Life goes on for Aidan, Josh and Sally after Rebecca leaves, unable to stand not feeding. About three years later, she returns with someone she really wants Aidan to meet.
"I'm a jumper."
Even though I'm sitting perfectly still, the slight breeze in front of the hospital blows my scent around. The humans, of course, smell and suspect nothing. I'm just a young woman sitting on a park bench, watching the world go by. However, the one vampire I want to meet at this hospital has already smelled me from the inside and has just appeared on the front steps, his dark eyes scanning the area around the hospital until he finds me. His face surprisingly calm, Aidan makes his way over then stands in front of me, obviously unsure of what to say. "It's good to see you again," I start, and he flinches lightly at the sound of my voice. Last time he heard or saw me, I was raw and uncontrolled; a monster. The woman he sees today is the exact opposite. I was practically lounging on the bench, dressed in clean fresh clothes. My gaze didn't wander to different tasty people to kill. I looked human. "Here, have a seat." I offered, patting the spot next to me. Aidan slowly sat down; his dark hospital scrubs making him look paler than ever, especially in the bright sunlight.
"What happened to you, Rebecca?" He asked, eyes roaming over me, the confusion and awe written all over his face.
"I'll explain if you accept my apology first." I insisted, shifting so that I was facing him directly. "You were risking everything you'd worked for to try and help me, and I ran away."
"Never apologize to me for what I did." He said, still regretful of what he'd done. "Nothing was ever your fault." We looked at each other a moment, then away, as awkward as ever, right in that stage between friends and something more, even after all these years.
"I roamed around the United States, even spent some time in Canada and Mexico. But then I met someone who turned my life around. Not a guy," I added quickly, seeing the look on Aidan's face. "And not someone who is exactly human either." I added in an undertone, gaining back Aidan's interest, and, as always, his caution.
"Who is this person?" He asked finally, and I bet he was picturing some sick female form of the Bishop.
"Come on, I'll show you." I said, standing up. Aidan hesitated, but then stood too, following me a short distance down the tiny road on the hospital's campus. We didn't go very far. Sitting just where I'd left her, my coach, my savior was waiting. Almost giggling at Aidan's surprise, I led us over to stand in front of her. To his perspective, we were sitting in front of a girl who looked no older than 18, maybe younger, who appeared to be like skipping out of school. Her general averageness threw Aidan for a loop- he'd been expecting a vampire or other mythical creature. "Aidan, meet Emma." I said, and Emma stood up, holding out a hand for him to shake. He hesitated but then returned the gesture, trying to analyze her appearance and not stare. Emma certainly didn't look like much- she was really just a kid, petite and short. She had the same long sandy brown hair that every other teenage girl did, highlights included. She was dressed in the same usual attire- skinny jeans, Chuck Taylor's and a t-shirt.
"You don't have to look quite that scared," She said to Aidan, her voice cracking as she tried to hide her mirth. Unable to, she started to giggle until I rolled my eyes at her.
"Emma's a jumper. She helped me get over my addiction." I explained, but it only made Aidan more confused than ever.
"Let's walk," Emma suggested, picking up her backpack off the ground. The three of us set off down the trail, and once we started to get to a more secluded area, Emma launched into her usual speech, instantly losing her teenage girl attitude. "As Rebecca said, I'm a jumper. Here," she flicked one of her business cards out of thin air like she usually did, handing it up to Aidan, who took it, looking flabbergasted. "I help people like us, who aren't quite, well, normal, get over problems in their condition. The card says trainer, but that's kind of a cruel way of putting it. But I'd jumped into this printing shop at like four in the morning, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to print-" She saw the look I was giving her and cut off her awkward rant, smiling sheepishly.
"'Emma McCann, Trainer and Curer of Addictions'," Aidan read off the card, then looked at me. "Is this some sort of joke?"
"Of course not!" Emma answered, looking affronted. "I work mostly with vampires to help them wean off of feeding directly on humans, but I've worked with ghosts and a few werewolves here and there, a few other jumpers, oooh, one time, there was this really creepy sand guy- sorry." She cut herself off again, seeing both my look and Aidan's, telling her to get to the point. "Shall we take this to a more private venture?" She said slyly, holding out both her hands. I took hers instantly, used to it by now, but Aidan balked.
"She's not as crazy once you get to know her. All jumpers are a little…enthusiastic." I said, and Emma huffed, but kept her hand outstretched. "Go on," I told Aidan, and after one more moment of hesitation, he took her hand.
"Going in three, two, one," Emma counted, as if this was a mission into space. I still couldn't feel the change, even though Emma had done this to me a million times. She was just too fast. One second, we were standing by the hospital. The next, we were in an alley halfway across town. It took her less than a blink of an eye. "See? I'm a jumper. I can move myself, other objects, and other people to new locations instantly. Cool, huh?" She said casually to Aidan, who was blinking and looking around him in shock. As vampires, we were pretty darn fast, but Emma was ten times faster. "That's how I help out vampires and werewolves. We find or build a spot that's completely enclosed; no way out. I jump them in there to transform or whatever, then jump in periodically for certain amounts of time until they get used to a human presence. Once they're in control, my work is done."
"You've never met a jumper, have you?" I asked Aidan, who was still speechless, and he shook his head. "See, I thought for sure you had; you were so in control the last time we met. I owed you a visit and Emma a favor, so I thought I'd have you two meet. Since you know this place real well, I assumed you'd know some people Emma could help."
"Wow, um," Aidan said finally, rubbing the back of his head, bemused, "I do know some people, yeah."
"I've heard that this Bishop guy around here is a real piece of work." Emma said, leaning against the alley wall, looking in almost a bored fashion at her fingernails. "I thought I'd give some of the people he's changed a new direction, if you didn't know anyone."
"That's not the best idea. The Bishop is extremely powerful." Aidan said instantly, but Emma shrugged, picking at a cuticle.
"It's not like I don't have any enemies. A few vampires in Cairo are still after me. Have you ever been to Cairo? For some reason, they like to build armies of vampires over there, its super weird."
"Anyway," I said forcefully as Emma went to continue her story, "Could you stay in touch? Let her know when you find people?"
"Why don't you come over now? I live with a guy and a ghost you might be able to start with." Aidan said after we'd looked at each other awkwardly for a moment, something Emma didn't miss.
"Sure, where is this super-high-speed taxi taking us?" Emma asked, holding out her hands again. Aidan rattled off his address and no sooner had he finished speaking we were there, standing in front of his own front door.
"Come on in," Aidan muttered, unlocking his front door and holding it open for us. "Hey, Josh? You home?" He called, shutting the door behind us. His place hadn't changed at all since the last time I'd been here.
"No, he's not," said a female voice before she appeared, stepping through a wall. This must have been his ghost. She had tan skin, long dark hair, and a morose expression. "Who are these guys?" She continued, sounding bored, plopping down on the staircase.
"Well, I'm Emma," Emma said, and the ghost jumped about a foot and a half, obviously assuming like all ghosts did that Emma was human, and therefore, couldn't see or hear her.
"And this is Rebecca." Aidan finished, looking slightly amused, hands deep in his scrub pockets.
"Sally," the ghost introduced herself shakily, starting to grin.
"Emma's a jumper, and Rebecca's like me." Aidan explained, even though his words only confused Sally more. "Come on in," he insisted, pushing us into the living room, pulling out a chair for Sally.
"I can move myself, objects or other people from one place to another, instantly. I work with people like us to cure addictions and problems that come with the conditions they have." Emma continued, dropping her backpack and sitting on the couch.
"She got me off of killing humans for blood." I added, as an example, and Sally nodded starting to understand.
"Unfortunately, I can only hear ghosts, not see them, but you sound awesome." Emma added, looking almost directly at Sally, but not quite. Sally laughed.
"I thought she could help you and Josh." Aidan told her, and Sally looked at him in surprise.
"Me? I'm great, though." Sally said, looking back to Emma, even though she couldn't see her.
"I help ghosts unlock all their mystical, poltergeist-y powers. I couldn't help but notice how Aidan had to pull out that chair for you. I can teach you how to do that kind of stuff yourself." As Emma spoke, Aidan put her business card on the table so that Sally could read it.
"That sounds great!" Sally said, sounding a lot more cheerful and eager. As the two of them immediately got to work, Aidan caught my eye and jerked his head towards the kitchen. Emma and Sally didn't even notice us getting up; Sally was too busy focusing incredibly on putting her feet up on the coffee table.
"Can I get you anything?" He asked, opening their battered old fridge, peering inside and wincing a little. "I've got type A, positive and negative, I'm all out of AB, but-"
"Aidan." I interrupted, and he quickly closed the fridge, looking at me. "Can we…can we ever go back to the way things were?" I asked, trying not to sound too hopeful. When Aidan only stared, I hurried on, "I made myself a promise; that I wasn't going to come back and see you until I was completely in control. I know it's been a long time, but-"
"YES!" Sally cheered from the next room, but we both ignored it. Two seconds later Aidan strode across the room and kissed me. Happiness exploded inside me, and I let him pick me up and set me on the sink, still kissing. I'd missed him so much, even when I was with the Bishop, furious with Aidan for turning me. "I can't believe I did it! That's so cool!" Sally exclaimed from the living room as Aidan's lips burned into mine.
"You can use that basic principle to move or touch anything now, even people. One time I met this ghost in Africa who was so good at it that he touched human's dreams while they were sleeping. Of course this guy was absolutely nuts, but-"
"Did he tell you how he did it?" Sally asked as Aidan moved to my throat, not daring to bite, even though he was getting aroused enough to use his fangs if he wanted to.
"Hey, guys, I'm home!" An unfamiliar voice called as the front door opened, but the stench that came with him let me know instantly it was the werewolf. Aidan and I hastily broke apart, and I flattened my hair from where he'd been running his fingers through it, trying to look calm and collected. "Who are you?" Josh asked sounding confused; he must have found Emma, a normal, human looking girl sitting in his living room.
"She's a jumper!" Aidan, Sally and I called at the same time. "Here," Aidan muttered, seizing two cups and two packets of blood from his fridge as Sally launched into an explanation in the living room. As we came back in, each with a cup in hand, avoiding each others gaze, Josh came into view. He looked just as confused as Aidan had been, and he was examining the business card Emma had given Aidan.
"Ignore the 'trainer' part, that was a really stupid idea to put on there, but I'd jumped into this printing shop and-" Emma was saying hastily, but I cut her off, having heard the story a million times.
"Just show him how you jump." I said, bored, sitting across from Aidan, afraid to sit next to him and possibly, oh, I don't know, start making out with him again?
"Ugh, fine. You people do not like any exposition in your plots, do you? I mean, honestly." Emma grumbled, getting to her feet and walking to one end of the living room. Faster than a blink of even a vampire eye, she was on the other end of the living room. The werewolf's reaction was priceless.
"…What?" He asked stupidly, looking from one spot to the other.
"It's a jump! I go from one spot," she moved, "to another spot," she moved again, back to where she'd started, "instantly. Nifty, huh?" She grinned good naturedly at Josh, who just stared back in shock. Of course, Emma took this as a bad silence and awkwardly started to ramble like she usually did. "Well, it does have it's downsides, I mean, I have to eat like mega protein and I have to eat like, all the time cause I use so much energy jumping everywhere, cause, I mean, who walks slowly anywhere anyway? Well, excluding jumpers and vampires." She finished, and Josh just blinked.
"Maybe you should get back to the point," Aidan suggested quietly, sipping his blood, clearly amused with the whole thing.
"Oh, right. Ok, well, I could help you get used to being around people when you're a werewolf. I jump you into a secure place to change, someplace with no way out, and then I jump in occasionally for a certain amount of time until you don't want to…you know, maul me. Then I start bringing in other people that you want to get used to."
"No way," he croaked finally, over his shock and able to process what she was saying. "That is way too dangerous. How old are you anyway?" Josh asked, looking at her with slight suspicion. Emma crossed her arms, raising her eyebrows at the same time. This was her biggest pet peeve and potential clients' biggest turn off- she looked too normal, too young.
"I fail to see how that has anything-"
"She's twenty." I answered for her, and Emma glared at me.
"I am not twenty. I'm twenty and a half, get it right."
"Shouldn't you be in school?" Sally asked, and Emma sighed, unfolding her arms. She hated sharing personal information with, well, anyone, but especially with clients.
"When I'm in a jump, I don't age. As a kid, you can't control your jumps. Even now, with all the jumping I do for a living, it's still hard to control. I should actually be about seventeen, with all the time taken out for jumps." She explained wearily. "It's hard to explain to your school principal why you vanished halfway through 'Recent American History' and ended up on the roof." When no one said anything, she continued. "So, regardless of my age, I've helped werewolves and vampires and one creepy sand man guy before, I'm well trained. Do you want my help or not?" Josh looked at her, evidently torn. It was hard to believe that it would be safe for a little pipsqueak like Emma to train werewolves and vampires; I'd had trouble letting her help me too. But, once I had, I didn't regret it at all. Emma and I were best friends.
"Even if you don't want to decide now, she definitely has to stay. She's teaching me how to touch stuff on my own." Sally pointed out, keeping Josh from having to give a straight answer.
"Yeah, Josh, you should really think about it." Aidan said quietly, still sipping on his blood. Still torn, the werewolf looked into his lap, unable to look at anyone directly.
"Food for thought!" Emma said cheerfully, jumping to a standing position and stretching. "Hey, speaking of food, I'm dying for, well, anything. I'll see you guys later, then?"
"Don't you guys want to stay for dinner?" Sally offered, something that I thought was funny; the ghost, someone that didn't even eat, offering us to stay for food.
"Nah, we have to give you guys time to have a possible argument about all of this, some hard feelings, and a bit of sulking time. I've been doing this a long time, I know how it is." She added, seeing Josh instantly start to flush.
"But when will you guys come back?" Sally asked, clearly worried about wanting to learn more, proudly putting her feet up on the coffee table.
"Just call, all the information's on the card." Emma said, jumping to stand next to me. After we'd said our goodbyes, and Aidan and I had eyed each other up for a moment longer, Emma jumped us away.