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“Cecilia?” His smooth voice cut through the night on the camp ground. She muttered something, shifting in her bed. She hugged the pillow to her chest, falling back into her sleep. “Ceci...” He whispered, taking a chance and throwing a small pebble at her window. She awoke.
“What the...?” She breathed, not opening her eyes or moving from her blankets. “Jacob? What are you doing?” Cecilia asked, sitting up, wrapping the sheets around herself. She twisted so she faced the window and peered out into the night, searching for his face.
“Just come outside.” He whispered, pleading now. She groaned softly, glancing around her cabin, worried. “No one else is out here. Just come.” Cecilia yawned once, before swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, padding across the floor to the screen door. She opened it carefully, holding it until she could press it back into the frame, reassuring herself it couldn't slam and alert the others to her absence.
“What do you want?” She hissed, freezing now. He hadn't told her it was this cold; she thought. How she longed for her blankets back in the cabin. Suddenly; warmth. She looked at her arms, finding them sheathed in a black leather jacket. “Oh.” It wasn't so much the word, but an expression of shock and pleasure. “Thank you.” Her tone had gone from immensely frustrated to grateful and soft.
Jacob shrugged, slinging an arm over her shoulder. “I wanted to show you something.” He told her, and she blinked, pulling the jacket around her closely. Cecilia tilted her head up to gaze at him; he was a good 7 inches taller than her.
“What is so important that you felt the urge to disturb a very wonderful dream; not to mention my beauty sleep?” She teased, her eyes sparkling and white teeth flashing in the moonlight as she laughed softly; barely breathing to keep anyone from hearing them. Jacob shrugged, his whole body feeling as though he had just been buried in a snowbank; that tingly numbing feeling that wouldn't go away no matter how many hot chocolates you downed.
“You don't need the beauty sleep first of all, and second,” He looked down at her for the first time that night, “what was the dream about?” He whispered. She flushed instantly, grateful for the night hiding the pink that graced her cheekbones. She shook her head, tucking her hands in the pockets of his jacket.
“It doesn't matter.” She muttered, scuffing her foot against the ground. “What did you want to show me?” She asked softly, smiling softly now. Jacob thought for a moment, watching her. Her eyes darted up to his face. “Why are you looking at me like that?” Her hands flew to her wavy hair, pulling it over one shoulder. Jacob chuckled lowly, shaking his head.
“I don't know how to answer that exactly.” He said hesitantly. He stopped. Jacob Matthews was never hesitant, he was impulsive and confident. He didn't get nervous around girls, especially not his new best friend, Cecilia Addison. Except; he did. They had met at summer camp, bonding instantly over a love of 90's music. He sighed softly. She placed a hand on his shoulder, doing her part as the concerned sincere friend.
“What's wrong Matt?” She whispered, her grasp halting him and turning his body to face her. He groaned inwardly; he knew she wasn't that strong. Clearly, he was doing this of his own accord. Jacob shook his head, staring down at the ground. “Matt.” Her nickname for him, not really a nickname though, since it was merely an abbreviation on his last name, brought him out of his thoughts.
“Yes Addi?” He looked down at her slowly. That new nickname was awkward, he decided. Best to stick to her real name. She was watching him intently, her bright green eyes searching his for evidence of what could be wrong with her friend. He sighed again. “Ceci, I don't even know what's wrong with me. I don't think you're going to be able to figure it out either.” Jacob dropped onto the dock they were both so familiar with from prior meetings over the summer.
She huffed in indignation, sitting down next to him. He laughed softly, kicking off his shoes and socks, letting his legs dangle into the lake. She did the same, peeling off her socks and tossing them in the direction of his shoes. Her legs fell a few inches short of the water's surface. She settled for swinging her legs idly. “What's wrong Jacob?” She whispered, her eyes swimming with unshed tears. He could hear the emotion tracing her words.
“Ceci, are you crying?” He asked, pulling his legs out of the frigid water to face her. She shook her head, blinking back the tears. “Ceci...” He sighed, hugging her. “Nothing is wrong. I promise.” Jacob told her, staring out at the moon.
Cecilia shrugged, following his gaze. It was easier to talk this way, not having to look him in the eye. “It's just that sometimes you stare at me, and you get this strange look in your eye. One I don't recognize from anywhere else. And it scares me, because I think I'm hurting you when you look at me like that.” She mumbled, looking down at the water. Jacob blinked.
“You're not hurting me. I'm hurting myself, because I don't know why I look at you like that. I don't know why I can talk to you like this,” he gestured helplessly between them, “and not any of my other friends. I don't know why I think about you all the time, and I certainly don't know why I find myself throwing rocks at your window at one in the morning, when I should be asleep.”
She stared at him wordlessly. “And the sick thing is, even when I'm asleep, you're there.” He ran his hands through his hair, his voice shaking in frustration. You're everywhere Cecilia, and I don't know why.” Jacob's voice had been rising rapidly, his eyes not meeting hers. She stared down at the water, still swinging her legs.
“I don't know what to say.” She finally admitted, scared by the intensity of his statements. Jacob didn't look at her. “Matt...” Cecilia reached out for his hand, touching it lightly. It was though she had touched him with a lighter. He shifted away from her sharply. “Jacob.” She whispered brokenly, the tears finally spilling over. “I never wanted to hurt you.”
He laughed, still not meeting her eyes. “You're not hurting me, you're just...you're everywhere. I can't figure out how I feel about you, not when you're always around me.” She opened her mouth to speak. “No. I don't mean you're literally always there; but what I was talking about before. I can't get away from the idea of you...and strangely; I'm not sure that I want to get away from you.”
Cecilia's mouth opened and closed slowly, nothing coming forth. “What...huh?” She stammered, not even totally sure she was awake. “Do you want me to leave? So you can think or something?” She offered weakly, standing up to leave.
“Even if you left now, you'd always be with me. You're always on my mind; always in my heart.” Jacob mumbled, his eyes on the water, watching the ripples from the rock he had thrown in frustration. Cecilia sat down again, watching him silently.
“Jacob?” He turned, his eyes finally hitting hers for the first time in a while. “Am I even awake right now? Somehow, everything feels lighter. Everything is different, and I think I might be asleep.” She whispered dizzily. Jacob blinked, pushing himself to his feet effortlessly. He stood in front of her, his hands on her shoulders.
“Ceci, don't mess with me right now. Everything is light, like you're floating, only you're not. Different, but a good different. Like a dull, burning ache that you can't get rid of, no matter how you try? It's the worst pain in the world, but at the same time, you never want it to stop?” She nodded wordlessly, not completely sure she knew where he was going with this rant. “Cecilia Addison, welcome to my world.” He sighed, dropping his hands and sitting down again. She stared at him.
“What are you talking about Jacob?” She demanded softly, sitting next to him. “How did you know exactly how I was feeling?” She asked, not sure she really wanted to hear what he had to say. Somehow, she already knew.
“Ceci, have you ever felt like this before?” He asked, his tone suddenly very intent. She paused, nodding slowly. “Around anyone in particular?” Jacob pressed, looking up at the moon. Cecilia followed his gaze. She nodded again, reluctantly this time. “Wanna name him?” He asked, studying the stars.
Cecilia sighed, crossing her arms. “I don't see how this is explaining how you knew exactly how I was feeling.” She whispered, very defensive. Jacob rolled his eyes, laying down on the dock. “Jacob, what's going on?” She pressed, laying down next to him.
“Just answer the question. Anyone in particular?” He closed his eyes, linking his hands behind his head. She groaned inwardly, knowing he wouldn't rest until he got his answer.
“You.” She mumbled. Jacob sat up, that look in his eyes back. “But I still don't know how—” He put a hand over her mouth, cutting her off. He stared into her eyes as she struggled against his hand.
“I knew how you felt because that's how I feel every moment I'm around you. Every moment that I think of you, I feel that.” He admitted, running a hand through his hair again, causing it to look severely dishevelled.
“Oh.” Cecilia mouthed, rolling over so she was on her stomach, hands dangling over the water. She ran her index finger over the surface, her whole body tingling from the low temperatures. “Well, now what?” She asked, resting her chin in the palm of her other hand. Jacob shrugged, mirroring her actions.
“All I know is that I need to make this pain go away.” He whispered, staring into the water. She nodded, drawing hearts now. “I understand if you want to go back to bed. I know it's a lot to take in one night.” He smiled softly, standing up and helping her to her feet.
Cecilia nodded, letting go of his hand. “I need to sleep.” She mumbled, the two beginning the long walk back to her cabin. Minutes later, she stopped, turning to him hesitantly. “I'll see you in the morning?” She whispered, throwing a glance to where her friends slept.
Jacob nodded slowly, brushing her cheek with his lips softly. “Sleep well.” He told her, drawing her close for one last hug. He released her and she trudged up the steps of her cabin slowly, opening the door and sliding in quietly. Moments later, she was sound asleep, still wrapped in his leather jacket.
“Good morning.” Jacob greeted as Cecilia fell into her usual seat at their table. “You look tired.” He commented, lifting a forkful of scrambled eggs to his mouth. She nodded, her head dropping onto the table, her coppery red hair spilling out around her.
“Coffee?” She muttered, grimacing as Jacob pushed his cup across the table to her, grinning broadly. “You...coffee...black.” Cecilia didn't move her head from where it rested, instead turning it down with her hands. Jacob shrugged and left it there.
“I made it how you like it. Somehow I knew you'd be tired.” Jacob told her, and she picked up her head hesitantly, watching him suspiciously. “Yes, two sweeteners, a shot of 2 percent milk and a teaspoon of nutmeg.” He confirmed pushing it closer. She took a sip, smiling in pure pleasure.
“You are the best.” She told him, her voice slightly brighter than it was before. He chuckled, before throwing the cup of coffee a dirty glance.
“I don't know how you drink that sweet stuff. It's disgusting.” He told her, standing up. “But whatever. Grab it and let's get moving. I never got to show you what I meant to last night.” Cecilia groaned, lifting herself from the table, clutching his coffee cup.
“Matt, please don't make me walk.” She whined, trudging after him. He turned back, a smirk playing on his lips. “Don't look at me like that.” Cecilia groaned, dragging her feet.
“I can carry you.” Jacob offered, and took a step closer. Cecilia nodded slowly, her balance wavering. He chuckled and scooped her into his arms. “You need to eat more. You're practically weightless. Drink the coffee.” He told her, walking at a brisk pace.
She muttered something, her head falling against his shoulder. “I'm going back to sleep.” She mumbled, taking another long drag of coffee. Jacob shook his head, setting her down in a canoe. “Why am I in a canoe?” Cecilia demanded, blinking. Jacob stepped in, sitting across from her.
“Because I'm showing you something.” He stated, rolling his eyes as though it were obvious. Cecilia rolled her eyes mockingly, laughing quietly. Jacob continued to row, looking around as though he were searching for something.
“What are you looking for?” She asked, taking another sip of coffee. Jacob shook his head, flipping his long brown hair out of his eyes. “Matt, maybe I can help you find whatever it is you're looking for.”
He smiled softly. “You already helped me.” He told her. Cecilia blinked; very confused. She hadn't done anything, had she?
“What did I do?” She asked, peering at him, very curious. Jacob chuckled, dropping the oars in the bottom of the boat. “Jacob? What did I do?” She repeated, scooting closer to him as he continued to look for something.
He finally glanced at her, his eyes sparkling as he drew her closer. “You helped me find what I was missing.” Cecilia blinked, tilting her head to the side so all of her vivid hair fell over one shoulder.
“But I didn't...wait. What are you showing me?” She asked, suddenly very suspicious. Jacob shrugged nonchalantly, and she rolled her eyes. “Way to be helpful Jacob.” She teased, quietly humming the chorus to Sixpence None The Richer's Kiss Me. It was the push he needed. He pointed over her shoulder, at a large gray mountain.
“You see that mountain?” He inquired, and she stopped humming, nodding slowly.. How could she miss it? It was huge. “You never told me you had your first kiss in front of it.” He stated, almost accusingly. Cecilia blinked again, trying not to laugh at how ridiculous he was being.
“Jacob, I've told you I haven't had my first kiss ye—” Her eyes widened in realization as Jacob kissed her softly. It was simple, but she knew it would be the best kiss of her life. She dropped the still half full coffee mug to the bottom of the canoe, letting it spill.