Watered Down

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What I wish more than anything would be to have seen her face when she realized what she’d done. That exact moment when her rage broke and she killed me, then she would have had to step back and look at what she had done. She’d had to have watched in horror as my heart stopped beating, and the truth of what she had just done kicking in. I wish I could have heard the cries that I’m sure she let out when her powers were gone and she had to watch defenselessly as my body rose up from the ground and floated to the surface with the help of the witches ashore.

I wish she could have seen my face when I opened up my eyes on the beach surrounded by five strangers and Ms. Kay, while I coughed up the sea water then smiled at the thought of her demise.

I had done it, and they had done it.

We had all been successful, and with my tongue back in my mouth I cried in joy and cheered with my new friends as the water turned darker and the smoke like substances that were all those stolen souls, rose up from the water and into the sky. The souls being released to move on, Ms. Kay had explained to me.

What I wish even more than those things though, was that Alana could see me now.

Sitting in the backseat of a cab in Michigan, with all of my luggage in the trunk, a piece of paper with an address that Ms. Kay had given me in my hand, and a smile on my face as I drove through a cute neighborhood where there were kids out riding their bikes. You couldn’t have wiped away my smile if you tried as we pulled into a driveway in front of a brick house with a red door and tan shutters.

“Here we are, ma’am.” The driver announced and I nodded.

I hadn’t called first.

I packed up not even an hour after being freed from Alana forever and I had gotten on a plane and flown straight here without a second thought until now. On the way over I made quick texts to Cass and Levi, letting them know what I’d done and they were both speechless. After them I called my parents, all three of us crying as we spoke on the phone for the first time in years. I’d missed them so much and was looking forward to flying out to see them in the next couple of weeks.

But when it came to calling that only other person that mattered, I’d chickened out.

Instead, I just pull up in a cab to his front door.

I know just as much as anyone that a lot can happen in two years. It wasn’t like we had promised to never move on, not that I needed to since I wasn’t supposed to be leaving that beach for the rest of my life, but that didn’t mean that Theon hadn’t found love in someone else.

If that were true, I’d be happy for him, of course, but since I am here now, standing on his front porch and my bags left down at the curb, I had insane nerves and was crossing my fingers behind my back that he would be just as happy to see me as I am to see him.

A few deep breaths and I reached out to ring the doorbell, but the door swung open.

There he was in all of his ruggedly handsome glory.

He hadn’t changed a bit. He still dressed casually, with his yellow t-shirt and a pair of cargo shorts, His brown hair was still long, but he had it pulled back into a bun that made him look even more dangerously attractive with those thick pink lips and big golden brown eyes.

He cracked a smile, the light of it blinding me and reminding me that his smile was the most beautiful feature on this beautiful man.

“Serena.” He whispered, shaking his head as he smiled. My mouth wouldn’t work, and I just stood there like a statue, still not sure what I should do now, and worrying that he’d think I was insane or that he was about to call into the other room for his girlfriend to come meet his old friend from back home, but he didn’t do that. Instead, he reached out, yanking me into him, wrapping me in those arms that I’d missed so much and he kissed the top of my head over and over. “I knew you’d come.” He whispered shakily.

I leaned my head back and looked up at him. “You did?” I whispered and he smiled down at me.

“Of course I did.” He told me, grabbing a hold of my face. “I knew that if anyone was going to figure out how to get herself out of this it was going to be you. I never gave up.” He confessed, leaning down to kiss my forehead. “I’m so happy to see you, Serena.” He whispered, pulling me impossibly closer. He kissed my left cheek. “My princess.” Then he kissed the right. “My angel.”

“God, I missed you.” I barely got out before our mouths found each other. I kissed him like my life depended on it, and for once, it didn’t. I could take my time and enjoy just being close to him again without any type of worry or problems hanging over our heads.

We were free.

Free of Alana.

Free of fear.

Free to love each other.

I never wanted to stop kissing him, but when we finally did, I filled him in on everything that had happened.

“I can’t believe Ms. Kay is a witch.” He muttered as we laid together on his nice leather couch.

I sat up on my elbow and leaned over him to kiss his nose. “I know, I was surprised too.” I admitted. “Who knew there were so many witches on that island?” I laughed.

Theon chuckled with me, my most favorite sound in all of the world. “You know,” He said narrowing his eyes at me and running his hand through my hair. “Tinunglo Isle, literally means ‘cursed island’.” He laughed.

I looked down at him and rolled my eyes. “Well,” I said. “That certainly explains a lot.”

“It certainly does.” He agreed, then pulled me down to kiss him again. “I love you so much, Serena.” He whispered against my lips. “I am so proud of everything you’ve accomplished.”

I looked into his perfect eyes and knew I’d never leave his side again. “I love you too, Theon.” I cuddled back down with him, needing to be touching him, smelling him, hearing his heart beat. I rolled my head back when a bit of curiosity hit me. “So,” I said, smiling up at him. “Of all of the places in the whole world that you could have chosen to settle down in, why on earth did you pick Michigan?” I asked.

He snorted a laugh. “Yeah, well I only picked the country, I let Tally pick the state.” He laughed.

I furrowed my brows. “Ok, so why did Tally choose Michigan?”

He cradled my face and he smiled, his eyes seeming to fill up with a little extra moisture. “Well, I told her that you had given us the money to go wherever we wanted and to have a new life there, and she was so happy, Serena.” He grinned at me. “I told her to pick off of the map of the US, and she pointed here. When I asked her why, she said she wanted to come here because it wasn’t by the ocean, since she is afraid of it, but then she smiled up at me and said, ‘but Serena loves the water, so we need to live somewhere that has lots of it.’ She saw the great lakes and thought of you.” He explained. “She picked here, because just like me, Tally knew you’d come back to us one day.” I couldn’t stop the fat happy tears from streaming down my face. Theon reached up and brushed them away with his hands and then kissed me again. “Speaking of Tally,” He said when he turned to look at the door.

I turned my head too and I could see the short shadow of a little girl in the windows by the front door. I rolled off of the couch and stood waiting for her to come in. The second she opened the door and looked up and saw me, she broke out in a run and jumped into my open arms. “Serena!” She cheered. “You’re here! I told Theon you’d come visit!”

I looked into her happy little eyes, and then back to Theon’s. “I’m not just visiting.” I smiled at them.

“You’re staying?” Tally asked, her eyes wide like marbles.

“I’m staying.” I nodded.

Tally looked to Theon and he nodded too, and she smiled so big, missing a new tooth. “You promise?” She asked. “You’re staying with us?” She asked again.

“For as long as you’ll both have me.” I told her.

Theon came to us, wrapping the both of us in a hug and making Tally giggle. “In that case,” He said. “It sounds like you’ll be staying forever.” He smiled.

Tally looked between us both. “Forever?” She asked.

Theon and I gazed at each other.

“Forever.” We said in unison.


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