Chapter 7-

           

The world around me began to blur creating a dark oblivion in my periphery as I raced across the treaty line and phased. The night seemed to make a black curtain behind me as I ran- a metaphor for the
final curtain call, signaling the end. Whether it was my fear or the weird
giddy high I felt from my rebellion, I wasn’t sure, but I knew was there was no
turning back now.


            My paws barely even seemed to touch the ground as I raced through the trees bordering the tiny town of Forks. I listened
carefully, tuning into my own thoughts as I tried to hear the rest of my pack
chasing behind me. My old pack, now, I reminded myself, then winced slightly at
the thought.


Silence.


The relief was only fleeting as a sudden sense of loneliness surrounded my already shaky state of mind. It gripped my mind like a vise, but I shook it off before the panic could fully set in.


This is for the best, I reasoned. My loyalty had to lie with my brother, first and foremost, and although I didn’t share his strange and unnatural infatuation with the Cullens, I had already admitted to myself that this
was the right thing to do. Very dangerous, but right all the same.


            I was whipping over the vast expanse of land at a blinding speed when I realized that charging at two surely paranoid werewolves head-on might not be the best
idea.


Immediately I slowed my pace, my paws making skid marks in the wet forest floor. I was being impulsive, like always, and I chastised myself for not thinking my actions all the way through. I needed to start thinking
more like a leader now, especially if I was going to be part of such a small
pack- assuming that Jacob would even accept me. But if he did decide to let me
join we wouldn’t have the luxury of careless mistakes this time around, not
with Sam’s looming pack posing a possible threat.


I slowed my pace even more so that I was keeping pace at a brisk jog while I got my thoughts in order, but as I slowed that sudden sense of loneliness regained its power. And a sinking, desperate turmoil set in, as I
realized I may not belong anywhere now. Again, in a state of sheer denial I
shook it off, focusing on the positive and forcing myself to plan strategy. If
I had any chance of being accepted into this new mini-pack I had to find a way
to make myself an asset.


            Think Leah! What would Sam do? I forced my more panicky, irrational side into a state of cold reasoning. With a little bit of effort I managed to pinpoint my thoughts
on the tactical.


I was sure that with only two of them protecting the Cullens they would have to be trading off in shifts. Unlike the vamps, they needed to sleep, and it had been at least twenty-four hours with no sleep for at least
one of them. I thought out what I would do if I was in that situation; I’d probably
run a perimeter around the house and update the Cullen’s periodically. Even
with only two they should be able to tell if anyone breaks through if they kept
their laps tight enough, I rationalized. But, of course, with a smaller circle
they ran the chance of leaving the Cullen’s in a more vulnerable position…not
that the Cullens needed that much protection. They were certainly a very lethal
threat on their own, even without having two giant guard dogs to warn them. With the
little half pint vamp seeing the future and Edward’s thought radar they should
have, at the very least, a five minute warning, which would be plenty of time.


            But what about Bella? They could easily defend themselves, but would they just leave her there helpless? Surely, someone in the leech coven would have to stay behind
and protect her. And then the answer hit me like a sledgehammer.


            Edward.


He would easily lay down his life for her. He was nothing if not a hopeless romantic. A regular modern day Romeo. Even though it was incredibly stupid, it was still romantic, all the same. I couldn’t help but compare
him to Sam. He would have done the same for me at one point…now he would do the
same for Emily. Without question.


            S***! Was this really what I had been reduced to by following Seth’s cause? Was I really feeling sorry for Bella now? Or the Cullens?


            I gave myself a hard mental shake. Get it together, Leah!


            The forest began to thin, allowing the soft, thin, retreating threads of moonlight to filter through the soft canopy of trees. I could tell it was close to dawn, as sky
began to take on a soft violet hue, and I was well into Cullen territory now. I
forced myself to concentrate and let my mind open, hoping to connect with Jacob
and Seth.


            Again, silence.


Just the soft steady beat of my paws hitting the dirt.


 Alone.


            This is what you deserve, I thought. I had been so incredibly judgmental and now Karma had come full circle. Maybe I had been too hard on Sam. About Emily. About his
leadership…about everything. For the first time, I began to understand what it
was like to really stand alone, to have to make decisions of your own accord,
and make them without a pack to bounce your thoughts off, or help you validate
your decisions. To have to truly live with the consequences of your own actions.


Despite all my qualms, I really had felt Sam’s pain over his imprinting with Emily…and even his betrayal to me. I was just to hurt to admit that he had been hurting too. I had even felt his inner struggle between his sense of responsibility to his pack and to his tribe, yet countered by his own
needs to live his own life without obligation to anyone else.


And yet, blinded my own selfish anger, I never really understood it until this very moment. How many times had I prayed to have my head and my thoughts to myself? To simply have a feeling, or an emotion, or a
desire, that could belong to me and no one else for once? I couldn’t even begin
to count, but now that I did have everything to myself I felt horrible, and selfish,
and utterly…alone.


I stopped and sat down on the ground, stretching my legs out in front of me. I pressed the pads of my paws into the ground, making small little tufts of dirt rise around the outline of my claws in the damp earth. I
tried in vain to distract myself from the misery I felt myself sinking into,
but I this time I couldn’t simply shake it off. I was officially the very first
werewolf orphan. I didn’t belong to my tribe. I didn’t even belong with my own
brother, apparently.


The soft, downy fur around my eyes began to tingle as I felt a huge tear slip from the inner corner of my eye and down my nose, dropping off and making a soft little patting sound against the ground as it hit. The sound
resonated in my sensitive ears, making my pity party seem all the more
pathetic. What would I do now? Obviously, I couldn’t go home- Sam had certainly
disowned me by now. Jacob and Seth were long gone with their allegiance
with the Cullens. So, where did that leave me?


Alone. Solo. Solitary.


I quickly glanced around at the scenery. The cool constantly damp forest that I so often sought comfort and acceptance from when I had first learned what I was seemed alien to me now. The slippery green moss trailed and snaked its way down the cedar trees in a serpentine pattern that I
never noticed before. It felt cold. In-human.


I was Quiluete, born and bred in flesh and blood. Every fiber of my being breathed and loved this land, but now without my pack I had no grounding, and no purpose. It was a naked and hopeless feeling.


Without any conscious decision I felt the air shimmer around me. Looking at the ground my soft grey paws slowly formed back into the delicate, graceful, human fingers I knew. My unnatural height melted back to its
normal stature, and I found myself again, standing perfectly erect in my human
form, as I had been just hours before. Only now, I could barely hold myself
upright. My once strong legs that had grounded me to the earth buckled beneath
my weight. I fell to the floor of the forest and simply lay there, exhausted.


It felt like the entire weight of life itself became too much for me to bear and I just, at that precise moment, gave up. I curled up into a tiny ball and began to sob uncontrollably. I had, in one day, lost
everything that defined me as a person and I had no one to blame but myself. I
had never really been a religious person, per se- I had been raised to adhere
to a more spiritual philosophy, but at that moment I reached deep within myself
and sent up a silent prayer.


I prayed to be a person I could admire. I thought back to my epiphany in the mirror earlier that morning where I longed to be the old, happy, and carefree Leah. The girl who I had been before the onslaught of Sam and
Emily, the girl I had been before I lost my brother and Jacob. I pleaded to be
able to have the strength to own up to my mistakes and learn from them. I begged,
whoever or whatever I was praying to, to help me direct my own weakness onto
myself and to stop blaming all my sorrow on the outside world. 


This was my moment of self-sacrifice, the first time I had wanted to be something more substantial than a silly, sad, broken-hearted wolf-girl from La Push. For the first time, deep within my heart, I felt the
need to be and belong to something bigger than myself, to be able to just know
that what I was doing, even though it went against every fiber of my being, was
ultimately noble and truly selfless.


I hadn’t realized that I had been thinking out loud until my words caught in my throat, making me let out an awkward little cough. Before I realized what I was doing I had risen, my legs pushing me off the ground as if I weighed no more that a feather.


The heat in my body coursed through my veins and practically burst through my arms and legs, sending me into violent convulsions as I phased. I hadn’t phased with such intensity since I first became a werewolf and
my temper was the catalyst, but this time it wasn’t my temper that drove this
transformation. It was my own inner strength! I could feel it pulsating through
my entire body like electricity. All the scattered emotions in my mind cleared-every
ounce of hurt, blame, regret and self pity faded away, and I felt whole again.


I inhaled deeply through my nose and took in all the intoxicating smells of the forest around me. The rich, wet earthy scent of the soil on my fur mixed with the soft musky scent of the rain- each individual
droplet clearly visible, reflecting the newly rising sun like a mirror. Every
one of my senses seemed heightened- I felt reborn.


Overcome with a new sense of invigoration I let go of all my earlier fears and and sadness and trotted around in a small circle. I was sure that if any member of my old pack had seen me I would have never lived down
this silly display, but I didn’t care.


I opened my ears to hear the sounds of the fading crickets and the birds chirping and that’s when it caught me; a faint, thrumming sound off in the distance. I twitched my left ear hoping to pick up the cadence, but as much as I strained I couldn’t hear anything resembling that noise.


One, two, three, four- dum dum-dum dum. The sound repeated over and over again but for some reason even my overly sensitive ears couldn’t pick up the sound. What was wrong with me? I tried again to focus my hearing on
that sound, but again came up with nothing.


Maybe all of my pleading for spiritual salvation had given me a new found liberation…but it had also left me completely delusional. I took a few steps in the direction I thought I had heard the sound initially.


Still nothing.


Well, I couldn’t say too much about my mental stability since I was suddenly hearing a random, yet very rhythmic, thumping in the middle of the woods…in the middle of nowhere, but at least I felt fantastic!


With a giddy sense of utter whatever-ness I dismissed it and ran away in the opposite direction, letting the long branches of dampened ferns brush against my sides while I whipped through the trees in playful zig-zag pattern.


One, two, three, four- dum dum-dum dum.


This time the sound brought me up short. It was louder and more insistent, like a drummer pounding out a beat relentlessly inside my brain. I whipped around and faced the other direction, moving slowly in a crouched position back towards where I had been standing.


Drawing my lips up over my teeth in menacing snarl, I slinked my way under the low branched of the ferns following this illusive sound. I could feel my ears twitching in every direction as I tried to locate
the noise, but again, I came up with nothing. For the first time, my new
euphoria was rattled as I so desperately wished I had another wolf with me to
testify that they heard this strange sound as well. If anything, I wanted
someone else nearby just to validate the fact that I wasn’t slinking through
the forest in a ninja crouch- okay well maybe if ninjas were also wolves- like
a crazy, paranoid person for no apparent reason.


And that’s when I saw it.


A vision- a fast blur of green and gray racing through my mind. It hit me so hard I stumbled in my step, bashing my muzzle on the ground as I lost my balance. It was a truly dizzying effect- like I had been slammed into someone else’s weird dream, but it was nothing but blank thoughts and a swirl of muted colors...and that strange thrumming.


I pushed off the ground, trying to shake this bizarre feeling, but I couldn’t. I stood very still in one place, the hairs on my back pulling against my skin in anticipation.


And then suddenly a sense of familiarity came over me.


I knew this feeling- I hadn’t felt it in a very long time, but I knew it. It was the same feeling I had the very first time I phased when I had landed, telepathically, into the minds of several other werewolves.


You would have thought it would have been a very comforting feeling, in comparison to just having morphed into a giant animal, but it was quite the opposite. It was extremely disorienting. It was like diving headfirst into a raging ocean of thoughts…but while having your feet solidified into
cement.


A dozen different people, each with a hundred thoughts of their own, all crashing over you all at one time. Only in this ocean you couldn’t swim, or float, or even tread water it seemed. You just had to hold you breath and hope you didn’t drown.


Eventually, after the initial shock and fear wore off, you realized that you could sort through this maze of perpetual thinking and hone in on individual frequencies. Each person seemed to have his own tenor…or “voice,” and once you learned to differentiate between each one it was easier to
file and organize each voice to the corresponding personality. Of course,
some voices are more easily identified than others.


 I thought back to that moment when I thought I was drowning in that overwhelming abyss of thoughts and then I heard the sweet, blank, easy going tenor of my baby brother.
            The absence of all the turmoil in his mind was so peaceful that I immediately found solace with his mind even before
I knew it was him. His mind was so clear, so devoid of negativity and mindless
worry that it seemed at times…blank.


Yet at the same time, every thought, every sight he took in seemed so innocent and pure it was like nothing existed in his mind other than what he was seeing or thinking at that given moment.


Knowing the workings of so many minds like I did, I understood that this was truly a gift. So many people would love to be able to abandon all of their random, errant, thoughts and just live a few moments in “thenow.” In fact, I’m pretty sure that people have even written instructional
books, and taught Yoga classes on precisely how to achieve this mental state,
and yet my brother could do it without any conscious effort.


Thinking back to that moment, I remembered how refreshing yet exponentially disorienting his mind had been due to the lack of tangible thought, and I suddenly realized that I had just been violently transplanted
into that very moment all over again.


Seth!  


I could barely contain my excitement as I bolted off the forest floor and into a flat out sprint, concentrating as hard as I could on Seth’s thoughts as I made my way towards him.


I relaxed as I let the sound of his mind guide me towards him and I suddenly realized it was only him that I was picking up.


That’s weird, I thought. I reached out, expanding my mind as much as I dared so as not to be detected, and then finally I picked up on another idle mind connected to his. This mind was drifiting off, sluggish even,
and then I recognized the heavy, listless feeling of sleep setting in.


Jacob must be sleeping, I realized.


I concentrated harder, and realized that I was right. Jacob was about two seconds away from snoring and Seth was diligently running the perimeter. I narrowed my focus, and concentrated on the scenery blurring by
Seth. If I cut due east I would cross right behind his lap without risking a
head on confrontation. The last thing I wanted was to make them think I was trying
to ambush them. I did my best to clear my mind and control my thoughts as I changed
direction, whipping through the forest.


I did my best to time my advance so that it wouldn’t startle him, but much too late I realized that with Seth’s lack of sleep I hadn’t accounted for his slower pace. I was half way there when I picked up the internal
alarm in his mind.


Intruder!


With no choice I kept my pace, but let down my mental guard, hoping he would recognize my mind. No such luck; there was no mental recognition but he did pick up on my presence right away and let out an earsplitting howl,
in response


Immediately, I felt Jacob spring to his feet and in less than a few seconds both he and Seth were racing directly towards me.


I slowed almost to a walk and, ducking beneath a fringe of underbrush, I emerged, standing nearly nose to nose with two very tired, very dangerous, snarling werewolves. I swallowed back my fear and tried to pretend
that these two werewolves…and a potentially lurking coven of vampires weren’t
about to rip my head off. I mustered every ounce of courage left inside me and muttered…


“Morning boys.”


           


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L-O-V-E it Bella!! I have soooo missed ur writing!!!
I have been checking back for months just to see if there was another chapter to your story. So glad you put up another chapter. Your writing has gotten SOOOO good! Thanks for an awesome story. GREAT _ WONDERFUL writing! THANK YOU!!!! :)
THAT REALLY GREAT WRITING! enjoyed reading it and looking forward to the next chapter.
well done and keep up the good work.
OMG!!!
i LUVED IT!!! Cont!! :D
WOW i and glad u r back righting again i miss the sorties!
Totally amazing!
Wb.......
ahahhahahahha omg cant wait for the next chapte:)

AWESOME Bellalove!! :D Please, write more about Leah! I would love to read more about Leah's future and so on. :)

 

GREAT JOB! :)

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