So I need to begin by saying that Stratan and I would really like to thank EdwardsBloodType for allowing us to adapt the concept of this fic from her oneshot "While You Were Gone". Stratan loved the oneshot and was patiently waiting for it to be continued into its original, planned fic when I spoke to him about possibly switching gears and writing something AU. It had been so long and still not made into a full story, and since we were looking into starting an AU project, he suggested it to me. It clicked for us, and it ended up being something we're both extremely excited about.
WYWG is more of a collaboration for Stratan and me than any other fic we've worked on together. He's not just my beta; he's been an active participant in every aspect of creating this.
As always, thanks to the Strat for... being involved; for keeping me on my toes with your lovely comments of "mush" and making me laugh when I'm about to scream with frustration or when I've given you something full of run-on sentences. Oh, and for keeping my ego in check. That's super helpful since my ego is just massive. And now I will shut up so I don't make those cute cheeks of yours flush with embarrassment... since I did promise and all. *huff*
Thanks to MessyBar who made me consider this. If it bombs, I'm blaming it all on you ;)
Bella's a wolf. She kind of likes Edward. Stuff happens. The end.
Kidding! Ok, here it is really:
Upon returning to Forks, Edward quickly learns that trying to remove supernatural forces from Bella's life by leaving was in vain. She's undergone a transformation that he couldn't have even imagined. Watch as they navigate the new dynamic of their relationship, fight old enemies, make new friends, and face down a threat they couldn't have even conceived of.
If anyone wants to check out EdwardsBloodType's original O/s, here's the link: http: /www(dot) fanfiction(dot) net/s/ 5222533/1/
You can find me on Twitter! (at)JennyB0719
Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, and we do not. No copyright infringement is intended with this fic.
I scowled down at the berries that I'd gathered, becoming increasingly aggravated the louder Jacob's thoughts became with the thrill of officially being chosen as my guard dog. The air was thick and damp; the ground was growing colder as the temperature dropped. Jacob's heavy paws broke the fallen limbs and displaced leaves on the forest floor as he scouted out the area once again. I was tired of hearing him trot around like he was some bad-ass, wolfy sentinel. He was going extremely overboard with his new "position", but I never said anything. I didn't have to. That was the only advantage of being in my current state. They heard everything.
When I wanted them to, that is.
The bad mood I'd been in for days now darkened further as I realized that I was actually put off by the berries I'd worked so hard to find. They held no enticement for me since they'd been my only food source from the moment I'd changed, and I was sick of the tart, tangy taste of them.
I wanted a burger. Maybe some fries. Something with sustenance, no matter how horrible it was for me.
Not only was the physical aspect of this new life difficult to adjust to, but I also suddenly had to contend with the thoughts of every pack member in my head. It was a lot of work to try to sort through and separate their deafening, inner turmoil and random, incessant chatter from my own thoughts. I'd often wondered how he'd coped with the constant roar in his head. Now I knew. It was white noise, loud and oppressive, pushing me to the edge of madness.
Fortunately, I could do something quite cool. A 'parlor trick', if you will. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly take it anymore, I discovered that I brought a 'talent' from my human life to this one. I could bring up a wall that blocked everyone's thoughts but my own, much like I could protect them from him.
Silence had never been so divine.
I also found that I could… stretch my shield to surround others. While within my shield, we could communicate with our minds but were protected from those on the outside. This allowed for actual private conversations, which was quite convenient when you could potentially have an audience of almost half a dozen wolves at any given moment.
I huffed in disgust. My eyes followed the white clouds billowing up into the sky with my breath, and an anguished whine escaped my throat is it slowly dissipated.
I missed being cold. Not so much the feel of your body trembling as you fought to stay warm, but the act that was a direct response to the changing temperature around you. The human response. I missed my hands and the sound of my feet pounding up the stairs as I headed up to my bedroom at home. I missed the warmth of the stove as I made Charlie's dinner and even the sound of my teachers droning on at the front of the classroom, explaining some useless theory or event in history that I'd never need to know again.
I missed my life.
But mostly, I missed him. It had been eight months since he'd left; eight months since I'd felt the impossible strength of his arms wrapping around me and the way his icy touch burned my skin. The pain of his departure still felt so raw and fresh, even after all this time. I was able to function now, but everything was an agonizing reminder of what I used to have; of a time when I thought he would always be here with me.
I could hear Paul mentally rolling his eyes at me. She's still hung up on that fucking bloodsucker? Christ. Doesn't she get it? We're werewolves – we kill vampires. She's better off without them.
I could do nothing to stop the simultaneous growl and few tears that fell upon hearing such hurtful words from by pack brother. Paul, you just don't get it. What if Rachel was a vampire? What would you do then? Would you stop loving her?
I could hear in his thoughts that he wanted to continue to argue this point, but he also couldn't help but grudgingly admit the truth of my words to himself.
Yeah, I didn't think so. Now fuck off and get out of my head. With that, I slammed the shield down, ensuring the privacy of my thoughts and protecting me from having to deal with the hateful and ignorant thoughts of the adolescent wolves that made up the pack.
I pushed past the tears that built with the ache in my chest as Jacob skidded to a halt next to me, panting heavily in my ear. With everything that had happened to me in the last few days, my sanity was quickly diminishing. I had no one to really talk to, other than the annoying wolf with me, since everyone was always out patrolling the area and making sure that I was "safe". Plus, when they weren't on patrol, they were sleeping so that they had the energy to patrol again.
Like I can't protect myself, I scoffed, glad that my thoughts were protected.
I knew how fast I could run, how it felt to take down the solid weight of vampire. I'd felt my razor sharp teeth slicing through Laurent's granite-like flesh with a sickening, metallic screech that made my stomach lurch. And while I'd never been given any kind of… tutorial… on how to fight, the knowledge was instinctual. I didn't need the overbearing worry and concern of this pup. I was more than capable of handling this myself.
Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable sound of Jake phasing back into human form. I made sure to look as far away as possible so as to not catch a glimpse of my half-brother that would require gallons of brain bleach.
"Bella, c'mon. I know what Paul said was really harsh, but you know how Sam gets about you throwing your shield up. Especially now, with everything going on. At least let me in, okay?"
I huffed out a breath, but conceded. I nodded to let him know that I was willing. Jake quickly phased back, and I stretched my shield around him.
Why can't you just leave me alone? I asked sharply.
This earned me a wolfy eye roll. You know why I can't leave you alone. That crazy vamp bitch is still out there and is after you. We will get her, but until then, we can't take any risks, and we can't leave you unprotected.
I snarled. But I'm fine here alone. I don't need your 'protection'. Don't forget – I have a kill under my belt, you don't.
Sadness flickered in his eyes. He didn't even respond to my goading. I instantly felt awful for being such a bitch to him. It wasn't his fault I was like this now. It was Renee and Billy's. We'd just been caught up in their lie, victims of their deceit. Things between the two of us could have been incredibly awkward, given the fact that Jacob's affections for me had started to transform into something more amorous. To learn that the girl that he'd been falling in love with was his sister… well, it had to be doing something real bad to his psyche. Despite all of the changes and revelations, our friendship was as strong as ever. We'd pushed all of the bullshit aside and had (willingly or not, in my case) come to lean on each other.
He didn't bother to respond; instead, he simply scanned the grounds warily and nudged his large head against my shoulder.
We shouldn't be here, Bella. Come on. Let's go.
I shook my head vehemently.
Bella, we shouldn't be on their land. Not only does it violate the treaty, but she could find you.
I didn't move. I couldn't. I needed to be here, to be close to them. More importantly, him. Plus, I would like to think they'd give me a pass with the whole treaty business.
I wanted to be able to walk up the steps that led to the Cullen's grand, white house like I'd done so many times before and open the door that led inside. Maybe sit at the piano he'd loved so much and let the sound of his music haunt me. It felt like he was so close, so tangible, yet just out of arms reach.
But that was impossible. As much as it hurt to admit, he was never coming back, and I was trapped in this form, seemingly permanently, or at least until Victoria was killed.
I wasn't allowed to change back. Well, to be more accurate, I didn't know how, and none of the others would show me so that I didn't "do something stupid or irrational". It had been decided—without my input—that since my scent was masked while I was in wolf form, I would be much safer staying as a wolf. They figured depriving Victoria of human Bella's scent would confuse and irritate her. They hoped that it might even force her to make a mistake out of frustration, thereby making it easier for them to take her down.
It wasn't as if I hadn't tried to figure it out on my own. I'd paid attention to them as they all shifted. I'd watched as they seemed to explode from within to become something else, whether it be human or wolf, but nothing they said or thought ever truly explained to me how it was done. It was second nature to them; a natural, biological function like breathing and therefore, hidden from me until Sam finally decided to tell me.
I was at his mercy, and I hated it; imprisoned against my will, trapped for what felt like an eternity.
It's called 'phase', Bella.
Phase, change. Same difference, I shot back. I'm stuck either way.
Jacob huffed at my dramatics. We've told you a thousand times. You can't phase back until she's been taken out. It's safer for you like this.
Yeah, yeah, I pouted. Because she can't trace my scent this way. I got it, Jake. Or did you miss that part?
Then stop being such a baby. You want to live, don't you?
Well, yeah, I conceded.
Of course I wanted to live, but I was miserable. I wanted to take a long, hot shower instead of awkwardly trying to wash my excessively long, brown coat out in the river. I was famished, and even though the entire pack had made it perfectly clear that I'd regain my strength if I'd just suck it up and track down an elk or mule deer to feast on, I refused. Hell, I could barely tolerate sushi, so there was no way I could bring myself to eat raw meat like that. I'd stick to the small pile of berries that would only sate me for a few hours and deal with the gnawing hunger again later. Disparagingly.
Jacob leapt up and raced over to the bank of the portion of the Sol Duc River that wound through the Cullen's property. He splashed around, letting his tongue loll out and somehow, in his wolf form, made some the silliest faces I'd ever seen. I tried desperately not to find it amusing, to stay rooted to my spot while I continued to sulk, but it was no use. A smile worked at my lips as he shoved his snout into the water, sneezing hard when the wake of his movements caused water to get into his nose. Before I knew it, I had dissolved into stitches.
Stop it Jake, I gasped. The strange sounds of my giggles in wolf form caught my attention and made it impossibly funnier. My sides hurt!
He ignored me, rolling onto his back and wiggling his body against the shore, grunting and groaning with pleasure as the sharp rocks scratched his hide.
He looked exactly like the puppy I'd called him earlier.
I fell over, laughing hysterically at the fact that my half-brother was a wolf screwing around on the river bank and knocked my berries out into the water. My laughter was cut off as they rapidly floated down the river, bobbing with the current in the deep, gray water. The good mood I'd so gratefully found myself in immediately vanished and was replaced by misery once again.
A croak of a sob escaped my throat as I watched the only food I had fade into the distance. My stomach tauntingly growled on cue, and I threw my head down on my paws dramatically while letting self-pity wash over me.
Well, now I guess you have to learn how to hunt, Jacob said smugly, coming back toward me and shaking the water out of his fur.
My head snapped up. You did that on purpose!
He chortled with laughter. No, but I couldn't have planned it better if I had.
I bared my teeth menacingly. It's not funny.
Sure it is, he argued. Especially since you ate all the berries within a hundred mile radius, and now you're screwed.
I grunted indignantly.
Your stubbornness is starving the bears indigenous to these woods, Bella, he deadpanned. Never mind the fact that you're not doing your part to help control this area's overpopulation of deer now that your bloodsuckers are gone.
At the mere mention of them, I felt my entire body lock up and an excruciating pain rocket through me. I knew Jacob had no mal intent with his choice of words, especially since he seemed to immediately realize what he said and began apologizing to me in his head, but they hurt nonetheless.
Shit, Bella. I'm so sorry. I didn't think-
Huh, well… that's certainly a contender for understatement of the year. But, to be fair, his admission probably goes even deeper than he meant. This is Jake after all; thinking isn't exactly his forte.
It's fine, Jake. I know you didn't mean it. Let's just um… I took in a shuddering breath. There are really no more berries?
He laughed, but his eyes were still troubled. They're gone, Bella. Deal with it and hunt.
But why can't you guys…? I don't know. Why can't I chase it down and kill it, and then you guys could phaaaase, I dragged the word out sarcastically, and cook it for me? You know, like steak.
Are you serious? He laughed. Uh-uh. No way. You may be the only female in the pack, but you're not a baby. You want to eat? You eat like a wolf. No more of this whiny, girly, 'Ew, it's bloody. I'm gonna' to get my paws dirty' crap. I thought you were the big, bad vampire killer; that you didn't want us to treat you differently. This is how we eat.
Oh, come on!
Nope. Suck it up, Nancy.
His deep, throaty guffaws at my expense had me itching to attack. I growled in warning, only to be ignored yet again. Deciding that there was only one way to shut him up, I tackled him in one smooth swoop and took him to the ground. His true laughter rang out in my mind as we bucked and fought to break free from one another, rolling down the hill until we both were giddy and breathless.
Just as I went to nip playfully at his tail, we both froze when we heard Sam let loose a deafening howl from miles away. That could only mean one thing. I dropped the shield that was stretched around us, and we were immediately inundated with a cacophony of voices. The pack had worked itself into an incoherent frenzy. Emotions ran high as the sound of paws pounding in the background and overeager thoughts and conversations made it impossible to think or hear clearly. There was no way to form a successful attack against anything like this.
Sam and Paul stumbled upon the scent of two vampires, and it was soon clear that one of them was Victoria. The two groups saw each other simultaneously, which was when Sam howled. Victoria and her compatriot clearly weren't expecting to run into two horse-sized wolves. They crouched defensively, and began backing further into the forest.
Enough! The resounding command of the Alpha silenced and focused us immediately. Jake, I need you here ASAP. More help is on the way, but you're closest, and I want to end this. We're going to set up a parallel ambush. Approach from the west. We're about to hit them from the east. We'll leave them exposed to you for an attack on their flank. Move it!
My heart dropped as it finally hit me that this was it. Victoria had found me. All this time spent moping around in my wolf form had been in vain.
He turned to me and gave me a stony look. Stay here.
I stiffened and snarled in return. Let me help. I've killed. You haven't.
Bella. Stay there. Sam's alpha command was deeply resonating. I had no choice but to follow his order.
I watched as Jacob sprinted off into the distance. It was me that Victoria was after. I wanted to be the one to face her, not my pack, and certainly not my half-brother.
I paced the field, becoming increasingly agitated as I listened to the pack coordinate an ambush against the two vampires. I had to rely on secondhand knowledge, skewed by feelings and opinions and tainted by each member's impatience for battle. Being dominated into uselessness was infuriating. Being the only pack member with a kill under their belt, only to be left out of the fight, was even worse.
The clouds parted, letting the sun cast its rays of light on the field. The vivid greens of the forest and the vibrant colors of the wildflowers quelled my anger. It wasn't often that I got to see Washington this way, unhindered by the filter of cloud cover that was constantly settled over us, so when I did, I tended to take notice. I knew Sam's decision to keep me out of the fight wasn't personal; at least not entirely. The reality was that even though I had only been a pack member for a few days, each of them already thought of me as one of their own. The sole purpose of the pack was to protect the tribe, which included me—the poor, defenseless little girl.
While I understood that they simply wanted to keep me safe, it didn't change the fact that their behavior was entirely chauvinistic and incredibly outdated.
Hey, I heard that, Jacob retorted, the dull, galloping sound of his paws as he ran in the background. And it's not appreciated!
Yeah, well, welcome to my world, buddy. A lot of what you guys think and do isn't appreciated.
Getting all that unwelcome insight into a bunch of young males' minds had been nauseating, to say the least. I was even more grateful for my shield that afforded me protection from the utter filth within their minds.
My pacing faltered as something to the north glinted with the sunlight. Startled by what I saw, my shield slammed into force and blocked the pack from seeing me, as if it knew that I would want to keep this sight my own.
I was entranced by the luminous, sparkling figure slowly approaching me. I blinked hard, trying to dispel the hallucination of Edward, in his immortal splendor, but it just wouldn't fade. The thought that this wasn't a dream—that it was actually reality—was too impossible to comprehend, so I simply stood there and waited, when all I wanted to do was run and crash into him and let my lips find their way to his.
The graceful steps that brought him to the riverbank were cautious yet purposeful. His intoxicating scent slammed into me and as always, had my heart sprinting and my head swimming as I drank it in. His lean, muscular body was just as sinful as I'd remembered, causing something so much more potent and primal than human desire to streak through me. I bit back the wanton moan that it caused and studied his face, memorizing every piece of perfection that was the one I loved.
Confusion furrowed his brow as he inhaled the air around us, and I could've howled with frustration. Or maybe I should've just ended my torment by shoving my head into a plastic bag and suffocating myself now that he was here… and his Bella was not, and knowing my luck, that probably wouldn't even work. I'd wanted this for so long, for him to come back to Forks—to me—and to be unable to phase into my human form and show him that I was the dog on the other side of the river was just a cruel, cruel joke.
In a single, lithe movement, Edward bounded over the water, silently landing in front of me. Time blurred as his incredulous, molten honey eyes penetrated mine. That all-consuming electricity that thrummed between us was even more powerful than I'd remembered. His awestruck expression gave me hope. His slow, excited crooked smile brought me joy. At that moment, I forgot everything: the months of heart break, my transformation into a wolf, and the battle that was currently raging not too far from where Edward and I stood.
My breath hitched as he extended an unsteady hand toward me, bringing it up at the last second to mechanically run his hand through his beautifully disheveled bronze hair before reaching out to me again. I took a step forward; the pull of Edward was more persuasive than anything I'd ever felt before. His fingers found purchase in my fur, gently caressing my flank. The shock of his smooth, marble skin gave me chills, and his amber gaze darkly dilated to onyx as he continued to stare at me, which created an entirely new sensation inside me.
Heat flooded through me as everything that made me Isabella Swan was ripped apart at the seams, dismembered and hastily thrown back together to create someone wholly different. My world was upended and then righted again in a blink, irrevocably binding me to the only thing that mattered. The only thing that would ever matter again.
My feet pushed me toward the large, white house in the clearing on our land. It was just a smear of ivory and black in the forest, gone in a blink, and yet I could see everything with perfect clarity. I agilely dodged trees and limbs; I leapt over the streaks of water that were small streams. My predatory nature had the animals and insects of the forest alike scurrying off in fear as they caught my scent or sensed my presence.
Normally, this might have amused me, but today, none of it mattered. I'd already deviated once from my path toward the unknown to hunt, and my thirst was now fully sated. All that mattered was that I follow the urge to run.
My destination had been hazy until this moment. Since I'd arrived in Forks, any plan I'd devised—any intention I'd had—had been lost, long forgotten with a fading scent in the breeze and the pull of the forest. The closer I got to our property, the stronger the pull felt. Something was there, at the house, compelling me forward.
I slowed to a brisk, human pace as I reached the edge of the forest, cautiously stepping out from the cover the trees provided me and into the open, unsure if it was danger that awaited me or something infinitely sweeter. My instincts told me it was the latter, so I quickly scanned the grounds for anything that would give me insight as to why I'd come back here.
A dark brown figure caught my eye. I zeroed in on the animal and noted that it was a wolf. A rather agitated wolf that was stomping around in small circles, snorting and growling in anger. It was very large, perhaps two or three times the size of an ordinary wolf, but very fast. I'd only ever come across a similar creature once before – more than a hundred years ago, in this very area. What confused me was, physical similarities aside, this animal was unlike anything else I'd ever encountered.
Speculations flashing through my mind, I stepped further away from the forest just as the clouds parted and the rays of the sun ignited the area into flames of green fire. The wolf stopped its troubled pacing, and its head jerked in my direction as my vampire skin reflected the sunlight, bouncing light around me like a jewel. I stood silent for a moment… watching. Waiting.
The wind shifted and a sudden familiar scent was carried my way. My mind instantly recoiled from the onslaught of memories it brought up and the aching, festering burn in my chest where my dead heart lay still flared painfully. My hand reached up and clawed at my chest as I took another step forward, reeling from the fact that while I still felt a physical reaction to the scent of the human I so truly loved and left, my throat didn't burn with the unbearable, maddening thirst as it once did. The scent certainly called to me, but in a very different way; one I couldn't yet identify.
I carefully strode toward the Sol Duc River. I kept my pace rhythmic and even, not wanting to disturb the animal that was intently staring at me any more than I already had. I wanted to observe it up close while I searched for Bella.
Keeping one eye trained on the wolf, I reached out with my senses. Her scent still lingered in the air, and I could hear the galloping sound of her heart, speeding up with each step that brought me closer to the house like it had every time I'd ever kissed her.
I stopped at the edge of the river and inhaled deeply in an attempt to pinpoint her location. My eyes snapped fully to the motionless wolf, confusion clouding my mind. Bella's scent was stronger there, but there was nothing but the wolf. No other beating heart or rush of breath. All had gone quiet, withdrawing to safety. There was no sound but the sprinting heart and racing, shallow breaths I was all too familiar with.
The pieces of the puzzle came together all at once. This was no ordinary animal. This creature was Bella. I knew it with every hardened cell in my body, and in a blink, I jumped the river. I landed directly in front of her, desperate to see if I was right and this really was her, or if months of pain and loss had finally caused my fragile vampire mind to break.
Recognition of those warm, chocolate brown eyes made me rejoice. If I'd had a soul, it would have sung with exultation. My mind hummed with possibilities and wondered about her transformation. Her coat shone with red in the full sun, and my fingers itched to feel its silky texture.
With no reasonable explanation for my uncertainty other than the sheer magnitude of shock that was pummeling through me, I hesitated to touch her. I yanked my hand back and raked it through my hair nervously before finally allowing myself to feel her. Touching her caused my hand to tingle, just as it always had. I wordlessly marveled at the sight of my Bella… phased—I somehow knew that was the correct term for it—into something other.
Something stirred inside me as I ran my hand over her body. She was so exceptionally warm. Venom pooled in my mouth and stiffened me. Everywhere. I brought my hand up under her muzzle, trying to force out the words that wouldn't come and beg forgiveness for ever letting anything come between us; for thinking that we were better off apart, that she was better off without me and the world she was never meant to know; and for telling such a blasphemous lie to her.
"Bella," I breathed.
She grew hotter under my touch, radiating heat as the air shimmered around her. A quick flash, an indescribable kind of explosion, and she was standing naked before me. I groaned as I finally saw her completely, shattered by the dusky rose that tipped each full breast and the elegant line of her hip. She was different. She was still the petite human I'd fallen so hard for, and yet somehow incredibly curvier. It was clear that she was no longer the awkward, unsure teenage girl I'd met so many months ago, but was now mature. Grown. You could even see this truth in her face – while she was still Bella, it was as if the transformation had aged her in the best way possible. Her features, while still retaining a softness and femininity, were somehow sharper, and they made her look less like a girl, and much more like a woman. Her easy, simple shifts of weight and movements held a grace and poise that she hadn't possessed before. She held an inner strength, a supernatural power inside her, negating any weakness that a human should have.
My eyes dropped and feasted on the tempting flesh at the juncture of her thighs, exciting her.
The scent of her arousal was like a quick punch to the gut, a shot straight to my groin. This need for her, this drive to fill her body with my own, was unfathomable. I could barely control it.
"I'm so sorry," I managed to choke out. She needed to know. To take her, claim her, before the words were spoken was inexcusable.
She shushed me and smiled up at me warmly, taking my face in her hands. Missing her had devoured my every thought and tainted every hour, but somehow, that one smile had been the cure to make it all disappear.
I crashed my mouth down on hers and jerked her body against me, suddenly so desperate to bury myself inside her that I lost all sense of reason. Instinct took over as I kissed her roughly, moaning as I finally got a taste of the mouth I'd longed for all these months alone. For the first time ever, my tongue found hers, and her hot breath washed across my face as she tightened her hold on me, tugging at the hair on the nape of my neck and drawing me impossibly closer. To have this ability to touch her—hold her—and regard her as an equal, without fear, was liberating. Even this small, seemingly insignificant interaction clearly demonstrated to me that the dynamic that once existed between us was totally obsolete.
My hand moved down her body, seeking out the new, exquisite skin that had never been exposed to me before, all while keeping my other hand at her neck, locking our mouths together. I cupped her breast; I skimmed the line of her hip. I splayed my hand out over the round curve of her bottom, down to her thigh, and brought her leg up around my hip, sending her up on her toes. My fingers tightened their hold as she responsively arched her back and pressed her body hard against mine.
In a flash, I'd lain her down in the plush, green grass and was now settled between her thighs. She violently yanked at my shirt until the fabric rendered with her impatience. I was so consumed by her that I hadn't even realized that she'd stripped me bare until we were both naked and tangled together. Desire was hot and heavy in my belly, driving me forward. Her keen moan as I slid myself against her sublimely hot body had me acutely aware that I needed to stop before it went too far too soon.
I summoned every ounce of control I had and fought this insane urge to… mate with her. I propped myself up on top of her so that our bodies were no longer touching so intimately and stared down at her. Her lips were swollen from my kisses, and her breathing came out in sharp gasps. She stared up at me with her dark, wide eyes full of curiosity, and I finally noticed how breathtaking she was pinned beneath me.
She went still and looked away as her cheeks flooded with gorgeous color. She moved to cover herself up, and if I'd been in any other frame of mind, I'd have laughed at the absurdity of her thinking for a single second that she wasn't desirable to me.
I gently captured her wrists and held her arms above her head. "Please don't hide from me. I want to see you. I've missed you so much."
I methodically trailed my mouth over her jaw, working my way to her neck and hovering at the pulse point there. The swishing sound of her blood rapidly pounding through her veins was hypnotic. It was such an amazing experience, and I couldn't help but once again be awed by it. Her blood smelled just as incredible as ever, and I could now truly enjoy the scent without any type of monstrous reaction to it. I skimmed my nose across it and inhaled deeply, moaning as I came undone with the scent of her again.
I wanted to wrap her legs around my waist and just plow straight into her.
I clenched my teeth together and stopped breathing, determined not to let that recklessness loose again as I tasted her sweet skin. I had to keep this… compulsion of mine reined in, because if not, I was going to hurt her.
Panic suddenly knotted in my chest as I realized that pain for her was inevitable. No matter what, she would feel uncomfortable—at the very least—when we were finally joined.
Okay, Cullen. Relax. Just focus on readying her body for this.
I focused my attention on her neck again, licking from the hollow at the base of her throat to her ear in one deliberate stroke. I hesitated for a moment, warring with the power of erogenous zones versus my razor sharp teeth cutting too deeply into her delicate flesh, and finally—warily—nipped at her ear. I found that her skin was soft and pliable, but had a supernatural strength to it. Her moan reverberated through me, and I grunted as I pushed past the carnal demand to finish this and moved down to her breasts.
I took one of her nipples into my mouth, smiling against her skin as it pebbled and her gasp filled my ears. I let my hand touch her to gauge how ready she was for me and nearly went blind as I was met with something hot and delicious slowly seeping onto my fingers.
Bella's breathless giggle shook her body underneath me.
I lifted my head and cocked my brow. "Am I funny?"
"Where did you just go?"
I blinked. "What?"
"Where did you just go?" she repeated. "If you're having second thoughts-"
"Oh, believe me. I want this," I assured her emphatically. I trailed my index finger across her nipple as I worked my way down again, enjoying the soft moan that she emitted when I circled her clit.
"Really?" she asked, chewing on her lip. "Oh, God."
"Yes, really," I replied darkly. Watching her writhe underneath me was so delectably hot.
I needed her to understand that I was only concerned for her safety and comfort, so I cut off her question. "I don't want to hurt you," I said seriously. "So I needed to pull it back a little before I did."
She accepted that answer with a nod, and I brought my mouth back to hers and felt that drumming animalistic need overpower me again. It was a constant battle of wills as I skillfully used my fingers to make her climax, but I was determined to wait it out until she was pliant and completely ready for me.
She was flushed and panting as she came again. "No more, Edward. Please," she begged through gritted teeth.
I sat back and spread her legs open, savoring the way she looked as she waited for me. She was so beautiful, so lovely.
She reached out shyly to stroke me, and I gently swatted her hand away, pretty sure that if I caught sight of her tiny hand wrapped around the one part of my body that no one—other than me—had touched before, I wouldn't be able to control myself.
"I love you," I whispered, staring down at her.
Her gazed softened. "I love you."
Languorously, I sank into her, studying her face for any sign of discomfort and only finding her jaw slacken as I was finally all the way inside her.
I reveled in feeling complete. I was home.
"Are you okay?" I managed.
She nodded vigorously. "I'm good. It's good," she breathed.
I held my entire body still, making sure she was completely adjusted to me inside her before I started moving again. Her pelvis tilted up, testing, and I carefully pulled my hips away from hers before pushing myself back into her again.
Her body burned with uncontrollable warmth around me; her eyes blazed into mine. I slowly sped up my motions as her reactions steadily grew with every thrust, kiss and caress. A shaky groan fell from my lips as our passion fed off of one another, swiftly growing to feel as if it had a life of its own.
I was all too willing to let it swallow me whole.
I fisted my hand in her hair and claimed her mouth while I claimed her body. I grabbed her hip, her ass; pounding myself into her over and over—worshiping her—and watching each thrust bring her closer to another orgasm. She was mine.
For always. I drove into her and felt her muscles begin to tighten around me. Her legs squeezed my waist and her back arched off the damp ground.
God, I wanted her to come again.
She cried out and clenched down on me, and I came with her, stifling the urge to scream out with its force. Her body was sated, and she looked so sleepy, so I quickly rolled off of her and took her in my arms, remembering all those times I'd done this exact thing without ever truly letting myself enjoy it because I'd always held a piece of me back from her.
Her breathing evened out as she relaxed into me and was nearly asleep when she suddenly sat up and stared at me with wide, disbelieving eyes.
"I just imprinted on you!"
Just then, I picked up on the sound of a group of wolves making their way towards us. It was immediately clear that these were shifters from the Quileute tribe. I could hear them speaking to each other through their minds about the vampire they just killed. They were all still riding the high of victory in battle. As they drew closer, the unmistakable stench of werewolves followed. If I had any doubts before, it was now clear that Bella was a member of the Quileute pack.
I stood up, bringing Bella with me, and had my light blue shirt unbuttoned and draped over her shoulders before she could blink. I held her against me, shielding her as I let myself bounce from mind to mind, trying to decipher what they were and what that meant for Bella and me.
I tensed and held on to Bella even tighter as I saw Victoria's face flash through one of their minds.
They stopped short as they saw me with a half-naked, clearly rumpled Bella. The oldest, the leader—Sam, I deduced—stepped forward with a snarl. He phased so that he could speak to Bella and the wolves behind him readied themselves to attack.
I took a moment to examine the wolves. These creatures were much more like the wolves we encountered all those years ago. In their wolf forms, they were substantially larger than Bella. They also smelled like 'normal' werewolves – i.e. awful. Their stench was a stark contrast to Bella's glorious scent. Even in human form, Sam smelled revolting.
"Get back, Bella," Sam demanded.
A growl burst from his chest, and he began to shake. "Bella. Get. Back. Now."
"Don't do this, Sam!" Bella begged, clinging to me. "I imprinted on him!"
Sam's eyes snapped to Bella, full of contempt and doubt. "No."
She nodded sheepishly, and the entire group burst into a chorus of uproar.
"Quiet!" Sam shouted, calming everyone down. "If Bella's imprinted on this… vampire… we have to accept him. You know what it would do to her—us—if we were to destroy him."
I listened to their minds as images, feelings, and explanations of what "imprinting" meant floated through the thoughts of the wolves. I smiled down at Bella warmly as I finally understood what she'd been so surprised by.
"So that's what that was."
She blushed. "Yeah. It's… I mean… You can't help it, so-"
I bent to kiss her. "Imprinting with you means you're mine forever. And I can't think of anything better, love."