A/N: "A Wolf's Devotion" is entirely Jasper's pov.
The Eye Of The Beholder
Part II: A Wolf's Devotion
Just like Rosalie, I didn't want to be here.
Edward had insisted on bringing that damn human he was so besotted with. For some reason, Ros loathed Bella with a passion. She truly hated the girl and firmly believed she would endanger our family and our existence.
The rest of the family seemed to like her. I was indifferent. I couldn't say I liked or disliked the girl. The only reason why I didn't want to be around Bella, was her blood - I was still struggling to control myself when it came to feeding on human blood. If I'm honest, I was furious with Edward for being so selfish, as he was aware of the constant inner battle I had with myself, yet chose time and time again to ignore it. It was bad enough having to endure his girlfriend's company at school, but finding her at home all the time and now, at our baseball game, was placing me under a great deal of unnecessary strain and pressure.
So, yeah, you could say I wasn't happy with the situation.
Anyway, I ended up at the game - thanks to Alice's constant, relentless pleading - under protest. Fervently wishing I was anywhere but here. I reluctantly sauntered up to the plate. To a casual onlooker, my approach seemed leisurely, as I twirled and spun the baseball bat in my left hand. I found the small, repetitive action helped soothe and calm me down. It also temporarily distracted me from our unwelcome human guest.
It took a while for me to settle into the game and after Alice had pitched a few balls, I finally got into the swing of things. After I'd struck the fourth ball and hit a home run, I was struck by a wave of intense emotion as I ran past the edge of the forest. I'd never experienced anything like it. Anything so intense. Fear. Doubt. Confusion. Anger. Anxiety. Distress. Yearning. Desire. And love. And the most overwhelming thing about all those combined feelings ? They were all aimed at me. No one else. Me ...
Curiosity got the better of me. I persuaded Edward to change places with me and headed off to field the perimeter by the forest. As I scanned the undergrowth, I caught a particular scent - wolf. But it was unlike any wolf scent I'd come across before. It wasn't the vile smell of wet dog in mud that I was used to. This was heady. Seductive. Fresh, like pine needles and newly cut grass, yet spicy and aromatic. It was both alluring and arousing. And so very attractive.
As I inhaled the aroma deeply, I glimpsed a sudden movement from the corner of my eye. Following it, I finally saw a huge, sleek, handsome, russet wolf. It was bleeding. Dark, limpid eyes boldly met mine for an instant, then suddenly, it appeared confused, almost fearful. Trembling, it began to snarl softly. The wolf unexpectedly whined, then swiftly spun around and bolted like a hunted animal.
As I'd met the powerful animal's velvety brown gaze, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reminded of someone. Someone I knew. Yet the name of that person eluded me. By now, my interest was piqued and I knew I was going to track the wolf down the first chance I got. The opportunity arose sooner than I expected. Rosalie - bless her ice-cold heart - struck the ball deep into the forest. I managed to brush off Emmett's offer of help and tore after it, with a faint grin on my face. I caught the ball, but was reluctant to return to the others. All I could think of was hunting down the wolf.
Picking up that hypnotic, wonderful scent was easy. The wolf had left the thick cover provided by the forest and had reached the pool at its outskirts. The scent hung heavily in the air, but of the magnificent animal there was no sign. I felt the lack of its presence keenly, yet still hoped that the elusive beast was nearby.
And that was when I saw him.
He stood waist-deep in the pool, seemingly lost in contemplation. I'd never seen anyone look so lost. So unhappy. All of the emotions I'd felt earlier, rolled off him in intense waves and his anguish and pain was heartbreaking.
He was tall - very tall - at least six foot seven; lean and strappingly built. Lithe, yet muscular. Strong, yet vulnerable. Long, thick, blue-black hair fell below his broad shoulders, glistening damply, slick like a sealion's wet fur. Sleek, yet powerful sinew slid effortlessly beneath smooth, wet, russet, blood-covered skin which was covered in fresh bite marks.
He turned slowly in the water, which now skimmed the firm curve of his taut ass and as he did so, that's when I finally recognized him. It was Bella's friend from the Reservation. The Quileute boy. Jacob Black.
If I'd been able to draw breath, I would've been breathless. For the youth who stood naked, vulnerable and alone in the pool was perfection. In my eyes, he was beautiful ... and, if I'd possessed a beating heart, to see his suffering - his distress - would surely have broken it. Struck by his sheer beauty, I could only watch him, mesmerized. The ball slipped from my numb fingers and slowly rolled into the undergrowth.
Jacob's shoulders slumped and began to shake. Silent tears fell from his striking, dark brown eyes. Even as he quietly wept, the Native American boy was truly beautiful. His features were strong, noble and proud and despite being only sixteen, he possessed an air of maturity, that hinted at the devastatingly handsome man he would become.
I was suddenly distracted from my thoughts, when he threw back his head and gave a loud howl of despair before lethargically wading back to the shore. That howl sent shivers down my spine. I should've left there and then. Should have returned to my family. But I didn't. I couldn't. I should've been repulsed by the wolf-boy - he was my enemy. But I wasn't. Something drew me to Jacob. He'd unwittingly beguiled me. Made me want to protect him. Care for him. Love him.
I couldn't walk away. Even if I wanted to. I just wanted to be with him. To comfort him and soothe away all of his pain. Despite knowing this was all wrong, all I could see was Jacob. The agony and torment that he was enduring. And I hated seeing and feeling the misery and suffering that had him so distressed.
Yes, he was my enemy and sure, we hated each other. But seeing his vulnerability - his anguish - first hand had changed all that. I didn't fucking care that we were supposed to loathe and want to kill each other. All I cared about and wanted was him. Somehow, without being aware of it, my feelings for him had changed. I could no more kill Jacob than a member of my family. And the reason for that ? I loved him ...
Oh, God ... I loved him ? When and how the hell did that happen ? I can't love him. I'm a hundred and forty four year old vampire. He's a fucking wolf, for crying out loud ! This is so wrong ... on so many levels. Yet it feels so right. Just looking at him makes me happy. And for the first time, since I was turned, I feel warm. At peace. So how the hell can something which feels so perfect - so right - be so wrong ? It can't be wrong. It just can't ...
Fuck it ! I don't care ... I want Jacob. I love him. And I mean to do everything and anything in my power to make my Quileute warrior happy and keep him safe. Having made my decision, I left the shadows and silently approached him.
Walking with his eyes firmly fixed on the ground, Jacob was so wrapped up in his thoughts and confused by his emotions that he didn't see me. In fact, he wasn't paying much attention to anything and because of it, failed to notice an overgrown tree root. It caught his foot and he stumbled.
"Shi-it !" he cursed softly as he tried to save himself. He never hit the ground and was in my arms before either of us had realized what had happened.
As soon as his body collided with mine, we both froze. My hands, in an attempt to steady him, had come to rest upon his flanks and I was so aware of the intense heat emanating from his ripped, perfect frame. The warmth seeped through my ice-cold palms, swiftly wending its way throught my limbs and torso like an inferno before enveloping my frozen heart. Startled by the unexpected body contact, Jacob's wide, molten chocolate eyes warily met mine.
"You ... ?" Jacob's husky growl was the sexiest thing I'd ever heard and combined with his defiant, yet soulful gaze, I knew I was in trouble. The Quileute had effortlessly stolen my heart.
I found I'd lost my tongue. I could only nod in reply and quietly watch him. A gentle flush of colour highlighted his high cheekbones and he slowly, yet nervously, moistened his full lower lip with the tip of his tongue. I felt Jacob's long, slim, calloused fingers unconsciously flex around my biceps. Before I could stop myself, I'd reached across to gently brush away a tear from his cheek with the ball of my right thumb. To my astonishment and pleasure, he didn't flinch at my icy touch, nor recoil from me. If anything, he appeared to have closed the gap slightly between us and was shyly watching me with unconcealed interest. Jacob raised his right hand and curiously began to explore and lightly caress my face with gentle fingers. Instinctively, I leaned into his touch, welcoming it. I revelled in the feel of him. His close proximity. His power. Strength. Tenderness. And warmth.
Jacob's curious, tentative, innocent caresses aroused me. No one had ever affected me so deeply. He inflamed me. My body was tense with desire and I was painfully hard. Agonizingly so. I was desperate for him. I yearned and needed his touch so badly ... It was all Jacob's doing and I wasn't sure if my young wolf realized, or even knew, just how much power he had over me. My eyes closed and I slowly rubbed my cheek, cat-like, against his hand. Turning my head slightly, I brushed my lips against his palm. Jacob gasped softly and his breath suddenly hitched. His heartbeat increased - frantically - and as it did so, I reluctantly opened my eyes to watch him.
He swayed unsteadily towards me. Then, with his hand cradling my neck and its fingers absently caressing my nape, he lowered his head and lightly brushed his lips against mine.
It felt as if time had stood still. I dared not move, as I feared any sudden movement on my part would scare him off. That he'd come to his senses and leave me. I couldn't bear the thought of losing him now. Not when we'd just found each other.
His breath warmly caressed my cool lips. His touch featherlight, sweet and innocent. Jacob was intoxicating. Alluring. And gorgeously tempting. His confidence seemed to grow with every tender, exploratory pass of his full, beautifully-shaped, luscious lips and I was dimly aware that the low, husky moan of need and longing that I'd heard, was mine.
Despite all my good intentions, my lips parted and Jacob was quick to take advantage of it. I felt him smile, then the pressure of his mouth upon mine gently increased as passion began to consume us both. His tongue insinuated itself in my mouth, massaging, caressing and sensually duelling with mine. By now, he'd looped both arms around my neck and was pressing his lean, warm, extremely naked body wantonly against me and when I felt his toned thigh gently nudge between my legs, parting them, I knew how much he wanted me. I could hardly fail to be aware of it. Not when his long, thick, rock-hard shaft began to push insistently against my hip.
Groaning softly, I realized I'd finally lost what tenuous grip I had upon my self-control and began to return his kisses in earnest. Hungrily. Passionately. Lovingly. I lost myself in Jacob's fiery touch. Basked in his warmth. And savoured the potent, delicious taste of his slightly salty, smooth, russet skin.
Eventually, I felt Jacob pull away. The need for oxygen had become too great and he was panting hard and fast. I watched him through half-closed, passion-filled eyes and found him returning my gaze with a matching, steady hunger. A joyful smile slowly formed, lighting his handsome face and he gave a low, huskily attractive laugh before resting his forehead gently against mine.
I was amazed and touched by his trust in me. I wasn't feared. I was respected. Slowly, my hands began to roam across his muscular torso, leaving trails of goosebumps wherever they lingered. Eagerly learning every sleek curve and fine line of his beautiful, lithe body. Mapping them to memory. I reverently traced patterns on Jacob's broad shoulders and back and enjoyed the feel of him in my arms. My pale hands continued their slow descent over his lean, firm, russet flesh until they finally came to rest possessively upon the perfect curve of his ass.
Jacob sighed softly and affectionately nuzzled my throat. I drew him closer and ground my hips against his, craving friction. His talented mouth roamed across my jawline, then I felt him nip and gently tug at my earlobe, making me tremble with need. If I'd been hard before, it was nothing compared to what I felt now. I groaned throatily.
"You realize what's happened ?" Jacob rasped, his voice thick with need. I slowly shook my head. I didn't particularly care what had happened. I was just glad that it had.
"I imprinted, Jasper. On you ... You're my imprint. I'm yours, if you'll have me ... Until the day I die ..."
I was stunned by his confession. One look at Jacob's face told me that he spoke the truth.
Imprinting was a big thing among the Quileute wolves. No wonder he'd been so shocked by it at first. Not only he'd had the misfortune of imprinting on a guy, he'd also imprinted on his people's worst enemy. A vampire ... What I knew, what I'd learnt, about imprinting intrigued me. Jacob had no say in the matter. No choice over who his soulmate would be. That fell to his inner wolf. And the imprinted wolf always had to comply to its imprintee's wishes, no matter how cruel or hurtful they could be. In that respect, Jacob had been lucky. Despite being an empath, I'd fallen for him. Deeply. And I hoped to God, that I would never hurt or cause him pain. Willingly or inadvertently.
"Only if you'll have me, Jake," I replied huskily, winding a strand of sleek, thick, raven hair idly around my index finger as I gazed deeply into his dark, velvety eyes. "If you're mine, then I belong to you. No one else. You're the one I want to be with. Only you, my brave, gentle wolf. Only you ..."