A/N: Welcome! This story is an outtake of sorts from my multi-chapter story Give Me a Sign. It is Jake and Leah's relationship, and begins three years prior to the beginning of that story. I don't think it's necessary to read Give Me a Sign, however it will help a lot if you do. Some details may be confusing otherwise.

For those of you expecting the Jacob you met in Give Me a Sign, watch out. He goes through a lot of changes, and yes, he's an asshole. You may not like him very much throughout this oneshot. I hope you like the story regardless, and kind of come to understand why he is the way he is at this point. Leah herself is maybe not what you would expect after seeing her in Give Me a Sign. I'm planning on there being four parts.

The title of this story, Simple Design, is a song by none other than Breaking Benjamin. The song will be used for one of the oneshots, but I thought the title and song fit Jake and Leah's story so well.

I still have very little experience with bipolar disorder; however, I do have experience with diabetes. I personally am not diabetic, but both my grandmother and grandfather died from complications with diabetes, following almost the same events that I've written for Billy. It's not a pretty process, and I don't intend to sugar-coat anything. For those of you who have seen what it can do, you know what I'm talking about.

Be forewarned about the sex, cuz there are some serious lemons in this oneshot. Jake's not in a very good place mentally.

So there you go! Enjoy. I don't own it.


Simple Design

The Story of Jake and Leah

Part One

Violence Fetish

You are a time bomb ticking away
You need to release what you're feeling inside
Let out the beast that you're trying to hide
Step right up and be a part of the action
Get your game face on because it's time to play

-Violence Fetish – Disturbed


Jacob

It was too fucking hot to be working construction, even in April. Whoever thought scheduling a building project where we'd be working directly under the Phoenix sun in the summer was a good idea should be put through a goddamn meat grinder.

I got to the site late that day. My dad needed some help with his medicine, so I'd stayed to make sure he had what he needed. The foreman gave me a look, but didn't comment. I was glad, because I really didn't want to get fired. Or have to go back to a shrink. Instead of stopping to explain myself, I just went ahead and got ready to start working. The skeleton was pretty much done, and we had people on almost all levels finishing and fixing something or other.

Construction wasn't an easy job, and we had people coming and going all the time. We'd get a fresh face every few weeks, and sometimes they'd last, sometimes they'd be gone after only a few days. I usually didn't pay attention to the new kids unless they approached me, but it was almost impossible to keep from laughing when I saw a woman working out on the site. She was medium build with tanned skin and a round ass. Her black hair was pulled back in a pony tail as she laid brick on the ground floor. I'd be laying right along with her. I chuckled to myself and wondered how long she'd last. I'd never seen a woman at any site I'd ever worked at.

I didn't say anything as I walked over and started to spread the mortar. The woman stopped and looked at me.

"Excuse me, I was working there."

I didn't budge. "And now I am, too."

"I can do this, you know. I'm not helpless." She put the brick in her hand down a little harder than necessary. Probably to try to prove her point.

"Sure, sure. I'm not stopping you." I didn't stop; I just made sure I was doing it right.

She scoffed and continued what she'd been doing. "My name's Leah, by the way."

Of course she'd have to talk. "Jake."

She took a deep breath and sat back. "I've been doing construction pretty much since I was six years old. My dad's a contractor."

I grunted. I really didn't see why women had to tell their life story to whoever they worked with. I didn't care.

"You're kind of an ass, you know."

I laughed and sat back with her. "Yeah, I know. Now shut up and let me work."

Her brow furrowed. "I was here first. You want me to shut up; you move your ass somewhere else."

I clenched my fist and took a deep breath to keep from losing it on her. "Fuck off."

"You know, just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I don't have a right to be here. I can do this just—"

I turned, and it literally took everything in me to keep from hitting her. "It has nothing to do with you being a woman. Leave me the fuck alone."

I was supposed to be laying brick, but I really didn't give a fuck. I got up and went to find something I could break.


I took my lunch break a little earlier than usual to call and make sure my dad was still doing okay. He said he was fine and asked how my day was. I told him about the girl on the site, and he told me to watch out for her. I rolled my eyes but said I would. When I hung up, I heard her tell one of the guys to back off. I looked over to see her standing there with Jack, Nathan, and Don. I sighed to myself and walked over to them.

"What's a pretty girl like you doing in construction anyway?" Don said as he reached out to smack her ass. "Shouldn't you be walking' the streets?"

Jack laughed and caught her as she tried to get away from Don. "Maybe you should just come home with me?"

She pushed him away. "Get the fuck off me, asshole." She sounded like she was trying to be tough.

"Leave her alone," I said as I walked up to them.

Nathan laughed. "Jake wants her all for himself."

"Sure, whatever, now back the fuck off." I wasn't going to fight with them. Or so I told myself. Even if my dad hadn't made me promise, I couldn't let this chick get raped because I didn't stick my nose where it didn't belong. I knew Jack and Don well enough to know I couldn't put that past them.

The chick looked over at me, her brow furrowed. "I can take care of myself, thank you."

"Shut up and get out of here," I said.

She scoffed and put her hands on her hips. "Excuse me?"

I turned to her. "I said, shut up and get out of here. Unless you'd like me to leave you to the wolves."

She glanced at Jack once, and under her hard façade, it wasn't hard to tell she was a little nervous. She turned, muttering "whatever" under breath as she stalked off.

"Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you?" Don asked. "The first chick on the site in ages, and you go and chase her away."

I shook my head. "Just leave her alone. She's not here for you to play with, got it?"

"What, are you fucking Superman now?" Jack pushed my shoulder, and it took everything in me to keep from hitting him. Instead, I pushed him back hard enough to knock him over, then I left. There was no point in staying there where I would only get more pissed off.

As I got ready to leave that day, the chick came up to me.

"Hi."

I didn't say anything back; I just pulled my shirt on.

"I, um . . . Thank you. For what happened earlier. I know I didn't seem very grateful at the time, but I do appreciate it."

I grunted and put my things up.

She sighed. "I'm trying to talk to you, you know. You could at least acknowledge that I'm here."

I groaned. "Fine. Hi."

"Why don't you like me? What the hell did I ever do you?"

"Don't flatter yourself. I don't like anyone."

"Well, then why did you help me? Why not just let me fend for myself if you don't give a shit, huh?"

I started to walk to my car, and she followed me. I stopped before I got in and turned to her. "Leave me the fuck alone."

She scoffed and put her hand on her hip. "You're an asshole, you know that?"

"News to me. Can I go now?" I really needed to get back to my dad.

"Sure, I guess. I'll see you tomorrow anyway." She seemed way too happy about that. I rolled my eyes and got in the car.

When I got home, I realized that I'd forgotten to take my meds. Figures. I helped my dad get his straightened out, but forgot all about mine. I walked in and took the damn pill, then went back to check on my dad. He was in bed reading, but looked up when I walked in.

"Hey, Son," he said with a smile. "How was work?"

I shrugged and sat on the edge of the bed. "Not bad."

"The woman still working there?"

I chuckled. "Yeah. Who knows how long she'll last, but she survived her first day."

His eyes mellowed in a way that told me he was thinking about Mom. "You know what your mother would have said?"

I sighed and shook my head. "No, Dad. What would she have said?"

He smirked. "She would have told you to take her under your wing. Make sure she doesn't have to quit because of other guys making it too hard on her."

That sure sounded like Mom. Always looking out for everyone. I patted Dad's shoulder and stood up. "Hungry?"

"Nah, I had some cheesecake not too long ago."

I gave him a look. "Dad, you know you're not supposed to have that much sugar. And where the hell did you get cheesecake?"

He shrugged. "I'm not going to make it much longer anyway. The neighbor lady brought it over earlier. I think she's got the hots for you." He raised his eyebrows.

My fists clenched and I leaned down to make him look at me. "Hello? Is my dad in there? Because this person who seems to have replaced him is an idiot. I kind of liked the other guy, and I want him to stick around as long as he can."

Dad smirked. "Oh, come on, Jake. I'm not going anywhere yet, and one slice of cheesecake isn't going to finish me off."

I rolled my eyes and walked out of the room. If he wanted to kill himself by not being more careful of what he ate, then whatever. Not like I could monitor his diet every fucking day.

The cheesecake was sitting in the fridge with a medium-sized piece cut out of it. A card was sitting on top of it, so I picked it up. It was one of those stupid 'how are you doing' cards signed by Nancy. She was cute, I guessed. If I was interested in having a girlfriend or getting laid, I might go after her. I had bigger things to worry about, though.

The next day at work, the chick came up to me almost as soon as I had my shirt off.

"Hi," she said. She almost looked relieved.

I raised my eyebrow and grabbed my tool belt. "Can I help you?"

"What? Oh . . . no. No, I'm good. I was just . . . I was getting something." She grabbed a hammer even though she already had one in her belt. I shook my head and walked past her.

She followed me. "This?" she gestured to the extra hammer. "This is just, you know, to ward off all of the other assholes."

I chuckled without humor. "It'll take more than threats, Lady." I didn't bother to look at her; I just wanted to get this day over with.

"My name's not 'Lady.' It's Leah."

"Whatever. Do you really think I give a fuck?"

"Damn, you are an asshole."

I finally turned to look at her. "What's it to you?"

She huffed. "It's nothing to me. Forget it."

She stalked off to do whatever it was she was supposed to be doing. Thank God. The peace didn't last too long, though. All too soon, the damn woman was getting into it with Trevor, the foreman. From what I could hear, he didn't like the work she was doing, and she was trying to convince him it was fine. I told myself to drop it; it wasn't any of my business. I could just hear my mother telling me to keep an eye on the annoying witch. I sighed to myself and made my way over.

"Jake!" Leah said as she saw me approaching. Dammit. "How long have you been in construction?"

Don't answer. "Six years." Fuck it all.

"And what about you?" she asked the foreman. Damn she had some balls.

"Two years." He almost looked a little ashamed.

"My dad's a contractor; I've grown up around all this shit. I know what's up to code, and this is up to code. Jacob, tell the man this is up to code." She pointed to the bricks she'd just laid down.

"I can't see anything wrong with them." I had a feeling the foreman was just pitching a fit because he had to work with a woman.

"The mortar's all wrong," Trevor said.

I walked to the mixer and checked the mortar. It was damn near perfect. "You make this?" I asked the witch.

She nodded proudly. "Yes, I did. Exactly the way my dad taught me."

Trevor smiled smugly until I burst his bubble. "This is better than mine, and I've been making it for five damn years. You want to check the work again before you tell her it's shit?"

His smile turned into a frown. "The bricks are uneven."

I rolled my eyes. "Fuck off, man. She's doing fine."

"Don't tell me what to do. I'm the foreman; I can have one or both of you fired."

So we had a power-tripping asshole on our hands. "Okay, let's take this up to Erik, the damn contractor. He's a good friend of Adam, right? Adam and I go way back; I'm sure he'd like to hear from me. You, on the other hand, might not have a job." I had no idea if the contractor really did know Adam or not, but it worked anyway.

Trevor looked a little fumbled for a second. "Well, let me take a look again." He checked everything one more time before he said it was fine. "Get back to work."

He was obviously sour about it, but I didn't care. I tried to walk off and leave it alone, but of course the woman wouldn't let me.

"Thanks again," she said. "That's twice you've saved me."

I scoffed. "Whatever. You could have handled him on your own."

"Damn right I could have. But I appreciate your help anyway."

I didn't say anything back as I walked away.


"So have you heard the rumor?" Leah asked a week later as we got ready to leave. Despite every single attempt I'd made at getting her to leave me alone, she wouldn't do it.

"Do I really care?"

"You might. I don't know. Everyone says we're fucking."

"Mm. Nice for them."

"You want to?"

I looked up and met her eyes. "What?"

"I'm asking you if you want to fuck me."

I furrowed my brow. "I'm not looking for a relationship."

She crossed her arms. "I didn't say date. I said fuck."

"And what happens when I'm still an asshole after I fuck you?"

She shrugged. "It won't matter, because it's no strings attached."

"Yeah. I've heard that before."

"Seriously, Jacob. You could use a night of good sex. And you're kind of cute."

I shook my head. "No. I could use a night of awesome sex."

She smiled and leaned against the tool shed wall. "Well, then. Looks like you found what you need." She raised her eyebrows and bit her lower lip. I let my eyes rake over her body. She was nice looking, that was for sure. Nice tits, fucking sexy as hell ass. If I let myself see her like that.

I sighed. "Okay."

"Your place or mine?"

"I need to check on my dad first, then your place. Need a ride?"

Her brow furrowed. "Yeah. Why check on your dad? What's wrong with him?" She said it with a joking tone, like she really wanted to add something condescending on the end of her question. She was damn lucky she hadn't, or this little fuck-fest she had planned wouldn't happen. Woman or not, no one would get away with making fun of my old man.

I answered as we walked to my car. "He's diabetic, and his kidneys are failing."

She sobered up immediately, and I could see the remorse plain as day on her face. "Oh, my God. Jacob, I'm sorry."

I shrugged and got in the car. "Don't worry about it."

"No, I'm serious. I'm sorry. I was very insensitive—"

"Just shut the fuck up, will you? You want me to fuck you; you better learn to shut your damn mouth."

"Why? I can suck your dick better with my mouth open."

I smirked. "At least you won't be able to talk. Just don't choke."

"Cocky, aren't we?"

I cast her a sideways glance. "Very cock-y."

She rolled her eyes with a smirk, but didn't say anything.

I pulled into my driveway and parked the car. "Stay here. I'll be right back." She nodded, and I got out of the car.

The house was quiet, as it usually was. I walked in my dad's room to check on him and found him sleeping. I sat on the edge of the bed and shook him a little. I couldn't leave without making sure he was okay. Call me paranoid, there were just too many things that could go wrong.

"Hey, Dad," I said when he didn't wake at first. I shook him a little harder, but there was still no response. I furrowed my brow and patted his cheek. That usually got him up. His eyes fluttered, but they didn't open. I leaned over him to check his breathing and was relieved to feel him exhale. Still, I didn't like that he wasn't waking up.

"Come on, Dad, wake up." I shook him again with no result. "Fucking hell." I grabbed his shoulders and shook him hard. "Wake the fuck up, Dad. This isn't funny anymore."

Still no response. "Motherfucking son of a goddamn bitch!" I got up and grabbed the phone to call for an ambulance. Even I wasn't stupid enough to try to move him on my own. Once I had the paramedics on their way, I went out to tell Leah what was going on.

She got out of the car before I even made it halfway down the driveway. "Is everything okay?"

"No, everything's not fucking okay. He won't wake up. I'll take you home after the ambulance gets here."

"Oh my God, Jacob, that's terrible."

Her pity sounded sincere, but I hated it all the same. "Yes, it's fucking terrible," I yelled. "It's awful and you feel sorry for me and all that bullshit. Fuck off."

I stalked into the house and thought about making her walk home. She followed me, and I damn near lost it. I turned around and pinned her against the wall, my hand on her throat. "Did I say you could come in my house?" I demanded.

She looked up at me with wide, scared eyes. "I'm—I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it, I just . . . I'm sorry. I'll leave."

She tried to push away from me, but something in the way I had her broke something loose inside me. Instead of letting her go, I leaned down and kissed her. It was harsh and angry and nothing like what a first kiss should have been, but it felt so fucking right. She opened her mouth, and I shoved my tongue in without waiting for her. She tasted like cinnamon. I groaned and resituated my hold on her to put my knee between her legs and pin her arms above her head. She moaned and moved her hips against my thigh a few times.

The distant sound of sirens reminded me of what was going on. What the fuck was I doing? I pulled back from her and shook my head. "Stay if you want. I don't care." I walked away to make sure I was in my dad's room when the paramedics came in.

They checked his vitals and got an IV started, then loaded him into the truck. On my way out the door, I grabbed Leah's arm and took her with me. "I'll drop you off at home," I said as I opened the car door for her.

"Do you want me to come with you?"

That surprised me. "Why the fuck would you want to come with me?"

She shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe I know how it feels to have to rush to the hospital after someone you love."

She didn't sound upset or condescending in any way; she honestly sounded concerned. I sighed. "If you want to come, I won't stop you."

She nodded and got in the car. "Does your dad have seizures?" she asked as I drove.

I glanced at her, confused. "No, why?"

"I saw the seizure medication on the counter and was curious. My brother used to have them all the time."

"Dammit, you just can't keep your nose out of other people's shit, can you? The medicine sitting on my counter is my business, and you will leave it all the fuck alone, got it?"

She nodded quietly and didn't say another word. After a few minutes, I started to feel a little bad for snapping at her like that. "It's mine."

"What?"

"It's my medicine. I don't have seizures; I'm bipolar."

"Oh. I see."

I was surprised she didn't act all sorry for me again. I appreciated it, though. Once in hospital with my dad set up, Leah sat beside me in the room. It felt strange having someone I barely knew there, but at the same time it was nice to know I wasn't alone. After about an hour of silence, only the occasional nurse coming to check on Dad, I decided to speak.

"You said you knew how it feels. What happened?"

She cleared her throat. "My brother. The one with the seizures. There were a few times he had to be rushed in because the medicine stopped working or he had a really bad episode."

I nodded. "How's he doing now?"

She glanced at me. "He died when I was in fifth grade."

I knew she was expecting the same old lines. "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that" and all that bullshit. I didn't say it. I reached out and took her hand. She squeezed my fingers and looked at me again.

"How long has your dad been . . . sick?"

"Three years. Well, he's been diabetic for about twenty years, but it got bad three years ago." A part of me wondered why I didn't mind telling her.

"And how long have you been bipolar?"

Now that was just a stupid question. "How long have you been annoyingly curious?"

She smiled. "Forever. You can tell me to butt out; I'm just trying to help."

"Help how? By pissing me off?" I took my hand from hers and leaned forward on the chair. I told myself to calm down, but it wasn't easy.

She put her hand on my shoulder. "I wasn't trying to upset you."

I took a deep breath and changed the subject. "How old are you, anyway?"

"Twenty-one. You?"

"Twenty-three. You said your dad's a contractor. Why aren't you working for him?"

"Long story short, he's being an asshole and won't let me. He says I'll just get babied and favored, and he wants me to learn what construction is really all about before he'll consider letting me in on the company. So I'm out here trying to prove to everyone in the world that I can do the damn work."

"Well, if it's any consolation, I'm convinced."

She sat up straight and looked at me. "Wait a second. Did I just hear you say something nice?"

I chuckled, but any trace of humor was washed away when the doctor came in.

"Still not awake?" he asked as he looked my dad over.

I stood up. "No, he's not. What the fuck is going on?"

"I'm going to ask you to tone down your language. This is your dad, correct?"

I didn't like the fucker already. "Yes, he's my dad. What's going on with him?"

"If you'd been monitoring his blood sugar, you'd have seen that it's well over eight hundred. Your dad has gone into what is called diabetic ketoacidosis. Basically what happens—"

"I know what the fuck DKA is, asshole. I've been monitoring his damn blood sugar; it was ninety-three when I went to work today."

"Do I need to ask you to leave?"

Motherfucking asshole might try to sound tough, but he was hiding behind his fucking clipboard like a goddamn sissy. "Do I need to kick your fucking teeth out?"

"Jacob, stop it." I looked over at Leah, and she stood up to put herself in front of me. "Stop it and think about your dad. You want him to get better, right? You need the doctor to be able to do that. You can't kill him."

I started to calm down a little. She had a point. Kind of. There were other doctors around. I glared at the brown-haired son of a bitch. "Fix him."

"We're working on—"

"Admit him and fix the damn problem, Doctor."

"Jacob," Leah warned. She held my arm, and I pulled free of her.

"As I said, we're working on it." The doctor damn near squeaked when he spoke. He checked my dad over once, then left the room.

I moved to the side of the bed and looked down at Dad's unconscious face. I'd checked on him during my lunch, and he'd said he was fine. I hadn't asked him if he'd checked his blood sugar. I should have. I usually did, but I didn't that time. Leah put her hand on my arm, and I jerked away.

"Get off me," I grunted.

"Jake, stop this. Come here."

"Leave me alone."

She shook her head. "Nope. You're stuck with me. Now come here and let me hug you."

She wrapped her arms around my shoulders and pulled me down. I didn't want to, but I figured I could give her what she wanted for a few seconds, then she'd leave me the hell alone. I was caught off-guard by just how good it felt to hold her tightly in my arms. She was warm and soft, but at the same time strong and not at all breakable. Bendable, maybe. I leaned my head down into her neck and sucked in a deep breath. She smelled like cinnamon, too. I hadn't ever noticed it before, but she did.

"It'll be okay," she said softly as she rubbed my back. "He's going to be fine."

A rush of something so deep within me came to the surface, and I tried to beat it back down. I didn't want to get emotional here. Not this kind. It wouldn't be stopped, though, and I hated myself as I felt my eyes water. I squeezed them shut and took another deep breath.

"Do you have anyone else in your life, Jake? Anyone you can talk to?"

I felt like such a damn tool when I sniffled. "No."

"No sisters or brothers? What about your mother?"

I shook my head. "I was an only child, and my mother died when I was seven." My voice was thick. I held her tighter and shoved my face back into her neck.

"Well, I'm here. I'm here, and I won't go anywhere. You can talk to me."

"Don't go all mushy on me, Leah. I don't think I can handle it right now."

She laughed, but didn't pull back. "Too late. I'll just hug you until you're ready to let go."

I didn't want to release her. I knew I should; I should suck it all up and be strong for my dad. He'd been strong for me for so many damn years; he deserved a son who could hold it together no matter what was going on. All the same, Leah's comfort felt too damn good to let go of yet.

I hugged for at least fifteen minutes, until a nurse came in to check Dad's vitals. I pulled away and wiped my eyes, pretending there was something in them. The nurse didn't say anything; she cast me a few wary glances as she did her work, then she fled as though something was chasing her. I sighed and sat down again. Leah sat beside me and patted my hand.

"Don't worry about the nurses or the doctor; they can't even comprehend what you must be going through."

I huffed. "For once, I'd like them to see things from my point of view. Or even Dad's. He's close to a goddamn diabetic coma, and does anyone care? Not likely."

"Yeah. I remember that with my brother. Always trying to fight with the medical system to get things done. I was young, but I still remember thinking this one doctor was such an idiot because he wouldn't admit my brother. He kept him in the ER overnight for observation. When the doctor for the morning shift took over, that's when he was admitted."

"I can only pray they admit him soon. If they don't, I'll have to choke someone."

She smiled. "I'll help, if you want me to."

I raised my eyebrow. "You want to help me kill people?"

"Could be fun," she said with a shrug.

He was finally admitted four hours later. I stayed with him for two hours after he was settled in his room to see if he'd wake up. He still hadn't by the time I had to take Leah home. She navigated the way, but other than her speaking for directions, the ride was quiet. When I got to her house, I pulled into the driveway.

"Don't you have a car?"

She shrugged. "Yeah, but I don't like to drive. I take the bus usually. Thank you for the ride, though."

I nodded. "I'm not coming in."

She put her hand on my shoulder. "I didn't think you would. I understand you want to get back to your dad. Our plans can work out some other time."

I smirked and reached across the console to give her a quick hug. "Sure." There was a brief moment of awkward silence after we both pulled back. "Uh . . . thanks. I guess. For coming with me."

"You're welcome. I meant what I said, about always being here for you. Do you want my number? You can call me anytime."

I smirked and nodded. "Sure." We exchanged numbers, and I went back to my dad alone.

I spent the night at the hospital. He was conscious by the time I woke up the next morning.

"Well, hello there," he said with a smile when I opened my eyes. "Look who's awake."

I sat up on the uncomfortable recliner and smiled. "Speak for yourself, old man. You had me going. How you feeling?"

He shrugged and picked up the yogurt he had on the tray table. "Oh, I'm okay. My sugars got a little out of whack, I guess."

"A little? Did they tell you how high your blood sugar was when you came in the hospital?" I got up and double checked all of his machinery. I'd been in a damn hospital so many fucking times I could probably work the things myself. I knew what was normal, and all of his vitals were fine.

"Yep, 982 when I was brought in, and 879 when I was admitted."

He sounded way too happy for it to be unexpected. "And this doesn't concern you why?"

He sighed. "Jacob, sit back down. It doesn't concern me because what happens, happens. There's not a damn thing I can do about it other than take my medicine and try my best to keep on top of it. You're a great help, Son, and I appreciate it, but there's only so much you can do. You're not a superhero; you can't save everyone."

I rolled my eyes. "I can at least keep you from croaking before your time. Did you check your sugars yesterday before you ate lunch?"

"Yes, of course I did. They were 370, so I took some insulin and ate a salad."

I didn't understand how a salad could raise his blood sugar to such a high level in such a short amount of time. I hated to think that it was just a freak occurrence thanks to his stage of kidney failure, but it very well could have been.

"You should go to work," Dad said a few minutes later. "It's only eight o'clock; you're not that late."

I shook my head. "Not going to work today, Dad. I already called. I'll go back tomorrow, don't worry."

He hummed and finished his yogurt, but didn't say much else about it.

The rest of the day went by fine. I talked to Dad about what had happened, and he said he was sad he missed meeting Leah. He made me promise to bring her over someday and at least let him say hi. I didn't want to, but I couldn't deny the man anything. When I took my lunch at work the next day, Leah asked me how my dad was.

"He's fine. He's awake now and should be able to go home either tonight or tomorrow."

"That's good."

"He, uh, said he wants to meet you." I kind of hoped she'd say something like hell no.

To my dismay, she smiled. "That's sweet. I'd like to meet him, too."

I groaned. "No, it's not sweet. He's going to assume we're dating because you went with me, then he'll start going on about grandchildren. I don't think I can handle that talk again."

She laughed and patted my arm. "Don't worry, Jake. Just introduce me as the floozy you're fucking."

I leaned against the scaffolding and crossed my arms. "You don't know my dad. That'll get my ass kicked."

"Ah, he's the old-fashioned type, huh?"

I nodded. "Yeah. You even think about kissing a girl, and you damn well better be prepared to marry her."

She smiled. "Well, in that case, just introduce me as your friend. I'll make sure he doesn't think anything is going on."

I raised my eyebrow. "Again, you don't know my dad. Doesn't matter if nothing's going on; you're a woman that hasn't run screaming from me yet. In his eyes, that makes you a potential mother to my children."

"There's just no winning with him, is there?" She mirrored my position against the metal skeleton.

"No, not really. I'll take you to meet him if you want, just be prepared for him to try to sell you the position as my wife." I knew why he was so adamant about me getting married and having kids. He wanted to see some grandkids before he died. At one point, I couldn't really blame him. At another, I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't sure I'd ever be ready for that. I wasn't husband or father material.

"I'm sure I can handle that. My dad bugs me about getting married, too. He wants me to find someone worthy of taking over the company because he doesn't think I am. No matter how many times I tell him I'm never getting married or having kids, he won't drop it."

I took more breaks than usual to check on my dad. The foreman didn't like it, but after I told him what was going on, and that he could kiss my ass if he wanted to make a big deal out of it, he seemed to back off. He was an asshole that always seemed to have a stick up his ass. Leah smiled at me a few days later as she decided to try to piss him off. I rolled my eyes.

"Think that's really a good idea?" I asked.

"What? You'll back me up."

I crossed my arms. "I will?"

She nodded. "Yes, you will. He can't get mad at me for having to pee, can he?"

I chuckled. "No, but he can pissed at you for asking."

"So? He wants me to report my every damn move to him, I will." She started jumping up and down, waving her arms to get the foreman's attention. I took a step back and just watched as she embarrassed the shit out of herself. She asked him four times that day if she could use the bathroom. By the end of it, she was laughing so hard she could hardly keep her sides together.

"Did you see his face that last time I asked?" she said as we got ready to leave. I just shook my head at her.

"You want a ride home?" I asked. I wasn't sure why.

She sobered up and turned to me. "I'd like to, Jake, but I have to meet my parents for dinner later."

I raised my eyebrow, then I realized what she thought I was asking. "No, that's not what I meant. I need to get back and check on my dad. I was just asking if you wanted a ride."

"Oh. You . . . Jacob Black, were you trying to be nice to me?" She put her hands on her hips and smirked at me.

I chuckled. "My God, what is the world coming to?"

"An apocalypse, I guess. I would like a ride home, if you don't mind."

I pulled my shirt on. "If I minded, would I have asked?"

She shook her head and walked with me to the car. "No, I don't think you would have."


It was another three weeks before I finally took Leah to meet my dad. We still hadn't fucked yet. Her old man had set her up with a douche bag named Demitri, and she had to get rid of him before anything could happen. She didn't like him anyway. He tried to come around to the site a few times just to bug her, but she wouldn't let him. He tried pushing it a few times, and I always tried to let her handle it. It wasn't my place. Still, there was some strange, cold reaction in my gut when I watched him kiss her cheek. I got in the way a few times, and he never lingered when I did. He was a scrawny little dickhead; made me wonder why her dad thought he'd be good for her.

It seemed the more time I spent talking to her, the more I kind of liked her. I didn't like her, like her. Not like that. But I could put up with her more easily. I had to admit I wanted to fuck her. The woman turned me on when she argued with me. I couldn't even describe how messed up that was on more than one level, but she did. She was the only person I knew, aside from my dad, who would stand up to me when I was in a bad mood. She even had the audacity to question me about taking my medicine. The truth was that I'd forgotten to take it for a few days, but she didn't need to be sticking her nose there. She did it anyway, and nothing I said even came close to stopping her.

The first part of May, Leah finally got rid of the parasite, and we made a plan to let her meet my dad. I was surprised to find that I was nervous. It was only because I knew he was going to pull some awkward shit. I pulled into the driveway and hesitated for a second.

"Just remember that he's sick, okay? Sometimes he doesn't know what he's saying."

Leah rolled her eyes. "Whatever, Jake. Nothing your dad says is going to make me expect a ring, okay?"

"Okay."

We got out and headed into the house. I was a little surprised to see dad sitting up in his wheelchair, watching TV. He looked over at me when I walked in. His eyes flickered between Leah and me a few times before his face broke out in a huge smile.

"Hey, Dad," I said. I took Leah over to the couch and had her sit down. "Um, this is Leah. You said you wanted to meet her, so here she is. Leah, this is my dad, Billy."

"Well, it's about damn time," he said, turning himself to see us better. He reached out for Leah's hand. "How are you doing, sweetheart?"

She smiled a surprisingly gentle smile that fit the name Dad had given her. "I'm fine, thank you, Billy. How are you?"

"Oh, I'm still kicking. Searching for that bucket." He chuckled, but I didn't find anything funny about the comment. Leah glanced at me.

"Oh, well, let's hope you don't find it for a while."

Dad patted her hand and moved back. "Let's hope. What the hell took you so damn long, Son? She's beautiful."

"She's a friend."

He gave me a knowing look. "For now." He turned back to Leah. "He's stubborn."

She laughed. "I've noticed." I glared at her, but either she was purposely ignoring me or she really didn't notice.

"Anyone hungry?" I asked.

Dad smiled. "I could use something to eat. What about you, dear?"

I tried to keep my grumbling to a minimum. He was already trying to win her over. Leah nodded. "Sure. What've you got?"

Dad looked up at me. "Why don't you run and grab some hamburgers? I haven't had any in a while. Leah can stay here with me."

"Don't you think you should ask her if she wants to first?"

Leah didn't catch on. Or maybe she was trying to make my life hell. "I don't mind."

I wouldn't mind Leah staying so much if I didn't know my dad was going to bring out the big guns as soon as I walked out the door. Sob stories made to get her to pity not only his situation, but mine as well. I just prayed she was as strong with him as she was with me. I didn't think I could handle her if she started talking about dating and shit.

When I got back with lunch, they were still in the same position they had been in when I left; Leah on the couch and Dad in his chair beside it. They were both laughing about something, and I was suspicious immediately. Leah looked up at me for a second, then burst into laughter again.

"All right, what the hell is going on?" I set the bags down on the coffee table and sat next to Leah.

"You should watch your mouth when you're in the presence of a lady," Dad said. Didn't matter than he'd used the same word earlier.

"Whatever, Dad. What did you tell her?" I looked over at Leah. She was just starting to calm down.

"It was nothing, Jake," she said, still smiling. "He was just telling me how you used to snuggle with your teddy bears. It was cute."

My mouth dropped. "What the fuck, Dad?"

He shrugged. "You did. And like she said, it was cute."

"Leah, eat your lunch so I can take you home." I handed her the sandwich she'd asked for, then dug Dad's out.

"Oh, come on, Jake. Don't be like that."

I glared at him. "Don't be like what?"

Leah cleared her throat. "He's just being a proud dad." She put her hand on my arm, but I pulled away. "Don't be so sour."

I didn't say anything else. I'd known my dad was going to act like that; what was so damn surprising about any of it? When everyone was finished eating, I took Leah home.

"Jake, about earlier—"

"Just drop it. Don't apologize or wring it out, just drop it."

She nodded and touched my arm before she got out of the car. "Okay. See you later."

"Yeah."


A few days later, I was having a bad day. Dad kept going on about shit he had no business talking about, and everyone at work pissed me off more than usual. I damn near busted several tools, including a nail gun. I didn't know what the hell my problem was, but I was ready to throw my hands up and call it quits.

Leah came up at me at lunch. "Hard day?"

I scoffed. "You have no fucking clue."

She nodded. "So . . . do you want to come over for dinner tonight?"

I raised my eyebrow. "What, you mean your dad's not forcing to another bullshit company dinner?"

She shook her head. "Nope. I'm free tonight. What about you?"

"Just need to check on my dad, but other than that, I'm free."

"Good. I'll take the bus home tonight. Just come over when you're done with what you need to do, okay?"

I nodded, and she walked away. I could have imagined the way she moved her hips. Either way, my dick sure as hell liked it. Seemed things might be looking up. I sighed and went about the rest of my day. I went home after work, checked on Dad, grabbed a couple condoms, and left. He asked me where I was going, but I just replied, "Out." He didn't say anything else.

I knocked on Leah's door, eager to get this evening started. It had been a long time since I'd been with a woman, and I was definitely ready. She answered wearing an oversized t-shirt that came to the middle of her thighs with no pants. I raised my eyebrows as she stepped back for me to come in. My eyes kept straying to her legs. They were always sexy as fuck, but even more so when they were naked.

"So are you hungry at all?" she asked.

I nodded. "I'm fucking starving." I pulled her up close to me and kissed her. She whimpered and threw her arms around my neck. She broke the kiss, but I just went after her neck.

"That's not exactly what I—oh!" she gasped when I bit her hard. "What I meant."

"Shut up," I growled against her throat.

She pushed me back a little. "I invited you here for dinner, Jake."

"Don't fucking play with me, Leah. We both know what you invited me here for. I want dessert first."

She smirked. "Oh, all right. Do you plan on fucking me in the hallway?"

I looked around and found the nearest flat surface—the kitchen table. I picked her up, and she just held on until I set her down again. I grabbed her t-shirt and lifted it over her head. As I'd suspected, she was naked underneath it.

"Jesus Christ, Leah."

She rubbed my chest. "I have a confession, Jake," she said as her hands wandered down to my pants. I squeezed her tits. "There never was a rumor about us fucking; I made it up because I wanted you."

"You talk too much. Either shut your damn mouth or suck my dick."

She smirked at me as she sank to her knees. She worked my zipper, and I closed my eyes as she didn't even hesitate to start sucking. Fuck, but it felt good. The woman knew what she was doing, that was for damn sure. I wasn't sure she'd actually be able to, but she managed to deep throat me and take the whole damn thing. I held the back of her head tightly, pushing harder than I should have into her mouth.

"Fucking Christ, Leah," I groaned. With my dick all the way down her throat, she licked my balls, and my eyes rolled back into my head a little. She gasped for air when I pulled back, but didn't stop.

"Fuck my mouth, Jake," she said, looking up at me. I took hold of her head and shoved in, fucking her hard. It was such a goddamn turn-on to see her like this, my dick shoved so far down her throat she could hardly even breathe.

"Goddammit, Leah . . . Fuck, I'm going to cum."

She pulled back. "Cum on my face."

Was she fucking serious? I didn't care. I grabbed my dick and rubbed the shit out of it, holding her hair tightly with my free hand. I growled loudly as my release spilled in spurts all over her face. She licked her lips and sucked the last few drops out before she stood up. She grabbed her t-shirt and wiped herself off, then sat on the edge of the table.

"My turn, Jake. Make me cum." She spread her legs.

I was the kind of guy that usually got his woman off first, then worried about himself. I didn't give a shit that I'd cum before she did. I'd make it up to her. I got on my knees in front of her and slid my hands up her smooth thighs.

I ran my fingers over her already wet pussy, and she moaned a little. If she was this turned on already, it shouldn't be hard to give her an orgasm she'd remember for a while. I spread her lips with one hand and started off gently as I rubbed her clit. She whimpered and reached out to grab my hair. She tried to pull me close, but I smirked and went at my pace. I'd tease the fuck out of her before I gave her what she wanted.

"God, Jacob," she whined, her voice barely a whimper. "Just make me cum."

I shook my head. "Let me play with you, Leah." I moved faster, giving her just a little of what she needed. She gasped, and her body jerked. I smiled and pushed harder.

"Oh, my fucking God." She leaned back with one palm behind her supporting her as she reached up to play with her tit with the other. "Please . . ."

I was starting to get turned on again watching her move. Her stomach clenched a few times, and I could almost watch her pussy get wetter. She was writhing by the time I finally slipped a finger inside her. She was so wet it was easy to slip three inside her at once. I leaned forward and licked her clit, going at it hard and fast. I didn't even get three strokes of my fingers in before she moaned loudly and tightened around my fingers. The rush of wetness from her orgasm nearly made me lose it. I stood up and grabbed my dick again.

"You ready for me to fuck you?"

She nodded. I dug a condom out of my pants pocket and got it on, then I thrust into her pussy harshly. I didn't stop until she'd taken the whole damn thing. She moaned loudly and reached up to grab my neck.

"Fuck me hard, Jake," she begged.

I didn't hold back. I pushed against her as hard and fast as I could, holding her hips at the edge of the table so she wouldn't slip back. It was rocking back and forth and sounded close to breaking, but I didn't care.

"Jesus Christ, your pussy feels good," I growled, my teeth clenched.

She threw her head back with another loud moan and tightened her grip on my neck. When she tried to speak, it came out as a series of whimpers that I didn't even care to decipher. I couldn't help but feel a little cocky that I'd rendered her speechless. I was getting damn close to another release when her body started to tighten up again. Her moans got louder, and her squirms and wriggles got closer together. I pushed her knees further apart and held one leg out as I reached down and rubbed her clit hard and fast with my thumb. Her whole body jerked, and she cried out again.

"Cum for me again, Leah," I demanded. "Cum right now." As I pushed into her, I started to rub her clit with three fingers, flicking them across her little nub quickly. Her hand in my hair clenched into a tight fist, then suddenly she released. She damn near squirted on my dick, and the harsh clenching of her walls around me did me in. I pulled out of her and ripped the condom off to cum on her stomach.

I was spent. I sat down hard in one of the kitchen chairs and laughed breathlessly when she all but collapsed on the table.

"Holy Jesus fucking Christ," she mumbled a few minutes later. "Jacob, I have never fucked anyone as good as you."

I smirked. "You're not too bad yourself."

She lifted her head. "What do you mean 'not too bad'? I made you cum twice, didn't I?"

I chuckled. "Yeah, you deserve some credit there. You were pretty damn good, Leah."

"Don't you forget it." She dropped her head back down, and we both took a few more minutes to calm down. Once my heartbeat had returned to normal and I could move again, I got up and got my clothes back on. Leah sat up and picked up her shirt to clean up again.

"See you at work tomorrow."

She looked up at me, and I swear I saw surprise in her eyes. "Oh . . . um, yeah. See you later."

"What, did you expect me to stay?"

She shook her head. "Nope. Have a good night."

I left, and all the way home I told myself I didn't feel guilty for leaving. It would be pointless to even try anything with Leah; she wasn't looking for love, and neither was I. Fucking every now and then, I could handle. I wasn't going to put up with all the bullshit that dating required like pretending I actually liked the girl. Even if I did kind of like Leah.

Dad was sitting in his chair watching a movie when I got home. I said hi, got a response, and went to my room. I all but slammed the door and repeated in my head over and over again that I didn't like Leah more than I liked anyone else at the site. She was just convenient because she had a vagina. Somewhere, deep inside me, I couldn't even believe my own thoughts. I'd never treated a woman like I was treating Leah. My mother would be spinning in her grave if she knew I'd just done.

I sat on the bed and leaned forward, grabbing my hair. It didn't fucking matter. Mom was dead, Dad wanted shit he wasn't going to get, and Leah was convenient. That's all there was to it. With that thought, I got up to take a shower and wash off all the damn sex.


A/N: Sooo . . . was it what you were expecting? Jake's got a lot of inner shit to deal with, no? The next oneshot will include their trip to the Rocky Mountains mentioned in chapter 9 (Hanging) of Give Me a Sign. Not sure when it'll be done, but I'm working on it :)

You can listen to the playlist for this story by going to givemeasignplaylist . weebly . com /simple-design-playlist . html The link is also on my profile.