A/N A version of this story was originally posted for the SOB Rain Challenge. At the time of the contest I promised a continuation and so here it goes. Thanks to my Beta's Ash and MsKohl for giving a chick a hand.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but Leah's shopping list.
Chapter 1 Playing It Cool
I ran from La Push after spending a relaxing night at home in my own bed. In about fifteen minutes I gave my mom the rundown on the unexpectedly non-violent end to the Volturi confrontation. This morning's agenda was getting to Vamp Central. I skidded to a stop at my tree, the one that held my Cullen visiting clothes. That's how I found myself stark naked when I first met him. I shimmered back into my human form and whipped around when I registered the heartbeat. His smell was very similar to Renesmee's savory yet sweet scent. Its sorta like sweet and sour chicken but not. It was so similar but lacking the new clothes smell that always clung to her.
His presence surprised me but I recognized him immediately from the confrontation yesterday. "My God, you're beautiful." He took the words right out of my mouth. My eyes met his and the universe stood still for one perfect moment. Reality ceased and started anew. Nahuel was my reality. He rushed to me without breaking eye contact.
Standing before me taking my face in his hands he asked, "Are you even real?" I nodded. He stroked my face so tenderly before kissing me softly on my lips. My imprint, my Nahuel, was there a more perfect being? I threw my arms around his neck and just held on. He needed no further invitation. He kissed me with reverence before passion took over. Sensations that had been dormant for the past year surged to the surface. I wanted him more than anything and by some miracle he wanted me too.
Our passion was wild, uncontrollable, not that we tried. I was naked already and his pants were the common enemy. We attacked them together. He did not stand naked long before he was sheathed inside me. My legs were wrapped around him and I didn't think the tree behind me would survive the onslaught. His thrusts were not gentle and I pushed back demanding more. My climax came quickly and I screamed his name,
He followed me quickly, "Beautiful!" We panted, still connected.
"It's Leah, by the way."
With my head resting on his shoulder, my face pressed into his neck, I breathed his scent in deeply trying desperately to stay wrapped in this moment. I couldn't force the thoughts from coming. Vampire, venomous vampire, my imprint. I had effectively committed suicide by sex. I couldn't deny him anything, not even my life. I wondered how it would feel to die. I had been prepared to die yesterday for a half vampire. I just didn't expect it to be like this.
I pushed back to study his face. I was sure the pain would be starting soon and I wanted to see him fully again. Hmm. Nothing, not even a tingle. My legs were wrapped around his body, my back still pressed against the tree and I didn't know what to do next. The seconds were ticking by, still nothing; death wasn't going to save me. Push myself free or initiate a dialogue? He's gonna think I'm a ho. I groaned and dropped my head to his shoulder again.
"What is wrong, Leah?" He seemed to notice our position for the first time. "Is it your back?" In one graceful moment he spun us around and sank to the ground with me nestled in his lap. "Did I hurt you?"
He stroked my nude back and I felt the stings from the small cuts and scrapes. Turns out rough naked sex against a tree trunk is not the best idea. "What have I done to you?" His worried voice kicked in the power of the imprint.
"It's okay, look." I twisted slightly. "See how fast they're healing?" I didn't want him to worry over this so I went on to assure him, "In ten minutes or so there won't be a trace."
"You're a most amazing creature."
I wasn't too keen on the creature comment, but he had seen me as a giant wolf so it was fair. "So are you." Vampire hybrid had to be a freak of nature to the second power.
We sat in silence, not the awkward kind; it was the peaceful yet fearful type. His arms were a haven from all the pain, frustration and bitterness of the past year. At some point we would have to move and my real life would come rushing back but if I stayed right here everything would be okay. I didn't know how much time passed while he caressed my back, stroked my hair, pulled me closer and held me tight, it was a pattern much like rinse and repeat but so much better.
"Someone is approaching." Aw, my imprint speaks. I was so lost in the honey tone of his voice that it was a while before the words sank in. "Do you want my pants or will you become a wolf again?"
We rose and I patted his cheek, "I keep clothes here." Scaling the tree was no problem. I shimmied into a simple black dress and pulled undies out of the weatherproof bag. Dresses were so much better, easy in, easy out. I'm no Hollywood starlet; I will wear panties no matter the inconvenience. I might shred a few pair in the course of a week, but that's why they come in packs of three, right? Bread, eggs, milk, and panties; typical shopping list of a wolfgirl.
Nahuel was dressed as well when I finished my wiggle dance into my underwear. He lifted my chin and sighed my name with reverence, "Leah". My heart felt so free and light. No, I thought, my heart would burst with joy, maybe that wasn't it either. If this were a musical this would be the moment I would spontaneously burst into song and twirl all around. Quil and Embry would be my backup dancers. Sam, Jared and Paul, not an ideal choice for back up dancers but they were closing in on us.
"What the hell is going on here?" Sam's voice boomed out.
Couldn't they see we were having a moment? I broke eye contact with Nahuel and turned my irritated glare on Sam and company. They didn't flinch, my irritated glare had been my normal expression every since Mr. Sensitive broke up with me because he was in love with my cousin and best friend. He could have lied to spare my feelings but no, he said, "I'm sorry Leah, it's just that I love her so much." She didn't give him the time of day until he damn near killed her then it was all hearts, stars and permanent scars.
"None of your business! What are you doing here anyway?" I tried so hard to bring the bitch out, but she had deserted me. Afterglow and bitch didn't mix.
"Smells like sex." Paul volunteered the unnecessary, just to be annoying. Didn't we all have super sensitive smell?
"We're here for a meeting with the Cullens, you should know this," Sam paused paying attention to the smell as well before exclaiming, "What have you done Leah?!"
"Again, none of your business!" I rounded on him fully; good healthy aggression was flowing through my veins now. The bitch was back.
"Be gone, you are upsetting Beautiful" my imprint spoke.
"It's Leah" I whispered. Maybe he wasn't very sharp which was okay, I would take care of him, speak slowly and use short words.
"We won't be going anywhere until we can be sure you will not hurt her." Sam's voice rang out in a clear commanding bass. I never wanted so badly to kick his ass. No one had ever hurt me as much as he had.
"I would never hurt her; now as I said, you are upsetting her, so leave." Nahuel's voice did not have the heavy handed authority of Sam's, it was matter of fact, a nonchalant dismissal. Sam's backup dancers Paul and Jared did not appreciate anyone issuing orders to their alpha. I could see them instinctively spreading apart to prepare to phase. I pulled Nahuel by the elbow backwards since he had shifted himself in front of me. The boys wanted to get rowdy and I couldn't take a chance with my imprint. He totally misunderstood the gesture. He turned to reassure me, "I won't let anything happen to you."
"Nate," Yeah, I just gave him a nickname. "These are my people, I'll handle this." I tried to step forward in a defensive position. He dragged me backwards.
"No Leah, you will not put yourself in danger."
"I can't risk you getting hurt," I tugged free. "Just let me handle this." A small scuffle broke out, me versus my imprint in our desire to be the one torn apart by wolves.
"I think they are playing 'No, I love you more' "Jared's voice was curious. "Leah could at least play it cool a little bit."
"Play it cool? Dude, smell the air. It's too late for her to play it cool," Paul answered with a smirk in his voice.
Jared's and Paul's commentary brought Sam back into play. "Leah! Stop!" Sam forced me to a standstill. He wasn't my alpha but I was affected by the Alpha treble, an alpha is an alpha. My feet stilled and my hands dropped to my sides. Nahuel looked perplexed at my reaction.
Sam looked at me with the same look of concern, pity and love, not enough love, but it was in every look for more than a year. "Leah, just explain the situation to us."
I looked at my brothers and clasped Nahuel's hand in mine, "He is my imprint." It was a statement with as much finality as death. My brothers, all of whom had imprints back on the reservation understood. We were all silent for a moment. Paul and Jared just nodded and Sam looked relieved.
"I'm your imprint? What does that mean?" My poor Nahuel, how did I explain that I was never going to let him go, ever, and not sound like a raving lunatic?
"Nahuel," I tried to find the right words and glanced at my brothers for support, each of them had to have this talk before, but they were looking at me expectantly like it was story time. There would be no help from that corner. "Guys, a little privacy please?!"
"No. What if he takes it badly? You would never defend yourself and we can't allow him to hurt you." Again Sam spoke with authority but there was something more. Sam was my boyfriend for ages years so I knew him pretty well. I especially knew his brand of nosy when I heard it. He came by it natural from his mother who had the only hair salon on the reservation. Most people didn't know it because Sam didn't redistribute gossip but boy did he love to collect it. Good thing he was chief and it was now his job to be in everybody's business. Nahuel didn't hear the curiosity.
"Hurt her? Why would I ever hurt her, why would you say such a thing?" Nahuel looked questioningly at Sam.
"He's dense for a vampire." Was Paul's snarky little comment. I shot him a death dagger look, but I had half wondered that myself. He continued on anyway. "You're a vampire, you drink blood. Leah has blood, and you drink blood. Come on, connect the dots."
"We have had a very short acquaintance but I do believe you are an ass, jack or hole, or maybe both, I haven't decided. I will get back to you on that." Nahuel nodded sagely as though 150 years of wisdom had gone into assessing Paul's character and then he explained. "Her blood does not appeal to me in that manner. Now, beautiful, what is this imprint?"
They weren't going to back off and Nate wanted an answer now and I swear the power of the imprint compelled me to tell him. I closed my eyes tightly because if I saw any horror I would not be able to continue. "Quileute werewolves like myself have a peculiar... I suppose you would call it magic," I used to think of it as a tragic, life destroying curse of nature but now, Disney-like magic was a much better description, "that allows us to identify our soul mate right away. You are my soul mate." There, I said it in very few words and now I just had to open my eyes and see how he took it. Yep, I just had to open my eyes, eventually.
He's not saying anything. That's a really bad sign. He could hug me or something. I had not known fear like this, not even yesterday facing the entire Volturi. There was an icy ball of terror clawing at my tummy. My imprint would reject me and I would be alone. Focus Leah, you are the fastest of both packs and you saw your imprint yesterday, slightly winded and slower than the others, he can't get away from you unless you stand here with your eyes closed like a punk bitch and he gets a head start. My eyes flew open at my Stalker's Guide to Love motivational speech.
Nahuel was still standing there. He looked shell shocked and I wasn't sure what to do so I hugged him per the Stalker's Guide suggestion, maintaining physical contact might be vital. His arms didn't go around me as I had hoped. I rubbed his back and spoke soothingly. "It's okay; I know it's a bit much to take in. Everything will be okay. We can take this slowly." Requisite snickers from the peanut gallery. "Why are you still here, haven't you had enough entertainment at my expense?"
Sam decided to let leader overrule the old biddy in him. "Come on guys, let's get up to the house for debriefing." Fuck, I needed to be there as Jake's beta. Imprint versus alpha conflicts already. I looked into his eyes trying to see if there were any clues in the deep brown depths. Worry was the only thing there.
"Nate, listen to me, we will work through this, come on to the Cullen house with me. We'll discuss this when you're ready. Okay?" I had to be understanding. We were not your run of the mill couple, if we could be called a couple yet. Immortality made any commitment between us forever in the literal sense. Forever. That scared me too and I had magical certainty on my side.