"You know, I am going to miss this place," I noted as Jacob took my packed suitcase.
"You'd rather stay here than be with me?" he pouted.
"Of course not! I'm just saying..." Oh. He was teasing. He grinned at me and I laced my fingers through his.
I was leaving Brenton. Today was the last day of my first semester. It had been a great experiance, but Jacob was more important than anything in my life right now. On the night of the dance, we had fallen asleep in the silvery moonlight, curled up by each other, under the tree. The next morning he was going to catch a flight back to Washington; he knew it would be hard, but he didn't want to interfere with my schooling. I freaked out and begged him to stay. He said he would interfere, I said we'd find a way. So I dropped out. He didn't approve of my decison, but since I was going to be with him now, he could hardly complain.
I had already said good bye to Ashlie and Libby; it was hard, but I told them I'd stay in touch. We were practically sisters, though we hadn't known each other for long.
Jacob and I waited for a shuttle to get to the airport in. It didn't take long, but I was eager to be home. I was homesick, and missed the La Push beaches and the thick green leaves of the trees in Forks.
On the five hour flight, Jacob and I called Aunt Alice, figuring we'd driven her crazy enough with our negligent responses to her eager voicemails.
She answered on half a ring. "It's about time," she grumbled. "I was going to go to Delaware myself to see what you two were up to!"
Jacob and I chuckled. "Sorry!" we said in union.
"So how is it going for you two?"
"I'm coming home," I told her. "We're on a plane."
"Yay!" I heard her clap her hands. "It's miserable without you here. You too, Jacob. And she'd kill me before she'd admit it, but Rosalie misses you both."
"Wow, I'm so honored," Jacob said, heavy on the sarcasm. "I've missed her, too. You'll tell her that for me won't you? Tell her that I'll be waiting to run into her arms in a few hours, alright?"
Aunt Alice laughed. "Of course I will."
I snuggled closer to him, annoyed by the armrest that separated our seats. It was jabbing me in the kidney.
"Did you sweep her off her feet?" Aunt Alice demanded.
Jacob laughed and kissed me. "I think so."
"Nessie? How was it?"
"Amazing." My thoughts went back to the night of the dance. It had been a perfect night. "It was wonderful. I've never been so happy."
"Thanks for playing matchmaker, Alice," Jacob said. He was joking, but still sincere.
"Anytime!" she laughed. "What time will you be here?"
Jacob checked his watch "About two," he answered. That was three hours away.
I could practically see Aunt Alice's lip sticking out in a pout. "That's so far away," she complained.
Jacob and I laughed. A flight attendant shot us a nasty look from a few rows back. Technically, cell phones were not allowed at this height.
"I've got to go," I told Aunt Alice. "Tell everyone I love them, alrigtht? We'll be home soon. Love you, bye!"
"I love you Nessie. See you soon." she hung up.
I handed the phone back to Jacob and he tucked it in his pocket. Our hands were joined as usual. It had been this way for almost three days. We never let go of each other! It was nice, though.
I looked at Jacob and he smiled, knowing what I wanted. Be bent down and kissed me again, and it was as wonderful as that first night. "Thanks," I sighed.
Last time I had been on a plane, Jacob and I were apart; things weren't good between us. It was amazing how much things had changed as Jacob and I sat next to each other, willing the armrest to move so that we could be even closer. I loved him with all my heart. I think I dozed off. Last night was so wonderful that I couldn't bring myself to sleep through any of it.
Jacob woke me up to get off the plane, and he took my luggage. We were still hand-in-hand.
I smiled in delight as we entered the airport. In front of me was my entire family. I hugged Aunt Alice first, never letting go of Jacob's hand. "Thank-you," I whispered. "I'm so happy. Right now. Thank-you so much." "You're very welcome," she said. "I want what's best for you."
I sighed with happiness as I hugged both my mom and dad. "I missed you," I told them.
"We've been waiting for you to come home," Mom said. "Rosalie's been going crazy without Jacob," she added. Aunt Rosalie hissed and her golden eyes sparkled with anger as she heard mom's comment. "Admit it, Rose!" Uncle Emmett said. "You've been going crazy without Jacob!" He walked over and put Jacob in a headlock. Jacob twisted out of it and gave put Uncle Emmett in a headlock. They really went at it then. "Boys!" Grandma said. "Behave!" "Sorry, mom!" They said in union. They grinned at each other.
"I suppose it is nice having you here," Aunt Rosalie said. "More entertaining." She smiled, then, a true genuine smile. "Welcome back." She held out her arms. Jacob clearly was not expecting this. "Er..." Aunt Rosalie was still smiling up at him, but her eyes had a little sparkle. Are you chicken? She seemed to be asking. Are you afraid to hug a girl? Afraid of my germs? Jacob wasn't one to back out of a challenge. He wrapped his arms around her. I was sort of jealous, but I didn't have a reason to be. I had to smile at myself. What I wouldn't do to get Jacob to only touch me, I thought. "Nice to see you, too, Rose. I missed you the most." Jacob grinned and Aunt Rosalie stepped away, frowning to herself. Jacob grinned at me and then bent down to kiss me. I caught Grandma's eye during the kiss, and she gave me a strange look, looking as if she was going to cry. I knew she loved mine and Jacob's happiness. She loved Jacob as a son, too, and it made her so ecstatic to see us happy together that she almost choked on her joy.
The car ride home was very talkative. They had come in Uncle Emmett's jeep, so there was plenty of room for all of us. Rosalie, embarressed by her show of emotion at the airport, volunteered to take Jacob's car back. Jacob was sort of worried she would total it, but Dad assured him that Aunt Rosalie would never do such a thing. "Cars are one of her favorite things," he said. "Besides herself."
Grandpa wanted to know what I had learned, and we had a conversation in Latin for a few minutes, until Uncle Emmett complained. I described the buildings to Grandma, then showed her with my special abilities. "Beautiful," she sighed. Aunt Alice demanded an up-to-the-minute report on my clothing: What had I worn to the dance? (I told her the truth and she freaked out, exactly the response I was going for) Were any clothes worn out yet? Did I need some new ones? (I responded to this with a loud NO, which got the whole car laughing) Mom was just being a mom: Did I get enough sleep? Enough nutrition? Was everyone nice? Did I take too many courses? I assured her I was fine.
We pulled up to the house an hour later. Ah, home at last! I would sleep in my own bed tonight, sleep in, and wake up to Jacob in the morning. I was happier and happier as I thought about how much time Jacob and I would have. Day and night, never letting go of each other...