I Need You Here

Author's Note: So Jamie and Melanie's parents are deceased and Wanda is their cousin. Not much detail here I know but there are no souls and the world isn't invaded. A tragic accident occurs in the Stryder family and Wanda is sent to live with her Uncle Jeb. Hope you enjoy it. A bit of O'Wanda in there...But this is definitely a Jelanie story.

Disclaimer: The Host belongs to Stephenie Meyer, but the idea of this story is all me.

Prologue

Melanie Stryder took a deep breath as she waited in the airport for her cousin, Wanda Stryder. Wanda had been in boarding school her whole life and wanted to have a change of scenery. Something that Arizona didn't have. She couldn't look back was all Melanie got out of her cousin in their online private chat the other night. Wanda had witnessed her parent's deaths and Uncle Jeb had offered if she had wanted to stay in California. She had agreed immediately and now Melanie waited to see her cheerful cousin. Melanie sighed. Uncle Jeb's place was going to be jammed. Since just a few years ago, Melanie and her brother, Jamie moved in with their Uncle Jeb because of an accident that involved their parents. The siblings suffered fatal injuries but came out alive, after an unexpected car crash but unfortunately Jamie and Melanie's parents didn't. Their other cousin, Sharon, who was with them had suffered more, although alive she was facing a traumatic life trying figure out the missing pieces that were her memories. Melanie shuddered at the thought of the night that ruined their lives. Their Aunt Maggie blaming them for making her daughter get amnesia.

Melanie closed her eyes then opened them, blinking back tears as she saw her cousin, collecting her luggage. She smiled. "Wanda!" she exclaimed as she ran to her cousin. The golden haired petite girl holding a carry on bag turned and immediately plastered a smile on her face as her cousin ran and gave her a tight embrace.

"Mel!" Wanda cheered as Melanie let go of their hug. "Oh, how I've missed you."

Melanie took her cousin luggage. "Huh, you packed light." she motioned to her cousin's bags and Wanda shrugged.

"I didn't have much stuff." Wanda smiled.

"You are so going to love California." Melanie smirked as they walked to her red Chevrolet Sonic.

"I hope so," Wanda whispered to herself but Melanie heard and knew there was truly something wrong with her cousin that she didn't want to share with anyone. She would have to find out sooner or later.

As soon as they left the airport, all Wanda did was stare outside the window. Melanie kept glancing at her, worriedly. Wanda was a very quiet girl but she remembered that this Wanda had always been talkative whenever they were together. Melanie and Wanda had been best friends and close cousins since birth. No one could separate them in every family event. Melanie sighed. Wanda looked at her, questionably. "Wanda, what's wrong?" Melanie asked as she drove.

"N-nothing." Wanda stuttered and Melanie could already hear the lie her cousin just made.

"Wanda, you're such a bad liar." Melanie shook her head. "Please tell me or I'll make Uncle Jeb do it."

Wanda closed her eyes. "No, don't. Please don't Mel. Okay, I'll tell you but please don't tell Uncle Jeb about anything. He can't know because he's going to be so mad." Wanda's lip trembled.

Melanie furrowed her eyebrows. This was odd. Wanda had never looked this scared before. Melanie pulled up at a cafe. "You can tell me when I get you a hot chocolate." Wanda smiled as she and Melanie got out of the car and walked in the cafe.

'It was dark. And I was alone. I had just come out of a friend's party and I was about to go home. I didn't know that someone was following me. I had always thought that where I lived, there were no dangers. And as I took a left on main street, someone had whispered my name and made me turn around. Trevor came out of nowhere and shoved me towards a pitch black alley way. He was my lab partner at school and so I trusted him. I told him I had to go home but he held my arm tightly dragging me in the deeper depths of the black alleyway until we were out of sight from everyone. I didn't know what his intentions were but my head screamed danger. And all of a sudden, he started ripping off the clothes I was wearing. He pressed me against a corner and started... started to touch me. His hands were everywhere and I started to cry. I told him to stop but he wouldn't. He just kept on going. It was so horrible.'

"He did what?" Melanie asked, furious. She had always felt like the older sister to Wanda and hearing Wanda tell the story had just disgusted her and made her stand up. Everyone looked at her in the cafe. She didn't blush or look embarrassed; maybe because she didn't care. Someone had actually dared to hurt her dear cousin and she wanted them to pay.

"Mel, sit down." Wanda hissed as she pulled her cousin to sit down. Melanie breathed before sitting down. Wanda buried her head as she cried. Melanie held her cousin. Now she knew what she felt. "Please, Mel, please, don't tell anyone."

"But Wanda," she interjected.

"Please. This is why I wanted to come here so I could feel safe. If Uncle Jeb knew, he'd immediately put me into house arrest." Wanda pleaded and Melanie nodded. She looked at the time.

"We better go. Uncle Jeb might get worried. Look, Wanda, whatever happens, I'm here for you. I'm gonna stick close to you at school, okay?" Melanie said and Wanda smiled.

"Thanks, Mel. You're the best." Wanda said as they climbed in Melanie's car and they headed home. All Melanie could picture now was how horrific the scene was of Wanda and her raper.