I woke up alone, which shouldn't have been surprising; when had I ever slept with someone else, except for maybe Ani when she had been younger? Yet that didn't change the fact that the lack of another presence was saddening, even though it shouldn't be. And it was all because of him.
I had fallen asleep on him last night, despite my best efforts, which explained why I was lying the wrong way up; my feet were just shy of the pillows, my head inches from the end of the mattress. But I knew for a fact that it wasn't me who'd pulled the blankets over my body, and it made me smile to know that Jake cared enough to do it for me. Jake, who if I wasn't mistaken, was strangely close right now. Not in the house, but not far off it either; and I couldn't help but wonder why.
Curiosity and anticipation making me eager, I showered and dressed fast, pulling on my usual jeans and boots, and pairing them with a sleeveless blue top. Letting my hair hang loose as it always did, I stepped out of the bathroom; only to find myself almost walking into a happily grinning Ani sat on the floor right outside.
'Ani, what are you doing?' I asked with a laugh, carefully stepping over her and crouching by her side. Now that I'd taken a second to properly look at her, the answer to my question was obvious; there were only about a hundred wooden blocks scattered all around her, an impressive tower being built in the centre of it.
'I'm making a castle.' She declared proudly, her nose scrunching adorably in concentration as she place yet another block on the slightly swaying pile. She clapped happily when it didn't fall over, and I smiled, tugging on her hair gently and making her giggle.
'It's very impressive.' I replied, and she nodded vigourously.
'Yep. I'm gonna build it as tall as the sky.' She said, and I laughed softly, standing up carefully as her attention once again fixated on her 'castle'. Walking into the empty kitchen, I snagged an apple form the fruit bowl, munching on it happily as I made my way through the house. Just like yesterday, I had slept through the morning, the house bright with daylight as I headed to where I could hear Sera; only to find myself freezing in my tracks as I got a look through the lounge room window.
Sitting just outside our house, all alone on the grass, was a motorcycle.
But more importantly, it wasn't my motorcycle. Mine was sitting in a garage back in Seattle, and this one most obviously wasn't. Yet I couldn't stop myself from back tracking my steps, heading out the front door to have a closer look, because if there was one thing I loved, it would probably be a motorbike.
I'd never had an overt fondness for cars, but bikes were a completely different story. It was the closest thing I'd found to giving the exhilarating sensation I got from running, but while sprinting at inhuman speeds wasn't something I could do in public, riding a motorbike certainly was. The wind tearing at your clothes, the adrenaline, the speed; it was wonderful. Addictive too; ever since I'd first learned to ride one, I hadn't been able to use anything else.
So when I caught sight of the one sitting outside the house, I couldn't help but grin. It was an overcast day, but the bike still shined in what little light made it through the clouds, sleek and black against the green and brown of the surrounding woods. Making my way over to it, I grew sure that my guess of the owner was correct; Jake's scent was all over it. Which begged the question: what was it doing here?
I could be wrong, but I was pretty sure I'd never mentioned anything to Jake anything to do with motorbikes; yet here it was. Was it just coincidence? I guess I would have to find out.
Surprisingly, while his was bike was here, and while I could feel he was close, Jake was nowhere to be seen. I was sure he had a reason, one that I was eager to know, but the temptation to take a closer look at the motorbike was growing stronger by the second. He wouldn't mind if I looked at it, would he?
I didn't quite know what had driven me to park my motorbike outside Thea's house. It wasn't really the imprint; it didn't give me directions, but rather feelings. But when I'd walked past the garage this morning, I had been consumed with an urge to show it to her, and after simply shrugging, I decided to do just that. Quil and Embry thought that it was crazy I was now taking orders from instincts and feelings without any reasoning behind them, but since I'd only know Thea two days, and had already spent the last two nights at her house, the couldn't really say anything. They were, however, very curious to see what her reaction was going to be; leaving the three of us just inside the tree line surrounding the house, waiting.
'You lucky bastard.' Embry cursed softly at me for about the fifth time today, making me grin. I was forced to duck his punch as his fist hurtled towards my head, and he snarled as he missed; again. There were advantages to being the alpha, and being the fastest and the strongest came in handy a lot.
'How? How is it that you knew her all of one day – one! – and you were already pretty much making out in the closet? Or you would have been, if you hadn't broken it off because you had a feeling.' This fact had been annoying Embry mercilessly for the last 24 hours, and it was safe to say he thought I was an idiot. But then again, he didn't have an imprint; he didn't know how different it was. It wasn't that I hadn't wanted to; I would have been more than happy to kiss her again, and again, in that closet, because the feel and taste of her was intoxicating. But I had stopped for a reason, and though I didn't know what that was yet, last night had given me an indication that I probably wouldn't like it. However, I was distracted from my thoughts by the loud crack that resulted from Embry kicking a nearby tree a little too hard, his expression one of annoyance.
'I can't believe we thought Paul got with his girl fast. It took him what, a month? You make him look slow as hell.' I shrugged at that, my eyes flickering back to the house as I felt Thea wake; finally. The other two easily caught the movement, Quil straightening against the tree he was leant against, exchanging a look with Embry.
'Bets, Emb?' Quil asked.
'Nope. Jake's on a lucky streak, so I'm sure as hell not betting against him, and I doubt you are either.' Quil nodded. 'Besides, I already lost 10 to Jared over the kiss yesterday.' Embry said unhappily, and I couldn't resist a grin; the pack was having a great deal of fun betting on Thea and I, with me being the only wolf that hadn't.
'You sure you don't want in Jake?' Quil asked.
'Nah. I've given up on trying to predict her.' I replied with a mixture of concern and amusement, and Quil gave me a sympathetic look.
'You shouldn't worry so much, Jake. Judging by the way she nearly sliced your head off last night, she's got herself pretty well covered.' He said quietly, and I sighed.
'That's what–' I cut off mid-sentence, grinning at the mix of surprise and happiness that suddenly flowed through the imprint bond. 'She found it.' I said, my concern from just moments ago gone as my eyes fell on the front door. Just seconds later, Thea came walking out, eyes trained on my bike and a curious expression on her face. She paused just a metre away from it, a small smile on her face, before her eyes moved away to glance around her.
'She's looking for you.' Quil said quietly, and I smiled again. I could feel her searching for me through the bond, and I liked the feeling; it was always nice to be wanted, especially by her. There was eagerness too; she liked the motorbike, more than I would have expected. I really wanted to go over there and ask her about it, but at the same time, I wanted to watch her, and that was easier done from here. Shifting against the tree was I leaning against, I decided not to move; which was good, because Thea had turned her attention back to the bike and was looking at it like it was an early Christmas present.
She crouched down beside it, running her hands over the wheels and engine in a practiced way; a way that told me that this was someone who knew what they were looking at. The thought made me grin; if I hadn't already liked her, I would have now. Especially since she'd just swung herself onto it, looking and feeling so at home and happy that the imprint was practically thrumming with her emotions; and my contentment and satisfaction at seeing her there.
She was running her hands over the handlebars now, brushing her hair out of the way as she peered at the instruments. The wolf was practically purring in contentment watching her, and was telling me to go over there right now, because the only way she would look better was if I was sitting there with her. I agreed, of course; because while she looked stunning at the moment, the imprint always, always wanted to be closer to her. But I decided to wait, wait just a few more seconds, because unless I was mistaken–
'Is she doing what I think she is?' Quil asked in slight disbelief, as we all watched her lean over the bike to reach down to the wires hidden beneath and around the front wheel. She fiddled with it for maybe half a minute, before the three of us heard the quietest sound; the ticking over of the engine.
'She's hotwiring my bike.' I said with a smile and a laugh. And I'd thought seeing her sitting on my bike was good; this was so much better.
'Dude, that's so hot.' Embry said, sounding shell shocked. I growled at him, but he just glared. 'Oh come on, like you don't agree.' He retorted, and I opened my mouth to reply; only to be cut off and drowned out by a loud and furious revving sound as the engine roared to life.
'Holy hell, she did that in less than a minute.' Quil said, staring at her in amazement. I just grinned even wider, while Embry muttered something beneath his breath about wanting a woman who would hotwire his bike. I wasn't paying much attention to him though; curiosity was killing me, because I desperately wanted to know when exactly she had learnt to do that. The imprint didn't care; the imprint just wanted me over there, because it was past time I was back at her side.
And so with a quick muttered goodbye to Quil and Embry, I was slipping through the trees towards my motorcycle; and the woman who was currently sitting on it.
It wasn't long after I'd gotten the motorbike's engine alive and thrumming that I finally felt Jake move towards me. My eyes found him just in time to watch him emerging from the tree line, his smile visible from here as he walked over in jeans and a t-shirt. He didn't look at all annoyed to see me on his bike; quite the opposite. He was pleased, so pleased, the feeling making me smile with happiness of my own.
But my contentment reached a whole new level when he swung onto the bike behind me, my back pressed against his chest as his hands moved around me to rest ever so lightly on my hips.
'Did you just hotwire my bike?' He asked softly and with a quiet laugh, his head over my shoulder and hot breath on my ear making me shiver. I nodded as I hummed in response.
'Maybe.' I replied with a smile, and he laughed again, the slight shaking of his chest behind me wonderful.
'Do I want to know why you learnt how to do that?' He questioned, and now it was my turn to laugh.
'Not to use on other people's motorbikes, if that's what you're thinking. I only do it to my own; I never seem to have the keys when I need them.' Another laugh from him.
'You have a bike?'
'Yes.' I said with a smile. 'It's quite similar to yours, actually, except yours has a few modifications. Did you do that?' I asked, and I felt his momentary surprise before he responded.
'Yes. I'm surprised you noticed.'
'I was hotwiring it, remember?'
'I remember.' He said with a laugh, the sound deep and rich in my ear.
'How fast does it go?' He grinned.
'Why don't we find out?'