Author's webpage: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Starship/6102/home.html
There once was a group in Toronto,
Who made the world's best TV show.
People, wolves, places, and plot,
All the rights we have got,
But here I can do what I want to!
Author's notes: This is dedicated to the ladies of RedSuitsYou! RSY RULES!!!
I can feel my hands trembling like a man three times my age, my knees so weak that it's a marvel I have managed to remain standing. My stomach is twisting and writhing, and I feel ready to vomit. Or would, that is, if I had managed to eat anything in the last day. Great Scott, has it only been a day? One day since I thought she simply loved me, that my world seemed sweet and straightforward. One day! I close my eyes, shutting out the dark alley.
Her smile lights my memory, but it's a cold light now. The sparkle in her eyes has changed now from a fire's warm crackle to the cold shimmer off the smooth surface of a glacier. Her beauty is still unmatched, but it doesn't matter any more. I know that it only hides darkness, a twisted, bitter soul. Thinking back on the girl I held in my arms all those years ago, I wonder if I'm not the one who twisted it.
If only I had let her go. She hadn't been the one who killed the guard. That man had already paid the ultimate price. All she had done was drive the getaway car, a situation she was undoubtedly forced into by her lover, Jolly. Her voice still sounds in my mind, choked with tears and betrayal as she begged me to free her. I had to look away as she literally got down on her knees, her slim body shivering from the cold as she threw herself down in the snow to plead for freedom.
I turned her down. Lifting her gently from the snow, I had held her in my arms, softly kissed away the flakes of snow on her cheeks...and I had broken her heart. It's only fitting that she has found a way to break mine. Only fitting that she has put me in a situation where I can not turn her down. Where I must do anything she asks.
Well I'm shameless when it comes to loving you
I'll do anything you want me to
I'll do anything at all
Opening my eyes, the dark alley yawns ahead of me like the mouth of some medieval beast. At the end of this alley, a car waits for me. I finger the key in my pocket, the bit of metal slick from the sweat of my palms. When I open the trunk, I know I will find a case full of money. Blood money, stained with the life of a guard who was sworn to protect it. Stained with injustice, with lies, with serial numbers that have been rendered unclean around the world.
I am going to wash this money clean for her. I will take it to a man who will trade it for gems. Doubtless, the gems themselves are stolen, stained with blood of their own. An odd whim dances through my mind, and I wonder if the crystal clear stones will turn blood red when I make the exchange. It would be fitting.
Gunfire sounds somewhere in the distance of the city, and I wish that it were closer. Just close enough that I might have a chance of being shot. Then I wouldn't have to do this. My steps falter, and I nearly stop, nearly turn back, seek her out, tell her I can't do this.
Before I take such rash action, though, my memory calls up a pair of trusting green eyes. Eyes belonging to a man who has given more for me than any other human being has my entire life. He's offered up his freedom, his home, his career, and on several occasions, his very life. I owe it to him to see my plan through. To try and save his career. If my plan succeeds, I will have exonerated both of us. If it fails, I alone will take the blame.
I hope that he finds the envelope. It contains a slip of paper with an account number. My account. I've earned a good salary as a First Class Constable over my career, but I have spent very little of it. My lifestyle is simple, not requiring large expenditure. Thus, I've managed to save several hundred thousand dollars. Canadian, it's true, but it should be enough to replace what I damaged in the Vecchio house. Indeed, it could easily buy them a new house, or pay off the mortgage that he put up for my bail.
My trembling legs have dragged me to the car now, and I slip the key into the lock of the trunk. The answering click seems to resound through the alley, the sound of the point of no return being crossed. In less than fifteen seconds, I will be a criminal. In possession of stolen money. In less than five minutes, I will have laundered said money.
What bitter irony. I have no choice but to commit a crime because of the one I love. And I know that were an officer of the law to find me now, he would have to turn me in. It wouldn't matter if that cop were Jack, or Louis, or even Ray. It would be their duty.
And I'm standing here for all the world to see
Oh baby, that's what's left of me
Don't have very far to fall
If you had told me a week ago that I would be here, I would have politely made a request that you be commited to a mental institution. I am a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. My sense of right and wrong is strict to the point of having become something of a minor urban legend. Crime is unacceptable under any circumstances. Criminals must be brought to justice. There is no gray. Simply black and white. I was white. Lawbreakers were black.
Now, I have been forced to commit a crime. If I do not, then my best friend will suffer the consequences. Those consequences could easily be much more than his career. I know that she is out to hurt me as deeply as possible, and I know that she would not hesitate to murder. If the price of Ray's life is my pristine record, that is a price I will gladly pay.
I wonder if that's what Jolly did to her. If she learned this ruthlessness from him. Did he beat her, slap her around, threaten to hurt her? Possibly. But Victoria is tougher than that. I remember how she refused to admit the searing pain of her cold-gripped muscles after we had escaped the snowstorm. She wouldn't have given in to beatings. She did have a sister, though. Did Jolly threaten her sister?
All she had to do to save her sister was drive a car. All I have to do to save my friend is launder some money. She did it. I'm doing it. Does that mean that I'm going to become like her? My heart hardened, my mind clouded with senseless rage? Dear God, I hope not. I'm on the edge, but maybe, just maybe, I can keep from falling.
You know now I'm not a man who's ever been
Insecure about the world I've been living in
I don't break easy, I have my pride
But if you need to be satisfied...
It's over. I've done it. I'm a criminal now, a criminal on the run from another criminal. No honor among thieves. The bullets sing by my head, and I can feel their cold breath fan my face as they pass. So close. God, just let one of them hit me, please. I don't want to live, don't want to look Ray in the eyes again. Don't want to look anyone in the eyes again. Especially her. Who knows what she'll demand of me next?
Leaping from the roof to escape the hail of bullets, I land hard. Pain sears up my side, and I know I will bear bruises. As if it matters. The harsh glare of headlights spotlights me, and I feel like a criminal under interrogation. Of course, I am a criminal now. The only question is whether the courts will understand that I had no choice, that I am only trying to save my friend and bring Victoria to justice again.
Scrambling to my feet, I jump into the car. She is in the driver's seat, that cold beauty a thousand time harder than the diamonds in my satchel. They're still firing at me, and one of the bullets shatters the glass of the rear window. Still, she doesn't pull away, but demands to see the diamonds. I cannot deny this request any more than I have denied anything she's asked.
Spilling the glittering gems onto my palm, I show them to her. Part of me hopes that she'll thank me, kiss me, apologize. That she'll tell me that now that the money has been resolved, she will forgo criminal life all together and turn herself in. Maybe then they'd let her off lightly. Maybe then we could still be together.
What am I thinking?! The woman just threw me carelessly into a situation where I was almost killed. She couldn't care less if I live or die. She shot my wolf, framed me and my best friend, and burned down the cabin that contained the only worldly goods I hold dear.
Yet I still feel drawn to her, still feel the urge to do anything if she might love me. Really love me, give me back what I've felt these last few days...that feeling that I'm fulfilled, whole. She was the absence of the loneliness that has filled every moment of my life.
I'm shameless, oh honey, I don't have a prayer
Every time I see you standin' there
I go down upon my knees
And I'm changing, swore I'd never compromise Oh, but you convinced me otherwise
I'll do anything you please
I had called it an inner ear infection. I had called it infatuation. It was years before I finally gave in and called it what it is. Love. Twisted love. Dark love. Inhuman, demonic, illogical love. But love nonetheless.
Ten years ago, she ripped into my heart. Her eyes bore into me from the stand as she stood there to be sentenced, tearing slowly into my chest and slowly tearing it out. For the next ten years, she kept it with her in prison. I waited patiently for her to come back and return it to me, ignoring the pain of the empty space.
During that decade, I could have had my pick of women. I personally don't see anything remarkable about my face or form - they hold art textbook proportions, but nothing unusual - yet women seem to find me attractive. I pretend not to notice most of the time. It's really the only thing I can do. If I dealt with their attentions straight on, I could never get anything done. So much better to pretend they weren't there at all. It wasn't as though I was never tempted, of course. There were a few women that made my pulse quicken, made me think of simply abandoning my rigid Mountie rules for a night or two.
Then I would think of her. I would think of what I though real love felt like. And I would know that any brief encounter would be a pale, unworthy imitation. I had to wait for my heart to be returned.
Finally, she did come back. When I saw her on the street that first time, it was like the Northern Lights had burst out in all their glory on the Chicago streets. I remember going home that night, my heart seeming to sink and soar at the same time, torn in two directions. Part of me prayed that it had been her, prayed that fate had given me a second chance at love. My more sensible side told me that it couldn't be her. That she would never want to see me again. Me, the man who put her in prison. The man who loved her beyond all reason.
When she seemed to have forgiven me, it was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Now I understand what people mean when they talk about angels singing and fireworks exploding during love. That night in my apartment, I could swear that an entire celestial choir had taken up residence. I wanted to devour her like a hungry wolf would bolt a fine cut of meat, but at the same time I wanted to savor her.
The night wound up a strange combination of the two. Intense, passionate kissing, my tongue thrusting into her mouth deep and fast, tasting the sweetness of her. Her hands moving over my back and through my hair in a truly maddening rhythm. Then we fell upon the bed, and I managed to slow down, to take my time to savor what I had waited so long for. I told her I was sorry. I'm still not sure of all the things I was apologizing for. For letting her go? For pretending nothing had happened? For being so rushed in the beginning?
I tried to make the latter up to her. Holding back until my mind was reeling from the agony of my control, I let the night be all about her. I tried to wash away ten years of bitterness with sweet kisses and caresses. Never before had I gone beyond what Detective Vecchio calls 'heavy petting' with a woman, and I was terrified that I would disappoint. Perhaps that was all the better, because I was completely focused on her pleasure. When she finally came, there were tears in my eyes. Finally, I'd done something right. Something that pleased her, in some small way making up for the years of abandonment.
When she saw those tears, she reached up gently, lightly licking away the salty drops. Then she had caressed my face in her hands, thanking me. She said "Please understand," then slid her hands down my body, kneading and massaging in a way that left me breathless. At the time, I didn't think much of the words. Now, I understand them all to clearly.
Please understand that it was just sex for her. Please understand that while I was making love with my soul, she was having sex with her body. Please understand that it meant nothing more than physical pleasure when she would cry out my name, or make me scream out hers. Please understand that her ideas of love had twisted darkly. Please understand that she would have to hurt me soon.
I understand. I understand all too well. So why do I still love her?
You see in all my life I've never found What I couldn't resist, what I couldn't turn down I could walk away from anyone I ever knew But I can't walk away from you
I know that if my plan works out, I'll have to turn her in again. Will I be able to do that? Will I be able to look her in the eyes and again read her rights? Tell her that I'm taking away her freedom a second time. She's 34 years old. If she gets even a minimum sentence, she'd be old enough to be a grandmother by the time she is free. Can I do that to her?
If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I don't know. I do know that if I had to do it all over again, I would have let her go that first night. That was the biggest mistake of my life, and she is making sure I am paying for it. In spades.
Looking at her now, I can't help but wonder what she would be like if I had let her go all those years ago. Would she have just disappeared to a further life of crime? Is her soul bent from the very roots? Or is it prison and a decade of festering betrayal that has done this to her? Would she have turned her life around and come back to me? Would we perhaps even be married now, living happily somewhere in the wilds of the north with children we could call our own?
Did I throw away my deepest desire all those years ago?
The only answer is maybe. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. There will never be a way to know, either, unless science finds a way to stop time in it's tracks and turn to march backwards. Until then, that choice is locked in the past, lost to me forever in the realm of dreams and nightmares.
Now, the real question is, can I do it this time? Part of me hopes that maybe she is not completely gone. Maybe there is still something in that spirit that can be salvaged. Or am I clinging to false hopes? Was I right from the very beginning? Was this beautiful young woman born to be a psychopath?
Please, God, don't let that be the case. Please let there be something inside her I can save. I don't think I could live with the alternative.
You know it should be easy for a man who's strong To say he's sorry or admit when he's wrong I've never lost anything I've ever missed But I've never been in love like this
It's out of my hands
The choice is now.
We are standing on the train platform. Her gun is in my hands. I could stop her. Chain her again. Know that she would continue to harbor that burning hate for the rest of her life. On the other hand, I could let her go. If I do that, some surviving spark of love in that cold heart might continue to burn.
I stand still, letting the gun drop to my side. I can't do it. In my mind's eye, I can see the look on her face if I tried to stop her. The hate, the anger, the betrayal...the terrible, soul-scorching betrayal. I couldn't bear to see that again.
So I let her go. My eyes meet hers, and I suddenly know that she really does love me. Maybe I can take that love and make it grow. Use it to turn that dark soul back to light. I can save her, and me along with her.
The choice is made.
I'm shameless, I don't have the power now
I don't want life anyhow
So I got to just let go
Oh, I'm shameless, shameless as a man can be
You make a total fool of me
I just wanted to you to know
Oh, I'm shameless, I just wanted you to know Oh, I'm shameless, I'm down on my knees...shameless
Please send feedback! This is my first Fraser-in-the-first-person story, as well as my first Icky Vicky story!