Disclaimer: Norah Jones. Twilight. Elvis. Blue Hawaii.

Author's Note: My first time writing from a guy's POV, unbeta-ed. Companion to Silver Lining. I read on SM's website that imprinting happens the first time you see the person after your first phase, so yeah.


Shoot The Moon

the summer days are gone too soon
you shoot the moon
and miss completely
shoot the moon, norah jones


It starts like a bad joke, the kind where the person telling it has to keep going back to clarify. Wait, she wasn't a real nun. Did I mention the guy was bald? It was actually a duck, not a sheep. The kind of joke that takes forever to tell, and has a dirty punch line. This is how it starts: So, there's this hotel in Grand Island, Nebraska, and inside is a werewolf and some chick–a brunette, real pretty, slim little body. And the wolf, well, it's not a full moon yet, so he's still all human you know? It's like a bad joke, some stupid pun–The peanut was a salted, get it? Jacob Black, this is your life.

I sigh into my hands, drag them over my face, through my hair, fingers knotting behind my neck. The television's on, an old Elvis movie, something about a guy who just out of the army only to end up a tour guide. I scoop the remote off the bedside table, change the channel to the local news station. Across the room, Bella's standing in front of the window, looking out on the empty street, there's the wail of an ambulance a street down. She closes the curtains, turns to look at me, and half her face is lit up by the dim glow of the tv set, the other half dark with shadows.

She's never looked more beautiful than she does now, barefoot and in a dress. In the Rabbit she'd complained about the heat, rolled her window down and gave me one of her toothy grins, my heart thumping wildly in my chest. It was her idea to get the room. She said it was too hot to sleep in the car again, a bit of air conditioning would leave us refreshed, I'd see.

"What?" I ask, hands falling to rest beside my outstretched legs.

Bella picks at her dress, pinching the fabric between her fingers and tugging lightly. "I said don't look at me like that."

"How?"

She looks down, digs her toes into the carpet. "Like I can save you."

"Yeah," I croak. "Okay."

"I'm serious Jake," she sighs, walking forward and sitting on the edge of the bed, back facing me. "Stop it."

Her hair's up in some sort of knot, and her neck is incredibly pale. I want to reach out and touch it, trace the curve of it with my tongue. Chances are she'd let me, but something's different about tonight. I'm not sure I'd be able to stop touching her. I can almost hear Embry's taunting laugh in my head, Don't be such a fucking pussy Jake. Touch her already.

I let out a growl, throw my legs over the edge of the bed, feet planted firmly on the floor, and cradle my head in my hands. Bella's in front of me in a second, hands running through my hair. She's whispering that everything's going to be okay, and I have the sudden urge to cry. I want to tell her that nothing's going to be okay. That everything's messed up, wrong. I'm going to lose her, and she doesn't seem to care.

Her hands flit over mine, fingers prying them away from my face, and she places my hands on her hips. She gives this little smile, just a quick quirk of her mouth, and leans down to press her lips to mine. She sighs into my mouth, nudges me back onto the bed.

"Jake," she whispers, teeth grazing my shoulder. "Kiss me."

And I do. Kiss her mouth, her eyelids, her palms and the bend of her elbows. I kiss the arch of her foot, her shins, her knees. I push the skirt of her dress up, kiss the smooth flesh of her thigh. She shiver's beneath me, and I feel myself begin to grow hard. I know what comes next, know that tonight I won't have to close my eyes and imagine my hand is Bella's.

Bella squirms out from beneath me, her hands creeping behind her back to pull down the zipper of her dress. I help her along, kissing where the straps used to res, the beginnings of a tan line. The dress falls to the floor with a soft thump, a monster creeping out from beneath the bed. She's down to a tank top and underwear, green boy short and no bra, because it's too hot for clothes she'd complained, somewhere down in Georgia.

&

I kiss Bella full on, breath I want you to remember this into the dip of her upper lip. She nods, her hands gripping tighter on my shoulders, and I bring one hand up to cup her breast. She arches into my touch, and it's all the encouragement I need. Soon my hands are kneading her breasts, rolling her nipples between my fingers.

"Jake."

I can feel her lips against my neck, her breath is warm. She pushes me back, grabs the hem of her top, and it joins her dress on the floor.

I sit back on my legs, the wind knocked out of me. I feel like I can't breath, my heart aching painfully in my chest. She's beautiful. Perfect. A fucking deity sent down to me, just me. Her skin is pink, and she looks alive, flushed and so incredibly alive. I want to just stop everything, freeze this moment and hold onto it forever. Her eyes are dark, and her hair's wild against the pillow. She's breathing hard, and her breasts quiver with each rise and fall of her chest.

"What?"

Her voice startles me, my heart catching in my throat, and I can't speak. She's beginning to look uncomfortable, self-conscious. Her arms snake up to cover herself, and I find my voice.

"Stop." I command, and her limbs fall listlessly down to rest by her side, eyes too big, too vulnerable. Her skin is smooth, unblemished. She's got a mole on her stomach. The wolf in me wakes suddenly, and I want nothing more than to ravish her, mark her as my own. It's paws claw at my chest, trying to tear through, and I lean forward, kiss her softer than I ever have before.

&

I can smell her, really smell her. This is something I won't ever forget, nose pressed into the damp cotton of Bella's underwear. My hands hold her legs apart, fingers gripping her thighs, and I'm vaguely aware that I'm talking.

"Smell so good," I'm mumbling, pushing my nose further into her folds, and she shakes at the touch. "God, so good...let me kiss you...want to taste you...beautiful, beautiful, perfect...Jesus, Bells, what are you doing to me?"

I kiss her through the thin fabric, graze her with my teeth, and her hips buckle forward. My fingers dance up on their own accord, and I glance up to see Bella's head twisted to the side. She bites her lip, let's out something between a moan and a sigh. The noise gets to me, set's me on fire. Her hands are gripping fistfuls of sheet, and I slip a finger past the cotton barrier of her panties, let it slide over her swollen lips. She makes a strangled sort of sound, neck snapping around, eyes locking with mine. It's almost enough to make me come right then.

&

"I'm on fire," Bella says, her hand hovering over her mouth. "I'm going to burn, and all that'll be left is a big pile of ash."

I grab hold of her hand, kiss each fingertip, knuckle, her palm. I slide my tongue over her wrist, can feel her pulse jump at the touch. My eyes lock with hers, and all I want is to tell her I love her, will always love her. But I keep my mouth shut, instead guide her hand down to where are bodies are joined. Her eyes widen in surprise, and she tries to pull away. I tighten my grip, show her where to place her fingers. Her eyes follow mine, and we watch as she touches herself.

It doesn't take long, and soon we're both on the brink. Bella comes first, her mouth twisted, and everything narrows down to this, the way she cries out my name. Juh-ake, dragging it out. Everything fades, nothing matters. This is it. The wolf in me sits, nods his head. This is it, he says, and I want to cry.

&

I look over at Sam, sink further into the cushions of the couch and recall Bella's face when she came, mouth forming the shape of my name, eyes locked on mine.

"I imprinted," I say, and Sam looks shocked.

"Who?"

"Bella," I laugh, but it comes out like a harsh bark, and there's a stinging in my eyes because this is like some big cosmic joke gone to shit.

Sam shakes his head. "That's not possible Jake."

I shrug, lean my head back to rest on the wall, and blink back the threatening tears. I promised myself I wouldn't let Sam see me cry again, not since my first transformation.

"When have I ever followed the rules?"

The humor comes out flat. Sam just stares at me, shakes his head. Outside it begins to rain.