A/N: After much ado and hesitation, this next chapter is up and running. Much appreciation for waiting so patiently and not tearing my head off because I made you wait so long! Hugs to all.
Questions will be answered in this chapter, and a lot more will be raised, so I hope you're ready.
Chapter 6: Refusal
He remembered, delved deep into his memorise, for a time when she had not been so generous. He did indeed remember a time when he was refused by her; a time when he clearly wanted something she so desperately didn't want. It had hurt him, stung him, and even now, continued to sting as he remembered the pain.
Life was known for her generosity, though at times, that kindness seemed to dwindle, her sweetly open smile does fade.
He had held her, arms wrapped warmly around her resting body, her spirit exhausted from the demands of her life. They had been inside a sanctuary of warmth and contentment, though part of her refused to take all of him. Part of her knew it wasn't right, that something horrible would soon happen. She had known all along, and had refused to become a part of him.
That was what stung him so much, he thought now. That knowing, that feeling of insecurity in her that warned her of coming events. She had known things would not turn out the way they were supposed to, and she had deliberately distanced herself from him.
He remembered bluntly the aching in his chest, the dull pounding of conflicting emotions brewing a storm deep within him.
He also remembered how much it had hurt her, to know she was hurting him.
It had caused a rift, the first quake of many to come. That had begun it all. That doubt. That feeling. That refusal.
Carrie stared. She stared at the table, at the photograph. That odd sense of foreboding warned her. The one that said get away. Though, it had been a long time since she had listened to that warning.
She wondered suddenly, how it was she had come to be in such a strange, vindictive scheme. She had been a respected psychologist, one that was reputable and reasonable. Now, she had completely fallen off the radar; she didn't exist as a doctor, she existed as a mole in an operation. An operation begging to come to an end.
The door creaked, its hinges barely old enough to warrant such damage, but Carrie guessed they had been through significant stress. Especially as it was Jack Harper who slammed the door behind him upon entering.
She watched him, a hunter stalking unsuspecting prey, while he sauntered through into the small living room of his apartment. He stopped, dead in his tracks at the sight before him. It had been so long, he had almost forgotten he was actually a part of some scheming idea borne of a mystical gift.
Carrie stretched herself languidly over the sinking leather couch, its bleeding crimson surface complementing her casually laden business suit. With her deep rouge jacket buttoned only at the middle, the white collar of her blouse seeped out at the top edges, its own buttons seemingly disappearing as Jack's eyes travelled down further.
"What do you want?" Jack's cool voice dripped with a frozen edge; his eyes were stained red around the rims.
Carrie smoothed a breath between her teeth. He had been drinking, she could tell. She had a certain affinity for men who drank. Not a good one, she seemed to recall with a bitter remembrance. "To let you in on a little secret."
It was then that Jack, bleary-eyed and disorientated, noticed the plastered photograph on the stainless glass coffee table. Wordlessly, he stalked over, bending slightly and with an unsteady hand, clasped the photograph. He stared at it. He stared without noticing the pure distrust Richard Davies felt for him.
Looking at the photo, the clear image that burned in his mind, he could almost see the blood on his hands again.
Letting the thin strip slither from his fingers, Jack glanced back up at Carrie with a frown that darkened his eyes. "Appreciate the concern," he slurred his words, though only slightly, "but I don't need the babysitting. If Richard has something to say, he can say it to me, without going through you."
There was a momentary pause, one of conflicting confusion and hesitation. And then,
Carrie's face shimmered into a curious smirk. "None taken. But, I must admit, I'm surprised. You're in an incredible amount of danger as it is, and you're not even willing to make it better. What kind of a man does that?"
"One who faces his demons," Jack countered easily, voice saturated with cold poison. "We done?"
Slowly pulling her fingers away from the soft edges of the couch, Carrie stood, smoothing out her skirt before walking toward Jack. He didn't flinch as she snaked her arms around his neck, fingers lightly dabbling against his cheek. He even responded, letting his own hands find the curve of her hips. She touched her lips to his carefully, then lightly caressed his face as she moved closer to his ear.
Whispering softly, she barely let her lips linger close enough to him as she spoke, "I can make it go away. Everything. The photo, the danger. The pain."
With sharp repose, his hands grasped her wrists, tightly. He spoke to her eyes with his own cold ones. "Get out."
Snatching her wrists free, Carrie smeared a look of cold malice across her face, and tried desperately not to let the hurt creep in.
She brushed past Jack, deliberately keeping the photograph laying flat on the glass table, and found the door, slamming it behind her, hurting the hinges even more.
It stung. Stung to the core, his betrayal. His refusal. But Carrie Allen was smarter than that. Carrie Allen knew how the mind worked; every crevice, every curve. And she would find a way to break him. Eventually.
It wasn't an easy thing to do, but Tru knew it was what she needed. She had been disconnected for too long; alone in her fight. It might ease some of the tension if she did this. This, of course, being talking to her friends.
Tru had kept this to herself long enough. Now, she had to find others who were grieving for Jensen. Otherwise, she would slip further into a darkness she had been so close to, and so hesitant to find.
The laboratory was no longer flourishing with life; no more chatter disrupting the quite deaths of the cadavers being inspected. Just a few remained.
Tru had been quiet during the lesson. Too quiet, almost dead herself.
Avery didn't like this. She wasn't used to her friend being so isolated and resigned. She was used to the alive Tru, the one that answered questions directed at her and laughed at a well-placed joke. This Tru, however, stared blankly at the skin she was slowly slicing with a scalpel. This Tru had eyes not dissimilar to those of the body she was dissecting.
Jensen's death did not go unnoticed; in fact, Avery had found her own way of dealing with it. But Tru was hardly dealing; Tru was drowning in it.
"Hey," Avery said gently while briefly touching her hand to Tru's cold one, "you've been quiet. You want to talk?"
The disinfectant that saturated the walls of the lab nearly suffocated Tru as she breathed it in. It was too much for her. "I know. I guess I've got a lot on my mind. Sorry."
When Avery shook her head, her dark-stained blonde curls locked around her neck. "Don't apologise. It's understandable. I just want you to know that you can talk to me. Take your time, though. Just rush it."
Tyler stared at the interaction between the two friends. He knew he could comfort Tru, be there as a friend, relay stories about Jensen and how he cared about so many things. But, if Tyler was to understand it, Jensen wasn't who everyone thought he was. He was a cold-blooded killer; he brutally murdered those women and then shot his father with a cold gun. Jensen wasn't anyone to celebrate.
Tyler hadn't even attended the funeral. How could he, when Jensen, his best friend, could end someone's life in such a malicious way? To Tyler, Jensen had been a monster. And he did not know how he had become such a thing.
The insecure glow of the sparse office made Jack recoil. The prickling silence held a secret; like something was lurking in the shadows, or the eerie calm before the storm was just beginning to settle. Jack felt the slightest edge of apprehension. It set his nerves and raised the thin hairs on the back of his neck.
The thick plastic film of the photograph rested between two of his fingers, slowing suffocating as he stiffened his grip every so often.
With a small creak, the door opened, then closed quietly. Jack didn't feel the need to turn around to face the man he had come to confront. Not yet.
"Jack," Richard's silky voice hid a slight hesitation beneath it, "maybe next time you could wait before crashing into my office until I'm actually in it." He didn't wait for an apology, not that he expected one. "What can I do for you?"
With his back curled over the spine of the leather chair, Jack watched as his boss took an authoritative seat opposite him, before slamming the photo down on the sweet-smelling pine desk. "You can tell me what the hell is in that photo."
Richard's eyes darkened, though his face never showed any consternation; it remained the ever-calm feature of a mask. "You should sober up, Jack, before the drink starts erasing your memories. If I recall, you were there that night, and you let my daughter murder someone."
Jack's eyes glazed over like ice. Indicating to the photo with a finger, Jack asked quietly, "Then the photo is…"
"Leverage," came the quick answer.
Knowing indeed what that meant, Jack tightened his jaw. Richard was baiting him, using his own daughter to make sure Jack did not stray from the path he was chosen to walk.
After a quiet pause, Richard clasped his hands together tightly, lifting them to his chin while leaning his elbows against the wooden desk. "You lied to me, Jack. You took the fall for my daughter and you didn't tell me."
There was another pause, a silence that expected something deafening to appear. Calm before the storm…
"I need to know why."
Jack lifted his eyes at this. He knew it had been coming, and still he was not prepared to answer. Still, with his mind racing and his heart slowing from the hours of alcohol, Jack found himself talking, accusing, "Because you daughter isn't an object. She isn't something you can manipulate for your endgame. She's your daughter, and she's scared. She murdered someone, Richard. Maybe now would be a good time to pay her some attention."
Richard Davies remained a figure made entirely of stone; nothing fazed him, and not a muscle in his face betrayed him. "She's not the only one with blood on her hands, Jack. You are, too. I suggest you not forget that, and the next time I tell you to do something for me, you will do it."
"Otherwise, that photograph goes missing." Richard straightened in his chair, lifting his eyes. "And believe me, Jack, you do not want that photograph to go missing."
Clean, tiled walls surrounded her. Strange, the way things can seem to be so, and be something else entirely. Like the morgue. Thoughts generally tether on death and decay when a word like morgue is used, but on the alternative, the morgue was the cleanest place Tru could find. It was a solace to her, different from any other sanctuary. The morgue was not so much a place of death as it was one of life. People die, and they are brought to the morgue, not so that the attendants can learn about their deaths, but rather their lives.
Death happens after you die, life comes before.
If that was so, Tru could not understand for the life of her why she felt so dead.
Footsteps came from the next room and Tru stopped, listening to them pad across the tiles. Davis appeared through a pair of swinging doors, papers in hand and feet in full stride. Until he noticed Tru leaning against the wall, her face flushed of colour, and her eyes dazed and confused.
"Tru? Tru?" Davis called to her, concerned. "Tru, is everything okay?"
Lifting up her dappled eyes, Tru nodded absently before staring at her hands. "Davis, I can't get rid of it. I can't get it out. It's in too deep."
Davis swallowed and guided his hand towards her shoulder. "Tru, maybe you should lie down, try to get some colour back into you."
A tear slid down the side of Tru's cheek, leaving a smeared, unsteady trail on her pale face. "Davis, I can't." She began to sob. Then cry. Then scream. "I can't! It won't let me! He won't let me!"
She gripped on to anything she could touch, reached for anything she could find, anything. Anything to keep her from slipping, falling further into that bubbling darkness beneath her. Her fingers curled around Davis' crumpled white coat, her sobbing chest finally resting in his arms. He held her without question, without doubt, without reason. Davis just knew he was what was stopping her from slipping over the edge. He had to hold on. And so did she.
"He won't let me, Davis."
Her whispers melted with the silence of the room, slipping in and out of consciousness.
"…won't let me. He won't…"
"I can't. Won't let me…"
He remembered. He remembered that feeling. He remembered the pain it brought him, to know that someone did not want him to have what he wanted. He remembered it and it burned within him. He remembered the refusal, and smiled.
A/N: Okay, so I had a little 'Lady Macbeth' thing going on there, with the blood and everything, and to be honest, that was completely unintentional. The last scene came out different to what I had imagined, and I think it works better than what I originally had planned.
During this story, there is always a little monologue in the beginning of each chapter from Jensen, who is looking down on life from somewhere above. I liked having that in the beginning of this chapter, and then coming back to it at the end. It gave it a nice touch, a nice little 'wrap-up'.
This chapter was basically a 'filler' chapter, where the story strays from any action to instead set up the action for later chapters, and just a little note, please keep in mind the Tyler scene, where he is questioning the kind of person Jensen really was.
Thanks again to my committed readers and I look forward to reading your reviews :)