A/N This will be a three shot story, I want to thank mama4dukes for challenging me to write this and NCChris for beta'ing it for me and giving me ideas along the way. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did writing it.
Embry POVI sat on First Beach, my thoughts running wild as I took a swig from the bottle of whiskey that I had procured. I was itching to get drunk, but it wouldn't happen. I was unable to get wasted, yet another thing I could blame on my shape-shifting abilities. I wasn't even supposed to be able to shift into a damn wolf, but I did...that said a lot about who my father could be. I mulled over that and the recent loss of my two best friends when I had started phasing as Sam Uley had called it. I had been forced to cut all contact with them to keep them safe when I'd gone through my first phase. Jacob Black and Quil Ateara had been my best friends since we were in diapers and it sucked that I had to stop being around them just because I was unable to control the urge to phase at first.
It pissed me off, but I couldn't do a damn thing about it. Sam was the Alpha and his word was law, so that was why I had ended up on First Beach trying in vain to drink my worries away. I was staring out into the ocean, contemplating just who my father could be, among other things, when I heard a pair of voices. I knew one was Jake, but the other I hadn't heard since the day I first met her in the garage while Jake worked on fixing a pair of motorcycles. It was none other than the leech lover, as Paul Lahote called her, Isabella Swan.
I kept my gaze on the ocean and tried to ignore them as best I could. Unfortunately for me, Jake noticed me and started making snide remarks. It hurt to hear what he thought of me now.
"Oh, if it isn't one of Sam's lackeys," He said in a cutting tone.
I trembled a little at that, but I kept my cool, keeping in mind that one day soon he would be joining us. I very slowly turned towards him and Bella, but didn't say a word. Glancing at him, I just shook my head sadly and looked over to Bella. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. The poor girl looked like one of the walking dead. I saw her lean body, barely skin and bones, and I felt a sharp pain in my heart. 'Where did that come from?' I mused to myself. My eyes slowly met hers and I felt like the whole earth had shifted. Everything that used to matter to me vanished and in its place was just one person, Bella Swan. I had just imprinted on Isabella Swan.
'Fuck!' was the first thought that ran through my mind. I had just imprinted on the girl of Jacob Black's dreams. I was trembling and overwhelmed, angry because my best friend was going to be hurt no matter how this played out in the end but also because this was one more thing I had to deal with in a pile of things that this supernatural curse kept piling on top of me! Giving both Jake and Bella a look of regret, I stood up, abandoning my bottle of whiskey, and took off running into the woods. I was close to phasing and I couldn't let either of them find out about the Pack just yet.
Once I was far enough away from them, I shredded my cutoffs with a growl and phased mid-run. My body elongated as I trembled violently, doubling over just in time for my forepaws to hit the earth as my back paws lurched my furry body forward. I ran, chanting in my thoughts over and over, "Holy Fucking Shit...He is going to kill me when he finds out."
Ignoring anyone else that was phased in with me as I jogged through the forest, my paws churned up the loamy forest floor as I tried to gather my thoughts and feelings on what had just happened. I could only come to one conclusion. I was screwed, that's all there was to it.
I ended up in the woods just behind her house. I knew she wasn't home, but my wolf directed me there anyway, something about her scent just soothed the beast. Warring with myself, I stayed there for a little while before turning tail and making tracks back to La Push. I needed to talk to Sam; I needed to talk to her, even if she was just meant to be a friend. I had to be near her.
When I made it back to home territory, I went straight to Sam's house and phased back to my human form. I grabbed a pair of hidden cutoffs, slid them on, and swiftly walked up to the back steps of his and Emily's house. I rubbed the back of my neck and called out to him.
Wincing a little when he came to the door, I mumbled, "I need to show you something."
Sam raised his brow slightly and stepped out onto the porch before waving for me to go with him into the woods so we could phase. I followed him to the woods, trepidation oozing from me almost palpably. As we neared a safe place, I removed the cutoffs, not ready to lose another pair, and phased. Pawing lightly at the ground and allowing a low whine to slip out, I showed Sam what happened, replaying the instant I laid eyes on Bella Swan and imprinted. I growled when Sam spoke with obvious amusement through the Pack collective.
"Damn Embry, you're screwed. Jacob wants her for himself. What are you going to do?"
I sighed. "I don't know, Sam. I need to tell her. I just don't know how."
Sam thought for a few minutes before he gave me a little hope.
"How about this? I can call Billy and have him invite Bella to a bonfire, a Pack bonfire. We can introduce imprinting to her and reveal that you imprinted on her. I think that just might work in your favor, Embry."
I nodded my big wolfish head and chuffed a little before playfully swatting at my Alpha, darting away to avoid his reprisal. I stopped when he spoke again.
"I will call him as soon as I get back to the house. Why don't you go see if Emily has some dinner ready and I am going to do a quick border check."
I nodded once again and darted over to where I left my cutoffs, phasing back once more. I grabbed them and slipped them back on before heading into Emily's to get something to eat, feeling slightly better about things after making a plan with Sam.
The food was all prepared and had been carried over by the whole Pack. Sam told me that Bella had accepted Billy's invitation without hesitation. I was really glad that she was coming. I had to admit that I was a little apprehensive at how she was going to take the news that I had imprinted on her. It was not every day you learned that you were destined for someone. We started the fire and waited, Billy was there along with Sam, Harry, and Old Quil. This was going to be a formal introduction into the Pack so it seemed for Bella. I could only hope that she was going to be accepting of this, but then again she had been friendly with the Cullens so I could only hope. Just as I finished that last train of thought, I could hear her truck pulling up. It was decided that Harry Clearwater and I would greet her at the head of the beach. We made our way to the start of the beach pathway, Harry murmuring quietly, knowing that I would hear him.
"You ready for this, Embry?"
I sucked in a breath before answering him, "As ready as I'll ever be".
We had reached the meeting spot and I could hear her stumbling her way forward in the darkness. Harry greeted her first.
She mumbled a hello to Harry and then glowered at me. Keeping the tone light, Harry spoke again.
"Well, let's get down to the others, shall we?"
When I offered my hand to help her, she snorted and walked right past me without a word. I traded a quick glance with Harry and sighed before following them both down to the bonfire. It was going to be a long night, I could already tell.
Bella quickly made her way down to sit near Billy. It was obvious she trusted him and not any of us. After excusing herself from eating, stating she had already eaten for the evening, the rest of us grabbed a plate and piled food on. Sam made an effort to greet Bella and she just scowled at him before squaring her shoulders and speaking in a icy tone.
"I don't know why I was invited here, but I want nothing to do with you or your little cult!"
She snapped her gaze my way and pointed her finger.
"You! You left Jake and Quil and joined Sam's cult!"
I was dumbfounded at her accusations, but then Billy spoke up.
"Bella, I know what Jake told you, but not everything is as it seems. Please, just listen and let us explain?"
With Billy's request, she clamped her mouth shut and nodded slightly. Billy began the legends of our tribe, of Taha Aki and the first spirit wolf. He spoke of the third wife and how his grandfather, Ephraim Black had made the original treaty with the Cold Ones, the Cullens. He saved the Legend of Imprinting for last. Throughout his tales, I could see Bella's attention was riveted as she listened to the tales that Billy wove. Billy was a gifted storyteller, even as often as I'd heard the legends, and knowing the legends were true, I was captivated to see her so awestruck.
When Billy finally began to speak of imprinting, I watched her face avidly, wanting to see her expression while she digested it. I was only half listening when Harry spoke after Billy finished the tale.
"You see, Bella, we brought you here because you have been imprinted on..." Harry paused dramatically, "…by Embry."
She sucked in a breath and looked over at me apprehensively. I looked down nervous and shy under her gaze.
"I won't ever leave you; I can promise you that."
I was torn, but the bond of the imprint was so strong that I couldn't fight it. I didn't want to, even if it was going to hurt Jake. I needed her, just as much as she would need me eventually. I saw her get up and make her way carefully toward me. She stopped directly in front of me.
"Okay." She whispered, so softly even my enhanced hearing barely caught it.
That was all she said, but it was enough; it was enough to ease my fears that she would not accept me.
"But, I need to go slow with this, Embry." She whispered to me again before sitting down beside me and tentatively placing her hand on my arm.
"So, you are okay with all of this?" I asked softly.
She paused before answering me, her voice soft, "I don't want anyone to be hurting because of me. I want to get to know you first though, please Embry?"
I nodded and swallowed thickly before murmuring to her, my hand going to rest over her small, dainty one, "Jake is not going to take well to this at first, Bella."
I could tell that she was worried about that through our bond as she chewed on her bottom lip.
"I know. I don't know how to keep from hurting him. I don't feel the way he does, though. I hate that it is going to hurt him, but I don't know what else to do, Embry."
I couldn't help but give her a huge hug, reluctant to release her.
"He is going to phase eventually, Bella, maybe by then he will be a little more understanding."
She breathed out shakily and nodded.
"I think until then, we should take our time getting to know each other," I proposed to her and was relieved when she agreed with a nod and a shy smile.