2010-06-11: Haunted



Date: June 11th, 2010


Just like old times.


Tracy's Apartment

Washington, D.C.

Tracy sits on the right side of her bed, her familiar D.C. apartment dark as the evening outside, save for a pair of white-shaded lamps on the wall above her bed. From behind, her silhouette is an elegant one: her back is mostly bare due to the backless, one-shouldered black dress she wears, and her hair, hanging loose, is swept almost artfully to one side. It's a look meant for nights out. Parties, events, fancy dinners. Her bedroom is immaculate, everything in its place.

She snakes a bare arm out toward her bedside table where her house phone sits; white, with a spiraling cord. It's not usually in here, but today it is. A light on it blinks, reminding her time and time again that she has a message. Her hand stops before it gets there; she looks out her open bedroom door.

A soft cloud of steam rolls along the floor just outside the room, its source the audible running water from the nearby bathroom. Tracy eases to her feet and strolls out into the steam, which turns out to be more encompassing than first glance. Warm and thick, it's a veritable cloud of moisture. Her head starts to tip to one side, in wonder, but she's unconcerned by what she sees. She walks through the misty hall with a growing expression of peace — of bliss. She calmly steps to the door she can't even see, reaching out. The steam surrounds her, clinging to her skin in droplets, dampening her hair.

Shrouded by the thick mist that dares to hinder the view of anything beyond what's right in front of Tracy's face, is something of a dark figure. Somehow, the shadow manages to blend into the growing mist, just as easily as it is spotted. A very strange, but perhaps fitting, combination if there ever was one.The shadow doesn't move, not a bit, as it remains in that stationary position. As if it's waiting for something to happen. Someone to notice.

Steam is a funny thing. Clinging and grabbing at Tracy as she tries the door, it doesn't seem like it wants to let go. While the door opens easily, it also releases enough steam to completely overtake the slim body that belongs to the likes of Tracy Strauss. She may, if she is not careful, find herself swallowed up by the steam that pulls and grabs to get her inside the bathroom.


Once she is safely inside, that door makes it a point to remain slammed closed, nice and tightly. Protecting her from the watchful eyes of the shadows. Whatever they might be at this particular moment. Even if, as that shadow steps forward into the light, to reveal a charming smile that belongs to what was once a very familiar face…


Ivory Wynn.

Tracy's vision passes over the shadows, and narrow in the cloud that obscures her eyes. She's at home in the steamy atmosphere, however — she trails along with it all the way into the next room. It barely looks like a room, enclosed in such a fog. The sound of the slamming door marks the first peak of her concern and she spins around, searching. What she finds is a light— and a smile.

Instead of being alarmed, she's drawn to the familiar face. She moves her way through the steam toward it.

"Ivory." Oh, there you are instead of what are you doing here?

Ivory just kind of smiles even more. It's a bit less happy than the way it was before, but still, he's showing off that he's happy to see her in a way. His head continues to tilt to the side as he regards Tracy, his eyes softening the moment she says his name. It's been too long since he's heard his name on her lips. Too long.

He either doesn't or can't speak. It's hard to really figure that out, since all he's really doing is standing there and smiling. He finds himself unable to really move, eyes locked on Tracy as she heads in his direction. Arms are raised slowly, as if he's been waiting for this moment for the longest. He wants a hug. Or something more.

There's a moment where she pauses — when her eyes narrow and her mouth opens wider and she seems to consider that maybe this isn't the best idea — but Tracy finds herself moving toward Ivory. It feels like her own free will as one foot steps one after the other. Her eyes become as hazy as her surroundings, their only sentiment adoration. The steam follows her, swirls around her, but parts like the Red Sea on the path to waiting man.

She stops right in front of Ivory by a mere inch or two and looks up as her hands set on his shoulders, fingers curling in. It's not quite a hug — or something — but she's on the precipice. She wants to.

Ivory isn't quite sure what to make of this himself. He looks a bit worse for the wear when someone is more close up to see his features. He looks like he's been through a lot. There are slight scars and dried blood on his features. He even winces a little bit when those hands are set onto his shoulders. He pauses for a moment to lower his gaze, closing his eyes and just trying to relax as he's on the verge of an embrace from Tracy.

"… I came back for you." are the first words he says to her, his eyes lifting slowly, to see if he can't catch her own.

He can; Tracy is staring up straight at him, unblinking. "You were supposed to be dead," she states somewhat … abstractly; she doesn't think to ask how he's not. Her dreamy voice takes on a faintly bitter tone even though the fondness is frozen in her eyes. "Everyone was supposed to be dead. I was." And Nathan. There only seems to be one person on her mind at the moment, though, and he's standing right here, alive. She studies Ivory closely, missing no detail. "I m— " she starts uncharacteristically, hesitates, starts again. " — missed you."

Hands moistened by the steam come up to flatten on either side of Ivory's face carefully (since he seems hurt). Tracy pauses for just a moment before moving in to kiss the ghost. Or whatever he is.

"I was."

Those are the last words that Ivory gets to say because his lips are overtaken by the lips of Tracy Strauss. His entire body seems to lose an incredible amount of weight and tension that, well, he's probably been holding inside since his journey to Hell.

He has returned though. For her. For Tracy.

It would seem, though, that the kiss is not intended to last as long as it does. For there will be a slight change in Tracy's breathing pattern. A change that makes it harder to breathe. A change that comes in the form of Ivory's hands wrapping themselves around her throat. Fingers curl and squeeze, as Ivory's formerly wrecked face clears right up. Huh.

At first — at first! — Tracy is overtaken by Ivory and she doesn't notice that she can't breathe. She barely can, anyway, with how fervently she's kissing him.

It's the press of the hands around her neck that seems to cinch it. (So to speak.)

She makes a sound of distress in her throat, a choked gurgle. Her eyes fly open as wide as they physically can, horrified blues staring at Ivory. Her hands scramble down onto his wrists, pulling. She should be able to use her abilities easily to get out of this, but even her instinct fails her, and nothing happens. Betrayal is, by far, the strongest sentiment, horrible, twisting, incredulous betrayal. It's the clich how could you?! moment — she might even say it, if she could talk. All she manages to get out past that one choked noise is "Youu hhhn— "

The steam clears up, too — all that's left is a dark bathroom and a steamy mirror.

"Traitorous Bitch!"

Those words come from Ivory's mouth as he growls and squeezes even tighter. Betrayal? Or Justice? He's actually starting to laugh as he keeps his attention focused on those blue eyes that stare back at him in some sort of horrified manner. He actually seems to be fueled by such things. Because he only squeezes more. Air is not a necessity when dealing with Ivory Wynn.

"You were the only thing I had, Tracy! The only thing! And you turned on me!" That grin seems to shift and become something more of an angry frown. "Why would you do that?! How could you do that to me?! I loved you!"

Despite the grip on her throat only tightening, Tracy forces sound out of her throat viciously. It escapes as nothing more than a hateful, angry, strangled groan and hiss — she can't reply. She can't tell him her side. She bites down hard as she digs into Ivory's arms, clawing, trying to get away even as her face starts to turn an angry red. The more she fights, the quicker she's going to run out of air, but she doesn't give up.

Ivory is unable to stop choking the complete and utter life out of Tracy. His eyes are seeming to glow red with either Angry or Enthrallment. Whatever the case may be… he's glaring right down into Tracy's eyes. "You owe me. You owe me your life." Growling at this point, Ivory might as well be some kind of rabid dog. "You will be mine again, Tracy Strauss. Believe me. You will."

It is with some reluctance that Ivory's fingers start to peel themselves from Tracy's throat. Perhaps giving her just a bit of air for her to admit her compliance. That is, after all, what Ivory requires…

Isn't it?

Tracy was giving every bit of her being to trying to fight herself away from Ivory. When he lets go, her air-deprived body tumbles backwards and she lands hard against her sink, sliding chaotically down to the floor. Her head lolls dizzily to one side in a curtain of blonde as coughing breaths come to the surface. She tries to focus on him, seeing in triplicate. Even when she hones in on him, her gaze is unclear, wavering between too many possibilities for a response. For a moment her eyes fade into that enthralled bliss — she seems to sway toward agreeing with him.

She closes her eyes tight, building her resolution.

Tracy's voice is pure malice, stubbornly dismissive. "I'm telling you…" she says slowly, forcing the words through her teeth. "…you've made a serious mistake."

Ivory just sort of brings back his creepy smile from before. After all, he's not the one in control… or is he? His slightly raised eyebrow is at the fact that she managed to resist his charms, but he shakes it off in a matter of moments. For there is something else up his sleeves.

He steps out of the way and off towards the exit of the bathroom. As he moves, a familiar body falls from where Ivory was just standing. It falls in slow motion, revealing itself to be Cairns before it hits the ground and smashes into an incredible amount of pieces.

"Some mistakes, Tracy, have a way of coming back to haunt you."

While Ivory is no longer in the room, his voice lingers long enough for her to feel the sudden difference in the texture of her hands. Her palms. Something's on them.


She screams.

Tracy jolts awake, staring at the dark ceiling with wide, angry eyes, her hands flying up in front of her to be studied with rapid-moving, nightmare-addled horror. The blood is gone. Her hands are clean … physically.

She's covered in a heavy, almost unnatural glistening sheen of steamy sweat — yet, as she breathes roughly as if gasping for air, every exhale is visible in the room that's been chilled below zero.

Her breathing starts to slow in her attempt to calm down and she brings a hand to her forehead, closing her eyes, trying to become rational. After a few moments, she sits up and tosses the bed sheets back to walk out of her room in her champagne-colored nightgown; very simple and no frills, despite for being satin. She stops where her phone sits on a small elegant table. White, with a spiral cord, in its rightful place. But it's blinking with that insistent, angry little red light.

Despite her better, more rational judgment — rational judgment is typically her modus operandi — Tracy picks up the phone and dials into her voicemail.

"You have seven new messages. First message."

"I'm telling you," it's Tracy's own voice, threatening. "you've made a serious mistake."

Beep. "Message deleted. Next new message."

"I'm telling you, you've made a serious mistake."

Beep. "Message deleted. Next new message."

"I'm telling you, you've made a serious mistake."

Beep. "Message deleted. Next new— "

Tracy slams the phone down and just slides down to the floor with her back against the back of her couch, hand to her head.

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