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Then ask me to stay.


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Gray Taylor

Jasper had left with a kiss and a request, and Gray met them both gratefully with a whispered promise of his love. He understands. He knows it is a lot to take in, and he could only allow his partner the time he needs to process. In reality, as much as he wanted to believe otherwise, Jasper hadn't come here for him. But he did, and Gray had laid upon his shoulders an immeasurable weight. So he would watch as he takes his leave, and take solace in knowing that for the time he does have, he would have him.

Chaotic, perfect Jasper.

The hours would tick by, and Gray would spend them cleaning up his space. The few boxes that had been transported from Moscow would be unpacked, or stowed away, depending on what they hold. Cigarettes would be smoked. Spring's goddamn disgusting cigarettes.

The third would be pulled from the pack, and a folded piece of paper would escape with it. A low breath would be had as he unfolds it, and what he finds stabs at his heart angrily. A letter, from his very best friend that he never expected to receive. Those unspoken words, it would seem, were put to paper.

Memo to: Memoist Wanker
Fr: Spring Weed

Subject: None

You asked me a question and I didn’t ****ing answer it. If you’re reading this I’m likely.. dead or dying. I can’t tell you the details. I told you I loved you when you had died. Do you not hear things when you’re dead? ****. That’s some ****in bull ****. You’re my best friend wanker. I don’t care what makes you happy, as long as you’re happy. If that’s being a closet freak.. well let your memoist freak flag ****ing fly. I wish I had time. Time to tell you what’s happening. Time to freak out about this. I don’t have timey. I hope you don’t return from your.. whatever the **** you’re doing too soon. I, Spring Weed, leave you my dinosaur stuff. I’m going to judge the **** out of you in the afterlife if you burn my ****ing dinosaur bandaids. I leave you the coven, because I know you can ****ing run one. We don’t have to worry about the orange guy anymore. And more importantly, I leave you my heart. I know ****ing shocked I have one too.

See you on the other side.

Spring Weed Taylor

His gaze would scan the page over and over again, trying his best to find reason where there is none. She'd left him her dinosaur stuff, easily her most favorite things. But Gray hadn't waited for permission, for he'd packed it and brought it with him. She'd entrusted him with a coven, and while he would always hold onto that property, he couldn't lead. He hopes, prays, that she would forgive him. Somehow, he knows she does.

And her heart.

"I'm not shocked.." he would whisper in response, setting the letter down upon the counter of his kitchen and lighting up the cigarette. Oddly, he does not feel destructive. Not now. He would always shoulder the blame, always wonder what he could have done differently to preserve her life and keep her forever. And now, it would seem, he would see her again that much sooner. It brings him a strange amount of comfort to know she'd be there, waiting for him.

He misses her, so goddamn much.

Placing the pack atop the letter, with one last cigarette waiting within, he hears the knock upon his door and glares in it's direction. Who the f-ck...

"Jasper, just use your key," he would call out as he walks to the door, turning the knob to reveal Alice. Instantly, confusion graces his features before he meets her gaze. Not those pretty hazel tones he's come to know, but something colder. Charcoal. With a sigh, he steps aside, waving in the one person that would and could make or break him. She's smiling.

"Mr. Taylor," her unusually cold voice would chirp as she enters the space comfortably. "We have some things to discuss, it seems."

Dully, Gray would shut the door and follow her inside. It is time to play host, and he knows the drill. Tea is prepared, seats are taken, and business would begin.
October 16, 2018 06:58 pm

Jasper Thompson

“No, Mother, absolutely not. This is a conversation I need to have, alone.

She pouts, a perfect expression on her particular visage, but Jasper merely quirks an eyebrow, used to her antics. Finally, Lilith exhales an annoyed breath, rolling her dark eyes in a bored fashion. “Fine, dearest, but you will let me meet him soon? If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were ashamed of me...”

“Mmm...” is all she would receive in response, and, with a kiss pressed to her cheek, he takes his leave of her.

A quick message is typed to Mackenzie, letting her know of his whereabouts and antics, before that, too, is set aside and he’s faced with making the trek back to Gray’s. His legs, however, are lead, heavy and dragging, and no part of him wants to deal with this just yet. He’s still getting used to the idea himself, and how it effectively changed everything about his life. Shouldn’t he be allowed a minute to process?

No, this is a conversation best had immediately, and he’d much rather Gray hear it from him.

Outside the door to his apartment, Jasper rubs at his face vigorously, his anxiety skyrocketing. Multiple ways to start this particular discussion all ended in mayhem and disarray in his head, and he finally just takes a few deep, steadying breaths before letting himself in.

The sight that greets him is strange, and it stops him in the doorway. Not that it would be wholly unusual for Gray to be having a meeting with his secretary, but something about her is... off, even as he looks at them each in turn.Then it hits him; something about being in a certain presence for the past few hours leaves a lasting impression.

His eyes narrow.

“You couldn’t wait until I could talk to him about it myself?”
October 17, 2018 03:06 am

Gray Taylor

Gray is sat back in his armchair, a cigarette dangling from between his fingers and a stony look in his eye. Across from him, Alice would lounge upon the sofa without a care in the world. But it isn’t Alice. Somewhere, she is roasting in a hell she would never remember upon her return to the mortal coil. Instead, it is his own employer that he stares at. They are waiting.

“You should have f-cking called me the minute he turned up.”

“Business is business, Gray.”

“It is my business.”

“Actually, no.”

A frustrated huff escapes him, followed by some choice words that would make Spring proud. His patience is thin, and he is dangerously close to crossing the line yet again. Gray cannot help but wonder the exact terms of this deal, outside of Jasper selling his soul and body.

The thought makes him sick.

Business. He is so goddamn sick of business. It has become an excuse to be destructive in a way that had never been agreed on.

The click of the lock on the front door sounds, and Gray doesn’t even look up. He knows already who it is, and he would, instead, continue to glare at the shell that is Alice. There would be silence at first, and he would welcome it as he takes a long drag from the cigarette in hand.

“Hello, Jasper,” the delight in Alice’s voice is grating. Jasper’s own greeting is equally infuriating, and she would shrug in response, presenting an amused smile.

Gray stands, turning to fix that overcast fury upon him before approaching the man as he gestures back toward Alice. “You’re not serious.”

“He was very serious, actually,” she would laugh out, calling after him with a wink to Jasper.
October 17, 2018 09:15 am

Jasper Thompson

Jasper meets Gray’s storms unflinchingly, closing the door behind him as the man approaches. A huff of annoyance sounds off from him, his own gaze narrowing that much more. Seeing as Alice already answers Gray’s question for him, he doesn’t feel it prudent, so he simply steps around him and collapses into the other armchair.

He takes, perhaps, an infuriatingly long time to light a cigarette and get himself settled, something the being across from finds incredibly amusing, before he locks his sights on his maddening partner.

Gray. He would do anything for that proud, hard-headed man.

And he had.

“I did what I had to,” he begins, exhaling a cloud of smoke, “you gave me no choice.”

The being across from him would roll her stolen eyes, though the smile never left her face. Jasper pays it no mind, instead choosing to stare forward as he considers how best to break this to the man.

It’s already going so well.

“I have a monthly quota to meet, and if I don’t...” He makes a gesture with his hand, much like something disappearing entirely.

“You see,” Alice continues, filling in the blanks that he can’t quite give voice to just yet, “his soul wasn’t enough, as I already own it. So he had to give me something much more... final.”

Jasper grimaces.
October 17, 2018 09:38 am

Gray Taylor

“Yes. I f-cking get it. Please stop f-cking talking.” Gray would shoot a glare toward Alice, not moving an inch forward. His attention thereafter immediately turns to Jasper, despite the quiet ‘Temper, temper,’ that comes from the lips of his possessed secretary.

“I gave you no choice. So instead of talking to me, you left and got with my goddamn boss, behind my back, and gambled your goddamn life on mine.”

Furious isn’t a good enough word to describe him. Gray is practically vibrating in his fury, and while it is directed at Jasper, it is also very much toward his nameless employer. His jacket is removed, carelessly dropped on a table before he would loosen his tie. He cannot breathe. “Because you don’t trust me to handle myself.”

Stepping forward, Gray reclaims his chair as he attempts to gather himself once more. His neck would tilt from side to side, cracking it methodically as he assesses the situation at hand. Sights setting on the woman upon the couch, he asks his first question.

“How did he reach you?”

She smiles, looking between Jasper and Gray excitedly. “Mommy dearest.”

“I want to see the contract.”

“No can do, Gray. You know the rules. Contracts are confidential.”

Gritting his teeth, Gray stares at her in annoyance as he mentally counts back from five. It is a sad attempt at self soothing, and it doesn’t work. “What does this quota entail.”

Not a question.

“And where the f-ck is Lilith.”

The questions come out as demands, and his attention turns to Jasper. He wants to hear it from him. He has to.
October 17, 2018 01:50 pm

Jasper Thompson

A smirk would be the response to Gray’s scolding, and Jasper merely continues to puff on the cigarette. He won’t react, because he knows the worst is yet to come. The man’s anger is child’s play; it will surely pale in comparison.

Because you don’t trust me to handle myself.

That will land him an incredulous look, Jasper’s own irritation boiling over the edge. “No, I don’t.” As if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Would he have left it up to Gray, would he have talked to him, it would have led nowhere, like it had in the past. The man isn’t a fool; he would undoubtedly have been met with ludicrous, unsatisfactory responses that left him alone trying to cope with the idea of an expiration date.

After all, Gray doesn’t want to discuss feelings, and this was entirely emotionally driven.

The furious man makes his demands, and Jasper rolls his eyes before letting them fall to his slated hues. “Souls, of course.” Lighting up another cigarette, he feels this particular conversation calls for chain smoking, so he’ll inhale a few tainted breaths before continuing. “Infant souls.”

“Like mother, like son.”

Already seated on the couch next to Alice, the raven-haired woman is entirely legs and curves and soft, knowing smiles. Her simple, cotton dress boasts a gray and black pattern, stylishly rustic in its design. Lilith offers Gray an appraising look.

“Don’t look so cross, dear, you have a very handsome face, it’s a shame to mar it with such ugliness.” A hand reaches out to touch that of Gray’s secretary in a very friendly gesture, and they exchange smiles of greeting.

A dark gaze passes between the two men, and she sighs. “I know, sweetling, I’m not supposed to be here, but he did request me. I can’t very much disappoint, now can I?”

Jasper grunts, retreating even more into himself at the idea of not only one, but two, very undesirable beings witnessing their falling out. Lilith shakes her head lightly before turning her attentions back to Gray.

“My son has what some would call a bleeding heart, I don’t know where he gets it, really. But it would seem you’ve done a number on him.”
October 17, 2018 02:16 pm

Gray Taylor

"Love you f-cking too," Gray quips quickly. Trust. This entire relationship is supposed to be built on trust, and it seems as though there is none.

And as the next question is answered, Gray is nearly about to fly off the handle when a new voice graces his senses. Turning his head, he would see a strange woman that isn't at all strange. He's seen her, he has heard of her, and Jasper's painting does her no justice. If he weren't boiling, he'd likely be floored by her beauty.

And, upon the greeting from the woman, he would pass a dark glance at Jasper which is quickly shared. Good. He's glad. He is glad that Jasper isn't getting what he wanted.

Gray grabs at his cigarettes, lighting up with a fluid motion that is quickened with annoyance and need.

Attention on Jasper's mother, Gray glowers. Bleeding heart from an unknown origin. And Gray has done a number on Jasper. He cannot help but scoff. "Yes. I certainly did. Just like his ex f-cking wives."

Two fingers, cigarette between them, gesture toward Lilith, eyes narrowing as he prepares himself to let it all out. "You helped him do this. Infant f-cking souls. Whose f-cking idea was that? This one?" He would gesture toward Alice quickly, and his attention turns with that. "And you. We had a goddamn agreement."

"But I do love to watch you suffer. You are so good at it."

"I'm not f-cking working for you anymore. We are goddamn done."

Alice shrugs, a grin etched ear to ear as she turns to Lilith and practically coos, "He really was just ready. But you know me... love a good show."

Gray wouldn't argue. He wouldn't say a word. Instead, he looks at Jasper, bringing the cigarette up once more. "And how the f-ck are you going to get infants? No. I can't even f-cking look at you right now."

He looks at Lilith.

October 17, 2018 04:53 pm

Jasper Thompson

“Ex-wife,” Jasper corrects automatically, a certain bitterness to his tone. For the remainder of Gray’s tangent, he stares forward, ignoring them all. They speak as if he isn’t there, and his counterpart would blatantly wish that’s the case anyway, so mentally, he isn’t. Instead, he leans back, cigarette between his lips as he shuts his eyes and shuts them out.

Lilith, however, is leaned forward with an elbow propped on her knee, full alert and very interested. She regards her son’s latest with a sparkle in her eye, scoffing gloriously, before sharing in a knowing smirk with the one next to her.

“Don’t be deliberately naive, dear, how do you think? His charm and personality, of course. Some seeds planted, some souls sewn. It’s really quite simple.”

Involuntarily, Jasper shivers, try as he might to box it all away. Sitting up, he lights up another with the butt of the last, flicking the end into the designated tray. He can feel the disgust and betrayal and rage rolling off Gray in droves, and while he’d expected it, nothing really could’ve prepared him.

His fingers twitch in their idle state, ears taking up that alarming ring. The tension in the room, given off solely by the two high-strung men, could be cut with a knife, and Jasper feels as though he can’t breathe.

“You both look like you’ve swallowed something distasteful, tell me, what is the big deal?” Lilith sits back, an annoyed expression on her face. “The constant dire state of mortal consciousness never ceases to amaze me, I’m fascinated to hear what it is that has you two so up in arms.”
October 17, 2018 07:10 pm

Gray Taylor

Gray is deliberate. He’d rather the man stalk maternity wards and snatch babies from their cribs, than what is being confirmed. And, as Lilith speaks, he finds himself turning toward Jasper with a dark stare. He would watch as he smokes and does what he can to keep busy, but he would never escape the rage building up inside Gray.

“We f-cking agreed. We talked about this.”

He can recall easily the conversation had after their first encounter. Gray, in a chair. Jasper, sat upon the edge of the desk. They had set boundaries, and while he has surely and admittedly crossed one...

“No getting involved in my work.”

Lilith would get her answers, but not directly. Instead, they would serve as a reminder to Jasper, spoken in a hiss.

“No sharing.”

Gray could have let go of the former. He could have forgiven this much. But this latter issue, the one expressly saved for last, has him teetering on a dangerous ledge. His sleeves are pushed up, and he stands, walking across the open floor to a chest that stands against the wall. A bottle and a glass are extracted, and he pours himself a hefty portion before turning to Jasper again.

All others be damned.

“I never should have told you anything. I f-cking trusted you. It was expressly clear. How could you be so f-cking selfish?”

Meanwhile, Alice’s hand would touch to Lilith’s forearm, excitement palpable. “Fascinating, isn’t it?”
October 17, 2018 07:37 pm

Jasper Thompson

Jasper snaps, pushing himself off the chair and following the man, only to grab up an entire bottle of unknown amber liquid. It doesn’t matter what it is, he just needs to drink. Only after a few, hefty swigs does he laugh in Gray’s face, eyes flashing dangerously.

“I know, Gray, it only f-cking matters when it’s me going against what we agreed upon, not vice versa.” If they’re past the point of no return, then why not, right? Jasper isn’t going to say anything that isn’t true, and he certainly won’t let his defense fall to the wayside.

No getting involved in my work.

Jasper throws his hands up, bottle included, and turns exaggeratedly before coming about to face the man once more, a crazed smirk on his face. “I didn’t get involved in your work, I got involved in your mistake. And, funnily enough, I seem to remember a time where I actually got involved in your work and saved your f-cking life, but this wasn’t the reaction I got. But, I see, this time you wanted to die, everyone else be damned.”

No sharing.

“Oh, f-ck off.” The bottle kisses his lips once more, allowing him another large portion of its contents. “The capacity of having me solely to yourself is not capped by our sex life, and if you think it is, then I was never f-cking yours.”

The infuriating man poses his last question, and Jasper’s entire demeanor changes. He stiffens, eyes shifting dangerously between the light and dark hues, and Lilith pats Alice’s hand eagerly. “I’ve been waiting for this window into the enigma that is my son’s mind for centuries, darling, and I am not disappointed.”

“I’m selfish?” His tone is threatening, low and calculated, and he states his own question as though making sure he heard correctly. “You cry to me that you don’t want to be what you used to be, throw a f-cking hissy fit when you get called out for your bullsh-t, then proceed to throw a pity party that, I’m sure, purposefully landed you in your dear boss’s office so you could get what you undeniably wanted the entire time... and I’m selfish.”

A few steps are taken toward Gray as Jasper shakes his head, his own disgust evident on his face. “Let me explain something to you, and then you can wash your hands of me and go about your merry f-cking way, for all I care. I told Spring, you know, your best f-cking friend, that I would take care of you. In the face of my own short-comings, I made that promise, and in lieu of those short-comings, I kept it. I’m assuming you want an apology, so here’s the best you’re going to get. I’m sorry, Gray Taylor, for not letting you burn in Hell for all of eternity, just because you have this incessant need to punish yourself.”
October 18, 2018 07:56 am

Gray Taylor

Gray watches him. He watches, and listens, glass in hand. Jasper’s words would roll through his mind, a stark realization coming fast that he would never be good enough. But he could at least try. If nothing else, this entire thing is a testament to Jasper’s deep seated love for him, and Gray loves him just as much.

He just would never amount to what he needs.

So, he reels himself in. Bit by bit, Gray works to calm himself. His tongue is released from the roof of his mouth, teeth unclench, and his shoulders relax. It is a slow process, methodical and practiced.

“You’re right.”

The words escape him, and Alice would deflate immediately, obviously disappointed.

“You’re right, and I’m sorry.”

Setting the glass down, he would reach and gently take the bottle from Jasper’s hand, placing it back on the surface of the cabinet. Only then, would Gray tentatively reach for him, intent upon pulling the man to him if only he would allow it. “I appreciate what you have done. I do, Jasper,” his voice is quiet and calm.

“And it will be okay. We are better than this. We are more than this.”

He has to do better.

“Thank you.”
October 18, 2018 04:16 pm

Jasper Thompson

You’re right.

Jasper immediately follows suit in the deflation, his shoulders suddenly going slack. A bit shame-faced, he breathes steadily, working to get his own emotions in check.

Lilith leans forward.

His fingers loosen on the neck of the bottle, though he almost hesitates to give it up. His eyes remain trained on anything other than the man before him, if only because he’s still reeling. Unsure of what he was prepared for, this certainly wasn’t it. Searching Gray’s face, as if he doesn’t quite believe it could be over this quickly, he steps into the man and accepts his embrace.

“I just wasn’t ready to lose you.”

The dark woman sits back in the couch, one perfectly etched eyebrow raising in intrigue. Studying her son, she brings a hand up to the side of her face, perching it there while one finger methodically taps at her cheek. “Interesting,” she mutters, inaudible to the two men before her, but loud enough for the one next to her to pick up on easily.
October 18, 2018 04:45 pm

Gray Taylor

“I know, Jasper.” He holds tight, leaving no room between them and lips pressed to his ear as he quietly speaks to him. Gray is aware of their audience, and it is painful, but Jasper comes first. He always would.

A hand would run its way up and down his back for traveling up once more and cradling the back of Jasper’s head. A kiss, pressed to his jaw. “I’m not ready, either.”

On the couch, Alice would lean forward, turning her head though those foreign eyes would remain on the two men across the room. Quietly, for only the woman beside her, she would speak. “He is very well trained in control, you know. Should have been an actor. He certainly has the looks...”

And Gray, unaware of the words between the beings outside of himself and Jasper, would continue to speak only to him. “I love you. You know that. I wish you had talked to me, Jasper. But I know why you didn’t. You shouldn’t have to feel that way. Please.. just talk to me. Scream at me, if you must.”

Alice grins, further leaning toward Lilith, “This is all most unexpected.”
October 18, 2018 04:59 pm

Jasper Thompson

Jasper gradually relaxes into Gray’s hold, shutting his eyes and focusing solely on him. He can still feel their presence, and he knows they’re listening and watching and waiting, but for just a moment, it’s only them.

Meanwhile, Lilith smirks knowingly, casting a twinkling glance toward Alice. “I can tell. Then again, you always did know how to pick them.” One leg smoothly crosses the other, and she leans toward her only slightly. “What I’m interested in is Jasper’s sudden emotional capacity. I’ve never seen him reel himself in so quickly and readily.”

The man, still all but burrowed into his partner, nods his affirmation to his words. “I love you, too. I will. If something of this magnitude comes up again, I’ll scream at you.” He attempts to laugh it off, but it comes off rather strained in its delivery.

“Very unexpected indeed,” Lilith muses, eyes narrowing with curiosity. A hand lands on Alice’s forearm, and she gives a light squeeze. “We’ll talk soon, love.”

Rising from the couch, she approaches the couple, and Jasper reluctantly disentangles from the man to face her. “I’m glad you two have this worked this out,” she offers with a warm smile, “but I must be going.” Lilith presses a kiss to her son’s cheek before a hand would rise to sharply take his chin and bring his gaze to hers. A soft mmm sounds off at what she finds there, but she slackens her grip and her expression, donning another half-smile.

“Dinner sometime, yes? We’ll be in touch, sweetling.”

And, just like that, she’s gone.
October 19, 2018 08:56 am

Gray Taylor

“It’s alright,” Gray whispers. The weight of Jasper’s world is suddenly upon his shoulders, and in his mind, he can only see ruin where they are concerned. Knowing what his partner is capable of, though... that drives him. He would be what Jasper needs.

Meanwhile, the two women would whisper to one another. “Your son... true. That is true. He’s far too emotional for it to be this easy, and my horse in this race has too much of a fantastic temper.”

A quiet hum of concern would be heard from Alice, demonic mind working through all that they are seeing. It had not been realized at first, disappointment only driving acceptance of a poor show. But, now that Lilith has pointed out the obvious. That mind is made up, and an interest taken. What seems so innocent could be spectacularly damning. “Oh, yes. Yes, this is very good.”

A nod is given to Lilith as she takes her leave.

Gray would not let go of Jasper when he moves to make way for his mother, a hand remaining on his back as she makes her comments and judgments. Still, as she takes Jasper’s chin, there is no stopping the narrowing of his gaze. He doesn’t know what is at play, but it makes him uneasy.

And then, she is gone.

He pulls Jasper to him once more, his head turning so that his sights could be cast upon the shell of his secretary.

“Take Alice back to her desk.”

“Oh, fiiiine. You never were any fun.” She stands, walking to the door with a devilish bounce to her step. “Talk soon, gentlemen.”

She is gone.

Only then would Gray pull back enough to find Jasper’s gaze before pressing a soft kiss upon him, and then another. “You’re perfect,” he would mutter, before capturing him altogether.
October 19, 2018 12:08 pm
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