Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (9)

I stepped from my truck and gathered everything from the day up in my arms. I was still barefoot, and would have to splash thru a few mud puddles, to get to the door. Days like today, made me glad my floors were not carpeted. I quickly ran to the front door, and opened it. As I stepped thru the door, I hit the alarm on my truck. I pushed the front door closed behind me, and hung my bag on the hook, on the back of the door. I then took my shoes and socks off the top of the picnic basket, and set them in the floor. I would steam the floors later, I wasn’t worried about the mess I left now. I had stuffed my phone, and lovely new good luck charm in my pocket, before leaving my truck. I was reminded of this, as my phone started dinging, with message after message from Chris. I walk to the kitchen, and try to turn on the light switch, it is rather dark in the interior of the house. No luck, the storm must have knocked out the power. I leave the basket on the table, and head to the mud room, to leave the blanket, and hang my wet clothes, from the clothes line stretched from one side, of the room, to the other. I stepped thru the opening, into the mudroom, when I hear the front door, slam open. I look up, and see them, as a flash of lightning lights up my living room. Three men, standing in my doorway. The three men, who had installed my television service. I walked over, leaving a trail, to the back door, of wet foot prints. I unlocked it, so it would appear I had gone out it. I then, grabbed a towel off the clothes line, it was from the last time I had washed my truck. I threw it on the floor, and dried my feet hurriedly. I then kicked the towel, under the sink, and stretched out the blanket, to cover me. I hid in the corner, halfway under the sink. I pulled the blanket over my head, and pulled my phone out. I switched the sound off, and started texting John. I said, “Please John, come as quick as you can, three men are in my house.” He said “I will be there in minutes.” Then Chris was in my mind. “What is wrong?” He sensed my fear. I showed him with my mind, what was happening. He told me “sit still, don’t move.” He asks, “do you have your good luck charm?” I said “yes, what good will it do?” He tells me “hold it, imagine it is my hand.” I then hear a crashing sound. It came from my room. I could hear, one say, “we have the jewelry, get the girl.” They see my footprints, and were trying to follow them into the mudroom, however something stopped them. I heard another one say, “why can’t we enter?” Just then, John and another man, burst thru the back door. I could hear scrambling, then the front door opened and shut, and all was silent, but the storm. I tried, to reach out to Chris, with my mind, but the connection was not there. I did not know what was going on, I sat on the cold tile floor and waited imagining the worst.

Chris:

I took lead on the way home, so I could check out Leigh’s place before her return. Once all was clear, and John said she was turning onto the dirt road, I headed on up the dirt road to our compound at the end of her road. Yes, I wondered, if you had figured out yet, the house, with the guard dogs, that is the estate we bought.

I had just pulled my bike, into the garage, we had built off the back of the home, when John informed me of the men entering Leigh’s yard. I used the intercom and called for Aedam in the house to meet me on the road, and come armed. John informed me, “There are three of them. They passed right by the gate, and Leigh’s truck, both of which contained your scent”. They were ignoring the fact, I had marked her, as mine. I messaged Leigh. I gave her a few minutes, to get in, still no response. I went to her mind, when I felt her fear. She messaged John to come. I told John, we would be there any second. I brought Aedam to help John inside, because I knew, I could not enter her house. John said, “They just walked thru her front door.” I told him, “she is hidden and she has her charm on her.” I wasn’t sure, it would work, but I hoped, and yes, even prayed it would. I told John and Aedam to go thru the back, I would wait here, at the front. I had closed my mind off to Leigh. The rain, was still coming down in sheets, and the lightning, lighting up the darkened sky. Then I seen them, coming rather quickly out the front door. I was there in less than a second. I ended two of them, right then, and there. My hand, ripping their hearts from their chests. The third, I grabbed by the neck, picking him up. John and Aedam, exited the front door of the house. I asked John, to go and sweep the house, and lock the back door. Tell Leigh to stay put, until you come and get her. He was gone. Aedam, grabbed up the two dead vampires, in one hand, and with the tip of his sword, collected their hearts. We headed to the woods, across from Leigh’s. I asked the vampire, as we walked, who sent him, and why. He would not answer. I started to shake him a bit, and when I did, a bag, fell to the ground, out tumbled Leigh’s Alexandrite jewelry. I say out loud, you plan on making more day walkers. At this point, I am beyond enraged. I ask one more time, my question, who sent you? I did not mean to, but I ended up pulling his head straight off, before he could answer me. I was upset at myself, now we could find out no more information. Aedam, walked over, and stabbed his sword, into the corpse’s heart, then collected the body up, skewering his head, with his sword. After that Aedam headed into the woods, where he had been digging a shallow grave. He threw the last one in, and buried it. I picked up the bag of Leigh’s jewelry, and handed it to John. I begin to explain to John, how to compel Leigh to forget all, but what we choose for her to remember of this afternoon. I start telling him the logistics, and what he must say. Sensing his nervousness, Aedam speaks up, “Hunters can compel too.” I ask him “if he would mind.” He smiles and says “no.” He adds, “I think it best I do it anyways.” I tell Aedam,” I want her to think they were only after her jewelry. Try not to alter, much else of the afternoon.” Aedam responds, “I will do my best.”

I went and sat under a tree, to shield a bit of the rain from me. I then open my mind to Leigh, as I calm. She is frantic, when our minds meet, she is relieved. Then she just sort of goes blank in hers. I start to sing her song to her. I sit down beside her, in my mind, and put my arm around her. She says, “Chris, you are wet.” I ignore it, and ask if she is okay. She says “yes.” She then tells me, “they could not come in here with me they said, why could they not?” I say “I don’t know,” and I secretly breathe a sigh of relief, the charm worked. I can hear, John is back, and calling for her, I say “go to him. I need to get changed, then I will message.” She says “okay,” and my mind is alone, again.

John leads Aedam into the house, he goes, and talks to Leigh. He helps her to forget, things we wish her to not remember. Then, Aedam, and I head back to our compound, talking as we go. I ask Aedam, “how is it that John can see Leigh, and enter where she is, and yet the others could not?” Aedam said it is simple, “John meant Leigh no harm. He was there to protect her, he is also not an evil being. The charm, is mysterious, and protects its carrier, in a very unique way.” I say, “that it does, and I am very grateful for it.”

Leigh:

I walk out of the mudroom, carrying a flashlight, to light my way. I have a million questions to ask. First from my mouth, “are ya’ll okay?” As I walk into the kitchen, I take a box of matches off the top of my fridge, setting the flash light down, I light the candles on the table for light. I then sit at the table, John joins me. John says “yes,” and then he introduces, his friend, Aedam. I think to myself, he has a very strong Irish accent, just as Alaster and Neil from our work. Aedam, then asks if he may sit with us, too. As he sits, he reaches over, and tries to take my hands. I pull away until, I look up into his eyes. Then I willingly give him my hand. Next thing I remember, John and I sitting at the table alone. He is talking, “I think they just wanted your jewelry” he says. I say, “but it is only costume jewelry, why would they?” He then says, “Leigh, I think it is real, and with the settings and all, I bet you have a quarter to a half million dollars with what is in this bag.” I get lightheaded. I say “you are joking?” He says, “No Leigh, I am not.” He then pulls out his necklace from under his shirt. It is a piece of the Alexandrite, in a gold setting, attached to a leather cord. I am very surprised. He then tells me, “Tammy has her heart, set on the matching ring, in the antique store in town.” I then hug him, and say, “I know what to get her for her birthday!” The events of the last hour, are gone, only a distant memory remains. My other questions, have all disappeared, thanks to Aedam, who I have forgotten as well. I then ask John, “You feel like a cup of coffee?” He says “sure.” He adds, “First, why don’t you go shower and change? I will hang out and clean up a bit in here for you.” I agree. He says “first things first, let’s get your lights back on, I bet you blew a fuse.” I show him using the flashlight, where the breaker box is, and the shelf with the spare fuses.

I then head to my room, having left the flashlight with John, I grab a candle from the kitchen table. As I walk around my bed, to put my jewelry away. I step on something sharp, and faintly remember, the crashing sound of my mirror breaking. I feel the blood, pouring from my foot, the glass is in deep. I yell for John, just as the lights, turn on. He is headed my way, but stops suddenly in the hallway outside the mudroom. He hollers, “Leigh, are you okay?” I say “yes, but I cut my foot. I stepped on a piece of glass, it’s pretty deep.” He says, “I can’t come in there, I’m squeamish around blood.” I tease, “Really?” Then I say, “Seriously I am going to need help getting the glass out”. He says, “Give me a few minutes.” I say “okay, I will just sit, and try to message Chris”. He replies, “Okay.” I then hear John on the phone, whispering to someone. I text Chris, “you done yet?” He says, “Just finishing up. What are you doing?” I say “sitting on my bed, blood pouring from my foot.” He disappears, and I hear John’s phone ring. I text, “I am okay, it’s not too bad.” He doesn’t respond. I hear John say, “I know, Tammy is on her way, she will be here any second. I am in the kitchen. Will do.” Then I hear him walk to the cabinet, and get a glass, then the water turns on. I ask, “Is everything okay?” He struggled, it sounded like to say the word yes. Then Chris texts, “just stay put, John has messaged Tammy, she will be there shortly to help you.” I say, “I didn’t realize blood bothered John so much, teasingly.” Chris, says quite seriously, “it does me as well. I can handle seeing my own, but someone else’s…” I say, “It’s okay.”

I hear the front door open, and Tammy calls out “I am here.” I yell “I am in my room.” She says “give me a minute to take care of John, Sweetie, and I will be right there.” I hear them whispering, she tells him, “go walk around outside until I call you.” I hear the front door open and close, then Tammy appears at my bedroom door, pulling her scarf back in place around her neck. “So,” she says, “I hear you cut your foot,” with a sympathetic smile on her face. I say “yes, when those men broke in earlier, they broke my beautiful mirror, Chris got me.” She says, “That is replaceable, you are not.” She walks over, and grabs a towel off the shelf. Then she brings it and sets my foot on it. She says, “This is going to hurt pretty bad.” I say, “Give me a second.” I go to Chris, using my mind, and tell him, “she is fixing to pull it out, please sing to me.” He starts immediately, he is laying behind me in the bed, were he truly here, he could not see anything. Tammy sits in the floor, and carefully pulls the long shard of glass from my foot. It was too much, I pass out. The glass was in more than three inches, and left a gash half of my foot in length. Tammy grabs my phone, as it dings, with her left hand, and holds pressure with the right, on my cut. It is Chris. He asks “what happened.” Tammy voice messages, “she passed out. She is okay, it’s a pretty bad cut, but I think the pain was too much.” He says, “Can you handle it?” Tammy responds, “I got this.” She then says, “I will message back, when I get it bandaged.” He says” thank you,” and is gone.

Tammy continues the pressure, on my foot. Finally, she decides, it has been long enough, so she should check to see if it is stopping. To her astonishment, when she takes the towel away, the cut is almost healed. She wraps it in a bandage, and tapes it, then she gets the broom, and dust pan and cleans the mess up. She places it all in an old plastic bucket in my mudroom, and pours bleach over it to kill the smell of blood. She then, collects all the towels up, that have blood on them, and throws them in the washer, adding laundry soap and bleach, and washing them. She then messages Chris, “Leigh’s foot is almost completely healed.” Chris is not really shocked at this. He says, to Tammy, “it honestly does not surprise me.” Tammy, then, removes the bandage, and the cut is closed. She cleans the blood, off my foot, with peroxide, and then dries it with more gauze. She adds a fresh clean dressing, and tapes it in place, so I do not know it has healed. After that, she throws everything away, then she wipes everything down once more with a bleach solution, to kill the blood smell. She ties up the bag, which contains everything else that has blood on it. She leaves me laying in the bed, and goes and collects the bucket from the mudroom, and carries it and the trash bag, out to the can at the road. She sees Chris and John walking around the yard, talking. She tells them, how I am, and lets John know, he can return, when he feels ready. Then she heads inside, and washes up, and starts to clean up the mess from today’s events.

As I come to, I hear John talking, he is telling Tammy goodbye. At least I think it is Tammy. I hear him say, “thank you, I don’t know what I would have done. It was calling to me. I have never felt that before. Once Tammy gave me a drink, I was better, I was mad at myself, but the craving had passed.” I wonder if I am still dreaming, John’s conversation sounds so odd, to me. I decide to, go to Chris’s mind. I say “I have missed you.” He says, “You are awake.” Chris then says in his mind, “I have missed you as well my love, give me a minute, okay.” I say “okay.” After a few minutes, he asks, “How I am feeling?” I say “tired.” He says, “I am not surprised, you had a very eventful day.” I hear the front door close, and John calls, back to me, asking if he can come in. I say “yes, just give me a minute.” Chris, sees, in my mind, and says, “I will let you two talk, message me after he leaves.” “I will,” is my response, then I whisper, “I love you” to the room, before John comes in and sits on my bed. I hear, “I love you too Leigh.”

“Leigh, you okay,” John asks me. I say yes, “he says, your cut, it wasn’t so bad, once the glass came out, just keep it covered for the next twenty four hours, and don’t wet it, so it can close. Then you should be okay.” I say “yes sir.” He then says,” Leigh, I need to ask you something.” I say “okay.” He says, “You have to think hard, and be sure, okay.” I say “okay,” very curious, as to what is going on. He says, “Who else, has been inside of your house, since you bought this place.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because, I think, others may come for your jewelry.” I laugh, “no one knows, I have it, well, actually I did wear it to work, but before that, it was packed up.” John isn’t laughing. He says, “Please Leigh, I need to check anyone else out, see if we need to worry.” I say, “Okay.” I tell him, “Follow me.” I get up and put weight on my foot. It is a bit sensitive, nothing, unbearable. I head to the kitchen, John follows close behind, in case I need his assistance. I pull out a folder, and say, “everyone should be in there.” He says, “Any food delivery guys, or girls?” I say, “Only you have come in, the pizza guy never did. He stopped at the door.” I ask, “what about the coffee I promised you earlier?” He said, “Sure if you feel up to it.” I head to the kitchen sink, when I notice, everything is clean. It is as if this afternoon never happened. I say “thank you John.” He said, “oh don’t thank me. It was Tammy. She cleans when she worries, and you sort of gave us a scare.” I apologize, to John, “I am sorry.” I then look up at the clock on the microwave. It says it is ten o’clock. I ask, “is that right?” He says, “yes, it is. You were out a while.” I then start to make coffee.

John hung out till about midnight, making notes, of names, and dates, of people who had been in my home. We also, drank our coffee, and chatted. I told him, I would go to town, tomorrow, to replace my mirror, and to pick up Tammy’s gift! He says, she will love that. I only hoped, it was still there. With someone after mine, and the one in town, on display in the window of the antique store, I had a feeling, it would be gone. I made a mental note, to take my earrings with me. And make a trip to the jeweler if need be. I asked John, Tammy’s ring size, he said, “a six.” He then said, “I think it is time, for me to head home.” I said, “I am sorry to have kept you so long this afternoon.” He says, “it is okay, I would stay all night if need be, but you need rest.” I tell him, “Yes I do.” My eyes then meet John’s, and I tell him, “thank you, and please, thank Tammy for me.”

I shut off the coffee pot, and walk John to the door. He tells me lock up behind me. I say, will do. He smiles. He then heads out. I shut the door, and lock it. A chain has been added to it. I slide it on as well. I walk thru, shutting off lights, on my way to bed. I pause at the mudroom, and check the back door, before I shut that light off. I then proceed to my bedroom. I sit on the edge of my bed, my mirror, no longer here, and message Chris, “Getting ready for bed.” I add, “I have to skip a shower, until tomorrow, for my wound to close.” I then tell him about my trip, I am planning into town tomorrow. About the birthday present, I plan for Tammy, and getting a new mirror. He says, “Sounds like a day of adventure.” I say, “I hope nothing like the one I had today.” He laughs, an odd laugh. He then asks, “if he can hold me in bed?” I say, “I would love that.” I tell him, “give me ten, I need to brush and change, then I will crawl in.” He says “I will be there waiting.”

I decide, to peek at the cut, curiosity got the better, of me. I slowly unwrap it halfway knowing what to expect. I have always healed quickly, from cuts, scrapes, and bruises. No blood is present, on the bandage. I know in the back of my mind, nothing is going to remain, but a scar. I finish unwrapping it, and pull the gauze away. Nothing. Just a long scar, stretching from my toes, halfway down my foot. A pink line, an inch wide. It had been a bad cut, but like everything else that had occurred this afternoon, only a faint memory left. I stood up on it, it was still a bit tender. I carefully walk into the bathroom, and throw away, the bandage. I wash my hands, and brush. I then strip my clothes off, and pin my hair up. I grab a towel, and shower off quickly. I step out, and dress, hurriedly. I couldn’t let Chris know about my unusual behavior of healing quickly. I had a flashback, of my husband, I had fallen thru the sliding glass door. I was covered in superficial cuts on my face, hands and arms. The look of sheer terror on his face, the next morning, when nothing remained, but tiny pink scars. His words, echoing in my head, “What are you a witch? You freak!” That is the day I left. Never looking back. The next Monday, I filed for divorce.

I pushed those thoughts from my mind, I grabbed my phone, and messaged Chris. “Crawling in now.” He said, “Good snuggle in close, I have warmed the bed for you.” And truth be told, my bed, was warm. I closed my eyes, and snuggled into Chris’s chest, laying my head on him. He kissed the top of my head, and held me tight. I could feel his arms, around me. I could feel him in my bed. He made me feel safe. I whispered,” I love you,” then, I was asleep in his arms.

My dreams, were not all pleasant tonight. I had dreams of me falling into the glass door, and men in my house, and of Chris, running away saying, “I don’t love you, you witch. Only a witch can do the things you do.” I woke up several times, scared, crying. And each time, Chris had been there. Holding me, comforting me in my mind. Making me feel better. This last time I fell asleep, I dreamed of Chris, it was as if he had entered my dream, and controlled it. My mind went to his love for me, to him singing to me, him loving me, him holding me while I slept. In this dream, he accepted the strange things that happened to me. He said, “it was a part of me, and he loved me from my hair to my toes, and everything between, and nothing would ever change that.”

Chris:

The fear, I felt, knowing Leigh was there, with John, her foot pouring blood, just feet away, it made me feel physically sick. John is a young vampire, and the task at hand, to keep from feeding, maybe more than he can control. I called John as soon as Leigh told me. I felt her pain, it was extreme. But it was nothing of what she would feel, if John could not control himself, and fed. I told him, to stay away, from Leigh, to take another pill. I offered Aedam to come and help. We were already in route, we would be there in seconds. He said, he had called Tammy, and she, too would be there any second. I felt a bit better. I told him, he should feed, when Tammy arrives, just enough, to take the edge off. He said he would. I could hear the panic in his voice.

I myself, took another pill, to help me, as well, because when I was in Leigh’s mind, the smell of her blood, I can’t describe it. I have had her blood, in the blood bags. It draws vampires in, the mere scent, calls to us, it is so enticing. And the euphoric high, I got, from drinking it, it is indescribable. Alas, I am getting off topic. I then returned to Leigh’s mind, as Aedam and I ran, to her. I told her to stay put, and anxiously awaited Tammy’s arrival. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Tammy arrived. As soon as she was with Leigh, I left our mental connection, only for Leigh to return, moments later. She asked, if I could sing to her, to calm her, and help manage the pain. I then felt, all of her pain, I opened my mind, and was engulfed in it, doing so, allowed me to focus, and the smell of her blood, totally left my mind. I started to sing, I was laying behind her on the bed, in shadow form. I could not see what Tammy was doing, however, when she removed the glass, Leigh’s mind left mine. I messaged, immediately. Tammy told me, she had passed out, she was sure from the pain. I was as well. I left Leigh in Tammy’s capable hands, and I started talking to John. He needed reassuring. He was upset, his face had started to change, his fangs appearing, all he could think of is trying not to hurt Leigh, and trying not to break his promise to Tammy. I told him, “I think your love for Tammy, is what saved you, more than anything else.” He smiled slightly at me.

Leigh:

I awake the next day, around, ten in the morning. I still feel Chris in bed with me. I don’t want to open my eyes. He has me cuddled in tight, to his chest, holding on to me, like he will never let me go. My mind drifts to his, “are you awake?” He is, he responds in his mind, “good morning beautiful. I would ask how you slept, but I was with you all night, and know. I hope you at least got some rest.” I show him in my mind, flashes, of my last dream. He sees, and says, in his mind to me, “It is true. I will love you for all eternity. From your hair to your toes, and every part between”! I smile at him in my mind, and tell him I love him. He feels the warm glow his words have caused radiating from me. I then say, “We can’t stay in bed all day.” He says, “I know, I have meetings again, it is Sunday.” I laugh, and tell him, I love him in my mind, then I am gone. I start sending voice messages. I tell him about my plans for the day, and he asks me to please take John with me, especially since my foot is injured. I agree, to keep the fact it is healed, hidden. We chat, while I dress, make coffee, and do dishes, then it is time for his meeting. He says, “See you soon Leigh, I love you so very much!” I say “See you soon Chris, I love you too, more than humanly possible.” And I mean it. Because honestly, I know, I am not totally just a human. How could I be? The way I heal. He adds, “That makes two of us. I love you more than is humanly possible!” I giggle, into his next message, and then I am gone.

I arrive in town, John sitting beside me in my truck, I say, “first we should pop in the antique store, and see if they have the ring, for Tammy.” John says, “That is a lot of money Leigh, are you sure?” I say, “Let me do this, please. It is for you both. You will be just as happy as she is.” He agrees saying, “The ring will mean more to both of us, than you know”. I say “then let’s go.” I walk with a slight, fake limp, so John isn’t aware my foot has healed. We enter the store, and ask about the ring. The clerk, tells us, someone had been in just that morning, to buy it. I am disappointed. I ask John, if he recalls, what it looked like.” He said, “He would take time that night, to draw it up, and after work tomorrow, he would then go with me to the jeweler.” I told John my intentions, of using one of my earrings. He tells me I can’t do that. I say, yes, I can, and I will. I say, let’s see about a new mirror. He then confesses, “Chris made me promise not to let you buy another. He is having your’s fixed”. I smile, and say “really?” He says, “Yes. Please don’t tell him I told.” I say, “I won’t your secret is safe with me.” He says, “Shall we do your grocery shopping?” I say “sounds like a plan.”

We head into the store, and are fairly quick. He walks beside me, in sort of a defensive manor. Like he is trying hard to protect me. Laughing I say, “Am I that fragile?” He laughs, and apologizes. He said, “After yesterday, I am just a bit on edge.” I said “it is okay, I was mainly picking.” He smiles down at me, and we continue our shopping.

An hour later, we arrive, back at my house. John helps me get all of my bags inside the house. Then as he is bringing the last bag inside, his phone rings. He answers, and steps back out the front door. After John finishes his call, he asks me, as he walks back in and sets the last bag on the kitchen table, if he can borrow my truck for a few minutes. I say sure. John informs me, your mirror is ready. I smile at him, he says you stay inside, okay. I say I promise, then he tells me lock up till I return. I say yes sir, teasingly.

I message Chris, and ask how his day has been. He says terrible. Filled with meetings, and I have been away from you. I say, I know. I ask, if we can spend tonight together, just the two of us? He says, that sounds perfect. He asks what I would like to do about dinner? I say, I honestly have not thought about it. He says, let me take care of it. You are injured still, and have had a busy day. I agree. He then, says, I hope you like what I had done to the mirror. I tell him, “I am so excited!” He tells me he can feel it. Chris says, “I feel your emotions, your feelings, most of the time, without you ever saying a word”. I say” I know, it works both ways.” He laugh, and says, “This could be a bit uh problematic…” I say “really? How?” He says, “Because, my thoughts are not always pure of you Leigh, and neither are my emotions.” I blush, and say, “I know, I have seen in your mind,” a hint of laughter in my voice. He is embarrassed now.

John arrives back a few minutes later. He is carrying my mirror, as he comes to the door. He knocks and yells out, it’s me John. I respond, saying give me a couple, I’m on my way. Still acting like my foot is sore. I open the door, and he has my beautiful mirror, but it is covered, in brown paper, as if it were a present. He sets it down, in the living room, and asks, “You ready to open?” I exclaim “yes!” He says, “Give me one second, Chris wants to be on speaker, when you do.” I say “okay,” and stand their anxiously waiting!

John’s phone, is ringing on speaker, when I hear, Chris’s beautiful voice, come across the line. He asks “are you ready to open it, Leigh my love?” I say “yes.” I’m so excited, honestly I’m shaking! He says, “go for it!” I rip the paper off and to my surprise, it is a totally different mirror. It is so beautiful. It is the same style, but this one, someone had taken the time to carve intricate detailing. It was absolutely breathtaking! I see, carved, down one side of the frame, as if it had been there when the mirror was made, Chris Loves Leigh. I tell him it is beautiful, that I absolutely love it. Chris says he is very happy that I like it. Then he asks John to show me Tammy’s gift he got. Chris says, “it is from both you and I, Leigh.” John pulls out, a ring box, I hold my breath, as he opens it. Inside, is a very beautiful, Alexandrite and diamond ring. It is what appears to be a solid white gold band with a large Alexandrite, attached in the center. It has four large beautiful diamonds, surrounding it. When I look on the inside of the band, to check the size, I see there is an actual opening, in the band of the ring, which allows the Alexandrite, to touch your skin. I comment, that is a very unusual setting. John says “yes, but it is exactly what Tammy wants.” I say “then it is perfect!” I then thank Chris, and say she is worth that. He says “she is worth that and so very much more!” I reply, “that she is.”

Chris, says, he has to head out, but he would message me soon. He tells me he loves me, and I him. Then he is gone. I turn to John and ask “shall we put the mirror in place?” He says “will do.” I ask him to put it where the old one sat in my room. He picked it up in one hand, and carried it, as if it were weightless. I hobbled behind him, continuing the charade of my injured foot. He set it down, and moved, to the other side of the room. I went over, and ran my hand down the beautiful lettering, then fixed the curtain, behind it. As I did, I noticed, on the back, the initials, CESM and the date, 1875. My mind thinks not possible, then I shrug it off and think, must be a great grandfather.

After John finishes up, I tell him he can go home for a while. I apologize for taking up so much of his time lately. He says “that’s what I’m here for” and winks at me. I see him to the door, and then lock it up behind him. I head back to the kitchen, to find something for lunch. I pick up the ring box off the kitchen table, and open it. I take out the beautiful ring, and slide it on my pinkie finger, I have rather big hands for a girl. My mind wonders, to thoughts of me and Chris, and thoughts of marriage. Chris then appears in my mind, “what are you doing beautiful?” I say, “Trying on Tammy’s ring, however it only fits my pinkie. He states, “Take a pic, please and send it.” I say “okay.” I pull my phone out, and snap a pic of my hand and hit send. I then slide the ring back off and place it back in the box. I head to my room, and put it away, in my top dresser drawer, with all of my other jewelry. My new hiding place since the break in. Chris finally messages back. “That looks very lovely on your hand Leigh”. I say, “thank you.” I then tell him, “Whoever designed that, has beautiful taste. It is absolutely gorgeous.” He says, “I agree, I have never seen a more beautiful hand in my life.” I blush, and giggle, saying “I was referring to the ring.” He says, “I know, but the ring pales in comparison to the beauty of your hand”. I tell him, “you are making me glow!” He says “good.”

I grab an apple from the fridge, and munch on it, while Chris and I chat. Chris asks, if I want him to surprise me for dinner, or if I want input? I say truthfully, I would like, a hamburger. A homemade one, with bacon and Colby cheese, lettuce, tomato, bread and butter pickles, and ketchup. And maybe, some homemade fries with ketchup and mayo mixed for dipping. He laughs, and says, you have a very precise order. I say, yes I do! Chris asks, would you like a sweet tea with that? I say absolutely! I am giggling into my messages I send, at this point. Chris then says, I think that can be arranged.

Thursday morning, and I am up and showered, dressing for work. Chris, had a meeting first thing this am, so he couldn’t be with me. He said he hoped to be done, before I leave out on the road. I am finishing up my last touches of makeup, and hair, then I head to the kitchen, to make my travel mug of coffee, grab my bag, phone and keys, then head for the front door. I unchain and unlock the door, then I remember, I forgot my good luck charm, hanging in the bathroom. I set everything but my phone, on the coffee table in the living room, and head to my room, to grab it. When I return, a man is standing in my living room. I ask him if I can help him. He seems to be in a daze. I slide my charm around my neck, and stand there frozen. I go to Chris’s mind, at least I try to. I can’t, our connection is not present. I pull my phone out, and text, after switching the sound off. I text Chris and John. The man just stands there, smelling the air. The man finally states, “I know you are here! I can hear your breathing.” I am petrified, I am clearly visible, to him. He is looking straight at me, and yet it seems straight thru me. I stand there, not moving, staring at him. He is big, at least six feet four. He is very muscular, he is very rugged, but not in a good way. He has a presence about him that is horrific. I could feel death was near him. He was not a good person.

The man was becoming more and more agitated, as he stood, taunting me. My phone vibrates suddenly, scaring me even more. It is a text message, Neil, he is wondering where I am. I should have been at work, ten minutes ago. I message, “I really need help, there is someone in my house, I am, in danger.” He tells me, stay put. He or Alaster will be here soon. I am very grateful, someone is on their way. Neil then texts, telling me Alaster, is in route. He then asks, if I am hidden? I say, “I am standing in plain view in the kitchen, but he can’t see me. Why can’t he see me?” Neil says, “He is probably high on drugs or something. Please Leigh, listen to me!” Neil then requests I go and hide in my closet. He asks, if I have my good luck charm with me, and in the midst of everything that is happening, my mind does not recognize, the fact that he should not know, that I have it. I respond, telling him, “yes. That is what I had forgotten. I left the front door open, when I went, to go and retrieve it from my bathroom.” He says, “Don’t think of that now, slowly and carefully go to your closet, and hide.” I follow Neil’s instructions, and as I move towards the closet, the man follows. He is calling out, for someone. Someone named Deirdre. I finally reach the closet, and I slowly twist the handle. I step thru, and squat down. I curl up into a ball, and wait. The man, comes to the closet door. He opens it, he cannot enter. His face, it is not the face of a man, and his teeth. They are the teeth of something that drinks blood! I am petrified, at the sight of him. He looks as if he just stepped out of some horror movie! I hear someone calling from the front of my house, and realize it is Alaster. I hear his thick Irish accent, but I cannot make out the words. Suddenly the stranger, turns and goes in Alaster’s direction. I try to go to Chris’s mind. Our connection, still is missing. Even, when we are not in each other’s heads, talking, there is always this sort of faint glow, present, that connects us. And at this moment, there is nothing, but my own thoughts and worries, building in my mind.

Chris:

I now know, it was merely a trap. We thought, we had Nic, cornered. I planned on meeting him, face to face. Confronting him. I had brought, John, and four of my new day walkers along along with me. I had left two newborns, watching Leigh, protecting her. We should have already been finished and on our way home, when she got ready to leave for work. However, that didn’t happen. As we entered the warehouse, I closed my link to Leigh off, and then, once the door closed, shutting out the daylight, that is when they attacked. Twenty newborns, not day walkers, put here for the reason, of keeping us occupied. Nic new me. He knew, a group of newborns could never take out anyone as old as I.

I was not concerned, with my men, handling themselves, around these young vampires. I had been training them, how to fight other vampires successfully. Recently I showed them how to defend themselves against other newborns. A newborn, hasn’t the knowledge that a vampire who has lived for centuries, does. They come at you straight forward, full force, with the thought of ripping out your throat, or your heart. They never think to incapacitate the opposition, and that can mean the difference in living and dying.

I switched into killer mode, and took down, the first group, practically on my own. Then a second wave hit. By the third wave, I told John and the others, get to the doors, and get them open. They did as I asked, and the newborns, started burning. It took them a few seconds to realize they could not go in sunlight I told the others, run, and then I took off too. Once we exited the building, we set out for Leigh’s on foot.

We arrived at Leigh’s house within minutes. Alaster, was in his true hunter form locked in mortal combat, with Nic. When Nic seen us he took off, running away, I started after him. Alaster stopped me. He said, now is not the time Chris.

Alaster, then says, I will go and check on Leigh, once I transform back to my human form. I think to myself, I can only imagine how Leigh would react to seeing his true hunter form. I go and sit on the ground, at the back of Leigh’s truck. I open my mind to her. She is hidden. She is cold. And she feels absolutely alone. Her mind is blank, and she has retreated somewhere, else. I close my eyes, and go to her. I open the closet door, in my shadow form, and pull her up, from the tiny ball form she is curled in. I pick her up in my arms, holding her tight. I take her and set her on the bed. I crawl on top of her, keeping my weight off of her. I begin singing to her. My mind inside hers, trying to bring her back to the here and now. I kiss her forehead, and stroke her cheek, with my fingers. She starts to return. She does not realize it is me at first. And she freaks out. She is hitting and kicking, and screaming. Alaster comes running in, and stops at the bedroom door. He can see my shadow form, laying with Leigh. Trying to soothe her I am repeating, it is me Chris, Leigh. Leigh calms as she realizes, it is me, and not the other man. She then begins to cry. I roll off of her, and pull her up onto my lap. Alaster, standing at the door the whole time, watching. He doesn’t make a sound. I try to calm her. I hold her tight. I sing to her. I wrap her hand in mine. Finally her mind opens. She shows me what happened, using her mind. I see Nic, enter, I feel her terror. I see as she stands in the kitchen, him in the living room, he can’t see her, but he taunts her. He follows her to her room, he is calling for Deirdre. He opens the door. His face, he is in vampire form. She starts to go inside of herself at this point. Then she hears Alaster, he is speaking in his native tongue, uttering a prayer to draw the evil, Nic is from Leigh’s home. Leigh cannot understand him, however the man does, he turns, walks in the direction he came, leaving her alone. She then tries to connect with me, but I am not there. She worries, had I died, what with my medical condition and all. She is way beyond terrified at this point. And she goes completely inside herself, and that is where she stayed, until I brought her back out.

Alaster gives me a few more minutes with Leigh, then he clears his throat, interrupting our connection, and I am back behind the truck, and Leigh, is sitting on her bed. I return, to Leigh’s room, but I am standing in the corner, watching Alaster. He asks if he may enter her room. She tells him he may. Then he walks over to her. He squats down in front of Leigh, taking her hand, he looks deeply into her eyes, and he says, all you will remember of this morning, is you woke up, not feeling well. You called into work, and will return on Monday. When I finish speaking, and leave the room, you will get up, and change your clothes, you will return what you are wearing to the closet. You will wash your face, then you will go and make yourself something to eat. After this point, your day will resume, in regular time. Then Alaster, stands. He walks from the room, and straight out of the house. I continue, watching Leigh, she is in what appears to be a trance. Alaster then sends John in to return Leigh’s things from the coffee table to their original homes, so she hasn’t a clue, her thoughts were altered. John returns moments later, everything in place, as if she never even thought of going to work.

While John is inside, Alaster and the vampires who had gone with us to the warehouse this morning, scout out the area. They are searching frantically for the two newborns, who were watching Leigh while we were gone. Alaster discovers their bodies stuffed inside Leigh’s trashcan at the curb, hearts ripped from their chest. Alaster calls the others to come and remove the bodies, then he has one of them scrub out the trashcan to remove the blood, while the others, are digging a shallow grave, across the street. Alaster is busy searching the bodies for their Alexandrite jewelry, however his search is in vain, apparently Nic had taken it after he had ended their lives.

Leigh:

I am in the kitchen, when Chris enters my mind. “What is wrong my love?” I say, “I don’t really know. I called out this morning. I felt sick, I feel like my head is in a tunnel. I feel really disoriented.” Chris, can feel in my mind, something is off. He says, “maybe after you eat, you should sleep more.” I tell him, “That really sounds like a good idea.” I ask him, if he will come and lay with me? He says, “I should be all yours today, unless an emergency arises.” I say “good.” I take a couple of bites out of my toast, and suddenly, I can barely hold my eyes open. Chris’s still in my mind, he says, “go on to bed. Just leave this.” I listen to him. I walk back to my room, and pull the covers back, and crawl into the center of the bed. Chris crawls in behind me. I am asleep, before my head hits the pillow. Chris lays there, stroking my hair, holding me close, taking care of me.

My dreams are pleasant and peaceful starting out. Beautiful dreams of myself, and Chris. Then suddenly, Chris, is not with me. There is another man, at least I thought he was a man, but when I see his face, it is that of a monster. His teeth, are fangs, I feel the black aura, surrounding him. He is calling for someone. He thinks I am her. I am crying in my sleep, and tossing and turning. Suddenly Chris is in my mind, while I sleep. He is protecting me from this thing. He slowly starts to wake me. As I wake, I show Chris in my mind, of my dream. He calms me down, and I drift back off to sleep. This time, it feels once again, as if Chris is directing my dreams. I fall into a very deep sleep. I do not wake again, until Friday at noon.

Chris:

I sit quietly at Leigh’s back door, while she sleeps. Alaster is sitting on her front porch. He is able to make himself invisible to the human eye, if it becomes necessary. We plan on staying here, every second of the day. I know, I must tell Leigh, before the weekend is over. It is becoming far too dangerous to keep her in the dark. She can barely keep her eyes open. I tell her go and sleep. She barely makes it to bed, before she is out. I lay in bed with her, in my mind. Stroking her hair, and keeping her safe. She is dreaming of beautiful things. Then, I get a phone call. I am only gone a few seconds, and her mind takes her dreams back

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

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