Disclaimer: the characters and all recognizable situations belong to Stephanie Meyer - Last I looked I wasn't her... this story is a work of fan fiction, except or course for the legends and histories of the Quileute Nation that, of course, belong to them.
Beta'ed by the incredible Mrstrentreznor. Pre-read by the amazing SparklingFae and the amazing MP/iamtwilightobsessed.
Banner by the fantastic Goldengirl from Printing Paws.
Paul spent the evening walking the area around the strip bar, "Sammy's." He had left Jacob's car parked in a near-by parking deck and ever since, he had paced up and down the different sidewalks, hoping for a glimpse, a whiff, something to let him know she was close by.
He didn't think he was looking in the right spot though. Ever since he had left the section of town where the university was, the ache in his chest had escalated.
He walked inside the club and looked around, just in case.
His eyes skimmed the room. From a section of the VIP lounge, he saw a familiar looking cowboy hat. His heart beat sped up as he strode across the floor only to plummet to his stomach when he got a good look at the cowgirl.
She wore an outfit similar to that of his dancer, but it wasn't the same. This girl was much taller than his angel was. She was also lacking the figure of the one he wanted. His mate was curvy, with hips that begged for his hands and an ass made for cupping.
The cowgirl standing in front of him though was tall and willowy. She was attractive and appealing, and a month ago he would have been interested in hooking up with her, but now, not so much. Her outfit was black, while the one that his dancer had worn had been more of a tan color.
He turned and made his way back over to the bar. He grabbed a stool and plopped himself down.
The bartender walked over, put a napkin down on the bar in front of him and said, "What can I get ya?"
"Whiskey, neat, and make it a double."
The old man just nodded his head, set out the glass and then filled it with an amber colored liquor.
Somewhere in the room, music started to play and men began yelling.
He tossed back his drink and then turned and looked around the room one last time. He ignored the woman swinging on the pole, he ignored the men, clamoring for her attention. The one he wanted wasn't there, so he turned and headed for the door.
He walked the sidewalks aimlessly, miserable in his heartbreak. He didn't even notice when he crossed over Portage Bay. The first inkling that he had as to his location, was the absence of the ache in his chest.
Bella and Jacob had sat and talked for hours. "So, tell me about this friend of yours, the one that is staying the night here. What's his name... Paul?" She finally asked.
"Well, Paul is… he's just Paul." Jacob laughed.
"Oh, come on now, I need more than that."
"What do you want to know? He's my age, lives on the reservation, and he has a job in tribal security, like I do."
"So he's Quileute?"
"Yes, he's a good guy, most of the time, but he has had a rough childhood."
"Haven't we all?" Bella asked.
Jacob nodded. "Paul more so than most. He was born in Tacoma. His mom deserted both him and his father. His dad loaded him up when he was eight and they moved back to the reservation. He was small for his age and got picked on a lot. That made him mean. Plus, his dad wasn't the nicest person in the world. Paul is a good guy, but he has a really bad temper."
"Is he still small for his age?"
Jacob laughed. "No, he's actually just an inch or two shorter than me."
"Ok, what was he doing tonight?"
"He's looking for a friend of his. I told him to come over whenever he was ready. I explained about getting into the building and all of that. I imagine that he will be showing up around two am."
"I hope his friend is alright."
"Yeah, me too."
They sat in a comfortable silence for several minutes when Bella said, "Jacob, you should call him. Tell him I will leave supper for him in the oven."
"I can't, he doesn't carry a cell phone."
"Oh my gosh, I didn't know that there were still people out there that didn't have a cell phone."
"Yeah, there are. You know that I don't carry one most of the time either."
"How do you get by without one? I would think that working for tribal security it would be mandatory."
Jacob laughed. "We have our own way of communicating."
"What? Smoke signals?" She giggled.
"No, smart ass, walkie talkies."
"So what do you do, as a security officer on the reservation?"
"Anything that needs to be done."
"Like what? I mean, it's not like La Push is a hot bed of crime."
Jacob smirked. "No, it's not, but we still have our fair share. Drug dealers, alcoholics, shop-lifters, domestics, those kinds of things. We do other stuff too you know."
"Really?" She sounded skeptical.
"Yeah, last month when that big storm came through, who do you think helped put the reservation back to rights?"
"You and your group of merry men?"
"I'm impressed. Jacob Black, do gooder."
He laughed. "It has its perks too."
"Well, I get free use of the gym and it helps me to stay in shape."
"That I can see." She reached up and felt his arm and he obligingly made a muscle for her. She couldn't help the shiver of excitement that went through her, even if it was one of her best friends.
Jacob smirked knowingly.
"Let's take a walk," Bella suggested. "I can show you around campus. Who knows, you might get tired of security detail and want to do something different one day."
They walked arm and arm through the campus while Bella pointed out landmarks. She showed Jacob the different buildings that her classes were in and she showed him the library and gym. They walked by the Huskie Union Building and down Greek Row. She even pointed out where they would be the following night for the formal.
Along the way she introduced him to people that she knew. They had just left one such friend when Jacob stopped and looked over his shoulder. "Is that Newton yelling for you?"
Bella groaned. "Probably, he can't seem to learn that no means no."
Jacob put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her into his side. "Want me to scare him off?"
"Would you?" It was hard to keep the hopeful look off her face but she was desperate. Mike had gotten to be a royal pain in the ass.
"Just leave me to it."
It didn't take long for the jock to reach them. "Bella babe, how ya doin?"
"I'm fine thanks." She leaned into Jacob's side and simpered. "Jacob, do you remember Mike Newton?"
"Sure," the younger boy held out his hand. "How are you Mike?"
Mike grasped his hand and had a hard time keeping his face from grimacing in pain. Jacob squeezed for just a second more and then released the hand.
"Fine," Mike opened and closed his hand for a moment and then looked up. He cocked his head to the side and recognition lit up his face. "Wait a minute, you're that kid from the reservation."
"I hardly think you can call Jacob a kid," Bella protested.
"Yeah, yeah, you know that's not what I meant."
"Then what did you mean?"
"Uh… I uh… just meant that the last time I saw him he was a kid." Mike explained.
Bella nodded her head. "Uh huh, what do you want Mike?"
"Oh, I just want… that is…" He took a deep breath. "I was just going to see if I could escort you to the formal tomorrow night."
"That's alright pal, Bella's got it covered," Jacob said.
Mike looked disappointed. "You do?"
Bella nodded. "Yes, Jacob came all the way from La Push just to take me. Wasn't that sweet of him?" She leaned into Jacob's arm and batted her eyelashes.
"Of course, honey. You know I'd do anything for you." Jacob leaned down and kissed the tip of Bella's nose.
She smiled up at him, an utterly smitten look on her face.
Mike looked defeated. "So I'll uh… see you two tomorrow night?"
Bella nodded. "Sure."
She giggled as they watched Mike walk away.
"Come on," she said as soon as he had gone far enough not to over hear them. "Let's go get some ice cream. You deserve it for that performance."
"Me, what about you?" Jacob copied Bella's attempt at batting her eyes.
They both cracked up laughing, finally falling onto a bench that lined the sidewalk. It took them almost fifteen minutes before they were able to calm down enough to continue their walk. And true to her word, the next stop was the ice cream parlor.
It was shortly after midnight when Paul arrived. As soon as he stepped on campus, he knew that she was there, somewhere, just waiting for him to find her. The ache in his chest was completely gone, in fact, he felt like she was so close he could almost reach out and grab her.
He casually sniffed and then groaned when he couldn't find any trace of her. He walked the streets, stopping every few feet to check the air. When he finally caught a trace of her scent, he nearly howled.
He carefully followed the aroma, the same one from her hair brush, and copied her steps. He was somewhat surprised when he detected the scent of his pack mate, mingling with hers. A brief flash of white hot jealously surged through him, but he quickly tamped it down.
Instead, he walked around the buildings, down Greek Row and then on to an ice cream shop. It was closed, but he could tell exactly what table they had sat at, underneath the big awning. It was a pleasant night to sit outside after all, and if the truth were known, he could tell that Jacob had eaten chocolate while his angel had enjoyed a strawberry treat.
He followed her trail down the street and into a brick building full of campus apartments. He recognized it as the same place that he had left Jacob earlier that day. He glanced at his watch; it was now close to two am.
What was it that Jacob had said to do? Paul walked over to the buzzer and pressed the combination of buttons.
Bella sat straight up in bed and fumbled for the light. The noise was instant, a constant grating sound that would automatically wake you up.
"What?" Jacob grumbled through the intercom.
"Alright, alright," she heard Jacob mutter. A different buzzing sound was heard and a few minutes later, the front door of the apartment was opened.
"Where is she?" Paul asked.
"Where is who? Bella? She's in bed," Jacob mumbled as he walked back over to the sofa. "You can make a pallet on the floor."
"NO, not Bella, where is my dancer?"
Jacob looked at Paul as understanding flowed through him. He was suddenly wide awake. He stood up slowly.
"You mean that Bella is your dancer?"
"I don't know," Paul admitted. "Someone in the apartment is. I've followed her scent all over campus." His eyes narrowed and stopped on Jacob. "In fact her scent is all over you."
Paul walked over to Jacob and stood, looming over him. Why do you smell like my imprint?"
Jacob slowly started to stand, forcing Paul to take a step back. "I smell like Bella."
"Where is she? Where is my imprint?"
Paul paced back and forth across the room, sniffed the air and then his gaze landed on Bella's doorway. He started to walk in that direction.
Jacob moved to intercept him.
Paul put out his arm and pushed Jacob out of the way. His eyes were fixed on the doorway that led to her bedroom.
Bella had been standing just inside the door, listening to the conversation between the two guys. She was puzzled though, by what she had been hearing. He smelled her... followed her scent? That didn't make sense. He was a man, not a dog, right?
She opened the door and stepped into the light of the den. "What do you mean, you followed my scent?"
Paul's eyes shot up and found hers.
She glanced from Jacob to Paul. Her eyes widened and she gasped. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth, her fingertips stopping on her bottom lip. "You," she murmured so softly that it was hard for them to hear her, even with their enhanced hearing.
Paul crossed the room in two strides until he was standing right in front of her. "I've looked for you. All over town, I've searched, at the bar, everywhere."
"I don't work there a lot, I was just filling in." She reached out her hand and touched his arm, like she was afraid he would disappear."I'm sorry I ran away..."
He inhaled sharply as their skin touched for the first time in weeks. Neither of them could deny the zing that traveled from where they were joined through their bodies.
"You'll have to dance for me again sometime." Paul brushed her cheek with the back of his finger and then gently cupped her face in his massive hands. He pulled her mouth up to his and kissed her hungrily. Hot lips, soft but demanding, coerced a response.
She found it impossible to resist, even if she'd wanted to. She kissed him back with a wild abandon, her hands gripping his hair, fingers pulling through the thick tresses, anxious to be as close to him as possible.
His hands trailed down her body, over her back and down the globes of her ass. He lifted her up, bringing her mouth level with his, making it easier to kiss her.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and locked her ankles together. One hand stayed buried in his hair, the other moved to his shoulder. She fisted the material of his shirt in her hand, trying in her own way to bring him closer.
Paul pressed up against her and pinned her to the wall beside her bedroom door.
Bella moaned, the sound low and full of want.
It was all that Paul needed to hear. He took complete control. His mouth dominated hers in a way she had never expected or experienced, not even with their previous kisses.
Heat pooled in her center and Bella pushed against him, desperate to be rubbed in that one spot that would feel so good. That spot that was suddenly aching and throbbing with want for him.
His hand traveled up her body to cup her breast. Her nipple was taut and puckered beneath the material of her sleep shirt. His thumb brushed over the pebbled bud and Bella couldn't help her body's response. Her chest pushed out into his hand, encouraging more.
Across the room, Jacob smirked. Two or three kisses, that was all it had taken. He wondered, just for a second, if that was a record for Paul. He was unsure what to do. Should he interrupt them? Leave them alone? He sighed, it was one of those situations where he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. On the one hand, you didn't get between a wolf and his mate. On the other hand, Bella wasn't that type of girl. She didn't have one night stands and he could almost guarantee that she'd never had sex before with a guy she didn't know.
He thought about how she would react. That was all it took to make up his mind. He walked across the room and cleared his throat.
They continued to kiss.
He tried it again, "Ummppphhh."
Nothing, the couple continued to ignore him.
Jacob reached out and tapped Paul's shoulder.
Paul growled his response.
Ummm... Bella liked that, she decided. A surge of heat filled wetness coated her panties.
Paul noticed first, and growled again, just to make her shudder and push against him.
Jacob could feel his face growing red as he took in the scent of her arousal. "Uh... guys." His hand cupped the back of his neck and he tried to look anywhere but at the couple, making out against the wall.
Her head tilted slightly back and to the side while Paul moved on from Bella's lips. He started to trail down the side of her neck. His hand continued to massage her breast, his fingers plucking and teasing through the material at her nipple.
"GUYS," Jacob shouted.
Bella opened an eye. "Go away," she mumbled.
Jacob decided that he should just go ahead and do what he needed to do. Hopefully then, they would go into her room and let him get some sleep, although, from the looks of things, he wasn't going to be getting a lot of sleep that night.
"Paul, I'd like to introduce you to my good friend, Isabella. You might already know her by her stage name, 'The Swan'. She's Charlie's daughter."
He wasn't surprised when he didn't receive a response.
Jacob rolled his eyes and continued. "Bella, this is my friend and tribal brother, Paul Lahote."
"Paul," she moaned. It was the only indication Jacob had that he'd been heard.
"Isabella," Paul breathed her name against her chest.
"It's Bella, call me Bella," she told him between pants.
Paul shook his head. "Mine, I'm already calling you mine."
"Get a room, you two!" Jacob shouted as he walked back to the couch. He lay down and pulled the pillow over his head. He didn't care what they called each other, he just wished they would do it in another room. He was tired and there would be a lot to talk about in the morning.
They had to tell her about it all. Vampires, shapeshifters and imprinting. Hopefully, Paul wouldn't make her so exhausted she wouldn't be able to hear it.
And then he smiled. From the looks of things, he wouldn't have to escort her to that formal. He snickered. From the looks of things Paul and Bella might not even make it out of bed.
Six months later
"That's not straight."
"What do you mean it's not straight? It's as straight as I can get it."
Bella sighed. "Look Leah. This end is on the floor, and that end is on the ceiling, but the pole is slightly off. It needs to be flush against each end."
Leah shifted the silver beam. "Is that better?"
"Yes. Now we just need to fasten it in place."
"Jake," Leah shouted. "Hurry up or I won't let Bella give me lessons, and I'll tell Rachel that it's all your fault that she has to miss out."
Jake ran into the extra bedroom of the house that Bella now shared with Paul. Leah stood in the center of the floor, the pole grasped firmly in her hands as she held it steady.
"Are you sure it's going to be strong enough?" Bella asked. "I don't want to surprise him with a trip to the emergency room."
Jacob chuckled. "Only you could be such a graceful dancer and yet still trip over thin air."
"Not funny, Black." Bella retorted.
"I thought it was. Here Bella, hold the pole for me," Jacob instructed. "Leah, I'll screw the top in if you will get the bottom."
Bella grasped the silver beam tightly between her hands and Jacob and Leah quickly fastened the pole to the ceiling and floor, securing it tightly to the hidden beams.
They let go and the post stood there, gleaming in the light from the room.
Jacob reached up and wrapped his hands around it and lifted his feet off the floor, letting the silver bar hold his weight. He dangled there for several minutes before announcing that it was sturdy enough for any of the women.
Bella smiled. "Ok guys, thanks, you can leave now. I need to get ready."
Jacob's eyebrows lifted and Leah smirked.
"Should we even ask what you are getting ready for?"
"Nope, just giving Paul his birthday present."
"It's a little early for that isn't it?" Jacob asked.
"No, this is his present for my birthday." Bella explained.
Jacob shook his head. "Why don't I get presents for your birthday?"
"Duh… cause you're not Paul." Leah scoffed.
"This is a gift for us both. I'll dance on the pole for him and then hopefully he will show me how much he enjoyed-"
"I don't want to hear anymore." Jacob interrupted. "I need to leave, now."
Bella reached over and kissed his cheek. "Thanks Jake."
"So when are we getting started?" Leah asked.
"Soon Leah, really soon. Now scoot, Paul's going to be home soon."
A short time later Paul walked into the darkened house. From the spare bedroom he could hear the deep beat of the bass, followed by some shorter, sharper taps. He walked to the closed door and slowly opened it.
The dim light reflected off his eyes as he took in a sight he hadn't seen in several months.
The Swan, decked out in her cowgirl gear, was swinging around the silver post that was in the center of the room. Her eyes got big as she saw him standing in the doorway.
She dismounted and walked over to him, grabbed him by the front of the shirt and pulled him to the chair that was in the corner.
His hands lingered on her waist as she scooted backward.
"Nope, you can't touch, remember?"
"No Paul. I'm going to give you a private show, and then, I want to be rewarded with a lap dance."
He leaned back in his chair and leered. "Sure thing babe, you dance on that pole for me and then I'll give you a second one to work out with." He shifted his dick through the thick material of his jeans, leaving her no doubt as to what pole he'd had in mind.
She smirked. "That was exactly what I was hoping for."
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.