Leah was officially healed. Or would be—tomorrow as per Doctor Bloodsucker's orders and through a couple compromises. So while she was technically still hurt, it meant she wouldn't be bedridden. With the date so close, Leah was getting anxious. I was watching her, trying to keep from smiling by Leah's obvious impatience.

"How would you like it if you had to be in bed for a whole fucking week?" Leah muttered darkly.

"I'm sure I would have figured something out," I answered with a shrug. Once you hung out with Leah long enough, you kind of figured out that Leah was just abrasive by nature. All you had to do was tell the difference between when she was annoyed and seriously pissed. Leah was always annoyed at something so that was her default setting and most of her threats were empty. It was pretty sad to think of since before the rest of the pack was kind of afraid of her. Not that we would ever admit it.

"So, Jailer. What will you force this prisoner to endure on her last day?" Leah asked, setting her chin on her palm, elbow on her knee. It couldn't have been comfortable with her injuries, but she did things like that to prove she wasn't weak. Which was stupid, but trying to knock some sense into Leah was much harder than it was with Bella, so I didn't say anything, just gave her a pointed look, and got up to grab a board game that would piss her off the least.

"Where the hell are you getting all these boardgames from?" Leah asked exasperated. I grinned and moved the covers away so that the board would be level on her bed.

"At least get the other idiots and make this a challenge," she said resigned.

"Huh. Good idea." We've been a little lax on patrolling so since we killed all the newborns so I'm pretty sure the whole pack could manage to move her easily enough into the living room for a good game of Monopoly. "I'll be back."

"I'll be here," Leah replied sarcastically. I laughed on my way out, but nearly had a heart attack when I caught Bella's scent a second before she ran into me.

"Jacob!" she yelled, startled. I grimaced.


Damn it. She found me.

"Why have you been avoiding me?" she asked, clearly furious.

"I haven't been avoiding you," I answered sullenly. At least, not completely...

"You never answer your phone! I've left you like a hundred messages."

"I've been here," I mumbled. That it least wasn't a lie. Sue has been pretty great by not kicking me out.

"If you don't get those assholes here in the next five minutes, I'm leaving!" Leah demanded from her room. I rolled my eyes on reflex.

"Anything else your highness?" I retorted, leaning back into her room too give her an exasperated face.

"Bring snacks while you're at it," she answered with a shooing motion of her hand.

"Sorry Bells, but I have to go or this princess will throw a bitch fit and I'm on babysitting duty right now." Did I sound normal? I'm not quite sure how I was pulling it off. Then again, I've been imagining much worse thanks in part to Leah's stories of heartbreak. It somehow made the reality of the situation that much easier to swallow.

...Or not, because I was starting get that ache in my heart just from the face of disappointment she was making. Feeling like a coward, I maneuvered around her and ran down the stairs. I ran into the forest and phased, but paused when I heard Leah's voice waft from upstairs. Her window was always open considering how hot it got in the tiny room. Curiosity got the better of me and I turned my ears to hear them properly.

"If it isn't the troublemaker. Now why is the damsel in distress herself visiting this lowly canon fodder?"

"... Hi Leah," Bella greeted after a few breaths. "I just came to see how you're doing. I... I-I brought flowers."

Crap. Wrong move Bella.

Oh man, please tell me the leech helped her, Seth groaned in my head. Sam similarly felt bad, if not worse for Bella.

Uh, whats up? They're just flowers? Jared questioned, confused.

"... Did you know that flowers hold hidden meanings behind them?" Leah said after a moment.


"See these white ones? They're called Baby's Breath, they can mean 'innocence' or 'pure of heart'. These roses, since they're crimson mean 'mourning'. These pale purple ones? Mean 'elope with me'—no, in case you were wondering. Aha, these hemlock? They mean 'you'll be the death of me'. Appropriate don't you think?"

I made the mistake of giving her flowers when I asked her out. She chewed me out before telling me to try again, Sam said fondly.

"Now, either you're trying to tell me something or you're trying to kiss my ass by buying me flowers and both of those possibilities are pissing me off. I hope you have something good to say or I'm about to get real mean," Leah stated. I involuntarily shivered from the tone.

...My sister really likes flowers, Seth stated lamely. I was half dreading and half fearing for Bella. A strange, tiny part of me was also enjoying this. That was probably the part of me that was bitter over being dumped.

"I came to apologize," Bella said in a shaky tone. "You got hurt because of m—you got hurt protecting Jacob and I want to thank you for being selfless."

"Please don't make me regret participating in the god damn fight," Leah muttered with a groan.


"Let me give it to you straight. The only reason we went into this fight is because of Jacob and his little crush on you. He would be foolish enough to team up with you vamps to take on a losing fight. We're pack—family. We take care of our own even if they are brain dead twerps. Added bonus was the fact that I could kill some god damn bloodsuckers into pieces. Not for one second do you even think that it was for you. Now, whatever the hell this was has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd rather we never talk again all things considering. Oh and these flowers? They defeat the purpose when they've got leech scent all over them. If you'll excuse me, I have to go burn these mother fuckers and find me some some sage and hope your disgusting smell gets out of my room within the next few days."

Come to Leah's house in five minutes. We're gonna play a game of monopoly, I informed everybody before phasing out and running into the house. Instead of running to Bella like I thought I would, I picked up Leah before she could get any further.

"You're supposed to be on bed rest," I informed her.

"Put me down Jacob," Leah ordered through grit teeth. She was vibrating, so I held on tighter in the valiant effort to get her to keep from phasing. Sad to say I could tell that she had held back from completely lashing out on Bella and I appreciated it. Leah already had a natural dislike for Bella, but the anger was on my behalf.

"Thank you," I murmured setting her down on the couch so I could hug her. I said nothing else on the matter as not to give her a reason to argue with me. I think I surprised her enough to forget her anger. She quit shaking and cautiously returned my hug.

"Whatever," Leah mumbled, weakly pushing me away. I grinned and bumped her forehead with my own.

"Get ready to lose."

"Last I checked, I kicked your ass four times in a row," she said with a smile. It was that smile that managed to get my heart to skip a beat every time. I almost didn't notice Bella at the stairs.

"S-sorry for bothering you."

"I'll walk you out Bells," I stated, getting up from my kneeling position. It was awkwardly silent until we got to her truck. That's when the water works began.

"I'm so sorry Jacob. I didn't mean to make it seem like I didn't care if you died, its just—"

"Hey, hey! Calm down. I was lying. I wouldn't—" I stopped and took a breath. "It doesn't matter now anyway, does it? You made your choice." I couldn't help the bitterness.

"He's my soul mate Jake," she managed with a watery smile. God, if that didn't hurt. "But I still need you Jacob. You're my, you're my sun; my best friend and I can't—"

"Bella, just stop. Please." None of this was making me feel any better. I sighed and tried to swallow the hurt that was bubbling over the surface. "I can't... be your friend right now. I need space. Can you give me that?"

The tears boiling over, she nodded. Feeling like nothing more needed to be said, I went back into the house.