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Dakota Winchester, a character in the With Every Heartbeat book, is a student at your school. He/she is also Your Character's love interest. He/She is first seen in Chapter 1.

Appearance

Dakota's gender and look is determined by the player. Male Dakota wears a dark blue hoodie under an olive green jacket and black pants. Female Dakota wears a black shirt with gold buttons under a tricolored cardigan, light blue jeans, and a brown belt; she also wears a four-strand necklace with heart pendant.

Personality

Dakota appears to be an extroverted individual. Confident, charming, and flirty, if your character asks about his/her nosiness, Dakota admits to that too. Dakota hopes to do something extraordinary in life and says his/her biggest fear is that he/she will not achieve that hope. Lennox says Dakota has always had a terrible poker face.

Dakota says that he/she is a dog person. If you ask which Hogwarts House he/she belongs to, Dakota says he/she thinks it's cruel to sort small children based on one attribute that might not develop. Lennox chimes in and says Dakota is Gryffindor, to which Dakota says he/she is a "Neville, not a Harry".

Dakota has a love for horror as a genre, which s/he says is "all about exploring the human condition." S/he also found horror comforting during his/her cancer treatment, as it made him/her feel that the unknown could be beautiful and exciting as well as scary. S/he loves making movies (particularly horror) and is often filming things on his/her phone. S/he was accepted to the SBC School of Cinematic Arts to study filmmaking.

Chapters

With Every Heartbeat

With Every Heartbeat

  • Chapter 1: The New Kid
  • Chapter 2: Hope Springs
  • Chapter 3: Just Friends
  • Chapter 4: Falling
  • Chapter 5: Mourning After
  • Chapter 6: Making the Cut
  • Chapter 7: Worried Sick
  • Chapter 8: Bright Lights, Big City
  • Chapter 9: Waiting Game
  • Chapter 10: The Hereafter
  • Chapter 11: The Send-off
  • Chapter 12: Left Behind
  • Chapter 13: Matchmaker
  • Chapter 14: Life After
  • Chapter 15: Dancing in the Dark
  • Chapter 16: Meant to be

Relationships

Parents

In Chapter 1, if you spend time with Dakota at the dog park, he/she tells you that his/her mom did not give him/her a middle name because she doesn't believe in them. Later, you catch Dakota arguing on the phone with his/her dad in the parking lot. If you ask about it, Dakota will tell you that his/her dad is just being the typical overprotective parent.

In Chapter 6, if you decide to help Dakota edit his/her film, Dakota talks about his/her fascination with ghosts. Dakota knows it's silly but he/she thought if he/she died, maybe he/she could still hang around the house and look after his/her parents. In Chapter 7, Dakota tells you that he/she is adopted. Mr. and Mrs. Winchester had been trying to have a child for a long time before adopting Dakota, and then he/she ended up with cancer. Even though Dakota knows it isn't any of their fault, he/she still feels a little guilty, like a disappointment to his/her parents. Dakota was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he/she was 6 years old. He/she relapsed three or four times before his/her parents became desperate enough to move to Boston to try a clinical trial. Eventually the clinical trial started working and Dakota eventually went into remission.

Your Character

"Our story is ours because of the ups... and also the downs."
—Dakota's video to you

Dakota meets you for the first time on your first day as a senior in Willow Creek High School. He/she is being videotaped by Heather for the morning announcements and decides to interview you instead. It takes you by surprise when the interview appears that morning and if you ask Amy about Dakota, she tells you that Dakota has many admirers but also has a lot of drama in his/her life. It is up to you to decide to take Amy's advice, but you run into Dakota again at lunch time and he/she invites you and Amy to the lunch booth he/she shares with Jayden and Heather. If you decide to go with Dakota to the dog park, you spend more time learning about him/her.

Because Dakota visits the hospital frequently, he/she volunteers to drive you on the days you volunteer there. During your first car ride with him/her, Dakota suggests a game of Plead The Fifth where you take turns asking each other agonizing questions. If you ask about his/her most embarrassing moment, Dakota tells you that a couple years ago, he/she tried sneaking into a girl's room but got his/her shirt caught in a nail which ripped it. When he/she tried to fix it, Dakota lost his/her grip and fell to the ground, gaining everyone's attention including her parents who called Dakota's parents who grounded him/her. If you ask about the worst thing he/she has ever done, Dakota will tell you it happened when he/she was a kid and had a fight with his/her father. Dakota told him that he/she wished he was dead; Dakota didn't mean it naturally, but remembers the look on his/her father's face and never wants to make someone feel like that again.

In Chapter 2, if you go to the vista with Dakota in a premium scene, Dakota tells you that he/she used to have cancer. If you do not go to the vista, Dakota tells you in Chapter 3. He/she was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at six years old. He/she was in and out of hospitals for years, trying every available treatment. Eventually, Dakota's parents moved them to Boston so they could go to Edenbrook. Dakota has been in remission since he/she was fourteen.

Beginning in Chapter 5, you start to notice a few things: a bruise here, tiredness there, a "24 hour bug" that appeared from nowhere. If you ask Dakota about these things, he/she usually waves it away unconcerned although you can get Dakota to open up and talk to you more in premium scenes. When you are grounded for breaking curfew in Chapter 6, Dakota drops a gift basket at your front door, leaving you stuffed animals, chocolates and snacks, and a letter of apology and flowers for your mom.

From Chapter 9 until the end, Dakota is hospitalized. He/she tells you that the cancer has returned, but he/she will beat it. You return to school without Dakota after winter break is over, deal with your schoolmates' questions and well-wishes for Dakota, and your life gets into a pattern of home, school, and hospital. When Dakota's hair begins to fall out due to the chemotherapy, he/she asks you to help shave it off and you do. You also have the option to shave off your own hair in support. In Chapter 12, you convince Dakota to let Heather and Jayden visit him/her which cheers him/her up temporarily, but later Dakota tries to break up with you. He/she later apologizes for trying to push you away.

In Chapter 13, Dakota's oncologist suggests a bone marrow transplant, so you and Amy arrange a school blood drive to help find him/her a match but are unsuccessful in that aspect. You have the option to track down Nolan Grant to come see Dakota; if you do, Nolan visits the hospital and he and Dakota talk for a while before he has to leave. Nolan gives Dakota a thumb drive of his latest movie for Dakota to watch. Weeks later, a bone marrow match is found and your mother performs the procedure. However, because they had to destroy Dakota's immune system, he/she has been placed in ICU and you are unable to visit him unless you sneak in. You and Amy decide to throw an Edenbrook Prom for the kids in the hospital unable to go to their own schools' proms, and Dakota is thrilled when he/she sees it. In Chapter 15, you have the option to spend the night with Dakota in his/her hospital room and it seems to be a perfect night. However, it comes crashing down in Chapter 16. Dakota took a turn for the worse and his/her body is rejecting the bone marrow transplant. You are there with Mr. and Mrs. Winchester, and Mateo and Lennox, for Dakota's last hours and can choose to work through your feelings in a premium scene or keep yourself bottled up. In the end, you graduate without Dakota but know that Dakota is watching over you as you take your next steps into the future.

Mateo

Mateo is one of Dakota's best friends. From the moment Dakota introduces you to him, Mateo teases Dakota about his/her feelings about you.

Lennox

Lennox is one of Dakota's best friends. She introduced Dakota to Mateo when they were all children in the hospital together. Both she and Mateo were discharged a couple months before Dakota, and they thought they were leaving Dakota there to die. Fortunately, Dakota's clinical trial started working and he/she went into remission thereafter.

In Chapter 12, when Dakota breaks up with you, you visit Lennox and Mateo at Lennox's house. Lennox tells you that because she has known Dakota longer than you, that she is on his/her side but she won't stop you from venting if you need to. She explains that she went through what Dakota is going through when she had her leg amputated. It was the worst part of her time in the hospital so she understands Dakota's anger.

Amy Lancaster

Even though they appear to be casual acquaintances or friends, it isn't until Chapter 12 that Dakota reveals to you that he/she and Amy had a crush on each other during freshman year. Amy was Dakota's first kiss, but right after, Dakota blurted out that he/she had had leukemia and Amy flipped out. They weren't in love but in hindsight, they were both young and overdramatic. Amy broke Dakota's trust, and they didn't talk until senior year through you.

Character Customization

Dakota Sneak Peek.jpg

Other Looks

Male

Female

Miscellaneous

Trivia

  • Dakota Winchester is the sixteenth of forty four love interests that can be customized by the Player.
These characters include:
Adrian Raines from the Bloodbound series, Alpha Werewolf from Wolf Bride, Attorney from the Surrender series, Avery Wilshere from Platinum, Bad Boy from My Two First Loves, Beautiful Contestant from the America's Most Eligible series, Best Friend from My Two First Loves, Blaine Hayes from Foreign Affairs, Captain from Shipwrecked, Cas Harlow from Immortal Desires, Cassidy Carhart from Rising Tides, Childhood Crush from My Two First Loves, Clarke from The Princess Swap, Crown Shield from The Royal Masquerade, Dakota Winchester from With Every Heartbeat, Devin Wright from The Princess Swap, Edward Mortemer from Distant Shores, Everett/Yvette Flynt from Slow Burn, Gabe Adalhard from Immortal Desires, Gabe Ricci from the Laws of Attraction series, Handsome Stranger from the America's Most Eligible series, Hayden Young from the Perfect Match series, Ian/Ina Kingsley from the Queen B series, John Somerset from The Unexpected Heiress, Julia/Julian Navarro from Slow Burn, Kieran from The Cursed Heart, King "Liam" Rys from The Royal Romance series, King/Queen-Regent from The Royal Masquerade, Kit Jackson from the Untameable series, Logan from Ride or Die: A Bad Boy Romance, Book 1, Marco Di Vincenzo from Hot Couture, Marshal Keane from Witness: A Bodyguard Romance, Mayor Dixon from the Baby Bump series, Mr. Covington from the Baby Bump series, Nik Ryder from Nightbound, Raleigh Carrera from Platinum, Rival Matchmaker from Ms. Match, Robin Tora from Rising Tides, Rory Silva from the High School Story: Class Act series, Sam Dalton from The Nanny Affair series, Simon/Ava Montjoy from A Very Scandalous Proposal, Trystan Thorne from the Crimes of Passion series, and Werewolf Hunter from Wolf Bride.
  • He/she is also the eighth of twenty seven love interests whose gender can be customized by the Player.
These characters include:
Attorney from the Surrender series, Avery Wilshere from Platinum, Blaine Hayes from Foreign Affairs, Captain from Shipwrecked, Cas Harlow from Immortal Desires, Cassidy Carhart from Rising Tides, Clarke from The Princess Swap, Crown Shield from The Royal Masquerade, Dakota Winchester from With Every Heartbeat, Devin Wright from The Princess Swap, Everett/Yvette Flynt from Slow Burn, Gabe Adalhard from Immortal Desires, Hayden Young from the Perfect Match series, Ian/Ina Kingsley from the Queen B series, Julia/Julian Navarro from Slow Burn, King/Queen-Regent from The Royal Masquerade, Kieran from The Cursed Heart, Kit Jackson from the Untameable series, Marshal Keane from Witness: A Bodyguard Romance, Mayor Dixon from the Baby Bump series, Raleigh Carrera from Platinum, Rival Matchmaker from Ms. Match, Robin Tora from Rising Tides, Rory Silva from the High School Story: Class Act series, Sam Dalton from The Nanny Affair series, Simon/Ava Montjoy from A Very Scandalous Proposal, and Trystan Thorne from the Crimes of Passion series.

Memorable Quotes

Dakota: Beating cancer gets all the ladies to fall for me. Which is why I have one rule for all my carpool buddies.
Your Character: And what's that?
Dakota: ...You can't fall in love with me.


Dakota [to MC]: We're a love story for the ages, remember, and love stories don't end. So regardless of what you think happens after we die, I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be doing... I'll be watching over you. Rooting for you, cheering for you, loving you. Present tense. Until we find each other again. So go live a life worth watching.


References

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