Welcome to my story. I'm very excited to share this little gem with you, especially since The Host is getting closer to the big screen. I've been a fan since the beginning, and I hope I do the original story justice. This story is mostly Melanie/Jared, so be aware of that if you are looking for a Wanda/Ian fic, there are only snippets of them romantically. Any mistakes are my own, and I apologize profusely for them. If anyone is interested in beta-ing for me, please contact me.
This is multi POV.
I don't own The Host, the lovely Mrs. Meyer does. I'm just playing with her characters.
"I am not staying here, Jared!" I yelled. "I can't do that again! I can't sit here and wait for you to come home. It nearly killed me last time, just waiting for you, wondering if something had happened."
I was nearly in tears, mostly out of frustration and slightly out of fear. He just didn't understand what I went through during those few weeks he and the raid group were gone, including my best friend, Wanda. At least then I had a good reason to stay home. This time he was just being ridiculous.
He stepped closer to me and took my face in his hands. I wanted to push him away, but revelled too much on the feel of his skin on mine. "Mel, baby, someone needs to stay here. You know that. Someone has to look out for our son."
"Jack will be fine with Jamie, they adore each other. You said yourself, we would only be gone for a week or two. Jack is only one, he won't even know we're gone!" I was getting desperate. I didn't want to leave my son behind, but the thought of Jared being away for that long without me made me feel sick.
Ever since Wanda had been going on the raids, they have been fewer and further between. The raiders would be gone for a few weeks and then return with enough food to last four or five months. Ian and Wanda had been leading the raids as of late, ever since Jack was born. Jared had only been needed once since then. They were only supposed to be gone for three weeks, but ran into some trouble and ended up not returning for almost five weeks. With no forms of communication, we had no idea what had happened to them.
"Mel..." he began.
"Don't you dare 'Mel' me, do you remember what happened to me after the last time?"
I knew I had struck a chord within him when I saw the way pain and hurt flashed across his face. When the sixth day passed over their return date without a sign of their return, I collapsed within myself. I couldn't bear the thought of living without Jared. This was made worse by the fact that while also losing him, I lost Wanda, Ian and four of our other friends. It was as though I suddenly just couldn't function. Jack was only six months old at the time, and it was only his hunger filled cries that got me out of bed everyday. I ate only enough to make sure he got enough food from me. He was the only thing that kept me going, not even Jamie's pleas or Jeb's threats.
"Do you remember how you found me? Do you remember how I thought I was dead, and meeting you at the gates of heaven? How you had to yell at me, and convince me you were real? Do you remember how I lost almost ten pounds?"
I knew to some people, my reaction was a little intense. Especially considering Jared and Jamie had gone through the same thing. The difference was that I knew there were people who could care for Jack. He would have his Uncle Jamie, and Great Uncle Jeb, and a slew of other caretakers in the event of my demise. Thinking back to it now, I was furious at myself for ignoring my responsibilities and most of all, ignoring my son.
I could see that Jared was having a hard time finding an argument against my last statement. But he responded anyway. "If I don't go, Jamie will have to."
Thinking about Jamie being out there scared me just as much as Jared. I just didn't like the thought of either of them going without me. I just felt like if I were there, I could protect them if something went wrong. Logically, I knew there was little I could actually do if something were to occur, it just made me feel better to be there.
"No one is going anywhere without me, Jared. That's final." I demand.
"I'm just going to let this go for now. The raid leaves in a tonight, we have until then to figure this out. They need a strong guy to go on this one. There is a lot of new equipment we need for the planting season and the generators are going to give out soon. I'm the strongest man here, and Wanda and Ian need help. We won't be gone long. Just think about it, Melanie. I'm going to go get Jack." With that, he left our room.
Now, I just had to figure out a way to get Jared to let me go on the raid.
I had to stop for a moment on my way to get Jack from Wanda and Ian's room. Ever since Wanda's removal Mel had become more emotional than she had been before the insertion. Since that fateful night and the birth of our son, things seem to have changed.. I'm not sure if Mel knew how much her comment about finding her from the last raid hurt me. I don't think she even remembered half of that night. But I did. All too clearly.
"How much longer do you think it will be until we get back? They have to be freaking out right now. We are almost a week off of schedule." Ian asked.
"We're about five miles away." I responded tightly. I was very concerned about Melanie and Jamie. If they felt even a fraction of the pain I felt when I thought I lost Mel then they were not in good shape right now. I cursed the run in we had with Seekers. We had to backtrack in order to lose them, too terrified to come right home in fear of them following us right to the others.
"Do you think Jamie and Mel are alright?" Wanda asked from the backseat.
"I have no clue. I hope so." All I wanted to do was hold my wife and kid tight to my chest and sleep for a good, long while. But since we were so off schedule I knew that wasn't going to happen for a long time. There would be questions, and unpacking, and I knew I wouldn't see the inside of my bedroom for far longer than I wanted to.
Wanda had saved us all by throwing the Seekers off our trail. When all seemed lost, she demanded I pull the van over and let her out. Ian nearly had a heart attack when she actually got out of the car and told me to drive away. She and I had discussed this plan in detail. I would drive away and leave her behind to deal with the Seekers. Wanda would pose as a bystander lost in the desert, and tell them that we had traveled in the opposite direction we actually went in. She would then hitch a ride with another Soul, asking them to drop her off at a designated place.
Ian went berserk when I pulled away until I told him our plan. He refused to speak to me until we picked Wanda up. Even then, he only spoke to me in short clipped tones. He swore the next time he would be in a good mood with me would be when we were finally home safe.
Which brings us back to now.
I could see the drop off point coming up. Unlike in the past there was no one waiting for us in the open.
The sound of the trucks on the desert sand must have alerted someone to our arrival because before we could even stop the trucks there were a swarm of people surrounding us. These people were not happy to see us, evident by the guns and various other weapons pointed at us.
"Jeb," I began, "It's us." To prove my point, I flashed a light in my eyes.
"Alright then," he replied gruffly. "Start unpacking." He didn't question our tardiness. Not yet at least. There would be plenty of time for that once everything was unpacked and the raiders were cleaned up. I went to grab some supplies to carry in before running off to find Mel, but Jeb stopped me. "She's not in good shape, boy."
That was all he needed to say. If Jeb were pointing it out, I knew it was bad. There was no hesitation on my part, I was off running before someone could even shout my name. My girl needed me.
The condition I found her in would haunt me forever. There wasn't a trace of my strong, brave, occasionally violent Melanie. She was curled up on my side of the bed, clutching one of my shirts. She didn't even look up when the door came crashing against the wall.
"Melanie." I whispered, my voice cracking on the simple word.
That got her attention. She sat up slowly and looked at me as though I was a ghost. I guess to her I was.
"I thought it would take longer." she said. Her voice was no better off than mine. "I thought I would get to see Jack again. Make arrangements for him. Jamie won't let anything happen to him. I wish I could've held him one more time."
"Wha-what are you talking about? Oh god! You think you're dead! Mel, we're not dead!" I was horrified by her words. She was ready to die? I understood the feeling, but I didn't think she would be so ready to leave our son behind.
"Don't try to shelter me, Jared. I can take it." She whispered, her words harsh and sad. "I just wish I could've held Jack one more time. Told him I love him. This is so unfair to him. I didn't want to leave him alone, but I just couldn't do it, Jared. I couldn't do it alone."
This was the most vulnerable, and well...weakest I had ever seen her. Her words broke my heart and nearly broke me. This wasn't us. We weren't this weak.
"Melanie Howe, listen to me right now!" I shouted. "We. Are. Not. Dead. Our son is God knows where, and you need to pull yourself together!"
She slowly got to her feet to face me. When the covers fell from her nearly naked body, I could see just how much my absence had affected her. With only the fabric of her bra and panties as covering, her already petite five foot five figure looked even smaller. I would venture to guess she weighed nearly as much as little five foot two Wanda. My breath hitched as she started to move closer to me.
We didn't speak as she crossed the room to get closer to me. I remained motionless, afraid that she would suddenly snap. When she finally reached me, my heart was pounding in my ears so loudly I was afraid I'd miss it if she spoke. Her hand reached up slowly and touched my cheek bone, until her entire hand cupped my cheek. Her other hand followed soon after, and we found ourselves merely staring into each other's eyes.
She was the first to break the silence. "You're real." Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, her voice still raspy.
"Yeah, baby, I'm real." I whispered. "I'm real, and you're real, and we are both human."
Suddenly, she was all over me. Her hands ripped the shirt off my body, and her hands clawed down my back. Her lips were everywhere, my lips, my jaw, my throat. I gripped her waist, and pulled her body impossibly closer to mine, returning her advances enthusiastically. Mel's hands moved lower to undo the button on my jeans, her slim fingers moving swiftly. Mine moved to cup her cloth covered breasts. She moaned into my mouth, causing my hips to jut forward in reply.
"Oh, god. Jared, I need you. Please, I just..." Her raspy voice whispered in my ear. She didn't need to finish, I knew that we both needed this closeness, this release.
Once my jeans were off my body, I lifted her to wrap her legs around my waist. She whimpered when my hardness pressed against her centre. I slowly began to lower our bodies to the mattress beneath us. When her back was firmly pressed against the mattress, I made quick work of removing the rest of her clothing. Her bra was the first to go, the black cotton made its way to the floor, followed swiftly by her matching panties. A hot fire spread through me when our skin met. Judging by her moans and the frantic movement of her hands in my hair I knew she was ready.
I began to kiss down her neck, to the valley between her breasts. My mouth just closed over a nipple before she pulled my face back to hers.
"No, I just need you. Please, no foreplay." she gasped. "I just need you." Her voice was thick with emotion.
I lifted my body from hers momentarily to rid myself from the rest of my clothing. When I lowered my body back to hers the fire reemerged with a vengeance.
"Jared," she sighed in my ear, the breathy sound making me even harder. "Oh, Jared."
"Jared," a different voice than what I was expecting said.
"Jared, dude, are you there?" Ian asked. "I've been calling your name for like thirty seconds. I was about ready to go get Doc."
"Oh yeah, sorry. Just had a little disagreement with Mel and I guess I'm kind of out of it." I said while rubbing my neck, wondering how long I had been standing in front of Wanda and Ian's door. "Is Jack ready?"
Ian smiled and led me into their room. "Yeah, he just woke from his nap and was asking for you and Mel."
"Da-ey!" Jack nearly screamed when he caught sight of me from Wanda's arms. "Da-ey, hold!"
I smiled when I saw him flailing his little arms in my direction. "Hey, buddy! Did you miss me?" He nodded enthusiastically.
"Miss, Da-ey." He said sleepily, nuzzling his head into the crook of my neck, his soft brown hair tickling the sensitive skin there. "Momma, Da-ey?" His questioning eyes met mine, asking where Mel was.
"You want Momma?" I questioned. He nodded furiously causing Wanda and Ian to laugh. "Okay, let's go get her." He squealed and began to bounce up and down in my arms.
"See you guys later!" Wanda said as Jack and I left, before the door shut I caught Ian rubbing his hand over Wanda's slightly protruding stomach. I smiled knowingly, hoping I would be in the same position soon.
Jack was quite the little surprise. Melanie had only had her body back for about four months when I asked her to marry me. Jeb performed the ceremony for us, and everyone in the caves came, even sour old Maggie. Wanda got a white cotton dress and even a large white cake on a raid a few days before.
It was a spectacular event, Jamie stood as my best man and Wanda as Mel's maid of honor. Both girls cried, and I even saw Sharon shed a tear as we exchanged rings and walked down the makeshift aisle as man and wife. Ian played on a guitar Wanda gifted him with, and we danced and played and laughed all night. Until we were alone that is, but that's a different tale.
Six weeks later, in the warmth of our cave, naked and sated with Melanie's head tucked under my chin and her body nearly on top of mine, she whispered two words that would change our lives. "I'm pregnant."
The rest is history.
On Mel's twenty fourth birthday a few weeks ago, we had discussed the possibility of having more kids, and both came to the conclusion we wanted more and soon. Jack was such an amazing kid, we lived in a good environment, and I wasn't getting any younger. Thirty three wasn't considered old, however after years of living the lifestyle we did, it began to take a toll on my body. Joints began to pop more after I woke in the morning, something Mel loved to tease me about. Thankfully my physique had yet to change, my arms were still thick and my stomach was still hard, something else Mel loved.
"Momma!" Jack yelled smiling brightly, bringing me out of my thoughts. Mel had just opened the door to our room when Jack called for her. She smiled widely at him and ran to our side.
"Hi, buddy!" she said, rubbing his back and kissing his little hand. All my anger and frustration from earlier melted away when I saw her sweet, motherly smile. I handed Jack to her and pulled her into my side, loving the way her body fit perfectly into mine even all these years later.
"Hey baby," I whispered, kissing the top of her head. "I'm sorry about earlier."
"Me too," she replied softly, raising herself to her tiptoes to kiss me. I savored the feeling of our lips meeting, the ever present fire igniting in full force.
Jack's giggle broke us apart, Mel and I laughed when he puckered his lips out, waiting for Mel to give him a kiss too. She replied with an exaggerated kiss, making him laugh even harder. The devotion reflected in both of their eyes as they gazed at each other made my heart stutter.
It was in that moment that I decided that I would do whatever it took to keep Mel from this raid. No matter what she thought to the contrary, I knew Jack would never be alright without her.
Well there you have it. I'm really looking forward to your responses.