st_clare: (Default)
[personal profile] st_clare
Julianna had never been to Valerie's dorm room before. They'd always met after class or at her apartment, but she'd wanted to approach the Slayer here. This was going to be difficult, and she needed a neutral environment for it.

She'd called ahead, to make sure the blonde would be available, and she knocked on the door hesitantly. There was a hard knot of trepidation in her stomach. It was hard for her to ask for help, even under good circumstances. These were not good circumstances, but she was going t struggle through this request regardless of that.


It was a murmur, and the Watcher looked over her shoulder as if worried she might be overheard. She was a dedicated professional, and that meant she could do this. Even if asking for asistance was not her forte.
v_harkryder: (Default)
[personal profile] v_harkryder
Virgil had been in a bit of a mood since Dean's funeral service. Not angry so much as a little blue. He went to work the next day and taught classes, which lifted his spirits somewhat, then decided to treat himself to dinner out that night. He showered, then shaved carefully before putting on some fresh clothes.

He lived in a convenient area to get to shopping and places to eat on foot, so he left the car behind and walked. His neighborhood was made up of young families and people who'd just graduated from college, so he was almost the only single man on the block. Sparse grass was beginning to sprout as the season warmed up.

He should call Mattie tomorrow. She knew his moods, having dealt with them first-hand when he first got back. They'd come to a comfortable understanding since the divorce. He was just glad there'd been no kids to get caught in the middle when they split up.

A dog was barking crazily in a back yard where he couldn't see it. Virgil crossed the street, using the pedestrian crossing. There was a buffet place he liked to frequent four blocks down. He was looking forward to shredded pork.
brian_campo: (brush shoulders off)
[personal profile] brian_campo
Nimble fingers popped quarters into a payphone. The segmented cord creaked as Maddy propped the receiver against her cheek. She leaned as far into the stall as possible, plugging her open ear. The club was crowded and noisy; she could barely hear the dial tone or the voice on the other end, a distracted ‘hello?’

“Brian! It’s Maddy!” she shouted.

His eardrum vibrated under the sonic assault and he asked, “Yeah, where the fuck are you?”

“The Funhouse.” She touched a piece of chewed gum and recoiled, wiping her palm on her jeans.

Brian frowned. “Really? Why?” It didn’t seem like her kind of place; Maddy was into the kind of punk-rock dump where a girl could take off her top and nobody got arrested. “Is it dollar shots or something?”

“No, I’m meeting Melody. We just got off work. This is probably the only place on the planet where her vocal talents can be appreciated. Listen, I just saw Valerie. I thought you might wanna know. Didn't you say you tanked your phone message?” Maddy craned her neck and saw the blonde was still near the bar. The silence has stretched on too long, so she said, “Brian?”

Still Here )
valerie_vause: (Shirt)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
The campus of UNLV thrived during the week but during the weekend it buzzed. Saturday night made it hard to go anywhere without tripping over one frat party or another and for once Valerie wasn’t trying to avoid them. She’d worked herself hard over the past few weeks, and the letter she received, while nice, had only caused her to focus on the loss. That was why she decided to skip patrol for a night. To actually let off steam and act her age for once, and participate in the age old tradition of drowning one's sorrows. It didn’t matter that she hardly knew anyone, people had been smiling and talking to her all night and she realised that was the point. Everyone was out to have a good time, and with it being on campus, it made it easier to stumble back to their rooms without busting out money for a cab.

By the second beer she was getting the hang of strangers just coming over to talk to her. By the fourth she was actually smiling again, and then she realised that maybe if she kept drinking, she’d forget why she’d been sad to begin with. Which was why she grabbed a fifth from the keg before a guy got his friends to hold him up over it while he braced himself upside down to chug. She heard someone say ‘keg-stand’ and found herself cheering him on with everyone else. “I could totally do that.” She said to no-one in particular and raised her plastic cup up to take a gulp of the frothy liquid.

The music was loud and her muscles were relaxed, the faintest buzz was humming through her frame and she grinned as he coughed and spluttered before he got back to his feet. Someone must have been counting because he’d gotten to eleven seconds and people were clapping him on the back. Some others were throwing teasing comments his way, apparently he hadn’t broken the record but had made a good effort. Frat parties, Valerie mused, were interesting in the same way nature documentaries piqued her attention. This was all normal behaviour but it felt so foreign that she couldn’t help but grin and look around.

Girls and guys were all talking and joking around, some had branched into groups where they were playing various games. Beer pong was happening in one room, in another they were all trying to bounce quarters into a glass, a mixed group were playing with an empty bottle and as she walked into the kitchen to grab a snack she heard the phrase ‘never have I ever’. Valerie at least knew beer pong but maybe she’d join in a few of the others. It was with that thought that she grabbed a packet of chips and crunched her way through them before she even made it back to the main room. She ditched the empty packet and chugged the rest of her beer. Truth be told she wasn’t much of a drinker, but being what she was at least meant that it would take a lot more before she fell on her ass. Even if she did, well, she was in college, it was a rite of passage. Wasn’t it? Time for a refill.
valerie_vause: (Hoody)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Bathrooms. They were starting to become a burden to the blonde. During the night she’d gone to have a shower after patrol, expecting the stalls and general area to be vacant. What she discovered was half a dozen girls inside a chalk drawn pentagram. Red candles lit and black robes pulled tight as they chanted in a language she actually knew. Latin might be dead, but it was by no means useless to those who searched for something more than they could grasp alone.

Apparently her intrusion had caused anger because they all turned as one to glare at the blonde, who in turn took in a slow deep breath and exhaled an aggravated, “The showers don’t belong to you all, you know.”

They rose to their feet with a snarl that seemed to echo off the tiles and Valerie scoffed. Granted not the best response but really, who did they think they were? The blonde tilted her head to the side to crack her neck and narrowed her green eyes. She was not in the mood lately. If they wanted to fight then so be it. Personally she could do with an outlet to her confusing and consuming emotions.

“Get. Out. We have reserved the area.” Stated one robed girl sporting a nose piercing with as much malice as she could muster while she found her feet and clutched a candle to her bosom.

Valerie merely quirked an eyebrow. “Seriously? All I want is a shower so could you maybe just… Keep your chatter to yourself while I scrub away the decay of today’s crapfest?”

From the growled response she’d said the wrong thing, because they all pulled a vicious looking blade from their robes. The blade itself impeccably sharp but it curved, wave like, and the blonde knew instinctively it was meant for some sort of ritual. Well, they could could kiss her ass, because she wasn’t about to become their most recent sacrifice.

Two lunged at her with barely restrained growls of anger and she acted instinctively. Grabbed the wrist of one girl and used her body as a shield to block the other. an echoing crack heard as she literally headbutted the second girl and pushed the first into one of the stalls with enough force that she dislodged the door.

Enemies three and four rushed her as the fifth took a leap with her blade raised high. Valerie gripped the two girls by the front of their robes and brought them together like a pair of symbols, the blade from the fifth wedged between them as she dislodged all three with a powerful roundhouse kick that sent them backwards.

Water began to pour from a ruined sink as the first two found their feet and resolve, then tackled her with as much skill as the guys on the football team. Really, she could admire the dedication as much as the force but she didn’t let either deter her actions. The blonde lashed out with her right fist, felt a ridiculous amount of satisfaction as the crunch signaled the nearest girls nose was broken before she grabbed the second and used her feet to propel her backwards and into the wall with such force that the plaster cracked and spider-webbed before her eyes.

“Is that all you’ve got?” Valerie couldn’t help the taunt as she sneered at the hooded figures. The look she sent their way all but dared them to rush her as one and she relished the attack. The first girl to reach her regretted it the instant she gripped her wrist and twisted. The sound of bones snapping echoed alongside her scream and the blonde let out a satisfied sigh, as the next girl stepped into her personal space. The girl raised the dagger, intent on impaling her, but the blonde’s reflexes were beyond her comprehension and the dagger was wrenched free and thrown towards the back wall where it impaled itself to the hilt. Startled, the girl tried to back away but Valerie snagged a fistful of her robe and swung her around like a shot-put. When she released the fabric the girl flew through the air and landed on one of the girls about to take a swing at her with a groan. Despite the carnage Valerie actually laughed, and back-flipped in order to kick the next fool that decided to try and take her down. The girl’s jaw snapped shut with a sickening crunch before she landed heavily onto the floor. The remaining robed figure hesitated before she fled with a whimper and Valerie smirked at herself in the shattered mirror that faced her. She whistled quietly as she stepped over the crumpled bodies that sprawled across the ground, bloodied and beaten, and took a much needed shower without any further complications.

When she headed back she took a minute to collect her mail, but it was only when she settled in her room that she opened the letter. Immediately her good mood faltered and she found herself frowning down at familiar handwriting. In truth, she hadn’t expected Brian to ever contact her again despite her foolish wishing, and know that he had she found herself devouring his words despite the ache they caused. So he was doing good, that was… Well, it was good, right? So why did that information feel like she’d just been gutted?

Nimble fingers traced the words Brian had scrawled across the paper and for a moment she convinced herself that everything was normal. Her heart wasn’t breaking all over again, she was an average girl, they were together, but as soon as she closed her eyes reality flooded her senses. Before she knew what she was doing she she’d picked up the phone, dialed the numbers she tried to convince herself weren’t memorised, and listened to the ringing die out so the machine could pick up. She skipped pleasantries and spoke from her soul without bothering to filter herself.

Voicemail For Brian. )
brian_campo: (attitude)
[personal profile] brian_campo

Hey. You’re probably asking yourself why there’s a letter in your box from me. Good question. If I had bigger balls, I’d just knock. There’s a good chance opening this thing up made your stomach twist into knots and even though I hope that’s not the case there’s nothing I can do if it is.

I know things ended up bad between us. I’ve replayed that day in my head a hundred times, trying to think of how it could’ve gone differently. What I could’ve said, or what you could’ve said, so it didn’t leave both of us feeling like shit. I don’t know how you are now. Part of me hopes you’re really good and another part of me, a part that I realize is a complete dick, wishes that sometimes, every once in a while, you have a hard time dealing with it, too, because I do and misery loves company.

Like I said, complete dick.

I just wanted you to know I miss talking to you. I’m doing good. No sign of you-know-who and things are pretty chill. I also wanted to say that if you ever need anything I’m here. There’s probably ten other people you’d call before me, but I need you to know that you could call me if you had to. I wouldn’t hang up the phone.

Until then, know that I’m alright. I should mention I’ve been practicing. Last week I made a sandwich without using my hands.

Hey, it’s progress, right?


P.S. If anybody tries to get you to listen to that new single called "Sara" by Starship, punch them in the kidney.
st_clare: (Default)
[personal profile] st_clare
Julianna has made sure to ask Valerie what she'd prefer for dinner when they'd arranged to get together. To be aware of any dietary concerns. The last thing she wanted to do was serve meat to a vegetarian.

She'd decided on steaks when the Slayer said she wasn't particular, then added a large salad on the side. Since the night she and the Slayer had talked in that awful neighborhood, things between them were easier. The inroads were small, but the situation was looking likely to improve.

The Watcher had reluctantly decided that Nathan couldn't stay for dinner. This was more of a social occasion than official business, but she didn't want to embarrass Valerie. The blonde didn't need to know everything all at once.

She could hear his footsteps echoing in the silent hallway as he made his way to the elevator. He'd said he'd call later. His play was almost finished. She wondered if things would run their course once it was completed.

Back inside the apartment, Julianna started to put the plates on the table. She was glad things were going well. Maybe this sort of thing would help.

No Light

Dec. 28th, 2013 02:24 am
valerie_vause: (Hoody)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Coins clinked as they were slid into the payphone by the side of the road. The phone cradled tightly against an ear as the ring echoed down the line. She wiped her eyes with the back of a hand. A frayed picture clutched in it, the corners faded and worn away from use. A single digit traced the woman’s face as the call got answered.

A cheerful, gruff voice responded. “Hello?”

“... Dad?” She sniffled. Cautious, tentative.

“Valerie?” The tone was shocked. A moment of stunned silence.

“Yeah, I really… I wanted to hear your voi-”

“What are you doing?” He cut her off, no more cheer carried down the line.

“I wanted to talk. We haven’t spoken sin-”

“And whose fault was that? Your own mother!” It was a bark of anger.

She recoiled, hot tears scalded her cheeks, voice meek as she whispered, “Daddy please… it’s the Holiday season and I, I really need y-”

“She’d still be here if it wasn’t for you. You’re own family! Now all I have is ashes.” The accusation pure venom.

“She…” The words stuck in her throat as she stared at the photograph. “She wasn’t mom anymore, you know that.”

“You did that to her! You couldn’t protect her, it’s your fault she’s gone.”

“Daddy please…” She choked on a sob. “Don’t say that, I tried! You know I tr-”

“It should have been you. That’s who they came for.” The cold tone was firm, resolute.

“I’m sorry! I miss her so much, everyday, and I miss-” The line went dead. “You.”

The call had been five hours ago after she’d left Brian’s apartment and it had gotten dark. Valerie had been walking for miles, she didn’t actually know where she was; hadn’t paid attention. It had seemed irrelevant. Twice she’d encountered vampires. One by itself that had practically landed on her before she turned it to dust. Then three later on. The fight had lasted a while, it gave her a reprieve of emotions, let her be hollow where the only pain she felt was physical. Now, she trudged through a run down area, derelict buildings loomed menacingly on either side, looking for more. The toe of her shoe hit an empty bottle and she reached over, picked it up. As if in a trance she clutched the neck and smashed it against the wall. Watched the way it split skin as she dragged it up her left arm. In the dark, blood looked like ink. If anything was near, they’d smell it, they’d come out to play.

“Come get me.” She whispered, leaving behind the smallest trail of drips as she walked. “I’m ready.”

[Thread Open To Anyone]
valerie_vause: (Gaze Down)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
After leaving the bathroom to see that Madeleine had already gone Valerie let out a sigh and left too. It wasn’t until she’d walked three blocks that she realised her feet were instinctively taking her to Brian’s place. The conversation should have happened with him first, but the brunette had asked the questions and she hadn’t been prepared to lie. They were choices both of them had made. Though she wasn’t ashamed of how she felt she understood the importance of sharing it. Not doing so would feel like a lie in and of itself. Whatever Brian thought of her, she hoped it would never be as a liar.

It wasn’t until she reached to knock on his door that she realised her hands were shaking. Societies views were as much a cage to her free will as the Council was to her life. The idea would be more than frowned upon despite the radical changes that had occurred over the past decade and truth be told she was afraid. Afraid of the way he’d look at her like she’d turned into some sort of monster. Afraid that being honest would ruin everything. That she’d lose him before actually having him. Properly having him but then, she feared his intensity too. How could she live up to his expectations? She wasn’t perfect, she wished she was, sometimes, for him. Normal just wasn’t a word that would ever be used to describe her, in any sense of her life.

Valerie knocked on the door before the urge to contemplate how much money she had in the bank sent her fleeing to another country to escape the situation. She didn’t want to hurt him. She wanted more than anything to protect him, but she had to be honest. He deserved that.
maddy_ricks: (flower)
[personal profile] maddy_ricks
It was the holidays, which naturally meant that money was tight. Even though she had no family in the city, Madeleine Ricks had a handful of friends she considered as good as blood and they would get decent Christmas gifts if she had to wear holes in her bargain basement tap shoes.

Over the decades, Maddy had picked up a few talents that could be milked for extra cash. She could slaughter in a karaoke contest, she could pantomime crawling into invisible boxes, and she could tap dance. What she hadn’t learned by legitimate means, she made up for in waggling fingers and wind milling arms. It was her experience that if you faked talent like a champ, people either didn’t notice you were full of shit or were too impressed by your gumption to care. So she struck out for a busy corner next to a bank and danced to a dubbed cassette recording of Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger. As ‘Only the Good Die Young’ swung into the third chorus, a scuzzy looking guy lurched past and stuffed a colorful item in with her cash.

Maddy stopped dancing and watched him disappear into the crowd. With suspicious eyes, she unscrewed the cap on her re-purposed mayonnaise jar and inspected its contents to discover eight dollar bills, five quarters, a poker chip, a Hershey’s kiss foil, and an empty condom wrapper. She sighed.

“It’s like I always say. Tis the motherfucking season,” she mumbled. She plucked it out with two fingers and dropped it on the sidewalk.
valerie_vause: (Reading)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Dirt clung to pale skin, it stuck under fingernails and aggravated several small cuts but you wouldn’t know it to look at the blonde. She walked through the campus whistling, a bounce in her step as she moved with purpose to collect her mail, casually waving to those who acknowledged her presence. It wasn’t particularly late, the sun was just starting to set and she’d probably grab food before heading out after her shower. For now though, her time was her own, and she’d spent it well. Assiduous through and through Valerie had taken on board the advice the Watcher had given and after classes had made a point to visit the park Elfleda had made herself known.

More precisely, she’d paid a visit to the tree that still stood after the caustic display of power that truly revealed Elfleda in all her otherworldly glory. Lakes and dumpsters were all very well if she wanted to just toss the gift away but in her mind it was far better to know exactly where it was. And what a fitting place for it, buried beneath the very tree that had splintered and cracked where the portal had opened. Deep enough for no one to stumble across it but easy enough for her to reach if she ever needed it again.

Belatedly she made a mental note to call Julianna to let her know she no longer possessed it, and to fill her in on the name of the vampire that evidently wanted to grab her attention. Perhaps she would crop up in a journal or two, which, seemed likely considering she actively sought out… Chosen ones.

“Hey Vause, am I gonna find a shallow grave on campus or what?”

The teasing remark was rewarded with an eyeroll and a slight smirk as she opened her locker to grab her mail.

“Only if you want one of your own.” The blonde sassed back, and the guy from her class held up his hands in mock surrender. She chuckled and lightly bumped his ribs with her elbow. “Just planting a gift I was given.”

Valerie turned then with a wave goodbye and fished her key out of her back pocket. Once inside her room she sifted through the junk mail with amused sarcasm and tore it up after reading.

Free credit card? Gee thanks, might as well arrest me now for not making payments! Various travel brochures for exotic holidays? Sure I’ll just fly their in my sleep, or sacrifice the nearest virgin to get accommodation! No wait, the nearest virgin is m-. Have you found Jesus Christ and accepted him into your heart? You mean you guys have lost him again? Guess it makes sense if he’s small enough to fit in my heart. Would you like to subscribe to any of our magazines? I’d rather lick a live wire while trying to tap dance.

The last one was thicker than the rest. The paper akin to card, luxurious almost. She skimmed the words, paused when she realised it was from a museum, then located the ‘enclosed cheque’ provided for the ‘fossils’ she’d so willingly offered them to purchase. Rare indeed. Valerie watched an obscene amount of zeros dance before her eyes. Blur slightly.Then the room tilted.

Green eyes were closed seconds before she hit the floor with a thud.
stand_and_delivia: (Default)
[personal profile] stand_and_delivia
Above ground? A haunted house attraction - and one which had done brisk business during the recent Hallowe'en season. Below? Ragnarok... A supernatural-friendly bar, for which the former provided the ideal disguise for whoever wished to attend.

Sometimes, there was an act booked. An act who would have to be introduced. Other times, like now, not so much. Which left the venue's four-armed entertainment manageress able to retire to a small booth off to one side. In one hand, a glass. In another, a chocolate biscuit. The lower pair idly shuffling cards, flipping them from one palm to the other.

It was the looming shadow which caused their owner to glance up.

"Hello, lovey," she greeted. British accent; not like most of those in Nevada. A little lower-class than one might expect of her, too. "What'll it be? Business or pleasure...?"
st_clare: (Pleased)
[personal profile] st_clare
She felt much better in the daylight.

Julianna felt much better altogether, really. She'd done the best she could to cleanse her office of the taint of Elfleda's presence. Her desk had been removed and was being replaced. There had been questions about the damage, but she'd deflected them with a set of careful half-truths. The school had asked her to compensate the institution for the expense of a new desk. The cost was an inconvenience, but a small one.

Nathan's calm demeanor had assisted immensely in restoring her equilibrium. When she left his apartment to retrieve her car, he'd given her a hug and a chaste kiss on the cheek. She was certain he must have dozens of questions, but he had yet to ask them. If this was going to go on, she'd have to think of something to tell him.

December weather was crisp, even in Nevada, a cold front having come in. It made her smile with fondness, because it reminded her a tiny bit of home. Wisps of clouds dotted the blue sky. She'd left a note with one of Valerie's professors, asking the Slayer to meet her on the patio of a coffee shop near the campus. There was a mug of tea in front of the Watcher, one she'd been sipping from. The stone was in her messenger bag, wrapped in a scrap of cloth. She was glad she'd be rid of the filthy thing.

The sunlight was comforting. Natural light was best to ward of entities like the Corruptress, at least according to the new information she'd obtained. Julianna was still afraid. Only a fool wouldn't have been. But she was no longer scraped down to the bone by terror as she had been. The fear was manageable, and that was the first step towards being proactive.
brian_campo: (dubious)
[personal profile] brian_campo
One at a time, Brian shook the nervous energy from his legs.

He stood on the end of a playground slide in one of the city’s public parks. It wasn’t like the places he spent his hours as a kid. There were low acacia and western hackberry trees instead of towering oaks, and the equipment was here was newer. No need to worry about updated tetanus shots. The park was empty except for a nanny caring for a set of twins dressed in too many layers. They bounced up and down on a teeter-totter.

Brian watched for a minute and then turned away. He didn’t want to look like a creep.

His shoes slipped a little as he walked up the incline and climbed over the bar. From up there, he had a view of the swings. Brian thought about his ultimate goal as a kid: to swing so high, he flipped over the bar. He had spent hours in relentless pursuit of it, kicking off the ground and pumping his skinny legs until one day, a chain broke. He wound up flat on his back in the dirt.

Seemed about right.

He flexed his fingers in the wrist splint. It was too tight.

valerie_vause: (Outside Working)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Sleep hadn’t come easy when she finally returned home at six in the morning. A lengthy patrol had seen that four of the undead returned to the earth as nothing more than ashes. Classes went by in a blur, her mind had been elsewhere, lunch had been skipped. Though she returned to her room to change, leave her books behind, then left again. Wandered, preoccupied, through shops. Picking up a few things of interest then off in search of something new to fill her mind. By the time she showed up outside Sabra’s door it was seven.

Bags sat at her feet so that she could knock while the other arm clutched several to her chest. The same routine had been needed at the desk, another month paid for. She either had to sell a few pieces of art or get a job soon. The prospect didn’t feel pleasant so she shook her head to clear her thoughts.

“Sabra, it’s me. Are you in?”

Valerie bent to pick the other bags up. They weren’t heavy to her, just awkward to manage all at once. A couple filled with clothes, others with books, one with toiletries, and one with food. At first it had been odd, bringing things to the woman, but over the weeks it gradually felt less peculiar. Perhaps slowly becoming a new normal, that only applied to the situation.

If she didn’t answer the blonde would have to walk back to her dorm with everything. The thought made her cringe and she sighed at the door.
valerie_vause: (Force of Nature)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Dark corridors spread skeletal like to darker rooms. Branched outward towards large twisting stairways that loomed above like open mouths. Waiting, expectant. Fear played no part. Had curiosity been a sound it would have called out, a sultry whisper to guide one along. Such vast, never ending choices. Access to everything. Connected to it all. Each begged to be explored but… Not yet…

Above, pale skin broke through the shadows, a hand on wooden banister became a beacon of light that wouldn’t be denied. Bare feet followed, slow, deliberate, to the next level of the place. There, to the left, a swish of fabric that disappeared into the inky blackness of a room. Footsteps quicker now, a sense of familiarity. A sense of urgency.

Fingers curled around door frame, the room no longer swallowed by the pitch dark. Purple flames snaked along walls. Cast shadows that licked the ceiling. Sporadic in appearance across the floor. Fire chilled to touch, as toes plunged through a patch. Palm engulfed in icy sensation as it splayed against a wall. A mirror hung crooked. Glass spider webbed within the metal frame. A pause to gaze into it. Many faces blinked back, all the same. Knew the reflection belonged, yet unrecognisable to own eyes. Different, somehow. Changed.

Attention shifted, drawn to the large square pool of mercurial water that centered inside the room. A pale coaxing finger motioned from the far end. Wicked was the smile on those dark lips as she beckoned. Each step closer brought about a sense of… Belonging. Longing. Desire’s awoken in ways that confused. One foot sank into the water. Flickering shadows danced across a familiar figure. Beyond the pool, a blank expression fixated then vanished. Absorbed into the building, as much a part of it as anything else.

Water swirled around thighs. Distance seemed to stretch then shrink. Deeper now, arms pushing through, sloshing with every step taken. Empowered by the closer proximity. Inside a need formed. Primal, unrestrained, want. Waves crashed between them, soaking hair. Desperately reached for the outstretched hand offered, finger tips millimeters from touching then…

Valerie sat bolt upright in bed, mouth open to gasp for air, eyes wild as they tried to focus. One hand rubbed her face, the other pressed against her chest, as she remembered where she was. Pajamas stuck to her like a second skin. Soaked with sweat much like the bed sheets tangled around her small frame. Even as she tried to recall exact details the dream slipped through her fingers, mostly lost. All that remained was the intensity. Shaken, she shed cotton so that restless limbs could get her out of bed to wash and dress. Minutes later she walked out of her room, stake in hand. The clock blinked 3:03am.



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