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... ;)