The Twilight Series belongs to S. Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended. I'm just playing with the characters.
The quote belongs to Tom Bodett.
It had been a long and difficult journey to today and even though he thought he had come out stronger from all of it—he couldn't stop thinking of her. The feather was the only physical evidence he had that his hazy memories of that night were real. Jacob Black was a man who yearned for what could have been.
Why he hadn't found a way to make her tell him her name; he wasn't sure. He supposed he could blame the copious amounts of alcohol buzzing through his veins that night. It was his twentieth birthday and he had managed to do the impossible. While the pack was celebrating his foray into manhood, he had been celebrating something else.
It had taken him nearly two years to do it but he was finally able to break the hold Bella and Edward's daughter Renesmee had over him. In the beginning everything about his imprint had seemed to be the answer to his prayers. Finally, the hurt and anger he had over Bella's choices had disappeared. The fact she loved him but not enough to choose life over death. With his imprint on Renesmee he felt as though the other half of his soul had been found and he would protect her with his dying breath.
It wasn't until after the confrontation with the Volturi that he began to have doubts. He believed in the wisdom of their ancestors and the gifts the pack had been given by Taha Aki but he wasn't sure he could do it—live forever. How could he stand by and watch as his family got older, weaker, and eventually died? All while he lived on in his perfect existence.
Even Sam who took his responsibilities seriously had decided to stop phasing that summer; he turned the pack over to Jake and once again there was a single wolf pack in La Push. If he stayed with Renesmee, eventually he would have to turn the reigns of his birthright over to someone else. Carlisle wasn't even sure if Renesmee would be able to conceive a child and it was very likely he would be the final Black male to be ever be born in the Quileute tribe. His line would die with his father—he couldn't even count himself as the last male heir as he would eventually become a distant memory; if he was lucky he would get a mention in the Quileute legends.
He couldn't do it.
So he began the slow and painful process of breaking his imprint with her. In the beginning, each and every moment that he forced himself to be away from her made his heart feel like it was going to explode from pain. The bond of the imprint tore at his chest; his heart and head at war with one another.
Three months after he made the decision to fight against what fate had chosen for him; he was approached by Leah. She asked a single favor of him, the Alpha of the pack—to let her leave. The real reason behind Sam's decision to stop phasing had become apparent later that same summer. Emily was pregnant; their first child was going to be born sometime in late February.
He understood her pain and didn't even make her explain why she wanted to go. He had felt the same pain when he watched Bella choose Edward—when she nearly gave up her life for a child that could kill her—did kill her if one thought of technicalities. So he did what the elders should have allowed her to do the moment she had control over her wolf—he let her leave. She hadn't come home since; preferring to have her brother and mom visit her in Seattle where she now lived and went to school.
As he twirled the feather in his hands, he allowed his mind to wander back to that night. His early memories of it were clear. The club had been located in the bar district of Seattle. The name of it was deception by nature, Naiveté.
The pack and imprints, well those of legal age, had travelled in two cars to get there. The plan was to spend the weekend in Seattle—Embry, Quil, and Jake were going to stay the entire weekend; Sam and Emily, Paul and Rachel along with Jared and Kim only staying overnight and travelling back to La Push in the afternoon.
It was nothing like he had expected it to be. For some reason he thought it would be seedy with dark, dank walls and floors stained from the previous night's events. Instead, it made him think of what a sultan's harem might look like.
Sumptuous furnishings were arranged around a large main stage while several smaller alcoves surrounded it. Gossamer curtains separating the alcoves; the fabric's weave causing the light to reflect and bounce off it causing the entire area to seem surreal. Most of the décor was black and white with punches of red accents.
Beautiful, half-dressed women with heavy-lidded eyes and pouty lips carried silver trays of the finest liquor to the patrons. They were all curves—breasts, hips, and asses. Poetry in motion came to mind as he watched their slow prowl through the room. Despite their near naked appearance the patrons didn't harass them which could be due to the fact the club was frequented by wealthier patrons of the city or because of the muscled, dangerous looking bouncers that stood in the shadows. None of them looked like someone to tangle with and if not for his superhuman abilities he would have shrank away in their presence.
The couples in their group left the three younger boys to each go off into their own private alcove. It was better that way as the last thing he wanted to see was his sister being aroused by the aspects of the club. He, Quil, and Embry found themselves seats around the main stage and they were quickly provided bottle service.
The three of them already had a slight buzz as they drank some before arriving. The pack was more than familiar with the amount of alcohol it took to get anywhere close to drunk. The first girl on the stage was easy to remember.
She reminded him of Bella.
The pale-skinned, waiflike brunette who stumbled onto stage had taken the name of Jade. It was either her first night or she should go into a different line of work. She wobbled in her heels and he worried whether she would fall and break an ankle or wrist. When she got the part where she removed her bra, her hands shook and fumbled with the clasp.
He couldn't take it so he drank.
The alcohol burned a fire along the path it took. By the time the next girl took the stage, a big-breasted platinum blonde with icy blue eyes he couldn't see straight and he was perfectly fine with that. There were more girls after that but he didn't remember anything about them. At some point, he left Quil and Embry by the main stage and moved to an alcove by himself.
Several of the girls attempted to offer him a dance but he brusquely brushed them off as he threw a couple of twenties in their direction. His pockets flush with cash—a parting gift from the Cullens, well, Edward.
Even though the words were never spoken, he knew without a doubt Edward was glad that Jake wouldn't be in their life. The cash was Edward's way of ensuring that he didn't darken their door—ever. He had a bank account filled with it.
He didn't know how many bottles he had drank or how many girls he had pushed away when she arrived. There was something different about her and even though his first instinct was to tell her to go away as he had with the others—he was frozen at the sound of her husky voice.
"My understanding is you're the birthday boy but yet you sit here all alone…"
He looked up and he saw what he could only term was a goddess standing in front of him. Long, silky black hair—as black as midnight fell to where the tips of her nipples laid beneath the red silk and lace bra she wore. Her skin the same color as caramels and he wondered if it was anywhere as soft as it looked. Her breasts were rounded, the perfect size and shape—the bra hid her nipples and he decided that his goal tonight was to find out if they were as perfect as her breasts.
His eyes slid down further and took in the slight indent where her waist was. Her navel dipped inwards a ruby red stone twinkling in the center of it. A pair of panties that matched her bra covered her lower body—and those legs of hers they seemed to go on forever. Their length accentuated by the pair of black stilettos she was wearing. She was tall; he could tell that even from his sitting position.
"Hmm," she purred the sound rousing his wolf. "Maybe we just didn't send in the right one."
She edged closer to the couch he was lounging on. He couldn't tear his eyes from her legs as she moved—it was as though she had the grace of cat; her movements fluid and elegant. She sat down on the small table in front of him; her pose as ladylike as it could be considering the small table was little more than just a place to rest your drink. A shiny, steel pole rose from the center of it and anchored itself somewhere in the ceiling high above them.
"So…" she murmured.
His eyes were drawn to her face for the first time. The top half of her face was covered with a masquerade mask composed of brown and gold feathers. A single red jewel was pasted in the center of it right between her eyes. In the dim light, he couldn't make out the shade of her eyes but they had to be either brown or close to black.
Her lips were curved into the faintest, teasing smile as she waited for him to say something. They weren't tainted with any artificial coloring of any kind; simply their natural rose-colored plumpness emphasized by a shiny lip gloss.
He didn't dare say a word; he was too worried that whatever he said was going to come out either as a stutter or worse, a squeak of a sound like he was a prepubescent boy. So instead, he brazened it out and leaned forward. His arms coming to rest on the sides of her thighs and he took a deep breath in.
That was his first mistake.
That single breath filled his nostrils with the scent of her. The light tones of wildflowers and juniper; the spicy scent of her arousal—its musky scent caused his body to react and he groaned. He had to touch her. His hand lifted from the table and trailed along her thigh down to her knee; goose bumps rising on her flesh at his light caress.
"Not here…" she whispered. "I get off in 20 minutes."
His thoughts were consumed around two words she said…get off…
Yes, she was going to get off. All night long if he could manage it. She placed a single hand on his chest and pushed him back so he was once again reclining on the couch. She reached for a hidden step he hadn't noticed and pushed it out so she could climb up onto the table.
Her body swayed to the music as she gripped the steel pole. Her motions in time to the beat of the music. Its pulsating beat and her movements made his heart thump faster. His blood rushed and pounded through his vessels; his cock hardening further.
He continued to sip on his drink as he watched her dance for him. He didn't know how much time passed and perhaps the alcohol was catching up a bit with him as his senses felt dulled and foggy. The wolf gene ensured he was just as steady as ever when she directed him to meet her in the front of the club.
He couldn't remember exactly whether they had taken her car or a taxi…he guessed it didn't matter. All he knew is they ended up at a nice hotel a dozen blocks away. The kind with Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets—yes he knew what those were, Paul refused to take Rachel to Port Angeles to set up their wedding wish list, so he was duped into it.
He remembered her waiting in a small seating area near the elevators while he got a room. He handed over his ID and paid in cash telling them he needed a room for the night only. It was amazing what a few crisp hundred dollars bills could do.
That was his second mistake. By not making her stand by him, her name was never entered on the guest record.
She had put clothing on over her attire from the club. A black hooded cape was thrown over her ensemble; the hood pulled up over her head and the feathered mask was still in place. He had asked her name before they left the club and her husky voice whispered, "Whoever you want me to be…but if you want you can call me Naveah."
That was his third mistake. He should have understood her play on words but at the time he didn't.
She had swapped out her stilettos for a pair of black flats and even with them; she was still taller than most girls but definitely no match for his 6'7" height. The entire ride up to the tenth floor she kept her head down; her features hidden in the dark shadows created by the hood she wore.
His hands fumbled with the key card for the door and she swiftly grabbed it from him and slid the card into the slot. The door unlocking and she grasped the handle and twisted, pushing the door open. The room was already set up with seduction in mind and for a moment he wondered exactly what type of hotel this was.
A large king-sized bed was in the center of the room. Pillows of every shape and size covered the top half. The light switches were equipped with dimmers; allowing you to control the amount of light and dark. There were even candles which he didn't realize until later that they were electric—so there were no concerns of guests accidently starting the place on fire.
The key card was tossed on the table located in the entryway. He watched as she walked further into the room and picked up several of the candles, flicking the small switch on the bottom. Once nearly all of them were turned on she walked back over to him and turned the room lights completely off.
The soft, flickering glow of the artificial candles gave just enough light to illuminate the room so they wouldn't run into anything but it still was not enough light to allow their features to be clear to one another. He stood there awkwardly; unsure of what to do.
With a flick of her hand, the cape's clasp was opened. She slid it off her shoulders and tossed it into the chair in the corner. She closed the gap between their bodies and he noticed how heat seemed to roll off of her. Or perhaps, it wasn't and he just thought it was. Her hand reached upwards and stroked along his jawline; the faintest hint of stubble there as it had been hours since he had shaved.
He gulped nervously and confessed softly, "I've never done this before."
Her hand curved around the back of his neck as she pulled his head down towards her; even with this action, she still had to stand on her tiptoes. Her lips barely brushed his as she whispered, "I don't do things like this either."
Their lips were barely touching and her tongue reached out to moisten her own lips; it brushed against his and he groaned. His mouth opening as the sound left his throat. Her fingers tightened in his hair as she pressed her lips and body against him.
It wasn't long before they needed more leverage, room and fewer clothes. They pushed and pulled each other over to the bed—their clothes littering the path they took. The only thing that didn't leave her body was the mask. He had touched it once and she immediately pulled away.
"No…I don't…I've never…" her speech soft and hesitant. "No names…nothing…"
He didn't touch it again. If she preferred her privacy—he could respect that.
That was his fourth mistake. But perhaps, it really wasn't. He had been raised to respect women and their choices. If she wanted to have the anonymity of this encounter—then she would.
The night passed in a blur. Skin revealed and touched, fondled, kissed, sucked, and licked. No area was ignored. She was patient with him and taught him exactly what felt good to her, to him—to both of them.
He couldn't remember the number of times he brought her to climax nor the number of ways they had joined as one together. The linens quickly became a tangled mess. Sweat covered their bodies; the sheen of it reflecting the flickering light from the candles.
At one point, he remembered being between wakefulness and sleep; they both were lying on their sides and she was tucked into his arms. It was as though she was exactly where she belonged; as though his arms were made for her. She shifted a bit and his hand was jostled.
His fingertips on her ribcage just underneath left underarm; they traced along a barely perceptible raised area. He half sat up as he wondering if he was a scar of some kind. His eyes adjusting and he realized it was a tattoo. Two strange shapes which he didn't understand.
His fingertips continued to trace along the contours of it as he tried to solve the puzzle of it. Finally, his curiosity got the better of him.
She was silent and if it wasn't for the change in breathing and heart rate, he would have thought perhaps she had fallen asleep.
She paused and he didn't say a word; giving her the time to decide whether she was going to explain it further or not.
"It's silly," she continued. "But I read something somewhere about the three things people need to be truly happy. I don't have those. The two symbols: a less-than sign and the number three—they remind me of that. They are also the same symbols people use in text messages for a heart. Someday…" she sighed softly. "I hope to have them all. Then I will connect them together—my heart will be complete."
He didn't know exactly what to say back to her. The confession had been so softly uttered and he could hear how her heart raced as she confessed her deep, dark secret; one he would bet she didn't normally share. No words were needed as she turned in the bed to face him. Her eyes seemed to pierce his soul as she stared at him.
Instinct took over as he showed her in his own way that she deserved what she longed for. His touch gentle as he tried to convey with his actions what he couldn't put into words. This encounter was so very different from their earlier ones. He never thought he would use the phrase but they made love. Afterwards they fell into an exhausted slumber.
That was his fifth mistake.
He didn't know why he hadn't thought of it at the time—why it had never crossed his mind. In the morning, he woke up; his head pounding as he cellphone was repeatedly ringing. He snarled as he swung his legs out of bed. The change in position turned his stomach and made his head pound even worse. Spying his pants a few feet from him, he got up and retrieved them; pulling his phone out of his pocket.
His greeting a curt, "What?"
"Jake," Quil yelled in his ear. "Where are you man? We lost you last night. When we all decided to leave the club, you weren't anywhere around. One of the bouncers said you left a few hours before us and we thought you went back to the hotel."
If he didn't stop his friend he knew Quil would tell him the entire story and his head was throbbing; all he wanted to do was lay back down and sleep. "Shut up, Quil. I'm fine."
There was silence on the other end. Quil's breathing the only sound that came through the receiver.
"Umm…Jake…" Quil started hesitantly. "Where are you?"
He glanced around the room—honestly he didn't have a clue. Fuck, he thought as he forced himself to get off the bed again so he could walk to where he thought they had left the key card. The plastic card sat on the small table in the entryway.
"You still there, Jake?"
"Just give me a sec."
He picked up the card and turned it over the Alexis Hotel. He tried to remember what floor he was on and briefly thought about putting on a pair of pants to look at the room number. His head made the decision for him, its throbbing getting worse by the moment.
"The Alexis Hotel," he answered. "I don't know what floor or room. Just check at the front desk," he hung up his phone and stumbled back over to the bed and promptly fell back asleep.
When he was woken sometime later by loud knocking on his door, his limbs trembled. He was going to kill whoever was out there making such god-awful racket. He stomped to the door and wrenched it open; completely oblivious to his naked state.
"What," he roared.
Embry and Quil's mouths dropped open in shock. The scent of sex wafting out into the hallway; it was apparent exactly what he had been up to. Embry recovered first.
"Jesus, Jake, you're fucking naked. Let us in and put on some clothes or something."
Embry and Quil ordered room service while he took a shower. Disappointment filling him as he realized she had left at some time while he had been sleeping—she hadn't even said goodbye. He loathed washing her scent from his body but he knew they were planning on having lunch in Seattle before the couples headed back to Seattle. Embry and Quil while they may not keep their mouths shut—it was one thing for them to mention it versus him showing up reeking of sex.
They ate the breakfast room service delivered. He found it difficult when it came time to leave so he made up a lie after the three of them had left the room; he told them he thought he had left something and he wasn't sure where it was. Knowing the meager breakfast barely satisfied them, he gave them a few twenties and headed back into the room.
His eyes flitted about and he took in as much as he could. The linens still in disarray and as he glanced at them two things stuck out to him. The sheet was stained. He walked closer to the bed and lifted the sheet up, trying to ascertain what it was. His thumb rubbed across it and the faint scent of oil and dried soap floated up to his nostrils. When he pulled his fingers away, he realized it was makeup. Foundation or cover-up—he couldn't be sure.
He didn't remember her wearing all that much makeup so how had such a large amount rubbed off onto the sheets? Shrugging, it was a mystery he doubted he would be able to solve. His actions dislodged the other thing that caught his attention. He realized now what it was—a single brown and gold feather from her mask.
He picked it up from the sheets and tucked it into the pocket of his leather jacket. It would be a keepsake of the night he had shared with her.
As he walked towards the door, he noticed the notepad with the hotel's name sitting on the entryway table. Elegant, dainty handwriting covered the top page. The words unfamiliar but moving all the same.
"They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for."
He tore the note from the pad of paper and stuck that in his pocket. He walked out of the room and didn't glance back; he knew the answers he wanted and needed weren't there.
Which brought him to the present; he was sitting in his truck twirling the feather between his fingers and thinking of her. He was so deep in his thoughts that he didn't hear the car pull into the driveway nor the person calling his name until they were barely two feet from him.
He turned and stared at someone he hadn't seen for two years, Leah. He had forgotten she was coming home for Rachel and Paul's wedding. His sister's second choice for maid of honor; Rebecca continued to refuse to set foot in La Push, citing the memories were too painful for her.
"Oh, hey, Leah. I didn't hear you pull up."
"Hmm, some protector you are. I take it the pack's falling apart without me," she joked.
"Very funny. So, you're staying for a while?"
"Yeah, two weeks. I thought it would be nice to help Rach out with any last minute details and such, plus I know my mom and Seth miss me, so I have some time off from school and was able to swing a few extra days off of work too," she finished as she glanced away for a moment.
"I'll bet they'll enjoy that." His thoughts were still consumed with his memories and it had been so long since he talked to Leah that he wondered something. "Are you happy," he asked abruptly.
She seemed stunned by his question and she didn't answer at first. A small frown appeared on her face as she thought of her answer.
"I guess. I should get going; Rach is waiting," she told him clearly shaken by his question.
"Yeah. Well, I guess I'll see you around."
"Sure, sure," she replied, using his catch phrase.
She turned and walked towards the Black house and he watched her for a few moments before turning his attention back to the feather in his fingers. He wished he could remember more. He wished he could see her one more time. Maybe if he did, this time everything would be different.
The moment Leah entered the Black house; she was nearly attacked by Rachel.
"Is he still out there? Sitting in his truck moping?"
"I guess," she shrugged. She didn't think he was moping as much as he was contemplating. He hadn't heard her call his name as he had been so deep in thought.
Rachel sighed, "Ever since his birthday—I just don't get it. I know your first is special but he doesn't even know her name. She was nothing more than some girl from a club in Seattle. I bet he had that stupid feather with him, too, didn't he?"
It was the downfall of not phasing. Your memory wasn't as strong—nor was your recall. All the enhanced senses slowly faded over time. If she missed anything, it was the elevated temperature. Sweaters and long-sleeves for so long had been a thing of the past—now her closet was filled with them.
She thought about it carefully and realized he had an object in his fingers. Brown and gold, it was thin but he had been twirling it so she couldn't be sure of what it was exactly. Once he had started talking to her; she had focused on his face.
"Maybe, I don't remember."
"Well, I'd bet you twenty bucks he did but you'd lose and I don't want to take your money. You know he broke his imprint with Renesmee, right?"
She nodded; Seth had mentioned it to her in passing some time back.
"Just before his birthday, he managed to do it. Then we took a trip to Seattle, all of us except for the younger boys. A way to celebrate his birthday—well, some of us, him included, were celebrating his broken imprint. We went to a club the first night, Naiveté. We lost him or he disappeared. Whatever. The next morning Quil and Embry tracked him down in some swanky hotel in downtown Seattle. According to what Paul saw in their memories, he and the room reeked like sex. He and some girl from the club ended up there. All he has is that feather and some note she left. It doesn't even say anything other than some stupid quote. I found it in his nightstand. He acts like they're the Holy Grail or something."
"Rachel," she scolded her heart stuttering for a moment. "You shouldn't go through his private things. Is it really any of your business or concern?"
"No, not really. But seriously, Leah, how would you feel if your brother was hung up on some stripper," she asked; the last word filled with condescension. "He's probably not the only one she's gone home with."
"I don't know how I'd feel because it's not my brother. But you don't know anything about that girl, either. Don't you have a bit of faith in your brother? Do you think he'd just take some girl—any girl to a hotel?"
"But she left. So, really how good of a person is she?"
"That doesn't mean anything," her irritation increasing exponentially with her friend's words. "Maybe she had never done anything like that before either. In the cold light of the morning things look fucking different. And you're one to talk—how long was it before you jumped into Lahote's bed?"
"No, it's not. You all want to pretend like it is but it's not. You're no different than that girl. Only thing is in the morning—you stuck around because there was a certainty to it."
"It's not the same…"
"Rach, let's drop it. I didn't come here to fight with you. What needs to be done before this Saturday?"
They worked on the details of the wedding for the next hour. Once it seemed as though they had addressed all the pending items, Leah stood up and said goodbye to Rachel. She gave her friend a quick hug before leaving the house.
On her way to her car, she glanced over and saw Jake was still sitting in his truck. The object in his hand was still and she squinted to bring the fuzzy object into focus. The brown and gold colors of it were familiar. A small smile curved her lips as she called his name one final time.
"Hey, you leaving?"
She nodded. Her heart thundering in her chest as she called back, "You remember what you asked me earlier?"
A frown appeared on his features as he replayed their earlier conversation; a single nod in her direction when he finally remembered.
"I lied," she started. "You asked me if I was happy and I said, 'I guess.' I want to change my answer." She took a slow deep breath to calm her racing heart before she continued, "My heart's complete."
Without waiting for his response, she climbed in her car and started the engine. Putting the car into gear, she backed out of the driveway and drove off towards her house.
~ The End ~