A.N.: ~*~ signals a flashback.
~Retroactive Thought~

~Rescuing the Princess:~

~*~ She was over at Lisa's house. They were six years old. Lisa's older sister came home with a man. They knew that because they were hiding in Jane's closet playing Princess in the dungeon. They had been arguing over how the Prince should rescue them. Rory thought they should rescue themselves. Lisa thought there should be a Prince on a white horse. Even then Aurora didn't believe in the great Prince Charming on his white charger. The only thing that Aurora believed in was herself. Even then.

But as soon as Jane came in the room they went quiet. Jane and the man were arguing. Kind of like Rory's parents used to argue.

"I told you to leave me alone Marcel. That I wasn't going to have anything to do with you now that I know what you are. And now you're here. In my fucking house."

"And I told you that no one else was going to have you. And I never lie."

And then the arguing stopped. There was a scream and Rory and Lisa watched, horrified as the man, as Marcel bit Jane's neck. And slowly Jane stopped struggling. And he laid her down on the bed, a bit of blood running down towards the pillow. And Lisa started to scream.

Or she would have if Rory hadn't put her hand over her mouth.

"Shut up Lisa. He'll hear us and then he'll kill us too."

And then the closet doors slid open. And a man knelt down at their level. And looking Rory in the eye said,

"You know, vampires hear better than humans."

"Do they? I'll remember that."

"See that you do." He said after a slight chuckle escaped him. "See that you do."

Rory had removed her hand from Lisa's mouth in her attempt to deal with this new problem. But Lisa had other ideas.

"What did you do to my sister? What did you do to her? If you hurt her. I'll hurt you back. I'll tell my mom."

"Could you get rid of the body? It will make it harder for her parents. And maybe make it so Lisa doesn't remember?"

Aurora had already decided that this Marcel man was the most interesting thing she had seen in a long time. He had called himself a vampire.she would remember that. She just wished Lisa would shut up.

Marcel however thought that it was a pity this little girl was so young. She would make a great vampire. There was a darkness to her that he found intriguing in one so young. And so he decided to do as she asked. He put the other little brat to sleep. Erasing all memory of that day. And taking his former toy's body elsewhere for it to be disposed of, he left. He must have been in the mood to humor her.


It's odd that I think of that now. Or maybe it isn't. Marcel stands in front of me right now. He is feeding again. He doesn't hear me now. And I think back on that day when I first decided what it was that I wanted to do. And I wonder if I will return the favor and not kill him.simply because he felt a whim and didn't kill those two little children that day. Whatever I do I will have to make the decision now. If I wait much longer it will be too late.

I slip my business card in his back pocket having taken just enough time to scrawl "I guess vampires don't hear as well when they're feeding." It is enough to make him stop feeding but by the time he turns there is nothing left but a trace of my aura. It's darker now than he will remember it being, but with a little thought he may make the connection. I'm surprised by how much I seem to want him to make it.

Perhaps Gio was right. Maybe I do need someone to know who I am. Someone who will appreciate just how far I've come. This urge of mine is dangerous. I know that. It could jeopardize all my hard work. And I did work hard at creating this new me. I cut every tie to my old life and at the time I felt almost no regrets; only the intoxicating pull of freedom. I was too young and too angry to understand what it was I was doing. I know now.


She left a message by the phone. God only knew when her mother would come out of her alcohol induced stupor long enough to read it. Probably when she ran out of alcohol for long enough to sober up. She always yelled at Rory to get more booze for her when she was out. That would be the first time she would realize that Rory wasn't in the house anymore. It might take her a few days to find the actual phone though. Rory's dad might never know she had left. She hadn't had so much as a card from him since he had moved to California with "that slut from the office".

Rory had been packing her things for weeks. This was no spontaneous plot to run away based on a few moments of teenage angst. This had been the result of years of planning. Aurora Flemmings was going to hunt vampires. It was in her blood.

She had been putting money in the bank for years now. Two months ago she had turned sixteen. She got a checking account of her own and a credit card (it was never hard to get her mom's signature on things, she never read the agreements, and even if she had Rory was good at forging her signature). She had paid the down payment on the car and she never drove over the speed limit. She couldn't afford the ticket. She had found a small apartment in New York City and had already paid the rent.

She had considered calling Paul up, but decided she didn't care enough about him. As boyfriends went he had been pretty shitty, but the sex had been good. The rest of her friends here didn't really matter. Sure they had fun together, but they would continue to have fun without her. There would be the initial panic and misery of course. Maybe even an investigation into her whereabouts, although she doubted it. There were only a few people she actually wished to stay in touch with. But that wouldn't be possible. Not if she was to truly leave.

So she didn't say any real goodbyes. In the end she even crumpled up the note. But as she got on I-10 heading towards Pheonix she pulled out her cell phone to make one last call. She called Lisa. When the answering machine came on she realized she didn't really know what to say. But she had to say something.

"Hi it's Rory. I'm sorry we drifted apart Lise. I just.you're like the only family I've ever had. Tell the rest of the gang that too. Especially Nick. Kay. Love you. Bye."

And then she left. Forever.


In my apartment the answering machine light is blinking. I wonder whether Lisa got the message or whether her whole family heard it. I'm sure the police did. Or maybe not. Maybe she'd already erased it by the time they got there because she didn't know the significance of it. I wonder what they decided happened to me. All these thoughts seem foreign to me. I haven't thought about that time in my life for six or seven years.

As I listen to my messages I try to train my thoughts to the present. And I succeed. No wonder I'm so good at my job, when the only thing I'm good at seems to be eliminating my emotions. I'm in an odd mood today. I don't know exactly what brought on this odd half depression, but I do know that I can't allow myself the luxury of sitting down and examining it. That would be far too risky, as I might, in a moment of self-examination, stumble across something that I have been trying to hide from myself for awhile now. And that is that I am no happier than I was seven years ago. That emptiness has not disappeared at all but has instead grown larger and more consuming.

So I leave these thoughts for the moment and listen to the drone of Gio's voice as he tells me the latest assignment. I would write it down but there is no need. Alicia Barker. The name of the target is Alicia Barker. I won't forget it. I never do.

But the next message is not the usual business call. Which in itself is odd. But what is more odd than that is that I recognize something about the voice. I don't forget a voice but this voice seems too deep and too old for the person I picture as its owner. Nick, it has to be Nick. No one else says their t's like that. Crisp and yet relaxed. Nick went to speech therapy for five years to get rid of his lisp and to work on his problem with saying t and th because his mother wanted a perfect child. The voice is his. But I don't know why he would be calling me.

I have to listen to the message again. It has simply been too long, and I have spent the whole of the message convincing myself it was really him.

"Hello Aurora." He says in the voice that is too old for the boy I remember. I wonder what he looks like now. Did he ever get his father's shoulders? Does his hair still shine silver gold in the sunlight? Does he still have the freckle beneath his right eye and are his eyes still that quiet blue gray green they used to be? "It's Nicholas Gerringer. I tracked down your number with the help of a friend. I'd like to see you if it's possible. I'm staying at the Clarion."

He went on. Telling me where to contact him. What room he was staying in. Very polite. I wonder if he is angry with me. I can't tell from the message. I wonder if I should go to meet him. I decide I will.
AN: And that's it for chapter one. Please Review. Please please. It's so tempting to say I won't post unless someone reviews.but luckily I know my faithful friend bunnyb will at some point. So I'll keep posting, but feedback makes me feel so happy, and if I'm happy than that's good karma for you. Stunning leap of logic there, if I do say so myself. Tell me what you think. Please.