It had been two years since Grayson had found Charlotte sleeping in his barn. He had grown more and more fond of her and had even bought an engagement ring. They had gone two years without an incident, but hunters had tracked them down. They didn’t know that the men and their leader Katya had set up shop in town and were planning an attack soon. Their peace would soon be shattered. Grayson sat in the field watching Charlotte ride Indigo. She rode bareback, arms outstretched and laughing happily as the wind whipped her hair behind her. She waved at him and he waved back then gave a high pitched whistle that had the horse trotting to him. He stood and Indigo pressed her face into his chest.
“Why haven’t you taught me that one yet?” She asked as she slid off the horse’s back.
“It’s my secret. I teach every horse that comes here to respond to it so if one goes crazy I can call it back to me.” He winked and pulled her into his arms. “Look at how beautiful you are.” He ran his fingers through her messy hair and she blushed.
“I’m a mess. I’ve been with the horses all day.”
“A beautiful mess.” He smiled and she blushed again. She didn’t know how she had managed to get so lucky. She often wondered what would have happened if she had wandered onto someone else’s property. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. She loved him so much. She couldn’t say it enough. “Oh Charlie, I love you so much.”
“And I love you. We should get Indigo in the barn then I’ll make us dinner.” She said with a big smile.
Once Indigo was in the barn they walked inside together. Charlotte had worked hard to learn how to cook so Grayson wouldn’t have to do it all the time. She wasn’t sure how good she really was because she knew he’d never tell her if she wasn’t. When she was done cooking they sat down together to eat. He started staring at her again. “You haven’t stared at me this much since when I first got here. Are you ok?” He half smiled “yes, I’m just thinking about these past two years. They’ve been the happiest time in my life. I was lucky you chose my barn to sleep in.”
“I was the lucky one.” She was really starting to wonder why he was staring at her so much lately.They cuddled on the sofa after dinner and watched some funny movies until Charlotte fell asleep. He stood up holding her and turned off the TV then walked upstairs. When he layed in bed with her he got close and whispered “I really hope you say yes to marrying me Charlotte. I need you to be mine forever.”
Charlotte woke to the smell of bacon. It made her feel a little sick. She’d been feeling this way for a week. She hadn’t wanted to say anything. She wasn’t sure if she could get sick or not. She was half human. She took a breath and went downstairs. He was standing in the kitchen in nothing but his sweats. He turned and smiled when she came in and switched off the stove. She sat down at the table and he sat a plate of bacon and eggs down in front of her. Her stomach lurched and she shoved it away.
“You don’t look so good.” He pressed the back of his hand to her forehead. “You feel warm.”
“I feel nauseous.” She buried her face in her hands.
“How long have you been sick?”
“About a week. I threw up yesterday while you were outside.”
“Why didn’t you say something? Maybe we should go to the doctor?” He was really worried. She had been picking at her food lately, but he hadn’t said anything. “How much liquid have you been drinking?”
“Not enough. I may be dehydrated.” She said sleepily.
“Lets get dressed and I’ll take you to the doctor.”
“You’re going to insist aren’t you?”
“Yes I am now come on” They went upstairs and got ready. She smiled thinking how sweet it was he was so concerned. They got in the car and drove to the doctors office. There weren’t too many people ahead of them. They passed the time by talking and holding hands until she could finally be seen. The doctor asked her a bunch of questions and looked her over. “I don’t think you’re sick per say. I want you to go pee in this cup for me. You can sit in here until I come tell you what I find.” They were confused. She got up and went over to the bathroom.
They both sat there nervously waiting for the doctor get back “I wonder what he ment. Doctors are so crazy. I’ve never been sick before so who knows.”
“Yeah, I’m lucky.” She smiled at him. He was carrying the ring in his pocket. He was waiting for the perfect moment to propose to her. He just couldn’t think of what the best way was for him to do it. Now with her possibly sick he’d have to wait longer for a perfect moment. Every 5 minuets felt like an hour waiting on him to get back.
The doctor tapped on the door and walked in. He pulled up his stool and sat down. “I have some news for you, hopefully good. I was right in assuming you weren’t sick sick.” He said with a smile.
“So what’s wrong with me? She gripped Grayson’s hand.
“Don’t look so terrified. You’re pregnant.”
She just stared at him in shock. She tried remembering if she’d missed her period or not. Had she really been that distracted? She looked at Grayson who looked scared. She turned back to the doctor. “Are you sure?” She asked.
“Absolutely. I’ll just give you two a few minutes.” He got up and left, closing the door.
She grabbed Grayson’s face and made him look at her. “You okay?”
“I don’t know. Yes.” He ran his fingers through his hair. He was happy and petrified all at once. He had worried about having kids after his past, but at the same time he really wanted them. Charlotte looked sad all of a sudden. “What’s wrong?”
“Are you going to make me leave?” She asked, swallowing the lump in her throat. She knew how he felt about kids. His parents had given him to vampires and he was afraid he wouldn’t be good enough.
“No, of course not.” He pulled her into a hug. “I love you, damn it no matter what.” He’d have to wait for the initial shock of her pregnancy to wear off before he asked her to marry him. He had to be able to explain he had had it planned before hand. He didn’t want her to think she was his burden. He loved her far too much. “I’m happy, just shocked.”
“I love you so much. Can we go home now?”
“Lets make an appointment for the baby and then we’ll go.” The went to the receptionist and asked her to set up an appointment. The woman congratulated them and handed Charlotte and appointment card. They walked outside and bumped into a man walking in. The guy glared at them. Grayson had never seen him before and he smelled strange.
When they got in the car she grabbed his hand “You’ll make a wonderful dad. Just because your parents were horrible doesn’t make you horrible.” He smiled “Thank you. I hope so.” When they got home she started walking twords the barn to start their daily chores and Grayson said “where do you think you are going?”
“To do the stuff we do every day.” She looked at him like he was crazy. He walked over and picked her up “No, you’re pregnant. You aren’t going to be helping me any longer.”
“Grayson, I haven’t been pregnant long.” He still kept walking and set her on the couch. “Watch tv.”
“Grayson!” She smiled. He seemed to be taking it ok. She hoped he would get really excited about it. Of course she didn’t know how she felt. She wondered if she would be a good mother. She had so many fond memories of her own parents she would just mimic them. Hopefully she could be even half as good to her child as they were to her.
Grayson went outside to the barn and let the horses out. He laid out some hay and then fed the chickens. He couldn’t believe he was going to be a father. It was very overwhelming. He loved her so much that he’d do anything for her. He couldn’t get the strange smell of the stranger out of his nose. There was something about him, something off. He shook his head. Maybe he was still in shock.
Two men and a woman sat on top of a hill far enough from the farm house that they wouldn’t be smelled. They looked rough binoculars at the man feeding the animals. They knew what he really was. There had been reports of an overly large male roaming around at night. They had tracked him back to his den where he resided with his mate. From her pale skin they guessed she was a vampire. It was odd seeing her in the sun and they feared maybe she had found a way around her vampiric weaknesses in order to prey on innocent victims in the light of day. “Come on boys we still have planning to do before we can take them on.” The woman said.
“Yes Katya.” The men said in unison.
He finished his chores while thinking about the baby and how he’d propose to Charlotte. When he came inside she wasn’t watching TV. She was staring out the window that was by the couch. He went up to her to kiss her cheek and she jumped “Oh god you scared me!”
“I’m sorry” he said as he kissed her. “I forgot how long that takes without you.”
“I can still help you know.”
“No you can’t.”
“You can’t tell me what to do. I’ll help you without your consent tomorrow.”
“If you try I’ll just keep carrying you back inside until you give up.” She laughed “The terrible thing is I know you aren’t bluffing about that.” She put a hand on his face. “Please don’t be unhappy about the baby. I know you’ll be a good dad.”
“I’m not unhappy. I just worry a bit. I love you and I dont want to let you down. If I’m a bad dad I’ll let you down.”
“You wont be so hush. At this point it’s good for you my daddy isn’t around. There’s nobody who will hold a shot gun to your head to marry me now that you’ve gotten me pregnant.” She giggled. He couldn’t keep the sad look off his face. All he could think was that she really was going to think he only wanted to marry her because of the baby. “It was just a joke Grayson. Why did it bother you?”
“No reason. I’m a little tired I think.”
“Want to take a nap?”
“yes” he said as he picked her up to take her upstairs with him.
She snuggled in close and stroked his chest until he fell asleep. She threw her leg over his and something jabbed her in the leg. She thought maybe he’d left something like a package of sugar cubes for the horses in his pocket. She slid her hand in his pocket and tugged out a small box. She looked at it confused for a moment and then her eyes widened. She couldn’t open it. She smiled and slipped it back in his pocket. She wondered how long he’d had it. She lay her head on his chest and fell asleep to the sound of his heart.
When Grayson woke it was almost five. He looked down at Charlotte. She looked so peaceful and beautiful. He scooted down and kissed her softly. She smiled against his lips and opened her eyes. He loved her eyes. He could spend hours staring into their bright, excited depths. He could get so lost in them that time meant nothing. “How are you feeling?” He asked softly.
“A little nauseous, but hungry.” She said.
“I’ll make you something light. How does chicken salad sound?”
“Delicious.” He carried her downstairs and sat her gently on the couch. She rolled her eyes, but smiled. He realized he was becoming overprotective really fast. He hoped she didn’t mind. He wanted to do everything to keep her safe and happy. He went into the kitchen as she switched on the TV. He pulled some chicken out of the freezer and popped it in the microwave to defrost it. When he checked on her she was watching a documentary about babies. He smiled, feeling happier by the second.
When it was ready he brought it in the living room and they ate in there. “We slept such a long time. I hope it doesn’t make it hard for us to sleep tonight.” She said lightheartedly. She layed her head in his lap. He smiled down at her and ran his fingers through her hair. “You’ll need lots of sleep now. We should start taking a daily nap. Besides we wont be getting any sleep once the baby gets here.”
“I wont mind.” She said in a daydreamy voice. “What would you like to do?”
“Lets go for a walk outside. I didn’t get to go out today because someone is acting like I’m already six or seven months along.”
“That sounds nice” They went hand in hand outside. It felt really nice outside. Charlotte inhaled deeply. She thought as she walked how perfect everything was. She was having a baby and Grayson wanted to marry her. Her life couldn’t be more perfect. Grayson was enjoying how happy she seemed. One of the best things about her was that she was very easily happy.
“What do you think we should name the baby?” Charlotte asked as they sat in the tall grass.
“If it’s a boy I say Dominic Alexander.” Grayson answered.
“If it’s a girl?”
“Lets hope it’s not.” She smacked his arm and he laughed. “I’m kidding. How about Aunalee Rose?”
“I like that.” She smiled and rested her head on his shoulder. They watched as the sun started to go down and the moon started to rise. She was more exhausted than she had first thought, but she didn’t want to go inside yet. She lay back in the grass and stared up at the stars. She was glad she was getting the chance to raise a child on a farm. It was so much more peaceful. Something still bothered her though. She remembered the man they had run into. He had smelled so strange. The smell was familiar, something that used to haunt her dreams. It was the smell of death. It had clung to him like a second skin. “Grayson, do you remember that guy we ran into?” She asked as she sat up.
“Yeah, he was strange.” He answered.
“He smelled like he’d been killing things.”
“Tomorrow I’ll go back into town and ask Rebecca if she knows anything about them. If they buy anything it’ll most likely come from her store.” She nodded and yawned. He stood and lifted her off the ground and carried her inside. He took her upstairs and straight to bed. He pulled off their shoes and her jeans. He changed into sweats and lay next to her, pulling her close. He had an odd feeling about that man.
When he woke up the next morning Charlie was still sleeping. He wanted her to rest so he made breakfast for her and put it in the fridge. He grabbed some paper and a pencil so that she’d know it was there when she woke up. He put tape on the back and walked upstairs quietly putting it on the headboard. He wanted to kiss her bye but didn’t want her to wake up and come with him. She needed her rest. Charlotte woke up when he started the car.
She went up to the window putting her hands on her hips at the sight of him leaving. She turned around to get dressed then noticed the note and smiled. “Well atleast if he’s going to leave me here he made me breakfast.” She walked downstairs hoping he wouldn’t be gone long. It must’ve really been bothering him to want to leave as soon as he woke up. She decided she’d pay him back for leaving her by doing the chores before he got back. She was capable and he was over protective.
Grayson pulled to a stop in front of Rebecca’s store. He got out and went inside where he was greeted by Toby. The boy yelled for his mom who smiled as she came out from the back of the store. “How are you?” She asked and hugged him.
“Good, I’m going to be a dad.” He said and her eyes lot up.
“Well congratulations honey. Have you asked her yet?”
“No, I chickened out yesterday. I’m waiting for the right moment. Anyway, I need to ask you something.”
“Go ahead dear.”
“Have any strangers come in here lately. I bumbled into a guy yesterday that left me feeling a little unsettled.” He hoped he wasn’t being too nosy, but he really needed to know.
“Two men and a woman came in here and bought food and blankets. I saw them head across the street art wards to the gun shop. They came out with quite a bit. I had a strange feeling about them too. Scared the day lights out of me.” She said with a frown.
“Did they ask you anything?”
“They were looking for a lone wolf. I told them I hadn’t seen one. I think they were talking about you, but I wasn’t sure. You should be careful honey and stay away from them. I can tell you they have a room at The Lion Inn and the woman has short blonde hair and green eyes. One of the men called her Katya.”
“I’ll be careful, I promise.” They hugged then he hugged Toby and left to scout them out. He needed to get a good look at all three.
He drove to the Lion Inn and waited in his car. A few hours passed, he knew Charlotte would worry but if someone was looking for him it couldn’t be good. He needed to make sure Charlotte and their baby weren’t in danger. The blonde Rebecca had described came out and he scooted down in his car so he could see them without them getting a good view of him if they looked over. He studied each man scrutinously. They both had brown hair. One had a scar on his face and hazel eyes. The other was taller and had blue eyes.
The men were slightly built but nothing he couldn’t handle. That was if they fought fair and didn’t bring a gun into it which they were obviously planning to. When he decided he had seen enough he got up and started his car to go home. He didn’t know what he was going to tell Charlotte. Stress wasn’t good for the baby.
Charlotte saddled Shadow and climbed on his back. Grayson had not returned yet and she thought a nice ride would take her mind off her worries. She directed the horse out of the barn and into the field. Indigo saw them and followed. She ran both the horses, holding her arms out as Shadow jumped into the air. She knew Grayson wouldn’t be happy with her being so wild, but he was going to have to get used to it. She didn’t plan on sitting on the couch all day and doing nothing just because she was pregnant. She closed her eyes and let Shadow free roam.
Grayson pulled into the driveway and just about had a heart attack when he saw Charlotte riding Shadow. She could easily fall or be thrown off. He started toward her, meaning to pull her off the horse and give her a stern talking too until he saw how happy she looked. He shook his head and went inside before he said or did something he would regret. He knew he couldn’t force her to stay away from the big animals or make her stay put. Her stubbornness was one of the qualities he really loved about her. She never backed down no matter how scared she was. She used her necromancer powers to help revive dead animals all the time. She gave without asking for anything in return. He checked the clock and realized it was about lunch time. He threw them together a couple of sandwiches and then went out onto the porch. He whistled and both horses came running toward him.
She was so glad to see him back. She smiled as he helped her down. “What took so long? I was getting worried.”
“Rebecca said they were looking for me and told me where they were staying. I went to see what they looked like and it took them a long time to come out of their room. They apparently bought guns so I’m really worried. I’d apreciate it if you’d be careful. I know I can’t make you but if you don’t want me to go into heart failure please stay near me.”
“Thanks for not trying to command me. I’ll be careful until we figure out what they want. You better not go locking me in the attic again. I wont forgive you a second time for it.” They ate and both their minds raced not sure what to do about the situation. Charlotte said “I wish we knew why they’d be coming after you. It’s not like you do anything. You’re a sweetheart to everyone you meet.”
“I told you I was forced to do horrible things. They could be here because they tracked me here thinking I am the same beast I once was.”
“But you were forced to do those things.”
“Hunters don’t care. To them we are all monsters. They would not see me as a victim of abuse. I am sorry I have brought this down on you and our child. I will do my best to fix it.” She grabbed his hand and squeezed it.
“I don’t blame you, I never will.” She kissed his cheek and gave him a warm smile. “Everything will turn out alright, you’ll see.”
She was so positive that even he started to believe it. He was scared he would be hunted all his life. In the past, before he had met Charlotte, he had contemplated suicide. He had thought it would be the best way to protect people. Charlotte had breathed life back into him, had given him a real reason to start over. He knew the hunters were getting ready and since they already had an arsenal he figured the would be coming soon. He didn’t know how he was going to protect Charlotte against three hateful people with guns, but he would do his best. They finished their sandwiches and took the horses into the barn. He unsaddled Shadow and they rubbed the horses down then gave them a few sugar cubes.
As they walked back to the house he looked at Charlotte worried. He thought it may be safer for her if he ran off. They’d probably leave her alone if he lead them away. He decided that he would propose to her now. If he died she had to know the extent of his love. He stopped “Charlotte”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen when they come but I need to ask you somthing before anything happens.”
“Ask me anything.” He turned her to face him and he pulled the ring out of his pocket and got down on his knee. “I don’t want you to think I’m doing this because of the baby. I promise I planned this before we found out. Before you I didn’t know what happiness even felt like. I hated everything and preferred to live alone so I couldn’t be hurt or hurt anyone else. You’ve brought so much love and happiness into my life. I don’t deserve to be your boyfriend but I’m glad you love me anyway because I could never go back to living without you. You’re all I think about. You’re all I need. Will you please be my wife?”
“Yes, yes I’d love to marry you!” she hugged him. Tears were running down her face. She was so happy. He held her and said “You do believe I wanted to ask you before the baby right?”
“Yes i do” She didn’t want to tell him she knew about the ring already. it would probably make him sad.
He kissed her, feeling both excited and scared at the same time. She had no idea how fast he’d lock her away if the need arose. He wasn’t going to let hunters hurt her or his child. They could have him. He’d leave everything to Charlotte. He planned on setting traps around the house. He had all the ingredients for pipe bombs and he would buy bear traps to hide in the grass. He would call Rebecca tomorrow and ask if she heard anything else. Hunters liked to tell everyone they were going hunting. The idea of tracking down and killing something like a werewolf made people gloat. “You must swear to not leave the property until this is all over.” He said.
She nodded. “I promise.”
“Good and keep that stone close. You’re the only one who knows how to use it. Call those creepy shadows if you need them. I’m going to call Rebecca tomorrow and ask her to get some stuff together for me so I can pick it up. If anyone comes by while I’m gone that you don’t know, don’t let them in. Especially a blonde haired woman.”
Charlotte rolled her eyes. She knew how to take care of herself. “You are my knight in shining armor. So protective, ready to draw your sword at the first hint of danger.” He actually smiled. “There’s the Grayson I know. Stop frowning so much or your face will get stuck that way.”
He kissed her again lifting her off the ground. He carried her into the house and up the stairs to their bedroom. He wanted to have sex with her incase this would be their last day together. He wanted to prepare for the worst in every way possible. Grayson layed Charlotte on the bed staring into her eyes. “You are so beautiful Charlotte. I can’t believe you said yes.”
“Already thinking about changing your mind?”
“Of course not” he took off her shoes, then her pants and underware. He slowly took her shirt off and kissed her as he unhooked her bra. He took her to the center of the bed then took all of his clothes off. He rubbed her face with the back of his hand and she smiled at him “You’re being more romantic than normal.”
“I just want this time to be really special. One you’ll really remember Charlotte.” He gently bit her ear then ran his tounge up the outside of it. As he slowly moved his hands around her body giving her goosebumps. He went down to her neck licking the sides and giving her small nibbles. “I love you Grayson” He looked her in the eyes again “I love you more. I hope I’ve shown it to you Charlotte.” He kissed her with all the passion he had. Her tounge in his mouth was driving him crazy with lust. He had to do one more thing for her though before he allowed himself to take her.
He kissed down her stomach and then grabbed her hips licking where her legs and vagina met. She lightly moaned then he licked her slowly. When he did it slow she could barely take it. She moaned so loud that if they had neighbors they’d complain. “O my god Grayson you have to stop and fuck me!” She said out of breath. He smiled very pleased with himself. Her moans and writhing excited him so much. He hoped he’d make it to hear more of that. He got over her and turned her face so she was looking at him then he slid himself in.
He had held back so long trying to please her that he couldn’t control himself now. He did her hard looking into her eyes except when she closed them while she moaned. When they were done he rolled her on top of him. He stroked her hair and held her with the other. “That was so amazing Grayson”
“Never forget how much I love you, how happy you’ve made me.” He whispered. She felt like crying. He sounded like this was their last night, like he had accepted death. She kissed his chest and just listened to the beating if his heart. She wouldn’t let him die. She would be only half a person if he was gone. He fell asleep with his arms wrapped around her. Only then did she let herself cry. She made sure to stay quiet. She finally cried herself to sleep, falling into a nightmare where he was gone.
Grayson woke to Charlotte mumbling in her sleep. He laid still and listened. She was begging him not to go. It broke his heart. He managed to lay her on the bed without her waking. He cover her up and kissed her forehead. He dressed quietly and went to the barn to let the horses out. He went back inside and grabbed the phone. He knew it was early, but Rebecca was also an early riser. She answered on the third ring. “I need you to get me some stuff. It’s important. All the bear traps you have and some fishing line.” He said.
“Is this about the hunters?” She asked.
“Yes, I have to protect my home. You can’t tell anyone else. Have they been back around?”
“They were at the bar last night. They said they were hunting some big game tomorrow night.”
“Get that stuff for me. I’ll be around to pick up this afternoon.” She said okay and they hung up. He heard footsteps and Charlotte came downstairs still naked. “Hello beautiful.”
“You’re only saying that because you can see my boobs.” She grinned.
“I didn’t even notice.” He winked and she stuck her tongue out at him.
“It’s just us out here. I’ll probably spend every day like this, feeding the horses and laying the grass.” He arched an eyebrow and she laughed. “I’m just kidding. Well maybe.”
He hugged her again “Please stop that. We’re going to be fine.”
“I can’t show my fiance how much I love her?”
“You can as long as you’re not acting like we wont be together forever. I’m sorry to tell you but you aren’t dieing on me or going anywhere.”
“Lets have breakfast. Sit down and I’ll make it.” She sat down and watched him. He’d glance back at her every chance he could. When it was done he sat beside her and they ate. “Today I’m helping you. I did the chores all alone yesterday and I can definitely do them today with your help. Didn’t you want me to stay with you anyway?” He laughed “Ok” He wanted to be with her as much as possible. She cleaned up since he cooked and then they went outside. They had a good time. Today it wasn’t like work because they joked around. He needed her laughter.
They joked around as they brushed the horses. Charlotte enjoyed every moment she had with him. She wasn’t going to let anything happen to him. They let the horses out and walked hand in hand through the field. This was her favorite place on the farm. She could watch birds fly and the sky fill up with stars. She shared every moment with Grayson and soon she would be able to share it with their child. It was almost noon when Grayson said he had to leave. She suddenly felt very sad.
“Hey now angel, I’ll be safe.” He hugged her, just enjoying the feel of her skin.
“I know you will. I just have horrible feeling, like something bad is going to happen soon.” She clung to him, her face buried in his shirt.
“I’ll be back, I promise. I’m not leaving you.” She walked him to his car and kissed him. She wouldn’t say bye because it felt like if she did he would be gone forever. Instead she told him how much she loved him and that she would have lunch waiting. He kissed her again then got in his car and drove away.
He drove off playing last night and their day so far in his head. She went in the house doing the same thing. She sat down in the kitchen just looking around. They had so many memories everywhere in their home. From morning until night they were together and they liked it that way. Well until the hunters came. She hated he wasn’t taking her with him to town. She was getting depressed so she decided she should get up and do something.
She couldn’t start cooking just yet. Her bad feeling only got worse as time passed. She was actually starting to get upset and really wished he’d hurry home. Grayson pulled up to Rebeccas store and she was waiting with his stuff. He loaded it in the truck. Toby said “why do you need such scary stuff.”He rubbed the little boys head “Dont worry about it little man.” Rebecca hugged Grayson. “You two be careful now.”
Charlotte cleaned the house. She stripped the bed and picked up the dirty close then threw them in the washer. She started a load then grabbed clean sheets and blankets and made the bed. She felt a knot forming in her throat and before long she was crying while she swept and mopped. She went upstairs and switched the shower on. She stepped inside and just sat under the water crying. She was glad Grayson wasn’t there to see her. Her heart hurt so much and she wanted it to go away.
Grayson noticed he was being followed immediately. The black jeep with darkly tinted windows stuck out like a sore thumb. He pulled onto a back road and sped up. The road was bumpy, but he’d traveled it many times. The jeep sped up and slammed into the back of his truck. He was thrown forward and barely managed to keep his head from slamming into the steering wheel. They slammed into him again and in the rear view mirror he could see the woman hanging out the passenger window. She fired at him with a hand gun. A bullet shattered his back window and imbedded itself in the dashboard. He pressed the gas pedal to the floor board. He could see the lake as he crested the hill. More bullets hit his truck and he felt pain rip through the back of his shoulder. The bullet exited and hit the steering wheel. There was only one way to get away from them. He drove onto the dock and off the edge into the lake. Water began to flood in as his truck sank. He ripped the seatbelt loose as cold water came in through the back. He took a deep breath and held it. He waited until the truck was completely under before exiting through the back and swimming under the water away from the dock and the hunters.
When Charlotte was done crying she got out and got some clothes on. She would have still been crying if she had any tears left. Grayson should’ve been back. It was taking him way too long. She started to pace and play with her necklace. She held it tight asking the spirits to help Grayson if he was in trouble. Every bit of her felt like he was. She could only ask and pray that the spirits would help.
The hunters looked around for him. The woman shot into the water but all her attempts failed to hit him. Luckily for him the water was dark so they couldn’t see the blood coming from the wound in his shoulder. It stung but he had to think of his next move. He didn’t like killing people but he knew how hunters were and knew his only choice was to fight for his life. He had to fight to be with Charlotte.
He swam under the dock and came up quietly. He waited until he was right under the biggest man. He slammed his fist through the wood and grabbed his ankle. He yanked the man through the boards and into the water. He punched the man in the face and took his rifle. The others were running to the hole he had made and he dove under the water. He swam across the lake and climbed out of the water. He heard the woman scream that he was running as he darted into the woods. Adrenaline had kicked in and he could barely feel the sting in his shoulder. He knew he was losing a lot of blood, but he had to get back to Charlotte. He paused to take a breath, staying alert in case he was being followed. “Grayson.” He heard his name and pulled the rifle up. He was shocked at the foggy white form of a woman.
“What are you?” He asked.
“She sent me. Follow me quickly.” He hesitated only a moment. He knew Charlotte talked to things like this. He had to trust it was telling the truth.
Charlotte sat on the porch, eyes closed as she whispered to the spirits. She had to hold back the new tears that threatened to spill over. A cold sensation moved through her and she opened her eyes as Grayson came running across the field. She ran to him, grabbing his shoulders as he fell to his knees. He had blood all over his shirt and cuts covered his arms and face. She helped him to his feet, supporting his weight as they walked back to the house.
They got inside locking the doors behind them. Grayson sat on the floor and Charlotte started crying again “Please don’t cry.” He kissed her. His kiss felt so weak it just upset her more. The spirit warned Charlotte the man and women were coming. She grabbed on to the necklace not just asking but begging for the help of the spirits. She poured all she had into calling them. Grayson needed to go to a hospital.
Just like the time before she passed out. She allowed them to take all of her energy so they’d come. Grayson took her upstairs and locked her in the bedroom cocking the rifle. He opened a window to shoot at them. He managed to get the woman but the gun didn’t have many bullets in it. He was having a hard time seeing. When the spirits finally came taking him down. He went out to make sure they were dead. The white form came to him. “You need to go to the hospital. She told me. I can help you enough so that the horses will be able to take you.”
She touched him and he felt a slight sting but the bleeding stopped. He whistled for the horses and one came. He climbed on and headed for the hospital. He knew with them down his future wife would be safe upstairs. Her necklace had saved them again. He was grateful for the white ghost. He wouldn’t have made it without her. He got there and could barely walk. A Doctor saw Grayson and helped him inside.
The doctor called the police after stitching him up, bandaging his shoulder and giving him a transfusion and IV fluids. Grayson explained what had happened and asked the officers to take him home because Charlotte was there alone. He showed them the bodies and told him there was another in the lake. They called the coroner who came and removed the bodies. The cops said they would be in touch, but he wouldn’t be charged because it had been self defense. He called Rebecca after they pulled away and asked her to grab Indigo. He reassured her everything was alright before hanging up. He went upstairs where Charlotte was still unconscious. He lay down next to her and pulled her close with his good arm. He rested his head on her chest and fell asleep.
Charlotte woke with a start. There was a weight on her chest and she looked down to see Grayson sleeping there. She swallowed and started crying. He jerked awake and raised his head to look at her. “It’s okay baby, everything’s okay.” He said and kissed her. She tangled her fingers in his hair, her heart beating so fast she thought it might burst through her chest.
“I thought I lost you. I was so scared.” She pulled back to look at his shoulder. It was bandaged and bruised. He looked so pale and tired. “I thought I was going to lose you forever.”
“You saved my life Charlie. If it had not been for you I would not be here.” He started crying and buried his face in her hair. They just held each other and cried. It had been so close. They cried themselves into exhaustion and fell quickly back to sleep.
When the woke the next morning Charlotte helped him out of bed and downstairs. She ordered him to stay on the couch and laughed. “Payback baby.” She kissed him, winked and went out to take care of the horses and chickens. When she came back in she made breakfast burritos and brought him one. She sat next to him and switched on the TV. “Thank you for living.” She said softly.
“You make me want to live. Without you I would have died years ago. I love you so much.” He cupped her cheek and brushed his thumb over her skin. “You are my life.”
“I love you. Thank you for taking me in when I needed someone the most and giving me a new family.” They kissed each other so happy that they were getting the chance to have a real life. They knew that no matter what happened, no matter what life threw at them they would pull through.