Disclaimer: I don't own anything; everything is property of S. Meyer.
AN: Here I am, back with another Bella/Paul. This will be different because I'll take the wolf side of the story, no Bella POV at all. I hope you'll enjoy the story as much as I'm enjoying writing it.
Summary: Paul is the one that finds Bella in the woods. He has just phased and his life is complicated, she is broken and in pain. However, they talk and they both leave a mark on each other.
Softer than feather, rougher than concrete
Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love,
time is eternity.
Henry Van Dyke
Pain, fire, darkness, fear. Pain, fire and crippling pain. What was going on? Finally darkness won and he could finally rest.
When he opened his eyes again something felt wrong, he moved and he realized that he couldn't stand… he had paws!
What the fuck! He swore, but what came out was a growl.
Panic seized him until he heard a voice in his head.
Paul, calm down. You're not alone. I'm Sam Uley and you just phased into a wolf for the first time.
Paul was stunned, so the damned legends were true. Why the hell have I phased? He shouted in his mind.
Sam pushed the image of seven sickly looking faces. The Cullens are back in Forks.
Paul felt anger rise and along with it restlessness. After a moment he realized that he was in the forest and a giant black wolf was trotting towards him.
Run with me, Sam said, I'll explain everything to you.
The next hour was spent checking the Res perimeter, Paul learned about Jared, Emily, the pack-mind and the treaty line, but the worse news was that he could never leave La Push.
His life until now had been shitty at best, what had made it bearable was the thought that after he finished school he could finally get the hell out of there. He felt his anger rise again, but he was shook out of his reverie when he heard a new voice in his mind.
Hey Paul, welcome in the pack! I was feeling a little lonely; Sam is all work and no fun. Jared's voice was warm and sunny while Sam's one had been hard and commanding. He wondered how his was perceived. Angry and tough, whispered Jared.
Thanks Jared, but let's set things straight from the beginning, I don't give a fuck about how you're feeling. Paul growled.
Jared laughed, not at all intimidated by his rudeness. Don't worry Paul you'll learn to love me eventually.
Sam hadn't said anything during the exchange, but the aura of disapproval was enveloping Paul and he had enough, Cut that shit out Sam, I don't give a fuck about your feelings either.
Jared chuckled and Sam sighed. Paul, I'll let your rudeness pass this time, you're new and you're angry, I get it, but there's something I want you to understand, I'm the Alpha of this pack and you'll have to respect me. Jared is now part of your life as well. We'll learn things about each other that we would never want anyone to know. So we'll all respect each other. Am I clear?
Yes, Paul growled. Now can you please show me how to phase back to human?
Jared sniggered and Paul turned to look at him. What's so fucking funny sunny boy?
Jared laughed then, Just thinking that with your attitude it'll take you ages to phase back. It took me a week and look how laid back I'm compared to you.
The thought of being an animal for the next week left him stunned. And then anger won again, he started running trying to forget about everything.
Paul, for as much physical distance you can put between us, we'll always be with you, Sam whispered and then let Paul go.
Paul was feeling trapped, angry, hurt and scared. How long would it take to phase back? And how long would it take to master his wolf? He suddenly stopped, he was Paul Lahote! Nothing had been impossible for him, he would learn everything about being a shape shifter and he would be the best at it.
His confidence washed through his soul like a balm, just when he thought that he was gaining the upper hand on his wolf, Sam's voice shouted in his mind. Paul! Bella Swan is missing, she was dating one of the leeches and they had all left town. She's in the forest since this afternoon; the treaty line is no longer restraining us. Billy Black asked us to find her.
Fuck! I'm on my way; show me which side of the forest you want me to take. He replied.
Sam suggested him to take the track leading towards the eastern side of the town, the darkness and the sounds of the forest were accompanying Paul. With his nose he was trying to find a human scent. Finally he came across a too sweet scent; he compared it to some rotten fruit, and then mixed with it he smelled a much better scent, apple and cinnamon. He focused on the more pleasant one and he arrived near a tree where a brown haired girl was holding herself and lying on the cold ground.
Sam's voice cut through his mind. You've found her, we're coming.
Paul saw the girl all wrapped up in herself, and his heart twitched for a moment but his steely mind reminded him that the girl had chosen to date a leech and she had to take responsibility for her choice.
A whimper made him step back, the girl was alive but she would soon die of hypothermia. He sighed; there wasn't much he could do in his wolf form. He looked inside himself, he searched his mind to find a balance and finally he felt a shift and a moment later he was naked on the wet ground.
Paul tried to stand up but his legs didn't hold him, he had to crawl where the girl was lying and after a moment he took her into his arms. He was sitting with his back lying on the trunk of the tree. The girl must have felt his warmth because she shifted closer and molded into him.
"Bella, can you hear me? I'm Paul, a friend of Billy Black. Are you hurt?" He rasped out, his vocal cords were still too raw.
The girl whimpered and he felt wetness on his chest, she was crying. "He left me, I wasn't good enough." Her voice was soft and pained.
He pulled her closer. "Shit happens." He said. "You aren't the first girl to be dumped and you won't be the last either."
By then she was crying quietly, still holding onto him. "I thought that he loved me."
He snorted. "Ain't that what every guy says to bed a girl?"
She quieted a moment and then whispered, "He didn't want to sleep with me." Paul stilled, so the bloodsucker didn't even fuck her. She went on, "He left me, he said that he was… he was tired of pretending to be something he wasn't."
He growled. "A bit too late to act properly. He shouldn't have gotten involved with you at all."
She stopped sniffling. "I wish I had been enough…"
Paul hugged her closer. "Listen girl, you took a risk and you got burned. Very few people are happy forever." The girl started to cry again and he shook her. "Bella, this isn't the end of the fucking world. There're people out there that have more serious problems than being dumped. You can always find a new boyfriend but what if your father beats you or your mother dies… well, you can't replace your parents or the innocence that you've lost."
Paul stiffened then, he had disclosed personal facts that he never told anyone about. It must have been the phasing, it had taken too much mental and physical effort and his shields were down.
Before she could reply, Paul saw Sam walking towards them; he was wearing cut-off jeans and nothing else. Sam took a look at the scene with an unreadable expression; he threw Paul a pair of cut-off. "I'll take her to Chief Swan, Jared will be here soon and he'll take you to Emily. We'll talk later." And then he tried to take the girl from him.
The girl tried to hold onto him and for a moment he almost snarled to Sam to leave her in his arms.
"Paul, hand me Bella." Sam said seriously, Paul realized that Sam was scared that he would phase so near the girl.
"I would never…" he stopped speaking. Really, what was up with him? He stood up and handed to Sam the girl. He swiftly wore the cut-off, and sat again. "Just go Sam."
Sam nodded and left with the whimpering girl. For a moment he wished he could trade his life for hers, a broken heart versus a broken family. Who got the short stick out between the two?
Jared arrived just when he had started brooding; he realized that his new 'friend' was watching him with a weird expression. "What's with that face sunny boy?"
Jared grinned. "Just surprised that you managed to phase in less than a day."
Paul shrugged his shoulders. "What can I say? I'm a natural." A smirk appeared on his face, he was slowly getting back to himself.
The other wolf shook his head. "I'm so not looking forward at patrolling with you; you're going to show me every girl you slept with, aren't you?"
Paul's smirk widened. "Well, you might want to check a position or two, Kim would be really pleased afterwards."
Jared smiled. "Thanks but no. I can hold my own."
"I'll have to ask Kim about that, I don't trust you." He fired back, part of him wanted to know how far he could push sunny boy.
However, Jared didn't seem fazed by his antics. "Come on, lover boy. I've to take you to Emily."
Paul let Jared help him up and while they walked Jared said, "Paul I really want to be a friend for you, you can throw anything at me, but please don't push it about Kim. She's sweet, innocent and shy. I can't let you crush her."
Paul thought about it and nodded. "I guess I'll have to learn to tolerate her and Emily. Man, I hate imprinting… too many girls would mourn my loss."
Jared laughed. "You'll love both girls soon and Paul… I really hope that you won't imprint. The poor girl would have to stand you for her whole life, you're too much to handle."
Unbidden an image of a brown haired girl came into his mind. Bella Swan's soft features had caught his attention and he wondered which color were her eyes. He shook his head, no point in thinking about that girl. "I agree sunny boy. I wouldn't envy my imprint either, nope, not at all."
AN2: Have no fear, imPerfect love will be updated soon, chapter 24 is being betaed.