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Mackenzie

Four days is a long time to go without seeing Jasper.

Mackenzie had watched him tear out of their office like a bat out of hell, set upon seeing Gray. From there on, she read the article he had pointed at online, cringing all the way at the description it would present. All issue with Gray Taylor set aside, this is not the sort of family she would want to keep.

It is what it is, though. What it's not, is her problem.

So, four days. Four days of no contact, and she finds herself going a little mad trying to bide her time. There is a period of actual productivity, and then, it simply turns into something else entirely. A need to escape the current flurry of activity within the Coven in the midst of a spontaneous, fake war with their neighbors to the north.

Netflix.
Murder.
Binging (on either).
Drinking.
Crashing parties.
Hating parties.

But finally, she broke the silence, and she cannot say she is displeased. This has been a reminder of life without him, and those had been admittedly darker times. Had she waited any longer, she very well might have lost it completely.

The weaving path she walks through the tunnels of Sine Metu leads her to a very specific platform. Relatively empty, Mackenzie easily makes her way up and onto the cold city street, only to immediately step up to the nearest building and let herself in. Five flights of steep stairs later, she is unlocking the door to her private residence.

The apartment is dark, and unkempt. Boxes line the walls, filled with bits and pieces of her history. The couch, purchased second hand and well loved, waits for attention. The kitchenette across from the door remains forever unused, except for the handles of liquor that sit in wait beside a couple of overturned glasses. There are few pictures, and yet the space is obviously deeply personal.

The only door aside from the entrance leads to her bedroom, and beyond that, the bath.

The brightest part of the whole place is the glossy white paint that adorns the walls, and the hideous white popcorn ceiling above her head.

Contented, she sighs and walks to the kitchen, rinsing off two glasses and carrying them to the couch with a handle under her arm. They are sat upon the table, both glasses poured, and she would pick up her own.

A sip.

Another.

Strangely anxious, though comfortable, she plays on her phone if only to keep from staring at the door.
November 07, 2018 05:09 pm

Jasper Thompson

This is better.
This is for the better.
It’s better.

It’s a mantra he keeps repeating to himself, between sips from the various bottles, between punches, between cigarettes. By the time he’s finished most nights, he’s unrecognizable, but it does nothing to quell his constantly rolling stomach.

Jasper is in mourning.

Not for the romantic aspect of the relationship, as enjoyable as that was. No, he aches for the companion he had in Gray; the way they bickered, the way they laughed, the instant connection. It had been easy. And then, it wasn’t. He wants to be there for the man that is still very much in his own mourning process, but it’s not his place, nor his right any longer. He wanted Jasper gone, so he went.

On a four day bender is where he’s ended up, with no end in sight. That is, not until he receives the text from Mackenzie.

He’d left without a word, knowing himself incapable of explanation. He wasn’t ready, and he needed to jump the first hurdle on his own. Mackenzie would understand that.

She wants to know when he’s coming home, and he responds ambiguously.

It only takes a few more hours of deliberation to send him on his way. A quick exchange is had, and they agree to meet in her private apartment.

He hasn’t been there in years.

Still, muscle memory carries him to the door, and it’s without announcing himself that he enters, steeling himself for a tough night, therapeutic as it might be.

“Hey,” he offers, seeing her on the couch and joining her easily. “Sorry for disappearing.” He attempts a smile, but it’s pained.
November 07, 2018 06:29 pm

Mackenzie

He comes in, and Mackenzie tries not to make it obvious as she glances up at him expectantly. There is no helping it, the way she watches him. Like herself, Jasper is an open book, whether he likes it or not. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, and sometimes, it hurts them.

Others, not.

So, when he takes a seat, she's already reached a hand to touch to his forearm.

"There's nothing to apologize for," the words are easy as they escape her, concern already etched upon her brow.

Leaning forward, she picks up the second glass and offers it to him. Her mind is already trying to predict what may come, and there are certain nightmares flashing through her mind. Someone is hurt, he is hurt, something went terribly wrong. God forbid, he's doing something that would cement him to that...

No.

Pressing her lips together for a moment, she forces her thoughts to still before taking a drink. "You didn't miss anything, I promise. It's been spectacularly dull."

Unable to contain herself, she sets her glass down and shifts where she sits, turning to face him as she tucks a leg beneath her. There are seconds taken, deliberation on how to approach his obvious distress, before she would finally speak.

"What kept you away?"

Nice and tactful, though her own worry is evident in her voice.
November 07, 2018 06:53 pm

Jasper Thompson

Because of the nature of his current mindset, Jasper is hyper-aware of everything around him. The walls are too bright, the couch is too soft, and her touch is too gentle. He almost draws away from her but thinks better of it, knowing the implication. He simply isn’t in the mood for comfort; it’s why he’d rather take his medicine in exchanged blows.

But it’s not what he needs.

As his mind drifts towards the lockbox where he suppresses the tough stuff, he reaches for the glass that is undeniably his and takes a large gulp. It burns so good, and he immediately follows it up.

What kept you away?

A grimace forms, and he leans back into the couch, stormy hues looking over her form. The words stick in his throat, and he swallows them down a few times with his drink, hoping they’d somehow reform into a sentence he could utter.

The night comes flooding back to him, and he squeezes his eyes shut. It’s the first time he’s allowed himself to replay it, and what better company to show that vulnerability to.

Are you pushing me away because you really want me gone, Gray?
Yes.


He lets out the breath he’s holding, returning to the present moment with no reluctance. It’s still fresh, and the wound still bleeds.

“We broke up.”

Jasper downs the rest of the drink, leaning forward to set it on the table and resting his head in his hands.

It’s for the better.

And he can feel himself coming to terms with that.

“I feel...” He shrugs, picking his head up and turning toward her once more, a sardonic expression on his face. “This was never going to end well, but... I’m going to miss him. I do. Miss him.”

A derisive snort has him pouring out another drink, and he raises it up to her. “Don’t your kind call this a parting glass?”
November 07, 2018 07:12 pm

Mackenzie

Patience is a virtue she might not possess, but for him, she has it all. The silence between them as he pulls together his answer is afforded, and Mackenzie is comfortable in it if only because she knows it is coming - whatever it is.

They broke up.

The emotions she feels in that very moment are confusing, and Mackenzie is grateful that he has leaned forward and hid his face because she isn't quite sure what her eyes might be saying. Relief washes over her, yet grief does as well. For him, her heart bleeds, and a stony expression suddenly meets her eyes.

One day, she would kill that f-cking man for hurting her Jasper.

Already, she's trying to decide on the maiming he would endure, but Jasper is pulling her back to reality and her attention turns to him sharply.

"I'm so sorry, Jasp..."

She means it. She really, really does.

Seeing him in pain is painful in and of itself. However uncomfortable this may be, his happiness is paramount. She just doesn't quite know how to express herself, so instead, she drinks.

"My kind," she murmurs. "As if we're some subset of the species." Still, she shakes her head, her expression changing to something completely different. "This is different."

Sighing, she leans her shoulder into the couch, watching him as she mulls over her thoughts. Mackenzie has shared several such glasses, she has sung it's song, and she has felt it's warmth. "Are you familiar with the concept? The parting glass is that one last drink amongst friends, before they part for the night. I've drank to you several times, really," a sip is taken.

This is painful, for her.

"We will call this the parting glass... because I'm sure it's not over. Not really."

Of all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay


"It never is."
November 07, 2018 07:33 pm

Jasper Thompson

Again, Jasper snorts. “I’ve drank many a parting glass with people I never saw again. I was always told it was to mark an end of a chapter. People did it at weddings, before going off to war...” He waves his hand, indicating more that he just doesn’t feel like naming. “But I guess that’s the point; just in case.”

A sad smile touches his features, and he drinks deeply. The man weighs heavily on his mind, and he surely would for some time.

Glancing over at his companion, he lets out a soft sigh. She is a constant he never deserved, but he’ll always be grateful for.

Back in the day, he’d cleaned up a mess for her, in the form of a wolf he put down. It was to mark the end of her relationship with the other Jasper, and a task he took on willingly.

It’s an odd sort of comfort they offer one another, manifesting in strange shows of devotion, no matter when or where. As emotional as they both are, they can’t quite seem to express sympathy or empathy, so it comes out in grand gestures or companionable silences.

Jasper knows Mackenzie wants nothing more than to skin Gray alive. He appreciates that she won’t.

Another drink is taken, silently, to her, and he lowers the glass to the table again.

“I hope it’s not,” he says absently, gaze far-off in thought, “over, that is. I’ll always think of him as a friend.”

He shakes his head and lights a cigarette, letting it hang idly between his lips as he leans back and stares up at her awful, popcorn ceiling.

Maybe he should be more flippant about this, more callous, but he can’t. He loved Gray, still does in fact, and no part of him can hate him. He finds it hard to even be angry. Jasper knows the part he played in everything, and the only true emotions he feels are guilt and sadness.

Easily, as if by second-nature, he takes her hand. His knuckles still showcase the bruises from the night before, and his fingers are still stiff, but he offers a light, reassuring squeeze with a soft whisper of gratitude.

“Thank you.”
November 07, 2018 08:14 pm

Mackenzie

"That's not the point," Mackenzie wouldn't dare let him consider such a thing as true. It doesn't matter how old or young he may be; she hasn't a clue. What matters is that he understand what it is amongst her kind.

"It is goodnight, not goodbye."

It is odd. The scenario presented to them is a song they have danced to several times, and it is always something that comes out strangely. "I'm sure he will come around, Jasper."

The words cause her stomach to churn angrily. There is nothing that she wants more than for Gray to go away forever. He only ever causes pain for Jasper, and she hates to see him like this. But she is grateful that he would come to her, never once taking this for granted.

Easily, her fingers slip between his. Her glass is set down, the cigarette taken from his lips, and a drag taken before it is returned. "Don't..."

Don't thank her.

She has only ever been a critic.

Her grand gesture would normally be instilling pain upon those who would bring harm to those she loves, but that is something that would simply not do. Not now, at least. Outside of that, there is nothing more that Mackenzie desires than details. What happened. How. Why. But she wouldn't ask, especially not as her fingertips run over the rough of his knuckles.

For the first time ever, she is at a loss.

"I'd offer to beat you senseless, but it looks like you beat me to the punch." A quiet sigh, and she tilts her head slightly. Pursing her lips, she raises a brow before letting out a quiet groan.

"That's it. I can't. Jasper, Dear, you f-cking gem of a man. He is... he's an arse. He's a goddamn festering sh-t. And I know, I know you love him. But if there is one thing I've come to notice, it is the weird energy you have about him." Shaking her head, she gives her friend a pleading look. "Goodnight, not goodbye."

Mackenzie shifts, moving to stand before him and giving his hand a gentle tug.

"Hit me. Hit me like I'm Gray Taylor, and I've destroyed everything you love."
November 07, 2018 08:44 pm

Jasper Thompson

It is goodnight, not goodbye.

She says it so simply, but they hold much different experiences in this department. When he parts with people, nine times out of ten, that’s it. Sometimes, that’s for the better; other times, it haunts him.

He lets her take the cigarette without fuss, feeling his lips automatically close around it upon its return. Jasper knows the woman struggles with this; she hated it from the moment he’d told her. He knows that. But she’s been nothing if not supportive, only occasionally voicing her opinions, as anyone as close as them should. They’d gone down the path of keeping quiet, and it had proven a bad idea on all counts.

He can hear the concern in her voice as her fingers gently navigate his bruises. But just as quickly, it turns to frustration, accentuated by a groan, and he eyes her curiously.

Her words bring him pause, and he feels himself tensing. They had never, and probably would never, see eye to eye on Gray Taylor, and that’s fine, really. But as she stands and makes her offer, he can only shake his head and disentangle from her grasp.

“Don’t you think I’ve tried that? I saw him in every f-cking face I beat in, and there were dozens upon dozens.” An exasperated gaze is fixed upon her, and all over again, the emotions rise to the surface. “This wasn’t just him, Mackenzie, I know you want to believe that, but I’m just as much to blame.”

At once, he’s on his feet, pacing familiarly. “It’s not this simple, it’s not going to take four days for me to be over it. He meant the world to me, second to only one, and he’s gone. I betrayed him, his trust and everything else, and he’s gone. I can’t...”

He stops, voice cracking with the deeply buried tension he’d been beating down for days. “I made a choice, and it’s a choice that I don’t regret. But please... let me mourn.”

An imploring glance is cast her way, though he can’t bring himself to look at her fully in the wake of his outburst. The man is hurting, and it shows in the hanging of his head.

“This isn’t something I can beat down. I need to feel it.”
November 08, 2018 06:36 pm

Mackenzie

The minute he pulls his hand away, Mackenzie takes a step back, gaze narrowing as she stares down at him. She's at a loss. This isn't her strongest suit. This isn't a situation she has ever been in, really. So she presses her lips together as she listens, if only to keep quiet.

The minute he is up, she is taking a seat once more, claiming the farthest corner of the couch and lifting the her glass to cradle it within her grasp.

She doesn't watch him, though every footfall falls upon her senses like a dropped brick.

But please... let me mourn.

She stiffens, sights cutting upward to him as the blow hits her hard, and fast. He won't even look at her. Not really. And Mackenzie is stuck between lashing out on her own, and being there.

"I am not so callous-" Just as quickly as the words come, does she stop, her mouth closely quickly. There is a quickening within her, emotion bubbling up and threatening to boil over.

She drinks, draining her glass before sharply returning it to the table.

It is easy to forget that while they are both highly emotional beings, they handle themselves so differently. They feel differently. Jasper embraces it all, and Mackenzie bottles it up until she ultimately explodes from the pressure. And it sucks.

"I realize I've made some really f-cked decisions, but please don't mistake my naivety for ignorance." Maybe it had been a mistake. Maybe this is a mistake. Perhaps Jasper isn't ready to be anywhere near her, and that is fine. Mackenzie could accept that. She would accept it. "You did that for me, Jasper. You were that face, you invited me in, and I was just trying to be that person for you because I don't know what to do."

Swallowing, she reaches for the bottle, refilling her glass before lifting it in her hand again and standing. Her bones are restless, and Mackenzie is doing her goddamn best to keep them both afloat in the face of their losses - but his, most of all.

"I made a stupid mistake, Jasper. That wasn't a request for a repeat performance. Tell me what to do. Please. Just tell me. I'll do anything you need of me."

Tell me how to fix it. Tell me how to help.

"Share the load."
November 08, 2018 07:03 pm

Jasper Thompson

The tension in the room rises significantly, and Jasper closes his eyes as soon as he realizes his misstep. Exhaustion mixed with an ailing mindset render him useless when it comes to having a good handle on himself. The regret is tangible on his features.

He takes the berating, feeling wholly chastised, even if it wasn’t her intent. Mackenzie has been nothing but a rock in the face of all of this. She, least of all, deserves his lashing out.

Too often, that’s how it works out.

Share the load.

He almost laughs.

Turning to her, Jasper grimaces apologetically, pressing a light kiss to her forehead once he’s closed the distance between them. “I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant, but I know that’s how it came off.”

A sigh tells of his inner turmoil as he reclaims his own glass, refilling the contents and taking a hard pull. The brooding man wishes he could give her what she asked: a fix-all for this whole goddamn thing. But he can’t, and moreover, he doesn’t deserve it.

Jasper had explicitly told Gray to feel everything that came with Spring’s death.

Now, he must do the same, in the wake of his own loss.

“I’ve been fighting this off for so many days, Mack... I can’t anymore. Especially not with you. Anything else, I might punch your face in.” He grins half-heartedly, attempting a playful jest. “But for now... I just want to feel it.”

The emotional battery is sometimes just as soothing as the physical.

“I was right,” he offers, sinking back down into the couch, “he claimed it was because he couldn’t share. That I went behind his back and betrayed him.”
November 10, 2018 11:19 am

Mackenzie

Mackenzie nods, easily placated by action and apology. In hindsight, she should have taken his words with a grain of salt. Jasper has never, and would never, intentionally say something so detrimental. She should know better.

She's just a little uptight.

"Sometimes, I wish you would," punch her face in, that is. A corner of her mouth turns upward for just a second before returning to it's slackened state. There is absolutely nothing humorous in any of this, and Mackenzie understands better than most his turmoil.

She relaxes where she sits as he rejoins her, reclaiming her glass and preparing to listen and simply talk things out. An attempted sip from the empty cup brings forth a quiet profanity from her lips, and she shifts to refill it before settling once more.

"If he really knew you, he would know you are governed by your heart." She drinks, brow cinching as the thoughts begin to form in her head. Now is when she has her chance to make up for every time she ever failed him, and she would do right by him.

Even if she hates the subject.

"But, he's not wrong," she would never, however, say he is right. "It's just all so material."

Soft blues would look over Jasper, taking in each defeated detail. He is hurting, and she is sure it likely transcends the realm of bittersweet.

Still, there is a nagging question in the back of her own mind, and Mackenzie is incapable of putting it to rest. If there is one thing she has learned about the man that had stolen Jasper's heart, it is that he is indecisive, and cruel.

"Do you think he'll change his mind?"
November 10, 2018 11:47 am

Jasper Thompson

Governed by his heart, how laughable. Not that it isn’t inherently true, just that it’s led him down some f-cked paths, to say the least.

And, of course, she’s right, but Jasper knows that. He’s always known the part he played, and so has she. The man would and did anything for Gray; that didn’t mean it wasn’t calculated. That’s not to say that he’d achieved the desired outcome, but it ultimately wasn’t up to him.

Do you think he’ll change his mind?

A smirk takes up his countenance as he drains the contents of his glass, shaking his head only once he’s done. “It’s not up to him.”

A certain sadness dulls his stormy eyes, remembering the weight of the key in his hand as he forced himself to relinquish it. “He pushed me away because he wanted me gone,” he recalls, “but I’m the one that called it off. He didn’t want to do it himself.”

There’s a bitterness in his tone that could only be honed in on by someone who knows him well. Truth be told, he’s angry for presenting himself as too weak to handle a breakup. Of everything Gray could’ve taken from him, that’s what he honed in on.

But had he not done the same?

They treated each other as though they might break at any moment, and it led to their demise. If they had just been honest with one another, a relationship may have been salvaged, but the damage had been done.

That just leaves the healing process.

“We live and learn, right?”

Right.
November 10, 2018 01:13 pm

Mackenzie

Mackenzie does her very best to keep that small amount of relief hidden away, once she takes in the answer to her inquiry. It is easy, once he elaborates.

Quietly, she scoffs, shaking her head.

"That prideful sh-t. He pushed you away because he is weak." It isn't completely missed that really, Jasper had done just the same to Gray. This hypocrisy doesn't matter where she stands, as this particular, emotional being would always be all that really matters.

Beyond that, Mackenzie can hear it. That tone in his voice, speaking to his own hurt pride. Sighing, she takes a sip of her drink before setting her glass upon the table. She would move, bringing herself beside him and pulling her legs up beneath her, both hands reaching to take just one of his.

"Not always," she breathes, taking stock of their conversation. "Jasp, I'm going to do my best, here."

Pressing her lips together, Mackenzie prepares to serve him a dish of tough love. It tastes bitter upon her tongue as it begins, and only gets worse before it comes close to getting better. "You made a choice. It was really f-cking extreme, but you did what you felt you should do. You saved his life; he will see that, and be grateful, someday. For now, whether it is the issue of sharing, or his pride, or a lack of will to go on, he couldn't handle it."

She hates this. She hates all of it. She hates that f-cking horse's arse.

"Now, I realize that you wanted him to do the breaking, but you couldn't possibly expect him to be a f-cking adult. So feel it. Feel all of it. But don't let someone who had so little respect for you bog you down, because I will punch his face in."

Taking a deep breath, she leans in, pressing a kiss to his temple before giving him his personal space. Seeing her best friend hurt like this is almost too much, and she can only hope her pep talk is understood.

So, in closing, she mutters all that really matters.

"Love you."
November 10, 2018 01:48 pm

Jasper Thompson

He pushed you away because he’s weak.

Jasper grins at her as her tone perfectly conveys her distaste and bias for the man. He knows better than to think Mackenzie would ever fault him, even deservedly, but that doesn’t mean she won’t tell him how it is.

For show, he groans as she lays into him.

As he listens, though, his gaze softens, allowing for the emotional side of all this to show through. He does feel as though he failed Gray, in more ways than one. Yes, he’d saved him from himself, but in such a way that would ultimately spell their demise, intentionally. And for reasons he could probably never let on to.

But it’s in the past, and he breathes as she finishes off her spiel. No amount of worrying or regret could change what he did, and even if he could...

No, everything happened the way it needed to. There was no other way.

Jasper’s pulled from his mind by a tender kiss touched to his temple, and as she moves to put space between them, he stops her with a hand on her arm, gently. A pleading look is his request, begging her to not leave his side.

“Love you, too, Mack.”. A small, half-hearted smile touches his lips, and while he wants to feel it all, he also doesn’t want to let it consume him.

Small doses.

“So, tell me how happy you are. Come on, I’ve been waiting to hear it, and I know you’ve been waiting for this moment since the day I came clean to you about him and I.” The laughter in his tone indicates the joke, but also the need for something much more light-hearted.
November 17, 2018 01:43 pm

Mackenzie

The moment his hand lands on her arm, Mackenzie ceases to move, her sights lifting to meet his. Immediately, a silent understanding is had, and she moves once more. This time, closer, curling into his side and pulling his arm around her shoulders. A small smile curls at the corners of her mouth, and she turns her head to press a kiss upon the hand that hangs over her shoulder.

"I could never. It would be rude."

Her tone, however, suggests otherwise. Mackenzie is formulating how best to bring him out of this, and she lets her fingertips run over the backs of his as she mulls it over.

"But since you asked..."

Turning her head, she lets her sights fall upon his face. Jasper, and his soulful, expressive eyes and mischievous, quirky smile. Once more, she is reminded that she isn't quite sure how she survived without him all those years - but is happy that she did.

"I'm beside myself with joy. Do you know how f-cking dull it got when he called you away? It's a full time job, keeping oneself occupied in the absence of Jasper Thompson. And how daaaark it got, knowing that somewhere out there, some undeserving, self-righteous, fleshbag of a man was with my Jasper." She pouts, bottom lip pathetic as she lays it with the best puppy dog eyes she can conjure.

"You have sh-t taste it relationships, Jasp." Mackenzie gives him a wicked little grin and a wink, incapable of containing herself.

Her fingers cease to draw their pattern, instead working to lace together with his. "But really, I'll be happiest when you're happy, Dear."
November 17, 2018 02:01 pm
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Actives (11) Fresh Blood (2) View All The Fallen (1) Graveyard
Nemesis Wolfe, Eden Kennedy, Kenuki Hibache, Mackenzie, Quinn Abernathy, Kyla, Lucifer Mourningstar, Mallory Quarters, Huntress Wizard, R, Gens Revenge  Lucian James
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