Wednesday, November 19, 2014
So sorry to be late. I moved a few days ago and I had the internet switched yesterday and it decided not to work. It has taken two days now to get it figured out, mostly because I added TV to the mixture. Anyway, we're good to go now, I guess.
Early June 1980
Today was their last day together, before Clark left for Fort Leonard Wood for his basic training. Dorothy awoke already feeling depressed, like the world was filled with shadows and thunderheads. When she looked out her bedroom window it was almost an insult to see that the day was sunny and bright.
Today the neighborhood was having a cookout to send Clark off tomorrow. Dorothy knew this day would be hard enough to get through, even with everyone there. But tonight, that is the time she really dreaded. She and Clark were going to spend some time together alone, for their final goodbyes. She knew she couldn't bear to go to the airport in the morning with the Griffin's, although she had been invited. Let that be their private time for goodbyes she had decided; tonight would be her time.
How could it hurt so much? It wasn't forever, she knew that. But it felt like forever, it did and no one could tell her otherwise.
She dressed carefully, wanting to look her best for him. Her white shorts she decided with the red tank top, he always liked her in that outfit. She put on some red canvas shoes as well because she knew that they'd make a trip to the park for some baseball. Finally, she pulled her hair up into a pony tail and put on the Austrian Crystal necklace he'd gotten her their first Christmas together as 'a couple'.
Grace watched Dorothy as she came into the kitchen, a sad look marring her face. She knew how deeply her daughter felt the events of this day; if it were possible to have found love so young then she knew that Dorothy and Clark had. Shelly had told her that Clark was a morose as Dorothy, even though he was excited about his future. This separation would be hard for both of them.
Much as Grace hated to see Dorothy, well, either of them so sad she also knew that from a pragmatic point of view it was for the best, Clark going away. Yes, both of the kids understood the birds and the bees, but no matter how good their intentions were, there came a point when temptation was almost too much to resist. With Clark being two years older, that point might come sooner than later.
"Hi, Mom," Dorothy said, grabbing an apple out of the fruit bowl. What are you making today?"
"Some baked beans; I know how much Clark enjoys them," she told her daughter as she chopped some bacon to go in them.
Dorothy laughed out loud and said, "Yeah, but everyone else doesn't enjoy it. Do you know what they do to him?"
Grace did and if it made her a worry wart to acknowledge that fact, to herself at least, well, so be it. It might keep a bit of distance between them later since the kids were going out after the cookout. She hoped that her ploy didn't really make her a bad person…
"Do you need my help before I go over to the Griffin's, Mom?"
"Nope, got it all covered. I got the brownies done this morning, so I'm mostly done."
"Okay, I'll see you later then. We'll be going to the park to play ball in a little while you know."
"Yes, I do. Don't ruin those white shorts by sliding in the dirt!"
Dorothy grinned, she hadn't thought about that. For a half a moment she considered changing into some jean shorts and then decided to stick with the white ones; she'd just have to be careful. "I'll watch it, Mom. Bye…"
The screen door slammed and Grace watched out the window as Dorothy cut across the yard and through the gate that separated their backyard from the Griffin's. It wasn't going to be an easy day for her daughter. None of them actually; Clark was a good young man and he would be missed.
The day wore on; in one respect Dorothy didn't want it to end, because that made it that much closer to her saying good bye to Clark. In another, they'd all had a great day at the park. She watched the camaraderie between Clark and Kip, his best friend. Boys didn't get weepy but both of them seemed to be a bit kinder to one another instead of the usual ceaseless teasing they did.
It wasn't like he wouldn't be home in a couple of months, after basic training. Dorothy couldn't help but wonder how much he would change during that time? Would he still care about her when he came back?
All too soon friends said goodbye and it was only the Griffin's and the Turner's left. Clark tugged on her hand and said, "Come on, there is a movie with our name on it. Bye, everyone."
Dorothy followed silently; they were going to a movie? He hadn't mentioned that.
In the car Clark headed for the coast, to the beach they liked. "What happened to the movie?" she asked him, suddenly nervous.
"You really want to spend our last night together at the movies?" he teased. Even in the deepening light of twilight he could see her blush. "It'll be fun, Dorie. I brought marshmallows!"
She swallowed hard and looked out the window, trying hard to compose herself. She was afraid of herself, what she might do. She didn't want to ruin these last hours with him crying like a baby and if they were alone on the beach that is exactly what might happen. She couldn't be really happy that he was going, no matter how excited he was about it, but she didn't want him going off knowing how devastated she felt either.
As if reading her mind he reached across the car and took her hand, holding it warmly in his. "I know how hard it is for you, Dorie, but I promise you these two years will fly by. Promise!"
She nodded and if the nod was a bit shaky he ignored it and turned the radio on. The beginning strains of Last Dance came on and for a moment he thought about turning the station and then he remembered how much she liked the song.
Last dance for love
Yes, it's my last chance
For romance tonight
I I need you by me
Beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad
I'm so, so bad
So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance this last dance tonight
He realized his mistake when he glanced at her and saw the tears running down her cheeks in rivulets. "Oh, Dorie, I'm so sorry. You like that song; I thought it would make you happy!"
"I…it…it does," she said, choking out the words, still crying.
He pulled the car over into a parking lot and turned the engine off. He reached for her and pulled her to him and held her as she cried. He stroked her back tenderly and suddenly all his bravado, all the excitement faded at he realized how much he loved her and would miss her.
"Hey, hey, we're going to be alright, Dorie. We're going to be just fine. Do you believe that?"
She nodded, but knowing that they were going to be alright didn't help at all. Later on, at the beach she tried to explain it to him.
"I know that we will be okay, Clark. But I'm going to miss you so much. Since before we started school we've always been together."
Clark chuckled for a moment. "I seem to recall clearly that when you were in 4th grade that you told me to get lost and drop dead. More than once!"
"Yes, well, you were annoying at times! Dorothy tried to smile, but it came off as a watery simulation of a smile at best. "Clark, I love you. I know people say we're too young, or at least I am but I know that I love you."
"I love you too, Dorie. Forever, I promise."
He kissed her then, and pulled her close to him as they settled back onto the blanket. It was past twilight now, the sky and inky blue littered with stars that sparkled and seemed to wink down on them.
Dorothy sighed and wrapped her arms around him, loving the solid feel of him against her. The kiss deepened and she trembled, and for the first time she began to understand what her mom was worried about. This was what desire felt like; it was exhilarating and she moaned against his mouth.
"Clark, I - I want to be with you. Before you go."
"You are with me, Dorie," he said, not understanding what she meant, at first.
"No, I mean, BE with you, Clark. You know…"
Clark sat up abruptly. "Dorie, I won't do that. I promised my parents, hell, I promised myself that we wouldn't do that, not yet."
"Why? I don't want you to forget me when you're gone!"
"Forget you?" He laughed for a moment and added, "How in the world could I forget you, Dorie? You're all I've thought about for years. No girl, I could never forget you."
Clark remembered that night as clearly as if it just happened. He never had forgotten her, not even when he thought he'd lost her. Somehow love had found a way. And he would find a way now, a way to get back to her before those babies were born.
He was startled when he heard someone knock on the door. He lifted his head and scented vamp, but not a familiar one. He stood up as Logan went to answer the door, waiting to see who it was.
A very tall, very handsome man smiled at them. Logan immediately knew that this was one of the 13. They had a distinctive scent, or maybe lack of a scent would be a better way to describe it. They had vamp scent but it was different than the rest of them.
"Hi, I'm Vaygar. Might you be Logan?"
"Yes, I am. Come in," Logan said, trying to relax in the presence of the older vamp. "This is Clark, my, uh, brother. And fledgling…"
He bowed slightly, whether to Logan or Clark, they weren't sure. "Ah yes, the Lady Dorothy's mate. So pleased to meet you, both of you." His voice had a refined quality to it that was almost a lilt and yet neither Clark nor Logan doubted his ability to be deadly when he chose to be; it was in the way he held himself, as if ready for anything.
Logan looked flustered for a moment, or at least he would have had he been human. Instead it was more of a unsure of himself look and Vaygar smiled at the young one's discomfort, an emotion he hoped to dispel quickly.
"I've heard much about you, Logan, all good things I assure you. Mick speaks very highly of you, as does Beth. It seems she is very fond of her uncle. Might I sit down so we can chat?"
Logan let out a deep breath and began to relax a bit. "Would you care for a drink, um, Vaygar?"
"No, but thank you. Please, let me get directly to the point: Clark, Dorothy will be having the babies soon and we need to get you ready for that. Logan, do you agree with me on this point?"
"YES! Yes, I do. I've been thinking about it all day. I know Mick says it's too soon but Clark is doing really well and I think he is ready to get out among humans and see how he does."
Vaygar nodded in agreement. "Yes, I think you're right. She needs protecting, she needs her Guardian. Clark, do you have a say in this matter?" he queried the silent vamp that sat and watched them closely. Vaygar understood that Clark was taking his measure, something he heartily approved of.
"You know, Vaygar, you have really managed to piss my wife off, more than once and I can see why." Clark suddenly grinned; the man was courtly to the point of excessiveness and that is what made Dorothy so mad. She didn't like to be coddled or overprotected and Clark could see that Vaygar took his duty to protect her very seriously. For that reason, he liked the man enormously. "That being said, I agree with you completely; I am more than ready to get on with training."
"Good, then we are all in agreement. We need to make sure you are ready to meet the human world, Clark. We also need to teach you to feed fresh and some physical training as well, defensive as well as offensive maneuvers. If you're ready we can start immediately."
Clark stood up, anxious to get started. "Hell yes, I'm more than ready. What do we do first?"
Vaygar smiled at the eagerness that Clark exhibited. "First, I've arranged for you to feed fresh. The young woman will be well-protected and if you feel or show the slightest lack of control the experiment will end. It takes supreme control, Clark, and that is much harder than it sounds. Would you like to try? If so, say the word and I'll have the young lady brought here immediately."
"I want to try. A few nights ago I was around humans, I felt a bit weak at the scent of the blood, but at no time did I feel like I couldn't control it. I am ready."
"Excellent." Vaygar made a phone call and when it was done he said, "Miss Murdoch will be here shortly. Tell me about any physical activities you have participated in, in the past I mean."
"Well, I do exercise regularly; I run 3-4 miles a day and work out some with weights. In high school and college I played football. Does that help? I've never had any karate training or anything like that."
Vaygar nodded, pleased to hear all of this. It meant that Clark was no stranger to some of the rigors that his new training would demand of him. "Those things will help immensely, I assure you. For now, you will learn some basic moves; when you and Dorothy go for training you will learn very complex and detailed measures."
"I'll happily learn anything you can teach me. I can't wait to be her Guardian. Actually, I've always been her Guardian. "
Vaygar nodded in agreement with that statement. "Yes, I have heard that. Good. I can't promise it will be easy, but it will be very rewarding."
The three of them chatted easily until there was a knock on the door. All three vamps lifted their heads to scent both vamp and human scent. Vaygar watched Clark carefully as he scented the air, his head raised as he inhaled deeply.
When he seemed to stay in control, Vaygar rose and opened the door. Brody stepped through along with a young human woman, who wore a smile on her face. Clark rose to his feet, as if in a daze and walked to her, his eyes silvered over.
Vaygar watched carefully, ready to step in between them if the need arose. He could only hope that it wouldn't.
Clark held out his hand and shook Brody's and then shut his eyes for a moment, trying to gain control before greeting the young woman. He offered her his hand and she shook it easily and smiled.
"Hi, I'm Clark. Thank you for coming and giving me this chance," he said simply, deeply gratified at the young woman's courage.
"Hi Clark. I'm Melissa Murdoch and I'm happy to be here. I think we are going to do just fine, so don't be nervous, okay?"
Clark nodded, suddenly very nervous. He wasn't sure if it was because this was his first time or the other three men in the room watching. For some reason he almost equated this to the first time you had sex, which was crazy. Or maybe not; both were deeply intimate acts he believed.
He looked to Vaygar, not sure how to proceed. Vaygar in turn said, "Logan, why don't you talk your fledgling through this? I'm sure you can."
Clark admired how Vaygar was keeping Logan in the loop, deferring to him actually. Add that to the fact that he would feel more comfortable with Logan talking him through it and he actually started to relax.
"Uh, okay. Miss Murdoch, are you right or left handed?"
"Logan, please call me Melissa. And I'm left handed."
"Okay, Melissa, then. Clark, sit there on the right side of the couch so that Melissa can sit next to you." Logan noticed that Vaygar and Brody had both stepped back a bit so that Clark didn't feel like he was being hovered over.
Clark sat and Melissa sat next to him on his right, so that he could have access to her right arm. Clark looked at it, at the beauty of the veins that were pulsing with blood and inhaled deeply. It smelled warm and sweet, vital even.
Logan talked him through the rest; the bite wasn't as bad as he thought it might be. His fangs were wickedly sharp and it took so little to break the skin he was amazed. No need to bite down hard and hurt her, just puncture the vein and let it flow. When he was done he obediently licked at the wounds before pulling his mouth away.
Melissa smiled at him and then glanced at her arm. "You did a great job, Clark, I hardly felt that bite. You have a light touch."
Clark self-consciously licked at the corners of his mouth, hoping that no tell-tale remnants of blood remained. He felt warm as he hadn't been since he'd been turned. It was amazing actually.
"Thank you, Melissa. I'm glad I didn't hurt you."
"Nope, if only all new turns were this gentle." She laughed lightly for a moment. "Gentlemen, I think this went very well!"
All three of the seasoned vamps agreed with her. Finally Vaygar spoke, "Melissa, we do thank you my dear. Will you send Wendy tomorrow for another lesson?"
"Yes, I will. Brody, I'm ready to go, now." She turned to Clark and winked, "Keep up the good work, Clark!" and with a wave she was gone.
Logan exhaled loudly and laughed out loud! "I need a popsicle! Clark, you nailed it! Good job," he praised, thumping his brother on the back a few times.
Clark sat back, happy it was over and pleased that he'd done so well. Thoughts of his wife filled his head and he suddenly felt sad. It hadn't been her blood he'd tasted first and he almost felt as if he'd been unfaithful to her. He knew he had to learn before seeing her, but it still bothered him.
Logan was in the kitchen, rummaging in the freezer for a celebratory popsicle and Vaygar caught the scent of sadness and guilt that washed over Clark. He understood the human's feelings quite well.
"She understands, Clark. Whatever it takes to get back to her. Whatever it takes."
Clark nodded and looked at Vaygar, not ashamed of the tears that shone brightly in his eyes. She would understand.
To be continued…
Posted by Hope at 11:27 AM