Hayden wasn't at his cabin, but Holiday, still a little panicked by her two hiccups, agreed to walk by his classroom to see if he was there.

"I'm sure this is nothing," Holiday said, tapping her chest. "It's psychosomatic. We mentioned hiccups and it just happened."

Kylie wasn't convinced, and apparently neither was Holiday, who repeated the same thing over and over again as if to persuade herself.

"Don't you want kids?" Kylie asked, remembering what she'd learned about chameleons having a hard time getting pregnant.

"Yes, but ... Burnett's not completely on board with the idea. He says he didn't have a father, so he doesn't know how to be one."

"I think he'd make an excellent dad."

"I know he would. He'd probably be a tad overprotective, like most vampires, but still fabulous."

Thinking of another vamp who could be a tad overprotective, Kylie asked, "Is Della back yet?"

"Not until tonight," Holiday said. "But she's fine," she added, as if reading Kylie's concern. "Burnett spoke with Steve again this morning."

Kylie nodded. "And Helen's okay?"

"They let her out of the hospital late yesterday. Her parents wanted her to come with them for a while.

Just to make sure she's okay. Of course Jonathon is having a fit."

"I'll bet he is," Kylie said, remembering how the two of them were practically superglued at the hip.

Holiday and Kylie came to Hayden's classroom. Kylie saw someone moving behind the curtain. "He's here."

Holiday agreed to wait outside, and Kylie walked in.

Hayden, alone in the room, sat at his desk with a phone in his hand.

"Hey," Kylie said.

Hayden glanced up and dropped the phone. "I was about to try and call you to see if you were okay.

And check on my phone? Please tell me you haven't spoken with my girlfriend this time."

"No, I haven't spoken with anyone but my mom."

"And you're okay?"

"Yeah." Kylie pulled the phone out of her pocket. "I wanted to drop your phone off. Thanks for letting me borrow it."

He nodded. "You didn't call your grandfather?"

Kylie's mood went a notch down. She shook her head. "I don't know what to say to him. I'll call him in a day or so." Yes, she was procrastinating, but she decided to give herself a little break on this issue.

"Have you told him that Burnett knows everything?"A frown pulled at his eyes as he nodded. "I had to chance it and use the office phone, since I didn't have my phone," he said.

She shot him an apologetic look. "Is my grandfather ... okay with it?"

"He's not happy." Hayden paused. "I still don't think he was in on any of the ploy to try to stop you from leaving. And he seemed eager to speak to you about it."

"I know. I believe you, it's just ... I feel as if I hurt him by leaving, and now he's going to be upset that I told Burnett about you. The thought of him being angry with me is ... just too much."

"I explained the reasons we had to tell Burnett." Hayden leaned back in the chair. It squeaked. "Your grandfather cares about you. I know he can be hardheaded, but he's lost so much in this life-his kid, his wife. Now, he's scared he's going to lose you, too."

"I know. And yet ... even if I didn't belong here at Shadow Falls, I couldn't live like they want me to live. Isolated from the world."

"I know. It's not easy." The sudden stiffness in his shoulders told Kylie just how hard it had been on him.

"How old were you when you ran away?"

He picked up a pencil. "How did you know I ran away?"

"I was guessing," Kylie answered.

He hesitated. "Seventeen."

"Have you seen your parents since?"

He shook his head. "Your grandfather keeps me abreast of how they're doing and ... he started letting me talk to Jenny when..."

"When what?" Kylie asked.

"When he started getting worried she was planning to run away."

"Is she?"

"I think I've calmed her down. She just has to stay there another year or so. She's almost mature."

"Mature?" Kylie asked.

"Yes. When you are able to change your pattern. The rule is that if you leave after maturity, then you're not excommunicated. You're frowned upon, but you can visit. But the elders are trying to push her into getting married. It's just another ploy by the elders to try to keep her living on the compound."

Kylie felt Hayden's pain and she felt for Jenny, too. "Don't they see that they're pushing the young people to leave? It's like one of those cults that forces kids to live like it's the eighteen hundreds."

"They think they're protecting them," Hayden said. "And perhaps in the elders' day it was the right thing to do. But things have changed and they can't seem to see that. I've managed to create a life for myself and I'm not living in danger."

Kylie nodded, but she couldn't help but wonder how good of a life it was if he had to hide his true identity. Nevertheless, she supposed it was the better option. "Are you going to stay here?" She held her breath with hope.

He leaned back in his chair. "Burnett hasn't gotten back to me."

"But if he says you can stay, will you?"

He picked up a pencil and rolled it in his hand. She jumped in. "Please. I'd kind of like it if you stayed.

I still have questions and it would be really nice to have you around. And ... I think I want to try to changethings. You know, help the other chameleon teens. I haven't mentioned it yet to Holiday or Burnett, but I'm just waiting for the right time."

"I'll give it some thought," he said. "But let me just say that your friend Burnett makes leaving sound like the better deal."

"He's not all bad," Kylie said. "I know he can be ... difficult. In a lot of ways, he sort of reminds me of my grandfather. And even you a bit."

"I'm not nearly as pigheaded," Hayden said. "He has no right to treat me like this."

Kylie could argue the point with Hayden that coming here and hiding his whole identity didn't instill trust in Burnett, but what good would it do? "Just promise you'll consider staying on. I really need you here."

"I'll consider it, but that's all I can promise."

With another sandwich, Oreos, and Burnett in tow, Kylie and Holiday made their way to the falls. Burnett moved with them, but the vamp kept tripping, mostly because his concerned focus stayed on Holiday, instead of watching where he stepped.

She hadn't hiccuped again, but neither had she stopped panicking. At least it appeared that way, because she hadn't lost that oh-shit look on her face. Obviously, Burnett picked up her oh-shit look, too.

"Everything okay?" he asked for the second time.

"I told you, it's just tummy issues," Holiday answered, and Kylie recognized her answer as a version of the truth, so her heartbeat wouldn't give away the fact that she lied.

"Do you need to see a doctor?" His brows tightened and the big bad vampire became a worried, normal-looking guy who cared a whole hell of a lot for Holiday.

A warmth filled her chest just looking at them. With it came a sense of accomplishment. A feeling that she'd not just played a part in getting these two together, but it had been part of her quest that she'd completed, and completed well.

"No, I don't need to see a doctor," Holiday said. "At least not yet," she added quickly to counter another lie.

"Probably wedding jitters," Kylie added, hoping to help the conversation move away from her tummy issues before Holiday couldn't find another half truth to throw out.

Looking away from the couple holding hands, Kylie could swear she heard the whispering sound of rushing water over the falls. She slowed her steps and tuned her ears to listen. Yup, it was the falls, and yet they were probably a half mile away. She inhaled deeply, longing for the peace she would find behind the magical wall of water-a place where all the wrongs in life didn't feel so wrong. Or at least they felt manageable.

"Wedding jitters?" Burnett asked as if he'd been considering Kylie's statement. "She has nothing to be nervous about." He almost sounded offended. "I will do everything in my power to be a good husband."

"Brides are always nervous," Holiday said.

"About what? It's not as if you don't already know all my bad habits. Or me yours."

Holiday shot him a funny face. "What bad habits do I have?"

"You're a cover hog." Burnett grinned and stared with devotion at her. Kylie had seen that look on hisface before, but now he wore it with pride.

"But seriously," Burnett continued, "what would you have to be nervous about?"

Kylie noticed that when they talked, it was as if she wasn't even here. They were so tuned in to each other, everything and everyone else disappeared. And hadn't she felt the same about Lucas? She pushed that thought back.

"What if you get cold feet?" Holiday asked, and some of the teasing tone slipped from her voice.

Kylie remembered that Blake, Holiday's ex fiance, had left her at the altar-after sleeping with her twin. No doubt, Holiday probably did have wedding jitters.

"My feet are always cold. I'm a vampire," he said in a teasing voice, almost as if he was trying to chase away Holiday's somberness. "And if I remember correctly, you complained about that last night."

He slowed down and slipped his arm around Holiday. "Marrying you doesn't scare me a bit. It's the best thing that could ever happen to me. I'd never run out on you. I'll be the first one to the church."

Kylie's heart swelled at Burnett's words.

She heard Holiday let go of a sigh in the sentimental moment. "And it's when you say things like that I know why I put up with your cold feet." Holiday reached up on her tiptoes to kiss him. Burnett pulled her up so he could deepen the kiss.

"Hey," Kylie said, grinning. "You've got virgin eyes watching you right now."

"Then turn your head," Burnett said to Kylie, and he smiled. "I should be able to kiss my fiancee."

Kylie chuckled. "Yeah, but you'd better be careful, they are going to revoke your vampire license if you get any more romantic and mushy."

"Don't worry," Burnett said, his eyes pinched as if serious. "I can still be a jackass, and kick ass, when it's called for."

Yeah, like last night, Kylie thought. She still had a few bruises on her ego, and so did Hayden Yates, but she didn't say it. Down deep, she knew Burnett had justifications for coming off strong with her and Hayden.

Her thoughts went back to her conversation with Hayden, but already the calm of the falls had given her a sense of peacefulness, and she was able to push her worries aside. She glanced over at the two lovebirds holding hands and walking. Maybe it wasn't just the falls offering this sense of well-being, Kylie admitted. Being back at Shadow Falls and among her friends just felt so damn right.

Almost on cue, the sound of the falls grew louder, and a calm spread inside her chest. Kylie had to admit the falls were definitely contributing to the magical sense of ease. And after everything that happened this last twenty-four hours, she wanted to cling to that magic. Forget that seeing Holiday and Burnett reminded her that she loved someone, too. Forget that Lucas had betrayed her. Forget about running into Mario. Forget she'd probably hurt her grandfather by leaving without saying good-bye.

Oh yes, she wanted the calm that came with being in a place of grace, a place that fed one's spirit with peacefulness. That offered one a sense of wellness.

And courage.

A voice echoed in her mind. Kylie stopped walking. The voice somehow seemed to mean something, something more than just facing her usual tribulations. As if the voice knew something she didn't.

Why would I need courage?

If it wasn't for the peacefulness, Kylie might have started panicking at the little intrusion in her head.

The words didn't come with the cold chill she got when a ghost visited. Not that Kylie hadn't heard thevoice before; she had, several times. In the past, she'd attempted to chalk it up to being her subconscious.

But this time, it seemed more.

The peaceful sound of the falls grew stronger and took the edge off her worry. She didn't want to fret about the voice, or even the reason she might need courage. She picked up her pace.

Five minutes later, they arrived at the entrance to the falls. The serene ambience embraced her. Even the leaves on the trees seemed to whisper their greetings. The water cascading down from the cliff above filled the air with sweet moisture. The light breeze, carrying tiny pinpoints of water, scented the air with some distant flower and natural herbs.

Burnett's normal stern expression dissolved into something more peaceful. He stopped at the line of trees and agreed to wait outside, allowing them to have their regular falls experience. Removing their shoes and rolling up their jeans' legs, Holiday and Kylie both walked through the wall of cascading water.

Once inside, it took a second for Kylie's eyes to adjust. It wasn't completely dark, but only filtered light snuck in from behind the falls. Iridescent shadows in rainbow colors played on the rock walls. Cool water dripped from her hair and ran down her back, but the coolness on her skin felt refreshing, like walking through a sprinkler on a hot day.

Both Kylie and Holiday found their spots on smooth rocks just at the mouth of the water's edge. Neither of them spoke for several minutes. The reverence filling the space seemed to mandate a moment of silence.

The calm of quietness completely chased away Kylie's worries and concerns.

After several minutes, Holiday asked, "Do you have a new quest in place?"

The moment the question found its way to Kylie, a need for direction swelled inside her. "Have I really completed my other quest?" The question wasn't just meant for Holiday, but for herself.

"You know what you are, and you understand most of your powers. Was this not your quest?"

"Yes, but I'm not completely in control of my powers yet." She paused. "And I don't know everything."

The unexplainable need remained and a hunger to have a plan filled her chest. She had to know where to place her focus. She needed a new quest.

The flow of the falls seemed to grow a little louder. Kylie glanced up and then back at Holiday.

"You're right. I have to figure this out. How do I do that? How did I figure out what the first one should be?" She turned to Holiday, not so much panicked, but eager to get started.

"Well, you need to ask yourself what is important to you right now. Usually our quests end up being something that has weighed on your heart, pulled at your conscience, or has been on your mental to-do list that you've ignored."

Kylie inhaled another breath of calm and glanced back at the camp leader. "Okay, I know something, and I was going to talk to you about it, but I haven't had a chance to think it through yet."

"What is it?" Holiday asked.

"The chameleon teens, they ... the elders are practically locking them away on compounds. They have very little contact with the outside world. They aren't allowed to have cell phones or computers. I don't mean to make it sound as if they are mistreated. It's just that the elders are stuck in this mindset of when they were being persecuted. They think the only way to stay safe is to remain in hiding. They have a strict policy that until you can control and hide your true pattern, you shouldn't be allowed out into the world."Suddenly Kylie realized something. "They are as bad as the werewolves. With all their backward beliefs."

"It sounds like that." Holiday paused and stared at the water. "That's a big undertaking." Her expression said her mind was reeling. "It's hard to change beliefs that are motivated by justified fear."

"I know," Kylie said. "But there has to be a way, doesn't there?"

"It's for sure worth contemplating. It's a good quest."

What else? The voice inside her said. The same voice from earlier. But like before, it didn't completely scare her. It was a question she was about to come to on her own.

Kylie pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around her shins. "There's something else, too." And her heart searched for what it was, but it didn't come.

"What?" Holiday said, and inhaled as if absorbing the calm.

"I'm not sure." Her words hadn't completely left her lips when all the flickers of light in the cave started swirling and then shifted as if to dance on top of the water.

Kylie's breath caught as the shimmering of different colors formed a circle. Yet even with the movement of light, the water seemed deadly still, and the surface below became crystal clear. The circle of light appeared to frame an object below the water. Suddenly, whatever it was bobbed up to the surface with a small splash and started drifting toward the edge.

Freaked out, Kylie butt-scooted back a couple of feet. She felt a little less cowardly when Holiday did the same.

The object-floating atop the water's surface and moving as if with purpose-got about a foot from the rock's edge before Kylie could identify what it was. Oh, hell, what did this mean?

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