Chapter 12- Leah Clearwater
"Sam and I were like, high school sweethearts," I said before
rolling my eyes, "I thought he was my forever I guess."
Kyle looked at me strangely and I knew what I sounded like. I'm
so terrible at lying to myself it's painful. I could feel a
sarcastic comment bubble to my lips but I stopped myself and told
"Okay I admit it. I loved him. We were going to get married."
"He proposed?" Kyle asked.
"No he didn't...it's difficult to explain. It was just one of
those things you don't question. Everyone knew we'd get to it
eventually. Anyone could talk about our future because it was so
I didn't understand the expression on Kyle's face. He was
concentrating so hard on something I could almost hear his brain
whirring inside his head. His eyes were unfocused beneath his
thick hair hanging down into them. He looked up to see me
"Sorry I was just thinking. I get it; it was one of those things.
I mean me and Amber we've never talked about it properly but
she's mentioned it you know? The entire pack jokes about our
future," he said. His eyebrows pulled together.
"Yeah you can afford to be sure about the future though.
Nothing's going to burst your imprinted little bubble. I didn't
know anything about imprint at the time," I said coldly.
Something in his eyes told me maybe I should stop mentioning
Amber and imprint. Every time I did his expression...I knew
something bad had happened- something insanely bad. I saw it when
he was telling me about her, when he couldn't finish his
sentence. We were both watching each other from the corner of our
"So you and Sam were both...still human?" he asked awkwardly.
"Yes. He was first to change out of everyone. He disappeared off
the face of the earth," I whispered, "no one knew what had
happened and why he'd left."
"I'm sorry," he said quietly. He seemed like he meant it too.
"When I walk past this beach I can still see the flyers. Sam's
mom and I fell into a routine. We'd walk every inch of La Push.
We'd replace every flyer that blew away. We'd make sure someone
was near a phone."
I really can see it all like it's happening right now. I learnt
every crack in the sidewalk during those weeks of panic and
confusion. Sam's face on those missing posters is stamped into my
mind permanently. The only imprint I get is the imprint of that
What's horrible is that I don't want to forget. Remembering
things about our old life, even the painful parts, reminds me
that he did love me once. Maybe that's why I'm here almost every
day, reminding myself. I stared out at the ocean.
"What happened when he came back?" he prompted, jerking me out
of my own little world.
"Everything was so different. I felt like such a child," I
admitted, "I'd hear the adults whispering and I knew it was the
answer to why Sam had taken off without warning. He'd never kept
a secret from me before."
"Did Sam tell you why he'd left? I mean did he give you an
"He couldn't just tell me he was a werewolf could he? I kept
asking him though. Well, when he actually showed his face."
Kyle frowned questioningly and I tried to keep my voice even. If
there was anything worse than remembering when he disappeared
it's everything that happened when he returned. I cleared my
"He tried to avoid being around me as much as possible. It was
for my safety but at the time of course I didn't know that."
"Is that why you broke up?" he asked gently.
"No. That comes later," I cleared my throat again. Kyle gazed
expectantly. I couldn't help noticing the bruise forming on his
cheek. I glanced at it.
"It's nothing Leah it'll be gone within a minute."
Obviously- he was a wolf, he'd heal. It still bothered me
though, seeing that flaw on his face. It was purple but quickly
fading to brown green. I realised I was looking at it really
closely and I looked away before he thought I was staring at him.
"Yeah I know. Well eventually Sam must have realised he couldn't
avoid me forever. Things got back to almost normal. I did notice
that there were always so many people around...just watching us
all the time!" I spat. My eyes were stinging.
"Leah he didn't want to hurt you," Kyle murmured.
"He was so careful around me. He hardly spoke to me. And when he
did he was comforting me. He thought if he kept reassuring me I'd
forget that he left. He was still disappearing, every single
night with no explanation. I was so happy to have him back but it
wasn't normal, no matter how much we pretended."
"Did it ever get better?"
I narrowed my eyes. "Of course it did. We loved each other; we
weren't going to give up. Weeks passed and I suppose Sam trusted
himself more and more. We were getting back on track and falling
in love again."
I was telling the truth. Everything started falling back into
place. There were cracks and nothing was as right as it had been
but it was better. When the future we'd always talked about begun
for real it would heal over. Of course we'd never reckoned on all
these stories being so real.
"I don't understand. Why did you break up if everything got
better?" Kyle asked. He was leaning forward, fixed on my face.
"My cousin Emily came to visit. We'd always been as close as
sisters, so close we might as well have been," I muttered.
"Did that change?" he asked.
"There was a lot of changing after she came," I nodded,
"especially for Sam."
I waited for his face to darken with realisation. His deep brown
eyes stayed intent.
"Are you going to tell me?" he asked.
"Do I really have to? I'd have thought you'd guess straight
away. Sam met Emily."
"He didn't..." Kyle's eyes widened.
"When Sam met Emily everything changed. Imprint changes
everything," I said bitterly. I prayed he couldn't hear the
sadness in my voice. He already thought I was weak.
"Sam imprinted," he said stunned.
"Emily was horrified," I laughed weakly, "you can always trust
your sister to sort out a guy for you. And when she got the full
story she was furious."
"Did he break up with you to- to be with Emily?" he stuttered.
"You said it yourself, just like you he wasn't about to force
her. She couldn't help it. It's hard to resist the person perfect
for you in every way," I said shakily.
"So they did end up, you know," he mumbled.
"Yes they did. They both hated themselves for hurting me but
what could they do?"
"It's so hard," Kyle insisted, "really hard to keep it together
when it's hurting someone. You know its right, but you don't know
why or how it could be when it's hurting people. That's what
Amber tells me all the time."
"Yeah I realise that, now at least."
He gave a strangled sort of choking sound. "God...you were
human," he gasped, "you didn't know about anything. You didn't
know about imprint."
"No I didn't. All I knew was that Sam dumped me for someone I
called a sister and apparently had a good reason to do so. I
couldn't know that reason of course."
I remember thinking it was so twisted. It was sick. I couldn't
look anyone in the eye because they all knew why. I could tell
when someone knew the secret and if they didn't it still hurt.
Because then they thought the same as me. Look there's Leah.
Never thought Sam would leave her, poor thing, and for Emily too.
"How could anyone forgive him for that?" he asked angrily.
I glared. "Everyone seems to have forgiven Amber. No one hates
her for leaving Ryan," I said defensively.
"That's because Ryan went so crazy. He's totally messed up in
the head. And Amber feels so bad for hurting him. You can't hate
her," he shook his head.
"We all have a better excuse. I'll admit it's because of his
guilt but there's guilt about...other things too."
"Like what?" Kyle said sceptically.
I didn't want to say it. It was horrible. I wasn't there when it
happened but I've seen it in his mind. He has to see what he did
every day when he looks at the scars on her face. It didn't feel
like my story to tell.
"Emily didn't just give in to the imprint. It wasn't like that.
Sam had a lapse of control, he was so angry about something.
Emily got in the way- he hurt her badly."
His face lost all signs of arrogance and now it was unreadable.
"Wow. That must have killed him."
"He never forgave himself for it. He was a total wreck. And then
Emily being Emily kept comforting him and telling him she didn't
blame him...you get it? It happened."
"I've got it," he nodded.
"He still loves me. Despite going back on every promise he ever
"And you still love him. You keep saying it like that changed as
well but it doesn't sound like it."
"Yes I still love him. It's hard not to," I sighed.
"You're not like Ryan Leah, so stop thinking it. That's why you
hit me right?"
"Yeah you've got it," I muttered. His bruise was yellow now and
almost gone completely.
"I'm not saying he doesn't love her in his own way at least,"
Kyle continued, "but he doesn't love what she did either. He
proved that today."
"Thanks." I meant it. I was genuinely grateful, which was a
first. I needed someone to say I wasn't like Ryan or I wouldn't
have believed it.
"Do you know what really gets to me? You didn't turn into a
total monster. It proves my point. Amber says, he hasn't gotten
over it, leave him alone. But look at you Leah," he said.
"I did change. I haven't always been this angry. I was nice," I
"You're not trying to steal anyone's soul mate though, are you?"
he joked sadly.
I had to laugh. "I spent a good couple of years advising this
one moron against it."
He looked at me questioningly and in the end I gave in.
"Jacob," I smirked.
"Wow you have got to tell me about that."
"Maybe later- I believe you mentioned there was something you'd
love to see."
He smiled enthusiastically, the worry about Amber's safety at
least momentarily pushed to the back of his mind. I risked
looking at him more openly and he was genuinely happy. I felt
"How fast can you run?" I asked.
"Well, faster than you little girl."