A/N: First, maybe only fic. This story simply flowed in my mind, and I have absolutely no idea if anyone will like it, but I figured that I might as well write it down. It's a non-graphic slash (M/M), so if that concept offends you, feel free to stop reading here. At this point, there's no sex or anything, but who knows, maybe someone will think that it should be continued. For now, however, it is a simple story. Read & Review if you're inclined to do so.
I had kept the imprint a secret for over a year. After all, Jake had been pining over Bella at the time, which obviously meant that he had no interest in me. He was my best friend, and that was the relationship that we'd have, as long as it meant that he was happy. At least, that's what I kept telling myself, but hiding thoughts from the pack wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do. However, since none of them had figured out that I was gay, I was doing something right.
I guess I should go back to the beginning. My name's Embry Call, and I'm the bastard child of La Push. Fortunately Quil & Jake had made it their mission to show that I was wanted here, otherwise life would have been unbearable. The small community knew how I was raised without a father and had been welcoming to my mother, despite her being a Makah. It was always suspected that Sam Uley was my half-brother, but a simple blood link was never enough to make me interested in him or the man who had left before my birth. My mom loved me and provided me with all of the necessities of life, but raising a child as a single parent was difficult. Her having to work so much limited our time together, but I would always be deeply attached to her. That's something Jake & Quil both understand, with each of them having lost a parent. Jake is extremely close to his father, but that stems from having to help take care of the wheelchair-bound elder. I have to wonder if our similar losses had anything to do with our friendship, but I've never asked. I was just grateful to have friends.
No one knew that I was gay, never interpreting that there was something out of place behind the shy, quiet exterior. I was confident that I'd be able to hide it forever, but the introduction to a mindlink with "the pack" made it a lot more difficult. Still, by focusing on other things or drowning out my thoughts with a list of songs that nobody wanted to hear, I had kept up the secret that I valued above all else. Well, aside from the whole "I turn into a giant wolf and hunt vampires" secret, but on the reservation I felt that even that would be more tolerated than my sexual preferences.
Then came the day that I imprinted, which was important to the pack because it marked the day that the true Alpha joined. Now, Jake didn't want to be Alpha, but his phasing was good for numbers and power, as he did hold a similar level of strength as Sam. Upon seeing him going through the changes, our eyes met, and I couldn't believe the pull that I felt. I had seen past his normal exterior, showing the confusion, hurt, loneliness, and fear that had made my wolf latch on and imprint. I was so confused that I wasn't able (or to be honest, willing) to phase after he completed the change. If I had, he and the rest of the pack would know what happened, and that was not going to happen. Jake had been dealing with Bella at the time, who was his "one true love," and marking him as a clear heterosexual. I escaped that night without giving it away, and over time I perfected my hiding techniques.
As the pack grew, I found it easier to blend into the background and keep my thoughts masked. Quil had followed after Jake, reuniting our trio. Seth & Leah Clearwater had joined in a bit after, and we recently added Brady Fuller & Collin Littlesea. Everyone being focused on training up the new pups was a blessing, keeping any attention off of me. Everyone had their own role within the group. Sam as Alpha was the authoritarian. Jared Cameron, the Beta, and Quil served as the ones to lighten the mood with a joke. Paul Lahote was the hothead, Jake was the overachiever, Leah was the harpy, and Seth was the happy-go-lucky kid (stark contrast between the siblings, eh?). Even the pups fit into the role of pranksters, causing small amounts of trouble wherever they went.
I guess that I was the quiet, sensitive one that people felt that they could talk to. Everyone knew that I was good at keeping secrets – in both human and wolf form – and that I was always willing to listen. I had helped Jake in dealing with Bella, calmed Quil after his imprinting on a 2 year old (which the others found to be a constant source of amusement), and even tried to comfort Leah, who was having difficulties being around Sam so much after their relationship came to a sudden end with his imprinting on her cousin, Emily. Yeah, I was the perfect confidante, providing whatever help I could and locking up their secrets in my mental vault. They often said that I deserved to find happiness and love, but little did they know that it wasn't possible. I simply nodded along and said that I'm sure I'd find someone eventually.
Things all changed one weekend in the summer. Sam had orchestrated a set of competitions to find out who the most well-rounded pack member was, stating that it would be worth our while to try to win. When Jake won, he expected to get some time off from patrols or something, but instead Sam announced that Jake would get to travel to Seattle for 3 days, escaping the reservation for a bit and getting some well-deserved downtime. Sam also said that Jake could take any two pack members he wanted, which naturally meant that Quil & I were going to benefit. The next weekend we were checking into a decent hotel. We had gotten hold of some fake IDs, and fully intended on checking out what big city clubs were all about.
After getting a quick bite to eat, we headed into a nice looking club near our hotel. The fakes had worked well, and we were sitting at the bar, having to work to get enough alcohol into our systems to get drunk. A few drinks in and I noticed that Jake seemed to be feeling the effects more than Quil & I. He was talking to a girl that had taken an interest in him. It was then that I sensed that his beer had something else in it, but before I could stop him, he swigged down the last half of it. Jake was extremely dizzy immediately, but his body temperature had kept the drug from its goal of knocking him out. I looked at Quil and told him that I was going to take Jake back up to the room, not mentioning that someone had tried to drug him. As I helped a staggering Jake back, he began to get angry about my cockblock, but I refused to let him get taken advantage of. He was my imprint, and even though I had settled on the fact that he would never be mine, I wasn't going to let him get hurt by someone looking to get an easy lay.
Finally, we made it back into the room. I left him on the bed as I gathered up a large bucket of ice, trying to help cool him as his body burned off whatever it was invading his system. I stroked his hair as I placed the ice on his forehead, trying to soothe him as best I could. Fortunately the heat was doing its job, but I was so enveloped in trying to care for Jake that I didn't sense Quil watching. As I leaned down to kiss his forehead, I heard the gasp from behind me and Quil's words let me know that my secret was out.
"You love him, don't you?"