A/N: If anyone wants a song to listen to while you read this chapter, I wrote the first half while listening to the song Past Lives by Ke$ha. Seems silly, but when I heard the opening line it was just TOO perfect.
We were lovers in a past life,
I can see it in your green eyes.
Maybe you were one of my wives,
In a long-lost tribe.
There's just somethin' 'bout you I know,
Started centuries ago, though.
See, your kiss is like a lost ghost,
Only I would know.
"Wait." Luce said urgently, placing her hand on Cam's knee, as if to physically stop him.
Cam broke off his sentence and fixed his gaze on Luce hand. He moved his on top of hers, threading their fingers together. He turned to meet her eyes. "Okay."
Luce took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She felt Cam rub his thumb against the back of her hand and it felt like such a foreign yet familiar sensation, Luce had to open her eyes just to watch him doing it, and all at once she knew that was he was about to tell her was true.
As reassuring as his touch was, there was something making Luce's stomach churn with anxiety.
"Luce?" Cam asked gently, seeing the troubled look in her eyes. "Are you okay?"
She exhaled shakily, looking away from him. "Well. You're going to tell me about one of my past lives, right? One where..." her throat tightened around the words, "we were together."
"That was the plan." he answered easily, "I didn't think you dragged me out of bed in the middle of the night to hear Goodnight, Moon."
She smiled in spite of her sickly feeling, she knew that Cam's attempt at humor was for her benefit. She was suddenly feeling much more in tune with Cam himself, what he was really like, why he did certain things. She didn't know where these feelings were coming from. They were creeping up in the back of her mind, like painfully vivid deja vu.
"Here's the thing," Luce said slowly, so that her voice didn't shake, "I don't...want to hear about how I...you know..." she glanced at Cam momentarily, "died."
Cam raised his eyebrows, clearly surprised by this confession.
"It just, it freaks me out a little." Luce added quickly, "I don't know. I just...I don't want to hear that part. I can't deal with it."
Cam nodded slowly. "I understand."
Luce looked at him, grimacing slightly. "Is that...okay?"
Cam smirked grimly. "Well. It's kind of an important part of the story, and I think you should hear about it eventually, but if you're not ready..."
"Are you mad?" Luce felt panic. "Please don't be mad, I just-"
Cam interrupted her with a harsh chuckle. "I'm not mad. I don't think I've ever been mad at you. Or ever could be. Why are you always asking me that?"
Luce heaved a sigh of relief. "Sorry. It's just...habit."
Cam shot her a rueful look. "I think maybe you're confusing me with someone else."
Luce blushed and bit her lip. "Um. That's another thing..."
"I don't really want to hear about him, either. I know it's going to be something bad. And I don't know if I can deal with that right now on top of everything else."
Cam sighed heavily and leaned back against the seat of the car. "Okay. So then what do you want to hear?"
Luce scooted closer to him, taking both of his hands in hers, still looking down. "I want to hear about us."
"What about us?" Cam asked, his voice low and close to her ear. She shivered involuntarily.
"Well, how did we meet?"
"Here. Let's get a little more comfortable." Cam shifted and pulled Luce backward until she was leaning up against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and held her hands. It felt warm and wonderful and, again, strangely familiar. Luce realized more and more things about Cam felt this way, like a dream you know you've had but can't quite remember.
"Much better." Cam murmured into her hair, and she couldn't disagree.
"I was living on my own, out west, pretty far from civilization. I didn't want to be bothered, I was going through an anti-social stage-"
"Imagine that." Luce giggled.
"Hey, we can't all be the most popular girl in school. Anyway, back to my story...wait, where was I? I can't seem to remember what I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted."
Luce laughed again and closed her eyes, relishing in the feel of Cam all around her. "You were living in the middle of nowhere..."
"Oh, right." Cam continued, "Well, it wasn't really the middle of nowhere. But it was pretty far away from the city or any main roads, so you can imagine my surprise when one fine day I get a knock on my door and find a strange girl covered from head to toe in dirt asking if she can have a glass of water."
"Wait..." Luce said, raising her head to look at him. "Me?"
"I didn't even recognize you at first." Cam said, smiling. "You were in pretty bad shape. So, naturally being the good Samaritan I am I gave you some water and let you wash yourself off. Then you come strolling out of the bathroom telling me about how you got separated from the people you'd been travelling with and I realize that it's you and I was just like, you have got to be fucking kidding me."
"You mean you weren't happy to see me?" Luce teased.
"Shocked is more like it. It was just insane. I'd been staying at that place for a few years, I hadn't been in contact with Daniel or Roland or anyone for quite some time. And then just bam, out of nowhere, of all the gin joints in all the world, you walk into mine."
Luce smiled stupidly at the movie reference. "But...how did I get there?"
"You told me you had left home and were hitch hiking your way across the state. You'd been travelling with a group of people and somehow got separated from them. So you just started walking." Cam chuckled, "You were a bit of a...how should I put it...free spirit back then."
"This is weird," Luce said. "It's like, none of this makes any sense...but at the same time it kind of does."
"So anyway," Cam barreled on, "I'm like what am I supposed to do with you? I didn't know where Daniel was or how to contact him. And you were obviously on your own with nowhere to go, so I decided to let you stay with me. You didn't even ask. I didn't even offer. You just stayed and that was that."
"How free spirity of us." Luce remarked dryly.
"It was surreal, you being there. I'd always only ever known you as being an extension of Daniel. It's like you two were two parts of the same whole, that's how I always saw you. But there you were, just you, you're own person. You had all these wild thoughts and hopes and dreams. It was incredible, seeing you like that. I never noticed how truly beautiful you were until then."
Luce's breath caught in her throat. She wondered if that's how everyone saw her, as just an extension of Daniel? That notion didn't exactly sit well with her. Of course she was her own person, wasn't she?
She didn't have much time to mull this uncomfortable thought over as Cam continued his story, "So yeah. I was just kind of wrapped up in that, you know? Getting to know you on this new, exclusive level was so crazy. I wasn't really thinking about anything but living in the moment, but then one day I was just standing in the kitchen and you came in and you walked up to me and said, and this is a direct quote, Luce. You said, What would you do if I kissed you right now?"
"Oh, God." Luce grumbled, feeling heat rush to her cheeks.
"I'm serious!" Cam laughed. "Then I knew I was really screwed. How could I possibly explain why I couldn't become involved with you? And the way I'd been so infatuated with you ever since you showed up, it was only natural for you to assume I was attracted to you-"
"Are you saying you weren't attracted to me?" Luce goaded, pouting for good measure.
Cam rolled his eyes and tightened his embrace around her. "I told you, " he said softly, "Thinking of you in that way didn't even occur to me. You were gorgeous, obviously, but you were the definition of off-limits. So I'm standing there thinking of the best way to let you down easy and I realize fully for the first time that it's just me and you in that room. No one else. Just us. And you hadn't even met Daniel yet. You weren't technically his yet. You were a completely separate entity, all your own. So I'm standing there, mid-epiphany, when your mouth comes into direct contact with mine."
"And then, nothing. We were kissing and there wasn't anything else."
"It always feels like that when we kiss." Luce said automatically before her brain could fully process the thought.
"Yeah," Cam's lips were against her ear again. "It does."
"Aren't you going to finish the story?" Luce whispered, trying to ignore the goosebumps rising on her skin.
"Well," Cam said with a sigh, "You said you didn't want to hear the bad stuff. And that's just about where the good stuff ends."
Luce frowned. "So we only kissed one time?"
"Oh no." Cam said, his voice like silk. "We kissed a lot. Among other things."
"Don't tell me we..." Luce trailed off in shock.
"What?" Cam asked, then scoffed when he realized her meaning. "No! Get your mind out of the gutter, Lucinda. I just meant we did a lot of things together. Boring things. Like watching TV, cooking food, playing scrabble, that sort of thing."
"How long did I stay with you?" Luce asked.
"Almost a year." Cam said, his voice taking on a less jovial quality. Luce knew she was in dangerous territory.
"Wow, that's a long time." she said, lamely. "What happened to make me leave?"
"I thought we decided we weren't going to go there," Cam said, giving her hands a squeeze. "At least, not tonight."
"Yeah, you're right." Luce agreed. She turned her body so she could face him, and was surprised to see how sad he looked. "What's wrong?" she asked, confused by his sudden change of mood.
"Nothing, sorry." he gave her a small smile. "Just talking about it, it brings it all back, you know?"
"Was it so bad?" Luce asked tentatively.
"Luce." Cam said, and his voice was a warning. "Don't."
Luce realized in that moment Cam seemed as ill prepared to discuss the rest of the story as she was. And once again, seeing Cam in a state of distress pained her in the most unbearable way. She cupped his face in her hands, desperate to bring him out of it.
"Cam," she said very seriously, "What would you do if I kissed you right now?"
He smiled, and this time it reached his eyes, "I think I'm having deja v-"
She pressed her lips up against his before he could finish. She felt him smile against her lips before kissing her back. There was something different about this kiss, because they weren't kissing out of uncontrollable lust, and they weren't kissing just to lead up to something else, they were kissing just to kiss. Just to be close to each other in that way. And that was a whole new intimacy Luce had never experienced with Cam. Except, she had. She knew she had. Not just because he'd told her it happened, but because there was something else stirring inside her growing more intense by the second. She pulled Cam even closer, deepening the kiss, feeling herself becoming utterly lost in him. His hands, one at the small of her back, one entangled in her hair. His mouth, warm on hers. The feel of his body pressed close, the scent of him, and all of it so achingly familiar. And then-
Luce pulled away abruptly, breathing ragged. Cam stroked her face. "What's wrong?"
"Cam..." she said uncertainly, "I think... I think I just...remembered."
Cam's breaths matched hers in uneven rhythm. "Remembered what?"
"What?" Cam asked. A moment later, his whole body tensed. "You mean, the rest of it?"
"No," Luce said, dazed. "No. But I remember...you. Your hair was longer then. And me. Mine was too. And us. I remember kissing you, in a car, like this. And I remember doing all that stuff together, at least, little bits and pieces. I don't know...I feel dizzy."
Cam just stared at her, wide-eyed, the shock settling around him. Then he flew into action, stroking her hair, her face, murmuring that she was okay, to just breathe, that everything was okay.
"I'm okay," Luce said finally, her breathing slowly returning to normal. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?" Cam asked hoarsely. "I don't even know if I'm okay."
"We're okay," Luce said decisively, wrapping her arms around him tightly.
"Are you scared?" Cam asked suddenly.
Luce pulled back to look at him, confused. "Why would I be scared?"
"Well, I know it's a lot to take in. And it all just happened so fast. Whatever just...happened."
Luce shook her head. "I'm not scared. All the memories I got were good. Really good."
Cam smirked. "Well...that's good."
Luce giggled and rested her forehead against his. "Thank you." she said softly.
"For giving me back a piece of myself." Luce said, "You don't know what it means to me."
Cam tucked a strand of hair behind Luce's ear, a simple gesture, but it was filled with such tenderness Luce had to blush. "We should probably get you back to school."
"Okay." Luce said, though parting from Cam was the very last thing she wanted to do right now. On the other hand, exhaustion was starting to sink in. "I am kind of tired."
Cam promised her he'd come get her the next night, so they could go back to his place and talk more, maybe hash out the rest of the story if both of them were ready.
When they reached their destination, Cam got out of the car and began walking around to open the door for Luce. As he was helping her out of the car, a voice sliced through the darkness.
"Well, this wasn't high on the list of things I was expecting to see."
Luce whipped her head around but she didn't need to see to know who it was. She knew that voice.
"Daniel." she said as he stepped out of the shadows. "What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question."
"Listen, Grigori." Cam started, stepping protectively in front of Luce, "I can explain."
"I think I would rather Lucinda to do the explaining." Daniel's tone was icy.
Thankfully, in that moment, a thought struck Luce like a match. "I remembered something."
Daniel cocked his head to the side in confusion. "What?"
"I remembered something." Luce repeated. "About me. One of my past lives."
Daniel blinked in surprise. "You did? Why didn't you call me right away?"
Luce narrowed her eyes, suddenly realizing how angry she was at Daniel. "Funny thing. The memory didn't involve you."
Daniel raised his eyebrows in recognition. "Oh. I see. That."
"Yeah," Luce repeated, "That. I can't imagine why you never mentioned it."
"Luce has had a long night," Cam said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I think we should let her go to sleep. We'll talk about this later."
"What exactly did you remember, Luce?" Daniel asked, ignoring Cam completely.
"I think you know." Luce said simply.
"She only remembered bits and pieces," Cam supplied, eyeing Daniel knowingly. "She didn't remember..well...you know what."
Luce looked from Daniel to Cam, confused. "I'm tired." she said, "I'm not ready to hear any more tonight. I remembered some things about me and Cam that confused me. He was just trying to help me fill in the gaps-"
"Help you?" Daniel asked incredulously. "I don't know how much or what you've remembered about you and Cam, Luce. But while he was oh so generously filling in those gaps I'm going to take a wild guess and assume he conveniently left out the part where he killed you."
Luce nearly toppled over. "What?"
"I thought so," Daniel sneered at Cam. He smiled and it wasn't the smile she was used to seeing on him. And when he spoke it was in a voice she barely recognized. "Well, then. I think it would be rather unfair of us to let her go to sleep without knowing the full story. What do you say, Cam?"
"Killed...me...?" was all Luce could manage to say, the words hitting her like a slap. That didn't make any sense. She looked frantically to Cam, waiting for him to blow off such a ridiculous accusation.
Cam just sighed and looked skyward. "Well," he said finally, "I guess that's one way to put it."
dun dun dun! who do YOU think is telling the truth? daniel? cam? none of the above? :P again I would just like to say thank you to all the sweet amazing thoughtful reviews you guys give me. I know this chapter isn't as long as the others but I was struck with inspiration and felt like I needed to make up for such a long period of time between chapters 2 and 3.