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Her Shadow Man

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January 22, 2009


Today is my 16th birthday.  Just an ordinary birthday really; family and friends are gathering together for laughter, hamburgers and cake.  Chocolate of course.  What would my birthday be without my mom’s special to-die-for chocolate cake?


I’ve decided to start this diary because they say that keeping a journal can help you with issues.  And boy, do I have a few.  Not that things are bad in my life, but things haven’t always been like this.  Calm – ordinary, full of school and home work, gossiping with my friends over my latest crush; the usual things that occupy a teenage girl’s life.  Someday I would like to become a writer, so this is just practice I guess.


My name is Clarke Elaine Griffin.  I live with my mom in Glendale, California.  Mom is single, never married in fact.  She’s the best mom anyone could ever have though; we’ve never had to worry about a roof over our heads or food for the table.  When people talk about their dads, I can’t help but look at them blankly.  Never had one, so I guess it’s true you don’t miss what you never knew.  


I remember my Grandpa Griffin some.  He died when I was 7.  He would take walks with me and pull Pep-O-Mint Lifesavers out of his pocket for me.  When I think of him, that’s what I miss the most; the smell of those Lifesavers when I hugged him.  Mom and Grandma were devastated by his passing, but I always felt he was still here somehow, watching over us.  Every now and again I buy a roll of Pep-O-Mint Lifesavers and think about my Grandpa and hope that he is proud of me.


Grams is getting older now; I see it as I watch her move slowly across the dining room floor, her hesitant steps planned carefully and cautiously executed.  Mom says she needs a cane, but Grams just shrugs off the idea.  She asks if we think she’s old or something and then gives me a rakish wink.  But as I get older I am more aware that her time with us is limited too.  Other than a few assorted cousins that’s it for family really.  We Griffin’s were not really a prolific bunch I guess you could say.


Oh, but I forgot mom.  Clarke, how could you forget her?  As I said, best mom ever!!!  Abby Griffin got pregnant at 17, only a year older than me now.  I wonder about that, how it changed and complicated her life?  My grandparents lives as well, but no one ever complained about it.  Mom left high school in her senior year; the year when we are so socially conscious of where we are heading in life and how we are going to get there, or so they tell me.  Her life was heading for diapers and 2 am feedings, running straight for the fast track to nowhere fast.  

 


Unless of course you take my grandparents into consideration.  After mom had me they gave her just enough time for a good taste of reality and then ushered her right back on the track for school and a future.  She got her GED and then enrolled in college and much to her own surprise finished not quite four years later with a teaching degree in social sciences.  Ms. Griffin, the teacher.  I’m so proud of her.  Of course, it’s a lot to live up to, but I’m trying my best.  


I’ve got a year and a half of high school still and then I’m off (keep your fingers crossed) for the school of journalism at UCLA, hopefully with a scholarship.  I know Mom and Grams have put aside money for my education, but if I can score a scholarship for most of it that’s just more money for Mom’s future.  She just laughs over that and asks me what in the world did I think she was saving for anyway?  


School – well, it’s okay I guess.  I really like debate and my creative writing classes.  I’ll get through the algebra and chemistry, always mindful of those looming SAT’s and the magical word ‘S-C-H-O-L-A-R-S-H-I-P!  


I have two best friends – Harper and Raven.  We’re pretty much the three musketeers (doesn’t that sound so cliché?), but it’s true, none-the-less!  Since kindergarten we have done practically everything together, they are the sisters I never had, just not the blood kind which is fine with me.  Harper wants to study marine biology and work with the whales and stuff, pretty cool and that suits her just great.  Raven wants to be a business girl, is planning on getting a degree in organizational management when we go to college.  That sounds pretty intimidating to me, but she’s just the girl for it!


Even with all that, sometimes the past still comes back to me and at times I can’t even figure out the reason for why.  The past with the scary woman who floated above the room and shrieked and the man who saved me from her.  Sometimes it seems clear what happened, and other times it’s like I can almost remember it, but like it was really only a dream or something.  Mom and Grams tell me that if I were supposed to remember it I would, so I should just let it go.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget it though, not really.   But wouldn’t it be nice if I could?

Later!


(*)


Clarke sat back and re-read her first diary entry.  She’d never done this, kept a diary and she had really debated over whether to start it out Dear Diary.  Isn’t that how it’s supposed to start?  But it felt stupid so she just skipped that part.


As she read the words images of her Gramps floated through her mind.  She frowned as she realized that it was harder and harder for her to remember him, what he looked like, and the sound of his voice.  Only the smell of the Lifesavers was clear anymore and that made her sad.  She really did feel like he was still out there somewhere, keeping watch.  But Clarke also knew that he wasn’t the only one – HE watched, the man from the shadows. 

 
She had never told her Mom and Grams about him.  He didn’t scare her, not at all.  Actually, he made her feel safe; he rescued her from the scary woman and she knew he would never hurt her.  Sometimes the flashes of what happened were fairly clear; she could remember him picking her up and telling her that he was going to take her to her Mom.  She held on tightly to him, clinging with her four year old arms to the man with hope, the kind of blind faith and hope that children have that makes them believe that a mom can kiss a boo-boo away or that the tooth fairy will leave you money.   He was her hero then, her own personal super-hero or guardian angel.  He was with her then, the way he was now.


Some people would probably tell her that she imagined him – that the quick glimpses of him were only her imagination, but Clarke knew better.  He was real, but he was also her secret.
Her reverie was interrupted by a knock on her bedroom door and it startled her.  She realized that she had been chewing on her pen and she dropped it down on the desk and shook her head at the deep bite marks on it.  She managed to scoop it into a drawer and close the diary before Harper and Raven burst into the room.


“Hey!  C’mon, everybody is waiting for you down stairs!” Raven said, tugging on Clarke’s hand insistently in an effort to get her on her feet.


“Okay, okay.  What’s the big deal?  They aren’t going to start without me are they?” she laughed.


Harper was looking at the diary on the desk and she raised a quizzical eyebrow as she realized what it was.  She saw Clarke watching her and she only smiled and gave a slight shrug.  If Clarke wanted to talk about it she would, Harper knew.


Both Harper and Raven knew what had happened to Clarke as a child, the whole neighborhood did.  They also knew that she had nightmares about it sometimes too.  Clarke had often talked about her troubled dreams with her friends, telling them about the scary woman in white and the shadow man who saved her.


Raven liked to fanaticize about the man, Clarke’s hero.  She told so many stories about him one day returning and sweeping Clarke off of her feet that it was sometimes a game to the girls.  They played 20 questions about him; what color eyes did he have, what did his voice sound like?  Never mind the fact that he would be old now, that was 12 whole years ago.  He wouldn’t likely be someone that Clarke would ever think was handsome now!  But it was a fun game and they spent many happy hours invested in it.


Raven was still tugging on Clarke’s hand and said, “We gotta go!  Where’s your tiara Princess Girl?”  Years ago Clarke’s Grandpa had given her a tiara for her birthday and it was tradition for her to wear it every year and this year would be no different.  Clarke pulled open the top drawer in her dresser and reverently pulled it out and held it up for Raven and Harper to admire.


The tiara was fit for a princess; it was silver plate set with pink and white CZ’s. Through the years a few of the stones fell off but Clarke still treasured it.  Her Gramps had given it to her for her 5th birthday.  Her mother thought it was an unnecessary indulgence for a small child but Gramps insisted.


“Clarke, you are a special girl, our princess and so you should have a crown,” he had told her.
Clarke had hugged him tight and kissed him soundly on the cheek.  “Thank you Gramps!  Will I always be your princess?”


“Of course you will.  But more importantly, someday you will be someone else’s too!”


Clarke hadn’t understood what that meant back then but the memory of it made her smile.  So each year she wore the tiara; for her Gramps and she hoped that he could see her that he was still proud of her.


Clarke set the tiara on her head, pushing the small plastic combs into her hair to keep it in place.  She turned her head this way and that, admiring the sparkle of the CZ’s. It really did make her feel like a princess she decided.


The three girls made their way downstairs where other people were gathered to share in the birthday festivities.  It wasn’t a huge crowd, which was fine with Clarke; it was the people that she loved the most and so it was perfect.  She gave her Mom and Grams a quick kiss each and said hello to each of the others.  Even though it was January it was an uncommonly fine day and they were going to have the party outside, so everyone went out the back door to where the yard had been decorated with balloons and banners in celebration.


“Mom, aren’t I a little old for balloons?  Please tell me you don’t have a clown hiding somewhere?” she teased.


“Some Chippendale’s guys would be nice!” Raven interjected with a giggle.


Abby Griffin raised an eyebrow at that and shook her head.  Her parents were going to have trouble with that one, she knew.  “Nonsense Clarke, you are never too old for balloons!”
Clarke and Harper were both still laughing over Raven’s remark but finally managed, “Well, thanks for the thought Mom.”


The grill was going and Clarke could smell hamburgers cooking.  Her stomach growled loudly and she was glad that everyone seemed to be talking so no one heard it.  She wandered over to the picnic table that was set with a brightly colored cloth and had lots of food setting on it, waiting for the burgers to be done.  Clarke grabbed a pickle off of a platter and popped it into her mouth, savoring the taste that made her mouth pucker a little.


“How much longer Marcus?” Clarke asked.  Marcus was a neighbor and a friend of the family.  Clarke often wondered why he and her mom didn’t date because they were really good friends and he was often around their house.  He was a nice guy and when Clarke was younger if her bike chain needed greasing or something, Marcus was the go-to guy.


“What Clarke, you think you’re hungry or something?” he asked her, his eyes twinkling with humor.  He probed one of the burgers and said, “Hm, I think this one is about done.  Grab a plate; I wouldn’t want to keep the birthday girl waiting!”


“You don’t have to tell me twice!”  She grabbed a plate and headed back to the grill.  Marcus plopped the sizzling patty onto the bun she had grabbed and she inhaled deeply, enjoying the aroma of one of her favorite foods.  Everyone else was lining up to get theirs so she moved quickly out of the way and went to pile on the fixings!


The girls took their plates and went to sit on a blanket that had been spread over the lawn.  Clarke took her first bite of the hamburger and chewed slowly, savoring the taste.
Is that one of your ‘specials’ Clarke?” Harper asked.


“Yeah, and it is GOOD!”  She had piled jalapeño’s, guacamole, pepper jack cheese and hot sauce on the burger.  She loved anything spicy – the hotter the better.  She took another bite and a sliced jalapeno fell out of the burger and onto her plate.  She frowned and picked it up and popped it into her mouth; she refused to waste a bit of that treat.  “What did you put on yours?”


Harper shook her head and said, “Nothing like that – same old, same old!  I don’t know how you can eat that stuff!”  Harper lifted the top bun and stared at mayo, lettuce and tomato.


“I know you don’t!”


“You two are freaks, you know that?  How many times have we had this debate?” Raven asked, eating her own cheese burger which was piled high with pickles and potato chips and mustard.


“Let’s just admit it ladies, we all have our own favorites.  If we were ever stranded on a desert isle, we wouldn’t have to argue over ingredient toppings for our burgers!” Clarke said.


“Uh, assuming that some cows got stranded with us of course?” Harper quipped, ever the practical one.


“Yeah, I guess,” Clarke laughed.


“And maybe the Chippendales guys too!” Raven added.


Both Harper and Clarke rolled their eyes as they finished their food.  Raven had a poster of the guys hanging in her bedroom; it seemed to be all she ever thought about, finding a way to see them for real.  


“Yeah, them too!” Clarke and Harper chorused to together, giggling.  


The day passed happily, mostly spent talking and laughing with friends and neighbors.  At dusk Clarke’s Mom lit the candles on her birthday cake and carried it outside.  Clarke’s eyes lit up with excitement as she saw it. 

 
“Oh Mom, I’ve been waiting all day for this!” she told her, hugging her Mom after Abby set the cake down on the picnic table.  Clarke gazed at the cake, the candle glow shining in her blue eyes, making them sparkle.


“Hurry up!  Make a wish and blow ‘em out!” Grams said, as excited as Clarke was.  When you get to be her age, you appreciated birthdays a whole lot more.  You might not be as thrilled with them she thought, but you appreciated having them.


“Hm, let’s see,” Clarke said, taking her time. She enjoyed this moment and she enjoyed teasing her grandma.  It was a game they played each year and the best part of the day; well except maybe actually eating the cake.  “A wish huh?  What do I wish for?”  She grew quiet for a moment, he wish decided. It was an easy wish; it was the same each year.  She closed her eyes and concentrated.


Bring my shadow man to me!

It wouldn’t ever happen, she knew.  But still, it was her wish…
 

(:) 

He watched quietly from the shadows of the neighboring yard, hidden from the view of most.  A few cats and dogs knew that he hid there, but they wouldn’t approach him he knew.  This was the way the party ended each year, with Clarke making a wish and blowing out her candles before the entire group ate cake.


He remembered some of his own birthdays when he was a child; the cake, the candles glowing brightly.  Ah, the taste of his mom’s lemon cake, his favorite. She prepared it each year for him, only on his birthday.  The last time he had had that cake was his 30th birthday, a lifetime ago.


He gazed at Clarke as she ate her cake and smiled as he saw her lick chocolate frosting off of her fingers.  It had been 12 years since he had carried her away from that burning inferno where he had killed Echo.  He remembered Clarke’s small arms clutching him desperately around his neck, the fire reflecting brightly off of her blue eyes. He turned away from the fire, refusing to watch it burn, satisfied that he had done what he needed to do.  He would suffer the consequences (and maybe the grief) later on; right now Abby Griffin was waiting for her daughter and so he left the building burning brightly.


When Bellamy got Clarke into the Benz, he tucked a soft blanket around her gently and sat her down in the rear seat before taking his own place.  Silently she crawled into the passenger seat next to him and all he could do was smile and nod that it was okay.  Before they had driven a mile she had fallen asleep, apparently exhausted after her ordeal with Echo.  He wondered if she had been hurt, but she seemed to be fine from what Bellamy could see.  At least he had gotten to her before Echo had tried to turn her.  Bellamy could never have forgiven himself if he had not made it in time. 


At the Griffin house in Glendale Bellamy handed Clarke over to her mother’s arms.  Three pairs of grateful eyes shed tears of joy to have the child home, apparently safe.  Bellamy said very little about it all and they asked little as well.  At the time they were just so thankful to have her back that the questions didn’t really come to them.  Bellamy knew that they would come later and that would hopefully give him time to formulate some replies. He turned down their offer of a meal, a drink and made to leave.  Harold Griffin handed Bellamy a check for a ridiculously large sum of money; Bellamy waved it away.


How did he explain that finding this child had set him free? That now maybe his life could go on and he saw that it was possible to change the direction of his life, in ways he never thought possible?  That he was grateful to them?


You didn’t he knew.  He only knew that he couldn’t accept their money.  And a week later, when the check arrived in the mail he had finally sent it to a local children’s shelter, in the Griffin’s name.  It seemed a fitting way for the money to be spent.


Through the years he had watched, making sure she was safe.  He feared that she had caught glimpses of him from time to time; it used to worry him but time has a way of taking those kinds of worries away.  If she had seen him, she was obviously okay with it. So he watched, telling himself that it was for her, to make sure she was okay. Year after year he stood silent guard over her life seeing it as his duty.  He stood in the shadows when Harold died and shed a few tears himself as his body was laid to rest.  He had watched as Grace aged; he could see how her body ached and hurt her as she moved and he also knew that she would not long be in this world either.


He sunk a bit farther into the shadows as he heard a movement nearby.  As he saw who approached he stepped forward and nodded a greeting.


“She's good?  And happy?” Bellamy asked.


“Yes,” was the reply. “I think so.”


“Does she remember?” Bellamy asked.


“If she does she doesn’t ever speak of it, to me anyway.”  The words were spoken with a resigned shrug.


“As long as she’s happy, nothing else matters.”


Both nodded and Bellamy stepped back into the shadows.  He was content.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two

July 4th, 2010


I saw him again tonight, or maybe I didn’t really, I don’t know.  It could have been the fireworks, which always remind me of fire and fire of course reminds me of that night.
Mom let me go to the beach with friends today and it was so much fun.  Harper and Raven were there as well as Penny, Mark, Michael, Brian and Justin.  We brought a picnic and played Frisbee and swam in the warm water.

 It was a great day!


I got to drive Mom’s car with all the usual promises – NO drinking, nobody other than Harper, Raven and I in it, follow the speed limit, etc..  Still, it felt wonderful; I felt so grownup and free.  We turned on the radio and sang along to our favorite songs while we traveled; Harper has a beautiful voice and even if Raven and I don’t, it is still fun to sing along.


Anyway, I thought I saw him as we sat watching the fireworks.  Brian had his arm around me and leaned down to kiss me.  When I turned my head towards his I thought I saw him watching from behind a dune.  For a brief moment I thought his eyes looked almost like they were glowing, but it was the reflection of the fireworks of course.  It sort of startled me though and I pulled my head back quickly and Brian’s kiss landed on my cheek instead of my mouth!  Embarrassing, for both of us.


Brian goes to my school and I kinda like him; he’s never tried to kiss me before though and I was sorry that I had screwed up the moment.  It wouldn’t be my first kiss, but I haven’t had that many and I’m almost 17!  I need to get in more lip to lip time and Brian is just perfect for that!


After the fireworks Brian walked me to my car and I did get the kiss then!  It was awesome, let me tell you.  I can’t wait for the next one.  I drove home feeling like I was on cloud nine!


If my shadow man watches me, why doesn’t he ever just let me see him; really see him?  If he’s real what is the deal?  This way I never know whether I am crazy and imagining the whole thing or not.  Maybe he isn’t real, maybe that’s the thing – I only imagine him.  Maybe my sub-conscious has only created these fleeting glimpses of him to make myself feel safe?  That’s a disturbing thought…


Mom was waiting (I hope not too anxiously) when I got home and I shared the events of the day with her, even the missed kiss and the real one.  (But I didn’t tell her about why the first attempt as the kiss didn’t work)  She thought I had a bit of sunburn on my face and I got the ‘Didn’t you use enough sun block?’ lecture.  I told her that I did, and tried to use it often, but geez, it’s easy to forget it, you know?  She reminded me that skin cancer wouldn’t be so easy to forget.


She has a point…


Later!

(:) 

“SO,” Raven asked, “Was there tongue?”


“What???” Clarke sputtered, trying to focus on driving and not run off the side of the road when she heard Raven’s question.


“You know, when Brian kissed you?  I love it when they slip me the tongue!” she said with a sigh.


Harper rolled her eyes and said, “Listen Miss ‘Do Me’, it’s none of your business.  Sheesh Raven, do you ever think about anything besides boys and sex?”


Raven laughed as she looked at her friend, “I sometimes wonder if I should talk Mom and Dad into letting me get my boobs made bigger.  Boys like ‘em big!” She woefully looked down at her breasts, B cups at best and let out a frustrated sigh.


“I really can’t believe you sometimes Raven Reyes!  And I can’t imagine you ever making it through business school!” Harper said.


“Hey, I have it all figured out!  And like Melanie Griffith said in Working Girl – ‘I got a mind made for business and a bod made for sex’ or something like that anyway.  I may not have a bod made for sex yet, but I will.  One of these days the girls are going to make it big!” 


Clarke was aware of the bantering going on between her two best friends but paid little attention to it.  She heard it all the time and could easily tune it out.  At first she was thinking about the kiss, or rather the missed kiss and then she thought about her shadow man.


She really was beginning to think she imagined him; it all made sense.  He never showed himself outright and so if he was real that pissed her off.  It definitely wasn’t cool to let someone think they were crazy.  He must be imaginary, he has to be…

 

(:) 

 

Bellamy watched Clarke from the safety of the sand dune, being cautious to keep well-hidden in the shadows of the night.  For the most part the kids were just having fun, no drinking, just usual teen types of preoccupation, i.e. chasing the opposite sex.  And Clarke wasn’t really that different in that although certainly not as blatant as some of her friends.


Several of the teens had sort of paired off for the evening, Clarke being one of those.  She was sitting in the sand watching the fireworks display when her young man leaned in for a kiss.  Even from where he was sitting Bellamy could smell the boy’s attraction for Clarke and for a moment Bellamy’s eyes flashed silver in the inky black night and he stepped back, appalled at his reaction.


He had known that sooner or later this would happen.  She was a beautiful young woman and she was going to date boys, men and he also knew that he had to let all this go.  He made his way down the beach to where the Benz was parked and got in behind the wheel and sat silently for a few minutes.  He leaned his forehead down and rested it on the steering wheel for a minute to try and shake it off.


This wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t good for either one of them and he knew it.  He tried to tell himself that he had a fatherly interest in her well being, and maybe in years past there was that.  But as she grew and matured it was harder for him to buy that.  When he looked at her he saw a woman, a beautiful young woman and he had to force himself to remember that she deserved a life that was untainted by anything that he could bring to it.

 
He had to find a way to let it go…

 

(:) 

 

Knowing that his best friend Murphy was always a great distraction, from anything, he headed there.  The top was down in the car and he cruised along, feeling the night.  He felt the wind blast through his hair and he pushed the accelerator down a little bit more, enjoying the rush of speed.  He cruised for a bit down PCH before heading back toward Murphy’s.


As he walked in to Murphy’s he saw that he was just finishing dinner.  And quite a dish she was, Bellamy had to admit.

 
“Care to join me for a little dessert?” Murphy inquired, sweeping his arm about to offer some of the other ladies to his friend.


 For a moment Bellamy actually considered the offer.  It had been a long time, maybe too long since he had fed fresh.  It was his own, self-imposed rule; he could break it if he wanted.  Finally he shook his head and replied “I’ll take mine in a glass if you don’t mind!”

 
Murphy shook his head and snapped his fingers and before Bellamy knew it a lovely woman brought Bellamy a glass that rested on a silver tray.  Bellamy smiled to himself over the formality of it all but took the glass and sipped slowly, savoring the taste.  The blood wasn’t straight from the vein, but it was still fresh and much better than any morgue blood Bellamy got from Guillermo.


“So,” Murphy said, flicking an imaginary piece of lint off of his suit, “What brings you by?  Hankering for a game of pool or poker or did you just miss me?”  He grinned, knowing they would irritate Bellamy, who never admitted to needing company or being lonely.  Still, Murphy thought, something was up tonight, he could smell it all over Bellamy.


“No Murphy, I – “he closed his mouth for a moment and rethought his next words.  “You know what?  Maybe a game would be a good thing.  I think I’m up for that.”


“Uh huh,” Murphy answered, sure now that something was bothering his friend.  They had this rule that they didn’t pry into each other’s lives, but then again, rules were made to be broken and Murphy had broken them all at one time or another.  He snapped his finger’s again and said “Call the guys – tell them poker here at my place, right away!”  One of Murphy’s servants rushed to do as he was told.


“Care to tell me what’s going on?”


“Nothing.  No, just, I don’t know, a case I guess.”


“A case? They don’t usually get you so out of sorts.  Hell, if I got to follow people around and watch them have sex I’d consider it a great night!”  Murphy watched as Bellamy’s eyes flashed silver and he started to rise from the couch.


“What the hell do you know about it?” Bellamy all but yelled.


“Well, obviously I hit a nerve there boyo.  Sorry,” he said, getting up to stroll over to the bar.  He picked up a crystal flask of single malt and proffered it to Bellamy, who nodded his head.


Murphy poured two generous glasses and carried them over to the table between the couch where Bellamy was sitting and his own chair.  They each picked up a glass and Murphy held his high and offered, “To the night!”


“And it’s secrets,” Bellamyanswered.  Bellamy downed his in one swallow and then sat his empty glass back down on the table.

 
Murphy’s eyebrow quirked upwards and he asked, “Another?”


“No, not right now.”  He leaned back on the couch and shut his eyes for a moment, savoring the burn that still trickled down his throat.  The burn was good; he only wished he could feel the results of the alcohol; he wanted to numb his brain, he wanted oblivion right now really badly.


Murphy observed all this quietly, sipping his own drink.  One leg was crossed over the other and he looked the picture of genteel relaxation, but quite the opposite was true.  Bellamy was on edge and now so was he.


“Anything going on that I should know about Bellamy?” he probed.


“No – yeah.  I’ve got to get out of here,” he declared.


“What?  You just got here!”


“No, I mean out of LA Murphy.  I need to move on.  I have to.”


Murphy nodded his head; he knew he wasn’t going to get anything else out of Bellamy right now so he only said, “I’ll get my people working on it.”


Bellamy nodded, satisfied.  This is how it has to be.

 

(:) 

 

A week later Bellamy had packed up the rest of his belongings.  Some things would go into storage, the rest Murphy was disposing of.  Murphy’s guy had taken care of everything Bellamy needed for a new start; new ID and documentation to go with it that would fool any system out there.  He had said his goodbyes to the people he cared about; all except one.  That one would never know and that was how it should be.


There were questions though from one other who cared about her.  “Why must you go?  Where will you be?  How can we reach you if we need you?”  Bellamy could only shake his head to most of those questions; for everyone’s sake the answers were better left unsaid.  He left a number though, just in case; it was the best he could do.

(:) 

That night Clarke woke up from a nightmare, her heart pounding wildly.  She was covered in sweat and her nightgown was drenched and twisted around her legs.  She sat up in her bed, staring at the full moon that was shining through her bedroom window.  She tried to remember what the nightmare was about.


She concentrated and the dream came back to her, slowly at first and then rushing in like a runaway train.  Her shadow man was gone; she didn’t know how and she didn’t know where, but he was gone.
She cried herself back to sleep that night full of despair.  Would she ever feel safe again?

 

 

Chapter Text

January 22, 2011


I can’t believe it, another birthday and only 4 more months of school! Summer vacation, YAY! It has been an unbelievable month so far; I found out I got my scholarship to UCLA for the fall! I am now officially enrolled and ready to go and while I’m so excited, I’m also scared to death. I wonder if everyone feels this way about going to college. Harper and Raven are just as excited and both will be going to UCLA as well, although we will each be in different ‘colleges’ at the university. Still, we’ll see each other a lot I hope. I will live at home the first year, but I hope to get to live in the dorms my sophomore year. Mom says it’s a big enough change for me just to go to the university, that I don’t need the stress of dorm life right away.

I can see her point but it sort of disappoints me, you know? I mean, I am SO ready for some independence, of being in charge of my own life! It’s only a year – I’ll just have to continue to repeat that! Both Harper and Raven will be stuck at home too so at least I won’t be the only one.


I still have frequent nightmares about my shadow man. I wish I understood what happened. I know that he is gone, but what I don’t know is whether or not he was ever there. Maybe I just made him up; maybe it was a crutch I needed to feel safe and secure, who knows? What I do know is that since last summer I haven’t caught any glimpses of him, I haven’t felt his presence. I’m not scared really, not of the scary woman any longer anyway. I still think about what happened then, but so much of it is only dream-like now. Bits and pieces flash through my mind, a remembered image of the fire, but never the faces, the white dress she wore that night and for some reason I also see the color red.


What I do remember vividly is being in his arms; I remember feeling safe. He held me close and told me that I was going to be okay, that he would take me home. It’s funny, but I don’t really remember coming home though. Mom says that’s because I was actually asleep when I got there. I’ve asked her about him, that man and she doesn’t say too much, only that Marcus had told her about him.


I admire my mom so much; if ever anyone ever needed an ideal role model it would be my mom. She wasn’t perfect, don’t get me wrong and we’ve certainly had our share of disagreements but I always knew that she was there, no matter what I needed. The older I get the more I realized how much she had to have sacrificed for me, including a personal life, although I never asked that of her.


Marcus has always been around and I’ve often wondered why they never got together? They care for each other I think and in many ways he was a great substitute dad. Neither one of them will talk about it though, just like mom never talks about my dad. 


So many things to wonder about!


Later…

 

(:)

The weather didn’t cooperate this year for an outside party; the group ordered pizza and Clarke, Raven and Harper waited impatiently for it as all three were hungry. It was cool and rainy out and Raven was breathing on the window in the living room and then drawing dirty pictures on the steamy display.

“Raven Reyes, STOP that immediately!” Abby said as she walked up and saw a drawing of a very overly - endowed man. “Where do you get these ideas?” Raven hastily wiped the drawing off the window, a shocked look on her face at being caught. Abby laughed to herself as she turned away and headed back into the den. 

That girl is certainly going to be disappointed some day!

Abby saw her mother sitting in a chair in the den and she looked a bit chilled. She grabbed an afghan off the back of the sofa and wrapped it around her mother’s shoulders.

“There, is that better Mom?”

“Thanks darling. Yes, it’s better now. I’m just feeling a bit chilled today; must be all the rainy weather here. And I thought it never rained in California!”

Marcus smiled and said, “Well, that’s how the songs go but I guess they are wrong, today anyway. Grace, how about I get you a cup of tea?”

“Oh, no thanks Marcus, this wrap will be just fine.” She pulled it a bit tighter around her and missed the look of concern that passed between Abby and Marcus.

The door bell rang, peeling loudly in the conversation lull and they heard the girls cheering.

“Mom! The pizza is here,” Clarke said, coming into the den. “And you had better go and rescue the delivery guy – Raven thinks he’s cute!”

“Lord!” Abby said, starting to get up.

“I’ve got it,” Marcus said, beating her to her feet. He followed Clarke back to the living room and told the girls to go and help Abby set the table.

As they headed into the dining room Harper remarked, “You know, it’s like he lives here too. It’s kinda weird Clarke.” She quickly quieted when she saw Abby looking at her.

“Clarke, get the paper plates out of the cupboard please? And Raven and Harper, grab the cups and the ice for me, if you would?”

All three girls nodded and went to follow her instructions.

 

(:)


It was 6 pm in Seattle and Michael Sandoval was just getting up to start his day. If he could have slept the night away he would have gladly because he was fully aware of what day this was and that for the first time in 13 years he wasn’t there to watch what was happening. He wouldn’t see her, wearing her tiara blowing her candles out or her family and friends around her, hugging her and wishing her well. He was no longer a part of it all.

Face it Bellamy, you were never a part of it, ever. He told himself that over and over; maybe one day he might actually believe it too. But right now it just hurt. It was a pain that stabbed his undead heart mercilessly. 

What he couldn’t shake was the fact that he still felt her; in his heart and in his head. Like some kind of emotional connection that just wouldn’t go away, not with time or distance and it puzzled him greatly. A thought burrowed through his brain that maybe the connection wasn’t meant to go away and for both of their sakes he hoped that wasn’t true.

He padded barefoot to his hidden fridge and grabbed the bottle of A positive that he favored and prepared to pour a glass and then he thought better of it. Instead, he set it back down and reached for his syringe and a vial of O positive; he needed a main line shoot this time, a jump start so to speak.

He filled his syringe and then settled into a comfortable chair to plunge the needle into a vein. He slowly depressed the plunger and felt the blood being infused into his vein. He sucked in an unnecessary breath and blew it out slowly enjoying the heady feeling and for a moment just savored the rush of the blood making its way through his veins. 

Bellamy yawned and stood up, taking the syringe back into the kitchen and pulling it apart so that it could be cleaned. After he was finished he hopped into the shower, trying to focus on the case he was working on in an effort to take his mind off of the events unfolding in California. 

Instead his mind wandered back to a time 13 years ago, to a deserted building in the valley where his ex-wife had taken a 4 year old girl in some deranged effort to convince him that they could be a family. 

She had been expecting him to show up, of course, she had left a huge trail of bread crumbs that only an idiot could have missed. The clues were all totally unnecessary since he knew as soon as he caught the scent where the child was and who had her. As soon as he stepped through the door, his heart went out to that child; she was petrified and she looked at him as if he were her savior. She was okay physically and Bellamy felt enormous relief; Echo hadn’t turned her yet.

Echo herself was ‘floating’ on the ceiling and immediately settled down on the floor behind the girl, holding her out as if she were an offering to him. He knew that Echo had some special skills and while he wondered briefly about her ‘floating’ he quickly dismissed it as he tried to make sure the child was alright.

“Echo, what are you doing?” he asked her, sickened by the fear in the child’s face.

“Bellamy, we can be a family; you, me and baby!” Her hands caressed the side of the girls face and huge blue eyes blinked as she gazed at Bellamy, tears streaking her tiny face.

“I won’t let you hurt her, Echo!” he said, and Echo could tell he meant it. 

The ensuing fight was ugly, violent and the child shrank into a corner, trying to be invisible. Echo’s shrieks and screams were loud and terrifying to her and she feared that the man would die because he was quickly covered in blood.

It was funny how certain moments are pivotal in a person’s life. A single thought or action will change everything and this was that moment for Bellamy . Life with Echo played through his mind in Technicolor for Bellamy and in that split second he decided he had had enough. The craziness was going to end – right here, right now.

The stake through her heart was fast and true; a rush of air escaped her lungs in a paralyzed scream that ruptured the air. For one half of a second Bellamy was amazed at what he had done. She was not only his wife but his sire; her eyes pleaded with him to remove the stake.

NO – NO, he would not do it. He went to the child and told her he was taking her home. She crawled quickly into his arms, hugging him tightly about the neck. He looked around the room and saw a lantern and before he could think he grabbed it and tossed it towards Echo. The fire ignited a chaise and spread rapidly, flames licking at everything in its path. Echo’s keening screams became louder but he tuned them out, only thinking of getting the child out of the building. They left the inferno, a blaze of heat chasing them. For one moment he thought he saw Echo rise and beat against the window, the stake no longer in her heart. An impossibility. He turned away, closed the book on her. 

All these years later he still could remember every detail of that night; every smell, every look and every terrified scream that was pulled from Echo. He had killed his sire, the vampire equivalent to killing your parent, a crime that was regarded as horrific in either world. Your sire is your connection; to your heritage, to yourself really. Each blood line has different attributes to some degree and many vamps were overly proud of their heritage. 

Bellamy wasn’t one of them. Echo was her own brand of crazy; she was also like a drug and she pulled him into the craziness with her. She had no conscience, no real loyalty and no regard for life; all ideas that Bellamy couldn’t support. 

She was dead, period.

 


(:)


The party was over and Clarke stood looking in the mirror; gazing at her face. Seventeen, she is seventeen today and she didn’t think she looked all that different from last year. The light from over head caught the sparkle of the tiara on her head and she carefully removed it, looking at it with a bit of sadness.

It reminded her so much of her grandpa and how much she missed him. Lifesavers and the tiara were all she had left of him; maybe of childhood. Next year at this time she would actually be in college, no longer a child, but a young woman who would be on the verge of discovering her own life. A salty tear slipped silently down her cheek and spattered onto one of the pink CZ’s adding an unwanted sparkle.

She traced the filigree on the tiara with a cautious fingertip, ever mindful that it was getting older; she didn’t want to dislodge any more of the stones on it. Memories came flooding back to her; of birthdays past that were shared with the people she loved the most in this world. Those people loved her and supported her but there was something missing now and she thought about it every day. Maybe that should be ‘him’, her shadow man, her guardian angel.

Clarke knew without a doubt that he was not here any longer. She didn’t know how she knew; she just did. What she didn’t know was what had happened to him; why he was gone. She didn’t know who he was – she did know that he existed. For awhile she thought maybe she imagined it all, but last year when he left she knew; she knew. He had been real.

There was a knock on her door and she called out an absent-minded “Come in”. Her mom opened the door and walked into the room, watching as Clarke carefully wrapped the tiara up to put it away for another year.

“Your grandfather would be so happy to see that you still wear it. His princess, he loved you so much, Clarke.”

Clarke nodded, swallowing hard. “You think he watches now, or that he can’t?”

Abby frowned for a moment, thinking how to answer. “I guess I want to believe that’s possible Clarke; in truth I don’t know. Does it comfort you to think he does?”

“It – it makes me feel closer to him I guess.” Clarke put the tiara into the box and set it on the shelf in her closet. She sat down on the bed and motioned for her mom to sit too. “Mom, why don’t you ever talk about when I was little? You know, when I was ta…taken?” Clarke stumbled over that last word; it brought back so many memories that she tried to forget.

“Clarke, I – I, it was a painful time, for all of us. I don’t see that it does any good to talk about it. You were found and you were okay. That is what mattered.” Abby’s heart was pounding wildly as the memories came rushing back to her; the fear, the fear that choked her until she couldn’t breathe. Until she found Bellamy , she knew that he was the one to help her as soon as she found him.

“Mom, sometimes I DO need to talk about it. I can’t hide from it forever, I just can’t! Who took me? Who found me? It was a man, I remember that, but who was he? Mom, I need to know!”

“Clarke, I, it was a woman who took you, you know that. I didn’t know her. A private detective found you; someone a friend recommended. He- he was amazing and had you back to us very quickly. That’s really all I know.” For a moment she felt a pang of guilt about the lie she told her daughter, but it was a lie born of necessity. It was better for everyone that Clarke didn’t know too many details. Once you knew you couldn’t go back and Abby didn’t want Clarke to have to bear the burden of that knowledge.

Clarke shook her head impatiently; she had heard this before and it wasn’t the answers she needed, wanted. “Mom, there has to be more, more that you can tell me. I just don’t believe anymore that you don’t know more than that!”

“Clarke, your being returned to us was a gift, the most precious gift imaginable. I didn’t ask that many questions; the questions weren’t important, only the fact that you were safe in my arms again. Can’t you understand that?”

“NO! No, I don’t. Mom, you have always told me to fight for what I believe in, to push for answers and not to settle until I was satisfied. Well, I’m pushing now! I need answers.” Clarke’s defiant blues eyes stared into eyes that were golden brown. Her own eyes right now were darkened with the passion of her need to find out the truth.

Abby recognized that look well; she wore it often herself but she had nothing else to offer and so she rose off the bed and bent to kiss Clarke on the top of her head. She reached a gentle hand out to caress her daughter’s cheek and wiped a warm tear away. “Honey, I don’t have any more answers for you. I’m sorry, but I don’t.” She tried to smile and failed miserably so she turned to walk to the door. Before she closed it she looked once more at her daughter, sitting on her bed, her knees drawn up and arms hugging them. Clarke looked at her with wounded eyes and Abby saw betrayal in them. It was something she had chosen to live with a long time ago and she couldn’t go back now. She nodded at her daughter and softly said, “Goodnight Clarke. I love you.”

Clarke nodded her head, a jerky movement; an angry movement. “Goodnight Mom.”

No ‘I love you’ in return, but Abby knew that it wasn’t because she didn’t love her; it was just because she was angry right now. She paused for a moment and then closed the door as she left the room.

As the door softly closed Clarke fought the urge to throw a pillow at it; instead she laid her forehead on her knees and let the tears flow. They weren’t healing tears though, they were angry tears and eventually she stopped them because they did her no good.

What is she hiding? Is she hiding something, or does she truly not know anything? And if she doesn’t, how can that be? 

She was 17 now, time to grow up. Clarke knew that she wouldn’t ever wear the tiara again; that was her past. It represented a time of protection and innocence; now she felt neither. Her shadow man was gone and for some reason she no longer felt innocent. She felt like a woman who needed answers about her past and she was determined to find them.

 

Chapter Text

January 12, 2012


Almost time for the winter semester to begin which means that I survived my first semester in the freshman pool. I had no idea how big of a pool it was going to be before I got here. Talk about feeling insignificant, a semester here will do it for you. Forget the fact that you are literally lost for the first two weeks, that’s nothing. No, what got me the most is that I went from being a straight A student who was recognized and lauded for her achievements and class valedictorian to someone who doesn’t even hardly register on the platform of humanity.


I get it; we’re the low men on the totem pole, so to speak. You’re sort of on trial here, and everyone is waiting to see what you can offer, what you can do; or to see you fall flat on your ass. I’ve always thought I was smart, smarter than many but here I’m not even close to some of these people; some are simply brilliant and that is very intimidating for me. Even Harper, who had a 4.0 as compared to my 3.8 GPA is even struggling and that is just scary. I think it is even harder for her; she has always been driven to perform, both by her parents and herself. Now instead of Friday and Saturday nights spent hanging out, she’s being tutored to maintain those grades. Raven, of course, is just simply Raven; college is one big goldfish bowl of fun and men and she is taking a dip in this pond, let me assure you!


I have met a few new friends and that has been fun. A guy named Wells Jaha is in my Public Speaking class. He is so much fun and also very HOT! We hang out sometimes after class and have coffee and chat. He’s a year ahead of me but still remembers what it feels like to be the new kid on the block. There are other friends too, Chrissy, Jane, Randy and Sydney, all willing to commiserate over our lowly status. Haven’t really had the time to go out on dates though, studying comes first. I have a scholarship to maintain and it is just not as easy as I thought it would be; which makes me have to push harder to keep up. I have participated in some campus events though and it has been fun. The university is like its own small city, a microcosm of cultures, beliefs and ethnic backgrounds and there is so much to see and experience. Next year I hope to be able to work on the campus newspaper which will be a lot of fun!


I’m still not seeing or feeling my shadow man. I know it is ridiculous but I miss him; the security I felt because of his presence. It’s not that I’ve been threatened in anyway, it’s more like just knowing all those years that there was a ‘back up plan’ I guess, if anything did happen. I know I can count on Mom and Marcus, but somehow it’s not the same. I guess in some ways I felt special, having the shadow man out there. I wonder sometimes if it were me that made him go away? Did I do something wrong or did he just get tired of the watch? I’m sure he has his own life to live and maybe that’s what happened, his life took him somewhere else.


But I miss him. Isn’t that strange since I never knew him? I felt a connection with him though and I think that a part of me will always be connected to him. I like to think that someday I’ll see him and my heart will just know.


Later!


(:)

Bellamy heard a knock on his front door; a rare occurrence. Usually anytime someone was knocking it was on his office door so he approached the door cautiously. A couple of feet from it he caught the scent of vamp, a familiar scent and then he spied the person waiting on the other side of the door and grinned, delighted to have this visitor. 

“Uh, Be - Michael? Is it okay that I’m here?” his guest asked, looking past his shoulder and into the empty house.

“It’s always okay for you to visit me Jasper. But what are you doing here in Seattle?” Bellamy asked, giving Jasper a quick ‘guy’ hug. He looked at the young vamp, taking the sight of him in and subtly nodding his head; all was well with Jasper he could tell.

“I was up here to help launch the new Microsoft platform. I still do consulting work for them from time to time. Anyway, I just thought I’d stop by.”

“I’m so glad you did. Come in! Can I get you something to drink?”

“Yeah, that would be good. I’ve been at meetings all day and I’m starved!” Jasper followed Bellamy into the kitchen, looking around at Bellamy’s new house. It was nothing at all like the loft in California, except that it was fairly dark. This house was all wood grains, rich walnuts and mahogany’s with granite counter tops and slate floors. It was still Bellamy, just different, Jasper thought.

After he poured glasses of blood he handed one to Jasper and said, “Here, let’s go out on the deck.” Bellamy slid the wide door open and they stepped outside onto a beautiful teak deck that overlooked Puget Sound. Jasper knew that during daylight hours it would be a spectacular view. They settled into deck chairs and sipped their blood. It was 33 degrees out and both of them thought it felt great.

“Um, fresh,” Jasper exclaimed, surprised. “You got yourself some freshies tucked away here, Bellamy ?” As soon as the name was out of his mouth he winced; it seemed wrong to say Michael, it just didn’t feel right. 

Bellamy smiled and shook his head. “No, but thanks to Murphy I do have a fresh source. I have to admit it is better than the bagged morgue stuff. So, tell me what is going on with you Jasper.”

While Jasper launched into his latest escapades with Microsoft, Bellamy ’s mind drifted back 18 years, to when Jasper was in college and already was proving himself to be a genius in the up and coming computer technology field. 

 

1994...

Mr. Blake, I need to hire you. My wife has been kidnapped!” Alexander Kane told him, handing Bellamy a note written by the kidnapper. 


“Why haven’t you gone to the police Mr. Kane?” Bellamy asked, trying to focus on the note. He picked up a lot of hatred and anger off of the note but little else.


“It says not to; I’m playing this exactly by the book! Please, you’ve got to help me. Please?”


Bellamy studied the man’s distraught face that was etched with pain and fear. He was dabbing at his eyes and the smells rolling off of him were genuine; his wife really had been taken. “Tell me what happened.”


“I had just picked up our younger son, Jasper, from LAX. He’s been going to college at Berkeley and will be home for the summer break. I’m a judge Mr. Blake; this is probably someone that I have sentenced that has taken her. Please!”


Bellamy nodded, listening. “So you weren’t at home? Was anyone else there? You said Jasper was your younger son. What about the older one?”


Alexander shook his head no and said, “No, he doesn’t live at home any longer. Vera was alone. Mr. Blake, I, uh, don’t know how to say this but you were recommended by a mutual, friend. I know that you have some rather special abilities. I can pay whatever you require, just please help me.”


The knowledge by Mr. Kane of his ‘special abilities’ was enough to make Bellamy cautious. People did know, but not that many and certainly fewer outside the vamp world. “Mr. Kane, or perhaps it should be Judge Kane? Who is our mutual friend?”


“Mr. Kane is fine; Alexander would be better even. And our mutual friend is John Murphy.  I have aided Mr. Murphy occasionally in some of his endeavors. It’s a good situation for both of us. Please, check with him, I just urge you to do it quickly!”


As he finished speaking Bellamy ’s phone rang. The answering machine picked up the call and he heard Murphy’s voice. He picked up the phone and listened while Murphy explained that he was sending a ‘friend of the family’ over for his help. 


“Yes, he is here already.”


“Quick. Well anyway, he knows about us, help him if you can. I’ll explain more later.”


Bellamy murmured “You had better,” as the line went dead. He sat the phone down into the cradle and leaned back in his chair, his lips pursed as he thought about the situation. Being a ‘friend of the family’ could bring additional complications to the situation. He needed answers before he could help.


“So Alexander, could there possibly be any ‘family’ involvement in this?”


“I don’t think so; I don’t know who it would be. Other than Murphy, I don’t really know any others.” His shoulders slumped forward and Bellamy distinctly heard a muffled sob. He looked up at Bellamy and said, “She’s my life, Mr. Blake and she doesn’t deserve anything bad to happen to her. Please…”


Bellamy nodded, making a quick decision. “Call me Bellamy.  Alright Alexander, I’ll help. Tell me as much as you can about the situation.”


Bellamy listened for a half hour to all that the judge knew, including a run down on likely cases where someone would try to take action for a pay back. They decided on two that were the most likely and the judge said that he would immediately have some police files concerning the cases sent over to Bellamy . Hopefully there would be enough time to check them out before anything else happened. All the note said was that they would be contacting the judge soon.


As soon as the judge left Bellamy ’s office he packed up some equipment and made arrangements to do some surveillance on one of the suspects. He seemed the most likely, just out of prison and a younger brother was killed in the raid 11 years ago. It was a drug operation and the judge handed down the maximum sentence. But with time for good behavior, Jess Crum was already out. He had connections, motive and just the kind of retaliatory attitude to be involved in this. The case files wouldn’t be delivered until tomorrow, but Bellamy didn’t want to wait to get started. He called his friend Bobby at LAPD and got a current address on Jess and told Bobby he was going to do a little observation. Bobby knew there was more to it than that but let it go, knowing that Bellamy worked best when he followed his hunches.


After only a few hours of surveillance Bellamy knew that he had found Vera Kane, but the sun was getting ready to come up so he reported back to Alexander. It would be next to impossible to get her out of the building safely; they would need to wait until the demands came in and they moved her to a more open location. They luckily didn’t have long to wait.


What they wanted was to trade Vera for Alexander. Bellamy adamantly refused to let that happen. Alexander just as adamantly intended to do just that. 


“Bellamy , we have to make it seem like we’re cooperating. If I am there that will distract them and you can get in to get to Vera.” 


“First, we have to verify that they have Vera with them Alexander; make sure it’s not a ploy. Do you understand what I’m saying?” Bellamy watched the emotion flow over his face, fear, pain and then sheer terror.


“You – you think they don’t intend an exchange?” he asked shakily.


“We have to be prepared for anything Alexander. ANYTHING. We aren’t handing you over if she isn’t there. That’s a sure way to lose you both.”


“Look Bellamy , I’m expendable in this picture, okay? You get her out, save her regardless of what happens to me, it’s all that’s important.” He met Bellamy ’s gaze without wavering; he was sincere. “If it comes to a choice, there IS NO choice, okay?”


Bellamy nodded; there wasn’t anything else he could do at this point, other than to try and ensure that he got them both out safely. 


At 8:00 PM that evening Bellamy , Alexander and Jasper Kane set off to follow the bread crumbs that would eventually lead them to the rendezvous spot. Alexander was against Jasper going but he refused to stay at home and worry. Bellamy was concerned about having both of them there; it made it more dangerous to try to protect three instead of two. 


As the three of them waited through the afternoon for more instructions Bellamy got an opportunity to talk to Jasper; the kid was some kind of computer genius apparently. 
He was doing amazing work with computers and Jasper was planning on starting his company as soon as he graduated in May. At 22 he would graduate with a Masters in computer technology and information systems. He was a nice kid and Bellamy enjoyed talking to him.


“So uh, you’re like, you know, different?” Jasper asked, not daring to say the words.


Bellamy raised an eyebrow, definitely not appreciating the fact that Jasper knew about vampires. Damn it, why the hell did Alexander tell him?


“I guess that depends on what you mean by ‘different’ Jasper,” Bellamy said, hoping that he was wrong about what Jasper knew.


“You know,” Jasper said and made like he was going to bite something. “YOU know.”


“Jasper, that’s uh, not for people to know. You understand you can’t tell anyone don’t you? Ever?”


Alexander had been listening absent-mindedly to the conversation and finally caught the subject. “How the hell did you get that information, Jasper?” he asked.


“I have ears, Dad! You talk to Mr. Murphy about ‘special’ things and I’m not an idiot, I can figure it out!”


“Well, like Mr. St. Blake says, you keep your mouth shut! Period. You do not tell anyone! EVER? Got that?”


“I GOT IT!” Jasper shifted in his seat and looked around, hoping they would change the subject; he was sorry he brought it up to begin with.


A little after midnight they pulled up to the abandoned warehouse for the exchange. Bellamy got out of the car a half a block away and told Alexander to wait until he came back to approach the site. The meeting was set for 1:00 AM so they had a bit of time; time in which Alexander and Jasper both worried themselves sick. 


Bellamy was back in 20 minutes; he had seen that they did have Vera in the back of a van but he couldn’t get to her because there were too many captors with her and she was chained to the inside of the van. They would have to wait until her captors removed the chains and then Bellamy could get to her.


Bellamy went over the plan with Alexander; he was to wait until 12:55 and then pull up to the rendezvous site. Bellamy would already be waiting in the shadows to grab Vera and take care of her captors. He would disable the van if possible, but in reality he didn’t think there would be anyone left to drive it away, if all went as was planned.


At 12:55 exactly Alexander pulled the car up to the warehouse and killed the engine. He opened the door and stepped out, holding his hands up to show that he was unarmed.


“Who’s in the car, Judge?” Jess Crum asked, seeing Jasper’s head. “I told ya to come alone? Didn’t understand that? Was all that education wasted on ya?”


“It’s my son, he wanted to be here to help his mom in case she was too shaken to drive. Where is she? I want to see her before I take another step.”


“I’m the one calling the shots. Get your kid outta the car, NOW!”


“Jasper, step out please. Look, we’re both unarmed. Just bring Vera out here and she and Jasper will leave. It’s as simple as that!”


Jess pointed a gun at another guy who was standing there and said, “Search them both.” To Alexander he added, “Billy ain’t going to find no weapons is he? He don’t like finding surprises!”


“No weapons, no surprises, Crum.” They stood as Billy searched them both. As he leaned over Jasper the smell of his fetid breath made Jasper gag and his reaction was to try to step back. Billy immediately back-handed Jasper, hard enough to knock him off of his feet. His head hit the pavement and blood started gushing from his nose which had gotten broken, whether from the fall or from the force of the blow, he wasn’t sure.


“Now I didn’t tell you it was okay to move. Get your ass up kid, NOW!” Jess all but screamed.


Jasper stood up shakily and swiped as much blood as he could off of his face, but it continued to flow freely. He kept wiping it on his sleeve and soon that was soaked with more blood than it could absorb. He tried to focus on what was happening to try to keep his mind off of the pain in his nose.


Alexander and Jasper both watched as Vera was brought out of the van. She was a bit bloody and battered herself but she managed a weak smile for them, trying to calm them down.


“Are you alright, honey?” Alexander looked at her pale face that was streaked with blood and his heart immediately skipped a beat or two. He clenched both of his fists to his side in an effort to keep from grabbing Billy, who was standing near him. Billy had his gun pointing at Jasper right now and Alexander was afraid he would shoot at any sudden movement.


Vera looked at her husband and son and tried to keep herself together. All she wanted was to feel safe, to be held by them, but she had learned quickly when she was abducted that to show any weakness only brought her a swift blow. She squared her shoulders and nodded and started to say “I’m okay,” when all hell broke loose. 


As soon as she opened her mouth Jess back-handed her across the face, knocking a couple of teeth out and sending her flying across the pavement. He followed her and began to kick her viciously yelling, “I told you not to talk, didn’t I?”


Jasper immediately ran for his mother and so did Bellamy ; he ran through the two guards on his way, snapping both of their necks and tossing them aside like the garbage they were. 


Jasper knocked Jess down to get to his mother and Jess dropped the gun and then scrambled for it. Alexander was moving by that time to try to get the gun away from Billy, but he misjudged their distance from one another and Billy fired off two shots at him. The first one missed but the second one hit him in the leg, taking him down.


Jasper saw it all: played out in slow-motion and vivid color. He started to rise to get to his father just as Jess managed to grab the gun off the ground. Bellamy was heading for Jess but was too late; he emptied his barrel into Jasper and Vera just as Bellamy got to him. Bellamy picked him up and tossed him carelessly over the van and heard a satisfying whoosh of air as well as the snap of his neck as he hit the ground. 


Billy’s eyes opened wide with fear as he realized he was the only one left. Bellamy was moving quickly to him with eyes that were glowing silver in the light of the street lamp. Billy screamed and started firing his gun, until there was nothing left in the chamber. He hit Bellamy and Jasper again before clicking the trigger again and again, uselessly. Finally, he threw the gun on the ground and turned to run when he realized that Bellamy wasn’t stopping. Before he had gotten two steps, Bellamy had him and with a roar, grabbed him by the throat and screamed his rage at Billy.


Billy knew what was going to happen next; he saw it in the mad light in Bellamy s eyes, in the fangs that were shining in the pale light. His bladder immediately released and he felt the hot rush down his legs as his bladder emptied itself. Bellamy let him sink to the ground, breathing in his fear, his defeat. The vampire within was shrieking for revenge; it was battle that the human had no desire to control. The last thing Billy felt before his heart stopped was razor-sharp fangs ripping into his throat.


The human took control again as the vampire growled with victory. Bellamy wiped his mouth with his shirt sleeve and gradually became aware of what was going on behind him. He turned to take in the scene and immediately ran to the three humans.


Only two heartbeats remained; one rapid with fear and the other weak and thready. Bellamy took in the scene, assessing the damage. Vera was dead, half of her head gone from one of the shots. Jasper lay next to her, pale, his blood leaking out of a wound that had all but severed his femoral artery. Bellamy knew that he had only a few minutes at most to live. He closed his eyes, feeling the pain that Alexander would endure at losing his wife and son.


Bellamy knelt down and placed a hand on Alexander’s arm and squeezed it lightly. Bellamy knew that there was no time for an ambulance to get there and yet he had to ask Alexander if he wanted him to call the police.


Alexander stared at him, his eyes glazed over with shock and despair. He opened his mouth to speak and closed it again quickly, as if re-thinking his words. Then he said, “Help him, Bellamy !”


“I-I can’t Alexander. His artery is destroyed; he’s lost too much blood. I’m sorry…”


Bellamy hung his head and as he did he felt Jasper’s hand reach out and touch his leg. Bellamy looked at his face, so young, in so much pain; fear was written starkly across it, fear of death, of the unknown. “Bellamy ,” Jasper said, his voice only a mere whisper. “Bellamy , don’t let me die.”


The plaintive words made Bellamy catch his breath as he realized what Jasper was asking. He immediately shook his head, “No Jasper, no, I can’t do that!”


Bellamy felt Alexander grab his arm roughly, his fingernails digging through the fabric of Bellamy ’s jacket. “Yes you can, you know you can.”


“No I can’t. This isn’t the way it should be Alexander. This isn’t living…”


“It’s better than the alternative Bellamy .” Jasper’s words were spoken quietly, trailing off into whispers. Bellamy looked him in the eyes and saw Jasper’s eyes stare unblinkingly back at him, with the tiniest bit of hope still alive in them.


Bellamy drew in a sharp breath and swallowed hard. He had never done this. How could he do this to another human being, turn them into a monster, forced to live in the dark; spurned by society, exiled from everyone and everything you loved? How could he do it?


“Bellamy , please, save my son. You can, you can do it, please. I’m begging you. I’ll pay anything you ask, just save him.”


Hot tears were streaking his face and Bellamy caught the salty tang and scented the anguish that was in the air. A father’s anguish at not only losing his wife but now a son as well. What would his own father have wanted? Not this – NOT THIS, his mind screamed. This is a death sentence, worse, a nightmare that never ends; Hell on this earth. A tear drop fell on his hand and he realized it was from his own eyes. Could he live with himself if he did it? Could he live with himself if he didn’t? 


He heard Jasper and Alexander both say “Please,” together and Bellamy steeled himself; not against their pleas, but against his own need to run and not do this thing. Finally he nodded and said, “I’ll do it. Jasper, this is going to change everything for you, do you understand that? You have to understand that or I can’t do it and I don’t have time to explain everything now.”


“Just do it,” Jasper said, his voice barely audible. His heartbeat had slowed to almost non-existence. Bellamy had to do it now if there was any chance of helping Jasper make it.


“I – I just need to take a little more of your blood Jasper, and then I’ll slash my wrist and you’ll have to drink. My blood will speed through your system and take over. But you’ll have to drink, it will be up to you how this goes…”


Jasper nodded almost imperceptibly and Bellamy leaned over, his fangs fully emerged and bent to make the fatal bite in Jasper’s neck. He was as scared as Jasper, his own memories of this were so hazy and filled with pain; he just tried to focus on Jasper, not tearing his neck too badly. 


Listen to the heartbeat Bellamy , listen…


When it had all but stopped Bellamy tore his wrist open so the blood could flow freely into Jasper’s mouth. He held his arm over Jasper’s head, letting the blood drip, counting off the seconds as he waiting for Jasper to respond. A full minute went by and Alexander was starting to panic.


“Why isn’t he drinking?” he yelled. “WHY? What’s wrong?”


“I think it can take a minute or two. Give him a chance.” Bellamy was silent, ticking off the time in his head. At last, Jasper opened his eyes and reached for Bellamy ’s wrist, pulling it frantically against his mouth. He ruthlessly pulled the blood into his mouth, greedily swallowing down as much as he could get. Finally, Bellamy pulled his arm away and leaned back on his heels, watching Jasper carefully. 


“What about all the bullets in him? Do we need to get him to the hospital?” Alexander asked.


“No, no hospitals. I can remove them back at my house. Jasper is going to have to stay with me for a while so he can learn, uh things. Alexander, I wasn’t kidding when I said his whole world will be different. It’s going to take some time for him to …adjust. We’ve got to get the police here for Vera. I’m going to go call. Keep him down for a few minutes, until I get back.”


Alexander nodded and watched Bellamy head off at vamp speed to make the call. He looked at his son, who was resting on the pavement. Whatever happened to him, he was still here, with us. That was all that mattered.


Bellamy and Jasper chatted for a bit longer and made plans for the next evening and Bellamy later realized how much he was looking forward to it. He had missed Jasper so much; their bond was tight and always had been. He went to bed with a smile on his face for the first time in a long time.


):( 

 

“Hey Mom,” Clarke said as walked into the house. Life had been so hectic lately with that Clarke felt as if she hadn’t really talked to her mom in a week. “What’s up?”

She listened as her mom caught her up on the latest news from the neighborhood. Clarke smiled as she listened to it all until her mom’s last two pieces of news. “Honey, your grandma is not doing well at all. I’m so worried about her Clarke.” Clarke heard a small sob and sat there as her mom quietly blew her nose. “I’m just so worried about her.”

“I know Mom, me too. I hope we can spend some time together this weekend. I’d like to spend time with you both.”

“Yes Clarke that would be good. But oh, on Saturday morning I have a funeral to go to. You can stay with your grandma while I’m gone.”

“Okay. Who died?”

“Judge Kane. Marcus is really broken up over it all. It’s so hard to lose a parent.”

“Oh man, that stinks. The judge was a nice guy. Marcus has lost so many people in his life already.”

“Yes, he has. I love you Clarke!”

“Love you too Mom. I’m looking forward to the time with you both. Unfortunately, right now I have to go study! See you later.”

Chapter Text


October 3, 2012


So, here I am back at school! Sophomore year, hooray! And I’m living in the dorm, but sadly I’ve found that dorm living ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! I can’t believe I’m saying that!


Okay, it’s great sort of being on my own; if you can call living in a building with 2,000 other people, some of whom apparently never sleep, on my own. I have a roommate, Kristine who is really into the Goth scene, but she’s okay and other than her half of the room being swathed in black, I’m pretty happy. She hangs out with other people and isn’t here all that often, which allows me time to study and hang out with a few of my own friends.


I see Raven quite a bit, but Harper not as much. She is already so focused on her career, or the career ahead of her it’s not even funny. She is working towards obtaining a fellowship to the Ronald Graehm Institute which studies whales and other sea mammals after senior year and only the best grades and most earnest students make it. It is based out of San Diego and is practically all she talks about. From there she will obtain her doctorate in Marine Biology and I have no doubt that she will do it all. She’s already made several visits down there to check things out and has been suitably impressed with their work. It’s interesting to watch Harper this past year, how she has grown up I mean. Well, we’ve ALL grown up (some of us more that others) but of the three of us she is certainly the most driven, the most focused on her life. It’s funny, I always thought I was the one with a mind to the future; I want to be a journalist, it’s pretty much all I ever wanted to do since I started interviewing my Barbie dolls in kindergarten.


For Raven, business school is one big opportunity to party. She says it’s all about ‘networking’ and meeting people and she has certainly done enough of that! She is the social butterfly among us, flitting from one bush to the other. I’d say ‘flower’ but most of these men would probably resent that. She’s discovered that she doesn’t really need to have her boobs made bigger in college; the guys here are appreciative of her just the way she is. Still, when you want to have some fun, Raven is just the person to lead you into its path and we’ve had a lot of amazing Friday nights. She hangs with the Greeks a lot and there is an endless array of parties to choose from.


A couple of those frat boys are pretty fun and one in particular has my eye right now. His name is Wells Jaha and he is a Criminal Justice major, in his junior year. Kind of wild, but still really focused on his goals, he’s a mother’s dream because he has the looks to go along with the total package! I think I might be in love!


Later...

 

(:)

“C’mon Wells, can’t I go too?” A soft kiss against his warm lips. “Please?” Another kiss, a little firmer this time. Clarke traced the outline of his lips with her tongue, driving him wild. She could feel him hardening against her belly and she smiled. She had him now, she knew!

“Clarke,” Wells said, trying to separate himself from her, “NO, you can’t go! It could be dangerous! There will be too many people there!”

“You could protect me, you know, with your ‘gun’! Her hand slid down the front of his slacks and caressed the ‘gun’.

“No – NO! Just back off, you’re too pushy!” He pushed her away from him, slightly harder than he had planned and he immediately felt awful for it. His tone softened as he said, “You know what? You’re hanging out with Raven too damn much!”

“All my life! Besides, you never complained about that before!” Clarke stuck out her lower lip in an adorable pout.

Wells was mesmerized by that lip; he ached to kiss it, to stroke it with his tongue and enjoy everything that would happen after that. For a moment, he thought of blowing the whole night off and just staying here with Clarke; he always felt this way around her, couldn’t get enough of her even though she was definitely an immovable object about some things, like wanting to go with him tonight.

He shut his eyes for a moment and mentally steeled himself as he told her, “No, you can’t go with me. Those Omega Psi Phi boys are too wild; they are too wild and I can’t keep them away from you. No, NO absolutely no, you aren’t going!”

Clarke ran her finger across Wells’s lip and leaned closer to him and whispered, “You aren’t so tame yourself you know! Alright, I surrender; I’ll just stay here and study!” She smiled at him and sighed. “But you know, you going to some kind of party that I can’t go to just makes me even more curious!”

“It’s not that kind of a party, okay? Its rush week you know? There’s stuff, well, you can’t be involved in this.  There’s only one of me and 30 of them; I don’t intend getting the shit kicked out of me trying to keep you away from the brothers. This is better. Look, I’ll call you later, okay?”

Clarke nodded her head and leaned up to give him one final kiss. He pulled her close and breathed in the scent of her hair, honeysuckle he thought. It reminded him of home, his grandma’s house in fact; of summertime and hanging out in the backyard with his brother and his cousins, chasing fireflies and each other until he couldn’t take another step. He missed home so much and his big brother, who had been killed in Afghanistan 8 years ago. He gave her one final kiss and said, “I’ll call you later, okay?”

She smiled and nodded and reluctantly watched him go; walking down the hall and disappearing down the staircase. When she couldn’t see him any longer she closed the door and settled down to study, but her mind wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

She thought about Wells instead; they had met last year in Public Speaking and had become fast friends. She liked that, the fact that they were friends first in their relationship. She didn’t have all that much experience with guys; he was only the second guy she had slept with and it was pretty intense with him. Whether or not it was because of their friendship first she didn’t know, but she was crazy about him, that much was for sure.

She picked up her lit book and prepared to do some reading but after 10 minutes of reading and re-reading the same page over and over she gave up and tossed it onto the desk in frustration. She thought for a moment about turning on the TV and decided to flip on the stereo to listen to some music instead. She kicked off her shoes and sat down on the bed, resting her head on the pillows and before she knew it she had fallen asleep.

“I want my mommy! Mommy!” she cried out, tears streaking her small face.


“I’m your new mommy little girl. You are going to be so happy; you’ll have a daddy now and we will all live forever, together. Don’t cry now, okay? Here, Mr. Bear wants a hug.” The scary lady held up a fuzzy brown bear and Clarke looked at it, as afraid of it as she was of the woman who held it out for her.


The scene changed and they were in an old building and the scary woman was telling her that her daddy would be there soon. “Just wait, he will love you little girl, he will. He’ll take good care of us, we’ll all be so happy…”


Clarke shook her head no, sobbing even more loudly. Her chest and throat hurt from all the crying. All she wanted was to go home, home to her mommy, to Grams and Gramps.


Someday she thought, someday…


And then he was there and she knew immediately that he would save her. She watched as they fought, violently, viciously; the sounds were chilling to listen to and made her shrink even farther into the corner. Finally he came to her, telling her he was taking her to her home, to her mommy. He had saved her… She clung to him, holding onto him tightly. She leaned against his shoulder and breathed deeply, maybe for the first time in days. He smelled of something she couldn’t identify, almost like when she dug into an old trunk in the attic. It was an almost sweet smell, but sort of like the wind blowing through the trees too; or maybe it was the ocean, she didn’t know but it made her feel safe and protected.

Clarke awoke with a start, sitting straight up in the bed; her body was covered in sweat and her heart was racing wildly. She looked around for a moment, trying to figure out what had made her wake up. Not that she was sorry, she hated those dreams; it only replayed the issues over and over. She listened to an old Sugar Ray song on the radio for a moment and realized that might have been what woke her up.

Someday...

when my life has passed me by
I’ll lay around and wonder why
you were always there for me.

Just close your eyes and I’ll take you there
This place is warm and without a care
We’ll take a swim in the deep blue sea
I’ll go to leave as you reach for me

Just then there was a knock on the door. Clarke glanced at the clock and saw that it was only midnight, not all that late for dorm hours. She pushed her damp hair out of her face and swung her feet down to the floor and said,

“Just a minute!”

She padded over to the door in her bare feet and opened it up, surprised by her visitor.

“Hey, is it too late to come by?” Wells was standing there, looking anxious about his reception.

Clarke smiled and stepped back from the door so that he could enter. “C’mon in, I fell asleep when I should have been studying. How come you left the party so soon? Did you get your ‘frat’ business all taken care of?” She closed the door and leaned against it, reaching behind her to click the lock on.

Wells heard the soft click and his eyes darkened for a moment as he realized she wasn’t mad at him. Either that or she planned on killing him; it was fielder’s choice with Clarke. He reached out and touched the side of her face gently and said, “I’m sorry about earlier Clarke, I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind all evening.” He watched her face closely, trying to figure out how she would react. He leaned down and kissed her softly, enjoying the feel of her warm lips against his own.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his head down again for another kiss, this one neither soft nor quick. Her lips meshed against his and opened to welcome his tongue as it delved deeply into the soft recesses of her mouth. She sucked lightly on it for a moment and then slid her arms down, resting them on his firm ass and pulling him tightly against her. She could feel his arousal and it thrilled her; she got instantly wet and all she could think of was getting rid of the clothes that stood between her and his delicious body.

His tongue traced the outline of her lips before dipping back into the sweetness of her mouth again. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around him, grinding her pelvis into him. He groaned and started to carry her to the bed where they could have more contact. Clarke lightly bit his lip and it drove him wild; she just wanted to drink him in. Wells felt his way blindly to the bed, tripping over her shoes on the way and they both fell to the bed, their lips never separating.

Clarke reached down to try to unbutton his shirt and in her frustration she ripped several of the buttons completely off. She didn’t care and neither did Wells; both were only concerned with getting their clothes off immediately. Wells reached down and tugged her sweats off and she pulled her mouth away from his long enough to yank her tee shirt over her head. As Wells slid her pants down he pressed moist kisses along her belly and he felt it quiver with her anticipation.

Clarke was working on unbuckling his belt and mumbled, “Get your pants off, NOW. She was trying to unzip and push at the same time and he finally stood up so that he could get them quicker. As they hit the floor he kicked them aside and his shoes as well before dragging down his briefs and lying back down on the bed.

Clarke’s eyes were almost feverish with desire, glittering in the mellow glow of the lamp light. Wells looked down at her body and his eyes feasted on her beautiful breasts; her nipples rosy and aroused, standing in firm peaks. He swallowed hard and his mouth watered at the sight of them.

Clarke pulled him down against her, settling him between her legs. As he rubbed against her he felt the wetness between her legs and he rubbed himself against it, spreading it around before entering her. He settled himself inside her trembling body and leaned down to kiss her again, capturing her lips in a hungry kiss.

Clarke’s body responded by immediately squeezing him tightly as she lifted her hips to meet his thrusts. She felt intoxicated with need and passion; she couldn’t get enough of him. With her urging he drove into her aching body, harder and faster until neither one could catch their breath. Before they knew it they were both tumbling over the edge, careening into the abyss of satisfaction.

Wells rolled off of her and pulled her to his side while they both caught their breath. Clarke shivered; they were both covered with sweat and she suddenly felt chilly as their bodies came down from the plateau.

"I have been thinking about this all night,” he murmured against her head. He planted a quick kiss on top of her head and then reached down to pull a folded afghan over them both.

“Oh you have, huh? Sorry you didn’t take me with you?”

“Hell no, I would have been so busy trying to keep everyone’s hands off of you it would have been miserable. Well, it was miserable anyway, just in a different way. You bewitch Clarke, seriously.”

“Ditto,” she said, relaxing against him. She could hear the steady beat of his heart and felt comforted. She yawned, and snuggled into his body even more, draping her leg across his. Before she knew it, she was asleep again.

 


(:)

Bellamy breathed in the cool air of the Seattle night. When he first came here he thought he would never get used to it; he had. What he had a harder time getting used to was the isolation from…familiar things. People, there he admitted it and that was the hardest part.

Vamps are supposed to be solitary creatures and when he lived in LA he had thought that he was one. What he hadn’t realized was just how much contact he had with other people in his life. Now, he missed Murphy and Jasper, Guillermo too, just the friendly faces and bits of conversation he shared with those people. Of course, there was one other person too, but he tried really hard to not dwell on that, to keep her out of his mind. Sometimes he even almost believed that he had.

But he knew better; deep down in his soul he knew better, knew that she would always and forever be a part of him, even if he never saw her again. There was a brief jolt of panic that ran through him at that thought, it tightened and twisted in his gut and he gulped in air, trying to calm himself.

He remembered the only time he had ever really held her; he pulled her tightly to him so they could get out of the inferno. Her small body trembled with fear as huge blue eyes stared at the fire unblinkingly, reflecting the swirls of flames. She just watched, almost mesmerized by the flames that were licking across the room, hungrily devouring everything they touched. As he held her he felt her small human heart beating out a frantic rhythm against him; he felt her sweet warm breath against his neck as she finally hid her face against his neck. In that moment he knew that he would watch over her always, he could do nothing less.

That moment had redefined his life, forever changed his priorities and values. He had these special abilities and they could be used for good in the human world, even if he wasn’t a part of it any longer. He might be on the fringes of their world, but there were things he could do to help the humans. Sometimes being a monster could be a good thing.

What he didn’t want to even think about was what, if any effect it might have on her, him always hovering near. He told himself that she didn’t know, that he was just wallpaper in the background, there to ensure her safety. That was fine, until he finally realized that he didn’t want to be wallpaper any longer; that was when he knew he had to leave her to let her find her own way in life. She had others, good people who were watching her and it would be enough – it would have to be.

It was strange, the feeling of security that the ‘same old same old’ provided a person. When you change that status quo, all bets were off. He felt vacant and alone, in a way he never had before. It was so tempting to call Marcus and ask about her, to know how she was. She was in college now; was she happy? Did she have friends, or a boyfriend?

That last thought sent a shard of pain ripping through his heart; it was almost more than he could bear. It was what was right, a normal life for her – love, marriage and family to love. All the joy and happiness he could never give her. He wanted all that for her, those starry-eyed dreams that the young have; dreams of what lies ahead, of life. It was the right thing to do, to stay away and give her the chance for all that without him lurking in the shadows watching it all with sad eyes and an aching heart because it was someone else she was experiencing it all with. Someday she would have children of her own, little blond haired and blue eyed ones maybe, eager to explore the world themselves. He could never give her that, ever.

So why couldn’t he let it go? Let her go?

He settled back in the deck chair and took a sip of his evening meal; A positive. It was fresh, still thanks to Murphy’s ‘arrangements’, something that he had come to appreciate in the past year or so. A human would never be able to distinguish the differences between morgue blood and fresh but to a vamp it was like the difference between grape juice and tomato juice. Both bloods were imbued with the essence of the human it came from, but if they were dead, well, it was like it was ‘flat’. Living blood was alive with the emotions of the person who gave it. Often sweet and a little spicy, it thrilled a vampire and satisfied in a way that would be unimaginable to a human.

Blood from criminals gave off a sharp taste, it filled his mouth with a sort of venom, evil. It was his right to take in vengeance and he swallowed the bitterness down as an act of triumph. Triumph over evil, over hatred or revenge. He’d swallowed the blood of murderers and thieves, of rapists and molesters and been warmed by it because the blood meant the death of the one he took it from. Humans would never understand that; the way of the vampire. Justice was swift and it was always all-encompassing; it never looked back, never regretted. 

No, a human could never understand. He was a monster in their eyes, in his own too. He closed his eyes and reflected on that thought, unable to shake it or the monster that lurked within.

 

Chapter Text

June 13, 2013


I am SO excited.Tomorrow I start a summer internship with the LA Free Press. Okay, I’ll admit it, not as a reporter, at least not to start but as a researcher, which I figure is good training too.A reporter is only as good as their ability to uncover the facts, so this is a good start.And yeah, the Free Press isn’t exactly the Times, but again, it’s a start.


Wells is going to work in a police reserve position over the summer, which will be a good start for his future as well.I can see us someday, working crime scenes together, it would be so cool! Wells says I’m very tenacious, which is just a classy way of his saying I’m pushy. I know it, but how else do you really get the whole story unless you are willing to push?If Woodward and Bernstein didn’t push do you think we would have gotten the whole story behind Watergate?I think NOT!


Harper is going off to save the whales this summer. Okay, actually she is going off to study the whales in Alaska; Humpback whales to be specific.They migrate to the colder waters of the ocean during the summer to feed.Did you know that they don’t eat during the winter?I didn’t, but whales are Harper’s current passion and it’s practically all we have heard about from her for months, every since she made the cut to go to for the study.She will live on a ship as they monitor and study a pod of whales that have previously been tagged by the researchers.I really admire Harper for her dedication; it will not be an easy summer for her since they are likely to encounter whalers; if that happens it will break her heart because they are not allowed to interfere, although Green Peace is usually there too and does get involved and the encounters are usually not peaceful.


Raven is studying another species this summer, the European male.She is going on a tour of Spain, Italy, France and Greece with her aunt and uncle and two cousins.All I can say about that is that Europe has no idea what is about to hit them! I don’t understand Raven in many ways; I mean, we’ve been best friends practically forever and things just sort of fall into her lap with so little effort on her part.She finished this year with a 3.7 GPA and how I’d like to know?She never studies!She’s never around to study.A person couldn’t keep track of her social calendar and escapades if they devoted themselves to the task full time.She just flits from one thing to another with no direction, just landing wherever she may.It’s amazing, really.If ever anyone had a fairy godmother it MUST be Raven.

It’s been a good year for me, but stressful because of classes and also because my grandmother is not doing well.Mom has had to hire a nurse to stay with her during the school year while she was teaching.She doesn’t have a particular disease really, she’s just older and getting increasingly frail.She has fallen several times and broken bones that have had difficulty healing properly; she has no appetite at all and just seems to be wasting away.She tells me that she is just old and misses grandpa; that she just wants to be with him again.I understand that, but I guess I’m selfish; if he has her then I don’t.She’s the only grandmother I’ve even had, ever known and I can’t imagine my life without her.I never lacked for anything in my life that love and support could provide, directly due to her, my mom and Marcus. How do you let that go?How do I let her go?


Later...

 


Clarke was helping her mom wash the dinner dishes after her first day at her internship.It had been an exciting day; they only thing that kept it from being perfect was that Wells wasn’t there to hear about it.He was still as the Reserve Officer Training Course and wouldn’t be back until the end of the week.When he did get back, he would be riding along with regular officers on the 3rd watch.Which meant limited time for them to see each other, but Clarke was okay with that; this was his dream and she knew how important it was to him.

"So Wells will be a police officer after this training?” her mom asked as she pulled the plug to let the sink drain.The Griffin household did not own a dishwasher, her mom hated them.Clarke was determined that she would never live in a house without one.

“No, he’ll be a certified Reserve Officer Mom.After he graduates in December he will go to the Police Academy and then after that he’ll be an officer.”

“Wells is a fine young man Clarke and certainly very bright.He’s really pushed himself to graduate in December I know.That isn’t easy; he must be really dedicated to his goals to accomplish that!”

Clarke mumbled an ‘mm hm’ and turned away so that her mom wouldn’t see the amused smile she wore as she listened to her mom’s words.Yes, Wells was certainly goal-oriented, but he was also a frat boy; party was his middle name.Just a month ago he had taught her how to chug a beer in one gulp.He couldn’t manage to teach her how NOT to throw it right back up, but she could get it down.She knew her mom also wouldn’t appreciate some of the other skills Wells had taught her.

Wells was only her second lover but he had certainly helped her to discover what sex was all about.Her first lover had never quite managed to help her get to the goal post, so to speak.She knew how to accomplish that on her own, but she had begun to believe that it just wasn’t going to happen with a guy. And then Wells entered the picture and all bets were off.She felt like she couldn’t get enough of him and this past two weeks without him had seemed endless.

"Abby!”

They both heard Marcus' frantic yell from the living room and turned to head in there on the run.When they got to the living room Marcus was on the phone with 911.Grams was half sitting, half lying on the couch and the right side of her face was drooping, her right arm hanging limply at her side over the arm of the couch.

“MOM,” Abby said, dropping to her knees in front of her mother.“Mom, can you speak?”Grace Griffin only stared with blank eyes at her daughter, unable to speak.Abby reached out and wiped a small bit of saliva off of the corner of her mother’s mouth and listened to Marcus as he directed the ambulance where to come. He hung up the phone finally and knelt down next to Abby, taking one of Grace’s chilled hands into his own.

Clarke stood rooted in the doorway, unable to move or speak.She watched the scene before her as if from a tunnel and finally crumpled to her knees in shock, tears streaming down her face.She finally sat down and leaned against the doorway and prayed they would hear the sirens soon that would herald the arrival of the rescue crew.

“What happened Marcus?” Abby asked.She grabbed an afghan off the back of the couch and tucked it around her mother, still trying to get her to respond.

Clark shrugged his shoulders and said, “We were watching Wheel of Fortune and chatting occasionally. I asked her what she thought the third word was and she didn’t answer so I looked at her and saw her face.I don’t know when it happened, a – a few minutes before that I think.It couldn’t have been too long.”

Abby was rubbing Grace’s hand vigorously, trying to warm it while saying, “Mom, can you hear me? Blink your eyes if you can!” but there was no response.

“She’s still breathing, that’s a good sign I think,” Marcus said, watching her chest rise and fall with shallow breaths.He looked at Abby expectantly, hoping that he was right.

They heard the sirens approaching and Marcus said as gently as he could, “Clarke, go to the door to let them in!” He looked over his shoulder to where Clarke was sitting unmoving.“Clarke!The door – now!”

Clarke stared at him and shook herself alert.She heard the sirens too and stood up and made her way to the door, opening it as the rescue crew pulled up in front of the house.She held the door open as she stood silently, watching them enter the house and start to assess Grams condition.

“Pupils fixed and dilated,” one of the EMT’s said as the other one wrapped a blood pressure cuff around her tiny arm.“Can you tell us what happened?”

Clarke listened as Marcus told them what he knew.They were listening to her grandmother’s heart and charting vital signs.“We need to transport her to the hospital folks. It looks like she has had a stroke.”They left the house briefly to retrieve a gurney and returned with it.After they got her strapped into it they talked with Abby as they decided on the hospital they would take her to.Marcus would drive Clarke and Abby, following the ambulance.Abby grabbed her purse and locked the door behind them, only a minute or so after the ambulance had left, the siren screaming into the quiet evening.

Clarke hadn’t said a word since it had happened; she woodenly moved along after her mother into the hospital emergency room and stood behind her, listening as her mother provided insurance information to the clerk.Marcus was parking the car and would join them as soon as he was done.

They sat in the waiting room; listening for their name to be called for an update on Grace’s condition.None of them talked; Clarke leaned her head back against the pale green wall and decided she needed to pray but she couldn’t find any words.All that went through her head was ‘please don’t let her die’ and she chastised herself for that.Did that mean that regardless of her condition let her live?Her grandmother wouldn’t want that.

So just what are you asking for Clarke? she mused.

Finally their name was called and they followed a nurse down several twisting corridors to get to where Grace was being monitored.A doctor and another nurse were checking her responses and monitors.Clarke watched as the doctor shook his head and made a note on a chart before turning to introduce himself to them.

“Hi, I'm Dr. Abrams,” he said offering his hand to them. He looked at Abby and asked, “You are her daughter?”

“Yes, I’m Abby Griffin; this is my daughter Clarke and a friend of the family, Marcus Kane. What can you tell us Dr. Abrams?”

"Your mother had a cerebral hemorrhage, specifically located in her brain stem.It happened when she had a stroke most likely; the two conditions often happen together.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that she is bleeding into her brain Ms. Griffin.It is grave in this instance.Tests show no brain function.”

“How can you tell this?You certainly haven’t had time to do a CT scan or anything.”

“No, we haven’t, but all the information tells us that this is what has happened.” He described several of the indicators of the condition and Abby and Clark both noted that they had noticed some of the symptoms earlier.

“Ms. Griffin, does your mother have a living will?” he asked gently.

A small sob escaped Abby’s lips as she nodded solemnly.“Yes, she does. She didn’t want to be kept alive artificially. But she’s not on a respirator so does that indicate that she may recover?”

“No.” He indicated one of the machines on a rack and pointed to a readout that was displayed on it.“As you can see, she has no brain function at all; right now her body is basically breathing through her body’s automatic reflex.Eventually, soon I believe, that will stop and she will pass.I’m very sorry to have to tell you this, but it is what will happen.”

“Which is why you asked about the living will I guess?”

Dr. Abrams nodded yes, looking at the machines as one of them beeped softly in the quiet of the room. “Her heart is slowing down now, she doesn’t have long. Would you like to say your goodbyes?”

Tears were streaking Abby’s face as she nodded. Marcus stood by her side, his arm around her shoulders and she turned her head and laid it on his shoulder, half covering her face.

Dr. Abrams nodded to the nurse and they started to leave the room.Clarke watched all this in horror and finally found her voice and screamed, “No, NO! Don’t leave her, please, you can save her, I know you can.”She ran to her grandmother’s side and sobbed, “Come on Grams, don’t leave, you can get better.Please, please…”

Abby went to her daughter and tried to gently pull her away from her grandmother. “Clarke honey, it’s time to let her go.Don’t make this more difficult for everyone.Just tell her goodbye and let her go in peace.” Her own tears were practically blinding Abby, but she knew she had to help Clarke.“Clarke - Clarkey, let her go.”

At the word ‘Clarkey’, her grandmother’s pet name for her she fell completely apart and sank to the floor, unable to control herself.“No, she can’t go momma, she can’t.I’m not ready.” Marcus picked her up in his arms and sat her down into a chair and knelt down in front of her.

“Clarke, I know sweetie, but your grandmother is ready for this.She’s been ready for a long time now.”He pulled Clarke against his chest and felt her shudder with her anguish as sobs wracked her small body. Clarke wrapped her arms around his neck and held onto him, sobbing all the harder because she knew that he spoke the truth; Grams was ready and as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she knew it was true.

When her sobs had abated a bit he tilted her head up so that he could look into her eyes.“C’mon sweetie, tell her goodbye, okay?”

Abby watched as all this played out in front of her and thought briefly about all the years she had wasted, keeping herself from this loving man.This had shown her that she couldn’t waste any more time and she knew that soon they would have to talk about it all.Right now she had this situation to deal with and she looked down again at her mother, wishing that this journey would be easy for her. Abby was determined that she would let her mother go as peacefully as she could.

She brushed a stray lock of hair off of Grace’s forehead and then bent to kiss the wrinkled skin.It felt cool and dry to her lips and she brushed one of her own tears off of her mother’s cheek and tried to smile.“Momma, I will miss you so much, but I won’t stand in your way.I know how much you miss daddy and want to be with him. I love you; my life was so much better because of you and I owe you so much.Go to him momma; be happy.” She bent to kiss her one last time.

Clarke was now standing next to her and heard her words.“I love you Grams; give Gramps a hug from his princess for me, okay?I’ll miss you always.”

Marcus stood behind them and put his arm around both of them and felt tears streak his own cheeks.Having lost both of his parents he understood their pain; only time would help them feel better, but he intended to be there for both of them, as he had always been.

The monitor started beeping rapidly just then and then settled into one long continuous tone and the doctor and nurse rushed back into the small room.They examined Grace and finally the doctor said, “Time of death, 9:17 pm.”

The nurse made a note in the chart and they both left the room again, giving the family a few last minutes. All three of them stood together, pained by the event but determined to stand strong, together.


(:)


The call came at 2:00 am.Bellamy was working on some case files in his office and sipping a glass of blood. He had felt restless all evening, out of sync with the world and had finally decided to try to take his mind off of it by getting some long past-due work out of the way.

“Michael Sandoval Investigations,” his voice said quietly through the phone line.

“Bellamy.”

Only one word, but he immediately recognized the caller and was suddenly on edge; something was wrong.“Marcus, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Grace; she passed this evening.I – I thought you would want to know.”

Bellamy’s heart sank and he leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes for a moment, picturing Grace in his mind.She was always such a lively and kind woman, taking care of everyone.He cleared his throat and finally said, “And, uh, the family? How are they?” It almost killed Bellamy to say ‘the family’ but he couldn’t bring himself to say her name. He didn’t even allow himself to think it any longer; it was better this way.

“In shock, hurting. All the usual emotions.She had a cerebral hemorrhage, but still, she went fairly quickly and I hope peacefully. It was really hard on, uh, her Bellamy, on Clarke, but she’s tough, she’ll make it.”

The line was quiet for a minute; there didn’t seem to be anything else to say, so finally Bellamy said, “Thanks for letting me know Marcus; I really appreciate it.Let me know if there is anything I can do, you know?”

“Yeah Bellamy, I will.You take care, okay?” Marcus paused for a moment and drew in a deep breath and then added, "She knows you aren't here any more Bellamy; she misses you."

Bellamy swallowed hard at those words and he hung his head for a moment and closed his eyes tightly.His heartbeat frantically for a moment but he only said, “You too Marcus, you too.”The line went dead and Bellamy listened to the tuneless buzz for a few seconds before hanging up.

He allowed himself to think of her face for a moment and a memory came to him.She was 5 and Marcus had been teaching her to ride a bicycle.She was determined to do it without training wheels because they were for ‘sissies’ she had said. Bellamy had watched from the sideline, hidden amongst some trees as she had pedaled furiously and Marcus ran along behind her as she tried to steady herself.

Finally, after several hours and several cuts and scrapes later she had it mastered. It was dusk and as Marcus let go she tore down the street, all on her own, yelling her delight.She flew past Bellamy, racing down to the end of the cul de sac and turned around, heading back down to where Marcus waited, a silly and proud grin on his face.

As she got in front of Bellamy her bike wheel hit a pot hole and she went flying over the handlebars and hit the pavement hard. Bellamy immediately heard a ‘whoosh’ as the wind was knocked out of her and before he could help himself he was there, picking her up in his arms and willing her to start breathing again.

Suddenly she caught her breath and gulped in a huge lung full and opened her eyes, only to see Bellamy staring at her. Marcus got there then and Bellamy quickly handed her to him, dismayed to have been caught watching.

Marcus smiled to see Bellamy; somehow it was okay that he watched and it wasn’t totally unexpected from what he had been told about this man.They looked at one another, each taking the other’s measure and then they both smiled and nodded.Clarke was squirming and asking to be put down so she could ride some more.

“Only to the house, okay?You’ve had enough for one night Clarke and it’s getting too dark anyway. Go on now,” he told her and they both watched as she climbed back on the bike and headed off to the house.She turned for a moment to stare at them and Clark said, “Pay attention to where you are going Clarke! Do you want to hit another pot hole?”

She laughed and started singing some nameless song, undaunted by it all.Clark offered his hand to Bellamy and said, “I’m Marcus, Jasper’s older brother. It’s nice to meet you Bellamy, officially I mean.Thank you for all you’ve done for my brother Bellamy – for saving him I mean.”

“Yeah, it is.I’m uh, sorry to have been watching.I don’t mean anything by it.”

“I know and it’s okay. It sort of relieves me to know that someone else is watching too. Anytime Bellamy, anytime at all.”

They shook hands and Marcus nodded in Clarke’s direction; she was waiting for him at the driveway.Bellamy took one last look at Clarke and stepped back into the shadows; out of site.Marcus headed towards Clarke, a smile on his face.

Coming back to the present Bellamy acknowledged her tenacity and determination.He knew she would be okay.

 

 

 

(:)

Two weeks later Abby was opening the mail and found a letter from a local children’s shelter.It stated that an anonymous donation had been made in her mother’s name for $25,000 dollars. Abby sank down on the couch and held the letter to her chest as she cried; deep wracking sobs that made her throat ache. When she finally got herself under control she managed a small smile as she re-read the letter.

Thank you Mr. Blake…

Chapter Text

January 4, 2014


Things have been really hectic the past few days; and heartbreaking as well. I know diary, I haven’t written in a while, but as I said, well things are kind of crazy right now.


Where to start? Good things first I guess. Harper is engaged! Yep, she and Monty have decided to get married after her graduation next year. They met last summer on the ship in Alaska and I must say he is perfect for her. He is already a marine biologist and they really ‘get’ one another, that’s for sure. Monty is really cute, sincere and an perfect for Harper and she adores him and you can tell by looking at him that the feeling is mutual. He already works for the Graehm Institute and they will probably work on many projects together. There are several couples that work together there which is kind of a good thing because a lot of the studies involve many months away from home as they study different species. Anyway, way to go Harper and Monty – I hope you will be very happy.


Raven, well – this year has been a bit of a struggle for her, academically. She has actually had to hit the books to maintain her grades since the HR subjects are getting more intense. But you know what? I think it’s been really good for her and she says she agrees. She is very focused on her goal and has already been courted by several large firms and if all goes well she will be well-set after graduation. She has wonderful negotiation skills (can we actually say ‘manipulation’ here) and is proving to be an effective trainer as well. Seriously, she has always been the natural leader among the three of us and all this doesn’t really surprise me at all, although I think it does her! 


And diary, there is another engagement to celebrate! My mom and Marcus are engaged! It happened over Christmas, but I have to say I’m not really surprised, only a bit confused as to why it never happened before. They are so perfect for one another, always have been! They are getting married in May, after school is out. Ever since Grams died they have been closer; I think it is safe to say that mom wouldn’t have known what to do without Marcus' support during that time – I know that I wouldn’t have. He has always felt like a dad to me and so I welcome him to my family – officially – with more than open arms.


Wells graduated in December, as planned and with honors I might add. He now has his bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and starts the police academy in February. He is really excited and I know that he will make a wonderful cop; he is honest and has so much integrity. Yeah, he was a fun-loving frat boy here in college, but he was always more than that and has proven himself in so many ways.


The sad news is that he and I are no longer together. We tried, but I think in many ways we are just too different. We’ve tried, but when the trying became harder than the just being, we both knew it was time to end it. I think I can say that we will always be friends; there was nothing hateful in the breakup, just recognition that this was the best thing for both of us. I wish him the best of luck and happiness in his life, always…


Later...

 

):(

 

Two weeks before…

Bellamy smiled as he recognized the number on his caller ID and picked up the phone with a “What do you want, Murphy?”

“What, is that anyway to talk to your best friend? Tsk tsk, here I was planning on inviting you to my New Year’s Eve party! After all, we gotta party like its 1999! Or so Prince told us anyway.”

The words grabbed at Bellamy’s heart, causing a momentary bit of panic. He hadn’t been back to LA in, well since he’d left. He pondered for a moment if he was ready to go back. He remembered Marcus' words when Grace had died, that Clarke knew he wasn’t there:

"She knows you aren't here anymore Bellamy; she misses you."

God, he missed her too, watching her from afar, seeing her smile light up her face, hearing her laughter. Could he risk going back?

Murphy could feel his hesitancy and said, “Come on Bellamy, it’s time to come for a visit!”

Still Bellamy hesitated. Frankly, he wasn’t sure he could trust himself to go back and not be drawn back into her life. It was safe being a thousand miles away and every now and again a whole day would go by and he wouldn’t see her face in his mind, wouldn’t wonder what she was doing, if she were happy. It had to stay that way and he was just about to tell Murphy that he couldn’t make it when Murphy said, “Look Bellamy, I know that something is keeping you away. I know we’ve never talked about what it is, but boyo, it’s time to come back here and face it. You can’t run forever Bellamy.”

Can’t I? I can certainly try…

Bellamy cleared his throat and tried to think of something to say to Murphy but the truth was that there was nothing he could say to justify not going. He certainly didn’t want to get into the whole reason behind his coming to Seattle now. Would it be so bad if he just went for a day or so? He just wouldn’t allow himself to think about her while he was there, it was that simple: just don’t do it. He was strong enough for that; he believed that didn’t he?

Didn’t he?

“Okay, I’ll come down for the party Murphy, but that’s all. I’m not staying, are you hearing me on this? If you are planning on coaxing me back you might as well give it up.”

Bellamy’s word stunned Murphy; he had been prepared to launch into his next set of prepared reasons why he should come when Bellamy agreed. For a moment he was speechless – well, almost!

“Well, great. I’ll send the jet up for you, okay? Full prodigal son treatment, how’s that sound?”

“Just keep it simple, okay Murphy? Don’t make me regret saying yes!”


):(


Clarke sat in the auditorium with her mother, Marcus, Raven and several of Wells’s cousins, watching him graduate from UCLA, with honors, top of his class. Clarke was so proud of him; he had so much going for him, a completely new phase of his life was beginning today. She watched as he walked across the stage and accepted his diploma as she stood and cheered, along with the others in their group. 

As he retreated across the stage, a huge grin splashed across his face she sat down and thought about the past couple of days; they had argued several times about a story she was working on for the campus paper. Wells didn’t want her involved with it because there was a serial rapist on campus and he felt that her efforts to expose the rapist put her right in the line of fire. All of the arguments had ended the same way – a stalemate with neither one of them willing to concede their point. Things were a bit tense right now, to say the least.

At the party later that night Clarke received another call, the rapist had struck again; a solitary co-ed in campus housing, the typical MO. She was mostly alone since classes were over for the semester and many students had left to go home for the holidays. Clarke made her excuses and went to grab her coat and purse so that she could head over to the dorm.

“Clarke, you’re not leaving now are you?” he had asked, deep brown eyes staring into soft blue ones.

“Yes. I have to cover it for the paper Wells, you know that. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“Then I’m coming with you Clarke, it’s too dangerous for you to go running around out there alone with this guy on the prowl. Hang on for a minute while I get my coat.”

“Wells, it’s really not neces…” Her words trailed off as Wells went to get his coat. He was back a minute later and they made their way to his car. She took her seat and sat patiently while Wells got in and waited for him to start the car.

He put the key in the ignition but instead of turning it he leaned back in the seat and turned his head to look at her. She met his gaze and tried to read what was in his eyes, but they were masked, hiding his thoughts from her. Her gut twisted for a moment, knowing that sooner or later he was going to have some things to say and she doubted if she was going to like them.

He let out a huge sigh and reached to turn the key on. The car started quickly and he flipped the lights on and put the car into gear. Wordlessly they drove to the dorm, each one with heavy thoughts on their mind.

For the two hours it took Clarke to talk to the police and a few witnesses, Wells waited patiently, observing the scene with a cop’s eye, missing nothing and noting with satisfaction that the investigators didn’t either. This was the fourth rape this semester and they were only now just beginning to get a bead on the guy. Clarke plastering it all across the front page of the paper didn’t help anything either. The guy was going to be caught, soon most likely but until then she was right in the line of fire. 

She’s a big girl and had to live her life as she saw fit; he got that. But it didn’t make for a peaceful night of sleep for him. He admired her tenacity and the long hours of dedication she put into the job; but standing by and watching it was a different matter. His thoughts were interrupted as she came over to where he was waiting for her, shrugging into her coat.

“You’re ready?” he asked.

“Yeah, we can go. I’ll write up the story tomorrow.”

He nodded and opened the door for her as they left the dorm building. Both were silent as they walked to the car in the quiet of the night, their footsteps sounding loud and sharp on the pavement. Wells looked up at the inky sky and watched as his breath turned frosty in the cold night air as he walked around the car to get in.

After he had started the car he turned it in the direction of Glendale, heading to her mother’s house since she was staying there over the holidays. The ride went fast at that time of night but it seemed interminable to both of them; the silence between them roaring loudly, exacerbated by the tension that filled the air. Both of them were lost in their own distressing thoughts; a prelude to what was coming.

Wells pulled the car into the driveway and turned the ignition off. He took a deep breath and looked at Clarke, seeing her swallow quickly, watching the muscles in her neck tense with the effort. He knew how that felt; he had a knot about the size of a tennis ball in his own throat right now.

“Clarke…”

“Wells…”

Both began at the same time and both closed their mouths nervously as the other began. Clarke felt the corners of her mouth turn up in a tense smile that was really a grimace and she said, “Go ahead.”

“Clarke…I, you know I admire what you do, your enthusiasm for your job. I do, it’s admirable. Some day you are going to make the best reporter imaginable. And as much as it is hard for those of us around you to watch you constantly pushing the limits to get the story, well, we also know that you wouldn’t be who you were if you didn’t. But it IS hard; so hard to stand by, knowing that you sometimes don’t think of the danger you are in as you work those stories. And someday, when you are working for the Times or somewhere else just as impressive the need to push will be multiplied even further. Clarke – I, I don’t think I can handle that. I’m trying, I really am but I can’t focus on my own life while I’m so worried about yours. This is pretty lame, I’ll admit it, but I just can’t handle it.”

Clarke reached over and took his hand; it felt warm to her chilled fingers. “Wells, I do understand, really. But this IS who I am; I can’t change that, not even for you. Maybe it’s some sort of flaw in me, I don’t know, but I have to follow my dream, the way you have to follow yours.” She felt warm tears beginning to streak her face and she ignored them; they would be the first of many she knew. “It has been pretty good though, hasn’t it? You’ve changed my life. I’ve learned so much from you.”

“Yeah. Never could teach you to keep the beer down though,” he quipped, trying to lighten the moment a bit. He realized he had tears running down his own face right now as well; he also realized that there wasn’t going to be a magic save here – that this was goodbye. He heard her stifle a small sob and he raised her hand to his mouth, pressing a soft kiss to her palm. He licked his lips and said, “I want you to be happy, okay? Go out there and knock them dead in the news world. I know you can.”

Clarke laid her hand on his cheek, gently wiping away a tear. “I will, I will. You too, you’re going to be an amazing cop you know. Police chief someday maybe? Wells, I want you to be happy too; go out there and find what you are looking for okay?” As soon as the words left her lips she threw open the car door and dashed towards the front door of the house.

When she got to the door Wells watched as she fumbled through her purse looking for her key. When she had found it she inserted it into the door and turned the key in the lock. The door opened and Clarke turned to look at him one last time. He saw her trying to smile through her tears and she half raised her hand to him before disappearing inside the house. He sat for a moment before he started the car and backed out of the driveway to head home, feeling more alone than he ever had in his life.


):(


Murphy sent the jet for Bellamy on December 30th and Bellamy settled in for the journey to LA. He watched the lights below him as the jet streaked through the night, tiny pinpoints of light, far away and belonging to another world. He had almost backed out at the last moment; only a brief taunting call from Murphy who had anticipated a last minute ditching effort had kept him on course and gotten him on the jet.

The flight was altogether too short Bellamy thought as he fought a moment of panic rise in his chest as he heard the landing gear come down. Soon they were touching lightly down and he held his breath as the jet taxied to the hangar, finally releasing it in a giant ‘whoosh’ as the jet stopped. It didn’t take long to de-plane and he watched as the limo pulled up and the door opened for him.

As he crawled inside he wasn’t surprised to find Murphy seated there, along with some ‘liquid refreshment’.

“To provide succor for the weary traveler, of course,” he stated, offering the wrist of the red head to Bellamy, who declined. She sank back into the seat of the limo, a pouty expression on her beautifully painted red lips. Murphy patted her arm comfortingly and murmured, “Later my dear.”

Bellamy quirked at eyebrow upwards and shook his head as he watched Murphy and the freshie. He thought of times past when he might have not have passed on the opportunity and wondered where all his abstention had gotten him; certainly not any happier, that was for sure. He absolutely felt better by at least drinking fresh these past years in Seattle; he owed a lot to Murphy for forcing that issue he acknowledged.

Murphy watched several different emotions play across his friends face before Bellamy saw him watching and his face became a blank mask. In many ways he looked so much better than he had for years; the healthy, fresh blood had done him a lot of good but he could still tell that whatever Bellamy was carrying around emotionally was still there. Whatever had prompted the move to Seattle hadn’t gotten better; Murphy knew that it wouldn’t until Bellamy finally opened up about it and he knew that it needed to be soon. Dark and brooding may look sexy as hell, but Bellamy wasn’t benefiting from it so it was worthless in the long run.

As soon as they got to Murphy’s house in the hills Bellamy accepted a glass of A positive from Murphy and sipped it as he looked around. Not much had changed in the past few years he realized.

“A positive, in your honor,” Murphy said, raising his glass in a salute. “Enjoy!” He sipped his own glass and said, “I still don’t know what you like about this stuff so much though!”

Bellamy only smiled and asked about the upcoming party. He sat down on a sofa and crossed his long legs and settled in to listen to Murphy talk about the party.

“Mostly vamps, but a few friends of the family too, a hundred or so people I guess. Oh, and the girls too; after all, we need to provide for the needs or desires of the guests. I’ve had them on a special regimen the past week or so, vitamins, diet, etc. I’m sure the demand for their services will be appreciated by many.”

“Probably,” Bellamy conceded. Murphy was well-known for his selection of freshies and parties at his house always meant free-flowing refreshments. Bellamy finished his drink and stood up, intending to head for the freezer.

“So soon? You just got here Bellamy. It’s not sunrise for a couple more hours!”

“Yeah, well I’m pretty tired. In order to make the trip down here I had to push pretty hard to get some things done before I left, not much freezer time the past few days. I’m assuming you want me perky tomorrow night?” He smiled as he said the last and watched as Murphy almost choked on a mouthful of blood. The smile turned a bit wicked and he added, “I’m assuming you have me in my old guest room?”

Murphy sputtered, “Perky?” before coughing in to a handkerchief. When he recovered he nodded and said, “Yeah, same old room. Good night.” He watched as Bellamy left the room and muttered, “Perky?” He started laughing then and couldn’t stop. Perky!


):(


The party appeared to be a huge success. Everyone, vamp and human seemed to be having a great time Bellamy observed as he grabbed a glass of champagne from a passing waiter. It was two minutes until midnight and he wanted to be prepared. He acknowledged that he was actually having a good time, catching up with a few old friends and meeting a few new ones.

One of the new ones made her way to where he was standing and smiled at him. She was beautiful he thought and fascinating too. She was tiny, by most standards, even for a female, only about 5 feet tall and if she weighed 90 pounds soaking wet he would be surprised. When he first met her he couldn’t decide if she were of Spanish origin or what but he had since learned that she was Sioux, Native American, turned in 1837 after a battle between the Sioux and their enemies the Crow. 

He skin was flawless copper, with high cheekbones and wide coffee - colored eyes that had tiny laugh lines that crinkled at the corners when she smiled. And she smiled a lot Bellamy noticed. Her lips were a deep rosy pink color and if she were wearing any make up Bellamy couldn’t see it; that in itself was unusual in today’s society. He was intrigued, more than he wanted to admit.

He lifted his glass towards her and said, “Hi Elka. Almost midnight I see.”

“Um, yes.” She looked around the room, noticing that everyone was getting ready for the moment. “I just wanted to be assured that if the worst happens and everything goes dark I’d be with someone who could take care of me,” she laughed.

Bellamy laughed as well and said, “I have no doubt that you could take care of not only yourself but me too if necessary. But I’m glad you came over. 

She laughed again and it sounded to Bellamy like water that trickled down a small brook, sort of a tinkling and he knew that he wanted to hear it again. She placed her arm through Bellamy’s and they waited as everyone in the room started the 10 second count down.

Bellamy looked down at her arm, startled for a moment and then felt unexpectedly thrilled.

“Two, one – Happy New Year!” the crowd roared. Bellamy looked down at her as she licked her lips and that was all encouragement he needed; he bent and pressed his own against Elka’s and savored the feel of them against his. The kiss only lasted a few seconds, but he wanted more. From her darkened eyes, he knew she did too.

Just then they were interrupted by Roma, who he had met earlier. She had a slight frown on her face as she looked at them both and faced Bellamy. Elka looked at her and excused herself for a moment to go and greet another old acquaintance.

“Roma, Happy New Year,” Bellamy said, starting to take a drink from his glass, only to realize it was empty.

Roma was a *cleaner and even though she wasn’t on duty tonight she was still dressed in black leather. She was attractive, in a sort of ‘in your face’ kind of way, but for some reason she sort of creeped Bellamy out.

“Happy New Year to you too, Bellamy,” she said and then reached up to pull his head down for a kiss that lingered just a bit too long in Bellamy’s opinion. She smiled at him and said, “I know you aren’t going to be in town for long Bellamy, but I wanted to give you my number.” She gave him a card with her information on it and said, “You know, there doesn’t have to be a cleanup for you to call me, Bellamy!”

Bellamy stared at her for a moment, trying to find a way to escape. She was certainly straight forward; he had to give her that. She saw the panic on his face and gave him an amused look before turning and walking away.

Those old-fashioned guys! But wow is he hot! she thought with a smirk.

A waiter came by and he sat his glass down on the tray and looked around the room to find Elka. They had unfinished business and he was looking forward to the negotiation.


):(


Clarke sat in the living room at her Mom’s house her eyes blankly staring at the TV as the typical New Years Eve programming was on. She had decided to stay at home tonight with her mom and Marcus instead of going out with Raven and other friends. Harper was in Utah for the holidays with Monty’s family and wouldn’t be back for another week. Raven was out partying like mad she was sure; Raven never let an opportunity for a party go by.

Dorothy and Marcus both stared at Clarke surreptitiously from time to time, worried sick about her. Since she and Wells had broken up there was no sparkle in her eyes, no laughter, and no joy in her life. Dorothy and Marcus talked about it a lot; they both knew that she was hurting, it was to be expected, especially since Wells was the first man she had ever really cared about. They heard her pacing the floors at night and more than once saw her stare at the phone as if fighting herself to keep from picking it up.

As midnight approached Dorothy went to get a bottle of champagne for them to share. She brought it and three glasses into the living room on a tray and Marcus opened it, popping the cork. It launched itself across the room, hitting a chair with a loud ‘thump’. As the champagne bubbled out of the bottle Dorothy tried to catch it with the glasses and laughed as she mopped up the excess that had spilled onto the floor. She held a glass out to Clarke, softly calling her name.

“Clarke? Clarke sweetie, do you want a glass?” Dorothy asked.

“I – uh, what?” Clarke asked before noticing the proffered glass. For a moment she was tempted to turn it down and then decided it was easier to take it. Go with the flow, anything so that they wouldn’t ask questions or pity her. She had seen their eyes, she knew she was pathetic right now, how could she not be? “Sure, Mom, thanks.”

The TV flashed midnight and all three raised their glasses. Marcus bent to kiss Dorothy and then pulled away at the last moment, a movement that Clarke noticed.

“For God’s sake, kiss her! It’s New Years, your first official New Years together.” 

They looked at her and one another. Marcus bent and briefly kissed her and then they both pulled away, guilty at the bit of pleasure they felt being together when Clarke was so unhappy.

Clarke sat her glass down on the coffee table and stood up, looking at both of them; seeing the pain and pity in their eyes. It was the last that she could take of this.

“Enough! Enough of all of this! I can’t handle all of this tip-toeing around me, the worried glances, and the fear in your faces! Yes, Wells and I broke up. We did, we can’t go back. We wouldn’t even if we could, it wasn’t meant to be, don’t you get that? It wasn’t a case of one of us cheating, or betraying the other, it was about just not being ‘right’ for each other. It hurts okay? It hurts so fucking much, but I will be okay, I will.” She left the room, heading for the bedroom.

I will, I will be okay…

Chapter Text

May 18, 2014


My Mom and Marcus are getting married on Saturday! I’m so excited for them and I’m going to be the maid of honor, which seems weird in a wonderful kind of way. It won’t be a huge blow-out wedding but it will still be nice. She won’t be wearing white, which I think is ridiculous but she says she’s too old for that! Hasn’t she seen any of the tabloids for heaven’s sake? Wearing white is no big deal any more, but she is adamant about it. Her dress is simply beautiful though, ivory lace over ivory satin, floor length with a slim design that hugs her body all the way to the floor. I teased her that if she had to run in that sucker she’d be in trouble!


My dress is royal blue satin, off the shoulder and an A line as well, so that counts me out for the running thing too. Still, it looks very sophisticated and I feel quite adult in it because I’ve never owned a dress like this before. I am an adult of course, but we just generally don’t have dresses like this hanging around in our closets, or at least I don’t. Lani came with Mom and I to help pick out the dresses and she has surprisingly good taste, which actually shocked Mom a bit I think. Robbi met us at the dress shop and agreed, they were the perfect dresses for us.


Afterwards we all had lunch at Langdon’s, an uber-pricey bistro in downtown LA. None of us had ever been there before but it was really good. We all laughed when the check arrived and saw that it was $300 dollars, just for lunch but mom only shrugged and slid her gold card onto the tray. 


She told us you only live once and sometimes you just gotta splurge! We all had felt a bit guilty at the cost but it was fun. We continued out our shopping by hitting shoe stores next and after a couple more hours we were done. I love my shoes, but it isn’t going to be pleasant having to stand in them for hours. The things we must do to look good!


A year from now we’ll all be doing this again for Robbi’s wedding. It seems like a long time from now but I know that the time will fly by. It will be our last year of college and senior year can sometimes be a killer they tell us. 


I will be working at the LA Free Press again this summer and Robbi will again take to the high seas. Even Lani isn’t spared this year; she will work at a major banking firm in the HR department as an intern in the training division. She says she is looking forward to it with no regrets about not being able to travel this summer. In fact, she seems really excited about it; mom says that she is finally growing up. Now diary, isn’t that a scary thought?


My shadow man is on my mind a lot lately - well, always. Sometimes I look into the distant sunset or out at the shadows of the night and I yearn for him; for the knowledge of him, the sanctity and safety of knowing he is around. Yes, I said knowing. He was there, for years he was there I know and I have to believe he still is. I still imagine meeting him someday; I'll just look at him and know. I will...


Later...


):(

Bellamy waited at the airport to pick up Elka; he was excited to see her again. She was an interesting woman and he always enjoyed himself with her. This was the first time she had come to Seattle though and he was a bit nervous about it.

Bellamy had stayed in LA over the holidays for a week and they had spent a good deal of time together, getting to know one another. They talked often on the phone and once they had met in San Francisco, her home.

He watched as the jet taxied up to the jet way and waited for the passengers as they exited the plane. When he finally saw her he felt himself grinning like an idiot because he was so happy to see her. She ran lightly into his arms and he held her close for a moment, breathing in her spicy scent that was some kind of mixture of cinnamon, vanilla with some kind of musk to it. It was delicious and woodsy and perfect for her.

“Hi,” he said, kissing her lightly and holding her tightly against him. “Good flight?”

“Meh…the only good thing was the thought of you waiting on this end. At least it’s not a long flight.” She looked around and said, “So, this is Seattle?”

“No, this is Sea-Tac airport. The city of Seattle awaits you, outside the door madam!” he teased, waving his arm wide for her to see.

She laughed and said, “Well, I’ve got everything I need is in my carryon bags so let’s go see this city!”

“All you need? Doesn’t look like much to me!”

“Well, I’m hoping we’ll stay in a lot and that I won’t need that many clothes!” She winked at him and grabbed his hand, pulling him towards the doors.

“Whatever you want!”

At Bellamy’s house she wasted very little time looking around and even less time removing her clothes. Bellamy scrambled to follow suit and his quickly hit the floor before he swept her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom.

“So, you have a bed huh? I thought you said you didn’t?” she said as he pulled the covers back with one hand and then laid her down amongst the pillows.

“Didn’t, until yesterday,” he grinned. She could see his face in the pale moonlight that seeped in through the window blinds and she reached up to caress it lightly, tracing along his nose and down over his lips. Her lips followed her fingers, pressing against him urgently. 

He could smell her arousal and his body responded readily to it; his lips left hers and trailed downward to lick teasingly along her collar bone. He heard a soft moan escape her parted lips and he smiled as he continued his journey, finally settling on her beautiful breasts. His tongue played eagerly over her nipples which responded by hardening into tight rosettes. 

She shivered with pleasure as she felt his mouth pull a nipple into it and suck, using his teeth to gently tug until her stomach quivered with need. She squirmed as his long fingers found their way to the sweet juncture between her legs and spread them further apart so that he could probe her depths.

Bellamy felt a swift rush of wetness flow over his fingers and he spread it around, loving the slick feel of her, the warmth of her desire. He inserted first one and then another finger into her tight body and stroked her until she opened fully to him. He caught her eye in the moonlight and she said, “Please Bellamy, now…”

His lips found hers in a deep kiss that made his stomach tense with his own desire. His tongue delved deeply into her welcoming mouth, stroking the inside of it until they both couldn’t breathe anymore. The kiss went on and on, a swirling maelstrom of passion brewing between them.

She pulled his hips to her, bucking up to meet him and sighed with pleasure as he settled into her waiting body. He drew in a deep breath as he felt her griping him tightly, holding him in her for a moment but soon there was no holding back for either one of them.

They moved together, as if of one mind, one body. Relentlessly they came together and pulled apart, always coming home again in the beauty of the dance. Both were close and she offered him her neck, stretching it to the side so he could get a clean bite. She saw his fangs descend and his eyes silver and hers did the same in response.

“Now, now,” she demanded and sank her fangs into his neck. Her body immediately started its release and Bellamy came with her as he gently bit her neck. He thrilled to the taste of her passion, her release and swallowed first one mouthful of her blood, followed by another. When their bodies finally stopped trembling he softly licked the already healing wounds closed, enjoying the feel of her soft skin beneath his tongue. He rolled off of her and pulled her close beside him and smiled as he heard her sigh and stretch her body in a satisfied way, kind of like a cat he thought.

“Welcome to Seattle,” he said with a chuckle. He leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her forehead. 

“I think I like this city,” she told him as she ran her fingers lightly over his chest. “I really like the welcoming festivities!”

“Well, we aim to be hospitable here you know. Wait until you see the rest of the city.”

“You mean I have to leave this bed?” she asked, grinning from ear to ear. She leaned up on an elbow and commented, “But tell me this mister, what does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?”

“Um, a kiss maybe?” he teased.

“You work cheap!” she laughed and bent to give him the obliging kiss. “There, you’ve had you kiss, now where is my drink?”

“Okay, okay! Boy, I think I’ve brought home a slave driver!” he said and scooted off the bed quickly to avoid the swat she aimed at his ass.

He returned a few minutes later with two glasses of blood. He held one out to her and said, “I did assume this was the drink you were interested in?”

“Um hm,” she said and she took a long drink of the O positive. “Um, fresh!”

“Yeah, Murphy has me spoiled, I’ll admit. So, how are you? You look really good Elka.”

“Thanks and you too. I’m good, but I’m glad to be here for a few days – I need the break!”

“What, life in high finance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?”

“Sometimes…” she smiled. “We’re still sort of recovering from all the stock exchange craziness. It has been crazy for the last year.”

“I hear you. Jasper came up from LA to make sure my computer system was working well and did a lot of updates. He is a veritable computer genius, he really is.”

“Who’s Jasper? I don’t think I met him at the party.”

“No, he doesn’t leave his basement too often. He is uh, well I sired him twenty years ago. We’ve remained close although sometimes I think I’m only as good as how much money I can hand over for him to do jobs for me!” he laughed. “But seriously, aren’t all kids like that? Really, he’s a good kid.”

“How come you don’t live in LA? I know you did for a long time because Murphy mentioned it. What happened?”

Bellamy swallowed convulsively and opened his mouth to speak; nothing came out. He hadn’t told anyone about why he was here and he didn’t know if he could yet or ever for that matter. Finally he said, “I guess everyone needs a change sometime and it was just my time.”

Elka saw the emotions flow across his face as he answered her. She knew there was more to the story but decided to let it go for now. He would tell her in his own time if she was meant to know. Instead she changed the subject by saying, “Have I told you why I call myself ‘Elka’?”

“No, you haven’t,” he said, relieved to talk of something else.

“Well, my Lakota name was ‘Small elk in the meadow’ so I just sort of shortened it.”

“That’s really beautiful Elka. Do you miss that life?”

“No, not much really. It was so long ago and the world is much changed. There is no place for it now. And, it was also a violent life in many ways, Bellamy.”

He digested her words for a moment and wondered what kind of life could be more violent than the vamp world. “Do you want to tell me about it?”

“Sure, it doesn’t bother me to talk about it. I was born in about 1817 in what is now North Dakota. My parents were Sioux as was my husband. He was a warrior and we needed all the warriors we could get for the Crow were our enemies and attacked often. There were 5 branches of the Dakota Indians and we belonged to the Lakota branch.”

“I didn’t realize you had been married Elka.”

“Yes, and had a baby as well – a son named Walking Bird. My husband, Lone Eagle was very brave; he died trying to protect me and our son. The tribes often made war on one another and when you lost the battle most of the women and children were taken as slaves to the other tribe. It is what happened to me. I’m afraid I wasn’t very cooperative though and often tried to run away. One time the Sioux warriors were attacking the Crow and I tried to run to them, hoping they would take me back with them. The Crow saw me and shot me with many arrows. I lay there all day and part of the night when a white trapper found me and carried me back to his camp. He removed the arrows and did his best to nurse me back to life. For two days I lay there and grew worse and I knew that the Great Spirit would soon take me. When it was apparent that I was not going to make it he asked me if I wanted to live; I thought it was better than dying and I said yes, although I wasn’t sure what he meant by living. I found out pretty quickly though.”

“So, so you chose to be turned?” he asked, surprised.

“Yes. Oh, I didn’t really understand what it was going to mean, but I am glad I did it. He was good to me, he was kind and taught me the ways of the vampires. Since he was a trapper we followed the animals with the seasons; in the winter we stayed in a cave for shelter. It seemed a good life; at least there wasn’t constant war. It was over 4 years before I knew that vampires could drink human blood as well as animal blood. It seemed so wrong to me at first, you know? Kind of like cannibalism. I found out when some other vampires found us and I listened to them talk because I had learned English by then. Eventually he made his way west and we ended up in Oregon. It was about 1850 by then. I estimate I was turned in 1843 so I had been a vamp for 7 years by then. 

In Oregon we heard about a gold rush in California so we headed south to see what it was all about. People usually thought I was Spanish when they saw me so I wasn’t too out of place. Cole staked a claim and we worked that for awhile. It’s actually where I met Murphy!”

“Really? Murphy was a gold miner?” Bellamy smiled at the thought; he didn’t know what he found funnier, Murphy in grubby clothes or actually working the mine. Either way he knew it had to be a great story.

“Yes, he was. And a good one too. He made several million in the gold rush and was smart enough to invest in land there in San Francisco. It’s what Cole and I did too; thank goodness because I’ve never had to worry about money since then.”

“He and Murphy went east when Abraham Lincoln became president; he was a great man and Murphy wanted to meet him. I stayed in California and minded the store, so to speak. Murphy came back in 1865, after the war. Cole stayed there and was a part of the reformation. We still talk occasionally; I am very thankful to him for all he did for me.”

“Wow, I’m amazed by all that Elka. You’ve lived quite a life. I can’t imagine having that good of a relationship with your sire.” He shuddered as he remembered all the crazy with Echo. Even if she were still alive he wouldn’t want to see her or talk to her.

“Well, he was nothing like the Duvall’s you know.” She saw him raise an eyebrow in surprise and added, “Yes, Murphy told me about your sire Bellamy. I’m so sorry for all that you went through.”

They were both quiet for a few minutes and Bellamy realized that the sun was rising. “It’s getting late; are you ready for some freezer time?”

“Yes, I am. Show me the way!”

 

):(


After they settled into the freezer Elka reflected on her relationship with Bellamy. Not a great love match, but she certainly felt that he needed her and she was more than okay with that. She had never loved anyone since Lone Eagle and knew that she never would. She knew that he walked a warrior’s path with the Great Spirit and she sincerely hoped that some day she would be allowed to walk with him.

Her Sioux blood gave her a spiritual outlook on life; Bellamy needed a little bit of that because if ever there was a man caught in pain and confusion it was Bellamy. She knew why the Great Spirit had brought her to him; she had work to do with this amazing and wounded man. She looked at him in his repose and smiled. At least it wouldn’t be tough work!

 

):(


Clarke pinned a bunch of fragrant magnolia blossoms  into her mom’s hair and then stood back to admire it. She was a breath-taking bride and it wasn’t just because Abby was her mom. It’s funny how sometimes it takes unusual circumstances to show us a different side of people and this was certainly an unusual circumstance.

Her mother was getting married! The woman who had always stalwartly stood alone was joining her life with a really wonderful man and Clarke couldn’t be happier for them both. Today Abby didn’t look like her mother, she looked like any other happy bride, anxiously getting ready for her wedding; it made her seem so young and vulnerable, a side Clarke rarely got to see. 

Just then there was a soft knock on the door and Harper poked her head in and asked if they were ready. Clarke looked at her mom and smiled. Abby smiled in response and nodded her head and they went to the door, ready to make the walk down the aisle.

As they stood at the doorway waiting for the music Clarke saw a few tears flowing down her mother’s face and dabbed them with a handkerchief. She knew perfectly well why Abby was crying and she reached for her and gave her a quick hug, feeling her tremble in her arms.

“I wish he were here too Mom. Grandpa would have walked you down that aisle with such joy and happiness. I’m so sorry he isn’t here, but I want to believe that he and Grams can still see it, share it with us like that.”

Abby nodded and smiled, dabbing at her eyes again. “I know. He loved Marcus and I know this is always what he wanted. I was such a fool for so many years Clarke. Don’t be like me – when you find the one, don’t be afraid honey, just be with him.”

The words stung a bit as a picture of Wells flashed through her mind. But she knew deep down that he wasn’t the one, although she had cared for him a great deal. No, the ‘one’ was still out there, waiting for her. He was her destiny and she knew that she would find him.

She knew it. 

Chapter Text

May 20, 2014


There has been so much going on the past couple of days with the wedding that I just wanted to add a few things. First of all, it was perfect, totally perfect!


When mom walked down that aisle Marcus looked at her like she was the only woman in the world; so much love and devotion was written on his face it almost took my breath away. I know this is stupid but I almost felt like it was the three of us joining our lives. I mean, he has always been my father, if not in name then certainly action and deed. I felt like we were now a family, for real. No more daydreaming about Marcus being my dad, he was now and the first thing I did after the ceremony was hug him and call him ‘Dad’. It brought tears to his eyes and he hugged me tightly and told me that I always was his daughter, but that now he was proud to be able to claim it officially.


Families are not just about blood; Marcus has proved that over the years by his caring and commitment to us. Was there ever a school program that he missed or a birthday or any other event in my life? I can’t think of a single one and they are all made that much happier by having him there. Many kids don’t feel that way about a step parent; maybe it was because I never knew my bio dad that made it okay, I just don’t know. At any rate, I couldn’t be happier.


He and Mom left for their honeymoon immediately and she was so excited about it. They went to Italy; a place mom has always wanted to go. They will be gone for two weeks and then they are moving into a new house that they bought together. A new place for a new start and I think that is wonderful for them. In some ways it seems kind of strange to me; I’ve never lived anywhere but that house or the dorm. They asked me if I wanted the house but I told them no, I’ll make my own memories somewhere else someday, with someone special. So, while they are gone I will be going through 20 years of my stuff and trying to figure out what to keep and what to ditch.


Not all memories of that house are good; I still remember the night I was taken, vividly although the faces are blurred, out of focus. I woke up suddenly, my heart pounding as I felt a hand cover my mouth. I tried to scream, but the hand covered my mouth too tightly and it wouldn’t come, the sounds, they couldn’t come. I just remember her whisper, “It will be okay little girl, I’m your new mommy!” She said it over and over, trying to calm my squirming body, maybe to keep me quiet. I didn’t feel safe for several days until HE came; then I knew it was okay. Where are you shadow man? I need to feel you in my life again!


I start work next week but in the meantime Raven and I are going down to San Diego for the weekend with Harper to check out the ship she’ll be on this summer and do a little partying on our own. I’m sure that Raven will want to rock that town, but hopefully we can keep her from doing any serious damage! It should be a lot of fun though. It’s amazing, but I’ve never been to San Diego before and there it is just right down the coast from us. Harper tells us that it is beautiful and is excited to show it to us.


Later!


):(

Abby leaned against Marcus’s arm that was wrapped protectively around her as they rode a gondola in the Grand Canal of Venice. She smiled broadly; it was such a silly, touristy thing to do, but it was also so much fun.

The past 10 days had been the most wonderful of her life, even though they started off a bit shakily. Getting through that first night had proved difficult, for both of them.

Marcus reached for her, she retreated, a dance that was replayed several times during the night. She was determined she could do it and yet each time they came close she panicked, reliving the night 21 years ago when she was viciously raped.

Finally Marcus had said, “Abby, you’re not ready. Let’s just talk, okay? How can you be with me when you can’t even tell me what happened?”

She understood the logic of that but she had never told anyone the details of what had really happened. No one knew, not the whole story even her parents, not the police; she just buried it deep within her and put one foot in front of the other each day until finally the days, weeks, years, and decades had rolled by and it was only a foggy memory. That is until she tried to be with Marcus and then it all came back, rushing at her like a freight train, out of control and hell bent on taking her down.

How do you talk about something that was so hazy? It was pure instinct that made her pull away from Marcus and yet she knew in her head, heart and soul that he would never hurt her. He had known for years that she had been brutally assaulted and raped – her parents had told him, as a warning that she would probably never let him get too close. Had she made a mistake by marrying him? Would she ever be able to get past this thing? 

He had been so patient, so tender and loving as he held her and listened as she tried to describe her fear in a dream-like state. The bile rose in her throat as she choked on the memories of being held down, of her clothes being torn from her body. Each memory knocked the air out of her like the blows that he had used as he attempted to quiet her and strike fear in her heart. The pain and fear as he had ripped into her body and finally the humiliation of being tossed aside like a piece of garbage, bloodied and bruised and broken, of no importance.

Marcus held her and cried with her, living the nightmare through her eyes and somewhere in the night he became her ally; sharing the story had become her revenge for the stolen years shrouded in fear and it was okay. When they came together it truly was her first time of loving and she hadn’t looked back since then.

Each day of their honeymoon they had a new adventure. They explored palaces and churches and the mysteries of one another’s bodies. Their souls communed in a magnificent explosion of passion and their loving deepened to unimaginable depths. She wondered if it was like this for her parents, who had been so devoted to one another, but couldn’t imagine it being so. Could anyone ever have such a wonderful relationship? It seemed so unlikely to her.

As they were packing to leave Abby said, “You know, I wish your brother could have been at the wedding. Couldn’t we have passed him off as a distant cousin or something Marcus?”

“Jasper understood honey. It’s, well it’s complicated; you know that. We can’t explain why he doesn’t age and after all this time I can’t explain how I have a brother that few have ever seen.” He saw the sorrow reflected on her face and sighed. “He chose this Abby and he has no regrets. Bellamy has been good for him and Jasper learned so much from him. And at least now he’ll have my house to live in. He’s planning on turning the basement into some sort of computer eden he says!”

“I know all that. Bellamy certainly has been the savior of this family in many ways hasn’t he? I wish we could tell Clarke about him.”

Marcus nodded in understanding. He knew that would help two souls that both needed it. He saw how Clarke sometimes watched the shadows in the distance; he knew who she was waiting for. The thing was though, did she?

 

):(


It was moonrise and Bellamy and Elka ran though the trees that surrounded his property, chasing one another like kids. He felt light-hearted and happy; a rare occurrence for him.

She had disappeared, practically in front of his eyes and he closed his eyes then and scented the air, seeking her out. He smiled and looked up; she was hiding in a tree above him, a smug smile on her face.

“What’s the matter city boy? Having a hard time?” she teased.

A moment later he was beside her, wrapping his arms around her. “Yeah, I’d say I’m hard alright! Ever did it in a tree?”

She laughed and lightly jumped down, landing with a soft ‘whumph’ sound. He quickly followed and pulled her to him and captured her mouth in a searing kiss.

“Um, nice. I love it here; it reminds me of when I was a child. I love the scents of the trees and grass and the small animals that are hidden around us.”

“What about the larger animals? I’m sure they’re around too!” he said as he nibbled her neck.

“Hm, mostly they stay away, all except one I guess.” He growled and made her laugh before she kissed him again, enjoying the feel of his mouth as it devoured hers. Eventually she reached to pull his jacket off of him and lay it on the forest floor at the base of the tree. She sat down, pulling him with her, the jacket providing a barrier between them and the pine needles that littered the ground.

They both leaned back against the tree and listened to the sounds around them; the soft swish of the branches blowing in the wind, the scampering as the small animals scurried around, staying far away from the two creatures of the night that sat among them. Bellamy inhaled deeply and felt the clean smell of pine flow through him and sighed, perfectly content. He could almost forget all the bad when things were like this.

“Bellamy, why did you leave LA?” she asked, watching his face as it briefly flashed with pain that was quickly masked. Maybe it was still too soon to ask, but she knew he would not ever start to heal unless he talked about it.

He pursed his lips, lightly chewing on the lower lip, his hand rubbing the back of his neck as he debated what to say. Would he feel better if he told her or would she think he was a freak and run away? He didn’t think he could bear that, for her to look at him like the monster he was. He knew that they weren’t ‘in love’ and never would be, but still he felt happy and content with her, as much as he could be anyway and he was loathe to risk losing that.

“Bellamy, I know about Echo. Hell, I’ve met her; I know she is a bitch. I think it would help you to talk about it.” She reached for his hand and held it lightly between her own and looked at him, waiting.

“Yeah? Did you know that I killed her?”

“I – uh, no I didn’t. When did you do that?”

“In 1997. She kidnapped a small child and planned to turn her in an effort to bring us together again. I had enough of her crazy and I staked her and burned her.” He said it quietly, and she realized that there was no regret in his voice.

She was surprised to hear him say 1997. So that wasn’t the reason he left LA 4 years ago. And it was weird; she thought she had seen Echo about 10 years or so ago in Paris. She guessed she was wrong.

“She was going to turn the child, Bellamy; you did the right thing. Echo was certifiable, you know that. So what else?”

He told her the story of Clarke; of how he had watched over her through the years as she grew up, making sure she was safe.

“Bellamy, that’s hardly something to punish yourself over. If you helped to keep her safe then it was a good thing.”

“When she was 16 I followed her and some friends to a 4th of July cookout at the beach. I watched as she and a boy sat near the water, talking. He leaned over to kiss her and I wanted to rip his head off. I knew that I had to leave then; my feelings weren’t just protective anymore.”

“You saw her as a young woman Bellamy. It’s understandable that that happened. You have to let it go.”

“I – I wanted to be the one kissing her Elka, not some fresh - faced teenage boy who wanted to grope her in the night. No, I had to leave because she deserves the right to live her life without me shadowing her every move. I came here to give her that chance. It’s for the best; it’s for the best…” He shook his head, ashamed at the confession of the words he had never fully admitted before, even to himself.

Elka sighed as she felt the guilt in his words sink in. “You need to go back to LA Bellamy and stop running from the guilt; being here isn’t helping you. You are secluded here and too far from friends who care about you. You aren’t healing, you’re wallowing and you need to stop it!”

He stood up, blazingly angry at her, at the words that she had dared to speak. Words that were true, that he couldn’t hide from. “Just what the hell do you know Elka? What gives you the right to come here and say that?”

“I can say it because it’s true and you know it; you’ve known it all along but you just didn’t want to face it all.” She stood directly in front of him, staring into his eyes, her own sparking with anger as well. “I’m a healer Bellamy, a spiritual healer and the Great Spirit brought you into my life for a purpose, to help you find your path.”

“My PATH? I had no fucking choice in my path! My path was chosen for me, without my consent. My chosen path was gone, ripped from me, just like that.” He snapped his fingers for emphasis and continued, “The only path I have is the one that relegates me to monster. How’s that for a path?” He sat back down and leaned his head against the tree, tears streaking his face. 

“You always have a choice Bellamy. Right now your choice is to stay here and feel sorry for yourself or go back home and build a life you can be proud of, with or without Clarke. The path begins right here Bellamy, what are you going to do?”

He stared up at her; for one moment hatred burned brightly in his deep brown eyes and then just as suddenly faded out. He knew her words were true, but they still hurt like hell. “There will never be any life with Clarke, or anyone else. I’m a monster! I couldn’t stand to see that in someone’s eyes; them knowing who I really am.”

“Bellamy, a monster is someone uncaring, someone ruthless, without remorse. Adolf Hitler was a monster, Osama bin Laden was a monster. Are you like them? Do you feel, care, love? No, you are not a monster Bellamy, not by anyone’s definition.”

“You don’t understand Elka. Not really.”

“Do I not? You think I haven’t run into my own monsters? The Crow who had a special brand of horror for their captives, slaves; you think they weren’t monsters? Believe me, I’ve known monsters. You are not a monster.”

He looked at her and for the first time wondered what she suffered at their hands. He wondered how she had survived it all, the death of a husband and child, being torn from her world and thrown into a world that she didn’t understand. She survived in a world where she was an outsider and had to do unimaginable things to just exist. It suddenly occurred to him how similar they were; their lives were parallel really. She had made it and somehow even came out of it stronger and better.

Maybe he could too. 

 

):(


Clarke and Raven cruised down PCH in Raven’s brand new red VW Bug, the top down and their hair blowing in the warm wind. Clarke licked her lips and imagined that she could taste a hint of salt. The car had been a gift from her father since she was going to be a working girl this summer. 

“Last weekend of freedom Clarke! Major responsibilities ahead, so look out San Diego and fun, here we come!”

Clarke laughed and tipped her head back to feel the sunshine on her face. The sky was an incredible shade of blue and not a cloud could be seen in it. The Pacific was a deep blue green with small white caps skimming over it like frosting. Every now and then they saw a few surfers but the waves weren’t really high enough to bring the really daring surfers out.

Raven switched on the radio and turned it up as they heard Phareell singing <i>Happy</i> playing. They sang along at the top of their voices and laughed at how off-key they were. Before they knew it they were pulling into San Diego and meeting Harper at the pier.

“Hey, you guys made good time! Welcome to my home for the next 2 months, the cutter Carlisle!” She indicated a large boat at the end of the dock. It was painted white and had a helicopter sitting on one end of it. Clarke was impressed.

“It’s a lot larger ship than I thought it would be,” she said as they walked towards it.”

“Technically it is not a ship; it’s a ‘cutter’ so that makes it a boat. I know, not much of a distinction to us but to them,” she indicated some of the crew working on deck, “to them it’s a big deal.” She shrugged and led them to the gang plank.

“Um hm,” Raven said, and Clarke and Harper noticed she already had her eye on a couple of crew as they worked checking lines and such on deck. “Wow, what a great view!”

“Don’t get any ideas Raven, both of them are married!”

Raven’s face fell and then she shook it off, ready to move on. “SO, do we get a tour?”

“Of course! You didn’t think I brought you here just to stand on deck did you?”

As they toured the boat Clarke and Raven were curious about everything, especially the tiny, cramped crew’s quarters. 

“Everybody bunks in here?” Clarke said, looking around at a room about the size of a bathroom that had 8 bunks in it. “Wow, not much privacy is there?”

“Or opportunity for romance,” Raven offered, shaking her head.

Harper laughed and said, “Well, we’re not here to romance Raven, we’re here to work, so its okay. C’mon, let’s get you guys checked into your hotel!” 

At the hotel all three girls changed into bikini’s and headed to the pool, prepared to just hang out and chat. After an hour of so a few of the crew showed up and before they knew it the party was going. Monty got there around 6 when they were trying to decide where to go to dinner. 

“Hey, how about Papa McGoo’s? Best linguine around, I promise!” Monty offered.

“Papa McGoo’s? For Italian food? What’s wrong with that picture?” Clarke laughed.

“No kidding,” Harper said. “C’mon, you’ll love it and there’s a pretty good band there too. We’ll have a blast.”

Raven rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, but please don’t ever tell anyone at school that we went to somewhere called Papa McGoo’s, okay? I have an image to live up to!”


):(

 

Monty and Harper were right, they had a blast. More of the crew showed up and a couple of them were single. Clarke and Raven had no shortage of partners when the dancing started. It was hard for Clarke in some ways, she hadn’t danced with anyone since Wells, even at the wedding, but after she got started she just pushed that out of her mind and went with the group. She didn’t regret it at all.

The next two days were full of fun; some of the time they lazed around the pool and others they did the tourist thing and saw the sights, like Sea World. When Raven and Clarke left on Sunday night Clarke realized she felt better than she had in months. 

Sometimes you just get so caught up in the day to day and you forget that you can still be happy. The breakup with Carl wasn’t the worst thing that will ever happen to me, even if it felt that way at the time. One foot in front of the other Griffin, just keep moving along… 

Chapter Text

March 14, 2015


I can’t believe what I’m going to do – correction what we are going to do! Raven has talked Harper and me into going to Acapulco for spring break. I must be an idiot, but it’s done.


I can’t deny that I could use a little stress relief; this last year of school is a killer. Really what I would like to do is just sleep for the week of spring break but I would imagine that sleep is probably the last thing I’ll be doing.


Mom and Marcus are working on a room addition for their house. It is amazing to see how happy my mother is with him. Her eyes sparkle now and she is smiling practically all the time. It makes me so happy to see the joy she is experiencing; it also gives me hope that I’ll find that someday myself, with or without a man. Right now though I couldn’t fit a boyfriend in if I tried, which I haven’t.


No, I’m not still pining away for Wells. I do miss him, the friendship we shared the most. But in the long run we made the right choice; we weren’t the ‘one’ for each other. I’ll bet he is a fabulous cop and I really hope he is happy.


I still think often of my shadow man and lately more than I had in a long while. I wish I knew what had happened to him. Maybe he died or something? It was weird, I always felt him and then it was just gone; overnight that feeling was gone. How does that happen? I still feel safe, it’s not that I don’t, but it just doesn’t feel the same as it did when I was younger.


Where are you shadow man? Are you still out there somewhere? Maybe you are guarding some other little girl now, keeping her safe from something terrible. I can only hope that you yourself are safe and happy.


After graduation I have been offered a full –time position with the Free Press. I wish I could be more excited about it, but at least it’s a job. Have to try to look at the upside of it. It’s not the Times, but hopefully someday it will be. In the meantime it will be a paycheck and will keep me writing and gaining more experience and that is what really matters. I’ve also started looking for apartments for when I graduate. Mom and Marcus keep telling me to come and stay with them for awhile, but I want to be on my own, you know? If I want to get up at 3 am and walk around naked eating a PB&J I can! Rent is high though and it will definitely be tight, but with close money management I can do it. Raven and I talked about sharing a place, but yesterday she got a job offer from a firm in San Francisco. She’s going to take it and I don’t blame her, the money is incredible. Still, she’ll be there and Harper will be in San Diego when she isn’t off sailing somewhere and that sort of makes me sad. 


It’s always been the three of us; the three musketeers. There wasn’t a single year of school that we didn’t share. We always had each other’s back, no matter what. We learned about life together, talked about boys and sex and how afraid we were of failing, at everything. For the first time in my life I will feel alone.


Okay sad sack, enough! 


Later.

):(

 

Bellamy punched a number into his phone and waited for an answer. It didn’t take long for Murphy to pick up, delighted to see Bellamy’s number on the ID. His face was wearing a huge smile as he greeted his best friend. Bellamy had been calling more frequently and there had been a change in his attitude; not that he was a poster boy now for Vamps United or anything, but he did seem happier.

“Hey boyo, good to hear your voice! What’s up?”

Bellamy hesitated on the other end of the line, steeling himself for his next words; they were harder to say than he imagined. Instead he finally said, “Hey, what’s going on there?”

Murphy recognized a decoy when he heard one – Bellamy never calls to just shoot the breeze. “I just lost $300,000 in the market. It makes me grumpy, so don’t waste my time. So I repeat, what’s up?” Murphy was a hedge fund trader and a billionaire one at that.

Bellamy smiled and said, “I’m going to move back to LA. Can you get someone to get the loft ready?”

For a moment Murphy wasn’t sure he had heard Bellamy properly. “Excuse me? Who is this?” he joked. “Certainly can’t be the Bellamy Blake I know.”

“Go ahead and snark Murphy. You heard me, I’m coming home.”

“Well, well…this is a surprise! So when are you coming?”

“How soon can you have someone get things ready?”

“I can have it done in an hour if you want but somehow I don’t think that is your plan. So, you tell me when you want it done and it will be ready.”

Bellamy chuckled because he knew that Murphy could do just that. A lot of money spread around can make anything happen. “Okay, let’s say in a week. I have some things to take care of here first.”

“Are you going to sell the house there?”

“No, I’m going to keep it. I really like this house.”

“Um hm. Why don’t I doubt that – all isolated and in the middle of nowhere? So, are you driving down or shall I send the jet?”

“I’m selling the car; after all, I have the Benz in storage in LA. So yeah, send the jet, I might as well come home in style!”

Murphy rolled his eyes at Bellamy’s penchant for that old Benz and realized he better have it taken out of storage and checked over. “Okay, all will be ready. I’ll call you later with the flight times. And – I’ll have the loft ready because I assume you will be shipping some things?”

“Not much actually, I’ll probably just bring it on the jet.”

“It’s not a cargo plane you know! Don’t go scuffing up the leather Bellamy!”

Bellamy laughed out loud and pictured Murphy frowning on the other end of the phone which is exactly what was happening. “Okay, no scuffing! I’ll see you soon buddy!” He heard Murphy mutter something that might have been ‘fuck you’ and then the line went dead. 

Bellamy continued to laugh, knowing that it was going to be good to go home.


):(

 

“Okay guys, I like, have an idea!” Raven said, looking a bit unsure of herself.

Harper’s eyebrows raised, two perfect arcs above round deep blue eyes. Harper had the most gorgeous eyes that Clarke had ever seen and for years she had been so envious of them. Her lashes were a mile long and so naturally thick she never had to wear mascara. They were also very expressive eyes and could never hide what she was feeling. It made her seem so vulnerable and naive, but if nothing hanging around with Raven for 16 years had gotten rid of the naiveté. She mentally rolled her eyes and then looked at Clarke before saying, “Okay, what?”

Raven cleared her throat, a sure sign she was nervous and that made Clarke and Harper both even more curious. “Well, I was thinking about something. It’s our last year of school, you know? And – and we’ve, well, it’s all went by so fast and I was uh, thinking that we needed something to mark the passage or to celebrate I guess.” She looked at both of her friends as she tried to gauge what they were thinking.

“So, WHAT?” Clarke said, waiting to see what was coming next and knowing Raven it could be anything.

“I – I was thinking that we could go away for spring break, you know?” she said the words in a rush and then squirmed in her seat as she waited for their responses.

“You have to be kidding me! I’m not going to Ft. Lauderdale with all the other idiots!” Harper said, looking disgusted.

“No, no I wasn’t thinking about Florida. I actually was wanting to go to Mexico!”

“MEXICO,” Clarke and Harper said together.

Raven looked at them and knew she had a hard sell job ahead of her. “Okay, look, I know it’s kind of a wild idea, but I don’t mean we should like camp out on some crowded beach or anything. I booked us a suite in Acapulco!”

“Acapulco? A suite?” Clarke shook her head and said, “NO. No way.”

“I’m with her – no way am I going.” Harper said, clearly closed to the idea.

“Look, it’s a really nice hotel, the Hilton for God’s sake, not some sleazy motel okay? It’s a suite, a – a grown up place. In a really nice four star hotel by the way.”

Clarke thought about it for a moment and was so tempted. Lounging around a pool didn’t sound too bad. As far as the suite went, it would be expensive, but she could contribute some money to the whole thing. Not a lot, but some. At any rate, she knew it wasn’t about the money anyway. Raven’s parents had money and so did Raven. They were actually filthy rich  but they were the only family she knew that had a maid and a gardener. The idea began to appeal more and more…

Harper saw the Clarke was starting to weaken. “What, am I the only voice of sanity here? I’m NOT going down there to dance naked on the beach and get my picture on Girls Gone Wild! It’s a crazy idea!”

“Harper, it’s the Hilton! Do you really think that’s where they film Girls Gone Wild at? No, we’re talking room service and spas, some pampering, margaritas by the pool and maybe a little dancing in the disco there. No Girls Gone Wild, I promise!”

Clarke was won over by the time Raven had said ‘spa’ and nodded saying, “Okay, count me in!”

“Oh God, now I’m forced to go! If I don’t, 50 years from now I’ll still be hearing about whatever you did on this trip! This is like, like blackmail. But I’m telling you right now Raven and Clarke, I am NOT doing anything that involves wet tee shirts, do you hear me?”

Clarke and Raven jumped up and pulled Harper up as well for a hug. Soon all three were jumping up and down in their excitement. Suddenly, none of them could wait for the trip.


):(

 

This time as Bellamy flew south he was much more relaxed, anxious even to get home. He had done a lot of soul-searching the past few months about everything and decided that Elka was right – he had to go home and rebuild his life. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he was willing to try.

His friendship with Elka this past year had been good for him in so many ways. Yeah, there was a little romance here and there and he genuinely cared about her, just not in an ‘in love’ kind of way. She had helped him make sense of his life and his past and had finally convinced him that unless he went home and faced his demons that he would never be really happy in this life, so he might as well check out now. That was a sobering thought to him. 

What had all these years meant anyway? Was there a reason that he had met Echo in the first place? Was it meant to be that she turn him? Is whatever is out there for him waiting, just like him? Whoever was waiting? He knew what he wanted to be the answer to that question, but the question was, did he have any right to it, to happiness? He sighed and leaned back in the seat of the jet, trying to still his tumultuous emotions.

The dozen or so boxes he had with him had been stowed away properly (no scuffing!) and he sat and sipped a glass of blood, lulled by the sound of the engines as they streaked over the Pacific coast. He closed his eyes and remembered the first time he had met Murphy and realized how far they had come in their friendship.

 

1959…


Echo, dressed to the nines in another beautiful and clingy red dress was introducing Bellamy to some of her friends, most of whom Bellamy didn’t like. They were a square, up-tight group and he couldn’t imagine them really cutting loose. The one called Cynthia seemed to have a giant poker up her ass she stood so straight. The worst one though was Murphy, someone whom Echo seemed to be really trying to impress.


They stood looking at one another, each taking the other’s measure and Bellamy knew that he didn’t measure up at all. John Murphy wore a really pricey suit, Bellamy could tell and a silk shirt as well with real gold cuff links. Like he had just stepped out of the pages of some high priced magazine. Who really dresses like that anyway, Bellamy wondered.


Murphy nodded to a passing waiter who immediately stopped and inquired what he might need. “I’ll take a Bloody Mary, hold the Mary,” he told him.


“Of course Mr. Murphy, right away.” The waiter hurried off and Bellamy watched him with a raised eyebrow. 


Within a minute the waiter returned with Murphy’s drink and Bellamy stared at it in fascination. It was the strangest looking Bloody Mary he had ever seen; it almost did look bloody.


Echo saw him staring and laughed nervously. “It’s his own special mixture. Looks real, doesn’t it?”


“I have to admit it does,” Bellamy said, slightly disgusted. It looked thick and so very red…


“He’s been drinking them for years!” Echo said, giving Murphy an inscrutable look. He stared at her as she spoke and Bellamy couldn’t determine if it was a look of amusement or scorn.


“I think I’ll go and get some air, if you don’t mind. Excuse me, please,” Bellamy said and made a hasty retreat to the terrace to escape the claustrophobic atmosphere of the house.


Murphy and Echo watched as Bellamy disappeared through the glass doors leading to the terrace. “You have got to be kidding me Echo! You think you’re going to turn that one? He’ll never make it. Look, I get it, he’s pretty so just play with him for awhile, like you always do and then show him the door!”


“Murphy, this is different. I love him, I’m crazy about him. He’ll do fine, I’ll teach him.”


Murphy shook his head and said, “You are totally out of your mind, you know that? He may be some musician who thinks he walks on the wild side but he’s a babe in the woods. He’ll be a liability to the tribe. I’m telling you not to turn him.”


“Is that an official ruling Murphy?” Echo’s eye’s narrowed and Murphy could see that he had really pissed her off.


“No, just some friendly advice Echo – advice you would be wise to take.” He walked off then, done with the whole subject.


Echo stood watching him walk away and took a deep breath to try to calm herself. She was trembling with rage; she wanted to strike out at him. Instead, she went outside to find Bellamy, who was sitting by the pool in a deck chair, nursing a scotch.


“Hi,” she said, standing next to the lounge. 


“Hi yourself.”


“May I?” she said, indicating his lap.


“Sure, climb on little girl,” he teased.


Echo settled onto his lap and reached for the glass of scotch and took a drink. She laid her head against his and listened to his heartbeat that hummed strong and reassuring as it beat in his chest. She loved listening to it; it comforted her when she was upset, like now.


“You’re cold,” he said as he pulled her closer to him. “Want my jacket?”


“No, I’m fine really. I like the chill, it feels good.”


Bellamy was always amazed when she said that. To him she felt perpetually chilled but it didn’t seem to bother her so he just shrugged it off. “You know honey, I think that Murphy guy is a real piece of work! What’s with him anyway? What man dresses like that?”


“Murphy isn’t so bad. I’ve known him a long time you know. He just likes to dress nice.”


“Seems kind of like a sissy boy to me, but if he makes you happy I guess its okay. At least I don’t have to worry about that kind of man hitting on you. But just for the record may I say that I think he is a pompous jerk?” He shook his head and laughed adding, “I know he’s got money, but he could really stand a little humility!”


“Yeah, sometimes I agree with you.”


15 days later…


“Murphy, he won’t eat! I mean, I got him to feed once, but now he won’t do it again. Not fresh or from a glass either. I don’t know what to do! He says he wants to die. Help me, please?” Echo was frantic as she spoke to Murphy on the phone.


“Gee Echo, why don’t you just help him die then? You know, you got some kind of nerve calling me when I told you not to do this. Now you want me to clean up your mess!” Murphy let out an exasperated sigh; same old Echo, she never thinks about anything but what she wants and damn the consequences. “Okay fine, I’ll come and talk to him but I’m not promising anything okay?”


An hour later Murphy walked into Echo’s house and stood in the living room scowling at her. “Well, where is he?”


“He’s downstairs, come on,” she said, leading the way.


“I’m telling you right now Echo that if he really wants to die I’m going to help him. So you better be prepared.”


He heard her sharp intake of breath behind him and felt her grab his arm and then blinked in irritation as she threw him against the wall. “Don’t you dare, you bastard. I love him, he’ll be fine, he just needs some help! I mean it Murphy, I love him!”


“So what? You love him, great, that solves everything doesn’t it Echo? Now get the hell out of my way!” He pushed her aside and descended the stairs, looking for Bellamy. He found him huddled in a corner and not looking too far from death on his own. 


Murphy knelt down in front of him and said, “SO, you’re on a hunger strike huh? I can see that’s doing you a lot of good. Did she bother to tell you that if you want to off yourself that this ain’t going to cut it?” Murphy indicated Echo who was standing over them, ready to pounce if necessary. He held his hand up to her in a ‘stop’ motion and said, “Back off Echo!” She retreated a few steps and stood glaring at him malevolently.


“Look boyo, I know this ain’t what you signed up for; you know, the whole happily ever after thing. She should have told you, you don’t just go around making vamps like that. I mean, some people do, but you thought you were getting something else here, I know. Bellamy, I understand your whole world is upside down now – I’ve been there, okay?”


Bellamy finally looked up at Murphy and actually saw concern and regret on his face. Murphy looked him squarely in the face, meeting Bellamy’s gaze unblinkingly. Maybe Bellamy had underestimated this guy; for the first time he thought maybe he could trust someone since this hell had begun.


“Look, the only way you can die is to have your head cut off or to be burned to death. Starving might work eventually Bellamy, but you don’t want that. If you truly want to die, I’ll help you, but you need to think about it with a clear head, okay? You need to eat and evaluate the situation. In a few days we’ll talk again and if it’s what you want,” he heard Echo shriek in the background, “If it’s truly what you want then, I’ll help you, okay? In the meantime, come back to my place with me, away from her and get your head screwed on straight. He stood up and offered his hand to Bellamy, waiting patiently for him to make his decision.


Bellamy stood wordlessly and nodded to Murphy. “Okay,” Murphy said, “Let’s go.”


Echo was screaming and trying to block the stairs so that they couldn’t leave. “No, NO. This is not what I asked you over here to do Murphy. You are NOT taking him from me, you can’t. I won’t let you take him from me!” She sank down on the stairway, tears running down her face as she begged Murphy to stop. 


Murphy stepped over her and so did Bellamy, leaving her to her tears. Just then Bellamy felt no love for her, only betrayal. He didn’t know how he would feel in a few days, but he had to figure it all out. Murphy offered him the opportunity to do just that and he was taking it. 


):(

 

The girls stepped out of the airport in Acapulco into bright sunshine and each one of them grinned; happy they were there. They pulled their luggage behind them waiting for the shuttle from the Hilton to pick them up to take them to the hotel.

On the ride to the hotel the girls chatted non-stop about everything they saw; all the colorful buildings and gaily dressed tourists. They caught brief glimpses of the aqua colored Pacific in the distance from time to time and oohed and aahed over it, barely able to control their excitement.

The suite at the hotel was perfect for them; huge with a living area and bedrooms, a balcony and a bathtub you could swim in. When they stood on the balcony they could see the pool down below them and they decided first thing to do was to hit the pool. 

After changing into bathing suits and applying (begrudgingly) some sunscreen they made their way to the pool to check it out. As they got close Clarke could smell the chlorine in the air and inhaled deeply; it was a smell that reminded her of so many summers at home with her friends at the neighborhood pool. She slid her sunglasses down over her eyes as they settled into deck chairs and looked around.

For the most part there were a lot of families at the pool with a few other single people tossed into the mix. It didn’t really resemble any kind of spring break frenzy and for that Harper was eternally grateful.

A waiter came along to take their drink orders and they each opted for bottled water; it was hot out and they weren’t sure about drinking alcohol out in the fierce sunshine. When he brought the water back to them he leaned down and told them that the ‘action’ was going on at the beach later that evening and that he hoped he would see them there. Raven giggled at his comment, Clarke smiled and Harper rolled her eyes.

None of them made it down to the beach that night, but they still had a wonderful time. Maybe they really were getting older Clarke mused, because she thought that all of them, even Raven was content to just hang out together. They went down to the disco after dinner and danced the night away, sometimes dancing with each other and sometimes whatever guy asked them. By 3 am they were all ready to hit their beds and not one of them was up before noon the next day.

That set a comfortable pattern for them; sometimes they fit in a spa treatment or massage, but otherwise it was much the same. One night they did venture down to the beach but even Raven seemed a bit nervous of everything that was going on there so they didn’t stay too long and they definitely all kept their shirts on!

They were happy to stay in the safety of the hotel; it provided lots of entertainment and none of them regretted missing the parties at the beach. All too soon their 5 days were up and it was time to go home. 

As the plane lifted off Clarke watched Acapulco fade into the distance below her. She felt relaxed and rested, even if she hadn’t slept spring break away. She had spent it with her two best friends and she knew she would never forget this vacation!


):(

 

Bellamy walked into the loft, accompanied by Murphy and looked around, pleased to be home. It was spotless, due to the cleaning crew the Murphy had in earlier which always made Bellamy happy since he knew he was compulsively clean. 

“Here, this is yours,” Murphy said handing Bellamy a thick envelope.

Bellamy opened it and studied the contents; it appeared to be a deed – the deed to the whole building and it was in his name. “Murphy, what is this?”

“Uh, let’s see,” he said, frowning a bit as he pointed to the writing on the document. “Hm, it says D-E-E-D and it has your name on it. I think it means you own the building, or that’s what my attorneys said anyway.”

“Murphy, how is this possible?”

“You don’t ever read the financial statements I send you do you?” Murphy asked, shaking his head.

Bellamy shrugged and said, “I glance at them, sometimes. Occasionally anyway.”

“Well, if you actually read them more often you would know that your portfolio was getting pretty large and I needed to diversify some of your investments. Voila! You’re now a landlord!”

“You’re joking, right? I don’t have enough money for something like this do I?”

“Not anymore. But you’ll recoup, pretty quickly I suspect.” He walked towards the door and turned around before he left and added, “Bellamy, it’s yours. Enjoy it! Oh, and try reading the financials from now on. A person could rob you blind and you’d never know!”

The door closed with a soft click and Bellamy looked around him, at ‘his’ loft and grinned. 

Welcome home Bellamy!


):(

 

Clarke sat up in bed, her heart racing. She looked around the room, dimly lit by the street light outside the apartment. Everything was quiet, as quiet at LA ever got that was, but something was different. 

She felt warm; not feverish, just - warm. She got up and looked out the bedroom window, gazing out at the street. Nope, all was calm out there. She didn't feel any danger; quite the opposite in fact. She felt safe, content. She stared out into the night as she hugged her shoulders and let out a deep breath. Suddenly it occurred to her.

Shadow man, is it you?

Chapter Text

July 12, 2015


I’m getting really bad about writing in this, which is a shame because I enjoy it, but life is so busy sometimes it just seems to take a back seat. I’ll do my best to catch up though, I promise!


Let’s see, what to talk about first? I’m still working at the LA Free Press, which is cool. I met a new friend there, Julia Stephens, another writer. We tend to both angle for the crime stuff, although she really likes the human interest too. That’s okay, she can have them! I do like her though; we have a lot in common and have a blast whenever we hang out.


I miss Raven and Harper so much! Since Harper and Monty got married I seem to see her less and less, which is to be expected, but still… Harper was always the calm one, the logical one of the three of us. She usually pulled Raven and me back from doing something stupid that we would regret later. Now we’re kind of on our own and that’s okay, but I still miss her. She is still pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology and she’ll accomplish it too, I know she will. In the meantime she is still working for the Graehm Institute and learning so much. 


Raven has blossomed into her job as a training coordinator in San Francisco. She’s always been charismatic and engaging, which is perfect for her job. She has been promoted twice in her first year and I think she is really happy. We try to get together for the weekend once a month or so and it’s amazing to watch as she grows into this job and responsibility. My mom laughs and shakes her head when I tell her all that Raven has accomplished; it’s as if she can’t believe this is the same Raven I grew up with. The most extraordinary thing about Raven right now is that she actually has a boyfriend – someone steady I mean. It’s the first time I ever remember her going out with someone more than a couple of times. His name is Ryan and he seems really nice and is crazy about her. Truthfully though, I’m pretty sure he is more invested in the relationship than she is, but I could definitely be wrong.


Me? Well, there is no one special in my life. I guess I should be sad about that, but I’m not really. I’m busy, with my job and I never know when I’ll be called out on a story. As I learned with Wells, that can really cause problems with a relationship. I do go out sometimes, I mean I have dated but no one has really caught my eye. I’m waiting for the ONE. I know, that sounds silly and stupid. Marcus reminds me not to wait forever, that there are lots of good guys out there and I know he’s right, but there’s just something inside me holding me back. Is it so crazy to think that there is a guy out there that will see me and love me for whom I truly am? That he will ‘get’ me as I’ll ‘get’ him? I yearn for that, I need it. I won’t accept anything less.


Oh, and I know that this sounds totally stupid, but I feel my shadow man sometimes. Maybe not quite like before, I mean, I haven’t caught a glimpse of him or anything but he’s definitely back, if he was ever gone in the first place. I don’t know, just a feeling I have. Could be wrong, huh?


Later…


):(

 

“Hey Clarke!”

Clarke grinned as she heard Raven’s voice on the phone. It was Wednesday night, laundry night but she sat the full basket down and plopped into a comfy chair to chat with her friend. “Hey yourself! What’s up?”

“I have some news for you! Are you sitting down?” Raven told her. She was almost giddy with excitement over her news. She waited impatiently for Clarke to respond.

OMG! She is going to get married! Play it cool Clarke, play it cool!

“Well, what’s the news?”

Clarke could hear Raven take a deep breath and let it out slowly over the phone line. Clarke smiled, waiting to hear the news. 

“I have accepted a position in Japan, Tokyo to be exact!” The words practically bubbled out of her throat.

“Congratu – huh? A job? I – I thought, well never mind. In JAPAN???”

“Yes, with King Inc. International! I’ll be the Assistant Director of Training Operations. Clarke, this is huge, I still can’t believe it!”

“King Inc.? The big, multi-national, global electronics and communications company? That King Inc.?” Clarke was still reeling over the fact that Raven wasn’t getting married; why she even thought that she couldn’t believe, but still. Instead this was all about a job? In a foreign country? 

“Yes, that King Inc.! Clarke, this is such an incredible opportunity for me, I can hardly believe it. I’m hyperventilating, let me tell you. They just called and I had to call and tell you right away!”

“Wow Raven, I’m so happy for you!” Clarke meant those words but she still felt a bit sad. No more long weekends with her friend; Tokyo was a long, long way from Los Angeles. “So, when do you have to be there?”

“In three weeks actually. It still feels like a dream. I am typing out my letter of resignation for Morgan and Grant right now. I’m going to live in Tokyo, Clarke! I can’t wait.”

It was hard not to be excited for Raven; she was so wound up at this chance. “So tell me all about it!”

“Well, my salary will be roughly double what I make here Clarke! They will have an apartment for me as well as a car. It’s going to be hard work, there’s no denying that and it’s also going to be culture shock. Tokyo is a very cosmopolitan city, but it is still a completely different society. I will be working mostly with Japanese employees so I’ll be taking lessons in the language as soon as I get there. Oh Clarke, I’m so excited, but I’m also so scared I could pee my pants!”

Clarke started laughing and Raven joined her. They each laughed until the tears were rolling down their cheeks. Another thought occurred to Clarke. “Raven, have you told Ryan yet?”

“No-o-o, you were the first person I called. I guess I gotta, don’t I?” She sighed; it wasn’t something she was looking forward to.

“Don’t you think you had better do it soon Raven? I think he is really crazy about you.”

“Yeah, I know. See though, I never actually told him about the interview. I didn’t tell anyone; I didn’t want to jinx it, you know?”

“Well, it will probably be a shock then. What about your parents? Are you going to come down here before you go?”

“Mom and Dad will be thrilled to see me climb the corporate ladder I suppose, even if it is 11,000 miles away. You know they are all about image and money. And yes, I’ll be down there in hmm, 13 days? So we can spend some time together before I go, okay?”

“Sounds good.” They chatted for a few minutes more and finally said their goodbyes. As Clarke pushed the ‘end’ key on her phone she was thoughtful about her friend. Raven seemed to think that Ryan would take it all easily. Clarke wasn’t so sure, but time would tell.

 

):(

 

Bellamy could hear loud music coming from behind the door at Jasper’s house. He banged a bit harder on the door and yelled, “Jasper, open the damn door!”

Jasper finally answered the door wearing a Yoda t-shirt that said ‘Tried the dark side I did and liked it I did!’ Bellamy winced at the music volume and said, “Jasper, can you turn that noise down?”

Jasper looked at him blankly, clearly not getting it.

“Jasper! Turn it DOWN!”

Jasper went to the stereo and turned the volume down. “Gee Bellamy, you didn’t have to yell!” He kicked a few pieces of clothing under the couch and scooped up another armful before tossing them down on the floor and motioned to Bellamy to sit down.

“For Christ’s sake Jasper, could this place be any messier?” Bellamy scanned the room and grimaced, seeing the laundry and general clutter on every available surface. Parts of computers and other unidentifiable items littered the desk and a work table off to one side of the room. 

“What’s wrong with it? You don’t have to live here dude!” Jasper clearly didn’t get it. 

Bellamy pinched his nose for a moment and closed his eyes. Mentally he was mortified to see the place like this. It wasn’t exactly dirty, but it looked like a tornado had hit it. He opened his eyes and took a long, hard look at Jasper and spied his hair that was sticking up at all angles; it looked like it hadn’t been combed in days. 

 

1980


“Okay Alexander, I have to get Jasper out of here, NOW. Before the police come. Do you understand?” Bellamy watched the judge’s reaction to his words; time was critical.


Alexander Griffin was no stranger to trouble, or fast thinking. He looked at his son, lying motionless on the ground and nodded. “Can I see him later?” he asked.


“Not right away. He’ll need, um, training before it will be safe Alexander. I’m sorry.”


“He’ll be okay?” he asked. Bellamy could see hope as well as tears wearing on the pale face of the judge. 


“I think so; I think so. I’ve never done this before. You can handle all this?” He asked, looking around at the bodies that were tossed around on the pavement. 


Alexander nodded solemnly and leaned back against the van. He swiped a hand down his face and said softly, “Yes, I can handle it Bellamy. It will be fine. Just take care of my son.” His voice broke on the last word.


Bellamy nodded and felt something close to panic rise in his throat and he swallowed it down quickly, refusing to let Alexander see how scared he really was. “I have to get him home, to the uh, freezer and he’ll need to fee – eat soon. I’ll call you soon, I promise!” He could hear sirens in the distance, his cue. He scooped Jasper’s limp body up in his arms and with one last look at the judge he headed off at a run for his car, parked a block away.


Bellamy laid Jasper’s still lifeless form into the back seat of the Benz and tucked his legs in before pushing the seat back and climbing in. He glanced over his shoulder, wondering if it was going to be okay. Shouldn’t Jasper be awake by now? He didn’t know. How long had it taken him to wake up? Did he do something wrong? Jasper had drunk from him, on his own but since then there was nothing, no movement, no sounds.


He headed for his apartment, trying to make a game plan. He’d need blood, fresh blood and lots of it and the freezer. Would Jasper, should he feed before he went into the freezer? What if he didn’t wake up again? Bellamy needed Murphy; he’d call as soon as he got Jasper inside.


Bellamy thanked God that it was so late; there was no one around to see him pull Jasper out of the car and carry him inside. As soon as they were in the apartment he carried him up to the freezer, pulling his clothes off first. His body was a mess and Bellamy decided that he needed a shower before he put him in the freezer so he carried him into the bathroom and washed his body off as best as he could. Trying to manipulate a totally limp body wasn’t easy, even with vampire strength and dexterity. Trying to dry Jasper off was even more awkward and he cursed himself and Jasper too, wishing he would just wake up.


He got Jasper settled into the freezer and hurriedly changed into clean, dry clothes and then went to call Murphy. He stopped and grabbed a glass of blood to drink while he waited for Murphy to come to the phone.


“Hey boyo, the party’s going full blast here; come on over!” 


Bellamy could hear music and lots of voices in background. He took a deep breath and said, “Murphy, I need help; blood fresh blood and some advice.” He explained the situation to Murphy quickly, waiting for a response.


“You turned someone? YOU?” Murphy asked, stunned by Bellamy’s words. He wouldn’t have believed it was possible.


“Yes, now get your ass over here; I’m in over my head Murphy and I need help now!”


“Hang on Bellamy, the cavalry is coming!”


Twenty minutes later Murphy arrived, along with Melinda Bishop, one of his freshies who was in med school. Bellamy had been pacing furiously, waiting for help. He had run upstairs every couple of minutes to check on Jasper, who still hadn’t stirred. He opened the door silently when he heard the elevator bell and stood by the door, waiting for them to hurry in.


“Has he woken up yet?” Murphy asked. 


Bellamy shook his head; he was all but wringing his hands with anxiety. “No. He did drink on his own when I fed him my blood but since then he hasn’t moved. I don’t know man, maybe I didn’t do it right!”


“Bellamy, sometimes it can take a day or two even for them to come out of it. Not usually, but it can.” Murphy headed straight for the freezer room and lifted the lid, looking down on Jasper’s body. “Kids young. What is he, like twenty?”


“Yeah, something like that. What do you think?”


“You know, I actually saw him once; he was just a kid. Hell, he’s still just a kid. How did this happen again?”


Bellamy explained again, adding, “He asked me to – he, he knew what the choice was and he asked me. So did the judge. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t just let him die. I mean, the judge just lost his wife, I couldn’t let him loose his son too.” He voice caught in his throat as he said those last words.


Murphy reached out and squeezed Bellamy’s shoulder in an effort to ease Bellamy’s pain a bit. “You did the right thing Bellamy. Come on now, he’s going to be okay. Just gotta give it time.”


Belinda was examining his body and looked up at the two vamps who were watching over her shoulder. “He seems okay to me – I mean for being undead and all. I don’t know what else to say.” She shrugged and started to move away from the freezer.


Jasper sat up in the freezer in the blink of an eye, with all the speed of a fledgling and grabbed at Belinda, smelling the fresh blood. His fangs were glistening in his open mouth, his eyes silvered over.


Bellamy and Murphy reacted immediately, wresting Belinda safely away from Jasper’s grasp. Bellamy yelled, “Get her outta here, I got it now!” Bellamy held on tightly to Jasper who was howling with displeasure as he watched his meal being taken away. Low growls were emanating from his throat as Bellamy held him close and talked to him. His hands were gripping Bellamy tightly; his claws digging in to Bellamy’s shoulders through the cloth of his shirt.


“It’s okay Jasper, we’re going to get you fed, I promise. Just calm down a bit, okay? That’s it, just calm down, I’ve got you.” Eventually Bellamy felt Jasper go limp and the growls became more like soft mewls. Bellamy had to remind himself that Jasper was for all intents right now an infant, lost in a world he didn’t know how to deal with. He patted Jasper on the back and said, “That’s good. Now, let’s go and get you something to eat, okay? You can do it.”


Jasper nodded as Bellamy’s words slowly sunk into his brain. He was starting to remember what had happened; he was a vampire now. He really was – he was going to drink blood. For a moment he wondered if he could really do it; he felt almost nauseous at the prospect. Until he smelled the blood that Bellamy poured into a glass for him that is. It smelled better than anything ever had before, not really like blood at all.


He reached out an unsteady hand to grab the glass and his eyes silvered over again. He felt his fangs too and he reached up and stroked them in wonder with a hesitant finger tip. He nicked it and stared at the bead of blood that gathered on it for a moment then the smell of the blood pulled him in and he remembered the glass that was being held out to him. 


“Uh Bellamy, do I drink with my fangs? I – I don’t know how to do this.”


Bellamy smiled faintly and shook his head. “No, just drink. But be careful, the fangs may get in the way. Your fangs are used to uh, puncture skin Jasper, they aren’t like, straws you know.”


Jasper nodded quickly and then grabbed the glass, downing the blood in just a few gulps. Bellamy took the glass and refilled it and Jasper did the same with the second glass. He sat it down and then burped, long and loud, an amazed look on his face.


“I can still burp?”


Bellamy laughed and said, “Yeah, you can. Apparently…”


“What else will I do now, I mean, like before?”


“Like…?” Bellamy asked, wondering specifically what Jasper was asking.


“Like will I still use the bathroom? Sleep? Snore?” Bellamy could see the curiosity in Jasper’s eyes and he smiled in response.


“You’ll still pee occasionally, if you drink many liquids. Your body will absorb them, but you’ll pee them out. You won’t want to eat solid foods because you can’t digest them and you’ll just get sick. Yes, you’ll sleep and I don’t know, did you snore before?”


“So no more cheeseburgers huh? Wow, I didn’t expect that.”


“Well, you can’t taste them anymore anyway. Really the only thing you’ll be able to taste will be blood Jasper.”


“Bellamy – am I dead?”


“Well, I guess you are more technically ‘undead’ Jasper. You can still breathe, although you’ll find you don’t really have to; your heart will still beat a few beats a minute, only a few. I guess it circulates the blood we do have, I’m not really sure. You won’t get sick, unless you eat something solid and if you get hurt you’ll heal almost immediately. Come on now, we need to get you back up to the freezer to rest. The next week or so you are going to be mostly feeding and sleeping.” He started for the stairs, Jasper following behind.


“We sleep in freezers? Really? I thought we slept in coffins!”


“Yeah, well only in the movies Jasper. We sleep in freezers to slow down the decay of our bodies.”


“Won’t I like, freeze solid in there?”


“No, you won’t. Just don’t wear clothes in there because they will freeze. Now climb in!” Bellamy watched as he settled in and closed the lid. Jasper’s eyes were already closed, a slight snore coming from him.


Wow Bellamy, he thought. I certainly hope you are up for this!

 

He was pulled back to the present by a buzzer ringing at Jasper’s door. Jasper scanned the camera and smiled, pushing the button to let his visitor’s in. Bellamy looked up to see Marcus and Abby come into the room.

Bellamy caught his breath; he hadn’t actually seen Abby up close and talked to her since he had put Clarke into her arms all those years ago. She was still a beautiful woman and she looked really happy. Marcus was good for her and he was pleased for them both.

Marcus was delighted to see Bellamy here; he hadn’t seen him since before he had left for Seattle. Abby on the other hand couldn’t believe her eyes; he didn’t look any different, he hadn’t aged at all it seemed. His hair was different, shorter and curlier, but he was still the Bellamy Blake she had gone to all those years ago. Before she even thought about it she went to him and hugged him.

It shocked him, but he hugged her back. After she stepped away Marcus reached out his hand to shake Bellamy’s, expressing how happy he was to see him.

“Bellamy, you look just great! How are things? Jasper mentioned you were back in town and I’ve meant to call, but I worried that you might need some space. And I was worried that you might be trying to put the past behind you.

“I’m good, glad to be back. How’s uh, everyone?” He couldn’t say her name; he wanted to, he ached to, but it wouldn’t come.

Marcus looked into Bellamy’s soulful brown eyes and saw the moment of pain that flashed in them. So, he still cares for her? 

Both Abby and Marcus knew exactly who Bellamy meant and Abby had no problem addressing the question. “She is wonderful Bellamy. She is working at the LA Free Press and doing well. We’re so proud of her. Would you like to see a picture of her?” Before Bellamy had a chance to say no Abby had pulled her phone out and found a picture of Clarke, taken with her two friends at some resort. Her hair was short, a bob they used to call it and she looked tanned and beautiful, her happy smile and blue eyes showing clearly in the photo. “That was taken a couple of years ago when the girls went to Acapulco for spring break, their last year of college.”

He stared at the photo, trying to memorize every single detail of it. He would eat it if he could. Who was he kidding? He still loved her, still cared for her, still needed to see her. He once again felt lost.

He said hasty goodbyes and left Jasper’s as quickly as he could. He sat in the Benz and leaned his head back, eyes closed so he could still see the picture of Clarke. There, he said it, her name. Clarke, his Clarke.

Only she wasn’t his and never would be. He started the car and headed for the PCH, hoping to blow the memories out of his head. It was the only way he would survive this constant ache to see her and that was the one thing he couldn’t allow himself to do. 

The top was down and he hit the gas pedal and rode the night. Alone, always alone.

Chapter Text

January 22, 2017


Well Diary, I can’t believe I am 24 today. It seems almost unreal. Wasn’t it only last year that I learned to ride my bike or had my first kiss? Now here I am, on my own in Los Angeles, moving into a new apartment and getting on with life?


I think birthdays are bittersweet things. They remind us of the past, of the people who shared them with us and of what we have accomplished or not for that matter. Kind of like some kind of cosmic scoring system I always think; what have I done with my life this year? Somehow I don’t usually feel like I’m ahead in the point’s thing.


How are we judged in the grand scheme of things I wonder? Have I gathered good karma or bad? Do I understand love, honor, and loyalty? Have I learned difficult lessons and took some painful knocks? I think so; I guess I can only hope that whoever or whatever keeps score sees it my way.


This year the weather is fine out and so it will be a barbeque at Mom and Marcus’s house. Harper and Monty will be there, and Julia and a few other friends too. And, of course Mom and Marcus. Raven can’t get home from Tokyo, which is understandable. As much as I love seeing everyone this day is in ways a painful one; no Grams or Gramps. 


It’s funny; I still miss them both so much it hurts. A real, honest and tangible pain that somehow I would have thought would be gone by now. Maybe it never goes away, I don’t know. No tiara for this birthday girl, it’s at my apartment safely tucked away. I still put it on sometimes and stare at myself overly aware that I am no longer Gramps’ little princess who stares at the world in wide-eyed wonder and awe, innocence worn like a cloak. Instead I am a woman who has loved and lost people in my life that helped me to become the person I am today. I am strong, determined and eager for my life to open up for me. Dare I say that I hope I am lovable; that there is a man out there who will accept me for who I am, flaws, warts and all? A man who will be able to look directly into my soul and recognize the beauty, pain, fear and love that is all me? Well diary, I certainly hope so.


I used to always feel my shadow man really strongly on my birthday; I don’t know why. Nowadays, I still feel him in an esoteric sort of way but instead of being shadow man I think he must just be more of a guardian angel; keeping me safe from a distance, perhaps guarding me with love from another place. 


God, how did I get so maudlin? It’s my birthday for heaven’s sake! I need to go and have some fun!


Later…


):(

 

Clarke pulled up in front of her Mom and Marcus’s house totally unsurprised to find ribbons and balloons decorating the front yard. She laughed, hoping at least that there was not going to be any clowns. Harper came running out of the front door, well, waddling was more like it since she was 8 months pregnant. This was a great year for her; she had graduated last December with her doctorate and was due in mid February. She and Monty had decided to not find out the sex of the baby; they wanted to be surprised. It drove Clarke nuts to not know, but she couldn’t be happier for them. If ever two people were meant for one another it was Harper and Monty.

“Oh my God, look at you Harper! You’re big as a house! And you still look stunning…” she told her friend as she hugged her and kissed her cheek. They held one another close for a moment and Clarke heard a slight sniff come from her friend. “Come on now, no waterworks or we’ll both be crying!”

“I know Clarke, but I just don’t get to see you often enough; it’s only San Diego and yet it’s been six months!”

Clarke felt a guilty pang stab at her because she had intended to go to Harper’s graduation but the paper had sent her to Sacramento to cover a trial. 

Harper saw guilt and regret wash over Clarke’s face and she said, “Don’t blame yourself Clarke; we both sometimes miss those important things in each other’s life.” Harper was remembering the birthdays she missed and how guilty she felt when she did. She took a deep breath and forced a smile onto her face and added, “We’re here together now, so let’s go have some fun! I’m starving and Marcus has the hamburgers cooking!”

Clarke grinned in return and grabbed Harper’s hand as they went to the back yard. She could smell the grill and the burgers cooking and her stomach growled in response. Everyone else was waiting for her and by the time she had been thoroughly hugged and kissed it was time to eat.

As she piled her burger high with jalapeno’s, hot sauce and pepper jack cheese she looked around her at the people she loved the most in this world and she suddenly knew that, at this moment at least, she was content.


):(

 

Bellamy sat staring at the glass rocks glowing blue in the fire place in the loft, trying really hard to not focus on what day this was. Marcus had called him and invited him to the party they were having for Clarke and he had almost considered going. How could they explain him? Would she recognize him? That thought totally scared him. What if she did and it brought back all the memories? How would he/they explain why he didn’t look any older? 

No, it was too risky, even though Marcus had assured him that they could make it work. So he sat here, feeling alone and miserable and fighting the urge to just go and observe, stand in the shadows as he had for so many years. He thought the best thing to do would be to go and see Murphy or Jasper or even Guillermo down at the morgue but he didn’t trust himself to get behind the wheel of the Benz because he knew exactly where he would go.

What would be so bad about it? He could just go for a few minutes, just a friend stopping by to say hello. Whose friend? An acquaintance from work? Damn, he just couldn’t do it, risk it.

The phone rang just then and whether providence or divine intervention he didn’t know but he grabbed it like it was a lifeline. “Hello?”

“Hey there stranger! How about offering an old friend a drink?”

“Elka? Are you in town?” The possibility immediately brightened his mood. “Sure, come on over. It’ll be great to see you!”

“Okay, I’ll be there in oh, 30 minutes or so. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll be waiting!” 

They hung up the phone and Bellamy rushed around, making sure the place was tidy and getting the drinks ready. He wished he had some fresh blood, but the bagged blood would have to do. Since he had come back to LA he had fallen in to his old habits, much to Murphy’s despair.

As he got everything ready he thought about Elka; he hadn’t seen her in a year or so as she had moved to Detroit. She said it was time to move on, new city, new name, the usual vamp outlook. He had missed her friendship and no-nonsense attitude; she never walked on eggshells around him and was always ready with a solid kick in the ass when he needed it.

Boy, did he need one now…

He heard the elevator bell ding and he rushed to the door, opening it and waiting impatiently for Elka to get to his door. He grabbed her and hugged her tight, feeling so much happier than he had in ages.

“Come on in!” he bade her, standing aside so she could enter the apartment.

“Wow, same old Bellamy, not a thing out of place!”

He just grinned and shrugged. “Well, old dogs and all!” he laughed.

He took her coat and they made their way to the couch and sat down. “So, tell me all about Detroit?”

“Oh, I love Detroit. It’s a highly underrated city, for vamps at least. I’m really enjoying the cold winter,” she told him with a sparkle in her eye. “Sometimes I just sit out on the deck with the snow falling around me and think how much I miss North Dakota winters!”

“I’ll bet not too many people would say that, human’s anyway.”

“Yes, I’m sure you are right!” She took a drink of the blood and realized it was bagged blood. She was almost surprised but then again maybe not. He had been on her mind a lot lately; it was the reason she was here. She knew he wasn’t happy. “So what is going on in your life, Bellamy?” She watched him over the rim of her glass to see his response. His face immediately became cloaked as he tried to hide whatever was going on.

“Not much; working, you know how it goes.” He looked around the room, anywhere but at her because he knew she could tell he was lying and he didn’t want to face it.

She reached for his hand; he tried to pull it away and she held on tighter. “No bullshit Bellamy, what’s going on?

His shoulders slumped and when he finally met her gaze the look in his eyes broke her heart. “Ah Bellamy… You haven’t seen her have you?”

“I can’t Elka, I just can’t. Today is a really hard day, I’m glad you’re here. It’s her birthday; her stepdad invited me, but I can’t go, I can’t…”

“Why?” One word, just one quietly spoken word. The answer though, well, it was complicated.

He explained it all to her, his justifications for not going, for staying out of her life. He could see she didn’t buy any of it.

“Bellamy, unless you try and see her how are you going to know how she will react? So what if she does remember your face? She was a child, her memories are bound to be skewed, distorted. But you’ll never know if you don’t seek her out.”

“I – I don’t want to risk hurting her, Elka. Bringing back memories she doesn’t need to remember.”

“I don’t think that is the problem at all, Bellamy. And if she does finally remember, maybe that’s the best thing for her, did you ever think of that? Can you imagine what it would be like to live with that shadow hanging over you? Maybe it would be a blessing for her, a chance to open herself up and move on with life. “

“I can’t imagine that it could help her at all, Elka, I just can’t.”

“Bellamy, how long do you think I would have survived if I hadn’t been able to work through those horrible things that happened in my life? If I ran from them or blocked them out? I would never be happy, have found any level of happiness Bellamy.”

“Maybe if you had blocked them out Elka you would be able to find love again?” he said and he saw a shadow settle down on her face at those words.

“No Bellamy, you’re wrong about that. It isn’t the memories that keep me from falling in love again; it’s knowing that that kind of love only happens once to some people. The kind that is perfectly right, where your two souls unite and nothing can keep you apart, save death’s clutches. There will never be another for me like Lone Eagle, Bellamy. ; He was my mate, my life, my love. I hear his voice in the four winds and see his face in the clouds. I will be with him again I know, just not in this lifetime Bellamy. I accept that and while I am here on the earth I do my best to help other people find their destiny. I think yours lies with a young woman that you happened to save 20 years ago. You have only to find the courage to see if I’m right Bellamy.”

Bellamy sat next to her on the couch, his head bowed as her words washed over him. Tears ran unchecked down his face and he nodded, looking at her. He recognized the truth of her words, but did he have the courage? Only time would tell.


):(

 

Abby and Marcus cleaned up after the party guests had left. Everyone had enjoyed themselves but Abby was glad it was done. She pushed paper plates down in the trash sack and closed it with the twist tie and carried it to the trash bin.

Marcus met her there and lifted the lid and then took the bag from her and stuffed it down in the receptacle. “There, all done!” he declared.

They walked slowly to the house enjoying the quiet of the evening. “I invited Bellamy today, but he didn’t come. Couldn’t get away I guess.”

“You – you did what?” she asked, alarmed at what she heard.

“I said I invited Bellamy. He didn’t come.” He shrugged as he opened the back door of the house for her. She stepped in and he followed her, closing and locking the door behind them.

“I can’t believe you did that Marcus! How could you, without asking me?” Her head was reeling with the panic of what might have happened if he had come.

“Abby, they can’t run from each other forever. Sooner or later they will be drawn together.”

“No, I don’t believe that. I don’t…”

“All those years I watched her and so did he. And you know what? She knew that he was out there too, Abby, she knew. It made her feel safe; the girls used to talk about Clarke’s ‘shadow man’ all the time. Who did you think they were talking about for heaven’s sake?”

It all came rushing at her like a freight train. She didn’t want to believe it, but part of her did. No, she knew that he was right. Still, something in her fought it. “He’s a vampire, Marcus. His life is so different, how would she fit in to that life?”

“I don’t know that she will, but they need to meet to find out. Jasper said that Bellamy has been miserable, Abby; he misses her, he needs her.”

“Vampires Marcus, I just don’t know. His ex, the woman who took Clarke was a vampire. I never knew until afterward that she was. It scared me so bad and I at least knew about vampires because of Jasper.”

“What happened when Clarke was taken Abby? How did it happen?”

Abby started crying, remembering the events that led up to Clarke being taken. “It was my fault Marcus; I invited that woman here to our house. Clarke and I had been to the park and she was there too, watching the children I realized later. Clarke had fallen and scraped her leg, pretty badly and she was crying. Echo and I were chatting and when Clarke came over something odd came over her, Echo I mean. I know now that it was the smell of Clarke’s blood. Anyway, we were chatting and I asked her to come back to the house with us for coffee while I got Clarke cleaned up. Echo even offered to carry Clarke back to the house for me, and Clarke rode on her shoulders, piggy back style to the house where we got her cleaned up.”

Abby was lost in her memories, oblivious to Marcus or anything else right then, locked in the horror and guilt of what she believed was her fault. “We chatted and drank our coffee while Clarke played. She took Echo into her bedroom and showed her all of her toys and things and Echo took it all in. I remember standing there watching it all thinking how sweet Echo was to pay so much attention to Clarke and all her dolls and stuff. When she left she hugged Clarke and said she’d see her soon. I had no idea just how soon that would be.”

“Abby, darling, it wasn’t your fault. You and Clarke were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It didn’t happen because you were not a diligent parent or anything. It just happened. Clarke has grown up remarkably well, due to you and your parents. She is a survivor and she is building a strong and happy life for herself. She is okay.”

“Is she? You seem to think she needs Bellamy in her life.”

“I think they need each other Abby, I do. He’s a good man, the best, vampire or not. And whether or not he recognizes it, he needs her. I’ve always thought so.”

Abby wiped the tears from her eyes and gave Marcus as small, albeit watery smile. “You may be right Marcus. Only time will tell…”

 

Chapter Text

October 10, 2017


Sometimes life takes you places or on journeys you can’t imagine and the best things happen, even from something that seems like the worst possible thing. That’s the kind of week I’ve had, let me tell you!


Hm, first off I have found a new place to live, a much nicer place. No more paper-thin walls with the neighbors fighting 24-7 or the creepy guy down the hall watching everyone come and go. My new place is fantastic and I love it!


I’m on the second floor of a new building that looks old – vintage actually. It is light and airy, with glass panels in some of the walls that let all kinds of light in and a wonderful little balcony off of my bedroom. I move in two weeks and I can’t wait, it’s going to be such a pleasure living there. It’s sort of centrally located so I’m not too far from anything.


The weirdest thing about this week is meeting this new guy – Finn. Finn Collins that is; he is an Assistant District Attorney and very handsome and nice. How I met him though was anything but nice and enchanting, let me tell you. But we had a great first date and another one planned for next weekend, so things look promising.


I spent last weekend down in San Diego with Harper and Monty and baby Jordan, who I might say is not so much a baby anymore. At a year and a half or so he is growing like a reed and a walking and talking force of destruction! Harper and I swear that he channels Raven and if there is any truth in that at all, Harper and Monty are in for a rough ride. My godchild is fearless and loves to jump and bounce on whatever surface is handy. He would perform daring feats of danger constantly if not watched carefully. He is the perfect combination of Harper and Monty in looks though, so he is simply gorgeous; Monty’s caramel-colored eyes and Harper’s beautiful smile. He will definitely be a heartbreaker.


I hear from Raven frequently, by e-mail mostly although we do manage to chat by phone occasionally too. I miss her so much but she loves Tokyo. She came home briefly after Jordan was born, for a week and we made the most of the time together. She has invited me to Tokyo numerous times but getting away from work is hard, when you’re a reporter always fighting the pack for the best stories that is. If I had a by-line or something it might be different! So, I often wonder, what does the future hold for me where my job is concerned? The crystal ball isn’t revealing much, that’s for sure!


Later…


):(

 

Bellamy rode home from Murphy’s right before dawn, savoring the quiet of the streets at 4 a.m. Well, as quiet as LA ever got that is. The top was down in the Benz as Bellamy cruised down the Mulholland and listened to Ella Fitzgerald on the CD player. Bellamy hummed along with Night and Day, occasionally singing along as well. 

Damn that woman could sing!

It had been the consummate boy’s night at Murphy’s place, poker, cigars, blood, and the boys; it didn’t get much better than that Bellamy thought. It took Bellamy back to when he and Murphy first forged their friendship, after Murphy had rescued him from Echo all those years ago. 

Bellamy admitted that he and Murphy actually coming to like one another was totally unlikely and yet they managed to do so. Still it had been rocky at first and possibly only fortune itself had kept Bellamy’s head attached to his shoulders. Funny thing though about Murphy, he wouldn’t separate the two as long as Bellamy asked for it; pleaded for it in fact. No, it was only after all that happened that he would have considered it. He had told Echo and Bellamy both that night that he would help Bellamy get his head screwed on straight and he did just that.

 

1959–


Bellamy sat huddled up in the backseat corner of Murphy’s Lincoln Continental, not sure what to think about this guy who had helped him escape Echo’s house. He could still hear her piercing screams ripping through the night as they pulled away from the party house. It was only a small solace; he was still with another vampire and one not only did he not know but wasn’t sure he could trust. However, it was done…


Did he really want to die? Well, yes and no. He wasn’t ready to leave this earth, but he didn’t really want to live like this either; sucking people’s blood and killing innocent victims just to get that blood. Echo said that it was different for him – that he was above the humans now and they were only here to amuse and feed him as he wished. He didn’t believe that –would never accept that. He was one of them only a week ago and he wouldn’t ever forget that.


Bellamy was oblivious to the shrouded glances cast upon him by Murphy as he piloted the Lincoln through the empty streets. “What the hell have you done, Murphy” he asked himself? Better to have just separated this fool from his head than to rush in all hero-like and promise to help him get his head on straight! He slapped his hand against the steering wheel, causing the car to swerve for a moment and Bellamy to sit up in the backseat and look around him in fear.


So, he doesn’t really want to die. But he sure is messed up that’s for sure. Echo really did a number on him. Poor bastard…


Murphy knew that that was the reason he was helping Bellamy; Echo and her games. Although he admitted that he hadn’t ever seen Echo fall so hard for someone before and that made him curious. Usually Echo just kept her boy toys until they were totally infatuated with her and then she threw them out; the game being over at that point. But this guy was apparently different and why was yet to be seen.


At Murphy’s secluded house in the hills he pulled the car to a stop and cut the engine. “Well boyo, we’re home sweet home. Come on in!”


Bellamy climbed out of the car and stood staring at the mansion, transfixed. He suddenly felt scared to death and while he tried to take a step forward, he found his legs wouldn’t move.


Murphy stood impatiently watching Bellamy and shook his head. “Come on, Bellamy. The sun’s going to be up soon and you don’t want to be out here when it does. It’s time to grab something to eat and hit the freezer. Come on…” he said, starting to walk towards the steps that lead up to the imposing front door.


Bellamy steeled himself and took a reluctant step forward, followed by another. He knew Murphy was right; he didn’t want to be out here when the sun came up. The sun used to be one of his joys, the warmth seeping into his body. Now, each time he got close to a window it only burned; his eyes, his skin, whatever it touched. He loathed this part of his existence although Echo had told him that would get better and that he would eventually be able to go outside during the day. Bellamy was doubtful about that.


Inside the foyer a servant was waiting for them to enter. “Good evening Mr. Murphy. Welcome home. May I take your coat and your guests as well?”


“Yes, thank you Franklin. This is Bellamy Blake a recent turn that is uh, struggling a bit. We’ll need a guest chamber prepared for him and also, can you send several of the girls into the study? Mr. Blake and I will be in there.”


“Certainly, Sir. At once!”


Echo’s house was really nice but compared to this place it wasn’t much at all Bellamy thought as he followed Murphy into the ‘study’, a huge room lined with leather sofas and chairs. An enormous desk occupied one corner of the room and Murphy sat down behind it and motioned for Bellamy to sit across from him.


“Okay, a few ground rules here, Bellamy. I’m going to do my best to help you figure out what you want to do; I meant what I said at Echo’s, I will help you kill yourself if you ultimately decide that is what you want. In the meantime though, you need to eat and rest so that you will figure it all out. Several of my girls will be in this room soon and you WILL treat them with respect and care. I take care of my ladies so you will behave!”


“What? I can’t – I can’t kill them Murphy! I’ll die first!”


“It’s not always about killing Bellamy. I don’t expect nor will I tolerate you killing them just to satisfy your hunger. Obviously Echo hasn’t bothered to teach you that. You don’t have to kill them to feed Bellamy,” he finished quietly, watching Bellamy as he thought over what he had just said. It seemed to surprise him.


“How many times have you fed from a human, Bellamy?” Murphy queried.


“Just once. I – I drained her and sh…she died. I can’t do that again!” Panic rose in his voice as he remembered what had happened two nights ago.


“You won’t kill them. You will gently bite their wrists and drink a bit from each one. Then you will seal the wounds with your tongue to soothe them. They like it Bellamy, I promise, if you do it right and trust me on this – I will make sure you can do it right.”


“I – I won’t have to kill them?” Bellamy asked, feeling a bit better. Why hadn’t Echo told him this?


“If you do, you’ll die by my hand, and that is not only a promise but a threat. The key words are gently, politely and you will follow that rule!”


Bellamy nodded and just then several beautiful women entered the room, looking around them at Murphy and Bellamy. “Hi Murphy! Are you hungry?” a small blonde asked, smiling seductively at Murphy.


“Ladies, this is Bellamy and he is hungry. He is also inexperienced at this so you will have to exhibit a bit of patience with him. But he will learn fast, I promise and he won’t hurt you either.” He pointed to one of the sofas and said, “Bellamy, have a seat. Juliette will sit on your lap so you will have easy access to her wrist.”


Bellamy nodded to the one called Juliette, a tall redhead and waited as she took a seat on his lap and got comfortable. He swallowed hard and picked up her wrist and suddenly the vamp begged to be let out. He tried to keep it at bay as he studied the delicate skin, the road map of blue veins standing out brightly on the pale cream color of her skin. He felt his fangs come down and he licked his lips, terribly nervous.


“Gently Bellamy. See this vein here?” Murphy pointed to a pulsing vein close to the skin and Bellamy nodded. “Now, bite softly and just let the blood flow; that’s all you have to do.”


Bellamy did as directed and was quickly reward with a warm mouthful of the most delicious thing he had ever tasted. He had to fight his inner vamp to keep from clamping down hard and dragging huge mouthfuls of the delicious nectar in but he managed to stay in control. After several minutes Murphy told him it was enough and he did as Murphy had told him, to smooth his tongue over the twin wounds in Juliette’s wrist. She pulled her arm away from him and smiled even though she looked a bit woozy and he thanked her. What was surprising was that she was totally okay and it hadn’t been so bad.


Andrea, the small blonde was next and Bellamy gave a repeat performance, much more sure of himself this time. Andrea was even moaning a bit at the end but it didn’t sound like pain, it sounded like, well it couldn’t have been what it sounded like he decided.


After both girls were gone Murphy nodded and said, “First lesson. You did okay, Bellamy.”


“I didn’t know that we don’t, that they don’t have to die just for us to eat, Murphy,” he said simply, still amazed.


“There appears to be a lot you don’t know boyo, but you will. Are you feeling any better?”


“Yeah, a little. I’m tired though.”


Murphy nodded and said, “It’s time to hit the freezer. Franklin will show you to the guest room.” Murphy paused for a moment and then added, “Bellamy, it won’t always be this bad. It’s just a whole different life than you imagined, I know, but it ain’t so bad. In fact, some of us like it a lot! Now, get some rest and we’ll continue tomorrow!”

After that night he and Murphy forged a bond between the two of them. He had learned so much from Murphy and he had gone home to Echo two weeks later. He had loved her, as screwed up and noxious as that love was, it was real. He had tried with her, but it was just not meant to be and he believed that completely. They were toxic together and even if he hadn’t killed her he would still have never gone back to her. 

No, it was never meant to be…


):(

 

Clarke had drawn the short straw and had to cover a concert that night. It sucked since it was a human interest kind of piece and she hated those. To make it worse it was a band that she didn’t even like but she got her interview with them after the show as they came down from the audience high; they had talked to her in the dressing room.

The LA Palladium was huge and the parking lot bigger still. Very few cars remained in it as a guard escorted her to her car parked in the press area. She told him good night and sighed as she closed her door. She was dead tired and it was 1am; she couldn’t wait to get to bed! She yawned broadly and put the car into reverse, not looking behind her.

CRASH!

“OMG!” she yelled, stunned for a moment from the impact. She couldn’t believe she could have been so careless; she was shaking like a leaf and she saw the guard that had escorted her to the car running towards the two cars. She unbuckled her seat belt and climbed out of the car, hoping that she hadn’t hurt anyone.

A dark-haired man was climbing out of his Lexus, or trying to anyway. Clarke had managed to back into the front fender on the driver’s side and it had not only buckled the fender but the driver’s door as well. 

Of course it would be a freaking Lexus. He’ll probably sue me!

He finally crawled out the passenger side door and came storming around the car yelling like a banshee, “Christ, don’t you bother to look behind you before you back up lady?”

“I was tired, I’m sor – hey wait a damn minute, did you ever hear of lights when driving at night buddy?” she demanded, noticing that his lights weren’t on.

He looked down at his car and realized she was right; he had neglected to turn his headlights on. He looked at her and saw that along with being pissed she was also really cute. Maybe this a bit of serendipity?

“Yeah, you’re right; I forgot to turn them on. I’m tired too. Sorry, Miss…?”

“Griffin, Clarke Griffin. I’m sorry too. Are you hurt?” she asked, taking him in. Nice looking, tall, classy suit. Not bad… She tried to smile at him.

“Finn Collins. Yes, I’m fine. How about you?”

Clarke nodded and gave a rueful laugh. “Guess we can’t say the same for the cars, huh?”

Finn looked at both of them; his with the crumpled fender and hers with the busted tail light and dent. He laughed and agreed, “Guess not. Is yours drivable do you think?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think yours is, that’s for sure.” They both looked at the way the fender was tucked into the tire and frowned. Her rear bumper was crunched but it was intact anyway.

“I think I will be calling the auto club,” he said with a grin. “Since this is a private parking lot and there apparently are no injuries we don’t need to call the police. I guess we just exchange information and be on our way,” he told her.

They spent the next ten minutes doing just that and then Finn called the auto club. They said it would be about 30 minutes before they could get there. Clarke invited Finn to sit in her car with her while they waited.

“That’s crazy. You should go on home. I’ll be fine here, really.”

“So you think I should do a ‘crash and dash’ huh? No way, I know you’re a lawyer now, not a chance!” she laughed.

“Yes, a lawyer. But you haven’t said what you do!”

“I’m a reporter for the LA Free Press, which is why I was here tonight, to interview the band. All in all it hasn’t been the best of evenings!”

“I don’t know, it’s not ending too badly!” He caught her eyes and for a moment something sparked between them. Both of them were quiet, thinking about that. He continued, “So, you aren’t a fan of heavy metal I guess?”

“Nope. Too loud!”

“Yeah, they are loud, but I still love them. Rock out you know!” he told her laughing as she vehemently shook her head no.

“Well, you can have them! Give me something a bit quieter, like emo!”

“Emo? Oh man, here I was hoping I could ask you out until you said that. An emo girl? I don’t know if I can go out with an emo girl!”

“Have you ever tried?” she asked with a smile.

“Guess I’m going to find out!” he replied. 

Yeah, all in all a great night.

Chapter Text

July 7, 2017


It has been a wonderful week! Raven was home for 9 days and the Three Musketeers spent 3 whole days together, idling the day away in the sun and talking the night away as well.


Raven inherited a beach house from her grandparents, which is the main reason she came home, to sign paperwork and such. It’s out just past Malibu, but in the older, ‘not fashionable’ part. It’s a real bungalow style, built in the 1930’s and just awesome. I spent quite a few days there helping Raven sort through things and you should have seen us trying to handle a few minor repairs. Finn came over to help occasionally, but in reality he isn’t much handier with a hammer than we are. It was a true spectacle to watch us, I’m sure! 


When Harper came for a long weekend it was the perfect end to the week. No men were allowed; we turned off our cell phones and stocked up on wine and munchies and sunscreen and just did whatever we felt like. Raven has really enjoyed Tokyo but she seems different somehow about it. I tried to get her to tell me what was wrong but she insisted that nothing was wrong and that perhaps she really was just a bit home-sick and in truth I think she is; she seemed to absorb everything and clung to us when it was time to go. It’s almost like she has seen something there that she doesn’t understand or maybe just something that made her grow up. Who knows, but I am so glad she was home. 


Oh, I almost forgot something! I ran into Wells when I was working a story for the paper. He is doing really well and is a detective now; a job that he is perfectly suited to. It felt good to see him and he met Finn and I for dinner one night; they already knew one another from a couple of cases. I haven’t mentioned to Finn that Wells and I used to date; I suppose I should at some point, but it feels kind of weird to mention it. Wells did seem surprised by Finn and I and that sort of made me laugh. He didn’t say anything, but I could still tell. Wells is engaged and has promised to bring his fiancé next time we meet for dinner. 


My friend Morgan, who is a fantastic photographer told me about a great job opening at Buzzwire, an internet news and gossip venue. She told me to tell Maureen Williams there that she had sent me and I went to the interview. I think it went great and I am really hopeful about it. Who knows, thanks to Morgan I may be the next ‘it’ girl on the internet!


My mom has retired from her job with the Glendale school system. She is really excited about it too. She was there for 20 years and she says it’s about time. She is going to help Marcus with his business, a construction and remodeling firm specializing in green technologies. He has made their house into a finely working and energy efficient showcase, it’s really kind of cool. 


Later!


):(

 

Bellamy's phone chimed with a text message:

Guillermo to Bellamy: Hey man, you need to come down here and look at this body. It may be the one you been looking for.

Bellamy to Guillermo: Be right there.

Bellamy slid his phone back into his pocket and thought about the text from Guillermo. For the past week he had been looking for a missing girl, 6 years old who disappeared from her yard. He prayed it wasn’t the one in the morgue, but logic told him it probably was.

Damn, he didn’t want to have to do this but he grabbed his keys and headed out the door; the sooner they got it over with the better.

At the morgue Bellamy found Guillermo with Wells Jaha, examining the body. Bellamy had worked with Wells a time or two on a case and he respected the lieutenant’s ability to get cases solved. He nodded to both of them as he entered the room.

“Hey Guillermo, lieutenant.”

Wells looked at Guillermo and said “What’s he doing here?”

Bellamy spoke up and said, “I’ve been working a case for a missing 6 year old girl; hired by her parents.”

Wells looked irritated but stepped aside. Bellamy stepped over the body and lifted the sheet, wincing as he did. The body was in pretty bad shape and he quickly covered it again and said to Guillermo, “What can you tell me about her?”

“She was found in a drainage ditch in west Hollywood. The body is in pretty bad shape though. We’ll have to run dentals and maybe even DNA to positively identify her.” Guillermo shook his head as he looked at the tiny body that lay covered on the table. “Man, who does this to a kid?”

“Bellamy, did the girl have any identifying markers on her? The one you are looking for?” Wells asked, looking at his notes.

“Yeah. She has a strawberry birthmark on her right shoulder her mom said. Did you find anything like that Guillermo?”

“Her body is pretty abraded, looks like it was drug through the ditch but we can take another look. The coroner didn’t make any notes on here about one though so I’m assuming either she didn’t have one or it is impossible to tell.”

Bellamy nodded and Wells lifted the sheet again; both men closed their eyes for a moment because the little girl was so badly messed up. Guillermo lifted her and they all looked at her shoulder. 

“Um, maybe. Take a look,” he told Bellamy and Wells.

Both men looked at the uncovered back of the child, but it was just too hard to tell for sure. “I guess it will be dental records or DNA before we know for sure.”

“Yeah. Hey, thanks Guillermo. Wells,” Bellamy said, nodding to both men before leaving. Outside Bellamy leaned up against the wall for a moment to collect himself. 

That so easily could have been Clarke, when Echo took her. The realization shook him to the core and his gut twisted with pain. It could have been…

1984


Bellamy sat in the living room of the Griffin’s house in Glendale, taking notes about Clarke Griffin, 4 years old who had been taken from her bed the night before. Her mother, grandparents and Marcus Kane were all sick with worry and guilt for not hearing Clarke being taken. 


“May I see her bedroom now? I think I have enough background.”


Abby Griffin nodded and said, “Yes Mr. Blake, please, follow me.” Her voice caught on the last word and she tried to stifle a small sob. “It was quiet last night and we didn’t hear anything; we just don’t understand. Whoever took her got in through the window, which they pried open from the outside.” She opened the door and as soon as she stood aside Bellamy not only scented exactly what had happened, but who had taken her. 


A knife twisted viciously in his gut. Echo…Echo had the little girl. 


He saw her coming in the window and standing still, looking at the child, who was sleeping peacefully. Echo leaned over her and laid her hand over the child’s mouth and then scooped her up into cold and merciless arms and was back out of the window before anyone knew it. 


He shut his eyes tightly for a moment; he couldn’t bear for Abby Griffin to see the naked pain in them. After he had regained his composure he said to her, “I’ll find her. I promise.” He had left then, rage filling his being. He knew exactly where to look for Clarke. He would find her, but would he find her in time?

Those same worries occurred to him now; it wasn’t Echo who took the child, but would they find her in time? Or had she been found already? Bellamy could only hope for the best.


):(

 

“Clarke, did you hear?” Max said, an infectious grin plastered across her face.

Max was a new co-worker at the paper and she and Clarke had hit it off immediately. Max, short for Maxine was married to a great guy named Mark and she and Finn had hung out with them several times. Max and Mark had 3 kids, all boys and something was always going on at the Tyler household.

“What?” Clarke asked distractedly as she stared an e-mail from Finn asking her to go to dinner that evening.

“The 710 shooter struck again! This time on Dozier!”

Those words brought Clarke’s immediate attention to focus on Max. “Dozier? It is definitely an alphabet thing then,” she said as she mentally ticked off Anaheim, Bell, Compton and now Dozier. All streets that crossed the 710 but the times seemed to be random and Clarke had spent a good deal of time pondering the situation since she was covering it for the paper. She stood up and grabbed her purse and phone and told Max, “I’m heading out then. Thanks Max!”

As Clarke drove to the site she mulled over the shootings and when they had happened. Each one had happened after noon but before 1pm. The victims had all been driving north-bound on the 710, otherwise known as the Long Beach Freeway, at streets that intersected the freeway. So far there had been 3 clean shots that caused wrecks on the freeway that had killed 9 others. No telling what today’s totals might be. So, the times Clarke wondered. Someone on their lunch hour or what?

When she got to the scene she had to fight her way through the lines of police who were processing the scene. She saw Wells and made a bee-line for him. As soon as he saw her heading for him he tried to duck out of the way but he was too late – he was cornered with nowhere to go.

“Wells! Hey Wells,” Clarke called out, ready to chase him if need be.

“Clarke,” he said with a shake of his head. “Why am I not surprised to see you here?”

“You shouldn’t be, I’ve been at all the other crime scenes. Anything different about this one?”

“No, same damn thing. Shot from one of these buildings, shooter undetected and got away clean. It’s really frustrating…”

Clarke laid a hand on his arm and smiled at him. Their eyes met and for a moment the years had melted away and they both remembered the past. They both shook it off, not because it was a place they wanted to find again but because it was a place where they lost each other. “You’ll catch them Wells, you always do,” she told him, trying to sound convincing.

He nodded and looked around him, at the ambulances and yellow crime scene tape that criss-crossed the paths. “He got 3 today Clarke, the driver was killed immediately and the car went into another lane and killed an elderly couple who couldn’t get out of the way in time. Fourteen cars were involved.”

“At least there were no more fatalities than that Wells. It could have been worse. But I know that is poor consolation to you. Any other information you want to share?”

“No, but I’ll tell you that we think the shooter was on top of the parking garage on Dozier, the one by the bank. They’re checking the scene now.”

Clarke nodded and made notes on her pad. “It’s crazy Wells. So if this was ‘D’ then the next will be ‘E’ I expect. How many ‘E’ streets are there anyway?”

“A couple. But knowing when the hit will be made is the problem. That’s what we can’t figure out.” Just then he got a call on the radio and waved to Clarke as he headed to talk to some officers. 

Finn was arriving on the scene when she was walking to the car. She stopped to chat with him for a minute before she went to file her story. “Hey honey, how’s it going?” she asked.

“Beat me to the scene, again!” he said with a laugh. “I’m good. Did you get my e-mail about dinner?”

“Um hm, sounds good. What time?”

“About 7:00? Should be wrapped up here by then. Wells give you anything?”

“Not much,” she said with a shrug. “He’s pretty frustrated. Hey, I gotta go, but I’ll see later okay?” She gave him a quick kiss and headed off to her car, watching the media circus of television people who were setting up cameras to get their story. She sighed and wondered if she would ever make it that far.

On the drive back to the paper her cell buzzed and she looked at the number with interest. She knew she would definitely return that call when she got out of the mid-day traffic but in the meantime she thought about her life so far.

She wasn’t unhappy really, more like she was just treading water and it felt tiresome. She had gained some great experience with the LA Free Press but she was so ready to move on. And Finn, well, he was a great guy. They had so much fun together and he understood her pretty well. But when she looked at other couples, like Harper and Monty and Max and Mark she felt like something, some integral part was missing. Maybe it was that thing that came with longevity; the whole, knowing someone better than you know yourself deal. As a whole, she couldn’t complain about her relationship with Finn; the sex was good and she truly enjoyed their time together. But was that all there really was to it? Where was that connection that the other’s seemed to have? She sighed and made the turn off to the paper and parked before walking in to her desk.

Max was hovering around her desk, waiting for Clarke to get back. Max was a political editor and a good one. Her rapier sharp wit had ruffled more than a few feathers over time, but you couldn’t fault her for being biased, she skewered them all!

“Well, what’s the deal this time?” she asked, sitting on the corner of Clarke’s desk while Clarke put her purse away.

Clarke gave her the lowdown on the crime scene and then pulled out her notebook and saw her phone and remembered she had a call to return. She was feeling hopeful about it and fidgeted while Max sat there chatting. Finally she was gone and Clarke returned the call, waiting impatiently for it to be answered.

“This is Mo; talk to me!” Maureen’s voice rang out clearly over the telephone line and an excited ripple raced up Clarke’s spine.

“Hi Maureen. This is Clarke Griffin, returning your call.”

“Hey girl, glad you called! So how soon can you come to work for me?”

Clarke’s breath caught in her throat and she silently did the happy dance. SHE GOT THE JOB!!! When she could speak again she said, “Well, I want to give the paper two weeks’ notice; will that work?”

Maureen grinned on the other end of the line. “Looks like I got me someone with a conscience. Hmm, well, I guess that will be fine. So, I’ll see you in two weeks then?”

“You bet you will! And Maureen, thanks so much for this opportunity; I won’t let you down!”

“I’m counting on that Clarke. See you then!” She hung up the phone without another thought and started giggling, excitement overcoming her normally serious demeanor. Max came over to see what was going on.

Clarke jumped up to hug her and then proceeded to jump up and down with excitement. “Guess what? I got a new job; at Buzzwire, the internet news place! I GOT THE JOB!!!”

“Wow Clarke, that’s great! Will you be an online reporter?” Max asked, delighted for her friend.

“Not at first, but soon. I’ll be learning the ropes for a few months and then I’ll get to go live. Max, this is my chance and I can’t wait! Oh, I gotta write my resignation letter now. I’ve never had to do that before! And I have to tell my parents and Finn and wow, I’ve got to get busy!”

“Congratulations Clarke!” Max said as she watched Clarke start typing on the computer. She walked away with a smile, genuinely happy for her friend. She cast a quick look over her shoulder as Clarke sat frowning at the computer screen for a moment. Yes, Max knew it was scary, but she also knew that Los Angeles was about to be taken by a small hurricane named Clarke!


):(

 

“Hey Morgan, I just hired your friend, Clarke Griffin! I hope you been straight up with me girl. She had better deliver!”

“I’m sure she will, and I’m telling you Mo, the camera lens eats her. She’ll be a hit!”

Morgan nodded and headed out the door to her car. She really didn’t know Maureen Williams; she’d sold them a few photos here and there, but when she had heard about the opening at Buzzwire she had immediately thought about Clarke.

On camera she was bound to garner attention, hopefully from the person that Morgan had her eye on. There had to be a way to draw him back into her life and she would attempt just about anything to do that. Yes, she knew that he had watched over Clarke for quite a few years, but all that ended when he spent those reclusive years in Seattle. This would be the perfect way to get his attention focused on her again. The perfect bait that is.

It was all coming together as Morgan , aka Echo Duvall wanted. And she always got what she wanted when it came to Bellamy Blake. She remembered the fire and amended, well, most of the time anyway.

Chapter Text

September 29, 2017


It has been a few really strange and exciting days! I got my first online story and it has made Buzzwire a sensation overnight. Maureen (everyone calls her Mo) loved my story idea and it has been exciting but really hard work!


I met a guy, a private investigator by the name of Bellamy Blake. I’m still collecting my thoughts about him and let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of them. 


Tall, dark, and handsome doesn’t even begin to describe this guy; add sexy to the mix and the fact that he is a total enigma, there one minute and gone the next, literally. Twice he has just disappeared on me. It sort of freaked me out actually. But the thing is, I know him somehow. I don’t know how and he says we’ve never met before, but something inside me recognizes him. I don’t understand how or why, but I feel so right with him, safe I guess you could say. Although I wondered, when he scared the crap out of me after I broke into an apartment, if he wasn’t the killer in the story I was working on. 


Yes, the story! My first webcast and it was a killer! Literally, I’m sorry to say for the girls who died while we tracked this case down. So maybe killer isn’t really the politically correct word, but it got Buzzwire noticed, in a huge way and made a whole city stop and think about things, about people. We did figure it out, Bellamy and I, and he actually saved me in the end of it. I could have ended up like the other two girls so easily, but he was there; now if I could only figure out why I keep seeing him in my dreams.


Finn says it’s normal, given everything that happened but still, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that there is something I’m missing. I even told Bellamy he was the one who saved me when I was taken, which of course is ridiculous because that guy would be much older now. Maybe Bellamy is just my current ‘crush’, huh?


A bunch of us from Buzzwire went out to celebrate after the story wrapped, Steve, Marissa, Morgan, Sam, and Clint, as well as Julia and Max from the Free Press. We all had a bit too much to drink so it was lucky when Finn and Wells showed up. Wells had his fiancé with him, Tammy, and it was a really great evening. Let’s just say that as far as I’m concerned the next morning wasn’t nearly as much fun as the night before had been!


Later…


):(

 

Clarke anxiously punched in her mom’s number and waited impatiently for the call to be answered. She tapped her foot against the cold pavement and felt the chill in the air. Occasionally a fine mist of spray from the fountain got caught in the breeze and made its way across the crime scene where she was waiting for Steve to get set up so she could go live; her very first web cast!

“Hello?” Abby answered, on the other end of the phone. It was after midnight, which was late but Clarke couldn’t contain her excitement. 

“Mom! Guess what? I’m getting ready to do my first live web cast! Turn the computer on, okay?”

Abby blinked and cleared her throat as she listened to her daughter’s words. This was a huge thing for Clarke and Abby tried to wake up a bit more in order to appreciate it all. 

In the background Clarke could hear Marcus asking who was on the phone and what was wrong. She listened as her mom told Marcus what Clarke said and she heard Marcus give an excited ‘ALRIGHT’ in the background which brought an even bigger grin to Clarke’s face. Marcus was always her biggest supporter and she laughed as he grabbed the phone and started asking a million questions.

“Where are you?” was the first one and Clarke started answering them all. 

“I’m at the fountain on Melrose, downtown. I’m waiting for Steve to get set up now, it’s a murder Marcus. The girl has a bite mark on her throat I heard them say, like a vampire or something bit her!” Clarke laughed at this last bit of information, as if anyone really believed in vampires! But it made a good angle for the story. She never even noticed when Marcus failed to laugh with her.

Just then Steve told her he was ready to go and she said to Marcus, “Hey, I gotta go now, we’re ready to roll. Turn the computer on!” She didn’t hear Marcus tell her to be careful.


):(

 

Marcus set the receiver back down in the cradle and made his way downstairs where Abby had booted the computer and followed the Buzzwire link Clarke had sent them. As he walked into the room Abby immediately saw that something was terribly wrong.

“What is it honey?”

“Clarke just told me the dead girl has bite marks in her throat!”

“Oh my God,” Abby said and watched as Clarke’s web cast started. Both watched in stunned silence, both proud and scared as they watched the report. They knew what they had to do.


):(


Bellamy had just woke from his sub-zero slumber and made his way into the kitchen for a quick fix, choosing the needle as his dinner companion this night. It was fast and he needed the boost because he hadn’t rested well at all. He had dreamt of Clarke all day and she appeared and retreated constantly, reappearing whenever he finally felt as if he would actually rest. 

He slid the needle into his vein and felt the rush; so did his inner vamp and he went with the feeling, letting it take him over. The computer was on and it suddenly had his attention.

There she was, Clarke on the screen, reporting from a crime scene. “This is Clarke Griffin, reporting for Buzzwire.”

It brought him out of his seat immediately. He knew that she had gotten the job at Buzzwire a few months ago; he didn’t know that she was doing live web casts. 

His cell started ringing and he was tempted to ignore it, but when he looked at the number ringing in he answered right away.

“Hello?”

“Bellamy, its Marcus. I think Clarke might be in trouble!”

“I just saw her on the web cast. What’s wrong?” He flashed back to his disturbed sleep and began to understand it.

“She’s working a murder scene; Bellamy, the dead girl has a bite mark on her neck.”

“Fuck! Is she still there? It was a live web cast wasn’t it?"

“Yeah, she just called us before she went on. You’ve got to go and check it out, Bellamy. Please…” The last word was unnecessary; Bellamy was already heading up the stairs to get dressed.

“I’m on my way Marcus; I’ll let you know what I find out!” Bellamy hung up the phone and was dressed and out the door in record time. 

On the drive Bellamy was anxious; this would be the first time he had actually saw her since that long ago July night when he knew that he had to leave. He had to check this out for Clarke’s safety, but he was scared to death. He’d just stay in the shadows he told himself. She didn’t even have to know he was there, just like the old days. He’d just check it out and see what was going on, that was all and then he’d leave.

Simple… 

Not simple and he knew it. The complications buzzed through his head and the reality was that as afraid as he was of seeing her, he was also incredibly excited. To actually see her, not just a picture thrilled him and by the time he was at the crime scene he was a mess. The chaos of the scene helped to clear his head out a bit and he was thankful. Yellow tape decorated the perimeter and flashing lights made it hard to spot her at first. He went in for a closer look and that was when he saw her, standing next to the dead girl, snapping pictures with her phone. Wells was on the scene and when he noticed what she was doing he yelled at her to get away from the body. She headed straight towards Bellamy.

My God, she took his breath away, if he really had any to take away that was. Seeing her like this was a total surprise, she moved gracefully across the pavement, barefoot and ignoring what had to be freezing water as she walked towards him, talking to herself. He tried to memorize this moment and he knew that he needed to disappear, quickly, but he stood rooted to the spot, oblivious to everything else. All sound and motion around him seemed to cease and she filled his world with her presence; he was mesmerized.

Clarke saw him standing along the edge of the crime scene and thought he must be another cop. She headed over to see if she could get anything else out of him; information that Wells might not share.

Truthfully, she felt drawn towards him; as if a giant magnet was guiding her straight to him. She didn’t know why, but she knew that was where she was supposed to be. He seemed familiar somehow, in a comforting sort of way. The closer she got the more she realized how gorgeous he was and it drew her to him even more. 

“Do I know you from somewhere?” She stared at him,  quizzically, lightly worrying her lower lip with her teeth.

“You tell me,” he answered. He tried not to show how excited he was to see her, be this close to her.  She was close enough now that he could catch the scent she was wearing; something floral with a hint of vanilla. She stood in front of him staring as they talked, relaxed as she asked him if he were a cop.

He smiled at her and she smiled back; he ached to pull her into his arms and hold her tight against him, inhaling her beauty and essence. His hands were clenched at his sides as he fought the silent war within himself. His need versus what was right. She turned away for a moment and he used that time to escape, for both of their own goods.


):(


Clarke turned around and he was gone; totally disappeared in the blink of an eye. She frowned in puzzlement wondering how on earth he had managed it so quickly, so silently. She surveyed the people around her and couldn’t find him anywhere. 

This is just too weird!

“Clarke!” Steve watched her for a moment, staring around the scene as if looking for someone. “Clarke!”

“Huh? What?” she asked distractedly.

“Wells wants the press over by the parking lot, for a briefing. Come on, let’s go.”

“Oh, okay,” she told him. She stopped long enough to slip her shoes back on and followed Steve to where the other press was waiting for information. She saw Julia there and went to stand next to her.

“Hey, what are you doing here, in the middle of the night?” Clarke asked.

“Well, it seems like our crime reporter left the paper, so here I am!” she teased. “Was this your first web cast?”

“Yeah. I think it went pretty well. Hope so anyway. I was first on the scene.”

Julia giggled and said, “Why doesn’t that surprise me? So what do you think?”

“I think it’s weird, that’s what I think. She has a bite mark in her neck!” She pulled out her phone and showed Julia the pictures she had snapped.

Julia winced and said, “Ooh, looks awful! Poor girl - that must have been horrific.”

Clarke put the phone away, nodding in agreement. “Hey, did you happen to see a tall, dark haired guy standing over there by that wall a little bit ago?”

“No, I didn’t notice anyone. Why?”

“It was the strangest thing, I was talking to him and turned around for a minute and he just vanished, like into thin air.”

“Sorry, didn’t see him.” Before she could continue Wells joined the group and the camera’s and lights focused on him.

Clarke was immediately shoved out of the way by reporters who were bigger than she was and she learned right away that they may be bigger but she was more determined. She pushed back and made her way to the front of the pack. Wells watched her and had to hide a smile; same old Clarke. She’d get her story; he never doubted it for a moment.

Clarke listened as he gave a briefing of what they knew which wasn’t anything different than what he had already told her. Clarke pushed the microphone closer to him and asked, “Lieutenant, do you think she was killed here or that her body was just dumped here?”

“We don’t know that yet, although we’ll be investigating further. For now folks, that’s all we have.” He finished his sentence and walked away, heading back to a group of the SID investigators to discuss the case.

Clarke and Steve headed to the Buzzwire van and sat inside to view the story as it was rebroadcast. Clarke frowned as she watched, thinking that she would have done this or that differently.

“Not bad Clarke. Not bad at all!”

“I don’t know. What do you think Maureen will think? I could have done better, I know it.”

“I think she’ll love it! Nice and juicy, just the sort of story she loves, I promise!”

“I guess we’ll see,” Clarke said, chewing her bottom lip. “Come on; let’s go see what else we can find out!”

Steve rolled his eyes but followed her out. Yep, Clarke had been bitten by the camera bug. She had a passion for the gritty stuff; the girl would probably go far.

):(

Bellamy had watched the rest of the night hidden in the trees that rimmed the plaza. He kept Clarke in sight at all times and watched for anyone who might have been paying too much attention to the crime scene but he didn’t see anyone. He hadn’t gotten close enough to the body to scent it, but he’d have his chance at the morgue when he stopped to see Guillermo. 

As dawn broke over the city Clarke and her camera guy were out walking the parking lots. It was impossible for him to stay hidden and watch her any longer so he finally left her to head to his car. No one else was at the scene any more, not even the police and he felt sure she’d be okay. 

It remained to be seen whether or not she had stumbled onto a vampire murder. It would be practically unheard of for one of the tribe to leave someone out like that to be discovered. There were rules and they were followed; the cleaners made sure that was how it worked. The only safety the vamps had was hiding in plain sight and that meant no leaving bodies around to be found by humans. Bellamy didn’t know what the deal was with this case, but he knew he had to find out.

That decided, his mind strayed back to Clarke; he felt like a drowning man who had just been thrown a life preserver in a tumultuous sea. She was a life line, in many ways although he hated to think of her like that. But he knew it was true; he felt more alive right now than he had felt in years.

She didn’t recognize me. No, no I don’t think she did, really. Maybe its okay and she won’t remember.

He did not want to bring all the trauma of that time back to her and he would leave again if he had to; anything to keep that from happening. She deserved to get on with her life and he vowed he would not be a roadblock to that.

But damn it had felt so good, so right seeing her.

He decided to head over to Marcus and Abby’s house. He knew they would be anxiously waiting to hear what had happened. As he pulled into their drive the front door opened and Abby ran out to him and pulled him to her in a hug.

“Is she alright?” she asked, pulling him along into the house and out of the morning sun.

Inside Marcus clasped his hand and laid his other hand on Bellamy’s arm, welcoming him into the house. “Bellamy, have a seat. Tell us what you know, please.”

“She’s okay. I couldn’t get close enough to the scene to tell whether or not there is a vampire involved, but I’ll be checking that out at the morgue in a little while.”

“Have you seen her follow-up report? It started running an hour or so ago.” Marcus turned the volume on the computer up and Bellamy watched Clarke as she gave the final report from the crime scene. The headline said, ‘Vampire slaying rocks LA’.

Damn it, Murphy will be so pissed. Another thing to deal with; visit with Murphy after he talked to Guillermo.

Abby looked at Bellamy, a question in her eyes. Bellamy knew what that question was and he didn’t want to have to answer it. He took an unnecessary breath and said, “Yes, I saw her there; I talked to her for a moment.”

“Oh my God, Bellamy! How did that happen?” she asked, grabbing Marcus’s hand. Bellamy saw the concern flash across Marcuss face and he felt even worse.

“I was standing off to the side, out of the way but Wells was there and he saw her by the body and yelled at her to get away. Where I was standing was the only place she could go.”

“Wells was there?” Marcus asked.

Bellamy was puzzled, but answered, “Yes. Do you know him?”

Abby nodded and smiled, “Yes we do. Clarke and Wells dated for quite awhile in college. At one time we sort of thought they might get married.”

Bellamy tried not to let the fact that the news shocked him show on his face. Of course he knew that Clarke would have had boyfriends, steady ones even and lovers, but the fact that one of them was Wells definitely did shock him. He remembered watching them together at the crime scene though and he could see it in their interaction. Despite the fact that Wells obviously didn’t like Bellamy he was a good man, an outstanding man in fact and he felt a momentary pang of regret for their failed relationship.

“So – so do you think she recognized you?” Abby asked.

“No, I was a bit worried about that too. She thought I looked familiar, but she couldn’t place me. It was okay. I only talked to her for a minute and then I left. I did watch the scene until dawn though, to make sure she was okay.” He let them digest this information for a minute before adding the part that they would hate. “Look, there could be a vampire involved in this; I have to continue to investigate it. Not only for Clarke’s safety, but for the security of the vampire community. We could have a rogue out there and if so, it has to be taken care of.”

“Yes, I realize that Bellamy. I do…I just want her to be safe,” Abby added.

Bellamy nodded, silently agreeing with her. “I’ll probably see her again Abby, but I’ll take every precaution that she doesn’t recognize me, I promise.”

“Okay Bellamy. What else can we do at this point?” Abby said, salty tears brimming her eyes. All any of them wanted was for Clarke to be safe and happy.

Bellamy left soon after that and as Marcus watched him climb into his Benz and he secretly thought that finally maybe things had a chance to work out. Answers to years old questions might finally come out and he couldn’t help but think that it was a good thing.

He was aware though that he was the only one who thought that.

As Abby and Marcus watched Bellamy pull away from their house Abby broke down in tears. They were tears of relief as well as fear of what had been set in motion. Marcus held her tightly against him and kissed her hair, trying to lend her every bit of strength he could. He could tell by the way she held her body that she wasn’t okay with it all and he knew that they were going to have to talk about it. It was a discussion he always knew would happen and yet he would postpone it if he could. He could only be honest with her, even understanding that they saw the situation from totally different sides.

“It’s going to be okay darling, I promise,” he told her. He just wasn’t sure who it would be okay for. 

“Will it? You’re joking right? It’s not going to be okay!”

Marcus tipped her head up so that he could look into her eyes; her eyes that were awash with unshed tears. As he watched she blinked and a salty tear made its way slowly down her face. He bent and kissed it away and soon more followed; a million tears shed for grief and guilt, an abominable combination.

“Sh-she’ll remember Marcus. She’ll remember it all!”

“Abby, is that such a bad thing? Can you imagine what it is like for her, having this horrendous thing locked away in her head and not being able to let it go? Do you ever consider that Abby? Look at the life she leads; it’s like part of her is missing or incomplete. She’s missing a part of herself my love and she needs to find it.”

“She’s fine Marcus; she has a good career, she has a good young man in her life. She’s okay!” Abby reiterated, letting out a huge breath. “She is…”

“Really? Yes, I’ll grant you she is doing well in her career, but part of what let’s her do that, be the investigative reporter that she is is the fact that she is driven to uncover the truth. Where do you think that need comes from? And men! She gets just so close and holds back, always waiting for something that she can’t explain. A need, within her Abby. She needs the truth.”

“I’ll never believe that Marcus; never.”

Marcus just held her closer and rubbed his hand up and down her back. She still didn’t see what was in front of her face; that there were two people out there that needed one another and wouldn’t be happy until they discovered that fact.

Chapter Text

October 1, 2017

The past couple of days have been a wild ride. Confusing and exhilarating, I feel like I have been sucker-punched. I’ve had several dreams about when I was taken and I haven’t had in for a very long time. But one face keeps returning to me in them, a face that has no place there and yet, inexplicably is.


The face of Bellamy Blake, the private investigator that I met while working on the Kelly Foster case.


Why is he in my dreams, inhabiting my thoughts? It’s like I have breathed him in and now he is a part of me, a part that I can’t shake, and a part that I don’t want to shake.


Finn just keeps telling me that it is normal, that he saved my life when I was attacked by Christian Ellis’ grad student. Bellamy saved me and so it is normal that I would be preoccupied with him. Is it? Is it normal to feel a part of someone that you barely know?


I wish I knew…


What I do know is that when I fall asleep it’s Bellamy’s face that I see, carrying me away from the horror of when I was taken. It has sort of jump-started those old memories in a way that I can’t get away from. Part of me is glad about that – you can only hide from the past for just so long but the reality is that I can’t make heads or tails of it all. It seems like there is fire and then Bellamy carries me away. 


Which of course isn’t possible. 


Why can’t I remember it all? I think I need to, for no other reason than to finally move past it. My mom always felt it was better for me to just forget it all, but I don’t think so. How can you heal and move past if it haunts you still?


I am still riding high with the success of my first web cast; I am Mo’s golden girl right now, but we’ll see how long that lasts! She is fickle, or so I have been told. Yesterday I spent working wrap ups to the story and I must admit that while the vampire angle caught the viewer’s attention, it is pretty hokey! It was so much fun, when I wasn’t being drugged and on the list for the next murder that is. 


I talked to Raven and told her my news and she was delighted to hear it all; she seemed a bit better this time, more her old self. Maybe I was imagining the stress in her voice last time we talked. I don’t know, it’s possible I guess. I also talked with Harper and she said she hadn’t noticed anything unusual with Raven, so I probably did imagine it. She and Monty are coming up this weekend for a barbeque at Mom and Marcus’s house, to celebrate my triumphant entry into the world of online journalism. It’s going to be fun and I can’t wait!


Later…

 

):(


After Bellamy had visited Guillermo at the morgue and discovered that there wasn’t a vampire involved in all this he headed to Murphy’s for a few minutes. He was seeking something, some unknown needed familiarity. Maybe just a laugh, but Murphy taunting him about his need to feed his inner vampire set him on edge and he headed home to hit the freezer. 
He needed to get some sleep before he went to the dead girl, Kelly Foster’s apartment later to see what he could find. As he and Guillermo checked her out in the morgue he knew that whoever had done this wasn’t a vamp, so what was the point of it all? He tried to focus on the case but instead his mind kept twisting around to Clarke. 

He sort of felt like a fool, standing there staring at her. She was so beautiful; confident and poised as she made her way to where he was standing. It was amazing, she was grown up and no longer that 16 year old girl that was burgeoning on the edge of womanhood. 

And this was what presented the problem. 

He was drawn to her, like a man thirsting to death in a desert and she was the life-saving spring. He wanted to drink her in, her essence, her very person. She was a life line for him and he hadn’t felt that in a very long time. How did he stay away having these feelings; such mortal feelings?
After managing to sleep for a few hours he got up, realizing that there would be no more sleep for him right now. He showered and dressed and realized he still had a couple of hours before he could go to Kelly Foster’s apartment. He decided to go see Jasper.

Jasper was the only other vamp who knew the story of what had happened that night in 1985. Not even Murphy knew all the details and how it had impacted Bellamy’s life. 

Yes, to Jasper, that was where he would go…


):(

 

Clarke knew she needed to go check out Kelly Foster's, the murdered girls apartment. She also knew that it was likely that the police would be there still, looking for anything related to the case. She spent the afternoon picking apart Kelly’s life; what classes she took, who she hung out with. She came up with several names to check out and what she hoped were promising leads.

During all that her mind kept returning to Bellamy Blake. Why couldn’t she get this guy out of her mind? It was driving her insane; whatever she thought about eventually wound its way back to him, to his face. It was downright creepy she thought and at the least it had to be unnatural. How could she feel as if she had known him all her life? There was something in those hazel eyes of his that spoke directly to her soul and it puzzled her. 

She would get to the bottom of it though, she would…


):(

 

Bellamy pushed the buzzer at Jasper’s and he answered almost immediately and buzzed him in. It was quiet for once in the basement and Bellamy was glad about that.

“Hey Bellamy! I sort of wondered if I would see you today.” Jasper sat in the computer chair and watched Bellamy as he nervously paced around the room before taking a seat on the couch. Jasper leaned back in the chair and just waited for Bellamy to speak.

“I saw Clarke last night.” Four simple words that rocked him to the core.

“Yeah, I know. Marcus called and told me what happened. You okay?”

“Ye – um, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Jasper, it, well it took me back to places I’d rather forget, you know?” 

 

1985


Bellamy had been in his freezer for 3 days and still the horror of what had happened, of what he had done wouldn’t let him rest.


He had heard that sometimes the old ones, vamps who had been around for centuries would ‘go to ground’, literally bury themselves alive for years to sort of collect themselves or something. He could understand that. If it were possible he would do the same.


He had killed his sire, his wife. The thought stunned him; in the vamp world to kill your sire was almost an unforgivable act and yet he felt no real remorse about it. She was dead; staked and burned to death by his own hand and he would do it again if he had to. It was just too much; all these years had culminated in the end of not only their marriage, but her death.


He heard his front door open quietly and he was instantly alert. He lifted the lid on the freezer and caught a whiff of a familiar vampire and got out of the freezer because he knew it wouldn’t do any good to try to hide away there.


Bellamy slipped on a pair of jeans and headed out to the living room. Jasper was leaning against the couch, waiting for him.


“Hey Bellamy,” he said quietly. Marcus had told him what had happened 3 days ago. When he didn’t hear from Bellamy, he decided to come and check on him. Although they were past the fledgling/sire part of the relationship they did touch base most days still. Jasper waited for Bellamy to speak and the silence was almost unbearable.


Bellamy went to the hidden fridge and grabbed a bottle of O + and held it up to Jasper in a silent question. Jasper nodded and Bellamy got two glasses out of the cabinet and filled them half full of the red liquid. He still hadn’t said a word.


Jasper waited; maybe not patiently, but he waited. The fact that Bellamy hadn’t said a word spoke volumes to the younger vampire and so he remained quiet and instead sipped the blood.


Bellamy took a long drink and sat the glass down on the coffee table. “You heard?”


“Yes. Marcus called me. Clarke is safe Bellamy, you saved her.”

 “From Echo. I saved her from my ex wife Jasper!”


“Your ex? She took Clarke? Why did she take Clarke?” Jasper was clearly puzzled.


“She wanted to make Clarke a vampire so we could be a family. A fucking family, Jasper. The three of us, living in blissful vampire happiness for eternity!”


The news stunned Jasper. He had only met Clarke once, well, if you could call it a meeting. “Did you know that I actually held her once Bellamy? When she was about 12 months old.”


“No, you never said. What happened?”


“It was about a year after mom Mom died and I was turned, at a barbeque at Marcus’s house. Clarke was crawling, all over the place and she was so beautiful. She was lying on the ground, looking at, oh , I don’t know, maybe the grass or something and a lady bug landed on her nose. It was funny to watch her, she tried to shoo it off and I got down on the ground with her and she laughed at me. I picked the lady bug off of her nose and she started crying. I felt terrible so I picked her up and we walked around the yard. I would stoop to smell the honeysuckle or lilacs and she would lean down and act like she was smelling them too, only – only instead of inhaling she was blowing on them. She was my shadow the rest of the day.” He smiled, remembering that day, of how a charming baby girl had won his heart. She was in a way family to him and it made him burn with anger to know what Echo had done; not just to Clarke but to his sire as well.


“I killed her Jasper; Echo. I staked her and then set the cabin on fire. She burned to death in it. I – I murdered my sire, my wife. And I would do it again, Jasper.” He started crying then, deep heaving sobs that tore at Jasper’s heart. He sat the empty glass down and reached across the coffee table and took Bellamy’s hand. He knew how hard it was for Bellamy to reveal so much of himself like this and Jasper wanted him to know that it was okay, that he wasn’t alone.


“Bellamy, she was crazy, you’ve told me that time after time. She destroyed your life when she turned you; she has haunted you since then, dogged your every move practically. It’s for the best; maybe now you can just live your life.”


 “I couldn’t believe that even Echo would consider doing that to a child. A child, Jasper. It was obscene and as soon as I saw Clarke I knew that I would do whatever it took to keep her safe. The amazing thing was, after a brutal and bloody fight with Echo, Clarke came right to me when I told her I was going to take her home. She just crawled into my arms and trusted me that I was going to take her to her mommy. It amazed me, stunned me. She was so trusting.”


“That’s because she knew she was supposed to be with you Bellamy; she knew. You saved her, you are forever a part of her now.”


Bellamy looked up at Jasper then, one eyebrow raised in question at Jasper’s words. A part of her forever. It was an amazing thought.

“Bellamy? Bellamy?” Jasper calling his name brought him back to the present.

“Yeah? Sorry, what did you say?”

“I said it’ll be okay. Marcus said you indicated that she didn’t recognize you.”

“She asked me if she knew me, but I don’t think she figured it out. It will be okay I guess.” He got to his feet and said, “I need to go; I’ve got to go and do a little breaking and entering, see what I can find out about Kelly Foster. I’ll talk to you later, Jasper.”

Jasper nodded and watched as Bellamy left. That was a man who still wasn’t ready to face his demon; but it was coming soon, Jasper could feel it.”


):(

Over the next couple of days Bellamy and Clarke worked together on the murder but it set Bellamy on edge. She still didn’t appear to recognize him so Bellamy began relax a bit which was good, because Clarke was becoming more and more involved in the case. Then Clarke dropped a major bombshell; she was going to attend a ‘study group’ with Christian Ellis later that night. He didn’t want her to go, but had no way of stopping her.
After he discovered the murder of the second girl, Chloe Jones, Bellamy set off to find Clarke; she was in danger and his warning bells were thundering in his head. He couldn’t get to the college fast enough.

At Hearst College he found Chandler Hall and headed to the basement, where the study group was being held. It was quiet there, but he scented Clarke and knew she had been there. He hit the jackpot when he found Christian Ellis, still there and pacing the small room in agitation. 

“Where is she, man? I know she was here, I can smell her on you!” 

Christian Ellis stared into the silvered eyes and razor-sharp fangs that couldn’t be real; and yet, somehow they were. He also knew that his life was in jeopardy if he didn’t speak up. 

“She’s gone, she left here already!” Bellamy had tossed him aside and was gone before Ellis had the chance to catch his breath. But at least he was still breathing…

As soon as Bellamy got outside, he again caught Clarke’s scent and saw that she had been abducted by the grad student. They weren’t far ahead and he took off at a run, determined to catch them. He spied them a block ahead and cut across a yard and broke through the window on the driver’s side, grabbing Daniel and swinging wildly as the car fish-tailed over the street. Bellamy was finally thrown free and he landed 25 feet away, awash is pain.

It took a minute for him to collect himself and get to his feet. He saw Daniel coming around to Clarke’s side of the car, a knife in his hand. Bellamy began to run; he had to get to Clarke in time.
He grabbed Daniel by the back of the shirt and yanked him away from Clarke, who was lying listlessly in the front seat of the car. Only the seat belt was holding her upright and she had practically slid out of that. “I won’t let you hurt her!”

Daniel reached for Bellamy, ramming his knife deep into Bellamy’s stomach. They grappled for moment and Bellamy yanked the knife out, furious.

Bellamy growled at Daniel and said, “You shouldn’t of done that!” and tossed him into a pole like a rag doll. The metallic clink sound wasn’t satisfying enough to Bellamy but he let it go and pulled Clarke out of the car, carrying her to safely once again.

):(

 

Clarke was caught up in the past, a dream world of fire and fear. It screamed through her head like a banshee and made her feel dizzy with the vividness of it all. Suddenly, it was okay and Bellamy was there, taking her home to her mom and she knew that it was okay. He had saved her.
He had saved her…

Clarke’s eyes popped open and she looked around, trying to figure out where she was. She saw Bellamy sitting across the room, watching her solemnly. She sat up on the couch and said, “You saved me!”

Bellamy moved to the couch and settled on the edge, just out of reach. “From a grad student.”

“No, when I was little…” she trailed off. It was right there in front of her. She knew it and yet it couldn’t be. “He stabbed you! I saw the knife come out,” she said, looking at the blood stain on the front of his shirt.

“He sure tried,” Bellamy said, trying to diffuse her thoughts. “You got a really bad bump on your head. I’ll take you home.”

He stood up and offered her his hand and she took it. For a moment she just looked at him, his sad face that seemed to be hiding some terrible truth. The next thing she knew she was wrapping her arms around him, holding him close. She was home; right there in his arms.

For a moment Bellamy stood spellbound, unsure what to do. 

Sixty years is a long time to deny yourself the touch of another, 

but you do it because you can’t bear the thought of seeing yourself as 

a monster in someone else’s eyes.

He slowly wrapped his arms around her, hating himself, loving her. He held her and knew that he was home.

Chapter Text

October 6, 2017


I don’t know where to begin this; I don’t even know what to write. I don’t know that I should actually write it. Certainly it is too much to even say out loud. 


Did you ever have one of those days or weeks where nothing was as it seemed? You know the kind, where every basic belief that you hold true is proven wrong? Where your emotions hit rock bottom and then start digging?


That was this week. I almost lost a friend and the person who saved her isn’t who I believed he was. He was a hero, but how can I live with the knowledge of how he did it? Is he the person I thought he was? Yes, he is and yet he is so much more. 


He said we all have secrets; true enough. We have secrets like we stole some earrings when we were in the seventh grade or we smoked pot in college, maybe cheated on a test. Ordinary stuff that makes us cringe and blush with shame years later because deep down we still know that we are good people and we regret our actions.


But what if this is something that can’t be taken back? This very secret is so big, so important that you want to forget it but you can’t? How do you live with that kind of secret? 


Bellamy Blake is a vampire.


There, I said it. There’s no such thing as vampires he told me only a week ago. He lied. There are vampires among us, living all around us and probably always have been. Have I known other’s I wonder? I’m too afraid to ask because I might not want to know. No more secrets, no more. Yet I will have to live this secret with him; no telling Finn or my parents or other friends. This secret Bellamy and I share and I do want to protect him. He isn’t evil or horrible; he is the antithesis of what you might imagine a vampire to be even. He saved me; fought to protect me and I understand now even more so; he had been stabbed and he still fought for me, cared for me. That makes him a hero in my book but I’m wise enough to know that the world would disagree.


So this secret I will keep; for both of our sakes. He fought for me and I will fight for him, for his right to live and be a part of this world. I can do no less.

 

 


Later…


):(


The past few days had been grueling; her friend Julia had a book published, Wronged Man, about Lee Jay Spalding who had been wrongly convicted of murdering his wife 25 years ago. He was being freed from prison and was starting a new life with Julia playing a starring role in it all. As soon as Clarke had seen the book, before it was even out she knew that a private investigator by the name of Bellamy Blake had been involved in it all. She took the book to him, confused about it all.

Bellamy had looked at the old picture and told her that it was his dad and that Lee Jay was a broken individual and that Julia needed to take care. She had left his loft totally unbelieving that Julia could have been so mislead. Julia was an excellent investigative reporter and was well able to spot a scam; she was convinced that Lee Jay was on the level and so Clarke had to trust in her friends instincts.

She did know one thing though; there was something fishy about it all. Bellamy was acting really strange about it all and she couldn’t figure him out. She just didn’t know whether it was about Bellamy or Lee Jay but something was wrong with the whole damn thing. Yes, her instincts definitely told her that!


):(

 

Bellamy had stared at the picture in the book in slight shock. It was taken in 1950, back when photographs could still capture his image. He had told Clarke that it was his dad and when she mentioned that it could be his twin he said that he inherited some strong genes. Inside he was seething; about the book, about Lee Jay being released from prison but mostly because Lee Jay knew exactly what he was. Bellamy had missed the opportunity to kill him back in 1983.

After Clarke had left he sat and thought about the whole situation. Lee Jay’s wife, Ilene Hannigan had come to Bellamy, asking for his help and protection against Lee Jay who had been abusing her. Bellamy had promised to protect her and he had failed; like Lee Jay’s first wife, Ilene had been found dead, the apparent victim of suicide.

Bellamy hadn’t believed it for a moment and neither did Detective Bobby Desmond, Bellamy’s friend on the police force. They had the police file on Lee Jay’s first wife and that ‘suicide’ had raised suspicions but since there was no evidence of foul play on Lee Jay’s part it was written off. But Bobby and Bellamy both knew better.

Bellamy had been determined to kill Lee Jay; it was a done deal in his mind, but when he found Lee Jay a cop came out of nowhere and Bellamy didn’t get to finish the job. Instead, he faded into the shadows and made up his mind to bide his time. At trial, Lee Jay was sentenced to 25 years for Ilene’s death; had the file on the death of Lee Jay’s first wife been allowed to be admitted as evidence he might have gotten life in prison, but a savvy lawyer representing Lee Jay got the information blocked. It was what it was; Lee Jay would still serve 25 years and Bellamy had always hoped that perhaps an ‘accident’ in prison would take care of the situation.

No such luck. Now Lee Jay was getting out of prison and he knew what Bellamy was; a vampire. Oh yeah, he knew; he had saw the fangs and Bellamy’s eyes as they fought briefly before the cop showed up that night. He knew.

Murphy had asked him why he hadn’t just killed him and Bellamy had admitted that it was interrupted by the cop. Bellamy also told Murphy that Lee Jay knew what he was and Murphy said to find him and waste him.

But it wasn’t that easy and Bellamy knew it. Lee Jay had found another woman to play; Julia, the author was eating out of his hand and buying his bullshit by the barrel. Bellamy knew she would be the next to die unless he stopped Lee Jay and exposed the whole mess, keeping the truth about himself out of it all that is. 

At the party to introduce the book about Lee Jay Bellamy had two things on his agenda; the first was to tag Julia’s car with GPS, just in case. The second was to give Clarke the case file on the death of Lee Jay’s first wife so that she could see that there was more to Lee Jay than her friend knew and that would hopefully make Clarke more alert when it came to her friend and Lee Jay. He did accomplish both of those objectives but he also had a run in with Lee Jay.

It was a stupid thing to do, to follow Lee Jay into the men’s room and confront him. He wanted Lee Jay to know that he was watching him but he didn’t count on the drive that Lee Jay had to expose Bellamy. After threatening Bellamy with a stake to his heart, he had put his own head through a glass door, cutting it and then started yelling that Bellamy had done it. He wasn’t seriously injured, but it brought people running to his defense. Bellamy watched in anger and disbelief as Lee Jay walked out of the bathroom, holding a handkerchief to his head.

Clarke had been incensed by the incident and didn’t believe it when Bellamy told her that Lee Jay had did it himself. It didn’t make any sense to her and Bellamy couldn’t blame her for those thoughts; it didn’t make sense to him and he had watched it happen.

The next day Bellamy had come home to find Lee Jay in his apartment, having broken in while Bellamy was gone. He had searched it and not only found the gun that Bellamy kept stashed in the office but also Bellamy’s blood supply. He sat calmly, waiting for Bellamy’s return, holding one of the bags of blood and made a show of sipping it when Bellamy came in. He then threw it on the floor in disdain and taunted Bellamy about having food issues and not being able to have anyone close to him for fear of them finding out his secret.

Bellamy had watched Lee Jay toss the bag of blood onto the floor and became infuriated; this was it, the moment of Lee Jay’s death but Lee Jay was still two steps ahead of him. He announced that he had told everyone that he was coming to Bellamy’s to make peace with him and then pulled out Bellamy’s gun and a cell phone, already programmed to ring 911. With that he shot himself in the arm and pushed the ‘send’ key and told the dispatcher that he had been shot by Bellamy Blake. 

Bellamy stared at the scene for a moment, debating his chances of talking his way out of it with the police. As the sirens approached he looked around at the gun laying on the floor and the discarded bag of blood and decided he had to split. After he cleaned out the blood that was in his hidden fridge and stuffed it into a bag he made his escape, calling Murphy to meet him and trying to figure out a plan of action.

Murphy met him and as usual, wanted to know why Bellamy hadn’t killed him. Bellamy had tried to make him understand that if he could bring Lee Jay down it would be a chance to erase a regret in his life and set things right. Murphy didn’t get that and told Bellamy so and suggested that Bellamy should relocate. He offered his help with that because he knew a guy who worked with vamp relocation. Bellamy turned him down flat and a plan began to form in his mind. 

He had to get to Clarke.


):(

 

Clarke and Finn watched the news about Bellamy shooting Lee Jay. Clarke was stunned and when Finn asked her if she believed it she told him no, she didn’t.

Finn was beginning to lose patience over this whole Bellamy Blake deal. Clarke had not been herself since his appeared into her life. Things were starting to get crazy and Clarke was just going with it all, buying whatever Blake was selling hook, line and sinker. Finn appreciated the fact that Blake had saved her life and he was grateful for that. But there was something about all this that was too strange and he decided that he needed to start checking this guy out, doing a bit of investigative work of his own.

“Finn, I really don’t think Bellamy did it,” Clarke told Finn.

“You know, since you met this guy screwed up is starting to seem normal,” he had told her. Finn was totally frustrated by it all.

The door bell rang and startled them both and Finn opened the door. Standing there was someone who Finn realized was Bellamy Blake himself. When Bellamy asked if Clarke was there Finn told him no, but it was too late, Clarke was right behind him, ushering Bellamy in.

Clarke asked him why he didn’t stay at his place and tell the police what had happened, Bellamy didn’t know what to say. Actually, what was going through his head was, ‘because I’m a vampire’ but he certainly couldn’t admit that. He told them he panicked and hoped it would suffice. Looking at Finn, he knew that it didn’t.

“He can’t stay here,” Finn told Clarke. ‘I’m an attorney, in the DA’s office. I’ll get disbarred!” Finn pleaded with her, hoping she would make Bellamy leave. Instead, he could see her softening towards Bellamy and knew that he had lost the battle. 

Bellamy wanted to tell his side of the story and Clarke filmed it and put it on Buzzwire. It hit the internet and was almost immediately picked up by the TV networks. Julia saw it as she was waiting to pick up Lee Jay at the hospital and was hurt and angered by what she saw as Clarke’s betrayal. 

A short while later Clarke’s phone rang and she looked to see that it was Julia calling. Her heart sank because she knew how betrayed Julia would feel. Instead, what happened next changed everything.

Julia knew what Lee Jay was because he was holding her hostage and he demanded to talk to Bellamy. Bellamy picked up an extension and listened to Lee Jay, as did Clarke and Finn. Clarke had the presence of mind to turn the answering machine on to record the conversation.

Lee Jay demanded that Bellamy turn himself in to the police and gave him an hour to do it. He also admitted that he would do to Julia what he had done to Ilene if Bellamy didn’t cooperate. It was enough for Finn to agree to help and he took the recording to a friend of his who would hopefully put out a press release that Bellamy had turned himself in, which would give Bellamy time to find Lee Jay.

Bellamy and Clarke used the GPS tag on Julia’s car to find them, locating them in a warehouse. Bellamy instructed Clarke to stay in the car but before he left he had her get a gun out of the glove compartment with instructions to wait 10 minutes and if he didn’t come back to call the police.

As Bellamy left to find a way into the warehouse Clarke sat in the car and fumed. “Why does the girl always have to stay in the car?” she wondered aloud. It wasn’t an easy wait and she thought about the conversation that Bellamy and Lee Jay had on the phone as she waited. 

“I know what you are Bellamy!” Lee Jay had said. Clarke had asked Bellamy about it on the ride to find Julia and he had evaded the question at first and finally said they would talk about it later. 

Clarke had accused Bellamy of evading her questions and Bellamy had replied, “Everyone has secrets Clarke and that’s not evading.”

What on earth could that be about she wondered? Did Lee Jay mean ‘I know who you are Bellamy’? And who was he to Lee Jay anyway? Bellamy seemed a lot more invested in all this than you would think he would be, even if his father had been involved with it all. Then Clarke remembered that she hadn’t been able to find any trace of Bellamy’s dad and it all became more curious to her.

Suddenly, she heard a shot coming from the warehouse and Julia's scream. Clarke debated for half a moment about calling the cops, but as she saw Julia run out she was out the car door and heading to the warehouse on a run. As she passed Julia, standing there in shock they heard another shot and Julia said, “Lee Jay shot Bellamy!”

When Clarke got inside she saw Bellamy lying on the floor, blood seeping from his wounds and Lee Jay, standing above him brandishing a blow torch. Flashbacks came rushing into Clarke’s head of fire; the scary woman being burned and for a moment it was all clear to her, when she was taken. Bellamy was carrying her out of the fire and she was clinging to him, watching the scary woman burn. 

She didn’t stop to think; she took aim and shot Lee Jay, her shot hitting him in the neck. She saw his face plastered with surprise as he sank to the floor, dead. Clarke stood there in shock, dazed as she heard sirens rushing towards them. Bellamy looked at her and said, “I thought I told you to stay in the car.” She closed her eyes for a moment and when she glanced down at the floor again, only Lee Jay remained.

Clarke moved woodenly outside and saw Wells talking to Julia. “Bellamy saved me,” Julia said. “I was so wrong!”

Clarke stopped for a moment, not even aware that she had. She listened to what Wells was asking Julia.

“So Bellamy shot Lee Jay?”

“No,” Clarke said, moving forward again. “I did.”

“Hey, hey Clarke! Clarke get back here,” Wells called out to her, but she didn’t stop. She had to find Bellamy.


):(

 

Bellamy had made it to his car and headed home without being stopped by anyone, which was a small miracle. He called Murphy on the way.

“Murphy, I’ve been shot, by Lee Jay. Silver buckshot…I need help! Meet me at my place.” His loft was closer than Murphy’s and he needed to get some blood into him.

Bellamy was functioning on auto-pilot by the time he made it home. Out of the car, up the elevator, he stumbled along, barely making it into the loft and forgetting to close the door behind him. One thing was on his mind, getting some blood down him while he waited for Murphy. 


):(

 

“Guillermo? This is Murphy, I need your help. Bellamy has been shot, silver buckshot. We need to get over to the loft and help him.”

“I’ll get Terrence to cover for me man and meet you there. Is he alone?”

“I think so. He didn’t sound good so put some speed on, okay?”

“You bet. Heading out now.”


):(

 

Clarke found her way to Bellamy’s loft and she climbed into the elevator in a zombie like state. She needed to know that he was okay, but how could he be? He had been shot and she had saw blood streaking down his back so she knew he had been hit. Why in the hell didn’t he get some medical attention? The thought occurred to her that maybe he had; maybe he was at the hospital right now and she wouldn’t find him here. Then she noticed the smear of blood on the button to his floor and she knew that he was here.

Anger started to take over then and she shook with it, her fingers curled into her palms, so hard that they drew blood, but she failed to notice that. He left her there! Left her there to explain the whole damn thing. How dare he? She wanted answers and she wasn’t leaving until she had them.

As the elevator dinged its arrival the doors opened and she walked out, headed straight to Bellamy’s loft. When she got there she saw that the door was open and she stepped inside. Bellamy was on his knees with his back to the door. She couldn’t quite see what he was doing but as she saw him, bending over in pain her anger left her and all that was left was fear and questions.

“Bellamy, you ran off again. You were there one second and then you were gone,” she told him and she couldn’t quite keep the fear out of her voice.

She watched him sort of sink down and his body jerk, whether with surprise or pain she couldn’t tell. “Are you okay?” she asked.

“Please leave,” he told her and his voice sounded slurred.

“Not without answers,” she told him. He turned away and tried to shrink away from her sight. “I keep dreaming about you. Why?”

“Please don’t look at me,” he pleaded.

Clarke walked around the back of the couch so she could see him better. What she saw both shocked and frightened her. Bellamy was holding a bag of blood; his hands were stained with it as was his mouth. He was breathing shakily and she watched as his body jerked with involuntary movement.

She sucked in her breath sharply, her eyes opened wide. She felt suddenly afraid, for them both. “What are you?” she asked, her words catching in her throat.

“I’m a vampire,” he said to her, fixing his silvered eyes on her. 

Her hand flew to her mouth and she took a step back. Bellamy met her gaze, knowing that she was seeing him for the monster he was. It both hurt and horrified him for her to see him like this. “Clarke, please leave now. Please…”

She could only nod and backed towards the door. “Should I call a doctor Bellamy? 911?” she asked as she got to the door.

He shook his head and repeated, “Please leave.” She saw tears streaking down his face and realized that her own face was wet at well. 

She turned around and left the loft, pulling the door shut behind her. She debated what to do; maybe she should go ahead and call 911, but could they even help a vampire? And this was a secret; she knew that and she also knew that no good could come of the world finding out.

Maybe he had called someone to help him. The thought occurred to her suddenly and she looked around the hallway and spied a corner that was sort of tucked away from the hall. She went and sat down on the floor and as she did so she realized how badly her knees were shaking; it was good to sit down. 

She told herself that she would wait 30 minutes and if no one came she was going back in there, regardless of what he wanted. She would not see him die from lack of care.

Clarke pulled her knees up and leaned her forehead against them, breathing deeply and felt her body shake uncontrollably as more tears streaked down her face. The flowed unheeded, deep wrenching sobs followed and she thought about the events of this night and the new knowledge about Bellamy. 

He was a vampire. There’s no such things as vampires he had told her; was it only last week? A vampire; how can that be?

She heard the elevator ring and she pulled herself into an even tighter ball, trying to make herself fade into the dark corner as she heard the doors swoosh open. Footsteps made a quick run down the hallway to Bellamy’s door and Clarke peeked up to see two men enter the apartment. Clarke sighed with relief; someone was here to help him.

Clarke stood up and headed for the elevator. She only wanted to go home now and sleep, maybe forever.


):(

 

Bellamy had managed to down one of the bags of blood by the time Guillermo and Murphy arrived. He was lying on the floor, fading in and out of consciousness and Guillermo scooped him up as Murphy made a bee line to the dining room table and cleared it off so that Guillermo could lay him down on it. They worked together, pulling his tattered duster and shirt off and stared at the wounds on his back and chest. They were red and angry; the silver was poisoning his flesh as well as getting into his blood.

With every moment he sank further down into oblivion and every moment brought him more pain. Guillermo opened the bag he had brought with him that had some surgical tools in it so that he could remove the bits of silver from Bellamy’s body. Both he and Murphy pulled on latex gloves, not so much as to protect Bellamy from infection but to protect themselves from the silver.

Guillermo made the first incision and Bellamy moaned in pain as Guillermo pulled the first bit of offending silver from his body. Over and over the scalpel cut and the forceps pulled until they had every last bit out of Bellamy’s body. Murphy watched as the incisions started to close up a bit and knew that it wouldn’t get better until they got blood into Bellamy. 

When Guillermo was done Murphy helped Bellamy to sit up and handed him a glass of blood, which Bellamy drank down quickly. Murphy replaced it with another glass that was downed just as fast. Finally, after three glasses of blood Bellamy’s wounds had healed, closed and the skin reformed so that you couldn’t even tell where they had been. He pulled himself to his feet and said, “I’m going to hit the freezer. Thanks, both of you.”

“What the hell happened Bellamy?” they both asked as he headed up the stairs.

“Later, I promise. Lock up behind yourselves, okay?” With that, he was gone. 

Murphy and Guillermo stared at one another as they watched him disappear up the stairs. “What do you suppose happened?” Guillermo asked as he put his instruments back into the bag. 

Murphy threw the empty bags of blood into the disposal unit and said, “I don’t know but I am sure as hell going to find out!”


):(

 

Clarke was afraid that Finn would be at her apartment, waiting on her and she didn’t have a clue what to tell him about the events of this past night. There was now a wall between them that she knew she couldn’t breach and she also couldn’t think of a logical explanation about it all either. 

Luck was with her; he wasn’t there and she showered quickly and turned her phone off as she crawled into bed. She slept for 9 hours straight and if she dreamed, she didn’t remember any of them.

Chapter Text

October 9, 2017


I re-read what I wrote a few days ago and I’m still reeling from it all. I mean, Bellamy really is a vampire and that knowledge should scare me but for some reason it doesn’t. He tells me that he gets his blood from the blood bank – most of it. So where does the rest come from? How does all this work? He refuses to tell me anything much about it all even. He said that someone becomes a vampire by a vampire biting them and then when they are near death they are fed some of the vampire’s blood. 


Does it always work I wonder? He also said they don’t age, which doesn’t sound bad to me. He looks about thirty, but finally admitted, (after I pushed) that he was going to be 80 in November. Incredible, really. How have vampires managed to stay hidden for all these centuries I wonder? I mean, there are vampire stories out there, but the reality of knowing an actual vampire makes some of those stories and legends look pretty silly. He doesn’t sleep in a coffin; he sleeps in a freezer, which in some ways seems even weirder to me. He has a sadness about him though, almost as if he doesn’t find much happiness in life and I have to wonder why? And I learned something really weird while working the case with him – he was stabbed, a stake to his heart, but it doesn't kill vamps, it only paralyzes them, sort of like vampire handcuffs Bellamy said.


I love my job at Buzzwire, it is so great. I never imagined that I would do internet journalism; I somehow thought it wasn’t ‘real’ or something, but really, the news is the news. Mo lets me pursue the kinds of stories I like, the gritty crime stuff for the most part and that makes me happy. I’ve got a great story that I’m just beginning to work on and it actually involves a vampire according to Bellamy. He didn’t want me to work on it, but there’s no way I’m backing off of it. Good thing I’ve got Bellamy around to protect me!  He said it is a newly turned vamp who is rogue and that makes him more dangerous. Of course, he wasn’t the only one who wanted me to back off; Wells did too. What is it with guys; they seem to think a poor little woman can’t take care of herself or something. They make me want to scream!
I was working late one night, doing as much research as I could on vampires when Finn showed up and surprised me with dinner; kung pow chicken, extra spicy which is my favorite. He seemed curious about what was on my computer but really didn't say anything.  He knew that I'd forget to eat so he'd brought dinner to me.  He does some really sweet things for me and while I appreciate it and it should just make me happier, I'm beginning to feel a growing distance between us and I'm not really sure what to do about it.

Mom and Marcus just got back from vacation in Mexico and I’m got to run because I’m going to dinner with them to hear all about their trip. They seem anxious to see me; if I didn’t know better I’d think they are worried about me or something. If they only knew what I did they might really be worried. 


Later…


(:)

 

“Clarke…Clarke!” 

Suddenly she was aware of someone standing over her bed, touching her shoulder and she couldn’t stop the small scream from escaping and then felt foolish when she realized it was Finn. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to will her frantically beating heart to slow down.

“Hey, um Finn. I’m awake. What time is it?”

“It’s five o’clock Clarke,” Finn said, watching her as she sat up slowly. She was still in the clothes she had on yesterday he noticed, something that was not like her to do.

“Five? In the morning?” she asked, completely confused.

“No sweetheart, the afternoon. Five in the afternoon,” he repeated as her eyes opened wide in shock.

Clarke leaned back against the pillows and closed her eyes for a moment, a sickening feeling coming over her as the events of the past 24 hours flooded though her head. 

Bellamy is a vampire!


Oh God yes, Bellamy Blake is a vampire! The blood and how he looked, silver eyes and his body jerking uncontrollably, it was horrible. Is he okay? Yes, two men came to help him, he’s okay. Bellamy has to be okay…

“Clarke?” Finn asked again, concern written over his face. He frowned as he watched the far-away look in her eyes as they tried to focus. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, sorry. Just groggy I guess.” Oh God, Bellamy is a vampire! There is such a thing as vampires.

“Sweetheart, Wells and I both have been trying to call you all day. You didn’t answer your phone and I finally had to come and see if you were okay. Clarke, Wells needs to talk to you right away. He needs a statement from you.”

“Yeah, I uh, I shot Lee Jay, didn’t I?” she questioned. 

Finn watched her confusion and nodded yes. “You did. Julia told Wells what happened and he talked to Bellamy as well, but he needs your statement Clarke. Are you up for it? He’s out in the living room.”

“WHAT? He’s here?” she asked as she jumped out of bed and got tangled up in the sheets.

Finn caught her before she could fall to the floor and said, “Take it easy, he’s just waiting for you. Go ahead and get dressed, okay?”

Clarke nodded and headed into the bathroom, shedding her wrinkled clothes as she went. When Finn heard the shower come on he went back to the living room, where Wells sat waiting. Finn headed into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee, knowing that Clarke would need it.

“She was sleeping, pretty soundly I might add. She should be out soon. Want some coffee?” he asked, holding up a cup.

Wells nodded and said, “Is she okay? It’s not like her to sleep all day.”

That statement made Finn frown for a moment; he had only recently found out that Clarke and Wells had dated in college. The fact that it had been a serious relationship still tended to bother Finn. Occasionally he saw them share a look about something and knew that they were thinking the same thing. He liked to assure himself that it was all in the past, but it did sort of bother him, this history they shared.

As Clarke showered she thought about what Finn had said, that Wells had already talked to Julia and Bellamy. So that meant that Bellamy was okay; for some reason that thought made her feel so much better. Now if she could only decide what to tell Wells. What had Bellamy said to him? She finally decided on just the facts of the shooting; she would leave out the part where she had gone to Bellamy’s afterwards. Unless Bellamy had told them, but somehow she was pretty sure he wouldn’t have; after all, what could he say about it?

That decided, she washed her hair and when she was done and getting dressed, she smelled the coffee in the kitchen. Thank God for Finn she decided; she could always depend on him.


):(

 

The phone rang in Marcus’s office and he answered it and smiled as he realized it was his little brother calling. “Hey Jasper, what’s going on?”

“Marcus, I need to talk to you – alone and not on the phone. Can you come by?”

Marcus looked at his watch and saw that it was a few minutes after five. Abby was getting her hair cut tonight and then having dinner with some girlfriends, so his time was free. “Okay. I’ll be done here in about 30 minutes and then I can head your way. Abby is busy tonight so I’m going to stop and grab something to eat on the way. Will that work?”

“Yep, that will be fine. I’ll see you then.” With that Jasper was off the phone and Marcus hung his receiver up and stared at it for a moment while wondering what was up. He mentally shrugged and figured he’d find out soon enough and went back to figuring the costs on a new order. The time passed quickly and he forgot all about his curiosity until he was on his way to Jasper’s.

Jasper buzzed him in immediately and Marcus came in, looking around the room that was much less messier than usual. His eyes swept the room in question and Jasper shrugged and said, “Bellamy was over earlier.”

Ah hah! Whenever Jasper knew Bellamy was coming over he tried to tidy up a bit because his sire was a total neat freak. Marcus really appreciated that about Bellamy because frankly, Jasper lived like he was still in college and paid no attention to things as the clothes piled up around him, on the floor, the couch, wherever. It’s not that he was exactly a dirty slob, but he certainly wasn’t the neatest of people, that was for sure.

Marcus sat down on the couch and opened the bag that contained his dinner. He had stopped and grabbed a cheeseburger and fries. Abby would have his head if she saw it because she was on this health kick right now; she had him eating whole grains and ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ foods and it was okay, but every now and then a guy just had to have a burger.

“In N Out?” Jasper asked, wearing a smirk on his face.

“Yes and if you tell Abby I’ll stake you!” Marcus teased, taking his first bite and chewing slowly. It was wonderful and he hurriedly took another bite and then popped a fry in his mouth too. “What’s up?”

“Well, as I said Bellamy came over earlier and shared something you need to know. Clarke knows about Bellamy; uh, about his being a vampire I mean.”

“What? How in the hell did that happen?” 

Marcus listened while Jasper told the story of Clarke’s discovery of Bellamy’s secret. Suddenly he lost all his appetite as he thought of the repercussions to all this; namely how his wife was going to react.

“It just happened Marcus and Bellamy is freaking out about it, let me tell you. When Clarke left he was in pretty bad shape he said. Murphy and Guillermo came over and took care of him but he hasn’t talked to Clarke since then. Wells Jaha called this morning and needed a statement about what had happened and Bellamy stopped here after he saw Wells. There was someone else there who saw what happened, so Clarke will be in the clear, but Bellamy is worried sick about her.”

“Oh man, Abby is going to have a fit; you know that right?” 

“Yes, I can imagine. I really can. She has kept Clarke insulated from all - this,” he said, indicating himself and how he lived. “Marcus, sooner or later she was bound to find out, we’ve always known that. And frankly, like you I think it’s better for her to know.”

Marcus nodded his head and frowned. It’s true, Clarke would have found out at some point yet Abby was determined to keep it all from her. Over the years Marcus had watched Clarke grow up and it was always apparent that she knew there was something missing, some part of her life that she knew she wasn’t told about. Clarke was a very intelligent young woman and Marcus could only believe that facing her demons would be the best thing for her. But he had always bowed to Abby’s wishes on it all, even to the point of keeping Clarke from knowing about Jasper. He understood, but it didn’t mean he liked it.

Well, the cat was out of the bag now. The question was, what were they going to do about it?


):(

 

Clarke walked up to Bellamy’s door, trying to get the courage up to knock on it. She hesitated and then took a step away, unaware that Bellamy was on the other side, watching her on the video camera. Finally she screwed up her courage and knocked, praying that he would answer.

He didn’t seem terribly surprised to see her and let her into the apartment with a quick check to make sure that she was alone. He sat patiently while she fidgeted on the couch and worked up the courage to speak. 

He even answered her questions, most of them anyway. He either wouldn’t or couldn’t talk about how he became a vampire; in fact he almost totally shut down when she asked and basically showed her out the door, refusing to talk further.

She punched the down button by the elevator and waited for it to come and as she did she remembered that she hadn’t asked him how the interview with Wells had gone for him. It must have been okay because Wells only asked her for the facts and didn’t push her on it all. She wondered if in a way the cops weren’t delighted to just be done with Lee Jay Spalding; it wasn’t as if he was a sterling citizen or something. Still, she wondered what Bellamy had said. For a moment she turned back towards the apartment but then the elevator doors opened and she finally decided just to go. 

As the elevator door closed her phone rang and she looked at it to see that it was Mo. A big story had just broke; a clerk in a convenience store was murdered and Mo needed her to get to the scene of the crime; she was sending a camera guy to meet her there.

At the scene Clarke saw Wells and he acted as if all was okay and she began to relax a bit, even eavesdropping on his conversation with another cop. A clerk had been mauled, half-eaten in fact and his blood had been drained. Wells and the cop weren’t sure what had happened, maybe a wild dog or something but Clarke knew. She knew it involved a vampire.


):(

 

The next day another murder happened with the same M.O. and Clarke and Bellamy were working together to try and solve the crime. Bellamy had admitted that it was a newly-turned vamp, one who had gone feral and he didn’t want her working on the case. He had finally given in, only because he knew that she would continue on it with or without his help.

They tracked the doctor down in the hospital where he worked and he and Bellamy fought until Bellamy got the upper hand and staked him. Clarke wanted to go to the police with him and Bellamy realized she just didn’t get it; how could a human justice system deal with an immortal? What, put him in jail? How the hell would that work he fumed. He knew that they needed to talk but now wasn’t the right time. He put the body into the incinerator and watched it burn, trying to sort it all out in his head. When he came out of the hospital, Clarke had gone and he realized it was for the best.

Back at Bellamy’s the door chimed and then opened and Bellamy watched Murphy let himself in. It was okay, Bellamy had scented him as soon as he had gotten off the elevator. The sensory perception of vampires was practically off the charts; they could see better, hear better, smell better than humans and had superior strength and  and all of those things combined made Bellamy decide to become a private investigator. Those special skills had helped him crack many a case.

Bellamy was disturbed about all of this and Murphy picked up on it immediately. Bellamy recounted the case to him and for the first time in a long time, he was even a bit grateful to Echo. She might not have been the best thing that ever happened to him, but she did teach him how to survive in the vampire world. As he and Murphy chatted about that, Murphy realized there was more to the story than what Bellamy was sharing.

“So boyo, what else is going on?” Murphy asked, taking a sip of some blood laced scotch.

“Murphy, I…” He abruptly shut his mouth, half afraid to tell Murphy the truth about Clarke. “I, you know that reporter? Clarke Griffin?”

“Yeah, the one that had the story about vampires?”

“Yes, that’s her. Well, she sort of knows I’m a vampire now.”

“WHAT? Just how does she ‘sort of’ know Bellamy?”

“Well, I mean, she does know. The uh, other night, when you and Guillermo came to rescue me, she was here, before you got her. She saw me.”

Murphy digested the news quietly but Bellamy watched his foot tapping rapidly on the floor. He could tell Murphy was plenty angry and he waited for the fallout.

“So what are you going to do about it Bellamy?”

“Well, I’m not going to kill her Murphy! I’ve talked with her, everything is under control!”

“Under control? How do you know that?”

“I trust her Murphy. Look, um, there is more to this story than you know.” Bellamy proceeded to tell Murphy about rescuing Clarke all those years ago and how he had watched over her as well, until he moved to Seattle.

“So she is the reason you ran away to Seattle, with your tail tucked between your legs?”

“I wouldn’t quite describe it that way. I just needed to let her grow up. And she has; she has her own life now.”

“Which you are apparently intimately involved in!”

“NO!” Bellamy said, a terrified look on his face. “She, she has a boyfriend, okay? A steady boyfriend and she’s happy. It’s not like that, okay? We’re not intimate.”

Murphy heard the words but he also knew Bellamy; he was already in love with her, the human who happened to be a reporter. Might as well be the damn town crier. “Bellamy, I appreciate you wanting to protect her and all, but how do you know you can trust her? Really?”

“I just do Murphy – she won’t tell.”

“Not even the boyfriend? Pillow talk?” 

“No Murphy, she won’t talk. I promise.”

“You better be right about that Bellamy, for all of our sakes.” He was headed to Tokyo for a week and all this gave him a lot to think about. Murphy knew he was going to have to keep a close eye on Clarke Turner and at the first sign of her telling anyone, she would no longer be a problem! 

):(

 

Bellamy thought about it all night, Clarke’s desire to know how he was turned. He meant what he said to Murphy, he did trust her. But could he let her in enough to know this horrible thing that had happened to him? It was pushed so far down inside him, maybe it was time to let it out. In the vamp community, many of them had been forced turnings; most of them actually. Elka was one of the few people he knew who had actually chosen to become a vampire and she had admitted that she didn’t really understand what it meant. 

Being turned against your will was a lot like being raped Bellamy thought. And in his case, it was done by someone he knew and loved so the betrayal was double-edged. Echo betrayed his trust as his wife as she stole his life.

Yes, the case could be made that he was alive now, in a way. But not really; when he was turned he had to give up family and friends because he became a danger to them. How do you tell them that you are no longer human? That Sunday dinners are out and that the fourth of July holidays on the beach were now out of the question? 

Still, he had learned to live with it all, even if he hadn’t really accepted it. If it were possible to go back Bellamy would do it in an instant, but sadly, becoming a vampire was a one way street. So he lurked in the shadows of his loved ones lives, watching them die one by one, all except his sister until he was the last one standing. The pain of that thought shot through him like a sharp knife.

He finally came to a decision about Clarke and headed to her place. She answered his knock quickly and asked him to come in but he decided to just stand there in the doorway and tell her; tell her how he became a vampire.

Her eyes were full of compassion as he told her how Echo has turned him on their wedding night. “I went to sleep a happily married man and woke up a monster.”

“You’re not a monster Bellamy,” Clarke said, her heart breaking for him.

“Believe me, I was.”

For a moment their eyes met and held one another’s. Clarke tried to read what was hidden in his but they were unreadable.

“You asked me if I trusted you,” he said. “You are the first human I have told any of this too, so yeah, I trust you.”

He reached up and caressed her hand, which was resting on the door frame. For a half of a moment he gently squeezed it and Clarke’s breath caught in her throat. She watched as he turned and walked down the hall, heading away from her. He never saw the tears that rimmed her eyes and spilled down her cheeks.

And she didn’t see his either…


):(

 

Meanwhile, Finn was thinking more and more about Bellamy Blake. He started a case file on him and watched as a report came in about Bellamy’s background. Curious Finn thought, very curious.

Chapter Text

October 16, 2007


I feel as if I’ve been unfaithful to Finn and the worst part is that I would do it again if necessary. No, I didn’t have sex with Bellamy, but I fed him my blood in the desert. Oh, I know, that’s not being unfaithful, but my heart, my heart is unfaithful. I have so many feelings for Bellamy, and about him that I don’t understand and I don’t know how to deal with. Especially now because there is even more of a connection than there was before. Is it because he drank my blood? Can I feel him inside me because of that?


He told me, when I offered him my blood, he said, “No, not yours, not like this!” What did that mean, not mine, not like that? What’s wrong with MY blood? I don’t get it. He was going to die and part of me thinks that he would have let himself do just that if I hadn’t practically forced the situation. Is something wrong with my blood? Or is it me?


It’s constantly spinning around in my head, everything that has happened the past couple of weeks. Okay, he’s a vampire and I’m alright with that. It only seems to be incidental to the situation. Bellamy is a good man, not a monster as he often says. I know there are things I don’t yet understand about him, about vampires, but I’m willing to learn. I will not ever betray him or this secret. I can’t help but to acknowledge that a part of me thrills to being with him, on the hunt so to speak. I feel alive when I’m with him and there is a connection there between us that I just don’t understand. He has started to replace the shadow man in my dreams about when I was taken. I know that’s silly, but still, there he is, rescuing me from the scary woman. I think my shadow man killed her, set her on fire, but my memory, or the fleeting glimpses I get of it could be distorted because it was so long ago. But now, it’s Bellamy who carries me away and takes me home to mom, grandpa and grandma. 


So how does all that translate into my feelings for him? I just don’t know, but they are there. And where does that leave Finn and I? Finn is a good man too, a man who has strong convictions about right and wrong and I’ve always admired that about him. I can laugh with him and I trust him, doesn’t that mean something? If I’m honest, brutally honest, I have to admit that for awhile now things haven’t been too exciting with him and I do miss that, the rush of passion that I felt at first. But that’s normal isn’t it? In any relationship, doesn’t that die down a bit and things just sort of settle into a calmer situation? That’s normal, isn’t it? Isn’t it?


Well, on another note, I had the strangest dinner with Mom and Marcus a few days ago. It was really tense and I don’t have a clue why. Something is going on and I hope and pray that they are okay. It would break my heart if they split up or something but they (make that Mom) was just so nervous, jumpy even. She kept asking me what was going on in my life, like she was trying to keep the focus off of her. Marcus sat there and threw strange looks at her all evening and by the time I left I was majorly on edge. Weird…


Raven called me from Tokyo, agitated about something, but I have to admit that I’m a terrible friend because right now all I can think about is what is going on in my life. She was trying to tell me about some infuriating man she met who was a condescending jerk and all I wanted to say was “You want a story Raven? Let me tell you a story about vampires!” but of course I didn’t. I think a nice long e-mail is in order, but what the hell do I tell her? Man, I wish she were here, she would totally understand all this, so much more than Harper would. I can never talk to Harper about it, (I can’t really tell Raven either, I know that) because Harper is such a straight arrow kind of girl. I have always loved that about her; she’s down to earth and pragmatic and in some ways she is the ‘older’ sister of the three of us. She kept Raven and I from doing totally stupid things so many times, let me tell you. 


Can she keep me from walking away from a good man and starting a relationship with a vampire? LOL, like that would ever happen!


Later…


):(

 

“John Murphy, my friend!” Roan King bowed deeply towards his friend, welcoming him to Tokyo. He straightened up and offered his hand then in the western greeting style.

Murphy returned the bow and then offered his hand in return. “Roan, it’s good to see you. And your beautiful city.”

“Did you have a pleasant journey?” Roan asked politely. He possessed an old world charm that belied the tough attitude of an ancient vampire. They walked through the small airport 30 miles outside of Tokyo and slid into the waiting limo. It was luxuriously appointed, as Murphy would have expected and inside sat two very beautiful women who waited patiently for the men.

“Murphy, may I introduce Tamiko and Aiko; they are here to quench your hunger after your long flight my friend.”

Both women smiled at Murphy and shyly bowed their heads. He nodded in return and said, “Your generosity is truly welcome and appreciated, Roan. I will be very happy to oblige and partake of such treasures as soon as we arrive at your estate, so that I may first freshen up a bit.”

Both girls sat back into the limo seats, the heightened look of expectation fading from their faces. These two love the bite. That will make it all the sweeter and more delicious

In his suite at Roan’s home Murphy quickly showered and dressed and then called for Tamiko and Aiko. They were there almost instantly which made him realize they were just next door, waiting to be called. He sat on a settee with a girl on each side of him and he could smell the gentle scents of honeysuckle and hyacinth that emanated from their skin. Delicate and not overpowering at all, it created a sensual and heady atmosphere. Murphy lifted the wrist of Aiko and scented along the vein and the sweet smell of her blood called to him. Before he knew it his fangs had lengthened and sank lightly into her wrist. She immediately let out a moan as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the bite. He felt the tremors of pleasure surge through her body and tasted the extra sweetness of her orgasm as it flooded his mouth. He tenderly licked at the wounds until the blood stopped flowing and helped Aiko to settle back among the cushions on the settee and smiled as Tamiko held her wrist up to him, eager for her turn at bliss.

Murphy left the girls a short while later, both relaxing on the settee, recovering together and made his way down to greet his friend. It was 8 pm in Tokyo and Roan had arranged a gathering of close associates that Murphy would be dealing with over the next few days; sort of a cocktail party to introduce him.

Soon all the names and faces started to run together, with the exception of one. And anomaly actually, an American woman literally standing a head taller than her Japanese hosts. Murphy’s eyes lit with appreciation as he took in her beauty; she was exquisite and she wasn’t a vampire.

“Murphy,  may I introduce you to Ms. Raven Reyes, the Assistant Director of Training and Development for King Inc.?” Murphy and Raven shook hands and he saw something flash briefly across her face with the contact.

“Ms. Reyes, it is a pleasure. How long have you been with King; I don’t believe I’ve met you before?” His eyes lingered a little bit longer than necessary on her lithe body and he saw her eyes narrow in displeasure.

“Mr. Murphy, welcome to Tokyo. I have been with King for 4 years now,” Raven told him, a definite edge to her voice. 

“Ah, I see. It’s been what, 6 years since my last visit Roan? Could that possibly be correct?” Murphy asked, smiling broadly at his friend and Ms. Reyes.

“Yes, yes I believe it has been that long!” Just then someone across the room called for his attention and he excused himself. “Raven, please be so kind to entertain Mr. Murphy in my absence, but please watch out for him! He is known for his charm!” With that he winked at her and made his way across the room.

Raven groaned to herself and wondered how long she would have to stand here and make polite small talk with this guy. Somehow he irritated the hell out of her and she couldn’t decide why. It must be his smarmy approach she decided; so self-assured and all. 

“Do you find living in Tokyo pleasing Ms. Reyes? Or may I call you Raven?” Murphy asked, taking a sip of his scotch. 

“Ms. Reyes. Yes, I enjoy Tokyo a great deal. It is a fascinating city and Japan an intriguing culture Mr. Murphy.” Her words were clipped and her answer impatient, as if she couldn’t wait to get away. Murphy frowned inwardly at her denial of him using her first name.

She really doesn’t like me Murphy realized. If she crammed that poker up her ass any farther it would come out her mouth. Murphy decided to have a bit of fun. “Perhaps we can have dinner while I’m here and you could show me a bit of the city; I’m sure Roan would approve of that,” he teased.

“I – I’m a very busy person Mr. Murphy so I’m afraid that would be out of the question. I’m sure Roan has other, er, employees who would be better suited to your sight-seeing goals. Now, may I excuse myself? I have other people to speak to this evening.”

“Certainly, Raven!” he said, using the name that Roan had. He inwardly laughed as her eyes first opened in surprise and then narrowed again in anger. She nodded briefly and turned away abruptly, beating a hasty retreat across the room. 

Murphy watched her exit the room and laughed. He wondered briefly what that was all about, but didn’t have time to puzzle too long before Roan was back and introducing him to someone else. 

Outside Raven took a couple of deep breaths and tried to calm her raging feelings. She stood at a railing along the terrace and her hands were curled so tightly that fingernails cut into her palms. She made her hands relax a bit and wished she had a tissue to wipe the blood off with. 

He was one of those ‘special’ friends of Roan, she could tell. Maybe it was the cool feel of his hand when they shook or maybe it was his beautiful, sexy blue eyes; she didn’t know. What she realized though was that she needed to stay far away from John Murphy. He was dangerous to her and no good could come of this.


):(

 

“Clarke, I need some outside help with this case. Leni Hayes, my witness in the Amir Fayed case has disappeared after a hit on her safe house last night. Do you think Bellamy Blake would help me?”

For a moment Clarke was stunned. First, Finn was finally admitting that he had a secret witness and secondly that he wanted Bellamy’s help. She didn’t know which was more amazing.

It was seven in the morning and Clarke didn’t know if Bellamy would be up or not but she agreed to call him for Finn. He answered quickly and after a very brief explanation of what was going on agreed to see her and Finn. 

Finn closely watched Bellamy Blake while he explained about the case. He also couldn’t help but notice all the silent looks that passed between Bellamy and Clarke. Bellamy listened intently and asked questions and the questions he asked impressed Finn. He was smart, he’d give him that. Clarke said that he could solve cases no one else could; well, Finn would have to wait and see about that one. 

Bellamy agreed to work the case and the three of them went to the safe house where Bellamy straight away told them a few facts about the case; there was only one shooter (the police suspected two) and that none of the blood was Leni’s (because there was no estrogen in it). Leni had escaped through a window in an upstairs hallway and used the fire escape to get out of the building. She had also stolen a truck belonging to Officer Richard Colden and Clarke got a friend to track the low jack for her and Bellamy so that they could find Leni.

The truck was found in front of a house that belonged to Jack Toland, the man that Fayed had killed. Bellamy and Clarke entered the house and found that Leni had been inside and that she and Jack Toland had been involved, in love. They realized that Leni had gotten Jacks gun and that she was now armed. A bit more probing found that she had caught a bus to Victorville and that would be Bellamy’s next stop.

“Okay, this is where our separate ways Clarke,” Bellamy told her, slipping his sunglasses back on in preparation to head back outside. 

):(


It had been a trying day.  In order to keep Leni away from the guy that was chasing her Bellamy had stolen a police cruiser and then Fayed had sent a helicopter after it.  The car had been blown up and Clarke was heartbroken, thinking that Bellamy had died because she knew that fire was something that could kill him. She went home, devastated in shock and in tears, already missing him.

When Clarke got the call from Leni telling her that they were both still alive, but that Bellamy was not well she first experienced relief and joy and then fear and panic. She knew that Bellamy would need blood, but she didn’t know how to get it, where to get it. There was probably some at Bellamy’s apartment, but she didn’t think she had time to try to break in there, even if she could because Bellamy had some really high-tech surveillance and security systems. No, she would just have to go as she was and hope for the best.

She finally saw the motel up ahead and turned in. It was a rat hole, a dirty, run-down miserable excuse of a place to stay and Clarke thanked God that they had found it, out here in the middle of nowhere. She found the room and walked in, after a perfunctory knock and found Leni waiting for her.

“Leni, I’m Clarke!” As she spoke Leni ran to her and started dragging her to a door on the other side of the room.

“You have to help him; I think he’s dying!” she cried, panic in her voice.

“Where is he?” Clarke asked, already knowing the answer.

“He’s in here.”

“Stay here,” Clarke said, entering the bathroom. She saw Bellamy, lying in the tub with melting ice and water covering him. 


):(


What if the one thing you need to survive is the one thing that would make your life unbearable?  Bellamy's Thoughts swirled around him, tearing him apart to see Clarke standing there in the doorway.

“Bellamy!” Clarke’s heart nearly stopped when she saw him lying in that filthy tub; he was slumped down in the water and his skin was very pale and pasty looking. She thought he was dead.

“Bellamy!”

He slid up a bit in the tub and when he opened his eyes she saw that his eyes were yellow and her breath caught in her throat at that sight. He was bad off, she knew.

“You have to take Leni and get her out of here,” he told her. For a couple of minutes they debated the issue; he determined that she would go and she determined that she would not. She started digging in her purse, then the bathroom cabinet and drawer.


“What are you doing,” he asked, his voice faint husky.  “Take Leni and leave NOW!


“I'm looking for something to cut myself with to get you some blood.”

Finally, she had enough and pulled aside her blouse, exposing her neck. “I don’t know how to do this but I know you won’t kill me and I know you won’t try to turn me either. I have this vampire friend who’s been explaining this stuff to me.”

He looked shocked, appalled at that suggestion. He shook his head and said, “No. Not your blood, not like this!”

All Clarke could think of was that there was something wrong with her blood, that he was disgusted by the thought of drinking her blood. It broke her heart just a little bit to see him react like that.

Soon though he realized he had no choice and he reached for her arm, scenting her wrist. “At some point, you’re going to have to stop me,” he told her before sinking his fangs into her wrist. Her blood was like nectar, partly due to the fact that he needed it so badly, but mostly because it was her blood – his Clarke’s blood. The last thing he wanted was for her to be food for him and yet, there wasn’t another choice right now. He couldn’t protect them if he didn’t.

The bite was a bit different than she expected; the shock of his fangs piercing her skin stung at first, but the soft, rhythmic pull of his mouth was almost soothing and she relaxed against him. Still, she could hear his words repeating in her head, “not your blood, not like this” and they hurt each time she remembered them. She wondered how long before she ‘had to stop him’; how much was enough? 

Suddenly she felt him pull his fangs out and he licked at the puncture marks. It was a tender act and it made her feel strangely peaceful – almost cared for. 

“Are you okay Clarke?” She nodded yes, a bit pale.

“Hey,” Bellamy said, immediately reaching to steady her. “You’re probably going to be a bit dizzy, so take it easy. Wrap one of those towels around your arm and press lightly, okay?”

“I’m going to go and check on Leni,” she told him.

He nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll be right out. Uh, Clarke?” 

She turned to look at him and he smiled and said, “Thank you.”

She nodded and gave him as much of a smile as she could.


):(

 

Clarke headed for the bathtub when she got home. She still felt a bit weak and puny, even though Bellamy had insisted that they stop so she could eat on the way home. Yes, she wanted a long, hot bubble bath and as she filled the tub with a light vanilla scent she anticipated sinking down into it and just relaxing.

Finn was in the living room, going over case details on his phone. He had been very solicitous of her since they got back, trying to make sure she was okay. Now he was making arrangements for Leni, who was scared to death. Bellamy was going to stay at the safe house with her too after a trip home to change and eat Finn told Clarke.

Clarke shrugged out of her clothes and sank down into the heated water and sighed. Amazingly, her arm didn’t hurt, in fact it didn’t look bad at all, just two little puncture marks were all that you could see. She had told Finn and Wells that she had caught her arm on a chain link fence at the motel. 

“Hey Clarke? Would you like me to pour you a glass of wine while you’re in there?” Finn asked.

She wasn’t sure that was the best idea, but on the other hand she could certainly use a little escape from the scrutinizing looks that Finn kept giving her. It would maybe provide a little buffer and so she told him yes, she would like some.

After he took her a glass of wine he headed back out into the bedroom and looked around and saw Clarke’s discarded clothes lying around and decided to pick them up. After he tossed them into the hamper he noticed the earrings she had been wearing lying on the dresser and decided to put them away as well. He looked around for the box they belonged in but didn’t see it so he opened the top drawer to see if it was in there. What he saw instead was her diary.

He looked at it for a moment; he didn’t even know she kept a diary. He wondered if it was an old one, from like she was a teenager and she kept it as a memento or if she still wrote in it. He stared again at it and finally shut the drawer and headed out to the kitchen to finish dinner.

As he tossed vegetables for salad his mind kept drifting back to the diary lying in the drawer. He wasn’t one of those kind of guys who pried into personal stuff, but it was driving him crazy. Did she write about him? About Bellamy Blake?

That was the rub – Bellamy Blake. Finn thought about the preliminary background check he had run on the guy and he basically didn’t exist, not that Finn could find anyway. The only Bellamy Blake he found tracked back to 1950 and it sure wasn’t Bellamy. He had told Clarke that the picture in Julia’s book was his father, so okay, Finn could buy that, but where are the records of Bellamy’s birth? Where did he go to school? There was no record of this guy, only his dad, through the ‘80’s anyway. He seemed to have disappeared sometime in the ‘90’s; it was unclear what had happened.

Did Clarke know something about him? She was certainly secretive about their friendship, almost like she was protecting him, but why? Why would she feel like she had to? Did he have some kind of dirt on her and so she had no choice? He stepped towards the bedroom, determined to look for himself.

Halfway there he turned around and headed back to the kitchen; whatever was in there was none of his business. But what if that bastard was holding something over her head and she couldn’t talk about it? Finn decided it could affect her safety, or that’s how he justified it anyway. He went back to the bedroom and quietly opened the drawer and pulled the diary out. 

He held it for a moment, telling himself to just put it away but he had to know. She might need his help. He took a deep breath and opened it; the page fell open to October 7, 2017.

So, it is a current diary. Put it back, Finn...

Instead, he started to scan the page and the words jumped out at him like they were on fire.

Bellamy Blake is a vampire.

So this secret I will keep; for both of our sakes. He fought for me and I will fight for him, for his right to live and be a part of this world. I can do no less.

He suddenly heard Clarke getting out of the bath tub and the water draining out of it. He slammed the diary shut and put it back in the drawer and quickly headed into the kitchen to finish dinner. 

Finn was reeling from those words. How could there be such a thing as vampires? It was ridiculous. Of all the things he thought he might read, that was definitely NOT one of them. She will keep his secret she said. Why? Why would she protect him like that? 

The more he thought about it the more he realized it could be true, if such a thing were possible anyway.

“No, there’s no estrogen in it.”

“She cut her hand on the latch.”

How did Blake know those things unless he could smell the blood? It gave him something to think about. He remembered finding Clarke late that night at Buzzwire, doing research on vampires. It was all sort of clicking into place.

After dinner (Clarke never noticed how preoccupied Finn was) she sat on the bed and thought about the events of the day. She wanted to see Bellamy, she needed to see him and she decided that she would go and see him first thing in the morning. There had to be some explanation for what she was feeling.

Finn stood in the doorway for a minute and watched her for another minute. She gave no sign that she knew he was there until he called her name.

“How’s the arm?”

“I’m such a klutz,” she told him, not quite meeting his eyes.

“Good thing you’re so good looking then,” he teased. She is too uncomfortable about it all. Did she actually let Blake bite her? Or did the bastard force her?

“We make a pretty good team,” he said and he watched her face pale for a half second before she tried to smile. She half-heartedly smiled at him and suddenly he knew. 

Bellamy Blake had bit her. 

):(


“Roan, you have been a gracious host, as always,” Murphy said as he sat in his host’s office, high above the city of Tokyo. The view was spectacular Murphy decided and for a moment he wished his office had a better view.

“Ahh Murphy, you are an admirable guest; you do not stay too long and over-extend my generosity,” he answered with a smile. He raised his mug of fresh O positive as did Murphy and they drank to the toast. 

Just then there was a knock on the door and Roan called, “Come in”. The door opened and Raven walked in carrying some files for Roan. 

Murphy immediately rose to his feet to greet her. She was wearing a jade colored suit with black edging the lapels. The skirt was short enough to show a bit of her legs, but not provocative at all. Murphy recognized Chanel when he saw it and silently applauded her taste. 

“Ms. Reyes, how are you this afternoon?” he asked, smiling at her across the room.

Too late Raven realized that it was Murphy in the office with Roan. She glared at him for a moment and then said to Roan, “I’m sorry. I had no idea that you were with someone. I’ll just stop by later Roan.”

“Nonsense Raven! Are those the files on the training projections for next year? I’m anxious to see them. Just set them down and let me pour you a drink. A bit of Glenfiddich for you?” he asked, holding up a bottle of 21 year old Scotch.

Murphy noticed the ‘caught in the headlights’ look that Raven cast around the room but to her credit she masked it quickly and nodded to Roan. “That would be lovely, thanks.”

Her mind was racing furiously, contemplating just how fast she could drink that down and get out of here. She had no desire to make nice with the vampire playboy. And yes, she knew he was a playboy, it oozed out of his pores. Definitely a player, albeit a very attractive one. And a vampire, don’t forget that Raven!

A shiver crept up her spine at that last thought and for a moment, she almost let herself remember…

 

):(

 


“Hey Mom, I’m here,” Clarke said, walking through the front door. She sat her purse down on the table by the door and shrugged out of her jacket and hung it on the hook. “Where are you, in the kitchen?”

“Yes,” Clarke heard her mom call out. “Come on in!”

Clarke followed her nose into the kitchen, inhaling the fragrance of something Italian and her mouth instantly started to water. “Um, garlic and rosemary and something else in the air! Must be pasta night!”

Marcus came in from his office and put his arm around Clarke’s shoulder and hugged her as she sneaked a piece of green pepper off the cutting board and popped it into her mouth. 

“Hey Clarke, how are you?” he asked, swiping a piece of his own.

“Enough you two,” Abby said tensely. “Clarke, finish cutting the vegetables up since you are so eager to get at them.”

Clarke’s eyebrows rose a bit and she looked at Marcus in surprise at her mother’s sharp words. Marcus only shrugged and asked, “Clarke, would you like a glass of wine?”

“Sure, thanks!”

Marcus poured three glasses of a rich red burgundy for them and as she sipped it Abby said, “Will you set the table please?”  


“The dining room, Marcus,” she answered and again her voice was edgy. 

Clarke was surprised they were eating in the dining room for one thing; when it was just the three of them they always sat in the kitchen. Something was up and she suddenly wasn’t sure that this was going to be such a pleasant dinner.

Clarke finished the salad and tossed it together while her mom pulled the pasta and bread out of the oven, all of it done without another word being spoken. Marcus helped Abby carry the casserole to the table and after Clarke sat the salad down they were ready to eat. 

“So Clarke, what has been going on with you?” Abby asked, watching Clarke’s expression closely.

“I – uh, just working Mom. And you can see all that 24-7 on Buzzwire you know!”

“Well yes, but what else has been going on? You know, not work related honey?”

Marcus cleared his throat and then took a sip of wine. Clarke saw him watching this interaction over the rim of his glass.

Clarke chewed her lip for a moment, wondering what her mom was getting at. She certainly couldn’t know about Bellamy, so what else could it be? “Nothing really Mom. I talked to Raven this morning. She was talking about some guy she met there that was a jerk, apparently. Harper and Monty are well and she thinks she might be pregnant again, or at least they are trying. All pretty boring, Mom,” she finished. She took a bite of the lasgna and chewed it slowly in an attempt to not have to answer any more questions.

“So, you’re saying nothing exciting has happened lately? I find that hard to believe Clarke!” Abby wasn’t eating at all; she was staring at Clarke intently.

Clarke swallowed her mouthful of garlic bread and shrugged, looking down at her plate. She felt as if she were six years old and was being questioned about something she had done wrong. “Sorry to disappoint you Mom. Life is pretty boring. Finn has been working on a pretty tough case so I haven’t seen a lot of him either. Just me, just boring, same old me!” She smiled at her Mom and took another bite.

Abby started to open her mouth again and Marcus jumped into the conversation asking her if she was planning to go and visit Raven in Tokyo, something that she had been thinking about for awhile.

Clarke smiled at him gratefully and for the rest of dinner she and Marcus chatted about that. Abby never said another word. Clarke left a while later, totally puzzled.

As Marcus watched Clarke pull out of the driveway, he waved before closing the door. Abby was sitting on the sofa, her arms folded and her beautiful mouth pursed in a frown. Marcus shook his head briefly before going to sit next to her.

“Abby, what did you hope to accomplish with that?”

Abby knew exactly what he was referring to, her inquisition of Clarke. She knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to do and it certainly hadn’t helped anything but it was eating her up inside, the not knowing how Clarke was affected by Bellamy being a vampire. The she acted, you’d never guess she was so cool about things. 

She sighed before answering Marcus, who waited patiently. “You know perfectly well what I was trying to do Marcus. I have to know how she’s handling it all. How could she sit there, all cool about the fact that she has come face to face with a vampire? It – it just boggles my brain. Where did she learn to cover things up like that?”

Marcus knew that in this situation, discretion was the better part of valor and his answer reflected that. “Honey, she’s a strong young woman and she probably doesn’t want to worry you. You just have to let it go and trust her to handle it, okay?”

Abby stared at him for a moment, accepting his words. But she didn’t like them one little bit. 

):(


The knock on the door startled Bellamy out of his funk as he stared at Clarke on Buzzwire. He was watching the archives, her report on a hit and run accident she had covered. Really, it was only mind-candy for him because all he was doing was watching her face, not really listening. As soon as he heard the knock he looked up in panic and then after he scented the air he relaxed; it wasn’t Clarke.

Yes, he had been avoiding her but he couldn’t face her just yet. He was miserable, knowing that he drank her blood – like that!

How could he do it? He didn’t want to, and yet, he did. He had ached to taste her blood; he just didn’t want to do it like that. She wasn’t food – she would never be food for him and he didn’t want her to think she was. 

He smelled vamp outside his door and grinned as he opened it stared into the face of Elka. He hugged her for a moment and laughed, happy to see her.

“Hey, what are you doing in LA?”

“Believe it or not I’m house hunting. I’m moving down here soon,” she told him, sitting down on the couch. 

“You haven’t been in Detroit for that long. What brings you back here?”

“Anderson’s is transferring me actually. And it seemed like a good idea. I have friends here and believe it or not I’ve never actually lived here!”

Bellamy’s eyebrow lifted in surprise; he had just assumed that she had at some point. “So, are you really looking for a house, or just a place to live?”

“A house, I like the space and the privacy. I’m looking a little farther up the coast, maybe something in the hills. That would work for me; I won’t mind the commute into work.”

“Would you like something to drink?” he asked, suddenly remembering his host duties.

“Sure, whatever you got handy will be fine.” She followed him into the kitchen and watched as he poured some AB negative into two frosted glasses. “So, what is going on around here? I tried to call Murphy but it seems he is out of town.”

“Yeah, he’s in Tokyo, but he will be home tomorrow I think.” Bellamy took a sip of the blood and watched over the rim of the glass as she did the same.

“So his assistant said. But back to you, what is going on in your life?” She suddenly knew that he was avoiding answering him when he started fidgeting with his glass and wouldn’t meet her look.

“I uh, nothing much, not really.”

“What does ‘not really’ mean Bellamy?” She sighed to herself. What would it take to get this guy happy? “What’s going on with the girl? Clarke, isn’t that her name?”

“Yes, that’s her name. It’s complicated Elka,” he finished lamely.

“Bellamy, for heaven’s sake it’s ALWAYS complicated to you and you know what? It doesn’t have to be! YOU! You make it complicated.” She was irritated now; her foot was tapping rapidly on the floor.

“I fucked up Elka! I did! I drank her blood, out in the desert!”

Those were not words she ever expected to hear. She pursed her lips and then frowned, thinking about what he said. “How did that happen, Bellamy?”

He explained the situation to her and she listened, occasionally taking a sip of her drink. “Look, these were extenuating circumstances Bellamy. Not an ideal situation, but you didn’t really have a solution other than that.”

“I could have just sent her away Elka, I should have.” He lowered his head and Elka saw the shame and misery rolling off of him.

“Yeah, and then what? You go crazy out there and kill some old man sitting at the front desk of the motel? You’d feel guilty about that too, Bellamy. This was the better solution. But you can’t hide away from her; she’s going to need answers. Things change sometimes, when emotions are involved, you know that.”

Bellamy raised his head and gave her a guilty look. “She doesn’t care about me like that! She has a boyfriend, Elka.”

“She practically had to make you drink her blood Bellamy; she cares about you.”

The words gave him pause for thought. If they were true, where did that leave them?

Chapter Text

October 18, 2007


It’s been an interesting week; after Bellamy avoiding me for days I ran into him twice in two days. How does that happen in a city as large as LA? I can only think that there is a reason for it, but whatever that reason is I can’t quite figure out.


I had tried to call him, four times in fact and it went to voice mail each time; each time I asked him to call me, but it didn’t happen. Then out of the blue Finn and I run into him in the Strickland building, where my doctor’s office is. 


I can only say it was a tense meeting; Finn was acting really strange towards Bellamy which puzzled me. Bellamy saved his case for him when he got Leni back to LA to testify at Amir Fayed’s trial and it worked too; he was convicted after only a 2 hour deliberation.


To me Finn has been a bit distant, but I keep finding him looking at me with an odd look in his eyes. He insisted that I go to the doctor’s office to have the marks on my arm checked out; the two puncture marks left by Bellamy when I fed him. Bellamy was clearly uncomfortable when we saw him; I’m sure he would have walked away if he could have. Finn immediately told him that we were there for a blood test which Bellamy interpreted as a pre-marital test. Finn watched Bellamy closely during that, not sure why but it was a very nerve-wracking meeting. 


The second time I ran into Bellamy was at the morgue when I was there checking out a body that had been brought in. I’m working on a murder case; a call girl who had been found beaten and practically eaten alive. It’s a similar MO to some cases in San Francisco last year so Maureen had me working the crime scene and that led to the morgue. 


When Bellamy walked into the morgue with an older couple I couldn’t help but feel a bit of excitement at seeing him. I have to say, he sort of takes my breath away! (I can’t believe I admitted that!) He is so tall and good looking and he had this really cool leather jacket on. I love the way he moves, sort of fluid and predatory at the same time. I don’t know if that is a vampire thing or not, but I have to admit that it gets to me. 


When I talked to him a little while later he tried to lie to me about avoiding me but I’m not an idiot and besides, he is a really bad liar; which of course I told him. I had to practically force him to talk about the fact that he fed from me in the desert too, which really pissed me off. It happened and now I have these exaggerated feelings for him that I don’t know how to deal with; I need answers from him and he is clearly not willing to give me any.


Things between Finn and I are even more strained than before. I left the party for our one year anniversary to go to the morgue that evening which I know, wasn’t really a nice thing to do, but I only had a certain amount of time to see that body. Finn immediately thought it was Bellamy who called, even though it wasn’t. I’m not sure what is going on between Finn and I but I do know that I’m not very comfortable with him right now; I sort of feel like I’m under the microscope. He’s really working on another case right now and that’s fine with me. 


It all sounds really depressing doesn’t it diary? I just have to assume it will all work out although I have to admit I don’t know how I want it to work out. Pretty sad, huh?


Later…


):(


Clarke was looking looking for what turned out to be a killer vampire, and Bellamy was looking for a missing girl, who was a prostitute using the name of Cherish. Clarke was lying in bed thinking about her day; she and Bellamy were trying to track a vampire serial killer and tomorrow she was going to go to his friend Murphy, office, John Murphy but everyone just called him Murphy, Bellamy said. She had to admit that she was a bit nervous about it; Murphy was one of the richest men in LA, a hedge fund trader who had a reputation for being a very shrewd business guy and one who was pretty media savvy too. She would love to interview him some day; maybe this meeting will help to precipitate that.

Bellamy knew what he was doing was wrong but old habits die hard. He had come to Clarke’s this evening to talk to her, but all her lights were out then he noticed that her balcony door was open. At first, it angered him because this was LA after all and even thought it was on the second floor someone could easily get up there. Before he knew it he had done just that jumped up there; he was perched outside the open door, hidden by the new moon. He watched her silently, telling himself to just go, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t…

As she lay in bed she unconsciously stroked her arm where Bellamy had bitten her. It still tingled a bit when she touched it and it certainly brought back a flood of memories. When he had first bitten her it was a shock; his fangs were really sharp and went right through her skin, easier than she imagined they could. There was a bit of pain at first and then that was sort of dulled by the feel of his mouth against her skin. It was almost hypnotic, the sucking motion became almost soothing and sensual and as she remembered it she found herself becoming a bit aroused by it all. She felt hot suddenly and she kicked her covers off letting the cool evening breeze from the open balcony door help to cool her a bit. Her mind went back to the desert and Bellamy’s face filled her mind making her even more aroused. 

Bellamy watched as she stroked his mark on her arm and then kicked off her covers. He heard her breathing increase a bit as well and her heart beat too. Even from the balcony he could feel the heat that emanated from her body and he was drawn to it. He ached to hold her in his arms and feel the heat of her body against his cool one. He took in the satiny material of the skimpy camisole and the boy style panties that she wore with it and he started to feel himself harden in his jeans. His eyes were glued to the beautiful form on the bed and suddenly he caught the scent of her arousal and a low growl escaped his lips. He watched her to see if she noticed, but she was preoccupied with other things.


She felt her nipples pebble and begin to ache and her pelvic muscles contract. She kept remembering the feel of his mouth, the pulling sensation and she realized that there was definitely something erotic about it. Just thinking about it made her grow wet and what was even more of a shock to her was that it wasn’t Finn she wanted but Bellamy. Unconsciously she ran a finger over her taut nipple and felt another contraction between her legs. She groaned Bellamy’s name before as she teased her nipple, rimming it with a finger tip. 

Bellamy shut his eyes for a moment as he inhaled deeply, drawing in her aroused scent and trying desperately to memorize its sweet fragrance. It was warm and musky, all Clarke and it made him throb and ache even more for her. When he opened his eyes he saw her stroking her nipples through her top and it sent a jolt of electricity up his spine. The material was so thin every bit of puckered skin was visible to his hungry eyes. He heard her moan his name and for the first time he realized she was thinking about him and his heart leapt with joy. It was a wonderful realization that was quickly followed by the impossibility and futility of the situation. It could never be and he knew that better than anyone. He closed his eyes again before leaping from the balcony and heading to the Benz. This was a road that he couldn’t take.

Clarke groaned and pulled a pillow over her head and rolled over in the bed in an attempt to put Bellamy and the bite out of her mind. She was saved by her phone ringing and she grabbed at like a starving woman.

“Hello?”

“Hey Clarke! How are you?”

“Raven? Oh my gosh, it is so good to hear from you and you couldn’t have called at a better time! What’s going on in Tokyo?”

“Well, I have some news! Want to hear it?” Raven asked, her smile a mile wide even though Clarke couldn’t see it.

“Yes, definitely. Talk to me!”

“In January I’m moving back to LA! I’ve been promoted to Director of Training Operations for California! Isn’t that great?”

Clarke immediately sat up in the bed and started yelling into the phone! “Are you kidding me Raven? Please, please tell me you aren’t!”

“I’m deaf now, but no, I’m not kidding. Clarke, I’m so excited. It’s going to be wonderful to be home. I’ve missed you all so much.”

“I know, we’ve missed you too! And hey, I want to apologize for the last time you called; you were trying to tell me about some jerk you met and I had so much on my mind that I wasn’t a very good friend. What happened with that?”

Raven quickly flashed back to Murphy and then shook her head; he was gone and she didn’t want to talk to about him now. “It was nothing, just one of those pompous jerks that come along every now and again. He’s gone now and I’ll never have to see him again. So have you talked to Harper lately?”

Clarke lay back down in the bed and spent the next half hour catching up with her friend. By the time she got off the phone she felt happy and ready to put all men out of her mind. Before too long she was asleep and dreaming peacefully.


):(

 

Finn sat at his desk, reviewing the file on Bellamy Blake. He hadn’t collected much information on him because the guy seemed to be a ghost; Finn admitted to himself that being a vampire could have a lot to do with that. How old was he really Finn wondered. He had found a Michael St. John that had been born in November of 1939 in West Adams; could that possibly be him? That Bellamy married Echo Duvall in 1969 and he seemed to disappear at that time.  His parents were dead but he still had a sister that was alive. The crux was that there was no real way of telling if that was the same Bellamy Blake. He smiled wryly and thought about asking Blake for a DNA sample; that would go over well with Clarke he thought wryly.

He decided to set up surveillance on Blake, see if that netted any information. Couldn’t hurt he determined.

He turned his attention to the internet and decided to do a little investigation of vampires himself; you never know what you might find he thought.


):(

 

Meeting Murphy had been an interesting experience for Clarke. He and another man, Ryder was waiting for her with Bellamy. Murphy stared at her, to the point where she became a bit uncomfortable. 

“Such beautiful women on the internet,” Murphy said, his blue colored eyes staring at her. 

“Thank you, I guess,” she murmured. She stepped around him, trying to stay close to Bellamy. Murphy followed her with his eyes.

“Bellamy said you had a great voice,” Ryder added, grinning at her in a slightly disturbing way. Clarke was close to leaving; who the hell did these two think they were anyway!

Bellamy explained the purpose of her being there; they wanted her to talk to the men that had called Jazzmyn, the dead call girl to see if they could figure out who might have been the killer. Clarke agreed even though she had her doubts; she had no idea how to sound like a hooker.

They caught a break when one of them actually thought she was Cherish, the girl that Bellamy was looking for in his case and Ryder produced an address for them from the landline and Bellamy and Clarke left, much to her relief.

As they drove, Clarke decided to ask Bellamy more of what they had dubbed, ‘Vampire 20 Questions’. They laughed about it often because something new was always coming up that she was curious about. This day had her thinking about why a vampire would want a hooker.

“So how does it work? The sex thing,” she asked, watching his reaction.

For a half a moment his face looked shocked and then he gave a small laugh. “What, your parents never told you about it?”

“They somehow missed the part involving vampires!”

“It doesn’t work,” he told her.

“You mean it’s impossible?”

“It’s ,um, inadvisable – it never ends well.” 

“Why?” she asked, curious. 

“Clarke, its, well it can be difficult, dangerous and certainly complicated for a vamp and a uh, human. Can you understand that?”

“Not exactly. I mean, okay, any relationship can be difficult or complicated, but how is it dangerous?”

Bellamy held onto the steering wheel, his mind flipping through his possible answers. They hit a red light and he sighed as he saw that she was staring at him and he knew she wouldn’t stop until she got some answers.

“Look Clarke, take into consideration the differences between humans and vamps; what kind of common ground do you suppose there could be? That’s the complicated part and a lot of the difficult as well. The dangerous, well, do I have to explain that?”

Clarke stared for a moment, a puzzled frown on her face and said, “Yes, I think you do Bellamy.”

The light changed and he started the Benz moving again, creeping along behind the car in front of them. He let out an exasperated sigh and said, “Clarke, for a vampire to um, finish, they need to bite. Do you think that qualifies as dangerous?” There, he had just said it and a feeling of shame swept over him. He would have done anything to avoid this conversation.

The mention of the bite made Clarke unconsciously stroke her arm, which Bellamy noticed. She didn’t understand it all, but so help him he couldn’t get close enough to her to explain; it wouldn’t be good for either of them. He cast a sideways glance at her as she thought about his words.

“But you’ve said that the bite doesn’t have to kill; I know for a fact that it doesn’t, so what is the problem? It might not be pleasant, but I guess there could be worse things!”

“Why the hell are you asking this Clarke? Tell me, I don’t get it!”

“Oh, I’m asking totally hypothetically, I assure you. I don’t know, I’m just curious I guess.” She turned her face away and looked out the car window, watching the houses slip by in a blur. Not because of their speed but because her mind was still focused on other things.

She had no idea that the bite could be anything other than unpleasant; after all, look how he had practically attacked her in the desert. That’s all she knew about it. He obviously hadn’t wanted to bite her and she remembered his words, “Not you, not like this!” They still stung her and again she wondered what was wrong with her blood.

He fought himself for a moment to keep from telling her otherwise; that the bite could be very sensual in the right circumstances. It would be better all around if she believed it was like what she experienced and nothing more. Both of them were silent the rest of the way to the Los Felix address. When they walked up to the door of the building Clarke suddenly had a thought.

“Your friends, were they vampires too?” she finally asked.

“Can’t tell can you? Scary,” Bellamy teased.

The rest of the day was a blur in many ways. They caught the killer, who lost his head in a fight with Bellamy at the pier and reunited Cherish with her parents back at Buzzwire. Mo was livid with Clarke that she didn’t have the camera’s going for the reunion, but Clarke stuck to her guns and let the reunion happen in peace. She spotted Bellamy watching her talk to Mo and then suddenly he was gone. She excused herself and went looking for him.

In the parking lot Bellamy dropped his keys and had to crawl under the Benz to retrieve them. Clarke looked around and couldn’t see him anywhere and a feeling of regret flooded over him. When he popped up right in front of her it startled her for a moment.

“You disappeared,” she told him, searching his face and almost falling into his beautiful brown eyes.

“You were busy with your editor,” he said with a shrug. Maureen was a piece of work and Bellamy didn’t like her at all. He couldn’t wait to get out of there.

“You could’ve said good bye.” She took in the dirt smudges on his face and her heart melted. He had fought valiantly this evening and she felt a warm rush of affection for him.

Bellamy dipped his head for a moment and then stared at her, amused by her words. He decided it was best if he just left and started to say “Good…” 

Clarke leaned up and kissed him, full on the mouth.

“Bye,” he finished, shocked and elated all at once. 

She leaned up and kissed him again, caressing the side of his face with her hand. For a moment he was spellbound by that kiss. The feel of her warm lips against his thrilled him and it was all he could do to keep from pulling her tightly against him and losing himself in that kiss, in her arms.

She pulled away from him and smiled, then ran away lightly. He watched her until he couldn’t see her any longer, wearing a bemused smile. He didn’t understand it, but he liked it. It couldn’t happen again, but he would never forget it.

He climbed into the Benz and headed for PCH, a habit of old when he needed to think. He pulled over and let the top down so he could feel the wind. He felt a part of the night on a very elemental level; the wind carried the salty tang of the ocean and a bevy of human scents too. His mind drifted back to the parking lot at Buzzwire as he cruised along. 

What did it mean, that kiss? To him it meant everything but to her? What did it mean to her? God, he wanted her with all his heart and soul and yet he knew he couldn’t have her. She has a boyfriend Bellamy, she has a boyfriend. And just as you told her it’s difficult, dangerous and complicated for vamps and humans. But he had denied himself the touch and comfort of someone for so long now he didn’t know how well he could fight it. 

What if they did get together? How could he keep the vamp in check at the crucial moment? What if he totally lost control and killed her? He could never live with himself if that was the case. 

It can never happen Bellamy; over and over the words ran through his head and he really wanted to believe them. But somehow he knew they were a lie because part of him knew the truth, that Clarke Griffin was his mate.

 

Bellamy - Maybe it’s the sum of a million coincidences we don’t quite control that brings us to a particular place at a particular time. Or maybe, it’s the choices we make, the actions we take. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 80 years it’s that what we want doesn’t always matter. But then again, sometimes it’s all that does.

 

Chapter Text


October 25, 2017


Maureen is pissed at me; not surprising since I didn’t have the camera’s rolling when Cherish reunited with her parents. I’m definitely NOT her golden girl right now. Since then I’ve covered a pet show, a 100th birthday celebration of Fischer’s Deli and the latest, a fashion show. At least it has a lot of promise. 


I’ve been working a fascinating story, starting with the fashion show; a girl collapsed, convulsed and died right in front of us. A terrible thing, but when Finn and Wells showed up I knew that I was onto something big. Especially when they ordered me off of the story.


On the home front I feel at odds with almost all the significant people in my life; Finn, my mom as well as Maureen. It’s a good thing I haven’t talked to Raven lately or I’d probably make a mess of that too. The one bright spot was that Harper came up for a girl’s weekend and we had so much fun. It was right after I had managed to make an idiot out of myself by impulsively kissing Bellamy in the Buzzwire parking lot. 


He didn’t hate it, I know, but I felt foolish afterwards. I kind of have to wonder why I did it; honestly, I don’t know why. I sort of felt compelled to kiss him – at that moment it felt as necessary as my next breath. It felt good, and so right. But if that’s true then what about Finn?


In all honesty, it’s getting harder to be with Finn. He is such a great guy and he should be perfect for me, and yet it somehow just misses the mark. He’s caring and patient and allows me to be who I am. Most women would kill to have someone in their life like that, as I’m often reminded by Marissa and other friends. Even Harper asked me if I understood what I was doing. Of course, no real surprise there as she is the mother hen of us all and will always take the safe approach. That’s Finn, safe – something that cannot be said for Bellamy.


It doesn’t really have anything to do with Bellamy, not really. I was feeling this way before Bellamy came along, although it has certainly exacerbated the Finn situation with him in my life now. Since the bite in the desert I have only to stroke my arm and it tingles and brings Bellamy directly into focus. Is that normal after a vampire bites you? You feel some internal connection that you can’t shut off?  My writst still tingles when he is near or  I think about him.  All I know is that I don’t want to shut it off, but if I have that connection with him where does that leave Finn and me? I have so much to figure out.


Mom is still upset with me and I don’t really know why. Since I was there for dinner a couple of weeks ago she calls regularly and when she asks what’s going on in my life and I tell her she just seems to get more upset, and I don’t have a freaking clue why. I’m obviously not giving her the right answers but the only thing I’m withholding is the information about Bellamy, which she couldn’t possibly know about. I love her so much and I don’t know what is wrong. When I ask her she tells me nothing at all. It’s like a brick wall is in place and I don’t know how to climb it. Even when Harper and I went to see her she wasn’t her usual self. I guess I just need a bit more patience diary!


Later…


):(

 

“Hey Clarke?” Harper asked as we were getting pedicures. The technician had left us alone to soak for a few minutes. “Are you happy?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Why?” Clarke asked with a frown.

“I don’t know, it just seems like you are distracted or something. Is everything okay with Finn?”

Clarke pursed her lips and Harper watched as it furrowed her brow. “I don’t know really. I feel, well, like something is missing Harper. Not like when you’re just in a boring spot, but where something significant is just not there.”

“Was it ever there?” she asked. Harper liked Finn, but in some ways he and Clarke had never seemed like an ideal match to her. Finn was steady and safe and somehow Clarke always seemed drawn to the men that were a bit more on the edgy side, like Wells had been. Harper had adored Wells and was genuinely sorry when he and Clarke didn’t make it. 

“I don’t know Harper. He was great from the start, so much fun, you know? I felt comfortable with him and he was so easy to talk to. Now, things just aren’t clicking any longer.”

“That almost sounds like a great friend Clarke as opposed to a lover.”

“In some ways I guess that’s true. Don’t get me wrong, things in that area have always been good, but the connection seems to be fading. I feel it slipping away and yet I’m unable or maybe even unwilling to stop it.”

“Is there someone else Clarke?”

“I don’t know. I know – that’s a stupid answer. I know someone that I feel a connection with, but I have no idea whether or not he has any interest in me. Actually, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t, for, um, complicated reasons. But Harper, I feel alive when I’m with him in a way I haven’t felt in years.”

Harper digested this last bit of information for a moment before answering. She took a deep breath and said, “Perhaps he won’t come any closer to you because of Finn? Clarke, you need to figure out what you want and need and then take action to straighten all this out. It’s not like you to string two men along and I can’t believe you are happy doing it. Figure out who you want and then do something about it!”

Words that were easier said than done Clarke knew.


):(

 

Bellamy was working on a case for Murphy and it was starting to piss him off; there was a lot more to this than Murphy had shared with him.

Murphy wanted Bellamy to locate an on again off again booty call for him which in itself was unusual. All Murphy needed to do was snap his fingers and he had a dozen women lining up for the pleasure of his company. So, what made Delores Maxford Whittaker so special? Murphy had admitted that she had taken a million dollars from his account after admitting that he had given her the password.

She was a vamp, an old one Murphy had said and very powerful. She was also very beautiful; Bellamy stared at her driver’s license photo and was impressed. Bellamy had also discovered that she had purchased a metric ton of silver with Murphy’s money.

“She got a vampire problem that you know about?” Bellamy asked, watching Murphy’s reaction.

“I don’t know anyone who would want to go up against her,” he answered, looking a bit lost.

After a bit more probing Bellamy realized he had gotten all the information out of Murphy that he could. What the next step was involved finding out what she was doing with all that silver.

What he found disgusted him; a warehouse facility with a dead vamp in it. A very dead vamp, one who had been paralyzed with silver, drained and then burnt. He and Terrence stared at the body in the morgue with confusion. 

“That’s a little excessive wouldn’t you say?” Terrence asked when they looked at the body. 

Bellamy agreed. It puzzled him why someone would want the vamps blood. Terrence said the same thing.  It was a mystery that wasn’t going to be solved immediately and he left the morgue, still thinking about it all.
 Outside he ran into Clarke, who was following up on a story where a model collapsed and died.
Clarke was working a fashion shoot per Maureen who is still irritated with her. As she and Steve shoot footage, one of the models collapses and dies. Clarke finds out that she had been to a new club the previous evening, Club Valis. Clarke decided to go there and investigate. At the club she was dismayed to learn that there is a VIP room, but she cannot gain access, although she can’t figure out why. She then goes to the morgue to check out the models body (Renee Beresford) and discovered that the tech had pulled a microchip out of her hand. She also had high traces of silver in her blood, most likely what killed her. Clarke figures that the microchip is the key to getting into the VIP room and managed to pocket it before leaving.

It felt a bit awkward between them; they were both remembering the kiss in the Buzzwire parking lot. Clarke was embarrassed because she didn’t know how Bellamy felt about it; for his part he wanted to pretend that it hadn’t happened because if he didn’t then he might have to admit that he actually had feelings for her.

He knew that he was attracted to her and ever since the desert he couldn’t get her out of his head. He felt embarrassed at watching her from her balcony last week and yet he felt hope in his heart that maybe she felt something for him as well. The kiss only seemed to prove that she did and for a brief while he reveled in that knowledge; but then reality set in and he knew that nothing could happen between them. It would be too dangerous and besides, she had a boyfriend; a nice, safe human boyfriend who cared about her. It had to stay that way.

As they chatted about the story and case they both relaxed a bit. Finally Clarke asked Bellamy if he knew of a good vet.

He chuckled and said, “Vamps can’t really be trusted with pets. Why?”

Understanding flowed over Clarke and she smiled and shrugged. “I need this chip implanted,” she told him as if it was the most normal thing imaginable.

“Well of course you do,” Bellamy said with a smirk, playing along. “Okay, I don’t have a vet but I have something else. Come on.”

She followed him back to his loft and before too long she was staring at the largest syringe she had ever seen. Her knees were shaking just thinking about him using it to implant the microchip in her hand. 

“About the kiss?” he said, watching her closely. “I was thinking maybe that was an accident?”

“Oh, okay,” she answered. Inside, she wondered if he really thought that it was an accident. But they both left it at that. She explained that she needed to get into the VIP room of this club because Renee Beresford, the model who had died had been there. There had been silver in her system when she died.

“Silver?” Bellamy inquired. “I’ll go with you.”

“Oh, I’ll be okay,” she reassured him.

“The silver makes me think I’ll find the person I’m looking for there. A woman.”

At that last bit of information Clarke’s eyes narrowed and she felt a flash of jealousy, which Bellamy immediately noticed. He couldn’t help but feel a bit happier about it all now.

“Meet you there in two hours,” she told him as she was leaving. 

Bellamy watched her go feeling lighter of spirit. Then he laughed; she hadn’t even felt the microchip being implanted in her hand. He couldn’t wait for the two hours to pass.


):(

 

While he waited for Clarke to show up at Club Valis Bellamy scanned the crowd, searching out other vamps or people who might get in his way. For the most part the crowd consisted of club bunnies and wanna-be's, all waiting to be allowed to enter the club. 

Finally Bellamy spotted Clarke walking across the street, heading directly for him. He couldn’t believe how beautiful and sexy she looked. She was wearing a short, tight black dress that almost seemed as if she was dipped into. His eyes ate her up and had he been human he swore his heart would have stopped. She smiled as she approached him and it made his whole night. If she were to kiss him right now he knew he would never let her go.

They finally agreed to meet upstairs in the VIP room; Clarke using her microchip to gain access and Bellamy using what she called the sexy vampire jumping thing to gain access from the second story. She laughed when she told him, “Just being human is so lame!”

“I know, but you wear it well,” he countered and watched her walk away from him and past the door attendant. His mouth practically watered as he watched her; damn the thoughts she inspired in him!

When Clarke got upstairs she stared around her with curiosity; it was a whole different world up here than down on the floor. Most everyone was ‘coupled’ here and some of their actions were downright sexual. She wasn’t sure exactly what she was looking for up here or what she had expected, but this was pretty interesting. She didn’t have long to wait before she was approached by a server and asked if she wanted Black Crystal.

Finally! This is what it’s all about – drugs.

Her hand was scanned before the vial of Black Crystal was handed over. Clarke held it in her hand for a moment, her heart pounding with fear and anticipation. She started to slip it into her purse when she was approached by a beautiful woman in an elegant and sexy black gown.

“We prefer you consume it on the premises,” she informed Clarke.

“I was just waiting to share with a friend,” Clarke told her. She couldn’t believe how her voice trembled with the words. Where was Bellamy?

Just then he appeared next to her and said, “Sorry I’m late.”

Delores Maxford Whitaker, aka Lola’s eyes narrowed as she took in the strikingly handsome vampire standing next to the little blonde. He’s here to protect her, she realized.

Clarke watched them as they discussed a mutual friend and realized that this was the woman Bellamy had been looking for. She was absolutely stunning and Clarke felt a bit unsure of herself in front of her, especially when she quickly became the focus of Lola’s attention.

“Don’t you want to know what it feels like to move through the night so powerful that nothing can touch you? Try it, just once and you’ll see,” she promised, indicating the BC in the vial.

Clarke did want to know, but she was terrified of what that world might offer. She often thought about Bellamy and his world and wondered those exact things. What did it feel like? 

Just then sounds erupted from below, and they all realized that the club was being raided. Lola whispered into Clarke’s ear, “Remember darling, half the world is night,” before disappearing.

Bellamy and Clarke stood rooted where they were, waiting for the police to come up the stairs. They didn’t have long to wait.

Finn and Wells came up the stairs and Finn saw Clarke there, along with Bellamy. His heart sunk, it was worse than he could have imagined, seeing her with him. To Wells he said, “Pat everyone down, starting with him,” indicating Bellamy.

“Sure thing. C’mon private eye, you know the drill!” Wells roughly shoved Bellamy up against a pillar and started frisking him. Bellamy let him, just to get it over with but he would really have liked to tear his head off. He couldn’t help but hear Clarke and Finn speaking.

“I asked you not to follow this story Clarke.”

“You have no right,” she said as they moved away. She was furious with Finn, treating her like some misbehaving child.

Wells finished and told Bellamy to beat it. He couldn’t help but notice the look Bellamy threw over his shoulder at Clarke as he headed down the stairs. He didn’t like that look one little bit.

After most of the upstairs had been cleared Finn was downstairs talking to a few of the remaining patrons. Clarke was sitting on a couch upstairs waiting for Finn; he was going to give her a lift home, which was unnecessary since she had her car. He had insisted and said that one of the officers would drive the Prius back to her place. She knew that all that meant was that he was mad and there would be an argument.

Wells came over and sat down next to her on the couch and looked at her; she was miserable but he wasn’t completely sure why. Getting caught here with Bellamy Blake wasn’t good, but there was more to it than that.

“Hey Clarke.” 

“Wells,” she said, leaning back and crossing her legs. She definitely was not in the mood to chit chat with Wells.

“Clarke, what’s going on with you? Why were you here with Blake?”

“I wasn’t here with him Wells; we were both working on separate issues. We just happened to be here at the same time.” It was mostly the truth, but she knew that neither Finn nor Wells bought it.

“Clarke, forget about Blake. Finn loves you, you know that. I know you Clarke; you like a little bit of danger, but in the long run, it’s only a fleeting thrill. Forget Blake, okay?”

“Wells, there is nothing going on between Bellamy and I! We were working together, nothing else!” Clarke was sitting straight up now and her eyes were flashing a brilliant blue.

Wells sighed, he knew that look – he’d pushed too far. But he also knew that whether or not she admitted it, she was attracted to Bellamy Blake. He really did want her to be happy and if he thought for a minute that Blake was capable of making her happy he’d be their biggest supporter, but that wasn’t how he saw it. Bellamy wasn’t really a bad guy and he had helped the police on more than one occasion but there was something a little bit sketchy about him and he decided he needed to poke around a bit.

“Okay Clarke, okay. Look, I only want you to be happy, really. If you need anything, you just call me, okay?”

For a minute they stared into one another’s eyes and Clarke could see that Wells was telling the truth, he did just want her to be happy. But Clarke knew that he didn’t think Bellamy was the one who was capable of giving her that happiness.

That was okay, she loved Finn. Right?

But what DID it feel like, the drug she wondered.