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?
Jacob was frozen in his spot, looking upon his boyfriend, the boyfriend he hadn’t seen in oh-so-long, emotions conflicting violently within him, agitating his wolf even more than it already was.
Behind him he could sense his pack and Charlie, standing crowded into the kitchen door, all stopping once they’d realized why he’d bolted outside.
Edward, the reason for the uproar, gave Jacob a nervous smile as he pushed away from the tree he’d been resting against, apparently trying to get the courage to come inside and make his presence known. “Hey Jake.”
“You’re---really here?” The wolf asked, hating the desperation in his voice as he asked that. But he had to ask the question. He’d had too many dreams similar to this that’d left him frustrated and depressed in the morning.
“Yeah.” Edward smiled, taking a hesitant step towards him. “I’m back.”
Jacob could sense James pushing passed the group at the door and coming down the steps behind him, stopping and giving him the space he needed yet close as well if he needed him. Tension was radiating off of the vampire and yet his presence comforted and soothed Jacob enough to keep his composure, to keep from humiliating himself and breaking down in front of everyone.
But the wolf didn’t shift his gaze on his best male friend, didn’t question the way he could sense him so easily as if he had eyes on the back of his head, and instead took a step towards Edward, and then another.
And then his fist met the vampire’s jaw, the force of the blow causing Edward’s face to swing right.
“Seven months.” Jacob seethed, trying to keep the tears out of his voice but it was choked nonetheless as he clenched his fists at his side, chest heaving. “You left me and were gone for seven fucking months Edward!”
“I’m know.” The vampire whispered, head bowed. “But I needed to do this.” His voice lowered. “I’m sorry.”
“Seven months!” Jacob snarled the last word, feeling his body tremble as he voice hitched on a note. “Seven months!”
And suddenly Edward’s cool was around him as he hugged him, holding him desperately close. “I know.” The vampire’s voice was desperate. “I know.”
Jacob’s hands twitched at his side as he stood stiff, before his wolf and his pent up emotions got the best of him and his arms went around Edward tightly, burying his face in the vampire’s neck as silent tears fell hotly down his fear. “This doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you.”
“I know.” Edward whispered, holding him closer, pressing a kiss to Jacob’s neck, inhaling his scent almost as desperately as an addict ingested his or her drug of choice. The vampire’s arms tightened around Jacob and he trembled slightly. “I missed you. Every day I wanted to come back, wanted to see your face.”
“Why didn’t you?” Jacob whispered against the cold skin.
“I’ve always been a masochist, don’t you always tell me that?” Edward asked in a weak attempt at humor before sighing. “I needed---I needed to know, Jake. I’m sorry, but I needed to.”
And Jacob couldn’t really hate Edward for it. If the vampire had just sat down and told him instead of going off into the middle of the night he’d have left with him to figure out all of what was going on with them.
But if things hadn’t happened the way they had I’d never have met James, and Victoria. And his stomach went queasy at the thought.
It was thanks to Edward that circumstances had lead to Jacob protecting and befriending the once carnivorous vampires.
The thought shocked Jacob momentarily, and he didn’t notice Charlie, Bella, and Victoria leaving to give them more privacy.
“Did you find the answers you were looking for?” He asked, still speaking against the vampire’s skin, his lips brushing against the side of Edward’s throat as he spoke.
“We…we will talk about that later.” The vampire sounded so tired. “I just want to stay like this for a little bit longer.” There was a moment’s pause. “Can I?”
Oh god, yes!
Jacob nodded desperately, closing his eyes tighter, unable to believe that Edward was back, that he was here, that they were together again.
Edward sighed a contented sound.
“As much as I hate to interrupt this Kodak Moment…” James’ voice was deep and gravelly. “I think I’m going to puke if I don’t.”
“Who are you?” Edward snarled.
But Jacob was laughing against Edward’s skin before pushing away from his boyfriend and turning sideways so that he could see both vampires, noticing that both had dark expressions and were glaring at each other. “Edward, I’d like you to meet one of my closest friends, James. James, this is Edward.”
“So I guessed.” James drawled, folding his arms over his chest in false indifference. “You could have hit him harder, you know. It was seven months.”
Edward’s eyes narrowed.
Jacob bit down on his bottom lip to keep from grinning. “Yeah, I probably should have.” His gaze then turned to Edward and he allowed himself to grin. “Maybe later.”
For a moment Edward looked at him blankly before a smile curled the corner of his lips.
There was a growl from James.
Jacob turned to look at him in confusion, and a little worry. “Is there something wrong?”
The blonde vampire’s eyes were narrowed. “Give me some time alone, a piece of paper, sturdy pencil, and I’ll give you a list.”
Not exactly sure what was going on but amused at the same time, Jacob tilted his head and caught James’ golden gaze with his own, smile growing soft.
James slowly returned it.
There was a growl from Edward.
Jacob turned to look at him in confusion as well.
What was with all the growling all of a sudden?
Was this a vampire thing?
His phone vibrated in his pants pocket and he looked at it.
It was a text message.
Entering it he frowned.
Sam took Quill n Embry off guard duty n didn put n-e 1 else n ther place. Don’t no wat he’s planin. Keep an I open.
“Is something wrong?” Edward asked.
“Is it from Clearwater?” James asked.
Jacob nodded in James’ direction.
Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Clearwater? As in the Clearwater’s from the pack?” Confusion was clear in his golden gaze. “Why would they be texting you?”
“A lot happens in seven months, Cullen.” James answered with a sneer, going to stand behind Jacob and resting his chin on the wolf’s shoulder, gazing down at the text. “Hmmm. Wonder why they’re pulling out the bumbling, horribly obvious spies?”
“I’m wondering the same.” Jacob muttered, texting a thanks to their informant.
“They’ve been a bit lax ever since the fight with the coven.” James offered. “Maybe he’s suspecting some of his own helped us?”
The wolf turned his face so that he was looking at the vampire, bringing their faces close. “That would be bad.”
James was right, ever since a large group of the vampires who’d once belonged to James’ coven had hunted him down to Forks in February and attacked, with Seth and Leah coming to join the fight despite Sam’s order for none of the pack to interfere, the ‘spying’ had become lax. It was as if they weren’t even truly trying to hide their presence anymore.
Or maybe Quill and Embry just really sucked at discreet surveillance.
“Go tell Victoria and Bella.” Jacob put away his phone.
James hesitated, his body stiffening, before pulling away. “Sure, anything you say, wolfie. Don’t stay out here too long though, we don’t know what Sam’s up to.” Sending an unreadable look in Edward’s direction, James shucked his hands in his jeans’ pockets and stalked back into the house.
There was silence for a moment before Jacob turned back to Edward.
The bronze-haired vampire had a troubled expression. “Who was that?”
“James.” Jacob frowned slightly. “I just introduced you two.”
“He’s a vampire.”
“So is his sister.” Jacob frowned deeper. “So are you.”
For some reason that darkened the troubled look on Edward’s face. “You have two vampires in Bella’s home? How did you meet them? Why didn’t you tell them about me?”
“When? During the two minute phone calls?” Jacob snapped, annoyed at the line of questioning.
Edward’s gaze lowered. “I’m sorry.”
“Stop saying that. It doesn’t change anything.” The wolf sighed, running his hand over his short, spiky hair, realizing that he still resented Edward for leaving. But that didn’t mean he had to snap at him like this, Jake had matured during his lover’s absence, and he needed to prove that to both of them.
“You cut your hair.” Edward’s voice was soft.
Freezing in the act of rubbing his hair, Jacob blinked at that before nodding, realizing that when Edward had left it’d still been long. “It got in the way of things, and so James suggested I cut it.” He grinned sheepishly. “It took a long time to get used to it short though, my hair’s been long since I was a kid.”
“I liked your hair long.” There was s sad, wistful sound to that voice.
And Jacob hated it.
He didn’t want to hurt Edward.
The vampire had just returned. This wasn’t supposed to be filled with resentment and awkward, confusing moments. Jacob loved the vampire, but so many things had happened since they’d last been together, both had changed through so many different situations, and it was like the beginning of their relationship all of again.
As if they were going to have to get to know each other once more.
“I could re-grow it, if you want me to.” He whispered, letting the vampire know in his own way that his opinion mattered.
That brought a small smile to Edward’s face, though he didn’t speak.
“So, I guess we both have a lot to tell the other, huh?” Jake asked, laughing nervously, eyes on the ground.
“Yeah.” Edward nodded. “But not tonight.”
“No, not tonight.” The wolf agreed.
There was a moment’s silence.
And then they were reaching for each other, hands clenching on fabric, mouths clashing greedily, eyes closing on instinct as the vampire was pushed up against the tree, pinned there by a hungry wolf who devoured his mouth while hands explored and lingered.
“I love you.” Edward whispered between kisses, voice breathless as Jacob’s knee came up between his thighs, brushing him.
Jacob kissed him harder.
A hand coming down on James’ shoulder caused him to jump in surprise and tear his dark gaze from the kitchen window, tear it away from where Jake had Edward Cullen pinned to the goddamned tree, kissing the daylights out of him.
The blonde vampire was surprised to see that that arm was attached to Charlie, surprised that the human had managed to get this close to him unnoticed.
Apparently he’d been glaring that intently at the couple.
“And so he returned.” Charlie’s face was blank, his gaze on the pair.
“Was bound to happen.” James responded dispassionately, returning his gaze to Jacob, who’d buried his hands in Edward’s bronze, messy hair. “I was expecting this any day.” His eyes darkened along with his expression. “Doesn’t mean I like it.”
“You know, I always wanted Jake for Bella. I love him like a son and wanted him to be it by law.” Charlie surprised the vampire by admitted. “I thought that his interest in the male species was just a passing phase, but even with Edward gone…” the human paused before shaking his head and sighing. “So. What do you plan on doing about this?”
James was silent, surprised by the question.
Charlie finally turned his gaze on him. “You said you knew this was going to happen. You telling me you didn’t think of something to do when it did?”
The vampire blinked.
James tilted his head as he looked at the human in confusion before answering in his blunt, straightforward way. “I’m going to fight for him.” On instinct he pulled the totem from under his shirt and clasped his fingers around it.
Charlie’s eyes went to the totem and he was silent for a moment before speaking. “Jake’s had that since he was a kid, he loved it, it was his grandfather’s. It meant the world to him.” Those dark eyes rose to meet James’. “And he didn’t give it to Edward.”
Well, technically Jacob hadn’t given it to James either, the vampire had stolen it on impulse and refused to give it back on the few times Jacob had broached the topic.
But the wolf hadn’t exactly fought that hard to get it back, had he?
James rubbed his thumb over the totem, watching Charlie go to the fridge and grabbing a beer before leaving him.
The vampire smiled at the human before returning his gaze out of the window and the smile turned into a determined, thin, straight line, his grip on the totem tightening.
Apparent the game was about to begin.
And he didn’t intend to lose.
“Why did he have to return?” Victoria growled, looking murderously at her pillow as if it had the fault of this tragedy.
Bella was silent, hugging her knees to her chest. She was completely torn. On one hand she was happy that Jacob had Edward back (and the fact that the wolf left with Edward to go to his home for the night said that they were going to try make their relationship work again)…but on the other hand it’d broken her heart when James had left to go back to his own home.
And then there was the little voice in the back of her head asking whether Edward was alone or if Alice and Jasper had returned…
Stop thinking about them!
She closed her eyes tightly.
“We were doing so fine with just the four of us!” Victoria continued to rant, now squeezing the pillow savagely. “My brother and Jakey were----the looks, the touches---they were getting so close! And then CULLEN had to show up and ruin everything!” She threw the pillow away. “It’s just not fair!”
She had a feeling everything was going to change from this point forth.
And she wasn’t sure it would be for the better.
Jacob was sleeping against him.
Edward couldn’t believe that he’d spent so long without seeing his wolf this way.
How had he managed to survive so long?
The vampire sighed.
They’d gotten here and talked, and kissed, and ran fingers over skin, but they hadn’t done anything else. And Jacob seemed to be exhausted, because he’d fallen asleep quicker than Edward remembered.
Then again, a lot of things had changed.
And it hurt him to realize how much Jacob had changed, had matured, since his departure, and that he hadn’t been here to see it, to help him. There was something about Jacob that hadn’t been there with Edward was there. He seemed more like an adult, his wolf stronger, more in control. He had authority over the vampire James, if his quickly obeyed command had anything to say about their relationship.
He smelt of Jacob.
Not…not intimately like Edward used to, but Jacob’s smell was all over the blonde vampire in a way that it wasn’t over the others in the house.
And it worried Edward.
Like it’d worried him when he’d watched them at the diner. There was a casual ease between wolf and vampire, touches were frequent and seemed to go unnoticed due to their familiarity. Smiles were often exchanged, sometimes mischievous and teasing but mostly tender. The rival vampire had flung his arm proprietarily around Jacob’s shoulders when they’d left, and had ridden on the wolf’s new, expensive motorcycle---which proved just how much Jacob trusted him by allowing him to ride behind him.
Edward had followed them stealthily, in shock at this development, and watched as the four reached a house in the outskirts of town that’d once been abandoned, but shone with obvious care of its inhabitants. He’d observed how the four had moved like one unit, the females hurrying to get what was needed in the home while the males guarded the two entrances, and then they’d left, this time to Charlie’s.
Edward had stayed in the back yard, trying to process all he’d seen, trying to get the courage to go knock on the door, to see Jacob face to face. He was trying to get the courage to look his boyfriend in the eyes and not tremble all over at the possibility of him being told it was over.
He’d been seriously contemplating kicking the tree in impotence when Jacob had come to him, and, of course, the rest was history.
Sighing, Edward leaned his head back against the headrest and looked up at the ceiling as he remembered the ease with which James touched Jacob and the way the wolf accepted those touches. And the thoughts---the vampire’s thoughts had been one angry, resentful, possessive jumble that’d attacked Edward’s brain furiously.
Words like: “Go away!” “Don’t touch him!” and “Mine!” had come charging out at him.
Golden eyes closed.
He held Jacob closer to him.
“Edward…” Jacob smiled softly in his sleep as he snuggled closer.
A small smile touched the vampire’s lips.
Tomorrow they had a lot they needed to talk about, but for right now he’d just enjoy the feel of his wolf in his arms once more, and the sound of his name being whimpered in Jacob’s sleep.