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If You Only Believe

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Originally published on Tricky Raven and ff.net 6/12/2015


Title: If You Only Believe
Genre: Romance
Rating: M
Pairing: Bella/Brady
Words: 2,672
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. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

AN: Huge thanks to Aurelaille for bidding on me in the Tricky Raven silent auction! She asked for a younger wolf, so I was able to explore a pairing I've never tried before. I hope I've done you proud!

~oOo~oOo~oOo~oOo~oOo~oOo~

If You Only Believe

The bell jingled merrily above the door, and she called over her shoulder before turning around, "Welcome to Suzy's! I'll be right with you!"

She didn't hear anyone move to the counter, so she let out a gasp when she turned around and saw the tall male towering before her. Her eyes followed the line of his body all the way up from his dark jeans to his purple Huskies tee that stretched tightly across sculpted planes of smooth muscles.

The warm caramel skin of his strong neck gave way to a chiseled jaw, with a mouth stretched wide over a vaguely-familiar smile. Before she could place where she'd seen it, she looked up further and fell into two deep brown eyes.

She was sure she had never seen these eyes, but at the same time, it felt like she'd known them forever. They made her feel safe, protected, loved. They were warm, open, bright eyes tinged with good humor. They filled with confusion as her eyes narrowed in suspicion.

Her hand shot out to cover his where it rested on the counter, and she shot a glare up at his handsome face when she felt the unnatural warmth of his skin. It took every ounce of her carefully-cultivated self-control to contain the pleasurable shiver that threatened to overtake her at the completely right feeling of his skin against hers.

That white grin returned as he turned his hand over to capture her smaller one between his, covering her soft skin with the decadent heat she didn't realize she had missed that badly.

Her other hand slapped down on the counter as she leaned closer. "Look, wolf-boy, I don't know what you think just happened here, but I don't believe in imprinting. It's a personal thing. Now you can just march your furry little ass right back out this door and–"

"Hey, Bella?" His voice was deeper than she expected, and just the sound of it soothed something deep inside her enough that she didn't even notice that he called her by her name. "Do you believe in coffee? 'Cause I'd really like a cup, if you don't mind."

~oOo~

She joined him at the corner booth as soon as her shift was over, drawn over almost against her will by his devoted gaze. She felt her face heat up as his eyes traveled over her form, taking in her long shapely legs topped off by her short black skirt.

She'd left her apron behind the counter, but her white button-down shirt was perfectly tailored to her curves—curves that were more developed and much sexier than he remembered from the pack mind and the pictures he'd seen scattered around the rez. She was a beautiful girl then, but she had grown to be an absolutely stunning woman.

He stood fluidly when she got closer, holding his hand out to wave her into the booth across from him. She gave him her own once-over, noticing that his height was fairly modest for a wolf. She didn't think he was quite six feet tall, not that that was short by any other standard.

Once she was seated, she took a deep breath and looked up to meet his eyes once more. "I'm sorry," she began, her voice a little calmer since she had worked through the initial surprise of his unexpected appearance. "I was rude earlier. I'm Bella Swan, and I'm guessing you're from La Push?"

His smile was irrepressible, and she couldn't help but return it as he reached for her hand. "I know who you are—everybody in the Pack knows who you are," he told her quietly, with a flirty wink to soften his words. "I'm Brady Fuller."

Bella's eyebrows creased as she tried to think, wondering if she'd heard his name before. He wasn't in the pack when she left all those years ago—she was certain of that. But maybe he had lived somewhere else and returned home, falling under the curse as it was.

"So what are you doing in Seattle, Brady Fuller? Last time I checked, the elders kept their Protectors locked up tight on the rez." She didn't even try to hide her derision. Bella Swan had little love left for the Council, or their precious rules.

Brady's hand tightened gently around hers, making her realize he'd never let go after she first sat down. "Things have changed since Jacob stepped up as Alpha. I think you would approve," he told her, his eyes turning serious as he spoke the name of her oldest friend. "I'm going to school here now—I phase to check in every week, but as long as there are no problems I'm free to pursue my education. That was Jake's first order of business."

Bella turned her head and wiped a tear as she looked out the window. She wondered if her best friend—her lover—had been given the same opportunity that he fought so hard for in others. Somehow she doubted it. He and Angela were probably still living at Billy's, fixing up old cars and adding to the Black family line. Stupid imprinting.

As if he could sense the direction of her thoughts, Brady tugged on her hand and brought her attention back to him. "They miss you, Bells. They all miss you. I know they would love to hear from you." He left the entreaty open, not pushing her for an answer as he swirled the last of his coffee around in his cup.

Bella sat quietly, thinking about her time with the Pack. Jake had coaxed her over her heartache slowly but surely, showing her that his warmth was so much better than Edward's cold perfection. Loving him had been as easy as breathing, and they fumbled through their first attempts at intimacy with a comfortable familiarity that only a lifetime of friendship can bring.

His imprint with Angela had knocked them all for a loop, and Bella hadn't taken the break-up well at all. Paul found her one night at a club in Port Angeles, two broken souls longing for a connection. They connected all over La Push and Forks after that—including anywhere she could leave their comingled scents to fuck with Jake's head.

Rachel Black's long-awaited return home couldn't have come at a worse time. The Pack had just defeated Victoria and her army, and Paul and Bella spent three days celebrating all over the rez. They were walking down the beach when Rachel literally stumbled into their lives, and Bella lost yet another wolf to the Spirits' matchmaking whims.

That very night she had packed her things and left for Seattle—the furthest distance she was willing to go from her father. She'd wasted too many years without him, and she wouldn't let her problems with the Pack push her away from him permanently.

Charlie drove up faithfully at least once a month, taking in whatever sport was in season and visiting with his daughter. Bella adamantly refused to return home, and Charlie was happy to accommodate her, as long as she wasn't running off to Florida.

She did fly down to Vegas when Charlie married Sue Clearwater a few years ago, and Leah had been a regular visitor once she was able to stop phasing not long after that. Both girls were perfectly happy to leave the Pack in La Push and out of their conversations.

Thoughts of her family finally triggered the elusive memory that had been dancing just out of reach. "Brady Fuller! You're Seth's cousin!"

"That's me!" He grinned, showing her that familiar smile again. "Now, can we talk about that thing you don't believe in?"

~oOo~

She wasn't sure exactly how they came to be pressed against her apartment door at that moment. Her mouth was glued to his, desperately seeking out more of his intoxicating flavor. Her hands were holding tight to his short hair, pulling him impossibly closer with each sigh and press of her lips.

Brady held her easily with one hand under her ass, her legs wrapped around his waist and her tight skirt hiked up almost indecently. His free hand was fumbling with her keys, trying to open the door that was the last remaining obstacle keeping him from being balls deep in his imprint.

With a frustrated growl, he twisted the knob and broke the lock, finally forcing his way through the door. Bella looked down with a breathless laugh. "Well, there goes my security deposit!"

He looked a little sheepish as he turned to close the door, sliding the bolt inside across to hold it in place. Satisfied that the door was secure, Brady turned and pressed his little mate back up against the inside of the door. "Where were we?" he growled, smiling darkly when he smelled the resulting increase in her arousal.

Even seeing the others' imprints in the pack mind, it was still overwhelming when he felt the pull himself. Despite his long-time crush on the mysterious Bella from the pack mind, he was amazed by how much he wanted her—needed her—now that she was in his arms. HisMINE.

Feeling him push against her harder, her eyes flew open and she gasped when she saw that his burned with a golden ring swallowing his widely-blown pupils. The wolf. His growl was distinctly more animalistic as his teeth nipped lightly at the tendons in her neck. She melted against him in full submission as he growled again, "You're mine!"

If it wasn't for his supernatural hearing, he would have thought he imagined her whispered response, "Yours."

Unable to wait any longer, he scooped her up and followed his nose to the bedroom, beyond pleased to find no other male scents present. Pulling back the comforter, he laid her out gently on the crisp white sheets, stopping for a moment to admire the way her rich mahogany hair fanned out behind her.

Slightly too far gone for more human reasoning, Brady grasped the waistband of her skirt and ripped it enough to pull the offending material off her body. Her shirt followed quickly in a spray of scattered buttons, leaving only her undergarments remaining.

Bella reached back and unhooked her bra, visibly shaking with excitement as she watched him peel off his tee shirt and reach for the button on his jeans. She lay there mesmerized as he revealed that he was going commando—as much of the pack did—and she surprised them both by scrambling up sit at the edge of the bed in front of him.

His eyes rolled back, jeans still puddled around his ankles, as she reached for his swollen length. He had a brief moment of human insecurity when he wondered if his mate was comparing him to her past lovers, but the overwhelming pleasure he felt when she took him in her mouth quickly erased all lingering doubts.

He didn't leave her there long, as the intoxicating scent of her arousal was taking over his senses. He pulled back, stepped out of his jeans, and lifted her back up onto the bed before diving between her thighs for a feast of his own.

Her panties went the way of her skirt, a useless piece of fabric tossed aside and forgotten. Bella let out a low groan when his tongue met her damp folds, his long fingers working together to bring her quickly to release. His name falling off her lips in ecstasy was his new favorite sound.

Unable to wait any longer, Brady climbed up the bed to kneel between her legs. He leaned over to capture her lips in a searing kiss, throwing a hurried question of "Condom?" her way.

Knowing how important scent was to the wolves, Bella shook her head and bit her lip as she glanced away, embarrassed. "You don't have to—I'm on the shot."

Practically vibrating with excitement, Brady pressed another sweet kiss to her mouth, then looked down as he lined himself up, ready to join with his mate for the very first time. Just as he was about to push in, the salt of her tears reached his nose and he looked up in alarm. "What's wrong? Did I hurt you?"

Bella shook her head and glanced off again, pulling away even as she reached up to wrap her arms around him. She took a deep breath and looked back at him—eyes wide and vulnerable as her fledgling hope battled with deep-seated fears. "You– you won't… you won't leave me?" she finally whispered, pleading with her eyes and her tone.

Brady smiled softly and leaned down to rub his nose against hers in a soothing lupine connection that spoke deeply to their new bond. "I won't," he vowed, eyes solemn and steady. "I can't."

Their lips crashed together as she wrapped her legs around his waist and thighs, pulling him into her body at last. The feeling of connection was like nothing she'd ever felt before—not with Jake, or Paul, or the handful of mediocre human lovers she'd had since then.

Brady moved with instinctual motion of an experienced lover, guided by her touch and the memories he'd gleaned from others. He would tell her later that this was his first time, but for now they spoke only in gasps and sighs and pleas for more.

~oOo~

Her eyes clenched tightly as the late afternoon sun drifted through her open window, until a hoarse chuckle made them fly open in surprise. "Damn, baby, that was amazing. I've been dreaming of this since I was thirteen..."

His words took a moment to sink into her dazed afterglow. When they did, she sat straight up in bed, nearly bumping her head on his chin. "What did you say?" she asked in a low, almost threatening tone of voice.

"What? Oh, you were my first fantasy girl—I mean, seeing you in the pack mind every day, there was really no way around it. But I never dreamed you would actually be mine…"

She continued to stare at him—eyes wide and mouth agape—as he reached up and brushed the hair back from her face. He had no idea what was bothering her.

It took several tries for her voice to work, and when she spoke it was still that same low, grainy tone of voice. "Did you say thirteen?"

At his slow, slightly confused nod, she hopped up out of bed and paced back and forth, not even noticing the way his eyes hungrily followed her flushed, naked form. "But– but I... I left five years ago! You said you phased after that! How old are you?!"

Getting no response, her eyes snapped back to find his mouth open and eyes glazed with lust. Looking down, flounced back over and pulled the sheet off the bed to wrap around her. "Well?" she asked again when he finally brought his eyes up to meet hers.

"I'm eighteen, why?"

He flinched at her shrill screech, still completely unaware of what her problem was. "EIGHTEEN?! Oh my god, what did you do? You're just a baby!" She went back to pacing, one hand waving around as she ranted. "They gave me hell for Jacob and he was only two years younger. You're, what… FIVE years younger? Six? You can't even buy beer yet!"

Needing her touch again, Brady slid out of bed and pulled her into his arms. "Guess it's a good thing I have four more years of school here in Seattle then, huh?" He spoke the words against her neck, his low voice rumbling straight to her core. "And I haven't been carded for alcohol since I was fifteen."

Looking up at his hooded eyes, disheveled hair, and gloriously naked body, Bella dropped the sheet and leaned up to kiss him once more. She would worry about the age thing later—she finally had a wolf of her own, and wolf stamina to explore. Maybe imprinting wasn't so bad after all.