A/N: I began writing and posting this story a long, and I mean, long time ago, but my life interfered with its completion, so I took it down. I'm back now and it is completed. The intro is an excerpt from the epilogue of The Red Moon Promise. Sickly Sweet Dreams is a sequel to The Red Moon Promise, a canon story about Jacob and the pack that takes place after Breaking Dawn. You shouldn't need to read it to follow along, but if you want to know how we got here, its posted. Hope you enjoy and hope you drop a comment or a follow. Thanks!
These are Stephenie Meyer's original characters. They are just acting out my plot. No copyright infringement intended.
As soon as she saw them, she knew what they were. Ivory skin, lips wine red, their dismal, odd colored eyes gawked at her. One looked like a teenager. The other was in his mid-forties.
"Get her up, Tony."
That's when she noticed him. He was walking away as Tony lifted her from the ground, busting the ropes from her ankles and standing her upright. "I know you know better than to run, Miss." Tony the teenager gave her a warning glare before snapping the bands from her wrists.
She stood frozen with fear, blinking back tears and trying not to breathe too loudly.
Tony turned toward the one walking away. "Hold on, Nekoy. We'll take you back to your truck."
"I know the way," Nekoy replied, not looking back.
She eyed the one stalking away. He was a Native American with a broad physique. Faded bronze skin covered his athletic arms. Dark, retro-styled hair dangled long below ear-length. Dressed fairly modern, he wore a light-colored t-shirt and dark blue denim jeans. A medium-sized backpack hung over his shoulder, resembling any random college guy... or Calvin Klein model.
As if her eyes were burning a hole through the back of his head, he whisked around and caught her gaze.
Shuddering, she closed her eyes and dropped her head. He was suddenly standing beside her. She wrapped her arms around her shaking body, trying to catch her breath and praying that when she looked again, he wouldn't be there. She inched her head up and opened her eyes, peering through the hair covering her face. His eyes fixed on her, and he bore them into hers, soothing her somehow. They were strange, golden amber. Not the same as the ringleader's eyes, which were crimson red, or Tony's, which were a fiery shade of amber.
"I thought you didn't want to be part of this?" the older vampire asked.
"I changed my mind," Nekoy replied. "Could be interesting."
"All right. Take the girl. Be careful not to hurt her. She's part of the plan. We've got a couple more human chips to collect, and then we'll get to where we're going."
Nekoy took hold of her arm with a gentle hand, leading her to the vehicle. To her surprise, he pressed his lips against her ear, causing her to flinch from fear and shiver. His hand was ice cold and so was his mouth. "I'll help you," he whispered.
She couldn't bring herself to look away. Deep inside, she knew he spoke the truth.
Now, Jacob, Paul, and all the rest of them are searching to destroy him. If they only knew the truth, he kept them safe by guarding and defending them. Nekoy was the real reason she and Kim still lived. He even saved her from her nightmares, eventually.
She covered her head from the breaking glass when her dark-silver wolf crashed through the window, crouching protectively in front her. And Nekoy left the building, knowing they were safe, just like he promised.
It relieved her because she didn't want him to die. How does she tell her Perfect Paul that the vampire who should be part of her worst nightmares now haunts her most vivid dreams? And, not in the way anyone would ever expect.
Strange Turn of Events
Paul was leaning against his pick-up truck outside the Quileute Tribal School, grinning as I approached. Watching his eyes light up never got old. "Here's my sexy little school teacher." He opened the passenger door, flashing his adorable smile. "You look so good today," he said as I climbed into the cab.
"You always say that," I said, smiling and giving him a light kiss on the lips.
"It's always true," he whispered, pulling me closer and kissing me better. "I ran late today, so I didn't have time to change," he explained as he climbed into the truck. "I hope you don't mind being seen with a primer covered, paint splattered guy for now. I'll take a shower at your apartment."
Paul worked at his dad's auto body repair shop based out of their home garage. It worked out great, because it didn't interfere with Paul's wolf obligations to the Tribe, which always took precedence over everything else.
"Your entire wardrobe is there, anyway," I teased.
"I know. Remind me to take some of that home."
We rented a DVD and ordered a pizza before going back to my little one-bedroom apartment in the blue duplex building, across the street from the high school, which was also the only thing available in the small community of La Push.
Kneeling in the flower garden on her side of the duplex, my elderly neighbor, Mercy, rose to her feet as we drove up. "Hi, Rachel. How was school today?" she asked, shaking dirt from her gardening gloves.
"Great. Thank you." I lucked out, getting hired as the seventh grade teacher almost immediately after I began working as a teaching assistant.
"I'll plant on your side as soon as I finish this side." She knew I didn't know the first thing about gardening. "Hi Paul, how have you been?"
She greeted Paul nicely enough, but her eyes sparked of accusation, being so old-fashioned.
"Good," he snapped with a grouchy tone, stomping into the apartment.
"Talk to you later, Mercy," I said, following him inside. I shut the door and backhanded him on the arm. "Did you have to be so rude to her?"
"I saw that look she gave me, like I was nothing but trouble. That's what she gets for reporting us to Billy all the time. I know it's her."
"I know it's her too, but she's older and lonely. It's not her fault she has nothing more to do than to pay attention to us. Promise me you'll be nice to her next time no matter what."
Stubborn, he pouted. I glared at him with my best demanding expression. He avoided eye contact, shifting under the weight of my glare. Returning my stare, he sighed, and said, "Okay. I promise I'll be nice next time."
Paul showered while I reheated the pizza, and put the DVD on. He wanted to rent an action-packed film. I wanted to see a chick flick, so we settled on a comedy.
A gust of cold, misty air chilled me. I shivered, grasping at my jacket collar and enclosing it around my neck. I would have worn a scarf if I'd known it would be this frigid. I headed to the dorms from the library after a long night of studying.
I strolled by the dark archway as I did most school nights. Something looked different about it tonight. It was smaller than usual and extra black. Curious, I veered a little closer and peered inside. An abrupt yank forced me through, drawing the air from my lungs. I felt a dark presence with bony hands, gripping me tight as it dragged me down the stairway. I was moving downward so fast I couldn't catch my breath, and I thought I would lose my footing at any second, but I wasn't touching the ground.
The hollow stairwell twisted and turned without a pattern and waves of terror spun in the pit of my stomach with every forced drop. I fought to get away, but the malevolent energy, choked me. Blood seeped into my mouth. My arm shot out and...
"Rachel... babe... You awake?"
My eyes jerked open. I pushed myself to a sitting position, gasping for air. Paul stared at me, his face plastered with worry. "I'm sorry. I must have fallen asleep," I said, wiping the moisture from my forehead. "I'm so tired all the time. I can't even stay awake through a ninety-minute movie these days, a comedy even."
"You were having another nightmare, weren't you? Was it about them?" he asked, disturbed.
"No, it wasn't. It was just a terrible dream."
Paul lifted his arm around me, nudging me against his hot, bare chest. I huddled up to him, wrapping my arms around him and resting my face below his chin.
"I wish I knew how to stop your nightmares," he groaned, frustration in his voice.
"I know you do, but things have gotten a lot better. Really, they have." I fibbed just to appease him.
"Do you want me to stay here tonight?"
"If I knew you'd leave before daylight, I'd say yes but you won't."
I promised Billy to set a good example for the students when I took the job at the school, and again when I moved across the street from it. This meant Paul and I wouldn't live together until we got married. That didn't stop Paul from staying over a few times a week though.
"I'm just not a morning person, babe. I'll try my best to get up early tomorrow," he coaxed with puppy dog eyes.
"Hmm, where have I heard that one before?" I raised my eyebrows in reproach. I wanted him to stay, but the thought of upsetting Billy this close to the last time had me thinking twice. "You didn't have to hear the latest ear beating I got from my dad."
I replayed Billy's words in my mind. Why don't you hurry and get married? Don't you care that I'm on the Tribal Council? Can't I count on my kids to help me set a good example for the people? I knew this would happen as soon as you moved into your own place. You might be almost twenty-three years old but you're still a young woman to the rest of the community members. Sure, you're an adult and your relationship with Paul is your business. I don't care how often he's here or if he wants to hang around outside all night. All I'm asking is that he doesn't stay overnight with you. Why can't you show a little consideration for your old dad?
The disappointed way he looked at me was what bothered me the most. I heard it all before, but this time Billy added a new one. Am I going to need to involve your brother and Sam in this?
"I'm sure it wasn't that bad," Paul said, stroking my hair.
"This time..." I hesitated then peeping up at him, revealed, "He threatened to get Jacob to order you not to stay the night. I was afraid to tell you that before."
Paul's eyes widened in surprise and his mouth gaped. "He wouldn't."
"You didn't see the look on his face when he said it." I sat up and gazed at him.
A streak of fiery hostility flashed in his eyes. "Knowing Jacob, he would do it!" He scowled. "He'd do it just to piss me off, and get a big kick out of it, too."
"He would not. All he cares about is Raven these days," and the missing vampire. "Besides, he wouldn't like it if someone did that to him, so he wouldn't do that to someone else," I said with confidence, attempting to pacify Paul.
But I knew Paul and Jacob weren't the best of friends, and that's what scared me about Billy's threat. Jacob thought Paul was an irritating hothead. I never saw anything resembling that side of Paul. The person I knew was sweet, charming, funny, gorgeous, and much more. Maybe his will to protect me kept him from losing his temper when I was around, because as far as I knew there was no temper.
"Trust me. He's not that considerate," Paul scoffed, "I really wouldn't put it past him."
"It's more of a reason to be extra careful then. Anyway, I have to get up early. I've got a lot of work to do before class tomorrow."
Paul stood up and stretched. "Okay, but if you need me, I'll be right outside."
"You better not be," I said, following him to the door and kissing him goodnight. "Really, I'll be fine. I'm down to one bad dream a night and I've already had it, so I'm good."
It was bad enough there was always a wolf or two shadowing me, under orders from Sam and Jacob, which irritated the heck out of me. I didn't like Paul worrying about me every second of the day.
"Wait a minute," I said. Dashing into the bedroom, I grabbed one of the many t-shirts from the collection he left lying around the house. "Put this on for me real quick."
"Rachel, I don't know why you have me do this when the real thing is standing right here willing to stay," he grumbled, pulling the t-shirt over his head.
"Please just do it," I whined, "It makes me feel close to you. It just goes to show how much I need you."
"Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Actions speak louder than words." He took the t-shirt off and handed it back. "You know? That could be us marrying in a couple months." He sulked as he walked out the door.
Cringing with guilt, I said, "I know. It won't be much longer. We're next. I promise." I grabbed his arm and pulled him back inside, kissing him again.
Turning out the lights, I changed into his t-shirt, and readied for bed. I loved sleeping in his comfy t-shirts, and they were even better when he wore them for a few seconds. Don't ask me why.
We talked about getting married before the whole being abducted by vampires ordeal happened. The Romanian vampires, Stefan and Vladimir, discovered the identities of the entire pack. They attempted to use Kim, Brady, and me as leverage to convince the guys to help them overthrow the Volturi. Jacob, Paul, and the pack found out where we were being held and rescued us. Although they saved us from certain death and saved themselves from going to Italy, not everyone made it home alive.
When we lost Embry, we mourned for several months. Nobody was in the mood for planning a wedding. Then once we recovered a little, Leah and River beat us to it.
Adding to the drawback, frequent post-traumatic nightmares plagued me ever since. Paul didn't care about my damaged condition. He was special, a far cry from all the losers I attracted in college. I wanted everything to be perfect when we started our life together, with nothing at all hanging over our heads. Now, my perfect Paul was waiting patiently on me. Well, maybe not patiently.
Like an idiot, I climbed into bed pondering the vampire scenarios that continued to disturb me. What a thing to be thinking about just before going to sleep.
Anyhow, those dreams always started out the same.
We're locked in the room, and Kim is screaming. I'm trying to calm her, because I know she's drawing way too much attention to us. The door bursts open, and the vampire, Pete, swoops in, either going for Kim or going for me.
Sometimes Kim dies brutally, but most times it was me. A popular urban legend said that if you died in your sleep, you would die in real life. That wasn't true, because I died several times in my horrible vampire nightmares and still woke up sweating profusely every time.
It didn't happen like that in real life, because when Pete swooped in Nekoy was there to save us. Nekoy was the Native American vampire who happened upon our situation and tagged along just to keep us safe, also known as "the missing vampire." He promised me he wouldn't let anything happen to us and he didn't. He risked his own existence to make sure we survived.
Forty minutes later, I was tossing and turning, wide-awake. Whining and scratching from outside my bedroom window made me smile. Feeling a rush of excitement, I hopped up and cracked the window open. "Hurry and get back in here then," I whispered.
More than another hour went by, and I was visualizing numbers in my head, continuing with my efforts to fall asleep. Paul held me tight, breathing heavy, already knocked out cold.
It was hard for me to fall asleep most nights because I always expected another nightmare-or some other strange and disturbing dream.
As I lay awake, I thought about Nekoy and the vampire dreams, wondering why he was never in them. Perhaps it was because I wasn't afraid of him. He made me feel safe. If he were in my nightmares, they probably wouldn't have been nightmares. I wondered what ever became of him.
Intent on sleeping, I slowed my breathing while continuing to think about him. I saw him in my mind's eye. He was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall, talking. I was half dreaming, but still partly awake. I attempted to see him more clearly and to hear what he was saying. He slipped away from my vision, so I pushed myself to focus on him with more intensity.
Then it got strange. An ambiguous energy stirred within me, and I felt awake in my dream and fully in control. Like whatever I wanted to see I would see; or whatever I wanted to do I could do. Testing my theory, I decided I was in the center of my classroom. At once, I was there.
The first observation I made was how cold and spooky the room felt during the night, a noticeable contrast from the friendly daytime spirit it held. The papers I had collected earlier sat neatly piled on the ancient oak desk, cluttered with notebooks, folders, subject racks, a pencil sharpener, and an oversized coffee mug with a picture of a gray wolf, howling at the moon on it. The bottle of water I set on the bookshelf was right where I had left it. I could plainly read the homework assignment I scrawled on the chalkboard that afternoon. Everything was so vivid, so brilliant, almost as if I truly was there. It was utterly empowering.
Speculating where else my dream could take me, Nekoy came to mind again. I thought it would be nice to see him once more just to refresh my memory of him. If I could dream myself to see my classroom, I figured, why not try to dream myself to see Nekoy?
I assumed the best place to visualize him was at the heart of my most terrible, horrific terrors. The room that confined us somewhere in the Cascade Mountains. Knowing I was only dreaming, I pictured that awful place and found myself standing in the main area room of the building. The room was dark, bare, and empty. Not at all like in the nightmares, full of light and swarming with vampires. Oddly, It resembled the way it looked after the battle was over. I moved around, exploring the area, stepping over shards of glass from the windows that Leah and Josiah busted through.
I pictured my beautiful, dark-silver and gray wolf crashing in and landing in front of me.
Examining Brady's broken cage, I heard the hanging door squeaking as the breeze blew it back and forth. I touched the big dent in the metal beam that Nekoy threw Pete into. I noticed the debris from all the depressions and holes in the plaster that crumbled from the walls during the violence that took place there. I stomped my foot against the hard cement floor just to hear the echo. A piece of glass fell from a broken window behind the cage and crashed in the corner, startling me.
I proceeded to the room of our captivity, stopping a few feet away from the entrance of the room, afraid of what I might see if I continued on. I was only there to envision Nekoy. I didn't want to imagine anything else. As stupid as it sounded, I told myself, when I get into that room, he'll be there.
I neared the mangled door, now hanging on by a thread, with misgivings, pushed the weighty metal out of the way and climbed past it. To my amazement, Nekoy was standing, in the center of the room. I couldn't believe the imaging I deliberately summoned.
A feeling of anxiousness pulsed through me.
"Rachel?" he asked, eyebrows raised and eyes scanning the room before settling back on me. "What are you doing here?"
"What do you mean what am I doing here?" I lifted my voice, annoyed at the question. "We're always here but you're not. Where have you been?"
He stared at me for a moment then said, "I'm here now." Brandishing a look of confusion and disbelief, he strode toward me, inspecting me. "You look well. I'm glad you got home safely."
"We don't get home safely," I said, as if he should have already known, "because you're never here to help us."
Narrowing his eyes in speculation, he shook his head. "This is odd, and I don't quite understand... but..." He paused, "I don't know how or why, but we should, at least, try to change this outcome for you." After a quiet minute, his eyes lit like he'd found the answer. "Let's try this. Whenever you're here do your best to think of me, and I'll do my best to come."
I gave a disbelieving "yeah right" huff. If it were only that easy!
His dark, brown eyes hinted at excitement as he reached, tapping my shoulder as if checking to see if I were reaI. I tensed, waiting for the cold shock of his icy skin but none came. "Remarkable. Strange is the possibility I'd come across you here, but it's great to see you again," he said.
I woke from the coherent dream with a jolt.