A/N: Sorry this update took so long. I was not in a writing mood and I'm trying to change that.
Later in the day my mother returned from town. She came to me.
"Susannah, you worried me," she said to me.
"I looked for you in town and could not find you. When I heard the news I realized you most likely went home."
My mother was one of the few people who knew how much I hated the witch trials.
"You are correct Mother. I returned to Mr. Ackerman hosting a couple of guest. They were new to Salem. Did you know of them?"
My mother gave me a small smile.
"I did know of them, Susannah," my mother replied to my question. "Andrew told me of them. He also informed me that the young Mr. de Silva took a particular liking to you, one that you seemed to return."
I bowed my head to hide the blush that formed at my mother's words.
"Susannah," she said to me, "you know that Andrew wishes for you to marry Paul Slater. However, I know how much you dislike Paul.
"All I want for you is that you are happy in your marriage. If this Mr. de Silva wishes to court you I would have no problem with that. If Mr. de Silva can make you happy I give you my blessing."
I looked up at my mother. She gave me a smile.
"Susannah, do me a favor." She paused in talking till she was sure she had my full attention.
"Susannah, if you cannot be happy in a marriage with Paul, then do me the favor of not excepting his hand."
I was surprised and grateful. I took my mother's hands and said, "Thank you, Mother. You have no idea what that means to me."
She smiled and walked away.
I did not know what to do. My mother has just given me permission to deny the man I despised but was almost sure I would have to marry. And not only did she give me permission to deny him, she asked me to. It was truly mind blowing.
I had to clear my head so I decided to go back into town. I figured that the witch conviction had been long over in the gossip ring and it would be safe to venture out.
As I reached town no one was in sight. However before I could walk far I was confronted by my own worst enemy, Paul Slater.
"Good day, Susannah," Paul said to me as he came out of nowhere.
"Go away, Paul," I told him trying to mask my fear
"Susannah, I can't just go away. I need your answer to my marriage proposal."
Remembering my mother's words I looked Paul dead in the eyes and told him, "There is no way on earth that I would marry you. The answer is no."
Paul started to become angry then, "I am sorry Susannah but it seems you are forgetting you parents' wishes."
"No Paul I am not. Yes Mr. Ackerman wants me to marry you. However my mother thinks very differently. So the answer is still no."
Paul became truly angry after I said those words.
"What a shame, Susannah. You know what would be even more of a shame?"
"What?" I asked cautiously. I knew what he was talking about but still I had to ask.
"If the village found out about your secret."
My bones chilled. Finally I looked at Paul and said, "It is your secret too."
"Yes but you know the village would never believe it."
"Fine, tell them. I would rather die than marry you anyway," I said as I started to walk away.
However Paul grabbed my arm, pulled me close and hissed in my ear, "You will marry me, Susannah. Trust me when I say that."
I was about to slap him when I heard a slightly familiar, male voice say, "Excuse me sir, is there a problem with Miss Simon here?
Both Paul and I looked to see Jesse walking toward us.
"No sir, there is not," Paul said in his 'back off' tone.
Jesse however, just said, "Then will you please let go of her arm?"
Paul threw my arm at my and stalked off. Jesse was about to go after him when I grabbed his arm.
"Let him go, Jesse. He's not worth it," I told him.
"Are you alright, Susannah?" Jesse asked me.
"I'm fine. Paul as a temper but it is nothing I can't handle."
"Would you mind if I walk you home, Susannah? I hate to think of you out here alone with him."
I stared at Jesse. No one in the village would care what Paul did to me. He could care me for all they cared. Everyone was scared of him and his family. They all thought me stupid for not being scared.
"Of course you may, Jesse. I will tell you about Paul as we walk," I replied.
Jesse offered me his arm. I laced my arm with his and we began to walk.
"So what do you wish to tell me on this Paul fellow?" Jesse asked.
"Paul, as far as Mr. Ackerman is concerned, is my future husband. However, I will never be that man's wife. Paul, though no one but me realizes it, is an evil man."
Jesse cut me off by saying, "Susannah, I realized that. Simply by the way he acted with you I could tell he had an evil side to him. I am glad you do not wish to marry him."
"Jesse I not only don't wish to marry him but I will not. My mother has even asked me not to marry him because she knows he cannot make me happy. I was surprised when she told me that she wanted me to deny Paul's proposal. But not as surprised as by what else she said."
Jesse looked at me. "What did she say that surprised you so much Susannah?"
Caught off guard because I had not realized what I said I replied, "Please don't ask me that now."
"Of course Susannah but may I ask you something else?"
"What is it Jesse?"
"Susannah I know we have not known one another very long but I wish to ask your parents for permission to court you. However I do not wish to do this against your wishes. If you have no feelings for me and do not wish to think of a future marriage between the two of us then please tell me. I do not want to make you unhappy."
I was shocked. I knew the permission would be granted if he asked. I simply needed to decide if I wanted Jesse. However I did not need to think long on the subject. Jesse was an incredible man. He would take care of me and if there was anyone who could possibly make me happy it would be someone like Jesse.
"Jesse I would be honored."
Jesse stared at me. A smile grew that took up his whole face.
"Susannah you do not realize what this means to me," Jesse said.
It was then that I heard the crying. I stopped.
"Susannah what is wrong?" Jesse asked with a worried tone.
"Jesse do you hear that?"
"Hear what, Susannah?"
"Someone is crying," I said as I looked around.
It was then that I saw her and I immediately wished I had not mentioned the crying, because not far from me stood Heather Chambers. The problem with Heather standing before us was the fact that Heather was one of the people who had been convicted as a ghost and had been hung, last week.
Jesse looked right where Heather was and said, "Death comes hard for many. Especially when it was at the hand of those you thought you could trust."
I looked at Jesse with wide eyes. "You can see her?" I asked.
Jesse straightened. "Yes, Susannah, I can."
I was about to say something, when I heard someone say, "Young miss, I am sorry this has happened to you but please let me help you."
I looked and there was Father Dominic kneeling next Heather. I could nearly swear I was going mad.
"Padre, do you need help?" Jesse asked.
Father Dominic looked at Jesse. "Aw, yes, Jesse. This young lady is having trouble adjusting to her new situation."
"Wait! You can see her too Father?" I practically screamed.
"Oh Susannah, I did not notice you there. Perhaps after we are done with this young lady we should all sit down for a talk," Father Dominic said. Neither he nor Jesse seemed surprised that I could see Heather. I personally was shocked. The only other person I knew that would be able to see her was Paul, though I suspect his little brother could though I had not spent enough time with Jack to be able to tell for sure.
"Of course, Father. Perhaps I can help with Heather," I replied.
"You know this girl?" Father Dominic asked me.
"Yes of course. Her name Heather Chambers," I answered surprised.
"Then perhaps you should talk to her."
I walked over to Heather and knelt down beside her. "Heather I know what happened. I know you're not a witch. The others of this town are paranoid and they took it out on you and the others. I'm sorry but if you move on you won't have to deal with the pain of the betrayal of this town."
Heather glared at me. "How can I escape the betrayal when I did it to myself?" she spat at me.
I flinched back. "What do you mean Heather? What do you mean you did it yourself?"
"You know that Bryce was supposed to be my betrothed. Well he said he loved someone else. I told him if he left me I would turn myself in as a witch. He left and I did. I turn myself in for being something I'm not. However it seems you three are."
I was surprised by Heather's confession.
"Heather, I know that you are hurt by your mistake but if you just give it time it will get better."
"How? I'm dead! You are a liar Susannah Simon! You are the witch that everyone has been hunting. You should have been the one to die!" Heather yelled at me.
I was shocked and hurt by Heather's words. I turned around and ran.
As I ran away I heard Jesse say something that sounded like, "How dare you?"
Then I was too far to hear. After a while of running I fell down at the base of a tree and cried. Normally I wouldn't cry. I wouldn't have even run away. I would have stood in front of Heather and slapped her. But she got to the core of my greatest fear. So I cried.
I don't long I was curled up at the base of that tree but it soon became hard for me to stay awake. Just as I was about to pass out I heard someone say, "Susannah, thank God I found you."
Then I was being lifted into the air and after that I remember nothing.
A/N: Ok I know it's been a long time but just bare with me. I start too many writing projects at once. This one I will finish. It just might be a little while between updates just remember I will update if you put up with me.