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Open Flame

Summary:
I knew in that instant exactly how Sam felt when he saw Emily, exactly how Jacob felt when he saw Renesmee, exactly how Quil felt when he saw Claire. There were thoughts I had never known rushing through my head, from thoughts of a friendly nature, to thoughts of a passionate nature and everything in between. She drew me like an open flame drew a pyromaniac; and curiously, wonderfully, lovingly and lustfully, I had to follow her. I had to touch that open flame.open flame banner Seth Clearwater comes back from college for Leah's wedding, and the gang gets back together. But when his car breaks down on the side of the road, a very beautiful, engaged young woman comes to the rescue. Can Seth vy for the attentions of his imprint and successfully win her? Author's Note: This fanfiction will be complete once the twelfth chapter is added! Thank you everyone for your support and reviews!


Notes:


4. Four - Explaining the Unexplainable

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Four

Explaining the Unexplainable

When I returned, she was sitting with her legs Indian-style on the couch, deep breathing. As I passed her, she opened her eyes furiously and said, “Hold it.”

Nervously, I turned around and smiled. “Yes?”
“You. Sit. Now.”

I did as she asked, choosing a spot on the furthest corner of the couch.

“Would you mind telling me why I was perfectly in love with my fiancé yesterday, and why I seem to have a huge crush for youtoday?”
I smiled sheepishly. “I…I don’t really know how to tell you all this…”

“Well, you better figure it out soon, buddy, because I am not going to go anywhere until you tell me.”
I sighed. It wasn’t off limits to tell your imprint what you were, was it? I could hear Sam’s reassuring voice in my head, saying, “Of course you can tell your imprint.”

“Okay,” I began. “As you know, I’m from La Push. I’m a Quileute Indian.” I sighed under my breath. It was only going to get harder from here.

“So, you happen to be a hot…I mean…” she caught herself. “So you happen to be a Quileute? So what?”
I sighed again. “So…so there’s a legend about how my people were descended from wolves, and every few generations, this really weird thing happens to the young people in the tribe…”

She narrowed her eyes for a few moments. “So…” she trailed off using her favorite word again, and then she burst out laughing.
“Do you…do you think you know…?” I asked, confused.

“You are trying to tell me,” managed Ginessa through intense laughter. “That your people are descended from wolves, and that you…” she could barely contain sharp giggles, “That you’re like…some kind of…wolf-man?”

I bit my lip and nodded.

She was chuckling so hard that tears were beginning to form on her face. Well, at least she wasn’t hitting me. Yet. Yet?

“I believe that the correct term is shape-shifter, and the form my pack and I take is that of a wolf.”

Silence shrouded her living room. “Wait, you aren’t kidding, are you?”

I shook my head.

“You expect me to believe that? But that doesn’t explain why…”

That’s the other thing,” I said quietly. “There’s a rare process that is called imprinting, which I guess is like love at first sight, but it’s a lot stronger.”

“So now you’re telling me that the first time you saw me, in the pouring rain, you instantly fell madly in love with me?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“And all this time?”
“Yes.”

She sank back into her sofa. “You know what, Seth? This totally redefines the word, ‘freak’.”

We laughed together.

“So, you aren’t angry with me for falling in love with you?”

“I guess I don’t really have a choice.”

“Nope,” I agreed with a smile, “You don’t.”

“Wait…I want to see you as a wolf.”

“No,” I countered, Emily’s face appearing in my head.

“Why?” she demanded.

“It’s dangerous.”

She laughed, her features inches from mine. “See this? Laughing in the face of danger?”

I sighed. “I’ve seen what phasing too close can do and I don’t wish to harm you.”

“The backyard, then?”

“How about the forest outside of town?”

“There’s a forest outside of town?”

I smirked. Were normal humans really that unobservant? “Yeah, there is.”

“You really are a … werewolf?”

“Listen, maybe we should talk… get to know each other first. It may be easier for you to love me if we know more about each other.”

“But I want to see you phase…” she whined.

“Eventually,” I oathed, even though I already felt compelled to do anything to please her.

“Okay, I’ll start. You go to school at Evergreen?”

“Yes.”

“And what do you study there?”
“I go to medical school there.”
Her jaw dropped unexpectedly. “Are you serious?”
“Yes…”

“What is your medical concentration?”

“Veterinary medicine.”

The area from her bottom lip to the top of her neck seemed to be permanently unhinged. She started laughing again.

I grinned. “What?”

“No…it’s just that you’d be the perfect vet…the fact that you’re a dog would help a hell of a lot!”

I sheepishly mussed my hair.

“And it’s also just the biggest irony I have ever encountered in my existence.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m a first year veterinary student at Olympia University.”

Woah! Could my imprint possibly be the embodiment of perfection? The whole situation was, as she had said, perfectly ironic.

“So, I guess you’re…what…twenty-three?”

“And you’re twenty-two,” I stated with confidence. Crap. That would mean I would have to stop phasing, and fast. “But there’s a catch.”

Her happy face fell into an abyss, and a confused, angry one replaced her contentment of moments before. I could feel her disappointment as though something dismal was happening to me instead of her.

“What?” her voice was partly angry, partly annoyed.

“As long as I’m phasing, I don’t age.”

What?” This time, she cut through the air with the strength of a saber sword.

“I’m really going to try to stop, because it’s definitely been done before, it’s just harder when one member or more in the pack will be permanently shape-shifting as long as his imprint survives…” I could feel myself babbling again, and stopped. She was gaping at me with blue eyes that shone like crystals.

“You’re going to have to repeat that at a human pace if you want me to understand what you’re talking about.”

I sighed. “If you choose me over…” I did not really want to say his name. “Ryan,” I said at last, “Then there is a way in which I can age with you.”

“Oh.” She looked relieved. I smiled. “And…I…” How had I put my love at a loss for words already?

“You don’t have to decide now. It just gives you something to think about.”

“It gives me a lot to think about.”

I couldn’t help but stare at her perplexed expression.

“Why me?”

“I know,” I agreed. “I would ask myself the same question. I mean, you have a whole life here in Tacoma, and all I’ve been doing from the second I got here was screw it up.”

A small smile lit up her face for half a second. “Don’t say that, Seth.”

The way she said my name that time made me feel as though I were the most important man in the world. “Why not?” I asked, my tone tender as I leaned forward on the couch to make eye contact.

Her eyes were suddenly red-rimmed and shining with moisture.

Crap! How had I made her cry? How, oh how, oh how? I was such an insensitive jerk! I should have known telling her would cause trouble! Why was I an idiot? Why did I persist? “Please, Ginessa, don’t…don’t cry.”

“Oh God, it’s not even about you,” she sniffed, wiping her eyes with annoyance.

I waited patiently for her full response.

“It’s Ryan.” She closed those eyes for a second or two, and then met my gaze. “I met him last summer when I was visiting my parents in California.”

Grr! What was it with women going to California and coming back with prospective husbands who were all wrong for them?

“It isn’t what you think…I mean,” she trailed off. “Well maybe it is. It was a summer fling that quickly turned serious. My parents were crazy about him, so I convinced myself I was, too. I mean, how could you talk to him for one minute and not know how intelligent he is?”

I cleared my throat ominously.

“That was rhetorical,” she snapped, a small burst of anger through her weak tears.

“Sorry.”

“He’s got a Harvard degree, and he’s set up a successful firm in L.A. He’s amiable, handsome, wealthy, loves buying me cars, and he’s great company. He’s the perfect guy…”

I sighed. She was extraordinary in the most wonderful of ways. And I did not deserve her in the least.

“And you…you’re just too damn magnificent for words. You’re kind, and you make me laugh, and Ryan’s got nothing on you as far as looks go…”

Was she honestly making me look better than her fiancé? I sighed. “Listen, you really don’t have to compliment me; if you’re more attracted to Ryan, it makes perfect sense.”

“But I’m not choosing Ryan…I don’t think?” She put her head in her hands and groaned. “A good person would stay the course, please her parents and marry the man she planned to marry.”

As realization washed over me, I could feel my heart sinking to the floor. Of course she would do the right thing. She was obviously the kind of person who would make sure other people were happy before herself. How could I have thought she would choose me over Mr. –

“But lucky for you, I am not a good person. Not when it comes to loving someone, at least.”

I blinked at her. “Excuse me?”

She held my hands in hers. “I’ve agreed to be with you.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “Really?”

“I know it may sound stupid,” she began, standing up. “But I have been known to be spontaneous and trusting even with people I don’t know.” She was pacing now. “God, I can already hear what my mother would say. What is Ryan going to say? What am I going to tell him?”

I felt incredibly stupid again, because she was ranting and raving about something that directly involved me. “I don’t know?” I asked, unsure of what to say.

“Well, I can’t just leave him without an explanation. I hate when people do that! Or when they just ignore you for no good reason! Ugh, takes me back to the 7th grade…Marty…”

I didn’t know what exactly to think of her memories of an apparent ex-boyfriend, but I knew for sure that I absolutely hated this Marty fellow.

“When will Ryan get out of the hospital?”

“Probably sometime before tonight. It’s just going to take a few hours to bandage him up.”

I smirked. I guessed I beat him up harder than I thought.

She sighed. “So, how does this imprinting thing work?”

“Didn’t I already explain it to you?”
“Well yes, but I mean…how long does it…last?”

“Last?”

She nodded and bit her lip.

I was confused.

“I mean, am I going to wake up 20 years from now and find out that you don’t love me anymore?”
I smiled and scooted closer to her, clasping our hands together. “Imprinting is a kind of love that never fades.”

She stared at me, as if in a trance, and then slowly took her engagement ring off her finger. “Then screw Ryan,” she murmured, and she leaned over to kiss me.

If there was one thing about this entire situation that I was not expecting, Ginessa kissing me would be it.

I was on fire everywhere. Her kiss was an affection I knew I would look forward to eventually, but I wasn’t anticipating it for a long time…at least a few weeks from now.

But, as I was coming to find, Ginessa was always unpredictable.

I had kissed before, but I doubted that any normal kiss between two normal people could even begin to compare to me kissing Ginessa. There was so much fire between us that I thought flames would suddenly envelop us. It seemed as though the rest of the world fell away and ceased to matter.

She stopped after a few minutes and pulled away with a little bit of shock on her face.

Oh, God. Was I really an awful kisser?

“Are you all right?” I asked, suddenly apprehensive.

“Are you going insane?”

I had no answer. It was definitely a possibility.

“You are definitely the best kisser on the face of the planet.”

I could feel my ears reddening. “Was I really?”

“Aww, you blush!” she exclaimed.

Grr. “A vice of mine,” I replied through gritted teeth. At least the kissing compliment was nice. I wondered what she would think of me when…

She sighed. A beautiful sigh.

“I don’t know what to say!” I murmured.

“You don’t have to say anything,” she promised, emotion in her eyes.

I could only smile.

She understood everything. What more could I ask for in the girl of my dreams?