6 Weeks Later
The rumble of thunder that rent the air was audible even through the roar of the motorbikes engine. I couldn't help but grin as I glanced up at the stormy sky above, the almost black clouds enormous and everywhere.
It was going to rain.
The thought made me irrationally happy. It didn't make sense, but I loved the rain. There was something about the smell of it, the feel of it, that never failed to excite me. However, it was a love that Jake didn't quite understand; behind me on the bike, I felt his amusement at my joy.
You know that if it rains, we're going to get wet, right? He asked me through our minds, his voice in my head slightly exasperated. I laughed.
Of course. That's the best part. I replied indignantly. Jake sighed, not agreeing.
For you, maybe. But I don't think my bike will like it very much. I couldn't help but laugh at that. In the six weeks that had passed, I'd figured out that Jake really liked his motorbike. And his car. And pretty much anything with an engine.
You know sometimes, I wonder if maybe you like your bike more than me. I teased. He chuckled quietly.
Not likely. He replied, before turning serious. I'll never love anything more than you. He said tenderly, his left hand wrapping around mine as he laced our fingers together; though not before pausing to gently touch the ring I wore on my fourth finger.
My engagement ring.
It had been two weeks, and I still wasn't used to seeing it there. Neither was Jake. He seemed to take any chance possible to touch it, to look at it, to make sure it hadn't moved. As if it ever would; I hadn't yet taken it off. It was too beautiful, too important. A symbol that Jake loved me, and I loved him.
That was something else I hadn't quite gotten used to; being in love. Having someone love me back. Hearing him tell me was something that never failed to make me beam. After years – decades – spent alone, suddenly I wasn't anymore. I had Jake. He had me. And it was glorious. Everything seemed so much better with Jake by my side. And he was there all the time, every morning and every night, every hour of every day. I had all but officially moved in with him; the only thing not making it final was the fact that I still had belongings in Seattle.
Though they wouldn't be staying there much longer. That was where we were headed right now, speeding down the 305 highway through a mix of industrial and suburban buildings on the outskirts of the city. I had lived in Seattle for years and years, moving from one side to the other to avoid revealing my secret. It was a city I knew like the back of my hand; it was effortless to direct Jake through the masses of roads until we pulled up in a deserted street of storage lockers, just as yet another loud crack of thunder echoed threatening above us.
'Don't tell me this is where you live.' Jake said as he swung off the bike, holding my hand as he helped me off after him. I gave him a flat look.
'Of course not. This is just where I keep all my stuff.' I replied, pulling a key from my jacket pocket, and unlocking the nearest roller door.
'Stuff?' Jake asked. I moved to lift the door, but he gave me a firm look and did it for me, easily hauling it upwards.
'Yeah, stuff. Including–' I stepped forward to flick on the light. 'My motorbike.' I breathed happily.
The garage style space had boring concrete walls, and almost the entire room was stacked with dozens upon dozens of cardboard boxes. The only free space was right in the middle; the spot I carefully reserved for motorcycle. I couldn't help but smile at seeing it, quickly moving forwards to crouch beside it and look it over. I'd never been this long without it before, and leaving it abandoned in a shed for two months could have done god knows what to the engine. But, to my pleasure and relief, it rumbled to life just as usual. I grinned even wider hearing the familiar roar, which made Jake laugh.
'And you think I'm obsessed.' He said teasingly.
'Hey! I'd like to see you go two months without yours.' I challenged.
'You had my bike instead.' He pointed out, but I shook my head.
'It's not the same.' I replied, but I couldn't stop myself from grinning as a new thought occurred to me. 'When we head back, we'll have to have a race. Find out whose is better.' Jake laughed again; our motorbikes were the only thing we ever argued over.
'You know I'm going to win, right?' I looked over my shoulder to throw him a fierce look.
'Not likely.' I retorted, and I heard Jake laugh as he stepped towards me, pulling me to my feet. In a movement that had become instinctive, he rested a hand on my hip. The stubbornness from just seconds earlier was gone; neither of us could ever stay mad – or even jokingly mad – at the other for long.
'We should finish bickering over this later.' He said with a smile. 'As I understand it, we have better things to do.' I grinned. Jake was right. There were lots of things I wanted to show him now that we were finally here; I hadn't spent almost two weeks persuading him for nothing.
It seemed we had perfect timing, because not five minutes after Jake and I started walking arm and arm through the streets – having safely parked his bike in the garage – it started to rain. I sighed in contentment as the drops started softly falling, shivering happily as trails of water began to stream down my body. Jake was smiling too, and at first I thought it was just because I was happy; because of the imprint, our emotions always seemed to mirror each other's. But, when he spoke just seconds later, I discovered the real reason.
'You know what this reminds me of?' He asked me as we kept walking. I glanced up at him with a soft smile.
'The time we ran in the rain?' I replied, and he grinned.
'I was thinking more of what happened after that, when you took me back to your house. And, somehow, I ended up kissing you in the closet.' I matched his reminiscent smile with one of my own, snuggling into his side.
'I remember. You snuck up on me.' Jake laughed.
'I'd say sorry, but I'm not. I like surprising you.' He said fondly, his eyes sparkling; that was all the warning I needed. Because the second he finished speaking, he was jerking us both to a stop, and his lips were softly finding mine. And I knew it was meant to be a quick kiss, short and sweet because the purpose was him trying to be unpredictable, not him trying to make me melt. But nowadays, there didn't seem to be such a thing as short kiss anymore. Neither of us could bring ourselves to stop, to pull away, once we were touching.
So even though we were now standing in the middle of the street, in the middle of the rain, I didn't care. I didn't care that everyone could see us, and that the way I was plastering myself against him probably wasn't that appropriate for being out in public, because there was only him. Only Jake.
And there would only ever be him.
I wasn't sure how long we spent kissing in the rain, but by the time we managed to tear ourselves apart, we were running late. And though I knew David probably wouldn't really care, that didn't stop us from running the rest of the way to the South West Seattle Police Station. The boring concrete and brick building had intimidating bars on the windows that I knew were just for show, and fortunately didn't have any security outside, because I was sure they would have been suspicious of us. After the adrenaline of the run – though we'd had to keep to human speed – I was alive with energy, and couldn't stop myself from laughing wildly as Jake swung me in a circle, pecking me softly on the lip as he set me down on my feet.
'I think I won again.' He said smugly, grinning down at me. I tried to pout, but it was ruined by my smile.
'You always win.' I replied, shaking my head to get rid of the droplets of water clinging to my face. Flicking my hair over my shoulder, I moved to ring the water from the dripping tendrils… only for another, far larger pair of hands to beat me to it. I laughed softly as Jake ran his fingers through the soaked strands, squeezing long trails of water from my dark brown hair.
'Are you ever not going to take a chance to play with my hair?' I asked curiously, and he smiled.
'Nope. I like it too much.' He replied, brushing it off my forehead. I shook my head slightly, bemused, and took his hand.
'Come on. I have someone I want you to meet.'
I couldn't stop myself from raising my eyebrows as we paused in the doorway to David's office.
'I don't think I've ever seen you read anything so intently before.' I said, and he glanced up, letting the thick stack of papers fall onto the already messy desk. 'You never came across a desk job kind of man.' He grimaced, standing up to make his way over to us.
'I never thought I was either. And yet, here I am.' He said, shaking his head before pulling me into a hug. 'It's good to see you.' He said with a grin, which I mirrored.
'Same. It's been what, almost half a year now?' He shrugged, giving me a flat look.
'Hey, you're the one that remembers this kinda stuff, not me. Which meant I was really surprised when you called me last week. What happened to just appearing out of nowhere?' I laughed.
'Next time maybe. But today, I wanted you to meet someone.' I moved back a step next to Jake, who took my hand. 'Jake, this is David. David, this is my fiancé Jake.'
Just as I'd known they would, David and Jake got along perfectly. You never would have guessed they'd met just minutes beforehand, not by the way they were bantering and joking, their deep booming laughs ringing through the room. But though I'd been sure they'd get along, I couldn't stop myself from grinning widely as I saw it in person. I knew Jake and I were perfect for each other, but it was still wonderful to see him so easily fitting into my life, just as I so easily fitted into his.
After years of being alone, I now not only had Jake, but the pack as well. The pack, who after just a few weeks, were already like the large family I'd always wished for but never had. Quil and Embry were pretty much Jake's brothers, and now they were mine as well. Then there was Leah, the only other supernatural woman I'd been able to get close to; the list of things we had in common was almost never-ending. And then – most importantly – there was Billy, Jake's dad, who was thrilled to have me suddenly living with him even though we'd barely met. He was wonderful, so easy to talk too, so welcoming; everyone was.
And best of all, there were no secrets. It was almost weird not lie, after so many years of having to hide. It was hard, at first, to get rid of decades of habits to make sure I never acted anything but human. But now, though… now, I was free.
We must have talked for more than two hours before Jake and I finally managed to leave the building. And even then, we weren't quite gone, since David was leaving too and had walked out with us. David, who was asking us a question just the second before we started off down the street.
'Hey, how did you two get here anyway?' I grinned.
'Motorbike, of course.' He rolled his eyes at my reply.
'Of course.' He said with a chuckle, before frowning. 'Isn't your bike too small to hold both of you? Jake here's so tall he probably counts for two people.' I wanted to retort against the jibe against my bike, but Jake spoke first.
'Oh, we didn't come on hers. We came on mine.' David stared in surprise for a moment, before laughing loudly.
'Ha, no wonder you like him so much Thea. He's exactly your type.' I raised my eyebrows at that.
'I didn't know I had a type.' I said with confusion. It was true; before Jake, I'd never been serious with anybody, been in love with anyone. It was too hard. Too hard when I was lying about everything important, too hard when I knew it would never work. Yet, David just grinned.
'Well you didn't. But a man with a motorbike and who looks like he could kill someone with just one punch certainly suits you.'
Jake and I spent the rest of the day in a joyful haze. After David's parting comment about how much Jake and I suited each other, I couldn't stop smiling and gazing at him, while he unashamedly gazed back. It was hard to pay attention to everything around us; I didn't even know the name of the cafe we'd stopped at for a late lunch, because I'd been too preoccupied eating the grapes Jake was feeding me, his wonderfully warm fingers brushing against my lips. I knew we'd stopped at a nearby park, but I couldn't remember why, or anything about it except that Jake had kissed me on the bridge over the small lake.
And it was the same for most of the other places we visited; I was too consumed by Jake to remember, to even process, half of what was going on around me. It was probably a good thing that we decided to return to my old apartment to change out of our stiff, now dry clothes, because pretty much the instant the front door was closed, Jake had me pinned against the wall, his lips searing as they met my own. He kissed me until I could hardly breathe, my exhales heavy pants when we finally broke apart.
'I think Embry's right.' I gasped softly. 'We're like love crazed teenagers that can't keep their hands of each other.' He grinned, his forehead touching mine.
'We're not teenagers. But I definitely can't stop touching you.' He breathed, pressing a soft but melt-worthy kiss across my lips. I sighed, reluctantly pulling back to whisper a reply.
'I can't stop either. I think I love you too much.' I mumbled, my mouth so close to his that our lips brushed as I spoke. Jake's eyes were fierce as he responded.
'There's no such thing as loving too much.' He said fiercely. And then he was kissing me and I was kissing him, and all thoughts of speaking were thrown away; there was only us. There was only him and me, his skin against mine, my lips glued to his. And that was all that mattered. Nothing else was important, as long as we were together.
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