A/N: I hope you all enjoy reading this story. It was written for the Fandom4Preemies compilation and thank you to everyone who was involved in such a deserving cause. I don't own Twilight, much to my regret.
The Heart Is A Curious Thing
I opened the door to the house as quietly as possible, not wanting to want up the occupants inside who were already asleep. Taking the first night shift at patrol was always awkward given that it usually finished around three in the morning when everyone else was in bed. As I shut the door behind me, I heard a faint purr come from the bedroom as Leah unconsciously recognised my presence and settled deeper into slumber. From the slightly faster breathing though, I could tell that the other occupant of the room hadn't gone to sleep yet.
My suspicions were proved right when I entered the bedroom to find a pair of dark eyes, shining in the moonlight watching me.
"Hey," Bella whispered softly. She didn't move to greet me – Leah's body was curled around hers - but I could her muscles relaxing now that I was safely back home again. Bella was always a worrier; if either Leah or I were out at night she would never sleep properly until we were back home and unharmed.
"Hi. You shouldn't be awake," I chided her, beginning to strip out of the dirty cut-offs I had thrown back on in case someone in the Res happened to be awake. Jared had learnt the hard way that just because it was the middle of the night, you couldn't run around naked in case someone happened to be awake and saw you. Jennifer Littlesea hadn't been able to look him in the eye for weeks afterwards. Crossing the room, I knelt down to give her a kiss. "You'll be tired in the morning."
"I know." She rested a hand against my cheek and I nestled into it unconsciously. "But you know I worry whenever either of you are out."
"I know." I pressed my mouth against her palm before standing up again, the animalistic part of me growling inwardly at the loss of contact. "But you need to sleep now. I'm going to take a quick shower then I'll be back in here with both of you."
"Okay." Bella seemed to take some comfort from my words and as I left, I caught a glimpse of her snuggling further into Leah's body as exhaustion began to take over her.
As I washed away the sweat and dirt of patrolling, my mind shifted back to how I ended up in this situation – living and in a relationship with two different women.
Bella and I had been seeing each other since she had finally kicked the leech to the curb. We had gradually been making steps from just friends to something more when he and his bloodsucking family had returned to Forks, claiming that he had made a terrible mistake and couldn't bear to live without Bella in his life any longer.
I had been devastated, sure that she would go running back to him without a question. After all, I had spent months helping her to gain back her confidence after he had left her, but I knew that no matter what I did, Edward still held a place in her heart. I couldn't believe it then, when she came rushing into my garage one afternoon, tears streaming down her face, babbling about how she couldn't go back to him, not after everything she'd been through, and that although she didn't deserve a second chance, she wanted me to give her one.
I had gaped open-mouthed at her for ten minutes, not able to believe my ears, and it was only when she had dejectedly made a move to leave that I had jerked out of my stupor and pulled her towards me for a kiss.
It was a relief to hear from my father, several months later, that according to the records of wolf packs in the past, the Alpha had never imprinted, thus allowing him to properly watch over his pack without putting one member of the tribe's wellbeing over everyone's safety. As the true Alpha of the pack, I would never have my affections forcibly torn from Bella and pulled towards a total stranger.
Even though Bella had never said anything, I knew that imprinting was something she worried about, and so it was a huge weight off both of our minds to know that it would never happen for either of us.
And then came Leah.
The only female in the pack had always had a tough time, what with phasing alongside her little brother, her father passing and her boyfriend inexplicably dumping her only to move in with her cousin only weeks later. Things had got even worse for her once she found that not only did she have to share a pack mind with Sam as well as taking orders from him, but that a part of him still loved her, and the only reason he had left her was because of imprinting.
She had vowed then and there that she hated imprinting. She hated what it stood for, she hated the way the mates were selected and she hated the devastating impact it left on those left behind without a clue as to why they had been abandoned.
Her feelings of disgust for the whole concept were so strong that it took her a year to confess that she had imprinted upon me at our first pack meeting, but hadn't said anything because she didn't want Bella to go through what she did. As long as she could spend time with me on a regular basis, her wolf was happy with the situation.
Bella and I, however, were not.
While my chosen mate was more than understanding as to mine and Leah's situation, her pity for Leah grew as time went by and it became apparent to us all that I was it for the female wolf. As much as she said she was happy for me to just be her friend, it was hard to ignore the fact that she would never look at another man again. I was her one hope of a fulfilling relationship, and it wasn't fair for her to resign herself to being alone forever.
At the same time, however, there was Bella.
I would never be able to let her go, even an Alpha order in the past hadn't been able to keep me from her, and as horrible as it made me, I wasn't willing to give her up for my pack mate. I loved Bella deeply; my feelings for her were deeply ingrained within my soul and my bones and I couldn't bear to leave her.
It was a horrible dilemma and one where there was no winning option.
If I chose Leah, then I would be the second person to tell Bella that I didn't love her enough to stay with her. If I chose Bella, then I would be condemning Leah to a life of loneliness.
It was Bella who came up with a solution.
I had gone out on patrol and come home to find Bella and Leah sitting on the sofa, glasses of wine in their hands, and giggling. From the five empty bottles in front of them, I could see that they'd had a good evening. Bella and Leah had surprisingly become good friends since we had found out about the imprint. Leah's instincts were geared towards making me happy, and seeing as I loved Bella, she took it upon herself to make sure my mate was guarded and safe at all times. In doing this, the two girls had plenty of opportunity to hang out and become friends and they were now closer than I had ever imagined that they would be.
Rolling my eyes as they cackled and whispered to each other, I sent Leah off to crash in the twins' old room; she was in no state to walk back home seeing as she could barely stand upright.
I collapsed on the sofa next to Bella, almost purring with satisfaction as she crawled into my lap.
"Did you have fun tonight, honey?"
"Yep." She nodded her head and then giggled. "Leah's fun. I like her."
I stroked a hand over her back, leaning my head back against the cushions. "Me too."
"I feel soooo sorry for her though," Bella mumbled, a small sniffle coming from her mouth.
I glanced down at her, my senses picking up her distress; she always did tend to become upset and teary after drinking wine.
"Why's that then?"
She sat up straighter and leaned towards me, whispering in a loud voice, "Did you know she hasn't had sex at all in two whole years?" Bella clasped a hand over her mouth, looking shocked.
My mouth dropped open. "What?"
"I know." She looked scandalised. "I don't think I'd like it if we never had sex," she mused.
I choked back a laugh at that. "No, me neither."
"Well, duh! You're a guy; of course you want sex, like always."
This time I laughed out loud. "I'm not the only one who wants sex like always," I gently mocked.
"No." Bella's eyes got glassy. "I love sex with you."
"Okay." I stood up, hoisting Bella up with me. "Let's get you to bed as well. You've definitely had too much to drink."
"Okay," she hummed.
I got both of us ready for bed and was nearly drifting off when I heard Bella speak quietly next to me. "I think you should have sex with Leah."
"What?" I was wide awake now. Unfortunately, my mate, having delivered that bombshell, was now completely passed out and wouldn't wake up even when I shook her.
It wasn't until Leah left the next morning and my father went out for his weekly fishing trip with Charlie that she brought it up again.
"So have you thought about it?"
I blinked. "You were serious."
Bella rolled her eyes at me. "Well, maybe not about just jumping her straight away, but yes, I think, you should maybe...spend more time with her."
I watched her closely. "But what about us? Why would you say something like that?"
Bella sighed heavily. "I know you like her, Jacob. And I know that if I wasn't here, chances are you'd already be in a relationship."
Sidling closer to me, she wrapped her arms around my waist. "The best thing I could do for your both would be to leave you and let you get on with your lives, but..." she blushed prettily, "...I'm too selfish for that. I don't want to give you up. So this is the best solution that I can come up with that works for all of us."
Even after Bella's reassurances, it still took another month before I kissed Leah and even then I felt horribly guilty. Leah was taken aback when I told her that Bella had ordered us to have a relationship with each other.
Finally she had snorted and laughed. "That girl of yours is really something else."
Despite Bella's permission, we still continued to skirt around each other until my mate finally got bored of both of us. One fateful evening, she got us both completely drunk out of our minds and we all went to bed.
From that day on we were inseparable.
At first it was just me and Leah or me and Bella together, but one night I had to make an emergency condom run and when I got back I had been greeted with a sight that would make any red-blooded man's heart race.
Over time, awkward fumblings had become a tentative relationship which itself had developed into love. I had never thought that I could care for anyone as much as I did for Bella, but somehow with Leah in the mix, all of our feelings were heightened to the point where I now knew that I couldn't live without either of the girls, just as they couldn't live without me or each other.
As a group of friends we were good, but as a ménage a trois we were unstoppable.
The water started to run cold, shocking me out of my thoughts and I ducked my head under the shower one last time to rinse it off. Drying off quickly, I padded naked back to the bedroom. Bella had finally fallen asleep cuddled up next to Leah and I quietly slipped under the sheets on her other side.
The movement must have woken up Leah because the second I lay down, she threw her arm across Bella and over my hip.
"Anything out there?" she asked.
"No. It's completely dead tonight."
She hummed in acknowledgement and then frowned. "Your feet are cold."
I huffed loudly. "Then keep your feet over your side of the bed."
We both quietened down as Bella wriggled between us. "Don't fight."
"We won't," we both said together.
"Good." I could hear the satisfaction in Bella's voice as she began to drift off again. "Love you both."
"I love you too." Leah kissed the top of Bella's head before stroking her fingers over my bare skin. "You too, Jake."
I smiled as both the girls quickly fell asleep again. "I love you both too," I whispered.
I was a lucky man.