Bought and paid for.
One of my one shots for the Truly Anon Twi fic contest. 45 photo prompts, I wrote 13 stories. Clearly have major issues... lol
Prompt 20 – was a black and white photo of a girl with a suited man putting a necklace around her neck.
Disclaimer: the characters and all recognisable situations belong to Stephenie Meyer or Charlaine Harris - this is a work of fan fiction, except for the legends and histories of the Quileute that, of course, belong to them. I pay my respects to their Gods.
Leah Clearwater had finally given up on Sam Uley ever coming back to her. Fucking imprinting. Eventually, when Embry Call's lingering glances got too much for her, she threw him down on the floor of the forest and fucked his brains out.
It worked so well for them both, that they kept up a 'Friends with Benefits' relationship. Fucking another wolf was just awesome, anyway. No comparison to vanilla human sex. But of course, her personal karma load was so bad, that Embry imprinted. And not on her. It was some random girl at the supermarket. He looked half pleased, half horrified. And Leah was broken-hearted, all over again. She had half convinced herself that Embry was just a casual fuck, but he really wasn't. She couldn't work out why she didn't get the imprint nod.
Was it her? Was she wrong? She was the only female and clearly it didn't work for her.
She left the pack and nobody tried to stop her. They probably all heaved a sigh of relief. She still phased occasionally. But she was now an even rarer creature; a female lone wolf.
She took a job as an escort. It improved her self-esteem massively to have men pay to be with her.
Her mother, Sue was horrified.
Leah argued that she could work two nights a week and earn a fortune.
"But people will think you're a prostitute," Sue bleated.
"Well I'm not. People always think the wrong thing about me."
She invested in a couple of classic dresses; one black and one white. They both looked amazing against her perfect skin. And the same accessories would go with each. She was thrifty. She had to be.
She had a couple of issues with handsy clients. But they got the message pretty fast. She was an escort, not a prostitute.
She did well. She bought another dress in a pale green and nicer shoes. She liked to be comfortable about the feet. Too many days wearing nothing at all on her feet. That was the extent of her spending. She paid her mother for board and utilities and she saved the rest. For what, she wasn't sure.
She had one client that was particularly persistent. He was very good looking and clearly had never had anyone say 'no' to him before. She growled at him; like literally growled. He had pissed her off big time. The agency was concerned that he might sue them; Leah had broken his wrist. But they black balled him, anyway. He never did start legal proceedings. Only Leah knew it was because he had comprehended somehow what she was; he had called her a shifter. She had told him that if he sued the agency, he was going to be the unfortunate victim of a 'dog' attack. She could sniff his sorry ass out anywhere, she told him. He believed her. She looked like she meant it. Plus he had wet himself. Insult to injury. Raoul Montalbano was not going to be a problem for her.
The agency were very pleased with her.
She actually learned to sit properly on a chair; not to slouch or have her knees open; and which piece of flatware to use in a silver service restaurant. She drove up to Seattle for most of her special jobs, by request.
The agency let her know that she had a new client. He had asked that she attend a wedding with him. She hadn't been available on that date but he had insisted. Paid enough for them to refund her cancelled client's money and give him an extra amount for the inconvenience. The new client assured the agency that it had to be that weekend, because of the wedding. He had also booked her all weekend; from Friday night on.
She was doubtful about this. Another guy with a foreign name. What were the odds that this one was trouble? Like Raoul.
The wedding was at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Of course it was. He had a room there; a suite he assured her. When she checked in on Friday afternoon she discovered that he had booked the Cascade suite. It had two bedrooms. Each with a king size four poster bed the concierge assured her. They gave her her own room key. She asked them to call Mr Herveaux and tell him that she had checked in. The concierge assured her that he had already arrived and was in a meeting elsewhere in the hotel, but they would get a message to him.
When she opened the door she was astonished. There was a grand piano in the room and a dining room with a table that could accommodate twelve. The suite was bigger than her house. It was luxury beyond anything she had seen before. Must be a high class wedding and he must be seriously rich.
She noticed a bag in one room, so she assumed the other room was for her. As she walked through the suite, she noticed an odd scent. She couldn't quite figure it out. It seemed oddly familiar and oddly out of place, as well. As she walked out into the main room of the suite after hanging her own clothes and unpacking, it clicked. Wolf.
At that instant, the door unlocked, opened and a man walked in. He looked at her. She froze.
He was as big as a boulder; Jake-sized in height but much bigger around the chest. He was huge, with arms like tree trunks. He was wearing faded jeans that fitted him all the right places and a plain white t-shit. His hair was black and tousled as if it defeated any comb. His eyes were green.
He gave her a tentative smile. "You must be Leah." His voice was deep; very deep and with a southern drawl. They had texted on the phone and this was the first time she had heard his voice.
He was the wolf.
She frowned at him. She looked about for places to run. Escape routes. The suite had a dozen doors but he was standing in front of the only real exit.
He held his hand out. "Please," he beseeched her. "Please, don't run." He closed the door behind him. That did not make her feel better.
"You're a shifter," she spat at him. That was what the scent was. She was a fool for not working it out sooner… and running.
"Yes. A Were." He pronounced it 'weir'.
"Were?" She didn't know what that meant. "Wolf?"
She suddenly put together why he had insisted on her. He knew somehow. "You chose me."
"Yes." A pause. "Deliberately."
"You could have told me."
He gave her a look and shook his head. "Would you have believed me? Would you have come?"
She didn't bother answering that.
"How?" she asked.
Silence again. She was still ready to run and he was too, she realised. Her inner wolf twitched. She could somehow tell his status. He was powerful. He was an alpha wolf. An alpha male. She resisted the urge to really check him out. She kept her eyes on his face. Although that actually didn't help either. He was a spectacular man.
"Leah?" he checked.
Silence. She blinked; very slowly.
"Can we talk? Introduce ourselves? Work some stuff out?" he asked, carefully.
"Not happy," she spat at him.
He took a step into the room. She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down. She couldn't escape and besides, she was Leah Fucking Clearwater. She didn't run from shit.
He waved one huge hand at the sofa. She sat. She threw herself down on it like a petulant teenager. He sat a measured distance from her. He smiled. "If you try to run, I'll catch you," he warned.
Her eyes narrowed. She felt like trying it, to see if he could.
"Wanna try it?" he suggested.
She snorted at him. He grinned.
"The name's Alcide Herveaux," he introduced himself. He didn't pronounce the 'd'; it sounded like Al-see. "I'm from Shreveport, in Louisiana. I'm the pack master of the Long Tooth pack. The nearest pack is in Montana-"
She knew it wasn't, but silence was the best option here. She let him blab on some more.
"You're not listening are you?" he chided her.
She shrugged. She really looked like a petulant teenager now. She shook herself. He had her so off balance. She was being paid for her time; she was a professional escort. She pulled herself together. She shifted forward, so that she sat on the edge of the sofa. She folded her legs neatly off to one side and she held her hands clasped in her lap. She turned her shoulders to face him, and she leaned towards him a little and focused on somewhere neutral on his face. Not his eyes.
She gave him her best 'listening' face.
He watched her do all that. His green eyes sparkled in amusement.
No; she wasn't looking at his eyes.
"Better," he stated. "As I was saying, I am a pack master and I need a Were date for this wedding."
"Why me? You must have other dates." She would deal with the realisation later that other wolves even existed. Let alone other whole packs of them. Not now; and not in front of him. She shoved that to one side. She was good at hiding shit.
"You sounded… fascinating," he said.
She raised an eyebrow.
"Raoul," he answered her unspoken question.
"Broke his wrist," she stated.
"Yes." Alcide smiled. Damn. He had perfect white teeth.
"He pissed himself, too," she added.
"Did he now?" He laughed. He had a wonderful rumbly laugh and it showed his perfect white teeth. She blinked. She was checking him out. Her inner wolf literally sat up and took notice. "He never mentioned that." He laughed again. "What did you do to him?"
"Nothing," she defended. "I just growled at him."
He lifted an eyebrow of his own.
"And then I broke his arm, when he wouldn't let go of me," she blustered. "He knew what I am. And after this I have a job to do. Hunt Raoul down for telling you."
He chuckled again. "Don't. He was very drunk and maudlin. He only told me because he knew that I am a Were as well. You have, I fear ruined him for other women."
She snorted. "He's damn lucky I didn't ruin him for other women."
He laughed again. "Ahh, chere, I like you," Alcide declared. He rose to his feet and held out his hand to her. She had taken it, before she thought about it.
She rose to her feet and he pulled her up as well and she ended up much closer to him than she was happy with. Well, she was unnerved but her inner wolf was very happy. He held her hand in close to his stomach and he bent his face down and he scented her. His face passed an inch from her neck. She could feel her heart rate increase. She stopped herself from taking a step back; away from him.
She took in a deep breath to steady herself. And that was a mistake because all she could smell now, was him.
He smelt fine.
"First appointment?" she asked. She was proud that her voice didn't squeak.
"A dinner tonight. Pack masters."
She stepped away from him. He let her hand go.
"Formal?" she quizzed.
"Is black okay?"
She was staring at the carpet. She finally lifted her eyes to see his amused scrutiny. She didn't normally behave this timidly and she was damned if she was going to now; alpha male or no alpha male. She met his gaze. "I should shower," she suggested.
They stared at each other. "Yes."
Neither moved. Neither blinked.
He inhaled again. And then he made a small pleased noise. And he nodded.
"Yes," he said again. She wasn't sure now, what he was saying 'yes' to.
She managed to walk without looking back, towards her room. She shut the door and then had a silent panic attack. Being a Were as he called it, he could hear her, if she made a noise or punched something. She stood there and silently screamed and waved her arms around. Fuck!
What the hell had she got herself into now?
When she came out again, fully dressed, made up and ready, he was standing with his hand on the mantelpiece, his arm extended and he was looking down into the fireplace. He was wearing a plain black tuxedo. The really traditional type of tuxedo with the black ribbon down the side of the trouser legs. It had clearly been tailored to fit him. The fire wasn't lit, but he could not have chosen a better place to stand to look any more impressive. He looked every inch a leader.
He glanced up at her. He blinked and then he smiled and nodded. "Yes," he said again. "It just needs one thing." He reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew a necklace.
He made a twirl signal with his hand. She walked towards him and stopped, pivoting on her feet. He was right behind her and she was suddenly completely aware of him. She put her hand over her heart as if to try and muffle its pounding. His hands passed over her head and he placed the necklace around her neck. She tilted her head forward obligingly. He locked the clasp. She could feel his warm hands brush the skin of her neck as he did so. It made her shiver.
Part of her wanted to feel more of him. She closed her eyes. There was a pause.
"Done," he said.
She looked up to check her reflection in the mirror. The necklace looked like freshwater pearls; oddly misshapen blobs, rather than perfectly regular beads. It was an odd greyish colour that managed to be all colours; pearlescent, she supposed.
She saw his reflection too. He was looking at her, with something that looked like possession in his eyes. His eyes shifted up and met hers in the mirror. She almost gasped. It was possession. He had no right.
His finger touched her shoulder and tracked slowly down to her elbow. She shivered.
"Stop it," she spat out.
He just smiled at her in the mirror.
Her eyes narrowed at him.
She was at her professional best at the dinner. She listened politely. She had learnt the best way to impress was to just listen. Men especially, wanted to talk about themselves, not listen to you talk about yourself. She kept looking up to see Alcide's eyes on her.
The one thing that did surprise her, was that there were ten men at the function; all alpha male wolves. And they all had wives or girlfriends. And all their partners were Weres too. Her inner wolf was so astonished that she hid. The melange of scents in the room was almost overwhelming. She had no idea how to deal with other females, so she hung with the men. She was still no good with girl conversations anyway.
When they sat to eat at the formal dinner, she was next to Alcide. He laid a hand possessively on her thigh. She let him. To fight him off during the dinner would have been embarrassing for them both. She was his date for the weekend. She had to act like it. Between courses, he reached an arm over and rested it on the back of her chair. He gently stroked the back of her neck, where the necklace lay. She turned to look at him.
Damn. He took her breath away. They sat there and just stared at each other; neither blinking. She finally had to tear her gaze away. She was so unnerved, she reached for her wine and took a hefty swig of it. She looked up to see an older wife looking at her with warmth in her eyes. "His mother would be so proud," she said.
"Yes," she replied politely, although she had no idea what the woman was referring to.
There were a few more enigmatic comments like that. For some reason, she kept catching herself touching the necklace. Fiddling with it; rolling the beads on the thread. Feeling how warm it felt from the heat of her skin. All in all, it was both the best and the oddest dinner she had ever attended. One thing for eating with Weres, she actually ate her fill. So many 'dinners', she was eating takeout on the way home to full up.
Alcide even watched how much she ate and he looked pleased with her appetite.
There were some speeches that meant nothing to her. Alcide had pulled his chair over a little closer to hers. He sipped his espresso and listened intently to the speeches. She was unbelievably aware of his proximity. He kept making contact with her; a touch on the skin, a light hand on her hair, or a deft pat of her leg. She found herself waiting for the next touch. She was so distracted, that she didn't hear someone ask her a question.
"Perhaps we should retire for the evening," Alcide said. "Leah seems tired."
They made their farewells; assuring the others that they would see them tomorrow at the other scheduled events. Several of the men shook his hand and offered congratulations.
She stood primly in the elevator. He held her by the elbow. She wanted to attack him; to ask what the hell he was playing at? There were too many assumptions at the dinner and too many odd looks and phrases. But she was still a professional. Not in the elevator.
He steered her carefully down the corridor. She waited while he unlocked the door.
He opened the door and held it for her. She walked into the room. He followed; his hand at her back and he shut the door. And in a second, her back was against the door and his entire body was pressed up against her.
He had moved so fast, she hadn't had time to react and she was angry with herself. She was trapped again. And she was not happy about it. She lifted an arm and he grabbed it. The other fared no better.
"What the fuck, Alcide," she growled at him.
He didn't answer. He just leaned in harder, she had trouble breathing.
"It's the necklace isn't it?" she asked him. "It has some kind of significance." Christ, he was big. And strong and all male. She could feel him. "I spent the whole night answering weird questions about how pleased your mother would be," she snarked.
He was sniffing her.
"Mine," he growled at her.
"I might be bought and paid for but I. Am. Not. Yours," she spat at him.
"I'd be some kind of an idiot to let you go, Leah. And I'm not."
Not an idiot or not letting her go? He hadn't actually clarified that.
She suddenly realised his wolf was so close to the surface.
"Tear this dress and I will kill you," she stated.
He snorted. "So take it off," he suggested.
Her eyes narrowed and she growled at him.
"That doesn't scare me," he stated.
"What size wolf are you?" she asked.
"You know… are you a standard sized wolf when you change?"
"You don't know?" he sounded confused. She supposed wolves only came in one size in his world.
"I'm not standard sized," she told him. She felt a small cringe at breaking the tribal secrets, but he knew what she was, there was no point hiding it. "I turn into a freakily fast super-duper giant-sized wolf. And so help me, if you make me phase and tear this dress or ruin my shoes, I will tear large, bloody chunks from your furry hide."
"I am serious," she growled at him.
"Show me," he challenged.
"What the fuck?"
"Jeez, you are a pain in the ass."
He still had her against the door.
"You might have to let me go," she suggested.
He looked down at her. God, those eyes.
"You'll just have to trust me," she said.
He stepped back suddenly and she darted away from the door and further into the room. He turned and leaned his back against the only exit now. Fuck him; she'd jump off the balcony if she had to.
He folded his arms. Fuck. Those arms.
"Come on." He glanced down her body. She was still dressed. She stepped over and moved a couple of armchairs across the room, until she was satisfied with the amount of space she had. He watched her with a sceptical look on his face as if he thought that she was delaying.
She growled at him again. She kicked her shoes off at him. He caught them. She made him move his head, though.
She slid out of her dress. He still watched her. She took off her expensive lingerie and rolled her stockings down, too. He emitted a small animal noise again. Closer to a rumble. It just vibrated through the air.
She lifted her chin. She stood completely naked and she stared at him. He took a step towards her with his hand out and she phased.
Suddenly there was a loud tearing noise and a super-duper giant-sized supernatural wolf was standing in the middle of the space she had cleared.
And the air was full of flying beads.
She had forgotten the necklace. Her wolf self, danced in place as the pearls ricocheted around and bounced on the carpet.
She phased back, immediately. "Oh, my God… oh, my God… I'm sorry… I forgot the necklace… it was so warm on my skin… I'm so sorry…" she blustered, as she crawled naked on the carpet trying to collect the loose pearls.
Alcide blinked. And then he stepped over towards her. He bent down and he grabbed her by the top of the arms and hauled her to her feet.
"I'm sorry," she wailed.
"Shut up," he told her.
And he kissed her.
And he kept kissing her. And she didn't mind at all.
"I have wanted to do that since I smelt you in the room," he told her earnestly.
"The necklace?" she asked, with a worried look.
"We'll find all the beads and get it restrung. We can sniff them out, eh Chere?"
He started to carry her towards his bedroom.
She started trying to undress him.
He growled at her. "You tear this tuxedo and I will tear large, bloody chunks from your furry hide," he threatened her.
"You can try," she said.
He was naked in minutes and she stopped talking. He made her speechless. And after that, all she said was 'yes'.
FF_2154210_2013368916 - 7/02/2012 4:13:00 PM