Hello! Here is the spin-off I promised. It will deal with the whole Quil-Leah-Paul situation. I decided not to address this problem in IWCY because they deserve their own story. I have to warn you, this story will deal with grief, loss, suicide, alcohol use and of course sex.
Also if you just finished reading IWCY it may be a little confusing in the beginning; like going back in time. The action takes place only one year after Jake and Seth became a couple. For reference, Embry and Quil just graduated from high school, Kim and Seth just finished their junior years in high school.
Please share with me your thoughts or comments; I love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, if I did the wolves would've been more than an add-on.
"Paul stop being an asshole!" Shrieked Leah while Paul threw her over his head into the water.
It had been a horrible rainy week and we were not hopeful for a nice day, but when the sun came out over the horizon we all got our shit together and headed to the beach. It had been months since the pack got together just to have fun. Everybody was there except Embry and Brady who were running patrol; they should be done anytime soon and would join us. No leeches had visited our neck of the woods in eight months so the patrols were more spaced out between them. This was a good thing, since Embry would be leaving soon to attend college and we haven't had any new wolves join the pack.
I sat on the sand watching the happy couples having fun in the water, a stupid smile plastered on my face like the happy guy everybody grew to love. Inside me was a different story, I was screaming in frustration. Cursing my fate for making me love the wrong person, cursing the very day I was born into this cruel world.
What the fuck did he see in her? She was nothing extraordinary; bad temper, foul mouth and average looking. Ugh, who was I kidding? Leah was pretty, not beautiful in the supermodel sense of the word, but more than ordinary. I could understand why he preferred her soft skin and feminine curves to my rough skin and angular body. He had been wronged by the only man he ever loved and now was disgusted with even the idea of one man loving another.
"Now you're going down wolf boy!" Leah emerged from the water to jump on Paul and dunk him under the water holding him as long as she could. The other couples floated away from the two raucous lovers who were splashing water like a freaking school of fish caught on a net. Jared pushed Kim who was leisurely sitting on a tube away from them, protecting her from getting caught in the brawl going on between Paul and Leah. Emily was straddling Sam in the water, her legs around his waist. I didn't want to think what those two were doing below the surface of the water. Emily was a sister to all and neither one of us could even think of her that way, even though we had seen in Sam's thoughts she was not exactly an innocent dove.
Jake and Seth were shamelessly making out on top of a blanket on the sand. Those two couldn't get enough of each other, they had been together as a couple almost a year and it seemed that each day rather than calming down, they were more into each other. When they were not locking lips, they would be eyeing each other with the unmistakable look of love in their eyes. I loved them, but hated their relationship, I was fucking jealous, wanting Paul to look at me that same way, but knowing he never would.
Paul had almost all the money saved to buy Leah an engagement ring and was planning to ask her to marry him very soon. When I saw this in Paul's thoughts, I lost it bad. Had to excuse myself and leave the patrol, before I did something I would regret my whole life. I got in my mom's car and drove away like a maniac, screaming to the top of my lungs, cursing him, cursing her, cursing my miserable life. I thought my lungs would explode from all the screaming. I should be so lucky. I couldn't believe he would betray me in such a way, I was delusional, he didn't see me as anything else but a friend, but in my fantasies I was the love of his life and it still felt like a let-down.
When I came back home my family was very concerned with my sudden disappearance. My grandfather questioned me as to the nature of my suffering, but there was no way I could tell him. I knew he would understand; my family's rejection was not something I feared. But my pain was just too big and talking about it made it more real. There was only one person whose rejection I feared and that was the one person I knew wouldn't hesitate to beat me up, while calling me all the homophobic terms in the book, if I even dared to hint my love for him.
How many times I got on my knees and prayed to God to make me imprint, to help me find my soul-mate, somebody who would erase my pain and love me unconditionally? But it hadn't happened and by the looks of it, wouldn't happen any time soon. I would just have to keep existing; not really living, just like a caged beast in a zoo.
Embry and Brady emerged from the forest jogging towards us. Brady went directly to the water to cool down. Should I warn him to stay away from Paul and Leah? Nah, let him find out by himself. Embry sat down next to me in the fallen log that I claimed as my throne as soon as I got to the beach. I loved Embry, besides Seth he was my best friend, but not even he knew my secret. He knew there was something seriously bothering me, but wouldn't push the subject, probably thinking that whenever I was ready, I would share with him my thoughts and feelings.
"So, fill me in, what did I miss?" Asked Embry in his usual laid back way.
"Same ol' same ol". Jared and Kim just floating away, Sam and Emily doing only God knows what, Paul and Leah being their obnoxious selves, and those two." I said pointing at Jake and Seth "They need to get a fucking room."
"What about you Quil?" With the corner of my eye I saw Embry watch me with a doubtful expression when inadvertently my breath hitched at just the mere mention of Paul's name.
"You know me Em; just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming…" We laughed together at my rendition of Dory. "Are you hungry?" Embry looked at me like I had grown a second head. Of course he was hungry, this was something certain for all and every shifter; we were always starving.
"I think there are still some burgers left, let's check, I haven't had one of those puppies in the last twenty minutes." We stood up walking towards the barbecue that was still smoking. Indeed there were ten burgers wrapped in tinfoil on the edge of the grill. I took two and Embry took four, we loaded them with all the condiments we could find and grabbed a bag of potato chips.
When walking back toward our seat, we passed Jake and Seth who were not even coming up for air. I looked at Embry and he knew exactly what my intentions were, his expression warning me to forget it or face the consequences.
But what the hell I had a death wish anyway, "Get a room!" I kicked a good amount of sand at them and took off running while wolfing down both hamburgers in a few bites.
"What the fuck!" Jacob roared before taking off after me. This was me, Quil the clown, willing to get clobbered so his friends wouldn't see who he really was.
After getting a well-deserved punch in the face, that was healed by the time we got back, we joined the others who were already getting out of the water at the sight of an impending storm in the horizon.
"This fucking rain always messing up our fun, Leah we should move to a desert or something I'm tired of all this rain." Said Paul as he stuffed towels and clothes in a duffel bag.
"Yeah we should do that, but you seem to forget once small detail Einstein, we would die of heatstroke!" We could always count on Leah to never hold back; she was never one to care for anybody's feelings.
"I don't need to be smart Leah; I know you're just with me for my looks. When you got all this" Said Paul running his hands over his torso. "You don't need any of this" He then tapped the side of his head with his pointer finger.
"Then you have nothing to worry about Paul." Added Brady, shit was that kid dense or what? Messing with Paul? Really?
"Fuck you Brady!" Answered Paul, giving an unsuspecting Brady a stiff slap to the side of the head
"No thanks Paul, you're not my type." Woohoo Brady, ahead of the game two to one.
"Dream on, you idiot, I don't go that way anymore and never again, if I may add." Ouch! Cue knife to the gut. Thank you so much Aaron, for being an asshole to Paul and ruining my chances with him.
"Leah, you coming over tonight?" Asked Paul quietly, who was he kidding? We could all hear him. What's the big deal?
"Sure, I'll be there around midnight, after patrol." Answered Leah in her normal voice, at least she had the sense to stop pretending.
Everybody trickled down until I was left by myself on the beach under the dark gray skies. I sat down, burying my toes in the warm sand and allowing my fantasies to take flight. Imagining it was me meeting Paul tonight after patrol. Arriving at our house to be greeted by his smiling face and mischievous eyes. That he would encircle me with his strong arms and pull me into his awaiting lips. Quil Ateara, you are so fucking pathetic! Get him out of your head!
Closing my eyes I welcomed the raindrops as they began to fall on my overheated skin. So far there was only a light rain, but I could hear the thunder in the distance. Pretty soon all the thunder and lightning would be right over me. I wondered if a shifter would die if it was struck by lightning. It would be a nice way to go, fast, to the point and a little dramatic.
Feeling a presence close to me, I sniffed the air trying to locate the scent. Oh great, just what I needed, speak of the devil. Sitting up I turned to my side just to see Paul about twenty steps away from me, walking in my direction.
"Hey Quil, what are you still doing here?"
"Didn't really have anywhere else to be" I stated matter of fact.
"By any chance, did you see Leah's sunglasses? She thinks she left them here."
"I haven't seen them, but that doesn't mean shit, since I wasn't looking for them." If I did they would already be crushed to smithereens. I had to laugh internally at my lack of maturity.
"I guess, anyway it's too dark to look for them now, I'll come tomorrow" I completely lost track of time, between the rain and the sun setting behind the clouds, it was very dark on the beach.
"Quil, I'm off tomorrow, do you want to hang out, maybe work on the car some more?"
"Sure man, I'm on vacation, what time do you want me to come?" I knew I should've said no, but couldn't help it, when it came to Paul I was a needy bitch.
"After ten, you know I need my beauty sleep." I had to chuckle at his comment.
I got home to the questioning looks from my parents and grandfather. I was already getting used to the looks of pity I received from my family. They couldn't understand the reasons behind my loneliness and my utter sadness. At home I didn't have to pretend everything was fine with the world; at home I could be the bitter son of a bitch I really was. I felt tired of doing nothing; I went directly to the bathroom to take a shower. Jerking off thinking of Paul, how sexy he looked in his cutoffs, the way they always rode low enough on his hips so you could see the beginning of his V cut. How I would love to run my hands over the taut muscles of his chest and abdomen, to kiss along that wonderful V on his hips until I reached my prize. Every day was the same crap, jerking off to the fantasy of what could never be, that's why it was a fantasy, it was impossible. After getting out of the shower I crawled on my bed for another dreamless night.
The next morning found me staring at the ceiling annoyed with myself for being such an idiot. I woke up before sunup but the excitement of knowing I would spend part of the day with Paul, chased the sleep away from my eyes. As expected it was raining, the heavy cloud cover unrelenting in shielding all sunlight from coming through. Grabbing a book from the nightstand I read until nine in the morning, at this rate I was going to finish the book in a few days. I couldn't add any fuel to the fire by letting everybody know I barely slept, so in mornings like this, I just read for hours to kill time.
At nine thirty I walked downstairs dressed and ready to face my day with a falsely optimistic outlook. I kissed my mother good morning and sat down with a gigantic bowl of cereal. I didn't let my mother make a fuss with breakfast since nothing ever satisfied me anyway, cereal would suffice. My grandfather was sitting at the table reading his newspaper and drinking what was probably his second cup of coffee.
"So son what are your plans for today?" My grandfathers' made me get my nose out of my food. I started to speak but it came out as an incoherent mumble, swallowing loudly before speaking. "Not much; going to meet Paul later to work on the car."
"You and Paul seem to be very close Quil." There was something different about his tone when he said that; suspicion maybe? Anyway I just ignored it. I was probably just being paranoid.
"We're friends; things in the pack have changed. Since the guys started imprinting everybody is concentrating on their imprints, the loveless fools like me are left bored and alone." We had learned that imprinting was rare but in our pack already three wolves had imprinted. We didn't understand why and didn't know if that was the case with other packs.
"But isn't that boy going out with Sam's sister, what's her name?"
"It's Leah, yes they are together but whenever she is on patrol or doing her chick stuff, Paul and I hang out. It's not like they imprinted or any of that shit." That was the only thing that gave me some hope, if she was going to imprint on Paul she would've done it already. It meant one of two things, she would never do it or her soulmates was still to be found.
"I know what you mean son, it's hard being the odd man out." He had no idea how true was his statement. I felt like an outsider among my own pack. It was nobody's fault, this was a self-imposed punishment. I held to the idea of having a relationship with Paul like a drowning man holds to a piece of driftwood. Maybe if I tried hard enough, I could find somebody who would love me and that I could fall in love with. But I was not ready to move on, it was stupid, but so was this whole situation.
I walked under the rain to Paul's house which was less than half a mile away. It usually took me less than five minutes to get there, another benefit of having extra-long legs. Already familiar with the routine, I walked directly to the garage only to find Paul shirtless, head under the hood and a light coating of sweat covering him, making his back shimmer under the lights. After taking off my shirt I joined him under the hood. Immediately he noticed my presence and lifted his head to greet me with a little smile. I could swear that he only smiled like that to me, but it was probably wishful thinking. He had a black smudge on his left cheek that I just wanted to lick clean, fuck Quil get a grip, he is going to notice! To take my mind off his gorgeous face, I concentrated on his scent and almost gagged when all I could smell was Leah. At least this took care of my arousal or any other feelings, just to be replaced with disgust.
We worked in silence, this was something I always liked; we didn't need to have any extensive conversations. Everything between us was easy and natural, like we were made for each other. I knew I was wrong, if one thing we were not was soul-mates. He seemed so relaxed; working with his hands always helped him regain his peace and regroup. It must be exhausting to have such a short temper, and everybody dislike you for the same reason, but he made being an asshole very sexy.
Without noticing, I started humming a song I heard on the radio the day before. What doesn't kill you by Kelly Clarkson; it had become my personal battle song.
"Fuck dude, what's with you and the chick song?" Paul sounded beyond annoyed, what's his problem?
"What chick song? This is a good song man." It was a good song; I had no idea why he was being so touchy.
"A good song only if you're gay." He had to go there, thank you for rubbing salt on the wound, Paulie. I swore that each day Paul became more homophobic, so ridiculous.
"Don't be a dick Paul."
"Whatever man, just stop humming that shit."
Deciding that keeping my music choices to myself was better than starting a fight with Paul, I kept my mouth shut. We worked for a couple of hours, talking casually about unimportant things. Around one in the afternoon, Paul ran in the house to get us something to eat and I just kept working, keeping myself busy so I wouldn't think. He came back carrying several sandwiches and two sodas. The sandwiches looked really pitiful and unappetizing, just a slab of meats and cheese thrown messily between two slices of bread.
"Paul I have to teach you how to make a decent sandwich; this is a disgrace." I said looking warily at the mess in front of me.
"Since when are you so picky? Are you going to eat it or marry it?"
"Eat it, but you know my body is a temple, I have to be careful with what I put inside it." He laughed heartily at my statement. If only he knew what I really wanted inside my body.
"Go ram yourself Quil, if you don't want it I'll eat it." There it goes, another naughty thought, you're not helping buddy.
"Ok, ok don't be so sensitive, what's wrong with you? Are you getting your period?" Paul laughed out loud at my question. This was one more of the many things I loved about Paul; even though he had such a nasty temper, it was easy to diffuse it using comedy.
"Quil can I ask you something?"
"Sure, what's up?"
"Why do you hate Leah?" Give me a break, now we were going to talk about our feelings.
"What gave you that idea?" Who knew? maybe the fact that every time I saw her I wanted to pretend she was a bloodsucker and rip her to pieces, only to do a happy dance over her dismembered body. Maybe it was too evident that the blood boiled in my veins each time I saw her groping Paul. It could be anything, but hopefully Paul hadn't noticed and he was just playing the part of the concerned boyfriend.
"I don't know it's just a weird vibe I get from you, whenever I mention her. For example, when I asked you just now, your breath hitched slightly." Oh fuck, I couldn't allow myself to make mistakes like this, there was too much to lose.
"I don't hate her Paul, I don't particularly like her but most of the pack doesn't. What makes my opinion any different?"
"I don't know, you are not just any of the other guys. You're the closest thing I've ever had to a brother. That automatically makes your opinion important." I would've been touched by Paul's words if it wasn't for the fact that this was messed up. Brother? Not exactly what I had in mind.
"Thanks man, means a lot to me." Realizing that I was threading dangerous waters by getting sentimental, I reevaluated my response, deciding to go the usual safe route. "Now who is acting fucking gay? You sound like a Hallmark commercial."
"You see, that's why I never say anything nice, I'm surrounded by assholes."
"And you're the biggest one Paul." We both laughed and ate the rest of our lunch in amicable companionship, making some small talk.
After having dinner at home I walked out to start my patrol. I was assigned to patrol with Sam, which was perfect for me because he didn't talk much and just entertained himself fantasizing about what he was going to do to Emily after the patrol was over. An hour into the patrol we bumped into an unknown wolf lying on the floor semi-conscious. Most of his fur was reddish brown with his legs, face and tail a darker shade of the same color. We circled him several times wondering who he was. We could see his thoughts so we knew he was one of ours, but they were mostly empty. In his semi- conscious state all we could see were shadows and blurry faces. Neither one of us was aware of any kids showing signs of phasing. A few minutes later an extremely concerned Brady reached us, immediately followed by Leah.
I believe that's Collin, he called me fifteen minutes ago and left a message saying he was sick, that he was throwing up, felt angry for no reason and had an unexplainable need to be in the forest. I went to your house looking for you; even I know not to bother Jacob on his night off. I bumped into Leah and she told me you were on patrol.
Shoot it's been so long, that I forgot about this kid. Said Sam, breathing relieved for knowing the identity of our most recent addition.
What do we do now? Asked Brady concerned, but excited for having his friend back.
We just wait until he wakes up. We all sat in a silent vigil around the new wolf, waiting until he woke up so we could explain what was going on. Sam asked me to continue with the patrol since there were three of them to stay with the kid.
Sure boss. I took off running the perimeter of our reservation, losing track of time as I made an effort to keep my thoughts hidden. After some time a new mind entered mine, confusion and fear lacing every thought.
What the hell happened to me? Asked Collin, his thoughts panicked.
We'll explain Collin, you're fine, you're wolf, just as Brady is one too.
Hi buddy, welcome to the pack! Exclaimed Brady excitedly.
A wolf? Brady? What kind of sick joke is this? I could see through his eyes as he looked at the three wolves in front of him. A black wolf that inspired in him fear and respect. An ashy brown wolf that looked like a freaking jumping bean, unable to stay in one spot. When he locked eyes with Leah, I almost tripped on my legs at the sensations that assaulted me.
Leah's mind became a jumble of images, her parents, her brothers, her friends, her home, everything disappearing into the background and each one of her senses focusing on the young wolf in front of her. Her past and everything that it included, even Paul, becoming less than a distant memory. Nothing else existed, nothing else mattered. From that moment on, her thoughts, her heart and her soul belonged to him.
So Lee Lee it happened, are you ok? Asked Sam
I think so, Sam is this what I think it is? In her mind she knew exactly what was going on, having witnessed it through Sam's, Jared's and Jacob's thoughts, but she was so scared that she needed confirmation.
If what you are thinking is that you just imprinted on Collin, you are correct sister. Answered Sam calmly.
Wow Leah imprinted, good for her. That goes to confirm that imprinting is not as rare as it sounds. She is the fourth one and that is without counting Paul since his imprint died, we never mentioned his imprinting. But wait Paul, what about him? Fuck he going to be pissed! Well, pissed was an understatement. I panicked thinking of the several times he had said he would take his life after his grandfather died so he could be with his imprint. My thoughts reached Sam who immediately saw the danger and went on protector mode.
Quil listen to me, go get Jake, drag him out of bed if you have to. When Paul hears of this, he will go ballistic, he could try something stupid. We'll need Jacob here to order him to calm down and not hurt himself or anybody around him.
I will not let him touch Collin. Growled Leah, determined to protect her imprint.
Leah you concentrate on your imprint, we'll handle Paul. Answered Sam curtly.
Wait a minute, what the hell is imprint? Who is this Paul you're talking about? Please tell me it's not that huge guy with bad temper that's part of the cult. Sam chuckled at the term cult being used to refer to the pack, he was sure Seth had initiated the use of that term.
Quil tell Jake to meet me here, then go find Paul and don't leave his side, I don't want him to phase and be by himself when he learns of what just happened. I don't think Collin will know how to shield his thoughts from him. I took off running in the direction of Jake's house as fast as my legs allowed me.
Damn this all to hell, the shit is going to hit the fan when Paul hears of it.
Quil stop it, Collin is freaked out enough without the monologue in his head. Leah's voice blasted in my head. Protective much Miss. Clearwater?
I entered Jake's house quietly not wanting to wake up Billy. Their door was always open, so getting in had been easy enough. The clock of the microwave read twelve fifty three. Shit everybody was sleeping; maybe I should try calling Seth's cell phone. The ring of the phone startled me and I noticed the small rectangle on top of the kitchen table, now what?
Running into the woods behind their house I phased, Sam everybody is sleeping, I cannot get Jake unless I go in their room and if I do that he will rip my dick off and make me eat it. Jake had made it perfectly clear that the room he shared with Seth was their sanctuary and nobody was allowed in there.
Quil I don't care how you do it, wake him up and tell him to get his ass here. You need to go find Paul.
Warily I walked upstairs and knocked on the door, no answer. "Jake, Seth, guys wake up there is trouble." …Nothing.
Knocking again louder this time "Jake, Sam needs you, wake up."
Unable to get a response from the sleeping beauties inside the room I decided to risk the future of my gonads and opened the door. As soon as I set foot inside the room the smell of sex assaulted me. These two probably had a wild and crazy night; man I wished that had been me.
"Guys wake up." I said in a normal voice trying to wake them up gently, no luck. I couldn't keep wasting time, Paul needed me, here goes nothing.
"Jacob wake up!" I screamed to the top of my lungs.
"Ahhhhh!" Both Jacob and Seth screamed because of my less than subtle attempt to wake them up.
"Quil there better be somebody dying or the one who's going to get killed is you!" Bellowed Jake without getting off the bed.
"Sam needs you, Collin phased."
"So what? Tell him mazel tov, welcome to the pack! Now get the fuck out of our room!" He was furious, visibly shaking.
"No man, you have to come. Leah imprinted on him."
"Leah imprinted, way to go sis!" Exclaimed Seth, whose small frame was hidden behind Jake's massive form.
"Seth stay under the covers, you're not dressed." Jake didn't give any signs of changing his possessive and overprotective ways when it came to his mate.
"Jake let's go, I want to be there for Leah." The poor kid was anxious to jump out of the bed, but was being restrained by Jake's arm around his waist.
"You're staying here Seth, Collin just phased and he will be unstable, I don't want you anywhere near him."
"Damn it Jake I'm not going to break." Seth made a pause and the tone of his voice changed to one of concern and worry. "Quil, what about Paul, does he know?"
"Not yet and I have to go, Sam told me to stay with him, it's not a good idea for him to hear of Leah imprinting all by himself. You all know what his intentions were when he came back after Laura's death. Now with his grandfather gone, he will be even more inclined to follow through with his plans."
I ran out of the house, phasing as soon as I was under the protection of the forest. I didn't know what to feel or what to think. Could I be happy? Probably. Should I be happy? No way, because Paul was going to be miserable. Was I a horrible person for feeling this whole disaster gave me a chance? That it gave me hope?
Running in the direction of Paul's house my heart felt heavy with worry for my friend, for the man that I loved. I worried for his life, I worried for our friendship and I worried for our future.