A Glove Upon That Hand
Jacob imprints. Lauren/Jacob.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1409 Review this Chapter
"See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!".
– William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet.” (Act II, Scene II).
“Jacob Black and Bella Swan? Are you serious?”
A girl he knows to be Jessica leans forward, her brown curls swinging. “Totally serious. Apparently there was some sort of ménage a trois going on for a while until she dumped him for Edward Cullen. He came to the school to fight Edward for her and everything. It was totally pathetic.”
Heat thrums in his blood, whispers down his spine. The forest wraps itself around him like a cloak. There is nothing left when he is wolf, except the pounding of his paws against wet, caked earth and the whisper of trees blowing past. Jacob throws back his heavy head and howls with the sheer, painful, utter joy of it all. And to think, he was once afraid of the change.
Whenever he’s angry, hurting, or desperately longing for her, the phase keeps him grounded. Even now, he feels his rage dissipating just from the short run through the dark, rain soaked trees. He no longer wants to rip Jessica Stanley and her gossip monger friends’ limb from fucking limb.
He circles the forest three times before dashing back toward the squat wooden building housing his companions. He knows they’re probably waiting for him, checking their watches and flirting with the older waitresses. He shouldn’t keep them waiting.
His muscles bunch and release in the sweetest of symphonies, and he can almost feel himself soar. On the wind, he catches a sweet scent amid the stench of waffles, tobacco, bacon and something rotten. Strangely, it doesn’t remind him of her. It reminds him of the black eyed susans his mother used to plant in the spring before she died.
He slows as the forest thins, and sees the sign in the distance, over the tops of the trees. Sylvie’s Diner, beside a two story tall statue of a bear carved in old Indian style out of a single log of light wood, the paint chipped and flaking. His flight takes him around the back, where the stench of rotting garbage almost makes him gag.
And then he sees her through the tangled branches, stretching up on her bare tip toes to toss something into a gray dumpster. A boy with scraggly dark hair is smoking a cigarette on the concrete nearby, staring into the woods. The world seems to rock on its axis for a moment, spinning upside down wildly. Jacob feels himself fall on all fours as wolf and hit the wet ground as man, naked and shivering. She is everything, he thinks, Bella Swan sitting in the corner of his mind like a dusty photograph. This girl, her long blond hair floating in the wind, carrying that sweet scent to him, is the center of it all.
“If one more customer gives me shit about the waffles,” he can hear her muttering, “I’ll shove a fork up their ass.” He laughs softly. The boy tucks his hair behind his ear and squints at the trees.
“You wouldn’t want to do that,” he says, his tone betraying distraction. Jacob stares wildly at the girl’s profile, all softness and peach colored skin, and knows that he would never talk to her like that, like he has something better to do. Every word that leaves her lips from now until her last moment will be precious to him, he knows. And it shames him that Bella will no longer have the strongest pull on his heart, that her words will be second best, if she ever speaks to him again.
Jacob’s imprint turns from the dumpster, letting the lid drop with an angry slam. Her small, pale hands (Jacob can see the lines on her palm from where he lays, like a crisscross of stars across vast sky) land on her hips and a long piece of pale hair smacks her cheek. She looks vaguely familiar, like someone from a distant dream, long forgotten. She has pale eyes and the most beautiful lips Jacob has ever seen, full and pink and shaped like the perfect petal of a rose.
The boy snorts, stubbing out the end of his cigarette on the sidewalk and removing a pack of Camels from the pocket of his dirty white apron. He offers the girl one and she nods, striding across the pavement towards him to take the pack, shake one long cigarette onto her palm, and hand it back. She pulls a metal lighter from her own apron, and it flashes in the dim light from the hidden sun like the scales of a gray fish before she quickly lights the cigarette and blows thin smoke towards the forest.
Jacob’s chest tightens in indignation. When he meets her officially, he thinks, he’ll help her knock that disgusting habit. The foul smelling smoke makes his throat itch; he can only imagine what it’s doing to her lungs. Her companion echoes her movement, polluted smoke billowing from both nose and mouth. Jacob tries desperately not to cough.
“There’s something called assault. You wouldn’t want Miss Swan’s daddy out here hauling you away.” Jacob frowns at the sarcastic tone he uses when saying Bella’s name. Does everyone in this town look on her with indifference?
“You asshole,” she says, shaking her head and sending tendrils of starlight hair whipping against her cheek. Jacob finds himself wishing he was that breeze against her face, if only to touch her for a moment. God, that’s horrible, but his chest practically aches with the wanting of it. It’s amazing really, how fast an imprint can take over your mind like a virus. Erase all thoughts of those you’ve loved before. He can truly empathize with Sam now. Th-his girl speaks again, the perfect, fullness of her mouth cocked in a sarcastic smile. “That name is forbidden in conversational use.”
“Eh,” her companion shrugs. “Just thought I’d remind you, because I know you’d really stick a fork up some poor old lady’s ass.”
Her shoulder hits his, sending him swaying like a car ornament. “Asshole,” she says again, and Jacob doesn’t miss her affectionate tone. Jealously rumbles like thunder in his gut.
“Anyways,” the boy says, standing up and tossing his second, half finished smoke to the ground and twisting his foot over it. “I’m out.” He unties his apron as he heads toward the black metal door leading to the diner’s kitchen, waving over his shoulder. “See you Lauren!”
Lauren. Jacob can barely cling to her answering goodbye. Her name is Lauren. He briefly wonders what her last name could be, whether she drives a car, how old she is, if that chain smoking son of a bitch is really her boyfriend or just an annoying work acquaintance. He wants to know all of her, to memorize each part of her as if he could put her together like a carburetor, a puzzle, a dream.
He watches her for a long moment, staring at the burning cigarette wasting away between her fingers. He knees are drawn to her chest, bare except for a short apron and denim shorts, and her glorious hair whispers across her skin like pale silk. She stares at a crack in the concrete, her pale eyes (blue or gray, Jacob can’t decide) far away and dreaming.
As Jacob wonders what she’s thinking about, his gaze lingering on her yellow and pink plaid halter top and flip flop sandals, the glint of the barely there sun on her plastic name tag (MY NAME IS LAUREN, ASK ME ABOUT THE BACON SPECIAL!), she tosses her cigarette away and stands, brushing herself off. She twists her foot over the still burning stub as her friend did, and then she’s heading toward the door, her hips shaking slightly from side to side. Jacob stands, untying the bundle of clothes he made sure to secure from his calf and yanking them on. His eyes follow her as she gently shuts the door behind her with a soft clang, and his chest constricts from her brief absence. Oh Bella, he thinks, pain threading through him. I’m sorry.
After a brief moment’s consideration, he breaks from the forest and heads around the side of the building to follow.