Chapter V (Act I Scene V)
"A Chat Among Books"
JASPER: (pops his head through the bookshelf) Hey there, hot stuff~
ANDREA: GAH!! (jolts up, holding a book, turns to see JASPER grinning at her like an idiot, tries not to smile or show any hint of amusement at his silly expression) What kind of terrorist are you!?
JASPER: (wiggles his eyebrows suggestively) Oho, so you are interested~
ANDREA: (hides her face in the book, muttering) I'm not interested, just annoyed.
JASPER: Uh-huh, right~ (grins) So what brings you here, sweetheart? Missed me~?
ANDREA: (rolls her eyes) Not really. (peeks at JASPER from behind her book) How long have you been here anyway?
JASPER: (flashes wide toothy smile) First day on the job!
ANDREA: (puts her book down) Peh. Obviously.(pushes his head back, out of the book shelf and away from her)
JASPER: (chuckles, straightens himself out)
ANDREA: (walks on down the aisle, hoping he won't follow her)
JASPER: (follows her, looking at her through the book shelves) Do you come to the library often?
ANDREA: (walks off down the aisle even faster, digging her face deeper into the book while mumbling in pure irritation) Go away, go away, go away, go away, go away, go away, GOA-FREAKINGWAY.
JASPER: (snickers at her obvious annoyance, keeping pace with her very easily on the other aisle) Y'know, if you walk that fast, you'll eventually bump into someone~
ANDREA: (makes a loud, frustrated growl and struts up to the bookcase, violently pushing a bunch of books out of her way to glare through the shelf at him; talking lowly yet fast, obviously pissed off) You, lunatic, better not be thinking ahead just because we knew each other for a few minutes last night. I am not willing to stoop into this sort of... weird-ass melodramatic state of mind that will most likely cause my demise and/or murder of my freaking sanity.(voice gradually becoming louder) Not only that, but who the hell are you, what do you want, are you an escaped convict-- NO, an illegal alien-- I KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING, SO DON'T YOU BE GETTING FUN IDEAS ALREADY BECAUSE I'M NOT GOING TO--
ANDREA: (quiets down in an instant, tone still quick and sharp) -- Because I am not going to become your victim, whoever you are. I've seen this too much in crime dramas. Next thing leads to stalking then to-- JUST... Go away. Pretend I'm not here.(lets out a deep breath and gives up, shooing away from the bookcase at last to take a breather)
JASPER: (starest at ANDREA, speechless for the moment, eyes blinking, his mind trying to register everything she just said) ..........Stalkcrimemurder, what now?(leaning against the bookshelf ANDREA made empty, hands on the edges of the shelf, looking up at ANDREA with wide and honestly confused and clueless eyes)
ANDREA: Long story short, Dexter or whatever your name was: Leave me alone. Simple as that. (nabs a thick book - "World's Wackiest Criminals 101" - and seals the gap in the shelf with her nose in the air, almost triumphant)
JASPER: Yipe!(backs off before the book can smack him right in the nose, straightens up, then looks at ANDREA through the shelves, raises and eyebrow and smiles, amused) Sheesh, you sure sound like you figured me all out, huh, sweetheart? You re~ally think I'm one of those criminals on TV.(smirks down at her) Well, aren't you clever~
ANDREA: (completely quiet on the other side of the shelf for a good few seconds, then breaks through a few books, only her eyes now leering at him through the space; a quiet voice upon her yet a very cautious one) So you confess to being a pyromaniac or was that... THING the night before just you venting weirdly?
JASPER: (tsks at her as he watches the books being pushes away roughly, picks one of the fallen books from the floor, looks at ANDREA in a mockingly disapproving manner) Hey now, don't be so rough on the books. What did the poor little things ever do to you, hmm?
ANDREA: DON'T YOU IGNOR--
LIBRARIANS AND READERS: SHHHHH!!
ANDREA: (quiets down and sharply edges at him) Don't you ignore me, Dr. Who-is-moi, you tell me whether I should really be freaked out or not.
JASPER: (tilts his head and looks down at her, smiles lightly as he puts the book aside, leans in close to her, crossing his arms over the shelf, says in a quiet and soft tone) Well, Miss Andrea, I don't think you should be freaked out at all. I wouldn't harm a pretty girl like you, y'know?(smirks teasingly, completely at ease)
ANDREA: (brings face up all the way, giving him a sarcastic look) Which is why you almost killed me on first impressions after your little blow-a-thon last night?
JASPER: (chuckles, leaning in a bit closer to her) I didn't mean to threaten you so. It was simply a reflex. I couldn't risk my little sister getting hurt now, could I? That is a rather dangerous part of the city after all. Which begs the question....(leans in even a bit more) What was a girl like you doing a~all the way over there in that shady side of the city?
ANDREA: Wait, wait, wait, first thing is first: Don't ever call me "Miss Andrea" again because we don't know each other. (grumbles) Thank god. (speaks up again) And second, why are you so curious? It is none of your business.
JASPER: Alrighty then, Andrea. I just find it quite odd that a pretty young lady such as you lives in this nice part of the city, yet I find her snooping around in an abandoned theatre in the slums. You'd be curious, too, wouldn't you?
ANDREA: (grumbles annoyingly) I was just... I don't know. Breaking the cage a little, that's all.
JASPER: (blinks, his smile drops into a slight gape) ..."Cage"? What do you mean...?
ANDREA: (rolls her eyes) The usual shit; a little rebellion never hurt anyone. Better to have a little fun out there than stay trapped in the sugar sweet neighborhood, obviously. I have standards, believe it or not.
JASPER: ...The perfect living not so perfect, is it?
ANDREA: (eyes narrow, backing away from the shelf with caution) Why?
JASPER: (blinks, eyes widening, snapping out of his state of mind, glances at ANDREA before looking down) N-No reason. Just...Just curious is all....
ANDREA: (face unchanging, though tone suddenly softer with curiosity and wonder hitting her like a ton of bricks upon his change of mood) ...Are you alright?
JASPER: (quickly looks up at her, gazes at her for a moment, transfixed in wonder, but soon pulls his slight gape into a grin) What, you're all concerned now, sweetheart~?
ANDREA: (says instantly and bluntly without emotion yet more-or-less annoyance) You are bipolar, aren't you?
JASPER: Mm... I have no clue~ (chuckles) But I still find it strange; if you want to get away from the crisp and clean streets, why risk your life going all the way to those shady slums? There are quite the crooked crooks over there, y'know.
ANDREA: I noticed. (lets out a deep sigh) Well... I've only been here for a bit. It's not like I know my lefts from my rights.
JASPER: Oh, so you're new here, eh? That explains quite a bit.... (smirks, raising an eyebrow, says in a teasing tone) Although, I think even a newcomer could tell not to go to that part of city. Either that or you've got a bit of a wild side to ya, eh, babe~?(wiggles his eyebrows suggestively)
ANDREA: Here's a BETTER question: Why the hell am I even bothering talking to you? (slams a book back in place and struts off farther down the aisle) No use following me, either! Because your warming-up maneuver or whatever it is has failed. It failed HARD.
JASPER: (laughs as he backs off once more before the book can hit him, straightens up again) Oh, come on now,(catches up to ANDREA on his aisle) I was just playing around there, sweetheart. Can't you take a little joke? (peers at her through the bookshelves with a smirk)
ANDREA: (turns fast and speaks bitterly) "Joke"? I faintly recall GRAND THEFT AUTO a while back and I could have sworn that you and your... sister? Was it sister-- WHATEVER. You were a part of it, weren't you?
Jaspser: (mouths to himself) "Grand Theft Auto"..? (shakes his head, then suddenly climbs up the bookshelves with ease, hops over it and lands right in front of ANDREA, looks down at her curiously, eyes slightly narrowed) And if we were? What do you plan to do about it?
ANDREA: EEK!! Ah, damn it!!
ANDREA: YOU "SHHHHH"!!!
LIBRARIANS: (flinch and instantly turn away in fear)
ANDREA: (backs away from JASPER a bit) ... I was just asking a fucking question, so PLEASE back off a bit. I have to breathe. (roughly shoves past him and looks back) So you really are a criminal or something, aren't you?
JASPER: (hardly moves as he's shoved, looks at ANDREA with a blank expression on his face) I wouldn't say criminal, really. Besides, no one's got hurt, right? (smiles listlessly)
ANDREA: How should I know, "Valentine"? That is your name, isn't it? The feds said something like that.
JASPER: (eyes widen slightly, steps over to ANDREA and looms over her) Well, babe, the feds got it wrong, but I suggest you forget that name real quick, y'hear? It's not a name to take lightly.
ANDREA: (slightly intimidated yet refusing to show it, eyes narrow to fine points; gets up on tiptoes and whispers right in his face) Forget "Andrea" and forget about me, then; we'll be equal. Though I doubt you have the gall to hold up a little promise like that. (rolls her eyes) You have this little charm thing going on, but you honestly don't come off to me as loyal. You are just in hiding.
JASPER: (can't help but grin dangerously at her gall, leans a bit more closer, a mere centimeter apart, whispers back) You really are the clever one aren't you? How about this? I forget "Andrea" and you keep quiet about my little sister and I being in hiding. You can go back to your little life, and we'll go back to ours.
ANDREA: (noticing a rather dark tone hidden behind his jolly whispers, suspicious and angered expression unchanged) Let's see how long that will last.(crosses her arms) I'm not too fond of taking chances.
JASPER: (still keeping that dark grin, brings a hand up to hold her chin between his fingers, keeping her in place as he leans in close and whispers into her ear, his tone still pleasant yet tinted with those dangerous tones) I can assure you I keep my word. And I highly recommend that you keep your part of the bargain as well.
ANDREA: (heart already beating like mad, a gulp suddenly stuck in her throat; gathers herself up and rasps back at him rebelliously) Or else...?
JASPER: (grins widens, eyes narrowing, whisper sweetly, his lips even closer to her ear) I am a criminal, aren't I~?
ANDREA: (eyes widen instantly, unable to properly respond on the spot, then eyes narrow, sweat building up yet answering back with forced power) ...Yeah. Enjoy it while you can. You aren't touching me, freak. Your weird little short reign is ending the second I'm out of here. (holding back a smug smile) Just saying.
JASPER: (chuckles, still holding her in place, whispers into her ear once more) And what's stopping me from doing something to you if even dare to do such a thing, sweetheart~?
ANDREA: (sharply) The LAW.(roughly pushes him away and turns instantly, strutting towards the exit) I just hope you hate snakes as much as I do.
JASPER: (eyes widen, nearly curses under his breath, is about to rush to her, but a sudden yell halts him in his tracks "EVAN! QUIT FLIRTING WITH THE CUSTOMERS AND GET BACK TO WORK! GET OVER HERE NOW!!") Tch.... (turns back to ANDREA, gives her a harsh final warning glare)
ANDREA: (tsks at the air) "Evan". How original of him. (nearly kicks the exit doors open, muttering to herself) Freaking Nevertell. (in an exaggerated dumb voice) "Crooked crooks!" he said. Yeah, "Valentine" is crooked alright.