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Story Notes:

Text borrowed from Eclipse for the paragraph explaining the difference between the imprint and love at first sight belongs to Stephanie Meyer.



From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 9 August, 11:24am
Subject: Sorry

Nessie

Please don't be mad. I know it was a shitty way to find out, but this doesn't change anything. Well it shouldn't, anyway.

You're my imprint and I love you. There, I said it. Wrote it. Whatever. You get the picture.

We need to talk about this. Just call me okay?

Love,
Jacob


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 9 August, 4:02pm
Subject: RE: Sorry

Ness

Please don't shut me out like this. It's killing me that you're so upset. I just wish that you'd give me a chance to explain.

Love,
Jacob


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 9 August, 7:55pm
Subject: RE: Sorry

Ness

I tried to call you, but you probably know that already. And the voicemail I left was kind of embarrassing, so just delete it, ok?

Will you just call me. Or write back. Or send me smoke signals. Anything.

Love,
Jacob


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 10 August, 1:14am
Subject: RE: Sorry

Ness – PLEASE! Talk to me. Even if you just want to yell at me, at least just say something. I'm dying here…


Renesmee looked at the four emails and 22, yes 22, missed calls on her phone. Dammit, she thought to herself, why did he always have to be so melodramatic?

She glanced out past her window and saw the silhouette of the giant wolf still sitting under their tree. She thought to herself how funny it was that he was waiting for a return communication while in wolf form, because she was pretty sure his paws were too big to work an iPhone.

Renesmee sighed as she hit 'reply' on the last email and began typing.


From: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
To: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
Date: 10 August, 7:32am
Subject: Stop being such a drama queen

Jacob

I'm not angry. I just need some time to process all this.

So you imprinted on me. Okay, I get that. Actually, no I don't. What does it all even mean? There are so many questions running through my head. I don't even know where to start.

I can see you sitting at the treeline, staring at my window. That's kind of creepy Jacob. I'm not coming out to see you, so just go home ok.

Nessie

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Jacob was ecstatic when Nessie's ringtone sounded, signalling the incoming mail from her. To be honest, he thought it would take longer than this, because sometimes she could be such a … Hmmm, he decided that he wasn't going to use that word, because that would just be, well, a wrong word to use about her. He preferred to think of her as 'feisty'.

Jacob couldn't help a smile curving his lips as he thought how cute Nessie was when she got all huffy. She had stopped aging about a year ago and was now physically about seventeen, but every now and then he'd catch glimpses of the precocious little girl he'd cared for all of her life, and who for the last eight years had filled every waking thought of his. But when she was behaving like she had been for the last day, he sometimes couldn't decide whether to bang his head against a brick wall or break a tree. Or to just shoot himself.

Anyway, Nessie had written back, and for now that pretty much put Jacob on cloud nine. To be fair though, if she was pissed with him, he would have understood. She had found out about the imprint in the worst possible way. If Bella and Edward had let him tell her about it like he had wanted to, he wouldn't be in the… er, doghouse like this.

The pull of the imprint tugged him in the direction of the cottage. He craned his neck to look over there, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Just one day without seeing her and the empty ache in his chest was almost unbearable. Nessie had a real temper on her, and he hoped this was just another tantrum. But even if she never got over this, he would be content to stay close by and watch over her, protecting her as he had always done. She was the gravity that held him to the earth, his light in the cold darkness of night, his soulmate, his everything.

She was his imprint.

And he just wanted her to understand how truly wonderful that was for him.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

A few seconds after she had hit send, Renesmee saw Jacob's ears perk up. Ah, so he had his phone there with him. She saw him go into the woods, probably to phase, she reasoned. She wondered whether he would do as she had told him and go home. She hadn't really meant it, but there was no way she was telling him that. He could damn well sweat over it for a few more days.

She was so confused though. And she needed some time to herself to sort through her thoughts. She didn't get very long. It must have been a whole eleven minutes when…

* ding *

Renesmee looked down at her computer.


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 10 August, 7:43am
Subject: RE: Stop being such a drama queen

Nessie! You wrote back! So you're not mad at me? But you still won't talk to me :(

I know you told me to go home, but if this was one of those chick-flicks you like so much, I betcha you'd think that waiting for you out here was sweet, not creepy :)

Anyway, I'm not leaving until you let me explain.

Imprinting is a good thing, believe me. Well, more than good, it's great actually. And imprinting on you – well that's the best thing ever.

I wish you'd just give me a chance to explain.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Renesmee stared at Jacob's reply email. She didn't know what there was to explain. Sam and Emily. Jared and Kim. Paul and Rachel. Quil and Claire. Enough said. She understood the concept of the imprint. What pissed her off was that he had taken so long to tell her about it.

Renesmee had loved Jacob Black all of her life. He was so many things to her - her protector, her big brother, her best friend, and always her favourite person in the whole world. But one day those feelings had shifted to a different kind of love, and her heart had yearned with a silent longing for something that she thought she had no right to feel. She had been in love with him for months now, and had tortured herself, day in, day out, with the knowledge that someday he could imprint and then her own personal sun would leave her behind to brighten someone else's world.

And now the cheeky bastard had admitted that he'd imprinted on her the day she was born.

Renesmee couldn't decide whether she should be over the moon, or annoyed as hell.


From: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
To: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
Date: 10 August, 7:48am
Subject: RE: Stop being such a drama queen

Ok Jacob, explain it to me then. What DOES it mean? I know that it's like love at first sight for wolves ok, so don't bother going into all that. I get it.

And why would you keep something like this from me anyway? Did you think I wouldn't be able to handle it?

Puh-leez, give me some credit.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Jacob frowned at the email. For someone who claimed she wasn't mad at him, she sure sounded pretty pissy. He sighed in frustration. He still didn't know why she was mad. Was it because she had overheard him arguing with her parents about telling her? Or was it that she thought being imprinted on by him was truly so bad? He felt a pang of pain at that thought. He shook his head, trying to get rid of it.

His feelings for her had changed in this last year, but he understood how the imprint worked so he knew it was coming. What he wasn't prepared for was the intensity with which it hit him, and the strength with which it coursed through every fibre of his being.

From the day she was born, Nessie had been the centre of his world. She was still the centre of his world, but in a different way now. The child had grown into a young woman, and his feelings for her had shifted along with that change. The imprint meant that he would be whatever she needed - protector, big brother, friend and, if she wanted him, her mate. He would always love her, completely, selflessly, absolutely, and unconditionally.

Jacob frowned at the email again. What he really wanted to do was take Nessie in his arms and kiss her senseless until she understood, not type out an essay rationalising the imprint.


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 10 August, 7:55am
Subject: Explanation

Ness, I didn't want you to find out like this. I wanted to tell you properly. But what's done is done. This doesn't change anything. I still feel the same for you now as I did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. All that's changed is that now you know.

Imprinting isn't like love at first sight, really. It's more like gravity moves. When a wolf imprints on someone, suddenly it's not the earth holding you here anymore. She does. And nothing matters more than her. And you would do anything for her, be anything for her. You become whatever she needs you to be, whether that's a protector, or a lover, or a friend, or a brother.

And that's how it is for me. I don't just love you Ness. It goes beyond that. I'm bonded to you by something more pure and powerful than words could ever describe. The first time my eyes met yours, the gravity of my world shifted to you. And from that moment, you became the centre of my universe and my reason for living

I was put on this earth to love you, Ness. You make me complete. When I say that I'll always love you, protect you, and be there for you – the imprint guarantees that's a promise you know will be kept.

If you'll have me.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Renesmee looked at the last four words in Jake's latest email. Of course she'd have him. Wasn't this what she always wanted? But now that she had it within her grasp, she wasn't so sure. Was she ready for that kind of commitment? What if she couldn't love him the way he loved her? Was this really what she wanted? Or was it just a case of the grass always seeming greener? God, she was so confused.

She had spent months thinking about him, analysing every little thing he did, every tiny thing he said, hoping there might have been a double meaning in there somewhere. But he hadn't let on at all, so she had thought all her feelings were one-sided. And of course, there was always the spectre of the imprint and all that entailed, looming in the background. So many times she had wanted to ask him about it, but for some reason had never been able to gather up the courage to do so. Maybe it was because she couldn't bear to hear from his lips that one day a force he had no control over might take him away from her.

The only inkling she had that he might have felt something more than just friendship or brotherly affection was that day they were sprawled on the couch, play-fighting over the TV remote control. For as long as she could remember, she and Jacob had been physically close - he had always held her hand, cuddled up with her, let her sit in his lap - but something was different about that day. When Renesmee grabbed the remote control off him, her fingers had brushed his. The electricity as they touched was undeniable. She remembered the darkening of his eyes, and how he looked at her with such an intensity that she felt the warmth burn to her very soul. She wondered whether that was moment his feelings had changed? After that day, he was always careful not to touch her, and now she knew why. But that was months ago. And he hadn't let on anything since.

For months she had held back, the love that threatened to overflow from her heart kept caged by the fear that one day he might imprint and leave. But she loved him. She loved him so much. And now that she knew he had imprinted on her, she should have been ecstatic. But instead she felt anxious. Did she want this? Did she even have a choice? Was this the beginning of the end? Was her future all laid out and predetermined now? She began to feel claustrophobic, like the walls were closing in. She couldn't breathe...


From: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
To: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
Date: 10 August, 8:12 am
Subject: RE: Explanation

I don't know if I want this Jacob. Do I even get a choice in all of this? I thought I wanted this, but now I don't know. I just don't know.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

As Jacob stared at the words on his screen, he felt as if his heart was breaking. The imprintee always had a choice, and that meant there was always a chance that Nessie wouldn't feel the same for him.

From the day she was born, he had loved this incredible, beautiful, amazing girl in one way or another – as a brother, as a friend, and now with a passion that made his heart feel like it would burst. He adored her with all his heart and soul. She had given his life meaning, driven away the darkness and made this world a place worth living in. He lived only to love her more each day, and he would love her until the day he died. Maybe even beyond that. She was the most precious thing in the world to him, and he would tear it apart to protect her.

And then he felt the anger rise up inside him. If Bella and Edward hadn't insisted he not tell her, if he could have explained it to her sooner, if then, she might have understood, if if if IF IF. The anger gave way to despair. If she wouldn't have him, he didn't want anyone else. No-one could take the place of his Nessie. Without her, his life would be meaningless.

Jacob remembered how Nessie had often told him that he was her favourite person in the whole world. If she didn't love him back, that memory would be the comfort he would cling to in the lonely days that lay ahead. He didn't want to stop loving her - the joy of having known that kind of love overshadowed in his heart any pain of potential loss, and he finally understood the old saying - 'it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.' His soul was joined to hers, and if she didn't return his affections, he knew that with the remnants of his broken heart he would always love her, and her alone. Absolutely. Selflessly. Completely. Unconditionally.

He looked again at her email. There was still an inkling of hope. She said that she had thought she wanted this. He just needed to convince her that she still did.


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 10 August, 8:20 am
Subject: RE: Explanation

Ness, I get that you're confused. You have a choice, you always have a choice. If you don't want this, I will respect that. But please, please don't do this, I'm begging you.

Every day for the last eight years, we've never been apart, and I don't know if I could bear being away from you. I love you. I love you so much that it's driving me crazy. Even when I close my eyes, all I see is you. I'll never see anyone else, Ness, and I don't want to. All I want to do is love and protect you.

The imprint means that I will be whatever you want, whatever you need. I could make you so happy Ness. Please just give me a chance.

But if what you want and need stops at friendship, then I won't push you.

Even love, unreturned, has its own rainbow.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Renesmee felt the heat rise to her cheeks. He was right. They had never spent more than a day apart. She had grown up in the warmth that was her Jake. He was a part of every happy memory that she had ever had. They flashed past her mind - memories of days filled with smiles and laughter, days spent playing, hunting, swimming, running, laughing, cooking, drawing, days spent just basking in the affection of her Jake. Birthdays, Christmases, Halloween, Thanksgiving, days that marked 'occasions', and days that were just happy ones for no other reason than that he was part of them. Ever since she was a child, she would crawl into his lap and nuzzle into the comforting crook of his neck. At night she would sleep curled up in his arms as he crooned her to sleep. She always felt so safe and protected in her Jake's arms. And she never wanted to be without him. So what if her future was all laid out and predetermined? It was only a problem if she didn't want it, if she didn't want him. But she did want him. She wanted him with all her heart. A life without him - especially an immortal life - would be empty.

Renesmee looked out her window. He was still under their tree. He was facing away now. He was on his knees, on the ground. His shoulders sagged, and he was holding his head in his hands. The sight was so painful she had to look away. He looked broken. She felt the empty ache in her chest tug at her heartstrings, and in that moment Renesmee realised how much he meant to her. And how much she meant to him.

She had one more question for him, but she wasn't sure if she wanted to know the answer.

He loved her, and that should have been enough. But it wasn't.


From: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
To: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
Date: 10 August, 8:31 am
Subject: RE: Explanation

But you don't even get a choice in all this. Don't you ever hate the fact that it's forced? That the happiness isn't the real thing?

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Jacob's mind was a blur. How could he explain to her that the imprint, the love he had for her, was the realest thing he had ever felt? Even though he couldn't help it, he knew with certainty that it wasn't forced. Just because you can't stop yourself from loving someone doesn't mean the feelings are any less genuine. Imprint or not, it wasn't as if someone can just decide who they will and won't fall in love with. Jacob wondered to himself if imprinting was like falling-in-love-on-steroids? There was no other way to describe it. The imprint was something more pure and powerful than anything he could ever have imagined. Nessie was his imprint, and she completed him.

To live without her would be living only half a life. To stop loving her would be like trying to stop the ocean from rushing to the shore. Given a choice, he would always choose her. Hell, given no choice, he'd still find a way to choose her. There are no rules that can bind you when you find your other half.

She brought a quiet contentment to his soul.

She gave him peace.

She was his anchor.

She was his imprint.

And he would love her with every beat of his heart.


From: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
To: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
Date: 10 August 8:39 am
Subject: RE: Explanation

Ness, the first time your eyes met mine and I imprinted on you, I saw the world for the very first time. Until that moment, I had been living an empty and meaningless existence. You gave my life meaning again.

You mean so much to me, I can't even begin to find the words to explain it. You are the most precious thing in the world to me, and I would tear it apart to protect you. You're in my dreams. You're in every breath I take. Even when I close my eyes, all I see is you. My first waking thought each day is of you.

You are my everything. I will love you with every beat of my heart and until my very last breath. And maybe even beyond that.

I could make you so happy Ness.

Give me the chance to prove it to you.

... ~ oo0oo ~ ...

Renesmee stared at the words on her screen. Wow. For once she was speechless.

She looked out the window. Her half-vampire senses allowed her to see with a clarity that no human could. She mused how tall and handsome her Jake was, the strength in his broad shoulders, and the contours of his strong muscled torso as he leaned against the tree, waiting for a response from her. How could she stay mad at a man who looked like that? And this magnificent specimen of a man loved her. And now he was asking her to take a leap of faith.

She noticed that he seemed to be holding his breath as he waited for her answer.

Renesmee loved this wonderful, amazing giant of a man too. And she wasn't going to fight her feelings any longer.

She wasn't afraid to fall if he was the one who would catch her.


From: Hybridprincess(at)GildedCage. com
To: AlphaWolf(at)LaPush. net
Date: 10 August, 8:46am
Subject: OK

Ok, Jake - But just to be clear, I'm still annoyed that you didn't tell me about this sooner.

Maybe it's real, maybe it's not. That said, maybe I do love you. And want you. And want us. And maybe it's more than just a 'maybe'.

If we don't try, how will we know, right?

BTW - Grandma Esme just finished cooking breakfast. You can come in and have some if you want.

.

.

Renesmee looked up from her laptop just in time to see the tall russet man bound in through her open window. In one swift moment, he had crossed the room, swept her up in his arms and kissed her senseless like he promised himself he would.

And finally, she understood.

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