Chapter 2 - Divided We Fall...

Claire sat up and Shane got up to go answer his door. He opened it to see Michael and Eve standing there. Eve barged right in and tossed clothes at Claire. Claire picked them up and realized that they were more practical than what she was wearing and meant that it was almost time to go. Eve had thrown her a pair of tight back jeans, black combat boots and a tight black tank top.

"Would you like to come in Eve?" Shane asked sarcastically, ushering Michael in as Claire slipped out to change.

Michael looked from Shane to Claire, in Shane's clothes, and back to Shane again. He gave Shane a very skeptical look; Shane just held his hands up and shook his head as if to say 'No man you got it all wrong - nothing happened'.

Eve didn't have a biting remark to say back to Shane, she just quietly sat down on Shane's bed. Apart from Eve's hard exterior, she usually was an emotional wreck in situations like these. Claire slipped back into the room and took a seat next to Eve on Shane's bed. Shane was staring at Claire with such intensity she was starting to blush.

'Hot,' he mouthed to Claire. 'Insanely HOT!'

"They're getting everyone together," Michael said, breaking the silence. "We're going to need to get going soon."

Claire bit her lip to suppress the giggle that threatened to escape. Putting her hand on top of Eve's, Claire nodded. "We'll all be okay. We'll be okay." Claire wasn't sure who she was trying to convince more; her friends or herself.

"We're all being split up," Eve yelled. "Split up and forced to play nice with a bunch of vampires!" Eve stood and walked over to the window looking outside for a moment. She whirled around to face them. "You're going to the University," she said to Michael. "And you are going to be driving around town in the Bloodmobile," Eve yelled pointing at Shane. "And YOU! Amelie is taking you with her to go against Bishop! That's suicide! Meanwhile I have to go with Oliver." It was clear from the way Eve said him, she was disgusted with this thought. "I don't even trust him. What if he is with Bishop?"

Michael shook his head. "I don't think he's with Bishop. But I know you are right to not trust him," he told her. "After everything he's put us through and knowing everything he's capable of..." Michael trailed off.

"We'll be fine," Shane interrupted. "The four of us have handled situations like this before."

Eve shook her head violently. "No, not like this." Her words dripped with a fierceness Claire had never heard from Eve before. "It has been bad, but never this bad. And Shane, with you by yourself..."

Everyone knew Shane was a loose cannon. Out of all of them, he had the most potential to do something stupid. And Claire was worried most of all that he would get himself killed because he didn't think before he acted. And then Bishop would have his book...and Morganville would be in grave trouble; not like it wasn't now.

"Don't do anything stupid," Michael said, looking at Shane. "That goes for everyone. You follow your orders, you stay on guard and never let that guard down. We don't know who our friends and enemies are anymore."

"Would I ever do anything stupid?"

Claire rolled her eyes. "Thats like asking if you still breath," she told Shane.

"Cell phones," Eve cut in. "You all better have your god damn cell phones. We make a deal. We check in constantly. A text; a call...whenever we can," she demanded.

Michael nodded. "Good idea, That'll work until they take control of it. Don't forget the vamps are in control of everything," he reminded.

Eve made an annoyed face. "Fine. But then we find some way to check in with me at least. I'll be at Common Grounds."

"I guess this is it," Claire said, rising to her feet. "I guess its time to go." Claire looked around at her friends. She reach out to Eve and pulled her into a tight hug. "Be careful," she whispered in Eve's ear. She glanced over to see Shane actually hugging Michael, and not their manly hand shake. It was nice to see Shane actually touching his best friend - even if he's the latest member of the bloodsuckers.

"I'll be fine," Eve replied. "You are the one going after Bishop. Be careful cause injured or not - you have your cleaning duties to do." Eve didn't want to think about them not coming back. They were coming back and Claire would do her part of the weekly house work. Shane would make his chili. Michael would be playing his guitar. And she'd be back to filling the needs of caffeine addicted college students. 'It has to be okay; it all has to be okay,' Eve thought to herself.

Claire laughed. "Is that incentive to come back? Cause that doesn't make me want to rush right back." Eve pulled away abruptly. Claire raised her hands in defense. "Kidding! Bad joke I guess."

"Damn right its a bad joke," Michael said pulling Claire into a tight embrace, while Shane and Eve hugged each other. Michael let her go and looked at her. "Take care of yourself out there Claire."

She nodded. "Of course I will. I'll be with Amelie so I think I have the least to worry about. Stay out of the sun."

Michael gave her a half smile before releasing her and pulling in Eve, tight against his body. "Don't trust Oliver," he whispered to her. "Don't trust anyone and don't hesitate." He pressed his lips against Eve's with such intensity, such passion it made Claire blush and turn away. "I love you," he whispered in Eve's ear. "I always have."

Eve started to cry, but she made no noise. The only indication was the shaking of her body. "I love you too, Michael. You better be coming home when this is all over," she warned him. "You are making it through this. You hear me?"

Michael laughed. "Yes, I hear you." He hugged her tightly and pressed his lips on her temple.

Shane wrapped his arms around Claire as they stared out the window in silence, trying not to focus on Michael and Eve. The sky was smokey and fires were everywhere. Shane hated Morganville, but he never wanted this. Not when they couldn't leave; they were stuck here in this anarchy.

"Promise me," Claire said, interrupting his thoughts. "Promise me that you will be coming home, alive. Promise me that you won't do anything stupid."

Shane pressed his lips against her ear and whispered, "I promise you, Claire Danvers, that I will be coming home in one, still breathing piece."

Claire grinned. "Good cause I turn 17 real soon," she mentioned. "And there's tons of things I want to do with you. It doesn't end here," she told him.

He smiled at her. "No, no it doesn't."

The couples walked out of Shane's bedroom together to rejoin the collective group.