He woke up with a crush on her.  Neal wasn’t sure exactly how it happened, he thought perhaps that he had dreamed in the night, or something, but he knew that he certainly felt differently this morning than he had the day before.  He didn’t really know Genevieve all that well, this was the first time he’d really been around her all that much, but there was definitely something about her that had caught his attention.

            “Alex, do you remember when we met Ethan and his sister?”  He asked his cousin later that morning.  The two of them sat near the cave-mouth, watching the pouring rain.

            “Sure, it was that summer we came to visit, way back in grade school, right before you moved out of town to the city, remember?”

            “How well do you know Genevieve?”

            “Well, we’re pretty good friends, I guess.  We met again the year we all moved from Toronto to town, because I was in some of Ethan’s grade nine classes.  We made friends again, and I got to know Genevieve through him.  All through high school we were in the same circle of friends, because of plays and stuff.  You just didn’t notice because you’re a year older than Ethan and me, and two older than Genevieve.  You had your own friends that were your age, and only hung out with Ethan when Jay and I did.”

            “What’s she like?”

            “She’s thoughtful and creative, like Ethan.  She gets really involved in things, and seems more at ease with people than he ever was…  You know how he is with groups.  She likes people, and talking…  She can be quiet, sometimes, and is great to talk to, but she can also be really enthusiastic and active…”

            Neal noticed the tone Alex was speaking with, and the strange, faraway look in his eyes as he drifted off, obviously thinking about Genevieve.  Neal grinned at his cousin.

            “You’ve got a crush on her, too.”

            “Yeah,” Alexander said dreamily, and then snapped out of his reverie, “What do you mean, ‘too’?”

            Deeper inside the cave, Jason sat with the young lady in question.  She apparently hadn’t slept all night, so he was offering to take over the watch so she could rest.  The two of them were the same age and had been in a lot of the same classes in high school, so they were close friends.  Genevieve didn’t feel defensive around him the way she did around Neal, so she relented and started to get up.

            “What’s your cousin’s problem, anyway?”  She asked just as she was about to go.

            “What do you mean?”  Jay asked.       

            “I mean, he ignored me all through high school, and now he’s being all considerate, trying to make sure I’m okay and everything.  He made me breakfast, and he’s just being way too nice…”

            “You’re just mad that he didn’t notice you when you had that crush on him for years.  Now that he’s actually noticing you, you’re getting mad because of the perceived neglect and because you think he’s worried about you just because you happen to be Ethan’s sister, and Ethan’s hurt.  Let it go, and forget him.”

            “There you go, psycho-analysing me again.”  She grinned at him.  “I’m glad you’re here to play counsellor.”

            “It’s what I do.”

            “Yeah, well, you and Ethan are the only people I’ll let do it.”

            She moved as if to get up, but Jason grabbed her arm.  She looked at him and saw a grave expression on his face.

            “Genevieve, do me a favour?”  She nodded, and he continued, “If you have any dreams, tell me about them?”

            “Sure,” she said, curious, “Why?”

            “I’m not sure.  I think I’ve been dreaming, but the images are strange and splintered somehow.  Maybe I’m just strained because of the last few days, but I’m not sure.”

            “I can do that.  But promise me something?”  Now it was his turn to nod, “You promise you’ll never take your eyes off him until I wake up?  I know how often you fall asleep in class.”

            “I promise.”  Jason said solemnly, holding up his right hand.  She grinned again, punched him in the arm, and went to bed.

            They all did, not long after that.  Even Jason fell asleep, unintentionally breaking his promise.  It had been a long few days, and as night approached, they all felt the weariness in their bones.  Each settled into a nest of sweaters and jackets to sleep.

            And as they slept, they dreamed…

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Next Chapter:  The Companions

or skip ahead to more of The Mountain

or, hear more about before the crash, and Alex’s crush in Earlier that Day

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