Okay, I'm officially the worst story updater ever! Gah, I'm so sorry! From now on, before I post a story, I will have written it all out first, because I SERIOUSLY suck at updates! Oh and I love you! This will be the last chapter because I seriously suck at updating and I feel terrible for making you wait!
The bright light that signified morning filtered in from the cracks on the ceiling and woke me up. I stirred a bit, and turned to bury my face into Ian's chest. I soon found out that Ian wasn't asleep next to me, nor was he anywhere in this room. This puzzled me, as I always woke up before Ian, and on those rare mornings that he woke up before me, I could always find him in the room either getting dressed or waiting for me to awaken. Where are on earth, or anywhere else in the universe, could he be?
I quickly got dressed and got ready to leave our room, maybe I could find Mel or Jared and they could explain to me what was going on. Apparently it was still early, which was why I didn't see as many people and I usually did while walking through the caves. After about twenty minutes of useless searching I still couldn't find Ian, Jared, or Mel. I sighed in exasperation and sat down in the kitchen, taking a quick break before I would start frantically searching again. Just then I saw Jamie walking toward me calmly, with a wide smile plastered on his face. I automatically reached out toward him to give him a hug.
"Hey Jamie! What are you so happy about?" I asked him with a smiling creeping on my face as well. It made me feel so ecstatic to see Jamie happy.
"Oh, nothing. Well actually me, Jared and Mel want to play a game of soccer in the game room. Will you please play with us?" He asked innocently. A little too innocently, I was already suspicious.
I opened my mouth about to inform him that I have lost Ian and should really start looking for him again, but he gave me this look that he always used on me to get what he wanted.
"Please, Wanda?" He said, holding out the word please.
"Fine." I said, knowing that I'd never be able to deny him anything.
As he led me to the room I noticed that I didn't see any of my usual friends in the caves. No Jeb or Lily. Maybe they were playing too? Then why wouldn't Jamie mention that? I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn't realize that Jamie had come to a stop. I gave him a questioning look when he said, "Ladies first."
"Jamie, what in the worl-" My breath caught. As I walked into the room I saw a small group of my closest friends all together with big grins on their faces. The room was decorated in purple and silver streamers that hung from the ceilings and around the edges of the floors. There was a large plank of wood that appeared to be used as a table. It had many different types of food on it, all of the special food items that we would get to eat the night of a raid. I realized that they were all staring at me, and that I was supposed to be reacting. I floundered around in my mind trying to figure out how to close my mouth and make literate sentences come out of it. I managed to mouth the word "what?" which was quite an achievement considering the circumstances.
Ian, oh there he was, took pity on me and grabbed me by the hand and said in a very loud and happy tone, "Surprise! We've arranged this little get together to tell you how much we truly love and appreciate you!"
Wait so this was for me?
"Thank you, but you truly didn't have to do this." I managed after several failed attempts.
"We know which is exactly why we did it!" Ian responded with a grin. Jamie then took my hand and pulled me to the table where we all sat down to eat the delicacies that had been prepared. Jamie was to my left next to Mel and Jared and Ian was to my right. Across from me were Jeb, Lily, Doc, Sunny and Kyle. I sent a questioning glance to Ian then looked at the food. He answered my unspoken question with a look towards Sunny. She looked like she was glowing with pride as she was sitting more or less on Kyle's lap. Kyle who, Ian told me, was just as in love with Sunny as he once was with Jodie, maybe even more. I was very impressed that Sunny went on a raid for the first time. I felt myself swelling with pride, Sunny was a relatively young soul and I felt like a proud older sister.
The atmosphere was warm and I felt as if everything was glowing, we ate food and told stories and jokes. Never once did the conversation or the laughter break, it was a very surreal moment when I realized that my new family loved me as much as I loved them.
After about three hours, just as I finished listening to Sunny tell the story of how I got the name 'Rides The Beast', Jamie suddenly exclaimed, "It's time for presents!"
I blushed; did they really get me presents? That was so heartwarming and thoughtful that I felt a tear starting to form in my eye. "You didn't have to-"
"Save it Wanda," Mel interrupted. "We love you and we spent a lot of time on these so suck it up and accept them with grace." She winked at me.
"Thanks you guys, really for everything." I managed to finally say.
"Open mine first! Open mine first!" Jamie said bouncing excitedly. He held out a blue heart shaped package for me.
"Of course!" I said with a smile. I took the package and began to tear away at the paper. Underneath it was a wooden box carved in the shape of a heart, with a hinge on the side of it. I opened the box to reveal that there were two beautiful beaded ice blue bracelets and a matching necklace with a lovely heart pendant.
"Oh Jamie! These are absolutely beautiful! Did you make this yourself?" I all but squealed.
"Yep!" He said smiling proudly, and went to help me put on my gift.
"Thank you so much, words can't even express how much I love it!"
Jamie hugged me tightly obviously gleeful at my reaction.
"Okay, okay! Mel's next!" Jamie said.
She walked over to behind a large rock, and slipped out something that she had hidden there. When she handed it to me, I could see that it was a painting. It depicted a scene of me and Mel laughing together holding each other's hand. I knew she could paint, I knew her every thought, but it's quite different to see something so beautiful and well done in person, then in just a memory. I felt a tear slip from my eye.
"Oh, Mel!" I got out before I pulled her into a tight hug.
"Thank you so much sister." I whispered in her hair.
"Oh come on Wanda, don't get all gushy on me, now, you still have Ian's to receive!" She said though I could tell by her grin that she was touched.
"Here you go, love." He said and handing me a think brown package. I tore of the paper and saw a leather cover with the words, "We'll always be family." I opened up the book to see a picture of everyone in the cave. The next picture was one of me and Ian. I carefully flipped the pages seeing picture after picture of me with everyone I loved. And besides each picture was a brief description written by the person in the picture. Everyone was in it. Even Maggie and Shannon had written something kind. The last picture was an image of me, Ian, Jamie, Mel and Jared all hugging each other close. I couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my face.
"Wanda?" Ian asked worriedly.
"Thank you. It's perfect I-" Then I found myself in Ian's arms. When I finally stopped crying I couldn't help but grin like a crazy person.
"Thank you guys, so much, I've never had anything like you guys, and I just love you so much." This led to all of us embracing again. But that was okay. I was perfectly content being surrounded by the warmth of everyone I loved.
Well that's it! I can't believe I took so long to update! I'm so sorry! Please forgive me! I love each and every single person who has reviewed, subscribed, faved, or read! Thank you so much! It really means the world to me! A special shout out to Bloodredfirefly who reviewed to every single chapter. You guys all are amazing, virtual hugs and cookies for all!