A/N: Though this one-shot is an extra alternate scene for my other story Forbidden, you do not need to read that for this to make sense. For those of you who have read my other story, this doesn't fit in with that story line, and didn't actually happen. It is just an imagining of what might have happened if Thea really had left Jake after only three days together.
The first thing I did when I woke up was reach for her. And not just physically, rolling across the bed in search of her warm body, only to groan in dismay when I found only tangled sheets, but internally. I could feel her, every second of every day, awake or asleep, her presence in my heart a burning fire that never disappeared. Her tether – our tether – never weakened, never faded, and never broke. Her emotions were there, her spirit was there, she was there. Yet it wasn't enough. I pulled at it, pulled at her, wishing pointlessly that doing so would bring her back to me.
It didn't work. It never worked. Thea was not here. She was not going to be here. It didn't matter that the imprint was so strong I could almost see her, see her long brown hair, luminous blue eyes, pale golden skin. It didn't matter that we were tied to together so closely, bonded so completely, that she was an extension of my own self. It was a lie.
We were not together.
The realisation spurred me into motion. I reached for the alarm clock perched precariously on my night stand with super speed, almost knocking it off in my haste. It was always like this when I remembered. The eager anticipation, the nervous worry, and angry impatience, mixing and coiling my entire being into knots as I took in the numbers that controlled my life.
I swore loudly, just barely resisting the urge to crush the alarm with my fist, or smash it into the wall. The desperate need within me all too often turned to rage in the morning, when the woman I needed almost as much as the air I breathed was denied to me. When the thing I wanted most was oh so close, and yet so far away.
Only 3 hours and 18 minutes to go.
Groaning again, I rolled over to bury my face into the bed, wishing I could go back to sleep instead of anxiously waiting. Sometimes I tried, eager for something, anything, to ease to want, but it never worked. Once the need settled in, there was no stopping it. Nothing could even hope to calm me, to soothe me, until the glaring red numbers changed to read 9.00, and the best and most important time of day was finally here.
The time when I got to call her. The time when the emptiness that plagued me like a shadow finally disappeared.
It hadn't always been like this. Before her, I hadn't known what I was missing. But now that I'd met her, and lost her, things could never be the same.
It had hurt me. When she had left La Push, left me, the imprint had burned and ached so fiercely I almost collapsed from the pain. A wolf was not meant to be apart from his imprint, could not be apart from his imprint, and yet she had been moving apart from me. She had left me. And that was almost worse. Not just that she was gone, but that she had chosen to go, chosen to reject me. The pain of that was sharp, strong, consuming. For days that was all I felt, my hurt blocking out Thea so completely that I feared she was gone entirely. It was only that fear that broke me out of the agony and forced me to pull myself together.
That, and the sound of her voice on the too rare occasions when I got hear it.
And since that day, her voice that had become my life. Hearing her drove me, energised me, enlivened me. Her calls what I lived for.
3 hours and 14 minutes to go.
I felt it when he woke. I always did, even in my sleep; the way he reached through the bond was impossible to ignore. The yearning pull, the desperate tug, the flood of hope mixed with despair. It was too powerful, too strong. It brought out my own fierce want, the secret desire I kept buried deep within me, but could never forget.
Him. I wanted him. I wanted him as much he wanted me.
But I could not have him.
Shaking my head in frustration, at both the world and myself, I lurched from the couch with an angry groan. Without meaning too, I found myself pacing across my lounge room, my hands clenching into fists to stop myself from tearing my hair out.
This had to stop. Wanting him, wanting things to change, it had to stop. This was the way it had to be. I could not go back, and I could not go to him. I had to forget about him. I had to stop wishing, and give it up. I needed to move on, move away, before I got myself killed.
If only I could stop myself from thinking about him every second of every day.
I tried, I really did. I wanted more than anything to forget, because knowing him, knowing what I'd given up with him, hurt deep inside. It hurt in every way. My body fighting the bond, the bond that was stretching and pulling, as I physically resisted the urge to turn right back around and run back to him. My heart breaking, because even after only three days, I cared for him, felt for him, and wanted more. And my mind, consumed with memories and knowledge about how wonderful and perfect a life with him could be; thoughts and visions that were torturous as the future slipped further and further away. But despite the pain, despite the hurt, I couldn't forget.
And so I tried distractions. People, places, projects. Friends to meet, things to do, places to go. It didn't work, so I stepped it up. I started roaming the streets at night again. It was exactly the same as police patrol as an officer, but without the pay and official orders, and it was the most involved thing I could think of. Searching for trouble, getting into fights, following suspicious men, pretending to be someone else to get information; it was busy work, work that require attention and alertness. Until, even that became routine. I couldn't stop though; doing this was better than doing nothing, and I was getting desperate. I hadn't slept since yesterday morning, instead choosing to track a thief and drug dealer across the city all night long. It was pointless. There were thousands just like him in Seattle, and at the end of the day, I couldn't turn him in for all the illegal things he was doing, because I needed to not even exist in the eyes of the law. And yet, I didn't stop. I couldn't stop. I still remembered. I needed to forget, but no matter what I did, I couldn't.
The imprint could not – would not – allow it.
I could never be with him, but neither could we separate entirely. Even just the short distance between Seattle and La Push was hard, the imprint almost painful as it tried to force us back together. Jake had been so close, so close, to following me when I left, despite my desperate pleas for him to let me go, because the pull was so strong. I was sure he would have come after me, begging or no begging, if my reason for leaving hadn't been to save my own life. Because of that, he let me go. Sort of.
When an unknown number had called my mobile twenty minutes after I crossed the border, I knew it was him. I could feel him through the bond, urging me to respond. I didn't. I didn't answer the next time he called either, or the next. Or any of the others that followed. It was only on the 67th call, when I figured I was far enough away that he couldn't try and drag me back, that I finally caved in.
He was frantic. He was desperate and wild. He sounded as if he was being strangled. He begged me not to cut him off entirely, begged me to at least let him call me once a day so that he and his wolf didn't go insane from panic and deprivation. And I couldn't say no.
I should have. I had known then that if we didn't completely split, it was going to make things a thousand times harder. But I couldn't, not with the way he sounded. I couldn't destroy him, as I knew ignoring him would do. So I agreed. I promised a strict half hour phone call every morning, with a silent vow to myself that they would be purely for him, and that I would not grow attached. That I would be an acquaintance, nothing more, and that these phone calls would mean nothing to me.
Of course it was a lie.
Because the phone calls were an hour now, double the length I'd agreed to, and they were the highlight of my day.
I used to be patient. I used to be able to wait, to bide my time, in order to get the things I wanted. I used to have control. But not for this.
3 hours and 12 minutes to go.
I knew that counting down the time was making it worse, but I couldn't stop. I wanted it so badly, needed it so badly, I couldn't think of anything else. I couldn't stop thinking about her, feeling for her, feeling her reacting to my pulling and pushing. She was already awake, though I didn't have a clue why. Patrolling and managing the pack meant that my sleep schedule was non-existent, so being awake this early was completely normal for me. Her, though… Why would she be awake? And she felt tired too, as if she hadn't been able to sleep. Worry coiled in my stomach at the thought, and though I knew it was probably unnecessary, the imprint wouldn't let me squash it down.
I would always worry for her.
It was probably nothing. She was tired, so what? She wasn't dying, she wasn't hurt. And it wasn't like I didn't know why; I had seen for myself the nightmares that gripped her, that left her screaming and terrified. But she wasn't like that now. If there had been even a hint of fear in her, I would've been on the phone with her in an instant, and if it had been anything more than a dream, I would have been bolting through the woods to Seattle as fast as possible. No, she was completely fine. Tired, but fine.
Yet I still couldn't suppress the urge to call her. I wanted to make absolutely sure that there was absolutely nothing wrong. I needed to hear her voice, to reassure myself that I was overreacting as usual. I wanted to talk to her because it was her, it was Thea, and not a moment went by when she wasn't on my mind.
But I couldn't. She had been very clear; one call a day only. It had been a struggle just to convince her to let me talk for one hour instead of half. She was so determined that we needed to be distant, to be separate. It seemed unlikely, impossible even, that she would talk to me if I called outside our usual 9-10 time.
But I wanted it. I wanted it bad. I wanted her bad. Being apart was all her idea, never mine. She was scared, she was in danger, and she couldn't stay in La Push, so she stayed away. She wouldn't listen to my attempts to sway her. To convince her that if she couldn't live on Quileute soil, she could live just beyond the border, that I would keep her safe, that I would never leave her side if she allowed me to stay. She was my imprint, she was a part of me. I would be everything for her.
If only she would let me.
3 hours and 7 minutes to go.
With a sigh, I rolled over to snag my phone from the floor. It would be so easy to call her; she was number 1 on my speed dial. One press, and the phone would ring. But would she answer? I didn't know.
3 hours and 6 minutes to go.
Minutes passed. I stared at my mobile. Wishing. Wondering. Waiting.
3 hours and 2 minutes to go.
I didn't press. I didn't call. I waited.
I would always wait for her.
Jake was impatient today. In the mornings, he was always antsy, his edginess flowing through the bond and back into me. It was usually subdued, easy to ignore and dismiss. If I pushed it down and away, I didn't have to feel guilty about denying him, and I didn't have to fight my own desperate wish for him ignore my demands and call me early. Today, though, his emotions were strong.
Which meant my own desire was just as strong.
Perhaps, if I had had a full night of sleep, it wouldn't be so hard to fight. I wouldn't have to lean against the hallway wall, to stop myself from breaking something. It wouldn't be so hard to resist Jake's pull, his silent urging and reminding that anytime I wanted to change my mind, he would be there. None of it mattered, because I could not let him in. It would be death if I did. And usually, knowing that was enough for me to fight the temptation. But after a night spent awake and – despite my best efforts – thinking all about Jake, it was a desperate struggle.
I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to tell him everything, to confess that I'd cried all night after I'd left him, that I wished every day that I hadn't had to leave him, that he was the only thing ever on my mind. I wanted to talk to him without the distance, without the pain of knowing he was everything I wanted, but could never have. If I did, I knew it would be the tipping point. That he would dismiss all the requests and demands I'd made, and bring me back to La Push and not let me go. But it couldn't happen. It could not happen.
And so I waited. I let myself slide down the wall so I was sitting on the floor, and I waited. I waited, staring at my phone, wanting him to call, but at the same time praying that he didn't.
2 hours and 58 minutes to go.
I didn't know. I didn't know what I wanted. I didn't want to want him, but I did. I wanted to be able to want him, but I couldn't. It didn't make sense. None of it made sense.
And so I kept waiting. I didn't even know what I was waiting for.
Still, I waited.
I couldn't make up my mind.
2 hours and 55 minutes to go.
I shouldn't. I wasn't supposed to. She wouldn't answer.
But what if she did? What if I got to hear her voice right this very second, instead of waiting another torturous 2 hours and 53 minutes? What if she wanted me to?
Groaning and cursing, I let my head fall back against the wall behind me, running a hand through my hair in frustration.
I didn't know. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do. I felt empty. I was empty without her. She was part of me, and without her I was only a sad, lonely fragment of myself. It didn't matter if I was surrounded by my pack, my brothers, my friends, my family; nothing could ease the loneliness. Loneliness everywhere, all the time, twisting my thoughts and sending me into spirals of depression. Times when I would reach for her, wanting to feel something, anything, apart from the aching loss; only to remember all over again the reason for it in the first place. That didn't stop me now though, didn't stop me from drawing on her emotions as I did so often. Happiness, frustration, amusement, confusion, it didn't matter what it was, as long as it filled to consuming void inside of me.
Yet when I pulled at her this time, searching for an emotion to make my own, I found nothing but the same crippling emptiness I was trying to avoid.
In an instant I froze, my whole going rigid. Surprise was coursing through me, but I shoved it down, focusing on nothing but how Thea felt through the imprint. Because what I'd picked up just then couldn't be right. She couldn't be as blank and hollow as I was. But as I reached deeply into her, as deep as I could go, I was stunned to discover that I was right.
She was lonely. So overwhelmingly, desperately lonely. And she felt just as empty and lost as I did.
I didn't pause. I didn't even bother looking at the clock to find out how much time I was supposed to wait before I was allowed to talk to her.
Because my fingers had already dialled, and the phone was already at my ear.
I wanted him to call.
No. No I didn't. I didn't want him to call. He couldn't call. If he did, I wouldn't answer. I wouldn't.
But if I did, then I would get to hear him. Hear his wonderful deep and smooth voice, powerful and comforting like nothing else. And his laugh, loud and rumbling and so happy I couldn't help but smile.
No! No no no. I couldn't. He couldn't. I–
I yelped in surprise at the sudden noise that cut through my racing and fluctuating thoughts. For a moment, I couldn't even figure out where it was coming from; not until I registered my mobile vibrating softly in my lap, Jake's name flashing on the screen.
A whimper spilled from my lips as my fingers shakily touched the phone, my whole body tense and my heart pounding. He was calling. Somewhere in La Push, Jake was calling me.
And he was waiting for me to answer.
I had to grit my teeth to keep in a second whimper at the thought, my eyes flicking to the time on my flashing phone. 6.09. Not the usual 9.00, which he called me at every day without fail, without ever being a second late. No, the clock said 6.09. He was 2 hours and 51 minutes early.
I couldn't answer. I couldn't answer. If I did, I gave up another one of my vitally important, life-saving rules, and that could not happen. Every day I was growing weaker, was finding it harder to stick to them; I could not break one. I could not answer. Answering would bring me that much closer to caving in and running back to La Push, to Jake, and that could not happen.
I could not answer.
But I wanted to. I wanted it badly, wanted it too much, far too much. Right now, I wanted it more than anything. I wanted him more than anything. I felt so alone, so empty, so lost and confused and isolated. I was alone and empty.
And I wanted – needed – it to stop. Jake could make it stop. Jake would make it stop.
But I couldn't answer. I needed to answer, but I couldn't. I needed, but I couldn't. I couldn't. I couldn't…
I pressed the button.
My heart stuttered, and I released a breath I hadn't known I was holding. In a movement that seemed to take eons, I lifted the phone to my ear. My hand was trembling, but I didn't notice.
Jake was speaking.
'Thea.' He said softly, his voice deep and full of emotion. It never made sense to me how he could convey so much in such a simple word, but he did. He said it with relief, with want, with sadness, with surprise, with happiness. So many feelings packed into my name as he spoke softly in my ear.
'Jake.' I breathed in reply, his name almost a sigh. After this, I would probably be annoyed at myself about how my will melted at his voice, but right now, I didn't care. He was here. Jake was here. And he had said my name, just as he always did. Every time we talked, he would call, and I would answer. Then he would speak first, always with my name. And I would reply, always with his. It was our unofficial routine, though this call was anything but official.
'I wasn't sure if you were going to answer.' He said, the words a silent question. Breathing deeply, I let my head fall back against the wall behind me, my grip on the phone tightening.
'Neither was I.'
'Neither was I.' She whispered back, and I felt my heart wrench at the choked up edge of her tone. An edge that only hinted at the deep, consuming sadness inside of her, sadness mixed with indecision and relief and hurt and happiness. So many emotions, and yet they didn't nothing for the emptiness, the loneliness, that still overwhelmed her.
Loneliness that still overwhelmed us both.
'Where are you right now?' I asked, fighting to keep my tone even. It wasn't the question I wanted to ask. What I wanted to ask was why did you answer? Why do shut me out, when we both want each other? Why won't you trust me to save you? But those questions… they were hard questions, questions that would only anger and depress us both. Questions that in all likelihood would only send Thea further away from me, a thought I never failed to balk at. That was why I ignored them, pushed them away every time we talked. I wouldn't risk losing what precious time I had.
'I'm at home.' She replied quietly, wistfully.
'Alone?' I asked, even though I was sure I already knew the answer.
'Yes,' Thea said. 'It's only ever me at home. I think I need a cat or something.' She said with a quiet laugh, and I couldn't help but smile as I imagined her soft grin. I smiled even wider at the thought that popped into my head at her words.
'How about a wolf?' I proposed jokingly. I couldn't stop myself, even though I knew it was touching on one of the many unofficially avoided topics between us. I didn't need to worry though, because she was laughing for real now, a sound that was music to my ears as it echoed through the phone.
'I'm pretty sure having a wolf as a pet is illegal, Jake. And besides, my apartment is way too small.' The humour and joy in her tone was vibrant and genuine, not half forced like before, and I couldn't help but sigh hearing it.
'What's your apartment like? Describe it to me.' I asked, and I felt a corresponding flash of surprise and amusement through the imprint.
'Well, it has a door, and windows, and walls, and stairs–' She started off playfully, before I cut her off.
'Thea, you know that's not what I meant.' I said, though I couldn't help but laugh. 'Tell me about what's inside it. What colour is it? Do you have favourite chair? A vase from China?'
'A vase from China?' She repeated with amused disbelief.
'Yes. Do you have one?' She paused before answering, but I could feel that it was from confusion rather than hesitance.
'Umm, no, I don't think I do. I have a sancai horse though.'
'A what?' I replied, feeling my eyebrows furrow in confusion. On the other end of the phone, I heard Thea laugh.
'A sancai horse. It's a small porcelain statue the chinese make.' She explained.
'Wait, so you have actually been to China? I only said it because it was the first country that popped into my head.' I said with surprise and bewilderment, and she laughed again.
'Yes, I've been there. That was probably about… oh, ten years ago now.' Thea said softly, her voice distant as she searched through her memories. I was immediately intrigued.
'Tell me about it.' I urged, rolling my shoulders as I adjust my position against the wall at my back.
'About all of it? Jake, that's going to take ages.' She said uncertainly.
'I have time.' I replied quietly, smiling softly.
For her, I had all the time in the world.
I don't know how long we spoke for. Too long, probably, but I just couldn't bring myself to care. It should have mattered, but it didn't. Nothing ever mattered when I talked to Jake.
There was only him. There was only him listening to my story as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world. There was only his voice, curious and questioning, asking me to describe all of the things I'd seen. There was only his laugh, and the grin that undoubtedly accompanied it; a grin I desperately wished I could see in person, instead of simple conjuring in my mind. I'd settle for just imagining it though, because this was better than nothing. I'd settle for just this hour, if this was all we could have.
Wait a second. I felt myself frown. How much time had it been? My neck cracked, frozen from spending so much time in one position, as I leant forward to peer at the clock on the wall
Oh my god. In a rush, I remembered what I had forgotten; what I had subconsciously been trying to push to the bottom of my mind.
That Jake and I weren't even meant to be having this conversation. A conversation I was suddenly brought back to by Jake's worried voice in my ear.
'Thea? Thea, are you okay?' His voice was fast with concern, and my heart melted. Suddenly, I wished I hadn't checked the time. Then, we would be able to keep talking. Because now that I knew, we had to stop. It had been too long already, been too long from the moment I answered the phone. I couldn't talk to Jake for even a minute longer.
No matter how much I wanted to.
'Yeah, Jake. I'm fine. I just,' I sighed, pressing my free hand into my temple in frustration. 'I have to go.' I said softly, sadly. On the other end of the line, I heard Jake's breaths hitch. Immediately, I wanted to take the words back, but I pursed my lips to stop myself from speaking.
Ending our calls was always so hard.
'Are you sure you're alright, Thea?' Jake asked slowly, worriedly. I felt my forehead crinkle in confusion. I had been expecting something more along the lines of 'do you have to go?', not a question about my health.
'I'm fine.' I repeated.
'You feel tired.' He said softly, and I sighed.
'I am tired, Jake. I didn't really sleep much last night.' I said, making sure I kept my voice normal. It wasn't a lie; I couldn't lie to Jake. I just wasn't quite telling him everything. I couldn't tell him that I had purposefully stayed awake, because I knew that if I slept I would dream of him. I wouldn't make things worse by letting him know that.
'You should sleep now then. I'm sorry if I kept you up–' He started to apologise, but I stopped him.
'No, you don't need to be sorry.' I said. I almost said that I didn't mind, that it was okay, but that would be bad. This couldn't happen again. He couldn't just call me up randomly again. We had to stay apart. I had to hang up. Now.
'Goodbye, Jake.' I said, my voice so quiet it was almost a whisper. I heard him sigh softly.
'Goodbye Thea.' He answered just as quietly, the words sad; they always were.
And then, with a sigh of my own, I ended the call.
One quiet beep, and she was gone.
It always seemed so sudden. One moment she was there, in my ear, the pain of missing her as faint as it ever was, and then… nothing. She was lost to me again. And it hurt. I felt like I'd had my heart torn out of chest, felt the pain that had consumed me when she'd left the first time all over again. And no matter how many times we said goodbye, each one hurt just as much as the last. I knew, of course, that losing her would always be painful, but I had thought that at least it would get easier. Yet if anything, it was getting worse.
I felt lost, so lost, when she disappeared. I went from feeling complete, feeling happy and fulfilled and whole, to feeling as if I'd been shot. When she ended our calls – I could never bring myself to be one to hang up – it always felt so final. As if it was more than just the end of a conversation, but the last time I would ever get to talk to her. As if she wasn't just leaving me for now, but leaving for forever.
It was a thought, a sensation, which never failed to make my heart stop.
It couldn't happen. I couldn't not talk to her. I needed her. Hell, it was almost torturous to only talk to her once a day, to not actually be with her in person; I couldn't imagine having less than that. She was everything. My life revolved around her. There was no night and day anymore, only time with Thea, and time waiting for Thea. Long, torturous hours waiting. She had only been gone 60 seconds, and already I wanted to call her again, to hear her again; to make sure this wasn't really the last time I would hear her. To make sure that the urgent panic was just the imprint, just me worrying about her, and that it wasn't true.
If only I could. She had answered the phone, even though I'd called when I wasn't supposed to. She had sounded happy, not angry. She hadn't even told me not to call her again today, which I had half expected her to do. But that didn't mean I could just call her up all the time now. I had to be careful, careful that I didn't push to far. I needed to worm my way closer to her, but I couldn't move too fast. I had to be patient. I had to be slow. If I was going to get her back, I had to wait.
And I would wait as long as it took.
For a moment, I just stared at the phone, my breaths loud in the sudden silence. Sadness pulsed like a living thing inside me – not just mine, but Jake's as well – and the combination was crippling. All I could see was the expression he was undoubtedly wearing, as he too stared at his phone; an expression of pain, sadness, and aching loss. And it was all because of me. Guilt rose up thick and fast at the knowledge, and I had to tightly press my lips together to keep in a sob as I buried my head in my hands.
I hated this. I hated hurting him, hated it more than hurting myself. This was why I had rules, why we weren't supposed to talk; because all it did was give him – give me – a false sense of hope. We could never be together. I knew that. He knew that. In our minds, we both knew it. But our hearts... they were not so easily persuaded.
I barely noticed myself standing up and walking to the bedroom. It didn't register at all that when I collapsed onto my bed, I was still fully dressed. My mind was too busy panicking over the call I never should have accepted, while my heart mourned the absence of Jake's voice.
A voice that filled my dreams as I drifted off to sleep.
The day passed by in a blur. Most of it I spent sleeping, and when I wasn't sleeping, I was thinking; thinking about things I'd really rather weren't on my mind. And so I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to forget, wandering and moving and talking and above all, not stopping, because it was the only way to distract myself. It was the same routine I had acted out a dozen times before, for exactly the same reason.
And it just wasn't working. It hadn't been for a while, though I didn't want to admit it. I couldn't admit it; couldn't admit that Jake was having far more of an impact than I ever could have imagined. And so I refused to give up. I refused to go home, to go back to my empty apartment and sit alone for the rest of the evening. Instead, I curled up on a bench at a nearby park, staring at the black trees and dark lake, soaking up the comforting quietness of the night.
That was until my phone rang.
I felt my eyebrows furrow in a mixture of confusion and curiosity as I dug into my coat pocket to pull out my mobile. I wasn't expecting a call, and not very many people had this number; I wasn't often surprised. I was however, very surprised, when I saw who was calling.
For a moment, I was stunned. I shouldn't have been, not when I knew he wasn't happy, when I knew he wanted more than one conversation a day. I hadn't been surprised, not really, when he had called this morning; I had felt his want, and part of me had wanted it too. But now… now, I didn't know why he was calling. It was possible there was no reason, but that didn't feel right. He wouldn't just call me up for the sake of it, not when I had told him not to try and contact me. Not when I had told him that I wouldn't even answer.
Yet I found myself accepting the call anyway, curiosity a burning fire in my stomach me as I greeted him.
'Jake?' I queried, turning his name into a question. It didn't occur to me that for once, I had been the first to speak.
'Thea.' He replied, his voice smooth and happy.
'What are y–' I started to ask, before changing my mind half way through. 'Why are you calling me?' I asked with confusion.
'We missed our usual nine o'clock call.' He answered, as if that explained everything.
It didn't. He seemed to realise that though, because before I could ask him what the hell he was talking about, he was speaking again.
'Well, I know we talked this morning, but you didn't say that I wasn't allowed to call you again for our usual talk. And I would have, but I could feel you sleeping, and I didn't want to wake you up because I knew you were tired. So, I decided I'd call you up at nine tonight instead.' He said, his voice so matter of fact and confident that for a moment I was speechless. But, a few seconds later, after his words finally sunk in, I began to grin.
And then I began to laugh.
I wasn't sure how I expected Thea to respond to my words. With exasperation, maybe? With sadness? Maybe even not at all? The thought of any of those made me cringe, and I desperately hoped they wouldn't happen. Instead, I hoped for happiness. I hoped for amusement, for pleasure. Part of me even hoped for relief; that deep down, she wanted me to call, to ignore her rules, but that was probably just wishful thinking. But above all, what I really hoped for, really wanted her to do, was answer.
And she did.
At first she didn't seem happy. At first she seemed simply confused, until I explained why I was calling.
And then she laughed. From 140 miles away in Seattle, her laughter rang out pure and joyful to me in La Push. And it was the beautiful sound I'd ever heard.
She was happy. But not just happy, but happy that I had called. She was glad to talk to me. She was talking to me, not hanging up as part of me had feared she would. Instead, she was chatting and laughing, and probably smiling too, and I couldn't but smile in return.
I was one step closer to getting her back. She was one step closer to being mine.
All I had to do was wait.