Chapter 7

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Paul tapped lightly on the door. When he heard Bella’s cheery “come in” he stepped inside and shut the door quietly behind him. He was glad he had his shorts bungeed to his leg while he had been on patrol. He wouldn’t have wanted to waste time running back to La Push to get a pair.

 

Bella glanced up from her large skillet on the stove and smiled. “Where’s the guys?”

 

Paul could smell the toasting bread, butter, and the melting cheese of the sandwiches she was making. As hungry as he was, nothing smelled as good as she did. “They went back to the Rez.” He stepped closer to her. “They had some stuff to do, I guess.”

 

“Oh?”

 

Paul couldn’t take it anymore. He had to get his hands on her and make sure she was all right. She let out a little squeak as he pulled her to his chest and buried his nose in her hair. That leech daring to come back, after Paul had caught him sneaking toward her room at night, and attempting to get to her, had sent every protective instinct of his into a roaring frenzy. The only reason he didn’t immediately crush the walking corpse was because he somehow knew Bella wouldn’t really want him ended.

 

“You’re okay,” he gasped in relief against her neck.

 

“Yeah, I am.” Bella didn’t know what to do with her hands so she dropped the spatula on the stove with a clatter and tentatively put her arms around him. “But the food won’t—”

 

Paul reached over, pushed the skillet off the burner and twisted the knob to the off position. “It’ll be fine. I’ll eat it later.” He nuzzled her neck and head, breathing in her scent, letting it fill and soothe him as he reassured himself she was safe and sound.

 

Bella was unable to keep her hands still on his hot, smooth skin. She loved how warm he was, and she couldn’t help admiring the width of his shoulders. “Uh … uh, it’ll get c-cold.”

 

“I don’t care.” He drew her up his body until her eyes were level with his. “I … I only care about you.”

 

Her eyes grew wide with apprehension. “Uh, Paul. Emily and Kim were telling me about this imprint stuff, and … and I don’t think I believe in this mystical union of souls thing. Somebody already tried to tell me I was his mate, and—”

 

The feral growl that erupted through Paul’s broad chest sent the most delightful vibrations through her body, and she couldn’t stop herself from squirming against him.

 

“You know he lied.” Paul’s voice was low and rough as he rubbed his chin across her jaw and kissed her in front of her ear. “You’re mine.”

 

She gasped and clutched at his shoulders. “I was in love once. Love stinks, ya know. There’s even a song about it.”

 

“What’s love got to do with it?” Paul’s hand slid down her back and over her ass. “I’m talking about devotion.” He licked her lips. He was very pleased to see her eyes drift closed. “Loyalty. Protection. Adoration.” He nipped at her throat.

 

“Ohhh. But … but Emily said that the wolf had to be whatever the imprint wanted.” Her fingers threaded through his hair as her lips trailed over his neck. He smelled so good. “That doesn’t seem fair.”

 

Suddenly she was on her back on her unmade bed and Paul was hovering over her. The deep cinnamon brown of his eyes had darkened to black.

 

“Er … ah, Paul. Um, how did we get to my room?” She hadn’t even noticed he’d carried her upstairs.

 

“I’m fast when I want to be. I see you kept the feather.” He nuzzled her neck. “What were you saying?” His right hand coasted down her side to her hip, and his fingers moved to the waistband of her sweats.

 

“Uhhh.” Her voice quivered and she gasped again when she felt the blazing heat of his tongue and lips work their way down her neck to her shoulder. “Imprint. It doesn’t seem … fair you have to be whatever the imprint wants.”

 

“I think I know what my imprint wants.” His hand worked into her grey sweats and his fingers slid over her skin to her soft curls. “And you’re exactly what I want.”

 

Bella groaned and writhed against his gentle touch. Paul loved the way her fingers knotted in his hair and the way she pulled his mouth to hers. He couldn’t get enough of her lips.

 

“But what about …” she asked breathily as his lips covered hers. “Oh!” Her hips thrust up against his hand.

 

He pressed his hard dick against her trembling thigh. “What Bella? What is it?” He could hear and feel her heart pounding. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. With each stroke of his fingers, she was getting wetter and hotter, and he groaned into her hair. He loved her hair.

 

“Oh, Paul. Maybe … maybe the Spirits …”

 

Her breath caught in her throat, and he slipped his fingers inside her. She cried out and thrust her hips upward, straining to get even closer to him. Her nails dug into his shoulders as her orgasm swept through her, each pulse stronger than the last until she shuddered in his hands and collapsed, her hands sliding down over the curve of his arms.

 

As he kissed her jaw and throat, she sucked in a deep breath. “Ho-lee—”

 

“Crow?” he asked, arching a brow at her. He pressed light kisses to her closed eyes and breathed in the warm scent of her flushed skin. He loved the way she smelled.

 

A smile lifted just the corners of her mouth. “No. I was going to say holy shit.”

 

“Seriously?”

 

At last, her eyes drifted open and a frown line formed between her brows. “Paul, that was …” She blew out a breath. “But … but, what about you? I … I mean, I … uh …”

 

“Shh.” He pressed his lips lightly to hers. “The Spirits choose the imprint. You’re exactly what I need, and maybe … I’m exactly what you need.”

 

“But, I meant—”

 

A slow smile spread over Paul’s lips. “I know what you meant.” He kissed her nose. “When I finally get inside you, and I will, I plan on taking my time. I don’t need your father coming home and—”

 

“Oh, God,” Bella moaned and squeezed her eyes shut. Paul had made her forget all about Charlie. She thought he’d be able to make her forget about a lot of things.

 

“We could go to my house where we won’t be disturbed.” He traced the curve of her brow with one fingertip. “Then, this evening, we could have another fire on the beach since we were so rudely interrupted last time.”

 

Bella smiled, nuzzled the palm of his extremely warm hand, and peeked at him. “I think I’d like that.”

 

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