The Volturi

Episode VI Tenacity

"What do you want?" I knew she would be unfriendly, but the iciness in her voice chilled even my heartless body.

"I...wanted to talk," if I were still human, I would be stuttering, trembling at the antipathy of a woman who could tear me apart.

"If you want my word that I won't kill your brother, you won't get it," she scowled, unwilling to look at me as she spoke. She continued to gaze out of the window, her coarse black hair barely touching the deep olive skin on her neck.

"I won't let you hurt him," the words came out much angrier than I had wanted, and I felt her wrath towards me, towards the Cullens, towards the wolves, and the entire world, seeping out of her and suffocating the room. It became infectious, amplified tremendously by my ability to pick up pieces of her memory, emotions, and thoughts.

"You couldn't kill me if you tried," her words were real, no hesitation in the clenched fists as she fought from transforming and unleashing her fury on me.

"I have no intention in trying," I replied as I tried to collect my thoughts, reclaiming my own personality and digging deep inside me for words that would warm her up to me. She was the only one who could help me now, the only one who could calm my mind and make me understand what I never could about my brother.

"Then I ask again. What do you want?" she said with ire, finally turning to face me directly. Her blazing eyes pierced through me, the commanding wolf inside her ready to devour what she clearly saw as an enemy.

"I want to know more about you," I asked calmly, focusing on trying to retain my own psyche. I could feel the fire burning inside her, the pain, the agonizing labyrinth of unquestionable regret. She was drowning in the maelstrom of lost hope and shattered dreams, inundated in blackness as all light was pilfered so easily from her with the lock of two pairs of eyes. As she desperately tried to claw out of the trap hole, she was clobbered with pity, resentment, and depression. As if losing everything wasn't enough, she was reluctantly pulled from the safety of her own misery and tossed deeper into an abyss of unholy treachery that couldn't possibly be better than death. She lived a parallel life to my brother, and I wanted to know, I needed to know if after everything that destroyed him, after giving up on humanity and being plundered from his eternal suffering into a deeper pit of hell, could he still come out smiling like he always had?

"There's nothing to know," she dismissed me quickly. Her face was stern, not the sign of ever sporting a smile left in her meekness. Her body was flowing with the inestimable heat of a werewolf's blood, but her face held only the infinitesimal spark of a dying firefly. If it weren't for her frantic heart beating mercilessly in her chest, I would have mistaken her for dead. Is this the fate that Brad was facing now?

I thought of her relationship with Sam, how Jacob had told me that through some werewolf trait called imprinting, her lifelong lover had fallen helplessly in love with another woman. She was spiteful, but remained strong, never letting the misery seep out of her and ruin the life of the man she could never stop loving. But life was cruel. It would not allow her to remain in solitude, in the silence and protection of her mind, brooding over what was unrightfully taken. No, she had become the first female wolf, her thoughts, her emotions, her fury, everything she had worked so hard to hide now flooded through to all the other wolves. They couldn't see past the dense cloud of negativity, to see underneath how hurt and vulnerable she really was. Rather, the wolves began to hate her, she became an outcast, thought of as envious, distasteful, and nothing more than miserable. She could see their thoughts, how they perceived her, and soon she became a hollow shell knowing anger as her only emotion.

Whether she was identical to my brother, I could not say, but it was clear to me that they have faced similar evils. Brad was in love with Collette, the sad excuse for a human being who was clearly despised by all. She would have a new boyfriend every week, but he still cared for her, pampered her, provided her with everything she needed, including a job, which she never showed up to. Everyone at the restaurant hated her, and through her, they began to build distaste towards him as well. They all lost respect, thought of his as a coward and a toy of the vile girl. No one could see past his actions, nobody could see the raw wounds underneath his misery and anguish. The ebony hair cut short into a bob, how they fluttered in the wind over her chocolate brown eyes, the way our mother's did. No one could understand why he loved Collette, not even the brother who shared the same sad story of a mother pilfered.

"Why are you here?" I couldn't think of any other question to ask. Why, after all her miserable experiences and hatred towards the vampires, was she here, fighting alongside them and defending them against the Volturi? After all that she endured, why was she risking her life to protect those she couldn't even consider friends? Everyone, the wolves and vampires alike, warned me to not speak to her, to leave her be. They explained the same story time and time again. Edward didn't trust her, even Jacob, her pack leader didn't trust her. So why was she here?

"I'm used to not being wanted so you're no surprise to me," she leaped out of the window she had been standing next to. Before she could transform and leave me muddled in my thoughts, I ran in front of her and grabbed her by the shoulders.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," she growled between her teeth, obviously ready to attack.

"I know you hate me, but I need to know one thing," I spoke quickly. "I know you hate vampires, I know you hate werewolves, and I know you hate this miserable excuse for a life that this disgusting world has to offer. How are you still fighting for good?"

"Good?" she looked genuinely confused, and she eased up slightly.

"Why haven't you killed the Cullens? Why keep fighting for "what's right" when "right" was never given to you? What drives you to keep sacrificing yourself and your own happiness for people who you think hates you? I don't get it. If you knew the wolves hated you, why did you stick around? If you hate the Cullens, why protect them? I need to know what it is that keeps you good."

"Don't remind me of everything I did wrong. Don't you dare throw all my mistakes in my face like you know who I am!" she shouted and within seconds, sharp fangs stood inches before my face as I stumbled to the cold ground.

"Go ahead, kill me," I muttered. "Kill me if you have the freaking guts!" I knew I was no longer myself as I soaked up all the frantic emotions channeling from her. "I know you won't. The world can destroy your life like it's a meaningless pile of shit, but you'll still do everything in your power to protect it. You're just like him." She snarled at me viciously before slamming her front claws into my chest. Before she could clamp her teeth on my neck, I grabbed her snout and jumped up from the ground, slamming her into the snow. She howled viciously as she tackled me, but I resisted her attack, rooting my feet into the ground. The angrier she got, the angrier I got as her emotions, memories, and thoughts were rapidly projected to me. I grabbed her tightly by the neck, and she flailed rabidly and snarled as I squeezed her. I knew that I could easily kill her.

"Leah!" I heard Jacob call out, causing me to lose my grip. Before he could transform, Leah quickly ran into the woods. He could easily find her, read her thoughts and know exactly what happened, but he knew she needed her time. He secretly respected her for the selfless sacrifice of her entire life. How she tried ruthlessly to prevent hurting anyone and was hated deeply for thoughts and feelings she could not even control. The only thing she deserved was recognition and trust, but all she got was spite and disgust. Under Jacob's tough exterior and all the enmity and distrust he had for Leah lie a tantamount level of respect and gratitude. If only she could see it the way I could, she would change drastically, much like my psyche changed so rapidly based on whose thoughts dominated my mind at any given moment.

"You okay? I told you to stay away from her, she's a fireball," Jacob flashed his winning smile as he helped me up from the snowy ground.

"It's my fault," I shook my head, trying to piece together what had just occurred. "I don't know what came over me."

"Probably tapped into her craziness," he grinned, dusting the snow off my back. His warm hands soothed me a little, but it was hard for me to relax. I wanted to believe that all the anger had come from external sources, but I knew that my own bottled emotions had surfaced. My anger towards what I thought were all of my brother's mistakes had erupted out of me and obliterated what little joy Leah had finally been able to build after so many years of pain. I didn't mean to scream at her or make her feel her life was a big failure, a series of idiotic mistakes. Why was I acting like this? Where did all this resentment come from? It couldn't possibly be my powers, but it couldn't possibly be my own thoughts. I would never want to hurt anyone.

"You okay?" Jacob kept a supporting hand on my back, though I knew my icy skin must be irritating him by now.

"I don't know..." I mumbled.

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