i swear this will be changed dear fxcking lord.

Massively long Lumen on an ego trip plus her evil ex so if it's tedious to read please bear with me. I know though Lumen was smiley one time? Well, shiit.

[Wednesday, October 24]: FLASHBACK! Write a story about how you and your partner met. We want to know everything!

♕

six months ago; Paris, France, May 2012 Save The Date casting session
"Miss Stark, please, go ahead, we'd love to hear your answer." The blonde had an encouraging smile, the brunette examining her nails sullenly. It was ridiculous how little I could care to remember their names. The brunette looked up at my hesitation with a smirk. "Was it something illegal? Drinking?" I crossed my arms, staring back at her. "We were both of legal drinking age when we met, but that did not matter, regardless."

The pair, and network executives behind the one way glass, had a way of dragging this interview gratingly on. I was missing my own valuable work time, and I wished desperately for the process to finish or for the intern office to appear so I could raise a middle finger salute for submitting a form in my name, whichever came first. The silenced dragged on. The brunette rolled her eyes, subtly, and went back to examining her nails for nonexistent tears. "We met... We met when I was his student." The lie, only half false, poured like liquid velvet from my mouth: easily. The blonde looked uproariously uncomfortable, and the brunette looked intrigued, purring in her thick voice to 'continue, pleeeease'. 

"Channing was my thesis advisor, in essence controlling my entire doctorate career. He was handsome, certainly, when we met, and there was that aura of danger from an illicit relationship that put both of our futures in peril. It was exhilarating." In my chair, I straightened, sure to look one, then the other, in the eye directly. Blondie flinched subtly. I smirked before regaining my composure. "We were together in secret for a year before we ended it, when he was forced to leave for Paris. Two years later he came back, the same day I cinched my internship with the Museum, and proposed, on the steps." 

Blondie sighs softly, smiling wistfully. "How romantic. Our last question..." I held my breath. "For this section, rather, is to please describe the first time you met. We're intrigued, Miss Stark." I raised a hand to tweak a brow, a useless habit I had never shaken from interviews in graduate school. 

"I walked into my fourth lecture of the day, the class was useless and I can't be bothered to remember it, but I know the professor well, he was my faculty thesis advisor, though not by choice. I was sitting in the third row, most likely ignoring the necessary notes, when a man walked into the room, seeking me out specifically. It wasn't Channing, but instead an officer for my doctoral degree. I left with him and he explained that it was my first thesis consultation with my adviser, a prodigal son of sorts, who was working on his own dissertation. I was excited, admittedly."

"He was waiting for me, in the common room of his housing, and to this day he still teases me mercilessly over the gasp I made when I first saw him. It was certainly not one of my proudest moments. The first sentence, or rather, word, I said to him was 'shiit'. True love." 

I'm a liar.
But it doesn't matter, I won't be picked anyway, right?

♕

present day; Paris, France
"Lumen, whenever you're ready." The camera has clicked on, and the room's solitary light source illuminates my body in the velvety red chair. The Queens B look on, perhaps remembering my story from months earlier, perhaps not. The idea of a confessional scene, favoured by 'reality' shows across the globe, is petty and unnecessary, and I feel like being uncooperative. I stare down at my hands and slowly raise my head, giving an almost imperceptible nod. This segment is for real.

I speak in my most authoritative voice, not as if recalling a memory but instead like reading a guide, or boring novel passage. "I met Brooks in a coffee shop, where, as Cambridge students, we both were working on exam preparations. I thought he was handsome-" Here I forced a blush. "And so we started talking as we waited for our drinks. He helped me with the beginnings of my thesis and the rest was history." I wait for the next nod,to show in done, when I catch the quiet giggle from Bellamy, who seems to understand something now. 

Six months later and I'm still a liar.

♕

six years ago; Cambridge University, England, spring semester
I woke up with his fingers tangled in my hair, his slightly wheezing breathing lulling my eyes into closing again. I was exhausted, from my first week back in classes, from being with him every night. He shifted under me, and I sighed against his shoulder. My alarm clock, on the bureau, flashed eight am, and the morning light illuminated the delicately cut paper strewn carefully aside. I was still disgusted to be missing a party of such proportions. 

As quietly as I could, I slid from the bed, failing, sending the matress creaking. He stirred, rubbing his eyes with a sleepy smile and cooing in a husky morning voice. "Morning princess." I smiled, turning back to face him, desperately trying to avoid the urge to crawl back under the covers. "Good morning Adam." I purred, leaning down to kiss his stubbly jaw. He pulled me into a real kiss before I squealed and pushed away. "Arse, I'm late as it is!"

Adam smirked and let go. "Have fun." He yawned, his gaze falling on her invitation. "I wish you could come to L&L tonight." I sighed. "Me too, babes, but I have a library shift tonight." He squeezed my thigh playfully. "That goddamn library. I was looking forward to seeing what you would wear." Two could play that game, and I smirked back. "Maybe you will when you come home tonight." His eyes widened and I spun around, flying out my narrow door and sprinting for a cab. 

I had bloody Introduction to Psychology in five minutes. Fucking Adam had made me irreconcilably late. 

♕

My last lecture was spent trading texts with Belen, despite the fact we were sitting next to each other. Her shift at Kings started twenty minutes after mine, and we walked there together, gossiping and speculating about the night's party, Lace and Leather, or L&L as it was so affectionately called. The campus authority was surprisingly naive about the prospect of an S&M themed party, I had come to learn, from Belen, Adam, everyone, and the displays would be massively impressive. I ran my thumb under my bottom lip, wishing one last time to magically have time.

But I didn't, and my shift started, passing quietly as I read Never Let Me Go under the desk as I avoided questions from the biology majors practically camping out in the stacks for exams and un-showered TAs forced to fetch books. Time ticked by slowly. Belen was assigned to a different information desk. By nine I was exhausted and bored. At nine forty-five my shift ended and I lopped sluggishly home.

Belen caught up with me halfway, and asked me again if I was too tired still. I started to say no, but an image flashed in my mind, Adam and whips and lacy stockings and us curled together in my bed later, and I paused. "You win, Belly. But I need something to wear babes." She grinned. "Of course. Come with me." We trudged to her flat, and she paraded me about the living room in corsets and thigh high stockings and sexy lace garters and a whip that looks well used before mussing my hair and declaring me perfect. I was reminded of Jacks, and I smiled.

♕

The party was in massive proportions when we arrived, a sea of asssless chaps and leather and lace and bondage, like the invitation promised. The atmosphere felt intrinsically dirty, in both the good and bad ways. Belem abandoned me to fetch drinks, and I scanned the crowd for Adam, ignoring catcalls and anticipating the look on his face. Belem arrived with liquor in shot glasses, and pale skin. 

"Did you see Adam?" She downed her bourbon. "Let's find him later, okay babe?" I was puzzled. "Belen, what..." She shoved my shoulder. "Leave it, Lumen, come on."

A boy in a black leather face mask sauntered by, whispering to his compatriot about the couple going at it in the corner. I swivelled instinctively to look, and Belen caught my shoulder, almost slowing me. It was Adam. Adam and the slutt I sat behind in Organic Chemistry. My eyes welled up with tears and I swallowed a scream, busting throughout the crowd, so dizzy I could pass out. Belen followed.

"Lumen, babe, breathe, he's a bastardd-" I wanted to turn on her, tell her she's wrong, but I'm beaten, collapsing into the deck outside the house, sobbing, unable to stand despite my sobriety. "Is she okay?" It was a male voice behind us, American accented, and I heard the nod in Belen's voice as she answered. "She's alright, she saw her boyfriend..." I broke into a new wave of sobs, drowning out her answer. Her hand creeped onto my back, pressing hard. "In front of her?!" The man finished, incredulous, and I looked up in time to see him retreating into the house. There was a scream.

Cautiously, Belen and I got up and walked slowly inside. The crowd had formed into a circle around two boys, Adam and someone I couldn't quite see. Adam was bleeding, and struggling as some strangers held him back, the bruise forming on his left eye and sealing it shut. 

The other boy towered haughtily, his lip split, arms crossed in annoyance. "That one was for your girlfriend." He spat.

And just like that, in the ridiculous corset with the ridiculous whip at the most ridiculous party, my heart melted.
I was his.
Whoever he was.

♕

present day; Paris, France; Brooks' point of view 
"Brooks!" Bellamy is breathless from chasing me, her heels in the carpet making me wince with every step. That has got to hurt. 

"Yes, Bellamy, what do you need? Is there a problem with Lumen?" I've come to a stop and she does too, planting herself firmly in front of me. 

"No, no problem. We just filmed Lumen's segment on how she met, and her answer has... Fluctuated." I grin and she pauses. "Please, humour me."

"Lumen and I met at an S&M themed party, lace and leather and bondage and whips and all- she had the sexiest corset, I remember- and her doucheebag ex boyfriend cheated on her, in her plain view, so I punched him. She must have liked it." I deadpan.

Bellamy's eyebrows fly up. "You're serious?" 

I smile again. "Definitely."

"That explains so goddamn much."

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