"Oh my gosh…Jacob! You grew! Finally!" I said teasing him in the light tone I'd always used when we were kids and we would play around.
"Yeah, just eat a couple wheaties and what do you know." He said sarcastically, making me laugh.
"Are you…alright?" He asked with uncertainty, and suddenly I was brought back to reality. My hand immediately flew up to my face and I turned my back to him.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I said, testing the bottle on my hand.
He knew I wasn't, and I knew I wasn't, but luckily he let it go.
"I don't think they were expecting you home, Sue didn't mention anything about it…" He said, leaning against the fridge. I chanced a glance over my shoulder to check him out. God, when did Jacob Black get hot? He was no longer the geeky dweeb who my little brother used to follow around behind like a pet golden retriever, who would always tag along when me and his older sister Rachel would hang out for god knows what reason. He always came over my house, but he never stayed with just Seth. He would always try to follow Rachel into my room.
"It was a surprise." I said deciding the milk wasn't warm enough, sticking the bottle back in the microwave for a few more seconds. Sammy whined a little so I cooed at him and tickled him a little to calm him down.
"So is Sam here? Because I heard you guys got engaged and well…um…had a baby." He said, uncertain of himself again. I visibly stiffened at the mention of Sam's name, and I don't think it slipped by him. "I came alone. Sam and I aren't together anymore." I said softly, yet it felt so good saying it. It felt…freeing.
There was an awful silence in the room as he scratched his head, trying to think of what to say next.
"So uh…I brought you a Christmas present. Everybody said I was crazy for bringing it tonight because you never show up and I would just end up having to mail it to you…but…I felt…I kind of hoped…I knew…you would show up." He said as he shakily handed over the gift.
"You didn't have to do this Jacob." I said, looking at the package in my hands.
"I know Lee-Lee…I wanted to." He said softly, and I didn't cringe at the sound of the same nickname that Sam used to call me. The truth was, Jacob called me that ever since he was a baby because Leah was too hard for him to say. It really was his first.
I nodded before opening the gift. When I saw what it was, my eyes started tearing up.
"Jake…this is…amazing." I said breathlessly.
It was a picture of me, Seth, Jacob, and Rachel all together smiling when we were kids. We were about 11, Jake was about 10, and Seth was about 8. Rachel and I were in the center locked at the arm, tight as the sisters we were, and Jacob was on my side while Seth was on hers. We both had our arms around their shoulders. I remembered this day exactly. We'd decided we wanted to trade little brothers for a day, to see if it was better on the other side. Well let me tell you, it wasn't. I thought Seth's Star Wars action figures were annoying, but Jacob's remote control classic cars were much worse. I swear, I can still hear that annoying whirring sound that those damn things make as they speed off. After about an hour, I stole the batteries out of all the cars and made him cry. When I gave them back and said sorry to make him stop crying, he kissed me on the lips. Come to think of it, that was my first kiss. But then after I told him that sisters and brother s don't kiss, he agreed and made Rachel switch back so he could do it again. Of course, by then I didn't want to, the moment had passed.
"Jacob…Jake this is so wonderful…it's the best gift I've ever gotten." I ran my finger over Rachel's face, I missed her smile. She died of Leukemia when we were just 14, and it killed me to lose my best friend. It killed Jake to lose a sister. But we were all there for each other. In the back of my mind, I knew that Rachel wouldn't have approved of my relationship with Sam from the very beginning. But I didn't listen. I should've.
He saw me tearing up, and came to wrap his arms around me. What usually scared me or forced me to shy away didn't this time. Jake's hug was warm, and soothing. It felt like the something that I needed in my life, the something that'd been missing. Strangely enough, I wrapped my arms around his waist and his grip on me tightened only slightly. But it was enough for me to feel the emotion he was trying to convey.
I looked up in his eyes, and he looked down in mine. I felt the static between us, it was buzzing like a live-wire. Suddenly something above his head caught my eye. His eyes followed mine, and he noticed it too.
"Mistletoe." He said. He looked back down at me with the sexiest half smirk I've ever seen.
"So since I got you something and you didn't get me anything, I guess you kind of owe me a present right?" He said confidently. And there was the dweeb Jacob I grew up with. He was just trapped in a grown, sexy man's body.
"Yeah, I guess that I kind of do." I replied.
"Well, can my present be a kiss?"
I smiled. "As long as you don't steal it this time." I said smartly.
"In my defense, I would steal my first kiss from that same beautiful girl I used to follow around like a love-sick puppy all those years ago over and over again, if it meant she'd be mine one day. I knew I loved her then."
I couldn't believe my ears. Was he serious? "First kiss?" I asked.
"Yep, my very first kiss. And I wouldn't trade it for the world, or all the remote control cars in the state of Washington." He said with that same half smirk.
"It was my first too." I told him bravely.
"Well please, allow me the chance to do it right…" He said before slowly leaning in closing the distance between us. His lips finally touched mine, and I felt like I was on fire. It was so soft, and so gentle, yet so sweet and it said so much without words. It was quick, but it was a moment that would last forever. After we broke apart, he kissed each one of my bruises on my face softly, before pecking my lips again. It was a silent gesture, but it said and meant everything.
The old antique clock, an exact replica of the one I had on my wall at Sam's place, struck midnight and it began to play music.
"Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
And you'll be in my dreams
I'll be home for Christmas
Till then you'll be in my dreams."
Jacob looked her deep in her eyes with a smile that made her entire being just melt. "Merry Christmas, Leah." He said softly.
Suddenly, it all made sense. It all clicked into place. The face, the one I saw when my life flashed before my eyes…it was Jake's. Now I got why Rachel used to let Jacob tag along all those times, what she was trying to do. She knew that some day I would end up with her brother…she wanted it that way. I smiled at my shocking realization, finally accepting that everything would be okay.
"Yeah Jake…it is a Merry Christmas." I said happily.
I hope you liked it! I suppose, if I got enough reviews, I could continue with Jake & Leah's story--of course, you know, Sam would just HAVE to make a cameo appearance. But this story hits really close to home for a whole plethora of reasons, and I wanted to stress the fact that domestic violence is such a real issue. A lot of the things Sam said as he abused Leah are a lot of the things said to victims, and this story was nearly as real as it could get. You should all also understand that abuse is not always physical. No one should have that kind of power over you, be it mentally, physically, or emotionally. Leah is my favorite character and I chose her because of this, but also because she's also one of the stronger female characters in the series. That's why I chose her over Bella, or Alice, or Emily. Although I think I will be having a story with Rosalie really soon, my next favorite character. Just know that we all have a bit of Leah Orenda Clearwater in all of us, and when we get tired--and I mean really tired, I mean SICK and tired--we will do something about it. KNOW that you have the POWER to do something about it. KNOW that you have the power to make that change.
To learn more about domestic violence, visit www/domesticviolence/org (of course you know to replace the slashes with dots)
Alright, I'm off my soapbox. The after-school special is over. Now how about those reviews?