Creepy cabin in the woods. Not exactly how I’d imagined my last night with Jake. Last night. Sounds so final. It scares the hell out of me. Jacqueline Pratt isn’t the kind of girl that stays around for long and now…now WHAT? I don’t know. Asking her to hop in the shower seemed like a good idea at the time. Famous last words, I guess. She moves slightly on the bench next to me and, in the process, unintentionally digs her elbow into my ribs. How metaphoric. Tomorrow she’s going to run away and that’ll be it. She can’t know how much it’ll hurt me to watch her ride away on that stupid motorcycle. But for now we’re here with Bella and Will and I don’t get anything about what’s going on. But confusion isn’t a new feeling for me. Not this summer. I look over at her, but she doesn’t notice. Jake. Jacqueline. I don’t know why I never started calling her Jacqueline. It’s almost too intimate…which is weird considering I saw certain things today that usually kick up the intimacy a few notches. I smile and she catches me smiling. She blushes. I try to smirk, to play it off like a typical guy, but I think about her walking up to me, taking off her bra. She’s so hot. I blush and half expect her to rub it in, but she doesn’t. She leans her head against my chest. Damn Finn. I hate him. She was so mine. I can’t believe she was so easily convinced. Maybe she won’t run away after all. I wonder if she loves me like I love her. It would probably totally freak her out if she knew how intensely connected I feel…to her…and to this relationship. Then again, maybe she feels it too. She moves around again, leaning back against me and letting her head rest on my shoulder. This is awkward. Should I…but she figures it out for me. She pulls my hands up and wraps my arms around her waist. I kiss her on the top of her head. I’ve never done this before. I’ve never held her. Not like this. Not this close. It’s like she’s mine…because she wants to be. Not like in the car when she was upset and I wanted to make her feel better. Not that I minded that sensation either. She was so scared today. So unlike the fearless Jake Pratt that she usually pretends to be. I guess I never realized what a front she puts up. I kiss her neck just below her ear. She says, “Thank you.” For the kiss? Anytime. But, I know that isn’t what she means and I know that neither of us is in the mood for sarcasm right now. I kiss her again and she brings her arm up so she can put her hand on the back of my neck. She runs her fingers up my neck and through my hair. God. Could she do less and make me feel more? I look over at Will and Bella. I wish they would go outside to investigate a strange noise or something. God knows, there are enough of them out there. I realize that they’re caught up in their own conversation. Bella’s got her head in his lap. Interesting. Jake catches me watching them. She looks too, just for a second, and smiles. She turns her head away from them and I find her looking at me. I can’t help but stare back at her. “I love you.” I’ve never said it without meaning it, but this time, I mean it more. I wonder if she’ll say she knows…or say ditto…somehow break this serious moment…fall into the banter that we use when things start to get a little too serious…a little too intense. “I love you too, Hamilton.” What a rush. I have to kiss her. At this moment, I’d like to do a whole lot more, but…She interrupts my train of thought as she kisses me. This is one thing I will never get tired of. She pours it all into her kisses. This one answers my question. She does love me like I love her. And tomorrow, she’s going to be gone. Maybe for good. God. This sucks. She stops kissing me and I’m still thinking about this. I hear her ask, “What’s wrong?” She’s not buying the fake smile I try to make look sincere. Finally, I say, “Nothing.” Nothing except that you’re going to New York tomorrow and I want you to stay…or maybe run away with me. I’ve promised myself that I won’t say anything like that to her, though. I’ll only say…”I’m just going to miss you, that’s all.” She looks guilty and it’s the last thing I want. “…but this is a really nice way to spend our last night together.” She laughs. But, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I didn’t mean in the middle of nowhere in this stupid cabin. I meant it’s nice just being with her. Holding her like this. Thinking about us. I didn’t mean it as a joke. She looks at me and she gets it. And now it’s her turn to make me feel better. She turns more toward me and I loosen my grip on her waist. She tells me she’s sorry and pulls me into a hug. This is almost better than the kiss. I hope I make HER feel this safe. She pulls back and looks at me. “Are you okay?” Be a man. I nod, but she knows I’m not okay. Way to go, Ham. She presses her forehead up to mine and says, “Everything will be okay…okay?” And, maybe it’s the cute way she phrased it or maybe it’s because she’s so close to me, but I’m convinced. Just that easily. She repeats, “Okay?” And this time my smile isn’t forced. I nod and I kiss her. She seems satisfied with this answer. She sits up and pulls a blanket over us and she lets me hold her again. We re-adjust to more of a lying down position. I wrap my left arm around her and put my head close to hers. It wouldn’t normally be comfortable. But, it is. It really does seem okay. I’m holding onto her pretty tight. Another metaphor. Where’s Finn when I have these revelations? Finn. It’ll work out. It will because she says it will…and I believe her. I consciously pull her a little closer. My arm is wrapped around her, but I know there’s something else holding her here. “I love you,” she says very quietly. That would be it. Those are the words that guarantee that she won’t run away. Not from me. Not from us. Even if she can’t go back to Rawley, we’ll still be us. Even though we’ll be apart starting tomorrow, we’ll still be held together. So, until there’s another noise to worry about…I’m going to sit here with Jake…no, with JACQUELINE…and I’m going to enjoy the moment in this creepy cabin where someone could very well be waiting outside to kill us all. Because, for THIS moment, it would totally be worth it.