setting free the wolves (herumtreiber) wrote in jakeward,
setting free the wolves
herumtreiber
jakeward

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Breaking the imprint - 2/2

Title: Breaking the imprint - 2/2
Author: herumtreiber
Rating: NC-17
Pairing (Characters): Jacob/Edward, Edward/Bella, Jacob/Renesmee
Word count: 14,248 in total
Warnings: Bella bashing, NC-17, violence, character death, drama, and major plot twist.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, not me.This is not for profit, but for fun.
Summary: AU of Breaking Dawn part 2. Tradition holds that the imprint cannot be broken, right?


Part 1



"It can't be! God, don't let it be!"

I fell to the ground, overcome with loss.

There was a continuous yelling going on, and it took me a few seconds to grasp it was me. My chest ached at the realization that Jacob had died at the hands of the Volturi.

But the insistent pull of the wolf's warm thoughts just a few yards away on our lawn confused me. How could it be, when he had been in Volterra?

I shook my head, trying to clear my mind as the pandemonium near the house distracted me.

"Bella, calm down, please!" Alice said in a shrill voice, quite unlike her usual tenor.

My thoughts were swirling in such mad confusion that it took me far longer than it should have to realize I wasn't at the Volturi lair, that Jacob was alive and warm.

'Edward, please come and control your wife!' Alice shot me a glare, her hands tightened like a vise around Bella's chest. 'Unless you liked the vision you saw and want it to become reality?'

A jolt shot up my spine when I recognized the import of Alice's thoughts. The things I had just seen were but a vision of the future - and I could prevent Jacob's death.

I jumped over the balustrade and ran the few yards that separated us, my arms wrapping around Bella's cold torso. Just in time, too, because she had flung Alice away in her mad rage to hit Jacob.

"Let… me... GO!" she yelled, thrashing in the prison of my arms like a wild panther.

I twisted my neck to look at Emmett and Jasper, and then cocked my chin at her.

Emmett nodded curtly and made his way towards us, while Jasper puzzled his eyebrow in thought. A cool, peaceful sensation descended upon us and wrapped me in a safe cocoon.

Emmett nudged my shoulder to loop his arm around Bella's midriff while I nodded my thanks at Jasper. If his powers proved unable to affect Bella, they should work towards calming down Jacob. It was essential that the wolf see us as impartial in this fight, that he didn't feel abandoned and bereft in the middle of a sea of enemies.

For I had never been indifferent to his welfare, and the seeming years I had spent in the vision made me yearn to see Jacob smile once more.

Alice walked up to Jacob, who was standing in the lawn as he stared at us with mouth agape.

"You're fine?" She arched her eyebrow at the wolf.

Jacob glanced at the writhing figure of Bella, trapped between our bodies, and then shook his head as if to dispel a dream.

Alice motioned with her hand towards Seth and called over her shoulder, "Carlisle, someone needs your expertise."

"Of course." Carlisle ran towards the house to grab his medical bag.

"Let me go!" Bella kept shouting, until I turned her body towards my chest so the sounds were muffled against my shirt.

I looked at the wolf's chiseled face, furrowing my brow at the confusion in his thoughts. I had to find the correct words to ease the whirlwind of contradictory emotions that trapped him in the wake of his imprint breaking. I needed to find the key that would allow me to get close to him and ease the pain in his soul at the sudden disconnect from what he was used to.

Shrugging, I decided to take a leaf out of Jacob's book and use plain honesty.

"I'm sorry your friend was hurt, Jacob, I trust Carlisle will ease his pain."

"Bella shouldn't have done that, Seth did nothing to her!"

I noted the way his chest was heaving up and down. Then Carlisle rushed towards us and bent down to examine Seth.

"Of course he didn't," I said. "Let me apologize for not keeping an eye on her. You have to understand that Bella is a newborn, and her temper is out of kilter."

As if to prove me right, Bella kicked me hard in the shins at that moment.

Carlisle hooked his arms around Seth's waist and legs and gently picked him up, glancing at Jake. "I need to set his bones right, before they heal improperly. With his fast healing, Seth should be all right." Then he tilted down his chin to look at Seth's sweaty face. "If you're in too much pain, let me know and I'll give you more of the sedative."

"Take care of him, Doc." Jake nodded curtly at Carlisle.

Glancing sharply at Jacob's brow, puzzled with worry, I knew the path to take in order to ease his transition into this new phase. I had to appeal to his strong sense of duty. I hated to manipulate him, but I needed time to handle Bella.

"I hope Leah doesn't worry too much," I said. "Do tell her she's welcome at the house at any time, though I have the impression Seth will be able to spend the night at home."

"Leah! She's gonna be worried to death, better go and meet her halfway," Jake mumbled. "Thanks, man." He shot me a boyish grin that lifted my spirits before turning and making his way into the woods.

I tilted down my chin and glanced at her. "Bella, we have to talk."


oOoOo

"You want me to go away with my daughter while you stay behind?" Bella frowned as she clutched Renesmee to her chest in an awkward fashion. I guessed the fact that our daughter was more resilient and aware than normal babies was the only reason the baby didn't burst into tears.

"Exactly, Bella. This situation demands it; I've told you that Jacob's imprint broke," I said patiently, my gaze sliding towards Rosalie, who stood next to the bay windows.

"I knew Jacob's feelings for my daughter were shallow," she muttered. "A mother always knows best."

I had to shake my head at that. First Bella flew into a rage because Jacob unwillingly imprinted on Renesmee, and now that he had broken the imprint, she bemoaned his supposed lack of depth.

Bella was as mutable as the wind, and apparently there was no way on Earth she would be happy for long.

This was one of the reasons I wanted her away from me. I had hoped that when she was turned, she would develop more empathy in the same way I acquired the cursed gift of reading anyone's mind, or Rosalie's maternal senses sharpened, or Jasper got his empathy powers.

Bella, however, retained the same shallowness she had always had. She would remain so forever.

"Have you thought about Jacob's Quileute friends?" I said.

"What about them?" Bella shot back.

"With Jacob's imprint broken, they are not bound by their tradition to respect each other's imprints. They may feel free to punish our transgression of the Treaty," Alice said, her fingers rubbing the hem of her stylish black blouse.

"Alice…" I arched my eyebrow at her.

'Edward, let's deal with this situation first. Later I'll tell you what I think about the vision.' Alice shrugged minutely.

I nodded at her while Emmett snorted, nudging Jasper's elbow. "Hate it when they do their secret sharing."

Jasper narrowed his eyes at me, cocking his chin slightly towards Rosalie.

"Who cares about the dog?" Rosalie sneered.

That made me shoot out of the couch and walk towards her. I snarled, "Jacob has more humanity in his little finger than you will ever have, Rose!"

Rosalie glowered at me and then turned to gaze at the woods. "Seems you care more about him than your wife."

And that was the other reason I wanted Bella far away. After spending so much subjective time in the vision, warmed by the wolf's keen thoughts and lucid soul, I couldn't bear the thought of spending the rest of my existence living a banal life with Bella, caring only about fulfilling her selfish wishes.

"That was uncalled for, babe," Emmett pointed out. "You don't know what Edward thinks."

I stepped towards Bella and touched her shoulder. "I care about you and Renesmee, believe me, but I've come to the conclusion we should get a divorce."

"What?" Bella's eyes widened, her arms going slack. I leaned towards her, ready to pick up the baby if she dropped her.

She recovered her poise, though, and shot me a glare. "Why do you want to do that? I thought we were happy."

"Our daughter is a hybrid, Bella." I patted softly Renesmee's head. The child was an innocent that deserved every ounce of love my undead heart could muster.

I wanted her to grow up and become a centered, responsible woman. Most of all, I wanted a peaceful family life for Renesmee, the kind I enjoyed in Chicago with my parents. I certainly didn't intend to burden my child with the types of domestic squabbles I foresaw if I remained with Bella. No child deserved that.

I was convinced that when Jake broke the imprint, the repercussions rippled across many boundaries and freed me enough to change my relationship with Bella in ways I had yet to discover.

"You will have all the financial support you'll ever need." I promised her. "Plus the support of our extended network of friends. Why don't you spend time with the Denalis and talk things over with them?"

Bella had insisted in getting her way and having a daughter. If she seemed so intent in becoming a perfect mother, she should be able to take care of Renesmee on her own.

"Edward, I don't get you!" she scoffed, her face twisting in a grimace. "I should've listened to Jacob!"

"Fine, you want to know the real reasons?" I lifted my arms. "Do you think the Volturi won't get wind of her birth? Aro is so obsessed with power, I wouldn't be surprised if he went after the baby!"

"You really think so?" Bella said.

"Aro is certainly a most devious man," Carlisle said softly, his fingers drumming on the armrest of the leather couch. "And I must concur with Edward. If we remain in Forks, we'll act as a lightning rod and the Volturi will concentrate on us, leaving you and Renesmee alone. After all, it is Edward and Alice the Volturi really want."

Alice glided towards Bella, saying softly, "I'll go with you to the Denalis. You won't be alone, Bella."

Alice's eyes gleamed, and the set of her thoughts told me she was envisioning her future trips to the mall to buy yet another wardrobe for Bella so she would look her best to entice future suitors.

"I'm going with you, too," Rosalie said. "I want to hear Renesmee's first words and watch her grow up into a beautiful girl."

I nodded my thanks at my sisters. Their intervention would be crucial in convincing Bella this was a safe alternative for her and our daughter.

I certainly didn't want her to go and pester Jacob with her problems. Bella knew very well how to play the wounded card and get into Jacob's good graces again, as was her wont. The wolf didn't need the extra burden on his shoulders.


oOoOo

I felt too edgy to play the piano, though ideas for new compositions swirled in my mind.

I glanced down at the stack of CDs on the table. It seemed music wouldn't soothe my nervous tension tonight, so I made my way to the bookshelves and started rummaging through the science-fiction section. Jake's vision had called up a wisp of a memory, so I picked up several hardcovers by Isaac Asimov and made my way to the couch.

My fingers caressed the glossy cover of 'Robots and Empire' and then I cracked open the book to start reading. I dived into the story, and time passed swiftly.

A few hours later, Alice's thoughts alerted me of her presence.

She leaned on the doorway, her perfectly coiffed hairdo highlighting her elfin features.

'Let me share my observations about what happened.' She glided towards me and sat on the armrest of the couch.

I arched my eyebrow at her silence.

'Don't want to disturb Bella, she is feeding Renesmee.'

"Go on," I whispered.

Alice cradled her chin between her fingers, her pensive gaze fixed on the dark woods outside the windows. 'I've never been able to see Jacob or any Quileute in my visions until now. I was sure their shifting qualities, the genes that confer that advantage to them, shielded them from my view to protect them.'

"I see."

'Jacob is part of our lives in ways I don't understand, his imprinting on Renesmee being just the latest one. He appeared to be enthralled by you and Bella long before Renesmee was conceived, if you recall.'

"That is correct."

'I still don't understand what caused his imprint to break.' Alice sighed, her fingers rubbing the soft leather. 'Whatever the cause, when it broke, the bond that joins him to us recoiled. I don't know, some kind of …'

"Mystical energy?"

She waved her hand. 'Something like that. We got caught up in it, and it influenced my powers… made them stronger than ever for just that instant, allowing the vision to last so long.'

"Have you had more visions of him?"

'No, Jacob has gone back into concealment mode.'

"You call him…"

'Jacob, of course. I can't sneer at him any longer, having observed the vision.' Alice stood up and made her way to the door; she paused at the threshold and turned towards me, shooting me a brief smile. 'And I must get used to him, for the simple fact is that you have also disappeared from my visions, Edward.'

I went back to reading after she left and spent the night submerged in the stories which helped me in puzzling out the reasons for what had happened.

At the crack of dawn, Carlisle knocked softly on the door.

"Come in."

He strode into the room and stopped next to the windows. "Bella, Alice, and Rosalie are at the cottage, and Seth is safely at home. His shoulder has mostly healed. He'll probably sport bruises for a few days."

"Thank you. Did you meet Jacob?"

"He was at Sue Clearwater's, though I have to say he seemed a bit pale."

"Do you think he's all right? After all, he must be suffering the consequences of his imprint breaking."

"He's not alone. Billy was with him and so was Paul."

"Good," I said, though I couldn't help a twinge of jealousy at the thought of Paul near Jacob, since the vision had told me how much Jake cared for his friend.

"Edward, far be it from me to intrude in your private life, but would you care to share your reasoning for divorcing Bella?"

I put aside the book and glanced up at Carlisle. "Alice told you about her vision?"

Carlisle nodded slowly, and then he sat beside me on the couch. "I gather it was very intense."

I nodded slowly, a grin tugging up the corners of my lips. "Her powers got a boost when the imprint broke, and her vision allowed me to live in Jacob's head for what felt like years."

"It seems you found it intriguing."

"Why do you say so?"

"Your features are very relaxed, son," he said. "You have the same expression when you play the piano and are caught up in the melody."

"Anyway, during the vision I realized how special Jacob is." I craned my neck to gaze up at the ceiling, lost in the remembrance of what transpired in those years. "There's a warmth and nobility to his thoughts I haven't found anywhere else."

"I see." Carlisle nodded slowly and crossed his legs. "Coming back to your ordinary life must have been a shock."

"It's just that what Jacob went through jolted me, made me aware of many things I had overlooked in Bella." I tilted down my chin, my gaze sliding across the room.

"You found her wanting in comparison."

"I thought she might change after I turned her," I said with a sigh. "But it seems she won't ever change. She exasperates me a great deal with her obsession with Renesmee."

"Son, it's only natural. She is a mother."

"But Bella has never shown maternal instincts before," I said ruefully. "She's overcompensating for what she lacks. Take the imprint, for example. It was the perfect solution for Renesmee. Bella knew Jacob would be devoted to her daughter in the same fashion he was devoted to her, and yet she flew into a rage. Why?"

"I can't hazard a guess, Edward."

"Two simple reasons." I ticked them off with my fingers. "Because it took Jacob's attention away from Bella, and because she knew Renesmee would prefer Jacob in the long run."

"I can sympathize with Bella, son. That's a conundrum every parent faces."

"Esme accepted Bella with open arms, and so did you," I pointed out shrewdly. "Even Chief Swan accepted my courtship of Bella, though he couldn't stand me. Good parents put their children's welfare before their own, and Bella never once considered Renesmee's feelings when she manhandled Jacob."

"Let me play the devil's advocate in your argument, Edward, and point out that Bella is a newborn. Her emotions are all over the place."

"Bella was quite collected when she didn't drink from the man we found up on the mountain, and she was able to choose a logical course of action when she killed that mountain lion and not the deer."

"I see you have made up your mind about this," Carlisle said sharply.

"I have, Carlisle. I don't have it in me to tolerate Bella's whims any longer." I shrugged. "Perhaps when the imprint broke, it somehow affected me too."

I turned towards him. "Do you see why I have to divorce her? Bella is very willful, and we would argue endlessly over this and that; life would be hell for our daughter. Besides, I want to be free."

"To venture into another relationship?"

I slouched on the couch, feeling a jolt of desire run through my body. "I won't lie, Carlisle. I want to get to know Jacob better; what he went through made me see him through different eyes. I won't live a lie and sneak behind Bella's back, nor would I place Jacob or Renesmee in danger by doing so."

"I see, Edward." Carlisle nodded slowly. "There's a new maturity in you, and with the passionate way in which you have always spoken about Jacob, I can't say I'm that surprised."

"Thank you, Carlisle."

He stood up and went to the window, staring out at the waning moon with a somber expression. "In my work at the hospital, I've dealt with battered wives and neglected children. People often feel trapped in a hopeless marriage and can't seem to find their way out; sometimes I wish they were as lucid as you."

"I'm glad for your support, Carlisle."

"It's what a father does." He smiled ruefully. "Watch his children as they make mistakes, and be ready to help them to their feet if the situation calls for it."

I nodded slowly. "Do you think Bella will accept the divorce?"

"Bella is a reasonable woman." Carlisle put his hand on the doorframe. "She'll see is the logical solution. When she does sign the divorce papers, give them to me. I know a judge that will expedite the process."

"One of your acquaintances?"

"That's correct." He nodded. "As head of this coven, it is my job to be prepared for whatever happens."

Carlisle's words called to my mind Jacob's strongest drive, the reason he was able to break the imprint: his duties as the Alpha. This train of thought led me to what happened in the lawn; the events of yesterday seemed to have occurred years ago.

"Carlisle, if you are so prepared," I said slowly. "Why didn't you stop Bella when she was attacking Jacob?"

"It was a hard call to make, Edward, a confluence of my duties as father and head of the coven." He shot me a tired smile. "You see, I was hoping it would be you who would stop Bella."


oOoOo

The forest was quiet at the crack of dawn as I glanced up at the canopy of trees, wondering if I should jump and choose another vantage point. I had been coming to the boundaries of the Treaty lands for weeks, hoping to catch a glimpse of Jacob.

The wolf proved elusive, though. I could not divine the patterns of their patrols, and that left me frustrated.

I wrapped my arms around the thick trunk and made ready to jump into the higher branches, but then the earth trembled at the passage of a huge wolf dashing out of the copse of trees.

'Cullen, what the hell are you doing here?' Jacob huffed, his russet withers blowing in the breeze. I wondered if they were as soft as they looked, and then shook my head at the impatient way Jacob pawed the ground.

"I was waiting for you, actually." I grinned at him as I decided to take the bull by the horns. I knew one of Jacob's weaknesses was his curiosity and I planned to act on that. "I have a theory about why you broke the imprint."

'Oh, that's good.' He walked towards a tree and hid behind the trunk, the tip of his tail showing for the moment before he shifted. "Scented you around, and wanted to ask you about Nessie."

Jacob stepped from behind the tree, and I gulped at the sight of his broad shoulders, the miles of tan skin rippling on smooth muscles that tapered down to his slim waist, the perfectly cut v of his hips disappearing beneath the waistband of his shorts.

"Wolf got your tongue, Cullen?" Jacob flashed me a winsome smile as he strode confidently towards me, the dappled light shining down from the canopies bathing him in a soft glow.

"Sorry, I just…" I trailed off, unsure about how to proceed. It was funny that after living so much time inside Jacob's head, it felt awkward talking to him. Besides, I was afraid to say the wrong thing and ruin the mood.

"Nessie's fine, I hope?" He stopped a few feet away and extended his arm, palm flat against the rough bark of the tree he leaned on.

"She's perfectly fine. Rosalie was gushing about her first word." I smiled at the way my sister had babbled on the phone. "Turns out it was 'Rose.'"

"I bet Bella wasn't that pleased, huh?" Jacob raised his eyebrow before letting out a gusty laugh.

I had to smile at that because his enthusiasm was infectious "She won't have to wait long, Renesmee's learning fast."

I sighed at the sound of barking in the distance, knowing it was his pack mates calling him.

Sure enough, Jacob frowned and turned towards the copse of trees. "Damn! Paul sounds worried; gotta go, man."

"See you around, Jacob."

He walked deeper into the forest, stopping near a slim pine. "Cullen, I was wondering… next Saturday I'm free from patrol. Can you meet me at the Hard Rain Cafe?"

"Sure, Jacob." I managed to hide my smirk. "What time?"

"Nine sharp." He scuffled his feet on the soft loam. "Gotta go, Edward."


oOoOo

Jacob waved towards the outdoor table nearest the entrance. "Let's sit here."

He grabbed the chair and shot a smile at the waitress. "Hi, Patty!"

"Jacob, nice seeing you here!" She tucked a stray lock of her blond hair behind her ear and beamed at Jake. "The usual?"

"Sure, sure." The wolf sat and motioned towards me. "Edward will have the same."

I narrowed my eyes at the exuberant curves of the waitress, disliking the way she licked her lips at the sight of my wolf. The two appeared to enjoy their little chat too much for my liking, and unfortunately we were the only patrons at the moment. There was no one else to distract her.

"Hi, hon." Patty smiled briefly at me, and then tucked her notebook in the pocket of her apron. "You going to Second Beach today, Jake?"

"Nope, gotta lot of homework to do, maybe next week."

Cocking my eyebrow at him, I sat down.

Jacob waved his hand at the trees on Upper Hoh Road. "I usually come here and grab some sandwiches when I hike to Second Beach." He grinned at me, his fingers drumming against the rough wood of the rail to his left.

"But not today, due to your homework, Jake."

"Well, I couldn't just tell her I have patrol in the afternoon to flush out bloodsuckers, could I, Ed?" Jacob frowned.

I shook my head, realizing that being jealous wasn't conducive to getting things done. "Actually, I have something to tell you."

Jake grinned wolfishly at me. "You divorced Bella."

"How did you know? Someone in your pack heard?" My fingers toyed with the saltshaker.

"News travel fast, Edward." Jacob shook his head ruefully. "Quil went downtown and heard that girl, Jessica, crowing about it to her friends."

"I see. You appear to be taking it well."

"Gotta admit you two were the perfect couple, so I'm surprised." Jacob shrugged his broad shoulders.

"I expected you to fly into a rage on Bella's behalf," I said with a smirk.

"You forget I know Bella pretty well. She's hard to live with." He smiled self-deprecatingly. "I should know, given the way she launched herself at me the other day. Guess I can see things more clearly since the imprint broke."

"About that…" I trailed off when the waitress came with the food.

"Here you are, hon!" She smiled at Jacob as she leaned down to place the dishes on the table.

I bit back a growl at the way she arched her back, obviously displaying her breasts to entice my oblivious wolf.

When Jacob smiled at Patty and then dismissed her from his mind as he wolfed down the first sandwich, I couldn't help but bless Jacob's voracious appetite.

We sat in companionable silence while Jacob ate. I sneaked glances at him now and then, and finally pushed my plate towards him when he finished his last sandwich.

"Thanks, man." He flashed me a smile and picked up the sandwich to wave it at me. "Talking about the divorce, I used to believe that relationships were forever, you know?"

I nodded at him.

"That's the reason I wanted Bella to love me back," he mumbled. "Thought she was the one and only, and that there wouldn't be anyone else for me."

"It must have hurt a lot when she chose me," I said kindly.

"Sure did, Edward." Jacob laid down the sandwich on the plate and let out a sigh. "That's why I ran away when I heard about the wedding, couldn't believe I had lost the only girl for me. But these last few weeks, I've been wondering…"

I put my elbows on the table and leaned towards him, breathing in the woodsy scent of his cologne which mixed so well with the natural odor I no longer found disgusting. The glimpses I had from his inner mind during the vision told me that Jacob may have been discovering things about his sexuality.

He took a deep breath and plunged ahead. "I was too stuck on her and then Nessie. Breaking the imprint is like a divorce, you know?"

"I must admit I hadn't thought about that angle, Jacob."

"Yep, funny that both of us are starting anew. And then…" Jacob worried his bottom lip between his teeth in an unconscious sensual gesture.

"And?" I prodded him, my fingers reaching out to touch his wrist.

Jake shivered at the touch and tilted down his chin, busying himself with eating the remnants of the last sandwich.

I sighed and decided to lead the conversation towards less embarrassing topics.

"I found out the reason you were able to break the imprint." I fished out a paperback from the pocket of my jacket and put it on the table, pushing it towards him.

Jacob cocked his eyebrow at me and picked up the book. "Asimov?"

"That's right."

He flipped open the book and I reached out towards him to point at the lines in the third page.

He read them and then tilted up his chin to glare at me. "The fuck?... Robots? So it's not enough to call me a dog, now I'm a robot? Fuck you!"

He made to stand up but I leaned forward and grabbed his wrist. "I'm sorry, Jake. It's not my intention to insult you at all; I just want you to see." My thumb brushed against his soft skin as I whispered, "I care about you too much to make fun of the imprint; can't you see that?"

Jacob's chest heaved up and down as he scrutinized my face, gauging the intent of my words. Finally, he nodded shallowly and I let him go.

"Let me tell you my reasoning, ok?" I said, my words coming out in a rush. "I know Renesmee was the center of your life, just like Bella used to be. Those rules of robotics apply to the situation. You would have died in order to protect her, am I correct?"

Jacob nodded.

"You would have done everything she wanted. Later on, if Renesmee had asked you to leave her alone, you would have obeyed her, right?"

"If Nessie hadn't wanted me in her life, I would've obeyed her even if it tore me to pieces," Jacob said. "That's something Bella never understood."

"So those rules apply to you." I pointed at the book.

"Guess so," Jacob huffed. "But how do they explain breaking the imprint?"

"Carlisle and I went to a conference in New York City in the mid Eighties," I said. "Doctor Asimov was one of the panelists. He spoke at length about how he had devised a new rule, one that superseded the earlier ones, allowing his robots to have a semblance of free will."

"Just a semblance; figures," Jacob said with a scowl.

"Come on," I snorted. "They're robots after all, while you're the epitome of what a human is."

"Thanks, I guess."

I shot him a smile and launched into the tale with more confidence. "Anyway, this new rule Asimov devised? It had more weight because it didn't apply to a single man or woman, but to the whole of humanity," I said slowly.

"So?" Jacob frowned at me. "Edward, I fail to see the connection."

"The imprint bound you inextricably to my daughter. You had to cherish and obey her, see to her welfare; but then a circumstance arose which compelled you to get rid of the imprint."

Jacob sat up straight. "Bella broke Seth's shoulder! Couldn't let her get away with it, she hurt a pack member under my command."

"Exactly."

"So you're saying the imprint broke because it went against the nature of my wolf? Being the Alpha forces me to ensure the survival of the pack, and if being bound to Nessie works against that survival…"

"The more primal drive wins, and the imprint breaks."

Jacob sat in silence, mulling over my words while he sipped his cola.

Fortunately, he was so immersed in his thoughts he didn't notice the waitress approaching, or the glare I sent her way that had her scurrying away.

"How have you been?" I said to break the silence. "Have you adapted to the new situation?"

"Been fine, the guys and Leah have been a great help." Jacob glanced at me, lifting his eyebrow. "Now that Embry and Quil are part of my pack, I had to have a Beta, so I chose Leah."

"I see." I nodded encouragingly.

"Helps a lot, having a bigger pack. Lends me more weight when I talk to the Elders," he said, toying with the paper napkin.

"What do you talk about?" I lifted my hand. "If it's not sensitive information."

"Nope, it isn't. Matter of fact, it concerns you." Jacob reached his hand to touch my forearm, his warmth eliciting a shiver that ran through my body. "Managed to persuade the Elders that turning Bella wasn't a formal breach of the Treaty, since she was already dead due to childbirth."

"Thank you."

Jacob waved his hand. "No problem. Wouldn't want your family to go." He turned his head to hide his blush. 'Don't want you to leave.'

"I appreciate it, Jacob. I don't want to start anew somewhere else; this place has lovely memories for me." I drank the sight of the perfect line of his brows which led my gaze down the strong set of his jaw to his full lips.

"Talking about starting anew." Jacob looked at me sharply, unconsciously licking his lips. "Embry and I were talking the other day, and you won't believe what he said!"

"What did he say?"

"That you divorced her because you wanted someone else." Jacob lowered his gaze to the wooden table, a blush creeping up his slender neck.

Jacob's thoughts betrayed him, though. He was recalling his conversation with his friend in which Embry hinted I might be looking for a guy.

"Embry's perceptive, you know?"

"Really? So you're looking for a…?"

"Guy. Actually, I think I've found him."

Jacob looked at me intently, leaning forward while I did the same. I closed my eyes, anticipating our first kiss, but then his cell phone beeped.

I opened my eyes to see him raising his phone to his cheek. "Wassup, Leah?"

"Jake, hate to interrupt you, but Paul wants to talk to you. I think he's ready to join our pack."

"Good, I'm coming over right now."

I groaned in disappointment. We were so near!

After paying the bill, we made our way to the street and Jake opened his car door. His fingers gripping the handle, he turned to look at me. "I'm going to Second Beach next weekend; wanna come with me, Edward?"

"I'd love to, but that is Quileute territory. What will the Elders say?"

"Leave them to me," he said with a wolfish grin. "Perks of being the Alpha, you could say."

"Fine." I glanced at the café. "Esme will be glad to prepare us a picnic basket, so we won't have to come here."

"Whatever you say, man, whatever you say." Jake hopped into his car, a lopsided smirk on his handsome face. I frowned at the set of his thoughts which told me the sly wolf had been aware of my slight jealousy, after all.


oOoOo

"This is a wonderful place, right?" Jacob pointed at the two huge sea stacks that hid part of the ocean. Then he turned around to face me, pointing his hands north and south. For a moment, the sea and sky were contained in the space of his arms.

"Second Beach is not as wonderful as you." I teased him just to watch his cheeks bloom a darker red.

I propped myself up on my elbows, enjoying the play of colors cast by the setting sun, huge above the Pacific. The shades of burnished orange were a perfect background for the smooth russet skin of my wolf. The sea was calm, the waves lapping at Jake's bare feet a smooth counterpoint to the raucous gulls and oystercatchers that were our only company this Saturday.

Jacob's teeth flashed white as he beamed at me, stalking towards the huge blanket where I was.

He sat on his haunches near the picnic basket and peered inside. "Wonder what else Esme put in this thing," he muttered.

"It was hard enough to bring it here," I said. "Especially with the way you were groping me all along the hiking trail."

"Wasn't doing that on purpose, Edward." Jacob finally hefted a slice of pizza. "You looked hot is all."

I spread my legs, curling my toes into the soft sand. "And now that I've served my purpose, you don't pay attention to me."

Jacob waved the pointy slice at me. "Food first, you later."

"Whatever you say, Jake." I pillowed my head on my crossed arms, staring at the darkening sky. "I hope your pack don't interrupt us."

"Disconnected my phone," said Jacob between bites. "Though I'll have to phone Paul later to discuss our stay in the big city."

"Pack business?" I craned my neck to look at him, my mind burdened with the recollections of the vision. If Jacob was going to Seattle, he might meet an earlier version of that Joe guy, and if they were attracted to each other, Joe could try to entice him.

I had to find the way to go with Jacob. No one but me was ever going to ride him!

"You could say that. Paul's interested in a community college in the Portland area."

"Oh, I see." I breathed a sigh of relief at that.

Jacob brushed the crumbs off his shorts and walked up to me, crouching to straddle my waist.

"Hey man, why you look so angry?" he said, his pinky brushing my cheek.

"I don't want you far away from me." I looped my arm around his neck, pushing him down gently so our foreheads touched. "You might find another guy and leave me."

"Don't think so, Ed," he whispered on my ear. "You're the only one for me."

He nipped a trail down my cheek, nibbling on my lips until I opened them, my tongue lapping the seam of his mouth. The kiss was tender, though I couldn't refrain from jerking up my hips, our clothed arousals rubbing against each other.

Jacob trapped my moans in his mouth, his tongue battling mine while his hands gripped my hips. His warm body writhing over mine was paradise, and I shivered as his hand snaked between our chests and down my boxers to grasp my shaft.

I pulled him by up his arms, turning him around so I ended up straddling him.

My palms flat on his bulging chest, I gazed down at him, twisting my hips so his erection was cradled between my buttocks. "You want this, Jacob?"

"Gonna fuck you so hard you'll feel it for days!" He grabbed my waist, his fingers fumbling with the button. Then he lowered the zipper and hooked his thumbs around the belt loops of my pants.

"Promises, promises." I sat up so he could slip my boxers and pants off my legs, kneeling above him as I slid them off one foot and then the other onto the sand beyond the blanket.

Jacob licked his lips at the sight of my throbbing erection. I closed my thumb and index fingers around the shaft. "Bet you want a taste."

He nodded, his mouth watering while his fingers closed over mine, leaving the ghost of a hot trail on my cold, glistening skin. "You're thick, man. But first I want to wedge you open, fuck you so hard you come on my dick."

A spurt of precome leaked out of my slit at his words, and I leaned down to take off his shorts, making short work of the button and zipper. Jake shimmied his hips as I pulled them off his long legs and threw them far away.

The sight of his dark red meat made my entrance clench in need, and I hastened to lean down and pull the basket towards me, rummaging until I found the bottle of lube.

In a blur, I opened the cap and upended it over his dick, the thick liquid running down his balls to leave dark spots on the checkered blanket. Jacob fisted his cock, rubbing the lube all over the shaft until I batted away his hands, reaching for his dick and positioning it just right as I raised my hips.

"God, man. You look so hot." His raw voice made me grunt in answer as I lowered my hips, my fingers clutching his slick shaft. I groaned at the friction of his blunt head rubbing my rim, and then he thrust his hips upward, his cock head stretching me open.

The slow penetration burned at first, but this was Jacob's flesh inside me and I yearned for more. My insides felt warm due to his hot dick rubbing my walls as I sank down, impaling myself until my backside was flush with his thighs.

His fingers splayed on my chest, Jacob pinched my nipple between his thumb and forefinger as he thrust up into me.

He grabbed my hips, easily lifting me up and then letting me fall down hard; the delicious friction as he fucked me on his cock made me whimper low in my throat.

Jacob stared at me, sweat pearling his brow as I sat up slowly, and then slid down on his dick, my neglected cock bobbing around. Then he raised his knees to pull up his legs and cradle my body, sharpening the angle of penetration so his shaft rubbed my prostate, making me clench reflexively around him.

Keening, I rode his dick hard, bouncing up and down so fast, the motion caused the sand to flow beneath us and bunch up in the space next to the blanket.

"That's it; ride me, man!" Jake panted as he thrust up his hips, his hand caressing my flanks until it brushed my shaft. Jacob closed his fingers around my slick dick, his thumb swirling around the crown as he pumped into me hard and fast.

"Hold it just there!" I groaned.

The slick drag of his thick dick inside me, his crown stretching my rim as I sat up, and his cock jabbing my prostate when I arched my back meant I could not last long.

I came with a groan, my walls squeezing him so hard he grimaced. Nevertheless, my wolf kept fucking me, his jabs growing erratic as he neared his climax.

"Edward, you're so tight!" He groaned as he thrust up his hips and came, his hot seed scalding inside me before it leaked down from my hole to his balls. He closed his eyes and groaned at the tightness gripping him like a vise so I sat up, wincing when his cock slid out.

I rolled sideways and grabbed a towel from the basket, silently cleaning both of us while Jacob panted, his chest heaving up and down, his russet body enticingly covered by a sheen of sweat.

I laid myself alongside Jacob and he spooned me for a while, before moving over me.

I would never tire of his warm body covering mine, the scent and heft of him above me.

"Was it good for you?" he said with a tinge of doubt. I had to shake my head at that. Jacob feared his inexperience could be a stumbling block in our lovemaking, when I knew he would turn out to be a consummate lover.

Jealousy flaring in my chest, I resolved that he would get all the practice he needed just with me.

Jacob mistook my expression for doubt, and he leaned down to kiss me, his lips fluttering softly against mine in sharp contrast with the hard fucking he gave me.

He broke the kiss, his palm flat on my chest as he propped himself up to ask with hooded eyes. "Do you want this?"

"There's nothing more I want in this world." My voice was raw, guttural, stripped to the basics, for that was what Jacob had always done. Reduced me to essentials in anger, despair, and now in bliss.

I cradled his face between my hands, staring at those delicate and yet strong features, recalling the way they had twisted in anger when Jacob confronted me so many times in our past. I choked back a sob at the painful memory of him facing the Volturi in his last moments, defiance etched on his face as he looked death in the eye with such gallantry.

I had fallen in love with this exquisite man in the space of an eyeblink, in the timeless vision that spanned years. The beauty of his soul, coupled with the perfect body I yearned to possess, was my undoing.

"Marry me," I blurted out. Seeing the puzzlement in Jacob's face, I remembered his expression when the imprint broke, and I resolved that he would never again feel so alone and helpless if I could help it. With this realization came the need to lay myself bare to his gaze, to put all the cards on the table and start this journey with the candor and honesty Jacob deserved.

I placed my fingers on his lips. "Don't answer yet; there's something you have to know first. When the imprint broke, Alice had a vision of you."

Jacob shook his head. "I thought the pixie couldn't see me."

"She says the recoil from breaking the imprint increased her powers; the point is, she foresaw a course of action that led to… unpleasant things. The vision took a long time, and I lived those years through your eyes."

"Really?" Jacob laid his head on my shoulder. "What unpleasant things?"

"Bella dying, and then me, and you." I wrapped my arms around him, whispering over his head. "When I saw you die, it broke me in pieces. Be aware that you accept me, Jacob, I'll never let you go, for you are quinayalla, the person that binds me to this world and makes my existence worthwhile."

"Your soul I am, if you accept mine." Jacob kissed the hollow of my collarbone, licking a path up my neck that made my arousal throb in need. His hands framed my face as he peppered me with kisses. "Wanted to show you this place because this is where I come to recharge my energy and pray to Q'wati in my lonely despair." He nudged my chin so I faced towards the ocean. "The setting sun has seen me at my lowest. It is fitting to be here in this moment of joy."

"So you accept?"

"Yes, I'll be with you forever!" He rubbed his forehead against mine. "I've dreamed of this moment for so long, of having you by my side."

I splayed my hand on his soft cheek and drank the sight of him. "Your eyes show your soul, Jacob, warm as the earth and binding me completely, and I know the paths of our destiny will join in a straight line unto eternity."


THE END


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Tags: fanfiction
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