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So much time had passed, Jessica hadn't even noticed. She and Jack met last year and, despite that one little 'disappearance', they'd been at each other's side ever since. At first as friends, but they grew closer and closer. A fun romp of two people who generally enjoyed each other's attention and company.

 

After Jack's graduation, Jessica snagged him as a roommate. Not that he had anywhere to go, but not that she would let him go. She just loved having Jack around. And awake. Like he was just doing now.

 

"Afternoon, sleepyhead," she said, kissing him on the cheek as he groaned into the land of the living. They took up most of the couch as she slept on top of him.

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Jack yawned loudly, as was normal for him. If there was one thing his inner animal enjoyed it was sleep. Most days it never seemed enough what he did manage to get, but he had been getting better sleep of late. 

 

It was an odd feeling to be out in the world. Things had definitely changed since June, even though it had only been a month...it felt like a lifetime ago. He still had little idea what he was going to do with himself now, aside from stopping villains and saving people...but that wasnt exactly a rare commodity in this town....

 

He returned the bright smile of his beautiful roommate who had seemingly fallen asleep on his rather large chest again. "Tis barely 1202, you make it sound as tho I sleep all day" he said with a thick chuckle.

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"But I enjoy breakfast, babe," she said faking contempt. She pulled up from her resting position with a yawn. Man, that was tiring, being rested. She slowly stood up looking at the trashed up living room. If it weren't for her lazy streak at the moment, she'd start cleaning. "But lunch is fine," she said pulling on a shirt. Modesty? Not really, but going out meant you had to be fully dressed, not just in your underwear.

 

She really didn't care for the food quality at this moment. Gluttony was not picky. Oh she had preferences. She remembered the burgers that brought the two together in the first place. Looking down at Jack she almost sat down on him. But then she'd have to find a reason to get back up. "Come on," she pleaded playfully, pulling at one of his arms.

Edited by Nightshade

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Jack yawned again and stood up, rubbing his eyes. "Da anything for you luv." He replied with a sleepy smile. He rummaged around for shorts and a muscle shirt, not bothering with socks or shoes. "Wat tis it you would like for lunch den?" He asked, his body mostly in auto pilot mode, and not yet fully woken up.

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As he dressed she walked back a second admiring her love. It was almost like the only person she could talk to these days was him. After he was done she held his arm again, this time stroking were one of his Shaman Tattoos. In the interim, They found out the meaning of the glowing part, and Envy had the best of her about it for the last part of a few weeks.

 

"Stacks is a good place," she mentioned her favorite 'meatarian' places. Like, everything was meat or meat-based. It was nominally a third meal, but if you knew someone who knew someone, you could get in early. "And," she looked up at him with a devious grin, "I've been wanting to shop around for, well... you know, visible ink?"

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"Mhmm stacks do be a good place, da." Jack felt his stomach rumble excitedly at the mention of food. He rubbed it gingerly with an absent smile, thinking of food. He looked down at Jess as she stroked his arm lovingly and the smile warmed for a moment, then faltered as his brain slowly processed what she had said. He pushed her away a lil so he could look her in the eyes. His voiced turned serious as he asked. "Vy vould you be vantin' to do dat luv?" He asked, his accent thickening with his intensity. He softened his tone and gave her a sincere smile, making a show of looking her up and down. "Trust me luv, ur skin and body are perfect jus vay they are."

 

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She knew this was coming. It wasn't like she hadn't heard it before. Wincing at his gruff and serious tone, she would never do this with anyone but him. She sighed with relief as his voice lightened. There was a moment of silence afterwords. She crossed her arms and looked away, left then right. The carnal spirits blaring in her soul to answer him in kind. Meeting his eyes again she did not smile, but her demeanor was somewhat happy. "You would," she said playfully with a little force.

 

She shook her head, "I mean, it is. But I've been thinking about it for a while. Ever since we knew you were magical. Well, more magical," She did not let on that it was pure Envy that planted the seed in her. "Like something we could share?" She shook her head again, this time more in 'defeat', "never mind. Forget about it." She did not. His words did weigh on her. But it would not go down that easy.

 

She finally did smile, "that's why I love you Jack. Muscle, accent, and a lot more wisdom that me." She took his hands and pulled him towards her, "let's go get some meat."

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Jack felt a stab to his heart as he heard the defeat in her tone. He hadn't meant to hurt her with his words, in fact he had wanted to cheer her up, but as usual his intentions produced the opposite result. It was the curse of being him it seemed.

 

He listened to her words but resisted her pull towards the door, instead sweeping her up into his arms and moving towards their couch. He sat with her in his lap and stroked her hair softly. "My apologies, luv...I did not mean to offend your pride." He said softly, almost a whisper in her ear. He should have known with her abilities that pride and envy would run close to the surface. He didnt always understand things, but eventually he figured it out. "I only mean to remind you that you be perfect to me already...and as far as tattoos, if that be your wish I will support it but..." he looked away for a moment, a bit of shame in his eyes. "The tattoos I bear...I as yet do not take pride in dem that you seem to. To me dey are reminder of lives lost both animal and family. I apologize if I seemed against the idea."

Edited by Jack

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The lift into his arms was met with a reflexive grab on to him. Not fear, excitement. As his hand went in her hair she calmed down a bit. It was something between him and her. Part Pride of herself, part actual love for Jack, it became an endearment. It was many things between them, but always personal.

 

As she listened to him, she heard what he was saying. The whole 'you're beautiful just the way you are' thing with him, she knew it was him talking. Did she believe it? Well, yes and no. It was Jack. He wasn't the type to lie. But she was self-conscious. That was enough for her.

 

Turning his head around so they could see eye to eye again she pressed her forehead against his, "you, your tattoos, anything you have. But mainly just you, are my pride. And joy. Nothing makes me happier than to make you happy. And hopefully the other way." They talked little of his family ever since things went down. She didn't know if it was a sore spot, but it seemed so. She held on to him for as long as she could.

 

And then her stomach growled. A light laugh escaped her. She stood up in front of Jack, "I suggest we talk about this on the way to eats. If we wait any further, I'm going to gorilla press you out of here." Not that she could even lift him that much. More like he would do it to her.

 

Their walk to Stacks was uneventful. Sure the regular summer tourists got picks of them, the 'faithful' gave her dirty looks. But none of that mattered to her. She was going to eat with the love of her life. That's all that mattered.

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They had drawn a fair crowd on their walk to the burger joint, but nothing that they were used to by this time. "What are you thinking? Couple big burger meals and shakes?" He asked with a grin as they stood in line. 

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Eh, Stacks could wait. This would be the pre-meal meal. Crossing her arms, Jessica leaned back on Jack's chest as she looked at the menu. "I mean, what else," she asked rhetorically, her tone carefree. She looked up at him with a smirk, "diet soda and salad," she said facetiously.

 

The line here was long and it was a scorching bright hot day outside. While she was acclimated to the heat due to her demon blood, others weren't so lucky. Jack wasn't the type either. Their winter romps were much more liberated. "You alright," she asked him with quiet concern.

 

While they waited in like others, still others weren't content as they were. The line was long and a couple of people were pushing through, causing grumbling in the masses. Until they got to Jessica and Jack.

 

"Excuse you," Jessica said turning around to greet the two interlopers.

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The two looming figures that had shoved themselves this far through the line wore deeply hooded sweatshirts despite the heat, the light of thee day not penetrating the hoods shadow enough to make out more than the roughest of features beneath.  A voice like the grinding of millstones rumbled out from one, "Too late witch blood."  the other circling slightly toward Jack.  Jessica could hear a ghostly howl erupt near the end of the line, a hellhound,  and where there was one there were bound to be more, "Come"  the other commanded.  The implication was clear, the invisible beast would be set loose on the crowd if the heroes didn't do as they were told or negate them somehow first.

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Jack felt his skin crawl as the figures loomed closer and immediately he put himself between Jess and the two hooded figures. He looked around at all of the people, most not even noticing the danger they were in. He turned his gaze upon the two figures. "Da, we can take this to better place..." he felt the animal within him awaken, the sheer resolve of his will the only thing restraining it from tearing through his flesh.

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What Jessica thought were just rude, impatient customers turned out to be more than she bargained for. The two words, 'witch blood', said with such contempt and audacity. Like, this fool knew her name and did not put enough respect on it to say it correctly. If this weren't an obvious crisis situation, she would have pulled out his tongue.

 

Jack stepping in between her and the unknown hoods was a smart decision. She stared daggers into her would be assailants, talking to her boyfriend, "thank you for saving their skin, dear." Whatever these two were up to irked her on multiple levels. She was not about to put innocent lives in danger either. So she took their directions and went with them, resisting the urge to do anything but follow.

 

Of course she was ready for whatever they had in mind. "Pain and woe beset up you if you even think of doing anything stupid," she taunted them quietly.

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The muscle took up position before and after the heroes bookending them just in case they got any ideas in their heads.  The large men moved with ploding steps that crunched against the ground with unnatural weight with each step.  They were silent and seemed otherwise inured to the threats sent their way.  They stopped at the opening of a narrow alley and pointed in unison into its shadowed depths.  "there witch blood."  one rumbled.  It was clearly some kind of trap but as far as Jessica knew the hell hound hadn't yet been called off yet.  Then again this was clearly more planned than a random encounter, the trap was certain to be thought out, though perhaps they hadn't accounted for her companion.

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