On A Clear Day

Bernice

 

Reprinted from Twogether.   A rather odd story written on hearing about Victoria's Secret.  Hadn't actually seen it when I wrote this.

Victoria pressed the back of the phone booth receiver against her mouth, ignoring its coldness. I got away clean, so why am I here?, but asking herself that was useless self-deception, she understood perfectly well why she was back. She had to know. It should be so easy to walk away and be content that she had all but destroyed the man’s life. Maybe caused his death. But it really wasn’t so simple. She still couldn’t understand why, but she knew that she loved him. Loved and hated him. Resented the ten lost years, the years he had taken from her when it would have been so easy to let her go. If he had really loved her, if they had truly met the other half of each other’s souls on that bleak mountain, he should have been able to let her go, not steal a decade of her life. So much of her life that she could never regain.

She didn’t know who to call. She couldn’t call Fraser’s friend, he’d be suspicious of any questions, no matter how she disguised her voice. The Consulate. They’d know.

She placed the call and listened to Jasmine’s interminable bilingual answering routine, nodding her head with impatience as she waited to ask her question. Finally Jasmine finished.

"Constable Fraser, is he..."

She didn’t finish before a gloved hand pushed the hook down, hanging up the call.

"Hey, what do you think you’re ... oh, it’s you." She stared into his eyes, feeling her heart sink into her stomach. She should have just kept on running. His eyes were grim and non-reflective, his grip firm and determined as he took her arm. She would have expected him to still be at the hospital. She was surprised to see him out and around already. "How did you find me?"

"It wasn’t hard. I knew you’d be back. I knew there’s no way you’d leave; your feelings were too strong. I don’t care any more if it’s love or hate, but I knew you’d be back."

He led her to the waiting car, and she didn’t pull away. In a way she felt she deserved to go back to jail, just for being so stupid to come back, so much in love with one man that she gave up her chance for freedom. All of that careful planning Vecchio had destroyed everything with his careless shot. She nearly had Fraser, she nearly had everything. To come so close and to lose everything. She sighed, her head bowed in defeat as they drove.

"I suppose you’re going to turn me in?" He was silent.

"It would be pointless to ask you ..." she let the sentence fade, it would be useless to ask. "I never meant to... for what happened to happen. You must believe me."

He kept his eyes on the road, his mouth set. He didn’t seem angry, not that she could tell anyway. Just resolute, immovable.

"You don’t have to do this..." she really didn’t expect leniency, not this time, but she didn’t like the silence.

"I made a promise," he said, finally.

"A promise?"

"Almost a duty, really."

"Duty? After everything that’s happened, you still care about duty? I don’t understand, I don’t understand at all." She could feel the tears well up, tears of frustration and anger. Of everything she could imagine, duty was the last thing she expected to hear from this man, not now, not after...

It wasn’t that long before he pulled the car to a halt, and she got out unbidden, following him. There was no point in running right now, but she’d take any chance she could if she thought she could get away later.

Suddenly she realised, "This isn’t the police station," she said, looking around the baseball stadium. "Why did you bring me here?"

"Come with me," he said simply, holding his hand out to her, gesturing gently for her to follow him.

They trudged up the stairs, Ray holding her hand, forestalling any attempts to run by the implacable determination of his grip. His blank expression as much as the restriction of his hand stopped her running. He was a cop, there was nothing he could do here, she told herself, trying to squash the feelings of foreboding. She didn’t want to let fear ruining any chances she could find to escape.

The years in a cold jail had taken away some of her fitness, but she was proud that she was only slightly out of breath by the time they reached the top. She’d worked hard to keep her figure in shape, to make sure she stayed attractive for Fraser when she was released. She was proud of the fact her stomach did not wrinkle when she sat down, proud of her firmness and her perfect skin. Would another 10 years or more in jail take that all from her? She would be old when she came out. But then, if he was still alive, so would Fraser. One way or another, dead or alive, they would always be together. He would never forget her.

"Please take your shoes off," he asked politely. Confused, she did so. She didn’t want to make things harder than they were already going to be, and besides, out of these shoes she could probably run faster if given a chance to get away. She took them off and made to hand them to him, but he just gestured to her to put them on the floor.

He moved his hand broadly indicating she should look out over the city. "Don’t you think, from here, if you really squinted, you could see all the way to Canada?"

She moved to stand beside him, placing her hands on the railing at the top of the stadium to see where he was pointing. "It’s too smoggy, I can’t see anything."

"That’s okay," he said, draping an arm companionably around her shoulders. "It doesn’t matter."

"Is that why you brought me here? To see the view? You said you had a duty, so why aren’t I in a jail cell by now?"

"Duty, yes. But I have promises to keep before I do my duty," he said, taking her hand bag from her and hanging it neatly from the rail.

"What promises?" she asked, an ice cold finger of dread tracing the bumps in her spine.

"Promises to you. I told you, if you hurt him, I’d kill you," he said gently, lifting her up into his arms like a new groom carrying his bride over the threshold, and easing over the railings, making sure her hands cleared the building so she couldn’t scrabble for purchase.

She didn’t have time to scream, didn’t even have time to realise she was going to die before she hit the pavement.

 

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