The moment we felt Jacob’s mind reconnect to ours everyone had the same reaction to his
thoughts; horror. Jacob’s mental pictures were extremely tormented by the pain
and anxiety and jealousy, but they were so vivid it was as if we were reliving each
moment all over with him. He was moving fast, propelled to an impressive speed
by his emotions, but everyone was too anxious to wait. We fled as one group to
another small clearing meeting him halfway.
Even in his wolf form he resembled the burning man of Edward Cullen that he had re-conjured
in his memory; a boy and a man, burning by the flames of two different fires.
His thoughts were a flicker of memories; a pregnant Bella with her wickedly
bruised, swollen stomach, the other blonde vampire standing as the protector,
and the rest of the Cullen’s and Edward helplessly adhering to Bella’s wishes.
This girl was seriously mental for keeping that thing and wasting her life this way, but what else was knew? She had
always been a little left of center, but I never thought she was suicidal. I
sat quietly listening to the rest of the pack react to Jacob’s thoughts and, to
no surprise, they were already beginning to mount an attack. This time I
couldn’t argue- there was too much at stake.
The entire mental tenor of the pack was completely chaotic- everyone’s voices mingled together, each saying
different words, but they were all centered around one theme; the Cullens and
death. I forced myself to focus and tuned into Jacob and Sam’s conversation. Jacob,
of course, did not agree with the Alpha decision and he had vehemently argued
against Sam’s logic.
“We can’t take chances with the unknown in this case.” Sam explained patiently.
“We can only allow the Cullens to exist while we’re absolutely sure that
they can be trusted not to cause harm. This…thing cannot be trusted.”
“It’s just a baby for crying out loud!” Jacob wailed back at him.
“Not for long” I whispered. As soon as I thought those words I regretted them. Jacob
shot me a nasty look and I piped down quickly. I had no grudge against Jacob or
Bella, and especially not a baby, but this was not a person afflicted by
vampire venom, this was encoded on that thing’s DNA. Who knew how fast it could
grow, or what it was capable of?
The rest of the boys continued to argue. Quil and Jared tried unsuccessfully to help Jacob
see the bigger picture, but there was no talking to him. Seth tried to convince
Sam to allow the Cullens to just leave town, but as soon as the words were out
of his mouth he was silenced by an Alpha command.
Jacob let out a pained howl of desperation.
“She’s human too! Doesn’t our protection apply to her?” He pleaded frantically.
I listened to Jacob and recalled the gaunt, sickly image of Bella when Jacob had seen her.
She looked like walking death already- she had to be in severe pain, and there
was no way that she would even survive the pregnancy. That thing was already
killing her from the inside out. Our method was bound to be quicker and more
humane that just letting her waste away. I felt sorry for her…for anyone,
having to die that way.
“She’s dying anyway,” I thought. “We’ll just shorten the process.”
I dropped my head and walked away from Jacob and Seth, but as I did I heard a fierce growl come from behind me
and hot breath on the back of my leg. I spun around to see Jacob’s teeth miss
my hamstring by only inches as Sam bit down on his flank and pulled him away
from me. His eyes were full of hate and fury as he glared at me.
“You will not be cruel to him, Leah.” Sam commanded. “Bella’s sacrifice is a heavy price….”
I tuned him out as I cringed away from him, hurt. I wasn’t trying to sound cruel- it was just the opposite. I was
never a big fan of Bella’s but I would never want her to suffer, even if this
was her choice. I made my way to the outside of the circle with my back turned
to the pack and laid down. The rest of the group was taking their positions for
the ambush. Sam had ordered Jacob to fight and he was practically tripping over
his own feet while he tried to get his head in the game.
Sam left Jacob on his belly and moved to put the rest of us in formation, but I still hung back, watching. Quil
and Paul, as well as the other younger boys pranced excitedly in a circle
offering to take flank or point, or whatever the older wolves were willing to
give them. They looked at this as a game, scoffing at the deadly threat that
lay ahead. I sat down on my haunches and let my mind drift past this pack and
to the families that waited for them back home. I used to baby sit Collin and
Brady when they were little. Would this be the last time I ever saw them? How
would we be able to explain this to their families? And my little brother- how
would my mother survive the loss of one of her children?
The thoughts brought a sharp stinging sensation to my eyes as they filled with tears. I moved up quickly
then, taking point in front of Seth. He was lagging behind the other two young
boys, but I didn’t care. I was faster so I hoped to absorb the brunt of the
fight so they wouldn’t be harmed. Maybe I’d be lethal enough that they wouldn’t
have to fight at all.
As I sat there contemplating my strategy the futility of this fight began to settle in. Did we really need to
be so hasty? I mean Bella was still human, and even though she was
certifiably insane, it was only natural for a mother to want to protect her
child. If Jacob was right, and the Cullens were just as afraid of that thing
inside her as we were, it would be much more judicious to let them handle it.
At least the treaty would remain in tact and we wouldn’t be losing anyone in
the pack. It seemed so simple when I thought of it in those terms, but it was
obvious that Sam only had one goal in mind.
Just then something changed. It was subtle but I could feel it in the back of my mind like a nagging thought in my
brain. It felt like a thread unraveling- one string coming apart from the
entire garment itself. I checked behind me towards Seth, but he was still lost
under the Alpha command, although I could feel his resistance to it. He looked
like a tangled marionette; his legs and feet and body wanted to obey the
command but his head wanted to move the opposite direction, which was to
protect the Cullens. Collin and Embry seemed as excited as before, so I tried
to ignore it and focus on coordinating with the others. But at that moment the
feeling increased. It was no longer a tiny thread, it was something much more
powerful; it was a member breaking away.
I caught a glimpse of Jacob out of the corner of my eye. He defiantly pushed his massive body off the ground and
stood, his gaze settling directly on Sam. The hair on my back stood up as I
realized exactly what he meant to do. He had never wanted to claim his
birthright before this moment, but I suppose Sam had given him no choice. I cut
my eyes over to Sam and the rest of the pack but they were too distracted to
notice, and it wasn’t like anyone was expecting this.
Seth’s ears perked up and his eyes were fixed directly on Jacob now, obviously picking up on what was happening as
well. I didn’t say a single word and I forced myself not to let a single
thought slip as I watched Jacob walk up behind Sam. Sam was the only Alpha we
had ever known, and his very presence radiated authority, but it was nothing
compared to Jacob in that moment. He had grown taller and looked absolutely
regal as he looked down at Sam. This was his rightful place, and he was the
only one who could dispute Sam’s order.
Sam turned at the sound of his advance and his eyes narrowed. He was past all patience with Jacob at this point, but before he could get the first word out Jacob spoke.
It was only one simple word but the sound and meaning behind it stunned everyone into silence. The double timber of
Jacob’s voice reverberated throughout our minds, making the previous sounds of
Sam’s commands pale in comparison. Sam let out a surprised yelp and backed
“What have you done, Jacob?” he demanded.
The entire pack including myself froze in fear. We all knew there could not be two alpha’s in a single pack. The
two of them circled each other with their teeth bared, neither of them wanting
to go down this path. Sam tried in vain to command Jacob back into submission,
but the commands bounced right off of Jacob.
“Ephraim Black’s son was not meant to follow Levi Uley’s.” Jacob responded. His voice was full of his
own alpha command but he kept his tone even and controlled. “I won’t follow
you Sam, not for something so wrong.”
Sam rose up trying to meet
“Do you belong to a coven now, Jacob?” He asked. “This is about Bella. She has never been the one
for you, she has never chosen you, and yet you still continue to destroy your
life for her.” We all felt Jacob wince as Sam said the words, but Jacob
stood his ground. He stepped away and raised his head high.
“I will stand between you and the Cullens. I won’t just watch while the pack kills innocent… people. The pack is better than that. Lead them in the right direction, Sam.”
And with that he turned his back and sprinted away. The entire pack was in a total uproar, including myself.
None of us were able to wrap our minds around what had just happened. Sam
lifted his head and let out a howl that soared above all the others- we could
all feel his heart break as he watched Jacob run away. Even the sounds of our
thoughts were drowned out by the noise of the howls. I turned to the left and
trotted over to Sam, who had fallen down onto his front knees and buried his
snout between his paws. I nudged him with my nose and he quickly got back to
his feet and turned to face us all.
“This doesn’t change anything.” He said defiantly. The current of his thoughts had increased and changed from heartbreak to anger in a matter of seconds. “We stick to the plan.”
This time around the frenzy and excitement was no longer present in any of the pack members. None of them
wanted to fight against their own brother, and with Jacob gone the entire pack
would be off balance without a second in command. None of us were skilled
enough to fill that position, and even if we were it just felt wrong, morally.
“Sam, maybe we should hold off…re-a**** the situation?” I offered quietly.
He glared balefully at me out of the corner of his eye.
“Not now Leah.”
At that moment Seth stood up confidently and took two steps in our direction, but stopped short when Sam let
his gaze fall on him. I could feel his nerve failing and just when I thought he
was going to tuck his tail between his legs and go back into formation he
puffed his chest out and looked Sam straight in the eye.
“No, Leah’s right. We should call this off, Sam. None of us want to fight against Jacob…and he’s right.
Attacking the Cullens is wrong- they didn’t do anything to break the treaty and
us sneaking up on them this way is low and dirty. I won’t be a part of it.”
I could see the muscles twitch with anticipation in Seth’s legs as he waited for Sam to crush him with an edict,
but Sam didn’t say anything for a long moment. He paced in a circle and blew
his air out in a big gust. We could all hear the different thoughts buzzing in
his head, contradicting each other: loyalty to the pack, love for
Jacob, hatred for the Cullens, protecting the land, and
finally the betrayal of his own brother. The last thought drowned out
all the rest as I felt the fury build inside him and spill out.
“NO! We still fight. Jacob has chosen his side which leaves me no choice.” He hissed.
Seth’s eyes popped out of their sockets, as did everyone’s, when we heard this. A low grumble echoed thru the
pack as the distaste for this decision circulated. Seth hung his head and
walked back towards the rest of the formations. I could hear the disappointment
in his thoughts, and they were layered with his own feelings of betrayal by
Sam. Seeing my little brother hurt like this was too much. We were all hurt by
this decision. I turned around and glowered at Sam.
“You no longer deserve this position.” I seethed. I didn’t even bother hiding my accusing tone as I
said each word with a biting defiance. “You are putting you own anger before
the benefit of your pack. You are thinking with your emotions instead of you
brain. You are not being objective. This decision was wrong from the very
beginning and you are letting it rip us apart!”
Another stream of howls erupted behind us. I was too focused on my anger towards Sam and I didn’t notice Seth
slowly walking past the formations towards the edge of the clearing where Jacob
had disappeared. He made sure the rest of the pack was focused on our exchange
before he took of racing towards the trees, and then, in a matter of seconds he
**Some of the quotes used in this piece are direct excerpts from Stephenie Meyer's book Breaking Dawn in the Twilight Saga.**