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.
18. The Caterpillar Mating Dance
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PART EIGHTEEN: The Caterpillar Mating Dance
Imprinting. Vampires. Mortal danger. Strange women coveting my newly claimed territory. All in a day's work, really. Yeah, hear that hysterical laughter off in the distance? That's my sanity, it ran off screaming into the underbrush about fifteen minutes ago. Give or take.
My head was so full that I couldn't even give the fact that I knew Sam Uley its proper due. I'd never met him before today, but I'd walked with him more than once in my dreams. Or rather, with a black wolf that possessed Sam's dark eyes and quiet air of command. The way we'd greeted one another had stolen away any doubts. I knew him, to pretend otherwise would be a lie unworthy of us both... and I just didn't feel like I had that in me.
So that left me here, somewhere on the La Push Indian Reservation, entangled with werewolves, endangered by vampires and irrevocably falling in love with Jacob Black. Now if we could just arrange for Santa Claus to double-park his sleigh next to the Xterra, I could call my life complete. Okay, maybe that was just the mild hysterics talking. Which was why I had the Xterra's back hatch open, so I could sit quietly on the tailgate and pull myself together.
Jake was still inside. I think he'd wanted to follow me when I excused myself, but something about the way Sam caught my eye when he asked Jake to stay told me he knew I was struggling. I didn't want to struggle, honestly. I wanted to sit beside Jake and smile and be the supportive soulmate he needed me to be. This weakness was annoying, but the human mind can only accept so many things at once, and I was pushing my limits.
The door to Emily Young's small house opened, and I knew without looking who it was. I had a smile for him when he found me, a smile that only slipped a little when he crouched down in front of me, looking into my face with his own beautiful, gentle smile that put my sad attempt to shame. "Are you okay?"
"Not really." Swallowing hard, I leaned forward and clasped my hands behind his neck, resting my forehead against his. He was so warm that it felt like sunlight on my face, like the glow of him would give me a suntan if I stayed put long enough. "But I'm a little better now."
"That's good to hear." He lightly slid his hands up my arms. "Whatever you need. If it's something I can do, or something I can give to you, just ask and it's yours." I could tell that he meant it, that he would stand behind that offer even if he didn't like the request. Well, maybe I didn't feel like being selfish. Maybe, just maybe, I was beginning to think that the only way forward out of this mess was together.
"Kiss me." A better smile, a real one, tugged at my lips, and I knew it was the right response, for both of us.
The request startled him for just a moment, but then he grinned. "Yes ma'am." Leaning in a little closer, he pressed a soft kiss to each corner of my mouth.
"That's not what I meant," I murmured.
"Be patient..." What came next was soft and slow; his lips moved along mine in a whisper, my breath catching in my throat as the tip of his tongue stroked along the curve of my bottom lip. "I'm just getting started."
"I don't want to be patient." I scooted forward that last little way so that I could wrap my legs around him, my hands tangling into his dark hair. "I can try to ignore it all I want, but it doesn't change the truth." I brushed my lips against his, then buried my face in the silky, dark hair by his ear, breathing in the spicy-wild scent of him. "You're the only thing that's real," I whispered.
A shiver went through him at my confession and he put his hands on the floorboards on either side of me, pushing forward so that my back was against the Xterra's seat. We found each other there, with lips parted and barriers down, the gentle teasing giving way to a deep and soulful sort of kissing. We tasted, explored, lips and teeth and tongues meshing together without inhibition. Communicating on that level where words became meaningless.
I harbored a few moments of serious thought about pulling him into the back of the Xterra and closing the hatch. But I realized that there was a bit too much of him to do that without me being squished... which would put a damper on the sexy. So instead we left off at breathless and hungry for more, gazing into one another's eyes as though we'd finally found a precious piece of an endless puzzle.
"Are your thoughts as filthy as mine?" I asked him softly, leaning my head against his.
He bit his lip, eyes closed. "If I say no, will you tell me all about your filthy thoughts?"
I chuckled, pressing a kiss to the tip of his nose. "No."
"Then..." He looked up at me and I shivered. "Am I thinking about how badly I want to be alone with you?" He nodded. "Yeah."
"Just alone?" I raised my eyebrows. "We're kind of alone right now."
"You know what I mean." The beginnings of a flush colored his coppery skin, causing my thoughts to take an even filthier turn. "Alone and naked..." he muttered.
"A naked poetry reading," I nodded sagely. "That could be fun, I suppose."
He growled, and his hands slid down my hips and firmly grabbed my butt. I admit it, I squeaked. "You know what I mean." In a display of easy strength, he rose to his feet, forcing me to wrap my legs tightly around his waist, throwing my arms around his neck if I didn't want to fall.
"Bad puppy," I gasped. His arms tightened around me and we were kissing again. Kissing as he walked down the street like he was on his daily stroll. I think we made it about a hundred yards before we received a chorus of appreciative catcalls and whistles from the direction of Emily's front porch. Pulling back, I hid my face against his neck, my shoulders shaking with laughter.
"Alright you nosy assholes! Move along! Nothing to see here!" His attempts to discourage them only made them cheer louder. Finally he groaned and set me down, keeping an arm looped around my waist.
"That was fun," I giggled.
"Let's get out of here." He glared back over his shoulder, then looked down at me again. "Want to see my house, maybe meet the old man?"
"Wow..." I feigned surprise. "Taking me home to dad? You really are serious."
He cradled my face in his hands, giving me another of those smiles that warmed me to the tips of my toes. "You'd better believe I am." Then he kissed me again, and I think if he'd asked me to walk through fire with him, that I would have been right by his side.
It was a short walk to the Black house, not that I minded. We teased and laughed the entire way, and I felt more relaxed than I had in... well, longer than I could remember. Jake let himself in, keeping a hold on my hand as he stepped forward and called for his father. Billy Black was in the living room watching television, and when he looked up and saw the pair of us, he blinked at his son in confusion.
"Hey dad." Jake looked down at me, his eyes shining with emotion. "I have someone I'd like you to meet." I took a step forward, suddenly feeling a bit self-conscious that I was dressed so casually, my hair in a messy ponytail. "This is Elizabeth." He turned and met his father's gaze. "She's my mate."
I didn't know Jake's father well enough to name the many emotions that flitted across his face in the space of a moment. Shock, dawning realization, relief, perhaps a bit of sadness, and then a joy that made me let go of the breath I'd been holding. To be honest it hadn't occurred to me to wonder what Jake's parent would think of me before a few minutes ago, but I realized in those few minutes that his opinion had come to matter a great deal. "Welcome Elizabeth." He hesitated, and then a smile that reminded me of Jake's curved his lips. "Thank you for giving me my son back."
We sat with Billy for an hour or two, just talking. I learned more about Jake, his history and his family, in that time period than I had since I'd met him. Photos came out, and embarrassing stories were told, and that lovely blush kept coming back on my werewolf's dusky cheeks. For the first time, I felt like I had a stake in him as a person, that I knew him as more than the enigmatic man that had plucked me from the woods and branded his name on my heart.
"So where are your people from, Beth?" I nearly choked on the soda I'd been sipping, I'd really meant to be better prepared for that inevitable question, but somehow it always managed to take me off-guard. Swallowing hard, I noted that Jake was looking at me just as curiously as his father. I don't talk much about my family. We're just not... familial people.
"Oh... around." That wasn't going to do it, I could tell. "The colonel and his wife are stationed in Germany right now, I think." I'd have to check the postmark on my birthday card. "My grandparents live outside of Denver. I lived with them during high school and junior high. So I guess Denver's kind of home." Gram and Grandad had done most of the parenting once the colonel had remarried.
"Oh." They both looked at me like I was strange. I guess to someone with a close knit community like the reservation, that did sound strange. I'd never known anything different, so to me it was simply normal. I bit my lip and looked away, not really sure what to say on the subject beyond what I already had.
Jake seemed to sense I was drowning in the awkward and threw me a line. "Well, I think I'm going to show Beth the garage... maybe go down to the beach." He got to his feet, towering over us both.
"Alright then. It was a real pleasure, Beth." Smiling again, Billy clasped my hand. "I hope to see more of you."
"You will," Jake assured his father, then only allowed me time to make a hasty goodbye before shooing me out the door. "You're not much of a family person, then?" he asked once we were outside.
"That's one way to put it." I glanced at him as we walked towards a half-hidden outbuilding, then shrugged. "My father's career military. He's not exactly squishably soft." Jake snorted and shook his head. "Gram and Grandad did a pretty good job, I think. Then once I got to college, Kat and Josh became my family." He already knew what had happened to Josh. "Now it looks like I'm about to be adopted into a tribe of werewolves."
"About to be?" He grinned, opening the door to the 'garage' for me. It was more of a big shed, but it definitely served a garage-like purpose. Thus, garage.
"Go easy on me, I'm still adjusting." Inside was an elderly Volkswagen and a lovingly maintained vintage Harley along with a motley, but impressive, assortment of tools. "Wow. You work on these yourself?"
"Yeah, it's just me." Jake spoke with quiet pride, going over to run his hand down the Harley's gleaming flank. "Restored this baby from junk."
"Man... she's amazing." I didn't know bikes all that well, but I knew a pretty machine when I saw one. "Hmm..." I took both of his hands and turned them over, scrutinizing them carefully.
"What?" He chuckled, looking down at his hands and trying to see what I saw.
"Shhh... I'm reading your palm."
"Oh, sorry." He snickered.
"You're a man that likes to work with his hands." I traced the lines in his hand, making appropriately esoteric noises. "I see the opportunity to put those hands to good use in your future"
"Oh really?" He played along, resting back against the Harley's seat.
I pulled his arms around me and leaned into his chest. "Really." Standing on tiptoe, I captured his bottom lip between mine, sucking gently, only letting go to find my way inside his mouth with my tongue. Those big, deft hands did their work, caressing the length of my back to the curve of my butt as we kissed.
"This wasn't quite what I had in mind," he whispered, pulling back just far enough to speak.
"What did you have in mind?" I wasn't ready to let him escape yet, and I left a love-bite on his neck as punishment.
"Nngh, don't start that unless you're willing to keep going..." His arms tightened around me. "God you're distracting." He laughed. "Um, what I was trying to say was that I was hoping you'd let me show you the beach."
"Okay." I was game for that.
"On this." He patted the seat of the Harley, waggling his eyebrows. I couldn't help it, I laughed, reaching up to pet his eyebrows.
"One condition." I laughed again when he tilted his head quizzically. "Stop with the caterpillar mating dance on your forehead."
"They're very cute caterpillars... Really."
- Let Sleeping Wolves Lie
- The Magic Words
- Beware of Dog
- The Silver Cord
- An Uneasy Truce
- Constructive Insanity
- Josh Wolfe
- Now and Forever
- First Light of Dawn
- Stop the Bleeding
- Stolen Moments
- Waking the Dreamer
- Trouble in Paradise
- Almost Doesn't Count
- Morning After Cure
- Sister of the Pack
- The Caterpillar Mating Dance
- Practice Makes Perfect
- Sound and Fury
- Storm Warning
- Heavy In Your Arms
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- 29 Apr 08
- 22 Jul 10
- In Progress