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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.


4. Home

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3514   Review this Chapter

Edward’s POV

I walked into the clearing slowly, just after Alice. We entered like this to show the werewolves that we didn’t mean them any harm, though we hardly had to any more. Seth trusted me now, and the others trusted Carlisle.

I let myself explore the thoughts of the werewolves here, but stopped at Leah’s. She was debating whether or not to talk to me, and it sounded like whatever part of her wanted to won out.

Edward. Her thoughts whispered across my mind. If you can hear me, please look at me.

I glanced at her as if with mild interest, though inside my thoughts were wild with turmoil. What did she want? Was this a trap?

She seemed hesitant to say anything more, but then decided to, again. I need you and your family’s help. This isn’t a trick, and none of the pack can know. Huh. Maybe she could read my mind. I decided to keep listening. I was curious now. Do you think that you and your family can help me find a certain vampire? If you can, bring your hands together. If you can’t, swing them both at the same time, and it you don’t know, run your hand through your hair.

I ran my hand through my hair. I wasn’t sure if I could or couldn’t do this.

I was afraid of that, her thoughts seemed distant, almost, like she was thinking of something else entirely. She took a deep breath before continuing. Okay, I need you to find a vampire named Conrad. I don’t know his last name, but I can picture him for you.

My eyes widened involuntarily. She was looking for him? The very reason we were here today? This was all too strange. I turned my thoughts to Conrad’s for a moment, searching for something, anything, that would help me here.

What I heard there was as surprising as Leah’s request for help. As soon as Conrad had stepped into the clearing, he had sought Leah out, as though he knew she would be here. He hadn’t taken his eyes off her since, and his thoughts were all swirling around one night a week ago, though I couldn’t see what happened then. That decided me. Because Leah was obviously having trouble focusing on anyone but me, I decided to point Conrad out for her to see what happened. If things got dangerous, we always had Jasper.

Conrad’s POV

As soon as I came into the clearing, I searched her out. She was standing near the edge of the group, close to me, but not near close enough for my comfort. I wanted to grab her and run off somewhere with just us. It took an extreme force of will to stay where I was and just look at her.

Looking at her wasn’t the problem. She was beautiful, as usual. A little too beautiful. My eyes narrowed. That didn’t look like the type of outfit you’d wear when going into enemy territory. Huh.

When I looked at her feet, my first thought was that those shoes must be really uncomfortable. The second was that they made her legs look great, even in jeans, and that they made her feet look so small and cute. The third, of course, was how the hell did she not sprain and ankle running in those?!

That was when I noticed that I wasn’t the only one noticing her. I wanted to tear out the eyes of each male that dared to look at her the way her own pack was. And she thought they hated her. They probably just thought those things so that she would stay away from them, therefore making it impossible for them to fall in love with her. Smart boys.

It was a good thing for them that she hadn’t noticed them at all. But she was staring at Edward.

My thoughts turned vicious as I hissed in my mind: Do you have a death wish, Cullen? Because you’re asking for it.

Edward merely chuckled and gestured towards Leah. That was when I saw that she wasn’t looking at him anymore.

Leah’s POV

After several terrifying seconds, my heart restarted itself, and I was able to breathe normally.

He’s looking at you, my mind whispered with complete conviction. And he was, his beautiful marble face a mask of intense concentration. It looked like he was trying to tell me something with his eyes, but I didn’t know what.

I could have gone looking at him for forever, but Sam and Carlisle started the meeting at that moment, and I had to pay attention. So this was what the meeting was about. The new vampire joining the Cullens.

“Welcome,” Sam said, tilting his head to the side. I didn’t miss that he was only speaking to Carlisle.

“Thank you,” Carlisle murmured.

I didn’t know how the meeting was going to progress, and it was clear that neither party knew how to start it, either.

Finally, Sam said, “We need to decide what is to happen. When we made the treaty, we did not expect you to add new…vampires…to your ranks.”

I felt elated. Conrad was staying with the Cullens.

Carlisle spoke slowly. “I don’t think anything from the treaty should be changed. Conrad knows of it, and knows not to break the rules. If he does, he knows what will happen.”

“Yes…well…how do we know that he will not break the rules, without you or us knowing?” Sam demanded, clearly at a loss of how to get the meeting going his way.

Edward spoke up suddenly, after standing completely still for a moment. “Send one of your own back with us. We can make an exception in this case, and you can watch over Conrad. If your representative stays in his wolf form, then you will be able to communicate instantly, and there will be no danger to him.”

Sam and the others seemed aghast. There was only one who would have taken the job, and he was gone for now. That left…me.

“I’ll take the job,” I said quietly, but loud enough that they could all hear me.

“No!” Seth shouted. “Sam, you can’t be considering sending Leah, can you?” Seth was pleading now, hoping that Sam would refuse to send me, but it was a hopeless cause. Sam still felt that he owed me, and if I wanted to do this, he wouldn’t stop me.

He nodded, almost unwillingly, and said, “You check in every two hours. We’ll meet you back here in two months. We will know what type of vampire he is then.”

I nodded, I could agree with that.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Seth shaking angrily, about to morph into his wolf form, but I stepped up and whispered in his ear, “Seth, I want to do this. In fact, I need to, and I’ll be fine.”

It didn’t stop his shaking completely, but it helped. I think he suspected what had happened to me while I was gone, because he seemed more willing to let me go now. He sighed. “Be careful, alright? I just got the sister I always wanted, and I don’t think I could bear it if she got hurt.”

“Who would that be?” I asked curiously, only somewhat teasing.

I grinned as I neatly dodged the hand he shot out to ruffle my hair. “You know, Lee, I’m not quite sure who she is, but when I find her, I’ll let you know, alright?” The atmosphere had immediately gone serious between me and Seth again.

“You let me know when you do that,” I replied quietly, before turning towards the Cullens. I nodded to let Sam know that it was okay to leave, and he loped off with the other werewolves.

When I was sure he was gone, I moved towards Conrad again, hoping he would remember me.

He did.

With a small smile, he picked me up and twirled me around, chuckling under his breath. Some things just never change.

I wrapped by arms and legs around him and rested my head on his shoulder. If I hadn’t been so preoccupied with absorbing and memorizing the feeling of Conrad holding me, then I might have noticed sooner that Edward was watching me intently. I let my mind go blank, like Sam had taught us to do. I couldn’t let Edward know about some of the information I had in my head.

I grinned wickedly. Suddenly, before Edward could pull out of my mind, I blasted some of the worst music I had ever heard at him. I actual liked the artists, but when they decide to try heavy metal rock again, I’m outa there.

I could endure the music for the look on Edward’s face, however. It was a mix of surprise, horror, and utter confusion. Good. I turned up the volume and gritted my teeth. At this rate, I’d burst an eardrum.

Edward covered his ears with his hands and glared at me. “What is that god-awful music you’re singing?”

“Huh,” I responded. “Don’t like my singing voice? No? Don’t like the music? Then stop listening. I’m serious. I’m willing to burst an eardrum to get you out of my head.”

All of the Cullens-except Edward- burst out laughing at that. If they were human, they would have had tears streaming down their faces, which would have been apple red.

Edward looked at me curiously, apparently I interested him. Lucky for me he had Bella.

“How did you do that?” Edward asked, a weird look on his face.

I grimaced. “With a lot of practice, that’s how.”

He shook his head, smiling. “No, I mean, how did you just turn it up in your head, almost like it was a radio?”

Shrugging, I mumbled, “You get used to it, when you have that many voices talking…thinking…all in your head at once. It’s really annoying, like a radio that’s stuck on nine different station at the same time and won’t change. Nine really annoying stations. Especially with the ones that have imprinted. You don’t want to know what happens when you go to sleep at night with their thoughts in your head.” I shuddered. After Quil imprinted on Claire, I’d started dreaming about changing her diapers, a smile on my face.

“Oh! That reminds me. I’ve got to go phase. Would you mind holding my clothes, Con? I didn’t bring any string.”

Conrad looked confused, but decided not to say anything about it. Instead he nodded. That’s good. It was really good for his health. Who wants to admit that you have to get naked to change and then tie your clothes around your leg? Not me.

I jogged into the forest. Well, at least I tried to jog. It was more like a drunken stumbling. I had to hurry up, or else Sam might think something had happened to me. I wouldn’t have to say anything when we became connected. He would just have to feel my presence, with me apparently alive and healthy, to know not to attack.

Finally, I found it. The perfect place. It was far enough away from the Cullens that they wouldn’t be able to see me, and close enough that I wouldn’t have to carry my clothes very far.

When I took them off, I set them down carefully, trying to make it easier to pick them up. I hated have to shove my nose into the ground to pick them up. It seriously hurt, besides being totally degrading. And the dirt tastes bad.

I rubbed my hands together eagerly. It had been a while since I’d been in my wolf form. “Alrightee here. One representative werewolf, coming right up!”

I started shaking uncontrollably, the motion blurring my vision for a moment, before I exploded into my wolf form. Suddenly, my senses started overwhelming me. The sense of touch, taste, smell, hearing…it was all so much better that it almost hurt.

As I bent my head down to pick up my clothes, I heard something. Like an animal trying to sneak up on me something. I turned just in time to notice a rather large pack of wolves enter my little dressing room. They were lucky they hadn’t been here when I was naked, or I would have torn them to bits already. As it was, they were lucky to still be standing. I could take on eleven wolves with few wounds to show for it, and that’s how many there were here.

The one I considered their leader stepped forward aggressively, probably hoping I would back down and cower so he wouldn’t have to fight me. Well, that was too bad for him. I was spoiling for a fight today. All that anxious tension about the meeting and such.

I stepped forward, too, and barely had time to defend myself as he attacked. Damn, but he was fast! He’d make any werewolf pack he was on proud, and it was just too bad that I had to kill him.

Snarling viciously, I attacked. He might be fast, but he was no match for a werewolf.

Distantly I heard the sounds of running footsteps, but I ignored them. This little wolf was going down.

Then I realized two things. One: the wolf had had to have seen me getting unclothed, or else he wouldn’t have come out exactly when I was done changing, and Two: he was challenging me for the position of leader. This just kept getting better and better. If I beat him, I could erase all memories of myself, naked and phasing, out of his brain. No way I wanted Edward to see that. But on the other hand, if I beat him, I would lead his wolf pack. We couldn’t communicate with each other. At all. Except with aggressiveness. Oh, well. Edward seeing me naked won out on the list of Things to Avoid.

With one final lunge, I went for his jugular. This sucker was going down. Then, before I could reach him, I felt familiar strong arms circle me and lift me up high over his head.

I snarled. Just one more bite and I would have finished this, but instead, Conrad just had to come to the rescue. Wait, he came to rescue me! I yelped in surprise and twisted my body around. At that moment, I didn’t care if he had an aversion to slobber, I was going to bathe him in my kisses.

“Right, luv,” he said lightly. “As much as I appreciate your gratitude, I enjoy being dry.”

He set me down and went for my clothes. Uh oh. I could see the panties sticking out of the middle, where I had left them with the hope that he wouldn’t be able to see them. The shirt had a built in bra, luckily.

Conrad didn’t even look at my panties, merely stuffed them back in the middle and picked up my clothes to carry them back. I was miffed now. Didn’t he even want to know what size I wore, or what type of undies I wear? I could be wearing the sexiest thong on earth, for all he knows! I wasn’t really, of course. I had on blue and green Elmo undies. Talk about sexy.

As we trotted back to the others, well, I trotted, Conrad walked, I listened in for any noise from where I had fought the wolf. He would live, of course. I had just been playing with him for a while, but he’d probably be demoted. Poor guy. Not.

It was strange, but it sounded like there was only one wolf in the area besides him. Maybe the others were just sitting there, or something equally boring.

Just before we got back to the clearing, where the others were still waiting, I heard the strangest noise behind me. It sounded like a paw step. I twisted my head around, and immediately started running.

The wolves that I thought I’d ditched earlier were following me! Those crazy stalkers! What the hell did they want, and autograph?

When I got to the clearing, I started weaving my way around the Cullens, barely noticing their surprised and baffled expressions. I shot a look towards Edward.

Edward! I screamed with my mind. What the hell do they want? Can you even read animal minds?

He shot me a dirty look. “I can read your mind, can’t I?”

I snarled. This wasn’t helping me. Just tell me what they want!

Edward grinned, he was enjoying this way too much. I snarled again and changed direction. I couldn’t kill the leader of the pack, but maybe I could get him.

“Alright, alright!” He said, throwing his hands up in the air. “They want you to be their new leader. When you fought theirs, they were impressed by your moves. By the way, why can’t you speak with them? You know, the language of the beast?”

If I were in my human form, I would have glared. As it was, all I could do was snarl. Maybe I could convince the wolves that there was no way I could be their leader. Aggression wouldn’t work. Maybe showing them that I was like a trained dog would.

Trotting up to Conrad, I smiled grimly-with my mind. If this didn’t work, nothing would.

I rubbed my head up against his torso, where I reached on him, all the while making low rumbles, almost like a purr, in the back of my throat. Conrad appeared baffled as to what I was doing. This was going to get frustrating.

Edward chuckled. “She wants you to pet her, Con. Thinks if she shows the wolves that she’s just as tame as a kitten, they’ll leave and go back to their old leader. By the way, Leah, why did you destroy the poor guy?”

Poor guy, I snorted.

Edward winced when he got my answer. “Whatever you do, everyone, don’t walk in on her when she’s changing or undressing. The results are dastardly.”

Emmet chuckled. He hadn’t been doing or saying much, but then, neither had the rest of the family. “What’d she do to the guy, Edward?”

“Trust me, Emmet, you really don’t want to know. All I’ll tell you is that right now, that wolf is still unconscious, and she was going in for the killing blow when Conrad caught her.”

Emmett’s eyes widened and he took a step back, towards the wolves. It was good for him to have a little fear of me. I could use that sometime.

The wolves started looking confused, shuffling their paws and bumping into one another. Finally, one started trotting back towards their last leader. The rest followed after that, looking glad that this was over. I grinned, my tongue hanging out of one side of my mouth, still rubbing up again Conrad. This felt so good. I started panting. Dang, even with him petting me in my wolf form I was getting turned on. Was there anything that he could do that wouldn’t turn me on? The answer to that was a definite no.

Conrad looked surprised when I didn’t stop rubbing up against him, but he seemed pleased, too, rubbing even more vigorously behind the ears. Oohhh. Delicious.

I moved away from him after realizing one very important fact. We hadn’t even left the clearing where we’d had the meeting. Dang, but we were slow.

Edward sighed, “Looks like we should get going. Bella’s going to be worried.”

That seemed to be the cue for everyone to start running. The speed that we went at was exhilarating, like the day that I’d left for a while. I winced a little to remember how much Sam had chewed me out when I’d gotten back. It wasn’t my fault that I’d decided to stay an extra day because of this really hot guy that I’d ended p imprinting on…

I leaped over a log, still running. It felt great, feeling my muscles bunch together and then release when I finally landed. It was heaven, pure and simple.

The run was over much too soon, in my opinion, though you couldn’t say the same about Edward. He looked relieved to be home. I’d noticed that, while on the run, he’d winced a few times. Who knew what he was looking at.

When Bella realized we were home, she ran out of the house and tripped, straight into Edward’s arms. It was a good thing that he had super speed and strength. He would need it, with Bella around.

Even though Bella and Edward weren’t doing any more than kissing, if you could call kissing with absolutely no tongue that, I still felt intrusive. So I looked around the yard surrounding their house. It was beautiful. You could see a little stream off to the east of the house, and a garage off to the west. The grass was mowed, but not really low, like most people did. It was as high up as Bella’s ankles, and as green as the forest surrounding us. There were flowers everywhere, and it looked like someone spent a lot of time on them. It occurred to me that I could spend the rest of my life, the rest of forever, here, and never get tired of the scenery. No wonder the Cullens had been so adamant about making the treaty before. I’d want to live here, too.

Carlisle, noticing where my gaze was now directed, said kindly, “Welcome to your new home, Leah.” Home, I could get used to that.