Disclaimer: In no way, shape or form do I own Twilight
Summary: Bella was never in control, not with Edward, and now not with this crazy thing called imprinting. Though this crazy thing called imprinting, may very well be the best thing that has ever happened to her. Is it crazy, or is it wonderful?
Authors Note: I seem to be having a fandom-ism at the moment. One day I'm pulling all of my stories, and the next day I'm starting new ones. Who knows. This is one of those new ones, and I'll try to update on a weekly schedule. No promises though.
Author's Note Part Deux: Okay, so whatever's going on with the Twilight servers on this site will not get the better of me, dammit. I don't know if they've put up this "Vampires" category as a way around or what, but I'm using it. Enjoy!
It didn't seem like I'd ever be in control of my life.
Edward; at the time it had seemed like I didn't have any other choice but to love him. I didn't have a choice when he left. Some would argue that I'd had a choice about the subsequent depression that left me catatonic, but to those some people, I say, you try it. Go ahead. We'll see how well you come out.
And just as everything seemed to be balancing, evening out again, I'd had my choices taken away again. An act of fate, out of all of our control, a chance run-in in the meadow. I'd been seconds from Death; I could still feel Death's icy cold hands cupping my face; Death that had taken the form of a Rastafarian vampire. Then they had saved me, he had saved me. The Pack.
I'd learned about the existence of werewolves, well, shape-shifters if you wanted to get technical, later that very same day. He had explained it all to me. To say that I was surprised to find him on my front porch, after answering his knock, wearing a shirt, no less, would be a drastic understatement. I didn't really know who he was, not really. Just what Jake had told me, and Jake didn't exactly have good things to say about him. Regardless, I'd invited him in, offered him something to drink, and there, sitting at my kitchen table, he'd told me about werewolves and imprinting.
I remember thinking, were all of my childhood-feared monsters real? First vampires, now werewolves. What was next? Zombies? The boogie-man in my closet? A knuckle-dragger with red glowing eyes under my bed? It wouldn't have surprised me. Not one bit. I sat there, my hands wrapped around a tall glass of lemonade, listening to this man tell me that I was his soul-mate, and that he was mine. Another choice gone. We were quiet, finishing out drinks, and he stood close behind me as I took the glasses to the sink and rinsed them out. Then he led me outside, and phased. There, standing before me, was the huge silver-gray wolf that I'd seen earlier in the meadow. What I felt then, I can't describe. It was all too much. Much too much. I averted my eyes and he phased back, and I could feel his eyes on me as he pulled his shorts back on.
I couldn't think of anything to say as we stood in my back yard, the wolf and his imprint. I finally settled on thanking him (for what, I still don't know) and telling him that it would probably be better if he left-I needed time to process everything. I said all of this while staring down at my sneaker covered feet, missing his flinch of pain. I looked up just enough to watch his feet. He hesitated, then turned and left, disappearing into the trees that surrounded my house.
That'd been three weeks ago. Three weeks since I'd seen him, the man that I didn't know. Three weeks of splitting headaches, sleepless nights, and restless nerves. Charlie was worried, Renee was worried, Angela was worried. They were all worried. They thought that I'd relapsed back into my deep depression, and I couldn't explain to them that that wasn't it at all. It was like having... the flu, or something, and the only way to get better was to go to him. To give in to that urge that had settled deep into my heart and brain that told me to go to him. He apparently hadn't been fairing any better.
Sam had come to my house this morning. He'd pleaded with me to at least talk to him. I couldn't explain to him why I couldn't. Why I couldn't give up that control again. I just couldn't do it. "You don't understand," I'd said to him, and was shocked when he'd chuckled and said, "I understand more than you know." Sam had convinced me to at least go and talk to his fiancee, Emily. To what point, I didn't know. Not then, anyways. I did now. Emily had greeted me with a warm smile and a mug of herbal tea, and, while I had been momentarily stunned over the scars that ran jagged, marring her beautiful face, the reaction didn't last for long. I had plenty of scars of my own, after all. She told me she and Sam's story; she told me everything. She said that she knew what I was feeling, she'd tried to do the same that I was doing.
It had nearly killed them both. She finally gave in, and she told me that she'd been a fool for trying to fight it at all. She and Sam were made for each other, and she'd never been happier. Emily convinced me to at least talk to him, just talk. What harm could that do? I departed with a hug and a small container of home-made banana bread, Emily telling me that I needed a little meat on my bones.
On the drive back to Forks, I took a detour, pulling to the side of the road, across from where I had first seen the LaPush boys cliff jumping. I had driven a little further up the road, and found what I was looking for; a path that allowed me to drive my truck to the cliff's edge. I had stopped a safe distance away, and climbed out, pocketing my keys. I climbed up onto the hood, propping my foot on one of the front tires to hoist myself up. Leaning back against the windshield, I folded my hands across my belly.
My head was clearer here in LaPush. The ache in my head receded, and I was able to relax for the first time in weeks.
That was where he found me. I didn't hear him coming, of course, with his wolfish stealth. The truck dipped as he climbed up, and he settled next to me. I didn't open my eyes, I knew who it was.
"Hello, Bella," he said, his voice a quite timber.
"What are you doing out here? Aren't you cold?" His tone was laced with concern.
"Not at all," I told him. "It's nice out here. This is the first time I've felt at peace since... well, you know."
"Yeah, I know."
I shifted toward him without making the conscious decision to do so. His arm brushing against mine told me that he had done the same.
"I'm sorry about all of this," Paul said to me.
"It's not your fault." His hand touched mine, and I looked away from the peaceful ocean, meeting his eyes.
"I know that, but, still... I'm sorry."
"You know, you're nothing like Jake said that you were," I told him, recalling the stories of Paul the brawler, the womanizer, the rake, the rouge, the scoundrel.
"Believe me," he said, "I'm all the things he told you I was, or I was all the things he tol you. Until now. Until you." His eyes were such a dark shade of brown, that out here in the night they looked black. The moon cast half his face in shadow, but I could still make out the frown that tugged at his mouth. I sighed, turning to look at the water again.
"This is crazy," I said, my voice low. I couldn't help but to take the hand that was still touching mine in my own, and squeezing it. Paul was still watching me, I could feel it.
"I know. But Bella, please..." His pleading tone made me look at him again, "I can't be away from you any more. The more we fight this, the harder it will be. I just... I can't do it."
I sighed again, and lifted my free hand to his face, marveling at the way the agony I had been over the past weeks had disappeared after ten minutes in his presence. "I know, Paul. I know what you mean. I-I'm not quite ready to jump in head-first, but I know that I can't be away from you either," I chuckled a little. "And I know that if I don't start sleeping any more than I have been, Charlie's going to start slipping me sleeping pills." He laughed along with me.
"We're going to have to tell Charlie, you know," I said to him. He looked alarmed. "Well, he's going to wonder why I'm suddenly moving out of his house, and in with the man-whore of LaPush. No offense."
"None taken," Paul said in a gruff voice. He paused for a moment. "What do you mean, move in?"
I snorted. "What else could I mean? We've decided that we can't be apart, and what better way to get to know a person, really?"
"You've got a point," he said. I could tell that he was uncomfortable, and remained silent, waiting for him to spill.
"Bella, my-" he growled a little, and I smirked at the sound, "My house isn't the... nicest place. Nothing like what you were use to with the leech." My brow furrowed, and an annoyed anger washed over me. I hauled back and punched him in the shoulder, masking the instant pain that shot up my arm.
"You asshole. I don't care about any of that." I drew away from him, sliding off the hood of the truck. I wrenched open the drivers side door. "Meet me at Sam and Emily's place tomorrow," I told him, "we'll talk to Sam about telling Charlie." Paul jumped down, and disappeared faster than my eyes could follow.
I wasn't sure why Paul's comment pissed me off so much. But I carried my irritation with me to bed that night, only managing to shake it on the drive to LaPush the next day. I'd had to ice my hand before going to bed the night before, and while it was still a little sore this morning, but I hadn't done any real damage. On the drive, I thought over the look on Paul's face as he'd told me he didn't have a nice house, and I felt a pang of regret for my response.
He'd admitted something that to him was potentially humiliating, and for someone as proud as I'd gathered Paul was, that was a hard thing to do. It was only natural that he'd follow it up with an acerbic comment. "I'm such an ass," I thought to myself. I would just have to prove to him that things like money, big houses and fancy cars didn't mean shit to me.
When I braked to a stop in front of the cheery yellow and white house, Paul and Sam were sitting on the front porch. I switched the truck off, and did some deep breathing as I unbuckled my seat-belt. Reaching toward the door, I jumped when I saw that Paul was already standing there, reaching for the handle.
"Thanks," I said as I slid out of my seat.
"No problem," he replied, slamming the door shut, walking just a few inches behind me all the way up to the house. Instead of being uncomfortable with his hovering presence, like I'd always been with Edward, I found it soothing to be so close to him.
"Bella," Sam greeted from where he was sitting in a white-painted wooden chair. He motioned to the only other piece of furniture on the porch, a bench swing, painted white to match the chair he said in. I glanced at Paul as we sat, our arms touching once again.
Sam leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees. "Paul tells me that you want to tell Charlie about all of this," he said. I nodded and swallowed around the nervous lump in my throat.
"Yeah. I mean, he's going to wonder about the suddenness of all this, and I don't want to lie to him any more than I already have," I finished in a mumble. I was nervously picking at a small hole in my jeans; Paul's hand covered mine, and my tension disappeared.
"Crazy," I mumbled, and saw Paul twitch a smile out of the corner of my eye. When I looked back to Sam, he was smiling too.
"I'll have to speak with the Elders," Sam said, "but I don't think it will be a problem. Charlie's been a friend to the tribe for many years."
My smile was grateful. "Thanks, Sam."
Paul was still watching me as I stood from the swing, withdrawing my hand from his. "I'm going to go in and talk to Emily," I told them both.
Paul spoke for the first time since my arrival. "I think we'll go and talk to the Elders right now. They should all be over at Billy's place, right Sam?"
"Yeah," Sam agreed, "the sooner the better." Both Paul and I agreed.
I watched them walk off toward the Black's house before turning and walking through the screen door, letting it fall close with a slap.
Ending Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed, like I said, I'll try to update on a weekly schedule.
Let me know what you thought of it.