Beyond Redemption Ch. 05byLucifix©
First of all, I want to say thank you to all you people who commented and gave advice. It did not fall on deaf ears. When this series is complete, I'll take it down and correct it while incorporating your advice and then upload it again. So keep those comments coming :), yes, even the mean ones.
The kitchen looked dreadful, but it certainly wasn't bothering Seth at all. He could hardly remember the last time he laughed this hard and long. Introducing Ray to cooking was a hazardous experience.
She pulled faces and grimaced whenever she sniffed the enigmatic contents of anyone of the shakers that Seth's large collection of exotic spices was comprised of.
Pots were upended, flour covered the floor and Ray couldn't seem to resist the urge to sniff anything that was sniffable.
After hurricane Ray demolished half the kitchen, the pair decided to just clean up and eat out. Seth had endeavored and failed abysmally to teach her how to cook macaroni and cheese.
After she managed to somehow put eggs in it and burned her fifth batch, they decided she was a lost cause (Ray admitted this very grudgingly, subconsciously giving him the death-stare) and commenced operation cleanup.
It took one hour and forty-five minutes to clean the kitchen and even then a slight smell of charred god-knows-what still lingered in the air.
They had fallen silent during the cleaning process and each of them was lost in his and her own thoughts. Seth stole a glance over at Ray while putting away the last of the dishes, entranced by how the light reflected off her blood-red hair. She was mutely scrubbing the same spot on the stove with a glazed expression in her eyes.
Seth wondered, and not for the first time, what was going on behind those mysterious amber eyes. It struck him how fast their relationship was developing. He thought of how stupid teens on shows like "Jerry Springer" sound when they are certain they know their boyfriends very well when they've only met two weeks ago. He can actually relate to that.
He was almost certain now that he had seen Ray before but not recently. no, this felt more like a childhood memory. Like the first time he rode a bike or saw the ocean.
-"Where are you really from?" Seth found himself saying before he can stop himself.
Ray snapped her head up to look at him, startled by his sudden inquiry.
-"wha...?" was all she could get out before Seth cut across her.
-"I'm certain that you're not french and I didn't see anything personal of yours while I was cleaning your apartment. No pictures, no books, no old clothing, and not even a phone".
Ray's thoughts were zooming ten thousand miles per hour trying to come up with scenarios and excuses, but Seth wouldn't give her time to collect herself. Instead he continued
-" You come out of no-where and of all the people in the school you choose to befriend me. Why?"
He looked at her with expressionless eyes, Devoid of judgment. Waiting for her reply. hiding the pain that accompanied memories of years of being bullied at school.
Ray stuttered and then fell silent. She was debating coming clean. But he was a stranger. But she was tired of this charade. But he was a stranger. But she wasn't even sure herself of what was going on her own life. Her brows furrowed thoughtfully.
-" You're right, I'm not French. I changed my last name. Or rather, I added it. I have no family to speak of, but that is none of your business."
Seth looked taken aback for a moment, realising he had overstepped his boundaries by posing somewhat private questions. He just didn't know why she chose to hang out with a loser like him.
-"I'm sorry... " he stammered.
But this time Ray cut across him. -"you saw me, didn't you?"she said nervously.
At first, Seth didn't understand, but then Ray quickly stepped up to him and leaned into him, her forehead pressing against his chest. The bloody image Seth had seen of her splattered on the pavement was forced into his head. Alarmed, he stagged backwards, flattening himself against the counter.
-"what the fuck was that?what did you do?!" he demanded, looking rather pale.
-"you saw me" she repeated. Seth stared at her, at a loss for words. When he didn't reply she continued.
-"I knew it was you. I don't know why I was all bloodied up or why I jumped. I can't remember anything before four days ago. The only thing that stuck out in my memory was you. I was hoping you knew me. That's why I decided to get close to you." Her eyes sought some kind of reassurance from Seth's face.
When there was no forthcoming reply from him, Ray sighed and took a step back to lean on the opposite counter. Her shoulders slumped as she tried to hide the impending disappointment that would follow him rejecting her. She felt vulnerable.
-"the dream..." Seth was muttering absent-minded to himself. Ray snapped her head up, a horrified expression on her face.
-"what dream?" she demanded.
Seth felt the heat creep up to his cheeks in spite of himself.
-"it's nothing" he replied, just a little too quickly.
They both knew exactly what dream, but promptly put it out of their minds for a better time.
-"well, what now" said Ray, looking crestfallen. She wrapped her arms protectively around herself, as though it would shield her emotions. Seth imagined ending their acquaintance then and there, letting her walk out knowing he would never see her again. He didn't like that image one bit.
She heard Seth push himself off the counter and step closer. He leaned in the same way she had done earlier but instead of anything supernatural, he just planted an innocent kiss on her forehead.
She looked up startled, her eyes quizzical.
Seth took one of her hands in his warm one and looked at her with a slight smile.
-"Let's just start over as friends. I don't know what happened to you, but I do feel like I've known you before. Whether you're alive or dead, or whether you have family or not, I'm sure that one day you will trust me enough to tell me what's going on in your life."
Ray beamed up at him and gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. -" thank yo...." her thanks were interrupted by the loud complaints of her still empty stomach.
-" I'm really really hungry.." she whined, on the verge of tears.
Seth chuckled and swept her off her feet and into his arms. -"fast food it is, m'lady".
Victor Gothello was not in a pleasant mood. He was beginning to think this case would never be solved, not even after he grows old and retires. The handsome young detective wasn't feeling very handsome or young. He had shadows under his eyes due to insomnia, and being emotionally unavailable and snappy didn't exactly do wonders for the ladies.
After receiving directions to the newest crime-scene, Victor set off immediately, not wanting to get there after the police catch wind of it and contaminate the evidence.
Upon his arrival to a neighborhood that looked like it was something between rural and suburb, he drove around slowly, searching for the house number written on the piece of paper he had in his hand. When he found it, he pulled up into the drive way, noticing that it was the only house without any lights on. The car that was parked in the open garage looked like it had began collecting dust.
Expecting the worst, Victor gathered the equipment he would need into a case and carried it under his arm. He didn't bother knocking when he reached the door, and just pushed his way in, already knowing what kind of sight would greet his eyes once he turns on the lights.
The following week was almost too normal to be true. Ray was becoming more relaxed around Seth in spite of herself, and Seth was only too smug about it.
The only abnormal thing was that Ray had this uncanny habit of turning up around meal times and Seth had no idea how she was getting into his apartment. The first time he found her in his living room in the morning had him freaking out and hyper-ventilating from the sudden adrenaline kick. When he calmed enough to ask her how she got in, she just grinned stupidly at him and stuck her tongue out tauntingly. He had the locksmith add several different locks to his door later that day.
However. Every morning without fail, Seth would step into the living room only to find Ray sitting expectantly at the dinner table with an empty plate and a fork in front of her, anticipating breakfast. The same thing would occur at dinner time. Seth assumed it was his awesome culinary skills that had her breaking into his apartment and just accepted this as one of the many oddities that came with having Ray as a friend. She was like a cat. No where to be seen until meal times.
Having her around was such a hand full that Seth had neglected to call his parents for over a week. It wasn't until Friday, after he dropped Ray off at the entrance of her building that he had the clarity to recall them. Usually they would call him if he neglected to call them first. Even for a day.
He picked up his phone and dialed the number he knew by heart and waited. The phone rang once, twice, and kept ringing until he got the voice mail. He hung up, not bothering to wait for the beep in order to leave a message.
Paranoia was kicking in and Seth started to worry. -"it's probably nothing, they're probably just on vacation or maybe just busy..." he told himself. Trying to shake off the foreboding feeling that was fast taking a hold of him.
He spent the day pacing around in his apartment restlessly, speed-dialing the same number every hour or so. The sky outside was slowly getting darker but Seth was too distracted by his own thoughts.
Ray watched him pace his apartment nervously, taking care not to be seen from the window. It was dinner time and she was happily looking forward to good food. However, the sight of Seth pacing had her watching on curiously rather than just barging in.
Deciding that she should give him the option of rejecting her company for the night, she climbed off the window frame and grabbed onto the giant pipe that ran down the length of the building. She slid down fast, landing very lightly on her feet.
She punched in the doorway code and took the elevator up, and was soon knocking on his door.
Seth answered looking a little tousled and rather worried, as though he had repeatedly been running his fingers through his hair. He smiled slightly at the sight of her.
-"hey, so unusual for you to knock these days, whats up?"
Ray looked at him, now feeling a tad concerned herself. Now that she saw him up close, he looked tired. Her eyes perused his face, looking for some indication to the cause of his distress.
-"nothing, I'm just ... are you alright?"
-"yeah I'm fine" came the automatic reply. -"come in."
He stepped back to grant her entrance but Ray was hesitant.
-"If it's a bad time and you want to be alone..."
-"nonsense" Seth reached out, grabbed her hand and pulled her into the hallway. Then without knowing why, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. He promptly ignored the squirming in his pants.
-"I always like having you around, specially when I feel like I want to be alone" he whispered into her hair. Her haunting scent was filling his nostrils and he was feeling slightly more at ease.
She felt a rush of affection for him and hugged him back without hesitation. She was resisting the urge to purr, but was doing a poor job of it.
-"hmmm..." Seth hummed as he nuzzled his face in the crook of her neck.
" you're like a giant cat" he whispered, smiling.
She laughed nervously but remained silent and just enjoyed the sensation of being held. He was warm like a quilt and smelled like herbal shampoo.
Their friendship had grown deeper with each passing day since they decided to start over and they were beginning to form bonds of trust. They felt it now, even though they stood holding each other, hardly speaking. The sexual tension was promptly ignored by both as they had decided to put it on a back burner and instead focus on simply getting to know each other.
Seth gently began stroking her hair and tightened his arms around her before finally breaking the hug. He kissed her forehead before taking a deep breath and moving aside to let her in the living room.
-"don't worry" he grinned, feeling better just by having her here. -" dinner will be ready shortly".
*** They ate dinner while watching a movie rerun on TV. Tonights dinner was chicken, pasta, and some yummy sauce. Ray had eaten quite an impressive amount before falling asleep at the table. Seth didn't notice until the movie was over. He looked over at her and smiled to himself. He was beginning to feel something he would rather not admit to himself just yet.
Humming quietly, he tidied up quickly. When he had finished his task he wondered what to do with her. Having decided to just have her sleep over, he gently lifted her off the kitchen chair and into his arms and she unconsciously began to purr. He chuckled to himself then carried her into his bedroom and as gently as he could deposited her on his bed.
With some impressive self-control, he removed her shirt and her jeans then tucked her under the covers. After brushing his teeth and checking his e.mail one last time, he joined her.
Nuzzling up behind her, he buried his face in her thick hair, held her close and drifted off to dreamland.
It was a nightmare.
He was standing in his parents house, a place he knew since he was six years old. There was blood spattered everywhere and the smell was nauseating. He felt the panic well up in his throat and resisted the urge to vomit. He was panting and crying. Something was terribly wrong.
He ran through the house without objective, screaming like a man gone insane. The disgusting, sour smell was getting more intense as he crashed into the living room and stumbled over something laying in his path.
He crashed to the floor, landing in a pool of moisture. He recognized the smell of iron and knew beyond doubt that it was blood. He looked behind him only to see his fathers body laying a foot or so away from his decapitated head. Averting his eyes quickly as he retched, his eyes landed instead on his mother, she hung limply on the wall, held up by kitchen knives and pokers. Her eyes were wide and staring directly at him. He saw her mouth move awkwardly as blood dripped from her lips. She hissed at him venomously, making him cringe. He hugged his knees to his chest and rocked back and forth, tears rolling down his cheeks as he stared up at his screwed mother mutely. He was sliding into shock.
-"You will be erased" said his mother, smiling, flashing bloodied teeth at him.
Seth buried his head in his arms, gagging, crying and sick to the stomach. Willing everything to go away. He felt a sudden warmth envelope him, and recognised the scent of sandalwood, tinted with jasmine.
-"wake up" he heard Ray's whisper.