Disclaimer: See 1st Chapter. I’m still ripping Joss and Steph off for dialogue too.
A/N: takes place the morning after ‘Nightmares’
“Damn morphine. Damn vampire mind mojo.” Faith cursed to herself as she brushed her hair. She couldn’t believe she had spilled her guts like that.
Jasper was smiling at her from across the room. He was wearing a black button down and slacks. He had that fresh, pressed look about him that he always did. Faith resented it. She gave up and raked her hand through her unruly hair thinking balefully of the humidity in Forks. She was interrupted by a soft tap at her door. The Prof entered with a tray.
“D, I’m five by five. Slayer healing remember? You don’t have to wait on me.”
Professor Dormer ignored her setting the tray by the bed and bustling around the room. She gave Jasper a reproving glare, but kept her comments to herself. “That nice young woman, Bella called. I’ve already informed the school secretary you’ll not be in today.”
Faith chuckled, “Ms. Cope’s gonna think I’m as clumsy as Bel.”
The Prof left and Jazz started in with the questions again. “Have you ever been with a man by choice?”
“No. Yes. Um… not exactly.” He looked at her and she rolled her eyes. “I made out with a girl at a party once.”
“So how as that?” Jasper tried his best to sound unruffled.
“It was nice… different. I don’t think I’m gay though.” Faith shrugged. ‘Just damaged goods,’ she thought darkly.
She looked at him, “So can you? You know… have sex?”
Her unexpected subject change and frankness caught him off guard. He contemplated for a moment.
“Faith, when you are ready I want to make love to you.” His golden eyes burned into her brown ones. He tenderly brushed an errant lock of hair away from her face. He felt the familiar swell of emotion then confusion from her.
“What if I’m not ready for a long, long time?” she whispered.
“I am not getting any older.” He smiled.
Faith sighed heavily and leaned her head on his shoulder, “Yes, but I may not have that long.”
He knew she hid it well behind her bravado but Faith was afraid she did not have much longer to live. She had a close call in Calgary. If he had not been there with her she may very well be dead now. Then that professor cow telling her how the Chosen usually only survived a year after being called.
He rained tiny kisses over her face. He still wasn’t sure why her blood didn’t tempt him like other humans. Of course *she* tempted him. He wanted to devour her, but not for food.
Now that he knew what he suspected was not only true but worse than he had imagined he knew he must be very patient. He had all of the time in the world. She may not though. It never occurred to him to change her. Not for the reasons why Edward refused to change Bella. He was not worried about her soul or making her a monster. Jasper knew it was against Faith’s very nature to be changed. And unlike Bella she would never want it. Faith was strong in her own right. Reckless, stubborn, and infuriating as well.
No, like Edward he would protect his human on pain of his own life.
Faith had finally ripped herself away from Jasper, her stomach rumblings getting more insistent. She was in the kitchen making sandwiches when the Prof wandered in reading what appeared to be an invitation.
“What have you got there, D?” Faith asked.
“An invitation to the Watchers’ retreat in the Cotswolds - lovely spot, very serene. They have horseback riding, punting, hiking, and kayaking. I love a good kayak… There are lectures and discussions – it’s a great honor to be invited. I really don’t think I should though…” Professor Dormer looked at her young charge. She was certain leaving her with the house to herself for a week was not the best idea.
“Why not? My leg will be better in a week tops. You know Bel’s dad, Charlie will keep an eye on the house for you.” Faith said encouragingly. ‘A whole week with no D, that would be great!’
“Well, I shall have to consider it,” she paused, “should you really be up and about?”
“Jazz offered to make me something, but I wasn’t sure I trusted someone who doesn’t eat to make a good sandwich, ya know?”
Faith walked up the stairs slowly, carefully trying to not drag her cast and to balance the plate of sandwiches. At the top of the stairs she could hear Jazz talking and she paused, hand on the door. ‘Is he on the phone?’ she wondered.
She knows she has listened to too many of his conversations already, slowly dragging her feet she begins to walk away. Then she hears quite clearly.
“No, I do not love her more than you, Alice, but she is in my heart.”
Faith strained to catch the next bit, but she’s too far away to hear Alice respond. She halfheartedly walked one more step closer to the stairwell.
“I am trying to be glad you are happy. How can you begrudge me the happiness I have found here in your absence?”
Faith moved faster, she didn’t want to hear this… ‘in her absence…. guess that means he’s expecting her back…. how could he not?… Alice will live forever, but me, I’ve got a limited shelf-life… my year’s up in May.’
Jasper was focusing so intently on his conversation with Alice that he did not hear Faith until she was at the door. He sensed her trepidation. He tried to refocus on what Alice was saying. He could not believe her nerve. He knew that at least some part of him would always love Alice, he just was not sure he was ‘in love’ with her anymore. Not after all that had happened. With each passing day his feelings for Faith were growing until he thought he could not contain them. He knew he did not deserve her, knew it was wrong to bind her to him, but he could not resist her.
Faith knew it was against all laws of god and man. A vampire and a slayer. Ridiculous. But what about the other slayer? By all accounts she had already saved the world at least three times. Didn’t that count for something? Two of the times she’d done it with a vampire fighting at her side. Couldn’t a vampire be a good person? Jasper tried and from what Faith could tell he was succeeding. He’d already saved her life once in Calgary.
Jasper wondered if part of what Alice had refused to tell him when she left Forks was that her vision involved him and Faith.
He had found her desirable from the start. Alice had frequent flings with human males, but she always told him that she was going to do it. He could see how an eternity with him might seem boring and he didn’t mind it…much. He had never been tempted before Faith though. It had been difficult to hide…living with Alice and Edward. Each time Bella had brought Faith around he had tried to focus very hard on his love for Alice rather than his desire for Faith.
Perhaps he had not hidden his desire as well as he had hoped?
“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear very much,” Faith apologized awkwardly.
“No, it is I who should apologize. I have been intruding on your private space for days.” He seemed to consider for a moment. “Perhaps if I am to remain in Forks, I should seek other lodgings.”
“No, don’t go,” Faith blurted. “We have plenty of space. You could pay D rent.”
Faith wanted to say, ‘You can stay in my room.’ Instead she bit her lip and waited for his response.