She walked right up to the stranger and put her hand on his shoulder. He looked down at her and gave her a piercing look that she felt all the way to her bones before crushing his lips to hers.
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Leah, we have a problem.
What is it Jacob?
I can’t hear Alex.
Leah, we have a problem.
What is it Jacob?
I can’t hear Alex.
What do you mean you can’t hear Alex?!
I’m not connected to him. Eight other voices agreed.
Do you hear me?
Can you hear any of the other pack brothers?
What was she going to do?! Of course Alex and the rest of the pack couldn’t hear each other. He wasn’t part of the pack. But why could she hear him? She shook her head. There would be plenty of time to think about that later. Right now she needed to fix this problem, and fast.
Can you hear what he says through me?
What do you mean?
While I’m processing his thoughts, I’m also thinking about them. Try listening for that. Alex say something.
What? Oh, um, Leah, you’re gorgeous. No, that’s not what I meant. Damn, this is embarrassing.
Leah ignored his sputtering and instead focused on Jacob.
Did you get that?
Loud and clear! He replied, silently laughing.
Alex, did you hear Jacob.
Yes, he replied sullenly.
Good. On my command, we’ll attack as one/ Spread out!
The wolves silently surrounded the vampires, who had obviously smelled them since they were sniffing the air.
One, two, three!
All the wolves attacked. Unfortunately Leah was a split second later than everyone else. The vampire she was supposed to take down locked eyes with her, and charged. She feinted away, but his reflexes were better than most vampires, and he swung around, grabbing her by her waist. He then picked her up and flung her into an oak tree. She hit it hard, tumbling down the branches, all of them poking her until she collapsed on the ground. Immediately, Alex was there.
Go fight, they need you, I’ll be fine. I’ll try to keep translating for you, she commanded him. Alex looked deep into her eyes before nodding and running off. She felt the pain come on then, threatening to take over her, but she held it at bay. They needed her to stay sane. She could do that for them. She began relaying the commands, but surprisingly, they didn’t come from Embry, who was beta, but from Alex. He just naturally shifted into Alpha and assumed the commanding position. She didn’t have time or energy to ponder that because she needed to keep focused on Alex’s commands and she couldn’t do anything else but repeat them in her mind.
They had already gotten one vampire down to the point that he would never rise again, and they were circling the other one, when it spotted her. With a snarl of revenge it came at her. She didn’t even have time to think ‘this is the end,’ She just shut her eyes and accepted her fate. The newborn was upon her when all of a sudden Alex came out of nowhere, tackled it to the ground, and tore its’ head off with one bite. She watched transfixed as he snarled,
Nobody messes with my mate!
Knowing her work was done; Leah felt all the pain come crashing over her. She gasped for air and then fainted.
Alex looked at her softly before picking her up and carrying her back towards Jacob’s house.
Leah woke with a horrible headache that matched her dream. Well, not necessarily horrible. At least there was a hot guy in this one unlike the last one.
“Hopefully I’m the only hot guy you dream about,” Leah yelped, sitting up. She hadn’t seen Alex sitting there. She lay back down again, groaning. Instantly Alex was by her side, checking under the covers.
“Are you okay? Where does it hurt?” Peering into her face he asked worriedly.
“Your concern is just an excuse to see me naked,” she joked. At first he looked at her blankly, but then he smiled.
“Oh, that was, that was funny. Hahaha!” he said sarcastically.
“No making fun of the invalid!” she complained, when Jacob came in. All at once, the events of last night rushed into her mind and she gasped.
“Dammit Alex, you always make me forget my duty. Jacob, report!” she barked, trying to sit up again, but failing because of the pain in her ribs. Finally she growled in exasperation then collapsed on the bed, looking up expectantly.
“What Leah, no heartfelt ‘Are you okay Jacob,’ or at least a ‘Hello?’” Jacob asked wickedly.
“How about if you don’t straighten up my foot is going to go so far up you’re a-,” She was cut off by Alex butting in.
“Why don’t you rest? You went through a lot two nights ago. I already had everyone report, while the events were still fresh in their mind,” Alex said innocently, but Leah began to see red.
“I’m not some porcelain doll that’ll break. I don’t need to r… two nights- I’ve been out two nights? What the hell has ha…! You had the pack report! Oh my god! I don’t even know where to begin to be angry at you! I just ERRR! And you Jacob, you know better than to report to anyone other than Alpha! I… ERR! Leave me alone!!” Leah yelled, disconcerted. Both Jacob and Alex had backed up at the beginning of her tirade, but by the end Jacob was out the door and Alex was sitting beside her bed.
“Leah, what’s wrong?” Alex asked, brushing his fingers along her cheeks. Putting her hands up the her cheeks, Leah started when she realized tears were flowing down them.
“Why would you do that! How could you!” she yelled, trying to contain her sobs.
“Leah, what-?” Alex didn’t even know where to begin.
“I’m Alpha of this pack! Not you! Hell, we’ve known you three days! Three days, and already the boys respect you! Do you know how long it took me to earn their respect. Three long years of being an absolute hard ass! That’s how long! And you get their respect in three days, simply because you’re a male, and I’m female. How is that fair! What makes you so qualified? Huh? And then you go playing up the fact that I’m weaker than you! That I need protecting! Well, I don’t! I don’t need you, or the pack…,” Leah had begun by poking her finger in Alex’s chest, but by the end she had grabbed onto his shirt, bawling into his chest. At first Alex looked frightened, not sure of what to do. Putting his arms around her, he simply let her cry.
After probably thirty minutes, Leah began to calm down.
“Uh, I must look awful,” She gave a watery laugh. “Now I really am acting like a girl, crying and caring about how I look.” Alex peered into her eyes deeply before asking.
“What was that about? And I want the truth Leah, not ‘nothing,’” he demanded. She opened her mouth, then closed it. She opened her mouth, then closed it again. At first she was tempted to say nothing, but she never wanted to lie to Alex. Also, she didn’t think he’d laugh at her like some of the others would. So she decided to tell him the truth.
“It’s just, that fight shook me up pretty bad. I had a terrible inferiority complex three years ago, where I went through this whole, nothing I ever do will be good enough phase. I grew out of it, but at that fight a few days ago, I was a split second slower than the boys. Not a lot I know, but it was enough that it almost killed me,” here Alex turned pale, but she ignored it and went on, “That just reminded me how much weaker I am than everyone else, simply because I was female. The only thing that I had was my being Alpha, because that trumped all. But when I was injured, you took over, not Embry- which is something else we need to discuss- but you. And you were magnificent. You took control of the situation, and did everything right. It was especially impressive considering you’ve only been a werewolf for a few months. You did a better job with those newborns then I could’ve. You’re Alpha material. Maybe not yet, but you will be. I was… I don’t know…” Here Leah looked down in shame, “threatened by that. You’re changing me Alex, way too quickly, and I can’t keep up. The weirdest thing though, is that I don’t care. If you wanted position of Alpha, I don’t care, you can have it. That’s probably what scares me the most. How easily I’m willing to let go of something I treasure, for you. There I’ve said it all. And whatever you do, don’t laugh at me,” Leah finished with a sigh, waiting for anything.
Alex looked thoughtful for a moment before taking Leah’s hands in his own.
“Leah, I… wow, this is hard to say, but I know what you’re saying. I- when- when that, that leech,” he said leech with such venom Leah looked up in surprise, “when that leech attacked you, my heart stopped. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think any thought, save one. ‘Don’t be dead, whatever else happens, Leah don’t be dead.’ That was my mantra. After I knew you were okay, or at least going to survive, all I wanted to do was kill the leech, to rip his throat out, for hurting you,” Here Alex paused, getting his thoughts together, “Leah if you had died, I would’ve died too. I know it. And that scares me. I’ve never felt anything at all like this before. Leah, what’s happening?” Alex implored. Leah knew it was finally time to explain imprinting, though she wasn’t sure how it had happened herself.
“Alex, I think we should wait for Sam before we begin this particular conversation,” Leah sighed.
“Leah, we’re always waiting. The only thing I know is that when I first saw you, I thought ‘wow, she’s gorgeous,’ but when I looked in you’re eyes, I knew, I felt it in my heart ‘she’s mine.’ I need to know what happened. Why I’m so in lo- attracted to you,.” he pleaded.
“Fine, but it’s not going to be easy,” she sighed and readied herself when she had another idea. “Hey, is Jake still here? With Melissa? Or Jared and Kim?” she asked. He looked thoughtful for a moment before shaking his head.
“I don’t know. Let me check.” With that he got up, gave her one last glance, and then went in search of the others. She sat up slowly, growling at her weaknesses. As she waited for Alex to come back, her mind wandered.
What am I going to say? I don’t even know where to begin. There’s so much, but I don’t want to scare him off. And I don’t even know exactly what’s happened. I’m positive I imprinted on him, but I don’t know if he did on me. I can’t tell the difference, and none of the guys can even get in his head, which is one more complication I don’t really want to deal with. Err, I need to make a list of all the weirdness that we need to sort out
Leah leaned over, wincing slightly at her ribs, even though she could feel them healing, and took out a piece of paper and a pen from her night stand.
1. Imprinting ‘that’ll be a fun conversation’
2. Alex taking place as beta in the attack yesterday ‘if it was beta and not Alpha he was taking the place of’
3. Alex himself ‘I wouldn’t mind discussing that topic all day… which is what we’re going to do, actually’
4. Alex not being able to hear the pack, and vise versa. ‘ though I think we already know the reason tothat
5. Alex not having to obey the Alpha.
6. Alex’s heritage
7. The future ‘I hate, HATE this topic. Why can’t we just let things roll where they will? Who cares if it leaves the boys in the dust? Whoa Leah, where did that thought come from? Who cares if it leaves the boys in the dust! I care! Or… at least I’m supposed to care. Err, what’s happening to me?! I can’t take all this split personality going on! I’ll add another section to The List.
Why I care more about Alex than- I can’t even write it. Let me try again.
Why I can’t function as a good Alpha when he’s around. Yeah, that sounds...bad, but not as bad as it did before.
At that moment, Alex walked in, looking contrite, with Jared and Kim following looking annoyed. She sighed, already guessing what had happened, but asking anyways.
“What happened?” Alex blushed, while Jared glowered darkly at him.
“Well…umm… You see I didn’t…” She waited as patiently as she could while Alex hemmed and hawed around the question.
“Alex, just spit it out!” she finally barked. Alex glared at her before taking a deep breath and trying again.
“Well, I how was I supposed to know these two were like rabbits. I mean honestly this isn’t even their house!” She smiled but, deciding to be mean she asked anyways, “What are you talking about?” she asked innocently. Over Alex’s head, Kim caught her eye and smiled wickedly. There was a reason she liked Kim the best, sweet on the outside, but on the inside just as ruthless as Leah herself, and much more cunning.
“I, well I- I caught them,” he admitted.
“Caught them? Doing what?” she asked again, still the picture of innocence.
“I caught them doing it in the back room,” he mumbled, his face turning cherry. She burst out laughing. She patted his arm consolingly, still chuckling.
“Every single one of the pack has caught them at least twice. It’s no secret these two- what did you use- do it like rabbits,”
Jared broke in, “We weren’t doing it… yet. We were just in a very compromising position. No reason for him to freak out. He didn’t even see anything, right?” Jared turned his glare on Alex.
“Of course not,” Alex quickly responded throwing up his hands. As much as she loved teasing Jared and Kim, and as she was beginning to figure out, she loved teasing Alex too, they really needed to get focused.
“Alright guys, let’s try to remember why Alex had to lose his innocence so early,” Here Kim snickered and Leah grinned in response. God, she loved Kim. “Alex had some questions about… us,” On the word us she gestured between Alex and herself. Kim understood immediately and pulled up a chair across from Alex, on the other side of Leah’s bed. Jared, who obviously had no clue where this was going, followed his wife’s lead. Leah resisted the urge to roll her eyes.
“This is really awkward for me, but I’ll try to explain it thoroughly, so you might get an idea of what’s happened. I’ll try to make you guys understand. Then maybe we can puzzle this out together,” Alex said seriously. Here Leah didn’t resist the urge, and she did roll her eyes.
“Alex, shut up before you make an ass out of yourself,” she chided.
“What?” He asked defensively.
“‘I’ll try to explain and see if you understand,’” She said mockingly. “They aren’t stupid Alex, in fact they know exactly what it is that is happening between us,” She said.
“What?” He asked again. She was beginning to think this was one of the only words he knew.
She turned to the couple on her other side, “Jared… no wait, actually, Kim, can you start us off,” she pleaded. Kim smiled and nodded.
“Sam was actually the first one this happened to, but Jared and I were the second. You see, Sam imprinted on Emily, Jared on me, Quil on Claire, Jacob on Melissa, and you on Leah. Or maybe Leah on you. I’m not sure,” she said, pausing for a moment to think about it. Alex decided to break in.
“Imprinting? You mean like birds?” He asked, obviously puzzled. Her eyes were beginning to hurt from rolling them so much, but she couldn’t help it as she glanced upward.
It was going to be a long day.