Deleted Scene

Background: This is a deleted scene from Book 5: The World Ends Tonight.

After the devastating events at the end of Book 4: Blood of Hope, we don't find out in this book what happens to Lacy. I wrote this chapter to wrap her story up and give her some closure, but just couldn't find a place to put it in the book without slowing the pace.

So here it is!

The deleted chapter that explains what happened to Lacy...
28 March 2003

A hesitant sigh breezed past Derek’s lips. Standing outside such a distantly familiar house brought back mixed feelings, all of them negative. A combination of regret, guilt, and despondency, all rolled into one sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach.
        He had only been here on a few occasions, more predominantly in their recent resistance to the heir’s power.
        But each time it had been to see Jenny. To pick her up, or impart vital information.
        And now…
        Not it was for… Derek wasn’t sure what. Closure, maybe? Possibly something he felt he owed to Jenny? Or maybe it was just to appease his own guilt.
        Whatever it was, he found it increasingly difficult to walk from the end of the garden path to the porch surrounding the front door. Like there was some invisible resistance or heavy water that made wading his legs forward difficult.
        He closed his eyes.
        Did he need to do this? Did he really need to be here?
        He could just get back into the car and leave. No one would know. No one would really care.
        Except him. He’d know.
        Come on, don’t be a coward. After all the things you’ve seen, this should not be the most daunting.
        But it was.
        After persistent mental urging, he finally put his right foot forward. Then took his next step. Then the one after that, and the one after that, until eventually, one step at a time, he had reached the door.
        The last time he was at this door Jenny was bursting out of it. She’d just had an argument with Lacy.
        The reason I’m here.
        All he had to do now was knock on the door. A few loud, clear knocks. Strike it with his closed fist in hope that she would actually answer it.
        But why would she?
        He wouldn’t answer the door to him. If it was his fiancé that had died in a war, he would not be inclined to sit down and have a reasonable conversation with the man who had dragged her into that war.
        Stop it.
        He flinched his face away as he finally presented his fist, and used it to produce four clear knocks.
        He waited.
        And waited and waited.
        Whilst he was sure he heard fluttering and a flicker behind the curtain of the living room window, there was no one opening the door. No one welcoming him inside.
        Maybe she had seen him dawdling on the porch. Maybe she had watched his hesitance in walking up the garden path. In all that time, she may have been loathing him, despising him, and deciding he was the last person she wished to open the door to.
        Sensing that he was attempting to talk himself out of it, he placed his open palm on the door handle and tried twisting it. To his surprise, it opened, creaking open to reveal the downstairs corridor.
        It was a state. Dirty clothes hanging off the bannisters, shoes cluttered along the floor, unopened mail gathering into a pile.
        “Lacy?” he offered. “Lacy, are you there?”
        No answer.
        But she wouldn’t have just left the door open, surely?
        Knowing it may not be the best decision, he stepped inside the house and shut the door behind him. He stepped through the sparse gaps in the mess on the floor with precarious balance until he reached the living room.
        The television was on. The curtains were shut. The room was in darkness.
        But there on the sofa, not moving her head to look at him whatsoever, was Lacy. Slumped down on the sofa with her legs resting on a stool. Gathered around her were empty crisp packets and empty cans. The odour of dry alcohol stuck in the air and, as Derek took a few further steps in, he gagged at the state and stench of the room.
        “Lacy?” he prompted.
        She didn’t turn and look at him. She just stayed slumped, staring at some trashy daytime talk show, greasy stained pyjamas hanging off her thinning body.
        “Lacy, I know you hear me,” he tried again.
        She narrowed her eyes and shook her head ever so slightly; a sickened, angry expression showing Derek exactly what she thought.
        “You didn’t answer the door to me, so I came in.”
        She ignored him still.
        In a bold move, he grabbed the television remote and turned it off. He stood in front of it, staring at Lacy with an eagerness for her to respond.
        She still didn’t look at him She glared at some spot on the wall behind him, her eyes in his vague direction but refusing to acknowledge his presence.
        “So, this is what you’ve been doing?” Derek asked. “Drinking yourself to death, living in a pit.”
        “Go fuck yourself,” she muttered with a hostile whisper so scarily quiet that Derek wasn’t entirely sure he’d heard her.
        “You think this is what Jenny would have wanted? You think she’d have wanted you living like this?”
        Lacy’s head slowly turned to frown at Derek’s, in a way he had seen so many sinister demons do. But this was not a case of possession, however close the symptoms may be – it was a case of detest. Blame. Hatred aimed in Derek’s direction.
        And, as far as Derek was concerned, it was entirely justified.
        “Why are you here?” she growled, still quietly, as if her voice was too croaky, most likely from lack of use and too much vodka.
        “I’m here on Jenny’s behalf.”
        “Don’t you dare,” she snapped. Her body remained completely still, lazily slumped in the faded cushions of a worn-out sofa; but the scowl on her face and the venom in her voice were as clear as the day she was shutting out.
        “Her death was tragic, we all felt it.”
        “I just said don’t you dare.”
        “It just makes me sad to see you in a state Jenny would hate to see you in.”
        “Jenny’s not here, is she? Eddie killed her, remember?”
        “That was not Eddie.”
        “I don’t care! I don’t care if it wasn’t Eddie, I don’t care if it was the heir, if it’s the apocalypse, or even if the world ends tonight! I – do – not – care!”
        Derek rested his weight from one foot to the other, shifting uncomfortably. He was expecting her to be sad, but he wasn’t expecting this.
        “Look, Lacy–”
        “Why are you here? Do appease yourself, to think you are paying some debt to Jenny? You’re responsible for her debt. You’re not here as a favour to her or me. You’re here because of guilt, don’t kid yourself.”
        Derek had no answer. She was right. He couldn’t deny it.
        His mind ran through numerous ‘if onlys’ again. If only he had figured out what Jenny was doing. If only he had believed her.
        If only, if only, if only.
        It means nothing.
        It does nothing to change history.
        “Fine,” Derek decided. “But I thought you might like to know what we are doing. Perhaps you’d like to fight in her memory.”
        Lacy scoffed.
        “We are performing an exorcism on the heir. Or, we’re going to try to, at least. The more help we got, the better. I thought–”
        “You thought what? Because Jenny was foolish enough to believe your lies and die for you then I’d do the same?”
        “I thought you might want to finish what Jenny started.”
        “Get out of my house,” she seethed, her body tensing, her fists clenching. Her body showed her first sign of movement; a move readying for an attack of anger against Derek.
        “Okay.” He nodded. “But if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me.”
        “Get the fuck out of my house!” she screamed in a sudden burst, her whole body lurching forward.
        Derek shuffled his way to the hallway, wading through the mess and letting himself out.
        As he reached the car he paused, looking back over his shoulder. The curtains were still closed. No sign of life nor movement.
        He bowed his head. Closed his eyes.
        “Sorry, Jenny.”
        He got in his car and drove away.