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Open Flame

Summary:
I knew in that instant exactly how Sam felt when he saw Emily, exactly how Jacob felt when he saw Renesmee, exactly how Quil felt when he saw Claire. There were thoughts I had never known rushing through my head, from thoughts of a friendly nature, to thoughts of a passionate nature and everything in between. She drew me like an open flame drew a pyromaniac; and curiously, wonderfully, lovingly and lustfully, I had to follow her. I had to touch that open flame.open flame banner Seth Clearwater comes back from college for Leah's wedding, and the gang gets back together. But when his car breaks down on the side of the road, a very beautiful, engaged young woman comes to the rescue. Can Seth vy for the attentions of his imprint and successfully win her? Author's Note: This fanfiction will be complete once the twelfth chapter is added! Thank you everyone for your support and reviews!


Notes:


2. Two - Mrs. Andrew Martin

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3281   Review this Chapter

Two

Mrs. Andrew Martin

“My boy!”

Mom ran into me from the front door and refused to let me go for several minutes. “Hey, Mom.”

“Look at you, look at you!” she exclaimed, peering at me up and down with admiration. “Oh, you look more like your father with each passing moment!”

“Thanks,” I replied, smiling at her.

I recognized Charlie leaning against the door.

“Hey, Chief Swan,” I said, walking up to shake his hand.

“It’s Charlie, you know that, right Seth?” he asked, hugging me for a moment, too.

“Of course.”

“The relatives are so excited to see you, honey. Are you hungry?”

“Always.”

My first night at home progressed slowly, as relatives I had never seen in my life talked on and on about their lives and successes, their failures and business ventures across the state.

“How’s college?”

“Do you like Andy?”

“Any girls in your life?”
“You ever need a job, look me up…”

“Miss your dad? Goodness, you look so much like him…”

Leah finally appeared about halfway through the evening, after the annoying old relatives had gone to sleep.

“Hey!” I said at last as she entered the foyer. She didn’t hear me. Some guy’s arms were wrapped around her waist and his lips claimed hers. I hoped it was her fiancé.

“Leah, come on, you haven’t seen your brother all day,” pleaded Mom. She stood behind my sister with her hands on her hips.

“Sorry,” she giggled.

Wait, did I just hear my sister giggle?

“Seth, this is Andy,” she introduced, grinning.

I looked at him and extended my hand. He didn’t look like the kind of guy I could see Leah falling for. He was blond with big blue eyes and a pretty-boy kind of face. He was a lot shorter than my six-foot-four; at most six feet, but more likely, about five-foot-ten.

“Nice to meet you,” I said, smiling as I shook his hand.

“It’s great to meet you, too! Leah sure talks a lot about you.”

“She talks about me, does she?” I smiled again.

“Baby,” whispered Leah, her hand in his, a smile on her face still.

“Sorry,” he said, pecking her once on the lips. “She told me that you had to be my best man, whether I liked it or not. So, my sister is her maid of honor.”

“A good trade,” I agreed. “Though I wished she wouldn’t have pushed the envelope.”

“Nonsense. That’s what I love most about Leah. She has no trouble pushing everyone’s envelopes. Not many California girls do that.”

“Well, welcome to La Push.”

He grinned. “She told me I’d love you.”

“It seems like you’ve transformed my sister. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her happy before.”

“A lot about me has changed, Seth,” she whispered.

“Thanks for making her excited about life.”

“Any time.”

“Wait, Leah, who’s walking you down the aisle?” I asked suddenly.

“Our stepdad, of course!” she said.

“Are you close to Charlie?” I asked. Although I really did like him, I didn’t exactly know Charlie’s character well enough to judge who he was. Mom and Bella loved him, though, and if Leah did too, he must have been great. I had a good vibe about him, anyway.

“Well, he’s been around a lot while you’ve been at college,” she explained.

Andy’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He opened the screen of the iPhone and looked at a text message. “Oh, it’s my parents. They’ve just checked into the hotel. I’ll go now, then.” He turned to look at me. “It was great to meet you, Seth. Nice to see you again, Mrs. Swan.”

Leah walked him to the door, where they resumed their romantic embrace.

Mom rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, stalking off towards the living room. I sighed and followed her.

“I really don’t like him,” she murmured in my ear.

“Oh, Mom,” I sighed. “You can see how happy she is though, can’t you?”

“She isn’t my Leah,” complained Sue. “She’s a different girl around him, and I don’t like that.”

Charlie cuddled her as she sat down on the couch. “I didn’t like Edward for Bella, either, but he grew on me.”

“I liked who she was with Sam,” she whispered.

“C’mon, Mom, you know what Sam did wasn’t something he could control. It wasn’t his fault.”

“I know, I know. They just seemed so perfect for each other sometimes. And if she had stayed with Sam, she wouldn’t be moving to San Francisco.” Mom almost spat the words out.

I sighed. There were no words that could comfort my mother, I knew. Once she had made up her mind, she wouldn’t be consoled into thinking something else, just like Leah.

“But enough about Leah. How’s college going, Seth?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“Oh come now, I haven’t seen you for a good year! You can’t just tell me nothing exciting has happened!”

“I’m doing pretty well as far as classes go, you know. But then again, the ability to become an animal kind of helps me in that department.”

Charlie smirked.

“And of course you have a lot of friends, right?” asked Mom, taking her worried tone with me.

“Yeah,” I answered. Sure, I had friends; I just didn’t hang out with them all the time. I wasn’t the partying type anyway, and most of the guys in pre-med were really big fans of beer and sleazy girls.

At that moment, Leah walked in, a giant smile on her face. When she looked at us, her face fell.

“What?”

Nobody wanted to answer her, but Mom cleared her throat. “Are you sure you want to marry him, Leah?”

Leah narrowed her eyes. “Mom.”

“I’m just saying, honey…”

“I can’t believe you’re going to try and ruin this for me! You told me to go to San Francisco, Mom, you told me to meet new people! Well, I did! Now I’m being punished for it?”
“I didn’t mean for you to fall stupidly in love with some random guy you barely know!”

“Well then, would you rather I stay a spinster for the rest of my existence? My biological clock is ticking faster than it should! I’ve wasted enough time! I’m twenty-six years old!”
Charlie cringed at the mention of the phrase ‘biological clock’.

“Oh, seriously, Leah, don’t play this game with me! Once you stop phasing, you’ll go right back to normal!”

“I phased for the last time today,” she replied quietly. “My systems haven’t gone back to normal for years, and they probably won’t. I get my period twice a year, that’s all.”

Again, Charlie cringed at the words. I had to admit, for a middle-aged guy, he was pretty sensitive when it came to that stuff. Having an older sister had made me slough off any mention of 28-day-cycles the moment they came to mind. I couldn’t think about them for that long, unless I was worried about Leah not having any.

“Do I look like a grandmother to you?” asked Mom, sighing in exasperation.

“It’ll be another two years before we can conceive a child, I’m sure you know that. With my systems being all weird like this…”

“Is that the only reason you’re marrying him?” she demanded.

All three of us looked at her. It didn’t seem like something that Leah would do in particular, marrying just to reproduce, but it was a girl thing to do, that was for sure.

“Of course not!” rebutted Leah, hands crossed over her chest, her head raised indignantly.

“You didn’t just pick the first guy you saw to fall in love with?”

She rolled her eyes. “For your information, he picked me.

Both Charlie and Sue raised their eyebrows.

“What? Am I that unattractive that nobody would ever come up to me?”

When nobody could answer her, she growled a little under her breath and threw her hands up in the air, completely annoyed.

“For your information, I am relatively pretty, and I have a body that kills in a bikini.”

I snickered. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe her; it was just that it wasn’t very…Leah to say things like that about herself.

“What, Seth, what?” she insisted.

“Nothing,” I replied.

“You’re a terrible liar,” said Leah with narrowed eyes.

Grr. She always knew when I was lying. “I just…” I sighed. “Okay, Leah, I’m going to cut to the chase here, because I know exactly what is on Mom’s and maybe even Charlie’s minds when I say this, but who the hell are you?”

“What?” she spat.

“Well…w-well it’s just that…that you come back from California all…changed. You’re all giggly and tan and girly! When we shared thoughts as part of the pack, I knew you, but now…where is all this stuff coming from about how pretty you are and how much you want to have kids? Even when we were under Jacob’s pack, and you thought you were going through menopause, you never expressed an interest in kids. Now you’re all gun-ho for them? I just…I don’t get it, Leah.”

“You never saw me as pretty?”

“Of course I saw you as pretty! I always thought you were pretty! But before you never believed me or you just didn’t care. Now you’re obsessed with it – you let your hair grow out, you’re wearing make-up when you’re around him, and your clothes actually fit you? I just…”

“People change, Seth. Myself included. Did you think I would always be the same girl?”

“No,” I said honestly, “But I expected you to at least resemble her.”

She stalked up the stairs in anger, her door slamming shut the moment she reached her room.

“I’m sorry she isn’t your sister, Seth,” said Mom, touching my hand for a moment.

I shrugged. “She’s Leah; we just have to find all of her. I wasn’t expecting this.”

“I know you weren’t. None of us were.”

Charlie nodded in agreement with Mom.

“Well, I’m pretty exhausted from the trip, and I have a lot of studying to do,” I sighed. “When do I have to be up tomorrow?”

“I’d guess nine is a good bet. It isn’t until around four p.m., but you should probably be up just in case,” said Mom.

“Right. G’night.”
As I passed Leah’s room, I could hear her talking on the phone very clearly.

“Hey baby,” she murmured. “Yeah, I knew you’d like Seth!” Leah paused. “Actually, nobody in my house is enthusiastic about our relationship. I know. They say I’m a different girl around you. I know love changes people; I tried telling them that, but they wouldn’t listen. They say I’m really girly. Ha ha! Try telling Mom that all the girls in California make me look like a man!” She sighed. “Personally, I’m really glad I’m marrying you. You changed my life.” Pause. “Of course you’re more important to me than Sam! Come on, baby, I told you that I was over him. Aren’t you over Sophia?” She sighed and giggled. “Andy! We’re getting married tomorrow! You can’t say things like that to me the night before our wedding! Why? Well, it’s just improper…I know, I don’t usually care about that…but still! Mmm, I know, I want you, too.”

Ew.

I turned away from her half-open door and rolled my eyes. Had she honestly become a different Leah? Was this the same sister of mine who once only talked about cars, Sam, and how much she needed to tone down her anger?

I sat down at my old desk and pulled some books out of my duffel bag. I knew I shouldn’t stay up long, but I had an exam on Monday, and I wasn’t a big fan of failing classes because of a social weekend.

Tomorrow was going to be a long, long day.

By my count, my house was filled with about six girls.

Surprisingly, Alice, Bella and Reneesme had wormed their way into Leah’s bathroom, where they were primping her nails, face, hair and dress. Even stranger was the fact that two of her friends were standing by her, giggling as they read aloud some instructional book and what not to do after getting married.

But of course, since Alice, Bella and Reneesme were taking up residence; it was probably likely that Jasper, Edward and Jacob were, too. I could see them in my living room along with the other male relatives here to visit, and Charlie, all watching some football game.

As I whizzed past the girl door on my way to the bathroom, I heard an explosion of giggles and, were it not for the awkward silence that followed, I would have stopped and asked them what was so funny.

“Oh my gosh, Leah, your brother is adorable!”

“Adorable? That doesn’t even begin to cover it! He’s ridiculously good looking, that’s what he is!”

“You guys!” I could hear Leah’s voice loudly.

“What?” asked two of them.

“He is rather attractive, Leah,” I heard Alice’s voice mention.

“Definitely,” agreed Bella.

Leah sighed. “Whatever.”

A new laughter, one that reminded me a lot of Edward’s lit up the room. “He looks like Jacob.”

“All the Quileute men look similar,” thought Bella aloud.

“Yeah, and they’re all hot!” giggled one of her friends.

I smirked. Good to know in case anyone ever called me ugly.

“Good morning, Seth!” said Charlie, a smile on his face as I walked down the stairs, post-shower, post-studying, a few hours later.

“Hey everyone…” I trailed, looking around the living room.

I had been wrong. The relatives seemed to be out, so the living room was filled with Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Jasper, Jacob and Charlie, as well as other random guests my mother had invited.

“Seth, how are you doing?” asked Carlisle genially, a friendly smile on his face.

“Pretty well, actually,” I said, sitting down in the only empty chair.

“I hear from Charlie you’re taking up medicine?”

I shrugged. “Yeah, I’m in pre-med now. But it’s veterinary medicine.”

Edward smirked. “Gives you an unfair advantage, don’t you think?”

I only grinned back.

“Then again, I don’t think either of us have room to talk, Edward. How many times have you and I both been through medical school?”

Edward shrugged and let his ‘father’ win.

“Do you like it so far, Seth?” asked Esme, a similar smile on her face.

“It’s rather difficult,” I admitted, “but I’m getting through it. I’m a little apprehensive about passing the medical boards this time next year, but I think I can do it. I don’t have much of a social life up in Olympia, anyway.”

Esme sent me a sympathetic look that could have rivaled my mother’s.

“I guess no friends are like the pack, huh?” asked Jacob, shrugging.

“Basically, yeah,” I agreed, sighing. “You’ve got a built-in family traveling with you though, Jacob. You’re lucky.”

He scoffed. “It depends on whether Edward likes me and lets me kiss Reneesme that day.”

Edward narrowed his eyes and shot Jacob a look that would annihilate a werewolf. I assumed that Jacob was thinking about something other than kissing as far as Reneesme went.

“Yeah, he was,” snarled Edward, answering my question as his eyes stayed glued to Jacob. “And if I didn’t have such nice manners, I would have torn him to pieces by now.”

“You better not!” called Reneesme from the stairs. She was standing in front of her father in an instant. “Daddy, come on, you told me you would try your hardest to leave Jake alone,” she pouted, her arms crossed over her chest.

“I don’t think you understand how hard I’ve been trying since you turned six.”

Teen,” she finished. “Sixteen.”

“You’re still six to me, young lady, and you’ll stay that way for another decade or so.”

She narrowed her eyes.

“Don’t take that tone with me!”

“Thoughts don’t count!” she protested. Reneesme whizzed up the stairs again before her father could say another word.

Edward shook his head. “She doesn’t talk to me much anymore.”
“With good reason,” murmured Jacob.

“Jake, I’m warning you…”
“Oh, come on, you wouldn’t do anything.”

“No, he wouldn’t,” said Jasper, speaking at last, “but I have no problem eradicating you from the face of the planet.”

Charlie gulped in the corner, his eyes attempting to cement themselves to the football game everyone else had forgotten about.

“What are all you boys doing sitting around?” demanded Mom, suddenly in the archway of the room. “Seth, Charlie, Leah is getting married in two hours! Get dressed!” Mom had the authority of an army General around the house, and I didn’t think that was about to change.

“We’ll see you at the wedding, then,” said Carlisle. “It was great to catch up with you Charlie, Seth.”

I wasn’t very good at describing weddings or taking their beauty into account, but I knew one thing for sure: it encompassed everything about Leah that seemed to have gone missing.

She wore a plain dress that stopped just below her knees with a low-cut neckline and an almost open back. She didn’t wear shoes, as the ceremony took place on the beach just outside the forest boundary of La Push. Her hair was arranged in a way that absolutely screamed Alice Cullen’s design, but still managed to whisper “Leah Clearwater”.

The best thing about the ceremony was that Leah looked happier than I had ever seen her since the day I had been born her brother. I hadn’t ever seen her eyes look as lit up, nor her posture so straight, nor her smile so true.

I watched her through the wedding, and I could feel my heart swell with pride. She was my sister, and she looked beautiful and wonderful. Loved.

I stayed after the wedding for the reception, as all fifty of her guests did, but after that, I figured I should probably start home. I would need all day Sunday to catch up and then study for that great exam on Monday.

“Have fun being married,” I said, hugging her for a long time after mostly everyone else (from the Cullens to Jacob to our annoying relatives) had left our house.

“Thanks for being here, Seth. It meant the world to me, I’m sure you know that now.”

“Yeah,” I smiled, “I do.”

“No wedding pun intended?” she joked.

“None at all,” I replied. I shook Andy’s hand. “Take care of my girl, all right, Andy?”

He nodded and winked. “As best as I can.”

“Honey, are you going back to Olympia so soon?” asked Mom, sighing.

“Sorry. Test on Monday,” I explained.

She hugged me for several minutes. “You can’t go so long without a phone call or a visit, you hear? I want to know all about your life up there. Got it?”

“Got it,” I responded, after she released me. With tears in her eyes, she hugged me once more.

“I’ll miss you, Seth. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mom.”

I headed back into my car, and onto the open road in a more emotional state than I had left it.