Stupid Countdown Summary: After kissing under the mistletoe, Jake tries to see if he and Leah can have a relationship. Her volatile personality makes things difficult for him, but he's willing to try even though he makes lots of mistakes in the process. At a New Year's Eve party they attempt to figure things out. Canon, JPOV, Jake/Leah, Humor/Romance.

Author's Note: Written for the Holwing in the New Year Competition. This stand alone oneshot (although the sequel to Freaky Mistletoe) won Winner's Choice. Hoorah!

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight

Beta: Jul5857

It's insane to think that just last week I was kissing Leah under some freaky mistletoe at my Christmas party. It had been nice. No. Good. No. Hellagood. And yet, she hadn't called. She hadn't come over. She hadn't texted me or sent me any messages of any kind. I had even seen Seth and he had said nothing to me about Leah. I was starting to feel desperate and had actually begun parking myself by the phone to make sure that I wouldn't miss her call. That was until my dad passed me one afternoon and shook his head muttering something about being a man under his breath. Yeah, I heard that old man. So, now, I just made sure to sit somewhere where I could hear the phone and get to it in a timely manner. I just had to know what she was thinking.

There's no shame in that. Is there?

I mean, what is she thinking? Does she want to go out on some dates? To be my girlfriend? To use me as a tongue receptacle? Because that's just not very acceptable. I may have a nice physique, hell I'm not blind to the way that girls look at me, but I am no play thing. I am a person. A human being, with feelings, and emotions, and needs. And, I am never getting kissed again if Leah ever hears these thoughts.

I am such a girl.

Needless to say, I was dying inside to find out what she thought about our encounters under the mistletoe. But, I was scared shitless to come out and ask her what she thought. So, I sat and waited. For several days. And had no word from her whatsoever. Loser, much?

It also didn't help that the last time we made out- which incidentally was the first time we made out – I was unbelievably skittish. I had never done anything like that before and Leah was relentless. Her lips and tongue were unbelievable and her hands were all over me and I could barely keep up with her. In fact, I didn't keep up with her. Eventually, I gave up and let her do with me what she would. Hell, I didn't care. I was just glad to be kissed. It had been ages since I had been and I was in heaven. Though, it was a confusing heaven, I guess.

So, I had lain there and let her have her way with me like a common whore. A whore that was embarrassed every time he squealed. A whore that had no experience whatsoever with girls, with the exception of having kissed three total.

Who am I kidding? I am no whore.

Leah didn't really make me feel that way. In fact, she made me feel really young and innocent and kept giggling, or laughing at me, every time I shrieked or gasped when she would do something new, which was essentially, well, everything.

I had a lot to learn. And I wouldn't mind it if Leah was my teacher, but I had to talk to her about all of this before she really taught me anything. And I had had enough of waiting, so I took action. I planned to go to her home and confront her. Well, talk to her anyway. I'm not quite sure how well I could confront Leah.

I pulled out my bike – the one with two wheels that moves only when I rotate the tires myself - because I wasn't sure how much conviction I'd have once I was outside of her home. Plus, I figured I could make a silent getaway on a bike as opposed to a motorbike. See, brilliant. Cowardly, but brilliant.

I rode my bike slowly past the market that I frequented to buy Gatorade with Quil and Embry and decided I just had to have some. After locking up my bike, because you could never be too careful, and because I was terrified of getting to Leah's house too quickly, I made my way inside. I talked with Mrs. Davis for a good forty minutes. She was delighted to hear all about me and my sisters since she hadn't seen them for a few years. She asked me many questions about them which I promptly made up the answers to, because hell I had no clue what they were up to and what big, sophisticated sister wants to call their scrawny younger brother to chat. Really, did anyone care about my feelings? Well, maybe Bella did, but hey wait…what about the whole she married Cullen and had sex with him after I pleaded with her not to and poured my heart out to her? Ah, screw it. So, no one cared. Except for Mrs. Davis who seemed truly interested in my life and my family.

As I unlocked my bike, I was thinking about how I needed to give more of myself to the elderly members of our small community. I decided I should offer some of my time to the community center to serve those who were lonely, like me. Just as I felt a bit happier with my life I heard Mrs. Davis say to her co-worker, "Did you see the tight ass on that Black kid? If I were his age – I'd stick my tongue down his throat faster than you could countdown from ten to one on New Years."

What the hell? Mrs. Davis had to be in her sixties. Are you freaking kidding me with this crap? That old lady was checking out my butt and here I was foolishly thinking that she was genuinely interested in what I had to say. I shook my head in shame for the old hag as I mounted my bike and rode off towards Leah's.

I was three houses away when I remembered that Embry had borrowed my Physics book and he had had it the whole Christmas break. I had to have that back. It was important to get it back. At least, that's what I told myself.

I pulled up to Embry's and to my dismay Quil and his new flavor of the week, Nicole I think, were making out on Embry's porch. Gah! I was tired of seeing Quil kissing all of these girls. I should start taking pictures so when Claire came of age I could show her and she'd vow never to touch him. That would be so sweet. I started to laugh to myself at my great idea when Nicole? disengaged from Quil's lips and he foolishly leaned forward again. She had to put a hand on his bare chest to stop him and then cleared her throat when she realized touching him was only egging him on. Horny Quil.

"Oh, hey Black," said Quil. "You know Natalie, right?"

"Hi, Natalie," I said as she looked me over and winked, I think. It was either a wink or a no-see-em that blew into her eye. I was hoping for the latter.

"Hi, Jake," she said and smiled. She was quite pretty, but the fact that Quil had just had his tongue in her throat made me feel ill. I scrunched my brows together and shook my head a bit.

"Er, hi," I said not returning my gaze to her. "Um, Embry home?"

"Yeah, he's just getting us sandwiches."

"He's making you sandwiches? What for?"

"Because he owes me. That's what for," said Quil, a bit irritated.

"Whatever. He has my textbook."


"Man, you're moody. You'd think with a girl on your lap you'd be a bit happier."

"Yeah, and you'd think since you had your paws on Leah for who knows how many hours…"

"What? How do you…?" Quil gave me a knowing look and simply said "Thursday" and I knew full well that they had patrolled together.

"Did, she uh… say anything about…er…"

"No. She didn't say anything, moron. She sure looked a bit dreamy though and had some pretty wild ideas that she did not feel the need to censor. I got home and called up Natalie right away."

"I'm sure you did." Man, he's gross.

"Oh. Hey, Jake," said Embry while bringing out some sandwiches for Quil and Natalie.

"Hey. You seen Leah?"

"No. Why?"

"Talk to her?"

"No. Why?"

"No reason," I said and tried to look like I didn't give a damn.

"Romeo's in love, that's why," snarked Quil.

"Quil, shut your hole. It's none of your…ah, forget it. Embry, I need my book."

"What? You said I could use it. I haven't done my makeup stuff yet."

"You still haven't done it?"

"Like you've done your homework," said Embry looking skeptical.

"I've been busy," I said narrowing my eyes.

"Groping Leah," said Quil, and before he could slide Nicole, crap Natalie, off his lap I clapped him on the back of his big head.

"I just haven't had time. And besides, no one's actually going to read A Tale of Two Cities over break.

"I read it," said Quil. He earned another slap to his head for that. "Ouch! Okay. I lied. Natalie read it to me."

Natalie nodded her head and shocked Jacob then by saying, "I could read it to you. If you'd like."

Seriously? What is with her? I suppose I just need to write off any girl that'd be willing to kiss Quil, in the first place, but huh? What was her deal? Coming on to me while still in Quil's lap. No thanks.

"No thanks," I muttered. "I'm gonna go see…er, nevermind."

"Just go talk to her, Jake. You look miserable, man," said Embry.

"Gee, thanks," I said dejectedly.

"She likes you," said Natalie.

"Who?" I asked suddenly feeling nervous as all get out.

"Nobody likes you. Well, not exactly. But nobody wants to kiss you," said Quil. I gritted my teeth in irritation. Sometimes I really wanted to hurt Quil. Not just smack him upside his head but do real damage. Make him bleed a little. Just a little. Is that so bad?

Natalie playfully elbowed Quil and he played up his pain and got her to kiss his left pectoral to make it better. I waited none too patiently while that played out for Natalie's answer. "Leah likes you. That's who. She's friends with my sister, Nicole."

Right. Nicole. Now I remember. Geez, they look alike.

"Anyway," she continued, "I just talked with Nic and apparently Leah told her you have a wicked tongue."

"A wicked…oh for crying out…why is she telling people about…erm…"

"I don't know, but lots of the girls know now. It's not such a bad thing, I don't think. You should have heard Cathy and Gina at Jamie's sleepover two days ago. They seemed to think that 'a wicked tongue' was something they wanted to experience, not to mention…" she petered off and suddenly looked very shy and simply gave up and leaned into Quil's shoulder. Quil kissed her hair and then peered up at Jake suddenly and blurted out, "Go get her, Jake. Use that wicked tongue."

Quil is such a moron. Although…

I couldn't take anymore of this nonsense and hopped back on my bike. As I rode away I could hear Embry barking with laughter as Quil shouted after me, "Ride, baby ride! Like the Wicked Witch of the West." This of course was followed by Quil's rendition of her theme song and the sounds of a very giggly Natalie.

After spending twenty minutes making leaves into boats and racing them in a nearby stream, I finally arrived at Leah's house. It was only two hours from the time I had left my home. Not too bad.

Who am I kidding? I'm chicken shit.

While I contemplated my chicken-like qualities, I realized that the sun had started to set. I decided to sit on Leah's porch to watch it before bothering her with all of my girly, needy questions. It would give me time to think about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. As if I hadn't already had enough time. I was stalling. Big time.

Again, chicken shit.

The sky was full of vibrant reds, pinks and blazing oranges. It was stunning, yet I couldn't enjoy it because I needed to talk to Leah. I just had to. I stood with a new conviction and shoved my inner chicken shit self aside. I walked to the door and knocked.

Before I even rapped my knuckles a third time the door swung open to showcase a smiling Seth. Not who I wanted to see.

"I've been watching you this whole time. Boy have you got it bad for my sister," said Seth chuckling.

"Shhh!" I chastised him.

"Well, it's true. Isn't it? C'mon, I dare you to deny it. C'mon, say it." I wanted to punch him in the face; he looked so smug. Instead, I tightened my jaw and glared without a word. You'd hope that my innate alpha-ness would make him cower, but it didn't. The little stinker shrugged his shoulders and laughed at me. It took all of my energy not to hit him.

"Leah home?" I did my best to ignore him.


What? Are you freaking kidding me? After my whole day? A whole day wasted agonizing over talking to her and she's not even home! Arg!

"When will she be home?"

"Don't know."

"Okay, can you just…"

"Wanna come in? Smell her pillow or something." Okay, now I wanted to tear off one of his limbs.

"Alright, I'm being a punk, I know. But, you like her. I know that's something I would want to do, if it was the girl I was into. Girls just smell good." He shrugged and actually gave me a sympathetic look.

"I don't want to smell her pillow." Except, that I did. I wanted to bathe in her scent and smell like her all day. But I wasn't going to tell him that. "Just tell her I came by." I finished lamely.

"Right. I will. Hang in there. But, be honest with yourself. You know, to thine own self be true and all that." Shakespeare? Really? No thanks Seth.

I shook my head and stormed off of the steps and before I even got to the curb on my bike Leah drove up. I froze not knowing what to do.

Leah got out of the car slowly grabbing her groceries and walked towards me. "You comin' in? What's with the bike? I know we don't really age, but are you aging backwards now? About 12, are you? You are so not getting kissed today; I don't kiss 12 year olds." She laughed at her own joke.

I didn't say a word. I couldn't. I was reeling that she insinuated that she would have kissed me had I not ridden my stupid bike. Crap! Without a second thought I dropped the bike to the ground and followed her to her front door grabbing a few of her bags. I walked in her wake breathing her in. Man, she smelled good.

Leah was in the kitchen putting away groceries and barking out orders to Seth about toiletries. I wasn't listening really as I was fascinated by Leah's movement around the kitchen. There was lots of stretching upwards and bending over, and I was in heaven. Was every man this pathetic? Or was it just me? Who knows.

"I was chatting with Mrs. Davis today at the market. I love that old lady. She is such a riot. You will not believe what she said to me today about Quil and his latest girl."

"I may have an idea," I mumbled to myself, but added nothing more.

"Crazy bat went on and on about how he had his hands all over his girl and how she, herself – get this - wants to kiss Quil's peach fuzzed lip. How disgusting is that?"

"Um, very."

"Yeah, so…" said Leah turning to face me and leaning onto the counter which inadvertently pushed her breasts closer together and forced them up. She smiled at me when she realized I was looking. I was a pig, clearly. "What are doing here, Black? Hoping for a repeat?"

"No. Yes. No. Hell, I don't know. I just want to talk."


"Yeah, talk."

"You know, Jake, the nice thing about being an adult is that you don't have to deal with the stupidity of awkward hormonal mishaps like dealing with the aftermath of a mistletoe kiss."

"You don't?"

"No. Because you realize it doesn't matter. What matters is that you do what you want and simply access if you liked it. If you did you can choose to do it again."

"You can?"

"Yep," she said reaching out her hand to me and walking me to the end of the counter so we were standing side by side, hand in hand.

"Sounds simple."

"It is." She walked backwards and I followed with my hand in hers down her tight hallway. Seth had somehow disappeared, thank goodness, and I found myself pressed up against a wall, with a very voluptuous and fierce looking Leah pressed against me. I'm pretty sure I was breathing hard and trying not to look panicked, but I was. Her room was right there. Right there and, damn it, I wanted to go inside. But if Leah thought everything was so simple, maybe she wouldn't think twice about just casually deflowering me. And, honestly, I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Sure, it sounded good, but did I want to go about that process with such a blasé attitude. Not really. It was a once in a lifetime thing.

But, when her hand reached out and stroked the back of my neck, the heat and blood in my body flooded to one area and one area alone. Any ability I had to think clearly was gone. Just gone!

Girls are so dangerous. Why don't they rule the world yet?

Leah leaned in a bit and seemed to be gauging my expression. I'm not sure what she found there but she came in close brushing her nose along my cheek and down my neck. I could feel her hot breath on my skin and felt like I was about to combust. I was holding my breath and my hands were in fists by my sides trying to be respectful or at least, not do something I might regret later.

Leah pressed a soft kiss just below my ear. I'm pretty sure I shivered. I didn't care though, it was better than another reaction my body could have had that would have been a million times more embarrassing.

"I'll say it again because you never answered me. Why are you here? Hoping for a repeat?" She kissed me again in the same spot and I could feel just a hint of teeth. Oh boy.

She backed up and opened her bedroom door, her arms open wide pressing on either side of the opening. I took a step forward wondering if I could go in. I dropped my head to clear it.

I kind of wanted to go into her room, if I was being honest with myself. I didn't really know what would happen if I did. Nothing was for sure. Maybe she just wanted to make-out. Maybe she just wanted to talk. Or, I don't know, play Uno, or something.

Maybe you're just an idiot, I thought to myself, scowling inwardly.

I so needed to call Bella. Was this kosher? Did girls do this stuff? Just invite guys into their bedrooms for a little sumpin' sumpin'? I had been privy to Leah's mind and hadn't really seen anything like this before. But I couldn't be sure what was on her mind now. I decided I needed to find out, but apparently I hesitated too long because Leah decided for me.

She stepped out of her doorway and shut her door with an exasperated sigh.

"See, this is why I didn't want… you are so young and I… why didn't I just…"

"Um, Leah…" I began but she cut me off simply by holding up her hand.

"I know you just wanted to talk. So talk." She seemed extremely irritated with me so I trailed behind her slowly as she walked away.

"I said, talk, Jake. What didn't you understand about that? Your 12 year old brain doesn't get it? Is that it? Is that…"

Why was she acting this way? She was being such a bitch. I grabbed her by the arm and spun her around kissing her quickly to shut her up. But it didn't work. She pushed me away, my lips falling from hers. There was something highly disturbing about the fact that the girl I was kissing was actually strong enough to do that to me. That didn't bode well. Weren't women supposed to be weaker? I suppose she was but just barely. Good thing I was alpha.

"Stop, just stop. I know you're not ready for this yet, Jake. So, please just go before I do something stupid with you."

"What do you mean something stupid?"


"Like hell, nothing. Leah talk to me."

"I can't. This isn't… I still don't know if… It was that mistletoe and then the groping and the couch and your… mmmm…never mind. Just go, please."

"Leah…" I called out trying to persuade her to do… something….I'm not sure what though. She was so confusing. I came here to clear things up. I felt braver when I remembered that that's why I was there. I wrapped my arms around her back and drew her closer to me. She tried to pull away, but I forced her stay put.

"Look," I started, "do we actually want to try something here? Like hang out, or I don't know just…"

"Just what?" she asked eyeing me.

I dropped my head back, my eyes darting to the ceiling and I busted up laughing once I realized where we were – under the mistletoe.

"Do you ever think we'll get this right?" I asked. She looked extremely confused so I pointed upwards towards the ceiling. "Do you think we'll only ever kiss under the mistletoe?"

"No we won't. Because there is no we. There is no right. And that mistletoe sucks. Plus, Sam would…"

"Really? You're going to bring up Sam after I just kissed you? You make no sense, woman. First you make fun of me, then you try to seduce me, and now this… with the 'there is no we' garbage. Bella's gonna have a heyday when I tell her about this."

I chuckled to myself and then shut up quickly when I brought my eyes to Leah's face and took in her expression. She did not look happy. In fact, she looked like she may detach a part of my anatomy that I was very fond of.

"I'm sorry. Did I say 12? I meant 3. You are too freaking young to even consider being with me, Jake. This will never work. We can never be no matter how much… just get out."

"What did I…"

She cut me off pointing towards the door and shouting a quick, "Out!"

As I walked shamefully towards the door I could hear her mumbling about my age, my inexperience, and immaturity. She was right. I was young, had no clue what to do with girls, and my emotional maturity was that of a little boy's. I could never be what she needed me to be – a man. Because the truth was, I wasn't one. Not yet anyway. And I honestly didn't know when I would be considered a man. Only time would tell I guess.

After sulking for several days and hiding out at home fawning over a woman that would never want a boy I called Embry to see if he wanted to hang out.

I was depressed and needed to joke around, wrestle, or gape at girls. Something, anything to get my mind off of Leah and the fact that she didn't want me. The rejection stung. But one nice thing about being young, inexperienced and immature is that you're pretty resilient still.

I thought I would die after Bella married Edward and left me here all alone. I was sad, sure I was, but I realized quickly that while I did love her, she certainly wasn't the only person that I could love, and she wasn't the person responsible for my happiness. I had to be happy. Me. I was responsible for making that happen. So, I dusted myself off, and moved on. And that's just what I planned to do again. Only, this time it wouldn't take so long. It might be a little awkward for a while with the pack and everything, but I wasn't too worried. I knew Leah would sort anyone out who was making fun of us.

Once I got a hold of Embry, I quickly realized that I had been left out of the loop. Emily was hosting a New Year's Eve party at her house. Wonder why I wasn't invited? One word: Leah. Well, I'd show her just how much I wasn't affected by showing up to the party and having fun and completely ignoring her. In essence, I'd be just as immature as she accused me of being. It would be awesome to piss her off.

I laughed hard and threw my head back as Jared regaled us with the tale of Natalie breaking things off with Quil. I swear that guy was a revolving door for girls. And they knew it, yet somehow, he still had a date tonight. Go figure.

I wiped the tears from my eyes as I stared at the blazing fire. Embry and I chatted for a while and I caught him up with Bella's life. She would be coming home this summer to visit and I couldn't wait to see her. Embry and I were speculating about what we could do when she came home. It was then that I caught sight of Leah. She was standing a ways behind the fire with her arms folded high up on her chest. She was glaring at me.

What was her problem? Why was she always so angry? What did I ever do to her? Except kiss her. You'd think she hated me with the looks she was sending me. I ignored her and went to back to planning a beach day for Bella and some of the guys. I figured she would like that since Sparklehubs couldn't be out in the sun much. Plus, it would give us time to talk without him reading my thoughts or listening in on my life's patheticness. It would be fun and good for me to be out with a friend that wasn't in the pack.

About an hour or so later I found myself at Emily's counter snacking on baked goods and chugging lemon water.

"Having fun, Jake?" asked Emily.

"Yeah, thanks for inviting me."

Out of no where her hand came around to swat me on the head. "I didn't," she said with vehemence in her voice.

"I thought you wouldn't mind. I'm always here."

"I mind when you act like a jerk to my cousin. My cousin that I have worked hard on. Do you know how long it took her to feel comfortable around Sam and me? Do you know how long it took me to get her to come into my home? And you're ruining it because you're here acting like, I don't know what."

"I'm not acting like anything. She's the one that…"

"Oh my gosh. You don't know, do you? You don't understand girls one bit?" She looked stunned. I simply shrugged. I didn't even really know what she was talking about, but she was right. Clearly, I didn't know.

"She's weirded out. She's worried that this thing between the two of you won't work out: that you'll be made fun of, that it'll end badly. She's scared, Jake and testing you. Sam left her. He left her, and I'm guessing that put a big, fat hole in her heart. She can't be hurt again. Don't hurt her again."

"I didn't. I don't want o hurt her. I just want… I, uh, I don't know what I want."

"Do you want to date her? Maybe see if you two could work out?"

"I, uh, yeah… what you said."

She laughed lightly at me and my stupidity. She was much more articulate than I was.

"Can I tell you something?" She looked conspiratorially at me and pulled me to her by crooking her finger. I nodded as I walked closer to her.

"She's worried you want her simply because she's older, because she's…erm… a woman."


"I don't want to know. But, what she doesn't even realize is that, you don't even feel comfortable with that. You are nowhere ready for that…"

"How do you…"

"If you were white, you'd be blushing. Anyway, the truth is, she should be worried of just the opposite because she wants you in that way. I know she does. The way she looks at you. The way she reacted after the Christmas party. She was flustered. You flustered her. And woke up her senses, so to speak."

"Oh," was all I could think to say. Did she just suggest that I woke up Leah's sexuality? That I turned on her lust or something like that? Hm. I liked the sound of that. And she did say that thing about my tongue so she must have liked being with me in that way. I missed it too. In fact, I missed her.

We were supposed to patrol together the other night and she worked something out with Seth and switched with him. The boy kept spouting off relationship advice to me all the while quoting more Shakespeare.

As I tried to convince myself that Leah wasn't worthy enough to be my girl since she was so mean and moody, Seth pushed his thoughts my way saying, There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

And when I began contemplating whether or not we could have ever worked as a couple he spouted off, To be, or not to be, — that is the question.

I had to hand it to Mr. Henderson, the English teacher on the rez, he certainly taught Seth well. And amazingly, the kid was making sense.

But, by the time I got home from patrolling I was over my worries and just wanted to leave thoughts of Leah out in the forest. It was never going to happen, so I just let them be.

But now, standing in front of Emily, I realized just how wrong I was. It seemed with a bit of effort and some honest to goodness talking with Leah, perhaps we could figure this out.

I left Emily in the kitchen, grabbed two cookies and headed out to find Leah. Treats always made me feel better, so I figured giving Leah a cookie wouldn't hurt. It would be a peace offering of sorts. Boy was I naïve.

As soon as Leah saw me walking towards her, she dropped her eyes to my cookies and glowered at me. I did the only thing I could and shoved them both into my mouth at once. I nearly choked on them as I jogged towards her. Geez, she was farther than I thought. She was nearly at the tree line and all alone.

I waved at her in greeting and stopped before I really wanted to, but I was afraid she'd bolt like a scared deer or worse hit me in front of everyone.

"Hey," I said as bits of cookie fell from my mouth. Sweet.

"Charming," she said in a monotone and then looked around keeping her eyes completely off of me.

"I was bringing one for you but since you looked like you wanted to shove it in my face, I decided to eat them instead." I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand making sure I didn't have chocolate smears at the corners of my mouth.

"So, you ate my apology?"

I cursed under my breath, when I realized she was right. "I'm sorry. I don't know how to do this. I've never really had a relationship before. I'm figuring this out as I go. And it doesn't help that you're about as pissy and moody as girls come. Bella was never…"

"Ugh!" groaned Leah and turned on her heel walking into the forest.

"What is your problem? I'm trying to talk to you here. You're always walking away from me."

"And you're always talking about another girl," she said scowling.

"What? Bella's not… she's the closet thing I ever had to a…Bella and I… forget it."

"No. Really, I want to know. 'Bella and I' what? What was so freaking great about I-left-you-for-a-dead-guy Bella Swan? Hm? 'Cause maybe I can learn something from her. Because clearly you still want her and that's why you don't want me."


"You're an idiot."

"You kicked me out. You're confusing as hell, you know that? I've told you before that I don't care about Bella like I used to, yet somehow you're acting like a jealous girlfriend. But, you don't want to be my girlfriend. You make so sense."

Leah continued to walk further into the forest.

"You know," I shouted after her, "you could learn something from Bella. Bella talked to me for one. She may have been confused about how she felt but she talked to me and she followed her heart. She did what was right for her, no matter how hard that was. I respect that. It hurt like hell, but I respect it. And you, you just push and push and push without giving a crap. Bella at least cared that she hurt me."

"No she didn't. She used you," said Leah.

"She didn't use me. And she did care. She cried for hours after letting me go. She cried so much Edward asked her if she had made the right choice."

"I don't believe that for one second."

"Fine, don't believe it. I don't care. But you have to believe that I am in this. I want to see if this weird thing with us will work."


"Because I like you, Leah."

"But you said you didn't even like me after that dumb mistletoe fiasco."

"Yeah, well, you said it first. And I was afraid if I admitted to you that I actually liked you, you would bolt. But I guess I didn't need to worry about that, because you found a reason anyway. So have fun, I guess. Bolting or whatever. I'll just be over here, not pining over Bella, wondering if you and I could have ever had a shot if you hadn't been so chicken shit about it."

I stayed still for a moment to see if Leah would respond. We just stared each other down like a bunch of 7 year olds in a contest. She won. I was done, so I turned and walked away.

"Jake, wait."

I cursed under my breath and turned back to Leah. She was closer than I thought she'd be, and I stumbled back a bit. She was nearly right in front of me. Geez, she was quiet on her feet.

"What?" I said closing my eyes and opening them again slowly.

"Maybe we could. Try, I mean. Try to figure out what this attraction is. What it means."

"But what about everything you said before? I mean, I'm too young for you and I am immature and…"

She put a finger over my lips to stop me and stared down at them.

"You are," she said smiling. "But, we'll figure it out. I think you're right though, we need to talk."

"Uh huh," I mumbled out of necessity. Her finger was still on my lips. It was distracting. So were her eyes, and her smell, and her body heat. She was so close. Too close. Not close enough.

I slowly moved my arms and they miraculously found their way around Leah's back. I pulled her in and faintly heard the sounds of cheering as I pressed my lips to Leah's.

She was quick to respond unlike the last time I kissed her. Her lips moved fluidly over mine as her hands found their way into my hair again. Why did she always go for my hair and why did I love it?

With her hands in my hair and her lips pressed to mine I realized that this was one area where we were equals. Kissing was kissing, right? But then I remembered what Nicole, crap Natalie, had said about my tongue. I smiled into her lips, tightened my grip on her back and stroked her lips with my tongue. Maybe I did have an advantage after all and Leah couldn't intimidate me in every aspect of our relationship.

She pulled on my hair excitedly and swirled her tongue with my own rewarding me with a little moan. Man, that was sexy.

We kissed each other passionately, our tongues in a heated embrace until Quil brought us from our kissing-induced haze. "The countdown was 10 minutes ago," he yelled across the lawn. "No one else is kissing!"

I couldn't see him from the direction I was facing, but I continued to kiss Leah and simply flipped him the bird behind my back.

Then I heard Seth get in on the mocking action. Only he targeted Leah. "Get thee to a nunnery, woman!" What an idiot.

I heard a very loud ouch and a bubbly laugh from Emily followed by Seth groaning, "Oh, I am slain!" He is so weird.

I continued kissing Leah, though our kisses were dying down. I didn't want to make a spectacle of ourselves, and we were clearly the main attraction at the party, so we needed to stop. I ran my hands down her arms and lightly brushed my lips against hers several times signaling the end of our impromptu make-out.

She leaned into my chest and hummed in satisfaction. Well that was nice. It was about time I did something right with Leah. I was feeling a bit smug when realization hit me. Quil had said something about the countdown.

Had we truly kissed each other at the end of the countdown? I turned around awkwardly with Leah still resting into my chest. I noticed confetti on the ground and saw a few small children, including Claire, with lit sparklers in hand. Crap. We had.

"Ugh! Stupid countdown," I grumbled.

"What?" asked Leah, sounding dazed. She looked up at me, and I couldn't help but laugh. Her lips were swollen and she looked a bit stoned.

"We kissed after the countdown. Maybe we're cursed. Maybe it's some Quileute curse and we'll only ever get to kiss under the right circumstances."

"That's bull."

"I don't know. First, that mistletoe at my home, then again at yours, and now this countdown. What if we don't kiss again until the next big thing? What's next? Easter? I'll get to kiss you again when I find my basket full of goodies."

"Oh my word," said Leah rolling her eyes. "It's a kiss, Jake. Don't read too much into it. Besides let me give you hint, my lips are a sure thing."


"Yeah." She nodded and smiled up at me.

"I don't know. This could be bad. We need to test it out next chance we get."


"Yeah?" I said, closing my eyes and sighing.

"What are you doing tomorrow night?" My eyes popped right back open.

"I, uh, er…"

"Mm hm. See, this is why I like you."

"You like me?"

"Yeah. Brains and brawn and according to Mrs. Davis, a nice ass."

"Oh no…"

"You and I have a date on my couch tomorrow. My mom's working late and Seth will get lost because I'll beat him to a bloody pulp if he doesn't. We can just see what happens…no mistletoe, no countdown."

"Just me and my wicked tongue?"


"See, this is why I like you…brains and…" but Leah didn't let me finish. She covered my mouth with hers for a brief moment and I attempted to talk through her kisses making her laugh.



Leah turned and walked away leaving me confused, again.

"Leah? What? I…"

"Shut up," said Leah without even turning around. "And…bring that tongue over here so it can do wicked things to me."

I ran then to catch up with Leah who was at the edge of the woods. The boys hollered behind me but I didn't care. I didn't know where we were going or what her plans were, but the fact that I knew she wanted my tongue involved was enough for me to want to follow. So I did. And I left my superstitions regarding mistletoe and a stupid countdown behind me.

Author's End Note: Maybe one more chapter... maybe... some begging may help! And I thought I'd never say it, but fluff is kinda fun.