Jefferson reluctantly stepped back up to them. He brushed his fingers down Lila's arm to let her know he was back. He wasn't about to stand there and let Micheal see him in pain... Lila didn't seem to notice that it bothered him.
Micheal grinned. "Looks like he left." The giddy feeling didn't leave him even when an odd chill passed over him. It seemed like Jefferson was still around even though he wasn't.
Lila shivered as Jefferson touched her arm and she sent a small smile in the direction she thought he was standing, trying to put into it how grateful he was. Her eyes narrowed a little when Michael grinned at Jefferson not being there; what was their problem with each other.
She took a step back and looked at her watch, her eyes widening. "I'm sorry, I really have to go." She looked apologetically to Michael. "I'm sure I'll see you around though. It was really nice meeting you." Her words sounded lame, even to her.
Jefferson let a small smile escape. The way Lila sounded made him have a little hope that she wasn't interested. He wanted her to himself. "Lila," He said under his breath right by her ear.
Micheal's smile fell and he nodded. "Bye, Lila." He waved and started to back away before turning to walk back to his house.
Lila waited until Micheal was out of sight until she turned to the source of the voice. "Jefferson..." she said quietly. She wasn't sure if she should tell him about the unexplainable feelings inside her. He was a Matcher though, wasn't he? Surely he'd be able to help her work them out.
She stared at the spot she thought he was and blinked rapidly. "Could you show yourself?" she asked. "It's odd talking to someone I can't even see."
Jefferson made sure to move at least a couple inches further away before donning his visibility again. The way he'd been leaning over Lila had hardly been proper.
Her heart was in turmoil and his Matcher impulse told him to heal away the confusion. But as a man with a heart of his own, Jefferson could not bring himself to take it away just in case it was for him.
"What is it?" Jefferson asked, and his voice held a soft affectoin. He fought the urge to clear his throat and cover it up. He wanted Lila to know the effect she had on him.
When he'd been cloaked Jefferson had let his eyes wreak havoc on his heart. Commited to his memory was every freckle, dip and curve of Lila's face. Everything thing about her was beautiful.. not perfect, for no one was perfect. But in the light of how he was feeling... she was perfect. Oh, the sun set and rose for her and the Earth must spin on its axis at her bidding, right? It seemed only proper.
Jefferson, stop you're blinding yourself.
Lila blinked at Jefferson a couple of times and stared into his beautiful gray eyes. She wanted to paint them, one day, but she was sure she'd never find a shade of paint quite like them. There seemed to be pain hidden in their depths and her forehead creased a little into a small frown. "Jefferson, are... are you alright?" she asked him quietly.
She held out her hand to him and placed it on his shoulder, her skin tingling at the touch. Right now, her own worries weren't nearly as important. She had to know what was wrong so that she could try and fix it. She couldn't bear things being broken and unmendable, especially people. Especially people like Jefferson.
Who are you kidding, Jeb? Only yourself. Jefferson offered a small smile, frowning when it fell insincerely over his lips.
"I'm fine." The tingling warmth of Lila's touch radiated over his entire body. He felt the weight on his shoulders lighten and a relieved sigh escaped. What was this? Had he nottouched her before? Jefferson had seen and felt this reaction in several of his charges when they and their Match had shared a first kiss.
Jefferson's eyes widened, denying the impossibility of it. He shrugged out from under Lila's hand,shaking his head mechanically. Left.. Right.. Left.. Right..
No. No he'd heard of this from some of the other Matchers.. but it was just a rumor. They wouldn't do this to him, right? Then why did he feel so much in a simple touch? His anger was more than just that Micheal was so much her elder. Jefferson wanted her for himself...
His body curled in on itself and he threw an arm out to steady himself against the brick of the corner building. Remembering himself, Jefferson slipped his visibility so that Lila would not see him. A strangled sob clawed its way way up from his chest. How long? Jefferson screamed at himself. How long have I been prisoner to this and these? Why? Why this time and this place? Why did I have to lose the people I loved to find the person who I could love even more?
Jefferson took a deep, albeit shaky, breath and stood up on boneless legs. He reclaimed his visibility and fixed his shirt, offering his arm as if nothing had happened. Later, later I will ask them what their game is with me.
((sorry it's rather long))
Lila took Jefferson's arm and gripped it tightly. "You're not fine," she said, not looking at him. She felt a little hurt that he couldn't seem to trust her with whatever was wrong. She knew she hadn't know him for long, but surely he felt too the connection between them. Or maybe that was her over active imagination playing tricks on her again, making her daydream about things which weren't real.
To show Jefferson that she trusted him, even if he didn't feel the same way, Lila decided to confide in him about Michael. "There's something I need to tell you," she began. "I just want to know what's wrong. Whether you can fix me. I have feelings... feelings that shouldn't exist... for someone I shouldn't have them for. It feels unnatural, like they've been put inside me but I can't fight them." She looked up at him with desperate eyes clouded with confusion.
((bump bump bump so hands can find it in a minute))
"Unnatural?" Jefferson flinched. "They shouldn't feel unnatural..." Honestly, what was their game with them. They couldn't let Lila fall in love naturally? Why did she have to be subjected the confusing life he lived?
Jefferson shook his head, leading her down the road to her work. "I don't know how to fix it. And..Lila, I'm sorry. But I can't influence your decision by putting my feelings out there. I'm sorry." He offered her a sad smile and continued walking.
Lila instantly ran after him, not caring about work now she was so late anyway, and pulled his shoulder until he was facing her again. "You can't just leave like that!" she vented. " "You still want my couch to sleep on, don't you? Because I've already told Jess that you're coming and if you don't she get all homicidal. We can talk about this all later. But please, don't go off. If you do I don't know how I'm supposed to find you again."
((Just keeping this bumped... Plus 11 days until Doctor Who! :D))
"I'd find you," Jefferson assured her. "I don't need a place to stay, but to defend against homicidal tendencies I guess I can take your couch." He shrugged and looked down at Lila. The question was how she'd respond to his coming nd going at all hours of the night as his Matcher responsibilities called.
Jefferson turned Lila to face back the way to her work and took her arm. He was determined to get her back in less rather than more time. Just as they were turning the corner that the building was on, Jefferson felt a painful tug in his chest. Not knowing what to think of it, he whipped around tot he direction it was pulling him.
The head Matcher stood in all his glory, glaring balefully at the pair. "You blame me for this?" He practically growled, but as a Matcher.. his voice was naturally soft and inviting. "You did this, Mr. Ainsworth of Hartfordshire. You decided to show yourself to this child. We played no part in it."
Jefferson glared right back. "You didn't do this?" He asked it and though it was sincerely worded, the question was anything but.
"No," The Matcher hissed, smiling a wide, crude smile. "And we're releasing you from service. Other Matchers will be taking over the cases of your multiple charges." And in a blink of an eye he was gone.
Jefferson stared openmouthed at the empty space where the man had stood. Released? Released? I'm free? You're free Jefferson! F-R-E-E free. "Free," he muttered to no one. Then, all at once, his heightened sense of peoples' hearts stopped. The aura around Lila dropped from his sight and his mind inexplicably sharpened.
For a moment, Lila was almost as taken aback as Jefferson was. The man - not that she was sure she could call him that, considering his almost supernatural appearance - had given her chills, like she wasn't supposed to even know he existed, let alone see him in the flesh. His smile was like a shark's, if sharks could smile. As if he'd use any chance to rip you to shreds when your back was turned without losing a single night of sleep over it.
Lila recovered before Jefferson - understandably so, considering the news he'd just received. "Does that mean... Does that mean you're not a Matcher anymore?" she asked hesitantly. What would happen to her and whoever she would be Matched to? She suddenly felt sick to think of a stranger messing around in her love life, although it hadn't felt like that when she found out Jefferson was doing it. It's because I know him, Lila thought to herself, although she knew in her heart that wasn't the real reason.
Jefferson's eyes were glazed over. "Yes," He replied absently as his mind spun. Other Matchers will be taking over the cases of your multiple charges... He was free, but that meant Lila would have someone else pushing her towards Micheal.
Jefferson would have to work out how to make her see him and not her Match. "Are you going to work at all? Or do you want to see how I spend- spent," He hastily corrected himself, "my days as a Matcher? I can show you what I did but not when it comes to the people.. Though I may be able to explain it?" Jefferson smiled a wide, genuine smile and dropped his arm to tentatively take Lila's hand.
Lila squeezed his hand and smiled at him. There was really no choice for her. "I'd love you to show me," she grinned, unbelievably excited that she was getting to see part of his world. She had always daydreamed of incredible, magical things coming into her life, but they'd always been just that: daydreams. Now it seemed like everything was happening at once. She'd met a guy who just so happened to be good looking and kind, and now he was offering to show her a world she hadn't even known about before that day. Lila's smile spread across her face and she looked up at Jefferson, trying to let him know how grateful she was.
Jefferson unconsciously opened his mind to the hearts around him. When nothing came back a fear struck him rigid, then he remembered that he'd been released from service. Just faintly, though, he could still hear the beating of several hearts and they were getting closer.
Jefferson lead Lila over to a bench and sat down with her. "I'm going to tell you what I hear. Just know that it won't be exact because I'm out of service." He tuned completely into the four girls turning the corner towards them. Jefferson started to list automatically. "The redhead has just broken up with her boyfriend whom the blonde likes. The shorter of the brunettes knows about the blonde's fixation, and is disgusted by the boy and her. The taller of the two has an interest in the redhead, but won't say anything for a long time. She's scared." He'd leaned in close to whisper into Lila's ear and now sat back. "I'm surprised I can hear that much still." Jefferson squinted at the group of girls and found that he could still see a faint aura. He grinned.
Lila's eyebrows shot up and she looked at the four girls with a renewed interest. "You can tell all of that just by listening to their hearts and looking at them?" she said admiringly. "That's... Well, that's frankly quite incredible." She had a look up and down the street, watching the people as they walked.
She pointed over at a young man striding quickly down the road. He was dressed in a suit and was carrying a large briefcase and two cups of coffee. He looked stressed or worried about something, but Lila couldn't be certain. "What about him?" she asked. "What's his love life like?"
Jefferson glanced over at the man and knew the basics without even trying. He'd been in practice for 500 years, he knew facial expressions well. "It's not his love life, or rather, lack there of. He's worried about his..." Jefferson listened carefully for a couple seconds. "Brother. He's worried about his brother finding out that his wife has been cheating for the last four years."
Jefferson sat back again and looked over at Lila, waiting for her to pick another person.