|The Last Call
Author: Vivid Fox PM
Suze can't forget her troubled past with Paul, or her old regrets with Jesse. Years have gone by and now their meeting seems inevitable as they join an organization to rid the world of unwanted ghosts. Seems like more than the past will haunt Suze.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Susannah S. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 94,004 - Reviews: 198 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 33 - Updated: 10-03-12 - Published: 10-11-05 - id: 2615064
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey my lovely readers and reviewers,
Thank you for keeping up with my story and encouraging me to write more. It inspires me to continue and it's always great to hear some feedback!
This is a big chapter for you, to make up for the slow updates!
Some of these memories from Suze and Paul's 'memory sharing' shifting lessons, are from earlier chapters. If you forget all what happened, or the flashback are confusing, then just refer back to them! (chapters 2 and 3, primarily, I think.)
Now, on with chapter 14...
"I know it was you." Danny said dangerously.
"Oh really? Good luck with that." Paul said easily and started walking away. But then Danny lunged at him. … Oh, crap.
Chapter 14: The Past is Present
Danny lunged at Paul and grabbed two fistfuls of Paul's button down shirt, drawing him close.
"I'm not letting you get away with this Slater!" he growled. Paul pushed Danny off of him,
"You are as delusional as you are pathetic." Paul spat back angrily. Danny shoved Paul back,
"Fuck you! It was you. We all know it." Danny said.
"Like I already said, I could care less." Paul drawled lazily.
"Of course you care!" Danny yelled, "You just can't stand me and Suze getting closer."
"You're ridiculous." Paul laughed, "You two deserve each other." He said in a mean way, flicking his cold eyes to me.
"It is suspicious Paul..." I said.
"Damn right it is!" Danny said. "You can't stand to see her happy with me!"
"Agian, why would I care?" Paul asked, and I was thinking the same.
"You are in love with her!" Danny roared.
Everything got silent.
My eyes were wide,
"I don't think that's the case." I sputtered. Paul was definitely not in love with me, for several reasons and to me, that was clear.
Paul burst out laughing meanly and raised his eyebrows sceptically at Danny.
"Really? Been there, done that. You can keep her." He said. Ouch. My pride and feelings were hurt, but thanks.
"You made your point Paul." I said, a little angry that he was so callous about me.
"You don't fool me." Danny said, still standing his ground.
"Oh I don't?" Paul asked, amused.
"You don't." Danny said, his hands turning to fists.
"Look, let's just call it a night..." I began, noticing that the tension between them was not going to go away.
"Yes, you have a lot of flowers to re-plant, better get to it." Paul said, smiling.
Danny threw a punch as quick as lightning, hitting Paul in the jaw.
"-the fuck!" Paul yelled, grabbing his jaw, his eyes wide with rage.
Paul lunged at Danny, grabbed his shirt and winded up to take a swing at him but I had had enough. I used my shifter powers and blasted them apart with energy. They both landed fifteen feet away from each other, with an "OOF!" as they hit the ground.
"Enough!" I yelled in annoyance. "This isn't going to accomplish anything."
The boys got up fairly quickly.
"But Suze-" Danny began but I cut him off,
"We have no proof Danny. I just... stop fighting." I said, rubbing my aching head from using shifting powers.
"At least our lessons are going to good use!" Paul said with a wink. Ugh, I wish I had punched him instead.
"I'm going to bed." I deadpanned and walked away.
Danny caught up with me fairly quickly,
"I seriously cannot stand him Suze." He said darkly.
"I get it, I do. But we need to be the bigger person in this." I said. "And we don't really know if it was him."
"It was." He said. "He can't get over you."
"Danny, Paul's moved on. And so have I. Trust me on this." I said. He remained silent on the way back inside, he was so stubborn.
"I'm going to bed, I'll see you tomorrow okay? Don't go chasing after him please." I said.
"I won't" He chuckled. "But only because you asked nicely."
I smiled back at him and kissed him lightly on the lips.
"It really was beautiful while it lasted." I said, and headed off to sleep.
I didn't sleep well. Dreams of broken greenhouses and drowning in pools filled my head. Nightmare after nightmare, I awoke in a sweat every time only to lull back into another one.
At one point I was standing in the beautiful greenhouse, when it was still intact, lights twinkling and flowers bloomed. Then the windows started to crack, the flowers slowly started to rot and the lights burst into darkness one by one until I was left in nothing but blackness.
The same eerie blackness from my dream the other night, with the same voice…
"I see you." the same dark voice said again.
"Then come get me!" I snarled, trying to sound brave.
A thunderous laugh came back at me.
"Is that a challenge?" the voice asked teasingly. It chilled me to the bone.
"Come and see then." I said, gritting my teeth and staring into the darkness.
"I will end you." It answered in amusement.
"I'm not afraid." I retorted. But I was. Something about this was not right. My bones were chilled and my heart was hammering. Something was telling me to run. It took most of my courage to stand tall.
"You should be, little lamb." The voice said, and a sudden pain hit my head like a knife plunging into my skull. It was like the most horrible of migraines. I tried my best not to scream, but I fell to the floor with the weight of it.
"You are no match for me. My little lamb for the slaughter." The voice said almost soothingly, babying me.
"You don't know me!" I screamed, trying to get up.
"I see you." the deep voice said before I woke up with a gasp. My head throbbed again.
I took a long hot shower and scrubbed extra hard on my body, willing the chills to go away. I was getting sick of the nightmares.
I got dressed in blue jeans and a pink v-neck sweater, hoping to up my mood. My dark hair was long and wavy, my green eyes were shiny. But even good makeup was not able to hide the darkness under my eyes from lack of sleep and stress. Or the faded purple marks on my throat from Dean's attack.
I slumped downstairs to go find something to eat, barely talking to anyone I made contact with.
I ate quietly in the corner, Aimee was sitting nearby and reading a book cheerfully, which suited me fine because I was in no mood to talk to anyone.
Shannon, Paul and Nate were sitting at a table laughing about something or other. I got up to clean up my things when Paul called out to me,
"Hey Simon! Lesson later?" He said, putting his arm around Shannon in a relaxed manner. Shannon grimaced slightly and moved out of his grasp. She looked a little off put, probably a little pissed that Paul and I were even having shifter lessons to begin with but I'm sure Paul reassured her it was for the good of the team.
Still, she looked annoyed and I was tired. Plus I had my suspicions about the greenhouse too and didn't really want to spend any time with him. I looked to his hands, which were now dirt free but still had little cuts on them.
He glanced down to what I was looking at, and looked back up to me, glaring. He was daring me with his eyes to ask him. Confront him about the greenhouse so he could argue me. Well, I was too tired for that crap.
"No, I'm good today." I said, faking a smile at him. He saw right through it, of course.
"Yeah, right. I'm finishing up breakfast now, let's go." He said, getting up from the table.
"She said she was good Paul. You tire her out." Shannon said, grabbing his shirt. "I mean, look at her under eyes. You can tell." She pointed out, and I touched my dark eyes insecurely.
"I think she looks great!" Nate said, brushing his shaggy hair out of his eyes. I gave him a grateful smile.
"I'm busy anyways." I lied quickly.
"Doing what?" Paul asked, not buying it for a second.
"Uh… Jesse!" I said, seeing Jesse walk by with Marcus.
"Doing Jesse?" Paul asked dryly and Nate chuckled.
"Yes! Wait, no! I'm investigating today with Jesse." I said, grabbing onto his arm and pushing him out the kitchen before he could even speak. "Mrs. Hackteur's orders! Later!" I said and quickly ran out with a small laugh.
"What are we doing?" Jesse asked in amusement at me.
"Escaping Paul." I said with a smile, leading him away.
"Sounds like a plan Susannah." Jesse said with a laugh.
We walked around the mansion leisurely, it was nice just to spend time with Jesse. Yet again I was letting my head and time fill with other people, like Danny, and it was nice to spend time with my best friend.
Things weren't exactly clear with us, our relationship I guess, or feelings? But it was more clear than anyone else in my life.
We ventured into a playroom where there was old toy blocks, a little slide, books of all natures and little tinker toys and teddy bears. I guess this was the kid's old toy room.
Everything had a thin layer of dust on it. It was depressing, but there was a huge window looking out into the sunshine outside so it was nicely inviting in a way too.
Jerry showed up as if on cue, running to some blocks and grabbing them to play.
"Hey Jerry, those are some cool blocks." I said warmly. He looked over to me and smiled a toothy grin.
"Thanks." He said proudly and kept playing. Jesse and I sat with him as he was building a house.
"So, say you were building this house." I said, "And… these teddy bears lived here." I grabbed a couple stuffed bears. "There would be you…" I grabbed a little bear and fluffed it against his face and he giggled. "And Gwen," I said carelessly throwing a teddy bear behind my shoulder. "And Dean," I said, strangling a bear until Jesse took it away from me with a frown. "And mom and dad bear?" I asked, giving him two bears.
"Yeah." He said, taking the bears and gazing at them, thinking hard.
"So where are they? Do the play with you?" I asked soothingly.
"No." He said putting the bears down, knocking his blocks down in frustration.
"Why?" I questioned.
"They can't. They aren't here." He mumbled.
"Where are they?" I asked.
"In hell." He answered simply.
I tried not to gasp and Jesse looked at the boy in concern.
"Why would you say that Jerry?" Jesse asked.
"Because…" Jerry said, fidgeting with his shirt. "Dean and Gwen said so."
"Well don't believe them!" I said exasperated. "They are complete idiots!"
Jesse shot me a look, "Maybe they are confused." He said nicely.
"No. Pastor says it too." Jerry said.
"What?" I asked. Jerry sighed like this was all so boring and taking time out of his playing.
"Pastor said! They killed themselves and so they went to hell. If you kill yourself you go to hell." He explained to us the best he could.
"Jerry, I don't think it works that way…" I said. "Trust me, I'm a mediator. I don't think the afterlife, or whatever it's going to be, works so black and white."
Jerry shrugged. "As long as they are together. They kept fighting and but now they are together." He said.
"Why were they fighting?" I asked.
"Grown up stuff." Jerry said shrugging. He raced over to play with old toy soldiers in the middle of the room.
"Maybe we should stop pushing him with questions." Jesse said, looking at Jerry sadly.
"But we are no where without any other evidence." I said. "I don't like it either Jesse but we can't stay in this mansion forever! One of us is really going to get hurt or worse. Dean and Gwen won't stop."
Jesse nodded his head in agreement but remained silent.
I walked over to Jerry and sat down, cross legged, looking at him play. I picked up one of the metal toy soldiers, admiring it.
"This is pretty cool." I said smiling.
"Really cool." He said. "My grandpa gave them to me."
"My step brothers had some toys like these." I said, thinking of Dopey and Sleepy's old army toys they had packed up in boxes. They didn't play with them anymore but I'm sure they used to when they were Jerry's age.
Though I'm sure Jerry's were much older, considering they were his grandpa's, and Jerry was a fifty year old or so ghost, though he was forever like, five.
"You have brothers?" He asked, his eyes wide in question.
"Yes!" I said. "Three!"
"Do you like them?" he asked. I laughed,
"Sometimes, sure. Sleep, Dopey and Doc. That's what I called them. Oh never mind, that was after your time." I said.
"I know Snow White." Jerry giggled.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is from the 1800's." Jesse said to me. "The Disney movie came out in 1937. Disney? Is that how you pronounce that? Disney?" he said to himself.
"Uh, yeah, well they are dwarves alright!" I said and Jerry giggled.
"What about your siblings?" I asked.
"Umm, they are okay." Jerry said. "They used to be fun. But now they are boring. And angry all the time."
"Why?" I asked.
"Who knows." Jerry sighed dramatically. "Mom mad, Dad mad, sister and brother mad!" He said.
"You can't remember?" I asked.
"No." He said, and continued to play. I sighed and let him at it, I didn't want to push him any further and he clearly didn't know.
I walked over to Jesse.
"Well it's not much but it's something." I said, shrugging.
"Yes querida." He said smiling warmly.
"I need to get out of this house." I said. "Want to walk around town with me?" I asked.
"You will be talking to air, to others, you know this yes?" He asked with a laugh.
"I don't care." I said defiantly. He smiled at my gratefully and we turned to say bye to Jerry.
But Jerry was gone and his toys were back in the same positions as when we came in, a thin layer of dust on all of them.
A couple hours later, Jesse and I walked back into the front doors, smiling broadly and happily. We had spent a great day walking around town, trying local food (well, I was eating it and he was laughing at me mostly) and enjoying each others company.
We had ran into Marcus, Aimee and Hannah at a small outdoor restaurant and I filled them in on what little I had gotten out of Jerry.
Marcus seemed to think it was very important at least. He explained that perhaps why we weren't finding any information on the sprits in the old newsprint we were researching in, was because perhaps the small town a had looked down upon suicide as blasphemy and destroyed any records of the family, at least back in the day.
So what could we do? We needed more answers somehow.
I needed to talk to Paul, of all people, so I gave Jesse and quick hug and left to go find him.
Him and Shannon were playing pool in the games room.
"Working hard?" I asked sarcastically.
"And you were?" Paul asked, helping Shannon with a shot as she giggled gleefully.
"Yes actually." I said briskly. "I need to ask you something though."
He stopped playing and looked at me, his eyebrow raised.
"Well this is a first." He said. "Admitting you need help."
"Oh Paul, stop being a brat." Shannon said, rolling her eyes playfully and plopping her tiny butt down on a couch.
"Alright Simon, shoot." He said, flashing a smile.
"The whole… mind melding thing. Memory sharing." I said, glancing over at Shannon as she played on her phone. "You know." I said. I didn't know why I was being so cryptic but the memory seeking shifting thing seemed so personal that I didn't really want Shannon getting all jealous or whatever over it.
"Yes? Round two?" He asked.
"No." I dead panned. "I was wondering if… How could I use it on others… spectral matters specifically." I said, chewing my bottom lip.
"Ah, want to see into old Jesse boy's past eh? See if he got the old herp from some feisty brothel girl? Wondering if ghost STDs can be given to you? Is that it?" He joked.
"What the fuck." I said, grossed out.
"No, no, Jesse wouldn't be into whores like that. No, it would be Danny right? I'm sure he gave you a couple things." He found himself so damn amusing. I almost grabbed the pool stick and stuck it into his eye, it was so tempting.
"Ok. No. You're a freak." I said exasperated. Shannon was giggling at a youtube video on her phone, I swear I wanted to clunk their heads together and walk away.
"I need to see some memories from Dean or Gwen" I said.
"Why not Jerry? He'd at least be cooperative. And not strangle you." He pointed out.
"He doesn't remember!" I said. "I talked to him. I think he blacked it out or something. He is just a child, I think it was all very traumatic and he has it blocked from his memory, or erased, I don't know. I'll just take my chances with the others."
"No, you won't." Paul said. "They will kill you."
"Let's see them try." I said.
"Um, yeah, and he almost did. Until I saved you. Remember?" He said dryly.
"Stop being so difficult Paul!" I said in annoyance.
"You!" He exclaimed. "Going to kill yourself for what?"
"To understand them! To get them to move on!" I nearly yelled.
We glared at each other stubbornly and heatedly.
"Did I miss something?" Shannon asked, staring at us over her phone.
"Look, you need to be touching them remember?" Paul said. "I doubt they are just going to sit with you and let you hold hands."
"I'll figure it out." I said briskly and turned to walk out.
"Suze you aren't doing this!" Paul yelled after me.
"Watch me." I said.
And he got to. Accidentally of course. But I was angry. Angry enough to go find those ghosts.
I ran into Danny along the way, almost ran over him actually.
"Woah! Suze. Where you stomping off to?" He quipped in his accent.
"Find those damn ghost." I muttered.
"Without help? Really?" He asked.
"Fine, then come help me." I said. He didn't need to be asked twice.
We walked around the mansion, looking for signs or feelings of ghosts.
"Maybe they just don't want to be found right now." He said.
"Well too bad." I said with gritted teeth.
"What's wrong? You seem… angry. You still mad 'bout last night?" He asked.
"No." I said honestly, as we walked into the same room school room that Jesse and I had once been in. The exploded marble globe was still on the floor. I thought of Jesse's hand on mine as we had looked at the globe together and I blushed for a second.
"I'm just tired today. I had a horrible sleep." I said.
"Sorry to hear that." He said genuinely. "You usually sleep bad?"
"No, I'm okay. But nightmares all night. I… I've been having this reoccurring dream. This… voice. And darkness." I tried to explain. "Never mind, it's stupid."
"Voice?" Danny asked, looking slightly alarmed.
"I don't know. Some voice. I see you." I said in an imitation and laughed. "It's scarier, I assure you." I said.
"Are you sure?" He asked, looking uncomfortable.
"I'm just being a baby." I said. "Don't worry about me so much." He shrugged but looked deep in thought. I felt bad for bringing it up.
"It's sweet though." I said, leaning into him and smelling his cologne. "That you worry." I looked up into his hazel and eye and kissed him softly on the lips. He smiled and kissed back.
A slow clap was heard across the room.
"How cute." Dean said, slowly clapping at us.
I glared at him with no words.
"What's wrong Susie?" He asked mockingly.
"Oh you don't remember the last time you saw me you tried to kill me?" I said with venom.
"I would have let go." He said, in reference to him choking me out.
"No. No I don't think you would have. I saw it in your eyes. I think you, you and Gwen, are getting worse and worse. When ghosts have hate in their hearts, and revenge in their minds. They get worse and worse as the years past. You may have let go in the past, but the present? No. Now you're too far gone. You're a killer now." I said.
He flinched as if I has slapped him.
"No I'm not." He said angrily.
"Yes. You threw a knife at Hannah. You killed her." I said.
"She was a ghost anyways!" He yelled.
"You didn't know that at first." I said. Dean looked dishevelled for a moment, which was unusual since he was usually gorgeously put together.
"I didn't…" He trailed off, looking momentarily scared at himself. What he was becoming.
"I'm not like her!" He yelled at me suddenly.
"Like who?" I asked but our conversation was cut off when Paul and Shannon ran in.
"Jesus Suze, we've been looking for you everywhere!" Paul said in annoyance. "Off to go fight ghosts on your own! What a genius!"
"She has me actually." Danny said, looking at Paul with hate in his eyes.
"Oh, much better." Paul said snidely.
"Look Dean," I interrupted them. "You're just going to get worse and worse. You and Gwen. What about Jerry. Think about him. He misses you. Old you." I said.
"You know nothing. Don't speak of him." Dean said, getting himself collected again. "You and your little mediator group needs to leave before I put you in the ground." He said calmly with a smile on his face.
"It'd like to see you try." Danny said stepping forward, Paul did as well. This was all slipping through my hands.
"Guys…" I warned but it was too late. Dean was using his powers to throw books and chairs at them, and Paul was doing the same. Danny was dodging what he could to get at Dean.
"Goddamn boys." Shannon said rolling her eyes and I felt the same.
This was going to get no where and people were going to get hurt.
But what could I do? I needed to know the past. I needed to know.
So I did the most insane thing. As Dean was distracted by Paul and Danny's antics, I marched up to him, grabbed him firmly by the shoulders (which surprised him to say the least) and kissed him hard against the lips.
The books, tables and chairs fell to the floor. I concentrated the best I could, and with his momentary shock, I let myself into his mind. Or memories at least.
We were in the mansion, it must have been Christmas because the whole place was decorated with beautiful garland and bells and bows. A eighteen foot Christmas tree stood in the tall foyer, gifts underneath spilling out everywhere. Obviously they sparred no wealth.
Dean and Gwen, though much younger but easily recognizable with their dark hair and big blue eyes were gleefully tearing open presents. A baby boy with bright blonde hair, Jerry, sat in a beautiful women's arms. She was elegant with a long, dark red dress on.
She had her dark hair in perfect ringlets and a ruby necklace (the necklace I wore to Hannah's birthday actually) around her neck. She was beaming at her family before her.
What I would only guess as the Father was standing, gazing at his wife with adoration. His crisp black hair and moustache stood out on his face, and he rubbed little Dean's head playfully.
I watched them, and felt their happiness inside of me. Present time Dean watched as well, he didn't ask or bother me to what was going on. He was so entranced by the memory. By seeing his parents finally after fifty years. Feeling such happiness I'm sure was so long forgotten.
Suddenly the memory was gone and we were upstairs, and a different time. Dean in the memory looked to be almost the same age as he was now, maybe more so a teenager, but probably a heart breaker for sure as he was now already handsome as ever.
He was standing with Gwen, listening at a slightly open doorway to what I was guessing was his parent's room.
"No Joan I don't understand." A voice said harshly. It was their father talking to their mother.
"Please Robert." She said. "It was a mistake."
"A mistake? You slept with another man!" He thundered. "It's unforgivable!"
"Please!" She wailed.
"My child…" Robert said, catching his breath. "How long was this going on for?" He demanded.
"I don't know." She said timidly.
"How long?" He yelled, shaking her.
"Years ago! It ended Robert. It was a mistake I told you." She screamed as if in pain.
"Years?" He said. "And Jerry?" He asked. She remained silent.
"Is he mine?" He asked gruffly.
"I don't…" She breathed. Sorrow filled his face.
"He's not." He said, tears spilling down his face. "I know. He looks nothing like me." He said, and I thought of Jerry's blonde hair and freckled skin, in comparison to the rest of the family's dark hair and perfectly snow complexion.
"You raised him! Of course he is yours!" She wailed.
"No! He isn't! you lied!" he shouted. Gwen and Dean looked at each other in pure horror.
"Dean… Gwen… what are you doing here? Go back to bed. It's alright." Joan said realizing they were there, and looking at them with a tear stained face. Robert looked away shamefully.
The memory was disappearing but I needed to know more. I thought of them fully, hoping that I would plunk a memory from Dean that I wanted and it worked.
We were at a funeral. Or the end of one at least.. It was drizzling out and pitiful. Present Dean was staring at a grave in shock. It read "Robert Willow" on it. Memory Dean was sitting nearby.
I listened to the pastor talking to Joan, who was crying at him as the kids sat alone on a bench.
"We need to save his soul!" She was screeching.
"There is nothing we can do Mrs. Willow." he said, patting her arm. "He knew the cost of his soul when he committed suicide." I wanted to punch the pastor. I mean, who tells that to a grieving wife?
"No!" She screamed. "It's all my fault! He was miserable the past few years. You saw! We all saw! He could barely smile. He hated me. For what I did." She cried to him and we stood there awkwardly nodding.
The memory slipped away and I tried to hold on to something. Present Dean looked over to me in the memory.
"What…?" He asked, as if finally noticing me for the first time. Crap, I needed to find out the rest fast.
Suddenly we were back at home, in his mother's bedroom.
"Come play with me!" Jerry was singing, jumping up and down on the bed.
"No… mama's tired." Joan said. She was laying in bed, staring off into the distance. She looked horrible. Sickly. Her eyes here dark rimmed and her skin was yellow and taunt. Her hair was thin and she had no smile. She was so different than the beautiful woman from the Christmas memory.
"Come on Jerry, let's go." Dean said, grabbing Jerry's hand. "Mother is sick."
"She has the cold?"Jerry asked.
"More in her head." Dean said. "The doctors call it depression." he said, looking over to her and she remained silent. "You know I quit college to come back home right?" he said and she didn't reply."To help you." he stressed. She ignored him. Dean sighed in frustration and took Jerry away.
The next memory happened in a matter of seconds. Dean, Gwen, Jerry and Joan in a car driving somewhere. Suddenly lights blinding and screaming. Then it was gone and darkness remained.
Present Dean looked at me in the darkness. I looked at him, eyes wide with tears.
"I'm sorry." I mumbled.
"Get me out of here." He said tonelessly.
I awoke us from the memory seeking, back to reality, back to the study room, back to my lips still on his. I stepped away quickly.
He looked at me, with no more emotion left in him.
"She drove us into an oncoming train." He said. And the room was completely silent.
"She was depressed, suicidal, like dad. Drove us into a train. She wanted to die and take us all with her to see dad. Guess it didn't work." He said, gesturing to himself.
"I'm so sorry." I breathed. But he dematerialized away.
"What the fuck just happened." Danny said, breaking the silence. The kiss and memory seeking might have seemed to last forever to me, but to everyone else it probably only lasted a second, and they got to see nothing I saw.
"Shifter stuff." Paul said, with an amused smirk. "Great work Suze. Though your methods sure are different." He said in reference to the kiss.
"I couldn't think of anything else to get him off guard…" I mumbled.
"Okay, explain please!" Shannon said in frustration.
So I did. And I did again when we ran into Jesse outside the room. And again when we got everyone to the dinner table for a meeting.
I explained everything I saw, about how their father killed himself in grief and shame over wife's affair. And how she then was depressed for years, until taking all of them with her.
Everyone was shocked at such a horrible story.
"I think back in their day, any reference to this was burned or erased because it was all too shameful to speak of. It looked bad for the town too. And now it's just so old and forgotten that the people here don't remember it or know of it." Marcus explained as to why we couldn't find any information on it presently.
"Well good work Susannah." Father Dom said smiling broadly. "We are one step closer everyone!"
Mrs. Hackteur gave myself and Paul a lecture of the dangers of shifting, as she did not know much about it and either did MED. She didn't trust it. Well, hell, neither did I lady.
Eventually I head up to bed, accompanied by Jesse.
"That was a long day querida." He said. "I am glad we know more about their past. Though it is almost too terrible to speak of." He said.
"Your past isn't all that better." I said. And he shrugged,
"It is not always good, no. But there is always the future." He said and I smiled.
"Always so positive." I said, hugging him goodnight. I felt his broad arms around me and I stood in them for a minute. Seeing Dean's memories had been exhausting and horrible. I had felt everything his memory self had felt, all the pain and anguish, and even right before he died. The fear. I wanted to cry but Jesse's embrace made me feel better.
"Thanks," I said, "I needed a hug from you."
"Anytime." He said warmly, and kissed me on top of my head. I let my head fall onto his chest and let it sit there. We remained in a comfortable silence for a bit.
"Did you want me to stay the night?" He asked, coughing a little uncomfortably.
Jesse had moved to the rectory when we had started dating. Then when we broke up he stilled lived there but watched over me from time to time.
"Okay." I breathed.
I got into bed and he got comfortable on a chaise lounge in the room.
"Just like old times." He said cheerfully.
"Yep." I said. I knew it was babyish but after such a crazy day I really just wanted to sleep peacefully knowing he was there to make sure it was all going to be okay. Plus I was scared of the nightmare again, the voice. Babyish, I know.
But I slept one of my best nights yet.
I woke up feeling much better. We were finally making progress on this case and I didn't have any nightmares. I saw Jesse reading a book in my room and I smiled. It reminded me of the good old days.
We had been good together. He reminded me of home, even now he did. He was my best friend and I had no idea where I'd be without him. Probably dead.
And then it had to end. After two years our relationship slowly dissolved. We got further from each other. Actually, I got further from him. I got bitter and resentful of him. I was selfish.
I was growing more and more unsettled. People were bringing their dates out. Ceecee and Adam had finally figured out their feelings for each other. They were going to prom. But I was seemingly alone. With a ghost boyfriend no one could see, no one could talk to, and that I couldn't talk about with anyone.
It wasn't Jesse's fault. I was selfish to get bitter with him over it. All he wanted was to make me happy and I couldn't just be happy with him anymore. It was hard to think about.
Jesse had broken up with me first. I had screamed and cried. I loved him deeply. Even though I was getting resentful of our relationship, it didn't mean I didn't love him. It hurt to think that he wanted to be apart. That he knew we couldn't go on. He couldn't follow me off to college. It would never last.
I knew it too, but I still objected. I still made it hard for him. I was definitely selfish.
Jesse looked up at me,
"Susannah?" He asked, probably wondering why I was staring at him like a creeper so hard. I blushed,
"Sorry, just caught up in my own head." I said.
"Did you sleep alright?" He asked.
"Good, thanks." I said, smiling warmly at him. He hadn't slept over in a long time. When we were together, and um, how can I say this… active in the sexual manner - he would sleep over.
It took a lot to get Jesse to sleep over in that way, he had his old manners and customs so he felt horribly ashamed when he let his passions take over. But I wasn't exactly complaining.
Needless to say it wasn't often when he spent the night, but it had been even more regular when it was in a platonic friendship way. Like last night. It was nice.
We walked downstairs to go see who was up for breakfast. I slumped down next to Nate and Marcus with a bowl of oatmeal to eat. Shannon and Paul were sharing a sub sandwhich across from us.
"I am supposed to be investigating the east wing of the mansion today with Hannah and Daniel." Jesse said, getting off of the bench we shared. "Mrs. Hackteur's orders." He added.
"I know, I'm with Paul and Marcus." I said trying very hard not to roll my eyes as they were both present at the table. Not that I didn't not like Marcus but he was quite the know it all. Pair that up with arrogant Paul and I'm not sure I had the patience.
Jesse gave me a knowing look and smiled,
"Have a good day querida." He said. "Oh, and if you want me to stay the night again, do not hesitate to ask." And he dematerialized away.
Everyone stared at me. Really Jesse? I mean, really. Was he that oblivious to how bad that sounded?
"What's 'querida'?" Nate asked with a laugh.
"Jesse's pet name for Suze." Paul said with a sneer.
"Ewww." Marcus said, scrunching his nose. "Why?"
"Oh you didn't know?" Paul asked innocently, yet I knew he was being evil. "Good old Jesse and Suze used to play in the hay if you know what I mean."
Shannon elbowed him but giggled. I'm glad my life is so entertaining to them. Marcus's eyes looked huge.
"I thought perhaps there had been something…" Marcus said and blushed.
"OK! Why don't we just stop thinking about it." I said, wishing a hole would open up under my feet and swallow me.
"How does that even work?" Nate said, finding this all highly amusing.
"Oh my god, please everyone shut up." I said, horrified.
"And he slept over last night?" Shannon asked, clearly loving the scandal. "Let us in on the details."
"No, it wasn't like that-" I tired to explain.
"Tisk tisk, if only Danny knew." Paul said mockingly.
"Girl talk later Suze, tell me everything." Shannon said.
"No girl talk! There is nothing to tell!" I said shrilly, getting up to leave.
"He won't be happy!" Paul called out to me, in reference to Danny. I heard them all giggle as I left the room. I wanted to strangle them all. Maybe Dean was on to something.
I huffily stormed away and towards the library for some peace and quite. I nearly ran over poor Father Dom.
"Woah Susannah!" He said, backing out of my way. "Are you alright?"
"Peachy." I said icily and flopped down onto a large red chair in the room.
"You seem upset…" He asked.
"No, no. Just escaping some idiots is all." I said rolling my eyes.
"Well if you need to tell me anything." He said, his old blue eyes sparkled warmly.
"No." I said blushing. The last thing we needed to talk about was Jesse. Or Danny. Or even Paul. My raging hormones was to myself thank you very much.
"You know," Father Dom said, taking a seat opposite me. "I do worry about you."
"Oh, don't Father D. You know I can take care of myself." I said.
"You have been in deathly situations several times, on this trip alone you nearly drowned and was… strangled?" He said wincing.
"You know?" I asked in wonder.
"Marcus told me." He said, smiling with embarrassment. "At least someone feels bad lying to a priest."
"We didn't want to worry you." I said quickly.
"I know, I know," He said, waving his hand at me. "But you need to keep myself and Mrs. Hackteur in the know. We don't want to endanger you all. You know that."
"You worry about me enough." I said.
"Well, you do get yourself in very troublesome situations Susannah. The many times before and after MED." He said with a small smile. "But you are strong willed so I'm not trying to stop you." He said.
"But-" I tried to argue.
"I just want to make sure you are okay." He said.
"Okay." I agreed. Sometimes it was hard to argue with him. I had also missed this. Our chats. We used to chat almost everyday at school, me in his office. He was like a father figure, I mean, my actual father was a ghost who was in and out of my life unpredictably. Andy was a great step dad but he knew nothing of my whole life in being a mediator. A shifter. Father Dom was there for me.
"Well I'm sorry we lied to you. But we did just want to keep you from worrying. We are so close now with these ghosts. I don't want to give up." I said.
"I know. Which is why I did not tell Mrs. Hackteur." He said sheepishly.
"Father Dom!" I said, in a mock scandalized manner
"Yes well, just this once." He said.
I wanted to high five him.
"Well, best get to work Susannah. You are partnered with Paul and Marcus today?" He said.
"Oh, joy." I said sarcastically and followed him out the library.
Marcus, Paul and I searched around the mansion to go talk to the ghosts. Funny thing about ghosts is that they never appear when you actually want them to.
Now that we knew of their past, we thought maybe it would be easier to coax them to move on, to understand them. Or maybe Gwen would shank me with a knife, who knows.
Marcus was rattling on about each picture frame and rug and chair, how this was from the Victorian century, and that must have been acquired from South Africa, which back in the day would have been quite the lengthy process. And on and on.
As interesting as it started out to be, after two hours I was about to throw myself out one of the large bay windows.
"And if my math is correct, and I'd like to think it is" Marcus chuckled, "That puts these curtains dating back to-"
"Marcus," Paul cut him off, "I think Father Dominic wants to see you."
"Father Dominic?" Marcus asked. "Why?"
"Oh I'm not sure, but he said it was very important." Paul said very matter o' factly.
"How do you know?" Marcus asked, his eyes wide. I looked at Paul in confusion. I don't remember Father Dom telling me anything like that.
"He said at four o'clock, meet him in the library. And, it's now," Paul said looking at his expensive Cartier watch, "quarter after."
"Why didn't you tell me earlier!" Marcus shouted. "I'm already late!"
"Must have slipped my mind." Paul said a slight smile.
"Well excuse me both of you, I have to run!" He said, literally running away.
Paul immersed into laughter once he was gone.
"You lied to him!" I said, finally clueing in.
"I couldn't listen to another minute of him talking about the history of this place." Paul said. I punched him in the arm,
"Now he is going to run all the way there and Father Dom won't even be there!" I said, feeling bad for Marcus.
"He's heading to the library. The kid will read for hours before noticing no one was there." Paul said with a chuckle.
"You are intolerable." I said grumpily.
"I'm resourceful." He said with a wink. "Now I have you right where I want you Simon." He said and I got involuntary chills up my spine.
He walked towards our room we used for shifting training. "Let's get some real work done."
"Oh. Fine." I said briskly. "It's my turn to do memory sharing on you anyways."
"I don't think so." Paul chuckled. "We are moving on to something else today."
"No!" I argued. "It's my turn!"
"I don't want you messing up my head." He said.
"That's not fair Paul! Come on! How are we supposed to do lessons if you won't give us both a fair chance. What kind of teacher are you?" I said.
"Fine." He agreed, "You are so damn stubborn." He said in annoyance.
Ha! I win.
We sat down on the floor and placed our palms, facing each other and touching.
"Clear your mind." He said and we both did.
He was harder to crack into his memories than Dean had been. Though Dean had been very caught off guard with the kiss and I'm sure Paul's head was just screwed up anyways so.
A memory came up of Paul and his family at some resort on vacation. Paul and his father were playing tennis. Paul was racing around the court, hitting back ball after ball. I could feel his intensity. He wanted to beat his father so badly. To prove himself.
This was not the memory I was after. I didn't want to see Paul's memories at all actually. As amusing, or rather sad, as they would be, I didn't want to know Paul on such a personal level. There was one memory in particular I wanted to see. I needed to pluck a memory from closer to the present…
Memory sharing was difficult and random, so the next memory I plucked, though closer to what I wanted, was not what I wanted at all.
It was a memory of the Winter Dance. It was the last night we had spent together before he had left Carmel for years.
He was chasing me around the back gardens of the school. He'd catch me, we'd kiss, I'd push him away thinking guiltily of Jesse, he's chase me. Rinse and repeat.
At one point I tripped and fell onto the grass and him on top of me. My silvery dress matted on the ground.
"Paul… please…" I whined, in the memory. I remember this moment. I didn't want to watch it. Memory Paul had stopped and was watching my face closely. All was still and quiet.
Then memory me slowly reached up and kissed him. I felt Paul's emotions of shock and a pure happiness I hadn't felt in a while. I didn't dare look over to present Paul right now, as he watched this too.
The memory disappeared to one later that same night, but now back at the frontyard of my house.
"I can't not like you okay? So I need you to stop messing around with me because you know I'll always do so. Just choose!" Memory Paul said. Memory me stood there, looking at him.
Fuck, this night got worse and worse, I almost forgot. I looked over to present time Paul, watching the scene unfold in front of him, a frown on his face.
"I…" Memory me said, looking confused. I remember that feeling. He wanted me to choose him over Jesse. And I couldn't. Even though Jesse and I were not together at the time (though we were fairly soon after this) I was in love with Jesse. But a part of me, a small part I couldn't admit, had something for Paul. And it was breaking.
Just like Paul's heart broke instantly when memory me whispered,
"I…. can't. I'm sorry…"
Memory Paul's face crumpled and memory me had tears falling slowly. I could feel the anguish. Feel Paul's emotions of heartbreak. I glanced over to present Paul and he was watching the memory with an unreadable face. He seemed emotionless to it. How could he not care? Unlike me who was getting tears in my eyes all over again just watching.
"So… you choose him." Past Paul said, trying to get control over his voice - and memory me looked helplessly at him. I couldn't watch this anymore, it was unbearable. I tried to get away from this memory and to a new one. It was slowly dissolving away as Jesse came, punching Paul in the face.
"Oh COME ON!" Memory Paul roared. I could feel the anger. Feel how he felt. I saw present Paul slowly close his hand into a fist, watching memory Jesse and memory Paul fist fight on the ground as memory me cried at them to stop.
Finally the memory disappeared and a series of others showed up quickly coming and going in flashes.
A memory of me at the beach, at the Grand Matre Hotel. Looking dead on the beach as Paul leaned over to give me mouth to mouth resuscitation. I could feel the fear in him, the worry. And then the relief when I woke up, sputtering water from my mouth.
A quick glimpse of Paul and Danny fighting in the hotel's ruined library.
A memory of us fighting Ella, our first MED ghost assignment, ruining that very same library.
A handful of seconds of us dancing in the games room, at the Willow estate, here in Dullsdrin. Me in my red dress, him in his dark suit. I could just make out Aimee and Hannah in the background.
None of these were the memories I wanted. I just wanted to find one thing and now there was these spiel of memories I didn't want to look back on.
Why were these memories all of us? I didn't see many glimpse of his home in Seattle, his other friends, anything else of his family, of Shannon. Were the only memories that were pulled were of us because I was pulling them? Or because he thought about these ones often? It was confusing.
But watching present Paul, he didn't seem to care. He had no emotion in his face about it. He was over it. It made me a little annoyed for some reason. Here I was, having to feel all his memories' emotions and he didn't even have to care anymore.
Suddenly we were watching us swimming in the abandoned pool in the mansion, from the other night. My red dress flowing in the water as I swam. He swam on his back looking up at the stars through the sky light.
I could feel that he felt at peace. He swam underwater towards me and popped up right in front of me, leaning his strong arms on either side of my head. He felt calm, this was just a fun game to him.
But I remember what I felt. I remember panicking. My head filled of my own thoughts and memories running a million miles per hour. I watched in horror as memory me leaned forward and slowly kissed him on the lips. Only to recoil just a quick and race out of the pool.
I could feel memory Paul's confusion and shock. God, this was embarrassing. I tried my hardest to pull away from this memory and to another. Luckily it worked.
Suddenly we were outside and it was dark and foggy. Past Paul approached the lit up greenhouse and slowly walked inside. This was the memory I wanted. This was the one I had been trying to pull all along. I needed to know.
He walked in and looked at the twinkle lights, the blooming flowers. He put his hand on one of the big, beautiful yellow roses. Seemingly caressing it. Until his face turned dark and the rose slowly started to decay in his hands and turn black. He looked up and all of these flowers started to die.
It was one of his shifter tricks.
He lets a massive amount of energy pass through him and all the twinkle lights exploded, as well as some of the glass planes of the room plunging us into darkness. I could feel a dark hate inside him. And a carelessness and selfishness.
He looked up to what he did and backed away, momentarily shocked. He looked down at his hands, covered in dirt and glass from the small explosion he created.
He ran out the greenhouse in a confused hurry.
I had had enough. I used my own energy to push away from Paul and we both awoke in our training room. Shifting lesson, over.
I was breathing hard, trying to get control of my emotions.
"Suze…" Paul started, looking a little sheepishly at me.
"You." I said, my voice trembling with anger. "You lied to me!" I said, pointing my finger at him. I got up quickly and Paul got up as well.
"You said you didn't do it!" I yelled.
"Oh come on Suze. Who cares really? Why is this so important to you?" He said, looking annoyed.
"Because!" I said angrily.
"Some stupid greenhouse?" He scoffed. "I could easily 'rebuild' with my powers. Shifters are useful. Grow some flowers, re-fix the glass. In seconds. Want me to?" He said with a forced laugh. "It's no big deal."
"It is a big deal Paul!" I cried out at him.
"Look, I'm sorry I ruined you and Danny's special spot." He said in a mocking tone. "It just pissed me off. He pissed me off. So I ruined it. It was immature, obviously, but for him to make some stupid... thing and you just forgive him like that? I don't even-"
"It's not about the greenhouse!" I said exasperated cutting him off. "That was an asshole thing to do, but you're an asshole so it's no suprise!"
He glared at me.
"Then why are you so pissy Simon?" he growled.
"Because I can't trust you!" I nearly screamed.
The room got silent.
"You lied to me. That was always the problem. I can't trust you." I said quietly. I walked out the room, angrily hitting my shoulder against him to move him out of the way.
And he simply let me leave.