Two nine year olds were running down the beach during a thunderstorm. It was crazy but Clarke had wanted to go to the beach and Bellamy didn’t know how to say no to her. Then it started thundering and now they were trying to find a secure place to wait out the storm.
"Clarke wait!" Bellamy screamed following after Clarke, “I’ve got to get home my mom’s gonna kill me.” He said as they saw lightning hit a brush.
“Wow did you see that?” Clarke exclaimed
“Can’t you answer my question?” Bellamy asked
"No you won't answer my question or no you won't marry me."
"Bellamy Blake I am 9 years old I've got too much to live for!" She said, as they got closer to where the lightning struck. Bellamy goes to touch it but Clarke stops him, “It’s hot, don’t touch it!”
“We’ll be safe here.” Bellamy stated
“Says who?” Clarke asked
"Everyone knows lightning doesn't strike the same place twice." He stated matter of factly.
"Why do you want to marry me anyway?"
"So I can kiss you anytime I want." He said smiling as he leaned in and gave her a small peck as lighting hit the brush again.
A noise startles Clarke awake, it had been a long time since she thought of that day on the beach, everything had seemed so perfect back then.
"You accent gets a lot thicker when you're sleeping did you know that?" Sterling comments but she just laughs.
"Why did you guys let me sleep!"
"It was 2 mins and you needed it, you don't want to show up as the living dead to the opening right?" Her assistant, Fox, asked her.
"Good point, but there's still so much more to do and not enough hours in the day!" Clarke exclaimed
"Clarke breathe...it's going to go great, the lighting is done to yours and Monty's specific orders, you've chosen all your best pieces of art, the cafe upstairs will be ready in an hour or so."
"You've checked with the chef, everything is going according to plan?" Clarke asked Monroe as she appeared in the scene and waved Fox off. It had been a risky idea opening up a café above her galleria but she had wanted to at least give it a try. If it failed, then it failed and Anya could say I told you so. If it worked then people would have a nice place to seat and eat. Half of the recipes were from Clarke herself and the other half belonged to Raven.
"Yep they are all set... And everyone still thinks the title is because of mythology not because it's your actual last name." Monroe told her and Clarke shot her a look. Her group with the exception of Fox, all knew the truth about her last name. Of course only Raven, Monty and Anya knew all the details, but the rest knew that her last name was originally Griffin rather than Armstrong.
"Not helping." Clarke muttered
"Right, sorry." Monroe said and even looked a bit sheepish.
Clarke had chosen The Griffin as the name for her galleria. She might have changed her last name but she still wanted a piece of home -of the girl she used to be, to form a part of this; to be a part of her -hopeful, success.
"I'm going home to pick up a few things be right back."
"None of that. You're going to take a nap or something. You need to be well rested." Sterling told her.
Clarke lived a few blocks from The Griffin, in a really nice apartment. She'd been double checking details for the show when she came inside to her apartment filled with roses. They were mostly Red roses but also white roses, pink roses etc.
"Wells." She muttered, her boyfriend had really outdone himself this time. She clicked on her answering machine and sure enough there was a message from him.
"There's one rose for every time I thought of you last night, you must be exhausted. I can't wait to see you tonight I know everything will go great! Love you!"
"Love you too." Clarke muttered
Everyone was running around the backroom of The Griffin trying to get everything completely ready for when the doors opened. This was it, the moment she had been waiting for most of her life, outside were the art critics and food critics and this was all so very stressful.
“Breathe, Clarke.” Fox said coming up next to her.
“Right, breathing is good.” Clarke muttered as Monroe came up to her.
“The caterers don’t know what to bring out first.” Monroe told her
“We’ll get the canapés first and tell the waiters to pass out the champagne to everyone and that they need to have two trays of food going at the same time, and make sure not to offer anyone two of the same unless they explicitly ask for it.”
“Got it boss!”
“Do you see what I see Monty?” Anya commented as they appeared behind Clarke
“Our little girl has grown so much.” Monty replied
“What are you guys doing here, you are technically my competition you know?”
“You mean other than I want to see how my lighting worked out?” Monty joked
“Plus we’re not competition we’re allies and in this world you need all the ones you can get.” Anya pointed out, “I mean as veterans in this our precious art world we all know it’s a dog eat dog world out there. And you darling are fresh meat.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Clarke responded, Anya had a very particular way of saying things.
“Plus you are our protégé and no one would stand between us and our protégé.” Monty reminded her.
“Your art is beautiful and the food is beyond the standards you’ll do great.” Anya admitted
“Why do I feel like I'm in the middle of Times Square buck naked?”
“We’ve all felt that doll, but you can do this, we believe in you.” Monty said putting an arm around her and then looking at Anya, “You remember when we met her?”
“Of course, she was an extremely bossy intern, with an accent and a very clear view of what she wanted and she was kind of adorable so we decided to keep her.” Anya said
“What Anya is trying to say is that seven years ago, you were this debutante off the plantation and now you're our steel magnolia with her very own show.”
“You guys need to get out of here before you make me cry.” Clarke told them as Monroe came up to her.
“The doors have opened.”
“It’s showtime.” Clarke muttered as the galleria start to fill up.
“Are you nervous?” Raven, her best friend, confidante and administrator asked her coming up to walk next to her.
“You know I am.”
“At least Mr. Perfect will be here.”
“I told you about the flowers right?” Clarke asked
“Yes and I hate you for it, please tell me he’s got a flaw somewhere.”
“He asked me to go to Ireland for Christmas.”
“He’s going to ask you a lot more than that.” Raven stated as they walked through the galleria.
“You think so?”
“Oh hon, it’s obvious. Now I’ll leave you to your man.” Raven said as they saw Wells coming towards them.
“Miss Reyes.” He greeted
“Mr. Jaha, she’ll all yours.” Raven joked waving goodbye to her friend.
“You're amazing, those flowers were insane.” Clarke said as she hugged him
“I just wanted this day to be perfect for you.” Wells told her.
“What if they hate me?” Clarke wondered
“They’re critics Clarke, they hate themselves.”
“That’s easy for you to say I wasn’t born with that thick Jaha skin.”
“That is something I cherish above many other things. It’s part of what I love about you.”
“Oh stop it.” She said playfully slapping him.
“I’m sorry sweetie but I got a meeting in the Bronx. But you go and enjoy, and I'll see you later. Okay?” Wells told her.
“Okay.” She said, she was a little bummed that he wasn’t going to be here the rest of the evening but she could deal with it.
“Oh, and, hey, we've got that thing tonight at Lincoln Center.” He reminded her
“Wait what thing?” She asked
“Oh right… with your mother.” Clarke stated, who hates me, she thought. “That’s tonight”
“I’m afraid so.” He said giving her a kiss on the cheek, ”I am so proud of you, I love you.”
“I love you too.” She said as she saw him leave. She walked around the floor a few times when she spotted Lexa and Indra. Both ladies were well-known art journalists and critics who ran in Anya’s circles. They saw her and came towards her and Clarke swallowed her nervousness. You are Clarke Armstrong and you can do this; if you survive them you can survive anything she told herself as she greeted the ladies in question.
“Miss Armstrong we were just wondering if we could ask you a few questions.” Lexa asked
“It would be my pleasure.”
“I have to congratulate you on your talent, your pieces are definitely incredible.” Lexa told her.
“Thank you, I always try to put my entire heart and soul into my art so I’m glad when it’s appreciated.”
“What made you decide this was your passion?” Lexa asked
“I don’t know exactly when it was but by the time I had to decide what I wanted to do, all I could think of was art. My mother wanted me to become a doctor and then inherit the family’s practice but I always felt more at home when I was drawing or painting something, and my father always supported my decisions.”
“Not much is known about you previous to coming to New York.” Indra pointed out.
“There’s not much to know I grew up in a small town in Alabama, and then left to pursue my dream and come to the big city. I stumbled around for a bit trying to fin my way, let me tell you it’s another world here, and found myself interning for Monty and Anya, it’s been a wild ride ever since.” Clarke stated with a smile on her face but Indra just made a hmm sound.
“Moving on to your art pieces, I’ve got to say you’ve got one that actually intrigued me.” Indra told her as she walked towards the painting leaving Clarke no choice but to follow after them as they reached Lightning Strikes. It was extremely special for Clarke; if you didn’t know the story behind it you would just think it’s a painting of nature, of a lightning bolt that hits the sand and forms a glass heart.
“I have to admit, I’m surprised at the attention it’s been receiving.” Clarke responded as she stared at the painting, there was such history behind it -it always made Clarke think of the past.
“Really? I don’t see why, it’s a magnificent piece.” Lexa commented as she gazed upon the different aspects of the painting.
“From what I’ve seen it’s probably the crown jewel of your exhibit, so I don’t know why you’re surprised.” Indra pointed out, “Although I am surprised to see that it’s the only one that isn’t for sale.”
“That’s right. It means too much for me to sell it. You see the reason I am surprised at the attention is because I guess I’ve never thought of it as just another piece…” Clarke started then took a breath, “This wasn’t originally a painting, it was a drawing, one that I made for someone special. Even back then I took pictures of anything I drew or painted, in case I ever needed it; life happened and I was interning with Monty and Anya and they kept telling me to dig deep. You know how Anya is, she’s always looking for ways to make someone come out of their shell and show what’s really inside. On one of those occasions I stumbled upon the picture of the drawing and grabbed the canvas and started painting it in a larger scale.”
“You were heartbroken.” Lexa pointed out, from the way Clarke spoke of the drawing she could tell the original owner of said drawing had meant a lot to her.
“When you made the painted it I mean.” Lexa countered
“Yeah I guess so, I was feeling melancholy and wanted a piece of home.” Clarke stated, well that was half the truth, the original had been made for a certain someone and Clarke had still been dealing with the pain of that. Of how it had felt when everything that was once so perfect had gone so wrong. Anya had called it cathartic and Clarke guessed it had been, in a way.
“So this represents home to you?” Indra asked
“In a way it does but I know it can mean different things to different, tell me Indra, Lexa what did you think when you first saw it.”
“I thought of the power of lighting and the strength of the heart.” Indra answered
“Even the strongest of hearts can break.” Lexa told Clarke.
“Both are right answers, it’s art, it’s subjective, you can translate your own viewpoints to it. Lightning Strikes is based on something I experienced once when I was a child.”
“What do you mean?” Indra asked curiously.
“This painting is something that happened to me once, I was stuck in a beach with a friend of mine when lightning struck.”
“Did you love this friend?” Lexa asked once again hitting the nail in the head. Clarke pushed back the feelings that brought out; she couldn’t deal with those right now.
“I did…. once, time heals almost all wounds.” Clarke told them cryptically. It made sense that she was thinking of him so much recently; she’d always thought he’d be right by her side once she achieved her goals. Funny how much things can change.
“Well it was lovely talking to you but we’re guessing you need to talk to other people, as much as we’d love to talk we’ll leave you to the rest.” Lexa said showing her an actual smile, which made Clarke smile back.
“If you ever want to sit down and do a full-length interview I’d be delighted to do it.”
“We appreciate that, and thank you for talking to us.” Indra told her
“The pleasure was all mine.” Clarke told them, truthfully as they left her alone with her apparent, masterpiece. Now it was time to do some more schmoozing.
She couldn’t believe the night she’d had. First the opening had gone off without a hitch, or well with just a few small problems that were easily fixed. She got to talk about her art, which is always the best part of her day, and her boyfriend as always was the greatest boyfriend in the world. Guess she’s got to call him her fiancé now.
She still couldn’t believe that had happened. Even with Raven’s comments she had been completely blindsided by it. His chauffer took her to where his meeting supposedly was taking place, and then Wells was there talking about Ireland. At first she’d been confused about why were they inviting that many people for Christmas but then they walked into the room. The lights turned on and she was standing in the middle of Tiffany’s, she couldn’t believe it. It was very romantic and after making sure Wells was actually serious, she accepted.
She asked him if they could keep it quiet for a bit, until she could tell her parents. He agreed, but his mother was another issue all together. Talia Jaha had never a big fan of Clarke and when she realized what had happened she screamed, so much for keeping it secret.
Now there was just one thing to take care of and she was going to have to go home to get it.
"What the hell Clarke, I'm not just the first friend you had in New York but also your best friend and I had to find out with another 12 million people?" Raven commented, she couldn’t believe her best friend was engaged, actually engaged.
"I'm sorry Rae but she grabbed my hand what was I supposed to do." Clarke said speaking into the car’s Bluetooth.
"It's alright I read all about it. Why don't you come have brunch with us?" Raven offered
"I would but I'm in Arcadia." Clarke admitted
"Wait what?" Raven asked, having to put her food down and walk outside.
"I said I'm in Arcadia or well rather entering Arcadia right now." Clarke responded, wondering if the signal was going haywire.
"No I heard you the first time I just wanted to make sure I heard you right..."
"So what are you doing down there?"
"You know exactly why I'm coming down here." Clarke reminded her, Raven had been the first one to find out the full story on what had led Clarke to come to New York.
"I just know you're going to need all the luck in the world." Raven remarked
"Don't remind me, I'm almost there so I'll talk to you later?"
"You better." Raven said as Clarke hung up then parked the car next to a house. It was a beautiful house but it wasn't a big deal, it had been all they could afford after all.
Apollo started barking at her and Clarke was a bit surprised he didn't recognize her, and then came the person she came down here to see.
"Don't worry he's loud but he doesn't bite." He said referring to the dog. Bellamy looked good, honestly he was covered in dirt but he still looked as good as ever, the asshole. "What can I do for you?"
"For starters you can get your stubborn ass down here and get me a divorce." Clarke stated taking her sunglasses off. She wasn't going to lie; it did make her a bit happy to see his shocked face.
"Well well well, look what the cat dragged in."
"This isn't funny Bellamy, playtime is over I need you to sign this papers, I have a plane I need to catch."
"Well I ain't laughing princess."
“Look, it's even got these idiot-proof tabs to make it easy. There's one copy for me, one for you and one for the lawyers.”
“You’ve got a lot of nerve… You show up here after 7 years...without so much as a "Hey, there, Bellamy, remember me... your wife?" Or a "Hi, honey. Lookin' good. How's the family?" Bellamy complained
"You expect me to tell you, you look good?" Clarke asked, well he did but she wasn't going to tell him that, "Did they run out of soap out of the piggly wiggly while I was gone?"
“They laugh at that up north or wherever it is you been?” Bellamy deadpanned
“You knew where I was.” Clarke told him, “And don't even pretend you spent all this time missing me.”
“Oh, I missed you alright, but at this range, my aim is bound to improve.” Bellamy muttered
“Is that a threat?” Clarke asked, "I have a lawyer that charges 350 an hour and he billed me every time you sent the papers back."
“Well I’m glad to see you finally got the message.” Bellamy told her as the dog kept barking.
"Shut up Apollo!" Clarke exclaimed at the same time as Bellamy said
"Shut up Cerberus."
"What happened to Apollo?" Clarke asked, taken a bit aback.
"He died... you weren't there." Bellamy told her as he started going back up the stairs to the house.
"What are you doing?"
"Leaving, you've done it, you'll recognize the gesture."
“Could we maybe just try to keep this as civilized as possible? Please sign these papers so I can go home.” She said following after him
“Home? Do you even know the word or what it means? Hell, I bet your folks don't even know you're in town.”
“That's my business.” She muttered
“Princess, those people are the only family you’ve got. Get your ass back in that car, you drive over and see them... and then maybe we'll talk.” He said closing the door on her face.
“You’re still the same stubborn asshole as you always were. Always trying to get your way, the only reason you won't sign these papers is 'cause I want you to!” She screamed at him
“Wrong! The only reason I’m not signing these damn papers is because you've turned into some hoity-toity Yankee bitch...and I'd like nothin' better right now than to piss you off!”
“What are you doing with that plane anyhow?!”
“That's my business!” Bellamy exclaimed, “The day you walked out on me was the day the things I did stopped being your business.”
“Divorce, my ass.” Bellamy muttered grabbing a beer from the fridge. He looked around to see Cerberus outside the door, and his darling wife sitting on his couch.
“Hey, genius… Next time you lock somebody out make sure they don't know
where the spare key's hidden.” She pointed out
“Well, see, that's the thing about Hide-A-Keys… It'd be nice if your wife told you where it was!” Bellamy retorted
“I’m not your wife Bellamy, I'm just the first girl that climbed in the back of your truck. But you're right... I have changed I don't even know that girl anymore.” She admitted
“Well, then... allow me to remind you.” He said before leaving the room leaving Clarke worried about what he was going to do next.
Wells wasn’t having the best of days, his fiancée was in Alabama and his mother didn’t leave him alone. Once again she was complaining about Clarke and his choice to marry her. Ever since Talia Jaha had met Clarke she’d deemed her unsuitable for her son. Everything from Clarke’s pink highlight in her hair, her profession, to the fact that she was from a red state was a matter of conflict with her. And he was stuck listening to it, day in and day out.
"But you know nothing about her. Are you even sure who she is?"
"I love her, Mom.” Wells told her a bit exasperated
"That's nice, but you have to be careful. You and I are different. We're not better, not worse we're just different. We're in public life to serve, and to serve to the best of our abilities, we have to set good examples.” Talia stated
"Do you have to control everything?” Wells asked mostly to himself
I've put a hold on the Plaza for the second weekend in June. That should give you a nice, long engagement."
"We were thinking Christmas in Ireland.” He said knowing how much she’d hate the idea of anywhere but New York.
"If you think I'm going to let some girl talk you into getting married any place but New York City.” Talia started
"She is not "some girl” She's my fiancée, for Christ's sake.” Wells reminded her
"You are just like your father. One minute you're brilliant, controlled, and steadfast. The next you're throwing it all away on some young piece of ass.” Talia complained
"Those are your issues, Mother, Not mine.” Wells said hanging up the phone on his mother, he’d had enough of her for today.
Her parents had gone to bed but Clarke was too stressed to go to bed. She grabbed her cellphone, went out the back door and dialed #2 in her speed-dial.
“It’s late.” Raven said in lieu of greeting. She had been sleeping peacefully when her best friend’s call had woken her up.
“Yeah well my day sucked, so suck it up buttercup.”
“Damn, let me guess, the hubby didn’t give you the divorce?”
“I wish it had just been that, not only did he not sign the damn papers but he also got me arrested.” Clarke told Raven.
“Woah, what did you do?” Raven asked sitting up in her bed.
“Luckily my friend Atom is the sheriff now so it wasn’t the old coot that hated me. First he tried to get me arrested for breaking and entering until I pointed out we were still married. Then he started naming all the things I did back when I lived here.”
“That must have been something.”
“Luckily for me, he had been involved in a lot of those, until he found one that had to do with Atom’s mother’s truck and I was screwed. So I had to call my parents to come get me.”
“This is priceless.”
“I had to listen to my dad’s defending Bellamy like always did. He was always the son he never had and tried to sell me the story of how he’s changed. He also made a few comments about how Bellamy was nervous the day of the wedding. He wasn’t nervous he was still drunk from the night before. I ended up going to the reception by myself while he slept it off in the Travelodge.”
“Damn, did you tell them about Wells?”
“Yeah mom congratulated me on the ring and then came the discussion about how they never come to New York because it doesn’t work for them, it’s bull.”
“Ouch that’s harsh.”
“Tell me about it, I get my mother because she’s got to run the medical practice and you can’t exactly leave the town without a doctor for long, but come on they visit every stupid battlefield in the continental U.S. but they can't manage to visit their only daughter who lives up north?”
“You haven’t visited them either.” Raven pointed out
“Yeah I know and they brought that up too. To top it all off Monroe called with Mel’s review.”
“Ignore her, she’s a jealous little twit.”
“If she’s just a jealous little twit as you say it then why is she invited to all the major gallery openings?”
“Because she started writing a stupid blog that got infamous, it doesn’t mean she knows anything about art.”
“She called my exhibit less than mediocre.”
“She also wanted to be Monty and Anya’s protégé but you got the spot, I wouldn’t worry about her, she’s nothing. I do have semi good news.”
“What is it?”
“Lexa’s part of their review of your opening comes out tomorrow or well later today.”
“Any word on Indra?”
“It’s really quiet on that front but you know that Lexa and Indra normally agree so if Lexa’s piece tomorrow is flattering I bet Indra’s is too.”
“Let’s hope so, I just want to get things done here so I can go back to New York. I really don’t know what to do.”
“You know what I would do?”
“I’m kind of scared to ask.”
“If he wants a wife, give him a wife, make yourself as annoying as possible.”
“That could work.” Clarke said as ideas started coming into her head.
“It will work, now I need my beauty sleep, talk later?”
“Yeah go to sleep, thanks Raven.”
“How long does a contested divorce take? 8 months? Mr. Kane I don’t have 8 days! That’s just not going to work for me.” Clarke complained to her lawyer, when she heard someone calling out to her
“Don’t see the likes of you around these parts much.”
“Mr. Kane I’m sorry but that doesn’t work for me.” She responded as she heard the voice call out to her again,
“Lady you look like sex on a stick!”
“Mr. Kane, I’ll call you back.” She hung up and started to reprimand whoever was catcalling “Listen asshole why don’t you kiss my…” Then she saw Nathan Miller, one of her old best friends smirking at her from against his truck, “Nate! You ass!”
"Get in the truck, darling 'cause I don't do that sort of thing on the street"
"I guess your mama raised you right!" She laughed hugging him
"What is that? Calvin Klein? That's very nice." He complimented her perfume.
"Very good. I better back off. Don't want to get you in trouble with the little lady." Clarke joked, "Is there a little lady?"
"You know me Clarke I can barely afford to take care of myself let alone a high-maintenance lady." He commented but they both knew the real reason.
"I guess we all have our little secrets, don't we, Nate?” Clarke muttered then put a hand on his shoulder, "You'll find someone I know it."
"Yeah, we do. 'Course, I read about yours on the Internet.” He said smirking
"What?!” She exclaimed surprised at the comment.
"Oh, I know all about the cocks in your henhouse.”
“Nathan Miller!” She slapped him laughing
"I like the pink it fits you." He said mentioning to her pink highlight.
"Thanks it was my friend Monty's idea, said I was an artist so I should look the part."
"Well it looks great darling, are you staying in town for a while?"
"I hope not, I'm just trying to get your idiot friend to sign the papers."
"Good luck with that, what are you up to now?"
"I'm just going to head to the bank."
"Then I better get out of the way." He laughed as he got back in his car.
"Ass!" She exclaimed but she was laughing as she went inside the bank. She walked into the bank and nothing had changed in the time she had been gone. There wasn't even an ATM machine, who doesn't have an ATM machine?
"Look who's back home."
"Harper?" She asked, barely recognizing her old friend, "You look fantastic."
"Thanks I fixed up my hair and my teeth, lost a few pounds."
"Well it worked you really do look great. I noticed that you don't have an ATM."
"Oh, those things. Sinclair doesn't want to put one in on account of you lose personal contact with the customers."
"Yes, that would be tragic."
"Atom said you and Bellamy had quite the reunion but that's just pillow talk talkin'."
"Are you and Atom?" She asked, and the surprises just kept on coming.
"Going on three years. 'Course, it ain't Tiffany's, but then again, you can't believe everything you hear on TV." She said showing Clarke her own ring then winking.
"I need to make a withdraw from my..." Clarke started
"Joint account?" Harper interjected
"Your joint account, with Bellamy, from what Atom told me you guys are still married." She said smirking and Raven's words flashed in Clarke's head, she knew exactly what she was going to do.
"Hello big brother what brings you around."
"Just here to see my niece and nephew." Bellamy told her.
"They are at a play date, which I'm sure you knew because it's been a standing play date for a few years now."
"Guess it slipped my mind, I'll be going."
"Oh no you're not." Octavia said pulling him inside the house and closing the door behind him.
"What's the problem O?" He some times forgot how strong his little sister was. She might look harmless but she was anything but.
"I heard your wife is back in town." Octavia said
"She showed up yesterday."
"I also hear you got her arrested and that you don't want to sign the divorce papers." Octavia commented passing on what she’d heard from town gossip. It was extremely interesting how quickly gossip passed in small towns.
"She wouldn't leave the house so I called the sheriff." Bellamy admitted
"So divorce papers huh?"
"The only reason I ain't signing it's because she acting like a stuck up bitch." Bellamy muttered, and Octavia laughed.
"So it's not because you're still in love with her?"
"I'm not in love with Clarke Griffin." Bellamy said, lying through his teeth.
"Then why did you keep the drawing she made you?" Octavia said hitting the target. The door opening saved Bellamy from answering. Lincoln, Bellamy’s friend and Octavia’s husband, walked inside with their two kids Nyko and Andi.
"Uncle Bellamy!" The twins ran up to him as he hugged them both.
"You two are getting huge."
"I beat Nyko and Caitlin at cards today." Andi told him proudly
"That's my girl, up top." He said giving her a high five.
"Kids go get changed and then come to the table." Octavia told them
"Are you staying for lunch uncle Bell?" Nyko asked
"Not today munchkin I have to take care of some things." He told them as they left the room.
"You are welcome to stay." Lincoln told him.
"I know I just want to go home for a bit."
"If you say so." Lincoln said as Bellamy waved goodbye and left.
"That man is as stubborn as ever."
"Talking about Clarke?"
"He claims the only reason he won't sign is her attitude but I know him. He's still as in love with her as when they were kids." Octavia said
"What makes you think that?" Lincoln asked, he didn’t know where Octavia got half of the ideas that came into her head.
"Other than the fact that he hasn't really dated anyone? There's the fact that everything he's done is to prove that he has grown up and now that he has a chance to show her, his pride is getting in the way. She probably doesn't even know he went to New York."
“O, you’re not supposed to know he went to New York.” Lincoln pointed out
“Yeah but I do know, so it changes things.”
"I know that face Octavia." Lincoln stated
"I'm just saying maybe they just need a push."
"You know as well as I do that those two idiots are soul mates. I've always known it and deep down they know it too there's just baggage in the way."
"And the fact that they are stubborn and prideful."
"Exactly! Clarke is my brother's happiness and I know they said Clarke changed but even if she changed, the fundamentals haven't and I know she's never been happier than with my brother." She explained
"Just try not to meddle too much." Lincoln said, giving in to his wife's crazy.
Raven walked in to The Griffin's cafeteria to see Monty and Anya already waiting for her in the usual table. She sits in the table as one of the workers brought her a cheesecake.
"Thanks Hartley." She said as she took a bite, "This is delicious."
"Isn't it your recipe?" Monty asked
"Nope this cheesecake is Clarke's recipe, she wanted me to try it to see if it worked. If it did we're adding it to the menu."
"Let me try." Monty said and grabbed a bite, "Yes definitely add it, it's mouth-watering."
"Definitely!" Raven said and pulled out her notebook, adding a check to the food checklist.
"Reyes you look like you haven't slept." Anya told her bluntly.
"Our mutual friend who is stuck in the south barely let me sleep."
"No divorce yet?" Monty asked
"Nope, he's making it hard on her, he got her arrested." Raven smirked
"Oh that's priceless." Monty said
“That’s what I said!” Raven joked
“What happened?” Anya asked
"I gave her a few pointers about what she can do to get him to sign the papers." Raven said
"The more time she spends there the better." Anya pointed out as Monty laughed.
"You still don't like Wells?" Raven asked
"He's too perfect. No one is that perfect." Anya told them
"That's true." Monty replied
"I know Clarke, she'll get bored with perfect. Maybe not right now, but in a year or two it will happen."
"You're a seer now?" Monty interjected
"You guys know I'm right, Clarke is one of us, she's not made for boring."
"Also there's the mother."
"Exactly, no one wants that mother in law... But you know what's the part I hate the most?" Anya asked
"What is it?" Monty wondered
"He's a politician."
"Ugh yes that is a downside." Raven muttered
"Clarke is worth more than being a politician's trophy wife. No matter how perfect he might seem." Anya told them.
"I hate that she always brings up good points." Monty commented
"It's a gift." Anya told them as Monroe came up.
"Raven, there's still people wanting to buy Lightning Strikes."
"Tell them it's a no go and direct them to other paintings. If people keep insisting just talk directly to Clarke."
"Will do boss."
“Seriously you tell people they can’t do something and it’s all they want to do.” Raven complained
“That’s life.” Anya said
"And Clarke was worried no one would want to buy anything." Monty joked
"Anything else Monroe?" Raven asked when she saw the woman still standing there.
"Lexa's review was just posted." Monroe said
"How was it?" Monty asked
"I haven't read it."
"Well go! Then tell me if I have to break it to her kindly. She was enough bent out of shape because of that idiot Mel."
"It can't be bad right? Lexa looked impressed." Monroe said
"Well you never know with art critics." Raven said as Monroe left.
"Did Lexa tell you anything?" Monty asked Anya, after all Lexa had learned from Anya.
"We keep business and pleasure separate, I tried and she told me I had to wait."
"Well I'm just going to finish this and go back to work."
"The tough life of an art gallery administrator." Monty remarked
"Hardy har har."
It had been a great plan honestly. She had taken all the money out of his account and started using it to fix up the house. At least it looked a lot better now; she’d switched the food, the stove, the living room etc. The only thing that didn’t change was the bed because the place in town was horrible. Then Bellamy had come home and she’d played the “dutiful” wife, which of course brought them to the fight they were having now.
“Oh, but, darlin'...I thought you said we should think of it as our money.” Clarke said innocently and Bellamy stopped drinking his beer, “Just a guess, but I'm thinking the words "joint checking" are flashing in your head right now.”
“How much did you take?” He asked
“All of it.” She told him
“What the hell Clarke!”
“You want a wife, you got a wife. And what are you doing with all that cash? Why don't you invest it? Don't you know anything?!” She exclaimed, she had been extremely surprised when she saw the amount of money Bellamy had in the account.
“I know if you don't get out of this house right now…” He started
“Sign the papers, and I'll give it all back.” She interjected shoving the papers in his face
“Fine! Give me the damn pen.” He said as she held the montblanc pen in her hand.
“Hold on. What are you doing with all that cash saved up? When did you quit the tire factory? You're not doing anything illegal, are you Bellamy?”
“Again I’ll tell you what I told you yesterday. What I do with my life is no longer your business. Maybe I am doing something illegal, maybe not. I don't ask you about your boyfriend, you keep your nose out of my life... deal?” Bellamy explained, he hadn’t meant to say the last part but now it was out. From the look in her face she didn’t expect him to know about that little detail.
“Who told you?” Clarke whispered
“Don’t insult my intelligence Princess, I can read between the lines. You didn’t care about the divorce papers for seven years and now it’s apparently life or death.”
“Bell.” She murmured
“Nobody finds their soul mate when they're 9 years old. I mean, where's the fun in that, right?” Bellamy mentioned as she caught a glance of something on the mantle. It was a fulgurite, the one from the time in the beach when they were kids.
“I can't believe you kept this thing all these years.” She muttered and he nodded “Most people don't know that lightning does that to sand.”
Bellamy looked at her when she wasn’t looking and he couldn’t do it, he wasn’t strong enough to do it. He couldn’t give up just yet.
“Oh, hey Princess, you know what? I just remembered I have a hot date tonight! You don't mind if I have my lawyer take a look at these, right?” Bellamy asked
“Hell, I'm just a simple country boy. There's words in there I can't even pronounce.”
“Oh please! You’re the smartest person in this bloody town, there’s nothing simple about you. You have a goddamn degree in history! Don’t come at me with the simple country boy routine because it’s not you.” She screamed, if there was someone who couldn’t play the dumb card it was Bellamy Blake. Technically she wasn’t supposed to know about the degree but Octavia had let it slip once, back when they still talked.
“Still, You might be taking me to the cleaners for all I know.”
“The cleaners? You?”
“Say, what did this set you back, anyhow?” He said looking at her pen
“More than you make in a month. Just sign the damn papers!” She shouted
“I don’t really feel like it, hope you have a nice night!” He said as he walked out the door making Clarke scream in frustration.
“You don’t know how happy I am to hear your voice right now.” Clarke said as she picked up the phone.
“That bad?” Wells asked
“It’s an entirely different world out here.”
“Yeah I figure as much.”
“Not that I’m not happy to hear your voice but you always have a reason for calling.”
“You know me so well.”
“Well you know what I’m looking at right now?”
“Oh shit, don’t tell me.”
“I’ve been waiting all day for Raven to call me about it, I was beginning to fear the worst.”
“I just asked her if I could deliver the news. I’m just going to read a paragraph if that’s alright, I know Raven sent you a full copy to your email already.”
“Okay just hit me with it.” Clarke said bracing herself
“I had my reservations coming into the show, I had come as a favor to Anya who was one of my mentors. I knew it had to be at least passable because Anya is very particular about who she lets under her wing, but I kept my expectations low. My expectations weren’t just met but they were surpassed a mile-wide. I myself am very particular about art in all it forms and I firmly believe the connection between an artist and their art is important. The exhibit we witnessed The Griffin is a story of Clarke Armstrong’s life, it’s of love and loss and it possesses a rawness that few people have especially this early in the game. In the upcoming years I expect to continue hearing good things about Clarke and her art. This is just the start for her and what a marvelous start it was.”
“You’re not joking with me right, that was what she said.”
“That was definitely what she said and you know if Lexa was positive, Indra is bound to be too.” Wells reminded her
“Oh Wells, I needed that almost as much as I need you.”
“What is that noise?” Wells asked as he heard the music in the background
“The sound of my past.” Clarke told him before saying her goodbyes and hanging up the phone. Olympus’ Roadhouse had always been another sort of home to her. Aurora Blake had always treated her like another daughter. There were a lot of special moments that happened in this establishment, including the time Bellamy changed the name from Aurora’s Roadhouse to Olympus’ Roadhouse. Sometimes she wondered why they always let Bellamy name things. She walked inside and the nostalgia hit her like never before.
“Batten down the hatches, boys! Trouble done just walked back into my life disguised as my favorite daughter-in-law!” Aurora exclaimed as Clarke made her way inside, “Honey, drive that pretty face over here and give me a hug!” She exclaimed as she gave Clarke a hug, which Clarke gladly accepted.
“Soon to be ex daughter-in-law.” Clarke said showing her the ring.
“Who's the lucky guy?”
“His name is Wells, he's in politics.” Clarke told her
“Well, you got my vote.” She joked
“Good to see you, baby girl. Hey, you give this lady whatever she wants. I'll catch up with you later.” Aurora told her and Clarke smiled, sometimes it was good to be home.
“I'll have a Gray Goose martini, two olives, dirty. Thanks.” She told the bartender.
“O!” Clarke exclaimed hugging her old partner-in-crime/sister-in law, “I haven’t heard that nickname in forever.”
“I bet. I heard you were in town.”
“I wonder from who.” Clarke remarked as Octavia laughed, it was a well-known fact that Octavia and Bellamy were as close as siblings could get. Once upon a time Octavia had been Clarke’s best friend, along with Nathan.
“Yeah I heard I few cuss words thrown around you know how he is. Lincoln and I just stood there while he blew off steam.”
“How’s Lincoln, and I heard you had twins?” Clarke asked, the last time she’d talked to Octavia had been 2 years after she had left. Octavia and Lincoln had just gotten married but the wound had still been too fresh so Clarke hadn’t gone. Octavia had told her she understood perfectly. Then things had fizzled out.
“Yes Nyko and Andrea are 4 years old now and they are definitely a handful.”
“You love them anyway.”
“Oh I do.”
“You look fantastic O.”
“So do you birdie, now your target is by the pool table.” Octavia joked and sure enough Clarke saw Bellamy sitting next to a very pretty brunette. She walked over there and made herself known.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Actually we do.” Bellamy responded but Clarke ignored him and turned to the girl he was with.
“You must be Bellamy’s date.”
“I’m Clarke, Bellamy’s New York wife who he refuses to divorce even though I’m engaged to another man.” She said showing her the ring.
“Damn Bellamy, look at the size of that rock.”
“Roma, sweetheart why don’t you get us a couple of drinks.”
“That’s a martini right?” She asked Clarke
“Not her and me, you and I.” Bellamy explained as Roma nodded and headed towards the bar.
“For the record this is all your fault. You make me be mean to you. Do you really want to be humiliated in front of all your friends?” She asked
“Come on Clarke, we were your friends too.” Miller interjected
“Do you see what I see?” Lincoln started
"If it isn't the two groomsmen of the apocalypse.” Clarke commented
"Hey, Jasper, Are you hungry?!” Lincoln asked
“Starved!” Jasper responded
“Oh No don’t you dare!” Clarke said from the other side of the pool table, "Times have changed. No more Clarke sandwich, taco, corn dog or whatever you come up with okay?"
“Sure... sorry. Just playin' with you.” Jasper said putting his hands up innocently.
“Come on, guys, just grab a stick. Let's play some pool, all right? And if you can't find a cue, just pull the one shoved up her ass.” Miller said as the rest of the bar applauded and laughed
“Jasper why you're still wearing those goggles around your head?” Clarke asked him and he smiled goofily.
“Well, I... just about got them broken in. Now, you sit your bony ass down there and watch and see me teach Bellamy here, how to lose at pool”
“Well, see, that's the thing. I'm not really a watch-and-see kind of girl am I, Bell?”
“No you’re not Princess.” He muttered as she grabbed a cue and another martini. The game proceeded like it normally did back in the good ol’ days; the only difference here was that Clarke was getting more and more drunk as the night went on. Her drunkenness had distracted Miller so he had failed the shot and now it was Bellamy against Clarke. Just like old times sake, except this time there was no sex for the winner.
“So Bellamy, are you going to divorce this girl or what?” Jasper joked
“She waited 7 years a couple more days won’t kill her.” Bellamy said, “unfortunately.”
“Like it would make any difference.” Clarke muttered
“You might be interested to know Bellamy has this whole...” Lincoln started but was interrupted by Bellamy
“Don’t bother, she made up her mind about me a long time ago. We all know once Clarke makes up her mind about something there is no changing it, not even if you had all the time in the world.”
“Well you know some things never change.” Clarke responded glaring at her husband.
“Come on Bellamy you can do this. Just like in state playoffs we need that big, beautiful 52-yard bomb! Do you remember that, Clarke?” Jasper boomed before asking Clarke.
“How could I forget? That was the night Bellamy got me pregnant.” Clarke deadpanned
“Say it louder I don’t think the people in Bluebell heard you.” Bellamy muttered, she just had to bring that up didn’t she?
“Oh, come on. It's not like anybody can keep a secret around here...except for Nathan Miller.” Clarke explained
“What did I ever to you?” Miller asked
“You never did anything to me, darlin'... or any other girl in town.” Clarke joked
“Clarke, what the hell is wrong with you?” Octavia interjected, this wasn’t the Clarke she knew, this girl was vindictive, apparently a mean drunk, and frankly? a bitch.
“She’s just wildly unhappy.” Miller explained earning a glare from Clarke, who was pissed that Miller had once again caught on to one of her insecurities, of course he did, they had been really close for a long time.
“Of course I was too if a certain blogger had said my exhibit had been less than mediocre and called me frigid and emotionally detached. Just another soulless NY exhibit the only difference is she’s got friends with big pockets.” Miller commented, he hadn’t agreed with the review but at the moment he had the upper hand and he wasn’t going to loose it. Something in Clarke snapped, she knew Raven was right that Mel was just jealous and said those things to get more hits on her blog. Also there was Lexa’s rave review, which negated all of Mel’s words; but at the moment Clarke was focused on making others more miserable than her, something she’d picked up in New York, and did something she regretted the moment she said the words.
“Oh why don’t you just go to a gay bar.” Clarke muttered, Shit shit shit, she really should not have said that.
“Why would Miller go to a gay bar?” Jasper asked not quite catching on until he saw the looks from everyone else, “Oh.”
“I think I’ve had just about enough fun for one night.” Miller muttered as he left the cue and left the Roadhouse.
“Aurora! Why don’t you get us another round!” She exclaimed trying to focus on something else, other than the fact that she’d outed her best friend, she guessed ex-best friend now.
“Darlin’ I think you’ve had enough.”
“Yes I have had enough, how do you people even live like this.” She laughed drunkenly and Bellamy knew what he had to do, “There’s a whole world out there and it has nothing to do with beer and children or anything from this town.”
Bellamy grabbed her and put her on his shoulder taking them both out of his mother’s Roadhouse.
“I liked her better when she was crazy.” Octavia muttered then saw Clarke’s bag on the bar counter and went outside to give it to her brother
“What is the matter with you? What makes you think you can treat them like that? Like something you stepped on with your fancy shoes. I guess you really have changed because the girl I knew would have never done what you did tonight.” Bellamy exclaimed, for the first time since she’d come back he didn’t recognize the woman in front of him, she was a complete stranger. And that hurt more than he expected it to hurt.
“You asked for it!”
“I asked for it?! You show up here, you steal my money, you rearrange my house, and then you insult my friends.” Bellamy told her then got in her face “You know the girl you used to be may not have had as much money as you do now, she didn’t have a fancy gallery or a fiancé who’s a senator or whatever but she had one thing you obviously lack… She had morals and she didn’t go around treating people who care about her like shit. Acting like she was better than them!”
“I am better than them! And you stole my pen!” Clarke screamed, not trying to let him know how much his words were getting to her.
“That's all that matters to you, isn't it?” Bellamy asked
“Bell.” Octavia said as she came out and passed her brother Clarke’s bag then went back inside.
“The money, the labels, the shoes, you're pathetic!” He screamed as she took her bag from him
“Oh, like you're goin' places! Well, I am as soon as I get my keys out of here.” She started rummaging through her bag but he stole it again.
“Oh, no, you don’t, you’re not going to fucking do this.” Bellamy told her
“Give me my purse!” She said trying to reach it
“You want to kill yourself you do it somewhere else, not here.” Bellamy told her grabbing her and opening the door to his truck.
“At least I'm doing something with my life. So what if you can't play football anymore?! Get a new dream! I did” She exclaimed from inside the truck just as Roma came outside.
"I'm guessing the date is over huh?" Roma asked
"I’m afraid so." He said as he went to say goodbye to Roma.
"It was fun while it lasted."
"I know I don't deserve it but can I ask you for a favor?"
"What is it?" Roma asked
"Can you follow us home?" Bellamy asked just as they heard Clarke puke in the car… Well at least that hadn’t changed.
"Sure thing." Roma said grabbing the keys to Clarke's car… He got back in the car and on the road until he reached the Griffin's place. Abby and Jake greeted him as he carried Clarke into the house and tucked her in her bed… He saw the divorce papers and sighed, if this is what she truly wanted then he was going to have to let her go. He grabbed her pen and signed on the dotted line, he never thought their story would end this way. He never thought their story would end, period, but especially not in this way. He said goodbye to Jake and went to his car, but was stopped by Abby.
"This is a strange feeling of déjà vu."
"It's just that my daughter is back in town and the first thing she does is get arrested and then get drunk."
"That's on her not me." Bellamy told her, and like always Abby blamed everything on him.
"I know you Bellamy Blake."
"You know what I'm not going to do this with you right now.” Bellamy muttered, he’d just signed the divorce papers, the love of his life was gone, and he just wanted to go home and deal with it. Not talk with her mother, “I signed the papers Abby I am now out of your daughter's life for good. We've severed that cord."
"What?" Now it was Abby's turn to sound surprised
"Don't act so surprised everyone in this town knows how much you hated my relationship with your daughter, you never thought I was good enough for her. You should be rejoicing. I'm out of the way now she can marry Mr. Perfect and you don't have to deal with me anymore. Just like you always wanted." With that he got into his truck and drove away, leaving Abby in the dust.
Clarke woke up with the hangover of a lifetime. Shit, what had she done last night? She could only remember bits and pieces and none of it was good. She looked over and saw the divorce papers, signed. For some reason that just made her feel empty. Why did it make her feel empty? Shouldn’t she be happy? It’s what she wanted, right?
She heard voices coming from outside and heard her parents talking while her mother fixed up her dad’s uniform. Her dad could be a brilliant engineer and then there was his hobby, civil war reenactments.
“Well Jake, look who’s still alive.” Abby mentioned as Clarke came into the room.
““Dad how am I going to explain this” She said pointing to his uniform, “in New York City?”
“History's history no use sweepin' it under the rug, Wish me luck.”
“Go get them Yankees.” Abby laughed
“People seriously need a passport to come down here.” Clarke muttered as Abby turned to her.
“I know you’re probably feeling like hell right now but I need to go into work, Saturday mornings are always crazy.” Abby explained
“Yeah go, don’t worry about me.” She said as she went to her room to get dressed, there were a lot of people she needed to apologize to. She got to Bellamy’s place and both the plane and Cerberus were gone, she would have to come by later. She needed to cure this monster of a hangover and she knew just who to go to.
She parked in front of Olympus’ Roadhouse and went towards the door. Aurora opened the screen-door in her bathrobe.
“Don’t you know better than to wake a bartender up after a Friday night?”
“Do you have anything for a hangover?” Clarke asked as Aurora smiled and opened the door for her to come in. They were seated at the bar; Clarke had taken off her sunglasses while Aurora prepared the hangover remedy.
“You made a pretty mess of things last night.”
“I don’t remember all of it, I don’t know if that’s good or bad, how obnoxious was I?”
“It brought back a lot of memories that’s for sure.”
“I went by the house and the plane was gone so were Bellamy and Cerberus. Where does he go on a Saturday? Does he visit Matthew?”
“No, he hasn’t visited him since I don’t even know when.” Aurora told her, Matthew Blake had been a mess of a human being and Aurora had always thought the best thing he ever did, other than giving her Bellamy and Octavia, was get arrested. He’d gotten arrested when Bellamy was 12 and Octavia 10, Aurora divorced him and never looked back.
“I have to tell you I think you leaving him was the best thing that happened to him.”
“Gee thanks.” Clarke muttered
“Listen to me young lady, you know perfectly well how much I love you. You were never an extension of Bellamy or Octavia, I love you like my own daughter.”
“Yeah I know.” Clarke said with a little smile.
“What am saying is that, you leaving helped Bellamy grow up.” Aurora told her as she added the final touches to the remedy “You were two kids, pregnant and getting married when you were barely out of diapers yourselves.”
“Just like mom and dad.”
“Except your mother didn’t miscarry you.” Aurora told her with an understanding smile as she handed her the drink, “Drink up.”
“What is he doing anyway?” Clarke wondered
“He’s embarrassed to admit it but he’s finally doing something with his life.”
“What?” Clarke asked
“It’s not my place to say.” Aurora commented as Clarke’s phone rang making Clarke wince at the noise.
“Oh shit it’s work I have to take this, hold that thought.” Clarke said
“Monroe what is it?” Clarke muttered
“Well you know how a lot of people were interested in Lightning Strikes?”
“You told them were not selling right?”
“I did and almost everyone backed off except one buyer. Raven said that if someone was that demanding I had to patch him to you so you could speak to him yourself. They aren’t really paying attention to me.”
“Okay put it through just remember I kind of hate you right now and pass that same message on to Raven.”
“Will do Boss.”
“Miss Clarke Armstrong?”
“Who is this?”
“My name is Finn Collins, my employer wants to buy your painting?”
“I hear you won’t listen to my people when they say the painting isn’t for sale.”
“I wasn’t completely sure if they were speaking from your authority.”
“Of course they were speaking with my authority.”
“It’s just I don’t get why you don’t want to sell it, it’s worth a lot, especially with the demand.”
“Mr. Collins listen to me and listen closely are you listening?”
“There is no way on God’s green earth that I am selling that painting. It is of extreme sentimental value for me and it could be worth all the money in the world and I wouldn’t sell it. I could be completely broke and I still wouldn’t sell it, so tell your employer to stop insisting because it is not for sale. Who’s your employer anyway?”
“It’s your fiancée miss.”
“Wells asked you to buy it?” Clarke asked a little bit shocked, he knew how much that painting meant to her, why was he trying to buy it? And why was he using a middleman?
“Okay well next time you talk to your boss tell him Lightning Strikes is not for sale.”
“Lightning Strikes huh?” Aurora asked, knowing exactly what painting Clarke had referred to.
“Don’t change the subject on me Aurora, why is he embarrassed?” Clarke asked, Bellamy Blake didn’t get embarrassed over just anything.
“You know Matt wasted his life in that prison, Bellamy always feared failure was hereditary.” Aurora told her and suddenly everything made sense.
“I was such a bitch, a huge enormous bitch.” Clarke said bowing her head in realization.
“Well he ain’t a walk in the park hon, it takes two to tango and no one fights quite like the two of you.”
“He just makes me so crazy.” She admitted, for some reason it had always been easier to talk to Aurora than her own mother.
“Sweetheart, there’s been a charge between you two since the moment you ran down that beach.” She said with a sad smile on her face. Sometimes she wanted to shake both of them because from the way Clarke looked it was obvious her feelings weren’t as gone as she claimed they were.
“The truth is, he never thought he was good enough for you.” Aurora admitted
“That’s just…” Clarke started and the worst part is that she believed that he believed that. Because it’s just like Bellamy stupid idiot always thought he was the worst when he’d always been the best. “It’s stupid and idiotic and just not true.”
Aurora nodded then reached out and grabbed Clarke’s hand, “You worked hard to get to where you are. You made something out of yourself, and from what I overheard just now things aren’t going too badly.”
“It was a few days after Octavia and I talked about her wedding, and a few months into my mentorship with Anya and Monty. Monty liked my work but Anya always said she wanted more she was never really satisfied. She told me to draw something personal and raw get all my emotions out, then she locked me in my first studio with a blank canvas.”
“She sounds like quite the character.”
“She is, I think you’d like her. One of the things I had there was a photo of the drawing I made for Bellamy, the one I did when I realized I loved him. And I just let it all out, all the anger, the pain, the baby.” She muttered the last one softly, “And I got so engrossed in it I didn’t even realize when Monty and Anya came back and opened the door. It was what helped me earn her respect. She said ‘maybe you’re not the worst thing ever’ and as Monty told me later that was high praise in Anya standards. Painting that made me realize how much everything still hurt, and that’s why I couldn’t come to the wedding.”
“Octavia understands that sweetie, she always did.”
“I never deserved her as a friend, I’ve been a really shitty one.”
“Well I won’t disagree with you there, but I think there’s a certain someone you need to talk to before you fix things with O.”
“So that wasn’t a bad dream I really did do that?”
“You did, he spends his time in the Armstrong Plantation during the weekends if you want to drop by.”
“I have to and about what we talked about…”
“Don’t worry darling you know your secret is always safe with me.” Aurora told her with a smile, “I’ll tell him you stopped by.”
“Tell him I….”
“He knows darling.” She said as Clarke made her way outside, went to mail the divorce papers at the post office then headed back to Bellamy’s house.
She found Cerberus on the dock and the plane was there but Bellamy wasn’t. It was in that moment that Bellamy arrived, and asked her what she was doing there. Threw a bone into the water and Cerberus jumped in. She told him the money was back in his account and he made a quip about how what she’d done would help him sell the house quicker as Cerberus came out with the bone. She needed to say what she’d originally come here to say or she’d loose her nerve.
“Bell I’m really sorry for the way I handled things, not just like night… I never meant to hurt you, or anybody else, for that matter. I was really out of line and I can’t really recall all the things I said but I’m ashamed of the ones I do recall. And I also came out here to say... thank you.”
“You might want to find yourself a place out of the way.” Bellamy stated implying he was going to take off with the plane.
“You can't just leave!”
“Sure I can. You want to come?” He didn’t know why he asked, but part of him wanted to tell her what he’d been up to.
“Where you going?” Clarke wondered
“I want to show you something.” Bellamy explained and Clarke wanted so badly to say yes, but she knew if she did it would mean going back to who she used to be, she wasn’t sure she was ready for that.
“I can’t.” She told him
“Can't or won’t?” He asked looking right through her like he always did.
“Both.” She admitted, there was no use lying, not to him.
“The girl I knew used to be fearless.” He commented as he got the plane ready to leave.
“The girl you knew didn't have a life.” She retorted
“Well, I... guess you better get on with it, then.” He said opening the door of the plane, “Come on, Cerberus! Come here boy!” Cerberus came running and got inside. Bellamy smiled at Clarke as he closed the door and took off.
She was a coward, and she knew it. Now she just needed to go ask for another friend’s forgiveness.
The maid had told her that if he was alive he was out back; now she saw what she meant. She told in the patio and called his name.
“Hold your fire, sir. I'll be right back.” Miller told his grandfather as he walked towards Clarke, ““We weren't aiming for ya but I doubt I would have gone to your funeral.”
“I guess I wouldn't blame you. Forgotten how beautiful this place was.” She commented.
“Guess it doesn't take much to forget a lot of things.” He remarked
“Nate, it's not like that.” She said
“You know what? I'll tell you what it's not like. It's not like Bellamy’s the only one that you ran out on.” Miller reminded her, and it was true, one upon a time they had been really close, Nate, Octavia and Clarke.
“I'm so sorry I outed you. I guess I figured if I was pointing at you then... nobody would see through me. You brought up the Mel review and I flipped out, but that’s no excuse.”
“Yeah that wasn’t very nice of me either.”
“I’d forgotten how much of an ass you could be.” Clarke laughed
“Yeah well it’s because normally we would use our powers of asshole-ness on other people not each other.”
“Yeah it wasn’t our best moments.” Clarke said as the Coronel spoke.
“Nathan, I can’t find the fuse!”
Miller lifted the fuse up then turned to Clarke, “I should go before he kills himself.”
“Bye.” She muttered as she left the house. Just as she was coming out she encountered someone else, “Can I help you?”
“John Murphy, New York Post, I’m glad to see you, it’s definitely another world down here.”
“Did you say the “Post”? Clarke clarified oh shit this wasn’t good.
“Yeah I was hoping to get an interview with the family and a few pictures, if that’s no problem?”
“It’s just they’re not here at the moment and I was just heading out.”
“I can come back later?”
“No, we can do it right now.” Clarke muttered
“It must have been incredible growing up here right?” John asked
“Like a fantasy.” She said as they went inside, trying to not encounter the housekeeper, she definitely should have paid more attention when they talked about the plantation when she was younger. They hid in a closet when they heard the housekeeper go by and Clarke came up with a story for it. Miller of course found them.
He made a quip about finding her in the closet and she told him how John Murphy was from the Post and doing an article on the family, and how she had no idea. For a moment she thought he was going to out her, it would have served her right for what she did, but he didn’t. He introduced himself as Clarke’s cousin and gave John and herself a tour of the Plantation, and all the history that comes with it. They finally managed to get rid of him and Miller turned to Clarke.
“Well aren’t you just a big fat liar.” He joked
“Nate!” She playfully slapped him, “I had no idea that was going to happen, and come to think of it he was probably sent by Talia.”
“Talia?” Miller asked
“Talia Jaha, my future mother in law, who hates me, and I mean really hates me.”
“Wow that’s some life.”
“Tell me about it.”
“By the way what that bitch Mel said, it wasn’t true, I haven’t seen the paintings in your new galleria but I know how much talent you have.”
“No, I know it wasn’t true but it just hit the target you know?”
“Yeah I know.”
“Raven says she’s just jealous because she was rejected by Anya and Monty.”
“That’s most likely true.” He stated as Clarke’s phone rang
“Speak of the devil.” Clarke smiled and answered the phone, “Hey Reyes.”
“Clarke! I need you to pick me up.”
“Did you forget I’m still in Arcadia?” Clarke wondered
“That’s the thing, I came to visit you!”
“Holy shit.” Clarke muttered
“So can you pick me up, pretty please.”
“You are a crazy woman but I’m on my way.” She said as she hung up.
“I guess you have to go?” Miller asked
“Why don’t you come with me? We can talk more on the way and you can meet Raven. I think you’ll like her.”
“That sounds like a plan.” Miller stated and Clarke smiled.
Miller and Clarke were waiting for Raven at the gate. He couldn’t say he wasn’t curious about Clarke’s best friend because he was. He just hoped she wasn’t a stuck up New Yorker.
"Ohh I've missed you!" Raven said hugging Clarke.
"Raven I haven't been gone that long and we've talked practically everyday."
"Not the same plus I've been stuck doing all the work by myself and I don't like it."
"And here comes the real reason." Clarke joked, "Raven Reyes this is one of my best friends Nathan Miller."
"Pleasure to meet you Miss Reyes."
"So he's the male Alabama version of me?" Raven asked
"You're crazy." Clarke stated
"From what you've told me he sounds more like me than Monty or Anya so I'm guessing he's the Alabama version of me."
"I guess, if that helps you sleep at night." Clarke responded
"Ohh and he's the..." Raven asked and Clarke nodded, "let me see." Raven started circling Miller who just looked confused.
"Why do I feel like I'm an art piece in a museum right now?" Miller asked
"We kind of have the perfect guy in mind for you."
"Clarke." Miller stated
"I don't want to see you all alone and this way two of my friends can find happiness with each other."
"Our best friend Monty is tragically single, he's a fantastic guy, the greatest catch. There's just one problem." Raven told him
"What's the problem?" Miller asked
"The pit-bull known as his platonic other half, she's overprotective over the few people cares about."
"Its true, she still doesn't like Wells." Clarke pointed out
"She explained her reasoning a few days ago, and I hate to say it but she brings up a lot of good points." Raven told her.
"She boiled it down to three main ones. #1 he's too perfect, #2 he's in politics, and #3 his mother." Raven explained
"Those are very valid points I would be wary if someone not only seemed to perfect but was also a politician? Yeah that's not normal." Miller agreed
"See you're already on a good road to being liked by Anya." Raven said
"You know if she ever met Bellamy, she'd like him from the sheer fact that he wasn't Wells." Clarke complained
"This friend sounds scary I would definitely like to meet her...and Monty as well."
"You know what Miller I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Raven said linking arms with him.
"Oh most definitely."
"You two are the worst, I'm definitely going to regret this aren't I?" Clarke asked
"Oh most likely." Raven said and Clarke just shrugged.
"Have you ever been to a Saturday fair Miss Reyes?" Miller asked
"I can't say that I have."
"Well why don't we head over to Clarke's and see if you brought anything Alabama appropriate."
"Are you good with fashion?" Raven asked
"Not one bit, but I do know what to wear and what not to wear in our little town of Arcadia, Alabama."
"I need to get changed anyway and I'll go apologize to Octavia."
"Oh that's going to be fun."
"Looking forward to it." Clarke said with a grimace.
"Look it can't be worse than with me, you didn't really say anything all too personal to her." Miller pointed out
"Yeah but I've got a few years to make up for." Clarke reminded him
Miller helped Raven with her back as they got in Clarke's car. Then they headed towards the Griffin place. It was empty considering Jake was out in battle and Abby was down at the practice.
"Your house is all kinds of adorable." Raven pointed out
"I don't know if you're being honest or ironic." Clarke said as they got out of the house
"Honest I swear." Raven said as they walked into the house and into her room. Where Raven caught a sight of all the trophies, "What are those?"
"Our sweet little Clarke here was a natural at beauty pageants." Miller explained
"Oh really?" Raven asked
"They were my mother's thing, once I was old enough I quit."
"She wanted Clarke to get out of Alabama, see the world, not get stuck here." Miller started
"With a boy who's going nowhere fast and a baby." Clarke muttered, "Well I guess those two got taken care of huh." Miller gave her a small hug.
"Let me guess your mom wasn't a fan of the hubby." Raven asked
"Understatement." Miller commented
"Ex hubby now."
"He signed the papers?" Raven asked
"I mailed them earlier today it's official, technically."
"It's what you wanted right?" Miller asked
"Yeah it was." Clarke muttered and Raven knew they had to change the subject for now. She would breach it again when they were alone, “Wells was the buyer.”
“The persistent one? I thought his name was Finn something?” Raven asked
“Nope he was just the middleman, Wells was his employer.”
“I’m confused.” Miller said
“Wells Jaha, my fiancé, tried to buy Lightning Strikes via a middle man.” Clarke explained
“That would have been extremely awkward considering the origin of that painting.” Miller smirked
“Tell me about it.” Clarke responded
“So what are you going to do about it?” Raven asked
“I think I’m just going to ignore it, if he doesn’t bring it up himself I won’t either.”
“Why not?” Miller wondered
“Because I would have to explain why I don’t want to sell the painting, why it means so much to me.” Clarke told him.
“I see your point.” Miller said, yeah telling your fiancé that the painting he was trying to buy was originally a love declaration to your ex-husband would probably not go well.
"You know I didn't just get on a plane here to see your roots." Raven stated
"Oh you didn't?" She smirked
"I had to bring you something, in person."
"It's out?" Clarke asked
"It's out." Raven responded
"What's out?" Miller asked as Raven pulled out a magazine from her bag. The cover was Clarke looking at one of her paintings while smiling, unaware of the camera. The headline was "The Griffin flies high in it's opening night."
"When did they take this picture?" She asked
"I think that's the point." Miller joked
"There's Indra's review its a bit long and there's pictures. Then it's Lexa's review which you've already read." Raven told her as Clarke opened the magazine to the correct page.
"You read it I can't read it." Clarke muttered as she sat on the bed next to Nate who just put a comforting arm around her.
"Clarke Armstrong is a survivor, a dreamer and she’s honest; something that is severely lacking in our Art World. By now everyone has heard of Miss Armstrong's refusal to sell the prominent piece in her exhibit, some call her naive or opportunistic I saw it for what it really was, a woman who had a big connection to what she considers a priceless painting. In an age where everything has a price tag it's refreshing to know there are still things we consider priceless. " Raven stated and Clarke made a sign to keep going.
"I didn't know what we were walking into and while my partner Lexa noted it couldn't be that bad considering Anya doesn't take just anyone as a protégé, I still had my reservations. After all there are new artists popping up every five seconds here in New York. From what I've seen and experienced only 1 out of 12 have real talent, Clarke Armstrong is that 1. When I came in I found myself coming in contact with not only beautiful art but an artist with a deep connection to its. An artist who understood what I consider one of the basic rules of art, art is subjective and what might mean a lot to someone might not mean a lot to someone else. In this situation Clarke told us her interpretation of the pieces and then asked us what we saw in it. She didn't try to force her point of view but rather contemplated all the sides and possible interpretations. It was a refreshing change and one that I hope will stick around for years to come." Raven said as she finished reading the first page.
"And that was just the first page." Raven pointed out
"Am I alive? Am I dreaming? I'm dreaming right?" Clarke muttered
"You're not dreaming." Miller pointed out and pinched her arm.
"Ouch... Yeah I guess I'm not dreaming."
"Say something!" Raven exclaimed laughing
"Let me be in shock alright, Indra didn't just like me, she loved it. She's one of the toughest critics and she loved me."
"Congratulations!" Miller exclaimed giving her a hug, which Raven gladly joined in.
"Are you crying?" Raven asked
"Just a little bit." Clarke said
"Happy tears right?" Miller wondered
"Definitely." Clarke stated, "Now we need to finish getting ready for tonight I'm going to get changed and talk to Octavia. Miller you can take Raven right?"
"Sure thing Miss, I’ll give you a tour of our beautiful little town."
“And tell me stories about Clarke’s childhood?” Raven asked
“Only if you tell me stories of her in New York.” Miller countered
“You’ve got yourself a deal my friend.” Raven smirked and Clarke couldn’t help but laugh as she left the house.
You can do this Clarke it's just Octavia. Octavia who loves her brother more than life, was highly overprotective and had been Clarke's partner in crime when they were kids…
"Why don't you stop hovering and get over here." Octavia called out without even looking behind her.
"How did you know?"
"Clarke we were inseparable a while back give me some credit. You always hover when you're feeling shameful."
"Yeah well I don't know how to begin to apologize, or where to begin to apologize."
"You've apologized to the rest?" Octavia asked
"First your mother, then your brother and then Miller."
"You really screwed up on that last one." Octavia said pointing out the obvious and making Clarke grimace a bit.
"I know, thankfully he's a better person than I am and forgave me." Clarke said, she was really thankfully Nate had decided to forgive her, she didn’t know how she would have reacted in the same situation.
"Well out of the three of us he's always been the nicest, no matter how much he denies it."
"That's true. You know I truly am sorry right? I acted like I was better than all of you, and I’m not like that. I’m not better than anyone in this town. I think it was just that you all have a way to see through me that no one in New York has; except maybe Raven."
"It comes from growing up together Birdie... We know all your tells just like you know ours."
"Sometimes it can be overwhelming."
"Oh don't I know it." Octavia remarked, this town could get too small at times.
"I'm also really sorry for how shitty a friend I've been over the years. My friendship with you had always been a separate entity to my relationship with Bellamy, and I let it get away from me." Clarke admitted, one of her biggest regrets over the past 7 years had been letting go of Octavia’s friendship.
"The door works both ways Clarke, I didn't make the effort either." Octavia reminded her.
"It wasn't that I didn't want to, it was just easier not to." Clarke stated
"Yeah it's the reason I didn't insist on you coming to the wedding I knew how much you were still hurting. It would have been cruel to do that to you."
"I missed you O."
"I missed you too Birdie." She said hugging Clarke; it felt good to hug her friend again. Maybe things could really get back to normal now.
"So those are your kids?"
"Yes Nyko and Andi, my twins, they keep us busy, really busy." Octavia muttered, "Hey darlings come here there's someone I want you to meet!" She called out and the two kids came running.
"Clarke Griffin this is my son Nyko and my daughter Andrea."
"Andi!" Andi exclaimed correcting her mother.
"Of course, sorry Andi." Octavia laughed, Clarke lowered herself to their eye level.
"Hello Andi, Nyko, I'm glad I've been friends with your mom since she was your age."
"Woah." Nyko said as the two adults laughed
"I like your hairs" Andi said
"Thank you, I like them too." She smiled making Andi laugh.
"Okay kids go back to playing and let me and Clarke have grown up talk."
"Pleasure to meet you Miss Clarke."
"The pleasure was all mine Nyko." She said as they went back to playing.
"They are adorable O."
"Well of course they are look at their parents." She joked
"In glad you haven't changed O." She said honestly…
"I have to tell you something, that he doesn't want me to tell you but I have to."
"What is it?" Clarke wondered, what could be so big that had Octavia was acting like it was this huge secret.
"He went up there." Octavia admitted
"The Abominable Snowman who do you think?" Octavia remarked
"Right... When?" Clarke asked mentally kicking herself for asking who she was talking about, of course this was about Bellamy.
"About a year after you left."
"I found out later or I would have told you when he left."
"Bellamy was in New York?" Clarke was shocked; he had come to New York. She felt something shift inside of her; she'd always thought he never even made the effort. It's part of why the situation had hurt so much. It’s why she kept sending the papers, she had thought he had given up on them.
"He told Lincoln he'd never seen anything like it. He realized straight off he'd need more than an apology to win you back. He needed to conquer the world first. He's been trying ever since."
"That's why he kept sending the papers back." Clarke muttered as Octavia nodded. The pieces of the puzzle that was Bellamy Blake were coming together. In a way she didn't expect.
"It's funny how things don't work out." Octavia muttered she never imagined that Clarke and Bellamy wouldn't end up together. She just held on to the hope that they realized soon how much they still cared for each other; there was still time for them.
"It's funny how they do." Clarke said as they looked at Octavia and Lincoln's twins. Octavia was an amazing mother, Clarke always knew she would be, Octavia had always had this maternal instinct inside of her.
Raven looked around and she really couldn't believe how different things were down here. Even the air felt different. She was beginning to understand Clarke’s dilemma, she might love New York and fit in perfectly in New York but this place had a special charm to it. She saw how much Clarke was drawn to it.
"What do you think of our little slice of heaven?" Miller asked noticing how pensive Raven had gotten.
"It's completely different to what I’m used to.” She admitted, Raven had always lived in large cities so the small town charm was completely new to her.
"Yeah it probably is, even among small towns Arcadia is special."
“I can definitely see that, you can kind of feel it in the air.”
“Damn right.” Miller said
"Oh shit I forgot to let Monty know I arrived well, I have to call him… Maybe I'll let something slip." She said smirking
"I grew up with Clarke you really think I don't recognize that face?"
"I have no idea to what you are referring too."
"Sure you don't. Leave my love life alone."
"Why Nathan Miller I would never." She said leaving him alone to make her call, she walked a few meters to the side and dialed the number.
“You forgot to call earlier didn’t you?” Monty asked on the other side
“I met one of Clarke’s best friends from here and he showed me around the town, I got the whole tour experience. You know me I get distracted easily.”
“Showed you around huh?” He said and Raven could hear the smirk in his voice.
“Monty darling he plays for your team not mine…”
“Oh…. is he cute?”
“Very cute…you know Clarke and I were talking and we were actually thinking of introducing the two of you.”
“Raven please no matchmaking.”
“You know he just said the same thing a few minutes ago, I think you’ll get along just great.”
“There’s no stopping you is there?” Monty asked resigned, he really hoped this guy was at least as cute as Raven said he was.
“Definitely not, now I’m going to get quiet because the ex is here and I want to her what they are talking about.”
“I’m hanging up now crazy.”
“Suit yourself.” Raven said as she heard the voices of Miller and who she guessed was Bellamy.
“You signed the papers.” Miller said exasperated
“Oh not you too.” Bellamy complained
“It’s just I don’t get it… you love her she’s the bloody love of your life so why are you letting her get away again?” Miller wondered, if he were in Bellamy’s shoes he wouldn’t be sitting around, he’d be fighting for the person he loved.
“It’s what she wanted.”
“Don’t give me that, you really think what Clarke wants is to be the trophy wife of some politician?”
“Ever heard the expression if you love something set it free, if it comes back it was meant to be.”
“Yeah and she came back!”
“To get me to sign the divorce papers! I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count in a favorable light towards me.” Bellamy remarked
“Who cares about the reason she came back, the fact is she came back.”
“It’s done Miller.”
“I can’t believe you all the work you’ve done over the years, you’re just going to give it up? It’s as if you spent your entire life training for a marathon and you’re completely ready but you quit right before the race actually starts. That’s what you’re doing right now.”
“He’s right you now.” Raven said coming up next to Miller, “Sorry I couldn’t continue eavesdropping without commenting.”
“Who the hell are you?” Bellamy asked
“Bellamy Blake this is Raven Reyes she’s Clarke’s best friend from New York.” Miller said
“That explains it.” Bellamy muttered
“You’re a lot hotter than I expected.” Raven said
“I’m going to take that as a compliment.”
“It was one, technically.” Raven said and then realized she needed to get his attention some way, “She looks for you.”
“I beg your pardon.” Bellamy asked
“It’s something I noticed when we started being friends, whenever she’s having fun or she’s really worried about something she starts looking around the room and it took me a while to realize she was looking for you. She even did it after Wells and her started dating.”
“How do you know it’s me?”
“Because she hasn’t done that a lot here. It’s like she looks somewhere and you’re already there.”
“That’s true.” Miller replied he’d also noticed that quirk of Clarke’s back in high school.
“I just think if you love Clarke.” Raven started
“He does.” Miller interrupted
“Like I was saying if you love Clarke I think you should fight for her.” Raven said
“Shouldn’t you be rooting for the other guy?” Bellamy asked
“Look, don’t get me wrong I really like Wells, he is seriously wonderful. He’s got a great job, he comes with almost no baggage, if you disregard the mother, and he is deeply in love with Clarke and treats her perfectly. You’d probably find his picture under, the perfect guy, in the dictionary.”
“This is going so well I’m feeling so much better.” Bellamy deadpanned
“I’m not done, I think Clarke is happy with him I do. I mean they’ve only be dating a few months but she seems perfectly happy.”
“Then what’s the problem?” Bellamy asked
“I don’t think I’ve seen her be herself as much as today. She’s light and laughing not caring who sees. In New York sometimes she’s under a microscope, hell she couldn’t leave her apartment after Wells proposed because of reporters. She had to do a switcheroo with Fox to get out of there. Here I can see she’s worried about some things but it’s not the enormous weight that bringing Wells Jaha’s fiancée brings. Clarke’s a worrier she’s always going to worry about something but here it doesn’t seem as life and death as in New York. I don’t know you so I actually don’t know if you’re good for her but I’m just saying I’m team whatever makes Clarke happier.” Raven told them
“I think I’m on that team as well.” Miller pointed out
“It’s a good team to be on.” Raven said and then turned to Bellamy, “Just think about it.”
“Where is Clarke anyway?” Bellamy asked
“Oh she’s with Octavia.” Miller told him knowing exactly how he’d react.
“Yeah she said they needed to talk.” Raven said.
“That’s not good, O means well but she’s going to spill the beans.”
“Are there beans to be spilled?” Raven asked as Bellamy glared at her, “Let’s just join the rest shall we?” Bellamy told the two.
“I’m not sure that’s the best plan?” Miller said, suddenly worried about his friends’ reaction to yesterday’s bomb.
“If they are really your friends they won’t care.” Raven told him honestly.
“I’ll kick anyone who even looks at you weird alright?” Bellamy asked and Raven saw Miller relax a bit. They made their way to where the rest of the group of friends was gathered.
“Hey, look who I found hanging out by the parking lot; Hesitant to join us. Anybody think of anything in here that, uh, might bother Miller?” Bellamy asked with Miller and Raven standing next to him.
“Uh, Octavia’s crazy?” Jasper muttered receiving a slap from the woman herself.
“You still the same Nathan Miller from last night?” Bellamy asked
“Last time I checked, yeah.” Miller answered
“Well, then, I'm gonna buy you a drink.” He said putting an arm
“I’d appreciate it but you’re really not my type.” Miller joked
“Ass… I’m everyone’s type right Griffin.” Bellamy smirked
“You keep telling yourself that Blake.” Clarke responded
“Octavia’s crazy doesn’t bother me, I like it.” Miller stated earning a smile from Octavia.
“Yeah only because we are so used to it by now it’s practically ingrained in us.” Atom told them as Clarke laughed.
“I don’t know why you’re laughing Birdie, you’re just as bad as I am.” Octavia laughed as Clarke pouted.
“I like her.” Raven commented
“You must be the friend from New York.” Octavia commented
“And you’re the partner-in-crime from back home.” Raven stated
“Guilty as charged, I’m Octavia, I’m the idiot’s little sister.” Octavia said ignoring Bellamy’s protest.
“Raven Reyes, the blonde’s best friend from up north.”
“It seems everyone has lost their southern hospitality so I’ll introduce you.” She said standing up and going next to Raven, “You know Miller and my brother, and Clarke duh. The hottie right there is my husband Lincoln, then there’s the idiot with the headphones that’s Jasper, he’s mostly harmless. Our awesome sheriff is Atom and on his lap is his amazing wife Harper.”
“Pleasure to meet you all.” Raven stated as she received greetings from the rest.
“So what do you do Raven?” Harper asked
“I am a part time chef and the Administrator of The Griffin I make sure all the numbers are done right and that there’s no problems.”
“She’s a lifesaver.” Clarke remarked
“Only because you’re not good with numbers.”
“I hate numbers.”
“We know.” Everyone responded and she glared at them.
“Ohh I have to tell you Sterling is definitely in the running for the sous-chef position, he made your cheesecake recipe and it was delicious.”
“That’s good to hear. Is he still terrified of Anya?”
“100% petrified it’s pretty hilarious to watch.”
“How many people work with you?” Jasper asked
“Clarke paints, I do numbers, Monty fixes things, Monroe makes sure we don’t go crazy and Anya scares people into submission.”
“It’s true, she’s a brilliant woman, one of the greats but she is fucking terrifying at times.” Clarke muttered
“Scary and brilliant I think I’d like her.” Octavia mentioned
“Oh you would and I think she’d like you too… which is strange as well, she’s not a big people person but you might be just the right kind of crazy that fits in.” Raven told her.
“Awesome!” Octavia exclaimed as they saw Clarke looking at the bottom of the glass.
“Griffin has the clear air affected your brain or something?” Raven asked
“You know you drink that from the top right?” Octavia joked
“Ha ha, I’m just looking to see who makes this Deep South Glass, it’s beautiful, I wonder if you can get it in New York.” She said, missing the looks the rest threw Bellamy.
“Hey fearless leader, Clarke here would like to know where she could get some of that snooty-faluty glass.” Jasper said but Bellamy just gave him a look that clearly said he thought Jasper was an idiot.
“Why are you asking me?” Bellamy asked
“Oh I don’t know maybe because you’re.” Octavia started until her brother gave her a look, “all spiffed up and all.”
“Am I missing something?” Clarke muttered and Raven laughed
“You have no idea.” Raven said as the opening chords to Sweet Home Alabama started playing.
“Let’s show some respect folks.” Jasper stated as they all stood up to dance. Atom and Harper quickly went to the dance floor, Jasper right behind them.
“Miss Reyes would you do me the honor of this dance?” Miller asked offering a hand
“I’d be delighted.” She responded and they left too. Octavia looked between Bellamy and Clarke and got an idea.
“Hey big brother, what was the last time you pushed me around the dance floor?”
“I don’t think I remember.” Bellamy responded
“Lincoln is not that great at the dancing, two left feet and all.” Octavia muttered
“Well little sis it would be my greatest pleasure.” He said as they left for the dance floor.
“Come on Clarke! Get out here!” Jasper shouted
“Aren’t you the lord of the dance?” Clarke remarked as Lincoln came up to Clarke.
“You know I’m not as bad she says.” Lincoln said
“Then why don’t we go prove her wrong?” She laughed as they left towards the dance floor. Lincoln knew exactly what his wife was up to so they danced close to Bellamy and Octavia.
“You know he’s pretty good, it’s probably you.” Clarke joked
“Oh don’t you dare, let me at ‘im.” Octavia said grabbing her husband and dancing away with him. Bellamy and Clarke stood there for a bit until Bellamy offered her a hand; see if she wanted to dance.
“Maybe we should just talk?” She asked and he just rolled his eyes and walked away, leaving her in the middle of the floor.
The event had just finished and all of the guys were sitting on top of the water tower looking down at the town. Bellamy was thinking about one person in particular as the guys started giving ideas about what to do next.
“Do you want to go to the Roadhouse?” Jasper asked
“Not really.” Bellamy said
“Maybe we could go to Bluebell, visit Kinsella’s Rammer Jammer, maybe do some bowling?” Lincoln suggested
“I don’t feel like going all the way to Bluebell.” Bellamy responded
“Want to go arrest somebody?” Atom asked as the rest laughed
“I know this great place where we can…” Miller started but they all turned him down. Bellamy saw the person he had just been thinking about walking around. They probably needed to talk.
“I think I’m going to call it a night.” Bellamy said letting the empty bottle fall to the floor.
Clarke was walking around, not knowing where to go but not wanting to go home yet. Raven was with Octavia and Harper but Clarke felt like she needed to be alone. She stumbled upon the dog cemetery and knew what she had to do. She went inside until she found the tombstone labeled Apollo. It had a small lyre next to the name, damn Bellamy thinking of everything.
“Hey boy, I’m sorry it took me so long to get here.” She said as she kneeled in front of the tombstone. “I would have come earlier if I knew you were sick.” Then she stopped herself and sat down in front of it.
“Actually no I probably wouldn’t have come. I’ve been pretty selfish lately. Dogs don’t know anything about that do they? You were always a big ol’ pillow. When life got shitty and I saw no way out you never left my side, I cried myself to sleep and you were always there. Always wanting to help, always wanting to make things better and I just left you. You probably sat there wandering what you’d done wrong.” She cried tears welling up in her eyes.
“I told him it was my fault.” Bellamy said appearing behind her. She stood up and wiped her eyes.
“Stop being so nice.” Clarke muttered
“I’m not being nice Princess, it’s the truth.”
“Then why is it so complicated.”
“Truth, life, everything.” Clarke murmured sitting on the rock bench.
“That’s just the way things are Clarke. You’re the artist are you the one that sees the meaning in things?”
“I can see the meaning in things I’m just sometimes baffled by them.” She said
“He was one hell of a good dog.” He said looking down at the tombstone before sitting down opposite her.
“Yeah he truly was the greatest.”
“You looked like you were having fun out there tonight.” He pointed out
“I’m happy in New York, Bell. But then I come down here and this fits, too…”
“Since when does it have to be one or the other? You can have roots and wings, Clarke.” He told her truthfully.
“Maybe I could just fly south for the winter.” Clarke whispered and he nodded then pointed at something making her turn around to face the direction he was looking at.
“Look there, do you see them?”
“Lightning bugs.” Clarke realized and then let out a small laugh “Only you”
“You know, I still go out there sometimes. I see those big thunderheads rolling in. It's like a religion.” He said in awe as he started walking around and gesturing, she smiled; She’d missed this, missed talking to him without any fighting.
“I had a dream about it the other night.” She mentioned
“You ever wonder what would have happened if we hadn't have gotten
pregnant?” He said sitting in front of her and asking the question that had been on his mind all these years. He’d always wondered what would have happened if things had gone differently.
“Bellamy.” She muttered softly, yeah she had thought about it, a lot.
“Just... let me get this out before I can't. I thought that baby would be an adventure. And it took me a while, and a lot of talks from both Octavia and my mother, to realize it would have been your only adventure.” He said finally letting all his feelings out, “I guess Mother Nature knew better.”
“I was so ashamed...'cause I felt relieved. I mean who does that. It was my kid; our kid, and I just felt like this really awful person. The world started to close on me, and this town was suddenly too small. I needed a different life. I don’t know what I’ve been trying to prove all these years, maybe that everything happens for a reason. I wanted, no, I needed there to be a reason.” Clarke admitted, looking down as Bellamy wiped her tears.
“You don’t have to explain yourself to me Princess, I understand you perfectly.”
“You always have.”
“What you’ve done with your art and your entire lifestyle, it’s incredible. And look at you, I know I haven’t said anything since you’ve been here but you look amazing.”
“Even the hair?” Clarke asked
“Especially the hair.” He joked as he touched the pink strands then let them go, “You have done incredibly well for yourself and there is no one that is prouder of you than I am.”
“You always were my biggest supporter when it came to my art.”
“I always knew you were meant for more than a small town doctor’s practice. You were always meant for greatness.” He stated putting his hand above hers, “I'm just sorry I never danced with you at our wedding.”
She looked at him the way she used to look at him and he did what he always did in these situations, he let out a self-deprecating laugh and said, “Odds are this next one has got to go better for you.”
“Don’t do that.” Clarke asked standing up, he grabbed her before she left and they both felt that jolt, that spark.
“Do what?” He asked softly
“Look at me like that.” She said before reaching up and giving him a light kiss. She didn’t even know why she did it. Just that it felt natural to kiss him. Kissing Bellamy had always been one of her favorite things to do, it didn’t matter if it was a short hello kiss or a long I love you kiss. They separated for a bit until he kissed her back just as fervently as before. She had her fingers in his hair and he felt like he was on cloud nine. Until he felt it, the ring, the engagement ring that says she was with another man. The little piece of jewelry that meant he had lost her and no matter what he did, it wouldn’t change that. So he backed away.
“It’s not fair Clarke, I know you’re running on the emotions of this place but please I can’t do this… please just go home.” He muttered and she saw the pain in his eyes, she had hurt him again. She needed to think things through, and she had to stop hurting Bellamy. She looked at him once more and then made her way out of the cemetery and back to her house.
"It was about time you got here." Jake stated as Clarke pulled up.
"Is mom awake?" Clarke asked
"She went to bed an hour ago, she's got to be at the practice early tomorrow morning or well later today if you want to get literal, and your friend Raven is also asleep."
"What are you still doing up then?"
"Waiting for my only daughter to get home."
"You don't have to do that, I'm a grown woman you know."
"I know but you'll always be my little girl." Jake said as Clarke sat next to him on the steps to their house.
"I went to Apollo's grave…"
"I've been so selfish dad." She cried as she felt her dad's arms around her
"I'm sorry daddy, I'm so sorry." She told him leaning in to him just like she did when she was a little girl.
"You've got nothing to apologize for, there's nothing wrong with doing what's best for you. Getting out of this place was what was best for you at that moment. Did it hurt? Yeah it did, but you needed to be away."
"I never looked back and that wasn't fair to you."
"No it wasn't." He admitted giving her a kiss on the top of the head.
"Bellamy and I talked at Apollo's grave, about Apollo, about the baby."
"What happened?" Jake asked sensing there was more to the story.
"I kissed him."
"He said I wasn't being fair to him and implied that I just kissed him because I was reminiscing."
"Was that the reason?"
"I don't know, I've got a good life in New York, Wells is a wonderful guy and he loves me. Then I get here and Bellamy..."
"He's Bellamy, I get it."
"I'm so confused dad." She admitted and a few minutes later Jake spoke again
"You remember when you got Apollo?"
"Yeah but what does that have to do with anything?" Clarke asked wiping at her tears.
"You know, it's one of my favorite memories of the two of you. You just couldn't decide on what to name him. No one else could make a suggestion."
"That's because Octavia kept coming up with crazy names." She laughed, remembering that day; it was one of her favorite memories too.
"It took the two of you at least 3 1/2 hours to come up with a name you both agreed on. There were lists and pro/cons, names crossed out or circled, it was a sight to see."
"Bellamy wanted something to do with mythology and I wanted something to do with Art... So we compromised and decided on Apollo because it was the only one that fit both qualities."
"I think there's been few times that I've seen you smile as much as you smiled and laughed that day."
"It was a fun day." Clarke said remembering everything about that day.
"The first night you got here, when I bailed you out, you asked me before what I liked so much about Bellamy…” Jake said
“What I liked so much about Bellamy was your smile.” He admitted
"My smile?" She asked confused
"Whenever you two were together whether you were little kids or teenagers, you always had the biggest smile on your face."
"Dad." Clarke muttered
"What I'm trying to say pumpkin is that if this new guy makes you as happy as Bellamy used to. If he makes your smile brighten up the room and makes your laughter fill the air, then by all means, marry him. Just remember one thing."
"We're Griffins, we don't do anything by halves." He said putting a hand over her heart, "Try to get some sleep."
"I will thanks daddy." She said as he nodded going inside and leaving her alone to her thoughts.
Clarke was still reeling a bit from the discussion with her mother. She’d called her mother on the fact she’d always wanted Clarke to be a doctor not an artist and how Clarke had finally left Arcadia. Abby then talked about Bellamy and how the two of them were supposedly looking at each other. She called Bellamy quicksand and said Clarke was sinking again, maybe she was, she wasn’t sure. They were just going to go to the battlefield to say goodbye to her dad and then back to New York. Then all the craziness and all the feelings would be gone, hopefully.
“So this is what civil war reenactments looks like?” Raven asked
“Yes it is.” Clarke said as she continued to look for her dad.
“Who you looking for darlin’?”
“My father, Jake Griffin.”
“5th regiment.” He said as they all rose up, “Anyone seen Jake Griffin?”
“He’s about to surrender!” One guy called out
“Thank you!” Clarke responded and looked at Raven, “Let’s go.”
Bellamy needed to talk to Miller; he needed advice on how to handle the Clarke situation. He didn’t know if she was still here or she had already left for New York. Everyone kept telling him to fight for her, but until yesterday he hadn’t received any sign that she wanted to be fought for. And even then it might have been just the emotion of the evening catching up with her. It had felt so good to kiss her again it was like coming home. Which was why he was getting out of his car and heading up the steps to the Armstrong Plantation waiting for Miller. A well-dressed man showed up, now this was interesting.
“Hello.” He said
“Afternoon.” Bellamy responded, “How are you?”
“I’m good thanks, you?”
“It’s a beautiful house.”
“Are you here to see Miller?” He asked smirking
“Actually I’m hoping to surprise Clarke.” He responded smiling
“My fiancée.” Wells said,
“You’ve got the wrong house don’t you?” Bellamy asked, still reeling from the fact that this was Clarke, his Princess’, fiancée…
“This is the Armstrong place right?”
“Are we talking about the same girl, Clarke Griffin?” Bellamy asked when he said Griffin, the guy said Armstrong.
“Oh that explains it.” Wells stated, and yeah it did Clarke changed her name, this guy probably knew nothing about him, “Wells Jaha.”
“Bellamy Blake.” He said introducing himself and staring at Wells. Oh this was going to be good. Miller opened the door and looked happy and surprised to see them.
“Hey Bell, What’s going on?” Miller asked as he saw the guy next to his friend.
“Nothing just talking to Clarke’s fiancée here.” He said as he saw Miller’s eyes start to go between Wells and Bellamy, “Wondering if you might know where she is?”
“I’m Wells Jaha and you are?”
“I’m Nathan Miller….her cousin.” He introduced himself nervously, “I see you’ve met Bellamy her uh…”
“Her other cousin.” Bellamy states as Miller let out a nervous laugh.
“Family, that’s great!”
“I think Clarke was going with Raven to visit her daddy at you know the battlefield?”
“The battlefield?” Wells asked
“You know us southerners the minute the confederacy died it became a moral issue.” He joked
“I can give you a ride.” Bellamy commented and he had that look on his face, and Miller just knew trouble was brewing in his head.
“I can take him if you want.”
“I’m sure you’ve got lots to do Miller, I’ll take him.”
“Yeah it would be great thank you.” Wells said oblivious to Miller’s worry, once they left Miller got out his phone.
“Raven we’ve got a huge problem.”
They were driving to the battleground when Wells started making conversation.
“So who is Clarke…Griffin?”
“Local hero around here.” He stated
“Why is that?” Wells asked
“She blew up the bank.” He answered with a smile
“That made her a hero?” Wells asked surprised
“Well notorious anyway..” Bellamy stated and at Wells look he clarified “She was ten…and to be fair it wasn’t just her my sister was involved too, she was 8, fortunately nobody was hurt, except maybe the cat.”
“The one with the dynamite on his back.”
“She blew up a cat?”
“He was scheduled to die anyway.”
“From dynamite?” He asked
“The vet said it had cancer so Jasper thought it'd be put in one of those chambers you know the ones that suck their lungs out?” He asked and Wells nodded, “Little Clarke and Little Octavia couldn’t bear the thought of that so they came up with something a little more humane.”
“That seems plausible.”
So, they were doing some blastin' out by the new highway. So, we, uh, we took old Goggles up there, taped him up. Used about 30 feet of fuse just to be on the safe side, said our prayers, and ran like hell.”
“So, there we were, sitting in the Diner, feeling pretty sad. When Clarke looks up and sees the damn cat trotting down the road searching for Jasper.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“Yeah, and we would have caught him, too but once that fuse hit his tail, boom, he took off like a shot; and into the bank. Well... the theory is he probably wriggled loose from the explosive. ‘Cause, uh, people still see him from time to time, scorched tail and all. He's a little skittish around humans.” He said
“That's quite a story.”
“She was quite a girl.” He said wistfully
“Whatever happened to her?”
“Oh, you know the usual, wound up pregnant married some loser right out of high school.” He muttered as they parked in the battlefield.
It had been a long time since Clarke had seen this and she’d forgotten how nice it was. Raven tried to tell her something but couldn’t because the trumpets started sounding.
“This was pretty cool.” Raven stated
“Yeah it is.” Clarke responded, “What did you want to tell me.”
“It’s too late now.” Raven muttered as they saw Wells and Bellamy making their way towards them. Clarke was in shock, what was Wells doing here? And why was he with Bellamy?
“Are you surprised?” Wells asked before kissing her but Clarke was focused on Bellamy, “What are you doing here?”
“I came to deliver your fiancée.” He said with that biting tone she always hated when it was used on her.
“I think she was talking to me.” Wells said but was ignored
“Bellamy.” She murmured
“I understand a lot more now… You know it must be so exhausting.”
“What?” Both Wells and Clarke asked
“Living a lie.”
“What is he talking about?” Wells asked and Bellamy turned to him, “You and I are in love with two vastly different people.” He said and then turned to Raven and Clarke, “A pleasure as always.” Before walking off the battlefield.
“Is he a second cousin?” Wells asked
“He’s my husband.” Clarke told him, “I mean my ex-husband.”
“You married your cousin?” He exclaimed
“Are you serious right now?” Raven commented, like he seriously didn’t get what was going on?
“I came down here to finalize my divorce.” She told him as he scratched his head and Jake Griffin came up to them mounted on a horse.
“Hey darling I thought that was you.” He said getting off the horse, “Hey Raven.”
“This must be your new someone, Jake Griffin, pleasure to meet you.” He said extending a hand. He looked at the hand and then he looked at her.
“Clarke Griffin.” He muttered and walked off with Clarke following after her.
“Was it something I said?” Jake asked
“Just Clarke’s lies catching up to her.” Raven responded
Clarke came back alone and they went back to her house. Abby was home, apparently there were no more patients and Jackson would call her if there was an emergency. Dr. Abby Griffin loved to cook, especially for her family. So here she was making a jam, she was pretty good at those. They talked about what Clarke had done and the consequences of her actions. Raven was mostly quiet, just a comment here and there. Then Clarke and Raven started helping Abby with the cooking, it was fun and relaxing in a way.
“It was kind of fun seeing daddy up there surrendering.”
“Yeah definitely unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” Raven commented
“He certainly has a flair for the dramatic.”
“That must be were you get it from Clarke.” Raven mentioned smirking.
“Well she definitely didn’t get it from me.” Abby joked and they laughed. The door opened and Jake came in with Wells. Clarke had not expected that. Didn’t expect to see him again.
“Thought you’d be halfway to New York by now.” Clarke stated
“Yeah so did I.” Wells admitted
“If I knew company was coming I would have cleaned up the place a bit, sorry for the mess.”
“This is my mama, she’s an amazing doctor with her own practice here in town, and she also makes the best jam in three counties. “ She said as Abby trying to play it off, “You’ve met my dad and you know Raven, so this is me, this is my home, where I grew up.”
“It’s a pleasure meeting you both, I’m Wells Jaha, Clarke’s fiancée, if she’ll still have me.” Wells said and when she didn’t say anything he came closer, “Clarke I really don’t care what happened down here, you have a past, we all have a past. I just want to know if there’s a place for me in your future.”
“Damn that was good Jaha.” Raven commented
“That was the sweetest thing.” Abby said as Clarke went up and hugged Wells, “Hello New York City.”
“What are you going on about?” Jake asked
“Sir, my mother happens to be the mayor up there, and she'd like nothing better than a big, snazzy New York wedding.”
“I guess I can take off work.” Jake muttered
“Wells, actually, I was thinking maybe we could have the wedding here.” Clarke stated
“Here?” He asked
“In my hometown.”
“Clarke if you're worried about the money, don’t.” He started to say and Raven rolled her eyes.
“It's not about the money, Wells not down here.”
“You know a lot of people are expecting us to get married in the city, but I think a nice, quiet, country wedding is just the ticket.” Wells said
“Oh I bet your mother is going to love that.” Raven joked but Wells just ignored her and turned to Clarke’s parents.
“Abby, Jake if you could take care of the rehearsal dinner I’d really like to take care of the rest.”
“That seems perfectly doable.” Jake told him and so the wedding was back on.
Raven and Clarke went back to New York to deal with all the preparations for the wedding. Clarke had a few meetings with Talia Jaha and she could feel the woman’s distrust even more than before. They decided on using the Armstrong Plantation because it was large enough to accommodate around 500 people and they could control security. She called Bellamy but he didn’t answer the phone, she needed to talk to him. Anya and Monty put her in contact with an amazing designer for her wedding dress, and Monty went with her to try it on. She told him about Miller just the way Raven had told Miller about Monty. Trucks kept coming into Arcadia, party supplies, caterers, and the like. Everything was set for the wedding of the year. She just needed Bellamy to pick up the damn phone, but it looked like that was one wish she wasn’t going to see fulfilled.
Anya, Monty, Raven and Clarke were coming out of the gate at the airport while Raven was telling them about her latest conquest.
“You remember Wick, the engineer?”
“Yeah.” Monty said
“Well he proposed to me and I think I loved him despite his millions.” Raven told them
“Then why didn’t you say yes?” Anya asked
““Because I hesitated long enough to realize my head and my heart were saying two different things.”
“Good, I didn’t like him.” Anya stated
“Shocker there.” Monty laughed
“It’s a big decision.” Clarke told them
“It’s supposed to be the easiest one you ever make.” Raven said
“Wasn’t it?” Monty asked Clarke and they all stared at her but Clarke was focused on a sign on the wall.
“Raven you remember the glass the night before we left Arcadia?”
“Yeah.” Raven said
“This is it.” Clarke said pointing at the poster.
“Deep South Glass.” Anya read and nodded, “Yes let’s.”
They got in the SUV and headed for the direction on the poster. It was a truly beautiful place and it had a sign that said “Grand Opening Weekend.”
“Look at this place.” Anya commented as the walked towards the entrance, that’s when Clarke noticed it. The damn plane was here. She stood there shocked as the rest realized she wasn’t walking with them anymore.
“Do we know, Mo?” Monty asked as Clarke hurried inside.
“What’s up with her?” Anya asked
“She finally connected the dots.” Raven told them
“What dots?” Monty asked as they followed after her.
“You’ll see.” Raven said
They walked inside and on one of the walls there was a framed drawing, the original version of Lightning Strikes the one that Clarke had made Bellamy all those years ago. That’s when she knew her hunch wasn’t wrong Bellamy owned this place. All the pieces of the puzzle now made sense, Aurora’s comments about him finally doing something for himself, Octavia’s comment about Bellamy wanting to conquer the world; the entire scene that Saturday night.
“Raven, was this what you meant when you said I was missing everything.”
“Yeah pretty much, I had a suspicion about it.” She answered as they looked around.
Everything was beautiful; it had glass figurines, cups, vases, and every kind of tableware, among many other things.
“Look at these.” Anya pointed out
“It’s what happens to sand when it's struck by lightning. I’ve seen it, you just have to dig it up.” She said as Cerberus came up to her. She bent down and petted him, “Hey Cerberus, how are you boy?”
“Friend of yours?” Monty joked as they all looked up and saw Bellamy frozen on the stairs. Monty and Anya got closer to Raven and Clarke went towards Bellamy finally moved and was coming down the stairs.
“Is that who I think it is?” Monty asked Raven
“He’s honestly a lot more good looking than what I expected.” Anya muttered
“That’s what I said.” Raven agreed
“I… I… tried to call you a couple times.” Clarke said and Bellamy looked like he was trying to find what to say.
“Listen, since you're here you and your friends should look around and have some lunch. The deck is really nice today.” He said and was mentally kicking himself, days of not speaking to her and that’s the best he could do? To be fair he wasn’t expecting to see her today, or ever again.
“Bellamy, please.” Clarke pleaded
“Come on Cerberus let’s leave the lady alone.” He said and when Cerberus didn’t move, “Come on boy let’s go.” He looked back at Clarke and then followed after his owner.
“So that was the famous Bellamy Blake?” Anya asked
“Yeah that was him.” She said as she watched him walk away from her again
It was the day of the wedding; Raven and Anya were helping Clarke hide all the trophies and tiaras from her pageant days while Monty was with Abby and Jake. Talia and Wells would be here any moment and Clarke needed everything to go perfectly. There was no room for error.
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen.” Clarke complained
“I’m sure it’s not going to be that bad.” Raven said trying to calm her down.
“No, it’s probably going to be worse than that.” Anya commented earning a glare from Raven.
“You’re so not helping. “ Raven said
“I’m just saying what we’re all thinking.” Anya responded when they heard Talia’s voice complimenting Jake on his chair. Oh shit this was so not good, this was exactly what Clarke had feared.
“Daddy no!” She said running out of the room, Talia Jaha was stuck in the chair with her feet in the air. Clarke ran a hand through while everyone tried to help Talia get out of the chair.
“See told you.” Anya said laughing.
On the other side of town the Armstrong Plantation was getting ready for the biggest event this town had seen in many years. Marcus Kane was trying really hard to find Miss Clarke Armstrong he’d gone to the diner and no one seemed to know where she was. He had some urgent business to attend with her and no one could tell, or rather would tell him, anything. He tried to get into the wedding but they didn’t let him through because he wasn’t on the list. He needed a way to get to her before the wedding started.
Bellamy was loading up the truck with the tools necessary for tonight. There was a storm coming and he wanted to focus on work or else he’d be left to wallow in his misery. The love of his life was marrying another man and there was nothing that hurt more than that. He heard a truck pull up and saw his mother come up; he rolled his eyes as she leaned in front of her own truck, so predictable.
“There’s a wedding going on today.” Aurora remarked
“I’ve heard mention about it a time or two.” Bellamy responded
“I sure hope this weather cooperates.” Aurora said looking at the clouds forming in the sky.
“It’s supposed to be a big one, and I don’t think you came here to talk about the weather so why don’t you just cut to the chase.”
“Okay I will, Bellamy you’re my only son and I love you, you know that right?”
“Yeah I know ma.”
“Sometimes you are too much like your father.” She said as she helped him put the bag in the bed of the truck.
“She made her decision mom. I don’t have a choice in what she does. She wants to marry the politician I’m going to let her marry the politician.”
“For someone that’s been holding on to something for so you’re pretty quick to let it go.”
“Again she made her decision and I can’t control her any more than I can control the weather. That’s what I always liked about her and you know it.”
“I’m just saying I know why you’re doing this, you’re afraid of getting hurt again but sometimes a little pain is worth the ending result.”
“I can’t do this anymore mom, please.”
“Okay I just think you’re making a mistake.”
Clarke was feeling completely unsure. She looked amazing in the dress she knew that but there was something missing. She didn’t know if she was making the right choice, she didn’t seem to know anything anymore. Her mother tried to calm her nerves, telling her it was normal and that Wells could give Clarke a life they could only dream off. That he adored her and Clarke nodded as one of the ushers came to tell them it was time for Clarke to come out.
Her dad was waiting for her at end of the aisle and she gladly took his arm, “Even if he is a Yankee, at least he’s sober.” He said making her laugh as they went down the aisle. She had almost reached the other end of the aisle when she heard someone shouting her name. She saw Marcus Kane, her lawyer coming towards her and saw as he got tackled to the ground.
“Mr. Kane?” She asked and then looked at the guard, “Let him go!”
“Clarke what is going on?” Wells asked
“Miss Armstrong you are one hard woman to track down.” He muttered coming down towards her.
“Mr. Kane not that I’m not glad to see you but what are you doing here? He signed the papers.” Clarke said as her old friends all looked at them in curiosity.
“He did, you didn’t.” He said showing her the papers and sure enough, Bellamy had signed the papers but she hadn’t. How had she missed that?
“You mean I’m still married?” She exclaimed as Raven, Anya and Octavia tried to stifle a few laughs.
“Not unless you want to be.” Kane pointed out.
“Clarke I thought you’d taken care of this.”
“It’s an honest mistake Wells.”
“Well can we fix this before we all get soaked?” Talia complained as a few drops had started to fall from the sky.
“Does anybody have a pen?” Clarke asked as everyone started searching for a pen, Wells turned to his mother.
“Oh yeah sure.” Talia replied sardonically.
“Here.” Aurora said coming up to her with a pen, “These things don’t just happen and you know that better than anyone.” Clarke took it and looked at her dad for help.
“You can’t ride two horses with one ass sweetheart.”
Clarke goes toward Kane and tried to sign the paper, she looked at Wells and looked back at the paper. Every time she tried to write down her name she gets flashes of her days with Bellamy. That first kiss in the beach, when he asked her to be his girl, their first time, how he got so excited talking about history and mythology, late nights watching the TV with Apollo. She can’t do this.
“Wells, you don’t want to marry me.”
“I don’t?” Wells asked
“No you don’t, not really. You know New York Clarke who’s got her life together and doesn’t have any doubts about anything. You know all the good but you don’t know the bad. You don’t know that I laughed till I cried the first time I fell of a horse, you weren’t the one that listened to all my crazy ideas and tried to talk me out of them but in the end was right there doing everything with me. You weren’t the one that held my hand anytime I had to have my blood taken, or had to get my shots, because I’m not good with needles. You weren’t the one there the day I lost my baby and my world crashed around me. You just met me in the aftermath, we might love each other but we’re not in love with each other. We don’t really know each other. I don’t look around for you and that kills me because I wish I did.” She told him and then her voice cracked a bit, “See the truth is I gave my heart away a long time ago, my whole heart, and I never really got it back. I don’t even know what to say but I’m so sorry, I can’t marry you and you shouldn’t want to marry me.“
“So this is what this feels like.” Wells muttered, he’d never felt rejection before but he already knew he wasn’t a big fan of the feeling.
“That’s it?? You're just gonna let her humiliate you with some bullshit about an old husband?!” Talia exclaimed and Wells smiled
“Yeah I think I am..” He said then he turned to Clarke, “I wish you both the best, I hope you find the happiness you deserve.”
“Thanks Wells, you too, you deserve nothing but good things.” Clarke stated, he smiled sadly excused himself and walked away.
“In my entire life I have never met anyone so manipulative, so deceitful! And I'm in politics!” Talia shouted outraged.
“I’m just trying to be honest.” Clarke muttered.
“I will not allow the future President of the United States to be dumped at the altar by some psycho Daisy Mae! This is why I hate artists, you are all the same, you think you own the world. You go after him, you little bitch!”
“Wait just one second Senator, you have no right to talk to my daughter in this way, she deserves an apology because I’m not going to just stand here and let you insult my daughter just for speaking her mind.” Abby said coming up next to her daughter and comforting her.
“I’m not going to apologize to some artist who thinks she’s all that and thinks she can do whatever she wants no matter who gets hurt.”
“It’s the right thing to do.” Abby stated
“Why don’t you go back to your double-wide and fry something you two bit wannabe doctor.” Talia stated and Clarke had enough she could take Talia berating her but she was not going to let her insult her mother. She gave Wells’ mother a well-deserved punch in the face and Talia Jaha went down.
“No one talks to my mama like that!”
“Holy shit!” Raven screamed
“That’s my girl!” Anya said and Octavia whooped.
“The South has risen again!” Jake joked as the security guys helped Talia get up and helped her leave as the downpour started they were all going to get soaked.
“If you’re friends of the bride stick around! I’m going to find myself a groom!” She said as she ran off leaving everyone reeling with everything that had happened.
She saw his truck parked with Cerberus inside and saw his silhouette at the beach.
Of course he was at the beach, it all comes down to this beach. All their firsts and important moments we're here in this beach. Their first kiss, when he asked her to be his girlfriend, first time (it was technically in his truck but they were parked in this beach), when he asked her to marry him.
"Hey Cowboy! You owe me a dance." She said interrupting his work.
"Nice dress, where's your husband?" Bellamy asked, wondering what she was doing there.
"I'm looking at him, apparently you and I are still hitched."
"How did that happen?" He laughed
"Apparently I never signed the papers."
"You mean to tell me that after you hounded me to no end to sign the damn things you forgot to sign them yourself." Bellamy said, he couldn’t believe that, he couldn’t help but laugh.
"I had a lot on my mind okay and hell it worked out for the best." She smirked
"Is that right?"
"Why didn't you tell me you came to New York?" Clarke asked
"I needed to make something of myself." Bellamy exclaimed
"You about done?”
"I can't believe this... You are definitely a different case all together. I can never predict what it is you're going to do it drives me crazy."
"Don't act like that's not part of why you love me." She said knowingly.
"Oh who said I loved you."
"You did, a few weeks back you admitted to still being in love with me." She reminded him.
"So maybe I am, look where it's gotten me." Bellamy said exasperated
"Oh like you're so innocent in all of this."
"What is it about you southern girls, can't make the right decisions until you've tried all the wrong ones?"
"At least I fight for what I want!" She said getting in his face about it.
"What do you want Princess? I don't think you even know."
"I want to wake up next to you and go to sleep with you every morning and every night. I want to have kids with you my hair and your freckles. I want to laugh with you when any of our friends does something stupid and have dinners with our families. Complain about what's wrong and enjoy what's right. I want to fight when we don't agree and have great make up sex in the aftermath. I want to kiss you like it's the first time and the last time every time..." Clarke told him getting closer and closer... "You're the first boy I kissed Bellamy, I want you to be the last."
"Maybe you and I had our chance." Bellamy said and she pulled away.
"FINE! Have it your way you stupid stubborn prideful ass!" She shouted and he went after her, catching up to her and turning her around so she was facing him. He was smiling and she felt like punching him and kissing him at the same time. That always seemed to be case with him.
"Why do you want to be married to me anyway?" He asked smirking repeating the same things she'd said to him all those years ago.
"So I can kiss you anytime I want." She said as she reached up and pulled him in for a kiss. He gladly kissed back putting all his love into this one kiss. Clarke felt like she was flying, she was soaring and she didn't want to come back down to earth. This kiss was everything they had been looking for over the course of these seven years. They were finally home.
"What are you two trying to do, get yourselves killed?" Atom called out making them separate.
"What seems to be the problem officer?" Clarke asked, from her place in Bellamy's arms.
"I'm here to bring you in young lady." Atom told them.
"What did she do this time?" Bellamy asked laughing
"Seems like she ran out on a perfectly good cake!"
Atom went to get the lovebirds while the rest of them got Olympus’ Roadhouse ready for the reception. Jake and Abby were looking around at all of their daughter’s friends; this was how it should be, and how it always would be from now on.
“You must be happy.” Abby joked, Jake had always had a soft spot for Bellamy.
“Oh you know I am… I always hoped those two found their way back to each other. What about you?”
“I’m happy, he’s changed a lot and he makes her happy… That’s all that matters.” Abby commented hugging her husband. They saw as everyone trying to get everything ready for when Bellamy and Clarke got here. Jasper took the couple from the cake as Miller got one the fighting toy and took them from their game and place them on the cake.
“Miller, get over here!” Raven screamed from her place next to Monty and Anya.
“What do you want Reyes?”
“There’s someone I want you to meet..”
Both Monty and Miller exclaimed at the same time.
“Oh shut up you two, you can thank me later.” Raven joked
“Nathan Miller meet Monty Green, Monty Green this is Nathan Miller.”
“It’s a pleasure I’ve heard a lot about you.” Monty said
“Only good things I hope.” Miller joked smiling
“The best.” Monty replied as Raven grabbed Anya and they walked away leaving them alone.
“So?” Raven asked
“I’m on a good mood today I won’t say anything… yet.” Anya commented
“That’s all I ask.” Raven responded
“I think we need another drink.” Anya mentioned
“Oh definitely.” Raven agreed as they went up to the bar and saw Octavia and Lincoln.
“Come on honey say it.” Octavia pleaded
“I’m not going to say it.”
“You better say it or else you might find yourself sleeping on the couch.” Harper joked
“What do you want him to say?” Raven laughed
“You’ll see.” Octavia said and pouted at Lincoln, his wife using puppy eyes was always his kryptonite.
“Okay alright, you were right Bellamy and Clarke were always going to end up together no matter what happened.” Lincoln said
“Because they are soul mates.” Octavia finished giving him a look..
“And the last part?” Harper asked
“My wife is always right and I should listen to her more often.” Lincoln said then gave her a look, “Happy?”
“Very much so, especially since I still have my best friend as my sister.”
“What about you guys?” Jasper asked
“I like Bellamy he’s fun, he makes her smile and he loves her. So I’m good.” Raven stated
“He’s not boring which was my biggest problem with Jaha, and if Clarke’s happy I’m happy.” Anya remarked
“High praise.” Raven stated as Atom opened the door and came inside.
“Look who finally made it to their reception Mr. and Mrs. Bellamy Blake!” He shouted as Bellamy showed up carrying Clarke bridal style. He finally got to carry her over the threshold. Atom went over and unlocked the handcuffs; he’d claimed it was so they didn’t run away before they reached the reception.
“You should keep those for the honeymoon!” Miller shouted and blushed a bit when he shared a look with Monty. Bellamy put Clarke down as they received hugs from all their friends and family. Octavia practically jumped at Bellamy and he hugged back just as tightly as she brought Clarke in on the hug.
“I keep telling all of you, you all should just listen to me.”
“Okay crazy.” Bellamy stated
“If you do anything to hurt her I will make sure you feel pain.” Anya stated earning and eye roll from Clarke and Raven.
“Dully noted, I’ll turn myself in if I ever do anything to hurt this woman again.”
“Good answer.” Anya responded and turned to Clarke, “I like him.” Earning a smirk from Bellamy and a laugh from the New York crowd, which of course included Monroe and Sterling.
“I guess you can be charming after all.” Clarke joked and the rest laughed.
Bellamy turned to Clarke with the biggest smile on his face, “I do believe I owe this lady a dance.”
“You sure do!” Aurora shouted as Cerberus started barking.
“Shut up Cerberus!” Lincoln and Jasper shouted and Cerberus quieted down
“Hey Aurora.” Clarke called to her mother in law who was choosing the music on the jukebox, “Make it a slow one.”
She smiled as the opening chords to Sweet Home Alabama started playing, she leaned into her husband as they started their first official dance as man and wife after all these years.
“Everything you imagined?” Bellamy asked
“It’s so much more.” She said happily as she let the music guide them, they were together again and this time they were not breaking up ever again…
After their honeymoon Bellamy ended up moving to New York. They didn’t allow dogs in Clarke’s apartment so they sold it andbought a house near The Griffin . He still had the plane so he still managed Deep South Glass, until they opened another one in New York and he stayed to manage that one instead leaving the other in the capable hands of Lincoln and his sister.
Wells ended up dating and later marrying Fox, Clarke’s one time assistant and they seemed perfectly happy. Apparently she came from a very influential family, so that made his mother happy. Miller and Monty started dating and tried long distance until Miller decided he wanted to be closer to Clarke and Bellamy so he bought Clarke’s old apartment. He worked with Bellamy and helped out Clarke in The Griffin whenever she needed it. They would have weekly dinners together, Miller and Monty, Anya, Raven, Bellamy and Clarke. Sometimes Octavia and Lincoln came up to New York with their kids and Aurora would also visit from time to time. Jake and Abby finally visited New York and were in awe of everything their daughter had accomplished.
As for Bellamy and Clarke?
They were working hard, Clarke with the painting, Bellamy with the glass. They were expecting a little girl who was coming come fall and both Bellamy and Anya made sure Clarke didn’t do anything too stranuating, which drove Clarke crazy. Everything was finally as it should be. Clarke walked into the gallery catching Bellamy staring at Lightning Strikes again. He always did that when he got pensive.
“It’s truly something else Princess.” Bellamy stated wrapping her in a hug.
“Bellamy?” She said leaning into the hug stopping him before he went on a tangent.
“Just shut up and kiss me.” Clarke said, kissing him was her favorite part of the day.
“As you wish.” He said as he leaned in and kissed her with all the love he felt in his heart. Words didn’t matter to them, as long as they could let it all out with a kiss.
That’s what they planned to do, for the rest of their lives and they were good with that. Bellamy and Clarke had finally found what they were looking for couldn’t be happier. Their lives were finally back on the right track.