"But... why does love end then? If every time we fall in love it's the fault of a Matcher, why do you bother Matching us in the first place if you know it's not going to last?" Lila asked, her voice choking a little. "You might not know what it feels like to break up with someone, but that doesn't make it alright for to make others suffer through it."
Lila turned away, a hand running through her hair in an agitated manner. She found it confusing to hear that Matchers knew everything about her, and she didn't believe they had any better judgment on who was right for her than she did.
"We let you make your own choices." Jefferson replied gently. "Matchers don't want to hurt you; that's not our aim." He stopped talking when Donovan took a deep breath.
"As a Matcher, we must follow a strict set of rules. The first rule is that we never, never lead someone towards a person they wouldn't meet and fall for anyways." Donovan finished and gave Jefferson a look.
Lila hung her head and swing her foot back and forth, letting the sole scuff the ground. "Then why do it in the first place?" she asked quietly. "Why bother Matching people if they'll end up together anyway? Have you nothing better to do with your lives?"
She looked pleadingly at Jefferson and Donovan, her gaze flitting over both of them in turn. "I know you must have had lives before becoming Matchers. Don't you long to go and live them and fall in love yourselves, instead of constantly having to watch others have what you'll never be allowed to."
Jefferson flinched and looked at the way his fingers constricted around each other. It wasn't that easy, it never had been. He'd wanted to stay by his mother and sisters. He'd wanted his life even after they were gone. He'd wanted to hate everything and everyone...
Donovan glared balefully at Lila. "You know not of what you speak. There are things some woman would no' understand about our lives and duties. Jeb's choice was then, is now, and will always be to go back to when his family was still alive." He growled. "We Match because love ruined our lives while we lived them. We're here to make sure that no one gets hrt the way we did. Do not presume too much, Lady."
Lila blinked and felt the fight leave her. She felt a desperate pity for these two men. As much as she resented her family, she couldn't imagine watching them grow old and dying, never able to see them again. It sounded like the very worst kind of pain, and she couldn't even begin to comprehend how it must have felt like for both Jefferson and Donovan.
"I'm sorry," Lila whispered, not really talking loudly enough for a person to hear. She squared her shoulders and stared at Donovan, a resolute look in her eyes. "I choose Jefferson," she said steadily, her mind set. "If he'll have me, I choose to be Matched to him." She wanted to do something, anything, to help ease the pain of his past.
Donovan laughed. He actually laughed a true and genuine laugh. "You can't choose, deary. You've already been Matched to him. But thank you for making this easier on everyone." He grinned ear to ear and grasped Jefferson's shoulder.
Jefferson smiled a small smile and cautiously inched his hand towards Lila's. "Thank you, Lila, for choosing me."
((SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG))
((Don't worry about it, I hope your exams went well :D))
"Well, you should be grateful I'm making this easy for you," Lila said to Donovan, fake-scowling. "I am not about to be forced into love with some weirdo when I don't want to. So get that into that thick skull of yours - I won't be messed around, alright?"
Her face broke into a grin as she turned to Jefferson. "Let's just hope you don't get sick of me too quickly," she said softly, taking his hand. "I hope this would have been your decision too, if we'd been allowed one."
((-Thank you, they did. Passed my BSU course-))
"Why do you think I showed myself...?" Jefferson questioned her gently. "I didn't like who they'd Matched you with, Lila. I wanted you to have a choice, and in this world there was only one other choice. If I showed myself I thought that maybe you'd be able to pick someone you wanted rather than someone who'd been chosen for you." He looked down at their hands.
"I'm sorry I was the best I had to offer, Lila. You deserve better than me... But if you want me, I will stay."
Lila looked at Jefferson, astonished. "Better than you? I don't even deserve you, let alone someone better," she said quickly, unable to believe that he thought so little of himself. "Jefferson, you've been nothing but kind to me since we met. Even before that, choosing to save me from a Match I wouldn't have wanted. Of course I choose you. I wouldn't want anyone else, even if I did have a choice."
Lila blushed, a little embarrassed at her outburst. She had never been good at keeping her feelings in check, but she thought that Jefferson needed to know how she felt.
Jefferson's face broke into a smile so wide it nearly split his lips. "Thank you, Lila." He pushed away from the wall and very slowly lifted his free hand to frame her face. "That bell, are we still going?" Jefferson felt light. He felt free of shackles he hadn't conciously realized were still holding him. When Lila had said she chose him, it had lifted his heart past where he thought it could go. Once upon a time he was able to love, but he hadn't been able to for centuries.
Jefferson was free.