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We'll Run for Our Lives

Chapter Text

 

 

 

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me...
All of me...
All of me...
All...

 

My Immortal by Evanescence

 

Helsinki has become home. Eric never thought that was possible, but it happened. He enjoyed being here because he found something like family. The Koskinen’s accepted him into their life when he came here almost 100 years ago. It was a distant memory, how he came here, but he couldn’t really say why. Something led him to this life, this family, this town. And he stayed.

He sighed and continued packing. He was about to leave on a trip to the US. Although he was looking forward to meet Sutan, he was also afraid to go back. He was afraid; the memory of Thomas would haunt him. And he was afraid, that the intervention into the failed mating of Adam and Sauli would make him relive his own loss.

Thomas… Tommy…

On some days it felt like it was only two days ago that he lost Tommy. But it was actually two centuries since Tommy died. The loneliness didn’t ease; it just became a constant droning in his head and his heart. A steady reminder, that once he was loved. Tommy was always present in his mind, but in the last weeks Eric couldn’t exist without thinking about him and missing him constantly. Sauli’s story reminded him that even if he shouldn’t, he was still waiting and hoping.

Eric closed the suitcase and walked over to his desk. He opened a drawer and took the small black book out of it. It was the notebook he filled with writing back when Tommy died. All his memories were there, written down in black ink on slightly faded pages. He opened the book and his eyes fell on his drawing of Tommy. He had to draw it from memory. Tommy had died a month prior. Eric started the notebook because he was afraid all his memories would fade.

Eric let his finger touch Tommy’s face on the page. He smiled, feeling the memory coming back to him.

~ ♥ ~

200 years ago

Eric was riding towards the forest where Tommy lived. It was a long ride and his muscles were sore and tired. He couldn’t wait to get back to his lover.

Eric always felt bad when he had to leave. His business and commitments demanded a lot of traveling. The vampires had arrived with the human settlers to the New World and just like them, they were about to discover and conquer the wide continent. It was not easy to remain in control where they were. It was even harder to build up a council. But all the vampires with common sense knew they needed some institution to control them. Some backsliders, some Rogues, needed to be found and eliminated. That was what Eric was doing ever since he came to the New World over 100 years ago.

Eric took a deep breath and forced his horse to stop.

“Tommy, I can smell you! You know there is no chance you could hide from me, don’t you?” Eric tried to sound serious, but a happy smile was touching the corners of his lips.

“I see! The big, bad vampire is back. And he still doesn’t get that I am not afraid of him, does he?” Tommy’s voice came out of a tree right in front of Eric.

Eric dismounted his horse and walked over to the tree. He looked up and saw Tommy sitting there, his back leaned against the trunk, his legs dangled on each side of the thick limb he was sitting on. He grinned down at Eric. Eric’s breath caught in his throat, just like it did every time he saw Tommy. Those beautiful, deep brown eyes were going to be the end of him one day. He would never be able to get enough of Tommy. Just looking at his beautiful face was something Eric could do for a long time. But right now looking wasn’t enough. He needed to taste him.

He beckoned Tommy with his finger and Tommy just jumped down into Eric’s arms. It never stopped to amaze Eric how trusting Tommy was. Tommy pressed his face into Eric’s chest, while Eric was taking Tommy’s scent in. He buried his face into the strands of long, blond hair and took a deep breath.

Tommy chuckled. “Don’t breathe me in, you would miss me.”

Eric pulled at Tommy’s hair, just hard enough to make him look up. “I already missed you.”

Eric let one of his hands graze along Tommy’s cheek, still amazed how smooth Tommy’s skin was. He cupped Tommy’s jaw with one hand and pulled at Tommy’s hair with the other, causing Tommy to moan. Then Eric leaned down and kissed him. He held Tommy’s head in the right position and enjoyed the feeling of controlling him completely.

“Mine!” was the only word he was able to let out between kisses they shared under the tree. Tommy was holding tight onto Eric, his fingers digging into his back. “Yours, always.” Tommy’s whisper made Eric’s heart swell in his chest.

~ ♥ ~

September 2010

Eric was pulled out of his memories by a knock on the door. Still tasting the memory of Tommy’s lips, he walked over to open the door. The driver, who was supposed to take him to the airport, took his suitcase and they walked out of the house.

How would he handle going back to America? After Tommy died, he stayed for over 100 years. He was waiting and hoping that the witch was right about Tommy coming back. But obviously the spell she said back then, didn’t work. Eric was devastated when he thought that he would never see his mate again.

He had to blink the tears away; the pain was still overwhelming after all those long years. The rest of the ride he stared out of the window. He tried to get some sleep on his flight to Dallas. Working for the royal vampires of Finland guaranteed him a private plane. Still it was hard to let sleep take him. He was afraid to meet Tommy in them.

And he couldn’t wait to meet Tommy in them.

~ ♥ ~

Eric stepped out of the security area and spotted Sutan immediately. This guy would never really change, would he?

“Sutan! It’s been too long!” Eric hugged Sutan tightly and then pulled away to look at him. “You look great! How is it going?”

Sutan laughed. “Thank you, you are not that bad looking yourself. I’m good. Pretty busy right now. We should go; I want you to meet Adam tonight. His show will be finished soon and we could talk with him. He doesn’t know that you are here. I was afraid, he would avoid the meeting.”

Eric nodded while he pulled his suitcase behind him. “Yeah, I guess you know him better than I do. Sauli doesn’t know that the council sent me, so I guess we might be lucky and surprise Adam. But you are right we should hurry up, because Sauli might find out soon and warn Adam.”

Sutan nodded and they walked out to the car that was waiting for them.

~ ♥ ~

After half an hour ride to the Palladium Ballroom, Eric and Sutan stepped out of the car. They walked to the backstage area, towards the dressing rooms. The closer they got, the more Eric caught a strange glimpse of familiarity. He couldn’t figure out what it was, because he’d never been in Dallas before. The building itself didn’t remind him of anything he knew from his life. But suddenly a memory of blond hair spread on a pillow beside him crept into his mind.

Tommy!

Eric had to stop and put his hand to his chest, trying to catch his suddenly short breath. Sutan turned around with a concerned look on his face.

“Eric? Are you ok?”

Eric held up his hand, while he tried to understand what was happening.

Tommy! I can smell him!

The realization hit him with such a force, that he fell down to his knees, a worried Sutan right beside him. He tried to get enough air to talk.

“I… I am fine, Sutan. I’m fine. Please give me a second.” Eric managed to whisper.

Sutan was not really appeased. “Tell me, what is it? Is there a thread? A spell or something you can feel?”

Eric snorted. “Yeah, it’s a spell alright, or more like a calling actually.”

Sutan’s eyes widened at that. “Your mate is here? But…”

Eric stopped him. “Yeah, I know, he died 200 years ago. I know that. I was holding him, back then. I saw life leaving his body.”

Sutan nodded. “Yeah, so is his spirit here somewhere?”

Eric smiled at this. “I’m sure, that this is more, than just his spirit. He is here. He is back, Sutan. The spell worked.” He was excited and anxious at the same time.

“I don’t understand any of this, what are you talking about?” Sutan’s confusion was written all over his face.

Eric smelled Tommy with such a force, it made him dizzy. He needed to calm down and talk it over with Adam.

“I just think that maybe Tommy is back. I’ll explain later.”

Sutan stared at him. “Tommy? Your mate’s name is Tommy?”

Eric nodded. “Thomas actually, I just called him Tommy most of the time.”

Sutan clasped his hand over his mouth. “Oh, my God! Our Tommy might be your Tommy!”

Eric looked at him in confusion. “You have a Tommy here? Who is he?”

Sutan seemed under shock and Eric had to shake him to get an answer. “Tommy? Why, Tommy is Adam’s bass player.” He said this as if everyone should know this as fact.

Eric’s hands were trembling now. He found Tommy. Maybe. He needed to compose himself to be able to face him. Tommy might not remember him either. It was so long ago in another lifetime and who knows how he will react. It might be best to talk to Tommy in private.

I can talk to him!

Suddenly Eric felt a wave of panic coming up. What if Tommy didn’t remember him? What if he didn’t want him anymore? Could he walk away from him again and be alone, once he knew Tommy was back?

He forced himself to calm down and just to wait and see what would happen.

I can do it, I can do it!

“I’m okay, Sutan. Let’s find Adam, so I can talk to him and then maybe get a chance to meet Tommy?”

Sutan smirked. “I think you might meet him sooner, than you think.”

Eric looked up. “What?”

Sutan smiled and patted Eric’s shoulder. “Tommy is usually spending time with Adam after the concerts, if Adam doesn’t go out. And since he can’t get laid, he spends a lot of nights in.”

Eric swallowed hard against the fear in his body. Sutan watched him closely.

“Hey, Eric, calm down! It will be okay. If our Tommy is your mate, then things could really work out for you two.”

Eric wasn’t so sure about that. “Sutan, what if he doesn’t remember me? If he doesn’t want me? What if…”

Sutan grabbed Eric’s hand. “Hey, stop driving yourself crazy. Just wait and see what happens, okay?”

Eric nodded and took some deep breaths. “Let me find my way back to being my fierce self.” He smirked, when Sutan rolled his eyes.

They walked on and stopped right in front of Adam’s wardrobe. The scent of his mate was so strong now, that Eric was about to faint. He took some deep breaths again and tried to concentrate on his job.

“Okay, let’s get it over with.”

Sutan opened the door and they walked in. They heard something falling to the ground and a blond head leaned down to pick it up. When the man got up again, he looked up at Eric. Eric’s heart almost stopped. It was without a doubt Tommy. He would recognize the face anywhere. Especially those eyes, he allowed himself to dive into them for a split second and then looked away.

“Tommy, would you please leave us alone for a few minutes?”  Sutan spoke into the silence.

Tommy hurried out of the room and Eric had to keep himself together and composed while Tommy’s scent hit him hard.

Mate!

He avoided looking at Tommy when he walked by, because he couldn’t trust himself to keep his hands off him. It took him everything to stay away from Tommy. Especially because he could feel Tommy’s curiosity picking up. When the door closed behind Tommy, Eric barely managed to stop a sigh from escaping his mouth. He needed to focus on Adam right now.

~ ♥ ~

Tommy closed the door behind him and leaned back against the opposite wall.

Damn, what was that?

He sat down and pulled his knees against his chest. He shouldn’t stay here. The chances were good, that the vampire would come out of Adam’s dressing room sometime soon. But something made him want to stay.

There was an aura around the vampire, Tommy never felt coming from any other vampire he met before. He felt like time stopped the second the Viking walked into the room.  Everything about him was perfect: broad shoulders, long blond hair, blue eyes, and a great ass.

But why was Tommy’s body screaming for him?

Unable to walk away, he waited until the vampire came into the hallway. It seemed like he was sitting there waiting forever. Finally the door opened and the guy was right in front of him. Tommy looked up, letting his eyes wander slowly up the vampire’s body. When he got to his face, there was a friendly smirk gracing the vampire’s lips. They stared at each other for a few minutes, before the vampire kneeled down beside Tommy. He moved closer.

Soon his lips touched Tommy’s ear to speak soft quiet words. “I want to taste you.”

Tommy shivered, his hands grabbing the vampire’s arms.

“I need to make you mine, to claim you. Your blood is calling me.”

Tommy closed his eyes and bared his neck.

The vampire pulled away to look into Tommy’s eyes. “Not like this and not here. I want to spread you out on my bed in my home. I want to love you, like you deserve to be loved.”

Tommy’s eyes went wide. “Who are you?”

The vampire smiled. “Tommy, you know who I am. You just have to accept it and name it. Say it.”

Tommy swallowed hard. His heart was beating fast. He closed his eyes and relaxed. He could hear a voice inside his mind. He opened his eyes and looked directly into the vampire’s eyes.

"Eric?”

The vampire nodded. “Yes, Tommy, that is my name.”

Tommy smiled and reached out a hand to touch Eric’s cheek. “I remember you somehow. As if we were together once, in another life.”

Eric cupped Tommy’s face. “In a way we were, mate.”

Then his lips touched Tommy’s. When Eric pulled back after a few moments, all Tommy could do was to touch his lips in wonder. He whispered “Mate.”

Tommy’s eyes were wide when he looked at Eric. He was under shock. How could it be that he didn’t know anything about that man and still wanted follow him anywhere? The urge to touch and kiss him was almost unbearable and Tommy tried desperately to catch his breath. Eric was still so close; his breath was along Tommy’s lips.

Mate?

Tommy closed his eyes against the emotions in Eric’s eyes. He should try to get away from Eric, to think about what was happening. But Eric’s presence was paralyzing. It felt like he was not able to move at all.

Eric’s hands moved away from Tommy’s face, and he was missing them the minute they were gone. He opened his eyes and saw Eric move away.

“No, don’t go. I… I don’t know you, I mean not really. But there is something between us and I need to know what it is.”

Eric sighed and then let the back of his hand stroke over Tommy’s face and Tommy could feel himself melting under the soft touch.

“Tommy, I know this must be confusing for you. I wish I could tell you everything, but the truth is, you need to remember. You need to find everything out by yourself. I can only help while you figure things out, but I am not allowed to tell you what was in the past. I’m sorry.”

Tommy could see that it was killing Eric to hold back.

“I don’t know how to remember? I don’t even know if I want to remember.”

Tommy flinched at the pain in Eric’s eyes.

“I am, sorry, but I don’t know you.” Tommy sighed and moved to the side to get up.

“I think I will just go home. I need to… I don’t know what I need. But I will go now.”

He stepped away, then turned around and looked at Eric. “I’m sorry, okay? I just don’t know what to do.”

Eric nodded slowly. “Just, please, Tommy… can I call you? Would you give me your number? I have been waiting for you for so long…”

Tommy interrupted him. “Give me your number. I will call you, I promise.”

Eric sighed and gave Tommy a card with his number. Tommy turned away again and was about to walk away, when Eric took his hand and pulled him back into him. He was pressed against Eric now and Eric’s breath was tickling against his ear. He could feel the vampire breathing him in, like he wanted to memorize Tommy’s scent. Then he kissed Tommy on his neck, right underneath his ear.

Tommy started to shiver.

Jesus, I need to get away.

Tommy managed to step away from Eric and this time he walked out the door without looking back.

~ ♥ ~

200 years ago

Tommy was restless. Something was wrong and he could feel the air around him sizzle. He’d felt eyes on him for days and he was sure those eyes didn’t belong to a human being. It was unnerving, because usually they came to get some help or advice. This time, the vampire was just watching Tommy. And this had been going on for days.

Tommy was not afraid of vampires. He was used to deal with them since he was old enough to follow his destiny. He had a good reputation and he knew that vampires from all around came to see him to get his help. After all he was one of the few male witches around, a warlock.

He could feel the presence of a vampire before the vampire had a chance to smell him. It was annoying to have a vampire around, who seemed to think he could fool Tommy.

Maybe he is testing me?

This idea was even more annoying. After Tommy worked around his house and prepared everything for a session he had the next day it was almost evening. The vampire was still close. He stayed in the same spot for hours. Tommy reached his breaking point.

“I know you’re there! Come out and show yourself!” He shouted in the direction where he felt the presence of the vampire.

First there was no reaction. Tommy was standing there, his arms crossed, waiting. Finally there was some movement in front of him and a man came out of the shadows. Tommy gasped. The man was really good looking, blond, tall and those broad shoulders… But his eyes were what made Tommy’s heart skip a bit. They were deep blue and they touched a place inside of him, he wasn’t aware could be touched.

“Who are you?” Tommy’s voice sounded calmer than he actually felt.

“My name is Eric.” The vampire answered almost shyly.

“What do you want and why are you watching me?” Tommy asked angrily.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t know you could feel me.”

Tommy rolled his eyes. “Come on! You are here to get something from me. You should know who I am and what I am able to feel.”

Eric shook his head. “I didn’t come to get anything. I was just passing by a few days ago.”

Tommy looked at him in confusion. “So, why did you stay?”

Eric came closer then. “Because I think, you are my mate. I couldn’t resist your scent.”

Tommy snorted at that. “That’s not possible.”

Eric moved another step closer. “I can feel that it is the truth.”

Tommy shook his head. “I can’t be anybody’s mate. I am a warlock. We don’t mate with vampires. It is not done.”

Eric took the last step and was now standing right in Tommy’s space. “You are my mate. I don’t care if it’s done or not, I can feel it.”

He looked down into Tommy’s eyes and Tommy could feel something inside him calling out for this man. But this was not possible! Before he could say anything else, Eric leaned down and captured his lips in a kiss. It didn’t last long, but it left Tommy trembling and shaking all over. He laid his fingers over his lips and gazed into Eric’s eyes.

“Mate?”

Eric nodded and smiled.

~ ♥ ~

September 2010

Tommy woke up with a start.

What was that dream?

He sat up and rubbed his eyes. He looked around to realize that he had fallen asleep in his clothes on the couch. Again, it seemed like everyone else had left. A look at his phone made him groan. It was lunchtime already. He got up and decided to grab a bagel or something at the gas station.

After a short visit to the bathroom, he put his hoodie on and grabbed his sunglasses to step out. He was not even sure where he was. The air was warm, still he was freezing. He felt like he couldn’t stop shivering.  Meeting Eric had thrown him off and he was totally confused.

The first days after meeting him Tommy was tempted to call him to try to find out what this was about. But he was sure, that he wouldn’t be able to keep his mind clear once Eric was near him. Tommy understood that Eric was his mate. That one thing was clear. He felt it. He never thought he would be a mate to a vampire. It surprised him, but it was not the reason he was confused.

The reason was that there were memories from a past he didn’t know. Snippets from another life were invading his dreams and thoughts. It was like remembering a movie but having yourself staring back at you from the screen. And now that dream!

Tommy had heard that he had witches in his family. But the last witch he was related to was his great-grandmother. At least that is what he had been told. Tommy’s family didn’t talk much about her. He never wondered much about that, because she died long before he was born, but now it seemed weird, that he didn’t know anything about her.

She was the grandmother of his father. She died before her own daughter bonded with Luther. But could it be that there was something about their family that made them mate with vampires? Or was his grandmother the only one?

Tommy shook his head and got into the small diner beside the gas station. The other band members were sitting at one big table, having lunch. He didn’t feel like he wanted to join them. He got himself coffee and a bagel and left the diner after waving at them. They understood that he needed some time on his own. It happened before.

Tommy walked over to a bench and sat down. He took out his phone and called his grandmother. He was chewing on his thumb while he was waiting for her to pick up.

“Hello, Tommy!”

“Hi, grandma! I need to ask you something totally weird.”

She laughed. “Oh, yes, I am fine, how are you?”

Tommy sighed. “Sorry, I am so confused and it drives me crazy.”

“What happened, Tommy?” Her voice was instantly serious and laced with worry.

“This might sound totally weird, but I guess I met my mate.” He whispered after looking around if someone could hear him.

“What?” His grandmother was obviously shocked.

“I know this is weird. He came from Finland to fix that mating problem Adam had with Sauli.” Tommy sighed. “I think I know him. He mentioned something about another life and I’ve been having weird dreams since I’ve met him.”

“Tommy, what are you dreaming about?” Isabella’s voice was strangely calm and stern.

“It seems like I see myself living in another time. And there is a lot of weird stuff going on. I… I don’t want to talk about this over the phone. It’s just so weird and surreal. Can you come see me, before we go to Asia? I don’t think I can bear waiting until we’re back. Can you come?” He almost flinched listening to the desperation in his voice. Tears were prickling in his eyes. He swallowed hard. “Please, grandma….”

“Of course I’ll come. E-mail me your next tour stops and I will let you know when I can catch up with you.” She paused listening to his sobs. “Tommy, everything will be fine, I promise.”

Tommy snorted with a sob. “I can’t believe that right now. I feel helpless against the pull. I want to call Eric and beg him to come to me. But I don’t remember what happened and he said I needed to remember.” He paused briefly, before dropping his voice to a whisper. “I am scared. Maybe I won’t like what I’ll remember. Something about him tells me that the memories won’t all be pleasant.”

Isabella sighed. “Tommy, we need to talk. I will come as soon as I can. But please stay calm. I can assure you everything will be okay in the end. I love you.”

Tommy wiped his tears away. “I love you, too.”

After hanging up, Tommy stayed on the bench until he saw the other’s leaving the diner. He got up and walked over to them. He let Sutan pull him into a side hug, so they walked together. But he refused to talk and Sutan just gave him a kiss on the top of his hair and accepted his silence.

~ ♥ ~

Tommy kept his distance for the next day. His friends knew him well enough to leave him alone. He would talk when he was ready. At times he didn’t talk at all about what was going on in his head. They accepted him that way and he was never more grateful about it than now.

He felt the need to talk, but he just didn’t know who he should talk to. He didn’t want to bother Adam. He was busy with his own mating problem and didn’t need to have to deal with Tommy’s madness too. When he thought about the other people on tour with them it only left Sutan as a possibility. On the other hand Sutan was a friend of Eric’s, so maybe talking to him wasn’t such a good idea.

Tommy was happy when his grandmother called him to tell him that she would meet up with him on the next hotel night. That left him with two days and nights to think about Eric. And not calling him, because that would probably be a stupid idea.

His thoughts were drifting back to the dream he had. The kiss in that dream was haunting him. He wanted more of that. He remembered the kiss he got in the hall and before he knew it, he was dialing Eric’s number in his phone.

“Hello?”

Eric’s voice was sending shivers down Tommy’s spine and for a moment he wanted to just hang up and throw his phone away. But he didn’t. Instead he took a deep breath and answered with a shy “Hi.”

“Tommy?” Eric’s voice sounded happy. “I was hoping you would call me, before I have to go back to Finland. I am glad you did.”

Tommy was just breathing and trying to find out why he called Eric.

“Did you remember something Tommy?”

Tommy sighed. “I had a dream.”

Eric stayed quiet and Tommy was thankful for that. He wanted to talk, but he just didn’t seem to find the words. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander back to the Eric in his dream. He smiled.

“I dreamed about how we met, I think. At least I saw how the Tommy back in another time met the Eric back in another time.”

Eric chuckled. “I was always the same, Tommy. I am still the same vampire, I was back then. And you are the same soul. You even look the same. I always thought, when you’d come back, it would be a different body, a different person. But you are just the same exactly as I remember you.”

Tommy sighed, his eyes still closed. “Eric, I don’t think I am the same. I can’t remember who that person in my dream was. I don’t know that Tommy.”

Eric sighed softly. “Tommy, I know this is confusing for you. I won’t push you, even if I can’t wait to have you, under me.”

Eric’s voice was hoarse and full of arousal now. It hit Tommy deep in his gut and he could feel himself getting hard.

He will be the end of me!

Tommy took a deep breath, then another one. He closed his eyes and remembered Eric’s face out of his dream. It was the same man, he met in the hall. And something deep inside of him remembered things and feelings Tommy didn’t even see in his dreams. But he could feel the sexual tension between them. His body seemed to remember how it was to be under Eric. To be taken apart by Eric. He bit his lip hard to stop a moan from escaping his mouth.

“Eric, you are confusing me. I have to admit, that you intrigue me. But the feelings scare me too. I know technically how that mating thing works. But it’s driving me crazy to feel like you could just wiggle your finger and I’d be at your mercy. I am not ready for that.” He whispered in his phone.

Eric sighed sadly. “Tommy, I am sorry. I just… I know I should be patient and wait until you’re ready for me, but I have waited so many, many years. It hurts me not to be able to touch you.”

Tommy could feel the desperation and need in Eric’s voice. It was hurting him too. But there was so much he didn’t know, so much he needed to understand first.

“Eric, I can only imagine how you must feel. But I need time and I need… I don’t even know what it is, but I need something. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of knowing you from another life.” He stopped shortly to rub his eyes. “How many years did you wait?”

Eric whisper was barely there. “200 years. I’ve been waiting for 200 years for you to come back to me.”

Tommy swallowed hard. “I am sorry, Eric.”

Eric chuckled, but it sounded more like a sob. Tommy’s heart was itching to comfort Eric.

“Tommy, I understand your doubts and I know you need to remember everything on your own. I will have to be a little bit more patient. Do you want to tell me about your dream?”

Tommy smiled and told Eric about his dream. He could feel Eric smiling back when he was telling him what happened. The memory of their first meeting was a happy memory and now they shared it together.

~ ♥ ~

Eric couldn’t stop smiling when they hang up. The memory of their first kiss was so touching. Eric was glad, that this was Tommy’s first memory. It was one of the happy ones. Soon Tommy would have to go through all the bad memories. Eric wished he could take that for Tommy. He wished it wouldn’t be necessary for Tommy to remember all the hurtful things that happened. Especially the betrayal of the other vampires and Tommy’s death.

Suddenly Eric could feel Tommy’s limp, dying body in his arms again. He was running through the rain to the one person he hoped could save Tommy.

To Esmeralda.

200 years ago

Eric was soaked. Even the skies seemed to cry over Tommy. He was running with Tommy in his arms towards Esmeralda’s hut. It was hidden in the woods, only to be found by those who she wanted to find her. Eric was one of them. And he needed her help. He looked down at Tommy. Life was leaving his body. He lost so much blood and Eric blamed himself he hadn’t been there on time to save him. Rage was running through his veins.

They betrayed him and he was losing Tommy.

Tommy was dying! He was dying because Eric was not careful enough. Tears mixed with rain were running down his face. He needed to hurry up to get to Esmeralda.

~ ♥ ~

Tommy woke up in the late morning. He could feel the wheels still turning beneath them. His back was hurting, because he fell asleep on the floor. There was just a pillow under his head and a blanket over him. Sutan probably put it over him, since he was one of the last people hanging out with Tommy.

Tommy stretched his arms over his head and moaned about all the muscles that were sore. He needed a hot shower before the show would start. He walked over to the window. It seemed like they were getting closer to New Orleans. Tommy was glad about the hotel nights ahead of them and also about the meeting with his grandmother.

He walked to the front and asked the driver when they’d arrive in New Orleans. After he knew there was only another 20 minutes left, he decided to have some coffee to wake up. He just managed to fill his mug, when Sutan stepped into the living room area.

“Morning, Tommy!”

Sutan was yawning more than speaking. He stretched his arms above his head, showing off his flat stomach. Tommy grinned.

“Did you sleep well, baby?” Sutan looked at Tommy with concern. “You seemed upset last days and I could hear you sighing in your sleep.”

Tommy shrugged. “I have some stuff on my mind right now and it doesn’t let go of me, even in my sleep.”

Sutan took a mug full of coffee for himself. He took a sip and grimaced. “That is the strongest and bitterest coffee you ever made for us.”

Tommy giggled.

“You don’t want to talk about it, do you?” Sutan asked carefully.

Tommy shrugged again. “I want to talk about it. I know it would help me, but I don’t have the words to explain what is going on yet. It’s just so massive and I can’t handle speaking about it out loud.”

Sutan put some sugar in his coffee and tried again, just to give up and pour it away. He looked at Tommy for a few minutes, letting the silence settle between them.

“Is this about Eric?”

Tommy’s eyes went wide, before he could mask his feelings. He knew he couldn’t lie to Sutan, so he just nodded and looked away.

“You don’t have to talk to me about it, Tommy. But if you change your mind I am here for you.”

Tommy looked back and Sutan. Then he got up, walked over and hugged him. “Thank you.”

Sutan gave him a kiss on his forehead. “Anytime, Tommy, anytime.” He smiled. “I can’t believe that we know each other only this short amount of time. I feel like I’ve known you forever. And that actually means a lot of years in my case.” They both giggled.

“I know, what you mean. You are my life partner, of course only in a platonic way.”

Sutan chuckled. “Yeah, Eric might kill me if…” He snapped his hand over his mouth. “Sorry, Tommy. He told me a little bit about you two. I didn’t mean to…”

Tommy waved with his hand. “Never mind, I already figured you knew. I am just not ready to talk about it now. Sorry.”

Sutan hugged Tommy once more. “Don’t worry it’s okay, I understand.”

The bus came to a stop then and Tommy walked to his bunk to get his stuff.

~ ♥ ~

It was always interesting to see his grandmother. Isabella still looked like she was in her thirties; the privileges of a human mated with a vampire. Tommy ran over to his grandmother and pulled her into a tight hug. Suddenly he felt like he hadn’t been home in years, instead of weeks. When they moved apart, she touched his cheek and smiled.

“You should eat more.”

Tommy rolled his eyes. “Grandma, I am good.”

She kissed him on his cheek. “I am your grandmother. I am allowed to be overprotective and to mother-hen you. Get over it!” She said it with so much love in her voice that his heart warmed up. He really did miss her.

He took her hand and pulled her towards the elevators.

“Come with me to my room. I will shower quickly and then we can have dinner and talk?”

Isabella nodded. Tommy was excited to talk to her. He was also hopeful he would be able to meet Eric afterwards, because his need for his mate was driving him crazy.

After the shower, they went to the hotel restaurant. They found a silent corner and placed their order. Tommy was nervous and not sure where to start. He wanted to ask about everything, get to know everything.

Isabella smiled. “I think, maybe I should start telling you some things about our family?”

Tommy sighed in relief and nodded.

“You know, that my mother was a witch, don’t you?”

Tommy nodded and she continued.

“She was well known in her time. Vampires from all over the States came to seek her help. They trusted her with their lives.” Isabella sighed deeply, obviously touched by thinking of her mother.

“She died while she tried to save your grandfather’s life, my husband.”

Tommy looked up in surprise. He always thought his grandfather died during an accident in the factory where he was working.

“Your grandfather was a warlock. He was one of the big ones, the powerful ones.”

Tommy shook his head. “That’s not possible. I was always told that there are only female witches. Warlocks never existed.”

Isabelle took Tommy’s hands in his over the table.

“Tommy, there are many things you don’t know yet, many mysteries, and many lies. We wanted to protect you. It was stupid and pointless as I see now.”

Tommy gaped at her. “What do you mean, you wanted to protect me?”

Isabella squeezed his hands. “Tommy, you are the great-grandson of a witch and a grandson of a powerful warlock. You might be even more powerful than any warlock that ever lived on this earth. And what makes it even more interesting is the fact that you are a reincarnated warlock with a vampire as mate. This means pure power.”

Tommy swallowed hard and leaned back in his chair, taking his hands out of her reach. Their waiter brought their food just at that moment, so he was able to catch his breath. His thoughts were jumping around in his head. Flickers of memories ran through his mind, until one last memory stayed for a few moments longer.

He gasped for air, trying to calm down enough to be able to speak. The vision he just saw scared him.

“Grandma, I was killed back in my earlier life. I died in Eric’s arms.”

The whispered words were hanging between them until Isabella nodded.

“I know, Tommy.”

Tommy’s eyes went wide: “But… how?”

Isabella sighed. “Your story is well known. I mean the story of the warlock that you once were, back 200 years ago.”

She took a big sip of water, before she was able to continue. She reached out and stroked over Tommy’s hand.

“I know that must be confusing for you. And it must be hard to wrap your head around the fact that this is not your first life. I can’t tell you what happened or why you died. That is what you have to remember.”

Tommy leaned back in his seat, removing his hand out of her and crossing his arms on his chest. He looked at Isabella with anger in his eyes.

“Great! What if I never remember? I feel that pull between Eric and I … I want… I can’t say it because you’re my grandma, but I just have this want, okay? And I am hurt and so confused! Do you know how hard this is? I feel like I belong to Eric but I don’t know why? Yes, I technically know it’s because of the mating call, but there is more and that ‘more’ is what I can’t remember.”

Isabella jumped up, walked around the table and pulled Tommy up and hugged him hard. She could feel him trembling in her arms. She stroked over his back and whispered in his ear.

“Don’t be afraid, Tommy. The bond between you and Eric is strong. It survived death and other things. You two are meant to be. Just have trust in the bond.”

She stopped and pulled back enough to look into Tommy’s eyes. Tears shimmered in them.

“Tommy, there is a way to help you remember. I know a witch, who is living here in New Orleans. She is willing to help you. But it has to happen tonight.”

Tommy nodded.

“Why tonight?”

“She said the constellation of moon and some planets is perfect tonight. Don’t even ask me.”

She chuckled. Tommy wiped the tears from his eyes.

“Take me to her.”

She nodded, but then pushed him back in his chair, “First, we eat!”

~ ♥ ~

Eric was restless. He knew, what happened back 200 years ago, wouldn’t happen again. The world had changed and so had the vampire world too. There was no danger that Tommy would be killed again. But still…

Eric felt helpless. He wanted so much to be with Tommy right now. It was easier to be without Tommy before they met again. But now the need to touch, kiss, and hold was driving him insane.

All those memories came back full force. Eric found himself awake at night, wiping tears away. He dreamed about Tommy dying over and over again. The need to make sure that Tommy was really alive and back was unbearable.

Eric pulled his phone out of his pocket. There was still nothing new, just like the last time he checked. He shouldn’t call Tommy, he really shouldn’t. But he needed to hear his voice. Even listening to the mailbox would be enough to make him feel better. So before he could talk himself out of it, he just dialed Tommy’s number and closed his eyes while he listened to the ringing tone. 

“Hey Eric!”

Eric’s heart almost stopped at Tommy’s voice. He sounded excited.

“Hey! I just wanted to hear your voice. Sorry, didn’t mean to push you, I just really, really miss you…”

Eric could hear the smile in Tommy’s voice when he answered: “Yeah? I am glad you called. I was actually thinking about calling you myself.”

Eric sat upright at that. “Did something happen?”

“No, but I hope something will happen.” Eric could hear Tommy taking a deep breath. “I am on my way to a witch, who will help me remember.”

Eric jumped up. “Really? Tommy, how…”

Tommy interrupted him. “This is my grandma’s idea. She is with me. And I would like you to join us.” He paused and continued with a thick voice. “I would feel better, if you’re here with me. Can you, could you…”

“Of course, Tommy! Of course! Just give me the address and I’ll be there.”

Tommy told him the address after asking his grandmother for it.

“I am on my way! And Tommy?”

“Yes?”

“Thank you!”

They hung up and Eric all but ran to his rental car to get to Tommy.

~ ♥ ~

Tommy was standing in front of an old house, when Eric arrived. He stepped out of the car and walked slowly towards Tommy. His heart was tripping over itself in his chest. The need to touch and to own Tommy was almost blinding.

Tommy smiled shyly and put his hands into his jeans pocket. When Eric was right in front of him, Tommy looked right into Eric’s eyes. The pull was overwhelming. It was like Eric had no choice but to take Tommy in his arms and…

“Tommy, is this your mate?” A female voice came out of the house and made them jump apart.

Tommy scratched over his neck, a blush forming on his cheeks. He gave Eric a sheepish grin and turned toward the house.

“Yes, grandma, this is Eric.”

The woman started towards them, her blond hair moved in the light breeze.

“Hi, Eric! You look just like I always imagined you. I just never knew that the vampire out of the story was my grandson’s mate. I am Isabella, by the way.”

Eric smiled at her. “It’s nice to meet you. I didn’t know I was “the vampire out of the story”. What is that story about?”

Isabelle chuckled. “The story of you and the warlock, that was once by your side. The greatest, heartbreaking story the world of vampires and witches ever heard told.”

Eric gaped at her. “What?”

She was now in front of him and reached out to touch his cheek. “You didn’t know? You are famous to those who care for the truth.” She pulled him in a short, but heartfelt hug. When she drew back, she whispered. “Welcome to my family.”

Eric shivered slightly. He didn’t know, people knew about him and Tommy. Did they only know about the love story or did they know everything?

Did they know what happened after Tommy died?

Eric shook himself as if he wanted to get rid of the unwelcomed thoughts.

Isabella took Eric’s hand in one of hers and Tommy’s hand in the other and pulled them both towards the house.

The house smelled like magic. There were candles all around and something about the decoration reminded Eric painfully of Esmeralda. There were dried wild flowers all around in vases of different shapes and colors. On the walls Eric spotted paintings of different animals. But there was a big painting right above the fireplace that had him choke up. He put his hand over his mouth, but couldn’t stop the pained groan escaping his throat.

“Esmeralda…” his whisper bounced around him and hit him like a punch in the gut.

“Yes, this is Esmeralda. You must be one of the older vampires, since you remember her.”

Eric turned towards the female voice and his breath caught in his throat. He knew it was not Esmeralda, but the woman in front of him, looked like a twin of Esmeralda. Eric could barely stop the tears that were pushing into his eyes.

“She was a friend of mine…” his voice was breaking. He cleared his throat. “I guess you are a relative of her?”

The woman nodded. “Yes, she was my great-great-great-grandmother. I am Estella. And you must be Eric, aren’t you?”

Eric stared at her and nodded.

She smiled again. “I know it must be strange, that we all know something about you and you don’t know us. But your story was told in our family for the last 200 years. And as things started to change, we spread the word about you and the warlock you once loved.”

Eric swallowed hard, suddenly almost nauseous with memories. Estella must have sensed it. She stepped closer and pulled him in a hug. She stroked over his back. “Let us, show Tommy your story, shall we?”

Eric let the tears spill out of his eyes and roll down his face. He nodded unable to speak and turned towards Tommy who was watching the whole scene with wide eyes. He reached out for him and when Tommy stepped closer he squeezed Tommy’s arm.

“Come my love, it’s time to remember.”

~ ♥ ~

Tommy was excited but also scared. He looked around the room Estelle led them to. It was in the back of the house and there were no windows. The walls were painted in dark red. There were dark lines all over the walls; some of them looked like Celtic symbols. Estelle lit two huge candles. They must have been scented, because a rich scent of flowers and musk filled the room. Tommy felt lightheaded.

Estelle had a small kettle on a table right in front of Tommy. She put some liquid into it and was throwing different plants, stones and what seemed like pieces of animals into the kettle. She mumbled words Tommy couldn’t even recognize as human words. Harsh whispers and melodic cries filled the room.

After a few minutes, Estelle seemed to be finished with the potion she was brewing. Tommy leaned a bit forward. He grimaced at the reek. Estelle laughed.

“Don’t worry; you don’t have to drink it.”

Tommy looked at her in horror. He didn’t even think that was an option.

Estelle smiled. “The scent will relax you. Just give it a chance to develop. I have some other potion to drink for you. I prepared it after I talked to Isabella on the phone. I will get it. Try to breathe this potion in and relax.”

Estelle left the room and Tommy’s eyes locked with Eric’s. There was something so comforting about Eric’s presence, Tommy just had to reach out and touch Eric’s face. Eric smiled and turned his lips toward Tommy’s hand to kiss his fingertips.

“Are you scared?” Eric’s voice wavered when he spoke.

Tommy sighed and nodded. “I am afraid of the bad things I will remember, but I am looking forward to see the good things.” He looked down and whispered. “I can’t wait to see us.”

Eric put his own fingers on Tommy’s chin and forced him to look at him. When their eyes locked, a shiver ran through them. They were not even sure who started it. Eric leaned down and pecked Tommy’s lips lightly.

They put their foreheads together and breathed each other in, while they waited for Estelle’s return. Tommy closed his eyes and could feel himself relax, wondering if it was due to Eric’s presence or the potion or maybe both.

Finally Estelle got back and smiled at them both as she gave Tommy the glass. The potion had a dark purple color. It looked interesting and the smell was not that bad.

“What did you put in that potion?” Eric asked barely masking his concern about Tommy’s safety.

Estelle chuckled. “Relax, vampire! It’s a “memory poison.” All the ingredients are purely natural: different herbs, flower seeds and some dried fruits. But the last ingredient needs to be added. It would work out without it, but now that you’re here Eric, it will work even better.”

Eric raised his eyebrows. “What?”

Estelle smiled and simply said. “Give me three drops of your blood.”

Tommy paled. “I need to drink his blood?”

Estelle rolled his eyes. “You will have to drink more than three drops eventually. When you’ll mate, you need more than that. But to help your memory to come back, three drops will be enough.”

Eric swallowed. “I was not prepared for that. I didn’t think it would help, because we weren’t mated back then. The bond wasn’t finished.”

Estelle nodded. “I know, Eric. As I said, we all know your story.”

Eric shook his head. “I don’t understand why it is like that. I mean 200 ago; people didn’t want to listen to me. They said I should keep my mouth shut about what happened and accept that Tommy was gone.”

Estelle interrupted him. “You should stop talking. Tommy needs to remember without you telling him anything.” She sighed and said in a softer tone. “They started talking about your story 100 years ago. I can tell you more, once Tommy remembers.”

She reached out and took Eric’s wrist. “And now vampire, give me some of your blood.”

Eric leaned down and let one of his fangs open a small spot on his wrist. Blood spilled out and Estelle turned his wrist and let three drops fall into the purple potion. Then she let go of his hand and stirred the potion with a small spoon. She handed it over to Tommy.

Tommy took the glass in his hand and watched the purple brew, not really looking forward to drinking it. But finally he gave in and drank it down all at once. It tasted like something oddly sweet, too sweet for Tommy’s taste. But it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

As he put the glass down on the table, Estelle smiled at him.

“What now?” Tommy was getting impatient.

“Now we will try to get you to sleep and dream for a while.” Estelle’s voice was suddenly very blurry in Tommy’s ears. He could also feel his eyelids getting really heavy. When he looked over at Eric, his vision started to swim right in front of him. Before he could say anything about it, darkness fell around him and he let it take over.

~ ♥ ~

As Tommy slumped back against the back of the chair he was sitting in, Eric jumped up. He was afraid that Tommy could fall down and get hurt. He took him in his arms and walked him over to a small sofa on the other side of the room.

Isabella came into the room right at that moment. She looked at Eric and stroked over Tommy’s hair. “I see it worked pretty well so far?”

Estelle shrugged. “Did you have doubts?”

Isabella sat down beside Tommy’s head and gestured for Eric to sit down at his feet. She shook her head at Estelle and turned her attention to Eric. He was pale and looked scared.

“Don’t be afraid, Eric. Tommy is fine. He will just be able to go back in time now and see what happened back when you two made history.”

Eric blushed slightly at that and snorted. “I hope he’ll be okay with everything that happened. I am just afraid; it might be too much to take in at once. I will have to tell him what happened after he died. He might fear me because of what I have done.” Eric’s lips trembled.

Estelle came to stand beside Eric and forced him to look up at her when she put her fingers under his chin. “Don’t be scared. Trust the bond between you two.”

Eric nodded, forcing the tears back. Estelle pecked his cheek.

“I will leave you alone with Tommy. He will sleep at least until morning. When he wakes up, he shouldn’t be alone. If everything works out, he will know what happened and he might have questions for you.”

She turned towards Isabella. “Come on, let’s leave the boys alone. We need to catch up on some old stories anyway.” When Isabella looked down at Tommy’s face in concern, Estelle just chuckled. “He will be alright. You just wait and see. Have faith in their love.”

Isabella sighed deeply and got up. He looked one last time at Tommy and left the room with Estelle.

Eric got up and walked over to Tommy’s head. He sat down on the floor, his face in front of Tommy’s. He stayed like that the whole night. He watched Tommy’s facial expressions. They changed between relaxed and deeply scared. Eric stroked over Tommy’s hair whenever he felt like Tommy was going through a very bad memory. It seemed like the night lasted 200 years. But eventually Tommy was coming around, waking up. His eyes opened slowly and when he looked at Eric, something in his eyes let Eric know, that Tommy knew what happened.

And he had questions that needed to be answered.