A/N: This fic was submitted for Fandom Against Wildfires. The marvelous nessyness90210 asked me to be a part of this charity and I could not say no. Thanks so much to FigSk8ingAngel for inspiring this great piece. Kisses to abbymickey24, stephlite, RobinsFF for looking over this baby with a fine-toothed comb. To my pre-readers/cheering squad: SagaDevotee, idealskeptic, and TheLyricalCutie – you ladies rock.

This story does not adapt to any timeline. This is my own idea, just with some twilight goodness. So, grab a drink and a snack because this is a long one. I hope you enjoy!

All things Twilight are the property and ownership of S. Meyers. I make no money from my obsession.


Summary: Bella hoped that her road trip out west would bring her the excitement she's been missing. Meanwhile, Paul was trying to keep those close to him safe. Through a dangerous encounter, they are brought together. Will they endure or fail in their race for survival?

The Right One

Paul POV

When I got up this morning, I hadn't expected this much trouble. My pack thought they'd have the day off. To be honest, I needed one myself. For some reason my body couldn't rest. It was like the wolf inside of me was warning me about something, but I couldn't figure out what. I felt the need to phase and run. That was never a good sign.

I obeyed the wolf's call within me. I could no longer deny him. There were times that I had tried to keep myself human, but becoming an Alpha of my own pack changed that. It felt like an obligation, a heavy responsibility. I never wanted this – any of it. I had run away from the pack life, but apparently I could not escape it. No matter how hard I fought.

Finally getting up out of bed, I slipped on the nearest pair of shorts and I made my way outside to phase. Jumper was quick by my side. He reminded me so much of Seth Clearwater. He was gangly and had black fur with sandy colored patches. They differed in their feelings about vampires. Jumper hated them, very much so. He started his life as a wolf young, around four or five. Having your family destroyed in front of you can damage you for life. He hadn't had to the chance to just be a kid, let alone a crazy teen. Even I had been able to run amuck without the worries of popping out on four legs, covered in fur. It wasn't right, but at least I had found him. Well, he found me and now we were watching each other's backs.

I phased quickly and shared with him in my mind how I was feeling. My wolf was uneasy and desired to run. I gave into it and let it lead me. It was the only way I might be able to calm down and go back to being me.

Jumper was following close behind me. He could easily pass me, as he was the fastest, but he was letting me take the lead. We headed out west, away from our town of Alice, Texas. We protected her borders and kept all the monsters at bay. There were deadly things that lurked in the day and night. However, our biggest problems are those damn bloodsuckers. No matter where I ran, the fucking leeches were there too. I would never trust them and neither would my pack. God forbid my pack ended up like the one I left.

La Push…

My mind drifted to memories of the greenest place I'd ever seen. It used to be my home, but that was a long time ago. Still, the images and faces flood my mind. Jumper winced as my pain rolls off every inch of my skin. I told my former pack that trusting them would end up getting someone killed. I wasn't always right, far from it actually. But when I was…

It all started with three kids that were like brothers. Jake, Sam, and I were the best of friends. We grew up together on the La Push reservation in Washington State. We found so much trouble to get into and kept our families busy punishing us. Well, mostly I got into trouble and they were the ones getting me out of it. We definitely considered ourselves family, no blood thicker. We vowed to always trust in each other and cover each other's backs. I kept my vow. They, however, did not.

One summer, a new family moved in to Forks, the small town not far from us. All the pale faces thought they were God's gift to man. I knew I felt something off about them from the start. So did Sam and Jake. Then weird things started happening. It began first with Sam. He became irritable and tense. Sam was always the mellow one of the three of us, so this was very odd. Then he got sick, his body burning. He was whisked away by Seth's dad, Harry, and Jake's dad, Billy. We didn't see him for two weeks after that.

When he returned, he stopped talking to Jake and I and we couldn't understand why. Not more than a week later, Jake stopped hanging out with me. I noticed that after a while, they both were spending more time with the Elders on the council. I would see them talking with each other, whispering, but stop once they saw me. Billy and Harry would constantly call my mom and ask her how I was doing. They just abandoned me, but I soon found out why.

Two weeks after Jake had joined up with Sam, I started to feel weird. The fevers, the shaking, the need to claw my skin off were all signs that I, too, was changing. I just didn't know it at the time. One day I finally had enough of their bullshit. So I confronted Jake and Sam to get some answers. Boy did I let them have it. My anger boiled all over me. I shook and felt like I was going to explode. Next thing I knew, I was being dragged away into the trees by Sam. I realized in those next few hours why they had left. It was all because a fucking family of leeches came into town singing their tra-la-las about not feeding from humans. They stole my life from me.

To say I didn't cope with my newfound changes was an understatement. Due to my constant anger, I was always in wolf form. My mother wrote me off as a hooligan, blaming herself for not being home more. She didn't need to have guilt, but I was told it was best to keep her out of our secret. For the first time after learning about my furry predicament, I agreed. Billy and Harry just kept telling me it was a good thing; that I was a protector.

Jake and Sam called it an honor. I called it a curse. We were werewolves, according to our tribe's legends. I didn't want to have anything to do with this life. I was nineteen and wanted out, but I was bound by my Alpha, Sam. Jake was chosen as his beta and I was left to bring up the rear. It wasn't about power for me; it was about freedom. This wolf had me chained and bound, and my loyalty to my brothers made me somewhat complacent.

The pack grew and we were strong in numbers. Quil and Embry joined us, along with Seth, Leah, and the twins, Collin and Brady. They called me hot-headed one, but I truly just didn't like how Sam was so agreeable when it came to the vampires. We actually had a treaty with the bloodsuckers; because they said they only drank from animals. That was such bullshit and they no one else could see it. I may have hated being a wolf, but I hated the fucking leeches more. I would protect my brothers from them, even if it meant I had to stay this way.

Instead of sitting on my ass, I dug deep into research, looking for the truth behind this curse, trying to find a cure. I also wanted to know more about vampires. I found out that we weren't werewolves. Real werewolves were in fact bigger and more dangerous. We were shape-shifters, but our ancestors were the very essence of the spirit wolf. We were stronger, could heal faster, see farther, and run faster. That's all fine and dandy until someone cuts across you on the road and you explode into a giant dog in your car. There was only so my reupholstering one could do. It was always hard to control my anger. Like the day I found out about imprinting.

I was reading the chapter on the wolf spirit finding its mate. They made it seem all wonderful and magical. I saw it another way: they took yet another choice away from me. I wanted to be able to choose the woman that was right for me. Who were they to decide who I could love? Whose body I could cleave to? What if I had gotten married and had kids, only to have my imprint walk across my path in the park? Was I to give up my life? No fucking way. Again my anger got the best of me that day and I spent the better part of that winter remodeling the tribe library.

Jake was the first to imprint and in his mind I could see how wonderful he thought it was. He had accompanied Sam on a diplomatic meeting with the animal drinkers to discuss the treaty. Who knew we could imprint on vampires. Well now we did and Jake was the proud owner of vampire bride. She was a pixie of a thing and was very…cheerful. Rules of the imprint saved their asses indefinitely. You couldn't hurt the family of an imprint; for in turn it would hurt them.

I behaved as best as I could when we had to deal with them, but I still didn't trust them or any other vampires. Not all were good and we didn't need any of the blinders Jake had. Sam learned that lesson the hard way. An over-friendly vampire came looking for the animal drinkers. I didn't trust him and I tried to tell my pack. He made my wolf shake and howl. However, Alpha command kept me in place and I couldn't attack. I told Sam and Jake that the vamp, with his dirty dreadlocks sticking all over the place, was not to be trusted. Sam thought maybe with a new diet he could change, reform a vamp or some shit. The vamp had ripped him to shreds before we could come closer to help.

It was a devastating day filled with the pain of losing my best friend and pack brother. Jake and I fought hard on re-establishing a new treaty. Well, I wanted to get rid of it, banning all vampires from our area. Jake, of course, was against this because of his imprint. He said that Sam had a good theory and I told him he would end up just like Sam.

"Well you need to follow orders, Paul," Jake commanded in his Alpha tone.

Jake was rightful Alpha, through bloodline and succession. There was nothing I could do to change his mind. What if it was Collin next? Or Leah? I couldn't be here to see who was going to be the next to fall, so I left.

I ran till my legs couldn't take it anymore and ended up collapsing in Alice, Texas. That was where Jumper found me. I was back in my human form when I woke up and I saw him. He was too big to be a regular wolf. I sniffed and smelt the shifter all over him. He was young, alone, and didn't speak. I took him under my wing and taught him everything I knew. A few days after we joined up, I heard his thoughts in my mind. I could hear him like I heard my former brothers back home. He told me his thoughts and showed me his past. Yet, I noticed he only used hand gestures when we were human. Jumper never explained why that was and I never asked.

I felt the power of the Alpha wolf rise in me that day. I didn't want this power or this responsibility. It further imbedded in me all the things that I didn't want to have. Yet it was just Jumper and I, and I could handle that. He needed me as much as I needed him. We protected the town and kept the vampires out. I should have known things would not have stayed that way. For some reason the town became a werewolf reject headquarters. Others began to flock to our location, via fate or word of mouth.

I learned that the Quileute's weren't the only ones with the spirit of the wolf. There had been several descendants of the original spirit wolf that scattered themselves across the United States, spreading the gene, taking their faith with them. Not all of them had the same support. They were cast outs, shunned by their people – their families. They were broken like me, cursed and looking for a way out. I took them in when their world sought to toss them aside. For this reason alone, I accepted my fate as Alpha of The Strays.

First, there was Geoff who had been living in California when a coven took over his area and he phased. He was already alone, but fled. He needed answers and I was glad to be able to give him that. Next was Stacy Adams. She hated that name. We ended up calling her Mickey because of her damn obsession with that mouse. Her family was attacked and she started to shake. The urge to kill her attackers grew tenfold. That's just what she did, but her family disowned her.

It was still pondering if Steady was punishment for leaving my old pack. He was…different and highly annoying. Still, he was true to his name. He was an IT guy that just got fed up on the job. He had a new nighttime manager that came in making a bunch of changes. One time too many, his manager told him that he was beginning to stink like a wet dog. Steady had his teeth in his throat in the middle of the mail room in seconds. The funny thing was that he wasn't so shocked at the fact that he had just turned into an animal. He was more shocked at the fact that his supervisor was a vampire.

Last to join my pack was Fox and Bravo. I guessed it was a rule of thumb that you had to have a chick and you had to have twins. They weren't the youngest though, like Colin and Brady had been. In fact, they were older than me. Something told me they had been phasing for decades. They were wise and true, giving me advice when I needed it. They were like those favorite uncles that you loved when they visited. But they were also lethal, individually and together. They also kept me from flying off my handle. I respected them for their sense of reason. That's why they were my co-betas.

It had been thirteen years since I left La Push and a glorious seven years that I had my pack. I still was connected to my old pack though. Apparently, once I became an alpha Jake's mind was only a mental knock away. Due to his lineage, he never needed to knock, but I sure could kick him out. It took training from Fox and Bravo, but I did it. Jake was a nosey fucker.

Things were good now, as well as could be expected. I had made only one mistake since leading my pack. I made a deal with some bitch of a vamp named Maria. She mostly stayed in the southern parts of Texas and over the border in Mexico, but Jumper and I had run into her one day. We were two and they were five. It was too much to risk his life and I really didn't want to lose mine either. So I made a fucking deal with the leech. I felt like it was La Push all over again, making deals with the devils. Maria stayed out of our town and its surrounding grounds, and we don't hunt her down and kill her. It was about survival for us. For her, it was amusement.

However, she was leery of us, as she thought we were actual werewolves and had heard of their destruction. There was a small fear in her eyes and even if it wasn't for what we truly were, I relished in it. It was the only thing that saved our lives that day. Five years later she had stepped foot into Alice with more added to her coven. She was testing us. There was no more truce after that. We killed off her entire coven, which had grown to a nice little group of fifteen. I would not repeat that mistakes of my past. Maria was elusive though, one slippery bitch that was too quick for us to catch.

I heard Jumper growl next to me, shaking me from my memories. The air shifted and the stench of the aforementioned vampire made me scrunch up my snout. This time I was not letting her get away. I was going to rip her fucking head off.

Her scent led us to the next town. San Diego, Texas was about as desolate as they come in this part of the state. I knew there was a small gas station and mini-mart down the road and that was about it for a few more miles. I ordered Jumper to get everyone here. There was always strength in numbers and I didn't want her getting away. He was about howl, but I growled, silencing the sound in his throat.

"Phase you idiot and use your cell. We have the wind on our side, but she can hear," I thought to him.

He just rolled his eyes and phased, texting the others, and then turning back into a wolf. We heard the remnants of screams flow down the road. I could also smell the blood in the air. We would not be able to help them. I slowly went closer, trying to assess the situation. She could have sired another army. The bitch was relentless. We hunkered down in the ridge across from the station. I felt the rest of my pack getting closer.

My wolves arrived silent and I relayed to them all that had happened. Fox and Bravo moved to go closer, trying to see how many were inside. Just as they were about to cross the road, a lone car arrived, pulling into the station. They came back to hide. I hoped the car would keep going. If they knew what was good for them, they would not stop.

But of course it stopped.

A small waif of a woman got out, pushing her shades to her head. I saw that her plates said, "Florida" and I wondered what the fuck brought her here. My wolf began to move towards the woman. I didn't know what was wrong. It was like I was being pulled to her. I thought it was to save her from the danger that was inside. Unfortunately, it was something far worse. For when the woman turned around, I began to become lost in her beautiful face. In that instant, she became the most important thing to me.

"Did the boss man just imprint?" Geoff asked.

"Imprint? Imprint! Oh God no! Anything but this. It can't be. She is not even one of us. It's impossible!" I screamed in my head.

What in world was happening? Was I not cursed enough that now they had to bind me to this…this…woman. Fucking imprinting…sucks. Geoff and Mickey had imprinted on each other. It was….interesting. I didn't know who had the dick in that relationship, most of the time it was Mickey. She ruled that man with an iron paw. Yet, that was two wolves. How could this slip of a woman be the best thing for me? Then I thought of Jake. He had imprinted on a vampire, so anything was possible.

"It doesn't matter right now Paul. Maria is coming out," Fox said.

I growled menacingly. I saw as Maria came out the store, wiping her mouth like she just had a bucket of fried chicken. The woman stared at Maria curiously. Maria's eyes were closed, enjoying the remnants of something on her fingers. I couldn't focus on Maria, as my attention was stuck on the 5'4'' beauty in the blue sundress, her mahogany hair blowing in the wind, and pale skin shimmering in the sun. I devised a plan, relaying it to my pack before phasing. I pulled my shorts back on and began to cross over to the gas station.

Maria's white dress was drenched in blood. Her black hair was matted with it as well. Her eyes immediately opened and locked with my shocked Floridian. Maria either didn't notice me or wasn't acknowledging me.

"Dessert has arrived," Maria said as she swiftly grabbed the woman by her throat.

I made my presence known and Maria chuckled. The woman was frightened and tried to scream, but she had no air. I was trying not to panic. My wolf wanted me to phase, but I had to handle this coolly.

"Paul, my dear, it's been years. You have not come to see me," she said, gripping the woman's neck tighter.

My woman….

"I have had very few mistakes in my life Maria. Making that truce with you was number one. Now, kindly leave the woman alone," I growled at her, trying to remain cool.

Fox and Bravo's wolf forms flanked me, immediately calming me. I had to get to the woman. Mickey and Steady came up on Maria's left. I knew that Geoff and Jumper were waiting for her where we were hiding. Maria must have loosened her hold on the woman because she let out a loud scream that makes my heart clench.

"I guess I am quite full," she said, bringing her nose to trail along the woman's neck. "Hmmm, she does smell really good."

"I think you've fed enough."

"Your human skin suits you. Not going to chase me today, Paul?" Maria taunted.

"Oh no, I won't be, but the guys are itching to catch you," I glared at her as my pack howled, ready to pounce.

Maria pouted and tossed the woman into the side of her car. Her body bounced off the car with a loud thud and she collapsed into a heap on the ground.

"Always the one that got away, huh?" Maria said before she dashed off.

"Find her, kill her, rip her to shreds," I said to them and they sped off on the chase.

I walked over to the woman that was going to change my life. I lifted her up from the ground and looked her over. I heard her mumble something about chicken nuggets, but just shook my head. I placed her in the backseat of her car and got into the driver side. I saw her purse and was desperate all of a sudden to know about her. I looked back at her and listened to her pulse and heart rate. She was fine, but would probably have a headache when she got up.

I shuffled through her purse and found her wallet. She was Isabella Marie Swan of Sanford, Florida. I also found her student I.D. from University of Central Florida. I checked over her age and figured her for a grad student or something. I didn't know why I kept looking, but I did. I found pepper spray, brass knuckles, and she had a sticker on her cell phone that said 'I heart dogs.' There was something about that that warmed my heart and I felt like a fucking pussy. I threw the stuff back in the purse and drove off.

I was heading back to my house. I could take care of her there. She saw the pack and she saw what Maria was capable of. There was no going back from that and I knew she would have a lot of questions. I was contemplating the right way to do all of that when I heard her scream. I plunged on the brakes and as soon as I did, she was bolting out the car. I pulled over and sighed, knowing this was going to be all kinds of fucked up.

"Help! Someone help me!" She yelled, her voice echoed out over the road.

I grabbed her and told her to get her back to the car. She wouldn't move and was trying to fight me, so I threw her over my shoulder as she pounded my bare back. I sat her down in passenger side of the car and held her arms against the window. I took in her scent as she screamed and kicked.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? GET OFF ME!"

"Calm the fuck down!" I yelled back.

"CALM DOWN? CALM DOWN? I just saw bloody Mary walk out the store and a pair of giant dogs standing with you. Not only that, but she tosses me like a rag doll and is no bigger than me. And, YOU kidnapped me!"

"I didn't kidnap you. I saved your fucking life. If you would calm down for one second, I would explain," I screamed back her.

She was cute and feisty, and the way her face flushed made me want to kiss her. It made me wonder what she was like in the sack.

"Well! Are you going to stare at me all day or explain?" She said defiantly, crossing her arms.

So I phased. I dropped my shorts, moved away from her, and popped fur. She screamed again and ran. I shook my head and heard the laughter of my pack in my head.

"Dude, you so got turned down," Steady said.

"Look at her still running. Imprint to go, anyone?" Geoff chimed in and the others laughed.

"Knock it off fuckers! How about you focus on the leech outrunning you," I ordered and they silenced immediately.

I ran off after Isabella and bit onto the tail end of her dress. She almost fell, but my tug kept her upright. She turned around looked me dead in the eye. No longer afraid was the girl that just ran. She popped me right on the snout and said, "Bad wolf."

I whined slightly as that shit was annoying. I whimpered even more when she retracted her hand. We were tough and sturdy. Her fingers had to be at least sprained.

"Stupid puppy," she whined, all defiance leaving her.

I pushed her back towards the car and she sighed in defeat. Isabella glared at me from the corner of her eye, but didn't care. I needed her safe. I stopped to pick up my shorts, phased and pulled them back on. I caught Isabella staring at me, so I winked at her. Of course that earned me a huff in return.

"Get in, I'm driving," I told her.

"You cannot just take me away! Are you going to kill me? What do you want from me? Who do you think you are?" She prattled off, slipping into a panic.

"I'm the man that just saved your life. Now get your ass in the car, girl."

She wouldn't move, so I picked her up and shoved her in on the driver's side. I slid in right behind her and started up the car, pulling back onto the road. The defiance was back in Isabella, like a switch being flipped. She crossed her arms and her eyes darted to the door handle and the lock. She then stared back out the window. She was going to try to run again or roll, because I wasn't going to stop.

"This girl has a name you know."

"I'm sure you do, but I don't give a shit."

I didn't tell her that I already knew it after fishing through her purse. Then she'd have another thing to yell about. She clicked on the door handle and I growled at her. She flinched and cowered away from me. I didn't want to make her feel this way. I wanted her to be safe, feel safe. But right now I needed to get her away from here, and she was testing my patience.

"Don't make me put your ass in the trunk. Do. Not. Run."

"Please don't….don't," she whimpered.

I sighed and kept driving.

"I won't hurt you. I promise, but there are creatures out there far more dangerous than me," I said.

She watched me wearily, but when she caught my eyes, she paused. There was a slight gasp on her lips and I gave her my panty-dropping smile. I heard her heart flutter and then she turned her head quickly, hitting it on the side of the car.

"GOD DAMMIT!"

I laughed at her and she growled at me, or attempted to anyway. The rest of the drive to my house, she just leaned her head against the window. I didn't know what to do next, so I just told her the story of shaft-shifters and vampires. I told her of my people and my curse. I told her why we shifted. I told her all about Maria and how dangerous she was, how dangerous they all were. I told her what Maria had done at the gas station. Now that she knew, maybe she would stop trying to run. Maria wouldn't rest until she was dead.

Isabella sighed heavily and continued her stare out the window. She was more stressed and her eyebrows had scrunched up in thought. We arrived at my house on the outskirts of Alice, Texas. I told her how it was a small city, but we kept it safe. I told her what we did and why. When I parked, she told me it reminded her of her hometown of Sanford. But it was close to Orlando and there was always something to do there. My town was the complete opposite. She told me it seemed kinda quiet and boring. I laughed and looked over at her.

"Never bet against, Alice. Now get out. The rest will be back soon. If they caught her, you can go about you merry way. It would be best to never mention what you saw here," I advised.

"Do you think I want to get locked up in the loony bin?" She asked and exited the car. "I just don't get it. Why would she still come after me? I never did anything to her."

"All because you got away and she knows it would piss me the fuck off if she was to get you."

Isabella sighed again and I shook her head. She then turned to look at my house. I watched as she took in my large country home. We had renovated it a few years back. It had five bedrooms and four full baths. Fox and Bravo had the entire basement. No one argued. We had a lot of trees and were far off from the road. The guys could be as loud as they wanted. My Ford pickup was parked under the tree; Fox and Bravo's bikes were there as well. It wasn't the best of places, but this was home. She still held her hand clutched to the car. I sighed; worried she'd scream and run again. I ran my hand over my face and walked over to her. She backed away slightly and hugged her body to her car.

"Look girl, if I wanted to kill you I could have. I do not kill innocent humans, but vampires do and Maria will. If you don't believe me," I said, placing her keys in her hand, "then go. But know that she won't let you get far. Your death…will forever be on my head."

Her eyes stared into mine as if she was searching for truth. I wanted her to trust me. I was the best chance she had at survival right now. Her eyes watered, but she didn't let a tear fall. A small smile played at her lips and she just nodded. She tried to hand me back her keys, but I pushed them back at her telling him they were hers. If she felt like she was unsafe, she had the means to leave. She nodded again.

"The name is Isabella Swan. Friends call me Bella. You sure do know how to guilt trip on a girl," she said, looking down shyly.

This girl was making me a softie. She was changing me in a matter of seconds. I tried to not like the way she made my heart flutter, but I so drawn to her. I lifted her face to look into those brown eyes. I felt saved and lost at the same time.

"Isabella it is. I'll earn that friendship, as you will earn mine," I said to her.

Her eyebrows scrunched up, but then she smiled and agreed. Just then the pack showed up, causing Isabella to screech and hide behind me. She poked her head out and the pack laughed. Jumper was the first to come to her. He laid down at her feet like a fucking puppy. He even rolled over on his back. Isabella rubbed his tummy and I didn't understand it, but I became jealous. I wanted her to do that to me. I pulled her up and away from him. She looked at me weirdly and then snorted. She told me I was jealous and I rolled my eyes.

The guys phased and we all went into the house. While Mickey showed Bella around and helped her get settled in MY room, I got debriefed on what happened. They didn't catch Maria, obviously. They lost her trail quickly. They couldn't explain it. I figured she went underground or went up high. It was harder to track her that way. We would have to increase patrols. I didn't want Isabella to feel trapped here. If she wanted to go, I'd let her. I didn't want this imprint to govern her life as it was certainly doing just that to mine.

Isabella came from upstairs with Mickey, locked arm in arm. They both had tears in their eyes. I was nervous at first about what happened, but then Mickey looked over at me and winked. I calmed and knew all was okay. Even when she was upstairs, it ached for her to be away from me. I wanted her closer. I walked over to her and took in what she was wearing. She had changed into a UCF t-shirt and some snug fitting, sweat pants. Isabella worked out. She was lean, but muscular. She had the body of a runner.

She told me she had to check in with her dad back home. Apparently, she was the daughter of a cop. I groaned hearing that and heard the chuckles from my pack. I gave her some privacy in the kitchen, but she didn't know we could all hear the conversation. Isabella kept her word and didn't say anything. She told her father that her car had broken down while passing through. Her dad went ape shit, saying that she should have called hours ago. She told him that she was twenty-four year old grown woman and that if she needed his help she would have called.

"Well, where are you staying, Bells?" He asked her.

"I actually had a friend that lived nearby. One of my girlfriends from undergrad," she lied.

"Oh, well that's good. Now what's her name, address, social security… Ouch! Renee! Why did you hit me?" He screeched.

"Honey, it's mom. Have fun and be safe. Call us and check in from time to time," the sweet voice said.

"Yeah, everyday Isabella," her father demanded.

"Charlie!"

"Dad!"

She and her mother cried out. The guys were rolling with laughter.

"Now Isabella…," her father started to say with a deep tone similar to an Alpha's baritone.

"Don't you 'Now Isabella' me, Dad. I will check in once a week," she compromised.

"Once a week? Every other day, young lady"

"Every three days, Daddy."

"That's when they find the bodies, Bells."

She was back to Bells now. She had this guy wrapped around her fingers and I could understand why.

"Every two and that's all you get. Now I love you, goodbye."

"Find a hot Texan and saddle up, baby. I know it's been a while, not since that Eric Yorkie boy in college," her mother said.

I suddenly wanted to find this Yorkie boy and crush him.

"MOM! I'm handing up now."

I heard her father's yelling into the phone as she ended the call. She came out the kitchen and we all burst out laughing. We couldn't hold it in anymore. She asked us what we heard and Geoff imitated Charlie's voice saying "Bells" over and over. Isabella turned red and asked us how we could hear that. I told her to take a seat and I would explain to her about the wolves.

As the weeks passed we settled into a routine. Isabella would get up from my bed, take a shower, have a light breakfast, and go jogging. I would attempt to get the kinks out of my neck from sleeping on my couch before going to run with her. We would not let her go alone. Two of us were with her at a time, mainly me and another. The runs were silent, but I learned that she loved to run as the sun rose, she ran for five miles, and always had her hair in the same frog hair-tie as she ran. It had no real meaning other than a running tradition.

We would have breakfast while the others patrolled, hunting for Maria. They were unsuccessful, but they were not going to give up. Alice, Texas' Hell Raisers Pack didn't give in. I noticed that Bella began to get restless, so I would ask her about herself. On one particular day, I asked her to tell me more about her schooling. I was shocked to discover that she was a double major; Fitness and English. It didn't make any fucking sense, but she said she wanted to do what she liked.

By the third week, she had weaseled all of the pasts out of everyone. Everyone except me. I learned more and more about her each day, but she knew only my name. I didn't want to let her in, trying my damnedest to keep her at a distance. But it still hurt, the imprint demanding a stronger connection.

"How are you supposed to get her to love you…," Fox started.

"…if you don't let her know you?" Bravo finished.

Maybe I didn't want her to love me. I was too dangerous to love. She was across the room helping Jumper with his homework. I knew he had been interested in getting his GED, but it was Isabella that pushed him. He was taking some online classes to prepare for the test. She looked up at me as if she could feel my anguish. Her brows were squished together again and she mouthed to me, asking if I was okay. I gave her a stiff nod. She raised her eyebrow at me in a challenge and then walked over to me.

"Is there something wrong? I don't want to be your burden, Paul," she said sweetly, taking my hand in hers

"You'll never be my burden, Isabella," I said back to her, running my thumb over her knuckles.

The smile I was rewarded with was mind numbingly good. It was not lost to me that I was still holding her hand. Our moment was interrupted by my stomach growling and we both laughed. I was the only one that cooked in my kitchen. I had been cooking for years now. My mother worked all the time and I had to eat something. Watching those damn cooking shows got addictive as well. So when we built the house, I had a kick-ass, state-of-the-art kitchen installed. Therefore, no one cooked in my fucking kitchen.

"So, if I am going to be protected, and stay here rent free, I want to cook for you guys," she said, smiling happily.

I noticed everyone in the room turned to stare at me, then at her, and then back at me. This wasn't a fucking tennis match. They knew my rule. Plus, I felt like it was my job to do so for my pack. I took care of them. I didn't want them getting attached to someone that… that might leave. However, as I looked into Isabella's eyes, she gave me the best pout I had ever seen. Her lip even quivered. I sighed and ran my hand over my hair. I nodded to her, but not before growling that she can't make a fucking mess. Mickey mock-fainted and I kicked her, softly, as I walked out the den with Isabella in tow. She needed to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things.

Jumper got up to come with us, keeping to my rule of two guarding over her, but I stopped him. After these last couple of weeks, I needed some time with her to myself. The smirk that appeared on his face made me want to smack him. If Maria showed up, I could get Isabella away fast enough. I would not let her be hurt.

The grocery store was interesting. I watched as she picked out the tomatoes that would be a part of her sauce with rapt attention. I realized that there were still some things that I didn't know about her. She knew I had been watching her and asked me about where I was born. The words flowed out of me and I told her all about La Push and my old pack. She thought Jake was a jerk and I totally high-fived her for that. Yet, she did say he was in a tough spot and told me to see it from his perspective. I didn't like her making me think differently. Every time I tried to fight the imprint, she was pulling me in closer.

I asked her why she was on that damn road anyway. She told me that after graduating, the job market was rough and she was bored at home. It was her mother's idea to go for a road trip. She mapped out a cross country trip and was glad she had been frugal for the past six years in school. After hitting three states outside of Florida, she was thrilled. She was sad though that she hadn't gone farther west.

"I wouldn't mind seeing those cliffs you told me about in La Push," she said, grabbing several boxes of pasta.

"Maybe one day you'll get there," I stuttered out.

Isabella smiled at me again and we made our way to the checkout. I loaded her groceries in the car and scanned the area. My wolf was on edge out in the open. Maria wouldn't be this stupid though. Still, I wasn't taking any chances with Isabella's life.

We got in my truck and made the fifteen minute trip back to my house. Isabella was singing slightly off key to some boy band on the radio. It was kinda cute even though the song was cheesy. I started listening in on what the song was saying.

That you're looking for a boyfriend, I see that
Give me time, you know, I'm gonna be there
Don't be scared to come, put your trust in me
Can't you see all I really want to be

Isabella looked over and saw me staring at her out the corner of my eye. She gave me a wink and I had to adjust myself slightly in my seat. She would be leaving soon. We would catch Maria and she would leave. I didn't want her staying because she had to. If I kept her at a distance, I would be fine. I didn't want to be her boyfriend. I would only hurt her and Isabella deserved more than pain.

I should have been paying more attention to the area. A fucking leech jumped out from the passing alleyway and jumped in front of my truck. I placed my arm in front of Isabella. Thank God she was wearing her seatbelt. The truck hit him head on and I watched as my truck bended and crushed against his stone body. Once the truck settled, I grabbed Bella and tried to run. I would be faster on all fours, so I moved away from her and phased. That bloodsucker was right behind me and went for Isabella.

I growled loudly and the vampire trembled. I jumped in his pathway and Isabella rolled to the side. I slammed his granite body into the remnants of my truck. I should have known he was not alone. Another one came out and was pulling me off him. He looked like the same guy I had just fought. I was confused and was slammed into the ground. I shook my head trying to get up. I saw three vampires now and I noticed their familial looks. That bitch changed a family. Well they were going to die together.

Before I could grab one, they each attacked me swiftly and I was overwhelmed. I heard Isabella scream and she actually tried throwing rocks at them. Feisty little woman didn't know what was good for her. One of the vamps went to stop her and I grabbed his leg between my teeth, exposing my back to the others. I felt one of them punch me repeatedly, while another took his nails to my side. I couldn't stop the cry of pain, but I managed to rip the leg I was holding off. I heard the howls of my pack and I knew victory wasn't far. Maria had sent her lackeys to do her dirty work and they were about to be dog food. I was hurt, but I would finish this.

Geoff leapt out from the surrounding trees first, ramming the one that was punching me. Mickey took the one that was slicing me. With my last bit of energy, I finished off the one that had gone after Isabella. Fox, Bravo, and Steady came out next to help the others. I limped my way over to Isabella who was being guarded by Jumper.

"Thank you, Jumper," I thought to him.

He nodded and left me with my girl. I felt like I could die for her and it pissed me off and scared me all at the same time. I checked her over for damages, but she was fine. Once my body knew she was okay, I passed out, letting myself be consumed by the darkness.

It took two whole days for my body to heal. I had slipped into a restless sleep. I felt comforted and I heard voices. One voice I could make out; my body knew her already. Isabella had stayed with me. When I finally opened my eyes, I felt a different kind of warmth on my chest. My arm was draped over something as well. I watched as it rose and fell over a surface. My vision cleared and I saw that Isabella was sitting in a chair by my bed. Well mostly sitting as her entire upper torso was lying across my chest. My arm was across her back with my hand in her hair.

"No more chicken nuggets, Paul," Bella mumbled in her sleep and I wondered what her fascination was about the little morsels.

She was Bella, my Bella, at least for as long as she was here. Any woman, with no super human abilities, that would stand up to a vampire to help me was a friend in my book. I chuckled at her nonsense and shook her. She shot up and looked around, clearly disoriented. She settled on my face and asked how I was. I joked that I could breathe better now that she was off my chest. She swatted at me and hit my bandages across my ribs. I faked a wincing sound and she panicked, apologizing repeatedly. I started to laugh and Isabella scowled at me.

I sat up in my bed and removed the bandages. I was all healed – a little tender – but was good as I was going to get. One thing was for sure, I was starving. I got up and told her that three days without eating was not good. She immediately scrambled out my room and downstairs. I followed her and met the curious eyes of my pack. They eyed me wearily and I wondered what the hell they were staring at.

"Hey P-Money. Glad to see you are okay," Mickey said.

She wasn't looking at me, just twiddling her thumbs and staring at her feet. I pulled her into a one arm hug. Mickey didn't cry, but there were tears in her eyes. Jumper gave me a stern nod and Geoff gave me fist bump. Steady just rolled his eyes and went back to the game he was playing on the TV. I looked around for Fox and Bravo, but didn't see them.

"The bros are running patrol. Maria's flunkies got close to our home, Paul. We made those fuckers pay," Geoff said.

He was starting to shake and I was about to tell him to calm down when I heard the clatter of pots and pans in the kitchen. Geoff stopped shaking immediately and we all rushed to the kitchen. I was about to lay into the fucker messing with my shit. There in the middle of the room was Bella, up to her eyeballs in pans. It looked like she pulled too many down from the shelf.

"A little help here, Paul!" She screamed.

I rushed to her side and took some of the pans from her hands. She told me I was going to be her assistant. She was going to make flank steaks, potatoes, and steamed vegetables. It sounded great, but I hoped she knew we ate like, well, wolves. We were rather ravenous.

I was put in charge of the potatoes for now and she took eight giant sandwich bags filled with three steaks each. She had been marinating them, waiting for me to wake up to cook them. I could smell the red wine she had them sitting in and several other spices. I watched as she flitted around the kitchen and she seemed right at home. She knew where everything was as well. My face must have given me away because she told me that she had been cooking for the pack. Everyone else had been too scared to come in the kitchen.

"I just told them that you wouldn't do shit," Bella said, looking at me daringly.

"Oh really? And why wouldn't I?

"Because I'm your friend. You called me Bella," she giggled.

I tried to remember when I did. I had told her that I would call her Bella once I earned her friendship. However, I knew I had never said it.

"You said it yesterday when you were asleep. You said, 'Don't go, Bella.' So I stayed in the room with you," she finished.

I swallowed and looked away from her. She didn't need to know that I meant I didn't want her to ever leave me.

We continued on in a comfortable silence. I watched her as she put the steaks in the oven and mashed the potatoes I had peeled and boiled. When it was time for the vegetables, I watched as she sliced them like a professional chef. That's when I discovered that she had minor in Culinary Arts. My girl was talented, and maybe a little nuts.

Just as the food was done, I heard Fox and Bravo come in. They reported that Maria's scent was by the remains of her roasted lackeys, but that was all. She was keeping her distance. I thanked them, but they told me it was their honor of being part of this pack. I flinched at the word honor. I still felt no honor in this life. Loyalty to my pack, yes, but not honor. I felt a hand on my arm and I immediately calmed. Bella knew my story and she knew about how I felt of my old pack. I breathed out and thanked her. She smiled and then yelled dinner was ready.

Things were practically knocked over for them to get to the table. Even Fox and Bravo had run swiftly to the dining room – a room we normally used only for beer pong. The food did smell great. She had even made fresh bread. We gathered things to carry out to the dining table and I stopped her before heading out. I kissed her cheek and left the kitchen before her. It took her a moment, but she came out with her cheeks burning bright.

We all sat down and dug in. There were several conversations going all around. The food was amazing, especially the mashed potatoes. I saw her put cheese in them. They were perfect. She was perfect. I couldn't stop the moan that came when I bit into the steak. It was cooked just how I liked it and I was in heaven. The woman was spunky, intelligent, beautiful, and could cook.

"Fuck, yes!" I said, banging my hand on the table.

"So I take it that means you like it? It's not every day I give someone a foodgasm," Bella joked.

"Oh yeah, Bella. It's so good," I slowly spoke.

I didn't mean to say it so smooth and sensual, but she was talking about foodgasms. I had never had anything so juicy and so succulent. I looked over at Bella and her eyes were hooded as she stared at me. Her eyes roamed my face and then my chest. I never paid attention to whether or not I had a shirt on. Usually I didn't wear one, as I did now. I sniffed the air and smelt her arousal. The wolf in me was pleased and wanted me to take her now. Bella looked away as she fidgeted in her seat.

"Damn, Bella, you smell real tasty over there. What got you all hot and bothered?" Steady said in jest, leaning on Bella's shoulder.

I was up and out my seat ready to pound him. He was too close to my imprint. Fox and Bravo grabbed me before I could hit him. Bella was up out her chair as well. She came over to me and put her hand to my face. I looked down at her and she smiled.

"It's okay, Paul. It's just Steady being a jerk," she said sweetly.

I was mesmerized. My betas released me and the others settled back at the table.

"All this over a white girl? I thought it was only our kind, ya know us Native Americans," Steady whined.

"What are you talking about? What about the 'white girl'?" Bella questioned, glaring at him.

I could tell she was irritated. No one wanted to be pointed out that they were different from the majority.

"'Cause you're his imprint. Usually it's people with our ancestry," Steady continued and I wanted to strangle his ass.

Jumped slapped him upside his head and Steady growled at him. Mickey did as well and Steady just gave up and left to patrol. Geoff went with him to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. I had not told Bella about the imprint. I had glared at Steady so hard as he left that I could have bored a hole right through his head. Bella looked around the room and then her eyes settled on me. She demanded what an imprint meant. I sighed and took her back to my room.

Bella sat down in the chair watching me as I paced my bedroom floor. I felt her hand on mine and my body relaxed. I sat down on the edge of my bed and told her about imprinting. Everything from how I felt to what it meant for her. I told her how when I first saw her that day, I felt complete, like everything in the world was right. I mentioned to her about the pain I get in my chest when she is far away from me. She laughed at me of course, but rubbed her hand to her heart. I guessed she had felt it too at times. Then I told her how angry I was that I had imprinted. I didn't want to be a wolf and I didn't want to suck someone else into this.

"Would it be so bad to be stuck with me?" She said looking so dejected.

"Bella, I don't want anyone to feel obligated to me just because of what our ancestors have mandated."

"Is it because I am not full blooded Indian? My dad is one-eighth Makah. He is originally from Washington. So that would make me like one-sixteenth right?" She wondered, looking stumped.

"Bella, it is not about your ancestry," I told her somewhat frustrated.

"Then what is it about, Paul?"

I told her how I just didn't want this life as a wolf and now with her in it, I never knew being a wolf could bring me something great. She made it all that much more worthwhile, but I still had been struggling with my feelings. I would always feel that this wolf was a curse, but she made it a curse I could bare.

"So I have a choice?" She asked.

"I could be your friend, your lover, your confidant, or just your protector. I could be nothing and you can leave here, going back to Sanford," I honestly said.

"I don't have many friends. How about we start there?" She looked up at me expectantly.

"I'd like that, Bella, very much," I spoke and reached out to touch her hand. "I'm stuck to you like glue."

She took it willingly and pulled me up and out the room, laughing along the way. The pack was listening, I knew they had been. Bella raised her eyebrow at them and asked what other 'super doohickeys' we had besides fast healing and great hearing. Mickey laughed and came over to Bella. She explained all the things we could do. I guess she never mentioned these things when we first chatted. Then Bella shocked us next. She asked about the vampires, their weakness mainly. She wanted to know what could hurt them.

"I never want to be in another situation where I can't help Paul." I watched as she rubbed the spot over her heart and looked up at me.

I tried to explain to her that fighting them might get her dead faster, but she insisted. So with many reservations, I let Mickey train her. Bella's fitness background helped her a lot. She was good and swift, but I still worried this would only get her hurt more. She had a point though; she needed to know how to defend herself. Bella knew the basics that her dad had taught her, but that was all. What if Maria got smart and sent a human to get her? The thought made me want to send Bella into space. If Maria laid another finger on Bella, there would not be a rock she could find to hide herself from me.

Over the next two weeks, Bella and I went on wolf runs. She would explore the neighboring area with me and three others. She rode on my back and ran her fingers through my fur. One time I even caught myself purring. Jumper kept repeating the 'incident' over and over in his mind, causing the others to laugh at me. I was so happy that Bella was so comfortable with my wolf. It was odd. A month and a half ago, she was screaming her head off at the big giant dogs, but now I could tell she cared for us, especially me.

By the time she was with us for two months, I had given in completely to the imprint. I could no longer fight it. We held hands more, snuggled on the couch as we watch a movie, and we cooked side by side. She made me sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor of my room. She said it was only fair, and didn't want the fleas back in the bed. I could only laugh at her. Bella was strong, but humble; sweet and sassy. And most importantly…I was falling in love with her.

In one of her check-in calls with her parents, her mom asked her how was her visit going. Bella was slow to respond, but finally told her mom she had met someone. Her mother said that she knew there was a reason that Bella was still there. Her mom asked where she had gone on their first date. Bella snorted and told her the grocery store. Well fuck! If she considered that our first date, then I had to remedy that.

That night I cooked for her. Geoff and Mickey were running patrols. Steady went with Jumper to take his GED test and celebrate. Fox and Bravo were going to meet up with them. Bella and I had grilled salmon and wild rice with a crisp romaine salad. We chatted and talked about anything and everything. We then watched a scary movie and I loved when she buried her head in my chest. I escorted her to bed and never before had I been so nervous to be in the room with her. I could hear her heart beating fast as she prepared for bed in the bathroom. I was about to lie down when she walked across the room and pulled me down to kiss her. This kiss held so much hope in it that I thought it would burst. She wanted me, needed me, and she told me all in that kiss.

When she finally released my bottom lip from her teeth, she smiled wide. I was flabbergasted and was still catching my breath.

"Goodnight, Paul, and thank you for a wonderful date," she said, climbing into bed.

"I'm sorry it couldn't be more."

And I was. With Maria waiting for the right moment, I had to make the best with what I had. All that mattered was that she loved it. Unfortunately for her, the movie disrupted her sleep with bad dreams. It earned me another person in my sleeping bag. I was up all night just loving the feel of her small frame around mine.

The week passed and there was still no sign of Maria. Bella and I had more in-house dates and more walks. She gave me perspectives about being a wolf that I had never thought about. Had all of this not happened to me, I would not have met her. I would not be an Alpha of people who needed a home. I wouldn't have the family that I knew I needed. I loved her – truly – and before she left me, I was going to tell her.

There were also more kisses. Some were as passionate as that first kiss, setting my body on fire and igniting an ache to give in to the call of her body. There were some kisses that were simple and chaste, but they still were special to me. She was letting me in and I never knew I would ever want to be this close to her, to anyone.

Bella was also getting hounded by her dad as to who this guy was she was dating. One day she shoved a phone in my face and said that her Dad wanted to talk to me. He was intimidating even over the phone and I tried to be myself, but I think I came off as a pansy. Once he found out I was from La Push, he eased off me a little. He talked about how he grew up in Forks and I told him it was right next to La Push, so I was there frequently. We then started talking about the upcoming football season and our hopes for the Seahawks. We agreed on a lot. He said I was okay, but still warned me though to not hurt his daughter. I vowed that I wouldn't.

"Oh and Bella, use a condom honey. No offence Paul," screamed her Mom from the background.

"Dang nabbit Renee," he huffed as he hung up.

The phone has been on speaker and Bella face had turned ten shades darker. She squeezed into my arms and buried her face. I laughed, but told her I would never rush her into that. She looked up at me and grinned. She was melting my heart, shedding all my pain away. I couldn't help but smile.

Later that week, Bella was cooking in the kitchen and I watched her as she sang and chopped. She was beautiful.

"Beautiful, am I?" She asked and I realized I had said it out loud.

I crossed the room and kissed her forehead. She looked up at me and stood up on her toes to kiss me. It was soft and gentle, everything I thought she needed.

"Do that again. This time, don't hold back," Bella whispered.

I turned Bella so that her back was against the kitchen island. I placed my hands on her jaw line and brought her face up to mine. It's slow at first, our lips connecting, exploring. But my Bella was a hellcat. She pushed her tongue into my mouth and the fireworks started. The kiss was all consuming, need, want, desire, and just more…more. I broke away from her and could smell her arousal permeating the air. I could taste the scent on my tongue, but I wanted more. Bella ground herself into me and I moaned. Her eyes were hooded and filled with lust.

"Everybody out," I growled in my Alpha command. There was scrambling, but soon the house is empty.

I lifted Bella up and she wrapped her legs around my waist. I carried her upstairs to our bedroom and gently laid her down. I hovered above her loving the way her hands trailed up and down my back. I didn't want to rush this. Normally that was how I was, but Bella was special. This would be about reverence and….

"Paul, I've wanted you for a long time. Please…please take me."

"That's all you had to do, simply ask," I replied.

Love. I was going to show her how much I loved her, even if I couldn't quite yet say it. I ran my hand over her face, memorizing it. I would never forget her. She had been ingrained in my soul. She had changed me and I would be grateful for the time we had shared.

Sap!

I chuckled at myself and kissed Bella before she had time to question me. I threaded my hands in her hair and pulled her even closer to me. Her tongue wrapped around mine and I was in heaven from her taste. I moaned in her mouth and ground myself into her. She sighed and continued clawing my bare back. I needed to feel more of her skin, to taste it.

I leaned back on my feet and lifted her up slowly, straddling her across my lap. I touched the exposed skin between her t-shirt and her stomach. I started to raise the shirt up her t-shirt, but looked at her to ask for permission. She nodded and I practically ripped it off her. She was wearing a blue satin bra. Her nipples were already begging to be touched and I ran my thumb across them. Bella hissed in pleasure and it spurred me on. I reached around and unclipped her bra with one hand. She raised an eyebrow at me, but I just smirked. She slowly let it fall from her body and I molded my hand to her left breast. They felt wonderful and I was thrilled that she was in fact made for me. Just a little more than a handful was what I liked. I squeezed it gently and brought my mouth down for a taste.

"Paul…"

Her voice was but a whisper, but it trickled over me in a sensual embrace. Her fingers dug in my shoulders and neck. Her nails scraped into the flesh there and I gasped against her nipple. I switched my attention to the other as she continued to ground herself on me. I wanted to taste all of her. I laid her back down on the bed and rolled her yoga pants down her body. She had on Thursday panties and she blushed when I saw them.

"Bella it is clearly Tuesday," I whispered against her flesh.

She giggled and I began a trail with my tongue from between her breast down to her navel. The laughter immediately stopped as I neared the source of her sweet scent. I couldn't stop the wolf's growl that this would only be for us. I gripped the waistband of her panties and pulled them down her legs. Bella watched me intently and moaned as they slid over the flesh. I kissed back up her legs and the closer I got to her wetness, the more her hips pushed up from the bed.

I held her hips down with my hands and couldn't deny any longer the primal urge to lick her dry. I kissed her folds and moaned as her juices greeted me. I began to run my tongue over her opening, teasing her deliciously with every lap. She wiggled and squirmed, but I kept her still. I wanted her to feel me, to enjoy this. She wound her hands into my hair again, bringing me where she wanted. I couldn't deny her, so I nipped and sucked on her swollen clit as she thrashed and said some very dirty words.

Dipping a finger into her, I felt her soft, warmness surround me and I nearly died from the thought of how my cock would feel inside her. I began to pump my finger and drowning myself in her center. I added another finger and Bella's breaths became ragged. She began to tighten around me and I knew she had to be close. I curled my fingers and nibbled on her clit again before she stilled. She began to spasm around my fingers and I felt her juices flood me. I lapped up every drop and was consumed by her.

I gazed up at her catching her breath, sweat glistening over her body. She was a sight of beauty. I crawled back up her body and she grabbed my face, kissing me hungrily. I was so turned on and I knew the worshiping of her body would have to wait.

"Bella…I need you. I can't wait much longer," I whispered against her neck as I kissed it.

She smiled against my lips as she kissed me. She laid me down on my back and unbuttoned my shorts. Bella pulled them off me and my cock sprang free. She gasped, probably expecting boxers or something, but that was a luxury a wolf didn't need. When her hand gripped me, I dug my fingers into the sheets. I couldn't take much more. I needed her.

Bella was flipped on her back so quick, I didn't think she realized until I was pressing against her entrance. I looked into her eyes to be sure, but they were closed. Her breathes were filled with want and desire. I pushed a little further and her nails were back in my shoulders again. I was not a small man at all and it wasn't all due to the wolf gene. So I took my time, easing into her. It was difficult, as I wanted to pound her through this fucking bed. Her legs lifted up to wrap around my waist and in the next second I was seated all the way inside. She had used her legs to push me in, just as eager as I. We both gasped at the feeling; she more than I.

"Are you okay, Bella?"

"Fuck, Paul… So…damn…big," she moaned, emphasizing each word with her hips.

"If you don't stop that I am going to… Ahhhhhh!"

She did it again and I had to hold back from exploding right there. I told her she was going to pay for that.

"Please do," she smirked.

Feisty. I pulled back out and pushed back into her. She felt like she was made for me and I never would want for another. I began to pump in and out of her. Her hands roamed up and down my back, scratching me deep with her nails. I leaned down to kiss her, totally engulfed in her. I looked into her eyes as I filled her. Her eyes locked with mine and I was home. I would break when she left, but here and now, we were one.

I rolled us over because I wanted to get a view of her gorgeous face above me. She was shocked, but soon recovered as I slid her back down on me. I lifted my hips off the bed to meet her and she came apart on top of me. I held her steady until I felt her move her hips.

"That's two," I said to her.

"You keeping count?"

"Yes. Let's see if I can get you to ten before you pass out."

She did a little laugh-sigh combination and I rolled us back so that I was on top. I needed more and I was going to get it. I leaned back and pulled her hips up to meet me. I went faster and deeper, filling her so deep. She was the warmest thing and I swore I felt her love.

I fell back down to her chest and ran my arms under her shoulders. I pushed and took, kissed and received. Bella came one more time for me and I knew I was going to cum. I pulled her into a fierce kiss as our bodies slid and rolled over each other. I felt her squeeze my ass, her damn nails digging into my cheeks. It felt damn good and I screamed out her name as I came apart. My frantic thrusts of pleasure brought one more out of her and we both groaned from our releases.

I pulled my heavy body off hers and kissed her. I nipped down her chin and to her neck. I couldn't help but to mark her there. The wolf in me demanded as such. Bella flinched, but moaned into my bite. She would be mine forever, even if she wasn't here by my side.

Bella wrapped herself around me and I tangled myself within her. I laid my head on her chest and enjoyed the rhythm of her heart. I felt myself being lulled into a deep sleep with Bella's heart beat, her fingers dancing on my scalp.

I love you, Bella.

I could have sworn I heard her say that she loved me too, but didn't know how she could have read my mind.

"Paul I have to go. It was wrong of me to stay so long," Bella says as she packs her bags.

"Don't go, Bella, please. Maria is still out there. You can't fight her alone!" I yell back at her.

"And I can't stay stuck here with you. Goodbye, Paul."

She walked out the door just in time for Maria to grab her. Bella is drained in front of me and I can do nothing to stop it.

Paul…

Paul…

"PAUL!"

I startled awake and see Fox and Bravo hovering over my bed. Bravo was shaking me. I sighed and shook my head from my nightmare. I looked over to the other side of my bed and Bella wasn't there, but her side was still slightly warm. I checked the room for her usual mess and saw she hadn't left. She was still here. I turned back to Bravo and he was pissed. I could tell because his normally slick back hair was messy, like he had been running his hands through it. Fox had on his 'business' shades, so I knew some shit went down. But first I needed to find Bella.

I asked my betas if they had seen her. I wrapped the sheet around me, looking for my shorts. I smiled thinking about how Bella pulled them off me last night.

"Paul, I think you should read this," Fox said, handing me a note.

At first I thought Bella had left me, but when the foul stench of vampire hit my nose I knew it was far worse.

Dear Paul,

You shouldn't let your girl roam the streets alone. Things aren't so safe down at the H-E-B's Grocery Store anymore. I am going to torture her, break her, and then drain her dry. I promise to send you the leftovers. You can feed her to your puppies.

Yours Truly,

Maria

I freaked the fuck out and was a crazed wolf before I could even blink. Fox and Bravo phased too. My room was being torn and ripped apart by my outrage and pain. I wanted Maria dead. I wanted to feel my teeth rip through her throat. Mickey ran in the room and picked up one of Bella's shirts, stuffing it in my face. Her scent immediately calmed my nerves and I felt like I was on a high. Geoff grabbed Mickey and pulled her off my back, placing her behind him.

"Paul, you need to calm the fuck down. She has been gone for an hour. We need to find her, and fast," Bravo said.

"Explain to me how the fuck she got caught?" I screamed out.

"She went to the store to buy food…," Fox started, but I didn't let him finish.

"Who went with her?"

Silence. I roared so loudly the windows shook on the house

"Steady and Jumper. It was an ambush," Bravo said. "She has created a larger army. The two were overwhelmed. The rest of us were out. She didn't want to wake you."

Jumper's memory from the incident began to play in his mind. Bella was smiling, getting into my old truck. They made it to the store, but she was snatched in the parking lot. Steady and Jumper were afraid to expose themselves. They hesitated too long. By the time they shifted, Bella had been switched from hand to hand of those fiends and they had a head start. They couldn't pick up her scent or theirs. I roared again and I heard the whimpers of Jumper outside. He thought he had failed me and right now I was leaning towards agreeing with him.

Fox and Bravo joined me in my trek to search out the scents. I went back to the grocery store and trailed the scent until it ended down the road. I sniffed and roamed and found nothing. Fox told me to channel my thoughts, try to feel my way to her. I did that, closing my eyes, trying to feel her. There was nothing. The ache was still in my chest when she was gone, but nothing else. I began to panic, thinking Maria had already taken her from me.

"Snap out of it, son. Trust me, if Bella was dead, you and your wolf would know," Fox spoke as images of a hazel-eyed woman filtered across his mind. I could feel the love he had for her and then I felt his desolation without her. "You would know."

I sighed and told them we should head back to regroup. We phased back and went into the house. I saw Geoff was consoling Mickey while Jumper was hovering over Steady's shoulder. Steady was typing away at his computer. Steady had a serious look on his face, as did Jumper.

"What do you got?" I asked them, knowing they were planning something.

Jumper signaled me to come over to the computer. Steady was typing away in one section then moving back to a screen on another. Bella had been missing for almost three hours now, so if he found something, I wanted to know.

"We can track her cell phone," Steady spoke after a minute.

"How?" I asked.

"Bella downloaded FourSquare and checked in at the Heb's. That means her GPS locator is on and it always hits off the closet tower. Jumper saw her put the phone in her back pocket. So unless she dropped it, it might be the only lead we have."

I breathed deep and ran my hand over my face. There was hope to find Bella. Steady worked on clicking more and more. I was fed up and began to pace. I needed something to do. I ordered Mickey to pack a bag for her. She may need a change of clothes. They snickered at me when I told her to pack her favorite brush. It was an evil Hello Kitty brush that she thought was hilarious. The thing was creepy. I told Geoff to pack a bag of medical supplies; morphine, Betadine, swabs, and whatever else would be needed should she be hurt. I told Jumper to get energy bars and fill her favorite water bottle.

Everyone scattered going on their tasks, while Fox, Bravo and I thought battle solutions. I was going to rip some fucking leeches up for touching Bella. My imprint! My wolf was pissed and I was right there with him. Bravo said we could take on sixteen tops. Anything more and we would be in deep shit.

"Well, let's hope the mighty roar of our fearless leader scares a few away," Fox joked.

"I GOT A HIT! I found Bella," Steady screamed over to us.

The pack clamored back into the room, crowding around him. Her cell hit off a tower in a city called Morales-Sanchez. It was a small town on the Texas/Mexico border. It's a two hour drive, but we'd be running. I didn't give some fucking speech. I phased and ran. That was enough for my pack.

"We'll get her back, Paul. We need our Pack Mama," Jumper thought to me.

I howled as we ran, my pack joining in. Pack Mama. We were going to get her and kill every last bloodsucker. Maria was going to pay.

As we drew closer to the small town, I felt the ache in my chest swell. She was close, and she was alive. I moved my legs faster to get to her. That's when the stench hit me. The smell of vampires was strong, but that didn't stop me. We came upon a deserted ranch. There were at least ten that I could see initially. I had Geoff and Bravo go around and see what they found. They found another fifteen.

"Paul, I see Bella. We gotta move now," Geoff said.

I saw through his mind her long brown hair matted against her face. She was strung up on a tree, barely breathing. I sprung forth with my pack calling after me. They would either join me or have nothing left to tear up. I roared as I ran towards them, my pack swiftly at my heels. It sounded like thunder and growls were just as fierce.

I jumped at the first vampire in my way. I ripped his head clear off and his body was torn by the others. Five vampires standing in the back actually screamed and ran.

"HA! Knew that roar would get those numbers down," Fox thought.

I grinned and charged for my next piece of trash. I took the fucker down easily, ripping into his shoulder to remove the arm swinging at me. I bit into his leg next and had his head off in the next second. I took out two more before I reached Bella. Maria glared at me and I tossed the arm I just detached at her feet.

"I already got her you mutt. I'll snap her neck before you could even reach me," Maria taunted.

I growled at her. Over her shoulder, I could see Jumper ready and waiting. This was how he got his name. Dude could pounce on you with a quickness.

"I made your little bitch beg. You see what she did to my face!" Maria shouted at me.

I looked and there was a long claw mark across her cheek. How in the hell did Bella do that?

"Fuck yeah white girl! She probably used the baby shank I made for her. Took two of my damn teeth to make it. I owed her," Steady told me.

Feisty and dangerous. I would take Bella into a back alley brawl with me any day.

"Say goodbye to your little bitch!"

Maria posed, ready to kill Bella. Jumper leapt out and bit into her side. She screamed, grabbed him by his scruff and slammed him to the ground. She then pulled his arm and Jumper howled in pain. He kicked off the ground and tossed her. It opened up a way to her for me and I jumped on her back, biting into her throat. She dug her fingers into me, making me wince but I would not let go. Jumper was back up, barely, but bit into her knee, bringing her down for me to grip her neck again. She kicked him back over to where Bella was.

It was too late for her though. I opened my jaws and bit on her neck all the way through. Her head rolled off and went for her limbs next. When all that was left was her torso, I stood on top of the remains of that bitch and howled.

"Oh my God, Paul! Are we too late? I sent Seth and Leah," Jake's voice filled my head.

I looked across the field and saw that there were fires brewing. All the vamps had been destroyed, my pack battered but still standing. We didn't need their help. We had this all on our own. I heard Jumper whimper and saw him snuggling under Bella. My rage subdued, I ran over to my imprint and pack brother.

"Thank you. Seth's services will be appreciated. How did you know anyway?" I asked and closed my mind to him.

Nosey fucker always butting in. He did that from time to time, jumping into his Alpha mind to see what I was up to. The good thing about being an Alpha now was that I could shut him out. I didn't have to let him stay in my thoughts.

I phased quickly and slowly got Bella down from the tree. Her arms would be hurting from hanging like that for so long. They had restrained her by just her wrists. I prayed she was okay. I pulled her into my lap and called Mickey over. I knew she only took care of us when we got hurt, but she could tend to Bella.

"Mickey, phase and get over here. Geoff, come check on Jumper. He's hurt bad," I ordered.

Mickey came over and slid on her dress. There was no time for hiding. She understood. She looked Bella over and told me all that she could see. It was bad. I knew she had several broken bones, probably some internal bleeding, and her heartbeat sounded off.

"Paul… I don't know…it's bad," Mickey said.

"Bella, open your eyes babe. C'mon let me see those beautiful browns," I said to her.

She didn't open them all the way, but I could see her eyes look almost lifeless.

"Paul… wh-what took so long?" Bella asked.

I couldn't help but laugh. Her heartbeat was getting weaker and I couldn't lose her. I wanted her to stay. I needed her to stay.

"Bella, you gotta stay with me. Who's gonna help me deal with these mutts?"

She tried to smile, but I was holding on for a miracle. Bravo came over and gave me hope.

"They say the power of the imprint is strong. I have seen it move people from across the world, bring families together, make the infertile fertile. I have seen it heal emotionally…and physically," Bravo spoke with much wisdom and I wondered why I was Alpha and not him.

I was confused though. How could I heal her?

"Give her your blood, Paul," he said.

I was shocked, but said fuck it. I bit into my wrist and sat Bella up in my arms. I brought my wrist to her mouth and told her to drink it.

"No…no wolfy poof…," she groaned.

"Bella, my blood will heal you. Drink it, woman!"

She begins to lick, but the wound has healed. Bravo gets up and scampers to a vamp body and then slid back beside me. He then sliced my wrist with a vamp fingernail.

"FUCK, BRAVO!" I screamed.

"It'll take longer to heal, but won't infect you or her in the process."

I nodded, but was still fucking mad him. I stirred Bella again and she drinks. It takes a few minutes, but her heartbeat was normalizing and I saw some of her minor cuts healing. Bravo told me the rest will take time. Seth could fix her up for sure. He had finally got his medical degree and had been the reservation doctor for the past year.

"How…how did you find...me?" Bella asked, nuzzling into my chest.

"Your cell phone. Steady tapped into it."

Before I could say anything else, Bella passed out. She was okay, just exhausted. We made sure all the vamps were toast and put all the fires out. I scooped Bella up and we made our trek back home. I hated to run with her, but she wouldn't be able to stay on riding wolf-back. I took my time where I could, but I wanted to see if Seth and Leah had made it. It took us longer to travel back because I was trying to be careful with Bella. There wasn't a car for miles anyway.

We got back to the house and there was Seth, grown as can be. I nodded to him and thanked him. Leah was there as well. Out of all the pack, she was just as crazy as me. She was the only one my side when Sam died, but she couldn't leave Seth.

"Lee… Seth," I greeted them and took Bella on in the house.

Steady had been carrying Jumper and he was laid out on the couch. Mickey was already on him, resetting his arm and helping him heal. I needed Seth for Bella and I carried her up to our room. He did what he could for her and I told him about sharing my blood. Seth's eyes nearly popped out of his head, but I told him he'd have to talk to Bravo.

"You did well, Paul. She will need me to set some bones; she'll need a cast for that leg. I got all the things I need in my truck," Seth spoke and I was shocked to see how much he had grown up.

He took care of Bella and I just held her hand. I couldn't let her go. I wouldn't let her leave me. I was a fool for thinking that I would be able to let her go. It wasn't possible. I was going to hang on to Isabella Swan until she told me to leave; probably even then. After tending to Bella, Seth took care of my wrist and then the rest of my pack. I stayed with Bella as she healed.

Over the next two days, I got caught up with Leah. She had found her imprint while visiting her cousin Emily in the nearby reservation. She was happy and he had healed the wounds of her broken heart after losing her fiancé, Sam. We told old stories and laughed at the memories. By morning she and Seth were gone. He promised to be back in a month to see if Bella was ready to get that cast off. I told him that I was worried that she still had not gotten up. He said she was healing and her body needed it. I sighed and promised to be in touch.

"You'll always be my pack brother, Paul. Never forget that," Seth said before hugging me.

Leah kissed my check and told me to take care of my girl. Bella woke up around noon that day. She was still looking a little beat up, but I loved her just the same. I knew for sure she would be calling her parents and would be out the door and my life forever. I had practically kidnapped her, endangered her life on a daily basis and let's not mention my harsh personality. It knew it had not been easy living here. But I just couldn't let her go.

"Hey Paul, what has you frowning?" She asked and I looked at her beautiful, concerned face.

"I almost lost you to the vampwhore the other day. I don't want to lose you again," I said, avoiding her eyes.

"Where am I going to go? I stuck to you like glue now," she said, using my line.

My head snapped up to look at her. She was wearing the most honest and beautiful smile I had ever seen. This woman had made me a new man and wolf. I'd give her anything, but I wasn't going to tell her that just yet. I gave her my signature smirk before speaking. She raised her eyebrow at me.

"So corny, Bella. Where do you come up with such crap?" I laughed.

"Some hot wolf I know."

I couldn't help, but smile.

"I love you, Bella."

"I know," Bella smiled.

"Let me guess, I said it when I was sleeping."

"See I gotta stick around. I gotta be next to you every night so I can hear the good stuff."

Lacing her fingers with mine, I kissed her knuckles and told her to rest. She patted the bed next to her. Softly as I could, I laid down next to her, holding her hand once more. I kissed her temple and she laid her head on my chest. Her hand laid gently over my heart and, like the sap I was, sighed at the feel of her touch. I might be still a wolf, but I had Bella. She made it all worth it and what was even better, she wasn't leaving.

I was so wrong about imprinting. It wasn't all that bad, when it was the right one.


A/N: I hope you enjoyed my story. Paul is just some kinda tasty, isn't he?