Author's note: It's fifteen years since the gang's graduation, and for all who are not math whizzes (welcome to the club), it's 2016.. meaning they're 33. As the title suggests, this is just an introduction. More in-depth story lines will develop later (I promise!).
Never Look Back: An Introduction
Dawson looked out the window, taking in the breathtaking view as if it were his first time beholding it, and not his fiftieth. The deep green pine trees that surrounded the house were sugar coated with freshly fallen snow, the river that ran adjacent to the log cabin was just about frozen over. Dawson smiled. Jolie would love ice skating.
Seven year old Jolie, with eyes as blue as sapphire, hair as blond and feathery as his own, and the intelligence and wit of a ten year old, would love anything her father suggested. She was daddy's little girl. Of course, that had been what had driven Nicole away, Dawson knew. Nicole had been jealous of their relationship, of their unbreakable bond. Jolie shared Dawson's passion, his will, even his hotheadedness which sometimes left him feeling as if he had met his match.
The day Nicole left was etched into Dawson's brain. The love of his life had simply flicked her long jet-black locks over her shoulder, turned her flashing brown eyes on Dawson and said, "I just need to find someone who realizes I exist," and walked calmly from the house, throwing her suitcases into her beamer, sliding into the driver seat and squealing away from the house, sending gravel flying in all directions.
Dawson realized, a few weeks after she left, that she had managed to accumulate a large clump of his money as her own before she left. Strangely, he was glad to know she would be taken care of.
"G'morning, Dad," Jolie stumbled into the family room, her hair in tangles and her eyes glazed over with sleep. She wrapped her robe tighter around her as she crawled into her father's lap.
"Morning, Jol." Dawson planted a kiss on top of her head, "Have a good sleep?"
Jolie nodded, "Mm hm. Darn daylight woke me up." She stretched her tiny arms above her head and opened her mouth in a yawn. "Hey, what's that?" She asked, pointing to a starched white envelope with the name 'Mr. Dawson Leery' printed in calligraphy on the front.
Dawson frowned, he had completely forgotten about that. He picked up the envelope and slid the contents out. It was a small sheet of white paper, with the Capeside High School minuteman emblem etched in the corner. 'You are cordially invited to attend Capeside High's Class of 2001 reunion party...' Dawson groaned inwardly. He had left Capeside with a vow to never look back. Besides, with how rocky everything was when he left.. it wasn't worth the stress.
"Dad, planning on answering me?" Jolie was looking up at her father, worry marring her angelic features.
Dawson sighed as he crumpled the invitation into a ball in his fist, avoiding eye contact with his daughter, "It's nothing important."
Josephine Potter picked up the bottle of vodka and poured the last remaining fourth straight down her throat, relishing the burning feeling that shot through to her stomach. Now she could think. She stood up from the couch and immediately grabbed the arm, nearly falling flat on her face.
"Damn couch gettin' in the way all the time," she mumbled as she lurched unsteadily over to the kitchen. Upon entering she kneeled in front of one of the various cabinets and swung it open, struggling to decide which image to look at through her double vision. She rubbed her eyes, "Jus' need one more drink is all." She reached in and grabbed the first bottle her shaky fingers came in contact with. Tequila. She flashed a toothy grin, "Mus' be my lucky night."
Josephine didn't drink this much every night, but tonight she had, in her eyes, a legitimate reason. Something very disturbing had arrived via the mail. An invitation to her high school reunion. Stuff like that brought up memories of bad things. Things she had carefully hid in the darkest recesses of her mind.
She heard her apartment door creak open, "Hey, Josie! Where are you?" Josephine looked up blearily from the unopened bottle and smiled her toothy grin once more.
"In here, Ricky! In the kitchen!" She jumped from the floor and ran from the room, making it to the door before her knees collapsed and she fell face first into the carpet. She smiled up at Ricky, who frowned down at her.
"Josie," his voice was soft and pleading, "Look at this place," he gestured to the area around him, "you got dishes piled up ten miles high in your sink, your dirty clothes are everywhere, this place is completely rat-infested.." Ricky's voice faded out as he glanced down at her once more, "And that's the least of your problems."
Josephine smiled up at him, "Why's there two of you, Rick? I didn't know you had a twin!" She cracked up at her joke, slapping her knee and rolling back and forth on the ground.
Ricky ran a hand through his hair, "C'mon, Josie, get up. You're coming to my house tonight." He grabbed her underneath her arms and hauled her up, just about dragging her out the door.
"Wait, Ricky! You gotta get my invitation! It's very important!" She pushed away from Ricky, attempting to run back to her apartment. He caught her arm before she fell.
"Tomorrow, Josie. Tomorrow."
"Pacey, come back to bed. You do have whole hour before work, correct?"
Pacey Witter grinned devilishly at himself in the mirror, quickly running a toothbrush through his mouth. He walked from the adjoining bathroom into the master bedroom and stood leaning against the doorjamb, "You sure you're not too tired, Angelique?"
Angelique smiled as she ran a manicured hand over her taught, tanned thigh, "Never too tired for Mr. Witter."
Pacey felt a shudder of desire run through him. That French accent drove him wild. Angelique was.. well, just like all of the other women in Pacey's life: a one week fling. Pacey Witter was not a man of commitment. And even though People magazine named him one of America's fifty most eligible bachelors, Pacey still shied away from women who expected him to call the next day.
"Come, Pacey. Angelique is getting cold."
Pacey grinned, "We can't have that, can we?" He lept onto the bed, placing butterfly kisses down her neck.
A swift knock on the door of the suite ended the embrace, "What could possibly be so important this early on a Thursday morning?" Pacey growled angrily.
"Please excuse me, Mr. Witter, but I have brought you the mail, delivered express from the post office as you requested, and breakfast."
Pacey jumped off the bed, all at once forgetting Angelique. He swung open the door and laughed when he beheld the spread of eggs, bacon, and piping hot biscuits before him on the two trays, the mail stacked neatly on the side of one of them. He leaned over and planted a kiss on the cheek of the maid, "Did I ever tell you how 'much' I appreciate you, Rose?"
Rose, being well into her sixties and used to Pacey's antics, rolled her eyes as she placed the trays on fold-out tables beside the bed, "You'd better appreciate me, Mr. Witter, because without my service, nothing would get done around here."
Pacey laughed again as he shooed Rose out of the room. When the door was shut, he turned back to the mail, "Now I get the dailies before anyone else, you see." Even as Pacey spoke, he knew it was lost on Angelique. She, as well as any other mistress he had, did not know, or care, about his corporation. And he preferred it that way.
Pacey stopped rifling through the envelopes when he came across one in particular. He ripped it open to find another envelope, this one having 'Mr. Pacey Witter' written in calligraphy across the front. "What the.." he mumbled as he tore open the second envelope. He gasped in shock. A high school reunion? After everything that had happened? It was impossible to even think about. He laid the offensive paper on the tray, rolling his shoulders back in an attempt to calm himself.
Angelique spoke, sounding slightly annoyed through her thick accent, "Can Pacey come to bed now?"
Pacey felt himself relax. Why waste time thinking about the high school reunion? He could never return to Capeside. It was out of the question.
He turned around and pulled Angelique into a kiss, pushing her back down on the bed. He would stay in Los Angeles and let Capeside fade into a distant memory.
Jack McPhee finished tying a knot in his shoelace and jumped up from the chair, jogging in place a few times. He stretched his arms over his head and bent down at the waist, doing a couple preliminary stretches.
After Jack finished, he headed out the door, breathing in the crisp Maine air. He was glad they decided to move here after the wedding. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. Jen and he were so happy here, it was such an improvement from what they had left behind..
He walked to the edge of his long dirt driveway and opened the mailbox, extracting the contents. He skimmed the addresses and was about to place them back in the mailbox, remembering he had to pick them up after his morning jog, but one envelope caught his eye. It was addressed to both he and Jen, the return address being Capeside High School.
Jack bit his bottom lip as he ripped open the first and then the second envelope. It was, as he feared, an invitation to a high school reunion. After reading, he was immediately torn. Does he tell Jen and make her upset? Or does he throw it in the garbage and pretend it had never passed through his hands?
Jack sighed as he shoved the invitation in with the rest of the mail. He'd decide after his jog.
Jennifer Lindley, or McPhee as she found herself still getting used to, propped her feet up onto the leg rest and nestled back into the cushions of her arm chair. She rested her arms over her bulging stomach, imagining, as she often did lately, what the baby would look like.
She felt a tiny smile cross her lips as she thought of the nursery she and Jack were decorating together. It was mint green and pale yellow, an attempt to make the room unisex. The walls were covered with green and yellow teddy bears, cloth balloons hung over the tiny crib. But Jen's favorite item was the wooden rocking horse that had belonged to her as a young child. She smiled in pure glee, everything in Maine was just ... perfect.
It was amazing, how different everything was here, compared to the hell they had left in Capeside. Jen remembered, tears brushing her eyelashes, how much pain everyone, Jack and Pacey especially, had gone through. The image of Andie's smiling face wouldn't disappear and often invaded hers and Jack's dreams.
Jen shuddered and shook her head, trying to stop the rush of memories that flooded her mind. They were done with Capeside, with everything it stood for. They would never return. Never.
Done for now ... did you like it? Wanna know what's next? Tell me!
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