Summary: They were two broken souls, each attempting to fill what was missing. But would it be enough...and what if it became too much? Jacob and Leah, post Book 2 of Breaking Dawn.
A/N: One of my favourite things about Breaking Dawn was the development of the relationship between Jacob and Leah. That it was completely forgotten in book 3 was completely frustrating. I have wanted to explore the 'what if' of ther relationship for a long time, and so here is my attempt. This is my first attempt at more mature fanfiction, so feedback would be very much appreciated.
Jacob strode purposely through the trees, wanting to get as far from the house as possible. Everything about that place was all the more confining now that the happy family were all together. 'Bella and the bloodsucker,' he thought to himself. 'All cocooned in their own happiness. Good luck to anybody who wanted to break through.'
Not that Jacob wanted to break through. It was hard enough for him to swallow watching from a distance. He had come to the conclusion that self torture was not the most productive use of time, and tried to stay away as much as possible...which was slightly difficult given that a member of his pack felt the need to stay close.
The air was starting to smell fresh. He was far enough away from the house that he was able to take a deep breath and not have his nose burn. He knew that up ahead there was a small clearing by the river. Jacob broke into a jog, pulling off his shirt. A swim was just what he needed.
He broke through the trees and squinted as the sun hit his eyes. Dropping his shirt, Jacob reached for his shorts and then froze. The clearing, which he had come to think of as his own private place, somewhere he could escape the happy ending romance, was not empty.
"Well, don't stop there," Leah's tone was biting. "Finish the show, or I'll have to ask for my money back."
Jacob's hands dropped to his sides and he suppressed an inward groan. Leah knew about the place, which meant an end to his peace and quiet. He turned and glanced at the water. He could, really, just jump in. Leah wouldn't want to get into a conversation with him- they worked best with companionable silences. The mutual truce they had come during the past weeks did not really mean conversations just for the sake of it.
"So what, I don't even garner a response?" Leah sniffed. "Doesn't surprise me..."
Jacob glanced at her. That wasn't her typical 'I don't care and I have better things to do' sniff. It was only then that he noticed the unusual brightness in her eyes...and the fact that she was wearing makeup and her hair looked like it belonged in one of his sister's magazines.
She looked up at him and all Jacob could see in her expression was himself. "Practice run for the big day," she said quietly, gesturing at her hair.
"Let me guess- you would have rather sat down to dinner with the leeches?"
Leah let out a small laugh as she nodded her head. "I got to sit, listening to the other bridesmaids gushing about how wonderful Sam was and how lucky Emily, and that they were perfect for each other, and that so few of us manage to find their soul..." her voice caught in her throat and she stopped short.
Jacob scratched his head, glancing back at the river. He really should have jumped in. He didn't know how to respond.
"And to top things off, "Leah continued after the moment it took for her to compose herself, "I had to put up with all these pitying glances. I could just hear what they were thinking... 'There's the one who got dumped...how hard this must be for her...can't really blame Sam though...'"
"Can't blame Sam?" Jacob's mind was working furiously. "Emily told her family about imprinting?"
Leah gave him a withering stare. "No...but they all think I'm a bitch," she stated bluntly, and then shook her head. "Sorry, you don't want to hear this." She stood up and made her way over to Jacob, her nose wrinkling. "You've been hanging out with the leeches."
"Trying to," Jacob mumbled. "Seth was asking about you."
Leah shuddered. "Ugh. Him imprinting on that spawn just tops everything off. If only he could have kept his damn eyes shut, the other pack would have taken care of it, and everything could be relatively back where it should be." She looked up at Jacob, noticing his jaw tense. "Sorry, I guess that's not your ideal situation- Bella and all."
Jacob shrugged. "Bella doesn't seem to notice me all that much anymore. Too busy with her mummy duties...and filling up her nights."
Leah was silent for a few seconds. "Which of us do you think is worse off?"
"What do mean?"
"Well, there's me, who experienced having someone and then losing them. And then there is you, who never had them but still lost them. Is it harder to have had the experience and then lost it, or to never and be forever thinking about it?"
Jacob looked down at her, his eyes narrowed. "Are you seriously trying to start a conversation with me about Bella?"
"You are a bitch, Leah," he spat out and then turned to walk away.
"Yeah, you're totally right," Leah yelled, her voice seeping with bitterness. It stopped him in his tracks. "I am the world's biggest bitch. I make everybody's life more difficult just by existing. But do you ever stop to think why? Why? I'll tell you why! Because I am so fucking miserable!"
Jacob turned around. "And that gives you the right—"
"No, that doesn't give me the right to makes others feel bad. But it's a reason. Ever since Sam... I have been so angry and filled with so much hate and it didn't seem fair that others weren't. Even you. Bella has bounced you back and forth and you can't even bring it in yourself to hate her. So why am I filled with it? Why do I have to go about life with this black cloud hanging over me? That is why I act the way I do Jacob. Because, I get so sick of what I am feeling, that I want others to feel it to. I know how completely selfish of me that is, but I don't care. I want others to feel as bad as me!"
"But they never can. Do you know why? Because inside I'm empty. And they all have too much going on in their lives to allow them to feel the extent of what I do."
Jacob stood, staring at her for a few seconds. He knew that Sam had left her damaged, but until this point Leah had never let anyone see just how much. Seeing the usually strong and stoic girl breaking down in front of him was making him realise that perhaps he did have some sort of an allies in this insane situation.
"I know what that feels like, Leah."
Her head snapped up. "What are you talking about?"
"Empty," he stated simply. "The only girl I have ever loved...thought I loved...I don't know, whatever, well, she chose an un-dead ice box. It kind of has me thinking about what I really have to offer, and the results are kind of coming up empty."
"But," Leah stopped, as her body starting to tremble slightly. Jacob stepped back slightly. He had seen her like this, and he knew what would follow. "You go around with this facade...and you thoughts. I have never heard..."
"I try to keep that type of stuff quiet, Leah."
"How do you do it?" she yelled. "Why do you do it? Why live with that yourself!" She marched up to him and went to hit him across the chest. Quick as a flash, Jacob grabbed her hand and held it up in his vice like grip.
"Because I can," he replied through gritted teeth.
"But...but..." Leah looked up at him and Jacob prepared himself for another one of her tirades. "You asshole," she hissed, and wrapped her spare hand around his neck.
Jacob barely had time to react as she pulled him and crushed her lips to his. They were warm, so warm. He felt her tongue pressing his lips, demanding entry, and he could not help relenting. He released her other hand, and roughly grabbed her jaw with his own. He felt himself melting into the sensation of their two tongues together, but all too soon Leah broke away.
The two of them stood there, eyes locked, their breaths ragged.
"What..." he managed to get out.
"I'm sorry," Leah said. "I just...I just wanted to feel something different." With that, she grabbed his face and pulled him towards her once more. The kiss was rough, brutal. There was more of a battle in it than anything else.
But again, after a few seconds, Leah pulled away. This time she took a second to brush her hair down and then started to walk away.
Jacob turned back to the river, trying to collect his thoughts. What the...
"Jake." He turned and saw her standing at the edge of the trees. "Can I ask you a favour?" He nodded. "The wedding..."
"What about it?" he asked.
"Could you please keep an eye on me? I don't know how I am going to react, and you know what happens when my emotions get out of control..."
Jacob bit back his first remark, which had a lot to do with what had just happened. "Of course."
"Thank you," she said and then disappeared into the trees. Jacob reached for his shorts. A swim in the cold river was most definitely needed now.