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The House Of J

Chapter Text

I am Wind.

I am everywhere.

I see all.

I always have been.

And Winter is mine.

“There was this girl in my village,” Jack said, trying to dig in his hazy memories to remember her face. “I don’t remember her name but I had a huuuge crush on her. She had this cute laugh that I found so adorable, I did everything I could think of to hear it. So, you know me, I pulled silly pranks, joked around and tried to get her attention in my usual playful way but it didn’t really work. She just thought I was annoying.”

Claire chuckled and bumped his shoulder. “Her loss. Humor is important.”

“Isn’t it?”

Jack was glad she agreed with him. Too many people failed to fully appreciate it.

He enjoyed his nighttime hangouts with Claire. Who would’ve known that a vampire friend was exactly what an immortal spirit like him needed.

They were sitting comfortably close at the edge of Jack’s pond, their shoulders touching. The moon was reflected in the completely still water and Jack wasn’t sure if he should look at the sky or the reflection in the pond to gaze at it.

Winter was waning but it wasn’t over yet and he savored the feeling. This was his time. His strength was at its greatest and he felt at home when breathing in the brisk air.

He thought back to the girl he had a crush on back when he was human. It didn’t feel like it was her loss. If only he had more time, maybe he would’ve gotten the courage to tell her how he felt. Time made all the difference. He lost his chance.

“Why so serious?” Claire ruffled his hair playfully.

Why did everyone have a thing for his hair? Sure, it was white like snow and that’s unusual but it was just hair.

Suddenly, ripples appeared on the pond, disturbing the moon’s reflection, and a strong gust of wind blew at her, knocking her to the ground where she landed on her back with a yelp.

Jack chuckled and helped her sit up. “She’s warning you. Don’t mess with the hair.”

A gentle breeze played with it and arranged it back to its usual state. Jack closed his eyes to enjoy the sensation.

“Ah,” Claire groaned, “Wind again.”

“She gets jealous,” he said, getting a frown from her.

She sat back next to him in the same position as before with her legs outstretched. She wore black leather boots over her leggings today which looked funny next to his bare feet.

“I still don’t get it how she’s this… this being but we never see her. Is she a spirit like you?”

“Not entirely. It’s like she’s in a different category. Not a spirit, more like a force of nature that also happens to be conscious.” He sighed. “Well, I don’t know much about her, I guess, other than the fact that she’s everywhere and that she has been my companion from the very beginning. I wouldn’t be able to fly without her, you know.”

“How do you know Wind is a she?”

He smiled back. “I don’t know. I just do.”

Claire tucked a curly lock behind her ear and he noticed the interesting shade her dark hair took on in the moonlight. It was almost blue.

“So, seriously? That was the only time you were in love? In three centuries, there was no one else?”

“Girls don’t see me,” he said quietly.

This was a depressing topic which he avoided thinking about but tonight, he felt the need to talk about it.

He’d become pretty close with her over the past few months and thoroughly enjoyed her company. She was a great friend to have and he had very few.

It wasn’t easy being the Spirit of Winter, especially because he was invisible to humans. Thankfully, Claire wasn’t one. As a vampire, she could see him and he felt very much lucky to have met her. And now that she moved in to Burgess, he could visit her as often as he visited Jamie, his human best friend.

“Even if they could, I’m cold to the touch. Who would want that?”

He shook his head to shake off that thought. He was torturing himself with the what if. He had long accepted that he would never experience real love. There was no need to hope for the impossible.

“I died young. There was a lot I didn’t get to do.”

“So, you regret not making a move on the girl you liked when you had the chance?” Claire looked at him with a gleam in her eyes he couldn’t quite explain.

“Yeah. You live only once, you know… and I... I didn’t live to the fullest.”

He dropped his gaze to the ground, lost in the thoughts of wasted chances when Claire gently raised his chin with her two fingers.

“Jack,” she said quietly, looking at him with some kind of emotion in her eyes.

Before he could say anything, she leaned in and placed her lips on his. It was soft and gentle at first. He was so stunned, he didn’t even react. Then, her kiss turned more serious, passionate, and he melted into it, forgetting everything else and just enjoying the sensation of her lips.

Claire knew how to kiss. It was evident that she had much more experience at this than he did, and unlike him, she wasn’t shy.

The kiss was over too soon, he thought, and he found himself looking at her with a goofy grin as a warm sensation spread through his body.

‘What was that?’ His thoughts swam around in his brain sluggishly as he stared into her hazel-orange eyes. ‘Why did she kiss me?’

Then, a heavy thought crossed his mind and replaced the warmth with the coldness he was so accustomed to. He told her a sappy story of his pathetic lonely life and she wanted to make him feel better. She was only trying to be a good friend and do him a favor. Maybe she was lonely too and wouldn’t mind a cold being like him even if he repulsed her.

But he didn’t want a pity kiss. He could take on insults, teasing or taunting but he couldn’t accept the thought of someone feeling sorry for him.

He didn’t want to think more of this. This whole evening was a mistake.

“I need to go,” he whispered.

“Jack, but…”

He didn’t wait to hear what else she wanted to say but asked Wind to carry him away.

He shouldn’t have told her that story. He should’ve just stayed quiet when she asked him if he had ever been in love. He was a fool.


Claire stared at where her winter spirit had just flown away to for a good thirty minutes. What did she do wrong? She’s been dying to show Jack what she felt for months and thought this was a perfect opportunity. The mood was just right, they were so comfortable with each other, and he finally opened up to her.

She was never great with words, that’s why she decided to just go for it and kiss him. Action speaks louder than words, doesn’t it? And she was sure that he liked it too. He was definitely into it so why did he run away?

“I shouldn’t have surprised him like that,” she groaned into the night.

“But maybe it isn’t the end of the world,” she said to herself. “Maybe I can still turn this around.” 

I am Wind. I am everywhere. I see all.

The Nightwalker put a claim on my Winter.

This cannot be. Winter is mine for I am Wind.

I am Wind and it is time.

Chapter Text

This little town had to be it. Adam has been researching for many months and Burgess got more unforecasted snow days than any other place in the country as if winter favored it. He had a strong hunch that the Spirit of Winter visited this town often so this would be the best place to run into him. 

At the age of twenty-nine, Adam already knew spells it took other warlocks a lifetime to learn and it was all due to his passion and curiosity. He would pick an area of magic and study it diligently for years until all its secrets were revealed to him.

He tried to study nature spirits as their magic fascinated him but was disappointed when there were no records to read on them. It seemed that no one kept track of the spirit world or tried to unlock their mysteries before.

Meeting the winter spirit over a year ago was a once in a lifetime opportunity and he did not want to waste that chance. And so he rented an apartment in Burgess and explored different neighborhoods every day, hoping to see a sign of any unusual wintry activity.  

He was growing impatient as he was running out of places to visit, and in fact, it hadn't snowed even once since he got there. 

Suddenly, a snowball hit him on the side of the head. He looked angrily in the direction it came from.

"Who threw that?" he yelled, expecting giggles of small troublemakers but saw no one.

He exhaled in frustration and turned back but then yelped, startled.

"It sure wasn't the Easter Bunny," said none other but Spirit of Winter himself, standing right in front of him.

He looked just like Adam remembered him: skinny pale youth with white hair, icy blue eyes, blue hoodie, brown deerskin pants but no shoes, leaning on a long wooden staff and grinning at him broadly.

"Jack Frost!"

"Adam, the warlock," Jack replied. "So, why are you on my turf?"

"I'm actually looking for you. I'd like to talk if you're willing."

"Talk? About what?"

"Well, everything!" Adam said eagerly. "I've always been fascinated by nature spirits and when we met, I had a thousand questions but there was no time for any talk then. So, I've been searching for you since but you're not easy to find. So, tell me. Why Burgess?"

Jack swung the staff onto his shoulder and looked at the quaint town with a smile.

"It was my birthplace. Twice." 

Adam's face lit up at the personal information the spirit shared. "Woah."

"And my best friend Jamie lives here. Well, now, two of my friends live here." 

While they walked down the sidewalk, Jack tapped random things with his staff and they would frost over. Right now, a mailbox was in the process of growing intricate frost patterns.

"Wait," Adam remembered. "Did you say birthplace twice ?" 

"Of my human and spirit birth."

"You were human once?" Adam asked in wonder. "How did you become the Spirit of Winter then?"

Jack sighed but explained, "I died. Then, Man in the Moon chose to give me a second life as a spirit. Why Winter? I don't know. Maybe because of how I died? Manny doesn't exactly explain himself." 

"Who's Man in the Moon?"

Jack pointed his staff at the crescent moon hanging low over the horizon as if that would explain it. Adam was still confused but decided to not press the issue yet, having a lot of other questions to ask.

He noticed that the spirit avoided other people on the sidewalk, lightly jumping to the side whenever they were about to pass them.

Upon seeing Adam staring at him, he rolled his eyes and explained, "They can't see me and I don't want them to walk through me. It's unpleasant."

"Why can I see you?"

"Because you're magic and I'm magic. I don't know how that works."

Adam pondered at the answer. Maybe Jack didn't know but there had to be an explanation. Luckily, Adam was an expert at uncovering magical mysteries. 

"What do you mean by walk through you ?" 

Jack sighed. "Fine. Watch."

He stood still in the path of a woman approaching them and Adam watched in horror as she walked right through the spirit as if he was a ghost. Jack grimaced uncomfortably and the woman shivered. 

"Woah," Adam said.

"I know, it's cold, right?" the woman said to him, mistaking that he addressed her.

"Oh, yeah. That also means that they all think you're a crazy guy, talking to himself," Jack said cheerfully.

Adam was about to ask another question when he saw the expression on the spirit's face change into a mischievous smirk. Jack pointed his staff at the sidewalk and a patch of ice appeared in front of a man about to pass them, making him fall on his butt painfully.

The man groaned, "I hate winter."

"The feeling's mutual," Jack answered, leaving the scene casually.

Adam looked at the man and at the spirit in disbelief, "What was that?"

"That, dear Adam, was karma," and he lightly hopped on top of a parking meter. "A nice perk of being invisible is that you can deliver karma to those who deserve it." 

The meter frosted over under his bare foot and Jack bounded onto the next one, maintaining perfect balance.

Adam looked at him accusingly so he explained further, "That guy always bullied Jamie when they were kids. Nasty character." He lept to the next meter. "So, I make an effort to repay him whenever I see him." He landed on the last meter and looked at Adam seriously. "No one messes with my friends."

Adam was surprised. The Spirit of Winter held a grudge.

"You know, you're not at all what I imagined nature spirits to be. You're a lot more..." he wasn't sure how to say it without sounding offensive, "human."

"Thank you. Not without an effort," Jack replied thoughtfully. "I'm always just a step away from losing my humanity."

They walked for a while in silence, Jack lost in his own thoughts and Adam pondering the meaning behind what the spirit said.

"If I may ask, why? I'm just curious why a nature spirit would even bother."

Jack stopped and pointed his staff at a group of children chasing each other in the park.

"For them," his face lit up with a warm smile when he watched them play and laugh, "but also, I'm not ready to lose myself. I like being Jack."

His smile was so infectious, Adam couldn't help but join in.

"They're in need of a good snow day, aren't they?" Jack said, looking at puddles of slush. "I'll get right on that. See you later, Adam." 

And he flew up into the sky, leaving Adam with more unanswered questions.

I am Wind. 

I am everywhere.

I am here.

Come.

❄ 

Jack was high up, planning a gentle snowstorm when Wind did something she never had before. She stopped him, took control and led him south. He was puzzled by her behavior but had no choice but to be carried by her. 

She finally landed him far away in a beautiful meadow surrounded by blooming flowers and chirping birds.

"What am I doing here, Wind? It's summertime. I don't belong here."

In response, Wind ruffled his hair playfully and gave him a little nudge to indicate which way he should walk. He grumbled incoherently and complied while squinting at the sun.

His skin crawled with the familiar warning that he encroached on another seasonal spirit's territory. 

The air was thick with the lingering scent of rival magic. Summer had passed through this place earlier, creating a masterpiece of a warm sunny day.

"I'm not here on my own free will, Summer, relax," he said into the warm air just in case.

It was hot and uncomfortable and he wished for some shade.

Wind kept nudging him until finally, she led him to a little stream. When he approached it, he noticed that there was someone hidden behind a flowering bush. Was this person the reason Wind brought him here? There was only one way to find out.

"Hello, can you hear me?" he called, feeling silly for asking.

In response, the other person squeaked and ran out from behind the bush, sending several birds flying away.

Jack's jaw dropped because right in front of him stood the vision of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, but what was worse (or best) was that she was utterly, completely, without fail, thoroughly naked.

As much as Jack would hate to admit it, he stared. She was perfect. Her straight light-brown hair fell from her shoulders and gently moved in a fluid motion, reminding him of a waterfall and he guessed that she wasn't human. Her fair skin had a warm glow to it and seemed to radiate. She appeared to be of similar physical age as him, somewhere around nineteen, and her body was simply flawless.

He'd seen glimpses of naked women before, never on purpose, he wasn't like that but you'd be surprised what people do when they think no one else is around. So, over the centuries, he caught sneak peeks of nudity by accident but always averted his eyes, knowing well that the sight was not meant for him and he didn't want to be a perv.

But this time, the way how freely and happily this girl ran up to him, he knew that this view was meant for his eyes and he was mesmerized.

"Winter!" she called. She came extremely close and gently cupped his face in her warm hands. "You found me."

His brain was entirely out of commission, he leaned on his staff for support and couldn't formulate any coherent thoughts other than, 'Wow. Just, wow.'

"I am Wind," she said while smiling up at him.

He blinked. Now, that he was looking at her pretty face, he was regaining the use of his brain and starting to comprehend the absurdity of the situation. Was he imagining this?

"Wind?" he asked, not convinced that this wasn't Sandy's dream-sand kind of joke (or a gift).

Her chuckle was a melodic sound. She moved two steps away from him. His gaze started shifting back at her body and he chastised himself.

'Look at her eyes! Look at her eyes!' 

Unfortunately, he failed and stared at her perfection in awe yet again.

Then, she pulled in her lips making a small 'o' shape, blew, and a gust of wind combed his hair in a familiar manner. The comforting feeling of it snapped him out of his gawking moment and he focused on her face again. 

"Wind?" he asked again, not completely believing yet. 

She approached him again and nodded. "I am Wind."

A smile spread through his lips. Could it really be? He never thought it possible to meet her in the flesh... gorgeous flesh, such soft warm radiant skin... 

'Snap yourself out of it, Jack!' he scolded himself again 'Eyes, look at her eyes!'

He focused on her eyes, trying to clear up his misbehaving thoughts. Her irises were a fascinating milky gray and seemed to shift within as if made of clouds.

"How?" he finally managed to ask. "I didn't know you could... that you had a... a body..." he trailed off, trying hard to not let his eyes wander downwards again.

"I didn't but now I do. It was created for you!" she said excitedly. "Now, you will accept me as your mate and we will be eternally mated."

"Mated?"

She nodded and took his hands into hers and started hopping around him, giggling, pulling him along and skipping through the grass and it took him a while to finally snap out of the haze. This was becoming ridiculous.

"Uh, Wind? Do you have any clothes?"

"No, Winter. I am Wind."

Jack looked around for anything he could cover her up with and rubbed the back of his neck in frustration.

"Here, use this."

He took off his hoodie and gave it to her. She clutched it to her chest tenderly but instead of putting it on, she smelled it and caressed it, appreciating her gift. This wasn't happening.

"Uh, put it on," he added, guessing that she didn't know the purpose of his gift.

She stared at him and tilted her head, confused. "Why would I?"

"Please?"

Her smile faltered and she looked at herself appraisingly then back at him. There was a hint of worry in her voice, "You don't like the body I got for you? This was supposed to appeal to you."

"No. No. It's not that. It's perfect. Uh, you're perfect," he stammered. "Just please, you can't walk around in nude."

Tears shimmered in her eyes and he was running out of ideas. He approached her and they locked gazes as he tried to sound the most sincere he could.

"I'm not saying I don't like what you look like. I do. I really do but I just... I just can't think when you're naked."

Wind held his gaze and accepted his explanation with a nod. He breathed a sigh of relief. 

Unfortunately, putting on his hoodie proved to be difficult for her and he had to help her out. His heart skipped a beat every time his hands came in contact with her warm skin.

She was a couple of inches shorter and of smaller frame compared to him so the hoodie just about barely covered her buttocks. Her long legs were still a lovely sight but at least he wasn't constantly distracted by her beautiful form and could carry out a conversation.

"So, Wind, what are you doing here?"

"Waiting for you, my Winter. I created this spirit body just hours ago and waited for Wind, the rest of me, to bring you here."

He scratched his head at this information. She was just a few hours old?

"Call me Jack."

"Why?"

"Because that's my name." 

"But you are Winter."

"Yes, but I'm more. I'm also Jack."

Wind cocked her head and looked at him questioningly, not fully comprehending.

"Have you ever had any other names besides Wind?"

She shook her head in response.

"I'm more than just Winter. Maybe you are more than just Wind?" He decided. "I should choose a name for you."

"If it's my name, why do I not get to choose?"

"Well, names are given. I didn't pick Jack for myself either."

She jumped and clapped her hands. "So what name would you give me?"

"Give me some time. I'll think about it. 

Wind beamed at him dreamily. "My Winter will give me a name. What a wonderful gift."

He cleared his throat, uncomfortable with her sentiment. Why did she keep calling him hers? They didn't even know each other.

"So, is there a reason why you suddenly showed up here?"

"For you, Winter... uh, Jack," she tried the name hesitantly but then smiled, liking it. 

Then, she stared at him appraisingly and he became very conscious of the fact that his chest was bare. He never took his clothes off because he didn't have to. The same magic that prevented his body from becoming dirty extended to his clothes so they never needed washing or repair. And now, he was half-naked next to a gorgeous half-naked girl and had to fight hard to not become overwhelmed by an attack of shyness.

But he had to admit that the blue of his hoodie complemented her perfectly and the embarrassment was worth it just to see her in it. 

She brought the sweater to her nose and inhaled, closing her eyes.

"Smells like Winter," she said, looking up at him in such intense way that he felt heat rise to his cheeks.

"We should get you some clothes of your own.” He tried to release the tension.

They took to the air, Wind flew on her own, and a puzzling thought bothered him.

"Wind? If you're here, then who is carrying me right now? Are you doing it?"

"Oh, Wint... Jack. I am Wind. I am everywhere." 

"But are there two Winds now? I'm really confused." 

"I took a part of myself to put in this body. I am connected to the rest of me but think separately." 

Jack smiled at her. "That sounds like what I feel about Winter. It's a part of me, I'm a part of it but independent from it. You're the Spirit of Wind, now."

She nodded.

"I seriously need to pick you a name. It's getting confusing."

Chapter Text

Wind traveled through the quiet human town, blew loose snow down sidewalks and entertained herself with a newspaper which she flattened against a chain-link fence. Once bored with that game, she made her way to the familiar spot where her eternal mate liked to take a rest.

He wasn't a usual nature spirit - he was human once and she normally did not care for them, but she felt something monumental change in the air when he was given a spirit life. She knew immediately that this beautiful Winter was hers when she felt his soul which was as pure as the moonlight reflected in his white hair.

She lingered around him in the form of a gentle breeze which barely teased the hair sticking out of his head. He looked at the reflection of the moon in the surface of the pond and she marveled at his beauty. He was hers forever.

A female hand ruffled his hair and only then, Wind noticed that he was not alone. She immediately recognized who it was - it was that Nightwalker!

The Nightwalker had no right touching her Winter!

Wind blew a strong gust at the female which raised her off the ground and threw her backward, away from her Winter. Then, she fixed up his hair and was pleased to see him close his eyes. He always enjoyed when she touched his hair and so she did this all the time.

"She's warning you. Don't mess with the hair," her Winter chuckled, knowing well that Wind was there even if he couldn't see her.

Wind swirled around him protectively, but to her disappointment, he helped the Nightwalker get up. Didn't he know that this female was trying to place a claim on him?

Wind moved on to the pond and disturbed its smooth surface, hoping Winter would notice her change of mood but he was as oblivious to Wind's emotions as he was to this female's intentions.

And then, the Nightwalker did what she planned to do. She claimed him by pressing her lips against his.

Wind stopped the waves she was creating and couldn't believe what she just witnessed. Why did her Winter allow this? Didn't he know that he was meant to be with her?

'Wind, take me away,' she heard when he thought of her and she immediately listened, eager to remove him from the presence of the Nightwalker.

He asked her to drop him off on the other side of the town where he gently dropped onto the roof of the tallest building. She stayed by him as he sat over the edge, propped his staff on his lap and looked up at the moon.

"Why did she kiss me?" he said and Wind wished she could reply with everything she knew about that vile Nightwalker who was trying to steal her Winter.

At least he had the sense to leave, feeling what Wind knew very well - he wasn't meant to be with that unnatural creature.

He sighed heavily and Wind wondered why it sounded so sad.

"It's not like I have options," he said quietly and looked down at his bare feet. "She is immortal after all. Maybe it's not a bad idea."

Wind blew into his face to let him know that he was making the wrong choice.

"I know," he replied, sensing what she meant, "but I don't want to be alone," he finished in a whisper and Wind couldn't take it anymore.

He wasn't alone. He was never alone. She was always with him, always ready to aid him. She was his eternal mate.

She blew at him even harder and he smiled in that crooked way she loved.

"You know, it doesn't matter how hard you blow at me. It still doesn't sound like words."

He yawned widely and produced a bank of snow on the roof where he settled himself in for the rest of the night. Wind watched over him but then couldn't stay still. She had to move and do something.

The more she flew around, the more she realized that the Nightwalker posed a greater threat than she anticipated. She had an advantage Wind didn't - a body. She could appeal to Winter in ways Wind never could.

But Wind was not a mere Nightwalker. She was a force of nature whose magic was as ancient as Earth itself. And there was something she could do.

She gathered up all of her magic in one place and poured her consciousness into it. She weaved the strands of matter until they formed a female body. She knew her Winter well and so she knew what her spirit should look like, what her Winter would find beautiful.

Once finished, she only waited for her Winter to ask to be carried again, and instead of taking him where he wanted to go, she brought him to where the newborn Spirit of Wind awaited.

The Nightwalker was no longer the one with an advantage. Wind could finally claim her eternal mate, she could be there for him and love him the way he deserved to be loved. And he would finally hear her voice.

I am Wind and Winter is mine.

Chapter Text

Jack flew with Wind into the nearest town and after searching the streets for a while, he found a boutique.

“That looks promising,” he said, pulling her along.

Wind was not impressed. “I still don’t understand the need for this. I am Wind. I do not need clothing.”

“Please, for me,” Jack pleaded, looking at her with the best version of puppy eyes he could produce.

“For you,” she nodded and went inside.

Jack was happy to find that the store had a nice selection of high-quality clothing but Wind did not like anything in there. She wandered through the store, touching everything and making faces as if she had just stepped into a cow pie.

The humans in the shop blissfully ignored them, unable to see two nature spirits walking among them. Finally, Wind pulled something out of a hanger, apparently satisfied.

“This will do,” she said and immediately took off Jack’s hoodie and threw it at him.

He begged his eyes to not look but failed and stared at her yet again. Yep. Still perfect.

She slipped the piece of clothing on and smiled back at him. “This one feels nice, not icky like the others.”

The clothing she chose happened to be a silk pale blue nightgown perfectly matching her complexion and hair. The front had a deep v-neck hemmed with delicate white lace. The gown reached about halfway down her thighs and split at the side all the way up the hip. The bottom was also hemmed with a teasing lace.

“Do you like it?” she asked him and then turned around to reveal that the back had an even deeper v reaching all the way to the small of her back.

Jack was surprised to find that while wearing this tiny piece of clothing, Wind looked even more attractive than without it. He could imagine himself walking up to her from behind, gently moving her pretty hair over her shoulder so he could place a kiss on her neck. He would touch the exposed skin on her back and trail his fingers along her shoulder blade, and under the silky cloth, replacing each touch with a gentle kiss. Then, he would slowly push the fabric down her arm and continue leaving a trail of kisses…

“Jack?” her voice snapped him out of the daydream and he shook his head to clear his thoughts.

‘Woah, what was that?’ he wondered.

“Jack?” Wind asked. She was right in front of him with worry in her eyes.

“Hmm?”

“I’ve been calling you for a while. Is something wrong?”

Jack felt heat rise to his cheeks as he remembered the very detailed fantasy he had just dreamt up.

“No. Nothing wrong. I was just… just thinking.”

“Well, if you’re done now, do you like my dress?”

“Ah… that’s not a dress, Wind. That’s a nightgown.”

“Well, it’s the only thing here that I like. Do you like it?” she said, a bit worried now.

“Yes. Yes, I do but…”

“Great,” she said, satisfied and walked out of the store.

“No, wait…”

He quickly looked around the store in a panic and found a matching silk robe. He pulled out some money out of his pocket, left it with a quick note on the cashier’s desk and ran after her.

Wind couldn’t understand why Jack insisted for her to put on the other piece of clothing he called robe but she really wanted to please him so she finally gave in. At least, the fabric of this clothing felt the same as the one she picked and not like the other icky things in the store.

She was disappointed to see that he put his sweater back on. What was it with his desire to cover up skin? She had to get to the bottom of that.

“Wind? Where are you going?”

She stopped and looked at him. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, it looks like you’re going somewhere and I was wondering where.”

“Where?”

She was confused. Why did she have to go somewhere and couldn't just go?

“I am Wind,” she explained.

He should know that by now but instead of accepting her answer, he rolled his eyes. He wasn’t making any sense so she just kept slowly walking forward, looking up at birds in a tree.

Jack muttered, “It’s like talking to a Groot.”

“What’s a Groot?”

“Uh, it’s a character from a movie. A walking talking tree.”

“A movie…” she trailed off dreamily, remembering the moving pictures humans had invented.

“We could see it sometime. I think Jamie has a copy.”

She nodded and continued walking.

“Do you have somewhere to be? Do you have plans?”

“No. I am Wind. I will go wherever you go.”

He put her hand in his to stop her. She looked at the hand, then at him.

“Well, if you’re not going anywhere specific, can we get away from here?” He looked up towards the sun, squinting at it and then back at her. “It’s really hot here. Come.”

Then, they flew away and this time he was leading the way, still holding her hand.

While flying she paid more attention to him and noticed a bead of sweat on his temple along with a clear discomfort on his face. He was a winter spirit and she led him to a land that was currently bathed in summer. She felt a sting somewhere deep in her chest and wondered what it meant.

She had been experiencing different feelings in her chest continuously since he had found her. Having a body was proving to be very tricky. She didn’t understand why she didn’t have a full control of it, it kept doing things on its own. Like for example now, they were flying together and she wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned her cheek on his chest and didn’t know why she did it. Her body wanted to do it.

Should she let her body always do what it wanted or should she demand that it obeyed her? Well, in this case, she liked the outcome of it as it turned out that being close to her Winter was very pleasant. So, maybe her body’s whims were worth following?

She felt the temperature drop the further they went.

Jack audibly sighed and smiled at her, “Much better.” Then, he looked at her with worry. “Are you cold? Maybe we should’ve gotten you warmer clothes.”

“Oh, Jack. I am Wind.”

He looked at her like he didn’t understand and she sighed, disappointed that she had to explain herself again.

“I don’t have a temperature of my own. I adapt to the climate I’m in.”

He smiled at her explanation and continued leading the way to his destination.

She was pleased that he was happy. She needed him to be in high spirits to achieve what she came here to do.

Jack didn’t know where else to take Wind, he was utterly perplexed about her showing up in his life out of the sudden, so he did whatever he always did in this case: when in doubt, fly to Burgess.

He landed in the town park and wondered what to do with her next. Evening came and he was getting tired. He observed her and she looked full of energy, always ready to move around, unable to stay still for long but her eyes looked droopy. The energy rush wasn’t going to last. What was he going to do with her now?

He never cared where he slept. If he wanted comfort, he would just produce a nice amount of snow and settle himself on it. It seemed wrong to expect her to accept the same accommodations. She was so delicate and fragile. No. He wouldn’t make her sleep outside like a bum. He rubbed his hair, frustrated, ready to start pulling it out.

Wind noticed his unease and gently blew a gust to fix up his hair. “What’s bothering you?”

“Nah, nothing,” he lied.

She yawned wide and got startled by it. “What just happened? What did my mouth just do?”

He chuckled. “You yawned. Usually, it means that you’re tired.”

He thought for a moment what his options were and there was really just one solution: Jamie, his best friend who he came to think of as family. A pang of panic hit him when he thought what Jamie would think about Wind and her nighttime attire. At least with the robe, she wasn’t completely bare and it covered her up to just above the knees but still, it was essentially just sleepwear. He had to find her something more reasonable soon.

“Come, I want you to meet someone.”

Chapter Text

Jamie was waiting for the kettle to whistle and in the meantime looked over the many papers scattered on the kitchen table. He was burned out. His new job was rather boring. Who would have thought it possible for boredom to be exhausting?

He moved into this house right after he finished college and enjoyed the bachelor life but some days, he longed for some company.

A knock on the window snapped him out of his thoughts. He smiled immediately because he knew of only one person who it could be and it was the perfect person to fix the mood he was in.

“Come on in, Jack,” he invited the spirit waiting outside the living room window.

“I hope I’m not intruding,”

“Of course not. Get in.”

Jack came in through the window but then put his hand outside in a strange gesture and said, “Come.”

Then, he closed the window and beamed at Jamie.

“Jamie, I’d like you to meet Wind. Wind, this is my friend Jamie,” and he looked to an empty space to his right.

Jamie narrowed his eyes, not understanding what was going on.

“Ah, you can’t see her, huh?” Jack’s smile faltered.

Jamie blinked. All right. Apparently, there was someone invisible in his living room. He shook his head to confirm.

“Well, this is Wind,” Jack continued. “She’s a spirit, like me.” He grinned broadly. “Maybe you just have to believe that she’s real. Well, she is. She’s standing right here.” Then, he spoke to the invisible person on his right, “Wind, do something to show him you’re here.”

This was utterly bizarre but before Jamie could respond in any way, he felt a gust of wind in his hair as if someone had just combed it. He’d seen Wind do that to Jack’s hair in the past and it was the strangest sensation to be on the receiving end of it.

Jamie looked again at the space next to Jack, trying to concentrate but it did nothing to help him see the invisible spirit. He’s been able to see Jack since childhood and thought that simply believing in the existence of a spirit was enough to see him but maybe it was more than that.

“I’m sorry, Jack. I believe that she’s there, I do. I really want to see her. Maybe if you describe what she looks like?”

“Yeah, sure.” Jack grinned again. “She’s got long hair, light brown. She’s about my age. She’s wearing a light-blue robe tied at the waist, and she’s barefoot like me.”

Jamie stared at the spot, willing himself to see this girl Jack was describing but still saw nothing. What he did notice was the way Jack was looking at her. No, he wasn’t looking, he was gazing, mesmerized as if he forgot where he was and all he saw was her.

The kettle whistled and Jamie ran into the kitchen.

”Tea?” Jack shook his head and Jamie poured the water into the cup he prepared earlier. “Wait, did you say robe?”

“Well,” Jack scratched the back of his neck, “she didn’t like anything else.”

Jamie decided to drop this for a moment and filed it away on the list of questions to ask later. “I’m sorry, Wind. I don’t see you.”

“That’s a shame, I hoped you two could meet each other. Actually, there’s also something else I wanted to ask. Would you mind if we used your couch tonight? Wind is really tired and I didn’t know where else to go. We won’t bother you. She’ll just sleep there and I can sleep anywhere, even the floor, I don’t care…”

“It’s okay,” Jamie interrupted. “You can stay, but forget the couch. There is a spare bed in the attic. That will be more comfortable. Actually, I’ve been meaning to tell you, feel free to come back every day or night if you’re around here. You can have the attic for yourself, treat it like your room. I love your company. Beats sitting here alone.”

Jack grinned. “Thanks, Jamie. It means a lot.” Then, he looked at the spot where Wind was and said to her, “Well, you’ll take the bed, I can sleep anywhere. Maybe I’ll use the couch.” There was a pause and he responded to her question, flustered, “I… I don’t know if that’s a good idea…” She apparently interrupted him and he looked like he wanted to hide under the couch.

Jamie was really curious what was going on but apparently, whatever argument they were having, Jack lost because he responded, “Okay, okay. I will.”

Then, he sighed and once he remembered that Jamie was there, he plastered the same grin on his face again.

Oh, he had to grill Jack about this later. There was a lot going on here he wanted to understand.

“She keeps yawning. Do you mind if I take her there now? I’ll be back in a moment.”

“Go ahead.”

Jamie sat down in the kitchen, sipping his tea and chuckled to himself. This was simply precious.

Jack did not come back in a moment, it took him at least ten minutes and Jamie was starting to imagine all sorts of things to be happening in his attic, but finally, Jack sneaked out and closed the door behind himself very quietly. He came into the kitchen, sat down across from Jamie and put his face in his hands.

“Oh, Jamie,” he sighed. “You have no idea.”

Jamie chuckled. He really wanted to hear this. “Spill.”

“I finally got her to sleep,” he shook his head. “Can you imagine? She didn’t know how to.”

“What do you mean?”

“Exactly what I said.”

After a moment of pause, he took a long breath and spoke in a rush. “From the start. So, well, this was her first day. Her first day ever! I mean, she’s ancient but she’s never had a spirit body before. Wind has been with me from the very beginning. That’s how I can fly - she carries me. I just ask her - I don’t even have to say it out loud, even thinking it works - and she takes me wherever I want to go. I always knew she was more than just the wind, that she was a conscious being. She always liked to play with my hair and would warn me or guide me. Although sometimes, it’s hard to tell what she means because, you know, she’s Wind, she doesn’t talk. And so, in the morning she refused to take me where I wanted to go and led me to this summery place, and suddenly I see her. She’s right there and she says she’s Wind.”

Jack finally finished rambling, put his elbows on the table and his head in his hands, shaking it.

Jamie tried to put the pieces together.

“Let me get this straight. She’s the wind, like the actual wind?” Jack nodded. “Okay, so if she’s here, does it mean there’s no wind anywhere else now?”

“Does the winter stop just because I fly off somewhere else? No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t work that way. She only put a part of herself into this body, the rest of Wind is still… everywhere. So, this Wind, the one sleeping there, she’s the Spirit of Wind.”

Jamie nodded, starting to understand. “So, wait, you’re telling me, she’s a day old spirit?”

“It’s cute in a way how she doesn’t know some basic things about what it’s like to have a body - like sleeping, but some things I do wish she knew…”

He stared at nothing in particular, lost in thought and Jamie was really curious about the meaning behind those vague words.

“Okay. First things first,” Jamie needed to get some info out of his friend, the important info. “Is she pretty?”

Jack’s eyebrows rose but he didn’t answer. “Jack!”

“Oh, yeah. Uh, she’s gorgeous. Just perfect…” and he got that glazed look in his eyes again.

Jamie had to suppress giggles. He’d never seen Jack like this. “You are totally crushing on her, aren’t you?”

Jack looked embarrassed but didn’t deny it, and rambled on again.

“It’s so strange, Jamie. I’ve known her all this time and always felt close to her, but now, she’s the same but it’s different when I can actually hear her respond to my questions. Although, most of her answers are, I am Wind, so it’s not the easiest way to get anything out of her. And then she looks like that and I… I just don’t know what to do.”

Jamie was very tempted to tease the spirit about his crush, he would make an easy target right now with how flustered he was, but then he remembered that Jack had been there for him through the same problem.

When Jamie was a teen, there was a girl he really wanted to ask out but whenever he was around her, he couldn’t speak. Jack talked him through the whole thing patiently, not even once making fun of him or making it awkward. He was actually very helpful.

It was strange that the roles were now reversed. He was now older than Jack (physically, at least), and it was his turn to be a supportive friend and this meant no teasing.

“Tell me, why is she here? Why does she suddenly have a spirit when she never did before? What’s the story here?”

Jack looked at him with distress. “I’ve been wondering the same thing. I tried asking her and she just responds with things like, I’m here for you, and I really don’t know what she means.”

He put his head back in his hands as if it was too heavy to hold up.

“Is it possible that she’s tired of not being able to communicate with you and so she got herself a body so she could? This could be a good thing, Jack.”

Jack didn’t respond but put his bent arm on the table, settled his head on it and started tracing frost patterns on the table. The design reminded Jamie of flowery lace.

Jamie was about to say something when the doorbell rang. He wasn’t expecting anyone at this hour and was taken aback at seeing who it was. None other than Claire, Jack’s vampire friend was at his door.

 

Chapter Text

Claire was feeling optimistic when she went to Jamie Bennett’s house, hoping that Jack was there and that he wouldn’t refuse to see her.

Jamie answered the door and gave her a polite smile. Jack’s friend never warmed up to her which was not unexpected. Humans had a natural aversion to her kind, even ones like Jamie, who was used to the supernatural world thanks to Jack. His blood being on her menu could have something to do with that but she would never bite him.

She even promised Jack that she wouldn’t feed on anyone in town when she moved to Burgess. She had been living mostly off of animal blood for the past year. She found the need to feed on humans decrease and wondered if, with time, she could completely eliminate it.

“Hi, Jamie. I hope it’s not too late. Is Jack around by any chance?”

“Sure, I’ll get him,” Jamie said, happy to get away from her.

She stood on the porch and shifted from leg to leg nervously. The last time she saw him did not go well but she hoped she could still bounce back from that fiasco.

Jack finally came out, closed the door after himself and motioned for her to walk with him.

“I’m sorry, Jack,” she blurted. “I shouldn’t have surprised you like that the other night but...”

“No, Claire. I’m the one that should apologize,” Jack said, shutting her up. “I overreacted,” he added, looking embarrassed. “That wasn’t a pity kiss, was it?”

“Of course not.” Was that what he thought? No wonder he didn’t take it well. But it also meant that there was still a chance. “I wanted to kiss you for a while actually.”

“Really?”

He was surprised and she groaned internally that he never noticed the affection she had shown him. She supposed she was too subtle when giving him signs.

“Yes. I really like you, Jack, and I find you very attractive.”

His eyes bulged at her confession and he slowly looked away, blushing.

‘Oh, wow,’ she thought. ‘He’s adorably shy.’

They slowly walked in silence and she wondered if she was too blunt, if she should have eased into it instead. Then, she decided that she needed to finish what she started.

‘Now, or never,’ she decided.

“I think we could be great together,” she stirred the subject gently this time. “I’m glad you opened up to me the other night. We make sense as a couple. For example, you said, who would want you because you emanate cold, I don't mind, Jack. Your cold doesn’t bother me.”

Jack leaned his staff on his shoulder where he spun it in his fingers. He snuck a glimpse at her but then looked away again so she continued, “And I don’t age either, Jack. We’re both immortal and I think we make a great pair if you… if you just wanted to consider this possibility.”

She was starting to lose her conviction, his silence defeating her confidence.

“Claire,” he finally said, still only glimpsing at her, “I… I’m flattered. I am.”

He ran a hand through his hair which she knew he did whenever he was nervous. It was actually really sexy and she bit her lip. She was fighting an urge to just throw herself at him right here.

He continued, “I never knew you felt this way. You’ve been a great friend to me and I care about you a lot but… I never thought of you that way.”

His words stung herbut really, what was she thinking? Just because he was a lonely young guy, it immediately meant that he would jump on the first woman who offered, any woman? Even as plain a woman as her?

“Is it my age?” she worried. “I was twenty-seven when I was turned, you were nineteen, is this difference too great for you? It doesn’t matter to me, you know.”

“I don’t mean that,” he interjected. “I think you look great… Uh…” he got flustered and blushed again. She couldn’t take how cute his purple-hued blush was. She wanted to kiss it. “I don’t think this is the right time.”

She was puzzled by his words but also worried about them. Not the right time? Winter was going to end soon and once it did, Jack wouldn’t visit Burgess for weeks at a time. And once it got warm, he would avoid it completely for months. Not the right time. Time was something she was running out of. If she had any chance of making a step forward, it was now.

Before she could say anything else, he smiled at her uncomfortably, said, “I should get back. Goodnight, Claire,” and flew off.

She stood there, looking after him and wondered if her chances were lost yet or not. Was he giving her the friendzone or was he just shy?

“You won’t get off that easy, Jack,” she said into the night. “I will get you yet.”

By the time Jamie cleaned up in the kitchen and got ready for bed, Jack returned, sat down at the kitchen table again and leaned his staff against his shoulder.

“So, what did Claire want?”

Jack shrugged. “Just to talk.”

Jamie knew his spirit friend well enough to tell when he was holding something back. Jack was an awful actor. He couldn’t hide any emotions. So now, he was sitting there, trying to look casual but the way his eyes darted all over the place indicated that something was bothering him.

Jamie sat down next to him and stared his friend right in the eyes. “Spill.”

Jack sighed, defeated. “She came to apologize.” He paused and scratched his head. “A couple of days ago she kissed me out of nowhere and I… I could have handled that better. I guess, I misunderstood. So, yeah, apparently, she’s got a thing for me,” He grimaced at Jamie’s amused face. “Why is all of this happening at the same time? My brain is about to explode.”

Jamie couldn’t help it, he laughed but then gave Jack a hug to make him feel better. He shivered at the contact and had to detach himself quickly. His thin t-shirt was not enough to protect him from Jack’s cold skin.

“So, two women are trying to win your affections, did I get that right?”

Jack shrugged.

“Do you have a preference for which one you’d rather be with?”

“I like Claire, she's great. I think a part of why we get along so well is that we’re so different from each other. I’m playful and impulsive and she’s collected and mature. It’s like a Ying and Yang thing, you know what I’m saying? But… what I feel when I’m around Wind, I never felt that with Claire. Wind is insanely pretty and so innocent, it’s endearing.” Jack gave him a pointed look. “But on the other hand, she’s really possessive, Jamie. She doesn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. It’s a little scary.”

Jamie giggled.

“That’s not funny, Jamie!”

“Sorry. It’s just, you’re scared of a sweet beautiful girl because she wants you,” and he exploded into giggles again and got a glare from Jack. “Don’t give me that look. You’re the one who taught me to find humor in every situation.”

Jack sighed. “I did a good job at that, didn’t I?”

Jamie got over his giggles and tried to be more supportive. “I get it, she’s intense.”

“Maybe I’m too hard on her,” Jack continued, “she hasn’t had much time to adjust to this new life yet so I should be patient, but Jamie, she’s already acting like I’m her soul-mate or something and I’m flattered, but really, I’d love it if it was all a little bit more normal. Like, you meet a girl, you talk, you flirt, you get to know each other, etcetera. And not that you meet a girl and within the first five minutes she declares that her body was literally made for you and you are eternally hers.” Jack hung his head.

“Wait, she actually said that?”

“Repeatedly.” He rubbed the back of his neck, “By the way, I hope you don’t have anything against it but she made me swear that I wouldn’t sleep on the floor like I said. She’ll flip out if I’m not next to her when she wakes up.”

Jamie chuckled. “The attic is yours. I won’t disturb you guys.”

“No!”

Jack blushed and it wasn't the usual pink you’d expect on anyone else but a strange purplish color, one that would look strange on others but somehow looked natural on his pale skin. Jamie couldn’t remember if he’d ever seen the spirit blush before today.

Jack continued his rambling, “No. I won’t try anything, I swear. I just met her and… I just…”

“Jack, stop it.” He looked his friend in the eye sternly until Jack finally stopped trying to butt in. “As long as it’s consensual, I don’t care what you do or don’t do. We’re all adults here.”

“Are we though?” Jack asked seriously. “I don’t feel like an adult, Jamie. I’m an eternal teenager. Honestly, it feels like you’re my older brother at this point, and I’m about to be scolded for being too frisky. It gets old, you know, feeling like this, knowing I’ll never grow out of it. I'm always the kid in the room and forever stuck in this awkward stage. People don’t see me as an adult and I don’t feel like one either.”

Jamie hugged his friend again, making an effort this time to not release him too early. He never gave this a lot of thought before, what it must be like to be stuck in one age for centuries. He always liked that Jack was so youthful, always full of energy and ready to play but there was another side to being frozen in that stage of life. One is supposed to grow up, become a man and mature. Jack was never going to experience that.

“As your big brother figure, I tell you this. Stop worrying yourself with the details. Don’t overthink it, it will only give you a headache. These matters are not meant to make sense. It seems to me that you already know what you need to do. Just go to your girl, Jack. You’re her world right now and I think she needs you.”

The spirit smiled shyly and disappeared behind the closed attic door. Jamie felt a mixture of emotions for his friend but was hopeful, wishing for this girl to be what Jack needed.

Chapter Text

Wind opened her eyes and marveled at what she felt. The night before, she felt awful. She didn’t really think that sleep was the solution, and thought that maybe she caught one of those diseases she heard humans have, but finally she gave in after Jack begged her to trust him. And now that she awoke, she felt refreshed, full of energy, and ready for the next day. Jack was right, sleep was the answer.

She was about to get up when she felt trapped by something - it turned out to be Jack’s arm. He was facing her back and must have hugged her in his sleep as his arm was slumped over her waist. She was thrilled at that discovery. She made him swear that he wasn’t going to leave her and he kept his promise.

She turned to face his peaceful face. He was a sight to behold.

“My Winter,” she whispered.

She changed her position slightly so she could put her arm over his neck and insert fingers into his hair. He shifted in response, resting his face on her other arm, right by her neck and her heart beat faster. She didn’t understand why it did that sometimes but it was always whenever he was near.

Wind had combed his hair countless times with her gusts and thought she knew everything there was to know about it but now she was stunned. Being able to put her fingers through it introduced a whole wave of new sensations. His hair was cool to the touch and so soft, it was a wonder it didn’t melt between her fingers. She could continue doing this for hours at a time.

She massaged his scalp and he released a satisfied, ‘Hmmm.’ He always loved this but she wondered if he liked it better now that she was using fingers.

Now that she knew that having a sense of touch made such a difference, she wondered what else would feel different, better. She traced her fingers from his hair down his neck, focusing on the feel of his skin. It was smooth like a polished stone and only a little cooler than her own. He constantly generated cold and her body temperature must have lowered during the night due to proximity to him.

She was the perfect match for him. What other spirit would have this ability but her? She only hoped he could see that soon.

She traced her fingers over his facial features, inspecting each detail: the brows which were mostly black but had white tips like frosting on a leaf, the curves of his nose and the faint freckles on his cheeks. When she touched his lower lip, he sighed and slightly opened his mouth. For a moment she thought that she finally woke him but he remained asleep.

She went back to playing with his hair, just enjoying the quiet peacefulness of the moment.

Just a day ago she was the Wind - the ancient force of nature. She was everywhere and thought she knew everything but she was starting to doubt that. The world was different when seen through the eyes of a spirit, her Winter was different, and most of all, she was different.

She thought that having a spirit body was enough to secure her future with Winter but it seemed that she had to work for it. Alas, how? What would it take to get him to accept their destiny together? That was her first spirit lesson.

The room they were in was interesting. The sloped ceiling exposed bare beams, the walls had only shabby wooden panels, and the whole place smelled of wood. There were very few items in there, some mismatched furniture and a few cardboard boxes. The morning light was coming through a small window and illuminating specs of dust in the air. She waved her hand to move the air current and the dust danced in swirls at her command.

It was drafty, the room obviously not fit for a human to live in it but it did not bother her Winter. He probably preferred it that way.

She thought it was very thoughtful of Jamie to prepare this room for Jack. He apparently appreciated her Winter’s company so much that he wanted to give him a reason to visit more often. She wished Jamie could hear her so she could thank him for that. Anyone that took care of her Winter deserved her gratitude.

After a long while, Jack woke up with a start, raised his head and stared at her in surprise. Then, he smiled and said cheerfully, “I didn’t dream you up. You’re really here.”

She smiled back and resumed caressing his hair. “Of course, I am.”

He closed his eyes, enjoying her touch and shifted to put his head on his bent arm.

“That’s nice,” he said. Then, he opened his eyes, a playful look in them. “Can I try the same?”

He used the hand that was previously on her waist and raised it to her head.

“Your hair is amazing,” he said, digging in, combing her hair from roots all the way to the ends.

She had to admit that it did indeed feel nice when he did that. Then, his hand traveled from her hair down her jawline and stopped when he cupped her chin.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered and she felt her heart beat faster again.

Then, color rose to his cheeks like she’d seen happen to him before, and he let go of her chin, biting his lip. He moved his hand to rest on his thigh now and she did not like that. She wanted it across her waist again so she put it where it belonged. He was surprised when she did it but did not fight her.

They laid there unmoving, just staring into each other’s eyes for a long time, each studying the other and both flinched when they heard a whistling sound coming from somewhere in the house.

Jack sighed. “Jamie’s up.” Then, he perked up at a thought, “Have you tried food yet?”

She scrunched up her nose and shook her head. She had no need for food.

“Come,” he insisted and pulled her out of bed.

Jack held her hand as they went into the kitchen, and exchanged a “Good Morning” with his friend.

“Do you have anything interesting? I wanted to let Wind taste food for the first time.”

The human looked inside the refrigerator and pulled out a few items, giving them to Jack who put them out on the table.

“Come, Wind. I want you to try this and tell me which is your favorite.”

She sat down next to him but really didn’t know what he was trying to accomplish.

“Jack, I am Wind. I don’t need to eat. You should know that. Neither do you.”

He just grinned and picked through the items on the table.

“I don’t need to eat but I still enjoy it. You have a body now. Taste is one of the senses at your disposal. Don’t dismiss it.”

She finally gave in to please him. He made his selection and tried each food to test it and then fed her little pieces.

She couldn’t believe that she had almost missed out on all of those new sensations. It wasn’t just the diverse range of flavors but also textures and aromas, each intensifying the experience.

He was right yet again and she told herself to never doubt his judgment in the future. He obviously knew how to live to the fullest while having a body. While she was stuck in one, she might as well use it well.

She looked at the human at the table who was eating quietly and observing Jack with a small smile on his lips. She wondered what it meant.

Jack noticed where she was looking and cleared his throat.

“Um, sorry for keeping you out of the conversation, Jamie.”

His friend only smiled at that. “No problem. I’m just entertaining myself by watching you. I take it she likes food?”

“I think so, don’t you?”

She nodded enthusiastically, still chewing the last bit he gave her.

“So, any big plans for today?” Jamie asked with a smirk.

“I think a nice snow day is overdue, don’t you think?”

Wind was happy to hear him say that. She was beginning to worry. Jack was so caught up in mundane human matters, he wasn’t doing anything that was his nature. She was growing concerned that he suppressed Winter and that was the opposite of what she wanted.

“A snow day will be perfect.”

Chapter Text

Jack flew up to the skies with a plan. Winter stirred inside him. He'd been aching to use it and finally, he could. He closed his eyes and willed the clouds to form around him. The temperature dropped and the swirling cold moisture condensed around him.

Once he was satisfied with it, he released the built-up energy with a happy shout, ”Snow day!” and descended to the ground with the flurries.

Jack loved this part, the children’s look of awe at the snow gently falling around them and he delighted whenever anyone tried to catch a snowflake with their tongue. They loved the snow and in turn loved him. He started a snowball fight which turned into a street-wide war which filled the neighborhood with echoes of laughter.

To his delight, one of the kids saw him, ran up to him and gave him a tight hug with a simple, ”Thank you for the snow!”

”Thank you for believing in me.”

He ruffled the girl's hair and let her get back to her friends. He would never get over the joy of being seen and appreciated.

Wind was sitting on the roof of a nearby building and was looking down at him. He flew up to her, an infectious smile plastered on his face. She was giving him a different type of look, one he couldn’t decipher, and he was curious about what was on her mind.

“How are you doing up here?”

She smiled warmly. “I’m enjoying the view.”

He sat next to her so they could watch the street together, and she immediately put an arm around his waist to pull him in closer.

“You really have a way with children.”

He hesitated, still unsure of how to act around her. She was always so forward and he had a hard time catching up to her, but finally, he put his arm around her and looked down upon the ongoing snowball war.

“They love you,” she added.

“And I love them. I would never give this up. It’s the best part of my life.”

Jack watched the children play as snowflakes continued gently falling around them. He leaned his head on Wind’s as happiness swelled inside him. He couldn’t remember the last time when he felt like this. He knew it was because Wind was there and for once, he wasn’t alone while watching others.

“I’m glad you’re here with me,” he whispered into her ear.

Then, an idea popped into his head. “Race you to the pond.”

He jumped off and rode the wind with glee. He looked behind and saw that she was gaining on him. She had an advantage in flight, didn’t she? Well, he had his own talents.

He threw a thick condensation of flurries at her, hoping to slow her down but she just blasted through them and now seemed even more determined to win the race. He laughed at the challenge and was met with sudden pain.

Unfortunately, he was so distracted by looking at her that he flew right into a tree.

He fell to the ground with a groan and Wind was by his side immediately.

“Are you okay?”

He smiled, a little embarrassed. “Yeah. It happens sometimes.”

He rubbed his aching head, sat down, leaning against the unfortunately placed tree and laughed wholeheartedly at his clumsiness. She was still worried at first but then joined in. Crashing into a tree was worth the pain if only to hear her melodious laugh.

Wind kneeled down next to him and her gaze shifted to the tree. She held out her hand and to his amazement, a blue jay landed on her palm. She blew at it and the gentlest breeze caressed its pretty feathers.

Jack was amazed at the sight. Wind looked like she was silently communicating with the little blue jay who tilted its head left and right.

When the bird noticed Jack, it screeched loudly, startling the winter spirit. Wind looked at him scoldingly as the bird flew onto her shoulder.

”She doesn't like you,” she explained and looked back lovingly at the bird perched on her shoulder.

”What did I do?”

”She hasn't forgiven you for the previous autumn,” she said, still not looking at him. ”You created that blizzard too early. Her young were not ready yet, they were poor flyers and she barely led them to safety on time.”

Jack frowned. That early blizzard was not planned, he didn't mean to cause it. He was overwhelmed by emotions, and in an attempt to escape them, he let Winter take over, and Winter was in the mood for a massive blizzard. In a way, he thought of it as not his fault but still felt a little guilty. If only he faced his emotions, he would have remained in control.

”I'm sorry,” he stammered. ”I…”

Wind sighed. ”You don't have to apologize. You are Winter. You did what Winter does,” and she petted the air above the blue jay which created a tiny air movement which touched the purple-blue feathers. The bird closed its eyes in pleasure for a moment, then went back to looking daggers at Jack.

”You probably kill lots of animals every year anyway.”

Jack's face fell. ”What?”

She cocked her head at him like a bird. ”Why are you surprised? You are Winter. You freeze their food source or cover it with snow. The trees go into hibernation and no longer provide shelter. It's the way of life, Jack. Spring restores - Summer feeds - Autumn prepares - Winter cleanses.”

Jack did not like it when his power was explained that way. His heart grew heavy and he leaned on his staff. Of course, he understood the destructive power of cold but he never thought about it too excessively.

’Snowballs and fun times,’ he thought to himself, ’I cause much more than just fun times.’

He touched the tree they sat by and traced frost patterns on the bark as his heart burdened with dark thoughts.

Wind sat closer to him and put a hand on his shoulder.

”Maybe I shouldn't have pointed it out to you. Maybe ignorance of it was a blessing?”

He sighed and looked into her milky gray eyes.

”No. It's okay. It’s not like I don’t know what destruction I’m capable of.” He addressed the blue jay still perched on her shoulder. ”You know, Winter killed me too.”

”The pond?”

He nodded. ”I drowned. If it were summer, I would have just swum to safety but it was winter and I was trapped under the ice.” He sighed at the memory. “Ice too weak to hold my weight but strong enough to keep me prisoner.”

”Do you regret that your human life ended so early?”

He shook his head. ”Never. I saved my sister. It was a worthy death. And to think that I became the force that killed me… Wind, are all spirits made this way?”

“No, of course not. It might actually be a coincidence in your case.”

“Really?”

He always thought his power over winter had everything to do with how he died.

“You are very well suited to be the Spirit of Winter. You could say, you are compatible with this force of nature. Man in the Moon chose well.”

Jack nodded, trying to process that piece of information.

“And of course, most spirits were never human.”

“Like you?”

“My story is rather unique, Jack, but that’s not what I mean. Some spirits are born.”

Jack scratched the back of his neck at this revelation. “How does this work? How does a human baby become a spirit?”

“Oh, my Jack, that’s not what I meant,” Wind giggled. “I mean born from spirit parents.”

Jack’s eyes bulged. “Wait. Spirits can have children?”

Wind tilted her head at him. “Why wouldn’t they?”

“Woah.” Jack ran a hand through his hair. “That is quite a little detail I had no idea about.”

He was stunned at how much he did not know about the world he was a part of. He knew that he was a young spirit, 316 years is a tiny fraction of time compared to spirits that have been around for thousands of years but still, he thought that he was old enough to know some basics. He wondered how old Wind was but wasn’t sure how to bring up that topic.

They sat there for a moment, both lost in their own thoughts when Jack broke the silence.

“Wind, there have been Spirits of Winter before me, haven’t they?”

“Yes.”

“You’ve met them? Are they still around? I haven’t encountered any yet.”

“There can be only one seasonal spirit at a time.” She sighed and continued, “A spirit can choose to end its existence, to fade, and the power is transferred over after a suitable replacement is found.”

“Like a retirement? What happens to them when they decide to fade?”

“They become one with the force they were. So, in a way, you know your predecessors, Jack. You feel them whenever you feel Winter inside you.”

Jack was fascinated by this and wondered about the possibilities of what it all meant. Could he communicate with them? The time when he lost control and caused that blizzard, was it one of the previous winter spirits guiding him? How much influence did they have over him, even now? Wind kept surprising him, throwing all of this new information his way which defied all of his previous beliefs.

“Thank you for telling me all of this. I’ve never known anyone who knew so much about this world I’m a part of.”

Wind looked at the bird on her shoulder intently and chuckled as if the blue jay just said a joke.

“You can communicate with birds?”

“You could too if you hung around with them enough to learn but as you’re Winter, they might not want to spend much time with you anyway.” She let the bird come onto her hands and it settled in her palms comfortably. “Although, not all birds love me either.”

“Really? Why?”

“The birds of prey object when I pick sides. They think I should be impartial.”

“How so? What do you do?” Jack asked, intrigued.

“Well, see this little one here?” She lifted the blue jay up to him. “If she was in trouble, being chased by a hawk and I saw it, I would help her out, give her a boost so she could get away.”

“Ah, so the hawk would complain how come you help the blue jay and not him?”

“Yes, and how can I not. She’s so cute.” She smiled lovingly at the little bird in her hands.

He didn’t know this about Wind but it made sense. Birds were always in her domain so she got to spend a lot of time with them. Besides, he had to admit that the blue jay was indeed cute when looking at him with those intelligent but gentle black eyes.

Wind let the bird fly back and Jack couldn’t take his eyes away from her. There was so much more to her than he could have imagined. She was gentle and loving, as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. How lucky was he that she wanted to spend her first days as a spirit with him?

Wind started to comb his hair with her fingers again and glided them gently between the strands. Her fingers felt wonderful as they touched his scalp. Each stroke woke up his nerve endings and relaxed him. This was even better than when she did it with her gusts.

“Wind, why have you always had a thing for my hair?” he asked the question that had been bugging him for a long time.

She laughed. “Oh, my Jack. It was never about your hair.” He gave her a questioning look so she continued, “How can I explain this? Hmm, feel this.”

And she blew a gust of wind which he felt on his whole body.

He raised an eyebrow in question.

“And now, feel this.”

And she blew a gust of wind which ruffled his hair and he chuckled, remembering how many times she’d done this before. Then, the gust combed it and he half-closed his eyes at the pleasant feeling.

“Does this answer your question?”

“No. Not really.”

She sighed and went back to combing his hair with her fingers.

“When I blew at you, you did not FEEL it. When I combed your hair, you FELT it. You know not yourself, Jack. You love it.”

“You mean, you always did it only because I liked it?”

She held his gaze and said softly, “I wanted to give you pleasure. This was the only way I knew how.”

He did not break their eye contact but felt a heat in his cheeks, thinking about her word choice.

“Well,” she cupped his cheeks with her hands and gently rubbed at the blush building there, “that was before I had a body.”

Jack felt dazed. There she went again, saying the boldest pickup line, stopping his brain function and if that wasn't enough, now, she was so close and looked at him so expectantly that he felt the strangest combination of exaltation and panic at the same time.

If he knew how to flirt, he would have given her a smooth comeback and they could exchange some innuendos and make a step forward but his mouth was glued shut. He had no idea how to respond to something so forward.

As if knowing that he was not going to reply, Wind sat on his lap with her bare knees on the snow-covered ground. He gasped but before he could react, she was suddenly so close that her mouth was right in front of his.

“I’ve seen humans do this when they claim one another,” she whispered and on each word, her warm lips brushed against his, sending a shiver down his spine, “but honestly, I don’t know what they do. Do you?”

Jack had no idea what she was talking about, in fact, his brain was not processing any words at the moment. All he knew was that her mouth was millimeters away and he wanted to know if her lips were as soft as he imagined.

He hesitated because he still wasn’t sure what she wanted. Did she want him to kiss her? Was that why she was this close? Or was this just one of those innocent things she would do, not knowing any better?

He finally lost the battle in his head and moved his lips to hers.

Jack meant for it to be a sweet gentle kiss but passion took over, his mouth having plans of its own. After a short moment of surprise, she joined in, copying his movements. His hands were on her back, pulling her closer to him and her hands traveled to his hair and the back of his neck.

Her mouth was warm and inviting and he never wanted the moment to stop. Time seemed to slow down and his mind was completely clear. All around, the snowflakes that were previously gently falling down, now, hung suspended in the air, reacting to his state of mind. All that mattered was that he could move his lips against hers, and she invited him for more.

The kiss became sluggish, he wanted to fully feel the softness of her lips, wanted to taste them, explore them thoroughly. They had time, all the time in the world.

When they finally stopped, Jack looked into her milky gray eyes with awe. He knew he had a goofy grin on his face but didn’t care. He’d fantasized about kissing her before but the real thing was a hundred times better.

She beamed at him. “You did it. You claimed me!”

He wondered what she could have meant but then she gently repositioned herself in his lap and he panicked again as the realization hit him of what position they were in. She was on his lap AND she wore only a flimsy nightgown. He felt his pants get tight and worried if she could feel that.

She was so innocent. He was mortified at the idea of having to explain to her what was going on if she asked. A part of him wanted to throw her off of him so he could hide but another part of him begged him not to because he was thrilled at what was happening.

‘Don’t you dare mess this up,’ that part warned him. ‘Keep her where she is.’

His internal struggle must have shown on his face.

“Is there a problem?”

Words still refused to appear themselves to him so he just shook his head.

“Then, what’s wrong? Did you… did you not like it?” she asked, her voice trembling and he panicked again, noticing that tears started building in her eyes.

“No, no, no. No, Wind. I loved it. You’re a great kisser.”

She sniffed, and put her head on his shoulder, facing his neck. Her warm breath on his skin gave him goosebumps. He wanted to embrace her to make her feel better, and as he moved his hands to give her a better hug, her robe belt came loose, opening the garment to him and his left hand accidentally traveled through the V opening of her gown under the cloth.

He felt her soft, warm skin under the silky fabric and stilled, hit by a wave of lust. He didn’t know what to do with himself. He never felt desire this strong and didn’t know how to handle it. His breathing got faster and he felt himself tremble.

‘Now, you’re in trouble,’ he thought.

He took a deep breath, trying to steady himself and reveled in her scent. She smelled unique, like everything and nothing at the same time. But to him, she smelled like home, familiar, cozy, inviting, coaxing him closer, attracting him further.

To make things worse, Wind shifted herself on his lap again and started playing with his hair. Jack couldn’t take it anymore.

‘If she didn’t want you,’ he reasoned with himself, ‘she wouldn’t be here on your lap.’

He lost the battle with his will and kissed her neck, aching to take action. He continued the motion he started with his hand before, getting it further under her gown. He moved her silky hair aside and placed a trail of kisses traveling from her neck to her shoulder.

He wanted to kiss every inch of her body but simultaneously wanted to take his time. They were both so new at this and had eternity ahead of them. There was no need to rush. She sighed at his kisses, the warmth of her breath sent more currents down his back and he cursed internally, wondering why in the world he wore such tight pants.

Wind raised her head to look at him, interrupting him and kissed him on the mouth. He gently probed her lips with his tongue and as they parted, he found her warm tongue with his. Like before, she copied him, learning quickly and setting his blood ablaze. He wanted more, he wanted all of her.

He crushed her close to him, his need intensifying and he felt that at this moment, he would do anything, give up anything just to have her, just to call her his. It was as if his whole life, his long existence was nothing up until this point. As if all this time he was waiting for this exact moment, to be with her.

When their lips finally separated, they gazed into each other’s eyes, drinking in each other. She brought a finger to his lip, ran it across in the softest manner and he placed the smallest kiss on it.

“Does this mean you truly, fully claim me? Do you accept me as your mate?”

He smiled. As if this hot makeout session wasn’t proof enough, but she wanted confirmation and he was ready to give her one because there was only one thought on his mind. He wanted her, no, he needed her.

“Yes, Wind. I’m crazy about you.”

Chapter Text

Wind was pleased with herself. Winter has been playing hard to get, but finally, he gave in.

When she approached him earlier, she was uncertain. She had no idea what to do. She’d seen humans claim each other by getting really close and she wanted to try it too but once she got started, she realized that she had never paid enough attention to see what they did once in that position.

She was about to lose all hope when Jack took charge and placed his lips on hers. Thankfully, he knew what to do and she was delighted because finally, he did something with this body she procured for him.

She was getting worried before that she failed in creating a body that would be an object of his desire, that she got the magic wrong, but now, her doubts were lifted. He wanted her. She could feel the force of his desire in each kiss and each touch. Now, she finally understood that he had been holding himself back before, though she did not comprehend why. If her body was appealing to him, why did he not take it from the start?

She offered herself to him on day one and had given him plenty of opportunities since but he resisted each time. Even now, when they had finally made progress, he hadn’t fully taken her yet. Was she doing something wrong?

The wintry afternoon sky became darker as the day was coming to an end, and they headed back to Jamie’s house.

Jack decided to show her that movie he mentioned before and they snuggled on the couch in Jamie’s living room to watch it.

“That’s a Groot?” Wind asked when seeing a walking tree.

“Yeah.”

“I know them as Living Trees. I haven’t met one yet though.” 

Jack looked at her with that lopsided smirk she loved. “Wind, it’s a movie. This is a made-up character. It’s not real.”

Wind chuckled. “Oh, Jack, I know that, but Living Trees are real.”

Jack looked for signs that she was joking or teasing him and finally sighed. “You’d think things would stop surprising me by now.”

The movie confused her. She had a hard time understanding the story, the characters, and their motivations. Groot seemed to be the most sensible among them so she felt pleased that Jack compared her to him.

Which character was he most like? Maybe the raccoon? She laughed at the thought and Jack gave her a questioning look. Oh, maybe this wasn’t one of those ‘funny’ scenes and she wasn’t supposed to laugh.

He put his arm over her shoulder and played with her hair, wrapping it around his finger.

“Wind?”

“Hmm?”

“I was wondering. Whenever I asked you to carry me, just how much of my thoughts could you hear? Can you hear them now?”

“Back when I was Wind, I could hear you whenever you thought of me. This body is more restrictive, but the rest of me, she still hears you.”

“So, whenever I would think of you, you would hear everything I thought? That’s a little intrusive, don’t you think?”

“Oh, my Jack. I would hear only what you wanted me to hear.”

“I can live with that. Do you have that communication with all spirits?”

“Of course not. On your first day as a spirit, I was there, I felt it when you were reborn and wanted to check out the new spirit. You felt me right away. So many spirits don’t even recognize what I am. And those who recognize, they only bother to use me. You were different. From the start, you talked to me, you thanked me, and I accepted you as my mate. That’s why I could hear you. When you fully accept me, you will hear me the same.”

“Is that why you’re here?”

“I claimed you then, and now that I’m a spirit, we can mate at last.”

He frowned, thinking it over. “What does it mean, to accept you as my mate?”

“We will be mated forever, Jack. Our powers will intertwine. You will be even more powerful than you are now. You will always be able to feel and take strength from Wind and I from Winter. Right now, you can ask Wind for a lift and she obliges because she wants us to mate but once that’s done, Wind will be at your command, no longer as a favor but as your right.”

“Forever, huh?” he asked, looking at the TV without really seeing it. “No pressure there.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant but suspected that it had to do with why he was holding back and hadn’t fully accepted her yet. She sighed, wondering what else she could do to speed up his resolve. This was more difficult than she ever imagined.

“Wait, does it mean you’ll be able to create blizzards?”

“I don’t really know what the extent of my power over Winter will be. Probably not that extreme. We’ll see,” she said and yawned widely.

She remembered this time that the yawn meant it was time to sleep so she nestled herself comfortably next to him.

It felt so right to be in his arms. She couldn’t wait until they were mated so she could always fall asleep this way. It was worth it to have a body just so she could feel this bliss. Her eyelids slowly closed but she didn’t drift off into sleep just yet. She laid there, cuddled with her Winter, enjoying the nearness of him and he absentmindedly played with her hair.

At one point, he must have thought that she was asleep because he said to Jamie who was passing by them, ”Hey, Jamie. You got a minute?”

He gently eased her to lay down on the couch and she got herself comfortable, confident that he would come back for her in exactly one minute.

He went into the kitchen to speak to Jamie but she couldn’t hear their conversation. Not long after, they were interrupted by a noise that sounded like a bell. She was growing impatient but her eyes felt too heavy to open and check what was going on.

“Did she say what she wants?” she heard Jack say. “Okay, I’ll check. I’ll be right back.”

She waited for her Winter to come back to her and the more time had passed, the more she became annoyed with his absence.

The minute he promised passed a long time ago. She finally opened her eyes and sat up, listening.

Jamie was in the kitchen alone and there was no sign of Jack anywhere. She flew out through the window, searching for his signature scent of Winter magic. He had to be close by.

Claire appraised herself. She put in an effort to look well. She wore a short black cotton dress with a soft red winter sweater on top of it, black, glossy leggings which made her legs look nice and her favorite black leather boots. She tied her long hair into a ponytail with a few curly locks loose around her face.

She tried to look pretty and youthful tonight. For him.

She tried Jamie’s house and was happy to find that Jack was there again. He came out and they went for a walk again.

Jack seemed lost in thought but overall in a good mood. At least, he wasn’t getting flustered as the last time she saw him so maybe they could have a real conversation. She missed being able to talk to him openly.

“I’m guessing the snow was your work?” she tried to start up a conversation.

“It was overdue,” Jack chuckled.

“How’s Jamie?”

“He’s well, although, I think the new job doesn’t sit well with him. I need to talk him into finding something more fun. He’s growing so desperate that he even offered his attic to me permanently. I guess he wants me to have more reasons to visit.”

That was indeed very nice of Jamie. She made a mental note to thank him for that later.

She noticed that Jack kept looking back at Jamie’s house like he was eager to get back.

‘No, not yet,’ she thought, afraid that she wouldn’t have enough time to do what she planned.

“I’m glad that you’ll be visiting Burgess more often, Jack.”

He nodded. “Yeah. This town has always felt like home to me but now… Now, I actually have a home. It’s amazing what a difference a little room in the attic makes. You and Jamie have become like a family to me. It’s starting to feel as if Jamie was my older brother.”

He smiled but this statement bothered her. That’s not how she wanted Jack to see her.

“And I am what? Your sister?”

“Not really. I wouldn’t call you my sister.”

“You’re damn right, I’m not your sister.”

And she pulled his face to hers and kissed him, reveling in the coolness of his lips. He started pulling away from her but she was determined and held him tight.

She tried to put all of her emotions into this kiss, desperately wanting him to feel something for her. He pushed her away harder, and she reluctantly let him go.

“You really need to stop kissing me, Claire,” Jack said quietly, keeping her at arm’s length.

“Why, Jack?” she was getting frustrated. “I know you’re lonely. I’m lonely too. We don’t have to be. Give me a chance, Jack.”

“I don’t want to be more than friends,” he said, crushing her heart. “And besides… there’s someone else.”

“What?” Claire blurted. “Just the other night you said..” but before she could finish he looked at something over her shoulder and his face blanched.

“Wind!” he shouted and flew off in that direction as Claire dropped to her knees.

‘There’s someone else.’

The words echoed in her head.

‘There’s someone else.’

I am Wind. I am everywhere. I see all.
My Spirit is hurt. This cannot be.
You have hurt my Spirit, Winter.
I will aid you no more.

Jack flew after Wind thinking, ‘I have the worst luck in the world.’

Why did Claire have to kiss him? Where did that come from? And what timing!

He chased after his wind spirit and found that she was much faster. She finally stopped and his hope flared up. He could still catch her to explain.

Then, out of nowhere, he lost control of the wind and started plummeting to the ground.

He thought, ‘No, Wind. Don’t drop me now. I almost caught up with her. I need to explain,’ but Wind did not listen to him.

He was gaining speed the further he dropped and realized how ridiculous it all was. He was nothing without Wind. All of his powers were useless to him now.

“This is going to hurt,” he said to himself before everything went dark.

 

Chapter Text

Wind wasn’t sure where Jack fell. She’s been searching the area, scanning it close to the ground with no luck. The fall wouldn’t kill him but he would be greatly hurt. Her heart ached, knowing that she was the reason for it.

She should have given Jack a chance to explain himself. Maybe the situation wasn’t as bad as she feared. Maybe that Nightwalker hadn’t completely stolen him yet. She might have still had a chance, that is if he forgave her for hurting him so.

She wasn't the first one to find him. Someone was carrying Jack’s body. She silently landed next to the man, startling him and he yelped.

“Who are you?” he asked but she ignored him, her eyes focused on Jack.

His body was limp in the man’s arms and was mostly covered in frost. She caressed his cheek and was alarmed by how freezing his skin was. He did not show any signs of life.

‘It’s my fault,’ she thought and her vision blurred.

“I take it you know him,” the man said. “I don’t know what happened. I found him like this. I was going to bring him to my place. I’m renting an apartment just a couple of streets over. Follow me.”

He appeared human so she didn’t understand how he could see her or Jack but that wasn’t her concern now. She didn’t have time for human slowness.

“Which way?”

The man pointed with his head and yelped again as Wind grabbed him from behind and flew them over to the building.

The man walked up to the door and looked unsure of what to do.

“Uh… I have to get the keys from my pocket to open the door.”

“I’ll hold him,” she said, stretching out her arms.

He hesitated but then gave her Jack’s lifeless body. She took him gently and felt his iciness transfer over to her. She closed her eyes for a moment at the shock but then relaxed as her body matched his temperature and he no longer felt cold to her.

She looked back at the human. He was rubbing his hands, badly affected by the frigid body he carried. She felt respect for him for willing to brave this level of cold to help Jack.

His hands still shaking, he managed to get his keys out and unlock the door. They climbed one flight of stairs, and once inside, he led her to a bedroom where she gently placed Jack’s body on a large bed.

“He’s not dead, right? He’s supposed to be immortal,” the man worried.

“Not dead,” was all she could say.

“I’m Adam, by the way.” He extended his hand to her.

She shook it and he yelped again, feeling how icy her hand was. “Ah, you’re as cold as he is.”

She ignored him and leaned over Jack to caress his hair.

“I am Wind,” she said, without taking her eyes off of Jack.

The frost covering his body was getting thicker, so she could barely see his features. Some of it leaked onto the bed, making it look like he slept on a blanket of frost.

“I felt it when he fell, at least, I guess that’s what happened,” the man said. “The magic generated by that impact was so great, I felt it right from this apartment. I was curious what it was although I suspected it had something to do with him, the magic felt cold, and so I went searching. He looked awful. There was frost everywhere and… I remembered that his blood turns into frost. What… what do you think happened? How could he just fall out of the sky like that? Or, did something else happen? Do you know?”

The man rambled on but her eyes could no longer contain the tears when he mentioned Jack’s blood spread everywhere. They fell freely now and she couldn’t stop the sobs wreaking her body.

Adam came to hug her and she melted into him, crying into his shoulder. He shivered at first but then relaxed after her body temperature matched his.

When she could control her breathing again, she left his embrace and looked back at Jack.

Adam handed her a cardboard box and she blinked at it, confused.

“Tissues. So you can blow your nose.”

She pulled out a tissue and blew her nose into it a bit too powerfully, making a large gust of wind which sent all papers on a nearby desk flying.

‘Jack would have found it funny,’ she thought with a small smile. ‘He could turn anything into something smile-worthy.’

She sat down next to her Winter and took his hand. The man grabbed a chair and sat down near the bed.

“Can we do anything to help him?”

She shook her head. “He’s healing. The power of winter has already claimed him and will restore his body. I don’t know how long it will take. It could be days. Can he stay here? He needs a safe, quiet place to recover.”

“Of course, with pleasure,” the man smiled. “Anything for Jack.”

 

Adam proved to be a very gracious host. The only thing he wanted as a repayment for his hospitality was information.

Wind learned that he was a warlock who sought out her Winter, hoping to learn all he could about elemental magic and nature spirits. She happily obliged to answer his many questions and found that it was as good as any way to pass the time while waiting for Jack to wake up.

There wasn’t any change to his condition. He was still covered in frost and hadn’t moved even once. It worried her but she had to trust that his will was too great to let him fade.

That was the little detail she did not mention to Adam, not wanting to say it out loud. If Jack wanted to fade, Winter would simply absorb him to join the winter spirits before him, effectively, ending his existence.

She prayed that it wasn’t going to happen. She couldn’t lose her Winter. She didn’t want any other. No Winter before him had ever been what he was and no Winter after him would ever measure up. There was only one Jack, her Jack.

And that was where her biggest worry was. Was he still her Jack? Would he even want her now?

Wind didn’t know what really happened between him and the Nightwalker, after all, she didn’t give him a chance to explain. There was a possibility that Claire was never a competition, that he only wanted her, Wind, and did not care for the vampire at all. But then, she had gone and caused him to drop out of the sky. After centuries of caring him, she betrayed him when he needed her.

So, even if Claire was not his choice before, he could be so furious at Wind to choose the Nightwalker now. And maybe he should.

Wind despaired but couldn’t do anything about it until he woke up so she laid down next to him, embracing his icy limp body and she cried herself to sleep.

Adam finished his dinner and was ready to rest for the night but eyed the couch grudgingly. It really wasn’t comfortable but since his bed was being used by none other than the Spirit of Winter, he had no choice.

He was ready to put his food away when the lovely wind spirit came in. She was so sad, it broke his heart.

“I never offered you food. Are you hungry?”

He realized his poor hospitality. She could have been so distraught that she forgot to eat. He was a terrible host.

“No. I don’t get hungry. But once, Jack insisted that I should taste food to not miss out on the experience. He gave me several kinds to try and had me pick a favorite,” she said, her eyes watery.

“Did you find your favorite?”

“Strawberry,” she said while breaking into a fit of sobs.

Adam gave her an awkward hug for lack of any other ideas to make her stop crying, and found that she was now warm, sort of room-temperature, which surprised him, considering how cold she was before. Then, it dawned on him - she could adjust her body temperature based on her environment. That was fascinating.

Finally, she let go and looked longingly out the window. “I’ve been indoors too long, I need to get out.”

“I’ll go with you,” he decided. “I could use a walk too.”

She looked back at the door where Jack slept. “I don’t want to leave him alone but we can’t do anything for him, we can only wait.”

She walked out of the apartment and Adam rushed to put his shoes and jacket on. She came out just like that, no shoes on and wearing only sleepwear. It was nighttime already and was rather chilly.

“Do you need a jacket or a sweater or shoes?” he called out after her.

She continued going down the stairs so he locked the door and ran after her. She walked in silence, looking around and started crying again.

“Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

He really didn’t know what to do about all these tears.

“No, it’s just, it’s too warm. His snow is melting,” she pointed at puddles and sobbed.

Before he could respond, he heard her gasp and say through clenched teeth, “Her!”

She was staring at a woman who was sitting on a bench up ahead. Her face changed from sadness to pure fury and she flew over to land in front of the bench.

Adam ran up to see what was going on and saw that the ‘her’ was a familiar face. It was Claire, the vampire. He was surprised to see her at first but then remembered that Jack knew her so maybe it wasn’t that strange that she was in his hometown.

Right now, Claire looked confused at the wind spirit who was hovering a few inches off the ground and giving her a murderous look.

“Long time no see,” she said to Adam. “Any idea why this one is staring at me like that?”

Adam looked from one woman to the other and didn’t know what to make of what was happening. He jumped startled when Wind began screaming.

“It’s your fault! All of this is your fault. If you just left him alone, none of it would have happened!”

Claire narrowed her eyes and started getting up. “Excuse me, I don’t even know you…”

“You sit!” Wind pointed a finger at Claire which threw a strong gust at her, knocking her back onto the bench.

Claire’s eyes widened. “Wind? You’re Wind?”

Then, she looked the spirit up and down, appraising her.

Adam felt uncomfortable when witnessing this encounter. He had a feeling it wasn’t going to end well.

“You cannot have him, Nightwalker. He’s mine. He has always been mine.”

“Well, then where were you for the past three hundred years? He’s been terribly lonely and you only show up now, when someone else wants to take away his loneliness? You’re despicable!” Claire snapped at the spirit.

“Time does not matter, Nightwalker. We are spirits, we are eternal.”

“Then, you are condemning him to an eternity of misery. Jack deserves better than that. He deserves someone that will care for him now, not an eternity away!”

‘Woah,’ Adam thought, realizing what the argument was about.

He blew out a puff of air and moved a step away. This fight was becoming heated. Claire had a flash of vampire madness in her eyes while the wind around them was becoming stronger, reacting to Wind’s mood.

“This cannot be. He belongs with me. And I have always been there for him. From the very beginning, I was always there. And now, I am here in the flesh, and he will take me, Nightwalker, because we are the same. Unlike you!”

“You don’t deserve him!” Claire shouted back. “Look at you. You talk about him like he’s your possession. You don’t care about his happiness or his feelings. You wouldn’t even know what that is. You’re just a heartless spirit who knows nothing about emotions.”

Wind didn’t have anything to say yet so Claire continued, “He’s told me of other nature spirits, he said they’re inhuman and so detached from the world of the living, they care about nothing. And you’re just like that. I bet you would love to just kill everything special about him, everything that makes him Jack so he would become heartless like you!” and then she put her face in her hands and started sobbing.

The wind around them calmed down and the spirit looked defeated. She sat on the bench next to Claire and just stared forward.

Adam felt like he was intruding on a very private moment but didn’t know what to do with himself so he stayed quiet.

Claire’s sobs finally quieted down and she looked at the spirit sitting next to her. “What now?”

“You’re right,” Wind said quietly.

“I know I am but what do you mean?”

Wind looked at the hands resting on her knees and fidgeted with her fingers. “There is a lot I don’t know about feelings. I’m so new at this. And time never mattered to me. I let all those years pass, not realizing that it was too long for him.”

Claire seemed speechless, shocked that she was getting a confession out of the spirit.

“But now, that I’m here,” Wind continued, “I’m confused. I love him, I will never love another but… Then, I hurt him. I may not be good for him.”

Claire sighed, “I love him and you know very well that I will be good for him.”

“So, which one of us will get to have him?”

They sat there, unable to move on and Adam finally couldn’t take standing in the sidelines anymore.

“Okay, ladies,” they startled, having forgotten that he was there. “I think you are forgetting one major detail here.”

Now, that he had their attention, he finally could say what was bothering him about the whole argument. “You don’t get to choose. He does.”

Chapter Text

Claire was still rattled after the encounter with Wind. All three of them now walked side by side to Adam’s apartment where Jack was sleeping off his injuries.

What happened after she saw him a couple of nights ago? She didn’t get an answer when she asked but Wind looked at the ground guiltily and Claire had a dark suspicion that she was responsible in some way.

Claire cursed her wicked fate. Why couldn’t Wind look like an old hag? Instead, she was an outrageously beautiful girl, and to top it all off, unlike Claire, the spirit was just around Jack’s physical age. How could Jack possibly resist a girl like that? He was probably salivating over her.

‘I never stood a chance,’ she thought darkly.

Claire gasped when she saw him. He was completely motionless and covered by a thick layer of frost. She tried to touch him but Wind basically growled at her.

“What happened?” she asked them again.

“I found him like that. Frost just got thicker with time,” Adam responded, shifting from leg to leg. “Wind says that it’s a good thing, that Winter is healing him.”

Wind quietly sat down on the bed next to Jack and said in a trembling voice, “It’s my fault.”

Then, she laid her head on his chest and sobbed into the frost.

Claire looked at Adam questioningly and he shrugged, just as mystified as she was.

He brought in two chairs from the kitchen and they sat down next to the bed, waiting for the spirit to stop crying.

Finally, Wind lifted herself and calmed down her sobs.

“After I saw you with him, I was livid and hurt. Wind, the rest of me, felt my anger and reacted. She dropped him. I… I knew… but I hesitated. I could have stopped it. I could have saved him but… I hesitated. And by the time I realized what happened, it was too late. He fell.”

Claire blinked, trying to comprehend the story. So whose fault was it? Was it hers, since she forced him into a kiss when it appeared that he had something going with Wind? She didn’t know. He could’ve told her but she couldn’t really blame him. She didn’t exactly make it easy, did she? She came on too strong.

But he was still fine when he left her. She could only blame Wind for this.

“Where did he fall from?” she asked calmly while on the inside she was growing curious what a wind spirit’s blood would taste like.

Wind looked at her with tears still pouring down her cheeks. “He was above the clouds, looking for me.”

How could anyone survive a fall that great? Even a vampire wouldn’t.

She looked at Jack with worry, praying that he was powerful enough to recover. She didn’t even want to imagine what state his body was in.

Adam ran a hand through his face, stood up and spoke in a stern voice.

“I wish you would have shared this piece of information earlier, Wind. I don’t think I would have invited you in.”

Wind’s face fell.

“Instead, you hid this little fact, acting the role of a worried girlfriend. I don’t know if Jack will want you to be here when he wakes up.”

The girl started crying again but the warlock was unfazed by it.

“I think you should leave. If Jack wants to talk to you after he wakes up, he’ll get in touch. In the meantime, he should be surrounded by people who care about him.”

Wind did not argue but left the apartment without a fuss.

“I can’t believe this,” Adam exclaimed, looking at the frosted body of the spirit he admired so much.

“The nerve! She was acting all worried and heartbroken but that’s not what it was. That was guilt because she caused this! I saw what he looked like right after the fall, Claire. He was… he was...” he couldn’t quite put the horror he saw into words.

He shook his head and left the bedroom to sit on the couch. Claire followed him out.

“Well, I’m glad you kicked her out,” she said, leaning on the door frame. “She’s so freaking perfect, I couldn’t stand it.”

He laughed at the rivalry between the two women and leaned on the couch.

“Oy, Jack. What have you gotten yourself into?” he thought out loud.

She joined him on the couch but remained quiet. Adam didn’t know her well and wasn’t sure how to start up a conversation. Maybe she felt the same?

Back, in what felt like his previous life, when he still accepted jobs from vampires, he was paid to guard her punishment. That was also how he met Jack. The Spirit of Winter rescued her from the big, bad vampires and made an instant impression. He inspired Adam to quit slaving off for the bloodsuckers. Jack helped him turn his life around.

Claire broke the silence, “Now, he probably won’t choose any of us and just end up alone. Again. My heart breaks at that, you know? He’s been alone for over 300 years. It shows. Underneath that infectious smile of his, he’s so sad and I wanted to be there for him, to lift that sadness off of his heart.”

“You speak as if you’ve already lost him.”

“I have. I’ve tried approaching him several times. He just pulls away. We’ve been such good friends, I thought we would be great together but he doesn’t want more than friendship. Not from me.” She closed her eyes and added quietly, “I’m pathetic, pining over someone who doesn’t want me.”

“No, no, you’re not,” Adam had to intervene. “You’re a beautiful, caring woman who wants companionship. There’s nothing pathetic about that.”

She scoffed at that, “Beautiful? Did you see her? She’s like a walking vision of perfection.”

“I will say this with the most sincere honesty,” he said, looking at her intently. “You are gorgeous. She looks like a spoiled, whiny teenager. You are strong and confident and you have the greatest heart. I would choose you a thousand times over the likes of her. If it doesn’t work out with Jack, so be it. You deserve someone who will love you and care for you as much as you care for him.”

Claire gave him a little smile at that and sighed.

He leaned back on the couch, exhausted. He really needed to get some sleep.

“I’ll let you rest. Do you mind if I sleep on Jack’s bed later once the sun rises? I don’t want to leave him yet. I’m just worried. And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t open the blinds. Sunburn’s a bitch.”

He chuckled. “Go ahead but… uh… you won’t bite me while I’m sleeping or anything, will you?”

“No, no, no. I learned my lesson the hard way. You are absolutely safe.”

Claire went into the bedroom and Adam got comfortable on the couch. He was a little surprised at his outburst earlier because he truly meant what he said to her. He wished a woman like Claire was trying to win his affections.

He drifted off, contemplating how lucky Jack was.

Jack opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling, trying to clear up the haze from his mind. He did not recognize the room he was in.

Claire was sleeping next to him, keeping a small distance and he wondered how that happened.

He tried to get up and moaned. Everything hurt. He collapsed back on the bed, breathing hard.

Someone came into the room and Jack was glad to see a familiar face. “Adam? Where am I?”

“You’re awake!” the warlock exclaimed happily. “You’ve been out for three days. Ah, this is my place. I brought you here after I found you.” Jack was still confused and Adam continued. “You were hurt really bad. You fell from the sky.”

Jack groaned at the memory. It was a miracle he got out of that. And Wind, what would he do about Wind? He didn’t want to think about her just yet.

“Give me a moment. I just need to…”

His chest hurt the most, in fact, each breath was painful. Something had to be broken in there.

He closed his eyes and focused on the might of Winter and felt it filling him. He strained to hold onto it so he could use its power and then he channeled it into the aching part of his body. The power ravaged through him, it felt as if it was tearing him apart, but he locked it down and kept reins on it.

Finally, he felt brand new and full of strength and was ready to release it. Winter did its job and could go free now. He opened his eyes and saw that he caused quite a mess during his healing session.

“Oops,” he said, sitting up and seeing frost and snow covering every surface in the
room, including the warlock.

“Feeling better?” Adam asked, shaking the snow off.

“Yeah, much better,” Jack answered, positioning himself so that he could lean on the headboard. “So, I’m confused. Why is Claire here?” he asked, looking at the sleeping vampire who was also covered by a thin layer of snow.

“Well. We accidentally ran into her. She wanted to stay with you. I hope you don’t mind.”

“No, I don’t mind, but you said ‘we’?”

“Ah, yeah,” the warlock shifted his feet, looking uncomfortable. “Wind was here.”

Jack moved his gaze to his bare feet.

Wind. What was he going to do about her? He really wasn’t in the mood for all that drama at the moment.

“When she told us what happened, I asked her to leave. Did I make the right choice? I just wasn’t sure if you wanted to see her or not.”

“It’s okay. It’s probably better… Thank you for taking care of me,” he added, realizing how awful it would have been to wake up alone, feeling broken and helpless. “Wait, so Claire and Wind met? How did that go?”

Adam sighed. “Not the best. There was a lot of shouting and all of that ‘I’m better for him than you’ and stuff. You’re a popular guy.”

Jack groaned, “Super popular,” and ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “So, did you pick a side yet?” he asked with a small smile.

“Honestly, I really like Claire,” Adam said, sitting down next to Jack and looking at the vampire who was resting peacefully.

“She’s pretty awesome. She’s a caring friend and a wonderful person but I’m not who she’s looking for.”

Jack noticed that Adam looked relieved to hear that and lingered on Claire’s sleeping form a little longer than was necessary. It dawned on him that he was speaking from the heart earlier when he said that he liked her. He liked her.

He smiled at the warlock, “Go for it.”

Adam looked at him, startled, “What?”

“You heard me. Just treat her well, will you? Or you’ll answer to me,” he shook his finger at the warlock who got flustered at having been caught in his affections.

Jack had enough of sitting and was itching to get outside. He lightly hopped off the bed and looked at the indoor winter he created in the room.

“I made a mess here, didn’t I? Let me clean this up…” he looked around for his most prized possession which he needed for tricks like making his snow disappear.

“Adam, where’s my staff?”

Chapter Text

Wind was devastated but not surprised. She deserved to be kicked out. Jack was surrounded by his friends and she wasn’t one of them.

She sniffed and tears kept pouring out of her. She hated this part. As if she wasn’t feeling awful enough on the inside, her body was feeling even worse. She couldn’t imagine how all of them went about their whole lives trapped in flesh.

She took to the sky, longing to feel free.

A question occurred to her, ‘Should I give up now and fade?’

She contemplated the idea of joining the rest of herself, to be everywhere again. It was so confining to be in only one place at a time when the world was so large and it all belonged to her. But her heart ached at that thought because she knew one thing for sure: if she rejoined her power and let this body fade, she wouldn’t get Jack. She could have the world but not him.

If only she hadn’t messed up so badly. She was making progress with him before, she was sure of that. He was just a tiny step away from accepting her as her mate. She almost had him, and just like that, she ruined it all.

She descended back down and noticed that she was in the area where he must have fallen before. Did she fly here on purpose?

Now that she was there, she longed to find the place where he had been, already missing him desperately. She landed and looked around. How would she even know she was in the right place?

Then, she remembered what the warlock had said: he felt Jack’s magic when he fell down. Did she not know her Winter’s magic better than anyone? Had she not felt his magic every time he asked her for a lift? Had she not felt his magic up close while wearing this body?

She closed her eyes to cut off the unnecessary senses and stilled the air around her. She probed the land to reveal what magic it held.

There was a hint of Winter lingering everywhere. Jack had brought snow to this town just a couple of days ago after all but she searched for a stronger signature which he must have imprinted upon the land he fell on.

After a while, she finally felt it. It was a strong beacon of her Winter, an unmistakable aura, the mark of Jack.

When she reached the source of the magic she felt, she opened her eyes and broke into sobs again, seeing what drew her there. She crumpled to the ground and cried herself to sleep, cradling to her chest what she had left of her Winter - as broken as her heart.

Jack left Adam back in the apartment and headed out to find his staff. The warlock offered help but Jack didn’t want or need assistance. He actually looked forward to spending some time alone so he could think things over.

He was pretty sure that he could find his staff. It was a part of him so he would only have to search for Winter’s signature. In fact, as he was walking, he could already feel its pull.

His first instinct was to fly there but then he scratched that idea. First of all, he didn’t know if Wind would let him, and second of all, could he even trust her now?

This problem really bothered him because what exactly was he without the power to fly? He would be stuck in one place, able to get elsewhere only by walking, or, maybe worse, using human transportation.

He shook his head as he imagined himself sitting on a bus with humans. He would be reduced to a pathetic version of himself, a poor excuse of a winter spirit. He blanched upon the realization that he couldn’t be a Guardian anymore either.

He didn’t have options. He had to smooth things over with Wind.

Based on her reaction, she got the wrong idea about his relationship with Claire. He could clear that up, there was nothing there. Claire had always been only a friend. But even if he convinced her and earned Wind’s forgiveness, that wasn’t the end of the problem.

Even if she wanted to get back to where they were, did he want to?

He sighed. He was crazy about her, there was no doubt about that, and he could see himself be happy with her. In fact, he couldn’t imagine not having her in his life but what happened left a scar in their relationship.

He was afraid to trust her. If he ever upset her again, said or did anything wrong, with just a single thought, she could drop him out of the sky again. He didn’t know how to get around that unease.

Before he could think on this further, he reached the area where he felt his staff was and stopped in his tracks.

Wind was sleeping on the ground, curled up in a fetal position, hugging his staff to her chest. The staff was broken in half and she held both pieces as if they were her lifeline.

He wasn’t worried about the staff. It was an old break which happened many years ago when he was up against Pitch Black. He was able to reattach the pieces back then so he was confident he could do it again.

He crouched in front of her and watched her sleep. Wind was a sight to behold. Her light-brown hair cascaded to the ground and before he could stop himself, his hand was touching it. It felt wonderfully silky, nearly fluid and the sun rays reflected off of it, giving it a rusty hue.

He straightened out her robe which was slipping off, exposing her lovely thighs too much and then he just lingered there sitting cross-legged and staring at the beautiful spirit before him.

Jack didn’t know how long he sat there, just gazing at her with his thoughts battling each other, trying to find a resolution, but eventually, she stirred. She slowly opened her eyes, keeping her sight on the dormant grass before her.

She sat up, still not noticing him and he noted that her eyes were red and puffy as if she’s been crying for hours. His heart ached at that because he knew that he was the reason for her tears.

He sighed and she started at the sound, giving out a small squeak.

“Good Afternoon,” he said and smiled at her warmly, hoping that she wouldn’t start screaming at him, or worse, crying again.

After the initial surprise wore off, her eyes shimmered with moisture.

‘Crying it is,’ he thought in resignation.

She looked at the pieces of the staff she was holding and gave them to him without a word.

He accepted them with a “Thank you” and continued looking at her, hoping she would get the message that he came in peace.

“Can you fix it?” she asked, not meeting his gaze.

“I think so.”

He joined the broken pieces together, trying to align them correctly. He closed his eyes and willed Winter to bind the wood with the magic coursing through his veins. Familiar cold tingling went through his body, into his fingers and then, the wood.

When he opened his eyes, the staff was whole again. The only mark indicating the old break was a patch of frost left like a scar on a healed skin. He put the staff on the ground, satisfied with the result and went back to studying Wind.

If only their relationship was this quick and easy to fix. What was he going to do? How would they move on from this?

Adam was working at his desk, writing down the encounters of the past few days when Claire woke up.

“Welcome back,” he said and looked at the clock.

He’s been typing on his laptop for three hours straight. He interlaced his fingers and stretched his arms.

“Did Jack leave? How is he?” she asked, sitting up on the bed and looking around.

“Yeah, a few hours ago. He’s completely healed. It’s fascinating.”

“Why is everything damp?” She frowned at the covers and inspected the wet rug.

Adam chuckled. “Part of Jack’s healing. He created a mini snowstorm in here but then couldn’t clean it up because he didn’t have his staff. I totally forgot about it. When I found him, I was in such a state of shock, I didn’t even think to look for it.”

“Oh, he always walks around with that thing. I’ve never seen him without it.”

“He was pretty confident that he could find it.”

“So, what are you writing there?” She came closer and looked at his screen.

“Everything! The whole reason why I came here was to research nature spirits and when Wind was here, she answered a lot of questions I had. I want to write it all down before I forget. It’s fascinating. She’s a different type of spirit from Jack and she was never human. She’s only a few days old. Can you believe that? Apparently, the seasonal spirits, like Jack, are very powerful and can control multiple elements within their domain but what makes Jack even more extraordinary is that he also has Fun magic which has nothing to do with Winter. She suspects that he’s had it even when he was human. So, I keep wondering if maybe he was some kind of a warlock without realizing it. I can only theorize. And she said something about the Guardians. I’m not familiar with them, are you?”

Claire leaned on his desk and looked like she was holding in a laugh.

“What?”

She shook her head, “And I thought, I had it bad.” He was confused so she explained further, “You’re fangirling over Jack.”

Adam felt his face grow hot and she laughed at his reaction.

“Admit it. You’re obsessed. You even moved here for him.”

She shoved his shoulder playfully.

Adam shook his head, trying to ignore her comment and cleared his throat. “Magic is my passion, Claire. I like to be thorough in my research.”

She laughed even more at that but finally said, “Fine. Whatever you say. I can fill you in on the Guardians with whatever I know. I haven’t met the others but I know the basics. But it will have to wait. I have to go hunting. Girl’s gotta eat, you know.”

She winked at him and he wasn’t sure what to feel about that statement, only now realizing that he was alone with a hungry vampire.

She rolled her eyes, seeing how he tensed up and clapped him on the back. “Animals. I hunt animals. You can breathe again.”

He exhaled, not realizing that he was holding in his breath.

“By the time I’m done, it will be late,” she added seriously now, pushing off from the desk, “so, you’ll probably be asleep by then. We could meet again tomorrow if you’d like.”

He nodded, glad that she suggested it.

“Do you think Jack will come back today? He’s been gone for hours already.”

“I wouldn’t bank on it.” She sighed. “He has a habit of turning up or leaving without notice. If he doesn’t come over, we could check out Jamie’s tomorrow. He hangs out there whenever he’s in the area.”

Adam got up to see her off, curious if this Jamie would also share knowledge about Jack.

Claire started putting on her boots but then momentarily froze and looked at him with uncertainty.

“Do you think, after all of this, he would still go back to her?”

“I have no idea. He didn’t talk about her at all.”

She finished lacing up her boots and got to her feet.

“Will you be okay?” he asked, genuinely concerned.

“Yeah. I just want him to be happy, and I thought, maybe I could be happy too but it looks like it’s not meant to be.”

Claire wouldn’t look him in the eye and he was starting to get the hint that she wanted to be alone.

“Come by anytime. Even if it’s late,” he offered, suddenly not wanting to let her go.

“See you later, magic man.”

A small draft of cool wind reached him when she opened the door.

Adam looked down the staircase where she exited through. He liked her spunk and was really looking forward to her visit.

“What a woman.”

He sighed, closed the door and went back to his bedroom which was now empty of all spirits and vampires.

Chapter Text

Jack observed Wind as she sat quietly in front of him, her legs folded beneath her, her hands resting on her knees timidly. She wouldn’t look at him but stared at the ground and so he started the dreaded conversation.

“There’s nothing between Claire and me, I want you to know that.” She remained quiet so he continued, “She wanted us to be more than friends, that’s why she kissed me. I’m sorry you had to witness that but there’s nothing more going on, I promise. She’s only a friend. Do you believe me?”

After a long pause, she nodded but still didn’t say anything.

“As for us…” at hearing this, she shyly looked at him and he ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on with us but I do know that I’m not ready to give up. I think we had something there, didn’t we? I’ve never felt like that before. I… I think I love you and I’d hate to lose that… I’d hate to lose you.”

Her silence was killing him. Even if it was only for a short time, he was happy with her. He thought that maybe luck finally turned his way, that he wouldn’t be alone anymore. “Have I lost you already?”

After another long pause where he waited for any reaction from her, Wind scooted closer to him. She slowly raised her hand to his neck and trailed it hesitantly from there into his hair. They locked gazes as she combed his hair with her delicate fingers, a gesture he understood. She wanted to show him what she felt in the way she always had from the very beginning when this was the only communication she could do.

His heart constricted with emotion. She’s always loved him, didn’t she? He was never truly alone.

“I love you too,” she said softly, confirming his thoughts and he released the breath of relief. He didn’t lose her. They still had a chance.

Jack realized that he had enough of talking. Talking was painful. Thinking gave him a headache. Deciding felt like a dreadful chore. He always much better preferred to act on impulse based on whatever felt right at the time. Why should this be any different? He couldn’t stand the uncertainties of hurt feelings or broken trusts anymore and gave in to what he really wanted to do.

He cupped her face in his hands, bringing her to his lips and kissed her deeply, leaving behind all of his pent up emotions, fears, and doubts, hoping that their joined lips could heal the wounds in their hearts. She gripped his hair and wrapped both arms around his shoulders.

He wanted to feel the warmth of her body on him and longed to touch her. He slipped his hand under the robe and rested it on her warm skin.

She shifted her position and mimicked what he did, now running her hand under his hoodie to touch the skin on his back. He shivered at the warm contact and lost concentration of the kiss. He found that he absolutely loved being touched.

He nestled himself in her neck, giving her sluggish kisses while basking in the pleasure of feeling her soft fingers on his cold skin. She kissed his neck in return and goosebumps covered half his body.

Jack was suddenly struck by the realization that she’s always done this, always tried to copy whatever he did, learning from him. Whenever he did something she liked, she would do the same to him. He smiled at the possibilities this discovery could lead to.

He lifted his head to observe her reaction while smirking mischievously. He put his other hand also under her robe, finding more skin on her back. She smiled at him in return and did the same, sneaking her other hand under his hoodie.

“I love it when you touch me,” he admitted.

In response, she rubbed his back in slow circles and he closed his eyes to better enjoy it. “Don’t stop, please,” he murmured while leaning his head on her shoulder. She didn’t and he wanted to stay like that forever.

Her touch left a tingle on his skin at each contact, and each circle she made sent a wave of warmth into him, which his forever-cold body hungrily accepted. He was slowly sinking into that heat as total bliss enveloped his mind.

She continued rubbing his back and rested her head against his. “I know we need to talk but I really don’t know how to say it all...”

“Neither do I,” he responded drowsily.

“I’m… I’m sorry,” her voice was etched with emotion. She kissed his neck and stayed there, pressing her lips to his skin.

He opened his eyes but couldn’t bring himself to lift up his head. He was utterly comfortable and happy and didn’t want to disrupt that mood by thinking.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant for the mood to last. He couldn’t see her face from his position but from a change in her breathing, he gathered that she either already was or was about to start crying. He embraced her tighter, not knowing what else he could do. How did they get from making out to tears?

“I hate this!” she sobbed. “I’m leaking again. Why does this keep happening, Jack? Why does this body always leak?”

He rubbed her back in response. “You’re crying because you’re upset.”

“I don’t see you cry all the time. Do you not get upset?”

“I do but I had a longer time to learn how to deal with emotions. You’ll get better at it with time. Plus, you’re a girl. I don’t know why but girls tend to cry more.”

“I wish I wasn’t a girl, then.”

“I like it that you’re a girl.” He gave her shoulder a little peck. “Otherwise, this would have been quite awkward, you wearing a nightgown and all,” he chuckled, trying to cheer her up.

She didn’t laugh but her sobs quieted down.

“I think that’s why it happened,” she said. “I was upset, so upset, and Wind, the rest of me, she could feel that my anger was directed at you and that’s why she dropped you. And I felt it, Jack. I always feel it when she carries you but I was so upset, I didn’t react in time. By the time I reacted, it was too late, and you fell, and you were hurt, and it’s all my fault…” she broke into sobs and Jack hugged her closer to him.

They sat there for a long time. Jack didn’t know what to think about it all. One thing he knew was that he wasn’t angry at Wind, the one in his arms.

‘I really need to settle on a name for her,’ he thought impatiently, realizing how confusing it was to think of Wind vs. Wind.

He also wasn’t angry at the rest of Wind, the one who dropped him, but rather felt apprehensive. He couldn’t imagine flying again, putting himself at her mercy, but what was he without her?

Wind finally broke away from their embrace to look into his eyes and he immediately missed her touch. His skin felt cold again without it.

“Will you ever forgive me?”

“I forgive you,” he answered immediately.

Jack knew that he would have to face the problem of flying eventually but couldn’t bring himself to contemplate on such painful topic at the moment.

He distracted himself by deliberating what name to give her. Once he genuinely thought about it, it came to him quickly. He smiled at the realization of how perfect it was.

He tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “I have a name for you.”

She raised her eyes slowly in curious anticipation.

“Jay.”

She scrunched up her brows. “J? That’s a letter, not a name.”

He chuckled, “No, Jay, like the blue jay.” Her eyes lit up in understanding. “You’re my little blue jay,” he added tenderly.

She beamed at him and threw her arms around his shoulders, squeezing hard. He held her embrace and buried his face in her silky hair.

To his surprise, she started sobbing.

He groaned internally, ‘This again,’ but asked her patiently, “What’s wrong, Jay?”

He smiled, liking the sound of her new name on his lips and made a mental note to use it as much as he could.

“Ridiculous tears,” she sniffed. “I can’t stop them. How do you stop this, Jack?”

He sighed, “How about we talk through this. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

“I was,” she said between sobs, clutching the hood of his sweater, “I was just thinking how wonderful you are and then remembered what Claire said…”

“What did she say?”

“That I don’t deserve you because I… I let you suffer alone all those years…” It became too difficult for her to talk through the sobbing but still, she tried. “I’m sorry, Jack. I didn’t realize… It’s different… when I was just Wind… time… time didn’t matter.”

She let go of him, took a couple of slow breaths to steady herself, then gripped his hoodie so tight that her knuckles were white and started speaking fast while tears poured down her cheeks.

“I remember. I saw you, Jack. I heard you. So many times you’ve asked the Moon why you were all alone. So many times you told me you wished I would speak back to you. I saw your pain. I saw your loneliness but I always knew that we’ll be together and you’ll be happy then, so I didn’t worry. But time - time makes a difference, doesn’t it? It’s so different now that I’m a spirit. I understand now - time has meaning. Each hour and minute is significant. Each day is different, so each day matters. More has happened to me in those few days as a spirit than in eons when I was just Wind. And I regret. I regret not coming to you sooner, Jack, leaving you alone all those years. Your life could have been so different if only I understood time.”

She paused, waiting for his reaction and Jack broke their eye contact.

Everything she said was true. He had been incredibly lonely but past could not be undone. He would much rather close that chapter of his life and move on.

“It’s in the past now. We can’t change that. You’re here now and that’s what matters.”

“But don’t you see?” she said, her voice breaking again. “This is such an important concept I didn’t understand and it hurt you. I’ve been hurting you for centuries. I’m not good for you, Jack. I don’t deserve you. Claire was right. I’m heartless and you deserve someone better. As soon as she met you, she recognized what you needed and wanted to give it to you. She deserves you. I don’t.”

“Don’t say that, Jay,” Jack interrupted and wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. “Claire is a good friend but that’s all she is to me. I don’t want her. I want you. And I don’t agree with what she said. You’re not heartless. Don’t believe that even for a second. Just look at your tears, Jay. Do you know why you cry?” She shook her head and sniffed. “Because you’re overwhelmed by emotions. They fill you up until you can’t hold them in anymore and you have to let them out. If you were heartless, you wouldn’t be feeling this.”

Jay trembled in his arms and let him enclose her in. He could only hope that his words would finally pierce through her worries and that she would believe him. He was not going to lose her over something that wasn’t even true.

After Jay calmed down, he got up and offered a hand to her. She hesitated but finally slipped her hand in his and the warmth of her skin radiated up his arm as he pulled her up to her feet.

He grabbed his staff, pondering how lucky it was that Adam did not think to pick it up. Was it fate that had Jay and him look for it at the same time? Whatever cosmic coincidence he owed it to, he was thankful for it. He was thankful that he found her today.

“Do you want to go back to Jamie’s?” he asked her, unsure of what else to do.

She nodded and started to fly off but he pulled her down.

“Uh… let’s just walk.”

She looked at him questioningly and he couldn’t meet her eyes.

“Why?”

He cleared his throat and stared at their joined hands. “I don’t want to fly.”

A flash of understanding showed on her face and she hugged him tightly. “Wind won’t drop you, I promise. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

He returned her hug but her words did not reassure him.

“Let’s just walk today.”

She finally agreed and they slowly made their way through the town, hand in hand.

When Jamie opened the front door, his eyes bulged.

“Jack? Since when do you use a door?”

“Since now,” he mumbled, walking in with Jay, not in a mood to explain to his friend everything that had happened.

He hung around the hallway with Jay standing silently next to him, invisible to his friend, and realized that he had no plan as to what to do once he brought her home. He didn’t think this through.

“Are you okay?” Jamie asked, sizing him up and down. “You’re acting a little… Is Wind here?”

“Yes, she is.” Jack sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Maybe he just wanted to be alone with her. “Do you mind if we just go up?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Jamie said but when Jack turned, he grabbed him by the arm. “Did something happen? You were gone for a few days. Where did you two go?”

‘We never left town and I was just sort of, almost dead,’ Jack thought but couldn’t bring himself to open that can of worms. It would make Jay cry again, wouldn’t it? At the same time, he didn’t want to lie to his best friend.

“Maybe later,” he whispered, unable to meet his friend’s questioning eyes.

“Okay. We’ll talk later.” Jamie let go of him but watched him suspiciously.

Jack sighed and led Jay to the attic.

She sat down on the bed but he felt too restless to sit still. He wasn’t tired yet. Too much has happened, and besides, he had just slept for 3 days. He walked around the room and she silently watched him.

He gave the room a proper look-over. The first time he was here, it seemed that he couldn’t see anything other than Jay.

The room was a good size and wasn’t too cluttered with junk. There were a few storage boxes in the corner and some discarded old furniture. The bed felt completely out of place and it dawned on him that Jamie put it up there only for him. He was truly the best friend he could hope for. It was a shame that winter was coming to an end. He wished he could spend more time here.

Jay was quietly playing with the belt of her robe, wrapping it around her finger, her eyes cast down. She was so beautiful, his heart made a little leap. He hated to see her sad and longed to give her comfort. He realized that he would do anything for her but what could he do that would be powerful enough to lift her spirits?

Finally, the answer appeared to him. There was one thing she wanted - one simple but powerful assurance only he could give her. One thing, he realized, he wanted as well. It all made sense.

He sat down next to her but she wouldn’t look at him yet.

“Jay,” he lifted her chin gently so their eyes would meet.

He exhaled and braced himself, finding strength in his pull towards her. He wanted this. He was ready.

“I accept.”

She blinked and searched his eyes.

“I accept you as my mate.”

 

Chapter Text

“I accept you as my mate,” Jack said.

Jay’s eyes widened and she threw her arms around him, squealing. She couldn’t believe it.

Yesterday, she was sure she lost him, but instead, they were finally going to be mated. He returned her hug and breathed in her scent. Her heart bounced in her ribcage and she felt the strangest desire to laugh and cry at the same time.

“I don’t feel any different yet,” Jack said. “You said that our powers would mesh together or something once I accepted you as my mate.”

“That’s because we haven’t mated yet,” Jay said eagerly.

He raised an eyebrow in question and she declared, “We must mate now,” and worked on untying her robe. The ridiculous clothing he insisted she had to wear could finally be shed.

She threw the robe down and was about to pull off the gown when he put his hands on hers to stop her.

“Leave it on for now,” he said, running his hand up her arm and watching his fingers on her skin as they traced the outline of the lace. “I like the gown.”

Jay didn’t understand why he didn’t want her bare and worried if there was anything about her body he didn’t want to see but decided not to dwell on it. They could still mate with it on.

Now, it was his turn. He was wearing too many clothes. She quickly pulled off his sweater before he could argue and grabbed the waist of his deerskin pants, trying to unbutton them. The button was putting up a fight and he chuckled at her.

“Why are you in such a hurry?”

She groaned, “This cursed button. Help me here.”

She exhaled, frustrated and he started to work on the button himself and she noticed that his hands were trembling. He finally got it to release, then, another one, and another but when he put his hands on the waist of the pants, ready to take them off, he froze.

She searched his face and saw worry in his features. He avoided her eyes and seemed to struggle with something internally.

She put her hands on his. “What’s wrong?”

He chewed on his lip. Finally, he sighed and said quickly, still not meeting her eyes, “No one has ever seen me naked.”

Jay didn’t understand what the problem was but judging how he made a big deal about her nudity, she guessed that he had an issue with it. She rubbed his back, remembering how much he liked it before. He relaxed but was still frozen in the same position, his nervousness not having passed yet.

He groaned and leaned his forehead on her shoulder. “I want you so badly but I can’t…”

He didn’t finish but shook his head and she struggled to understand what emotion he was feeling.

“Are you scared?”

He flinched and she wondered if maybe that wasn’t the right thing to ask. It sounded as if she called him a coward, didn’t it? She was really not good with words.

“Don’t be scared of me,” she whispered, hoping that she wasn’t offending him.

He took a couple of long breaths.

“We’re doing this,” he said more to himself than to her and finally pulled the pants down.

Jay was curious about his body but decided to not stare at him yet to help him overcome this fear she couldn’t quite understand. She kept her eyes on his face instead.

“Darned things. I need to get some new pants that aren’t so tight,” he muttered, struggling to get them off and she chuckled. She agreed. Those buttons were a nightmare.

After he fought with them for a while, he dropped them to the floor and her heart beat faster. The moment she’s been waiting for was going to come.

She settled on the bed with her legs folded underneath her and he approached her slowly. His hand rose and stroke her cheek.

“You know, now, that I’m here, I don’t feel that shy anymore,” he admitted. “I’m all yours.”

She sighed with relief. “We can mate now.”

He gave her that lopsided smile she loved so much.

“It’s funny when you put it that way - like we’re a couple of animals in a repopulation program.” He chuckled. “That’s not what I want.”

Her heart fell. He didn’t want her?

He gently tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and slowly trailed the back of his finger down her neck.

“I want to make love to you,” he said softly.

He leaned in and captured her lips in his and moved in sluggish kisses down her jaw and her neck and she was very confused. She didn’t understand what he meant but in that moment his kisses felt really nice so she started to relax. He seemed to like kissing a lot.

She couldn’t help but feel like she was doing something wrong, missing some important part of what it took to mate. She groaned internally, frustrated with herself for her ignorance.

She was snapped out of her thoughts when he put his fingers under the strap of her gown and delicately pushed it down, placing more kisses on her shoulder.

She found the sensation of it slowly being lowered down her arm very interesting. Her heart started beating a little faster as she realized that this was how he wanted to take off her gown. Maybe there was nothing wrong with her body after all?

He looked into her eyes then and she noticed hesitation.

“Take it all off,” she begged him, afraid he was going to stop.

To encourage him, she placed his hand on her chest and started guiding it under the fabric. He swallowed and looked quite nervous but did not stop. She let go of his hand and observed him as he continued on his own until he exposed her.

His touch felt nice. She liked the feel of his cool fingers on her skin and the tingling they left everywhere they made contact.

Jack slipped her gown up and off of her and she sighed in relief.

“About time,” she said, happy to be out of the prison of clothes.

He chuckled in response, whispered, “You’re beautiful,” and kissed her on the lips.

His hands traveled all over her body now. She pulled him down to the bed.

He chuckled as he fell on top of her and raised himself to hover above her. He started kissing her again and their bodies were barely touching. This wasn't it. She pushed his face away, getting a curious look from him.

“It’s time to mate, Jack,” she reminded him impatiently, tapping her finger on his shoulder. “Do it.”

He smiled at her playfully. “Relax, Jay. There’s no need to rush.”

She could feel anger creep into her voice. “You said you wanted to mate. Why aren’t we mating yet?”

Instead of answering, he was about to start kissing her again and she wouldn’t have that.

“Why are you delaying it?” she demanded. “I can see that you want me. Why won’t you take me? What’s wrong?”

“Jay,” he sighed. “It can’t be one-sided. You need to want me too. That’s what I’m trying to do.” He rested his head on her shoulder and added, “I’m trying to warm you up and failing spectacularly.”

“You’re not making any sense. I already want you.”

“No, you don’t,” he insisted, speaking into her shoulder.

“What are you talking about? I’ve been waiting to mate with you since I got this body.”

“You’re trying to skip the best part, Jay,” he said, raising himself to look at her. “You want the end result. You don’t actually want me.”

His voice sounded sad and resigned and she couldn’t comprehend why he kept repeating those words.

“Answer honestly, Jay,” he said quietly. “What do you feel right now?”

“I’m feeling a lot of things.” She thought about it thoroughly. ”I’m excited that we’re finally going to mate. I’m a little angry at you for acting like this. I’m confused why you keep saying that. I worry why you look so sad right now. And I love you, Jack.”

“I know you do,” he said, smoothing her hair. “I love you too but do you know what I feel right now and pretty much any time I’m with you?”

Where was he going with this?

“Desire,” he answered and his blue eyes were piercing. “I feel hot like my blood is on fire. Me - hot. That’s like an oxymoron. I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin or explode. I can’t stand the thought of not touching you right now and crave your touch desperately. I want to kiss and caress every part of you. I want to be so close to you that we’re basically one. That’s how badly I want you and I can’t wait to see at least a little of those feelings returned.”

He searched her eyes for a reaction and her first thought was to dismiss everything he had said and reassure him that she did want him but his eyes warned her to take his words seriously.

Did she feel hot? Did she crave his touch that desperately?

He was right, she realized, she didn’t feel any of that. Her only desire was to be mated to him. She didn’t care about the mating act.

“What am I doing wrong?”

“No, not wrong,” he corrected, smoothing her hair tenderly. “I’m starting to wonder if maybe you’re not ready for this.” He sighed and leaned his head on her shoulder again. “We don’t have to do it tonight if you don’t feel ready. I can wait. I…”

She felt hot anger boil inside her and cut him off. “No, Jack. You are not getting out of it. We are going to mate. So, just tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

He raised his head and smirked at her.

“There’s my feisty little blue jay.” He gently tapped a finger on her nose and chuckled. “Believe me, I’m all for it.”

“So, what now?”

“I have no idea, Jay. I’m improvising here. Can you be patient and just trust me?” She nodded and he added, “Just let me know when I do something that you like.”

“I like everything you do. All of your kisses feel really nice.”

“Well,” he said with that lopsided smile of his. “I’m looking for more than just nice.”

He laid on his side and pulled her in until she felt his cool skin along her entire body. It took only a moment for her body temperature to adjust and come closer to his and she sighed when his skin no longer felt cold.

Jack kissed and caressed her body with passion and care. At first, his touch felt familiar and simply pleasant and she let herself relax.

‘Trust him,’ she repeated to herself. ‘Be patient.’

After she released them both from the pressure to mate and allowed herself to just enjoy the closeness of him, she noticed a shift in how she felt everything. Like, when he playfully nibbled on her ear, his cool breath created a rash of goosebumps on her skin and her heart beat faster. Like, when he dipped down to kiss her breast, her fingers entwined in his soft hair and without planning so, she held his head there, wanting more of the tugging feeling that was building up inside her. It was a new type of feeling. With each touch and kiss, she felt more flutter in her stomach as if her body was awakening.

The tide completely shifted when he surprised her by placing her thigh on top of his hip. He kissed her on the lips again as his hand traveled from her thigh to her bottom, gently caressing in circles, his fingertips leaving a tingling sensation everywhere they touched.

His hand traveled further until he found her core. She was taken by surprise, not expecting his touch there but quickly learned that she craved it. His kiss was slower and deliberate now while he explored the sensitive area and she felt a new sensation stir within her which she didn’t fully understand yet. It was a warmth spreading through her veins, changing her from the inside.

He kissed her to the same rhythm as his gentle caress and every inch of her skin came alive. Her breathing became ragged and she pulled him in, wanting more. More of him. Closer.

She made a small sound which surprised her. He smiled in satisfaction.

“Do you like this, Jay?” he asked in a husky voice and she loved the sound of her name on his lips.

“Yes,” she answered and didn’t recognize her voice. It sounded so different, breathy and sensual.

“Better than nice?”

“Yes,” she replied, praying he was not going to stop.

A flame ignited deep inside her, burning away all thoughts until all thoughts were him. Her Winter. It was a need, she realized, a desire.

She dug her nails into his skin as the feeling overwhelmed her, searing her with white-hot flashes. Finally, a shockwave pierced her like a flash of electricity, igniting every nerve ending in her body. Her back arched and she held on to him for dear life.

She waited for the wave to dissipate and as she slowly eased back into consciousness, she opened her eyes and found herself looking into his smiling face.

“Better than nice,” she said, relaxing her hold on him.

She hoped she didn’t hurt him when she dug her nails in before but he seemed to be okay. Maybe better than okay. He looked smug, actually.

He rubbed his nose against hers and she giggled.

She sighed, reveling in the aftershocks of the pleasure and realized how lucky she was to have him as her mate. Was it always going to be like this?

“My mate,” he whispered and brushed his lips against hers, teasing her.

She slipped her hand through his hair, hungrily basking in the satisfied feeling that settled in her but then a realization hit her that it had all been about her so far. He’d done so much for her but had she actually done anything for him? Had she satisfied that burning desire he described to her earlier?

She lamented inside, suddenly aware of how much she neglected him. She wanted to fix it immediately but was completely clueless as to what to do. How could she make him feel everything that he had made her feel? What would he want her to do?

She tried to remember if he ever gave her a clue, and finally, remembered his words from just hours before. These were words he spoke to her while trying to comfort her, even though he was the one who nearly died, even though the roles should have been reversed.

I love it when you touch me.

The words echoed in her head. It was so simple and yet the memory of how he melted into her proved just how much he craved her touch. All she did was rub his back, copying what he did to her but the gesture meant a lot more to him than it did to her, didn’t it? He spent centuries unseen, unheard and untouched. That’s what he wanted the most. That’s what he needed from her.

Don’t stop, please.

But she stopped, didn’t she? She was so focused on herself that she ignored his plea. He needed the comfort of her touch, the assurance that he wasn’t alone anymore but she was too self-absorbed to listen to him.

Self-directed anger woke her up and she made a silent vow, ‘I will never again neglect you.’

She started with what she knew he liked - rubbing his back in slow lazy circles. He instantly reacted by closing his eyes and melting against her.

She watched him carefully, trying to read his reactions and took the time to really look at him, to fully appreciate her mate. She was struck by how the paleness of his skin contrasted with the dim light of the attic. It made him stand out as if he was aglow. And who knew, they were made of magic, maybe their bodies could glow.

She trailed her hands through his chest, shoulders and arms, following the shadows which accentuated the muscle definition on his lean form. This was her mate. He was all hers. She wouldn’t want him to look any different. He was perfect under her fingertips.

He opened his eyes and observed her as she explored his physique. When she met his blue irises, she could see burning hunger in them. He wanted more.

She leaned in and brushed her lips against his teasingly. She pulled herself so close to him that she could feel his whole body touching her. Her heart beat faster as she felt what had to be his arousal pressing into her abdomen. Before she knew what she was doing, her hand slid down his chest until it was wrapped around it. He gasped and she was afraid that she did something she wasn’t supposed to but he didn’t pull away, instead, he kissed her urgently and pulled her even closer so she continued a new type of exploration.

She noticed that even her gentlest touch got a reaction from him. She repeated the stroke and admired his features as he closed his eyes and scrunched up his brows, lost in the sensation.

She smiled in satisfaction when at one point she managed to get him completely distracted, he abandoned the kiss and moaned in pleasure. She did not stop, encouraged by his response to her touch. She couldn’t believe it. She was doing something right.

“Jay,” he whispered her name, holding on to her and she was reminded how just moments ago she was consumed by the burning wave and wondered if he was feeling the same thing.

With a final moan, his release came and he leaned his forehead on hers, breathing heavily. His soft hair tickled her skin and his breath was a familiar coolness she’d grown to love.

Jay felt proud of herself for being able to bring him the same type of pleasure he gave her but then gasped by the realization of what she had just done.

“Jack. Oh, no.”

He slowly opened his eyes and looked at her, puzzled.

“We didn’t even mate. Did I just ruin our chance to mate tonight?”

He chuckled and rubbed his nose against hers playfully.

“Don’t worry. I’m definitely not done yet.”

She sighed in relief and bit her lip in anticipation. Was the mating going to be even better than what they just did? She wanted to find out.

“Getting impatient again, are we?” he asked, smirking at her.

She giggled. “A little.”

She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him on top of her. He immediately kissed her and supported himself with one arm while the other hand caressed her body. She greedily roamed his, thankful to now have two arms for that purpose.

His fingers found her core again and she wanted to ask him why when they were supposed to mate now but reminded herself that she was supposed to trust him.

She felt the now familiar warmth build up in her and felt like all of her senses but the sense of touch were dulled. From her fingertips which brushed his skin and registered everything about it to the feel of his touch and the softness of his lips.

Just when she thought that he was going to push her over the edge again, he stopped and she looked at him accusingly, ready to protest but then he settled himself between her legs and pressed himself against her. She could feel the head of him touching her right there and couldn’t wait. She needed him.

He kissed her deeply and started to rock very slowly, only barely breaching her. She wanted more, she wanted all of him and this teasing felt like torture, so abandoning all patience, she grabbed his firm buttocks and with one strong move pulled him all the way in until their hips met.

She was shocked by what followed. She did not truly realize before what it was going to feel like. She winced at the pain and cursed herself for her impatience. Maybe his way would have been better.

“Are you okay?”

She took a deep breath and nodded. The pain of the forceful entry slowly subsided until all she could feel was a heartbeat. Was it hers or his, she didn’t know. At this point, they were one.

He kissed her neck and whispered, “Try to relax, Jay. Close your eyes and just focus on my lips.”

She listened obediently and concentrated on the feel of his soft lips on her skin. He kissed her gently, lovingly and she could feel herself slowly loosen up. Only then, she realized how tense she was before.

Sensing that she finally relaxed, he started to rock and she opened her eyes. She found his blue eyes piercing her, seeing deep into her soul, entrancing her. She wrapped her legs around him and basked in what she felt.

She was hyperaware of everything - the rhythm of his breathing, the sound of the bed slightly creaking, the smell of Winter intensifying around her.

And then, everything faded into the background and all she could feel was his magic which radiated out of him and enveloped her like a blanket. A good kind of cold seeped inside her. Her body drank in the new power and reveled in it. She could feel the potential it held and imagine the possibilities of how it could be used.

“Jay,” he said, his voice straining, “I feel it. I feel Wind.”

“Yes,” she answered. “This is it.”

Her power over Wind mixed with the power of Winter. Now, the mystery of what abilities the mating would give them was unraveled.

The magic intensified and she saw a vision of herself, holding Jack’s hand, flying through the clouds. The two of them combined their powers to create a snowstorm which could span far greater than what Jack could ever do on his own. It was a partnership. He could use Wind to spread the storm and bring his magic to many places at the same time. And she got to feel and use the mighty power of Winter which he was glad to share. When working together like that, she could be a spirit as powerful as her Jack, her eternal mate.

The vision gently eased out of her and she opened her eyes to find his icy-blue irises watching her with wonder. His skin shimmered like a light reflected off of freshly fallen snow.

“You’re glowing,” he whispered.

“So are you.”

She raised her hand to his cheek and he closed his eyes, leaning into her palm. It felt as if her sense of touch was attuned to only feel magic - his magic.

His body was pressed against hers as he laid on top of her but she found that he didn’t feel heavy. He just felt so right, so perfectly fitting her.

She kept replaying in her head everything she experienced this evening. Each touch, each kiss, each word, each feeling. She wanted to remember it well, although, she supposed they were going to make many more memories like this. She smiled at the thought, excited to start her new life with him.

Soon the glow of her hand and the shimmer of his skin subsided and their magic stilled to normal levels. He opened his eyes, feeling it too. A small lopsided smile spread on his lips and he swiftly turned to lay on his side and pulled her to curl up against him.

She rested her head on his arm, placed her hand on his chest and sighed at the happiness swelling inside her.

“Well, this was fun and it just proves that you should always trust the fun expert,” he said and she giggled, biting her lip.

“I love having fun with you,” he added tenderly and kissed her nose.

“Yes. You’ve always been a fun-lover, Jack,” she murmured.

He snorted. She looked at him questioningly and he exploded with loud laughter.

“I’m glad you think so,” he said and laughed so hard that he could barely breathe.

She couldn’t help but smile, infected by his good mood but didn’t understand what was that funny.

Just when he was about to calm down, he looked at her, said “Fun lover” again and started a new fit of giggles, making the whole bed shake.

She sighed again. She had a lot to learn when it came to humor. It was a good thing she had an eager teacher at her fingertips.

It took him a long time to compose himself but once he finally did, he sighed in a long satisfied way and propped his head on his hand.

“So, Jay, want some more of my fun loving?”

Chapter Text

Jamie came home after another day of boring work and hoped that the house wasn’t going to be empty. On days like this, he really needed his spirit friend.

Maybe he would ask Jack to doze him with some fun magic. He wasn’t opposed to any activity his friend might suggest, even a snowball fight. You’re never too old for fun and at this point, he would do anything to forget about his work troubles.

Once inside, he heard two voices coming from the kitchen. One voice was Jack’s but he didn’t know whom the female voice could belong to.

He stopped in the door frame and stared. The most beautiful girl he’s ever seen was leaning on the counter next to Jack. What stunned him though was that she was wearing a sexy pale-blue silk nightgown which accentuated her gentle curves and barely covered her at all. Jamie couldn’t believe his eyes and was too floored to say anything.

“Hi, Jamie. I’m making pancakes,” Jack said cheerfully but Jamie’s face must have revealed his shock as Jack added, “Wait. You can see her?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jamie managed to mutter out.

Jack looked nervously from Jamie to the girl. “I’ll be right back.”

Jack ran out of the kitchen and came back just seconds after. When passing by Jamie he growled, “You can stop staring now.”

The aggressive tone snapped Jamie out of the trance and he realized that Jack was right, he was staring at what had to be Wind.

Jack went over to the girl holding a garment which was of the same color as her hot nightgown and started pleading, “Please, put it on, Jay.”

“You and your pointless clothes. I don’t want to wear it anymore, Jack!” the girl protested.

“Please, you can’t walk around like this. Jamie can see you.”

“So what? What is it with you always trying to cover me up? I thought you like my body.”

Jack looked flustered and Jamie tried to not laugh at his expression. Considering that he’d seen that look on Jack before, he wondered how many of those arguments they’d had in his presence.

“Please, for me?”

Wind stood her ground and crossed her arms under her chest, lifting up her bosom. “Do you or do you not like my body?”

Jack gulped and glanced at Jamie, blush spreading on his cheeks, then back at Wind. “Yes, I do but that’s not what this is about. You’re too exposed. I don’t want… I don’t want Jamie or anyone else looking at you when you’re dressed like that.”

Oh, man. Jack was seriously jealous. Jamie kicked himself for staring at her like that before.

‘Some friend I am,’ he thought.

“Oh,” it seemed that she finally understood. “My body is for your eyes only?”

Jack blushed even further. “Yes. Will you please put it on?”

She finally obliged and gracefully put her arms through the robe and he helped her tie it up at the waist. With his girl somewhat dressed, Jack sighed, ran his hand through his hair nervously and looked sideways at Jamie.

“So, you see her now?”

Jamie nodded silently, unsure if Jack was going to be aggressive again.

“How?”

He shrugged. He couldn’t see her before, now he could. He didn’t know what changed.

“It’s because we’ve mated,” Wind explained.

Jamie snorted. He just couldn’t take it. This girl used the boldest language in such an innocent manner. He covered his mouth, trying to not laugh at the look on Jack’s face.

She continued, “Our magic intertwined when we mated, so now, anyone who can see you will see me too.”

“I guess you should’ve mated sooner, Jack,” Jamie joked and couldn’t hold the giggles in anymore.

Jack looked at his feet innocently. “That’s not what she means, Jamie.”

“Stop it with the shyness again. I already know you’ve ‘mated’ last night.”

Jack bit his lip and looked at Jamie nervously, “You heard that… Ah, sorry.”

Jamie waved his hand in dismissal. “Nah. Don’t say you’re sorry because I know well you are not. I turned on the radio to drown it out. Ah. To have the stamina of a spirit,” he said, chuckling and shaking his head in disbelief.

Jack gave him a shy smile and looked at the ground again. This innocent awkwardness was adorable.

“I’m happy for you.” Then, he looked at the girl who was smiling at them. “It’s nice to officially meet you, Wind.”

“My name is Jay now,” the girl beamed at him.

“Jay?”

“Jack gave me a name,” she said joyfully and wrapped both arms around Jack’s waist.

Jack smiled warmly at her and put his arm around her. “Well, you couldn’t be Wind, the Spirit of Wind, now. It’s really confusing. Besides, you deserve your own name.”

Jamie couldn’t stand how cute this young couple was so he spread his arms wide and gave them both a hug. “You two are adorable.”

Jack looked so happy, Jamie couldn’t help but be infected by it.

“Actually, I was serious before,” Jack said, still holding his girl close to him. “We’re mated now. It’s sort of a big deal.”

“Care to explain?”

“Well,” Jack said, still gazing at her, “it’s forever.”

Jamie sat down at the table and watched the two spirits prepare their food. Well, mostly only Jack was cooking and Jay just hung on to him, not at all shy to show her affection publicly.

“So, all of our names start with a ‘J’ now,” Jamie said, grabbing a pancake for a taste test.

“You’re right,” Jack said, flipping another one. “I haven’t thought of that.”

“It’s like a house full of J’s,” Jamie added, appreciating the tasty food. “So, why Jay and not Susan or Mary or something?”

“None of the common names would do her justice.” She held Jack’s gaze while chewing her pancake and he continued, “When I saw that blue jay in her hand, I recognized how much more there was to her than what I first assumed and I think that’s when I fell in love.”

Jay smiled back at him and added her own confession, “For me, it was when I was watching you play with children. I thought I loved you before but seeing you there with them… From that moment on, it felt different.”

They were beaming at each other and Jamie sighed. “You two are giving me a cuteness overdose.”

A doorbell rang, surprising everyone in the kitchen.

Jamie ran to the door, wondering who it could be and his eyes bulged. It was the vampire again but this time, she came with a friend.

“Hi, Jamie,” Claire said quickly. “I was worried about Jack and wanted to check on him. Is he here?”

“He’s cooking.”

He frowned at the woman, not wanting to let her take Jack out of his house. Last time she did, he was gone for a few days. It was his turn!

The guy next to her smelled the air.

“Oh, man. That smells heavenly. I’m Adam, by the way,” he said, offering his hand.

Jamie shook it and was pleasantly surprised that it was warm. This guy was human? He exhaled in relief, only now realizing that he was tense.

Claire seemed to understand. “Yeah. Adam is not a vampire. He’s a warlock.”

“They can come in if you’re okay with that,” Jack called behind him, peeking from the kitchen.

Jamie hesitated but then decided that he didn’t mind a full house. Oh, why not? The house of J’s might as well become a house full of supernaturals.

“Come in, then.”

When they came into the kitchen, a sudden tension filled the air. Jay and Claire stared at each other and Jack froze, looking between them. Oh, man. Maybe inviting her in wasn’t such a good idea.

Adam was the first to break the stressful silence. “Pancakes? Do you have enough for one more person? I’m starving.”

Jack put the plate of pancakes on the table and the guy dug in. Jamie decided that he didn’t want to be involved in whatever was coming so he sat back in his previous seat without a word.

“Hi, Claire,” Jack said and ran a hand through his hair nervously.

Jay walked up to him and put her hand in his in a very possessive manner. As much tense as this scene was, Jamie had to admit, he wanted to see what would happen next. He was on the edge of his seat.

Claire cleared her throat. “Hi,” she shifted on her legs. “I must say, I’m surprised to see Wind here.”

“Jay,” Jack corrected. “I gave her a name.”

Claire kicked the floor absentmindedly. “Can we speak in private?”

“No!” Jay answered for him. “He’s not going anywhere private with you.”

Adam nearly choked on his food and exchanged a look with Jamie. This was getting good. Jamie wished he had popcorn on his lap right now.

Jack put his other hand on hers.

“Don’t worry, Jay,” but then seeing her intensity, he seemed to realize that she wasn’t going to back down so he sighed and looked back at Claire. “Oh, Claire. Just say what you need.”

The vampire released a puff of air in frustration but finally said what was on her mind. “I’m just surprised that you would go back to her after what she did.”

Jamie frowned. What did Jay do? He was missing something.

“She didn’t do anything,” Jack insisted. “She was upset when she saw us together. Can you blame her for that? Wind reacted to her pain and dropped me. That’s all that happened. I don’t blame her for it and neither should you.”

“You nearly died!” Claire cried out.

“Wait,” Jamie interrupted. “Did you really nearly die?”

Jack addressed Claire, “No. I didn’t. Did you really think you can kill the Spirit of Winter that easily? You could chop me up into pieces and Winter would still regenerate me. I will only fade when I decide to and I am not ready yet. Especially now. My life was never on the line, Claire.” He took a long breath and continued, “My only problem was whether I could trust Wind to fly - and I mean Wind, not Jay. But now, everything’s changed. We’re mated now, Jay and I, forever, and…” he struggled to find the right words. “Wind is a part of me.” He put a hand on his chest and inhaled deeply. “I can feel her. I can rely on Wind now as much as I can rely on Winter.”

Claire sulked but finally nodded in acknowledgment. Or maybe in defeat.

“Jack has always liked you,” Jay cut into the conversation, surprising the vampire. “I don’t want him to lose a friend. I hope we can get along.”

Jack kissed her on the forehead, appreciating her gesture.

Claire sighed but then smiled at the girl. “Of course. I want that too. Come here, Jay. I want to talk to you.”

Jack gestured at her to go ahead and the two girls left the kitchen to sit in the living room.

Jack snuck glances after them. “What do you think they’re talking about?”

“Girl-talk,” Adam said while chewing, “whatever that may be.”

Jamie followed Jack’s gaze to the girl on his couch, noticing how the silky robe accentuated her femininity. Jack was so lucky to end up with such a beautiful spirit.

He decided to take the opportunity to ask a question that was on his mind.

“So, Jack, did you dress her like that on purpose?”

“I took her shopping but she refused to wear anything else.” He scratched his head. “She likes silk. Maybe I can find her a proper silk dress?”

“Wait, first things first, because now I’m curious why she needed a change of clothes. What was she wearing before she chose the nightgown?”

“My hoodie.”

“Okay,” Jamie was getting suspicious because Jack was looking everywhere but at him. “What did she wear before that when you found her?”

Jack was picking at some invisible lint on his hoodie, staring intently at it. Adam was listening in on their conversation and leaned closer now, awaiting an answer as well. Jack finally looked at them each and exhaled.

“Nothing.”

The two of them stared at him and then at the pretty girl talking to Claire.

“Shit. What an introduction,” the warlock said.

Jamie said. “Oh, man. You were screwed from the start.”

Jack smiled shyly. “Yeah. She knew what she wanted. I barely had any say in the matter.”

All three of them chuckled at that while digging into the pancake tower.

Jay and Claire came back and Claire asked, “What’s so funny, guys?”

“Nothing,” Jack said and the three of them looked at each other and howled with laughter again, leaving the girls confused.

Claire shrugged, frustrated to be left out of the joke and Jay wrapped her arms around Jack’s shoulders. He kissed her on the cheek while still laughing with the guys.

“Anyway,” Jamie said, trying to compose himself. “I just wanted to let you know that my invitation extends to both of you. You can both stay in the attic room whenever you want.”

“You’re the best, Jamie,” Jack said and was about to say something else but Jay yanked him a step back with a stunned expression on her face.

“Jack? Jack!” she said in a tone somewhere between question and wonder.

She put his hand about an inch away from her abdomen and said excitedly, “Do you feel it?”

He stared at her and at his hand, confused about what he was supposed to feel but then his expression changed, his eyes going wide.

“What is that? What am I feeling, Jay?”

“We’re going to have a child,” she beamed at him.

His face became a mask of shock. He looked frantically back and forth from her eyes down to her abdomen.

“What? How is that possible? How can you know this so soon, Jay?”

“You can feel it, can’t you?”

His hand hovered over her belly and he scrunched up his brows.

Jamie felt his mouth hanging open and looked at Adam and Claire who were watching the two spirits in just as much shock as he was in. Did he hear this right?

Jack cupped Jay’s face in both of his hands.

“I feel it,” he said in a shaky voice. “Is this true? We’re really going to have a child?”

She confirmed with multiple nods.

He looked around until he found Jamie and pulled him out of the chair into a tight hug.

“I’m going to be a father, Jamie. I’m going to be a father!”

“I... can’t… breathe,” Jamie muttered, crushed in a bone-breaking embrace.

“Sorry. Sorry, Jamie,” Jack said quietly in a voice that was higher pitch than normal and Jamie was beginning to worry. Was Jack going to lose it?

Jack went back to Jay and held her shoulders gently and his face looked like he was going to have a mental breakdown. Oh, no.

“Jay,” he said in a cracking voice and wrapped his arms around her, effectively collapsing on her. “I never thought… I thought…” He couldn’t say what he wanted and Jay was becoming worried too.

“Jack. I can’t tell if you’re pleased or not,” she asked, concerned about his strange behavior.

“If I’m pleased?” Jack asked with a demented-sounding chuckle. “Jay, I thought I could never be a father.”

She grew even more concerned.

“Are you crying? You’re upset? You’re not happy?”

Jack laughed, then broke away to look at her. “Jay. They’re happy tears. Are you kidding me? I love children! I always have. I’ve always wanted my own but when I died, I thought I lost my chance, that I would never get to be a father.”

“You’re silly. I told you spirits can have children.”

Jack took her face in his hands. “I guess, I forgot that it includes me.”

“So, you’re happy?”

“It’s the happiest day of my life.”

And he kissed her right in front of all of them.

The three of them stared at first, the big news not completely having sunk in, but after a while, it felt like they were intruding on a very intimate moment.

Jamie rubbed the back of his neck, wondering if he should do something to remind the two spirits that they weren’t alone but there was something so innocent and pure about how they became oblivious to their surroundings that he didn’t dare to break them up.

“Wow,” Claire exclaimed, blinking rapidly and sneaking glances at the couple. “Can you believe this? Pregnant already?”

“I know, right?” Adam chuckled, getting up from his chair but not at all embarrassed to watch the two spirits.

Saying that Jamie was stunned was a gross understatement. This day was full of surprises. He shook his head and chuckled, realizing that he was going to have a third spirit to house in his attic. But most of all, he was extremely happy for Jack. He was going to be an uncle!

“Hey guys, do you see that?” Adam said, alarmed.

“Yeah, they’re still going at it,” Claire joked.

“No!” Adam exclaimed. “The wave. There’s a wave of magic coming off of Jack.”

Jamie looked around. Was Jack losing control of his powers? “I don’t see anything frosting over.”

“Not frost, something else. It’s getting closer.” Adam sounded scared and stepped a foot back, pulling Claire with him.

“I don’t see anything,” she said.

Jamie was about to question whether the warlock’s eyesight was okay but then felt as if something slammed into him. For a second, it felt like all oxygen was removed from his lungs and replaced with something else.

He took a few long breaths and blinked, trying to understand what just happened. His brows scrunched up as he was about to worry but then he felt himself instantaneously relax, all worries forgotten, magically lifted away.

He felt an involuntary grin spread across his face and looked at the warlock and vampire next to him who experienced the same sensation.

“It’s Jack’s fun magic,” he told them, recognizing the familiar feeling and sensing he was about to fall victim to a bout of uncontrollable giggles. He hurried his explanation while still able to talk. “But it’s…” he started giggling and tried to contain it. “It’s…” It was hard to not giggle and that just made him want to giggle even more. “It’s magnified,” he finally choked up and let himself laugh out loud.

The whole thing was hilarious. Jack accidentally released a super potent magical wave of fun!

Adam laughed and Claire shouted, grabbing his shoulders, “I love fun! Let’s do something fun.”

“Yeah, let’s!” Adam agreed and pulled her in for a deep kiss.

Jamie’s eyes widened. Talk about surprises!

He laughed even harder now, realizing that he was the last one in the house not making out. The spirits were still lost in their own little world and the warlock and the vampire took full advantage of the magic, having ‘fun’ in a very non-family friendly way.

Jack and Jay finally separated and gazed at each other dreamily for a moment but then looked in the direction of the rest, startled by Jamie’s laugh.

Jamie’s laughing fit resumed even harder, seeing the embarrassed look on Jack’s face. Yep. He totally forgot that they weren’t alone.

“When did that happen?” Jack asked, looking at Adam and Claire who were still locked in a passionate kiss.

“You dosed us, man,” Jamie said, holding his side and feeling out of breath. “You dosed us with your fun magic.” Jack winced, realizing that he lost control. “It was so strong. You probably dosed the whole neighborhood,” Jamie croaked and started laughing again, imagining his neighbors spontaneously kissing each other.

He tried to hold it in, feeling too tired for a repeat of that lung exercise.

“That strong?” Jack asked with worry. He walked up and rubbed Jamie’s back, trying to calm him down. “That’s never happened before.”

“Your powers are stronger because we’re mated, Jack,” Jay explained. “You have to be more careful.”

“I guess so.” He sighed and turned back to her to put a hand on her belly. “I still can’t believe it.”

Jamie was finally getting the hang of breathing again and asked curiously, “Is it moving already?”

“No, it’s too early for that,” Jack said and then placed Jamie’s hand on her flat tummy, “but you can feel the magic of another nature spirit.”

Jamie wanted to feel the magic his friend described but felt only the belly of his girlfriend… Or, would ‘wife’ be a more appropriate term?

“I don’t feel it.”

Sometimes, he really wished he could participate in all of those magical revelations. In moments like this, it sucked to be the only human in the room.

“I wonder if they can feel it,” he added, sneaking a look at the lip-locked couple.

Jack frowned, “Should we do something?”

“We didn’t interrupt you two,” Jamie chuckled. “Let them enjoy the last remnants of your magic.”

Jack sighed and hugged Jay from behind, burying his face in her hair. In response, she leaned on him and closed her eyes. She put her hands on her belly and he added both of his on top.

“I’m really happy for you two,” Jamie said, feeling his heart swell at the sight of the young happy couple before him.

“You’ll be Uncle Jamie,” Jack said dreamily from her hair. “Does that invitation still stand or is this too much?”

“Of course, it does,” Jamie assured him. “Especially now.”

Claire and Adam finally finished their makeout session and peered into each other’s eyes.

“I had no idea,” she said to him and it looked like she was about to kiss him some more.

Jamie cleared his throat and the two jumped in surprise, making him laugh.

“Stop it, guys. I can’t take it anymore. I’m in stitches,” he complained, holding his side.

Adam blushed and Claire looked around uneasily, unsure of what to do with herself.

Jay broke the tension. “Claire, do you want to feel it?”

The vampire walked up and Jay pulled her hand to put it on her belly.

After a moment, Claire shook her head. “I don’t feel anything. Are you sure, Jay? It’s awfully soon, isn’t it?”

Adam walked up. “Can I try?”

Jay put his hand on her and his eyes widened. “I feel it, Claire. There’s magic. Strong magic,” he exclaimed and hugged the girl and then Jack who was beaming. “Congratulations!”

“So, a baby already. Not wasting time, huh?” Claire asked and shook her head in disbelief.

“Never wasting time again,” Jay responded, looking up at her eternal mate.

“Now, the real fun begins,” Jack said.