many pathways through the field of self-respect
A sort-of companion to my earlier fic, ambition takes you farther than an education. All you really need to know is that Lauren's a vampire and she has the power to seduce anyone she wants. For tweedsleeper :D
1. many pathways through the field of self-respect
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"Who?" Lauren wants to know, and Jane laughs.
"Bella Swan, I think that's what her name is." A gesture of dismissal. "We have some...unfinished business."
Jane looks surprised. Lauren is adamant. "I'm not going to make out with that stupid Swan girl. I have standards, Jane, and that's disgusting."
She shoots a glare and Jane mirrors her expression, only accompanied by daggers tearing through her skin. A split second and it's like it never happened.
Lauren is still new to this. She's breathing...hard.
"Hurt me all you like, Jane," she says in a small voice. "I thought I meant more to you than that. I thought you wanted me to help you."
Jane frowns slightly. "I'm sorry, Lauren," she says, and to her credit it is a rather excellent imitation of sincerity. "Will you please help me? You don't have to touch the human girl, I promise."
"I suppose," Lauren says, and inside she's smiling.
Bella is in Florida with her mother for a quick visit. Edward stayed behind.
A bright-eyed middle-aged woman answers the door, the wrinkles at the corners of her eyes the only indicator of her age.
A shrewd glance, then, "You want something from me, don't you?"
Interesting. "I'm a friend of Bella's, from school. Can I come in?" Her eyebrows raise hopefully.
"Sure," Renee says, surprised, as she lets Lauren inside. "Are you here for Bella? She's upstairs."
"I can wait," Lauren nearly purrs, and Renee frowns, blinking. A glance at the girl again, and she shakes her head.
"You're beautiful," Renee finds herself saying. She may be a bluntly honest person, but as soon as she says the words she wonders where they come from.
"You look amazing for your age." A white finger trails down Renee's face, noticing her wrinkles. The touch has gone beyond appropriate but Renee finds she doesn't mind. There is something electrifying in that connection and she tilts her head to fit into Lauren's cupped hand.
"You must be related to Edward Cullen," Renee says.
Lauren hopes the older woman doesn't notice the flash of anger that flits through her eyes. Before she can say anything else irritatingly perceptive, Lauren kisses her on the cheek and slips arms around her waist for a close hug.
"Thank you for letting me see Bella today," she whispers into Renee's ear. The woman shivers.
"Not a problem," and it's hoarse and low. They haven't yet broken apart.
"Will you do me a favor and go in the kitchen for a bit?" Lauren asks in the most pleading voice she can manage. "Bella and I have to talk -- alone."
"Of course," Renee says and they pull away, but not before Renee sneaks in a kiss. She blushes, stumbling out of the room.
"Lauren Mallory?" comes Bella's incredulous voice from upstairs. "What are you doing --"
Her voice trails off as she notices the dark eyes and pale skin.
"Taking you to Italy," Lauren responds simply, and glides up to the landing.