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Dream Jacob/OC. Post-Eclipse. Elizabeth Foster is your typical grad student. When she interns on a summer research project looking for dire wolves in the Olympic Peninsula, she finds more than she bargained for.


15. Almost Doesn't Count

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PART FIFTEEN: Almost Doesn't Count

[Jacob POV]

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate my evening somewhere in the negatives. Sadly, that's an improvement on the prior numbers, which were roughly in the negative double digits. Pretty pathetic when you could count the girl you love puking on your feet as an improvement.

"Easy baby, it's alright." Supporting Beth with one hand, I tangled the other in her hair to keep it out of her face. We were standing barefoot in a flower bed-- okay I was standing, she was draped over my arm making zombie noises. It seemed like a safer place to be once she'd started blowing chunks, less likely to offend the other motel guests. "There can't be much more left in there," I observed, trying to be helpful.

"Please don't talk," she groaned miserably. "My head is killing me."

"I thought the hangover came the day after." I really shouldn't be teasing her, but it was hard to resist.

"You throw up half your body weight and see if it doesn't make your ears ring." She coughed, her body tensing, but nothing else seemed to be forthcoming. "Okay... I think maybe I'd like to lay down now." Bracing herself against my arm, she gingerly straightened.

"Why did you drink enough to make yourself this sick?" I murmured into her ear, my arm tight around her waist.

"Trying to be numb." She wouldn't look at me. "It worked for a little while."

That made me shake my head. Stupid. "It's like I said before. Dealing with it that way just means it waits to ambush you later." I scooped her up without asking for permission and turned back in the direction of the rooms. The motion made her dizzy and she clutched at her head with a soft whimper. I paused and settled her a bit more securely in my arms, encouraging her to lay her head on my shoulder.

She sighed, and her hand tightened and released on my shirt like a cat's paw. "Can we not have this discussion right now? Besides, what gives you the right to preach to me anyway? You're sixteen."

I glanced down, she was frowning at me fiercely. "Sixteen and smarter than you, Miss College Grad." I knew that was probably the wrong thing to say as soon as I said it, but damn the age thing was getting annoying. "I may be younger than you are, but I know better than to get drunk off my ass."

"I very seldom do that," she replied stiffly. "In fact, the last time--"

"Beth, don't bring that up right now. If you start crying again, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with you." I knew where that was going, and while I wanted to be the sensitive guy about it, we could run in circles all night.

"You're a bossy little asshole, aren't you?"

I blinked and nearly stumbled. "What?"

"You. You're a bossy. Little. Asshole." When I didn't immediately answer, she laughed. "And the great Jacob Black is speechless."

"You're still drunk," I accused as we reached the door to her room.

"Maybe a little," she agreed.

I sighed. "Do you have your keycard?"

"Uhoh." She bit her lip and shook her head. "I don't think I grabbed one on the way out. You could knock?"

"You were both drinking, right?" I eyed her, quickly doing the math. "Kat's probably in the bathroom or passed out on the bed." Making a decision, I turned and went to the room next door. I had a key for that one. "You can sleep with me."

"I'm still mad at you, Jake," she warned. "Besides, do you know how it would look if someone found out we shared the bed? They'd probably arrest me."

"Then you can sleep on the floor." That shut her up. I fished the card out of my jeans pocket and stuck it in the slot. The bathroom light was still on, but Quil was snoring peacefully on the floor between the two beds. He'd drawn the short straw tonight. Embry's bed was empty. Hm. No telling where he'd wandered off to. I set Beth down on the edge of the bed that was mine and looked down at her thoughtfully. "Can you sleep in that?" She was still wearing her jeans and a lace-trimmed blouse from earlier.

"I can manage."

I narrowed my eyes at her dubiously, but she didn't budge. Without another word, I stripped off my t-shirt and handed it to her. "Put this on." For a moment she hesitated, and then reached out to take it. "It was clean this morning... and it doesn't bite." She stuck her tongue out at me.

"Can you turn around, please? Or, actually, get me some water?" She gave me a pleading look. "My mouth still tastes a little funky."

Guh, if the woman knew the power she had with that sort of look... "Yes ma'am." Unable to stop myself from smiling, I leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Be right back." I went to the vanity area at the back of the room and unwrapped a plastic cup, taking my time. I was listening, waiting until the rustling of fabric stopped. When the cup was full and the quiet had stretched out for nearly a minute, I returned to the bed.

Beth knelt beside a small pile of clothes, wearing my black t-shirt like a dress. She grinned, accepting the cup of water. "Sexy, right?"

"You have no idea," I muttered, trying not to notice the lacy bra folded on top of her jeans. She took a long sip of the water, her blue eyes watching me over the rim of the cup, pale lashes like lace fans against her cheeks when she closed her eyes. Kneeling on the bed, half drunk, wearing only her underwear and my t-shirt... she was the most gorgeous, desirable creature I'd ever seen. My imagination began to run away with me, making suggestions that had my blood running hot. I swallowed hard and shifted my weight, meaning to take a step back, but she reached out and curled her slim fingers through the belt loop of my jeans.

"All finished." Beth handed me the empty cup, then used the hold she had on my belt loop to pull herself closer. Her cool, soft hand rested on my bare chest, slowly moving upward. "You know a lot about me, Jake. But I don't know much at all about you."

"What do you want to know?" I asked hoarsely. She leaned close, pressing a kiss to my bare skin and a shiver went through me. It was all I could do to keep my hands by my sides.

"I know you're a wolf... I know you're sixteen. That Embry and Quil are you best friends." Lifting her head, her eyes met mine. "I know that there's something that keeps pulling us together. Something we can't fight." Her arms slid around my waist, her fingernails biting gently into my back in a way that made me hiss. "But that's about it."

"That's most of it," I said softly.

"Have you ever been in love before? Some of the things you've said..." She left it open for me to answer, her fingertips still drawing intricate patterns on my back.

"Once. It didn't end well." Odd, how that seemed like a lifetime ago, that Bella had become the past, and Beth had consumed my present and future.

"You kissed her?" Those pale lashes dropped low again, but this time she looked up at me through them, and suddenly I felt less like the wolf and more like the rabbit.

"A few times." Beth left three little kisses in her wake, each one higher than the last. Was it getting hot in here?

"What about other things?" She pulled back slightly, her hands finding mine, tugging them gently up until they rested at the hem of her borrowed t-shirt.

"Other things?" My fingers closed convulsively around the soft fabric. Closed, and then slid irresistibly beneath, sliding over the smooth, soft skin of her thighs.

Blue eyes claimed mine, and I was helpless to look away from them. She could have asked for my soul at that moment and I would have given it up without a word of protest. "Have you ever made love to someone before, Jake?"

"Made love?" I think I blushed, in fact I know I did. "Um..." I looked down, suddenly feeling very much like a sixteen year-old. "No. Never." Now my face was absolutely burning.

Beth touched my cheek, the pad of her thumb stroking gently over my bottom lip. "Don't look down. That's not something to be ashamed of." Her hand slid to the back of my neck, pulling me down until I knelt with her and she could wrap both arms around my neck. She kissed me once, very softly, then pulled back just far enough to speak. "I was eighteen, with Josh. It's absolutely true what they say," she whispered, her blue eyes like deep pools of clear water. "Your first time should be with someone you love."


Her hands framed my face, gently holding me so that our eyes remained locked. "Are you sure I'm that person for you?"

I finally let my hands do what they wanted, gliding over her hips and the thin cotton of her panties and up the graceful curve of her back; touching her bare, soft skin as they never had before. "Absolutely certain." We kissed, this time a real kiss, slow and deep. I could still taste a trace of the vodka on her tongue, but not enough to bother me. I was too enthralled with touching her, tracing her flat belly and the high, round curves of her breasts. The t-shirt slid higher, exposing more fair skin to my eyes as well as my hands. I was so close to tugging it over her head, to pulling down every single barrier that kept us apart, even the physical ones.

I wanted her so badly, wanted to press her down to the bed and wipe away every lingering trace of 'someone else' from mind, heart and body. Not just for her, but for us both. Above all, I wanted my Beth, my Elizabeth, to be mine, my mate, in every way. I think I might have done it, ignored the surroundings, and the fact that her head wasn't completely clear. No, I know that I would have. She was so willing, soft and warm, guiding me with a gentle hand. I would have made her mine and damn the consequences, except for one thing...

"Dude, you have lost your mind if you think I'm going to lay here on the floor like a burrito while you lose your cherry to the pretty blonde." Quil. Whoops.

I dragged my mouth away from Beth's and she whimpered in protest. Okay, officially the hardest thing I've ever done. "I'm telling you, man. Go find a fucking pool chair." Beth was kissing and sucking on my neck in a way that made my eyelids flutter.

"You've got to be joking." He snorted.

"Am I laughing?" Oh god was that her hand... where I thought it was? "Beth, don't do that," I whispered breathlessly, panting like I was running a marathon. "God Beth, please..." Quil's eyes appeared above the edge of the bed. The effect was sort of like trying to have hot sex with your dog watching. "Baby... please get your hand out of my pants."

"You don't sound like you want me to," she whispered, using wicked little teeth to leave love bites on my collar bone.

"I love you so," my voice jumped an octave as she lightly squeezed, "much." Deep breath. "But I don't want to make love to you while Snoopy glares at us. I'm sorry." I glared at Quil. Someone was going to share the deep hurting with me. Oh yes.

"Okay." Beth pulled away and I bit my lip, fighting down the urge to bodily eject Quil from the room. "Maybe another time."

Very carefully I moved back, watching with great regret as she tugged the t-shirt down and went to sit against the headboard, her knees drawn up to her chest. "You owe me," I hissed.

"You'll thank me later, bro. She's about to pass out." He sounded way too smug for my comfort, but I glanced over to see that Beth's eyelids were already drooping. Maybe he had a point.

I still stepped on his toes when I moved around the bed to coax Beth into laying down. He grumbled in pain and I grinned, somewhat mollified, as I tucked her in and then stretched out beside her. Okay, so maybe we weren't having mind-blowing sex. Spooning her back against my chest, my arm wrapped around her, wasn't bad.

Okay. I admit it. I'd still rather be having the sex.