A/N: Here's the next installment although as you can see it is not in Laurel's POV but in fact is in Jamie's POV. So enjoy and review, of course!
Sure, I was worried about Laurel, everyone was, but… something about it all didn't add up. Laurel wasn't the fainting type, and if someone even suggested she was, well, let's just say they wouldn't live to tell the tale. Not that Laurel was violent either. I sighed, knowing that it was more than just "stress" to this fainting.
Laurel was stressed, no doubt, but I knew she couldn't possibly have let that stress get to her like that because it just wasn't in her nature… or at least the nature I had come to know. I was walking up one of the few lit tunnels, hands in my pockets, deep in thought, when I heard someone yell.
"James Stryder!" the voice shouted from behind me. I turned around in surprise to find Laurel racing after me a hundred meters off. She ran with an elegant grace even with the desperate expression she wore. It took thirty seconds for her to reach me, and by then she was sporting a sweat that I knew wasn't just from the run. Her usual tanned skin had turned deathly white, her face gaunt with concentration and anxiety. As customary she wore her blond hair back in a ponytail away from her face, yet her eyes were lit up with apprehension rather than knowledge.
"What's wrong, Laurel? You feeling alright?" I inquired truly concerned. I scrunched up my eyebrows in wonder at the disheveled Laurel, a sight I could not get used to. She was breathing hard, resting her hands on her knees and bending over in exhaustion. She glanced up at me for a moment then looked back at the ground. Now I was really worried.
"I—" she paused for another deep breath. "Jamie… do you think I'm crazy?"
Now, that wasn't the response I'd expected. Did I think she was crazy? It's possible. Intelligent? Charming? Strange? Kind? Beautiful? All possible descriptions of the girl before me. But crazy? Again, possible, but maybe not in the way she thinks. I grinned.
"What kind of crazy? Awesome crazy or just plain creepy crazy?"
She opened her mouth to say something, but then realizing what I had said, she gave me a weird look. "I…I don't have a comeback for that… But creepy crazy?" her eyebrows rose high on her forehead. Her skin had gained back some of its color.
"You, Laurel, are most definitely not creepy crazy," I told her, and in return she gave me one her smirks. "But I daresay you are awesome crazy."
Laurel smiled, but then it disappeared as a shadow passed over her face as if she'd just remembered something. "I have to tell you something… James," she said darkly, all traces of humor written out of her face.
I nodded, my grin replaced with a look of interest. "What is it?"
Laurel closed her eyes and took a long breath and then exhaled slowly. Her eyes opened. "You know how I fainted… or whatever today?" I nodded. "Well, I've fainted before and that wasn't what it felt like… because I dreamed—oh, well it wasn't a dream, but it kind of was. Maybe it was an epiphany? Is that what you call it? Oh, I dunno; it was more like—"
"Laurel, you're rambling," I informed her patiently.
She just nodded and went on. "Anyway, in the dream/epiphany, I had become this little girl, not yet ten years old, but it was weird because… everything felt real. The cold floor, the warm blankets, everything! And the girl, she talked to me, she said, 'I need saving and so does the rest of the world,' but that isn't even the weird part, for some reason since I've woken up I cannot forget an address in Utah and I haven't even been to Utah! It's where Clary Marx lives, I can feel it, but what… what does it mean? Are you sure I'm not another kind of crazy, James?"
I had never seen Laurel so decomposed with her eyes open wildly while she paced back in forth in front of me. I was at a loss for words at this enigma that was Laurel and the strange story she was claiming. A dream that's real? How absurd! But then… this whole alien apocalypse was absurd, so why shouldn't it be possible. The rational side of me—the smallest part—said that Laurel couldn't be any farther around the bend when it came to crazy talk. But the other side—the side the feelings for Laurel weren't wholly platonic—was saying she might just be psychic.
I shook my head to clear the contradicting thoughts before I answered. "Laurel, if you're crazy then that makes me even crazier. But this dream/epiphany does sound a bit sketchy, what's the address of said Clary Marx?"
She told him matter-of-factly. "And I have to save her from the aliens," she added with searching eyes; she wasn't convinced that I actually believed her.
"Ok," I said impulsively, the words just falling out of my mouth, "let's go save her."
Now, Laurel's eyebrows drew together skeptically. "Are you patronizing me?
"Of course not," I replied, holding my hands up in surrender. "I'm not even sure what patronizing means."
She rolled her eyes at me. "No one's going to believe, except you and you obviously need a reality check."
"Well, if an alien apocalypse possible, I'd be a hypocrite not to believe you," I notified her.
"Only you would have that logic, James."
"The name's Jamie," I retorted, but Laurel just laughed.
"James, Jamie, I don't see much difference."
I grumbled under my breath, but to tell you the truth, I liked it when she called me James.
"So what are we going to do? I mean, if I tell my brothers they'll just think I hit my head or something just as logical," she pouted, watching her foot kick at the dirt underneath us.
"If they won't let you go then we should…" I hesitated, uncertain what she would think of my plan.
She glanced up. "Are you suggesting we go alone?"
My palms began to sweat. "Whatever it takes, I guess."
Laurel turned away from me, unrevealing about her feelings of the master plan I'd drawn up. Although I was pretty sure of the master plan was the dumbest idea in the world, maybe.
"Just give it to me straight, Laurel, what do you think?"
For a moment the tunnel was absolutely silent save our breathing and then Laurel twisted back to face me. There was something glinting in her blue eyes, something mischievous and somehow amazingly dangerous. Are you sure she hasn't gone off the deep end? A voice asked in my head. I ignored it, for this new glint that sparkled in her eyes sent my heart pounding.
"Call me crazy—and you already have—but, James, that might be the most brilliantly idiotic ideas on the planet," she replied with excitement.
"So are we going?" I asked still uncertain about her look.
Laurel grinned. "Of course. Why shouldn't we?"
I thought for a moment, not without my doubts. "Well, if I may be the voice of reason, what about school?"
"To hell with school," Laurel declared. "I already know more than Sharon—not to be cocky, of course, I'm sure she's very qualified—and besides we won't be gone that long. I just want to know if this dream/epiphany is real."
I never thought I'd ever hear those words pass her lips. She was always so precise and patient when it came to all things school. I stared at her dumbfounded. "Are you sure feeling alright?"
"I feel peachy!" she insisted, grinning. And the grin was so infectious I couldn't help but smile back. "When do you think we should go? We have to make sure we're methodical about this."
"Tomorrow night?" I suggested.
She beamed. "Act like nothing's going down, right?"
"Right," then she did the most unexpected thing. She kissed my cheek and ran off in a hurry. My cheeks flushed as I reached up to touch the spot where her lips touched my skin. I felt like I just asked her out on a date, queasy and relieved.
A/N: Well, I hope you liked getting inside Jamie's head. Do you think I should do it again? Reviews would be just peachy!