There was something about Winter that made Cathy's heart warm. She wasn't sure if it was the mist over the ever mysterious La Grange reserve, or the rain that pattered down on her window whilst she read. Either way it was her favourite season. It was rarely cold enough in Forks for it to snow, but it never stopped Cathy sitting by her bedroom window hoping that it would.
Wuthering House was tucked away between patches of woodland, but where the woodland met the beach was Cathy's back garden. Growing up, she had memories with her brother Hindley running through the trees and along the shore. Those memories were faded, like the photographs of them both on their father's mantel piece. Now, the only time she saw Hindley was in the school hallway, and only by chance. Cathy couldn't believe that they even lived in the same house, as they lived like strangers.
A knock on the front door woke Cathy's day dream. She looked outside of the window and saw Mr Linton standing next to a rough looking young boy whom Cathy had never seen before. Bounding down the stairs, Cathy stopped behind her father who held the door open to them both.
"Billy, come in, come in," Charlie Earnshaw said eagerly. "Who is this young lad?"
"This is Heathcliff," Billy Linton said, as they both stepped inside. "Heathcliff is actually why I'm here."
"What can I do for you?"
"Well, Heathcliff turned up on the reserve earlier this morning. He has nowhere to go and unfortunately we cannot house him, so I thought it best to bring him to you as you are the town Sherriff."
"Well, of course. We'll help you get back to your family, Heathcliff."
"I don't have any family, sir," Heathcliff replied.
"Oh, well where did you come from?"
Heathcliff shuffled his feet awkwardly.
"Well, no matter. We will see to it that you are taken safely to wherever you need to be."
Billy left, closing the door behind him, and the silence descended onto Cathy, Charlie and Heathcliff, who all stood awkwardly in the hallway.
"Well, Heathcliff, lets get you out of those wet clothes. I'm think Hindley is a similar size to you." Charlie shuffled into the laundry room and began picking through the unfolded clean clothes. Heathcliff's eyes were downcast, shivering and dripping, and Cathy didn't know whether to stay or go.
"How old are you?" She asked quietly.
"Seventeen," he muttered.
"Same as me." Cathy gripped the banister, listening to Charlie mumble to himself. Eventually he returned with a t-shirt and a pair of jeans.
"Here you go, Heathcliff, why don't you go up to the bathroom and take a shower. There are towels in the cupboard."
"Thank you, sir."
Heathcliff walked past Cathy, who felt his aura pulse past her, as he went upstairs to the bathroom. Charlie waited for the door to close before he turned to his daughter.
"How old did he say he was?"
"Did he say anything else?"
"Okay, I'll put in a call to the station."
"Do you want me to start dinner?"
"Thank you, darling."
Cathy's evenings with her father always started out this way. She would end up making dinner by herself, eating by herself, whilst her father hunched over at his desk surrounded by paperwork. She would leave his portion of dinner in the microwave, ready to be heated up in the early hours of the morning.
This evening was different. This evening Cathy did not sit at the table alone. Charlie sat opposite from her, with Heathcliff and Hindley at her left and right, all of them shovelling down Cathy's lasagne, except for Heathcliff, who pushed his food around his plate without taking a bite.
"That was lovely, Cathy, thank you," Charlie said, with tomato sauce stained in the corner of his mouth. Hindley grunted in approval, excusing himself from the table and thudding up the stairs to his bedroom. "Are you not hungry, Heathcliff?" Charlie asked, nodding to Heathcliff's plate that was practically untouched.
"No thank you, sir."
"Mind if I help you?"
Heathcliff nudged his plate towards Charlie, whose eyes lit up with every bite.
Days turned to weeks, and soon the talk of Heathcliff's leaving dwindled until his sleeping on the sofa every night became normality. After Hindley left for college and vowed never to return to Forks, Heathcliff got a room of his very own.
Having no possessions to put in his new room, Cathy drove Heathcliff to the second hand book store and Cathy's favourite place.
"What sort of books do you like?" Cathy asked, as they browsed the shelves.
"I don't know, I haven't read much."
"Okay, well, let's start with a genre?"
Heathcliff shrugged. "Adventure. I like being outdoors."
"Well why didn't you say so," Cathy batted him on the arm. "After we're done here I'll take you down to La Grange, it's the beach just behind the house."
"Is that where Mr Linton lives? I don't think he liked me much."
"Nonsense. They're just private people, that's all. Even at school, Ed and Issy don't really talk to anyone."
"Well neither do you from what I've seen."
"I prefer to be alone," replied Cathy.
"Well maybe we can spend some time alone… together?" Cathy smiled up at Heathcliff, who in returned it for the first time since they met. "And, here," she said, pulling a book down from the shelf. "Moby Dick – an adventurous tale to catch a whale."
"Hey, that rhymed," said Heathcliff.
"I'll make a scholar of you yet," replied Cathy, their finger tips brushing gently as she handed him the book.
Cathy couldn't remember the last time she felt the La Grange sea wind rushing through her hair. It was the best day she'd had in a while, she thought, even better with Heathcliff running at her side. They left heavy footprints in the wet sand, running from her back garden next to the woodland and along to the reserve. As they approached, Edgar Linton ran to meet them.
"Edgar," said Cathy, as they slowed. "How are you?"
"Fine," Edgar replied stiffly, his eyes narrowing at Heathcliff. "Who's this?"
Heathcliff stuck out his hand to greet Edgar. "I'm Heathcliff, I live with Cathy and her father Charlie."
Edgar did not take his hand, and looked down upon it with the same distain that he looked at Heathcliff with.
"Edgar, don't be so rude," Cathy said. As she spoke, more boys of Edgar's age joined him. They all had a similar look towards Heathcliff.
"We're here to tell you that you've crossed a line."
Cathy laughed with shock. "We haven't said anything offensive to you at all."
"No, you have literally crossed a line. The treaty line," said Edgar.
"Treaty line? What is he talking about? Heathcliff?!"
"I was unaware it was in place. My mistake. I'll ensure it doesn't happen again," Heathcliff replied curtly.
"Will someone tell me what's going on?!" cried Cathy.
"Leave. Now." And with that, Edgar led his boys away from them and into the woods surrounding the reserve.
Cathy turned to Heathcliff who stalked away from her, walking hurriedly towards home.
"What was he talking about? What treaty line?" She ran after him, trying to keep up.
"Nothing," Heathcliff spat. "It doesn't matter. Just know we can never go to La Grange. Ever! And you must never see Edgar Linton again."