DISCLAIMER: I do not own
A/N: A huge thanks goes to my readers
Lester was jumpier than a timid deer prancing across a road of oncoming traffic. His nose had been truly knocked out of joint - he'd lost all sense of control. He was usually able to walk into the ARC with at least the knowledge that he was able to keep everything under thumb. Dull, boring, and under control - that's how he liked things.
Though he supposed he'd just have to go with dull and boring for now. He moaned in defeat at the sight of all the latest reports, and various bits and pieces of paperwork lay scattered upon his desk. His head throbbed as heavy reminder of the hangover that was still playing havoc with what little part of his mind wasn't intoxicated.
It was a true lesson for him to not drink so heavily again. You're not a teenager anymore James a tiny voice in the back of his mind said cynically.
He reluctantly made his way to his desk, sinking into his large black- leather office chair. He rested his head in his hand and let out a long berated sigh. Life was certainly being cruel to him of the late. It was bad enough to be falling into the traps of having a crush like a immature little schoolboy, but for him to actually face reality after a night of downing an extravagant amount of alcohol, well, it was just purely ghastly.
On top of that, the image of Jess's face when she'd woken up beside him was pestering him something chronic. She'd looked many things but the most obvious one was repulsed. Repulsed, terrified, and full of regret. These were all words that described her perfectly, and no wonder, he'd feel the exact same way if he'd been in her position. He wasn't exactly a pretty sight to lay eyes on first thing in the morning, nor was he the kind of person she deserved to wake up to. He was too old for this never-ending heartache. It'd crept up on him before he could even blink. One moment in time, and suddenly he was weighed under by all these feelings - feelings he wasn't sure of how to react to - feeling he didn't know how to put aside. He'd have to though - putting them aside and forgetting all about them would be best for both parties, if not for his own sanity, but for Jess's sake.
It was then that he heard three knocks on his door. His head pounded in protest as the sound reverberated through his brain, " Not now." He sighed, waving his hand in a gesture that he hoped would tell the person that was currently standing in his office doorway that he wasn't in the mood to talk. There was another three knocks - this time louder and more insistent, " I said not now!" He yelled, immediately regretting it as his whole world began to spin. Wincing, he raised his head, immediately meeting the ARC's field coordinator. He was stunned into silence, he was powerless to do anything but stare.
" Hi." She greeted him nervously, nibbling her lower lip.
" Morning Jess." He murmured, rubbing his pounding head.
" Lester I -" She started to speak but began to choke up.
" It's Ok." He said, grimacing, in emotional pain rather than physical. He didn't blame her for what had happened. He'd wanted it, craved it even.
" No, Lester, things are far than Ok." She told him firmly, striding into his office with a new burst of confidence.
" Aren't they?" He tried to sound sarcastic, cold, distant, he failed appallingly. He was crumbling, his hardened heart was melting, his tough exterior broken, and he was suddenly very much feeling his age. Old and alone. That was him. That would always be him.
" No." She shook her head and came to sit on the chair opposite him.
" I need to get something off my chest - I know you'll probably fire me for this - I know you'll think I'm stupid." She fidgeted, and glanced at him uncomfortably.
" I'd never think of you as stupid." He wanted to reach his hand out to her, to show how much he cared, but he managed to stop that impulse in it's tracks.
" I - really don't know where to start. I mean these things seem so much simpler in your mind, don't they?" She was turning a rosy pink, whilst staring at her hands.
" Go ahead." He spoke soothingly, trying to reassure her.
" Well - where do I begin? Do I start by telling you about all these feelings I have for you - or the fact that I quite enjoyed our kiss last night."
Lester froze. What? Were his ears deceiving him? Had he really just heard Jess say that she returned the feelings he had for her, and that she rather liked kissing him. He must have been speechless for longer that he'd thought as Jess was becoming more and more anxious looking by the minute.
" Please say something? Anything?" Jess begged him.
He frowned, sighed, and rubbed his temple in thought, " I'm old enough to be your father." He stated.
Jess hung her head in shame, " I know. I get that it's wrong, and that I shouldn't - like you. But I do, and a very good friend of mine told me that I should tell you."
Lester stood to his feet, " Sometimes things that are seen as wrong through the eyes of others are the right thing. " He brushed a finger under her chin and swallowed as he looked into her eyes, her beautifully youthful eyes, " I want you to know that I don't think of you any less than I did before we kissed - and that I quite enjoyed that kiss too." His heart was beating out of control, his nerves shattered, his strength, and will to stop his emotions from boiling to his surface weakening.
" You did?" She asked him in surprise.
" How could I have not? Any man would be lucky to have you Miss Parker - I'm just saddened that I'm not a couple of years younger." He wanted nothing more than to hold her in that moment. She was shaking, on the verge of a breakdown.
" I don't care about how old you are, or the age gap, I care about you!" She exclaimed, distraught, tears sprinkling in her eyes.
" Don't cry." He wasn't quite sure when his arms had looped around her, but for now he really doesn't care. Jessica Parker is crying, and he's the reason for her upset. This was something he would have to fix. Trembling, she looked up at him, sniffled, and tried her best to smile. It was a very feeble attempt indeed. He stroked his thumb down her cheek, trailing the now apparent tear marks on her face, " That's better." She was still shaking but not to such a great extent.
" I think I might just love you." She choked.
" And I Jessica Parker love you, but I'm afraid, this, it just can't happen. I'm sorry."
It was a sad truth, a truth that hurt, a truth that he guessed he'd just have to live with.
" I know." She whispered sorrowfully, " I know. "
MWHHA Am I evil or what? Don't worry there will be a sequel to this … once I've finished my other fan fictions. This isn't the last page of Jess's and Lester's love story.
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