"The Leader Of The Pack"
sung by THE SHANGRI-LAS
written by George "Shadow" Morton, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Another day - another challenge. Shreveport1 asked me yesterday to write a fic that went with the old Shangri-Las' song 'The leader of the Pack'. Hmmm… This fell out of my head alarmingly quickly.
If anyone needs to be reminded of the song itself, it's here on YouTube. Now fanfic goes nuts about song lyrics - and by the way, how does that make sense? I can breach a books copyright writing fanfic, but not a song's? Huh?
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.
Bella spent the remains of her summer in the arms of Jacob Black. They had met when they were children, years ago when his being younger mattered more and when she had to spend her summers with her father. She had moved out to Forks for summer and had stayed this time. Her mother didn't want her around as much, now she had a new husband. An interest that had finally kept her attention for more than a month. Forks had been pretty boring and uneventful until she had literally run into him in the diner.
She and Charlie had just finished dinner. Charlie introduced them. "You remember Jacob Black, Bells?"
She had looked up at him and then looked up some more. "H-hi," she stuttered.
"Hi," he answered. He was extremely tall. He was also extremely buff and he had that beautiful skin colour that all the Native Americans had, combined with shiny black hair cut short, but long enough to hang over his forehead and deep brown eyes. So dark they were almost black. His voice was deep. Oddly deep for a guy his age. She frowned as she tried to do the math. He had to be sixteen, right?
"You okay?" he asked.
"Sorry. I didn't recognise you," she blustered.
"Nobody does." He laughed and his whole face lit up.
And she promptly fell madly in love with him.
And he just seemed to know. He winked at her as Charlie shooed her out of the door.
In the car on the way home Charlie seemed pensive.
"What's wrong, Dad?"
He shook his head. "He used to be such a good kid, you know? And now…" he trailed off.
"He's in some kind of trouble? I thought you and Billy were good friends?"
"Were is right. We used to be but he has made some strange decisions lately. And I think Jake has suffered because of it."
"He seemed nice," she ventured.
"He's in some kind of gang, Bells." Charlie sighed. "But La Push is not my jurisdiction."
She thought about that later that night. And she thought about Jacob Black. A lot.
She wondered how she could see him again, but as it turned out, he found her first. She was walking out of a book store when he grabbed her arm.
"Here she is," he said, as if he had been tracking her.
His two friends chuckled. She glanced at them. They looked like him, but were not as tall. One guy was wider, though. They studied her with interest as if she was a new species and made a few comments she didn't catch
"Jacob," she said.
"Ooh Jacob," they chorused, mimicking her.
"Shut it," he ordered, and oddly, they did. They didn't look pleased about it either, but they followed orders. "Sorry, Bells," he apologised.
"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?"
"No. You don't need to know who thing one and thing two are. Can you meet me at the diner tonight?"
"Tonight?" she repeated breathlessly.
"Yeah." He smiled at her. Her heart stopped beating and then started again at twice its normal pace.
"O-okay. I think I can get out."
"Excellent. I'll see you then. Eight o'clock."
She lied to Charlie. She told him she was meeting a girl she had met at a shop who went to Forks High School. Luckily he didn't ask her name.
They kissed for the first time that night. He just swept her off her feet. She couldn't resist him. She couldn't say 'no'. He didn't have a phone so they had to use old school methods, like leaving each other notes. Or he would just surprise her when she was out.
He had a motorbike. An old black Harley he had rebuilt himself, he told her proudly. She gushed over it. He never wore a helmet, but he got one for her. She told him Charlie would have a coronary if he found out she was riding a motorbike without one. She kind of thought that Charlie would have a coronary anyway at finding out that she was dating Jacob Black.
He took her out to the reservation. She was surprised how poor it was.
They had sex in his ramshackle house. He used condoms because she couldn't go to the doctor and get a prescription for contraceptives. She worried that he would tell her father. She didn't really enjoy it the first couple of times, but then she started to like it.
He gave her a bracelet with a carved wooden wolf hanging from it. She loved it. But she couldn't wear it without awkward questions being asked.
School started and she had no trouble standing out like a sore thumb. It got worse when the elitist popular family, The Cullens, decided to be her friend. She seemed to intrigue two of the younger siblings. Alice was unstoppable and she had decided to be Bella's best friend. Nobody argued with Alice. Edward was her science lab partner and stared at her a lot. She was reliably informed by Jessica and Lauren that he had never dated any girl… like ever. She should be honoured that he took any notice of her. They told her this with the breathless excitement of sycophants who thought that if they were Isabella's friend then the Cullens might notice them, too.
"It's Bella," she corrected them for the tenth time that day.
She thought that Edward was gay from the fact that he spent a fortune on his clothes and always had perfect hair. And he wore those weird coloured contact lenses that were all the rage. She had read about it in one of her mother's women's magazines a while ago.
And besides… she was with Jake.
Speaking of, he picked her up outside school. He looked dangerous and sexy. Wearing a black t-shirt and worn jeans. His hair hanging across his face, he scowled at the other students, leaning his perfect ass nonchalantly on the seat of his parked motorcycle. He looked more sexy when he jogged over to her and scooped her up into a body crushing hug that held her for too long against the oh-so-right parts of him. Her very own motorcycle boy.
The next day, Lauren and Jessica pulled her into the girls' bathroom for a meeting. "Are you going out with him? Jacob Black?" Lauren asked.
"Jacob Black," parroted Jessica.
"Yes. He gave me this." She held up the bracelet for them to see. She would tie it on after she left home.
"Oh. That means something special to them," said Lauren.
"Them?" Bella checked.
"The Natives. It's like a promise ring, I heard."
"Oh," squealed Jessica. "He is such a bad boy!"
"He is not," objected Bella.
"He is! He and his gang beat up that guy, right?" Lauren appealed to Jessica.
"Yeah. Put him into hospital, I heard."
The bell rang and they all had to hurry to class.
But now people knew she and Jake were together they felt obliged to tell her all the bad things he had done, or at least that they had heard of him and his gang doing. There was quite a list.
The Cullens were particularly scathing. They had very low opinions of the La Push people. They were all unemployed and lived off government benefits, according to them. Their family had history with the Quileute they told her. Alice appealed to her to drop Jake. She insisted that he would hurt her. She started giving her pamphlets about battered wives and domestic violence. Bella denied that Jake had ever hurt her. Sometime she just grabbed her too hard and it left a bruise; that was all. Alice frowned.
Someone finally told Charlie. He was the town's chief of Police. It made sense that the gossips would go wild with news that concerned him.
He almost did have a coronary. Bella watched with morbid fascination, as the vein on his forehead expanded and looked like it would burst, the angrier he got.
He demanded to know if she was having sex. She said she was but that she was old enough and they were careful. It didn't make it any better. He said that phrase that all children hate to hear, "I am so disappointed in you."
The final line in the sand was that she had to break up with Jake and never see him again.
She loved Jake. He loved her. He wasn't like that.
Charlie would brook no discussion. He told her that he had access to information that she didn't. Jacob was dangerous. Charlie knew it. End of discussion.
She either dumped him or she moved back to live with her mother.
She cried all night. She didn't think Charlie got much sleep either. She could hear him stomping around angrily for ages before he finally fell asleep in front of the television.
She liked Forks. It had taken her a little while to settle in but now she had friends. She liked the Cullens, even if they were weird. And she liked Angela, Ben, Tyler, Mike and even Lauren and Jessica. She had heaps of friends. And she didn't want to move again this close to the end of her senior High School years.
Charlie was implacable.
She reluctantly made arrangements to meet Jake.
They met on the road near the cliffs where he and his friends went cliff diving.
He was alone and he knew something was wrong the second he saw her face. She tried to give him back the bracelet. He told her to keep it and wrapped his big hand around her wrist.
"I was told it meant something special," she said.
"It does. But I still want you to have it."
"I'm sorry, Jake."
"I get it. It's Charlie making ultimatums."
"Everyone tells me stuff and it f-frightens me."
"I know, Bells."
"It's not true, is it?" For the first time, she thought to ask him. "You didn't really put a guy into hospital? Did you?"
He sighed. "That's true. The gang is true. I am the leader of a gang."
"Oh." She felt oddly disappointed.
"It's dangerous and it's probably better that you be away from it. And away from me," he added.
"No, Jake," she protested. She had been trying to dump him and now he was dumping her.
It started to rain. It was that awful misty that rain that got you soaked in minutes; a Forks speciality.
"You need to go, Bella."
She really looked at him. He looked close to tears. She understood that he was male enough not to want to cry in front of her. "Kiss me goodbye?" she pleaded.
He grabbed her and kissed her quickly, and then he pushed her away towards her truck.
Her arms hurt where he had held her. It felt like it burnt through to her heart. She glanced at him as she started the motor. He was staring at the ground.
"Look after yourself," she called to him.
She drove really slowly and carefully; her vision obscured by tears. She kept her window down even though it was raining so that she could hear his bike. It was so loud, with that distinctive Harley sound and he had removed the baffles to make it louder. She could hear it from miles away. The rain eased and she was glad. She didn't need anything else to complicate her drive.
She heard the bike start.
The motor revved; the roar as it took off, as distinctive as a fingerprint.
She heard it rev too hard too fast. The wheels squealed. She slowed. She thought he was trying to catch her up. To beg her to change her mind.
She stopped the truck to listen.
But then she heard another sound; a squeal of tyres, followed by a crump noise and then nothing. The motor faltered and died.
She gasped. It took her too long to do a simple K turn and go back the way she had come. There was no bike on the road in front of her.
But there was a set of skid marks and some marks in the dirt that led straight off the edge of the cliff. She parked the truck and threw herself out of it. She tried to approach the cliff edge but she felt as if she would fall. She crawled to the edge and looked over. There was debris in the water. But that was all.
She wailed. She keened. Her heart broke.
A passing motorist found her truck abandoned in the middle of the road; the door open and the motor still running. He called the Police. By then she was catatonic.
Charlie took her home.
It took her hours of therapy and months of time to go back to school.
She dated Edward Cullen. There didn't seem any reason not to and he was particularly persistent. He was rich too. It was something.
She knew that she would never love anyone again.
Not like she had loved him; her leader of the pack.