One Shot: Questions

Type: One Shot
Character: Olivia Vaughn
Author: Annie

Waves of auburn raced past in a whirlwind of emotions, slamming the shop door shut behind her. Anger, tears, the pitiful howls of distress after the woman’s suspicions were confirmed. Olivia’s ears were still ringing from the high-pitched shouts of her client’s disbelief. A long, heavy sigh slipped out from eggplant colored lips, “…and this is why I always insist on payment first.” Tossing the cash into her drawer she didn’t even bother to count the small pittance for ruining yet another relationship. Leaning back in her chair, the raven-haired woman kicked her feet up onto the desk in annoyance. By now she was immune to the typical human reactions, but clients like that little auburn mouse were by far the absolute worst. They barged into her business claiming to be seeking the truth, only to fall into a sorry state of denial once revelations were made. Liv knew from the start that the woman would have been better off not knowing, choosing the pathetic path of running from the truth.

‘I have no room to talk’. A bitter smirk formed on her lips at the thought of her own pathetic state. Emerald green eyes shut, her ears calmed by listening to the sounds of the falling rain against old single-paned glass windows. Every time water fell from the sky she was reminded of her greatest failure. The ache in her shoulder grew immensely in the chilled air, a stark contrast from the burning scar that permanently marred her skin. Instinctively her left hand reached across her chest, rubbing the joint as it sent brief, electrifying tingles down her arm.

The memories of that night haunted her body and mind for the past two years, the image as clear as day. A lycan’s fangs gouging her skin, the sight of the blood, her tendons exposed from the ripped flesh. Even the sound of her bones cracking under the beasts’ weight returned, her nose crinkled for a single moment as she ignored the rusty scent plaguing her. If anyone was truly pathetic these days it was most certainly Olivia Vaughn.

Once a feared, ruthless huntress had become nothing more than a forgotten relic, resigned to work as a private investigator killing marriages rather than those who broke the law of the night world. A lifetime of training through sweat and blood was gone in an instant, never to return.

News of her ‘retirement’ was kept to hushed whispers amongst the leaders, her name forced into obscurity as her existence was wiped like those who had failed the Helsing family before. She was a disappointment, an outcast that was no longer welcome by those who raised her. Born alone, Die alone. While she was no longer an enforcer of the night, she still followed that mantra drilled into her subconscious from childhood.

Liv had moved back to this drab town, almost as if some part of her longed for the nostalgia of those grand days when she was at her peak. However, this place had long since fallen from that heyday of activity, the creatures of the darkness moving onto their next conquest. Her uneventful days quickly began to numb the sharp, polished skills she used to pride herself on. Instead of protecting humans, her time was spent on internet searches and the silent observation of cheaters, corporate thieves, and locating runaways. She was no longer a part of the night world; Liv had become just ordinary.

Even though great lengths were taken to erase her from memory, someone from the past remembered the name Olivia Vaughn, and dared to seek her out. The letter requesting a meeting was a shock to say the least. Her first instinct was to assume that this was a trap, perhaps someone trying to finish her off for good. While she may have been forgotten, her long list of enemies still held their grudges against her. However, there was something more to this letter, hidden behind the sloppy cursive words seeking help locating something that was missing. It was faint, but a very familiar scent wafted from the paper of pine embers and blood mixed with ink. There was only one person this could be, and as the door opened, her assumption was correct.

Lowering her legs, Olivia sat back in her chair properly, her right-hand laying atop a loaded revolver on her desk. Emerald eyes narrowed, and her lips straightened into an emotionless gaze just like in the old days. Liv had no idea how much her guest knew about her current status, whether they would call her bluff, but for now she’d play her role. “My how the mighty have fallen,” she smoothly taunted, “You must be truly desperate to seek my help.” A finger pressed hard against the barrel of the gun, her muscle memory guiding the tingling appendage along its length. The tension in the air was thicker than the fog outside as the old memories began to return. They did not part on good terms in their last encounter, or rather clash of stubborn wills. “Shall we cut the fake pleasantries? What do you want from me?”