This scene came to me late last night after I got back from the hockey game (Red Wings topped the Canucks 2-0; we had seats behind the visitor’s goal at Joe Louis, so all in all, pretty awesome stuff), but I didn’t write it down until this morning. I figured I’d post it, just in case it never actually develops into anything more (or much more), though I suspect it might.
She grabbed his sleeve, wouldn’t let him leave as her fingers tangled in the fabric. She jerked him back, spinning him toward her chest. “Just because I left doesn’t mean I didn’t care about him, because I did.”
He jerked his arm away and stepped back. “You could have fooled the rest of us. You abandoned us when we could have used your help, Beck, and you show up now? It’s way past the eleventh hour. It’s over—too damn late and too damn bad.”
He went to the window and stared out at the city across the water, the dim glow of faraway New York. His fingers curled tightly around the sill, jaw set into a line. He looked older now, but it had been almost fifteen years since she’d seen him last—of course he looked older.
More than that, though, he looked tired and broken, and that was enough to make her cold, still heart crack in half.
He shook his head, not looking at her. “It’s too late, Beck. He’s gone and I’m soon to follow and there is no one left to avenge him.”
“Wrong.” She came up behind him, unbuttoning one sleeve at the wrist.
“What do you mean, wrong?” Elijah turned, then, dark eyes angry and accusing as he met her gaze.
“Yes, he’s gone, but you don’t have to follow him to the grave,” she said softly. She didn’t touch him, not yet, even though she wanted to. “And there’s someone left who cares enough to avenge him.”
His angry stare hardened into a glare. “I can’t avenge him, Beck. They’d destroy me inside of fifteen seconds.”
“They won’t destroy me,” she said softly. “They’ll never see me coming.”
He went rigid, staring at her as if he’d just seen her for the first time.
She smiled briefly and cupped his jaw with one hand before she brought her wrist to her mouth, biting down hard enough to expose the vein. She offered it to him, nodding to the blood. “Go on. Once isn’t going to hurt and it’ll buy you another six months to decide what you want to do.”
Elijah just kept staring at her for a few long moments. His jaw quivered and then he looked away. When he took her arm and lifted her wrist to his mouth, he cradled it like something fragile, precious.
She’d been neither for twenty years.
Beckett smiled sadly and watched him, forcing her free hand to be still at her side. She wanted to touch him again, to feel how soft his hair was, to know what the muscles of his back felt like under her hands.
He wasn’t ready for that, though, and she knew it.
It was a few minutes before he finished, fingers tightening on her hand briefly before he let go, straightening and turning away. She swallowed and took an unnecessary breath, willing the healing to start.
“You can stay here as long as you’d like,” she said softly.
“Thank you,” he whispered, staring out the window.
She lifted her hand to touch his shoulder, thought better of it, and let her hand drop. She left him standing there without another word, the click of a door closing marking the end to their conversation with too many things still left unsaid.
Copyright 2011, Erin M. Klitzke
In part, I can blame longtime friend and fellow gamer/GM Dave Kiser for this one. One summer he ran this wonderful but short-lived Vampire: The Masquerade game because I asked him to teach me the system. There were aspects of the story of Cassidy Beckett, the vampire I played, that never quite left me and have come up time and again (at ISRP and elsewhere). Reading a little too much modern paranormal fiction and urban fantasy (The Cheshire Red Reports by Cherie Priest, Black London series by Caitlin Kittredge, The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens, and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, among others) and getting back to doing some World of Darkness roleplaying online has put me in the mood to write the same, now that I’ve got a little bit of a break from the Epsilon universe.
So when this little scene struck me, I had to get it down on digital paper. Which of course meant I was further compelled to share it.
Comments and thoughts are deeply and fully appreciated!