The Imprinted Chronicles: Book Two
"Jacob Black, my niece is not wearing that!"
The tiny woman was having a fit, one that involved a lot of fluttering around and evil glaring. Lucky for Jake, he was quite used to that kind of treatment from the women he was fond of. The Alpha shot an amused look at the vampire behind him, the large bathroom mirror showing a flash of white teeth. "Ness looks cute, Alice," he disagreed as he lifted his tools of artistic brilliance back up. "And since Bella already okayed it, you're sh—erm…you're out of luck."
"I'm aware of common colloquialisms, Jacob," Renesmee informed him softly. The little girl was seated on the bathroom counter, trying to hold very still as Jacob fixed her face paint just right. Being a male and a wolf, he wasn't very good at it, but he was having fun. More to the point, he was having fun with her, and Renesmee very much didn't want to ruin that. "It doesn't offend me if you wish to use them," she added.
"Yes, dog," Rosalie said sarcastically as she passed by in the hallway, sniffing indelicately. "Please, curse around the child. It'll be a good educational experience for her, kind of like spending the evening with you mutts."
For a moment, Renesmee worried that Jacob would get angry at that, but he just flashed a second grin, this one aimed at her. "Yeah, yeah. See, Nessie?" Jake chuckled as he wiped at her cheek with a makeup remover pad and started over again. "See what you have to put up with? This is why I'm stealing you away tonight, because all little girls should get to go out on Halloween, and this lot doesn't seem to get that."
"It's necessary for vampires to stay out of the notice of the common populace," Renesmee explained quietly, her lilting voice a little muffled by his huge hand near her mouth. "I understand," she added with a small smile.
"Yeah, honey, it's necessary for them, but you're not a le—you're not a vampire, Ness. You're a little girl," he reminded her, standing back and looking pleased at his work. "And little girls say 'people' not 'populace'."
"I said it incorrectly?" she asked, worried again, and Jake sighed, giving Alice an annoyed look.
"Do you think maybe you guys could remember that kids need more than text books and leech lessons?" he growled at the pixie sized vampire, before snagging Renesmee off the counter. She was too old to be carried around like this on Jacob's hip, but he seemed to regularly forget that she wasn't the three year old child her biological age said she was. "Seriously, Alice, Ness worries more than anyone I've ever met. Tell Bells that I'm stealing her daughter and teaching her to have some fun."
"Jacob, please," Alice begged, her eyes wide and almost watery. "Please don't take her out in that. Bella has no taste, and it's just…it's just wrong for you to take her out in that! I have a stunning fifteenth century gown that fits her perfectly, and I know I can get that awful stuff that you spackled on her face off. Bella-"
Jake snickered and patted Alice on the head, an action very much not appreciated by the vampire. "She looks cute, and this is what Ness and I picked out at the store last week. Live with it."
Renesmee was torn, she didn't want her Aunt Alice to be unhappy with how she looked, but Jake had worked so hard on making her outfit just right. Seeing the confusion on her face, Jake hugged her closer to his side and shot her a smile. "Ignore her, Nessie. She's a snob sometimes, but she's not so bad. Later, Alice!"
"Jacob Black, you bought that at Wal-Mart!" Renesmee could hear Alice wailing as Jake jogged out of the house, making sure to stretch his legs a little in the getaway attempt. It was easier to escape than normal because Bella and Edward had already retreated to their cottage after lecturing Jake the way they always did when he took her onto the reservation. Alice would lament Renesmee's outfit to Jasper all night, and Rosalie never missed a chance to insult Jake, but if Bella and Edward had said yes to her going to the party, then Jake was taking her. Renesmee knew this, and she appreciated it much more than Jake realized. Her hand was against his arm, and Jake chuckled.
"Naw, I know you appreciate it, Ness," he told her cheerfully, hoisted her up to his shoulders. "I should get you out of that place more often, I've just been kinda busy lately. But it's Halloween, and that's no time to be sitting around alone with vampires."
Jake seemed to think his joke was funny, so Renesmee smiled, although for someone who had spent her entire life sitting around alone with vampires, the humor was a little lost on her. Her hand was still touching him, and Jake let out a guffaw at that.
"Aww, come on. It's funny and you know it," he decided, and when he tickled her knee, the one covered in black tights, she did giggle. This went on for a while, Jake tickling her mercilessly as Renesmee laughed and twisted and tried not to ruin her wings at the same time. Finally she played dirty and squashed her little hand against his neck, replaying for him the last time that Aunt Rosalie and Uncle Emmett had thought that she was sleeping in the next room and had forgotten to listen to her breathing for when she woke up. A minute of that had the Alpha gagging and shuddering and he called uncle.
Renesmee smiled. It was good to win.
"Yeah yeah, kid," he rolled his eyes as they trotted over the treaty line onto the wolves' territory and headed towards Embry's house. "You always win, I'm just a big sucker. Now remember, there are some normal people here tonight, so you gotta talk, okay? Kim's sister Nikki doesn't know about the wolves, and if Shane shows up, he doesn't either. I think some of Embry's students will be here, and Samantha's friend Chancy will too later on. She's funny, you should talk to her if you get the chance, before Seth gets too possessive of her time and attention. "
"Will there be a lot of people at the party, Jake?" Renesmee accidentally slipped into his nickname, which she tried not to do. He was her elder and that was bad manners.
"Naw, it's just me, kid, and you definitely don't have to watch you manners around me," Jake reassured her kindly. Then he frowned. "Honey, do you want to swing by the store and get some gloves? You're broadcasting more than you realize, I think." Renesmee flushed in humiliation, and then Jake lifted her off his shoulders and set her on her feet, hunkering down on his heels so that he could look her in the eyes. "Ness? Are you okay? You smell nervous, Nessie."
"This is my first real party, Jacob," she said softly, and the Alpha nodded. He patiently waited for her to continue, and Renesmee looked down at the ground. "And I was thinking that perhaps I shouldn't have dressed up like I did. I researched Halloween costumes, and it's supposed to be something frightening, a monster or something similar. I think I should have gone as myself, but that wouldn't be appropriate, because vampires aren't supposed to be drawing attention to themselves. It feels wrong to go like this. Alice always says that you need to show up at a party in exactly the most appropriate fashion, and these aren't it." She pointed to one of her antenna, which kept bobbing around when her head moved.
Jake was quiet for a moment and then he tugged on her wing. "Hey Ness?"
"You know I love you, right?" he told her with a little smile. She blinked because it wasn't something he had said often. "Ever since you showed up, kid, you've been my number one squirt. I hadn't planned on it, but you mattered from day zero. So if you don't want to go, we can go hunting, or maybe get milkshakes in Forks at the diner instead. But I'm not taking you to a Halloween party without a costume, because you're not a monster, Nessie. I know the word doesn't mean the same to you as it does to a lot of folks, but I'm not gonna listen to you think that way. Real monsters are different, honey, and that's not you."
Renesmee nodded, and even though his words weren't logical, they were appreciated.
"Come on," he said, taking her hand and giving her a cocky grin. "Stick with me, and you'll be the belle of the ball, the way Alice wanted. I'm the Alpha, after all, so being my date means that you're one lucky girl."
"That wasn't very modest, Jacob," Renesmee giggled, and he winked at her.
"Ah but so very very true. Plus you get to meet my imprint, Ness, and she'll like you," he promised her. Then Jake's face twisted up funnily and he laughed. "Samantha loves kids, it's us adults she's not as fond of. She tried to fight Quil for Claire trick or treating rights and it nearly came to blows."
"Your imprint doesn't like you, Jacob?" Renesmee asked in confusion, and Jake chuckled.
"When I figure it out, I'll let you know," he smirked. The sound of Halloween themed music became audible to her sensitive ears, and when Renesmee realized the song playing was the Monster Mash, she smiled wider. She had been taught to appreciate the greatest composers of each musical era, but last Halloween she had spent the night listening to this song secretly on her i-Pod. She made sure to keep her thoughts from slipping through her hand and into Jake's head when she remembered that she had even made up her own little dance to go along with it that she'd never showed anyone.
Renesmee never saw the smile that crossed his handsome face before quickly being tucked away so she wouldn't notice.
There were a lot of people gathered outside of the house, although Renesmee could hear more inside. There were a slew of carved pumpkins in the yard, the whole Pack must have brought them over, and someone had found it amusing to put a scary looking stuffed squirrel with a butter knife on top of a fake gravestone in the front yard. The smoke from the smoke machine was filling the yard, and Renesmee liked watching the strobe lights make the smoke turn different colors. The music wasn't horribly loud, after all nearly all the Pack was there, and their ears were just as good as hers were. A man dressed as a zombie, his white shirt stained with fake blood, was running around with a mummy girl on his back, her long legs wrapped around his waist as he spun her in circles, her toilet paper costume losing pieces as she did.
"Embry, I'm losing my wrappings," the girl was laughing, and Embry was grinning as she had to cling tighter to his neck for balance.
"That's kind of the point, sweetheart," he told her, and then he spun her faster until he realized Jake was there. The mummy yelped when he hit the brakes, and she would have tumbled over his shoulder, but he caught her and hauled her upright. Giving them both a huge smile, Embry threw his arm over the dizzy girl's shoulders and hugged her to his side tightly. "Hey Jake, Nessie! I like your outfit, Ness. Jake…wow, man, way to lower the standards."
"Hey, I accessorized," Jake said snootily, pointing at the object in his back pocket. Then he grinned and tossed something from his other pocket at the mummy. "Hey, apple girl, happy birthday."
"Umm…thanks?" she said uncertainly, holding up a small can of pepper spray. "I think?" She glared as Embry burst out laughing. "What?"
"It'll hurt him less than the tire iron, honey," Embry murmured in her ear, and the mummy flushed at little, but then grinned and stuck the pepper spray in her wrappings.
"We'll see," she chuckled, before wrapping her arm around Embry's waist. If it bothered Jake, it didn't show at all. In fact he seemed more than pleased as he talked to the pair.
Jake had told Renesmee earlier that this was a joint Halloween party and a birthday party for Samantha, and that considering Samantha was eighteen and as of today had moved in with Embry, the older wolf would be "retardedly happy" as Jake put it. The phrase had been awkward, but Renesmee understood. Embry and Samantha, for that's who the girl must be, both looked very happy. Samantha was smiling at her in a friendly manner, so was Embry, but the rest of the Pack was rolling out of the house to greet the Alpha and the best she could give was a shy smile before trying to inconspicuously nudge her way behind Jake's huge form. There were at least fifteen people still inside, and it occurred to Renesmee that she had never been around this many humans or wolves before without her family there. It was a little unnerving.
"Aww, Ness, don't be shy!" Collin declared as he came out of the house, dragging a tiny blonde girl barely covered with strategically placed flowers with him, Brady and a drunken Kim at his heels. Brady looked more serious than she remembered, but he seemed pretty amused at the drunken Grapeade Snapple bottle he was hauling around on his back. Collin wasn't wearing anything that looked like a costume, but there was something about the clothes he was wearing, and the grumpy expression on his face. Renesmee laughed, she couldn't help herself.
"Jacob, did Collin come as Paul for Halloween?" she whispered, and those with enhanced hearing snickered.
"Yep!" Seth told her, walking up and snatching Renesmee out from behind Jake. The Beta had dressed like Spiderman, and she thought it was funny to see a grown man in a full spandex one piece. Seth hefted her up in his arms and squished her so hard her wing flapped. "Scariest person Collin knows. Paul and Jared are…working tonight, Leah too, so Collin and Brady came as Paul and Jared. You should hear Collin grunt, it's perfect."
"I've been practicing," Collin admitted, looking at his nails casually and the little blonde next to him grinned and swatted him, snickering for him to be nice to her wolf. Collin whispered back that he was always nice to Paul, not that Paul returned the favor, and the two launched into a debate with logic so misguided that Renesmee did her best not to listen anymore. Kim swayed unsteadily on Brady's back, adjusted her bottle cap hat, and told Brady/Jared that she had worn her 'special' underwear that night. It was purple too. Renesmee blushed at that, but Brady only laughed and reminded Kim that he was Brady, not Jared, so she needed to keep her wrapper on. Seth was telling Renesmee that he liked her antenna, and that they had waited until she got there to bob for apples, but Renesmee grew distracted by the shocked expression on Jake's face. Seth noticed and then he chuckled.
"Yeah," Seth nodded, "He's here, but he's still hiding in the house. In the far left kitchen corner to be exact."
"How did you even get him here?" Jake asked, lowering his voice so that only the three could hear.
"I lied," Seth smirked proudly. "I told him that it was an important Pack ceremony and that his ass better be here. He knew I was lying too, but it gave him the excuse. He wants to be here, man, but he's got his own set of rules, you know? If I give him enough reason, he'll break them. Yesterday he caught Leah a rabbit over the line without thinking about it, and two weeks ago he followed that leech the doc wants into the rez and off it again without falling apart, so that shit's all in his head. I think he's feeling guilty though, so go do your Alpha thing. It should help."
Jake nodded and then clasped Seth's shoulder. "This was good, Seth," he murmured, "Thank you." She felt a momentary panic as Jake walked away, but she was with Seth, and that was okay. Seth and her father were friends, and next to Jake, Seth was the wolf she felt the most comfortable with. As if he could tell she was nervous, Seth tugged Renesmee's antenna so that it was lopsided and squished her again.
"Seriously, Ness, you look adorable," he told her, and Renesmee smiled at the Beta, who was wiggling his fingers in front of her to show the bits of webbing stuck to the tips. He seemed very proud of his costume.
"Thank you, Seth," she replied. "I like your spandex. And Happy Halloween," she remembered to add politely, and Seth grinned.
"I like my spandex too. Can you believe Leah and bunny lop made fun of me for it? At least you have taste, Ness. You know, kid, I think us wolves are going to have to break you of all that politeness stuff," he decided. "Hey Embry, if I get one foot and you get the other, do you think we can shake it out of her?"
Embry's grin widened and he took a step forward. "I don't know, but it's worth a shot," Embry decided, and Renesmee looked at them in horror. Jake had spent so long getting her costume right. If they shook her…
"Oh be nice, you two," Samantha growled, walking up and flicking Seth in the eyeball. "Leave her alone." He blinked and then flicked Samantha back, but she ignored him and brandished her pepper spray pointedly. Chuckling Seth set Renesmee down, and it surprised her when Samantha smiled and offered her a hand. The other imprints had been nervous around her when she had met them, and she was pretty sure that Samantha knew she was a half vampire. Extremely shyly, Renesmee placed her hand in Samantha's. The older girl gave her fingers a squeeze.
"Come on, we've got lots of stuff inside," Jake's imprint said kindly. Then she shot a look at the boys as the two headed for the front door of Samantha's new home. "If none of that tastes good, I'll let you eat Seth, he's only here for comedic relief anyways."
"Ouch," Seth and Embry murmured in tandem, but all three of the adults smirked as if Seth had that coming. Samantha jerked, and Renesmee realized in horror that her thought had slipped through their skin contact. She wasn't used to having to control her gift and when she was nervous, it made it worse. Jake was already coming back for her through the house, but in the few moments he was gone, she'd already messed up. This had been a bad idea, she thought sadly as she withdrew her hand, but warm fingers closed around her own.
"It's not a bad idea," Samantha said calmly, if a bit stiffly, "And Seth always has it coming."
"You don't have to hold my hand if it makes you uncomfortable," Renesmee told Samantha quietly. "It's okay, I understand."
Samantha growled a little at that, and squeezed her hand again. "Naw, I'm cool, you just surprised me." Broad shoulders filled the doorway, Jake's only costume decoration, a large bug catching net sticking out of his back pocket and knocking into the doorjamb. "However, someone should have probably warned me, so I didn't hurt a child's feelings, Jacob Black," Samantha added tightly.
Jake seemed instantly abashed, and he gave both of them an apologetic look that involved devastatingly effective puppy dog eyes. Renesmee caved instantly and smiled reassuringly at him, but Samantha just rolled her eyes and muttered "Nice try." Hmmm…Renesmee was starting to see what Jake had been talking about. She unfortunately thought that too, and as Samantha glared suspiciously at Jake, he stepped out of the door and aside to let them pass. When Samantha's face was turned, Jake started making cutting gestures across his throat at Renesmee that had her giggling again, and she was still giggling as she looked at the man that had started to follow Jake out through the doorway.
He was a stranger, but he smelled of wolf and slightly of Jake, meaning he was of Jake's Pack even though she had never met him before today. Native American, but shorter than the others, slimmer too. Plain features on his sun browned skin, his only distinguishing feature a deep scar over his nose and onto his cheek. He offered her a quiet smile, despite his downturned face, but then the stranger sniffed and raised his eyes and met hers.
The wolf went completely still.
Renesmee would never be able to adequately explain what she experienced that day, although oddly enough Samantha would understand it the best, since the older girl was still holding Renesmee's hand and at that moment the half vampire child hadn't been anywhere close to being able to control her thoughts. All she knew was that something very important had just happened to her, that this wolf in front of her was essential in some foreign undefined way, and that she probably should be holding his hand instead of Samantha's. Renesmee let go and took a step forward.
A look of sheer horror filled the wolf's eyes, and a tremor rolled down his limbs in a single violent wave. He whispered something in Quileute in a strangled voice, and then Jake was there, his arms around both Renesmee and Samantha as he shoved them away from the wolf. It was clear why, because Embry and Seth only managed to get the wolf three steps around the corner of the house before he phased and let out an earsplitting howl, one that caused several partygoers to let out shrieks of fear. It was a howl of such pain that the little girl had moved before she even realized it. Renesmee fought out of Jake's arms, her costume twisting sideways as she lurched after him. Someone tried to stop her, she was pretty sure it was Seth, but her venomless fangs were sharp and Seth let her go with a curse. Then she was running, running as fast as her little legs could carry her.
Renesmee was running after the wolf.
He had imprinted. He was too old to imprint. He was far too old and too damaged to stop phasing, and therefore should never have been able to imprint. But he had.
He had imprinted, but he had imprinted on a child, and that was difficult at best. Not unheard of, but he was old, far too old to have imprinted, especially on a child.
He had imprinted, but he had imprinted on a child that wasn't human. He had imprinted on a child whose blood burned through vampire veins. His imprint was a vampire.
He had killed his brother for a vampire, had lost his Pack for a vampire, had lost his self and his soul for a vampire, had lost any hope of redemption, of resting at piece because of a vampire. A vampire like his imprint.
He had allowed himself to foolishly believe that there was new hope, new redemption in this Pack, in this Alpha. He had allowed himself to believe that he could start over, could be what he should have been the first time around, but he had failed the Pack again, had brought his Alpha shame again. Because he had imprinted on a vampire.
He should have known better. He should never have crossed that line, never allowed the kindness of his Beta and the strength of his Alpha to reassure him that it was okay for him to go home again. It was the ancestors that he had angered, and in believing his redemption could be gained through any form other than appeasing them, he had only managed to anger them more. He was such a fool.
He was being chased, the child was running after him, and he only ran harder. His body flew over the ground, carrying him away in shame from the Pack that he never should have been allowed to have. Two voices in his head, one younger and louder, one softer and stronger and as old as he was, telling him to stop. But those voices were lost beneath the cries of those who never ever left him alone. Their voices chanting his betrayal in his head, louder and louder and louder and each step carried him away.
Jack had just made it to the border of their lands when his Alpha roared in his head for him to STOP running away. So that was what Jack did, skidding and tumbling across the ancestral border in an effort to obey the order. Safely on the other side, the side that he deserved to be on, Jack trembled and tried to understand the limitations of the order. The Alpha had said to stop running, but he could still hide. Yes, he could still do that. So Jack crawled under the foliage beside him, a huge leafy fern. He tried to make himself as small as possible as he backed further beneath it, his whole body trembling. He was sorry. He was sorry. He was so so very sorry, Alpha. He didn't mean to, he didn't mean to, he was sorry…
His Pack was coming for him, but he shut out their voices, unable to understand what they were saying. Too many voices all roaring at the same time, so many that he wasn't even sure which one was his anymore. So many that he never understood how he even heard the soft rustle of the grass in front of him. So many angry voices…so many that he could only shiver and whine, letting out soft crying noises as he mentally begged them to please please stop. He was sorry. He was so very sorry, please stop, please please stop...
There was another rustle, this time leaves, and he shrank back into his hiding hole, wiggling into the dirt to try and make himself even smaller. He could smell her, a scent that had burned into his brain the very first time it had hit his nostrils, and he rolled his head sideways on the ground. He was cornered…maybe he could fight his way free? The ancestors wanted that, they wanted that very much. She was a vampire. He was supposed to kill vampires. His inability to do so was why he was so blamed, and the wolf quivered as their shame rolled over him in waves. He was sorry. He was sorry.. .
His Alpha's voice thrusting into the forefront of his thoughts and roaring even louder than all the others. His Alpha telling Jack that he could not hurt Nessie. That if he did, Jake himself was killing Jack. He could not hurt her. The voices disagreed, and as the little girl crawled beneath the fern, reaching out her hand to him, Jack squeezed his eyes and prayed to whoever was left listening to please help him. He didn't know what to do. Please, he didn't know what to do…
The butterfly landed on his nose.
Jack shivered and opened his eyes. The little girl's outfit was torn, her antenna sideways and her wing damaged, but her eyes were sweet and kind if very uncertain. Her palm brushed against the soft fur of his muzzle as she whispered into his mind to not be frightened, that she wouldn't be frightened if he wasn't either. They could be not scared together. In that moment, for the length of time that the child was speaking in his mind, all of the others voices in his head stopped. Every single other voice stopped. It was then that the wolf knew what to do. Betrayal or not, one would ever hurt this one, not her, not ever.
This time Jack would do this right.
A/N lol. Surprise. :D Since I didn't get through enough material in Book Two, I've added in an extra story. I had always intended on having the Jack/Ness imprint, but for later on when she was older. However, I'm going to try my hand at a child imprint, just to see what I can make of it, and finish out the Pack interaction scenes I had wanted for Book Two. Book Two was a pretty harsh and dark story, but Book Three should be softer and kinder. Yes, I will include the Cullens (even the dreaded Bella) but as little as I can get away with. I still only like Carlisle out of all of them. Also expect a lot of Jack backstory, Pack interaction, Paul/Cassie, Embry/Sims, and Jake/Seth. Lol. Just joking on that last one. Give me two or three weeks to get the next one up, and if you want drabbles in the meantime, drop by my livejournal account. The link's on my homepage. Thanks for reading, you guys have been awesome. ~mel