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 Learning to Love [Kamrinda]

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PostSubject: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:02 pm

Clarinda, 23 || Kamren, 27

[[Trigger Warnings: drugs, abuse, gang violence, human trafficking, and rape]]

Kamren Jennson was all she could have ever hoped for and more. He was the perfect gentleman in every possible way, from the way he held doors open for her, to the way he pulled out her chair, to the way he'd asked before he kissed her goodnight that first time. Indeed, Clarinda had never once dreamed that she would ever find herself falling for someone -- or that someone could fall for her -- despite of (and, if she were to be honest, because of) her past.

She'd seen and done some horrible things, and while she knew that not every male out there were like the ones she grew up with and around, one didn't live a life like that without some sort of wall being built -- and hers were among the highest.

It had been what got her through university; while everyone was going off partying and galavanting with the hottest guy to show them attention, she was in her room studying. Oh, of course, she had her own suitors, the ones who thought she was pretty, sexy, a challenge, but she always turned them down firmly and curtly.

And now, here she was, going home with a male with whom she honestly could see herself spending the rest of her life with, not that she told him. No, things were going slowly -- and, at the same time, more quickly than she could've imagined, in the best possible way -- and she didn't mind keeping it that way.

Besides, he didn't know about her past, although by the way things were progressing she didn't think she'd be able to keep it a secret for much longer.

His kiss tasted sweet, a faint trace of cherries, exactly like the glass of wine they had earlier. They'd left their shoes at the front door, closing it shut and only just remembering to ensure it was locked before turning their attention back to their lips, slowly making their way to his bedroom. The door had been shut with a gentle nudge and the bedside light turned on with an absent-minded wave of the hand.

They stood for a few more moments, enjoying each other, getting lost in the moment. He had one hand on her back, holding her to himself without being overly firm, and another playing with her long locks. She had both hands wrapped around his neck, fingers idly fingering the strands of hair that were within reach.

They edged closer to the bed, where she sat, dress hitching up a little. The kiss broke, moving from her lips to her chin and down to her neck, and automatically her eyes closed as she felt the mattress sink a little; he sat down next to her, hands leaving her body and moving, gently, slowly, to the first button on her dress.

She could feel her heart beat pick up. It was time. They'd spent almost a year together, each date making her fall even harder for Kamren. Before, the thought of being intimate made her freeze as her mind went to all those young girls she'd been unable to protect -- but this felt right, and before she realised what she was doing, she was placing her hands over his, moving them to the next button.

But then a thought struck her and she froze, hands still on his, and gently, she pulled them away and down, holding them in her lap. "Not yet," she told him, softly. "Soon, but not yet. There's..." She took a deep breath. "There's something I need to tell you -- to show you -- first."

Last edited by Clarinda Jennson on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:50 pm

Meeting Clarinda Warren had been a stroke of good luck at a bad time. With his father passing away due to a bomb blast in Ireland that he'd had the misfortune to be caught up in, the Jennson family had been quite lost. Kamren most especially. His father had been quite key in his life, but it had been the young Healer who'd found him grief stricken that had helped him through the time.

Yes, they'd only sat talking for a few hours, but a spark had been lit in Kamren that day, that he simply couldn't shake.

It had been why Kamren had returned two weeks later - after burying his father and making peace with that part of his life. Not forgetting, but dealt with - that Kamren had turned up to St Mungo's to ask Miss Warren on a date. It had been a surprise when she'd agreed, but Kamren had been elated. Taking her for dinner, and dropping her home afterwards. He hadn't asked for a kiss that night, too intent on good first impressions, but he had sealed a second date.

The months had evolved from the shy first date, the whispered request to kiss her before she left on the second date. Despite being in the Magical Law Enforcement squad, Kamren was a kind, gentle soul, and he proved that through months of dates to spoil the witch. The young man had never asked for anything more than he was offered since the question of a kiss, deciding that their pace on the relationship would be determined by Clarinda, and Clarinda alone.

Which was the same that evening. After taking Clarinda to a French restaurant in London, Kamren had merely laid out the fact (with a 'please don't think I'm putting pressure on you, this is completely your decision') she was more than welcome to come back to his flat that evening. He'd added that they could just cuddle, with no obligations, whilst growing steadily redder as he looked at Clarinda. How could you really explain that to a woman without sounding completely pathetic?

Clarinda had once again surprised him with her acceptance to the offer, but he'd been grinning like an idiot when he heard it. And, unlike any other man his age, Kamren had meant his words entirely. Clarinda was under no pressure for anything.

But after attempting back just outside his flat - Kamren had applied more security than he'd divulge over his flat for safety given his job - their lips had met in need, and Kamren had followed Clarinda's lead as they stepped inside, barely finishing locking the door before his lips were back on hers, his arms wrapping around her as he carefully directed her towards his bedroom.

One hand had moved to Clarinda's hair as they moved, playing with it gently as he moved until they stopped by his bed, kissing in a more passionate manner than he'd known before. Their mutual need for more driving both of them. Easing Clarinda on to the bed, Kamren lips moved down from her lips, to her neck, light kisses, but a goal in mind.

Kamren's hands had moved to her dress, shaking a little with nerves... anticipation... Kamren wasn't inexperienced, he'd been with a couple of girls before, but he was quite nervous about messing this up with Clarinda. She meant much more than the other two had, and he had... plans, even if he couldn't speak of them yet. They managed to undo the first, though, his hands giving but a small pause - time for Clarinda to tell him no.

Her hands came up to his, though, and Kamren stilled both the work on the buttons and the kisses on her neck. He had to, to let her know he would not take advantage of her. But Clarinda moved his hand to the next, and Kamren nodded to shoe he was following her lead. Fingers readying to open the next button, Kamren's hand was brought down to her lap.

Freezing all movement, Kamren's eyes moved to meet Clarinda. A silent question of what he'd done wrong, and if he'd gone too far. But her comment made him nod once more in understanding. "Not yet." He agreed with the witch, showing there was no animosity for her decision. Clarinda continued on, and, despite himself, Kamren's features turned in to one of confusion.

His mind was revelling in the options she could want to tell him, not even starting with the showing him. But despite his mind conjuring up one hundred and one different possibilities of what she was about to tell him. He was nervous, of course, but Kamren gave the witch a soft smile, sitting up straighter. "Okay..." he replied softly, not knowing what else he could say to that in this moment.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:17 am

In truth, Clarinda didn't want to do this. She didn't want to stop the momentum, stop what was coming next. She'd never been with anyone before, out of choice -- and fear, too -- but this was different, easy, right. There was a growing need inside her for Kamren -- to have him entirely. But she bit back the flame with slow breaths as she opened her eyes, meeting his, trying to tell him without words that he wasn't doing anything wrong, that it was her, not him.

The understanding look he gave her made her relax just a little, although there was still tenseness in both posture and mind. She'd never told anyone this before. Her past was hers alone, something so private that only her parents knew -- and even then, only because they'd adopted her, and only in part.

But where to start? How could she even begin to tell him of the horrors she witness? The nightmare that had been her childhood? It would dampen the mood, and that wasn't what she wanted -- no, she wanted to feel his lips on her neck and his gentle hands on her. But she knew by now that one hardly ever got what they wanted. And besides, the scars on her back weren't hard to miss; it was why she never went swimming and never wore tank tops. If he removed her dress, there would be no excuse, no hiding it, and questions would still be asked -- perhaps not aloud, but asked nevertheless.

Reaching deep into her being, she found something that had never existed before: a crack. A small, but obvious, crack in the wall she had so carefully build and protected throughout the years. Eyes not once wavering from Kamren's, Clarinda realised with a small start that all these months, all these dates, all these tender moments with the man before her had done something to her, and she trusted him fully. More than with a kiss and more than with her body, she trusted him with her.

"I want to..." she faltered. How could she phrase this? "To tell you something."

She kept his hands in hers and on her lap. There was something comforting about it, and at the back of her mind she wondered if she would cry. This was foreign territory, somewhere she'd never been before and therefore had no idea how she would react. Part of her knew she could always switch to professional mode, talk about it as though it hadn't been her, but that was not how she wanted to do it -- she wanted to be real and raw and honest.

"I've never told anyone this before," she continued, lowering her gaze. It was too difficult to talk while looking at him; his eyes were too hypnotising, causing emotions in her that wouldn't help in this moment. "You know me as Clarinda, but my birth name..." She took a deep breath; she hadn't used this name since she was adopted. "My birth name is -- was -- Tracy. I was born, unwanted, to two muggles. They kept me because I was useful to them. To their... their business."

She stopped there for a moment, not intentionally trying to be obscure or mysterious, but finding it much harder than she ever expected to share her story. Part of her wanted him to tell her to stop, that her past didn't matter -- but it did, and she knew that this was essential to who she was. Unfortunate and heartbreaking and something she wouldn't wish on her greatest enemy, but essential nevertheless.

It took a few moments and many deep breaths before she said, "They were cartel and brothel owners, dealing in both drugs and girls, neither of which were obtained legally."

Here, she found she could say no more, instead waiting for Kamren to respond. If he asked, or didn't run, she might -- would -- continue. But if he was uncomfortable or didn't want to know, she'd stop. The last thing she wanted was to scare away the one person she genuinely loved.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:32 am

Kamren waited quietly for the explanation to start. The faltering of the admission that Clarinda wanted to tell him something making him worry deeply, even if his facial expression remained impassive.

Has she found another man, who treated her better than he ever could? And though he knew her to have feelings for him, perhaps another made those feelings come alive in a greater flame of desire? A small inclination of worry had taken this idea, but the logical side of Kamren's mind told him that no matter what, Clarinda Warren was not the type of witch to cheat.

Had, then, she decided she didn't feel for him how he felt for her, and before this grew out of control, she'd decided to end their relationship, break free? That... also didn't seem logical to Kamren, you surely couldn't kiss someone with so much passion if you had no interest in staying?

But, she'd told him she had something to show him too...

Kamren was struggling to think of what was about to hit him. Struggling to quell his worry, even though he was quite sure in his mind that he would never be betrayed by the witch before him. Doubt was a horrible thing, and even Kamren was falling pray to it, even if he trusted the witch before him with everything he had.

The idea that Clarinda had never told anyone this before brought a very quick, very brief frown to the man's features before he relaxed those muscles once more. Was... she stopping him to tell him she loved him? Forgetting that she'd done so before? What else could possibly be relevant that you wouldn't say to someone else?

Kamren didn't have to wait long, though, for the answer to be given, finding his girlfriend had been born with a different name - not that that mattered, Clarinda was Clarinda to him, but Kamren was a little on guard before Clarinda mentioned her parents hadn't wanted her. The young Auror bristled in that moment, not speaking, but giving her hand a small squeeze in what he hoped she understood was him trying to tell her that that wasn't true now.

"Their business..?" Kamren asked, his voice steady despite the fact he was more than sure now that he was not going to like the answer. It would not change his opinion on Clarinda, he was madly in love with the witch. But it would change how much they knew of one another.

There was no preparing for the next words that would come out of Clarinda's lips, though, and Kamren didn't have an answer for that. Well, there was a bubbling mess of anger beginning to boil inside of Kamren, but outwardly he - had to - stay calm.

Sitting in silence for a few moments, Kamren mulled over those words. It wasn't Clarinda's fault that she'd been brought in to a world of such horrors. It hadn't been her choice. How could it be, his girlfriend was much too caring, much too sweet to ever, ever want to hurt people in that manner. The cogs in his mind were turning quicker than Kamren had ever had to process anything in his life, but there was one certainty, he still loved her.

Slipping one hand - with no resistance from Clarinda, which could have broken him, had he not had a goal - Kamren raised it very slowly to her chin, gently lifting her eyes until they met with his.

"Clar," Kamren murmured softly, the same as he always spoke when she'd had a tough day, and needed him. The same way he said her name when he was showing her something, and didn't want to worry her away from what she was doing. The same way he had the first time he'd asked to kiss her. His tone had not changed towards her in that moment, she was still the same witch, her past was simply being illustrated for him now.

"I'm sorry..." Kamren continued softly, giving a small helpless smile because he couldn't do anything to take that away. "But you know that... whilst this matters greatly, it doesn't change my feelings for you." He told her, his thumb gently caressing her cheek to show his love would not falter.

"You had no choice." He added, not as a question, but fact. Kamren knew without her telling him. "You don't have to tell me anymore, if you don't want to, Clar. But... if it will help you, I'd like to know, if only so I never put you in a position that might harm you." Kamren whispered, never pressuring her in to anything. Always looking out for her well being.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:02 am

There was no immediate answer. He said nothing, did nothing, and that was when she felt the slight prickling begin at the back of her eyes -- the start of tears forming that she forced down with all the professionalism of a healer. It was the one thing she had going for her, the mask of calmness she always managed to potray to her patients, and it came in handy now. Perhaps it wasn't the right thing to do, but she could not cry. Not now. Not yet.

Where she learnt this trick from, though, would always be a harsh reminder; it was years and years and years of practise as a child, because tears meant more beatings, more yelling, more everything bad. No, Tracy had never been allowed to cry in front of her parents no matter how hard they hit, no matter how harsh the bruise, no matter how deep the cut. And so holding back tears was something the girl had learnt to master very early on.

On the flip side, she could cry on command, forcing tears realistic enough to fool almost anyone. It helped, after all, with leading young women to narrow, dark alleys. Who could resit a crying child?

She brought her mind back to the present, pushing her tears away with that awful familiar ease and focused on Kamren. What was he thinking? Would he reject her, after everything? No, surely not. He loved her, and she loved him; that much she was certain of. But still, a small part of her -- the part that refused to trust anyone -- was wryly noticing that he hadn't spoken, hadn't said anything, and that wasn't a good sign. After all, silence usually meant bad news.

And then she felt his hand begin to leave hers and she had to fight against another threatening wave of tears, pushing it back and down without much difficulty. She let his hand go without a fuss; who was she to stop him? It had been ingrained into her from a long time ago that what men wanted to do, to let them or the consequences wouldn't be good for anyone.

Kamren wouldn't be one to hurt her, she was certain -- but the habit was still there, and she simple let his hand slip out of hers. Besides, she'd seen many people that she wouldn't think were capable of hurting people do some of the worst crimes. There'd been the police chief whom she'd reported her abuse to, once, when she was six; police, she figured, were meant to help, right? It had been a mistake she never forgot or repeated.

Then his hand tilted her head upwards with gentle and precise care, touch light and soft, and she knew she was going to be okay.

His eyes were as intoxciating as ever, tender and warm and loving -- but they held something else this time, a sense of quiet anger, not at her but at something else. It took her a moment to realise he was angry for her.

Clarinda nodded at his words. Deep down, she knew what he was saying was true. That he really did love her and want to care for her. But would he still feel the same when he knew what she had done? The things she had allowed, and even been the direct cause of? She had been a child, yes, but children weren't exempt from conscience; she had known what she was doing was wrong, and it would be something she carried for the rest of her life.

Some guilt would never go away, and that was something she knew all too well.

The choice to not tell him was tempting. To leave it at that and carry on with the kissing and tenderness that she never before had experienced. But she knew that wasn't right; it wasn't the best choice. So, instead, she took a few deep breaths.

Starting had been easier than she thought; her name, her heritage. But where to take it from there? How was she to explain to someone the things she'd done and seen? The abuse she suffered?

"I was a recruiter," she said, suddenly, the first cohearant thought to cross her mind. "I would lead young women to an alley where my biological father -- where Landon -- had men waiting." She paused, willing herself to think back, to pull from the depths of her being, where she'd so carefully locked these memories away, these things. "There were children. Girls my age. I was tasked with looking after them. Making sure they didn't cry or fuss or talk about running. If they did, I had to tell the man in charge."

Her tone broke, slightly, although her eyes were still dry, making her words wobbly and soft. "There were two girls who were killed because they were too rebellious. That will always be on me -- don't tell me otherwise, because I made the decision to tell. I had to -- not telling would result in..." She trailed off, shook her head. "But it was my decision still."
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:15 am

Kamren's hand had moved away from Clarinda's face as she spoke, moving back to take her hands, his thumb caressing the back of her hand as he tried to soothe her. He wasn't going anywhere, he loved the woman before him, but he understood that she had to tell him some things before she could be happy.

And, inevitably, Clarinda's happiness was more important.

The word Clarinda used for herself, though, made Kamren give the smallest of winces. Not in judgement of her, oh no, but the idea of a child being forced in to such things. Clarinda continued on - not that Kamren needed her to, he'd done drug raids, he knew the kinds of things that came out of such places. But, Clarinda... coming from such a place. She... Kamren mentally shook himself, he was stereotyping, and Clarinda definitely did not need that of him in that moment.

The continuation of Clarinda's explanation, where her voice started to wobble spoke more than her words. Fear, perhaps. Guilt, too. He knew he could offer no words to console the choices she had made as a child. Nothing she did now would bring those girls back. But, it was the past. A part of her that was no longer present, but that had shaped her in to the woman she was today.

"You did what you had to, Clar. To keep yourself safe. Nobody... at that age, would likely have done anything different. You were a minor, terrified... I'm not going to say that it's the past, that it doesn't matter. But... it's not something I'm going to ever hold against you." Kamren told her softly, though even those words didn't sound good enough. Too non-committal to one side of the coin or the other.

Kamren fell silent there, there really wasn't anything else for him to add, as much as he wanted to take all this away, he couldn't. So, instead, he sat quietly, waiting for Clarinda to either continue, or change the subject from this. He didn't want to brush it aside if she wasn't finished, nor did he want to probe further if she was done.

So, he waited, patiently.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Tue May 02, 2017 1:41 pm

She could not look at him. Could not look Kamren in the eyes. It was too much, too scary, too everything, and all she could do was wait, even as he took her hands in his. They were warm and comforting and familiar, but they no longer felt safe. She was too close to losing the guard she'd so carefully built, and there was no way she could bring herself to feel secure in that.

She smiled, knowing it didn't reach her eyes. It wasn't meant to comfort, although she wanted to do that, nor was it meant to tell him anything other than 'I appreaciate your words'. "Consequences," she told him, gently, softly, "Are still consequences, whether or not I did it for the right reasons or if I was a child or not."

She paused to swallow, only then realising she had a lump in her throat. Again she willed away the tears, although it was getting harder and harder to do so. "I remember all their faces and names. I never knew their real names, only what they were given and what they were called. Abby. Barbara. Aubrey. Pinky. Lily. Rose. Rosey. Tulip. Avery. Robin. Heather. Cinnamon. Misty. Jade. Ruby. Snow." She stopped, not because she was done but because she had failed to will back tears, and one was slowly tricking down the side of her face.

She wiped at it, took a breath. "A hundred more. I only named the ones I had direct contact with, the ones that I brought to the place and the ones that got into trouble because of my reports."

It was the first time she'd ever spoken about it, even to her adoptive parents, and the more she spoke, the more she found she was getting lighter, almost as though there was a literal burden being lifted off. No, she realised a moment later -- shared. Kamren had volunteered to share something so heavy that even mentioning it had brought relief.


What was it that made someone do something like that? It took her far too long -- many seconds of silence, almost a full minute -- before it hit her. Love. He loved her. More than words, more than flowers or dinners or movies, he was showing her that he loved her. And as she lifted her head to look at him, properly, full in the eyes, she realised that she loved him too. Fully, without fear of anything, she trusted him with her heart and her soul.

And so, fighting it no longer, she lowered her guard once and for all around him and let the tears flow.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning to Love [Kamrinda]   Mon May 08, 2017 8:52 pm

Kamren knew that Clarinda was right. Consequences didn't change because you could explain them away. They were still consequences, but he was trying to show her that the consequences of the past were not going to change the now. That he was not going to run away because of something she'd done as a child. Yes, it changed things. It made him more aware of her. Gave him a deeper understanding of what she had been through, who Clarinda was.

But he still loved her deeply.


But, the ferocity of his feelings, the need to keep her from harming her image of herself, were subdued immensely as he watched the tear fall from her eyes. Clarinda was quick to brush it aside, but this was... the first time he'd seen her cry. The strong woman that he'd known for so long now, had succumbed to tears before him, and instead of terrifying him, it made Kamren relax.

This, he knew, was a sign that they could be open. Honest. That there was so much trust between them, that they could share anything without being scared of the consequences of the words.

Clarinda was listing names - names that held no meaning to him, but names he filed away no less - but Kamren was simply watching her eyes. Committing the look to memory so that... in future, he would know precisely when she needed him. So that he would never miss the look, and not be there for her.

Words, however, were a loss for Kamren. What could you say to someone who'd dealt with it... who knew they hadn't been right, but you couldn't change the outcome? You couldn't say anything, but you could offer them comfort. Reaching out, Kamren gently brushed away the tears that had fallen and moved closer to Clarinda on the bed, guiding her gently in to his embrace. As he did, Kamren slowly lowered them both until they were led out on his bed, and simply held her to him, allowing her to grieve for the people that had been lost.

No more words came from Kamren, none were necessary. The softness of his touch, pushing the tears from her cheeks were enough. His strong arms that cradled her in to his chest were enough. And the soft kiss he placed on her forehead was enough to show what words could not sum up. Clarinda was safe, she was loved, and nothing, ever, would change how Kamren felt about her.

How long they stayed quiet, Kamren could not be sure, but feeling Clarinda's breathing begin to slow back down, and her posture relax from the crying, Kamren whispered softly in to her hair. "Thank you..."
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