Chap. 37: Spin Til You Vomit
When I woke up on the couch, I thought I'd been out for a really long time. The house was full of chaos. There were people everywhere, mostly large men but a few women too. I didn't recognize most of them. I glanced at the clock, and realized it hadn't even been an hour since we found Rainer in the living room.
"I'm here. Sorry. Are you okay? How are you feeling? Are you starving?"
"No baby, I'm fine. What's going on?"
"I'm filling in holes." He didn't elaborate, and most of his thoughts were in Italian. I caught bits and pieces of conversations, but not much. The only emotions I could distinguish were anger and chaos. Not that chaos is an emotion but that's how everyone felt, just chaotic.
Over the next week, the house was constantly full of people. Luke's office became a hub of activity around the clock. We didn't leave. Paul left periodically, but even he mostly stayed around to keep order. They were searching for Rainer.
I knew they wouldn't find him. Not until he wanted to be found. But I didn't say anything. I just… waited. Waited for Luke to come to bed at night. Waited for Paul's icy demeanor to thaw a little. Waited for Rainer to come for me. Just waited.
I never learned what Pops was doing with Murray. Whatever it was, the 'deal' fell through. As far as we could tell, Rainer still had Murray. It never seemed to bother Luke that Rainer had Murray, but it scared me. As far as I knew, if Murray was killed then Luke would die too. And so would I. I wondered more than once how many generations that went back. I mean, in theory, every vampire came from the first one, right? I didn't want to bother Luke with it though.
Luke cancelled everything, and most people—including my parents—thought Luke and I were on an extended around-the-world cruise. I was worried about Charlie and Jack. About all my friends and family, really. Pops was an easy target for someone to hurt me.
But Rainer didn't want to hurt me.
It's not that I trusted his word. It was just… I just knew. I just knew he didn't intend to hurt me. He did, however, intend to take me from Luke.
"Mm?" He nuzzled my neck sweetly and I snuggled into his arms.
"I love you."
I love you too.
"I just… I want you to know how much I love you. It's not just the alignment. You know that, right?"
"What's wrong Cade?"
"Nothing's—I don't know. I just need you to understand. I've loved you for always."
"As I have you. Even when I didn't know how to show it. Even when I didn't know what it was. You've owned me forever Cadence. You will own me forever." His voice, so perfect and loving, whispered quietly in my ear.
"He's coming for me soon."
"He'll not get near you." He spoke firmly, and I know he wanted to believe it. He was doing everything he could, but…
He's going to take me soon Luke. And you have to let him.
"You want to leave me?!" He was panicking.
"No! I will never let you go."
"I don't understand. Do you know something? You have to tell me. Don't keep anything from me Cadence."
"I don't know." I sighed in frustration and turned in his arms to face him. "I don't know what I know, or how I know it. I just… Rainer Andrews is coming soon. Tonight maybe. Tomorrow. I'm not sure. But he'll come, and take me. It will be easy for him. I don't know how I know that."
"I'll die first!"
"I won't just sit around and let him take you from me Cade! If he comes to take you, he'll have to fight for you. And I will fight for you until I have no breath left in me. If I lose you, I might as well be dead. I can't live without you."
"Just hold me baby, okay? And don't think of him." I knew he'd come soon. I accepted it easily, but I had no idea why. Why was it so easy to accept that fate? Why didn't I care that I was going to be taken from Luke?
Rainer didn't come the next day. Or the next. In fact, he didn't attempt to contact me in any way for several months. I started working for one of Luke's legal enterprises, and he relaxed his 'house under siege' mentality slightly. Life turned somewhat normal. We finally 'came back' from our supposed cruise, and my mother was ecstatic that we'd gotten engaged.
Yeah. About that… it wasn't really romantic or anything. Luke just came into his office—well, our office—and set a box on my desk, right on top of the page I was reading. It annoyed me, and I moved the box without even looking to see that it was, in fact, a jewelry box. He didn't say anything. He didn't think anything in English, but that didn't make me suspicious either because he'd taken to just thinking in Italian all the time. Finally, when I was done with the stack of papers he'd set the box on, I looked up at it. The black box wasn't shocking. He was extravagant in his gifts all the time, and I was just hoping it wasn't some huge diamond something or other I'd have to wear to some lame charity something or other. Actually, it was a simple diamond solitaire ring. Huge, but simple. It fit perfectly, of course. And that was it. He nonchalantly said something about how we were already married… but whatever. I loved it. It fit us, the assumption. He didn't ask me to be his wife. He never asked me to do things. He told. And I complied or didn't.
But anyway, mom was thrilled and already planning my wedding. News spread quickly, of course, and we were the talk of the town, for a while. Then everything just got… normal. We had routines. We had jobs and meetings and community involvement. We had friends and parties and charity events. And we had love. And lots of sex.
It was a Monday morning when everything changed. It's always a Monday morning. "Cade? Baby you need to get up. You have that conference call in an hour. I have to go down to the pub to help Max with inventory. Don't go back to sleep." Luke was buttoning his cuffs as he tried for the umpteenth time to make me get up.
"I don't feel good."
"I don't know. I just don't… oh shit." I jumped up as quickly as I could, sprinted to the bathroom, and vomited violently.
"Cadence?!" Luke was there in an instant, holding my mess of hair while I vomited twice more. I slumped to the floor, resting my forehead on the cool tile of the floor. "Fuck baby, you're really sick." I mumbled something about him stating the obvious, and he chose to ignore it. Instead, he made a call. "I need you to send someone to help Max with inventory, then get over here. Cade's sick." I moaned grumpily when he tried to get me to move. "Baby, you need to go back to bed."
I'd never known Luke to be sick. Given what I knew of vampire anatomy, which was actually very little, I had no idea if it was strange for a vampire to be sick. I assumed I couldn't go to a normal doctor, but I wouldn't have gone anyway. I hate doctors.
Paul came to the house not long after Luke called. "Cade…" He was… I don't know. I couldn't hear his emotions. "She's panicking but I don't know why." Then he was panicking.
"Cadence, what's wrong? Baby, tell me what's going on." Luke was panicky too.
I can't hear him. He didn't respond. Luke? Oh shit. "I can't hear you."
"What?" They both spoke at the same time.
"I can't hear you. Either of you."
The second the words left my mouth, I knew we were all thinking the same thing.
AN: The end is coming soon, but please don't forget to REVIEW! :)