At the Cliffs

My take on New Moon / Eclipse - written from Bella's perspective

← Chapter 6: Danger      Chapter 8: Rain →

Chapter 7: Confrontation

The next day, Jake and Sam took off before dawn. Sam wasn’t thrilled about going. He thought that Seattle was too far away for the pack to worry about. In his mind, the pack’s primary responsibility was to protect the tribe from vampires who came to the area. The fact that vampires existed and killed beyond the borders of reservation was just a fact of life, but Jake was able to convince him that it would be best for the tribe if they at least checked out the situation.

Paul and Jared were left in charge while they were gone, but Jake insisted that Charlie and I spend the day at La Push until he and Sam returned. This was easily achieved when Billy called Charlie to ask if we could come over to help Sue clear out all of Harry’s things so that they could be donated to charity.

We spent the morning packing and boxing. I tried not to worry too much, but I was secretly glad that Sam was going too. He wouldn’t let Jake do anything too rash. I knew it was pointless to worry - if anything happened, the pack here would know instantly because of that mind-connection that Jake once told me about – but I couldn’t help it. Even though packing and boxing kept me physically busy, my mind was an emotional mess.

We finished sorting through all the things shortly after lunchtime. Billy and Charlie kicked back to watch the baseball game in the Clearwater’s living room, while Sue kept them company as she knit. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Neither Seth nor Leah were home. Not that it would have mattered much if they were. Leah was not exactly friendly with me, or with anyone else for that matter, but Seth was a nice kid. He reminded me a lot of a younger Jake - he had the same easy-going confidence and good-natured warmth – which made it easy to hang out with him.

The sky outside was overcast. It was the perfect afternoon to curl up with a book. I had forgotten to bring one with me so Sue suggested that I grab one of Leah’s. I headed to the other side of the house where Leah’s room was. I was right in front of her bedroom when the side door at the end of the hall, which opened to the driveway, opened and Leah tip-toed in silently.

She was barefoot and wearing a pair of ragged denim cut-offs and a faded brown tank-top. I hadn’t seen her since her father’s funeral over two months ago and my jaw almost dropped at how different she looked now. It wasn’t just her outfit, which was a far cry from her usual style, but her face was make-up free and it looked grimy, as if she had been rolling in the dirt. Her shinning silky black hair, which I had never seen anything but perfectly blown-out, had been cropped short and was frizzing slightly from the humidity.

Her face had changed too – it was still model beautiful with the high cheekbones, a delicate nose, and almond-shaped eyes that tilted up slightly at the edges giving her otherwise pixie-ish face an exotic other-wordly look to it – but she had lost the softly rounded features of girlhood and matured into a stunning woman. All in less than two months.

Leah started when she saw me standing in the hallway. Then she rolled her eyes and gave an exaggerated sigh before she spoke.

“Great. It’s you. Just what I need right now.”

Stunned and unsure of how to respond, I stood frozen in my spot in the hallway as I watched her slip past me into her bedroom. The room looked pretty much like my own room – bed, dresser, desk, small closet – decorated predominantly in various shades of blue. No pink in sight except for the fragrances and scented body lotions scattered across the top of the dresser. The bottles looked dusty though, as if Leah hadn’t touched them in a while. She started rummaging through her drawers, pulling out a pair of skinny jeans and a black graphic t-shirt of some indie rock band that I wasn’t familiar with.

Suddenly, Leah looked up at the door and saw me still hesitating awkwardly in the hallway. “What?” she snapped at me, her eyes narrowed with annoyance and something else that I couldn’t exactly put my finger on.

“Nothing,” I stammered, flinching from the waves of hostility that I could feel rolling off of her. “I just wanted to make sure everything was okay …”

Leah snorted as she gave me a non-too-subtle once-over. “I guess lover-boy didn’t tell you, huh?”

“What?” Now it was my turn to snap at her. Hearing Jake described as lover-boy was just weird. Almost as weird as hearing that he had been keeping something from me.

“Shocker,” Leah muttered as she shook her head in mock dismay. “They pretend to be men, but they’re just a bunch of overgrown frat boys.”

“What are you talking about, Leah?” Her attitude was rubbing off on me. I didn’t know what it was, but Leah seemed to have the ability to rub everyone the wrong way.

“I’m talking about the latest addition to the pack,” she said with a sardonic smile. Then her face contorted, taking on a pained defiant expression, as she muttered darkly, “The second latest addition.”

“What are you talking about, Leah?” I asked again as I cast around trying to think of the names of the other guys around Jake’s age that I knew of. I looked down for a moment and that’s when I noticed the black cord that was dangling loosely off of Leah’s slim right ankle.

My eyes flew to her face. She met my gaze evenly with a condescending smirk on her face. It couldn’t be.

I took in the ratty cut-offs and tank-top, the female equivalent of Jake’s uniform these days, the closely cropped hair and most damning of all, the faint hazy sheen of energy that seemed to shimmer just above the surface of her skin, lending her lean but well-muscled arms and legs a glow that no amount of self-tanner could accomplish. I felt my jaw drop.

“Yeah, tell me about it,” Leah said with another eye-roll as she turned back to fumbling through her dresser.

“But … but …you’re a girl!” I finally managed to say.

She cut her eyes to me then. “Your point being?”

“I didn’t know that it happened to girls, that’s all,” I replied lamely. I mean, it’s not that I didn’t think that girls were every bit as capable. It was just that the pack was so … so macho and testosteroney (for the lack of a better word) … that it just didn’t occur to me that it could happen.

“Yeah, none of us did either. It was a bit of a nasty surprise, trust me,” Leah replied curtly. The girl clearly had a big chip on her shoulder. She had never been the friendliest person to begin with - in all the time that I had spent at La Push the past year, we had barely spoken more than handful of times – but her voice had acquired a new biting sardonic edge to it that automatically put me on the defensive.

“So you’re the first girl …”

“First and only. Billy thinks that all the vamps trolling the area caused the gene to trigger in all descendents of the original pack. I’m the only girl lucky enough to qualify.” Leah paused then from fumbling through her drawers to look at me with a thoughtful expression on her face. “I guess I have you to thank for all this,” she finally said. My eyes widened. “From what I can tell, you’re the one drawing all the vamps here. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a pack this large.”

I blanched. She was right. “Leah, I’m sorry,” I stumbled over my words. “I didn’t mean to hurt you … I didn’t know …”

“Yeah yeah,” she waved me off as she turned her attention back to her dresser. With a sigh, she slammed the drawer back in place. She seemed to give up on her search because she started to pull her tank-top over her head. She looked at me pointedly, “Do you mind?”

“Oh yeah,” I muttered as I turned my back to her while she changed. Not having to look her in the eye gave me some courage to try again. “Listen, Leah. I really had no idea. Jake didn’t say anything.”

“I’m not surprised. I don’t know who was more freaked out, me or the guys. They never thought that they’d have a girl crashing their little macho pack. And if they did, I was the last girl they would have wanted.” I heard her fumbling around again. “I’m done,” she remarked casually.

“What do you mean?” I asked as I turned around. Even though she was dressed in her “normal” Leah clothes now, she still looked different. She had that look that all the wolves had – the almost arrogant swagger in how they carried themselves - which exuded confidence, strength, and vitality.

Leah gave me a long look before responding. “I guess lover-boy does keep his lips zipped about some things, huh?”

“What are you talking about, Leah?” I demanded, feeling my frustration beginning to rise.

She crossed the hall into the bathroom and washed her face before she answered me. “I’m talking about how I’m Sam’s ex-girlfriend? The one he dated all throughout high school? The one he dumped for Emily?”

My face fell. I had forgotten about that. Charlie had mentioned it to me a long ago, but Jake had never said anything. Plus, Sam and Emily seemed so perfect together that it was hard to remember that Sam might actually have had a past. Suddenly, everything about Leah started to make more sense.

Leah’s lips quirked as she took in my reaction. She started deftly applying some mascara as she continued, “Not to mention the fact that I can be a bit of a bitch at times.”

I almost choked with laughter, but stopped when Leah raised her right eyebrow at me in the mirror. “I know what I am. And I know what I’m not. And I’m not the kinda girl who wants to be hanging around her ex-boyfriend – forced to hear his every thought and follow his every command.”

There was no mistaking the bitter edge to her voice now. I realized that Leah’s chip on the shoulder was actually a heavy layer of armor. Armor designed to protect her from the pain of having lost Sam, and now finding herself stuck inside his head and back in his life again. I swallowed. I could only imagine how tough that would be.

“Don’t look so sad. I’ll deal,” Leah commented as she finished her makeup with an appraising look at herself in the mirror. Then she flipped off the light and turned to me. “But what about you? What are you planning to do?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, shrinking back now that she was directly facing me again. She cut such an imposing figure that I forgot that she wasn’t actually that much taller than me. But she was stronger than me, by a lot, there was no mistaking that.

Leah raised her right eyebrow. “About lover-boy? What are you going to do about him?”

“I wish you would stop calling him that,” I retorted testily.

Leah chuckled. “Feisty, huh? And here I thought you were this timid little mouse. Glad to see there’s some fire in you.” Seeing that I still looked confused and annoyed, she gave a big sigh and leaned against the frame of the bathroom door with her arms crossed. “Look. I’m tired of watching you yank his chain around. Do you want him or not? Make a damn decision. If you don’t want him, cut the boy lose. It’s getting old already.”

I just stared at her. I couldn’t even begin to process a reply to that.

She frowned. “I figured it would be like this. Look. I’m pretty sure I’m speaking for the pack when I say that we’re sick and tired of hearing all of Jake’s thoughts about you. He’s a good guy. Not like the others,” her frown darkened then. “And I want you to treat him right. Make a move. Or get a move on it.”

“But I don’t know what I want,” I sputtered finally after I got over the shock.

“That’s a lie. We all know what we want deep down. It’s just a question of whether or not we’re willing to risk it,” she said matter-of-factly. “Look, it’s no skin of my nose. I’m just saying that it’s getting old listening to him mooning over you.”

I flushed then but didn’t protest. I knew there was no point.

“Fine,” she said as she pushed past me and went back into her room. She grabbed a jacket and a purse from the closet. “It’s smarter this way. I wouldn’t get involved either. No matter what he promises now, he won’t be able to keep it. It’s not in their nature.”

“What are you talking about, Leah?” I felt like that was the question of the day. I didn’t know how many times I had asked her that, only to feel my head spinning even more at her response.

“Lover-boy really is keeping it close the vest, huh?” She smirked as she pushed past me to head back down the hall to the side door. “I’m talking about imprinting. That’s how I lost Sam. You should ask Jake about it.”

Leah paused to tug on her shoes. My mind was now swimming in overdrive with all the emotions that Leah had stirred up, but there was something she had said earlier that struck me.

“Wait!” I exclaimed. “You said before that you were the second latest addition to the pack. Who’s the latest?”

Leah’s head flashed up and if looks could kill, well, I’d have been dead by now. She stormed down the hallway in a few fluid steps, stopping with her face just inches from mine.

“My baby brother,” she responded angrily, her eyes practically burning me with their red-hot intensity and rage. “That’s why he’s not here. He only phased a few days ago.”

My heart fell. Seth Clearwater. Gangly little Seth who was only 15. He was too young for this. They all were.

Leah scoffed at the expression on my face. “At least you can show some remorse for what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything …” I protested weakly.

“No?” Leah’s voice was as icy cold as her eyes were blazing hot. “You mean that we’re trying to track down some red-haired leech because we’ve got nothing else to do with our time?”

She was right. I knew she was right. My eyes smarted with frustration, anger, helplessness. She rolled her eyes. “Pathetic. You’re lucky I promised Sam and Jake that I would be nice to you.” She paused and waited for me to look her in the eye before she continued. “But hear this - if anything happens to my baby brother because of this half-cocked scheme to save your puny ass, you’ll answer to me.”

I nodded mutely. She gave me a hard look before turning on her heel. “Tell my mom I’ll be back late,” she called over her shoulder as she slipped out the door, leaving me standing alone again in the hallway.

← Chapter 6: Danger      Chapter 8: Rain →

About Me

I'm a Twilight fan who believes that Jacob Black is better for Bella than Edward, so I wrote these Team Jacob fanfiction stories to try to convert as many people to my side as possible. :)

I've tried to stay as faithful to the original books as possible up through At the Cliffs, which is when I break off from canon and write out Eclipse the way I wish it had happened!

So ... what do you think? Good? Bad? Ideas for other stories?

Please let me know!

Jane

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