No no… this wasn’t right. Evey wasn’t supposed to be nervous around him. They were best friends. He was supposed to be her rock, her comfort, her lighthouse in a storm. Vance couldn’t stand the look on her face. He’d do just about anything to make it go away.
He scooted closer, placing one hand over hers. “Evey. I’d do anything for you. I’ve got some ammo at home. It’s yours if you want it.” He knew why she needed it. He didn’t have to ask questions. Vance wanted to put his arms around her. Needed to protect her from the terror behind her words.
“You um… know how to shoot I’d assume?” His thumb idly rubbed a pattern on the back of her hand, trying to ease the tension in her body as much as he could.
There was always an odd shiver that coursed through Evey’s body when Vance touched her. She would have moved her hand except for the fact that she simply didn’t want to. He was the comforting kind. The kind of man who made her feel as if everything was going to be alright eventually and that she had nothing to really be concerned about. When Vance was around, there were no nightmares. It was just them and the sense of security that she so desperately needed.
“I can’t say that I’m any good, but I can hold a gun and not fall on my ass when I shoot it. My aim is terrible, but that’s why I’m tryin’ to practice.”
She smiled weakly at him, her shoulders sagging as she gave up her facade. He didn’t seem too concerned about where she’d acquired a gun, but more or less was willing to make sure she knew how to handle it well, which was more than she could ask for at a time like this. A time when she knew that her world would soon be turned upside down.
Jessie felt short of breath as Evey’s fingers ran up his arms, his eyes wide and intent on her face as she finally spoke. The corners of his lips twitched up as he grinned an impossibly boyish grin that made the man who had come to be known for his brooding glower look years younger.
“Absolutely.” He whispered, his fingers slipping into her hair as she reached up to kiss him. His free arm snaked around her waist as he pulled her somehow even more tightly against him.
There was an urgency, a need that fueled the kiss; to be understood, needed, wanted, on both of their parts. His lips moved against hers, tasting them as though she were the sweetest thing in creation, and to him…she was.
They stumbled back slightly, kissing with an enthusiastic fervor, until his back hit her dresser, sending things toppling over. Laughing against her lips and not wasting a moment, he picked her up, his hands grasping her legs as they staggered towards her kitchenette counter and he sat her down, now level with her.
His hands trailed up her legs, still wrapped around his waist, till they came to rest on her hips, squeezing lightly as she held his face. They were so focused on one another, not even the raging storm or howling wind could distract them.
His tenderness was a welcome gesture, one that made her quake when his hands slid up her bare flesh. They were ravenous for one another, and she was far more urgent than she could ever remember being. Jessie was the perfect kind of distraction from her woes. He found ways to constantly revive her, ways to make her realize that life was no lost on her, but instead had possibly just been found. She’d been so hesitant with him, so guarded, and now she was finally realizing that she was making all the wrong moves.
She gripped him tightly, grasping the concept of her own urgency as her fingers slipped into his damp hair. Their once playful banter hand suddenly become urgent, and extremely serious, but she wasn’t afraid. Instead she craved it. The caring, the loving intent. She wanted every ounce of it, practically begged for it, as if she’d never been loved before in her life, and she was sure that she hadn’t been. Not like this.
Autumn shrugged, “I could be wrong, which I probably am, no doubt. But Perhaps it’s because you’re not embracing the dreams? By trying to push away your natural talent you’re making them nightmares. But if you’re having trouble with nightmares, it might be a good idea to talk to Eiji. He’s helped me with some sleeping remedies.
When Evey began to get up, a heavy sigh left her lips, “No! Evey!” She caught up to her and grabbed her arm. “Before you write it all off, maybe you should go talk to Zelda. I want to figure things out just as bad as you do. But… Just…. Just give it a chance.” Autumn realized that once again, through her contact with Evey she felt everything she was feeling.
A small gasp left her lips as she stumbled back, a hand coming to her mouth as she looked down at her other hand, shaking slightly. “I’m so sorry.” She whispered. She wasn’t sure if she was apologizing for grabbing her arm or for the onslaught of emotions she received from her.
Evey was terrified, stumbling back herself as she watched the expression change on Autumn’s face. She new the face all too well, as it was one that she’d worn far too many times when she woke up from her nightmares. She could sense that Autumn was different, that she somehow was able to tell just what was going on in her head as soon as she touched her.
Clamping a hand over her mouth, Evey pushed through the door, tears welling in her eyes at the way Autumn had apologized. She knew this was just the beginning, but it seemed like it had been happening over a course of a lifetime now, and she wasn’t sure how much longer she would last.
The moment the red head started retelling her tale of woe, the pencil in Gordon’s hand was moving across the page of his notebook, quoting her word for word in the shorthand that he had learned and tweaked in the Air Service. To anyone else, his notes would be illegible.
He listened as she spoke, taking in the detail without missing a word on paper. What she was saying thus far coincided with Holbrook’s version, with the difference that he hadn’t quite got the drop on the bank teller and she had struggled, which had resulted in her being stabbed.
When she mentioned the damp place he nodded, having been told the same by all the surviving victims thus far. What she said afterwards however, gave him pause. There was nothing ‘simple’ about rape, but he had to wonder if Evey hadn’t been a purposed victim of one heinous act that had evolved and resulted in her being the victim of a very different sort.
“Take your time, Evey.” Gordon said gently, looking up at her with a guarded face. He himself knew that nobody enjoyed being pitied, but pity and sympathy were easy things to confuse and he didn’t want to upset her if she read something wrong in his face.
Evey continued with her story, going into detail about the strange way the slasher took care of her, yet kept her so drugged up she hardly remembered a thing. It was an insane story to recall, one that sent chills down her spine and worse. Her visions came about plenty, but she was willing to sacrifice her sanity for a while if that meant that the police could get closer to finding this person. She needed them to, or else she knew she would always feel like she was running from something.
Gordon was intent listening. she could tell, and he was nice enough not ot express too much emotion when she told the gory details. She wasn’t ‘peeled’ like the others. she had been carved. Strange marks riddled her stomach and her thighs, but not too many. It was as if the slasher was too afraid to ruin her flesh. As if every time a mark was made they realized they weren’t doing their job right.
Then it was abruptly over. She didn’t recall being taken to the woods, nor did she recall the burlap sack or the moment when Dierdra found her. But she recited the events with an ominous tone, her hand grasping a glass of water as she looked out the window.
Evey could feel the tension coming from Laurel, and as much as she would have liked to ignore it, her instincts told her otherwise. There was something about her dream, her vision that made Evey uneasy about the woman in front of her. Although she wasn’t able to see it, persay - the redhead was weary of the odd look in her eyes. The strange detachment from reality that seemed to be like a small bit of darkness just past her pupils.
“I-” She fumbled, trying to think of the best way possible to approach the now strange situation she had gotten herself into. “It wasn’t a favorite of mine, if I should be so bold to say so. There weren’t many details…. but I do know that you have the ability to make something of yourself if you don’t let whatever it is that plagues you to overtake your senses… or your sanity.”
That word “plague” hit a nerve in Laurel. It wasn’t so much an insult as an unwanted jolt back into reality. This girl was concerned that something plagued her, and something did - her past. Laurel had to keep that secret deep inside her. Only a handful of people knew that secret, and that’s the way she wanted to keep it.
Letting her mind slip back into the “public persona” she had developed, Laurel returned the pleasant smiling mask to her face. “So let me see if I understand you correctly… You saw my face, but you did not see what happened to me or what the danger was physically? Pardon me for saying so, but I wouldn’t put much stock in dreams. You could have easily seen me in passing one day, so my face showed up subconsciously in your dreams.” Thinking on her last statement, Laurel realized she’d been spending too much time with her shrink.
Evey was never one for confrontation, nor did she particularly feel like that she was getting negative feedback from the woman in front of her, but that didn’t mean she could stop the strange feelings that welled in the pit of her stomach. This woman was capable of madness. She’d done it before and was more than willing to do it again if the tables turned on her. Such an innocent face, so many secrets. Evey could remember the feeling, the sense of lunacy that this woman held in her dream, and she refused to delve into it any further, even when she knew she had hit the nail on the head.
“I - my apologies, Laurel..” She stammered, pushing out of her seat so abruptly that it tipped over. Evey swore to herself, picking the chair back up before replacing it with a nervous smile. “You’re right. It was not my place to concern you with such matters.”
Evey. His Evey in a way. In the way that he’d always be there for her the minute she needed him. In the way that Vance would fight the fires of hell for her if he had to and in the way that’d he’d probably be spending forever hoping one day she’d noticed him the way he wanted her to. Vance had always felt this way, from the first day he’d set eyes on her. Even going off to college hadn’t changed a thing between them.
She was shaking. Her hands vibrating the water glass, causing little ripples at the surface. Vance wanted to reach out and cover her hands with his, but there were a lot of things he wanted to do to Evey that would never be done. So instead, the young man took a seat across from his friend and smiled, comfortingly at her.
“Bullets?” Vance was confused. His eyebrows quirked up at her as she spoke, an inquisitive expression plastered across his face. “V, what do you need bullets for? And why would you come to a mechanics shop for them? I mean I have some, but they are back at home.” He was confused and the man sought answers for his questions in his friend’s face, only finding more when her body language kept him guessing. Something wasn’t right and Vance needed to know what, because how the was he supposed to protect her if he didn’t know what was going on.
Evey really hadn’t even thought about the words that left her mouth until it was a little too late. Scotty had told her specifically to talk to Tommy about the gun, but instead she’d been caught off guard. Never had she needed to have the discussion with anyone before, espicially when she was only supposed to be shooting the thing with some sort of supervision, but now not only was she in trouble, she possibly just opened up a whole can of worms.
“Oh…. I ..” She started, a lump forming in her throat as she eyed Vance nervously. “That’s why I came to you..I thought maybe, you could help me out? I-“
She was too nervous, and surely he could tell something was up. She’d never been good at lying, nor masking her own intentions. Things were even worse now that she wasn’t getting rest. She was beyond weary anymore and it frightened her to think just what would happen if she wasn’t lucid enough to thwart off another attacker. She was frightened, and was desperate now for any help she could get.
Vance sighed softly as she turned around. Just as he thought, Evey couldn’t even stand the sight of his bare pasty skin. The mechanic hung his head as he slipped the tank top over it, pulling it down to cover his body. “More of what exactly?” Vance had no idea what she was talking about, the only time he ever saw her in their shop was before their lunches.
“Yeah, no longer blinding anyone with my translucent skin.” Vance moved over to the table and picked up a clean glass, filling it with the ice water he had made because of the intense heat. The young man didn’t even have to ask whether the redhead wanted water, he sort of just knew, observing her actions and their surrounding. It also helped that he knew Evey rather well. Vance handed her the glass and slid a clean chair over to where his friend was standing.
‘God you’re gorgeous.’ Vance thought, trying hard not to stare at his friend. The more time they spent together, the harder it was for Vance to be around her without feeling more and more like an idiot for even having the smallest bit of hope she’d see him as something besides a good friend. “So more what?” He tugged a chair in front of hers and flipped it around, sitting on it backwards.
Their relationship had never consisted of anything but children’s games, talking and platonic friendship. Vance had always been a great friend, but since coming back from university, it seemed things had changed. She hadn’t really noticed them before, but when it was right there before her eyes, there was no denying the man his dues.
With slightly shaky hands, Evey took the water, suddenly more parched now than she was when she had first walked through the door. She could tell that Vance was unaware of what he looked like to the rest of the female population, and for a moment she had ogled him as if she were one of the masses.
Blinking, she pushed the thoughts away, forcing herself to smile sweetly at him as he offered her a seat and a glass of water. As distracting as Vance may have been, he was still her friend, and she still needed assistance. With fidgeting hands, she held her glass, rubbing her thumb over the condensation that had already begun to accumulate.
“Bullets. I’ve run out.” She sighed, her eyes following the melting cubes of ice in her glass. “Seems I’m still pretty terrible at shooting, and I ran out about a month ago. Money is a little tight at the moment and I’m just now able to afford a couple extra to practice with.”
Evey. Of course. Vance smiled wide, a Cheshire cat grin he was unable to hid from his friend. She was always the person he wanted to see, but she looked a bit different that usual. Vance glanced at her then followed the redhead’s eyes downward. Surely she wasn’t looking at him. No, there’s no way. If it was one thing Vance knew, it was that Evey would never see him the way he’d want to be seen. It was just a fact of life the young mechanic had come to accept.
“Sorry… it was hot.” Vance moved over to the table and scrambled a bit to find his tank top and a rag. He proceeded to run the cloth over his torso, trying to clean off the oil stains painted on his skin as he spoke. “Um… so what brings you here? I thought I wouldn’t see you until lunch tomorrow? Not that I mind seeing you more often of course… I just wasn’t expecting company, but your company is always welcome… and… sorry. You’re probably here for a reason.” Vance hated how he rambled sometimes. It made him feel like a fool, but at least he knew Evey was used to it by now and wouldn’t judge him too harshly for it. Vance tugged his tank top on, hoping she would forgive him for not being properly dressed when she came in.
Vance’s voice seemed to snap Evey out of her revelry, her eyes squeezing shut in order to block the man from her view. Unfortunately for the redhead, the vision of him was already embedded into her memory, and she wasn’t sure she would ever be able to rid herself of it, or if she really wanted to.
Clearing her throat, she smiled, opening her eyes again just as he pulled the white cloth across his stomach, an instant lump forming in her throat again as she turned away in order to give him some privacy.
“I - I know lunch tomorrow, but I kinda ran out of something that I needed and I…. well I need more.”
She chose her words carefully as she spoke. Evey was notorious for putting her foot in her mouth or worse at times, and although she was quite naive, she had a tendency to insinuate something completely tactless if she didn’t use a filter.
“You have your shirt on yet?” She squeaked, still looking away shyly, her knuckles white as her fingers clung to the hem of her dress.
It was hot. Fucking scorching and the fans in the shop just weren’t doing the trick. Vance had already folded down his coveralls, leaving him in just his pants, oil stains streaking his pale skin. If it wasn’t dangerous to fix cars naked, Vance might’ve given it a go that afternoon. Before he could contemplate working in just his boxers, there was a knock on the door of the garage. He slid out from under his current piece of work and looked up, smiling at the figure in the doorway.
After practicing with the gun Evey had purchased from the shop, and getting quite good at it, she was in desperate need of ammo. A careful girl had to always have reinforcements, and Evey was the most weary of them all. Even though she had no idea what kind of gun she owned, she wanted to make sure she could use it; she needed to be prepared for anything.
What she wasn’t prepared for was Vance. For a moment she thought she might have been hallucinating, but after multiple takes, he was still standing there, still half naked and still making her limbs feel as if they were failing, as well as her vital organs.
She gawked at him unknowingly, her purse slipping from her arm as her eyes mindlessly drifted from his broad shoulders to his chiseled hips- her lower lip slipping between her teeth unknowingly as he smiled back at her.