STAWP | Chapter 56

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I'm posting it early, because I love you guys! 

I'm not going to say anything else--I doubt you're even reading this, since there's a chapter below and it holds ANSWERS! 

Actually, quick question: do you like the arrows below? Or did you prefer the circles: ○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○○

Dedicated to: @meckymeck for an awesome theory! 

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"It'll be okay." I squeeze Zara's hand in support.

"Thanks, Sof," Zara whispers and worries her lower lip. If Jasper doesn't show up, I think I might forget about POW locking me in the dungeon, march over there, and beat the crap out of him. Not that I'll have to. I know he'll be here. I've seen his and Zara together and it's obvious how much they love each other. Even if some wolf instinct is going to ruin that tomorrow, it hasn't just yet. Tonight, Jasper is still Jasper, and I know he loves Zara. If he promised to be here, he'll be here.

I probably only have a minute or two before he gets here, and I need to decide where to go when he does. I'm not going to the bathroom again. First of all, I don't want a repeat of yesterday... at least not the part where I was butt naked in the shower with Logan on the other side of the curtain. Plus, I already took a shower right after we finished packing. It's not like I could have gone to bed with my feet covered in dirt.

I stayed under the spray for a long, long time, enjoying the scent of the shampoo and body wash. I know that after I run away, I may not get to shower for a long, long time. Since I can't stay with Zara and Jess and risk POW finding me, I probably won't have a place to stay until I get a job. I might be stuck washing up in gas station bathrooms or swimming in the river, so I figured I should at least enjoy the hot, running water while I still could.

I glance down at Zara's phone again, hoping Jasper will shows up soon. Tonight, my plan is to sneak into the fourth-floor library. If Logan wasn't lying, there's a whole room filled with books about our kind—shelves and shelves of history texts I want to get my hands on. If we leave at two as planned, I should have time to at least skim a few. Maybe I'll be able to find some of those famous wolves Logan mentioned. I wish I could take one of the books with me, but it's too much of a risk. If a human saw it, I could be putting my kind in danger, and I'd never do that.

There's a knock at our door and Zara jumps to her feet with a squeal. "Here." She practically shoves her phone in my hand and rushes to let Jasper in.

I drop the phone into my pyjama pocket and stand up to greet Jasper. I watch Zara throw open the door, but she suddenly freezes in shock. Whoever is on the other side is standing too far back for me to see, and my mind runs through a myriad of possibilities. POW is here with keys to the dungeon, and he's going to lock me up for planning to run away. Dad is here, with ten grand, ready to take me home. As if. More likely, Logan's here to tell Zara that Jasper's change his mind and he isn't coming.

A crash sounds from the hallway, and the likelihood of it being Dad skyrockets. I rush forward, not sure what to think or what to expect, but what happens next definitely isn't it.

"Mate," Zara whispers, and then Jasper rushes into the room and sweeps her off her feet.

"Mate," he cries, twirling her around and around.

I feel my heart clench. For one second—for one very selfish second—I feel a twinge of jealousy. I know I'll never find this with anyone. I'll never be loved as much as Jasper loves Zara. I'll never feel as happy as she looks now. Then, I take a look at them, and feel a burst of happiness. Zara and Jasper deserve this. They're meant to be together. I don't matter right now. If it means I ran away without Zara, so be it. I still have the semi-sane Jess to help with the plan.

What really matters is that Zara's happy. She's the first wolf friend I've ever made and I want this for her... even if it means I'll never see her again. Yeah, I'll miss her, but she deserves her happy ending. At least one of us should get it. Jess and I will just have to muddle through without one.

"Thank the Goddess!" Zara exclaims, laughing and crying all at the same time. Jasper sets her down and she wraps her arms around him. He hugs her, tightly, his arm muscles rippling, and then pulls back to kiss her. I can sense the relief flowing off of the two of them in waves. They were planning to say goodbye, and now they get to be together.

Jasper starts swinging Zara around again, making her giggle. This time, when he starts to set her down, she wraps her legs around his waist and kisses him. It's actually kind of hilarious, the way she looks in her short shorts and a tank next to a suit and tie Jasper. Actually, scratch that, it's not funny, it's hot, and that is my cue to leave.

I quickly grab my flip flops from the closet and carefully sneak around the two of them as they continue to make out. I plan to head straight for the library and hang out there until it's time to meet Jess. Then I'll come back, quickly grab my backpack, change in the bathroom and go.

I step out into the hall, and am greeted by a mess of discarded stuff on the carpeted floor. A huge bouquet of red roses is half-crushed by two large, plastic bags, and strawberries are scattered everywhere. Some rolled further down the hall, even going as far as the bathroom. I set down my flip flops, grab one of the plastic bags and start dropping strawberries on top of the box of candles that's inside. I can't let anyone see this mess and find Jasper in there with Zara. There's no way I'd get them in trouble, or draw attention to the fact that I'm not in my room like I should be.

It takes me a few minutes to get all the strawberries, and once I've tossed them in the bag, I go back for the roses. I tuck the bouquet under my arm, then grab the other plastic bag. There are more strawberries inside, and a box of chocolates. I look around to be sure I got everything and then bring the bags and flowers into our room.

In the second before I look away, I spot a shirtless Jasper on the bed on top of what may, or may not, be an equally topless Zara. I quickly avert my eyes, drop everything on the floor, and rush out of the room. Cheeks flaming, I slam the door shut behind me.

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♥ So? What did you think? 

Okay, guys, be honest: Jasper? On a scale of ♥ to ♥, how would you rate him? 

What about Jasper and Zara? And what should their ship name be? Majority wins! 

Oh, and ONE LAST QUESTION: Should Saf still run away with Jess? Would YOU run away with Jess?  Who trusts Jess? Who doesn't trust Jess? Anyone unsure? And how  do you think Jess will react when she finds out about  [Jasper-Zara ship name here].

♥ If you liked this chapter, please vote! ♥ 

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