Chapter Six-Free


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Chapter Six

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Chapter Six-Free

  1. 1. “Cause you're hot then you're cold. You're yes then you're no. You're in and you're out” – Katy Perry Storm Present day (06:54 am) –Storm’s Penthouse Storm rolled over his side of the bed and reached for Victoria; with a sharp pang he remembered last night‟s horrible fight. He had to make things right with her. But first to get back in her good books, he would bring her breakfast in bed. Convinced breakfast in bed is the perfect opening line to the groveling he had to do, purposefully, he made his way downstairs to the kitchen.
  2. 2. “What the hell?” Storm swore furiously as his eyes scanned the letter he held in his hands. He had just woken up and padded softly downstairs in the hope of finding Victoria so they could talk and clear the air. No way did he ever imagine he would wake up this morning and she would be gone. Waves of emotion swept over him and his heart crumbled as each word he read pierced his very core. He could almost hear her voice as he read the words...
  3. 3. “Storm, I‟m sure you must think it‟s so cliché of me to leave you a letter and vanish out of your life. I‟m sorry, if there was another way, I would have done things differently. Last night was an eye opener, I realized things I never knew about myself and things I already knew were reaffirmed. I have so much to say to you and this letter is the only way I could get you to listen to me, the only way I can say what needs to be said, what should have been said a long time ago
  4. 4. without either one of us getting angry and stalking out of the room? “I‟ve loved you from the moment I met you. I knew it then and I know it now, and I guess I was hoping you felt the same way too. Kendra and Dean said you do, my parents think you do, but in the end I needed to hear you admit it and you just wouldn‟t. When I moved in with you it was only supposed to be temporary and I guess I overstayed my welcome because I was hoping we could both work through our grief over the loss of our baby. I was hoping you‟d let go of your past ghosts and let me in, but you never did. Sure, the lovemaking between us was awesome, but I needed more than that. I wanted to feel connected to you, and no matter how hard I tried, there was always that place I just couldn‟t reach, that place you kept so hidden from me. I always felt like the outsider looking in, except when we made love and only then I felt I knew you, I felt connected to you and sometimes, I could almost feel your love for me.
  5. 5. “I‟m sorry I didn‟t tell you about the baby. I was going to tell you when I came back from my parents‟. But things just spun out of control. You‟ve told me so many times you‟ve forgiven me, but I could always see it in your eyes, the rage, the anger and the blame and in the end I just couldn‟t keep looking at you and see the ramifications of what I‟ve done. I wish we could have allowed ourselves to grieve with each other, I wish you could have allowed me to make things right but you kept pushing me away until the distance between us was so huge it swallowed both of us up.
  6. 6. “I‟m going away and I‟m not sure what I‟m hoping to achieve, but I know Statham Island is not the place I should be at right now. I need to make a clean start, find myself and hopefully find some peace. I love you Storm, and if I knew there was even a slight chance that we could move past this I would stay, I would fight to make things right between us, but you‟ve shown me over and over again just how bad we are for each other. I hope you find love, happiness and peace of mind. I hope you meet the one woman who‟ll move you the way you‟ve moved me and I hope you don‟t let the past stand in the way of your
  7. 7. happiness. I hope you find some peace and closure. With all my love, Victoria.” Storm‟s hands shook violently as he read the Dear John letter from Victoria over and over again. His mind reeled and he stood immobile in the middle of his living room wondering how he could have let her get away. He couldn‟t lose her. He couldn‟t let her go. He loved her and he needed her. They‟d both said and done stupid, horrible things over the past four weeks and it was true, they had almost destroyed each other, but he loved her and now she was gone. Spurred to action by the realization that he might never see Victoria again, Storm reached for the phone and called the one person who‟d know where Victoria was headed. ~
  8. 8. 7:15 am “Storm, let her go!” Kendra breathed into the phone firmly. Victoria was a mess last night at Lulu Lounge before Storm came to fetch her. She drank too much, cried and danced on the tables because she was devastated by the way things had turned out between her and Storm.
  9. 9. “No. I won‟t let her go. Tell me dammit where she is headed. I need to talk to her!” Storm barked angrily. He could feel a headache starting at his temples and Kendra was playing hard to get. He didn‟t have time for this! “I won‟t! You‟ve put her through so much already. She needs to get away from you and you need a break from her. You are toxic for each other. I won‟t let you destroy her. Stay away from her!? Kendra yelled back. How dare he? It was so typical of him to want Victoria now that she was gone.
  10. 10. “I love her,” Storm whispered, his voice shaking with sadness. “You should have told her that before you drove her away. Let it go Storm. It‟s over.” Kendra murmured coldly before hanging up. ~
  11. 11. Victoria 7:45 am …It must have been love but it's over now. Lay a whisper on my pillow. Leave the winter on the ground. I wake up lonely, there's air of silence. In the bedroom and all around. Touch me now, I close my eyes and dream away… Sounds of Roxette‟s „It must have been love‟ filled Victoria‟s car. She stopped at a traffic light waiting for it turn green. She angrily brushed away the tears in her eyes and jabbed at the stop button on the car‟s stereo. The silence enveloping her was a welcomed relief. She had been driving for hours now, the beautiful scenery lost to her. She was almost at her new home and she smiled sadly as she flashed back to the events that led her to this moment....
  12. 12. One month ago "We think it's a great idea Toria. At least if you stay with Storm for a while we won't have to worry about you. We are leaving tonight and we would worry knowing you are here on your own," her mom said sensibly. "And Storm can look after you 24/7 honey. He's the FBI," her dad added his two cents worth. Suddenly Victoria had a sneaking suspicion that they had all planned this and it was no coincidence that Storm showed up at her door like that. "But I'm fine here on my own. I've got the alarm system and the panic button. I'll be fine," Victoria insisted stubbornly. "Let me spell it out for you Victoria, this is not up for negotiation, you are coming to stay with me until a better security system is installed here!" Storm snapped. Why should everything be so complicated with her? "Besides, I'll be able to look after you better at my place." "Only for a week or so, until the security system is installed," Victoria relented.
  13. 13. Victoria explored the master bedroom upstairs. She couldn‟t get over the amazing view of the city Storm had from his penthouse. She could stare out at that view the whole day. She gazed longingly at his big inviting bed. Well, she could just take a small nap, she‟d wake up in time before Storm came home and he wouldn‟t have to find out she‟d slept in his bed. Fatigue clouding her mind, she padded softly to the bed. The whole room smelt of him and, with a pang, she longed for him to come home. As soon as her head hit the pillow and she closed her eyes, she was out like a baby.
  14. 14. The sight of Victoria in his bed was the best greeting he could have ever hoped for. He wondered if he should sleep in his own bed or use the guest room his butler, Edward, had prepared for Victoria. He wondered again why she was sleeping in his bed and not hers, unless, maybe it was an invitation. Well if it was, it wasn‟t much of an invitation because she was out like a baby and snoring softly. He found her snoring so sexy. He stood watching over her. She really is beautiful and looks so peaceful, he thought. He was about to leave and sleep in the guest room when she whimpered in her sleep, crying softly, “No Julian, please...don‟t...Not my baby...” Storm got into his bed beside her and held her comfortingly, whispering over and over again, “Shhh, it‟s okay. You are safe now!”
  15. 15. Victoria woke up, startled to feel a tight grip around her. She turned her head slightly to find Storm‟s dark blue gaze watching her.
  16. 16. “What the heck?” She yelped, jumping out of his bed, forgetting she was in nothing but her underwear. “What are you doing here?” “I sleep here! It‟s my bed remember,” Storm answered, his eyes twinkled with mischief. “I know that. I meant...well, never mind. I need to take a shower,” she mumbled, running downstairs to the guest room‟s ensuite bathroom.
  17. 17. “How‟s this going to work?” Victoria asked suddenly over their first breakfast together in his house. “Meaning?” Storm inquired, his brows furrowing darkly. This was hard. He was used to having breakfast on his own and now he had to make conversation with the one woman he wanted to fling over his shoulder, carry upstairs and make mad passionate love to. “Do I cook for you while you go fend for us?” “You don‟t have to do anything for me Victoria. Edward makes all our meals and is in charge of housekeeping. You can do whatever you want, paint, read, watch TV. I just want you to rest and recover,” he answered.
  18. 18. “Are you going to tell me anything about yourself?” She continued. “What would you like to know?” “Tell me about Emma,” Victoria suggested. Abruptly Storm stood from the table, a cold look in his eyes. “That has nothing to do with you!” He told her icily and left the room to dress for work.
  19. 19. Victoria was left dumbstruck. What had just happened? She couldn‟t understand why Storm had reacted the way he had. She just wanted to know more about him. She knew about his job but she didn‟t know him as a man and she‟d thought if he talked about Emma she could get an idea of who he is, what he liked and so on. She hadn‟t expected that cold reaction!
  20. 20. Upstairs in the master bedroom, Storm fumed. He didn‟t know why he reacted the way he had to Victoria‟s seemingly innocent question. He just felt cornered. Emma was the one thing he didn‟t discuss with anyone. Well if he and Victoria were going to start a relationship he would have to start opening up to her and maybe talking about Emma wasn‟t such a bad idea. He promised himself he would tell her about Emma the next time she asked but she never did after that. ~
  21. 21. Three weeks ago “I‟ve been here a week now; I think maybe we should talk.” Victoria started. They had just finished their dinner and Storm was about to retreat to his bedroom and leave her to her own devices like he had been doing for the past week. “Oh? About?” Storm asked casually, his eyes wondering up and down her petite figure and caressing her all at once. “Everything, the baby...Julian, us. What are we doing here Storm? What am I doing here?” She asked, confused and filled with despair. She‟d thought moving in with him for a little while would bring them closer, but the wall between them seemed to grow higher and higher everyday and she was afraid it would get so high she wouldn‟t be able to see him anymore.
  22. 22. “Okay. I‟m listening,” he told her, his body stiffened with tension. This felt like a confrontation and he hated confrontations. “Storm, we‟ve lost our baby. We need to talk about our feelings. What happened with Julian was unfortunate and I was going to tell you about the baby but things just...spiraled out of control...” she cried helplessly, hoping she was reaching him somehow. “Yes, the infamous Julian Scott! There‟s nothing to talk about Victoria. Like you said, we‟ve lost the baby you conveniently forgot to tell me about and you are here because I feel guilty about what happened to you and I want to watch over you!” He hissed coldly, his dark blue eyes were filled with rage.
  23. 23. Victoria felt like she had been slapped. What? He felt guilty and that was the only reason she was here? Didn‟t he love her? Feel something for her? What? “I thought...” she whispered sadly and burst into tears. “You thought what?” Storm glowered. He knew he was being cruel and mean to her. He wanted to stop and reach out to her, but he was so angry with her for keeping his baby away from him and for getting involved with that creep Julian Scott.
  24. 24. “I thought you loved me,” she finally answered. He did and he opened his mouth to say so, but what he said shattered whatever illusions she may have had “Don‟t confuse pity with love Victoria!” Victoria couldn‟t stand there and listen to the crap coming out of his mouth anymore. She rushed to the guest room and flung herself on the bed and cried herself to sleep. ~
  25. 25. Two weeks ago Victoria surveyed the progress she had made on the canvass. She had been painting up a storm and well, Storm‟s view brought out all the creativity in her. A satisfied smile was on her face as she put the finishing touches on the canvass. Piper will be pleased with this one, she thought to herself. She glanced at her wrist watch and panicked a little as she saw the time. She had to change and start making dinner.
  26. 26. She‟d sent Edward home early because she was planning a surprise romantic dinner for Storm. She thought she should try just one more time to reach out to him. She knew he felt something for her and it wasn‟t „pity‟ as he had put it. “Hey, what‟s this?” Storm asked as he sat on the barstool watching her prepare dinner. He had just returned from BAU‟s offices after working a grueling serial killer case for the past week. “Where‟s Edward?” “I sent him home early. I wanted to make you one of my famous home cooked meals. You‟ll love it,” she looked up from the chopping board and smiled at him. He looked gorgeous and suddenly she was hungry, but not for the lobster thermidor she was planning on serving.
  27. 27. Storm, as if reading her mind, rose from his seat and moved toward her. He pulled her close in the most sensuous embrace Victoria had ever felt. Her heart thudded furiously against her rib cage. She lifted her head slightly to meet his eyes. She gulped a little as she looked at his mouth. Storm knew the effect he had on her. He could feel the slight tremor going through her body as he bent his dark head and started exploring her mouth, slowly at first, then gradually becoming more demanding. “No!” Victoria moaned softly, pulling away from him to check on the lobster thermidor in the oven.
  28. 28. They both knew they were making mindless conversation over dinner. Victoria knew how this night would end, and Storm had no doubt in his mind that the night would end with her in his arms, either in her bed or his, whichever was closest or most comfortable.
  29. 29. He pushed his plate away, hoping he did not appear rude; after all she had gone through so much trouble to prepare this dinner for him. Victoria, reading his mind, did the same. She stood from her chair and held out her hand to him and led him upstairs to the master bedroom. ~
  30. 30. One week ago Victoria and Storm trudged along in perfect bliss after they had made love the week before. Their relationship improved. Victoria sent Edward home early every day now and prepared dinner for Storm. They ended off their evenings in Storm‟s bed. They never seemed to get enough of each other. Storm had thought making love to Victoria was a novelty that would soon wear off, but his passion for her surprised him each time they made love. She was the very air he breathed and when he was at work he missed her so much and he rushed home every moment he got. Victoria knew she was falling deeper and deeper in love with him. Her head told her no, but her heart told her otherwise after all, the heart wants what the heart wants!
  31. 31. “If you could have one thing in the world right now, what would it be?” Victoria whispered hoarsely. They‟d just finished making love and were cuddling on his bed. “I have everything I want right here,” Storm murmured, kissing her. He loved the way she felt in his arms. He loved this moment, right now, with the rest of the world shut out. He realized then he was truly happy for the first time in a very long time.
  32. 32. “And you? What would you have?” He asked. She was drowsy with sleep by then. “A puppy,” she mumbled, her eye lids drooping. Storm laughed softly, only she would want something so simple. He was often in awe of her simplicity, her innocence and her naiveté. With her, what you saw is what you got; there were no hidden agendas and he loved that about her. “I love you,” Victoria whispered and he froze. He loved her and he wanted to tell her that, but he just couldn‟t. Victoria felt him tense up and her heart crumbled a little. ~
  33. 33. Last night 22:38pm “Where have you been? I called your office and they said you left a while ago!” Storm was met by Victoria‟s angry screams as soon he walked through the door. “Calm down. What is wrong with you? Why are you screaming for?”He asked calmly. “I waited for you. I thought you‟d be home soon and I made dinner. Why didn‟t you tell me you were going to be late?” She asked again, her voice sounding shrill and whiny. She knew she was overreacting, but she looked forward to this part of the day when he came home and they could talk.
  34. 34. “I ran into some friends and we stopped for a drink. What‟s the big deal?” He fired back. “Well it would be nice if you could pick up the phone and tell me you‟d be late so I wouldn‟t bother to wait up for you!” Victoria mumbled, the fight in her suddenly gone. “Victoria, let me make it clear to you, sharing my bed does not mean we are married. I‟ve told you before and I‟m telling you again, don‟t confuse sex and pity with love and marriage!” Storm raged at her. The last thing he needed was a clingy, self-proclaimed wife.
  35. 35. “What? So that‟s all it‟s been between us? Sex and Pity?? She asked incredulously. “What else did you think it was?” He countered icily. “I regret the day I met and fell in love with you. You know what Storm, this is it. It‟s over! I‟m done! I‟ve tried to show you so many time I love you and I don‟t know what else I should do. Should I rip open my chest and show you my heart? What? Tell me dammit what I need to do to make you see?” She pleaded, tears trailing a messy path on her face.
  36. 36. “I told you from the start that I can‟t be what you want. I‟ve got nothing to offer you,” he answered, feeling defeated. “You bastard! You are cold hearted, mean spirited, and unable to love anyone, Storm Chace, and you‟ll die a miserable, lonely man!? Victoria screamed, flying into a rage. Storm flinched at her words and through gritted teeth offered his own low blow, “at least I‟m not the insane murdering bastard who fathered your child!”
  37. 37. “Whoa” You think Julian was the father? Is that what you‟ve thought all along? How dare you?” She slapped him right across his face and immediately inched away from him as she saw the murderous look in his eyes. “Don‟t ever do that again. If you do, I might just retaliate!? Storm hissed icily. For a long time they stood frozen, staring at each other and wondering how a simple argument between lovers could escalate to such a full-scale war. Storm told himself over and over again that they would get over it; they would go to bed, make love and talk like normal people.
  38. 38. Wordlessly, Victoria reached for her car keys and started for the front door. “Victoria, come back here! It‟s late, you can‟t be out on your own like this. Where are you going?” Storm yelled after her. “Stay away from me Storm. Go back to your cold, big bed and fancy furniture that you call a home. I‟m out of here!” Victoria answered through clenched teeth. Her voice trembled with unshed tears. ~
  39. 39. Present day Lulu Lounge 01:55am “I think we should take her home. She‟s going out of her head. Do you have any idea what happened?” Piper asked Kendra. They were both watching Victoria dance on the tables to Britney Spears‟ „Freak show‟ and flirt outrageously with every guy that looked her way. “She didn‟t want to talk about it. She was a mess when I got here,” Kendra answered. She knew whatever had happened between Victoria and Storm had been massive otherwise her friend wouldn‟t be dancing on the tables. She was not much of a dancer or a drinker and tonight she was doing both and in a very extreme fashion.
  40. 40. “What are you sitting around like that for; did someone die?” Victoria asked as she rejoined her friends, her speech was heavily slurred now and her eyes looked wild and yet so empty. “We have to take you home now. You‟ve had too much to drink,” Piper told her firmly, grabbing her arm. “No! I came to party and that‟s what I‟m going to do. I‟m free! Free of Storm Chace and his stony heart! Free of Statham Island. And you know what ladies? I‟m blowing out of this town!” Victoria screamed, hiccupping and sobbing all at once.
  41. 41. 02:15am “Kendra, thank God you called. Is Victoria with you by any chance? I‟ve called her cell phone and she‟s not picking up,” Storm talked urgently into the phone. “Yes she‟s with me. We are at Lulu Lounge. Please come and get her. She‟s refusing to leave and she‟s a mess. What the hell did you do to her Storm? I‟ve never seen her like this and I‟ve known her since we were little girls,” Kendra said, getting angrier with Storm as she watched Victoria continue dancing like demons possessed her. “I‟ll be there in ten minutes,” Storm replied, ignoring Kendra‟s question.
  42. 42. 02:30am “What is he doing here? Did you guys call him? Why? I asked you not to!” Victoria turned angrily to her friends as she saw Storm walk into the club and stroll over to where she and her friends were hanging out. The last person she wanted to see was him. And why was it that whenever she was in trouble, everyone called him? “Sorry Toria, but you didn‟t want us to take you home. Please Storm, take her home. She shouldn‟t be here, not when she‟s like this,” Kendra mumbled turning to Storm. She watched Victoria and Storm closely. Yep, they‟d definitely fought and from the way Victoria didn‟t want to look at him, it had been a major one.
  43. 43. 02:45am “Get some sleep. I‟ll see you in the morning,” Storm mumbled over his shoulder as he left Victoria‟s room. Victoria didn‟t answer. Listening intently, she waited until his footsteps faded.
  44. 44. She reached for her closet, changed her outfit, took out her luggage bag and stuffed her clothes and her personal belongings. Wow, one month of her life with Storm fitted in one luggage bag. It‟s a good thing she travelled lightly.
  45. 45. From the drawer on her bedside table, she took out her journal, sat down on the floor and started writing. “Storm, I‟m sure you must think it‟s so cliché of me to leave you a letter and vanish out of your life. I‟m sorry, if there was another way, I would have done things differently. Last night was an eye opener, I realized things I never knew about myself and things I already knew were reaffirmed....”
  46. 46. When she was done, she tore the three-page letter from her journal, slipped it into the envelope and left it on the dining table and left her month long roller coaster ride with Storm. She was tired, half drunk, confused, angry and so disillusioned. She wanted to lay her head down and rest, but she knew if she did she might end up sleeping and not leave. Leaving was paramount for her sanity.
  47. 47. Statham Island Behavioral Analysis Unit Now @07:46 am “Josh, can you give me this person‟s location please?” Storm asked his friend as he walked into the server room. After Kendra had proved to be no help; he decided to use BAU‟s resources. With or without Kendra‟s help, he would find Victoria and bring her home. “Sure...give me the number,” Josh replied. He sat down in front of his PC and typed in the cell phone number rattled off by Storm. Storm waited a second or two while Josh worked his magic; convinced he would tell him what he wanted to hear.
  48. 48. “I can‟t find anything man. Maybe they‟ve taken out the sim card,” Josh answered. “Are you sure? Try it again. I need to know that person‟s location,” Storm pleaded. “There‟s nothing dude. What‟s going on? Whose number is this? Well whoever they are, they don‟t want to be found! “Thanks anyway,” Storm mumbled, leaving the data room. Why? Why did she have to leave without talking to him one last time at least? Did she really not want to be found? Why? Had he been so horrible and cruel to her?