It is 3am (Atten Vaughn)
It was three in the morning, the common area was empty. She had started in her rooms but the didn't feel right. As no one was up and moving she, still dressed as she had been for work, had sat down in the dark to think. Finding the dark oppressive she switched on the television and found a old movie, La Belle et la Bete. Almost immediately upon hearing the familiar dialog ThÃ©rÃ¨se relaxed.
Pulling a blanket around her tightly, almost like a cocoon and buried herself in the corner of the sofa amongst the pillows. Her father had often told the story when she was a child, especially when she was upset. Even now, years later the memory was powerful enough that it provided some comfort.
It had probably not been smart to drive herself home from the hospital, she was still in a daze. But there was nothing they could do for her and had said as much. Early on in a pregnancy there was rarely anything that could be done. It left her a lot to try and sort out. She took a deep breath as she looked through the movie.
She couldn't tell him, it would only be cruel. Although, he did deserve to know and ThÃ©rÃ¨se did not want him to find out from any one else. But how would he know, how would he ever find out? And selfishly ThÃ©rÃ¨se did not want to say anything as she was sure it would be the end of any possible relationship. No, she had not only let herself become pregnant, something that should not have happened. But she had lost the child.
ThÃ©rÃ¨se bit down on any emotion and willed herself to go numb, to either think logically about this or to simply not think. Pulling the blanket more tightly around her, the wrist with the admission bracelet still on it on the outside of the blanket, she opted to just not think. It was easier, maybe when some time had past she could make a decision.
There was nothing that their body wouldn't regenerate from aside from silver. Anything related to that metal would be taken care of by a pack doctor who would not be surprised at seeing the regenerating tissue. Perhaps it was an emergency and the hospital was close. He asked Antoine to find out. The man was already on it. Vaughn knew Therese being hurt while under the Frenchman's watchful eye was something that was going to bother him until he sorted it out.
In the meantime Vaughn went to find Therese. She was curled up watching an old black and white movie. He could hear the musical sounds of her native tongue. The hospital wristband was still on her arm. She looked miserable; that was evident even in the flickering glow of the television screen. Hands in the pockets of his faded grey jeans, he came and stood in front of her for a long moment. Eventually he knelt down and silently took her in his arms.
It didn't matter if she told him what was wrong or not. What mattered was she was hurting.
((OOC: You'll be happy to know he's wearing colour. The tee shirt looks well loved but its a muted orange. Soft, washed many times. Woven leather belt in the jeans, the long tail wrapped over and pulled through ))
She was so wrapped up in her own confusion and pain that she didn't hear or smell Vaughn approach. Which said something as ThÃ©rÃ¨se was almost always aware of where he was if he was any where near.
ThÃ©rÃ¨se didn't know if she could face him right now, but she needed him right now. For a moment she let him hold her. Too many times she had to make do with his sweatshirt, she couldn't refuse this. She breathed deeply, pressing her face into the soft fabric of his t-shirt and felt the warmth of his embrace. But only for a few seconds. This wasn't right, she didn't deserve to be comforted at all. ThÃ©rÃ¨se shook her head and pulled away retreating into her blanket and the pillows around her.
Maybe she should just tell him, now, get it over with. At least ... at least it would be over and done. He would move past this and the pack would remain solid and whole. That would be best. Yes, that would be. She opened her mouth to say something, but with another shake of her head closed her mouth and looked away.
Vaughn watched her as she pulled back from his embrace. It didn't seem as though she truly wanted to so he didn't stand up. He reached out a hand and tucked some of the dark hair behind her ear then gently traced the backs of fingers down her cheek. His voice was quiet when he spoke.
"Talk to me."
She had been about to say something but had changed her mind. Perhaps Therese didn't want him to know but he suspected she was keeping silent for his benefit and that he wouldn't have. She meant too much to him.
She had potentially put the pack in danger by harassing the Sorensen woman and the Kadzait, something that was unforgivable. But she had also proven worthless as a female, careless, reckless and selfish. ThÃ©rÃ¨se couldn't think of a single redeeming point in either of these. Trapped inside her thoughts even his tender touch almost burned, it would be the last time he would want to do that.
But she couldn't refuse the request, again telling herself that it was better this way. It was like a band aid, pull it off quickly and it didn't hurt as much. Again she tried to say something and failed. Finally opening her eyes ThÃ©rÃ¨se took a deep breath and managed something.
"I would not even know where to start."
She wasn't sure how much she -could- say. She didn't know when her choke collar would prevent her from saying something.
She looked lost but Therese didn't warm to his touch. Vaughn sighed and pushed backward and onto his feet. He sat down next to her, turning towards her, sliding one leg onto the couch and tucking one shoeless foot under the other leg.
He reached out for her hand, unable to resist touching her with her so close and obviously upset. Vaughn wished she would let him do more. The conversation would go much better with his arms around her; at least he thought so.
"Whatever it is. I'm here for you... however you need me."
It was true. He meant that in every sense. It had been over a month and she was still the last thought he had before sleeping and one of the first when he woke. After a while Vaughn realized living without her was not something he was willing to do. It was a sacrifice that he was not willing to make and if that made him a bad Alpha and he was to be replaced...then perhaps they were right to do so but he'd be happy.
If she still wanted him. Right now that didn't seem the case.
She felt him move to sit next to her, take her hand. She tighten her grip on his hand she'd been unable to look at him but now turned to look at him pain and longing naked in her expression. She needed that to be true.
"A few nights ago I... slipped and fell down the stairs at the museum."
It was almost true. Close enough at any rate.
Her voice had wavered and she was disgusted by her cowardice, at least she hadn't looked away. Band Aid she reminded herself. Just pull it off fast and get this over with. She had thought to keep it from him, she had thought to lie or omit, but ThÃ©rÃ¨se couldn't do that with him right next to her.
Bracing herself for his reaction, but at the same time fearing it her answer was soft, only barley more than a whisper.
"I was ... I didn't know but... I was pregnant."
The child would never have a chance at life, she had no idea if it had been a boy or a girl, what color eyes it would have had.
She hung her head and looked away, ashamed.
"I am sorry."
The hand in his clung tightly. He glanced down at it, wondering why she had pushed him away before. To do the right thing, or the 'proper' thing, Vaughn quickly amended.
Her words startled him. He stared at her until the news and her reason for being miserable sunk in. Then the apology struck him and the rest of it hit Vaughn like a brick. It was his baby. With Therese. For one brief moment he considered what being parents together would have been like. He found out he had a child and in the same breath he lost it.
Swallowing hard, Vaughn pushed past his shock and disappointment. He had lost it before he had the hope of knowing it but what of Therese? Had she wanted it? Was she angry at him for what happened? She hadn't told him.
"I didn't know..."
He realized this was a stupid and obvious statement. She hadn't wanted him to know. Was it for his benefit or her's? Both?
It could be sorted out later. Vaughn reached over and pulled her close.
"I'm sorry." He rocked gently with her cradling her like he had the twins when they were young. A father again... "I would have been there for you, had I known." Vaughn sighed softly. "Even if I hadn't known."
He looked down at her. "Its not your fault." Whether it was an accident or not it was not her fault.
"Did you...want it?" Was it a boy or a girl? Vaughn now knew what Antoine was going to find...and what he was going to figure out. He might be able to stop the Legionnaire before he got the medical records...but Vaughn wanted to see them. He needed to know what had happened.
"I didn't know either..."
She had been beginning to suspect but up until now had managed to ignore most of the signs or at least explain them away. Now ThÃ©rÃ¨se was having to deal with finding out that she was both a mother and.. well a murder. If she had just minded her manners and not pushed her keeper none of this would have happened.
It took her completely off guard when he gathered her close. ThÃ©rÃ¨se did not have the strength or really the desire to fight him this time. She hid her face in shirt and felt tears start. They were, however, clamped down on as soon as she became aware of them. ThÃ©rÃ¨se refused to give herself the luxury of grief.
Even knowing she should not accept his comfort, that she was unworthy of it ThÃ©rÃ¨se didn't move. She had been looking for a warm dark comfortable den to hide in until she had thoroughly licked her wounds. She, however, couldn't refuse him again she needed the protection she felt from his arms right now.
"But it is my fault. I should have known. I should have been more careful."
Venom and self accusation were almost tangible as she said that and ThÃ©rÃ¨se believed every last bit of those words. She was doing her best to protect her family and the pack from the mulo. That should have included everyone but she'd allowed harm to come to a totally helpless member of both. She should not have ignored the signs and thought of the consequences. She should have.
Did she want it? Tears started again and were just as quickly denied. ThÃ©rÃ¨se thought about the answer, she still hadn't had time to consider that for a moment. It was not something she'd even considered. Her face still pressed into his chest, slowly after some thought and hesitation she nodded. It was only the faintest, barest of nods, but it wasn't easy to admit. He was not her husband or mate and she could not say it but she did nod.
Though she had no claim to him, no right to expect anything from him and would have likley had to lie about the child's father... Yes, yes she would have been happy and proud to carry Vaughn's child to raise her. And now she would never have the chance.
He could feel her start to cry again and then stifle it. He hoped that it was not on his account. Vaughn wanted her to feel free to be herself around him. She was strong; he knew that but right now Therese did not need to be. Certainly not for his sake.
"Its okay to cry. I'm not going to judge you." Vaughn leaned his head against her's. "I'll be the last person to ever do that. I promise."
Her answer to his question touched him. Vaughn stopped moving and looked down at her. "You would?" He smiled tenderly at her, relieved. "You would want it, my child?" He corrected. "Our child."
It was a heady thought and there was another brief happy moment while he processed the implications of that choice. Then he pushed it quickly aside; now was not the time.
"It was not meant to be." Vaughn sighed. "That's all. Not now. Perhaps later." He looked down at her. "If you want."
They could try again in the future if she wanted...in time. Now was for healing.
"He would have been beautiful."
The words were choked out heavy with emotion around unshed tears. Having said that though she curled up into an even smaller ball trying to bring as much of herself in contact with Vaughn as possible. For despite the blanket she was cold and he was warm. He was also forgiving and accepting and while she couldn't give that to herself she did crave it.
She shook her head, slowly forlornly.
It was meant to be, again the spirits had turned on her. And there could be no trying again. One day, that was all they had. No matter what Tavi said, no matter how much she cared for Vaughn they had one day together and had created a child in that one day. There was no way they could try again.
Even if they did her keeper would only take that child from her too. She could not risk that. She'd not willingly subject another innocent to the mulo. He could make her a killer once, but not twice. No the next time he would have to kill her as well.
But she couldn't even ask for help. Her message in a bottle had gone astray and she was again own her on against a creature far stronger than she would have ever dreamed. A creature that took from her the only child she'd ever had and may yet take Vaughn from her, more than circumstance had already.
Therese curled herself up tighter and pressed closer. He gently pulled her into his lap and rearranged the blanket over them.
"Perhaps it was."
It certainly seemed right at the time. Vaughn had been trying to reconcile his life against how wonderful if felt to be with Therese. Would he give up everything he had worked for? Would he be happy if he did? Would she want him? Did it matter to her whether or not he was no longer the Alpha? If there was a question serious or absurd concerning their relationship then he had thought about it.
"I know that it doesn't change what happened but you have me." He ran his fingers lightly through her hair. " You've had me since that day. It had just taken me a while to realize it."
Vaughn leaned back to look at her. "I don't want to be without you." He smiled timidly at her. "I'm yours if you'll have me."
He would deal with the consequences of that choice later but right now he wanted her to know. She wasn't alone. Unless she wanted to be. Vaughn dreaded the possibility that with their time apart that she had changed her mind.
The worst of it was they couldn't try again. They would have to go back to avoiding each other this stolen time now as precious, she would have to remember it hold it tight as she accepted this loss and moved forward.
It would take time yet but being with the father of her lost child having him hold her, it did help some of the fear, hatred and grief... it took the edge off. Blunted the pain, it didn't undo it, but it made it more bearable. His words, however, alarmed her somewhat. It wasn't that she didn't want him, she did, but so much was tied up in what should be a simple choice.
She looked up at him concerned, confused. Again all she could do was nod and rested her head on his chest.
"Only if the Pack doesn't suffer. We can find find away but they must come first."
There were so many reasons to say no. She couldn't leave Nachton, if... how ever he resolved things necessitated that she couldn't. Her keeper wouldn't let her. Mon Dieu what if her keeper got a hold of Vaughn, no she couldn't lose him as well. Things could get complicated to say the least.
Finally she began to cry. Silently with her eyes closed.
"Just tell me it is possible."
That would be enough, more than she deserved really. It was... hope. She needed hope right now. Even if it didn't work out, the fact that he cared that much and was willing to risk so much was a bright spot in the gloom. A light at the end of the tunnel, to be clichÃ©, she just hoped it wasn't a freight train.
"The pack would suffer with a Sarkis not following his heart. At least I think so. We will deal with that later. Not tonight."
Finally Therese let the tears flow; he could feel them through the thin material of his tee shirt. It was comforting that she was finally allowing herself to let go, to grieve. Vaughn held her close, his cheek resting atop her head, his own tears forming in his eyes.
"It is very possible."
His voice was quiet but firm.
She agreed. Her thoughts were too muddled, more feeling than thought, to consider anything right now. Some where in the back of her mind she knew she had to be up for work tomorrow, but she wasn't ready to leave the shelter of his arms.
Feeling rather pathetic she couldn't stop crying. At least it wasn't noisy sobbing just the occasional hitch in her breath. But he was there, he felt the loss too, it was shared grief and that was less daunting. ThÃ©rÃ¨se didn't know how long it would take to work through the feeling, but at least she wasn't alone.
She'd been a mother, they'd been parents and -he- had take that away from her... them. This was not how she wanted Vaughn to make his decision, in fact she had hoped he wouldn't make the choice. But his tone of voice wasn't that different from her grandfather when he'd made a decision that wasn't to be argued with and she wasn't about to insult him by questioning his decision. She just hoped that the loss of the child wasn't a sign of things to to come.
He wanted her to know that he would have chosen to be with her had there been no child but that would take time to explain and Vaughn imagined that it would need to be proven. He was willing to do whatever it took so that she held no doubt in her heart and mind.
Spent from crying, eventually Therese fell asleep in his arms. Vaughn stood, slowly, carefully, and carried her downstairs to a small room he had adjoining his office. It was there for when he had stayed late beyond all good sense or for when he just didn't feel like going home. He would admit that both scenarios happened with great regularity.
Placing her gently on the small bed, Vaughn curled up behind her. He wrapped his arm around her protectively and fell asleep. The morning with its challenges would be here soon enough.
((OOC: Both Out ))