When Talia didn't respond, Jasper turned to look at her with a raised brow. "I'm talking to you."
Talia began to pick at her nails unconsciously. At the sight of this, he reached out and clasped his hand over hers. "Why are you getting nervous? It's a yes or no question: are you or are you not going? You don't have to make it so complicated."
She stiffened at the warmth of his palm, but she dared not pull away as she stammered, "Uh... I don't think I can take such a long time off work, what with my job at the hospital and all that. So I guess I won't be going."
He could sense her discomfort and removed his hand, then pointed out seriously, "You don't want to go."
"No, it's just because of work. You know how it is," Talia hastily explained, with a shake of her head.
A devious smile curled on Jasper's lips as he drawled, "Well, that can easily be remedied. In fact, you could even get a year-long break after I give the hospital director a call."