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.
8. First Chance
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“So,” he echoed with a strangled voice. I fought the urge to grimace.
I quickly ran a hand through my hair before continuing. My own legs started to shake uncontrollably. I tried to convince myself that I was just nervous about telling someone my secret. But no denial could cover the fact that I was anxious because of Mike. I ached for his approval, even if that was the opposite of what would finally drive him away. My stomach squirmed.
“Are you afraid of me?” I blurted out. Better to get it done with, right? Wrong. The hesitation of Mike’s answer only made me internally writher. His eyes shot around the field at a very fast pace and I found myself wishing that I could just close his eyelids and kiss the top of his forehead to calm him. I buckled backwards when my lips actually parted a little. My face quickly became very heated, but thankfully my dark skin was able to cover that pretty well.
“I-” he said, choking a little. He stared at the ground and his hair fell over his eyes. I played with the hem of my shirt, all my nerves on hyper alert. I could feel the grass under my feet the clothing on my body, and billions of particles floating around me. The heartbeat in my throat was an uncomfortable another ingredient thrown into the mixture.
“Well?” I asked, my voice a little higher than I would have liked it to be.
“I,” he said again. He lifted his head, squeezed his eyes shut and then snapped them back open. “I don’t know,” he finally stated. My whole body paused for a moment, but then started to work on overdrive.
“What?” I shrieked. “That’s not an answer! What is it? Yes or no!” I demanded. Mike just rubbed his temple and paced around the area.
“I don’t know!” he repeated again. He was still pacing, but his hands were clenched. I watched him walk and every step he took made the urge to just explode more and more intolerable.
“You don’t know! That’s not good enough,” I groaned. I needed a definite answer. ‘I don’t know’ left me with too many options. “Just tell me if you are or not!” I screamed. “I’m a werewolf and you don’t know if you’re afraid of me or not? I need to know,” I hissed at him. I stomped forward and grabbed his collar. He yelped and fell forward when I pulled him closer to me. We were almost nose to nose when I let him stand on his own. “Tell me,” I said again.
He stared at me, obviously shocked into silence. I shook him and watched as his face went pale. He then started to shake, but not because his body was convulsing. I looked down and saw that it was my hands that were trembling. I quickly let go of Mike, just then realizing how close we were. I took a step back and let myself calm down.
“W-why do you even care what I think?” he stuttered. He rubbed his hands together and avoided eye contact with me. “You don’t really like me, why am I so important to you?”
I opened my mouth to answer but hesitated when I didn’t have one. I snapped my jaw closed.
But why did I even care what Mike thought about me. Sure, I imprinted on him and he was my freaking universe, but…something told me that this was different. I bit my tongue and told that part of me to shut up.
“Because I imprinted on you,” I stated. I pinched the bridge of my nose to somehow stay under control…can werewolves get migraines? I was pretty sure I was in the middle of one.
Mike groaned. “Yes, what is imprinting? Will someone finally tell me?” he asked. “Please?” he added in an after thought. He smiled at me then, and I couldn’t not tell him.
I took a very deep breath and basically shut down a part of me. I was very anxious about telling him, and I wouldn’t be able to if I was in hysterics. So, I clenched my fists and swallowed the alarm bells going off in my head. I just had to tell him. That was all.
“It’s like gravity shifts,” I started out. Mike cocked his head and stared at me. “It happens with werewolves when they see their…compatible, possible, significant other.”
Mike looked at me, his eyebrows furrowed adorably and his head tilted.
“I have no idea what you just said,” he stated. I groaned and pulled at me hair.
“Soul mates! Imprinting is finding your soul mate,” I spat out. Mike seemed to perk up at that.
“So, I’m your soul mate?” he asked excitedly.
“No!” I automatically said. Mike’s face fell very quickly. “I mean…you’re not supposed to be.”
Even I didn’t know how I was supposed to back that up.
“But you imprinted on me, so it has to be right,” he countered. I rubbed my forehead in an attempt to quell a sudden headache. How was I supposed to explain this to Mike? From what he heard, we were soul mates. But that defiantly wasn’t the case.
“But I don’t love you,” I muttered. I looked down at the ground, not wanting to see his expression. “How can I be your soul mate if I don’t love you?”
Mike was quiet for a moment. But when he finally did speak, I almost died right then and there.
“How can you love me if you never even gave me a chance?”
My eyes snapped up to his, all my movements stuck in place. I think my mouth dropped open. I was sure my legs were on the verge of collapse. And his eyes just stared right into mine, his body calm and collected.
“W-what?” I managed to squeak out. He stepped forward and I could almost feel his breath on my face.
“You never gave me a chance,” he repeated. I looked down at his hands and saw that they were starting to tremble. He stepped forward again and my heart constricted. I could feel my face heat up and I rubbed my hands together. I looked away from him, or tried to, anyway. In the end I couldn’t help it when my gaze traveled up to meet his. I sucked in some air, but it got caught in my throat.
“Please,” he whispered with a cracking voice. His whole body was shaking, then, with either extreme nervousness or fear. “Please give me a chance,” he begged. I could defiantly feel my insides bursting. I wrapped my arms around myself and tried to stay in control. I could barely even think clearly. What the hell was wrong with me?
“I tell you that I’m a werewolf and you’re still trying to woo me,” I said weakly. Anything to delay what was going to come.
Mike just shrugged and moved even closer. My unusually large personal-space bubble was popped by Mike a very long time before, but what worried me was that I wasn’t sure if that was a bad thing or not. I wanted to smack myself. Since when was I so indecisive? Why was it so hard for me to know what I wanted?
“I like you too much for that to get in our way. Anyway, you looked controlled when you…uh…transformed. Didn’t claw my face off or anything. So your werewolf-y-ness can’t be too bad,” he tried to explain. “I thought I was afraid of you before, but now…I just want to be with you. We’re soul mates. I’m pretty sure you don’t hurt people. And…I don’t want to give up on you because of this.”
“That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” I responded. Mike just shrugged.
“Trying to reject your soul mate is equally as…” he hesitated when I shot him a glare.
“Not smart,” he finished lamely. I rolled my eyes and took a much needed step away from Mike.
“I don’t love you,” I reminded him.
“Then I’ll make you,” he stated. I reeled backwards a few inches at the sheer determination in his voice.
I was about to say something along the lines of ‘No way, freak, get away from me’, but I held myself back.
I wanted to be more like my old self, back when I would take love and cherish it. When I was calm, cool, and able to determine what I wanted. I would have given Mike a chance back then.
And it couldn’t hurt too bad if I just gave Mike a chance to show me what he could do for me. I needed to heal, didn’t I? Couldn’t Mike help me do that? If I feel in love with him without the much unwanted help from imprinting, that wouldn’t be taking away my freedom.
Instead of dwelling on the subject, I decided to go with a gut instinct.
“Okay, Mike,” I blurted out before I could change my mind. “You have a week.”
He smiled larger than I ever saw him smile before. Something told me that he didn’t get chances like this very often. I turned my heel and walked away before I said something stupid, even though I didn’t exactly have a ride home.
“You won’t be sorry, Leah!” he called after me. “I’ll call you later!”
I nodded to no one in particular and walked faster. The problem with Mike was somewhat resolved for the moment, but I had an even bigger difficulty to deal with. I had to see Sam and the pack sometime in my visit. And my love for Sam wasn’t going to make that any easier.
I turned back my head for a moment to glance back at Mike. He was jumping in the air with so much happiness that I stood shocked. Never in the past five years did I ever cause someone that much joy. I smiled to myself without me exactly knowing it while I walked home.
Seeing Sam again wouldn’t be easy, but maybe I had someone that would make it easier.