Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of it's characters.
Summary: A hot-headed wolf and a broken girl. The confrontation between Bella and the wolves takes a different turn. Can a vampire-hating werewolf love a vampire-loving human? Even if she's his imprint?
"What did you do?" Bella Swan came charging toward us, a little kitten with her claws out. I refused to look at her as it would surely set me off; seeing her anger directed at us when it should be toward her bloodsuckers.
"He didn't want this!" I heard her little hands slapping against Sam's chest.
"Bella, you don't understand…" Sam, always the voice of reason.
"What did he tell you?" I growled without raising my eyes to her.
"Nothing! He tells me nothing because he is afraid of you! All of you!" She was growing hysterical and we couldn't help but laugh at her thoughts of Jake being afraid.
"Listen, leech lover, you have no fucking idea!" My rant was cut off by a slap to my right cheek. My body convulsed with anger as I felt myself begin to phase. Sam's orders for me to calm down did nothing to help as the change was already in progress.
"Bella, get back!" Sam yelled, realizing that it was too late.
My body exploded and I finally raised my head to look at the girl who was stupid enough to incur my wrath. In that moment, I felt my world shift. All my thoughts shifted to the brown-eyed beauty currently shaking in front of me. The urge to go to her was great and my body involuntarily took a step forward. As if her self-preservation kicked in, she began to run in the direction of Jake's house. At that moment it hit me.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me! I imprinted on Bella Leech-loving Swan!"
I fought between wanting to run to her and vomiting. Our imprints were supposed to be our perfect match in every way. I didn't want an imprint to begin with, because let's face it, I'm not a one woman man, but to be stuck with Bella Sawn? It was unheard of for one to deny their imprint, but I was damn sure going to try.
My internal rambling was interrupted by Jake bolting from his house, heading straight for me in an attempt to protect Bella. I knew he was going to phase, and my instincts toward my imprint took over. If he phased too close he could hurt her. I ran in their direction, leaping over Bella to put myself between them. Jake phased and lunged at me before I had time to blink.
"Calm down, Jake! I'm not gonna' fucking hurt her!"
"Not what it looked like to me, Paul!" Jake snapped at me and I dodged just in time. I heard Bella screaming for us to stop, and finally Sam ordering Jared and Embry to take her to his and Emily's place. I felt safer with her being there, but not thrilled with the thought of her being in such a confined space with them. Lord knows the girl had the ability to piss anyone off. Jake must have hear something in my thoughts he didn't like because I felt him bite down on my shoulder. I yelped in pain before retaliating.
"Why are you so worried about Bella, Paul? She's not your damn concern!" Jake's thoughts were frantic, refusing to believe what he knew to be true. The poor kid never stood a chance with that girl. First the leech now an imprint…
"IMPRINT?" Jake lunged at me again. Finally, tired of this game, I fought back. I'm not sure how long we went on that way, but finally Sam must have had enough and phased to give us an Alpha command to knock it off.
"But, Sam, he thinks he imprinted on Bella! My Bella!" Jake was thinking of how he could fight it. Bella hated all of us, so if he could just keep her away the imprint could be fought.
"Believe me, kid, I wish it worked that way. I don't even like the leech-lover, now I am bound to love her? I wish you had imprinted on her and not me, trust me!" Jake's fur bristled at my rambling.
"Nothing can be done about it now, Jacob. Bella belongs to Paul and him to her. They can fight it all they want, but they will end up as one eventually." Sam's words made us both cringe internally, but he was right. Even in that moment, I was fighting every urge to run to her. I wanted to see for myself that she was okay. Jake growled before phasing back to his human form, I guess he was tired of being in my mind. Well, he could join the club. I didn't want to be there either.
"Come on, Paul. Time to face the music." I could see Sam's own memory of imprinting on Emily. He, too, fought it and look at them now. I knew deep down it was useless, but I had to try. For Jake… for the entire pack. The last thing we needed was trouble amongst the ranks. Hell, we had Leah for that.
Sam and I both phased and went to his house. Not a word was spoken between us and when we got there I fought my anger upon seeing Bella's arms wrapped tightly around Jake. The whole imprinting thing sucked! How can you love someone that you don't even like? Jake grinned at me behind Bella's back, knowing what I was thinking and I just pushed past him.
"Asshole," Bella mumbled under her breath. She didn't know the half of it.
"So, this is Jake's Bella?" Emily asked as they walked in, hand-in-hand.
"Sure is!" Jake responded, cheerfully and I growled at him. Sam leaned over to whisper in Emily's ear and I thought her eyes were going to bulge out of her head when she looked at me and then Bella. I shook my head, letting her know she could freak out on me later.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in pure torture, watching Jake paw at Bella who seemed to be shooting him curious glances. She couldn't understand the show he was putting on.
"Well, since everyone is in on the secret, we may as well talk about the red-headed leech. Jared and I chased her all the way to Canada last night. That bitch is fast." I used the subject as a way to distract myself from punching Jake.
"Victoria?" Bella almost choked on her drink when she yelled the name.
"Of course you would know her!" I rolled my eyes.
"Paul!" Sam scolded. "Bella, do you know what she wants?"
She nodded her head and took a deep breath before speaking. "She wants me."
"WHAT!" Jake and I yelled at the same time.
"Um, Jake, do you remember when I went to Phoenix and had that accident?" He nodded. "Well, there was no accident." She pulled up her sleeve and drew our attention to a bite mark on her hand.
"They broke the treaty! But how are you not a leech?" My mind was in overdrive. My whole body began to shake and Sam warned me to get myself under control or leave. I looked into Bella's eyes and began breathing deeply. It helped, but what helped even more was when she reached out to pat my hand. It was only a second, but it calmed me.
"It wasn't the Cullens. Victoria's mate was a tracker and the Cullens were trying to save me. Long story short, he got me alone and started to torture me when Edward showed up. I guess James, that was her mate, panicked and tried to drain me, but Edward pulled him away. The rest of the Cullens got there and destroyed him. Now Victoria wants revenge. A mate for a mate, even though Ed… Edward left."
"But how did you not turn? And what about the leech with the dreds that we took out?" I asked, still breathing heavily.
"Um, Edward sucked out the venom to stop the change, and as for Laurent - Victoria sent him to see how easy it would be to get to me." Bella shrugged like it was no big deal. Now that I could look back on the day, she almost looked like she wanted that leech to kill her. Was she suicidal? What would I do if she died? It was a known fact that if an imprint dies, their wolf will follow. I knew then that I would have to watch out for her, even if it was just for my own sake. Yeah, I was a selfish bastard.
"Well, at least we know what she wants. Maybe we could use Bella as bait or something," Embry suggested while stuffing an entire muffin in his mouth.
"You're out of your fucking mind if you think I'm letting that bloodsucker anywhere near Bella!" My outburst shocked everyone but Jake and Sam, but I don't think anyone was more shocked than Bella.
"Um, thanks, Paul?" She gave me a shy smile, but she really just looked confused.
Sam coughed to cover up a chuckle and Emily playfully smacked his arm. Emily kept looking at me with this goofy grin on her face and it was really freaking me out.
"I think I'm going to go patrol!" I jumped up so fast that I knocked over my chair and bolted out the door.
Jake and I were walking along the beach, and I was attempting to process everything I had seen and heard that day. I knew Victoria wanted me, but had no idea that she was so close. Then there was Paul. I was beginning to wonder if he had forgotten to take some sort of medication.
"So, what was up with Paul today? I mean, I know you said he's an asshole, but today was just weird." Jake looked like he wanted to do anything but answer me.
"He, uh, imprinted." Jake was fidgeting. Jake never fidgeted.
"It's when you find your soul mate. It's like love at first sight, only more powerful. When a wolf finds their mate, their whole world revolves around that person. They become our whole life." Jake was looking anywhere but at me.
"So, that's a good thing, right? I mean, how many people know for sure that they've met the person they're meant to spend the rest of their life with. It must be nice to have a guarantee like that. To know that the one you love would never leave you." All I could do was wish that there was someone like that out there for me. Why can't vampires imprint, then Edward couldn't have left me.
Jake was staring at a spot in the woods and he let out a low growl. "Jake? What is it?" I began to panic. Visions of Victoria jumping out and Jake having to fight her ran through my mind.
"Nothing. Sorry, Bells I just spaced out." But I knew something was out there because he was still staring at the same spot.
"You'd tell me if something was up, right?" Edward had always left me out of the loop and I didn't want things to be that way with Jake.
"Sure, sure. Hey, Bells, I'm gonna' walk you back to your truck. I need to patrol soon."
Something was off, but I agreed, reminding myself that Jake wasn't Edward. I went home, cooked for Charlie, took a shower; basically just went about my daily routine. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched, but decided that I was just paranoid because of Victoria. Before I realized what I was doing I closed my bedroom window and locked it. Then, of course, I noticed and broke down in sobs. I knew then that Edward was never coming back and I would have to let go eventually. Then I remembered what Jake said about imprinting and cried even harder. Jake would imprint one day and I would be really alone.
I cried for hours until I finally passed out from sheer exhaustion.
I watched them walk on the beach when the little prick told her about imprinting. The longing in her voice would have broken my heart if I felt shit like that. Then I was just pissed because I knew that longing was for the bloodsucker. Still, though, it was nice to know that she wasn't opposed to the whole imprint thing. Then if I did ever decide to tell her she wouldn't be freaked out. Maybe she'd be so thrilled she'd let me see her in her unmentionables. Hey, if I'm going to be forced to love someone, I should at least get some ass out of it. And my imprint does have one fine ass!
"Seriously, Paul? Only you would use an imprint to get laid." I could practically see Jared rolling his eyes. I had forgotten that my thoughts weren't my own.
"There has to be an upside to this shit! You have Kim! At least you imprinted on a normal girl. I'm getting sloppy seconds from a vampire."
"Man, I know that sucks, but I gotta' tell ya', you'd be better off just to give in and go after her. The lovin' is so much better with an imprint, but I think you're forgetting that Bella's a virgin. Do you not pay attention to Jake's thoughts at all? He overheard Charlie telling Billy he was relieved the Cullens left before the leech could deflower Bella."
Shit. I had forgotten about that. But in my defense, that was before I imprinted. Still, it was a powerful feeling that overcame me when I realized that I could be her first.
"Not if I have anything to say about it!"
"Well, hey there, Jake. Nice of you to join us. Have fun pawing at my imprint? You better enjoy it now, pup."
"I thought you were going to fight the imprint." Jake was panicked. He had truly believed that he had a chance.
"Changed my mind."
"Well, I guess that means I have my work cut out for me. You may not be able to deny your imprint, but she can sure as hell deny you." He was really beginning to piss me off. You never came between another wolf and their imprint, even if the wolf was me.
"You'll only hurt her." Jake grumbled.
"Her pain is mine now, you know that, Jake." I was tired of the conversation so I ran all the way to Bella's then phased back to my human form.
For weeks, I watched over Bella; day and night, only pausing to sleep a few hours while she was in school. The red-head had been back a few times, and we noticed the scent of other leeches surrounding her. She had friends and there was no way I was allowing her near Bella. My exhaustion was beginning to show and I constantly fought the urge to physically drag Bella to the rez so I could keep her with me all the time. One thing I was thankful to Jake for was his ability to be around her without making her suspicious. She already noticed the way I had been looking at her. Thankfully she was too sweet to really say anything.
I still disliked the company she used to keep, but the more I watched her, the more I saw who she really was. She didn't care what the Cullens were. And she didn't care that we turned into giant wolves. Bella never saw color or species, only one's true nature. She looked at the heart. I was past the point of fighting the imprint. I loved her, and I was tired of fighting it. I only had to hope that I could convince her to love me. That and I had to get her over the Cullen leech and compete with Jake who she loved on some level, even if it wasn't romantic.
I spent every waking moment protecting her and trying to find a way to talk to her. I was too embarrassed to discuss it with any of the pack members. Paul Cloud never had trouble with women and an imprint should be a gimme.
Finally, one afternoon my decision was made for me. I woke up from my short nap and phased for an update to hear a frantic Jacob. He had kissed my Bella. I laughed when his memory showed her punching him afterwards. But then he heard Sam howl and had to phase. I was positive I was in trouble for missing the call, but that wasn't what worried me. They had been chasing the red-haired leech when Jake made a pass by his house. Bella's truck was there, but she was nowhere to be found and they had lost the leech.
I broke out into a run and followed Bella's scent. Embry's thoughts indicated that he could see her. She was on the cliff where we all frequently dived. I could almost feel her resolve as she took the first step toward the edge. My wolf body was being pushed to the limits and I reached the water just as she jumped.
The waves were rough and I saw Bella get dragged under and thrown against the rocks. Her body began to sink when I finally reached her. I phased to my human form so that I could grab her without worrying of catching her with my sharp teeth. I swam as hard as I could and when we hit the shore I saw that she wasn't breathing. Thankful for my lifeguard training, I performed CPR until she spit out water and took gulping breaths.
"Bella, baby, you scared the shit out of me! What the hell were you thinking?" I was still frantic and my hands were roaming over her face, head, and body looking for further injuries.
"Paul?" She croaked as her teeth chattered.
"There you are! Hey, baby." I felt like I could breathe again once I saw her beautiful brown eyes.
"Um, Paul, you're, um… naked." Bella whispered the last word and I was so relieved that I simply laughed and pulled her into my arms. It's not like I was embarrassed. I was packing some serious heat and very proud of it, but since I knew she was uncomfortable I untied the shorts from my leg and slipped them on, immediately lifting my girl back into my arms.
"Let's get you home, baby. You're fucking freezing."
I carried her all the way to my house before placing her in my truck. Not a word was said all the way to her house, but I kept her tucked tight into my side. Once I had her home, I called Jake to let him know she was all right while waiting for her to shower and change. Bella must have expected me to be gone by the time she was done because she jumped a little when she came down the stairs to see me sitting on her couch.
"Hey, baby, you feeling okay?" Bella was looking at me like I had lost my mind when I realized that I had been calling her baby. Oops.
"Uh, yeah. I'm okay." She took a hesitant step toward me, obviously thinking I was crazy. I never spoke to the girl then all of a sudden I was loving and using terms of endearment. Her voice was hoarse and I could see her teeth still chattering.
"You're still freezing." I was up and had her once again wrapped in my arms.
"Um, Paul? Are you all right? I think maybe you hit your head or something." I had to laugh when she looked at me like I had lost my mind.
"I'm perfect," I said as I buried my face in her hair.
"Holy shit!" Bella's whole body froze.
"What?" I lifted my head, looking around for the threat.
"Jake said that you imprinted! You… imprinted on me?" She shrieked before she passed out.
Shit. Now I was in trouble.
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