Chapter 3

Shapes and sounds echoed through Aubri's jumbled brain. She was still trying to piece together her memories to figure out exactly what had taken place. She was having quite a bit of trouble remembering the last things that had happened. She remembered fighting with someone, and then pain, so much pain…After that was the very clear thought that nothing had been her fault. In the darkness there had been a face and a voice. Both of them had taken her breath away.

Consciousness was gradually returning to her and with it the more pain. Thankfully, whatever her injuries were they seemed much better than the last time she had been conscious. The aches were bearable now. There were at least two people in the room with her. One of them sounded like a doctor, his voice was authoritative and soothing. Whomever he was talking to was very quiet.

Aubri concentrated harder, wanting to know what they were saying. Maybe she could discover precisely what had happened to her.

"I cannot be sure, there was massive damage to her left temporal lobe. I am shocked she lived through it. The blow she sustained should have killed her instantaneously. As far as the rest of her, the upper three ribs on her left side are bruised, but not broken. Her arm was badly sprained as well. There's going to be plenty of smaller bruises all over her."

"Thank you Errin."

Aubri recognized the voice immediately. It was velvet and hot chocolate and her heart beat faster as she heard it. If his voice was exactly as she remembered it, was it possible that his face was also just as perfect as memory told her? She couldn't quite remember the details, but she would know him when she saw him.

If only she could get her eyes open, they seemed to weigh a ton. She tried for a finger instead, trying to start off slow. She was almost positive that her smallest finger on her right hand twitched.

"Errin," Aubri's heart thrilled again at the sound of his voice, "I believe she is waking."

She could hear a pair of feet moving closer. The doctor, she thought, the voice had come from a different direction.

"Hmm, yes." The doctor was at her side. He must have been leaning over to sound so close. "Do you know her name? It might help if you called it."

The voice was silent a minute, "Her name is Aubri."

It seemed clear that he wasn't going to be the one calling her name. She wanted to sigh. The doctor did sigh, echoing the same annoyance she felt. Something cool touched her hand. It was hard and smooth, with very little give. A hand maybe. She frowned, why was the doctor so cold?

"Aubri, you can open your eyes now. Come along. No one is going to bite you." He chuckled a little bit at the last part, sounding strange.

It wasn't something Aubri found funny, she didn't know why he would.

Across the room, in the last place she had heard the voice, there was an audible growl. Low, rumbling and with a good bit of threat behind it. The voice, distorted suddenly by anger said, "Errin. That was not funny."

"Well I think it is. And I daresay she did too."

No, Aubri thought angrily to herself, she did not. She couldn't wait suddenly to get her voice and bearings back, she was going to tell that doctor not to speak for her.

The voice laughed suddenly, catching her off guard. It was more a surprised bark, "Watch out Errin. This one has a mouth on her. She won't put up with your farce."

The doctor harrumphed, "Well I would have you both recall that I just saved her life. I think that deserves a little bit of respect." All at once she could no longer feel him beside her. How could he have left so quickly? Where did he go?

Her fingers twitched again, trying to wake herself up faster. She needed to be a part of the world again, rather than just an outsider listening in. She could hear footsteps quietly approaching her again. They stopped and she could feel the air move as the person bent down next to her.


Her heart skipped two beats as she heard him. That was what she had wanted. Not some silly doctor, she wanted him to call her name. If she kept her eyes closed, would he do it again?

"Aubri…" She could feel him smiling, some sort of ray of sunshine cutting through the fog around her, "I won't say it again if you don't open your eyes."

Again she felt a cool touch. This time it was just a single finger trailing down the back of her hand. She flipped her hand over, wanting to catch his hand but it moved away.

She sighed and concentrated on opening her eyes. The lids were sticking stubbornly, but she wanted to see. She growled under her breath. Next to her, the voice chuckled. She ran her tongue over the back of her teeth in frustration.

"Aubri, come on."

Her eyes burst open. She almost closed them the next second. It was too much, all at once…he was too much. Her eyes would not close again though, they were now glued open. She tried desperately to breathe past the choked air already in her throat.

Looking at him was like looking straight into the sun. Spots danced in her vision, and she feared they would never leave again. She was a goner, lost in the green and gold of his eyes. His hair was light gold, sweeping across his forehead almost to his eyes. He looked like a hero from a different century. His forehead was broad and his cheeks seemed almost square. His chin was strong and slightly pointed. Skin so pale it looked like stone and yet somehow, it still made her feel warm. Everything about him was light.

Even his clothing was white. Clean white and immaculately pressed dress slacks and a white business jacket. His shirt matched the jacket and his tie was the exact same green has his eyes. It even had gold specks darting through it. She wished she could see his shoes to compare them to the rest of the outfit. Would he even wear white dress shoes?

His mouth was quirked up in a small smile and as soon as she noticed she couldn't take her eyes from it. She felt like she was drowning in the very essence of him.

"How is the pain?"

Her eyes drifted shut when she heard his voice again, heaven. Her own voice was raspy from disuse, "Not bad."

He was silent.

Aubri opened her eyes again and looked around. It was a sparsely laden bedroom. There were no windows and only one door. The walls were painted in a light creamy gold and on them were maps of countries and cities she had never heard of. The floor was covered in rich dark brown carpet. The three bookcases held very large books. Aubri herself was laying on a small bed near a corner of the room. Around her limp body the bed was immaculately made, displaying an expensive looking gold bed spread and four fluffy pillows. The mattress was exquisite and without really realizing it Aubri burrowed herself deeper into it. She let her eyes rest on the map closest to her. It was a rather small looking city called "Genocide". What kind of person named a city Genocide?

She looked back at the man finally gaining enough perspective to realize their situation was not normal.

"Where am I?"

He stared straight into her eyes, "My house."

Aubri blinked, feeling unaccountably dizzy as their eyes met. Wondering if he had purposely left out the location she asked, "Who are you?"

"Hadrian Catane."

Aubri was quiet as she contemplated that. It was an old name, not used much anymore. She didn't even recognize the last name.

Hadrian continued to watch her closely, "You have many questions, I cannot answer many for you."

She grimaced, "I was afraid of that. I don't remember much…" She trailed off as a little of her memory cleared. She recalled driving and then headlights in front of her. In her mind there was very little imagery after that, only the sound of metal crunching and then the lash of glass against her head.

"I crashed I think. Someone hit me, they were in the wrong lane." She bit her lip trying to remember more, something before the accident. When she looked up at Hadrian again she was searching for something familiar. Nothing in her patchy memories reminded her of him, and he wasn't a face she would have forgotten. "We've never met, have we? Before the accident I mean."

He shook his head very slightly, "No. I found you after the accident and brought you here."

"You saved me."

His face gave very little expression. Aubri frowned, and his voice was always so level. It was as if he kept himself under a great deal of control, so as not to speak of things he wanted to remain hidden.

As she watched his eyes suddenly widened and he sucked in a deep breath.

"What?" Aubri tilted her head, "What's wrong?"

His face quickly shut down again, "Nothing. I'm sorry, I did not mean to alarm you." He stood up as he spoke and strode to the door, "You should get some more sleep, it is nearly dawn."

She smiled, "Doesn't that mean I should be waking up?"

Was it her imagination, or did his lips twitch as if to smile? "This city sleeps when the sun comes up. Now, sleep. Your health depends on rest." He opened the door and slipped out all in one graceful motion.

Aubri watched him go, pondering over his collection of strange comments. Whatever the doctor had done, she was getting drowsy again. The conversation swam in her mind. It was too much effort to try to sort through it, she would think about it when she woke again.

Woots! New Chapter!

What do you guys think of Errin?

And how about Hadrian through the eyes of Aubri? Hot stuff huh? He is pretty damn fine...

Please Review, you have no idea what a pick me up it is for me!