Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight

Chapter Seven - Breathe in, Breathe out



I was nervous. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I felt anything like that. Maybe when I tried talking the Major into letting me and Charlotte leave Maria without tearing us limb from limb. But that was the only time I could remember being nervous about anything. I didn't remember my human life, not really, so any feelings I might have had were long forgotten. When I opened my eyes after burning for three days and found out I ended up in the hell better known as the 'Newborn Wars', I wasn't really all that worried. There was this niggling feeling in the back of my mind telling me I was going to get out just fine, eventually. I just had to bide my time.

I allowed myself to be guided by that feeling in every decision I made, like trying and eventually succeeding in befriending one of the most feared vampires ever, known as the 'god of war'. As the years past that feeling only grew stronger until I eventually didn't just have a feeling about things, but simply knew. So becoming nervous about something was pretty pointless since I already knew how most situations would end up for me, and what I should or shouldn't do to come out on top.

There were only two situations where I hadn't really known the outcome of. The first was when I decided to leave Maria and took Charlotte with me. I knew I would get out just fine if I left alone, but Charlotte had grown on me and there was no way I could have left her there to rot.

The second time was walking into a karaoke bar not knowing what we were going to find. I knew my mate would be in there. I knew something Jasper needed desperately would also be there. Unfortunately, it could have been something widely ranging from a hooker to a bottle of whisky. I just knew it would be good for him, and life changing. So yeah, it probably wasn't going to be a a bottle of whisky.

When I looked into the startled eyes of my mate for the first time, I wasn't shocked. I knew what I would find before I walked into the bar. Looking at the girl standing next to my mate, though, and simply knowing with absolute certainty that she belonged to my brother, was more than a bit surprising. Especially when I could practically see her shake off the mating pull like a dog shaking off water. My poor bastard of a brother, he really had the most rotten luck. Well, at least I would get to laugh my ass off at seeing Major Jasper Whitlock trying to woo a little human girl who didn't want anything to do with him, and had the ability to shield herself from him. I was so lucky my mate was a normal human. There would be nothing standing in my quest to make her mine.




It was the only thing going through my mind as I mindlessly followed Bella off stage, and sat down at a table with a perfect view of my - oh my God, oh my God...- imprint.

I couldn't seem to take my eyes off my ... - 'Oh my God, Oh my God' -... imprint. He was looking at me like he just won the fucking lottery. He was obviously a few cards short of a deck.

'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!'

What the fuck was I supposed to do now? This couldn't be happening to me, it just wasn't possible. No one could possible have so much bad karma - who the fuck was I in my past life, Lord Voldemort?

'Oh God, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna fix this?'

For the first time in my life I was experiencing mind-numbing terror. There had been many scary moments in my life; finding out Sam was missing was a very memorable one. Turning into a wolf the size of a horse while my father lay dying on the living-room floor, was another. Facing my first vampire without back-up, definitely scary. But nothing, nothing compared to what I was feeling as I looked into my imprint's red eyes.

'Breathe, don't forget to breathe,' I reminded myself silently. 'Breathing is essential.'

"Does this mean I get to call you leech-lover now?" Bella asked casually, cutting through the cloud of fear, confusion and panic, like a well sharpened knife.

"What?" I asked sharply, turning my head to her so fast I heard a snapping sound of my vertebrae.

"No way in hell." I shuddered at the familiar nickname. That was so not gonna happen, uh-uh, no way, there would be no leach-loving for me.

"Don't go making jokes about this either. Not unless you want me to break your fingers," I threatened halfheartedly. "Calling me a fucking leech-lover, like I really need that shit right now," I muttered softly.

There were times where Bella seemed to be itching for beat-down, this was one of them. She was lucky she wasn't a wolf or I would've bitten her ass a long time ago.

"What?" she asked, widening her eyes in mock innocence. "I'm just saying, I'm the original leech-lover and now that you've come around to my way of thinking, I just figured, maybe we can start a club."

I glared at her in irritation. "Don't worry about it, Lee," she said purposely misinterpreting my 'shut up, or I'll kill you' glare. "Seeing as how my leech-loving is in the past, I would totally let you be club president."

"Bee," I warned threateningly.

"I'm serious, we could have a secret handshake and shit, maybe even get our own clubhouse. I'm thinking about passwords as we speak," she continued ignoring the cloud of doom that started to materialize above my head.

"What did I tell you about cracking jokes at inappropriate times?" I snapped furiously.

"Who's joking?" I heard her mutter

"Bella..." I growled. I could literally feel my inner wolf perk up at the thought of doing violence.

"Alright I'm done. No more jokes, I swear!"

My eyes turned back to him against my will and I almost flinched when my eyes found his again. No one had ever looked at me the way he was watching me. He was clearly feeling the effects of the imprint. Either that or I had something on my face, I was actually hoping for the latter.

This was great, just great. I wondered if I should just let him kill me now or have the pack do it later. Either way I was so dead. I imprinted on a fucking vampire. A human eating, red-eyed, fucking vampire. I was so screwed, it wasn't even funny.

I was right all along, I really am a freak. I felt a sharp burst of pain in my chest. I couldn't do this to my family...my pack...

God fucking dammit, what the hell was I supposed to do about something like this? Finding your imprint was supposed to be a happy thing. Sure I never truly believed in finding mine, but now that I had... Why the hell did it have to be a vampire? I felt the mating pull. All I wanted to do was go to him and touch him, claim him in every way possible, but I couldn't.

Everyone already thought I was nature's screw up; the first female to phase into a wolf. I couldn't go home with a vampire imprint and confirm their suspicions. I couldn't love a vampire and betray my pack, tribe, and ancestors.

However much I wanted to get to know him, touch him, taste him, I couldn't. I needed to avoid that at any cost. If I touched him or kissed him I knew I couldn't just let him go. If he came to me of his own volition and allowed me to claim him, I knew all bets would be off. I would tell my pack to go to hell and take the whole fucking tribe with them. There's nothing more important to a wolf than its imprint. That's why I couldn't let it happen.


A big part of me wanted him to come to me and take me, just so the decision wouldn't be in my hands anymore. But then there was the duty to my tribe that was instilled into me from the cradle. It told me to run back to La Push - not home, not anymore - and do the job I was born for.

I took a deep breath. I needed to get my fucking self together. First things first; I need to stop thinking about how beautiful his fucking red eyes are, because that kind of thinking will get me in trouble fast.

The second thing I needed to do; was get Bella the fuck out of there. Because I sure as hell wasn't about to let her get hurt.

The third thing; was get the hell out of the karaoke bar fast before I lost all common sense and initiated a mating in public view. Because that would just be...yeah, I've got no words.

Dread filled every fiber of my being. I had to walk away from him. I had to walk away from my imprint. That meant I was condemning myself - and possibly him - to live alone for the rest of our unnatural lives. Could I really do that? Could I maim, not only myself, but possibly my imprint so horribly?

It was getting harder to breathe by the second. All I wanted to do was cry like a baby at how unfair my life was. Why did things like this always happen to me? Seriously, what was it, did I have Fate's Bitch written on my forehead or something?

After hurricane Sam blasted my life apart and I became a wolf and found out why he left me like he did, the only thought that kept me going was that my imprint was out there, waiting for me to find him. I had to believe I wasn't going to hurt like that for the rest of my life. I had to believe that one day I would get to be happy again, get a chance at a life and a love of my own.

I gave up that notion when my menstrual cycle stopped. A shape-shifter imprints on the person with whom he or she has the best chance to reproduce. I didn't know if it was because I turned into a wolf or if it was something that was going to happen anyway, but it seemed like I wouldn't be able to have children.

I visited to doctor but he couldn't tell me anything without doing some extensive testing, and Sam alpha ordered me to stop visiting the doctor when he found out. Asshole told me that finding out if I was barren was not as important as keeping the existence of the pack secret. He was worried the doctor would discover something by testing me since even getting a needle to penetrate my arm to draw blood was pretty much never going to happen.

I didn't really have much to say about that, he was right, but that didn't make me any less bitter about it.

So yeah, maybe I should have been nicer to people...or at least stopped being such a bitch. I nearly drove my pack crazy with my thoughts. Sometimes deliberate, sometimes not. But I had reasons to be bitter and bitchy and whatever the hell else I was.

I tore my eyes away from my imprint and looked at Bella who was watching me with worry written all over her face. I could only thank God that she wasn't joking anymore. I would hate to kill my own sister. I don't know what she saw when she looked at me, it could have been a number of things. But whatever it was I could visibly see her steel herself.

"Right," she said nodding firmly. "Don't you worry 'bout a thing, Leah. I'm going to take care of this, I'm going to take care of you." her eyes showed nothing but determination and her mouth quirked into a half-assed grin, "After all the times you saved my ass, I think It's about time I returned the favor, yes?"

I didn't know what to say or do so I just took her hand in mine and squeezed it.

Her face softened. "Don't worry, Lee, I got this. I promise."

I didn't think I could ever love Bella as much as I did at that moment. This girl, this fragile human girl, my sister by marriage, would do what no one other but my mother, father, Seth and Charlie had ever done for me. She would stand up for me and protect me in the face of danger, whether it was from heartache or physical injury. It was amazingly stupid of her since we were dealing with vampires, but appreciated nonetheless.

"Thank you, Bee, really, but I'm going to be okay." I said, trying to sound reassuring, but not really believing it myself.

She gave me a look that told me I wasn't fooling anyone, and straightened her back. It was easy to recognize the determination and strength that kept her from losing herself after Jake left her emerge from somewhere deep inside of her. Like she'd been hiding it somewhere and only brought it out when needed. It was strange to see, but at the same time I welcomed this side of her. It usually meant we were about to have some fun.


"You know," I muttered softly, "I can honestly say that I didn't see this coming. Never in a million years would I have thought... Wow, just, wow."

"Yeah, you and me both," Leah choked out bitterly.

I looked at my sister with sorrowful eyes. My poor, poor, Leah. Fucked up situations seemed to follow her around.

"What do you want to do here, Lee?" I asked still very much aware that the vampires could hear us.

Did this make the possibility of being eaten bigger or smaller? Surely the fact that Leah imprinted on the dude meant that he wouldn't harm her? Still, it didn't mean that I wasn't still fair game.

I looked at Leah who was...well, I hated to say it, but pretty much fucking useless. She looked like someone just sentenced her to death. This situation was impossible for her. Not only was she the only female wolf in the pack, she was the only one who imprinted on a vampire, on their natural enemy. This just brought a whole different meaning to sleeping with the enemy. The pack's reactions would not be positive, hell most of them would probably try to kill her for being an abomination. This was not gong to end well, not even a little bit.

"Come on, Lee...do you plan on accepting the imprint? I kind of need to know," I asked hoping she'd answer. She didn't.

Since Leah wasn't going to be taking the lead anytime soon, I knew that task had just fallen to me. I was going to have to find a way to get us out of here without any pain. Emotional or otherwise.

I would try my hardest, but I honestly didn't see it happening.

I looked at Leah one more time, determination and protectiveness filling me. I meant every word I said to her. I had her back. I wasn't about to let anyone hurt her, not her pack, not her family, and definitely not Mr. Red-eyes. I just needed to figure a way to do that without getting us both killed.

"Shit," I muttered softly. I briefly wished that Paul was with us but then dismissed the thought. Paul was currently my favorite wolf (next to Seth of course) but having him here at a time like this would be like adding fuel to a fire. He would have probably wolfed out and attacked by now.

My eyes drifted back to the table where Leah's red-eyed imprint and his too hot for his own good friend were sitting. I scowled when he sent me a knowing smirk. What the hell was he looking at me for, and why did I want to- Must not think of him in that way Bella.

This was so fucking unfair. What was it with vampires and hotness anyway? The worse thing was that it wasn't only his pretty face that was turning me on. He had this whole aura about him that just made me want him. Simply looking at him made me soak my panties. He raised his eyebrows at me again and gave me a self-satisfied smirk. It was like he knew what I was feeling. The Bastard. It wouldn't surprise me if all vampires had like X-ray vision or something. He could probably see my soaked panties.

I pinched the bridge of my nose and tried very hard to erase that thought. The only person in the entire universe that I trusted with X-ray vision was Superman. He was way too much of a boy-scout to get his perv on by peeping on unsuspecting women. Vampires had no business having X-ray vision. Especially not cocky vampires.

There was something strange going on though. I was pretty sure he was one of the rare vampires with a gift, even if I didn't know what it was yet. I'd try to piece it together later when I had the time to think about everything that happened.

I sighed and tried to ignore the golden-eyed vampire that kept looking at me as if he was expecting me to walk over to him and bow down in worship. The shock I initially felt was rapidly making way for anger.

Why the hell did this happen now, or at all really? Leah and I were finally doing okay. Leah had dealt with all her residual feelings towards Sam the bastard, and I had let go of Edward Cullen and Jacob Black and the lives I could have had with them. We were in a good place. We didn't need something like this to happen. We didn't need a bunch of men to complicate our lives. Especially not vampires. We were finally free, why did something like this have to happen?

The bastard was still looking at me like I was supposed to fall down and kiss his feet. But there was also a sense of wary confusion on his face. Like he wasn't really sure what to make of me.

"Bastard," I muttered knowing full and well he could hear me.

A surprised and somewhat incredulous look crossed his face before it settled on irritation when his red-eyed friends snickered at the expression on his face. I broke my staring contest with the cocky vampire and redirected my attention to Leah when she grasped my hand tightly.

"Bells..." she whispered looking like a caged animal in a zoo.

"Yeah. Right. I know, Lee, don't worry about it, we're getting out of here. We'll figure shit out when we get to our hotel."

"Sooner rather than later," Leah sighed. "Preferably before I do someone I'll regret."

"I frowned confusedly. "You mean something you'll regret?"

She swallowed heavily. "No I'm pretty sure I mean someone."

"Oh. Oh. That's not good."

Yeah... Leah going around jumping red-eyed vampires in a mating frenzy couldn't possibly be a good thing. Honestly, the thought alone was disgustingly disturbing.

"So I think the smartest thing to do would be run for the hills. You're probably going to have to drag me a little too 'cause my feet seem to be on strike."

How the hell was I supposed to do that. Did imprinting include losing your sanity 'cause I think I just heard my sister tell me I would have to drag her werewolf ass away. Did this insane woman forget about her super strength, and how puny I am in comparison? This night was turning out to be the best ever. It was right up there with nearly getting killed by James and being abandoned in a dark and dangerous forest.

I grinned brightly at Leah hoping she wouldn't notice how worried I was underneath the fake grin, and stood up from my chair, pointedly turning my back on the cocky vampire. "Alright, time to get the fuck out of here."

As soon as the words left my mouth I cringed. If Leah really imprinted on Mr. Red-eyes, which I'm pretty sure she did, he wasn't going to just let her waltz out of his life without at the very least talking to her. Announcing our intentions to leave was like waving a big red flag in front of a bull; there was no way in hell he'd be able to ignore it. Not that we'd be able to leave stealthily anyway. They were vampires for fuck's sake.

"Yeah. Okay. Let's go," Leah said absent-mindedly, her eyes glued to her red-eyed imprint. I sighed softly knowing that this couldn't possibly end well, took her hand, and slowly began pulling her up.

Suddenly I froze. I don't know how I knew exactly. I didn't have any vampire or wolf senses to guide me, nor was I special in any other way. But every instinct I possessed was screaming his presence to me. I simply knew with absolute certainty that he was standing behind me. It took me every ounce of strength I had to turn around and face him wearing a pleasant smile.

"Do you mind?" I asked when I turned to find him standing way too close to me. It was like he had no concept of personal space. I couldn't suppress flinching when I looked into his gold-colored eyes. Gold. Animal drinker. Cullens. Ugh, I almost wished he had red eyes, it would have made things much more easier to deal with. It was a strange day that I stood in front of a vegetarian vampire wishing he was a human drinker. Clearly Edward screwed me up in more ways than I had previously thought.

"No, not really," he said with amusement, bringing me out of my inner musings. I frowned at him in confusion. What the hell was he talking about.

"Huh?" I replied in-eloquently. I had trouble understanding what he was talking about. Did they really need to make vampires this beautiful? And that delicious accent... Seriously, they had to breaking some kind of cosmic law somehow, this shit couldn't possibly be fair. How the hell was I supposed to stop Leah and myself from getting killed when I couldn't even think clearly in his presence?

"You okay?" the golden-eyed vampire asked, lips curling up in an amused smirk.

I was trying to remember how to breathe. It was silly, really. I'd been breathing my entire life without any conscious effort or thought, so why was it so hard to remember how to take a breath.

"Breathe, Darlin', there's no need to faint on my account." I could practically feel his smug self-satisfaction at my inability to breathe. It pissed me off. My brain came back online about the same time my pride did. I righted my back, took a deep controlled breath, trying not to let my relief show at the oxygen filling my longs, and tilted my head questioningly.

"Mmmm, did you say something?" I asked distractedly. "Sorry, I was thinking about my grocery list, you see. I wasn't sure if I added pecan caramel ice-cream to the list. It's a must have for me, just thinking about being without leaves me unable to breathe with panic."

'Ha! Take that, stupid, smug bastard. I just pulled a Hatake Kakashi on you!'

So I might have spent too many weekends with Seth playing couch potato and watching Naruto re-runs. If I developed an unhealthy addiction and slight attraction to Hatake Kakashi because of it, I can't be blamed. The guy is awesome after all. And really, it's all Seth's fault anyway, I swear to god there should be a law against using his puppy dog eyes to blackmail me into doing anything he wants.

The look on the golden-eyed bastard's face was priceless though. Confusion, shock, and best of all, doubt.

"Ice-cream?" he asked incredulously. "You were thinking about ice-cream?"

"What else would I be thinking about?" I replied with innocent puzzlement. I arched an eyebrow, "Who are you anyway? And what were you babbling about when I was fantasizing about my dessert?"

His studied me for a long time, and it took a lot of effort not to shift under his carefully scrutinizing gaze. His intense eyes held mine for a moment before he dipped his head in acknowledgment. He didn't say anything, but I could practically hear the silent 'well played' he offered grudgingly.

"Jasper Whitlock, at your service, Ma'am," he introduced himself, dipping his head politely, eyes watching me intently. His mouth curled up into a mischievous smile, eyes sparkling with humor. "I was wondering, have you ever heard of the saying; 'Everything's bigger in Texas'?" he asked wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

A/N: Let me know what you think? The story will start to pick up from here on out. They've finally met, now what?

I wanted to thank everyone that reviewed alerted or added this story to their favorite list. Many of you have been with me from the beginning. Thank you for being the most awesome and loyal readers ever.

I've been working on Something Wicked for those of you who are interested. And I've published a Percy Jackson & the Olympians self insert story called Eye of the Hurricane, which is going to be so much fun for me to write. Check it out and let me know what you think?

Sincerely, Hanane