When Y/N’s parents up and moved the family across the country during the winter holidays to get away from a large coven of vampires, they should have known that the cloudy city of Forks, Washington was a bad choice. The entire place screamed ‘vampire’, from the little to no sunlight, and the endless forest surrounding the city where they could easily hide. Thankfully, by the time they got to Forks the coven that was there was already long gone, the only thing left was the faint traces of their scent lingering just outside of the city, probably where they lived, and around a house in town the Y/N had passed several times when going for a walk.
It took her less than an hour on her first day of school to figure out who the vampire coven was, and that one of them was dating Bella Swan, who lived in the house his stench seemed to cling to. Lunch was the first time she caught sight of Bella, and if she didn’t know better, she would have thought that Bella was a vamp herself. Though there were telling differences, like the fact that her paleness made her look sickly and haunted, heavy bags under her eyes that were different from when a vampire hadn’t fed in a while.
She was sitting alone at a lunch table, the one that the Cullen’s ‘ate’ at every day. Feeling bad for the girl, Y/N ignored the vampy smell left on the tables and sat with her the next day. Bella didn’t say anything past a mumbled hello when Y/N introduced herself, but Y/N expected as much. Instead, she just sat with the silent girl and ate her lunch, giving her some sort of company while she wallowed in her misery.
That weekend her parents informed her that they weren't the only shifters in the area. Only thirty minutes away lived the small pack of wolf shifters, made up of a few of the Quileutes that lived at La Push. The pack was small, made up of only four members, and from the looks of it, would not be gaining any more members now that the Cullen’s have left the state. Since Y/N had long since shifted on a trip to visit her family in Denmark three years ago, she had long since gotten control of her anger, and the chance of accidentally setting something on fire like her brother did in early December.
Y/N doesn’t remember how many days she spends sitting with the silent girl before she finally talks, nearly two weeks, if she had to guess, which is around the time that the smell of the Cullens has long since disappeared and has been replaced by the smell of something distinctly canine, and the woods. Once Bella opens up, Y/N end’s up getting along with the awkward girl more than she thought, and the two of them spend time together after school when she isn’t hanging out with Jacob, a boy from her childhood that lives in La Push.
Every time Y/N would hang out with Bella after she was with Jake, the smell of dog would be slightly stronger than when it was at school, so either Jake was pre-shift, or was living with or near someone that already has shifted. With little effort, she was able to get Jake’s last name from Bella, and was able to guess that he was going to shift, and soon, should he be in the right environment.
The last week of February came with Jake’s perfect environment in the form of Mike Newton. The week prior Bella had finally worked herself up to talking to her old friends again, trying to rekindle the bonds she had broken. Mike had tried his luck at a date, but Bella either didn’t notice, or was blatantly trying to make it not be a date, because she extended the invitation to everyone at the table, which now included Y/N, and then Jake, later that night.
With the bug going around, almost everyone bailed, either because they were sick, or to take care of someone that was, leaving Bella, Y/N, Mike and Jake to watch the movie. It all started off well, if Y/N ignored the fact that both Jake and Mike were fighting for Bella’s attention. The movie wasn’t all that good, but it wasn’t horrible, the bloody, gory fights gave a bit of morbid entertainment.
The passage of time is always warped in movie theatres, but Y/N knows it hadn’t been long before Mike was booking out of the theatre with his hand firmly clasped across his mouth. With a heavy sigh, the remaining three dragged themselves from their seats to follow the sick boy out. When the got in front of the bathrooms they could hear him puking, so Bella poked her head in to tell them where they would be waiting for him.
Bella and Jake migrated to the stairs, talking quietly to each other. Y/N moved to be as far away from them as possible while still being in view, one of the nearby screening rooms was playing an action movie, which thankfully drowned out Jakes attempts at flirting. Y/N didn’t have to loiter around for too long, because Y/N could hear Mike coming down the hall. He looked sickly, face pale with a green tinge.
Mike looks guilty for ruining the night and states that he has to go home, guessing that he caught the flu that's going around. Y/N didn’t mind, and neither did Bella, it seemed, but Jake looked livid, jumping up from his spot on the steps to walk up to Mike. Mike takes a reflexive step back, but weakly glares at Jake, “What’s your problem?”
“Right now? You are my problem,” Jake sneers, looking over Mike in disgust. From what Bella told Y/N of Jake, this was completely out of character for him, and one quick look to Bella confirmed it. Y/N slowly made her way forward, wanting to intervene if it looked like Jake was going to shift, “Feeling sick? Maybe you need to go to the hospital. Do you want me to put you in the hospital?”
“Jake… Jake, the movies over. What are you doing?” Bella moved to stand between the boys, putting a hand on Jake's chest to push him back, “Whoa. Jake, you’re really hot. Like, it feels like you have a fever. Are you okay?”
That instantly set off alarm bells in Y/N’s head, and she took long strides to get next to Jake and could feel the anger and heat coiling off of him, “She’s right, you don’t look so good, either,” Y/N put a hesitant hand on his shaking arm, steering him away from the other two when he surprising didn’t put up a fight, too busy trying to figure out what was wrong with him, “Let me drive you home so you don’t have to wait around for someone to pick you up while you sick.”
Dragging him to her beat-up car was easy after she shoots a half-hearted farewell over her shoulder. It wasn’t until Y/N had driven out of Port Angeles and through Forks did Jake seem to calm himself down, the shaking still there but under control, “Why are you helping me.”
“It’s better this way. Safer.”
“What does that even mean, safer?” Jake was angry again, the anger shaking his body so much Y/N knew she wouldn’t be able to get him to La Push before he shifted, but she hoped they were close enough for the Uley pack to help, “Are you saying that I would hurt Bella?!”
“Not on purpose, but I didn’t want to take any chances so far away.”
“Away from what?!” It seemed like that was as far as Y/N was going to get Jake, quickly pulling over onto the side of the road. Y/N quickly shut off the car and hopped out, Jake following her example. He went to open his mouth to yell at Y/N some more, but his body couldn’t contain it any longer, and he shifted into a large wolf, right there on the side of the highway. There was a loud, horrible screeching sound that caused Y/N to wince. Her car shifted enough to lightly knock into her from the force of Jakes flailing limbs.
The transition startled Y/N, who was not expecting him to be so large in his shifted form. Y/N ignored whatever fear she had and rounded her car to approach Jake, who was now trying and failing to stand on his new limbs, freaking out as he did so, “Hey, hey, you’re okay. Everything's going to be fine, okay?” Jake stopped moving, looking at Y/N in fear and confusion, but nodded his head, “Good. Now, I know you don’t really know how to walk yet, but we really need to go into the woods in case someone comes down this road, okay?”
It took longer than Y/N wanted for Jake to stumble his way into the forest, but he once he was walking properly on his feet there was no stopping him. He was running around the trees, though still clumsy, did so with much more grace then Y/N did her first shift, and she was smaller than him. Y/N watched him run around silently, letting him have his fun while she waited for someone to come get him.
Y/N could tell the moment it happened, one minute Jake was running around, and the next he was stopping so fast he fell over himself, landing on his face. The laugh Y/N let out was loud, and it startled Jake even worse because he flinched so hard it probably hurt, and whipped his head around to look at Y/N, “I take it you can hear them in your head now?”
Jake nodded, and got back up to his feet, looking around the woods. He kept scanning the area, but then stopped, looking out in the direction of La Push, where his pack was coming from. It took several seconds before Y/N could hear them, senses less than Jakes when not she’s not shifted. By the time she could hear them it took just as much time for them to descend on the two of them, followed by the now multiplied smell of dog. The four of them all watched Y/N wearily, but they figured she wasn’t much of a threat, and turned their to Jake instead.
They were obviously communicating with each other, and Y/N watched on silently as they spoke with Jake, probably filling him in on what was going on. It took a couple of minutes, and just as Y/N was about to sit down to give her feet a break, Jake shifted back in all his naked glory.
“Sorry about your car,” Jake muttered, either not realizing he was naked, or not caring that he was. Either way, Y/N was used to it, having shifted so many times with her old pack back in Denmark that nudity was as common as breathing air, so she just waved him off.
“It’s fine, this isn’t the first time something like this happened, and it won't be the last,” Y/N said, giving him a hopefully comforting smile, “I’ve got some spare clothes in the car, though I don’t know if they’re going to fit you.”
It seemed like he didn’t know he was naked, because at the mention of clothes he looked down in horror, quickly covering himself up with his hands.
“You must be the shifter the elders were telling us about,” Y/N startled, having not noticed that anyone else shifted. When she turned to address whoever spoke to her, she noticed that all of the others have shifted, and were smart enough to bring pants.
“That’s me, your friendly neighbourhood hellhound, at your service,” Y/N bowed, giving him a bright smile despite the hard look she was getting from the man that spoke to her, who she guessed was Sam Uley, since everyone else in his pack is around her age, and was definitely not that.
“Aren’t hellhounds supposed to reek?” One asked, an amused smirk on his face.
“Only the ones guarding an entrance to the underworld,” Y/N stated, “Otherwise, it’s just fire and ashes. Much better than the wet dog smell, I can assure you.”
“What was that?” One growls, and is seemingly angry at the flip of a switch. He’s not the tallest of the four, that honour goes to Sam, but it's a close second. He is more intimidating, muscles more pronounced, making him wider, and more threatening than Sam. The guy takes a threat forward, sizing her up, and despite the fear of being outnumbered four to one, excluding Jake, she holds her ground, looking up at him the stare him down.
When their eyes meet it like Y/N’s world shifts, a searing, white-hot pain races up her, branding her with nearly invisible marks that can only be seen by those with enhanced vision. Though she had heard stories about finding her mate from her parents and grandparents, she was not expecting the pain, causing her to gasp, though it quickly becomes bearable, like the beginnings of a headache.
Through her pain she didn’t notice the dazed like state the guy was in, but did notice when he ran up to her, concern swimming in his vision, “Are you okay?”
“I'm fine, just let me…” Y/N trailed off, hands reaching out for him. He was confused, but stepped closer, reaching out to take her outstretched hands. As soon as their skin touched the pain stopped, fading away in the form of glowing, fiery red veins that transferred painlessly over to Paul, before disappearing into both of them.
“Whoa…” Paul muttered, looking down at their still clasped hands in awe, “What was that.”
“The mating bond forming. All hellhounds have an extra, hidden reservoir of fire that lays dormant in their body until they meet their mate. Once they meet it activates, flaring up in a random spot on their body. It hurt at first, though it’s not that bad. It only goes away once we touch our mate.”
“So what, now I’ve got a piece of you in me?”
Y/N nodded, smiling when she noticed the soft, affectionate look in his eyes, “Something like that, yeah. It’ll only flare up when you’re under extreme physical stress, like if you’re injured. It’ll keep you going longer than your body normally could, to help you live if I’m not around.”
“As if I need your help, short stuff.”
Y/N smirked, using their still clasped hands to tug Paul down to her height. The sudden movement and her unnatural strength caught him off guard, and Y/N barely had enough time to rear back to avoid their heads knocking together. Y/N let go of one of Paul’s hands to instead wrap it around his neck, keeping him in place as she leant forward to whisper in his ear, “We’ll see about that.”
Her warm breath ghosted over his skin, making him shiver at the feeling. Y/N could feel his now free hand coming up to loop around her waist, but she danced away, just out of reach with a playful smirk on her face. With his attention fully on her, she let the fire consume her, shifting into a flaming dog. Though unnaturally large, she was still smaller than their shifted form.
Y/N made sure all eyes were on her, before turning towards her car. She crouched down, planting her feet firmly in the ground, before bolting, disappearing in a streak of fire, faster than they ever could be in. She could hear the other boys hooting and hollering, amazed by her speed, but the only one she could really hear was her mate.
“That’s my girl.”