This is a one-shot I did for a contest I ended up winning on another website. I love the character of Paul (I especially love Alex Meraz who plays Paul in the movies). The contest category was "Defying Gravity" where the wolf has to overcome a challenge. The original title of this story was "Confessions Of An Asshole," but I changed it to its current title to fit my universe a little more. I hope you enjoy it.

Rated M for adult themes and STRONG Language (It's Paul after all!) Per site rules, if you're under 16, please don't read. All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.

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Prologue

Imprinting is easy. Falling in love is the difficult part. Especially when your imprint thinks you're a complete asshole. Of course at the time, I had no idea what she would mean to me…

Apologetic Imprint (Paul's POV)

"Harder Paul," Candace screamed as I pounded into her. I felt myself explode, and I collapsed against her as she stood braced against the wall with her legs wrapped around me.

"No, not yet," she whined, but I was already pulling out. Fuck, I hated when women got needy. Still, I had a reputation to uphold so I began to play with the nub between her thighs.

"Oh yeah, baby," Candace moaned. I thrust my fingers inside her, pumping them in and out until I felt her begin to spasm.

I heard a commotion at the bedroom door. With my fingers still working inside my girlfriend, I looked over and met the eyes of Rachel Black.

"Oh…sorry," she replied, her cheeks turning red as she took in the sight before her.

She went to quickly shut the door, but like a dumbass I prolonged her presence.

"Don't you fucking knock?" I yelled, pulling my hand out of Candace. Candace's face was flushed with embarrassment. She was the one who wanted me to fuck her in the middle of a party.

"I thought this was the bathroom…sorry," Rachel said, closing the door firmly behind her, but not before I saw the look of disgust on her face. It pissed me off.

Hell, everything pissed me off nowadays. I hated the holidays. I hated this holiday. Fourth of July! People used any excuse to party and act like morons. Like life gets any better so what the shit is the point of celebrating anything?

How did I ever let Candace talk me into coming to this party anyway? I pulled away from her and adjusted my clothes, before storming out of the room, ignoring Candace's plea for me to wait for her. I was done with her anyway. The whole relationship was a joke. I wanted an easy lay and it took me all of three dates to get her into bed.

I walked into the living room and looked around. Rachel was on the other side of the room talking to her brother, Jacob Black, and some of his friends. What the fuck was she doing here anyway? She was a college student; this was a high school party. Wasn't she a little too old to be here? She turned her head and caught me looking at her. She looked at me as though I had just crawled out from under a rock. Fuck her then!

I was so pissed off I began to shake. My skin felt like it was being jabbed with a thousand knives. I ran outside and took a deep breath of night air to calm myself. I left the party and headed to my house. It was raining out which was why the party had been moved indoors. It felt nice though. My skin felt like it was burning up.

I kept walking until I got home and let myself quietly in the front entrance. Not that it mattered if I made any noise. I could have come in playing the damn bagpipes and it wouldn't have woken my mom up from her alcohol-induced slumber. I heard some clanging coming from the basement and knew my father was in his workshop, ignoring life as always.

I looked around the house and took in how barren it looked. There was nothing but clutter and dirt in this house. It had been like this for the past three years. Ever since my sister died of cancer. My temper began to flare again as I looked at my mom.

I wanted to scream at her, Look at me! Don't you give a fuck about me anymore?

I began to shake again, only this time it was so much worse. I ran back outside and walked swiftly into the woods. I wished I could talk to Jared, my former best friend, but he was now Sam Uley's little bitch. I never even hung out with him anymore because he was always with Sam.

My mind drifted to Rachel Black. I wondered briefly what it would be like to confide everything in her. Her look of disgust flashed through my brain and that was all it took. Before I knew what was happening, I felt a sharp, stabbing pain across my skin, almost as though I were rolling on a floor of broken glass. Fiery heat erupted down my spine and I felt my skin rip away from my body. I tried to scream, but a howl came out instead. Looking through the darkness, I saw as clearly as if I were standing in sunlight that my hands were now silvery, furry paws. I screamed once more and again a howl echoed around me.

Paul, you're okay, a voice whispered.

Who the fuck is that? I thought and freaked out when the voice answered me.

This is Sam Uley.

Damn, I guess you were right. Paul was next, another voice said. Jared? Was I going insane?

You're not insane, Sam replied.

Two enormous wolves appeared in front of me. One was as black as night. From the way he was looking at me, I knew it was Sam. The other was smaller in size and brown in color. I swear the fucker was smiling at me. As soon as that thought crossed my brain, the wolf made a noise that sounded like a barking chuckle. That had to be Jared. But how was it even possible?

Sam began to think about the legends of our people. His thoughts showed up in my brain as clearly as if I were watching TV. I felt myself tremble in disbelief. We were descendants of wolves. We were able to hear each others' thoughts. We protected humans from "cold ones." There was a coven of bloodsuckers that didn't live that far from the reservation…the Cullens. I couldn't believe Dr. Cullen was a leech.

Believe it, Sam said. Something else you need to know is that you can't tell anyone what we are. It would jeopardize our tribe. And you need to avoid people until you get yourself under control. We can't risk you phasing in front of someone.

Yeah man, that's why I couldn't talk to you anymore, Jared explained, nudging me with his nose. I was still so freaked out that I lunged at him, an instinct to self-protect taking over.

Enough, Sam said, a double timbre sound coming out. The command was so powerful I fell away from Jared as though I'd been hit by a wrecking ball.

That night I learned for the first time about "Alpha" orders. Sam hated to command us to do anything, but his number one goal was to make sure we protected the tribe. We couldn't do that if we were fighting.

Sam and Jared stayed with me the entire night going over everything I needed to know about this life I had inherited. It was weird how it worked being inside each others' heads. We had our own thoughts, but we also thought simultaneously as well.

A lot of Sam's thoughts dwelled on Emily Young. That's how I learned about imprinting. The concept actually scared the shit out of me. I saw what happened to him the first time he saw Emily. One minute he was talking to his girlfriend Leah, the next minute he saw Emily and felt his gravity shift. She became his earth and he became her moon. He was bonded to her tighter than anything I'd ever felt or known before.

Sam was an intimidating son of a bitch, but when it came to Emily, there was nothing in his thoughts but longing and need. Apparently she wouldn't have anything to do with him though, because he had broken up with her cousin Leah to pursue her. The pain of being rejected by his imprint made both Jared and I cringe in sympathetic pain.

I wasn't able to phase back to human form until the following day. However, after that night, I became an official part of the pack and began to patrol at night.

I had to be careful because my temper always seemed to be on a short leash. I stayed away from my parents' house as much as possible, broke it off with Candace (no big loss there), and spent every conceivable minute I could with Sam and Jared. Rumors began to go around that we were in a cult. The stupid bastards spreading the rumors had no clue we were protecting their asses.

In the meantime, Jared was working his way through the female population of the Rez. Why not? We were both tall and completely buff. Chicks were drawn to us. I wanted to do the same, but Sam wanted me to stay away from people as much as possible. It pissed me off. I was better looking than either Jared or Sam. I wasn't conceited, it was just a fact. I didn't understand why I had to be so damn cautious all the time. So what if I had a little issue with my temper…big fucking deal! Who didn't?

I didn't get where Sam was coming from until he lost his own temper with Emily one day while he was trying to talk to her. He ended up scarring her so bad that she had to be hospitalized. It fucked Sam up something fierce. Oddly enough though, Emily went to talk to him once she was released from the hospital. They became a couple after that. I didn't understand either one of them.

I was just thankful that imprinting was rare…or at least, that's what we were told. Then one night Jared ran into Kim Denning at a bonfire. He took one look into her brown eyes and became as instantly pussy-whipped as Sam.

Early the following year, Embry Call joined the pack. A month later, Jacob Black phased.

Embry was cool in his own way I guess. Jacob was another problem entirely. He was hung up on some bitch named Bella. Bella was a hindrance even though Jacob worshipped the quicksand she walked on.

Bella was a problem for two reasons. One, she knew way too much about us thanks to Jacob's fat mouth. Two, she'd dated a Cullen. Cullens were vampires. Vampires were the enemy, treaty or no treaty.

Still Sam wanted to handle the situation carefully. Time went on. We cautiously allowed Bella into our inner circle because she was important to Jacob. And how did the bitch repay us? She took off to Italy one weekend while the tribe was dealing with the sudden death of our tribal elder, Harry Clearwater. When she came back, she brought the whole damn Cullen family with her.

After the bloodsuckers settled back into the area, we had more kids on the Rez change. Quil Ateara was one. Seth and Leah Clearwater (who's an even crazier bitch than Bella) also joined the pack along with Collin and Brady. We avoided the Cullens as much as possible, though we did have to fight side by side with them when a redheaded vampire and her clan came to Forks with the intent to destroy mega-bitch, a.k.a. Bella Swan.

We actually had a lot of fun that day. There's nothing more satisfying than the metallic sound of vampires being decapitated and ripped to shreds. Jacob got injured pretty badly though. Worse, mega-bitch finally let him know that she was choosing her leech boyfriend over him. Best yet, the stupid shit told him they were "over" while he was recuperating in bed with his body shattered from being squeezed by a newborn bloodsucker.

Nice bonus for his pain, right?

While Jacob was still recovering, he got an invitation to her wedding. He took off after that and we haven't seen him since.

And this is where my life gets really fucked up.

We promised to give Billy daily updates on Jacob. Jake had decided to live as a wolf for awhile. We could still hear inside his head, but he didn't want anything to do with us. We knew he was in Canada, but that was about it. One day Sam asked me to go let Billy know that Jake was still doing okay. I was exhausted after a long night of patrolling and just wanted to go home and sleep.

I grudgingly walked towards the Black home, taking the beach path to get there. I didn't want to deal with seeing Billy's hopeful face, only to watch it crumble when we had to tell him Jacob wasn't coming back. I had my head down as I walked and wasn't paying attention to where I was going. I didn't even see the woman staring out at the ocean lost in thought. I slammed into her almost knocking her over. I quickly reached out and grabbed her before she hit the ground.

I reacted in true fashion. "Why don't you watch where the hell you're standing!"

"You're the idiot who ran into me!" The woman said scornfully back.

I knew that voice, though I hadn't heard it in over a year. Shit, this was all I needed. Last time I saw Rachel Black, I had basically told her to fuck off. My eyes ran briefly over her body to make sure I hadn't caused any damage. Sam wouldn't be happy if I hurt anyone, especially a woman.

"Jeez, take a picture," Rachel remarked. Holy shit, when did her voice become so musical?

Sighing, I said, "Look, I need to talk to your dad about someth-"

I finally looked into her eyes and that was it. I felt my gravity shift and suddenly my entire existence revolved around this woman. I couldn't tear my eyes away from her as I let the force of my imprint consume me.

It was strange. I wasn't afraid or pissed off like I thought I'd be if it ever happened to me. I felt famished. Like a starving man suddenly invited to a banquet, I wanted to pull her to me and never let go.

She shifted uncomfortably under my gaze. "What?"

"You're beautiful," I whispered stupidly, but it was nothing but the truth.

She had the face of an angel and the body of a goddess. Her long black hair flowed down her back and seemed to dance as she tilted her head slightly. How could I never have noticed how incredible she was? I had always thought she was hot, but nothing like this.

Rachel huffed, "Look…I don't know what your game is, but I'm not interested."

She turned from me and I couldn't help it. I reached out and touched her arm to stop her from leaving me. Her skin was pure satin underneath my fingers. I would allow her to do anything she wanted to me. She could kick me, scream at me, whatever she felt best. But leaving me wasn't a possibility.

"Get your hand off me," Rachel said through clenched teeth. Against my will, my hand dropped. "If you want to talk to my dad, he's at the house."

She turned and headed towards the Black home. I walked behind her, not taking my eyes off my imprint.

As soon as we entered, she called out, "Dad."

Billy came into the living room from the kitchen.

"Paul," Billy greeted.

Rachel walked away from us, and I meekly followed like a dog on a leash. She stopped moving and turned around so quickly I ran into her. The feel of her body pressed against mine even briefly was the single greatest pleasure of my life.

"What is wrong with you?" Rachel said, shoving me off her. She wouldn't have normally been able to move me, but she was my imprint and she wanted space. I practically fell on my ass to comply with her wishes. With a disgusted hiss, Rachel left the room.

"Did you just imprint on my daughter?" Billy asked.

"Yeah," I said, staring off into the direction of the kitchen where Rachel had disappeared.

"She doesn't seem to like you very much," Billy remarked. No words were truer and yet they still cut me to the quick.

"Last time we saw each other it wasn't under the best of circumstances. I deserve her treatment," I told him.

"What happened?"

"She…uh…sort of walked in on me with my ex-girlfriend at this party we were attending. My ex and I were…you know…"

Billy snorted before covering it over with a cough.

My shoulders slumped in defeat and with one last look of longing towards the kitchen, I forced myself to head towards the front entrance.

"Paul," Billy called out. I turned back to him. "Why don't you bring us another update tomorrow."

I smiled and nodded before heading out. Thankfully Billy was a tribal elder. He knew that our pack was already damaged with Jake missing. He also knew how pathetically useless a wolf was without his imprint. Still Rachel was his daughter and I knew if she didn't want anything to do with me, he wouldn't force her. I'd have to tread carefully, because a life without Rachel simply wasn't an option.

I quickly ran to the woods and phased, hiding in some trees near the Black home. I could hear Billy and Rachel talking inside.

"So what did you think of Paul?" Billy asked.

"I didn't," Rachel replied, her answer making me fall to the ground in rejected pain.

"He's a good kid. He helps a lot around the Rez," Billy said.

"No dad, he's not. Trust me. He's a repulsive pig," Rachel responded.

I couldn't take anymore and quickly ran into the woods, howling as I went. I felt several wolves phase. Jared started laughing as soon as he saw what had happened. I found him lying on his back in the middle of a clearing, laughing his furry ass off with his paws waving in the air. Growling furiously, I lunged at him. Sam, walking up to the scene, ordered us to stop fighting before telling the pack in La Push to phase back to human form so I could have a moment to myself.

If you need to talk, you know where to find me, Sam said.

I nodded and then I paced. I wondered if Jacob knew what had happened. Going by the underlining pissed off feeling inside my brain, I knew that he had, but he didn't say anything. I shifted my focus away from him and concentrated on Rachel, which caused a quiet growling inside my head. I forced myself to phase back to human form so I wouldn't have to share a brain with Jake and headed home.

I walked into my house, covering my mom with a light blanket where she laid passed out in her armchair. I climbed the stairs, ignoring the shrine of my sister's pictures that rested along the wall. I finally reached my room and flopped tiredly on my bed.

I stared up at the ceiling and began to strategize. Rachel saw me as a pig. I cringed when I thought of our last encounter. Somehow, I'd have to change her mind about me. The next day I went to give Billy an update on Jake. Rachel answered the door.

"My dad's not here, but he said you'd have a message for him," Rachel said stiffly, not quite meeting my eyes. It took everything in me to not wrap my arms around her like I wanted.

"Yeah, can you let him know that…uh…Sam talked to Jake and he's fine?" I told her, not quite lying, but not giving her the whole truth since she didn't know about the pack. My skin began to prickle painfully as I told her my half lie.

"Why can't Jake just call home?" Rachel asked. I shrugged, again unable to lie.

"Jake sort of works for Sam," I told her. It was true. Sam was the boss of the pack. I added, "Due to the…eh…job, Jake can only check in with Sam right now."

"Fine," Rachel said, starting to close the door.

Panicking at the idea of our contact being cut short, I blurted out, "Would you like to go to the movies sometime?"

D'oh!

"No," Rachel replied, before shutting the door firmly in my face.

Fucking Fuckity Fuck!

I went over to Sam's where some of the pack members were meeting and punched Embry in the face to relieve some frustration. Yeah, I know…I'm an asshole. Sam came out of his house, took one look at the situation, and gave me a standing order that I wasn't allowed to pick anymore fights.

The next day when I went back to update the Blacks, I played it cool. I relayed the message to Rachel and calmly left. I felt pretty proud of myself, although I had to immediately phase afterwards so I could hide outside of her house like a deranged stalker, getting my kicks out of hearing her breathe.

For the next couple of weeks I did this. I'd act disinterested when I was with her, and then I'd spy on her afterwards. Once I saw that Rachel stopped stiffening every time she saw me, I started the next stage in my plan.

I began to soften her with compliments. Nothing extreme or anything that would put her off. I'd tell her she looked nice, or I'd compliment her on what she was wearing. I'd also ask her about school and her general interests in life. The more I learned about her, the more I realized how perfect she was for me. We were bonded together because of the imprint, but over the course of a few weeks I also found myself falling in love with her.

After a month of trying to get into her good graces, I finally got up the courage and decided to ask her out again. But when I got to her house, Billy answered the door. It was the first time Rachel didn't answer it since I began giving the family daily updates on Jake.

"Hey Paul," Billy said.

"Where's Rachel?" I asked, almost desperate to see her.

"She went for a walk on the beach," Billy replied.

"Oh," I said dejectedly, turning to leave.

"Paul," Billy called out. "Today's the six year anniversary of her mother's death. I think she could use a friend right now."

"Okay, I'll see if I can find her," I replied. "Thanks Billy."

He nodded and I set off towards the beach. I scanned the area but didn't see her. Following the pull to the center of my universe, I headed towards the cliffs.

As I got closer, I picked up my pace. I had a strange sensation that something was horribly wrong. I heard crying in the distance. It wasn't the sound of someone in mourning. It was the sound of someone in physical pain. Running, I didn't stop until I reached Rachel. She was lying on her back in between two extremely large boulders.

"Rach, you okay?" I asked, looking down at her.

"Paul!" Rachel said in a panicked voice. "I was walking on the rocks, and I slipped and fell. I think I might have sprained my ankle."

"Okay, I'm going to get you out of here," I said and began to maneuver my way around the different rocks and logs until I reached her. I touched her ankle gingerly and she yelped in pain. I blanched in return.

"I'm so sorry," I said, picking up her hand and kissing a scrap along her palm. Rachel sucked in a breath.

"I'm going to have to pick you up," I said and waited for her consent.

She gave it and I picked her up bridal style, carefully climbing out of the crevice she had fallen into. Once we were clear of all obstacles, I carried her faster than what was humanly possible back to my house.

"What are we doing here?" Rachel asked, her face turning slightly towards mine. Our lips were mere inches away. It distracted me momentarily, but I forced myself to concentrate on accomplishing what I needed to do.

"I'm taking you to the hospital in Forks to have your ankle looked at," I explained, placing her gently in my car.

"That's ridiculous. There's nothing they can do for a sprained ankle," Rachel insisted.

"Don't argue with me," I retorted. "I know you're in pain. I'm not going to feel better until I know you're okay."

Looking into my worried eyes, Rachel sighed and said, "Fine, but this is silliness."

As I drove, I kept feeling Rachel's eyes on me. It was hard for me to concentrate on the road because I wanted to return the look.

"You're so…" Rachel finally spoke. "You seem so different since last year."

"Yeah, a lot's happened to me since then," I said. Glancing over at her, I added, "I'm really sorry for my behavior that night. It was inexcusable."

Rachel shrugged and looked out the front window.

"So what happened to the girl? Are you two still together?" Rachel asked curiously.

"No," I replied, my cheeks turning slightly red. I hated that Rachel saw me with another girl. Still, I liked that she was interested in my love life.

"No, I'm single," I added for good measure. We glanced at each other and both quickly looked away.

Once we arrived at the hospital, I ran to the passenger door so that I could carry her into the building.

"This is so embarrassing," Rachel muttered, even as she snuggled in closer to my chest. I felt like breakdancing.

Rachel was soon placed on a bed in the emergency room. She stared blankly up at the ceiling as we waited for the doctor to come into our curtained area. Tears began to spill from the corners of her eyes, trailing down the sides of her face.

"What? Are you in a lot pain?" I asked in a frantic tone. Rachel sniffed and shook her head.

"I really wish my mom was here," she whispered.

"I'm sorry Rach," I told her, reaching for her hand. My heart leapt when she didn't pull away. "I know what it's like to lose someone so young."

She turned her head and looked at me sadly, "I always liked your sister. She was in the same grade as me."

She squeezed my hand in comfort, and I brought our joined hands to my cheek, pressing her flesh to mine. I loved the feel of her skin. It smelled incredible and was so amazingly soft. She pulled her hand out of mine and cupped her palm to the side of my face. I placed my hand over hers. Her thumb ran across my cheekbone. I moved her hand to my mouth and was about to taste her skin with my tongue when I smelt the sickeningly sweet scent of vampire. Shooting up, I moved in front of Rachel's bed and let out a little defensive growl. Carlisle Cullen came around the corner with a clipboard in his hand.

"Not you," I said menacingly, beginning to tremble. "Any doctor but you."

"Calm yourself Paul," Dr. Cullen instructed in a voice only I could hear. "If you phase, you'll hurt her. I'm the only doctor available right now."

"Dr. Cullen, right?" Rachel asked. "You helped my brother when he was hurt in that motorcycle accident a couple of months ago."

After Jacob had been injured in the Newborn War, he'd told everyone that he had crashed his motorcycle.

"That's right," Dr. Cullen answered. "Now, let's take a look at that ankle."

The doctor placed his hands on Rachel's leg making her gasp and me shake even harder.

"Sorry, I know my hands are cold," Dr. Cullen smiled kindly.

He asked Rachel how she injured herself as he examined her and concluded that she had sprained her ankle. He wrapped it in a bandage and told her to keep it elevated and rested.

"That's it?" I questioned. "Shouldn't she have a cast or something?"

"No, she'll be fine," Dr. Cullen said. "Make sure she stays off her feet. And tell Jacob hello for me."

With that, he turned and left. Rachel was discharged and we headed back to La Push. When we got to Billy's, I carried her inside not stopping until I reached her bedroom. Billy followed us and Rachel filled him in on what happened as we went. Placing her on the covers, I grabbed a pillow out of Jake's room and put it under her foot.

"Honey, do you need anything?" Billy asked.

"I've got it," I insisted.

"I bet you do," Billy chuckled before leaving us alone.

"Is there anything you need?" I repeated Billy's question.

"Will you…will you stay with me awhile?" Rachel asked.

"Sure," I replied. She patted the spot next to her on the bed.

I carefully angled myself so that I was lying on my side next to her. Being careful not to jostle her ankle, I wrapped my arm around her stomach.

"Paul," Rachel said hesitantly. "W-would you like to go out sometime? You know when my ankle heals and everything."

She looked at me with soft, vulnerable eyes and I felt my heart melt along with the anger and misery I had held onto for the past few years since my sister died. My imprint wanted me to be in her life and the only emotion I felt was grateful happiness. I was given a second chance with her and this time I wouldn't blow it.

Smiling, I replied, "Yes Rachel…I'd like that very much."

THE END

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Please review and let me know what you thought!