Thursday, February 15, 2018
One of My Favorite Characters - Jasper Waters
One of my most favorite characters came into a story as a minor character. I expected him to be the friendly, comforting police officer who walked in, did his thing and left. He didn't do that. Instead, Jasper Waters damn near took over the book! But that's because he's the kind of man who is somewhat larger than life, and has a full blown Sir Galahad Complex. (You'll find that many of my male characters do.) He takes his duty to Protect and Serve very seriously – particularly the protect part.
When things get hairy for the female lead, Amanda Bitterson, in New at Love, Jasper comes to the rescue once again. Unfortunately, he's got competition for Amanda's affections in the form of Derrick Butler. It doesn't stop Jasper from developing a little crush. (Don't worry, he gets his own woman in Conduct Unbecoming.)
Jasper is in at least 14 of my books, but I can't be 100% sure, because I don't always write his name on the cast list. Here's a scene from New at Love, which illustrates why I love Jasper so much. Amanda and Derrick have an argument, based on a complete misunderstanding. She gets angry, and he leaves abruptly. Jasper calls to check on her and finds her in tears. To help her calm down, he invites her to breakfast.
"So, what happened between you and Derrick?" Jasper asked casually, but there was more to the question than he was letting on.
"A silly argument. It's my fault for not understanding," Amanda replied.
"Don't blame yourself. There's always two sides to every conflict."
"On my side, there were a lot of misconceptions and assumptions. My interpretation of his actions was based on a variety of bad relationships. I thought he was acting like all those other guys and he wasn't."
"Bummer," Jasper didn't sound nearly as upset as he was trying to. "And what were these misconceptions and assumptions? If you don't mind me asking."
"That he just wanted to get in my pants and then leave me."
"That's happened to you?" He sounded shocked. "How could any guy do that to someone like you?"
"Not so much the getting in the pants part," she admitted with an embarrassed blush. "The leaving part. I'm a pro at that."
"So they don't love you and leave you? They just leave?"
"When I try to make it clear that they aren't getting into my pants, that's when they leave."
"Ooh...." He looked at her with a totally different expression. "So, Derrick tried to get more friendly than you wanted?"
"Not really, no. That's the assumption part. I read him totally wrong."
"So he didn't try to take advantage?"
"No. I'm not making any sense, am I?"
Jasper laughed, taking a sip of his coffee. "Not a lot, no."
"Okay, let me go over events and see if that clarifies it for you."
She told him what had happened that morning between her and Derrick. Jasper nodded, listening politely as she talked.
"So I drove him away. I've totally ruined a great relationship with a wonderful guy because I'm an idiot."
"Did you try apologizing? Just a suggestion." He held up his hands like she was holding a gun on him.
"I didn't have the chance. He drove away before I could get outside."
"Phone?" He held his thumb and finger up by his ear like a play phone. "I bet those two little words, I'm sorry, would go a long way right now."
"What if he's still angry? What if he won't forgive me?"
"My grandmother would say, what if doesn't pay the bills. Amanda, speaking from the perspective of a man who's been on the hard side of an argument, I think you should call him. I think you'll find him receptive to an apology."
"Why would he be?"
"Because if he's not, he's an idiot of the first order. He probably forgave you before he'd even driven away."
"How do you know that?"
"Because I would have." He attacked his food like it had threatened him with bodily harm. He didn't look at her for several minutes as he concentrated on his food. "Look." He set his fork down. "I'm not going to pretend that I'm not attracted to you. I see this from his perspective and I know why he left. He doesn't see any way to convince you that he's not what you think. He seems like a good guy, Amanda. Not every man would have stayed the night in the first place. Any guy who's only interested in bedding you would have used your fear to his advantage. Derrick didn't do that."
"Why are you taking his side?"
"I have no idea. Really, I kind of hoped you two would break up so I could ask you out."
Amanda was so shocked, her mouth fell open. "What? So this whole friendly breakfast thing was your attempt to get in my pants?"
He set his glass of orange juice down with a click. "Can I explain a few things about men so you know where both of us stand? You've obviously been burned a few times by real dicks. Okay, I accept that. Please, don't judge all men by the dweeb squad standards, okay? Some of us are actually gentlemen who take more than five minutes to get to know a girl. Like for instance, if this was dinner instead of breakfast, I wouldn't take you home and try to screw your brains out on the first date. Give me a few dates, yeah, I'm gonna try. By that time you'd have made up your mind how far you were going to let me go, and I'd have a pretty good idea of my limitations."
"So, what are you telling me?" She looked completely confused.
Jasper sighed a little, scratching his ear. "I'm telling you that Derrick and I are just a couple of red blooded, heterosexual males who see a gorgeous woman we'd like to get to know better. Believe me, if you weren't already involved with him, I'd try to kiss you myself."
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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