"What did you do; get her drunk?"
Ross's voice was amused. I heard Jack chuckle as I slowly regained my senses.
"Something like that," he replied.
I opened my eyes. I was on Jack's bed and Jack was perched at the foot, absent-mindedly playing with the ends of a few strands of hair while Ross was leaning against the doorframe, looking entertained.
I tried to lift my head up but it collapsed back down.
"Ah, the princess awakes from her slumber," Ross said.
"She's more than a princess," Jack said reproachfully.
"What am I then?" I asked; my voice slightly feeble.
"What's the highest female authority you can think of, Ross?" Jack asked.
"Well, she's the queen of all the empresses of the world, then."
"It was her who asked."
Jack turned to me. "Did you hear what I said?"
"You might have to say it again. I was daydreaming about you."
Jack smiled. "You're the queen or all the empresses of the world," he repeated and added, "and you're mine."
He picked up my hand and kissed it.
"I may leave you two to it," Ross said.
Neither I nor Jack responded as we gazed lovingly into each other's eyes. Jack's look of fondness melted my heart quicker than a kitten's cute, playful antics could.
I heard Ross's footsteps going down the hallway.
"He's gone now," I said, winking conspiratorially. "What's the plan, Agent B?"
"What does ‘B' stand for?" Jack asked, snorting.
"Beguiling Enchanting One. I didn't think BEO sounded as good."
"You could make the name Beowulf if you thought up four more words."
"Words to describe you? I never spend enough time with you to say them all. Let's think ... Wonderfully... Unique... Loving Friend."
"That's sweet. So, if I'm Beowulf, what do you want to be?"
"Hmm, let's give you a difficult one... Juliet."
"Hmm, how about ... Joyous,... Understanding, Lovable, ... Individual, ... Entertaining ... Tenderness."
It was my turn to snort. "Tenderness? I'm ‘tenderness'? Is that even possible?"
"Well, I thought since you were the epitome of all things caring, tenderness was only right."
"Oh, really? It wasn't just that you couldn't come up with anything?"
"Okay, it was. But I think it's appropriate, now I've thought of it."
"Let's write it down, so we don't forget and whenever we're in a bad mood, we'll have something to cheer us up if we can't have each other."
Jack stood up, walked over to his desk, pulled out some coloured paper and began writing out Beowulf and Juliet and what they stood for. I took this opportunity to push myself up so I could get into a sitting position.
When Jack turned and saw me, he frowned. He came towards me, looking annoyed.
"I liked you in your earlier position. You looked really comfortable. Lie down again."
I rolled my eyes and lay down. Jack lay beside me and smiled.
He gazed at me with a fond expression, similar to the one a mother will give her child behind their back as they caper.
"So... that dream you had... Was there anything else weird that happened today?" Jack asked.
I thought about it for a while. There was something that I had been unclear about. Ah, yes, that was it.
"Well, like I said when I woke up, I felt like I was suffering from amnesia."
"Hm. Where are the gaps in your memory?"
"Well, yesterday's fuzzy and I couldn't remember anything other than getting up this morning before the funny dream."
"What do you remember of yesterday?"
"Hmm. I came around your house, we opened presents, went out for a walk, came back to eat your cake and went out again."
Jack smiled suddenly. "Do you remember what happened when we went out in the evening?"
I grinned. "Yeah. I was really infatuated. That was weird actually. What happened?"
Jack shrugged. "I don't know. It was flattering, but kind of alarming. I was concerned. I don't mind you falling head over heels for me, but when we were in a restaurant, acting that way might have embarrassed you."
"I think I was past caring, to be honest."
"Yes, but I cared enough that I was worried about you humiliating yourself. I was also a little self-conscious."
I pretended to look appalled. "You cared how it looked on you?"
"A tiny weenie bit, yes."
"How could you?"
Jack hung his head in mock shame. "I'm sorry."
I stroked his face. "It's okay. Sorry about what I put you through."
"Nah, it's okay. Don't be sorry. Just save it until we're alone if you want to act that way."
"I will. Love you."
"Love you too."
Jack escorted me home in the evening. He made it a wonderfully long journey by ambling along at a slow speed and stopping every so often to kiss me. I loved the way he always maintained the aspects of his personality which had made me fall in love with him.
When we entered my house, though, things became a little weird. To my dad, Jack said, "Mr Foxtail, can I talk to you for a moment?"
My dad looked slightly puzzled and I myself wondered what Jack wanted. Then he frowned as if some wordless communication had gone on without my knowledge.
"Rosa fainted," Jack explained, but I think he said it for my benefit and perhaps said something different from what my dad had sensed.
"I want to hear exactly what you said to her," my dad said sternly. This confused me. What was he talking about?
Jack looked startled. "Of course. I was horrified at the very thought of it, sir."
Just then, my mum walked in, looking calm.
"Come on, Tim," she said, sounding exasperated. "You don't really believe that unconscious people can still hear you and are suggestible, do you?"
My dad thought unconscious people were suggestible?
It appeared he did, as he replied, "Yes, Tirana, I do."
Jack smiled gratefully at my mum and she shook her head slightly as if to say it was no problem.
"Well, come on Rosa, then. I think we should humour your father."
I followed her to the kitchen where I sat down as she put the kettle on.
"Good day at Jack's?" she asked.
"Very," I replied, smiling.
"Odd that you fainted, though."
"Yes, it is rather. I don't even remember going to Jack's house."
Mum frowned slightly. "I thought you'd be visiting Ross."
I laughed. "No, definitely not. I really don't like him."
"No. I never have."
My mother sat down, still frowning. "Do you know if Jack has any amber?" she asked, quite out of the blue.
"Amber? I don't think so, no. Should he?"
"Oh, no, I was just wondering."
Jack walked into the kitchen. He smiled at me. "Can we go upstairs and talk a minute, Rosa?"
"Oh, sure." I smiled, knowing he was probably going to kiss me.
I got up and followed him out of the room. We headed up to my bedroom.
Once there, I sat on my bed. Jack sat beside me, near the pillow.
"Close your eyes," he said mysteriously.
I closed my eyes and waited. He took a bit longer than I expected to come towards me and kiss me but the second his lips were on mine, I forgot everything except the fact that I was in his arms.
"What did you tell my father downstairs?" I asked when we'd broken away.
"Oh, I just told him I let you wake up naturally."
I frowned suddenly. "Hang on! People who faint don't dream!"
Jack looked amused by my sudden outburst. "That was random. What makes you say that?"
"Well, when you faint, you wake up feeling like it's been only like one second since you blacked out."
"Yeah, I'm sure it is."
"People in a coma dream, don't they?"
"Oh... But I thought like ... you shut down or something..."
"Well, I don't know. I'm sure it's possible to dream when you've fainted if you did. You can't possibly be suggesting that I actually hypnotised you, can you?"
I thought about it for a while. Jack raised an eyebrow.
"I didn't dream when I fainted yesterday," I pointed out. I frowned. "Did you ever find out why I fainted?"
Jack shook his head. "Maybe you just got a bit excitable and forgot to breathe properly."
"My memory's very fuzzy when I try to think about what happened before I fainted."
"Well, don't think about it and I'm sure it will come back to you."
I nodded. "Yeah, it should, shouldn't it? I wonder why I didn't dream when I fainted that time."
Jack shrugged. "You don't always dream when you fall asleep or if you do, you sometimes forget."
I nodded. "That sounds probable. Well, thanks for walking me home."
Jack smiled. "Any time."
We kissed before saying our final goodbyes and then I got ready for bed, still slightly confused but less so than before.