Hi everyone! This chapter is only the prologue to Betrayed by the Prime. It's a little...preview, I guess, to what some of the main focuses in the main story will be. Honestly, I couldn't start writing the actual story without writing about what happened between Optimus and Nora. I felt like I just had to write this. I don't know when I'll start posting the story up. Hopefully it won't be too long, but please be patient. :)
Optimus Prime POV
3 Months Before Clare's Graduation
It was to be the day I talked to Clare's mother, Nora. Clare's high school graduation was near, which meant she will be able to stay in Washington DC with us Autobots. Jazz and Bumblebee were becoming more and more excited by the day to the point of giddiness. I was excited as well but also quite anxious. I decided that I had to put an end to the bad blood–so to speak– between Nora and the Autobots. I also needed her help concerning Clare's housing. I have recently asked Lennox if Clare was allowed to live in the NEST base. Lennox declined the idea. He didn't like the fact that a female as young as she would be living in a facility with dozens of grown men. I had to agree with his concerns. With me not being a human, it was rather difficult trying to find a suitable place for Clare. So after talking to Nora, perhaps she would have some knowledge about 'house hunting'. But time was growing short. I have been planning to talk to Nora for months. Since the beginning of Clare's school year, actually, but I obviously procrastinated it.
First thing's first, we needed Nora's permission so we could take the next step with Clare. She needed to know that her youngest daughter wishes to live in with us after she finishes school. I knew that Clare would come with us with or without her mother's consent, but I just could not leave it like that. I had to talk to Nora. I had to make her understand that we loved Clare and would do anything to protect her.
The drive to Clare's neighborhood was rather long. There was a lot of traffic, especially when coming near her home. It was a week day morning after all. Thankfully, Clare was already at school so I did not run into her. I was sure to 'block' the bond temporarily, so Clare wouldn't know what I was doing. Clare's sister, Anna, should also be gone. My mate has told me that Anna was attending "community college". Nora, however, should still be getting ready for her work. We would be along. Perfect.
I was glad to see the structures the humans inhabited were fully constructed. The population was quite small though. There were still a few humans who were most likely running late for whatever destination they wished to reach. I was quite relieved when none of the lingering humans bothered to give me a second glace. Perhaps they have already forgotten about us Cybertronians.
I parked myself in front of Clare's house. Right in front of the driveway to be exact. If Nora tried to get into her vehicle and drive away, I would have been in her path. I just hoped that she wasn't foolish enough to try to ram her small automobile into my much larger frame. After turning my holographic form on, I climbed out of my real body and headed up to the door. Different scenario's ran through my head as I rang the door bell: Nora listening. Nora yelling at me. Nora slamming the door in my face. Nora running out and down the street, screaming. All seemed possible. Maybe.
Moments later, the door opened. Nora looked up at me and stared. Her large brown eyes widened with horror then immediately flashed with anger. Before she managed to slam the door back in my face, I stepped forward and used my body to keep the door in place. Nora struggled as she tried to push my holographic body away. With a huff, she gave up and quickly walked up stairs. I closed the door and followed her.
"Mrs. Roberts, please. I only wish to speak to you," I called out.
"Leave before I call the police," Nora said firmly. She continued to walk up the steps without turning and facing me.
"The police will not do much good for you if I contact my human friends. But I still suggest that you don't call them...unless you want me to tell Clare."
Nora whirled around on the top step. She looked so furious that I myself stopped in my tracks. For some reason, her angry stare reminded me of Clare's glare whenever someone would say something degrading to her. 'So that's where she got it from,' I thought.
"Don't you dare bring my daughter up," the human spat.
"I will and I have to," I retorted much more calmly. "I came here to talk to you about her."
"She is done with you!" she yelled. "Done! Clare has nothing to do with you anymore!"
"Yes, she does." I sucked in a deep breath, trying to keep my irritation in check. "Clare wishes to come and live with us in Washington DC after-"
"I forbid it!" she cut in. The conversation was not going too well. Then again, I did not expect Nora to be cooperative.
"Mrs. Roberts. Nora," I said gently then took another step towards her. "You know as well as I do that Clare will defy you either way." The woman clenched her jaw but her eyes watered.
"Please...just leave my family alone," she said rather weakly. I was taken aback by what she said. She sounded as if she just lost a battle.
"Nora, I am not here to hurt you, Anna, or Clare." She shook her head in disbelief.
"I already lost Jacob to your kind and I will not lose anyone else!" she cried out and began to sob. I watched as she sank down and sat at the top of the staircase. I didn't understand what she was saying. I slowly walked up the remaining steps and sat down next to the weeping human. It was very odd to see her cry especially after her cold stare and angry words.
After waiting for her to calm, I asked, "What do you mean?" Her dark eyes glared at me bitterly.
"My husband was killed by Decepticons. By your kind!"
Normally, I would have taken offense to being called a Decepticon, but I was too stunned to object. Clare has told me a few things about her father, though she has never mentioned that his name was Jacob. But, she has told me that he died in a car accident. So, this new information did not make any sense.
"Clare does not know, does she?" I asked.
"No and you will not tell her!" Nora snapped.
"As you wish. However, I truly think that you should tell her," I countered. When the female said nothing, I continued. "Clare has the right to know. Does Anna know?" Nora's silence was enough to tell me that her eldest daughter was also unaware. "How long do you think you can hide this from them?"
"I want you out of our lives!"
"At this point, that is impossible for me, my Autobots, and the Decepticons to do so. Clare is bound to me. We have, in a way, always been bound ever since she gained that scar on her chest." Nora opened her mouth, but I interrupted her. "Yes, Megatron has raped her. Yes, she has been injured." The anger reappeared in the human's eyes but I did not care anymore. She had to understand our situation. She had to understand how we feel. "Can you not see that she is not meant for a normal human life? It was her destiny to be a part of this war. And she has been thriving from her experiences." Nora said nothing. 'Perhaps a different approach,' I thought. It was obvious that Nora was quite distraught. Unconsciously, I pulled her close and held her. I was pleasantly surprised that Clare's mother did not pull away from my embrace. She merely clung to me. "Tell me about him," I murmured to her. "Tell me about your Jacob."
Nora hesitated before speaking. She told about how she met her former mate and about all the things they did. The 'dates' he took her on. As Nora told me this, I absently considered doing similar things with Clare. Nora clearly seemed to enjoy the activities. Perhaps Clare would enjoy them as well. Then Nora spoke about the ceremony humans have that bound them to their mates. A wedding, as they called it. Clare has brought up the term before but never conversed about it in much detail. I found myself quite intrigued, considering that we Cybertronians never had ceremonies like that. However, that wasn't the information I sought. As I patiently listened to Clare's mother, I realized that this was not for Clare's well being. This was mostly for Nora's instead. Nora never actually had the chance to mourn her husband's death. From what Clare and her memories have told me, Nora has never spoken about any of the things she just told me. Nora had never talked to her own daughters about their father. They must have been so young when he perished. Nora most likely thought that, because of their vague memories, they might not understand who their father was. Finally, after finishing talking about her wedding, Nora fell silent.
"You loved him," I said softly. She nodded. "And yet, you can not see the love I have for your daughter." Nora looked at me, truly looked at me. She never did believe that I loved Clare. "I love her. With all my spark. We are bound to each other, Nora. I've already told you this."
"What do you mean by 'bound'?" Nora asked quietly. I gave her a rather short explanation about spark bonds as well as mentioning the...abilities we are able to gain. "You've been talking to Clare through this...bond?" Clare's mother did not seem to fully grasp the idea, but she also did not seem to disbelieve it either.
"Yes. I am able to speak to her. I am all able to know where she is, how she is feeling, and even what she is doing. Clare can do the same with me. However, we are both able to block each other out if we wished to," I added dryly. Nora merely stared silently at the leather sack that sat on her lap. I believe Clare called it a purse. When Clare's mother said nothing, I decided to go back to Jacob. "What happened to your husband?"
"He was killed," she said simply.
"By Decepticons," I added. Nora nodded her head. "Why?"
"I was told that he saw a Decepticon in it's real form."
Nora sounded as if she wasn't fully convinced by what she was told. I wasn't very assured either. The 'excuse' behind his death seemed quite pitiful to say the least. Then again it was a Decepticon. Lower ranked Decepticons can be quite pitiful if they chose to be. However, it still did not make sense. Especially since Jacob's body was found in a car wreckage. I wanted to ask who told her about Jacob's death, but didn't. It was not the time. I had to let it go for now.
"Nora, I am not a Decepticon. I will never hurt you or anyone in your family, especially not Clare. I know she has gotten hurt, but she is not permanently damaged by it. She is strong and she would be stronger is she had your support and your help. I not only need you on our side but I also need your help in finding a suitable home for Clare. She can not stay in our base." Nora still said nothing. I let out a sigh then reached into her purse and took out her phone. After quickly adding my contact information, I placed it back into her bag. "I truly wish that we could be friends rather than enemies." I got up and left, knowing that Nora will not want anything to do with me.
Two Days Later
I watched as two NEST soldiers descended from the ceiling and land onto Ironhide's large shoulder plates. My weapon specialist immediately, though gently, shoved them off of him. The second the two humans landed on the ground, both rolled onto their backs and pointed their weapons at Ironhide's helm.
"Good!" Lennox called out then turned to the group of observing soldiers. "Remember to aim for the head, no matter what. Alright! The next two, go on!" The cluster of men groaned. They were getting agitated by the constant drills. "I know. I know," Lennox had to yell to be heard over the mutters. "We've been doing this all day. It's easy and boring. I get it. But remember, it won't be easy or boring when we're doing this to real Decepticons. Any of us cou-"
"Yeah, yeah!" one soldier snapped and stepped up. "Just put the damn harness on."
"Fine. Who else?" Another soldier stepped up and began to put the second harness on just as the first two men undid theirs'. Ironhide offlined his weaponry systems and stalked up to me just as Sideswipe took his place as the 'Decepticon'. I eyed the black mech's cannons warily.
"They were online," I said simply.
"Tch. I wasn't going to shoot anyone," the top truck muttered. "I thought it would add a little more to the training drills." I solely shook my helm. There would be no point in telling him off. "So," Ironhide said after a moment of silence. "You ready to talk about what happened with Clare's mother? You've been avoiding the subject for a couple of cycles."
"Do I really have to tell you how it went?" I said tiredly. I did not feel like talking to him. But Ironhide didn't seem to care.
"I can already tell that she doesn't want anything to do with us. All I can say about that is, don't feel so bad. We'll figure out how Clare will be able to live with us without that human's help," Ironhide said. "But I know you, Optimus. Something else happened there. Something that is really bothering you."
"It's not that something happened. It's what Nora said that bothers me," I said almost to myself.
Ironhide led me away from the others and said, "Well?" I sighed and told him what Nora told me about Jacob's death. Ironhide gave me a quizzical look before asking, "What do you think really happened?" His optics glanced around him, making sure no one was listening in.
"I do not know, Ironhide. I just...I do not know."
"Do you wish to investigate further?"
"Perhaps...but not now. I don't want to be too paranoid about this. It may be nothing."
"Whichever you want, Prime, I will do my best to assist you on the matter."
"Thank you, old friend. Now I must figure out how to bring Clare here without upsetting her mother even more than I already have."
"You will find a way," Ironhide mumbled and gave me a strong pat on my shoulder before walking off.
I watched my weapon specialist leave for a moment more before brooding again. Despite feeling somewhat better after talking to Ironhide, I still was not entirely content on either matters. I was going to really have to forget about what happened to Jacob and start thinking about Clare's future with us. I supposed that I could ask one of the NEXT soldiers for help. Or perhaps even agent Simmons.
Suddenly, a signal appeared in my comm link. At first I thought it was from Clare, since the signal was clearly not from any of my Autobots. Then I realized that the signal was unfamiliar to me. Instead of tracing where it had come from, I answered the call and heard Nora's voice.
"Optimus? I found a little condo in DC. From what I remember, it's quite close to the NEST base. I think I'll be able to buy a room for Clare."