Disclaimer: Same as always, I own nothing recognizable besides plot or any original characters.
AN: Heads up, this chapter is a bit shorter than the others and honestly it's because I haven't posted in so long I really needed a filler. I felt like I was losing touch with the story and I wanted to get this out quickly.
What World is This?
"I'm sorry." Jake's voice broke through the homework drunken haze that surrounded my vision. Advanced Calculus glared back at me, the numbers swirling together and becoming one jumbled up mess right before my bleary eyes. I'd been up for hours, and even though it was Friday night and I had all weekend to do this dreaded assignment, I forced myself to finish it before anything else distracted me. Watching Jake's shirtless form run up my porch steps, nearly minutes after I'd gotten home from school was enough of a push to get me started right away.
It was too bad the only person around had no inkling about Calculus either, and every time Jacob Black opened his mouth to ask me how much longer it would take the more I wanted to grab the new baseball bat I'd bought and slam it right against his werewolf skull.
"What are you sorry for, Jake?" I asked, not glancing up at him from the assignment I was working on. If he noticed the tense tone of my voice he didn't comment.
"I'm sorry for trying to rush you, but there really is somewhere we need to be." My head snapped up at this and Jake flinched at my expression.
"You mean Sam? I need to go see Sam, right? Well you might as well head over there without me, 'cause I'm not going." I snapped at him in aggravation. No one could deny the connection between Sam and me but, that didn't stop me from trying.
"Bella, he's hurting . . . and as much as I don't want him to spend time with you, he's my Alpha and the way he feels affects the whole pack. . ." Jake tried to reason, brushing his hand across my arm. I jerked away from him, nearly falling off the old folding chair at my desk. He was hunched over and even if I'd fallen I knew he'd have caught me. The thought irked me.
"I'm not part of the pack, Jacob. So, I'll say this as nicely as I can. I don't give a shit if he's hurting."
Jake growled slightly at my words. I caught a flash of his teeth out of the corner of my eye and I automatically twisted to face him. I hadn't noticed, obviously because I wasn't paying attention, that Jake had a seriously animalistic quality to him at the moment. I couldn't remember if he'd had the same expression on his face for the last four hours or if it was a reaction to my words.
"As much as you don't believe me, Bells, you are part of the pack now; maybe not by heritage but by association. " I glanced away from him then, not wanting to continue the same conversation we'd had a million times in the last two weeks.
"Don't hide from me. I know you can feel it." He didn't have to explain what he meant, we both already knew. It was the cord between Sam and I, the invisible string that was holding us irrevocably together. I could feel the tautness of it, as if it was pulled to the max and instinctively I knew it was because Sam and I were odd at ends.
"You can't fight it forever."
"I sure as hell can try." I responded finally, finishing up the last problem of my assignment and tucking it away in my Calculus folder, and then glared out the window in front of me. It was dark and besides the street lamp a few yards past my driveway that illuminated a bit of the neighbor's lawn, there was nothing to look at but my own reflection in the glass.
I didn't want to admit it but I knew that since Sam had lodged himself into my life, I'd gotten better. I filled out to my original weight before Edward left, my clothes finally fitting me like they should. I didn't look so hollow and ridged anymore and my hair was fuller and fluffed around my face. The color in my cheeks accented the newly acquired gleam in my eyes and as much as I hated to even think about it, I knew it was because of Sam and the hole he'd suddenly and impossibly stitched up in my chest.
"Why do you want to?" Jake asked quietly, starring at us in the reflection in the glass. The aggressive expression he once wore was gone and now he just looked distraught.
"I just got over being manipulated and controlled by one supernatural creature, I don't need to go to that place again," I paused, thinking about my own words before continuing. "Because, I know that if he were to leave me like Edward did, I wouldn't be able to survive it. This seems bigger to me, more permanent than anything I've felt before. I don't want to get hurt again."
"Bells, you have to understand, the shit I've seen from Sam the last couple times I've been around him, is not him. I've never seen him so worked up and flustered, so like any of us wolves, or pretty much guys in general, he reacts in the most instinctive way. To dominate is second nature to him, he's the Alpha. That's what he does, but he fights those urges every day, I've seen him do it. Trust me when I say, that the last thing he'd ever do is hurt you, but you need to cut him some slack. He's never had to do this before."
"Run a damn wolf pack, but treat a girl like a human being with intelligent thoughts, no way!" I snapped back. His words made sense but I didn't want to give in so easily. "''Difficult' for him, my ass. He's not even trying."
"He is trying, Bells. Running the pack is easy. We have the pack-mind and he has the Alpha command, it's not like anyone can really give him a problem. You're different. You don't have to listen to him, and he doesn't know how to deal with that."
"Like that makes me feel any better? What, he's pissy now because he can't control every single thing I do? That's mature." I scoffed, glaring at Jacob through the glass. He scowled back at me.
"We call each other brothers, but the closest thing the Alpha is to us is a father, and for some members of the pack Sam is the only father figure they've ever had. He runs his own construction company, he has his own house, he pretty much has eight wolf-children running around everywhere, and you wanna say he isn't mature because he isn't handling a teenage girl very well? Excuse me if women don't come naturally to him, or any guy for that matter."
My eye brows nearly rose into my hairline. I didn't think I'd ever heard Jacob speak so much in one breath in my life. I knew I was being harsh with my assessment of the leader of Jake's little rat-pack. It usually wasn't in my character to be so judgmental. I didn't like that side of me, but Sam brought out intense emotions in me, emotions I didn't even know I could feel.
"I didn't mean to offend you, Jake. It's just . . ." I trailed off, watching us in the window again, unable to make the words form that I wanted so desperately to say.
"I know. " Jacob sighed, tilting his head back and starring at the ceiling. I knew how difficult it was for him. He was between a rock and a hard place with Sam and I. I couldn't really blame him for trying to resolve it, but at the same time I resented Jacob and the free will he still had. It was easy to give someone advice when you aren't in the situation yourself.
"Listen, Jake . . ." I started, but stopped suddenly when I saw a shadow shift into the dim light of the street lamp down the road. The hulking figure of a giant dog prowled closer to my yard until I couldn't make its form out from the background anymore. I snapped my head back around to face Jacob again. My glare met his happy eyes.
He just laughed at my expression and then rocketed out of the door before I could cause him or myself any bodily harm. I couldn't believe the audacity of this wolf pack. Who the hell did they think they were?
I stormed down the stair after Jacob, already knowing he'd be gone before I even got down the stairs but that didn't dim the irritation I felt. I hopped unceremoniously down the stairs and nearly tripped on the landing but managed to right myself before that happened.
I swung the front door and was unsurprised to not see Jacob's face but a serious looking Sam Uley.
"Isabella, you can't do this to us." Sam breathed out, his voice sounding a bit withered. I tried not to noticed how worried he looked, or the way his eyes were trailing all over me, taking note of every little difference since the time he'd last saw me. He seemed relieved but torn up as well.
"Do what?" I stepped back from his ridiculously large frame and let him enter my house.
"Fight the bond. I know it's hard for you as well. I don't know why you're being so stubborn." He breathed, pushing himself into my personal space and I'd be lying if I said I didn't automatically breathe in his scent and feel a thousand times better by doing so.
"How can I be okay with this? You're only here because you have to be. It hurts you if you're away too long. How is that healthy?" I ask back as he cups my face and our eyes meet. I stare at him, I could see my reflection starring back at me in his eyes and I'm pleading. I'm pleading with him to see how different the situation is for me, and I know he does, but I also know he won't fight it.
"Wouldn't you miss someone you loved? Wouldn't you long for them so much sometimes that it would physically hurt?" He reasoned, backing me up into the wall opposite the door. His arms braced me gently until my back finally made soft contact with the wood paneling.
"This is different."
"The only thing different is that no one will ever love somebody as much as I love you. You don't have to say it; I already know how you feel." His forehead pressed against mine and our breaths mingled. It felt like he'd broken down all of my defenses in a minute flat, everything I've rationalized over the past week simply washed away by his assured nature.
I did then, the only thing I could think of in that moment. I lifted my mouth up to his and pressed our lips gently together. The change in him was instantaneous, his arms latched tightly around my waist and he lifted me up the wall and my legs wrapped easily around his narrow hips.
He kissed me deeply, lightly grazing his tongue across my bottom lip, not probing or begging for entrance, just tasting and relishing the moment. He pulled back after a few moments and then rested his cheek against mine.
"I just want to stay this way for a while, Beautiful. Just let me have this moment." Sam whispered sweetly into my ear, his soft breath tickling the sensitive skin there and I sighed, happy for the moment with how we were.
I closed my eyes and rested my forehead against his broad shoulder, content with just being for a little while.