First, I must give out this warning. If you have seen the episode I'm referring to, and found the scene in the bar to be graphically disturbing or the entire situaton to be horrific, don't read this story. Basically, I'm kind of prolonging what ends up happening in the episode, but eventually it will come. So turn away now if you're just going to review in the end and flame me for writing filth. Reading on will involve having a sense of humor and understanding that while what happened was terrible, this is fiction as is the show. Thank you.

Where did this bizarre plot come from? Don't ask. All I know is I got inspired by this latest episode of season 5 and absolutely loved Russell's onstage karaoke duet with the bride, whom I have actually given a name and a sort of backstory for this following piece which basically starts off right before Russell joins in. So, rather than Russell and company slaughtering everyone in the ballroom immediately, I decided to have a bit of fun with the setting and situation I was given. And to actually expand the bride's character a bit. If you wish to think of this as crack/humor, go ahead, because I did try to write it this way. It really is quite ridiculous. However, I did try to add in some realism to the situation so it's not too unbearable. Also, it would help if you've heard these songs before or else you'll be lost when the real duel begins onstage - I Want To Hold Your Hand (Across the Universe version, orig. by the Beatles), - Break on Through (The Doors, J. Morrison is lead singer), - Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), - Lemon Tree (Fool's Garden), - Take Another Little Piece of My Heart (Janis Joplin), - and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper). You'll understand as you read further into the story, why knowing how these songs go, is important. Also, Russell is one of my favorite characters on the show so anytime I get to write him, it's always a blast. I perhaps made him a bit too reflective toward the end, but this story probably shouldn't have been written in the first place. Above all, I hope you enjoy this insanity. I know I did.


This Is Not A Love Song

Lara Henderson gripped the microphone tighter, knuckles turning white as she brought the device to her lips, blue gaze fixing on Benjamin who was seated directly to her mother's left. Around her, the lights were dimmed and with a quick grin, the shaking in her knees finally subsided.

"You light up my life, you give me hope to carry on. You light up my days and fill my nights with song," she sang, albeit a bit dramatically, but enough to get the point across, extending a hand and pointing at the man she loved with all her life and more. Much more.

Problem was, the man was cheating on her with her best friend, Shelley, currently sitting directly behind Benjamin, most likely thinking about giving him...well, Lara didn't even want to go down that road. Or maybe she did. Maybe she had to so she could stop the engagem-.

We are not going to think that way, Lara, alright? The wedding's still a week away. If you could finish your science project the night before it was due and still get an A+, you can save this relationship.

She determinedly ignored the voice of reason that wondered if the relationship was even worth pursuing or whether Mr. Jensen, her high school science teacher, only gave her such a high grade because he'd been interested in dating her mother.

Which was gross, especially when her mom reciprocated the attentions. Double gross when she walked in on them making noises more appropriate of mammals in heat.

Instead, Lara paused and glanced down at her feet, letting out a sigh as the music continued on playing. She swayed on her feet a bit, dress swinging along with her dark blonde hair, letting the spirit of the song soar through her.

No, don't let this get you down. That's why mother convinced you to come up here. To express to Benjamin the feelings you're too afraid to acknowledge. That's why he's been so distant. That's why he's able to find comfort in the arms of a-.

It's now or never, Lara.

Now!

Closing her eyes, Lara beamed brightly, and peered back at her audience, throwing caution to the wind as the mic was once more at her lips.

"Rollin' at sea, at drift on the water-."

Lara suddenly froze, lowering the mic.

No longer was she the only voice proudly singing, and with a confused furrow of the brow, she squinted at the figure to her left.

A man, seemingly appearing out of nowhere, threw her a quick wink before continuing on with the song, a mic settled near his lips, voice providing the right lyrics.

What in the name of Christmas?

She opened her mouth, intent on asking if he was drunk. Why else would a man just randomly hop up on stage and interrupt her performance?

Granted, it was a forced performance, but it was a performance nonetheless, damn it!

Without explanation, Lara began to feel a flicker of hot anger stir in her tummy. The source of it...well, even she couldn't determine. It was like all of a sudden, someone muzzled her at a time when she needed to express her needs the most.

If he's trying to be funny, he has another thing coming. Now is not the time to have my last chance at saving my engagement, be ruined by some drunk redneck. No matter how Project Runway his clothes are.

Ignoring her mother's suddenly stiff form and the quiet murmurs erupting from the audience, Lara threw the brown haired man a challenging stare before whipping her hair away and throwing one hand in the air.

Suddenly, the karaoke cut off the music altogether until there was only the sound of Lara's breaths running calmly into the microphone.

Or a bit raggedly.

"Yeah you," Lara began softly, knowing her voice sounded far meeker than she felt, "you got that something. I think you'll understand. When I say that something, I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold...your hand."

There was an immediate hush as she ended the lyrics, and her blue eyes shone brightly while her heart thumped arrhythmically.

Who said those voice lessons as a child wouldn't pay off?

Almost tenaciously, Lara risked a glance from behind her curtain of hair, sheltering her triumph and wondering what this silly man would do now.

To her shock, the man wore just as bright of a grin, eyes boring straight into her with a sardonic twinkle that made Lara wish she hadn't challenged him at all.

Blame the Beatles, she wanted to tell him. They have the catchy pop songs.

Almost mockingly, he raised a hand, palm up, and offered it to her, an indulgent smile leading her discomfort.

"And when I touch you, I feel happy, inside," he crooned just as valiantly, voice vibrating rather clearly for someone she thought to be drunk, and rather...talentedly. "It's such a feeling, that my love. I can't hide. I can't hide. I can't hide."

With a disgruntled squint, Lara slowly nodded her head, allowing her audience to briefly soak in the man's rebutting lyrics.

No doubt in Lara's mind now that he was being an ass, especially in the way his hand still hovered before him, welcoming her to take it at any time.

Slowly, she began tapping her foot, her sandals providing a beat no one would have been able to hear had it not been dead silent.

Which it was.

She was still discreetly aware that besides the few odd coughs in the audience, she and the man were the only two making a single noise.

Try keeping up with this, albino.

"You know the day destroys the night, night divides the day. Tried to run, tried to hide. Break on through to the other side, break on through to the other side, break on through to the other side, yeah!" she belted, stomping her foot at the end of each phrase.

A collective stunned wonder rustled through the audience, some folks even readying themselves to clap.

Lara knew she'd never displayed such a growly contralto before, so seeing some of the astonishment actually forced her to keep back an accomplished blush.

"Oh!" the man suddenly announced, ignoring the audience completely, "a favorite of mine!"

And just when she was ready to roll her eyes, wondering who besides herself, could love and appreciate Jim Morrison the way she did, the man proved her wrong.

"We chased our pleasures there. Dug our treasures there. But can you still recall, the time we cried?" he chanted, adding his own bit of a twist by snapping his fingers, eyes never leaving her. "Break on through to the other side, break on through to the other side."

Gritting her teeth, Lara ushered a step back, uncomfortable at how close the two had been gravitating toward each other. Or maybe he'd been the one approaching her and she hadn't even realized it.

Once again, a silence blanketed the room, the audience in a seemingly gazeless trance.

"What's next, kitten?" he offered, an obvious southern drawl inside his words as his eyes did a quick scan down the length of her body.

Lara fought the urge to look to her mother for an answer or to cover herself up from his less than heavenly observation.

Whatever the heck she'd just unknowingly engaged herself in, she knew somewhere deep in her soul that she wasn't going to let herself lose.

Not in front of Benjamin, and most certainly not my mother.

And you got to admit...even if you don't want to...this is kind of exciting. A sing off. Who would have thought? Certainly more exciting than-.

"I pick the songs," she suddenly bargained, "and you just try keeping up."

And the challenge presented itself once again in her eyes without barrier, but this time, Lara had to physically restrain a gulp at the glee illuminating the man's face in response.

Something about it seemed not quite right.

"Mmm," the man rumbled, tilting his head as he took another step forward, "you have certainly made this...engagin'. I thank you for that, darlin'."

Biting back a remark, Lara stiffly turned away and gazed over the sea of heads, too nervous about meeting one directly.

Well shit on a sunroof. What do I sing?

A shot glass accidentally clinked against a table, followed by a hushed whisper, and then a stern whisper ordering someone to be quiet.

"Mama...just killed a man. Put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger now he's dead. Mama...life has just begun, but now I've gone and thrown it all away-."

"Oh, come on now!" the man instantly cut off with a chortle. "At least try to make it a challenge!"

Throwing the man a mutinous glare, Lara watched as he approached her confidently, his eyes very much disobeying his straying body by staying so focused on her.

If Lara didn't know it any better, the stare appeared inhuman. And way too fixated. Not even Benjamin had been this tuned in on her before.

And they'd had intercourse. That requires constant eye contact, or at least Lara always thought so.

"Mama, ooh! Didn't mean to make you cry, if I'm not back this time tomorrow, carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters."

Silently, Lara contained the admiring grin she wished to offer him. Would normally offer someone if she recognized such a fantastic baritone, had she not of course developed an inconvenient competitive streak.

Which was now the case, preventing her from showing the man any form of admiration.

Instead, a flush of red crept over her cheeks, embarrassed she'd picked such an easy song.

He's an old timer. Let's bring it to the present!

And just as Lara was ready to open her mouth, thoughts of Adele resting in her throat, a screech pierced the airwaves.

Immediately, the man's gaze was ripped away from her and slowly, they both turned to take in the noise maker.

Once located, Lara sighed, resting a hand on her hip. On the bright side, the sudden tension in the air was momentarily blown away.

"What's wrong, mom?" she asked, fighting to keep out her frustration. After all, her mother was not to blame for this peculiar turn of events.

Her mother held a trembling hand over her mouth, blonde curls shaking with each quiver as she stood.

"You're that-that vampire!," she exclaimed, pointing ahead. "Russell...what's his name!"

Raising her eyebrows, Lara turned back, only to notice the man had discarded his mic entirely and was now in close enough proximity to where he could speak into hers.

Allowing him the device with one hand, she continued a few tentative steps behind, but without warning, the man extended his opposite arm and wrapped it around her back, tugging her into him.

"Edgington," the man confirmed suavely, his eyes finding Mrs. Henderson. "Russell Edgington."

Knowing the name sounded familiar, but not entirely sure why, Lara cautiously neared her lips to where Russell still held the mic.

"Mom, sit down," Lara suggested softly, throwing her baby blues at the woman. "You wanted me up here and now that I'm up here, in the middle of a-."

Pausing, she found the man's eyes again, unsure exactly what it was she was in the middle of. Sing off sounded too mild now.

Russell's face was only an inch away from her own, and the proximity this time around, ceased to unnerve her.

Only because him being a vampire wasn't actually a terrible thing.

Yes, she was raised in a Christian home and there were certain expectations she needed to uphold including despising the undead as unholy creatures of the night.

But the few vampires Lara had met in her life, were actually quite friendly, if not a bit discriminated against. Something she could relate to as a child when her Lutheran friends wanted nothing to do with her.

Although, something told her there was enough arrogance inside of the vampire to never allow him to feel so discouraged or put out.

"-oh, yes mom, do sit down," Russell mocked playfully, keeping his brown eyes zoned in on Lara's face. "Let us have a bit of fun up here! Free entertainment, guaranteed."

With that, his fangs clicked out.

There was a sharp gasp from the audience below, but Lara only tilted her head, studying the sharp teeth in a fixed fascination.

"But Lara-."

"Mom!" she broke away with a blink, exasperated. "Either sit or leave. Whatever you choose, I am not going to leave this stage without expressing what I need to express!"

Her mother sank down with a huff, arms crossed angrily, and to her side, Lara noted Benjamin fight the urge to stand as well.

"Well, now," Russell proclaimed with a slow laugh, pulling the singer unexpectedly into his chest, "mother's little girl is a wildcat."

Shivering at the cold proximity, the soon to be bride frowned.

"Mother's little girl," Lara murmured, trying to squirm some distance between the vampire and herself, "is going to kick your ass."

"Really?" the vampire grumbled, his lips still set in a manic grin. "Well, I look forward to it, pumpkin."

Shaking off the pet name, Lara detached herself from his embrace, grabbing the mic from his grasp along the way. She knew all of these things were possible only because he allowed her, seeing as his strength could easily have trapped her, but at the moment, she couldn't bring herself to care.

Alright, it's a battle. Not literally, Lara. Figuratively. Transport yourself, won't ya? Baton Rouge. Five years ago. Talent competition. Four years of vocal lessons for this one shot at being named the best singer in the city. Remember that. Remember the competition and how down right dirty and competitive it got. Remember how out of 16 singers, you took home the title. Not because you sang what was popular, but because you sang what you loved.

Granted, most of the judges were old timers. They could relate to the classic tunes. But go into that world where no one can reach you.

Apparently, her pacing was engrossing because as soon as she paused in her steps, Lara noted every eye in the room, glued to her.

"I do have to get to bed by morning," Russell added a bit wearily, "keep up on my beauty sleep."

His confident quip made the politeness Lara held, briefly snap.

"I'll hurry up," she promised with an encouraging nod. "You look like you need every minute of it."

And without further scrutiny, Lara faced the audience again.

"I'm sitting here in the boring room. It's just another rainy Sunday afternoon. I'm wasting my time. I got nothing to do. I'm hanging around. I'm waiting for you. But nothing ever happens and I wonder. I'm driving around in my car. I'm driving too fast. I'm driving too far. I'd like to change my point of view. I feel so lonely. I'm waiting for you. But nothing ever happens and I wonder-."

"-I wonder how, I wonder why. Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemon tree. I'm turning my head, up and down. I'm turning turning turning turning around and all that I can see is just another lemon tree."

Purposely avoiding Russell's gaze, Lara closed her eyes with a sigh.

How in the seven shades of you know where, does he know that song? Heck, it was by complete accident that I knew it. Only cause that one girl, Tawny is her name, warmed up her voice with it each day at rehearsal.

Seconds later and her confusion was answered.

"My Talbot use to love that song," came Russell's almost somber voice from beside her.

Risking a peek at him, Lara was ready to ask who Talbot was, but she refrained. The vampire's features were pensive, if not a bit detached.

Personal question. And despite her annoyance with the man, she wasn't out right rude.

Without meaning to, Lara's gaze strayed to Benjamin, rooted to his seat and watching the entire exchange in a petrified wonder.

You are up here because he stopped loving you. But dang is that hard to hear, isn't it? That you did something, acted in such a manner that made him seek comfort in the arms of your best-.

Without meaning to, her voice picked out the next song.

"Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man - yeah! An' didn't I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can? Honey, you know I did!," she growled out, eyes ablaze. "And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough, but I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough. I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it. Take it! Take another little piece of my heart now, baby! Oh, oh, break it! Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, oh, have a-Have another little piece of my heart now, baby. You know you got it if it makes you feel good. Oh, yes indeed."

Whether it was the level of the stare Lara had been sending Benjamin - confusion, rejection, and hurt all rolled up into one - or how close her voice was to cracking toward the end of the soulful tune, she didn't know, but when she was done, even Russell took a moment before responding.

She didn't even hear him, to be honest, even though her ears recognized his equally passionate voice. All Lara could do was stare at Benjamin, hoping to the Lord above that he understood the lyrics were directly aimed at him.

Benjamin only shifted uncomfortably in his seat, deciding the floor was suddenly far more enamoring. And those around him, studied the man quizzically, perhaps understanding that he was the subject of the song.

Lara's jaw clenched at this gesture, perhaps a bit surprised of all the frustration she felt.

Face your mistakes, darn it!

She nearly jumped out of her skin when one of Russell's cold hands wound themselves around her upper arm, utterly exposed in the dress she was wearing.

"I can't help but wonder," the vampire observed near her ear, voice so low that even she had to strain to hear it, "whether that song was for some...special boy in particular. Surely not the handsome groom to be?"

There was a condescending mockery in his tone, but Lara strangely enough, only smiled, turning to him.

"I'm flattered by your interest in my life," she politely retorted, then smirked at the scowl he took on. "You're a real sweetheart, Russell."

And once again, she squirmed herself out of his grasp, but this time, Russell wasn't so quick to release her arm.

Only when someone from the audience, most likely intoxicated out of their mind, shouted, "Sing Freebird!" did the vampire finally allow her arm freedom.

With a last second look, Lara began her pacing again, unsure where her intentions now lied.

Getting her cheating fiancé to acknowledge the heartbreak she didn't even realize she was experiencing, or throwing off the vampire for good with a carefully picked out song?

Get it together, Lara. Confidence. That's what you need. So Benjamin cheated on you with Shelley. It's not the end of the world. Other fish in the sea, right?

Hey, think of all the single men out there as well. Yummy! Men who're adventurous and caring and if they're unhappy, discuss their unhappiness with their significant other rather than cheating on them!

Wow...since when have we begun talking to ourselves?

She shook her head once, a bit dazed at this inner voice.

Where were you when I began my relationship?

No time to answer that. I've got an idea, though. Why don't you throw him off by singing something his masculinity won't allow him to sing?

Inhaling, Lara relaxed her shoulders, the perfect song in mind.

"I come home in the morning light, my mother says "When you gonna live your life right?" Oh, mother, dear, we're not the fortunate ones, and girls, they wanna have fu-un. Oh, girls just wanna have fun!"

She finished this with an elaborate twirl, the edge of her dress flying up like a ballroom gown.

When Lara found balance again, she was intrigued to find herself laughing, legitimately happy just by piping out those lyrics.

This is why I love singing. It makes me feel when life ceases to.

There was a collective breath held from the audience below as all of their attention turned to the vampire beside her, and Lara, almost a bit over-confidently, did the same, her heart racing.

Russell didn't meet anyone's eyes, instead studying his microphone as if deducing a problem.

"The phone rings...in the middle of the night."

As soon as the lyrics were sung, at least three women in the audience screamed an impressed hoot, raising their hands triumphantly.

Slowly, Russell's lips spread up and before he could pick out the disbelief in her gaze, Lara spun away.

But she continued listening.

"My father yells "What you gonna do with your life?" Oh, daddy, dear, you know you're still number one, but girls, they wanna have fu-un. Oh, girls, just wanna have. That's all they really want...some fun."

If Lara didn't know it better, the vampire's tone had turned down right flamboyant, if not borderline flirty.

This was further proved when the same gaggle of women began clapping their hands boisterously, hollering their praise.

With a quick scan, Lara realized unnervingly that this admiration wasn't restrained just to the three women. Every man, woman, and child studied Russell with an air of someone who had just been pleasantly impressed by a pet whom they previously believed was incapable of performing tricks.

He's working the crowd against me.

Well, technically, our plan backfired, but yes, let's blame the audience.

"Thank you, thank you," Russell bowed beside her, throwing a rakish smirk at those cheering him on. "If only such a song was written for those of my nature."

A few people laughed, but internally, Lara blanched.

I certainly don't want to know what his definition of fun is.

And this was the first time all night that she got the notion of immediate danger from the vampire. Granted, the statement in itself should have been a warning sign. But Lara didn't want to discriminate and become one of those people she dealt with as a child.

Okay, so do we have a plan B? Because you know if you look at him right now, his smirk might swallow the remainder of your confidence.

With the audience now all charged up, Lara thought it inappropriate to sing something grim.

Again, her eyes strayed to that of her groom...or former groom, hoping perhaps he could anoint some sort of inspiration.

"Get your God damn hands off of him, you grimy slut!"

In seconds, all attention was reverted back to her, but Lara hardly cared to acknowledge this. All she felt was a venomous rage shoot through her veins.

Shelley casted her a withering glare in response to the remark, emerald eyes narrowed, and with a gradual lean back, her manicured, fire engine red nails detached themselves from Benjamin's shoulder.

Benjamin seemed surprised at the outburst, and when Lara found his hazel eyes, she was satisfied to find some level of understanding there.

About time!

"Lara!" her mother scolded disapprovingly from her seat, "you do not use the Lord's name in vain! Think how disappointed your father would have been to hear such filth."

Shelley's grin turned malicious and the brooding glare Lara shot her could not have been overstated in its purpose.

Bitch, die.

"Mom, no offense," the blonde answered as diplomatically as she could, "but shut the hell up."

This time, it was Russell who burst out laughing, one hand resting across his chest.

"Oh, what a dysfunctional group of people you are. It almost makes me regret..."

Instead of finishing his sentence, Russell sped over to Lara's side and grabbed a hold of her hand.

"I simply must know the full name of the woman who has brought me such appetizin' entertainment tonight."

Knowing it wasn't a rhetorical question, Lara ignored the tightness of the grip, observing her limb in slight worry.

"Lara," she breathed out, confused at how meek she sounded. "Henderson."

Russell's eyes found hers and in an almost gentlemanly gesture, his lips pressed down upon her backhand.

"Lara," he repeated, thumb tracing over the spot he'd kissed, "quite an ancient name, if you can imagine it. Such a shame more women aren't given this title. To be honest, I'm tired of all these Britney's and Jennifer's and Bella's and whatever the fuck it is Beyonce named her daughter. It seems like all the Lara's of the world are vastly underappreciated."

Raising a brow, the blonde risked a glance to the crowd, unsure why this scene was making her uncomfortable.

"Darlin'," Russell interrupted, squeezing her hand, "for future references, when I am speakin' to you, I appreciate your attention focused on me. But I'll forgive you just this one time, only cause you've got maybe a minute left to live."

The women who'd been Team Russell up to this point, laughed at this remark, but Lara, and a small few including her mother, knew the vampire was dead serious.

Don't panic, Lara. Lord almighty, don't panic.

"Does this mean I win?" she quipped lightly, turning her attention back Russell's way.

"Now...I didn't say that," he defended just as nonchalantly.

"But you're going to kill me," she pointed out. "I see this as a default."

To her credit, Russell actually appeared to ponder her words.

"I have been around for millenniums," he revealed. "There are songs I could sing that would have you scramblin' just to pronounce the words."

"You didn't answer my question."

For a second, the vampire's features shifted into annoyance, but he tilted his head and tightened the hold he had on her hand.

"I would not be against offerin' you a consolation prize for your admirable talents."

Unsure what exactly he was getting at, Lara tried slipping her hand from his embrace, but Russell only jerked her toward him again, opposite hand latching on to her shoulder.

"Consolation prize?" she retorted with a raised eyebrow, knowing she had to play in to his game.

"Yes," he announced, smile returning. Then, he leaned down next to her ear.

"I'll give you the opportunity to tell me who you want dead first. Since I am feelin' particularly merciful, your wish will be my command."

Lara didn't breathe for a moment, desperately fighting the urge to warn the crowd of the impending doom.

Stay calm. I know this is ridiculous advice, but the calmer you are, the longer of a chance there is to find a way out of this mess.

"What's troublin' you, kitten?" Russell murmured, lips dangerously close to touching her ear. "Certainly it's not the decision. You've got the cheatin' groom or the whoring bridesmaid...or so I've gathered."

"I-."

But there was no probable answer she could give.

"Hmm...or is it mommy dearest? She was a tad disruptive tonight, wasn't she?"

A shakiness began to build in her knees, reminiscent of when she first reached the stage and began singing.

"This is you being merciful?" she couldn't help but whisper.

"Lara," he chided as if she were a child, brushing back all of the hair resting on her left shoulder, "I am bein' incredibly lenient. I've got friends who are surroundin' this place and they've been downright eager these past few minutes for my word to join the party. I'm afraid I can't hold them off any longer despite the fun we've been havin', and I can't guarantee whoever it is you want dead, will be immediately."

She didn't answer right away, knowing she'd choke up if she attempted to. And despite the grim reality of her situation, Lara understood she needed to emit a certain calm before the crowd below.

But Russell's words chilled her to the bone, even though he sounded so upbeat about them.

He's got friends? But...they're children here. They wouldn't-.

One peek at Russell's features quickly informed her there would be no recognized difference. Flesh was flesh, blood was blood.

"Is it because I made you sing Cyndi Lauper?" she suddenly questioned. "I could pick a different song."

This caused Russell to smile again, something less malignant in the action this time around.

"If time were not of the essence, I would enjoy drainin' you over a long period of time," he acknowledged, running his eyes down her exposed throat. "And that's about the nicest thing I've said of humanity in a long while."

Forcing herself to nod, Lara said, "Well...thank you, Russell."

Shaking his head, Russell tugged the woman forward again, invading all personal space she had left.

"A human thankin' me? Surely you are aware of why it is your mother so quickly recognized me?"

At her blank stare, Russell sighed, as if disappointed.

"I only ripped out an anchorman's spine on live television," he boredly mentioned, studying her. "Nothin' HUGE..."

His emphasis had Lara struggling to remember the event.

"Think I heard something about it," she recalled faintly. "Honestly, I had more important issues to deal with than an attention seeking vampire with backbone issues."

Russell's grip instantly turned near torturous, and within a few seconds, he had Lara struggling not burst out in tears from the pressure he contained her fingers in. Like the bone would personally grate against the skin and snap in half.

"I am bein' courteous," he reminded, less amused. "A true southern gesture on my part, for the beautiful, blushin' bride."

Refusing to hide her smile, Lara only bit at her lip, reluctant to give him an answer.

"You're only makin' this more painful, my saucy masochist. Whisper out a name and I'll have their entrails displayed in seconds," he promised softly.

"I'm starting to fucking hate that Russell Edgington guy," Lara muttered back, teeth slipping into the skin of her bottom lip.

"I'm afraid he's here to stay. And if his offer isn't taken soon, he'll choose someone himself."

Lord...what do I do? I'm going to die.

That's okay.

Well, no, it's not. Really, it's pretty unfortunate. Dying before my wedding day. Engaged to a man who cheated on me with my former best friend.

Yeah, that's a bit depressing.

Before she could stop herself, Lara whipped her head around, eyes boring into that of her groom's.

"What did I do wrong, Ben?" she bit out, each word having to be forced from between her gritted teeth. "What made you want to go behind my back and screw around with Shelley?"

She didn't acknowledge the curious stares or sudden voices discussing her question. Instead, what remained of her attention, was aimed on her fiance.

The groom didn't answer, and this only caused Lara's frustration to grow.

"I'd answer Lara's question if I were you, Benjamin," Russell suggested. "Especially since she is contemplatin' your existence at this very moment."

Ben opened his mouth, but it was Shelley who responded.

"You're boring as all hell and you've got the personality equivalent of watching concrete dry. Jesus, this is the most animated I've seen you in the eight years I've known you. What's even sadder is it took a vamp to make you this way!"

"Just because I don't wear clothes that make my tits bounce around or reveal my ass, does not mean I'm boring!" Lara defended, feeling the fury spawn from previous insecurities she'd held regarding her normally conservative dressing. "And at least this vamp doesn't fuck everything he sees!"

"Lara!"

"Mom," Lara warned, throwing her a stubborn glare.

"I was just going to agree with you!" her mother defended, raising her arms. "Benjamin has never deserved you. I didn't want to mention it earlier cause I really thought you finally had happiness for once in your life. I know your father's death hurt you, and I know growing up hasn't exactly been easy. That's why I was hoping Ben was only going through a phase. And even you going up to sing tonight...I really hoped he'd be healed by your words. But really...well, it's only forced me to see that you're truly unhappy. And that's the last thing I ever wanted you to be."

Sucking in a deep breath that had nothing to do with the figurative fire her fingers seemed to be trapped in, Lara shot her mom a loving smile.

"That's...thank you, mom," she praised, struggling to keep her voice from breaking. "And sorry about telling you to shut the hell up."

"Water under the bridge," she waved off.

And for a legitimate second, Lara completely forgot the utter hopelessness of her situation.

That is until Russell suddenly released her hand, causing her to moan out a low sigh from the sensation.

"I cannot even fathom why exactly it is you all amuse me so much," the vampire mused, throwing the hold he had on Lara's shoulder, off, but grabbing on to her with his opposite hand so she now stood beside him, watching everyone else. "Like some sort of dinner theatre. Except I'm gettin' the theatrics part first, and the dinner second."

When he unsheathed his fangs, Team Russell had transformed into Team Run For Your Life.

The next few seconds seemed to travel by in slow motion.

First, there were Russell's friends that appeared. All eight of them, fangs gleaming murderously. Followed by panicking. Then Lara stepping forth, struggling to comprehend that this was actually happening. A last minute look of terror thrown at her mother.

More chaos.

"I've decided who I'm goin' to kill first," Russell announced triumphantly, spinning her so she faced him.

When she tried to find her mother in the flurry of vampire pouncing on human, Russell calmly grabbed on to her chin and tilted it back his way.

"You really should be more concerned about what's goin' to happen to you," he acknowledged.

Shutting her eyes, Lara felt the shaking expand from her knees, down to her legs until they were on the verge of being entirely unsupportive.

"This isn't happening," she whispered to herself, trying to ignore the screams. "This isn't-."

Mom?

Another scream canceled out her mother's, but all Lara could do was stand petrified in place, understanding with a horror so rotten and stomach churning, that there was absolutely nothing she could do for those around her.

This is it. All my twenty four years are going to end here. Was that the plan all along, God?

She didn't know what made her do it, but in a sudden rush of anger, Lara's eyes sprang open and before she even comprehended the act, her open palm had swung across the air and slapped Russell right across the cheek.

The sting was immediate, but what was more surprising was the force of her arms abruptly being bent behind her as another vampire grabbed a hold of her, hand digging into her hair and pulling it to the side, exposing her neck.

"Now that wasn't very nice," a voice reprimanded childishly into her ear.

And just when Lara was sure the last of her breaths would be taken, Russell interrupted.

"As noble as your rescuin' is, I would personally like to finish this one off, Steve."

Blinking rapidly, Lara could tell from her position that Steve was reluctant to follow the command.

"But-she hit you! She-."

"My mercy is runnin' awfully short. Get your fuckin' hands off Miss Henderson," came the less patient, steely response.

In another second, Steve had released her roughly, propelling Lara straight into Russell's arms again.

"Did you want that slap to hurt?" he questioned, pulling her by the hair one way while keeping her neck exposed before his teeth. "It felt as if a blade of grass tickled my face, if I am to be perfectly clear."

Swallowing thickly, Lara's eyes latched on to the column of Russell's pale throat, transfixed despite all of the mayhem around her.

"I wanted you to know the intent behind it," she admitted, tears beginning to make her vision blurry.

"If it is any consolation, I was plannin' on killin' you first," Russell revealed, running a finger over a vein in her neck. "A gift, if you will, so you wouldn't have to see the slaughter of everyone you loved. Unfortunately, I teased my friends just a little too long, at least to where their thirst had outgrown their patience."

"How...fucking...sweet," she stammered out over a sob.

"I thought so too. A rather uncharacteristic thought considering I am normally fond of prolonged sufferin' and hum-."

"For God's sake, do it already or I'll yell for a vampire who will!"

Russell painfully yanked her head back into his peripheral vision.

"I will certainly miss your singing' voice far more than your speakin' one," he noted in distaste.

"The same goes for you," she breathed back with venom, voice growing hoarse.

Again, this made the vampire smile, and in a statuesque immobilization, Lara watched Russell's white, cool thumb trail over her bottom lip and scoop up the blood smeared there.

It laid discarded from when she had tore into her lip while trying to fight off the pain her hand had been in.

Leisurely, he brought it before his lips, then slid his thumb into his mouth.

"Interestin' how one human can remind me that you are all cattle, yet livin' beings, at the same time."

Seconds later, and Lara Henderson lost all signs of life as Russell drained every drop of blood present in her entire body, unable to deduce why he almost felt reluctant, out of all the useless emotions, to let the little songbird go.


Yeah, still the ucky ending because no matter how amusing Miss Henderson was for Russell, eventually, he would kill her. It'd be unrealistic for him not to. Then again, this whole story is one bag of crazy. Anywho, I hope you enjoyed that, despite the horrific nature of the entire scene. Personally, I didn't think it was anything to barf over only because I understand that they are vampires and not something that we should sugarcoat as being gentle and just like us. Also, I watch a crap load of horror films and am quite use to seeing a lot of death, so the scene didn't phase me too badly. To anyone looking for an update of Postmortem Blues, it's coming. I recognize it may not have been written the best, but I needed to get it out. Oh, and the title comes from a song by PIL (PublicImageLimited). It's a very repetitive tune that kind of went perfect for this. Let me know your thoughts in a review!