"..She'll lead you down the path with tenderness in the air, she'll let you come just far enough so you know she's really there. She'll look at you and smile... she's got a secret garden where everything you want, where everything you need will always stay a million miles away."
-Bruce Springsteen, Secret Garden
"What?" I growled.
I groaned loudly as I sat up. How could my other half be a morning person? I'm not a morning person, it wasn't fair that she was.
"Paul, we'll be late for the wedding." Catia scolded, placing her fists on her hips. I groaned as I lifted my head to glance at the clock.
"Baby, it's eight fifty-six. The wedding is until six. We're not gonna be late if I don't wake up in five minutes." I sighed as I slumped back into my pillows.
Catia let out a Cat hiss, pulling the blankets away from me. "Fine! Fine! I'm up! Sheesh!" I threw my hands up in exasperation as I stood, slamming the bathroom door behind me.
I washed my face, and brushed my teeth like a good boy, I had taken a shower the night before so no need for a shower this morning.
I sighed as I stared at my reflection in the mirror. "When did you become so whipped?" I asked myself exasperatedly.
Catia was much better and up, as if though she had never nearly died, I got to know her in a way I had never known a woman and she got to know me like no one ever has before.
We graduated from high school, she was going to attend college in Canada and I was going to join her as soon as I got my 'temper issues' in check.
Jake went missing. He left without warning as soon as he found out the vampire girl and her leech were getting married.
Catia and her family were invited. They accepted and RSVP'd. And she was making me tag along.
"Hurry up, guará!" she knocked on the door, calling me one of her pet names in Portuguese so I wouldn't understand and be able to tell if it was an insult or not.
I sighed, rolling my eyes as I opened the door for her. "Thanks!" she grinned as she entered, sitting on the bathroom cabinet and began applying makeup.
"You know you don't need that." I said as I watched her coat her face in makeup, "You look beautiful without it anyway."
She stared at me through the mirror, a small smile on her face, "I know. But I need to make it seem as if though I care." She shrugged, grinning as I laughed.
I went over to her and placed a kiss on her shoulder, wrapping my arms around her tiny waist. She leaned back into me, "We can leave as soon as the ceremony is over, if you want." She murmured as we gazed at each other through the mirror.
I grimaced, "I would feel better if we left early, but if you want to stay for the reception then…" I trailed off with a sigh.
Leech parties were not my sort of thing.
"You know, uh," she cleared her throat as she turned on the cabinet, facing me, "We could leave early and do something else?"
I raised a brow as I narrowed my eyes suspiciously, "What do you mean?"
She shrugged innocently, "Oh, I don't know." she shrugged again, her eyes dancing with humor, "Maybe, I'm not saying it's a fact, but keep in mind that I'm just saying, that maybe I have something I want to show you…?"
I continued scrutinizing my imprint suspiciously, "What game are you playing, woman?" I demanded quietly. "No game, Paul! What makes you think that?" she blinked innocently, turning back so she was facing the mirror, pouting her lips as she put on some lip-gloss.
But I grabbed her waist and turned her so she was facing me, "Specify. Now." I growled.
"Okay! Okay!" she sighed as she put her hands in surrender, "I just wanted to show you something today, that's all." "Yeah, but what is it? Do we have to travel? Is it far? Do I have to pay?" I rolled my eyes. "Pfft. Does it matter?" she snorted, rolling her eyes as she lowered her arms and placed them on my shoulders, "Besides, I can't tell you! It's a surprise!" She sang as she pinched my cheek and leaping off the counter.
"Hey, are Leah and Franco dating yet?" she asked as she rummaged through her closet, taking out a few dresses. "Does it matter?" I chuckled, walking into the bedroom and out of the bathroom, "They're gonna end up together soon anyway, dating or not."
"Well, it matters to me!" She protested as she began to undress, "I have to know if he's treating her right, if he's a gentleman to her, if he's polite, if he chews with his mouth closed, if he's-" With every pronounced worry, I took a step towards her, rolling my eyes as I cut her off from declaring her worries by kissing her lips.
That was my best strategy to ever shut her up. And it always worked.
She sighed as she pulled away, "If he's- um, being- Christ." She moaned as she tilted her head back, allowing me access to her neck.
"You know, we don't even have to go to the wedding." I murmured against her warm skin. She grumbled as she pulled away, narrowing her eyes at me as I offered her an innocent grin.
"Nope. No. Sorry, Paul, not today." She smiled fondly as she patted my cheek, "Your kissing skills don't distract me."
I scoffed, tossing my head. "My kissing skills do distract you. I just ruin it by saying the wrong thing."
She laughed, wrapping her small arms around my waist and placing a kiss on my cheek. I felt my heart melt as I gazed down at her.
She was beautiful. My imprint.
And to think that it was only two months ago that I was an angry wolf, chasing after random women to get a momentary peace of mind.
She was amazing. Her brown eyes gleamed happily as she stared up at me, the smile still on her face.
It was rare to see her smile fully with teeth showing and lips parted, she always made sure to keep herself from being too expressive around others, I knew she did her best, but I guess I'm just too damn irresistible.
I remembered how I nearly lost her, the thought automatically making me tighten my hold on her. She let out a soft sigh as she leaned into me, resting her head against my chest.
"Full moon's a week away." I said randomly, completely irrelevant to my thoughts and current situation. She frowned as she pulled away, "You do ruin it by saying the wrong thing."
"Catia." I sighed, pulling her back, "Catia, I was thinking if I could be with yo-" "Paul, are you crazy?" she demanded as she pulled away angrily, glaring up at me.
"Catia, I can protect myself from you. I'll be fine. I know I will. But we don't know about you." "Paul, it's too dangero-" "Besides, Amadora said your subconscious registers the people you don't want to hurt." I protested.
She scowled, looking every bit of the feline she is, as she angrily rummaged through her closet again, "What makes you think I don't want to attack you?" she grumbled.
I chuckled, "Catia, I'll be okay." "What makes you think you can defend yourself against twelve ravenous Cat monsters?" she hissed. "I'll have the pack with me." I shrugged.
Her eyes widened angrily as she gracefully stalked towards me, her eyes flashing a bright amber as she neared me, "Your pack has other things more important than helping a pack member babysit his imprint. The only reason you survived us the first time was because I protected you against them." She snapped quietly, "I don't want you wasting your time on me. It's dangerous in the full moons."
"Well, enlighten me, please." I snapped, crossing my arms. She snarled as inched her face closer to mine, "We can bite others in our half-phased form and not turn them. But the full moons are different, Paul. The full moon turns us into our full Cat form. You saw us, you remember." She sat down on the bed, breathing heavily.
"Catia, I'll be fine. You're not a monster. Neither is your family." I scoffed. She glared up at me, snarling as she pounced on me.
It all happened so fast I couldn't figure out how I ended up on the floor with her sitting on my chest, her claws extended and her fangs out as she hissed into my face. I felt my hands tremble in response, the wolf reacting to the sudden action.
She growled lowly as she grudgingly got off me, helping me up as she closed her eyes.
I watched her cautiously, she was biting her lip, her eyes shut tight as she took in several deep breaths.
"Paul," she began, taking in a shaky breath, "You don't understand, Paul. We've gone through this before-" she stopped when her voice quivered. She cleared her throat, glancing down towards the ground as her lip trembled, "Querido, I can't lose you. You know that."
I felt crushed to see her like that. She was always so strong, and witty and quick. She looked so vulnerable and weak as she stood there, her lips trembling and her eyes gleaming with tears.
"I know, Catia, I know, but I can't lose you ei-" "Godammit, Paul!" she hissed through her tears as she stomped her foot angrily, "Why can't you get this through your thick skull?" she demanded as the tears began to slide down her cheeks like rain.
I felt at a loss for words as she looked away, her small shoulders shaking with soft sobs, "Paul, do you know what it would feel like to wake up, not being able to fully remember what I did, not being able to remember if I hurt or killed someone? Do you know what it would feel like to realize that you killed the person you cherish the most and not being able to remember it fully?" she asked softly.
"Catia." I whispered, not knowing what to say. "What do you think a Cat bite could do to your kind?" she asked quietly.
She was right. I couldn't understand. I wasn't like her kind, I wouldn't know what it felt like to lose completely control and destroy.
She smiled fondly up at me through her tears, "I always thought I wasn't worthy of you. You're a protector, and I'm a destroyer." She chuckled humorlessly. I growled as I stepped forward, grabbing her shoulders and making her face me.
"Hey, I imprinted on you," I growled as I grabbed her face, my hand causing her lips to pout comically, "I wouldn't have imprinted on you if you weren't meant to be my other half, I wouldn't have imprinted you if you weren't meant to be with me, I wouldn't have imprinted you if I wasn't meant to love you. You're every bit worthy of me just as I am of you."
I gazed into her eyes intently, "You understand?" I demanded. She nodded as well as she could in my grasp. "Good." I snarled as I leant down and captured her lips with my own.
"I hate this!" I shouted, punching the air.
"Quit being such a drama queen." Giselle hissed, "Here, let me help you with that before you ruin it." She sighed, rolling her eyes as she grabbed the tie and wrapped it around my neck.
"Make sure you don't choke me." I grumbled. "Not making promises!" she sang as she smirked up at me, tightening the tie.
"Are Ramses and Linda ready?" Lisa asked as she plopped herself on the couch. "Hey, you look nice!" Giselle smiled at her sister.
Lisa was wearing a black-and-silver dress. The dress was all black, with small silver flower patterns flowing up and down from the side, causing the whiteness of her skin practically burst through the dark.
"Thanks." She muttered, before grinning maliciously.
"Can't tie your own tie, Paul?" she taunted.
I growled at her, "Can't walk in heels?" I shot back, glancing down at the black flats she had on. "Oh, and you can?" She demanded, tossing her head.
"What's all this blubbering about?" Zeirus demanded as he leapt down from the stairs, immediately checking his hair in the mirror. "Paul can't tie his own tie." "Lisa can't walk in heels." We both said at the same time.
She scowled, sticking her tongue out at me. I tossed my head triumphantly.
"Mamma, where are we going?" Ramses asked as he came out of the kitchen, holding his mother's hand.
"You're about to attend a vampire wedding, kid. Brace yourself." I called. Maria scowled up at me, "Quit scaring him." She growled before kneeling down next to her son, straightening his cute little bow-tie, "We're going to Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan's wedding. They're getting married today. You remember of the vampire coven I told you about, filho? The ones we fought alongside with against that army?"
Ramses scrunched his nose as he thought, "The ones that hunt animals?" "Exactly those, baby." Maria nodded, "Well, Edward and Bella are going to get married. We'll attend their wedding."
Linda came bouncing down the steps, giggling as her father chased her, "Linda, come here!" he called after her. "Mamma, tell Papá I don't want to wear hair-bows!" Linda pouted up at her mother, clutching her leg for protection.
Maria sighed, rolling her eyes, "Menina, we've talked about this, and we agreed that you would wear hair-bows today because it goes with your dress. Don't you like matching accessories?"
Linda nodded sourly, stepping out from behind Maria's leg and unto her father's arms. "Can't tie your own tie, Paul?" Teival chuckled as he sat on the couch, putting Linda's hair up.
I scowled, "Shut up, not everyone is taught how to tie ties." "You're not taught how to tie ties unless you wear 'em." Teival muttered, chuckling.
"Franco isn't going. Leah refuses to go to the wedding." Cristian sighed as he came down the stairs, "She's stolen him from us. He's whipped." He groaned, plopping himself on the couch, putting Ramses on his lap.
"Leah's nice." Giselle defended, "You're done." She murmured to me, patting my tie.
"Leah's not nice!" I scoffed. Giselle glared up at me, "Well, nicer than you!"
"Enough, you two!" Jimena scolded as she and José came out of their bedroom. "Where are those troublemakers?" José asked as he glanced around.
"Who?" I asked, frowning. "Amadora and MichaelAngelo." Cristian replied, rolling his eyes, "They're still getting dressed." "Still?" Giselle gasped.
"You know how MichaelAngelo is. He's such a pansy when it comes to clothes." Zeirus rolled his eyes. "You got that right." Cristian snickered.
"I'm ready now!" Catia chirped uncharacteristically as she bounced down the stairs.
I felt as if though everyone else blurred into the background as I laid my eyes on Catia.
She was wearing a burgundy colored dress, it was pretty simple, but it looked amazing on her. It hugged her hips perfectly, and stayed right above the knee, giving only a sneak peek of what curves were underneath; her brown curls were pinned up, showing off her face perfectly. Her black-heeled stilettos made her legs even curvier than they naturally were.
"You look…" I breathed, not being able to finish my sentence as she walked towards me. "Amazing? I know." She grinned as she wrapped her arms around my waist, "You look surprisingly nice in a tie." She winked, smoothing down the tie on my chest.
"I think I just threw up a little in my mouth." Lisa winced, swallowing hard. "Oh, quiet, you." Catia turned, scowling at Lisa, "You're just jealous you're still single."
"Of course I'm still single. I'm fourteen!" Lisa sighed exasperatedly. "We're ready to go!" Amadora snapped her fingers as she came out of her bedroom, dragging MichalAngelo behind her.
"I really don't want to attend this vampire wedding." MichaelAngelo spat, straightening his tie and smoothing down his hair. "We're attending because we owe it to them. The Cullen family decided to trust us despite our natural differences. Besides, some vampires deserve some happiness every once in a while." Amadora scolded.
"Yeah, and they get that little happiness when they feed." Zeirus scoffed. José swatted his head, "Don't be rude, Zeirus. I don't want any of you to be rude, imprudent, or discourteous to the Cullen's or any of the other vampires attending. Understood?" he frowned at his family as they nodded sullenly.
Linda held my hand as we exited the house, "Stealing my boyfriend, Linda?" Catia winked down at her. Linda giggled, "No-o! What makes you think that?"
"Just like your mother, I see." Catia chuckled.
I liked Ramses and Linda. They treated the pack and me as if though we were celebrities. They would always look up to us in wonder, commenting about how strange our skin was, asking why it was warm, asking what color our wolf was, asking if we fought vampires every night, asking if it was normal for us to be tall.
"Can't you carry me, Paul?" Linda whined as she tugged my hand impatiently. "You're too heavy." I sighed dramatically, causing her to scowl, crossing her arms and stomping her foot. "But I don't want to walk!" she complained.
"Linda!" Catia scolded, "Behave yourself!" "Sorry." She muttered sourly. "Come, let me buckle you into your car-seat." Catia sighed, carrying her into Teival's car, "Paul, please buckle Ramses into his own car-seat."
Ramses was a strong little wrestler. He fought against me, refusing to be buckled in. I struggled on keeping him still, Maria laughed when I growled.
"I'll do it, Paul. You're inexperienced with children, I can tell." She shook her head, smiling as I glowered down at Ramses who simply grinned cheekily up at me.
"Inexperienced." He sang, tsking, "Not good, Paul." "Quiet, or I'll tighten the seat-belt so you can't ever get out." I threatened. "Don't threaten my children, Meraz." Teival hissed as he got into his car.