SLASH BACKSLASH ONE-SHOT CONTEST

Story Name: This Mortal Life
Pen name: HidingFromSomeone
Pairing: Jacob/ ?

Rating: MA/ NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own characters or recognizable settings, Stephanie Meyer does. Adam, however, is all mine! (Oh I wish...)

WARNING: This is a slash story. If you don't know that this means gay, homosexual, man- on- man lovin' please go read something else that won't corrupt you. Please, do not read this if you are not over 18 years of age.

To see other entries in the "SLASH BACKSLASH" contest, please visit the C2: http:/www[dot]fanfiction[dot]net/c2/74941/3/0/1/

-x-X-x-

A/N: I had several requests to extend this story from the Slash Backslash contest which is hugely flattering. The original one- shot has been extended because I had to work within a word restriction on the original piece, so RE READ chapter one!

-x-X-x-

I stood at the door to Sam's cottage shaking with fear and self hatred and barely repressed fury. It took me too long to raise my fist to the door and knock and too much effort not to rip the piece of wood from its hinges and hurl it into the blackness of the forest.

"Jake?" he asked as he opened the door, his eyes immediately filling with concern as he took in my appearance. "Jake what's wrong."

I could see Emily moving about behind him in the house and Sam turned to her quickly and ordered her to stay inside. He shut the door behind him and went to put a hand on my shoulder to calm me or comfort me or something, but I couldn't handle that kind of contact and threw him off with a snarl.

"I can't help you if you don't talk to me Jacob," he reasoned, taking a step back and folding his arms across his chest.

I shuddered and fought for control. "I've imprinted," I told him through clenched teeth as another tremor shook my body.

"Okay," Sam said slowly, obviously realizing I wasn't happy about this fact. "We can handle this..."

I cut him off. "It's a guy, Sam," I snarled.

"What?" he asked, either playing dumb or just plain being it.

"A guy," I repeated as I started to feel the familiar tingling under the surface of my skin. I couldn't hold back much longer. "I imprinted on a guy."

I couldn't stop myself from phasing now, I was too far gone. With one final shudder my inner hatred took over and as Sam phased too, either to protect me or his girlfriend and I took off in a sprint, my only hope to get far enough away from the shame and humiliation before the others learned of my predicament.

-x-X-x-

Think human thoughts, I admonished myself as I paced back and forth just outside the Cullen's property. I couldn't get closer until I had calmed myself down and I needed to go back in there soon. I had been gone two days already and Bella must be close to giving birth to her demon spawn soon. I couldn't think about Adam, wouldn't let myself. There was too much else going on in my life at the moment and I needed to be around for Bella. I was worried despite all the leeches' insistence that she was going to be okay; as far as I was concerned there was a very real possibility that the thing would kill her. Well, she was going to die either way, I had had to come to terms with that, but I was putting all my faith in her new husband to save her and since he was the one who signed her death warrant with his dick I was allowed to be dubious.

Edward appeared at the tree line, his smell alerting me to his presence just before I actually saw him. He did his creepy standing still not moving or breathing thing for a while, just watching me pace before he took a couple of steps forwards.

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't refer to my child as 'the demon spawn' in front of my wife. It might upset her a bit." He looked as if he wanted to say more but had stopped himself. I wanted to talk to him face to face (and get him out of my head in the process but that was unlikely) so I phased back into my human form and stood there, bare ass naked and not caring.

"Thanks for that Jacob," he groaned, rolling his eyes before fixing them firmly on my own.

"What?" I asked, enjoying tormenting him. "Afraid your wife might prefer a man with a bit more muscle?" My biceps flexed as I crossed my arms across my chest and I smirked as he noticed how the muscles twitched.

Edward laughed once; a harsh sound which conveyed no real humor. "What you should really be asking, Jake, is whether I prefer my men with a bit more muscle." He cocked his head and purposely eye- fucked my whole body. Not that I cared. "I'll leave you to think about that."

I very carefully didn't think about that for the duration of my visit. Bella looked hideous. This is coming from someone who was in love with the girl up until a couple of days ago. I dread to think how she looked from an outsider's perspective.

"How are you doing, Jake?" she asked me after a while of talking about nothing. I couldn't tell her about Adam, I just couldn't face that yet. The irony of her question struck us both I think but I didn't say it aloud.

Bella was laying out on the couch and I was sat on the floor next to her head. She was a sickly pale green color and her eyes were all bloodshot, but sitting like this with my back to the rest of her body I could almost let myself pretend that this was the old us, before Cullen came back. When both our lives were a lot simpler. She reached down to cup my cheek in her hand, a gesture she had done a hundred times before but I couldn't take that any more. Any kind of affection, especially from her just made me feel sick. I didn't want comfort and love from anyone else if I couldn't have it from him. I pulled away from her touch, trying to disguise the move as adjusting myself to look at her better or get more comfortable. She looked a bit confused but didn't challenge me on it.

"I'm okay," I said hesitantly. Bella could tell when I was lying and would usually call me out on it but I don't think she could handle my problems right now on top of her own so she didn't press. "I'm worried about you, Bells, I really am."

The bitchy blonde sister- in- law snorted from behind her fashion magazine in the chair across the room. "Bella is fine," she said, not bothering to lower issue 552 of Vogue.

"Yeah, sure she is," I said, not putting any real conviction into the sarcasm that the sentence should have been laced with. I noticed Bella's eyelids drooping and quickly told her "You should sleep. I'll come back and see you again soon."

"No," she protested weakly, throwing a hand out to try and stop me getting up.

"You need to rest," I told her, grabbing the hand and kissing the back of it while fighting the bile rising up in my stomach. "Take care of yourself."

"Okay," she whispered, already half way to asleep.

None of the bloodsuckers were complaining that I was going early, most of them were about doing other things anyway- only Rosalie and Edward were staying with Bella now. I nodded to the Doc and his wife as I left the house, wanting to be polite to the man who saved my life and a couple of my limbs not that long ago. However much it was paining me, there were bonds much stronger than my will that were pulling me far away from the vampire house and west, back out towards the reservation.

I knew I couldn't avoid Adam and the rest of the pack for long. I was hoping that I could last a bit longer; I had snuck back onto the res during the night and had watched him sleep for a while before I phased back and started running with a suspiciously empty mind. I had waited until I phased back to human form to mentally beat myself up for being such an idiot pervert.

I was sure that Sam had gathered the rest of the pack by now to tell them what was going on and for a split second I wished I could have an ounce of the bloodsucker's talent and know what they were thinking without letting them into my own head. But I couldn't so I would have to wait it out to talk to them in person. I couldn't let myself imagine their responses, or that of my family and the rest of the tribe. I'd be lucky if I wasn't sent away, somewhere far away where I couldn't hurt Adam or anyone else. Maybe that would actually be for the best; I wouldn't have to see Bella's baby kill her or the looks of disappointment and disgust from the people I considered family.

-x-X-x-

I walked half of the way back to La Push, not caring that it was the middle of the night and I was alone. Night was when most of the others were most likely to be wolves, if I waited until morning then they should all be back in human form and asleep. As soon as I saw the sun peeking up on the horizon I phased, taking off in a sprint and covering twice the distance in a fraction of the time compared to my walking speed.

I arrived at Sam's house, hoping he was there and alone. I had hit it lucky on the way out; phasing in my state was like playing with fire. You're pretty sure it's not going to end well and it's a matter of time before things get fucked up. Inevitable. But they were all sleeping now and it looked like Seth had curled up outside in his wolf form somewhere, he was dreaming about clouds and running.

Sam was pacing inside- I could hear him. Emily was sleeping, sensible girl, it couldn't be much more than 4am. Sam let me change back in peace and dress in the jeans and shirt he had left out on the porch for me. At least, I hoped they were for me. Clothes were fair game at the moment; if anyone else had left them lying around it was their bad.

I made myself comfortable on the porch swing knowing that I'd make a striking picture for Sam when he came out of the house; head in my hands, elbows on knees, despair washing off me in big metaphorical waves. I could hear him sigh as he quietly shut the door behind him and came to sit on the ledge of the porch.

"Are you ready to talk now?" he asked in a soft voice.

I looked up at the man who was more than just the pack Alpha; he was my mentor and brother and friend. I felt so ashamed of running from him, he had experienced imprinting first hand and knew that I had no control over it. I had nothing to be ashamed of with Sam.

"I think so," I told him in a hoarse voice.

-x-X-x-

Adam Hawk has been in my class at school since we were five years old. I wouldn't count him as one of my closest friends but we've always been friendly enough. I suppose now looking back he had a harder time growing up than most of us. His father was white and abandoned his mother quite early on leaving Adam a paler- skinned kid on a reservation where he stood out quite clearly as not 'one of us'. I don't think he got much more shit for this than you would expect, fortunately he has always been nice and he's popular at school with the other kids and the teachers so any nasty comments got fielded off either by him standing up for himself, or someone else taking it for him.

I'd never looked at him properly before.

He was clearly Quiluete; he had inherited that reddish quality to his skin, the glossiness to hair that should have been black but instead was a rich mahogany brown. His eyes had flecks of green and gold in them. He wore his hair long- to his shoulders but tied it back most of the time. It meant you could see the black bands of the tattoo that started just behind his left ear- which was pierced with three silver loops- and weaved and climbed down over his biceps, around his forearm and finished snaking around his ring finger on his left hand. He laughed easily and often, drank whiskey and rolled his own cigarettes. I wanted to sleep with that decorated left arm wrapped tightly around my chest and his light hair tickling my back. It was more than love, deeper than obsession, less than just lust but I couldn't deny that part of it either. I wanted to be consumed by him. Owned by him. With him.

"Let's start in a logical place," Sam said. He was leaning back against a post like we were discussing the weather. No big deal, right? "Is Adam gay?"

"Fuck it, Sam," I spat, "I'm not fucking gay."

"Okay, okay," he said, putting his hands up in a display of defense. Then muttered, "Maybe not." He sighed and managed to sound a lot older than 20 as he hit his head back against the post supporting the corner of the porch. "I'm trying to help here Jake," he said quietly. "Please don't bite my head off."

I sighed too, mainly to piss him off. "I know," I agreed. "This is a lot tougher for me than it is for you, trust me."

"I know," Sam echoed me. He appeared deep in thought for a few moments, letting me stew in my own misery. "Okay. I'm trying to think logically again. Is it... platonic? Like with Quil and Claire. Or is it..." he didn't seem to be able to finish the 'or' option. So I did it for him.

"Sexual?" I spat at him. "No, Sam, it's not like Quil and Claire. Does that answer your question?"

"Yeah, I suppose it does," his voice was as cutting as my own, he was clearly getting impatient with me. I tried to reign in my temper, he really was just trying to help. "Can you make it platonic?" he asked, rolling the tension out of his shoulders. "Get a closer friendship with him going on, get him closer to the rest of us, introduce him to the pack and Emily, ease him into everything slowly."

I thought about this for a moment, if I could stand being around him all the time but not being able to tell him what was really going on, how I really felt. "Would we tell him about us?" I asked, knowing that this was ultimately Sam's decision as Alpha. He thought on it for some time.

"Yeah," he said slowly. "I think so. If he can see me with Emily, Quil with Claire, Jared with Kim, maybe he can come to see for himself how it's not a choice thing or something we can control. And even though it would make it more dangerous for us I think we need to do it for you. He wouldn't be in any danger from the rest of the pack if we phased in front of him- you'd protect him and the others would back off. I think it would be a good idea if we all got together."

This, unfortunately, lead me right into the line of questions that I most wanted to avoid. The rest of the pack. My friends.

"Do they know?" I asked, hoping I wouldn't have to expand on this question further.

Sam looked me dead in the eyes. Nowhere to hide now, Jakey. "Yes."

"And?" I couldn't keep the hint of panic out of my voice.

Sam sighed again and I wanted to punch him in the face- he was acting like this was a problem for him. "I talked to them all earlier. They were... shocked at first, I think. I wanted to tell them all on my own terms so we sat down at the table with Emily. I don't think any of them had seriously contemplated imprinting on someone of the same sex or the implications of it. There was a lot of pity going around, Jake, not unlike when we found out about Quil. They know you didn't ask for this to happen. Emily asked a lot of the questions you've asked this morning and a lot about keeping you safe from the outside world. I know you don't consider yourself gay, hell, you were following Bella Swan around like a lost puppy only a few months ago, but the rest of the world will." He spoke gently, not wanting to upset me I guess. "I don't think you can hide this from him. He's going to figure it out sooner or later and then I suppose it's your choice as to whether you try a traditional relationship with him or something more fraternal. But if you go with the second option there's always a risk that you'll have to stand by and watch him marry someone else, date other girls or even other guys. That's something you have to think about."

I wanted to hit him again for even mentioning the idea of Adam being with someone else. Could I really let another person I loved go? After losing Bella to Edward I couldn't give up on Adam. My heart wouldn't survive being shattered like that again, I was barely a whole person as it was after having to watch my old best friend being slowly killed by a child she didn't even want. I didn't realize I was crying until the sobs shook my body and the tears were streaming down my cheeks. Sam didn't try to comfort me, knowing maybe that I wouldn't be able to stand any physical contact right now. He stood and went back inside to sleep next to his fiancée.

-x-X-x-

It took another week of me bitching and whining and being an all round ass to most of my friends and family before someone snapped. Emily was usually the most sympathetic and lovely person to be around but she eventually got fed up of my moping and dragging the atmosphere down at her house.

"Jake, you can't avoid this forever. Shit, you can barely avoid it for a couple of weeks and we're all suffering from your mood swings and I've had enough of it. If you're not going to pull yourself together then I'll do it for you."

Paul sniggered and earned himself a slap round the back of the head as Emily stormed out of the kitchen.

"You can all take that as a warning," Sam laughed as he went after her.

Emily ended up arranging some kind of barbeque/ basketball game/ bonfire get together the next weekend with the pack, Adam and a couple of other people from the res. The idea was to get everyone together and just hang out for a few hours but the whole thing was making me feel sick. I was constantly waiting for a sign that Bella was going into labor, she was due any day now, and the thought of being that close to Adam with him not having a clue about anything was just... frustrating as all hell and nerve wracking and sickening.

I was pacing in our living room, taking five strides in each direction before turning and going back the other way. My dad was out fishing with Charlie Swan and I was so grateful for that, if he was here he would know that something was wrong. He attributed my horrendous mood swings and odd hours to my link with the pack, not knowing that I was suffering from some of the worst side effects of being a wolf.

I had changed my clothes a total of six times since getting up this morning. I wanted to look good just in case things came out today like a part of me was hoping they would. I finally left the house at 4pm; half an hour after the party officially started. I was hoping to be aloof and distant and cool and was planning on telling the others I had been with the Cullens all afternoon. That was a joke. Like I could see Bella in this state- she'd call me out the moment she laid eyes on me.

I rolled the sleeves of my white shirt up a couple of times as I went out to the car and unbuttoned the top few buttons, feeling suffocated and too formal despite the jeans. I forced myself to drive slow and thankfully there were plenty of people already parked up outside Emily's when I got there who would disguise my arrival.

I made my way into the house to find Emily and give her my customary hug and kiss on the head in greeting, this girl was like my sister now. "How's Bella?" she asked, all innocent like she knew I hadn't really been visiting her.

"Huge," I replied and hoped she would buy it; firstly because it was true- girl was the size of a whale and secondly because it was 'guy' enough of an answer that she wouldn't press me further. Emily just rolled her eyes and gave me a plate of chicken to take out to Sam who was manning the barbeque.

All I wanted to do was look around to see if Adam was here yet, but I forced myself to focus on one person at a time and not let my eyes wander to him. The rest of the pack were wary around me; Sam had obviously warned them about my mental and emotional instability and none of them tried to make any real form of conversation.

I eventually caught up with Adam in the kitchen. He was popping the tops off a couple of beers and greeted me with a friendly "Hey, man, how's it going? Beer?" that crushed my heart a little.

"Sure," I agreed, taking one of the beers from him and toasting him with it before knocking it back, letting the cool liquid burn my throat. He laughed as I managed to drain half of the bottle with one pull and rested his elbows on the counter behind him, waiting for me to make conversation I supposed.

This was harder than I ever could have prepared myself for. All I wanted to do was launch myself at this guy, take his head in my hands and press my mouth to him, run my hands through his hair and have his on my body anywhere, doing anything. I wanted to take him home and lock him away so he was for my eyes only- I didn't want to share. Instead I had to make light, easy conversation which had nothing to do with werewolves and imprinting and homosexuality.

"Some growth spurt you're riding there," Adam commented casually looking at my chest. He was looking at my chest. My chest.

"Yeah, a couple of us are," I smiled, hoping I wasn't coming off creepy. "My dad says someone must be lacing the water source with steroids."

He laughed, a low, throaty sound which made me semi- hard in an instant. I looked down and away from his crinkled eyes and strong jaw and found myself staring at the twisted pattern of his tattoo. "You like it?" he asked, motioning to his artwork and I nodded, not trusting myself to contain my answer to within the confines of talking about ink.

"Pretty hardcore," I said as he turned his arm over to show me how the pattern worked before it disappeared under the sleeve of his t shirt. His black Led Zeppelin concert t shirt. I was definitely in fucking love.

He smiled and his eyes fucking twinkled as he motioned to my right bicep. "Have you got that tribe design like the other guys?"

I did, but there was no way of me showing him in this shirt unless I took the thing off; the sleeves were already rolled up as far as they would go. I rolled my eyes and smiled back at him as I undid the top few buttons on my shirt to pull the sleeve down and show him the tat; a wolf howling at the moon. Emily had designed them, they kicked serious ass.

"Nice," Adam said, running a finger over my arm. "Who did this? There's some amazing detail in there..."but he got cut off and pulled his hand back sharply when Embry walked into the kitchen shouting 'Get your own fucking beer' then stopping in the doorway to smirk at me.

"Sorry to interrupt," he muttered and I wanted to smack my best friend square in his smug face.

-x-X-x-

The sign came too early in the evening. I supposed I had prepared myself for this, nothing came easy for me and it would be typical that Bella would choose tonight to be the night she had the baby. It was cheesy and cliché but Edward and I had agreed that someone would set a firework off when she went into labor. He wasn't coming on my land and I wasn't going to send any of my guys on theirs, and the fucker wasn't getting my cell phone number so this was the best we came up with.

Sam was by my side in an instant, knowing what that one firework meant. "Go," he said quietly and I took off into the trees, stopping only to take my clothes off and tie them to my leg so I would have something to change into when I got there.

I could smell the blood from the moment I stepped onto the Cullen's front porch. Bella's blood. I forced the thought from my mind and hoped to all hell she was alive, that the son of a bitch had managed to save her because I didn't know what the pack would do if he couldn't.

I must have waited too long because the front door swung open and the tall blonde dude stood there, glaring at me a little for loitering. "Jacob," he nodded before opening the door wider and gesturing me inside. The Doc and his wife weren't about, nor was Bella or Edward but I could hear him humming to her from upstairs.

"Is she..." I started, not wanting to finish that sentence.

"Of course," Alice said, coming up to take the hand of blonde dude. "Edward got the baby out and she's changing now. It was messy here for a minute, but she's up there now. He won't leave her, Jake.

"I'm sorry," she said carefully. "There was no other way. She would be dead now if Edward hadn't saved her." I could only nod, scared of saying the wrong thing around a group of people who would quite happily tear me to pieces if I said the wrong thing.

The blonde bitch chose her moment to come downstairs with the demon child wrapped up tightly in a white blanket, cooing at the little bundle of joy. I took a step back in horror, partly of the sight of Rosalie with a look on her face that wasn't a grimace or sneer and partly because this thing, whether they liked it or not, had killed my best friend.

I must have been shaking or snarling unintentionally or something because suddenly Rosalie was hissing at me, her back turned to protect the thing and two strong arms hooked under my own to drag me backwards out of the house. Alice ran out after the three of us shouting to the other guys to put me down and it wasn't necessary to throw me out.

"He won't hurt her," Alice insisted as I got dumped on my ass on the lawn.

"It's not Grace I'm worried about," the gorilla man said at the same time blonde dude said "Allie honey, you can't know that, you can't see him."

Alice came to offer me a hand up. I ignored it and stood as far back from them as I could manage. The guys were still blocking my path back to the house.

"Grace?" I spat at him. "I thought it was a boy."

Alice sighed. "Bella thought it was a boy, but she was wrong. It's a little girl. They called her Grace Elizabeth, after Edward's mom."

"Oh," I said dumbly, not knowing how to respond to this. What did I care what the thing was called? "Bella's going to li- ... survive?" I couldn't ask if she would live. She was already dead.

"Yes," Alice nodded.

"Okay," I said slowly. "Okay." I turned then to walk away from that house for the last time.

"Wait, Jacob," Alice called and I stopped but refused to turn back. "Aren't you going to wait for her to wake up?"

I shook my head, dropping it to my chest in defeat. "She's a vampire now, Alice. I'm a werewolf. Mortal enemies, remember? Tell her I said goodbye."

I couldn't stand it any more and I phased as I took off in a run, doing my best to ignore the shredded clothing and dying heartbeats I left behind me.

-x-X-x-

I had agreed with Sam that one of the pack members would stay in their wolf form once I went back to the Cullen's so I could tell them what was happening as soon as I knew myself. It was Seth's mind that I was thrust into and I was glad; he hadn't imprinted on anyone so there was no mush to contend with.

Grace? Seth asked.

Better than Edward Fucking Cullen Junior, I told him.

If you say so, he replied, sounding calm.

Sam in on everything? I asked.

Yup. I've been giving him regular updates. Most people have gone home now. Adam is still here. He said he wanted to wait for you.

I had absolutely no idea what to make of that. What does he know? I asked, hating myself for feeling like a 14 year old girl asking if he likes her.

He does like you, Seth said and I could almost hear him rolling his eyes. Sam hasn't told him anything yet but I think he wants to. Tonight.

Okay, I said, my staple response tonight to anything I couldn't deal with. Just, okay.

Clothes? I asked as I got closer to Sam's place.

Twenty seconds to your right, Seth told me and I quickly changed course. The jeans were fine, they pretty much matched the pair I had just destroyed. We were all wearing Wall- Mart's finest at the moment as none of us could afford to replace anything more expensive than that. But someone had left me a black shirt. There was no way he wouldn't notice the change but I liked the metaphor hidden in the shirt color. I had left in white, come back in black. I was in mourning.

I dressed quickly and rolled the sleeves up again feeling suffocated as soon as the clothes were on my back. I felt too comfortable as a wolf now and especially in the few moments after I transformed back I found clothes too restricting. I never wore underwear any more. Or shoes for that matter.

The bonfire was still glowing and I saw Seth sneak back into the circle just as I emerged from the trees. Emily was curled up in Sam's arms- asleep- and Leah had gone too. I was glad; I didn't really want any girls about for the next bit. Adam had grown up Quiluete so he had heard all the stories about our tribe but his white father meant there was no danger of this ever affecting him personally. It would only be an indirect curse on his life.

I sat down and watched Adam's eyes flicker with confusion as he took in my appearance. He seemed to collect himself quite quickly, I supposed he would explain it away to himself as something to do with the grossness of giving birth. My heart stopped when he got up and started again when I felt a cold beer being pressed into my hands.

"Look like you could use this," he said, his voice rough tree bark covered in whisky- harsh and dangerous but soothing to different parts of my soul.

I nodded my head in acceptance, not trusting myself to answer him or even meet his eyes.

"Jake," Sam's voice pulled me out of my internal suffering. "Is Bella okay?"

I had no idea how I was supposed to answer this. The only person who wasn't wolfpack here was Adam and I didn't know if Sam wanted me to pretty it up for his benefit. I looked up to meet Sam's eyes and he nodded his head infinitesimally, a silent sign to go on.

"It killed her," I started, hearing the pain in my own voice. Seven sets of eyes came to meet mine but I kept them firmly focused on the rapidly warming bottle in my hands. "But we knew it would so no big surprise there. Edward bit her," I looked up at the hash fury in Sam's face. This was the whole reason for our existence- to protect innocent human lives and Cullen had gone and bit Bella only miles from where we sat. "She's changing now."

Embry's expression caught my eye, and when it met his he spoke. "She's gone already Jake. You need to mourn for her now and let her go. Do what you need to do to move on because she's not coming back." I knew he was talking about Adam and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy, having to sit through us all speaking in some kind of code that he wouldn't be able to follow.

I stood up and he mirrored my movement from across the circle, meeting my eyes with an expression filled with pity. "Walk with me." It wasn't a request or a demand or even a plea; it was me reaching out and hoping he would follow. I couldn't wait for his response and walked quickly away from the house and took the path that would lead down to the beach.

I felt him behind me before he said anything. He fell into step with me easily and we walked in silence for a long while. It was too dark for us to be able to see anything properly, either the path or each other. Eventually he sighed and unbidden, my head turned to his like some lunar pull on the ocean.

"So he asks me to walk but won't talk and asks me to walk then runs away." He laughed to himself, softly and under his breath and shook his head, the end of his ponytail brushing the tops of his shoulders.

"I'm sorry," I muttered, not knowing what else to say.

"It's okay Jake," he said, my name coming from his mouth turning me on more than I would ever be able to let anyone know. "Sam... enlightened me on a few things earlier." I stopped short and looked up at him- shocked and incredulous. How had no one told me that he knew? How much did he know?

"About what?" I asked, not wanting to put my foot in it if he had been told we were all some 'gang' of do- gooders.

"The pack. Wolves. Phasing? Protecting the tribe. Protecting the humans. I didn't believe him at first then he phased for me." He laughed again, the soft chuckle going straight to my dick. I was suddenly glad it was so dark out. "I sure believe him now."

I started to walk again and tried to digest this information. Sam had saved me a lot of trouble already and I was grateful but there was still the issue of imprinting.

Adam spoke for me. "He also told me about imprinting?" I could hear the hesitation in his voice. "But he said you could explain it a lot better than he could."

It was my turn to laugh, a dark, sadistic bark rather than a sound of happiness. "I bet he fucking did," I muttered.

-x-X-x-

"Think of everything you've ever heard or read about love at first sight," I started as we broke free of the trees and onto First Beach. I quickly found a pile of driftwood and sat down on it, Adam taking the place slightly to my left, close enough that I could feel his warmth. "Then forget it. It's nothing like that at all. You could know someone for years and never look at them twice then, boom, one day your eyes catch theirs and everything changes. You feel it, this cosmic shift in your life that rattles your bones and your soul at the same time. Every plan you've ever made? Forget it. Doesn't matter. No relevance on your life at all any more. It all focuses around them, whoever they are.

"And your family, your friends, your pack? They don't mean anything either. They're pathetic human relationships that mean fuck all compared to the connection you have with this other person, these bonds are so tight that they can't be broken by anything; time or distance or impossibility.

"My friend Quil imprinted on a two year old child." I waited for his horrified reaction and got it. "She's just a baby and he cares about nothing other than her. Everything that made him Quil now makes him Claire's perfect man when she grows up. He'll stop growing for a while until they're the same age and one day they'll settle down and have a family of their own. In the meantime he's the perfect big brother she doesn't have, a built in babysitter and friend and confidante. There's no reason why she would ever not want him.

"My pack have lived with the pain in the ass that was Quil after he imprinted and we had to deal with what that meant for us, how we would need to rally around and support him because trust me, no one felt worse about imprinting on that baby than Quil. None of us had really considered that it could get any worse than what we had already experienced; Sam was with Leah when he imprinted on Emily, my sister was with someone else when Paul imprinted on her.

"But in usual Jacob Black style, I fucked up worse than any of the others had managed to do."

I knew that I needed to look at him to say this next bit. It took every ounce of courage I had left to lift my eyes, but I did it. "I imprinted on another guy."

He knew exactly what I meant even when I couldn't even find the balls to say it in plain fucking English. He dropped his head to his hands and rested his elbows on his knees much like I had tended to do for the past few weeks and sighed, the air making his back rattle with the effort to push it out.

"There's something I have to tell you Jake, and this is either going to make it better or a lot, lot worse." I had no idea how it could get any worse but I stayed silent, guessing he didn't need to hear that yet. He didn't look at me to make his big revelation and I was a bit pissed at him for it. He took another deep breath and said "I'm gay."

It took me exactly eight seconds to process this information in my increasingly foggy brain. Then it kicked into gear.

"What the fuck?" I exclaimed, jumping up and throwing my hands in the air. "How do I not know about this?"

"Not a lot of people know," he shrugged, still not looking at me.

"What does that mean?" I asked before I could even process how loaded that question was.

Adam stood up and placed his hands lightly on my shoulders to stop my furious pacing then ran his thumbs over my eyebrows to work out the crease between them. "I need to ask you a few things Jake," he said quietly and finally looked into my eyes. The sadness there almost broke my heart. I had been such a dick, not even thinking about how hard it must be for him to process all the shit I had just thrown at him. I nodded my head silently.

His hands went back to my shoulders and he started to knead them softly, working out all the kinks and tension in my muscles. I relaxed before my conscious mind could stop me. Adam stopped for a moment to run his hands over his face and hair in frustration but when he was done he put his hands back, his fingertips now working the back of my neck into my hairline. It felt glorious.

"You're never going to leave me?" he asked. I could only shake my head.

"Will the imprinting ever change or wear off?" I gave him another silent 'no'.

"You're not going to get fed up with this and decide to go back to girls?" I shook my head again but smiled a little now.

"You want to get married?" I nodded.

"Kids?" I nodded again.

"Adopt or surrogate?" I shuddered at his question.

"Adam..." I tried to phrase this properly and not offend him. "Until you I thought I was straight. I haven't had time to answer all these questions to myself so I don't know how to give you a real answer yet. But I'll think about it, I promise."

"Okay," he said slowly. "College?" I nodded again. "Where?"

"Wherever you're going," I said simply.

"Your family?" he asked and I winced. He rolled his eyes. "They don't know."

"Yet," I said quickly. "They don't know yet."

"You're going to tell them?" he made it another question, not a statement.

"Of course," I assured him. "Adam, I don't know if you realize, but I can't leave now. I can't hide it from them because I'm always going to be with you. I don't know if it's best to tell them I've imprinted or whether just to say we're together, I don't know. There are too many variables, too many things we need to figure out between us first. But if you want to, we'll find our way through it, somehow."

He took another half step towards me and moved his hands from my shoulders, sliding them down my sides until they rested on my hips. We were almost the same height, him maybe half an inch taller than me but long and lean where my muscles had bunched up over the past few months. His hands were bigger than mine. His breath smelt of mint and smoke and need and I wanted to taste it.

"Yes," he murmured, close enough now for me to see how his tongue pressed against the top of his mouth to form the sounds.

"Yes what?" I asked dumbly, resting my hands on his forearms to steady myself as he tugged my hips towards him.

I had expected a verbal answer from him and maybe I got it; he pressed his lips to mine and I tasted his words, finally easing some of the ache of separation from my over- stressed imprinted heart. His bottom lip was fuller than the top one and I sucked it between mine, my hands tightening on his arms as I tried to take it slow, not to pounce on him and start tearing at his clothes because I wanted him right now even when I didn't know what that really meant yet. He reached out with his tongue and ran it just under my top lip, begging for access which I easily granted, parting my lips so he could flick his sweet tongue against mine. Adam's hands grew tighter on my hips and I moaned low in my throat, my lips still crashing against to make him swallow the sound.

Adam pulled away and I gasped for air and grasped for my sanity. He laid his forehead against mine and when I opened my eyes I was looking into his; they were completely black in the darkness.

"Do you want to come back to mine?" he asked.

My heart started thumping harder but I took his hand and told him "Yes."

-x-X-x-

Adam's mother lived in one of the nicest houses on the edge of the reservation, close enough to the beach to mean there were fantastic views out of pretty much ever window. We snuck through the dark house letting the huge white moon guide our steps and Adam holding my hand to steady me. I liked the way my hand sat in his. I felt protected but it must be strange for him, being the protector of the protector.

He grabbed a couple of bottles of water out of the fridge in the kitchen and lead me up a back staircase, not letting go of my hand or saying anything until we reached his room.

"I'm cut off from the rest of the house up here," he said as he flipped on a few lamps. "My mom got the conversion done when I was fourteen and started playing drums." He gestured to an expensive looking black and silver drum kit in the corner of the room.

"Do you still play?" I asked.

"Sure," he smiled. "Just not at two in the morning." He turned on a last lamp and came over to wind his arms around my chest. I laid my head down in the dip between his neck and shoulder and inhaled his specific smoky- warm scent, then nuzzled the spot with my nose. It felt like home. "Jake we don't have to do anything tonight if you don't want to," he said softly, pressing a kiss into the top of my head. "I can take you home now if that would be better."

I loved him more for giving me the option. "I want to stay," I whispered.

My eyes had drifted closed but his lips found mine to start a lazy dance, rubbing and grinding against each other to taste and tease. He walked me back slowly until the backs of my knees hit the edge of his bed and I shuffled back quickly to make room for him. Adam smiled, a lazy smirk that made the desire throbbing through me pump up a notch and crawled up and over me to rest on his forearms either side of my shoulders.

His hips pressed into my own and I could feel his desire against mine as he deepened our kiss; tongues tangling and teeth clashing as the want and need made me sweat and pant, silently begging for more. Adam broke away first and pulled back to wrench his t shirt off over his head and I struggled out of my shirt, thrilled at the possibility of feeling his skin next to mine. He pressed his naked chest back down and sparks shot off over my body as his nipples, tight with want rubbed against my own.

My dick was straining against my jeans and begging to be set free and I whimpered as the instinctive rocking of our hips caused it to rub against Adam's. I wanted more, wanted him and he twisted in my arms and flipped us over so I was the one on top, the one in control.

I tentatively reached down for the zipper on his jeans and pulled them off as his own quick fingers unbuttoned me and pushed the denim down over my legs. I kicked them off with my boxers and socks and suddenly realized I was lying naked on top of another equally naked man. I was terrified and turned on and stupidly in love, not that I would be able to tell him this for months and months yet.

"Don't you need to turn over?" I asked, hearing my own nerves and confused as to how the logistics of this worked.

"No," he smiled, not mocking me for not knowing but gently leading me through it. "I would prefer to see you if that's okay,"

I chewed my lip and nodded and he reached up to kiss me again, forcing me to stop the nervous gesture. "Relax, Jake," he murmured. "I'm usually the one on top so this is new to me, too."

I furrowed my brow, still not understanding how this worked. Adam reached over to the drawer of his nightstand and pulled out a bottle and little foil packet, rolling me off his chest so we were lying side by side. "Clean safe fun," he winked and I couldn't help the blush that crept into my cheeks. He put them on the bed and started to kiss my neck, working his way down my body stopping only to lick and nibble on my nipples or to run his tongue between the lines of my abs.

No one had ever seen my cock before, let alone look at it in the way Adam was. I knew what they meant now by 'hungry eyes'. He licked the underside of it and I couldn't help but thrust my hips up to meet his lips. Adam chuckled and took the head in his mouth, sucking lightly and using his tongue to tease me into oblivion. His fingertips started to tease my balls as he sucked harder and started to bob his head up and down my length then disappeared for a moment as my cock hit the back of my throat, causing me to grit my teeth and grab the comforter in both hands to stop myself from coming immediately.

The pressure was taken off as I felt his slick finger probing at my entrance, then with no fuss or preamble he slid it deep inside me. I knew that he would likely do this and it took me a few moments to figure out if I liked it or not. The immediate throbbing in my cock subsided and Adam kept working it with his lips as he pressed a second finger in next to the first and started to gently thrust his fingers.

A low moan broke free from my throat and I realized from my reactions that I must like this, it must be good or I wouldn't be responding this way. I had a sudden overwhelming urge to repay the favor before I ended it prematurely. I gently took hold of Adam's head and pulled him from me but before his grunt of protest registered I had scooted down the bed so I could flick my tongue in his belly button. Yum. He stopped protesting then.

Needless to say I've never sucked a guy's cock before and the task daunted me somewhat, especially when considering how smooth and long and firm and beautiful Adam's cock is. I licked the end, enjoying the salty taste before wrapping my lips around the head and running my tongue around it. I know I liked it when he did that to me...

Adam lay back on the pillows and ran his fingers through his long hair, finding the band holding it back and throwing it across the room. He looked like a god laid out for me on the stone colored sheets, his skin stretched tight across his muscles and melting into my touch. His eyes were closed and I couldn't help but watch his face; the way his lips constantly moved and his tongue that would occasionally dart out to wet them, his eyebrows that could knit together with the strain of holding himself back, the soft flush that was creeping across his neck and chest.

I found the bottle of lube on the bed and determined not to get freaked out by this, I poured some onto my fingertips and started to work it around Adam's entrance like he had done to me.

"Holy fuck Jake," he growled, rising up onto his forearms and dropping his head back but opening his legs for me a bit at the same time. I started to work the slippery liquid inside him, marveling at how smooth and warm and tight he was and wondering how the fuck I was supposed to do this. Adam's heart was thumping hard and I could practically smell how turned on he was. I didn't want to be this nervous.

"Adam," I whispered, not stopping the movement of my fingers. He raised his head to look down at me and smiled; a gorgeous, loving sign that this was okay. "What should I... how does... fuck, help me out here." He laughed softly, not cruel but understanding.

Adam reached for the little foil packet and pulled the condom out, rolling it down my length then covering it with more of the lube. He pulled me up onto his chest and into his kiss, our cocks now rubbing against each other and opened himself up to me again as he wrapped his legs around my waist. I balanced my hands either side of his shoulders and he took my cock again, pressing it against himself. I paused, letting him move his hips up to me instead of me pushing against him, not wanting to hurt him at all. Adam's hands came up to grasp my shoulders and he pressed his head into my neck so I could feel his hot breath against my chest.

"Gently, slowly, carefully," he whispered and I tried to move forward a little, using all my strength to hold back instead of plow in deeper. I pushed a bit more and felt him accept me, stretching so I could make love to him like this.

Adam relaxed back onto the bed and I lay down on top of him, finally fitting all the way inside him. "Are you okay," I whispered, my throat feeling thick with unshed tears.

"I'm perfect," he murmured and rocked his hips, a silent sign for me to start moving with him. I pulled back a little and pressed forward again and felt Adam's moan as a breath in my ear and in the vibrations in his chest. We slowly built up a rhythm moving together, his cock moving against my stomach to give him some friction too, Adam's lips finding the soft skin under my ear and kissing me there over and over.

"Jake, I..." he whispered in my ear, his voice breathy and fucking hot as hell and I cut him off, agreeing-

"Me too,"

Adam moaned and tensed and his fingers dug into my shoulders and he whispered my name into my ear as he came, and I felt the hot wetness of his come on my belly as I let go too and gasped my orgasm deep inside him.

I collapsed onto weakened arms and he gathered me close, kissing my hair as my heart thundered in my chest and I tried to calm my breathing, not caring about pulling out yet or the mess we were likely making.

Adam groaned a different sort of groan as I found the strength to remove my softening cock from him and I laughed at the expression on his face, loving that we could laugh at ourselves and the general grossness of post- sex clean up. I rolled onto my back and closed my eyes and Adam threw a couple of tissues onto my stomach as he sorted himself out, then laid down on his back next to me and I instinctively rolled into him.

A bead of sweat ran down my neck from my temple and pooled in the hollow of my throat. I thought it would stay there until I swiped it off but Adam surprised me as I felt his tongue licking it right off my clavicle. I shuddered in his arms and turned so my back was pressed into his chest. He wrapped his tattooed arm around me and I followed the patterns of black with my fingertips around his forearm and wrist and down to where it circled his ring finger.

"Jacob Black Hawk," he whispered into my ear. "It sounds very Native." I laughed and turned in his arms to press a soft kiss to his jaw.

"It has a certain ring to it," I mused, turning back. "And sounds really fucking cool if I opened my own shop. 'Black Hawk Motors'."

"Hell yeah," he agreed and kissed my neck.

"Surrogates," I whispered into the pillow, answering an old question but too afraid to face him. "Rachel would do it, absolutely. I think it would bug Becca out a bit though. It would still be genetically ours that way."

"What about you?" he asked. "Don't you want one of your own?"

"Unless you have a secret sister somewhere I don't think we can make it work," I joked. "I'm happy with that arrangement."

"I have a cousin," he said carefully. "She offered to do it for me a long time ago, when I first told her I was gay. She has three kids already so it wouldn't be a problem." I was so happy I was afraid my heart would just explode in my chest. Everything was falling into place.

"Not yet though," I said, suddenly feeling very much like a seventeen year old talking about children.

Adam laughed. "No, Jake, not yet." We were quiet for a while, our tired heads craving sleep but not wanting to miss anything of this night. "Tell me about Bella," Adam asked carefully.

It was the last thing I was expecting and I didn't think it would hurt this much. "She was my best friend," I started, hearing the pain in my voice. "She fell for Cullen pretty quickly after she moved here but I've known her since we were kids. He left her a while back now and we got closer and I fell in love with her, but when he came back she chose him." I shrugged, not wanting to go into all of the gory details. "I suppose it doesn't matter now. She has her husband and her baby and her immortality; but I have you. I think I win."

Adam laid his lips softly on my shoulder again and pulled me back against him, holding me tighter. "I can give you the husband and the baby, but the immortality is a bit out of my league," he teased.

"Forever would get dull," I joked back. "I'm happy with this mortal life."

"Mortal?" he asked. "Are you going to stop phasing?" I thought about it for a moment. I love being a wolf; the freedom, the hunt, the responsibility that I relish along with my instinct for protecting my family. Could I give it up for him?

"Not yet," I said finally. "But when we leave for college I won't need to any more. I'll stop then."

"That seems fair," he said. My eyes were so heavy. I was ready for sleep but couldn't bear to be separated from him even for this physical necessity. "I'll introduce you to my mom in the morning," he whispered thickly, his voice betraying his exhaustion too but his fingertips still rubbing a pretty pattern into the bare skin on my hip.

"Sounds good," I murmured. Then, not being able to fight it any more I let the sleep take over whispering a muted "Good night."

I could have dreamed it, but the last thing that registered in my brain before the blackness took over was one husky voice whispering "I could be in love with you."