Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 20 (continued)

I was not sure what to do after I hung up with Derek. I decided to head back to the house.

I headed over to the mail box to check the mail. And a paparazzi snapped my pic! Why weren't they there when Jake hit me?! I'm sure that picture would have made them tons of money!! I was getting upset all over again. I knew just the thing to calm me down.

ICE CREAM! I figured one little overindulgence wouldn't hurt my waist line.

I was halfway through when Vi walked in. "Lace? I thought you'd be out shopping for some scrubs or something. I was going to call and ask how the interview went but...." Vi gasped when I looked up.

"Lacey! What happened to your face? Oh my Creator! Let me see, let me see. Does it still hurt?"

I forgot to check it out in the mirror. From the way Vi was carrying on, it must have been pretty bad. "I screwed up and told Jake that I had been talking to Derek." Vi looked even more shocked. "Jake hit you?! That is so far out of his character... " I shook my head. "I think he has already been turned, Vi. He is showing signs of losing control of himself."

"Oh, Honey. I am so sorry for all this. I should have warned you away from him in the beginning. Will you ever forgive me?" Vi reached out and enveloped me in a hug. "It's not your fault, Vi. I had..." A knock at the door interrupted me. It was Derek. I tried to keep my back to him but he had seen the damage. He quickly spun me around.

"What the hell is this?! Did Jake do this to you?! Why didn't you tell me?!" Vi looked between the two of us. "Um, I'm gonna go upstairs and call Jacq." With that, she was gone.  

"Derek, you aren't giving me a chance to talk. I didn't want to influence you into doing something you would regret. It WAS Jake but ..."

Derek moved so fast! He was out the door and gone by the time I made it to the living room.

Vi was just coming back down the stairs. "OK, Jacq should be pulling in any minute now. She has news about....hey, where's Derek?" I turned to look back at Vi. "I think he has gone after Jake. I think he is going to kill him!" I felt so helpless.

"Lace. What is meant to happen will happen. Derek can stop the change. He wouldn't actually kill Jake." I heard Jacq coming up the stairs. "He IS going to kill him, Vi. And it's all my fault!"

"Hey, what's going on? What are you two so upset about? What happened to your face?!" Vi and I took turns filling Jacq in on recent events.

"I'm sorry to say, but I agree with Lacey. He plans to kill Jake. But I don't think it's your fault, Lace. Derek has, for some unknown reason, decided to get emotionally involved with you. And he will stop at nothing until he is assured of your safety." Why?! I am nothing special! I started to feel panicked. "We have to stop him. But where did he go? Jake has not been showing up for work and hasn't been seen for days!"

 "I think I might know something. I was at the salon when Vi called. A woman named Marina had just walked in and the women were aflutter about her fiance. A man named Beau. I don't think it's a coincidence." Marina? The new model!

"Vi! That is the new model that just signed on with B! She is from Bridgeport, just like Beau. She probably set up a safe house for Beau. Chances are, that is where Jake is."

"Yes. And I have all personnel files on the computer!"

We hovered while Vi accessed the info. "Hurry, Vi, hurry!" I repeated over and over. "Got it, girls. Let's move!" As soon as the words left Vi's mouth, I was out the door and sliding into my car.

The ride to Marina's place was silent. I had too much time to think. What if we have this wrong? What will we say if she's home? "Um, excuse us while we search for vamps and half-vamps." She will surely call the mental hospital on us!

We were almost to the house when I saw Jake flash across the road. I slammed on the brakes but he just kept running. I didn't see Derek anywhere. I jumped out and didn't even notice if Vi and Jacq were following.

I ran into the woods where I had last seen Jake.When Derek suddenly appeared, I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I could tell Jake was trying to plead with Derek. Jacq and Vi walked up.

I tried to get closer so I could hear what they were saying. Derek must have heard me because he looked right at me. His whole demeanor changed. I was puzzled until I remembered my black eye. Oh no!

"No deal, Jake. You MUST pay!" I watched as a strange light began to form around Derek's hand. Jake looked as if he had been nailed to the ground. Why didn't he try to run? Derek began to speak,
"Da, quaesumus Dominus, ut in hora mortis nostrae Sacramentis refecti et culpis omnibus expiati, in sinum misericordiae tuae laeti suscipi mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."

After Derek finished what appeared to be a prayer, Jake grabbed his chest. What did he do?! Then suddenly...

Jake disappeared! "What did you do to him, Derek?!" He looked at me with a most serious face. "What had to be done to assure myself of your safety."

"Jake's evil has been banished. I used his vamp blood to burn him from the inside. Nothing remained of him just as if he had been a real vampire."

"But you didn't HAVE to kill him! Vi said you could have stopped the change. You only killed him because he hit me!" He continued to stare me right in the eyes. "Perhaps that is true. Either way ... what is done, is done." How could he be so callous?

"Lacey, you must understand. I am charged with keeping things balanced. You are still in shock from this day. Let me take..." He reached to put his arms around me. I backed away from him. "NO! You stay away from me, Derek. I can't believe what just happened. I .." I turned and ran back to my car. Vi and Jacq were still by Derek but I didn't care.

I stopped at the edge of the road and took a deep breath. Derek said he was trying to keep me safe. But I still didn't feel safe.

I kept everything in the whole ride home. But as I went to take that first step up the stairs, the dam broke. I cried and cried and cried. I don't know how long I sat at the bottom of the stairs, just crying. But when I felt all cried out, I went upstairs, washed my face...

... and fell into an exhausted sleep.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 20

My phone started ringing at just after 8am. I jumped out of bed to grab it off my dresser. "Hello?" My voice was rough from just waking up. "Lace? It's Vi. Listen, there is no photo shoot for today. I thought you should know that right off. But B does need you here to relay some information. She has to start Lizzy's shoot soon and it's off sight since Jake is a 'no show' again today. So, can you kinda hurry?" Heck No! Do you know what kind of night I had! "Sure. I'll be there in about 15 minutes." I rolled my eyes toward the ceiling. "Great. I'll let B know."

 OK, so it actually took 20 minutes to get there. I walked upstairs and waited for B to finish giving Vi orders. "Make sure it's secluded. The last thing I need is paparazzi taking photos of my model with naked people. I am already getting a headache thinking about it." Vi glanced at me and winked so I knew she was aware I was listening. Was Lizzy doing a nude photo or something? The tramp had probably posed for men's mags before! I struggled out of my jealousy to hear the rest of the conversation. "...accept the invitation. Why Fel wants to see me model, I have no idea. But it will put my business in the spotlight so I'll give it a go."

"Wow, B! So you're going to be the model now? That must be exciting for you. When do you start?" B cut her eyes at Vi who was struggling not to laugh. "What?What did I say?" B just shook her head.

"I'm not exactly thrilled to be a model but Fel tempted me into agreeing to do this. So let's just drop it." O-Kay... B is not a happy camper right now. "The REASON I wanted to talk to you is that I realized I have not been keeping you up-to-date on your 'Girls' competition. As you recall, we had that big fiasco right before shooting 'Dream Guy'. Well, it showed in the photo and got you 6th. Now I was going to really nail you about that..." I opened my mouth to argue but B held up her hand. "... until something major happened on the Sims and Modeling block."

If it threw off B's stride, it must have been major."EA stepped in and deleted 'Girls' with no explanation and no warning! I was stunned and so didn't get a chance to 'discuss' that photo with you. During the scramble to reestablish you in the comp, the score for 'Girl's Night Out' came in. You got 4th in that one and I was supper proud of you for being chosen 'Crowd Favorite'." Yay, I'm not in the hot seat any more! "It also comes with a monetary reward of $1000. Great job."

Great job? I think that was an awesome achievement! But B wasn't finished. "Now your most recent assignment, the one with the wedding dress, has come in. I mean, I JUST got the fax this morning." That twinkle in B's eye means that it must have been good. "You tied for third!" I let out a whoop of joy as B continued. "And, being as I saw the competition, that is something to be excited about! So I added the 5 grand to your check bringing your total up to $6000 in prize money."

"What about 'Colours'?" I asked. I had been doing really well in that one despite it being run on a smaller scale. "Well, now that one is a Good News/Bad News type deal." Oh, no. Please don't let me get yelled at. "Ella contacted me and let me know you did win 1st in the third round." I started to get excited again but B motioned for me to wait. "But the comp is closing. It's gone bankrupt. So you'll not be receiving anything from that last win." I didn't know how to respond. First, I get yanked from 'Staged' due to a clash between B and a judge. Now my other comp has closed down. "How much longer is 'Girls' going to run?"

"You have only three more shots to do. Then 'Girls' will be over. But you can join more. I have Lizzy in Beginner's Luck Cycle 2 which is hosted by Ashpie88. And I have my eye on a couple more comps that have just opened up. What about..." For once, I cut B off, by shaking my head and waving my arms. "B, I am not sure I want to continue modeling. Let's just leave things alone right now and see how I feel when 'Girls' is over."

"You're right, Lacey. It's your life, you can choose how to live it." B handed me my check for six grand then suddenly reached out and hugged me. I was so shocked. But it was over so quickly, like she hadn't meant to show her emotions. "You have the day free so ... go do something fun." I watched as she turned toward her desk and started shuffling papers.

"So, are you really giving up modeling?" Vi's question was the same one I kept asking myself over and over in my head. "I don't know yet. This was only suppose to be a temporary thing. I really wanted to get into the medical profession but things got so ... turned around."

"I had my first taste of freedom and I ran with it. Now, I am in some deep crap and trying to figure out how I got here. What I really want to do is pretend like these past few weeks have never happened. But I can't. While you and Jacq were .. um ... getting cozy." Vi turned pink. I skipped over the part where I saw the two of them in the hot tub. "Derek asked me to do something for him. Something I'm not sure I can do. Then we went on a drive and ..." Vi suddenly looked real interested. "Where did you two go? And what did I miss?"

"Well ... we took a little stroll to these old stones ..." Vi sighed. "That is his favorite spot. Oh, my! Is Derek falling for you? He's so quiet and so much the loner. We NEVER see him with anyone." I shook my head. "I'm not really sure what's going on with us. When I figure it out, I'll let you know." I had lost my train of thought. I shook my head. "Right now, there is somewhere I have to go." Vi stepped back as I reached for the door. "Good luck, Lace." I smiled at Vi as I walked out the door.

After leaving B's, I headed straight to Country Care General Hospital. I was no longer going to procrastinate! My old dream was being resurrected!

Two Hours Later:

Changing Bed Pans! They expect me to change bed pans. Not what I was expecting. This is a big change from doing nothing but taking pictures for a living. And there was no way I could earn the same amount of money as modeling. I started to have second thoughts about accepting the job.

Those thoughts scattered when I noticed Jake talking on the phone. "Yes! Liz... I know... plans change and... Listen to me, Damn it! It has already begun. There is no going back. If you want to jump ship now that it is leaving port, too bad! I WILL come for you. Be ready." I watched him snap the phone closed. Trouble in paradise, perhaps? No time to wonder. It was show time!

"Jake? What are you doing out here? Are ... are you following me?" I made sure to put a little quiver in my voice. He smirked at me. "You flatter yourself. I was merely ... stocking up on supplies." His eyes traveled up and down my body. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. His eyes looked darker than I remembered. "What are YOU doing here?" He asked.

"Uh...I applied for a job." He laughed in my face! "Yea, right. You wouldn't know one end of a syringe from the other. Just stick to modeling, Lace. It's about all your little brain could handle."

 I got real angry! "Just because I model, does NOT mean I'm an airhead! I know alot. Even about your stupid little plan with Beau!" Oh, no. I did NOT just say that. Did I?

Jake leaned in. "I KNEW you heard more than you were letting on. I want you to tell me what you know. And who you have told!" I could tell he was getting violent. I started to actually get scared. "Leave me alone, Jake. Derek said..."

"DEREK! You told Derek?! What the hell  is wrong with you? This could ruin everything I have worked so hard for!" The sidewalk just happened to be deserted right at that moment and Jake was coming toward me. I threw up my hands to stop him but ... it didn't stop him.

Pain flashed across my face when Jake's hand connected. I was stunned. He had actually hit me! He just looked at me for a moment then turned around and hailed a cab.

I stood there rubbing my cheek. How had things gone so wrong. I had to let Derek know I screwed up. Should I tell him what Jake had done? No, it would just cloud the issue. If what I think is true ...

... Derek was too late to stop Beau from changing Jake.