Oh wow … it's been awhile. I'm sorry, it's just with classes starting up and making a big move from New York to Alaska, well you can imagine it's been pretty hectic. But, I haven't forgotten about you guys. It took me forever to write this chapter … again, it's very difficult trying to capture the personalities of these characters, but I'm still trying. I hope you like this chapter, because I don't really. I'm just trying to get the story moving. I have couple of ideas now and I will try to get to it as soon as I can … no promises though, but I do promise to work on it and finish it. Please don't hate me!
Also, you may have noticed that the title changed. I would think the reason is fairly obvious and that this new title fits the story a bit better. Anyways, on with the story …
The Other Sister
This is by far the strangest thing I have ever done. In the years that I was alone (the years after the invasion and prior to Mel and Jamie entering my life), I had hated … no loathed those parasites and here I am, doing exactly what the seekers do, searching for a host body. I need to keep thinking to myself that it is not the same … we are doing this because it's what's best for the caves, best for us. Well for one thing, Jodi never woke up (poor thing), so I have no remorse stealing a body that has, in all sense, 'lost its mind'.
But what do we look for? How do we know? Mel said that the younger the better, but not too young (I'm sure Ian wouldn't appreciate that). That the best candidate would be someone who's invading soul has taken residency for quite awhile. She said that a younger mind would be a weaker mind and therefore much less resilient to the host.
Ugh, this still felt wrong! Taking a human life for a non-human, but I do owe it to her, I owe her much more. Wanda had given so much to our human settlement, so much more than I could have ever given. She truly was an entity of kindness, an angel sent from the stars. No one, not even Kyle, could possibly feel more ashamed than or as guilty as me for the way she had been treated. She never meant use any harm, she only wanted to be with us, help us in any way possible. And what did I do? I physically harmed her. Mel was right; I was a total jerk to her, completely vile. Regardless of my prejudices, I should never hit a woman, whether human or not. What kind of a man was I?
But, I wasn't doing this just out of guilt, no, that wasn't the only reason. I … I … love her, I do. My love for her was purely a platonic love, of course, but I can see how someone would easily fall in love with her. Her selflessness, her gentle good nature, her charisma, and relentless need to make everyone happy, who wouldn't fall for her charms? Ha-ha, she would have made an excellent seeker. No, I did not love her the way I knew she loved me, the way I love Mel; I still felt a need to protect her, to keep her safe in my arms. Though, come to think of it and it slightly confounds me now, but I guess I would consider her like a younger sibling. I never want any harm to come to her; I would forever be her overprotective older brother.
"So, where are we going hunting then?" Jamie asked, pulling me away from my thoughts. I was entirely focused on the road, trying to watch my speed limit. So far, the only agreement we had come to was that we couldn't search in the local area. It had to be somewhere far away, somewhere north.
"What do you think, Jared?" Mel squeezed my hand lightly. She knew I was having some difficulties with this and at first she tried to dissuade me from coming along, but was left with no other choice when there really was no other option. The only two possible candidates were Ian and Kyle, but neither had any immediate plans of leaving the caves at the moment. As far as anyone else, they definitely did not want anything to do with this plan. Besides, whatever issues I may have, they were minimal. This is what Mel wanted and I wanted to do this; I wanted to do this for both of them.
"Hmm …" I mumbled, contemplating where we should go. "Perhaps, we should keep our present course and continue north. I think maybe Oregon or Washington would be a good place to search." I smiled at Mel, to reassure her that I was alright. She beamed at me and I raised our already joined hands and kissed the top of her hand.
"Thank you for doing this," she said and she leaned in to kiss the side of my face. She moved our hands up to her face so that she was able to press her cheek onto the back of my hand. She was so warm and soft; it always made my insides squirm at the sensation.
"Anything for you," I replied, looking into her eyes, while not trying to lose focus of the road.
"Ugh," Jamie grunted. "Cut it out you two and watch the road, Jared, before you get us killed," he protested.
Mel and I both laughed, but we never unlocked our hands and continued our journey to find our sister.
Finally, we were out to find Wanda a new body. I thought we were never going to leave. Mel kept insisting that we wait, even though she had already known the outcome of Jodi's condition; she still insisted on waiting. It was irritating really, and pointless to wait if we were going to go anyway. The only cool thing about waiting, I was able to see an insertion. It was awesome; I don't know why Wanda wouldn't let me watch.
We were in the van, traveling up north to find Wanda's body. Ha-ha, that sounds kind of funny, like she somehow lost her body. I guess she sort of did, by giving Mel back, which I would be forever grateful for, but, I had lost my sister, again. Although Mel was my real sister and I do love her very much, I love Wanda just as equally. She was cool and an awesome storyteller. I always enjoyed listening to her stories of her previous lives. They were way better than any fairytale story we ever had; they became the highlight of my day.
Now she lay sleeping in a freezing tank, in Ian's hands. Oh boy was he a little overprotective. He never let me put one finger on her tank; kept saying I was going to break it. The way he would hold on to her though, I would say otherwise. He held it so tight, like his life depended on it or something. Never really took his eyes of her either, although, I must say, Wanda is a sight to see. She is so pretty, very angelic-like. I guess I can kind of see why Ian is so protective of her.
She meant so much to all of us in the caves; become a blessing to us. She saved us all in so many ways. She truly was an angel, a … saint. Hmm, I wonder if I would be able to find a person who looked similar to an angel. I'm sure Ian would agree with my decision, I hope he likes it. I hope she likes it.
I mean, she risked her life for me, to save me, a stranger. Only a virtuous being would go through such extremities to save someone they've barely known. I owed her this. I just hope she wouldn't be angry with us for wanting to keep her.
I turned to see Jamie stretched out in the back seat, clearly passed out for the rest of the night.
"Is he asleep?" Jared asked. He kept his eyes on the road. He refused to let me drive, thinking that wouldn't be able to maintain the speed limit and kept insisting that he was fine.
"Yea, he's out," I replied.
I turned to look back out my window. I never thought I would be able to see things or experience things on my own when Wanda had taken over my body. Back then, I would have done anything to get rid of her, even stab myself in the neck, if I were able to take control of my own limbs of course. I despised her, as far as I was concerned, she should burn in hell and if I were able to get rid of her I would have squished her then dragged my feet on top of her until she was smeared all over the bottom of my shoe. I shook now at the thought, I could never do such a thing. I love her too much.
Jared felt my tension and he tightened his grip on my hand. "What are you thinking?" he asked a bit concerned.
I smiled at him, and the chuckled.
"What's so funny?"
I shook my head lightly, still chuckling. "I was just remembering a time when I would have done anything to get rid of Wanda. Look at me now; I would do anything to get her back. How funny and ironic things are."
He began laughing too, very low as to not wake Jamie.
"Yes," he said, "very ironic. But we love her now; she is a part of our family."
That was interesting, he thought her as part of our family. I mean, I already considered her as part of our family; she was my long lost sister. But, I never would have thought Jared would consider her part of the family. And he said that 'we love her now', in what way did he love her? I couldn't help but to flashback to the last memory Wanda had of Jared, the one he asked her to stay with him. I know I shouldn't be jealous, but I needed to know.
"Jared," I said, almost timidly.
"Yes," he said.
My heart began to beat at a million beats a second. What is he had meant every word to her? Would he tell me the truth? If so, was he really doing this because he wanted her back for him, is that why? No, no, I know that's not true. He loves me; he made that clear to Ian. Then, why did he lie to Wanda, because she asked him to? How would Wanda feel about it later? So many questions, so many questions that I wanted answers to.
"What is it Mel?" he asked, noticing my hesitation. "Whatever it is, you can tell me."
"You love her, too?" I asked.
"Of course I do," he said warily.
"How much do you love her?" I asked with clear sadness in my voice.
I braced myself for his response, the … rejection, but instead he let go of my hand for the first time since we left the caves, only to reach his arm around me to draw me closer to him. He kissed the side of my face, "Not as much as I love you," he assured me. "You are the love of my life; no one or nothing can ever replace you. The love I have for Wanda is nothing more than the way a brother feels for his sister, siblings. The only one I want to be with is you."
"Brothers and sisters don't usually make out," I mocked.
"Please don't remind me of that, I feel weird about that enough already," he sighed, but grinned all the same. "Did you really think that I stopped loving you, Mel? Please, whatever made you believe that?"
I buried my face in the side of his shoulders, too embarrassed now, how could I have doubted him?
"You asked her to stay," I simply said.
He sighed, "I did ask her that and I did mean it, though not in the context you are referring to. Although she is not physically a human, she is one of us. She belongs to our family, as a friend to the caves, a sister to Jamie, you and I, and as a … lover to Ian. She is as every bit apart of us as we are to her."
I took a moment to reflect on everything he told me. He was right; she was a part of us, we needed her. "I love her too," I said after a moment of silence.
"I know you do," he smiled. "We all do."
I leaned my head on his shoulder then and he kissed the top of my head. After a couple of minutes later, I dare to ask.
"So," I said. "I'm the only one you want to be with?" I implied.
He let out an amused, surprised laugh. It was a little too loud, that Jamie began to stir, then slowly began waking up.
"Are we there yet?" Jamie asked, all groggily.
Jared kissed me lightly on the cheek and very low, he whispered in my ear, "When we get back to the caves."
That was enough for me.
A/N: Please review and let me know what you think. :D