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Open Flame

Summary:
I knew in that instant exactly how Sam felt when he saw Emily, exactly how Jacob felt when he saw Renesmee, exactly how Quil felt when he saw Claire. There were thoughts I had never known rushing through my head, from thoughts of a friendly nature, to thoughts of a passionate nature and everything in between. She drew me like an open flame drew a pyromaniac; and curiously, wonderfully, lovingly and lustfully, I had to follow her. I had to touch that open flame.open flame banner Seth Clearwater comes back from college for Leah's wedding, and the gang gets back together. But when his car breaks down on the side of the road, a very beautiful, engaged young woman comes to the rescue. Can Seth vy for the attentions of his imprint and successfully win her? Author's Note: This fanfiction will be complete once the twelfth chapter is added! Thank you everyone for your support and reviews!


Notes:


12. Twelve - To Live

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2162   Review this Chapter

Twelve

To Live

I placed Ginessa in Carlisle’s outstretched arms. Esme threw a sweatshirt and jeans at me. She felt Ginessa’s forehead immediately and ran back inside my apartment, Carlisle following fast. I phased and changed as quickly as possible. I would need to talk to Ginessa as soon as time allowed.

“She isn’t in good shape,” murmured Carlisle. “The fact that she managed to survive at all is shocking.” Esme returned to Ginessa’s room (it was becoming easier and easier to call it her room instead of the guest room, since she wasn’t going to be leaving anytime soon) with an armload of blankets I had never seen before. She arranged them around Ginessa quickly.

“Is there any food?” asked Carlisle quickly. “Soup?”

Esme nodded and ran off to the kitchen.

“Seth, how are you?” asked Carlisle as he went through all the procedures necessary for checking Ginessa.

“I’m fine,” I lied.

Carlisle shifted his gaze to me, sending a fatherly look. “I would feel better if you lay down upstairs, or next to Ginessa, even. You need sleep, and you need to be warm.”

I gulped and sighed, nodding. “All right.”

“I’ll be to your room in a few minutes with some blankets and soup,” called Esme from the kitchen.

I felt incredibly grateful for all the love and hospitality which filled the hearts of all the Cullens. My room was already filled with heat when I lay down in bed and with the help of Esme’s extra blankets, I was cozy and warm before any time at all had passed.

“How’s Ginessa?” I asked Esme groggily. I needed sleep, but I had to be absolutely sure of my imprint’s well-being before I allowed slumber to overtake me.

Esme’s caring eyes closed for a few moments. “I’m sure she will be fine, Seth.”

But I knew better than to believe her. “Esme…”

She sighed. “She’s dehydrated, emotionally scarred, suffering from violent shivers, and various bruises. Ginessa is also extremely weak and sick; her body isn’t digesting any solid food very well at all.”

“What does Carlisle think?”

She smiled a little. “He isn’t going to leave her side until she’s completely healed.”

“What about the others?”
“You didn’t see them?”

I shook my head.

“Jasper and Alice are on the couch in the living room. Alice seems to be improving a little bit every day. Once you’re well, Carlisle has requested you finish healing her. It shouldn’t be long now anyway. Rosalie and Emmett are in Alaska with the clan from Denali, making sure the wolves stay away from Reneesme. Edward, Bella and Reneesme have gone back to their cottage near Forks to spend some time away from Jake.”

“Where is Jake?”

Esme sighed again. “Probably circling the forest around the cottage.”

I nodded, smiling a little. “When we’re too far away from our imprints, the pain is impossible.”

“He told Carlisle that was the case, and that he had to leave. I wouldn’t let him go without a car, though. He may see it as a hassle, but he’ll need a back-up plan if the police see him in the woods.”

I nodded again.

“You should really go to sleep.” She touched my forehead for a moment.

“Thanks for everything, Esme,” I murmured.

And at last, I succumbed to the beautiful relaxation of sleep.

*****

When I woke up, it was extremely black outside. It was the kind of darkness that made me wonder what day it was, and where I was sleeping. I had to think for several moments about whether I was in the middle of a Siberian forest, or in my own house.

I wandered out of my room, to where I could hear Carlisle speaking to Esme in Ginessa’s room.

“At least she kept the soup down,” he said. “I’m sure it was better than any food she could have been given at the hospital.”

Esme hummed a little. “I’m sure your care is better than any she could have received there. How many doctors do you know that give around the clock treatment?”
He shrugged. “It’s just another part of the job for me.” He smiled. “This girl is a trooper. All the odds were against her, honestly. I didn’t want to think about breaking the news to Seth.”

“I don’t think anyone would. His love for her is so magnificent that I can’t imagine him loving anyone else.”

I took one more step, but Carlisle and Esme heard me.

“Oh, Seth, you’re awake,” said Esme, rushing to me at once. “How are you feeling?”
“Warm,” I replied, smiling. “I think I’m back up to normal now.” I let my eyes wander to the open doorway of Ginessa’s room.

“You should come in and see her,” invited Carlisle. “She looks much better.”

I stared at her from a few feet away. She looked very comfy on the bed; several blankets were draped all over the place, pillows amongst them. Somehow, I could still see her flaming red-orange hair poking out through all the fluff. It made me smile in some strange sort of way.

“How’s her temperature?” I asked softly.

“Last time I checked, she was at 96.9. Still too low, but warming up slowly. It’s been a while since I’ve treated hypothermia.”

My heart-rate sped up. “She really…she really had it, then?”

Carlisle nodded gravely. “I don’t know how well you can hear heartbeats as a shape-shifter, but when you came to the doorstep, I knew that Ginessa needed help fast. She barely felt warm to me; I knew at once that symptom was dangerous. And I knew that if she slept in that condition, shaking, without any food in her system, she might drop into a coma, and never wake up.”

“Is she-”

“She’s just sleeping, Seth. She’ll be fine now.” Carlisle paused. “You can sit with her if you want.”

“No, I don’t want to wake her up or rustle the blankets. I would hate to disturb her sleep.”

“While you were away, Seth, I took the liberty of transferring Ginessa to your university. And I excused your absences.”

“Thanks, Esme, but you didn’t have to-”

She held her hand up to stop me. “I know attendance in college is different. But I still felt you needed to be excused.”

“And what exactly happened? Or rather, what exactly did you tell them happened?”

She smiled, a little bit of smugness shining through. “Your sister-in-law and your fiancée nearly died in a skiing accident, so you were frantic, and spent most of the time at the hospital.”

“But what if they check the hospital for records?” I asked skeptically.

“They won’t,” replied Esme, “But if they do, Carlisle has connections.”

From Ginessa’s bed, Carlisle sent me a dazzling smile. I laughed.

“It’s all fine, Seth,” said Esme. “We wouldn’t just leave you without an explanation.”

“I know you wouldn’t have, but I wasn’t expecting such perfect kindness, either.”

Esme just smiled.

“Seth?” Jasper’s voice rang softly in my ears from the other side of my living room.

I spun around to greet him. “Yeah?”

“Could you…” he trailed off uncomfortably. “I mean, I don’t want to ask if you can’t…if you’re not strong enough, I’ll understand…I just can’t…I don’t have…”

“How’s Alice?” I asked at last.

Jasper relaxed at once. “She needs you, Seth.”

I nodded and smiled. “I’ll be happy to help.”

Alice looked much better than when I had first seen her. Many of her strange wounds had healed, only small scars visible where there had once been gaping holes, but her movements were still relatively rigid. She moved more like a human than any vampire I had ever seen.

“Hi Seth!” she exclaimed, smiling. I knew that she would have hugged me if the thirst wasn’t so unbearable or if she wasn’t so weak. Her eyes, after all, were still mysteriously crimson.

I grinned and sat by her bedside. “How are you?”

“Better,” she said, still smiling. “The pain isn’t half as bad as it was before.”

“Great. I’m so glad I can help you, Alice. Where is the pain the worst?”
She sighed and shifted her body around a bit. “Near my stomach.”

Jasper growled a little.

Alice’s tinkling laughter lit up the room. “Jazz, I don’t think Seth would touch me inappropriately.”

I raised my eyebrows a little. “Is that what you’re worried about?” I asked. “Trust me, that is the last thing on my mind.”

Jasper nodded hesitantly, still seeming unsure.

I touched her stomach, my hand covering two of the smaller wounds there. She closed her haunting eyes and breathed heavily, squeezing Jasper’s hand. To me, this indicated that she had somehow managed to cope with the pain. I watched the skin connect again right before my eyes. Alice’s pained looks ceased before long.

“I know that you’re in a lot of pain when I touch you, but what…what does it feel like?”

She flashed a sad smile my way. “It’s like the hottest part of a flame…it scars me, and laces me back together. But then it cools down so fast that I can barely remember what the flame felt like in the first place.”

Jasper sighed and a strange feeling of relief spread over me.

“Jazz, it’s fine, you don’t need to relax me, I’m all right,” she insisted softly.

He nodded, but that unsure, loving gaze in his eyes spoke differently.

“Where else are you hurt?”
For the next hour, I healed Alice from her neck to her calves. The moment I finished healing her wounds, she exhaled in contentment. Her eyes turned black all too quickly. I realized immediately that her irises had once been red because of the stress, and that in the pain, her body had put off the thirst. Now that it was gone, I was almost sure I looked more than tasty.

As I slowly backed away from her, she laughed. “Am I not a seasoned vampire? I can control myself, Seth, don’t worry.” She looked to Jasper. “But we’ll have to go soon.”

Smiling, ecstatic to have his Alice back, Jasper picked her up and rushed out my door, presumably to the forest a few miles off.

As I stood up, I spotted Carlisle standing in the doorway of my living room. My heart sped up; somehow I knew it was about Ginessa, and whether good or bad, I would have to face it.

“She’s awake.”

After those two words, I ran to her room. She smiled the moment she saw me, and reached out her arms to me. I rushed to her side and kissed her at once, still, softly as possible. I could tell she was weak, and the last thing I wanted to do was hurt her.

“I have so much to tell you,” I said, grinning.

“You do?” she asked weakly, “I mean, of course you do.”

“I wanted to talk to you so badly during our journey. But I couldn’t phase, not the way that I wanted to when…” I trailed off. I wasn’t making much sense at all, and I didn’t want to confuse her.

To my happiness, she laughed. “Seth, I knew you would make me happy.” Her hands were cold as they touched my cheeks. “I love you.”

“That’s what I felt compelled to respond to. I mean, you’re just so…” I sighed again. “I’m sorry that I had to put you through all of this. It isn’t fair what you’ve had to do for me.”

“I’m fine,” she assured me, smiling. She straightened up a little bit to prove her strength. “See?”

I smiled softly. “You almost died, Ginessa! They could have killed you!”

“But they didn’t!” exclaimed Ginessa, pulling me closer.

“And you were out in the cold for so long-”

“Carlisle is one of the best doctors in the world. He’s the reason I’m here, Seth,” whispered she. Her eyes were knowing as they gazed into mine.

“All right, you win,” I relented.

A triumphant grin spread across her face. “Besides, if you remember, I’m a fighter. I wouldn’t have let go of this world, not without your permission.”

“Well, you’re never going to get it.”

“So, out of the two of us, you’ll have to die first?”

I nodded. “I see no other option.”

“That’s too bad,” she sighed, “Because now that you’re a part of my life, I’m not stupid enough to try and live without you.”

“Don’t worry,” I answered, smiling still, “I’m not going to pull an Edward any time soon.”

With a soft kiss on her pale forehead, I sealed my oath, and our fate. Besides, in my world, there was only one reason to live, and that reason was tall, orange-haired, hilarious, spastic, and genuine. And she lived by the name of Ginessa.