Status: Active


Mended Friendships



I left my conversation with Embry feeling low about myself. Not because of what he'd said but because I'd gone there hoping that he would have said anything to contradict Jake's version of the truth about imprinting.

It seemed that everything Jacob had told me was what they understood about this strange phenomenon. Just the truth in its purest form with no condition or expectation for anything in return. Just like Embry said. The thought was sending shivers down my spine.

I felt like I had stepped on an emotional rollercoaster at last night's dinner with no end in sight. My initial reaction to what Jacob had explained about imprinting was frustration and anger at him having kept another secret that impacted me being able to understand what I've been truly going through with him since the cliffs and my brother's transition. But those feelings were quickly replaced with understanding that sharing another fantastical story about me being hardwired to be his soul mate on top of my brother being a vampire and him a shape shifting wolf could be an extremely tough sell if disclosed all at once. Could I really blame him for trying to find a better time to tell me we’re hardwired to be with each other for life? He told me the truth and I could tell he has been struggling with the idea of it all just as much as me.

With that train of thought, panic begins to creep in. Is that understanding and forgiveness my choice or is it impossible for me to resist the pull everyone was talking so much about. Would I ever be able to trust myself or my feelings in relation to Jake without this bond hanging over our heads?

When I began to find some way to chase the negative thoughts away, one thing came to my mind. Jake. Holding me tight to his warm chest. The fleeting burn of his lips against my forehead. His listening ear, understanding and patience. All these emotions then began boiling over into pure frustration. A never-ending loop of belief and mistrust in myself that was now supposed to be my reality.

I couldn't just sit here forever either. With me going to Embry, I knew it was a matter of time before Jacob learned about me questioning him on the imprinting matter. He'd briefly mentioned seeing and feeling each other's thoughts while patrolling and the primary reason for me going to Em's was to quell the feud between the two as much as I could, given the current circumstances between the three of us. The last thing they need when they are focusing on the safety of the pack and the town is this drama.

I snatched the keys from my dresser with one place in mind. I just needed to make a quick pit stop before finding my way to my destination.


I timidly made my way up the front porch steps of the Black house. I rapped quickly on the door before I could lose my nerve. There was some rustling from inside the house and Billy pulled the door open quickly.

"Euphoria, it's really great to see you!" He greeted me enthusiastically.

"Great to see you too, Billy." I smiled.

"Come in, I expect you'll be here looking for Jacob. He's been out back in the old barn all afternoon.”

"Thanks, do you mind if I head out back and find him?" I asked nervously.

"Of course not. Just through that back door there." He directed kindly.

I thanked him before making my way through the house out to the back porch. There was a small stretch of land from the house to the barn, so I made my way across the stone path until I reached the open barn door. The unmistakable sound of a wrench tightening a bolt and the clanking of metal-on-metal ringing in my ears.

In the dim glow of a hanging utility light, Jacob's broad frame was wrapped around the body of a motor bike with his back to me as he continued to work away.

"Hey" I called out to announce my presence.

He turned in my direction sharply. Surprise flashed briefly across his features before he broke out into an infectious grin.

"Euphoria, what are you doing here?" he asked, picking up the rag he'd clearly been using to wipe the excess grease off his working hands and taking a few long strides over to me.

The tone in his voice was bursting with so much genuine surprise and joy. The question threw me off guard. What was I doing here really?

I cleared my throat before answering.

"I think I came here because what you told me was… It was a lot to take in Jake, and I don't want to think about it alone anymore." I confessed.

My honesty caused his brow to furrow in a moment of hesitation before he wrapped me in his steady embrace. I instantly melted my body into his as he pulled me securely to his chest. He smelt like the freshness of clean linens, evergreen trees, and motor oil.

"U, I'm so sorry -" he started but I cut him off quickly by shaking my head and pulling back from his embrace.

"Please don't be sorry. I'm glad you told me and I'm glad I know." His warm gaze found mine, filled with hope and what I'd come to finally understand was devotion.

"I also just really needed the comfort of some company." I assured him as I pulled out of his grasp all be it reluctantly.

"That sounds nice. Anyone you had in mind you'd like to spend your time with then?" He teased lightly.

A blush crept up my neck before I wiped the smug grin from his face with a quick "Just you".

"Anyways, I come bearing gifts to share. Mostly for my own comfort but I think I can be a little selfish in that regard." I explained as I pulled a bag of Skittles, I’d stopped at the gas station for from my coat pocket.

Jake let a huge smile take over his features as he pointed me over to a work bench and chairs tucked in another corner of the barn. I plopped myself on the clear workbench table while Jake took his residence in the free chair off to the right of me. I ripped open the bag and began to sort the Skittles between the two of us, just like Ephraim and I used to do when we were kids. Reds and oranges for Jake, yellow and purple for myself and an even amount of greens between the both of us.

We shared the treat in a comfortable silence as we each took turns stealing glances at the other just to be sure they hadn't run off yet. Once we'd both finished the sweets, I turned to him ready to get my conversation with Embry off my chest.

"I went and saw Em today." Best probably to just rip the band-aid off and confess.

Jake visibly tensed at my abrupt confession. His brow furrowed with confusion as he considered his response to the meeting between his imprint and best friend who had a crush on her.

"Were you guys able to finally talk?" he breathed out tensely.

"Yes. What you told me last night about us doesn't change anything about how I've always felt towards Embry. Romantic feelings have never been there, and I also told him there wouldn't ever be those feelings towards him for me." Jake's expression went from apprehensive to one of complete relief at my admission.

"I know how hard that was for you. I'm sorry I had to ask that of you in the first place." He finally responded after a few moments of silence between us both.

"I did it for the safety of you both and the pack. The last thing either of you should be worrying about when trying to catch the red head is me." I admonished.

"I know we can work through our differences as friends and hopefully find a way to move forward." He conceded.

"You should know that I asked him about imprinting." I continued as Jake tensed at the revelation.

He seemed to work his way through several emotions before he looked into my eyes.

"Can I ask why?" he probed diplomatically.

"I think I just needed to be sure what you told me was true I guess?" He looked pained at my confession. "Not because I don't believe in you Jake, but I just needed to know if you'd told me everything you knew about it. All of the truth this time." I admitted.

He looked pained as I confessed my need for a second opinion to fact check his own admissions that he’d made to me last night.

"I wanted you to hear it from me and to hear why before you saw it in his head." I explained further.

His gaze softened at that revelation, but he remained silent with his shoulders tensed.

"I can't say I'm not hurt by it U, but I do understand. I can understand why you felt like you had to do that, I mean. I don't have a great track record of telling you the whole truth." He breathed finally.

"I know and I don't want to hurt you, Jake. I want us both to start fresh, a clean slate for each other so we can find a way to move forward too." I reached across the space between us both to grab his hand from fidgeting in his lap.

He stared at our connected palms for a long time before meeting my gaze, his eyes full of that hope that made my stomach churn with uncertainty.

"I'd really like that." He confessed gently before bringing the back of my palm to his lips for a brief kiss that lingered hotly on my skin as he released my palm from his warm grasp.

"So, friends then?" I asked hopefully as my cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

The most infectious grin overtook his features as he stepped out of the chair to pull me into a comforting hug.

"Always." He whispered into my hairline.

"Good, it's been nice to have a friend." I admitted as I wrapped my arms tighter across his broad torso.

"It really has been." He breathed back contentedly.