*This one-shot was inspired by a Drabble Meme prompt from Mera_Naam_Joker. The prompt itself implied slash, and since I would never do that to Jacob, I had to think long and hard of how to work around the semantics of the prompt. And once I started, this took off with a mind of its own and I barely remembered how I was going to work the prompt in there! Hope you enjoy. Twilight: Jake/Embry "I thought you said it wasn't too late".
One Mississippi, Two Mississippi…
Once upon a time, before La Push became a place of werewolves and vampires, alphas and imprints – Leah Clearwater had been a hot, cool chick.
The Megan Fox of the La Push rez School.
The quintessential older woman and the ultimate first kiss.
At least that's what she represented to two young, hormonal and very competitive teenage boys.
After a warm, autumn Quileute harvest festival, during Embry Call and Jacob Black's 13th year, seventeen year old Leah made an everlasting impression in her tight, faded blue jeans and belly-button exposing midriff. And hence, a bet was born.
Leah munched on a corn-dog, oblivious to the effect she was having on the two boys watching her. She had casually eaten away the outside layer of cornbread and was now innocently nibbling the bare, erect dog on a stick as Embry and Jake squirmed on a nearby bench.
Embry looked at Jacob, all seriousness.
"Winner has to get one kiss from Leah Clearwater – without getting punched."
Rules were important. "She punches you or tries to inflict bodily harm, it doesn't count."
Jake nodded. "Tongue mandatory?"
"Nah, let's not push our luck. But lips have to be touching for at least 4 full seconds."
Leah was coming to the bottom of her hot dog now, pushing the last bit up the stick and into her pink lip-glossed mouth. There was silence as the two boys watched reverently.
"What about Sam?" Jake asked, looking worried. "I mean, doesn't she go out with Sam Ulley? What if he punches us? Does that count?"
Embry thought that over for a minute. "Yeah, that still counts. It just doesn't count if Leah decks us."
So while Sam Ulley's kicking their asses still counted, it was definitely something both boys wanted to avoid. Sam Ulley had grown into a huge dude almost overnight. And he was very protective of his Leah.
Four Years Later
"Jesus man, is that your stomach growling?"
"Yeah. Christ, where's the next shift at? I thought Leah and Jared were coming. I'm starving. If I'm late for dinner again, my mom said she's throwing it out the window. I hate eating cold food off the ground before I phase and then getting yelled at for coming home late."
"Sorry man, that sucks. You really should let the elders clue your mom in. It would save you a lot of grief. Oh hey, here comes Leah now."
Embry and Jake weren't trying to be sneaky, they really weren't. The fact that Leah didn't see the two wolves there in the trees was completely circumstantial. The fact that they didn't say anything, as she began to pull her dress over her head before she phased, could not be helped as they were both stunned speechless at the sight that beheld them all too quickly. If they said anything now, as she was bent over, attaching said dress to her ankle band, they were sure to be rendered unable to ever have children of their own. They both stared in silent awe at the satiny smooth bronze curves. Neither one uttered a sound as she dove into the dead grass and a grey wolf bound off into the trees.
Wordlessly, Jake and Embry phased back into human form. Not normally ones to be modest, both of them kept their backs to each other as they pulled on their shorts, respectful of the fact that it would be perfectly natural to be sporting wood after that display of feminine perfection.
"Hey, remember that bet we made a long time ago?" Embry spoke up first.
They both shared a laugh, before Embry turned to Jake, a frown knit between his brows.
"You never tried… ? Right?"
"Hell no!" Jake exclaimed. "I happen to be very fond of my nuts. Why? Did you?"
"God, no," Embry snorted. "I mean, it's Leah." There was a beat of silence before he added. "She's mean."
"Yeah, she is," Jake agreed as they began walking through the tall grass toward home. "So… bet still on?"
"Fuck no! I've kissed plenty of girls since we made that bet. I don't need to prove anything now."
"Yeah, Call? How many girls have you kissed?"
"Penny Mason and…"
"Fuck you Black! How many girls have you kissed, beside Bella Swan – and that doesn't count anyway since she punched your sorry ass and broke her hand on your ugly face."
"Oh yeah, and you're the man Embry. Penny Mason and now you're a stud."
"I'm a goddamn wolf Jacob; it doesn't get much manlier than that."
"Except for maybe Alpha," Jake smirked smugly.
"Are you saying you want to reinstate this bet, Black?"
Jacob thought for a minute. What the hell? It wasn't like Bella was breaking down his door, begging for snorgles. And while Jake wasn't really attracted to Leah anymore - she was too much of a goddamn bitch to really take seriously in a romantic sense – it would still be a challenge. And Jacob loved a challenge.
"Sure. Same rules as before?"
"Four seconds and you get away with it without getting the snot beat outta you from Leah, you win."
They stopped in the middle of the dirt path that led to Jacob Black's little red house and shook hands.
Five weeks later and neither one had gotten any closer to Leah Clearwater's pissed off pout. And her mood was darker than ever. The guys all agreed after one particularly snarky patrol with Leah, that God had messed up her periods and Leah was permanently on the rag.
What made matters worse was that everyone was in a bad mood. It was the holiday season and they were experiencing a bone-chilling winter, cold even by Washington's standards.
The highlight of the icy holidays was a party being thrown by Sam and Emily. The pack thought for sure that Leah wouldn't even show up, seeing as how the target of her bitterness was usually Sam himself or his imprint.
But show-up she did, and in style. Mouths dropped when Leah sashayed through the door in a tight, backless black dress that emphasized every perfect curve and angle. Whether she was dressed to the nines to have a dig at her plumper cousin, Emily or simply because it was New Year's and she was all mean-ed out, no one knew. Judging from the downturn of her mouth and the hardness of her eyes, it was probably the former.
Embry elbowed Jake when Leah came into the kitchen and helped herself to a glass of champagne.
"Dude," he whispered. "I'm going for it. Tonight."
Jacob panicked. "What do you mean you're going for it tonight? You didn't say anything. You have a plan?"
"It wasn't part of the rules that I have to tell you when I'm going in for the kill. I did that out of niceness. And yes, I have a plan." Embry grinned and reached into the back pocket of his jeans (part of Emily's invitation stated that all guests must be properly attired tonight – no shirt, no shoes, no partay) and pulled out a crumpled, faded piece of…
"Leaves?" Jake asked incredulously, looking at the squished green leaves in Call's hand. "You gonna roll her a joint? I don't think bribery with mind-altering substances is playing fair."
"This, my friend, is mistletoe," he smirked. "Watch and learn, Jacob. Watch and learn."
"Mistletoe is for Christmas, you can't use it for New Year's."
"Mistletoe is for the holidays," Embry emphasized. "It's perfectly legitimate."
"I think you're better off rolling her a joint."
Shit, now Jacob panicked. He didn't have a plan. He didn't like to lose, although Embry's plan was crap, he was getting bitch slapped for sure. Leah was not exactly a teddy bear, especially not for sappy traditions like mistletoe.
There had to be a way Jacob could get her to let him kiss her. He glanced over at her sitting at the kitchen table now, glaring across the room at Emily straightening the decorations on her and Sam's Christmas tree. He watched her clench her teeth and take a big swig from her bottle of beer. If she didn't loosen up, she was gonna bite the glass top right off that beer bottle.
If she kept drinking, maybe she'd be too drunk to hit him if he snuck a kiss? Nah, kissing a girl who was too inebriated to stop you just felt wrong. But if she kept swigging the alcohol back, Embry just might win the bet with his stupid mistletoe.
A smile spread over Jacob's face as a plan came to him. It was a cheap trick, but hey, a bet was a bet, and it fit within the confines of the rules. Which were pretty vague and ambiguous.
Embry, feeling pretty cocky with his pansy-ass piece of mistletoe, pulled Jake aside into the hallway. "How about we up the ante on our bet a little?"
"What did you have in mind?"
"Well, one of us have to kiss Leah without getting hit by midnight tonight, or it's too late and the bet is now and forever off."
Jake glanced into the kitchen, at the clock over the stove. It was 10:00 pm.
"Okay Call, you're on. Midnight."
An hour and 45 minutes later and Leah hadn't budged and neither Embry nor Jacob was brave or stupid enough to attempt to kiss Leah in front of a crowd of people. The only time Leah left the kitchen table, was to get up and cross to the cooler by the sink and grab another beer. If she had been a mere mortal woman, she would have been passed out on the floor and both boys could have successfully lost their virginities with her by now and she'd never know. But she wasn't a mere mortal, and she wasn't drunk or merry either. If anything, the alcohol just made her more sullen and snarlier. Great.
About 11:47, Jacob tried to think of some way to at least get Leah out of the kitchen and away from the crowd of people. There was some music playing in the living room at the front of the house, so Jacob went over to the table and asked her to dance. She gave him a stare like Medusa and for just a second, he thought he really might turn to stone.
"Not even if you were Bradley Cooper, shit for brains."
"Maybe later then."
Jacob and Embry both leaned against the kitchen sink, watching Leah and looking over the stove at the clock every 30 seconds.
Embry shook his head. "Man, I didn't want to do it at midnight, when she'd be ready for attack. That's like asking for it. I say we push the time to 1:00 instead of midnight."
Jacob nodded his head, standing a little straighter when Leah got up from the table finally and headed for the hallway. Embry shot from the kitchen and followed her from a distance down the hall. When she turned into the bathroom, he planted himself right outside. Jacob watched from the other end of the hall. Not that he didn't trust Embry; he just didn't want to miss this.
Embry wiped his palms down the front of his jeans, before he reached into his back pocket and took out his mistletoe, at the ready. Jacob rolled his eyes. Did he really think that was gonna make any difference? Embry was gonna pounce, so why didn't he just pounce like a man instead of looking like a fairy with some leaves in his hand over his head?
Jacob felt the smile come over his face, when he heard the click of the bathroom door opening. He wished he had some popcorn.
"Hey Leah," Embry acknowledged her as soon as she shut the door behind her.
"Fuck off Embry."
"Look what I found," Embry started, raising the mistletoe over his head.
"Did you follow me to the bathroom, you little creep? Were you standing out here waiting for me, Call?"
Poor Embry looked like he was going to wet his pants. But Jacob was kind of proud of him when he threw all niceties out the window and just held the mistletoe up over Leah's head and grabbed her by the shoulder with his free hand and lip locked her!
Automatically through his cringe, Jacob started counting in his head. "One Mississippi, two Missississpi, three –"
THWACK! And Embry hit the ground. Jacob bent over laughing as Leah screamed obscenities at him, just as the crowd in the rest of the house yelled, "Happy New Year!" There was hooting and hollering and pots being banged and whistles being blown, and no one heard Leah bawling out Embry, still sitting on the floor, his hand over his cheek.
Finally, when Leah showed no signs of running out of steam, Embry stood up and apologized.
"Happy New Year," he muttered to her, stalking back to the kitchen and tossing his mangled mistletoe into the trash.
"And stay the hell away from me!" She dropped back down into a chair at the table.
Jacob looked at Embry. "Alright man, it's now or never, I'm gonna try. Wish me luck."
"It's after midnight now, doesn't count," Embry moped.
"I thought you said it wasn't too late! You changed it to 1:00. I've got another 50 minutes."
Embry shrugged. "Yeah, alright, you got till one."
Jacob took a deep breath. This probably wasn't going to work. Especially since she had actual reason to be pissed off now. But, whatever, he'd never be able to live with himself if he didn't at least give it a shot. Even if it was a cheap shot that probably wouldn't work.
Jacob walked out to the front porch to set up. He took a couple of gulps of fresh air, it had been getting warm inside with all these clothes on. Shoes and socks too. No wonder he was sweating. He passed through the living room on his way back to the kitchen and saw Sam.
"Hey, want me to put the cake out in the fridge in the garage, Sam?"
Sam and Emily kept a giant refrigerator/freezer outside to store the massive amounts of food they kept in stock to feed the pack. The small fridge in the kitchen didn't even come close to cutting it.
Sam was in conversation with Emily, not really dancing, but wrapped close and swaying in time to the music.
"Would you, sweetie? That would be great, thanks." Emily answered instead.
Jake marched back to the kitchen, and folded the box back down over the huge red velvet with cream cheese cake that was now half gone. The cake had had to be big to feed a crowd of hungry wolves and some regular hungry people too. The box was at least two feet wide and seven inches deep. He picked the box up and carried it toward the back door, where Leah was seated at the table. The box wasn't heavy, but it was awkward. Jacob pretended to fumble with the doorknob, while trying to balance the cake in his arms.
Leah watched him, amused for a few seconds, before she surprisingly asked, "Want some help ass-hat?"
Jacob was impressed; he hadn't expected her to offer, but at least it saved him from asking. Which he was afraid would have thrown her into a tantrum in and of itself. He ignored her for a second, while pretending to continue fumbling with the door. Finally, he straightened and casually turned to her.
"Yeah, could you take the box for a second, Leah?"
She gave him a little smirk before she stood and walked over, and he reached out, helping her balance the box in her arms. Once she had it, he took hold of her elbows and got a quick glimpse of her eyes widening before he leaned in and started counting.
He felt her tighten in shock, but he she wasn't fighting yet.
Her body tightened and she was wavering, rocking a little back and forth on her toes.
Now her whole body shook, as her mind struggled to figure out what to do with the box in her arms and her body fought to react.
Her mouth was moving underneath his now as she tried to call him names.
She shook her lips free and Jacob flung the back door open, slammed it shut and ran down the stairs! Before he reached the bottom step, the door swung back open and Leah called him a few filthy names before slamming it back shut.
He'd done it! He'd even gotten an extra Mississippi in there! And not a mark on him! He did a little victory dance before the door at the top of the stairs opened again and Embry, laughing like a hyena, came down and joined him.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he reached out and shook Jake's hand.
"Well done. You did it. She's pissed, but hell, when isn't Leah pissed? Happy New Year, man."
"Happy New Year," Jacob smiled.
One thing was for sure, whether it disgusted him or made him proud, (probably a little of both), after all was said and done: he had kissed Leah Clearwater and lived to tell the tale.
At least until he went back upstairs.