Tales of a Broken Soul
Leah is plagued by her memories. Leaving La Push behind, she strives for a new life in New York. But when she returns for her brother’s graduation, her life gets irreversibly turned upside down.
4. the wolf in me
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2409 Review this Chapter
I stopped short, my pulse ringing in my ears. Was it possible that she figured it out; made the connection between Mike and my behavior? What if she…knew? Was that why she gave me that assignment to go to Newton’s Outfitters?
I laughed. That was impossible. Anyone would just assume my behavior the night before was because I had one of my monstrous mood swings-and I did say that I was experiencing the hell that comes up every month. No one would guess that I…imprinted. I gagged, hating the word and the concept. Sam, Jared and Quil made it seem as though imprinting equals loving-and not only in a romantic sense. But I imprinted on Mike and I defiantly did not love him. In fact, I hoped that I would never see him again.
No, Leah, an annoying voice in the back of my mind argued, It’s just your pride that is rejecting him. My pride? No, it was fact that I didn’t want to love him.
I groaned and stomped towards the kitchen. This was not the first time I had been torn between myself. Between loving Sam and hating him. That was settled that morning because at that moment I felt nothing but rage towards the guy. I felt the anger from the morning well up in me again, and I made an instant beeline towards the backdoor.
My heart was pounding in my chest as I stripped off my clothes and threw myself onto the grass in the backyard. My hands were sweating and my heart squeezed painfully. I barred my teeth and wished that I could just run away from everything. No, I wished that I could take a bite out of something. I smiled and tried to feel the familiar tremors run down my spine. It took a few moments, but as I sprouted fur and my bones mangled themselves into a different shape for the first time in ages, my body relaxed and I was able to think more logically. Being in this form did always make emotions easier to bear.
I tried out my aching limbs and trotted towards the forest. I heard no thoughts other than my own in my head, so no one else must have been out with me. I smiled a fanged smile and started to run. Fast. I fell into the rhythm quickly and began to loose myself. The green of the forest and the thrill of the speed brought me into the zone of the wolf. I left the human side of me in the backyard as I ran even faster. Nothing could catch me as I ran like this. I could finally be free.
I ran for a while, letting myself be rid of thoughts and choices-for a little while, at least. My feet hardly even touched the ground as I ran. I dodged trees and branches, jumped over fallen logs and slid in the mud-even though I would never, ever admit to that. But all good things had to come to an end for me. By the time I hit civilization again, I was covered in mud, random leaves and sticks from head to toe. I immediately turned back around to take another joy ride, but I froze in place when I saw where exactly I was.
I was right outside of Sam’s house.
I was standing there for a few moments, shocked into place. Out of all the places to go-out of all the places I wanted to avoid-I accidentally brought myself there. Something must have been wrong with me. Something very, very wrong. And then to make matters worse, I heard the murmur of thoughts when another werewolf transformed. I was instantly afraid of who it would be.
Leah? I was relived when I realized it wasn’t Sam, but I wasn’t thankful enough to not be angry at someone interrupting me.
Yeah? I snapped. I couldn’t place my finger on who it was exactly.
It’s Embry, he clarified. And what are you doing?
My brain instantly went to think of sliding in the mud before I could stop it.
Never mind…Embry thought. Man, I had to get used to this mind-sharing thing again. I was really tempted to shift back into my human form and escape the familiarity between us, but I realized that I didn’t bring any clothing with me. I left my clothing in my backyard along with any logic I might have possessed. And I was not about to go running through La Push naked.
What’s this about you running around-Hey, why didn’t Seth tell us that you’d be back? He changed his thought process too quickly for me to hear what he was saying, but I had a pretty good idea what is was. I swallowed any ill contempt of the thought of him even thinking of something like that about me, and started to walk into the forest. He was just lucky he changed his thoughts quickly enough before an image came up.
I don’t know what Seth thinks…Usually. I sighed, but it came out as more of a growl. I shut my mouth, not knowing who would be listening. The people of Forks just recently got over their Bear Scare and I wasn’t very willing to freak them into carrying around guns in the forest again-especially after someone shot Paul right in the behind one time(even if that was hilarious).
You’re lucky Paul didn’t hear that, he muttered. There was a few moments of needless thoughts before Embry thought of something important to say. Uh…Leah, you should stay away from Sam’s house, just saying, Embry warned. I stopped in place, careful not to let him know that was exactly where I was. Well, you know how they have a kid-
Yeah, I do, I hissed. I resolved his doubts of me being somehow cured of the heart ache.
Well, it’s probably not best for you to see Emily right now, since she’s-crap, Sam said not to tell anyone.
Especially not to tell me. He told Embry not to tell me that Emily was pregnant again. So the test turned out positive. Oh God…
Bye Leah, Embry thought quickly. But remember what I said…and please don’t let Sam know I let that information slip. He’ll kill me for sure. And then I was alone.
I stood in place, thoughts racing through my mind. That’s it. I had to leave. I couldn’t see her pregnant, and with a child. A child that was supposed to be mine.
I was shocked at my train of thought, but I was too far gone to stop myself. I turned around and walked back towards the house that I normally would have avoided.
I must have been a sucker for pain. What was I doing? I told myself to shut up as I peeked in a window I thought was the baby’s room. I just had to see it-uh, her. Just to see what could have been. And I really shouldn’t have.
She was adorable and sleeping peacefully on a fluffy blanket. Silky black hair fanned over her face and her plump lips were half open and curved into a smile. At that moment it didn’t matter that I hated Sam. It didn’t matter that I imprinted on Mike. The whole world disappeared as my heart contracted, sending a shot of rippling pain through my chest.
I was stuck in place, my mouth clamed shut. I imagined Emily and Sam holding her in the hospital. smiles of joy on their faces. I imagined them buying clothes for her, giving her a bottle of milk…
I snapped my head around and ran as fast as I could away from the house, away from the baby and away from what could have been. Because it never had been. It never happened and it never would.
When I was far away, I gave up on bottling in the twitching of my muscles and the shaking of my teeth. I let out the pounding of my heart, the wildness of my eyes, and the overworking of my lungs. I sprinted ahead, faster than I ever had before. And while I barreled through trees and ignored branches thumping against my back, I let out a strangled howl that seemed to last for an eternity. I didn’t know who heard it and I didn’t care.
And I didn’t care that it was the first time that I let the world hear the sadness that underlined the pain. I let them hear what was me beneath the bitterness and the monstrosity. They would finally know how I really felt.
And I didn’t care that I was letting people peek into what was personally mine. And all because it was too late. Leah Clearwater-or whoever I was, was left behind. The wolf was in control and the human side would be hard to find.
* * *
I came home eventually. It was dark and all the lights were out. I climbed into my window and quickly pulled on some clothing. I didn’t think I found myself again, even when I returned home. Because that night, I dreamed of running through the forest.
The wolf was still slightly in control.
* * *
When I woke up the next morning-the morning of the graduation- the house was empty again. I could feel the weight on my eyelids and I almost wished that I hadn’t taken the irresponsible, mad running spree through the back forests of Washington. Almost. Because for the first time in ages, there wasn’t any pent up energy waiting to be released. I could relax and not feel like punching someone in the face. Funny, since what happened the day before.
I squeezed my eyes shut, scolding myself for thinking about that. And right when I was starting to forget about it. But forgetting wasn’t going to work, was it? It never seemed to work.
I heard stomping on the stairs and then my mother started yelling. “Leah! Get dressed already! We have to go to the graduation!” It was obvious she was a little angry. She was probably yelling at me for several minutes. I rolled my eyes and laboriously slid out of bed. Again, I scolded myself. I was out late running when I should have been sleeping. I hopped into a hot shower, washing the dried mud off me and combing the leaves and sticks out of my short hair. The panic didn’t seem to sink in until I was blow-drying my hair in front of the mirror. When the doomed realization hit, I dropped the blow-dryer on my toe.
Mike was going to be there. I just knew it.
I suddenly felt a gurgling in my stomach. My teeth chattered and I was cold, even though I just took a warm shower. The image of the child was still stuck in my mind. How was I going to face Mike after what I did last night? I would look at him and all I would be able to see would be a child of our own. And not to mention how out of it I was. I didn’t want to think of what I would end up doing around him. Dread welled up in me and I flopped down on the tiled floor.
I opened my mouth to yell that I was feeling sick or something, but I couldn’t get the words out. I imaged Seth’s disappointed face and I wasn’t able to bail out on him. I just had to face Mike one more time. Just one more. I would pay a lot of attention to what I was doing, and the wolf that I accidentally let out would not make another appearance. It would be fine.
I got up to a shaky standing position and picked up the blow-dryer from the floor. I finished drying my hair, put on some makeup, and got dressed. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, but when I looked in the mirror, I gasped out loud.
I looked pretty. From the moment Sam dumped me onward, I could never think of myself as beautiful and I never really made the effort. But when I looked in the mirror, a surge of ego swelled through me.
Then my joy was shot when I realized what I was accidentally planning subconsciously. I narrowed my eyes and walked into the bathroom to take off the makeup. No way was I getting dressed up for Mike. But my mom screamed to get down the stairs and I had no choice but to grab my purse and run for the car. My mother sometimes lacked patience.
Despite my mother’s anxiety, we got there on time. Seth ran off towards his friends while my mom and I stayed in the car for another few minutes.
“Oh, look. It’s Mike’s car. He must be here,” my mom said in poorly hidden surprise. I glared at her, my questions answered.
“You’re surprised? Then how did Mike get a ticket to get in?” I hissed. My mom looked at me apologetically and I couldn’t help the groan that came out of my mouth.
“You know.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yep,” she answered and then rummaged around in her purse. “Mike will be a great son-in-law,” she sighed. I shook my head in opposition.
“Mike’s not going to be anything,” I snapped before getting out of the car. I huffed and turned around to find somewhere to sit, when the one and only Mike Newton appeared before me, looking ravishing in a white button down shirt and black pants. I mentally kicked myself for thinking of him as “ravishing”.
Something in my stomach tumbled and I was filled with the insane urge to brush my fingers against his arm.
It was going to be a long graduation.