AN: Here it is; Chapter 11. Better late than never, huh? Was planing to get it up earlier, but stumbled upon some technical difficulties... I've got not idea when chapter 12 will be finished since my Twilight muse has been giving me hell lately, but I'll see what I can do.
The rest of the week could only be describes as uneventful. Either Emmett was really good at his job as damage control/babysitter and had managed to beat some sense into his siblings' head or they were pacing their time and waited for a better opportunity to act. Either way I was grateful for the breathing space we'd been given. Unfortunately our luck couldn't last forever, but I had to admit I was a little surprised from whom the trouble came from.
The weekend I had promised to spend with Jake had arrived and since Jasper was scheduled to spend the day with Charlie, we had decided that we could go to First Beach. Leo and Cade had homework they needed to do before they could come, but we weren't alone for long. Shortly after arriving in the reservation the Pack decided to join us. Which was fun until Jake and Paul decided to ruin everything by being jerks to their only female pack-member.
«What the hell was that?!» I immediately demanded to know as Leah's back disappeared behind some trees a distance up from the beach.
«That was just Leah being Leah.» Jake tried to dismiss everything and I could feel my blood boiling. I knew how it felt to be different from everyone else. And even though my family had been great there still had been moments where I asked myself why I was such a freak and I could only imagine how Leah was feeling. First she had suddenly found out that the supernatural world was real by turning into a huge pony-sized wolf, which resulted in her father's heart attack and death. Then she's told that there has never been a female wolf before and nobody knows why she turned. And then the real kicker; when they are in wolf form everyone can read her mind and she can read theirs. Absolutely no room for secrets, and that's a bad thing when the alpha is the guy you intended to marry before he turned and imprinted on you cousin. Nobody wants that thrown into their face every single day. At least I am able to ignore my siblings and fellow transgenic and don't have to be in their heads.
«I had really thought I had managed to cure you of your ability to open mouth inset foot syndrome, aka not use your mind, but I guess you're just as slow as the leeches and for every step forward you end up with taking two steps back.» I growled, and I could see that everyone was surprised to see this side of me and in Leah's defense no less, but none of them made a move to stop me.
«Bells-» Jake whined, but I was quick to cut him of.
«You know enough about me and my family history to know that I speak the truth when I tell you that I might not have gone through exactly what she has, but I know enough to know that your behavior is the last thing she needs.» I then then pivoted on my heels to level a heated glare at the other perpetrator, but not before I caught the widening of Jake's eyes and the faint realization in them.
«And you...!» I knew that the fact that Paul actually took a step back as I approached would become teasing material when things had cooled down some, but right now I was just too pissed off. «You should be damn glad I've got something better to do right now. As it is I am tempted to ask 'the God of War' himself to do me a favor and teach you a lesson.» I left before any of the boys had a chance to recover, but just before I vanished beyond the same trees Leah had only minutes earlier gone through I heard what could only be describes as a shocked sound of amusement. Obviously Jake and Paul had not been the one to first get out of their shock and regain their senses, the amusement would not have been there had they done so.
Shortly thereafter I caught sight of Leah's form in the distance, hunched around herself on top of a rock. Subtly I used some of my power to make sure nobody else would take notice of us or our upcoming conversation.
«Guys can be real jerks at times. Some times I think I would be more surprised in the rare situations when they're not.» I commented as I sat down not too far from her and I was satisfied when I managed to get a small snort from her.
«What do you want?» she bit out, but I knew not to take offense. She was hurting right now and prone to taking it out on others.
«I know what you're going through. Well not what you're going through specifically. I've never transformed into a wolf with no way to keep a bunch of guys, including by ex-boyfriend, out of my head, or stay out of theirs. But I do know how it feels to be different from everyone else.» I rambled.
«Is that so?» Leah hissed with poison in her voice. «You've what? Been the odd girl out in school? The only human stupid enough to live with a vampire and be friendly with more killers? Or maybe it is the fact that you're a only child and your parents live in different states?» Leah had stood up during her tirade and I got up as well when it was my turn to speak.
«I'll have you know that my parents are happily married and living together right now and I've got four biological siblings. One which is my twin brother.» I could see that what I was telling her was shocking her, but the biggest shock was yet to come. Sure she knew that vampires and shape-shifters existed, but did she really believe they were the only ones out there?
«What makes me able to relate to your situation is the fact that I'm the first female witch born in centuries.» I used enough power for my eyes to change and knew from the look in her eyes that she really had believed that shape-shifters and vampires were the only supernatural beings that existed.
«You didn't find it the slightest bit weird that Jake had suddenly become so good at shield his mind after taking a trip with Jasper and me? Or the fact that he lets Jasper live in the same house as his imprint?» I asked gently. Then to fill the silence, «And perhaps the fact that I've got an entire coven slightly scared of me? Even if they're only scared because they know I've got Jasper and you guys backing me up, I don't think that is all that usual with a human.»
«You're a witch.» Leah finally stated shakily as she slumbered back down on the rock.
«Yup.» I grinned cheekily, at least I had stopped her thinking about her own situation. «It kinda runs in the family. Of course it's only been the first born sons that has had any power since long before the Salem witch-trials, but then I came and messed up the statistics.»
«A witch.» she repeated again, as if saying it often enough would make it more believable.
«What? Vampires, shape-shifters and werewolves can exists, but normal humans with powers can't?» I asked raising an eyebrow sceptically.
«No. No, it's not that. It's just...» Leah waved her hands helplessly.
«I understand. Before you shifted you believed all of this was just fairytales, and even after it happened to you a part of you continued believing what you had grown up with.» I nodded knowingly. I had always been around people like me. Even if they didn't have powers they were different in other ways, my problem had been realizing that most of the population in the world was completely ordinary and didn't even know about us that were special in some way. I had had longer time to accept it, but there still were times I caught myself wondering over that fact.
«Wait.» Leah's expression was somewhere between bewildered and thoughtful. «Did you say you've got a twin?»
«Sebastian.» I nodded. «My twin brother. And that is another thing adding up to the fact that I know what it feels to be special. I am not the only one with powers. Sebastian has got them too. And that has never happened as far as my father knows.»
«Is not my father.» I finished her sentence. «More like my mother's brother, but everyone agreed that it would cause less questions if we didn't correct them when they assumed I was his daughter.» I explained without needed any prompting.
«So Leo and Cade...»
«They're my younger siblings.» I confirmed with a nod. «We've also got another younger sibling, Janette, that's six. You should have seen it when Jazz and Jake had to babysit her for a while. She convinced Vampy and Wolfy to have a tea-party with her.» I managed to keep my laughter away until I saw her incredulous expression, and shortly after my explosion she joined in on the hysterical laughter fit.
«And when she first met us she asked Jake if he was going to eat her hamster.» I breathed out after gaining some control and sent both of us into new fits of giggles.
«I wish I could have seen that.» Leah eventually chuckled wistfully.
«And I am pretty sure Jake is glad you can't. Unfortunately I had to shield his mind so he didn't spill my secret to everyone or so that the mind-reader could pluck it out of his mind.» I said apologetic.
«You shielded his mind?» Leah inquired curiously and I could see that she was in a better mood. If it was our laughter fit or the knowledge that she wasn't completely alone that caused it I did not know, but I believed it was a combination of both. A good laughter could after all prolong life.
«It's not that hard. And it won't keep anything important away from the rest of the Pack. Only the personal thoughts and my secret, that can be filled under 'personal'. His surroundings and anything important to the rest of the Pack will go through. And if it is anything dangerous to him or you that too will go through even if it is personal or linked to my secret. Kind of like a firewall with constant updates.» I searched my mind for other ways to explain it, but no epiphany hit me.
«Since you've told me, does that mean that you'll...» Leah trailed of uncertain.
«If you want.» I shrugged. «If you don't I could do so that you can't think or speak about it to anyone that doesn't already know.»
«No I want it!» Leah quickly exclaimed. «You have no idea how much I want it. At times I've been wishing for a crossroad demon so I would be able to get them out of my head.» she confessed before looking at me suspiciously.
«No I am nothing like the witches on Supernatural. I don't worship demons. I don't even believe they exist, but as I am sure you've learned that doesn't mean they don't.» I chuckled and after a second Leah did too.
«So you want me to work my magic so you can think about boys without hearing everyone's thoughts on the matter?» I asked lightly.
«You can do it right now?» Leah answered hopefully.
«Sure.» I shrugged. «I got a power boost on my birthday, which was the 19th, and after doing it on Jasper and Jacob I should have no problem.»
«In that case, I'd be forever in your debt. I'll even name my first born after you.»
«I don't know if that would be very wise if it's a boy, but I'll settle with a female friend that knows about me and the supernatural world.» Leah returned my playful smirk with one of her own.
«That I can do.» I had a startling realization that I would probably be her only friend outside the Pack. It's hard to be friends with normal humans when you're read in on, or actually a part of, such a huge secret as the existence of supernatural beings. And the boys probably didn't encourage a big social circle outside of the Pack.
When we eventually made it back to the rest of the group the boys actually looked a little scared when they saw the playful smirks on our faces. Nobody could tell me that they did not have any survival instincts.
«So Jacob.» Leah eventually spoke up, breaking the uneasy silence that had fallen over the group. «Do you want me to make you some tea?» Leah and I only had to look at each other before erupting into piles of laughter. At the word 'tea' the big bad shape-shifter had immediately changed skin color. With his bronze skin you wouldn't think that a blush would be all that noticeable, but Jacob could easily have gotten a job as a stop-sign the way he lightened up the beach.
«Epic.» I grinned and high-fived the other girl.
«What?» Embry looked from us, to his blushing friend, then back to us and looked just as lost as the rest of the pack.
«Izzy stop torturing my boyfriend.» Leo requested as she moved over to the still red-faced shape-shifter. «That's my job.»
«It wasn't me.» I said innocently with raised hands. Scanning our surroundings I noticed that Cade was nowhere in sight. A quick inquiry over our frequency later and I knew that he had gone visiting some friends of his, not wanting to be around his sister and boyfriend while they still were in the 'gooey-eyes stage' of their relationship. Can't say I blame him. There were a reason why most of the time they were together at the house I spent my time with Jasper or otherwise busy. I guess it was a built in sibling reflex. Sebastian hadn't liked it when I started dating either.
«Yeah sure. Like you weren't the one that tattled.» Leo rolled her eyes, but a smirk was lurking. «I do admit though; it truly was epic. Just sad I missed the live performance.» Unlike me Leo actually managed to make a pout look cute. Totally unfair. And it was not like I hadn't showed her my memories of the tea-party to her. It took some concentration and practice, but it was possible to do more than talk with each other in your mind if you were X-8-series. Or perhaps it was the combination of being X-8 and a witch, I mused, since we hadn't discovered anyone else able to it among Mom's siblings.
I realized that I hadn't told Leah all my secrets when she sent me a curious look at Leo's comment. 'Later' I mouthed and she nodded in agreement. If I wanted to fully commit to this friendship I needed to come clean about everything I am. If I emitted the fact that I am a transgenic and she later stumbled over the information, she'd see it as betrayal and after everything she's been through I could understand that completely. Besides I didn't want to keep it secret from her. Secrets are what ruins most relationships, friendly or otherwise. And I wanted her to accept me for whom I was. Jasper and Jacob might be great friends to have, but I needed a female friend that's not family. I was going to make this work, I promised myself as I returned her hesitant smile with a confident one of my own.