Prompt 7 for the Anon Twi contest. This was a photo of a shirtless guy, wearing jeans. in what was obviously a guy's room. A hand and a set of girl knees were leaning on his hip. but he looked less involved to me, somehow.


Disclaimer: the characters and all recognisable situations belong to Stephenie Meyer - 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.

Thanks to BanSidhe [ruadh sidhe] and Feebes86 for betaing and pre-reading.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Paul Lahote woke up. He peeled his eyelids apart. Another night of heavy drinking and even heavier partying. Hadn't even taken his fucking jeans off. He hated sleeping in his clothes, but it was becoming a habit. And now he was poor too; well poorer. The amount he had to spend on alcohol to get wasted was getting beyond him. He'd have to do something soon, simply because he didn't have the money to keep hammering himself like this.

He blinked. His eyes felt sandy and gritty. His throat was a ghastly, clicking mess. Water. He needed a drink of water.

There was a movement next to him and a hand slipped across his bare stomach and slid into the top band of his jeans. A set of knees leaned against his hip. A girl. Fuck. He couldn't even remember who she was. He had a vague recollection. Credit card girl. That was how he had got so drunk. She was buying. Or her parents were. Maybe he wasn't as poor now as he had thought? He might still have some cash left somewhere.

His fuzzy brain tried to get it together. Did he fuck her? He couldn't remember. He kind of hoped not. He almost groaned at the tiny thought that she didn't smell right. Wrong girl. He didn't even recognise this one's scent.

"Get me a water, will ya?" he asked her.

She obeyed. Clambering off the bed and walking past him to the kitchen. She put some booty swing into it. She was naked and clearly hoping to get him interested. He frowned. He sniffed at himself. He didn't smell like sex, so he hadn't fucked her. She was just hopeful.

Now he remembered. She was hopeful now, when she had been too drunk the night before. He had been maybe just drunk enough. It was a delicate game. Timing… it was all about the timing.

Lauren… that was her name. It finally clawed its way to the top of his memories. Or maybe floated to the surface like pond scum. Lauren Mallory. That was it. She went to High School in Forks.

With her.

He almost sighed.

She came back with a large bottle of water. He didn't usually buy water in bottles. The fucking stuff came out of the faucet. Why bother? She must have brought that. Or purchased it with her shiny credit card.

She held it out to him. He took it out of her hand. Drank a few gulping mouthfuls. She was still standing in front of him with her hand on her hip. Fuck. She wanted something. He could just tell. She had that look.

He gave her another glance. Odd. He had always thought she had longer hair.

"What happened to your hair?" he asked stupidly.

She rolled her eyes. "I told you," she hissed.

He tried to think about it. Oh that's right. Some fucking sob story about how she had been taken for a major ride by a talent scout. He snorted. "Oh yeah… I remember."

She frowned. She did not look happy.

"What?" he demanded.

"You were sympathetic last night," she stated.

"New day," he said. Of course he was sympathetic last night; he wanted to fuck her last night.

"So are we gonna have sex now, or what?" she asked.

"Or what," he answered. But he didn't think she was smart enough to get that one.

He waited. Whatever morning wood he had woken up with, faded away at the reality of this girl who was just so wrong. Wrong hair colour, wrong voice, wrong smell… just… wrong.

He looked at her. He tilted his head and he gave her a look from head to toe. Should he just fuck her and throw her out afterwards? Nah. These days he wasn't sure he could fuck her, unless he was drunk and that ship had sailed.

"Or what?" she asked.

He frowned at her now.

"You didn't finish your sentence," she reminded him.

"Actually, I did," he pointed out. He sighed. There was no way he was explaining that one to her.

He rolled his neck, hearing the bones crack. Long lived, super-fast-healing werewolves weren't supposed to have necks that cracked; or hangovers. He was seriously punishing himself, big time.

Another swig of the water.

He noticed her still glaring at him over the top of the bottle.

"What?" he demanded.

She dropped to her knees and reached for the waistband of his jeans.

Christ. As if he needed her to try and blow him. He dumped the water on the side table and smacked her hands away.

She got this look on her face. She actually stuck out her bottom lip like a two year old. "I thought we were going to have some fun," she whined.

Jesus. Whining now? Why couldn't she just take a hint?

"We couldn't do it last night," she kept whining. "I was too drunk. You said we could do it in the morning."

There was no way he would have said that.

"No, I don't think I said that," he corrected her.

She looked caught out.

Sneaky bitch. Man, she was a piece of work.

Fuck. He had been really drunk. What had he said to her? He hadn't asked her about… her. Had he? She'd be just mean enough to think she could use that. This girl was poison. He'd known that. Fuck. Her queen bitch reputation preceded her. And he had brought her into his home.

You fucking idiot, Lahote.

"Maybe you should go," he suggested, carefully.

She pressed her palm up the crotch of his jeans. It did nothing for him. Wrong girl. She frowned; at his lack of response, he assumed.

She actually tried it again. He almost laughed in her face.

He moved her hand away. "Don't worry about it," he told her.

"But…" she said. "Last night-"

"Christ," he interrupted. "Don't think too hard, you'll strain something."

"But…" she protested, again.

"Just go, Lauren," he suggested. "It ain't gonna happen." Maybe she could understand if he kept the words small and simple. No. N. O.

And then she made one of those leaps of understanding. "Bella Swan," she said.

Fuck. Fuckety fuck fuck.

"Who?" he tried.

Her eyes narrowed. "You kept asking about her last night. Was she in any of my classes? Did we have home room together?"

She stared at him. And then she laughed. It was an ugly Wicked Witch of the West cackle.

He sat up a little in the bed; leaning on one elbow. He really wanted her gone. And now.

"Isabella Swan," she repeated.

He resisted the urge to correct her. Her name was Bella, not Isabella.

He tried to pass it off. He frowned at her. Took another nonchalant swig of the water. "Don't know her," he tried. And he didn't. At least not biblically.

"Oh, for fucks' sake," Lauren swore. "Another guy hung up on Isabella Swan. As if Edward Cullen wasn't bad enough," she whined.

His inner wolf growled at the mention of the vampire's name.

She just kept going, "The Cullens… oh, yes, the Cullens. Nobody ever caught their attention. Edward never even spoke to a single other girl in the school until mousy, clutzy, little ugly duckling came along. And then he's eating lunch with her, and sitting next to her in biology classes, and then they started dating! Edward Cullen never dated before she showed up…"

Enough!

He moved too fast. Inhumanely fast. And he didn't care.

He picked up her clothes, shoved them under his armpit and he grabbed her by the upper arms and he frogmarched her to the door. He threw her off his porch. And tossed her clothes after her.

She was livid by then. She had squawked at him as he had marched her through the house, but now she was furious.

Quil jogged over out of the forest. He must have been on patrol or just walking past and had heard the commotion. Fuck, with his hearing, he had heard her a mile away. The whole pack probably had.

Lauren turned on him and she nearly spat at him as she spoke, she was so angry. "How dare you?" she hissed. "You're no better than me!" she screamed at him. "You're just poor Indian trash… you're not even white trash. As if you'd think you even had a chance with her… you're a man whore… and just you wait… just wait until I tell her all about you-"

"Dude," interrupted Quil. "You should have told me you were throwing out the trash." Quil was pack. And whatever was going on, he would defend his pack brother first.

"WHAT?" Lauren screeched. She suddenly realised she was still naked. She scrabbled in the dirt for her clothes and held them in front of her to cover her nakedness. Luckily her car was parked outside the house. Fuck, they drove here? Jesus.

Paul waved a hand at her and spoke to Quil. "This?" he asked. "This is damn expensive trash, Quil, my boy. This here trash, cost her parents fifteen thousand dollars."

"Whoa… dude," said Quil. "What for? She hasn't had a boob job."

Lauren made an offended squawk noise.

Paul snorted. "Fake talent scout. She met him in a mall… and thousands of dollars later… she's got no hair and she's still got no talent."

Quil made a howling noise. "Oww."

The boys high fived each other.

Lauren could no longer speak. She tried a couple of times, but in the end she just searched through her clothes for her car keys.

"Your bag is in the car," Paul told her. "Don't bother coming back."

She drove off; with a spray of gravel.

"Dude," said Quil. "Wouldn't it have been easier to just fuck her?"

Paul shook his head. "No thanks."

Quil studied him silently for a minute. "Just talk to her," he said.

Paul raised an eyebrow. "You givin' me dating advice Quil Ateara?" He tried to imply that he knew all about dating.

"You don't date Paul, you just fuck," Quil stated. "You don't have the first clue about real dating."

Paul humphed.

"Just talk to her. And for fucks sake do it before that … skank gets to her."

Wait a second. How did Quil know about… her?

"How?" he asked. "How did you know-?"

Quil cut him off. "Jesus. It's almost as bad in your head, as it is in Jake's." He punched him in the top of the shoulder. "Just talk to her. Be honest. What's the worst thing that could happen?"

That was the problem. He could imagine a dozen disastrous things. Including Jake beating the living shit out of him if he found out. Be honest? Yeah right.

"And for Christ's sake, give up the skanks… and the drinking," he added. "You reek."


Monday morning. Paul skulked in the forest near Forks High School. He had thought about what Quil had said. He rolled his eyes at the thought that he was actually taking dating advice from Quil Ateara. Jesus. He was desperate. He had scrubbed himself raw in the shower that morning. Trying to erase every trace of all the women he had been with; as if scrubbing them off would somehow make them disappear. Cleaned his teeth a half dozen times. He hadn't been this nervous… like ever.

He heard her truck coming a mile away, maybe six.

As she pulled up, he watched her get out, her back pack slung over her shoulder. Her hair bounced as she moved. Fuck. He did have it bad. He approached her near silently, and then thought that he didn't want to scare her. He made some awful throat clearing noise, that was probably too loud, to let her know he was there.

She looked up at him.

She blinked and pushed her hair out of her face with one hand. Fuck. She looked adorably confused. "Paul?" she asked.

He stood there.

She bit her bottom lip.

Christ he was so hard.

She licked her lip and frowned.

He nearly came in his jeans.

"Paul?" she tried again.

"Yes?" he finally responded.

She paused.

"What are you doing? And here?" she tried.

He blinked. Snap out of it, Lahote you great oaf. The last time you actually spoke to her you had to apologise for phasing in front of her.

"I-I wanted …" You I want you. No, can't say that. "I wanted to talk to you about something… if that's okay… if you're not too busy or anything… you know… if you have time right now?"

Jesus. He had gone from monosyllabic to verbal diarrhoea in one sentence. He would have smacked himself in the head, but he didn't think it would help.

"Oh," she said. She glanced at the school. And then she glanced at him. He wasn't wearing a shirt as usual. He had forgotten. She blushed suddenly. And she bit her lip again.

That blush caused the faintest, tiniest piece of hope to bloom within him. He affected her.

He suddenly needed to touch her.

He slowly reached out a hand and he stroked the back of her hand with his index finger; just one finger. She watched him do it.

And then she shivered.

He slid his over-hot fingers under her hand. He tugged it; just the tiniest bit and she took a matching tiny step towards him. He almost fainted in relief. Maybe this wouldn't be as hard as he thought it would be?

"Where can we talk?" he asked her.

She waved her other hand towards the forest. She didn't pull her hand away from his.

"Okay." He smiled at her.

He tugged her by the hand and she followed him into the forest. They stopped just inside the tree line. She looked around a little nervously.

"What's wrong?" he asked her.

"I think this is where Edward told me he was a vampire… well, I guessed, I suppose." She looked up at him. She looked… wounded. He wanted to hug her. He held her hand tighter instead. She was so tiny. He felt large and awkward.

"Weird, huh?" he asked. Vampires were weird. And Edward was weird, even for a vampire.

She smiled. A small movement.

He would take it.

He sighed. It was audible. He lifted his arm up and ran his hand through his hair. She watched him do it.

"Just tell me," she encouraged.

"Aahh."

"Is it Jake?" she prompted.

"NO." He was almost too vehement. He didn't want her thinking of Jake.

"Okay then," she agreed. "So no one is hurt? Or injured?" she checked.

He shook his head.

"V-vampires?" she asked nervously. "In the area?"

He had to get his shit together. He was freaking her out and making her play charades.

"No… it just concerns me," he paused for a beat. "…and… you," he finished.

"You and me?" she repeated.

God. His heart flipped, just when she said it.

"Yes," he agreed, happily.

Silence.

"What are… we doing?" she checked.

Everything. He wanted to say. He was still holding her hand. He could feel it in every fibre of his being.

"Whatever you want," he blurted out. Oh, fuck! He should not have said that.

"Whatever I want?" she repeated. "Whatever I want… be what I want…whatever you want them to be." She frowned adorably again. She looked like she was trying to remember something. "Why does that sound familiar?" she asked out loud.

"I dunno," he said.

"Oh. OH. OH!" She waved her other hand as if she was going to fall over or something. He clutched her hand harder. He'd break it soon. "Jake told me about this," she said.

She stared at him. She looked him full in the face. He felt weak at the knees. Her eyes moved from his, down to his lips and back up again.

"You?" she asked him.

"Me… what?" He wasn't entirely sure what she was thinking.

"You're my… wolf? I don't know what to call it," she expanded.

Fuck! His heart really did a flip then. My wolf.

"Yes," he agreed. "Imprint," he added.

"Oh. So you're my imprint?"

He thought it was actually the other way around, but he wasn't going to argue with her. "Yes," he agreed.

"Wow," she said. She fanned her face with her other hand.

She tugged her trapped hand. "You're hurting me," she said.

"Fuck! Sorry. I've never done this before," he confessed.

"I should hope not," she said.

"Oh, fuck, yeah, of course… why would I have done this before? You only get one imprint. Jesus, I am useless." He slapped his own hand over his mouth. Just shut the fuck up, Lahote.

"Shhh," she comforted him. Jeez, she was comforting him? She put her little tiny white hands up, and she peeled his fingers away from his mouth. And he let her do it.

She held his hand now. And she looked down at it. Very carefully she stroked the back of his hand with her fingers; running her fingers over the prominent veins that threaded their way across the back of his hand. His heart damn near went into overdrive. Christ he'd have a heart attack if she touched his cock.

"Now," she started carefully. "This is new… to us both… so I suppose we should just go… slow-"

"I can do slow," he interrupted.

"Sure, you can," she placated him.

The man whore of La Push. Yeah right, he did slow.

"I need to go to class," she stated.

"Yes, of course you do."

Lauren. He had to tell her about Lauren.

And he didn't have the first clue how.

"Would you carry my back pack for me, Paul?" she asked.

"Yes," he agreed. He'd do anything; anything at all. Crawl across broken glass if she asked him to.

She nodded. "Okay then… slow."

His eyes narrowed a little. She seemed to be telling herself that. He leaned towards her carefully. He could hear her heart rate increase. Whoa. Two way street, huh? Excellent. That made him feel vastly more confident. He wasn't the only one affected by this crap. He reached out and took the back pack from her shoulder. His fingers brushed the top of her shoulder and she inhaled as if he had burnt her.

He slung it over his own shoulder. It smelled like her.

They turned and they walked out of the forest together. He held her hand again. He had to adjust his stride to match hers; she was so tiny next to him. He must be a foot taller than her.

Somehow she understood how nervous he was. She was holding his sweaty palm, he supposed; dead giveaway. She gave it a gentle squeeze as they approached the school.

A new model SUV roared into the parking lot. Paul almost twitched. Bella glanced at him. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"I have to tell you something," he confessed.

"Something else?" she asked.

He jigged his head at Lauren's car; for indeed, it was her.

"I threw her out," he stated. "Naked. She might be… pissed."

Bella chortled. "You did? Why? I mean, most guys seem to like her?" She had turned to face him; still holding his hand. She looked a little nervous of his answer.

"She wasn't you," he answered. And that was it; in a nutshell.

She smiled and his heart almost exploded. She beamed at him now and he knew, somehow, this was all going to work out. It wasn't going to be easy. But that tiny kernel of hope blossomed into something much bigger.

"She has quite the reputation," Bella said.

"Like me," he suggested.

"Ancient history," she assured him. "That was… yesterday."

"I don't deserve you," he blurted out.

"Someone thinks you do." She pointed at the sky.

Her face fell, suddenly. "What about Jake?" she asked him.

"Tribal stuff. He may not like it, but he has to accept it."

"Oh, poor Jake." Yeah, she didn't seem that upset about him missing out; poor Jake indeed.

Lauren had approached them by then. It was too much to hope for, that she would leave them alone.

"Oh puleeez," she snarked, at the sight of them so close together and so obviously, together.

Bella turned and put her back to Paul. She stood between him and Lauren. She was protecting him. He thought it was cute.

"Hello Lauren," Bella said. "How was your weekend?"

"You bitch," Lauren spat at her.

Onlookers started to tune in.

Lauren eyes raked across Paul's body. "Gah," she said. "Doesn't he even own a shirt? Probably not, eh?" She gave that evil laugh. "They're all so poor."

Paul's arm moved, seemingly on its own. It wrapped around Bella's shoulders and held her back against him. He glared at Lauren over her head.

Bella's hands reached down and patted him on the thighs. It was a calming gesture.

"I feel sorry for you, Lauren," she said.

"Sorry?" Lauren repeated. "At least I'm not with … him; the slut of La Push."

Paul twitched.

Bella laughed and that helped his wolf calm down. He could not lose it and phase here. He would ruin everything.

"Did he turn you down?" Bella asked Lauren. There was some noise amongst the watching crowd of students.

Lauren made a wordless noise of frustration. "He's not normal, you know," she sniped.

Bella turned her back to Lauren. She looked up at Paul's concerned face. She put her hands on his waist and she tilted her face up to his. "No, he isn't," she stated loudly. "He's extraordinary."

Paul looked down at her. He could feel where her hands touched his skin. He could feel her breath gusting against his skin as she breathed. It was like oxygen to him. He breathed her in and he realised that he needed her just to stay alive. Without her; he would just die.

"Kiss me," she whispered to him.

He didn't argue with her.

His big hands held her cheeks and lifted her face to his as he wound himself down to her. Their lips brushed. She sighed and he breathed her in again. And then he kissed her.

Her arms reached around to his back to hold him closer. His hand slid to the back of her head to hold her there and his other arm slid low on her back and pressed her to him.

The wolf whistles and cat calls started. "Get a room!" someone else shouted.

They lost themselves in each other and they completely ignored Lauren.

He crouched down a little and hoisted her up with one hand. She wrapped her jeans clad legs around his waist. He stood up straight and proud now.

She finally pulled her head back and she looked at him; she was panting a little.

"Whoa," she said.

"Yeah," he agreed.

"Meet me after school?" she asked him.

"Here?"

"This exact spot," she told him earnestly.

"I can find it," he stated.

"I know you can."

He put her down reluctantly. He watched her walk away from him. He resisted the urge to chase after her. She had got to the top of the stairs, when she stopped, turned and ran back to him. He wrapped his arms around her again.

"I forgot my bag," she told him. She blushed. "And my brain," she added.

So had he.

He handed her the bag, kissed her quickly and said, before he thought better of it, "You've taken my heart."

"Sappy," she stated.

"True," he retorted.

She grinned at him.

She walked away again. She tried to go up the stairs backwards, so that she could keep looking at him and he laughed. Angela Weber finally took her elbow and steered her in the right direction.

"Who was that?" she hissed in Bella's ear.

"That? …That was Paul Lahote." Bella smiled. "And he's mine." She knew he could probably hear her too.

"Certainly looks like it," agreed Angela. "Girl, you can pick them."

"I think I may have it right with this one," Bella said.

FF_2154210_1756694513 - 7/02/2012 1:48:00 PM