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?A/N: The reason why Rosalie and Emmet aren’t with Jasper and Alice at the airport is because they went to Rome to meet up with Esme and Carlisle instead.
Victoria pouted as she looked out of the window of the living room. Bella had gone to Port Angeles to meet Alice and Jasper and while the redheaded vampiress had been asked to accompany her she’d refused. But that didn’t mean that she wasn’t a little angered.
And a little insecure.
Alice and Jasper were very important to Bella, and the redhead was wondering how their return would affect herfriendship with the young human who’d become her best friend.
“You okay?” Charlie asked as he entered the living room, a big bag of popcorn in his hands as he sat down next to her on the sofa.
“Yeah.” She lowered her gaze, knowing she was still pouting. “Just wondering how Bellsy’s reunion with them is going.”
“Why didn’t you go with her?” Charlie asked, seeming concerned. “She invited you countless times.”
“What? And interrupt their big reunion? As if.” She scoffed, folding her arms over her chest. “I just wish the Cullens had dropped off the face of the earth.”
There was a moment’s silence, Charlie eyeing her oddly. “I thought you and James were friends of the Cullens---that that was why you were house-sitting for them.”
It took a lot to keep her from wincing at the memory of their false story. “Yes, well, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen were friends with our parents, not with us. And we didn’t really have anywhere to go at the time so it was a, a---.”
“An arrangement of convenience for both parties?” Charlie asked, supplying the answer.
“Yes, something like that.” She responded, eyes on the carpeted floor. “I couldn’t have put it better.”
He grinned, the skin at the corner of his eyes crinkling slightly, just adding to his mannish charm. “Even a hick policeman can think in the more modern terms sometimes.”
Victoria’s golden gaze jerked up to his immediately. “You’re n-not a hick, Charlie!” She blushed, lowering her gaze as she pulled a stray flame-curl behind her ear. “I actually think you’re kinda fantastic.”
There was silence.
Unable to bare it anymore, she dared to raise her gaze, surprised when she found Charlie blushing beet-red, eyes on the turned-off television.
“T-there’s supposed to be a s-soccer game s-soon.” Charlie suddenly announced, launching himself at the remote control and hurriedly turning on the television set.
The vampiress blinked before a small smile tilted the corner of her lips. “Do you want me to get you some beer?”
He gulped. “You—you don’t have to bother. I’m fine as I am.” He raised the popcorn rapidly as if proving his point, eyes never leaving the television set.
Tilting her head to the right, Victoria’s smile curled more in surprise as she realized that she was affecting Charlie. He might be fighting it valiantly, and obviously trying to ignore her and her remark, but it’d affected him, if only for a second.
That smile turned conniving. “It’s no problem for me, Charlie.” Lowering her voice a bit more at his name, she grinned when she noticed him gulping once more. “It’d be my pleasure.”
Slowly standing, she made her way across him, hips swaying a little more noticeable than usual, heading towards the kitchen. She felt a hesitant gaze on her but when she turned Charlie’s gaze was desperately on the television screen.
Her smiled turned predatory.
Who said that just because she didn’t drink from humans anymore meant that she couldn’t enjoy a ‘hunt’? If she played this right she could have her desired prey, and the prize would be better than any feeding.
Giggling softly to herself, Victoria sauntered towards the kitchen to get Charlie a beer.
Let the hunt begin.
Bella waited impatiently in the waiting area of the small airport in Port Angeles. She rocked too and fro on the heels of her feet, hands clasped behind her back, taking in deep breaths ever so often. She knew she was grinning and jumping every second someone came out from customs, and that a couple of people were smiling at her eager enthusiasm, but she just didn’t care.
Alice and Jasper would be coming out of that section any minute now.
Her enthusiasm grew until she could only barely keeping herself from pacing.
Brown eyes kept fixed on the exit of customs.
And then Alice appeared, looking brilliant, shouldering her tiny Gucci handbag, and Jasper appeared behind her, dragging four roll-behind suitcases with amazing ease and skill. Obviously he was used to having to tote around Alice’s many suitcases.
Alice’s eyes widened. “Bella!”
And then Bella was flying towards them, arms flying wide as she hugged both close to her, closing her eyes tightly.
The sound of suitcases dropping to the ground was lost in the noisy airport as two pairs of cold arms went around her, pulling her tightly to them. Cold noses trailed through her hair, down the sides of her face, somehow burying themselves each on a side of her neck.
Bella knew reasonably that considering that they were vampires she should be at least a little nervous that they were rubbing their noses against the skin of her throat, but she just closed her eyes and shivered, lips parting slightly.
Heart pounding in something that was not fear.
She felt a quick brush of lips against her skin and she was dizzy, not exactly sure who had given her the soft caress, before they both pulled away to smile at her. She forced her eyes open, disorientated and knowing she was both grinning like an idiot and blushing like some naïve little fool.
And at the moment she couldn’t have cared less.
“We’ve missed you.” Alice smiled, pearly whites perfect as usual.
Jasper frowned slightly, leaning forwards towards Bella and taking in a deliberate whiff. “Why----why do I smellvampire all over you?”
Alice blinked and followed her husband’s deeds, sniffing Bella’s hair and making up her nose, frowning.
Bella gulped, a little cornered by their obvious displeasure yet not exactly sure why they were this displeased. “We—Jake and I—have our own pack.” She smiled tremulously at them. “And two of our members are vegetarian vampires.”
“Jacob started a pack----.” Alice blinked.
“---of vampires?” Jazz finished, seeming just as confused and disturbed as Alice.
“Yes.” Bella nodded, stepping out of their embrace a little and running her fingers through her chocolate locks in a nervous gesture. “Their names are Victoria and James, and they’re brother and sister.”
“Vegetarian vampires being a part of a wolf’s pack.” Alice shook her head, before smiling. “I would like to meet them very much.”
Jazz seemed more reluctant, more wary. “How did you meet those two? How long have you known them? Are you sure that they’re not just trying to infiltrate your pack and---.”
“It’s only the four of us---there’s no ‘pack’ without them to infiltrate.” Bella narrowed her eyes at Jazz, offended on James and Victoria’s behalf. “And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t just assume that they’re evil. They’re not. They’re my friends, my family.”
Alice placed a hand on Jasper’s arm, smile on Bella. “Don’t get angry, Bella. We’re just worried about you, allow us this.” She tilted her head to the side and grinned. “We haven’t seen you in the longest time, and while it couldn’t be helped we’re somewhat resentful about not being with you for so long.”
Bella looked down at her feet, worrying her bottom lip.
“I’m sorry.” Jasper sighed, lowering his head slightly. “I---I’ve just seen the evil vampires are capable of, I’ve---I’vedone those evils, I taught others how to---.” His eyes closed. “So I can’t help but worry when I realize that our precious little Bella is so close to vampires that we don’t know.”
A blush was rising up her neck, and she knew that it was tempting to vampires, but she couldn’t help it.
Plus, she trusted Jasper and Alice.
Neither of them would ever hurt her.
“Forgive me?” Jasper asked softly.
Bella’s gaze rose to meet his and she smiled tenderly, going on her tiptoes and hugging him tightly, closing her eyes and breathing in his scent. “Don’t be silly. ‘Course I do.” A sound of contentment escaped her lips as his cold arms came around her in a tight yet tender hug, keeping her against him yet careful not to hurt them with his strength.
Alice smiled softly at them as Jasper placed a kiss on the top of Bella’s head.
Finally managing to pull away from Jasper, Bella cleared her throat and refused to look at either vampire in embarrassment, knowing that her blush had gotten darker. “So.” She scratched her cheek. “How was Singapore?”
“Great.” Jasper announced the same time Alice cried out: “Horrible!”
Bella looked between them before laughing. “Ummmm, okay?”
Alice pouted, folding her arms over her chest. “This traitor enjoyed it, but Bella, I was stuck in the middle of therainforest! There wasn’t a store in a million kilometers!”
“Alice, that’s an exaggeration.” Jasper looked like he was desperately trying not to laugh at his wife.
She ignored him, continuing on. “And there was no electricity! No running water! No A/C!” The vampiress was on a roll as she looped her arm around Bella’s and left Jasper to grab the abandoned suitcases and follow as she led them out of the airport. She complained about everything that she’d had to go through these last months---and all for nothing.
But Bella hardly heard a word.
They were back.
That was all that truly mattered.
“You should tell her.” Jacob announced softly, looking up at James as the vampire finished packing the small amount of things he’d be taking with him.
“And have her bitch at me for hours?” James asked, scoffing at the very thought as they slowly made their way to the front door and down the steps, pausing in front of Jacob’s motorcycle. He sighed. “If she knows, she’s going to want to come with me. I can’t let that happen. She---she can be a nuisance most of the time, but she’s my only family.”
“Bella and I are too.” Jacob didn’t know why he was talking so softly, but it seemed like the right time, as he placed a hand on James’ shoulder. “We’re your family too.”
James raised his gaze and smiled at Jacob. “Yeah. You are.”
There was silence as they smiled at each other.
Clearing his throat and looking away, not exactly sure why he felt suddenly awkward, Jacob sighed. “You reallyshouldn’t be going alone. Why won’t you let me come along with you?”
A strange battle seemed to be fighting on James’ face before he finally looked away as well, running his fingers through his loose hair. “I’ll be fine, Jake. And anyway, you have to stay here. I don’t trust anyone else to take care of my baby sister or to make sure she doesn’t do something stupid while I’m gone.” He smiled slightly as his gaze returned to the wolf. “She listens to you, obeys you, something I never got her to do for me.”
Jacob didn’t smile back. “I don’t want you going alone, James. It’s too dangerous.” He frowned. “I don’t want you going period.” There was a pause. “Don’t go.”
“You know, if you aren’t careful I’ll start to think that maybe you care about me.” James teased.
Jacob narrowed his eyes, irritated with the way the vampire was trying to laugh this off. “I do care, and you know it.” He was bristling with anger, with worry. “You could get killed out there by yourself, this could be a trap for all we know and you’re just going to walk into it! Alone!”
“I’ll be fine.” James finally whispered, eyes downcast, all teasing gone. “If there was someone else from the pack who could go with me I’d take that person along with me if only to make you feel better, but there’s no one else, Jake.”
“There’s me.” The wolf persisted.
“No.” The vampire shook his head. “I---I would love for you to come along, under different circumstances, but you’re needed here right now, and I need to do this on my own, without your help.”
“Why?” That irritation was growing. “Why can’t I help you with this?”
“Because you can’t!” James growled and then took in a deep breath, running his fingers through his hair and sighing. “Jake---you saved me, you made me stronger. I---I need to prove to myself that I’m strong on my own as well, that I’m worthy enough for the fight.”
“For what fight?” Jacob asked. “The one with Laurent?”
James smiled sardonically. “Among others.”
“You’re being cryptic again.” Jacob grumbled, sighing.
“And you’re being amazingly oblivious again.” James grinned again, ruffling Jacob’s hair playfully. “But that’s one of the things I love about you.”
Jacob smiled at James, shaking his head. “If you get yourself killed on this mission, I’ll kill you.”
Instead of grinning back at him, as the wolf had expected, James’ smile fell and he looked as the younger male pensively, head tilted slightly to the right.
“What?” Jake asked, feeling slightly nervous for some reason.
“Well, if I might die, it would be wrong to do so without finding out what it’s like.” James finally announced.
Jacob frowned suspiciously at the blonde. “Find out what what’slike?”
Despite his suspicions that James was about to do something unprecedented, Jacob wasn’t ready for the vampire to drop his knapsack and wrap his arms around him, pulling him into his chest so rapidly and unexpectedly that it left the wolf winded.
“James…?” Jacob looked up at the vampire with wide, surprised eyes, and yet James’ lips on his swallowed the rest of his question.
The wolf’s eyes widened further as James’ lips coaxed his with his own, but before he could completely process the realization that James was kissing him, the vampire had pulled away and was grinning at him.
“I always wondered what you’d look like if I kiss you.” James chuckled. “And you don’t disappoint. You look like you’re going to faint---or turn into a tomato.”
Jacob wanted to growl at the teasing, but he was just in too much shock to do anything else other than stare at his beta.
James was suddenly in a very good mood. “Looks like I left you silent, wolfie. Should I kiss you again and see if thatmakes you talk again?”
The vampire was just too much of a tease!
Jacob was so going to thrash him for teasing him like that when he finally got the ability to move again!
There was the sound of a throat clearing, and both turned to see a bruised Seth Clearwater standing a little ways down the driveway.
Jacob’s eyes narrowed and he stormed towards the younger wolf. “What happened to you?” He looked him over, noting the healing yet ugly bruises. “Was this leeches?”
“No.” The young werewolf replied, looking away. “They found out.”
And that was all that it took for the situation to suddenly become clear.
“How did you get away?” James asked, joining Jacob’s side.
Seth still wouldn’t look at them. “I’m the fastest runner. I broke free before could really do anything.” There was a pause. “I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.”
Jacob rested his hand on Seth’s shoulder, causing the boy to turn his gaze on him. “You did right in coming here. You’re an unofficial member of our pack, have been for a while now.”
Seth smiled softly at Jacob, obviously grateful. “Thank you.”
“How do you feel about getting out of Forks for a little?” Jacob suddenly asked. “James has…a mission out of the state, and I don’t want him to go alone.”
Seth blinked. “You want me to go with him?”
“Only if you’re feeling up to it.” Jacob responded, knowing that the bruises would heal completely overnight. Wolves were strong like that.
The young Clearwater thought it over before suddenly nodding.
“This is dangerous.” James told him. “You think you can handle it?”
“My sister, she doesn’t know about me working with you all---about me leaving. She’s going to be pissed as hellwhen she does find out.” Seth declared, shivering slightly. “And no leech on this green earth who is scarier than Leah Clearwater when she’s pissed.”
Jacob and James shared a look, smiling in amusement.
“When do we leave?” Seth asked, suddenly looking anxious to be long gone before his sister found out everything and came looking for him.
“Now.” James then turned his attention on Jacob. “You happy? I’m going to be babysitting a puppy on top of everything.”
“How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me ‘puppy’?” Seth growled in the background.
James ignored him.
Jacob grinned at the vampire. “You’ll be fine. Just, take care of yourselves.” And then he hugged James tightly, closing his eyes. “And come back soon, okay?”
“You bet.” James whispered before pulling away, smile in place before turning to Seth. “You ready, puppy?”
Seth seethed silently before turning and beginning to storm down the driveway with determination.
“This will be entertaining at least.” The vampire announced before giving Jacob one last smile. “I’ll be back, so don’t get too comfortable here without me.” And with that he was gone, joining Seth, commenting something that seemed to have the young wolf growling in irritation.
Jacob smiled as he watched them until they disappeared from sight.
He then sighed, smile slipping from his face as he went to sit on the bottom step that led to the front porch.
Resting his hands on his knees, he closed his eyes and hung his head.
His stomach churned with unease.
He didn’t like James leaving.
He didn’t like it one bit.
He was already worrying up a storm.
What is it with the men in my life just getting up and deciding to go on self-appointed quests at the most unexpected of moments?
“I should have done it like that.”
Jacob looked up, surprised to see Edward in front of him, sitting down next to him with one fluid motion. “What?”
“When I left.” His boyfriend announced, looking ahead of him. “I should have told you that I was going. I should have told you why.” He paused. “And I should have taken you with me.”
The wolf was silent.
“I’m sorry, because I messed up.” Edward sighed. “I was only thinking about myself. How would I survive if we weren’t imprint, how would I this, how would I that----but I didn’t stop my own self-absorbed worries to think about how you’d feel.” He lowered his head. “It was selfish of me. It was wrong.”
“Yeah, it was.” Jacob finally spoke.
“He kissed you.” Edward announced emotionlessly.
“Yes, he did.” Jacob nodded.
“And you didn’t push him away.” It was noted.
“No, I didn’t.” Not that he’d had time to process what was going on, much less react. “Are you mad?”
“No.” Came the surprising answer. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m jealous, I’m jealous as hell, but I’m not mad because whatever might have happened between you two during these last months is partially—mostly, my fault.”
There was silence between them as wolf and vampire sat side-by-side looking ahead of them.
Jacob finally turned to look at Edward. “That’s the first time we’ve ever kissed, and he just did it to tease me.”
Edward snorted and laughed, and it wasn’t a pleasant sound. “You’re so oblivious about some things, Jacob.” His smile turned tender as he turned to look at him. “But that’s just one of the things that I love about you.”
Jacob smiled at him. “And you’re a selfish jackass, and I don’t love that about you…and even if I haven’t totally forgiven you for the last seven months, I still love you.” He paused for a second. “Even if you are a complete idiot.”
Edward suddenly laughed, bowing his head, the darkness leaving his eyes.
The wolf smiled at him as they both fell into silence, looking up at the sky and listening to the birds singing.
Sometime during their time together their fingers entwined, and remained that way.
And all was silence.