Just a weird thought that popped into my head. I rarely do one shots so reviews with advice would be useful- I kind of suck at them. I've nicked a couple of paragraphs from Ms. Cain's Last Breath (page 228), but after that it's all my own.
Starting just before Magnus kills Claire.
Don't go, Claire wanted to say. She managed to croak something out, but Eve was already gone.
Claire dropped the groceries and staggered into the living room. It felt like water was turning to ice on her skin, and the cold was sinking deeper and deeper...
I have to tell Amelie what I saw. What I know.
Eve's indistinct voice was still talking upstairs. The house seemed warm around her, as if it was fighting to make her feel better. Feel safer.
But she wasn't safe, and Claire knew that. Nobody was safe.
The shadows stirred and for a second Claire saw the grey man from outside the grocery store and her body threatened to collapse again, but then Myrnin stepped forwards into the light.
Claire sagged against the back of the sofa, shivers running the length of her, relief making her already weak body want to curl up and hide from the world.
"Myrnin." She breathed, too tired to see the fey look in his eyes, the agitated, tight movement of thinly veiled madness as he stepped forward, catching her as the world tilted again.
"What happened, little Claire?" His clothes were wet and his hair was plastered against his head, sticking up in some places and dripping rainwater into his eyes. Claire's mind flashed back to him holding her in the rain- 'Where's Shane?'- and with and effort she pulled away from him. She still hadn't quite forgiven what he'd done.
"Claire?" his eyes questioned hers as another wave of shivers and nausea swept through her. Claire was aware of her soaked clothes leaving a mark on the sofa beneath her, and there was a small puddle forming at her feet. She couldn't get the image of the man that was not a man out of her head. She needed to tell Amelie but... Myrnin was here. He was second best to Amelie at the moment.
"I saw...something." she started, teeth chattering and trying not to remember the sound of him- it- sloshing through the iron grate into the water system. "It took-it took Oliver. Outside the grocery store." Tears burned hot in her eyes, and she felt sick at the replays in her head. "It lead him outside and he jumped through the grate into the water system, and then it just dissolved." She chattered out, chilled to the core with horror and the wet.
Myrnin was quiet for a moment, and Claire noticed that he hadn't let go of her yet. She should probably care about that, but it didn't seem to matter anymore. Nobody was safe.
"Claire, what you saw heralds the beginning of the end." He said softly, an ancient fear in his eyes as he stared over her, as if seeing another time. "He will not stop, he never stops, and they always come for us in time." Claire didn't really know what he was talking about, but she stayed quiet. Myrnin was afraid. Even more afraid than he had been at the sight of the letter from Blacke, and even though she was shaken and scared, she couldn't help but question why.
"So we run, Claire. We will always run. And we leave everything that we cannot carry behind, start afresh somewhere new." His eyes met hers. "The vampires are leaving Morganville." He said. "And we won't be coming back."
Claire felt...empty. She hadn't been here long, really, but she'd never thought of a Morganville without vampires. She supposed that most people dreamed of it, but things had changed since she'd arrived. Maybe humans and vampires weren't equal, but things weren't as bad as they had been. But, Claire guessed, a Morganville without vampires would be like a normal town. A town where you didn't have to be heavily armed to have a nighttime stroll. A town where taxes weren't paid in blood, sometimes with your life. And that, Claire thought, couldn't be a bad thing.
"How soon?" she asked.
"This very moment. But don't you see, Claire? We are already too late. Too late to save those already taken- they were lost the moment they clapped eyes on him. Too late to pack away treasured belongings. Too late to-" Myrnin choked off, his eyes wild and a little desperate, as if he was trying to convey some hidden meaning.
Claire was suddenly aware of how much danger she was in, not from the monster that had taken Oliver, but from Myrnin. He was manic and panicked and Claire knew that it could go south very, very quickly, and there would be nothing that she could do about it.
Myrnin's hands were gripping Claire's shoulders and he was looking directly into her eyes. They were close, too close really for employer/employee contact, but that wasn't really on Claire's mind.
"Myrnin, tell me what is going on. Who's coming? Why?" Without thinking, Claire reached out to him, one hand fisting into the fabric of his ridiculously large coat, the other moving his hair out of his eyes. Myrnin pulled her closer, leaning his forehead against hers.
"Not who, Claire, what. The draug. And they are already here. You've seen them, though I don't know how. Magnus has long since perfected the art of hiding from us until it is too late."
Myrnin had suddenly gone very, very calm. Dangerously calm. He pulled back from Claire, tilting her face to look at him, his eyes deep, dark orbs. The fey look was back again, but Claire was having a hard time thinking. She felt dizzy and faint and right now, Myrnin was the only thing keeping her up right.
"Amelie won't leave anything behind for them to find us by. Do you understand, Claire? Nothing. She would rather see Morganville burning with her enemies inside than flee without a second thought. I was instructed to pack everything that I required and leave with the first evacuation." Myrnin levelled his gaze at her, and Claire wanted to run, because this conversation was taking a tract that wasn't good. She needed to warn Eve and Shane and Michael, and anyone else who would listen, because Myrnin was right; Amelie would rather kill them all than let her enemies live.
"I have to go. Myrnin, I have to tell Shane-"
"There is nothing you can do, Claire! You can't stop it. I've already programmed Frank, and only Amelie would be able to change this now, and she won't. Not for any of us."
"But they've taken Oliver! And Naomi. She wouldn't leave them to die."
Myrnin looked a little bit desperate now. "We do not go back for those who are taken. We cannot- we would only risk ourselves, and for no gain. No one can escape them."
Claire felt cold and helpless. For so long, vampires had been the biggest problem she'd had to face, but now there was more. Darker, more dangerous things than vampires had come, so deadly that even the vampires themselves ran away.
"At least let me tell someone, Hannah or Richard. At least give us a chance." She pleaded.
Myrnin went stock still, his arms pinning her against the back of the sofa. "Claire, it will achieve nothing. They will not listen to you. They are too busy with their thoughts of freedom, of peace, to listen to one who tells them it is all a lie."
"So you want me to just let you blow us up? Not going to happen, Myrnin." Claire snapped at him, shoving him backwards and pushing past him towards the kitchen. She needed to call somebody, anybody who would be able to spread the word.
Myrnin swore under his breath in Welsh, grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, one arm pinning her to his chest, the other covering her mouth. She could see herself reflected in the mirror on the wall as she tried to scream and wriggle out of his grip, but it was like trying to escape an iron vice- impossible. She went perfectly still, hoping that Myrnin might relax his grip, or at least let go of her mouth.
Claire was shivering again. The house temperature had plummeted in protest to Myrnin's attack and she could see her breath in the air. She was soaked to the skin and had a bone deep chill, but the fear wasn't getting any better. Myrnin was in a terrifying mood, flipping from panicked desperation to chilling calm in under a second, and Claire was trapped and too fragile to cope with it at that moment. She'd done everything she'd known she shouldn't do; she'd been weak, and now she was going to pay for it.
She could still hear Eve upstairs, talking to- presumably- Michael or Shane and clomping around in her room getting towels. Myrnin's eyes flickered upwards as he registered it too.
"I'm sorry, Claire. But it's the only way." And he did sound sorry, but he always did before he did something he knew he shouldn't and Claire didn't want to wait to find out what he was about to do. Myrnin like this was capable of anything, and Claire wasn't in a good place. She shook her head a little, pleading with her eyes.
Myrnin looked a little bit lost and sad, but focussed and determined too. Red pooled in his dark eyes and his fangs snapped down. Claire began to struggle franticly, with about as much success as she'd had before. She watched Myrnin cringe a little in their reflection before dipping his head to her neck.
"Forgive me, fy annwyl." He murmured, and Claire could feel his lips brush against her throat, before his fangs bit deep, and the pain started. Claire kicked and screamed but her kicks where futile and her screams were muffled by Myrnin's hand. She could still hear Eve upstairs, running a bath for her, singing along to a Florence and the Machine song that she'd played in the car before. Blackness crept around her vision, and her struggles weakened. Slowly, her sluggish brain caught up with what was happening. 'I was instructed to pack everything I needed. The vampires are leaving.'
Claire couldn't stand up any longer, her body collapsing against Myrnin. He shifted his hold to support her, removing his hand from her mouth and absently stroking her hair. The pain in her throat was a dull ache now; she didn't have the energy to scream. Claire slipped away into darkness with a pang of loss. I'm sorry, Shane. I'm sorry everyone keeps leaving you. And then she was gone, and only dimly aware of the feel of a portal opening, and being cradled in Myrnin's arms.
Glass House was silent as Eve came downstairs, talking to a Claire that could no longer hear her. "It's really pouring out there." She said, rubbing at her hair with a towel. "I don't think it's letting up any time soon. They boys should be back in a couple of minutes- they hadn't gotten very far."
She reached the bottom of the stairs and let the towel slip down to hang around her neck. She was carrying another one, neatly folded. "Claire? Are you in the kitchen? Get me a Coke!"
Eve started to walk in that direction when she slipped in the water that had run off Myrnin and Claire's clothes. She caught her balance, and, as she bent to wipe it up, was at just the right angle to see a tiny splash of red in the bottom corner of the mirror on the wall.
Eve came slowly upright. "CB?" She sounded quiet and breathless. Eve scanned the room, feeling watched and on edge, and noticed a folded piece of paper on the floor by the wall that Claire could make into a portal.
She approached it cautiously, still checking for signs of Claire or an intruder or both. The paper was thick and heavy, but scribbled on all over one side with strange symbols and equations.
Claire is safe. Leave while you can.
Myrnin set Claire carefully in her seat, buckling her in. The coach was new and clean, but it smelt of petrol and other people, and there was little room for luggage. What little he could fit into his suitcase would be all that he owned soon enough.
Claire stirred, trying to struggle out of the induced stupor he'd placed her under. He had no doubt that when she woke she would hate him, and as she was now a vampire, he would bear it for hundreds of years to come. Once again he'd betrayed every trust she'd placed in him, and so soon after he'd attacked her Shane. But it was a chance he took to keep her alive, and his. She would not be alone; she had the boy Michael, also unconscious, and him. He would keep her safe now, always.
And as the coach rumbled into life and humans began to gather in Founder's Square, awaiting their freedom, Myrnin received the text alert that would decide whether or not she might ever forgive him.
Border breach: Eve Rosser (F18MC) Shane Collins (M19MC) Police dispatch denied.
Please review with thoughts/advice and general feelings. I hope it all made sense, and just to say that exams are coming up, so Guilty and Mind Games will have to be put on pause until late June. : ( I did use a lot of Rachel Caine's original writing in this, particularly the first paragraphs and the second section, so I don't own any of that genius.
I hope the weather is better wherever you are. :D