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Face To Face
“You don’t want to see this face, Blake.” He snapped.
“Why not?” I asked, and grabbed his arm. “I will love any side of you, Jack Daniel Jones, each one just the same as the last, inexplicably too much.”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said, and laughed hollowly, moving away from me. “No IDEA!” He yelled, angry, and I flinched.
“You think I’m handsome, eh, you got a thing for my nice body?” He asked, and gestured to himself. “That’s not even HALF of me, child, that’s not even a QUARTER!” Jack screamed, and chuckled darkly. “You think the things we hunt are malicious, do you?” He asked, appearing inches from my face before I could register the fact that he had moved. “You think that they’re the psychopaths?” I was too stunned by his sudden change of mood to actually form a verbal answer.
Jack’s arm shot out, and he grabbed mine.
“Do you?” He hissed, his multi-colored eyes searching mine quickly, holding me prisoner.
“Y…Yes…” I managed to stutter. He let go, and backed away with a few receding steps, shaking his head.
“They have nothing on me, darling, nothing. NOTHING!” He screamed, and grabbed one of the pipes he’d been welding, smashing it into the windshield of one of the old, rusting cars in the junk yard. I cringed, almost taking a full step back. The sound of the glass breaking was loud, and rang through the trees as an echo. It shattered around the hood of the car, and onto the forest floor.
“Ever gone a day without sleep?” He asked, turning to me. My heart rate had risen considerably, something, with his hearing, I guessed he already knew. I couldn’t meet his eyes, I could hardly look at him.
“Sure.” I said. “I’ve gone a day without sleep.”
“And what did it feel like?” He asked curiously, moving around me, attentive to my words and movement. “What did it feel like?”
“Tiring.” I murmured. “Sleep is rest for the body and mind.” Jack took the toothpick from his mouth, laughing aloud, throwing his head back.
“And what, do you suppose, is it like to go without sleep for say, roughly one hundred and twenty three thousand, three hundred and seventy days?” Jack jumped onto the hood of the old Chevy, staring out into the water through the trees. My lips were silent, I had no idea what to say, and was too numb to even search for the right words.
“I’m a bad person.” He said softly. If not for my good hearing, I wouldn’t have even known that he’d spoken. “I’ve killed people, and I’ve sinned. Living a thousand lives is hell. I don’t know why I ever chose to give it to anyone else. Death is better than this.”
Tears started to prick at the edges of my vision. Why was he talking like this? The Jack I knew was confident and suave; he was a proud man. Why was he doubting himself, talking about all these things…It made me sick to the stomach. “I can’t find the woman I once loved, and I don’t know who I am anymore. Along the way, I lost myself to a lesser evil, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever regain my whole self. My mind is restless and my heart is weak. As my mind grows stronger and stronger by each passing year, my heart grows weaker and weaker.” Jack turned only his head to glance back at me when I finally found my voice.
“Death is not better than this.” I said, voice shaking. “In death I would never have been given a chance at life. You gave me that, you gave that to the boys too. Look at them Jack, they all died so young…and you saved them,” I took a careful step forward, looking up at him. “You saved me.” I said, and I reached for his hand when he stepped down from the hood. “And for that I am eternally grateful,”
“Don’t say that.” He said, jaw clenching. “Never say that.”
“But I am.” I insisted. “I am nothing without you Jack,”
“I belong to you,” I said, placing my hand on his chest, where I knew a heart was. “I am yours.”
A chuckled escaped his lips again, and he looked me straight in the eyes, wrapping his hand around the back of my neck. Jack pulled me into him harshly, and pressed his lips to mine. His lips were the temperature of ice and his taste was indescribably irrelevant. His body was firm and cold against mine, his arms constricting and unbreakable.
He broke the kiss.
“Is that what you wanted, to see what it’s like to kiss Jack Jones?” He snarled. “I wish I knew what it was like to kiss you, but I wouldn’t know. I feel nothing, I can give you nothing but anger, despair, and regret. No woman wants that and I wouldn’t give that to anyone. When I press my lips to yours, I feel nothing. When you hug me good night, I feel nothing. When we dance, when I pull you out of whatever god forsaken trouble you’ve got yourself in, I feel nothing.” He said, holding me tight, our noses almost touching. I had to remember to breath, and wasn’t doing a very good job of it. “I feel nothing physical, and therefore,” Jack whispered. “I do my best to feel nothing emotional.” He let go, and put the toothpick back in his mouth, smirking. Jack’s eyes swept over me, and he put on a mask I didn’t recognize, no longer emotionally exposed. “You should probably do the same smalls…” He said smoothly, and disappeared into the dark forest.