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The Past Revisited



 
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Dessa Chambers

Ever since getting her memories back, there was one person she wanted to see. Not wanted. Needed to see. It had been so long, but for her, those memories felt like they just happened. The pain she felt having to cast that spell. Being given the ultimatum. “Find a way to forget Jackson, or I will kill him." William's voice rang clearly through her thoughts. Forget him or he'll die. What other choice did she have? She couldn't fight William. They wouldn't have lasted if they ran away. Both of them would have died. Forgetting him kept him alive.

But that wasn't the only part that hurt. What hurt the most was the memory of running into him some time later. This boy, acting as if he knew her. The hurt on his face now seared into her mind when she replied, completely baffled, with a 'Who are you?'. It didn't even look like he could come up with a thought that wasn't hurt. His ego was shot. His heart, broken. He'd been ready to drop his pack, his alpha, for her. She'd seen how much of a family his pack was to him and he was willing to leave it all behind...for her. It didn't matter how complicated her sh*t was. She'd never forgive herself for that. But she also never would have forgiven herself if she let him be killed. There was no winning this battle she held within.

The one thing that kept her from feeling completely sorry for herself was the wistful look on his face when she bumped into him as Dylan at Livia's club. She recognized him, but he didn't recognize her. But it prompted him to recall, when she had been residing in the club before taking her life, how she still had no idea who he was to her. It meant he didn't hate her, right? Wishful thinking, as always. It'd been fourteen years. He wouldn't have pined away for her for fourteen years. Not after that look. Besides, she was pretty sure he was married now.

Like any normal person would do, she found out where he'd been staying lately. A home in London when he wasn't at Azhi since Livia closed the club. And even more completely and totally normal behavior, Dessa would follow him. He almost caught her a few times, but luckily she was just a touch faster at getting out of his line of sight than he was at turning around. It didn't take long to pick up a pattern. She was surprised by the one place he kept going to. She shouldn't have been. She knew about the anger issues...She also knew he had learned to keep himself in check. But again, fourteen years was a long time.

Her curiosity got the better of her one night and she entered what should have been an abandoned building. She’d been watching long enough to know how to get in. She had her money ready when she was greeted by a short, unpleasant man. He wasn’t unpleasant to her. At least, not in a nasty way. If she hadn’t been there for Jackson, Dessa probably would have immensely enjoyed toying with the man. Instead, she handed him some money. Probably more than what was normal for most people here, considering the way his eyes bugged out as he scanned the cash. “On Skinner, if you would.” He gave an exaggerated nod and barely muttered confirmation, too fixated on the cash, but he did manage to point her in the direction she needed to go to enjoy the fight.

Dessa really didn’t know what to expect and for the first time in a very long time, she felt nervous. They hadn’t met face to face, with both of them knowing each other in a long long time. Even that moment in the club he described to her, it wasn’t an official meeting. It was just in passing. She was sure it hadn’t hurt him as much as the first time. Even though she had the nerves, she was hopeful. This could hurt her, as much as she told herself she didn’t care about the outcome, so long as she told him what happened.

She pushed her way closer to the front with little protest from the others. If they did, she flashed her best predatory smile. Humans were so pathetic. She shoved those thoughts away. No need to go cold now when she needed to deal with her emotions.

There were a few ‘warm up’ fights that nearly made her regret coming at all. Not to mention all the second thoughts she was having about this. Was it really necessary for her to drag all this back up for him? Yes. It was definitely necessary, otherwise she’d drive herself mad with a million what ifs and the guilt of what she had done would eat away at her. She didn’t need that. So it was a purely selfish thing on her end. What else was new?

A few yawns and lackluster performances later, Jackson was announced. The crowd livened up at that point. A fan favorite, of course. She didn’t sense anything supernatural about the other fighters, so obviously, he won all of his fights. When Jackson and his opponent hit the main floor, he made a show about the fight, letting his opponent get in a few hits, pretending to be hurt. That was, until his gaze landed on her. He was showing off to his audience while his opponent tried to pick himself off the floor.

And all Dessa could do was stare.
August 17, 2018 01:11 am

Jackson McCarthy

For someone who used to thrive in unknown environments, unexpected situations and the thrill of the fight, Jackson’s life had become rather mundane. He followed a loose routine most days. Eat, drink, fight, sleep. The fights were increasing and the sleep was decreasing. Not that he really needed the sleep anyway. He could go days without sleeping if he really wanted to, but his life was in such a limbo, he really didn’t know what to do with himself most days.

Gone were the days of random hookups, parties, and whatever the hell else he used to do. Mindless routine seemed to be his new normal. It was probably for the best. Jackson wasn’t entirely sure he was meant for a happy life. After being turned, his issues with his anger, mixed with the bloodlust of the wolf resulted in the death of his family. The pack he joined afterwards...They were family, but not. It was nice to have protection, especially with how young and new he had been to his new life. Still, he couldn’t quite get with the pack mentality. He’d rather be on his own, doing his own thing.

Then he met someone. Most people would have called it, ironically, puppy love. Something that wouldn’t have lasted. They’d been sixteen, after all. His Alpha said it was just the change making him feel that way. Much like vampires, their emotions weren’t normal. Their bodies were going through something crazy and because of that, they couldn’t trust their emotions for awhile. Jackson disagreed. She was like him, in a sense. She had a secret and she understood the struggles he was going through. In truth, he believed she understood it a lot better than he did as she’d been dealing with it her whole life. Jackson didn’t have the faintest idea any supernatural sh*t existed until he was turned and it was explained to him.

Then, as if he hadn’t already been through enough in his short life, she left. Through no fault of her own, he knew that, but it didn’t stop the feeling of betrayal, abandonment...He planned to take off with her. They could run for as long as needed. He’d become resourceful. They would survive. She didn’t believe they would ever be safe if they did that. Someone held her life in their hands and she was terrified of them. Terrified that they would kill him if she tried to leave. Being the c*ckly little **** that he was, easily said he’d kill them for her. That’s how much he believed that this wasn’t just some whacked out emotional response to being a new wolf.

He didn’t know what happened, not for a long time. He generally stayed away from Brooklyn after that. There wasn’t anything there for him, but he found himself there one night for a party. She was there. Probably scouting out an assignment. However, when he approached her, she didn’t have a clue who he was. He couldn’t tell if she was faking or something had been done to her. At the time, it didn’t matter. She could have gotten into an accident and innocently enough lost her memory. In the moment, anger built up inside of him. He wouldn’t hurt her, no matter how hurt he was, so he left. The poor person he ran into as he was trying to stop himself from becoming self destructive? Not so lucky.

Jackson moved to Los Angeles after that night, so that, unless she ended up moving there, he wouldn’t have to deal with another night like that. The next years were filled with one night stands, endless partying and making money by winning any underground fights he could find. He would get caught up with the wrong sorts and move from city to city until it all caught up to him. A farce of a marriage, a kidnapping and finding someone he cared about followed. He thought he’d found someone that wouldn’t leave him. They were both broken beyond repair, but they understood each other. Yet there was always something keeping them apart. And this time he believed they were apart for good. He’d left his ring in their apartment and got himself a new one.

Which brought him to the present, a couple of years after handing the club back to Livia and her closing it. He felt more than his share of guilt about that, but he wasn’t, still isn’t, in the mindset to be leading people. So he threw himself back into the fights. The money wasn’t needed, the distraction was. And perhaps it was a bit of punishment. Often times he would let his opponents get multiple hits in before fighting back. They were easy to take down, a few hits weren’t going to bother him, even if he wished they did.

He was doing that, but he could feel the room growing bored. They came for a show and he wouldn’t let them down. Jackson hit his opponent hard enough to knock him down for a few seconds. They would recover easily from the hit, but it gave him enough time to amp up the crowd. And then, there was a ghost.

Well, she wasn’t a ghost, but she should have been. She stared. And he could tell she knew exactly who he was. He stared back. It took a lot to take him off guard and Dessa managed to do it just by being in the audience and making eye contact with him. He could hear his opponent rushing up behind him. Jackson was almost frozen to the spot. Fourteen years and this is how she decides to make their reunion. As if there was even a need for one. He was over her. He was over what she did to him. Which was why he always found himself in totally stable and fulfilling relationships. Right…

At the very last second, the crowd now wondering who the hell the woman he was staring at was, he spun around and landed a very nasty kick to his ribs, likely cracking a few of them. He was down for the count and Jackson promptly left, much to the dismay of the onlookers. There were usually a few more fights, but when someone who shouldn’t have a clue who you are shows up and makes it very obviously that they do know you, it wasn’t something he could ignore. He wished he could have. There was no need to drudge up the past like this.

Jackson changed, told the ‘host’ he’d make it up another night. He didn’t seem to care, so he must have got enough money for the night. Exiting through the back and shrugging into a leather jacket to ward off the cold London air, he headed to his bike. Popping open the seat compartment, he reached for his cigarettes. There weren’t enough smokes in the world to deal with this situation.

He saw her out of the corner of his eye as he lit a cigarette. Jackson inhaled deeply before he would even think of saying anything. There were a variety of things he could say. Some of them nice, some of them not. Silence was also an option. Silence was a great option. Maybe she would just go away. That’s what she was good at. Another haul, he finally spoke.

Show’s over, lass.” He leaned against his bike and looked over at her. This certainly wasn’t the same old routine.
August 17, 2018 02:12 am

Dessa Chambers

This was most definitely a mistake. People were groaning and griping about what a rip off the show was. Some stare at her, clearly catching the look between the two of them. None dare say anything to her, however. Dessa wasn’t sure how she held her expression, but it was clearly enough for people to steer clear from her.

Her mind ran a million miles a minute as the building cleared out. What now? Go after him. No. Leave. No...definitely go after him. She’d made it this far. She had to follow through now. Did she tell him she missed him? That she was sorry? Neither of them were lies, they just weren’t good enough. Honestly, nothing would be good enough at this point, she just had to get everything off of her chest and let whatever happens, happen.

She wasn’t looking for anything from him. She didn’t mind being on her own. Dessa was happy on her own or having her options. There had been a few who caught her eye and seemed to be interested in her, but something always happened. Death or disappearances. It made her a little closed off. Maybe it was punishment for not following her heart all those years ago. Maybe they would have survived a life on the run from William. Or maybe they would have died together. She’d like think erasing her memories was the best option for both of them. They were both still alive. Though maybe it would have been worth it do go with him.

The room cleared and she followed the way Jackson went. He might have been long gone, she didn’t know how long she’d stood there. If he was gone, she wasn’t sure if he’d come back here again, knowing that she knew where he liked to fight. She did know where he lived...That might be taking things too far.

He was lighting a cigarette when she stepped outside and into the light. She remained silent. Too many words at the tip of her tongue and none wanted to present themselves.

Show’s over, lass

Dessa laughed. Be it nerves or the fact that she just thought it was hilarious that that was his response. She didn’t know how to read him anymore. He appeared emotionless. Like her presence meant nothing to him. Yet, she knew it meant something, otherwise he wouldn’t have walked out on the fight like that. Running now would just make things worse, but it seemed like a fantastic idea.

Instead, she walked closer to him. Now, there was only about two feet between them. Being closer to him helped and also hurt. This whole night, no matter how it played out, would always be a mixture of pain and relief. She lifted a hand to reach out to him, but dropped it. She was cold. He probably knew now that she stood so close. His werewolf senses and all.

It’s good to see you,” She finally managed to say. The words were almost whispered, like she was afraid they would shatter this illusion of them being in front of one another, both completely aware of who the other was.

She cleared her throat, “I’m sorry I ruined your fight. It looked like you were having fun. I was enjoying the show, surprisingly.

Yes. That’s why she chased after him. To tell him she had been enjoying the fight. Dessa sighed at herself and took another step towards him. This time she did reach out to place a hand on his cheek.

His warmth gave her peace. She was so different now than what she had been when they first met. She had still resisted William. Refused to think like him. She would do his dirty work, but she didn’t have to enjoy it. After the memory wipe however, she had nothing to live for. William didn’t make her only forget William. She had to forget everyone who meant anything to her outside of his little institution. Luckily that meant the memories of her father remained, but William used that to his advantage as well.

There’s really nothing I can say to make any of this better, I know that. I just...needed to see you.

He brought out a different side of her. She was unsure, hesitant and even though he’d only said three words to her, he reminded her that she still had a heart. No matter how hard she tried to pretend like she didn’t. Perhaps that’s why she went and got herself killed.

Dessa dropped her hand to his chest, letting it rest there for a brief moment before stepping back and letting her hand rest at her side. “This was a mistake. I’m sorry.
August 17, 2018 01:51 pm

Jackson McCarthy

Jackson did his best to remain emotionless. She didn’t need to know how he was feeling in that moment. Hell, he didn’t even really know how he was feeling. He was shook, as the kids were saying these days. There never seemed to be a moment where he thought this would be a possibility. Occasionally he thought of trying to get back into her life somehow. He’d won her heart once before, who was to say he couldn’t do it a second time? Except that there was a reason she forgot him. It was no coincidence that he suggested running away and the next time he saw her, she had no idea who he was.

The closer she stepped towards him, the harder it was not to reach out and grab her. What he would do after he grabbed her was the real question. Something was burning inside. Hatred? Lust? Christ. He’d spent so many nights wondering what their lives may have turned out like if they had just stayed together. She thoroughly broke him, not that he would ever admit it to anyone, but she was the reason he could never settle down for the longest time. Even with Eden. It wasn’t really settling down. There was always something going on between them. He couldn’t seem to live his life without it being disrupted in one way or another.

He did raise his eyebrows at the mention of enjoying the fight. She hated violence. She could barely stand to see her father bring home a ‘date’, when she knew what the outcome of that date would be. She would be William’s secret weapon, but she didn’t enjoy it. The Dessa he knew would much rather mess around with trying to come up with spells and potions. She hated the thought of what he became, knowing that it was never any guarantee that he wouldn’t hurt someone, no matter how much he promised her he wouldn’t.

Ah, it wis boring anyway.” He shrugged, unable to find a way to express his shock at her enjoyment.

And then, he understood why. Or at least, in his mind, it explained it. When she touched him, he had a knee jerk reaction to get away. Jackson remained still and expressionless, but the burning inside teetered more towards hatred as the wolf wanted to make its way to the surface. Her touch was cold. And while the night air was on the cooler side, this wasn’t the touch of someone who was cold from the weather. She was cold because she was a vampire.

There were conflicting emotions now. On the one hand, naturally he felt compelled to attack. It was in his very being to destroy vampires and the wolf wasn’t very pleased by being held back. But on the other hand, he felt pain for her. He knew this would never be her choice. Something happened. And now, he hated himself for not being there for her. Even if she didn’t know him. He knew her. He knew how much this would have killed her inside.

Nae…” Jackson said. “It wisna a mistake.

He flicked his cigarette away and grabbed the hand that was falling back to her side to pull her in close. There was no second guessing on his part, but he waited for a moment, staring into her eyes and giving her the chance to say no. Or to push him away. Jackson had no idea if she had someone in her life or not. And while he had never cared about ruining relationships before, as much as he wanted her, he didn’t want to ruin anything she’d built for herself.

Yet, she didn’t move. And all the anger he’d been feeling dissipated. Even the wolf calmed. It didn’t matter what she was. This would always feel right. Jackson took his free hand and cupped the side of her face. He held back for one more moment. One more chance for her to call this all off.

Ah hae missed ye, Dessa.” He whispered and dipped his head down so their lips could meet.
September 03, 2018 12:35 am

Dessa Chambers

He was damn hard to read and it was driving her crazy. He didn’t react to her touch. There should have been something. A flinch, a ‘what the f*ck?’...Something! Yet he stood still. Doing nothing. It truly was a mistake thinking she could get any sort of closure out of seeing him. All it did was bring up some terrible memories of the past. Even though being here, seeing him, also brought some good memories too. Memories of them being so carefree. He had been her first assignment, but that backfired completely. Who would have known she would have fallen for a werewolf?

She looked away after dropping her hand, feeling...not ashamed, but very vulnerable. It was extremely rare for her to show any sort of emotion. Dessa once again debated just getting out of there. He’d probably be able to track her down if he wanted. It was better than standing there, waiting for the worst.

Except the worst didn’t happen. The opposite did. When Jackson took her hand, she stared at him, slightly confused. Of all the outcomes she expected, this was not one of them. How could he still feel anything for her after all this time? After what she did to him. “Are you sure?” She almost laughed. This was a mistake. It would be a mistake. Something would go wrong and one of them was going to get hurt.

Still, she didn’t run. He gave her ample opportunity to do so. Dessa could hear his heart beating. There was no urge to feed. She was glad. The last thing she needed was to have to control two seperate urges at the same time. And it wasn’t because he was a werewolf. No part of her wanted to hurt Jackson. Been there. Done that. She’d really rather never do it again.

Dessa leaned into his hand as he cupped her face and it all felt like it did when they were younger. They were so different now, but he felt the same. She placed her free hand behind his neck as he leaned down and pulled herself into him. When she pressed her lips to his, she swore she almost felt the whole stereotypical sensation of the world stopping around them.

All she heard was his heartbeat. All she felt were his lips on hers, his hand tangling in her hair, and the way he felt like home. Nowhere, nothing and no one had felt like home in a very long time. She’d been drifting from place to place. Staying here and there, but she never belonged anywhere. She belonged here, in Jackson’s arms. Dessa wished it could last forever, but sooner or later, reality would set in. They were on opposite sides of this seemingly never ending war. They could never, truly, be together, unless one of them went rogue.

She knew Jackson wouldn’t. Or couldn’t. Dessa wouldn’t let him either. She wouldn’t let him leave his home. And she wouldn’t leave hers either. But at least, in this moment, everything seemed right in the world.

Dessa slid her hand down to his chest and gave a gentle push before slowly pulling away from him. She didn’t want to, but she knew if she didn’t, things would go too far too fast and she didn’t want any of this to be regretted later on.

Are you sure?” She repeated, looking up into his eyes. “We can pretend this never happened.” There was no way she could easily forget this, but she would if that’s what he wanted. She was intruding on his life.

And then she remembered. Dessa remembered from her time in Livia’s club, that he had been married. She had been so caught up in the moment, that she didn't think to ask. Didn’t think to check. He may have initiated the kiss, but she was the one who showed up in the first place. She had had wishful thinking that this would be the outcome, yet didn’t believe it would happen. And she never wanted to be the reason he decided to break his vows. Of course, she also had no idea the kind of guy he became after she left him.

I mean it. You probably have a life to get back to. A wife…” She let the word hang there. She didn’t push him away any more than the initial nudge to separate them. He was still holding her and her hand was still on his chest. Dessa couldn’t take back the words but she almost wanted to. Despite not wanting to be ‘the other woman’ this wasn’t going to end up going anywhere. She should have just enjoyed the moment.
November 17, 2018 08:14 pm
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