Hello readers =) Its nice to have you all back here again. Hope you enjoy the new chapter! Please let me know what you think. Also, big thank you to my girls on twitter for your support, and a shoutout to Aaisha, my latest story follower on twitter =) I apologise in advance if u think I am a bit crazy!
Unsure of where to begin, I stared at Frankie. He was perched on the edge of the bowl, with his entire face and body leaning in to get the last few crumbs, back legs wildly kicking in the air. What a character this little guy was turning out to be.
Looking up and around the room I saw Logan was standing off to the side by the bench, starring from me to the squirrel and back again, a mixture of confusion and bewilderment etched onto his face. In all honesty the vampire was probably thinking that I was a crazy human being and weighing up options on how to get me out of his house and out of his life as quickly as possible.
His dark eyes met mine, and in a moment I was experiencing some very strong feelings. It was like a second person inside my head, and I was feeling an echo of their self, a shadow of the thoughts and emotions they felt, like a small window into their soul. It took several moments for me to realize that I had indeed been holding my breath while wading through this river of thoughts, and I took a deep steadying breath before I passed out.
Logan blinked, the connection was gone.
"Excuse me Jocelyn, I will be back in a minute." He said roughly, head down as he walked swiftly to the door.
"Woah chicka, did I interrupt something?" came Frankie's squeak.
"No, I'm not sure what that was. I think I was intruding on Logan's thoughts. My stupid powers!" I muttered, only half talking to Frankie, who was belly up on the table, legs spread a very inappropriate position.
"Chicka, that vampire has a crush on you!" he said, rolling slightly to look at me. He burped.
"I don't think it's like that Frankie. He's been so kind to me, has put us all up and is helping us. He is my friend."
"I'm willing to bet a years supply of nuts the amigo is just doing it so you wont go. I mean sure, he may want to help you too. But you're a pretty girl and I don't see his woman in the house. Wait.. does he have a woman?" Frankie continued as he rolled to his feet and waddled over to the edge of the table. "Damn chicka, I think I ate too much."
I giggled lightly and reached my hands out, palms up, to offer him a lift up to my shoulder.
"Slowly amiga, I'm feeling a little sick," he whined as I lifted him carefully to my shoulder, "actually on second thought riding up here might not be such a good idea."
"I will carry you then. I want to go for a rest, looks like you could use one too my little squirrel friend." I cooed in sympathy as I hugged him to my chest.
"Gracias amiga. Jocelyn?"
"Don't tell the vampire I ate too much." He replied horrified.
"No worry, your secret is safe with me." I said, running my thumb lightly over his back.
I stood and headed out of the kitchen and for the staircase, planning to take a nice long midday nap to rejuvenate my tired and achy body. A few steps up Frankie began to murmur in discomfort at the swaying, so I slowed down and took the remaining steps slower for me, as much as him. Lets face it, I really didn't want Frankie getting sick either.
Reaching the top of the stairs I turned down the hallway and came face to face with a very tired looking Christian. His clothes were all rumpled, like they had been slept in, his golden hair was all askew and he had dark rings around his eyes.
"Christian?" I asked, reaching out to steady his slightly swaying form.
"Hey Jocelyn. Sorry, just tired. I didn't see you there." He replied quietly, refusing to meet my eyes.
"Is there something the matter?" I continued, trying to get him to look at me.
"Just didn't sleep well. I will be fine." He responded tersely, taking a step around me.
Without even thinking I reached out to take his hand in mine, his skin was icy cold and clammy. He froze, finally turning to look at me. His bright blue eyes locked with my green ones, and then I was barreling down the line of energy without meaning too, being pulled into his head.
I could only see flashes of images, and fleeting moments of emotions. It was confusing and overwhelming and I felt myself falling hard to my knees, everything going black.
I could hear a soft droning noise, and something cold against my face. Slowly they became voices and words, and I fought to open up my eyes. When I mustered enough energy to crack my eyes open a fraction I was blinded by light. I blinked and shielded my eyes while the room swam slightly before settling into place. My brain took a few minutes to process what was happening, that I was laying on the floor with my head in Christian's lap and a cold washcloth pressed to my forehead.
"Hey, there you are chicka. Stop scaring me like that." Squeaked Frankie softly as he climbed up onto my chest to look closely at me.
"How many squirrels do you see?" he asked, peering at me carefully from his resting point on my nose. The fur tickled me, and I felt an extremely violent sneeze coming on.
Frankie must have sensed it, his tiny black beady eyes going wide before making a leap of faith for Christian, and relative safety, right as I convulsed into a sneezing fit.
Once done, I looked at them both through watery eyes and sighed, my eyes drifting closed in exhaustion.
"Christian, what happened?" I asked, though not fully caring whether he answered me or not. All I wanted to do was get some rest.
"I'm not sure. All of a sudden I couldn't move and I had this warm feeling in my head, felt like it was pushing around in there. And I was seeing all these old memories, then you fell to the floor." He responded quickly, reapplying the cold cloth to my forehead.
"Chicka, you really need to stop doing that. It's freaking me out!" said Frankie, as he peered at me while hanging from the front of Christian's rumpled shirt.
"Sorry Frankie. I don't know what's going on with me lately." I managed, closing my eyes again and laying back.
It felt nice to be cared for. I was tired and didn't want to accept the responsibility of getting up and making it to my room before I collapsed again, so I just laid there on the floor, while Christian patted at my face lightly with his washcloth.
I had a sudden memory of when I was a child. Laying in bed with some form of sickness, mother cooking her special soup, my father sitting on the end of the bed reading me a story. Mother used to joke that her soup could cure any illness, and had continued to feed me as much as possible until I was up and running around again. This may have been her way of healing me with her magick without appearing to do so.
Memories like this hurt. Most times I tried to push me feelings for my family as far down as possible. If I allowed myself to go back there, to the day that I had lost my mother, or the day that I had lost Will and my father, I felt like I was falling into a deep dark hole that I had to once again fight to climb back out of.
The pain laced through me as I laid there and I didn't care. I missed them. I missed laughing with my father as he taught me self defense, listening to my mother as she sang while cooking in the kitchen, or playing in the fields with William. My whole family had been taken from me and it wasn't fair. I wanted to them back.
I felt a tear trickle out from the corner of my eye and make its way slowly down my cheek. I didn't care if Christian saw me cry, I was tired of putting on a brave face. I just wanted to grieve.
"Jocelyn, what's wrong." He asked as he brushed my tear away lightly.
"I miss them." I managed to choke out, my throat thick and heavy with unshed tears.
"Your family?" he asked, running a hand through my hair.
I couldn't no longer talk without turning into a mess of tears and sobs, so I nodded in response.
"I miss mine too," he replied softly, "every single day."
A soft paw trailed lightly across my chin as Frankie gave me a squirrel cuddle. "Me too." He said, pushing up under my chin and snuggling in.
I wrapped one hand lightly around the squirrel and rolled to the side, curling us both into a ball with my head still resting in Christian's lap. Looking up I could see great sadness etched into his features, his eyes brimming with tears.
"What do you remember about your family Christian?" I asked, holding his gaze as I placed a hand lightly on his leg.
"I remember too much sometimes. Did you know I had a baby sister?" he began, hand continuing its soothing strokes through my hair.
"What was her name?"
"Jessie. She was a beautiful girl. Hair so pale blonde it was almost white. Eyes as blue as the ocean on a clear day. We played together when we were little, chasing each other through the streets of the city. She had the most infectious laugh." He explained with a smile.
"She sounds beautiful." I replied, remembering the images I had seen in Christian's mind of a beautiful blonde child laughing as she dodged between horses and people on a crowded streets.
"You miss her a lot." I stated, tightening my grip on his leg in comfort.
"Every day. But she is safe now, where ever she is." He finished sadly.
I tilted my chin back to look at Christian again. His eyes were raw and clouded in pain. "What is it Christian? What's the matter."
"Sometimes I just wonder what I could have done to make things go differently. If there was anything I could have done to protect her." Was his whispered response, he blinked and a lone tear raced down his cheek.
"It wasn't your fault Christian."
"No, but maybe things wouldn't have turned out the way they had, if I had just dealt with the problem myself."
I could feel the waves of anguish and the bitter taste of regret rolling off of him as I sat there, curled up in his lap. "What happened," I began, "Why do you blame yourself? It wasn't your fault."
"I asked for help. I approached Logan, begging him to help us. When he came, everything happened so fast. He did what he had too, and killed my parents for their crimes. Jessie got in the way, and my father killed her. To this day I'm not sure whether it was an accident, or whether he did it on purpose. All he wanted was power. Either way he took the only thing that I cared about. She was only 6." He explained bitterly, his face twitching in anger as he spoke.
Shifting slightly, I took his right hand and pulled it to my chest. "I'm so sorry Christian."
A tingle started in my fingertips, but I pushed it down with all my might. He didn't need magick, he needed time to heal. Emotional pain wasn't something you could just will away, and I knew that while he still felt responsible for what happened to Jessie, I wouldn't be able to help him anyway.
"Don't be sorry," He smiled, squeezing my hand tenderly, "It wasn't your fault."
"I know, but I know exactly how it feels to lose your family, and a younger sibling. As the eldest, you always took control and made sure they were safe, and always had something fun to do." I began, thinking back to the years not so long ago, when everything was so easy. "I used to do half of William's chores for the day, just so he could get to play earlier. We used to chase each other through the fields. He always put mice in my clothes draw." I finished on a laugh.
I felt Christian's body vibrate in a soft chuckle.
We sat like that for a few minutes, holding hands and thinking back to the days we had families. Frankie was breathing heavily under my chin and I was pretty sure he was asleep. Christian continued to run his fingers through my hair in soothing strokes. Our eyes met and we both smiled.
"Thanks." I said, sighing contentedly.
Frankie was definitely asleep and dreaming. His back leg was twitching badly, and he was slowly working his way out from under my chin. Suddenly his whole body went rigid and he fell abruptly to the floor with a splat.
"NO! I almost had the biggest nut I have ever seen!" he squeaked as he jumped up and down in disgust.
I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Between gasping breaths I translated for Christian, earning me a very strange look.
"You talk to squirrel now, huh?" he asked, not sure whether it was funny or disturbing.
"Yeah, it's a long story. How about I explain everything after I have a rest?"
"Sure thing. I'm not going anywhere." He responded, wriggling out from under me and pulling me easily to my feet.
I scooped up Frankie and put him on my shoulder, he squeaked in excitement at getting to see more of the house.
We walked side by side until we got to my bedroom door, where Christian opened the door quickly and ushered me inside.
"Jocelyn?" he began.
"When was the last time you ate?" he asked, looking at me curiously.
"Um.. to be honest I think it's been a day or two! It's strange, I don't feel hungry." He replied, blushing in embarrassment.
"Let me cook something for you when you wake up. See you in a few hours." And with that he pulled the door closed quickly.
"Oh my goodness chicka! Look at the bed! Can we sleep all day?" an excited Frankie chirped in, dancing on my shoulder.
Laughing, I walked over to the bed, rearranged the pillows to maximize comfort, and curled in under the blanket. Instantly I felt better.
Frankie waited for me to get comfortable before laying on the edge of the blanket next to me, letting out a tired huff as he curled into a tight ball and closed his eyes.
"Sleep well chicka." He whispered.
"You too Frankie."
A/N - So what do we all think? after several people wanting to see the emotional side of my characters when interracting with others i've added more than i originally intended into this chapter. Please read and review! xxx