Twilight - The Binding

BY : Tyjord
Category: Twilight Series > General
Dragon prints: 8357
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or make any money from this story.

“So, you won’t help me then?”

Bella looked up at him. It was hard, very hard, to refuse him this, but, in her heart, she knew that it was for the best.

“Jacob, we’ve had this conversation before. You know I care about you, but…well, it would just feel like I was betraying Edward.”

“Please don’t talk about him. Not now. This isn’t about him.” Jacob turned away and stared off into the woods that surrounded them.

“Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you, especially not on your birthday.”

Jacob remained motionless, his back to her. “Upset me? You hurt me every time you mention his name.”

Bella reached out, the fluctuations of his voice penetrating her heart like a dagger. Her hand just barely brushed his bare shoulder before he pulled away from her.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“You know what?” He asked as he turned back towards her. “Just forget it. Forget I ever came to you with this. It was a mistake, and just like everything else involving you, I’m going to pay the price.”

“Jacob, wait…” she said as he ran off. She watched him run, stunned by his unnatural speed, and gasped suddenly when she noticed the immense fallen tree directly in his path. He was going too fast, she thought briefly, even as she saw him leap into the air, his denim shorts and tennis shoes exploding into rags as he changed. The gigantic wolf landed on top of the tree and turned back to face her. Their eyes locked for the briefest of moments before the wolf turned and leapt away, disappearing into the forest.

Bella sighed heavily and wiped the tears from her eyes before starting the long walk home.

“Bella,” Jacob said, finally breaking the silence, “I am so sorry. I was acting like a kid. I had no right to put you in that position.”

They were walking along the beach, the tightly packed sand barely registering their footfalls. The sound of the waves crashing against the nearby rocks filled the emptiness as the young man waited for a response. It had been exactly one week since their ill-fated meeting in the woods, seven whole days before Jacob worked up the nerve to return her phone calls. When he finally did, she had suggested they go for a walk along the beach and, despite the gloom and chill that had settled over the area, Jacob had agreed.

“Do you remember the last time we walked here?” Bella stopped and grabbed his hand.

“Of course,” he replied, allowing her grip to stop him in mid-stride.

“You saved me. You always save me.”

“Heh,” he chuckled nervously, “what can I say, I’m just a big guard dog, you know.”

Bella smiled warmly. “Jacob, you have nothing to apologize for. I care about you. You are my best friend, and I want nothing more than for you to be happy and safe. Do you really have to go through with this? You were kind of vague about the whole thing. Honestly, you made it sound like you wanted to go on a camping date.”

Jacob pulled his hand back gently and turned toward the ocean. He felt her lean in close to him for warmth as the damp, misty air induced a sudden shiver throughout her body.

“It’s called ‘The Binding’,” he said softly, his gaze still fixed on the waves in the distance. “Every member of the pack goes through it shortly after their eighteenth birthday.”

“Is it some sort of rite of passage? I thought you were already initiated into the pack when you first changed.” She looked up at him, afraid to press too hard.

“Oh Bella,” he answered, looking down at her, “it is so much more than that. From the first time I shifted, I was a member of the pack. This is different. This is about control and standing.”

“Please,” she said, gently nudging him down to the sand with her until they were both on their knees, “I’m not following.”

He smiled at her and brushed a lock of her damp hair away from her face. “I know. It’s not easy to explain some aspects of our culture to outsiders.”

“Try. Please. I promise to keep an open mind.”

He sighed, a small noise almost like a whimper, and paused a moment to gather his thoughts. “You see, when a member of the pack turns eighteen, their future position within it must be determined. To complicate matters further, it is at this same time that our individual level of control over the change is locked in, so to speak.”

“Jacob, I still don’t understand.”

“Bella, the other day in the woods, I only ran away because I was going to shift. My emotions took control and I changed without willing it.”

Her hand went up to the side of his face. “But that’s understandable. People lose control sometimes when they get emotional.”

“Not all of us, Bella.  That’s what the binding is about. For some biological reason, at this time in our lives, we can exert enough control to block unwanted shifts. But we have to be pushed into extreme emotional stress before it can happen. Some of us succeed and become the dominants of the pack, or even leader someday. Others fail and become the submissives.”

“So how do you get pushed to that point,” she asked, almost afraid of the answer.

“Well,” he said calmly, “most of the time, a small group will take the individual out into the woods and…” He looked away, his face turning red.

“Jacob, please don’t stop. You can tell me anything.”

He looked back at her quickly, as though if he didn’t respond immediately, he never would. “Imagine the worst fraternity initiation ever, then multiply the pain factor by ten.”

“Pain?” She gasped, regretting the slip instantly.

“Yeah, if the individual can withstand enough pain without giving in to the change, the genetic lock will kick in and total control over the shifts is achieved.”

“And if you can’t withstand this…pain, what then?”

“Well, let’s just say the change would be uncomfortable at best.”

“That sounds barbaric.”

“That’s just the way it works. Kind of like when we imprint. We don’t know why it happens, it just does. Besides, I thought you weren’t going to judge.”

“I’m sorry Jacob, it’s your culture. I have no right. So, have you been a part of any of these…ceremonies?”

“No. It was always assumed I’d be the leader eventually. Pack leaders must face the trial with limited knowledge of what actually happens.”

Bella looked at him, a glimmer of hope in her eyes. “So, this could all be a story designed to scare you. It may not be real.”

“I don’t think that’s the case, Bella. Remember when Embry got sick last year? It took him almost two weeks to recover.”

“That was this? I thought your friend had pneumonia.”

“What else could I say?”

There was silence then. The two sat for a while and stared out at the water. Their gazes would meet on occasion, and Jacob would smile at her, in an almost reassuring manner.

“So,” Bella said finally, “this will make you leader some day?”

“No,” he said wearily, “that’s no longer an option for me.”

“What? Why? I thought you were the Alpha Male?”

“Being an Alpha doesn’t automatically make one leader. A leader has never emerged from a binding ritual conducted by the pack. Every one of them performed the ceremony with someone they loved. Like Sam did.”

“Oh Jacob, I didn’t know, I’m so sorry.”

He pulled her close, hugging her tightly to him. “It’s okay Bella. There’s no way you could have known. It’s not your fault, it’s mine.”

She moved back from his embrace, pushing back on his shoulders until he was at arms distance. “Jacob, I wouldn’t have been able to do it anyway. I could never hurt you, never.”

“You still don’t understand,” he said, his eyes downward, looking at the packed sand between them. “The ceremony is based on emotional stress. Pain is not the only option.”

She looked at him, her expression gradually changing as realization set in.

“Pleasure works just as well, Bella.”

“Are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?” Edward stared across the table at her while Carlisle tried hard to be inconspicuous while managing his portfolio from the family’s desktop computer.

“Please, Edward,” Bella said, her agitation apparent to all of them, “just let it go. This is not something you can help me with or protect me from.”

“How do I know that if you won’t tell me what the problem is?” Edward stood up suddenly, knocking his chair to the floor.

“Please don’t have a tantrum. I came here for some peace and tranquility.”

“Fine,” Edward said, ignoring his chair and walking out of the dining room. “You want to deal with whatever this is on your own, be my guest.”

Bella waited until the front door slammed shut before sighing. “Sometimes, Edward…for such an old person, you act like a child.”

“He’s moody, always has been. Please, forgive the intrusion…”

“No, Carlisle, it’s okay. I just don’t understand what his problem is sometimes.”

“He doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that your thoughts are blocked from him. He just…knows when someone is troubled and acts accordingly. To tell the truth, I think you are driving him crazy.”

Bella glanced at Carlisle, the shock evident on her face.

“In a good way Bella, of course. I think he needs a bit of the unknown in his life. It helps to ease the melancholy he’s felt for so long.”

Relieved, Bella sighed again.

“Now,” Carlisle said as he turned off the computer and, picking up Edward’s chair, sat down opposite the only human in his house, “perhaps I may be of assistance with something?”

“Well,” Carlisle said calmly, “that is quite problematic. I know, as does Edward, how fond you are of young Mr. Black. Thank you for trusting me with this.”

“I think I may have made a mistake. What if Edward reads your thoughts and finds out?”

“Whether or not Edward discovers this is completely up to you Bella.”

She looked at Carlisle, her sense of wonder evident on her face. “You mean Edward can’t read your mind either?”

“No, he can, but he learned long ago that reading my mind just led to boredom. There is only so much medical mumbo jumbo he can stand. Of course, I wouldn’t be one-hundred percent truthful if I didn’t admit that it took years of practice to, shall we say…cover my thoughts.  Over the years, it has become quite an irritating game for him trying to read what’s in my head. I doubt he even tries any longer.”

“He never told me.”

“Well then, I guess Edward has some secrets as well. Now, I can’t say I know much about this ‘Binding’ ceremony, but I have definitely heard rumors, and more than one of us has heard the screams.”

“Screams?” Bella gasped, her hand moving up to cover her mouth.

“Yes. We do have excellent hearing as you know. Unfortunately, the truce prevented us from investigating. Emmet almost caused a war once when he failed to curb his curiosity.  I pulled him out just before the pack descended. It took many conciliatory gestures from me before that escapade was forgotten.”

“This is all getting to be too much…”

“Bella, we exist in a complicated world. You have chosen to be a part of something that so few have knowledge of. It makes you very special. Your love for Edward and concern for Jacob make you only more so.”

Bella blushed a deep crimson as Carlisle smiled warmly at her.

“What do I do, Carlisle? I can’t let them hurt Jacob, and now that I found out he’s lost his status because of me…”

“He didn’t lose anything because of you Bella. He can’t help his feelings for you any more than you can for Edward. Nobody is to blame.” Carlisle reached across the table and gently wiped a tear from Bella’s cheek. “What would you say if I could offer you an option that would allow you to help Jacob without technically betraying Edward.”


“It’s far from a perfect idea, and it does have risks, but it’s up to you.”

“Would we be able to tell Edward?”

“That would be difficult. No matter how logical and beneficial it would be, to us and the truce, having Jacob Black the leader of their tribe, Edward’s emotions run deep.”

“He’s moody,” she said, repeating Carlisle’s own words.

“Almost insufferably,” Carlisle smiled.

“So,” Bella said, a new determination flowing through her, “what do I need to do?”

There were five of them, of that Jacob was sure, although he didn’t know exactly who was part of the group.  He had his guesses, of course, based on current pack members, age, and desire to participate in these ceremonies, but they had made sure to be extremely careful in keeping that knowledge from him.

As they led him through the dense overgrowth, naked except for the customary pair of denim shorts so plentiful in their lives, Jacob was well aware of the limitations and restrictions they had imposed upon both his senses and physical freedoms. Jacob’s wrists were crossed and bound tightly behind his back with strong leather straps, and his fingers wriggled about in frustration as the two sets of hands gripped his upper arms tightly, controlling his movement. A strip of rough cloth was cruelly pulled between his teeth, digging uncomfortably into the corners of his mouth and preventing any formation of intelligible words. A similar strip of cloth had been wrapped around his eyes, blocking his sight completely.

He hadn’t thought any of this too surprising when he had knelt in front of the entire pack and allowed them to bind, gag, and blindfold him, but his ignorance of the ceremony’s details had become painfully clear when they had taken away his ability to use his remaining heightened senses. Strong hands had pushed his head from one side to the other as something warm and thick was poured into his ears, blocking out all sound.  The close proximity of the entire pack had prevented him from distinguishing who specifically was taking part in his incapacitation, but even had he been able to identify his extended family’s individual scents, he would have lost that as well. Jacob had lurched backwards as the rough, probing fingers first spread the bitter smelling herb across his upper lip, just under his nose, followed immediately by the uncomfortable and oddly degrading process of having some shoved up inside each of his nostrils and massaged thoroughly into his nasal membranes.

Now, as he stumbled along, bare feet painfully interacting with the rough ground and its myriad of twigs, rocks and debris all focusing on his only remaining sense of touch, Jacob remained completely ignorant of what was happening around him. The strict, unrelenting pull on his arms dragged him ever forward until a misplaced foot came in contact with a rogue tree root. Jacob grunted behind his gag as he tumbled forward, the unforgiving hands stopping him in mid-fall before dragging him back upright and into the path of the stinging slap that impacted on the back of his head.

The group’s trek continued in similar fashion until an abrupt, unexplained stop preceded Jacob’s being forced to his knees on the cold, moss encrusted ground. He sat completely still until an uncontrollable shiver passed over him. He attempted to mentally prepare himself for what was sure to begin at any moment, but his resolve was met only with the all-encompassing silence that had become his world. Slight fluctuations in the air against his bare skin led him to believe there was movement going on around him, and he began to fidget nervously as he awaited the inevitable.

“Go away Bella,” Embry said, stepping to the forefront of the group. He had motioned for the rest of them to stop when they saw her standing in their path, and paused only long enough to have them force Jacob to his knees before moving up to confront her.

“You had your chance, and you deserted him. Just leave the important stuff to his real friends.”

“Friends?” Bella said, a hint of amusement in her voice. “Is this how friends treat each other in your world Embry?” She stood her ground as the red faced young man approached her, his anger evident to all.

“How dare you judge our culture? You don’t know anything about us!”

Bella smiled, hoping her uncertainty was not as evident as Embry’s rage. “I know enough to say you are no longer needed here.” She gestured towards the entire group. “None of you are. I’ll take it from here boys.”

Low growls and ominous changes in stance rippled through the pack.

“Unless of course, you all want to be responsible for denying Jacob his right to lead?”

No answers rose to this challenge as Bella stood her ground, staring down the defacto leader of the group.

“How did you find us Bella?” Embry said as he sniffed the air.

“I led her here,” Seth said as he stepped from behind a large tree just behind where Bella stood. “It wasn’t hard to track you.”

Embry snorted with disdain. “So the pup was smart enough to stay downwind and avoid detection?”

Seth just smiled and moved to Bella’s side.

“You’re choosing the wrong side Seth!” Embry shook with rage as he faced off against the pair in front of him.

“I’m choosing Jacob’s side, Embry. I’ll always choose Jacob’s side.”

Bella stepped closer to the group, shifting the pack she carried on her back a bit as she maneuvered through the dense foliage. “Can we stop posturing for a minute and try to work this out logically? I know I initially refused Jacob’s request for help, but I’ve changed my mind. I want to help him become what he is meant to be…your leader someday. And you know that if Jacob finds out you stood in the way of that, he won’t be pleased with any of his so called friends.”

“Embry please,” Seth said, almost pleading. “Just let Bella leave with him.”

Embry was silent for a moment, as he looked at the rest of the group. He saw nothing but the expectation for him to decide reflected in their eyes.

“We could ask Jacob,” Seth volunteered, nodding towards the bound captive kneeling in their midst.

“You know we can’t do that,” Embry said sullenly, a slight drooping in his shoulders evident only to the keenest of eyes. “The ceremony has begun, there are rules. We can’t just stop.”

Tense moments of silence followed as everyone stood their ground.

“I’ll take his place,” Seth said suddenly, pulling his t-shirt over his head and tossing it to the ground. He turned away from them, offering himself up by crossing his wrists behind his back and closing his eyes.

Bella fought back the urge to stop him, knowing, in her heart, there was no other way.

“You’re not old enough Seth.” Embry challenged.

“C’mon,” Seth said, wiggling his wrists around, “what’s two years between ‘friends’? I’m going to have to do it eventually anyway.”

Embry looked at the rest of the group. He was being presented with a way out, a way to maintain the traditions while still giving up Jacob, and they all knew it.

“Fine, if that’s the way you want this to go down, get on your knees,” Embry said as he motioned the others forward.

Bella moved closer to Jacob as she watched Seth fall to his knees as the pack descended. In an instant, he was bound, blindfolded and gagged identically to Jacob, and his tennis shoes had been tossed away into the underbrush, leaving him just as barefoot. She watched as the hands that had controlled Jacob so effectively, now took hold of Seth’s much thinner arms, yanking him to his feet.

“Thank you,” Bella whispered as Seth was led past her and deeper into the woods.

Embry stood back for a moment, his gaze locked on Bella Swan and the still kneeling, oblivious Jacob. “Don’t mess this up Bella, or you’ll cause more problems than we ever could have for him. Oh, and you have to promise me something else in return…”

Bella, feeling ill, had given her word. She wanted to argue this condition Embry had placed on the situation further, but he was gone instantly, running off to catch up with his pack and their new initiate. Bella sighed heavily. Vampires, shape shifting giant wolves and secret hazing ceremonies to decide and control a person’s future, what kind of world was she a part of now? Unable to truly fathom an answer, she set her focus completely on the task at hand. She mentally went over every detail she had discussed with Carlisle as she dropped her pack to the ground and removed something from within. Sighing again, she moved behind her longtime friend and took a deep breath.

Jacob flinched involuntarily as he felt the tight leather collar encircle his throat before being almost too tightly buckled in place. He could feel the heavy length of chain dangling from the back of it even as a sudden upward yank brought him to his feet. Still completely ignorant of what was going on around him; Jacob had no choice but to follow the lead of the person now holding his leash.

Jacob was filled with frustration, helpless as an ever deepening feeling of claustrophobia flooded through him. He was once again kneeling on the ground, his blind march through the woods halted for a fourth time since he had been put on a leash. If his extended family were trying to keep him fully disoriented, he had to admit, they were doing an excellent job. He took a deep breath, trying hard to discern his surroundings or captors, but although the bitter smell of the unguent had faded, it left him with absolutely no sense of smell whatsoever.

Deprived of his other senses, Jacob’s ability to feel had become amplified, heightening his awareness of the tight leather lashings digging into his wrists and the cold, moist ground under his bare legs. Even the slight breeze, cascading over his exposed skin threatened to overload his consciousness.

Something was very different. He knew that. His mind screamed it out to him from the deafening silence like some primordial danger alert. He had been stopped here too long. Had something happened to the pack? Was this waiting part of the ceremony? When would the pain start? Jacob’s body tensed up, his wrists struggling uselessly against their bindings.

Bella watched him from a few yards away. She wasn’t really sure who was more frightened, Jacob or herself. Carlisle’s plan, carefully laid out for her, was not something she could easily describe as being within her comfort zone. While she wasn’t ignorant of the methods Carlisle had described, her lack of experience worried her. Although, she knew she would be lying to herself if she denied a certain level of excitement. There had always been a sexual undercurrent to her relationship with Jacob, although it had never reached fruition. Now, she was about to explore things of a nature so intimate, that she truly feared the possible results. But, she had decided to help her friend, no, her best friend, achieve a goal that would bring him the status he deserved. Bella knew there was no way she could deny Jacob his future, no matter how uncomfortable or uncertain she felt.

She stared at him from her spot leaning against the wall of the small cabin. His entire body twitched again, drawing her out of her thoughts. He was tensed up like a tightly coiled spring, ignorant of everything around him. Every few moments of silence and immobility caused him to jerk uncontrollably as his emotions ran amok. It was eating away at Bella’s heart knowing that she was causing him such discomfort, but she was resolved, knowing that this was nothing compared to what he would have faced with the pack.

She had stopped their trek multiple times since taking custody of Jacob from Embry and his gang, forcing him to kneel for varying amounts of time before continuing on. They had been walking for hours before finally arriving at the predetermined location, Bella continually struggling to control her desires to help or comfort Jacob every time he stumbled or fell.

Bella sighed deeply and stood up. She looked down at the bag Carlisle had provided. Brief descriptions and uses led to what felt like an endless blush to Bella, but Carlisle’s matter of fact technical and medical geared presentation had helped her get through the awkward conversation. Unzipping the bag, she removed a pair of rubber gloves and pulled them on. They were thick enough to prevent Jacob from identifying their wearer by their touch, but not so thick as to prevent the maneuverability of the fingers encased therein. Cautiously, Bella then began to rummage through the bag, carefully avoiding some items, while removing several others before closing it up again.

She walked over to Jacob, placing the items down behind him. His lack of reaction to the sound of heavy chains hitting the ground, assured Bella that he was still deprived of the majority of his senses. She did notice that the shifting breeze of the falling items caused his shoulders to tense up, and she quickly followed through by placing a hand firmly on his right shoulder.

Jacob knew it was beginning. He felt the rush of air from behind him right before the insistent hand signaled him to remain on his knees. He squirmed slightly, as he felt the thick leather bands being positioned on his wrists, just above the thongs that held them together. He could feel a new security in his restraint as the cuffs were attached by a heavy metal clip of some kind. He then felt the thongs being removed, the leather strands pulling free of the grooves in his skin created by his struggles. He winced as they were pulled completely free, and the cuffs lowered and tightened to compensate. He had a bit more mobility in his hands now, but he knew he was even more thoroughly secured for his impending ordeal.

Bella tossed the thongs away in disgust, struggling to contain her urge to rub Jacob’s red and raw wrists. She knew she had to be strong and control her sympathy; properly securing her friend for what was to come was essential. Bella then attached a length of thick chain to the clip connecting the wrist cuffs, and brought it up behind his back, threading it through a ring at the back of his collar. She gently began pulling down on the chain, causing Jacob’s wrists to slowly move up behind him. Remembering what Carlisle had said about being too gentle with her friend, Bella shut her eyes and yanked hard.
Jacob’s yelp was cut off by the collar being pulled back against his throat. He immediately raised his arms as high as he could behind him to ease off the stress at his neck. His arms were on fire as he felt the slack being taken out of the chain, forcing his arms to maintain their uncomfortable position. Between winces, Jacob marveled at how effectively his friends had just prevented him from escaping his bondage. Before, it was possible he could have broken free, his heightened strength probably being more than a match for the leather and chain that bound him. Now however, with no leverage, and the stress on his neck, Jacob knew he was truly helpless.

Bella cringed as she padlocked the whole wrist-to-neck position in place. She acted quickly now, deciding it best to go fast in order to avoid letting her concern for Jacob’s wellbeing get the better of her. She took the chain that had served as his leash during their march through the woods, and attached it to one hanging down from a thick tree limb directly above her friend’s kneeling form. She looked around carefully, searching for the other end of the chain that Carlisle had already put in place for her. She followed the links upward, from Jacob’s collar, through the pulley attached to the limb, and back down to where it was placed through a strong hook, imbedded into the trunk of the same tree. She unhooked it, and, taking a deep breath, began encouraging Jacob to rise.

Jacob felt the upward stress on his collar increasing fast, and quickly managed to get his feet under him. He was unsteady on his legs now, the unfamiliar positioning of his arms definitely wreaking havoc with his balance. By the time the upward motion stopped, he was standing straight up, flat on his bare feet with his neck stretched upwards by the strain on his collar. He felt the hand on his chest then and the suddenness of it caused him to pull back as though its touch were electrified. His musings over the possibility of electricity coming into play ended abruptly when he felt the edge of the knife slip into the waistband of his shorts and begin cutting.

Bella made quick work of his shorts, cutting down both sides and pulling them out from between his legs. She tried desperately not to look at her best friend, now exposed to the world as bare as a newborn baby, but she understood the reality of the situation she was in and, tossing Jacob’s shorts aside, turned to face her captive. Physically, she had to admit, he was as close to perfect as she had ever seen. Bella remembered that summer, a few years back, when the scrawny boy she knew forever exploded into manhood. Gone were the long hair and boyish charms. What dangled before her, muscles straining against their bonds, was an amazing specimen of young manhood in all its glory. She chuckled a bit, her mind wandering back to the time when she had asked him about his strange lack of body hair. “It’s genetic,” he had said, and she had left it at that, only discovering later that a complete lack of body hair was normal for his people when in their human form. She smiled to herself, thinking he more than made up for it when he changed.

Jacob stood completely still. He had expected at some point to be naked during the ritual, but now the reality of it seemed almost surreal to him. For a time, there was no movement, only the slight breeze passing through the trees and cascading over his hyper sensitive skin. He began to tremble again, sweat beginning to bead on his forehead as he tried to remain still. A sudden jerk on his collar forced him up onto his toes and left them struggling to bear his weight in order to prevent his choking from the tension on his collar. He shifted his legs under him, attempting to gain some sort of stability, but when he felt the cuffs being buckled around his ankles, he knew he was wasting his time. He felt the hands again, pushing his legs together until his ankles were almost touching. Jacob didn’t need to see to know that they were now securely attached to each other.

Bella snapped the small padlock shut around the two d-rings, locking Jacob’s ankles in place. She gently ran her hand down his right calf muscle, amazed at how tense it was. She knew, with his feet secured, he would have no way of achieving any relief from the constant stress of his position. Satisfied that she had secured her friend as effectively as possible, Bella turned away and walked towards the woods.

Jacob was spinning around, desperately trying to steady himself on his toes. He sucked in huge lungfuls of scentless air as he fought to regain his position. After his feet had been restricted, and the hand had stroked his leg, there had been nothing for long moments. Nothing until the explosive and unexpected strike to the backside that caused him to lose his balance and start spinning by the chain attached to his collar. Every blow, now coming steadily, although without pattern, prevented him from regaining his toehold. He started struggling for breath as the merciless lashing continued, each blow landing with fiery agony across his rear.

Bella stopped at twenty strikes of the impromptu switch she had made out of a long, thin branch she had found at the edge of the woods. For a moment, she was afraid Jacob would be unable to regain his footing, but realized her fear was misplaced as she watched him stabilize himself once the switching ended. He was covered in sweat, his whole body glistening in the light filtering through the high canopy. It had taken hours of calm discussion for Carlisle to convince her to do this. She had maintained her insistence that she could never do anything to hurt Jacob. But Carlisle’s logical arguments had eventually convinced her that maintaining the charade that he was still under the pack’s control was essential. Plus, Carlisle’s detailed examples of Jacob’s ability to heal eased her fears of truly harming him. Hurting him was something she just had to accept as a means to an end. She wiped the tears from her eyes as she looked at Jacob’s beaten ass. Ugly welts crisscrossed his cheeks where she had allowed the stinging wood to fall. Small dots of blood marked some of them, where multiple blows had impacted, breaking the skin. She knew he would heal, and quickly, but guilt surged through her as she again raised the evil weapon.

Jacob had steeled himself against the next onslaught, managing to maintain his position despite the change in location of the blows which now fell on his lower back and the backs of his thighs. The pain was indescribable as the horrid, cutting lashes continued their assault. He tried desperately to get away, yanking at the cuffs holding him fast, but the increasing pressure on his throat ended any escape attempt before it could even truly begin. He began grunting through the gag as blow after blow fell in rapid succession.  He felt the blood begin to rush through his veins as his heart started pounding like a jackhammer. He felt the onset of the change, and knew this was it; he had to control it, will it to stop, allow the pain to affect only his human form. The grunts were replaced by a low growl forming in the depths of his being. The time had come, he had to stop…

Bella stopped. She couldn’t continue hurting him this way. She had thought hearing the muffled noises coming from behind his gag was bad, but the sudden silence that followed was unbearable. She threw the switch to the ground in disgust and fell to her knees as Jacob twisted and writhed in his bonds above her.

It took a few moments for Bella to regain her composure. Despite stopping out of concern for Jacob, she felt as though she had failed him. Obviously, the pain approach was not going to work for her, so she resolved herself to putting Carlisle’s main plan into effect. She stood up, brushed herself off, and moved in front of Jacob’s dangling form. He was still now, breathing shallowly but regularly. She ran her hands down his chest, noticing the slight recoil from her touch. Satisfied that he was as okay as he could be under the circumstances, she moved behind him. His open wounds had already begun to close, although the welts were as red and angry looking as ever. Bella shuddered slightly at the thought of what was to come. As much as she needed to do this out of her love for, and desire to help, Jacob, she couldn’t deny the feelings building inside of her. Part of her was angry that she could have these feelings, but another part was excited, aroused even, by the thought of it. She had struggled with these feelings for days, even after Carlisle had talked himself out on the subject. Either way her feelings went, she knew she had to do it, she was just afraid that she wanted to do it.

Jacob howled in frustration. So close. He had been so close to achieving total control over his shifts, and then it just slipped from his grasp. All that pain, for nothing. Now he understood just how sadistic this ritual was. He wondered, angrily, as he pulled futilely against his restraints, if the pack knew what they were doing; stopping deliberately, just to prolong his torment. Eventually he settled down, mentally preparing himself for the next wave of abuse.

Bella reached into the bag, her hands trembling as she pulled it out. Carlisle had made it sound so logical. “You wouldn’t be, technically, being unfaithful to Edward,” he had said. She understood his train of thought, but in these matters, thought and logic held little weight. As she stared at it, almost in awe, she doubted that Edward would agree with Carlisle’s assessment. She shuddered involuntarily, an as yet unexplored excitement building within her. She was poised on the precipice of the forbidden, and she wondered if Jacob would ever forgive her. Even if this worked, as Carlisle seemed so sure, would the fulfillment of Jacob’s destiny coincide with the destruction of a lifelong friendship?
Bella had no time to continue questioning herself or the plan. With a deep sigh, she grabbed two more items from the bag and walked back over to where her friend stood, helpless, waiting…

Jacob couldn’t decide what was worse, the thrashing he had just received, or the endless waiting. He shifted on his toes, trying to maintain some stability. He could tell his wounds were starting to heal, but his ass and the backs of his thighs still burned as though on fire. Suddenly, he lunged forward, as the two gloved hands grabbed his hips steadying him. He remained motionless, not wanting to antagonize his tormentors. Jacob knew that being as compliant as possible would hopefully hasten the process towards its conclusion.

Once Bella was satisfied Jacob was in the proper position and staying put, she buckled the straps around her waist and adjusted the position of the obscene thing jutting out from her groin. Tightening the harness, Bella stared down at the nine inch long, two and a half inch thick dildo. It was made of hard, black rubber, with a bulbous head and thickly veined shaft. Standing there, Jacob naked and bound before her, huge phallus poised and erect, Bella felt short of breath and flushed as waves of fear, excitement, and arousal flowed through her. Nervously, she tore open the packages of lubricant and smeared them over the giant cock attached to her hips. She stroked it clumsily, trying not to compare its unreal girth to Edward’s, and coated it with the slick lube until it glistened. She put an extra dollop on the head, knowing that its size, and her friends almost certain virginity, would make the coming process difficult. Bella, taking a deep breath, adjusted her position behind the helpless boy, and, her hands spreading his red, welt covered ass cheeks, moved slowly forward.

“What the hell are you doing?” Jacob attempted to scream through his gag as he felt the unexpected pressure at his nether hole. He lunged forward in an attempt to escape whatever was going to happen, but lost his footing and fell backward, his entire weight pulling against his throat and providing enough momentum to allow the probing intruder sudden access to his rectum. Jacob yelped from the sudden, painful tearing sensation as it moved inside him. Suddenly, he was able to recover his precarious toe hold as his body was lifted upward, several inches of the invader sliding into him, relieving the pressure on his collar. He whimpered as his impalement continued, so distracted that he barely felt the caress on his chest of the now ungloved hands. His brain had only enough time to register that it was the touch of a woman, her nails gently scratching at his sweat drenched skin, before his concentration was broken by his complete filling. A momentary respite provided Jacob with little time to ponder how his friends could violate him in this way, but it was short lived as a sharp tug signaled the retreat of the unknown intruder, which threatened to suck his intestines out as its huge girth retraced its path. Abruptly it stopped, still firmly seated behind his tight anal ring, and Jacob braced himself for the next thrust he knew was coming.

Bella pushed into him again, allowing all nine inches to fill his rectum as her jeans covered crotch impacted with his well-beaten, naked ass. Bella pulled outward quickly, thrusting back in again once just the head was still inside him. She repeated her strokes methodically, building her pace to a steady, deep, in and out stroke. She tried to ignore his whimpering, grunts and groans as she fucked him hard, but, despite her excitement, she did not want Jacob to continue to believe he was being raped by his pack. Knowing it was time, she pulled the small vial Seth had given her from her pocket, never once slowing her thrusts, and flipped off the cap. She bent Jacob’s head slightly to the side and poured the contents into his right ear. His head shook involuntarily as the substance filling his ear melted away. Bella leaned in close as she thrust forward. “Shhh…just relax,” she whispered as his body froze under her assault. She quickly pulled the knot on his gag loose and allowed the cloth to fall to the ground at their feet.

“Bella?” Jacob croaked hoarsely as he felt her hand reach around and grab his formerly flaccid penis. He was growing quickly as realization of his true situation set in. He groaned as she thrust into him again, his body reciprocating by thrusting into her gently squeezing hand. He heard her talking but could not understand the words as their two bodies became one in a rocking dance of backwards and forwards thrusts. He felt it then, building deep within him, the primordial rush of the shift was bubbling up. He growled as his muscles spasmed and bones started dislocating. He started trembling violently as the wolf prepared to spring forth. A massive forward thrust from Bella forced him back to reality as he felt another, equally strong force building within him. His growl, which had been slowly building in volume and intensity, turned into a very human scream as the wolf disappeared in the flood of Jacob’s orgasm.

Bella had maintained her assault, even as she knew he was changing. This was the moment, and she wouldn’t fail him by giving in to fear. She increased the intensity and speed of her thrusts, squeezing and pulling his rock-hard member in unison. She felt the pulsing in his penis even as she heard one of his ribs crack. She blocked out the inhuman growl emanating from him, concentrating only on her task. Suddenly, he screamed, penis erupting, long jets of semen spewing forth in a fountain of white. She stayed deep inside; milking everything he had out of him, and buried her head in his neck, softly whispering his name. It was five full minutes before she realized everything was going to be alright.

Bella withdrew the monstrous dildo slowly and gently, using her arms to help support Jacob’s weight as the impaling device slid out, inch by inch, from his ravished ass. She heard him grunt loudly and fall further back into her arms as the faux cock’s head ripped free of his anal ring. He was trembling, and mumbling almost incoherently as Bella helped him to regain his footing. She moved in front of him, gently caressing his face, her hand pausing over the indents at the corners of his mouth, remnants of the cruelly tied gag now lying at their feet. She embraced him then, a full on hug that left them both weeping softly.

“Hold on Jacob, I’m going to let you down now,” Bella said quietly into his good ear as she stepped back, watching to make sure her friend didn’t falter. Satisfied that he could stand on his own, she hurried to the nearby tree and disconnected the chain that held him up by the neck. Bella released some slack, allowing Jacob’s feet to fully connect with the ground. Reassured by his ability to stand up, Bella released the chain completely and dashed back toward Jacob. She caught him just as he began to fall forward and gently eased him to his knees. She sat down in front of him, allowing his head to fall forward onto her shoulder.

“Bella,” Jacob whispered, “I want to see you.”

“Hush,” she replied, lovingly stroking his head. “Just rest now.”

“Please let me loose. I want to hold you.”

Bella was silent for a moment, biting her lip as tears ran down her cheeks. “Did it work Jacob?”  She asked, changing the subject. “You stayed in control. I could feel all of your reactions. You were going to change, and then it stopped. Please tell me that it worked and you don’t hate me.”

“It worked Bella; you pushed me to the edge and then brought me back. I could never hate you. I love…” He stopped abruptly as she pulled the gag back between his teeth, knotting it once again behind his head.  “Bella?” Jacob mumbled questioningly through the gag. Still unable to see, and completely worn out from his ordeal, Jacob simply lowered his head and waited.

“I’m sorry Jacob, but I can’t let you go.” Bella replied, before standing up and going back to her bag. She returned to his side, the obscenely large member still protruding from her hips and bobbing before her as she walked. She placed the bag on the ground and removed a padlock and set of keys, placing them on the ground next to the still kneeling young man. She then unstrapped the dildo from around her hips and tossed it, slick and spotty, into the bag. Torn between relief, and a strange sense of disappointment that the ordeal was over, Bella closed the bag, picked up the lock and gently maneuvered Jacob downward until he was laying face first on the ground. She encountered no resistance from him as she bent his legs back behind him and locked his ankles to his wrists, hogtieing him in place. Bella turned Jacob onto his side, making sure his face was out of the dirt, his breathing unencumbered, and his unblocked ear facing up. She sat down again and lifted his head onto her lap.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, gently cradling his head and stroking his damp hair. “It wasn’t easy getting you away from your pack; they didn’t want to give you up.” Jacob squirmed a bit in her lap, a small, unintelligible attempt at saying something barely escaping his gagged mouth.

“Don’t worry, they didn’t hurt me,” Bella continued. “There was a standoff for a time, but in the end…well, Seth is your biggest fan, you know, and very brave.” Bella felt him tense up in his bonds. She could tell he knew something was wrong, and now his agitation suggested he was putting things together. “There was no other way. They said they couldn’t stop once they started the ritual.

Suddenly, a shrill scream echoed through the otherwise silent woods. Jacob started thrashing against his bindings, ignoring the strain it was putting on his neck. Bella hugged him close, tears falling from her eyes. “He did it for you Jacob,” she said, her words sputtered and distorted by emotion. “So you could become everything he knew you were meant to be.”

“He’s too young!” Jacob yelled, so loud and intense that Bella understood it despite the gag. She attempted to hold him tighter, hoping that her embrace would calm him.

“He didn’t think so,” she replied as another scream bounced between the trees. “It was his choice, his sacrifice. Jacob, he’s going to be fine. They won’t harm him, they’re his friends. Please just relax.” Bella doubted her own words even as she said them. The pack was angry at losing Jacob, and she genuinely feared for Seth’s safety. But, she needed reminding as much as Jacob, the choice was his.

“I have to go now Jacob,” Bella said as she eased his head out of her lap and stood up. “They made me promise that I wouldn’t let you interfere if we finished first. As soon as their ritual is over, and Seth is back home, they’ll come and release you. Please, just stay calm and rest. Don’t try to get loose. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Bella bent over, grabbed the bag and, leaning over Jacob once again, kissed him on his forehead. She noticed the blindfold, still knotted tightly in place, was stained with his tears. “Sometimes,” she whispered, “leaders need to be strong for themselves as well as those they lead. I do love you Jacob. You will always be my best friend.” She stood up quickly and turned away, afraid she wouldn’t be able to fulfill her part of the bargain with Embry if she stayed any longer. Without looking back, Bella swung the bag over her shoulder and walked away, tossing a ring of keys into the underbrush at the edge of the woods.

“That went well,” Edward practically growled through his clenched teeth.

“Just like I told you it would,” Carlisle responded, feeling slightly guilty after making Bella believe that Edward would remain ignorant of the situation. Carlisle had known, despite Bella’s not realizing it, that Edward would have eventually read one of the other pack members and discovered the truth. In an attempt to avoid that unpleasant occurrence, Carlisle had chosen to reveal, selectively, the basics of the plan.

“Although, I’m not sure why you made us leave just when it was getting good.”

“It was a private moment between them. Besides, did you want to just stand there in the bushes and watch as she continued to whip his ass?” Carlisle quickly began taking a mental inventory of the anti-biotics kept at his office.


“I appreciate the sacrifice you made Edward.”

“It was the right thing to do, no matter my feelings.”

“I do believe that Edward, despite how difficult it was for you. There’s a complex relationship triangle in play here, and no matter how much Bella loves you, Jacob will always be a part of her life. And in the long run, that will benefit us, as well as Jacob’s people.”

Edward shrugged. “I guess. It was fun watching him squirm though.”

“I thought you might enjoy that part.”

“I can’t tell you though, how often I’ve wanted to kill him.”

“That’s not true Edward,” Carlisle said, placing his hand on Edward’s shoulder. “That’s just jealousy talking. In fact, were it not for Bella, I believe you and young Mr. Black would have become good friends.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“I do, Edward, I do.”

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