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Dreamcatcher

Summary:
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.


Notes:


20. Sound and Fury

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PART TWENTY: Sound and Fury

[Jacob POV]

Bella. There hadn't been room for her in my brain lately, and I supposed I ought to feel guilty for that. If I was honest with myself, I hadn't been a good friend to her for a long time; I'd been so caught up in trying to be something more that I forgot about the most important and precious parts of our relationship. Cullen was poison to her, I still believed that, but I hadn't been any better, and in every way that counted I'd failed her... Even now, she was in my thoughts only because memories of Bella were tied to these beaches and always would be. Good memories and bittersweet ones, and a few that seemed naive and shortsighted in retrospect.


'I'll never see anyone else, Bella. I only see you.' When I said those words, on a beach not very far from this one, I'd meant them with all my heart. At the time I'd been absolutely determined to always mean them. That was before I met Beth. Before I realized exactly what the word 'soulmate' meant, and what it was like to live it first-hand, and not just as a borrowed memory.


I owed Bella an apology. I still didn't want to see her marry the bloodsucker, but now I could say that with a clear conscience. Now I knew it was because I wanted what was best for her and not because I wanted her for myself. No, what I wanted for myself had taken a much different shape.


Waist-deep in the water, I turned to look back at where Beth played in the shallows, unable to hide the fact that it was too cold for her taste. I grinned, watching her make strange faces as a wave splashed too high on her legs. At this rate, she was going to freeze. It really was best to jump in all at once and let your body adjust. Or... to get wet and cold and let someone else warm you up. Guess which one I was thinking...


Impervious to the cold, I dropped low in the water and stalked her. I let the swells inch me forward a little at a time so that my quarry remained ignorant of my intentions. In fact, she never suspected a thing until I threw my arms around her knees and yanked her legs right out from under her. The best part was the little squeak of alarm she made right as she realized that going down in the chilly water was a foregone conclusion. Most. Adorable. Noise. Ever. I made sure to stay with her as she tumbled, cushioning her fall; I wanted her wet, not hurt.


My evil plan went off without a hitch. Beth came up sputtering and cursing my name. I couldn't help it, I rolled around in the surf like a happy dog, laughing my ass off. She scowled, and I laughed harder. Might as well get my money's worth, I had a feeling I'd be paying for it later. Her scowl became a look of misery as a wave nearly knocked her flat, and I was ready to take pity on my reluctant mermaid. "I'm sorry, baby," I breathed warm breath against her neck as I dragged her into my arms. "You're just so cute when you squeak."


I could feel her shivering, her body temperature taking a plunge to match the water temp. Without hesitation, I picked her up and headed for dry land. She was still sulky, but apparently the heat of my body was more attractive than holding a grudge. The fact that I was every bit as wet as she was didn't stop her as she pressed into my chest, her hand tightening convulsively around the back of my neck. I nuzzled her temple and breathed deeply of her scent; sweet, clean florals mixed with the salt tang of the sea. "Better?"


She muttered a negative, but it was her body language that I listened to, the way her heart beat faster, the shiver that had nothing to do with being cold. My mouth covered hers and I swallowed down her breath. Warmed in my body, I breathed it back, feeding her that heat as I cradled her in my arms. "What about now?"


I think she tried to answer, but I had the answers I needed, and kissed her for myself this time, selfishly savoring the rush. I just barely held back a growl of satisfaction when she invited me to drink deep of her mouth, her tongue stroking along mine as I climbed the beach toward the cliff wall. I didn't want it to end, didn't want to let go, but I ducked inside the cave and reluctantly set her on her feet. The fire ring inside was still intact, and there was still a good pile of driftwood for making a fire..


"What is this place?" Beth turned in a slow circle as I bent to gather an armload of wood.


"Me, Quil and Embry used to come here all the time." We'd spent a lot of summer nights stalking the coast as kids, finding places like this. Places far from parental supervision. "It's a good place to camp when you want to be a ways from the folks."


"Is that what we're up to now?" It was hard to stay ahead of Beth, she had an uncanny way of getting straight to the heart of things. "Getting away from the folks?"


I hesitated, I was sure we both knew why we were here. But I found I couldn't quite come out and say it. How could I give voice to the desire that had my heart pounding and my body breaking out in a sweat? "That's one way to put it." The words were weak, and I had a hard time meeting her eyes. I drew breath to just say it... and chickened out royally. "I thought you might appreciate a chance to dry off and warm up a little."


Oh way to go, dumbass. That was smooth, real smooth. Nice and seductive. I was right on the verge of beating my wooden head against the cave wall when I heard her light footsteps on the sand. "Yeah, I'd like that," she said quietly. I took the coward's way out and refused to meet her eyes, but I could smell her as she stopped beside me. I could sense her there too, her presence a beautiful electricity that crawled along my skin with sweet fire. Beth's hand touched my head, stroking my damp hair, and then she touched my face in a lingering caress before gently urging me to look up. Fair skin like porcelain was dusted with a gentle flush, her lashes dropped low to shadow the clear, blue depths of her eyes "I'd like that very much."


How could I not worship this woman? Live for her, die for her, follow her on hands and knees if that were her whim, I'd do that and more. Still kneeling on the sand, I turned and wrapped my arms around her waist. Hungry for her, my hands pushed up her shirt, savoring the touch of her bare skin as I covered her stomach in kisses. I bit down gently over her navel, and stifled a groan as her fingernails bit into my back. She asked me then if I was trying to warm her up or eat her. I didn't answer, words seemed a waste of breath compared to action; my hands skimming over her skin, I rose to my feet and pulled her shirt off over her head.


I had every intention of being smooth, passionate, but this was the first time I'd ever looked a bra in the eye. It was a daunting experience. When I faltered, she saved me, and as I kissed her, she pressed my hands to her breasts, boldly giving me the invitation I longed for. It was still far from smooth, nervous and ignorant were better descriptions, but the desire to continue was cut short when I realized she really was shivering now, and not because of my impressive skills as a lover. No, it was because I'd left the lighter and the blankets in the bike's saddlebags. Brilliant. "God, I'm sorry," I rubbed her arms, cursing myself silently. "I got distracted. Hang on, I'll be right back."


It was easier to breathe outside, because every breath was not filled with her. Being clear-headed was nice, but almost immediately I wanted to be drunk again. She took the blankets when I came back, spreading them on the sandy floor of the cave as I started the fire. I heard the rustle of fabric and tried to imagine what she was doing, and the unmistakable sound of the zipper sent my filthy imagination into overdrive. It was a test of will not to turn and see what she was up to. I forced myself to suffer until the rustling stopped, and only then did I dare to turn around.


I had never seen her naked before. We'd come close that night at the motel, but this was even closer. Both her bra and panties were dark blue, standing out like exclamation points against her pale skin. The panties rode low on her hips, showing just enough to whet my appetite. The bra... needed to go. It was pretty, but I wanted those lovely breasts for myself without a chaperone. I literally couldn't stop looking; there was so much to see, so much to memorize, to etch onto the inside of my eyelids so that I could admire her even asleep. The only thing with a chance in hell of interrupting was the need to touch her, to add that to my memories. A hundred years from now, I wanted to remember with absolute clarity how beautiful she was in that moment.


"Are-are you disappointed?" I blinked, unable to catch her downcast eyes. Of all the- Disappointed? I shook my head, and realized again that words didn't belong here. Without an ounce of hesitation, I went to her, grabbing her up in my arms. It would never be enough to say how I felt, but I figured if I started now, then hopefully by the end of forever I might be able to show her. My hunger, my need, I poured into that kiss, tasting her lips and her mouth, waging war against her insecurities until I felt the tide turn. Reservations gone, she threw herself into our embrace, stoking the fire between us with a joyful enthusiasm.


I felt on top of the world, on top of my game, like nothing would stand between me and what I wanted. My nemesis, as it turned out, was made of blue lace and was sadistically determined not to come off. I knew the damned thing had to unfasten somewhere, but the logic of how was becoming more puzzling by the moment. I broke off the kissing with a furious growl, eyebrows knitting together as I fumbled with it.

Then she laughed. I lifted my head and glared at her, which had her hurrying to apologize... while still laughing. A lesser man might have pouted. I just kept glaring. "Honestly, look." She turned in my arms so that her back was to me, and I watched in silence as she unfastened her bra with ease. My eyes narrowed. "Just a little lesson for Advanced..." Impatient, I brushed aside the lace, laying my hands on her bare skin as I asserted my claim on the flesh the pesky bit of lingerie had tried to keep from me. With my thumbs I walked up her spine, rubbing away the tension that collected in the muscles of her back. A task with its own rewards, I could feel it as the knots untied and she relaxed. "Undressing..." Beth rolled her neck, a shiver going through her. "That feels amazing."

My hands splayed across her shoulders, touching as much skin as they could. I narrowed my focus to the crisp black tattoo that marked one shoulder blade, reliving the irony of the first time I'd laid eyes on it. The wolf, the letters, it could be for us as much as for Beth and her dead fiancé. Jake and Beth, 4-ever? I liked the sound of that. How different might events have been, if she were still with him? Never venturing out of Corvallis or visiting remote parts of Washington. I owed him a debt, for loving her, and for ultimately allowing her to come to me. Thank you, Josh. Thank you for giving me this amazing woman. I am forever in your debt. Leaning down, I brushed my lips across the design, sealing the promise of it with a kiss.

I kissed my way up the column of her spine, smoothing aside her damp curls to expose the nape of her neck. Her scent was strong here, sweet and intoxicating, feminine but with a note of something less civilized, a musky, earthy scent that made me want to act like a caveman. I breathed it in, nuzzling before closing my teeth over her soft skin, biting gently. "In case I wasn't clear," I whispered against her neck, "I'm not disappointed." The bra made its last stand, and I sent it fleeing down her slender arms to crumple on the cave floor in defeat. "At all."

Her skin was cool to the touch when I pulled her back against my chest, not bloodsucker cold, but in definite need of warming. I spread my hands across her flat stomach and slid them around the curve of her hips, the warmth spreading with each touch. My lips nuzzled into her hair, and I took another deep breath on her scent. I was hard, there was no way not to be. Not with her bare skin against mine and the smell of sex clinging to her like sweet perfume. I slid my palms up her torso and pressed the flat of them against the swell of her nipples as my hands curled around her breasts, my heart racing as she leaned back into me. Breathing out in a low whistle, I rubbed myself lightly against her back, tracing spirals around her nipples as I fought the desire to be quick and rough instead of taking my time. I wanted her so badly, it was all but impossible to be patient.

Apparently I'd gotten her attention. Beth turned around, looking up at me with this look that somehow managed to be sweet and seductive all at once. I swear to god, that expression and a schoolgirl uniform and I'd be changing my boxers. She held my eyes with this sexy, kittenish smile, and her hand travelled due south. Even through wet denim, when she first touched me, it was impossible to hold back the tumble of filthy thoughts. I closed my eyes, but that only made the scent of her more intense. Reaching out, I firmly grasped her upper arms, but I honestly couldn't tell you if I meant to stop her or drag her to the ground. Check that, wanting her to stop was the last thing on my mind.

Ultimately what distracted me was imagining that prissy, twitchy, son of bitch Cullen having to listen in on my thoughts. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have him in range, especially if he was half as frustrated over Bella as I'd been. Wouldn't that get his shorts in a knot? Beth's hand on my zipper distracted me again; fortunate, because I had no doubt that she would kick my ass if she had any idea of what was on my mind. But what I realized as I watched her sink to her knees at my feet was that I didn't want to share this with anyone, not even in my thoughts. Not this moment, not this woman, none of it.

She pulled off my jeans, her hands moving lightly over my thighs as she gazed thoughtfully at my boxers. I had no idea what she was thinking, no clue what she was going to do, and I was having trouble with the waiting part. There was a little fear, of course. She'd been with Josh for a while, what if I didn't measure up? Was she comparing me to him right now? It was on the tip of my tongue to ask when she leaned forward, pressed a kiss to my thigh and then rose gracefully to her feet, her eyes wicked. Aching with need, I leaned my head against hers, taking a deep breath before I could speak. "You're evil," I whispered.

"Then we match." God I love this woman. She reached for me, and caught me, tangled her fingers into my hair as she brought our mouths together. I was getting my rhythm now, trying things that I'd only ever fantasized about, learning what worked and what didn't. How to stroke my tongue against hers, or make her gasp with a flick of teeth; kissing her hard when she shivered as I rolled her nipples between my fingertips. I'd slid a hand down her back, teasing with the lace of her panties, when she pulled away. Not one to be deterred, I dropped my head so that I could kiss her throat, alternating between teeth and tongue.

"Jake...I have to talk to you," she insisted, her voice sounding strained. I tried a bit more teeth and gooseflesh cropped up along her collarbone.

"Mm, can it wait?" I left a lovebite on the angular line where the bone ran beneath the skin. Pleased with the faint imprint, I left another, my fingers dipping inside of her panties.

"Not if you want those panties off." I paused, she sounded serious. That meant I ought to at least try and listen. I met her eyes and frowned, making it clear that I wasn't fond of this new development. She scrutinized my face, looking for something, anxious and concerned. "How many pornos have you watched?" she asked solemnly.

What. The. Hell?? Okay, someone was going to die a brutal, painful death. You don't blab about the Pack Porno Collection to another man's girlfriend. It's just not done. "What?" I tried to play it casual, although the blush needed no pretending. "Beth, what kind of question is that?"

"A serious one." I almost stepped away from her then. Almost. But she had her arms around my waist, and dammit she was doing the same thing to my boxers that I'd been doing with her panties, and no man of sound mind would walk away from that. "Basically," she continued thoughtfully, "I need you to forget them all." She took a deep breath, her eyes sliding away from mine, and now she was blushing. "The real thing may be a little awkward, maybe even a little strange the first time, but-" Okay, I'd heard enough. I gently put my hand over her mouth, and practically against my will, a smile curved my lips.

"You always over-think things," I whispered to her. And then, in a moment of perfect insight, I fell back on simple honesty. "I want to make love to you, Beth." The shiver that went through her then told me I'd made the right choice. "I know I have a lot to learn... but they say that practice makes perfect." I had every intention of practicing, practicing, practicing, and then maybe practicing some more. Taking my time, taking the greatest of care, to make my Elizabeth realize just what I meant when I said that I loved her.

"I just don't want you to be dis-"

"Stop that," I said a bit more harshly than I'd intended; harsh enough to make her flinch. I sighed, shaking my head. What a silly, beautiful, wonderful creature I'd captured; still not resigned to being caught, still wild enough to flutter her wings nervously whenever I opened my hands. "Just...come here." I went to the blankets and knelt down on them, waiting for her to join me. She hesitated, and I knew she would, but she was too cold-natured for it to last. As soon as I held out my hand, she came to me.

I lay on my side with her between me and the fire. Clad only in the thin lace of her panties, her hair was a red-gold halo in the shifting light, her eyes shadowed sapphires that watched my every move. More human, more beautiful, than any woman I had ever seen, warmth and light seemed to shine from her, powered by the strength of the lovely soul that was bound forever with mine.

Resting my hand on the curve of her hip, I kissed her neck, then moved to whisper in her ear. "Show me how to touch you." She nodded slightly and lay her hand over mine, twining our fingers together and beneath the waist of her panties. I kissed her as we pulled them down and off, and then she was naked. Nervous anticipation thrummed through my body, but I was going to do this right the first time. "Are you nervous?"

She hesitated. "A little."

"Me too."

I rolled so that she was beneath me, supporting myself above her. The kiss we shared then was unlike any of the others, rough and wild, full of furious need and desire. She bit me, her sharp little teeth closing on my bottom lip, and I growled in response. Not an angry growl, but a wolf's anticipation for finally joining with his mate. I settled into the cradle of her thighs, and she wrapped her legs around me. "Slow at first, okay?" she whispered into my ear.

I nodded, taking a deep breath to calm myself as I leaned down to kiss her. Reminding us both of why we were really here, of the tenderness, of the love between us. No desire would overshadow that, I wouldn't allow it. "Stop me if I hurt you." And I realized then that it was my worst fear. To cause her pain in the pursuit of my own pleasure. "No matter what."

Restraint became an uphill battle, it was an effort not to tremble as I caged up all that energy that I didn't dare let go of. Sweet agony was piercing physically into the hidden depths of her, sliding into her arms and into her body, and being held there. The sensation was unbelievable... and then I moved. Slowly out, and then back in, listening to the hoarse catch of her breath, the pounding of her heart, although mine beat the faster. Slow and slow and controlled, holding myself so tightly that the sweat dripped from forehead to fall like rain on her breasts. She held me then, stroking back my hair, wiping away the sweat. "Let go, my wolf," she whispered, my fierce and beautiful Beth. "Let go."

I was helpless to deny her, not when her request was what I wanted, too. I... can't describe it. Making love to her, it was more than I ever could have anticipated. Not even experiencing it through the pack mind had prepared me. Oh, it was hot and sweaty and physical, I'm sure I could put something appropriately pornographic into words, but that wouldn't hold a fraction of what really happened between us. If I loved her before, then I don't know what to call the emotion that I felt then. It was the same, but deeper, more intense, it bound me to her in ways that I was only beginning to discover... and I welcomed it.

My limit was in sight. This first, amazing time I had little stamina to speak of. Plunging in and out, her body was wrapped around mine, her nails tracing maps to ecstasy on my back that would linger for days. I didn't care, if anything the pain made the pleasure even sweeter. I knew I was on the edge of frantic, of losing any sort of rhythm in an all-out need to be as deep and completely inside her as I could get. Then, as always, she was there. Her hands on my fevered skin, her soft voice calling my name. "Jake..." And then she said the words I'd been waiting for since the moment we met. "I love you. I love you, Jake."

Her confession pushed me over the edge and I curled myself around her with a hoarse shout, calling out her name with the last of my breath. When my breathing slowed and my heartrate resumed a normal rhythm, I pulled away from her, rolling to the side. My mind was blown, I could admit that. I felt sleepy and satisfied and highly tempted to pull her against me for a power nap.

"So..." Uhoh, there went my nap. I propped an arm behind my head, sliding the other around her as she curled against me. "Was it how you imagined?" Oh good, that was an easy one.

"No." I chuckled at the worried frown she gave me. "It was better."

Beth pulled herself up so she was half laying across my chest and glared down at me. "You know what? You're a brat."

I darted my head up to lick her nose. "But you love me, right?"

"No."

I pouted. "You said you did."

She made a show of examining her fingernails. "I was lying."

"No you were not. Now who's lying?" I narrowed my eyes at her menacingly.

"Say what you will." She arched an eyebrow. "You have no proof."

"Fine." I sighed. "I suppose we'll just have to recreate the scene of the crime."

"Did Quil teach you that line? Because that is so cheesy."

"Hey! I thought it was pretty good..."

"Just shut up and kiss me, you dork."

"Yes ma'am." Yeah, no nap for me. Heh heh.