I paced back and forth between the front door and the small kitchen, constantly looking out the window. Embry sat on the sofa, flipping through the channels on the old television.
"Will you chill out, Jake? She'll be here." Embry sighed, leaning back further into the beaten down cushions.
I shook my head violently. What if she didn't show? She chose me, she loved me. Her wedding was off, Edward and the rest of the bloodsuckers had gone to deal with the family in Italy who had almost taken Bella away from me. The things I would do if I had them alone, but Bella strictly scorned me every time, saying they were too old and powerful for me to handle. It didn't matter though because I would always protect her, fight for her until it killed me. I had to because without her my life wasn't worth living.
I still don't understand how I haven't imprinted on her. All I think about is Bella, all I want in my life, all I need for the rest of mine, is her. Was it because I knew her my whole life? Was that why the first time I saw her again since I had changed gravity hadn't shifted? I knew insight of the imprinting nonsense, that Bella was my soul mate. She meant more to me than anything I have ever known, that's got to count for something. The thought of loving someone else more than I love Bella was absolutely sickening, causing my stomach to do flips. Sam constantly reminds me that someone will come along when I least expect it, as Emily did for him, and my breath will be gone. The earth will move, the clouds will shift and the sun will shine down right on the woman who I was bond to protect, love, and take care of for the rest of my life. I was determined to make sure that wouldn't happen, especially since Bella had finally admitted her feelings for me.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard her truck. I exhaled and smiled to myself racing to the door as the sound of her engine roared over the dirt road, coming to a halt outside my garage. I spotted her jumping down from the driver's seat as I ran out to greet her. It feels like forever since I had seen her, at least three weeks since she called off her wedding. My insides softened as I saw her body emerge from the left side, grabbing a suitcase she had packed from the bed of her truck. My bare feet smacked along the hard gravel as I approached the side of the truck where she was standing. I still hadn't seen her face, the rain was pouring down hard and she had bent over to tie her sneaker, her suitcase leaning next to her up against the tire. I stood in front of her, within distance to reach down and stroke her soaking wet brown hair, but I stayed tense like a lion in front of her, waiting for her to lift her head. Finally, she grabbed the handle of her suitcase and lifted herself from her knees. Keeping her face down, she dusted the mud from her faded jeans and shook her head, causing her hair to fall down from the clip and fan along her neck and shoulders. Her head lifted slightly, a smile gleaming on her perfect lips, as my eyes caught hers. That's when my world stopped.
My breath caught in my throat when my legs suddenly because unsteady. The ground below me felt as though there was an earthquake, the rocks under the balls of my feet shifting slightly as I swear the earth moved. My eyes narrowed as I took in her appearance. She was more beautiful than I remember, if that was possible, but her eyes were like my drug. My own personal addiction, I was an addict, and her eyes were my drug of choice. My arms reached out to hold her and she quickly accepted, flinging herself into me. My heart stopped as I felt her touch, butterflies erupted in my stomach, and an overwhelming feeling of calm washed over me. I felt at ease when she was safely in my arms, knowing as long as she was here, nothing could harm her. I wrapped my arms completely around her, rubbing long strides up and down her back. I felt her lips kiss my bare chest, over and over again, never kissing the same spot twice. I sighed, contently, and reached up to place my hands in her hair. I leaned down to kiss her forehead and then down along the side of her face, stopping by her earlobe. I let my teeth graze over her soft flesh, before whispering softly into her ear.
"Hey baby, welcome home." I brought my hand down to cup the side of her face, bringing it up to meet my gaze again.
"I missed you." She told me, her voice cracked as tears sprung from her eyes. I quickly wiped the mixture of rain and tears from her red cheeks, concern flashing over me.
"What's the matter?" I asked, bringing my lips to her face again; this time kissing her cheeks and underneath her eyes where her tears had just fell. My hands rubbed up and down her bare arms, afraid she was cold.
"I just really missed you." She shivered under my touch, and I reacted immediately.
I lifted down and grabbed under her knees, swinging her up off the ground, cradling her against my chest. I reached down and put her suitcase over my wrist as I turned and headed for the house. I felt her arms wrap around my neck and soft kisses were left along my collarbone and throat.
I carried her in through the door, and then set her down on her feet. I looked over at her again, her eyes finding mine, and I knew. I had just imprinted. I was so happy, words couldn't describe the feeling of blood coursing through my veins, and it was all for her. It felt like my heart was beating on pattern with hers, every movement she made I would mimic. Anywhere she would go, I was sure to follow.
I heard a crash come from the living room followed by a string of profanities out of Embry's mouth.
"Goddamn it! What the hell was that?! Get off your knees, ump, you're blowing the game!"
Bella laughed and shook her head. "Embry?"
"Who else?" I laughed along with her, my arm winding around her waist. "So listen, I need to tell you something."
"Good or bad?" Bella raised one eyebrow, her eyes apprehensive.
"Good, very good." I wanted her to know that she had been my soul mate all along, and that somehow just now I had imprinted. Maybe it was because I haven't seen her in a while, but I know what I felt, and I know that it was forever. "You remember how I told you about imprinting? Well.."
Before I could get the rest of my thought out, Embry comes barging through the threshold, fuming because of the baseball game. He didn't even notice Bella in the room as he looked over at me.
"Did you see that bullshit call, Jake? I mean what the fuck was that?! We're totally going to lose the damn game now!" Embry spat, walking over.
I gave him a wide eyed glance, nodding my head once towards Bella to let him know I was having a moment with her. His lips went into a thin line and his eyebrows raised as if it to say sorry. He turned his head towards her and went to speak.
His mouth opened, but nothing came out. He stood there and stared; his eyes glazed over and became wide. I looked back at Bella who was staring at him also, her eyes narrowed and her head was tilted to the side. My attention went back to Embry as I watched his arms begin to tremble, and it looked as though he was about to fall to the ground. Comprehension flickered in my mind, and I suddenly became irrationally angry. Before he could speak, I lunged at him. I grabbed his shirt and threw him back up against the wall. I slammed him against it as hard as I could, the wood behind him cracking.
"Jacob! Stop it!" Bella screamed out in terror and confusion as my whole body started quivering. "Calm down! Honey, please!"
"I can't believe it either, Jake, what do you want me to do?! I'm sorry!" Embry pleaded, trying to shove me off of him. I was stronger than he was and the rage building inside me was overbearing my strength.
"I want you to get her out of your head! You are not to go near her, do you understand me?!" I roared, still holding Embry by the threads of his shirt which was now falling apart.
"Jake! Stop it right now!" Again, Bella's cries drowned out in my mind and my shakes started to subside. "Please!"
I dropped Embry to the floor and walked back to check on Bella. I reached out to take her in my arms but she backed away from me, trembling with an angry look on her face.
"Don't touch me!" She yelled in my face and I winced, my eyes filling with tears.
"Please, sweetheart, just come here." I cooed, putting my arms out again for her take but I didn't step any closer to her.
"I don't understand." She crossed her arms across her chest and tapped her toes to the floor. "Why did you just attack him like that?" Her eyes darted over towards Embry who was now off of the floor standing a few feet behind me. His eyes were downcast at his feet, shifting from side to side.
"Because, Bella- just please, let me hold you." I stuttered trying to think of what to say, but I just needed to feel her in my arms again, so I know she's not upset. I reached out for her again and this time she accepted taking to small steps and curling herself back into my chest again. I kissed her hair and she released me immediately stepping to the side.
"Embry, are you alright?" She asked attentively, taking a few steps towards him. I threw myself in her path, blocking her from his sight.
"He's fine, Bella." I whispered; taking a piece of stray hair and looping it back behind her ear. "Tell her you're alright, Embry." I spat back behind me, glaring furiously at him.
"I'm okay, Bella. I promise." He spoke softly and it angered me even more. My nostrils flared as I turned back towards Bella and tried to soften my expression. She glared up at me, a little more relaxed than before.
"Fine, whatever. I'm going to go unpack and change out of these wet clothes." Bella took my face in her hands and leaned up to kiss me on the lips for the first time since our reunion. Her kiss was like fire on my lips, hungry and wanted. I parted her lips with mine, only for her to snap her mouth away from mine. She looked up at me again and pecked me once more on the lips.
"I love you, Jacob Black." She told me, before grabbing her suitcase and walking down the hallway towards my room.
I watched her disappear when my bedroom door shut, and then I pivoted so I was facing Embry. His eyes were assessing mine, rage was clearly evident throughout me, and Embry took one stride backwards toward the wall.
"What the hell was that, man? Is it what I thought it was? Did you just imprint on Bella?!" I spoke soft but deadly, not wanting to raise my voice so Bella can hear.
"I, um, I think so." Embry trembled as he spoke, his fingers twitching.
"Impossible." I drifted off, completely unaware of how this could have happened.
"Technically, it's really not. I mean, I haven't seen her in months, so maybe that's why -" I cut him off, walking over to face him again.
"No! You don't understand. I just imprinted on her- just now Embry, right when I saw her again. How can we both imprint on her? At the same time! No, this isn't right." I began to ramble, lost in thought. "We need to talk to Sam."
"Yeah, maybe we do." Embry agreed, bringing his head up meet my gaze.
"You stay away from her." I growled, low, making sure he understood exactly how much I meant it.
"Let's just talk to Sam." He finished, sadly, as his head fell low again and he started off heading outside. "Check on her before we go, please."
I snapped, rushing towards him again. "Don't tell me how to take care of her! I can handle my girl on my own- I don't need your moronic advice!"
"Whatever, Jacob! You're acting like it's my fault, I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I'll see you at Sam's." Embry turned back letting the screen door slam shut, stoking off towards the road.
I turned and heading for the hallway. I reached the door to my room, knocked, and entered quietly.
"You decent?" I asked from still outside the room, the door creaked open half way. My head was turned and my eyes stayed shut.
"Yeah, all good." Bella called from inside, allowing me to let the door swing open fully.
"Hey, sorry about the limited space. I know it's small, I can see what I can do about putting a built in dresser or something, the closet is all yours though." I rambled out, walking around the bed bringing myself closer to Bella.
"It's okay, really Jake. I have everything I need. The space doesn't bother me." She smiled at me and I melted, my knees went weak and I patted a spot down on the bed before I sat. I motioned for her to join me, but she stayed in front of me.
"You sure? I mean, I want you to be comfortable, Bells. This is your home now, too. I still can't believe Charlie is letting you live here." I tried to make the conversation as light as possible, though I know the Embry situation was to come up again.
"Are you going to tell me what happened out there with Embry or are you going to keep trying to change the subject?" Boy, did she know me well. The expression on her face was disapproving. I stayed silent for a moment, thinking of what I could possibly say to her. She lifted her arms in disgust, huffing, and then turned back towards her suitcase grabbing handfuls of clothes and hangers. "You know, I expected more from you Jacob."
That stung, she had no idea what her words did to me now. They always hurt, but unlike before, this overpowering feeling deep inside my chest walls burst out in pain. It hurt like someone ripped my heart out, again and again, crushing it in their hands. She was disappointed in me.
"I- I imprinted." I sputtered, barely able to get the words out of my mouth. She stopped dead in her tracks; all of the clothes in her hand fell to the hardwood floor. Her hands flew up to cover her face, right before I saw her knees give out. I raced up and grabbed her by her elbows before she had the chance to fall.
"What- who? Who is it?! I'll kill her!" I had to laugh at Bella's sudden overreaction. I smiled down at her, letting out a stifled laugh. "What the hell is so funny, Jacob!?"
"I imprinted on you, baby." I told her sweetly, running my hands through her hair and across her blushed cheeks. She immediately softened and clung onto me tighter than ever before. Sobs choked from her chest, as her hands gripped the roots of my cropped black hair. "Woah, it's alright, it's alright." I rubbed my hands up and down her back, hushing in her ear.
"But, why, when?" She asked me, soaking my shirt with tears.
"Just now, when I saw you again. I don't exactly know how to explain it but when I looked into your eyes when you got out of your truck-"
"You just knew." She cut me off, looking up at me, grinning.
"I just knew." I took her face in my hands, cupping her cheeks, and leaned down to kiss her again. I tried to deepen the kiss but Bella cut me off short, clenching her lips tight and pulled back to stare at me, confusion evident in her eyes.
"Wait a second," She thought for a moment, she held her chin in between her thumb and forefinger. "Why were you so mad at Embry? I don't understand."
I had to tell her, I can't lie to her. I know I've lied to her before, it's always been hard, but now it was impossible. How was I supposed to tell her that not only was she my soul mate, she may be my best friends? Just thinking about it was making my hands tremble, Bella quickly took notice.
"What is it, Jake? Please tell me." She pleaded and I couldn't deny her any longer.
"You love me, right?"
"Jacob Black, I love you more than anyone else in this world. It all makes sense, now. When I was with Edward, my love for you was hidden, blocked, by some unseen force, and you weren't able to imprint because I wasn't ready for you to." I listened, intently, understanding her. "But now, with my love for you revealed, you were able to see clearly. You were able to confirm that we belong together, that we have always belonged together. You are my one and only." A single tear cascaded down her face, before she quickly wiped it away. "Why do you ask?"
"How do you feel about.. Embry?" I was hesitant on speaking his name, as I almost growled it.
"What do you mean? I like him, he's a good kid. Why?" She was confused, she leaned towards me and our bodies were nearly touching.
"Bella, he imprinted." My words were coming out of my mouth venomously. "Embry imprinted on you, too." Her eyes became wide and unaware. She cast her look downwards, trying to decipher the information I just told her. My teeth clenched together as I felt my hands tremble again, taking slow breaths of air to calm myself.
"You're kidding right?" She asked skeptically. "This is some sort of joke."
"No, I don't know what to think of it either; I'm just as confused as you."
"Is Embry okay?" I picked up her chin with my index finger to glare into her eyes. They were filled with concern and bewilderment.
"Don't you do this to me Bella, please? I have been fighting for you for too long, and if I have to do it again, so be it, I'm not losing you!" I leaned down to capture her lips with mine again, and she obeyed, kissing me back, understanding.
"You are not fighting anymore, Jake, I'm yours." She murmured against my mouth, calming me instantly. "I just don't want there to be any animosity between you and him. Do what you have to do. All I know is that I don't have any feelings for Embry and I never will. Ever." She promised me, breaking our kiss. "Fix this."
"I will. I need to go to Sam's, they are waiting for me."
"Hurry back, I'll miss you." She told me softly, kissing my lips again, once more.
"Miss you more." I snickered, running my lips along her jaw, pecking at her neck.
"Go you big mutt, I'll start dinner." She shoved me back and turned towards the closet to put more clothes on hangers. I headed for the hall, stopping right before I walked out of the bedroom.
"How does it feel to be home, sweetheart?" I asked her holding onto the side of the door.
"Better than you can ever imagine." She sighed, contently, smiling to herself.
"I love you, so much." I said, right before I turned and headed down the hall and out the door.