Summary: What happens when the Pack's resident hot-head and troublemaker is rejected by his imprint ? Will he succumb to grief or find solace in the arms of another ?
Disclaimer: All you recognize belongs to Stephenie Meyer ( including these two fiesty, gorgeous wolves - unfortunately ! ). The rest ? To my warped, hyperactive imagination ...
A/N1: The Demon Spawn never happened. EVER ! I'm in complete denial ... In my crazy AU she simply doesn't exist.
A/N2: Would like to thank everyone who stuck with 'Broken' and leaving such great reviews for it. You guys know who you are - really appreciate it. You've been awesome.
Warning: contains slash and strong language.
" G-Gone ? " My face fell. The giddy euphoria I'd felt when I realized I'd broken the imprint suddenly deserted me and I began to panic. " What the hell d'ya mean "gone" ? "
" Exactly what I said, moron. Jake's A.W.O.L. He's m.i.a. Flown the coop ... Fucked off ... Bolted ... " Leah replied in equal frustration, dark eyes cloudy with worry and her smooth brow furrowed in anxiety. " What the fuck did you think I meant ? ... Honestly ! "
" Fuck ... Fuck ... Fuck ... FUCK ! " I ran a trembling hand through my cropped, spiky, dark hair. " Why the fuck did he bolt ? I was always gonna come back to him. I'd never reject him. I've no intention of ditching Jake for Rachel. For anyone, Leah. Not after what she did. Jake's everything to me. He completes me and I can't function without him. It's like I, I ... I need him like the air I breathe, y'know ? I can't live without him. Shit ! I wouldn't want to ... Jake's my sun. The one who brought me out of the dark. Gave me hope. Showed me what it means to be loved. He makes me feel. Makes me a better person. I want to be a better person - for him. I love him, Lee and I want him back. I need him ... "
Leah sighed softly and rested her right hand lightly on my forearm. " Then why the hell are you still moping around here like a lovestruck girl ? Jake's the one that needs to hear what you've just said. Hell ! I believe you, Paulie, " Leah smiled sadly, " I know you're being straight. That you're not lying. But in the end, Jake's the one you gotta convince. Not me. So, get the fuck outta here and go win him back ... "
Seth approached us and draped an arm across his sister's slender shoulders. " Yeah, you both need each other. You belong together, bro. Fight for him. Don't let him give up on you. On what you've got. You've been through too much together to lose each other. Just don't take any shit from him and don't let him push you away. He loves you as much as you think the world of him. So hang on in there. Be persistant. Don't leave him or let him walk away from you. Jake can be a stubborn ass when he wants to be, but if anyone can wear him down and get through to him, man, it's you ... It'll be ok. It'll come good in the end and work out the way you want it to. Good luck ! " He gave me an encouraging grin. " Now fuck off, Meraz. Find your wolf and claim him ... "
I grinned in return, then decided the quickest and best way to find my missing mate would be to phase. I began to sprint towards the edge of the forest and suddenly transformed into my lycan form, shredding my clothing in the process, replacing my nineteen year old, six foot three, golden-skinned, athletic Quileute frame, with an enormous, powerful wolf with a sleek dark silver pelt. I paused at the treeline to look back at the Clearwater siblings before loping steadily into the densely covered forest.
It took a while, but in the end I succeeded in hunting Jake down. Many would've given up the search, yet I persevered. I couldn't. Wouldn't. My heart wouldn't let me. I ached for him. Yearned for my mate. Wanted and needed him so desperately, that nothing - no one - else mattered ... All I could think of was Jake.
He was holed up within the base of a large hollow tree. Still in wolf-form, he'd curled up into a huge, russet furball. The misery, sorrow and agonizing pain which radiated from him was palpable. The air was charged with his emotions ... and it tore at my heart. Me. Paul Meraz. Pack hard-ass extraordinaire. The one who always hid what he felt and was deemed to be a cold, ruthless, vindictive bastard. A true son of a bitch ... The guy who'd tease, taunt and torment others just for kicks. Like Leah would often - and rightly say - purely for shits and giggles.
But I've changed since the imprint. For the better, I hope. And it's all down to Jacob Black. He's the one responsible for the change in my behaviour. My attitude. And if I'm honest ? The change has grown on me. Now, I can say hand on heart, when I look in the mirror I actually like the person that's reflected back at me. I prefer the new me ... and all this is thanks to one person. The wolf, the man, that I adore with all of my heart ... Jacob.
And I do love him. More than life itself. Whether that's a wise thing, I don't know ... Honestly ? I don't fucking care whether it's smart or not. All I care about and for, is the sweet, gentle, kind, foolhardy, young wolf that haplessly imprinted on me. And all I want is the chance to love him as he deserves to be loved. To show it and to prove to him that we are worthy of each other. I just hope that I haven't fucked up so badly and that he's smart enough and can find it in his heart to forgive the damn fool that he's had the misfortune to imprint on, for being so stupid.
I approached him cautiously. I hadn't a goddamn clue what kind of reception I'd get from Jake and that made me uneasy and full of trepidation. But it wasn't enough to keep me away from him. Nothing could do that. Except death ...
Jake suddenly tensed, the sleek, reddish fur on his hackles became raised and although he didn't lift his head from the ground, he growled softly in warning. That's when I knew he'd sensed my presence. And his response was far from encouraging. The odds of winning him back clearly weren't in my favour and to do so - to prove that I was in love with him - I'd have to try a different angle. One I'd never done. A method which scared the shit out of me, but it was the only way I could see that'd give me any hope or chance of winning Jake back. And he was the only person I was willing to attempt it for. Submission ...
I began to inch forward, crawling warily towards him, deliberately keeping the front part of my body low to the ground. To show that I came in peace. That I clearly wanted to make amends. When he didn't react aggressively, my tail began to wag slightly in hope. I closed the gap between us and gently rubbed my nose against his snout in greeting. To my astonishment, even though he was still tense, he didn't pull away. It encouraged me to lick his muzzle affectionately and I heard him sigh softly.
" Why are you here, Paul ? Why aren't you with her ? Your girlfriend ? Your imprint ... " I heard his pain inflected voice clearly in my head. Jake met and held my gaze steadily, his beautiful chocolate eyes filled with sorrow and anguish. With torment.
Truly hating myself for what I'd done to him, I transformed back into my human form, uncaring that I was as naked and vulnerable as the day I was born. I owed it to Jake. To come clean to him. To confess I'd deliberately been a fucking ass in order to break the imprint. So that I could be with him. Only him ...
I sat back on my heels and ran a weary hand through my cropped hair before dropping it to rest on his hackles. I began to stroke his thick, sleek pelt and found the action soothing. As I did so, I could feel the tension begin to ebb away from his powerful body and Jake slowly began to relax.
" Why the hell would I want to do that, huh ? Why would I want to be with her after all she's put us through ? It's you I want. You I want to be with. For good, if you'll have me ? " I added tentatively, willing him to change back so that I could embrace him. " It's you I love, you idiot. With all my heart, body and soul. I'm yours, Jake. Yours alone. No one else's ... Yours. "
I'm not sure what exactly I'd said that made him react, but Jake suddenly lifted his head and watched me warily. There was a glimmer of light in the rich darkness of his eyes. A tiny flicker of hope. Yet he still continued to hold back, as if he dared not believe what he'd just heard. Even though it was something we both desperately hoped for and wanted.
" I, I finally did it, y'know ? " I continued hesitantly, thinking here goes nothing. " Broke the imprint ... Fucking shattered it and told your sister where to get off. That I'd moved on. That I have someone special in my life. Someone who's everything to me. Someone who I lo- ... Hell ! Scratch that ... Someone I'm in fucking love with and can't live without. Someone that's always on my mind 24/7 and who, " my voice lowered and became husky with need, " has me walking around with a permanent hard-on ... " I could feel the yearning hunger for Jake rising within me and averting my gaze briefly, I shifted to make myself more comfortable.
" Y-You b-broke it ? " Jake asked softly. I looked up and saw that he'd shifted, an incredulous look on his stunned, gorgeous face. " You actually broke it ? "
I nodded. " Uh-huh ... Did it for you, babe ... All for you. Fought and fucking shattered it. And it feels great. I'm free. Finally ! Told her I didn't want her. Didn't love her and wanted her out of my fucking life for good. That I'm finally, truly happy and that I'm with someone who - I still hope - loves me and thinks I'm worth fighting for. I am, aren't I ... ? Worth fighting for, I mean ... I know I screwed up. Fucked things up big time. But I'll make it up to you, I swear ... if you still want me ... ? "
Jake laid his right hand on my bare thigh. The contact was totally unexpected and I welcomed it. It was more than I dared hoped for or deserved. His thumb absently traced circles on my inner thigh and the pressure of his palm against my heated flesh made my muscles tremble.
" Now who's being the idiot ? " Jake murmured as he leisurely leant forward and closed the gap between us. " Course I still want you. I'll always want you, Meraz. Don't think I'll ever stop. "
" Then why did you run, Jake ? Tell me ... " I begged softly, my right hand unconsciously gravitating to his neck, drawing him closer so that I was able to rest my forehead against his. " Please, Jake, I need to know ... "
He sighed. " I, uh ... I thought I was losing, no, that I'd lost you, Paul. That the pull of the imprint was stronger than what we had. I couldn't handle it. That's why I bolted. Couldn't face seeing her stealing what's mine. The thought of her with you was killing me. Tearing me apart. I didn't want to be in the same position as Leah ... Forced to see the one I want, the one I love, every single fucking day with someone else. I couldn't do that. I'm not like Leah. I'm not that fucking strong ... "
" Bullshit, Jake ! You're one of the strongest people I know. Your strength's one of the most attractive things about you. It's as sexy as hell ... Really turns me on ... " I slowly carded my fingers through the thick, raven hair at his nape. " You haven't lost me. You'll never lose me, unless you get tired of me and tell me to fuck off ... "
" Guess I won't be doing that in a hurry, " Jake muttered sheepishly.
" I'm kinda counting on it ... " I admitted huskily, a faint smile played on my lips as I watched him nervously run his tongue over his lower lip.
" Huh ! Why the hell doesn't that surprize me ? "
I shrugged before replying, " I'm not giving up or losing the best thing that ever happened to me without some kind of fight. And you're worth fighting for, Jake. More than you'll ever know- "
" Paul ... "
" Uh, what ? "
" Just shut up 'n' kiss me, 'kay ? "
" Pushy cub, " I replied with a faint smirk, before gently cradling his face in both hands and lightly, brushing his lips with mine.
" Quit teasing, Meraz, I meant properly ... " he growled in frustration as he tried to deepen the playful kisses.
" Definitely pushy ... " I began to kiss him once more, this time increasing the pressure of my lips on his, making him growl softly. He reciprocated with an enthusiasm which I found endearing. Truly mesmerizing. His hunger also mirrored mine perfectly. We became lost in the kiss ... and each other. I was dimly aware of him pulling me onto his lap, his hands roaming and caressing my body possessively. Gently. His skilful touch had me writhing wantonly in his arms. Craving more. Much more.
In the end, it was the need for air that tore us apart. We reluctantly broke the kiss. Both of us were panting hard, our chests rising and falling erratically. Not once did we break eye contact with each other. I reached out my hand and gently caressed his left cheek. Jake immediately leant into my touch and smiled at me. It was a shy, sweet smile that illuminated his handsome face. A smile full of trust and love.
" Move in with me, Jake ... " I said before I could stop myself.
" Uh ... What ? "
" You heard. Move in with me ... Say yes, " I pleaded with him, watching him hopefully, noting the stunned expression on his face turn into one of delight as he finally realized that I wasn't playing with him. That my offer was genuine. " I want to be with you. Want us to be together. Now your sister's back, there's nothing to stop us ... unless you don't want to ... I mean, let her look after your old man, you've done more than your share. You deserve a break. Please, Jake, say yes. We could be happy together, I know we could ... We're good together. All I know is that I'm fucking miserable when we're apart and I love being with you ... "
He continued to stare at me. All wide-eyed innocence and trust shining in his dark eyes. He glowed with happiness.
" Well ... say something. Put me out of my fucking misery one way or another ... " I said nervously, wanting desperately yet dreading to hear his answer.
" Are you sure about this, Paul ? Really sure ? This isn't some knee-jerk reaction to Rachel being back here, is it ? "
" Course I'm fucking sure. Wouldn't have asked you if I wasn't. Rachel being here's got nothing to do with it, except made me realize how much I want this. Want to be with you. Only you ... "
Jacob grinned, " Ok ... "
" Huh ? " I looked at him blankly.
" My answer, moron. Yeah, I'll move in with you. I want us to be together too ... More than anything. For some crazy, warped reason, I love you, jerk ... " Jake replied softly.
I couldn't stop grinning and immediately leapt to my feet. Then impatiently dragged Jake onto his before wrapping myself around him. Holding him tight. Never wanting to let him go.
" What the f- ? " Jake began to softly laugh. " Meraz, you idiot ... "
I sighed then tugged him outside the den. " Come on, hon. Quit screwing around. We can't stay here forever. I'm taking you back home. Our home ... "
He smiled radiantly and laced my fingers with his, " Sure ... sure. Whatever you say, darlin'. Take me home ... "