Title: Of Imprinting And Such
Sequel to: Claiming the Wolf
Pairing: Jacob/Edward, Jacob/James
Warnings: SLASH and other unconventional pairings, AU
Summary: Six months later. When Sam tells Edward something in secret the vampire leaves Forks to find out for himself if it is true, and Jacob is left behind confused and with only Bella as company. Why did Edward really leave? What's going on with the pack? And one of the best questions yet...why is James back? What does this all have to do with Jacob's imprinting Edward?
Chapter Note: Extremely brief and vague smex scene in this chapter done deliberately so. More detail and such is to go into the future scenes though.
Jacob eyed the vampiress warily. His body was tense, and yet the wolf didn’t sense danger. Ever since he’d imprinted on Edward Jacob had found his wolf more tolerant around other bloodsuckers (especially around the Cullens), but when a female vampire had appeared in Forks a month before his wolf had told him to kill her, she was trouble. The pack had killed the vampiress and ended the killings that’d begun with her arrival, Jacob’s wolf calming down once more.
A lot of time the werewolf couldn’t believe how much the inner wolf had grown to accept the Cullens. Sure, it was always a little cautious and alert while around them, especially if Jacob was alone in their house with only vampires as companions, but he knew somehow that they didn’t want his harm.
And that was the same feeling he was getting from this lone female with the golden eyes that betrayed the fact that she’d been living on an animal diet for at least three months if the purity of that gold had anything to say about it. She also smelled of the forest, which meant that she’d been in Forks for those three months and she hadn’t attacked one person yet.
And so while Jacob was wary of her and how she knew his name, he was intrigued as well.
“How do you know who I am?” Jacob finally asked, folding his arms over his chest, too curious to just get on his motorcycle and leave her. Also, there was something about her scent that seemed familiar to him, something that his wolf was picking up. It nagged at his memory but without eliciting an image to go along with the feeling.
She took in a deep breath, pulling back a red curl from her freckled and extremely attractive face. “Around half a year ago you met my brother, James. We---we came here, tried out the population a little, and then James forced us to leave after meeting you.”
And suddenly Jacob remembered meeting the blonde male vampire outside of the mall in Port Angeles. That was the scent that teased his nostrils.
“But my brother didn’t leave here.” The vampiress, Victoria, leaned a generous hip against one of the trees and sighed, red curls dancing in the wind around her, the sunlight catching each tendril and making it look like a tongue of fire.
Jacob was silent, waiting for her to continue. For whatever reason the wolf believed her, and was intrigued as to why this vampire, who’d admitted to feeding on humans here, had changed her diet and hidden out in the forests of Forks for so long.
And why did she think he could help her?
Why did she think he would?
He was a werewolf and she was a vampire, and the Cullens were really the only vampires whom he didn’t want exterminated.
“When my brother finally returned, he was different.” Victoria spoke slowly, obviously bothered by this fact. “He---I don’t understand what it was that happened here to do it but he wasn’t the same vampire I knew. And Laurent took advantage of that.” She snarled, angry. “James was nearly killed in the revolt, I only barely got him away.”
The wolf tilted his head slightly. So apparently one of the underlings of the coven had taken advantage of James’ change and started a mutiny within the ranks. He was surprised that Victoria had risked her life protecting James. The Cullens were really the only vampires Jacob had ever seen to still have that humanity in them, that loyalty.
For some reason, against his own better judgment, he was drawn towards this story, and the female vampire telling it.
Maybe it was pity.
Maybe it was sympathy.
Maybe it was understanding.
Her coven had turned against her, his pack had turned against him.
“He wouldn’t let me bring him anywhere but here.” She made up her nose in disgust as she looked all around her. “Sure, we’ve been safe, but… Here?” She sighed before turning her attention back on him. “My brother healed physically, but there’s something wrong with him. And I need your help.”
“I still don’t understand why you think you need my help.” The wolf admitted, frowning.
“Because its all your fault.” Victoria snapped, before calming and taking in a deeper breath. “Whatever happened to him while he was here, it had to do with you.”
Jacob blinked, confused.
“All he would talk about was your scent and something about smoked honey or something. It wasn’t understandable.” Victoria was obviously having a hard time keeping the impatience, anger and desperation out of her voice.
Jacob’s eyes widened.
Didn’t Edward usually say that that was the scent he associated Jacob’s with? And only Edward could smell that scent…it was also covering Edward because of Jacob…
But James could smell it too?
Jacob had thought it was the distinct smell only those imprinted could smell…but if James had also been able to smell it then it was something else altogether. Why could only Edward and James smell it though?
Once more Jacob was annoyed at how little he knew about his connection with Edward.
“Why haven’t you attacked anyone?” Even Jacob was surprised by his question.
Victoria snorted. “Are you joking? We’re trying to hide our presence, not announce it!” She tapped her feet impatiently. “We’ve been living off of the forest animals. The first month was torture, and because it lacks so many things it took longer for James to physically heal, but…” she paused, looking thoughtful, as if she truly hadn’t thought of this before. “You get used to it after a couple of months of not ingesting human blood.”
Why was his wolf not telling him to attack? Why was it dormant? Trusting?
Jacob frowned. “Why are you here at the Cullens?”
Victoria made a face. “I couldn’t leave James for the first couple of months other than to hunt, but he’s not getting any better. If anything he seems to be getting worse. I don’t know where you live, but I knew that the Cullens lived around here so I came to find them to ask them for help but the house was like this when I arrived.” She paused. “As you can imagine, I wasn’t very happy.”
“You’re not the only one.” And he didn’t know why he’d told her that. “The Cullens are all gone for an ‘indefinite period of time’.” He sneered at the reminder. “I don’t see how I can help your brother. Or why I should.”
“You have to!” Victoria snapped.
“No.” He reached for his helmet. “I don’t.” He turned his back on her, despite all his training in the pack, and got ready to mount his motorcycle.
He stopped at the sound of the pleading in that voice. Turning around, helmet still in hand, he watched as she fought with her own pride before breathing in deeply and looking at him beseechingly.
“Please, Jacob Black.” Victoria the vampire hung her head submissively, looking ashamed at how low she’d been brought. “It kills me to beg a dog, but I’m doing it. Please, at least come to see him. Please.”
And he was surprised to realize that he wanted to.
“How do I know that this isn’t a trick? A trap?” It was a valid question.
She looked desperate and disgusted. “It isn’t!”
And he believed her.
And the fact that he did disturbed him.
There was a moment’s silence as wolf and vampiress looked at each other intently, and Jacob snorted and put on his helmet. “Get in front.” He ordered, motioning to his motorcycle. “I don’t trust you riding behind me.”
“I see you even blink oddly and I’ll tear you to pieces.” He promised in a dark, deadly voice, before throwing her his helmet.
A slow smile curved her lips as she put it over her head and adjusted the straps in a mocking, yet amused gesture. “I’d have been disappointed in you had it been any other way.”
Bella had bathed and eaten breakfast, not exactly sure what to do, when her cellular began to ring. She looked down at the number and hesitated, wanting to answer and yet…
Taking in a deep breath Bella answered. “If you even so much as think about altering my emotions I’ll never speak to you again.”
There was a pause, and then Jasper’s voice reached her ears. “Agreed.” He could be heard clearing his throat. “Alice told me about your conversation this morning.”
What was there to say about that? “It’s unfair what you’re all doing to Jacob.”
“Why hasn’t he tried calling?” The question was asked.
“Because your idiotic brother told him not to.” Bella replied, standing up, feeling a growl in her throat. “You wanna tell me how he can say things like that and it not be a breakup?”
“No.” Jasper surprised her. “Edward royally screwed up.”
Bella froze, eyes wide. “You’re---you’re admitting that?”
“Of course.” The southern gentleman announced. “But while I don’t agree with the methods he’s using, I understand what he’s doing right now, and I respect his wishes. We all do.” He paused, regrouping. “Edward has a big issue on his hands, and while I cannot tell you what it is due to my having given my word to my brother, I can tell you to get Jacob to talk to Sam Uley. He’ll get it out of him.”
The human was silent for a moment, pulling a strand behind her ear. “Thank you, Jazz. You don’t know how much this means to me.”
He sounded like he was grinning. “You feeling better now?”
“Yes.” She admitted, smiling, gaze ducked.
“See? I didn’t even have to use my powers.” And he sounded quite smug at that.
A giggle escaped her lips.
“I gotta go now. There’s something I have to do.” Jasper announced. “Just---get Jacob to go talk to that dog. Okay? It’ll clear up a lot of things and he’ll be able to understand the situation a lot better.”
“Okay, sure, I will.” Bella nodded. “And thank you, again.”
“No prob, Bell.” And with that he hung up the phone.
Pulling the cellular away from her ear, Bella smiled at her cellular before trying Jacob’s number. It rung out and she left a message telling him about what Jasper had said.
“Well, that’s all I can do.” She sighed.
Her phone rang and the brunette frowned, disappointed when the caller I.D. showed that it was Mike.
Looking around as if expecting someone to be watching her, she muted the ringtone and left the vibrating Nokia on the table as she exited the kitchen.
He’d followed her directions, all the time wary and watching her like a hawk. His inner wolf was in tune with the forest, feeling out for other presences, signs of deception, of a trap, and yet he could sense nothing dangerous.
Victoria’s directions led him towards a large waterfall, and next to it, nearly hidden in the overgrown foliage and mist, was a small hunting cabin.
Parking in front of it, Jacob dismounted the motorcycle and with his inner’s wolf’s help sensed the whole place, only finding another leech scent in the run down place, and the scent was weak.
Apparently the female had been telling him the truth. And if not, if this were a trap, he could easily shift and rip bothof them apart, even if he was outnumbered.
“He’s in there.” Victoria’s golden eyes were disgusted as they raked over the hunting cabin, which was nearly falling apart. “Oh how low the mighty---and beautiful---have fallen.”
Jacob had to forcefully keep his lips from curling in a grin at that.
“Follow me.” With a sigh, Victoria opened the door and entered the darkness.
Annoyed with himself for still not feeling as wary as he should about this whole situation, Jacob followed, eyes growing accustomed to the darkness to see Victoria kneeling in front of a mass in the darkest corner of the room. The person seated on the floor hugging his knees to his chest was far from the vampire that Jacob remembered.
The difference in James shocked Jacob into stumbling.
In the mall in Port Angeles James had been well groomed, with a mischievous glint in his red eyes, and yet now the golden eyed blonde was dirty and smelt, badly, from not having bathed in a long time.
“James?” Victoria’s voice had softened, like she was talking to a small child, or a wounded animal. “James? It’s me, Victoria.” Getting no reaction from her brother she took in a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment before trying once more. “Look. I brought him with me. Jacob. The dog.”
James didn’t even raise his gaze from where they were looking unseeingly at his bare, dirty feet.
“Jamsey.” Victoria placed a hand on his shoulder. “I brought him. Now what? Aren’t you even going to look at him? Ibegged him. Show some appreciation.”
He wasn’t even breathing.
Vampires didn’t need to breath, but they preferred to do so so that they could retain the valuable asset of smelling. And James was a tracker, the use of scent was vital for him.
Jacob’s eyes narrowed when he noticed something resting around the blonde vampire’s neck. “Wait a second.” He found his feet taking him towards the vampires. “That’s my necklace! I thought I’d lost it!”
The chain and the wolf totem stared back at him from around James’ neck.
“Huh?” Victoria looked up at him in confusion before she saw what he was looking at and understood. “Really? I didn’t know.” She turned back to her brother. “Something you want to tell me?”
Jacob bent down in front of the vampire, on the side of Victoria, eyeing both warily. He found his gaze going to hisnecklace on James, not exactly sure how he felt about that.
He reached forwards, cautiously, before wrapping his tanned fingers around the totem, his totem.
Jacob’s gaze went to her and then followed hers to James, blinking to realize that the blonde’s golden gaze had risen from his own feet and were on Jacob’s face.
“How did you get this?” He asked, slowly, wondering if the vampire could understand him.
James just looked at him, tilting his head to the side slightly.
With a sigh Jacob let the totem slip through his fingers and began to pull back when James’ hand shot out like lightning and clasped around Jacob’s wrist. It wasn’t a restraining, painful hold, but it was secure.
The young native narrowed his eyes slightly at the whimpering sound James made. He turned to Victoria for a translation.
“Don’t look at me.” She replied.
Huffing at her uselessness, Jacob returned his attention to James, who was whimpering once more like a frightened animal.
His wolf was responding.
And that unnerved him.
“What do you want?” Jacob asked, willing the blonde to talk.
And James only managed to make those animalistic sounds.
Sighing, Jacob stood, sliding his hand out of James’ grip, ignoring how the sounds intensified. He turned his back on the siblings and walked out of the hunting cabin, destination his bike.
“Hey!” Victoria stormed out after him. “What are you doing? You got a reaction out of him! Where are you going?”
“I came. I saw.” Jacob announced, putting on his helmet. “Now I’m out.”
“You can’t go.” Victoria placed herself in front of the motorcycle. “You just can’t leave!”
“What do you expect me to do?” Jacob snapped, agitated, confused.
“Help us.” She replied desperately. “Protect us.”
“Help?” Jacob couldn’t believe he was hearing this. “Protect?”
“They’re going to come looking for us.” Victoria hurried to explain. “They’ll know that once James gets strong he’ll massacre them for what they did and they’ll want to hurt him while he’s still vulnerable. They’re probably looking for us as we speak.” Her voice broke as she said the next sentence. “I can’t protect us alone.”
Jacob was confused and further agitated by the desire to protect them. “Why should I help you?” It was a valid question. “You’re vampires. I’m a werewolf.”
“I don’t care why you do it as long as you do!” She snapped. “Do it to piss the Cullens for leaving you behind! Do it to piss the pack that abandoned you when you imprinted on a vampire! I don’t care why! Just do it!”
He was silent, looking at her, before starting the engine. “Sorry.” And with that he sped away, leaving her screaming at him, wondering why he felt the wolf snarl in displeasure.
I’m supposed to kill vampires, not save them. He told his inner creature.
It just snarled at him.
When he was once more on the path, he stopped and checked his phone, noticing that he had a voicemail from Bella.
Listening to the message, he paused for a moment before changing direction.
It was time to go back to the Rez.
“How is she?” Alice asked as she looked up at Jasper when he sat down next to her. He’d gone to the bathroom to talk to Bella in privacy, and now had returned to sitting next to her in the airport. Their plane was just about to board, but Alice hadn’t wanted them to wait until they landed to make the peace with the human.
“She’s fine.” Jasper smiled at her, slinging an arm around her shoulder and giving her a little squeeze. “And I didn’t influence her in any way.”
“Did she say to say hi to me?” Alice asked, still worried.
“No.” He admitted. “But she was giggling when I hung up the phone.”
“Great.” Alice groaned, resting her head heavily against him. “So she’s made her peace with you but she’s still mad with me.” The petite vampiress pouted. “Stupid Edward.”
Jasper chuckled at that before hugging her closer. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
“Says the one she’s not angry with.” She was still pouting.
“Why don’t you call her when we land?” Jasper asked. “It’ll have given her enough time to cool down if she is angry with you.”
“You think?” Alice whispered.
“Yeah.” Kissing the top of her head, Jasper looked up as their flight was announced to be accepting first class flyers. “That’s us.”
Sighing, Alice grabbed her bag, grabbed his hand, and sighed as they joined the short line. “Stupid Edward. I don’t even like Singapore.”
Sam had been expecting him.
“Long time no see, Jacob.” The older boy announced, smiling at him.
Jacob narrowed his eyes. “What did you tell him?”
Sam paused for a moment, eyeing Jacob seriously. “The truth.”
“What truth?” His nerves were raw and he didn’t have the patience for this.
“Did you really think we wouldn’t research this?” Sam answered his question with another question, looking surprised. “Jacob, you’re the son of our last alpha, you’re our true alpha. You think we’d just content ourselves to knowing that you’d somehow imprinted on a leech? On our mortal enemy?”
“You threw me out.”
“Didn’t want to.” Sam admitted, running his fingers through his hair. “But it was necessary. You couldn’t be a part of the pack, not when you were with the enemy.”
“I’m still with him.” Jacob snapped. “This isn’t me crawling back to the pack. This is me, fucking furious, wanting to know what you told Edward that would make him escape into the fucking night on some sort of personal quest.”
“I don’t remember you cursing so much before.” Sam announced.
“Things change.” Jacob snapped.
“Yes, they do.” A sigh escaped Sam’s lips before he scratched the side of his eye. “Jacob, have you noticed something odd about your imprinting?”
The young wolf frowned at the odd question. “I imprinted on a vampire. Yes, I have noticed something odd about it.”
Sam’s lips curled in an amused smile before he went serious once more. “Well, you didn’t.”
“Didn’t what?” Jacob was ready to grab Sam by his throat and pin him to the wall.
“You didn’t imprint on him…not in the technical sense of it.” Sam replied, looking tired, very tired.
Jacob was frozen. Shocked. Not exactly sure what he was hearing. “No. That---that’s not true. I—I have all the symptoms, the first time I saw him----my feelings---.”
“Calm down, Jacob. I’m going to try to explain this to you the best I can but you’re going to have to be patient with me.” Sam smiled sheepishly. “I’m kinda new to all this information myself.”
Taking a couple of steps back, Jacob nodded for the older boy to continue.
“Jacob, you’re special, I’ve always known that. I just hadn’t exactly figured out how much. Granted, I still don’t know much, but I know you’re special.” There was a pause, and then he continued. “You didn’t imprint in the purest sense of the word. Your Instinct, your wolf, it---for loss of a better explanation---is a very strong, very dominant, veryancient creature.”
“I already know this.” Jacob growled. “You’re not telling me anything new. The creature in all of us is strong and dominant and ancient.”
“But yours----yours is a different breed altogether!” Sam exclaimed, visibly bothered by this. “It bonded with a leech, Jacob. You’re an alpha, you’re meant to lead a pack whether you want to or not, and your wolf found a leech to be a suitable partner. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Sam growled. “Jacob. I’ve only been able to learn of this happening once before. A female wolf thought she’d imprinted on a female vampire---.”
“I know this story.” Jacob interrupted. Sam still wasn’t telling him anything! “Carlisle told me about it when I went to him with questions.”
“The leech knew about this?” Sam looked put out at that knowledge before shaking his head. “Well, you know the ending of the story then.”
“They die.” Jacob nodded.
“Kill each other.” Sam corrected.
“You really think someone who had imprinted would kill their imprintee?” Jacob sneered.
“But they didn’t imprint! Jacob, listen to me!” Sam announced, coming forwards and placing his hands on the younger male’s shoulders. “You did not imprint on the leech. Your wolf only has temporarily chosen the strongest person around. If someone stronger appeared the wolf would forget the leech and choose the other person, be he or she a human, wolf, leech, fairy---whatever!”
Jacob shook his head, not believing that his inner wolf would be that fickle.
“That’s what happened to the other couple that this happened to.” Sam’s face was serious, and a little sad. “The girl’s inner wolf found another person more worthy and the leech couldn’t let go, wouldn’t let go.”
“You’re lying.” Jacob whispered, shocked at this news.
“For your sake, I wish that I were.” Sam whispered back, sadness in his eyes. “Come back to the pack, Jake. Cullen understood what was going on and he left, he understood you will only hurt each other. Just---come back to us. You’ll soon find someone else and the leech will be a part of your past.”
I don’t want him to be.
Jacob hung his head, somehow knowing that Sam was telling him the truth.
I love him.
And deep down inside, Edward had known the truth as well. That was why he’d been so desperate last night and why he’d left.
Because he’d believed.
And he’d only believe it if he’d found some evidence to prove Sam’s words.
“I’m not coming back to the pack.” Jacob pulled away from Sam, surprised by his own words. “I wont be a part of a ‘family’ that banishes people when they need their loved ones the most.”
Sam looked sad. “Think it over, Jacob. The invitation is always open.” He shucked his hands into his pants pockets. “You’re a wolf. Nothing will ever change that. And every wolf needs its pack.”
Jacob was silent before turning. “Then maybe it’s time I started my own.” And with that he walked away, got onto his motorcycle and sped away.
He hadn’t paid attention to where he was going. He sped at an insane speed for hours until the sky was black as ink, with only a few stars lighting the earth.
The wolf was angry, hurt, betrayed, pissed…so many things combined.
Jacob himself felt numb. He was most probably in shock, and had ignored numerous phone calls from Bella. He’d needed to be alone. He’d needed time to think about his situation. He’d needed to make decisions.
Edward should have stayed.
He should have told Jacob the truth.
He should have trusted him more than he obviously did.
But no, he hadn’t.
He’d left in the middle of the night like some criminal.
Without even a goodbye.
Parking, Jacob somehow wasn’t surprised to realize where he’d ended up.
“You came back.” Victoria announced from where she leaned in the doorway.
“Listen to me because I’m only going to say this once.” Jacob’s voice was steel, his eyes dark, serious. “You and your brother will listen to and obey me and anything I say. I’m the alpha of this pack. You do anything to disobey my rules and you’re on your own.”
“Rules.” Victoria chewed out the word with distaste. “What rules?”
“I don’t have them all right now.” Jacob responded truthfully. “But the first and foremost is this. You’re sticking to your current diet. If I so much as see a speck of red in either of your eyes and your friends won’t have to do anything. I’ll tear you apart personally. Do understand me?”
Victoria eyed him silently, a war battling openly on her face, before finally nodding. “I understand.”
“Good.” Jacob nodded, eyes going to the rotting place they were staying in. “Can he move?”
“Ability? Yes. But ask me if he will move.” Victoria made a face. “I have to bring him his food. He doesn’t move from that blasted corner.”
“That poses a problem.”
“Why?” Victoria asked.
“Because you two are moving out of here.” Jacob announced. “This place is unsafe and uneasily guarded. You’re moving to the Cullen’s home.”
“Won’t they mind?” Victoria asked, genuinely confused.
“They’re gone for an ‘indefinite period of time’, remember?” Jacob’s face was emotionless as he started his engine once more. “Tomorrow I’ll come back with my friend’s truck. We’ll load him into that and take him to the house.”
Jacob stopped, having been about to ride away. “Why what?”
“Why---why did you change your mind?” Victoria asked warily. “Why are you helping us?”
He was silent for a moment, before brown eyes met golden. “Does it really matter?”
“Yeah. It does.”
The wolf sighed, looking at the trees. “People have made too many choices in my life for me. It’s time I started making some of my own.” His gaze swung back to her. “Is that satisfying enough an answer for you?”
Victoria was silent for a moment, eyeing him warily, before her lips slowly curled into a smile and she nodded. “Yeah. It is.”
“Remember the rule.” Jacob warned darkly before speeding away, wondering if he was making the right choice, and not really caring.
Zooming through the trees, he wondered what Edward was doing at that very moment---and if it was always going to hurt him this much to think of his bronze-haired vampire.
He shook his head.
I miss you already.