Leah POV

Silence reigned inside the house as I stared at the thing. It didn’t notice my glares because it was still focusing its attentions at the empty doorway, looking for my brother.

My brother.

Oh, how much I’d just love to strangle the kid.

Only Seth would be stupid enough to go and imprint on a monster. He’s just like Jake. Hell, he’s exactly like Jake. I didn’t know that letting Seth hang out with all the little bloodsuckers after all the trouble Renesme brought was gone was an extraordinarily bad idea, but there you have. Now he’s a bloodsucker sympathizer, a freakin’ bloodsucker lover. I mean, the bloodsuckers aren’t exactly worst ones on earth—but I’d still rather not be 80 miles downwind of the damn things.

And Jake. He didn’t help things either. I thought it would be okay for Seth to stay a little while near the creatures because Jake was there, but Jake also went and imprinted on one of the little half-creatures, and Seth friggin’ idolizes the guy.

I should’ve just listened to my inner bitch, the one that always seems to crawl forward in front of my real personality after Sam… imprinted.


If there is one thing I hate more than the idea of the possible ruination of our family because of this thing, its talking or thinking about Sam.

The fact that I just willingly brought Sam into my thoughts to cover the thing? Pre-tty bad sign.

Just goes to show how much I truly dislike this thing.

After what seemed like an eternity of glaring at it, it turned to look at me with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen on another creature.

Other than the times that I’ve looked into a mirror.

I knew that sadness. It’s an all-encumbering sadness, a despair of the heart, mind, and even body, something that spreads insipidly throughout your entire soul.

It’s a, how could he have left me, look that’s recognizable to almost every female, no matter how different the species.

I startled out of my little reverie as it started to walk toward me. I shook my head a little to get rid of these lingering thoughts. I didn’t want to think of it like another being. The last time a thing like it came to this place, an entire war between the supernatural almost began! It stopped a couple of feet away from me, making me take a small step back. It lifted its arms, almost in an entreaty to pick it up. It took me a minute to realize and understand the request. I shook my head and scowled, taking another step back.

There was no way I was going to touch that…that…that thing!

It started walking towards me again, hands still held up, but it stopped and stood in place when it saw me flinch a little. It slowly lowered its arms to its side, a look of understanding dawning its features. Compassion. Acceptance.

It scared me. It scared the ever-loving-goodness out of me.

I forced a snarl and bit into my thoughts. This thing is just a thing. It’s not a person, it’s not a being, not a life force, and it sure as hell isn’t a human.

As I took another step back, it’s entire body froze over, locking into place, it’s eyes looking glazed and blurred. I watched in horror as a small teardrop leak out of one its eyes and spill onto a cheek. More tear filled up its eyes, threatening to spill over.

I sighed, a regretful, angry breath of air that sounded harsh in this silent tomb. I quickly closed the space between us and hesitantly crouched in front of it.

“Now, now,” I said awkwardly, nervously switching my weight back and forth on my crouched feet. I was certain I was just making this even more uncomfortable here as I halfheartedly patted its head.

It looked up at me with those eyes so full of tears, and slowly lifted a tiny finger to catch an even slower teardrop glided down its glistening cheek. With a thrust of its arm, even faster than I could see, she gently pressed the tear-soaked finger to my chest, directly over my heart.

I jerked back, my chest exploding, warmth spreading throughout my body. The heat grew incredibly, unbearably intense over my heart, around my heart, in my heart.. I felt it shifting, throbbing, pulling itself together. Piecing itself back together. The heat got even hotter, so much hotter, its burning and burning, an endless ring of molten lava.

But it didn’t hurt.

Suddenly, the warmth exploded again, racing out from my heart and into my limbs. It traveled up and down my arms and legs, setting off pins and needles, setting them afire and fanning the flames as it moved on. It reached my head and I was already shuddering from this… this… this sensation. It made me feel…

Well, it made me feel…

Alive. I feel so… alive!

I’ve never felt this alive before! I’ve always just meandered through life before. The times I had ever really, truly alive before was when I was fighting with all the Rez brats and being together with--

Wait, who was I with? It doesn’t matter anymore. This feeling is amazing!

It. Doesn’t. Matter. Any. More!!!

Nothing in the past matters anymore. Not a single thing. The only thing of importance is the one that owns those eyes I can see through this hazy, misty light. I could only see the dark, deep brown eyes, no other feature, but through those eyes I could see it all. The laughter, the love, the happiness… the deep sadness lurking behind that mask of joviality.

That sadness made me burn. I wanted to burn up in flames, to engulf that sadness, that pain and reduce it to ashes. Those eyes weren’t meant for pain! They aren’t the type of eyes to hide the pain and hood their true feelings. Those eyes are the window to the soul, the type that go down deep and reveal the inner most thoughts unintentionally.

My own depressing and dark world began to shake uncontrollably. It began to shatter. Small pieces of it began to fall, and then the larger pieces began to crumble down after them. My small realm was self-destructing, but I didn’t care.

Because of those eyes. Those gorgeous, amazing, beautiful eyes. They smiled at me, laughed at me, winked at me. I could say that they put my world back together, but I’d be lying.

They didn’t put my world back together.

They helped me create a new world. A better world. One with those eyes standing next to me, being with me.

Loving me for me.

I couldn’t see past those eyes. I couldn’t see any other part that matched those eyes. But no matter where I was or how long it’d take for me to spot them, I would recognize them anywhere at any time. Because I know, I just know that he is my everything. He is my match, my mate, my sun, my air, my forest, my shade. He is my safe haven, the one and only place I can be me again. He is mine and I am his. I would lay down my life for him, because without him, there is no life worth living.

All too quickly the image faded into nothing. But those eyes still lurked in my memory, still imprinted on the back of my eyelids. I closed them, a blissful smile on my lips. I knew it was there because I haven’t smiled for a long time and it almost hurt to use those muscles again. But seeing those eyes made all my pain dissolve.

I slowly opened my eyes and a small sigh escaped me as tears filled and overflowed with wonder and amazement. And hope. Hope for something new. Hope for my own pair of brown eyes still embedded in my brain.

I looked up into a small pair of bright blue eyes smiling at me where I was crouched. For the first time in a long time, I smiled for my own and someone else’s sake. I slowly reached out and grabbed the little girl’s hand and put it to my lips.

“Thank you,” I whisper silently. The little girl’s smile got brighter, almost as if she understood my English, or at least the meaning behind my words.

“Thank you so much… Clarianna.”