Title: Finding a loophole in an Alpha order
Pairing: Jacob/Paul/Jared; Jacob/Paul
Rating: NC-17 ~ M
Beta-ed by: the wonderful ReluctantOptimist
Declaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters, plots or conceptions of Twilight, unfortunately. They belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Summary: Jared learns from first hand that Jacob has amasing talent for finding ways around Alpha orders, especially when he has Paul as motivation.
For all chapters: Chapter listing
It is Sunday afternoon. The sun is just about to set, the sky tinted with glistening hues of orange, pink and red; the dark waters beneath it are reflecting the golden light, making the surface of the ocean look like a giant, shining, amber colored mirror.
They are at the cliffs, the weather not so warm or pleasant for humans to go diving but for a little group of shape shifters haunted by boredom in the late afternoon the temperature is just perfect.
The air rings with Quil and Embry's laughter and sneers as they tease each other and argue about who can make more somersaults in the air before hitting the cold, turbulent waters below.
"I can make two double flips!"
"Bullshits, Embry!" Quil smirks and ruffles Embry's hair, his smile only growing wider when the other boy growls lowly with irritation. "You fall in the water like a sack of potatoes!"
"Says the one who always hits the surface with his fat ass first!"
"I am not fat!" Quil exclaims, his eyes widening as he tackles the other boy and pins him against the ground. "You are skinny and you are just envious of my—"
"You wish, fat ass!" Embry spits and punches his friend in the ribs making Quil yelp and grab at his hand. "Let go, you fucking moron…Ahhh!"
Quil and Embry scramble and scuffle ardently as they roll over the damp grass just a few meters away from the edge of the cliff. Their yelps and growls echo through the area as they punch and jab each other, until their wild rolling ends abruptly when they suddenly collide with a pair of solid, thick legs.
"I see that someone has enjoyed the extra patrols. I'm sure you wouldn't mind taking on a few more, right?" Sam trails off as he stares down at the two still entangled in each other boys laying on the ground at his feet, a slow, barely noticeable grin forming on his lips.
Embry just whines as he shoves Quil off of himself and scrambles to his feet. He rubs his left arm urgently, his eyes set on Quil in a death glare.
"It's not my fault that Quil is a fucking—" Embry starts indignantly as he crosses his arms in front of his chest, but he gets cut off quickly by Quil who just grabs at his hand and drags him to the edge of the cliff.
"Never mind, Sam! We are fine!" Quil yells in a high pitched voice and all Sam manages to do is frown slightly before Quil and Embry jump off of the cliff, or—to be more exact—before Quil jumps and Embry just squeaks as he is pulled along. Quil definitely knows better than sticking around for too long and getting extra patrols because of his best friend's big mouth. And jumping off a cliff and getting away from Sam definitely seems like a better option than getting punished again.
Sam just huffs under his nose as the loud splash of the two boys hitting the water reaches his ears even though he is at the top of the cliff.
"They will never grow up, will they?" The Alpha whispers, trying to sound serious despite the soft tone of amusement that rings in his voice. "They still behave like five year olds."
Jared is just sitting limply on a rock not too far away from Sam; his head bowed slightly, his elbows resting on his knees. He knows that the words are directed to him but he just can't bring himself to react or say anything at the moment. Jared manages to force a smile though, but it's so lame that he doubts it will fool anyone. Thankfully, Sam doesn't pay too much attention, his gaze cast on the horizon as he makes a few slow steps back, readying himself for a jump. Jared watches listlessly as Sam jumps off of the cliff, his figure making a sharp curve in the air, the Alpha's back arching harshly like a bow as he dives in the dark, raging waters below.
He sighs faintly, his eyes unconsciously drifting to the only person left up there besides himself. Paul stands a few meters away from him just by the edge of the cliff. He is turned to the beach on the east, away from Jared, his hands in his pockets as the cool wind ruffles his short, a bit wet from the last dive, hair. Jared stares at Paul's profile, the golden light of the already setting sun outlining his figure precisely—so precisely that Jared can clearly distinguish the curve of his lips and the line of muscles across his chest. He feels himself inhaling deeply as he bites at his bottom lip and bows his head lower, forcing his eyes to tear from the silent, standing figure of the other boy.
Jared feels on the brink of his self-control, slowly turning into an emotional wreck. He doesn't know how long he will be able to take it; the tension, the constant apprehension, and the constantly raging guilt and shame inside his chest. He feels like a traitor. He had betrayed his best friend's trust. He had ruined a friendship that had been being built for years, ever since both he and Paul had been just kids.
It has been a week since that rainy day on the little clearing, a week since Paul has found out, since Paul has had a glimpse inside his mind and seen Jared's horrible, dirty secret. It has been a whole week since Paul has last spoken to him.
They haven't shared even a single word. For seven days Paul has been avoiding him, keeping distance from him, ignoring him or just pretending that Jared isn't even there. No matter what Jared has tried, Paul just refuses to speak with him, to even acknowledge his presence and Jared feels himself sinking deeper and deeper into despair.
There are these rare, strained moments when Paul looks at him directly, their eyes meeting for a long, torturing moment, and Jared feels himself almost drowning into those chocolate brown orbs for a few endless seconds, but then Paul just bites at his lip and looks away, acting as though nothing has happened.
Jared doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know how to act or behave around Paul and what is only adding to his desperation is the constant doubt and apprehension of whether Jacob knows or not.
Does Jacob know? Has Paul actually told him?
He has thought a lot over it, analyzed both Jacob and Paul's behavior which has at first brought him to the conclusion that Jacob doesn't know. Paul has actually kept silent. Otherwise, how come Jacob hasn't confronted him yet? How come Jared was still alive? Hell, had Jacob known, he would have ripped Jared's balls off and made him eat them for even daring to think such things about his imprint.
It is a common knowledge among the whole pack that Jacob is extremely possessive, overprotective, cautious and really touchy about anything that concerns Paul. On a couple of a occasions he had resorted even to physical measures in order to make it clear for everyone that he doesn't want anybody, no matter who, to touch what is his in any way.
Jared can clearly remember one particular occurrence when Quil had almost ended with a broken arm. It had been a few months ago. Quil and Paul had been scuffling and teasing each other over something. Jared couldn't quite remember, he doesn't know what had actually happened and why but Quil had happened to slap Paul's bottom. It had been completely innocent and playful gesture which Paul had returned with a teasing punch in the shoulder and a snorting chuckle.
Nobody had expected it and that's why it had come as a complete surprise when Jacob had attacked Quil and pinned him to the ground. He had almost broken his best friend's hand and if it hadn't been for Sam's interference Quil probably would have to wear a plaster cast for a while.
Since then everyone was cautious and careful how they behaved around Paul and especially in Jacob's presence.
But although Jacob has done nothing that would count as untypical of him or out of the ordinary, Jared just can't shake off the feeling of paranoia. He has noticed it at a couple of times – the long, thoughtful and sizing up stares Jacob gives him, as though he is waiting for Jared to do something, expecting, gauging his reactions. To put it mildly, it drives Jared crazy. He can swear that every time Jacob looks at him, he can feel shivers running down his spine, his heart slowing down inside his chest, his throat tightening.
Then just like that, Jacob would avert his gaze, the look in his eyes getting even more thoughtful, distant, as though he isn't quite there, his hand clutching at Paul's harder as he pulls him closer—or as close as possible without actually taking him in his arms. Jared has seen it several times—how Paul flinches at first from the force of the grip, but then relaxes again as he looks at Jacob's unreadable face, his fingers caressing his imprint's hand, softly, gently, wanting to sooth him.
A faint sun ray hits Jared face and he groans quietly, his features scrunching as he lifts his hand to shield his eyes. It takes him a couple of seconds to realize that Paul has moved from his place. He stands up shakily, still not seeing quite clearly and then all of a sudden he finds himself face to face with his best friend. Jared hasn't even noticed how close the other boy had come.
He can see Paul so clearly now, can see the way his caramel skin glows as the golden light slides slowly over it, outlining the boy's frame so perfectly. Jared wants to speak up, he knows that he has to say something, to fucking try to explain Paul his reasons but neither his brain nor his mouth reciprocate his intentions to speak.
Paul stays silent too, his eyes unusually soft, but hesitant and full with nervousness as he inhales deeply. His lips part slightly as if he readies himself to speak up and Jared can feel his heart leaping into his throat with agitation and commotion. It all depends on what words will leave Paul's mouth now—he can either forgive Jared for what he had done, or end it all officially; end their friendship, end the brotherly connection they've shared for so many years.
But Paul remains silent, despite Jared's expectations. Jared shifts from his right to his left leg, his knees slightly shaking as he inhales deeply and buries his hands in the pockets of his cutoffs, mirroring the other boy's pose, which makes the corner of Paul's lips twitch lightly, with hint of a barely noticeable amusement. The simple gesture eases the strain in Jared's chest ever so slightly, his eyes unconsciously focused on the subtle curve of those luscious lips.
Paul slowly lifts his head, his bottom lip being pulled between his teeth as his eyes pierce Jared's, making his breath hitch. Paul inhales deeply through his nose and runs his hand through his short, spiky hair, his gaze holding Jared's in a calm and soft, yet compelling intensity, and Jared all but loses himself into those dark, chocolate hued orbs.
Jared's lips part slightly but when he is just about to speak he is cut off by a low, husky voice, coming from somewhere on his right.
"Paul…" Jared's head snaps at the direction of the voice, only to find Jacob standing by the edge of the woods not too far away from them, his body glistening softly with light sheen of water under the slowly setting sun. "Let's go home."
Paul turns his head to look at his imprint, his eyes lighting up visibly as a soft, affectionate smile grazes his lips. The simple and so natural reaction stabs at Jared's heart and makes his chest clench. Deep down he knows that Paul will never smile for him in that way, that he will never award Jared with such a loving and intimate gaze; a gaze which is special and only kept for Jacob, and Jacob only.
"See ya, Jay." Jared hears to his surprise and an urgent hand takes hold of his and shakes it lightly before letting go quickly, the feeling of lingering warmth disappearing with Paul's touch as the boy pulls away and makes his way to his imprint.
Jared stares, frozen, his dazed mind still processing the first, simple words which Paul has actually spoken to him after a whole week of silence. His eyes unconsciously follow Paul's form as the boy makes his way to the woods, his pace not too fast but visibly impatient. Jared sees how he stretches his hand out even though he is still a few steps away from his imprint and Jacob does the same. Their fingers lace eagerly and fervently and Jacob quickly enters the woods, pulling Paul along with him.
For a brief second, just before Paul disappears among the trees Jared sees him turning his head to look back at him, his expression excited and somehow anxious. And that's the moment Jared feels it; feels that there is something in his clenched fist. He opens his palm slowly, his fingers all but shaking as he stares at the little folded piece of paper that lies in his hand. Jared feels his breath growing heavy and slow as he unfolds the little note urgently and reads the few written in shaky handwriting lines.
We need to talk.
I will be waiting for you at my place, tomorrow night at 8.
Don't be late.