Sunday, September 27, 2015

56: A Stroke of Luck – Pt. 4


“What’s he doing here?” Victoria asked, walking into Moonlight and finding Derrick leaning against the doorway.

“I called him,” Mike replied as she continued staring Derrick down.

“Why the hell would you do that?”

“Because you’re going after this fawn creature and, not sure if you’ve noticed, I’m in no position to provide back up. I wasn’t about to let you go out there alone!” he responded, rolling his chair a little closer to where Derrick stood. “You don’t look so well.”


“He’s not,” Victoria answered before Derrick could open his mouth. She noticed his appearance hadn’t changed. His eyes were still as red as fire and the veins beside them very prominent and throbbing. “And I don’t want him here. We don’t need his help.”

Derrick grinned, stepping more into the room with the two detectives and leaned over into Mike’s face, giving him a better view. “Victoria has never told you about me, has she?” he asked, already knowing the answer to the question. “I’m not sure if it was her way of protecting me or her fear of what I might do…to you.”

Mike glanced up at Victoria and she took a breath. Following his gaze, the smile on Derrick’s face widened and he took one step back. “What are you?” Mike asked, his voice not faltering as he looked Derrick in his scarlet eyes.

“I’ll give you a hint,” he replied, opening his mouth wider, “These teeth aren’t just for opening bottles.”


“Vampire? Victoria, he’s a vampire?” Mike asked, wheeling himself away from the couple. “Are you fucking kidding me? Vik, how could you not tell me that?” he demanded, angrily glaring in her direction.

“I…”

“It wasn’t her secret to tell,” Derrick responded for her. “Besides, it’s more fun watching humans realize for the first time they’re nothing more than meals on wheels.” Derrick licked his lips and chuckled, noting the fearful expression on Mike’s face.

“Relax, Mike, he can’t hurt you, I’ve made sure of that,” Victoria stated confidently, moving between the two men. Derrick glared at her and slowly blinked his eyes before addressing him again.

“I was only teasing, Mike. I have no interest in harming you…either of you.”


Mike swallowed hard and pushed a map towards Victoria, never taking his eyes off the vampire. “I’ve narrowed down the locations where the fawn was last seen,” he spoke, finally looking at her as she moved closer. “I guess it shouldn’t surprise you that they’re heavily wooded areas, one of which is deep in the mountains. I don’t know what you’re going to find out there, but I’d advise you to be careful,” he remarked, his eyes moving to Derrick again. “Even more than usual.”

“Thanks, Mike. I’ll stay in contact with you.”


“So who’s in control right now?” Victoria asked after piling her belongings into the trunk of her jeep.

“In control?”

“Who am I talking to, Derrick, the demon or the man?” she asked, clarifying her question. In return she received a simple smile and nod before he sauntered away.


The drive to the woods was done in silence. Derrick had taken Victoria’s keys and she sat as close to her door as possible. Stealing a quick glance, she noticed how cold and angry his face appeared. Derrick had a strangle grip on the steering wheel. Victoria realized it was his way of maintaining some ounce of restraint. They pulled into a niche just beside a cliff and Derrick parked the jeep.


“Are you ready, Victoria?” Derrick waited beside the door until she slid out of the passenger side. Grabbing her bag from the trunk, she ignored his offer to carry it and flung it over her shoulder instead. Derrick took a step forward and she met it with one backwards. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he stated, his voice low and rumbling. He moved again towards her and Victoria took another step away from him. Derrick smirked, the curl of his lip revealing his sharp fangs. Before she could blink, he was against her, pinning her to the jeep. 


Victoria turned her head away, feeling his cold hands caress her face. She dared not look at him and see the demon that had made its permanent, unwelcomed stay on the surface. “Go ahead!” she snapped, waiting to feel his teeth rip open her throat. Instead, Derrick’s soft lips trailed kisses down her neck. Stopping just at her collarbone, he turned her to look at him.

“I told you I am not going to hurt you, Victoria,” he whispered against her lips. Watching her eyes for any change, he dipped his head to kiss her.

“You mean again,” Victoria replied before their mouths connected and pulled away. He sighed and started towards her, falling into the same dance again as she moved away. “Keep your distance, Derrick. That’s what you wanted after all, right?”

“I said a lot of things I didn’t mean.”


“No. You meant them. And I get it now. I’m your mission, not your lover or your friend. Your mission,” Victoria nearly shouted as her anger got the better of her. “You were playing me from the start. Fooling me to believe you gave a shit about me or that you really wanted to help. Every word that ever came out of your mouth was a lie, Derrick. And I get that now. So please, drop the fucking pretense. I don’t need to be coddled.”

“Victoria…”

“And please, I’m not one of your thralls, Derrick. You can’t just give me a look and expect me to swoon. Stop trying to get your way and keep your lips to yourself. You dumped me, remember?” she turned and started up the mountain path mapped out by Mike and Derrick hastily trudged after her.


“You don’t understand,” he shouted to her back as she angrily stomped up the muddy foothill. “I never meant for any of this to happen.”

“Any of what, Derrick? Because from where I’m standing, ALL of this could have been avoided if you had just been honest with me from the start! So what exactly caught you by surprise?”

“My feelings for you,” he replied, stopping in his tracks and hoping she would have the courtesy to turn around. When it became obvious she’d rather gain as much distance from him as possible, he quickly stepped in front of her, stopping her cold. “Yes, Victoria, you and I…” he started and paused. Searching her eyes as he thought carefully over his next words. “It started as one thing but it became something else entirely. I never wanted this.”


“No. That’s where you’re wrong. I never wanted this. I begged you to let us just be friends but you kept pushing and you kept teasing until I ended up in your bed. And now we’re here and there is no going back to the way things were. Not now, not ever.”

“Ever?”

“I can’t trust you, Derrick! Do you know how important that is for me? I have always had my family to lean on. And one day, you pop into my life telling me that everything I’d ever known was a lie and turns out, it was. My grandmother is a witch, my mother is in denial, there are monsters all around me and no one has shown me the decency of being 100% honest about any of it. I thought you above anyone would be truthful with me. You showed me who I really was, told me you loved me and made a vow to always protect me. But…that was just another lie. Turns out, people only use the word ‘love’ as a preface to be deceitful. You, my mother and my grandmother. And you wonder why I’m so cynical.”


“Victoria…”

“No. We’re not doing this right now,” she hissed, pushing him away again.

“Then when? I’ve been calling you for days. You won’t bother answering your phone. When I come by your place, I can’t get in and at work, you look through me as if I’m not even standing there. What do I have to do to make you hear me out?”

“Nothing. When I was willing to listen I got rewarded with dishonesty. And now that I’ve turned a deaf ear, all of a sudden you’re a chatty Cathy. I don’t need anything from you, Derrick. I don’t want to hear anything you have to say. I’m done. Don’t you get that? I’m done. Anything I need informational wise I get from Cole.”

“Cole? You would choose him over me, Victoria? Why?”


“Because, Derrick, you made it perfectly clear you wanted nothing to do with me anymore and that left me very few options. He’s one of the only people who knows what I am other than Mike and is willing to help me without a thousand lies. Where else was I supposed to turn?”

“NOT TO HIM!” She watched as he gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly, trying his best to keep from imploding. But despite his best attempt the effort failed. “I told you no matter where you and I stood that I would be there for you!”

“Ohh…well doesn’t that sound familiar?” she asked, throwing her hands on her hips. “You have the right to help me, but when it’s you in need I’m not allowed to, is that it?” 


“No! Not when it’ll get you hurt! And Cole? You know my issues with him!”

“You’re right, I do; which is exactly why I asked for his help.”

“You…do you think that’s smart? Pissing me off when I’m extremely unstable?”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“Whatever? Victoria, you really don’t know what inciting a bloodthirsty killer could do.”

“And you don’t know what a woman scorned could do either!” she countered and started off again through the trees.

“What is that supposed to mean?”


“I took a leap of faith with you,” she whispered with her back still facing him. “You have no idea how much what you did hurt me.”

“I do, Victoria, trust me. I…”

“Trust you?” she shouted, finally turning to face him. “That’s what I did, Derrick! I trusted you! I trusted you enough to let you in. I trusted you when you told me you’d never hurt me. I trusted you when you said you wouldn’t break my heart! How much more trust do you think I have? You waited until I told you I loved you before doing this, Derrick! Do you know how hard it was for me to say those words?”


“I know, Victoria, I know that. Fuck!” he shouted and kicked the tree beside him. Dried leaves fell aimlessly around him. Victoria rubbed her shoulders as brisk winds blew in around them. “I just didn’t want you to get hurt. The night that I attacked you…I saw it happening. As if I wasn’t the one with his hands around your throat. It was someone else and I was incapable of stopping him. I wasn’t in control then, Victoria, and I couldn’t let that happen again. Please, understand. Seeing that fear in your eyes when you looked at me, knowing it was BECAUSE of me. It was worse than anything I’ve ever felt before in my life!”

He growled. The sound rattled against a grouping of nearby trees and a flock of birds took flight. “Derrick,” Victoria started, waiting for him to face her. “I admit, I was afraid at first when faced with the darkness inside you. But that didn’t change the way I felt about you. I still wanted to help; I needed to see you through it. If we’re supposed to be in this together, you can’t shut me out when something bad happens. You can’t just up and run and leave me with an empty feeling because you think I can’t handle it. I’m here for you, Derrick. I told you that. It’s part of being in love.” 


“And do you?” he asked, stepping closer towards her.

“Do I what?”

“Do you still love me?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It does matter, Victoria. It’s all that matters.”

“I’ve come to realize something,” she replied, standing toe-to-toe with him. She watched as his eyes constantly flickered between steel gray and blood red. “No matter how angry you get. No matter how hungry you become. No matter how much you threaten. You. Can’t. Hurt. Me,” Victoria grinned, ignoring the question at hand. “I’m wearing your promise and I’ve tried seven ways from Sunday to get it off; it’s not budging. Meaning, if I die, you die. I can incite your wrath all day long and you can’t do a damn thing about it.” Victoria glanced behind Derrick and back into his eyes without blinking. “Now. I came out here to work. If you’re going to help, fine. But if not, get out of my way.”


The area was dense with large trees and shrubbery. There was a stillness about the place that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Kneeling at the head of the trail, Victoria noticed hoof prints in the mud leading towards the mouth of a large cave. She opened the satchel on her back and retrieved her grimoire to confirm the presence of Fawnling.  Sure enough, the prints were made by her chief suspect. “Victoria…”


“I said not now.”

“Victoria…”

“What?” Suddenly she heard the growling of a large animal and the cracking of a dry limb behind her and instantly froze.

“Don’t move…” Derrick whispered, watching the creature edge closer towards her.

“Derrick…”

He stilled her with a motion of his hand as his eyes remained on the beast behind her. “When I say go, move as fast as you can towards me, ok?” She nodded her head and held her breath. “Wait for it…GO!”


Victoria swiftly dove forward, skidding on dirt and gravel and bouncing her head on a large boulder before coming to a stop. From her position on the ground, she watched as Derrick charged full force towards the large animal, claws bared and mouth locked in a perpetual snarl.

What happened next was a blur of movement. In the blink of an eye, the two men were engaged in combat, clawing and hitting each other, while Victoria fell in and out of consciousness, transfixed in horror as the situation dissolved into a ferocious battle.


It was a terrifying sight. She’d bore witness to Derrick’s temper before and even watched him kill; but this was different. This was primal. Her heart was pounding, blood rushed through her body, making the pain in her body increase. Shaking her head, she tried to clear the cobwebs but it only made the throbbing worse.

Snarls filled the air as blood spilled on the ground around the two. They appeared equally matched, exchanging one brutal blow after the other. It was barbaric. The Fawnling made a grab for Derrick’s arm, but Derrick whipped around and grabbed his attacker’s neck. The Fawnling fought to free himself and regain his footing, but his struggling only tightened Derrick’s choke-hold.  


Blood was freely streaming from their wounds. Their face and clothing were smeared with dirt and mud. Around them, the trampled branches and leaves were stained in their viscous fluid. And just before Victoria’s eyes closed again, she watched as Derrick snapped the Fawnling’s neck and his body slumped to the ground. 


“Victoria? Victoria?” She groaned and fluttered her eyes as she heard someone calling her name. Derrick was above her, shaking her lightly until she was finally awake.

“What happened?” she asked, groggy and still coming to.

“You hit your head when you jumped out of the way. Are you alright?”

“Aside from the wicked headache I think so.” Derrick helped her to her feet and she leaned back against the boulder while he assessed the damage.


“This is going to need stitches and you might have a concussion. Are you alright to walk?”

“I’m fine,” she replied, slightly wobbling as she took a step.

“Are you sure?” Derrick asked, reaching out to level her.

“I said I’m fine.” Victoria looked around at the scene and sighed. A puddle had formed and began congealing beneath the Fawnling’s corpse. He was covered in scrapes, bruises and cuts. Derrick, on the other hand, appeared unharmed. “Thank you.” He nodded and inched closer to where she stood. “Were there any others?”

“I checked the cave but no one was inside. Your client should be happy though.”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”


“See for yourself.” Derrick led Victoria inside the large cave entrance and towards the back. Inside a small alcove on the east facing wall she found a mountain of gold coins and gems that the Fawnling had stolen. Items that appeared on the list her client had provided had now been recovered. Derrick was right. Aidan Byrne would be pleased. “Come on. We should hurry and get this stuff moved before the others return.”

“I thought you said there weren’t any more.”


“I did. But that doesn’t mean they won’t come looking for their missing friend. And I’d like to not be around when that happens.” Derrick paused and glanced over at Victoria with a frown. “Victoria?”

“Can we just…” she sighed and looked away from him. Derrick and Victoria worked quickly to transfer the items to the trunk of her jeep. By the time they were finished, the back end of her car was nearly touching the ground.

It took them another twenty minutes before they were back on the other side of town. Derrick handed the keys back to Victoria and split. Meanwhile, Mike called up Aidan Byrne and waited in the lounge of their agency for him to arrive.


“It’s all there,” Victoria stated, watching their client lick and inspect each individual item in front of him.

“Aye. Even pieces that don’t belong to me,” he replied, still examining the gold. “You will see it returned to its proper owner?” He asked, placing a single coin in her hand.

“How…what? Um…sure, I’ll try. What’s this?” Victoria asked, flipping the coin around a few times and examining the carvings on each face.

“Your payment,” Aidan replied, grabbing the last satchel of loot from the back of her jeep.

“Um…I don’t think we can accept this?” she replied, entranced by the sparkling currency in her palm. “Is it even spendable?” 


“Trust me, this is a gift far greater than money. What you hold in your hand is the very thing countries go to war for; power.” Aidan smiled as he clicked his heels. Victoria took a step back as a bright burst of light enshrouded the man and she watched as he instantly changed. Clad in green with hair as red as fire, he became the exact image of St. Patrick’s Day she’d grown accustomed to as a child.

“You…”

“The coin has a limited use. Be careful what you wish for.”

“How does it work?”

“You have magic, Detective Carson, you’ll be able to figure that out.”

“What? I can’t…”

“Thank you for all of your help, and remember what I said!” Disappearing in a puff of smoke, Victoria found herself standing alone in the dark parking lot of her agency. Again, she took interest in the tiny, gold coin; turning over Aidan’s last message as she examined the Gaelic writing on the one side.


“Victoria?” She jumped at the sound of her name and turned to face Derrick as he crept out of the shadows behind the building.

“Back again? Let me guess, the pet shop ran out of puppies for you to smother and you want to know if Hades is available for parties?”

“Victoria…”

“What, Derrick? What do you want now? Have you not hurt me enough already?”

“I need your help, Victoria.”


“My help? Are you serious? Last time I offered to help you threatened to let your club of monsters rip me apart and laughed about it. Now you’re asking for my help? What? Does embracing your dark side make you bipolar too?”

“Victoria!” Derrick closed his eyes and tightly clenched his fists at his side. “I need you. Please…” he paused, opening his eyes and peering directly into hers. “I can’t do this without you.”

“How can you expect me to trust you after everything that’s happened?”


Derrick paused a moment and took a solitary step forward. The look of displeasure curling her lips and the refusal to give him eye contact wasn’t at all acceptable. Ducking his head every way that she turned hers, he held her chin gently with his index finger and thumb, forcing her to look at him. “I’m sorry, Victoria. The temptation was too compelling. I needed to give him what he wanted in order to regain control. But I never meant to hurt you the way that I did and if I could take it all back I would. Victoria, baby, I would do anything to get things back to the way they used to be.”

“It’s not gone, Derrick. I can still see it in your eyes.”


“No. It’ll never go away. But I’ve taken back control over the urges again. I just need your help to keep it that way.”

Victoria thought a moment. It wouldn’t be the first time she was duped by the Monster of Manchester, and she was determined not to end up in that situation again. But, on the other hand, she couldn’t turn her back on Derrick either. If he was being truthful, she would regret letting the demon win when she could have stopped it. “Fine,” she replied with a sigh. “I’ll help you. But under one condition.” 


“Name it. Anything and it’s yours.”

“I want the truth, the absolute truth about you and Rowan and your mission.”

“You…” Derrick backed up until he was leaning against the wall and slowly turned his gaze. Nodding his head, he looked up at her uneasily and folded his arms against his chest. “Ok. I’ll tell you…I’ll tell you everything. But, you’re not going to like it.”

Continue---->

2 comments:

  1. It's about time Vik let loose on Derrick. She's right everyone in her life that has claimed to love her has been lying to her! She's facing things she'd never expected and not a single one of them felt the need to have her know the whole truth. They were to busy trying to cover their own asses that they didn't care if Vik got hurt or killed going in with half information. I'm pissed at all of them for that! It should have never been that way.

    Derrick even went so far as to mess with Mike. Vik should have shot a lightening bolt at his ass for that one! Mike is the only one that has been honest with her through this whole thing. Mike is the one person she can truly lean on and if he didn't have a girlfriend I'd say she needed to date him instead of Derrick. Hades needs to piss on him or take a chunk out of his ass. Yes! Derrick is on the shit list along with her mother and grandmother for all the lies.

    He had the nerve to get mad about her going to Cole for help after how he's acted!!! Seriously. He's been a major asswipe and he wants to still think he had the right to be jealous and dictate who she could and couldn't see! Vik is wrong too for using Cole. In a way she strings him along. At one turn she wants to cut him off, didn't like his attitude, but when she needs something she had no problem using him because Derrick was being a dick. :(

    Derrick has a hell of a lot of groveling to do to make this right and he better not try and use sex as a way to sweep everything under the rug. Vik has been hurt and he needs to really, honestly acknowledge that.

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    Replies
    1. Victoria had a lot to get off her shoulders and you're right, it's about time she did. Now to turn that same anger towards her mother and grandmother.

      Derrick's not really himself these days but he probably would have still teased Mike about being meals on wheels because that's just him. Victoria has made sure there is absolutely no chance Derrick or anyone else can harm Mike though. As you said, he's been the one loyal person in her life...sad when you can't depend on family. Aww Mike and Vik? Interesting.

      Hahaha you're even getting Hades involved :P that's hilarious

      That's Derrick. He pretends he doesn't have a jealous streak but his actions always speak differently. She and Cole have settled into a comfortable friendship. She's gone to him a few times before and he's always helped. They both know where each other stand and it's far better than not being in one another's life. Cole knows her secret. Those kinds of people you wanna keep close.

      Yep, he sure does. Victoria has been through too much for him to think a simple apology will wipe the slate clean. He absolutely shattered her trust in him and she has too much to deal with to worry about him.

      Thank you for reading :)

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