(AN) Happy Valentine's Day! This is actually chapter six of WWR in Cassie's POV. I figured for V-day, we'd return to the classic couple. Read the whole way to the end, because the end is the cutest part!
PS, if you've favorited/alerted/read this recently, there are actually two sequels. The next one you'll want to read is the Earth on Fire.
Chapter 6: Sunrise
I couldn't believe what I was doing. I couldn't believe anything anymore, actually. Bella Swan, my best friend, was getting married to a vampire. A vampire, one that had killed people, and I was going to be her bridesmaid. This sucked. I glared out at the waves, willing them to swallow me up. Drowning was preferable to this.
There were options, but I didn't like any of them. I could call in reinforcements, I'd almost called Zack last night, but I'd stopped just before I had made the decision. They could take out the Cullens and force Bella to become a witch. I cringed a little bit, I didn't like the idea of me being a witch, how could I force my sister to become one if she truly didn't want to be.
I could just kidnap Bella and make a run for it, but Alice could see the future, and I really didn't think Bella would ever forgive me. I kicked a rock into the ocean and swore under my breath.
Option three, I could just kill one Cullen, namely Edward. It would stop the wedding, which would stop her from allowing herself to get bitten, and would save my Bella. I was pretty sure I could take him, I'd handled stronger. But, I wouldn't, I couldn't. Because the Cullens were different. They cared about humans, they cared about me. Selfishly, I craved the sisterhood I had felt while dress shopping with Rosalie and Alice. And Esme looked so much like my mother had. I felt tears rise in my throat, but I stopped them. Witches don't cry, I didn't cry.
So, I'd decided on option four. Go through with the wedding, enjoy the last couple of months with my sister witch, then get the hell out of dodge before she was turned. After that, I could resume the very long hunt for something that would kill me for good, no coming back. I didn't want to endure the never ending numbness if I wasn't going to make her happy doing it. Zack would understand, he had to.
I looked down at the mark on my wrist. It pulsed dangerously, as if rebelling against my own thoughts. I was quite sick of having an indestructible soul, of being the only thing left after the fire. Peace, never ending death, sounded better and better. No more ghosts haunting my every footstep, no more tragic memories, no more sisters, and no more responsibilities. It could be bliss, pure bliss.
"Cassie, are you okay?" I nearly jumped out of my skin, spinning to face Angela. I slipped and almost fell into her, and she laughed. I joined in half heartedly.
"Yeah, just distracted. I'll be okay." I replied with a small smile. Angela nodded, although the concern didn't leave her eyes.
"Okay, if you need anything, you know where to find me." Angela smiled again, and I heard Mike Newton yell her name.
"Look Ang! I found the Frisbee!" He announced proudly. I rolled my eyes as Angela dashed to him, taking the Frisbee from him and running to Ben. Mike was dripping wet, and he turned to me with a mischievous smile. Just then, the wind blew, and reminded me how cold I was. He brought his arms out, about to envelope me in a wet, sloppy hug. I danced away a few steps, scowling. Mike Newton was ridiculous if he thought I was going to let him touch me.
"Mike! Don't you dare! I'm already cold, and you'll give me a case of hypothermia!" I warned, my voice low. His smile twisted and I gave him my best 'I dare you to try it' look.
"Fine, I won't touch. Are you going to play Frisbee with us?" He asked, inclining his head. I looked longingly at the fire.
"Alright, I get it, you're cold. Go sit with Jess." The way he said it made it sound extremely unpleasant. I shrugged, though, and turned to walk back, that's when I saw him. He was huge, probably about a whole foot and a half taller than I was. His dark skin glowed in the sunlight and his chin length black hair danced in the wind. I was awestruck, unable to take my eyes off of him. I was stunned into not moving, until Jess broke the silence.
"Cassie!" She yelled, and I began to move again, drawn on by coal black eyes that had turned to look at me. I slowly made my way to the fire, sitting down across from them, trying to warm myself up. He was staring into my eyes, and I found I couldn't rip my gaze away. It took me a minute before I remembered I had to breathe.
"Cassie, this is Jacob Black. Jacob, this is Cassandra Luwen." Jess introduced, a slight hint of envy in her voice. I wanted to glare at her, but that would have meant looking away, and that was impossible.
"You can call me Cassie, everyone else does." I corrected, then tacked on, "It's nice to meet you, Jacob." I offered him my hand, with the intention of shaking his, but instead of shaking it, he simply took it and sat down by me. His hand was so hot, it was almost scalding, but it felt wonderful on my cold skin. The reminder of warmth was enough to make me shiver again. Stupid body temperature issue, I knew I should have worn more clothing.
"It's wonderful to meet you too, Cassie." He replied, with the goofiest grin on his face. I couldn't help grinning in return. He then looked down at my arm, noticing the goose bumps from the cold, I imagine. Suddenly, his hand let go of mine, I found myself missing the contact almost instantly, but he was holding out his sweatshirt. I couldn't help but stare at the defined muscles of his body, blushing slightly.
"Here, take this. A little thing like you shouldn't be out here without a jacket." He offered. I couldn't take his sweatshirt, he would get cold, but just as I was about to refuse, the chilling wind made me swallow my pride. I took the sweatshirt silently and gratefully, tossing it on. Not only was it as warm as a sunny San Francisco day, it smelled wonderful. It was far too big, but I liked cuddling into it. Part of me was screaming, the part I recognized as Beltane, the ancient witch who knew better. Twenty year old, flirty, Cassie Luwen didn't mind, however, and was quite happy about this turn of events. I spent too much time listening to the wrong parts of me anyway.
"I guess I'm still used to San Francisco weather. I hate the cold." I admitted freely, smiling shyly. He was looking straight at me, smiling like he had some sort of secret.
"Tell me about San Francisco? I've never been there." He asked, his voice low enough for just me to hear. I leaned in closer as I started talking.
"It's nice, warm and dry. I've only lived there for a little over a year. I grew up in New York City." I replied. He grinned.
"Where do your parents live?" He asked. I felt a dull stab next to my heart. No matter how many times I repeated this, it still hurt to say. After all these years, you would think the pain would go away.
"My dad and step mom live in New York with my brother, but they travel a lot. My mom died when I was eight. She got mugged in Central Park one night." I looked up through my eyelashes to study his face. He looked horrified and angry.
"I'm so sorry, Cassie." He mumbled, his eyes dropping. I reached out to touch his hand. "My mom died too when I was a kid. I know how it feels." I looked up, surprised, although he was studying the sand.
"Bad things happen to really good people sometimes, huh? And it never quite stops hurting. I try not to think about it, but I still miss her." I said softly. He smiled at me sweetly, brushing my hair away from my face.
"They're watching out for us, you know. How else would I have found you?" He asked, then changed the subject. "So, about New York City…"
He spent the next hour and a half grilling me about my life in New York, my apartment in San Francisco, my brother, my dad, my friends, my schools, he even wanted to know why in the world my favorite flowers were daffodils. Finally, I told my cover story for being in Forks, rolling my eyes as I looked around.
"Do you like Forks? I mean, it's a little green, but…" He sounded so anxious about my answer that I couldn't help but feel slightly guilty about hating the cold wet place.
"It's fine, I suppose. Too dark and dreary for me. I don't see how anybody can stand it. Have you met Bella Swan? I don't get how she can stand it either, she's from somewhere warm and dry like me." I didn't mean to bring Bella back up, it was just my mind was so focused on her, that it was hard to keep thoughts away. Jacob had succeeded in keeping my mind off of her for two hours, which was impressive in itself. I realized everyone from Forks had left and I swore mentally. I wondered how long it would take me to blink home, since Jess had left me with no ride. Then I realized Jake's head had dropped, he was staring at the sand.
"Jacob…are you okay?" I whispered, brushing his hair back from his face. He was so warm…almost burning hot. It was nice, he warmed me up just by being close.
"I'm fine. I'm wonderful now that you're here." He answered, looking up into my eyes. My breath caught in my throat, and a blush burned my cheeks as red as my hair. I must have been imagining the distinct ring of truth behind his words and the desire that seemed to sparkle in his onyx eyes. I had to be.
He laughed, his voice perfectly husky. He leaned close to me, his eyes burning wonderfully. "It should be illegal for a girl to be as perfect as you are." He whispered.
And suddenly, the witch had fallen away. I was seventeen years old again, the world at my fingertips with no weight of supernatural responsibility. My heart was beating so quickly, I was surprised it didn't just give out.
"Jacob!" I started, he swore. I couldn't help but grin at the exasperated expression on his face.
"Friends of yours?" I asked. He rolled his eyes, straightening.
"Give me five seconds to kill all of them, and then we can get back to you." There was a boy that ran past Jacob and I, punching him on the shoulder, to throw more wood on the smoldering fire. There was also an angry looking man who sat with his shoulders hunched. He had danger written all over there were two couples, a younger pair and an older pair. There wasn't anything extraordinary about that, not logically.
Except that there was. They seemed to me to be encased in their own bubble. They practically glowed. Like there was a pull between them. It stabbed a little bit at my heart and I had to look away quickly. They reminded me of Atham and Hope.
And all the boys were huge, just like Jacob. It made me feel like a porcelain doll. I wondered if the other girls felt the same.
"Where's Quil?" Jake asked.
"Spending time with Claire." The older girl answered simply. I turned to face her immediately. That's when I noticed the scars on her face, and I felt a shot of alarm run through me. It took me a few seconds to calm down, to more closely examine her face. It was wonderful how the man kept her close to his side, like he was trying to protect her.
Jacob wrapped an arm around my shoulders, leaning down to speak to me. "These are my friends…Emily, Sam, Kim, Jared, Embry and Paul. Everyone, this is Cassie Luwen." He introduced. I smiled and lifted a hand to wave.
"It's wonderful to finally meet you Cassie." Emily said warmly, as if she genuinely was glad to meet me. "You've been the cause of all the new buzz in Forks."
"Oh." I murmured, fighting a blush. They all laughed a little, before settling into a nice rhythm of conversation.
I liked them. It was a dangerous thing, for me to like humans, when they were so frail (Even though the boys looked anything but frail). I liked how shy and quiet Kim was, but so kind. I could draw her out of her shell, and I noticed whenever she smiled, so would Jared. It seemed to be the same with Sam and Emily.
In the warmth of that circle, for the first time in a long time, I felt at peace. I was so warm…I was sleepy. And I ended up nodding off on Jake's shoulder. That night…I dreamed of wonderful things instead of having nightmares. I dreamed of Jake…holding me, kissing me, things that made my heart race wildly.
And I never stopped thinking about him.
(5 Years Later)
"Do you remember what it was like the day we met?" Jake asked drowsily as we sat on the beach. It was cold, but I was quite warm with Jake's arm's wrapped around me.
"Perfectly." I answered, stroking my bulging belly absentmindedly. Jake's hands followed my own.
"So do I." He whispered. "You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
"Wait until she's born." I joked. Jake smirked against my neck.
"We still don't even have a name for her." He said seriously. His voice echoed across the beach and rang off the cliffs. That's when it came to me.
"Echo." I said softly.
"Mmm?" He asked.
"Echo Isabella Black." I said it out loud, enjoying the way it rolled off my tongue. "Coco for short."
"Echo is a bizarre name, sweetheart." He said softly.
"Echo…because she is our echo. The echo of everything we've been through…the echo of love and hope…the echo of our entire lives, the echo of our destiny." I whispered. "And she needs a unique name anyway. There's not going to be a child like her in existence." Jake was quiet for a moment.
"Echo Isabella Black." He whispered, as if he were savoring it. "I like it."
My phone vibrated in the sand and I reached for it, dusting it off before I flipped it open. I couldn't help but laugh at what it said.
"It's Alice. She thinks it's a lovely name." I grinned.
"Happy Valentine's day, Cassie." Jake muttered. "Happy valentine's day, Echo."
And the baby inside me kicked happily.