Thank you so much for all your great reviews, PMs and comments here on Fanfic, on Twitter and at the Alexander Skarsgård Library forum. I suck on them like candy – and they aren`t even fattening 😀
Thank you so much to Rascalthemutant for being such a great beta and friend!
I must have fallen asleep because I woke up hungry and with sore eyes. I looked at my watch and knew I had slept through dinner and was a bit embarrassed over it. But a bit relieved too. I didn`t want to sit next to Eric under the circumstances and I certainly didn`t want to see Sophie Anne.
And why hadn`t Eric knocked on my door? If he had wanted me to join the dinner, he should have picked me up. Eric was probably still angry with me which made him a person I had even less desire to see.
My stomach growled and I got up to take care of it. I missed home and having my own kitchen. I went to the phone so I could call and see if there was some kind of room service at this castle. Or maybe some leftovers I could have.
I lifted the phone and tried to make a call but it was dead.
I decided to try and find the kitchen to see if I could talk the chef into allowing me to make myself a little snack. I didn`t want to go hungry all the way through the night.
I walked down the stairs and was surprised I didn`t see any people. I would have thought there would be people partying everywhere, but it was very quiet.
I went to the basement and after having tried a lot of closed doors, I finally found the kitchen. I knocked on the open door, but no one answered so I walked in.
It was an old kitchen, but with very modern appliances. It being old meant that it consisted of a lot of small rooms connected to the large one. There was food out on the tables, but I wanted to ask permission before I took any so I went looking in all the rooms.
I was in the room furthest from the entrance to the kitchen when I heard voices. I turned around to go meet whoever was entering the kitchen when I stopped in my tracks. The two people spoke Danish, and my knowledge of Norwegian allowed me to understand bits and pieces – and more than enough to understand that these weren`t ordinary chefs.
“Is everyone asleep?” someone asked in English. Apparently the third person wasn`t Scandinavian.
The two others laughed. “Oh yes, it`s two hours since dinner and the drugs are working. It won`t be long before they are ready to have their picture taken.”
“I can`t wait to take those rich fuckers down a notch or ten,” the other yelled and they were all screaming what sounded like war cries. I shuddered. What was happening?
I peeked out and saw the guys who had worn the silly wigs, now with their heads bare. I gasped because they all had shaven heads and were now putting on ski masks.
“Get the other ones. We are gathering in the dining room. And make a count so we are sure everyone is there. We are supposed to be 41 of us.” They all ran up the stairs.
I had no idea what they were planning on doing, but it sounded bad. And I couldn`t do anything alone against so many. I knew I had to be fast though. If I wanted to go escape, I needed to do it when all the ski mask guys were gathering in the dining room.
I tried calling Eric and then Pam. Then I tried Eric again. None of them answered their phones.
“Dammit,” I swore to myself.
I sneaked out of the kitchen and peaked around the corner. Then I ran as fast and as noiselessly as I could up the stairs. Just when I came to the hall, I saw the door handle to the entrance door move and I hid behind a chair. The door opened and I couldn`t be more relieved when I saw who entered.
He was looking at his cell phone, apparently trying to call someone, and I ran over to him. He was wearing a track suit and was wet all over.
“We have to get out, Barry!” I whispered.
“Something is going on here. The staff, the ones with wigs, have something planned. I`m not sure what, but it seems they are going to do something to the guests. I sounded as if they had drugged everyone.”
Barry looked shocked.
“So taht is why I can`t get a hold of Stan.”
“Yes, the guy I`m working for. I was out running and wanted to check in before I went to my room to shower and go to sleep.”
“So you haven`t eaten the food?” I asked.
“No, I always bring my own food. I`ve become very preoccupied with my health and I just can`t stomach these business dinners. All the meat and gravy and…”
“Yeah, yeah,” I hissed. “What do we do? They are all in the dining room and I don`t want to get caught.”
“I suppose we could get out of here and notify the police.” Barry looked insecure.
“We are way out in the countryside, Barry. What if people are hurt before… What if Eric…”
I knew what I had to do. I had to get Eric and Pam out of here. I told Barry, who decided to help out Stan, and we both ran up the stairs to the bedrooms.
I came to the door of the room Eric and I were supposed to have shared. I tried to open it and feared it would be locked because I wouldn`t have known what to do if it was. In cop shows on television it seemed so easy to kick open a door, but this was a huge oak door and I knew I would only break my ankles if I tried opening it without using a key.
I held my breath as I tried the door handle and drew it when the door opened. I thanked all the gods I could think of, Christian, Norse or otherwise, and quickly made my entrance. Eric and Pam were on the bed, sleeping deeply. Neither of them heard me coming into the room.
“Eric, Pam!” I yelled. I fumbled for a light switch, and heard voices from downstairs, shouting orders to each other.
“Wake up!” I said, shaking Pam since she was closest. She didn’t stir at all. It was exactly like shaking a doll stuffed with sawdust. “Eric!” I screamed right in his ear.
This got a bit of a reaction; he was much larger than Pam so the drugs they had had, probably didn`t work as hard on him. Or he hadn`t eaten as much as Pam. For a short moment I hoped his appetite had been ruined by our quarrel, but then I chastised myself for being so petty.
His eyes opened a slit and tried to focus. “What?” he said.
“You have to get up! You have to! You have to get out!”
“Sleep,” he whispered. He began to flop over on his side.
I slapped him harder than I’ve ever hit anyone in my life. I screamed, “Get up!” until my voice would hardly work. Finally Eric stirred and managed to sit up. He was wearing black silk pajama bottoms and nothing else.
Voices were now in the corridor, right outside the room and I stood still, listening for them. I didn`t have the key to the room, so I couldn`t lock the door.
Eric would drop back to sleep if I didn’t keep him awake, but he was trying. Pam simply could not be roused. I even pulled her long blond hair.
“You have to help me get Pam out,” I said finally, despairing. “Eric, you just have to.” There was no way I could carry Pam.
Eric staggered to his feet. I ran to the bathroom and got a glass of cold water. I was going to give it to him to drink, but when I got back and saw how he was almost sleeping standing up, I threw it in his face.
“Fuck,” Eric yelled, but he looked much more awake. He shook his head and looked at me, still drowsy, but ready for action.
“Lift her body and I`ll carry her legs.”
In a joint effort, Eric and I managed to get Pam off the bed and towards the door. Eric was staggering and I wasn`t much better. Eric could probably have carried Pam alone if he hadn`t been drugged, but I was panting under the weight of her.
“When we get out of this door, we need to run,” I whispered to Eric. I hadn`t heard anyone out in the corridor for some time and I hoped it meant they were somewhere else entirely. I cold sweated at the thought of them being 41 people and we being me, a half-drugged Eric and Pam out cold.
Eric nodded and drew a heavy breath as to clear his mind. His willpower impressed me and I couldn`t help sending him an admiring smile. Eric squinted a little but then he smiled back.
I opened the door slightly and peeked out. No one was there. I nodded to Eric.
“At the count of three,” I whispered.
And at the count of three we opened the door wide and started running. We almost fell because our strides were so different, Eric being so tall and I so short. Eric looked at me and then he took Pam and threw her over his shoulder. He staggered a little and I ran over and held him.
We stumbled to the stairs, Eric carrying Pam and me trying to help out as best I could. I was afraid Eric would take a tumble down the stairs so I walked in front of him and tried to hold him, but he pushed me to the side.
“If I fall, I don`t want you hurt as well.”
I listened for sounds and ran down the stairs to assess the situation. I couldn`t see anyone, but I could hear commotion from the basement and from the dining room.
Eric was almost at the bottom of the stairs. He looked pale and I wished I had the strength to unload him of the burden he had on his shoulder, but there was no way I could carry Pam.
I ran to the door and just as I opened it, I saw Barry on the top of the stairs, carrying a man. He ran down the stairs and Eric and he were out the door, each with a person on their shoulders. If it wasn`t such a serious situation, I would have giggled out loud. It looked like the wife-carrying race in Finland I had read about.
But this was a serious situation and we all ran for the woods as fast as we could. Barry ran very fast, but Eric showed the results of the poisoning.
Just as we reached the forest, I heard sirens far away. Barry laid down the man he was carrying, I guessed it was his employer Stan, and Eric did the same. Eric threw himself down and looked like he was going to throw up.
Barry nodded. “I called the police.”
From where we were hiding, I could see people coming out of the castle, listening for something. Then they ran back inside and suddenly it was like an ant hill a kid has poked a stick into. People were running in and out, shouting at each other. Some were running and at least four cars got off before a couple of police cars and some ambulances pulled in.
It was like watching a movie, just way more scary, when a police officer shouted in a megaphone.
“Come out with your hands over your heads.”
Nothing happened and the police officers walked around, looking nervous while checking their watches. Suddenly I heard more sirens and some huge police vans came and out jumped men dressed in black tight fitting clothes. More ambulances came too.
They ran into the building and after a lot of noise and shouting, they came out with ten men in handcuffs. I shuddered at the thought of where the 31 other were.
Medics ran into the house and I motioned to Barry and Eric that I thought it was safe to get out of the forest. Barry nodded, but Eric had fallen back to sleep, leaned halfway on a tree.
Emotions overwhelmed me. What if he had been seriously poisoned? What if he was dying?
“Eric, you have to wake up,” I screamed, almost panicking.
Eric opened his eyes slightly, but then they closed again.
I screamed loudly and when I stopped, I saw Barry running to the ambulances. He found a couple of medics and soon he had three teams with stretchers coming towards us. I almost cried in relief.
Pam and Eric went in different ambulances and I was allowed to ride with Eric. I stressed the fact that I was his wife. I even held out the ring I was carrying.
I was sniffing and holding Eric`s hand when I saw him opening his eyes.
“Barry is gay,” was all I managed to say.
“I know that,” Eric whispered. “I know that now.” And then he was gone.
I hope you liked this chapter.
And now some self-pimpage. I wrote the one-shot Carnival is for Scars, Valentine`s for Mending for the Carnival and Valentine`s contest at the Alexander Skarsgård Library Forum and I also posted it here at fanfic. It`s All Human, set in Denmark (of course) and about Doctor Northman and Doctor Stackhouse meeting each other 15 years after a painful event.