She stands there looking at it. The diamonds twinkle in the sunlight as she threads the bracelet through her fingers. She's come here to give it back to me. As I expected. What I didn't expect was for her to wait there in indecision for ten minutes.
It's quite sweet really but I can't watch Caroline all day.
"Is it not to your liking?"
She looks up with a gasp. I come up behind her, as if I've just arrived. She smiles tentatively, keeps her distance before drawing herself up and giving her shoulders a little shake. Steeling her nerve. She's a feisty wee thing.
"I can't keep it, I'm sorry." She holds it out to me as I stand before her, hands clasped behind my back. She keeps her arm raised.
"Why can't you? Doesn't it fit?" I reach for her wrist before she can move and ring my hand around it. Her heart races, her pulse throbbing against my fingers. "I took a guess."
"N - no it fits. I just can't accept it. Please take it back."
"Can't, lost the receipt." Which is partly true; got it from Tiffany's in New York, 1924. "Either you keep it or it'll sit in a draw somewhere."
"Leave it to tarnish? You've probably got thousands of these things..."
"It won't tarnish, it's platinum."
Suddenly she handles the bracelet as if it's a new born. The awe is clear on her face but I can see her resolve firming again. Her mouth purses and I let go of her arm. I hadn't paid much attention to Caroline before, which is understandable but now she has my attention. Which is not what I planned. I do have other pressing matters to attend with but she's become a pleasurable distraction. And quite out of the blue I might add.
"Look, I don't want to come across as rude. You saved my life and everything but I'm not an idiot."
"I never said you were. What's the problem sweetheart?"
She narrows her eyes at me, this little girl. "The problem is you're a psycho. I should probably go with a more PC term but there it is. No offense." She's babbling, obviously scared but she has decided to come here alone and face me. I do value bravery.
"Quite a lot taken actually. So you won't take it because you think I'm mad?"
"No because you gave it to me with ulterior motives in mind. I'm not going to be one of your little minions."
"I wouldn't dream of it." I grin at her, can't help myself. I move closer, arms safely behind my back. "Listen, love. The bracelet is a gift, that's all."
"Why would you give it to me? You already saved my life, you didn't have to do anything else."
I shrug, leaning down a bit more. "Does there have to be a reason?"
"Uh, yeah? I wouldn't give this kind of jewellery to just anyone." She looks down at it, her longing ill disguised.
"I haven't given it to just anyone. I've given it to Caroline Forbes."
She looks up, throwing her head back scornfully. "Please. You're an Original. I must be like a little tadpole to you."
I smile softly at her. "You are young but then again all of you are compared to me. The difference is," she keeps her ground as I move behind her, "you're now more then you were before. You're young but you also have all the time in the world. You have no idea the person you can become. You have so much potential."
She follows me with her eyes. Eyes that are beginning to see. "I've always had potential; the only difference is I'm dead now. I'm going to graduate and I'm going to college and I'm going to achieve. I don't need you to do that." She waves the bracelet at me, this arrogant young woman. "I don't want it."
"Why not?" My voice did not just sound that petulant.
"Because you've killed me friends and turned my boyfriend into a hybrid."
"Ex-boyfriend." I correct and she flushes.
"Whatever!" She grabs my arm and pushes the bracelet into my hand. "Thanks but no thanks."
"Caroline...I'll just get you something else. Even more extravagant."
"And I'll just return it." She pulls her hands away from mine and turns on her heel. She only starts running once she's clear of the gates.
Once she's out of sight a pleased smile plays over my face. I turn back into the house, that's coming along quite nicely, and think of what to get her next. Something that will most certainly make her return.