thisDisclaimer:...I obviously don't own anything Criss Angel...but I wish I did...hahaha
Thanks for all the reviews of the first chappie guys....and thanks deppdependant for giving me a shoutout in your latest chapter...
Everyone should check out her CA stories of which I am a "Loyal" reader...hahaha...says her.
The first is Lucky 13 and the sequel is Queen of Hearts....here are the links...
I posted the link to Lucky 13 on my first chapter...but it got all messed up for some reason when it was published...so there they are again...just for good measure...now go read her stuff....after you read mine...hahaha
….was listening to My Chemical Romance as I wrote most of this chapter...and Green Day...so here is goes....oh...and the tricks Criss does here...he's done before...but this story is set in 2006...so it's before they are on Mindfreak...like he still wants to practice them in front of an audience before they are on TV...anyway....
I Want to Know You
Well, she decided not to tell all the boys. Just to tell her partner, Seth. Jacey drove their way back to the house, both dearly in need of food, hoping the boys were cooking dinner already. "I still don't understand what the hell you were thinking."
Jacey shook her head. "Me either."
"Jace, just because you think he seems like a nice guy doesn't mean he is. You found him high...remember?"
"He didn't take anything, Seth. Someone must have slipped it to him in a drink. Maybe he took a sip of someone else's drink even. Either way, he told me he didn't take anything on purpose and I believe him."
"You know it wouldn't be the first time we've seen that, Seth."
He conceded to her. "Fine, fine. But if something happens, I don't wanna hear it in here all day."
They went quiet as they pulled up to the firehouse.
Eight of them, paramedics and fireman alike were around the table with a plate full of food. "Jace! You have a customer down stairs."
"Thanks, Cap." She took one more bit, then jumped away from the table.
Jacey paused halfway down the stairs. He leaned against the firetruck smiling at her. "Criss, what the hell are you doing here?"
"You told me if anything was wrong..."
"To call me. Not come over here. This is where I work," she whispered. She rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. "Fine, fine. Might as well take a look at your head since your here." She led him over to a chair as she took the first aid kit off the the wall. "You do remember I told you not to walk anywhere, right?"
"I didn't. I took a cab," he took his hat off.
Jacey looked at the open wound. "I told you to keep it wrapped."
"My hat didn't fit on right."
"Criss, the bleeding hasn't completely stopped."
"Really? It feels fine."
"I highly doubt that." She started to clean it again and he didn't even flinch.
Jacey heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Please don't look at him. Please don't look at him...she continued the mantra. Grey, the youngest fireman in the house jumped over the last couple steps. He took a peek over her shoulder before walking passed. He hissed. "Ouch. That must have hurt," he disappeared into the office.
Criss laughed. "I've had worse." Jacey rolled her eyes. "My brother says I'm always asking for it. Glass in my chest, pins in my back."
Grey poked his head out. "Glass? What the hell do you do everyday?"
"Grey," she interrupted Criss. "Whose supposed to be watching the front?"
"Me. I'm just looking at the days off chart real quick," and he turned his back on them and made his way to the entrance.
"What's your name kid?"
"Grey," he turned back.
"Criss." The magician held his hand out in the young fireman's direction. Jacey wrapped a single loop of gauze around his forehead and tapped it in place. Grey and Criss shook hands. "Nice to meet ya."
"Likewise." Grey looked at his face for a moment as Jacey helped Criss put his hat back on. "What did you say you did again?"
"Grey..." Jacey warned. But the kid didn't look at her, just kept his eyes on Criss.
"I'm an illusionist."
Grey smiled instantly. "Shit, Jace. This is Criss Angel." Criss laughed as he stood. "I gotta tell the boys."
"No, Grey!" Jacey yelled, but he was already up the stairs. She smacked Criss on the shoulder. "Now look at what you did!"
"What?" he laughed.
"You did this on purpose just to annoy me."
"Why would I do such a thing, Jay?" Jacey looked at him in surprise at the name he called her. Criss was about to ask why, but didn't have a chance. Grey came back down the stairs, with a dozen guys following him.
Jacey looked on in horror as most of the house came up to introduce themselves. Seth came to stand beside her and nudged her shoulder. "What's the big deal? They would have found out anyway."
"Only if you were gonna tell them," she snapped.
Seth left her side, and went to shake the magicians hand. "Seth. I'm Jace's partner."
"Lucky you," Criss joked. They both laughed. Criss winked at her frown. "Would you guys like to see something?" They all chorused in approval. He smiled, pulling a pack of cards from his pocket. "I think it would be a stupid question to ask if any of you had cigarettes, so we'll stick to the cards." They laughed.
Grey pulled an old pack from his pocket handing them to Criss. All eyes turned to him. "What? I pulled them away from some kids a few hours ago."
Criss smiled pulling out one, lighting it between his lips. "Now, I don't smoke, and never advise anyone to. I won't even date a smoker. But...they are good for entertainment value," he chuckled.
All eyes were on his hand as he held the cigarette between his fingers, tip to tip. A couple of the guys hissed. The smile never left the magicians face. He slowly waved a hand in front of it, and the cigarette disappeared. There was a collective gasp. He showed them his empty hands. A few claps were heard, but Criss quickly silence them. He pulled the still lit cigarette from behind his ear, and took a drag, showing them that it was real. Next, he held one hand in a fist, dropping the smoking cigarette slowly into his closed hand lit end first. His closed fingers shifted back and forth for a moment, then his hand opened...and it was gone.
The boys clapped and there were whistles of approval. Criss grinned as he took a step forward and pulled it this time, from behind Grey's ear. The young fireman looked on in admiration.
Jacey shook her head and reluctantly clapped along with the rest. Criss put it out on the ground and tossed it into the trash. "Thank you," he smiled, revealing the pack of cards again. He handed them to Seth. "Go ahead and look at those, make sure they are a regular pack of cards." Seth went through every card, and nodded. "Now pick one...anyone." He did, handing the deck back to Criss. "You can show it to everyone. Good." It was the King of Diamonds. "Now, I want you to sign that card somehow. Your name, some kind of sign...anything to make that card unique to the whole world."
Seth took a moment, then showed it to everyone. It was his name with a 55 beside it. The boys smiled. Criss nodded with a thoughtful smile. "Now put it anywhere in the deck. Okay..." he began to shuffle the cards, but not how she would do it up in the house for a quick poker game. How she has never seen anyone shuffle before...except him on his damn show.
Jacey never took her eyes off his hands as she watched him shoot the whole deck from one hand to the other when they were three feet apart. He gave Seth back the deck and it's box. "Go ahead and put the cards back into box, and hold them tightly between your hands....good. Now imagine for me, your card. The King of Diamonds. Imagine if it were just to melt away from between your hands. Even feel the difference in weight." He paused for a moment. Jacey could see the intimidation in Seth's face as Criss never blinked. "Now," he broke the silence. "Take out the deck and hand me your card."
Seth did as instructed, flipping through the deck quickly. He laughed. "There is no King of Diamonds."
"Look again." Again Seth looked, but couldn't find it. "You must have a good imagination. Why don't you look through your pockets for me."
Seth began searching through his pockets, finding nothing in his shirt. Then pulled out his wallet, searching that pocket. He paused for a moment, a smirk on his face, then opened his wallet. "What!" he yelled in shock. "Shit!" He pulled a card out from one of the credit card slots and showed them the signature. The small crowd instantly went up in cheers. "You didn't even touch me!" Seth turned to Criss incredulous, who just stood with a proud smile on his face. "How the hell did you do that?"
Jacey shook her head with a small smile, clapping along with them. "Alright, boys!" The captain yelled from up stairs. "Back to work!"
One by one, Jacey watched as the only family she had left went up to shake Criss's hand. Grey made his way to the entrance of the firehouse and Seth was the last one to pass her, whispering her ear as he went, "I still don't like this." And he disappeared upstairs.
Jacey crossed her arms, a smirk unable to leave her face. "You couldn't resist, uh?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Criss grinned like a school boy.
"Like hell..." she chuckled. "How are you feeling? Really?" She stepped closer to him.
Criss leaned against the truck. "Gotta a killer headache. Nothing I can't handle. When do you get home?"
He shrugged. "J.D. brought my stuff over. But I got bored."
Jacey laughed. "Why doesn't that surprise me...I get off in a few hours."
"I'll order some pizza?" he offered.
"Sure," she nodded and dug into her pocket to find her apartment keys. "Since I don't have a spare..." she tossed them over. "Just buzz me in."
"Cool." He started to walk away.
"Hey, Criss." He turned. "Why did you call me Jay?"
He thought for a moment, then shrugged. "Seemed like a good nickname. Is that okay?"
Jacey stared at him for a moment, trying to figure him out. And decided, no matter how long she could possibly know this man, she would never figure him out. "Yeah...it's fine. I'll see you at home."
Jacey straightened the backpack on her shoulder walking up the front door of her building. She was a little later than expected, going on another run only a few minutes before they were off the clock. hLuckily, it was only a medical, not a trauma. Quick ride to the hospital and they got back to the house and turned over their keys. Jacey couldn't help but smile. Buzzing her own apartment was not something she ever thought she'd have to do in her lifetime.
"Jacey...please tell me that's you."
"Who else do you think would be buzzing my apartment at this time of night?"
"I'm only a street magician..." his mouth sounded full. "Do I look that clairvoyant?"
The door opened as she laughed and jogged up the stairs. Criss was standing in her open doorway, a piece of pizza in one hand and a beer bottle in the other. He offered it to her immediately. Jacey eyed the bottle of Samuel Adams. "There wasn't any of those in the fridge."
"Nope. I had J.D. pick them up for me," he pushed it into her hands and walked back into the apartment. "They are your favorite, right?"
"How did you know that?" Jacey closed the door behind her, setting down the backpack at the open door to her bedroom. Criss just shrugged and sat down on the couch again, watching baseball highlights on ESPN.
"Buffalo chicken pizza," she sat down beside him. "How do you know this stuff?"
He smirked. "I just do." He took a sip out of his own bottle of Samuel Adams. "Actually...it was circled on the take out menu in your drawer." Jacey scoffed, slapping his shoulder playfully. "Hey now...no assaulting the injured."
"Oh, ha ha," Jacey mocked him with a smirk on her own. "How is your head by the way?"
Criss shrugged. "Fine...it stopped bleeding, I think. So I took the bandage off."
"It wasn't that bad when you came by. I just wanted you to feel bad," Jacey laughed. She reached for the pizza box on the coffee table, which now sat between their lounging socked feet.
Criss flicked her of the shoulder. "You like making people feel inferior to you?"
"Not at all...just you." She perked up at the Yankee game highlights and watched with satisfied face as the Los Angeles Angels went down again in the Bronx.
"Huge. I was born a Yankees fan. Father insisted on pulling my mother to as many games as possible when she was pregnant. My father told me bedtime stories about Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle instead of the damsel in distress and her white knight. He would tell everyone how every time they were at a game or watched one on TV and there was a home run, I would go crazy in Ma's belly."
"Only child," she replied with a full mouth. "Oh...I decided something today."
"And that would be..."
She turned her attention away from the TV, completely facing him. "Honestly, I have no idea why I brought you up here last night and didn't call for an ambulance. There's something about you that is hard to ignore, and I'm gonna find out what it is."
Criss put a hand against his belly and laughed out right. "You're kidding?"
"Not in the slightest."
"Okay....first question," he demanded, squarely his shoulder towards her in challenge.
Jacey smiled. "Well...I could guess that your favorite color is black, but what runs a close second?"
"Hmm, same. The first thing you wanted to be growing up."
"A rock star. You?"
"Indiana Jones," Jacey said quite seriously and Criss laughed again. "I'm serious. I still love that stuff, but I changed my mind when I realized it wasn't as rewarding as a lot of other things. I'm better with live people instead of dead. When did you find out you wanted to be an illusionist?"
Criss looked down at his hands fondly. "My aunt showed me my first card trick when I was six. I've loved magic ever since. Favorite band?"
"Now, My Chemical Romance, followed closely by Linkin Park and Green Day. Growing up, it's a three way tie between Zepplin, AC DC and Aerosmith. You?"
"A punk kid, huh?" He sipped his beer. "Zepplin, The Killers and Korn. They're friends of mine actually," he pointed out.
She eyed him. "First kiss?"
"A girl named Cassie. She was sweet. We were in 7th grade. We lost our virginity with each other too later in high school. Wasn't planned. Just kinda happened. We weren't even together."
"Were you after?"
"Nope. She was with this other guy at the time. He was an asshole to her. She came to me crying one night, and we ended up in a conversation facing each other on my bed. She was the one that leaned in the kiss me first," he pointed out.
Jacey scoffed. "Oh, you were the bad boy then?"
Criss laughed, throwing his head back. "Completely the opposite. I was the outcast. The misfit everyone made fun of, especially when they found out I wanted to be an illusionist. I was a joke to almost everyone, except Cassie. I never regretted that she was my first. It was easy with her. Natural. What about you?"
Jacey took a long swig of her beer, surprised by where the conversation had led. She wasn't about to get into a sensual conversation with him, be wooed by him until a few days later when he disappeared forever. Seth would not like that at all. "I was a freshman in high school when my father caught me making out with the captain of the baseball team. He was a senior with a full ride to Standford. He freaked out of course and I was mortified for the rest of my high school years that my father witnessed my first kiss." His hands covered his muted laughing face. "So...I waited for college until I did it again. He was a classmate in my Life Drawing class."
"I eventually finished an Art History degree along with joining the EMT and eventual Medic Academy. Tristan was two years older than me with an absolute bohemian outlook on life. He sang, he painted and he wrote. I have still never met a man quite like him. Our connection was purely sensual, nothing else. But strong none the less. Just not lasting." She realized her voice sounded almost other worldly as she remembered being with Tristan. It made sense though. Their relationship was like that thousand year old vampire obsession. Their lust for each other was completely addicting.
"And he taught you everything you know...right?"
"Are we talking about art, or my skills in bed?"
Criss smirked. "Both."
"He taught me a lot about both. He's part of the reason I love art as much as I do."
"That's what's in the other bedroom...isn't it?" Criss suddenly asked.
"What?" The question completely caught her off guard.
"The closed door. It's your studio...isn't it?"
Jacey looked at him, surprised he hadn't gone in himself. She expected him to snoop around her apartment, trying to get into her head. But nothing even clued her in that he did any looking around at all, excepting noticing she kept only one door in the entire apartment closed at all times. "Yes. It is my studio."
"Do you mind if I take a look?" he questioned hesitantly.
She paused, looking away him for a moment, staring at the door over his shoulder. "No. I'll show you," the words came out of her mouth before she could stop them. For some reason, she didn't want to keep anything from him. She'd known Seth for year before she let him take his own peek into her studio. It was her sanctuary. Her temple. The only sacred place she had on this earth. And she barely trusted anyone to appreciate that. Tristan did of course. He was the inspiration for many of her paintings. Even still he acted as her muse at times. Seth may never have understood her need for escape...but he respected it.
For a reason Jacey couldn't fathom, something inside told her that Criss would understand more than even Tristan even could. And whatever the reason, that's what frightened her about him. He was disarming her without a second thought. Almost naturally, without realizing he was doing it.
Jacey opened the door and stepped into the darkened room. Criss followed as she switched on the light, revealing her artwork. A handful of painting were hanging on the wall, as many others were stacked leaning against the wall. An old sheet lay over the one she had yet to finish. His eyes scanned over them in shock, trying to pause at each one for a moment, before finding another.
"Jacey...this is amazing."
She said nothing, letting him travel around the room. Criss stopped at one hanging on the wall. Jacey smiled fondly as she appraised it with him. A man with hair to his shoulders sat in the sand at the beach before a thousand color sunset, an acoustic guitar on his lap. "Is this him?" he turned to her.
"Yup, that's Tristan. It was the last one I painted while I was with him," she stepped up next to him.
"It was just time. We'd learned what we could from each other. He moved back to San Francisco a few months later. I still talk to him, write letters. He comes by whenever he's here in New York. One of the only people I consider a friend," she smiled. "There is a picture of us at Coney Island clipped onto the one I'm painting now. He still acts as my muse sometimes."
"And what's this one?" he pointed to the next one on the wall. A very green and flat landscape heading towards a cliff on the ocean.
"That is Ireland," Jacey explained. "I still have family there. A bunch of cousins and their families. My grandparents left me in their will, giving me their house and land. This is a part of it. My cousins take care of it for me. Use it as a vacation house."
"Don't want to move to Ireland?"
"I love Ireland. And maybe I will move there someday. I have dual citizenship because my parents were Irish. We visit each other at least once a year. They paid for me to come out for my birthday this year."
Criss did another circle around the room. "Have you ever sold anything?"
"No," Jacey answered immediately. "I'm afraid if I do I might lose my passion for it. I love painting. I don't it to be something that's just about money."
"You should. You're an amazing artist, Jacey," he walked out of the room.
Jacey shut off the light, and closed the door behind them again. "Thank you."
They sat on the couch again, each taking another piece of pizza. "So what's with your nickname?" Criss asked after a moment.
"Jay...why did you look so surprised when I called you that?" He walked to the fridge, taking out two more beers.
Jacey watched him, pausing, preparing her reply. "Most people call me Jacey or Jace. My father was the only one that called me Jay."
"Oh..." he sat down. "Is that okay...that I call you that?"
"Yeah....really, it's fine. It just surprised me is all. I don't know why though...it's typical of you. You don't know how to be predictable, do you?" she eyed him with a playful look.
He shook his head, a serious look on his face. "Predictable is boring. I love surprising people. I wouldn't love magic if I didn't."
Jacey studied his expression. "But enough people don't surprise you..."
"Just the way you said it," taking a sip from her beer. "You love surprising people...which is everyday I imagine. But there aren't enough unpredictable people out there like you for you to be around."
He smiled. "I never thought of it that way. You're probably right. Although, it's hard for people to surprise me. I tend to read them very well." He was quiet for a moment. "Maybe that's why I've never been able to keep a girl. They're boring." She could tell he tried to smile, making it a joke. But he failed. There was a serious failure in his look.
Jacey decided not to ask him about it yet, to try and keep the conversation light. "I'd imagine a woman has to be pretty spontaneous to keep up with you."
"I just can't find one like that, as simple as it sounds," he sighed.
"I don't think that's simple at all. So many people in the world want to do anything and everything they can to be normal. They want what is expected of them. My father is a lawyer, so I have to be part of the family practice. My mother is a nurse. I have to be a surgeon. Kids are raised to be normal. To fit in. It takes a certain amount of courage to stand out, whether you want to or not. Being different, going against conformity...that's not easy to find. I applaud you the moment you do find that woman."
Criss looked grateful for her observation. "I never thought of it that way," he said in almost a whisper.
The conversation moved on to lighter things after that, as they continue to devour the pizza between them and tease each other aimlessly. Laying her head on the pillow that night, Jacey decided she made the right choice by letting him stay. There was something about him she knew would never fade. It was the first time in her life that she felt she'd know him forever. And for a reason she couldn't fathom, she had a feeling he felt the same way. Whatever it was, she would miss him when he finally went back to his real life.