I lay on my stomach on the paisley quilt, sketching on a piece of hotel stationary. The subject was familiar. I had drawn the blonde curls and the set jaw over and over. One day I hoped to draw a true smile on that beautiful face. In the half a day since I'd found him, I'd seen hints of that smile. The corners of those surprisingly soft lips had curved up in amusement in the rare moments he'd let his guard down.
I was giving Jasper some time to process all the information I'd thrust upon him throughout the course of the afternoon, and well into the night. Once I started, I hadn't stopped talking for hours. He was overwhelmed, though he was trying not to be. Currently, he sat across the room in the high back chair at the desk from which I had pilfered the stationary. He leaned back, griping his magazine from the top, at the crease. I couldn't tell if he was actually reading, or if he was just staring at the page.
This was the first time I had my favorite subject right there to sketch from. I was finding infinitely more detail now than I'd ever been able to recall from my visions. I drew Jasper a lot. There had been times when I tried to sketch out every last aspect of his image, worried that each vision of him would be the last one, and I desperately wanted to remember.
But I found him, and presently I drew to pass the time. I drew to let him think. I drew as an excuse to just look at him for hours on end. I focused on his neck. There was a line of scars at the nape of his neck that I'd never noticed before. They were faint, nothing like the ridges that I knew lay on his back beneath his shirt.
I traced my hands up his bare chest, kissing a line from his shoulder to his neck, taking the time to lick each and every pale half moon that lay beneath the ends of his messy curls. He shivered as my tongue grazed the line of his spine. His hands ran into my spiky hair, and he pulled me back to join my lips to his. After a moment, I pulled away, sitting back to look at him. He stared back at me with beautiful golden eyes, a slight smile pulling at the corner of his lips as he pulled me to his chest.
"Alice?" I registered his hands on my shoulders, squeezing gently. "Alice?"
My eyes focused, and I found Jasper's worried face inches from mine. He stared at me with his crimson eyes, and I smiled. That vision wasn't in the near future, but his eyes would eventually change.
"What was that?" he asked, cupping my face gingerly with one of his large hands. "Are you okay? I completely lost your emotional line for a second there."
I leaned his hand and smiled. I wondered if he could read my emotions while I had a vision. If he had gotten a taste of that one, he sure didn't show it. All that registered on his face was concern.
He continued before I could answer him. "I got over here, and your eyes, they were unfocused, I sat right here and you didn't see me…"
I laughed softly, realizing how I must look when I'm lost in a vision. Jasper pulled his hand back suddenly, looking away. I pushed myself up, sitting on my knees, and leaned into his arm. When he looked back at me, his face was blank, guarded again.
"Oh, Jasper…" I wanted to take him in my arms and hold him close. I settled for sliding my hand into his and giving it a squeeze. "I wasn't laughing at you, not really."
He didn't say anything, but I had his attention. "You know, I've never really thought about what I must look like to the other around me when a vision comes. Most people don't notice. If they do, they say I was daydreaming. But you felt a difference."
He nodded, almost imperceptibly.
"Did you lose me completely?" I was genuinely curious about how he perceived it.
He shook his head, and a moment passed. I was about to ask another question when he spoke. "I've been trying all day to get a sense of your emotional baseline. Everyone has one."
I nodded, and he continued. "I got a handle on it earlier. Then, while I was reading, suddenly it dropped out, and was replaced by…it's actually hard for me to describe…"
I bit my lip. Maybe he had gotten a taste of my lusty view of a scene in our future.
He reached out and thumbed my lower lip, freeing it from the grip of my teeth. "I couldn't get as strong a read on you, it was more of a whirlwind."
I nodded, intrigued.
"I'm sorry that I…shook you. I don't want to hurt you—"
"You know you can't hurt me."
"I…I know. In my head, I know that. But, when I came over here, and I couldn't get a read on you, and your eyes were blank—"
"Blank?" I scooted onto his lap, looking up at him.
"Your eyes are usually quite animated." He ran his knuckle along my cheekbone as he stared down into them. "When they weren't…it—" he looked away, scowling.
"It's stupid," he shook his head, closing his eyes. "I overreacted."
"You were worried."
He nodded, eyes still shut.
"I've never had anyone see me have a vision, who knew what they were, at least," I told him.
"I forgot what it was," he admitted, letting his hands rest on my waist. "I lost your signature, and I thought something was wrong. It wasn't until after, when you laughed, that I realized." He bowed his head, and I took the opportunity to kiss the bridge of his nose.
"I wasn't laughing at you," I assured him. "I realized that I must look pretty silly."
"Silly is not the word I'd use," he told me quietly,
I kissed his cheek and let my temple rest against it. "What word would you use?"
My body moved with his as he took a deep inhale, letting it out slowly. "Vulnerable."
I lifted my head back to look up at him. I didn't know what to say to that, so just smiled softly, and let my emotions speak for me. No one had ever cared about me enough to worry about me. Our eyes remained locked together for a long time, as we shared that moment.
"Did you catch anything while I was out?" I questioned, breaking the intensity of our gaze.
He glanced at me hesitantly. I squeezed his hand with an eager grin on my face. The corners of his mouth turned up slightly. "If I tell you what I felt, will you tell me what you saw?"
I bit my lip.