He watches as she appears in front of, folding from the darkness like a star. She looks around, searching, before her eyes settle on him and she breaks into a wide grin.
She's still so beautiful.
"Hey, old man. Come to prey on unsuspecting girls again?"
He cracks a smile at the jab, grinning down at the younger girl in front of him. Her hair is fiery red and orange, and her emerald eyes sparkle mischievously. She's barely changed at all, but he can tell she's matured quite a bit for having only experienced a year since that fateful Samhain.
"You don't exactly seem unwilling, young'un," he replies, and she laughs.
He's in his mid-thirties – she's only sixteen. His hair's got a few white streaks in it, but she doesn't mind that too much, although she loves to tease him about it. His face is still the same, still handsome and always looking for fun, for adventure. Always looking for her. She still loves him, more than anything else in the world.
They sit together and he tells her stories of the daylight world she can no longer see, tells her about new Midnighters. She meets some of them, but only remembers the two that choose to travel with her friends. Sara, an eight year old girl who can, with something like mindcasting but not quite the same, make others view her as someone or something she is not. She's even had mild success convincing some of the younger, more foolish darklings that she is one of them. There's also Joseph, a fifteen year old acrobat who takes great pleasure in teasing Jonathon about being a younger, better flier.
He tells her of their adventures. He tells them about Melissa finally caving and going back to get Rex, but only when she senses Rex mourning – his father had died. She's gotten so good at sensing Rex that no distance can break her ability to taste him. Jess nods – so that was why she isn't here tonight.
"What about Dess?"
"Oh. Y'know how she kept whining about being a fifth wheel and all that?"
Jess snorts and rolls her eyes. "Uh huh."
"Well, she's not anymore."
Jessica stares for a minute, then bursts out laughing. "I knew she'd find somebody eventually. I knew it!"
Jonathon smiles, holding out his hand. "And for those of us who've already found somebody?"
She takes it, feeling her feet float up a few inches from the ground. "Those of us who are as lucky as that…" that mischievous, teasing look returns to her eyes, "…should go flying." And she kisses him, this sixteen year old girl in the arms of this thirty-five year old man, and they both push off the ground with their toes until they're flying high, far away from the ground, and farther away from doubts about what they can be.
"I love you," he whispers to her as she breaks the kiss to breathe.
"I love you, too," she replies, and she kisses him again, hard, as they float gently down.