December 6, 2013
“Who says Love is beautiful? Love is violent, befuddling, painful as a spear going right through your heart, lonely as the lone moon, destructive as a storm in the dead of winter. It won’t let you live, breathe, smile. But it also won’t let you cry, mourn and die. But that’s the beauty of it. That’s why we flock to it—because we all have a death wish.”
They don’t understand. Not one of them does. Even after witnessing the phenomenon almost daily with me and Nessie, and hearing and learning about it, it’s hard for them to comprehend what it means to us: imprinting. How could they? They fall in love with their own kind. We, on the other hand . . .
The love they talk about in the books is just it—fiction. It’s not real. You don’t actually feel electricity running through your body when you touch the person you love. There are no premonitions, no one track minds, no hazy, blissful days of sweet remembrance.
Love is . . . a fire. The words don’t do it justice, no. It’s not a tingle that you just feel—it’s a blazing inferno that you cannot ignore. It’s a pit of chaos, despair, passion, disappointment and lust all wrapped up into a sweet, decadent delicacy that you’re just compelled to taste. That’s no electricity that you feel when you touch her, no. It’s a storm. It’s a cyclone and spring sunshine all somehow concentrated into that small area of where your hand meets hers, or where her body mingles with your own.
Love is when you look for her in a crowd, even when you know she’s not there, like she’d somehow turn up just for you. Love is when you stand in a group talking to everyone but not really listening, because all you can see is how her hair has changed today—how she’s wearing it up instead of down. Love is the sweet, sweet wine of accomplishment you feel when you make her smile, and it is lonely, plunging dread that haunts you when she won’t even look at you. Love is the thirst for her glance, the yearning for her touch, the desire for her words, the prayer for her laugh. It is the constant acknowledgement, the blatant reminder, the blazing fire of her presence in the room that distracts you involuntarily, makes you go almost crazy with the itch of being with her.
For us, though, it’s stronger.
It’s as if we are driving at the speed of two hundred miles and hour, and suddenly, we get hit by a rocket and crash into a wall. The impact of it . . . stuns you. All feelings, all thoughts you’ve had until then cease to exist. Where you had thought that you had felt everything in the world . . . you are now shocked into reverence: because this isn’t just a feeling. It’s a command. It’s a command from the higher power that we all believe in at one level or the other. It’s a compulsion.
Nothing in this world is as strong for us as this compulsion. We might be warriors, fighters, statues of self assured cockiness, but we have no control over our significant other. They own us—it’s as simple as that. It becomes our duty to do whatever they want, give them whatever they want. It’s the mission of our life to put it in gentle terms.
I tore through the forest with my muddy paws pressing into the ground with the weight of a thousand thoughts. How the land could hold me up I did not know, but I felt heavy. This was where I was torn between two worlds: the role of an alpha and one of a brother. And I still didn’t know which one to bring into play when I would see her.
It hadn’t taken long to locate where Leah was—just north of the border near a little brook. Her mind had been like a beacon in the darkness with all its bittersweet agony and exuberant joy. How she hadn’t gone crazy already I didn’t know. I knew I was about to.
The forest cover parted like a gate after a few moments, and a dark, cloudy night met me in its glorious and decadent glory. I could hear the murmur of the brook, the soft movement of the water as it tore over and under the numerous rocks in the river bed. I could hear the cicadas, and an owl or two in the distance. Yes, it all must have been very calming had it not been for the storm that was brewing inside me . . . and her.
She was sitting with her feet inside the water, shoulders slumped, breathing slow and hair covering her natural tribal features. Even though I did not in any way feel romantically for Leah, I could not deny that she was what people call a rustic, rugged beauty, even more so now that she grown out her hair.
“What are you doing here, Jacob?” she asked me quietly, and I sensed ire in her tone.
I phased back under the cover of the trees and re-dressed before I came out.
“I thought you’d want some company.” I shrugged, walking up to her to stand behind her but making no effort to sit down. Leah wasn’t the kind of girl to need a shoulder to cry on; though I had a feeling that tonight might be an exception.
“Did I ask you to keep me some?” she asked me brusquely, and I immediately went back on my previous thought. Maybe not.
“No.” I thought this was no time for quips and juvenile attempts at having the upper hand.
She didn’t say anything for a long time, and we just stayed however we were, staring at nothing into the darkness. I didn’t know what to say to make her feel better. I didn’t know if she wanted to be made to feel better. She had just imprinted, and she had no idea how she should feel. My mind felt frayed and fried due to all the thinking, but I didn’t want to give up.
“He’s a douche, isn’t he?” she asked me after some time, and it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know who she was talking about.
“Yeah, pretty much.” I shrugged, “He left Carlisle before that stint with the Volturi. He said he didn’t want to be involved with him and die. He didn’t particularly like Nessie.”
“And now he’s returned for Mark’s kids.” She said.
“So he’s a double faced hypocritical douche.”
“You don’t like him.”
“Nobody likes him.”
“But he’s changed, he says?”
“Who knows?” I shrugged again.
She stayed quiet after this short questionnaire of sorts, and I wondered how her voice had held no judgment or contempt even after knowing Alistair from second hand opinions.
“Are you going to kick me out?” she asked suddenly.
“Kick you out of what?”
I frowned, “Why would I do that?”
“Because I imprinted on a double faced hypocritical douche vampire.” She chuckled humorlessly.
Even though it hit me like a shit ton of bricks, I should have known this was coming. After having a life time of people leaving her, Leah had somehow instinctively come to accept the short length of relationships in her life. The loss of Sam and after that Harry had left her wary of relationships and any aspect of them. I think that she thought that the fault lay with her. She had reconciled herself to the notion that any and all of her relationships were doomed to failure.
“And I’m in love with a half-vampire. Will you kick me out of the pack because of that?” I retorted, a little strongly than I had originally intended to.
“You’re the alpha.” She said, “Plus your one isn’t a double faced hypocritical douche.”
“Who’re you trying to convince, Leah? Me or you?” I frowned.
It was true. She had said the words so many times that they had lost their meaning. She was only trying to deny the inevitable. Hard as it was to accept, she had imprinted on Alistair. She was in love with him, and his faults would be nothing to her now. He would be the epitome of everything meaningful to her now. So it was futile for her to label him as something he was not, at least to her.
“Has this ever happened before, Jacob?” She chose not to give voice to the answer to my question.
I almost had a premonition of her eye roll when I answered, “Not that I know of.”
She chuckled again, “Even in love I am anomalous.”
It was . . . strange to say in the least, hearing the truth from Leah’s own mouth. What was noteworthy was that there was no bitterness, contempt or venom when she spoke of herself as being in love. She had accepted it, might even be glad about it, but was regretting it all the same.
“Why did this happen, Jacob? How could I imprint on a vampire?” I could feel her frown.
To be truthful, I did not know how what had happened had happened. The rules of logic and sanity were of no instrument here. Whatever experience I had was of a different realm than this one.
“Why do we imprint, Leah?” I asked her, thus giving her the only answer I knew, “To mate, to have kids, to further the bloodlines.”
“But I can’t get pregnant as long as I’m a wolf.” said she, “And Alistair’s a vampire. That right there is the benchmark.”
I knew Leah was menopausal. She and I—to my horror—had discussed it at length. She thought she could not imprint because the acceptable reason was null and void for her.
“Maybe that was the cause.” I shrugged, “I mean, the common reason is not applicable to you.”
“Maybe.” Leah said after a long time, “But what now, Jacob?”
I didn’t have any answer to that, so I just stayed quiet and relayed to her my inability to do anything.
“Are you going to tell him?”
The only answer that I got was the hooting of the owls and the murmur of the brook.