The Mythical Creature's Guide to Modern Warfare (15/26)

"The last girl and the last reason to make this last for as long as I could; the first kiss and the
first time that I felt connected to anything. The weight of water, the way you taught me to
look past everything I had ever learned. The final word in the final sentence you ever uttered to me was love."

Snow Patrol "Make This Go On Forever"

Chapter Fifteen, Oscar

Despite being on the floor of leech manor with two nearby laughing leeches, Jake tried to kiss me. Tried, mostly because I was trying to stand at the moment. "Come on, Jake; let's get out of here," I tell him, and run out the door. There was nothing else we could do but but what we were doing now. We would continue to patrol the perimeter, and then could deal with the various leeches when they came. Oh, and we could deal with Charlie and Sam in the morning. Right now, it was Christmas, and I had serious psychological issues to work out.

I wait for him in the yard, still wrapped in the wolf-hair-covered blanket, and kiss him deeply when he's close enough. He seems surprised, but doesn't mind, and kisses me back before I pull away and started trailed my lips down his neck, sucking lightly. "Leah," he moaned, trying to bring my mouth back up to his, but I just shook my head and danced away towards the forest.

"Come on, O Mighty Alpha," I called back, laughing, feeling oddly carefree despite the likelihood of our death before the next few months was out. I think it was odd reaction to the fact we weren't dying in the next week, and that old, "eat, drink, and be merry," thing being taken to its natural conclusion... "Bet you can't catch me." And I sprinted through the woods – I wasn't just the fastest wolf; I'd done track in high school. My lack of shoes slowed me just a little – winding around trees and following my own path.

Jake followed after me, curiously at first, still tense from earlier, then laughing as well, until we were about three miles from the manor and another ten from the border. I paused then, just in his sight, in a small hollow I came across and started playing with part of the blanket tucked into the rest, helping to hold it up.

He ran forward a little faster, and I pulled the blanket off, throwing it at him when he entered the little clearing. It fell over his face, and I laughed as he pulled it off roughly. "Are you trying to kill me?" Jake asked, grabbing hold of me firmly once he was in reach and pulling me towards him.

"Now why would I try to do that?" I said lowly, running my hands up and down his very nice chest. I very much like Alpha genes at the moment. I can't say I'd much mind, at the moment, having kids with them. One day. When the thing with the Italian leeches is taken care of and he's graduated and we've jobs and whatnot. If Dr. Bloodsucker is right and my periods are actually that and not cyclical haemorrhages resolving themselves quickly. Because, yes, that was sooo likely, Leah.

"Because," he said, doing an action I won't try to describe, but somehow came to my feet being kicked out from under me and falling to the ground, soon to be followed by Jake, who did it slightly more gracefully and landed on me, not the ground, "you are an evil, evil woman."

"Am I now?" I started kissing his neck again, trying to undo his shorts while severely distracted. It was hard, but I managed, and was trying to get him to do things with this new found freedom, but, at the moment, he was a little more occupied with the rounder parts of me...

"Yes," he said. And that was the last thing, besides my name, that he said for a while.

When I woke the next morning, we were still wrapped up in each other, with him heavy inside me. A very comfortable way to fall asleep, I soon discovered, but not to wake up. "Jake," I said, shaking him a little.

He snorted and rolled off of me, which would have worked, except for the fact we were so tangled together, I ended up going with him. Luckily, however, he seemed to have rolled onto a fresh fallen pine cone and woke with a start that probably would have been spectacular if I, well, hadn't been on top of him. "Morning, Jake. How are things?"

"Painful," he said, are limbs suddenly regaining blood flow as we wrangled them apart. I don't recall trying to make any human origami last night, but that seems to be what had happened. I call this one: Two Teenage Werewolves in Forest.

"Fun getting there, though."

"Oh, definitely. But we'll be sore for a half-hour or so."

"Thank God for werewolf healing."

"I wonder what time it is?"

Stretching out my kinks, "Probably late enough that Seth and Quil are getting concerned." Work, legs, work! You've not failed me before. Don't start now.

"Why did we take morning shift again?"

"Because we're a pair of idiots whose combined common sense couldn't buy a rotting dingo's kidney from a beggar in Bangkok."

"Hmm... Where's that? My mind's not working at the moment, and I keep on thinking Connecticut. I think that's wrong."

"Thailand, I think."

"I could really go for some Thai food right now."

"Oh my God... that would be so great... too bad Esme's on her way to rustle up vampires in Europe. You think Kate can cook? 'Cause I think I'm a lost cause."

"Wait," he groaned, looking very sleepy, "you mean that wasn't a dream?"

"Me trying to bake you a cake? No, that was months ago. You hit your head or-?" Carlisle was gone. Who else knew how to patch up injured werewolves? I mean, even Emmett was a vet/electrician/artist/priest. He could bandage Jake... or exorcise him, as the case may be. Are there any lingering spirits in these woods? If the evil producers aren't going to give me cancer, they're either going to possess my boyfriend or kill me off at the end of the season. Stupid producers. Must find out who they are, destroy them, and destroy all tapes of my fucked up life.

"No, I mean Irina deciding to ruin our lives."

"Unless we had the same dream... Which I doubt, unless we phased and phased back while asleep."

"Damn. I was kinda hoping it was one of your weird ass dreams."

"Were there any rainbow-coloured wolves in the dream?" I asked curiously, phasing as I did so. Seth, Quil?

There you guys are.

Sorry, we... overslept.

Good. I'm exhausted. Night, said Seth. Quil was already gone.

Jake joined me, telling me the only wolves he'd seen had been normal coloured, I corrected Seth, It's morning, idiot.

Whatever, he said, phasing out.

Why is my brother an idiot?

I dunno. Why would you dream of multicoloured werewolves?

Usually do.

Er... this may be a stupid question, but why?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Or possibly an unconscious obsession with jello. I'm not sure. At least they weren't selling bridal magazines this time.

They do that often?

Once or twice. It's kinda weird, actually, I told him as we found the border and started running, me north, him south. I mean, why would wolves need to sell magazines for their school fundraiser? Why not loose teeth or antlers or something? Or pine cones. I hear there's a big eBay market for pine cones. Especially Longleaf Pine pine cones. Not that there are any around here, but a pine cone's a pine cone to me.

Why bridal magazines?

I rolled my shoulders, stretching out a kink and shrugging at the same time. Patrolling could be kinda boring. Pine tree, pine tree, squirrel, pine tree. Like I know. I just live here.

It's your brain.

And you're talking in it, Almighty Alpha.

And don't you forget it.

My mind replayed a few scenes from last night. Particularly the ones that had given me kinks this morning. I don't think that's going to happen.

We ran in silence for a long time – until we passed each other on the first lap, actually, and I caused him to stumble as I sent him a picture of one of those selfsame memories. Then he spoke up again. Did you mean what you said last night?

Which part? I'd said a lot of stuff last night. I couldn't be forced to remember all of it. The part where you looked "drop dead sexy" in the elf costume? 'Cause that was a lie – though the look on your face was worth it.

No, I mean the Paul part.

The only think I could recall saying to Paul was that he was ugly and annoying and I was pissy. I didn't realize you were this insecure, Jake, but, yes, Paul is quite ugly compared to you – both as wolf and human. I mean, have you seen his fur? I teased, He's so copying mine. It's dreadfully embarrassing.

No. I could feel him rolling his eyes at me. And trying not to laugh. I meant the in-law part.

I think it's inevitable at this point Paul's going to marry Rachel. One day.

But you said you didn't want him to be your in-law.

So I did, I said, feeling stupidly girly as butterflies began to flutter in my stomach. Weren't butterflies supposed to be afraid of wolves or me or something? Go away, stupid flies – my cholesterol is high enough, I'm sure, without you. But why am I acting so girly, it's a valid question? If I had a sister, I wouldn't want Paul marrying her. So I don't want Paul to be my brother-in-law even if I did not have said sister that he might marry. Nor did Seth swing that way, I think, unless that stuff about Ruth Huntley was a real convoluted lie to make us think he doesn't... But, whatever. His question means nothing.

Would that be something you're interested in?

I think real hard about some other way I can interpret his sentence other then the one he meant it as. I fail spectacularly and have to resort to the truth, which makes me feel awkward and slightly light headed and a a weird mixture of anticipation and fear. I don't honestly know what I want him to say. I mean, what do I want? Sure, I've daydreamed about being Mrs. Jacob Black and my mind has created weird little scenes about that very thing happening and I fully intended at this point in my life spending the rest of my life with him and acknowledged that most people who did that sort of thing married, but was it was I wanted? Now?

Reasons why not: He's still in school.

Reasons why: He'll be graduating in May, which isn't that far away, and a five month engagement isn't odd by anyone's means.

More reasons not to: We're living at a lean-to, we have no income other then what the leeches sneak us, and a powerful group of spaghetti-eating blood-drinkers were on their way to kill the leeches that paid us and probably us as well.

More reasons why: Why not? We're already "making" a decent living now, why would being married be more expensive? And, for number three, a combination of Billy's "life is a cookie" idea and someone else's "eat, drink, and be merry," because, tomorrow, we might well die.

One more: Imprinting.

Stupid mind answer: Neither of us has done so yet. Why would we think we'd do so now?

Jake was waiting for an answer. He could sense my mental confusion – we were wolves, how could we not – but he didn't seem in any sort of rush. In fact, he seemed a bit confused himself. I cannot blame him. I mean, he is barely eighteen. Even on the Rez, people don't usually start talking about marriage at eighteen. They have trouble thinking about their futures at all, let alone somebody else's...

But, at my age, Mom was married. By the time she was twenty-three, I was born.

I... I began. I... I love you Jake. I love you so ridiculously much I'm surprised I have the energy to remember how to breathe, let alone anything else, when you're around. But I'm not the kind of girl people marry.

I'm not most people. The earnestness in his voice almost made me pause, but I kept on running, trying to concentrate on anything – pine tree, pine tree, rock, pine tree – other then the tempestuous thoughts raging in my mind. I'd gone between too many emotional extremes today to really understand what he was saying. Was he saying he'd be willing to marry me, one day? Or that he wanted to marry me, now? Or something else entirely? I couldn't tell. I wanted him to stop, just for a little while. Just long enough to give me some time to think.

I told Charlie about the Cullens, I told him instead. So he knows they're leeches now. I think he took it surprisingly well.

Really? Then, shaking himself, Please don't try to change the subject, Leah.

What is the subject? I mean – what are you saying? 'Cause hell if I know and, if you don't stop confusing me right this instant, I might have to hurt you.

He gave a lupine sigh. Leah.


I'm the Alpha, right?

Oh yes, your Royal Russet-ness, I snorted. True heir of Ephraim Black. Chief of the Quiluetes and whatnot.

But I am Alpha.

And I am Beta. I really didn't see where he was going with this. What did him being Alpha have to do with me telling Charlie about vampires? Did he not want me to or something? Well, he'd told them about us, I was just filling in the details, really. Like why there were werewolves in La Push. Though, now that I think of it, I didn't explain that little bit to him... oh well.

I don't want you to be Beta any more.

Shit-faced, cockatoo-fucking hell! Why? Just because I told-

No- I mean- God damn it all, Leah-! he tried again.

I snapped back, What, Jake? as sharply as only someone who's slept with the insultee can do.

I want you to be Alpha female. It's a promotion! We can make Quil Beta and-

What, you mean like, officially?


And what would 'officially' entail?

Whatever you want. Whatever it takes to let them (but he said it in such a way that it sounded like he'd started to say "him," by which he could only mean Sam) know you're mine, and I'm yours, and whatever the fuck else.

And that started out so romantic too.

I won't lie to you, he said in his serious voice. It'd probably mean a lot of sex. Some make-out sessions. The occasional attempt to cook if the world ends and we're the last to people left on earth, and I'm dying of myxomatosis.

I'm fairly certain that effects only rabbits.

In that case, scratch off the cooking. What do you think? You up to the job? He started sounding excited. Like happy excited, like he thought I was going to say yes.

Well, amazingly for him, I think I was too. Fine, I said, not entirely sure what I was agreeing to, besides more sex with Jake (which I would have been an idiot to say no to) and more make-out sessions and the possibility of cooking if we ever changed to were-rabbits. But, I said sharply, I want a crown.


I'm fairly sure Jake was skipping throughout the rest of our patrol. I'm not sure though, 'cause I've no idea what a skipping werewolf looks like. But I imagine it'd look quite a lot like he did at the moment. If we were doing a musical episode of my life, I'm fully prepared to believe he would have started singing.

Chapter Sixteen