PART FIVE: The Promise
Tuesday 12th September 2006
"I have to go."
I looked around to him from sitting on the window seat, my eyes wide. He was slumping on the edge of my bed, his hair falling into his eyes. "What?" I asked, a little afraid of his answer.
He gazed up to me, his eyes dark and shadowed. "Jacob needs me back."
My bottom lip quivered and I turned my body around, looking down to my feet. "Okay."
"Aw Eve, don't look like that." He got up and he gently walked over to me. He took both of my hands in his own and I glanced up, unprepared for his face to be so close. "You know I don't want to, right? Eve, I've told you time and time again. You're all I think about."
"You're all I think about, too." I murmured.
He smiled. "There. See, it's a mutual thing." He chuckled. "I'll be back before you know it. But, first," he placed both hands on my shoulders and pulled me up onto my feet. "I'm gonna tuck you in."
I blushed. "Seth-"
"No rejections miss Hund!" He exclaimed- though quietly since my grandparents were right next door. He tugged me over to my bed and I climbed in. He smiled at me and adjusted the pillow behind me and tucked the duvet up to my shoulders. I gripped the top of it between my hands and he beamed, reaching down to hug me softly. "You stay safe, Eve. Have a good time at school. Talk to people. Don't worry about me." He leant back, a smile on his lips. "Everything is fine now."
"Of course I promise, silly." He grinned. For a moment we just stared at each other, my skin prickling with the intensity of his gaze. I reached up to freely kiss him. He pressed against me warmly and then let go. "Good night." He whispered.
"It's morning." I retaliated.
"I was trying to be romantic."
"But what you said wasn't true."
"Argh." He laughed, standing up and smiling at me. "I love you."
My cheeks heated. "I love you, too." And I meant it. I knew he did, too. In a way we both didn't really understand.
He left then, jumping from my window and landing in the backyard.
"Here," I carefully handed one of my sandwiches to Gina. "Have it, I'm not too hungry."
She beamed, biting into it and sighing in contentment. It was too big- filled with bacon, lettuce and tomato. One was enough for me. The only reason I wasn't huge was because everyone kept eating all my food- especially Seth. He'd eat all his meal, and then half of mine. I just wasn't typically hungry... especially when he was around.
I suddenly remembered kissing him and I smiled a bit. It was like a promise- the kiss. A promise for something more.
It made my cheeks go all rosy with excitement.
I wasn't worried for him now- I was so glad he had made an appearance and told me he was alright in person. Just to feel his warmth again soothed me, even though I still found it difficult to sleep without him by my side. The pull I felt towards him now made me breathless- like it was that moment when you wake up on Christmas morning before everything starts. But this was so much better. It was all the time.
"You seem a lot happier today." She said as she chewed. We were both sitting at the pack table, near the big windows overlooking the playing field.
"I feel a lot happier." I smiled. She did, too, and bit into the sandwich again.
"Is that anything to do with..." She winked at me and I blushed, looking down and letting my hair fall in front of my face.
"It's always something to do with him."
She chuckled and I glanced up to see her finish the sandwich. She smiled at me, wiping the crumbs from her mouth. "I always knew you two would get it on."
I screwed my face in disgust. "Not like that, Gina."
She laughed. "Have you kissed?"
My cheeks heated furiously and I had to look away and out the window. She gasped, gripping my shoulder in excitement. Nervously, I looked to her.
"Oh, wow! What was it like?"
She swooned. "You're so lucky."
I smiled softly. "Do you want him?"
She gasped in horror. "Of course not!" Her cheeks turned red as she giggled. "Seth, he's fine, but never could he be mine. He's all yours, Evelyn. Has been forever. It's so weird- whenever I saw you two together, he would be jumping about after you and always looking at how your hands moved and it would be like he was having an epiphany every time you smiled. At first, I thought it was kind of cheesy. You know... like it was just a normal crush. But then, as I watched him watching you, I realised that it was much deeper than that." She stretched her arms out, smiling softly at me. "I know the phrase is so overused these days, but he does love you. In every sense of the word."
Tears began to bite at my eyes and I hugged her tightly. "Oh Gina, it's been horrible without you."
She hugged me back, sniffling a little. "Ditto."
I knew Seth didn't really want me to be friends with anyone outside of the pack- it would be too painful in the end. However, for that afternoon, Gina was like a saviour to me. We sat next to each other in class and caught up with each other. She was mostly interested in my relationship with Seth, and though it caused me to blush horribly every time, I told her.
As we walked to my house together after school, I spoke of my worries. That I could never be good enough... that I loved Seth too much. It was hard to speak out loud- all these thoughts I've had for such a long time. However, it seemed to allow me to breathe a little easier.
"You're too hard on yourself." She murmured, plucking a leaf from a bush as we walked. "We never feel like we're good enough for the people we love. If we think we are too good, then we shouldn't deserve love. What you're feeling is totally natural. Believe me, my mom has had so many therapy sessions. All of this stuff is pretty natural." She smiled good-naturedly, her light brown eyes sparkling in the sunlight. I wanted to tell her Seth wasn't natural- that his whole being was extra-ordinary. However, I couldn't. I had been sworn to this secrecy and though it was hard to smile and nod at her, I knew it was the only thing I could do.
My grandparents weren't home and a note said they had gone shopping. Gina suggested we should watch a movie and so we made a bowl of popcorn and raided the cupboards for cookies. She helped me prepare some hot chocolate- decorated with tiny marshmallows. It was very sickly.
It was delicious.
Finally, we started to watch the movie and chewed on the popcorn as we murmured about different things. After a while my grandparents came back and greeted Gina happily as they brought the shopping in. We worked on our homework together at the dining table as grandpa began to cook dinner- home made soup. I asked Gina if she'd like to stay, but she had to go home because her dad was picking her up. Her parents were divorced and her dad lived in Port Angeles, so she went there for half of the week.
Her mom came to pick her up a little while later and I stood outside to wave goodbye. She waved back out of the window, her dark hair trailing behind her as they left. I stood outside for a few minutes afterwards, the smells of chicken and vegetable soup wafting into the fresh, clean air since the front door was open behind me. A part of me hoped the scent would lure Seth back.
Grandpa helped me on my maths homework as we ate and before long I heard a knock on the front door. Hope sprang up in me and I quickly excused myself, walking to the door with vigour.
I opened the door and before I could do anything warm arms engulfed me. I closed my eyes, his scent overpowering me. After a moment, he leant back to look at me with that big smile and those warm brown eyes.
"Nope." I told him. "Well, no more than I usually do."
He chuckled, kissing my forehead before shutting the door and taking my hand. "Man, I'm starving. I wish you brought some sandwiches for me, too."
"But I knew you wouldn't mind the Cullen's food." I told him, my voice a little breathy. A blush stained my cheeks with him being close. "The idea of Leah eating raw animal meat..." I shuddered.
"You softy." He smiled, poking my side before discreetly letting go of my hand and greeting my grandparents cheerily. He sat in his usual seat as my grandpa served him some of the soup and broke some bread for him. I sank into my seat and began to eat again as Seth talked with my grandparents.
His hand curled around mine under the table and I smiled to myself.
The dinner was pleasant enough but all I really wanted to do was fall asleep in Seth's arms. I wavered a little bit in my seat, eating lazily, feeling exhausted from sleeping so poorly the past couple of days. Seth talked happily and I envied him. When my eyes began to droop he suddenly stopped, squeezing my hand gently. I glanced up to see they were all looking at me, my grandpa smiling a little as he rested his head in his hands.
"Go on up to bed, darling." He said softly. I nodded a little, taking my hand back from Seth and standing, almost tripping as I did so. Seth flinched. I smiled at them as I left and I walked quietly down the hall, my thick socks making my footsteps silent.
"So where have you been, Seth?" I heard my grandpa ask as I meandered up the stairs.
"Helping out my mom." Seth lied smoothly. "Having meetings with the elders, that sort of thing."
"Oh, of course." Said grandpa. "Seth... I was wondering-"
"We were wondering." My grandmother corrected.
"Yes, we were wondering what your... intentions with Evelyn are."
As he said those words I paused at the top of the stairs, feeling a bit more awake as I sat down, hugging my knees as I waited for Seth's answer. I heard him inhale and sigh.
"Well, I do love Evelyn very much." He said clearly, without any doubt.
"You do?" My grandmother asked.
"Of course." Seth replied, his voice soft. I closed my eyes, leaning against the railing, savouring the last of his warmth in my palm. "For a long time now she's meant everything to me. She... thinks I'm saving her." He murmured. "But really, she's saving me."
"How often do you tell her this?" Grandpa asked quietly.
"Not enough." Seth mumbled. "Rejection is one of my biggest fears. I know that... some things that I think are too far for her. I think too much into the future."
"You see her in your future?" My grandmother whispered.
"Yes. Very much." He uttered. I heard him gently place his spoon down.
"We've been hoping for this." Said my grandmother. "That you two would... end up together. I didn't want Evelyn to ever be heartbroken again... to ever experience a loss again as great as losing her parents. We know... that as long as you stay with us... she will never be harmed."
"You trust me?" Seth sounded a little astounded.
"We trust you." Grandpa said in the softest voice I had ever heard him use. I opened my eyes, my nose stinging a little as I gently stood and quickly moved into my room. I fell into my bed with a deep sigh, cuddling under the blankets and curling up on my side. My heart was galloping. A thousand thoughts raced through my head and I ever so gently dipped my toe into the pool that was my undying love for Seth Clearwater.
He was my first... and would be my only love. I held my hands together like I was cradling something and closed my eyes, breathing out gently. I knew he cared for me deeply. I knew he'd do some ridiculous things for me, and though I wasn't happy about those particular things, he'd still do it. That's just who Seth is. Kind, giving, protective. It was the wolf in him, the need to protect his pack and tribe- which he so often included me in.
My sandy wolf. I smiled a little, feeling like it was the brilliant start of spring and not some dull September night.