Summary: Seven years after leaving Forks and La Push behind, Bella Swan is abruptly thrust back into the supernatural world. Guess who comes to save the day?
Category: Non-canon; AU (Alternate Universe); OOC (Out of Character)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author-mama4dukes. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Important Note: This story was originally published by me-mama4dukes-on December 15, 2012 on Tricky Raven. It has also been available on Stars Library so if it seems familiar, it probably is. Several readers requested I publish the story on this site so I decided to do so. I have plans to continue this story eventually, but not for a while, so for now, I will mark it as complete. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you enjoy the story!
All I Want For Christmas Is... A Quileute Wolf!
The cold, biting December wind was clawing at her skin as she made her way home from work amongst the throngs of last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. She detested the cold. She disliked the city; yet she was in a much happier place now than she had been seven years ago. Seven years ago, Bella Swan had been fully engulfed in the hell that was the supernatural world. She had dated a vampire and been dumped by him. She followed suit by dating a shape shifter and being dumped by him. Well, in the case of the latter, he inadvertently imprinted so the resulting 'dumping' couldn't be helped. Imprinting was the phenomenon which occurred when a shape shifter found his soul mate. Afterwards, she dated a human boy, but found out he'd been two-timing her. She dumped him. In between all of this, a crazy redheaded vampire, hellbent on revenge, was attempting to murder her in cold blood—actually, it was her warm blood the vampire wanted. Why was the phrase called 'cold blooded murder' anyway? It didn't make sense to her. The point was that senior year of high school had not been a pleasant time for Bella.
Things were much better now. Except for that one terrible year in her past, Bella was pretty much living a normal life. She had graduated from college two years ago and was now working at a magazine geared towards tourists in Seattle. Washington was not her ideal place to live. She hated the weather and all that occurred to her here, but she needed to go where there was work. She had been here for almost a year and a half now and was thoroughly enjoying her life. She had put her supernatural past behind her completely. Unfortunately, it meant that she had to limit her contact with her father who lived in La Push, Washington with his wife Sue, mother to two shape shifters, but it was a heck of a lot better than having to risk her happiness whenever she set foot in the area.
Bella headed onto a quieter street filled with office buildings and approached an alley she used as a regular shortcut. She saw a man dressed in a Santa suit holding a bucket and ringing a bell asking for donations at the entrance. She fished some change out of her pocket and dropped it into the bucket and went on her way. She tsked in disapproval because the guy didn't even thank her. She realized when she was midway through the alley that she could no longer hear the chime of the bell. Wrapping her scarf tighter around her neck, Bella continued through the shortcut when she bumped into a wall. No, not a wall, it was the bell ringer in the Santa suit. Scratch that, not a person, it was a damned vampire in a Santa suit.
"Just great," Bella moaned sarcastically at her awesomely bad luck.
Surprised at her lack of fear, the vampire tried intimidating her. "Where are you running to little girl?"
"Um, I don't know if your all encompassing supernatural senses are out of whack, but I wasn't running."
"Aren't you afraid of me?"
"No, why the hell should I be afraid of you?"
"You'd like to know, wouldn't you?" he sneered in his creepy voice in an attempt to frighten her.
"Not really. Now listen mister, I gave you what change I had in my pocket and I think I have a fiver in there as well. Why don't you take it and go buy some deodorant or some cheap cologne at the dollar store? You've got to be the foulest smelling bloodsucker I've ever encountered in my life."
"Bloodsucker? Who said I was a bloodsucker?"
Bella scoffed at him. "Frozen hands, lifeless blood-red eyes, unnatural speed, marble-like sparkling skin in the sunlight—all marks of a bloodsucker."
The surprised vampire tried looking in her eyes to dazzle her. She rolled her eyes in response. "Stop trying to dazzle me. I've been there and done that. I've dated a leech before, and believe me when I say that I'm through with the damned dazzling. You overgrown mosquitos really need to come up with a new game plan."
"What vampire have you known?" he demanded. "Humans aren't supposed to know about my kind."
"I know a lot about you assholes. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to be on my way." He shoved her up against a wall. "Seriously? I am so not into this dominance and submission thing. I read the book and it sucked. It should have never been published. Did you know it was once fan fiction?"
"What the hell are you going on about? You know what, forget it. You cannot stay alive. You know about my kind."
"Tough shit, let me go."
"No, you are too mouthwatering and I haven't eaten in awhile."
"Can't you feed off of a drug addict or something? I'm sure pot and heroin will make you high for an hour or two. Look at it as free advice from me. You can go through life getting buzzed and feeling good instead of ending the lives of countless innocent people."
"No," he snarled and brushed her hair away from her neck. Bella pulled her scarf tighter around her. Now she was getting desperate, but she refused to show it. One way or another, she planned on wielding her way out of this. She didn't survive all of these years for her life to end this way.
"Wait! I have a last request."
"I don't take requests."
"Well, you're gonna have to take one now! You said that you're going to kill me. Haven't you any remorse?"
The vampire let out an exasperated sigh. "What is your last request?"
"I'd like to say a prayer or two."
"I suppose it can't hurt."
Bella nodded her head and began to pray out loud.
Around the same time, on the street which the alley led to, Sam Uley was in a manhole checking on a reported gas leak. He really didn't want to be working on Christmas Eve, but he had nothing better to do. He had no imprint, his mother had moved to Oregon, and the pack had broken up roughly three years ago. He had left La Push because it was so difficult for him to be near Leah Clearwater. She had imprinted on his half brother Embry Call and it killed him to see them together. It wasn't that they were rude because they weren't. They were actually quite friendly and they always invited him to family gatherings, but—in all honesty—it pained him to be near them. He had always thought Leah and he would get married and have babies—that is until the Cullens ruined everything by causing his transformation, and that of several boys—plus Leah, on the reservation, into wolves. Their presence also attracted vampires to pass through the area—particularly one psychotic redhead who wanted to make a meal out of Chief Swan's daughter. It took the pack over six months to finally catch her and tear her apart.
After destroying the redheaded leech who had been chasing Bella Swan, there had been no vampire sightings in the area. Three years ago, they were given the okay to stop patrols and leave La Push. Sam was the first to bail out of the small town. He needed to get away from the bad memories and try to forge his own way in the world.
Shaking his head and willing himself not to think about it, he went back to work. He found the source of the problem and repaired it before climbing out of the manhole.
"It's all set, the system's ready to be tested," Sam told his co-workers as he stepped back out onto the street. After the system was tested and cleared, and they got the okay from the supervisor, they packed up. They were finally free to head home and enjoy the holidays.
Sam waved goodbye to his co-workers, gathered his belongings, and started heading for the bus stop so he could make his way back to his apartment. The smell of gas rapidly dissipated and he took in the scent of the fresh air. He crinkled his nose, paused for a moment, and then sniffed again. "Holy shit—leech!" he thought.
He decided to walk away then, but his conscience got the better of him especially when he heard a girl praying out loud, "Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
"Are you done now?" the vampire asked. "You've repeated the Hail Mary a hundred times."
"No, I'm not done, I said a couple of prayers—not one!" the girl snapped. "Besides, I went to confession once after the Paul incident and the priest made me repeat the Hail Mary a hundred times to absolve me of my sin. So technically, the hundred Hail Mary's only count as one prayer."
"What's the Paul incident?" The leech couldn't help himself—he was overcome with curiosity. This girl had to be the most interesting human he'd ever encountered. He had half a mind to change her. She was entertaining to be sure.
"Revenge fuck. I needed to inflict mental trauma upon someone and he was willing, available, and gorgeous so I thought—why not?"
"Hang on, that voice. I recognize it," Sam mentally mused.
"Well, go on, say your next prayer. I'm getting hungry."
"Dear Jesus. Now is the time for a fiery bolt of lightning to hit this alley. Aim for the asshole in red. I've been mostly good. Please take care of my mother, Phil, my father, and even that Sue Clearwater person."
Sam wanted to laugh. Bella was hilarious. He never knew that about her.
"Are you finished?" the leech asked.
"Hold your damn horses! This is the end of my life we're talking about you moronic, stinky piece of poop!" She paused for a moment, thinking desperately, before resuming, "Dear Taha Aki, I know you don't know me, but I know about you even if I'm not supposed to. Seriously, if you were going to do a spiritual intervention, now is the time to do it because honestly—I don't want to die at this moment. I've got my entire life ahead of me. I promise that I won't ever wish that Jacob and his imprint become old and fat and get hit by a mack truck anymore. Heck, I won't even wish for bad things to befall Mike Newton or Edward Cullen or Jeff Sanders or Brian Turner or that frat guy who I had a drunk one-night stand with during my junior year in college—I never got his name, sorry. I won't think salacious thoughts about the Fed Ex delivery guy who comes to my job with the magnificent biceps anymore either. Also, I'm really sorry about that entire day and night of sex without abandon that I had with Paul Lahote. Scratch that, I'm not sorry because it pissed Jacob off and he couldn't do jack shit about it because he imprinted on my best friend. Besides, I went to confession and paid my dues so that sin has been absolved by your buddy Jesus. The point is: I'm sorry for the majority of the naughty things I did. If you want, I'll join a convent. That's it. I'll become a nun. Do they allow vibrators in convents? I digress, though, let's get back to the topic at hand. Oh, please, please Taha Aki—help me because I know you exist. I already went through enough crap during my senior year of high school in Forks. I think I deserve to live, don't you?"
"That's it! I'm through waiting," the bloodsucker sneered. "Now, let me ask you one more question before you die—since I'm Santa Claus and all: What do you want for Christmas?"
Bella thought about it before replying in a desperate scream, "All I want for Christmas is a Quileute wolf!"
By the time she was done verbalizing her wish, Sam had run into the alley and phased. The bloodsucker in the Santa suit dropped Bella and turned to face the intruder.
"What are you?" He stopped to scrutinize Sam's massive wolf who took the opportunity to dive on top of him, clamp his massive fangs around his neck, and rip his head off.
Bella watched as the vampire's head went rolling down the alley like a bowling ball. Where the heck did Sam Uley come from?
He turned to her in his majestic, jet black, fur-covered form and nodded his head. He returned to his human form, gazed into her eyes, and asked, "Are you okay, Bella?" then abruptly shuddered. Something strange and surreal was happening to him. He felt himself becoming bound to the woman in front of him. A foreign sensation was overcoming him, it was as if she was the only one who held him to the earth; as if he were put here to love and protect her forevermore. He trailed one finger gently down her soft cheek.
She peered into his eyes then gasped in understanding. She looked up towards the heavens then mumbled, "So, Taha Aki—now that you've saddled me with my very own personal wolf, I'd like to renegotiate the terms we settled on earlier when my life was about to expire. I personally don't think I can stop wishing for tragedies to befall all of my exes and second—it would be completely unreasonable. Also, I will continue to think salacious thoughts about the Fed Ex guy whenever I want to because he's hot. I'm definitely not joining a convent—the no vibrator rule won't work for me, and um...I didn't mention this earlier, but feel free to send a fireball in the direction of Edward Cullen."
Sam shrugged his shoulders and joined in her little plea, "I can live with that. Taha Aki, after the mack truck accidentally hits Jacob and Angela, make sure you send it careening towards Embry and Leah. Also, I want to take this time to apologize for fucking the hell out of Leah's cousin Emily in Leah's bed. It was a momentary lapse of reason—honest." He chuckled then turned to Bella, "You don't happen to have a lighter on you, do you?"
"I do, but shouldn't you put some clothes on?"
"I phased out of them while saving you."
"Wonderful! How are we supposed to leave this alley?"
"Where's your car?"
"I don't own a vehicle. I take public transportation. It's easier."
Bella looked down at the headless vampire. "You're about the same size as stinky there."
Sam realized what Bella was suggesting and became appalled. "Hell no!"
"Well, you can't very well walk naked down the street. You'll get arrested for indecent exposure. My apartment is only three blocks away unless you live closer."
"Damn it! I'm gonna have to put that suit on, aren't I?"
"It's the only way, I'm afraid."
"Fuck!" he muttered and started stripping the bloodsucker of his Santa suit. As soon as he was dressed, he took Bella's lighter and lit up the corpse and his shredded clothes. Purple smoke started billowing from the corpse immediately. He took Bella's hand, grabbed his toolbox, and quickly left the scene.
"Wait!" Bella stated. She ran back to the alley and handed Sam the donation bucket and bell. "We shouldn't leave any evidence."
It only took ten minutes to arrive at Bella's apartment, but it seemed like hours to Sam who was stuck wearing a costume, which once housed the body of the smelliest leech in existence. On top of that, as they were walking to her apartment, several last-minute do-gooders dropped cash into the bucket he was carrying and, at one point, two kids came up to him with their Christmas wish lists.
The moment Bella unlocked the door to her apartment, Sam stripped off the Santa suit. "Where is your bathroom?"
"Down the hall to the left." She openly stared at his naked body thinking of all sorts of fun activities she could get up to with him. She wanted to squeeze those tight buns of his.
He rushed inside, hopped into the shower, and started scrubbing his body. He had to get the stench off of him. He reached for the shampoo first and next the body wash. He realized after he was done that one smelled like papayas and the other like mango. Great. Now he was going to be walking around smelling like a tropical fruit salad.
He wrapped a towel around his torso and left the bathroom. Bella was sitting on the sofa looking contemplative. "I'm done, thanks for letting me use your shower. You wouldn't happen to have any clothes to fit me, would you?"
"Erm...hmm...hang on." She rushed into another room and came out carrying a pink bathrobe with green frogs printed all over it. "Sorry, it's the biggest thing I have."
"Ah, okay. It'll have to do for now I guess."
She nodded her head while biting her lower lip. "So, you imprinted on me."
"I did." He nodded, then added, "It was an accident."
"Yes, imprinting generally is. It's like how you didn't expect Embry and Leah to imprint on each other."
"Or how you didn't expect Jacob to imprint on your friend Angela."
"Yeah, but I'm actually happy that it all happened. I'm in a really good place now."
"So am I. I like living in Seattle on my own."
"How did that all come about?"
Sam settled himself next to Bella. "Well... I..." He sniffed the air and nearly gagged. "I'm sorry, would you mind bathing. You smell like leech."
"I'm not surprised. That had to have been the smelliest vampire ever. I don't think the guy has bathed in a hundred years. I mean, he reeked like cow manure. Usually vampires are odorless to humans." She stood up from the sofa after Sam crinkled his nose. "Showering now."
Sam glanced around Bella's apartment. It wasn't anything fancy, just a plain old apartment with a lived-in appearance. He was glad that she wasn't some anal housekeeper type like Leah or that snippy Jessica Stanley who was Quil's imprint. The interiors of their houses looked so organized and pristine that Sam swore they were showrooms. Bella's living room looked comfortable. She had a big white sofa with a throw on it, and her coffee table was laden with books and magazines. Her kitchen was tidy, but on the counter was an open bag of bagels and a box of cream cheese. She also had a half-drunk glass of orange juice sitting there. Clearly, she had rushed out of the house this morning. He could relate to that. Half the time, he was in such a hurry, he didn't have time to grab breakfast. This morning, he was running so late, he ate a bag of Doritos on the bus for breakfast.
Twenty minutes later, Bella was showered and feeling much more refreshed. She had done some serious thinking and realized her life had just taken a huge turn. She was an imprint to a wolf. She wasn't one to mess with fate. She knew enough about imprinting to know that neither Sam nor she had any sort of real choice in the matter. Did that mean she had to move to La Push though? Would she be able to keep her career? How were they to handle the situation? And when would she be able to have wild sex with him? That body of his was simply magnificent. Damn it, he was in her apartment. She'd have to wait to play with her favorite toy—which reminded her, she needed C-sized batteries for it.
She made her way back out to the living room and planted herself on the sofa. Sam was sitting on the other end perusing one of her magazines. "Whatcha reading?" she asked.
"This article on restaurants in Seattle. Suddenly, I'm hungry. Well, in reality, I'm always hungry, but I'm ravenous now that I've phased for the first time in three years. Can I take you out to dinner?"
"Sure, you're not exactly dressed for it, though."
"This is true. We could take a taxi to my apartment so I can change and get my truck."
"Where do you live?"
"About ten blocks from here."
"Okay, let's do it. Wait! I have an idea." Bella grabbed a sheet from her linen closet and wrapped it around Sam. "I used to go to toga parties in college."
"You're not going to express your disapproval, are you?"
"Why would I?"
"You always seemed so serious in La Push."
"I didn't like it there and the circumstances were a bit strained."
"It couldn't have been easy for you to have to watch Leah and Embry together. How are they anyway?"
"No idea. You would probably know better through your dad."
"I don't talk to him much. He has his own life—new wife, new family. You know how it is. Besides, I'm not too crazy about Forks and La Push, and that's where his life is."
"So you're here all alone?"
"Pretty much. I hang out with my co-workers from time to time. It's Christmas, though, and everyone's going home to visit family."
"What about your mom?"
"I see her from time to time. She lives in Florida still, but this year she's going away on some sort of an Ashtanga Yoga retreat."
Sam nodded his head and called a cab using his cell phone. While they were waiting for it, Bella bagged up the dirty Santa suit to throw away in the trash.
"What are you doing?" he asked, curiously, when he saw Bella looking through the bucket.
"Are you kidding? Some guy stuck a twenty in there when we were walking back here. This is cab fare and dinner money. Look at this, there's over a hundred bucks in here in bills and I don't know how much change. We'll have to count it later."
"Alright, dinner is on the stinky Santa tonight and so is the cab fare," Sam declared.
Fifteen minutes later, they climbed into the taxi and were driven to Sam's building. He invited her inside his little studio apartment and quickly put some clothes on. "So, what kind of food do you like to eat?"
"Anything. I'm not picky." She donned a faraway expression as if she were thinking then suddenly started jumping up and down in excitement. "Do you like omelets?"
"Yeah, but I was thinking something a little more filling."
"Oh, trust me, this place is perfect. Come on."
They took Sam's truck to a little hole in the wall diner in Green Lake. The place was mobbed even on Christmas Eve. Sam had actually been thinking of taking Bella out to somewhere a bit more secluded. After all, she was his imprint; shouldn't they discuss the situation?
Bella opened the menu up to where the omelets were listed and pointed. "You should have this—it's filling. You eat a lot cause… Well, you know."
Sam read the menu and laughed. "A twelve-egg omelet with hashed browns?"
"Yep. Most people share it, but I figured you can tackle the whole thing yourself without any problem."
"You're probably right. What are you gonna have?"
"Corned beef hash and two eggs over easy. I might dip into your omelet, though."
"Sounds fair to me."
As soon as their meals arrived, they dug in and started eating. Sam liked the fact that Bella actually ate. He'd been on dates with women who were always worried about calories, fat, whatever. It drove him batty. Bella was actually chowing down right along with him. Granted, she wasn't eating a twelve-egg omelet packed with meat and veggies, but still she was eating.
"Here, try this." She shoved some corned beef hash into his mouth. Pleasantly surprised by her familiarity, Sam chewed the hash appreciatively.
"Hey, this is good. It tastes different."
"That's cause it's homemade—not canned."
"Yeah, I like it. Try some of my omelet." He stuck some on his fork for her and offered it to her. She took it from him and smiled. "Yum, this is so good. Can I have another bite?"
"Sure." Sam picked up another morsel with his fork while she fed him some more of her corned beef hash. He realized he'd never seen this side of her. The Bella Swan he knew seven years ago was forlorn, depressed, and always looking down at her toes—unable to look anyone in the eyes; but, then again, she had literally just been dumped by a vampire and a wolf back then. He thought about her little appeal to Taha Aki earlier and recalled the time she slept with Paul Lahote as a vengeance fuck. This, of course, was before Paul had imprinted on Rachel and after Jake had imprinted on Angela. Paul, being the asshole he was, used the memory of their tryst to piss Jacob off for years after Bella had left. Sam felt bad for Jake, the girl he loved could never be his and his imprint felt absolutely terrible because she had considered Bella to be her best friend. It was sort of like his situation with Leah and Embry. Somehow, Sam thought, he ended up getting the better deal out of everyone.
After they finished eating, they climbed back into Sam's truck and drove to her apartment. It was time to get serious; they needed to talk. For Christ's sake, in less than five hours, Sam had saved Bella from a vampire, imprinted on her, walked to her apartment in a dead vampire's Santa suit, taken a cab ride in a toga, eaten straight from her fork, but still they hadn't discussed a thing.
Sam parked his truck on the street in front of her apartment. He walked her to her front door hoping that she'd invite him in.
"Do you want to come in?" she asked. Bingo! That's what he was looking for.
"Yeah, that would be great."
Upon entering the apartment, he made himself comfortable on the sofa. "Would you like something to drink? I've got coffee, tea, beer, wine, orange juice..." She grabbed the milk out of the fridge, sniffed it, then dumped it down the sink. "Ew! No milk. I also have Seven-up, Coke, Vodka, and Rum."
"I'll have a beer, thanks."
"Sure." She brought a bottle of Becks to Sam, poured herself a glass of red wine, and sat down next to him on the sofa.
"So..." Sam trailed off. He wasn't exactly sure what to say to her. She sipped on her wine and fixed her attention on him. She seemed to be checking his body out from head to toe. Before he could ask her another question, she set her wine glass down, sidled up next to him, and abruptly kissed him.
"Well, shit, I guess we can talk later," Sam thought before pulling her onto his lap and exploring each and every corner of her mouth with his tongue. She felt incredible to him—not just because she was his imprint, but because it had been awhile since he'd been with a woman. Her hands trailed down his chest, over his shirt, making desire pour over him. Wanting to feel her soft hands on his bare skin, he took his shirt off and placed her hands on his chest.
Bella explored the ripples on Sam's muscular chest. Her fingers, her lips, her tongue caressed every inch of his smooth skin—causing his muscles to contract. She drew back to drink in the sight of his chest, looking up to meet his heated gaze. Suddenly, they pounced on each other, lips melted onto lips as their tongues grappled for dominance. Their hands roamed over each other's bodies, clothes quickly meeting the floor, as their craving for skin-to-skin contact increased.
"Bedroom," Bella moaned to him.
Unwilling to lose contact with her, he carried her to her room placing her gently on the bed. He pried her legs apart with his knees then dipped his head between her thighs and dove in for a taste. She squirmed in delight as his velvet tongue worked his magic on her then slid down his body planting soft kisses on him until she swept his entire length into her mouth—stroking, sucking, titillating him.
The electricity churning between them urged them on. Eventually, he maneuvered her onto her hands and knees and slid into her. He closed his eyes and reveled in the feeling of her walls sheathing him. He glided in and out of her, using long, slow, deep strokes.
"Faster, harder," she panted firing up his blood and spurring him to give her more of himself.
Sam quickened his pace, molding his hands over her breasts. Each thrust had her begging for more. She met him stroke for stroke—arching into him, crying for more until they fell into a wild, passionate rhythm that ended when he let out a guttural moan of pleasure followed by his teeth sinking into her buttery flesh—marking her, binding her to him, making her his. They collapsed onto the bed in exhaustion and fell into a deep, contented slumber.
They made love several times that night, finally forcing themselves out of bed in the mid-afternoon.
"Good morning," Sam murmured.
"Mmm… More like afternoon." She kissed him on the lips. "Good afternoon."
"Definitely. Good afternoon to you, too."
"So, what next? Where do we go from here?"
"Be happy, get to know each other, do more of what we did last night."
"Do you mean get nearly killed by a stinky, bloodsucker then have you rescue me?"
"I'll always rescue you."
"I know. This was the second time you've saved me. I'm just wondering; why did you never imprint on me when I was living in Forks?"
"You were always hunched over with your hands in your pockets and your eyes cast down. I never really got to look in your eyes."
"I was in a really bad place then."
"Yeah, so was I, but I'm happy now."
"So, is this where we get to know each other?"
"It's probably a good idea. I've marked you four times already, it's safe to say that you aren't going anywhere." Bella rubbed the area just above her collarbone where Sam marked her. He replaced her fingers with his lips and pulled her close to him. He loved the feeling of his imprint in his arms. "I'll start. I work for the gas company, fixing and repairing pipes. It's not an ideal job, but the pay is great and they're paying for me to go to school part time. How about you?"
"I work for a Seattle based tourism magazine that's distributed free to hotels all over the city. I write reviews of businesses and restaurants mostly. The pay is crap, but the work is fun and I get to eat for free at a lot of restaurants."
"Cool." He kissed her on the lips, lingering for a bit, savoring her taste. What the heck was wrong with him? He just couldn't seem to get enough of her. He willed himself to stop and asked her instead, "I know you went to college in Arizona. What did you major in?"
"English. There really was no other choice in major for me. I'm hopeless at everything except for reading and writing. I'm lucky to have this job really."
"Have you seen your father at all?"
"No, here's the thing; I've been trying to avoid the supernatural world. Of course it all came crashing down upon me last night. All I know is that I dropped some change into a bell-ringing Santa's bucket and he turned out to be a ravenous vampire. I tried to keep him talking, hoping and praying that he'd change his mind and decide against draining me. I even prayed to Taha Aki—then you showed up. I guess he decided to send me my own personal wolf."
"I guess he did. I heard your prayer to Taha Aki, it was actually funny."
"What were you doing there anyway?"
"I was working on a site on the street at the end of the alley—which, by the way, I don't want you walking down anymore. I'm not really the overprotective type, but at the same time, you shouldn't take risks like that. Anyway, I was working on a repair underground, the last one for the night. I was about to leave when I smelled the leech and heard your voice. I hadn't phased in three years so I wasn't sure if I could save you, but I took a chance. I had to try. I didn't want you to die."
"I'm glad you saved me." She pointed between him and herself. "We wouldn't have happened if you didn't save me." She smiled happily at him. "So, when did you leave La Push?"
"About three years ago. There was nothing there for me anymore. My mother moved to Oregon with her new husband. He's from there; he's really nice. She met him online. The pack was given permission to stop patrolling by the elders and to resume their lives. I took the opportunity to pack up and leave. I left Jake in charge of the pack. The alpha position was never really mine to begin with. And really, it was time for me to stop moping about Leah and start living my life."
"Are you still hung up on her?"
"Not at all. I've been over her for a while."
"So, tell me about this Emily person you talked about yesterday."
Sam laughed. "Emily is Leah's cousin. She was visiting Leah from the Makah reservation. I was pissed off about seeing Embry and Leah run their sexcapades through their brains so I decided to pull a Bella Swan and seduce her. Well, it didn't take much seducing. She was more than willing; she wanted to make me feel better. It was her idea to do it on Leah's bed."
"What do you mean by pulling a Bella Swan?"
"Aw, come on, Bella—that whole thing with Paul? Jacob groaned about what you two did until the day we stopped phasing. It was, and probably still is, Paul's go to tactic for pissing him off."
"Hey, he was available and he was my first skilled lover. Missionary Jacob was kind of boring. Besides, my confidence skyrocketed after that. I finally felt free from the hold that both Edward and Jacob had on me."
"I'm not complaining. It was in the past—just like Leah and Emily were for me."
"So, what happened after I left? Anymore imprinting?"
"Hmm...Paul imprinted on Jacob's sister Rachel, Quil imprinted on some snippy Hok'wat girl named Jessica Stanley."
"You're kidding me?"
"Nope, Quil and she run the tribal store now."
"Wow. Unbelievable. I knew her in high school. She's okay, she's just a bit fake."
"Yeah, she is."
"Seth imprinted on his classmate, Claire, and everyone else you know about."
"Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the pack?"
"Not really. What about you? Do you talk to anyone from Forks or La Push?"
I talk to my father every once in a blue moon—no one else. I lost touch with Angela—I think it was an uncomfortable situation for both of us. She's with whom she's supposed to be with, though. Jacob is kind and sweet and so is Angela. I'm a little more… um..."
"Yeah, I guess I am. I really had fun in college and I like seeing the world. Forks is too slow for me. I like living in the city. There's so much more going on."
"I have to agree with you there. Unless you're big into hunting and fishing, there really is nothing there."
"So… Where do we go from here?" Bella questioned, searching for the answer in his eyes.
"We make love, grab something to eat, make love again, grab another bite to eat, and make love until dawn."
"Sounds good to me. Merry Christmas, Sam."
"Merry Christmas, Bella. I guess we have Santa Claus and Taha Aki to thank for bringing us together."
"That we do."
And the couple had a very, merry Christmas together with the guarantee of many more to come indeed.