Don’t You Wanna Stay


Chapter 1


It seemed fitting that it would rain. 

Her tears matched the steady fall of the rain. 

She sat quietly as the casket was lowered into the ground below her feet. She never thought she’d feel such pain in her life. 

The pain in her heart almost matched the rest of her pain. 

She felt sad but knew she should’ve been sadder. It was hard not feeling more emotion then she really did. She thought for sure someone would stand up and point at her and accuse her of not being sad enough or not crying enough. She almost thought for a minute she should throw herself on the casket, but thought better of it. She knew the man being lowered into the ground was not her true love. 

Vincent Jonathan Michaels 
Beloved Husband - Son - Brother - Friend 

Her grey eyes read over the head stone. His parents had been fairly wealthy and did a rush order on this tombstone. They wanted to make sure that when he was buried he didn’t have to wait for the tombstone. Their wealth is what initially got her to marry him. No she didn’t marry him for his money. She married him to help him keep his money. 

Vincent had worked through his 4 years of high school to save the money he’d placed in an IRA account his father had opened for him at the bank his father owned. Vincent had told them on more than a few separate occasions he wasn’t ready for marriage or a family and that when he was his father would be the first person to know. Once Vincent turned 20, his parents checked his IRA and noticed the money he’d saved over the 4 years of high school and then 3 years of college had nearly quadrupled in 7 years. At the age of 20 he had nearly a million dollars of his own money. 

His parents finally found their shot at retirement. They threatened that if he didn’t marry by the age of 21 and take over the family bank so his father could retire they were going to donate the money he’d originally save himself for college to some sob story off the street. Melinda did the only thing she could think of doing at the time. He pleaded for her to help him and she couldn’t say no. The longer they stayed engaged, the longer everyone bought that they were really in love and after a while they started to believe it too. There wasn’t a day that wouldn’t pass without Vincent telling Melinda how much he loved her and how beautiful she was. 

Even though they both knew it was a farce. They had no attraction to one another. She smirked to herself. Well she couldn’t really say that. The sex was insanity times a million. They both knew how to make the other one sky rocket out of control on more than a few occasions. 

The truth of it was they were friends more than anything. They’d started out as friends and then progressed to friends with benefits, engaging in sex if not once a night then two or three times a day. They both had an urge they had to be together. But they never had romantic feelings for each other. They’d tried dating other people, but inevitably they would always end up back in bed together by the end of the night after their dates. Dating other people undoubtedly never lasted more than the first initial date and most certainly never progressed to a second date. 

Melinda stood and walked down the path of the cemetery as she accepted well wishes and sympathetic hugs from his parents and other guests from the funeral procession. She shook her head knowing his parents drove him to his demise at the tender age of 25. She felt weird being a widow at 24. She couldn’t help thinking back to when she had first met Vincent Michaels. 

It had been seven years. She went off to college in California and met him. She was Seventeen and he was eighteen. They started off meeting at a party. After a few night of dinner together and a lot of talking and hanging out. they tested the waters and kissed. Suddenly it was, they had both woke up on a fresh spring morning and wanted nothing...but each other. 

Vincent was the almost man of her almost dreams. She loved him like no other in her life, but knew their marriage had been out of convenience. For the next 4 years of college it was sex, fun, sex, homework, and yes more sex. Then a year of engagement and two years of marriage. 

Most guys were not one to cuddle if it was a friends with benefits thing. Not Vincent. He wanted nothing more than to lay in bed holding Melinda afterwards just to let her know he really cared. They joked the whole four years while they were having sex that eventually they'd have to stop and find someone to fall in love with. Even though Vincent already knew she was in love with someone and he also knew it wasn't him. 

Vincent knew no matter how hard he tried to push himself; he would never be the one Melinda was in love with; just like she would never be the one he would fall in love with. Yes they loved each other, but it was definitely a different kind of love. A special love that only two friends of that magnitude could share or handle without strings attached. They were completely honest with each other from the beginning. 

She'd even taken him home when they'd gotten engaged and let him meet her family. Melinda cringed when a familiar face passed her on the street as they walked down the street hand in hand together. She could remember his words as he whispered in her ear, "That's him...Isn't it?" The pricelessly sad look on her face and the unshed tears in her eyes gave her away as she nodded. she could still hear the next words that came out of his mouth, 'One day he'll come to his senses and realize what he's been missing out on. Until then, I'll keep you happy...And thoroughly satisfied of course.' She giggle as she looked up and he winked down at her with a smirk on his lips. 

Melinda walked around the spacious room as she packed up her clothes and shoes. She was leaving with only the things she'd brought with her, nothing more, nothing less. Anything they'd acquired during their 2 year marriage would be given to charity like everything else in the house. 

Now here she was moving back to La Push. The one place she'd hoped she'd never live again. She honestly never thought she'd be there again. She stared out the window of the train. She always did like watching out the window on trips. She'd gone on many business trips with Vincent. He would drive or they would take a private jet, whatever they needed. He always made sure anytime he went on a business trip and invited Melinda, he would make sure she always had a good time. 

She'd already purchased a shop in Forks and was going to started her business in a new location. One of her friends in college had taken over the store in Napa California. she couldn't believe she was actually starting over. After everything she'd been through she just wanted to enjoy her life. She guessed if she had to start over 24 was a good age, rather than in her 30's or 40's. 

Sometimes starting over was the best thing for someone. She could still remember growing up in La Push. The small reservation in the state of Washington. School days weren't long, but they seemed to drag on for days. The last time she could remember crying was at her father's funeral. She still loved her mother very much and her siblings. But she was definitely daddy's little girl. She could only hope that he was looking down on her right now and was proud of her. 

She left behind everything. 

Even him. 

The one guy Vincent knew she loved. The one who had her heart and knew no man but him would have it. Whether they were her husband or not. 

Her new life started seven years ago. Seven long years, since she’d graduated high school and left the little reservation behind her. She left behind her friends and family and of course all the little reservation secrets as well. 


Chapter 2



Sorrow filled eyes watched him from across the La Push high school campus. They had been best friends since practically birth. Now the only people he hung out with were ‘the guys’; all his friends; who just happen to hang out with Sam Uley. She rolled her eyes; even though he tried to hide it. She already knew all about him. She wasn’t stupid by any means. She was Quileute too and grew up with the same tribal legends as he did. Their tribe was the descendants of wolves. Only a select few people in the tribe had the wolf gene and obviously he was one of them. 

Of course so was her sister and brother. 

She knew her older sister Leah and younger brother Seth had been the third in the pack to phase. They’d also been so close growing up there was no way he couldn’t tell her. 

She couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching her as she pretended to read her history book. Anyone who really knew her knew she hated history and wouldn't dare read it unless she had a gun pointed at her. She chewed her bottom lip when she looked up from her open text book sitting in her lap and noticed his onyx eyes were boring into her. Her long black hair looked like black spun silk as it fell over her shoulders. Her brown eyes had specks of deep blue in them. 

He couldn't help but look at her. She was his imprint after all. She'd been his best friend since kindergarten, how the hell was she going to be his soul mate, he didn't even think of her in a non-friendship way. The guys said he was being ridiculous that somewhere inside of himself he was attracted to her but couldn't come to grips with it because of their never ending friendship. He thought they were all crazy. He watched as a hint of a smile played on her beautiful gloss covered red lips as her eyes turned down, he watched her push the book back in her bag and shoulder it as she stood and walked back into the school. 

He watched her long black hair as it swayed and wrapped around the curves of her body. Ever since he phased he hadn't spent any time with her. They used to watch movies and go fishing, go for hikes through the woods. They spent summers at the beach swimming and playing in the water and sand, trying not to drown each other. They studied for tests and quizzes. It all seemed like distant memories now. He felt like nothing was ever going to be the same between them again. 

How could he imprint on his best friend? Jared was his best friend as far as guys went but Melinda. She had been his friend the longest even before Jared. Their mothers used to make play dates for them and what not. 

He remembered sitting down and talking with Sam about it. If he imprinted on her then she was the one. The one he was supposed to be with. She was his soul mate. But it all just seemed wrong. He could feel the physical pull towards her and there were some nights he'd sit under her bedroom window and could hear her crying to one of her friends about missing him and their friendship which basically disappeared overnight. He remembered the first time he heard her cry after he imprinted on her. The pain he felt was so intense he phased and stayed in the woods, until Jared could find him and help him phase back. 

Jared looked over and saw who Paul was watching as he nudged him with his shoulder, "Go talk to her. You know you miss her." Paul shook his head negatively, "I know. I just don't know how I feel. I'm too confused and I'm not about to pull her into this unless I'm ready." Jared nodded, "I understand you're confused, but you need to at least talk to her. She's been one of your closest friends for so long and one day you just up and walked away with no explanation. Look at it from her point of view. You're hurting her as much as you are hurting yourself by staying away from her." Paul shrugged, "That's just it though I'm not hurting, I mean I hurt because I haven't even spoken to her since I phased, but other than that I don't feel much." 

Jake walked over making a face, "Let me're having the talk with him again...Right?" Jared nodded, "Yea. And he's still being as stubborn as ever...I don't know how he got the tittle of volatile because at this point he’s more stubborn then anything." Jake nodded fully agreeing, "Paul you need to go talk to her. You haven't talked to her in far too long. It's taking its toll on the both of you physically and mentally. You're forcing yourself to stay away from her and she doesn't know what to do." 

Paul sighed heavily, “I can’t. Not yet. Leah bit my head off last night while we were patrolling and then Seth even had the balls to threaten me.” Jake chuckled, “What did you expect? You imprinted on their sister, they know what you're like better than anyone. Lately, you’ve just acted as if she never existed in your life. You guys have been friends since birth practically. And now…Now nothing.” 

Paul shook his head negatively, "I don't know what to do. I guess when I figure it all out, then she'll be the third to know." Jared quirked an eyebrow at Paul, "So who will be first and second." Paul chuckled, "Me and then probably you guys if I happen to be in wolf form at the time." The guys all laughed as they disbursed, when the bell rang signaling their lunch was over. None of them noticed the brownish-blue eyes as they watched and heard the conversation. 

It had been a little over six months since Paul had said a single word to Melinda. She knew she needed to get back to class, but after listening to the guys she just didn't feel like it. She probably could've ignored the imprint had she still had the option to be friends with Paul. Melinda shouldered her bag as she turned and headed down the path to her house. 

Melinda by passed her house and headed to the beach, she sat in the sand as she worked on homework. An elbow nudged her, her eyes shift to her right as she saw the familiar onyx eyes of Paul. 

Melinda scoffed audibly as she stood from the sand grabbing her book bag. Paul was quick to his feet as he grabbed her hand. Melinda was stopped in her tracks as she felt a warm hand surrounding hers. She stopped and looked back at Paul as he rubbed the back of his neck with is free hand and contemplated what he wanted to say to her. Melinda shook her head, "Don't worry you have no obligations to me Paul." Paul cringed, that hurt more than he thought it would, "It's not like that Mel." 

Melinda pulled her hand from his as she turned to be face to face with him, "Really? So what's it like then?" Paul cursed under his breath, "I didn't mean it like anything. Damn it Mel. I'm sorry. I know I'm a huge asshole. I've been this way my whole life and you've known it. Why would I change now?" Melinda glared at Paul as she shoved him slightly, even if he was a wolf she was still the only girl who could shove him, no matter how small she was compared to him. Considering her sister and brother were both wolves, maybe she had the gene too. 

Paul watched as she tossed her back pack into the sand as she growled at him and suddenly she ran and jumped and caught him in a headlock, pulling him down to her height. Paul growled, "What the hell Melinda?" Melinda tightened her arm around his neck, "You listen to me Paul Redson and listen good damn it. You're supposed to be my best friend. I don't even care that you rejected me as your imprint. But you've been my best friend since Kindergarten when Tommy Jergens dipped my black hair in white paint; you punched him and gave him a black eye for me. Now suddenly you grow fur and a tail and you act like you don't have the time of day for me. What the hell is your problem? And don't try to give me the pathetic excuse that you're an asshole. You've always been an asshole to everyone but me. When did I become the designated nobody in your life?" 

Paul knew if it had been anyone from the back he would've already slammed them in the sand, but he had to remember his strength was immense now that he was a shape shifter and he couldn't hurt Melinda that way. They'd always rough housed and wrestled around, but now he was scared to hurt her. 

Paul heaved a heavy sigh, "Melinda you're not a nobody in my life. You have to understand that all of this is very new to me and everyone else in the pack. We're having problems controlling our anger, especially me. I keep phasing every time my nose gets bent out of joint about stupid stuff. Leah is so bitter about Sam and Emily so we hear about it in our heads twenty-four-seven. All Jake can think about is Bella the vampire girl and we've been on high alert because of a bunch of killings in the woods surrounding La Push. Seth can't stop missing your guys dad. Quil imprinted on Emily' two year old cousin and the guys are giving him shit about it. The whole pack is united but we've got our own separate issues. You're still my best friend as far as girls go Mel. I've just been trying to deal with all this shit. I know it sounds like bullshit, but I swear." 

Melinda scoffed again as she shoved Paul away, releasing him from the headlock as well. Mel shook her head negatively, "You know what the worst part about being your imprint is?" Paul shook his head as he ran his fingers through his hair, trying to straighten what Melinda had messed up. 

Melinda picked up her bag as she shouldered it, "Losing your friendship because I am your imprint. It's not only the worst part but that's what hurts almost more than anything else." Mel turned and walked back through the trees and back home. 


Chapter 3


Melinda was brought out of her thoughts as she felt the train come to a halt at the Port Angeles train station. She sighed heavily as she grabbed her bag and got off the train. 

"MEL!!" A chorus of voices rang out loudly. 

Naturally the first three faces she saw was her mom Sue, and her brother and sister Seth and Leah. 

She smiled softly as she bounced off the train and into her mother Sue's arms. Sue cooed, "Oh my baby. I'm so glad you're home." Melinda smiled as she hugged her mother tightly, "I missed you so much." Leah and Seth were leaning against each other; Leah scoffed, "Wow, she leaves for a few years and suddenly were chop liver." Seth scoffed as well, "Yea. Miss high and mighty gets a college education and a husband and suddenly she doesn't have siblings who missed her as much as her mother did." 

Melinda giggled as she stepped away from her mother and watched as Leah shoved Seth out of the way and pulled Melinda into her arms. Melinda could already feel the tears as they started sliding down her cheeks. Seth groaned, "Damn it Mel, don't started crying, Leah and mom will started crying too." Sue chuckled out a watery laugh, "Too late Seth." Seth watched as Leah's tear streaked face pulled away from Melinda and Seth was the last in line to hug her. 

Seth kissed the top of her head as he held her for a minute, hoping she'd calm down. "I missed you so much Melly." Melinda giggled at the nick name Seth had given her years ago because he couldn't say her full name when he was younger. 

Sue broke up the cry-fest as she shoved Seth towards the baggage claim and told him to grab Melinda's suit cases. Leah and Melinda sat in the back seat together, they had always been close because they were only two years apart and Seth was three years younger. Melinda was close with Seth, but not as close as she was with Leah. Sue and Seth sat in the front seat as Sue drove them all back to La Push. 

Leah held Melinda's hand, "So how are you holding up since the funeral?" Melinda shrugged her shoulders as she shook her head negatively, "It is what it is. His parents backed him into a life he didn't want, so he dealt with it as best as he could. We had a lot of fun together. But you already know me and Vincent...It was...It was just convenient for the both of us. I loved him, but it was not a normal wife/husband love. He was one of the best men I'd ever met. I'm going to miss him terribly." 

Leah rested her forehead against Melinda's shoulder as their hands tightened around each others. Melinda smiled as she leaned her head against Leah's. Leah shook her head softly, "I don't know how you did it. You guys pulled it all off. You made everyone believe you was so in love." Melinda nodded, "I do love him. I always will love him. We just weren't in love with each other. He knew I wasn't in love with him just like I knew he wasn't in love with me. Wait until his parents read the will tomorrow. They are going to flip." 

Seth chuckled as he turned around and eyed his older sister, "What did you guys do?" Melinda giggled, "Vincent wasn't dumb. The day the bank robber came into the bank, Vincent was well prepared for him; he specifically told me to stay away and I did as he asked. There was no way he wanted me caught in the middle. He knew his own father had set him up. The first couple of months after we were married, he had us sign life insurance policies. I knew Vincent. When he found out his own father had set him up to be killed at work. Let's just say Vincent decided to set a will up for himself. He wasn't about to let his parents get the money. Not even a penny's worth. Vincent contacted his father's lawyer and had both life insurance policies transferred from me and him to just him." 

Leah sniffled as stray tears slid down her tan cheeks. Melinda smiled softly, "He put up a great fight. He shot back as much as the bank robber. He'd also made sure the bank was empty at the time, sending all the tellers to lunch and making sure the customers were nowhere in sight. Vincent clipped the robber giving him several flesh wounds, but in the end the robber walked right up and emptied his gun into Vincent's chest. My shop was across the street. As soon as the gun fire started I called the police, but the robber was gone before they got there and I ran across the street and sat with Vincent until he died. When the EMT's got there, they said there was no way he would've lived." 

Seth frowned, "So what's in the will?" Melinda could feel the tears sliding down her cheeks again as she sighed softly, "He stated specifically that any money from life insurance policies and 401K plans are to be given to the La Push tribal council." 

Sue came to a stop as she'd pulled in the drive way of the house as she looked back at her middle daughter, "Why would he do that?" Melinda blinked more tears out, "He said the best thing that came into his life was me and since we had a strange love for each other he knew I wouldn't know what to do with the money so he called Quil Ateara Senior and asked if the tribal council accepted donations for the reservation. Quil's grandpa said yes and when he went to ask more questions Vincent hung up and made sure everything was arranged. He didn't even tell me that he had done it until he was laying in my lap bleeding to death." 

Seth got out as he opened the back doors of the SUV, "Go ahead and go to the beach. I know you want to." Melinda smirked Seth did always know her so good. She pushed up on her toes and kissed his cheek. "Thanks." Seth nodded, "I'll toss your bags in your old room until we go to your place tomorrow." 

Melinda nodded as she pulled her blue zip up hoodie on and disappeared through the trees to the beach. She could hear the waves crashing around as she stepped out of the tree line and the breeze that came off the ocean brushed across her face as she inhaled the scent from the ocean water. She'd already take her shoes and socks off and was carrying them as she squished her toes in the cool sand. 

She sat down in the sand as she just took in the scene around her. She wished Vincent was here to see how blue the ocean looked. When they had come to La Push after they'd gotten engaged. They'd spent countless hours walking hand in hand along the beach. Talking and laughing, just spending a lot of alone time together. They needed it for the most part. 

She could still remember that visit like the back of her hand. Ignoring the look from Paul when they had passed him on the street only to have him confront her later at the beach when she'd decided she needed some alone time and her mother wanted to torture Vincent a little by introducing him to friends and family on the reservation. It never mattered how many times her and Vincent had sex or kissed. His kisses never felt like Paul's. They filled a need she had to be kissed, but then again so did the sex. It was just a filler. 

Soft red lips. Against hers and making her feel everything she wanted to feel with Vincent but couldn't. His warm hands. The way he kissed her senseless but made her want to keep that feeling forever. 

Sometimes it sucked to be a rejected imprint. 


Chapter 4


~2 1/2 Years Ago~ 

Vincent was such a good sport. Melinda honestly couldn't believe that her mother had somehow talked him into going around the rez all damn day to meet family and friends. Of course Vincent was more than happy to meet anyone who had a hand in touching Melinda's life even if it was a little. 

Melinda had physically cringed earlier when they passed Paul on the street. She couldn't read the look on his face. Of course Paul was one of the hardest people to gage as far as looks he gave people and moods he showed. She'd learned from Leah and Seth that Paul's temper was rather volatile and had been since he'd started phasing at sixteen. Leah was the bitter wolf, but Paul was the angry one. Everyone else was just along for the ride. 

Onyx eyes watched as his reason for living walked out into the sand and stared at the waves as they crashed against the rocks nearby and the sandy shore. Melinda had always been one of the most beautiful girls in La Push. He had been lucky she chose to be friends with him growing up, because even then he had a bad attitude. She would just punch him in the arm and ignore him. For the life of him he still couldn't understand why he'd imprinted on his best friend. He couldn't believe it had already been five years since she graduated high school and took off to California. He always knew he was the reason she's ran away from her friends and family. 

Paul knew he was supposed to be patrolling but he couldn't. He hadn't seen his imprint in five long years and when she brushed right past him earlier without even acknowledging him. Nothing! Not even so much as a 'Hi.' Not that he could blame her. He remembered her fiancés words, "That's him...Isn't it?" Paul didn't have to see her face or hear her answer to know she confirmed who he was exactly to her. Paul had turned and watched as her fiancé pulled her close as his lips kissed her ear and he mumbled, "One day he'll come to his senses and realize what he's been missing out on. Until then, I'll keep you happy...And thoroughly satisfied of course." 

Ouch! That really hurt more than Paul ever thought it would. 

Suddenly an image of Melinda and her fiancé kissing in the hallway of the Clearwater house entered Paul's mind as he growled audibly. Then the sounds of panting and moaning. "Oh God Vince." "Fuck Mel you're killing me." Filled Paul's wolf ears. 

'Fucking hell Leah!' 

A snarky giggle filled Paul's ears, 'If you wasn't such a chicken shit lame ass, that would be your name Mel would be moaning out and not her fiancé's.' 

Paul growled again as he watched the smaller light grey wolf approach him. He was twice the size of her. She gave him her best wolfie grin as she saddled up next to him and sat her butt in the dirt and saw he was still watching Melinda. She could feel the pain in Paul's heart but she could also feel the pain in Melinda's. She allowed Melinda's pain to be transferred to him. 

'Damn it Leah. Just stop. Go patrol or something.' He snarled out at Leah. 

'Can't take the truth huh? Maybe you should've swallowed your pride five years ago and not rejected your imprint. I might be a bitter bitch, but at least I have a reason. The love of my life didn't just reject me...He imprinted on my cousin and they got married. It's strange how the decisions you make in life come back to bite you on the ass huh Paul. You know if you could just get your head out of your ass for more than a few seconds and really look at Mel. You'd understand why you imprinted on her. Just like how I had to come to terms with Sam imprinting on Emily. It hurt like hell. But I know she's stronger then I am. Or ever will be. They really do belong together.' 

Leah shook her head as she turned and walked away from him, 'You know were not allowed to patrol together. Besides Jared should be joining you soon. He had to take Kim to the doctor and then drop her off back at home.' Paul watched as the light grey wolf disappeared over the hill. Jared would be late for patrol. 

Sam Uley, the packs alpha, refused to let Leah and Paul patrol together. They were an explosive combination. As it was if Leah was in a good snarky mood she'd torment Paul with images of Melinda and her new fiancé. Sam was the love of Leah's life. Naturally he would be alpha over her. Half the time she just did her patrolling and kept to herself. She seldomly followed his alpha orders. And Sam seldomly made her follow them, just because he knew how broken her heart was after he had to leave her for Emily. 

Paul phased back into his human form and pulled his shorts on and walked out onto the beach. Standing behind Melinda a breeze kicked up again and her scent surrounded him. It was completely intoxicating. She always smelled like gardenia's

Melinda stood with her feet planted in the sand as she felt the breeze zip around her blowing her waist length raven hair all around her. 

"What you can't even say hello to me now? Suddenly we have to ignore each other." Came from a familiar deep voice from behind Melinda. 

For the second time that day she physically cringed. Melinda turned and looked into the onyx eyes of Paul. She sighed heavily as she raked her fingered through her hair, "No I just prefer to not be reminded of being rejected by my best friend." Paul frowned, "I don't understand why we can't remain friends. Isn't that what you wanted? I mean it's what you said five years ago before you slinked off to college or where ever it was you went when you decided to run away from everything here." 

Melinda shook her head, "What did you want from me? The minute you phased you started ignoring me. And did so for six fuckin months. You have no idea how hurt I was. I didn't even find out about you imprinting on me because you didn't have the balls to tell me. Seth and Leah had to tell me and then explain to me what it was. Only for me to find out you was rejecting me because you didn't want your best friend to be your imprint and gave me some lame ass excuse to go with it." 

Paul growled, "I didn't expect you to pack up and just leave. I thought you was going to go to the community college in Port Angeles, at least if you'd of been there, I would've had a chance to see you and get used to the idea of you being my imprint."

Melinda rolled her eyes, "You've never lied to me don't start now Paul. You was never going to get used to the idea of me as your imprint. And I don't understand why. And I really don't give a shit anymore. I'm getting married in a month, so you don't have to worry, you can obligate yourself to someone else." 

Melinda turned as she was about to head back to the house, when she felt his warm hand surround hers again, she turned and pulled her hand from his. "Don't." 

Paul growled as he gently shoved her against the nearest tree, making sure he didn't hurt her, "Don't you get it Mel? I was in love with my best friend. I was in love with you; but add phasing into the mix and then another whole degree of difficulty for when I imprinted on you and nothing made sense anymore. I'd fallen in love with you when we turned fifteen. I just didn't know what to do. And then when we all started phasing and then your dad's heart attack. It was the first time I ever saw you cry and it killed me. Leah and Seth were threatening me to just leave you alone." 

Paul sighed heavily, Melinda could feel his warm breath as it washed over her face. She could feel her heartbeat picking up as it thudded in her ears like a steady beating drum. Paul standing this close to her was dangerous for her. Not in a sense that Paul would hurt her, but in a sense that if he didn't step away they would find themselves in precarious positions. 

Paul's voice dropped an octave or two as he tried to keep the husky sound from his voice, "By the time we talked that night at the beach and you put me in a headlock I was so confused. I didn't know if I was coming or going. Ten days later we graduated and the next morning you was gone. And now I've really lost you so some pretentious over stuffed shirt with too much money on his hands and..." Paul grew quiet as his eyes went back and forth searching hers for anything. Anything that might let him know she loved him as much as he love her. But he couldn't find it and he hated that. Suddenly he hit the tree with the palm of his hand, "And damn it Melinda you can't marry him! I know I was an ass. It's all I've ever known how to be and I just seem to be getting better at it the older I get. You can't marry him, you don't even love him. And he sure as hell doesn't love you. He could never love you like I do. I'm just sorry I didn't see it before." 

Paul leaned his forehead against Melinda's left shoulder as her shaky hand came up and weaved into his soft black hair, as his hands gripped her hips; the warmth sinking through her jeans as he pushed his body flush against hers, pressing her into the tree further. They both gasped at the contact. Paul lifted his head as his nose brushed against Melinda's, their breath fanning against each other's faces softly, Paul swallowed the lump in his throat, "I'm sorry I messed everything up for us." 

His lips descended onto Melinda's as she instantly moaned at the feeling of his lips against hers. His tongue swiped her lips and she instantly opened her mouth and accepted his tongue, both once against groaning when their tongues touched for the first time and they tasted each other. When they pulled back from each other, they were panting trying to catch their breath. Melinda extracted herself from Paul's arms when her cell phone started ringing. She recognized the ringer. It was Vincent. Blinking as tears immediately slid down her cheeks, she answered her phone as she walked away from Paul. 

Away from the only man who'd ever hurt her. 

The only man she'd been in love with since she was fifteen. 

Chapter 5


Melinda was dragged from the painful memory of her and Paul's first shared kiss when she felt something warm against her back. Melinda looked to her left and smiled as she noticed the huge sandy fur colored wolf had laid itself around her. She reached over and pet his head softly, "Hey Seth." She listened as he grumbled softly. Clearly enjoying the head scratch from her. 

Melinda watched as he moved his big body around and laid his head in her lap. She knew he was worried about her. Her husband's murder and being back in La Push knowing she had the potential to run into Paul of course. They both couldn't live here and not see each other. 

Seth grumbled low again when she started talking to him about random stuff. All he could think about was keeping Paul Redson away from his sister. He had started dating Rachel Black about 11 months ago. Rachel was Jake's sister. Jake wasn't thrilled when they started dating because he knew at any given point Paul could choose his imprint and break Rachel's heart. 

Seth and Melinda sat in the quiet together nearly all night. They went back home for dinner and Melinda went to bed early. She felt physically drained. 

Onyx eyes stared at the figure sleeping next to him in bed. The covers lightly thrown across her waist as her bare back stared at him. He fingered part of his short hair as he sighed heavy and sat up from the bed; as he stood he pulled his shorts on and walked out of the bedroom, making sure to close the door behind him. He didn't want to wake Rachel, she had work in the morning and he was not about to let his persistent insomnia keep her awake. 

Paul's bare feet walked him through the house and outside to the porch. He walked the porch at least ten or fifteen times just trying not to think of her. He knew she was coming back to La Push. Leah and Seth's thoughts about Melinda returning were pretty loud. Paul could feel the pull on his heart already and hadn't even seen her yet. He thought for sure two years ago when he poured his heart out and finally claimed her lips that she wouldn't leave with her fiancé. Actually it was more like he hoped and prayed she wouldn't leave him again. 

But she did. 

Even after he started dating Rachel regularly eleven months ago, he was still in love with Melinda. Rachel knew he'd imprinted on Leah and Seth's sister, but everyone generally figured since Melinda had gotten married she would never return to La Push. It was funny how things happen in life that no one has any control over. Paul knew Rachel was falling in love with him, but he couldn't control how much he wasn't in love with her. If life was ever easy on him he'd have perfect control over his emotions and feelings, and once he knew Melinda had gotten married and was never coming back to La Push he would've immediately let himself fall in love with someone else. 

For the last eleven months, every night before Paul went to bed he'd silently pray that when he woke up in the morning, the last person on his mind would be Melinda and the first person to enter his brain was Rachel. But life isn't fair and it never plays by the rules. 

Paul couldn't stand on the porch another second as he shed his shorts and jumped from the top step to the dirt covered ground. Phasing in mid-jump. Once he landed he shook out his silvery/ dark grey fur and then tore off into the trees. He was running as fast as his fur covered paws could carry him. Paul slid to a stop at the top of the cliffs and let out a howl. It echoed through the night; from La Push all the way to Forks. As his big body collapsed on the ground.

The new day came with a new list of things to get done. Melinda walked around the small house as she pulled down sheets, old drapes and rolled up old rugs as she tossed them outside in a huge pile. She walked around the store front that was built onto the house and smiled softly. It was perfect for her store and the house attached to the store was perfect. 

She started cleaning the house and store from top to bottom at the same time she had a non-stick pan on a burner with thick purple liquid inside boiling at a nice rate. She walked into the kitchen and emptied the bucket she was carrying, and cleaned the sink out where the dirty water had just been. She pulled the rubber gloves off and tossed them into the bucket along with the cleaning sponge and put the bucket in the cabinet under the sink. 

She walked over to the burner and inhaled deeply. The lilac smell infiltrated her senses as she smiled softly. She walked over and pulled the dried flowers from the fridge, she grabbed twelve glass jars. She broken the dried lilac flowers off the stems and set them aside as she poured the thick liquid into the jars evenly and then dropped a handful of the lilac flowers in each jar. Using a wooden skewer she stirred the petals in the wax and then placed the wicks in them and pushed them aside so they could cool. 

She rinsed the pan out and dried it with paper and placed it back on the burner, she grabbed a package of white wax out of the cabinet and placed it in the pan as it began to melt. She looked through the scented oils she had and dropped 6 drops in the already melted wax. She walked over and noticed the lilac candles were already cooled; she put the lids on them as she grabbed the sheets of homemade labels. She peeled them and placed them on the jars. She stacked them in a box and took them to the store and placed them on the designated shelves. All the candles were arranged by color and scent. 

After she finished the white candles which were gardenia scented, she went outside she pulled her hair up as she poked a couple of chop sticks through it to keep it in place. She opened the can of white paint and grabbed a brush and started painting the window seals and door frame for the store. She watched as people walked by and commented on how good the store looked and how it was coming along nicely. She made sure to thank the few strangers who commented on it all. 

“Well I heard you were back in town.” A familiar voice said from behind Melinda. 

Melinda turned around and smiled, “Oh my goodness Jared!” Jared chuckled as he laughed when she threw her arms around his neck. He leaned down so she could reach him as he hugged her just as tightly. He brushed his lips against her cheek, “You never change Mel. You just keep getting more beautiful.” Melinda chuckled as she ruffled his soft black hair, “Still the charmer I see. How are you and Kim doing?” Jared smiled lovingly at the mention of his imprint Kim, “We’re doing great; we got married last year.” 

Melinda smiled, "I know I'm sorry I couldn't come back for the wedding. I was actually in New York with Vincent for a conference. He worked and I relaxed." Jared frowned, "I'm sorry about Vincent, Mel. I had hoped you'd come back to La Push but not on these terms." Melinda shook her head negatively, "I had no intention of returning here and you know it." Jared nodded as he sighed heavily, "I know why too. But Mel you can't alienate your friends and family forever because of Paul's fuck up." 

Melinda looked at the ground and then back up to Jared, "No but I could definitely try..." She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat at the mention of him, "How is he doing?" Jared made a face, "He was a mess when you left after graduation and then when you came back here two and a half years ago after your engagement, it was just as bad. He spent most of his time phased. He finally came around about eleven or twelve months ago when he started dating Rachel Black." 

Melinda frowned, she knew Rachel was Jake's sister. Even though she new Rachel had a reputation as being a slut all through high school and college. Of course it had been seven years...people change...Right? 

"He misses you still. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't think about you." Jared said without hesitation or faltering. 

Jared's word tore through to her heart as she nodded, "Believe me the feeling is more than mutual. But I didn't come back here to take someone's boyfriend. Someone who is clearly not mine and never was." 

Jared shook his head, he was going to argue with her but the look in her eyes told him otherwise. "I better get going. Kim will be wondering where I am. We're having a bonfire in a couple of weeks. It would be really great if you could come. And you should definitely go by Sam and Emily's. I'm sure Em would love to see you." Melinda nodded and watched as Jared disappeared in the tree's behind her house. 

Melinda continued to paint. 

Paul wasn't hers...He never was. She just had to keep repeating it to herself and maybe eventually she'd believe it. 


Chapter 6


After a week of cleaning and painting everything, Melinda finally opened her shop; fabulously named: Wicks & Sticks. She sold homemade candles and incense. Melinda walked around the shop re-stocking the shelves as she laughed at Kim who was making faces, “I swear the older Jared gets the more protective he gets. The last time I was at the store and had to use the rest room he nearly followed me inside.” 

Melinda giggled as she leaned against the wall, “Same old Jared. He never changes.” Kim giggled, “God I hope not. Because I swear one of these days he’s going to wake up and realize he imprinted on someone who isn’t as dramatic as me.” The girls busted out laughing even harder. 

Ananda Black walked from the kitchen to the shop as she laughed with the girls, “Since Jake and I got married; he’s just as overprotective as Jared, maybe even more.” Melinda shook her head, “I can’t believe you and Jake got married.” Ananda scoffed, “You? I thought for sure he would have kidnapped Bella Swan and made her marry him. Apparently all he needed was to look at me.” Melinda nodded, “Really look at you. All he had to do was open his eyes and he would’ve known in 1.3 seconds.” Kim nodded, “I agree.” 

The bell hanging above the door of the shop rang as the door opened and a raven hair beauty walked into the shop. Melinda recognized who the raving beauty was. She was none other than Rachel Black. Kim quirked an eyebrow towards Rachel and then looked back at Ananda who rolled her eyes as Rachel dramatically walked around the store making sure to look at each candle label, take the lids off and smell them. Not to mention she picked up every package of incense and smelled it before she finally settled on a lilac candle and a package of incense sticks. 

Rachel walked up to the counter as Melinda rang her up and carefully wrapped the candle in tissue paper and set it in a brown paper sack with the incense sticks, “That’ll be $6.15.” Rachel smiled softly, “How long have you been open? I don’t remember this place being here before.” 

Kim walked up with a smile, “Rachel, don’t tell me you don’t know Melinda Michaels.” Ananda cleared her throat, “Melinda Clearwater. She’s Leah and Seth’s sister. She just moved back here a week or so ago.” Rachel excepted Melinda’s hand as they shook hands politely. 

Suddenly Rachel’s eyes widened, “She’s…She’s…SHE’S LEAH AND SETH’S SISTER?” 

Oh yea she just realized that she was looking back at Paul’s true imprint. 

Rachel snatched her hand away from Melinda as if she’d burned her skin as her eyes narrowed towards Melinda. “Let’s get something straight Miss. Clearwater, Paul wants nothing to do with you. You missed your chance with him when you married that loser Vincent Michaels. Stay away from Paul. Don’t make me warn you again.” 

Melinda smirked, “Don’t make you warn me again? Who the hell do you think you are? Let’s get one thing straight if you ever say a crossword about my deceased husband again me and you will have big issues. I don’t care who you are or are not associated with. I don’t care who you’re dating or who you are related to. I don’t even give two shits about who your friends with. I won’t allow anyone not even Native trash like you, to speak about my deceased husband so terribly.” 

Melinda folded her arms across her chest as she walked around the counter and stalked towards Rachel as Rachel was backing towards the exit, “Now let me make one thing quite clear for you and to you. If you ever come into my place of business again and think you’re going to threaten me without you getting your ass handed to you…Then you’re the chief executive of fantasyland…Please leave my establishment or I’ll give you a free flying lesson out the front window.” 

The trio of women watched as Rachel huffed and scurried out the door. Melinda looked between Kim and Ananda, “What the hell was that all about?” Ananda shook her head, “Rachel has been that way since she started dating Paul. She acts like he’s the alpha and she’s his queen; when everyone knows he’s not in love with her.” Kim scoffed, “Ananda is telling the truth. Everyone thinks she’s been acting that way because she can’t get Paul to ask her to marry him…He won’t do it. He refuses because he doesn’t love her.” 

Paul watched as Rachel threw stuff around his house and growled audibly. He had to hide his smirk and smile on more than a few glares from her. Paul waited until she walked back into his bedroom and slammed the door before he fell over on the couch and laughed into the cushion. Leave it to Melinda's quick temper and even quicker tongue to put Rachel in her place. Paul knew Rachel too well. She loved to shoot her mouth off at Leah and then hide behind him when Leah would scowl and started to step towards her. One of these days he wasn't going to be her bodyguard anymore. 

Paul up righted himself as Rachel stalked out of the bedroom and back to the kitchen as she started slamming pots and pans around again to start dinner. With about the 5th or 6th slam of something in the kitchen, it was Paul's turn to growl as he stood up and walked into the kitchen. 

Rachel started to walk past him when he grabbed her upper arm and jerked her back to face him; they were nearly nose to nose. "I don't care how you treat your stuff at your house, but stop throwing my shit around." He snarled in her face. Rachel huffed as she jerked her arm out of his hot hand, "Don't you dare talk to me right now. That stupid little bitch of an imprint of yours needs to get her ass handed to her. How dare she think she can threaten me like that." 

Paul could feel his temper rising, "Listen, I don't give a shit what was said between the two of you. Chances are you said something she didn't like which is why she put you in your place." Rachel's eyes widened, "DON'T YOU DARE DEFEND HER! I'M YOUR GIRLFRIEND YOU ASSHOLE! NOT HER!" As she slammed down another pan. 

Paul's head craned to the side as he growled and tried to control his anger as he felt the zip trail down his spine, "And your about three seconds away from finding yourself outside of this house on your ass. Don't slam another thing or I swear Rachel...You'll find yourself living back with daddy so fast your head will spin." 

Paul tuned and headed towards the back door. 

"Do you not want me to live here anymore? I can leave if that's what you want. All you have to do is say the words." Rachel squeaked out. Paul sighed heavily they had been fighting more and more lately. He knew she wanted to marry him, but he had no desire to marry her. Not even a little bit. 

Paul raked his hands through his hair as he turned and watched her. Every time they would fight Rachel would get up a good fake cry going and Paul would feel bad, but not nearly as bad as he should. "Rachel I don't have room in my life for games and childish behavior. If you're with me then you accept the fact I didn't imprint on you. It's my responsibility to protect you because you're my girlfriend. And yes now that Melinda is back in town it is my responsibility to protect her. Whether she wants me too or not. It's what I do. It's what I've always done. Even if we aren't together my scent is on her. A leech would know what she is." 

Paul heaved a heavy breath, "I don't like fighting with you, but you already know what my temper is like. So when you get pissy you kick up my temper and in turn my mouth says things without my brains approval. Leave Melinda's name out of our conversations. She has nothing to do with our relationship. If you want this to fully work between us, you need to hear what I'm saying to you right now." 

Paul pulled the stifling t-shirt off and tossed it on the table, "I'm gonna go for a run and calm down. I'll be back in time for dinner." He brushed his lips against her forehead and left as fast as possible. He was forcing himself not to phase. 

Rachel watched as Paul left. A question came to Rachel's mind, 'What if he didn't have the responsibility of protecting her anymore? Would it free him up to marry her?' 

That was definitely a question that deserved more thought as she smirked to herself and started cooking dinner. 


Chapter 7


Paul ran through the trees at a top speed. HE still couldn’t help chuckling in his head. Rachel had told him how the whole conversation with Melinda had gone down and he was pretty sure Rachel left whatever bullshit she said out to make herself look like the victim. 

‘You got that right bro.’ Jared’s voice chuckled and resonated in Paul’s head as he showed the true story from when Kim got home and told him what really happened. 

Paul smirked, ‘I knew Rachel wasn’t telling me everything…Why does she insist on making herself the victim every time she pisses someone off with her mouth.’ 

Jared scoffed, ‘Because she doesn’t have any core values or a conscious. She wants to constantly look like the victim in everyone’s eyes. She’s going to milk it even more now that Mel is back and you know it. Every time you guys get into a fight now she’s going to bring her up, because that’s just the way she has always been. It’s hard to believe she’s related to Jake and Rebecca. And Rebecca is her twin for Christ sake.’ 

Paul couldn’t help as he rolled around on the ground laughing, because Jared was completely honest and right. They knew Rachel and they knew what she was like. Paul still wasn’t sure how he’d gotten himself mixed up with her. Of course he was known as the bad boy and every bad boy needs their bad girl. And no one could get badder then Rachel Black. 

A week later the bonfire was underway. Paul had done a good job of avoiding Melinda for the two weeks she’d been back. He wasn’t trying to rub his relationship with Rachel in her face. He knew she’d just lost her husband, even though he still felt it in his gut that they weren’t in love. Eventually he hoped he could get the truth out of her about it. 

Melinda was sitting on a blanket near the fire as she and Kim giggled back and forth with Ananda and Leah. She heard the sound of a familiar truck as it roared to a halt and turned off; her grey eyes looked up and as Paul got out of his old beat up blue ford. Sam truck he had in high school. Melinda watched as he opened the passenger side door open and made a face as Rachel got out. He wrapped his arm around her waist as they headed over to one of the two bonfire’s that the pack had going; which would be the one furthest from Melinda. 

Kim giggled, “Wow…Who knew Paul would get smarter as he got older.” Ananda scoffed, “Can’t say much about his choice in girlfriends.” Jake chuckled as he sat behind Ananda, “You guys do know he can hear you right?” Melinda laughed hard as she nodded, “Of course. Did you see him flinch?” Kim couldn’t stop her giggles as she watched Paul start to get fidgety as he stood next to Rachel, who elbowed him a couple of times, trying to get him to sit still. 

Jared sat behind Kim and pulled her back against him as he chuckled, “He’s starting to feel the pull again.” Kim nodded knowing he whispered low enough to where Paul couldn’t hear him. Jake flicked Jared’s ear, “I heard that…I’m glad Paul didn’t he would deny it.” Jared nodded. 

Ananda looked at Melinda and watched as she touched her forehead, “What’s wrong Mel?” Melinda shook her head, “I don’t know. I just feel really dizzy.” Jared’s eyebrows shot up, “Mel? You ok?” Melinda shook her head no as she moved around a little, “I think I’m going to go home. I’m not feeling very well.” 

Seth walked over as he frowned, “Melly are you ok?” Melinda smiled weakly, “No.” Leah stood up, “She doesn’t feel good. She’s feeling dizzy.” Seth helped Melinda up to her feet and watched as she teetered on her sneaker covered feet. Seth’s eyes widened as he grabbed his sister’s shoulders and steadied her, “Whoa Melly. C’mon let me take you home.” Melinda nodded as she started to take a step and grabbed Seth’s elbow because she almost fell. 

Seth cringed as he carefully swung her up into his arms and carried her, “Melinda, when did you start feeling dizzy?” Melinda rested her head on Seth’s shoulder as his warmth engulfed her, “I haven’t really felt all that good for the last week.” Seth nodded, “No worries, I’ll get you home and take care of you sis.” Melinda stifled a laugh, “When did you grow up baby brother?” Seth chuckled, “I’ve been growing up for the last seven years and you’ve been missing it.” 

Melinda frowned as Seth set her in the passenger side of his car. After he got in the driver seat, Melinda blinked as tears slowly slid down her cheeks, “I’m sorry I ran away Seth. I never meant to hurt you, Leah or mom. I just…I just had to get out of La Push. It wasn’t even so much La Push as it was…” 

Seth growled, “Paul.” Melinda let out a shaky breath, “What can I say? I was in love with my best friend who imprinted on me and didn’t know what to do. He was confused so he rejected me as his imprint. I was confused so I rejected everyone else; even my family and friends. I know it was a heartless thing to do, but what I did for Vincent was more important than anything I could’ve done here in La Push. Being with Vincent for those two years, whether we loved each other or not was worth it.” 

Seth scoffed, “Mel, you didn’t even love him. Why did you help him?” Melinda frowned, “It wasn’t about love. It was never about love. When I lost Paul as my best friend, it killed me. And then when Leah had to explain to me what imprinting was and that Paul had done it to me and rejected me, I felt as if I lost everything. Then I left and went to college and met Vincent and suddenly I had a replacement for Paul. My feelings and love for Vincent weren’t normal. We did nothing but enjoy our friendship and sex. For the last seven years, that’s all we were to each other friendship and sex. Naturally, when he came to me two years ago and asked me to help him; all he needed was a plan. It was my idea for us to get married. His parents were assholes and I didn’t do anything for him that I wouldn’t have done for anyone here.” 

Melinda blinked out more tears, “Losing Vincent was like losing Paul all over again. It just didn’t hurt as bad. We shared a different kind of love. Vincent knew what Paul was to me. I mean, he didn’t know about the La Push tribal secrets. But he knew I was deeply in love with someone I could never have. He didn’t love me and I didn’t love him. But we shared a different bond that no one could break. And his father setting him up to be murdered and watching him bleed to death in my arms. I’ll never be able to erase those images of him as he choked on the blood in his throat as he told me what he’d done with his will and the money from his 401K and life insurance policies. He was right I wouldn’t have known what to do with the money. But it wasn’t mine to do anything with.” 

Melinda sighed heavily as she looked at Seth when he stopped the car in her driveway, “Sometimes you do things in your life you’re not proud of, but I can honestly say the only thing I regret is leaving you, Leah and mom behind. I know it killed you guys when I left and only came back once. I’m trying to make up for it now Seth. I swear. I know it might be too little too late, but I still have to try. I love you guys.” 

When Seth didn’t say anything to her she, grabbed her house keys and pushed the car door open, “Thanks for bringing me home. Have fun at the bonfire.” Melinda walked into her house and locked up the front door tight as she went to bed. She knew coming back wasn’t going to be easy and she had a lot to make up for. She could only hope in time that Leah, Seth and her mom could forgive her. 

Chapter 8


A few weeks later, Melinda was still feeling bad. Actually, truth be told she was feeling worse. She’d started getting nauseas on a daily basis and was scared she might be pregnant from Vincent; which would just be completely unexpected since her and Vincent had been so careful about it. After she’d gone to the doctor and ruled out pregnancy. Thank God she thought emphatically. 

Her doctor had told her to drink plenty of fluids to keep her self-hydrated. And try to get more sleep and lots of relaxation on her days off. She hadn’t been eating much as of late either. She just didn’t have the appetite anymore. She was starting to get disoriented whenever she would walk around the house. 

Paul could feel Melinda. He knew she was sick but he could figure out what was wrong. He kept asking about her with Seth and Leah and they refused to speak to him about it. Jared and Jake would try to sneak him as much information about Melinda as they could without getting in trouble with Seth and Leah. Paul and Rachel had been fighting double the time now because Rachel could feel the distance between them. And she knew why. 

Melinda Clearwater. 

Paul's mind was constantly on Melinda now a days. The little bitch had officially been back in La Push for three months and Paul had eye fucked her a few times at the last couple of bonfires while his shady ass sat next to her. She was really getting tired of his side conversations away from him, knowing he was talking to other pack members about Melinda and her being sick. 

Rachel glared at Paul and watched as he walked around the bonfire talking with everyone. Her flaming pissed off brown eyes turned and watched as Melinda sat laughing with Kim and Ananda. Those snobby bitches didn't know a good friend when they had one of course they would be friends with Melinda. After all she was little miss perfect. Rachel smirked she could tell Melinda was getting sicker. She wouldn't be stealing anyone's boyfriend anymore. 

A few more days and the sickness would be irreversible. 'I am a smart bitch.' Rachel thought to herself. No one would suspect she had anything to do with it. No one. Melinda owned a candle shop where she put real flowers in the wax for a stronger scent. Nope. No one would suspect a damn thing. 

Rachel watched as Melinda stood saying her good-byes to everyone as she walked off the beach to her red Jeep and left. Finally the princess as gone, maybe now she could have some time with HER boyfriend and not Melinda's wolf. 

Rachel was pulled out of her devious thoughts when a warm hand grabbed her elbow, she looked up and could almost see the disdain in Paul's eyes as he looked down at her and snarled, "Why are you looking at her like that?" Rachel rolled her eyes as she snagged her arm out of his warm grip, "What the hell are you talking about Paul?" Paul scowled, "You're standing here looking at Melinda like she's some kind of enemy. She hasn't done anything to you, you need to stop the stupid shit. Every time I turn around you're talking shit to Rebecca over the phone about Mel or giving her these looks that just are terrible." 

The other's in the pack noticed the scene getting out of hand fast with Rachel and Paul and just cleared away from them to let them handle their own issues. 

Rachel scoffed, "Really? Because I couldn't tell you was just eye fucking her from across the bonfire. Just admit that you want to be with her and not me and get it over with." Paul was losing his temper fast, "Did I say that Rachel? Did I? Am I here with you or her?" Rachel shook her head, "It doesn't matter if you was here with me or at home. You've been distant since she's been back and I'm tired of feeling like I come second in your life. Maybe we could just leave. Let's just move away from La Push." 

Paul's eyebrows shot up in surprise; they almost disappeared into his hair line, "What? You want to move away from La Push? You want me to leave my pack? My friends? My family?" Rachel shoved Paul, "NO! I want you to leave that fuckin bitch behind who doesn't even WANT you. You're standing here wanting her and she doesn't even know you exist. When I'm standing here wanting to spend the rest of my life with you and you don't even give a shit about me." 

Paul smirked, "You know that's where you're wrong Rachel. It's where you've always been wrong. I gave a shit about you since you wormed your way into my life and heart. The minute you felt like our relationship was threatened a little because my imprint moved back into town is when you started lying to me about everything. You don't trust me and that's total bullshit because I trust you. When I go on patrol I know you think I'm off running to Melinda, when I'm really protecting our damn land from people who want to kill everyone living on the rez." 

Rachel scoffed, "I never said that." 

Paul growled, "I'm not stupid Rachel! I'm not completely deluded to the fact that everyone knows Melinda is my imprint. But the only one making a stink about it is you. 
You're the only one who has to bring up her name in every conversation and every damn fight we have. You instigate every problem with the pack's imprints, hell I'm surprised you haven't started world war three with the damn leeches. Every time you smart off to Leah and she wants to yank you around by your hair. I'm the one who stops her. You really don't see anyone else stopping her do you? Hell your own brother won't even stop her. Doesn't that tell you something Rachel? You need to just shut the fuck up about Melinda and anyone else you have a beef with and maybe just maybe I'd be able to move on and be with you the way you're so adamant about being with me." 

Rachel growled through clenched teeth, "YOU'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO MOVE BECAUSE YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH HER!" 

Paul's back had been turned to Rachel when the last sentence left her mouth. She was right. He sighed in defeat suddenly knowing that it didn't matter who he dated, fucked or was just friends with. He was always going to be in love with Melinda. For the last few months he'd tried to force himself to believe he didn't need her like the trees needed the rain to grow or animals needed the air to breathe. But standing there on the beach listening as he and Rachel got into yet another fight everything was clear now. 

Paul turned back to Rachel as he walked over and glared down at Rachel, who looked like she was shaking from head to toe, he couldn't tell if it was because she was angry or scared of him. Or maybe she could feel the anger flowing through his body, he was forcing himself not to phase, same damn thing happened every time they fought. She'd get bent out of shape throw Melinda in his face and it would take an act of God to keep from phasing and tearing into her. 

Paul let out a shaky breath as he shook his head negatively, "I'm done Rachel. I quit." Paul turned away and started to head into the tree line near the beach. Rachel grabbed his arm, "What do yo-..." But her question died on her lips as he jerked his arm out of her grasp and swung around to face her she could see his eyes. They were the soft onyx eyes she'd fallen in love with and gotten used to and was suddenly aware that she'd definitely crossed the line this time. 

Paul backed away from her, "You should've just kept your trap shut Rachel. That's all you had to do was keep your thoughts to yourself and we would've been fine. I'm giving you three days to pack your shit and move out or you'll find it on the doorstep of your father's house. When I said I was done. I meant it. We're done." Paul turned and jogged off into the tree, phasing immediately. 

Rachel could feel the tears as they slid down her cheeks. She really had pushed him too far. She walked off the beach and got in her car leaving for Paul's to do as he asked. 

Once Rachel left Jared looked down at Kim, "This was a long time coming." Jake nodded standing next to Ananda, "My sister never did learn how to leave well enough alone. It's definitely been a long time coming." 

Sam and Emily walked over, Emily frowned, "Do you think Rachel will be ok?" 

Jake's heart softened only Emily would be the kind one, "I don't know Em." 

Sam chuckled as he kissed the top of his wife's head; she was the most loving person in La Push. She didn't care who you was or what you'd done, she believed everyone deserved to have friends and some kind of love. "I'd venture to say no one really cares either." Sam mumbled in the top of her head. 

Emily swatted his bare chest, "I know she's started a lot of shit since they'd been together and just started more with Mel came back, but we all know what pain feels like, in different way. She was in love with Paul." 

Ananda smiled softly, "Yea, but Paul told her from the start about Mel. And all she kept doing was throwing her in his face every chance she got. I'm surprised Paul let her get away with as much as she had." 

Everyone's head snapped up as Paul jogged up, "Where's Melinda? Something's wrong." Leah growled, "What the hell do you care?" Paul snarled, "SHE'S SICK LEAH! I CAN FEEL HER! WHERE THE FUCK IS SHE?" Leah started to sneer back when a hand on her shoulder stopped her, her and Paul both looked up and saw Seth as he frowned, "She went home. She wasn't feeling well." 

Everyone watched as Paul, Leah and Seth tore out for Melinda's house phasing as soon as they hit the tree line, knowing they'd make it there faster in wolf form. Paul pushed himself and ran faster than Leah and Seth. Usually it was Leah beating him anywhere because of her smaller wolf form, but Paul couldn't stand the thought of Melinda hurting. He'd felt it in the trees as soon as he left the beach. The stomach pains, the disorientation all of it. 

Paul skidded to a stop outside of her house as he re-phased and pulled his shorts on. He ran to the front door and it was locked, he pulled back and jammed his shoulder into the door knocking it off its hinges. silently promising to fix it for her, because he knew she'd kill him. 

"MEL! MELINDA WHERE ARE YOU?" Paul yelled frantically. He finally stopped as his heart fell into his stomach at the sight of her passed out on the kitchen floor. Paul pushed her hair out of her face as he heard her whimper. Paul carefully picked her up in his arms and cradled her against his body as Seth and Leah finally ran into the house. 

Leah could already feel the worry pouring from Paul's body when he was in wolf form and standing there with her unconscious sister in his arms is was etched on his handsome features as he carried her to her car and got in. Seth got behind the wheel as Leah jumped in as well. Deciding there was only one doctor they could take her too. The only doctor who would know exactly what was going on faster then any normal doctor or hospital. 

Dr. Cullen. 


Chapter 9


Paul wasn't keen on the idea of having to go to Dr. Leech for help, but he knew Carlisle would be the only one who could help her the fastest. For a vampire Carlisle was an original. His family was definitely unique, they only drank animal blood and never killed humans. Carlisle and Esme Cullen had five adopted kids, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice and Edward. A few years ago Edward found a mate in the form of Jacob Black's best friend Bella Swan. Bella married Edward knowing what he was. She ended up getting pregnant on their honeymoon and as a result almost...well actually died giving birth to a half vampire half human baby, because the baby was tearing apart her insides. 

Rather than bite her and void the treaty his family had with the Quileute wolf pack, Edward injected his venom in her to save her life. Since he didn't bite her technically they hadn't violated the treaty. They'd actually become allies in helping slow down the vampire attacks in Washington. 

As soon as Paul handed Melinda's unconscious body over to Emmett he had to back away from the house and phase. He couldn't stop himself the sickeningly sweet smell of Emmett infiltrated his nose and his body betrayed him like it always would around a vampire. Paul paced back and forth outside of the Cullen's as he watched Emily and Kim pulled up in Sam's truck and Ananda pulled up in the rabbit; as Sam, Jared and Jake came out of the tree line. 

Jared looked over at Paul as they locked eyes. Jared knew Paul wouldn't be able to keep his wolf side at bay when he got too close to the Cullen's, "C'mon Paul. If you want to be there for her you have to control yourself." Paul grumbled audibly, no one knew him like Jared. Jared watched as Kim's frowning face came into view as Jared matched her frown as he walked up to her and brushed a kiss to her forehead. 

Jared laced his fingers with Kim's as he lead her to the house, he stopped and looked back at the silvery / dark grey wolf who was his best friend, "Paul stop being stubborn and phase back." Paul grumbled again as he went to the trees and phased back pulling on his shorts and sneakers. Paul chuckled when he stepped out of the trees and Emily held up a t-shirt for him. Paul leaned over and kissed her cheek as he pulled the t-shirt over his head and smoothed it over his chest, "Thanks Em." 

Emily giggled as she ruffled Paul's hair, "I like you better when you're not being stubborn Paul." Paul smirked as he watched Sam wrapped his arm around her waist, Sam crocked his head towards the front door, "Go on. Were gonna stay out here with Jake and Ananda for a minute." Paul nodded as he jogged to the front door and slowly disappeared into the house. 

Ananda could see the anger in his eyes and his body heat was rising, so she knew he was having a hard time with going into the Cullen house. She cupped Jake's face as she brushed her lips against his softly, "Calm down Jake. We don't have to go inside if you don't want to. I know you don't want to see..." "Don't say it." Jake's rough voice cut her off before she could say Bella's name. 

Ananda frowned as she felt Jake's fingers grip her hips tightly through her jeans, "Jake we can leave if you want to. I know...I know it still hurts." 

Jake hated that it still hurt him to see Bella as a leech, especially since he had Ananda. He loved her so much. He loved her more than anything in the world. She understood everything he'd been through and still agreed to marry him. Jake frowned as he looked down at Ananda who smiled softly at him, "Let's go home. Please." Ananda nodded as she rubbed her nose against Jake's and he kissed her lips softly after which he led her over to the rabbit and they left. Jake knew no one would get their nose out of joint if he left. 

Paul was leaning against the wall as he stared at the closed door which Emmett said Melinda was behind. Carlisle was still checking her out and running a few blood tests. His onyx eyes were practically eating a hole in the door. He could almost not stand the smell of vampire in the air. At one point he had to talk himself into not phasing and tearing them all apart. 

Melinda was more important than his hatred of the vampire's who seemed to be watching him with their golden eyes. They knew his breathing was labored and they could definitely tell he was battling his inner wolf voice screaming for him to phase.

Emily walked over and touched his arm, she could feel the slight hum of vibration just under his skin. He was doing a wonderful job of controlling his inner wolf, "You're doing fine Paul. Melinda will be okay. If anyone can help her Carlisle can." Paul just nodded, he knew he couldn't open his mouth or he would say something to get himself into trouble. Just when Paul was about to lose faith and go outside to phase for a minute, the door opened and Carlisle walked out. 

A frown marred his flawless marble skin, "She's stable finally." Paul pushed off the wall as he watched Carlisle walk over and stop in front of him, "What is going on with Mel doc?" Carlisle made a face which no one could read, "Apparently over the last few months Melinda was being poisoned. Slowly. I'm not sure how or who, but the poisoning is from Oleander flowers. They are highly poisonous and the whole thing, flowers, leaves, stems, twigs and even roots are full of poison. They smell wonderful but anyone who handles them has to either wear disposable gloves or wash their hands thoroughly." 

Paul growled, "She's a candle maker for Christ sake, who would poison her?" Carlisle shook his head, "I'm afraid I don't know. Oleander poisoning is actually quite common because people don't realize just how poisonous the beautiful flower is." 

Paul sighed heavily, "You wouldn't by any chance happen to know what it would look like do you?" He didn't want to believe it. He just couldn't believe it. Carlisle nodded at the question and then watched as Alice walked over with a book of the most poisonous flowers in the United States. As soon as Paul saw the pink flower staring back at him he began to shake from head to toe. 

"I'm going to fuckin kill her." His voice was low and completely full of truth. 

Jared walked over and gripped Paul's shoulder, "What is it bro?" Kim started to walk over to Paul, when Jared held his arm out to stop her, Paul growled as his eyes narrowed to slits, "Rachel...She's been..." It was almost too much for him to have to think about; let alone say it out loud. "Rachel has been growing these outside the back door of my damn house." Rachel had been the culprit behind it the whole time. She was poisoning Melinda the whole damn time. 

Paul couldn't handle it anymore as he tore through the Cullen house and phased as soon as he made it out the front door. 

Jared pulled Kim around to face him, "Stay here with Emily, Sam and I have to stop him. Call Jake and tell him what's going on. If he doesn't want his sister to be murdered he'll meet us at their father's house." Kim nodded as Emily grabbed her hand and they watched as Sam and Jared both left phasing as soon as they got outside and immediately followed Paul. 

Emily thanked Esme for handing her their house phone as she dialed Jake's cell phone number. Jake finally answered around the fourth ring. Emily sighed with relief, "Jake listen. Rachel has been poisoning Melinda. Paul just found out and went a little...Well he went a little wolf as you can only imagine. He's really pissed off. I think he might do something he may regret later, you need to go to your dad's house and get Rachel protected. Sam and Jared will only be able to hold him off for so long." 

Jake growled, "SHE WHAT?" Jake breathed deeply as he looked at Ananda, "You stay here. I don't want you in the middle of this. I'll be home as soon as I can." Ananda nodded as she watched him leave, secretly hoping Paul got to Rachel before Jake did. 

Chapter 10


Rachel sat in the kitchen with her father as they talked back and forth. Billy frowned, "Are you sure you want to move to Hawaii with Rebecca?" Rachel's frown matched Billy's, "I'm sure dad. Becca said she could help me get a job there with her companies firm and I could be making good money. It's not like I wouldn't be back for vacations and stuff. I just...I just need to get away for a while. I really messed things up with Paul and chances are he'd over making up his mistakes to Melinda. I really don't want to watch them make up for lost time." 

Billy patted Rachel's hand, he completely understood. He knew everyone had warned Rachel even Jake about Paul's imprinting on someone who wasn't her and how it would affect her in the long and short run of things, but Rachel being as rebellious as ever brushed them all off and still perused Paul. 

Now more than ever if was coming back to bite her on the ass. 

A knock at the door pulled the family talk apart, as Rachel walked over and started to open the door when she saw a very pissed off Paul glaring back at her she tried to push her weight against the door and slam it in his face, which only served to piss Paul off even more as he waited for her to back away from the door and kicked it, the door flew open so hard the door knob got wedged into the drywall behind it. 

Paul's fists were tightly clenched at his sides as he stalked into the small house as the anger flowed through his whole body. Rachel continued to back up until she bumped into Billy's wheelchair. Billy turned around and saw the heated way Paul was glaring at his daughter, "Paul Redson what is going on?" 

Paul growled deeply, "I'm going to end her existence. You can stay and watch or you can leave I don't care either way." Rachel began shaking from head to toe as she tried to back up more. Billy rolled himself in front of Rachel so he was between her and Paul, "Now Paul just calm down and tell me what's going on." 

Paul looked down at the elder tribal council member, he had nothing but respect for Billy Black, "You want to tell him Rachel or should I?" Rachel's shaky voice was barely above a whisper, "I don't know what you're talking about Paul." Paul chuckled ruefully, "Of course you don't. Because you are little miss perfect, you can do no wrong. Right? RIGHT!" Rachel jumped physically when Paul yelled. Paul craned his head to the side as the fire started to slide down his spine, "It seems you're daughter was having some jealousy issue." 

Rachel gasped, "I never!" 

"SHUT UP! She poisoned my imprint. She has been poisoning Melinda for the last few months." 

Rachel shook her head negatively, "I don't know what you're talking about Paul. I wouldn't even know where to begin to poison someone." 


That was a voice they didn't expect as all eyes turned to the back door where Jake was standing. Rachel glared at her little brother, "Don't start sticking up for little pack mutt brother now." Jake and Paul both growled as Paul took a step towards Billy and Rachel, "Billy, she's been growing Oleanders outside the back door of my house. Someone has been poisoning Melinda with Oleanders. Rachel has done nothing but tell me lie after lie since Melinda moved back into La Push." 

Sam and Jared finally showed up and Emily arrived with Carlisle Cullen and Charlie Swan. 

Charlie walked through the back door as he nodded, "Billy." 

Billy nodded back, "Charlie, What brings you here?" 

Charlie sighed heavily, "It seems your daughter has been poisoning the middle Clearwater girl. Apparently she's been injecting her food and drinks in the house with the Oleander poison. And actually disposed of the syringes in Melinda's own garbage. We pulled her finger prints off them. I'm sorry Billy but I have to arrest her." 

Rachel suddenly freaked out as she started crying as she shoved and hit Paul several times while screaming at the top of her lungs, "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! IF YOU JUST WOULD'VE LEFT THAT FUCKIN BITCH ALONE I WOULDN'T HAVE TRIED TO GET RID OF HER MYSELF. CAN'T YOU SEE I DID IT FOR US...FOR OUR HAPPNIESS." 

Paul let her do as she pleased and when she slapped him across the face more than once he growled and grabbed her wrists and shoved her towards Sam and Jake. 

Rachel cried some fake tears as she felt Charlie placing her in handcuffs, "Daddy please." 

Billy frowned, "I would've done anything for your happiness Rachel. And until today I would've never thought you'd be capable of hurting a fly let alone another human being. I'm so disappointed in you Rachel. I know we lost your mother at a young age, but I have to believe that you learned to hate from something else. Because I know we never taught you to treat people this way...To behave like an animal. To have such disregard for other people in the world. You are no longer welcome in my home as well as La Push or the reservation." 

Rachel continued to cry as Charlie placed her in the back of his patrol car and drove off. 

Paul frowned as he looked down at Billy Black, "I'm sorry Billy." Billy shook his head, "No Paul. I'm sorry." 

Sam watched as Paul turned and started to head out of the house, when Emily smiled as she pushed up and kissed his cheek, "I'm proud of you Paul. You did the right thing. I know how it would've been so easy for you to hurt her the way she hurt you and Melinda. Probably worse with your temper. But you didn't. You should head back to the Cullen's Melinda woke up and was asking for you." 

Paul nodded as he jogged into the tree line and phased and headed back to the Cullen's. Emmett let him in as soon as he got there. Paul ran his hands through his hair as he tried to keep control of himself. Paul walked into the room Melinda was staying in, as he walked in he nearly lost his breath. She was trying to stand up from the bed. Paul rushed over and caught her before she fell, "What in the hell are you doing Mel?" 

Melinda felt Paul's warmth surround her, she gripped his arms as he held onto her tightly, "I talk to you." Paul frowned, "Mel, I had to take care of something. You know I would've been back." Melinda was short of breath, "I know...but it...was important." Paul kept one arm wrapped around her waist to steady her against his body as his other hand came up and softly brushed her hair out of her face. Her grey eyes peered up at him. Paul shook his head, "Nothing is as important then your health right now. You need to get your rest so I can get you home." 

Melinda stifled a laugh as she rested her head against Paul's chest, "But really important." Paul furrowed his brow, "Okay tell me and then get back in bed...Please." Melinda's head lifted as she locked eyes with Paul again, "I...Love you. And I shouldn't have...I shouldn't have left...Two years ago...I didn't love Vincent...I loved you...It's always been you." Paul couldn't help himself as he leaned down and captured Melinda's lips with his. He leaned further down and lifted her into his arms as he felt her arm wrap around his neck and held onto him tightly. 

Paul pulled back from her lips as Melinda buried her face in the side of his neck, "I want to go home." Paul shook his head negatively, "Absolutely not. You're going to stay here with the Cullen's until you are at least a hundred percent." "Will you stay with me?" 

Paul nodded knowing there was no way he could just leave her there, "There isn't anywhere else I'd rather be then here with you." Paul carefully placed Melinda back in bed as he sat on top of the covers and leaned back against the head board, he watched as Melinda rolled over and laid her head against his stomach. Just the feel of her soft touch on him was enough to make him never want to leave her again. He knew he had a lot to make up for. 

Paul was more than willing to do what it took to make sure she stayed in his life forever. 


Chapter 11


Paul woke up with a jerk to his body. It was a great dream while it lasted. The truth was Melinda hadn’t woke up yet. Rachel was rotting in jail in Forks and Paul hadn’t left Melinda’s side for the last two weeks. Dr. Leech had said it was because her body was trying to get rid of all the poison in her blood stream. Dr. Leech had said it would probably be a faster process if Sue Clearwater would allow them to ‘suck’ the poison out. Sue had been of sound mind and body when she looked at Dr. Leech and declined to have her daughter sucked. 

Everyone knew Dr. Leech could do it without putting venom in her but no one wanted to chance it. Sam had even said he would stand by Sue’s decision if she had said yes. Paul was only too overjoyed to hear Sue say no. It wasn’t a matter of Dr. Leech not being able to stop himself because they all knew he had exceptional control. It was a matter of if he slipped and accidentally put venom in her. 

Paul wished with everything in him he could make his dream from last night come true. But he knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. He’d hurt Melinda…badly; he knew it was going to take an act of God to get her to agree to anything with him. But he started it, by being next to her. Her hand felt cold in his, she looked pale, but at least she didn’t look leech pale, that would be more disturbing to him. 

For the most part he was surprised at how welcome the leeches had made him feel. They were generally nice about the whole thing; not that Paul wasn’t grateful for Dr. Leeches help; he just wasn’t used to having him be so nice about helping the pack. Paul guessed Dr. Cullen never had a problem helping the pack, he was always there to help the pack, and it was the pack that had issues with him being so close to other pack members and even imprints. 

Especially imprints. No one wanted to see their imprint parish at the hands of a vampire. Paul and the rest of the pack had been working with the Cullen’s since the pack started phasing; the pack should’ve learned already none of the Cullen’s was harmful. But such wasn’t the case. The pack constantly wanted to believe the leeches would hurt them, when they wouldn’t. Everyone in the pack was biased…Even Paul. And now he felt ashamed. Ashamed every time he’d growled at them in wolf form for getting too close to him or grumbling, smarting off or just generally being rude. 

Carlisle was probably the most selfless person in the world. Here he was helping his imprint and keeping her from dying when he knew exactly how all the wolves felt about him and his family of leeches. And yet here was Paul still calling them leeches in his mind. The truth was they were still vampires anyway you looked at it; even if they didn’t want to be vampires. The pack knew they didn’t have choices in the matter but they also could choose to kill humans and didn’t. Their golden eyes were proof of that. 

“We could call you stinky mutts, but we’ve learned that some of you have quite bad tempers.” Said a familiar voice. 

Paul was pulled from his personal thoughts as he looked over and saw Edward standing in the doorway. Paul stood up and looked at Edward as he grunted, “I know I was the biggest judgmental dog in the pack, but I can’t really pass judgment right now as long as you’re keeping Melinda alive.” 

Edward smirked, “We’re not keeping her alive. That’s Carlisle’s job. He’s saved thousands and thousands of people. Melinda is just one of the lucky many. As he’s gotten older he’s learned more about diseases, cancers and even poisons. Maybe that’s why he was made into a vampire to take in all the knowledge to be the best and save everyone possible. Maybe he was destined to save Melinda for you.” 

Paul nodded, “Yea. It could be a possibility.” 

Edward couldn’t stop the smirk, “Do I want to know why you feel ashamed?” Paul shook his head no, “Dude get out of my head. Please. I can only imagine what my pack would say if they heard my thoughts right now.” 

A look of seer surprise crossed Edward’s face when he dug deeper into Paul’s thoughts and saw exactly why Paul was feeling ashamed. Paul chuckled, “Shut up man. Just don’t even say it.” Edward stifled a chuckle, “You’re right the rest of the wolves would kill you.” Paul shook his head as he watched Edward leave. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Though he’d never let the rest of the pack know that. 

“I heard that.” Edward’s voice came from the hallway. 

Paul chuckled as he went back to staring at Melinda. How he wanted her to wake up and argue with him the only way she knew how. Paul walked over and lowered himself to his knees beside her bed as he brushed his nose across her cheek and hair, even neck taking in her scent. How he’d missed her scent. She smelled like gardenias since he could remember. Paul brushed his lips against her ear, “Wake up Mel, please. I need you. I miss you.” 

Paul continued to look at her from head to toe; he went back to holding her hand in his. He moved the chair closer to the bed as he sat down in it, never letting go of her hand. Holding her hand between both of his he placed soft butterfly kisses on her knuckles, all over the back of her hand and all along the palm of her hand. “I miss everything about you Mel. Your laughter, your smile, your great sense of humor, the way you love everyone you know unconditionally…Even me, when I was the biggest asshole in your life. How you was so accepting of the pack and the imprint and everything I managed to fuck up with you. I miss the sound of your voice when you first wake up and the way you chew your bottom lip when you’re thinking or nervous. Most of all I miss us. I missed not being your best friend for the last seven years. I barely survived the first seven years without you. I don’t think I could possibly handle another seven. I love you so much Melinda and I just want you to wake up so I can say all of this to you and not to four walls. Because you deserve to hear all of it and realize it’s the complete truth. I have to grovel. I have to make it all up to you. It was my mistake, my fuck up. I won’t make the same mistake twice. I swear on my life. I swear on the imprint.” 

Cold brown eyes watched from the door way, she couldn’t believe Paul had actually stayed by Melinda’s bed side since she’d been at the Cullen’s house for the last two weeks. Leah sighed as she walked away from the bedroom door leaving Paul alone for now. She and Seth knew better than anyone just how tough it was for Melinda to leave La Push. And just how tough it was for Paul when he found out Melinda was getting married to someone who wasn’t him. Paul had vowed if he ever got the chance even for a second he was going to make it up to Melinda. He wasn’t sure how to do it but knew some type of groveling, begging and promise making would definitely be involved. 

Leah folded her arms over her chest as she walked out of the Cullen house. Seth watched as Leah jogged into the trees and followed her as he phased, ‘Leah where are you going?’ 

Leah growled, ‘Stop following me Seth. I just want to be alone right now.’ 

Seth grumbled, ‘I know you hate Paul and you’ve spent the better part of the last seven years trying to hate him for everything he’s done to drive away Melinda. But she left, he never made her leave. She did it on her own. When she wakes up chances are she’s going to want to spend the rest of her life with him. She is his imprint. He loves her. And you know she loves him. And it’s never going to be anything different between them. That’s why they are soul mates.’ 

Leah snarled and snapped her teeth at Seth, ‘I know! God damn it Seth! I KNOW! I just don’t want him to hurt her. Paul hurting her is what made her leave. I know she didn’t have to leave. Hell how the fuck could I EVER be mad at her leaving? She had the balls to do something I wanted to do when I found out Sam imprinted on Emily. I hated Sam with a strong passion and when I found out Paul was rejecting Melinda as his imprint because he was confused I thought he was stupid. Because here he was with an imprint of his own and he fuckin’ blew it. And here I am stuck in a pack of all males…the only female standing around watching as my pack brother’s imprint with their soul mates and the ex-love of my life moves on with my cousin. How pathetic am I?’ 

Seth couldn’t even think of anything to say to Leah as he watched her turn and jog off into the trees. 


Chapter 12


Jared and Kim got out of the truck in front of the Cullen's home. Kim had been bugging Jared for the last four or five days. She wanted to go see Melinda, but Jared wasn't letting her go to the Cullen's alone. He'd finally gotten a day away from work and from patrolling and brought her to the house. They walked up to the front door and knocked. 

Jared smirked when Rosalie opened the door and made a face that showed she was clearly disgusted by the smell of wolf on the imprint and stronger from the wolf clearly, "Can I help you?" Jared quirked an eyebrow at her, "I would've thought it was fairly obvious what we were doing here." Rosalie rolled her eyes, "C'mon in, maybe you can get your friend to get out for a while. If I went for your kind I would think it's sweet, but he's annoyingly nice right now. Not really used to it since he's the one with the temper and rude attitude. You know where Melinda's room is." 

Jared nodded as he chuckled and took Kim's hand in his, "Sounds like Paul." Kim giggled, "You'd be the same way so don't try to deny it." Jared looked down at Kim, "Of course I would. I probably would be worse though. You're my wife. The future mother of our children. Don't think for a second I wouldn't be losing my mind until you woke up." Kim smirked, "I'm sure Paul is losing his mind with worry. Even if they aren't married." Jared nodded as he leaned down and brushed his lips over her forehead. 

They walked upstairs and found the open bedroom door and saw Paul sitting in the same spot as always. Paul smelled Jared before he heard him, he looked up and saw Jared and Kim standing in the doorway. Paul stood up as he saw the frown that formed on Kim's face. Paul touched Kim's shoulder, "You can touch her and talk to her. She's not in pain. I promise, she's just sleeping until all the poison leaves her body." 

Jared felt Kim's sadness as he looked down and frowned when he noticed the tears sliding down her cheeks, "Why would anyone ever hurt Mel? I don't understand. She's never hurt anyone. Not even Rachel. Rachel knew the consequences if she tried to be with you...Everyone warned her; everyone and she still got her hooks into you." 

Paul chuckled, "Believe me Kim. She never got any part of me. I never stopped loving Melinda. I was foolish to believe I could date Rachel and forget about Melinda. It was even more foolish to think I'd love anyone but Mel. I tried being with Rachel. When I knew it wasn't going to work I tried talking to Rachel several times about just walking away. But she refused. She swore up and down that she could make it work. As much as I told her it wouldn't, she fought twice as hard to save a dying relationship. I don't even know if I can call it that." 

Kim shook her head as she walked over and sat next to Melinda’s still body. The only movement was her soft breathing. 

Jared pulled Paul aside, “Bro you look like hell why don’t you go home and get a couple of hours of sleep. If she wakes up you won’t be any good to her.” Paul shook his head negatively, “I’ve been getting sleep. Believe me Jared that’s not my problem right now. The only problem I have is waiting for her to wake up. Every hour she doesn’t wake up it just hurts more and more. I know she is going to wake up eventually, it’s just the waiting that kills me.” 

Jared nodded, “I know man. She’ll wake up. This is Melinda were talking about. She’s the toughest female I know. Well…Aside from Leah. And she’s got Leah’s gene’s running through her. That really does have to count for something right?” Paul frowned, “I hope so. I really do. I don’t care if she hates me forever; I just want her to wake up. She can argue with me until were both blue in the face at least I’ll be able to hear her voice and see her and she’ll be awake.” 

“Always so dramatic.” 

Paul’s eyes widened as he was suddenly aware that the soft scratchy voice did not belong to Jared, Kim, or himself. Paul looked over and saw Kim had thrown herself over Melinda hugging her tightly as Melinda was patting her head trying to comfort Kim as she cried hard on Melinda’s chest. 

Jared chuckled as he turned and saw Kim holding onto Melinda, “Kim, let her breathe a little she just woke up after a three week nap.” Kim sat up as she looked at Jared with the saddest frown he had seen since they’d been together. Jared groaned, “Ah Kimberly. Don’t look at me like that. You already know I can’t stand to hear you cry, but you already know that face is just going to mess me up.” 

Melinda squeezed Kim’s hand, bringing Kim’s brown eyes back to Melinda as she smiled at Kim, “I’m fine. I promise.” Jared smiled softly, “I’m gonna go get Carlisle. He’s gonna wanna check you out.” Melinda nodded as she watched him disappear out the door. Kim looked at Melinda and then at Paul and noticed their eyes had locked, she stood from the chair as she pulled her t-shirt down over her hips, “I’m gonna just leave you two alone for a minute and find out what’s keeping Jared. He’s so slow sometimes.” 

Melinda watched as Paul walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed facing Melinda. She could see the worry still etched on his handsome face. Melinda’s hand came up and softly touched his cheek; she could feel the warmth from his overheated skin against the palm of her hand. She watched as his eyes closed, clearly relishing the feeling of her touching him.

Melinda swallowed incredibly hard; her voice was scratchy because she hadn’t used it in three weeks as she took in a shaky breath, “You stayed here the whole time.” Paul nodded, “Yes.” “I know, I heard you. I couldn’t hear anyone else. But I could hear your voice. Every word you said to me. I head all of it. I just couldn’t get my eyes open. Why did you stay? You didn’t have to.” 

Paul put his hand over Melinda’s that was still touching his cheek, “As much as I have been fucking up with us since I phased and imprinted on you. I know it’s all been my fault. Believe me no one knows better than I do. I had to make the right decision. I stayed for not only you, but for me as well. I told you two and a half years ago I was in love with you and nothing has changed. No matter what I did in my past, I still love you and I’m still in love with you. I lost you for seven years because I was a stupid confused immature little asshole. Everyone tried to warn me and tell me I was making the wrong decision but I thought I knew more and I was wrong they were right. I don’t care if it takes me another seven years to make things right between us.” 

Paul sighed heavily, “And I will make it up to you. If you’ll let me.” 


Chapter 13


Paul ran through the forest trying to burn off some of the emotions and feelings he was harboring. He couldn’t get Melinda’s words out of his head and they kept running through his head over and over and over. 

“Paul I don’t need you to make anything up to me. I’m not your obligation. I’m not even technically your responsibility. I know I’m you’re imprint and I always will be. You know I love you and I’m going to love you for my entire life. But I need time to get my health back on track and I just need time for myself. I know you want to make it up to me, but for right now, I just want to live my life for a while. I’m not saying I don’t ever want to be with you, but for right now…Can you just be my friend? Please.” 

Paul skidded to a stop on his fur covered paws. His heart almost broke when she asked if he could be her friend. There was no way he would ever deny her anything ever again. He’d be her fiend until she chose to be more. He knew she had been through hell with the Oleander poisoning and just trying to get her life back on track after being asleep for three weeks because her body was sleeping off the poison was even more tiring. Paul would be whatever she wanted him to be. So friends it was. 

Paul’s onyx eyes scanned the blue water below the cliffs as his lungs inhaled deeply several times trying to suck in the air. The pain of her words just cut to the middle of his heart, but he should’ve known she was going to say it. He had put her through hell when they were younger. He admitted he’d done some stupid shit after he’d phased, first and foremost would be ignoring her for the six months after he phased and the second would have to be rejecting her as his imprint. He should’ve just listened to the guys and Emily but he didn’t. He wished he could go back and just do everything over. Do everything right instead of completely wrong. 

It had been two months since Melinda had said those words to him. She actually took a month to get herself fully healthy again before she re-opened her shop. As friends, Melinda and Paul spent every Friday night watching movies and talking about their week, trying to make each other feel better if the week was stressful. Either Melinda would cook dinner or Paul would stop and get something so Melinda wouldn’t have to cook. 

Melinda was pulled from her thoughts as a chin rested on her right shoulder. Mel smiled as she looked to the right and found Leah. Mel turned around as the sister’s embraced lovingly. Leah laughed as she hugged Melinda tighter. Leah sighed, “I came to ask you if you wanted to go for a walk.” Melinda smiled softly, “Sure.” Melinda locked up the shop as she and Leah walked with their arms interlocked together and giggled about the dumb stuff that Seth had been up too. He was still looking for imprint. 

Melinda shook her head, “Poor Seth he’s trying too hard.” Leah giggled, “And failing miserably. He really is trying too hard. The guys keep trying to tell him that it will happen when he least expects it.” Melinda laughed, “I’ve had more than a few conversations with him about it.” Leah chuckled, “Yea…Me too.” 

Suddenly the girls stopped in front of the cemetery. Melinda frowned, “Wow has it really been eight years since dad died?” Leah nodded, “Yea. I had to get out of the house; mom won’t stop calling and Seth too. They don’t dare bother you because they know you’ve been through enough. But I wanted to come with you and not mom. You know she’ll start crying uncontrollably and Seth will have to sit with her all day like he does every year.” 

Melinda nodded in understanding, “I know it hasn’t been easy without me around the last seven years. But I’m not going anywhere any more. Paul and I have come to an agreement. He doesn’t act like an ass anymore and I don’t run away from stupid problems I can’t control.” Leah made a face, “How is the whole friendship angle working for you two?” Melinda shrugged, “As good as can be expected. Sometimes the sexual tension is so thick I just want to jump on him and say screw being friends and then their other days when it’s just nice to have someone to watch movies with all night long and talk and laugh about stupid shit.” 

Leah nodded knowingly, “I get it. I still want to rip his ass for him, but I’m being nice. Sam still won’t let me patrol with him. I always give him a bit of a mind fuck when were phased together. I patronize him he growls at me then runs to Sam like he’s daddy.” Melinda cringed, “How are you and Sam doing since…Ya know?” Leah shrugged her shoulders, “I still despise the man. And I’d love to bite his ass just once. But he has been there for you. I will give him that. After all the bullshit Rachel put you through I will admit he has been there to help you with everything.” 

Melinda nodded, “Yea even after the talk I had with him at the Cullen’s, he still brought me home and stayed with me for the first two or three days to make sure I could get around the house. Now we spend every Friday sitting on the couch on opposite ends trying to ignore each other and pretend like were watching the movies we have on.” Leah shrugged, “Only you can decide when you don’t want to be in the friend’s stage any longer. Go over and sit on his lap. I know you want to…you know you want too as well. Stop denying the man what he and you both want and get it on already.” 

Melinda giggled, “You know for someone who claims to hate Paul so much you sure are in favor of my relationship with him.” Leah shook her head, “No I don’t hate him. I dislike him. I hated him for what he did to you Mel. Seven years ago he could’ve saved me from missing my little sister and Seth missing one of his big sisters had he just listened to what everyone was telling him. But he’s more than made up for most of the stupid shit he’s done. And he’s still making up for it. He’s got a ways to go, but he’s getting there faster than I expected him to.” 

Melinda laughed as they came to a stop in the middle of the cemetery. Both sets of eyes were on the headstone: Harry Clearwater - Beloved Husband & Father 

The girls stood staring at the headstone holding each other’s hand. Melinda could already feel the tears as they started to well up in her eyes. She hadn’t been to the cemetery in eight years. She guessed now was as good a time as any. She felt Leah squeeze her hand and when she looked over at her big sister, Leah couldn’t hide her tears as they streamed down her tan cheeks and was sniffling. 

A voice broke through the girl’s thoughts, “Leah.” 

Melinda and Leah’s head both turned to the girl’s right and a shirtless Embry was standing looking back at the girls with his chest rising and falling at a fast rate. A frown was marring his normally happy face. Leah let a water smile grace her red lips as Embry was by her side in three steps pulling her flush against his body as his arms wound around her waist and he buried his face in her hair as she pushed up on her toes and buried her face in his neck. 

Melinda was slightly taken back. She didn’t have any knowledge about Leah having feelings for anyone. Least of all Embry? It was definitely an odd matching; Leah with her bitter attitude and Embry the mellow one of the pack. 

Melinda noticed Leah’s soft exterior when Embry was this close to her. Leah’s soft voice cut through their sweet moment, “I’m okay Embers.” Embry pulled back as he looked down into her eyes making sure she made eye contact with him, “Are you sure?” Leah nodded as Embry leaned down and kissed her lips softly, “I gotta get back on patrol.” Leah nodded, “Thanks. I’ll see you later.” 

Embry grinned at Melinda, “Mel.” Melinda giggled, “Embry.” 

Leah turned and knew she was busted as her cheeks tinged crimson. 

Melinda laughed hard, “Start talking.” 

Chapter 14


Leah couldn’t stop smiling as she and Melinda walked down the path through the forest back to Mel’s house. Melinda nudged her, “Okay spill it Leah.” Leah chuckled, “Well…I was in heavy denial that I’d ever love anyone the way I loved Sam. But I was wrong. I was dead wrong. I was so bitter and pissed off at the way my life twisted itself after dad died for the longest time I didn’t want to be around anyone. I patrolled alone, I ate alone, I walked alone, I wondered alone…I just did everything alone. I barely attended pack meetings, Sam allowed me to miss them and let Jake or Seth replay it for me in wolf form. I hated the wolf part of my life, but oddly enough I spent the better part of the first five years after I first phased as a wolf, just to avoid everyone and everything.” 

Melinda’s eyebrows shot up as Leah sighed heavily as she nodded, “I know. Anyway; just when I didn’t think I could be anymore self-involved and completely wrapped in no one but me, Jake confronted me and told me I was a selfish bitch. At first I was hurt because of it, because the whole time I was being a bitch I kept my thoughts about him being in love with a girl who loved a leech to myself. I let a few months go by and I finally confronted him about it. He finally showed me something I’d been missing the entire time. I didn’t even see it and it was right in front of my face. I missed it for five whole years.” 

Melinda quirked an eyebrow, “You missed what Leah?” Leah scoffed, “Mel. Embry imprinted on me. He imprinted on me five years prior when I first phased but I was so dead and numb from the bitterness, that I didn’t feel him imprint on me. And I also in turn didn’t feel myself imprint on him. Because I never did anything with the pack or patrolled with anyone, I never knew about Embry imprinting on me. But Jake caught on to Embry’s thoughts one night. Embry told him to just leave it alone. That he’d eventually come and tell me when he thought the time was right. Well you know me. I can be a little snarky some times and one day I said something mean to Embry and I didn’t realize how much it hurt him until Jake called me a selfish bitch.” 

Melinda grabbed Leah’s hand, “Are you serious Leah? Embry really imprinted on you?” Leah nodded, “Yes. And for the last three years, I have never been happier. I was never this happy with Sam. And believe me I’m not the bitter bitch I once was. This is why I’m telling you; if you want to be with Paul then be with Paul. Who the hell am I to tell you not to be with someone you love. I missed the first five years with my imprint because I was stupid. You missed the first seven because he was stupid. Paul has definitely made up for it. I know I’ve been hard on him. But seriously Mel; he’s your soul mate…I wouldn’t have believed it ever if I didn’t have Embry as mine. You’re supposed to be with him.” 

Leah perked up when she heard a howl, “That’s Embry, he finished patrol. I have to get home. We have a date tonight.” Melinda pulled her sister into a tight hug, “I’m so happy that you’re finally happy Leah. You deserve every second of it.” Leah smiled, “Thanks. I better go. Love you.” Melinda smiled, “Love you back.” Melinda watched as Leah jogged off into the trees to get home to Embry. 

Melinda turned and gasped out in surprise as she came face to chest with Embry. Melinda giggled, “What are you doing here? Leah is on her way home…To you. Or so she thinks.” Embry chuckled, “Yea I know. I heard her as I was hiding.” Mel laughed, “Oh that’s right; wolf hearing.” Embry nodded, Mel sighed, “To what do I owe this visit?” Embry smirked, “I’m going to ask Leah to marry me. How do you think she’ll take it?” 

Melinda smiled softly, “Embry, if you haven’t learned anything from Leah in the last what three years of being together, then there’s no way I can tell you how she is going to gage you asking her to marry you.” Embry groaned, “Oh c’mon Melly. No one knows Leah like you do and you know it.” Melinda sighed heavily, “I honestly don’t know how Leah will react to the question you’re going to ask her. It’s a big question and it requires big steps to be taken if she says yes. But you also have to give for the fact that she might not be ready for those steps or the yes answer, you might get a slow no instead of a fast yes. My question to you is; if Leah says no…Can you handle it? Will things change for the good or bad between you too or will you keep going strong and wait for her to say yes.” 

Embry ran his hands through his hair a couple of times as he contemplated his answer, “I honestly don’t care if she says yes or no, because in the end I just want her to be happy for the rest of her life whether it’s with me or someone else. If she says no because she’s not ready then I will stay with her until she either makes me leave or until she says yes. Melinda I love her. I’m never going to change my mind. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I can only hope she has the same future in her mind that I have in mine.” 

Melinda smiled as she pushed up and kissed Embry’s cheek, “Then I think you know the answer. You don’t need to ask me, Seth or mom. Just go ask Leah, because initially she’s the only one who can give you the answer.” Embry nodded as he turned and jogged to the trees. 

“Hey Embry!” Embry turned back and looked at Melinda, “Yea?” 

Melinda smiled, “Just for the record. I think she’ll say yes.” Embry’s smile widened as he waved and took off going into the trees towards Leah’s. 

A throat clearing made Melinda turn around and see Paul standing at the bottom of her porch steps. A smile couldn’t help but come to her lips, “Hi.” She pushed her hands into the back pockets of her jeans as Paul walked closer to her, “Hi.” 

The comfortable silence between them was something the both of them had gotten used to. Paul opened and closed his mouth a couple of times and nothing came out and he finally sighed, “I-Is everything okay? I could feel you earlier? You were so sad, but I didn’t want to go chase you down and I knew I was going to see you today.” 

Melinda frowned, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you. Leah and I had to go visit someone. Needless to say it was an emotion visit.” Paul felt Melinda put her hand into his, “Who did you guys go see that made you feel like that?” Melinda looked up at Paul from the ground, “Our dad.” 

It was Paul’s turn to frown, he was suddenly aware of what the day represented for Melinda, Leah, Seth and Sue, “God. I’m so sorry Mel. The anniversary of your father’s death. Is there anything I can do to help?” Melinda nodded, “I know this is probably a ridiculous request. Hold me please.” Paul’s breath caught in his throat, “You…Mel you NEVER have to ask me that and you sure as hell don’t ever have to say please to me.” 

Paul gently pulled Melinda into his arms and before she knew what was happening Paul scooped her up into his arms. She squealed out in surprise and couldn’t help as she laughed while Paul chuckled at her. He carried her into her house as he sat on the couch and held her on his lap against his chest, his face was buried into her hair as he inhaled her scent, his arms tightening slightly as to not hurt her as she snuggled into his chest and warmth further. 


Chapter 15


Around 10 PM, Paul finally stood from the couch and placed Melinda on her feet, running the tips of his fingers through her hair gently he smiled softly, "I better be going. I don't want anything unfriendly happening." Melinda watched as he started to leave and Leah’s words kept echoing in her ears. 

Melinda walked over to the door before Paul could get to it as she grabbed his arm. Paul stopped when he felt her hand on his arm. He turned his eyes down and looked at her small hand as he sighed heavily, “Mel if I don’t leave now, I’m not going to want to leave at all.” 

“Don’t you wanna stay?” 

That little question was enough to bring Paul to his knees as he ran his fingers through his hair a few times before he finally turned around and looked at Melinda as he stepped up to her and just stared down into her eyes, they hypnotized him every time. Melinda watched as his chest was rising and falling with deep breaths he looked as though he was trying to control himself standing this close to her. 

I really hate to let this moment go 
Touching your skin, and your hair falling slow 
When a goodbye kiss, feels like this 

Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
Don't you wanna hold each other tight? 
Don't you wanna fall asleep with me tonight? 
Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
We can make forever feel this way 
Don't you wanna stay? 

“Of course I want to stay. I just don’t want to stay unless you want me too. You said you wanted to be friends and I swear to God Mel I’m trying. I’m really trying.” 

Melinda’s hand came up and touched Paul’s t-shirt covered chest and could feel his rapidly beating heart plus the heat rising from his body, “I know you’re trying Paul. You don’t have to try so hard.” 

“No you don’t understand how hard I do have to try. Because you have no idea how bad I want to lose control with you. Do you not understand how hard it is for me to be this close to you and not be touching you the way I really want to touch you Mel?” 

Melinda reached over and took both of Paul’s hands into her own as she tugged on his hands pulling him closer to her as she placed his hands on her hips and her hands softly slid up his arms to his biceps. She could feel him shaking a little but knew it wasn’t because he was mad. It was a slight hum under his skin. 

He felt her push up on her toes as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and buried her face in his neck, Paul leaned over so she wouldn’t have to strain to reach him and couldn’t stop his arms from sliding around her body to hold her flush against him. He buried his face in her hair; he was trying to hide the fact that being this close to her was killing him. 

“I like it when you touch me Paul.” Melinda pulled away from Paul as she smiled softly as she locked eyes with him. “You can touch me all you want.” 

Paul’s breath hitched in his throat as his breathing picked up. “Please don’t tell me that Mel; if you really don’t mean it. I don’t want to over step my boundaries.” 

Paul watched as Melinda grabbed ahold of his hands again as she started walking backwards, he couldn’t help but follow her even though he tried to make himself stop a couple of times, he finally planted his feet. “Mel I need to leave. I need to get out of here. Please.” 

Melinda shook her head as she continued to make him follow her through the house. “No I want you to come with me for a second. I need to show you something.” 

Paul came to a complete stop as his eyes widened once he noticed she had led him to her bedroom. “Melinda…What are you doing to me? You told me what you wanted from me and I’ve been doing exactly what you wanted because I owed you. But I am going to lose control and I don’t want to.” 

Let's take it slow, I don't wanna move too fast 
I don't wanna just make love, I wanna make love last 
When you're on this high, it's a sad goodbye 

Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
Don't you wanna hold each other tight? 
Don't you wanna fall asleep with me tonight? 
Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
We can make forever feel this way 
Don't you wanna stay? 

Paul watched as Melinda moved around the room as she walked back over and stood as close to him as she could without actually touching him. She pushed up on her toes as she captured his lips, just enough to get his senses going. Paul felt her pull away from his lips as he opened his eyes and could see the passion haze in her eyes. 

“Paul I’ve been trying to get you to understand for the last twenty minutes. I want you to lose control.” 

Paul couldn’t even think straight as he suddenly cupped Melinda’s face and captured her lips in a heated kiss, Melinda moaned into his mouth as his hands slid down her body and gripped the back of her thighs and lifted her up as she squeaked out against his lips, as she wrapped her legs around his waist. Paul kicked the bedroom door closed as he carried her over to the bedroom. 

Melinda’s world tilted as her back came in contact with the soft comforter covering her bed as Paul carefully slid between her thighs, her hands slid down his body and pulled his t-shirt from his overheated torso and tossed it. His lips placing heated kisses all over her face, neck, ears and lips. His hands finally pulled her shirt from her body, when he fumbled with trying to get her bra unhooked, Melinda she heard the lacey material rip and then immediately removed from her body and then replaced with Paul’s lips. 

“Sorry…I’ll replace it.” 

Melinda couldn’t help giggling; which was quickly replaced with moaning when he caught one of her rosy nipples between his lips. His hot fingers softly running all over her bare skin as his hands went lower and made quick work of the button and zipper of her jeans. "You have no idea how long I've waited to be here, like this with you Mel." He was trying to keep the huskiness out of his voice. 

Absolutely failing miserably at it too. 

Melinda could feel her chest rising and falling as she felt Paul discard her jeans and also her panties as her small hands fumbled with the button and zipper of his jean shorts, the rough material was rubbing against her bare skin and was completely lighting her blood on fire as his lips kissed a path to her navel and she moaned out his name a few times as she felt him dip his tongue into her navel. As her small hands slowly slid into the back part of his jeans and cupped his extremely toned and completely bare backside. 

Naturally he wouldn't be wearing underwear under his shorts. Clearly it was easier to phase in and out of his wolf half without underwear to worry about. 

Oh yeah 

Oh, you feel so perfect, baby 
That it feels so perfect, baby 

Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 

Paul groaned when he felt her small cold hands grip both of his bare butt cheeks inside his shorts. "I've never wanted anyone as much as I want you right now...Tell me you want me as much as I want you Mel please." 

His begging didn't fall on deaf ears as Melinda chewed her bottom lip and he rotated his hips and his jean covered crotch brushed against her naked wet center. The rough material scrapped against her sensitive bud as she sucked in a harsh breath and nodded. 

"I've been waiting for almost eight years. I need you Paul...I need you right now." 

Melinda watched as Paul got up from the bed and quickly shed his shorts, but he couldn't make her wait any longer, she'd given him the answer he had been craving for years. His erection was standing straight out in front of him and he watched as Melinda's eyes widened, knowing she didn't realize just how big he was going to be. Paul couldn't keep the smirk off his face and chuckled deeply as he crawled back onto the bed as his lips placed soft kisses on her thighs, flat stomach, each breast, until he was settled between her thighs, he knew they'd both waited long enough and there would be no room for foreplay. 

"I won't hurt you I promise. I love you Mel; I'd never hurt you." 

"I love you to Paul." She exhaled as he leaned over her and captured her lips he slowly started to enter her willing body. She could feel him as he was pushing himself into her going deeper and deeper until she felt him finally stopped. The both looked down and could see he was fully buried in her, she had taken all of him to the hilt. She had completely stretched to accommodate him. 

"Are you okay?" His voice was shaky. He wasn't sure he could hold himself back much longer, but he didn't want to continue until he knew for sure she was comfortable with him in her. 

Her voice was equally as shaky as his. "I'm okay. It just feels amazing to finally have you inside of me." 

Paul nodded he knew why too. "It's from the imprint. We've ignored it for so long that it's just been building between us for years." Paul tested the waters as he pulled out and pushed back into her and her sweet mouth whimpering his name was music to his ears. He felt her wrap her arms around his bodyhe slowly started rocking in and out of her body. 

Paul wrapped her long legs around her waist as he started to slowly rock in and out of her body, his big hands on her thighs, as her hands trailed up and down his back and arms. Paul kissed her neck, he was kind of worried because she was so quiet and as he kissed by her ear he whispered, "Does it feel good Melinda baby, talk to me let me know I'm not hurting you." Melinda found her voice box finally and moaned, "Oh God…It feels so good. You feel good inside of me…" Paul grunted a couple of times as he was licking and kissing on her neck. 

He gripped her thighs harder and really started thrusting deeper as deep as he could possibly get and finally Melinda started with a moan and ended screaming out his name as her orgasm tore through the inside of her body…as soon as Paul felt her go over the edge…and felt her center milking him…his orgasm was right behind hers…and she felt him explode so deep inside she thought he'd never stop cumming… 

Paul carefully removed himself from her body as he gathered her into his arms, she had her head resting against his chest and could feel his heartbeat with her hand as it rested in the middle of his chest. He could hear her heart beating in tune with his. He never thought he could love someone as much as he loved Melinda. And never realized what truly being with his imprint would feel like. Screw gravity...They held each other to the earth. 

Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
Don't you wanna hold each other tight? 
Don't you wanna fall asleep with me tonight? 
Don't you wanna stay here a little while? 
We can make forever feel this way 
Don't you wanna stay? 

Melinda smiled up at Paul as he smirked down at her. That cocky smirk he had since they were both sixteen. "Don't you wanna stay?" 

Paul quirked an eyebrow at her as he looked down at her. "You already asked me that." 

"No I meant forever." Melinda chewed her bottom lip. 

Paul's signature smirk graced his lips again. "I'll always want to stay forever." 

He wrapped his arms around her...They'd made a lot of mistakes, but it was all worth the wait for this one perfect moment that was going to last for the rest of their lives. 

The End