A/N: Okay, so I haven't abandoned Playing With Fire, don't worry ;) But, I wanted to post this because I think I will finish it a few days. This isn't supposed to be a novel like Chasing the Moon, it's just a little story that I hope you will enjoy! Please review! Oh, and if you don't know what Chasing the Moon is, you might want to read it first, although that's not required.
Ellie stared moodily out her bedroom window at the snow falling outside. Normally she would have been excited and awed by the blanket of white. She would have been outside hours ago with Hannah, building snowmen, igloo's, and making snow angels, all the while tempting Eli and Cole into a snowball fight. But that was just the problem. Hannah was gone and she wouldn't be coming back.
Angry tears gathered in her eyes, threatening to spill over with each passing second. She wiped at them furiously and sniffled. She shouldn't be the way she was—confining herself to her room—but she couldn't bear to be around the others just yet. Losing Hannah had been the worst thing that had ever happened to her. Losing a twin . . . she'd known the moment it happened that something was wrong. She'd tried to go find them, but Peter, honorable, safe Peter, refused to let her go.
Ellie's depressing thoughts were interrupted by a soft knock on the frame of her door. She turned around, expecting her mother, or Ellen, or Sam who had grown even closer to her as a result of Hannah's death. But it wasn't any of them. It was Peter. He was leaning against the frame, his face serious, but that didn't suppress the excitement that bubbled forth when Ellie saw him. Her heart swelled and started pounding, something she knew she needed to learn to control. "Peter!"
"Hey, Kid." He replied quietly, opening his arms to accept her hug.
She sighed happily at their closeness. How could she not? How would she ever tell him? Tell him how she loved him with every fiber of her fourteen-year-old self? That he was her one and she would wait forever for him, if she had to? She inhaled softly, trying to be subtle. He smelled like pine needles and the dampness of the forest floor, fresh like snow. Likely he had just come in from a run. And there was a trace of old spice and oranges—his favorite fruit. "It's been forever."
In fact, it had. She hadn't seen him since—since the funeral, nearly four weeks ago. She felt his arms loosen around her back and knew it was time to step away, whether she wanted to or not. She stared at his tanned face, noting the pale freckles, his reddish curls falling messily into his face, like always. His normally bright blue eyes seemed dim. "What's wrong?" Ellie asked, frowning.
He sighed heavily and pushed off the doorway, stepping inside her room for the first time in years. He looked around curiously and Ellie was wondering what he must have been thinking of the posters and the art. The Messy bulletin boards and marker drawings made by the twins and Grace. "I came to say goodbye," His voice was soft, but he could have whispered the words three rooms away and she still would have heard.
"Goodbye?" she echoed, confused.
"Yeah. I'm leaving."
"L-leaving? F-for how long?" Ellie wished she were stronger, maybe if she were she wouldn't be ready to burst into tears.
"I'm going home—to Scotland."
Her breath came out in a rush. Scotland? She'd almost forgotten that Peter hadn't been born here. He hadn't lived here his whole life, only for the last ten years. "W-Why?"
"I need to see my father. He's—He's got cancer."
"How long?" she repeated, unsure of what to say. What to think.
He shrugged. "I'm not sure. As long as it will take . . . I will need to arrange the funeral . . . when it happens, and get his affairs in order. Make sure my mother is settled. Maybe go to school while I'm doing all of that."
Why did she feel so betrayed by this? By his decision to help his family. She should have been grateful, she should have encouraged him, complimented him. But all she wanted to do was cry and hit him until he told her it wasn't true—that he wasn't leaving. She backed away from him, afraid of what would happen if she stayed too close. "I—I see."
"I just wanted to say bye." He said the words gently, but they stabbed Ellie in the heart.
It would have been better if he hadn't come at all. She turned away from him, refusing to let him see her unhappiness and tears any longer. "Bye,"
She heard him turn and leave and when he was out of earshot she collapsed onto her bed, willingly letting the tears stream from her eyes. First Miles and Hugh had left her, then Eli, her father, and twin, and now . . . now he was leaving her too.