Title: Freeing Jake Gray
Characters: Chloe, Ava, Lana, Jake, Varden
Sequel to: When Tara Met Jason
Universe: Tara Paranormal Investigations
Disclaimer: Don't Own
Summary: Thanks to a vision of Ava's, Chloe and the psychic are now cross country, trying to find a way to free Jake Gray. Then Chloe discovers that someone from her past is in the thick of this, and he holds the keys to Jake's freedom...literally.
Written for my Paranoraml25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt of the day #120
Should be a two-or-threeshot
Thanks to all the drugs in his system, Jake slept through all of the drive to the airport, the flight to Metropolis, and the drive back to Chloe's apartments on the top floor of the Tara building. If it hadn't been for Clay and his mega strength, they wouldn't have been able to get him up to his bed, and while everyone wanted to get a look at the new guy, Chloe had shooed them away except for Clay, who was helping her rearrange Jake in a comfortable position in bed under his sheets, and remove his shoes and such.
"Are you sure it's safe for you to have him here with you?" Clay asked in a soft, uneasy voice, stepping back and leaning against the wall as he looked at the sandy-blonde man sleeping deeply in her guest bedroom.
"Of course." She whispered, tucking Jake in before brushing some hair out of his face with a smile and standing up. "Why wouldn't it be?"
"He's on some heavy medication now, Chlo." Clay reasoned. "He'll wake up, disoriented, in a place he doesn't know, scared, and body going through withdrawal of his meds. I don't like the thought of you being here alone with him when that happens."
Chloe looked at Clay with wide eyes before returning her gaze to Jake. "I'm sure it won't be as bad as that."
"Chloe." Clay's face was dark and serious. "I don't feel comfortable with this."
She gave him a long, thoughtful gaze. "Are you offering to stay over for the night?"
He nodded, not denying it one bit. "The other guest room is closer to this one, so if anything happens I'll be awake and there to help you."
She didn't know why she was so surprised at the offer. Clay was probably the most helpful person she'd ever met. He was incredibly nice, considerate, protective and helpful.
He was kinda perfect sometimes...and annoying the other half of the time.
Which kept him from getting boring, in her books at least.
"That bed is very uncomfortable." She warned him, making sure he knew what he was getting himself into. "The springs rebel against anyone using them."
"As kids my family family would take Whitney and I camping." Clay always got that sad expression in his eyes when he spoke about his sister, yet thankfully each time that disheartening gleam lasted less and less in his beautiful eyes. "I'm used to rougher conditions."
The blonde motioned with her head towards the doorway and they exited the room, Chloe leaving the nightlight on so that it wouldn't be completely dark as she closed the door. "You want some hot cocoa? I've got a craving for it all of a sudden."
"I'll make the hot cocoa, you go take a bath." Clay replied.
"Are you telling me I stink?" She gasped in mock-indigination.
Clay's blue/green eyes twinkled in mirth. "No. I'm saying you've been on the job, driving, and in a plane for the last couple of hours. You bathe and de-stress, and I will make us some cocoa and scrambled eggs."
"You are my hero." Chloe gushed happily as she reached for his arm, pulled the gigantic man down to her height and pressed a thankful kiss to his cheek before rushing to go take a bath, just giddy at the thought of scrubbing her skin clean and soaking for a while in the warm, relaxing water.
She found it amusing how, despite the fact that she lived on the top floor of the Tara building, everyone seemed to want to congregate in her living after hours instead of just concluding matters below. Lois, Lana, Jo, Clay, Ava and even Brady were known to spend quite a few nights at her place, raiding her kitchen and watching movies or playing board games or something.
The blonde finally pulled herself out of the tub and changed into a large t-shirt and boxershorts, going to find Clay finishing with the eggs, passing her a plate.
"Yum." She smiled, taking said plate, and stealing one of the cups of hot cocoa, before going to sit on the stool by the counter. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He smiled, standing on the other side of the counter, laying his plate and cup down. "So...he's like your daughter."
She hesitated a second before nodding, taking a sip of the delicious beverage. "Yes."
"What are your plans?" Clay asked, eyes on his eggs.
"Well, to help him, obviously." She announced after chewing and swallowing. "They played with his life like they did with mine and Alice, and I'm not going to let them ruin his life like they did mine. Plus, maybe, I can understand a little more about what happened with me by helping him...and that sounds so selfish when I say it out loud."
"No, it doesn't." Clay shook his head. "And I think it's really commendable what you're doing, and I can understand how it would be something like therapy, but I just want you to remember that that's a human being inside there, not a hurt puppy."
"I know that." Chloe mumbled, gaze on her plate. "You probably don't know what I'm talking about, but I met Varden when I was there."
"Lois said he was an old love of yours." Clay surprised her by admitting. "And that he's a vampire."
"Yes, on both accounts." Chloe nodded. "It was...so surreal talking to him again. I---I felt I was fourteen all over again." She frowned. "I don't know if I liked the feeling."
"Do you ever think you'd get back together with him? Now that you're older and...I don't know." For some reason Clay seemed uncomfortable.
"No, I don't think I'd ever get back with Varden." Chloe admitted after a moment's silence. "Don't get me wrong. A part of me is always going to be in love with him, and be grateful for all he did for me, but being with Varden reminds me of when Alice was alive, and I just can't----it's hard enough to live each day with her memory now. But Varden---seeing Varden is like seeing Alice, and I know its unfair and that he doesn't deserve for me to do that, but I just do. And I---." She lowered her head and took in a deep breath. "When my daughter was murdered, a part of me died with her. I'm not the same person I once was and I don't think I ever want to be because that would be like I was betraying her memory."
Clay was silent, but his gaze was intense and nearly physical.
"Anyway, at work tomorrow I want you working on a special case for me." Chloe shook her head, trying to rid herself of the bloody images and a mutilated, terrified child's face. "I want you to start a research on who stole the Colt from John Elkins. It surprises me, because Daniel Elkins, his brother, is the one I would have thought would have gotten the Colt, but then again Daniel Elkins died in a suspicious car crash two years ago so maybe his little brother got hold of it postmortem."
"The Colt?" Clay frowned, confused. "I'm guessing you're not talking about a young horse."
She flashed a quick smile at that. "No, far from it. It's a revolver, made by Samuel Colt. It can kill anything, even demons. But there's a limited amount of bullets---or at least there are according to legend---and so it should only be used sparsely. I'm guessing another Hunter has it, and I'm not going to feel safe until I know who does."
"Okay," Clay nodded. "I'll get on it first thing tomorrow and see what I can find."
"Thank you." She smiled at him.
Clay hesitated a second before reaching over and placing his hand on hers. "It's going to be alright, Chloe."
She sighed and tightened the hold. "I hope you're right."
But for some reason she felt as if things were only going to get worse before getting better.