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?
“You did what?” Bella gasped, eyes wide and on her best friend the next morning. She’d spent the whole day yesterday worried about him, especially when he hadn’t returned home by the time she’d gone to bed and hadn’t answered any of her phone calls.
“I know.” Jacob nodded, playing with his cereal despondently. “I don’t know why I decided to help them, but I feel like it was the right thing to do.”
Bella blinked, the sound of Sunday morning cartoons blaring in the background. “So you decided to take in and take care of two unfamiliar vampires? No, no. You decided to take care of two of the vampires that caused the killings here eight months ago?”
“Yes.” He nodded, pointblank.
Bella blinked. “I want to meet them.”
The Native American male turned to her in shock. “No.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “If you don’t let me come along with you I won’t lend you my truck.”
“Hells Bells.” Jacob groaned, closing his eyes in an effort to keep his patience. “I’m not excluding you from a friendly picnic! I’m going to be transporting two unfamiliar, dangerous, and unstable vampires.”
“In my truck.” Bella wasn’t backing down on this.
“Don’t say my full name.” She growled, eyes narrowing dangerously. “And I’m coming. Anyway, you got their promise not to eat anyone anymore, right?”
“But I don’t trust them! They’re unstable and carnivorous!” Jacob was trying to get that point across to her. “I wouldn’t be able to let you out of my sight for a second and I will need to do just that to do what must be done today.”
“Jake, they need your help.” Bella stood, leaning with her palms against the surface of the table. “They won’t doanything to turn you against them. It’s just common sense.”
“We’re talking about vampires.”
“Jacob, I’m going. Final.” Bella replied before smiling. “And yes, I won’t tell Alice or Jasper about this if they call again. It’s what they get for leaving.”
Jacob suddenly chuckled, shaking his head at her. “What am I going to do with you? Hells Bells?”
“Obey and cherish?” The brunette asked, smiling mock-innocently.
“If something happens to you…” Jacob frowned, going serious once more.
“I’ll be fine.” Bella smiled lovingly at her best friend. “And anyway, you’d be crazy if you really thought you could start some ragtag pack and not include me.”
The wolf raised a black eyebrow. “They are not my pack. I just said that to get her to understand the dynamics of this odd relationship.”
“Jake. You’re the alpha (you said so yourself), you’re protecting them, providing them with a place to stay and food. They have agreed to obey you and your every rule.” Bella counted the points on her short, feminine fingers. “This isso a pack.”
Opening his mouth the young man frowned and closed it back when he realized that she had made a sound point. “Fuck.”
“No matter what your feelings on the subject are, you’re an alpha, you were made to lead a pack.” Bella sat back down. “Maybe your wolf got tired of leaving you the memos you constantly shredded and decided to give you a push in the desired direction?”
This was all eerily convincing.
“Since when did you get smart?” He joked weakly.
“I watch a lot of Oprah.” Bella answered in mock seriousness.
Jacob sighed, bowing his head. “I must be insane for even considering this.”
Bella’s face lit with a smile and she was on her feet in a second before he had time to be smart and change his mind. “I’m going to go get my jacket!” And with that she raced out of the kitchen.
The wolf sighed as he watched her go. She was trying to be brave about Alice and Jasper leaving, and while she’d made somewhat peace with them the strain was still visibly there. She needed this distraction from her problems just as much as he did---but she was in danger, unlike him.
“How am I going to protect you if you have absolutely no sense of self preservation?” He asked the empty seat across from him.
The silence was his only answer.
He sighed and leaned his head against the table.
Hugging herself, Victoria tore her gaze from the dirt-stained window and turned to look at her brother. She hated to see her brother brought this low. James had always been the strong one, always had taken care of her (despite complaining the whole while) while alive and undead.
It was her turn to take care of him, and she didn’t really mind. There were only two problems. One was that she wasn’t strong enough to take care of them both, and two, it hurt her even more than the turning had to see her strong, capable brother brought down so low.
She really wanted to hate the dog for somehow doing this to them, but he truly hadn’t done anything---and now he was going to help them. He hadn’t needed to, he was in his right to refuse them, to even kill them. She wouldn’t have been a match for him, and James wouldn’t have been able to protect himself in this state. And yet the dog, Jacob, had decided to help them, protect them.
She hated answering to anyone other than her brother (and she was rebellious even then), but she knew that it was in the best interests of both her and James to listen to Jacob and obey his rules. And truly, so far she could understand his one rule. Jacob was a wolf, a protector of humans, he lived with humans (if the little she could get from James could be trusted). The dog would make sure that those he were protecting wouldn’t endanger the othershe protected.
And while she wouldn’t let him know this, she could continue on her diet, his one rule wasn’t a problem. She could control her bloodlust, so could James. It was a necessity. They needed the dog, his protection.
At least until James was healed completely again.
A whimper rumbled in James’ throat.
“What are you trying to tell me?” Victoria asked, going to her brother, falling to her knees and placing her hands on his knees. “Why won’t you talk anymore?” She tightened her hold on him. “What’s happened to you?”
James wouldn’t look at her, he only looked down at the totem on the chain he’d worn ever since he’d returned from Forks. The dog’s---Jacob’s necklace.
Closing her eyes, Victoria leaned her forehead against his arm and took in a ragged breath, trying to keep her emotions in check. She hadn’t felt this hopeless, this useless, since she was a young human girl in the wilderness of frontier America.
Her and James’ father had been a famous tracker, a hunter, (James had inherited his uncanny abilities, which had only been magnified after his turning) who’d moved with his family to the Wild West for adventure and a better life. What he’d found was booze, saloon women, and a large gambling debt that’d made him sell his own young, unwilling daughter to the man to whom he owed an insane amount of money.
James had rebelled, unwilling to let her be bartered like an animal. He’d been severely beaten by Marcus’ men, and mortally wounded and left to die in the desert. Victoria didn’t know exactly who’d sired her brother, but he’d returned three days later and had massacred every one of Marcus’ men, freeing a then traumatized and battered Victoria.
She hadn’t cared that he was now a monster, he was her brother---he was her savior. Her avenger. When he’d offered to make her like him, the woman who’d lived through hell for three days had nodded without a moment’s hesitation.
The pain had been unimaginable when the poison had entered her system, and she’d spent three days in agony, but James had watched over her until she’d emerged a new creature the third day. James had only stood by and watched as she’d torn her father apart as her first kill for handing her over so ruthlessly to the bastard of a man because of a debt.
And then they’d started life out again, eating and just enjoying themselves. Others had joined them along the way, like Laurent, revering James for his cunningness, his ruthlessness, and his ability to track. His senses were unparallel, they were unmatchable.
That was why so many had followed, and why they would want him dead so that he couldn’t hunt them down when he was healed.
“You’re so much trouble.” She whispered tenderly, a small smile curling her lips affectionately.
Suddenly James’ body went tense, his whole body becoming steel as he raised his gaze, a growl reverberating.
Alert, Victoria raised her head, looking concerned. James had never acted like this. “What is it?”
And then she sensed it.
“Shit!” Stumbling to her feet, Victoria turned towards the door, having sensed the two familiar scents. “Fuck!”
The door flew in with one kick, causing the whole cabin to shake and dust fly everywhere.
In the doorway stepped in two large male vampires, both sneering, eyes pitch black, ready to fight.
“Hank.” Victoria tried to keep her voice even. “Mallory.”
“Victoria.” Hank sneered. “Lovely as ever.”
“Sorry I can’t say the same.” She replied curtly.
Mallory chuckled darkly before speaking. “You don’t have to die, Victoria. Just step aside and we’ll let you live.”
“No.” She wasn’t going to survive this, and it filled her with fear, but James would have done the same for her.
“Pity.” Mallory announced, cracking his knuckles, both vampires taking a step towards them.
A scream pierced the sky.
Victoria, Mallory and Hank looked up in surprise at the agonized, terrified sound.
And then there was silence.
“Mack.” Hank whispered, turning to go outside. He disappeared into the foliage, looking for the vampire that had obviously been their scout.
Mallory narrowed his eyes, keeping them on Victoria and James.
And then Hank’s scream filled the day.
“Want to tell me something, Victoria?” The monstrously large vampire asked casually.
Victoria’s eyes widened and she felt her lips parting at the sight now behind Mallory.
A growl warned of its existence.
Mallory turned at the sound.
Victoria had never seen a wolf as impressive as Jacob Black---for this could be none other than he. The wolf was large, larger than any other wolf she’d ever heard of, and with a russet pelt that was rich and beautiful and covered inblood. His eyes were dark brown and fierce, his fangs murderous, his growl intimidating.
The redhead took an involuntary step backwards before remembering that this magnificent, scary-ass creature was on her side.
Mallory was tense before throwing his head back and roaring, charging Jacob.
Victoria surged forwards to the doorway, eyes wide, watching the two large creatures battling. Her breath caught in her throat at the impressive, mind-blowing sight. She’d seen Mallory take down rivals before, easily, and yet here he was struggling obviously with the vicious wolf.
A presence at her back caused her to jump, and she gave a little gasp when James leaned heavily against the doorframe, eyes glued emotionlessly on the fight.
On the wolf.
“James?” She whispered, but he didn’t even acknowledge her presence.
Golden eyes returned to the fight, watching it in awe. It was like a deadly dance as each partner circled before attacking once more. Jacob, dodging Mallory’s blow and baring his fangs down on the flesh of his neck, secured his kill. With a brutal yank he’d torn a chunk out of the neck, and with Mallory’s scream those fangs bore into that face and with a yank ripped off the head of the vampire.
Victoria stood spellbound as the wolf turned, breathing heavily, and looked at them. And then it was shifting before their very eyes until one very fit, very naked Native American stood before them, panting, a savage, vicious smile that sent a jolt of awareness through her system adorning his blood-covered face.
As she stared at the bloody, naked male standing in front of them she could suddenly completely understand the attraction her brother had for the dog.
He was magnificent; the fight had only served to prove that.
She sent a gaze at her brother, who was smirking slightly at Jacob.
He was showing emotion.
Victoria’s attention returned to Jacob Black.
Maybe being part of this ‘pack’ wasn’t going to be so bad. She didn’t really mind taking orders from someone thatvicious. That deadly.
“Get the bodies together.” Seeming completely oblivious to his nakedness, Jacob began to plat his long, crimson-covered hair to keep it out of his face. “I’ll use the wood from this crap hole and we’ll burn them.”
Victoria nodded, giving him one last appreciative glance before turning to her brother. “You’ve got good taste.” And with that she helped her James out of the hunting cabin a safe distance and went to do as ordered while Jacob began to break down the hunting cabin for firewood.
By the time she’d gotten Hank and Mack’s bodies (or what was left of them after the carnage) all piled up together on top of the wood, Victoria watched as Jacob used two piece of rocks to set the wood ablaze.
She turned when she heard the sound of a truck coming towards them.
“Remember Rule Number One.” Jacob’s voice was a threatening purr. He then shifted into his animal form as a truck appeared through the foliage, kinda impressive considering that there really wasn’t a road around here.
The truck stopped and a short human with brown hair and eyes stepped out, holding folded clothes in her hands. “Um. Hi.”
“I’d say ‘oooh, you brought food’, but that obviously isn’t the case.” Victoria said to the wolf who gave her the evil eye before going towards the human, grabbing the clothes she had in his mug, and disappearing into the shrubs to change.
James’ gaze was on the human.
Victoria frowned as she looked at the unimpressive human girl. “So who are you?”
The girl cleared her throat nervously. “I’m Bella Swan.”
“You Black’s new plaything now that the Cullen boy is gone?” Victoria asked, smelling Jacob on the girl and not liking it.
If anyone was going to get with Jacob, it was going to be her brother.
‘Bella’ seemed confused until she understood and sputtered. “N-no! We’re best friends.”
Still wasn’t acceptable.
Victoria needed to ingratiate herself with Jacob, and it would be hard to do so with the fumbling human in the way.
But if Jacob threatened to destroy them over any human, Victoria shivered to think of what he’d do if harm came to this measly little mortal girl. So that meant that getting rid of the human wasn’t an option.
“I told you not to come until I told you everything was safe.” Jacob spoke to Bella as he emerged from the bushes, clothed once more. Obviously he’d been coming with the human when he’d sensed the other vampires in the area and had taken his clothes off and shifted to get to Victoria and James in time.
“I thought you might need me to run over someone for you.” Bella replied, not at all frightened of the displeasure from the killing machine before her.
Instead of death-glaring her as he would have Victoria, Jacob smiled at Bella. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Obey and cherish---I thought we’d already had this conversation.” Bella smiled.
Victoria raised an eyebrow.
Maybe, thinking things over, the way to ingratiate herself with the wolf was through the mortal. Make friends with the girl, gain her trust, and through her gain Jacob’s.
It wasn’t a bad plan.
“Bells, this is Victoria and her brother James.” Jacob announced, turning to the vampires. “This is my friend Bella. She will be helping us today.”
His voice said it all.
‘Inflict one scratch on her and I will personally insure you live in hell for the rest of your life.’
Victoria liked it.
It reminded her of how James took charge of things.
“Come on.” Bella looked at them. “It’s not safe here.”
Victoria nodded and with Jacob’s help went to James into the backseat of the pickup.
Edward looked at his phone.
It’d been a very busy and hectic day, and he wasn’t even close to what he needed, but he couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate. His thoughts were all on Jacob, and dammit, he missed him.
He knew that it would be better if he didn’t communicate with the wolf for a while, that he needed to concentrate completely on his self-appointed quest, but Edward wasn’t as strong and he’d once believed.
Imprinted or not, Jacob was his life.
Marking Jacob’s number, Edward cleared his throat and waited as the phone rang.
He felt so nervous.
Jacob might hate him now, and if he did Edward knew that he couldn’t blame him. Edward hadn’t handled the situation as well as he’d thought he had. In hindsight he realized how much better he could have done.
“I should kick your ass the next time I see you.”
As far as hellos came, that was better than Edward had expected. “Yeah, you should.”
There was a moment’s silence, then a sigh. “How are you?”
“Missing you like hell.”
Edward smiled slightly as he leaned against the wall. It was so good to hear Jacob’s voice. “I’m sorry for leaving the way I did.”
“Are you coming back?”
“Yes.” Edward swore.
“But not now.”
“No.” The vampire replied.
“I know why you left.” Jacob spoke seriously, walking away from the background voices Edward couldn’t really recognize. “You should have trusted me enough to tell me, Ed.”
“I’m sorry.” He closed his eyes.
“I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me.”
Those eyes flew open. “Jacob---.”
“I’m not---I’m not…” There was a sigh. “We’ll talk about it when you come back. Not before. We’re not making any decisions on a fucking phone.”
“Agreed.” Edward was only all too happy to do so.
There was a crash and an odd whimpering sound.
Jacob sighed in impatience. “I have to go.”
Edward bit back the desire to ask him to stay on longer. “Okay.”
“Call again.” It was an order.
Edward smiled. “Yes sir.”
Jacob chuckled before hanging up.
Edward’s smile faded slightly at the realization that Jacob hadn’t once told him ‘I love you’, but he pushed away his fear that he was making a mistake and was only pushing Jacob away. He was doing the right thing.
And yet he couldn’t get rid of the nagging fear that maybe, maybe he was only messing things up more than they already were.
Jacob watched in wary distrust as Victoria talked to Bella.
A noise behind him caused him to turn around to see James standing. Ever since they’d gotten to the Cullen’s abandoned house James had seemed to come alive. He was still deadly silent, but he was much more aware now, and walked around on his own.
He’d bathed on his own and changed in some of the clothes that the Cullens had left behind in their haste. The muck had been washed out of his shoulder-length hair, and he had found a hair tie, putting it in the low ponytail Jacob had seen him use that once.
“How are you feeling?” Jacob asked, not really expecting an answer.
James nodded, giving a little smirk, like he knew something Jacob didn’t and found it amusing.
Jacob, on the other hand, found it unnerving.
The vampire leaned against the wall opposite the one Jacob leaned against, hand going to the totem around his neck.
“The day you start talking again is the day you’re telling me how you got your hands on that.” The wolf warned, motioning towards the necklace.
A shadow darkened James’ face and he looked away.
Confused by the reaction, Jacob shifted his attention to Victoria and Bella, the latter having laughed at whatever the redhead was telling her.
“What game is your sister playing?” Despite knowing that James wasn’t going to answer, Jacob liked talking to him for some reason.
James shrugged, gaze turning on the two females, curious as well.
Jacob’s gaze slid to the blonde vampire curiously.
James must have sensed his gaze because he turned toward the wolf and smirked, winking.
Eyes wide, Jacob felt himself blushing and was horrified at the realization. “Bella and I should be leaving.” He pushed away from the wall and was about to stalk away when James moved rapidly and grabbed his arm.
The wolf turned to look at him, noticing the worry in those golden eyes, feeling odd at the sounds of the whimpers. “I’ll come back.”
James seemed to be weighing the honesty in those words before nodding and letting go.
Sending the vampire a small, unsure smile, Jacob turned and walked towards where Victoria and Bella were, not exactly sure what had just happened.