Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, I am not Stephenie Meyer Nor do I own the following lines in bold as they are from teh end of the Host.
***Please read and review*** This is my first story, I have read many of yours and feel like I can no longer wait for the sequel to come out, so I started my own. Hope you like it, it may take a couple of chapters to really get going but has a few twists coming up ;) I have included the last page of the book as I pick up straight from there.
Burns grinned at me, the crossed the empty space, the no-man's-land between the two tribes, with his hand stretched out toward me.
I stepped out from around Ian, ignoring his muttered warning, abruptly comfortable and sure.
I liked the way Burns had phrased it. Going native.
Burns stopped infront of me, lowering his hand a bit to compensate for the considerable difference in our heights. I took his hand - it was hard and callused next to my delicate skin - and shook it.
"Burns Living Flowers," he introduced himself.
My eyes widened at his name. Fire World - how unexpected.
"Wanderer," I told him.
"It's...extraordinary to meet you, Wanderer. And here I thought I was one of a kind."
"Not even close," I said, thinking of Sunny back in the caves. Perhaps we were none of us as rare as we thought.
He raised an eyebrow at my answer, intrigued.
"Is that so?" he said. " Well, maybe there's some hope for this planet, after all."
"It's a strange world," I murmured, more to myself than to the other native soul.
"The strangest," he agreed.
Feeling the sudden presence of Ian behind me, although knowing he had been there the entire time - the electric tingle that ran up my spine from the placement of his hand on the small of my back - I took a second to take a quick glance back towards him. He eyes were tight with concern, not sure what he should make of this situation, yet trying to be strong and protective for me.
I tried to give him a reassuring look, but I knew as long as I was between him and this unknown group it would do little good to try to calm his nerves. I imagined the muscles tense across his shoulder blades - that caused my mind to wander slightly and the blood to rush to my cheeks - I turned back to Burns before I forgot myself.
"Strange as it may be, this planet does have quite a pull to it," I said to my fellow soul. "An anchor that seems to keep me here."
Still holding my hand in his, Burns cups his free hand over it fully engulfing my petite hand.
"It surely does Wanderer," he said with warmth in his eyes as he looked down into my face, which was still rosy from my previous thoughts. There was a familiarity to that look he gave me but without Melanie sharing my thoughts I couldn't place it.
I heard a low sigh come from directly behind me, so close I could feel the warm breath through my hair. This time I didn't need to glance back to know the emotion that would be reflected in those deep shaphire eyes.
"Indeed," I said shyly looking down as I slid my hand out of Burns' grasp. I adjusted my body's weight at the same time to lean slightly back towards Ian, hoping to ease his concerns. As I bring my eyes up from the ground to again meet Burns' eyes I can see disappointment in them. A wave of sadness washes over me as I realize I may have hurt his feelings without even meaning too. This is a sadness I must accept as it cannot compare to the despair I would feel if I caused any pain to the wonderful man standing behind me, and I know that would be inevitable if I continued any further exchange here.
Jared, as perceptive as usual, sensed my growing discomfort with the situation. He caught the attention of Nate once more.
"Well, Nate," he said. "I think it may be time for you to meet Jeb, the leader of our group."
"Jared..." Ian cautioned him with a quick look while he wrapped a protective arm around my shoulder.
With a nod of his head, Jared catches his meaning. "Understandably though," he looks back at Nate. "It would be unwise for us to allow such a large...and armed group to come back with us."
At the mention of the weapons, my eyes are drawn to the guns and I cringe into Ian's chest making him squeeze my shoulders in support. A few members of the other tribe grew tense at this suggestion, readying their weapons. Nate waved them to lower their weapons.
"I think that would be a wise choice," Nate said, waving forward one of the men. "Rob and I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with your Jeb."
"I think we can work with that," Jared replied. "We will finish our loading of these supplies and then you two can join us -"
"- I- I would also like to join you," Burns interrupted, clearly not completely comfortable with his own decision. "I would love the opportunity to discuss things with my fellow soul... If that would be okay with you, Wanderer?"
"Okay," was all I could answer. I couldn't help but feel a wave of excitement at the thought of learning more from Burns and how he came to the same position as I have on this world.
We went back to loading our supplies before the drive back to the caves, while Nate discussed logistics with his group.
"Jared, do you think this is a good idea?" Mel asked concerned. "Do you think it will be safe? Can we trust them?" After sharing her thoughts I knew she was thinking about one person at that moment. Jamie.
"Well the last time I trusted my instincts and let strangers join me, it worked out pretty good," he said to her with a coy grin spreading across his face. "And you know I would never put the kid at risk."
"Jeb will be surprised by our raid this time!" Brandt exclaimed.
They continued to discuss the possibilities of this new merger as they put the last of the items into the truck. As usual I stood aside, not being of any help. This new body made me feel useless to our group. I made a not to myself to talk to Mel about way I could improve my strength once we got back - and once I had a chance to talk to my new friend from the Fire World.
Ian approached me at the edge of the group once he finished with the last large box. Just being the focus of his attention brought the blood rushing to my face, to the point where I once again had to lower my face from the shyness. He placed his hand under my chin and raised my face to look up into his, placing a soft kiss on my lips. "Hey there beautiful."
"Hey," I muttered softly. "Are we ready to head back now?"
The corners of his mouth twitched down a bit, barely noticeable if I had not been staring at them want to graze them against my own once more. "Yeah, I guess you are anxious to get back to talk more with Burns," he said. "You two will have a lot in common, I assume."
"Oh Ian! Please don't say you are jealous," I said, knowing that there was absolutely no reason for him to feel that way.
He pulled me into his chest, wrapping his arms around me. "I just wish I could know more about the universe, so I could share all the knowledge and experiences with you," he quietly explained, speaking into my hair. "You have thousands of years of stories from so many worlds and all I have is a short life on a single planet. It just doesn't seem like I have enough to offer you."
I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist, shaking my head against his chest. "Oh Ian!" I say into his body. "How can I make you understand?" I pull myself just far enough away that I can look up into his eyes. "All that experience, all those years, they were just leading up to this world. To you. My only reason for existing in this universe. That is what you offer me." I reach up and pull his face down to rest an inch away from my own. Feeling his breath on my lips. "You are my reason for existing. I love you."
With that Ian pulled the rest of the way into our embrace and crashed his lips onto mine. "Oh Wanderer. I love you too." He pulled our bodies closer together, wrapping ourselves around each other in a way that was entirely not appropriate for an audience. Pulling his lips away from mine, Ian continued light kisses down my jaw line, the side of my neck and ending on my collarbone, causing my body to shutter with joy.
I got more coming...