Always Midnight

Madison Johnson's life changes the moment she lays eyes on Christian Watson. Christian is unlike any boy Madison has ever met in her life, he's a guy with a secret-he's a vampire with a deadly past. When they fall in love, Christian's past soon makes its way into their future together. As his past catches up to him, Madison must decide how much she will sacrifice to be with the man she loves.


Copyright © 2011

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12. A Long Way from Home

“Maddie wake up we’re here!” Lillian yelled in my ear. 

I woke up, I didn’t expect to fall asleep. I guess I was still tired from early this morning. We were deep into the woods I knew because I could not see the main road. I noticed the huge tall trees surrounding us, these trees were some of the biggest trees in the world. They all had huge trunks that dated back to hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago. The trees also had huge canopies that provided shade from the sun. Shrubs, bushes, flowers also helped to create the beauty of the forest. The Forbidden Forest was rarely visited by Maple Falls residents but those who did visit never stayed in the same place twice there was so much forest that it was near impossible to find the same place without getting lost. In fact there were some parts of the wilderness that had never been explored, it was Maple Falls own backyard treasure, since we didn’t have much tourism. I was captivated by the beauty of it all. I wasn’t the only one, everyone was silent enjoying the sounds of birds singing and other animals scurrying on the forest ground. I could smell the fresh air of woods, pine, and fresh water. I felt as if I stepped into a painting, everything looked fresh and glittery. There were rays of sunshine breaking through the cluster of tree tops. The bark on the trees were a rich brown covered up by the glossy green moss, coating the trees like blankets. The trees rose up in the sky as if they were alive and trying to reach the Sun. The majestic branches twisted each sprouting leaves that acted as canopies for the forest ground, protecting its’ inhabitants. Everything felt magical and I felt at home.

“Come on, it's already one o clock lets get our things out then we can stare off into space memorized.” Jensen declared mockingly. 

It took us an hour to unpack our things, set up the tents, and make a fire pit. We set up our camp only a few feet from Oasis Pond, which made our walk to the pond very short. Oasis Pond was in the middle of the Forbidden forest, it wasn’t very big nor deep, it’s dark blue waters sparkled inviting us to jump in. The Pond was the only real clearing throughout the whole forest. We reached the edge of the pond where there were a couple of picnic tables, I sat down at one of the old rickety gray picnic tables that faced the water. 

“Alright whose swimming?” Dean asked, stripping off his clothes until he was left wearing blue swim trunks. Even though we were no longer dating I couldn’t help but peek at his body. Dean was ripped, his broad shoulders and tight abs made me blush. I quickly looked away only to see Katie take a huge gulp. I stifled a laugh and noticed Jensen, Justin and Julian stripping down as well. Gee, when did these boys get built? And where have I been? I never realized how attractive my guy friends were before. Darn these teenage hormones, no wonder all of them were hooking up with each other…I could never have feelings for any of the boys in that manner, however, that didn’t stop me from checking out their bodies. 

“I think everyone is swimming right guys?” Angelica asked, while she took off her clothes revealing a hot pink two piece bikini that left little to the imagination. 

“Yeah we’re all swimming right Lilly?” Dean asked. I glanced up in time to see Jensen raise an eyebrow, and Katie roll her eyes. 

“Yup!” Lilly replied peeling off her clothes to reveal an aqua blue tankini that appeared great against her dark skin. 

I finally took off my jeans and set them on the table revealing my own black bikini. Everyone was down to their swimsuits except Katie. 
“Kate, what are you doing? Take off your clothes that way we can all take pictures then jump in the pond.” Jocelyn said, as she took off her skirt showing her lime green bikini as well.

“I don’t think I’m going to swim you guys. I don’t like my bathing suit anymore.” Katie said, slightly embarrassed.

“Come on!” Jensen and Dean yelled.

“No.” Katie shook her head.
I got up from the picnic bench and walked to her. I put my arm on her shoulders in order to face her away from all of our friends. I led her closer to the edge of the green mass of forest, away from anyone else so they wouldn’t hear. 

“Do you want me to stay on the beach with you?” I asked.

“No its okay, you have fun with everyone.” Katie sniffled to me. I hadn’t seen Katie this upset before I hugged her closer to me. 

“What’s wrong Kate?” 
“It’s…all you guys look amazing and…I don’t…did you hear the way Dean asked Lilly? All hopeful like he’s a love stricken puppy. It hurts to be with him when all he does is make love struck eyes at Lilly. And I don’t want be jealous or make things weird this whole situation hurts…” Kate let out a quiet sob. I hugged her tightly and remained silent until she was finished sobbing. 

“Look trust me I understand how you feel, but Dean isn’t a mind reader you can’t be upset when you haven’t given him or yourself the chance to express how you really feel. This isn’t fair to yourself, now you’re depriving me and our other friends of having a great time with you. It hurts, I understand that but it won’t get better until you let this off of your chest, the worst thing he could say is that he isn’t interested. And if he isn’t interested he an idiot and no matter how much I adore him, I’ll kick his butt too. Please take off those clothes, show off that hot body and have some fun. If it helps I’ll make sure Dean doesn’t get to close to us, you know how he hates when people splash him. What do you say?” I asked Kate, giving her my best pleading puppy eyes.

She wiped her eyes, sighed, then rolled her eyes at me before nodding her head. I let go of her when she gave me a huge hug, “Thanks Maddie, I don't know where you get your strength from, 
you’re always a good friend.”

“Yea I have my good kick ass best friends moments.” I told her, smiling. 
We walked back to the beach area where everyone was waiting for us. 

“Are we good to go yet?” Julian asked, impatient.

“Yea.” Katie said, she undressed, baring her red glittery two piece bikini. I could see Dean’s mouth open in shock when he snapped it back shut. I rolled my eyes. 

“Wow Kate…I like your…um…you look great.” Dean struggled, trying to find the right words. His eyes popping out of his head as the realization Katie was more than a pretty face dawned on him. 

Katie blushed so hard she almost matched the color of her swimsuit, “Thanks Dean.” 

“Oh for goodness sakes…” I said to myself. 

“Last one is a rotten egg.” Julian yelled, running full speed into the pond. 

We all followed him, I ran until diving into the water. The water was cold, it felt as if thin needles prickled my skin, my body was screaming at me to get out. But once I submerged myself into the water, continuing to swim helped to heat up my muscles and the water became tolerable. Being in the Atlantic water back in Georgia I loved to swim, my dad used to call me his own little “Nemo,” it reminded me of being in a state with nice weather. No one had pools in Maple Falls, there was no point, with all the rain we received everyone had their own nature made pools. 

I didn’t have to worry about protecting Katie from Dean, because the minute we were in the water she swam over to him. Dean and Katie were playing around together in the water, I glanced quickly enough to see them hugging in the water. Meanwhile, I noticed Jocelyn and Justin far off by themselves hugging in the distance, I didn’t even want to know what they were doing. Julian, Jensen, Angelica, Lilly and I splashed around, raced each other dozens of times, then eventually floated around being lazy. We relaxed in the water for a while before the sky started to get a dark. After we retrieved the clothes we all carelessly tossed on the picnic tables, we headed back to our camp. We all dried off, and changed into our clothes. The boys were cooking over a tiny grill I had bought along while the girls and I were sitting next to the fire pit on a blanket on the ground. We were all sitting and talking about school, classes and other unimportant things. The boys cooking and our girl chatter was interrupted, when a police car came creeping by our camp site.

We looked to see no other than Mr. Tyler stepping out of his car, coming to check on us. Mr. Tyler was a tall man who had a muscular frame to him with light blonde hair and blue eyes. He was sometimes an overbearing man, but other than that he was quite kind. He was the type of man who had that air of authority around him, maybe it was the uniform, but I believed he had always had that effect on people. Angelica, sitting cross-legged on the blanket we all put on the ground, jumped up and ran to her father. He hugged her, then walked over to us. 

“Hello.” Mr. Tyler said to all of us.

“Hello Mr. Tyler” We all said in unison. 

“Everything okay? Julian I trust you are watching out for my princess.” Mr. Tyler said.

“Yes sir, she is in good hands. All of the girls are.” Julian said.

“Good I knew I could trust you, especially if anything God forbid were to happen I would hold you responsible.” Mr. Tyler told him, winking. 

“Yes sir, I understand.” Julian said politely. 

“Good. And you gentlemen understand that as well correct?” Mr. Tyler asked Justin, Dean, and Jensen. They all nodded their head in agreement. 

“And ladies, I assume you will also behave tonight. No liquor or drugs right?” 
We all shook our heads vigorously. He laughed, then seem to give a quick glance around our campsite, perhaps hoping drugs would pop up that way he'd have an excuse to take Angelica home. 

“Dad. Come on please? It’s one night you didn’t have to come here yourself you just wanted to spy on me. Please for one night, don’t embarrass me any further. It’s good clean wholesome fun, I promise. Besides remember our talk? And our deal?” Angelica whined. 

Mr. Tyler smiled at his daughter at his side, “Can’t blame a father for being worried about his baby daughter but you’re right. Okay gentlemen, and ladies I will be on my way I had to make sure you were all safe, be careful out here. I am sure you are all aware about those animal attacks. Keep an eye out, don’t hesitate to call for help if you need it, stick together and remember: I am still sending out other patrols once in a while.” A stern warning was hidden beneath his kind smile.

We all smiled back, assuring Mr. Tyler of our compliance as he turned on his heel and walked back to his car. Angelica walked back with him to the car, giving him one more hug before he drove away. 
“Sorry you guys he is so embarrassing sometimes, seriously, he is annoying.” Angelica grumbled, taking her seat on the blanket next to me. 

“He means well, at least your dad is around here with you.” I murmured to myself. If Angelica did hear me, she didn’t respond, instead she focused her attention on the fire. 
I also decided to focus my attention on the fire, my appetite growing stronger. 
“I’m hungry, hurry up you guys.” Katie groaned. When she was in the water with Dean, Katie was in a bright mood. I guess that bright mood dimmed. 

“It’s almost done. Jocelyn since you never do anything, grab the paper plates, and plastic utensils.” Jensen barked.

“Okay Jensen, calm down who died and made you boss? Do you think you’re George Foremen now?” Jocelyn asked bitterly.

“Don’t start your whining princess Jocelyn if you can’t help out then you don’t get to eat.” Julian snapped.

“Whoa. Will you boys calm down? You guys can be such jerks!” Lillian said harshly.

“You girls haven’t lifted one hand, while we have been slaving over this grill trying to cook all the food.” Justin cut in.

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