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Not Imprinting

Summary:
Leah Clearwater is tired of seeing her friends and family imprint left and right, leaving her alone. Furthermore, she's tired of having her heart broken. Hopefully, with help from an unexpected source, she'll be able to realize that she doesn't need to imprint to be happy. And maybe she'll find she likes it better that way.


Notes:
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer>Me. I own nothing. Warning. Bizarre shipping may take place.


2. Brothers

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1181   Review this Chapter

“C’mon Leah, will you please open up?” Seth whined through the door. “You know you can trust me.”

“Go away, Seth.” For the love of God, why can’t everyone just leave me alone?

“I’m not leaving until I know you’re alright.”

“I’m fine. Now just please leave me alone.” I tried to keep my voice level. Seth hadn’t done anything wrong.

“Did Paul say something? Cause if he did, I’ll punch his lights out.”

“No.”

“Quil?”

“No, Seth.”

He paused. “Sam?”

“No, Seth! Now leave me alone!” I yelled. Seth knew better than to say that.

“But that’s who’s bothering you, isn’t it?”

I’d had enough. I got up and crossed the short distance to my door, opening it long enough to glare piercingly at him.

“None of your business, Seth Clearwater! Now, piss off!” I slammed the door in his face, leaving him shocked and anxious. Not mad, though. Seth doesn’t typically get mad. Slightly indignant, sometimes. Irritated, sure. But he has a patient temper, just another Clearwater trait that I didn’t inherit. Luckily, he also isn’t a snitch, which meant this little episode wouldn’t make it back to my mom. I definitely didn’t need her calling through my door.

I returned to my bed and swore into my pillow for a good while, finally just yelling nondescriptly when there were no more words to describe my feelings. Feeling mildly better, I sat up and thought. I felt pretty awful for the things I said to Seth. Sure, my temper was extremely volatile, but Seth and I are close. It was rare that I yelled at him. And he’s weirdly sensitive for any guy, let alone a werewolf. I figured I should probably apologize. Although in order to do that, I’d have to leave the safety of my room and venture into the outside world. Or at least the house. I knew, though, that I’d have to face it at some point. No use in putting it off. I opened my door and called tentatively across the hall.

“Seth?”

“What, Lee?” He asked wearily from his room.

“Can I talk to you a second?” I heard a miniscule sigh from the other side of his door.

“Okay. Come in.”

He was sitting at his computer, probably instant messaging some guy in the pack. Seth makes friends easily, and he seemed to have bonded so much with his brothers that he doesn’t like being out of contact with them. I avoided eye contact and headed to his unmade bed, where I sat on the end and met his gaze sheepishly.

“I’m really sorry, Seth. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

“It’s okay, Leah.” He sighed and looked toward the ground. “I’m kinda used to it.”

“Seth, I feel awful if I hurt your feelings.” I put a sisterly hand on his arm.

“No, it’s fine.” He looked at me with an understanding smile. “I know it’s hard for you. And I know that you’re a bitch when things are hard for you.” He grinned mischievously as I laughed and whacked him lightly upside the head. “So do you want to talk about what’s bothering you?”

“Oh, well I just laughed at some comment that Jake made about Kim, and after assaulting him full out, Jared said something rude to me.” I tried to sound flippant.

“What did he say?” Seth asked indignantly. He’s pretty protective of me, despite the numerous times I’ve told him that I can take care of myself.

“Some dumb little jab about how I’ll never get a man.” I struggled to keep my voice nonchalant, but Seth was smarter than that.

“Ugh. He can be a bastard. I’ll take him down next time I see him.” He rolled his eyes in irritation.

I smiled gratefully. “You don’t have to do that.”

“Yeah, I do. I’m gonna protect your honor, so don’t try to convince me otherwise.”

“You’re sweet.” I ruffled his hair affectionately. I didn’t have the heart to tell him chivalry went out with the last millennium. And anyway, Jared deserved it. And I guess, if I don’t have a boyfriend to protect my honor, a brother is the next best thing. And even though, in a way, I consider all the pack boys my brothers, it’s different with Seth. A lot closer, that’s for sure. And he went out of his way not to be an asshole to me. The only other guy who did that was Sam, and that’s just because he was insufferably awkward around me. He was just really stiff and formal.

“Oh, by the way, Lee, Quil said everyone’s having a bonfire tonight. He says you can only come if you play nice.” Seth teased, although I’m sure there was a grain of truth to it.

“I’ll behave.”

***

“Leah, if you stare at the fire any farther, it’ll burn your retinas.” Embry grinned at me.

“That’s the sun, dumbass.” I threw a half eaten marshmallow at him. He looked at it for a minute, shrugged, and popped it in his mouth.

“Eww!” Kim squealed, as Jacob looked meaningfully at me, trying to suppress his laughter. All was forgiven at that moment. “That was in Leah’s mouth! That is so disgusting.”

Paul, Jacob, and Quil all opened their mouths simultaneously, but I caught them.

“No jokes about what else has been in ‘Leah’s mouth’, please” I said, rolling my eyes. They grumbled. “Give it up, it wouldn’t have been funny anyway.” I retorted, smirking.

A few people snickered, while Paul sulkily kicked a log into the fire.

“Speaking of ‘not funny’, I believe I owe you an ass-kicking.” Seth looked pointedly at Jared. “My sister doesn’t appreciate nasty comments, and neither do I.”

Everyone was suddenly quiet, waiting for Jared’s response. He clearly didn’t want to look like a jerk in front of his girlfriend, but he didn’t want to look like a pansy in front of his friends, either.

“I could say the same for myself.” He looked directly at me.

“Oh, come off it. That came from Jacob. I didn’t even say anything.”

“And I paid Jacob back accordingly. You laughed at it too. But I can’t hit you, you’re a girl.”

“I’m also a werewolf.” I replied dryly.

“Okay, this was all in the past. Lemme just hit you, Jared, and get it over with.” Seth mediated.

“Fine.” Jared resigned himself to his fate, and clenched his jaw, steeling himself for the blow. He only winced a little, and I have to admit, I respect that, because I happen to know Seth can pack a punch. Not from personal experience, obviously.

“Sorry about everything, Jared.” I smiled apologetically. “Are we okay again?”

Jared considered this, then grinned broadly. “Yeah, we’re okay.”

“Good.”

“Guys, how many marshmallows do you think I can fit in my mouth?” Jake smiled and held up a fistful.

Obviously, everything was back to normal. But I was still just a bit miserable.