It had been a long time since Blake had been given time off from Factory Blue and he was very grateful to get this particular time off. It was almost Halloween and he wanted to surprise Tori, the woman he cared most about, but was too chicken to tell. Anyways Blake with the help of Shane, Dustin, Hunter and Cam had come up with a great way to surprise Tori.
At first it started out very cliché. Blake would show up as some masked man like Zorro or the Lone Ranger and sweep Tori off her feet at the Halloween dance being held in town at city hall, all the benefits were going to the children's centers around town and a portion would go to the town orphanage. But Blake decided he didn't want to be too cliché and Hunter had suggested scaring her.
Dustin and Shane made it clear that Tori didn't scare easy and it was the perfect plan. Tori would be too happy to see Blake to beat the stuffing out of them. Cam was Tori's 'date' to the dance and Dustin and Shane would escort Marah and Kapri. Hunter was going alone because he found it to difficult to have a social life and run an academy. The other's just told him he was dark and broody and would end up alone in life for sure.
Tori was shopping for last minute details for her Halloween costume, but her mind wasn't on Halloween or what she would be wearing. In all honesty her mind hadn't been straight since the Ranger team up with the Dino Rangers. She had tried suppressing her feelings for Blake before that, but seeing him again brought back all the tingly, skin blushing, nervous smile moments she had sort of missed.
Blake was always on her mind. Before the team up it had been six months since anyone had seen him and she had tried to make it to some of his races but found it very difficult being a Sensei. They exchanged letters when they could, and short emails in between that. After the team up, things went on as usual letters and e-mail's were exchanged and they didn't see each other. It was now coming up on the fifth month since Blake had gone back to factory blue life and Tori missed him a great deal.
But she just had to deal with the fact that he loved his career and no matter how much he may or may not care about her he was doing something he loved, and that in turn made her happy for him.
"Hey Cam! Ready?" Tori asked walking down in to opts where Cam spent most of his time working on the school stuff for the Academy.
Cam turned and looked at Tori. She was dressed completely different from what she usually wore. Tori looked like a rock star. She wore a jean skirt with a studded belt, a blue halter-top, and a cut off navy jean jacket with blue three-inch high wedge heels. "Wow." Cam said stunned.
Tori smiled. "Thanks. You ready?"
Cam nodded. "Yeah." He stood and offered Tori his arm like a gentlemen and they headed up the stairs and out of opts.
"Where are they?" Blake asked ringing a program in his hands, which had been handed to him at the door.
Hunter patted his back. "Bro chill out."
"Hunter I'm gonna tell her…tonight and if I chill out I'll lose my nerve." Blake said.
Hunter rolled his eyes. "Bro that makes no sense."
"It makes perfect sense to me, so shut up." Blake said irritably.
"No wonder Roger sent you home, he was sick of you being all…like you are."
"Oh be quiet." Blake said punching Hunter playfully in the arm making Hunter laugh and punch him back.
"Hey dudes!" Hunter and Blake turned around. Dustin looked Blake over. He was wearing all black clothes and had gloves and a mask, ready to wear, on. "Dude if you don't scare Tori I don't know what will." Dustin commented.
Blake chuckled softly. "I figured I'd go with the Valentine movie killer." He joked.
"Hey guys!" Shane came over and saw Blake and grinned. "Dude Tori is gonna freak!"
Blake smiled. "I hope I don't scare her too much."
"Dude I've tried scaring Tori so many times, but she's like unscareable." Dustin said taking some chips from a bowl on the food table. "Just don't hurt her."
"I'm playing it by ear after Cam get's her outside, I'll try, but I wont guarantee I wont get hurt." Blake joked laughing lightly.
The guys all chuckled. "Tori is probably gonna fight back."
Blake nodded. "I would hope so, I mean…who wouldn't especially if they could." He commented growing a little worried about his plan to surprise Tori, but it was too late to change his mind. Hunter tapped his shoulder and pointed to Tori and Cam who were walking in. His mouth went dry seeing Tori in a short jean skirt and, weirdly enough, heels. "Ok guys, you know what to do." Blake walked away out the back door and the plan was set in motion.
"Hey guys!" Tori said as her and Cam joined Hunter, Dustin and Shane.
"Hey!" They replied casually.
"Oh crap! Tor I left my cell…"
"Oh here…" Tori went to reach for hers but it wasn't there. "Oh it must've fallen out in the van. I'll go get it."
"You sure?" Cam asked.
Tori nodded a smiled. "Yeah. I need it anyway in case my sister calls." Tori headed off for the van. When she reached the empty park she needed to walk through to get to the van, what seemed like it was parked a mile away; she heard bushes rattling and looked around but saw nothing and no one. She looked up at the moon and her hand reached up and held the locket she wore. She heard more rustling, but ignored it and claimed it was the wind.
Tori kept on until she felt a presence behind her and turned. The man behind her grabbed her throat and she struggled causing them to collapse to the ground, the man straddling her. Tori was hitting his arm and his grip loosened. "Get off!" She yelled as loud as she could, but the music in the gym was too loud and no one could hear her. "Get off! Get off!" Her voice getting louder and her eyes began to glaze over.
Blake looked down and saw through the mask that Tori had tears gathering in his eyes. This was really scaring her, maybe he had taken it to far. "Get off!" She screamed. "Help!"
Tori found her legs were stiff she couldn't move, her mental capacity at this particular moment in time was only fear. Not again. She sobbed silently. "Get off!" She said her tears now fully streaming down her face.
"Tor!" She froze and the man removed his hand. "Tor it's ok!" He said. That voice, Tori knew that voice, but who? The man lifted his mask to reveal Blake."It's ok it's me." He said gently.
Tori was no longer scared, but thoroughly pissed off. "You jerk!" She yelled bringing her fist up and getting him right in the eye. This act shifted their weight and as Blake fell to the side Tori rolled over pinning him to the ground. She looked down at him glaring. "Don't you ever, EVER come near me again!" She yelled pointing aggressively at him as she stood. Tori removed her shoes and ran off through the park. She reached the forest and began streaking.
Blake lay there watching where she had streaked off. "Shit." He muttered to himself as his hand came up to nurse his eye.
"So…?" The guys all questioned when Blake returned.
Blake shook his head. "One of you better call her!" He said looking intently at all four of them.
"What happened?" All four asked worriedly.
Blake sighed. " I blew it! I freaked her out too much and she yelled at me. She's never yelled at me, for any reason."
"Bro, she probably just needs…"
"No Hunter it made her cry." Blake said sitting scratching his head in thought.
Dustin frowned. "I've never seen Tori cry."
"Me either." Shane and Cam chorused. Hunter shook his head.
"Bro it can be fixed." Hunter said seeing how down he was, not to mention worried. "You need to go and talk to her."
Blake shook his head. "No she told me never to come near her again. I don't want to upset her anymore. I just don't understand her reaction. I didn't do anything completely awful. I pinned her to the ground that's it."
Shane and Dustin both sighed. "Dude…" Dustin paused and pulled his buzzing phone from his pocket. "Hey Tor! Where'd you get too?" Dustin asked casually. "The airport? You going some…" "Georgia!" Dustin exclaimed. "Tor it was…" Dustin paused and then flipped his phone shut.
"Dustin?" Shane asked.
Dustin looked at all of them sadly and his gaze fell on Blake. "She's flying home to Georgia until Blake is out of town. Sensei already approved it."
"It wasn't even five minutes ago." Hunter said.
Dustin sighed. "She called sensei when she reached her apartment. She packed and streaked to the airport."
"So that's it. She isn't even going to talk to me." Blake said miserably. "How could I be so stupid?" He chastised himself. Blake seemed to grow very concerned. "Tori never has ever reacted like that. Something's wrong."
"What are you saying?" Hunter asked.
"I'm saying which town in Georgia?" He asked Dustin.
Dustin sighed. "Dude I don't know. Tor was all sorts of upset…"
"Dustin please?" Blake pleaded.
"Blue Ridge. You'll have to fly in to Atlanta and get a taxi or something there." Dustin answered.
"Not just me. All of us are going." Blake said.
The guys looked at Blake oddly. "Sensei will agree when I say something's up with Tori and we all need to talk with her." They nodded and headed off.
"Boys I will agree to this departure, but know Tori has suffered far more then any of you are aware and is not easily trusting enough to divulge her past to others. " Sensei said thoughtfully.
"What?" They all said.
Sensei nodded. "I am aware of what has upset Tori, you must speak with her it is not my place to tell you." They nodded and all left to pack and go to the airport.
The next day:
The rental car that Hunter drove was filled with luggage in the trunk and three other guys. "Blue ridge is a nice little town." Cam commented as they past a sign that said 'Entering Blue Ridge.'
"Yeah Tori doesn't get home as much as she would like too." Dustin commented.
"Yeah how come we never knew she was from Georgia?" Hunter asked.
Shane and Dustin both shrugged. "Wasn't important." Shane commented. "Tori came to live in Blue Bay about three years prier to our Ranger careers and I guess it was just never really that big of a deal to any of us."
Blake was silent throughout the car ride. "Bro?" Hunter asked snapping Blake's head to his left. "You gonna stare out the window the whole way?"
"We talk about everything." He said sadly. "I just don't get why whatever's bothering her now, she couldn't tell me."
The guys fell silent after that as they pulled onto a long gravel driveway. It led straight back to a big house just off a large field that ran into a forest. They exited the car and went to the front door all except Blake.
Dustin waved him up to the porch and Blake reluctantly got out of the car and followed. Shane knocked and a few moments later the door opened to reveal a girl who could've been Tori's twin, but she was taller then their Tori. "Uh hi, we're looking for Tori Hanson." Shane said.
"Oh she's not here, but I can tell her you stopped by. What are your names?" The girl said in a southern accent grabbing a notepad from a small table next to the door.
"Uh it's ok, could you tell us where she is?"
"She said that she was gonna head down to the creek on our back property. You are more then welcome to go look for her. You just follow the dirt bike path in the grass all the way back." The girl pointed to the whole in the knee high grass that led far away into the woods.
"You're Veronica?" Dustin asked. She smiled and nodded.
"You must be Tori's friends for California." They nodded. "Where you staying? I'm sure Tori will be happy you followed her here. You should stay with us. We have plenty of spare rooms for you for a couple days." Veronica said.
A dirty blonde young man came over. "Who you inviting to stay with us sis?"
"Tori has a brother?" Shane asked.
"These are Tori's friends Nick. Nick is our younger brother, but he thinks he runs the house. Come on you should stay." Veronica insisted with a smile.
The guys glanced at Blake. "I, uh, think I'll just get a hotel room." Blake said quietly.
"No I insist stay with us. All of you. It'll be fun. Momma loves cooking for lots of people." Veronica said persistently.
Blake sighed and nodded and the guys grinned and Veronica led them into the house.