A Writer's Journey

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When Destiny Calls - Chapter 5

Another update...

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight-related. That cred all goes to the lovely Stephenie Meyer - I'm just borrowing Sam for a little while longer... <3

Chapter Five – The Last Perfect Day

A few weeks later, I found myself knocking on Leah’s front door, bright and early in the morning. A slow smile crept up on my face as I thought about the fully-loaded picnic lunch I had packed for her, hidden underneath the stacks of blankets stowed away in the truck bed. I had to admit, I ended up surprising myself when I had finished packing everything. It wasn’t supposed to be a big thing, just something small so that she could forget about everything for at least one afternoon.

I wanted to be there for her in any way I could, seeing how exhausted she was becoming with the increased load in schoolwork, the new part-time job at the local drug store, and planning the wedding on top of everything else. Sue had been hovering over her, coming up with party ideas, bouquet arrangements, and location suggestions. Her friends weren’t much help either, poring over endless bridal magazines, and countless others, trying to strategize and plan for the now confirmed summer wedding. She often spent her nights studying, which I wasn’t too happy about because it cut into my already dwindling time that I could be spending with her.

Those nights would drive me crazy. I could never stay away from her for too long and the short phone calls before she nearly passes out from exhaustion were starting to become some sort of masochistic act that I would repeat more often than not. I continuously listened to the song I once told her reminded me of her, knowing full well that I was starting to act like some love-sick schoolboy, but I didn’t care. With Leah, I had been a love-sick schoolboy for as long as I can remember. It was harder to sleep those nights, when I wouldn’t see her and the phone calls seemed like they were much too short. The lyrics to the song hovered in my mind when I needed to fall asleep the most and needless to say, most of those attempts were unsuccessful.

Finally here, won't stay too late.
I want to feel you, I need to hear you.
You are the light that's leading me to the place where I find peace,

And how can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me 'How could it be any better than this?'


You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now.


'Cause you're all I want
You're all I need
You're everything, everything.

So even though I wanted to relieve her for the day, it was meant as a relief for me as much as it was for her. I couldn’t stand pining away for her for much longer and drastic situations call for drastic measures. Jeez did I really say pining away? I’m turning into such a pansy, all because of this incredible, breathtakingly beautiful, and completely unsuspecting girl who was about to answer the door.

“Sam! Wh-what are you doing here?” Leah exclaimed, holding the door open as she froze in surprise. Behind her, Sue threw me a wink and walked back into the kitchen, a small smile at the corners of her mouth. I couldn’t help grinning and made a mental note to thank her later for all the help she gave me planning for today. There was no way I could’ve pulled this off without her and Leah needed today. We both did.

“I’m here to kidnap you for the day,” I told her, my grin growing wider. My head fell forward in embarrassment as I shoved my hands into my side pockets.

“B-but, I have so much to do…I can’t just go off for the day. Besides, I’m supposed to go with my mom to the fabric shop this morning because she needed help w –” She cut off mid-sentence, noticing my smug expression. She looked at me quizzically as I shook my head in response.

“I-I’m not going to the fabric store with my mom?” she asked slowly, shaking her head questioningly.

I smiled and shook my head.

“But what about all the other things I need to do today? I have a paper due in a week that I need to get done before I can do anything because I won’t be able to get it done with all of those stupid wedding pow-wows that everybody and their mother’s have been setting up with me,” she said, inhaling loudly as she regained her breath. She put her hand on her chest and breathed slowly, forcing the air out of her mouth in labored bursts.

I moved forward and pulled her outside, shutting the door behind her. Slipping my arms around her waist, I drew her closer to me until she had no choice but to put her arms around my neck.

“Breathe,” I murmured softly. “That’s it; in, out, in, out. Breathe Lee-lee. I took care of everything. They can plan without you for a day, can’t they?”

I lifted my hand to her face as she closed her eyes and leaned into my palm. Her breathing gradually slowed, but I continued to hold her, not aware of anything but the sound of her heartbeat as it steadied itself. I pressed my forehead against hers and started humming the song that had been ingrained into my brain from the last couple of weeks. I saw her lips curve into a half-smile as she recognized the melody. She began humming along with me, our bodies swaying to the sound of our secret song.

When we were done, her eyes fluttered open and glanced at me sheepishly.

“I’m sorry about all of that. I’ve just been so exhausted lately and I just – I just…” she trailed off as I put my finger to her lips.

“I don’t need an apology, Lee. All I need is for you to come with me and forget you have every other crazy thing going on in your world, even if it’s just for the day. I swear, they won’t miss you; I’ve made sure of it.”

“Well, I guess they can do without me for one day,” she answered, grinning. She slid her arms around my neck again and gazed at me, her eyes bright with interest. “So, where’re we going anyway?”

“It’s a surprise,” I whispered, giving her a wicked smile. I kissed her lightly and began pulling away when she grabbed my face and kissed me again, this time more urgent and more aggressive than the last. I returned the gesture, happy that getting her to drop everything wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I pulled back to catch a mouthful of air, laughing breathlessly when she pouted because I had moved away. I unwrapped her arms that had coiled themselves around my neck and held on to her hand as we walked towards the waiting truck.

We pulled into a parking lot near our favorite spot on Second Beach. There were so many memories I had with Leah here and I wanted everything to be perfect for her today. Even if it was one day, I was naïve enough to think that I could at least give that to her, as useless to help as I’ve been.

I walked around to the back of the truck and began picking up the blankets, rolling them so they would fit under my arms. Her eyes spotted the picnic basket as she threw me surprised look that clearly read You did this for me? and I knew that all the trouble I went through was worth the ridiculously intoxicating smile that spread across her face. I stared at her for a few seconds before I realized that there was a throbbing pain coming from my left foot.

“Shit!” I swore, trying to stay balanced as I hopped on my right leg. I didn’t even realize that I’d just dropped the water cooler and that it just so happened to land on my foot. Leah’s face contorted in a grimace and finally puckered as she fought to contain her laughter. It was a losing battle as we both stood there, doubled over the side of the truck, clutching our stomachs as we tried to control ourselves. She put her hand on her chest, trying to keep quiet as she waited for me to calm down.

“I can’t believe you did all this, Sam,” she said softly, brushing the strands of hair away from her face. The wind had picked up and she kept her arm against her face to keep her hair from whipping around her. She squinted her eyes, looking up at me in amazement.

That look.

I lived for that look.

I shook my head, forcing myself to concentrate on the water cooler and picnic basket that were now in my arms. She picked up the blankets and we made our way down to “our spot” near the shoreline.

I told her to close her eyes while I went to set up everything, laying out the blankets and food we brought. About a hundred yards from the shore, I gathered large pieces of rock and dried driftwood so that I could get a fire started. I saw Leah fidgeting impatiently, trying hard not to peek until I told her it was ready. After I made sure to look everything over to see if I missed anything, I finally walked over to her and kissed her hands as I pulled them away from her face.

Her eyes went wide as her mouth formed a large “O” and for once, Leah was speechless. Her gaze lingered over everything, taking in every detail before being directed at me, a confused expression on her face.

“I don’t get it…what’s all this for? Oh my god, don’t tell me I forgot our anniversary,” she exclaimed, counting off with her fingers. She breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that that wasn’t the case.

“Okay, so not our anniversary. Do you mind if I ask what this is for? I’m just a little confused,” she said slowly, still gazing at everything. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I’ve been nothing but crazy, psycho fiancée who’s been leaving you alone for extended periods of time and I just want to know what I did to deserve all of this.”

I shrugged, not wanting to give her the full extent of the real reason I was doing this. Instead, I grinned at her as I grabbed her hand and pulled her down on the blanket with me. I wrapped my arms around her as the comfort set in, my face finding the familiar place right above the curve of her ear. She relaxed into me and rested her head in the crook of my shoulder.

“So you didn’t answer my question.”

“Hm? What question?” I was vaguely paying attention, lost in concentration. I missed this, holding her and not having to look at the clock to see when she would have to go and study or plan something for the wedding. I missed us and I wanted to stay like this for as long as humanly possible.

“Sam…” she trailed, interrupting my thoughts.

“No reason more important than just plain old ‘I wanted to see you’,” I replied, inhaling deeply. “I thought you might like to get away from everything for a little while. Everyone’s been running you ragged.”

My hand rubbed against her cheek as she sighed, clearly still worn out.

“Are you tired?” I asked, kissing the side of her head. “We could take a nap and eat after. I can just put everything back in the basket until you’re hungry.”

“Mmm…yeah, that sounds good. I miss sleeping out here on the beach. It seems like we haven’t done this in ages.”

I felt her slacken in my arms and I waited a few minutes, listening to her breathing as it became even and rhythmic, before I gently laid her down propping one of the other blankets under her head as a pillow. I quietly put the food way, careful not to disturb her. I sat there and watched her sleep for about an hour, staring at her face, rememorizing every feature, glad that she finally looked peaceful. She mumbled a few times, calling out my name in whispers. And then I heard the four words that I had been waiting for.

“I love you, Sam…” she mumbled, eyes shut and brow furrowed in concentration.

“I love you, too, Lee-lee,” I whispered back, kissing her first on her forehead and then the tip of her nose, before I laid down beside her. I pulled her closer to me and wrapped my arms around her, remembering the sound of birds flying overhead as the thick mist engulfed us.

I woke up about three hours later, my arms still around Leah. She was still asleep, her mouth set in a peaceful half-smile while her hair hung over half of her face like a midnight curtain. I stood up, needing to stretch my muscles, and put some extra blankets on her before I started walking toward the direction of the cliffs.

I didn’t want to leave her alone for too long, but I wanted to stretch my legs and it had been a while since I’d come to Second Beach. I walked a little further down to shore and didn’t realize that I had gone further than I wanted until our makeshift camp was barely a discernable figure against the mist that had settled over the beach. I started walking back to where I’d left her when I was hit with the same weird chill that resulted in an involuntary shudder. I scanned the length of the beach, looking for signs of other people, but found nothing.

I made it back to our spot, surprised that she was already sitting down, pulling out the contents of the basket. I bent down to help her, kicking myself for taking a walk instead of getting everything ready before she woke up.

“Hi,” she said sheepishly. “I was gonna wait for you to come back, but I figured I could at least set all this stuff up so that you wouldn’t have to.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” I replied, taking the basket from her. “You’re supposed to be relaxing today, remember?”

She sat there watching me, her knees pressed against her chest, while I laid everything out like I had this morning. I was extremely aware that her eyes never left my face the entire time and I felt my face flush when I finished with the set up.

“You’re incredible, you know that?” she mused, continuing to watch me. “These last couple of weeks, everyone’s been so wrapped up with everything that no one’s even asked how I’ve been, if I was okay. But the one person I’ve been neglecting the most goes and does all of this for me. Go figure…

“I’m so unbelievably sorry for the last couple of weeks. I’m like the world’s worst girlfriend – oops! I meant, fiancée. Still getting used to that word. Anyway, the world’s worst fiancée and you go and do this and so now I feel like I don’t deserve it. Gah, I wish there were more hours in the day, so then maybe I might have a shot of fitting everything in.”

“I told you, Lee, don’t worry about it. I just wanted to spend time with you. I wanted to be able to do this,” I said, suddenly pulling her down in front of me and wrapping my arms around her. “And this,” I murmured, trailing kisses from the tip of her ear to just below her earlobe. “And most of all, this,” I finished, turning her face towards me and kissing her softly, but firmly, on her lips.

I continued kissing her as the wind continued to pick up around us, threatening to blow sand on what was supposed to be our lunch. I pulled away, chuckling as she moved her face forward, not ready to let go.

“Mmm, I’ve missed that…” she whispered, settling into the crook of my arm. “I’ve missed you. I mean, really missed you. You know that I can’t fall asleep right if I haven’t seen you the whole day? Is that weird? I always feel a little unsettled if you weren’t a significant part of my day.”

“Not weird at all…same thing happens to me,” I replied, popping a piece of bread in her open mouth. “Ergo, picnic on the beach. Ta-da!”

I started laughing as she put all the pieces together. She looked up at me and suddenly nothing else in the world mattered; not the stupid wedding plans, not the ridiculous amount of homework, not her selfish friends who apparently think it’s okay to monopolize all her time, and most of all not the feelings of neglect and longing that I had kept pent up for the last couple of weeks.

“You wanna swim after we eat?” I asked, fixing a plate of food for her. “It’s a little chilly, but the sun’s starting to come out.”

“But I don’t have my swimsui –” she started, before I cut her off, pointing at the bag next to the cooler.

“I told you, I took care of everything,” I said, grinning.

“Dude, I’m totally and completely impressed,” she replied, shaking her head in awe. “I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t deserve you after all.”

“Mission accomplished then!” I exclaimed, rolling her over and tickling her on her side.

“Sam!” she shrieked, laughing uncontrollably. “Wait, wait, wait…I want a piece of cheese…” She picked up a wedge of cheese next to the bread and pushed the unsuspecting piece into my face, breaking out in chortles as we started a semi-food fight right there on the beachfront.

Twenty minutes later, we were both chuckling and exhausted, sitting along the shoreline as I leaned towards her to pull a piece of bread that was stuck in her hair. That sent her into fits of giggles, causing her to fall to the side towards me. I caught her before she hit the sand, her back leaning against my arm as I looked down at her. She squinted against the sunlight behind me, her hand brushing away sand and hair from her face. I leaned down and did the only thing that my mind could process at the moment: I kissed her again.

I could never get enough of her lips, so soft, so perfect that I’ve been known to daydream about them. I pulled away for a brief second, long enough to tell her something.

“God, you’re so beautiful. I’m really glad that you came with me today,” I murmured, my fingers tracing the length of her stomach. My hand trailed down the length of her arm until our hands met and I lifted them up, threading mine with hers. “You have no idea how happy I’m going to make you, Mrs. Uley.”

She giggled at this, her other hand caressing the side of my face. My hands caressed every part of her; her arms, her neck, her face, the smooth skin like silk underneath my fingertips. Her scent was intoxicating, filling me with longing and want. Needless to say, it was driving me crazy.

“You’re not supposed to call me that, Mr. Uley. It’s bad luck…but on second thought, I could really get used to the sound of that. It’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Leah Uley.” She giggled again, her eyes burning up at me.

“Couldn’t have picked a better sounding name myself,” I answered, setting her body on the sand.

“Do you think we can always stay like this? I mean, be this happy, this carefree, this sure?” she mused.

“I think so. This whole thing with you kind of reminds me of one of the stories we were told in school. The one about Taha Aki’s third wife, remember?”

“Vaguely. He was supposed to have imprinted or something like that. Or at least that’s what they called it. I think I remember them saying he was so in love with her that the word love just didn’t do it justice. She was supposed to be his ‘true spirit wife’ or something, right?”

“Yeah, you remember more than you let on, Lee-lee,” I replied, chuckling. “But yeah, she was supposed to be his ‘true spirit wife’.”

“Do you think I could be that for you? Your ‘true spirit wife’? Do you think something like that really exists?” Her eyes looked searchingly at me.

“I don’t know about ‘true spirit wife’ in that whole magical, mystical, legends-are-real type of thing, but yeah, I think you could be that. Actually, from how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks with very little ‘Lee-lee time’, I’m sure that you are. You have no idea how hard it’s been for me to be away from you for so long,” I said softly, brushing flecks of sand off her cheek. "You're everything to me Lee-lee. You have all of me; mind, body, and spirit. You don't even need to ask for it."

She blushed, the color rising up to her ears. I kissed her again and rolled over to the side, as we sat up and watched the waves roll in.

A few hours later, I sat there holding her hand as the sun made its way below the horizon. It would be twilight soon and the end to one of the most perfect days I’ve ever had with Leah. Nothing could be better than this and I was going to do everything I could to make sure that she had as many perfect days as she would let me give her. The sun’s light disappeared completely and I turned to her, cradling her in my arms as I set her down on the cool sand. She turned her face to me while I propped myself on my elbow, playing with the strands of hair that wouldn’t stay off of her face.

My hands moved over her heart, feeling the erratic beating as her breath quickened with each second that passed. Leaning down to press my lips on hers, my mind drifted forward to five years from now, ten years from now, the pictures of our future together so clear in my mind that they could have been set in stone. My thoughts conjured images of how the wedding would be, graduation, buying our first house together, our first baby, all our other children, and then eventually growing old with her.

An overwhelming feeling of contentment washed over me and I moved closer, kissing her more urgently so that we were soon pressed together, the heat between our bodies almost visible in the coming night. After a few minutes, she pulled away, breathless and glowing, gazing at me intently.

“I love you, Sam,” she whispered. “Thank you for my perfect day.”

“I love you, too, Lee-le,” I murmured, kissing the tip of her nose. “Anytime.”

If only I knew how numbered our perfect days were going to be…

Chapter 6 to come... ;)

Friday, October 8, 2010

FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater!!!

The last installment in the awesome book series by Maggie Stiefvater is finally ready for pre-order!! I am SO beyond excited that I am literally squeeeing in my seat as I'm writing this post. Pre-order your copy >>> here http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie <<< GO ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!! DO IT. GO. NOW.

Friday, August 13, 2010

When Destiny Calls - Chapter 4

Another update...

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight-related. That cred all goes to the lovely Stephenie Meyer - I'm just borrowing Sam for a little while longer... <3

Chapter Four – Visitors

The forest was obscured by the thick mist swirling in the background. I felt my feet move, propelling me towards the fading light. The deep, faint rumble of Billy Black’s voice pierced the air, recounting the old tales of the spirit wolves. A brief glimpse of Taha Aki’s face swam in my mind, though I had never actually seen a physical likeness of him, as I tried to make sense of the story once more.

Billy’s voice continued to fill the air as the cloud-like mists swirled around me, eventually taking on translucent forms that resembled wolves. I heard other voices chanting, slow and steady like the beating of a drum, even though I was almost certain that I was alone in the seclusion of the great forest. I cocked my head to the side, trying to decipher where the noise was coming from and realized with a start that the wolf-like forms had begun to dance around me, encircling me in the hazy mist they trailed behind.

One of the wolf forms, the largest amongst them, broke out of the circle and walked towards me, its bright eyes gleaming in the semi-darkness. We stared at each other and I couldn’t explain the absence of fear in the presence of such a magnificent apparition. But for some odd reason, I knew I wouldn’t be harmed. Before I had the chance to cover my ears, the great mist-like wolf raised its head and let out an anguished howl, its voice baying into the moonlit night.

The phone rang in my ear, jolting me awake. I glanced at the clock on my dresser, groaning in dismay as I realized what time it was. Scrambling for the phone, I hastily lifted the receiver, cradling the handset on my shoulder.

“Hello?” I mumbled, still half asleep.

“Sam? Babe, you awake?”

Leah’s voice immediately woke me up as I managed to get myself into sitting position. I rubbed my eyes groggily, clearing my throat before I responded.

“Mmm, yeah, I’m awake. Hi,” I managed.

“Hi,” she answered, snickering over the receiver. “I needed to get some supplies for school and I wanted to see if you wanted to drive to Forks with me. We can grab lunch or something after we’re done.”

“Uh, sure, sounds great. I’ll pick you up in about an hour?”

“Okay, see you then.” Click.

I curled back up underneath the covers only to realize that the sheets were soaked with sweat. I looked down at my arms, surprised to see the new beads forming on my skin.

Weird, I’m not even hot. I must’ve had a bad dream or something.

I pushed the covers off and dragged myself to the bathroom, hoping that a nice, cool shower might help me pull myself together. As the water hit my skin, I noticed that faint traces of steam seemed to come from where the water drops had landed. I was almost completely dry before I even had the chance to towel myself off.

Am I running a temperature or something? Huh, that’s strange, I feel fine.

I raised my hand against my forehead, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. I put the thought out of my mind, shrugging as I got myself into the truck and headed over to Leah’s.

We pulled into the parking lot of the Olympic Graphic Arts store a while later, Leah chattering on about an idea for a school project she had. While I was browsing one of the aisles, my head turned abruptly as a chill penetrated my spine. I looked around, a confused expression plastered across my face. My eyes stopped on couple, so inhumanly and ridiculously good-looking that they couldn’t possibly be real, near the register waiting for their turn to pay. They didn’t look like they belonged here, their style of clothing and mannerisms definitely not something that looked like they were bred in Forks. The tall, blond male bent low to say something to the petite dark-haired female and she laughed in response, her voice like musical wind chimes. An inexplicable feeling of dislike suddenly bubbled up inside of me, though I couldn’t figure out why.

“Sam, are you okay?” Leah’s voice snapped me out of my stupor. “You kind of balled up your fists all of a sudden. Look,” she said, pointing at my hands. “You’re knuckles are turning white.”

I glanced down and saw that she was right. The color was just starting to come back around my knuckles as I released the pressure in my hands, giving her a puzzled grin.

“Hm, I didn’t even realize that I was doing that. Weird.”

“What’s gotten into you? You’re not acting like yourself.” She looked at me, concerned.

“What? No, I’m fine. Seriously. Let’s just get your stuff and get out of here.”

“Okay, whatever you say,” she replied, taking my hand. She cried out, dropping my fingers as she gazed at me questioningly.

“What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I thought you said you were fine?” she hissed, still clutching her hand.

“I am. Why?”

“God, you’re seriously telling me that you don’t feel that?”

“C’mon, Leah, stop playing around. Feel what?”

“Your skin…you’re burning up, Sam.”

I looked at her, confused, as I touched my forearm. I felt nothing different. Leah must be imagining things, probably from the drastic change in temperature when we entered the heat-infused store.

“That’s strange. I seriously don’t feel anything. I feel fine, better than fine actually.”

“Can you at least think about going to go see a doctor? Just so I’m not sitting somewhere freaking out. Better safe than sorry, right?”

“But I told you, I don’t want to see a doc –” I began, before she cut me off.

“Please? For me? I’d feel better if I knew you’d gone to see one.” She batted her eyelashes at me, knowing I couldn’t resist her when she made that face.

“Oh, alright, alright. I give up; whatever you say. Can we just please get out of here? I’m getting hungry and those people over there are making me a little uncomfortable,” I said, narrowing my eyes toward the same strangely attractive couple from before. She nodded in agreement as we made our way to the register.

An hour and a half later, we were sitting in the car after a less than satisfying lunch when Leah decided to bring up the subject again.

“Why don’t you go see if you can make a quick stop in the emergency room? We’re not that far from the hospital and I really would feel better if you would go and see a doctor, Sam.” Hearing her bring it up again suddenly caused my irritation to flare almost unreasonably. I threw her a weary glance, fighting the urge to roll my eyes at her persistence.

“I told you, I’m fine. Why can’t you just leave it alone?” I usually loved this stubborn side of her; this determined and unrelenting side. But not today. Today, it took a good portion of my self control to bite back any offending remarks that were coming close to bubbling to the surface. I was not in the mood to be goaded into something that, quite frankly, I was completely against doing. But like I said, she was relentless.

“But you promised. And we’re already near the hospital,” she pointed out matter-of-factly. “Unless, you enjoy making me worry…”

Her voice trailed off as her face turned towards the window.

Oh, she’s good…we’re resorting to guilt trips now?

“Damn, Leah. You really had to pull the guilt card on me? That’s a low blow, even for you.” I was definitely irritated now and for the love of God, I couldn’t figure out what was making me so irate and illogical.

“Well, I’m doing it for good reason and you know it. Besides, what’s it gonna hurt? You go in, they check you, give you meds, and you’re free to go! Easy,” she offered enthusiastically. When my face formed into an angry scowl, her own expression faltered as her face fell in defeat.

“Baby, please don’t make me beg you to go,” she whispered softly. “Just cut me some slack here, okay? Humor me. Even if you feel fine, just freakin’ humor me, okay?”

Great. Now’s she’s pissed, too. I thought, as her voice rose an octave.

“Fine,” I muttered through gritted teeth. “Whatever! I’ll go. I still don’t get why I have to go, but like I said, whatever. If it’ll make you stop bugging me –”

“It will,” she interrupted, cutting me off. She had that smug look on her face, knowing she’d won this round. But as she glanced at me again, I saw her expression soften as she ran her hand through my hair, stroking the side of my face with the back of her hand. “Thanks for humoring me.”

The soft sincerity in her voice took me by surprise and was almost enough to completely cause the irritation to ebb away. Almost…but not quite.

I was sitting in the emergency room at the hospital, waiting my turn to see the new doctor that’s come to town. I had dropped Leah off at a friend’s house, not wanting to worry her while I waited and not feeling up to having her hover over me the entire time.

Rumors were going around that this Dr. Cullen was some kind of skilled specialist and that it was lucky for Forks that he settled here and not some big, fancy hospital in one of the major cities. People said it was because his wife wanted to live somewhere small and scarcely populated, so Forks Hospital gained a new staff member.

“Sam Uley?” a voice called from the front desk.

“Yeah, right here,” I answered, walking up to where the woman with the clipboard was standing.

“Sam Uley?” she repeated, glancing up at me from the clipboard. “Right, so you can go into that room there and Dr. Cullen will be with you shortly.”

I nodded as I followed the hallway to the door she was pointing to. A few minutes later, there was a soft knock on the door as the same man I had seen earlier at the supply store entered the room with unusual grace.

“Hello, Sam. I’m Dr. Cullen; what can I do for you today?” He smiled warmly at me, his face expectant.

I stared at him, noticing the odd color of his eyes. Suddenly, the feeling hit me before I had a chance to realize what was happening. I felt a low rumble deep in my chest as my body went rigid, vibrating with uncontrollable tremors.

“I – I’m sorry, but I think I have to go…” I trailed, refusing to look at him as I bolted from the room.

I ran all the way to the truck, hopped in, and gunned the ignition as I tried to keep myself calm. I still needed to go pick up Leah and I didn’t want to scare her half to death for no reason.

Jeez, man. You’re losing it. What was that back there?

I paced my breath, counting numbers in my mind until I felt the tremors cease altogether. The memory of the last twenty minutes flashed through my mind and for the first time in my life, I was terrified.

“How was the doctor’s visit? What did they say?” Leah asked, trying to seem nonchalant as I gripped the steering wheel all the way back to La Push.

“Oh, you know, the usual…” I mumbled, refusing to look at her. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her what had happened at the hospital because, frankly, I didn’t really know what happened in there. How could I explain my erratic behavior without her thinking that I’d completely lost my mind? It’s better that I don’t tell her anything, at least for now.

She examined my face, her eyes narrowing in scrutiny.

“What was the new doctor like? What was his name again? Dr. Cullen? Yeah, I think that’s what it was. I’ve heard a couple of things about him and his family already. Was he nice?”

“Yeah, seemed nice enough, I guess. What’s with the twenty questions?” I snapped back irritably.

“Jeez, what’s wrong with you? Can’t a girl ask questions?” Her mouth turned down into an exaggerated pout as she folded her arms across her chest.

“I’m sorry, Lee-lee. I didn’t mean it to come out like that. The guy was nice enough.” I shuddered at the memory of the encounter again, hoping that Leah didn’t notice the grimace that materialized on my face. “I’m just irritated from sitting in the waiting room for so long.”

“So they said you were okay? That you’re not sick?” God was not on my side today and she wasn’t going to give up until she got an answer. I did the only thing I could do to make her drop the subject: I lied.

“Yeah, they said I was fine,” I replied, a little too quickly. “I told you not to worry so much.”

She gave me a wary look, but refrained from asking any more questions. She leaned her face towards the window and closed her eyes. I drove the rest of the way back to La Push in silence, the faint static of the radio humming gently in the background.

Everyone was sitting in the Clearwaters’ living room when we got back later that night. There was a sports something or other playing on the television and Harry was seated on the couch, flanked on both sides by Billy Black and Forks’ police chief, Charlie Swan. Their faces were glued to the screen, only looking away to comment in disagreement about whatever they were watching. We walked through the door and all three men stood up to shake my hand before settling down to the game again.

Leah was tugging my hand, making her way to the kitchen. I followed behind her, but not before I caught the meaningful glances between Harry and Billy. They both nodded their head in unison, turning their attention back on the television as I disappeared through the door.

“What was that all about?” I asked Leah when we were out of earshot.

“Hm? What was what all about?” she replied absent-mindedly, grabbing some fruit and juice from the fridge.

“Your dad…he was kind of looking at me funny,” I said uncomfortably. “And then he looked at Billy and Billy did the same thing.”

“Oh, it was probably nothing. Maybe they were talking about the game or something. Don’t get so worked up about it. Orange?” she offered, as I shook my head in response.

“I’m not!” I protested, unable to completely mask my apprehension. “It’s just that it was weird, you know?”

She threw me an exasperated look.

“You’re just imagining things. I’m sure it was nothing. Now c’mon,” she urged, making my stomach flutter as she turned on the irresistible Leah-charm. “We might have time to make it to that new movie I’ve been dying to see. It’ll help you take your mind off of things.”

I nodded, following her back out to the truck. I seriously doubted whether a movie was enough to control the strange questions now racking my brain.

Chapter 5 to come... ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Blog Look

So I think this warrants a post because that is just how awesome @GSnaps is. New blog look and color scheme courtesy of the awesomeness that is Ginger Snaps. ::bows down::

Hopefully this'll make the blog a little more "easy on the eyes" and help me to post on a more regular basis (okay, on a less occasional basis) so as not to waste the talent that was put into beautifying the soon-to-be second home to my brain's inner workings and ramblings.

So hat's off to you @GSnaps. You are full of awesome. ::zig-zag snaps::

Sunday, August 8, 2010

WriteOn Con

Whilst conversing with friends on Twitter, and by conversing I meant lurking, I found out about an awesome online event taking place just for writers and aspiring writers (like yours truly) to congregate. Where is this magical realm, you ask? WriteOnCom of course!


I've already met so many cool people while browsing the forums and most of them have scattered throughout Twitter, otherwise known as my second home. Getting to know and reading about some of these people have contributed to the juices of creativity flow that began where it left off so many moons ago. And as per my previous practices, the night owl in me still writes til the wee hours of the early morn. (bedtime this morning was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30am, although feeding and putting my little man back to sleep might also have had something to do with that as well...LOL)

Topics being covered in the online conference include: how to write a query, what not to do when submitting work to an agent, bonafide agent critiques, questions to ask yourself before a revision, myths about literary agents, etc. And that's just the beginning. This hotspot for information that can help the average Joe (or Jane, as the case may be) become the next IT author of this generation.

I know there are a lot of aspiring writers who, if they're anything like me, would want to pull their hair out at every block encountered. And there are questions that we have that we just don't know where to get answered. So I'm totally stoked that there is something like this that can reach out to all those that aspire to bring their imagined stories to life, no matter where they are.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Second Post Before Bed

Okay so since I'm posting a severely overdue chapter of my ff that was supposed to help me keep writing in this thing, I thought I'd post something else that made me a happy girl. :)

So I went to TwiTour in Los Angeles with the older sister I never had @iamlulu2 like back in March, but never posted the awesomeness that I scored whilst mingling in the same air space as Chaske Spencer, Alex Meraz, and Kiowa Gordon. The only thing that could've put the icing on the cake was if Tyson Houseman were there as well, but a girl can only dream, right?! So mind you, if I look a little giddy in this picture, it's because 1) Alex smelled SO damn good. 2) I was breathing the same air space as Chaske. and 3) Did you see Alex's arm around me???? (Take note of the hand that squeezed the shoulder...)

I mean, a girl could only puddle so much before security would be called to whisk her away, right? And trust. Did I puddle. Oh lord. I think there were waves of that puddling.

So here's my swagger and my style. Okay, I don't know where that verbiage came from, but here are the awesome pics. Enjoy and be jealous. ;)

Now those are what dreams are made of... Mmhmm. That's right. Night! <3

When Destiny Calls - Chapter 3

So to continue where I left off all those months ago... (hey, I've been busy! Life kinda just got in the way...you know how it is! LOL) I hope you guys like it! If you do, please comment. If not...well...you know comments aren't really necessary anyway, right?! LOL

My Sam Uley... ::le sigh:: (I know I'm a little nutters when it comes to this guy... but COME ON. Give a girl a break.)

Photo courtesy of coolspotters.com

The Leah that never was... ::sad face::

Photo courtesy of Twilight Indonesia

Without further ado... Chapter 3 of When Destiny Calls...

DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns all Twilight-related material. I'm merely borrowing Sam for a bit... ;)

Chapter Three – Plans

“So what do you say?” I whispered softly, wiping the tears falling freely down her face.

A slow smile crept up on the corners of her mouth. She nodded her head slowly, encircling her arms around me.

“Yes,” she murmured back, closing her eyes and pressing her face against mine.

I stared up at the sky, watching the dim lights of stars hiding behind the veil-like clouds. As Leah leaned back into my arms, I smiled contentedly, marveling at how nothing I could’ve planned would have come close to how perfect everything turned out to be.

It had been a week since that night and I had to still keep reminding myself that she had said yes.

She said yes.

I was constantly having to check myself because apparently I had taken to walking around with a stupid, half-moon grin without even realizing it. Not that I minded people seeing how ecstatic I was, but some people tend to look at you funny when you walk around smiling at everything and everyone for no apparent reason.

I tried to think of other things, things that needed to get done before I went away to school. Taking the semester off and starting in the spring was a better idea than I’d anticipated. I figured that I’d have more time to help Leah plan the wedding, though I already knew that my opinion would probably be overruled by the three active female contributors to the future nuptials. Still, I could drive Leah around, help her out if she needed it, and even offer an opinion should she want it.

My time with her was limited enough as it is, her senior year of high school taking a larger toll on how much freedom she usually had from studying. All of her friends had already been told about my popping the question, obviously. I liked watching how her eyes twinkled as she recounted her daily grind, never failing to mention how incredibly green with envy all the girls were. She always looked smug whenever she told me how all of her friends were wishing their boyfriends would take a cue from me. I couldn’t help laughing each time because with Leah, each gesture, each action, each word spoken, was a natural thing. There was no cue to take from it because it was an ease that couldn’t be duplicated. And so I laughed because being with Leah was never hard; it was the easiest thing in the world to me.

“Oh, crap…” I groaned, turning over to look at the alarm clock. “Jeez, she’s gonna kill me! I can’t believe I overslept!”

I hopped out of bed and shuffled into the bathroom to take a quick shower. I heard a loud knock on my door as I tried to hurry through the motions, poking my head around the curtain of the shower.


My mother’s voice was drowned out by the loud noise of the water.


“YEAH? I’M IN THE SHOWER!” I called out, hoping she heard me.

I came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, wearing just a towel around my waist and stopped short when I saw Leah, sitting cross-legged, at the foot of my bed.

“H-hey! Scared me there for a sec. When’d you get here?”

“A few minutes ago. Your mom said I can come in and wait for you. I think she’s going to the store,” she answered, grinning at me. I saw her eyes move down the length of my body and relished the slightly provocative glow she now wore. She turned her head away when she realized that I had noticed her scrutiny, her face burning with color.

“Oops! Sometimes I get a little carried away…” she laughed, the blush moving up to her ears. “Ugh, why do you have to be so damn cute?”

She threw me a look of mocked loathing, narrowing her eyes in pretense.

“Only to you,” I replied, a half smile playing at the corners of my mouth.

“No way! All the girls think you’re completely hot and it makes you that much more attractive because you walk around not knowing it! You need to look in the mirror more often, I think. Get a reality check or something.”

She was trying to hold her face to the serious expression she had managed to display, but failed miserably as we both burst into hysterical laughter.

“Seriously, though, how could you not notice them staring at you? They’re not exactly the most discreet bunch, you know. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not about the whole jealousy thing, but I just don’t get how you don’t know.” She gazed at me, genuinely exasperated.

I shook my head, snickering as I pulled her close to me.

“I don’t know about a mirror; I’d much rather be looking at you. And I really don’t know what you mean. I look perfectly normal to me.” She snorted and rolled her eyes.

“Right, normal. If you’re normal, I’m rotting fruit,” she said, pouting her lip in feigned sadness.

“Rotting fruit? Where’d you get that analogy? You are ridiculously beautiful and you shouldn’t care what your friends say anyway. I’ll bet they were just trying to create more drama.” I kissed the tip of her nose, inhaling deeply as a smile played on her lips. I was vaguely aware that I still had nothing but the damp towel on, but I didn’t want to let her go just yet.

She let out a sigh as she put some distance between us. I kept my hands on her waist, still unwilling to oblige. She chuckled lightly, the tiny crinkles around her eyes growing deeper as I leaned my forehead against hers.

“You’d better put some clothes on before we get ourselves into trouble,” she whispered, closing her eyes.

“Mmm…but what if I like trouble?” I murmured, trailing my fingers along the side of her face.

“You’re making it very hard for me to resist, you know,” she giggled softly, stealing a quick kiss before she closed her eyes again.

“Then stop resisting,” I urged coaxingly. I started trailing kisses down her face, starting from the tips of her ears and working my way down to her collarbone. I felt her shiver as her heartbeat began to race and her breath came in short bursts.

“Lee-lee,” I whispered tauntingly, moving in the opposite direction and planting kisses all the way up to her temple. I continued to caress her face with my fingers as I slowly pressed my lips on hers. She responded willingly, our mouths finding a comfortable rhythm. I heard a small whimper escape her and she pulled away abruptly, breaking into bemused laughter.

“Ugh, you’re killin’ me,” she sighed. “Now, come on, get dressed. We’re gonna be late.”

I laughed, rolling my eyes as I slipped on a pair of jeans and an old Metallica t-shirt. I rummaged in my drawer for a pair of socks before throwing on my chucks and she gave me the once over before nodding her head in approval.

“Okay, let’s go. My mom’s gonna kill us if we’re late and I do not want to be on the receiving end of that stick.” She tugged on my hand, dragging me outside where I had parked the truck.

A short while later, we pulled up in front of her house just as Harry clambered up the steps carrying extra fold-up chairs. His face lit up when he saw us and I ran over to help him with the load in his arms.

“Happy birthday, Harry! You don’t need to be lifting all of this,” I said, taking the chairs he was holding. “Take a load off, relax…”

“Thanks, but I’ve got a lot more years on this engine, Sam! You don’t need to worry about me,” he replied, chortling loudly. “Besides, a guy can’t rest around here for too long, what with Sue planning around the you-know-what.” His voice trailed off in a mocked whisper as Leah rolled her eyes behind him.

“You can say wedding, Dad,” Leah muttered quietly into his ear as she kissed his cheek hello.

“I know that, honey, but I don’t want to set your mom off again in case she hears me,” he joked, continuing to laugh. “Now, I better get inside and see if she wants me to do anything else before I settle myself in front of the television. You kids be careful; Lord knows I love her, but that woman’s on a rampage this morning!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” He threw us a jovial wave as he walked back to the house and disappeared through the front door.

Leah and I looked at each other, both of us wearing tentative expressions. I shrugged my shoulders, managing to open the door for her with the chairs still in my arms. I couldn’t help feeling the knot in my stomach tighten as I walked in after her.

We made our way through the living room and into the kitchen to find Sue moving frantically back and forth between the stove and whatever else she seemed to be busy with. Her face was contorted in concentration and she was muttering to herself, recounting the things she still had left to do. It was a few minutes before she realized we were standing by the doorway, cautiously waiting before we interrupted her self-inflicted tirade.

“O-oh! You’re here! Great! I could use a few extra hands here. Sam, could you please put those in the living room,” she instructed, pointing the chairs that I now realized I was still holding. “Leah, grab that bowl and mix the sauce so I can add it to the stew. I swear, if it wasn’t your father’s birthday, I wouldn’t be running around like this.”

Leah and I exchanged a quick smile as I made my way into the living room.

“Yes, you would, Mom. And you know it! You know you live for this stuff,” she said affectionately as her voice faded, drowned out by the volume of the television that now blared in the living room.

“Where should I put these, Harry?” I asked, indicating the chairs I was holding.

“Just open them up and put them alongside that wall over there,” he replied, pointing to the far wall of the room.

Leah walked out, a grimace on her face. I glanced alarmingly at her, my expression questioning.

“What happened?”

“Oh, you know, the usual. She’s decided that I might be better suited to help you out here. ‘Spend some time with him, go on.’ Not like we don’t spend almost every waking moment together already,” she replied, rolling her eyes. She caught the expression on my face, even though I was trying to carefully hide the flash of emotion.

“You know I didn’t mean it like that,” she murmured, trying to assuage whatever ridiculous thing I had felt a second before. “Of course, I want to spend time with you. I was irritated because it’s like she keeps trying to push me off on you and I didn’t want you to feel crowded. That’s all,” she finished lamely, tilting her head down so that her long eyelashes brushed against her cheeks.

“I’d never feel crowded, you nut. I’d take up every spare moment you had if it was left up to me,” I said, grinning wickedly. She laughed as she threw a chip at my face.

“You’re so bad. Don’t let my dad hear you say it that way. I’m still his little girl, you know,” she chastised, wagging a mocking finger at me.

“Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t see a little girl anywhere…” I was trying to be seductive, remembering the little scene from this morning, but she wasn’t having it. I pulled her hand and led her outside so we could sit on the porch until everyone got here.

She settled down on the step below me and leaned back against me so that her arms were resting on my thighs. There was a slight breeze that was starting to pick up and it blew wisps of her hair around, surrounding me with her smell. I absentmindedly traced the curve of her jaw with my fingertips and she closed her eyes, contentedly.

“Do you think we should set a date?” she asked casually.

“Next summer would be good, I think. What do you think? Next summer good for you?”
I felt her body stiffen just a little bit and I was half afraid that I’d scared her or that I was trying to push things faster than she wanted them to go.

“N-next summer? As in right after I graduate?” she stammered, turning around to face me.

“Yeah, that would be what I meant by next summer. Why? Are you having second thoughts?” I asked, not knowing if I really wanted to hear the answer.

“No, of course not. That’s so stupid, Sam. I’m just saying, don’t you think it’s a little soon? I mean we only just got engaged.”

I sensed the reluctance in her voice and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It had only been a week for her, but it had been a long time coming to me. Truthfully, I didn’t really have a problem with putting it off for as long as she wanted, but I was trying to figure out why she wanted to. Getting married seemed like the natural step in our relationship and all I was waiting for was for her to finish high school. Now I was stuck trying to decipher what exactly she wanted when I thought I had known all along.

“What do you mean too soon? Are you sure you’re not having doubts? Because if you are, I think that might be something I’d be interested in knowing,” I snapped unnecessarily.

I regretted it the instant the words came out of my mouth. Leah’s face recoiled like I’d just slapped her and her expression crumpled, leaving her speechless. I wondered for a brief second what was going on with her because she usually wasn’t so emotional and well, soft, but the fire in her returned as my Leah finally came back from where ever this wedding planning thing had taken her.

“For your information, Samuel Uley, I don’t have any plans on backing out. Unless, of course, you’re the one with the cold feet. Stop trying to put words in my mouth. I’m still getting adjusted to this whole thing, you know. I didn’t think you’d actually propose, let alone suggest we get married so soon. I mean, I thought I was having one of my delusional one-sided conversations again before you actually slipped the ring on my finger –” She stopped short, eyes wide, as she realized that she said too much.

Again?” I asked, smirking.

“Well, I, uh, well…” She was at a loss for words again and I could’ve sworn that my heart skipped a beat as I continued to watch her struggle for words.

“So you’ve been imagining this, have you?” I murmured into her ear, as I pulled her close to me. I could see her glowering from my peripheral vision and it was all I could do to keep from bursting into laughter.

“Hm, so quiet…I take that as a yes then?” I teased, playfully burying my face in her hair.

“Silly boy, of course I’ve been imagining it! We’ve been together since I’ve hit puberty and you were this unattainable thing that I wanted and I wanted you all to myself, but I was always afraid that you would find someone better, prettier, someone you would want more than you wanted me and I –” I place a gentle finger on her lips to stop her from rambling on as I leaned in close so that my breath echoed in the clouds of her hair.

“I could never want anyone more than I want you,” I whispered, my voice completely devoid of humor.

“Really?” she asked softly, though her face was set in a disbelieving façade. “But why? I’m loud, I’m bossy, and I don’t ever let you get your way. Are you sure you wouldn’t be happier with someone else? Someone less volatile, maybe?” A little humor had made it into her voice, but she looked at me expectantly, waiting for my answer.

“Hm, well, when you put it that way…” I started, as her hand yanked hard on my right earlobe. “Ow! Okay, okay. I was just kidding. I figured, you wouldn’t believe me if I came right out with it anyway, so I might as well have a little fun.” I chuckled as she folded her arms across her chest.

"But really, really, really. I don’t know what else you want me to say. I love you exactly the way you are, crazy and all. Although, I have to admit, I’m not too thrilled about this side of you.”

“What side? This is how I’ve always been,” she replied quizzically.

“Nuh-uh. This side of you that’s completely insecure and completely oversensitive. This wedding thing’s really getting to you, I think. I’ll just be glad when all of this is over and truthfully, it’s kind of one of the reasons why I wanted to get married sooner.” I felt the heat rising in my cheeks, like I’d just confessed some really horrible sin. Leah surprised me by bursting into hysterical laughter.

“Oh my god, I don’t know what I’ve been thinking. I’m so sorry! God, I must sound like a whiny little – oh, I don’t even know what! – and I’m really sorry I just put you through that third degree. I was just going over the conversation in my head and realized that I sounded like someone I would be annoyed with.”

“I’m glad I didn’t have to go into greater detail,” I mused, moving my head to the side as she made a move to take a backhanded swipe at me.

“Very funny, mister. Okay, but seriously, last time I’m gonna ask, I swear! Are you sure you’re sure?”

I made to wrap my arms around her again, but she stopped me, turning around so that she was looking directly at me. I was completely rendered speechless by the depth of her brown eyes for a second as she gazed at me, trying to read my face before I responded. I nodded my head once, overwhelmed by the feeling of wanting her in my arms. I pressed my forehead against hers and closed my eyes, feeling the heat from our breaths wafting across my face. I cupped her chin with my hand, tilting her face towards me.

“You are what I want. All volatile, loud, bossy, crazy you. I’ve wanted you for as long as I can remember and nothing humanly possible can ever change that.” I leaned down and put my lips on hers, relishing the moment, as Leah’s tears fell quietly down her face.

**Chapter 4 to come... ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

When Destiny Calls - Chapter 2

Totally my continued inspiration...

Kiowa, Chaske (Oh mah lawd, this picture...I can totes eat him up...::rawr::), and Alex...
Photo courtesy of FameSpy

It's taken forever to update, but you know, busy with @WerewolfSam and all... ::giggles::winks:: I am #fail when it comes to updates, but hopefully, getting back into the groove of things will help me to remember that if I want people to read this shit, I MUST update. LOL Without further ado, read on for chappy two of When Destiny Calls...

DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns all Twilight-related material. I'm merely borrowing Sam for a bit... ;)

Chapter Two – Decisions

“Um, hi Mom,” Leah said nervously. She shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, keeping her eyes on the ground.

Noticing Leah’s discomfort, I walked forward and gave Sue a hug hello, taking the grocery bags she was holding. Sue and I had always gotten along, the simplicity of our relationship making it easy to think of her as though we were already family. She reciprocated the gesture, although I noticed not quite as enthusiastically.

“Hi Sue,” I said genially, shifting the bags in my hands to a more comfortable position. “How’ve you been since the last time I saw you?”

“Fine, just fine, Sam. You can go ahead and put those bags in the kitchen. Just move the large pot on the counter and put it in the sink.” She smiled at me as I turned around and walked towards the kitchen. I scratched the side of my head, wondering what had turned Sue’s mood as I set the bags down, careful not to let them topple over the countertop. She seemed perfectly fine when I saw her the day before.

I heard strained voices in the living room, Sue saying something in low, measured tones. I walked back in, hesitating by the kitchen doorway as my eyes moved from Leah to Sue and back to Leah again.

Leah’s face looked uncomfortable once more, her eyes still on the floor. Sue smiled at me again, though I noticed the strain behind the gesture.

“Do you think you can give us a minute, Sam? I need to talk to Leah alone.” Sue’s emphasis on the word “alone” didn’t need to prompt me twice. I lingered for a second, though, glancing at Leah before I replied.

“Oh. Sure… I think I forgot something in the truck anyway. You know, on second thought, I should probably just get going. My mom might be wondering where I’d gone off to…” I trailed off, the awkwardness in the room getting the better of me.

“Yes, I think that’s a good idea. You can come back later if you’d like to stay for dinner. We’re having meatloaf and some of that bread pudding I made this morning. Tell your mother she’s welcome to come too.”

I nodded my head, turning my gaze back to Leah.

“I’ll see you later then?”

She nodded without saying a word as I walked back to my truck.

I sat in my car in front of the Clearwaters’ house later that night, contemplating whether I should just turn around and go back to my place. I could just call Leah, make up some kind of excuse, and tell her I would see her tomorrow. But before I could start the engine again, a tall figure emerged from the house and beckoned for me to get out of the truck. I recognized Harry at once, a warm smile spread across his face.

“Hi Sam! We were wondering how long you were planning on sitting out there for,” he said, patting my back as he ushered me inside.

Leah and Sue were sitting at the dinner table looking relaxed and well, normal. It was as though the tension from earlier in the day had never happened. I shot Leah a look that clearly read what’s going on here? as Sue motioned for me to sit down.

“Where’s Seth?” I asked, noticing the empty spot at the table.

“He’s gone to a friend’s house for dinner. Something about working on a school project,” Sue said evasively.

Everyone was looking at me expectantly and I cleared my throat pretending not to notice.

“Mmm, smells good, Sue. You might just outdo Harry’s famous fish fry,” I remarked, throwing Harry a teasing wink. He laughed good-naturedly, gesturing for me to dig in.

When everyone had filled their plates, I noticed Sue glance tentatively at Leah before she turned to me.

“So, Sam… Leah tells me you’ve been accepted into the University of Washington. I’ve heard good things about that school.”

“Uh, yeah. I wanted to go somewhere close to home so that I could stay near the rez. Leah only has a year left and uh, well…” I trailed off, the color rising in my face. I wasn’t used to having someone ask me so many questions like they were actually interested in what I had to say. I looked to Leah for help, but she just stared back, the makings of a smirk clearly etched on her face.

Oh god, here we go.

Sue looked thoughtful for a moment, absentmindedly running her fingers along her arm.

Harry’s expression matched Leah’s as we waited for Sue to continue.

“You and Leah have been together for quite a while now,” she mused, sidestepping around the question that I knew she would eventually get to.

“Uh, yeah, a little over three years now,” I replied, clearing my throat as I braced myself for what was coming.

“So what exactly are your intentions with my daughter?” she asked, her face lighting up with interest.

“Um, I don’t – I mean, I…” Again I looked to Leah for help, but found that I was left to my own devices.

“What I’m trying to get at, Sam, is…are you and Leah planning on getting married?”

Yup, there it goes.

“Well, you see…we haven’t really talked about that because, you know, of school and all.” I knew I sounded like I was making up excuses, but I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind a few thousand times in the past couple of months. Leave it to the family to ruin everything.

Of course, Leah wasn’t supposed to know that I was planning to propose. They don’t call it a “surprise proposal” for nothing. I grimaced as the unrealized plans of the perfect moment slipped through my fingers. Sue looked at me, misunderstanding the expression now painted on my face.

“Well, are you?” she repeated, still staring intently at me, though her gaze had lost some of its encouragement. Her repetition of the question was a little more forceful than I would’ve liked.

“Uh, eventually, I guess…” I managed, shrinking under Leah’s gaze as her eyebrow shot up.

Oh boy, I’m in trouble.

“I mean, of course we plan on getting married! I just wanted to save up some more, you know, so we could get our own place. Leah can apply to Washington and uh, yeah…” I finished lamely, vaguely noticing that I had been rubbing my thumbs together.

Sue’s face relaxed, laughing as she put more meatloaf on my plate.

“You’re growing so fast, Sam. You should eat some more; otherwise, it’ll stunt your growth.”

“Amen to that!” Harry exclaimed, offering up his plate for seconds.

An hour later, Leah and I were sitting on the porch bundled up together. The weather was colder than usual for this time of year and I felt her shiver as a slight breeze blew through the open air. I automatically tightened my arms around her, burying my face in her hair.

“You’re so warm,” she murmured. “It’s almost like I don’t even need a jacket anymore. You feeling okay?”

“Yeah, I feel fine. Never better. Why?”

“Really?” she asked, putting one hand on my forehead and the other on my cheek. “You seem a little warm. I mean, warmer than usual. Maybe you should go see a doctor?”

“I don’t need a doctor. I’m fine,” I repeated, nodding my head to show her I was serious.

“Okay. I’m just saying…you’re temperature’s a little high, that’s all.”

She buried herself deeper into the cocoon that I had formed around her, her head leaning back so that it was cradled within the crook of my shoulder. She closed her eyes and sighed.

“So all that talk with my mother…” she began, keeping her eyes shut.

I was glad that she was facing away from me. There was no way she would’ve missed the grin forming at the corners of my mouth.

“Yeah, what about it?” I asked lightly.

“Well…did you mean it?” Her voice became softer, hesitant, almost like she was afraid of how I was going to react.

“I knew she was up to something, but I didn’t think I’d be ambushed like that,” I admitted, chuckling softly. “You could’ve warned me, you know.”

She dropped her gaze guiltily, her mouth turning upward in a sheepish grin. “I know; I’m sorry about that. But in my defense, I didn’t think she’d actually put you on the spot like that. To tell you the truth, I was a little curious about your answer anyway,” she replied, gazing at me meaningfully.

“Really?” I asked innocently.

“Well, yeah. I mean, we have been together for a while and you know, sometimes I wonder…” she trailed, her voice fading with uncertainty. “Don’t you think about it at all?”

You have no idea.

I chuckled again, my fingers tracing circles around the palm of her hand. “So that’s why she was mad at me? She wanted to know what my intentions were? I really thought I was in trouble there for a minute.”

“She’s just worried, you know, with you going off to college and everything. I don’t think I could’ve stopped her from cornering you. It was inevitable,” she said, laughing freely now.

The sound of her laughter sent shivers down my spine and I couldn’t think of any reason why I couldn’t just grow a pair and do it right here. I had the ring in my pocket and there’s no way that she would be expecting it now. I exhaled and braced myself for the possibility of rejection.

I tightened my arms around her, securing her against my chest. Her head fell back into the curve of my shoulder, as she gazed out into the open sky. I buried my face in her hair so that my mouth was right behind the curve of her ear, my heartbeat accelerating. I breathed her in, my head spinning as I took a deep breath and jumped.

“Will you marry me, Lee-Lee?” I whispered, my voice faltering as I finally asked her the question that had been consuming my every waking moment for the last two months. I quietly slipped the ring on her finger, my hand softly trailing the length of her arm.

She was still for a few minutes, until I finally couldn’t take the silence anymore. Not while her answer was suspended, dangerously hanging in between.

“Say something,” I pleaded, my anxiety growing.

Leah held her hand up, examining the delicate stone that rested on her finger. She maneuvered around so that she was facing me, her eyes glistening. Leah crying was still a hard sight to get used to. She never cried. I’ve seen this happen all of three times and though I knew better, I took it as a good sign because it was accompanied by a thoroughly bewildered grin.

“Are you serious?” she asked, her obvious skepticism hard to mask.

I nodded my head slowly, the look in her eyes making it impossible for me to breathe.

“But I thought you said I was too young; that I had to finish school before we even started talking about this. Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” she pressed, wanting to make certain that I gave her the validation she needed.

My hand caressed the side of her face, wiping the tear that had betrayed her.

“I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Why wouldn’t I be sure about marrying my best friend? You’re the only thing that makes sense to me, the only one that can make all the wrong things right,” I replied, pressing my lips against her forehead.

I inhaled again, continuing to breathe her in. She pulled away slowly, armed with more questions.

“But why? What made you change your mind?”

I chuckled as her face puckered expectantly, waiting for me to answer.

“You drive me crazy, you know that?”

She grinned wickedly. “Of course I do, but you love me for it!”

“That’s exactly it. You turn my world upside down so that I can never tell which way is up. But you know what? I don’t need to know which way is up. All I need to know is the way to get to you because you are my up. I’d be lost without you, you see? I don’t know how I can explain it better than that.”

She nodded her head, a flicker of understanding flashing in her eyes as she raised her face to mine. Inches apart, our eyes met and I bent my head as I kissed her lips, slowly, carefully, deliberately. She turned to face me completely, wrapping her arms around my neck as she twirled her fingers in my hair. I kept my hand on her face as her mouth moved in rhythm with mine, pulling away only when I noticed the salty wetness on my fingertips.

“So what do you say?” I whispered softly, wiping the tears falling freely down her face.

A slow smile crept up on the corners of her mouth. She nodded her head slowly, encircling her arms around me.

“Yes,” she murmured back, closing her eyes and pressing her face against mine.
I stared up at the sky, watching the dim lights of stars hiding behind the veil-like clouds. As Leah leaned back into my arms, I smiled contentedly, marveling at how nothing I could’ve planned would have come close to how perfect everything turned out to be.

I love the fluffy stuff and this chapter was definitely full of fluff. ::giggles:: Sam is just completely and utterly swoon-worthy... ::le sigh:: Stay tuned for Chapter 3... ;)