After all of the nice reviews you all sent me, I've decided to continue this.
So here's the second chapter, along with a new summary!!
At this point, It could get a little iffy, especially since I don't have an ending yet.
I guess I'll just play it by ear and see how it goes!
P.S. I don't own anything from the Host.
I blinked slowly, waking up. The cave was dark. Moonlight filtered through the network of cracks in the ceiling. It wasn't morning yet. Why had I woken up? Something felt off. It was too dark, too early, too quiet, too empty. Empty?
I sat up, suddenly alert. Ian was gone! Panic spiked through me, my mind raced, my fragile heart sped up. Where was Ian? Why had he left? Why hadn't he woken me up? Why didn't he tell me he was leaving? I couldn't stop. Was he ok? What if he was hurt? Or sick? This horrible, terrible, mind-numbing worry. Was this what Ian had felt when I had left him to go to Doc? When he woke up to find me gone?
My eyes began to water. I deserved to feel this way. I never should have left him that night. Was this payback? No. Ian was so kind. He would never hurt me on purpose. But where was he? What if something awful had happened to him? I buried my face in my hands, sobbing now. What would I do if Ian were gone? How would I go on in this life without him? Why did life and love go on when-
"Wanda?" My head snapped up. Ian stood over me, concern twisting his beautiful features.
"Ian!" I squeaked. I dove forward and locked my arms around his shins- his nearest reachable body part. Relief flooded through me. Ian was here, he was safe, he hadn't left me. Ian stooped down and gathered me up in his arms.
"Wanda, honey, are you ok?" Ian asked anxiously, "You're crying!"
"No, no. I'm fine. Really," I sobbed. Now, I was upset with myself for making him worry. I hated this body's emotions. Why couldn't I stop crying?
"You're a terrible liar," Ian said, "Tell me what's wrong." He gazed down at me intently, waiting for me to speak.
"I...I woke up and you weren't there…and I…I was afraid… something had happened…and I…" I trailed off lamely, feeling embarrassed. I was overreacting. As always. I was being irrational. It was ridiculous of me to jump to conclusions.
"I'm sorry," Ian said, "I shouldn't have worried you. Please don't cry!"
He smoothed back my long fluffy hair, and wiped the tears from my cheeks. I rested my head on his chest. I immediately felt better than before. I always felt safe with Ian.
"You don't have to apologize," I murmured, "I shouldn't have reacted like that. It wasn't fair to you."
"I don't mind." Ian pressed his lips to my forehead. "I'm glad you worry about me." I glanced up at him, confused. His gentle blue eyes smiled down on me.
"The fast that you worry about me can only be a good thing," he continued, grinning, "I think you do it because you love me."
"I do love you, Ian," I agreed, blushing.
"And I love you too, my Wanderer." He cupped my face in his huge hands and kissed me deeply, his hands roaming my body. Molten lava flowed through me. Slowly, Ian pulled away. I settled back into him, trying to catch my breath, feeling a light, dizzy, floating sensation. After all this time, Ian still had that effect on me. He overwhelmed me.
"Wanda, I need to tell you something."
"What?" I asked, my pulse quickening again. Something was wrong. I knew it. I immediately thought of Jamie. Melanie, Jared, Doc, Jeb. Were they all right?
"It might be nothing," Ian said, "But I was just with Jared and Jeb…." Oh no. One of them was hurt! Jared or Jeb. No! I couldn't stand to lose another member of my family.
"…And they said they'd spotted a group of people hiking through the desert. Maybe Seekers. We don't know…" Seekers. They still hadn't given up? It had been weeks since our last raid, and even longer since Lacey had "disappeared", since we had taken Candy and the other Healer, since Kyle had kidnapped Sunny.
"…We might have to leave," Ian finished. Leave? All of the sudden, I felt cold. Ian saw my expression.
"Where would we go if they came here?" I asked.
"I don't know. Only Jeb knows. Just in case one of us gets caught. We won't be able to sell out the others." No. No. An image entered my mind, Ian being dragged away by Seekers. I gasped.
"No, don't worry. This has happened before. Normally we wouldn't even worry about it," Ian said quickly, trying to reassure me. He wrapped his arms around me.
"Why is this time different?" I asked, afraid of the answer.
"Well, this time it seems like they know where they're going. They aren't just wandering around. They're heading right for us," Ian explained, his brows pulling together. "That's why we're packing up. We might need to go." Ian rose and began stuffing our clothes into a camping pack.
"Oh," I said. My thoughts stood at a standstill. I couldn't imagine leaving here, this place where all of the most frightening, and amazing events of all my ten lives had occurred. The caves were my home now. And the people who lived here were the most important thing I had ever had. Even Sharon and Maggie meant something to me. I couldn't watch them be discovered. There had to be some way to protect them all.
"Ian?" I called. He stopped what he was doing, a wad of shirts in his arms. "Ian, I want to see them. The Seekers."
"Jared has the binoculars. Once I'm done in here, we can go find him."
"No!" I cried, frustrated, "That's not what I meant. I want to talk to them. Maybe I can convince them that it's just me out here, and they'll leave."
"NO!" Ian roared. I cringed back. He stomped over to me, put his enormous hands on my shoulders and looked directly into my eyes, his face distorted with rage.
"You. Will. Not." He said through clenched teeth.
"No! They'll take you away, Wanda. I can't lose you, not again!"
"I have to try," I pleaded, "Please let me try!" Ian was about to protest again when Lily burst into our room.
"Wanda! Ian! You have to hurry! We don't have much time! They're almost here!" Lily rush back into the corridor. Ian shoved our remaining belongings into his bag.
"We need to leave. Come on." Ian begged. I didn't move.
"No!" I protested, "Let me talk to Jared, he'll agree with me. I need to talk to them!"
"You're coming with me!" Ian insisted, slinging the pack over one shoulder and throwing me over the other.
"Put me down!" I screeched, pounding his back with my tiny fists.
"Not a chance." Ian strode through the double doors of our cave and started down the hallway.
"This is ridiculous and unnecessary!" I complained, "Put me down! I can walk just fine on my own!"
"That's exactly what I'm afraid of," Ian replied. After a few minutes, we reached the big cavern where everyone else had gathered.
"Put me down," I said softly. My throat hurt from screaming. I was too tired to put up much of a fight. Ian must have realized this, because he finally set me down. I sank to the ground, exhausted.
"Jeeze, O'Shea. What the hell did you do to her?" Jared called, walking over to where Ian had dropped me.
"He wouldn't let me talk to the seekers," I mumbled incoherently.
"I wanted to talk with the seekers, "I said more loudly. "I want to try to protect everyone." Jared blinked, looking shocked.
"You would do that?" he asked, "For us?"
"Out of the question!" Ian cried.
"It's not a bad idea," Jared said thoughtfully.
"It's a terrible idea!" Ian shouted back. They continued to bicker, completely ignoring the fact that I could hear every word. I sat there frustrated, wishing they would stop arguing. It wasn't productive. Then I noticed the binoculars in Jared's hand. Maybe Ian wouldn't let me talk to the Seekers, but if I could convince him I just wanted to look at them, I could go near enough to them to be seen. Then I would have to speak to them. Ian wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Perfect. Neither of them seemed to notice when I stood. I edged closer to Jared. Then, I quickly snatched the binoculars out of his hand.
"I want to get a look at the Seekers!" I called over my shoulder, sprinting toward the exit as fast as my tiny body would carry me.
Ian caught up with me almost immediately and grabbed my wrist, forcing me to stop.
"What do you think you're doing?" he cried, prying the binoculars out of my grasp.
"I just want to look at them! That's all. I promise! Please, Ian," I begged, feeling more and more helpless by the second, and so frustrated that I was near tears. I tried in vain to pull my wrist free from his vice-like grip. Ian sighed.
"Fine." He handed the binoculars back to me. "But I'm coming with you." He took my hand and towed me toward the end of the tunnel. Ian and I crouched down near the mouth of the cave. I couldn't believe it. My plan was actually working. All I had to do now was expose myself. I peered outside. Dawn was breaking. In the dim morning light I made out eight figures in the distance. The Seekers. I raised the binoculars to my eyes. I would have to keep up the charade just a bit longer.
It took a while to get the group into focus. I could almost make out their faces. There were six males and two females, judging from their body types. I turned the focusing dial a hair to the right, bringing their faces into sharp relief. I examined their face. One stood out more than the rest. He was the tallest, with ginger hair and eyes that shone silver in the early morning light. I gasped and dropped the binoculars in shock.
"What?" Ian demanded, "What did you see?"
I ignored him, snatching up the binoculars again. I surveyed the others once again. I knew these people.
"Those are no Seekers," I whispered. I jumped up and tore out of the cave, Ian following behind me. I found myself face to face with the same people who had ambushed us on our way home from one of our recent raids. The ones who had shown us that we were not alone, especially me. Our new friends from Nate's rebel cell. Nate stepped forward, his leathery face fearful.
"Please. You have to help us."
So, that's chapter two. Sorry about the cliffhanger. There was really no better way to end it.
Reviews and feedback would be lovely. :)
I feel like this chapter isn't as good as the previous one, probably because I wrote most of it at 2 a.m. last night.
Tell me what you think!!