Chapter Twenty-Two: Vancouver
Marley had been mostly indifferent when I had purchased my tickets to Vancouver for a second time, but the second I mentioned a second ticket to Sabrine she had been furious. I had fully intended on taking Jonathon with me, to be completely honest though, it had been his idea. Needless to say, once she became aware that arguing with me wasn't going to work, she sat me down and together we had a very long, very uncomfortable, mother-daughter conversation.
I wasn't exactly enjoying my last day of class before winter break, but I sat and listened to my classmates sing karaoke with our teachers before we could all head over to the hockey rink. Jonathon had taken up the seat on the cold, tiled floor next to me, his fingers tracing little swirls on my skin. I felt alive these days, like a part of me that had been dormant for so long had finally snapped back to life. We spoke softly about the fact that Alex and Vivian hadn't made an appearance at the school the entire day. I wasn't too concerned, I was having too much fun watching as A.J. and Skylar performed a Good Charlotte song for everyone's enjoyment, and as I figured they were amazing. Stupid Vampires. A group of Niners were on stage performing some Spice Girls when the principal told us all to head up to our classrooms to get our tickets and head over to the rink.
Ms. Falon looked more excited than our classmates as she ripped off the little red stubs and handed them to us. Jonathon and I walked outside in to the cold, only wearing light pull over sweaters while the rest of our classmates tugged on heavy parkas. I felt eyes on me as Jonathon's arm dropped around my shoulder and pulled me in to him, rubbing my arm to make it look like I was cold. We made a good team, making each other more human every day, he had even made a few friends and joined the basketball team. I, personally, had just laughed when he told me about it, but he was proud so I kept the rest of my remarks to myself.
"C'mon, let's sit over there." Jonathon pointed behind the player's box. I tensed, there weren't any players in the box yet, but I knew there would be and Michael was on that team.
"Oh, how about we sit down there?" I turned back to glance down the bleachers, trying to find an empty spot, but the whole school had shown up and there really was no other place to sit. "Or not."
With his hand clasped around mine, he pulled me down the cement stairs and made himself comfortable on the wooden bench seat. Just as we got seated, A.J. and Skylar showed up, pushing their way through the throng of students to sit with us.
"Hey!" A.J. smiled, exposing all her white teeth.
Jonathon gave her a little nod, waved and went back to staring out at the empty ice, giving me time to talk to the girls.
"Hey you two. Great job at karaoke."
"Aw, thanks. It was a good time." A.J. smirked and plopped down next to me.
"Oh yes! I'm so glad we went up there, everyone looked super jealous!" Skylar laughed, her eyes sparkling. "Here's hoping we kick some ass out there on the ice today!"
Just then the opposing team skated on to the ice and the crowd started booing, until our team pounded on to the ice with the music blasting all around us. There was a drum pounding down the bleachers and a horn, everyone was banging their thunder sticks together and cheering as loud as they could. I closed my eyes to cheat and came out wishing that I had just ignored the urge to explore my visions. Jonathon turned to me, his smile spread vibrantly across his face; instinctively I smiled back and clamped my teeth together, but it was in vain. Jonathon had already caught the look on my face and started laughing, pulling me to him and cheering along with the rest of the crowd.
"Man, that sucked! Why does our team have to suck?" Skylar grumbled as we stood in the foyer of the Recreation Center. There was no point in going back to school since it was now winter break, so we just stood there chatting each other up about the game and the trip I was taking.
I kept my mouth shut and stood silently beside Jonathon, rolling my eyes slightly when he would stifle a laugh and push back a grin. I caught a shimmer of movement off to the side of where we were standing, coming out from the locker rooms were members of the Thunder team, our home team. Michael's friends, Keith and Jake were moaning about something, their hair looking wet, and their faces and shoulders slumped with defeat. Following not far behind them was Michael, dragging his feet and hockey equipment behind him, and only once looking up. That was all it took though, him looking up once to catch me watching him and he froze. His eyes trailed over Jonathon's arm wrapped around my shoulders, following it up to my face, darkness clouded his eyes and he glared. I had never once in my life seen Michael look so cruel, so angry, so I had to look away or the guilt would wash up over me.
However I had hoped he would take the hint and leave, but insteadhe approached the four of us, dropping his gear next to him. "So you did come?" Even his voice was accompanied by a razor sharp edge, not the pleasant tone I had once known. "You know, I seem to be losing a lot of girls to you Jonathon, what's your secret? Hypnosis? Drugs? Blackmail? C'mon, you gotta tell me. OH wait... maybe it's the fact that you're a fucked up demon who gets his kicks out of tormenting humans?" Michael was snarling, but his comments had struck a nerve, before I could react, Jonathon had him pinned up against the wall.
"You're just an annoying little mundane, too stupid to keep his mouth shut." Jonathon glanced back at me as I approached, the look on his face didn't seem to say he was going to hurt Jonathon, so I backed away.
"Oh it has to be mind control, look how she just obeys you without a word!"
"Shut up!" I snapped.
"Olivia, just take a step back." Jonathon returned his attention to Michael, pressing his body weight further into the arm he had across Michael's chest. "She's doing this for you, dumb ass. She's embracing the life she should've had all these years, one that is far too dangerous for you. Just let her alone, spewing off insults at her expense will only make me want to kill you, and I promised myself I wouldn't."
I was amazed at the amount of restraint Jonathon was showing compared to Michael, who had begun to thrash against Jonathon's grip. His eyes were narrowed to slits, his jaw set firmly in a stubborn manner, a look that should be saved for a game. His eyes slowly slid down to me, appraising me, stopping on the bright, red color of my hair, and then flickered to the doors behind me.
I turned to find that Keith and Jake had come back looking for Michael, wondering why he hadn't been behind them. Jonathon had noticed too and released Michael before a fight broke out, one the other boys would have never won. Michael picked up his gear and stopped next to me, his eyes still full of such hate. "If you're really doing this for me, then you've failed."
His words should have struck me like daggers, making the guilt well up inside me, but all it did was make me angry and I glared back. "I haven't failed at anything, and I think I have successfully proven my point, especially since they way you are acting fits all my needs. Run along Michael, you know you can't take on Jonathon."
He opened his mouth to reply, but Keith and Jake were too close, so instead he shrugged and without any effort, his face turned up in to a brilliant smile and he ran out towards his friends. Great little actor, isn't he? I'm not too bad either, if I do say so myself. Now ... we should probably get out of here so I can pack.
Saturday morning came way too quickly with my alarm clock buzzing loudly in the background and then my Mother was standing over my bed.
"Olivia Jade, get up. You'll be late for your flight."
"Ah crap!" I shot up from my bed, peeling off my pj's as I blasted in to the bathroom leaving a trail behind me. There was no time to adjust the water temperature, there was only time to wash and get out. Thank god I packed my bag last night.
My Mother was making my bed when I flew back in and pulled on the clothes she had lain out for me. Simple enough: jeans, a t-shirt and a blue sweatshirt. I dressed as quickly as I possibly could and did a quick make-up job.
"Did you brush your teeth?"
"In the shower."
Marley rolled her eyes. "Jonathon is waiting upstairs, you better hurry."
"I know. I know." I grabbed my bag and hurried myself upstairs to find Jonathon sitting at the kitchen table.
"Morning." His smile was brilliant, and I couldn't help smiling back. He helped me slip in to my jacket and I quickly pulled on my boots.
At the door, Marley stopped me, pulled me in to a tight hug and kissed my cheek. "You behave alright, and call me the second you get there. Remember, the hotel reservations are made under my name." She gave me another squeeze and I rushed out of the house after Jonathon and crawled in to the passenger side of his new Mercedes.
The inside of the car was warm and comfortable, there were two coffees from Thornview sitting in the cup holders and I rejoiced. He looked pretty proud of himself and I leaned over and kissed his cheek, but he caught my face in his hands and kissed me. "That's how one should really say good morning." Jonathon smirked.
"With coffee and a good kiss? I think I could get used to that."
"Good. You should sleep, you look tired, I'll wake you up when we get to the airport."
"Alright." I closed my eyes for only a brief moment, but the next thing I knew Jonathon was waking me to tell me we had arrived. We had parked in the garage for frequent flyers, you needed a swipe card to get in and out of this particular area, Jonathon had probably chosen it to protect his car filled with sharp objects against the thieving hands of mundanes.
"We're really early, so we have lots of time to check our baggage." Jonathon helped me out of the car and pulled our bags out of the back seat.
Jonathon vanished for a moment and then returned with a little trolley, his face was flushed and I realized he was excited. I had to hold back a little bubble of laughter, I didn't want to startle him and I quite enjoyed the amount of energy he had. It was quite contagious, and considering I was half asleep, I needed it.
Jonathon wasn't kidding, we were incredibly early - our flight was delayed, so by the time we checked out bags and carry-ons, we still had time to find some breakfast. We sat there and talked about a few Society details, and I gave him a little bit of a background check on a few of my friends. He only pretended to be interested, and his questions went back to what kind of hotel room we were getting and from there the conversation dissipated and we boarded the plane. I took up the window seat, excited to watch as we took off and be able to look down the tops of clouds as we soared through them. We were pleased when no one else sat in our row and even more ecstatic when we discovered no small children were aboard the plane. However, we were both fast asleep before the plan even took off.
"Jonathon, wake up. We're here." I whispered next to his ear, poking at his face.
Reluctantly he opened his eyes in time for the stewardess to come over to assist us with removing our carry-on bags. She smiled at me, her eyes sparkling an interesting green and I caught a glimpse of an ivy tattoo on her neck. A nymph.
"Here you are."
"Thank-you." I nodded.
She gave Jonathon a strange look before handing him his bag, but she made very sure that she had no other contact with him. I frowned a little at how rude she was to him, and Jonathon seemed to notice.
"Nymphs are like that towards all demons, it is just in their nature. I'm sure you've noticed how much Vivian dislikes Celone and I."
"I have actually, I thought that was just, you know, Vivian's personality shining through." I gave him a little grin. "But she was a nymp then?"
"Most definitely, strange though, not a lot of them like being in confined places or in the air."
"Is it an Earth thing?
"You got it." Jonathon gave my hand a little squeeze and together we walked off the plane and went to baggage claim.
"If they lost any of my stuff, I'll be pissed." Jonathon joked as we watched the carousel go around.
"I'll just have to sick Kat on them."
Jonathon snorted. "She's not an attack dog."
"No, but she's rather good at pouncing." I winked.
"Now, that is true." Jonathon smirked. He caught sight of our bags and leaned down to pull them out of the carousel, handing me mine only after I grabbed for it. Finally we walked through security and managed to catch a cab to our hotel. Vancouver was beautiful, not nearly as cold as Morden. It was a bit damp out with slush on the road but it was familiar.
"How does it feel to be back?" Jonathon nudged me.
"Awesome. Like I never left." I smiled lightly.
"That is definitely a good thing. A home will always remain your home, no matter how long you've been gone from it."
A cast him a curious glance. "Do you miss where ever it is you came from?"
He looked like he wasn't going to tell me, but he shrugged and squeezed my hand. "Because Olivia, it was never really my home." His face was a little sad, but he forced out a smile and pulled me in to him.
Arriving at the hotel we unloaded our bags and over paid the cab driver. The bellhop took our trolley to the check in desk. I had to do a double take while we stood there, I had not expected to recognize anyone I knew so early in the day.
"Rebecca?" The girl looked up from behind the desk.
"OH MY GOD! BECCA! How did you land a job here?"
"My Dad. You know, Aly told me you were coming but I had no idea you were staying here."
"Ya, well Mom is paying for it so, yea."
"That explains it. Here, I'll get your card and show you up to your room. My shift is pretty much over any way."
"Eh hem." Jonathon cleared his throat, loudly.
I turned to him, trying to read his face, but he had just looked away and was staring at some poster on the wall. "You know Becca, we were just going to have a nap, long flight."
Rebecca looked at Jonathon and appraised him for a moment and then smiled. "Boyfriend, right? Okay. Here's your room number and keys. Enjoy your stay, and I'll see you tomorrow."
I nodded. "Thanks Bec. See you later."
Jonathon's hand pressed against the small of my back and we followed the bellhop to the elevator and then our room. All the while we walked in complete silence. Once we were in the room my nerves started tingling. There was one bed, a king sized mattress, in the room off the living area that was two couches and a TV. Off the bedroom was a normal sized bathroom for a hotel room.
"You should have a nap, I think I'm going to unpack and watch some TV." Jonathon chuckled unloading his clothes into the dresser drawers.
He continued to talk, but I had already lost focus and collapsed to the ground.
I opened my eyes slowly to see Jonathon hovering over me, his eyes half closed from exhaustion.
"Hi. I'm okay."
He picked me up off the couch where I was laying and carried me in to the large bedroom, softly dropping me on to the mattress.
"Get some sleep."
He was about to leave, so I caught his wrist and pulled him onto the mattress next to me, curling up against his broad frame. There was no hesitation in him, he didn't move away from me, instead he guided my head to his shoulder and began to play his fingers through my hair. He kissed my forehead and cradled me against him, he was so warm, so comfortable and for now he was mine. I slowly drifted off to sleep, letting the jet lag take over, and allowing the comfort I felt curled up next to Jonathon ease me into a state of blissful dreams. The last thing I heard was Jonathon saying ‘good night' and kissing my forehead before I drifted far away from the hotel room, from Vancouver, from life.
I was standing in a wide open space, a single tree stood out before me, its branches spreading wide almost touching the ends of the world. There was a cool breeze that carried with it the taste of salt and tiny water droplets that fell on my cheeks. I glanced around, trying to get a feel for where I may be, but it seemed hopeless. The tree and I were the only thing around for miles, there was nothing but an open field and a meadow filled with flowers only starting to bloom. The ground was wet, there were still little clumps of snow clustered around a stray rock here and there, but other than that I was alone. I sat down on a larger rock surrounded by more rocks, covered in a thin blanket of fuzzy, green moss. It was so peaceful here, I could stay here for forever, if my dreams would only let me.