Disclaimer: The Mediator belongs to Meg Cabot. I'm just playing with Jesse for a while. I promise to give him back unscathed. ;)
Summary: Final story in 'The Shock Of A Lifetime' series. Jesse's POV of all his encounters with Suze in Twilight.
A/N: Hey y'all! How ya doing? Okay, so it's 6th and last book...Seriously, where'd the time go?! But hopefully, I'll do it proud... :D Thanks so much to you ALL for reading, reviewing, favin' and ravin'! I truly appreciate every single review, hit and all in between, lol. It's what totally makes this all worthwhile. Especially when I get stuck. But I hope you enjoy this last story of the series. Sorry this one's short, my brain glitched. :(
Anyway, enjoy and have fun XD!
Recap: Jesse reminisces over the past few weeks, including his time with Suze, the move into the rectory and Pauls Slater's shady character...
Meet Me At Forever...
It'd been a few weeks since I'd told Susannah I loved her standing by my grave. And I haven't regretted a moment of it. I look to the sunrise on the horizon each morning, knowing that Susannah loves me in return. Allowing the sun's warmth to fill me, just like Susannah's feelings do. And that is all I need. All I could possible ever ask for. Having the girl of my dreams look at me as if I hold a secret only we share. A love only we know. A feeling and sentiment, I would wish on anyone to feel at least once in their lifetime.
I had lived my life, hoping and believing that I would feel something like I do now. Or at least something close to it. But having my life cut away from me so short, left me feeling bereft and afloat. Drifting further and further from what I could call real anymore. Not expecting anyone to ever see, or speak to me. Let alone touch me. Therefore I had given up on ever feeling a love so strong, time and distance could not break.
I wanted to feel something akin to what I read in books. In the fairy tales told to children. In the scene's I would witness when seeing a couple, who looked upon each other as if they were the only people on earth and couldn't be happier. I wanted to feel what they felt. To experience what it would feel like, to have someone look upon me that way too.
And now I had, I didn't ever want to let it go.
If anything, I could feel it grow. Strengthening more and more now I knew Susannah felt the same way. The happiness I wished to see light her eyes was a burning glow, never dulling now. Blazing and shining like the brightest star in the sky when we are together. The true light I wanted to always see, was there waiting for me each time we saw each other. Filling me with such overwhelming feelings, I would often have to remind myself Susannah was finally mine, and I hers. It all seemed too surreal to me.
Her smile was infectious, growing with each second. Her touch sent shivers through me, making me ache to feel more. Her laughs made me wish to block out the rest of sound, and hear only Susannah. Her soft sighs of contentment made me smile broad and proud, knowing she felt just as I do. That I wouldn't wish to be anywhere else in the world, but there with Susannah in my arms. With our smiles banishing the shadows, often trying to surround us.
For the first time in too long, I was happy. Our situation and 'lives' had changed since that day in the graveyard. Since one of the most life altering occurrences to have happened since I first met Susannah. We were no longer tiptoeing around each other or avoiding awkward moments and situations between us. No longer did I get frustrated with not being able to say how I really felt. Or to feel the pain that would try to consume me, each time I dared hope. Or to see the broken shards of Susannah's heart, in the dull, glazed look she seemed to have been carrying since I made the mistake of leaving her after our first kiss.
They were blown away, the moment I told Susannah I loved her.
Now I could look openly at Susannah and not have to withhold anything from her. I can bare all that was written in my heart and soul when I look at her, or hear her laugh. I didn't have to hold back if I wished to hold her in my arms. Or kiss her till she melted, leaving us both breathless and surprised. I could run my fingers through her silky hair and feel it slide through my fingers. Sating the curiosity always burning in me, at how it felt to have her close, and not fear that I was opening myself to more pain and affliction.
I still left her home and moved into the rectory with Father Dominic and Spike. But we still got to see each other often. Sometimes I would intercept her while she was at school. If only to see her for a couple of moments. I would also still visit her at her home. Choosing to sit on the porch roof wrapped in each other's arms. Sharing the view of the beautiful night sky. Something we always loved to do when I was living there. And of course one day on the weekend we would have our, 'Date Night' as Susannah deemed to call it. I didn't care for the title; I was just content to be with Susannah as much as possible.
But as difficult as getting used to the rectory with Father Dominic was, I had Spike with me to keep me company still. I had a small piece of home with me in Spike, and Susannah in my heart to make it bearable being away from the one house and room, that had kept me for a century and a half. Tucked away from the world where I was waiting for my querida, my love, to walk into my lonely existence. Something I made sure to give a pray of thanks for each and every day. For the friendship, trust and love to have been granted to me after a long wait.
The days following my leave were the hardest, but I knew over time, it would grow easier.
Although Spike seemed to settle in quickly, staying away from Father Dominic. Not that either ever made a move to pay each other attention. His transition from Susannah's home to our new one seemed to go smoothly for him. But I suspect he would be happy anywhere as long as I was there with him. A sentiment I was more than inclined to return. It was one thing not seeing Susannah every day; it was another to miss my beloved pet who asked for nothing but affection.
I just hoped Sister Ernestine didn't find out about him. I knew he wouldn't last long here if she did. She seemed like the kind of lady, any person would back down from when given a certain glare from her. Susannah being on the receiving end of that scowl on more than one occasion. It was enough to make a proud man wither.
But we had been lucky so far. I only hoped that would last.
I didn't happen to come across Slater too often either. Thankfully we both stayed out of each other's way, should we see each other. I no longer held the torrent of anger I felt towards him since the night our fight escalated. But I knew if he put a foot out of place with Susannah, then I wouldn't hesitate to step in. My rage had diminished, but hadn't completely withdrawn. I knew it never would. But I made the effort to not actively look for him, or follow him when I knew he was near. Even hidden from view, I knew I didn't want to be around him anymore than was necessary to be.
Even if the temptation too, was sometimes a raging battle.
I trusted Susannah to be more careful around him now. I had to remember she was an equally stubborn and wilful person. One who's sense of dependency was always strong. If I pushed too hard, then I knew she would pull away. I didn't wish for that. Not now that I had her with me. She reminded me often she wasn't some defenceless china doll and was more than capable of defending herself. It didn't stop the worry though.
Thankfully the subject of Slater only came up a couple of times when Susannah and I were together. Something I was very grateful for. I didn't think I would have been able to keep the envy and jealousy out of my voice or eyes when speaking of him. I felt safe in the knowledge that Susannah loved me, but I also knew what Paul Slater is capable of. And it never left a particularly nice feeling in my stomach when thoughts of him came about. Especially when he didn't get what he wanted. But Susannah had requested me to stay away from him, and I did as she asked.
Though not without effort.
We seemed to have been lucky the past few weeks when it came to a spirit needing help. Susannah had only had one ghost make an appearance since Craig had disappeared, or moved on. Mrs. Gutierrez. She had appeared on the evening of our date night, startling Susannah and myself and leaving a very awkward moment to occur between us all. Once we had gotten over the stuttering apologies and blushing, I was finally able to understand what the lady was saying. She was quite distressed and shaken. Her frail features seeming even more delicate in the onslaught of her sobbing and shaking frame.
Susannah was quite taken aback at the old lady's words that meant nothing to her. Mrs. Gutierrez didn't speak English, only Spanish. Making Susannah's own distress for the sad lady even worse. Knowing she couldn't help or comfort her, like she would another spirit. The kind words she asked me to pass on with my own; lost some of its warmth and comfort in the translation. But once I managed to get the lady to calm down enough to understand what she was asking, the shroud and weight seemed to be lifted from her slightly more.
Mrs. Gutierrez gave direct instructions of a tin box to be found and recovered in the backyard of her once home, and given to her relatives in desperate need of what the box contained. Money. The spirit was distraught and eager for Susannah to do as she asked. For the money to reach her family and ease her concerns. It was obvious what was holding the lady back; I hoped she found the peace she sought once her task was carried out.
Susannah was silent through most of the exchange. Brooding and worrying all the while I spoke with Mrs. Gutierrez. Being unable to help her directly was making her feel guilty, I could feel it. I knew it was a natural instinct for her to help someone in emotional need. Being incapable of it this time, did nothing to settle Susannah's nerves. I took her into my arms once the lady had left, reassuring her she was doing the only thing she could, by doing as she was asked. That there was nothing more to be expected of her.
But it didn't stop her from feeling her remorse over this fact.
I offered to go with Susannah to help with the retrieval of Mrs. Gutierrez's important tin box. But Susannah gently but firmly declined my offer. Even after I pointed out that it would be helpful should she appear again? But Susannah believed there to be no problem doing her task alone. I knew without asking, that she was adamant about going alone, because she felt she hadn't contributed anything when she had first appeared. But I made the wise choice of not acknowledging this to Susannah.
Choosing to let her do as she saw best.
I never saw the nice old lady after that night. She never appeared to me again, as I had expected her to. Even to have to grant me a thank you. It was odd, but I hoped she had moved on. Knowing that the help she so desperately sought for her family would soon be given to them. Unfortunately this didn't do anything to quell the slight suspicion in me, deep down.
This belief was only solidified when I asked Susannah the morning after she had gone to retrieve the Mrs. Gutierrez's box, if all had gone to plan. Her answer to me had been mumbled and scarce, avoiding my eyes. She had told me someone had woken up and she had nearly gotten caught, so she left quickly. It didn't seem like a complete lie, but it wasn't the full truth either. She changed the subject quickly after, which I relented and went along with. I didn't wish to push her for more information. Only hoping she would ask for help if the situation arose to it.
I kept the silent question of Slater to myself. Somehow I knew he had something to do with the trouble Susannah had had with carrying out Mrs. Gutierrez's plea for help. I knew Susannah was trying to protect me from Slater. Going so far as to offer for me to return back to her home once again. Something I adamantly turned down, given the new change to our relationship. Although even a part of me found amusement in Susannah's unnecessary fear for me, I still acknowledged the deep concern she felt. She claimed often she knew Slater better than I did. That if he said he was capable of doing something, he would.
This still did nothing to change my views of his 'threats' towards me. As long as he didn't harm Susannah, he could throw his empty words and tantrums around all he wished. I wasn't going to rise to it again. Not this time.
Instead, I decided to bide my time and wait. I knew Susannah would mention what had really happened at Mrs. Gutierrez's home, eventually. Until then, I made a concerted effort not to worry about Slater and his shady personality, towards myself and Susannah. I could take care of myself. If there was one thing I was certain of, it was that Paul Slater did not scare me. If anything, I pitied him.
I had the girl I love with all my heart in my life. I had everything I could have ever asked for, considering my own situation. Paul Slater couldn't take that or Susannah away from me now.
So why couldn't I get past the feeling I was missing something vital and important to do with my love?
A/N 2: Whoo, I had trouble with this one. My mind kept coming up blank. It's late, I'm tired and I need chocolate. But I hope you enjoyed anyway. Thanks for reading, please review. :) Toodles!
Meg - Hey! Thanks for reviewing! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Now we're on to the last book *gasp* But I hope you enjoy this one too. Sorry it's short, but there's plenty to make up for in the coming chapters, hehe. :D Thanks again, take care, x
Coming up in chapter 2: Suze seeks Jesse out at the rectory, finally admitting to what really happened at Mrs. Gutierrez's and telling of Paul's latest threat towards him . . .