A/N: Paul is that member of the pack that we know nothing about . . . we don't even know his last name! All we get from the books is that he is the hothead of the pack. So, I decided to give Paul a life . . .
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Paul Jacobs woke to see a pair of small brown eyes staring at him. "Back off, will ya, kid?" he grunted as he closed his eyelids, hoping to get at least another hour of sleep. Sleep was a hot commodity for him . . . he never got enough.
"Grandma says you have to get up," his six-year-old half-brother replied before making the mistake of shaking him.
"Travis, back off!" Paul shouted. "If you want to keep that hand, you will leave me the hell alone!"
Travis' little face crumpled then he ran off toward the kitchen, crying, "Grandma! Paul's gonna hurt me!"
Paul sighed as he rubbed his eyes because he knew what was coming next. "Pauly, get up and be nice to your brother! You'll be late for school," his grandma, Ruth, shouted from the kitchen.
"Yeah, OK, Grandma," Paul called back as he sat up and tried to stretch the kinks out of his back. Sleeping on this piece of shit couch was killing him. He had a bed and a room of his own until his bitch of a mom drove by a month ago and dumped off her Satan spawn. Now THEY had his room and he had the couch.
Finally Paul stood and stretched again taking in the tiny living room that held the couch with a coffee table in front of it, a chair and standing lamp beside it, and a small bookcase in the corner with an old 20-inch TV sitting on top of it. This little house had always been enough for just him and his grandma, but now, with two more bodies invading it, it suddenly seemed so small. Shuffling to the bathroom, Paul found the door closed and he could hear the water running as he pounded on the door, yelling, "Tyler! I need the bathroom!"
"Too bad, shithead. You'll have to wait," was the reply from inside. Paul rested his forehead on the door, trying to control his temper for the sake of his grandmother who was old and not in the best health, and he hated the idea of upsetting her. She was all he had, and he loved her for putting up with him all these years. But for the love of God, he wished he could grab this kid in the bathroom by the neck and just kick his ass.
Paul was trying hard to keep himself in check when suddenly the door was ripped open and he practically fell on the gangly pre-teen standing on the other side as he blurted out, "Shit!"
"Geez, Paul, get off me!" Tyler growled as he shoved Paul away from him. Tyler was eleven and tall for his age, already reaching Paul's shoulder, but he had a mouth on him and an attitude to match. Since the day he arrived, Tyler had been nothing but one big pain in the ass and it was getting harder and harder for Paul to put with him.
Pushing past him into the bathroom, Paul quickly closed and locked the door then as he turned on the water for a shower, he wondered for the millionth time what he did to deserve the life he had and how badly he wished his life were different. But wishing didn't change anything. He had learned that at a very young age . . .
"What are you doing out here, Pauly? It's late. You should be in bed," his grandma said softly.
The little five-year-old Paul was sitting on an old stump in the backyard looking up at the sky. "I'm wishing on a star, like Pinocchio's dad."
Ruth smiled as she bent down in front of Paul. "And what are you wishing for?"
Turning his soft little brown eyes to her, Paul whispered, "That I had a mommy and daddy that loved me."
Tears filled Ruth's eyes as she gathered him to her chest and said, "I'm so sorry, Pauly. I wish that, too. But I want you to know that you'll always have me."
Paul clung to her as he cried. He knew she loved him, and he loved her . . . but it wasn't the same.
Paul dunked his head under the now freezing cold water and rinsed the shampoo from his hair then he turned the water off and grabbed a towel to dry himself. He hadn't thought about that night with his grandma for a long time. Even at five, he knew wishes didn't come true, and now at seventeen, he also knew that life wasn't fair. If it was, he wouldn't be living here in this tiny hovel on a poor reservation, trying to juggle school, a part-time job at a grocery store, looking after his grandma, and now his mother's illegitimate spawn, all while turning into a huge kick-ass wolf and keeping the world safe from vampires! Yeah, who would choose that life?
The pounding on the door brought him back to reality as he slipped quickly into a pair of clean boxers. "Come on, dickhead. Grandma's bitching at us to get to school," Tyler yelled at him.
Paul ripped open the door and said evenly, "I swear one of these days, Ty, I will shove my foot so far up your ass . . . "
"Pauly? You need to get going, honey!" they heard Ruth call out.
Tyler smirked and said in a high-pitched mocking tone, "Yeah, Pauly, you'll be late for school, honey sweetie-pie!" Then lowering his voice, Tyler said under his breath, "You're such a suck-up to the old bag."
As Tyler turned to leave, Paul grabbed him by the arm and in low menacing voice told him, "You can say whatever you want about me, but you will show my grandmother some respect, do you hear me? You owe her, you little mutant. If it wasn't for her, you'd be in foster care, or better yet, juvie."
Tyler grunted, "Whatever," as he jerked his arm away from Paul and stalked down the short hallway.
Paul took yet another deep breath to calm his anger then stepped into his former bedroom to grab a pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt. When he was dressed, he walked out to the small, but very neat and tidy kitchen and kissed his grandma, Ruth, on the cheek. "Sorry, Grandma. I got in late from work last night, and I guess I overslept." She knew what he was, and that he was out on a late night patrol as a member of the wolf pack that guarded La Push, but the boys didn't so they said no more.
"You work too hard, honey," Ruth said as she touched him on the cheek, her eyes full of love and concern for him. Paul had been her whole world for the last 12 years and she loved him just as much as if she had given birth to him. She quickly handed him an egg and toast sandwich telling him, "Hurry or you'll be late."
Paul gratefully accepted the sandwich as he was starving, then grabbed his book bag. "Thanks, Grandma. Come on, let's go," he said to the boys, taking a huge bite of his sandwich as he walked them outside to the old rust bucket of a car he owned, unlocked it and climbed inside. That's when the first of what he was sure would be many fights that day began.
"Get out, you little turd! I called shotgun," Tyler grunted has he hauled Travis out of the car.
"I hate you, Tyler!" Travis screamed as he kicked Tyler in the leg, who then shot out an arm knocking Travis to the ground.
"Enough!" Paul roared. "Tyler, get your ass in the backseat and shut the hell up!"
Paul started the engine as Travis happily crawled into the front seat beside Paul and Tyler sullenly climbed into the back, slamming the door behind him. Of course, Travis just had to look over his shoulder and stick his tongue out, which caused Tyler to smack him upside the head, which made Travis cry, which all made Paul want to bash their heads together!
"For the love of God, will you two knock it off! Could we have just one morning where you two act like people instead of animals?"
With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, Tyler crossed his arms over his chest and slunk down into the backseat to stare out the window, as Travis pulled his book bag to his chest and stared at his shoes. Satisfied, Paul tromped down on the gas pedal as the car sputtered and shot black smoke out the back, throwing gravel as he shot out of the driveway and turned onto the main road, anxious to get these two to school and out of his life for at least six hours.
It wasn't a long drive, and soon Paul pulled into the small parking lot that was located between the two old brick school buildings. One building housed the elementary and middle school, and the other the high school. As soon as Paul put the car in park, Tyler shot out of the back seat and took off to meet a couple of his low-life friends that were standing near the door. Paul sighed as he looked over at Travis who suddenly looked so lost and lonely. Paul remembered that feeling only too well.
As much as he hated Tyler for his foul mouth and ungrateful attitude, he found he was unfortunately developing a soft spot for Travis . . . probably because he reminded so much him of himself at that age. Travis was having a hard time adjusting to being dumped here. Paul knew his mom wasn't much of a mother, and didn't have a nurturing bone in her body, but when you're a little boy, you don't see that. All you know is that your mom is your mom, no matter if she's not worth your love.
Paul found himself actually giving Travis a smile as he asked, "Want me to walk you to class?" knowing it would make him late for his own first class, but he didn't give a shit. He had been thinking about quitting school anyway. He didn't have time for it, and what did he need an education for anyway? He knew that he would always be tied here to the rez. Being a part of the wolf pack pretty much guaranteed that.
Travis turned to him and answered with a wide smile and an eager nod, so Paul walked him inside the building and down the hall to the first grade classroom where he knelt down to tell him, "Be good today, OK?"
Travis bobbed his head then added, "You be good, too."
That made Paul laugh, something he rarely did anymore. Mussing his kid brother's hair, he said, "I'll try. See you after school." Travis smiled then turned and walked slowly into his classroom.
Paul then made his way out of the building to walk next door to the high school. "Bout time you showed up," he heard as he opened his locker. Looking around the locker door, he found Jared looking back at him with a grin. He and Jared were not only pack brothers, they were also related on Paul's mom's side of the family. They were second cousins, and had been best friends for as long as either of them could remember.
"Whatever," Paul grunted. "Where's your girl-bracelet?" Jared had imprinted first thing after he turned wolf on a girl from school named Kim. She was usually hanging on his arm, hence Paul's nickname for her.
"She took off with her gaggle of friends," Jared answered in a hurry. "Let's go, man. We're already late."
Paul slammed his locker shut and they made their way quickly down the hall to their first boring class of the day. Somehow Paul made it through his morning classes, only dozing off once in history. Thankfully, Jared had flicked him in the back of the head in time so Old Lady Poyser hadn't caught him. Paul hated when she caught him sleeping cause she usually smacked him on the head with a ruler to wake him up and it hurt like hell!
Jared and Paul made their way to the cafeteria for lunch where Kim separated from her pack of girls and made her way to Jared's side. He leaned over and kissed her soundly then said softly, "Hey, baby. I missed you," but not softly enough to get by Paul's sensitive werewolf hearing.
Paul rolled his eyes at the two of them. "Do you mind? I'm trying to eat here."
"Jealous?" Jared smiled.
Paul proceeded to give him the finger as he shoved a forkful of mac and cheese into his mouth.
Jared just laughed at that. "I'll take that as a yes. Dude, you need to get laid. You've been grumpier than usual."
Kim smacked Jared's arm, so he said in his defense, "What? It's true. We all know since Paul phased, he's easier to live with when he's had sex." That's when Kim rolled her eyes and mumbled something about having to put up with a pack of animals.
"Like I got time for anything other than school, work, patrolling and putting up with the spawn of Satan," Paul grumbled as he shoved another bite of food into his mouth then muttered, "What I really need is like fifteen hours of uninterrupted sleep."
Jared had to agree with him. "Man, me, too. Since Bella Swan moved to town and hooked up with her whiny bloodsucker, we've barely had two hours at a time!"
"I heard that," muttered Paul. He didn't mind ripping into a vampire . . . that was the fun of being a wolf. But he hated having to tolerate the Cullen clan. Just because they drank animal blood instead of human blood didn't make a difference to him. A bloodsucker is a bloodsucker. But losing his precious sleep by running all these patrols and not getting to kill any of them? That was just wrong.
After lunch, Paul went back to some more boring classes then as soon as the last bell rang, he headed for the parking lot. Before he walked out the door, he felt a hand touch his arm, then a very sexy feminine voice purred close to his ear, "Hey, Paul. Long time no see."
Paul turned to see Shelia Johnson standing there beside him, smiling her most brilliant smile. "Hey, Shelia."
"I've missed you. Where you been?"
"School, work, you know," Paul answered noncommittally. He and Shelia had hooked up a few times and he had to admit, she was a sight for sore eyes. Jared was right . . . he did need to get laid. Shelia didn't have the best reputation in school, and that's what Paul liked about her. She stood before him now, dressed in a short white skirt and a tank top, with a small pink blouse thrown over it. His gaze traveled down over her cleavage to see her tight little buds straining against the light fabric of that tank top and suddenly he wondered if he could take a little time to get reacquainted with her.
"Maybe we could get together sometime," she offered as she rubbed her breast against his arm.
"Yeah, maybe," Paul returned, feeling himself harden at that suggestive brush on his arm. "I have to work tonight until eight . . . "
Just then Jared interrupted from behind him, "Uh, Paul? Looks like one of your Satan spawn is beating the crap out of some kid."
Paul tore his eyes away from Shelia to see Tyler and some kid rolling on the ground with a circle of onlookers yelling, "Get him! Kick his ass!"
"Shit," Paul sighed as once again he was being pulled from what he wanted to take care of someone else. Paul forced himself to leave Shelia standing there as he ran into the circle, grabbed Tyler by the neck and yanked him off the other kid. "Damnit, Tyler. Knock it off!" he yelled as Tyler then took a swing at him.
Jared noticed as he helped the other kid up that he had some blood on his face. "You OK?" Jared asked him. The kid nodded then a couple of the other boys stepped up and helped him walk away.
"What was that all about?" Paul demanded looking at Tyler, who only had a couple of scratches from his part in the fight.
"Nothing. Leave me the hell alone," Tyler returned angrily as he stalked off toward Paul's car.
Paul looked at Jared and shook his head in frustration. "I better get him home."
"Yeah. See ya later, bro."
Looking around and not seeing Travis anywhere, Paul walked toward the school building where he found him sitting alone on a bench just inside the door. "Hey, let's go," Paul ordered curtly. Travis immediately stood up and trotted out the door.
They arrived at the car to find Tyler leaning sulkily against it. "You OK?" Paul asked as he unlocked the car.
"What do you care?" Tyler shot back as he ripped open the back driver's side door and crawled inside. Paul rolled his eyes as he opened his car door and slid behind the wheel. Once Travis was inside and buckled, Paul took off for home.
As he drove, Paul glanced over at Travis who was sitting there uncommonly quiet, staring down at his feet. "How was your day, Trav?" he asked.
"Fine," he mumbled. Paul doubted that, but he didn't have the patience right now to ask for any details. For once, they drove home in silence, and as soon as the car was parked, they all got out and Tyler asked Paul, "You gonna rat on me?"
"Nope. I won't do that to Grandma. She has enough to worry about. You're just lucky I broke it up before a teacher or the principal did. What was the deal, anyway?"
"He called me a no-good bastard. I know I am, but I don't need it thrown in my face."
Paul knew that feeling, too, as his parents were never married either. And he had been reminded enough over the years by his mother that he was just the result of a night of too much tequila and a broken condom. Kind of puts your life in prospective pretty quick. "Look, Ty, I've been there. You just need to ignore it."
"Well, maybe I'm not as saintly as you are, asshole." And with that Tyler ran off toward the woods as Paul stood there and shook his head. He had a feeling he would never get through to that kid. There was just too much anger boiling inside his little brother . . . it made Paul shudder thinking of what he had probably had to put up with living with their mother all those years.
Travis had already made his way into the house, so Paul did as well, calling out, "Hey, Grandma, we're home." There was no answer, so Paul made his way to the kitchen and finding it empty, he finally thought to look out the window into the backyard. There she was, kneeling in her precious garden pulling weeds. He smiled as he remembered she was more comfortable in the garden than anywhere else. The garden patch got just a little smaller each year, showing Ruth's advancing age, but she wouldn't give it up for anything.
Opening the backdoor, Paul made his way to the garden, and as he walked toward her, Ruth looked up and smiled. "Hi, honey. How was school?"
"Boring, same as always," Paul answered, keeping his word to Tyler by not telling her about the fight. "I gotta leave in about 20 minutes for work. Tyler needed to blow off some steam, so he took off into the woods and Travis is inside. You OK with them here, or should I call Emily and see if they can hang out with her?"
Ruth smiled as she replied, "No, we'll be fine. Send Travis out here to help me. He loves to dig in the dirt. As for Tyler, well, he'll come home when he gets hungry. You always did."
Paul had to smile at that. She was right. As a kid, no matter how upset he was, he always managed to make it home for dinner. Hell, he was still like that. "Alright. Can I bring anything home from the store for you?"
Ruth wiped the sweat from her forehead and thought a minute. "We need some milk and bread. Oh, and peanut butter. That Travis could eat a whole jar of it every day if I let him."
"Yeah, I know," Paul chuckled. "OK. Hey, don't stay out here in this sun too long and don't forget to take your pills at supper."
Ruth picked up her trowel and started digging again as she said, "You know, I'm feeling so much better now. I don't need to take those pills. We can't afford them now with two more mouths to feed." Ruth had a mild heart attack a few months ago, and the doctor said she would be fine as long as she watched her diet, didn't over due, and took her medication.
"Grandma, you're feeling better BECAUSE you're taking the pills. If you stop, you'll get sick again. And we can afford them, so don't even try that." What she didn't know is that Jared's mom, Carol, was buying them for her. It was too much for them with two more mouths to feed, but she really did need them. Jared mentioned it to his mom, who came to Paul and told him she would take care of it, but not to tell Ruth. If his grandma knew, she would throw a fit! "Now promise me you'll take them," Paul ordered.
Ruth finally gave in as she looked up at him and said, "Fine, I'll take them. Pauly, you worry too much."
"Look who's talking!" he shot back with a grin.
"I guess I know where you learned it," Ruth answered as she again turned back to her weeding. Paul bent and dropped a quick kiss her on the cheek then walked back to the house calling out "Travis!" as he walked in the back door.
"In here!" he heard Travis call from his room.
Paul entered the bedroom to find Travis sitting on the bed, head down, picking at the blanket. Again it struck him how much Travis reminded him of himself. Same dark hair, brown eyes . . . head bent in despair. "What's up, buddy?" Paul asked as he sat down on the bed beside him. "Something happen at school today?" Travis didn't answer, but just shrugged his shoulders. "You can tell me. Come on," Paul encouraged him.
Travis finally looked up at him and it struck Paul how much he hated seeing tears in those familiar brown eyes. "We made cards in school today for Mother's Day. I made a card for Mommy, but I don't know where to send it." He then pulled a folded piece of construction paper out of his book bag and handed it to Paul. It had a flower drawn on the front and on the inside was written in purple crayon, "Happy Mother's Day. Love, Travis." Paul felt the anger flow through him at his good-for-nothing mother. She had no clue how much pain she caused, and if she did, she wouldn't care. Travis didn't deserve it. Hell, none of them did.
Paul looked down at his little brother as he put his arm around his shoulders. "This is really nice, Trav. You did a good job. The flower is really pretty."
Travis smiled shyly and wiped his nose with his sleeve. "She always liked purple."
Paul was rather surprised to hear that. He had no idea what his mother liked or didn't like, nor did he care. But Travis did, and he hated to see him suffer.
Paul handed the card back to him and suggested, "You want to hold onto this for her? Or maybe . . . you could give it to Grandma. She would really like it."
His little brother's head shot up as he smiled. "I didn't think of that! Can I give it to Grandma?"
"Sure. You can wait until Sunday if you want, or you can give it to her now. She's in the garden and she wants you to come out and help her. But change your clothes first. We need to keep your school clothes nice." It was hard enough to afford food, let alone clothes and shoes. When the boys came here, they had next to nothing. They were lucky that Ruth had good friends at church who collected some things for Travis to wear, and Sue Clearwater had sent over a bag full of her son Seth's old clothes and shoes for Tyler.
Travis immediately jumped off the bed and jerked open a drawer to pull out a pair of sweatpants that had a hole ripped in the knee and an old t-shirt. He whipped off his shirt to change as Paul got up and left the room, amazed at how fast Travis could go from being sad to being happy. Ah, the innocence of youth.
A glance at the clock told Paul he now had 10 minutes to get to work. It seemed he was always late wherever he went. "I gotta go to work, Trav," Paul called out. "Be good and help Grandma, and when Tyler comes back, try real hard not to fight with him, OK?"
"OK, I will," Travis shouted back. "Bye, Paul!"
A smile touched his lips as Paul called back, "Bye, buddy!" then he picked up his keys, jogged out to his car, climbed in and took off for the store arriving with one minute to spare. Grabbing his time card, he quickly clocked in then tied on the green apron and walked out to talk to Pete, the manager. "Hey, Pete. Where do you want me to start?"
"Hey, Paul," Pete returned warmly. Paul was the best worker he had ever hired and he enjoyed seeing him everyday. "We got a delivery today of canned goods. Why don't you put those on the shelves?"
Paul nodded and went straight to work. While he pulled cans out of the boxes, tagged them with a price sticker then put them on the shelf, he always had time to think, the same questions coming to mind over and over, every day: Where was his life going? Would it always be like this? Feeling pulled in all different directions? When would he ever have time for himself and get to do what he wanted to do? What did he really want to do?
Paul spent four hours at work, only taking one 15-minute break to have something to eat, until finally, at eight it was time to clock out. He was on patrol at nine, so he wondered for a moment what he might do with that precious hour he had all to himself. As he walked out the back door to his car, he found his answer in Shelia Johnson, who was leaning back against his car, arms crossed over her middle to push her boobs up. "Hey, Paul. What's up?"
Paul grinned as he stopped in front of her to say, "Not much . . . yet."
Shelia immediately wound her arms around Paul's neck, entwining her fingers in his short hair. "Yeah? Can I help with that?" she asked sexily, right before she pressed her lips onto his and shot her tongue into his mouth. His hands gripped her hips then slid down to grab her ass as she moaned and pressed herself into his body. Paul pulled away to say, "Climb into the car and let's find a more private place to continue this."
Shelia nodded eagerly as he unlocked the door then she climbed in first and settled into the passenger's seat as he sat down behind the wheel to start the engine. As Paul pulled the car from the parking lot and onto the street, Shelia's hand found it's way onto his leg and squeezed his thigh as she leaned over and kissed his neck, flicking her tongue on his earlobe. He drove way too fast until he found the little lane he was looking for and pulled in then quickly doused the headlights. By this time, she had him so hard he thought he would burst if he didn't have her soon.
Shelia quickly climbed into the backseat, and Paul followed, her hands ripping his t-shirt over his head as soon as he plopped onto the seat beside her. "Geez, Paul, you are so fucking hot!" she exclaimed as her hands immediately went for the zipper on his pants and she yanked it down. Shelia didn't mess around with a lot of foreplay . . . she knew what she wanted and Paul was happy to give it to her, but before this went any further, he reached under the car seat and pulled out a box of condoms. Shelia grinned and asked, "A whole box?"
"I wish, baby. I have to be somewhere at nine, so we don't have a lot of time," Paul told her as he proceeded to pull her tank top off. He was in a hurry to fondle those perky breasts that had enticed him at school as he nipped at her throat and shoulder with his teeth before making his way down to suck one of her hardened nipples into his mouth and tease it with his tongue.
"Oh, Paul," Shelia moaned as she tugged at his hair, just so happy that he had taken her up on her offer. Paul was so good at sex . . . much better than the other immature boys in their class who climbed on, pumped a few times, then rolled off. She hated that.
While they made out, Paul reached down under her skirt to find that she wasn't wearing any underwear . . . and she was dripping wet. God, this girl was such as slut! But right now, that is exactly what Paul needed. He spent a little time stroking her until she grabbed his member and yanked as she moaned and begged, "Come on, Paul . . . I need it now!"
Feeling like he might explode, he pulled back, grabbed the condom, ripped open the package with his teeth and had it rolled on in a matter of seconds. "You ready, baby?"
"Yes!" Shelia practically shouted as she pulled him down to ravage his mouth as Paul moved on top of her, driving into her over and over as she chanted into his ear, "Faster, Paul, faster . . . yes, don't stop, don't stop . . . " He obliged and felt her contract around him as she came hard then he did the same, his body shaking as he emptied into her.
Paul collapsed on top of her, sighing, "Oh, baby, I needed that."
"Glad I could help you out," Shelia panted as he eased himself off of her and sat up. "We're not done yet, are we, baby?" she whined.
"I hate to say it, but yeah, we are. I told you I had to be somewhere by nine," Paul answered as he pulled off the condom and folded it up in the wrapper. He totally believed in using them, especially with Shelia. Paul liked screwing around, but when she ended up pregnant someday, he wanted to make sure she couldn't dump it on him.
As Paul quickly pulled his pants up, Shelia just laid there and watched. He threw her tank top at her and told her, "Get dressed, baby. We gotta go." With a huge sigh, Shelia slipped it over her head as Paul found his t-shirt and did the same.
Paul opened the car door and got out to climb into the driver's seat as Shelia moved to the front, and when she was settled, he glanced at her and actually felt a little guilty over using her like he did. Leaning over, Paul kissed her gently on the lips, saying, "Thanks, Shelia. I wish I had more time."
Shelia smiled and kissed him back, lingering over his lips to say, "Me, too. I didn't get nearly enough of you."
Paul ignored that comment as he moved back behind the wheel and started the car. He wasn't looking for a relationship, especially with Shelia. She wasn't a one-man woman. She was fun for a quickie, but when and if he ever settled down, he wanted someone who would be faithful to only him. He wanted someone that would stay . . . if anyone like that even existed.
Paul drove a little too fast back toward town, thinking how he would have to drop her off then park his car at home and phase and run to Sam's. Shit . . . he'd be late again! As he drove, Shelia was going on about some chick at school that was talking trash about her, but Paul was barely listening as he didn't have time for that kind of high-school girl silliness. Finally pulling up in front of Shelia's house, Paul turned to her, kissing her quickly before he said, "See you at school."
"Sure. Thanks, Paul." Shelia gave him another sexy smile then got out of the car, and he drove off as soon as she reached her front door.
The car skidded to a stop on the gravel drive at home then he grabbed the groceries he had remembered at the last minute to get for his Grandma. As soon as he slammed the car door, he heard Jared jog up behind him. "Paul! Where have you been? We gotta go, dude!" Then he leaned in and sniffed. "Aw, man, you got laid, didn't you? It's about fucking time!"
Paul rolled his eyes and said, "Give me a sec. I need to take this stuff inside." He ran into the house, kicked off his shoes, threw his keys on the table and shoved the milk in the fridge. As he left the kitchen, he noticed Tyler lounging on the couch watching TV. "You got your homework done?" he asked him.
"Yeah, right, like you care."
"I don't. Be a loser, I don't care." Paul made his way over to his room and crept in quietly. At least Travis was in bed, asleep. He pulled a pair of gym shorts out of his drawer, stripped off his jeans and boxers, slipped on the shorts then crept out again. "Get some sleep, Ty."
Instead of the smart ass reply he expected, Tyler surprised Paul by narrowing his eyes and asking, "Where do you go every night?"
Paul stopped and turned around. "I got things to take of."
"You dealing or what?"
"Not everyone that goes out late at night is a drug dealer, Ty," Paul snorted. "Although I understand why you would think that. Apparently our mother is still hanging out with the best crowd." Paul took a deep breath as he wiped his hand over his eyes. He was already exhausted yet he had a four hour patrol to pull before bed. "Look, dude, I gotta go. Just know that Grandma knows what I'm doing, and it's not anything illegal."
Tyler just turned back to the TV as he shrugged, "Whatever. I don't care."
Paul rolled his eyes yet again and stripped off his t-shirt, tossing it over a kitchen chair, then he opened the door and walked out to find Jared pacing outside. "What is it with you? Are ever on time for anything?"
"Apparently not," Paul threw at him as they jogged toward the woods then stopped just inside to strip down and tie their shorts to their ankles. "Let's go."
Paul and Jared simultaneously phased from their human bodies to their alter ego wolves, but before they took one step, Paul heard someone shout from behind him, "HOLY SHIT!" Slowly turning his huge wolf head, Paul saw Tyler hiding in the bushes, his eyes wide in shock.
"Fuck! Now what am I going to do?" Paul thought as he looked over at Jared. Being a part of the wolf pack was a sacred secret that must be kept at all costs. If this got out . . . "You go on to Sam's. I gotta deal with this."
"Sure. Good luck with that." Jared turned and ran off into the woods leaving Paul to clean up his mess.
Paul quickly phased back into this human body and pulled his shorts on as he made his way toward a very confused and terrified Tyler, who was still frozen to his spot in the bushes.
"Ty, it's OK. I'm not some beast that will kill you or anything, although I could if I wanted to, but I'm not a monster."
Hearing Paul's voice, Tyler woke from his stupor and was now retreating slowly as Paul made his way closer. Paul's arm shot out and caught Tyler before he took off running. "Hey, look at me."
Tyler finally looked up at Paul and stuttered, his voice shaking, "Wh . . . what th . . . the fuck was that? Are you . . . a . . . werewolf?"
"Kind of. More of a shape shifter. I can shift my body into that of a wolf. It's a genetic thing, passed down on my father's side of the family. Anyway, I would love to stand here and explain it to you, but I'm late for my patrol. See, we patrol the rez to keep it safe, do you understand?" Tyler nodded hesitantly. "Look, Grandma knows all about it. You can talk to her, but NO ONE else, you got that? It is very important that you NEVER tell anyone else about what you saw. Especially Travis. He's too little to understand. I need you to promise, Ty."
Tyler just stared at Paul, saying nothing so Paul gave him a shake. "I mean it, Tyler. This is not only my life, but many others on the rez. You have to promise to keep your mouth shut. Can you do that?"
Finally Tyler squeaked out, "Yeah, OK."
Paul let him go with a shove. "Good. Go home and don't say a word. I'll try to find some time tomorrow to tell you more." Tyler nodded again then turned to run back to the house and Paul hoped to hell that he could actually trust him for once, even though he wasn't so sure. But, like always, he didn't have the time to do anything about it right now.
Paul once again stripped his shorts off and secured them to his ankle with the leather band that was always there then he took off and phased on the run. He knew he would get an ass-chewing about being late and he didn't have to wait long for it.
"Nice of you to finally join us," he immediately heard from Sam, their almighty leader. "When I say nine, Paul, I mean it! You need to get your head out of your ass and take this seriously!"
"Whatever. I'm on my way."
"Jared told me what happened. Did you take care of it?"
"As best I could with what little time I had. I'll talk to him tomorrow." Paul flew through the forest and arrived at Sam's in just a few minutes. He was also related to Sam on his father's side of the family, as Sam's grandfather and Paul's grandfather had been brothers. This is where he assumed he got the wolf gene. As he pulled up to Sam's, he noticed everyone else was already here . . . except Jacob Black. Probably sniffing around Bella. Jake couldn't seem to stay away from that chick, even though she clearly preferred bloodsuckers.
"Jacob reported to me that some new leech had been sniffing around Bella's bedroom today. Apparently one of her shirts is missing, so they think it was all about learning her scent. So, we are going to fan out and look for any new scents crossing the rez. Got it?"
So that explained where Jake was. He had his nose glued to Bella's ass as usual.
Sam went on, "Jared and Seth will fan out to the north and west. Paul, Leah, you guys go south and east. Quil, Jake, Embry and I will relieve you all around two."
As the pack broke up and went their separate ways, Paul huffed at being paired up with Leah. Well, it was his turn he guessed. The other guys needed a break, and he knew there was no way she would pair up with her ex, Sam. Ever since Sam imprinted on her cousin, Emily, Leah had turned into the pack bitch who took out her misery on anyone that was around her. And unfortunately, that was the pack.
"Sorry you drew the short straw and got stuck with me, huh?"
"Whatever. Let's just get this done. I'm beat. I need some sleep." And with that, they put their noses to the ground and headed to the south as ordered. As usual, when he was patrolling, Paul's mind wandered, and he hoped his mutant of a brother would keep his mouth shut about what he'd seen. He wouldn't mind kicking his ass, but it would upset his grandmother and he couldn't do that to her.
Then his thoughts turned to what happened in the car with Shelia. Man, that had felt good, Paul thought, but it wasn't nearly long enough. He hated quickies. It was just enough to get you going, but it left you wanting more.
"So, you finally got laid? Great. That's just what I want to see. You humping the shit out of some slut."
"Yeah? Jealous, Leah?"
"Fuck you, Paul."
"You name the time and place, baby, and I'm there."
"Ugh, you make me want to vomit."
"I love you, too, Leah."
The sad part was that he really did care for her. They had been friends when she and Sam were dating and she was such a fun girl then. Leah was a real beauty . . . she didn't have to fuss with make-up and fancy clothes. Just her smile alone could make you go weak in the knees. And she was smart and funny, but she had enough of a mouth on her to help her fit in with Sam and Jared and Paul. They used to hang out a lot, until the big break up. Paul had tried to talk to her when it happened, but he remembered it didn't go so well . . .
Paul decided he had to talk to her . . . make sure she was OK. When he heard that Sam had dumped Leah, he couldn't believe it! They were tight - the most solid couple he had ever seen. He looked all over town, until he remembered her talking about a place in the woods near a small waterfall she always loved when she was a kid. That is exactly where he found her, sitting alone by the waterfall, throwing pebbles one by one into the pool of water.
"Hey," Paul said softly as he sat down beside Leah, who didn't even glance his way as she threw another pebble into the water. Laying his hand on her arm, he asked, "Leah? You OK?"
Slowly she turned her head toward him, her eyes so red and puffy from crying. Fresh tears slid down her cheeks as she retorted, "What do you think?"
Paul surprised himself by pulling Leah to him and wrapping his arms around her to keep her close. What surprised him more is that she actually relaxed into him and let him hold her for a few moments. "God, Leah, I'm so sorry. What the hell happened?"
That's when Leah shoved Paul away and he saw her anger come to the surface. "What do you think happened? I introduced him to my cousin, Emily. Perfect little Emily who is prettier than me, nicer than me, and doesn't have the foul mouth that I have. Apparently, all this time he's been lying to me about how much he loves me. I guess I wasn't really what he wanted, so Sam dumped my ass and now he's with her."
"I find that hard to believe. I've met Emily, and well, she's nice and all, but she's nothing compared to you."
Rolling her eyes, Leah returned, "Yeah, thanks, Paul, for trying. But I don't want to hear any more lies."
Paul grabbed her chin and forced Leah to look at him. "I'm not lying, Leah. You know me, I don't lie to chicks. I don't need to." She jerked her chin away, but Paul went on to tell her, " You're beautiful, and strong and fun and you say what you mean. That's sexy as hell, Leah. Something is wrong here because I know how much Sam loves you. He almost beat the shit out of me once for mentioning that you had a great ass!"
That at least made her smile. "I have a great ass, huh? Geez, Paul, you'll make me blush."
"Out of all of what I said, that's what you heard? You have a great ass?" Paul chuckled. "Look, Leah, I know this is killing you. You've been with him for a long time. A really long time. But there are guys out there who would kill to have one date with you. And after you take some time, maybe you'll see that."
Leah looked into his eyes and whispered, "Are you one of them?"
Paul was taken aback at that. Was he? He had always been attracted to her, but . . . she was Sam's and according to the bro-code, that made her off-limits. But now, looking at her, and seeing what Sam had done . . . he wondered . . .
Before he realized what he was doing, Paul leaned in and kissed Leah softly on the lips. God, she tasted good. Her lips were soft and sweet . . . he tried to deepen the kiss and that's when she shoved him back and said, "Stop it, Paul."
Leah stood up and turned away from him as he asked in confusion, "What the hell, Leah?"
"I don't need your pity. Just leave me the hell alone," she spit at him.
Paul jumped up and spouted, "Pity? You think I kissed you out of pity? Did you hear nothing I said to you before that? About you being beautiful, and strong and . . . "
"Whatever. I can't do this, Paul. OK? It hurts too much . . . please, just leave me alone." And with that, Leah ran away, leaving him standing there feeling like a complete idiot.
And ever since then, Leah had sunk lower and lower into her misery, no matter what anyone said to her. It broke Paul's heart really to see her like this, but he knew she would never believe him if he told her that.
"You know what I miss, Leah? I miss us being friends. You think we might ever get back to that?"
Leah tried to hide her shock at Paul's question. Where had that come from, she wondered. Since Sam dumped her and broke her heart, everyone avoided her like the plague . . . her misery was just too poisonous to be around. "I don't know, Paul. I just can't see anyone wanting to be around me right now."
"Well, try me sometime. You might be surprised."
Paul surprised himself by truly meaning that. He had liked being friends with Leah in the past, and he hoped that maybe they could find a way to get back to that. If only she would let them.
Paul forced that from his mind and again tried to concentrate on what he was doing out here in the woods. They covered their area several times, never finding a thing. Another wasted night.
Finally, sometime around two, they heard Sam call them back. Paul went willingly and reported in then turned toward home, phasing back into his human body as soon as he hit the back yard, then creeping quietly into the house. As his body crashed onto the lumpy couch, he thought, "What a long fucking day!" Then his eyes closed and he was asleep and snoring in no time.