A/N: PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!! I know I promised you all an update after a certain number of reviews, but I got so stressed out about college things that I put this story on temporary hiatus. I should have let you guys know, I know, and I apologize for that. Anyway, I know you guys have been waiting for this update so I'll do the rest of the A/N in the end! I HOPE YOU LIKE IT!!!

And now, without further ado...


Previously on Chapter SEVEN:

"Stacey," he says, with heavy-lidded eyes.

"Mmmm?" I ask, my forehead leaning onto his.

"Go back to sleep." That woke me up from stupor caused by my love for this man.

"What?!" I ask him, surprised by his words.

"I'm just saying, it's still early, I thought you'd be jet-lagged," he smiles at me crookedly.

"What time is it?" I ask, confused by his words.

"It's 6:43 AM," he replies after looking at the clock by my bedside table. I hadn't noticed that before… wait, what?

"Why is it so bright out?"

"Because of the snow, love…"

"Oh," I whisper, feeling stupid. Of course, I would know… I just had a dream in all the snow's whiteness and brightness… or a nightmare, rather.

EIGHT

I didn't go back to sleep because I have a feeling that I would dream again if I did. So instead, I go over to the bay windows after Jacob fell back to sleep and try to occupy my head with something other than the dream that I had last night. It is near to impossible as it was all I ever thought about as I lay in Jacob's arms, trying to sleep.

It's unnatural – I've had nightmares in the past, and though, they've always made me feel vulnerable and uneasy, this one is combined with a sense of irritation building up to a fury I've never felt before about a nightmare; I have been frustrated, sure, but never angry… but then again, ever since Maura, I fearfully accepted the premonitions that came to me in dreams; never once have I intentionally shunned them, resulting in them breaking through the barrier I steadfastly built up, unwanted and uninvited.

After I about gone insane from over thinking, I try thinking about something else, and found out that the only thoughts that could keep me engaged are thoughts of Jacob and I, and what this week will hold for the both of us. And so, I do just that as I take out the thick and heavy leather-bound scrapbook of my ancestors. It took up about a quarter of one of my suitcases, but it isn't something I preferred leaving behind. I might have sworn off the nightmares, but I'm not ready to swear off the magic just yet.

Flipping through the first couple of page, I finally found what I was looking for: a four by six picture of the gang and I right before Jacob left for home, just days after Porsha and I found him in that sorry excuse of a camp. When we got back to Beacon on that fateful day, PJ, whose excitement at seeing Jacob again rivaled my own, decided that it was his calling to advertise to anyone who would listen that his "dead best friend" has decided to come back to life. After Drea and Chad, who were on their on-again phase, heard about the news, they decided to drive up to welcome Jacob back. Needless to say, it was such a bitter-sweet moment that Amber, who was feeling nostalgic – though, I suspect it was mostly because it was that time of the month, since she is never one to feel nostalgic – handed her camera to a poor bystander because she decided that it was a perfect "Kodak moment."

The picture reflected each of us quite well, as was is a semi-candid shot. Chad had his chest puffed out, accentuating his well-built and athletic body, while Drea had her arms wrapped around his waist as she looks up at him dreamily. Next to them was PJ stuffing himself with pizza in one hand and supporting one of Amber's legs after she jumped up behind him, piggy-back style, her bright-red hair flailing around her like a messy halo. Porsha and Trevor were sitting Indian-style in front of PJ and Amber, facing each other and… talking. They never stopped talking since that first moment they laid eyes on each other. And then, there were Jacob and I, as we stood besides PJ and Amber. It was when everything was awkward between us, but the chemistry between us was undeniable even during that time when Jacob barely knew who I was. It was like there was this rope pulling us to each other, and it was for that reason that we were leaning towards each other, albeit looking at the camera, as the flash went off.

Looking at the picture now, I realize that I would do anything not to lose any of these people. I saved Drea once, but what about the others? My nightmare last night could be about any of them as much as it could be about some stranger. And yet, remembering how I failed to save Jacob a year ago haunts me, yielding a fear that is stronger than my protective nature.

I don't know what to do, and it is clear that no one can answer for me but myself. It isn't something I want to mull over right now, considering the fact that the gang will be coming in a few days. I need this vacation, and by hell, I will enjoy it if it is the last thing I do. I need to distract myself, and I need to do it now. I know from past experience that no one can divert me from my thoughts better than Jacob, but I don't want to wake him up just yet. Instead, I take out a small jar of almonds from my suitcase, along with a couple cardamom leaves, a bottle of eucalyptus oil, a small pouch, my trusted mortar and pestle, and a tall purple candle – to calm my mind and my nerves.

Sitting crossed-legged at the foot of my bed, I crush the almonds using my mortar and pestle, and when fully satisfied, I tear the cardamom leaves and add it into the almonds, all the while, attempting to stay silent. I don't want to wake up Jacob, because he doesn't need to know that I'm calling the magic of my ancestors to keep my nightmares away and retain the peace of mind I have, now that I got him back.

I add three small drops of eucalyptus oil into the mixture that I've created, as the eucalyptus is known to have the power of protection. After mixing the contents of the mortar well, I use a teaspoon to scoop the mixture into the small pouch and sealing it close. Taking several drops of the eucalyptus oil into my fingers, I lift the purple candle into my nimble hands and run my oil-clad thumb and index finger to the length of the candle.

"As above," I whisper. "And so below." I repeat my action until the entire circumference was saturated. I light the candle and run the pouch over the thin smoke emitting from the mesmerizing flame as I concentrate on my hopes of having a wonderful vacation, free of nightmares and worries; only filled with love, safety, and peace.

"Pouch of hope," I whisper, as I continue running the pouch over the billowing smoke. "Help my hope become reality through the power of love of every kind. Blessed be the way."

~*~

I'm sitting by the bay window when I feel my neck prickle and my stomach starts doing a back-hand spring; at once, I knew that a pair of baby blues are staring at me from across the room. I smile to myself, not breaking my gaze from the beauty before me, loving the way Jacob's gaze is making me feel.

"Why does it smell like eucalyptus oil?" he murmurs and I finally look back at him innocently – a little too innocently I guess, because his eyes narrow slightly at me. "Stacey…"

As much as he would like me to discuss what I have been up to an hour ago, I can't help but notice that his eyes were heavy of sleep, giving off a sensual vibe that I am so sure he is not doing on purpose. It also doesn't help that when he props himself on his elbows that his dark hair stood up in what Amber and Drea would call, "sex hair," and I knew in that instant that I want him.

I walk up to him, all the while, not breaking his gaze and crawl up to where he is laying. I can't help myself, so I reached out for his well-defined jaw and instinctually, he leans into my touch as his eyes flutter to a close. The movement was so inviting that I can't help but crush my lips into his, bringing him to his back as his arms encircle me. Our embrace is so passionate that I am sure electricity is flying off the walls, not that we would notice any of that. In that moment, Jacob and I were alone in our own little world, and nothing, not even uninvited nightmares could ruin the moment.

"Jacob? Stacey?" Janice says, knocking softly on my door.

Well shit

I guess I spoke too soon, as Jacob and I try disentangling our limbs from the other. When we're at a decent distance, I call out, "Please come in."

"Oh," she gushes as she spies us in bed together. "I'm so sorry if I'm interrupting something!" I completely forgot that she didn't know that Jacob stayed in my room last night… I could feel the blood run to my face in what I knew would be an embarrassed blush. "It's quite alright, Stacey!" she says smiling as she reads my mind. "I was going to put you two in the same room, but I didn't know if you would be comfortable with that, so I left the option open for you both. "I just came to tell you both that breakfast is ready. I wouldn't wake you up under normal circumstances, but Mark and I really want to spend time with you both before we leave for the airport in two hours."

"Mom," Jacob says. "Would you like Stacey and I to drop you off? It would be no problem at all. You don't mind, do you, Stacey?"

"Of course not!" I tell them.

"Don't be ridiculous, kids! I wouldn't subject you both to another hour of driving through the mountain when you suffered through it just yesterday. You both stay here and have fun, Mark and I rented a taxi to get us to the airport already, anyway, so it's no problem."

"Mother, are you sure?"

"Of course, darling!" she waves her hand in dismissal. "Now up, both of you! I made chocolate chip pancakes!"

She shuffles out of our room as Jacob and I race to get ready, impatient for the chocolate chip pancakes promised to us. When finally, we had our fill and spent a lovely breakfast with Janice and Mark, it is now time for them to get ready to leave.

"Mom! Dad!" Jacob yells up the stairs to the master's bedroom. "The taxi is here!" We were waiting by the living room as Jacob's parents did some last-minute packing. When they heard Jacob's announcement, Mark came down the stairs lugging two very heavy-looking suitcases. Being the helpful and perfect son that he is, Jacob runs up to him and takes one of the suitcases from his hands. They are followed by Janice, who is carrying a handbag and checking their itinerary.

When the suitcases were piled into the taxi, we say our goodbyes quickly.

"Now, you know where you can contact me, should there be an emergency, correct?"

"Yes, mother," Jacob says rolling his eyes in amusement.

"And know where everything is? The food –"

" – in the fridge…"

" – the grocery money –"

" – the cookie jar on the kitchen counter –"

" – the car keys –"

" – the car keys holder… Mother, we'll be fine!" Jacob says, getting impatient as I stand there giggling. He looks at me as his eyes twinkle, "It's not funny! I am more than capable of responding to emergencies. I had amnesia, I'm not mentally disabled, Mother."

"Yeah, Janice," Mark says putting his arm around his wife jokingly.

"Oh, shut up, both of you," she huffs in reply. She hugs me one last time and kisses me on the cheek. After Mark did the same, they finally went off on their way and Jacob and I are officially alone.

"So now, what do we do?" he smirks at me as we reenter the house.

"Well," I whisper, raising my eyebrows at him suggestively.

As if he could read my mind, he takes my hand and we run upstairs to undress…

~*~

"Jacob," I say breathlessly. "That was incredible! Let's do it again!"

He just laughs at me as he drags me to the ski lift for the umpteenth time. We had been skiing all afternoon, only taking a break to have lunch and by now, the sun is setting on the horizon. As I sit there staring at the sunset under the warmth of Jacob's arms, I'm reminded of another scene just like this – it was my dream.

"Beautiful," I whisper.

"Yes," he replies. "Yes, indeed."

I look up at Jacob to find him staring at me. I smile at him as his eyes descend on my lips. His head follows the gaze and before I knew it, I'm wrapped around his warmth in an entirely different way. His lips taste like honey and lemon as he kisses me with the ultimate passion. Deepening the kiss, he licks my bottom lip gently, begging for access, which I granted.

As we fight for domination in a heated embrace, I knew that there is nowhere else I'd rather be than right here, right now – with the person I love the most in the world: my soul mate and my other half, Jacob. When we surface for air, I become aware of one thing as I lose myself once more in the blueness of Jacob's eyes: my dream has come true…


A/N: Whew... there you go! I hope I didn't mislead any of you hahaha! But I will be moving this story along - I'm not sure if I want a build-up in the next chapter or go straight to the gang... it would be nice if Jacob and Stacey has some time together, wouldn't it? But a lot of you are excited about PJ and Amber getting back into the picture lol. We'll see...

And I know I don't deserve it, but please review!!! Again, I apologize for the delay, but reall life just got in the way, what with college conflicts, friendship problems, family stuff, and whatnot... Maybe I'll make it up to you guys with another update for next week! =D

I love you all!!!