I finished Bitter Blood earlier, and this is a piece that I had to write. It's Amelie-centric, following the end of the book

The door slammed shut, and with it went all of Amelie's composure; she hadn't held herself together as well as she ought to in the outer office, with Oliver, and yet she knew that she would be looked upon by the Glass House residents as wise…or as wise as someone like her could be. It had taken her almost a year to—finally—concede that it was time for what she had promised at her Sam's death to be implemented.

"Get out," she snapped at the dozens of workmen in her office, all of whom were concentrating extremely hard on the tasks they had been set.

Her eyes blazed with fury, fire and everything that had occurred in the past hours; she would be haunted by the betrayals and actions of those who had once been so close to her, that much was certain. And as she made eye contact with one of the workers standing closest to where she had held Oliver against the wall, he moved with haste, not bothering to even set down his tools: he could see everything that she felt, could see the hell that raged inside of her, and he was fearful.

Only when the door was closed behind her once more did Amelie feel as though she could let down the guard she had held since she had jumped from the window, since she had been suspended in midair, for the briefest of moments free from the troubles that came with what she was. Staggering, she collapsed into the chair behind her desk, unable to prevent the images running through her mind about what had happened in here prior to Myrnin's entrance, unable to stop the memories of what she—they—were doing from replaying right before her eyes.

His arms were around her, she was in his lap and all she wanted was to feel him against her; he was changing her, and she…back then, she was naïve, unaware of what he was doing. She was blissfully free of knowledge of any serious plots against her life.

She was beginning to feel as though she had a chance to feel love once more, as though she had a second chance after Sam.

It refused to stop playing in her mind, even as she closed her eyes and tried to imagine anything but earlier, anything but Oliver and things that reminded her of what she had—and yet had lost, because her sister deigned to use him against her. Once again, she had lost someone dear to her because of power struggles, and the desires of others to be in her position.

Even Oliver had managed to diminish his desire for power, to be her king, in order to be her lover…and perhaps that was what hurt the most.

It didn't stop at the discovery of his betrayal, didn't stop as she pushed him against the wall and felt her vision cloud over as she had done before; it carried on, right through the discussion the other prisoners had in the cage, through the internal struggle in her mind about whether she wanted to keep fighting. She was old, so very old, and she had been betrayed once again…in the cage, all she had wanted, for a short time, was to be left to die.

And then it hit her again: the way that Oliver was in the flames and Claire couldn't get him out; the way that all she had seen was him, all she had seen was the person who had made her feel again; the way that she had risked everything to pull him from the burning, blazing cage, thrown herself onto him to quash the flames which could have made Oliver lost from her forever. All she had wanted then was to save him from death, to be able to bring him back to her and for him to never leave her side.

But that wasn't possible.

As she returned to the present moment, Amelie's eyes were ablaze with fire and fury, an internal struggle raging. All she wanted was to be held by someone, to be told that everything was alright—but that couldn't happen. She was the Founder; she had to prove that she was strong enough to rule alone, without another by her side. That was what she needed to do.

Even as she sat there, Amelie felt the anger cooling; she was weak, not from the lack of blood as she thought previously, but from emotions she had felt twice within a year: uncontrollable sadness, a sense of despair that couldn't be righted by almost anything. They were things that she hadn't felt for so many centuries before, and yet was feeling within the same town for two entirely different men, within a year! It was absurd, Amelie felt, and that was what caused her to laugh.

She wasn't laughing because it was funny; she was laughing because if she didn't laugh, she would cry again, and she had cried enough. It had been in public that she had cried before, allowed her feelings to be shown about Oliver's betrayal, and Amelie knew that if she started to cry now, she would never stop.

So she laughed.

It didn't make her feel any better, not that she expected it would, but somehow, it helped her to come to terms with what had happened. It helped her to calm down, made her more clinical, cold, detached as she once had been. Yet she would never be able to return to being the Ice Queen of Morganville; too much had changed within her—both because of Sam and Oliver—that meant she could never regain the emotionless composure she had once possessed. Amelie wasn't sure if this was good, if feeling more human would help her in the future…because at the current moment in time, it was what made her feel increasingly vulnerable.

It was amusing in a sick, twisted way, that she had felt stronger and more confident before Naomi, when her life was in some level of danger, than she did now; now, she felt as though one word could send her crashing to her knees—and whether she could get up or not would be an issue that Amelie didn't want to have to discover the answer to.

The cold was coming back now, seeping through her body as though it was always going to come back; perhaps she was destined to be this lone ruler, someone who couldn't rely on anyone…but that couldn't be true. She had Myrnin, and he had never betrayed her; they had disagreed, but he had always come back to her, always been true to her—she should have trusted him before. Her decisions had been clouded by emotion, emotion that was too strong, too sudden to have been wholly true.

Yet she had needed someone; Sam had made her human, even for a brief period of time, and his death had left a void that she found only Oliver could fill. And even now, Amelie didn't regret letting him in to her heart, didn't regret allowing herself to feel as she did, even though it was tearing her apart at that moment in time, because she had felt alive. During the months with Oliver, whilst she had been twisted and almost corrupted by Naomi through her lover, she had experienced things that she thought were lost to her. It just now came down to whether or not her heart could heal for the second time from a tragedy that ought never to have happened to her.

Without realising it, Amelie had stood and was pacing, stopping herself when she remembered what Myrnin had said, that she had even taken on Oliver's traits. That wasn't something she wanted to remember; she had managed to ignore the changes that had occurred within her because of Sam, and she would certainly manage to do the same for Oliver.

Yet she ached to see him…and Sam. She ached to see them both, to see their faces, to feel their skin upon hers, to tell them both that she was sorry—though what she had to apologise for to Oliver was far more complex than to Sam—because that was all she craved: acceptance from the men she loved. Amelie didn't understand how she could love two men so truly at the same time—she had scoffed at those who claimed to be in love with two others equally, yet now she understood how they felt—but she was, and that was mattered.

Unfortunately for her, neither of them was accessible to her.

Amelie looked down at herself and realised that she was caked in her blood, Oliver's, and wearing a dress that reminded her far too much of that evening's events. Yet she couldn't go home; the portals were down, and even then, it would cause far too much heartache to return to somewhere she had considered sacred for herself and her lover. To smell Oliver's scent as it was in her home, as well as the secret room that was hidden away from everyone, in which Sam's scent lingered from almost fifty years ago…it would break her, destroy her probably. She would be consumed with pain and anguish, fight between fire and ice, and Amelie honestly didn't feel she had the strength for that.

(She did. She just underestimated herself.)

(And she didn't want to choose between fire and ice, because she wanted something in the middle of them both: harmony…peace.)

She felt old, frail and above all, human. And in all honesty, Amelie had no idea whether this was something that was positive, or if it would be the next in a long line of mistakes that would ultimately lead to her demise. That, she felt, could only be proved by time.

Amelie didn't want to be alone any longer. She couldn't have the two people whose touch she craved the most, and perhaps that was for the best; perhaps it would help heal the rifts caused by herself in her relationship with Myrnin, allow her to focus more upon the town and her health rather than love.

Love only served to cause harm, to Amelie at least.

Slowly, as she had walked when she approached the old woman earlier that week, Amelie walked to her door and through it, passing the workmen in her outer office on her way, her eyes fixed on the door in front of her. She had no words to say to them, and they had nothing to say to her, yet she could feel their gaze on her; it had always unnerved her to have the eyes of the populace on her, yet now, she felt strangely at home. It was just another thing which had changed about her.

Ignoring the looks of surprise as she walked past various vampires in her service, Amelie headed at the same steady speed—faster than humans walked, yet far, far slower than she was capable of moving—down the roads of Morganville, her destination clear in her mind. She didn't even need to look at the road signs to know she was headed in the right direction; the only thing she did was ensure that she took a route which didn't involve passing either Oliver's home or his establishment. Whilst she seemed calm now, seeing the physical reminders of him would only serve to drive a figurative stake through her heart.

When she arrived at the Day House, her old friend wasn't sitting on the porch. She wasn't surprised, given the lateness of the hour, but part of Amelie wanted to see Katherine before Myrnin. The old lady would understand how Amelie felt; she was human. Myrnin, for all his strengths, was almost as far from being human as a vampire who turned for the reasons he did could be, and would have no clue as to how she felt. Yet he was all he had, and she was grateful for him anyway.

The concrete was no longer in one piece; it was shattered in two, with a gap easily big enough for her body to fit through in order for a visitor to descend down the stairs. She knew she would have to sort something out—Myrnin, for all his brilliance, had never been good at housekeeping—but that was a menial task for another day.

For now, all she needed was another.

"I knew you would come here," Myrnin said from across his laboratory, and Amelie jumped; apparently, even her senses were weakened. "I was wrong, you know. If it wasn't for her, you would have been…you wouldn't have been alone any longer—oh, Amelie!" he began, but Amelie felt herself breaking apart at his words. She was crumbling, becoming nothing but a shrivelled mess because of love—what a hateful, cruel word!—and she hated it.

"Don't say it," she whispered. "Don't say it, because then it is true…and oh God, how do you know that it is true?" she continued, her voice agonisingly broken, as Myrnin flashed across the laboratory and pulled her into his arms. She felt like a child as he rocked her, pulling her into his lap as he took a seat on his couch, yet she was safe, and felt as though she was cared for. With Myrnin, she was safe—she always had been.

"You know how I know," he breathed into her ear, and Amelie had a moment's thought about her friend, rather than herself: he was in love with Claire, and he knew how to recognise that. "Yet that is irrelevant. Love is irrelevant to the pair of us, Amelie, it seems…and whilst that is sad, it is the truth. It only serves to destroy, and whilst I hope with all my heart that that fact will change, it is true for the moment."

Myrnin wiped a tear from her cheek, and Amelie nodded slowly. The fire continued to blaze inside of her, tearing through every part, but it would soon subside once more; it did before, and it always had done in the past. Before, it had been masked by the ice, yet now, she was entirely exposed to the fire's destruction of her on the inside, entirely prone to whatever her feelings wanted her to feel, and that scared her as well as comforted her.

"You have always been the truest of friends to me, Myrnin," Amelie murmured through the sobs that wracked her body. "I am sorry that—" she began, but he cut her off, pressing one long finger to her lips.

"We do not speak of regret in here," he told her, staring deep into her eyes. He was sane, something which shocked her given what he had just discovered about Claire's departure, and that meant that he was fighting for her. He was fighting so that she could be comforted…and that told Amelie just how true a friend she had almost thrown away. "In here, we speak only of how we can be happy and move on from this moment on, my dear Amelie."

She nodded slowly, feeling the tears begin to abate as she curled her face back up into Myrnin's chest. "You are right, as always, my friend. When have you not?"

He laughed slightly, one of slight amusement yet one that reminded Amelie of how she had laughed earlier, and she knew that he was barely holding himself together. He needed her friendship as much as she needed his. "I don't know about that—I was wrong about Claire, after all—but I must say, I thank you for the addition to the laboratory," he said, beginning seriously, yet his tone soon lightened.

Curious, Amelie looked up from his chest, puzzled as to what she had added to his laboratory. "Besides myself, Myrnin, I have put nothing in here recently…what are you talking about?"

Myrnin managed to shift so that Amelie was cradled in his arms—something that she would permit for tonight—and so he could stand, moving swiftly across the laboratory. "Pennywell's dead form does make for a nice decoration in here, my dear," he told her, his voice far brighter than it had been even moments ago. "Though…is that blood? On my only copy of the works of Isaac Newton? Is it? And is…is that the Glass boy's scent? On the book?" his rage was growing, and yet suddenly, all Amelie wanted to do was sleep.

She could worry about the problems facing her tomorrow, make a decision about how to close the door in her mind to the lost loves of her life, and potentially decide how to make plans for the future. But now, she had a different focus in mind.

"You still have my things from the eighteen hundreds, do you not, Myrnin?" she asked, and he nodded. "Very well. I will change…and then I shall stay the night, if you do not mind?"

Myrnin made no response, merely to sweep down low and allow Amelie to stand graciously; she felt no desire for blood she required, merely an empty ache in her chest that she hoped could be filled with something soon. "It shall be a pleasure, my dear," he told her, remaining low in order to press his lips to her hand. "I do always love to have house guests…though we shall have to share the bed. I don't take well to sleeping on sofas."

Amelie merely laughed; it was a small sound, one that barely existed, but it did; it showed her that she had a light at the end of the tunnel, a chance for happiness to return to her in the future.

"That is quite alright, Myrnin," she said, turning to walk down towards his bedroom. "But only if you no longer kick in your sleep…it was rather irritating when we were forced to share a bed before."

Inside, she was a raging battle of fire and ice, but right now, Amelie didn't have the energy to care. That was a battle for the morning.

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I'll maybe write more BB stuff soon, so stay tuned!