Jack let out a short laugh, his expression twisted in disbelief. "I suppose you're right. But it's kind of annoying that you just brushed off my sweet talk like it was nothing."
He leaned his head down to press his forehead to mine, bright blue eyes sparkling with intense emotion as his voice softened to a husky whisper. "I really did mean it though, you know."
I leaned back and away from him, my heart rate spiking as my cheeks flushed in embarrassment. "J, Jack!" I hissed, hiding my blush with my hands. "Too soon!"
His shoulders slumped in defeat and he let out a long sigh of regret. "Alright. I'll try to reign it in. No promises though," his lips twitched into a mischievous smirk, blue eyes dancing.
I glowered at him as a firm warning. "Jack, you're going to have to keep that troublemaking side of yourself in check. Twins are hard enough, let alone the tangled mess our relationship is."
His face tried to straighten into a serious expression, but his lips kept pulling up into a grin before he finally gave in and chuckled lightly. "Sorry. 'Trouble' is synonymous with 'Frost'."
I rolled my eyes before shifting to sit back and give myself a few more inches of space from Jack on the bed. "Alright, back on topic." I pressed a hand against my chest, breathing deeply and trying to calm the hectic pounding of my heart.
"What's going to happen if I refuse to go back with you?"
All fun and laughter drained from Jack's face and body as he shut down to an expressionless mask. Then he shot to his feet, rushing to get off my bed, his breathing growing ragged.
Half a second later, when he turned back to face me, I witnessed rage begin to boil the sapphire from his eyes, causing them to lighten until reaching an icy blue shade.
His near-platinum blonde hair became paler, the color draining away, while its length grew out to a few inches past his shoulders. His fingers, which were resting at his sides, grew longer, the nails transforming into two-inch long miniature knives. His skin tone also turned a deathly white shade, his lips taking on a faint bluish shade, while the temperature in my bedroom dropped by fifty degrees in an instant.
From the soles of Jack's bare feet, ice raced across the wood floor.
It formed so quickly, climbing up the walls and covering the ceiling, that my entire bedroom became a cave of ice in the space of a single blink. Stunned, my attention was briefly drawn to my ceiling with the loud crackling of ice settling, along with the hiss of warm and cold air mixing.
Tiny stalactites were hanging above me; formed merely from solidified water.
Shivering in the now freezing room, I wrapped my arms tightly around my chest while lowering my gaze back to Jack's.
This was a form I hadn’t seen Jack take in a long time. Since I’d just very recently regained my memories, they were all quite fresh in my mind.
The one time I’d seen Jack transform like this had been shortly after I’d pulled the soul-stone out of his chest. I was still getting used to all the changes that had occurred in such a short time span. I’d gotten frustrated and angry with Jack, telling him that I hated him and didn’t want to be married to him anymore.
...I’d screamed at him. My memories of the event were quite ugly and filled with violent, torrential emotions.
‘I wish you had died instead of my Jack! I’ll run away and never see you again! I hate you! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!’
Right after that, he’d transformed and my young mind had been taken over with terror as I’d been confronted with the inhuman sight before me as the room we’d been in had transformed into a sealed room of ice.
I had nearly died and I’d been given some sort of sleeping herbs to calm me down, after which my memories of the event had faded and become murky.
Jack had never transformed, not even used ice powers, in front of me after that. He would merely tell me about his time spent training his control over them but always refused to show me whenever I begged to see him summon ice or anything else.
My guess as to why I could remember that event now had to do with the way the unsealing of my memories had worked.
"You would do well to remember this, jhenmu. I may look human and I may talk like I'm human. But the simple truth is that I am not human."
His pale eyes were lit with a coldly burning rage as he drilled holes in my heart with his gaze.
I opened my mouth to try and speak, but no words would come out.
His lips lifted in a sardonic smile. "In fact, this appearance before you is not even my true form. But if I went that far, I fear you would reject me even more. Instead, I have chosen this middle ground to remind you of reality."
I swallowed, feeling my throat dry up in fear. "O, oh, I see."
He let out a small sigh, lifting a clawed hand to brush his long hair back over his shoulders. "The truth is that if I was like a human, I could probably think about your feelings. Perhaps because I am incapable of this it shows, even more, my lack of humanity. But no matter how much I try to use the logic humans have come up with called 'modern morals', I can't do that."
Nodding my head slightly, I didn't have the courage to smile. "I, it's okay, Jack. You can only do what you're able." Honestly, a part of me was just saying whatever I thought he’d want to hear to pacify him.
His eyes narrowed and a fierce —beastly— desire flashed across his face as the crackling of the ice which was growing thicker with every minute echoed in the sudden silence.
"See, this is the issue with relationships between Others and humans. You are so unaware and defenseless you can't even sense the danger hanging above your head."
Pointing up a single, long nail, Jack drew my attention to the stalactites above me. Eyes widening, I realized that they had grown from roughly an infant's shoe size to nearly two feet in length.
I returned my attention to Jack in panic. "W, what are you doing?"
"I'm trying to remind you. No matter how much you may think you understand this situation, truly, you understand nothing."
My breath was coming out in large white clouds, but Jack didn't even look as if he was breathing. At the very least his breath didn't turn into cold vapor.
The ice cracked and shattered under Jack's feet as he slowly moved closer. "Despite how much I wish I could bundle you up in a warm blanket and let you live in ignorant bliss, that's simply impossible. So, even if it's breaking my heart to feel the fear I'm causing you, I need you to understand. Truly understand the choice before you."
Growing still at the side of the bed, Jack's cold eyes watched me much like a hawk. I shivered harder and he let out a long breath.
Before I could say anything, Jack was gone.
Jerking in startled fright, I turned my head frantically to find him.
He was standing at my closet, prying it open carefully from the layered ice. A second later and he was at my dresser!
When I fully exhaled the choked breath I'd taken in at his first disappearance, he was standing back beside the bed. In his arms were several pairs of socks, sweatpants, and a thick sweater. He'd also gotten a pair of gloves, a scarf, and my big winter coat.
Handing them to me with a torn expression, he smiled bitterly. "Here, Nisha. If you don't get warm soon, you'll get sick and risk hypothermia."
Blinking, a little uncertain, I stared at Jack for several seconds in silence.
"Please," he murmured softly. "I know you're scared, but I couldn't handle it if my powers caused you to get hurt."
I gulped, my hands shakingly reaching out to take the warmer clothing.
"Um, do you need me to help you?" Jack whispered quietly, his pale eyes more worried than cold at that moment. "I know it might be inappropriate right now, but with how big you are it has to be awkward to try and do this by yourself. Especially with all the ice on the floor."
I slowly released another white puff of breath, my teeth chattering. "W, why don't y, y, you st, stop then?"
He grimaced, looking torn. "I can't. I'm too angry right now. Too upset that the words you spoke even exist in a human language for you to say. I am not, however, angry at you. Please keep that in mind. But the thought of—!"
He ended up almost biting his tongue, letting out a low growl of irritation as the rage in his eyes came roaring back to life.
"I can't calm down yet. I'm sorry. For now, you'll just have to deal with this semi-transformed state and the cold I bring with me. Once I feel calm enough, I promise I'll dissipate this ice world. But until then, I ask for patience." He raised his claws up to cover his face, nearly digging the sharp nails into his forehead as he groaned in frustration.
Frowning, I slowly nodded and scooted to the edge of the bed. "T, then, can I take you up on your offer of help?" I asked, feeling both shy and annoyed.
Jack watched me in silence for a moment, his jaw working in tight, jerky movements as he seemed to fight an internal battle to bring his rage down a little. "S, sure," he managed to gruffly mutter a few breaths later.
Gingerly, his every movement slow and careful, Jack assisted me with putting on the layers of thicker clothing. He was a bit clumsy, seeming terrified of his nails cutting right through my skin. It didn't help that being so close to him like this was very cold.
From what I could tell all the ice was coming from Jack's body, his feet to be exact. How that could work made no sense to me, but it was definitely colder than when I'd been curled up two feet away from him on the bed earlier.
Eventually, after six minutes of awkward fumbling and more than a few brushes of Jack’s cold touch seeping through my clothes and skin, I was fully bundled up. “Excuse me,” Jack mumbled before carefully picking me up into his arms.
Unsurprisingly, he had no issues with my weight and pressed a knee into the side of the bed to reach further. After a few more awkward moments where I held on tightly around his neck, he lowered me down close to the middle of the bed. Once I was settled, he leaned back and removed his knee from the mattress.
“Okay. Now that you’re better equipped, let’s continue where we left off.”