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No Matter What They Say...

Summary:
A new vegetarian vampire, Demetri, comes to town to stay with the Cullens. This causes problems with the werewolves…although Leah doesn’t seem to mind.


Notes:
Okay, so I was just sitting at my computer at home, trying to think of a story to write, when I start thinking of all the werewolf/imprinting stories that I’ve read so far. Then I thought, why is it always the boys that get to imprint? What about Leah? She’s been through a hard time, right? Well, here’s Leah and her imprinting story. Hope you like it! His nickname is Demi, in case anyone wants to know.


2. Conrad

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3053   Review this Chapter

Leah’s POV

It had been two weeks since I’d left, and nobody had come to find me. Sam must have known that I had to come back, that it was impossible for me not to. I’d ranted and raved for hours at that. Life just wasn’t fair!

After I’d run for miles and miles, all the way to Kansas, in fact, I’d morphed back into a human. I didn’t want Sam to know where I was, and that was guaranteed if I stayed in my wolf form. Clothes had been a bit of a problem. They always were. How could I carry around a shirt, bra, underwear, and pants? I’d had to sneak into someone’s house while they were gone to grab some clothes before I could go out in public to buy some that actually fit.

Going without clothes didn’t really bother me. I was half wolf, after all. They don’t wear clothes, now, do they? The only time I ever carried a shirt and a pair of shorts on me was when I was with the guys. I might be okay with it in my wolf form, and they didn’t even notice it then, but it freaked me out. Like walking out naked in front of your brother and friends, which is kind of what I was doing, if you thought about it. Seth was a werewolf, too. And they were all his friends. He shared a bond with them that I never could. Possibly because I was the only girl, but also because of Sam, and my constant harping.

Yes, I admit it. I was a nag, and whenever I was with them, I made my thoughts purposely self-centered. I didn’t want friendship with anybody. Especially not with friends of Sam, although there were a few that I would have flirted with before I’d changed. I even liked a few of them and considered them friends-when they weren’t around.

I was out in the forest now. Who needed civilization? I was comfortable here, and it was better if few people spotted me. I didn’t know why I felt that way, I just did. And I’d learned to trust my instincts over the years. My only guess was that Sam really had sent someone after me, and they would be looking for me in the town. They probably thought that, because I was a girl, I couldn’t survive without my simple comforts. Well, they were wrong, and I would prove it to them.

I knew I would have to go back to the village soon, before Sam even thought that I was running away. If he did while I was in my wolf form, then I would be forced to run back. And soon I would have to morph. I’d barely had enough money for clothes and a few quick meals from quick shops with quarter racks, I’d be forced to change and hunt soon.

It didn’t bother me to eat other animals. It was the natural way of things. I was the predator, and they were the prey. I wondered if that was how a vampire felt. Strange as it seemed, I could connect with them, on a certain level. They needed to eat, and I did, too.

Wait…This was wrong. I couldn’t think of the bloodsuckers as vampires, that was too nice a term. There were so many others I could use: bloodsucker, leech, parasite… I stopped for a moment. Why would I try to cover up my thoughts now, when I wasn’t in my wolf form? Sometimes I wondered if werewolves really were created to keep the vampires in check, or if the first werewolf had a really intense dislike for one after the first cold ones appeared. It made sense, I mean, didn’t they kill our tribal leader’s sons in the legend? Maybe…maybe, after that, the werewolves took it upon themselves to decimate the entire vampire race.

It doesn’t seem fair, when you think about it. Most of those vampires are just trying to survive. If you were a starving man who came across a banquet of all meat, would you not eat it because you were a vegetarian?

The answer is no. I would still eat it. You can’t resist starvation.

My musings were abruptly brought to a halt as I heard rustling leaves, almost as though they were moved by an invisible wind. I knew what it was instantly. Vampire, my mind whispered frantically. The wolf in me wanted to change, to attack, but I wouldn’t let it. It wouldn’t be right.

First, I had to know what he was doing here, before I could change and attack.

It was strange. No vampire had ever been able to sneak up on me. There weren’t that many that could have, of course, because we were in a battle, alert and at the ready. You could always know when one was coming by the god-awful smell that radiated off of them in waves. With this one, there was hardly any smell, except for the woodsy scent that all werewolves carry on them. But no werewolf would come this close to me unannounced.

Strange. A vampire that smelled like a werewolf.

That was when I saw him. Suddenly my entire world narrowed down to me…and him. It was like a tunnel connecting us, with everything in between and beyond us ceasing to exist. What was happening? The ones that had imprinted had described it to me before; it was like only you two existed. You. And her. Or, in this case, him.

He was beautiful, of course. But more than beautiful to me. He was gorgeous. He was…well, not hot, but something more. Sexy, maybe. He must have been olive skinned when he was human, because his skin had a strange tint to it that was not…vampire. He had black hair that waved gently to his shoulders, and his eyes were a beautiful topaz color. I felt like I could get lost in those eyes.

He was so big…so strong. Even with my added werewolf strength, there was no way I could ever beat him in a fight. He must have known that too, because he stopped to look at me strangely. I probably did look strange, like a recently escaped patient of an asylum, maybe. You would, too, if you’d just met the man that would be perfect for you, and he turned out to be your mortal enemy.

And suddenly, I, Leah, one of the most graceful werewolves in my pack, fell flat on my face. This reverse of gravity was going to take some getting used to. I felt like I was being dragged in his direction, which was really, really not true.

He walked towards me uncertainly. He could probably smell what I was, unlike me. Hopefully, he’d just write off my woodsy smell as something that happens when you go camping without a tent or blanket. Maybe he’d think my irregular heartbeat was because of his sudden appearance, and not me imprinting on him. Because, if not, I would have to chase after him when he high-tailed it out of here.

But, instead of running, like I’d suspected he would, he stepped towards me and proffered his hand.

I bit my lip. If I took it, he would know that I was a werewolf. If I didn’t, he would think that I was just plain rude, and that would not help our soon-to-be relationship. So I took his hand.

He didn’t show any reaction what-so-ever, except for a slight rising of one dark, perfect eyebrow.

Oh, God, I couldn’t stop staring at him. He was bound to notice, and he did. His eyes looked curious, now, and his other eyebrow went up to join the first. “Problem, luv?” he asked in a deep, rumbling voice. English accent. Strange, I’d thought vampires could only have light, tinkling voices. Wait, no, that wasn’t right. One of the Cullens, Emmett, had a deep voice, too, but his didn’t sound near as pleasing to me as his did.

“Uuhhhhh,” I could keep on doing this forever, but then he would leave, so I quickly stopped. “No!” I shouted. Then calming down a bit, I murmured huskily, “No, as in, please don’t go. I haven’t seen many vampires in these parts.”

Great, Leah, I thought savagely. You just told him that you know what he is. He’s sure to leave now.

Instead of leaving, though, he just chuckled deeply and sat down on the log on the other side of the fire. I felt disappointment rise when he did. Shouldn’t he want to sit by me?

For a moment, there was an awkward silence, but it didn’t last long.

“You from around here, luv?” he asked in that rumbly voice he had.

“Oh, no,” I answered quickly, but tried to slow down. “I actually live in a village in Washington. The Quileute Reservation.”

He nodded in understanding. “Explains the heat,” he said slowly. “You’re a werewolf.”

I smiled bitterly. “Yeah.”

“You don’t seem that happy about that,” he observed, that sexy English accent of his distracting me.

I grinned lopsidedly. My one and only was really observant. “Well, you wouldn’t be, either, when your change caused your father to die and your alpha leader is your ex fiancé that dumped you when he changed because he imprinted on your cousin. Now, why would that cause me to be bitter?”

He grimaced. “Got a bit of a temper, then, do you?”

I frowned. “I wouldn’t call it that. I’m just tired of having to know I killed my own father, of seeing Emily and Sam together, so loving. Of knowing what everyone thinks of me all the time. Constantly. No escape. And to make matters worse, Sam thinks I’m just an annoyance, someone that he can’t waste anyone on to help.” I shrugged, acting unconcerned about everything, but he wasn’t fooled. “To make matters a bit worse, though, I have to go back soon. I’ve been ordered to not run away, and I’ve been gone for two weeks. I’ll be forced to leave here whether I want to or not. I hate that he has so much power over me.” My voice cracked near the end.

It was too much to hope for that he would take me into his arms to comfort me. But I was wrong. He probably couldn’t stand the thought of anyone in pain.

He started rocking back and forth with me in his arms. They didn’t fell cold and unpleasant, like everyone said they would. They did feel strong, though.

It was when he started making sshhhing noises, though, that I finally cracked. I giggled-again and again and again.

He seemed confused, and that just egged me on all the more. For some reason, my giggles must have been funny to him, too, because he started chuckling. His breath hit me hard, and I stopped giggling suddenly. All I wanted to do was breathe in that scent forever. It was incomparable. If this was what Bella felt when she was with her Edward, then I could finally understand her. Who wouldn’t want that?

When he stopped breathing on me I looked at him reproachfully. He thought that was hilarious. It was a good thing nobody was around, or they might have called the cops. I could just imagine that phone call. “Excuse me, Officer. But there are two escaped patients from an asylum out here in the woods. I would be eternally grateful if you could catch them and take them back…No, I’m not joking…Just follow the loud giggles and snorts and you’ll have them…Yes…Thank You…Good Bye…

It wasn’t until he stopped laughing that I realized that I’d been bounced up and down on his chest with the force of his laughter. This guy had a real hardy chuckle.

Then I realized something so important that it almost blew me away. I didn’t know his name!

I became frantic with worry. What would he think when I asked for his name? Or where he lived? This wouldn’t go over that well. Of that I was sure.

“Uuuummmm…” Great. I couldn’t figure out how to phrase this.

“Got a question, luv?” he asked. God, I loved it when he called me luv.

“Well…yeah. Would you mind telling me your name?” I couldn’t work up the courage to ask where he lived, but that was okay. I’d just follow his scent. Shouldn’t be too hard.

He seemed preoccupied, like he couldn’t hear me, suddenly. I was about to ask again, when he put his finger up to my lips. “Sshhh, luv, I’m thinking.”

I bit his finger. He yelped and started sucking on it. I wasn’t sorry. No, I was too incredulous to be sorry. “You mean you don’t have a name?!” I burst out.

“No, luv, I do have a name, I’m just trying to decide whether or not to give it to you. Puts a new edge on the Predator/Prey relationship, no?”

“And you’re the prey in this scenario, right?” I asked petulantly. Maybe I could take him. A little fight wouldn’t hurt him that much, now, would it?

He chuckled under his breath. “No, luv, that would be you.”

Just as I was about to rip into him, (not literally!), I realized something. He had artfully evaded my question with a skill that astounded me.

I narrowed my eyes at him. It wasn’t going to work. I could have a one-track mind when I wanted to.

“You know,” I murmured huskily, doing a little dazzling of my own, “you still haven’t told me your name.”

He sighed. “You’ve got a one-track mind, don’t you, pet? Well, it won’t help you this time. If I don’t want to tell you my name, I won’t. And no amount of pleading or threatening can get it out of me.”

I scowled. Just what I’d been afraid of. He didn’t seem like the type to let a girl push him around. Oh, well. I still had one trick up my sleeve, and it worked every time…

“Why won’t you tell me your name?” I grouched, getting in to character. “It’s not like I can do anything with it. Or are you too scared?” I sneered at that. It was so hard to keep a straight face now.

He seemed offended for a moment, but then he chuckled-again. He did that a lot. “Nice ploy, luv. But it’s not going to work.”

I pouted and muttered under my breath, “It almost did.”

Grinning, he murmured, “No, it didn’t. But, because I can see that you won’t leave me alone on this, my name is Conrad, but, if you’d like to, you can call me Con.”

Conrad’s POV

Damn, but she was beautiful. Persistent, too. She almost got me with each of her ploys, though I would never let her know it. I decided not to ask for her name. She was so cute when she was annoyed, and this was the perfect chance to get her there. Almost guaranteed, in fact. And it worked.

She seemed elated over her new-found victory for a moment, before she noticed I hadn’t asked for her name. Probably wanted me to work for it, the little minx. Well, her plan was going to backfire.

“Don’t you want to know my name?” she prodded, trying to hide her frustrated expression.

Poor pet, I wasn’t going to give her anything without a fight.

“Not particularly, luv, though you’re welcome to tell me if you want to.”

She looked offended for a moment, before she finally became resigned. That bit of temper was short. I had to work to reign in my sigh.

“My name…” she murmured. “My name is Leah Clearwater.”

The name fit her. It went with her near coal black eyes, her beautiful copper skin and her perfectly proportioned face and body. Leah, Leah, Leah, I repeated her name like a mantra, trying to burn it into my mind. So far it was working.

Leah made little noises in the back of her throat as she curled up to me, trying to sleep, apparently. I hadn’t known I would be spending the night, but if she wanted me to, I would. I had actually planned to run around her camp tonight, to make sure she was safe. She may have been a werewolf, but she was also so small and trusting…I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to her. For some reason, I felt a strange connection to her, and holding her felt right, like fate, almost.

It felt good, her falling asleep in my arms, like it should happen every night. I was a bit worried, though. Even though she was a werewolf, I could still hurt her so easily.

Leah shifted in her sleep and murmured something. Conrad. She’d said my name while she was asleep.

I stayed with her all night, then, when the dawn came, I set her down on the most comfortable part of the grass I could find, a little by the fire. I wasn’t worried about her getting a cold, she ran a temperature of near 109 F.

I brushed my lips across her forehead and sighed. It was time for me to go.

Leah’s POV

When I woke up, Conrad was gone. Instinctively I knew that he had stayed up all night, watching me. My own Guardian Angel, but I still felt like wailing, like shouting up to the heavens. Instead, I decided to morph. Wolf’s didn’t feel as much pain as humans, and it would be good to get this oppressing weight off my chest.

As soon as I morphed, I felt another presence inside my head. It was Quil. I felt relief at that, until I felt him leave as soon as he had sensed me, too. Something wasn’t right about that.

I figured out what it was when Sam phased. I was about to morph back into my regular form so he couldn’t give me any orders, but I was a second to late.

Stay in your wolf form, Leah. If only he had said please. Then I could have changed anyway.

What do you want? I snapped in annoyance. Damn Alpha Wolf.

Where are you?

I didn’t want to answer, but I had to. Kansas. I made my answer as brief as possible. He seemed to accept that.

Come home…We’ll be waiting.

I didn’t have to ask who would. Everyone would. They’d all be waiting to yell at me for leaving and causing so many more problems.

My muscles bunched and I took off at a full-on run, as fast as I could go. I was covering miles in seconds, and, at this rate, I’d be back at La Push within two hours.