Imprinting (and Other Disasters)

By amep

Romance / Fantasy

Snapping Back to Reality

(POV - Jacob)

Lara's aunt and uncle, Clare and Tommy, came to pick her up later that evening. Watching her leave that first time made me feel like my heart was going to burst through my chest and go with her, but I knew I would see the center of my universe again soon. She had given me her cell number, after all. Lara was a little shocked to learn that I did not have one, but small fragile objects that were intended to be with you at all times didn't mix too well with wolf rage. I gave her the house line instead.

Clare and Tommy had come in to chat with Billy for a few minutes before heading back over to Sappho, during which time Billy seemed pretty happy and sociable. Apparently they all had met at a few events at the school in the past. His demeanor took a slight down turn once they all left and we were alone.

"There was a fight last night after you ran off, which was very irresponsible and inconsiderate." Billy stated as he turned his wheelchair from the front door to face me directly. I looked at the floor, feeling guilty about worrying him again. I hadn't exactly been back for very long since the last time… No doubt he had felt hurt at the news.

"Sam's pack was prepared to destroy every member of the Cullen family, as well as Leah and Seth, until Seth came forth to announce that he had imprinted. There seems to be a lot of that going around these days. Though, I must say that I am happy for you, Jacob. Happy and relieved." Billy's temperament had started to take an upward turn again by the time he finished. He was smiling ever so slightly.

I was a little hung up on what he'd said about Seth. "Wait, Seth imprinted? Who–" Though there was only one answer that made any sense…

"Renesmée. Bella and Edward's daughter." Billy was looking at me with contemplative face. At first I wasn't really processing the information. Something wasn't clicking for a moment or two. Then all at once I started laughing.

Billy seemed skeptical and not amused. "What on earth is so funny, Jacob?"

I took a moment to compose myself because it was just too perfect. "I'm sorry, Dad," I managed before another laugh escaped. "But don't you see the irony? All this time we've been trying to uphold this treaty. And now it doesn't even matter. Wolf law says a wolf cannot harm another wolf's imprint, and by extension their imprint's family. It was just all so… pointless." I couldn't help but retain a small smile. A day full of the facial expression makes it difficult to stop.

Then I thought to ask, "Has Bella… changed?" An ache fluttered through my stomach at the thought.

Billy shook his head, "No… Not yet, at least. I am told the process takes some time. But she is stable." Billy obviously did not like the idea of Bella being turned, no more than I did. "Seth and Leah are still with the Cullens. You should be with your pack, Jacob. There is still a great deal of anger in Sam and the others. You will need to resolve your differences given the circumstances, though I admit it could take time."

I nodded solemnly in agreement. "I'll go now." I started for the door as Billy rolled himself farther away from it. "I'll be back though, Dad. You don't have to worry about me running off again like I did…" I said turning back, feeling guilty. Rachel had been staying with us for a little while since she graduated Washington State University, but it had just been Dad and I for so long with Rebecca having gotten married to that surfer dude and moving out to Hawaii as soon as she could after mom died that we were closer to each other than anyone else in the family really.

Billy turned to me and smiled, "I know, Jacob. Like I said before, I'm relieved that you have found Lara. I can see the positive change she is already having on you. Good luck, and send Seth my congratulations as well."

I half smiled back at him, "Thanks, will do."

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my shorts weren't completely drenched by the time I'd reached the Cullens' house, phased back, and put them on. The rain had let up to a very light drizzle when I'd left my house. Edward was waiting for me at the door.

"You too?" He asked, almost incredulous. Lara had scarcely left my mind for a second. It seemed that Edward scarcely left mine for a second either when I was around, but that was completely different and increasingly irritating. Still, I couldn't hide the half smile that escaped.

"Yeah…" I looked at the ground off to the side as my mind wandered to Lara and the day we'd spent together, the smile fully spreading in spite of everything.

Despite Edward's best efforts to smile back he looked nauseatingly pained. "I'm glad for you, Jacob. Come in, there is someone I'd like for you to formally meet." He said, handing me a towel and a black t-shirt.

I followed Edward off the porch and into the house, quickly drying my upper body and donning the shirt in the process. "How is she?" I asked once over the threshold. I could hear the faint thumping of Bella's rapidly beating heart somewhere upstairs.

"The venom is taking its course. Carlisle believes she'll wake in a few days." He sounded worried.

"What do you mean 'believes'? Did something go wrong?" Of course something had gone wrong. Bella is changing into a bloodsucker for fuck's sake. I meekly tried to hide my anger, but I was still upset and had every right to be. Even though I'd found my reason for living doesn't mean I stopped loving Bella. It now just felt like the kind of love I felt for my family and pack; that of a brother for a sister. But this was Edward and around Edward no mind was private, except for Bella's. A fact that seemed to become more and more dismaying to him with every turn events.

"She's so still…" it looked like the leech was choosing to ignore my mental outburst. "The turning process is extremely painful, Jacob. It seems like she doesn't feel anything, but Carlisle says that is the morphine working."

For her sake I hope so… I thought. "So all we can do is wait and see."

Edward only nodded in reply. I was lead to the living room. Rosalie was sitting in an armchair bouncing a laughing Renesmée on her lap. A thin tuft of bronze hair covered the infant's head. I saw Seth sitting cross-legged on the floor begging, "Let me have her back, Rosalie. You've had her a long time!"

"It's only been a few minutes!" Rosalie said to him sharply. "I can't get enough of my beautiful niece." Rosalie nuzzled the baby's belly, which only elicited more laughter from both of them. I glanced at Edward, who watched his daughter with a mix of love and sadness. In that moment I found it hard to not feel bad for the thing I loved to hate. Looking back at Seth I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep that attitude up for too much longer. Seth's imprinting on the leech's daughter, who may or may not be a leech herself, had by some extension made the Cullens family. Talk about your dysfunctional family drama…

Seth had a hurt look on his face as the blonde one dismissed him. "But… I miss my Nessie…" he stated, crestfallen. Yep, definitely imprinted. I hope I didn't look like that hopeless around Lara…

"Lara? Is that her name?" Edward interrupted my thoughts. I shot an annoyed look in his direction. Blondie looked up at me with her usual death glare while Seth jumped up and ran over to me like a lost puppy.

"Jake, you're back! You missed a lot! Sam's pack tried to come demolish all of us, but I… I imprinted so they couldn't do anything. He's pissed though he said they'd leave us alone. Leah doesn't believe him so she's out running while everyone else is out hunting even though I told her they can't do anything. I think she's just wants a good excuse to rip Sam's head off…"

Seth was spouting off the report for me at a million miles an hour before I decided to interrupt him. "Slow down Seth! Dad told me all about it. He says congrats, and same from me. As for Sam, that's something we'll need to work on. We can't have such a rift between the packs."

Seth nodded and looked at Edward. "Who's Lara?" He asked confused.

Edward looked back at me, sad smile chiseled in stone, "Would you like to break the news, Jacob?"

For some reason I found myself blushing. I stuck my hands in my pockets as that stupid goofy grin started taking over my face again at the thought of her. "Lara's my imprint."

Seth's eyes widened as did his smile, "You too? How? When?" He asked excitedly.

I began to tell him all the details about the day I'd had before coming here, and Seth told me everything about Renesmée and the first time he saw her. He'd rushed back to the house after I'd told him off last night to see what was happening, as I hadn't exactly given out very much detail during my miserable state. "I just had to go into the living room for some reason… Like I was being pulled there, by something I couldn't see. And when I saw her in Rose's arms, it was like I forgot anything else was in the world…"

We spent a good time fawning of our own imprints to each other, like two middle school girls gossiping over which guys they liked, which made part of me feel really stupid, but a bigger part of me just didn't care. Blondie "let" me hold Nessie for a bit, after Edward insisted. A faint fluttering sound grew louder as it was handed to me.

Nessie was as pale as any vampire. I was shocked to find that she felt warm, and realized that the fluttering sound was her heartbeat. The little bit of hair she had was the same color as her father's: bronze with a slight wave that looked like it would turn into a curl once it grew out a little more. But her eyes were her mother's: light brown, the color of milk chocolate and unnaturally focused on my own. I noticed that her cheeks had a slight rosy glow to them. A small hand reached out and touched my face, and I was stunned. An image flashed across my mind of me refusing to take her from her father when she was born. "…throw it out the window…" I winced, withdrawing out of her reach.

"She seems to have the ability to communicate her thoughts through touch." Edward explained before I could even ask. Seth had forgot to warn me about that little trick.

"You need to stop doing that." I said, irritated.

"Sorry, Jacob, but you have a loud mind. It is difficult for me to tune it out." A hint of resentment in his tone.

"My apologies. I'll try to think more quietly." Sarcasm. I added silently, though I doubt it could have been missed even if I hadn't added the mental footnote.

I felt Nessie's tiny fingers reach for my face again and leaned down a little so her palm was flush against my face. She sent me a picture of Bella covered in blood upstairs in the room where she'd given birth, and I stab of pain went through my gut like a knife twisting. I closed my eyes briefly and pulled away. This kid hates me already.

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