Author: Das Mervin and Mrs. Hyde
Betas: gehayi and kermit_thefrog
Rating: R for language, themes, violence, and sexual innuendo
Word Count: 9,215
Summary: After two years on her own, and two more as a hunter with Sam and Dean Winchester, Leah thought she’d escaped her old life at La Push. But when she’s called home to attend Jacob and Renesmee’s wedding, she brings a little company, and the stage is set for her old and new lives to collide.
Author’s Note: Well, time to lead into our climax, with a final POV shift back to our original narrator Leah. The chapter title and soundtrack is the Warrant song “Bonfire.”
Spoilers: Spoilers for Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and all six seasons of “Supernatural.”
Disclaimer: “Supernatural” is the property of Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television. The Twilight Saga is the property of Stephenie Meyer and Little, Brown and Co. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made from this work.
CHAPTER 10 – BONFIRE
Leah leaned heavily on the white marble sink, staring into the unseeing black eye of the drain. Her breathing had finally stopped hitching, and after a moment she looked up at her face in the mirror.
It was blotchy and red, of course—she’d never been a pretty crier. At least her makeup hadn’t run. She straightened up and turned to retrieve some tissue from the stall. You’d never guess this was just a port-o-potty. Paneled with wood on the outside and with real fixtures, running water, and cloth hand towels inside, it looked like the bathroom in a four star hotel.
Typical, she thought tiredly as she dabbed carefully at her eyes, blotting away the remnants of her tears.
She’d thought that she was ready for this. She really had. She had her friends, and her new life, and she’d thought she’d put this all behind her. But as she stared at herself in the mirror, all she saw was that same angry, confused, and outcast girl she’d been from the beginning. She shouldn’t let it hurt her—but it did. Her mouth trembled and she looked away, fighting off another crying jag.
She knew she should’ve known, should have expected the kinds of petty insults she’d get from her pack, but she hadn’t, and it had knocked the wind out of her when they’d all started sneering at her and talking about her behind her back, just like they always had. And Emily—she should have known there, too. It had been nearly ten years, but Emily just refused to believe that Leah had gotten over Sam and just continued to pick at her, trying her hardest to open a wound long scarred over—all in the name of being helpful.
But when her own mother had started making the same accusations…it was too much.
So, here she was, just like before, just stupid, useless Leah running off to cry by herself.
She should have known that any invitation home would end like this. Only it would never end—she was always going to be unwanted Leah, at the beck and call of these people who wanted her around only to use her for their own amusement. It would never end, not as long as she was a wolf…and maybe even beyond that. She was trapped. It didn’t matter that she’d left. Didn’t matter that she was helping people, saving lives, and living her own. In the end, it would always come back to this.
She blew her nose noisily and wiped her eyes one last time. After pressing a cool, wetted towel to her cheeks, she re-applied a little mascara and lip gloss and then stood straight. Well—no matter what else they might do to her, she’d be damned if she was going to let them see that they’d made her cry.
Affecting a look of calm that she in no way felt, she left the little bathroom tucked away behind the pavilion and went out to rejoin the party. She held her chin up and refused to meet the eyes of anyone, human, wolf, or vampire. All she wanted to do was sit down somewhere by herself and wait for this hellacious day to end.
She didn’t go back to the same table, instead finding an empty one even further away, and tucked herself out of sight behind the huge centerpiece of peonies and lilies surrounded by glass bowls of white candles. Surely it would only be another hour or two, and then she could find Sam and Dean and Cas, and they could take her away from all of this—at least for now.
She was sitting quietly, numb to all the babble of talk flowing over her, when she heard it.
An enormous belch echoed across the party.
All talk stopped. Leah looked up, startled, just in time to hear Dean remark loudly, “Hoo, boy—that sure tasted better going down!”
Her mouth fell open as he and Sam both laughed uproariously at his wit. Jesus, Dean! She looked around, uncomfortable. From the pursed mouths and disapproving looks from everyone else, their sentiments were obvious. But…somehow the boys didn’t seem to notice. They had drawn literally every eye from the assembled guests, but were just carrying on loudly as if nothing had happened.
“Yeah,” Dean was saying, “I mean, when I saw the names of all this crap, I didn’t think I was going to get to eat anything all day.”
“Tell me about it,” Sam replied, his voice rich with disgust. “‘Petites Caisses au Fromage?’ What kind of jumped up, show-off name is that? It’s artichokes in cheese—you don’t have to try to make yourself look intelligent and everyone else feel dumb by labeling it in French—unless maybe that’s the only way they can feel smart.”
Leah’s eyes were growing wider and wider. What are they doing? she could only wonder, bewildered and uneasy.
“Actually, the stupid names nearly put me off some of it,” Dean said in a confidential tone that was at odds with his volume. “I mean, would you want to eat a flaming cooch? Sounds like something you’d get diagnosed with down at the VD clinic.”
Sam snickered in return. A low murmur of talk was starting up, and Leah could hear it was all about Sam and Dean—and her. She looked furtively around, shifting nervously in her seat. This was bad. This was very bad. What the hell were they thinking?
“Half this stuff I can’t even tell what it is—escargot?” Dean pronounced it like it was spelled as he stabbed something and held it aloft. “Looks like boiled dog’s left nut.” Leah saw him steel himself and then pop it in his mouth. “What is it?” he asked, chewing loudly and with his mouth open.
Sam’s smirk was obvious. “It’s a sea slug.”
Dean froze—and then went into a series of elaborate convulsions, hacking and choking so loudly and obviously that it could only be staged, and then very deliberately spit out the gob of half-chewed snail…in a dark and obvious streak right down the side of the pristine white tablecloth.
“Oh, gross!” he was bellowing. “Sammy—get me something to drink! I think I’m gonna puke!”
Sam skittered down to snatch a champagne glass and fill it up and then rush it back to Dean, who flapped theatrically once more before taking a huge swig, with which he started gargling and then spat it out on the ground before downing the rest. Then he grimaced. “Champagne? What, do I look as gay as everybody else here?”
Sam gave a bark of laughter. “That would be impossible.”
Dean grinned, and then they both sauntered down to the end of the table toward the drinks, brushing by all the appalled partygoers as if they weren’t there, until they got to the beer. Dean pulled out a glass and filled it up, immediately downing an impressive gulp before belching again. “That’s the ticket,” he said in satisfaction.
Sam was grinning near maniacally, and as he turned to his brother, he said, “Hey, look, Dean—Jenga!”
Leah could only watch in horror as he turned and reached for a champagne glass from the bottom of the elaborate stack.
She realized too late that he was serious, and by then she had no time. She wasn’t fast enough—she went dashing forward, nearly throwing her seat to the ground behind her and tearing through and around the tables and knots of guests, but was too late. She arrived right by them just in time to watch the entire left forward corner of the tower of glasses go crashing to the ground, even as both the brothers just howled with laughter.
There were shouts of shock, of dismay and outrage, but Sam looked supremely unperturbed. “Oops,” he said lightly, still chuckling. “My bad.” He tossed a disarming grin to the crowds. “Sorry, guys,” he said easily. “I’m just a useless, clumsy human, after all.” Then, after winking once at Leah, he casually turned and filled up the glass he’d taken and took a drink.
He made a face after he’d swallowed. “Dude, who the hell had the idea for the fountain? And with these stupid coupe glasses, too?” He was speaking much too loudly; everyone could hear him, and he paid no attention to Leah’s increasingly agitated gestures for him to shut up. “It’s making this champagne lose all the carbonation—these flat glasses were meant for sweet champagne. Putting this dry champagne in here has pretty much ruined it.” He smiled at her with patronizing sweetness and spoke in a stage-whisper. “I guess it’s okay, though—it’s a pretty common mistake, particularly when people are just throwing around money to impress but don’t actually know what they’re talking about.”
Leah could only gawp as he raised his glass and toasted the affronted crowds, most of whom were nastily muttering that someone like him wouldn’t know anything about champagne, before he turned back to his brother.
Dean had polished off his beer and, after letting loose with another loud burp and just chucking his glass over his shoulder where it rolled under the table, looked around and announced, “Man, I need to take a leak—where’s the head around here?”
Sam pointed back behind them towards the bathrooms, but Dean just gave them a one quick look and said, “Pfft. That’s too far—I’m about to piss myself. Excuse me.”
He sauntered off towards the large marble urn holding a manicured and beribboned hydrangea by the corner of the tent. Turning his back to the crowd, he very deliberately situated himself, and even as Leah thought that no, he wouldn’t, he couldn’t, she heard the distinct sound of his zipper going down and…oh, God, he was peeing in the bushes.
This was too much. Her face horribly, horribly red as everyone stared at her, she dashed over to the bush. “Dean,” she hissed, keeping her eyes firmly on his face, “what in the hell are you doing?”
Dean flicked an unconcerned look in her direction and then gestured downward. “What does it look like I’m doing—having tea with the Queen?”
“Dean,” she snarled, “what in the hell are you doing?”
Dean calmly shook off and zipped up, and then turned to her with that shit-eating grin that she’d learned meant trouble. “Leah,” he said sweetly. “Don’t you remember how you told us to behave when we first agreed to come to this monster jamboree?”
Leah blinked uncomprehendingly—and then she suddenly remembered. “Dean, no!” she whispered frantically. “You can’t—bad idea, remember? Werewolves and vampires? Bad idea!”
Dean snorted. “Relax, babe—I’ve seen enough. You were right the first time—we’ll be fine,” he said dryly, gesturing to the crowds. “And just in case, we have Cas, remember?” He beamed at the angel, who was still standing aside being obviously avoided, as he had been all day. She jerked her head back when Dean patted her cheek as if she were a child. “Now,” he said, “why don’t you just sit back and relax, and let Uncle Dean and Uncle Sam take care of everything?”
And with one last sly smile, he moseyed back over to the buffet table, utterly indifferent to the scowls and glares and otherwise appalled looks he was getting, and started stuffing mushrooms into his mouth until he looked like a chipmunk, and then turned around and grinned, open-mouthed, at every single person who was staring at him.
Well and truly panicking now, Leah could only try to chase down Sam. She found him, horror of horrors, talking to Jasper and Alice Cullen, and as she approached, her stomach dropped like a stone when she heard what he was saying.
“Good God—what idiot designed this white nightmare?” His voice carried far too well for it to be anything less than intentional, and his tone was brimming with disgust. “There are other colors you know—what, was the goal to make everything as white and bloodless as all you creeps? Or maybe just to make all the Native Americans look less white so they remember their place?”
“Weddings are classically white,” Alice snarled, “And I designed this wedding, and I think that I’ve had more experience with fashion than you could ever have!”
Sam snorted rudely. “Oh, yeah?” he asked mockingly. “Where’d you learn—the Nathan Bedford Forrest School of Design?”
“There’s no such school,” Alice informed him derisively. “And I’ve studied design in Paris and watched the rise and fall of all the great modern designers.”
Sam stared at her, and then simply said, “You’re an idiot.”
Alice hissed furiously at him, which Sam ignored, but he couldn’t ignore Jasper as he pushed forward. “Don’t you speak to my wife that way, you vulgar human!” he snarled.
Sam was supremely indifferent. “Free country,” he told Jasper. “Seriously, though,” he went on down at Alice as if they hadn’t been interrupted, “are you so dumb that you don’t even get the point of an outdoor wedding? It’s supposed to blend in, to take advantage of the natural scenery—not try to hide it.” He tossed a disdainful glance around him. “This big white zit of a setup looks about as tacky and artificial as an aluminum Christmas tree in the middle of Redwood National Forest.”
Leah reached them then, and she grabbed his shoulder and jerked him around before Alice could angrily respond. “Sam, no!” she begged desperately as Jasper watched them both with murder in his eyes as he pulled Alice protectively toward him. “Don’t do this!”
“Ah—sorry, Leah,” Sam said with mock regret. “Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” And throwing a very obvious glance back at Jasper, he added, “And since there aren’t any real men here, I think Dean and I will be just fine.” He smiled, all charm, and asked, “I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?” And he threw up his hands in an exaggerated shrug—which threw the remaining champagne in his glass up in the air…and right down Alice’s back.
Leah clapped her hands over her mouth as Alice screeched, leaping in the air and turning with fiery eyes to Sam. “You ruined my dress, you jerk!” she howled.
Sam made an indifferent noise. “Trust me—I’m doing you a favor,” he said scornfully. “You look like a two-dollar whore in that dress, and I should know.”
Alice shrieked with outrage, and Jasper shoved his nose right up in Sam’s face and growled dangerously, “I should kill you for that!”
Sam’s face twisted in disgust and he leaned back and waved his hand under Jasper’s nose. “Dude—get a breath mint! What’d you last eat, roadkill?”
Jasper’s lip twisted, baring his teeth, and Leah tensed for a disaster, but he only said threateningly, “You speak to my wife again, and the next thing I eat will be you.”
Sam laughed right in his face. “As if,” he sneered contemptuously. “You doucherockets like pretending you’re better than everyone else way too much to break your little diet.”
Jasper gave a wordless snarl of rage, but just charged off and away, dragging a furious Alice with him and deliberately slamming into Sam as he went. Sam just snorted, righting himself as he rubbed the spot on his shoulder that would probably have a bruise in a few hours, and said, “Classy.” Then he smirked, waggled his eyebrows at Leah, and swaggered past her and right back in among the outraged clusters of guests.
Her hands flew up to the side of her head, pressing against her temples. She’d said she’d wanted this, but seeing it happen here, like this, all she felt was dread, that something horrible was going to happen, that she had dragged her boys—her best friends—to their deaths. She looked around with something near fear—but then her heart leapt when she saw the still figure standing beneath a trellis and surveying the party with a watchful eye.
She dashed toward Castiel, murmuring, “Excuse me,” as she brushed past the guests, ignoring indignant glares and accusing whispers as she went. She skittered right up next to him, gripping his elbow tightly and leaning in close to his ear. “Cas,” she whispered, her voice dropping to near sub-sonic levels that only a werewolf or vampire could hear, and then only at close range. “Can you hear me like this?”
“Of course.” He spoke in normal tones, and he looked at her with concern creasing his forehead.
“Cas—the boys have started screwing around. I—I told them that I hated everyone here so much that I’d want them to trash the party, but I didn’t really think it would work and I took it back and told them they shouldn’t—but they’re doing it anyway, and people are really starting to get pissed off.” She looked earnestly into his blue eyes. “Please watch out for the boys—they might make someone mad enough that they’ll try to hurt them.”
She winced, and Cas turned briefly at the sound of Dean’s outraged voice loudly proclaiming, “Goddammit, stop following me around, you ass-spelunker! How does your beard there feel about you trying to pick up other men, huh?” followed by an infuriated exclamation that Leah identified as Carmen.
“And you too, you fuming slut!” Dean bellowed, still at full-blast. “You think I wanna stick my dick in a meat locker?” The outraged screech that this insult provoked could only come from Tanya.
Leah bit her lip, trying to hold back a burst of laughter that she knew held a measure of hysteria, as Cas turned to face her again. His blue gaze was calm, and he said evenly, “Of course I will—I came here to watch over all of you.”
Not to be outdone by his brother, Sam had started up from the opposite side of the party. “My God!” he shouted. “You told him no, and then he tore your face off, and that made you change your mind? What, did you apologize for making him hit you?”
Leah closed her eyes; he could only be talking to Emily, and sure enough, she heard her cousin burst into tears immediately after.
She blew out a breath and whispered urgently, “Cas, I can take care of myself—but if someone gets it into their heads to try something, I don’t think the boys will stand a chance. Whatever happens, you take care of them first—don’t worry about me.”
He looked at her, his face serious. “Of course I’ll tend to them first, but I won’t abandon you.”
She managed a shaky smile, squeezing his arm in gratitude…but then it dissolved into dread when she saw Sam—Sam Uley—storming in her direction. He faltered for a moment when he saw Cas—when he felt Cas, no doubt—but then his face hardened and he closed the remaining distance and seized Leah’s arm in a punishing grip.
“I know you heard that,” he snarled. “What have you been telling them?!”
Leah tried to pull her arm away; his fingers were like steel. “I just told them that we used to be engaged and then we broke up when you imprinted,” she hissed.
Sam’s fingers tightened enough to bruise, and he shook her where she stood. “Then where did they hear those lies?” he demanded furiously.
“Let go of me—” she started angrily, but he cut across her with a dangerous rumble in his throat.
“You tell me what you told them!” he commanded, and he yanked her arm, and she yelped as she suddenly felt like a rope in a tug-o-war—but she didn’t move.
They both blinked at each other, and then turned—to find Cas staring hard at Sam, one of his slim white hands gripping Leah’s elbow with a gentleness that belied the implacable strength that held her steady against Sam’s insistent jerking.
Sam stared at him, incredulous, and then, at a loss at what else to do, dropped Leah’s arm. She drew back, pulling unconsciously closer to the angel, staring at Sam defiantly as she rubbed her arm, the bruised finger marks already fading.
Sam looked rattled, but then straightened with angry bravado and loomed over her, leaning down close to her face and growling, “You get your ‘friends’ under control, Leah.”
She set her jaw. “I can’t make them do anything,” she returned heatedly.
Sam’s lip curled, and in a low, threatening voice said, “Well, if you won’t, then I will.”
“No. You won’t.” The sudden words, spoken in that same level but unyielding tone, drew both their eyes once again in surprise to Cas. His expression was unchanged, but flecks like storm clouds raced across his eyes as his gaze fixed upon Sam.
Sam’s surprise quickly gave way to a derisive scowl, and he pushed forward, trying to use his bulk to intimidate the much smaller man as he said, “This is none of your business, you—”
“Yes, it is.” His low voice cut across Sam’s bluster like a hot knife through butter. “If you hurt Sam or Dean Winchester, I will kill you.”
Both Leah and Sam’s jaws dropped. Leah knew intellectually that Cas was a serious badass under that nerdy exterior, but it never failed to startle her when he actually showed it.
Sam, however, didn’t know that, and after his brief burst of surprise at being so threatened by the tiny angel, immediately swelled where he stood and advanced on him, sneering, “Oh, you will, will—”
And then he froze, his eyes widening, and every hair on Leah’s body stood on end and her breath was snatched away and she could only cringe back as something seemed to flex, and, as she clapped her hands over her ears as her head was filled with a piercing, supersonic squeal that drowned out the many sudden cries of shock and pain, the very air around them seemed to burn.
And then it was over. Cas hadn’t moved, his expression was the same, and he only replied simply, “Yes.”
Dead silence had fallen over the entire party. Leah blinked and then flicked her gaze to the side; dozens of wide, shocked eyes, those of every single non-human guest, were staring in their direction.
And then Sam—Sam Winchester—took it upon himself to break the tension by cutting a loud fart.
Everyone jumped at the sudden sound even as Dean gave a shout of laughter and said, “Oh, man—the Toxic Avenger strikes again! Go for your gas masks!”
“You’re just jealous, Dean!” Sam hollered back, and Leah could only press her fingers over her mouth to muffle the fit of giggles that seized her.
Sam Uley was just standing, gaping, and he looked much smaller somehow—diminished. His jaw worked for a moment, and then he just turned on his heel and was away, clearly trying for a furious march, but somehow looking much more like a slink.
Leah squeezed her eyes tightly shut, looking away as she covered her mouth and tried to get what she was knew was a fit of hysterics under control. She finally stilled her hitching shoulders and took a deep breath, dropping her head to rest on Cas’s shoulder until she could look up. She met his eyes, which were turned toward her with a look of mild concern but nothing else, as if he hadn’t just emasculated her ex-boyfriend. She couldn’t help but smile. “Cas,” she said, “you’re awesome.”
His brows knitted, as if he wasn’t quite sure how to respond, but after a minute he gave her a cautious, “Thank you.”
She giggled, just a little, and then remarked, “I guess that’s that, then.” She flicked her eyes over the crowd; they may have been angry with the Winchesters before, but now they looked…scared. They were taking great pains not to so much as look at the brothers, instead casting many nervous glances in their direction; or rather, in Cas’s direction. Cas hadn’t bothered to hide his words; they’d all heard him, and anyone who might have tried to hurt the brothers definitely felt him. The knot of fear in her stomach had loosened, and even though Leah couldn’t help the strange jumpiness that made her quiver, as if she was getting away with something she knew she shouldn’t, she was at least sure that now none of those sorry bloodsucking sons of bitches would try to hurt her boys.
She looked back at Cas, and then whispered so no one else could hear, “I guess you can just keep at it—just keep an eye on everyone, but I think you…well, I think you put the fear of God in them. I guess I’ll just go…sit down and watch the boys.”
She smiled at him as he nodded, and after this horrible, horrible day, it felt like the first real smile she’d managed in years. Unable to help herself, she leaned forward to peck his cheek. That familiar heated look flared immediately in his eyes when she did so, as it had just about every time she touched him for more than three seconds in the past few months since their little aborted tryst on the motel couch—he sure knew how to make a girl feel wanted, she reflected with an internal girlish giggle. “Later,” she reminded him firmly, softening her words with a sly grin. “Right now, you’re on duty, Featherbutt—as you were.”
Cas stared at her, his eyes clearing, and then his face took on his usual serious demeanor and he nodded. He turned away, going back to watching the crowds as they in turn watched Sam and Dean. Leah recognized a dismissal when she saw one. Still, she uncertainly stood where she was for a moment, watching with something like slowly mounting glee as Sam and Dean stood at opposite ends of the buffet table and threw food at each other while trying to catch it in their mouths (and strategically missing whenever it would make the biggest mess), before quietly sneaking off to a far corner to sit down at an empty table.
The majority of the death glares the boys had been getting seemed to have shifted to her, she found as she slipped through the crowds. Well, since the boys were off limits now (and she couldn’t help a small, nasty smirk at the thought), she seemed to be the new scapegoat for their behavior—and that was fine by her. Their contempt for her was nothing new, and she was not defenseless.
She sat down and reflexively tried to make herself as small as possible, keeping her head down to hide the helpless smiles that her boys kept dragging out of her. But how could she keep from smiling? She had to bite her lip when she overheard a snotty-voiced Bella start lecturing the Winchesters—because who else would be dumb enough to approach them after Cas said hands off? She was telling them that they were acting like churls (seriously? Who the hell said crap like that? She must have picked it up from her prick husband) and that they needed to behave themselves for her dearest daughter’s wedding.
It was Dean, of course, who mockingly answered—he never did take well to being told what to do. “Or what?” he wanted to know. “You’ll flounce at us? Shake your finger? Tell us how much better you are than us? Or maybe you’ll just attack us with your all-powerful extra-special super vampire ability—oh, wait. That’s right.” He smirked at her. “Your little powers don’t actually do anything.”
Leah covered her mouth as Bella sputtered. “What—I have one of the most powerful abilities ever seen in a vampire!” Leah was amazed that Bella didn’t stamp her foot as she said it.
“You do?” Sam shot back. “Can you make my head explode? Can you force me to shut up? Can you strangle me with your mind if you find my lack of faith disturbing?” His voice rose louder and louder as he spoke. “Can your powers even do anything to me at all?”
“I saved nearly every vampire here from the Volturi! I stymied the most powerful and largest vampire coven in the world single-handedly!” she shouted back at him.
Sam was not impressed. “Oh, so basically your power is to hide behind your smoke screen and live cowardly ever after without ever actually doing any fighting or facing any danger at all,” he surmised. “That’s really great, Bella. I made a great and brave sacrifice like that too the other day—I stayed in bed.”
Bella went storming off in the other direction just as Leah dropped her head to the table, shaking with silent laughter.
It finally tapered off, and she took several deep breaths, resting her head against the white tablecloth, when a voice suddenly spoke to her.
Her spine stiffened, and she looked up.
It was Rosalie Cullen. Her glittering face was smooth and nearly expressionless except for a tiny smirk playing around her mouth, that rich-bitch smile she always had that pissed Leah off so bad.
Emmett was with her, her arm looped through his, and he smiled down at her and rumbled, “Hey, Leah,” before looking off back up at the buffet table.
He was watching Sam and Dean just as everyone else was, but as he ducked his head when Dean yelled, “Gawd—do we have to listen to this emo rock crap all day?” Leah saw him grinning.
And he wasn’t the only one; Rosalie actually seemed to be smiling a little wider herself, and she gave Emmett an indulgent little pat on the arm and said, “All right, Emmett—you can go play with your new friend now. I’ll just stay here and…catch up with Leah.”
Leah barely had time to react to that unwelcome statement before Emmett was off like a shot. He made a beeline for Dean, and Leah couldn’t help but tense—until she saw him holler Dean’s name and hold up his clenched fist which, after a moment of surprise, Dean pounded with his own, throwing his arm around his shoulders and introducing him to his brother.
“You certainly have…interesting friends,” Rosalie suddenly said, her voice loaded with what she left unsaid as she idly inspected her gold-lacquered nails.
Leah bristled immediately. “They’re great friends,” she said stoutly. “Some of the best I’ve ever had.”
Rosalie raised one sculpted blonde eyebrow, her lip twisting in an expression that quite clearly said she expected no less of her…but then, to Leah’s surprise, said, “Well, Emmett certainly seems to like them…which I suppose makes them acceptable in my book.” She tossed a glittering and perfectly fake smile in Leah’s direction. “Mind if I join you?”
Leah did mind; all the lilies and peonies in the world weren’t enough to drown out the stink of a bloodsucker, and short of Bella herself, this was probably the last one of the Cullens she wanted to talk to at any time. But Jacob was Leah’s Alpha, and Rosalie was a Cullen, and deference to them was nearly as automatic as breathing. So Leah just nodded once, and then looked determinedly ahead as Rosalie sat easily down right next to her, fussing and arranging her gown and smoothing her hair before finally facing Leah.
“So—what do you think of our little party?” she asked, all brightness.
“Words fail me,” Leah answered tightly.
Rosalie gave a fluttering little giggle. “Oh, no, Leah, surely you can do better than that,” she simpered. “One might get the idea that you aren’t enjoying yourself.”
Leah glared at her, and while her smile never faltered, Rosalie’s voice suddenly dropped to a whisper that even Leah had to strain to hear at this close range. “Because God knows I’m not.”
Leah could only stare. Rosalie looked away, casting a rather pinched expression out over the crowd. “I always liked having my special days with Emmett, renewing our vows, and incidentally getting to try out different wedding plans and designs…but this…” her face twisted, and she turned sharply back to Leah. “Do you get the feeling that this is less about a wedding and more about showing off?”
She couldn’t help it; Leah’s voice was low, but she snapped back all the same, “What—don’t like sharing your spotlight?”
Rosalie’s eyes narrowed, but then a lazy smile quirked one corner of her mouth. “Call it what you like,” she said airily. “But the fact remains that I’m not having any more fun than you are—and that frankly, I think your little pets have the right idea.”
“They’re not my pets!” she said hotly, but her anger fizzled out as soon as she registered what Rosalie had just said, to which Leah could only reply rather stupidly, “Wait—what?”
Rosalie sneered at her. “You always were such a scintillating conversationalist, Leah—but then, I forget that you generally have to use small words and a great deal of repetition in order for dogs to finally understand you.”
Leah’s lip curled. “Is that how Bella and Renesmee trained you to be their bitch?” she asked sweetly.
Rosalie’s face went ugly in a heartbeat, and they glared at each other, their bodies taut—until they both jumped at a sudden cracking sound. The looked over in surprise—to see that Emmett had ripped one of the kegs out of the beer taps, hoisting it aloft to the shouts of encouragement from Dean and Sam.
Rosalie and Leah could only watch as Emmett, grinning like a loon, set it down right on the edge of the dance floor, and then Dean bent over it—and then Emmett and Sam were hoisting him up by his ankles, hooting and hollering as Dean began to chug.
Leah pursed her lips to keep from laughing out loud—in no small part because she knew the Winchesters were safe, because they had a vampire with them—a Cullen, no less—so of course the other vampires might look disapproving, but they’d never dream of attacking them.
When she flicked her eyes up, she was surprised to see Rosalie smirking slightly too. Her eyes hardened a little when she caught Leah’s own, but then her expression turned speculative. “Leah,” she said, her voice still too low for the others to hear. “Let’s not beat about the bush—I don’t like you, and I am well aware that you don’t like me.”
“Understatement,” Leah answered sardonically, and Rose just gave her that nasty, bitchy smirk again.
“Agreed,” she said. “But—I think we can also agree that we hate…this,” she said, gesturing about with a sour face, “even more than each other.” Her golden eyes glinted dangerously. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, after all.” She was nearly purring. “So—what would you say to putting our differences aside and teaming up in the name of causing a little…mischief?”
Leah felt jittery, nervous, like a ball of snakes was writhing in her middle as she skirted the dance floor, which was still in use by a few remaining vampire couples. She could hardly believe she was doing this.
She slipped around the back and slid up in front of the computer on the podium that was tastefully hidden among the hydrangea bushes and gardenia trees that made up the background and perimeter of the dance floor. A bundle of wires ran from it to all the white-draped speakers that surrounded the main floor and were scattered around the edges of the party area.
Looking around her, helplessly apprehensive, she minimized the playlist and checked the desktop. It was Emmett who had set up the sound system, all with his own equipment, and just as Rosalie had said, on the desktop were a series of music folders—and she went straight to Emmett’s.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
She’d heard him coming, of course—she’d smelled him coming, actually. But even if she hadn’t, she’d have known Edward Cullen’s pompous, nasally drawl anywhere. She straightened, turning to face him where he stood behind her, his face pinched, his arms crossed tightly across his skinny chest.
“I’m just looking for a song to play—what you have is…nice, but it’s not quite to everyone’s taste,” she said, habit keeping her polite and deferent.
Edward’s sneer made it quite clear what he thought of people who had different tastes in music than he did. “This isn’t about them,” he said derisively. “This is Renesmee’s wedding, and this is the music that she and her mother and I chose for it.”
Leah swallowed the reply she wanted to give, simply saying, “Well, I just thought that maybe playing something that my guests liked might keep them from getting bored—they’re not used to parties like this,” she added.
“Obviously,” he said scornfully. “You never should have brought such uncouth, classless boors here in the first place, Leah.”
She glared at him, but only momentarily before smoothing her face back out. “Well, I thought it would have been rude not to. But, since they’re here, Rosalie suggested that maybe Emmett might have some music they’d like better, and so maybe they could dance…and get away from the food table,” she added sincerely.
Edward’s eyes had narrowed, but Leah’s jaw had clenched slightly at the way he’d seemed to unbend a little when she said that it was Rosalie’s idea—because that apparently made it okay, somehow. He flicked a disdainful gaze over to where Dean, still flushed from all the beer he’d just downed, was loudly decrying how unfortunate it was that Emmett had been cut down in his prime and had never been able to really live before he got turned into a sparkling mannequin, and Sam was chiming that it was a shame, since now he was stuck with all the bourgeoisie dicks who were obsessed with trying to show how much better they were than everyone when they were really just a bunch of shallow hypocrites. Edward turned back to her with a look of contempt. “I suppose there is something obnoxious and low-brow enough there to suit them,” he said. “Fine, then—just get them away from the food and in line. They’re offending all the guests—and they’ve insulted my wife.”
Isn’t that just a crying shame? She relished the fact that she didn’t have to keep her thoughts as subservient and guarded as her words, even as all she said in reply was “Yes, Edward,” and even gave him a forced, “Thank you.”
He nodded pompously and then crossed the dance floor to Bella, who gave Leah a half-offended, half-sulky look.
The song had finally come to an end, and all the couples posed dramatically before sweeping off, some sneering at her as they left with half-muttered comments about her bad taste in, well, everything. Leah ignored them and stopped the wedding playlist.
“What’ve you got for us, Leah?” came the playful question from the sidelines. She looked up to see Dean waving to her from the edge of the floor, standing next to Sam where she’d told them to wait after her little tête-à-tête with Rosalie. “Something with balls, I hope?”
Scrolling quickly through Emmett’s music, she felt a grin cross her face. “Oh, yeah,” she said, tossing him a wink, and she hit enter.
The party ground to a sudden, surprised halt as the loud, blaring notes of the opening riff of Warrant’s “Bonfire” came blasting from the speakers. Dean hooted in approval. “Oh, hell yes!” he crowed, punching the air. “No more of that pussy rock!”
“Yeah—rock about pussy, instead,” Sam leered, and they both laughed uproariously.
Everyone was staring at her as she stood alone on the dance floor, her red dress standing out against all the white like blood on snow. She saw their looks of dislike, of contempt, of disgust, from human, wolf, and vampire alike, and she stared back.
And she grinned, and as the drum line picked up, she felt it in her bones, and her hips began to sway.
Dean gave a whoop of admiration, and she smiled at him, long and lazy, and called, “Well—come on, then Dean.” She beckoned. “Come on over here and work that ass for me.”
He gave a bark of laughter, high-fived his brother, and then shimmied his way right across the floor to grab her waist. “Now this is what I’m talking about,” he informed her as they started to dance.
They were staring, and they were whispering, all around the floor, and she could hear them, and she hated them. But this is what they were determined to see in her—so that was exactly what she would give them.
“So—you back in business?” Dean asked. She looked back at him, and the sympathy in his eyes made it all-to-clear what he meant, and she set her jaw.
“Well—no matter what, they aren’t going to change what they think of me,” she told him, “so I might as well just give them what they expect.”
She was smiling as she said it, and her voice was rebellious, but she knew Dean could see the lingering hurt in her eyes—but then he just grinned back. “Damn right,” he said, and pulled her close and swept her around and back in a sexy dip and just planted one on her.
Leah almost laughed, but she wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity and gave as good as she got, taking a sick pleasure in the way that everyone was talking about how she was a whore and a skank with no modesty or class, focusing instead on Dean’s mouth and Sam’s holler of approval.
Dean broke it off straightened them up, and when she opened her eyes to see his smarmy grin up to eleven, she could only smile and say, “Now I remember why I keep you around.” And, with one quick glance to the side to make sure they were all still looking, dropped her hand to grab his ass.
He laughed, and then he started to move, working his hips up against hers, and she held him close by his butt, her other hand on his broad shoulders.
A wild sort of madness seemed to have filled her—she was going to make a spectacle of herself, and she wanted to do it—she wanted all those vampire sons of bitches and all the bastards in her pack to see her, and she wanted them to think that she was trashy, that she was cheap, that she was loose, that she was nothing but a bitter harpy, that this was all just confirmation of everything they’d ever thought about her—because they were wrong, and she knew it.
And so when she turned around to grind her butt right in Dean’s crotch, as he wrapped his arms low around her waist and hips and gyrated right back at her, she called his brother over. “Come on, Sam—I want me a Winchester on rye!”
Sam laughed, tossed his half-full glass on the table next to him and staining the cloth with champagne, and then barreled right over, thrusting his own hips up against hers and freak-dancing right along with the two of them.
They weren’t even bothering to whisper out in the crowd now; they were outright talking about her, and she could hear it all, every word they said. She heard them saying it was disgusting. She heard them saying it was tasteless. She heard them saying how this was nothing but a flagrant display on her part and a bid for attention. And she could only laugh.
Dean gave a sudden bellow of, “Yeah!” and she looked over to see him cheering Emmett as he led Rosalie out onto the floor and started dancing as well, and no more of those stupid waltzes, either—they were getting it on every bit as wild as Leah and her boys were.
All three of them laughed as Emmett flashed a thumbs up from where his hands were around Rosalie’s hips, and then Dean suddenly said, “Whoops—sorry to break up our little party, guys, but I think I see another cutie who badly needs a partner.”
Leah watched him go, mildly curious, but then saw all the tight-lipped looks of disapproval she was getting, and turned back to Sam. “All right, now,” she said slyly, “you’d better just give me some sugar too.”
Sam grinned, and then firmly grabbed her by her ass and yanked her forward into a searing kiss. She heard her mother hissing furiously that she knew it, and heard her anger because clearly, Leah had been lying this whole time about the boys, and so she hiked up her leg and wrapped it around his hip just to drive it home.
They finally broke apart, grinning fit to split at each other—just in time for Leah to see Dean leading a giggling Claire out onto the dance floor.
“Go get ‘em, Claire!” Sam called, and Claire was still giggling as Dean coaxed her to start dancing in time with the music.
“Just be sure to give him back when you’re done!” Leah said with a smirk, and Dean waggled his eyebrows back at them as he twirled Claire around.
Laughing, Leah turned—and caught Rosalie’s gleaming eye.
“All right, Sam,” she murmured. “Hi ho away we go.”
And she started moving them along the floor, still dancing, and Rosalie was too, taking Emmett with her, and at just the same moment when they reached the center, they backed right into each other.
Rosalie swung around—her eyes were bright, her head high and tossing, but the fury in her voice was entirely believable as she spat, “Why don’t you watch where you’re going, you werewolf bitch!”
The party guests went suddenly silent, dozens of wide eyes just staring at what was unfolding on the dance floor. Leah let go of Sam, whirling around to face her. “Fuck you, you bloodsucking slut!” she snarled.
She pushed Sam out of the way as Emmett backed off, looking torn between stifled amusement and honest worry, and she stuck her jaw out and steeled herself as she saw Rosalie raise her hand.
Crack! Leah staggered against the force of the blow, her head ringing from where Rosalie had slapped her. Ignoring all the oohs! from the crowd, she jerked her eyes up—and in Rosalie’s smug look, she saw that, planned or no, she hadn’t pulled that punch at all.
Well—two could play at that game. Rosalie was jutting out her chin, just daring Leah to say anything about it, to ruin their little charade.
It was a perfect target.
Leah hauled back and socked her right in the jaw.
Rosalie went flying back into Emmett, and although she straightened herself quickly, her face was shocked—until she caught Leah’s smug smile. Ignoring Emmett’s half-hearted pleas for them to settle down, she answered it with a bloodthirsty grin of her own that said she knew exactly what the score was.
Leah had only enough time to marvel that vampires were such showmen that Rosalie had actually timed things just right so that their little staged catfight would occur during the song’s guitar solo before the vampire charged.
The next few moments were a flurry of shrieks and curses and fists and feet as she and Rosalie grappled together. Despite their care not to ruin dresses or jewelry or hair or makeup, they both managed get more than their shares of blows in, and Leah knew they were entirely deliberate; neither one was about to pass up the chance to give the other what she thought she had coming.
It ended, though, when they swerved too close to the wide-eyed, slack-jawed Claire (and the equally wide-eyed, slack-jawed Dean), and Leah was distracted for the tiniest moment in steering them to the side, which gave Rosalie the opportunity she needed to hook her foot around Leah’s ankles. She might have saved herself had not Rosalie all but leapt down with her.
She landed with a whoof, all of Rosalie’s stony vampire weight on top of her as she held her down with her thighs and grabbed her arms and pinned her wrists above her head.
Leah snarled with hate that was only half-feigned, and then Rosalie leaned down, her eyes wild, and Leah’s own went wide when for a moment she thought that Rosalie was taking this all very seriously now and she might have a real fight on her hands—when she suddenly smiled.
“Watch this,” Rosalie whispered with a quick smirk up at Emmett—and then she kissed her.
Leah froze in shock at the feel of her hard, icy lips, her eyes popping wide as she felt the press of her tongue—but at the sound of the twin cheers from the Winchesters and Emmett’s roar of approval, which drowned out the shocked gasps of the guests, Leah just shrugged internally.
In for a penny, she figured, and then forcing down her disgust at the sour-sweet taste of vampire venom, she thrust her tongue forward and proceeded to make out with Rosalie for all she was worth.
Sam and Dean were howling, catcalling, and Dean bayed like a wolf, and they weren’t he only ones; she could hear Embry and some of the younger male guests hooting along with them, and Emmett bellowed, “I love you, Rose!” and Leah could feel her smiling against her mouth at the sound of the clicking shutters of three camera phones.
Rosalie pulled back, a distinctly feline grin on her face, and then she leapt to her feet and pulled Leah with her before wrapping her arms around her, pulling her close, and starting to dance.
Leah looked out at the guests, at the salivating younger wolves, the stiff and disapproving faces of the rest of the Cullens—and right in the middle of them was Edward, looking utterly appalled—and she just laughed. She turned around to grind her butt against Rosalie and waved flirtatiously at him, starting a little but then just laughing harder at the way his eyes bulged when Rosalie reached around her to grab her tits.
The crowds that counted went wild, and when Leah looked over her shoulder, she saw Rosalie smirking at Emmett, who was charging over to get in line to grind behind Rosalie, shouting hotly, “We are gonna have so much sex when this is all through!” And then tossing a naughty little wink at Leah, added, “And you are so invited!”
Leah laughed, and as a grinning Dean tucked away his cell phone and tugged Claire back into the dance, she called Sam over to complete their little bunch.
They were all laughing; Leah couldn’t remember the last time she’d had this much fun, with all six of them in the middle of the floor, rocking out, pumping their fists and shouting along with the chorus, and when the music ended, Emmett seized his wife for a passionate kiss, and they all cheered and clapped and whistled. Leah dropped her hands to grab handfuls of both her boys’ asses, and then Claire, flushed and happy and laughing, jumped up and threw her arms around Dean’s neck and dropped a quick kiss on his cheek.
And in the silence after the music, their happy mood vanished at the sudden sound of a roar of fury from the crowd. The guests cried out in surprise, and people were moving to the side, getting out of the way, and a table was overturned as it was thrown to the side by the charging bull barreling towards the dance floor.
It was Quil.
Claire’s eyes went wide—went fearful—and Leah moved as fast as she could to stand between the howling, spitting Quil and his quarry, saying, “Hold on, Quil—”
But he just ducked around her, tore his arm from her grip with wild, mindless wrath, snarling curses and shrieking, “You keep your hands off her!” and then he seized Dean and threw him through the air.
“Dean!” Sam’s cry cut through the shocked sounds of the crowd even as their faces betrayed their eagerness to see the punishment they felt was long overdue. Dean landed with a painful shout against the music stand, knocking over two speakers and one of the bushes behind them. Sam was off like a shot, rushing for his brother even as Castiel came gliding up along the edge of the crowd and ran to where Dean was struggling to stand.
Leah turned, and Quil was still coming; his eyes were insane, his fists clenched and his muscles bulging as his body shook with fighting the change, and he was advancing, going for Dean again, oblivious to Claire’s pleas for him to stop.
“Dammit, Quil, stop!” Leah yelled, stepping in front of him, pushing him back, but he didn’t hear her; he was out of his mind, and when she tried to force him to stop, he turned on her in blind rage and swung wildly for her face.
But Leah didn’t just rely on brute strength any more— now she knew how to fight.
She planted her four-inch spiked heel right in Quil’s balls.
His eyes bulged almost comically, and then he folded like a house of cards, doubling over with an anguished wail to cradle his injured parts, and while he was still down for the count, Leah grabbed him by the hair and, with a satisfying crunch, broke his nose on her knee.
She threw him away from her, and even as he forced himself to stand, his eyes watering with pain and blood streaming from his nose, he started forward again, and without a thought she pulled back her arm and rammed her fist into his solar plexus with all her might.
He went flying—right into the wedding cake.
Leah clapped her hands over her mouth, watching in horror as he crushed the five tiers when he landed, the table crumpling beneath his weight, and the rest of the cake toppling down on top of him in a mess of crumbs and white frosting.
And a sudden shriek of rage rent the air.
Renesmee, a nightmare in white satin, was charging forward. Her long, windblown curls were writhing around her face like snakes, and, with her lips drawn back over her teeth, her hands like claws as she pointed at Leah, and her eyes wild and rolling in her head, she looked deranged.
“You!” she screeched again. “You ruined my wedding! My perfect wedding!”
And then Jacob was there, his face burning with hate, and Renesmee turned to him. “She ruined it, Jacob!” she howled, pointing at Leah as she stamped her feet. “She brought her filthy human friends just to ruin my wedding! She did it all on purpose! You punish her, Jacob!” she screamed. “You make her pay!”
Author’s Note: You knew it couldn’t last. See you next chapter.
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