Chapter 23

We decided to stay in the cottage for another month, just to play it safe. But after that, we were out of there. Jesse and I thought about traveling back to Andover on foot, but decided against it. It would take far too long, and I wanted to get back as soon as possible.

So we opted for shifting to Madame Zara's house. She had, after all, helped us out before. Besides, we were only using her home as a stopping place. We were going to walk from there.

Instead of shifting in front of her home, which would raise some suspicions, should anyone see us, or inside her house (I did not want to be rude), we figured we would shift in the back of her house.

When we shifted, I noticed that the yard behind the house was bigger than I thought it was before. Things regarding Madame Zara never cease to amaze me.

We went up to the back door and knocked. Seconds later, it seemed, someone answered the door. But it was not Madame Zara as I had originally thought. Instead, it was Benjamin.

You probably do not realize how shocked and happy I was. Because he listened to me, he came back for her. Not only that, but he stayed.

Benjamin laughed at my astonished expression. "I thought I would see you sometime soon," he said contentedly. Then he gestured for Jesse and me to come inside.

"I thought about what you said," Benjamin continued. "And I realized that you were right. I couldn't just leave the woman I loved here, without me. So I came to her…and I decided to stay."

Madame Zara came out of the bedroom, glowing. She looked…well, like an angel. She smiled when she saw us and came over and hugged me.

"I am so happy. I…I cannot express how thankful I am."

I smiled and hugged her back. "Well, I think we're even, then. You know, after bringing Jesse back to life." I grinned at the man in question. He grinned back.

"Oh, before I forget," Madame Zara said, "Mr. Augustin and his daughter left to go back to Andover. Mr. Augustin, I am happy to report, is doing quite well."

My eyes widened and I gasped. "What…oh my goodness. Well…that is certainly some good news. I suppose…" I looked over at Jesse, "we shall be seeing them when we go back, Jesse."

He laughed. "Oh, how could I forget Miss Augustin?"

I laughed, too. I remembered oh so well what happened when I went to visit Gina and Jesse was still invisible - to Gina, at least.

Madame Zara looked at me questioningly. "Go back? You…you're going back to Andover?" she asked, incredulity slightly seeping into her tone.

I hesitated for a moment, then said, "Yes. We are going back."

"But, child, do you not think it is too early?" she asked.

I sighed. Somehow…I knew this would happen. "No, I do not think its too early. We were in that house that Benjamin kindly lent to us for six months. We were in contact with Father Dominic - he's the priest of the church in Andover - and he said the witch trials had fully died down."

She sighed. "A-alright. If you think its safe to go back, then I guess it is." She then looked at Benjamin. "What do you think?"

Benjamin looked at Jesse and I and smiled. "I think they'll be fine. Have some faith, dear."

"Well," I said, looking at Jesse with a smile, and then back to Madame Zara, "we just came to say goodbye and thank you for everything. None of this would have happened if it weren't for you. Jesse would…would not be alive if it were not for you. And for that I am eternally grateful."

She smiled at us both. "It was my pleasure. After all, was it not you two that brought my love back to me?"

We said our goodbyes to Benjamin and Madame Zara and then set off to Andover (we decided to walk, since just appearing there might attract a bit of attention. The trials were only just over, we did not want to be convicted).

- § -

My hair tousled in the wind as we stood on the very edge of town. I could feel the fear settling in the pit of my stomach. Fear that I would be convicted again, that maybe Father Dominic was mistaken, that the trials were not over, that everything was not completely okay…

But no, I had to trust the people I cared about. Namely, Jesse, who was telling me there was nothing to worry about, that we could go into town.

I sighed and smiled at him as he led me into town.

It was fairly early, but still late. The sun would be setting in about twenty minutes, Jesse had said, so by the time we reached our family, it would be almost dark. Which was okay by me. I did not want to attract attention to myself or Jesse. Wandering in the dark was the best thing to do.

The town was fairly settled as we walked through it. Families were at home, sitting at the table and waiting to be served, while the women were finishing up the cooking. It was soothing almost, thinking about that; about the fact that I had once gone through that.

I sighed and leaned into Jesse as we walked. His arm snaked around my waist and settled itself on my hip, tingling the skin there. "I love you," I found myself uttering, barely audible. But I guess he heard it, since he kissed the top of my head and whispered back, "Te amo, querida." I smiled to myself and let the warm feeling that his proclamation created wash over me.

It was not long before we reached my house - or what was once my house. I was not sure if I could quite call it that anymore. When we reached the house, a wave of anxiety washed over me. Would my family even take me back? I feared that they would not. If that happened, what would I do?

Jesse pushed me forward gently and whispered encouraging words to me. "Everything will turn out alright," he said.

I nodded my head and started forward, Jesse following close behind. As I reached the door, I took a deep breath and knocked on it. Seconds later someone opened it. And I thanked the heavens that it was not my mother that had done so.

Andy gawked at me. "S-Suze? H-how are you…" He shook his head and opened the door farther so Jesse and I could come in.

"Hi, Andy," I said sort of awkwardly. I gestured toward Jesse. "Um, this is Jesse, Andy. He's…he's a very good friend of mine."

Andy looked at Jesse, as if really noticing him for the first time. He nodded and said, "It's nice to meet you, Jesse."

Jesse smiled and took the hand that Andy had offered him. "It's nice to meet you, too, Sir."

Then Andy looked back at me with a slight smile on his face; a smile that was hiding some sort of secret. "I thought you said it would never work?" he whispered.

I looked at him in shock. How did he know it was Jesse I was talking about? I found myself replying, "We found a way."

He grinned. "Good." Then he started saying in a normal voice, "Well, I'm sure your mother would love to see you."

That was when I gulped. Seeing my mother after so long…well, it would be an experience.

I nodded to Andy and he led us into the den. I turned to Jesse as he was doing so and grabbed his hand. I squeezed it reassuringly when he looked a little nervous.

When we walked into the room I saw that my mother was doing some needlepoint. She did not look up when we entered, so Andy said, "Helen, there are some people here to see you."

She looked up then. The needle fell from her hand and landed on the cloth she was sewing on. "S-Susie?" she managed to say.

I smiled and went over to her, giving her a hug. "Yes," I said. "It is me, Mom."

She hugged me back, squeezing me until I could barely breathe. She finally let go and just looked at me. "Oh…I am so glad. I - we - assumed the worst after…" she shook her head. "Father Dominic assured us that you were fine, but how would he know? I just…I'm so glad you are back and okay…" she trailed off and gave me another hug.

It was then that she finally noticed Jesse standing about a foot away from Andy. "And who is that?" she asked, a tinge of fear creeping into her voice.

"That's Jesse, Mom. He's…he's a very good friend of mine. He helped me a lot when I was in hiding."

My mother smiled. "If he helped you, then he is certainly welcome here."

I talked with her a little more after that, telling her about my journey and where I stayed, careful to leave out the parts about Jesse being a ghost and Benjamin being an angel. There are just some things that your mother does not need to know.

Afterwards, Andy called the boys down and we rejoiced. David and Jake gave me hugs, along with Brad, who was a little reluctant to do so.

Then something surprising happened. My mother pulled me aside and told me that there was someone she wanted me to meet. I looked at her confusedly as she brought me to my room. Perplexed, I followed her in. I saw the crib that was a few feet away from my bed.

Then I remembered. My mother was supposedly 'pregnant' when she was convicted. So she really was pregnant at the time.

My mom went over to the crib and picked up the baby inside. She held her close to her bosom and brought her over to me, gesturing for me to take her.

I held the baby to my chest and gazed at the angelic face. She was so beautiful.

"Susie, this is your little sister, Elizabeth," Mom said with a smile on her face.

"She's beautiful," I whispered, not once taking my gaze off my baby sister's face.

"I was afraid that you would never get to see her…and she would never get to see you. I am so glad that you came back. For all of our sakes."

I smiled and leaned down, kissing Elizabeth on the forehead, before handing her off to my mother, who set her back in her crib.

My smile stayed glued to my face as we walked back downstairs.

We were one, big happy family again. And Jesse was included in it this time.

- § -

It was not long after we came back that my family realized that mine and Jesse's relationship was not completely platonic. I wanted them to find out, just not so soon. Although, I suppose it was for the best, considering Jesse and I wanted to get married, preferably in the near future.

When my family first found out that Jesse and I were planning on getting married, the first question from my mother was, "What happened to that nice Paul boy?"

I looked over at her with guilt. I realized that I had promised to marry Paul. I promised him. I instantly felt bad and a little scared. What would he do when he found out about Jesse and me?

"Oh, don't worry about that," I heard Brad say. "Slater went back to Virginia. I guess he realized he didn't belong here."

I instantly felt relieved. He went back to Virginia. That was like a blessing in disguise.

However, the downside to them finding out was that Jesse could not stay with us. Do not get me wrong, my family loved him, they just did not love the idea of two lovers living under one roof (besides my mom and Andy - that was different). So Jesse was sent to live with Father Dominic, who gladly took him in.

I was so used to being with Jesse day and night, sleeping in the same bed with him and waking up with him next to me, a smile on his gorgeous face. So you can see why it was slightly hard to go back to sleeping by myself and not seeing him when I go to sleep and then when I wake up. Luckily, I had my little sister to keep me company in the night. Although more often than not she woke me up in the middle of the night with her incessant cries. I did my mother a favor though and satisfied her, so my mother could have some sleep. I know she was tired mostly because of that.

It was not all that bad with Jesse not with me at night, I suppose. Jesse was at my house bright and early, since he had told Andy he would help with the field work. Andy, glad to have an extra worker, delightfully agreed. I was told that since they had Jesse, I was not needed with the field work anymore. Which meant that I got to sleep later every morning. That was a miracle in itself.

So I saw Jesse every morning after I woke up and bathed and got dressed. He usually bathe at my house, since my parents figured it would be easier instead of going all the way back to Father Dominic's to bathe.

We usually walked to the market to buy some food for my mother for dinner. Jesse ate with us practically every night. He was there mostly the whole day, except for when it was time that I went to sleep.

It was about two months after Jesse and I came back home that we got married. The ceremony was held in the chapel with Father Dominic as the one who married us.

There was a small party get-together afterwards at my mom and Andy's house. Everyone who was anyone in the town was invited by my mother. CeeCee and Adam were there also, and I found out that they were to be wed in a month's time. Also, Gina had finally realized that Jake was the one for her. And Kelly had decided to try Brad out, since Paul had left.

Everything in my life was coming together nicely. Jesse and I were married. We moved into this little house that was near CeeCee's mother's house. And about a year later I gave birth to a baby boy, who we named Peter, in honor of my father. I went on to have four more children: Alice, Dominic, Zachary, Sarah, and Hannah, all of whom were the most beautiful children Jesse and I had ever seen.

After so many hardships in such a short period of time, my life had finally come together, and for the better. I was happy, as were my husband and children. To me, that was all that mattered.

SOOOO sorry this took so long. I was having troubly trying to figure out how to end this. Originally I was going to try and do the wedding, but too many stories have that. We all know how it goes anyway, right? So yeah.

This is the last chapter for Bewitched. :-(

Well, hopefully I still have all my readers. And thanks to all of you who stayed with me til the very end. You guys are great.