None of this is fair, Jacob thinks as he tunes out his packmates’ chatter. None of it. Growing up he had been convinced that finding the right person for you would be simple. Or, if not simple, it would make some sort of sense once it had happened. Even if it took decades to find them, even if you had to go through a lot of false starts. Despite all of that, once it had happened it would make sense.
Jacob knew that he must look like the picture of the heartbroken idiot, him and Leah both. The two of them were pitied by the rest of the pack but it was no secret that their heartache was an annoyance for them. Mental chatter in the packmind that they could have done without. Well, Jacob couldn’t help but think bitterly, it was much worse to live it firsthand rather than through the thoughts of someone else.
He envied Leah, he really did. That was why she hated him so much, the fact that he could possibly wish to be in her situation over his own disgusted and angered her almost to distraction. But really, could she blame him.
So, it goes like this. Boy meets girl, girl drives truck that he had fixed up, boy thinks that the girl is cute but nothing more, boy meets girl at the beach and tells her things he shouldn’t, girl dates monster, monster leaves girl, girl is broken, boy becomes a different monster, boy imprints on girl who is still in love with the first monster, life is shit.
Whoever said wolves become what their imprint needs them to be was bullshitting so hard that it must have been coming out of their eyes. Unless Bella secretly wants Jacob to be in love with her while she dates someone else which is a whole other level of fucked up that he can barely bring himself to think about. It makes him shake which is never a good idea while indoors, or ever really, but especially indoors.
The entire situation was so viscerally wrong, everything was the opposite of what it should be. Jacob could picture how it was meant to be in his mind as easily as breathing. Bella was meant to meet his gaze in the meadow and know that there was some connection between them, despite his wolf form, it shouldn’t have mattered.
They should have not needed to discuss anything because it would have been so obvious, the connection wouldn’t need explaining. They would have stayed together forever and not in the way that made an uncomfortable urge to run away creep up under his skin when he thought about it but in the way that made a warmth creep up into his stomach. It would be entire conversations contained in unspoken looks, lazy days spent together doing nothing, a failed DIY project, a pillow fight late at night, staying up till 2am talking about life even though they’ve been together thirty years. A life, Jacob could see that, their life. But no, none of that was going to happen.
He had held out hope for a while. That leech wasn’t in the picture at least, even if he hadn’t released his insidious grip on Bella’s heart. That all changed, however, because of that stupid fucking phone call that he had answered and the horrorshow that it had set into motion. His Bella had gone so easily with the short haired one, as if nothing had happened.
After she left, Jacob shifted and ran until his legs ached. Ignoring the concerned voices in his mind, unable to get a handle on what the hell had happened because of just how disorganised his thoughts were. He was in Canada by the time he could think anything other than ‘betrayed, betrayed, how could it have meant nothing? How can I feel so much and she feels nothing?’. Even his supernatural stamina couldn’t last, however, and eventually he collapses to the ground in a panting, shaking lump of fur. It is only then that his pack learns of what had happened.
When the Cullens return it is as if nothing had changed. Jacob can’t help but think of those days bitterly. He had been jealous of the copper-haired leech even then but it had been nothing compared to this horrific rending pain that was his every waking moment. The wrongness that had settled into his bones, his soul, and refused to leave.
They’re the perfect couple on the outside. Who cares if he controls her every moment or demands all of her time? Who cares if she has shrunk back into her old self, a smaller self? Clearly no one other than him. If she would only give him a chance, surely it wouldn’t take long for her to realise how much happier she could be. Romance with him might not be like in those old books that she loves to read but it would be real and honest and he would love her with everything inside him. Everything that a boy from a small rez who had been forced to grow up too fast could offer. Maybe it wasn’t a lot but Jacob knew that it would be enough to make her happy, he just knew it. If Bella would give him one look, for just a moment. But she would never do that, not when her gaze never left her ancient bloodsucking boyfriend.
Jacob has been staring at the wall for minutes now but no one says anything, clearly they know better than to comment on it. They have all had to live through his thoughts, after all. He knows full well that he is seen as a cautionary tale for the rest of the pack. To know that it is possible to fall in love with your imprint only for that imprint to not want to have a romantic relationship with you. It was...sacrilege almost. It went against everything that they had been taught. The imprint bond, regardless of whatever else it was: romantic, platonic, familial, it was reciprocal.
Or not, in his case.
The worst part, the very worst part, the part that made him rage and howl and rip his body to shreds with anger was that he knew that she loved him back. It was obvious. Even the Cullen leech knew it and that was why he hated him. The person who didn’t seem to know was Bella, it was infuriating. She admitted to needing him, to loving him in her own way, to thinking that he was ‘sort of beautiful’ even. And the imprint was not based on nothing on her end, it just couldn’t be. Jacob would not accept that for a second.
Letting her go was more than he could allow himself to contemplate. Especially not to allow her to enter the realm of those...things that she chose to spend all of her time with. Of course, the life that he occupied had its own dangers. Emily’s face was an example of that and the pained look that Sam would get every now and then whilst looking at her. But surely it was better than what waited for her if she got her way? It had to be. Besides, if he was Bella’s soulmate it stood to reason that...the leech wasn’t and what was the point in being with anyone else when there was someone who was made for you right. Fucking. There. Right in front of your face just begging to be seen.
Jacob had tried, though. Short of admitting that he had imprinted on her which he assumed would only scare her away. He had admitted his feelings, had begged her to give him a chance. All of it. He sighed, he had put himself out there as much as it was possible for him to do without shredding his heart into ribbons. He had long since flung his dignity to the side. What else could he do except hope that she would come to her senses? There was still time, after all.
That left Jacob in the same palace that he had been for months now. It was pointless to wait around for her, everyone had told him that. She had even told him that. Still, what else could he do? It would be disingenuous to pretend that he wanted to be with anyone else. He would wait until the last moment, until she had fully slipped away from him and then he would mourn. He wouldn’t die but he knew that he wouldn’t really be alive either, not if she was one of those things living with that copper haired leech in an unchanging eternity of so called bliss.
If imprinting was fate, then fate could suck his dick.