Only The Good
Epilogue - Kissing Jesse
Flashbacks are in italics.
Flashbacks are in italics.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror above the dressing table. Hmm, I guess I looked alright. I lifted a hand and smoothed down my dark hair. Just my luck. Our first real, proper date, and I have a bad hair day. A wholefortnight has past since Paul's exorcism and the night that the whole Stanley/Layla/Harold affair came to an end. Jesse was fully healed now (apart from a few bruises), as was I. Paul is back home and on the mend. Needless to say, we had a lot of explaining to do when he was taken off the sedatives. But he seemed satisfied with our description of the events and didn't even threaten to hunt any of us down after his release. Jesse and I would be returning to shcool on Monday (Paul still had at least another weeks worth of recovery ahead of him), so we were determined to make the most of the time that we had left.
I groaned in frustration as yet another strand of hair popped up, giving my hair that I-don't-own-a-hairbrush look that I so didn't want today. In frustration, I grabbed a bottle of hairspray, closed my eyes, and squirted the stuff everywhere. I coughed and spluttered as the damn stuff clung to my face and seeped into my open mouth. Great, now my hair had the consistency of cardboard and my face felt like leather. And not the soft porsche-leather. I'm talking about the just-been-ripped-from-a-cow leather. Without further ado, I filled the sink in my bathroom and dipped my head into it, washing out the sticky stuff, whilst scrubbing my face with a make-up wipe. Jesse was due to arrive any minute, so I was kind of panicking. Because Jesse is never late. In fact, he is almost always early.
It only took me two minutes to wash my hair and I blow dried it quicker than I have ever done before. To my complete amazement, my hair fell perfectly, resting on my newly-tanned shoulders. I didn't even need to dig out the straighteners. Thanks to the water, however, my make-up was a lost cause, so I removed the black stains from around my eyes with another make-up wipe, hastily produced from an open packet on my window seat. I barely had time to slather on some mosturiser (the hairspray dried my skin out so much it was beginning to flake) before my mom shouted for me.I allowed myself ten seconds primping time before jogging downstairs to meet my fate.
"Wow!" Jesse exclaimed as he looked me up and down, taking in everything from my cute green slip dress (to match my eyes) to my black heels. "You look...wow." I smiled at the compliment. I'd made him speechless, now that ladies and gentlemen, is an acheivement.
"Why, thank you, sir," I replied, throwing in a courtsey for dramatic purposes. He smiled and reached for my hand, planting a tender kiss on it. I couldn't help shivering slightly as he did so. So sue me, I'm only human. And seventeen years old at that. I can't begin to comprehend the numbers of hormones which make my life a living hell every single day. But it didn't matter. Not when I had Jesse.
"So, where are you taking me?" I enquired as he led me to hiscar, his hand wrapped gently around my own.
"You will have to wait and see," he replied as he opened the passenger door for me. I thanked him and slid into the seat, checking my hair in the rear-view mirror once I was settled. The wind hadn't affected it at all.
We talked about a lot of things on the journey. Insignificant things. It reminded me of when he was a ghost, and he used to ask me all these random questions. Except back then it was about stuff that I knew nothing about, and, quite frankly, didn't care about. But now it was different. We talked about movies (I had managed to get him to enjoy some of my favourites, much to my surprise) and music, you know...normal stuff. It was enough to cause me to forget that he was born before my grandparents.
As he drove, I gazed out of the window. The sun was setting and the road we drove along afforded us with a gorgeous view of it. It didn't take me long to realise that we were driving in the same direction as Paul's grandfather's house. I know that there are a few restaurants along Scenic Drive, but they are all...expensive is the wrong word, but they certainly aren't cheap. I shifted uncomfortably as we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant called Eden. It was an Italian restaurant. I know this because it is where Andy took my mom for their first wedding anniversary. She wouldn't shut up about the place for days. I was flattered that Jesse would take me toa place like this. I was also annoyed because I knew how much it would probably cost, and Jesse was no rich rancher's son anymore. I was silently glad that I had brought my purse with me. I had enough to cover whatever it would cost. Hey, I'm not going to pay for it all! I have some dignity left.
As usual, Jesse opened my door for me and helped me out of the car (I actually needed help this time...it has been a while since I wore heels this high and it seemed very difficult to find my feet). Once I was out, and the door was closed, he slid his arm around me and led me towards the restaurant door.
"I told you I would take you somewhere nice," he said, holding the door open for me. "And I know you like Italian food." I just continued to smile. The restaurant look nice outside, but it looked magnificent inside. It was all whites and creams with red tablecloths and chairs.
"I would have been happy at Pizza Hut," I told him, my smile affecting my voice a little. He laughed, but it was devoid of humour. He refrained from saying anything, but I knew that he was probably thinking that I deserved better than Pizza Hut. Which would, had he said it, have caused me to recite everything good about Pizza Hut. Including the salad bowls, which reduced the guilt that you felt by scoffing down half of a meat feast pizza. But this was just as good. I could eat a whole pizza here, and somehow convince myself that it is a posh restaurant, so the pizza would be devoid of all things fatty. Hey, it works! But once we were seated, and I picked up the menu, my jaw dropped.
Conchigliette saltate con cime di rapa e salsiccia dolce
Galetto croccante al mattone con spinaci saltati
Filetto di branzino alla griglia con zucchine
Paillard di pollo alla griglia
Ok...what? It was all in Italian. I took French, and I can't speak a word of that either. How the hell am I supposed to know what I'm eating? Jesse must have noticed the look of blind panic on my face, because he pointed to the otherpage of the booklet, onwhich the menu was typed out in English. I could feel my cheeks burning as he smiledin amusementwhen I thanked him. Way to go, girl. I had never heard of half of the stuff before, but it all sounded gorgeous. But, to play it safe, I ordered pasta, and so did Jesse. No antipasti for us today.
After the food menu came the wine menu. Wine? Um...seventeen here. When I told the waitress that we were both underage (though, technically, Jesse wasn't...but that would have taken some explaining) she blushed and apologised. I was flattered that I looked older than I was, especially tonight after the hairspray fiasco. So, instead of vino bianco, I settled for a glass of Diet Coke.
"Thank you," I said once the waitress had brought us our drinks. Jesse looked at me with amusement as I attempted to fish the lemon out of the top of my glass. Instead of hooking it out, I kept pushing it further under.
"For what?" He asked, leaning over and removing it in one go. I laughed sheepishly as he placed the lemon on one of the spare serviettes.
"For taking me out," I replied as if it was obvious. Which, in fact, it was. "It means a lot to me."
"You're my girlfr-fiancee," he told me, changing the word at the last minute. I guess that it was still sinking in for him, too. "What do you expect?" He smiled as he said this last part and it caused me to blush.
He had been right. About everything to do with Stanley and Layla. Because of them, our relationship was stronger that it ever had been. Even fellow pupils had commented on how happy we both looked. Not together, though. Just individually. And now everybody knew about our engagement. Brad thought that it was 'disgusting' how everyone thought it was so sweet. Kelly was stunned, to say the least. I guess she thought that Jesse would soon realise that I was not the kind of girl that guys like him could be with. He did realise this, actually, but he didn't care. Girls literally threw themselves at him, but he ignored them. He only had eyes for me, so to speak. Imagine what that did to my ego.
I haven't even started planning a wedding (which will not happen for at least another year) yet, but already have a maid of honour. When Gina found out about the engagement, she called me and told me that if she wasn't my maid of honour, she would never ever ever ever ever ever ever (etc. etc.) speak to me again. Apparantly she's flying out again this spring. She wants to meet 'the boyfriend'. I told her that she technically already had, but she said that it wasn't the same. Which is kind of true, seeing as last time they shared a room, he ended up soaking her clothes in my best nail polish. Something she didn't know, and would probably never find out.
Dinner was amazing. All we did was talk about us. About the way things had been and the way things were now. Then we got on to the way things would be. I grilled him about what he wanted to happen in the future, and found out some interesting answers. As far as kids went, he wanted at least two, a girl and a boy, the same as what I wanted. The only problem was that he said that there was no limit to the amount of kids he would like. I draw the line at four...maybe five. As far as a location for the wedding went, he said that he didn't mind, but it would be nice if it were to happen at the Mission, and Father Dominic was to perform it. I wasn't so sure. I mean, lots of things have happened there. I have nearly got crushed, murdered, beaten up, permanently exorcised, clobbered by Father Serra's flying head and crushed by astray Virgin Mary statue in the vicinity of the Mission. Besides, getting married in your school would be kind of weird. Even though it wouldn't be in the school, so to speak.
By the time dolce arrived (tiramisu for me), wewere all talked out.But not too talked out, I noticed, to argue about the bill. Eventually we decided that Jesse would pay for the food (actually, there was no deciding involved...Jesse is really stubborn) and I would leave the tip. Let me just say that I tipped very generously that night.We were out of there and on our way home faster than you could say arrivederci. The sun had already set by the time we returned to Jesse's apartment, much to my chagrin. I was hoping that we could have went down to the beach and watch it, the way we had done the night he proposed. But I guess that my luck had worn out for the time being. There were still a few hours left until my curfew was up (my mom was ok with practically encouraging me to have sex by hiding a packof you-know-whats in my bag, but she wasn't ok with me staying out with my boyfriend past midnight).
Although Jesse's apartment was currently devoid of a T.V., he did have a radio (so now he could mess up his own CD collection). For a guy who was born before my grandparents, hehas surprisingly good taste in music. Madonna remained a favourite, along with Shakira (what a surprise) and also stuff like 3 Doors Down and Foo Fighters. Thankfully, he despised Britney Spears and Coldplay. I stood flicking through radio channels for five minutes while he called his employer for some reason that I couldn't care less about. I paused on one channel which was currently playing Destiny's Child when I felt someone looking at me. Turning around, I saw Jesse leaning against the doorframe, just smiling in my direction.
"What?" I demanded, leaving the radio alone. The song playing was 'Brown Eyes'. Wasn't that an album song? Why was it playing on the radio?
"Have I told you how beatiful you look tonight?" He asked, walking over to where I stood. I blushed slightly and placed my arms around his neck. I felt his hands move to my waist as I did so.
"Well...you did say that I looked 'wow'," I reminded him, grinning insanely. I moved closer to him and started to sway in time to the music. It was a very ironic song.
Remember the first day that I saw your face?
Remember the first day that you smiled at me?
You stepped to me and then you said to me
I was the woman you dreamed about.
"That was an understatement," he said as I removed my hands and slid my arms under his, so that they were wrapped around him. I smiled up at him. Why does he have to be so tall? And so handsome? If he wasn't holding me, I would have fell to the ground. My legs had somehow ceased to function properly. I could feel them shake with every step that we took as we danced to the music.
Remember the first day that you called my house?
Remember the first day when you took me out?
We had butterflies, though we tried to hide it
And we both had a beautiful night.
"Well, you don't look too bad yourself," I mumbled, resting my head on one of his broad shoulders. I had removed my coat, and my dress was thin and had only two thin straps holding it up, but suddenly I was burning up. Although his heat was coursing through my body, I pressed myself closer to him and he shifted his grip on me slightly.
The way we held each other's hand
The way we talked, the way we laughed
It felt so good to find true love
I knew right then and there you were the one
I smiled at the lyrics to the song. 'Ironic' was putting it lightly. The song seemed to take me back to all the time that we spent together when he was a ghost. There were two or three months between us getting together and him getting a body. One moment in particular came drifting into my conciousness. It was September, aweek or two after Paul and Jesse's fight, and the day Jesse and I had became a couple.
The sunset was beautiful. Ribbons of orange and crimson stretched out across the horizon. When they said that my room had the best view in the house, they weren't kidding.
What would make this moment more perfect would be sharing it with Jesse. If he didn't have that silly idea that he had to live in the rectory now that we were 'together', we could be sharing this moment. I wonder if he knew what he was missing.
It was just as I was thinking this, that the man in question materialized next to me. I didn't even jump this time.
"You called?" He said. I smiled. Of course I hadn't called him. I had only thought about him. Which was all it took to bring him racing to my side.
"All I did was think about you," I told him, still smiling. He was smiling too, although he was looking out to the ocean, so I'm not sure if it was directed at me. "It's beautifil, isn't it?"
"Next to you, it's nothing," he replied, lying back on the pine needle-strewn roof. I blushed furiously. Were all guys this romantic back in the eighteen hundreds?
I know that he loves me 'cause he told me so
I know that he loves me 'cause his feelings show
And he's missin' me if he's not kissin' me
You see how he is so deep in love.
I looked over at him, gazing at me with what I hoped was adoration in his eyes. You have no idea how great it feels, to have someone love you this much. I loved feeling adored.
I shimmied further towards him and then stretched out myself, lying back and resting my head on his chest so that our bodies made a 'T' shape on the roof. I felt his chest shudder as I lay my head down. I guess I had the same effect on him as he did on me. I placed my left arm across my stomach and he placd his left hand on top of mine.
I couldn't see the sunset anymore, but I didn't care. To anyone who was to look through my bedroom window, it would have appeared that I was holding my head at a very unusual angle. But no-one would. Andy had put a lock on my bedroom door, at my request, and it was currently in use, so I did not have to worry about anyone spying on me.
We lay there in silence for what seemed like an eternity when I rolled onto my left side so that I was facing Jesse. I smiled at him in what I hoped was a seductive manner, but I'm sure it was more on the goofy side. He sat up, forcing me to drag myself to my knees, and gently stroked my cheek with the backs of his fingers.
"Susannah, I-" He started. He sighed as he cut himself off. He raised his eyes to meet mine and I saw something in them that I had never seen in anybody's eyes before. He seemed desperate to say something, but he was having trouble getting it out. I thinkI knew what it was. And also why he was not saying it. It was this whole 'I'm dead and you're not...you deserve better' thing. The guy must have no self esteem. Can't he see that he is the only guy out there that I could ever feel this way about? He treated me with respect, he was kind, caring, he laughed at my lame jokes, comforted me when I cried. How could I not love a guy like that?
I raised a hand and cupped the side of his face.
"Ssh," I whispered, moving my face towards his. "Please don't disappear like you usually do." He came the rest of the way, pressing his soft lips against mine. But one minute, I was kissing the man of my dreams, and the next I was kissing air. I groaned in frustrtion when I saw that he had vanished. Then I heard soft laughter behind me.
I know that he loves me 'cause it's obvious
I know that he loves me 'cause it's me he trusts
And when he stares at me, you see he cares for me
And when he looks at me, his brown eyes tell it so
"What the hell did you do that for?"I asked, turning around to see him standing a foot behind me. He walked over to where he had be sitting a moment before and knelt in front of me.
"Querida, you are not the only one who can tease," he laughed, holding my chin between his thumb and forefinger. He kissed me again, but I did not react. At least not at first. I was mad at him for making fun of me, so I refused to let him win me over this easily. But as soon as his lips touched mine, the fuse deep inside of me had been lit. And before you could say 'Guy Fawkes', I had parted my lips, allowing him full access to my mouth. I could feel the corners of his leips curl slightly as he kissed me. Boy was he going to get it when this kiss was over. Actually, I will just tell him off...talk to him...oh God, why does he have to be such a good kisser? I'm not even mad at him anymore.
I lost myself in the kiss, hundreds of feeling that words cannot describe coursing through my tired, aching body. I let myself down onto my backside so that I was able to move closer to him, but he pushed me back, not breaking the kiss for one second. Now, I was on my back, Jesse beside me, his body turned towards mine. The hand that had been caressing my cheek slowly ventured down to my waist and I ran my left hand up and down his arm, my thumb skimming along his bicep. I was too delerious to do much, but Jesse obviously was not. Deepening the kiss (I did not think that was possible), he slowly moved his hand an inch or two higher, his fingers slipping beneath my top. I was surprised, to say the least. He had punished himself for weeks after he had kissed me for the first time, yet now he was trying to cop a feel? Not that I was going to stop him, mind you. I just thought that it was a little odd.
Remember the first day, the first day we kissed?
Remember the first day we had an argument?
We apologized, and then we compromised
And we haven't argued since.
His hand roamed higher and I shifted slightly beneath him. I suddenly felt as if the temperature had risen about five or ten degrees. And Jesse did not give off heat, so I could think of no logical explanation for what was happening to me. I had never felt like this before. Not even when Paul tried to do exactly the same thing to me. Whatever it was, it was because of Jesse. I dug my fingernails into his shoulder slightly, forgetting for a moment that he could still feel pain. It seemed as if it was the only way that I could cool down. But he showed no sign of even feeling my accidental attack. He was too far gone, too lost in the kiss. And to be honest, Iwas surprised that Iwas still capable of intelligent thought right then. My body shuddered involuntarily as his hand reached its destination. The top that I was wearing was self-supporting, so there was nothing to hinder his progress. The temperature soared another few degrees and I moved my hand from his shoulder up to his head. His touch was so gentle.Now, he was kissing me enthusiastically, although it was still gentle and romantic. I loved him so much. As if automatically, his name was wrenched from my lips.
As I ran my hands through his soft, thick hair, he broke off the kiss, removing his hand as though he had suddenly been bitten. He sat back and ran his own hand through his hair, panting almost as heavily as I was.
"I am so sorry," he gasped, completely astonished with himself for some strange reason. "I don't know what came over me."
Remember the first day we stopped playing games?
Remember the first day you fell in love with me?
It felt so good for you to say those words
'Cause I felt the same way too
"What?" I panted, breathing heavily and very erratically.
"I should not have insulted you like that," He said, staring at me with a desperate look in his eyes. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about.
"Insulted?" I asked, very confused. "Hey, insulted is the last thing I feel." But this obviously wasn't enought to end his current mental anguish.
"I took advantage of you, I should have had more control over myself." I sighed.
"Jesse, nothing you do can be classed as taking advantage of me," I assured him. "I'm all yours. Mind, heart, body and soul. And besides, that wasn't taking advantage of me." But, again, he was too far gone.
"I should not have done that. I apologise, querida." This guy is impossible. I shuffled closer to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, but he shrugged it away.
"Please, don't," he pleaded. "You have no idea what your touch does to me." I was about to say "right back at'cha", but I didn't think that it was appropriate.
"I...Jesse, please don't beat yourself up over this," I begged him. It was the first time he kissed me all over again. Except back then, he hadn't been stroking my - alright, I'll stop right there. But the thing was, I had felt something amazing back there. Something I had never felt before. And I liked it. I told him this, but he just looked at me with an extremely panicked look on his face.
"I am really sorry, querida," he apologised, yet again. "It won't happen again. I can't promise it, but I will try my best." I groaned.
"Don't say that," I said, moving closer and placing my head on his chest, inviting him to wrap his arms around me. He did, slowly but surely. His embrace was loose, but there nonetheless. He kissed the top of my head, apologised once more, and then dematerialised, leaving me alone on my rooftop once again.
The way we held each other's hands
The way we talked, the way we laughed
It felt so good to fall in love
I knew right then and there you were the one
The sun had already set. Although I was alone, a smile played across my lips as I straightened my top and climbed back into my bedroom. I tried to feel ashamed when I prayed that Jesse would lose control of his upstairs brain again, but I couldn't. I am so going to hell.
I smiled. Back then, that was the greatest night of my life. Now it was just another great night with Jesse.
I'm so happy, so happy that you're in my life and baby
Now that you're a part of me you've shown me
Shown me the true meaning of love (the true meaning of love)
And I know he loves me
The song was almost over, and so, therefore, was our dance. As Beyonce sang the last line, I felt him hold me tighter than he had been.
He looks at me and his brown eyes tell it so.
He was as disappointed as I was when the song ended. But we did not pull apart. Instead, helowered his lips to mine. It was amazing what one kiss from this man could do to me. It reminded me of a song I had once heard. 'Fill up my heart with love, oh you'd be amazed how little I need from him to feel complete here and now...One drop of love from him and my heart's in ecstasy'. I had not felt this way when Paul and Tad had kissed me. And I'm sure that it wasn't because they were bad kissers, because they certainly were. Good kissers, I mean. When Jesse kissed me, he actually meant it. I could feel all of the emotions behind it. It was not his lips that had that explosive effect on me. It was him.
And that was when I realised. It didn't matter that our relationship wasn't all that physical. It didn't matter that kissing was the only expressing of our love that we did. Because, like Jesse said, we didn't have to wait much longer. I knew that his abstinence wasn't out of religion (he had told me once that he had lost most of his faith long ago), but purely out of respect for me. It was touching. And to tell you the truth, I had waited seventeen years to meet a guy this good. One more wouldn't hurt.
But I chose not to think about it. Because when you're kissing Jesse, you don't want to miss a moment of it.
AN - Wow, longest chapter yet. And...it was the last one. I know that I said two, but seeing as I am planning on doing a sequel, I figured that I could finish this one in one. I'm terrible at fluff, lol. But I hope that you enjoyed it. I will do a sequel, seeing as some people have said that they would read on :). Yes, it will be around the wedding. I know it's probably a bad idea, what with the amount of wedding fics out there, but whatever. I can try and make it different :). Lyrics come from Brown Eyes by Destiny's Child. I'm not the R'n'B kind of girl, but I love that song. And the song that Suze thinks of at the end is I Want Love by Akira Yamaoka and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn from the game Silent Hill 3. It's a beautiful song...listen to it if you can find it :).
And now for my reviwers...thank you all...you keep me writing (don't curse youselves too much ;) ). I would reply individually right now, but there are so many, so I will thank you all as one. THANK YOU! And thank you to all of my readers who have not reviewed for...well, readingthis fic:). I will try and reply personally to reviews next time, I swear. I appreciate every one.
So, now that it's over...hit that button. If you do, Jesse will declare his undying love for you. Not really, but a girl can dream, right? Let's see if we can make100.
Until next time...