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 Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)

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Jake Newbury
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PostSubject: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:25 pm

Christmas had come with it's usual excitement in the Newbury house. The children had woken up all the adults the moment the sun had dared to peek through the curtains on the unusually nice, frosty Christmas morning in the UK. They had dragged each adult -- most especially their Pops -- from their beds with the insistence that Santa had been. In usual Christmas tradition, they had congregated upon Jake's parent's bed with the kids stockings -- Jake included in this, even though he was now in his thirties, and a makeshift stocking for Azalea.

It had taken an age for the children to finish pulling everything out of their stockings -- Alexis Newbury's famous enlarging spell meaning the stockings were deceptively deep, and full with more sugary treats than the children could ever need. Jake's stocking had been filled with the more useful presents of deodorants, soaps and socks with a few chocolates, and Azalea's... well, they were filled with sweets Jake was sure the witch wouldn't want, but Alexis had tried not to look like she didn't want the other woman in the house.

After that, they had hurried downstairs to the presents. 'Santa' had made a mess with his big feet -- which were surprisingly the same shape as Henry Newbury's shoes -- from the fireplace to the three, to the table where crumbs from the cookies and mince pies, and a splodge of sherry had been 'accidentally' spilt on the table. Ivan had sat upon his Nanny's knee as he read the reply he'd received from Santa to his Christmas wish list that had been left out, a fond smile on everyone's lips as the eight year old powered through the whole letter only getting stuck on a few of the longer, more complex words.

Adrienne had picked up her own letter and moved to Azalea, situating herself in the woman's lap and holding the letter out pretending to read it like her brother was. Slowly, though, Jake and Azalea had read it through for Adrienne, pointing to the words to try to encourage the youngest Newbury to read the message herself. She was only five, though, so Jake was not too worried with her lack of focus on the letter, she was more interested in the presents.

"Ivan, go help Adrienne pick out the presents for everyone." Jake encouraged the children, motioning them off to the mountain of presents under, and around the tree, and halfway across the room. It took them much too long to open all the presents, the children obviously being the centre of attention in this moment. A sea of wrapping paper was kept from submerging the room by an attentive Alexis, whilst Adrienne whizzed back and forth to the sofa occupied by Azalea and Jake with her presents, getting help from them both when the sticky tape was much too difficult to pull apart.

The children had been spoiled with all the latest toys in the market, either from their parents, their grandparents, or Victoria. They had new clothes -- that were glanced at before being put aside for the promise of new toys -- and an abundance of candy that Jake knew he was going to be rationing out to them for the rest of the year. His mom got new clothes from Victoria, matching necklace and earrings from his father in her favourite stones, and from Jake, a new apron and various cooking essentials she'd been eyeing up for years.

Henry had received a new watch, a new wallet, a new belt, his favourite alcohol and sweets from everyone, with the usual comment of them never knowing what to get a man who had everything he needed. Henry had smiled at that, his eyes returning to his grandchildren as Ivan showed him a new car he'd just opened with deep excitement buzzing through him.

Jake's own presents had been much the same as his fathers. Every day needed items from the family. A number of random items from friends -- including a crude present from Mike who said he needed to come out more before he forgot how to use it. A present that was quickly hidden from everyone in the room because Mike Turnberg was an ass, and he was going to have Christmas brought down a notch.

It was in the moment that he glanced to Azalea that Jake realised she hadn't gotten anything. He hadn't thought about getting the witch something when the visit had been thrust upon them. Thankfully there had been something from Clara, but aside from that...

His mom had brought forth the only present from the Newbury's a moment later. Denoting that it might give Azalea some food for thought. Jake hadn't known what it was, but as Azalea opened the package, a familiar folder looked back at them. Azalea's research. Jake's eyes had turned to his mom with curiosity, but she'd just shook her head in a manner that said 'not now'. What Azalea had thought to the gift, Jake hadn't asked, much too caught up in the children who squealed as the castle for the garden was opened, distracting everyone from Azalea's gift.

The rest of the day had been spent with Jake and the children in the garden setting up the wooden fort that had two levels, a drawbridge, ramparts, everything the kids could want, in the back garden. The children had come out a couple of hours later, just before dinner to see it, hurrying up to the top of the turrets and looking thoroughly pleased with themselves. Unfortunately, though, the small game of 'slay Daddy Dragon!' had been cut short with the call for dinner, and the three of them had hurried back inside.

Dinner was, as always, amazingly cooked by his mom. Everything worked so well together that Jake had had three helpings of roast dinner, and two of the cheesecake dessert. They had settled down to watch the Queen's speech -- the English were such a weird group -- with their usual amusement shortly after, and at some point during the old woman's speech, Jake had fallen asleep on the sofa, in something of a food coma.

When he awoke, there was some Christmas movie on with a green monster-like thing running around a town. It took him a moment to recognise the Grinch, shaking his head at the choice. It was the worst Christmas movie ever, but the children were engrossed in it, so he didn't say a word. The rest of the day was spent in a mixture of playing games, or watching movies, until eight o'clock when the children were flaking from the long day, Jake had taken them up to bed with Azalea, set them down for the night, before heading to the spare room when he'd collapsed on the bed without another word to Azalea past a 'g'night'.

The next few days had been uneventful, in truth. The children were busy with their new toys, Henry had headed back to work despite Alexis' obvious dislike for heading to work so soon. Jake and Azalea spent their days looking after the children, or else talking of trivial things. Jake had spent some of his time in the gym in the basement, or else in the magically heated pool when everything else didn't need his attention, and for the most part, there was nothing to worry about.

Until the eve of New Year's Eve. Jake had received two phone calls that day.

The first had been from Mike.

"Did you like your present?"

"Loved it." Jake had replied sarcastically, not wanting to think about the present that had been stashed under his bed before anyone could see it.

"Thought you would," Mike had replied, his smile obvious even though Jake couldn't see him. "So, we're all heading in to London for New Year. Coming with us? Your mom will watch the kids, so don't try to use them as an excuse. What do you say?"

"As right as you are about mom, we have guests, I can't."

"Bullshit."

"Seriously. Honestly, I would have come, but, you know, Christmas, New Year, family time." Jake replied to his best friend, trying not to be too put out by the fact he would be missing out.

"Fine, fine. But, you're coming out with us all soon, it feels like ages since I've seen you!"

"Joy of having children, I'm afraid, Mike. They come first, always."

"Yeah, yeah, save it old man! Have a good one, then!"

"See ya, Mike."

Jake had cut off the call with something of a sigh. Having Azalea here... caused enough of a stir, now she was getting in the way of more of his life. It wasn't her fault, Jake knew that, but he would have liked to see the New Year in properly. Not sat at home with a woman he barely knew anymore, his mom eyeing him questioningly about the whole thing.

But, the bad news was not done.

No sooner had he gotten off the phone with Mike, the next call had come in.

Clara Kent.

Jake had answered with a warm hello, not wanting the witch to know he was dreading the call. They hadn't talked for long, they hadn't needed to. Clara couldn't make it over in a few days. Could he look after Azalea a while longer? Can I say no? Jake had thought in response to the question, but outwardly... outwardly he'd been the perfect partner in this whole charade. "Of course, that's not a problem." Jake had replied, closing his eyes as his free hand moved to rub his eyes. A stress headache was forming, he was sure. "No, it's fine. I will be at work during the day, but I'm sure mom won't mind checking in on Azalea. No, no, it's not a problem. She's doing really well, anyway, so it's probably doing her the world of good, being here... yeah... yeah... don't worry about it, it's fine."

By the time Jake had cut off the call, he didn't know how he managed to get himself in to this mess.

Stealing himself for a couple of moments, Jake had looked in to the lounge where Azalea was sitting with the children, and motioned for her to come out. "You got a minute, Azalea?" He asked, keeping the kids at bay with the pointed question for the American witch. How in Merlin's name did he put this in a manner that didn't make it look like she was being forced to stay.

When Azalea joined him in the kitchen, Jake had been looking out across the garden of his home, trying to work it all out. "That was Clara," Jake explained, holding up his mobile in explanation. "She's... been delayed with some things -- Mimosa is fine, don't panic -- which means she won't be coming to pick you up in a few days. So... if you're happy to, I've said you can stay here, until Clara or your dad can pick you up. It's no trouble, so please don't worry about it. Ivan and Adrienne will love having you stay that bit longer too. And, well, you'll get more sleep?"

The last was said to lighten the mood, because he couldn't work out what else to say. They were two strangers, sharing a bed, for... well, at least another month, by the sounds of it. If not more. Azalea couldn't live in Furz Croft on her own, after all...

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:08 pm

Christmas at the Newburies had been great in an objective way. the children had certainly had the time of their lives but it had also served to remind Azalea how much she did not belong there. When she had first arrived, her mental state had been nowhere near stable enough to notice if she was welcomed but as the days went by and more of her recovered from the trauma she had gone though, the more obvious it became. The only people who truly enjoyed her company were the children, and they only did so because they didn't know any better. If Ivan and Adrienne understood what it was costing their parents and grandparents to have Azalea around, they would want the strange lady out of the house too.

Still, at least Jake and lexis were trying to put up a smiling front, and the least the American witch do was repay the favor. Henry Newbury mostly ignored ehr, though he remained silent most fo the time so his behavior would have been noted as usual had Azalea explicitly not caught him averting her gaze across Christmas dinner. The witch couldn't remember what she had done to make Jake's father this ignorant of her and her ever unreliable memory was not providing any insight beyond the smell of coffee in the early hours of the morning.

Why had she been awake with Henry in the middle of the night? Was that teh reason he no longer wished to look at her? Was this a question she could ask Jake without raising even more awkwardness between the two?

Her Christmas present had been hastily put together, that much was obvious. But the gesture was appreciated nonetheless. Thank heavens for Clara who had managed to send presents for everyone, half of them addressed from Azalea to the Newburies though the contents resembled nothing Azalea would have ever picked. Or maybe she might have? The witch no longer knew what was her and what wasn't, and it would be a while before she reconnected to the old Azalea who chose presents for family and friends.

But the research would at least give her something to do after the New Year Holidays were done and she was out of here. So Azalea had taken it gratefully and even began studying some of it in the midnight hours. no longer comfortable going to sleep with Jake, the witch usually stayed up reading until he had passed out, joining him only when absolutely necessary. Only a few weeks and the spare bed was showing its mark on Jake's back, a fact Azalea didn't want to notice because it seemed wrong to notice something so intimate but something she couldn't help doing due to their nightly proximity.

The sooner she left, the sooner he could return to getting a proper night's sleep.

the days leading up to New Year had been full o the same Christmas excitement now watered down as each day approached closer to when the children would have to be back in school. New Year's Eve culminated in a show of fireworks and crackers and new pajamas for the children who already had enough presents to last them a lifetime, Azalea would imagine. As she watched Adrienne parade around in her pretty blue pajamas patterned with power tools, Azalea only hoped her own daughter was getting as much love and attention as these children were.

She didn't have to hope long as Jake called her away only a moment later.

"Sure, what's up?" she replied, getting up from the couch and patting Adrienne's hair to reassure the child she wasn't going far, just in the other room to have a word with Daddy. Once Jake and Azalea were alone, the news came, permeating the air around them like thick, uncomfortable fog.

"That was Clara, she's... been delayed with some things -- Mimosa is fine, don't panic -- which means she won't be coming to pick you up in a few days. So... if you're happy to, I've said you can stay here, until Clara or your dad can pick you up. It's no trouble, so please don't worry about it. Ivan and Adrienne will love having you stay that bit longer too. And, well, you'll get more sleep?"

It was causing him genuine effort to relay this as good news, Azalea could see that now. How she hadn't managed to notice the forceful way in which Jake was looking after her since summer, the witch could now no longer comprehend. Had it always been this obvious and she simply been too out of it to notice or had his discomfit grown in the weeks that he had exposed his family to her? Did it matter either way.

"Did Clara say how long?" the brunette asked before changing track halfway. No, that should not have been the first question. Shaking her head, she corrected herself. "I'm sorry, I mean, I'll check into a hotel. Could you please book me a room somewhere, I'm so much better now, i'll be fine on my own."

Which was a lie, she was getting tremendously better but nowhere near well enough to be on ehr own. But a little sleeping potion would fix that. The last thing she needed was to be a further imposition on the Newburies.

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:22 pm

The reflex question made Jake's brow furrow slightly. That was not the question he'd been banking on. Why couldn't Clara or her dad come was the question he had expected first. Couldn't he take her home had been the second question that had come up. Clara had obviously not wanted Azalea to head home -- they both knew he could have flown with Azalea back to the US if that had been what Clara had wanted, but that had never been part of the discussion. Whatever the reason, Jake had not asked, only seeing his life being impeded on more by the Harrington family.

But, that wasn't Azalea's fault, and he shouldn't hold it against the witch before him.

"I'm not going to book you in to a hotel, Azalea. For one, Clara would kill me if she found out I'd let you go stay somewhere else, and secondly, if something happened... I couldn't..." Jake let what he was going to say die away, he didn't need Azalea to know that he could not handle any more guilt when it came to her well being. "I can't make you stay, of course, but if you decide you are leaving, I'm going to have to call Clara, and I can guarantee she's not going to be happy with the whole thing, and whatever is holding her up... is going to suffer for us not being able to agree.

"And, she said most of January. I said that it was okay for you to stay here. So, unless you want Clara's wrath upon us both... I guess you're staying?" The man suggested with a soft laugh. "It's fine, Azalea. You staying. I will have to go to work, the kids will be at school, but you can stay here...

"Do... do you need anything? I mean, we only packed you enough for a couple of weeks. I can get you some... whatever you might need, if you want?" He added, trying not to sound as awkward about this as he felt. It was just a few more weeks. It wasn't going to hurt, and the kids were loving having Azalea around, so if nothing more, he had a helping hand, didn't he?

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:44 pm

"I'm not going to book you in to a hotel, Azalea."

The witch shook her head, drowning out his logic as he explained how it would be best for her to stay here. No, he was making too much sense for any of this to be genuine. Azalea may not know many things but she knew he she was being a burden, and she was not going to stand for it. Not even under threat of Clara's wrath.

"What about Dad, why can't he come?" she asked before holding out a hand for Jake's phone, the request clear in her eyes. Whether Jake understood her unspoken words or he already had Kit's number on speed dial, the witch would never know. All she knew was that the ringing tone on the other end carved a fresh helping of dread into her as it went unanswered. Finally, Kit Harrington's polite voice appeared on the other hand, informing them that he was away and welcoming them to leave a message.

"Dad, it's me, call me back as soon as you get this please," Azalea murmured into the phone before disconnecting and handing it back to Jake. The man continued to stare at her, probably trying to come up with new ways to reassure her that staying on was a good idea, that it would work out, that she would get more sleep.

Of course he completely left out the part where he himself would be getting improper sleep for almost another month. With January at their heels, he would be back at his second Job too. if ever there was a time Jake Newbury needed to be well rested, it was starting now.

"It's okay," she reassured him as he asked if she needed more things for the elongated duration of her stay. "I'm sure dad will call back soon and we'll get this sorted. I can go with him to by my stuff, or have Clara ship it over." But even as she reassured him, the witch had a hollow feeling inside her. Clara had been distant lately, and the excuse of having Mimosa around could only work until the child returned home.

What could have come up that both her parents were away, leaving her with strangers who neither anted nor needed her around.

"Though, there is one thing..." she finally added. "Could you please... I mean, I would like to try and sleep on my own tonight," she tried again. The last time she had broached the subject of a sleeping potion, Jake had flat out refused. Now though she was better, armed with more reasoning capability, in enough control of her faculties to reframe the request.

"I don't like feeling so dependent..." she finished, not really looking at Jake because she still wasn't sure he couldn't catch a lie in her warm brown eyes. "I have to practice anyway, so if you could get me some sleeping potion, that would really help."

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:05 pm

"What about Dad, why can't he come?"

"Well... I.. I don't..." Jake tried to explain the situation, but he didn't have the answer. Clara hadn't offered an explanation for the elongation of Azalea's stay, and Jake hadn't been in the mood to question it. It wasn't like he could say no, anyway, was it. But as Azalea held out her hand for his phone, Jake paused only for a moment before reluctantly handing it to the witch. Did she think he was making this up? Or that Clara would make her stay here if her dad couldn't come and pick her up? Whatever logic was going on in the brunette's mind, Jake didn't know, nor could he hazard a guess at it, in truth.

The phone went through to answer phone after Azalea had dialled Kit Harrington's number, the short message not at all unsettling for a parent, but Jake didn't pass comment on it, only reaching forth to take his mobile back once she was done before sliding it back in to his jeans.

Azalea continued on to refuse his help on the matter of things she might need, and Jake understood in that moment. They were at the stage where she was realising his discomfort. He knew he should have tried harder to hide it from her, but... well, not sleeping properly helped no one, and having to tell his mom this was going to continue for another month? That was not a conversation Jake wanted to have. These last few weeks had been tense enough...

But she was not done.

The half request, which turned in to pretty much a demand, but worded just on the edge of caution, to sleep on her own that evening had Jake taken back. Azalea could not deny the benefits that had come to her from being able to sleep naturally, it was visible in how she looked, and noticeable in the way she talked. But, in that moment, with the way she was acting, being so demanding, knowing what she wanted, Jake didn't feel like it would be the right thing to do to argue back with her. Not this time.

"If... that's what you want." Jake replied to the witch, tense because he wasn't sure how that was going to go down with the witch. "I'll have to go out when mom gets here and get you a sleeping potion, but, if you want to sleep on your own tonight, I can't force you otherwise. You don't have to sleep on your own, though, for the record. You're choosing to, and... I'm just going to point out that it's helped you a lot, recently. But, up to you."

Finalising that much Jake, picked up his luke-warm cup of tea, sipping at it as he looked out of the window because this was all going horribly, horribly wrong.

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:37 pm

Once again, the hesitant agreement to her request came with too many logical, supporting factors. Jake was absolutely right in everything. Sleeping naturally was helping her recover, even she could see it. It was also her own choice to stop doing so. But he was wrong in that no one was forcing her.

Because there were too many people forcing her hand these days. Clara wanted her to stay here, Dad was choosing to say nothing and Jake... His kindness probably stemmed from pity, something Azalea was starting to realize she probably invoked a lot of these days. It was that pity - more than anyone else - that was forcing her hand.

"I'm sorry," the witch finally conceded, moving her eyes upwards slightly but still not looking at the man she had somehow managed to back into a corner. "It's just for a few days. I'm sure dad will call back soon and when he does, we can get this all figured out." The sooner she left here, the sooner she could confront it and Clara about Mimosa. The witch was willing to do almost anything to get well enough to see her daughter, but she needed to know what the rules were.

"Zay-lea, we want to watch Monster town!" Adrienne's voice drifted from the living room, making the witch realize she and Jake had been away from the kids for a good few minutes. Nodding to Jake in silent agreement, the duo left the hallway and their discussion behind. For the time being.

Monster town turned out to be a movie about a whole town getting turned into fun colorful monsters until they learned to see past their appearances and understand what was inside each towns person. The children enjoyed the movie immensely while Azalea chimed in a the right moments, making sure to participate in the viewing experience. Towards the end of the film, lexis Newbury arrived an the children immediately jumped on their grandmother, insisting she finish the movie with them.

Thirty minutes later, Azalea was tucking the children in bed, unsure if Jake had gone out or had some other means of getting the potion delivered but certain that he would have done so. He didn't want to sleep in the spare room any more than she wanted to and this was just the best solution.

"Zay-Lea, you go sleep with Daddy now?" Adrienne asked, her eyes barely open as the brunette kissed ehr goodnight.

"Course," Ivan muttered from his own bed, half asleep but just awake enough to catch his sisters words. "Where else would she sleep?"

"She can... sleep with me..." Adrienne responded softly, trying to sound insistent but failing due tot eh fact that ehr tiny mouth could no longer form words properly. Within a few seconds, the little girl was fast asleep. Sure that Adrienne was now safely out, Azalea turned to Ivan to repeat the process, tucking him in and kissing his forwards before wishing him a good night. the boy was asleep halfway through but that hardly mattered.

Exiting the door and closing it softly, the witch waited. The strange impulse to hang outside the children's door just in case was still present, but day after day of leaving them alone to sleep and then seeing them safe and happy in the morning was doing its job. The impulse was nowhere near as strong as it had been in her first few days.

The children would be safe, Jake had said so.

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:50 pm

After the children had been distracted with Azalea's presence, Jake had moved off to do some of the house chores. Not wanting to be around Azalea at the moment was enough to keep him busy throughout the rest of the afternoon until his mom arrived. He was just pulling his jacket on to head out to get Azalea a sleeping potion from Diagon Alley when his phone went off. A text message. Pulling his phone from his pocket, Jake had unlocked it to find a message from Clara.

Do not give in to her. No sleeping potions. Clara

Jake had looked at the phone and glanced back in the direction of the living room.

What do you suggest I do? She's insisting. I can't make her do.. anything!

No sleeping potions, Jake. Please. The reply came almost instantly, and Jake had let out a frustrated sound as he left the home, pulling the door to with a little too much force in that moment before he apparated to Diagon Alley. The street was relatively quiet, as was to be expected of this day, and Jake had moved straight to the apothecary to get what Azalea had requested from him. The Auror had stood inside the shop looking at the different vials long enough to be confused for a man who didn't know what he was looking for, and the shop assistant had come to his side.

"Can I help you, sir?"

"I... no... yes... please." Jake replied, wanting more time to get the idea straight in his head, but not wanting to push away the help he needed. "I have a friend staying... she's struggling with her sleep. A sleeping potion isn't what she wants, though. It's too medicated and... well, she's a little bit anti-medication... but, is there something that might help her feel... sleepy?"

It had taken the next ten minutes for the clerk to help Jake decide from the many vials on offer. They hadn't settled on a sleeping potion. They hadn't settled on any medicated concoction in the world. It was simply a blend of herbs -- completely natural, no medicine in sight -- that would relax Azalea's body. You mixed it in to milk, had the person drink it, and it should help the drinker get a good night sleep once they drifted off. Of course, that would be the stumbling block, but the clerk did not need to know that much.

And neither did Azalea.

Jake had returned home an hour later after picking up a few other items for work, finding everyone finishing up dinner and heading off to get a bed and then bath. Jake had been instructed to eat by his mom, and the two ladies had seen to the children. The Auror had done as he was told, eating his dinner alone, in silence, before heading upstairs to find Azalea reading to the children. They were already out for the count, and he chose not to disturb them, or Azalea.

Instead, the Auror showered, and then went back downstairs for a few hours, sorting through the bills and paperwork that had come through that day, paying what needed to be paid, and filing things away. By the time it came to ten o'clock, Jake was ready for bed. Moving to the kitchen first, though, the man warmed through the milk and herb concoction he'd been told to give Azalea, mixed it slowly and inhaled. It was very floral in scent, lavender he deduced a few moments later, and other things he couldn't pick out. How it would taste, Jake didn't know, but that wasn't his main concern.

Heading up to the spare room, Jake knocked softly, waiting for Azalea's consent for him to enter, before he did so. "I've got your evening drink." Jake told the witch -- that kept him from out and out lying, didn't it? "I'll wait here until you drift off, just to be sure that it's worked, then I'll head to my room." Jake proposed, hoping that would be okay as he passed her the drink. "It doesn't smell great, but the man at the apothecary said it worked well."

With a small smile, he put the glass on her bedside before sitting at the foot of her bed.

"How're you... feeling?" He asked, pretty much offering a get out of jail card for himself. Hoping she would say she didn't want to do this anymore. So he wouldn't feel guilty for the lie that was about to form. But, Clara seemed to know, and he would not do something he'd clearly been told not to do. Too much rested on Azalea's stay -- in Jake's head, at least -- for him not to follow Clara's instructions.

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:49 pm

Returning to the spare bedroom, the witch headed straight for a shower. Dad was supposed to call but he hadn't done so all day, and not having a phone of her own, Azalea was dependent on using Jake's or the house's. Very aware of Alexis Newbury's eyes on her the whole time, the witch was nowhere near comfortable enough using anything in this house beyond the absolute necessities so that only left her with one option.

Having changed into a a loose t shirt and shorts, the witch med ehr way to ehr desk once more, papered to spend the next few hours poured over her files but ehr plans were disrupted five minutes later when Jake arrived with the sleeping potion as requested. For the first time in days, a truly grateful smile touched the young woman's lips.

"Did Dad or Clara call?" she asked, taking the drink from him and then wrinkling her nose at the concoction. Jake was right, it smelt too... much. Had she liked things like these before? Azalea was almost certain she did not. She liked things that gave off the illusion of barely existing...

The question was moot, had either of them called, Jake would have found ehr and given her the phone, or helped her call them back if she was unavailable. Still, the small shake of his head didn't make any of it less confusing. Maybe they were simply busy with Mimosa? That had to be it, wasn't it? Though how long that excuse would run, the brunette couldn't be sure. Mimosa returned to school th same day Jake did.

"This is gross,' she complained, hiding a grimace after the first sip of milk.

"How're you... feeling?"

The question was... well, it was polite. Jake could never be accused of rudeness, that was for sure. But it didn't make sense why he wasn't simply running for the hills. His task was done, the potion had been delivered, he should be happy to return to his room and get some sleep. Instead he was very purposefully perched on the foot of the bed, asking her if she was doing okay.

Taking a second sip of her night time cocktail, Azalea swallowed carefully before she replied. "Better I think... things become clearer every day, its hard to explain." The witch paused, not because of the awkwardness between the two adults but because it truly was hard to explain. It was as though the world had been out of focus for so long, and now it was slowly becoming clearer but starting from the center. The edges were still blurry, and the temptation to go back to seeing her life pass through the blurred lens was always present.

But the last month had shown her that she could have control over that lens, she could focus and make certain aspects of reality sharper. Her current focal points were Ivan and Adrienne, she was a her most aware around them.

"It's getting easier to... do things. Normal things like eat and talk and..." sleep? No, that was too on the nose, especially right now. "Just... You must think it crazy but I don't know how else to explain." She took another sip, trying to coax the effects of the potion into being.

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:18 am

The question as to whether Kit or Clara had called was responded to only with a shake of his head. They both knew that if either of them had called, Jake would have brought the phone to Azalea straight away, or else he would have allowed her to call them back the moment it was possible. Neither Kit Harrington or Clara Kent had called, and Jake was not going to tell Azalea about the texts from the latter. Those texts had been deleted. As if they had never happened.

"Sorry," Jake replied to the point of the concoction being gross. Though, it was a double pointed apology. Sorry it tasted gross, and sorry that he was lying about the contents of the drink. Not that Azalea would know, of course. But, he could still apologise, without her realising what he was apologising for. His eyes didn't linger on the witch, though, not trusting of himself to not give away the lie that was about to get bigger than he wanted. Why, Jake wondered, did Kit and Clara think this was acceptable? It wasn't, was it? But, they didn't seem to care enough to explain.

You could have asked, a voice in his head supplied.

Instead, he refocused on what Azalea was saying in that moment. Things were becoming clearer for her. That was good, wasn't it? A clarity in her mind meant she was getting better. It would mean, hopefully, she would be able to see Mimosa, like she wanted to. It would mean she could do things she wanted to do, rather than being pushed from pillar to post like she was now. But, of course, a full recovery -- if that would ever be possible -- was a long way off.

"I don't think it's crazy," Jake assured the witch when she was done trying to explain how she felt. The way she described it didn't sound... pleasant. But, he'd never had an experience like that. He didn't understand what she meant by things being out of focus. Not completely. There was the time Victoria had been missing, but Jake had never felt like things were out of focus. It would just have to be one of those things that he did understand in principle, but not by experience. "You've been through a lot. I can't... begin to imagine what that has been like for you. But, I'm glad, glad that you're feeling better...

"Keep drinking." Jake urged the witch, motioning to her glass that she'd only taken a couple of sips from. He waited for a moment, wondering whether he should say anything that would be normal if he was about to be leaving the room. He wasn't, of course, but Azalea didn't need to know that.

"If you wake up, for any reason," you won't, but never mind. "I'll be just down the hall, last door on the left. You can come and wake me if you need me. I won't mind." Jake told her, because in reality. He wasn't going anywhere, and Azalea would sleep through to the next morning. Perhaps stir when he left at five o'clock in the morning, but never know he'd been there. With a small smile, Jake waited for the witch to finish her cocktail of relaxing herbs, hoping this false pretence would be enough for her to settle down, and believe she was drifting off in to a medicated sleep.

A lot of hope, with so many different flaws...

But what else did Jake have?

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PostSubject: Re: Stay A Little Longer (Jazalea)   Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:38 pm

Azalea took another sip as inducted, unsure how much she was supposed to drink for it to work. Before now, all medication had been strictly controlled by Dad and Clara simply because Azalea was in no place to be responsible for her own medication. Now, doing it on her own, the witch could appreciate how much effort had gone into looking after her these last few months.

It made her wonder if that was why the Harringtons didn't feel too inclined to have her back just yet. Dad and Clara deserved off days too.

Another sip and the glass was almost two thirds empty. The tension was visibly leaving her body but the cloud of sleep was still absent from her subconsciousness. Perhaps this was a more slow acting substance than what she was used to? If it didn't work tonight, she would ask for an increased dosage.

"You've been through a lot. I can't... begin to imagine what that has been like for you. But, I'm glad, glad that you're feeling better..."

Once again, the brunette gave a small shake of her head. "I can't imagine it either... And I think its for the best." This was probably what she would be seen as from now on, the woman who had been through something horrible and was now forever broken. She may get better in time, even better enough to met her daughter. But would she ever be not broken? Azalea highly doubted that.

"I won't wake up," she assured him after another sip, the drink making her feel more relaxed than she knew she should b siting in her chair. Getting up from her position, the witch moved to the bed, carrying the glass of milk with her. She must have never liked milk because it wasn't simply the fragrance throwing her of.

"And you don't have to worry about me being here long, I'm sure Dad will call tomorrow. And we'll figure this out." Despite the fact that Kit had done no such thing today, his daughter had no choice but to believe that he would tomorrow. After all, he couldn't just leave her here.

One more sip and the drink was almost done. Reaching around Jake to tug a the soft blanket, the witch covered ehr knees, resting ehr back against the headboard, letting Jake know he could leave anytime he anted to. The potion was slowly helping to sooth ehr senses and she supposed sleep would be the natural next step.

"I can... take it from here," she mumbled, eyes closed and small frame sinking into the soft material of the backrest. "Thank you.., for the potion." She could feel the sleepiness downing now, finally, it was working.

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