A/N: Last chapter.
I promised acknowledgements didn't I?
Thank you to:
Lilystar And Awesome Kitteh
Yes, there could be a sequel, I'll let you know. If anyone has ideas for the sequel, send them in.
Chapter 18 Noemi
I had a baby girl. We decided to name her Noemi. As I held her in my arms, I thought about how beautiful she was. There was no one but us in the hospital room. Everyone else had gone for coffee. I wanted to stay like that for ever. I didn't want to let go of Noemi. "Jesse?" He was sat on an armchair next to my hospital bed. It was a private room; Jesse wouldn't have anything else. He was quiet. I think he was thinking about something, maybe this was his way of jumping up and down with excitement. He just watched us with a smile on his face.
"Yes, Querida," he replied, coming back down to earth.
"How are we going to cope when she grows up?" I couldn't bear to think of Noemi going out and doing all the teenagery stuff, or even falling over in the park, for that matter.
"We won't worry about that now. We have many years before that happens."
"If she's like me, we'll have problems." I saw my first ghost at two. I have been brought home by the police far too many times and I have broken pretty much every bone in my body.
"If she's like any normal child, we'll have problems."
"She's not though, is she? She's a shifter, a very powerful one too." I'll never be able to forget the story in the cave. How she might be when she comes into her powers. Her life will never be normal. I can't even shield her form that world. Now I half understand how Jesse feels when I shift or when there's a particularly troublesome ghost. Did I just say troublesome?
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. You should get some rest; I'll go take her to the nursery."
I reluctantly handed her over. Once I was alone, Paul came into the room. He looked tired and I could've sworn he was wearing pyjamas. He came and sat in the chair that Jesse had just gotten out of. I didn't expect to see him and I had no idea who would've called him. If Jake saw him, I had a feeling it wouldn't go down too well. I can't believe he came. I know I don't hate him anymore, and that, actually, were kind of like good friends, but I still never thought he'd be here.
"Sorry I'm late, Suze. Was it a girl?"
"Yes. Her name is Noemi Isabella De Silva. I'm worried about her, Paul. She's too young to help ghosts or travel. What if she dies at a young age because of that?"
"Suze, I know you and I know that you will find a way around this, even if it means that both of you take Shifter lessons." I had to smile at that.
"Will you be the godfather, Paul?"
"I'd love to, but I don't think Jesse would be too pleased."
"It's something he's going to have to live with." He smiled.
"Does this mean I get to beat up any boys she brings home?"
"No, Jesse does that. You can be the awesome uncle who's too irresponsible to be allowed to teach her about Shifting." He face turned serious again.
"I promise I will not put your daughter in danger, Suze. I want to be the uncle that spoils her and that sometimes encourages her to be a rebel, but I don't want to be the man that gets her killed."
"I know, Paul."
"I've changed, Suze, and I think it's because of you. I care about you and your new-born child – not so much the over-protective boyfriend- but I don't want to see you hurt."
"Jesse is not over-protective, he just doesn't trust you and he isn't capable of hurting me. I used to think that you would. Hurt me, I mean, but now I don't feel that way. You're a good man, Paul."
"Then why not choose me? Why not be with me instead of Jesse? I'm rich, you, me, Noemi, we can run away together. I didn't mean run away -we aren't two teenagers fighting for a forbidden love. I can give you everything you ever wanted. I've tried so hard not to ask you this, Suze. I was fighting my own feelings so that you could have Jesse. I thought he was the better man, that he was better for you. Now I know that you think more of me, that you like me and trust me. We can be more than good friends, Suze. I can be Noemi's father and you'd be a great mom. I'm not the man I used to be and I'm never going back. In fact, I hate myself for doing that to you. I will do anything you want, Suze, anything."
"Don't say anything yet Suze. I want you to think about it." He gets out of the chair and walks to the door. Just before he walks out, he turns to me and says, "I love you." And closes the door. How am I going to sleep?!
The next day I awoke feeling refreshed, with Jesse sitting by my side. Then I remembered Paul's offer. I knew I couldn't possibly consider going with Paul. I love Jesse, he loves me and he's the one who's been here all night, sitting by my side. I just wish the magic hadn't made his offer so tempting.
"Good morning, Querida," he said in a low voice, lowering to kiss me. I was too distracted to kiss him back properly. Paul had really made me think. The magic is playing on my weaknesses. Paul seems to me what Jesse isn't, but in a good way. I can't guarantee that these feelings will fade. I love him with fake feelings. Though they don't feel very fake. I want him, but I have to stay with Jesse. Leaving him would tear us both apart. And Noemi; I want her to know her real father. I choose Jesse. I have to choose Jesse. The more I tell myself that I don't love Paul, that these feelings are fake, the less I believe it. This must have shown on my face because Jesse looked at me, concerned.
"Are you alright, Querida?"
"Yes, I'm fine. Have you seen Paul?"
"Paul? He was here?! I can't believe he actually had the nerve!"
"I need to call him."
"Hasn't he messed us up enough?" Jesse ran his hands through his hair.
"He asked me a question and I have to answer it."
"Are you choosing him over me?"
"At this very moment, yes. But I'm not going to leave you."
"Don't tell me he made you an offer!"
"He might have done."
"He's not going to be able to move an inch when I'm done with him, let alone leave with my fiancée."
"He was never going to leave with me. I'm turning him down. I don't want him. I want to live with you and Noemi as a happy family. There's no need for this."
The door opened and Paul stood there with flowers for me and a balloon for Noemi. He also had a giant teddy bear under his right arm. I wasn't sure who that was for.
"Speak of the devil," Jesse spat.
"You do know I've actually met the Devil," Paul replied calmly.
"What? Even he didn't want you?"
It was almost as if they'd switched roles. Jesse was jealous and irrational and Paul was being perfectly calm. Showing himself to be the better man. I was powerless watching this whole exchange.
"No. I had to do a job for him and he said that he would give me something in return," Paul said, with an air of nonchalance that didn't match his words.
"You made a deal with the devil?!"
"Yes. But that's not really important now," he turned to me and said with a wink, "I'll explain later."
"Where you're going, there won't be a later."
"Jesse, stop it! Stop! Enough with the death threats!" I yelled, unable to handle this any longer.
"She's right. It took me a while to figure it out, but that was the exact reason she always went running to you."
"Now the tables have turned and she's running to you," Jesse whispered. He slowly sat down on the bed, by my feet. Tears ran down his cheeks.
"Is it true, Suze? Are you really leaving him?" Paul asked in genuine disbelief. But before I could answer, Jesse started talking.
"I couldn't believe my luck when I found you, or rather you found me, after 150 years as a ghost. Then you brought me back to life. And you loved me and stayed with me, even when I was a ghost. Then you have my beautiful daughter. Our relationship was good, there were bumps in the road, but they brought us closer. And now you leave me for the guy you kept telling me you don't have feelings for." I can't believe this! I haven't even been able to say that I'm not leaving him yet!
"I hope you're all happy together," he said, as he walked out the room.
"Suze, I never dreamed you'd ever leave Jesse. Especially not for me. It was cruel of me to make that offer. I've actually come back to revoke it. I thought about it after I left yesterday, and I think we're better off without each other. And Noemi needs her Dad. I think it's best if I leave. For good. You'll never see me again-"
"First of all, I was never going to leave Jesse," he tried to interrupt me, but I stop him by holding up my hand, "and second of all, you don't need to disappear, Paul. I'm not going to forget you and I don't think these feelings are going to go away with you."
"They're not. We're old souls, Suze. Every time we reincarnate, our souls get closer and closer to being together, but each time, we manage to resist each other. There was a reason for that. We were too afraid of the power created when we get together. It's all in the other story, which you don't need to worry about right now. It's inevitable, Suze, maybe not in this life, or the next, but it will happen. You just need to concentrate on you daughter and her power."
I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. Finally, Paul was telling me the truth. The whole truth. Our purpose in life and he was resisting so that I could be with Jesse. I think it is our destinies to not be together every time. I didn't share this with Paul, after his whole "inevitable" speech. I let him believe that he can have me eventually.
Paul left and Jake came in, giving him a death glare that could petrify. Jake stopped looking at him like that when he noticed how upset he looked.
"That's right; don't look at me like that. She chose him."
"Is that true, Suze. Jesse-"
"Didn't listen," I finished, "he made his mind up, that I was leaving him because nothing good ever happens to Mr-Oh-So-Unfortunate. Not even the whole, meeting me, falling in love, coming back to life, getting laid, having a baby with the woman of his dreams…" I said, a little mad at him for not listening to the most important thing I'd ever have to say to him in his life.
"What was that about him coming back to life?" Jake asked.
"Nothing. Figure of speech," I said quickly.
"You are a terrible liar," he smiled at me.
"You have a terrible poker face. That douche is still here isn't he? Listening to every word." I called him a douche affectionately.
Jake stepped aside, like a curtain, to reveal Jesse standing there, grinning. His hair was a mess, his eyes were red and he looked like he'd slept in his clothes. If this were a movie, he would probably look a lot better than that, but it didn't matter. I probably looked absolutely awful, but that didn't matter either. At the end of the day, we were going home. Together.
A/N: a bit soppy towards the end, but what can I say? I love a happy ending. Do you think There should be an epilogue to tie up loose ends? I mean, for starters, there's the wedding, and Suze's dad is still around, and that baby was born prematurely, and the end of that story in Egypt, and Paul's story about his Deal With The Devil, and the baby's powers… This could all be put into a sequel, but this ending kinda works.