Look at me!
Jacob came racing out of the leech's house with an unreadable expression on his face. Then, he slumped to the ground and began to sob. His mask shattered, and the absolute heart-break on his face sent a sharp needle at my heart. Oh, Jacob.
"She didn't make it." Seth breathed, tears in his eyes. I reached for my brother's hand. Jacob's broken cries were getting louder. I could still hear Bella's blood-sucking husband working, trying to bring her back. His frantic pleading would have been devastating if he wasn't the one who started this whole soap opera. Jacob suddenly seemed to calm down. I didn't like that look in his eyes. He turned towards the house. He was going to kill the fetus. The thing Bella Swan had died to give life too. He was going to kill it.
Ordinarily I would have let him go. But now, I wasn't.
"Leah? What's he doing?" Seth was trotting quickly beside me, going silently after Jake.
"He's going to kill the fetus!"
"Seth! Use your brains! He's vastly outnumbered! You may not care if he gets killed over that stupid Swan girl, but I DO!" We'd entered the house. Finding Jake's scent, I made a silent dash for the living room. If they sensed we were here, then they'd kill Jake. I would NOT let that happen. When I came through the arch, I saw Jacob. He stood only a foot away, just staring at the baby. It was nestled in the arms of the blonde; Rosalie is what Carlisle had called her. (Carlisle was the only vampire I respected. He'd saved many lives with his abilities; as well as saved Jacob when he rescued me from my stupid attempt at heroics during the battle with the newborns.) The look of total hatred on Jacob's face stunned me for a second. It looked demented, wrong.
"What do you want Leah?" He hissed.
"Jake, you can't do this." I stood in between him and the oblivious blond. The fetus lay quietly watching us.
"Since when did you give a damn about any of the blood suckers?" Our voices were still hushed. The blond remained unmoving in her seat, as if the world had just stopped for her. Unbelievable; they boast about being better than us, and then go completely deaf. What happened to that marvelous hearing of theirs?
"I don't Jacob. But think about what you're doing. You are outnumbered. And the second you touch a hair on that thing's head, you're a dead man!'
Seth had finally caught up with me, and stood shell-shocked. I don't think he'd ever imagined he'd see his older sister stand between Jacob Black, and the vampires she hated so much. I gave a jerk of my head toward Jacob. Seth walked up behind him, putting a hand on his shoulder. Jake tried to shrug it off, but Seth clamped down hard.
"C'mon Jake, let's just go outside and talk this over. Then, if you still want to kill Bella's baby, then by all means, we'll let you."
I snorted. "Speak for yourself." We only managed to wrestle Jacob into another room. We were making such a racket I'm surprised the fetus didn't start shrieking.
"Let me GO!" He groaned in frustration.
"I don't want to hear it Leah!"
"Jake! Dude, no yelling we're in the middle of the Cullen's HOUSE." Seth shook his head and held a tan finger to his lips emphasizing the point that they needed to keep it down.
"I don't care Seth!" They began to squabble in quiet tones. I was annoyed. I had had MORE than enough!
"JACOB BLACK." I whisper-screamed. He jumped slightly and turned to me.
"Just let me go Leah." He walked towards the door, heading back in the direction of the fetus. But I beat him to the doorway. Standing in front of it, I crossed my arms.
"Leah…" His voice was deadly calm. "Get out of the way."
"No." I said. He thought I was just going to listen to him? Not a chance.
"Leah, don't make me hurt you." His eyes darkened. But I thought I saw a sliver of fear in his chocolate orbs.
"Well I'm not moving. So go on then, hurt me. It's not like I won't heal." I shot him a challenging look. Seth's head was shooting from side to side as if watching a tennis tournament and he didn't quite know which side he wanted to win.
"Leah, it killed her. Wouldn't you want to do the same if it was Sam?"
I wanted to take the words back the second I said them. We'd had an unspoken agreement. Leah wouldn't mention Bella's possible death, and I wouldn't mention Sam. So when I growled the words at her I felt a sharp pang of guilt. Her almost black eyes narrowed into slits. I could almost hear the thoughts in her head. So that's how you wanna play huh? Well fine!
I grabbed her forearms gently, and lifted her out of the way. But she kicked me in the stomach, sending me back a step, and I dropped her in the process. Ok. Maybe I had that one coming. She shot up from the wooden floor in a millisecond, back to where she'd been.
"Leah, Jake, please stop. The Cullens probably already know we're here, but still. Could you take it down a notch? Or better yet, all of us get out of here?"
I ignored Seth and spoke directly to the girl blocking the door to my revenge. Then, I spoke in a deadly whisper.
"Leah, that thing killed her. And even if I don't destroy it, I still have a promise to keep." I glanced at the ceiling where I could still hear Edward-no that blood sucking murderer trying desperately to revive the girl we'd both loved. I'd promised I'd kill him if she died. He'd asked me to do it. I wasn't going to back out on this promise. I'd promised Bella I would love her, protect her. Look how well that turned out. No, this promise was one that I was going to keep; and it was going to come with years' worth of revenge for stealing the human life Bella should have had. And yet, there stood Leah, guarding the door, blocking me from the only purpose I had left. She was guarding the exact same people (and I use that term loosely, I don't hate all the Cullens- Carlisle was practically a human, and who could hate Esme?)
"You're right Jacob." Leah's voice was quiet, sorrowful. "I would want to destroy them if they killed Sam. But I know for a fact they wouldn't." I stared at her in disbelief, gesturing wildly at the ceiling where you could still hear the now widowed Edward Cullen trying to revive his clearly dead wife. "Jake, if you go in that room, you will kill the being that Bella Swan gave her life for."
"I know that Leah! Why do you think I'm doing this?" Had she completely lost it?
"No Jake, you don't know. That girl, the girl you love," I heard the faint gasp of pain in her voice on the word. She still didn't like saying it. Her memories were still too fresh. "The girl lying dead up there, she was living for that thing sitting in Blondie's arms." After all this, she was finally using the name I had dubbed Rosalie with. I tried not to see the irony. "She was living for it Jake. Yes, she's dead. No disputing that. But knowing that she wanted it to live that should make you think. I heard her asking her husband not to hate it, no matter what happens. He said that he didn't think he could do that. The looks on her face Jake…" Her voice trailed off, as she bit her lip. I should be enacting my revenge. Yet hear I stood, spellbound in the middle of the Cullen's kitchen listening to the girl who used to annoy me to the ends of the earth.
"Leah…why do you care?"
Her eyes ignited with a sudden fire again. "Because you'll get yourself killed, and you won't even think about what you're doing!" The fire went out again. "Her face Jake, it was so sad. Just so sad. I never liked Bella. But getting yourself killed for a girl who isn't even alive anymore is just so stupid! She loved you Jake! She loved you…"
His eyes were so sad. To be honest, I was surprised. I was still standing in the doorway. And I was shaking. Why am I shaking? I had to get through to him. I had to!
"She loved you. Maybe not in the way you wanted, trust me I understand that." A flash of Emily and Sam forced its way in front of my eyes for a second. And then it was gone, and Jacob was staring at me, pain, sorrow, guilt, hatred, and was that empathy? Warring in his eyes. Maybe I was finally getting to him.
"Jake, she might not have loved you the way you wanted, but she loved you. You're lucky. If you walk in there and kill that fetus, then you don't just kill it and yourself."
"And who else do I kill?" Strike that. His rage was back. But I was sick of this. He had to think.
"You'd kill so many people Jake! So many people care about you! You may not care about anyone anymore, but people care about you! You have Billy; you have Paul, Sam, Embry and Quil! You have Seth, and Rachel!" I closed my eyes, holding back tears. "You have ME!" His eyes widened. What? Did he think I stayed with him this whole time when I could've gone off on my own for fun? I'm nothing if not loyal. He was a friend. He'd saved my life. Shoot me. I cared.
"Leah…I won't get killed."
"Jake, if you walk into that room, you're not going to be alone." I lifted my chin. "But if you don't mind, I would rather not die."
Leah Clearwater just said she cared. She cared about me. What the HELL is going on with the world. What's next? Emmett comes in dancing in a tutu? But as I listened, I understood some of the wisdom in her words. As I stared at her, I was more than a little stunned. Seth was hovering with astonished eyes the size of saucers. Leah was still there, in the doorway. But she was shaking. She was really shaking. As if any moment…no. Leah Clearwater didn't cry. She just didn't. It was some unwritten code of the universe.
"Jake, you've decided that your family is better off without you, but your family doesn't agree!" She bit her lip harder. I could see a faint trace of blood. Brilliant, blood in a vampire's house. If we hadn't been noticed before, we sure have been now. Even if no one's down here trying to stop us.
"Leah." I spoke quietly. She was right. I had a lot of people would miss me, care about me. But I'd heard the crack in her voice when she'd said Sam's name.
"Jake, if you have to go in there, let's go. But please just please don't kill it. Bella gave her life for it. And so many people would give their lives for yours. Have a little respect for those people Jake. Have a little respect." She was practically choking on her words. The tough Leah Clearwater was breaking down.
"Wha-what?" Seth jumped about 10 feet in the air.
"I won't kill it." I wasn't going to admit she was right of course. They could see that plainly for themselves. And I wasn't promising. I might lose my head out there and try to kill it. But at least I knew one person who would stop me, who would try to keep thinking. I think Leah sensed it wasn't a promise. But she accepted it. After regarding me in a probing way, she relaxed her stance, standing up straight and gave a sniff.
"You just want to look right? To get closure?" Seth was trying to keep things from boiling over the top. Sorry kid, the room flooded a while ago. The tension was so thick I felt like I was going to choke.
Leah continued to gaze at me in a strange way. Then, shaking her head, her short black hair swishing, she walked in her sandaled feet toward the living room. Turning once, she gave a faint smirk:
"Are you coming or not?"