[Author's Note: This story is almost exclusively Lauren's POV, and is rated unapologetically M. Viewer discretion advised. ~VB517]
-Excerpt from the journal of Dr. Lauren Lewis-
It should never have come to this, but here I am. I have broken nearly every vow I swore to uphold. I have lied, I have cheated, I have stolen, I have played God and by my actions, sentenced someone to death - in every conceivable way, I have let myself sink to the very depths of what little humanity I have left. I deserted my friends, my family - I have done things for which I can never be forgiven, and I can never take them back. And now, the final straw - I have been overtaken by a powerful Fae, and forced to stand against my lover.
Worst of all, I have hurt Bo, and I'm about to do it again. She has the fate of the whole world in her hands, and I have been a dangerous distraction. And so, even though my heart is breaking, and though she may never forgive me for leaving her, I must break things off with her. Stopping Jack is too important, and I have clearly demonstrated that I am a weak link. I won't be the thing that causes her to fail. My dreams of forever with her are just that - dreams - and I must wake up and realize that there is no room in this world for a happily ever after. I cannot be Fae and keep myself - my real and human self - intact.
I will take the antidote that will restore my humanity, all my Fae conduit capabilities will cease, and then, I will tell Bo what must be. She won't forgive me, but she'll move on. I have seen her do this before - with me, with Hale, with Kenzi. She will set her broken heart aside to do what must be done to win the war. And I believe, above all else, that she will win. That's what she does - and who she is. She is a warrior. It's one of the many reasons why I love her.
I may find peace at some point in my life, though I cannot possibly atone for what I've done. I may even find companionship before I take my last breath, but I must say this.
My heart and soul will never love another the way I love Bo, though she can never be mine.
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO
Lauren stepped out of the cab after paying the driver, and stood alone on the sidewalk, heart in her throat. The driver quickly drove away, leaving Lauren alone at this late hour, standing before the monolithic building downtown in the heart of Dark Fae territory.
It had only been two days since she'd moved out of her old place in the Light Fae compound, but thanks to her legendary focus and her need to organize everything perfectly, she'd finished unpacking every box in her new loft. Ironically, her new flat in Dark Fae territory was only a handful of blocks from the Dal Riata.
After several hours of boredom - and loneliness, though she didn't want to admit it - she decided that perhaps the late hour was the perfect time to test her access to the Dark science and medical testing facilities. Her plan to help Bo was still forming, but she knew research would be the key, and since her home lab was limited, she needed to find out what kind of equipment would be available to her in the Dark Fae labs. So she'd quickly grabbed a jacket and the badge Evony, Morrigan of the Dark Fae, had given her, and before she could change her mind, called a cab to bring her here.
Now, she could either call another cab and pray they'd pick her up this late in this part of town, or grow a pair and walk into the belly of the beast. There were lights blazing out of the ground floor, and she could see half a dozen well-dressed guards - ogres by the looks of them - inside the building near the rotating glass door that was the only entrance. Lauren's heart rate tripled as one of them looked right at her, raised a hand to his ear and spoke into his wrist. Her courage evaporated, and she reached into her pocket to pull out her cell phone to call that cab, stat.
She jumped as a voice called her from only a few paces away, and she turned quickly to see another ogre, also squeezed into a dark suit, standing calmly nearby.
"May I escort you inside?"
Lauren took a deep breath before she screamed. Suck it up, Lewis. Jesus. "Inside?"
He frowned, but still made no move towards her. "Yes, Doctor. Are you going to your lab?"
I have a lab? She took another calming breath that seemed to clear the fog from her mind. Of course, Evony had arranged for a laboratory for her. "Yes," she cleared her throat, then spoke again with more certainty. "Yes, I'm going to my lab."
"I'd be happy to escort you. If you'll come with me?" He extended an arm towards the door, a gesture especially gracious in an ogre, and waited for her to move towards the door.
"Of course." Just another day at the office, Lewis. Play along.
The ogre maintained a respectful distance and accompanied her into the building, as if it were an common occurrence for a lone human to show up at Dark Fae headquarters in the middle of the night.
Lauren pulled herself together, and walked confidently into the belly of the beast. Now, there was no turning back.
TBC. Feedback and comments welcome! ~VB517