wished to try this first and I wanted her to be happy. That’s all. If she was happy, I was happy.
Salvation of Leah was my only goal, I didn’t care much how we achieved it.


CHAPTER SEVENTY TWO
SHOW ME HEAVEN
LEAH LUCIER:
This was going to be the hardest thing I’d had to do. Basically I needed to pretend to betray the love of my life, my husband, my whole reason for existing to save myself and our marriage. I was prepared to do whatever it took. In my eyes I had already let Etienne down, badly. It was up to me to fix the situation. My husband was on route from the airport. I was at our Vancouver home, in our lavish bedroom facing Daniel in the light of the romantic candles I’d lit in preparation for this seduction. I had text him earlier in the day to beg him to come home. I told him I needed to see him. I told him I loved him too. Necessary lies required to keep him here until Etienne could carry out Lukas the angel’s wishes. I prayed Lukas was right. Kat had relayed the information to me on the phone, surely this would work? It had to. Although Bella and Edward had told me that they had never heard of it. Carlisle did mention that even though vampires hating garlic was a myth, it did have a resonance of truth because some plants were known by witches and herbalists to have magical powers. Etienne had procured this ancient plant from a witch so I guessed Lukas was right. Angel’s don’t lie. Do they?

Daniel’s blood red eyes stared lustfully at me as I stood before him in a very revealing outfit. My dress was basically nothing but a skin tight sheath of scarlet red silk which covered me from the top of my breasts to the top of my thighs. I was just within the bounds of decency. When I had told Etienne what I was wearing he had gone quiet, but then agreed it was a good choice. My husband prefers me in less revealing but still sexy clothes. Daniel’s pure and bloody lust for me meant he responded to the baser attire. I looked like a lady of the night if I’m completely honest. My hair was piled up high on my head so my neck was even more tantalising to Daniel. I had impossibly red high heels on which accentuated my toned legs to perfection. I held out a hand to Daniel, but he was already at my side in a blur of movement. He pinned me to him with brute force. I gasped slightly at his strength. Being away from him for a few days had dulled my connection to him and I felt more in control than I had been at our last encounter. Still my skin burned and my lips ached to taste him. Some things couldn’t be erased so easily.

Daniel’s mouth found mine in an eager hungry kiss as his hands gripped me around the waist tightly. Oh but his kisses excited me, I’m ashamed to admit!
“You love me huh?” he said huskily as his lips trailed over my cheek and down my neck. I nodded and braced myself for his bite. But it didn’t come. His lips moved over every inch of my neck and pale throat, slowly and teasingly. I heard an involuntary moan of pleasure come from my mouth. Daniel was being unusually gentle and sensuous with me. I shivered with desire. But it was Etienne I was thinking of. He kissed me like this. I focused on my beloveds face so I would not fall under Daniel’s spell. “Then let me have you,” he suddenly growled against my skin as his lips returned to mine with a vengeance. Oh Etienne please hurry up!

Daniel’s hands were roving all over my silk clad body as his mouth kissed mine ravenously. His excitement was evident as he pushed me up against the wall. He pinned my arms up behind my head and gazed into my topaz eyes with his scarlet ones. “We will run away together Leah. My Leah. My love. I will be the best fledgling ever. I will be bound to you and you to me forever, by blood, by lust, by love. First, we must consummate our love for each other. Surrender yourself to me, now!” he commanded me, his voice full of lust and longing.
I smiled what I hoped was my sexy seductive smile. “Must we rush things?” I asked.
Daniel ground his hips against mine lustfully. “I have to have you Leah!” he exclaimed as he once again began to rain my pale cold skin with fiery cool kisses.

He let his teeth graze me a couple of times as he moved his lips all over my shoulders, throat and cleavage. I shivered with desire. As much as I didn’t want him near me like this, part of me couldn’t help loving his plain desire for me. He was a very handsome and passionate vampire. He wasn’t Etienne though and never could be. My poor husband must be tying himself in knots knowing that I had to seduce Daniel tonight. He would be shuddering with horror at the thought of his lips, his hands, and his body on mine. I didn’t blame him. Where was he? Please hurry Etienne! I can only keep Daniel at bay for so long! I knew I had to distract him. I knew there was only one way to do this successfully. I let my neck fall to one side and pulled his head towards my venom blood filled vein. Of course he took the bait instantly. He held me against the wall as his teeth plunged through my marble skin and he drank from me thirstily and violently. I gasped as I felt my mind cloud over with his possession of me. At least it kept him occupied.
I ran my hands through his thick dark hair as I writhed and moaned in passion. My act should do the trick until Etienne got here. I was willing to sacrifice some more of my essence, some more of myself to him if it meant I could save my marriage and stop Daniel being a monster. Usually I resisted somewhat. This time I gave myself up to him completely, I joined in with his lustful passion and I made him believe I was his now.
Finally he was sated. My venom filled blood dripped from his lips as he drew away from my throat to gaze at me in desirable awe. “Leah,” he smiled with satisfaction. He kissed my mouth. I tasted my own blood. Now his hands were deftly pulling down my dress to leave my top half exposed. He looked at me with such desire I almost had to look away such was his intense stare. His longing for me was very potent.
“You really are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen,” he whispered reverently as he gazed at my semi clad body. His fingers brushed my bared breasts lightly and I shivered with longing mixed with shame. His touch was teasing and light and all my nerve endings were tingling with electric fire as his red gaze seared my skin with its lustful fire. He bent his head to my left breast and gently licked me there with his cold tongue whilst his fingers circled my right breast with intense slowness. Oh god it felt good! Please hurry Etienne, I silently prayed again as my body began to betray me and my hips writhed in a slow insistent rhythm against Daniel provocatively. His mouth and hands worked on me most expertly and I found myself becoming lost in pleasure as I pulled at his hair with longing and desire. I felt Daniel press against my hips, his rhythm matching mine as we imitated the sexual act. His excitement was even more evident now and I moaned aloud as I lost myself in him.
Thankfully, my prayers were answered as I smelled Etienne’s unique scent from beyond the bedroom door. He was here at last! I must disentangle myself from this compromising position. I needed to help Etienne with this final part of our plan. I swiftly moved away from Daniel, my breath hoarse and ragged as I panted with passion. I was filled with shame at the feelings he produced in me! I knew it was the blood hold but still, I only wanted to feel this all-consuming passion with my husband! Daniel had used his power and hold over me in the most terrible way! He almost made me betray my one true love! My fury descended, but I kept it in check, for now. Now I could think more clearly as my rage loosened his hold on me. He didn’t notice the change in me because he was too busy staring at me lustfully as I pulled up my dress and led him by the hand to our four poster bed which sat majestically in the centre of the room. I roughly pushed him down onto it with a knowing smirk. From under the bed I pulled out a set of steel handcuffs.
Daniel laughed with glee, “Ha! So Etienne likes to be dominated huh?”
I smiled seductively, “And so will you!
I leaned over and secured his compliant wrists to the bed. Then I used the code words Etienne and I had so cleverly thought up. “Now you are my prisoner!” I crowed triumphantly as I did a provocative sexy dance around the bed. Daniel’s hungry red eyes watched every move, every curve of my silk sheathed body as I writhed. He licked his lips slowly as he stared at my now hidden breasts. His gaze was rampantly scorching with sexual desire and intense need.
Etienne entered the room with a flourish. I smiled at him with relief. His eyes narrowed with terrible anger when he saw Daniel.
“You will never come near me or my wife again!” he spat out as he whirled around the bed liberally sprinkling the hawthorn plant in a thick layer.
Daniel let out a horrifying and frightening howl of furious rage. He broke the handcuffs easily and lunged at me from the bed. But a miraculous miracle occurred. Lukas was correct. The apotropaic worked! Daniel bounced back as if an invisible force field stopped him from leaving the bed. He growled and snarled at us both. “You evil seductress!” he exclaimed. Then he smiled at Etienne maliciously, “Oh but it was worth it! To taste her lips, to drink her blood, to press up against her near naked body! She loved it too Etienne! She will never forget me, not now! Not since I’ve bound her to me through blood and pleasure! She is my maker. I am her fledgling forever and ever,” he boasted.
Etienne narrowed his topaz eyes at him again, his quiet rage just simmering below the surface of his cool demeanor. “Not as long as I exist,” he stated calmly. “You will remain here for seven days Daniel. Then we will set you free. You will have overcome your addiction to human blood. You will no longer crave my wife. You will leave us alone forever. If you don’t I will kill you. Understand?” he added.
I gazed at Etienne with pride. My beautiful husband. How I loved him. How I needed him. Now we could reignite our relationship again. We left Daniel screaming and howling obscenities and profanities to an empty room. Etienne had booked us into a plush luxury hotel suite in Vancouver. After checking in we took a speedy run into the forests to feed. I needed to replenish as Daniel had taken a lot from me. I felt my strength and essence return in abundance. My whole body felt alight with an icy fire as Etienne took me in his arms that night. His kisses electrified my cool pale skin with shocks of pure pleasure. I had missed our closeness so. How could I have let Daniel come between us? He had enthralled me with the excitement and danger of the situation, but now I was back in my love’s arms I knew there was nothing I needed or wanted more. Etienne thrilled me like nothing else ever could or would. My husband shared with me a love which was true and honest, there was no shame in our desire for each other. We did not need to control or possess the other with lies and threats.
Our pale marble bodies entwined in passion and absolute love as we rekindled our flame of desire. We would stay here all week to make up for lost time. How delicious! When we returned home, hopefully Daniel would be no longer be a terrible human killing newborn but a calm, collected and wise vampire, ready to face the world on his own with compassion and control. Etienne’s lips and touch were working their magic on me and I began to forget the awful events of the last few months and I gave myself wholly to him once again. I fell into his eager embrace thankfully. Only my husband occupied my mind now as his body possessed mine with the purest abandonment. I sighed. I whispered breathlessly in his ear, words for him and him alone.
“Take me to heaven, my beloved, on the sweet wings of love and desire.”


CHAPTER SEVENTY THREE
EPIPHANY
DANIEL MERRYWEATHER:
The first forty eight hours trapped in Leah and Etienne’s bedroom were the worst. Possibly even worse than when Leah had changed me. Back then, my blood had boiled and a terrible fire had consumed me but I knew it would end and I knew the outcome would be to my satisfaction. This situation was different. I had never felt such pain and anguish. I needed to feed. I needed to hunt. Most of all I needed to see Leah, even though she had betrayed me, my addiction to her was just as powerful as my thirst. How could she leave me here like this? Obviously all her words and actions had been complete and utter lies. I had really believed I could make her mine. What a fool! Etienne and his beautiful wife had cooked up some plan which had led to me being trapped here. First the honey trap, then the mystical plant which bound me here. I could not see the prison walls but they were there for sure. I had exhausted myself in the hours after they left trying to escape. How could that substance which looked like dead grass have such an effect? There must be sorcery involved!

Now I was calmer I had time to think. The all-consuming blood lust was leaving my system bit by bit, but even I knew that seven days here could be really bad for me. Vampires needed to feed every few days or else we would become weak and insubstantial. Our skin would start to wrinkle and wither, depending on how old we were. Luckily I had youth on my side as I had only been changed six months ago. Etienne would really suffer if he did not feed. He may be powerful and old but he needed blood just like I did. Except Leah and her husband drank animal blood. Where was the fun in that? A little voice inside my head was telling me it wasn’t right to kill humans, they weren’t our prey, murder didn’t need to be done in order to survive. Maybe I could drink the blood bags? My eyes would stay red. Leah would always regret changing me. She would never speak to me again. I reckoned I had now been trapped here for three days.

How I wished vampires could sleep! I was stuck here alone with my thoughts! I focused on Leah a lot to help me through my incarceration. Her perfect kissable lips and her athletic, stunningly attractive, body. The feel of her soft marble skin, her perfect beautiful breasts, bared for me to see and touch with fingers and tongue. The feeling of complete desire and hunger she brought out in me when our bodies were closer than close. Her flawless throat which invited my teeth and thirst. Her delicious venom blood. Her sighs and moans of pleasure. The way she made my eager body respond to hers; oh how I wished I could have taken her roughly and passionately! Her topaz eyes which sometimes shimmered with amber highlights, and sometimes flashed darker and mysterious. I loved her eyes, they were precious jewels set in that unbelievably beautiful face. If I didn’t have the urge to drink human blood would my eyes turn out as dazzling as hers?

I think it must be day four now. I am weak and my mind can’t focus on one thing for long. I haven’t got the energy to think about killing but I am longing for blood. I am so thirsty. I am so hungry. I am sad too because I know my Leah is out there somewhere but she isn’t with me. She’s with him. I also think of Victoria, the flame haired demon of my astral dreams. Where is she now? If I had never set eyes on her that fateful night I wouldn’t be in this position now. She ignited my acute interest and fascination in vampires and ever since that night I had dreamed of becoming one, of changing into something otherworldly and mightily powerful. Her red eyes haunted my waking and dreaming moments since I looked into their scary depths. I imagined her to be invincible and strong. I wanted to be like that too. She had possessed my thoughts for so long. Then I had fallen in love with Leah, first as a human and then triple fold as a vampire. She was irresistible to me.

I saw how Etienne and Leah were together and I chose to ignore it. If there was any couple so in love and so devoted to each other it was the Luciers. I had never had someone like that. Victoria spoiled everything for me. I only glimpsed her for a very short time but she prevented me from looking for someone to love. Her possession of my mind was just too strong and all other women looked very shabby and second best compared to her. Just so very human. Until Leah. As soon as I gazed upon her I was irrevocably in love with her. Victoria paled in comparison. I saw Victoria for what she really was. Leah had risen high above the cruel flame haired one in so many ways. I should have listened to Leah. I wanted to be a better man for her, now look at me! I was a monster. Worse still, I was a monster in her eyes!

Another two days passed by. Slowly, tortuously. I was getting beyond hunger now. Sure, I needed blood but the thought of killing someone was abhorrent. I thought of the disappointment in Leah’s kind amber eyes. She had made me and I had failed her. I didn’t even try to be a good newborn. I had just plunged head first into a hedonistic and monstrous state of mind. I was selfish. I had drank her blood so I could control her. I should know there is no way you can force someone to love you. If it isn’t given freely then it isn’t really love. If I was Etienne I would want to kill me too. Yes, she cared for me. I was her friend before I became her fledgling. Now I could see what damage I had caused our relationship. It was tearing me apart and my still heart was breaking with sorrow. I had hurt the one thing I held dear. In fact I had hurt someone else I loved too. How could I forget my dear departed friend Lukas? I had pushed him out as soon as I had woken up to this new life. A new wondrous life that I didn’t appreciate! My poor Lukas had been dead for years, yet did he bemoan his fortune or turn into someone unrecognisable? No. He became even better than he had in life. He was an angel who only wanted to help people on the earthly plane. He had wanted to help me but I had abandoned him. I conjured up his face in my mind and I silently apologised to him.

I felt a soft breeze beside me on the bed. Lukas. He was here! “Oh Daniel! What a mess you’ve made!” he shook his head sadly.
If I could have cried I would have. “Tell me it’s not too late Lukas? Please, my dear friend, I am so sorry!” I stated hoarsely.
He smiled benignly at me. Today he was dressed all in white, looking more angelic than ever. He reached out for my hand and I felt a slight electric shock on my skin. I had never seen him on this plane of existence before. Usually I met up with him on an astral level, but since I was undead I could no longer talk with the spirits like I used to. This was better. Much better.
“My dear Daniel. Ever since we were children I swore I’d look out for you. Nothing has changed. You just lost your way. I am not fond of your new state I have to say, but I am here for you, always. Leah does care for you, but she will never love you. She loves Etienne. Those two are bound for eternity. All is not lost for you though,” he smiled.
I tried to sit up but I was so weak. “I have a plan for you Daniel. It will all work out, you have to trust me!” he exclaimed enthusiastically. I was too tired to get excited but I managed a weak smile in return. Lukas stroked my hair gently. I didn’t deserve his unwavering friendship. He placed his delicate pale wrist against my blue cold lips. “Drink from me Daniel,” he whispered. I was horrified and shook my head unwillingly. “I am an angel Danny! You can’t hurt me. It will revive you. It will restore you. Let me do this for you please. I love you, you’ve always been like family to me! Now let me be your blood brother!” he exclaimed as he lifted my weary head up so my lips pressed against his wrist forcefully. This wasn’t Leah’s marble skin but soft delicate angel skin and my sharp teeth slid through easily to the vein below.

I have no words for the taste nor sensation which assaulted my senses forcefully. Only one cliché, which seems fitting for an angel. Heavenly. Lukas’s life nectar flowed down my throat and gave me back my strength in seconds. I only took what was necessary. I was different now. I had changed. If I could have wept I would have cried tears of joy, sadness and relief. I took my mouth away from Lukas’s wrist with a sigh. He clasped me to him in a warm hug. “Thank you,” I whispered gratefully. His response was to hug me tighter. Then he slowly disappeared until I was hugging thin air. I heard him laugh playfully in my mind and I laughed too. I easily got off the bed now and I picked up a handful of the strange plant which had kept me prisoner here. It fell through my hands like sand. Now it had no hold over me. I was free, not only physically but emotionally and mentally too. I felt reborn. I wanted to fly away, taste my freedom and all it had to offer, but I owed two very special vampires a very big apology and I wasn’t going to shy away from my responsibility. Tomorrow was day seven. My captors, my saviours would return. I would wait here calmly until then. Tomorrow was a new start, a new beginning, a new me. I couldn’t wait for it to come. I gasped aloud as brand new conceptions and ideas hit me forcefully.
The sudden realization and comprehension of the bigger picture and meaning of my existence suddenly gripped me with its intensity.


CHAPTER SEVENTY FOUR
SANCTITY
ETIENNE LUCIER:
We lay peacefully in each other’s arms, just simply enjoying being alone together, when Leah suddenly stiffened beside me as a vision gripped her with its unrelenting intensity. Thankfully she was now in control of these occurrences. I grudgingly had to thank Daniel for that. She opened her topaz eyes which were dark amber at present. We really should feed soon, but the prospect of leaving our love nest seemed daunting. We had succumbed to the pleasure of each other for days now. “Are you all right my love?” I asked as I stroked her cool forehead.
“Daniel knew Victoria!” she blurted out in shock and surprise. I gasped as I gazed at her in disbelief.
“How?” I questioned her, my tone incredulous.
Leah shook her head, “I am not sure. All I could see was Daniel staring at himself in the mirror whilst he pictured her in his mind. He was younger. His mind was consumed by her, “my wife stated.
I still couldn’t get my head around this, but Leah’s visions were never wrong. She could see past, present and future, but couldn’t choose the visions themselves. They were random and arrived unannounced.
“How could Daniel have possibly ever met or even set eyes on Victoria in his human life?” I questioned incredulously again.
Leah shook her head with a small smile, “Daniel was no ordinary human though was he?”
I frowned at the slight hint of admiration in her voice. Leah caught my annoyance instantly and sat up in bed, her long hair fanning out over her bare shoulders provocatively. She turned around to glare at me. “Go on Etienne, I know you want to say something to me!”
I sat up so I could look into her dark amber eyes. I pulled my shirt on but left it unbuttoned. Leah looked beautiful in the low glow of the lamplight wearing a flimsy short deep purple nightdress. She was, as ever, very distracting. I was trying to be serious too. Here goes. “Okay Leah! I hated him touching you, kissing you and binding you to him. It tore me apart and I know I should have more faith in us but I hated it just the same! You are mine.” I growled possessively. My beloved smiled at me longingly.
“I love you Etienne and you are even more desirable when you are jealous,” she smirked.
“I’m one hundred percent serious Leah. Please don’t joke! Too many others have tried to come between us! Daniel being the one who almost did. Didn’t he?” I asked, dreading her reply already. Leah reached out to stroke my cold cheek with her equally cold hand.
“Etienne, I love you. Nothing else matters. Yes, Daniel did entice me somewhat, but I would never leave you, ever!” she softly said. Her fingers worked their way around to the nape of my neck sending shock waves of pleasure up my spine as they moved through my unruly curls. I could devour her right now, again and again. But we must talk.
“I wish you had never changed him! It is done now. I have a confession. I wanted to tell you before, but there wasn’t time. The witch in London tried to use a seduction spell on me, but it was useless. I kissed her back though. I didn’t want to so I guess I can understand a tiny amount of what it must’ve been like for you with him, my love,” I said, my deep voice becoming slightly hoarser due to Leah’s cool long fingers tracing intricate patterns on my back. She had inched closer to me, and was discreetly wrapping her long legs around my waist, trapping me close to her. As if I wanted to escape!
“I know all about Tilly!” she crowed triumphantly as her hands came around to stroke my pale marble chest.
Of course she did. The visions. I should have guessed. “You aren’t angry then?” I asked.
She moved closer, her lips colliding with mine in a long slow deep kiss. I could lose myself in her kiss forever. Her hands raked through my hair, pulling me closer and closer until our bodies were touching. My hands stroked her skin through the silkiness of her skimpy nightdress. I sighed against her mouth, whispering words of love and desire. Leah broke the kiss first and stared into my equally dark amber eyes.
“Nothing else matters but you and I my darling husband,” she whispered.
I smiled as I resumed our kiss. This time it was overwhelmingly passionate. It was fruitless trying to have a serious conversation with my Leah when she was in this mood. I gave myself up to her willingly. Surrender was always the best option in these circumstances. Our love making was as amazing as ever, even more so because now our connection felt stronger than before. I swore right then and there that I would let nothing ever break our connection or come between us again.
Much later, we lay in each other’s arms, our passion sated for now. It was time to leave here. We must feed and we must get back to Daniel by morning light. I hoped the plan had worked. For everyone’s sake. I didn’t know what would happen if I had to kill my wife’s fledgling. I tried not to think negative thoughts.  Leah was upbeat. “Have you had a vision about returning to the house?” I queried as we got dressed.
Leah shook her head. “Nothing concrete. Nothing which makes sense,” she answered succinctly.
Or something she didn’t want to tell me? I must banish these dark thoughts. Leah loved me. We were back on track. We speedily made our way back to our house with slight trepidation at what we might find there. Daniel was standing by the bedroom window, gazing out into the orange sunrise with a serene smile.
“Hello,” he spoke meekly to a shocked Leah and me.
I guess we had both been expecting the worst. His eyes were no longer red, but a deep alluring amber. His whole demeanor was different and changed. Leah’s eyes widened with happy surprise. Her fledgling was indeed how she had hoped. Daniel opened his arms wide in supplication. “I want to deeply apologise to you both for my unforgivable behaviour since the change. I behaved crudely and shockingly. Leah, you gave me this precious gift of immortality. Before that you gave me your friendship and trust. I vilely betrayed you on all counts. I am very, very sorry, “he said with much regretful sorrow in his voice.
Leah smiled, “I forgive you Daniel. We can’t all go through the change as successfully as I did. I want you to be free now. Be happy and find your own way in life, but please check in from time to time will you?” she asked.
He nodded, “I will Leah, I promise. Thank you for being so understanding. Both of you,” he added as he nodded in my direction.
I still wasn’t completely sure of him, but I had been a terrible newborn myself at first so I did understand. His love for Leah wasn’t that surprising either. I had loved Victoria in a strange way in the beginning.
“How do you know the vampire Victoria?” I blurted out. I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer.
Daniel sighed deeply, “I discovered I had talents when I was young Etienne. Not only could I see and talk to spirits of the dead, I could also astral travel. My soul left my body and flew through the air weightlessly. The very first time I did it I met Victoria in an alley feeding on a human. I was fascinated and bewitched by her. She was the most impossibly beautiful creature I had ever seen, up until that point,” he confessed with a sly furtive look at my wife.
I growled under my breath so he continued his story, “She sullied my expectations of women and love since that day! I thought love was supposed to be domineering, possessive and cruel. I guess Leah had a vision about this?” he asked as Leah and I gazed in pure fascination at him.
How lucky he had been to meet Victoria as his astral self. Surely she would have killed him otherwise?
“Victoria was my maker Daniel. She was evil and completely psychotic. I know nothing of her life before I met her or indeed as a human. We didn’t talk about such things. I escaped her centuries ago and later found out that Edward Cullen had killed her after she tried to murder Bella, the human. “I announced to an equally shocked and fascinated Daniel.
“Victoria is dead?” he asked in horror.
We both nodded. What a strange reaction! Daniel had only met Victoria once, yet she had charmed him! His whole life after that had been spent learning more about vampires, all because he fell in love with the flame haired demon witch. I guess I could see how he would fall under her spell. So, now we knew why Daniel had been so fascinated with the two of us. Leah gave Daniel a hug, he held her tightly back but even I could see there was no sexual tension between them anymore. Daniel’s hold over Leah was gone now he no longer drank her essence. He was now in control of his emotions and hunger. I was ever so glad. I didn’t want to kill him, not really!
We said our goodbye’s and Daniel left our house for good this time. I sighed with relief. Luckily it had all turned out well in the end. I hugged Leah and kissed her lips softly. The tension of the last six months seemed to melt away from her all at once. “Daniel drank the blood of an angel, now he has risen above his thirst, his rage and his blood lust,” Leah spoke quietly.
I gazed at her with surprise, “Lukas?” I questioned. She nodded and smiled.
“His boyhood friend saved him. We put the plan in motion but Lukas saw it to fruition. The angel helped us once again Etienne! We owe him!” she stated. I nodded. I would love to meet this Lukas, he really was heaven sent. “Daniel will always carry a part of Lukas with him now. I think that’s lovely, “Leah said happily.
I nodded with a smile. “He will also carry a piece of you too darling. So how can he go wrong?” Leah flung her arms around me, holding me so close to her.
“I love you Etienne,” she simply stated.
“I love you too,” I replied.
I was home again, in our house, in our room, and in her arms once more.
The precious sanctity we’d shared had been restored, better and stronger than ever before.


CHAPTER SEVENTY FIVE
SYNCHRONICITY
‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first–‘
‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment. ‘I never heard of such a thing!’
‘–but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory works both ways.’
‘I’m sure MINE only works one way,’ Alice remarked. ‘I can’t remember things before they happen.’
‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ the Queen remarked. Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

The sweet tinkling of the doorbell chimes as Daniel Merryweather enters Hocus Pocus, situated at number three Grace’s Alley, in the shadow of the mighty Tower Bridge in London, England. It is precisely four pm on a rainy November day. It is a month since Daniel left Vancouver. Lukas, his forever friend, his angel saviour had sent him here on an errand. Daniel was glad to be back in London, he had missed the city tremendously. He looked around the small but fascinating shop as he entered.
A vision of loveliness appeared out of nowhere, it seemed. Daniel gazed at her in astonished wonderment. She had long red hair and the deepest green eyes. Her lips were full and pouting. She wore a short tight dress of midnight blue and her face was simply perfection. Funnily enough she was gazing at Daniel in exactly the same way. Daniel stretched out his hand to take hers in greeting, “Daniel Merryweather, pleased to meet you,” he spoke in his ever so charming Irish tones. The witch smiled as she grasped hold of Daniel’s ice cold hand.
“Matilda Trotter, or Tilly for short,” she gushed, dazzled by the face of this handsome stranger. A stranger who was so obviously a vampire!
“Honoured to meet you,” Daniel said as he softly kissed her pale soft hand. “A friend asked me to come to your shop Tilly. He requested that I return this antique to you,” Daniel said as he handed the witch a small silver box. Tilly smiled and nodded.
“Ah so you are the Daniel!” she exclaimed happily.
Daniel shook his head in confusion. “How do you know of me?” he questioned the beautiful red head.
“Lukas,” she confessed, her smile secretive and beguiling. “The angel told me all about you Daniel. I regularly talk with him,” she shrugged prettily as if speaking with angels was an everyday occurrence.
Daniel knew there and then that she was no ordinary woman. “Would you like to accompany me on a date tonight?” he blurted out, suddenly shy and bashful.
Tilly smiled, “I would love to,” she replied, her green eyes lighting up most delightfully.
There it was, synchronicity.
It was Christmas Day. The snow fell over First Beach like a large fleecy blanket, covering everything in pure dazzling white. Rebecca gave an almighty huge scream and her precious daughter was born. Her husband Caleb’s tears fell onto her sweet little face as she was handed to her Mother. Rebecca’s eyes welled up too as she gazed into her baby’s eyes for the very first time. Here was a sight she’d never thought she’d witness. This beautiful little angel with dark hair and even darker eyes was the best thing that had ever happened to her, apart from falling in love and marrying this beautiful baby’s Father of course.
Their courtship had been short but very intense. Caleb had imprinted on Rebecca instantly causing her to fall in love at first sight too. This was a miracle in itself as no one had believed males could imprint on a female shape shifter. They truly were a fantastic match. Now they had their beautiful daughter, a Christmas miracle, a pure bred shape shifter who would be revered and protected by the Elders and the whole Pack from now on.
“Her name is Marisa,” Rebecca told her sister Kat and her brother in law Embry as they entered the room to see the new arrival. Katherine carried Nathaniel, her beautiful son in her arms. He turned his face towards Marisa and smiled benignly, his sapphire eyes lighting up with surprise and something else. Something infinite. Recognition? Wonder?
“Imprinting,” the angel Lukas spoke in Katherine’s mind.
She smiled and nodded to herself. “Just as you told me, dear Lukas.”
Marisa gurgled and cooed happily as she stared right back at Nathaniel. They would be the Pack’s future. Katherine smiled happily as she kissed her son’s dark hair and squeezed Embry’s hand.
There it was, synchronicity.
It was a bright, beautiful spring day. Sue Clearwater was handed a tissue by her dearest friend Tiffany Call as she wept tears of joy. Her son Seth was marrying his sweetheart Christa in a lavish ceremony held in an old church in Vancouver. The couple were half way through their degrees at Uni, and were meant to be waiting until they had completed their courses before marrying. Christa found out a month ago that she was pregnant. The wedding plans were brought forward at once. Her parents were very strict and took a moral stand point on children born out of wedlock. Sue’s joy was doubled by their news. She would be a grandmother after all. Just like her best friend Tiffany was, twice over.
Her heart ached for Leah and what might have been. Her daughter had made her choices in life. Sue tried to focus on her son’s happiness for now and ignore her daughter’s foolishness. Finally the young couple were wed and the celebrations began. Sue left the marquee where the reception was being held to get some air in the tranquil gardens outside. She walked slowly along, lost deep in thought, as a bright moon shone down from the starry night sky. She gazed up at the twinkling lights and wished Harry was here to see his son marry.
“Oh Harry. I do miss you,” she whispered as a shooting star fell from the sky.
“He misses you too,” a soft tinkling voice spoke in her ear.
She turned around sharply with a fearful gasp. There was no one there. Then she saw a shimmering light and a beautiful young man all in white appeared.
“I am Lukas. I am an angel. I help spirits in need. Harry misses you too Sue, really he does and he is sorry for the pain he caused. He wants you and Leah to make up. You will only regret it for the rest of your life if you never see your daughter again!” the angel commanded her attention with his soft musical voice.
Sue’s eyes filled up with sad tears again. “I must’ve had way too many brandies tonight,” she whispered aloud as she gazed at the angel. Lukas smiled his angel smile. “She isn’t my Leah anymore.” Sue added with a grimace of pain.
Lukas nodded sagely, “I know what she is. She still loves you. She misses having her Mother to talk to. Harry wants you to be happy Sue.”
Then the angel disappeared, leaving a very confused and emotional Sue behind, all alone in the moonlight. She sat on a wooden bench and let the tears flow freely. She felt a cool hand cover hers. She felt a presence sit next to her. “Mom?” Leah spoke quietly. Sue gazed upwards to find her beautiful daughter sitting next to her. All of her anguish and pain and heartbreak seemed to become inconsequential now as she hugged her daughter’s cold, hard marble body to her. Leah sighed, “I missed you Mom. I had to come back, to see you, to see my little brother get married!” Sue’s tears fell onto her daughter’s cold cheek as she held her close. Leah lived, she didn’t breathe or have a heartbeat but she was here, she was still her daughter.
That was all that really mattered in the grand scheme of things. Love was the truth and the light despite everything else. The two women hugged each other as the infinite stars shone in the dark night sky, just as they always had and always would.
There it was, synchronicity.
“With one breath, with one flow
You will know
synchronicity
A sleep trance, a dream dance,
A shared romance
synchronicity
A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Causally connectible
Yet nothing is invincible
If we share this nightmare
Then we can dream
Spiritus mundi
If you act as you think
The missing link
synchronicity
We know you, they know me
Extrasensory
synchronicity
A star fall, a phone call
It joins all
synchronicity
It’s so deep, it’s so wide
You’re inside
synchronicity
Effect without a cause
Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause
synchronicity…..”


EPILOGUE
ETIENNE LUCIER:
It was New Year’s Eve, Leah’s human birthday. Tomorrow it would be the year 2112. A hundred years have passed lightning quick. I am now over 500 years old. I don’t feel a day over eighteen! Ha! Still the same old Etienne huh? Leah and I have seen so much loss over this century. I knew she would hurt when her human friends and family died. It was inevitable though. They were only mortals after all. The only saving grace was we both knew their beautiful souls did not die. Their life light was not extinguished by the death of their frail human bodies. They lived on. There was an astral plane and there was a heavenly plane. Life didn’t end, it just evolved. Leah and I would never know this. We couldn’t die, we were already dead but we lived on. The venom kept our bodies young, strong and forever on the earthly plane.

 Lukas had shown us such wonderful things. He communicated with the living through the dead. He brought comfort to those who needed it, he brought hope to those with none and he gave light to those poor souls in the dark who had lost their way. Maybe if Leah and I found a way to bring the true death upon ourselves we could be angels too? Who knew?

I didn’t regret my life, especially not since Leah had come into it like a hurricane. My devastatingly wonderful and beautiful wife was a force of nature so wild and free she took my needless breath away. I had lived a long long time alone before I met her. I didn’t know any different way until I was struck down with complete and utter love for her. Now she was part of me, she was ingrained on my still heart and imprinted on my very being. For over a century I have been captivated by her. I am still in complete awe of her.

Our relationship has never gotten old with time, it has never become tarnished. It is as bright and sparkling as the night I first kissed her lips and fell irrevocably in love. She is the love of my existence, the light in my darkness. She brings out the best in me and she believes in me completely. She still mesmerises me with her eyes, she makes me melt with her touch and she takes desire and passion to a new level when we kiss. She is my other half. The yin to my yang. Without the other we would be incomplete. We would be lost.

So, how do we intend to spend the next century together? Well, we will take each new day as it comes and revel in the fact that our never ending undying love will take us higher and higher. We will help Lukas when he needs us. He comes to Leah in visions now. He has developed a strong bond with us since the Daniel situation all those years ago.

Are you wondering what happened to Daniel? Well, the fledgling became the maker. Tilly Trotter is now a most delicious vampire who is still the best, most attractive witch I’ve ever set eyes on! They live in complete bliss and undead contentment in a huge country mansion in Southern Ireland which Daniel inherited. The locals believe them to be eccentric and strange. When anyone happens to question how young they look then it’s time to go to Europe for a few years. On their return they disguise themselves and pretend to be the new owners who have inherited the property, over and over again! It’s become an elaborate game to them.

Leah and I still lived in our Vancouver house. We kept ourselves to ourselves and if anyone questioned us then we simply dazzled and glamoured them into thinking we were just a normal young married couple. We travelled often, sometimes with Bella and Edward who we were still very close to. Vampires always used to talk about Bella and Edward’s amazing and inspiring love story. Books were even written about it! But I reckon Leah and I were right up there with them in the love story stakes! If I could think of a better word than love to describe how I feel for Leah then I surely would, but it’s all been said before, in poems, in songs and up on the silver screen.

Jake and Nessie were still happily married and deeply in love too, but I felt sad for Bella’s daughter as she would outlive her husband. Although Jacob Black was a shape shifter and had outlived a lot of humans, he would die and Nessie would have to continue on without him. He was very old and frail now, so it wouldn’t be long before death took him away from her. It broke my still heart to think of the pain she would feel and I promised there and then that Leah and I would help her get through it all when the time came. This was the sacrifice you had to make when you fell in love with someone who was not immortal. I was glad that I didn’t have to face losing my love.

She came to me on our rooftop garden as I gazed, deep in thought, at the starry night sky above my head. She kissed me softly on my cold lips, her mouth giving me tingles of electric desire on my cool skin. “Come inside Etienne. Our bed is calling my love,” she whispered seductively in my ear, her lips trailing down my neck wickedly. I held her close to me on the roof.
“In a minute, my darling,” I replied with a smile. How beautiful she looked on this last day of the year. “Look at the stars Leah. They shine on and on, their light as bright as the day they were born! Do you think we are like stars? Will we burn out someday? “I asked her.
Leah shook her head as she softly smiled at me, “No my love, the stars won’t ever die. They will evolve.They will become part of the sun. They will always be a part of the universe, just like you and I.”
We hugged each other tighter under the bright light of the stars. Leah beckoned me to follow her to our bed, how could I resist? With one last glance into the last night sky of the year, I turned to Leah, my topaz eyes shining and gazing deep into hers intently, “For evermore?” I asked. She winked at me and grinned.
“For Evermore.”


THE END



EVERMORE: THE CHARACTERS




You can also read Evermore ( and the first story Newborn ) here.......

https://kizzymouse.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/evermore/

The Characters:
Etienne  Lucier.....this is how I imagine him................







Daniel 





Katherine Constantine
Katherine Constantine

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Etienne! Jaco Van Den Hoven is how I imagine my Etienne!
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My own vampire Etienne Lucier
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Leah’s beautiful vampire boy
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Embry Call
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Lukas The Angel





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LEAH