|Listening to your heart beating
Author: KaiaLuna PM
A little one shot trying to get my writing back after a long setback. Paul finds and imprints on Bella in the woods after Edward leaves. Can she be healed by the quiet warmth of his presence and the gentle thrum of his heart beat.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Bella & Paul - Words: 3,778 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 163 - Follows: 49 - Published: 06-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8183257
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
When he found her, curled up in a ball in the woods, she was nothing, a leech lover he was commanded to find. Then she shivered and her eyes opened. Pale chocolate eyes met black eyes and the universe shifted. He whined and moved over to her. She didn't move, he didn't smell fear. She shivered again and he laid down beside her. After a moment her body shifted closer to his warmth. Movement had him growling into the trees, he knew it was his pack brother but instinct was high and no one was coming near her right now. An order from their alpha had Jared retreating. Paul laid beside her until the shivering stopped. She had curled into his fur and drifted to sleep.
At the soft sound of her breathing he shifted back to his human form, pulled on shorts and carried her to where the search was still going on. He handed her to his alpha at the edge of the woods and Sam carried her to her father. He stayed and listened to her heart beating all night long.
Two days after they left, Bella opened the door to find a very large native man, make that two very large native men, she didn't recognize.
"Hello?" She couldn't force emotion into her voice, not fear or curiosity.
"Bella." The older one nodded, "I'm Sam Uley."
She'd heard his name, he'd found her in the woods, she nodded at him, "Thanks for bringing me home." It was a perfunctory response.
"Of course." He nodded and then motioned to his friend. "This is Paul, he's the one who initially found you."
Bella nodded at him, flicking her eyes briefly to him. She found her eyes drawn immediately back to him before they had a chance to settle back on Sam. Her eyes found his, so dark brown they were almost black. She wasn't sure what it was she saw in those eyes but for the first time, her expression changed and the edges of her mouth almost turned up, quite simply, she relaxed.
She wasn't sure how long they stood there like that before Sam spoke again, her eyes stayed on Paul who never so much as broke their gaze with a blink.
"We just wanted to check that you were doing ok."
Bella nodded and Paul mirrored the motion. Then his warm voice spoke with a command to her, "You need to eat."
She nodded again, "Would you like some lunch?"
He nodded and stepped forward while Sam stepped back, "I should get back to work. Bella, I hope to see you again very soon."
She moved into the kitchen and made lunch, then sat and picked at it while watching Paul consume every bite in under two minutes, his eyes never leaving her. He cleared the dishes, steered her to the couch and laid a blanket over her before leaving. That was how it began. Paul would come by everyday for an hour or two while Charlie worked and for that hour or two a day Bella didn't feel broken. She didn't really feel at all, at least she felt nothing but Paul. He was warm and safe.
All the time she was pretending for Charlie but with Paul she just was. He'd come and sit with her. She'd feed him, eating a little of whatever it was and they'd curl on the couch together. He'd play with her hair and hum softly then after a while, he'd get up and leave again.
The conversations started slowly. She asked him a question one day and he answered, it was a small question.
"Do you go to school?"
"I'm a senior."
The next time she asked him, "Do you like Mexican?"
"I'll eat almost anything you put in front of me." He answered with a shrug. "Pizza is my favorite food." He added as an after thought.
The next time he came she made pizzas and asked him, "Do you like to read?"
He shrugged, "Not much, mostly instruction stuff, like how to books." His response was accompanied by the same shrug as before and then the almost smile as he added, "I like fixing things."
The next time he came over he brought her a book. It was presented with that same shrug and half smile, "Emily said it was good."
She curled against him and read for three hours, it was as he got up to leave she asked him her question. "Do you not have a girl friend or friends?"
He shrugged, "Just you, Sam and Jared, I guess Emily and Kim too."
"Emily and Kim?"
He looked surprised she'd asked more but just nodded his head, "Sam's fiancé and Jared's girl." She nodded her head and he left.
The next time he came over she asked him about his family.
"Do you have siblings?"
His expression darkened, "I had a brother."
"Drunk driver killed him and both my parents in a car accident."
"Paul." She breathed.
It was the first time he looked away from her and the first time she held his hand.
"I should have been with them but I'd had the flu and stayed with my grandmother. I still live with her."
"Does she know you come here every day?"
"Yeah." Paul nodded. "She made you soup. It's her cure for everything."
He shrugged. "I gave it to Charlie, you didn't eat much those first two days."
"Tell her thank you."
He nodded and silence fell again. "I miss my mother." She admitted softly.
"Do you want to go see her?"
Bella shook her head, "I can't take care of her now."
He nodded, "Will you tell me about her?"
She sighed and curled closer to his warmth before she began talking. When she finished she fell asleep against him. He was gone when she woke up.
Months past and she was getting better. Slowly, Paul was healing her but she found she needed him to be there. One day he didn't show up and it was all she could do to get up from the couch when Charlie came home. She went right up to her room and curled up in her bed. She didn't get up again until he arrived the next afternoon. He let himself in and came up to her room, curling around her in the bed.
"You okay sweetness?"
She nodded and turned into him, breathing in his warmth.
He rubbed her back and hummed until she drifted into sleep.
A few days later Bella saw the bikes. She wasn't sure why she wanted them so badly but as she looked at them she heard Edward's voice warning her.
"Don't. Bella. You promised. Nothing stupid or reckless."
"I lied." She whispered back to the voice and then went to buy the motorcycles. She brought them to Jake who readily agreed to help her fix them, or rather let her help him fix them.
So began her time on the reservation with Jake. He was like the sun, warm and bright and happy.
After she left him that first day, she worried the whole way home she'd missed Paul but he was there waiting on her back porch when she got home. She walked to him and hugged him.
"You went out." It was a statement but she heard the question.
"Up to the reservation to see Jake." She told him hugging him.
He nodded, "Ok."
After the third day he began to come later.
She'd hurry to Jake's house after school and when she left him she'd feed Charlie and then get to spend a couple hours, curled into Paul, listening to him hum, reading with the sound of his heart beat to relax her and occasionally whispering a question or two.
After a while she really started to feel like she was healing. Jake finished the bikes and taught her to ride one. Paul bought her a helmet after the first small accident. It was the only time he mentioned anything about her time with Jake in any form and that was only to hand it to her and say, "Wear it."
She nodded and hugged him and that was the end of it.
She knew Jake was in to her more than she was him and tried to keep him strictly a friend but like Mike he was persistent in his crush. She wasn't sure why she didn't just tell Jake about Paul but she didn't. Paul was hers, only hers.
Then Jake stopped calling and taking her calls at the same time Paul disappeared for three days.
Bella drove up to the reservation, intent on finding him, on learning what was going on.
She had no idea where Paul lived so she drove to Jake's house. Billy all but closed the door in her face. It was then she saw them striding out of the woods. Paul. He was with Sam and two others, she guessed one of them was Jared and as she hurried closer she saw the other was Embry.
As she neared them her feet moved faster until she was running. When she reached them she flung herself into Paul's arms and hugged him, breathing in his warmth. His arms wrapped tightly around her.
"You disappeared." She whispered into his neck.
"I knew you were ok." He told her setting her back on her feet.
She shook her head, "No, I'm not and I didn't know you were."
He glared at her, "What happened?"
"You tell me, you disappeared."
"Not that, it's not important. Why aren't you ok?"
"It is important."
He growled at her but he was always making noises like that, growling or a rumbling in his chest. "Why aren't you ok?" He demanded.
"You didn't come over for three days" she snapped and then tears filled her eyes "and Jake wont speak to me, I don't understand, what did I do?"
He was shaking lightly, "Jacob is fine."
"Paul." There was a warning in Sam's voice.
"What?" Bella turned to him. "What's going on?" She turned back to Paul, "Please?"
He opened his arms again and she moved into them easily. "I'm sorry you worried. I'm fine. I passed by to check on you, I should have let you know I was ok."
"So you aren't bored with me now?"
Paul's arms tightened around her, "Never."
"Is Jake really ok too? Why wont he talk to me?"
Paul's arms tightened and then he stepped back, there was pain in his eyes. "He's fine, he just can't be around you right now."
"Why? Did I do something?"
"Then why?" She pressed.
"Because I wont allow it." He snapped at her.
"You wont allow it." She repeated softly, and then more angrily as a question, "You wont allow it?" She was glaring at him now, "What gives you, you wont, wont allow, who the hell do you think, what." She let out an angry huff, "You don't get a say in it!" She finally shrieked at him.
"Like hell I don't" He growled back at her.
"You aren't my boyfriend." She snapped. He looked like she'd hit him.
"No, I'm not dead enough for you but your leech deserted you didn't he." He spat back.
It felt like all the air had been sucked out of her lungs and without a conscious thought her hand reached up and slapped him.
His shaking got worse as he stepped away from her. Jared grabbed her and shoved her behind him, while Sam began pulling Paul back.
"Bella!" Jacob's shout had her looking over to him in panic as he ran across the yard to them.
She glanced back at Paul as Sam ordered him to calm down, as she turned he exploded into a giant silver wolf. She froze in shock and just stared at him but the moment was shattered by Embry's "Oh shit." Bella turned to see Jacob jump and land smoothly on all fours, a giant reddish brown wolf charging at Paul.
"Paul!" She screeched in fear and jumped towards him but Jared held her steady. She began to fight him off. "Let go. Let me go! Paul!" The wolves were growling and snapping at each other. Sam shouted an order to Jared and Embry before removing his shorts and shifting into a giant black wolf. The next thing Bella was being loaded into her own truck. "Paul." She tried to get back out but Jared held her wrist.
"He'll be fine. I promise. He'll meet us there."
"Emily's house." He responded starting the truck. They rode in silence, tears streaming down her face.
She barely looked at Emily as she was introduced and led inside. Jared and Embry attacking the plate of muffins.
Sam came in first and went straight to Emily. Following him was Paul and Jacob.
Bella jumped up and ran straight into Paul's arms, he lifted her and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He began to rub her back soothingly and hum while she cried into his neck.
After a few minutes she pulled herself together and he let her feet fall to the ground, then he tilted her chin up so their eyes met. "See why I can't have him around you? He's to volatile right now and that makes me volatile and I can't have you getting hurt."
She nodded and hugged him again. "You turned into a dog." She sniffled.
He barked a laugh, "A wolf Bella. I'm a werewolf."
She nodded and sniffled again, "Why didn't you tell me?"
"You've kind of had a lot of shit to deal with. Werewolves and imprinting could wait."
"Werewolves and what?"
"I'll explain that later."
He cut her off, "Please just trust me babe?"
She nodded, leaning into him, "You're really ok?"
"Fine. I promise."
She turned to Jake and gave him a small smile, "You ok Jake?"
He nodded, looking from her to Paul, who still held her to him.
She blushed but didn't move away, "This is Paul."
The others laughed and Jake nodded his eyes sad. "I know."
"You're my best friend Jake. My sun."
"And Paul?" A female voice asked.
"He's mine." She answered turning into his bare chest to breath him in again. That was all. She didn't have anything else to call him, any way to describe him, he was just hers, her Paul.
His arms tightened around her, "Always." He whispered.
"Well, in that regard, Jared is mine. I'm Kim by the way." She introduced herself.
She nodded, "Welcome to the pack. It's well past time."
"Well past time?" Bella asked turning to her.
"For Paul to have brought you over." Emily said with a smile.
"Right, well, uh, I um, don't get out much, or I didn't before Jake."
"We know." Emily smiled softly.
"So are you all werewolves?"
"All us guys are." Paul answered guiding us to the couch where she got a quick course in werewolf 101.
It wasn't until she met Leah that Bella learned about imprinting. It was at a bonfire a few weeks after the Jake incident.
"Another life fucked up by it."
"Sorry?" Bella turned to the speaker. "Oh, you must be Leah. I've heard about you. The only female, right."
"That's me. The freak."
"You aren't a freak."
She snorted, "Whatever."
"Did I do something to offend you?"
"Besides playing suck and fuck with a leech?"
Bella blushed, "Playing… no… I've never… we never… it wasn't like that."
She snorted again, "Whatever. I'm not the one that has to live with leech leftovers not that Paul seems to mind too much. Then again from what I see he's not exactly giving in to it is he. You two are basically just cuddle buddies. So I'm the bitch left in the cold no one wants and the leech lover has not just an imprinted wolf but also the baby future alpha panting after her skirts."
"What?" Bella stared at her in confusion. "I don't understand what I did. I mean, I know I dated a vampire but."
"But nothing. Its not even the vampire thing, fuck who you want, or don't since apparently you can not do that."
"Not do what?"
"Fuck your wolf. Or he can not fuck his imprint. News to me since Sam couldn't wait to fuck my cousin could he? No its fucking fate and nature and the spirits and its un-fightable, except for Paul who cuddles with you."
"Leah?" Her chest felt tight as she tried to process the words.
"Please. Leah, what do you mean? What's an imprint?"
Leah looked over at her in surprised, "They didn't tell you?"
Bella shook her head. "Fuck," Leah swore, "I'm in for it later. Oh who the fuck cares. Sam can kiss my ass." She motioned Bella to sit and explained about her and Sam and Sam and Emily, about imprinting and Paul and how it should have been impossible for him to stay away.
When Paul arrived after running patrol Bella felt almost numb.
"What's wrong?" Paul demanded stalking over to her immediately, bypassing even the food now being set out for them.
Bella shook her head, "I'm tired. I'm going home."
She shook her head and walked away. Paul followed, grabbing her arm, "Talk to me." It was a demand.
"Tell me about imprinting Paul."
"I told you, you don't need to worry about that right now."
"Because you don't want me."
"Leah told me about imprinting, about her and Sam and Emily. She said you imprinted on me."
He growled and sent a glare towards Leah, "She shouldn't have said anything."
"She assumed I already knew but you're right, you should have told me."
"You weren't ready to hear it.
"That what? My supernatural soul mate doesn't want me? Is fighting his instincts to stay away from me!"
"I'm not fighting it!" He shouted back at me. "You weren't ready to hear it! I found you, eight months ago, curled in a ball in the woods, it took me months to get you to have a fucking conversation with me, then baby alpha phased and you learned about the wolf and have just started adjusting to that shit. You still can't even say the fucking leeches name but I'm supposed to what? Tell you that our eyes met in the woods and I have been bound heart, body and soul to you since? That I sleep outside in the woods every night because I can't sleep far away from you? That you are my soul mate and while it hurts me to see you in pain it will likely fucking kill me if you ever left here? What Bella? What should I have fucking said to the shell that leech left of my mate? I might be about the least patient and the most angry, volatile bastard in the pack but when it fucking comes to you, my wolf is sitting pretty waiting for you to heal and is just fucking happy to hold you."
"I'm not a fucking shell now am I?"
"No and it fucking took me eight months to get you some semblance of yourself and I'm supposed to fuck that up by telling you about imprinting?"
"You didn't just not tell me Paul!"
"What else did I do then?"
"Exactly! I did nothing, I kept imprinting from you, I let you heal and maybe just fucking maybe I wanted you to not feel obligated to be with me but to actually want to be!"
"You never made you an option! You've slept in my bed Paul! You've never even kissed me!"
He growled and yanked her to him, his mouth crashing down on hers. He kissed her until her lungs were burning with the need for air. I blushed at the hoots and hollers from the rest of the pack as he pulled back to let me breath.
"Before you yell at me for keeping shit from you or not doing or saying anything else, I'm fucking in love with you." This statement sucked any attempts at getting oxygen away as I felt all of the remaining air leave my lungs and tears sting my eyes. "Shit." He cursed.
"I'd cry if he were my imprint too Bella." One of the guys, probably Quil, shouted. This caused Paul to growl and Bella to laugh, breaking the spell of shock she'd been frozen in.
She turned her attention back to her mate, "I love you too Paul." She breathed.
At his smile she relaxed and his fingers came out to brush across her cheek. "Yeah?" He asked, just to be sure.
"Yeah." She nodded. "For a while now."
He pulled her back into the warmth of his arms and held her close, "I'll do and say stupid shit a lot Bella but you're my world, I'll always do everything possible to make you happy."
She nodded against his chest, "I know. Just don't ever leave me."
"That's my line babe."
She chuckled, "Is it now?"
She felt his arms tightened, "Yup. Losing you would kill me. It's the only thing I have been afraid of since I was six and Jared and I watched It, still fucking hate clowns."
She chuckled against him again, "I wont leave you. I promise."
"Nothing short of the devil himself dragging me to hell will make me leave you."
"I wouldn't let him."
He laughed, "Damn stubborn woman I'd bet you'd win that one too."
She nodded, "Or we'd go together and then it wouldn't be hell."
He smiled at her, "No, it wouldn't."
Paul carried her home, and like many nights before and many to come, she fell asleep listening to the steady beat of his heart.