The enemy within 08

The enemy within 08



Once in her house she went backwards to the stairs. Shaggy was lying on his blanket, staring at her, wagging his tail. She sat down on the steps, watching him. He stepped closer, lying his head on her knees, looking in her eyes. She took his head in her palms. These eyes..., so beautiful and sad..., this scar...


Eric?“ she whispered. He flinched and stepped back, lowering his head slightly, his eyes still locked with hers. „Am I supposed to believe that is really... you?“ she asked softly. Her heart clenched, her eyes filled up with tears. „How is this possible? Who has done this to you? I can't...,“ she let out a sob, „... I can't understand it.“ He started moving backwards and she jumped on her feet. „No, don't go away.“ But he turned around and ran out of the back door into the forest. „Don't leave me like this,“ she shouted, running on the meadow. He was gone. She fell down on her knees in the middle of the meadow and burst in tears. It was too much for her. The relationship with that guy was really like riding on a roaller coaster. In one moment she was happy in his arms and in another he was gone. In one moment she was looking forward to seeing him and giving him back his camera and next... she discovered his secret and he was gone again. His secret... She rose up and went inside.


She pulled a bottle of rum out of the fridge. She used it as an ingredient for baking. She wanted to use a shot but then she took a long gulp right from the bottle.




Lena, wake up!“ She felt someone's hand shaking her shoulder. „What are you doing here?! I called you at least ten times!“ She slowly opened up her eyes and saw Danny kneeling next to her. She supported her body on her elbow and looked around. She didn't remember that there was a window next to her bed. „Are you OK? What happened?“


I don't know,“ she slowly stood up, feeling dizzy. She staggered and he caught her shoulders.


You need coffee. Did you drink this alone?“ he placed the empty bottle in front of her eyes.


Yes, but it wasn't full,“ she frowned. „Did I sleep here?“ she looked down at the blanket.


Yes, you did,“ he shook his head and led her into the kitchen. He sat her down on the chair and poured coffee into a mug for her. „Now drink this,“ he handed the mug to her. „And tell me what happened here and why you didn't answer my calls.“


My phone is probably still in my purse,“ she fished her phone out of her purse, lying on the kitchen table. She saw several missed calls from Danny. „You're right. You called me. I heard nothing.“


Because you were drunk, sleeping on the wolf's blanket,“ Danny explained.


It's already seven a.m.? I slept on his blanket all night,“ she ran her hand through her hair and the events of yesterday evening slowly came back to her. She took a sip from her mug and told Danny everything that she experienced last night. He listened to her carefully and when she finished his eyes were big as saucers, his mouth slighty open.


Wow! Are you sure it happened before you finished the bottle?“ he asked suspiciously.


No, you're good!“ she stood up, suddenly sober and started pacing around the kitchen. „Of course I am. Wasn't it you who originally claimed that the whole thing sounded like a fairy tale?!“ she snapped. „Don't try to convince me I'm crazy because I still can't believe it can be true,“ she sat down again and whispered. „But it is.“ She was silent for a few minutes, just sipping her coffee. „What should I do? He won't ever call me.“


Why wouldn't he call? Now when you know everything,“ Danny shrugged and took her hand. „It's unbelievable. But you have no reason to devise anything. I trust you. What about to pay him a visit? In a daylight. I can go with you if you want.“


No, thanks. I think I should go alone,“ she got up and put the empty mug in the sink. „I'll wait if he calls. If not I'll go to see him in the afternoon. Let's say about three. He'll sleep till twelve,“ she stiffened and sat down next to him. „That's why he always slept till twelve or longer,“ she took Danny's hand, squeezing it. „I didn't realize it. He was up all night but he needed to sleep so... Everything fits. I've been blind,“ she closed her eyes for a moment. „It's terrible.“


Lena?“ she looked at him. „You can't...,“ he cleared his throat, „it's impossible to live with someone who is... like him. Are you aware?“ he broke off for a moment. „What do you intend to do? You should be careful.“


Careful? He never hurt me. And yes, I'm aware of who he is,“ she stood up and stepped to the window, her back to him. „And I don't care,“ she turned to face him. „He's been all alone ten years. I have no intention to leave him,“ she said firmly, looking determined.




At half past three she parked in front of Eric's house when her phone rang. Glancing at the display she didn't answer, just texted 'I'm here.' She got out of the car and made her way to the front door. It opened. Eric stood there, surprise on his face. He waited till she came closer and stepped aside to let her in.


I wasn't sure whether I should call you or not,“ he said in a low voice after they settled on the back porch. „I didn't expect you would want to see me after everything that happened.“


I wasn't sure if you would call or not. So I jumped in my car to go to see you,“ she responded with a small smile. He nodded and got up.


Would you like a cup of coffee, or some wine?“


Probably some wine. I had coffee in the morning,“ she smirked. „I needed it.“ She waited, sitting on the bench till he joined her, bringing two glasses of red wine. „Thanks,“ she took a sip from her glass. „Delicious as always.“ His small smile delighted her. „What does it feel like?“ she glanced at him, ready to read between the lines.


You mean...,“ he began hesitantly.


I mean...being a wolf,“ she said firmly. „If I can ask... Eric, feel free to tell me it's not any of my business. We can talk about something else. I'll understand.“


Sure, you can. You know, I've never talked to anyone about it,“ he looked in her eyes. „But I'm ready to talk about it to you now.“


I think you need to talk about it. How can you live with it and keep everything inside?“ she narrowed her eyes, shaking her head. „I know, it's impossible to tell someone. It's unbelievable. How is it possible that you are... actually two in one... Sorry for saying it like this...“


Nicely put,“ he laughed shortly. She felt him relax a little bit. „It's a long story, Lena. As I said before, it's been ten years. I got used to live like this.“


It doesn't matter. We have enough time, don't we?“ she put her hand on his.


OK. Just tell me how come that you're here? I know you love Shaggy but...,“ he averted his eyes, watching a liquid in his glass.


You think I should be afraid of you? Or I should be disgusted by you?“ she squeezed his hand. He nodded without looking up. „I don't feel anything like that, Eric,“ she said in a low voice. „I feel that someone had to hurt you very very much. How can I help you live as everyone else?“


As far as I know, you can't,“ he sighed. „It's a curse, a revenge for something that I never knew I did.“


A revenge?! Who can have so much power to curse someone like that?“ she lifted her eyebrow, surprised.


A witch,“ he looked at her, her eyes widened in a shock. „I didn't know that they existed either till the day she appeared in my house,“ he swallowed hard before he continued. „She looked like every young woman. Her name was Esther Mikaelson. She radiated hatred in waves,“ he closed his eyes as his memories came back to him. „She claimed that our father was also her father, we stole him from her and now we would pay for it. But we didn't know about it. If it's true,“ he opened his eyes. „My sister, Katherine, my real sister... she didn't want to believe her and started yelling at her to get out. Then the woman just.. waved her hand pointing at Katherine and my sister fell down to the floor. I kneeled next to her, her eyes were closed... I checked her pulse and... I felt nothing. She was dead on the spot. She was just twenty,“ his voice trailed off.


Oh my God,“ Lena breathed out, covering her mouth with her hand, staring at him. He didn't look at her, his head lowered, his hair falling around his face. She couldn't understand how could something like that happen. She knew that someone hurt him but she had no idea how much. He had to go through so much in his life.


It took a few minutes till he was able to continue speaking. He ran his hand through his hair and stared straight ahead.


I saw red at that point, realizing she came to kill us both. I caught a glimpse of a knife on the kitchen table so I jumped, grabbing the knife, and pounced on her, sinking the knife into her heart. It took just a few seconds. She was taken aback by this, but before she breathed out last, she managed to voice the curse,“ he took a deep breath. „From that point I travelled a lot, trying not to live on the same place for a long time.“


Lena was scared. Not even in a dream she would imagine to experience something like this, tears running down her cheeks. She got up and rested her hands on bannisters.


I'll understand if you want to leave,“ he cleared his throat, finished his wine and retreated inside. He didn't want to see her leave so he put the glass in the dishwasher, waiting to hear closing the door.


Why do you think I want to leave?“ he heard her trembling voice behind him. He turned around and noticed a moisture in her eyes.


I thought... when you got up...,“ he shrugged. „It wasn't a pretty story I told you. Who would want to have something to do with someone like me?“


Don't get me wrong but it sounded like a fairy tale,“ she said without a smile. „Sadly it's real life, your life. You had to go through this and it's admirable. You stayed all alone and yet you're strong and you try to live your life as best as you can. Why shouldn't I want to have something to do with you?“


Strange, I've never looked at my life this way,“ he made one step closer. „You know, I thought my life ended the day Katherine passed away... till I met you.“ She gave him a smile, wiping her tears.


See. Your life didn't end yet,“ her face became serious again. „I'm here to help you any way I can. Can I ask you for something, Eric?“ she continued when he nodded. „Don't ever tell me two sentences because they scared me a lot. First: 'No one can help me' and second: 'You won't want to see me anymore' Thanks.“


I promise,“ he smiled gently. She felt as the weight was lifted off of his back and even though she knew it couldn't disappear forever she had a feeling she helped him at least a bit to carry it.


You know, I have about a hundred questions,“ she smiled faintly. „Why don't we go outside to have dinner? I'd like pizza. What you think?“ she continued seeing him glance at the clock on the wall. „It's only half past five, Eric, don't worry I'll get you back in time,“ she put her hand on his cheek.


OK, let's go,“ he seemed comforted by her touch and her words.




Sitting in a pizzeria, she watched his face as he ordered two beers and two pizzas. She had a feeling he was relaxed and sparkles were back in his eyes as he looked at her when the waitress retreated to bring their beers. She allowed herself to forget about their trouble for a moment and relished his gaze, drowning in his eyes. She averted her eyes, feeling her cheeks flush.


What?“ he asked, lifting his eyebrows. The waitress brought them two glasses of beer and left. He thanked her, nodding his head slightly, his eyes still on Lena.


Nothing,“ she smiled faintly. „I just forgot about everything around us for a moment.“


I see. I'd like to forget, too but Esther made sure I never would,“ he sighed.


I know it's hard, Eric,“ she tilted her head on one side. „But you can forget about it or talk about it because now I know. I'd wish you to feel better.“


You're right. You said before that you have, how many... a hundred questions?“ he winked. „So ask.“ She took a deep breath, suddenly unsure where to start.


Well, you have to get home till nine. Then you turn into a wolf and run into the forest. You're up all night and you can sleep in the morning. That's why you usually get up around twelve. Is it right?“ she spoke slowly, watching his reaction, ready to stop.


Basically it is. I try to be at home some time before my transformation because I hate to kill animals to feed me so I have dinner and this comes at ten sharp,“ he ran his hand through his hair, his voice shaking. „I used to be up all night before I became Shaggy,“ he smiled nervously. „It's so strange to say this aloud.“


You don't need to talk about it if it's uncomfortable for you,“ she observed him carefully.


No, it's OK. I just need to get used to talk about it aloud you know,“ he shook his head.


Good. I don't want you to feel like a subject of examination. You will tell me about it if you do so you don't feel strange. And I can occasionally add some questions.“ The waitress brought them pizzas and they started eating.


At six in the morning I'm human again,“ he cut a bite and put it in his mouth, glancing at her. She nodded, swallowing her bite.


That's why I found you sleeping on Shaggy's blanket. Sorry, I'm talking again but everything fits in it,“ she took a sip from her glass.


Don't apologize,“ he laughed shortly. „Sure, you can speak,“ he nodded his head. „Yes, I overslept back then. When I turn back into a human, I'm naked. But I couldn't explain it to you at that point.“


Sure,“ she raised her eyes from her plate, thoughtful. Then she resumed eating. He watched her discreetly, assuming she wanted to ask something. He folded his knife and fork on the plate and tented his fingers.


What's on your mind?“ She looked up at him, blushing. „Feel free to ask. I don't know right now what do you want to know. Additional questions, do you remember?“


One thought crossed my mind,“ she responded reluctantly.


And it is...?“ he jerked his head at her.


If it hurts,“ she said very softly, dropping her eyes. He smiled, seeing her embarrassment. He reached out and took her hand. She looked up at him, shyly. „A wrong question, right?“


No, but don't imagine anything like in a movie. It hurts of course but not too long,“ he thought for a minute, searching the right words before he continued. „It feels like some force tears me to pieces but it takes only several seconds.“ She nodded, furrowing her forehead. „It's harder to talk about it for you as I can see. And I totally understand. I experience this every day but it sounds like a fairy tale to you,“ he squeezed her hand. „Don't get me wrong I know you believe me. But it's more real for me.“


I'm aware of it. But it scares me that you have to experience it every day,“ she felt tears pricking in her eyes. „I feel so helpless,“ she wiped her tears, staying silent. Then she raised her eyes to him. „I'm silly. You've been living with it for ten years and I'm crying just knowing about it for one day. No more tears,“ she waved her hand.


You're unbelievable, Lena,“ he smiled. He felt a huge wave of love for her surging in his veins. She was his soul mate, understanding, compassionate, curious, intelligent, attentive, supportive, caring, interested in him and of course she was beautiful. She stole his heart and he didn't dare to tell her. But now she knows. It could work. He heard a voice in his head. It had to be the devil's voice.


She looked at him, finding him kind of thoughtful. She covered his hand with hers as he still held her other, stroking it gently. His gaze went through her. As she thought about him she tried to imagine what it would be like to live with him. She remembered Danny's warning words but she could easily imagine such a life.


The waitress broke their reverie taking away their empty plates, asking if they'd like anything else. They separated their hands and Eric looked at Lena questioningly. Glancing at her watch she found out it was almost eight. She shook her head no and he thanked the waitress, asking for their bill. The waitress nodded, retreating.


What's the time?“ he asked, nervous.


It's almost eight but you already had dinner. We'll be home in time, don't worry,“ she looked in his eyes reassuringly.




They arrived in his house at nine. He unlocked the door and let her step inside first.


You leave the lights on all night and the back door opened. Is it safe?“ she asked as he turned the lights on.


It is. No one knows that I'm not in the house. No thief has ever visited my house yet,“ he laughed shortly.


Glad to hear that. You have really expensive things in your atelier. It's also unlocked,“ she nodded her head slightly. „By the way, you forgot your camera in the rehearsal room yesterday. I placed it on the table in your atelier.“


Really? You were here?“ he lifted his eyebrow, surprised. „I didn't notice.“


Yes, I was. You were busy, running into the forest,“ she winked, smiling.


Ahhh... What did you see?“ he looked worried.


Nothing,“ she shrugged, making one step closer. „I saw a man through the window who suddenly bent over... and never appeared again. Then I saw Shaggy running out of the house across the meadow into the forest,“ she made another step to him.


Oh... you arrived at ten,“ he observed. „It was by a hair,“ he shook his head. „Remember,“ he stepped closer this time, taking her hands in his, „I don't ever want you to see me turning. Promise me this, please.“


I promise,“ she whispered. She stiffened as she imagined his turn into the animal, quivering.


Are you OK? You turned pale suddenly,“ he dared to stroke her hair gently.


Yes, I am,“ she closed her eyes, leaning her head against his hand. She melted under his touch, feeling good.


You should go,“ he whispered. He couldn't resist to touch his lips to hers. She opened her eyes, looking in his for a few seconds.


OK. Good night, Eric,“ she dropped her eyes, shaking her head. „I'm sorry. You'll sleep tomorrow I forgot.“


It doesn't matter,“ he smiled. „Good night and sweet dreams. I'll call you.“ He let go of her hands slowly. She stepped back, desperately not wanting to leave. She turned around and quickly walked out of the house before she could change her mind.

Autor KeepTheFlameBurning, 22.09.2017
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