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Complicated Shadows by Red

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: "Complicated Shadows" by Elvis Costello, "Suspicious Minds." I don't own the characters from "The Lost Boys" nor do I own any of the song lyrics. I'm just borrowing them. Any characters not from TLB are of my own creation and belong to me. (and I belong to them. *smile*)

Dedication: Thank you to my Lost Cave Family for always being so supportive and encouraging, and for writing tons of fanfic that has inspired me to try my hand at it.
~*~*~*~*~
Well, there's a line that you must toe
And it'll soon be time to go
But it's darker than you know
In those complicated Shadows
~*~*~*~*~

The nightmare came to Lara's dreaming mind the same way it always did, in flashes. Disjointed images of memories that refused to come together even under the comforting blanket of sleep. The November sky. Will's face. The vampires. The blood.

The worst part of the nightmares was that she couldn't speak. She'd try to scream but all that came out was a whisper that made her throat ache. Then the tears would start, until she was crying too hard to breathe.

She woke suddenly, the pain of a stiff neck reminding her that she'd slept in the car again. The truck stop restaurant shed bright, neon light through the windshield. She checked her watch. Only 1am. It didn't matter. Being awake wasn't much better, really, than being asleep, but at least the nightmares were over for another night.

Her eyes drifted to the yellow sticky note she'd put on the dashboard to remind herself of where she was. When you'd been running for long enough all the long roads and rest stops began to look alike. "Santa Carla" was scrawled on the tiny, yellow square. Underneath that was a word she couldn't read. Something she'd meant to pick up today. Probably dried beef. It wasn't exactly a feast for the senses but it was cheap and kept well even in heat.

Giving up on sleep for the night she combed out her long, dark hair in the rearview mirror, swiped some pressed powder over the dark circles under her eyes, picked up the red backpack that never left her side and wandered into the restaurant.

She sat down in a booth and ordered coffee, checking her funds to see if breakfast was a possibility. It wasn't. The thoughts of how she was going to survive, when she was going to stop running, tried to crowd her mind but she banished them, forcing herself to concentrate on the dingy, plastic salt shaker until her mind was silent.

"Suspicious minds" played in the background. She swallowed back tears and wished somebody would put a quarter in the jukebox and play something that wasn't so damned depressing. Maybe a little "Don't worry, be happy" was in order. She grinned to herself and if she'd had a quarter to spare she'd have gladly inflicted that inane song on her fellow patrons. The waitress brought over her coffee without a smile and went to stand by the register again, her face a mask of fatigue and boredom.

Lara sipped the coffee. It wasn't good but at least it was strong. She added milk from the metal container on the Formica table and sugar, until it was palatable. She stared idly out the window, enjoying the coolness inside the restaurant. The temperature was climbing past 70 already, even though the sun had yet to rise.

She was considering trying for a few more hours of sleep when she saw a tall figure outside the window, standing near the gas pumps. There was no mistaking the shaved head and tattoo, visible under the harsh lighting, that marked him as one of Alarik's clan. She felt her stomach drop, the fear settling in like a ball of ice. She threw two dollar bills down on the table and hurried into the bathroom. She leaned over the sink, sweating and half afraid she would be sick. When the feeling passed, she wet a paper towel and wiped her face.

She went to the window, grateful that it didn't have metal wires, and shoved upwards with all her strength. Finally, with a last, groaning complaint, the window raised enough for her toss her backpack onto the pavement below and then crawl through herself, landing awkwardly. The vial of holy water was in her hand. She didn't even remember taking it out. She peered cautiously around the corner taking care to stay in the shadows. {For all the good that'll do you}, she thought to herself. {they can see better than you can in the dark.}

There were two of them. Leaning on the hood of her car. Neither was the one she'd seen by the gas pumps. She'd have to leave the car. No other choice. She cursed softly and started walking quickly away. Once she was several feet down the highway, keeping to the scrubby trees alongside the road, she remembered to breathe.

~*~*~*~*~
You don't have to take it from me
But I know what I spake
You think you're like iron and steel
But iron and steel will bend and break
In those complicated shadows
~*~*~*~*~

The sound of an approaching motorcycle nearly gave her a heart attack. The rider pulled over a few feet ahead of her. Lara stopped. Should she run? The guy might offer her a ride. Anything that got her away from them fast was a good thing. It wasn't as if she couldn't take care of herself in a fight, if it came to that. The adrenaline still pumped through her veins and gave her a certain, drugged bravery. She continued walking.

Once she was close, he turned around and smiled at her. God, he was cute. Long hair and tight blue jeans. The moonlight glinted off one long earring. Some distant part of her woke up and sent a warm flush through her body. She smiled back.

"Hey, Sunshine. Kinda late to be out walking, isn't it?" He asked. "All kinds of weirdos out at this hour."

"You're out." She said, her smile turning up on one side.

"Point taken." He replied. "So, you need a lift someplace?"

"How about town?" She couldn't stop staring at his lips. Idiotic as it was.

"I could take you there, but nothing's open. They roll up the sidewalks after six. How about a walk on the beach?"

Lara thought she caught something predatory in his look then, but it was gone so fast she doubted herself. She glanced behind her, aware again that they would realize soon enough she wasn't returning to the car.

"Sounds good." She lied. Human weirdos she could deal with. If this guy turned out to be some kind of psycho at least she wouldn't need holy water and a stake to get away from him. Besides, the thought of being behind him on the bike wasn't entirely unpleasant.

"C'mon." He told her, flashing that smile again. He held out one hand which she took. It was cold. Then she climbed on behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist. If it was cold then, she didn't feel it.
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