Our first time together was magical. The second and third were even moreso as I didn't have the pain of losing my virginity. Paul worshipped me in ways I had never imagined. The kaleidoscope of colors that burst forth from behind my eyelids each time I came, screaming his name hoarsely, was brilliant. I loved the way his strong fingers gently stroked the dark curls between my thighs as if it were the softest hair he'd ever felt. The way his hot, heavy erection would lie against the juncture of my thighs. He caressed my whole body with care, leaving no doubt in my mind that he wanted to be with me.

I was all moved into Paul's house within a week and Charlie, though he was upset at losing his only daughter to another man, was appeased with how full his freezer was with casseroles and premade meals. I even left strict cooking instructions for him along with explicit recipes for him to attempt himself. Sue made herself a near permanent fixture inside the Swan abode more often than not in the last few months so I wasn't too worried about my father's possible starvation.

Emily and Kim welcomed me with open arms into Wolf it Down and we came up with a whole new line of pies for the pastry shelf after I made a couple for some bonfires that had been a huge hit. It was busy work and I was always exhausted with sore feet after a long shift, but it was well worth it. Paul benefited from the overages and made sure to thank me thoroughly each time I brought him some goodies home. Living with him was like a dream. All blissful smiles and erotic nights. We would relax, cuddled on the couch after our respective long days at work just touching each other softly.

Tonight we are celebrating my 19th birthday. It was still a week away but the pack had wanted to surprise me. Emily sent me home from work earlier than usual and while I found that slightly suspicious, all thoughts left my brain when Paul awaited me with a large white smile and his strong arms. We made love passionately for hours before he suddenly told me to shower. Patting my naked ass as I looked at him confused, he just chuckled and started getting dressed.

When Paul brought me to First Beach, I'd been unsurprised to see yet another bonfire. It seemed to be a sort of weekly tradition in La Push since there really wasn't much else by way of recreational activities around here. What did surprise me, however, was that I'd not been asked to participate in the meal prep or decorating.

"Whose party is this?" Had I just overlooked someone's birthday? Jesus, that makes me such a tool.

Chuckling as if he'd heard my inner thoughts -cue full body shudder- Paul let go of my hand to wrap his arm around my shoulders. "Yours, doofus."

Shooting him a mild scowl for the unnecessary name calling, I deadpanned. "What."

Everyone in the pack knew that I hated surprises.

As if on signal, the entirety of the wolf pack screamed out, "Happy Birthday, Bella!" An odd 'Bells' was thrown out from Jake's mouth and I giggled, deciding to go with the flow. I have no reason to dread my birthday anymore, for my forever was right by my side.

"Hey Bella." A voice I hadn't heard in months sounded from my right and I turned slowly to see Leah Clearwater looking at me quite timidly. Her hair was longer than I remember, having caught a glimpse of her once after she phased into a wolf. She had had it shorn to just under her ears, revealing her slender neck. The guys had mentioned that short hair in human form was easier to deal with in wolf form. Wearing a pink and purple plaid button tee paired with light colored jeans and brown sandals on her feet, I'd never in my life seen Leah so girlie. She'd been the definition of a tomboy our whole lives.

The party was in full swing as everyone passed around beer and joints, my dad and Billy turning a blind eye. Even Sam's face was graced with a half smile.

Turning my back on her, filling my plate full of the barbeque buffet, I said a quiet, "Hey Leah." Though my nerves were up, today is my day and I'm not going to let her get the best of me.

Soft fingertips pressed into the white cotton of my tee shirt at my shoulder and I paused to take in a fortifying breath before I set my plate down on the long table and turned, once again, to face her. Raising my eyebrows questioningly, I waited for her to speak her mind.

Shuffling awkwardly, which was another strange thing to see from the rough-and-tumble she-wolf, she glanced at her toes. "I know I don't deserve your forgiveness but I want to apologize for the crap that went down -"

I held up a hand to stop her apology. "It's not me you need to apologize to, Leah. It's Paul. The only thing I want to say to you is that was low. Even for you. Every time I see that scar on his side I am filled to the brim with a hate so strong it overwhelms me. Now that I'm saying this to your face, I hope that at least one of us feels retribution. Never, and I mean never, touch Paul again. You may have changed. I've got eyes." I said as I waved my hand toward her in a gesturing motion, aware that the pack was trying not to be obvious about listening. I kept my voice calm and even as much as I could. "But that doesn't take away from the fact that you mauled an innocent man simply for having a soulmate. Because you were jealous."

Tears brimmed on her lower lids as she kept eye contact with me, fine tremors of the shift working their way down her toned arms. I knew I was being rough on her but she needed to hear it from me. She needs to know that I was never okay with what she pulled.

"You tried to tear Paul and me apart before we could even get started. I might be able to forgive you someday, Leah Clearwater, but right now is not that day."

Settling back into a large Adirondack chair overlooking the blue-gray waves of the Pacific Ocean, minus my food because I'd lost my appetite, I closed my eyes and reclined back. My heart pounded in my chest as I meticulously went over everything I just said to her. Was I too tough on her? Did I hurt her feelings? Should I apologize? Or was it the opposite...Did everything I say make no headway at all? Did she deserve worse than my spiteful words? A cold soda can was pressed into the top of my hand and without opening my eyes, I twisted my wrist to capture the sugary liquid.

"Thanks." I murmured.

"You don't need to overthink this, Bella." Jake said as he settled into the chair beside me. I glanced over at him before I turned my head enough to see Paul and Leah speaking as Sam and Jared stood nearby. Choosing to shove the jealousy aside, I turned back to Jake and settled more comfortably in the stiff chair.

"I'm not." I defended myself. Jake smiled crookedly at me and I sighed. "Okay, fine. I just don't want to be too -"

"You weren't." Jake captured my hand in his and held tight. "She deserved an ass beating but you're no wolf so the verbal assault worked just fine. You did good."

Catching my peek toward my imprint and Leah again, Jake chuckled. "She's apologizing and he's telling her where to stuff it. Don't worry so much."

Downing the rest of my cola, I stood and stretched, causing my denim shorts and white tee to split and show my torso. It had the exact effect I was going for. Paul strode to me quickly from by the fire to my side and wrapped me in his arms, searing a kiss into my lips.

"That's my cue." Jake laughed as he walked off, presumably to find his buddies.

"I love you." Paul whispered as he kissed his way up to my ear, his large hot hands cupping my hips before pressing into my flesh and dragging up to my waist to grip me tightly.

Humming contently and more than a little aroused, I said quietly, "I love you too. Wanna get high?"

Paul laughed as he grabbed my hand in his and walked us back to the fire.