Other Characters by this Player
There's nothing here yet
London Ridley exhaled slowly and tried to imagine the tension gradually leaving her shoulders as she allowed the comfort of warm air and delicious smells to wash over her. She had taken a chance coming to the diner, but she had no choice. It had been some time since she had been home so she no longer knew the best restaurants and places to shop like the back of her hand. Of course, Alaska wasn’t exactly known for its avant-garde shopping and cuisine, but having grown up in the area, she did have her favorite places.
Whatever vague knowledge and memory she might have had, however, left her when she learned of the shooting of Liam and Naomi McLeod. She would never say the words out loud, but it may well have been the attempted murder of her own parents as far as London was concerned. Since returning, she’d experienced her share of warm memories and flashbacks - passing by familiar houses that had aged ever so slightly, walking past the bakery that sold the best donuts she had ever tasted and provided the friendliest and most nurturing conversation one could ever hope to experience - but not even those memories captured even half of the good feelings she felt for this place compared to her memories of time spent with McLeods.
London would be the first to admit her feelings surrounding the McLeods were complicated, primarily because of her feelings for Lucian McLeod. He had been her first love, her high school sweetheart in fact, and the tenderness and warmth she felt about that time in her life was as much about her love for the family as it was for their son. Liam and Naomi had been another set of parents to her at a time when her family relationships and her feelings toward family in general had been quite complicated. Liam and Naomi had always kept things simple - they left her as one of their own and she loved them in return.
Even when she and Lucian had decided to go their separate ways because they wanted different things, London never felt, and was never made to feel, as though she were divorcing herself from the family. In fact, London had been a bit incredulous at that initially, and even felt a little guilty the family had chosen not to cut ties with her to spare their son, but that’s just how they were. Sure, they didn’t keep in touch as frequently as they once did, but that was to be expected. London just appreciated she had been thought of at all.
Unfortunately, she’d had to learn of the shooting from the television. To the credit of the local police department, she’d received a phone call just a few minutes later. She would not be the victim advocate assigned to the case. She couldn’t exactly be sure whether that was because she hadn’t officially started as a victim advocate and trauma support specialist or whether it was because the local authorities were familiar with her relationship to the family. Ridley couldn’t be sure what exactly they knew, but she wouldn’t have been surprised. The area wasn’t the equivalent of New York City, after all.
She met the news she wouldn’t be officially professionally involved with mixed feelings. This wasn’t the way she wanted to see the family again after all these years, and the professional in her knew it would be better if the victim advocate assigned to the case could be more objective. London knew the McLeods weren’t inclined to show emotional vulnerability to anyone, let alone someone they knew intimately. In particular, she knew that to be true Liam and Lucian, whether because of their sex or experience. Still, part of her believed her familiarity with the family would be an asset. Besides that, she needed to do something.
That need to do something was what had brought her to Java on the recommendation of colleagues she barely knew. Taking a chance the family would benefit from access to decent coffee and even some pastry, she’d ordered coffees and mixed baked goods to go, carrying her offerings with care, letting the warmth radiating from the cups to warm her shaking, nearly numb fingers.