Can't Help It
A/N: This is dedicated to lexigrrl09, who left the 150th review on Quil Ateara and the Impossible Claire. She asked for something Jacob/Leah with a jealous Sam, and this is what happened. I hope you all enjoy it!
Leah is sitting at a table by herself, arms and legs crossed, foot bouncing, face dark. She looks like she'd rather be anywhere but here, which is probably true. Sam and Emily's wedding probably is the last place she wants to be.
She did admirably as a bridesmaid, in my opinion. It couldn't have been much fun for her. But she did it, and she even managed to lose the about-to-scream look during the actual wedding part. I'm actually impressed she is still here. I'd figured she'd make tracks as soon as her presence was no longer required. And even though she looks downright scary, she is still here. Undoubtedly miserable. But here. And she looks good.
I grimace. Leah looks good? Good one, Black. But...I can't help it if her legs go on for miles and Emily chose rather short bridesmaid dresses. I can't help it if her eyes are like a cat's, almond-shaped with long, black lashes. I can't help it if she let herself go a bit after she started phasing, and I definitely can't help it if my seventeen-year-old mind appreciates the effort she obviously put in today.
I'm debating going over to her. After all, we are technically friends now. We've grown a lot closer over the last few months, and I've actually started to enjoy Leah's sarcasm and intelligence. Although she still scares the bejeezus out of me. But I don't like the fact that she's just sitting there.
I walk towards her, and she looks at me. "Do you want to dance, Leah?" I ask after an awkward moment in which I am forced to look away from her cleavage and back at her face. This is Leah, for the love of God. And she's scary.
She raises an eyebrow at me skeptically, and when she doesn't make any move to uncross her legs and stand up, I shrug. "Whatever. I just thought it might be better than leaving you here to look pissed off."
"Screw you, Black," she replies and stands. She walks towards the dance floor and I know Leah well enough to know that I'm expected to follow.
We find ourselves dancing between what I believe is Sam's great aunt and a cousin on one side, and Quil and a wildly giggling Claire on the other. Leah physically places one of my hands on her waist and grabs the other in her own hand. "I thought I was supposed to lead," I say.
"Well, if you knew how to dance then maybe you would," she snaps back. She looks just as pissed off dancing as she did sitting at a table by herself and I'm starting to regret asking her to dance. "I hate weddings," she says suddenly. She's not looking me in the eye, but I wonder if this is Leah's way of talking things out.
"Yeah, me too," I reply.
She doesn't say anything else, which isn't necessarily a bad thing except that my eyes unavoidably find their way back to her chest. When she notices, she kicks my shin with the pointed toe of her shoe. "Nice," she says sarcastically as I wince.
"Can't help it," I insist with a grin. It is too easy to provoke Leah. "At least it's an appreciative leer."
"This is why I hate men," she sighs dramatically. I wonder if her face has frozen in that look or if she really is this angry all of the time.
"You hate a lot of stuff," I muse.
"For good reason."
"I thought you hated men because of Sam," I say, and the moment I say it I know I shouldn't have.
Leah stops dancing and stares at me. "You can be a real shit head, you know that?"
I'm wondering if she's going to punch me. Leah can hit hard. "Yeah, I know."
To my surprise she starts dancing again. I know better than to complain about her leading again.
"It might surprise you, Black, but I'm actually starting to get over that one," she says after a few moments of silence.
I look at her and I notice her face has softened and I'm confused. I notice that old pain in her eyes, but I can tell that a spark of life is also there, and that's something I haven't seen since before she started phasing. "I'm glad to hear it," I reply belatedly.
The next song is a slow song and I'm seriously starting to wonder if Leah's been turned into someone else when she presses close to me. Most of the critical thinking in my brain has stopped because all I can think of is how her body feels against mine, how hers is strong and soft at the same time, and how it fits against mine like a puzzle piece.
"I'm ready to move on, you know?" she says.
I nod. I can't think of anything to say because I suck at talking about feelings. And besides that, I'm still thinking about how she's maybe kind of sort of hot.
"I'm impressed. You actually smell like you showered," she says, and I remember that it's Leah.
"You don't smell too bad yourself," I reply and I meant it to sound insulting but it really doesn't.
She actually laughs a little bit. Not a throwing her head back, wiping tears from her eyes kind of laugh, but a laugh all the same. I wonder if maybe she's telling the truth about getting over Sam. That would be good. For her, I mean. Good for her. Because she looks awfully good when she smiles.
I step on her foot on accident, which was bound to happen eventually, and she scowls. I'm scared of her again. "Let's not perpetuate the big and clumsy stereotype anymore, all right?" she snaps, but then she leans her head on my shoulder. I'm really confused now.
I can't help it when I breathe in and I can smell whatever shampoo she used. And it smells really good. I realize I'm struggling with reconciling "Leah" and "girl" and perhaps even "attractive" in my head.
"Are you having some kind of fit or what?" she demands suddenly, and I notice that I've been sniffing at her hair like a dog.
"No," I reply lamely, trying to match her haughtiness and just sounding like an idiot.
"May I cut in?" a voice says from next to us, and we both look over to see Sam. He looks better in a tux than I ever will, and I find I'm a little annoyed when Leah nods and switches partners.
I go to the punch bowl near the dance floor. I'm sipping my punch and I can't stop watching Leah and Sam. I'm wondering why she'd agree to dance with him at all, and my annoyance only continues to grow. Dunno why, she can do whatever she wants. But still.
Sam says something and I can see Leah's face heading quickly towards bitchy again. I hurry over and quickly intervene. "Can I steal Leah back?" I ask, then realize I still have my cup of punch. I don't care and I don't wait for Sam to answer. I grab Leah's hand with my free one and pull her away towards the tables.
"What the hell, Black?" she demands as I collapse into one of the flimsy plastic chairs.
"You looked like you were going to bite his head off," I reply.
"I don't need rescuing. I'm not a damsel in distress," she says indignantly, and I wonder if she'll hit me this time.
"I know. I just was worried for Sam's safety," I say.
She knows I'm lying. "Whatever." She sits down in the chair next to me, crossing all of her limbs again like her own way of warning people against talking to her.
"What did he say anyway?" I ask after a moment.
"None of your business," she replies cooly.
"Okay." Fine. If she wants to be that way, she can be.
"He was asking if there was something going on between you and me," she says, and I choke on my punch.
"What?! Just because we were dancing?"
She glares at me. "I know it's a repulsive idea to be with me, but there's no need for all the theatrics."
I realize I hurt her feelings. "It's not that. It's just...what did you say?"
"I didn't get a chance to say anything, because you came swooping in to my rescue," she says. If looks could kill, Leah would be a mass murderer.
"Oh. Why is it any of his business anyway?"
"Then why'd he ask?"
She looks at me like I'm a bug. A particularly mentally slow bug. "Oh, I don't know. Why would you ask your ex-girlfriend if she was dating someone else?"
"I don't have an ex-girlfriend."
"You're an idiot."
She rolls her eyes and starts bouncing her foot again.
I look back towards the dance floor. Emily is dancing with her father, and Sam has moved on to dance with some eighty-year-old woman who is undoubtedly a member of his family. I notice that he keeps glancing over at Leah. And at me. And then I think I get it. "Oh, he's jealous!" I cry suddenly.
Leah raises that poisonous eyebrow again. "Your astuteness is astounding."
"Why is he jealous? He's the one who left you when he imprinted on Emily."
"Just because he imprinted doesn't mean he doesn't care at all. Although it would be easier if he didn't," she replies.
I look over at Sam again. "He has nothing to be jealous of," I say.
She snorts. "Thanks."
"Do you have to get offended at everything? I just mean that there's nothing going on. Although if it makes you feel better, I'd pick you over Emily." I grimace. That came out before I could think it through.
Leah looks unbearably pleased with herself. "Thanks, Black." She's silent for a few minutes, but then she can't help herself. "Why would you pick me?"
"I really don't want to stroke your ego right now, Leah."
"Fine." She resumes scowling and watching the people dancing.
An idea is slowly forming in my mind. I realize too late that I've been staring at her. She glances over at me. "What?" she demands.
"That's my name, yes," she says exasperatedly.
I grin. "What if we gave him something to be jealous about?"
She looks exceedingly shocked as I lean over and plant a kiss on her lips. I'm about to pull away when she threads her arms around my neck and deepens the kiss. Well, shit. Who knew Leah was such a good kisser?
"Oh my – that's disgusting, you guys. Stop it. Seriously, Jake. That's my sister."
Leah finally releases me because Seth is standing there looking on the verge of puking. I'm really glad the look she's giving him isn't directed at me. I glance over at Sam and grin when I realize he saw the whole thing and is looking slightly perturbed. I prod Leah, who's about to say something, probably nasty, to her brother. "Look at Sam," I whisper.
She does, but only for a second. Then she looks at me and says, "Just so you know, I would never kiss someone just to make him jealous. Especially not like that."
Seth takes that as his cue to leave, which is smart, because I understand exactly what she's trying to tell me and I really want to kiss her again for saying it. And for some reason I can't help grinning.