Disclaimer: Sadly I still don't own Twilight.
This was an idea that came to me, it's similar to 'Fairytales'
I don't like ruining the story but I have to put a warning, mentions of physical abuse.
"Babe I'm so sorry, I wont do it again I promise."
His pleading faded as I bolted from the small house I'd been living in for nearly a year.
My feet carried me down the familiar tracks back to my childhood home, the home of my father. He met me at the door, Paul having more than likely rang ahead to announce my imminent arrival.
"Rachel." he sighed sadly as I dropped to my knees before him his arms automatically wrapping around me.
"I can't do this anymore dad." I cried until I had no tears left.
My dad remained silent as my eyes ran dry, as I calmed down we both hesitated a moment waiting for the inevitable.
"Rachel I know its hard and if I could change this I would, but I can't, and neither can you. Paul has risked his life for the tribe, he has given everything.."
"This is the twenty first century dad." I snapped interrupting his well rehearsed speech "Women aren't used as pawns to be traded to the highest bidder anymore."
He sighed again and I knew I couldn't win this.
"Rachel he imprinted on you, if you leave him he wont survive."
I knew this of course and my heart tightened, despite everything I did care for Paul and I knew how much he loved me, it was just his temper that held the problem.
Its not like he lost it all the time, and it was very rare that I was on the receiving end, maybe this time really would be the last.
I let out a soft bitter laugh, I sounded like one of those battered women who had nothing to live for but her husband and made up any excuse to forgive him.
I wasn't defenceless, I had a degree I had left the reservation before to strike out on my own and I could do it again.
Me and Paul could remain friends, I'd still call him, let him know I was ok, but I'd be free from his destructive behaviour.
I flinched slightly as my dads calloused thumb gently brushed under my left eye, where a bruise was no doubt forming by now, looking into his eyes I came back to reality.
"Do I have to go back?" I whispered quietly.
My dads armed tightened "Not tonight." he promised "I'll call the council to meet in the morning to discuss this matter." he tried to sound firm, like it would make a difference but it was futile and we both knew it.
I was Paul's imprint the council would never allow me to leave the reservation as long as Paul was needed here.
I hugged my dad tight knowing he was doing his best to protect me and for one night at least I could pretend there was a way out for me.
I crawled into my old bed, finding comfort in the worn sheets, a wolf howled in the distance and I just knew it was Paul. Pulling the duvet up over my head I buried my face in the pillow hiding away from everything as the gut wrenching howl seemed to seep into my very soul, and the tears began again.
As the sun slowly began to paint the horizon the soft pink of dawn I finally gave up trying to sleep and made my way down to the kitchen to get some coffee, pausing in the hall as I heard my dad talking to someone.
"I can't let her go back Sue, I just can't. Not this time. She's my daughter first."
I sneaked closer as Sue Clearwater's soft voice replied.
"I know Billy if it was Leah I'd have had her out of the reservation months ago."
I rolled my eyes, great everyone thought I was that helpless. I let out a humourless laugh. Maybe I was that helpless, that pathetic, because even now my mind was thinking about Paul, how had he survived the night? Was Sam mad at him? What about the others? Had he had his ass handed to him last night by Leah after she found out he hurt me again?
The questions kept swarming in my head and I knew I couldn't just leave, at least not without talking to Paul first.
Groaning I pushed open the kitchen door, if I had to face this I needed coffee.
Both my dad and Sue turned to look at me as I entered, anger flashed in my dads eyes and Sue's face fell in shock letting me know my face was probably bruising nicely by now.
"Its not as bad as it looks." I mumbled heading to the coffee pot and pouring myself a very large mug.
Sue gave me a sad smile "They'll be a council meeting later today, Paul won't be there until a decisions been made what to do."
I rolled my eyes taking a sip of the coffee "It doesn't matter, we all know what they'll say." I mumbled, I'd been here before.
The council would put Paul on a type of probation, Sam would increase his patrols, wearing him out and making sure he kept his temper in check by running off excess energy. He would spend any free time making it up to me, romantic meals, hundreds of bouquets of flowers, sitting on the sofa with me while I watched trashy telly. Basically doing everything a wolf should do for his imprint and for a few months things would be fine.
But it wouldn't last, it never lasted. Give it a few months, maybe even a year, but I would be back here again and everyone in this room knew it.
I was trapped, so trapped, and there really was no way out.
I could leave, I could strike out on my own, but I knew it would kill Paul and I just couldn't do that.
Another gulp of coffee and I made my decision.
"I'm going to go talk to Paul." I said "The council can talk all they want but at the end of the day it's between me and him."
My dad wheeled forward as though trying to block my way.
"I'm not going to go back to him, at least not today." I reassured him "I need time to think, without the council going on about obligations and traditions and trying to guilt me again." I leant down to give him a hug "I'll be back later, but we need to talk dad and you know it, I'm his imprint I can't just walk away knowing it will destroy him."
Sue put a hand on my dads shoulder as I walked back to my room to get changed needing to get this over with before I lost whatever nerve the caffeine fix had given me.
Paul was waiting outside our house as I came up the drive, he was in front of me before I had time to blink. I flinched away as his hand went to stroke my cheek and I saw how much it hurt him.
His eyes wandered over the left side of my face that had bruised and I don't think I'd ever seen so much self hatred in someone's eyes before.
"I'm so sorry baby." he whispered.
"I know." I said folding my arms across my chest defensively so he couldn't hug me.
I'd worked out in my head exactly what I was going to say to him on the walk over, how I needed time to think, to decide what I wanted and if I could still be in a romantic relationship with him, to make him understand I wouldn't leave him, we could still be friends and I didn't need to be distracted by his softer side.
However, the second I saw him the well rehearsed speech went out of my head, he looked so small, so lost, so pathetic.
Walking past him I went inside knowing he'd follow me, trying to get my head together.
"If you want some time to get your stuff I can leave, go on patrol while you pack." Paul mumbled from behind me.
This was my last chance to walk away. He was offering it to me.
"I know I don't deserve you Rach, I know I've messed up." he continued softly eating away at my determination "And I wont blame you for leaving me, for never wanting to see me again."
I gave a humourless laugh "You're doing it to me now, I might as well have gone to the damn council meeting." I huffed, trying to stay mad and not let the guilt win.
"I'm serious Rach, I wont hate you."
"Of course you wont." I yelled whirling to face him "You can't hate me, it's imposable for you to feel anything but devotion and love, at least according to the legends."
He was frowning in confusion. "According to the legends? I do feel that for you I love you."
I snorted in disbelief "You wouldn't do this is you loved me." I hissed pointing to my face.
He flinched back as if I'd struck him "I never meant to hurt you." he mumbled again.
"But you did Paul." I screamed trying to make him see "You hurt me, you say you wont do it again, you say you'll change but it never happens. Then you and the council do this guilt thing that keeps me coming back like an idiot every time."
"I've told you, you can leave." he said in the same pathetic voice looking like a wounded puppy.
"How can I when you look at me like that?" the anger drained from me "How can I leave when I know it will kill you Paul?"
He didn't answer he just continued to stand there looking at me like he was lost and I was the only one who could lead him back to what he knew.
"I love you too much to leave you." I told him honestly the fight draining out of me "I can't let you do something stupid because you don't have me."
"I'll never hurt you again Rach I swear to God." he rushed out, still pathetic in how much hope it gave him telling him I couldn't leave.
"You will." I said sadly tears forming in my eyes "You wont mean to, you wont do it on purpose but you'll do it again."
I'd given up and I knew it, I was pathetic, I was never going to get away.
The next thing I knew Paul's strong arms were wrapped around me keeping me upright.
"I'll do whatever it takes baby, I'll run double patrols, I'll take anger management, I'll learn yoga to help me keep calm."
The idea of Paul doing Yoga was so absurd it actually made me laugh, a little hysterically given my current emotional state, but it was a laugh and it reminded me of happier times.
"I'll change Rach, I promise you I'll be a better man, I'll even stop phasing if you want me to, we could move somewhere, you can use your degree get the job you want anything."
I'd heard it all before, but being in his arms, hearing the honesty in his voice as he told me he'd be a better man had me believing it.
Maybe this life wasn't so bad, Paul did love me, and he would do everything in his power to make me happy, like he always did.
I knew he'd be beating himself up about this for months, not to mention the rest of the pack would be beating him up for it as well and maybe it would be enough to make him think twice next time his temper fused out.
I envied my sister, the simple life, married to some surf instructor living in Hawaii, not allowed near the reservation just in case someone imprinted on her.
Why couldn't my father have warned me, kept me away from the wolves like he had Rebecca?
Why couldn't I have been more like my sister and married the first man who promised me a better life than the reservation offered, why did I have to be the sensible sister, the one that just had to make sure my father and brother were coping before I set out on my own life, why did I have to go to the beach that day and meet him?
Fate? Destiny? It sure had a sense of humour.
I thought I was destined for so much more, I'd spent years studying to become more than this, and yet here I was stuck in a life I never wanted because of fate, because of destiny because me and Paul were meant to be.
It was laughable and it was pathetic, but it was my life and there was nothing I could do to escape it now so why did I even try?
Bit depressing I know, but there are times I just don't like imprinting