Tuesday, 10 December 2013

8. Connections - Part Two

*This & Sick Love get more requests than anything else, so here you go. Lol. I know it's been like 78235276 years :/ My bad. And this is proper short but I haven't written for a while. I'm getting back into it slowly. Anyway, I hope it was okay for those who still read & hopefully it's not too bad or confusing.*

"What?" Wrinkling her brow with concern she strained to hear her husband's panicked voice. The noisy environment around her was making it somewhat difficult. "Slow down and start again."

"You need to get back here, like, now."

"Dave? What's happened?"

"I don't know! Look, just come home as soon as you can. I can't get a response from her or nothin'." He held the phone to his ear as he continued to check her over. The tumbling he heard from the kitchen was fairly loud, giving him an idea of just how hard she'd fallen. When he got to her she was already out-cold at the bottom of the stairs.

"But she's still breathing, right?" Her serious question caught the attention of her passing co-worker.

"Yeah, still breathing and she's got a pulse...She's just not wakin' up."

"Okay, I'mma take an early break. I'll see you in 10 minutes and don't leave her alone."

Her worried colleague spoke as soon as he saw her hangup the phone. "Kris? Is everythin' okay?"

"Yeah, yeah everythin's fine. I just gotta rush home for a minute." She grabbed her jacket and ignored his fretful face.

"It doesn't sound it. Are you sure?"

"I'm positive, Dell." Not even giving him half a chance to open his mouth again she set off walking at a quick pace as she threw her jacket on.

Back in Drake's shoes he was still staring the stony Vampire in the face. Locked into a hard stare as they talked. This news Marquis was just now informed of was bitter for his ears to hear. Nicki still had a place in his heart, no matter how hard he tried to forget. She was completely erased from his mind but his heart was harder to rid her from.

"Pregnant?" Marquis swallowed, sitting on the upset he was feeling. "How far along is she?"

"We don't know for sure." He paused to re-take his seat at the table. "Around 6 months, we think. Or at least close to that anyway."

"And what exactly is wrong with her? I mean, what changes are you noticing that are worrying you?" All his years training as a Vampire doctor hadn't gone to waste as he continued to question a worried Drake sat before him.

"I just...I can't tell what she's thinkin' anymore. It's like there's nothin' there."

"Like it's empty? Or like it's clouded?"

He sighed sadly. "Clouded...Or it could be empty. Shit I'ont even know." He rubbed his face furiously and exhaled loudly into his palms.

"You think she's dying." His sentence wasn't worded as a question, letting him know that his thoughts had been heard. Noticing the hint of fear and sadness in his voice, Drake became wary of the fact that Nicki was still present in his life. Something he should perhaps be more alerted to.

He was silent again before speaking quietly. "I don't know what to think anymore." He sighed. "One day she's completely fine and the next she's not eating and sleeping all day like she can't even find the energy to sit up."

"Where are you staying?"

"At a friend's. He owes me a favour, we're staying there for as long as we need." He kept the information basic, he didn't want any unexpected visits if he were to give the address out. He wouldn't put it past Marquis to come around snooping.

"A human?"

"They're a human family, yeah."

"And they obviously know about Nicki."

"They've been really good to us, I left her with them to come here."

There was a pause whilst Marquis returned to his seat. "You already know what I'm going to ask, don't you?"

"Yes and you already know what my answer is." His face hardened. "So don't even bother, Marquis." Reading his actions like a book he quickly went back into defence mode.

"I'm sure Nicki would be persuadable to the idea, especially if it's in her child's best interest. Think about it, you could move back here and not have to worry about a thing. No more hiding, no more running."

Drake shook his head angrily. There was no way in Hell Nicki would want to be back here in the Rivers colony with all the vicious memories and the strict laws. "It's not even an option we wanna consider."

"But you said it yourself. Now is my chance for redemption."

"Exactly. Redemption." He spoke the word slowly, emphasising its definition. "But I feel like you think by bringing us both back to live in your colony it's just gonna erase the past. That's not what'll happen." Marquis stayed silent, understanding that Drake was fully correct. By offering them refuge in his colony he believed all events of the past might be forgotten, that by going against his own values and beliefs maybe Nicki could forgive him. But that was a long-shot. He knew it and Drake knew it.

"You're right, you're right." He paused before speaking incredibly sincerely. "But my offer is genuine, you'll both be safe here. Please, I want to help."

The flicker in his eyes was malevolent but they were running out of options. This might be their only way of surviving.


Back at the Harlan residence the anticipation was at an all-time high. Dave was freaking out as he gently placed a blanket under Nicki's head. He'd checked her over as well as he could but he had no clue what he was looking for, he was just grateful that there seemed to have been no blood-spill from her fall. That, to him, meant she can't be majorly injured. His body relaxed when he heard his wife's car pull into the driveway.

Entering the house hurriedly, Kristin made her way straight the bottom of the stairs. Sure enough, her husband was still kneeling by Nicki's motionless body. She could tell by his face he had no idea what to do but then again, nor did she. Vampire care wasn't her specialty.

"Oh thank God, I didn't think you were coming." He moved around to the other side of her. "I left her where she was-"

"Good, good. That's good." She nodded breathlessly and quickly knelt down and began checking her over. "What happened?"

"I don't know." He exclaimed and rubbed his head worriedly. "She got herself all worked up but I managed to calm her down and then I went to go make her some food and she..." He stopped for a second. "She must have just passed out or somethin' on her way upstairs. I don't know."

"Her breathing is really shallow and her pulse is slow." Sitting back on her feet she made eye contact with Dave before they both glance back down at her. She was so frail looking.

He shook his head regretfully. "I didn't mean for her to hear what I was thinkin', but I couldn't help it."

"It's fine, we'll worry about that later." Scanning over Nicki's still frame she stopped suddenly, remembering what Drake had given to Jackson. Maybe now was the time to use it? But there was no telling what would happen afterwards. The stuff she'd read was putting her off immensely.

"Well, what are we supposed to do now? You have any idea what'll happen if Drake returns to this? He'll hit the fuckin' roof." He smoothed his hand over his head and exhaled some of the worry out. His stomach felt like it was in knots. Noticing that Kristin looked just as worried made him feel worse, she was thinking hard. The quietness ate at them for almost a minute before her worry started to get the best of her. "I have no idea what I'm doing, Dave." She spoke in panic before biting her lip. "She needs to be checked over properly, by a doctor in a hospital."

"Are you serious? There's no way you could get her in there without bein' seen, Kris." He rearranged the blanket he had folded under Nicki's head before talking again and laughing humourlessly. "Unless of course you got sealed off rooms and someone on the inside you could trust to willingly break the law as we're doin'." He shook his head at his own sarcasm and huffed. "What the hell do we do? I mean, how long is she gon' be outcold for? What if it's somethin' to do with the baby? We just don't know."

Her husband's dribbling sentences were all floating around in her head as she thought. That's when it came to her. It was a huge risk, there was no doubt about that but it might be their only option, asides the plan Drake had left with Jackson but the risks scared her too much. She wasn't prepared to go through with it. Pulling her phone out she searched through her contacts, landing on the desired one before clicking 'call'. The calm quiet made her breathing seem even louder as she waited for answer on the other end, when she finally heard the familiar voice everything suddenly got loud again as she spoke.



She had no idea how her colleague pulled off such a stunt but she couldn't help smiling at him as he set the chart up on the end of Nicki's bed. They were at the basement level of the hospital, otherwise known as the Vampire ward. Each and every room was separate and had maximum security to ensure staff and patient safety. As well as an abundance of specially trained nurses, there was only five doctors in the whole hospital who could accommodate the medical needs of Vampires. Dell was one of them. He smiled nicely and began to talk.

"From what I can see so far, she seems stable for now. I mean, her health is pretty poor but I'm not surprised with how it sounds they've been living for the last few months. I won't know for sure until I examine her properly."

"I know, I can't even imagine how hard this has been for them. So, what do you think is wrong with her?"

"I'm guessing she just fainted. But the tumble she took might have bruised her up a bit. Other than that I honestly have no idea as of yet." He looked over at her. "I'll try and get her looking a bit healthier whilst she's here and I'll evaluate her when she's awake after I've done a quick examination."

"So, do you know how long she'll need to stay for?" The beeping machines filled in the silence as he thought.

"It's hard to say." He rubbed his chin. "Like I said, I need to check her over more thoroughly and I need to try and sneak some Obs and Gynae equipment down here as soon as possible. I wanna be sure everything is okay with the baby too."

She looked at Nicki's quiet body sympathetically, her hand resting over her bump. Dell had smartly lay her on her side to stop the weight of the baby pressing on her organs. "And you're absolutely positive nobody else can enter this room without your permission?" Her eyes met his again as she tried assure herself this was the right decision.

"I'm the only one with the key to this room. She's my patient and permission is needed from me to get access to her, okay?" He smiled at her worrying.

"Okay." She breathed out with relief. "Thank you so much for doing this and sneaking her through the back. I know I was asking a lot of you but we were desperate."

"I'm more than happy to help. And before you ask, your secret is safe with me. Nobody will find out about her. I promise."

She smiled gratefully and stood up from the chair . "Can I have the spare key? I wanna keep checking on her throughout my shift. I don't her waking up alone and panicking."

"It's a restricted ward, you can't just come down here whenever you want. There are codes and access requirements." He looked at her apologetically. "But I'm assuming her partner will want to see her?"

Her body froze with fear. She had no idea how Drake was going to react once he found out she was in a hospital. Let alone that another human was now aware of their situation. All it would take is for Dell to hand over the key to a clinical director and tell them what lay behind the door and that's it. Their lives would more or less be over.

Vampire doctors and specialists earned a shitload of money but their lives were constantly at risk, hence the reason there were very few in existence. The five doctors at this hospital were all great at what they did but Dell had something the other four didn't. He had an interest in Vampires and a passion for them. He wanted to help them and understand them better. The money, to him, was just an added bonus. That's what finalised her decision to ask for his help. She knew he could be trusted.


"Hm?" She jumped back to the moment. "Oh, yeah." She nodded and pushed her hair behind her ear. "Yes, of course he'll want to see her."

"Okay, well once you have him with you, wait out the back and page me. We can use the car park elevator and I'll let you in through the back office." She nodded and looked back at Nicki's small figure. She felt so guilty even though technically this was none of her fault.

"But you think she's gonna be okay?"

He stared at her for a couple of seconds. The concern was as visible on her face as it was evident in her voice. "Look, I'm about to do a basic check over whilst she's still out for the count. If you want you can stay? If it'll put you mind at rest?"

"Really?" She asked timidly, getting the worry of what damage had been caused out of her mind would help her sleep a lot easier tonight, so she agreed to stay.

She stood quietly by Nicki's head as she watched Dell working. He did all the routine checks first and found nothing completely out of the ordinary, other than the fact that she was fairly underweight. He scribbled notes down and moved to the same side of the bed as Kristin. Feeling like she was in the way she stepped back and moved to the end of the bed.

"Everything seems okay, nothing alarming to report apart from her weight. That's a worry." He carried on moving around as he spoke before laying the chart on her bedside table. "And there's no evidence of any trauma to the head. I checked that and her midsection whilst I put her gown on." Although there was still regulations in dealing with Vampire patients, Dell had to toss them aside in this case. He was the only one caring for her medically as of now.

"Well, she looks a lot better than she did a couple weeks ago, I mean, she was sleeping on a wooden floor. The pressure wounds on her elbows and hips just weren't healing at all." She grimaced remembering the sight of the painful wounds marking her skin.

He inspected her arms after Kristin had mentioned her previous injuries. "Yeah, they look like they're healing pretty well."

"Is she hurt anywhere from the fall?"

"I haven't checked all over yet. Like I said, I already examined her head and her midsection, there's a couple of light bruises on her stomach but they look aged and I know the baby is still moving." He smiled. "Gave me a couple of kicks whilst I was checking her over."

"What about her back? Dave said she fell pretty hard and he found her facing up."

"I guess we'll start there then." Moving around to the other side of the bed he pulled the sheets down off of her body. It was quite a task trying to get her lethargic body undressed and dressed again, especially whilst trying not to be rough with her. Kris watched him and how gentle he was handling her as he rolled her gown up at the back. The small gasp that escaped his lips made her frown.

"What is it?" Quickly darting around to his side, she covered her mouth instantly at the sight before her. "Oh my God." The moment was joined by a short silence before he opened his mouth.

"These are honestly the worst I've ever seen." He shook his head angrily as his eyes scanned the many scars etched into her skin. There was a strange beauty to the silvery lines before him but that didn't excuse the brutality of what he was seeing. It looked as though she'd been slashed multiple times with a scythe, the healed wounds going in all different directions. Some were small scratches and others wide and long, telling him that they would have been quite deep cuts at the time of their occurrence.

"The worst what?" She finally found her voice as the shock began to wear off.

"Vampire markings."

"All Vampires have these?" Her horrified look was unseen by him whilst he continued to inspect the scarred skin.

"Not like this." He shook his head once more, tracing his fingers gently over them. "Usually it's just a small mark, like a symbol significant to both mates and then they initial one another."

"So you're saying these markings are done by their mates?" Her mind was totally boggled. She couldn't imagine Drake ever causing her so much pain.

"Exactly, see." He stopped tracing her skin when he found the obnoxious and ugly initials marked deep into the flesh covering her left shoulder. "Her mate's initials."

Kristin looked at them and shook her head adamantly. "No, no that can't be right. They should read A.D.G. For Aubrey Drake Graham, he's her partner."

"Not according to these markings." He bent down to read them more closely. "She belongs to a guy with the initials M.T.R."

"Belongs?" She repeated in disbelief. "That's disgusting."

"I didn't make the rules, Kris." Stealing a glance at her she noticed the same expression on his face. "It's just the way things are for them. Once they're marked that's it. Even if they, for some strange reason, aren't together anymore. No other Vampire will show interest in one that is already marked."

"Well, Drake did." She sighed sadly. "But why are her's so...Hostile-looking? It seems more like she was a-"

"Attacked?" He cut her off before she could finish.

"Exactly, so you see it too?"

"Yeah." He took a breath and stared at her scarred back. "Look at how big and shaky the initials are. It's almost as if she wasn't holding still when he was doing it. Usually they're delicate in appearance, like hairline scars. But this..." He trailed off. "This is a mess."

"You think it was done against her will?"

"That's definitely what it looks like to me. Especially if you're saying these aren't even her mate's initials."

The silence swallowed them up as he pulled her gown back down and covered her with the bed sheets again. Kris was completely heartbroken by the previous sight, how anyone could do something like that to someone they're supposed to love? It was completely beyond her.

"Look, I have some other things to take care of right now, Kris. I have to ask you to leave." He smiled as he stood by the door. "I'm gonna see of I can somehow get the the right equipment down here to check on her baby too." She followed his lead and exited the room, studying him as he locked the door and placed the key back around his neck.

"I'll see you later on, I guess." He began speaking as they headed down the busy corridor. The blinds were closed on all the glass sides of her room, ensuring nobody would be able to see inside.

"Yeah, sure. I'll drop back in on my way home to see if she's awake or not."

"You're still on duty?" He looked at her sideways as they made their way towards the elevator. "Won't they have noticed you disappeared, like, 2 hours ago?"

"Yeah, I paged a friend. She's covering for me."

He laughed a little before remembering. "I can use my pass to scan you out. You're not supposed to be down here." He did as he said he would and swiped his card to enter the elevator. Their journey up was silent until they reached the floor above, where they both exited the lift and tried to appear normal before going their separate ways. She was still doubting whether this was a smart idea but she guessed they'd soon find out when Drake returned.


Back at the house, Dave was struggling to sleep. Like Kris he felt this was all his fault. He should have helped her up the stairs, or made her eat something first then maybe she wouldn't have fainted. When it was arranged that Dell would help out, Dave offered to stay home with Jackson. Kris would be more useful in this type of medical emergency. Hearing the familiar sound of Jackson at the foot of the stairs he was glad of the distraction but still kept his parenting unaffected.

"Jackson, you better move back up them stairs before I get up." His smile soon faded when no noise followed. Turning around in his seat he spoke again. "Boy, didn't you hear-"

His sentence halted completely when he was fully turned around. His gaze locked into a stare with two haunting eyes belonging to the shadowy figure towering high next to Jackson.

"Daddy look." He spoke eagerly. "Drake came back."


*I apologise about any errors or typos. :/ This chapter is literally all over the place lmao :/ But I hope it makes sense to other people reading lol & thanku so much to those who left comments on the previous chapter. :) Sick Love is next on my update list.*

Sunday, 27 October 2013

7. Connections - Part One

The place was just as grim as he remembered. That was the only memory he had of it to be honest, having only visited once it hadn't changed at all since the last time. And neither had the figure stood directly in front of him. His eyes, his voice and his mannerisms all the same. But his face,  was one re-opening old nightmares.

"So, where is she?" His darkened eyes stared him down.

"I couldn't bring her with me, Marquis. Are you crazy?" Furrowing his brow densely, Drake moved closer in an attempt to keep their conversation concealed without drawing attention to himself. He wasn't wanted in this part of town.

"Well then just how exactly do you expect me to help you? Hm? I need to see her."

"You know damn well that ain't happenin'. Forget that." He rubbed his mouth growing increasingly frustrated with this meeting.

"I'm afraid I can't help you then." He turned his back nonchalantly as he continued to speak. "Don't let the gate hit you on the way out, Aubrey."

"No, wait!" Grabbing his shoulder quickly he stopped him in his tracks. "Just...wait."

"For what? I'm a busy man y'know?"

"Look, I just need your advice. You don't need to see her or speak to her. I'll tell you what's goin' on and you give me a straight answer."

"Sounds serious." Only just beginning to take the situation seriously he eyed Drake's worried features. His thoughts screaming out to him.

"Please? I wouldn't be here if it wasn't serious."

Shifting his gaze around the surroundings he inhaled before connecting eyes again. "Meet me 'round the back in an hour. If you ain't there by the time I get there, just move on. I can't help you."

Without another word he pulled away harshly and disappeared back up the stone steps. Leaving Drake to try and stay invisible for the next sixty minutes.


"Damn, Kristin. It's hot as hell in here." Harlan's face was the picture of irritation as he shut the kitchen side door behind him. His shift was finally over and it was time to switch roles. "Why you got the place boiling like a freakin' oven?"

"I don't have time to explain." Talking with a hint of stress she grabbed her purse and coat. "Jackson is asleep, he had his dinner early and Nicki's sleepin' on the couch. If you need anything call me." Giving him the quickest most emotionless kiss ever she reached for the handle before his hand stopped her.

"My day was good thank you for askin'." He smiled weakly as she sighed.

"Look, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so moody. Nothing was going my way today and I'm just hoping this night shift isn't as stressful as today was."

"Why, what happened?" He frowned a little and spoke again before she got chance. "I'm sure you can risk bein' 5 minutes late." He was right. Always arriving on time for anything, she knew it wouldn't affect her to be tardy just this one time.

"Oh, nothing really." She lied. "I'm just overreactin', I'm fine. Really." She changed her mind about telling him last minute. That's all she needed, her husband going off on one to top off all the other stresses she was dealing with.

"Well, as long as you're sure." He gave her a concerned look before kissing her.

"I'm sure, I'll see you when I get home. Don't forget, call me if you need anything." Reaching the door, she turned to look at him.

"I can handle things, Kris. Don't worry, we'll be fine."

Her worried expression didn't make him feel any better about the situation. She seemed, jittery. Like she always was when she was hiding something. He'd get to the bottom of it eventually, he was sure of that at least.

The moment she left the house it was thrown into a sleepy silence, with only his own company he decided to have his dinner alone in the kitchen before clearing up and heading into the living area. She was still sparked out on the sofa. Her blonde locks framing her fatigued face as she remained oblivious to his presence. He wasn't quite so sure how things were going to turn out for these two lost individuals staying with them. His mind became plagued with worry as he lowered himself gently into the recliner chair. Just looking at her, she didn't appear to be any worse than she was a couple of weeks ago, maybe she'd even gained a little weight but she still looked sickly. The darkness under her eyes seemed to be growing day by day, alerting them to her exhaustion but there was nothing they could do to help her. Nothing that wouldn't have dire consequences.

~ Flashback ~

His eyes wandered over his brother's, face. It was like looking in a mirror, the biggest pain of being a twin. The distinctions in personality were all that they could be distinguished by. 

As always in life, people choose their own pathways and make their own choices. And in the case of the twins, Marquis was forever the protagonist and Malik the antagonist in every situation. Nobody knew why Malik had derailed so much but having always being subject to comparison with his brother, it actually couldn't have been more obvious. The never ending achievements and praise he received was a sort of fuel spurring on Malik's jealousy. He'd never live up to those standards, never accomplish anything and never be as good as Marquis. So, quite illogically, his method was to do exactly the opposite. His behaviour spiralled out of control, starting off with violent incidents and petty crime to try and taint his name further. To his surprise, it worked and faster than he'd imagined too. His reputation was polar to that of his twin, yet just as powerful. During Malik's quest for an unimaginable fear staining his name, Marquis had further excelled himself in their Vampire community. Their small, scattered colonies were dying fast, with more and more of their kind choosing to settle amongst humans there was only few settlements left. But not if Marquis was in charge. He wanted to ensure the stability of this colony and he would do whatever it took to make sure this community was built on pure tradition and a sturdy foundation for success and survival.

Over the years people began to take note of his actions and behaviour, further separating him from the ''Good" twin. Creating this brutal name for himself he became completely alienated. Sinking lower and lower than ever before. He hit a low point before realising he wasn't alone in this life, surely there were others out there that he could fall into place with. This flashbulb thought took him far away from his home town and his brother. For a while people actually believed he'd died. That is until 3 years later when he returned with a vengeance. And this time, it was his turn to have something his brother wanted. Something he could cruelly snatch away from him. Something his brother could never get back.

~ End of Flashback ~

"What the hell took you so damn long? I been waitin' here longer than an hour now!" Pushing his brows together fiercely Drake's anger was obvious to Marquis.

"I did tell you I was a busy man." He cocked his eyebrow before stepping aside. "You should probably come in, before someone sees you."

Hesitantly entering the dryness of the house he courteously wiped his feet before guiding himself through the hallway and into the kitchen.

"Now, what exactly is it that you need my help with?" Smiling that sickeningly smug smile he took a seat at his own table, motioning for Drake to do the same thing. He could feel his eyes following his body as he sat swiftly, wanting to be in and out as quickly as possible. However, knowing Marquis, this meeting was going to drag.

"I already told you, it's Nicki."

"What about her? That's not a very helpful statement, is it?"

"She's sick." The short responses he was giving helped Marquis sense the hostility in his voice.

"And you want me to help her?"

"Look, I'ont know of anyone else that can help us right now! All I'm askin' is one small favor!"

"I guess your temper hasn't changed then."

His fists balled up under the table out of habit. "She did nothing wrong and you know that." The way his jaw clenched increased the tension growing in the room. Although considered the "good' twin, his easily flared anger resembled his brother's traits. "You and him are exactly the same. Fuck all that "good" twin "bad" twin shit. Look at you." He stood up angrily. "You're both as bad as one another." He pushed the chair away briskly and shook his head. "I was wrong to even come here." The second he turned to face the door he heard the chair Marquis was sat on grind against the tiles as he too stood up.

"I am nothing like him." The silence filled the space between them. "I loved Nicki more than you'll ever know."

"Yeah? Well, obviously not enough to look past what he did to her."

"He marked her, Drake. What else was I supposed to do?!"

"What I did and what I'm still doin'!" Their eyes met once again. "Do you not think I'm reminded every single day of what he did to her? She's permanently scarred in more ways than one and if you really truly loved her you would have looked past the physical damage. But you didn't. You had your chance, Marquis and you ignored it. You ignored her."

"She couldn't even look at me."

"Because you're a mirror image of Malik. Can you not understand that?" His temper cooled a little, recognising the regret on his face. "You let him win, you know why he went after her and why he did what he did. You just gave him exactly what he wanted."

"It would never have worked out."

"That's not the point. She needed someone to help her and everyone turned their back."

"Everyone except for you." He sat down once again, prompting Drake to do the same.

"I honestly believe I bumped into her for a reason, and to take her away from this place was exactly that reason."

"I hope you understand how sorry I am she was even caught up in this twisted power trip and sibling rivalry. I never meant for anyone else to get hurt. Especially not Onika."

"In that case, you should see this as your chance for redemption. You can help her now, the way you didn't when she needed you."

There was a stillness amongst them as he contemplated this decision. It was a complete no-brainer though. He'd been seeking redemption ever since the day his brother lay a hand on the woman he loved.

"Tell me what I can do."


"I was wonderin' when you'd wake." She was greeted by Harlan's chubby face across the room, he was sat comfortably in his chair, it looked like he'd been sat there a while.

"How long was I asleep?" Shifting herself around she sat upright on the couch and tried to make herself feel more awake. Her head was pounding and her heart racing.

"A good few hours, I've been back since eight."

"I'm sorry."

"What are you apologisin' for?" His brow wrinkled as his smile grew bigger.

"Y'know, just layin' around in your home whilst y'all are workin'. I feel like we're spongin'."

"And we'll keep tellin' you it's fine. Stop worryin' about it." He set his newspaper down. "We offered to put you up and we'll make sure you're both sorted before you're on your way."

"You have no idea how thankful we are."

"I'm pretty sure I could have a guess." He laughed, making her smile. "Anyway, how about somethin' to eat? Kris said you haven't had anythin' all day."

"Is Aubrey back?" Completely ignoring his question she felt her hope deflate even further when his smile faded.

"No, we haven't heard anythin'. I'm sorry."

He felt consumed by the silence as she nodded small and looked down at her bump, but she was overwhelmed with the loudness of his thoughts. They were screaming out at her, all kicking her into a panic.

"Nicki?" Upon hearing her sniffle her stood up and moved towards her. "Hey, what's goin' on?" Becoming lost for a fraction of a second he quickly clicked on and developed a strong urge to kick himself. He'd forgotten his thoughts were no longer private. "Nicki, I don't mea-"

"No." She wiped her eyes swiftly and returned her gaze back to her bump as she continued to cry. "You're right. All of this, what we're doing, it's completely pointless. Isn't it?"

"That's not what I was meanin'."

"I heard everything, you think we're just wastin' our time and you're right. We are." He continued to study her distressed state, he had nothing to say to comfort her. No matter what he said, his thoughts were telling her the truth and it had hit her hard. "I don't know why I thought we'd be able to get through this, I mean even when we get to New York or if we even get there, we're just gon' be runnin' forever. We'll never get away."

Not exactly knowing what to do he put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently. "I think we should just hang in there until Drake gets back, he must have somethin' up his sleeve, right? I mean you've made it this far, haven't you?" Trying to reassure her he asked again before she nodded, but the tears continued to roll down her face.

"Sometimes..." Stalling briefly, she almost changed her mind about confiding but to be honest these feelings were eating her up.

He squeezed again, encouraging her to speak. "Sometimes what?"

"I don't know, sometimes I just...I wish none of this was happenin'." She sniffled yet again and he could feel her body quivering through his hand.

"Well, obviously that's a normal thing to-"

Deciphering his thoughts before he could answer she interrupted. "No. I mean, I wish I hadn't got pregnant in the first place. What kind of life are we gon' have?" Wiping her cheeks she kept her gaze away from his, trying to avoid any sort of judgement. "Does that make me a bad person?"

"Not in the slightest." Giving up on his feeble attempt to comfort her he pulled her closer to himself. This time, his thoughts were not at all contradictory, letting her know he wasn't lying.

"I feel like shit, thinkin' all this stuff. I love this baby more than anythin' yet I wish it wasn't happenin' like this."

"Have you spoken to Drake about any of this?"

"Not a word. I couldn't. He does so much for us, I'ont wanna throw it all back in his face." He saw her hand come up to rest on her bump as she sighed. "I just wanna wake up and have nothin' to worry about."

"We could start now, come on." He pulled away gently and looked at her tear-filled, puzzled face. "There's a plate of of food in there waitin' for you. I'mma go heat it up whilst you get yourself showered, okay?" He saw her nod gently, the sudden movements were making her skull feel like it was about to split. "We need to act more positive about all of this, I understand it's gotta be hard but what else can we do?" He gave her shoulder one last squeeze and stood up. "You okay to get yourself upstairs?"

"Yeah, yeah I'll be fine." She continued to smile at his back as headed towards the kitchen. "And thank you, Dave."

"Don't mention it." His chuckle carried through into the kitchen as he started to clatter around with plates and cutlery. The distinct sounds all started to merge into one big noise as she stood up slowly, her focus was darting about all over the place forcing her to steady herself on the arm of the chair. Mentally noting it as a bad migraine and having had too much sleep she started climbing up the stairs slowly, her muscles felt weak and the struggle was obvious the farther she got up the stairs. Then, without any other warning, her ears where met with silence as her vision faded to black.


*I know, it's kinda short. Actually a lot short but oh well. I forgot my blogger password and all this other drama happened. Also, please let me know if this is boring you all? I need to know so I can try and fix it. I hit walls w/all my fics and getting back into them was super difficult. :/ But anywho thanku to those who commented last chapter & I hope this was okay for whoever still reads! OH and thanku to those who commented on my other new fic Perfect Feud, I really appreciate it!*

Sunday, 14 July 2013

6. Abandoned?

*Okay I hate this post but I had originally planned to update Set Me Free and Sweet Dreams next because that's what most of you asked for but I have literally hit brick walls with both of them. So instead I'm posting this completed post first and then I'll go back to SMF and SD :) I hope this is okay! It's more like a little filler than an actual chapter.....Kind of lol But it's just to hold you over until I post on the other fics :)*

"Have you read this, Dave?"

"Read what?" He didn't look up from his own book as she scrolled down the page on her laptop. She looked engrossed to say the least. They were sat comfortably in bed, having heard the shower go on and off they figured Nicki and Drake had turned in for the night too.

"All this stuff about Vampires?"

"I can't say I have, no." He smirked at her newfound interest in these creatures when once upon a time to even mention the "V" word in her presence was forbidden.

"It says on this website that they mate for life."

"Unlucky bastards." He chuckled and shook his head, only ceasing movement when he felt her eyes burrowing into him. "I mean, that's great. It's loyal. We should all be like that."

"Whatever, I think it's sweet."

"It's kinda naive too. I always thought Vampires were overly sexual."

"In movies they are." She faced him again. "Nicki said most of the stuff we believe about them is just pure fiction."

"Sounds about right." He removed his glasses and closed his book. 

"And they go away to give birth." She carried on scrolling and reading, completely fascinated by these facts.

"Go away? Go away to where?"

"I don't know, it doesn't say." She frowned. "It just says that they leave to birth their young and then return home."

"That mean they gonna leave here? 'Cause technically this ain't their home so they're already away."

"I have no idea." She shook her head in bewilderment.

"What it say 'bout drinkin' blood?" He spoke like an excited child as he lay down on his side.

"Dave, I'm not readin' anythin' that's gonna freak me out."

"Go on, they ain't done anythin' scary to us yet. Just have a quick look." Their eyes remained connected as she thought. He was right, they'd shown no signs of threatening behaviour so far.

"Just one fact and then you can sleep whilst I finish up what eye was reading." She huffed and scrolled keeping her eyes peeled for the word blood.

"Read it out to me." He noticed her stop as she began reading.

"Well, some of the movie stuff is on point."

"Whattya mean?"

"A lot of it is connected to their eye colour." She folded her lips. "The darker the iris, the safer we are I guess."

"Nicki's eyes are ice blue."

She pulled a face. "Y'know what colour underwear she's wearin' too?"

"Oh, c'mon Kristin, anyone can see how blue they are." He dismissed her accusation. "I know you're not tellin' me you ain't noticed his eyes. I seen the way you were eyein' him up the other day."

"I was doin' no such thing. I'm a happily married woman." She smiled and continued to read.

"And I'm a happily married man, now tell me what else it says on there?"

"Their lip colour is an indicator of hunger too." She bit the corner of her own lip. "Again, the darker the shade the safer we'll be."

"How often do they have to drink it? I ain't seen them touch a drop since they been here."

"Well, they have the vaccinations remember?"

"Yeah but how behind are they on them? They haven't been out in public for God knows how many months." His face was more worried now as she began to think too.

"Oh my God, you're right. Maybe I could swipe some from work tomorrow and administer them here?"

"I'm not objectin' to that. I'd like to keep all my blood, thank you."

"I'll sort it out tomorrow." Taking a mental note she kept on sifting through the facts. There was one in particular that stopped her. 

"What is it?" Picking up on her worried expression he waited patiently for her to start speaking.

"I don't know if it's anythin' to worry about but it says here that they're more dangerous when carrying."

"Just the females you mean?"

"No." She looked down at him. "Partners too. They're very protective."

"But Nicki can't even walk up the stairs without help, how is she gon' attack us or whatever?"

"If she wasn't so weak I think it'd be different." She sighed and looked at him once again. His face looked remorseful. 

"She's not doin' good is she?"

"No." She sighed heavily "And it's the worst possible time for her to be carrying too. Her last few weeks of the pregnancy are in the height of winter and she'll be deliverin' in the peak too."

"Whattya think's gon' happen then?"

"Honestly? I don't know, but all we can do is continue to aid them as best we can."

"But they mate for life. If he loses her-"

"Please, don't." She shook her head miserably. "I don't wanna think about-"


"Excuse m-"

"Shhh!" He held his hand up. "Did you hear that?" His face was dead serious as she realised why he was shushing her.

"What was it?" Inching closer to him she kept her eyes fixed on the bedroom door. The noise no longer audible to her ears.

"Sounded like the front door."

"You locked it, didn't you?"

"No, we told them to lock up remember?" He glanced at her worriedly. "You stay here, I'mma go take a look."

"Check on Jackson whilst you're out there." Her whisper only just reached him as he pulled their door open and cautiously made his way down the stairs. There was nothing to be seen once he got to the bottom. Everything was still in place and the door was shut. It wasn't locked though. Angrily huffing to himself he locked it and turned to head back up the stairs after double checking the other doors. The basement door was open a tad and he was half tempted to check they were both there but he changed his mind last minute and moved back up to Jackson's room. He was still sound asleep.

"Was there anythin' down there?" She voiced her concern as he returned to their room.

"Nothin'. Door wasn't locked though."

"Well at least it is now."

"Yeah." He sighed deeply and settled back under the covers. He just hoped all was well downstairs.


The sunlight hitting her face was what woke her the next morning. Reaching her arm behind her she tried to grab at him but he was further away from her than she thought.

"Aubrey?" She smiled but her sweet expression soon faded when she turned to see the empty space behind her. He was gone again. "He's gotta stop disappearin' like that." She deepened her left dimple, sitting up slowly to rest against the headboard as she looked down affectionately at her bump. It was so big now. Smoothing her hands over it, she stopped when they were resting just underneath. Cradling her rounded belly. There was a hint of nervousness about becoming a Mother but at the same time she was beyond excited. That happiness and excitement soon faded when she remembered their circumstances. She felt like a prisoner and if things didn't change she could end up exactly that.

Having sat and thought for a while as she spoke to her unborn baby she decided it was time to head upstairs. She felt like she was getting stronger but she didn't know if it was just in her mind or not. One thing was for certain, she could climb the few basement stairs alone and that in itself was an achievement. Smiling to herself she swept her blonde locks to one side and entered the hallway. Everyone was sat in the lounge-room. Everyone except who she was looking for.

"Oh, you're awake early today." Kristin smiled. "Did you want some breakfast?"

"Yeah. I am." She laughed lightly. "I'm good thanks. Y'know where Drake is?" Her curious face soon drooped when she saw the married couple look to one another with confusion.

"We haven't seen him all mornin'. We just assumed he was downstairs with you."

"You mean he's not up here either?"

"No." She paused momentarily. "Unless we've missed him and he's in the bathroom?" Kristin shrugged.

"I'll go have a look."

"No, I'll go."Harlan stood up and set the paper down. "Those stairs are a piece of work." He rubbed her arm softly as she sat down, the panic already starting to consume her.

"I'm sure he's around, Nicki." The reassuring words didn't ease her mind and the fear only became stronger when Harlan returned with a wrinkled face.

"He ain't up there." He looked at Kristin. "But I gotta head off now, call me when you find him." He kissed Kristin and scruffled up Jackson's hair before giving Nicki a comforting wink. He was a charmer, she had to admit, but her mind was still racing with horrible thoughts.

"He didn't tell you he was going out or anythin'?" Kris questioned, making Nicki look up.

"No, I just woke up and he wasn't there. I figured he'd be up here with you guys."

"What time did you nod off?"

"Maybe around 1am, why?" She sat back into the couch slowly. Her heart felt like it was beating hard and fast.

"Well, we heard a noise around about that time. It sounded like the front door." Her brows furrowed. "Did you lock up last night?"

"Yeah, just before we showered." She answered quietly whilst massaging her bump.

"Dave came down to check out the noise and he said the door wasn't locked."

"Why would he leave without saying anything?"

"Maybe he just had to go pick some things up?" She tried to lift her spirits but she still looked distressed.

"No. He would have told me." Exhaling loudly she ran her hand through her hair. "He wouldn't just leave without telling me. I know he wouldn't."

There was an uncomfortable silence as Kristin ran through a number of different things she could say to comfort her but she came up with nothing. That's when something caught her eye.

"What's that?" Standing up she moved over to the side table in the hallway. There was a note and it was indeed from Drake. Reading it slowly she headed back towards a fretting Nicki and handed to her.

She read it aloud in her mind. "I have some things to sort out, I'll explain when I get back. Wednesday at the latest." It was signed with a kiss and the letter "A".

"Do you have any idea where he might have gone?" Kristin sat back in her chair, intrigued about his disappearance.

"I don't even have a clue." She could feel the tears building up fast.

"Couldn't you have read his thoughts or something?"

"No." She shook her head. "He's good at hiding certain things from me."

Kristin was quiet for a minute before speaking again. "But you have faith in him though, don't you?"

"Of course I do." She sounded offended that anyone would ever question that.

"Well, if he says he'll be back by Wednesday, then he'll be back by Wednesday."

"You really think so?"

"If that's what he said." She half-smiled "Do you trust him?"

"I trust him with all my heart but anythin' could happen to him out there."

"Just think positive, I know it's easier said than done but it's all you can do for now." She smiled and stood up before heading back into the kitchen. She felt like she had to make a hasty exit before she got all emotional. Just seeing how worried and distraught Nicki looked was tearing her up inside. She couldn't even imagine what she was feeling or thinking right now. She and Drake had been together 24/7 for the last few months. Never leaving each other's side and now he'd disappeared without saying a word to anyone. Shaking the thoughts from her head she managed to halt the tears, she was going to try her absolute best to keep Nicki's mind distracted until Wednesday. Thankfully she was on a night shift and had the whole day to keep her occupied.

That idea was foiled when she received a bundle of emails with files attached that needed sorting, she was fairly agitated but it needed doing. Luckily Jackson was in the same room as Nicki, hopefully keeping her company. At first she was scared to leave him alone in the same room as them but he'd taken a strong an unfathomable liking to Nicki. It was borderline obsessive.

"Jackson?" She carried on typing before stopping altogether. She kept hearing noises on the stairs and was re-living memories of him kindly colouring their wallpaper with crayons on the stairway last Christmas. "Jackson, what are you doing?" 

Not receiving a response she walked through to the hallway and stopped dead in her tracks as she rested a hand on her hip. He looked guilty already.

"What are you doin' bringin' all this downstairs? It belongs in your room on your bed." She huffed and bent down to pick up his bed covers but stopped when he snatched it from her.

"No, Mommy."

"Excuse me?" Giving him a stern look she went to take the fabric again but he held it close to himself and took off into the lounge room. She was losing her patience quickly. With all the work she needed to be doing she had no time to be chasing around after her five year old like this. 

Pursuing him into the lounge room she was halted in her path once again, but this time for a different reason. Nicki was laying fast asleep on the couch, surrounded and cushioned by pillows and blankets all of which she assumed Jackson had put there. He was just adding the final touch. His Thomas the Tank Engine bed sheet.

"Jackson, baby, what are you doing? She lowered her voice so as not to wake Nicki. "I thought we told you not to bother her when she's sleeping? She's not well and she needs lots of rest."

"Mommy, she's too cold." He whispered as best he could and started tucking the sheets into the couch. He'd obviously paid close attention to how he was tucked in at night.

"Let me see." She frowned and looked down at her sleeping body. He was right. She was shivering and her lips were a slight tinge of blue. "Oh my God, Jackson why didn't you tell Mommy sooner?"

"'Cause it's my job to look after her." He pushed his Mother's hands away from Nicki and stood between them both.

"It's your job? Who said it was your job?"

"Drake." He said it as if it was completely obvious.

She tilted her head. "When did he tell you this?"

"Last night."

That would explain the noise they heard. But still, why would Drake have a five year old taking care of his sick partner. It didn't make sense to her.

"Okay, well, you can look after her but I need to check and see if there's anythin' else wrong. Can I do that?"

"No." He shook his head with defiance. "I'm not allowed."

"But you want Nicki to be okay, don't you?" He looked back at her sleeping figure and faced his Mother again as he nodded. "Okay, so let me check her over." She motioned to touch her again but his hand stopped her. "Jackson."

"He said I had to give her this if she got sick." Quickly grabbing one of his cushions he unzipped the case and reached his hand inside. What he pulled out wasn't at all what she was expecting.


It took a lot less longer to travel than he remembered. Although fairly close to civilisation, the atmosphere and environment were incredibly polar in every aspect. He never imagined he'd see this place again. He didn't want to see this place again, but he felt he had no choice. If his thoughts were correct and Nicki really was dying, he knew this would be the only place he'd find help.


*Hope this little filler was okay! I hate it but when don't I? Lol. I'll try and post tomorrow on SMF or SD :) THANKU for all the previous comments!*

Friday, 28 June 2013

5. Lean On Me

*Thanku for being patient lol I've finished one exam and I have another one in three days. Hope this is okay for you guys and thanku so much for all the comments on chapter 4!*

She woke up in such a state of shock that it took her a minute or so to remember where she even was. Her whole body was drenched with sweat once again as the nightmare slipped away with each waking minute. They'd been living with the Harlan family for almost three weeks now and she'd experienced the same horrific nightmare every time she slept. Breathing heavily she brought her hand up to her forehead and swept the blonde straggles of hair away from her glistening skin. Drake was nowhere to be seen. His side of the bed was crinkled but he was no longer laying there, which she found strange because he never left whilst she was sleeping. Not in recent times anyway. She glanced around the room slowly, the silence burrowing into her as she blinked. Her head was telling her not to be so needy and just go back to sleep but she desperately wanted him by her side. It comforted her more than anything else could at the moment. Huffing at herself and how silly she was being she threw the sheets back roughly and made her way up out of the basement.

It must have been growing close to midnight but the TV was still buzzing in the lounge room. It was the only source of light to guide her. Before she even reached the doorway she could hear Drake and Harlan talking. Her feet ceased movement for a second. They were in deep conversation and it'd be rude to interrupt. Wouldn't it? She was a grown woman, she didn't need someone to lay and hold her hand as she slept. Shaking her head dismissively she turned to walk away but his voice halted her.

"Nic?" Their conversation had paused momentarily and she didn't answer in hope that he hadn't heard her thoughts or movement. But he had and his next sentence confirmed that.

"Nicki, I know you're out there." It was something about the way he spoke when he was smiling. It was always obvious. "C'mere." He threw his hand out to the side and she could see it resting over the arm of the chair. That was the only invitation she needed. Holding her own hands shyly she crept into the room. Surprisingly Kristin was in there too, they were all up watching a movie by the looks of it.

"I didn't know where you were." She pushed her hair behind her ear and smiled shyly, displaying her dimples as he pulled her gently into his lap.

"Sorry." He kissed her temple. "You seemed okay when I left, I thought you'd be alright."

"I am and I was." She tried to convince him as she nodded. "I just woke up and you weren't there that's all."

"Is that why you feel all clammy?" His brow raised as he spoke.

He knew she'd had another nightmare. Not because he'd heard her thoughts but by the way she carried herself. Almost like a lost little girl. He hated that this was having such an impact on her.

"I was just hot and I wanna shower again before I go to sleep." She rubbed the stubble on his chin gently and moved to lay on him. Kristin and Harlan were oblivious to their whispered conversation as they spoke to one another on the opposite couch.

"Well, you're wearing like three layers of clothing. Maybe that's why?" He smiled and made her return the gesture weakly.

"Shut up. That bed is really lumpy, I need the extra cushioning."

"It's better than a floor though, right?"

"Hell yeah, you can say that again." She raised her brows thinking about all the long sleepless nights she spent trying to get comfortable on their hard floors. A lumpy bed beat that any day of the week.

"How's my little man doin'?" He placed his hand over the endless amount of layers covering her bump.

"He's fine." Looking up at him sweetly she smiled before placing her hand over his. "He was keeping me awake earlier."

"Oh? So you're keeping Mommy up now, is that what it is?"

She laughed quietly and yawned before talking. "Yeah, he was moving around like crazy."

"Really? That can happen this early?" His face showed the visible intrigue.

"Well I'm over halfway through the pregnancy, Aubrey." She folded her lips gently. "And Kristin said because of my size I'd be able to feel the movement more."

He nodded in understanding. "It doesn't bother you though, does it?"

"No, I like it." She blinked slowly, feeling the fatigue creeping up on her tired body. "It's kinda reassuring. It let's me know he's okay." His face saddened a little before he fixed it without her noticing.

"Wow. Three more months and he'll be here with us, can you believe that?"

"I know." She went silent as she thought about it. "And we might find out he's actually a girl."

"Never. I know he's a boy." He kissed the top of her head again.

"Aubrey, you're not gonna be disappointed if she's a girl are you?" Her little face looked so worried as she turned her head to peer up at him.

"If we're blessed with a boy or a girl, either way I'mma love him or her more than anything. Stop worrying so much."

"I was just making sure. I'ont want you to have your heart set on a boy and have him turn out to be a girl."

"I could never be disappointed." Squeezing her body to him gently he felt her relax against him even more.

Soon enough the room fell back into a comfortable silence as the television continued to flicker and light up the room. Nicki was beginning to feel more and more comfortable in the house, at first she felt like a burden but she'd been trying her best to help Kristin out as much as possible considering her weak state. Drake had been giving Harlan a hand now again too. It was their way of trying to repay them.

"We're gonna head up to bed now, could you just make sure everythin's locked up before you go back downstairs?"

"Yeah, sure." He smiled and nodded. "See you in the morning."

The couple stood up and left the room after everyone said goodnight, giving Nicki and Drake more freedom to speak about other things. Rotating her head slightly she looked up and studied he side of his face. There was something bothering him, she could tell. He'd been acting strange for the last couple of weeks now but she'd paid it no mind and decided to keep it to herself. She was fearful of crossing a boundary with him.

In his position, he could feel her staring up at him as she lay still. The light from the TV being reflected in her ice blue eyes. There was not even a slight indication as to what she was thinking. He had no idea. Over the past few weeks her mind had been completely unreadable and her thoughts inaudible to him. Almost as if there was a hazy cloud blocking him from her inner most private notions. It was starting to worry him.


He glanced down at the sound of his name. "What's up?"

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." He smiled as convincingly as he could. "C'mon, we should go shower now before everyone's asleep." Nudging her gently he helped her to stand before aiding her up the stairs. She still hadn't gained an adequate amount of weight in Kristin's eyes but she was a less lethargic than she had been and that was progress in Drake's opinion.

"You washing your hair?" He asked as he pulled some towels off of the rack.

"No." Shaking her head she began undressing slowly and took a seat on the lid of the toilet before Drake moved over to assist her. It was times like these when she felt like a complete invalid. A hinderance. He removed her clothes and helped her to stand again prior to starting the shower.

As soon as they were behind the glass doors of the shower, she let the warm water ease the muscles on her back and shoulders. This pregnancy was taxing on her body in more ways than one. Standing still under the beating water she shut her eyes and enjoyed the feeling. Drake grabbed the body wash from the hanging basket and put some in his hand before giving it to her over his shoulder. She did the same and started slowly massaging the suds into the skin on her bump. There was something about this shower time moment that was different though. He was stood with his back to her as she tried to figure out what was going on in his head. He was an expert at hiding what needed to be hidden.

His mind remained troubled whilst he lathered up arms and chest with the body wash. His head was completely out of the moment but he was soon brought back to reality when he felt her small hands on his back as she began rubbing the soapy substance over his skin. Soon following were her soft lips as she kissed him multiple times in various places. He wasn't quite sure where this was leading but before he could even come up with any scenarios she rested the side of her head on his back, wrapping her arms gently around his torso and inching closer to until her bump was pressed firmly against the base of his spine. She wished he'd open up to her sometimes. She hated having to search his mind for herself, it felt invasive and there was an extreme lack of trust whenever that happened. Although they were always an affectionate couple, he figured she was only initiating contact right now because she wanted to know what he was feeling. Physical contact strengthened the ability to access another's thoughts.


"Please, talk to me Aubrey."

"I already told you, babe. I'm fine." He turned around, still in her hold. "Let me wash your back so we can go to bed and you can get some more sleep."

She didn't protest in fear of making him bottle up even more. Instead she did as he asked and reluctantly turned her back to him. She hated for him to see the state she'd been permanently left in. It wasn't just a reminder for her but for him too. She managed to relax a little when he began washing her, letting his fingers trace over the marks of another Vampire. The anger he felt whenever he saw the scars was beyond any anger he'd ever felt before. How anyone could inflict so much pain on another person was a mystery to him. Especially someone who claimed to love the individual they'd harmed.

They stayed quiet, rinsing one another under the water before they headed back downstairs in their towels. Thankfully the house was heated almost twenty-four seven. Just how Nicki liked it, even more so since her body was unable to keep her naturally warm. Another Vampire trait emphasised in fiction. Not all of them were cold. Just some.

"Throw me that shirt would you?" She wrinkled her brow and watched him pick his t-shirt up before taking it over to her.

"This one?"

"Yeah, thanks." She dropped the towel, standing stark naked as she pulled his old shirt over her head. "And can you pass me-"

Before she could ask she felt a pair of panties being thrown at her as he grinned from the end of the bed.

"Thank you." Smirking sweetly she stepped into them and pulled them up before climbing into the bed. She was going to get to the bottom of his weird behaviour. It'd be her mission from this moment onward.

"You comfy?" Seeing her nod and pull the covers up around herself, he stood and knocked the lights off before climbing in with her. The instant he was secured under the sheets she shuffled close to him and moved up towards the headboard some more. They lay in silence for a while, her hands smoothing over the soft curls on his head whilst they listened to the sounds of traffic that could be heard clearly.

"Why won't you let me in?"

"What?" He stared up at her with a fake look of confusion. He knew exactly what she meant and she was going tease it out of him. She wanted to be there for him like he was there for her. Reversing the roles so that she was now the crutch and he was leaning on her.

"You're blocking me out. You don't want me to know something." She kept running her nails cautiously through the curls on his head, pulling him closer to her. "Tell me."

At that moment he was ready to let it spill, the security of her embrace as his head remained cushioned by her chest was a feeling he'd been longing for. "I'm just worried is all."

"About us? The baby?" She continued to trace her fingers of his scalp and the side of his face. "What, Aubrey?"

"Just all of this. How it's gonna pan out, y'know?" He covered his dishonesty well. Pushing the real issue to the back of his mind. "But that's nothin' you should be worryin' about, okay?" He wrapped his arm around her and squeezed gently. "I'll figure somethin' out, I promise."

"You don't have to deal with this on your own, Aubrey."

"I'm not layin' anymore stress on you, Nic. You heard what Kristin said. We gotta focus on gettin' you back to full health, ready for when this little one gets here." He rubbed her stomach soothingly. "You come first in all of this." He kissed the skin between her breasts, it was only accessible because of how large his shirt was on her diminishing frame.

"I don't know what I did to deserve you." Moving her face down a little, she kissed his head affectionately. The curls tickling her chin as she pulled away. "I love you." He uttered the words back immediately, they were muffled by the skin of her chest but she heard them loud and clear.

They remained in the same position for a while until the chilly air began to bite at the skin on her arms whilst she slept. Unconsciously seeking the warmth of his body and the bed sheets she moved away and settled her back to his torso and pulled the covers up around herself. His arm automatically took its place over her side. Finally he could think properly without having to shield his worries from her. He wasn't even completely sure if it was something that he even needed to worry about but the things he'd heard about this particular worry of his were making him uneasy.  The endless thoughts circulating his head led back to one guilty feeling. He'd let her down. He was supposed to be taking care of her and protecting her but so far he'd managed to do neither. He'd failed her and their unborn child.

"You have never let me down." Her dry voice startled him as she moved her hand up to hold his. "You have to stop thinking like that, 'Brey." She turned to face him once again. The exhaustion present in her face. "None of this is your fault, nobody could have predicted this was gonna happen. Stop blaming yourself."

At the sight of her filling up he dismissed his own troubles and pulled her to him. "It's fucked up." After pressing his lips to her head he sighed loudly. "Go to sleep, we'll talk in the morning."

He didn't have to tell her twice. She was still physically, mentally and emotionally worn out. Thus she was asleep again within minutes. Her state of health, combined with this newfound inability for her thoughts to be heard, only pointed to one possible answer for him. The clouded mind was something he knew to occur only in those who were fading away.

Those who were dying.


*Oh my God. Guys. I'm sorry, I don't even know what's wrong with me right now lol I struggled so much again with this chapter and it seems reeeeaaaally boring :( I apologise. BUT my next post should be an improvement because uni will be finished and I won't have any upcoming exams :D Anywho, I hope this was at least bearable!! And once again, if there are any like, diehard Vampire fans reading this I am the writer so I get to make all this stuff up :3 Lol so sorry if their traits don't depict what you imagine to be a true vampire*

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

4. Building Bridges

The silence partnered with his shocked gaze was beginning to make her feel uneasy.

"Aubrey, stop it." Avoiding eye contact she shyly pulled her towel back around herself and looked down at her feet. His mind was unreadable to her at that point which made her feel even more self-conscious. She had no idea what he was thinking.

"Nicki, why didn't you tell me?" He edged closer to her and pulled the towel away gently. Needless to say she covered herself with her hands the moment she became visible to him again.

"And say what?" Her voice quivered as she spoke.

"That you were hurtin'. You were hungry."

"You already had too much on your mind, I didn't wanna lay another problem on you."

"I would have dropped everythin' to help you, Nic." He removed her hands from shielding her body and studied her frail figure. This definitely wasn't the body of a healthy pregnant female and they both knew it. "Next time somethin' like this is goin' on I want you to promise me that you'll tell me straight away, okay?"

She nodded tearfully. "I promise." She felt him embrace her securely, the first time in months that their bodies had been in contact. His skin against hers. As soon as he felt her exhale against his chest her kissed her head and pulled away to do the same to her lips.

"I'll help you into the tub and then I'mma go see if they have anythin' to put on these." He gently grazed his fingers over the sores on her hips and elbows. "They're not even healin', how long've they been there?"

She shrugged. "Since we been sleepin' on the floor, I guess."

The guilt he felt was immense as he looked over her dishevelled body. Ever since he found out she was pregnant he was too afraid to leave her home alone with all the raids going on. Eventually he quit his job and selling their belongings was how they managed to keep money in order to pay rent. The last piece of furniture they had was the bed and after selling that they had no choice but to sleep on a blanket. It felt uncomfortable even for him to lay on, so he could only imagine how much it hurt for her. In the end he refused to lay on it and folded it over to double the cushioning for her. She protested greatly but he wouldn't take no for an answer. Strictly speaking, he didn't even need to lay on it. He didn't sleep.

He kept to his word and aided her into the tub before heading downstairs once he was re-clothed. The moment his feet hit the steps he could hear another voice in the kitchen. Two others in fact.

"Oh, there you are." He smiled and set the young boy in his arms down. "I was just coming down to ask y'all what you wanted for dinner tonight, it'd be nice if you joined us. Kristin came home early, picked Jackson up on the way."

"Oh, thank you." He inched into the kitchen some more. "Whatever's on the menu for you guys will suit us just fine."

"Great, then I can make a start." He rubbed his hands together eagerly before looking down at the boy. "Ain't you gonna say hello?" They all guessed the answer to that when he shyly hid behind his Father's legs after Drake smiled at him. "Now he's pretendin' to be all shy." He shook his head and laughed. "Anyhow, was there somethin' you needed?"

"Yeah, you got any anti-septic fluid or wipes or somethin'?" He wrinkled his face up hopefully and buried his hands in his pockets. At the mentioning of something medicine-related, Kristin brought her head up from sewing a pair of tiny pants.

"Anti-septic? What do yo need that for?"

"Just a few cuts, it's nothin' really." He tried to downplay the situation.

"Is it for you?" Kristin asked as she stood.

"Actually, no. It's for Nicki." 

Harlan switched his gaze between his wife and Drake before deciding to make a suggestion. "Is it serious? You know, Kristin's a nurse. If you want her to take a look I'm sure she won't mind."

The moment those words left his lips she gave him the dirtiest look he'd ever seen, immediately making him feel like a hassle.

"No, really it's fine. I'ont think Nic would wanna cause a fuss anyway."

Kristin huffed angrily at her husband before opening the kitchen cabinet filled with medicine and a first aid kit. "No, I'll do it."

"Well, I don't wanna impose and obviously it's gon' be a huge issue for you so the anti-septic will be fine. Thank you." His cold words washed over her, making her feel small.

"I'm sorry." She shook her head. "I honestly don't mind, it's just been a long day is all." Her sincere words didn't go unnoticed as he just stared for a while before smiling back at her gratefully.

She followed him up the stairs and to the bathroom before he stopped her at the door.

"I'll just make sure she's okay with this first."

"And what if she's not?"

"I'll make sure she is."

He disappeared into the bathroom and was met with her attempting to climb of the tub before he rushed over to help her.

"Whattya doin'? I said wait 'til I get back."

"I know but sittin' like that was hurtin' my back." She secured the towel around her dripping body. "Did you get the anti-septic stuff?"

"Yeah, but Kristin's a nurse and she said she'd take a look at you. Check you over and stuff."

"No, I'ont wanna be any trouble."

"Nicki. Think about our baby." He placed his hand on her bump. "You don't wanna make sure he's okay?"

"He's fine."

"Just 'cause you can hear his heartbeat don't mean he's okay, Nic."

There was silence as she stared up at him before moving her gaze down to her bump. She knew he was right. "Okay, but help me put my underwear on first."

He complied with her wishes and let her sit on the lid of the toilet before letting Kristin in. She wasn't fully prepared for what her eyes with greeted with. She felt her mouth instantly gape as she clutched at the first aid kit.

"I'ont really know for sure but I think they're from layin' on the hard floor." He moved over to stand by Nicki's side as Kristin crouched down, still looking over the painful looking wounds.

"I'd say that's what they'd be from." Moving her focus from Drake to Nicki she tried to make eye contact but Nicki held her gaze anywhere away from Kristin's view. She looked scared and ashamed.

"Usually they'd heal pretty fast but they're not shiftin'." 

"Yeah, they don't look too great do they?" She cooed sympathetically before setting the kit down and opening it. "Do you mind?"

Nicki simply shook her head no and looked up at Drake nervously. He'd completely forgotten that she could read Kristin's thoughts.

"Aubrey, she thinks something's wrong."



Completely unaware of their undetectable conversation, Kristin proceeded to dab at the weeping wounds as gently as she could. Nicki still kept flinching away every few seconds, indicating just how painful they really were. Her whole opinion of these two strangers was changing at a rapid pace.

"So aside from the obvious, is everythin' okay with her?"

"Yeah, she's goin' to be alright. For a start, having a nice bed to sleep in will do her the world of good."

"She's lying."

He shook his head at her fretful mind, catching Kristin's attention. "I'm sorry, did you say somethin'?"

"No, but I do know that there's somethin' wrong and you ain't tellin' us."

She didn't speak and only carried on wiping at the tender skin on Nicki's hip bone before moving to her elbows. "Look, I might be speakin' out of turn here, but Nicki's very underweight for a pregnant woman. I mean, it's not very healthy for the mother or baby, especially the further along you get." She finished up cleaning the wounds and stood. "How far along are you?" She was looking at Nicki but Drake's voice answered her question.

"We don't really know, we think maybe around five months." He shrugged and handed Nicki a towel before watching her quickly bury herself in it. 

"See, I don't know nearly enough about Vampires or Vampire anatomy but I do know that she needs to get stronger before her due date arrives. She'll need all the strength she can get." Folding her lips she stepped back and crossed her arms. "Was that all you wanted me to look at?" Once again Nicki remained silent as Drake jumped in to answer the question.

"Yeah, I think that's it." He looked back at Nicki. "You got any on your back or anywhere else?"

She nodded her head yes and tightened the towel around herself. "But I'ont want her to do it though."

Acknowledging her mental request he looked back at Kristin's intrugued face. She'd been watching them the whole time. There's was something strangely fascinating about the way they interacted.

"I can handle the rest, we'll let'chu get back to what you were doin'." He smiled and rubbed Nicki's back. "Thanks for checking her over."

"It's no problem, I'll leave you both to it." She spoke suspiciously before setting the kit down and heading out of the bathroom. She wanted to be safe and check her elsewhere but didn't want to overstep the mark and seem pushy. Surely if they wanted help they'd ask for it. Feeling confident in her thoughts she made her way back downstairs to help Harlan with dinner.

The day had gone by quick and after showering and bathing, Nicki and Drake were back in the basement. He knew there was something on her mind, but it was clouded. He couldn't tell what she was thinking.

"Y'know, Harlan asked us to go eat upstairs with them tonight? You feelin' up to it?"

"I guess. As long as they don't mind."

"Good. And I'm sure they won't." He kissed the back of her head. She was sat in between his legs on the bed, still wrapped in only her towel. "You want me to put this cream on now?"

"Yeah, I wanna get dressed." She answered him whilst shrugging out of the towel. He knew why she didn't want Kristin touching her back but he always tried his best not to draw attention to it. The silvery lines still marked her skin. Etched in permanently as horrific reminders. The only thing he was glad of was the fact that they were on her back, the part of her body she had difficulty viewing. Otherwise he feared she'd always be reminded of those memories.

"Are they really sore?"

"Well, my back ain't too bad 'cause I don't lay on it much but it still hurts."

He frowned sympathetically as he rubbed the cream into her skin cautiously, making sure it covered every wound. "They'll be gone in no time." Screwing the lid back on he tossed the tube to the side and wrapped his arms around her, resting his hands gently on her bump. "We're gon' be okay, Nic."

"I hope you're right." Laying her head back she lay her hands over his, encouraging them to continue massaging her abdomen the way he was. It was strangely comforting to her.


"I'm just sayin' they're a little odd is all." Kristin spoke in a hushed whisper as she chopped the carrots. She'd just been explaining to her husband the weird behaviour she witnessed in the bathroom.

"Well, they prolly think we're pretty strange too. They might know as much about humans as we do about Vampires." He laughed as he sat Jackson at the table.

"Yeah, but she hardly even spoke." Pausing momentarily she frowned harshly. "Actually, she didn't even speak at all. Not one word."

"So she's a lil' shy. Do you blame her?"

"Do you think she's a mute?" Her question was serious but it still managed to make her husband laugh. "I don't find anythin' funny, Dave."

"I heard her talk last night. She's definitely not a mute." He made his way over to where she was preparing food and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind. "Stop worryin' about it. They'll settle in soon."

"You didn't see how bad it was though." She sighed. "I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if the foetus was still."

He pulled away from her slowly. "Wow, it was really that bad?"

"Well, she's definitely not in the best condition but I don't know, it could be different for them."

"How'd they take it when you told'm that?" He took a seat next to his son, once again managing to escape the responsibility of making dinner without her noticing.

"Oh God, are you insane? I didn't tell them about the baby." She shook her head. "I explained about her health though. If she doesn't improve before her due date I honestly don't think she stands a chance survivin' labor."

"You can help her though, right?"

"I can try but I just get this weird vibe from her, y'know? I don't think she likes me too much."

"And you wonder why?" He raised his brow as he stared at her back. "You were pretty stand-offish last night."

"I know." She exhaled miserably. "I didn't mean to seem so horrible, it's just the fact that you know how I feel about Vampires yet you still brought them back here."

"I'm sorry. I owed him big time and I wasn't about to turn them away, they had nowhere else to go."

"Yeah I figured. He said they'd been sleepin' on the floor." She moved the chopping board aside and began washing her hands. "That's what all her sores are from. They look like pressure wounds." Not hearing a reply from him she turned to face him only to be met with his smug smirk. "What?"

"You're startin' to like them aren't you?"

"No, Dave. My feelin's towards them are exactly the same as before. They're cold, merciless killers."

"So why'd you go outta your way to find that book for Nicki last night?" She didn't answer. "And just now, you've spent all this time talkin' about them and you was upstairs helpin' them."

"Alright." She silenced him. "Alright, so maybe I'm warmin' to them, it doesn't mean I'm a lover of Vampires now. I just...I feel bad for them, okay?"

"So now you know how I felt."

She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yes, now I know how you felt." Turning around to face him she smiled little. "I'm sorry I was actin' so harshly towards you. Do you forgive me?"

"Oh, I don't know. I'll have to think about it." He tried to remain serious but the moment she threw a carrot at him he started laughing. "Yes, yes I forgive you! Stop wastin' my food dammit."

"I hope we're not interruptin' anythin'?" Drake smiled as the walked through the door frame. A little family banter was something they were both in desperate need of right now.

"No of course not, we're just preparin' dinner." He smiled and stood up.

"Oh, word? We're just preparin' dinner? I'ont see you doin' anythin'." She shook her head and smiled at Nicki, only receiving a small shy one in return but it was a start. She knew she had to build bridges with her, especially if they were staying for a while.

"Sorry, Kristin's preparin' dinner." He corrected himself and suddenly remembered. "Oh, before I forget, I found that old map you was askin' about a while ago. It's out in the garage, you wanna come take a look?"

"Sure, that'd be great." He let go of Nicki's hand and looked at her warmly. "You'll be okay, I'll be two minutes. Go talk to Kristin, you guys might even get along. You never know." 

She didn't even get chance to sy anything back before he left the room after Harlan. The kitchen was thrown into an uncomfortable silence. Only the bubbling pans were disturbing the quietness.

"Oh, I should probably introduce you." She set the tea towel down and moved over to the table. "Nicki, this is our son, Jackson. You gon' say hello?" Looking down at him she laughed when he just smiled. "He's not normally this shy, you'll soon find that out for yourself though."

Once again the silence consumed the room. Obviously not for Nicki though. She could hear every thought running through Kristin's mind. It made her feel bad in the end. She was trying so hard to think of something to say so Nicki made it a little easier for her.

"This is a really nice place you have."

"Oh." She blinked, half shocked she'd even spoken to her. "Thank you, we've had it for a while now. Only place Jackson has ever called home actually." Suddenly noticing she was still standing she pulled a chair out. "Please, sit down. I'm about to serve dinner."

"Thank you." Taking a seat next to Jackson, she couldn't help but smile at his cheeky face. He was really cute.

"I hope y'all like steak. It's Dave's favorite so you're bound to be eatin' it an awful lot whilst you're stayin' with us." Like before, there was only silence. "Look, before we go any further I just wanna say sorry for the way I behaved yesterday. I never meant to make you feel this uncomfortable and had I known how rough things have been for you both I would taken that into consideration."

"It's okay, I understand." She smiled up at her.

"Oh my God. She hates me." She let her mind fill up with uncertain negative thoughts as Nicki responded without thinking.

"I don't hate you."

"Excuse me?" She turned around quickly. "Did you just..." There was a long pause. "Can you hear what I'm thinking?" Her face was written with pure amazement.

"I'm sorry." She shifted nervously. "I can't help it or ignore it and I honestly don't mean to. I hope you don't think I'm invading your privacy or anything?"

"No...I'm just..." She stopped again and moved to sit down quickly. "I'm just fascinated. So, you can really tell what I'm thinking right now?"

"Every thought."

"Tell me." She smiled after seeing Nicki smile for the first time. Her dimples were adorable.

"You want Harlan to bring up a spare chair from the garage."

"Oh my God. You're good." Her eyes widened dramatically. "See, I never knew that about you guys." She stalled momentarily. "In fact, I know next to nothing about Vampires. My opinion is based on memories and experiences."

"Maybe we were brought here for a reason?" She shrugged sweetly. "But technically speaking, not all of us can do that."

"So, Drake? He can't read minds?"

"No he can. Just other Vampires."

"Does he have some special gift too?" Her innocently naive question made Nicki smile.

"I guess he has pretty good hearing, but then again, anyone with ears that size would."

"You better not be talkin' 'bout my ears." He laughed as he re-entered the room. Seeing her smile was easing his troubled mind beyond words could even describe. Sitting down next to her, he grabbed her hand under the table and squeezed it gently.

"Of course not. We have better things to be discussing than the size of your anatomical parts."


"Oh my God. Aubrey please, shut up." She shook her head discreetly whilst trying not to laugh. Things were finally starting to look up.

Or so she thought.


* Hope this was alright, I think it might be like Tinker Life and only be a short fic. Maybe two or three more chapters but I hope it was okay for whoever reads this :) Like I said before, I've never really written something as fictional as this :/ but I was just trying something new. ALSO there is more drama coming as the cliffhanger ending to this would indicate lol but there will be a flashback explaining the scars on her back too.*

Monday, 3 June 2013

3. Safe

*Thanks for the comments, I hope this is okay :) It drags on a bit, so I'll apologise now lol*

Nicki and Drake were still for a moment, Kristin's words only just registering with their ears.


"No, Dave!" She cut her husband off immediately and got to her feet. "There is no way in Hell they're stayin' here. I hope you didn't unpack. Excuse me." She pushed between them all and marched through the hallway and up the stairs, slamming her door behind her. The silence rang out in their ears.

"Drake, I'm so-"

"It's fine, Harlan. It's nothin' you coulda helped." He nodded with his lips folded as Nicki grasped at his hand reassuringly. She looked so scared and it was stabbing at his heart with such a force, he had no idea what to do.

"Aubrey, what are we gonna do now?" Her soft voice entered his mind as she initiated a private conversation.

"We'll think of somethin', don't worry." He squeezed her hand and decided to open his mouth and remove the awkward silence that Harlan had been suspended in. "I guess, we'll go pack our things up and get outta your hair." He forced a disappointed smile and led Nicki out of the room behind him. But Harlan wasn't about to let Kristin rule the roost like this. Last time he checked, he had a say in what happened in this household too.

"Don't unpack anythin' yet. I'mma go talk to her but I can't make no promises, you understand?"

"It's okay. She obviously doesn't want us here, we understand that." Harlan was shocked that Nicki had opened her mouth to answer him, he hadn't heard her talk properly until now. He would have guessed she was a mute or something.

"It's our house. I have a say in what goes too lil' lady." He smiled and watched them share a look before heading back downstairs as he prepared to face his angry wife.

Reaching the end of the stairs, Drake turned to see Nicki sat in tears on the edge of the bed.

"Please don't cry, Nic." He sighed and crouched before her. "I hate seein' you like this."

"I'm so scared, Aubrey. Where are we supposed to go?" She wiped her eyes with one hand as he held her other.

"I'm not gon' let anythin' happen to you, either of you. Okay?"

"You can't keep that promise though."

"Not if you don't trust me." He paused, studying her distraught and teary face. "You trust me, don't you?"

She nodded. "Yeah."

"Good, then we'll be fine." He stood and kissed her head on the way up. "I'ont want you to worry 'bout anythin'. It's not good for you, or the baby."

"I know." She let her hands glide over her bump and rest gently on it. "I just wish things were different."

"Yeah, me too." He looked down, feeling bad. "I'mma start gettin' our stuff together, you wanna get some more sleep?"

"I think I might have to." She edged back and settled in the centre of the bed before laying down. He knew within seconds she'd be sleeping and he was right. The next time he turned around she was out like a spark. He smiled down at her before covering her up and continuing to collect all their stuff that he'd stupidly unpacked.

Upstairs the tension was rising and Harlan had just about had enough.

"Did you see her face, Kristin? She's pregnant for God's sakes and you're really about to have them thrown out on the street?"

"I am not havin' a pair of Vampires under my roof, Dave." She breathed out slowly and let her eyes connect with his. "They had better be gone by the time I get downstairs."

Thinking quickly he decided to take a different approach to this situation. He shrugged nonchalantly and shoved his hands into his pockets. "I said they can stay."

"And I'm tellin' you they are not staying here." Her nostrils flared as she spoke authoritatively.

"Well, you better go and tell them then." Not looking at her expression he started removing his watch and shoes, preparing for bed as she sat in shock.

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me, Kris. You want them gone, then you go tell them to leave." He disappeared back into the ensuite bathroom and heard her huffing before stomping her way out of the bedroom and down the stairs. He just hoped this idea would work.

As he gathered up their toiletries in the small bathroom they had, he could hear her whimpering in her sleep. He'd grown kind of accustomed to it now, having lay by her side all night and every night as she slept. But seeing her having to experience it every time she snoozed was beginning to take its toll on him. God only knows what it was doing to her. Quickly dropping the bag by the door frame he moved over to where she lay and tried to wake her up without shocking her. Every inch of her body was was dripping with sweat, her forehead decorated by her blond locks as they stuck to her clammy skin.

"Nic? Baby, wake up." He shook her gently. "Nicki." Sweeping the hair from her face he continued to say her name, hoping to bring her out of the nightmare. "Onika." He jumped slightly when she finally awoke with a gasp, her heart was beating fast as she tried to recover. "You're okay, c'mere." Her small body shook against him as he embraced her. "You were just dreamin'."

"But it feels so real every time." She cried into his chest.

"It was the same one again?" He heard her shudder before answering.

"It's always the same one."

His heart dropped, the same dream still haunting her. "It's just a dream, Nic. I promise you that ain't gon' happen."

"But I can't lose you, Aubrey. I don't know what I'd do if that happened. If I lose you, I lose everything." She sniffled, finally calming a little in his arms.

"I'm not goin' anywhere." He held her more firmly in attempt to re-ensure some sort of security. It worked. As soon as he tightened his hold on her he felt her breathing slow down gradually as her eyes grew heavier.

Stood in the stair doorway, Kristin had witnessed everything. She knew deep down that these people didn't have a bad bone in their bodies but her memories of Vampires were too painful to cover up. Having an internal fight with her heart and mind, she rolled her eyes angrily at herself and knocked lightly on the half open door.

"Can I come in?"

"Sure." He shifted slightly, Nicki still sleeping in his embrace. "I'm still tryna pack everythin' up, I just have-"

"It's fine." She cut him off, this time more sincerely.

"I'll get on with it as soon as she's calmed down. Then we'll be gone."

"No, I mean it's fine." She crossed her arms and sighed. "You can stay."

His face showed the evident confusion as he gently let Nicki out of his grasp, making his way over to where she stood. "You really mean that?"

"Yeah. But just until you've figured out what you're gonna do and where you're gonna go." She made sure to let him know she was still maintaining her feelings about this situation. "Stay as long as you need though."

He clasped his hands togther gratefully. "Thank you so much." The largest weight was lifted from his shoulders as she nodded in acknowledgement. She quickly changed the subject after seeing Nicki jolt a little in her sleep.

"Does that happen often?" She tilted her head in the direction of the bed, causing Drake to turn and look too. "The nightmares, I mean?"

"Every time she sleeps." He rubbed his head feeling helpless. "I don't know what else to do for her."

The worry and sadness in his voice pulled at yet another one of her heart strings. She could tell how much they loved one another. It was a kind of love she'd never seen before and that was the only thing  working in their favour. Had she not witnessed that scene moments ago she wouldn't have thought twice about barging straight in here and telling them to leave. But her heart was too kind.

"I'm sorry about how icy I came off earlier. It's just somethin' I feel extremely strongly about." She made eye contact, his eyes were enticing. "But I have my reasons though."

"Can I ask what those reasons are?"

She was still for a second. Her mind flashing through the terrible images stored in her memory, never to be forgotten.

"I lost my sister a couple years ago." She paused. "She was on her way over here when she was attacked and killed-"

"By a Vampire." He knowingly finished her sentence off, his voice sounded grim. "I'm so sorry to hear that." Noticing the grief was still very much present he touched her arm gently. She was nodding profusely, trying to prevent the tears from falling.

"Ever since then, I've had no tolerence for your kind."

"I understand that, but what made you change your mind about us?"

"I haven't changed my mind." She affirmed. "But I can see how kind you are. That, and you saved my son's life. I'm forever indebted to you for that. Thank you."

"Anyone in my position woulda done the same." He tried to shyly brush off his bravery. But she wasn't going to let him have the last word. Something he'd already learned about her strong personality.

"No, they wouldn't. If it wasn't for you, my son would be dead. I can only return the favour." She smiled weakly and took a step back. "Anyway, it's late so I'm gonna letchu get settled."

"Thanks, we'll see you in the mornin'." He half smiled and watched her leave before sitting quickly on the side of the bed. The relief he was feeling was unmatched.

As soon as she made it back to her room she opened the door to find Harlan sat upright, readin. He'd obviously been waiting.

"I hate you."

"What I do now?" He smirked when her back was turned. He knew she wouldn't be able to carry through with it. She was a softy at heart.

"You set that up, you knew I wouldn't be able to do it."

"Well, you seemed pretty serious. For a minute there I didn't think you had a heart."

"I swear to you, Dave." Looking him in the eye as she climbed under the covers she pointed at him sternly. "If they put one toe outta line, they're gone. And if I think at any point my family is in danger, I will show no hesitation in calling the police."

"They're good people, Kristin."

"Well, let's just hope your judgement skills are on point." Trying to stay angry at him she snatched the quilt over herself and lay on her side, facing away from him. His little plan was a success. "And you can wipe that stupid grin off of your face right now, before I do it for you."

"Night, Kristin."


The next morning felt like a breath of fresh air for Drake. His mind finally felt more at ease knowing that they had somewhere safe to stay for as long as they needed. After dealing with his morning rituals he headed up the stairs, careful not to wake Nicki. Harlan was the only one home, sat at the table as he scoffed a cooked breakfast.

"Nobody's gon' steal it, Harlan." He laughed a little before sitting down.

"I'm starved, I ain't think Kris was gonna cook me anythin' after last night." Continuing to eat he looked up a Drake.

"I can't thank you enough for everythin' you've done for us."

"I thought we already talked 'bout this. I owed you, now we're even. Let's leave it at that." He finished up his breakfast and lay the cutlery on the plate. "Coffee?"

"Thanks." Remaining seated he waited patiently for Harlan to sit down again with two cups of coffee.

"I didn't know you guys could drink and stuff."

Drake couldn't help but laugh. "You watch too many movies. Of course we drink."


"Well, it's a main energy source. Yeah."

"Word? So y'all actually drink blood?" His face was a picture right now.

"Not human blood, don't worry."

"Good, you was beginnin' to scare me there." He chuckled nervously and sipped his drink. "Nicki's not comin' up?"

"Nah, she's sleepin'. I'ont wanna wake her, she's so exhausted."

"Maybe havin' somewhere solid to stay'll help her stop stressin'. Ease up the nightmares a bit." He nodded matter of factly as Drake's face frowned a little.

"Kristin told you 'bout her nightmares?"

"Yeah, she discreetly left this out this mornin'." Standing up he moved over to the counter and picked up a small book. "After Kris lost her sister, she had the worst time tryna sleep 'cause of the dreams she'd have. This helped the most outta anythin' we tried."

"Thanks." Drake took the book from his hands and studied the front intently as he read. Then something else entered his mind. "Wait, you said Kristin left this out?"

"Yeah." He smirked. "Not as mean as she makes out, huh? She must've searched high and low for that thing, last time I seen it was up in the loft a few months ago."

"Yeah, she told me what happened to her sister. I can't imagine how hard that musta been for her."

"It was tough on everyone but Kristin hit rock bottom. She was pregnant at the time, almost lost Jackson."

"But everythin's okay now, right?"

"Yeah, I mean we all miss her but we're okay. And Jackson's fine, he was just arrived a lil' early."

"Where is Jackson?" He suddenly realised he hadn't even seen the boy yet.

"I gotta go pick him up from my Mom's in about an hour, so prepare yourself to be bombarded with questions from a five year old." He laughed and finished the last of what was in his cup.

"We're cool with that, but thanks for the warnin'." Mimicking his laugh Drake stood up slowly. "I'mma go check on Nic. Is it alright if we use your bathroom later?"

"Make yourself at home, there's no lock on the door though. Jackson kept gettin' locked in."

"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."

After clearing both of their cups away he made his way back downstairs to see Nicki. This time she was awake.

"Morning, sleepyhead." He climbed on to the bed next to her and kissed her head as she stretched and yawned. "You sleep okay?"

"I guess. Well, better than usual anyway." Quickly sitting up she squinted at the clock on her nightstand. "Shit, Drake. When are supposed to leave?"

"Whenever we want to."

"What?" She turned to face him slowly. Her eyes still looked tired as she tried to read his facial expression and tone of voice.

"Last night after you fell asleep Kristin came down to talk to us. She said we could stay."

"Please tell me you're not jokin' around?"

"All truth, babe."

"Oh my God." She sighed loudly with relief. "Why'd she change her mind?"

"I don't really know. But I'm not gonna question it. So, we'll be fine here 'til we decide what to do next." He kissed her head again and smiled when he felt her relax into his side. "You wanna go take a shower?"

"I've been desperate to shower for the longest time." She laughed lazily into his shirt. "Do they have a bath?"

"I'ont know, we have a toilet and sink in here but we have to use their bathroom to shower and stuff."

"Will they mind?" She glanced up at him.

"Harlan already gave me the all clear." He smiled. "He gave me this too." Holding the book up he let her take it from him.

"What is it?"

"I bunch of things we can do to stop you havin' that nightmare."

"Aubrey, you told them?" She looked upset.

"No, you was havin' one when Kristin came down last night. She went and found the book for you."

"So she's not as horrible as she makes out then?"

He laughed. "No, just a lil' scarred."

"Scarred?" Her face contorted curiously as she stared up at him.

"Her sister was killed by a Vampire."


"Yeah. Kinda makes sense now, right?"

"Mhm, that's horrible."

There was a long silence as they both thought about the last couple of days. Now they were finally able to eat, sleep and shower in a safe place.

"Anyway, let's go get cleaned up. We stink."

Hearing her laugh for the first time in ages made him smile. He just hoped this would take away some of the stress and angst she was feeling, there was no way that could be any good for her or the baby.


"There's no lock?" She stood staring at the closed door as Drake filled the tub.

"No, Harlan said Jackson kept lockin' himself in. It'll be fine."

"What if someone walks in on us?"

"Then I guess they'll see us in all glory." He laughed as she deadened her face.

"I'ont know what you're braggin' about, sir."

"Don't lie, Onika." Her small smirk made him smile. "You love it when I'm naked."

"Shut up, Aubrey." She laughed and shook her head, leaning against the sink weakly. "Is it ready yet?"

"Nearly, you want bubbles?"

"I don't care, as long as I can sit and scrub this layer of grime off of me."

"A'ight." He turned the tap off. "It's ready then. "He pulled his underwear down and stepped out of them. "I'mma rinse off in the shower first, lemme help you in now." Moving closer he watched her shrug out of the towel she'd wrapped herself in. He hadn't even prepared himself for what he was about to see. The reality of how they were living only just hit him when he saw her neglected body. The pressure wounds clearly visible along with her frail and slightly bony frame.