Leah has a secret, and she wants Jake to know. Blackwater.
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A Tale of Dark Skies and Blackwater
This isn't a fairy tale. I never thought it was. There may be magic in the world, but...
Magic is darkness and disease and despair and death. But mostly despair. I've searched, I really have, and I thought I found something, a way that could make all this pain worth it but its lost now. No going back.
No happy ending for little Leah Clearwater. Not even a moderately decent ending, something dramatic and poignant that leaves no dry eye in the house. Just the general sense of poor girl, what a waste.
I am such a fool...
Do you remember how it began? I don't either. Only that one day it was just you and me and Seth in the pack and Seth wasn't around and it just seemed like everything made sense for once. That I could forget with you, forget my stupid life as the freak-of-nature mutant girl wolf who everyone must pity because Sam the Perfect broke up with me but they all whisper behind my back how I never deserved him, how I'm a bitch and a no-good, layabout, crack-whore, or, at the very least, a whore, always going around half-dressed and always seen coming out of the woods with at least one barely dressed boy-man-child. I could forget that men were idiots, no use to anyone, who only thought with one thing and it certainly wasn't their heads, and, no matter what, were wastes of time that you couldn't expect anything from. You were nice to me, or, at least, were joking with your insults.
Maybe it was just that you were kind. Maybe it was just that you understood. Maybe we needed each other in ways that neither of us knew. I dunno. I could have fallen in love with you, if you'd given me a chance. We coulda healed each other.
You're gone now. Imprinted. On her. You're their pet, you know that right? You'll die eventually and they'll go on and in a hundred or a thousand years she won't remember you, not even your face, nor the taste of you (fresh pine and heavy rain and something slightly sweet and savoury that I could never name, but what might be sage or basil or something else people cook with). It's disgusting, and wrong, and you fucking kissed her mother just two months before the monster spawn was born.
You've already forgotten me.
I don't know why I'm surprised. Everyone forgets about me. The Cullens are gone and the pack is falling apart, and my brother and your friends are going off to college in Seattle because they didn't have to give up their lives and their plans to protect our little backwater. Sam and Paul and Jared never were planning on leaving the Rez anyway, and the others are still in school...
That's why I'm doing this. This is why I pestered Embry to change the oil in Mom's car. This is why I didn't say anything when Seth asked to swap patrols with me so he could go to a stupid party.
I honestly thought it was going better for a while, just before the Spawn was born.
You came to me while I was by the stream, trying to wash the blood off my skin from my raw venison dinner. I didn't say anything to you about fucking off, 'cause there was no point, not when we'd all, inevitability, seen each other naked at one point or another. I didn't even say anything when you put your hand up to my face, to wipe a spot I'd missed off my cheek.
And then your mouth was hot and demanding on mine, and I didn't say anything 'cause I missed the feeling too much to protest that you were just using me to forget her. I just wanted to feel something, feel something other than emptiness and anger for once in my life. I was so alone...
You were rough and hard and incessant as you pulled me down onto the bank and, pausing scarcely long enough to tear off your shorts, were in me before I was halfway near ready.
I was bruised when you left, gasping and ashamed. I could have stopped you, I wanted to feel you, and that was the only thing, I know, keeping you from turning yourself in for rape. So I stayed out of sight until the marks went away, and didn't think about it when phased. I'd a lot of practise not-thinking, and maybe I should have confronted you, done something, anything, other than wait for you to come to me, so I could tell you that I wanted you too, that you shouldn't have run off like that, but I thought it would be for the best. That maybe, once you forgave yourself, you'd let me tell you there was nothing to forgive except the fact you'd waited so long to kiss me again, because your bruising lips made me feel alive...
Three months later, you were gone.
I thought I could do this. I thought I could handle it. You left, and I didn't say anything, 'cause I wanted you to be happy. So what if you hurt me? I couldn't give you, for all I wanted to, what you apparently needed. You deserved your own happy ending. So I didn't tell you.
I didn't tell anyone. But that was okay. They didn't need to know. And, they the baby came, they could call me a whore all they wanted.
So I worked my job at the diner and saved up as much as I could for the baby. My work apron hid my growing belly from the outside world, and our so-called packmates were too wrapped up in their own things to notice that, just maybe, the holey shirts and baggy sweats I always wore were a little less baggy these days. I had this idea that, once the the baby was born, it wouldn't matter that you weren't here any more. I could raise it myself and make sure it was loved and be for it all the things that I had thought long denied to me... I couldn't hate you for leaving, not when you'd given me such a gift.
I was patrolling, alone, when it happened. You'd only been gone two months, and it was far too early, and I was far from anyone who could have helped.
I phased back and tried to breathe and be as still as possible, hoping if I didn't move, the wracking pain would stop. But it didn't. It kept coming and coming and getting worse until I was delirious with it... and, when I came to, the bloody, malformed mess I'd given birth to was long dead.
It's been a week now. I've hidden my tears fairly well, I think, so it'll be a surprise until they find the note I've left taped to my bedroom window that tells them where to look for the grave I dug our poor, poor son who was born too soon...
I should've known the universe wouldn't have allowed me the simple pleasure of raising a child, of allowing me the hope he would be a better person than I was, that he could grow up without magic and monsters and...
Well, it doesn't matter now. Maybe, when they find the grave, they'll understand.
No! Don't try running here. Alaska is too far to make it in time, and the boys are all at a party, so good luck if you can get a hold of any of them before it's too late. I've thought about this long and hard, and I think I've covered all the bases. Even with werewolf healing, my body shouldn't be able to recover from the abuse I've handed it. I took a bottle of aspirin yes, an entire new bottle and a handful of megadose vitamins before heading out of the house. Washed it down with a bottle of vodka. And the antifreeze I nicked from Embry's garage while he was changing the oil? I drank that too. It's sweeter than you would think. Already it's getting hard to breathe, and I feel dizzy and sick and cold... So I'm going to phase out here in a second. I've a nice, pointy rock picked out already too, for the major veins, and the crashing water down below is cold and rough. I should be good and gone when they find me.
I just wanted to tell you why before I do this. I was hoping you'd be phased, so I could tell you. It wasn't about you. I love you, Jake, I really do. I fell in love with you long after you were gone. I loved you, for forcing me to start to feel again, for giving me our son. But, you see, I have nothing now. Everything I've ever worked for has just fallen apart, and maybe I'm too much of a bitch or too weak or too stupid or too tired to fight any longer, but I can't stand the idea that the next thing I try will fail too...
No one will miss me, you know.
I can barely see the cliff in front of me, so I'm gonna go now. If you come down for the funeral, you don't have to tell anyone that the baby was yours. I don't expect you to. Have your fairy tale life with your imprint. You deserve that.
With that, I phased back to human, not caring I was naked as I stood, freezing for once in my life, on the cliff's edge. Spots swum in front of my eyes, and, when I could see that far, I could already see the tip of my nose turning blue. I picked up the rock and, though it took a lot of effort, worked quickly, until I could almost smell my blood in the air and my torn muscles couldn't clench the rock in my hands.
It hurt to move, but it was nothing less than I deserved. I wasn't a good enough daughter, sister, lover, mother to be allowed; the universe had seen to that. I made it to the edge, though, and, pausing only to look for one last time at the scattering of stars that had managed to break through the perpetual clouds, stepped over the ledge and fell into the darkness of the night.