Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Midnight, Texas
Challenge/Prompt: enchanted_jae's Monthly Drabble Challenge 148: Settle Down
Word Count: 1,336
Date Written: 7 June 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
He woke to find her standing at their window, her arms wrapped around her torso as she stared out into the darkening night. “Trouble again?” he asked softly from their bed, but when she just shook her head mutely in response, he knew the problem lay far deeper.
He slipped from their bed, padded across their floor, and took her in his arms. She didn’t resist, and she laid her head against his strong, reassuring chest. Still it took several, long minutes, not that he minded, of holding her like that before Olivia finally spoke softly, “I’m just wondering if we did the right thing.”
“Saving the world?”
She cocked her head to one side, and he could see the annoyed expression on her beautiful face although she faced away from him. Olivia hated talking about her feelings, especially when it came to admitting to her true fears. He gently rubbed her bare arms and nuzzled his face against her soft, blonde hair. He kissed her head and, his decision already made before they’d ever gone to the altar together, said quietly, “I won’t let him hurt you, Olivia, even if he finds you.”
His hands flexed. He’d love to tear her father apart limb from limb for what he’d done to her. The things he had allowed his ex-wife to make his daughter suffer were things no woman should be forced to endure, and yet Lemuel had seen far too many such incidents in his days as a slave. He’d been powerless to help the family into which he’d been born, but Olivia was his family now. She was his soul mate, and no man would ever hurt her again.
“But he won’t stop coming if he finds me,” she said softly. “He won’t ever stop.” She was close to tears now, and as she leaned backwards into him, he gently began to take some of her pain. He would make him stop if he found her. He’d kill the bastard without a second thought, and he knew that Olivia would have no qualms with him killing her father. It only half surprised him that she had not already committed the deed herself, adding him to the long list of men who had taken her against her will after paying her stepmother for the supposed right and who had finally died at his wife’s expert hands.
“If we have to,” he whispers into her ear as she groans softly with the easement of the pain he’s taking from her, “we’ll leave Midnight.”
She tensed suddenly in surprise. “You’d do that for me?”
Lemuel knew it hadn’t been that long since he’d declared he wasn’t about to leave his home, but if things came to it, to stay with Olivia, yes, he would leave. He turned her around in his strong arms now, took gentle hold of her shoulders, and gazed deeply down into her brown eyes. “Yes,” he answered firmly. “Haven’t you realized the truth by now?” he continued and smiled, allowing her to see his fangs. “I would do anything for you, Missus Bridger.”
“I never said I was going to take your name,” she said quite seriously. But then her lips arched into a smile that was almost as beautiful as she was. “But I like that.” Besides, she had lived under a fake name long enough. It was nice to actually have a name of which she could be proud, not an alias meant to help cover her tracks or, worse yet, her father’s name but a true name, the name of this man with whom she had fallen in love when she’d thought love was only a fairy tale.
He took her smiling face in his big hands and caressed her hair, as gentle as he ever was with her except for those times when she deliberately wanted him to be rough. He would always be gentle with her if he could. She had suffered far too much in her young life, and the last thing he ever wanted to do was add to that suffering. “If we have to,” he spoke again with quiet determination, “for you to find peace, we will leave here, but I would much rather stay.”
“I would too,” she admitted, surprising even herself. Midnight had come to be the closest thing she’d ever known to a real home. She felt safe here most of the time, and although she’d been ready to leave just a few nights ago, it had been mainly because that rare feeling of safety she so craved had been taken from her. She should have known better, though. She should have realized that Lemuel had been under the call of the darkness, under a spell of a kind, and that he would never willingly hurt her, or turn her against her will.
Yet again she contemplated the possibility of allowing him to turn her. He would in a heartbeat if she allowed him, but she’d always believed that things, especially people, should only last so long. She’d also been ready for death for a long, long time before she’d met him, ready to end the memories of everything she’d endured as a child and ready to stop the flashes of all those bastards she’d had to kill if she was ever to procure any sort of peace for herself in this cruel world or for the others, the ones who had paid her to end lives. She never took a job without thorough consideration, but the ones she always allowed to have the cheapest rates were the people she’d like to kill anyway, bastards like the ones who had raped her as a child and bastards like her father, who had allowed her childhood to become one, long, living nightmare.
But she was no longer living a nightmare. She was living a dream. She was happy here in Midnight with her Lemuel, her husband. It was still a little hard to believe they were married now, but it made sense. It felt right, and she’d never felt more right than she did every time he held her in his arms. She smiled up at him, her eyelashes batting away the tears that threatened to reveal themselves.
Maybe settling down wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it wasn’t even bad to be turned, if she could replace all the memories of her own personal Hell with so many new memories of a happy life with Lemuel that her past no longer held any sway on her. Maybe that would happen one day. Maybe she’d be able to tell him one day to turn her. Maybe she’d be able to face an eternal life with joy and gladness in her heart, as long as she had this wonderful man to love and to love her in return.
“You’ve overthinking things again,” he said with a teasing, fang-filled smile.
She shrugged and smirked at herself. “So what if I am?” She slid her body closer to his and cupped the back of his neck in her hands, hands that could be, in her own way, as strong as he’d ever been as a mortal but were now gentle with him. “Kiss me.”
His grin grew at her command, and the sight of his fangs gave her no fear or doubt. She just slid closer still and opened her mouth wide in an answering smile. “Yes, ma’am,” he whispered and slid his mouth over hers, his tongue driving home into her mouth. They were one, and somehow, Olivia knew, this was what she’d been waiting for her her entire life. He was her happy ending, the answer to all the prayers she’d once prayed fervently every night until she’d given up, thinking praying did no good. He was everything good in her world. Maybe one night she’d tell him to turn her after all, but for tonight, she just enjoyed making love to him, being loved by him, and being Missus Lemuel Bridger.