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Guilt

Summary:
Jared's meeting with Jacob's pack from Jared's POV Breaking Dawn pages 262-263. Companion piece to Where.


Notes:
um... think it's all in the summary.


1. Guilt

Rating 5/5   Word Count 833   Review this Chapter

“Leah?” I begin hesitantly. I really don’t want to do this. I mean, I don’t like her very much, no one does. But I know I’m going to have to be a little bit cruel.

And I’m going to have to lie. I don’t like doing that. I pride myself on being an honest person. But Sam was very clear with his orders, and obviously I have to do what he says.

Leah pulls back her upper lip, growls a little at me. I try to smile. “Leah, you know you don’t want to be here.”

How could anyone want to be in the middle of the woods, living on raw meat and bloodsucker castoffs? Yuck.

She growls louder.

“Sorry. Guess I shouldn’t assume.” It stings my pride a little to apologize to Leah. She’s such a bitch to everyone all the time. I feel like she should be apologizing to me, but Kim doesn’t like it when I respond in kind to Leah. She caught me retorting in human form one day and read me quite the lecture on ‘being nice to the poor girl’. “But you don’t have any ties to the bloodsuckers.”

She tilts her head down at Seth, then looks up at Jacob. I get the bond with Seth, but Jake? She isn’t very good friends with him, is she?

She isn’t really good friends with anyone, as far as I know.

“So you want to watch out for Seth, I get that. But Jake’s not going to let anything happen to them,” I look at my brother out of the corner of my eye. He looks surprisingly large. I don’t usually notice anymore, how disproportionately huge we all are, and Jake’s probably got a foot on me. It’s striking. He certainly looks capable of keeping an eye on one kid, “And he’s not afraid to be here. Anyway, please, Leah.”

The unpleasant part of this job starts now. The lying.

“We want you back.”

Since I actually don’t. I’m not fond of her, and especially not her company. I mean, I feel bad for her, of course, but it’s not like it’s Sam’s fault. I’ve felt the imprint. It’s not anything like possible to resist. Resisting the imprint… it’s not even a thought that crosses your head. Once it’s happened, it’s happened. And it’s so wonderful…

I wish she didn’t have to be in pain. I also wish she wouldn’t cause me pain. I think this whole other pack solution is working great as far as I’m concerned, but I have my orders.

And clearly a little white lie isn’t going to do the trick. I grit my teeth and continue.

“Sam wants you back.”

I watch her carefully, afraid she might spring. She doesn’t attack, which is good because Mom’s going to be pissed if I have to rip another pair of pants, but her tail twitches like she’s in pain.

I can’t let that get to me. I have to do what I’ve been ordered to. We were phased, it was an official command. I can feel the wait of it on my shoulders. Jared, I want you to bring Leah back. Try to talk to the others, but you must bring Leah back. Beg. Get down on your knees if you have to. I don’t care what it takes. I want her home.

“Sam told me to beg. He told me to literally get down on my knees if I have to.”

She tosses her head back and freezes, trying to avoid the pain.

Before guilt can incapacitate me, I continue.

“He wants you home, Lee-Lee, where you belong.”

The words feel thick and foreign in my mouth, because they’re not my own. It’s Sam’s memory, and Leah’s. I feel like a monster, rubbing salt in these wounds.

I hope she understands that I have no choice. I don’t want to hurt her like this, but I also don’t want to watch our brotherhood fall apart.

She starts to yowl at me. I don’t even listen to the ferocious growls, the all-too-understandable curses. Even when she starts to swear at Kim I don’t feel the characteristic rage.

All I feel is guilt.

She’s lost everything. My life is so easy, so perfect. I have my brothers, my parents, my beautiful Kim. I don’t need anything more than that.

But Leah…

She’s lost everything. It’s cruel to remind her of that now, but Sam told me to and I have to. I can’t be blamed.

But he can.

Now I have just a tiny taste of what it’s like to be Sam, and I pity him, honestly I do. I’ve lived in his mind for years, but only now do I begin to feel the slightest portion of his agonizing guilt.