Love & Fame |closed|
It had been a long time since Jessica Barkman had met a match of wits. Life truly has changed since her graduation at Hogwarts and the loss of her boyfriend due to a large amount of distance. Who would have known that the vast amount of distance wasn't something that was on purpose. The scream fight between the former reporter and the Quidditch star Jake Alki revealed a lot about their past relationship. Basically, it brought to Jessica's fogged mind how much she missed him and apparently, how much he missed her. He claimed to be sending her letters when they were apart but she never got them. She was also writing letters and keeping copies of them. This, of course, wasn't brought to his attention until she dropped the box full of letters onto her coffee table in her small apartment. But that was just a few weeks ago.
The bus ride to the Quidditch Pitch where they agreed to meet was very uncomfortable. Gripping onto the bar handle as she stood in the middle of the crowded double decker bus, she closed her green eyes and took in a deep breath. She would be with Jake, she would be safe. Her fear of heights and lack of control brooms shouldn't be something that caused this much fear in her. Was it the fear of heights? Her lack of control? The falling? Or is it just the end result of landing? Something along those lines but she did lose their small game of pool and instead of trying to talk him into making the game a 'best out of three' she had to live with the fact that she lost. Man, if only she had made that last shot; he could have just bought her dinner. If you’re not afraid of calories, that would have been much less scary than the idea of flying. The only thing that Jessica could do was remind her that she would be safe; she would be with Jake.
Climbing off at the proper stop, she found herself wishing she had owned a car. But that wasn't something that could be fixed at the moment, instead she had to just put in other applications and resumes to different newspapers in hopes that they will hire her. Aurora, Jake's crazy ex-girlfriend and daughter to the owner of the team Jake played for, cost Jessica her former job due to the fact that Jake and her were back in touch. The fear of losing Jake to his former girlfriend and newly revived best friend was something she couldn't bare. In hopes of destroying their friendship, Aurora took it upon herself to take every step needed to make Jessica look like a bad guy. Mouthing off to her and even slapping Jessica hard enough to leave a hand print upon her face; she got the reaction from Jessica she was hoping, violence. The little blonde girl was never one for fighting, in fact in their time at Hogwarts, it was Jessica, the Gryffindor, getting in the way of Jake, the Slytherin, and preventing him from fighting by talking down his aggressive side. Yes, surprisingly enough he listened. And more so, he made her his girlfriend. But that... that's in the past. When Jessica gave up hope on Jake ever returning into her life, she began to start fending for herself. Finding ways to grow into the woman that was now walking up the pathway to the stadium; from working out to karate, the young lady became a woman and wasn't afraid to put her foot down. Especially when one of his teammates asked her out on a date; it was supposed to be fun until he tried to touch her in uncomfortable places. The situation, and date, ended with her smacking his head against the pool table and throwing him to the floor. A rough way for such a big Quidditch star to go down wouldn't you say?
Arriving at the field wasn't at scary as she had thought. It was normal for the gates to be open and vandalism didn't dare show up around the Pitch because too many people would be mad, with that freedom Jessica wondered inside. Sliding her hands into the pockets of her dark green jacket, she let out a long sigh still shaking inside. Half of her was sure it was from the fear of flying again and the other half; well it didn't know what it was scared of. Jake and her had spent a lot of time together and he even saw her in a drunken state that she was very embarrassed about. But that didn't stop him from wanting to hang out with her. Her sneakers brushed against the clean dry grass as her stroll took her out onto the field. Zipping up the jacket to protect her body from the light breeze she let out a long sigh. The memory of saving Jake from his fall was very strong and even more so was her small fist curled into a ball and impacting against that snooty rich girl's face. The Muggleborn VS the Pureblood, it was Hogwarts all over again and just when she thought she could escape the drama, it was back in her life. Jessica worked hard for the small one bedroom apartment she lived in; and Aurora had never worked a day in her life. That woman's definition of 'work' is carrying her own bags to her car from shopping.
Jessica's face scrunched together in thought as she shook her head. Aurora wasn't good for Jake, simple as that. It's too bad it took the women going at each other like angry cats for him to see that but it was enough. The battle raged inside of her head weather she should feel bad for punching the woman in the face and knocking her out. One part of her felt bad; Jessica had the strength over the skinny brunette due to working out and her physical karate training but, at the same time; the woman did slap Jessica so hard in the face that she stumbled and it left a red handprint against her cheek. Was it fair to return that favor with one of her own? A black eye and a possible concussion? Maybe, maybe not. It couldn't be at bad considering Jake and her went out for drinks and playing pool. It would also be the pot calling the kettle black; Jake had a streak of being a rough person. Finding fights and going for them throughout Hogwarts until he met Jessica who could calm his ever flaring temper. Even now he still had that side of him, but it wasn't as bad as it used to be. Plus there was a lovely photo floating around from the press that night of her date with his teammate of Jake punching the teammate in the face. Whether she could believe it or couldn't. He did still care about her.
A knot formed in her stomach as she turned around, starting back towards where she came from. What kind of 'caring' was it? Did he care about her as a friend? Or were there still feelings and emotions of love there. They had been apart seven years before coming back together. Could he still have feelings for her like her repressed feelings for him? These feelings were scaring her. Scaring her to the point that her walk picked up into a run. Maybe she could hide out in her little one bedroom apartment. Sure, he knew where she lived but maybe she could convince him to do a picnic on the roof of her apartment building. They’d be up high but she wouldn’t have to feel like she could lose control of the broom.
Running, running running. Soon she made it out the gate and to the parking area. Her run came to a halt as she held up her hand, blocking the oncoming headlights from blinding her. Fortunately, she knew whose headlights they were, unfortunately they were here to prevent her from doing her escape plan. As the car turned off and the light’s disappeared, she watched the built figure rise out of the drive’s side opened door and she gave a little wave. “Hi Jake…” She said softly sliding her hands into the pockets of her blue jeans. Oh this was going to be a scary night for her.
To say the last few weeks was unexpected, was an understatement to say the least. One moment, Jake Alki focused on nothing else besides the game of Quidditch then the next moment, everything in his life changed drastically. Who would have thought after all those years that the one person he never expected to see again, would be the one to walk into his life after a Quidditch game? It was in that moment, that everything was going to be different. Of course he was surprised, but also he was confused and it would be a lie if he said he didn’t feel a little angry and upset. Jessica was someone in his life that pretty much affected his life more than anyone he’s met before. She changed him, and for the better. They dated, fell in love, graduated from Hogwarts, and after graduation when he went on a summer vacation with his family, they promised to write each other. That’s when everything went downhill. No letter, nothing. Not a single word from her. Not one letter that she promised to write him, so that they could keep in touch while he was away. He wrote to her, every week, which turned to every month and soon he gave up with one final letter after that year ended and ever since then he had to learn to move on.
Moving on. People always said that step was the hardest to do and he wasn’t going to lie; it was hard. He was angry and confused to why she didn’t have the audacity to at least tell him that she wanted to end things rather than just left things ignored. It shocked him, as he never expected for her to be like that. So instead of spending days after days wondering what went wrong, he put all his time in effort to the one thing that never let him down; Quidditch. He’d spend endless hours working out, building his strength and speed. Once he was on the Quidditch team, he made sure that he took his anger out during the game and would win games for them. Dating was the last thing on his mind; there was no rush, if it happened it happened. Eventually it did, with the team owner’s daughter. Who knew? He met Aurora, and they hit it off. His parents liked her, and her parents liked him; isn’t that good enough? As much as he did like Aurora, there was just something that was off but he figured that it was probably just him. Dating Aurora did help him out in Quidditch and they began dating for a while. Soon enough, an engagement followed as both families celebrated. Just like that, his life seemed to be all figured out.
What he didn’t expect was to see the last person he’d ever expect to see show up years later, reporting at one of his Quidditch matches. Heated words were exchanged between them cryptically during the press conference and in that moment he learned that she evidently did write letters, but never received his. So how in the world did neither of them get one another’s letter? None of it made sense to why neither of them ever got a single letter from each other. They both had made sure a few times that the addresses were correct so that could not have been the problem. Whatever happened to those letters, broke their relationship up. The worst part of it all; neither of them expected it or wanted it to happen that way. Now there's nothing they can do about the past. Even when trying to figure it all out, nothing came to mind that would help him figure out what happened to those letters. It was clear she wrote those letters to him, as she had copies of them stored away..which meant something on his end forced him to not receive those letters. But what was it?
Jake had been driving from his home over towards the pitch that was only a few minutes away. There was so much on his mind, in fact it’s been on his mind for a while and it never went away. He’s actually looking forward to flying with Jessica up and around the pitch. Maybe it was a little cruel of him to make the bet to something she was afraid of, but he wanted her to experience something that made him happy whenever he was flying. The pitch was empty around this time anyways, practices usually ran earlier in the day and people didn’t like to stay later than needed as they had their own lives to life. Now they had the pitch all to their selves where they can enjoy themselves without having people watching them at all times or having the press photograph every little thing that happens. Lately, his track record with the press were not good at all. From helping Jessica out when she was drunk, to fights with his teammates, to public breakups with Aurora, his publicist was definitely not going to be happy with him.
Things just seemed to fall right for them, as their friendship seemed to have never disappeared. Being around her, his life just seemed right again. Although they did have to go through a feel hits here and there, a break up and employment issues, they seemed to be going through that together. If there was something he would change, it was how he broke up with Aurora. Even he knew that it wasn’t smart to do something like that out in the public, when there were other people around. Especially since he was a Quidditch player that was well loved in the community. But, he did not regret breaking things off with Aurora. Solely the reason being the person Aurora turned out to be. Getting someone fired from their job over stupid reasons, who does that? So far, he’s avoided both parents as he knew what was coming to him was not going to be good; especially her father. If he loses his spot on the team for something that happened in his personal life, it would seriously kill him. The scary part is that Aurora would do something to try and make it happen and that’s what terrified him the most.
Moments later, Jake pulled his car into the parking lot of the Quidditch pitch where he was meeting Jessica. The Quidditch pitch, also known as his sanctuary. It was in the moment he was prepared to park when he saw Jessica in front of him. After turning off his lights and parking his car, he got out and grabbed his bag and broom out of the backseat. He smiled at her greeting, “Ms. Barkman, I believe you’re walking in the wrong direction,” he said, noticing that she was actually walking away from the Quidditch pitch. “Not backing away on a bet are you?” he asked as he pressed the alarm lock on his car and headed over to where she was standing. He put his hand on her shoulder and turned her towards the direction back towards the pitch before walking next to her. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine I promise,” his voice promising.
Their pool match had been pretty intense. It came down to the eight ball and if she made her shot, she would have won. Lucky for him that he ended up winning the game, hence their reason for being here. He knew that she had a fear of flying, but he wanted her to experience it again and to overcome it. Besides, he was there to make sure everything went smoothly. He'd be there to catch her, just like she helped him when he almost fell to the hard ground. She practically saved his career in Quidditch. Jake stood next to her as they continued to make their way into the pitch, he stayed close so she wouldn't make a run for it. He could sense she wasn't excited for this at all, more-so she was nervous and a little terrified. He was glad that there was only a light breeze so it wouldn't affect them while they were up in the air. Once they got to the equipment room, he grabbed another broom so that they could both fly at the same time. "You ready for this?" he asked her with a grin as he headed over towards the field.
Foiled! He just had to pull up in time to stop her from making a run for it. A glare moved across her face as she watched him walk towards in her a nonchalant manor; reminding her of the simple fact that she lost the bet. Oh man he was just having fun with this wasn’t he!? The hand on her shoulder turned her back around and led her back towards her place of death… meaning the Quidditch Pitch. “Of course now. Just going out for a stroll before I face my fears head on.” She said in a playful tone as her hands shook in the pockets of her jeans. Man, all she would have done was made him buy her dinner; not face his worst fear of all. Lovely, just bloody lovely.
A small smile crept across her face as he said she would be fine. Every time he said that she would always be okay in one way or another. Even last time they went flying together, a crazy fan girl bewitched her broom and caused her to fall, in the fall she feared she would hit the ground with a splat but he caught her in the air. It was that moment when they realized it was more than just a friendship they were in for and they began dating. Since then, she never questioned whether she would be okay or not in Jake’s hands. He had never led her astray before, why would this time make any difference? Even with the rocky road they had back to their friendship, it was still there and still strong. That much was certain.
Following his directional lead, they arrived at the storage closest where he grabbed not one, but two brooms. Oh Merlin, she had to fly by herself too. A small shiver shook her body as she followed in step with him to the pitch. “Ready?” She repeated with a nervous laugh in her voice. “No, but the sooner we get this over with the sooner we can play another game and I won’t have to do this again.” She said with a nod as he tossed her the broom. The connection between her and the broom became apparent as the surge of magic pulsated from her and into the piece of wood. The promise of magic and the ability of flight echoed through her body as she gripped it. A shiver went through her, it had been a long time since she had touched a broom and it felt like the first time in flying class.
Her first day of flying class was intense at Hogwarts. In fact, the muggleborn in her seemed to adapt well to the idea of flying. When she stuck her hand over the broom and said ‘Up’, it jumped into her hand as if it was excited to get into flight. The fear of heights really got to her as she got up to the height higher than six feet. She leaned over the broom and gripped onto it for dear life. In fact she started to sob uncomfortably and had to be talked down by the head of Gryffindor in order to make it down to the ground in some sound mind. Now, here years later, she was face to face with her fear of flying again. But it was okay, just like last time, she was with Jake and Jake took care of her. Her only hope was that she could have as much faith in him to keep her safe as she had before.
Swallowing the lump on her throat she sung her leg over the room and locked her ankles together as the broom balanced perfectly at the level of her knees as she brought her legs up off the ground. A small weak smile moved across her full lips as she looked at Jake. “Good enough?” She asked in desperation. Oh how she wanted to NOT do this and yet… he was going to make her do it. Her worst fear returning to her as she felt her broom rise further off the ground.
There is no better feeling than the feeling of being high up in the air on nothing more than a broom. It’s the feeling of the wind and elevation that makes it so exciting for Jake. The sound of the crowd cheering him on kicks his adrenaline even higher, and there’s nothing more that he wants than to win the game for the home team crowd. Flying gave him that sense of freedom, that sense of calmness, and that’s why he loved it so much. If you were to look for him, he’d probably be here after hours just flying. Jake usually was the last one down on the ground after games and practices; he loved it so much that it felt better than being on two feet at the ground. Back in school from the very first day, he was a natural at it. Instantly the broom flew up to his hand and since then everything just clicked for him. It was one of the classes that he was most excited to attend. Most students were terrified of the thought of flying, but he remembered how excited he was to even look at the broom. Of course he passed it with flying colors, and to this day he excelled in it every time he was on one of the brooms.
Before he was going to fly up in the air himself, he wanted to make sure that she wouldn’t chicken out. That she wouldn’t try to make another run for it again so that she didn’t have to fly. He found it rather amusing at how she was trying to avoid it as much as she could. Looking over at her, he could see how much she was NOT liking this one bit. True to her words and keeping the bet, he watched her hover over the ground, “Keep going,” he said. Slowly but surely, she rose above the ground; just a little but better than nothing. Okay, maybe he was a bit cruel at making her do this; something she was terrified of but if it wasn’t for how confident he was at making sure she’d be fine, he wouldn’t have asked her to fly. He had a smile on his face as he watched her slow movement on the broom; he had to admit it was a bit entertaining. "You're doing perfectly fine," he voice showing support.
Watching her, he was hit with a flashback to the old days when they were in school together. The day the two of them were out on the pitch, flying and enjoying themselves until Jessica’s broom went out of control due to someone hexing it. Luckily for them, Jake was able to prevent anything bad to happen to her before she hit the ground. It was a scary moment for them, but it was also something that brought them closer together. He believed everything happened for a reason and there was a reason for them to meet. Except he did like to avoid remembering how he tried hitting on her the first time and she rejected him, which was something to laugh about. He smiled to himself at the thought of that, realizing how long ago that was. Oh how things have changed since then.
Aside from right now, the other things in his life were hectic. Soon, if not yet, his parents would be calling him once they find out that he ended things with Aurora. It would then follow with an earful about how he shouldn’t have ended things and how he should be thinking about his career and his life. Right after that, they’d tell him to go fix things before it’s too late. His parents were pretty predictable when it came to these things. They were always too worried about how other people would perceive their family so they all had to be on their best behaviors. The last thing he was looking forward to was the team owner finding out what happened. That was a scary thought to think about. So right now, spending time with Jessica doing the thing he loved the most, really cleared his head and relaxed him a bit. It helped him forget about all the drama that he had to put behind him. Aurora could say all she wanted about him, it was not going to stop him from playing Quidditch. No way.
Maybe if he flew up first, she’d be more comfortable so that he wasn’t watching her the entire time. He placed his hand over the broom and automatically it flew up into his hand before he got onto it and quickly burst up. It was like he was a whole other person when he was on this broom. His confidence just oozed out whenever he would be on a broom. “It’s not that bad,” he said as he flashed her a grin. Maybe he was showing off a bit, but who wouldn’t? He’s a natural to this thing. He stayed hovered up in the air above her, waiting to see if she’d fly up as high as he would. “Come up to me,” his voice a little daring, seeing if she would actually fly up higher or if he’d have to come down there himself and fly her up.
Jake's confidence was comforting a bit as she slowly rose up a bit higher. She did past the six foot mark considering she was now above Jake's head. Boy he had gotten taller since their years together at Hogwarts. That was something she wasn't expecting. Than again she was five foot seven so a decent height for a woman, enough to be taller than some girls but not too awkwardly tall to try to date men if they were around her height. Dating, ha. That had become a joke to her now. Before she went on a date with Robert Henderson, Jake's teammate, she had gone out with one other man who tried the same things that Robert did, touching her in unwanted placing, making advanced moves way to soon and he ended up in the same position. Face first into a pool table. Why this was so common was unknown to her but you'd think a simple game of pool would be something less inviting to touch where one shouldn't touch. Unless, Jessica was making it obvious that it was okay to touch. But with Robert and Arron, that was a different story. There was no invite, they just assumed and it had them introduced to the pool table and, in Arron's face, a broken nose.
"I swear Jake if this kills me I'm going to haunt you for the rest of your life!" She said in a playful yet threatening tone. Not taking the situation lightly she gripped tighter onto the broomstick as it rose up more. Feeling a bit more confident, she rose up on the broom. By the time she got herself upright she let out a small cough. "Okay... this isn't so bad." The magic moved through her hands in an intense fashion. Like electricity running through a copper wire; it felt intense, like she was meant to be on a broom like all witches and wizards were.
Her confidence was dwindled, however when Jake got on his broom and took off into the air with grace and speed. His cheeky cockeyed grin from above her annoyed her and intranced her at the same time. How he still had her on the end of his finger was beyond her. Most women who made googly eyes are him were looking at his fame, his money or his good looks. But Jessica knew where he came from. Cheating on girls and flirting left and right. Getting grades barely able to pass because he was so focused on everything but school and taking the risk of getting kicked off the Quidditch team due to failing grades. Than they met. The flirting didn't last very long before Jessica seemed to brush it off to the point of no return. Then the bonding between the pureblood Slytherin and the muggleborn Gryffindor began. She helped him with school work and he helped introduce her to a social life and the ability to just, well relax.
A long defeated sigh left her as she tilted the broom upwards and slowly crept up. "Okay, steady, steady..." She said softly before stopping, realizing that she was in fact talking to a piece of wood. How far the intelligent girl has fallen, when you put her on the broomstick, a commonly used tool of the magical world, and she suddenly becomes an idiot. Internally she pushed the broom forward only to have it pick up speed and rise in height. Her knuckles turned white at the intense feeling. It was getting somewhat more comfortable to deal with but she still had the fear of... well falling. Her broom jerked once again as she willed it to go foward more and after pulling it in a sharp turn she looked down to realize that she was now about three feet above Jake, well above her own personal record.
"I've beat my own record." She tried to say in a sense of pride, though there was some obvious fear behind her voice. "Now I'm higher than you, are we done?" Her green eyes narrowed playfully down at him. "You're so mean Alki; all I wanted a dinner and you make me face my worst fear. Craignez-vous la nourriture Jake?" Ah their secret language of French. She couldn't help but wonder if he remembered just how many times when they were first hanging out and he didn't want to admit being soft of a Gryffindor girl, much less a muggleborn, that he would apologize to her in French and make quick arrangements to meet somewhere later. Jessica willfully played that game for a long time and soon enough, he got sick of playing the game himself. Maybe his worst fear was food, who knows because he never knew what she would have him do when she won. Ha wouldn't that be ironic.
The sound of her speaking French instantly brought back so many memories from back in the day when they were in school. It was like their little secret language when they were together. It was something that the two of them shared with each other and loved to talk to each other in that language. He hadn’t spoke French in so long, the only time he did was when he was on vacation in Paris with his family. Other than that, it’s been avoided. “Nourriture n'est pas un bon moment, c'est un bon moment” it rolled off his tongue with ease as he smiled at her. Jake was never the kind of guy who took the “safe route”, he was a risk taker and adventurous. Dinner would have been too simple and he wasn’t a simple guy nor was he ever. That was one thing that never changed about him.
Jessica did affect his life in a way he never thought was possible. She changed him and for the better too. His friends might not have liked the “new Jake”, but he didn’t care. It was no secret that he had a reputation for being a bad boy in school and back then he didn’t care what people said about him; not that he cared now either but in school whenever someone would say something about him it would always end up with him in the headmaster’s office. Then she came along and it was like he was his reality check. People in the real world would not care of his reputation or would care that he was the big man on campus. If he wanted to make taken seriously or even play quidditch in his future, he’d have to get his schoolwork together. That’s why they became best friend and that alone was enough for him. It was just another blessing that they ended up dating. Now here they were, fixing the friendship that was once lost and to be honest he didn’t want to lose their friendship again.
While up in the air, watching her attempt to fly higher, he couldn’t help but smile at her holding back a bit but it was a natural reaction for her to do so. He could see how concentrated she was to make sure falling wasn’t even an option. “See? It’s not that bad!” he said out to her as he slowly with ease hovered up in the air around the area he was waiting for her. It took a little bit, but she eventually got off the ground and that was impressive enough for him at the moment. Though he wasn’t going to stop their flying session now. It was one thing to fly up in the air, it was another to actually move through the air.
He had to admit, he was impressed with her. A part of him expected her to quit, maybe not even show up at all. Maybe even make up an excuse to why she wouldn’t be able to make it today. But instead she showed up, and she was ready to get on the broom. A good sport she was. As cruel as it was, he wanted to see her overcome her fear of flying, since he knew since they were back in school that she had a fear of flying. He didn’t blame her for being afraid of flying; it was a scary thing to do especially since there’s a chance that you’re able to fall. He was well trained enough to not fall unless being hit off of one, but that was him; he had plenty of time to practice. But Jessica? Well she looked like it was her first time every flying in her life. She wasn’t terrible, but it did seem like she’s never gotten on one before. That’s why he was enjoying every second of it as cruel as it did seem that he was still making her fly at this point when it was clear she wanted to get down.
Once she got somewhat higher than him, he chuckled at her question. “Not even close,” he said, shaking his head. “We’re just getting started of course,” he said with a confident smile. He was enjoying this a little too much for his own good. Jake started to move around in different angles, even upside down and whatnot as he moved around her. Oh that cocky side of him that never left him since he could remember. “You know, we could have avoided this all if you would have just won the pool match,” he jokingly taunted. He flew so that his broom was parallel to where she had been stationed. He leaned over slightly so that he was as close as he could get, “I plan on enjoying every little second,” he said in a light voice before grinning and flying off before turning his broom so that he was facing her. “Now, we’re going to go fast,” he said, that confident smile not leaving his face. "Consistency will keep you on the broom, don't let your fear take over your mind, relax and you'll be fine," he promised.
For once he was actually really smiling. Not the kind of smile someone would do if something is funny or just to be kind, but the real kind of smile where he was actually having a good time. That he was happy with where he was at and who he was with. He was enjoying himself and not giving a care in the world what was going on outside of the field. It was that carefree smile that was rare to see. She brought that out in him, even if he wasn’t aware of it. Everything about them flying right now felt like old times when they were in school and had no care in the world. Except now they had the real world, and the real world was not kind to him right now. He couldn't let that bother him right now, not when he was having fun with his friend. He was aware of all the trouble that was going to come eventually, but that could wait.
You’d think after all this time, Jessica would know better than to taunt Jake about things. Especially when those ‘things’ have anything to do with Quidditch or flying. Being the pureblood that he was, he grew up with the sport. Loving every second of it and watching it whenever he could. Hell with the status of his parents, he probably went to every game of his favorite team. While Jessica grew up in a muggle household. Before her and her three brothers discovered they were magical people, they would throw a baseball around, kick the football into goals and even play golf. There were a small bit of similarities between Quidditch and muggle sports, except the fact that Quidditch involved heights.
When she got her letter, around the same time that her brother middle brother did, she wasn’t sure how she should react. Should she be happy that she had a gift that seemed to be a rarity? Or should she be scared that she has abilities that others didn’t. She couldn’t explain to her muggle friends that she was going to a school for people who could do magic. They’d think she was insane; plus she was told she shouldn’t tell people anyway. Now her eldest brother was married, her bother near her age was engaged and her youngest one was dating a girl and considering proposing. Then there was her, she had a feeble dream that she and Jake would get married, despite the hatred they encountered throughout Hogwarts. Her dreams were crushed due to the lack of communication and upon her return to the magical world to work for the paper, she found out he was engaged.
Now an aunt to two little children, a boy and a girl, she wished to be married and have her own with the one she loved. It’s too bad that the one she loved didn’t love her anymore. The fear of returning to the Magical world and finding out that Jake had moved on kept her from returning for quite a while. But she missed the world and using magic so she returned taking even with risk of heartache. Jake aside, she was glad to be back. Now she just had to find a new job thanks to his ex-fiancé.
Not even close. For the love of Merlin this was insane. Her green eyes went wide at the statement of ‘just getting started’. “You are so cruel.” She stated with a nod, though there was enough playfulness in her voice to express that she was joking as he proceeded to show off in front of her. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be a bit of a show off but it felt like he was doing it for her amusement. An eyebrow quirked upward towards him as her lips pushed together as she watched him, “I’ll keep that in mind, that’s the last time I let you distract me at a game of pool. When we’re done here you owe me another game. If you’re not sick of me by then.” She responded playfully as he flew next to her closing the gap between them.
Her small body shivered on the broom, she wanted to blame it on fear but she couldn’t. It was Jake; he still had that pull, that incredible pull of temptation and passion. That reminder that they once had something irreplaceable and unremarkable; at least that’s how she felt when his hot breath hit her ear. The feeling was unfair; not just the flying but the fact that he still had her emotions on a string and could pull it in whatever direction he felt. Between that and the real smile she was seeing on his face; that smile that really only showed itself when he was completely relaxed and at ease with the world, he had quite a pull on her. Her bottom lip curled under and she bit onto it as he zoomed away from her and turned sharply with ease to face her again.
Oh yay… a race of some kind. “Great, yes, wonderful. Take your inexperienced friend up for a flight than tell her,” Her voice changed to the best of her abilities to mock his, “Let’s make you go fast on the death trap also known as a broom.” Shaking her head rather intensely, she stopped tilting it to one side. “You have a goal to kill me, I’m sure you do.” She said with a laugh. Taking in a deep breath, she felt her body relax and the electricity moved through her fingers into the broom. Brow pushing together in thought she took in one more deep breath and leaned forward.
ZOOM Her broom, along with her took off leaving a gust of wind behind her. It wasn’t until she was half way across the field before she pulled herself up and the broom came to a smooth clean stop. Eyes wide in shock and mouth dropped she sat completely upright and slowly loosened her grip on the handle in front of her. “I DID IT!” She shouted her voice filled with more excitement than she had expected. Her heart was pounding and her blonde hair was wild due to the amount of wind that just threw it back.
Looking over her shoulder back at Jake, before he could move she pulled the broom to the right and leaned forward again. ZOOM she flew back to him pulling the broom to a stop to come parallel with him. Once she was she sat back up and let out a long breath. “Well,” She said feeling rather proud of herself, even a little arrogant. “I guess you’re not the only one with a talent.”
A small laugh left her before her face dropped slightly. “So, I have a question…” With that she gave a nod before she continued. “I saw a photo of you floating around at the paper when I went to work the next day after my date with Robert. It was a picture of you punching him in the face.” With that she turned her attention back to him, locking those green eyes into his brown and raising an eyebrow. “I couldn’t help but notice it was in the same bar that he and I had our date and he was in the same clothing as when we had gone out. Can you explain what that was about?”
The last time Jake felt this relax was before he was a well-known Quidditch player. Don’t get him wrong; he loved everything about playing Quidditch and all the things that came with it. Whether it was bad or good, either way it wasn’t going to stop him from doing what he loved the most. Around the time he first started, during his breakout season, things were great with the public and the team in general. However, the moment he started dating Aurora, things changed big time. The press seemed much more interested in him since she’s the daughter of the team owner. When they got engaged, things just spiraled out of control. Many news outlets wanted exclusive interviews or wanted to take pictures of them like they were some power couple. Aurora of course, was open to anything. If someone wanted an interview with her, she was willing to do so. He let her deal with all of that while he focused on playing the game. Sometimes he wondered if Aurora really did love him or she loved everything about their relationship but not the person in it.
Who would have thought Jake Alki; the former bad boy, would be engaged one day? Certainly that thought never crossed his mind before he met Jessica. In fact, he always told himself when he grows up, marriage was never going to happen. Settling down was never in the picture for him. Everyone believed that it was a lost cause for Jake to ever be tied down; as if that thought itself was the funniest thing in the world. Even he thought it was a funny thought whenever someone would ask him if there would ever be anyone special enough to change his mind. Now fast-forward to many years later; engaged and nearly married until he ended things with his fiancée. If he was being honest, Aurora wasn’t the person he thought he’d end up being engaged to. Instead he thought the girl he’d end up with was the girl that stood in front of him, concentrating on not falling off the broom.
That was in the past though; he couldn’t change anything about how things turned out. It happened and there was nothing they could do about it. It was unfortunate that neither of them planned for the way things ended, as it wasn’t their fault. All that mattered was that she was a part of his life again as his friend, since he was sure he was going to need it soon especially when this entire media was going to go frenzy after finding out his relationship with Aurora ended. Suddenly all of it seemed a bit uneasy. Jake was used to the press in his business all the time, but knowing that Aurora could make up anything was the uneasy part. This was not going to be fun whatsoever. Knowing Aurora, she’d find a way to make Jessica involved and the last thing he wanted was for her to be involved. Not in his mess. It was going to be a big need for damage control.
The moment her broom took off in a quick speed, a surprised look appeared on his face. At first he assumed it wasn’t in the plan for her to actually go that fast, but when he looked at her when she stopped there was a big smile on her face. An accomplished smile. He grinned at her, seeing that the look of fear was now disappeared from her face and replaced with a smile, “You did do it, all on your own too,” he said, removing his hands from the broom and clapping for her. That was definitely a proud moment; to see her overcome her fear. He watched her continue to fly around, with that same quick speed she had earlier. He knew she could do it; she just had to believe in herself first before she could actually think she could do it. He sat back and watched her fly all on her own quickly around the pitch. As she made her way over to him, he watched her carefully. He saw the change in emotions with her. One minute there were nerves and fear in her eyes, now it was replaced with excitement. “You did a good job!” he said, still smiling at her once she made her way next to him.
What she asked him wasn’t expected. A part of him forgot about that until she brought it up; he actually wished it were never going to be brought up. But everyone reads the papers and lately he’s been front page of the sports sections. Not in a good way either. He fiddled with the handle of the broom as he wondered how to answer this question without seeming like a creepy stalker or something. He shrugged his shoulders slightly, not really knowing how to answer the question. If he lied about it, she’d see right through his lie. She was one of the few people that knew when he was lying most of the time. Jake was a good liar, for someone to figure him out, that took a lot. “Robert and I were in the locker room after practice that day and he told me he had a date, and when he told me it was with you,” he paused for a second, keeping his eyes on the broom handle in front of him for a moment, “I don’t know, I guess I wanted to make sure he wasn’t up to something. Robert is an asshole, as you figured out and I didn’t want him to hurt you. I know exactly the kind of guy Robert is and I know exactly what his intentions were any time he goes on a date with anyone, so I went to the bar.” Now he was looking at her with a faint smile on his face, “but I saw that you clearly can hold your own and handle him yourself,” he said with a small chuckle, remembering exactly how it all went down when Jessica put him in his place. He had been ready to walk over and punch Robert himself but when he saw Jessica handling herself he sat back until she left. “I told Robert before that if he hurt you, I was going to punch him in the face. So after you left I walked up to him and decked him in the face.”
A part of him was glad that he was right about Robert and that it didn’t go further than that night, but another part of him felt bad for actually going to the bar to make sure something didn’t happen. Being a stalker was not his intentions, but to just make sure Robert didn’t try any funny business. Jake didn't want her thinking that it would be something that would happen again in the future where he'd go on another one of her dates. As long as it wasn't with his teammates, but even the thought alone of her going on a date didn't make him feel that good for some reason. He was sure that he and Robert would not be friends, not like they were good friends in the first place. Just teammates working together. Part of him wished he hadn’t dealt with it in public like that knowing who was watching and how it would end up in the papers. His publicist was extremely pissed off at him for doing something stupid and now he had to figure out how to fix his image with the papers. All they thought now was that he had some sort of anger problem.
That was all the truth. If it had been someone else, he might have punched them too if they tried something like that. But with Robert, Jake knew what kind of guy he was and knew that eventually some time in the night he tried to pull something on her. There was no question that Jake would have hesitated. Even as Jake told Robert to not go on the date, Robert ignored him anyways and knew that he’d have to deal with Jake if anything went wrong. He didn’t tell Robert who Jessica was to him, as he didn’t see the point of it but before anything else Jake was her friend and he was protective of his friends. “I told him it wasn’t a good idea for him to go on a date with you- I know, it’s not in my place to say who you should or shouldn’t go on a date with- but I know he wasn’t good enough for you.” She deserved better than Robert, but would he ever think someone was good enough for her?
Spending as much time with Jake as she did throughout Hogwarts, she knew when he was lying. She had watched him a dozen times lie. Lying to his friends, fan-girls and even professors. But he wouldn’t lie to her. It was nice that he trusted her enough to know that she would be able to accept the truth. Watching his face as he spoke was enough of a queue that he wasn’t lying to her. It was good to know that he continued to tell her the truth even after all this time. When he was growing up in Hogwarts with her, she helped change him for the better and one of the things she really wanted to see him change was his lying.
A part of her questioned how often he lied now. Did he lie to the press? Did he lie to his parents? Did he lie to Aurora? Maybe but maybe not; it was just a relief that after all this time he still chose not to lie to her. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, she did do some research at her job about Jake’s former girlfriend/fiancé. Nothing was considered ‘private’ with this woman. Their personal life was spread all over the papers, including but not limited to the vacations they’d take and how awkward she felt being in Paris France; her only reasoning was that she couldn’t speak the language, so Jake played translator while she bought expensive items from the shops along the streets. This was something that made Jessica’s eyes roll. She complained about not knowing the language but said that the trip was her idea because Jake likes to go there; then she skipped over all the tourist things that the press had photos of them doing and instead she went on and on about the things she bought.
That lady was ridiculous and somehow she ended up being with Jake for as long as they were was beyond Jessica’s point of understanding but she was beginning to understand where he was coming from. A small nod left her as she listened to him. Slowly she let go of the broom handle, still iffy on doing so but she did it; and she was proud of that. “Had you said something to me it might have made a difference.” She nodded and took a small breath, “You’re my best friend, I’d take your advice into account but considering it was the first date I had been on in five years; I couldn’t help but be excited.” A small smile crept across her closed lips. “But I do appreciate you standing up for me, just like back in Hogwarts.” Her head tilted to one side, her blonde hair falling like a curtain off of her shoulder. “It’s good to know I can still rely on her.”
Letting out a large puff of air she placed her hands on the broom again. “But that’s all I wanted to know. So going fast than? See ya.” She said playfully as ZOOM she took off on her broom towards the other side of the field laughing. She had overcome a large amount of fear that she had never expected to get over and look at her now, now she was flying so fast her long hair looked straight behind her as the wind carried it and her towards the goals. That was until something flew in front of her, traveling at a greater speed than what she was going for. Pulling her broom to a sudden stop she looked back with a horrified look on her face, and confused at what that could be.
“What the?” Jessica said loudly as she turned the broom to face the object that flew at her. “BLUDGER!” She shouted in horror as the thing did a rewind and flew at her again. Since Jake wasn’t going at top speed like she was, the bludger as targeting her thinking she was the most powerful flier on the field. A shriek left her as she took off again at top speed, willing and praying that the broom could keep up with as much energy and magic that she was pushing through the piece of wood. Someone had let loose a bludger onto the field for their free flying. Her green gaze shot downward to see a dot of a figure on the ground, the build was male but the holding of its head said that the intention wasn’t for it to come after her, it was make for Jake. “JAKE STAY BACK! IT’S AFTER YOU.” She said as she sped past him, the bludger on the tail end of her broom.
The quick movement of her broom made him chuckle a bit. She was really enjoying herself now once she got the hang of it. Now he too could join her in the fun since he didn’t have to make sure that she’d be quitting on him at any moment. Just as he was about to take off in a quick speed after her, something caught his eyes. He didn’t even have to blink twice to know what it was. He spent most of his hours during practice avoiding it so he wouldn’t fall off the broom. They would spend endless hours making sure that their reflexes were fast. The Beaters on the team; which were amongst the best there was, would be there to make sure that they protected their teammates from getting hit, especially Jake who played the most important role on the team. One thing that was certain about the players on the team, they would always be there to make sure he didn’t get hit with one of those bludgers so most of the time he never had to worry about it coming at him from a blind spot. Those teammates never let him down when it came to hitting the bludger.
Why would a bludger be out right now? Clearly it wasn’t time to practice and no one was usually here at this time. Then it occurred to him, there was only one of two players who played this position that probably hated him right now. Jake looked down to the ground and saw a figure standing there as if he was making sure that the bludger was going to do it’s job. This event has happened to him before during his first year with the team. He was more inexperienced than some of the guys on the team, so they wanted him to learn himself. It turned out bad, where he forgot to look over his shoulder as the bludger swiftly came and knock him off his broom. He ended up with a bunch of bruises and scratches and a concussion that made him sit out for the rest of the week. Now, he didn’t even have to look to sense one being around him.
Immediately he became on high alert as he realized she wasn’t as experience as him when it came to this. Once she sped past him, he kicked into high gear and sped off quickly with his own broom. Jake was fast on the broom, which meant that the bludger would be coming for him once he accelerated his speed higher than Jessica’s. “Fly down!” he shouted to her as he flew in a direction opposite from her. In these types of situation, if a bludger were after him, there would be a beater there to keep it away. This time though, it was just him, with no wooden bat with him. He tilted his broom up, so that he would elevate higher than he was before taking off in a quicker speed. The bludger had been right on his tail as he took another turn at the same time as the bludger. He knew exactly what the intention of this was, for him to not play in the next game. No way in hell was he going to let that happen. His hand gripped tighter onto the broom handle as he continued to quickly speed away from the bludgers. His eyes looked quickly to see where Jessica was, hoping that she took that moment where he played decoy so that she could get down safely to the ground.
The bludger was picking up its speed as Jake had accidently forced his broom to slow down slightly as he meant to pull up rather than down. It was ready to knock him down, ready to break the broom and claim victory. Suddenly it was like the bludger disappeared. He turned his head to look over his shoulder when he didn’t see anything behind him. “What the…?” At first he thought maybe Jessica was able to figure out a way to stop it, but when he looked to see that she was still on her broom so she couldn’t have done it. Instead, he saw another figure on the ground next to the first figure that had been there. Flying down, he recognized who the two were immediately and his stomach sank slightly. There stood Robert, with a smirk on his face as expected and standing next to him was someone he didn’t expect to ever see unless it was game day and he usually was sitting in the suite; the team owner. It was only on a few rare occasions when the team owner would be around; whether it was to check on how the team was doing, or to tell the player that he was going to get traded or let go.
Looking over to Jessica, he made sure that she got down fine as he landed on the ground on two feet. He made his way over to the two men waiting for him. “Mr. Prescott,” he said as he eyed Robert carefully before looking back at the owner. It was a little unnerving; he knew that the owner was here to look for him. Why else would he be here? Surely it wasn’t to just visit the field. Then it hit him that Robert probably told on him about the altercation the other night so he was here to confront him about it. Maybe Aurora told him about their big public breakup and made up a story about how horrible Jake was and how Jessica had something to do with it.
Mr. Prescott was the kind of man that was scary whenever he was around. He was intimidating and everyone knew that, that’s why you never messed with him or do anything wrong. He looked past Jake’s shoulder and saw Jessica before his eyes moved back to him. Who was that girl? “Mr. Henderson told me where to find you, said he saw you practicing. I see that you aren’t practicing,” he said, crossing his arms. “You know the rules of the field, the only time you’re allowed to be in here on the field is if your practicing,” his eyes followed to where Jessica was, “and you’re well aware that you’re not supposed to have non-players out on the field. It’s a liability; in fact it’s actually illegal to have non-players on a broom especially with a dangerous bludger flying around. Good thing Mr. Henderson and I got here in time to stop it.” He had no idea why Jake was out here with some girl that wasn’t Aurora, but he didn’t like it one bit. “Who is this young lady may I ask?”
Figures. Robert would be the rat to tell Mr. Prescott about Jake. “She’s an old friend of mine,” he said, looking back at Jessica before turning back towards Mr. Prescott. “I wasn’t aware of that rule, it won’t happen again but I assure you nothing bad was going to happen. We were just flying and conveniently a bludger decides to be released.” Did Mr. Prescott know about his break up with Aurora, surely by now he should know right? Although it did seem like he had no idea, or else he’d be sure he’d be off the team by now. Mr. Prescott was ecstatic to hear when Aurora and Jake first got together. He did warn Jake though to not hurt his little girls' heart or else he'd be sorry about it. Both parents really liked each other which was why they were so supportive of the relationship. Having the star player date his little girl was good enough for Mr. Prescott. If it had been any other player, he wouldn't have approved of it.
“Well your friend has to leave, players only allowed on the field. Don’t let it happen again,” he said as he turned to leave. Suddenly he stopped and turned to Jake, “Have you talked to Aurora today?” he asked, wondering why he wasn’t with her.
This was his chance to tell him what happened. Instead, he shook his head. “I haven’t,” he lied. He better let Aurora break the news to him and then deal with the consequences later. He was so glad that he didn’t come to scold Jake for his behavior lately and didn’t trade or kick him off the team. For now he was safe, he didn’t have to worry about anything…that is until he finds out from Aurora what happened. He narrowed his eyes at Robert who had a smug look on his face as he noticed Robert looking over at Jessica with a large grin on his face. Dude didn’t know how to take a hint. If Jake had to hit him in the face again, he wouldn't hesitate. It was like Robert thought he'd have another chance with her. How many times did people have to say no to him for him to take a hint?