"Why are you doing this?"
She doesn't lift her head from the dark porcelain of the toilet bowl. She's doesn't have to.
"Go away," she growls, heaving again. "I've got this covered."
He shuts the door as he kneels on the floor beside her, and touches her burning skin. She shivers. He's always so much colder than she expects.
"Bella is worried," he says, trying to pull her damp locks back from her face.
But he's persistent, forcing her messy black hair into an even messier ponytail with a rubber band. She sighs, leans back slightly against him and, cautiously, he lifts the back of her shirt to run his fingers along her skin, the way he did to Bella when he first realized he was going to be a father.
"Jacob will kill me if I let anything happen to you. I don't know how he'll manage it, but that mutt would find a way."
Leah chuckles bitterly. "Can't let your future son-in-law down, now can we?"
"You need help, Leah."
She snorts. "Look, I'm just dandy. Right as rain. Peachy-keen. Whatever euphemism floats your boat and gets you the hell out of here."
"We don't know what happens when two…when things like you and Jacob mate." he murmurs as he continues to stoke her back. She cringes as his icy fingers touch a tender spot near the bottom of her spine. "There could be unforeseen complications with the birth."
"It's not going to be an issue."
His eyes flicker across her sunken face, accusing her wordlessly.
"Jacob doesn't even know, Leah."
She can't force herself to answer.
"He'd want to know. He's in love with you."
"He loves your little brat more."
Edward's hand stills as Leah coughs violently, her body shaking more than it did on that drizzly morning when she first phased. She can taste her own blood in her mouth, and Edward tenses immediately as the sticky-sweet aroma permeates the air.
"You gonna bite me, leech?" she snarls, spitting the red liquid into the toilet and coughing again.
He says nothing, only grabs a damp washcloth from the sink and caresses her forehead lightly with the white fabric.
"Do you want me to take you to Carlisle?"
"Not necessary," she moans, stomach queasy again at the very thought of the doctor's cold hands on her body. She pulls herself up to the base of the counter. "I can take care of this…this mess by myself."
But as she tries to stand, Leah finds that her legs have melted beneath her. She crumbles toward the floor, and Edward is just fast enough to catch her before she slams into the ground. She gives completely up in that moment, and he cradles her head in his lap as she coughs up more blood that will probably stain the white tiles beneath his feet.
"Please…" Edward is as close to begging as he ever comes, the scent of her blood, his frustration, and the overwhelming sense of guilt in knowing that he's played an unwitting role in Leah's tragedy almost too much for him. "Let's just make sure the baby is…"
"There's no baby!" she screeches, clutching at his shirt with the last of her strength.
He doesn't bother asking again. He scoops up her frail body, wary of the blood on her breath and the fading life in her belly, and takes her to the empty bedroom in the cottage, the one that Bella doesn't go into because it's too dark in the daytime. He places her in the middle of the white sheets and wraps them lightly around her, watching her body quake as he pulls his phone out and quickly dials his father's number.
He turns around incredulously. He can't recall the last time she used his name.
"Jacob can't know."
Somehow, she knows he won't say anything.
Disclaimer: Obviously not mine.
Notes: This was an extension of 180 Degrees, just because I was a little in love with the idea of Edward and Leah interaction.
Question, comments, and concerns should be directed to zetetic7 at yahoo dot com