Colts won, so I updated.
Jake sat on the fallen tree and watched Bella angrily start stripping her clothes off. Between the various obscenities she'd been spitting out since she got to La Push he'd managed to understand what had happened for the most part. He thought the whole thing was hilarious and wasn't even bothering to hide his mirth.
"Of all the supernatural creatures and humans in the world," he laughed, "you had to imprint on a vampire!" Quickly, he dodged out of the way to avoid the shoe that came flying at him.
"Shove off, mutt."
Jake's laugh was cut off as he watched her shimmy out of her jeans. No matter how many times he'd seen her do it, it always shut off the blood to his brain for a few minutes. Add in the fact that he was just shy of 16, and the fact that he could recover at all from the sight of the naked woman was a miracle.
Unabashedly he let his eyes wander over her body. He was always surprised by how lean she was. Most selkie's were curvaceous, but not Bella. Her breasts were small and firm, her stomach was flat, and her long legs were a mile of nothing but smooth, pale muscled skin.
As his eyes made the slow journey from bottom to top, he saw her watching him. Her fierce scowl had been replaced with contemplative sadness. His chest tightened painfully; he knew his face mirrored her expression.
He could hear the tears in her voice and was immediately on his feet. There was no hesitation as he scooped her up into his arms. His own voice couldn't be trusted, so he merely hugged her as hard as he could. They had been best friends since they were little. Imprinting was a topic they had avoided at all costs. It was a rare event for Selkies to imprint, and they had both been so young that romance was the furthest thing from their minds for years.
Then Jake had shifted a few months ago. He'd been so sure that he would imprint on Bella that the first thing he'd done after changing had been to run down to the beach and yell for her. They had both been disappointed, but ultimately unconcerned. Bella didn't know of any Selkies that had imprinted, and only one wolf out of fifteen had.
Their relationship had never progressed to the next level – they had had endless time for that.
'Not anymore,' he thought to himself, cradling Bella's slight form to his chest. Her chest erratically rose and fell against his. She was still crying.
Doing the only thing he could, Jake turned back to humor.
"She's hot, right?"
A choked laugh escaped her.
"Yeah, she's fucking hot."
Jake nodded. "Nice."
He pushed her away slightly so that he could see her face. Gently, he wiped away the tears that streaked down her cheeks.
"As your best friend, I get to watch, right?"
Bella laughed and smacked his chest. She stepped back and pulled off the remainder of her underclothes. "It's not gonna happen Jake. My skin is staying with me, I'm staying in the ocean, and the vampire can kiss my ass."
"Sure, sure," Jake said, gathering up her discarded clothes. "I have complete faith that you'll be able to not love someone who was specifically created just for you. Should be easy."
Bella remained silent. Reaching down, she unzipped her book bag and pulled out a long, dark brown looking skin.
Jake held out a hand. "Hang on a second, Bells. You're not really going to disappear into the ocean are you?"
She looked away.
He took a few steps forward. "Look hun, I know you're upset. I know it's not fair – that you've had no say in this whole thing. But you only have a few years left with Charlie before he's going to start noticing that you're not aging. Eternity is a hell of a long time to regret missing out on the last six years with your father."
Her gaze was fixed on the ocean; she was acting like she hadn't heard him, but Jake knew better. The flare of her nostrils was Bella's signature 'I hear what you're saying, but I don't have to like it' pose. He frowned as she threw the skin over her shoulders.
"There are a lot of worse things than finding true love. Maybe you should be a little more appreciative."
The brown seal looked up at him. Even in her seal form the eyes were expressively Bella's.
The two shape-shifters stared at each other speculatively for a few seconds.
Bella's whiskers flicked. She puckered her lips and blew a raspberry at Jake before turning and waddling into the water. Seconds later she disappeared into the rising tide.
Jake rolled his eyes.
Bending down, he grabbed her bag and threw her clothes in it before turning back towards his truck.
"I can't believe she's older than me."
Alice sat near the Quillete treaty line. She had tracked the young female here earlier. The wind was blowing in her favor. It wouldn't be much longer before one of the wolves showed up to see what was wrong.
The treaty between the wolves and the Cullen's was going exceedingly well. Upon returning to Forks, Carlisle had met with the Quillete elders to explain their return and the likelihood of their young teens changing.
The treaty lines still existed. Neither side intermingled of their own will. Things were amicable, however, and conversations had been civil, sometimes bordering on pleasant.
Alice hoped that one of them would be willing to give her some insight into the girl.
Finally she heard the patter of paws hitting the ground, growing nearer. She remained seated – staying in a non-threatening position always went a long way to improving relations.
A sandy brown wolf wove its way through the trees. He stopped about ten yards away and disappeared behind a large fir. Moments later a young teen, who Alice remember as Seth, came walking out from behind it. She smiled. Seth was one of the wolves who seemed to genuinely like the vampires. He was also the youngest teen to shift. If his alpha was allowing him to come alone to meet with her then it said a lot about the comfort level they felt with the vampires.
"What's up lady? What brings you to our door?"
Seth plopped down a few feet away, sitting on the very edge of the treaty line.
Alice smiled at him. "Hey Seth, good to see you again. I've got some questions about a girl I tracked here. Pretty, wavy brown hair and eyes. Sound familiar?"
He nodded. "Sure, it's Bella. Isabella Swan's her full name. Her dad's the sheriff and good friends with Billy Black."
"Don't you guys have a wolf who's name is Black?"
"Sure, Jake. He and Bella are best friends. Have been for years."
"Does she know you're wolves?"
"She knew I was a vampire."
Seth shrugged. "Well she is a selkie. Supernatural knows supernatural." He gave Alice a questioning look. "Why the interest?"
Alice was lost. "Something weird happened when our eyes met. What's a selkie?"
"Seal people. Shape shifters. Most of the time they stay in the sea. When they come on land they shed their sealskin to take human form. When they wanna go back to the sea they put it back on. You're really never heard of them?"
She shook her head. "Nope. I'll have to check up on that. What about special abilities? They have any way to affect people?"
Seth frowned in confusion. "Well they're very attractive, but no, Bella's never said or shown any kind of special ability." He leaned in towards her. "Can you tell me what happened? Was it bad? Bella's never shown any kind of aggressive behavior – I don't think she'd ever hurt anything but some fish."
Alice could hear his concern. 'She must be his friend, too.' She eased herself back onto her elbows. A more relaxed position would help put Seth at ease. "It was nothing really aggressive at first. I smelled her. She was…intoxicating. I'd never smelled anything or anyone who smelled that good."
Seth looked appalled. Alice realized he thought she meant that Bella smelled good in a food way.
"Oh no, she didn't smell good in that way! It was more…sexual. And then when our eyes met, it was like something inside of me clicked. I felt connected to her. It's like she's everything I've ever wanted or will want." She looked away. The feeling was still there, and it was more confusing now that it had been in the beginning. Her longing to be with the mysterious girl was stronger now. It was like something was calling to her, beckoning her to find the young woman.
"I tracked her here, and was hoping someone would show up and let me know what might be going on. I'm not mad at her or anything. I just…she seemed angry at me for something and now I'm feeling these new feelings…"
Seth started laughing. "Aw man, it sounds like you imprinted on Bella! Good luck on an eternity with her!"
Frustration began to nip at the edges of Alice's patience. Nothing Seth was saying was making any sense. Selkies, imprinting, she had no idea what these things were previously. She held up a hand. "What's imprinting?"
He shook his head. "You got a lot to learn fangs. Imprinting is what happens when shifters find their soul mate. That feeling was your souls connecting to each other. You're bonded now – a perfect match, a perfect love."
There weren't a lot of things that surprised Alice. Seeing the future, living for forever, she knew what was coming and had seen it all. This, however, this was a curve ball.
'My soul mate?' Neither Carlisle nor Esme had ever mentioned imprinting. Neither had Rose nor Emmett.
"Why was Bella so angry then? She told me to stay away from her."
Seth shrugged. "Bella's very independent. A lot of shifters see imprinting as a curse. They say it takes away personal choice. You could have a very good, very loving relationship and have it all ruined by imprinting on a complete stranger. I'm not surprised that she reacted negatively, if you guys did imprint." He stood and stretched. "I wouldn't worry about it. If you did imprint, then eventually she'll come around. Supposedly it's impossible to stay away from your imprint – not that I'd know. And if you didn't imprint, then whatever happened will probably pass and you can continue on as you have been. Either way, time will tell."
Nodding, Alice stood as well. "I guess you're right. Thanks for meeting me and talking."
Seth smiled and stuck his hand out across the line. Alice took it and shook it.
"No problem fangs. I'll let you go, I'm sure you've got a lot to process."
Alice turned and started running back towards the house.
"You have no idea, pup. No idea."
Slow Bang's update looks to be on Sunday. Still trying to flush out if I should keep this story or not. I'm undecided.