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[personal profile] older_and_wiser
It's worse than it was after Charles.

Tamara feels weighted. Whether by grief or guilt or hopelessness, she's not really sure. But it's there, a constant, pounding pain in her chest, reminding her that Kevin's gone and it's her fault. She can't breathe with the pain of it. She barely bothers to move. Once Bella drops her off, she spends the next day in bed, weeping helplessly into her pillow. When she runs out of tears she keeps sobbing anyway, eyes and lungs hurting, but not as much as the fact that he's not here.

A couple times she can hear the phone ringing downstairs, and once she hears a knock at the door. She ignores them all. She's not ready for people yet. She's especially not ready to face the police. She doesn't think she could bear it. What would she tell them? Yes officer, I'm sure he's dead, I killed him myself? Or try to lie, somehow, when all she can see over and over and over again is herself in that warehouse, staking her baby boy?

She can't sleep that night. Over and over again, Kevin, his face in her dreams. She gets some time with him, every dream a different amount, and always at the end his face changes, and he lunges, and she-

-she wakes up with her throat hoarse from screaming and her pillow ripped to shreds. With Kevin's face still dancing in front of her eyes, she rushes to the bathroom and is violently sick. Afterwards, she lies on the ground, too miserable to move, until finally the cold tile forces her to her feet and back to her bedroom. There's feathers everywhere-

and she sees Kevin, bent over some craft project Soph brought him, carefully gluing feathers to paper and not even noticing they're getting in his hair, and she reaches to take them out-

-and then she remembers. She slumps to the carpet and cries herself exhausted. Once she collects herself, she vacuums all the feathers and treats her remaining pillows like they're glass.

Remembering the happy times hurts even more, somehow.



The new few hours pass with Tamara sitting on the sofa, listless and unwilling to move, clutching a picture of Kevin against her chest like a lifeline. It's well into the afternoon before a nagging internal voice prods her to get up and do something, anything. She wants to ignore it. She wants to ignore it more than she's ever wanted anything, she knows there are things she should be doing, people she should talk to, but she can't.

Not yet.

By mid afternoon, she manages to get at least get herself to the phone. She considers finding her international calling card, but can't bring herself to care enough to go find it. She dials her sister anyway.

"Hello?" her sister's voice says. She sounds sleepy; it occurs to Tamara rather belatedly that it's rather late in London.

"Jules? It- it's Tamara. I-"

"Tamara?" Julia asks, startled. "Are you calling from the States?" She doesn't add that Tamara hasn't called her Jules since grade school, but the confusion is there.

"Yes, I just- it's- I had to- it's Kevin," she stammers out. "Kevin, he... he..." And then she bursts into tears again.

"Tammy?" Julia's voice eventually cuts through, sounding panicked. "Tammy, what happened?"

Breaking the news takes a while, despite Julia already knowing about both vampires and Charles' reappearance. Tamara is sobbing hard enough that it takes her a fair while to choke out what's wrong, and then Julia's crying too.

She hasn't told Julia the worst part. It's her fault. Her stake. She doesn't think Julia would forgive her. She certainly isn't going to forgive herself.

"I hadn't even seen him since he was a tot," she sniffles. "He's such a darling, too-"

Hearing Julia use the present tense is like being punched in the stomach. A flurry of anguished, useless hope, followed by despair. She moans in anguish, unable to get out actual words.

"-oh, oh Tammy, I'm sorry, I'll stop," Julia stammers. "I.. I'll call our folks, all right? If you send me the number I can call Charles' folks too, I mean, if you want? But you're so far away and if you don't... want to talk about it for a little while..." She pauses awkwardly, still sniffling. "Is- is there anything else I can do?"

"Not unless you can bring Kevin back," Tamara says dully.

"...you know I love you, right, Tammy?"

"Love you too, Jules."


She decides to let Julia call the others. Her parents would have questions, her former in laws would have accusations- god, the Reeds don't even know about vampires. How would she explain? (She won't. Julia will. Somehow. Tamara's never been more grateful to her sister.)

She takes the phone off the hook, unwilling to let the Reeds reach her even that much. Whatever Julia says to their parents keeps them to a single, heartfelt email. Tamara's relief that she won't have to pick up a phone or try to keep up a conversation quickly gives way to grief. Her parents talk about what a good boy he was, how much they loved him, how they know she loved him, what a good mother she was-

She has to stop and start reading again four times, tears blurring her vision, before she gives up and closes the email half read. Good mother. How can that apply to her ever again? She curls up in a ball, a miserable bundle of anger and guilt and pain. She can still see his face as he died, as she killed him-

She's lost her appetite entirely, and it isn't until later that night that she realizes she hasn't eaten much more than a few crackers. She goes to the kitchen and starts attempting to throw together a meal, and she spills the flour-

and she sees Kevin, beaming up at her, proud of the mess around him, telling her, "Look, Mummy, I made it snow!" and she goes to dust him off-

-and then she remembers. She throws out the flour, bag and all, and makes pasta instead and cries some more.

Her dreams are full of Charles' laughter and Kevin's fangs.


The nightmares don't go away. Her exhaustion and grief eventually combine to envelop her in a numb fog that leaves her feeling like she's constantly walking through molasses. But the numbness dulls the sharp edges of her loss, enough for her to start putting her life back together, piece by piece.

There's one piece she just can't quite make fit, though.

Why didn't the Council warn her?

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Tamara Reed

February 2015

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