"Love for the Unloved" Contest Entry

Title: Smart Girl: The Rachel Black Autobiography

Your pen name(s): addisonJ

Featured "B-list" Character(s): Rachel Black

If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this contest visit the "Love for the Unloved" C2 Community:

http://www(DOT)fanfiction(DOT)net/community/Love_for_the_Unloved_Contest/72809/

Smart Girl: The Rachel Black Autobiography

Note: not quite canon. In this version, Rachel still has one more year before graduation when Paul imprints. SMeyer owns Twilight. I just needed to flesh out some characters.

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I've always wanted to leave La Push.

I was the smart girl. The girl on a mission. The girl who did her homework, who took notes, who got straight A's. I was the girl who was going to college. While my other friends hung out on the rez, smoking, drinking, getting felt up by boys, getting pregnant, getting married, I had my eye on the prize. I was going to college and leaving this place. I knew the world was a big place and I hadn't seen enough of it.

My twin sister, Rebecca, was lucky. She met a Samoan surfer on First Beach. Before we knew it, she was packing her bags and following him to Maui. I was left behind.

"You're not really leaving, are you? You just met this guy."

Rebecca looked up from her packing. "Rachel, I know, it's crazy, but it feels right. He's the one for me. We're crazy about each other. And I get to move to Hawaii! How cool is that? How far from rainy, cold wet Washington state can I get?" she laughed and I wanted to cry.

My brother was no help. He loved living here on the Rez. He had his buddies and they all hung out in the garage, drinking warm soda and fixing cars. I had nothing. No, I had college. I had a scholarship meant for promising young Native Americans. I had a ticket out of here.

My father didn't mind. I was sure he'd seen the writing on the wall for years. He was a quiet one, but he didn't miss much. My brother, though, was the opposite. He talks and talks and talks. He could not shut his mouth for the life of him. And he had to be the jokester, the center of attention, and the life of the party. Everyone loved him. I was the quiet, moody one. I was the smart girl. I was the one getting away.

At least, that was my plan. And that was how it was at first.

I went to Washington State. What a change from the Rez! So many white kids, and they all had so much stuff! My roommate freshman year, Matilda, came with a laptop, TV, microwave, small refrigerator, iPod, cellphone, and a Kindle. I had a cellphone and that was it. Her clothes took more than half the closet, but I didn't mind. I hardly had enough stuff to fill a quarter of the closet, so I let her share my side as well. She was really nice, though. I didn't need to say that I didn't have much. She could tell just by looking at me.

There weren't many Native Americans at State, just us scholarship kids. And we stood out like sore thumbs. We were Native and we were poor, in our Kmart clothes in an Abercrombie & Fitch world. Matilda was really cool. She let me hang out with her friends. They were all okay, asked me a lot of silly questions about being an American Indian and living on a reservation. They thought we were all rich from the casinos! Sometimes I wished we were-- then I could fill that closet more than halfway, but we're Quileute. We don't do casinos. We fish. Not a lot of money in fish.

But sometimes, sometimes I missed being with people who understood how I felt being at State, who understood what is was like to be a poor, smart Native girl from the Rez surrounded by middle class white kids. There was a student center for us Native kids. I went there sometimes and made some friends, but I felt like if I wanted to hang out with Natives, I would have stayed in La Push.

I tried not to go home. I worked through summer semesters, took an overload of classes so I could graduate early. I figured I'd save some money that way. I worked at a café near campus; it was kind of embarrassing when classmates would show up and I would have to wait on them, but overall people were kind of cool. Only a couple jackasses wouldn't tip and would be totally obnoxious, dropping forks on the floor so that I would have to pick them up, but there weren't too many of those, thank God.

So, with all my extra coursework, I was on track to graduate a year early. I finished up after summer semester and headed back to La Push for a couple weeks.

Well, my life changed after that last year.

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You come up behind me and gently brush the hair off the back of my neck and kiss it and I purr.

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I was only home for a few weeks before heading back to State. I didn't want to stay any longer than I needed to. It was good to see Dad, but Rebecca was still in Hawaii, and Jake, well, Jake just took over the house. All of a sudden he was as tall as Kobe Bryant and eating all the food. I would have sent him over to Emily's more often if I could've. Actually, all of his friends were suddenly really tall, and they all were all hanging out with Sam Uley. Back in the old days (a.k.a., the prior year), Jake had wanted nothing to do with Sam. Sam was closer to my age, and they would never hang out. Suddenly, it was like Sam had a club for all the tall boys in La Push. Not just Jake, but his buddies Embry and Quil, Jared, Paul, Collin and Brady even, plus Seth. Not sure if Leah was in the group. I heard about what happened with Leah and Emily. That just sucked eggs.

So my goal was to spend a little time at home then get the hell back to school. I didn't know what I was rushing to, just to get away from everything. I wasn't really enjoying State, but the alternative was much less appealing. After graduation, who knew? There weren't any jobs for me on the reservation. I didn't want to be a waitress with a college degree, so I thought I would look for some secretarial work in Seattle. Matilda's father owned an insurance agency, and she said he might know of some admin work somewhere. Also, my advisor, Mrs. Whitehall, mentioned that there might be some work at the American Indian Studies program at University of Washington in Seattle. They were looking for some promising Natives as well. You know, smart Native girls, like me.

While I was home, Jake had been preoccupied with Bella Swan marrying Edward Cullen and running off, so we hadn't talked much. Not that we ever talked much. I missed Rebecca.

Life changes when you least expect it.

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Your lips are skimming over my neck, leaving a trail of fire behind.

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One of my first days home and I was walking on First Beach. I saw one of Jake's friends in the distance. He was staring at me. I thought nothing of it; he was probably trying to decide if I was Rachel or Rebecca. We are identical twins and honestly, we used to prank people with that knowledge. But this was different. His staring was not quite creepy, but really intense. It was one of Jake's classmates, one of those guys in Sam's gang. I thought I saw the back of his head the day before when he came over to get Jake for some meeting or another and he ate all our pretzels. Pig.

Well, he came running towards me and I was thinking he must have had a message for Jacob, because even if he thought I was Rebecca instead of Rachel, he wouldn't need to run so fast (and those boys can sure run fast). He ran right up and got into my face. I was ready to pound him one when he stopped and looked at me with what seemed like—get this -- like passionate love and devotion. Really, I kid you not. This was some kid who grew up with my brother. Some punk kid who was now as tall as an NBA player and for some reason looked older than me even. "Rachel, it's you," he said. I was like, of course it is, I'm not Rebecca. But, there was something in the way he looked at me. I had never had a man look at me like that. I mean, I had dreamed of men looking at me like that; Sam looked that way at Emily. Well, that was how this punk kid was looking at me. Me, Rachel Black. Rachel he had known all his life. Rachel who was the big sister of his classmate. He looked at me like I was everything he'd ever wanted for Xmas all rolled up into my 5'6" 140 pound body.

Well, that was how I find out about the big secret. The big secret that no one was supposed to tell. Not even Embry's mom knew, but I get to know because my brother was one of them, and now Paul had imprinted on me. 'Imprinted' means he was my soul mate. Yes, I said that right: Soul mate. Those things really did exist. Who knew when I was getting my cherry popped at State, my soul mate was right here in La Push?

Sam gave Paul permission to explain the whole werewolf thing to me. I was hecka surprised that they didn't just change on a full moon and silver bullets didn't kill them. Myths, I guess. White people myths.

Jacob was not happy. He didn't like Paul and he didn't like imprinting, and he especially did not like Paul imprinting on me.

"It's a lack of choice," Jake said.

I was cleaning the dishes. Would it kill my little brother to help out a bit more in the house? I went to State to clean up after this adolescent?

"Why does it have to be Paul? Why can't it be Embry or Seth?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "There's a lack of choice," I repeated my kid brother's words back to him.

His fists clenched. I had learned to look out for signs of possible phasing. I stayed calm, breathed slowly in and out, all the while on high alert, keeping my eyes on Jacob's hands.

Emily told me to watch the hands. Boys get upset, the faces may look angry, but when they were phase-ready upset, you could tell by the hands. And she should know.

"Paul's hot headed," Sam had warned me. "You need to look out for him."

"I'm still not sure about this whole imprint thing," I told Sam. "I barely know him. He's like my kid brother's age. Sure, he looks 25, but he's Paul. I never noticed him before and he never noticed me. It's not like Jared and Kim." I didn't mention Sam and Emily because well, you know. But Sam knew what I was saying and not saying. He wasn't dumb.

Sam was quiet and just looked at me. "You should talk to Emily," he said. "She can tell you the woman's side of it all. She can tell you what to look for, stuff I don't even know I should tell you about."

I learned that Sam was the Alpha and his word was law. Us females didn't have an Alpha, but we had Emily. Since Emily married the Alpha, she was like our First Lady. She was a domestic goddess, always ready with a big basket of muffins and heaps of food for the wolf boys, because they ate a lot.

I was sitting in her kitchen and she was running around baking and stuff. I offered to help and found myself chopping vegetables. She oozed domesticity and warmth; very empathetic. I was not feeling very girly, however. Not as bitchy as Leah, but I was not sure about all of this. I told her as much.

"Emily, I'm not very domestic. I'm not sure if I'm suited for all this," I say. "I still have a year of college and I'm supposed to be headed back to State in two weeks."

Emily stops mixing and looks me in the eye. "You don't have to be domestic," she says. "Just be yourself. Paul fell in love with you for who you are. You, Rachel Black. The person he saw on the beach. Just be yourself."

"Well, that's the thing. You say he fell in love with me. It all seems kind of strange. Someone I barely know is now in love with me and he's my soul mate. I mean, I like him. I'm starting to like him a lot. No one has treated me as well as he does. But it just seems so weird."

It was true. I was starting to like him, a lot. Paul and I were spending time together. He treated me like a queen, like his whole reason for being was to make me happy. Sure, he had a foul mouth and quick temper, but when you're being treated like a goddess you can overlook some things.

Emily had a little smile on her face as she shook her head. "Sometimes the most amazing things in life are 'weird'. Don't you ever listen to your father speak the legends? Is it weird when you hear about the Quileute being descended from wolves? Why are you looking for logic in an imprint? We are with men who are supernatural beings. Their blood runs hot. They turn into wolves. Why is imprinting any weirder?"

Her words scolded me like a child, but I was thinking of Paul's kisses. He was the most passionate, loving man I had ever been with. My thoughts must have been showing on my face, because Emily leaned in and said in a stage whisper: "They're also great in bed."

I gasped and she laughed. Sam seemed to choose that exact moment to walk in. He just grabbed Emily by the waist and gave her a big kiss on the mouth. Then he looked at me, winked, and walked away. Damn him.

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Your lips trailed up my neck to my chin. You smile, sucking lightly at my chin. I laugh. 'Paul! 'I say. 'My lips are little higher up than that.' You laugh, and oh so slowly move your lips to meet mine.

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I decided not to go back to school. I needed to stay near Paul. Somehow, in the week since he had imprinted, we just started hanging out together. First, he just wanted to be near me, and to find excuses to brush against my skin. It was kind of weird, but not in a creepy way. Kind of like a puppy. I could tell he was holding himself back from just jumping my bones and I appreciated the effort. That really would have called a stop to everything and I would have gotten my ass back to State in seconds. But Paul was holding it together for me. For us. Because he wanted a future for us.

We talked. He had a potty mouth and could fly into a rage at a moment's notice with other people, but with me we could just talk. He'd tell me about his folks and his kid sisters. I told him about Mom dying young and Dad becoming an invalid. He told me about phasing for the first time, how it was scary and cool it was all at once, and how Sam had helped him through it. He really admired Sam, could not imagine going through all that without any outside help like Sam did. He talked about how hard it was to keep up in school because running patrols all night was exhausting and how he might drop out. I told him I would not be hanging out with a high school drop out and he'd better figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

He started kissing me the second day. We were at the beach and the wind was blowing so hard that my hair kept blowing into my mouth. He kept pulling it out for me, and staring at my lips the whole time. Like he was ready to eat them. And he did. He put his hands on both sides of my face. Neither of us breathed. I just stared at his lips. I really wanted him to kiss me, but I hadn't said anything. I was still processing this whole werewolf – brother – imprint thing, but I was really starting to like Paul. I mean, have you seen him? Over six foot three of pure muscle. And I wanted to feel those lips on mine.

"Rachel," he breathed my name as our lips moved closer. I didn't know why, but I was scared and shy and hot all at once. I'd kissed boys before, of course, but I had never been so excited by the prospect of a simple kiss like this one.

"Paul," I answered. What the heck else was I supposed to say?

Our lips met and, man, there was electricity! I felt as hot as Paul's body temperature. After such an excellent first kiss, we had to have more. Practice, you know. I was happy our clothes stayed on.

After the first kiss, there was no reason not to kiss. And after all those kisses, we might as well start going around the baseball diamond. First base, second, third…

Problem was, there was no privacy. I lived at home with Jacob and Dad; and Paul was in a house full of little sisters and parents. I had a twin bunk bed in the room I had shared with Rebecca, and asking for a queen sized bed now would be too obvious, even for someone as laid back as my Dad.

The daily fights with Jacob were wearing me down, too. Jake would complain about Paul hanging out at our house all the time. But where else would we go? If we went to his house, his sisters would force us to watch Disney Channel, an ultimate libido crusher. But at our place, Paul and Jake would get into major fights. Blood would flow, but then their supernatural bodies would mend immediately. Weird.

The hardest part was calling my academic advisor and telling her that I would not be returning to State.

Mrs. Whitehall was the academic advisor to most of the Natives on campus. She spent part of her life on a reservation, so she had an idea of what a culture shock it was for us to be at State, and she helped in so many ways to make sure we succeeded and graduated. Not graduating was not an option.

After I told her that I needed to stay home for family reasons, I heard her suck in her breath through the phone lines.

"Are you pregnant?" were her first words.

"No!" I gasped. "Not at all!"

"Is it a boy?" was her second question.

I was silent. That was my answer.

She sucked in her breath again. I could see her reaching for her Virginia Slim cigarettes and hot pink lighter. She didn't speak again until she exhaled the cigarette smoke into the phone receiver.

"You have worked so hard. You only have one more year until graduation."

I felt my eyes smart with tears. I was the smart girl. I was going to do something with my life. I was going to leave La Push. And here I was, back in La Push. Staying in La Push. For a boy.

"I- I can't leave now," was all I could say without blubbering. I let her down. Hell, I let me down. I let down all those do-good rich people who set up the scholarship funds so smart Native girls like me would have a future off the reservation.

Another exhale of the cigarette. I could tell she had had this conversation before, but was not planning to have it with me.

"Are you quite sure about this? This is your future."

Pause.

"I know. I'm sure."

Another exhale. "Do you want to graduate, Rachel? Why did you come to State at all?"

I felt a punch in the gut. Some of my former self started coming back. Me, Rachel Black. The smart girl. The girl who left. "Of course I want to graduate. Things are just – just complicated now."

The air between us was still tense, but was somewhat lessened. The sound of her exhaling of the cigarette smoke was less pronounced now.

"What can we do to help you, Rachel?" Such a simple statement. I knew I would have been crying if she was in front of me. She was not.

"I don't know," I said softly.

"What do you want?" she asked, matching my tone and cadence.

"I want to be happy."

There was some silence after the small exhale of the cigarette smoke. She must have been thinking.

"You really want to graduate?"

"Yes."

"But you need to stay in La Push?"

"Yes."

"How long do you need to stay in La Push?"

I blinked. The tears were threatening to spill over.

"Forever."

Silence.

Papers started rustling on the other side of the phone. Mrs. Whitehall must have moved the cigarette to the corner of her mouth while both of her hands were busy tapping on the keyboard. I stayed on the line, offering a silent prayer to find a solution to this problem that had no solution.

"Rachel," she began, "you do have an option to take correspondence courses on line to finish your degree. Do you have a computer at home with high speed internet access?"

I thought of the clunker in Jacob's room. It would have to do. "Yes."

More keyboard tapping.

"Your coursework would need to change. Some of these classes are simply not available online. You can't do any of the labs. I'll have to talk to your professors too, but if I was willing to do this for you, would you be wiling to put the time and effort into completing your coursework with satisfactory grades and graduating this spring?"

It was a verbal contract I wouldn't refuse. "Always," was my reply.

I could picture Mrs. Whitehall rubbing her brow with one hand, a cigarette dangling off the fingertips of the other.

"Rachel, I don't know what you're going through, and if you can't tell me, I can only do so much to help. Can you tell me anymore?" It was almost a plea. Help me help you.

I shuddered. If I couldn't fully believe in supernatural beasts myself, surely Mrs. Whitehall couldn't at all.

"I'm so sorry," was my tiny response. I was ready to sabotage my college degree for the wolves.

That was when Paul found me. Sitting at our kitchen table, the conversation ended, my head in my hands, my cheeks stained with tears. He just picked me up and put me in his lap, licking off my salty tears with his tongue. And that was how Jacob found us.

"Gross, Paul! That's my sister! Get a room! And stop eating all the Doritos!"

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Your lips pressed against mine, your tongue seeking entrance. Glorious, wet sloppy kisses. 'Mmmm', you murmur. 'Nice. '

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Present Day:

I'm Rachel Black. I'm the smart girl. I was going to leave La Push and never look back. And then I fell in love with a werewolf named Paul who has to stay in La Push because he needs to protect the tribe. That's all he knows how to do and that's what he's best at.

I'm going to finish my degree and work at the tribal school. My old teachers say I can get certification and start out as a teacher's aide for the elementary school. It shouldn't be too bad; at least I'll be using my college education; better than waiting tables. At least I'll be enriching the lives of the La Push kids, so if any of them want to leave, I can show them how to do it through academics.

Paul works for Sam as a contractor. They do odd jobs everywhere from La Push up to Forks and Port Angeles. We're getting married in the spring, after Jared and Kim get hitched.

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Right now you are stroking my naked back as I'm trying to finish writing in this journal. I want to remember what happened that crazy year. The imprint year.

"What are you writing, honey?" you ask.

I close the journal and give you a kiss on the lips. "Just my journal," I answer. "I want to remember how we met."

You get a wicked gleam in your eye and turn me over onto my back and press my legs apart so they straddle your slim hips. "Did you write about this?" Kissing. " And this?" Suckling. " And this?" Caressing.

Then I arch my back and claw the sheets. You enter me and I cry out in joy.

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A/N: Okay, this is not my usual style, but I wanted to try something new and the character of Rachel just cried out to me (I really like smart girls). I made her a year from graduation instead of a new graduate just to add some conflict that I felt was critical to the story. There's definitely more angst than I usually do, but I got the idea from a discussion over at Sort of Beautiful community on LiveJournal, and then it was as if Rachel grabbed me by my shoulders and would not let go until I wrote this story. I felt like I was dictating her words at some parts. Please review! This is not my usual stuff and I'd love feedback.

Huge thanks to my betas for getting me through this messy ride: Tears of Mercury for dealing with my awful verb tense nonsense and Stretch for being my character beta (both are excellent writers and you must check out Stretch's entry to this contest, a Leah and Embry fic. Awesome).