Hey everyone! Sorry it's been so long, but I'm back into the swing of things and should be posting chapters much more regularly. Please enjoy and please review!
Laura felt the slamming of the door behind her mirrored in a shuddering sob that ripped through her body the instant she knew Carmilla could no longer see her. She stumbled blindly through the tears down the hallway, and towards the door she knew belonged to Perry. She knocked as hard as she could muster through the shaking sobs that wracked her body. The door swung open and the wide, Stepford-wivesian grin that Perry always had plastered on her face quickly pressed into a hard frown when she saw the small, disheveled girl standing in the opening.
"Oh, sweetie," she murmured, taking Laura's backpack from her and tossing it at Laf who was coming into view behind her, and cupping Laura by the elbow with the other hand and gently guiding her into the room. Perry closed the door behind them and guided Laura to have a seat on her crisply made bed.
"What happened?" Laf asked gently, setting Laura's bag down and taking a seat next to the honey blonde.
"Carm…" Laura murmured between sobs, the two redheads exchanged a meaningful look. "I love her," Laura choked out.
"Um, isn't that a good thing?" Laf probed, their eyebrows knotting quizzically.
"LaFontaine, clearly something else has happened. Most people don't turn into a sobbing mess over good things," Perry replied sternly, settling herself on the other side of the small girl and stroking her blonde hair gently. "What happened, dear?" Perry questioned softly, reaching into her pocket with her free hand and producing a tissue which she began gently blotting Laura's tears with.
"The Dean is her mother," Laura choked out, fresh tears cascading down her cheeks, much to Perry's dismay, as the fresh wound of this knowledge ached at having to verbalize Carmilla's betrayal. Laura sniffled and waited for their shocked responses, their horrified gasps, their protests of anger, but was instead met with silence. She looked up curiously and watched as the two redheads exchanged solemn, knowing looks.
"Oh, that's fantastic!" Laura moaned, slapping her hand over her eyes and falling back dramatically onto the bed. "Why am I always the last person to know about the things MY roommate is doing!?" she wailed, not really expecting a response at her somewhat rhetorical question, but not shocked that she was getting one anyway.
"Weeeelll," Laf began to muse, quizzically stroking their chin, the cogs of their voracious brain visibly spinning, "it could be that you've simply been blocking this out."
"LaFontaine!" Perry hissed, "Laura does not need your pseudo psychology at this moment!" However, this had gotten Laura's attention and she propped herself up on her elbows, looking sternly at the Biology major.
"No, Perry, I appreciate your concern, but I want to hear what Laf has to say," she nodded toward Laf, encouraging them to continue.
"Well," Laf continued, "it seems like maybe you are the last to know this stuff because you want to be the last one to know. You have a front row seat to everything Carmilla, and as far as investigative skills go, you've got us all beat by a mile. However, you have a disadvantage that Perry, Danny, and myself are not subject to; warm, fuzzy, romantic blinders." Laf paused, waiting to see if the message had sunken in, or if they needed to elaborate further. Laura's eyes blinked wide as Laf's words hit home, and suddenly the pain in her chest was being accompanied with a heaping side dish of steaming hot stupidity. She couldn't believe her blindness. The signs had been there all along. Especially after she found out about Will, how could she not have known!? Jeese, Hollis, way to go. Some investigative journalist you'll make! "Yes, ladies and gentleman, it seems like the massive flooding is due to too much water!" Laura Hollis, Captain Obvious! It was right in front of me this entire time!
"You're right," Laura groaned aloud, straightening herself to a sitting position once again.
"I am?" Laf chirped, sounding just as shocked as Perry looked.
"Yes, you're right," Laura continued, sighing gently and taking the tissue from Perry to blot away the last of the tears and wipe at her sniffling nose. "I didn't tell you guys, but the other night after Carm and Danny fought, I ran out into the woods behind the dorm and-"
"You did what!?" Perry shrieked, "Laura Hollis, how thoughtless of you! Those woods are so dangerous, who knows what could've been out there! And you could've ruined that beautiful gown with all that disgusting mud and dirt out there-"
"Perry," Laf interjected, "I don't think the cleanliness of Laura's clothes is our biggest concern right now," they offered a placating smile to the other redhead.
"Anyway," Laura carried on, smirking at a pouting Perry, "When I was out there, I ran into Will. Turns out…Carmilla isn't the only vampire at Hollis." Laf and Perry's jaws just about hit the floor.
"You mean Will too!?" Laf asked, looking more than mildly concerned.
"Yes," Laura nodded, "and I should've known exactly who Carmilla's mother was right then, because he told me Carmilla was his 'sister', as in they were made by the same woman. Why would there be two vampires posing as students at Silas if the person responsible for these missing girls weren't also at Silas and in some kind of position of power to make that happen?"
"So," Laf spoke softly, and Laura's chest constricted as she knew exactly what was coming, "what are you going to do? I mean, you love her…" Laf trailed off, not knowing exactly how to end that thought/question.
"I don't know," Laura stated matter-of-factly. "She said something about how her mother had done things to her, awful things, to make her cooperate. And, I mean, if she was really horrible, really complicit in these plans, wouldn't she have killed me as soon as she knew that I knew what she was? Or have Will do it that night I was alone in the woods? I mean, she stopped herself from hurting Danny because I asked her not to, and she HATES Danny. She must care about me, at least a little bit right?" Laura's voice was quavering once again, and she knew her question was directed less at the two silent redheads sitting either side of her, and more at the aching, clawing in her heart that was pushing against her sternum, yearning to be in the room down the hall, close to the warm body of the one person her overactive, anxious brain was telling her she had no business wanting to be near right now.
"I have to talk to her," she whispered harshly, fighting back every screaming thought that was telling her Danny was right, Carmilla was a monster. Every ounce of self-preservation instinct she had should be telling her not to go anywhere near the vampire with clearly questionable motives and the world's creepiest brother that she had watched pulverize the bones in her friend's arm a day earlier. But all of those instincts, all of that rationale, was blurred by images of a warm smile, of remembrance of the soft embrace of Carmilla's body, holding her close, the tender touch of her hands as they danced and the way they held her so gently but with a strength that she knew would have protected her to the very end, and the deep look of love sparkling out at her from the starry black night of Carmilla's eyes. Yes, love. Laura knew it. She had seen it. She had felt it.
Suddenly she stood up, clearly startling the two redheads deep in thought on either side of her. She made her way swiftly to the door, their calls and questions lost on her. She felt it in every fiber of her being that the ache in her heart, the pull of it towards Carmilla, was the physical act of the old adage that misery loves company, and her wounded heart longed to be with its companion that she knew was just as torn, just as devastated. They needed to piece themselves back together. And they needed to do it together.