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I exited my bedroom, stalking down the corridor quietly, twisting and turning with the guiding walls. Jasper wasnʼt visible anywhere as I gently touched my fingers against the glass barrier between me and one of the beautiful oil paintings hanging on the walls. It was the face of a woman. She looked familiar.

ʻʻI painted that.ʼʼ I jumped back at the voice, catching my breath fitfully. Luke stood tall and casually behind me, hands entangled behind his back. ʻʻSorry, did I scare you?ʼʼ He apologized lightly.

ʻʻNo, no, I just...Iʼm jumpy today for some reason.ʼʼ I replied and struggled to take in a deep breath.

ʻʻI see. So do you like it?ʼʼ He questioned, swaying on his feet.

ʻʻLike what?ʼʼ I asked dumbly.

ʻʻThe painting,ʼʼ He chuckled and detached his hand from the hold behind him. He brought it up and pressed it softly against my back. I nodded in response. ʻʻCome and eat.ʼʼ He formally requested. I nodded and felt myself blush a little, turning to walk down the hall. But as my feet began to carry me forward, Luke halted me. ʻʻIs that Jasperʼs hoodie?ʼʼ

I froze and met his stare with innocent eyes. ʻʻOh um, yeah. He insisted very strongly that I wear it, since I donʼt think I packed a jacket.ʼʼ I confessed. ʻʻIs that weird?ʼʼ

ʻʻNo, that's fine.ʼʼ His voice edged slightly, but his eyes remained gentle.

After a small pause I collapsed under his fatal stare in an embarrassed whine. ʻʻUgh, itʼs weird, isnʼt?ʼʼ I offered an uncomfortable smile.

ʻʻSo weird.ʼʼ He agreed and every nerve tensing inside me gave way, becoming relaxed when he chuckled.

ʻʻI know. Iʼm sorry.ʼʼ I apologized and awkwardly shifted under the material of Jasperʼs hoodie. ʻʻThis painting is really cool, though.ʼʼ

ʻʻThanks,ʼʼ He replied warmly, outstretching his hand. ʻʻShall we go?ʼʼ


ʻʻClaire. Food. Downstairs.ʼʼ

ʻʻOh, right!ʼʼ Then we both laughed heartily as he escorted me down the hall.

The beauty of the dining room did not fail to rob me of my breath, just as the rest of the mansion had. My eyes danced over each and every impeccable detail, the picture perfect decor. The dining room in which we stepped into was almost ovular, with rounded walls painted a cozy shade of brown. A crystal chandelier flaunted off itʼs expensive diamonds strictly above the mahogany dining table, which stretched long enough to feasibly seat at least ten.

I marveled at the paintings scattering the room, some I could presume were executed by the blonde haired man with gentle eyes. I took a seat across from a painting of a crimson farm caught in a rain storm. Almost no moments later Jasper casually strutted into the room and took comfort in the spot across from me. He leaned forward on his elbows, head tuckering down, narrowed eyes fixated on me, smirking deviously, without saying a word. The heat laced in his stare made my skin crawl.

ʻʻI like you wearing my clothes,ʼʼ He stated quietly, his finger tracing lazy patterns against the maroon tablecloth.

ʻʻIt was, uh...ʼʼ I cleared my throat. ʻʻvery nice of you to lend it to me.ʼʼ

He hummed through a grin, eyes wavering over my facial details. ʻʻYep...ʼʼ He returned absently, and it was then that I noticed he had replaced the cracked version of his nail polish with a fresh coat of black.

Luke thankfully reappeared, clutching a sliver platter stacked high with two piles of light buttermilk pancakes, that evoked a powerful fit of saliva in my mouth. The pancakes didーnot Luke.

He smiled sweetly as he delicately placed them before me. ʻʻI hope you like pancakes, sausage, bacon, hash browns, orange juice, scrambled or fried eggs—-Oh!—-I could even make omeletsーʼʼ

ʻʻI barely eat that much in a week!ʼʼ I exclaimed without thought as Luke silenced. I softened the comment with a giggle which he gladly took and returned.

ʻʻYou need to get some meat on your bones.ʼʼ He laughed.

ʻʻShe canʼt.ʼʼ Jasper interrupted from the sides. His words made my stomach clench.

ʻʻWhat?ʼʼ Luke questioned.

ʻʻShe can't gain weight, never could, never will. I'm sure I've told you at least once, but you never listen to me. That's why she looks like a underfed hairless cat, she can't fucking help it.ʼʼ His acidic words burned straight through Luke and ripped my heart in two. I was angered watching the humor in his eyes.

How did he know that? Who was this guy? I wanted to  throw my head into a wall. I was embarrassed beyond myself as Jasper slowly turned to me.

ʻʻI know everything about you, remember?ʼʼ He smiled.

ʻʻJasper! What the hell is wrong with you?ʼʼ Luke snapped abruptly which made me jerk in my seat. ʻʻYou canʼt just say something like that! Are you out of your mind?ʼʼ

ʻʻI thought you already knew I was?ʼʼ Japser inquired with an over exaggerated laugh. He yawned arrogantly and reached for the pancakes. ʻʻWell, Iʼm starving so Iʼm gonna dig in. Claire, please donʼt feel pressured by my heartless brother who just wasted a bus full of food on a girl who weighs 90 pounds smoking wet.ʼʼ

ʻʻHeʼs not the one whoʼs heartless.ʼʼ I found myself whispering brokenly into the air. I pushed myself from the table and excused myself, escaping into some other room before I burst out in tears in front of them.

I weakly collapsed against the edge of the couch, heaving in dry breaths. Tears threatened in my eyes and I harshly chomped down on my bottom lip to avoid them. I didnʼt want to be a burden, I had no where else to go, but Jasper obviously was out to get me. I couldn't stay here, could I? The weight of everything happening at once was beginning to collapse my mind.

I caught a glimpse of Luke rounding the corner just in time to straighten my posture. I sniffed in and fisted away a tear as he locked eyes on me. ʻʻClaire...ʼʼ His voice was choked with drowning sympathy, his hand slowly reaching out to me.

ʻʻIʼm fine,ʼʼ I lied.

ʻʻI didnʼt know that Jasper...he...I...ʼʼ He sputtered out and gripped my fingers tightly.

ʻʻI just donʼt understand.ʼʼ I sighed and gently shook my head.

ʻʻI swear this will not happen again.ʼʼ He resembled a parent apologizing on behalf of his childʼs misbehavior.

I merely nodded and glanced at my socks, drawing in shaky breaths. After an awkward pause he tucked a finger under my chin, encouraging my eyes to meet his. He held my stare with his usually gentle eyes turned dark. He let out a sigh and dropped his hold on my chin. ʻʻLetʼs go upstairs. Iʼll bring up some coffee and we can both avoid my psycho brother together.ʼʼ He suggested.

I gratefully smiled even though I wasnʼt exactly a fan of coffee. And as I climbed up the stairs, my mind could not stop eating at the word he used.


• • • •


Okay so what is Jasperʼs deal?

How does he know all this stuff about her?


Maybe youʼll find out in the next chapter?

Maybe not?

Vote and comment;)

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