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CHAPTER TEN – Jack’s Promise
Ravenna – Village Square – Early afternoon
Buffy and Jack had walked through the village and to some of the outlying farms for the better part of the morning. Buffy hadn’t felt this happy in years. She and Jack had talked and laughed finding they had many things in common beyond a sharing a snarky personality and an unnatural love of the Simpson’s.
Laughing Buffy turned bright hazel eyes up toward Jack causing him to catch his breath. She was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. He’d gone for years after Charlie had died and Sara left just going through the motions not letting anyone in except his team. And now here he was on another planet wanting desperately to do anything to make this woman laugh and spare her any and all pain. It didn’t help that she had one of the cutest kids he’d ever seen. He was a sucker for kids.
“Earth to Jack.” Buffy said waving a hand in front of his face as he stared down at her. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”
Jack came back to himself embarrassed that he’d been caught staring at her. He thought to himself, ‘For god sake’s man she’s half your age and she lives on another planet.’ But the rebellious side of him thought, ‘Maybe not forever.’
“Nothing, Buffy. Just thinking about what I need to do to find out some information on your family.”
She smiled at him gently. “Thank you so much for doing that. You don’t know what it means to me to be able to at least know how they’re doing. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I don’t think of them. Especially, my sister.”
“There’s no need to thank me. I want to help you. Now tell me about this sister of yours.”
Buffy took Jack’s arm and led him over to a stone bench sheltered from the street by a low stone wall and they set down. “Oh, where to begin. In some way’s she was the typical bratty little sister. Borrowing my clothes without asking. Coming into my room without permission. Spying on me and my boyfriends. But in other ways she was so not typical.”
“Tell my how she wasn’t typical.”
“I was 15 years old when I was called as the Slayer. My first watcher Merrick impressed upon me the importance of keeping my identity as the Slayer a secret. I did from my mom and dad but not from Dawn. God that girl was sneaky. But until my mom found out at the end of my Junior year she never told my parents. I asked her to keep the secret and she did. I know sometimes she didn’t want to – she would get scared for me when I got hurt. But instead of telling mom she just helped bandage me up.”
“Sounds like she really loved you.”
“She did. And after mom died she was everything to me. I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to her.” Buffy stopped and looked into his eyes. “Jack, if I tell you something – can you promise not to tell anyone? I mean anyone.”
Jack looked down into her hazel eyes shining with tears. He knew she had a secret she wanted to share but had no one else she’d been able to share it with so he simply said, “Yes.”
“Jack, I didn’t jump because I was the key. I jumped because Dawn was.”
“But, I thought only the blood of the key could close the portal. How could it close if Dawn didn’t jump?”
“The monks who were the keys guardians were powerful magic wielders. Instead of inserting the key into someone – they created an entirely new person. Four months before Glory first appeared I didn’t have a sister. The monks made her out of me. Dawn is more than my sister – she is a part of me. I couldn’t lose her. She was my baby sister but she was also more. We had the same blood. At that moment I knew that I could jump and she could live. I couldn’t lose her.”
By the time Buffy finished tears streamed down her face. The look on her face broke Jack’s heart. He gently put his arms around her and drew her close whispering soothing words softly in her ears.
“I promise I’ll find her for you.”