A Friendly Agreement - and more if we feel like it
Chapter 5 : Angelina
Two weeks after the start of Leah and Jacob's 'partnership', Jacob received a call from Quil, one of his childhood friends, who was concerned about not having heard from him.
"Hi, Jake! Wanna come and play pool with us this evening, after work?"
"Uh... Sure, why not? I'm free tonight so that sounds good!"
"Great! I'll call Embry and Seth, and you better not cancel at the last minute, because I swear we will land at your house!" Quil warned.
"Don't worry, I swear I won't duck out this time!" Jacob replied, imagining his friend's face at that moment.
"Yeah, that's what you said last Friday," Quil muttered.
"Yeah, well, I was busy that day, but I'm free tonight!" Jacob sighed, wanting to dodge the subject.
"Okay, okay! You'll tell us all about your business tonight! Later, bro!"
Jacob was suddenly terrified by the idea of hanging out with Quil, Embry, and most of all Seth. He didn't know if it was wise to tell them about what happened between him and Leah. Besides, he didn't even know what was really happening between them. How could he explain to his friends that he had agreed to have a child with Leah without them actually being a couple?
Jacob sighed, clearly distraught about the situation. He knew that his friends would harass him until he told them the truth, but what there was between him and Leah was already complicated enough without his buddies sticking their nose into that mess.
He decided to call his 'partner', hoping she wouldn't be too busy to answer.
Leah didn't reply immediately, but called him back a few minutes later. She apologized profusely when he picked up and Jacob smiled as he heard her voice.
"I'm sorry, I had a client who was breathing down my neck..."
"It's okay, but if he's too clingy, you know I can always give you a hand, right?" he said half-jokingly.
"Well, that's nice of you, but I can defend myself. I think you're fully aware of that fact since the day we met!" she laughed.
"Yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday. I think I've never feared for my life as much as that day!" He made a face as he reminisced their first meeting, fourteen years earlier.
He was leaving a student party with a girl he'd met there. Unfortunately it wasn't to spend the night with her, far from it. She'd drunk too much and Jacob was afraid of leaving her all alone in such a state, so he'd offered to bring her back in her dorm room. What he didn't know then was that she was his future best friend's roommate. Leah had stayed in her dorm to review for an exam she would have the next day.
"Come on, you'll be alright. A few more meters and you'll be able to sleep or rather vomit in peace..." Jacob said as he walked towards their room, supporting the drunken girl.
Leah, who'd heard him and had recognized her roommate's faint voice, panicked instantly, thinking of the possibility that he'd try to take advantage of the situation, as any male student partying in their campus would. She grabbed a baseball bat, a gift from her mother so that she would be prepared to defend herself, and waited until he opened the door to rush at him and hit him several times.
"You big pervert!" she yelled while pummeling him.
Jacob fell to the ground and tried to protect himself as best as he could against that sudden attack.
"Hey! Ouch! Stop it! What are you doing?" he managed to cry between two shots.
"Aren't you ashamed to take advantage of a drunken girl?" Leah growled while her roommate had run into the bathroom.
Jacob looked at Leah like she was crazy.
"What are you talking about? I wasn't taking advantage of her; I was making sure that she'd be back in her room safe and sound!"
"It's true! He didn't even want me to kiss him!" Leah's roommate yelled from the bathroom.
Jacob got up and tried to fix his clothes.
"See? I am not one of these perverts or rapists lurking on the campus! I have never heard this one..." he grumbled, touching parts of his body where she'd struck him.
Not only the night hadn't ended as he'd hoped, but in addition he would find himself covered with bruises the next day. Leah looked down, ashamed.
"Sorry. I am a little... Paranoid. I hope I haven't done too much harm."
"No, it's okay, I've seen worse. Well, I think so." He grimaced as he touched his right flank where he had been hit several times.
"I– I apologize again." She picked up her jacket and put her jeans on. "I'm taking you to the ER, in case I would have smashed your coasts. You can never be too careful …"
Jacob found himself checking Leah out while she got dressed and he found her quite attractive, if he left aside her aggressive behavior.
"No, that's not necessary. I'm sure it's nothing," he countered.
"I'd be more reassured knowing that I haven't caused any internal bleeding to an innocent guy. And then I'll offer your breakfast! Please?" she insisted, giving him a contrite smile.
"Well… If the breakfast is offered in addition, I'm afraid that I have to accept..." he said, smiling shyly.
Leah's smile widened.
"Oh, by the way! If you fancy drag me to court for assault and battery, my name is Leah Clearwater."
"Got that, and you'll know it's a man named Jacob Black that may be one day behind all of your worries!"
"Unless I finish the job before, Jacob Black!" she retorted, winking at him playfully.
Jacob was about to leave the room when he glanced toward the bathroom, remembering Leah's roommate.
"Uh... Are you sure we can leave her alone?"
Leah rolled her eyes and knocked twice on the bathroom's door. Her roommate came out and flopped on the bed, still fully dressed. Jacob watched her lie down before reporting his attention on Leah.
"Yeah, I think she's safe, now," he admitted.
Leah posted up a smile and gently pushed Jacob toward the exit.
They arrived quickly at ER and after waiting a few minutes, a nurse guided them to a small room where a doctor would examine Jacob. Leah sat in a corner while her victim had settled on the auscultation table, an awkward silence heaving between them. After all, they were strangers and their encounter was really unusual.
"So what brings you here, Mr. Black?" the doctor asked as he finally came into the room.
Jacob threw a look to a grimacing Leah before answering.
"Uh ... Well, a young woman had mistaken me for a potential aggressor and I was beaten with a baseball bat."
The doctor finally raised his head to look at him, surprised.
«Oh! I see, but I must admit that they know how to protect themselves nowadays..." he joked. "Please take off your T-shirt and let me examine you."
Jacob did as he was told and found himself blushing, a little embarrassed as he was half naked in front of Leah. The girl gasped soundly, her eyes fixed on the young man well-shaped torso, and fell backward while trying to get up too quickly.
Jacob and the doctor turned their heads toward her, before the physician rushes to her to help her getting on her feet.
"Are you alright, Miss? Nothing hurting?"
"I'm good. Just a little bit sore on the abs– on my back!" she stammered, as red as a tomato.
"Sit down. Where exactly does it hurt?" the doctor asked, forcing her to sit back on the chair.
Jacob watched Leah in amazement. He thought that her attitude was very strange, but he didn't figure out what could have disturbed her. She looked away and told the doctor the area where the pain was located.
"It's nothing serious, no reason to worry", he reassured her there after having examined her before focusing back on Jacob. "Well, where were we?" he said, putting his stethoscope on the young man's chest. "Even if you are tall and built, you don't look like an aggressor. Take a deep breath… Good!"
He put his stethoscope around his neck and began to touch Jacob's ribs. Jacob winced at times.
"Don't worry. Your boyfriend has no broken ribs, just a few hematomas." The doctor finally said to Leah.
Jacob shot a panicked glance towards Leah as her cheeks darkened. She was about to protest, but she finally sighed and feigned a smile.
"Thank you, doctor. Can we go, now?"
The doctor wrote something before giving a prescription to Jacob.
"Yes, you'll have to take you anti-inflammatories and painkillers, and I advise you to put ice in places where you received the blows to reduce pain and to prevent the bruises. I'll let you get dressed; I have other patients to see. Hope I won't see you later!" he shouted happily before leaving them alone.
"God forbid!" Leah growled.
Jacob drew up the prescription sheet in his pocket before slipping his shirt on. Once dressed, he stood up and cleared his throat.
"See? It was nothing, but still… Thanks for staying with me all along."
"You're welcome. Do you want to go home and put ice on your bruises, and I'll bring you back the breakfast a little later? Or are we eating at IHOP directly?" Leah suggested.
"I'll care about my bruises later, the attack made me hungry!" he joked.
"Let's clear off quickly, then! I'm hungry too and hospitals make me sick, no pun intended!" She smiled.
She drove Jacob to IHOP, and they did get to know each other between two pancakes, that moment starting their friendship that had endured so far.
Leah's voice brought him back to Earth.
"Hey! Jake! Are you there?"
"What? Uh... Sure, I'm here, sorry. What were you saying?"
"I asked you if you had a particular reason to call me, or is it because you missed me?"
"A bit of both, actually," he answered hoarsely.
"Oh, come on! I'm sure you can live a day without me!" Leah teased.
"I try, I swear I try, but it's so hard!" He replied half-heartedly.
"Do you want go to the movies with me, then? Like that, you'd be able to see my wonderful body as you want before being able to touch it tomorrow?" She smirked.
"I'd love to, really, but I'm already taken this evening and I was calling you exactly because of this," he stuttered.
"Don't tell me you wanted my permission to go out!"
"No, that's not it. Quil and the others invited me to a pool game, but... They noticed that I'm taking less time to hang out with them and they're beginning to wonder why. I would certainly have to face a serious cross-questioning –"
"And you want us to restrain our sessions so that they won't harass you, right?" she asked, nervous to hear his answer.
"No! No, that's not what I – I was just wondering what I could tell them exactly about… Us."
"Oh! Um, I already told Seth I was trying to have a baby, but I didn't go into details, so… I think it would be better if we don't tell them that… We are seeing each other... Naked... You know –"
"Yeah, I see," he whispered, a little disappointed that she wanted to keep their relationship a secret. "But they will want to know what I'm doing when I'm not with them, and also with who I am!"
"Well, just tell them you have a No String Attached Partner, and if they ask for details, you'll tell them that she's a brunette and that her name is Angelina!" she sneered.
Jacob laughed and shook his head.
"Okay, then, 'Angelina'. Tomorrow night? My house? I'll cook."
"Hmm… A dinner at your house is very tempting. What time?"
"At 7. Sounds good?"
"Sounds perfect. You want me to bring anything?"
"Just bring your amazing body," he joked.
"Ok, then… See you tomorrow!" she whispered huskily.
Jacob swallowed as his desire to see her intensified.
"And don't screw anyone, tonight!" she said half-jokingly, inwardly nervous. She always dreaded the moment when he would find someone more interesting than her and who would make him end their arrangement.
"I'm the wisest of this partnership, you should know it!" Jacob smiled.
"You better, because I'm not willing to share," she replied before hanging up, letting him no time to react.
Jacob froze for a moment, surprised by Leah's last sentence, but he couldn't add anything as he heard the tonality meaning she'd hung up. He shook his head and smiled widely, happy that she'd showed a certain possessiveness with him. He secretly hoped that her reaction proved that she cared enough about him to consider an exclusive relationship in the future.
The day ended without incident, though he hadn't really been able to get his head straight on his work after that phone call, his mind constantly thinking about Leah and their next 'appointment'. Once back home, he showered, changed and went to find his friends at the little bar where they used to go when they wanted a man time.
Quil, Embry and Seth were already playing pool. Quil was the first to see his friend.
"Finally, the great Jacob Black deigns to honor us with his presence!" He sneered.
"We were starting to get desperate," Seth added.
"When I listen to you, you'd think that we hadn't seen each other since months, guys!" Jacob sighed as he rolled his eyes.
"Still, we've missed you!" Quil replied. "Two weeks of partying without the King of Partying, this isn't really partying!"
"Yes, well, the king of Partying is seriously thinking putting back his crown!" Jacob smiled.
"What? You can't be serious!" Embry frowned.
"It might be the time, at 34, to raise our foot a little, in my opinion."
"Where's the camera?" Seth growled, looking around the room.
"Hey, chill out! You act as if I said an enormity, but we must face things as they are: we are too old for this!" Jacob replied.
"So what? You got up one morning by telling you 'I am 34, I'm too old to get drunk, to fuck around and to hang out with my friends'?" Quil asked, suspicious.
"No, but I'd thought about this for a long time and, actually, I don't feel like spending all my free time like that anymore. Don't you ever want to, I don't know, settle down? To raise a family, to have something stable with a woman?
"I was sure there was a chick involved behind that!" Embry exclaimed. "You did the same when the Viper was around!"
"That so not cool, Jake!" Seth whimpered. "You sound like an old and desperate man. Worse, you talk like my sister!"
Jacob shuddered at the mention of Leah, but didn't show anything.
"Maddison isn't a viper, and I speak as a 34 years old guy should speak", he replied calmly. "It's true! Don't you have had enough to behave like when we were in college?"
"This question isn't addressed to me!" Seth launched. "I am way younger than you and I'm still in college!"
"What's wrong with wanting to have fun?" Embry asked.
"I'm not saying it's wrong, but I think in my case, I get to a stage where I need something else. That's all." Jacob sighed, sitting down.
"Okay, we get it. You're facing a midlife crisis, it happens to everyone," Quil intervened while sitting near him. "But until you find something else, you might as well go on as before, right?"
"Tomorrow we will go clubbing!" Embry added. "Come with us, it will do you good, you'll see!"
"No. Sorry guys, I'm already taken –"
"Again?" Seth whined. "You were already taken yesterday!"
Jacob sighed loudly, remembering the excuse that Leah had suggested.
"Well, if you want to know, I have a NSA sex session three times a week, so yes, I was taken yesterday and I will also be tomorrow, sorry."
"I told you that there is a chick behind it!" Embry yelled triumphantly.
"My, my! Looks like you're having a lot of fun!" Quil exclaimed, laughing. "So, spill the bean! Is she a great deal?"
Jacob smiled, noting that his friends would never change.
"Yes, she is, Quil. Happy, now?" he said, hoping Quil would give up there.
"No! I want to know everything! What's her name, where she comes from, how you met her, if she has sisters! Everything!" Quil insisted.
Jacob closed his eyes and sighed once again, knowing he wouldn't let him go easily.
"Fine! Her name is Angelina, she is a brunette, we met two weeks ago during a party, and no, she has no sister. You'll have to find girls like a big boy!"
"You went to a party without us?" Seth noted, hurt filling his tone.
"Who cares, Seth? The lucky bastard has found an NSAP!" Embry marveled.
"He's definitely lucky, for sure! Sex as long as you want without feelings, it is every guy's dream..." Seth conceded sadly.
"Yeah, that's the dream," Jacob repeated, partially relieved by Embry's intervention, but still confused by Seth's remark.
Quil frowned as he saw Jacob's reaction.
"Oh you, you're smitten!"
Jacob turned his head towards him, surprised.
"What? No! No! I don't know what's on your mind right now, but it's not like that!"
"Let me think… Your sudden urge to question your way of life and to start a family, the way you let your mates down for a sex session, even on days when you aren't fucking… Is it enough for you?" Quil quipped.
Jacob opened his mouth and closed it several times, not knowing what to say. He knew that Leah was affecting his mind and that deep inside he'd like to deepen their relationship, but to hear his friends pointing that out so easily was highly disturbing. Seth was about to tease Jacob, smiling, but it faded when he saw the last person he wanted to see entering into the bar.
"You've got to be kidding me!" he muttered.
Jacob followed his gaze and saw Leah near the bar counter. He didn't immediately realize that she wasn't alone as his attention was solely focused on her and a small smile appeared on his face unconsciously. Leah immediately spotted Jacob and smiled back at him. Then she turned to the man who accompanied her before walking to her friend's table.
N/A: Sorry for the agonizing delay, but Leilani had lost this account password and she couldn't find it until yesterday.
Now we're back in tracks and we hope that you've liked reading more about Jacob and Leah's past.
Thanks a lot for the feedback and the interest you have in this. It really means a lot to us.
We're still looking for a beta for this story, so if someone is interested, just send us a PM!
Much love from France and the FWI!
Leilani & Supergirl.