The Wrong Wolf – A Paul/Kim/Jared story
Kim's been crushing on Jared since grade school. One fine day he suddenly takes an interest in her. Will he be everything she's longed for or will reality fall short of fantasy? Will another wolf prove more compatible? My take on imprinted wolf behavior. AU/OOC/M for Lang & Lemons galore/Bit of KimXJared/Lotta KimXPaul. Reviews welcome and appreciated!
Maybe the attention was simply all in my head? I felt I was getting strange looks as I drifted down the familiar hallways of the Quileute Reservation High School. Oh, God, everyone is whispering about me. I could feel it even if I didn't exactly hear what was being said. No one ever whispered about me? I'd studiously avoided attention my entire life and as such I'd made a school career out of blending. It was a talent I was oddly proud of. Today was the first day of school, following the best summer break of my almost 17 years; a summer spent down south with my cousins in California.
I was convinced it wasn't entirely my own paranoia when Gabby, a particularly genetically blessed girl in my grade blocked my path for a moment with her angelic visage, gasping a shocked, "Wow, Kim! You look SO different. Did you get contacts?"
"Um…yeah…something like that" I managed to mutter in response, ducking my head and darting around her to make my way to my locker. My fingers shook as I twirled the combination lock. If I'd carved out a niche for myself by being invisible, Gabby had created a legacy by doing the opposite- as if being drop dead gorgeous couldn't garner enough attention for her already.
"Your hair looks different too" Gabby persisted, following me over to my locker. Oh, God, why didn't she stop talking to me already? She was sure to draw even more attention…and likely not in a good way. I could already feel my cheeks growing hotter. Where was my best friend Maggie when I needed her? She should have met me at my locker by now. I hadn't even seen her since I'd been back in LaPush as I'd only flown in the evening before. Maggie was impossible to miss, even in a crowded hallway. She must have been running late or something.
"Are you wearing make-up? And are those…J Brand jeans? "
I tried to ignore Gabby's inquisition as she sidled up to my right side. "Tite threads!" she complimented, openly checking me out from head to toe. I tucked my chin further into my chest, letting my long jet black hair fall forward creating a veil on either side of my face. I hoped it would somehow shield me from the scrutiny of my growing unwanted audience. LaPush was a rather small pond; LaPush High a large puddle.
"Yeah, she totally got a makeover or… something!" Shit! That was Darla I'd heard to my left, Gabby's evil cohort in genetic brilliance. Darla was equally as Victoria's Secret model stunning, but her brash, nasally voice tended to diminish her appeal somewhat.
Why were the reservation's supermodels even talking to me? Ugh! Had I broken some unwritten rule of high school hierarchy etiquette? Did I need permission from the IT girls to cut my hair into long layers? Wear a frickin new pair of jeans? I yanked my locker door open with sweaty hands and began fumbling with my bag, praying I was grabbing the right notebooks for my first two period classes. A sudden sharp intake of breath to my left startled me enough that I dropped my bag and books.
"Holy fuck!" Darla exclaimed in what seemed to be complete horror. "Are those Louboutin boots? Did you rob a fucking bank over the summer?" Damnit, I knew my aunt Susie had been lying when she said she got them for me at a DSW.
"Um…they're…ah…just some boots my aunt got me over the summer…when I was in California." I managed to stammer out in a voice far more dignified than the high-pitched squeal I'd feared would emerge as I stooped to gather my scattered belongings. "And the jeans are hand-me-downs from my cousin Alison." I was justifying. Why was I justifying my wardrobe to these freakishly statuesque teenage anomalies?
"Can I borrow them?" Darla gush-giggled loudly. "Like right now?" She snorted at her own humor. "Those boots are seriously fuck-me hot!"
"Uhhhh…maybe some other time?" It came out sounding like I was asking her to do me a favor and not yank them off my feet right now in the hallway.
"Really? What size?" Gabby squealed.
"Eight." Was this conversation for real? I anxiously searched my bag for my class schedule.
"I'm a nine but I'll squeeze my fat toes into those 'sex walking' boots regardless" Darla assured the entire crowded hall. Clearly she never favored her indoor voice much.
"Yay! I'm a seven-and-a-half!" Gabby yipped excitedly.
"You're always the lucky one!" Darla whined and rolled her eyes.
I focused on the valuable scrap of paper I'd just located. History. I had Quileute history class first period. I had a destination and a room number. Now if I could just shake these two…
"Where you headed?" Gabby grabbed the schedule right out of my hand. "Oooh, I have history now too! We can walk together." She squealed, her expression a portrait of seemingly sincere glee.
Weird. Aunt Susie always said the right pair of shoes could change the course of your life but this was just silly. Gabby and I hadn't moved in the same social circles since about 2nd grade. Now she wanted to walk my new boots to class?
"S-sure. Why not?" Maggie was still nowhere in sight. I reluctantly shut my locker, raised my head and turned to face the two girls who were likely contemplating jumping me in a dark stairwell at the first opportunity, snagging my new boots and dumping my body in the girls' locker room.
"O… M… G! That top is too cute." Darla reached out a hand to touch the front slit neckline of my lavender colored tee shirt. I jerked back slightly in surprise and her hand ended up petting my left boob.
"Nice! Girl on girl action!" A male voice boomed from directly across the hallway. I looked up to see four hulking guys in football jerseys chuckling and leering at us from where they stood gathered at the lockers on the opposite wall. Darla just tittered and shook a finger at the boys in reprimand, although it was obvious she didn't mind their attention in the least. Two of the senior players, Jack and Alec, high-fived. I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to smack my forehead with the heel of my hand. I didn't know any of the guys on the team other than by reputation, but Alec was good friends with another football player I was desperate to know; one I'd been pining after my entire existence…Jared Cameron.
Ah, Jared Jared Jared Jared…a name I'd barely spoken aloud all summer. Maggie was the one friend I freely tormented with my incessant worshipful musings of Jared Cameron. And then as if I'd conjured her up, Maggie's lanky frame came into view. She must have grown another two inches over the summer without gaining an ounce. She looked liked she'd been stretched on a rack or something as she towered over the majority of our schoolmates, boys included. Damn, she was probably pushing 6' now. Her brows were furrowed as she regarded me and the scene before her in marked confusion. Our eyes met and I mouthed the word, "help".
"In case you boys were wondering, hers are real and they feel awesome!" Darla suddenly announced, winking conspiratorially at me and giving the underside of my right boob a little pat, causing my 32C cup to jiggle slightly beneath my fitted tee.
Maggie's eyes widened in horror as a sympathy blush painted her dusky skin. I was sure my own honey almond complexion had turned crimson. If only I'd just stayed and gone to school in California like my aunt had offered.
Gabby fell into a fit of giggles, as did most of my onlookers. Male voices were "ooh-ing" and "ah-ing" and making flirtatious and lewd remarks I chose to block out. Darla seemed pleased by her own clever wit and basked in the approval for a moment before returning her attention to the ever fascinating task of dissecting my new wardrobe. I made a mental note to shop exclusively at the Walmart in Forks from now on. Better to pay hard-earned money for inconspicuous threads than wear free attention grabbing cast-offs.
"I must know who makes this top" Darla pulled determinedly at my back collar, lifting my hair aside to inspect the inner label. Ewe, did being a high school supermodel procure you the right to invade anyone's personal space at will?
"It…it's just a hand me down from my cousin" I grumbled out. My cheeks were burning as I looked up to see most of the student body awaiting the announcement of the maker of my shirt. Christ, it was just a frickin used tee shirt! Maggie looked on in sick fascination, mouthing the word, "sorry". She hated attention as much as I did. I knew she was definitely feeling my pain.
"Michael Stars?" Darla announced with a frown as she read my shirt. "Who's Michael Stars?"
"Um…just some guy who makes really comfy tee-shirts my cousin Alison wears a lot of?" Why did every statement that came out of my mouth now suddenly sound like a question?
"Hmm…well I love the way the material clings and drapes." Darla stepped back and regarded me with a critical eye. "So simple… yet elegant."
It was like watching a Native Heidi Klum assess the work of a nervous amateur designer on Project Runway. Gabby thoughtfully nodded her concurrence. There was an awkward moment of silence as both Gabby and Darla's eyes narrowed into slits, regarding me up and down with renewed interest and…suspicion?
"Uh…thanks?" My voice sounded muffled due to the pounding of blood in my ears. "I gotta get to class." I shot Maggie another "save me" look. She just stood frozen across the hallway, a lanky, curly- haired deer in headlights.
"Wait!" Darla grabbed me roughly by the shoulders before I could even manage a step. Was she going to publicly molest me again? A look of realization spread across her perfect features and she tilted her head to the side, revealing her new epiphany in her full outdoor "whisper-shout" voice.
"You got plastic surgery in California over the summer, didn't you? That's it! That's what's so different about you." If only I'd never gotten out of bed this morning. A chorus of gasps and "I knew it"s erupted from all directions in the increasingly claustrophobic hallway. I think my lower jaw hit my Lou-batter-whatever boots.
Gaby seemed to mock-gasp in horror, before mock-correcting herself with a hand to her lips, followed by a fake sweet smile. "Don't worry, it looks really, really natural" she hastened to assure me with an I-feel-so-sorry-and-embarrassed-for-you arm around my shoulder.
Tears burned the back of my eyes as I felt all my newly gained confidence from a summer spent in the loving support of my late mom's brother's family swiftly eroding away. This was all kinds of fucked up. Plastic surgery? Seriously? Because I wasn't wearing glasses and I had on new used skinny jeans and eye make-up? These Barbie bitches didn't play nice.
What would Alison say? What would Alison say? What kind of damage could my Loulou-whatchamacallit boots do if shoved hard enough up Darla's ass? My older cousin Alison always knew what to say in these situations.
I heard a throat clear across the hall and looked up to see a red-faced, beyond irate Maggie about to lay into my attackers. Since when did Maggie have such a short fuse? Oh, shit! Maggie was even lamer than I was when it came to clever comebacks. I had to say something before Maggie made the situation even worse despite her noble intentions.
Channel my inner Alison, channel my inner Alison. I thought back to some of the crushing set downs I'd seen Alison deliver during my time with her. The hilarity of one particular incident in the ladies' room of a rather exclusive club in Los Angeles suddenly came to mind and whether it was due to my heightened emotional state, nervousness over my presently beyond embarrassing situation or the memory of Alison's humorous remarks, I don't know, but I suddenly snorted and then guffawed like a lunatic right in Gabby's perfectly pretty face.
"Oh, you're SO sweet to compliment me! But you know my dad doesn't have the kind of money to spend on plastic surgery like your parents do. Thank you, though. It looks natural because it IS natural." I met their eyes and managed to smile as fake sincerely as possible.
"Really, that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me." Then I slung my bag over my shoulder, effectively whacking Gabby's arm off of me in the process and narrowly missing braining her in the face as it whipped fully around my back to complete its trajectory.
I fixed Maggie with an overly bright grin and shoved my way through the throng of idiot onlookers, "Maggie! There you are! How was your summer?" I grabbed Maggie's arm and yanked her down the hallway as fast as my stupid designer heeled boots would allow.
Once we'd turned the corner I released a breath I hadn't noticed I'd been holding. I'd been publicly groped and humiliated before the first bell had even rung.
"What. The. Hell. Was. That?" Maggie slouched down slightly to my height and leaned in to whisper as we speed-walked arm in arm. At 5'7" I wasn't exactly short but not quite tall either compared to Maggie. Fortunately in my fancy heels I was closer to 5'9" so Maggie didn't have to strain her neck too much.
"I know, that wasn't the world's greatest comeback but it was all I could manage on the spot" I whispered back. "I have Quileute history first. You?"
"I have Pre-Calc. It was fine. Better than fine. It wasn't like you at all. You're not like you at all. Seriously, what DID you do to yourself over the summer? But first, listen, I need to talk to you about something important."
"Oh, thank s a lot! I did NOT get plastic surgery, okay! Well, actually, I did get laser eye surgery. Wait, does that count as plastic? Oh, my God! No…no, I'm fairly certain that doesn't count because it's corrective and not necessarily for cosmetic purposes, right? Then again, it IS elective. Oh, damnit, I did get plastic surgery, didn't I?" I stopped dead in my tracks.
"Stop it before I slap you." Maggie jerked me back into stride. "Let's just decide that it doesn't count, okay? We have to talk and there's not much time."
"They're hand me downs from Alison, okay, and I swear I didn't know the boots crazy Aunt Susie gave me were anything special."
"Kim, stop babbling already! This isn't about you or your 90210 makeover. You look great- fantastic really. Honestly, you've never looked better, that's why the wicked stepsisters attacked you. But that's not what I need to tell you about." She pulled me over to the side and we huddled against the wall out of the way of hallway traffic. I could see students already filing into my first period history class two doors down from where we stood.
Maggie's eyes were filled with concern and…apprehension? "Kim, listen, some weird things started happening while you were away for the summer. I don't know exactly…I mean, I don't know…for sure…really…but I think it might be…ah…hell, this is so hard to say…I mean…without sounding completely crazy… Well…how much of our legends to you know about? No, maybe that's not the best place to start…um…do you remember that time we went camping when we were ten and we heard the weird howling noise and my dad told us that scary story? No, wait…scrap that…that wasn't the right legend…um…"
I felt myself going cross-eyed and my mind wandering aimlessly as my brain was starting to ache from trying to decipher what the deuce Maggie was going on about. Then she uttered the one phrase that would always capture my attention.
"Kim, it's about Jared." She paused, bit her lip and closed her eyes as if contemplating the best choice of words. "Something…something has happened to him." What the fuck was she trying to say to me? Oh, my God, something bad had happened to my Jared? I felt my heart rate kick into overdrive and I had to force a breath into my lungs before I passed out. I gripped her upper arms.
"Oh, my God, Maggie! Is he okay? Was he in an accident? Is he sick? Does he need my kidney? Oh, my, God, why didn't you call me?"
She shook her head rapidly and sighed heavily in irritation. "Stop, stop, he's fine alright. He's just…different. Different in a…weird…scary…kind of way." She gave me a heavy, pointed look. Was that supposed to mean something to me? Christ she was annoying. Enough with the charades already!
"Uh…O-kay? Did you want to elaborate?" And make some damn sense?
Maggie opened her mouth to continue but a ruckus from behind her drew my attention further down the hallway where a sea of students parted eagerly to allow two Quileute gods to pass. Holy. Taha. Aki. They looked to be nearly 7' tall, bronzed and muscled with such definition beyond anything I'd ever seen or imagined possible for the human male body. From a distance they looked like twins, brothers at very least. Both gods wore their raven locks cropped closely to their heads and were dressed in khaki shorts and simple fitted tee shirts which did nothing to hide the brilliance of their impeccably chiseled physiques. As they drew closer I noticed their movements seemed almost perfectly synchronized as they strode in unison swiftly in our direction. Their faces looked hard, focused, and unrelenting in their course. Even from a distance the steeliness in their determined expressions sent a shiver down my spine. Their dark eyes seemed oddly unseeing, focused on nothing, yet somehow at the same time surveying and capturing everything which surrounded them all at once.
As they came closer still, I recognized them as two of my classmates, and I felt a layer of goose-bumps swiftly blanket my skin. The gods were none other than the reservation's resident bad boy Paul Lahote and my own beloved Jared Cameron. Holy Taha Aki!
This must be the change in Jared that Maggie was unsuccessfully trying to tell me about. For as long as I could remember Jared had always been the most beautiful creature on the face of the planet in my estimation, yet somehow over the summer he had managed grow into the body of a freakishly fit 20-year-old god who looked, well, quite simply, like sex walking.
I'd often quietly mused throughout summer vacation whether Jared would come back to school with a really dark tan or simply a medium dark tan? If he would grow an inch in height over the summer or two inches? If he would alter the side on which he favored parting his shoulder length hair and how much more adorable he'd look with these minor changes? But the Jared in front of me now completely exceeded any change or new level of hotness my meager 17-year-old imagination had been capable of conjuring up during an entire break. Clearly I lacked imagination.
It occurred to me I may have also chosen the wrong time to obtain perfect vision, because now that I could see him clearly in all of his new splendor, I didn't know if I'd ever be able to look away; to see or focus on anything other than Jared ever again. Certainly if he got any cuter, I'd have to poke one of my eyes out simply for self-preservation. He was just that beautiful.
Oh, no! Jared had always been beautiful to me, even in 7th grade when he was scrawny with braces and his nose and ears had awkwardly grown faster than the rest of his face. But now he was sure to be noticed as such by the entire female population of LaPush, Forks, Port Angeles, the greater Seattle area and likely the entire Pacific Northwest. Oh, dear, Lord! I'd failed to make any progress in gaining his affections and I'd been trying since I'd first laid eyes on him in the supermarket at age 4. How in the world was I going to compete for his attention now when likely every female who crossed his path would be falling at his feet? My god, they probably already had been all summer long! He could have a girlfriend by now? He could have lost his virginity to someone other than me?
Not that I had it on any authority that he was still a virgin before I left for the summer. But I had quietly been saving myself for him, and well, I guess I'd hoped beyond hope that he was somehow still a virgin too. I mean, I knew he'd had girlfriends before and I'd even seen him kissing and making out with more than one of them before on school grounds in the last few years, but I tried to pretend that was as serious as it ever got.
Alison thought me naïve and Maggie flat out thought me a fool, but I couldn't help it. Maggie believed wholeheartedly in our Quileute legends, Alison believed in Buddha, Aunt Susie believed in the power of a great pair of shoes; I believed in Jared Cameron. Okay, so maybe I didn't really even know him. But I swear I knew him in my heart. I just knew he was the most beautiful person inside and out and that we were destined to be together. I just knew it and nothing and no one had ever been able to convince me otherwise.
But what on earth was he doing with Paul Lahote? Had they become friends over the summer? Maybe they were weight-lifting buddies or something? Oh dear, had he gotten Jared into steroids? I was no expert but Paul and Jared both looked unnaturally well-built. Who gains that much muscle mass in one summer break? I turned to Maggie, who'd been observing me anxiously.
"Maggie? Why's Jared hanging out with Paul?" She frowned. They were less than 30 feet away from us now. "Maggie? Talk!" I ordered, "Fast!"
We huddled even closer and in practically one breath she proceeded to spit out a Cliff's Notes version of the summer's events related to Jared.
"Okay, so first Sam Uley had this massive growth spurt, turned into a Quileute He-Man and started acting all weird. Then Jared, Paul and Embry Call did the same. They've all cut their hair off, got matching tribal tattoos, and started hanging out basically only with each other from what I understand. Popular rumors are they're in a cult, a gang, or on steroids."
She sucked in air and finished cryptically, "I think it's none of the above. Personally, I have my own theories…but I'll save those for lunchtime."
We broke huddle just in time to face two Quileute gods descending upon us. I felt my body go up in flames from proximity to such hotness as Jared came to a halt not more than 20 feet away from me in front of my first period classroom. "Hey Maggie, s'up?" he greeted, nodding in her direction. Then his dark brown eyes found mine and I felt locked in some kind of a trance.
"Holy Taha Aki!" This time I'd muttered it out loud. Jared's full lips curved into the most delicious smile I'd ever seen. I was incapable of breaking eye contact. He was smiling at me. He was smiling at ME? Oh, dear mother in heaven! Then he did something even more unexpected; he strode right up to me and spoke.
"Hey." The smooth baritone shot right to my crotch. He moved even closer and smiled down at me. "How's it going?" My stomach somersaulted violently and I was thankful I'd skipped breakfast.
After years of rehearsing in my head what I'd do and say if and when such a blessed moment came to pass, I was frightfully bereft of anything resembling speech. I moved my mouth to say "fine" but it came out like a whimpered "nine". Maggie watched on in horror for the second time in one morning.
Jared's grin grew wider and I was blinded by the brilliance of his perfect, pearly whites. "I'm Jared. " He extended an enormous, well-formed hand in my direction. "Welcome to LaPush High." Say what?
I stared, completely lost in his brown orbs. Maggie choked out an "awe shit" under her breath. Jared's brows furrowed. He moved in closer to me. I felt suddenly hot all over. It seemed as if waves of heat were rolling off of him…or was it me generating that heat? He was truly enormous. Enormous and insanely, absurdly gorgeous! And he was waiting for me to say something….do something. His eyes caressed my face and his lips curved into a disarmingly sweet smile.
I swallowed audibly and whispered, "K-Kim." Wait, why were we introducing ourselves? He reached his still extended arm behind me and gently withdrew the book bag I was clutching over my shoulder. He then took my shaky, clammy hand in his hot one. Wow, did he have a fever? A jolt of electricity ran from our joined hands throughout my entire body. I was in heaven. It was the most indescribably wonderful moment of my entire young life. This couldn't be real. This was the stuff of fairy tales and corny teenage romance novels, certainly not my life.
"I'd be happy to show you around and give you a tour of LaPush sometime." Oh, my God, was he asking me out? His thumb caressed my wrist that was still engulfed securely in his hand. My heart rate kicked into hyper-drive. Oh, please, God, please don't let me have a heart attack now. Not now!
What do I say? Why did he suggest a tour of LaPush? Was that code for something?
"So did you just move here over the summer?" Jared continued conversationally.
My brows knit together and I felt my stomach drop to the floor. In my periphery I saw Maggie cover her face with her hands. What? What did he mean did I just move here?
Oh. My. God. No, it can't be what I think he means, can it? Oh, my God…the ever loving horror! In all the years of obsessing, of practically stalking Jared, I'd quietly held a small secret hope that maybe all this time he'd shared some small inkling of interest in me as well. I'd fantasized that maybe he was just shy, too reserved to approach me, as I was too timid to ever approach him. Perhaps he was waiting for the right time….the perfect moment. Or perhaps…perhaps he'd never noticed I even existed?
At that realization a large book flew through the air and hit Jared squarely on the side of his head. "That's Kim Callaway, dipshit!" a gruff, deep male voice informed with authority. "She's sat next to you in just about every class since kindergarten."
The hard, angular face of Paul Lahote came into view at Jared's side. Jared looked stricken.
"Dumbass" Paul muttered, shaking his head at Jared and smirking.
A/N – Thank you for reading! :) Next chapter s/b posted in few days. Just need to review and edit. Will contain first taste of lemon.