It began with just a kiss. Nothing chaste or even loving, but a kiss wrought with violence and fire. Hank was running out of time to his quick and untimely death at the hands of the blond witch that had been writhing in fear and fury just moments past beneath Portland’s new Grimm, Nick Burkhardt.
In an instant, Hank was saved.
“What have you done? You killed me.” She said as Nick’s blood trickled down the corners of her lips in a deadly reflection of the man standing above her.
“You don't look so dead to me.”
“I am nothing now. I don't have any powers. You've taken everything from me. I'm just like everybody else. I am…nothing.” She whimpered.
It was the end of a twisted rivalry between hexenbiest Adalind Schade and the new Grimm but for every end there was always a beginning.
Adalind returned to her mother, hoping to find solace in open arms but all she found was a cold reception and rejection. Adalind felt her mother’s vicious hand across her face.
“How did he get his blood into you? How could you have been so stupid?”
“I bit him. I didn't mean to but he was so much stronger than I expected and I panicked. He had me pinned to the ground mother…I wasn’t thinking.”
“Of course, you never think. I always have to do it for you. It’s my fault really, I coddled you too much, held you longer than you needed so you never truly grew into the hexenbiest I always dreamed you’d become. You know what getting that key would have meant for us.”
“But I…I did it all for you….”
“You lost, that’s what you did and much more than just the key. Somehow, the Grimm knew. How did he know to get his blood in you? That dimwit was actually smarter than you? You my beautiful child with an Ivy league education and crap for brains have disappointed me for the very last time. You underestimated him. That was your first mistake. I had such high hopes for you, honey.” Catherine Schade stroked her daughter’s face but there was no love in it.
“What are you gonna do to me?”
“…That's not already been done already?” he mother spat out.
“You’re useless to me now, just another pretty face and I have no time for them….” Said Renard, who’d remained silent during the exchange between mother and daughter.
Adalind’s mother and Sean Renard, her lover, turned their backs on her and she helplessly walked out of what used to be her home abandoned and alone with a grudge to settle.
Although Adalind was no longer quite herself, there be none more crafty, nor deadlier biest than an angry former hexenbiest backed into a corner. She’d lost all of her powers, she’d lost her mother and every ally she knew but she never lost any of her smarts despite her mother’s harsh words. The witch concocted a revenge so sweet and deadly with nothing but a cat and a handful of ingredients. It was the stuff of fairy tales, putting the princess into a sleep and simply waiting for the prince to ride in on his high horse and wake her with a kiss.
Juliette Silverton, the princess in this here fairy tale, lover of the Grimm fell into a spell induced coma. She’d chosen her spell carefully, l'esprit ailleurs or crudely called ‘spirit elsewhere’ which caused memory loss similar to dementia. That only a ‘true’ prince, or rather a half prince, could wake her but that was her little secret. Sean Renard her former lover, the man she would have killed for a thousand times over for just a taste of his love but like her mother, he too had rejected her after her fight with the Grimm and deserved nothing less than her scorn. They all would pay, she determined and Adalind was nothing if not committed.
Nick cursed the day he met Adalind Schade. She was the bane of his existence. After the kiss, he mistakenly believed that to be the end of the turmoil in his life since the day he saw her ‘woge’ outside of the café on one sunny afternoon hardly a years ago. She was the first wesen he ever saw, the first that opened up his world to monsters and legends that he grew up thinking they were nothing but fairy tales. He discovered wolves lived in the woods and terrorised unsuspecting joggers, wicked witches weren’t confined in colourful pages, they were both beautiful and dreadful to look upon. Everything he believed was a lie and there were no such things as happy ever afters.
Juliette did awake from her coma. But when and how, it would be a while before discovering the whole truth. Worse than her coma, when she woke, she didn’t know him from a bar of soap. In fact she feared him. She did well to hide it but with his Grimm sight, he saw so much more than he ever wanted. He’d give anything to take it all back and go back to being a regular old police detective at Portland’s Central Precinct. He had to find Adalind and force her to undo what she had done but she’d disappeared off the face of the earth.
Her mother soon turned up dead, making Adalind one of the suspects but he knew she didn’t do it. However, Nick wasn’t in a hurry to clear her name, if it would get her back to Portland faster, he’d use the full arm of the law to achieve his goals. Juliette was growing further and further away from him; like someone else was pulling her away and Nick was helpless to do anything about it. She was her lively and old self around everyone else but him. She remembered everyone else but him. What grated him raw was discovering how close she’d grown to his Captain, Sean Renard.
He was relieved when he heard Adalind was back in Portland but one had to be careful what they wished for as everything went to hell in a basket. It didn’t take long for her play twisted mind games with him, using Juliette to bait him. He’d arrested her over her mother’s murder but she had a solid alibi. He remembered talking to her in her jail cell and the audacity that woman had, it was as if there were no bars between them, better still. That he was the one caged and she, his jailer. She was using him the whole time she was there.
“You can’t hide in there forever,” he told her.
“You think I tried to kill your aunt. Well, I have a confession to make. I did. Of course, I was just one of many. But haven't you ever wondered who put us up to it?”
“The royal here in Portland?”
“Bingo.” She confessed. “Would you like a name to go along with that? That'd be nice wouldn’t it? Well, I'd like nothing better than to tell you, Nick. I mean, really I would. Because, under different circumstances, I think you and I could have really had some fun together.” She leered at him.
Unbidden their kiss in the woods flashed before his mind and Nick quickly shook the image away. Where did that even come from? Not once had he ever thought about that night since it happened and it was only because Hank’s life had been saved. He’d long since moved on from it. It wasn’t like there had been any attraction he felt for the witch. All he had to do was get some of his blood in her system and break the spell but he went there with nothing, not even his handgun, so how would succeed?
The kiss. Why did he chose to kiss her? They’d been at it for a while, the fighting intense and brutal, surely blood from a cut would have sufficed but Nick kissed her and for a moment, she kissed him back. He didn’t mean to do it but he did and then he saw her broken, lost and Nick didn’t hate her anymore; at least for a split moment in time. That was then, any sympathy for her die when she put Juliette’s life at risk. Yet all he could think of as she held the steel bars between them was the taste of her lips on his.
“All you have to do is give me the key. Then you'll have your answer, and I'll be out of your life forever.” She continued wickedly, much to his relief. She just reminded him of who and what he was dealing with, powers or no powers.
“I guess you don't need to be a Hexenbiest to be a witch.” He sneered.
“You don't have to be a witch to work this kind of magic.” She said proudly.
She was right. He felt a warm tingle down below. Disgusted with himself he walked away at the sound of her laughter, as if she knew what had just passed between them. Nick rushed to the bathroom, inspected each stall to make certain he was alone. What the hell was that? He almost vented. The more he pictured Adalind and her seductive smile, the warmer he got under the collar. Nick rushed to the basin and splashed cold water to his face. Surely he was losing his mind, he thought.
He later learned that his police Captain Sean Renard, was the reason Juliette woke from her coma and they’d grown obsessed with one another. He’d been furious and moved to Monroe’s house. How could he not when Juliette told him about her “feelings” for the Captain?
It was all Adalind’s doing. The more he hated her, the more his mind couldn’t stop thinking about that darned kiss that started it all. Adalind’s backdoor curse of deadly obsession nearly caused Juliette and the Captain to kill one another in a weird lover’s quarrel that involved Juliette shooting up their house. Luckily, Rosalee had found a cure but the damage was done. His relationship with Juliette never recovered. Adalind Schade had won.
She was pregnant.
“Perfect,” she smiled to herself. A plan had formulated in her mind long before debasing herself and getting Sean to sleep with her one last time. She had heard the stories during her first visit to Vienna, of how one regained her hexenbiest but the price was often high and never in quantifiable currency. Thus, Adalind devised a way to pay for it and met with hexenbiest named Frau Pech, her ‘broker’. Their first client of sorts was a gypsy woman named Stefania Vaduva Popescu, a known associate with Sean Renard’s royal family. Adalind later discovered Stefania was a hexenbiest herself. Before conducting any business, Stefania demanded a test to determine the child’s bloodline, not taking Adalind’s word.
The deal, however, fell through and that’s when Adalind finally revealed her reason she wanted to sell the little dot on an ultrasound screen to the highest bidder. Stefania vehemently told her that this was not possible but Adalind knew she was lying. The two women seemed to understand each other better, in a way that Frau Pech couldn’t discern. The gypsy snuck into Adalind room and told her all she wanted to hear.
Before she could think, Adalind had signed the contract with her bloody handprint.
Adalind cried out in pain as her hand bunt from the inside out.
“Needless to say, the contract is binding. You should have no more pain, I assure you. We'll be in touch. Be good to our child.” With those words, Stefania had left Adalind with some regrets. Suddenly she wasn’t so sure she’d done the right thing as she looked down at her purple veined hand. What followed was a long list of events Adalind wished she could forget but they’d forever be etched in her mind for a very long time.
In the end, she’d regained all of her powers and given birth to her precious Diana but Diana no longer belonged to her. She knew somehow that the gypsy witch would come searching for her, knowing she worked for Royals made it a certainty that Adalind would be caught and killed and Diana would be taken to her blue blooded relatives. Adalind couldn’t have that, so she ran, straight into the hands of the last man in the world she wanted to see, Detective-Grimm Nicholas Burkhardt. No matter how far she ran from him, something always brought them back together and this time she was sure he’d kill her, her and her baby.
This was not how she wanted things to be. Once upon a time, she dreamed of castles in Europe, jewel-studded tiaras and Sean Renard begging to kiss her feet over and over but fairy tales were not real. She had travelled thousands of miles across the ocean, escaping one enemy only to land at the feet of another. How had she not seen that her would be rescuer, Kelly Kessler, the woman who had successfully extricated her from Austria had a suspicious amount of colouring similar to that of the Grimm? As the plane flew over the Atlantic Ocean, they had talked for hours and hours about children and poor sap Adalind, never realised that she’d been lied to. The nephew that her rescuer talked so lovingly about had in fact turned out to be her son, the man that had robbed Adalind of her identity and now she’d been hand delivered to him so he could finish what he started.
They all stood together in Nick’s house, Adalind trapped between Nick, his girlfriend and his Grimm of a mother.
Adalind turned to flee.
“No, no, no, you’re safe here. This is my son, Nick,” said Kelly with nary a care the horror she’d visited upon Adalind.
“He’s not going to protect me. In fact, he’s going to kill me!” cried Adalind fearfully.
“Why did you bring HER here?” He asked his mother woefully.
She wasn’t offended at his words but the way he said “her” sent a chill down Adalind’s spine. This was obviously a horrible mistake; a cruel joke that they could meet once again after everything that has happened between them, Adalind thought ironically. The last time they saw one another she has taunted him about how much fun they could have had together under different circumstances. It was crazy to even think such a thing was possible, a Grimm and a hexenbiest…. They were mortal enemies and nothing more and nothing less. And now he hated her more than ever. She watched as the fire in his eyes raged furiously as he shielded Juliette.
“I didn’t know she was THAT hexenbiest.” Kelly said with a sardonic air. She had to get away from them all, she cowered like cornered lamb in front of hungry wolves. She looked at the front door but the seasoned Grimm was blocking her escape. They talked as though she wasn’t even in the room, so perhaps they wouldn’t notice if she managed to slip past them.
An argument broke out between mother and son as Adalind he calculated how far she could get before they caught her and brought her back…alive, if she were so lucky. But from listening to what Kelly said, it sounded like they weren’t about to cut off her head nor would there be a burning at the stake, she thought but Adalind couldn’t quite remember the Grimm classic kill for her kind.
“Son, the Verrat were waiting for us outside of Zurich, the Royals want this child….”
“If he needs to be protected, it’s not going to happen here.” He protested passionately.
“What are you going to do, Nick? Are you going to kill me, me and my baby? Is that what you're going do?” She was doing it again, finding a weak link in his armour and exploiting it with abandon. He made it so easy to push his buttons and she did enjoy watching the fire burn white hot in those grey eyes of his. Taunting him lit a fire in her blood and it didn’t take long to realise she’d grown addicted to that fire coursing through her veins though she was loath to admit it, even in the darkness and to herself.
“Don’t tempt me.” He growled.
The room began to shake like an earthquake and they were all standing in the epicentre. Glass broke all around them and Adalind began to freak out, covering Diana protectively with her arm.
“What was that?” He asked.
“If what I think is true, that was the baby.” Kelly said confidently.
“I think she’s hungry, I haven’t had a chance to feed her and her blanket’s wet….” Adalind said as worry for her baby made her forget she was standing in the midst of her enemies.
“She’s cold.” Juliette finally spoke to her and approached her. Adalind stepped back.
“This is about the baby, not you. You need to get her dry and warm. Follow me.” said Juliette as she lead Adalind up the familiar stairs.
Adalind hated every second of it, her first thought was to escape but where to? She didn’t want to go to Sean but he was the only person who could help her that she trusted even just a little and he was the Diana’s father after all, so he had a vestige interest in their survival, more so than the two Grimms gossiping about her downstairs. She pricked her ears as she focused her hearing on them instead of Juliette and her faux concern about her baby. Once settled, Juliette quickly left her by herself to nurse Diana. Clearly, she was not so eager to spend another second with Adalind anymore than Adalind was eager to spend time with her. The brunette hadn’t forgotten about cat scratch and her little gift Adalind left her, Nick and Sean soon after.
“So the child's father is a Royal, so her powers have to come from Adalind, which makes sense, because her mother was a hexenbiest too.”
“Not possible. It couldn’t be form Adalind, her powers are gone. I took them away from her.”
“With the blood of a Grimm…your blood?” his mother said with a surprise but she disguised it well.
“Yeah, and it hurt.”
“Well, she must have gotten them back.”
“Are you kidding me? They can do that?”
“Yes. A hexenbiest who has lost its powers can regain them. Now it makes sense why her baby is so special. Nick took Adalind's powers, but while she was pregnant, she must have gone through Contaminatio Ritualis. For what it's worth, it's supposed to be a long and painful experience.”
“Just what I needed, when I thought I was finally rid of her for good….”
“Don’t worry, the sooner I can organise plan ‘B’, she’ll be out of your life forever, I’ll make sure of it.”
She heard Kelly say before blocking out every sound completely. She had to escape. Adalind paced the room back and forth with Diana cooing in her arms, push had come to shove.
“What do you say we go meet Daddy?” she turned to her baby who gave a brief smile in return.
He was going to be sick.
He had felt uneasy about his mother’s plan. At first he thought it was for the greater good. If Diana truly had a destiny, leaving her in his mother’s hands was a far better option than Adalind, the crazy and vindictive witch that he knew so well. But since the moment Kelly explained herself, a guilty lump sank to the bottom of Nick’s belly. Why did he care whether or not Adalind lost Diana, no child deserved that kind of punishment of being raised by that witch. He was doing the child, the world and himself a favour, or so he thought.
He had lied to Adalind. He had told her that he wouldn’t hurt her, but he did. He had told her that he wouldn’t take her baby away, but he did that too. Nick swore he felt the earth shake a second time when Adalind discovered their duplicity. Her cries out in bitter anguish in the middle of the street when she realised she’d lost her child, reverberated through the police station, even down into his bones. His mother had disappeared like the wind. Neither him, nor his other accomplices, including Diana’s own father knew where they’d gone to. It was better that way, his mother had told him so. What a wretched plan, he thought.
But Kelly had never counted on the Royals tracking her movements the second they knew she had landed in Oregon. They were ready for her this time, bringing in more reinforcements. The lump of guilt eventually turned into heartbreak as he opened a box left for him outside his front door. It was his mother’s severed head and a note that simply said “The Royals send their regard.”
Nick cried out in pain. His whole body shook vigorously after seeing his mother that way. He never believed he’d ever know this kind of pain again, to lose her all over again. When he was twelve he’d been a child, with childish thoughts and childish feelings. Nick emptied his stomach right there on the living room floor beside his mother’s decapitated head. After the despair, the rage followed quickly on its heels. Nick tore up his house. He had nearly pinned Juliette against the door with a machete he’d retrieved from behind his computer desk as she walked into the house. Luckily for Juliette’s reflexes saving her in time as ducked in time. Shocked, her eyes bulged out like a deer caught in the headlights but then they turned dark with anger.
“You don’t have to take it out on me.” She spat out but he’d lost himself in his head as his sorrow overwhelmed him.
“Oh, Nick….” It was all she could say.
Juliette did her best to comfort him but the disconnect between them had become a chasm. He wanted to be alone and she sensed it. It seemed no matter how hard they tried, they always seemed to pull further apart.
Juliette, realising she wasn’t wanted, made herself scarce and Nick hardly noticed until it was dark outside and he was still sitting on the wooden floor with his mother’s head at his feet, the whole house bathed in darkness.
Juliette left him.
He almost killed Juliette.
He felt his stomach retch for the second time but he had nothing left give.
She had another nightmare. Sean had handed Diana to one of his many cousins Viktor von Konigsburg, the two men smiled down a gurgling Diana between them before turning their vengeful eyes on Adalind. Viktor dropped his gaze to Adalind’s baby and pulled out a ceremonial knife, gold with a hilt studded with green jewels.
“No!” she tried to scream but no sound escaped her lips.
“Oh precious little one…just know you’re paying for your mother’s sins,” said Viktor.
In one quick move, Viktor slashed Diana’s throat as Sean stood by his side with a cold expression on his face.
Adalind woke from her sleep, thrashing and screaming at the horror playing out in her mind. It was morning, and that was only a nightmare, she tried to console herself. Diana was safe. She may be with the Royals but they’d never hurt her, Adalind thought to herself and tried desperately to reassure herself. It was cold comfort as she gathered her belongings and made her way to the castle; she would finally confront Viktor before the end of the day and get her daughter back, come hell or high water.
Adalind had called Viktor countless times and he refused to answer any of her calls. She dreamt all night and cried all day and Adalind was tired of crying. She was done crying. She dialled Viktor's number for the hundredth time and he finally answered.
"Ms Schade, long time…." He said with derision.
"Viktor, I want my daughter back…please…. I will do anything, just let me see her."
"Interesting…." He said.
Viktor didn't saying anything for a few heart wrenching seconds, thinking the line had disconnected until she heard him exhale.
"Hmmm…I’ll tell you what…I have a proposal for you. You reneged on our original deal, your powers for Diana and in the spirit of doing ‘anything’; I think we can arrange a new deal."
"Tell me and I'll do it."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk, now-now Ms Schade don’t make promises you can’t keep. The Grimm in, he took your powers, perhaps it's time to returned the favor."
"You're a resourceful girl, I'm sure you'll figure it out."
"That's the deal Adalind. Take away the Grimm’s sight for your daughter. I don’t care how you do it, just get it done!"
She called him again but his line just kept ringing and ringing without answer. A new deal, she thought with dread after the last one went down so horribly except for Diana. All she had to do to see Diana again was take Nick's Grimm the same way he had taken her hexenbiest…well not quite the same. Adalind returned to Portland and her mother’s Zaubertränke, hoping she’d find something in her books and she did. A particular book caught her attention by the fact that she accidentally cut herself trying to pry it open. A single drop of blood did the honours and the book fell open to the exact spell she needed. She nearly closed the book in resignation when she saw how the spell was performed but Adalind was desperate. And getting close to Nick was a tall order, he’d never let her within 500 yards of her and an idea crossed her mind.
A simple Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester spell could help her get the job done without any problems and her skin tingled at the very thought. After what she did to Frau Pech, a few minutes with Nick Burkhardt should be nothing at all. She cursed. She read the spell over again, trying to familiarise herself seeing she couldn’t quite understand the old high. She had no intentions to know Nick that intimately but if there was another, she would have found it. There weren’t exactly ten ways of skinning this particular cat so Adalind would have to suck it up and power through it until the very end.
Once upon a time she was attracted to that Grimm, against her better judgement but ever since he took her powers and helped take Diana away from her, she despised him. Adalind gathered all her ingredients except one. She needed Juliette’s hair among other things so she took a cab across town and once sure there was nobody home, Adalind broke into Nick’s house using her skeleton key and acquired all she needed and left as quietly as she’d entered and got her one step closer to Diana.
The easiest part of the spell was completed. She took two short huffs from the hat and waited. The pain that followed was excruciating. After about half a minute when she thought she was literally dying her blond locks began to change to a darkened hue. Adalind quickly grabbed a mirror and watched the transformation.
“The things we did for love,” she said sorrowfully.
As she admired her handy work, her features quickly returned to those she inherited from her mother. The book didn’t give a definitive time of how long the spell lasted so Adalind had to be quick. She called Juliette fishing for details, she was sure Sean wouldn't take offense at her using his name, lying that he was still feeling the effects of the obsession spell and she had a spray that would remedy it but had to apply it to him and Juliette together. Adalind suggested even leaving it at her house if she was too busy getting ready for Monroe and Rosalee’s wedding.
“Unfortunately it’s going to have to wait until after, I’m not at home right now and Nick’s home getting ready himself and will want to rush over to the venue.” Juliette snapped from the other end of the line.
“Ugh, I guess I’ll just have to catch you at a better time. Do enjoy yourself and mazel tov to the happy couple,” Adalind said without a hint of sarcasm.
She had an hour, maybe more at the most so she had to make the best of it. Adalind took three very long huffs from the hat, the most she could take without causing permanent change and braced herself for another painful transformation. Once complete, she slipped on one of Juliette underthings and rushed to Nick’s house hoping to catch him before he left.
She slipped her skeleton key once more through the lock and walked into the lion’s den.
“Hello?” she called out but got no response.
Her heart was racing furiously against her chest the deeper she went. This was the only way to see Diana, she told herself. She made her way into his bedroom and heard the shower running. For a second she thought of turning back, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it and she sneered at her reflection which was her own. It was now or never.
“Juliette’s that you.” Nick asked from inside the shower, the bathroom door was open but Adalind couldn’t see him from where she stood.
There was no need for theatrics. Working two spells simultaneously didn’t leave her a margin for anything else but what she came to do. Adalind stripped down to the negligée she’d stolen hours before and laid on Nick’s bed as seductively as it was possible for her to do under the circumstances.
“Why don’t you come and find out….” She teased.
She sounded so weird and not herself. She sounded like Juliette and looked like Juliette but could she be Juliette in the way that would get her what she wanted as quickly as possible before she could retch out of disgust and shame?
The shower turned off suddenly.
Her stomach was tossing and turning as her time was up. “Please don’t be sick. Please don’t be sick. Please don’t be sick.” She recited the words in her mind like a mantra and waited as Nick entered the room with a towel wrapped carelessly low round his waist while he used another to dry his thick black hair.
“Hey…” Adalind cleared her throat and the last of her nerves.
“Wow…this is…unexpected.” He coughed as he eyed her lasciviously.
“Are you just going to stand there or are you gonna do something about…this?” What the heck was she saying? She wanted Nick about as much as she wanted to be dropped in a vat of a thousand scorpions. The things we do for love, she remembered and pulled back the satin garment a little further up her legs .
Nick promptly dropped the towel in his hand and took two steps before he was at the foot of the bed causing Adalind to jump. She could see in his eyes that he wanted her so badly. It made her equally warm. Before she could think their lips clashed in a frenzy that was all too familiar, then suddenly Nick pulled away and watched her intently. His grey eyes searched her blue ones, just looking.
“What’s wrong?’ Adalind dared to ask, afraid she’d been busted and her chance to see Diana was crumbling at her feet.
“Nothing…something….” He said with uncertainty before he kissed her again but this time it was gentle, measured, like he was afraid to go any further. That wouldn’t do.
Adalind kissed him deeply, holding him close her as she worked her magic. But she felt herself falling and tried to pull away. No, she screamed in her mind. She refused to enjoy any of this, to be joined to Nick as anything other than a means to an end but Nick followed her hungrily. It sent ripples through every nerve of her body.
“No.” She said sharply. He whined with disappointment.
If she wasn’t careful she could lose herself completely and that wasn’t an option with this man but that didn’t mean she couldn’t give the time of his life.
“Who are you and what have you done with old Juliette?” he asked as his body began to shake.
Adalind laughed seductively. If only he knew the real answer to that question.
She had him at the palm of her hand, and her own arousal having subsided, hanging on by a very thin thread. Adalind showered him with more kisses.
“You have to stop teasing me be I completely lose my mind.” He groaned.
“That is the point.” She said as she bounded towards the finish line, what little control she had, wasting away as the heat reached a boil. And then they collapsed feverishly against one another.
“That…That was the best sex we’d…I’d ever had,” Nick said breathlessly.
Adalind was reticent to agree, as shame flooded her mind while her body basked in the oxytocin and endorphins coursing through her veins, the sweetest drug she’d ever tasted. It was the best sex she’d ever had but to admit that was a betrayal of the highest order, especially with their history. But Nick took her silence to mean otherwise, as though it was a challenge that he was only too happy to partake.
“So you don’t think so? I’m willing to go another round just to make sure. Maybe it will be even better.”
Adalind spoke without thinking; “Oh you think so?” she exhaled.
That was the wrong thing to say. She’d accomplished Viktor’s wish and the look alike spell was quickly wearing off, she could feel it but Adalind couldn’t move, and small but traitorous part of her never wanted to leave his side.
Eager to prove something to the woman lying on top of him, Nick’s mind was made up. There was Monroe’s wedding not two hours away but they could spare a few minutes more, he thought. Something inside him compelled him to act recklessly, to lose himself once more and deeper than ever, he was so consumed with her. It was as though he couldn’t take enough of her and even when he was filled to overflowing, he was greedy for more. He’d honestly never felt this way before. Him and Juliette have been together for years and in recent years, their relationship had taken a knock but he didn’t want to think about the past, nothing but this moment and this woman beside him because she definitely took him by surprise.
Before she could draw away from him he pulled her back against his chest, kissing her with everything within him, giving himself completely as he’s never done before.
“Don’t go.” He breathed and without resistance, she succumbed to him.
He rolled her beneath him. He wanted her so much. After drinking thoroughly from the well of her lips he opened his eyes so he could drown in hers but something gave him pause. It was the second time since their mid-afternoon delight began but he couldn’t quite grasp it like it was at the tip of his tongue to say but was too fleeting for his conscious mind to put into words; something was different with her, between them, in a way he couldn’t quite understand. Like the fact that her eyes, although still blue didn’t quite look like the same eyes he’s known for years, in fact they were deeper in colour now than before. Like everything before had been an illusion and only now they were real, those were the eyes he wanted to get lost in forever, he sighed.
Suddenly she looked frightened, like she’d been caught doing something she wasn’t supposed to. She dropped her gaze and that pained him.
“No, please don’t…. I want to look into your eyes and see the beautiful person behind them. And I want you to see just how you make me feel. Now I gave my word.” He said as lowered himself, hovering above her, their skin desperate to touch.
He kissed her lightly before his hungry gaze moved from her head to her toes and left her blushing in a way he’d never seen before. He was amazed at how everything felt new, like it was for the first time, like making love for the first time, like he was seeing her for the first time. It made him a little too excited even for someone like him. His hands eagerly touching every spot his eyes could see. The callouses on his hands often made Juliette uncomfortable but that afternoon, she eagerly melted into his touch particularly when they settled on one of her full breasts. He’d never seen them so beautiful. He wanted nothing more than to get lost in each one.
Adalind whined at her is touch.
“That’s right; I want you to sing for me Ju….” Suddenly he couldn’t say her name.
When she couldn’t take it anymore, she grabbed him by the side of his face and pulled him down. Nick swiftly obliged. Once satisfied, he looked up. He found her strikingly blue eyes watching him and grinned.
“I want to hear you say it,” he said with a deep timbre of his voice.
She knew what he meant, he saw it in her eyes.
“To beg, scream and call out your name over and over like it was the only one in my vocabulary?” she mocked him.
He grinned all the more. She definitely understood and Nick couldn’t help but play this cat and mouse game with her. She looked so sexy and beautiful, especially how the light gleamed over her blond highlights that he hadn’t noticed before.
Nick took his time but when they finally came together, she let out a cry of sheer frustrations, but there was no begging. He was close, in more ways than one, he was certain.
He continued his rhythmic ministrations all over her body but denying just one thing which only made her more desperate for him.
“Just say my name,” he couldn’t help the smirk on his lips, “Beg me to give you the best sex of your entire life because you know no one can give it to you like I can and no one ever will.” He said roughly, he too losing control over himself. She literally held the keys to his release and refused to give in. He wanted her. He wanted her to want him as much as he wanted her.
“Tell me you want me.” He demanded with a chaste kiss.
But then the pressure got to be too much, thus their lips crashed violently against one another in a dance of fury, a battle of wills. She wrapped herself around him.
When he pulled back, tears had streaked down the sides of her temple. Nick wanted to kick himself, never in his life had he ever been so boorish, and carnal. He felt like the biggest bastard ever, pushing his sexual gratification before hers. But she kissed him, passionately, sweetly, longingly. Every time their bodies came together she clung to him desperately, it drove Nick wild. They climaxed together immediately after, kissing for a moment or two longer and enjoying the crashing of wave after wave of ecstasy.
After their bodies had long quieted with Nick’s arm resting across her bared chest as she clung to his side, she asked just one question, one he himself had become acquainted that afternoon, “Say my name?” She said softy.
At first, he thought he heard incorrectly but then she spoke a little louder the next time.
“Say my name Nick?”
He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out.
That was odd, he knew her name, called it about a million times in the last five years but in this moment, his tongue couldn’t work itself to say it. He looked down on her face, as though it would help loosen his tongue, only it got more twisted and stuck on the roof of his mouth.
She raised her lips to his in a chaste kiss and said, “I have to go. You’re going to be late for the wedding.” She said.
“I almost forgot,” he said absent minded.
He preferred instead to stay in bed and get lost in her eyes once more. Her features had now become softer, rounder, fuller…warm but she pulled away from his arms before he could enjoy another kiss. She picked up her clothes from the floor and began to dress. He wanted her to stay, he was sure Monroe wouldn’t mind if his best man missed his wedding, surely.
Once fully dressed, she turned to him.
“Goodbye Nick.” She said with finality that felt more like a stab in the heart.
And just like that, she walked out.
He couldn’t understand. Why couldn’t he say her name. he jumped out of bed and picked the limp towel from the floor and chased after her but he heard his front door open and close. He rushed downstairs, as his tongue twisted on itself trying to remember how to work. By the time he opened his front door, she got into the back of a taxi and he watched it drive away.
A name finally escaped his lips as he found his speech.
“Adalind.” He said to no one but the universe.
Adalind saw the stoic reflection of Juliette staring back at her in the rear view mirror and she wanted to hurl right in the back of the cab. She shook her head twice and willed what was left of the illusion away and she was back to her usual self, well, almost. If her ancestors could see her now, they would laud her for a job well done for effectively stripping the Grimm of his sight and rendering him completely powerless but they’d sooner rip her heart out in the next breath because for the treacherous emotions coursing through her veins as a result.
She was certain she hated him with every fibre of her being and felt the whitest hatred for everything he ever did to her but now she wanted him just as viciously. She longed for him like she never has anything before that moment and Adalind hated herself for it, despised him so much more than she thought possible. Her mother once kicked her out of the house when she lost her powers but in that moment, sitting in the back of that cab, Adalind wouldn’t blame her mother or ancestors for disowning her after what happened in Nick's bed. If it wasn't for Diana, she was certain she'd rip out her own heart for such a betrayal of her own kind.
Adalind had never been a traditionalist by any stretch of the imagination but even by her own standards, she crossed a line with Nick, but now, it would not matter in the least because she'd be gone Portland in a matter of hours. By the time Nick realised what had happened, she'd be on her way to Vienna and out of his reach. She'd never see him ever again and the least she could do was never think of him ever again. Instead, she thought about Diana and holding her for the first time since putting her trust in the wrong people, people that hated her and didn't care one whit about her but for her child’s gave her no other choice. Trust…Never again, Adalind had learnt that less the hard way.
She called Viktor and told him about Nick, that he was as regular and plain as any man but Viktor, the bastard that he was didn't bring her to Diana. Instead he locked her up in a dungeon, a filthy, rat infested dank dungeon for what seemed like an eternity. According to the Royal, it was part of her extended payment for her betrayal. She should have expected it, that he would change his mind, she cursed herself for being so gullible. In that dungeon, Viktor played mind games, cruel games that crushed her spirit. Each day that passed only proved Viktor had little intention of returning her baby girl.
Adalind screamed into the darkness crying, begging, demanding to see Diana but Viktor ignored every one of her pleas but she wasn't ready to give up, not yet. It was her lowest and worst time of her life but nothing she couldn't endure, not with Diana so close. What she didn't count on was a series of head splitting headaches that ensued in that prison. Adalind had already lost track of time. The first time she feared she was dying, the dungeon walls disappeared in searing blinding light. She couldn't see a thing, let alone her hands barely an inch from her face. Adalind cried well into the night begging for the pain to end until exhaustion eventually put her out of her misery. However, it wasn't the end she longed for. It was but the turning of a page in her story.
If it weren't for Viktor's cruelty and tricks, Adalind would have noticed how her headaches didn’t happen haphazardly, that her blindness wasn't true blindness at all but rather it was the physical manifestation of the spell she performed to rob Nick of his sight, his power, the same way he had killed her hexenbiest. Confusing images filled her sight, but she didn't feel any better. She called out for help but nobody came to her rescue. She had no friends to speak and her mother who’d disowned was long past dead. Adalind was on her own.
At first, she didn't recognize the settings flashing before her eyes but suddenly it became clearer the more frequent the headaches came. As she doubled over in excruciating pain, Adalind opened her eyes and recognized the bedroom, Nick's bedroom. She closed her eyes desperately trying to wake from this nightmare as rats skittered between her limbs as she groped about in not total darkness. When she opened her eyes again, she was still in in Portland but this time she saw familiar hands groping the floor beneath as though, like her, they were trying to find their way through the dark, feeling everything about them. A pain like a sledge hammer to the front of her head knocked her backwards.
When she came to, Adalind had curled into a foetal position on the dirt ground with nothing but straw for a bed and several rats for company. She cried out to Viktor, Marcus Rispoli, his verrat dog every day hoping that one day someone came down for her and eventually someone did come. It wasn't a vision or mind trick. It was one of Viktor's servants. He didn't open the door for her, just the peep hole and spoke just one word, “Tomorrow” and then they were gone.
"What? What do you mean by that? Am I going see my daughter tomorrow? Are you going to kill me? Which is it? Hey, come back...please..." But there was no one there behind the solid metal gate.
Tomorrow finally came. Two guards came to get her from her cell and led her up a series of spiralling stairs and long corridors before stopping on either side of a heavy wooden door without saying so much as one word to put her mind at ease. She tried talking to them, asking them where her daughter was, where they had taken her but not one word breached their lips. They barely glanced at her so Adalind took the hint, placing her filthy hand with chipped nails and grime underneath on a perfectly shined silver door knob and twisted it free. A varying assortment of fragrant scents assaulted her nostrils before even stepping over the threshold. They almost knocked her over with pure bliss as she walked deeper into the bedchambers, one of many in the castle. At first Adalind was hesitant but then she remembered the dungeons beneath that gave her boldness, she had no intentions of ever returning to the castle’s basement any time soon.
Two female servants came out of another room and took her by both hands, ushering her deeper into the unknown. Her first instinct was to run away but obviously she wouldn't get far with the two guards outside the door and there was no chance in hell she was leaving without Diana, Viktor had promised, though his word proved to be worthless as she looked down on her badly scrapped hands and feet on the brightly tiled floor. She had done everything he asked but he chose torture instead. How long had she been in the dungeon, was it weeks? Or maybe Months?
As Adalind walked through the brightly lit room, she realised this was the newest part of the east wing of the castle, added no later than five years prior, a gaudy enterprise according to Architect Digest but the Konigsburgs were typical Royals. But even then, such beauty and luxury made Adalind too self-conscious as she looked down on herself. She combed her hair with calloused hand but couldn’t get past her filthy knotty hair and wishing the ground would open and swallow her whole but at the same time she desperately wanted to find the nearest basin to wash all the dirt away. She didn't want Diana to see her in that broken state, so Adalind picked up the pace, breaking free from the two girls…women Viktor sent to make her presentable.
The two women led her to the middle of the bathroom where a monstrous bath cut from a single marble rock with bronze accents stood in the middle of the bathroom, where they then cut her free of her pitiable clothing and leaving the shreds pooling at her sore feet and cracked. Once naked, the short plump woman picked up the scraps at her feet and deposited them in a black plastic bag while the other had walked around the bathtub to fill it to the brim with hot water. Adalind barely had time to feel embarrassed when the familiar blinding light almost knocked her on her feet. Luckily, she had quickly grabbed the side of the massive tub before completely losing touch with her surroundings as she rode the headache intent on split her head in half.
When the image in front of her cleared, she was no longer afraid or unsure. Instead, she was angry at the image in front of her as it came into focus. She batted her lids as if it would help her see but that's not what happened. Adalind was as helpless as the man whose reflection was in the mirror. Nick Burkhardt had just shaved one half of his face as Adalind, through his eyes saw what he couldn't. She called out his name but he didn't respond, only the two female servants speaking German to one another responded. She saw his lips moving but couldn't make up what he said. This was just messed up, she thought as she waited for...whatever this vision, this appaition was to subside so could be back in the present, in her own body. A second wave of pain threw her on the cold floor, her own body, too weak to sustain her. Adalind opened her eyes and just like that the world spun back into its axis once more and saw the two maidservants hovering over her.
What had just happened, how and why did Nick suddenly appear in her vision?
As she looked across from where she still sat, she was confronted by a hideous gaunt reflection on the full length mirror. Adalind couldn’t even react at the sight so far removed from her Prada and Gucci days. If she saw Nick, there was no question that he had seen her in her fallen state. She couldn’t help wondering what he thought. Did he gloat at her reduced state? Did she even care?
"Gnädige Frau, are you alright?" the two women asked as they lifted Adalind from the pristine floor.
"I'm fine." She dismissed them, wincing from their rough and unfamiliar touch.
“The water is ready,” said the taller servant without emotion. They clearly wanted this to be over as quickly as she did.
Adalind moved as best as she could to the side of the bath, climbing the two steps before lifting herself over that bronze edge and into the hot water. It stung but she didn’t back out. She bit her tongue as she lowered the rest of her body into that bath. Marie and Frieda, after learning their names, gave her a few moments before resuming their duties and proceeded to scrub Adalind clean of the dungeon filth. She sat lifeless as they worked her body thoroughly. By the time she stepped out of the bath, her hair was the colour of sunshine again but only dimmed, her skin pulsed red from the abuse but Adalind’s mind was elsewhere. In another time she would have had Marie and Frieda fired for their lack of sensitivity but today was the day she’d be reunited with her daughter so her priorities were elsewhere.
They dressed her in the finest clothes, so delicate and soft. She watched herself in the mirror, she was a complete stranger to her despite the soft clothes, they couldn’t hide the sharp edges of her bony structure sticking over the beautiful fabrics. A knock on the door demanded she follow after it, which she did without question. Another pair of guards lead her down another long passage and another set of stairs before leaving her in one of the castle’s many drawing rooms. She must have waited for hours before the doors eventually opened to admit an elderly servant who’d brought refreshments. She wasn’t interested despite the fact that she hadn’t had a decent meal in God knew how long, let alone the taste of fresh water without spitting out tiny rocks and hair. Where was Diana or Viktor? What game was he playing at now? The sun had long since set over the horizon and Adalind’s patience gone along with it but still, she sat in the room, silent and weary, waiting for her daughter to appear.
When the doors opened for the second time, Adalind struggled to her feet yet again and Viktor waltzed in with an air of royalty, superiority that belittled Adalind even further but she had no time for him and she looked over his shoulder hoping….
“Where is she?”
“Good evening to you too Miss Schade, I hope you’ve been treated well.”
What the hell? She had no time for pleasantries, not after what he did to her, made her do to Nick. No. She rebuked herself for thinking about the Grimm…former Grimm.
“Hello Viktor, now where is she? You promised me…” before she could finish her sentence a blond tiny figure walked regally into the room on two small legs barely strong enough to carry her.
There was no question it was her but how was she walking so quickly? And then Adalind remembered that Diana pregnancy was no normal pregnancy. She remembered Stefania giving a strange root to chew on to help slow down Diana’s growth. Adalind had given birth to her daughter at barely at six months from conception but she’d been full term.
“Ma-ma.” Said the little girl as her eyes glowed a familiar violet colour.
“Diana!” Said Adalind as she caught the little girl in her arms and hugged her with all of her might.
“Oh my beautiful Diana….”
A plethora of emotions went through his mind every time he thought about her. Anger. Resentment. Bitterness. Curiosity and maybe even longing, though he was loath to admit that since he was with Juliette and Adalind was the witch that haunted his existed from the day he met her. The day they made love, no he corrected himself, the day they had sex was a day he wished he could forget but couldn’t. Juliette had come home and found their bed in disarray, at first he didn’t truly understand her cold demeanour until she angrily explained to him that she hadn’t seen him since that morning before she left the house to run her errands and get ready for their friends’ wedding.
“How could you not tell it wasn’t me?” She accused him. He was at a loss for words. Nick didn’t have an answer that would satisfy her.
Nick had asked himself that question every day and the truth was he did know in some small part of his subconscious, tucked away in the back of his mind he knew that the woman he had the most incredible, mind-blowing sex with wasn’t his long-time girlfriend but he’d never admit it to Juliette or anyone else for that matter. The long blond hair on his pillow gave away Adalind’s identity but to admit that he had some inkling as to who the woman in his bed had been would hurt Juliette so much more that he already had since he became a Grimm and more so now that he wasn’t one anymore.
At first, he asked himself why she did it, what she planned to gain sleeping with him, twice. They were sworn enemies. He’d stolen her child from her but she had no knowledge of that, or did she? It wasn’t until Monroe’s wedding that he got his answer and it was a rude awakening. Adalind Schade had sex with him and stolen his sight. He wasn’t blind but he was to all wesen around him. It took the young Grimm Teresa Rubel, a sort of ward of his to expose Adalind’s devious and deadly plot.
He was angry and lost without his abilities. He felt naked and fragile knowing what he knew and being helpless to do anything about it. The distance between him and Juliette continued to grow despite the fact that he was a victim in Adalind’s machinations. He wanted to hunt Adalind down and force her to reverse the damage she had done to him, to give back what she had stolen. How he hated her and wished he’d never laid eyes on her. He would try to remember the day he first saw her, bright, jovial with wind rustling through her hair and then watched her woge into one of the most dangerous creatures he’d even come across as a Grimm but the more he tried to remember her hexenbiest form, the more he realised he couldn’t see it.
All that was left was the gorgeous woman with a knowing smile plastered across her face until she spotted him and scurried away like Nick was some perv she had to put some distance between him and herself. In his memories of her, there was no woge, no hexenbiest, just Adalind. He tried picturing his best friend Monroe and he couldn’t recall any images of the blutbad or Rosalee’s fuchsbau or the first siegbarste or dämonfeuer he encountered, nothing. All the creatures in his memories had disappeared along with his sight.
The days turned to weeks turned to months and his anger soon waned and the bitterness took its place. Juliette saw this as an opportunity for them both, “A blessing in disguise,” she said. When it became apparent how far reaching his “blindness” had become, she did an about turn. It stung that she grew more intimate when all she had to deal with was him being a regular police officer and not the Grimm that had brought too much turmoil in her life and he could never bring himself to love her as she deserved when he felt so incomplete.
Was she so resentful of the life they had lived this whole time and kept her thoughts to herself? Had she been unhappy? Juliette talked to him about their old plans, things they had wanted to do long before he became a Grimm. She’d even forgotten about Adalind altogether, choosing to look forward instead of what was behind them, she told him. And all Nick wanted to have his old life back, to be able to ‘see’ again but he kept such thoughts and feelings to himself, the irony of the situation not lost to him.
The headaches soon followed, it felt like his head was being ripped open one sinew at a time. Then the blindness soon accompanied the headaches. Juliette had taken him to the doctor who found nothing wrong with his vision, in fact he commented about Nick having perfect vision, so much so that he’d never seen anything like it. Nick wasn’t comforted as more headaches came. He swore it felt like dying. The doctors performed every test they could think of and according to them, Nick was perfectly healthy, healthier than a horse. The doctors couldn’t help him nor could Rosalee. None of this made any sense until one day, he opened his eyes and found himself inside what looked like a dungeon with a rat problem. He couldn’t see much else as he battled against the pain raging in his mind.
The first time he opened his eyes and saw her, the pain had been exceptionally potent that morning, as he was getting ready for work. Nick had steadied himself using the bathroom sink and waited for the episode to end. It was all he could do, to ride the pain out so he could get back to his routine. He was surprised at being surrounded by light instead of the darkness from before that he’d grown accustomed to. The long brown hair was the first thing he saw of her, then her hands, clinging desperately on the bronze edge of something he couldn’t quite make out. Her hands were bruised, scrapped raw with black dirt beneath her chipped nails. As the second wave of pain ripped through him…her, he lifted his eyes and suddenly she was before him, or at least her reflection was. Adalind.
Although her listless hair partly covered her face, Nick saw enough to know it was her but a very different Adalind. She lifted her face and their eyes locked across space and time, something so impossible and yet so real and he didn’t know how it happened? He saw her lips part as she spoke one word. He couldn’t hear but he could make out his name on her lips as a single tear rolled down her face before she collapsed on the floor. Nick reached out his hand but it slammed against his bathroom cabinet mirror instead and another wave of pain crashed against his head, knocking him off his feet. He cried out in pain, causing Juliette to rush in and find him sprawled on the bathroom floor, hands clinging to the sides of his head as if to ward off the pain.
“Nick, are you okay?” Her voice seemed a million miles away, her touch colder that ice as she held him close.
It was another minute before he was back to his senses, in his own bathroom instead of wherever Adalind was. He thought about her and although the anger and resentment were still there, there was something else Nick couldn’t deny. Where was she? Why had she been locked up and by whom? Too many questions he wished he didn’t have or cared to know the answers to. Whatever she did, she probably had it coming, he thought but regretted it immediately and he was too exhausted to try and understand why.
“Nick, clearly something is wrong with you, these headaches seem to be getting worse.” Juliette said with concern in her voice.
“I’ll be fine,” he said dismissively.
“I’m not so sure, Nick. You used to get these headaches, what, maybe once or twice a week and they barely lasted a few seconds. I know the headache specialist says there’s nothing wrong but I have this feeling…that this is somehow Adalind’s doing.” He flinched at the mention of her name.
“Maybe she did more than just take your Grimm sight. Everyone we’ve seen so far hasn’t been able to help but what if we tried someone else, someone who might have some idea of what’s happening to you.”
Nick looked at Juliette but offered no response.
“I…I’ve been talking to Sean…”
“Excuse me?” He asked.
He couldn’t believe what she just said. Juliette had practically begged him to leave his Grimm life behind and there she was talking to a half-zauberbiest about him. He wanted to push her hands away from him but he was still too weak to get up from the floor without her assistance.
“Nick, something’s clearly wrong with you, the headaches, the blindness, instead of lasting a few seconds, it’s now going on for a few minutes more and more.”
“Yeah…I agree, something is wrong with me but you won’t like the answer. And I don’t I like you going to Renard behind my back.” He snapped at her.
Juliette immediately dropped his hand, causing him to wobble back onto his feet.
“Wow,” she said icily.
They stared at each other as Nick’s word sucked the air out of the bathroom. He wanted to apologise but his pride got in the way. Seeing Adalind always set him on edge and off balance and Juliette has borne the brunt of it. It was totally unfair but he was helpless to stop it
It had been three months since Monroe and Rosalee’s wedding and for all that time, their life had slowly lulled into this quiet, uneventful existence. He realised being without his abilities had made Juliette happy and Nick so wanted to make her happy after everything that he’d put her through but the headaches came and she was right, they were getting worse, more frequent and lasted longer and now there were these visions of Adalind. To tell her the truth now would hurt her tremendously and Nick wasn’t built that way.
“Fine,” he said. “I’ll speak to Renard.” He relented. It was as close to an apology as he was willing to get in that state.
Nick hated turning to the Captain for any help. Their relationship has been strained since the obsession spell but he went along for Juliette’s sake and he really didn’t any more options left. Although he had been cavalier about the headaches with Juliette, it did in fact worry him. Each and every time they came, he felt like he was losing a part of himself despite gaining something in return. The next time he saw Adalind, she looked better or rather happier, a disconnect from the previous siting. They both realised what they saw of each other happened in real time but made no other form of communication; nothing besides her calling out his name.
Or so he thought. It could very well be a figment of his imagination. Maybe he wanted her to say his name, no. He cleared his head before diving deeper into the rabbit hole that was his memories of his time with her. It was safer to keep his distance, to remain aloof despite the difficulty he incurred with each vision. Not only could he see her, he also felt her as though she was a part of him. It unnerved him greatly. Nick never wanted to see her again but now he couldn’t escape her so he went against his better judgement and spoke to Renard.
Renard couldn’t help him directly but he made a phone call to his mother who referred Nick to a local hexenbiest named Henrietta and no last name.
“Is she related to you?” Nick asked.
“No. She's known my mother since my mother was a child. She's one of the main reasons my mother brought us to Portland.”
“How old is she?”
“I don't know. No one’s ever told me, and I'm not about to ask. You shouldn't either.”
“So how is she going to be able to help me?”
“She won't know until she meets you.”
“When can I meet her?”
“Call this number. Memorize it.” He scribbled on a pad and tore the page and handed it to Nick.
“Done.” Nick said just as the digits vanished from the piece of paper in his hand. “How did you do that?” Nick turned to Renard.
“I didn't. That was Henrietta. She’s a very private person.”
Later that day, he and Juliette were standing outside of Henrietta’s front door on 1118 Old Stable Drive, a nondescript house in a nondescript location of Portland. The door opened before they could ring the bell.
“So you're Nicholas Burkhardt, Good afternoon. I've heard a lot about you.”
“Sorry, I can’t say the same.” He replied with suspicion.
“You must be Juliette, pleasure to meet you. Please do come in.” Henrietta invited them into her home. She led them into her lounge. Nick felt the hair in the back of his neck stand on end as Henrietta watched him with a peculiar glint in her eyes as if he had a big old sign plastered on his forehead that only she could see. It made him very uncomfortable.
“Interesting….” Henrietta smiled to herself.
“What is it?” Nick asked.
“Oh it’s nothing, it’s just that I can smell…uh…your ‘beloved’ on you.” She smirked. “You see, we hexenbiests have heightened senses, a curse if you will. It’s very rare for something to get past us.” She tapped her nose with her forefinger to drive the point home.
That really made Nick feel uneasy, the glee on her face she didn’t even bother to hide from him. “So tell me, how can I help you?” She asked.
“I have a feeling you already know and so much more than we do.” He answered.
“Ah…pretty and smart. I can see why she likes you.” He couldn’t miss the sly yet seductive smile on her face and the heat pooling beneath his collar at the “she” being referred to. This woman was speaking in double entendres. He felt Juliette stiffen beside him, clearly she wasn’t oblivious either. He hoped Juliette wasn’t so quick to catch the hexenbiest’s double meaning.
Henrietta offered them their seats, “I’d offer you something to drink but I’m sure you’d prefer I didn’t.” she said without apology.
Juliette and Nick sat side by side but they couldn’t be further apart even if they tried and this wasn’t lost on their host. Nick was only glad she decided to keep any more of her sly comments to herself. Henrietta took a seat sat across the table and just watched the couple without uttering another word.
“Look, can you help me or not?” he asked impatiently.
“It depends on what you really want.” She said cryptically.
That was obvious, he wanted to be a Grimm again but Nick kept his thoughts to himself.
“Wait, so you know what’s causing Nick’s headaches?” Juliette asked the hexenbiest hopeful.
“It could be a number of things, but I need Nick to tell me himself what happened. I understand another hexenbiest was involved….” Henrietta looked over at Nick and Nick shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Black eyes bore into his as if to pick his mind for things he’d rather leave buried deep inside where no one could reach. Thinking about what he’d lost lead to thinking about “her” and looking at Henrietta, he was certain his thoughts were an open book spread wide for her perusal. He felt exposed, naked and from looking at looking at him, he may as well have been. Suddenly he had regrets for ever setting foot in that house.
“Before I can remedy the problem, I must know the cause. I need to know exactly what happened and it’s best you start from the beginning. Detective relax; I promise I won’t bite.” She tried to reassure him.
It was a moment before Nick gave in and began his story of the day he lost his abilities. He told her everything she asked but was stingy on the details, as he was aware of Juliette’s presence beside him. Henrietta listened attentively and quietly, waiting for him to finish before her turn to speak.
“Are you certain this is all there is to the story?” she asked thoughtfully.
“What do you mean?” He said defensively.
“I wonder if Adalind understood the risk to herself when she made this spell.”
“Risk to her? What about Nick?” Juliette asked vehemently.
He was happy at her interjection. It shifted Henrietta’s intense focus from him over to her. In fact he was surprised when she had spoken as he’d forgotten she was even there. He never realised that Juliette had remained very quiet when Henrietta asked him what he really wanted. Even though he never said the words, perhaps his silence had spoken volumes in his stead. Nick looked over his girlfriend and he saw the cold steely look marring her features, a look she’d worn the day she discovered he had slept with Adalind in their bed and did nothing to stop it.
“Excuse me, I meant to you both. I am sort of familiar with the spell but I’ve never met anyone’s that’s actually performed it due to its overreaching effects on both Grimm and hexenbiest. From the little I know; it does not end well for either Grimm or hexenbiest. When I was little, my mother told me a story once. I used to think it was a legend, an old wives tale about how one of my ancestors sacrificed herself to put an end to one of yours, the fiercest Grimm our kind had ever faced. According to folklore, he was an Endezeichen Grimm, the worst of your kind. It was a victory that rang for ages after her death but as history is prone to do, facts turned to fables turned to whispers in the wind.
Forgive me if I sound unsympathetic but your kind has hunted and murdered my kind for centuries without compunction. Grimms don’t particularly like wesen-kind but you seemed to hate my kind so much more.” She said with bite.
“I’m not here to listen to children’s stories.” He replied in kind.
“No, you’re not, yet it’s that same story that holds the key to your very existence.” She bit back.
“Can you reverse the spell or not?” he finally asked point blank.
“No, not me. I can give you what you need but it’s not for me to decide or to do. What Adalind did, only she can undo. The things that she did, it ties you two together in unpredictable ways and if the story my mother told me is at all true….”
“I’m not certain. Like I said, there’s something in your story that I am missing. It follows my tale almost to the letter except for one thing….” she paused.
“There’s more you’re not saying, I can see it on your face.”
“Fine, I’m going to be honest but I don’t think you will like what I say. I am not able to reverse the spell, to undo what Adalind did and from what I hear, nobody knows where she is…nobody but you.” She said plainly as she looked at Juliette.
He didn’t see Juliette’s anger but rather felt it, but for his sake, Nick trained his eyes only on the hexenbiest in front of him, glaring at her. She sneered at him in return, as if this spectacle playing out between him and Juliette was actual entertainment.
“The point I’m making detective is that when Adalind performed the Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester, she took on the form of your girlfriend. If you can’t get Adalind to reverse the spell, Juliette will have to take her place in the same manner, Adalind for Juliette, Juliette for Adalind but I will warn you right here and right now, no spell is without consequence as you are now quite familiar.”
“How does the story end?” Juliette asked; her voice distant and cold.
“I don’t know. My mother never finished the story.” She was lying; they all knew it. “I can recreate the potion and the spell to get back what you have lost, what you do with it is truly up to you. You can get your Grimm back. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for…uhm…everything else you’re going through, that is a complete unknown even for me.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Just as we are unique and different, spells affect each individual in a unique way that can’t be boiled down to expected results. I make you a ‘cure’ but I don’t know how your bodies will react to its effect.”
“So in other words, the cure could be worse than the spell?” Juliette asked.
“In some cases, yes but that’s very rare.”
They left Henrietta’s in a sombre mood. Henrietta hadn’t been their salvation, in fact she’d complicated an already complex situation. The ride home was the most uncomfortable he’d ever ridden in his whole life. Juliette had focused her eyes on the road ahead of her, a grim line set across her thin lips. She pulled her car into the driveway and cut off the engine but didn’t move.
“You lied to me.” She finally said.
“I’m such an idiot. Here I was thinking we were finally on the same page but now I see we’ve been on different plains this whole time, in fact we’ve been drifting further apart instead coming together. Silly me for thinking Adalind was the reason for the state of our relationship, I guess in a way she is because everything can be traced back to her. It’s clear you want to be a Grimm again even though it’s caused nothing but problems for us from day one. If’ you’d told me this was what you wanted from the beginning and had actually been honest with me, I would have understood or tried to.”
“Like you were honest with me? I know you went to Rosalee and Monroe and told them not to be in a hurry finding a cure for Adalind did to me when you knew how important being a Grimm was to me.” he shot back before he could stop himself.
“Oh…I guess now the truth finally comes out.” She said bitterly.
He almost gave a cutting retort but instead took a breather. He didn’t want to say something he’d later regret.
“Juliette, why are we even fighting?”
“I don’t know Nick, you tell me. I’m only your girlfriend after all. I feel like I have to pry things from you and not easily either and somehow that makes me the bad guy.”
“I am sorry, it’s been a rough day.”
“Yeah, no kidding.” She said derisively.
“Juliette what do you want from me?” he finally stopped trying to control whatever was happening between them.
“For starters, I’d really like some honesty from you. What did Henrietta mean when she said only you knew where Adalind was? You told me she left town on the day of Monroe’s wedding….”
“She did.” He said exasperated.
“…And you specifically told me you hadn’t seen her since.”
He was about to speak when he froze and Juliette caught him.
“Pfft! Wow… I’m beginning to see.” She said and stepped out of her car leaving him to his befuddled thoughts as he tried to sort out everything that just happened.
“Juliette wait,” he tried to tell her but she refused to stop or to listen to him. ‘It’s not what you think,” he said as he followed her into the house they’ve shared for over half a decade. He managed to catch her by the arm but she flinched away from him.
“These headaches, when they come, I’m not thrown into total darkness. I mean it’s not that I can’t see. I can’t see where I am at but…it’s so crazy and I don’t understand…”
“I’m tired Nick,” she cut him off.
That didn’t sound like she was talking about being weary from a long day at the clinic, this was about them, or rather what was left of their relationship.
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying I’m done trying to make…this work between us,” she pointed her a finger between them.
“I don’t even think you love me anymore, you haven’t told me as much since before sleeping with Adalind. I admit I was upset about it and for a long while I couldn’t forgive the betrayal.”
“You mean ‘my’ betrayal?”
“Take it as you will Nick, I’m through over walking on eggshells over you. Do you know I was ready to call it quits between us but then we finally made love after weeks of tip toeing around the issue. I thought we were over our problems. I remember how you touched me like never before and I fooled myself into thinking everything was back to normal but that was weeks ago and we haven’t been intimate ever since. I was willing to ignore it but after today, not anymore.”
“Juliette, I never meant to hurt you. I swear it.”
“And yet that’s all you’ve done and I know it’s not your fault, believe me. But I am tired Nick. I feel like a second-class citizen when it comes to you.”
Unfortunately he doubled over with pain and his sight blurred once more before he could tell her otherwise.
“No! Not right now….” He said as he stumbled forward from the pain crushing his cranium and almost knocking Juliette down but she held him steady.
He heard her speaking to him as she led him to a sofa but mind was already elsewhere, caught up in the images playing before his eyes concerning one Adalind Schade. And as light is different to darkness, a serene calmness swept over him. It was such a dichotomy of emotions. He should be angry, furious over the mess she had made of his life but a force so much stronger was a work on the inside of him, taking him from depressing lows one day to dizzying highs the next. And even though Juliette would never believe him, he was as emotionally exhausted during these past several weeks if not more so. He no longer felt like his own and that helplessness scared him.
He’d been truthful when he told Juliette he didn’t mean to hurt her but that was impossible when Adalind refused to leave him alone. Would he ever stop paying for crossing that woman’s path? Thankfully, his vision blurred once more, but not before he saw a little girl with a blond curls jump onto Adalind’s lap. He saw her purple eyes and one name hit him like a ton of bricks, Diana. Impossible, he thought. When he came to, Juliette had been kneeling in front him, a worried look on her face.
“Yeah, I’m back.” He sat up straight, leaning back.
She looked at him for a minute longer as realisation dawned on her.
“I’m almost afraid to ask you what it is you saw that I could not because I think I already know the answer. Henrietta certainly did. She said Adalind tied you to her in ways that we will never understand. You see her, during your headaches? That’s what Henrietta meant when she said you knew where she was.”
“I don’t know where she is.”
“Sure.” She said cynically, clearly doubting his word. “Enough! It’s time we stop wasting each other’s time. I thinks it’s better I sleep at a friend’s tonight and after that…honestly, I don’t know other than I can’t go on like this.”
“Are you leaving me?” he asked incredulously.
“I don’t want to but it’s obvious what we have is…it’s gone. I love you Nick, I think I always will but this is working anymore. And I’m sorry but you are going to have to hope Adalind comes back from whichever rock she crawled under because my body has reached its cap from being used as a tool between you and your hexenbiest.” She said sadly, got up and walked away from him.
Nick wanted to go after her, and tell her she was wrong. He really did love her, “I feel like a second-class citizen when it comes to you,” her words rang incessantly in his head as he tried to deny them but he couldn’t.
When his aunt came back to town and had told him about the changes he was going through, she’d given him a choice to leave Juliette but he didn’t. When Juliette realised he was keeping a deadly secret, she gave him a choice to tell the truth, he chose to lie and Adalind nearly destroyed her as a result. And now he was faced with yet another choice and it seemed he’d already made it, the Grimm life over a regular life with her. For the first time he realised just how selfish he’d been, thinking only of himself, what made his life easier and even when he thought he had put Juliette first, he’d sulked every day since realising he was powerless.
She soon came back downstairs, with more than just an overnight bag.
“I am sorry Juliette.” He said sincerely but made no move to stop her, something that wasn’t lost to her as she bit back her tears.
“Yeah, me too.” She leaned forward as though to kiss him but changed her mind at the last minute. “I really hope you get everything you want, too bad it wasn’t me. I will get the rest of my things in a few days. Goodbye Nick.”
And just like that, Juliette was gone forever, saving him from making yet another selfish choice.
Henrietta did come through with the potion but told her it would do him no good, not without Adalind and he couldn’t ask Juliette to take her place not with the hell she’d already experienced at the hands of Adalind. It was a risk neither wanted to take.
“Hardly unexpected my dear.” The hexenbiest said.
“Detective, we may be sworn enemies by nature but we have more in common than you did with your kehrseite girlfriend. I knew she wouldn’t understand your need to be whole again. You may look like them but you will never be one of them and Juliette finally realised it and apparently so have you.” She said as she walked around him, sticking her nose out.
He was loath to talk to her about something that was clearly private. Juliette was gone and that was nobody’s business but his own. Henrietta smiled but he could have sworn he detected a little malice behind her sunny expression. What was he doing there? He questioned himself once as his muscles tensed under her scrutiny. She was a hexenbiest, of all wesen, they were the least to be trusted and he was still a Grimm even without his sight, Adalind hadn’t robbed him of everything, he still had his instincts.
Despite Henrietta’s assistance, Nick sensed a wickedness that left him uncomfortable, which only set him off balance when his mind drifted back to Adalind. To say that things had taken a turn where Adalind was concerned was the understatement of the century.
“Aahh! I see….”
“What?” he said, testily.
“No, it’s something and I’m getting tired of your condescension. If you’ve got something to say, just say it and be done with it. I’m sick of having to read between the lines.” He snapped at her.
“…As you will. You’ve seen her again.” It wasn’t a question.
“I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“Now who’s being patronizing? I imagine it’s not easy for you, to look past your inbred prejudice and see the real Adalind and not the witch you imagined her to be. Yes and it burns you even when you no longer have a reason to hate her. Perhaps that’s the crux of the matter.” She raised her nose at him, inhaling deep. “She’s all over you, fragrant and deep. You fight it but in your dreams at night, you welcome her without the weight of so many expectations.”
“No.” he countered with some embarrassment.
“Yes. I almost envy her. I think I’m going to tell you the rest of my story after all,” she said as she pulled on his arm, hooking her arm around his while his legs moved without his consent. She weaved her spell around him so he would not escape. Nick fought against it, against her until she sat him down in the same spot as the last time he’d been in her house but this time, she sat right beside him, caressing his arm like they were lovers. It creeped Nick out but without his voice and strength, he was at the mercy of the witch and whatever evils she chose to visit upon him.
“Don’t be so frightened Detective. I’m not trying to kill you. The spell is temporary. I hope you’re comfortable, now where was I? Oh yes, after the Grimm lost his powers to hunt and kill…actually no. It’s always better to start a good story from the beginning, don’t you think? Yes, so once upon a time, a long, long time ago in a village far, far away as the children’s book goes. A Grimm went all over the old country, from village to village hunting wesen but hexenbiests in particular. Entire villages would empty when they heard tales from nearby village where he’d left nothing but death and destruction, mutilated corpses left as a warning to those who dared return.
“A young woman by the name of Margarete, such a pretty name don’t you think? Well, she had left the village to visit some relative in a distant land and upon her return, she had found her whole village raised to the ground. Some brave souls who had nowhere else to go had begun rebuilding. However the remnants of her home, her mother, father and two little sisters were nothing but a pile of bitter ash now fully separated from the fledgling new village.
“Margarete was shunned, cast out as though she had been the one to light the match, killing scores of humble farmers in small village. On a fateful night, some bitter souls happened upon a shed she’d fashioned into some semblance of a shelter from the cold winter and they tried to set her alight screaming ‘WITCH’ and other obscenities your ears are too young to hear. Margarate barely escaped with her life but before she swore she’d know no rest until she found the Grimm and inflict the worst pain imaginable to your kind, blindness.
“She found him, a decade later and believe me it was no easy task. She traced him to a kehrseite village. During the celebration of the summer solstice, she followed him into one of the many beer halls. Despite her blackened heart, Margarete had grown exceptionally fair, her beauty enticed even the most devout to forsake their vows and she walked past the Grimm, he proved he was no different than all the men she’d met in the ten long years of searching. She wore a simple garb but she may as well have worn all of the crown jewels in the known world, you couldn’t miss her and neither did the Grimm.
“She knew he had a weakness for those he deemed helpless but Margarate was the furthest thing from a damsel in distress. She’d bound a hapless stranger to be her toy in baiting her target and the Grimm fell head long for the ruse and came to her rescue. As a poor villager with no coin, she offered another way to pay for his service for honour’s sake but the Grimm refused. Not wanting to raise suspicion she walked away but not too far when the Grimm stopped her dead in her tracks. Margarete’s beauty was truly other worldly that even the worst of the worst couldn’t resist her.
“Suffice to say, he took her to the room in the inn he stayed, at the far end of the village and there, Margarete got her revenge. In the morning, she was nowhere to be found and the Grimm had lost his sight. You know the next part. Soon after their wild and passionate night, the Grimm began experiencing unspeakable pain that it drove him mad for want of seeing young and beautiful villager once again. The headaches intensified with each passing day. He travelled throughout the country searching for the one he hated the most but no longer hunting to kill. And finally, as if fate had intervened, The Grimm found his hexenbiest.
He begged her to reverse the curse but she refused. He was dying, being ripped to shreds from the inside out and like him, so was she but she’d lost everything to spare a care. The hexenbiest had wanted the Grimm to suffer as much as she did. She would die a thousand deaths before lifting a finger to save the man that had caused her so much sorrow.” Henrietta said with reverence and then released Nick from her spell.
“The Grimm learnt that she too, suffered from the same affliction from which he sought relief but it was too late for either of them. Thus they both died not long after the Grimm found Margarete. That’s where my mother’s story ends…”
“I get the feeling there’s more,” Nick finally spoke, his voice hoarse and unfamiliar.
“…Astute as always.” She smiled at him. “Well I heard this story countless times over in my travels and from many different people in many different places. This next bit is the part that is legend. Do you know how Margarete and her Grimm died?” Henrietta asked Nick as though he had the answer.
“…In each other’s arms. In her last days, Margarete had become a recluse wanting to die alone rather than suffer people’s fear and hatred but then Grimm found her. Legend says they lived another week in her cabin up in the mountains or perhaps it was a day, one can never be sure about these stories that have been passed down almost from generation to generation. How positively romantic, and ironic that they found solace in each other, passing this world to the next side by side, don’t you think?”
Nick laughed, mirthlessly.
“You’re crazy. You expect me to believe that this is somehow what’s happening to me and Adalind?”
“I said no such thing, I was merely sharing a fable from my childhood, make of it whatever you will. When Elizabeth told me about you, she never gave me the details because her son never told her. All she said was that a certain Grimm needed my help and a list of ingredients from a spell used to curse him. Honestly, I always thought my childhood story was made up, until you walked through my door and do you remember one of the first things I said you?”
“…I can smell…uh…your ‘beloved’ on you,” How could one forget such a sordid statement in from of his then girlfriend, Juliette?
She laughed at him, “Poor thing, I never meant Juliette, if that’s what you thought. I meant your hexenbiest. You positively reek her and her scent grows stronger every day…as does your longing for her and I don’t mean so you can cut her head clean of its neck and shoulders.” She continued to laugh at his expense, her derision. It tasted like bile in his mouth.
“I am not in love with Adalind Schade.” He huffed.
“I never said you were. In truth, I don’t know what you are. I don’t think I want to know, ever. This curse, whatever it is, is beyond anything I have ever seen or anyone else for that matter. Adalind shouldn’t have meddled with it but for her to defile herself in this manner and curse you; I figure it was well deserved. What I cannot understand is why you’re still alive.”
“What do you mean?”
“The side effects are fast acting but how long has it been? Months? When you first came to me, I asked you if there was something you’d neglected to tell me about what Adalind did specifically to you because something…I don’t know what it is, is keeping you alive, an invisible connection between you and I can’t help but be intrigued.”
Every cell in his body told him not to trust her. Hexenbiests were known liars and manipulators as he thought about Adalind which he regretted immediately because Henrietta leered at him. For someone that clearly despised him, she obviously wanted him. Nick tried distancing himself as best as he could.
“Oh for goodness sake, Grimm you’re perfectly safe from me. You belong to another. And besides, I don’t like sharing and I like coming second even less. I may envy that little witch a tiny bit but I love my life and plan on living it for a very long time.” She stood on her feet and walked to the other side of the room just to make her point.
“So what, I’m supposed to sit around and suffer painfully until I die?
“That’s up to you. Adalind isn’t going to waltz back into Portland for nothing. She’s already got her revenge.” Perhaps, nothing is certain. Adalind can still…”
“No, I don’t want that witch anywhere near me!” He yelled angrily as pain filled his chest.
“Then our business here is concluded. There’s nothing more I can do for you. It’s a shame really and I was starting to like you for a Grimm.” She said without emotion.
She walked him to her door which opened without anyone touching it. Nick stepped down the porch and headed towards his Cruiser, his mind, already a million miles away, searching….
“Wait.” Henrietta called out to him, causing Nick to turn around. “Perhaps there’s something I can do for the pain. The headaches will never go away, not without reversing the spell but I have something that will ease your discomfort, not by much but I suspect something is better than nothing judging by the dark circles around those pretty eyes of yours.” She said and disappeared back into the house, only to appear with a little container containing a black substance.
“Here, take this. Apply it daily at the back of the head, just above the neck.”
“What happened to there being nothing more you can do for me?” he asked, glib.
“What can I say, you’re growing me.” She smiled sweetly at him and bid him good luck.
She sat on the covered terrace and watched Diana waddle towards the swimming instructor, inflated floats secured firmly around her chubby little arms and legs. Adalind had tried reasoning with Viktor, wanting to teach Diana herself but his niece was royalty and would be raised accordingly, relegating Adalind to nothing more than the nanny as opposed to being her mother and Adalind learned the hard way never to argue with Viktor. It was his word and nothing else.
And that day by the pool, she experienced another of those inexplicable mood swings. Adalind had gone from laughing happily at Diana splashing in the water to crashing to the lowest lows she’d ever experienced since leaving Portland. Fortunately for her daughter watched her constantly and seeing her mother in distress, Diana ran to her mother’s side, “Mommy, why sad?” her daughter asked her pointedly.
“It’s nothing baby,” she replied solemnly but Diana was like a dog with a bone when it came to looking for answers.
It was no secret that Diana was already more powerful than Adalind could ever dream to be. Even though she helped her daughter navigate her powers, there wasn’t anything Diana couldn’t do if she put her mind to it, which wasn’t surprising when Adalind felt Diana’s tiny hands prodding through her mind, picking it apart until she found the reason for Adalind’s quiet mood.
“Kelly.” Diana exclaimed sadly. “Mommy miss Kelly?”
“No Sweetheart,” she tried to explain but she was too confused about her own feelings about the dead Grimm. She had absolutely no reason to feel anything for Kelly Burkhardt but that didn’t stop her from feeling sadness and Diana had picked up on it. It had to be a result of the spell she performed on Nick , she thought but why was she affected at all? All she did was take his Grimm sight away, she didn’t bargain for everything else that happened thereafter.
Diana lifted herself onto her mother’s lap and hugged Adalind as best as she could.
“It’s alright because Diana and Mommy are together again.” Diana comforted her.
Adalind was no longer surprised by her daughters accelerated growth, be it physically or mentally. It made Adalind wonder, how perceptive was Diana? She was already self-aware while still inside Adalind’s womb. Adalind turned to her little girl and before she could stop herself she asked Diana about her time with Kelly Burkhardt. She regretted it immediately seeing as that was the worst time of her life, she’d never know the kind of pain she experienced when she lost Diana and didn’t think she’d ever survive it again.
Instead of using her words, Diana entered her mother’s psyche and took her by the hand and led her through a maze of memories so vast and real, Adalind felt the hair on her skin tingle. They stopped in Portland, the police station interrogation room. Adalind watched herself as she sat across from Kelly they were talking about sacrificing what they loved the most. Adalind didn’t understand back then, she still didn’t understand. And then the scene changed. Kelly was on the run with Diana. She had gotten a rental and was driving out of Portland.
“I’m sorry little one but it had to be done or else too many people would be dead.” But Diana just cried, shattering all the windows of the truck.
“Calm down Sweetheart, everything will be alright. Your mother, you will see her again, I promise. It just can’t be right now, there are too many people that will kill her to get to you and she has made too many enemies bringing you into this world. This is the only way to protect you both. I know you can understand me because you’re a special child. Once we get to where we are going, I will make contact with my son and he will bring your mom ad you will be together again, please trust me.”
Kelly called Nick to check in and ask if he’d heard from Adalind.
“No. She’s in the wind but why? I thought you said for Diana to have a chance, Adalind couldn’t raise her.”
“Nicky, I was wrong. Diana needs her mother. Let me know when she turns up….”
Nick never got a chance. Kelly had made it as far as the south of Mexico when Viktor’s men caught up to them. The Royals had tracked her much sooner than expected, sending an army after her. She hid Diana as best as she could, fought off her attackers long and hard but in the end lost her head. Viktor’s surviving men had looked for Diana until they found her tucked safely behind the seat of her truck. Diana incinerated the first man that tried to move her from the truck. One by one, they died until Viktor himself showed up but he wasn’t alone. Sean was with him. Adalind’s stomach lurched. This was all too familiar, she thought as Diana’s tiny hand tightened around hers.
Like in her nightmares, Adalind watched as Sean handed their daughter to Viktor. She screamed for him to stop but Sean was deaf to her desperate pleas.
“Daddy can’t hear you,” She head Diana’s voice ringing in her head.
“That bastard gave you away. He knew how desperate to find you…” She cried out in anguish but only a solitary tear rolled down Adalind’s face as her daughter held her.
Diana eventually pulled them back to reality. As she looked down Diana’s face, it was ironic how Kelly had kept her word to Diana but not in the manner she had hopped. Adalind was even more confused about her own feelings. It wasn’t easy to forget how they all duped her when they took Diana but she couldn’t ignore what Diana showed her. Kelly died protecting her child and the pain Adalind felt was likely Nick’s pain over his mother’s cruel death and it confirmed one thing, the knowledge that she couldn’t trust Viktor, not even a little. From what she just witnessed, Viktor was using her to control Diana, the same way he used Sean in Mexico.
Adalind finally understood, she wasn’t Viktor’s guest but a tool he manipulated every day since releasing her from his prison, for his own gain and by staying in his castle as long as she has, she’d grown even more vulnerable to him, exposing herself to more manipulation and should he realise the severity of the side effects from the spell she used to curse Nick.
Adalind looked at her daughter and a single thought crossed her mind, she had to escape and soon!
He wasn’t a Grimm anymore, he’d made his peace with that fact but his enemies weren’t so understanding. Word got out that he lost his sight and who knew what else. It riled him up that every perp’ he chased down was a potential wesen and there was nothing he could do about it. His body was weaker; he felt it in his bones. It took longer to recover from every blow he took. How he’d survived all those years before was a mystery. He almost wished he’d never become one in the first place, to remain in ignorance but then that would be like cutting off his own arm and he’d have never met Monroe.
What aggravated him wasn’t that he missed being a Grimm or that his life was in danger, it was the fact that his friends’ lives were at risk and he couldn’t protect them as a result of losing his abilities. And that forced him to put his pride aside and decide to find Adalind, whatever it took. To start, Nick wrote a note that he kept with him at all times and at the first opportunity he got, he pulled it out during the next of their many shared visions, placed it squarely in front of his unseeing eyes, hoping she would see it and actually respond.
“Where are you?” The note said.
It would be days before he got a reply and one he should have expected.
“Leave me alone!” he read the words that blocked his vision.
She had no interest in making contact despite sharing so much of their lives since the spell. He imagined it had to do with Diana. He couldn’t blame her, he did take her child away, losing his Grimm was testament to that but he was tired of sitting by while his life circled down the drain and not know if today would be the day. After Monroe’s kidnapping by a hate group called the Wesenrein obsessed with maintain the purity of wesen species, it was long past Nick take his life back and now that he’d found purpose again, Adalind was determined as ever to make things difficult for him, this too, he should have expected.
“We have to talk!” He stressed in another note.
She didn’t respond so he added another line, “Whatever you did to me, is killing us both,” he said.
He wasn’t sure how accurate that statement was but it should get her attention, he thought but he got nothing but silence from her side.
“Unless you want to leave Diana motherless, I suggest you talk to me.” He hated bringing up Diana, it was the one thing that guaranteed she’d stay very far from him but she had forced his hand, desperate times called for desperate measures.
“After what you’ve done, why should I trust anything you say?”
Finally, he thought, her reply coming several days later.
“What do you know about the spell you used on me?”
“That’s rich coming from you. Stop contacting me! This is the last you’ll hear from me. I repeat, leave me ALONE!” She hissed at him fully woged, as he saw her reflexion in the mirror in what looked like a fancy bedroom. It was the first time he’d seen her woge, not since the night in the woods as she writhed in fear beneath him. It looked the same but somehow different and weary.
The silence went on for days, then weeks. Something was wrong. He could feel it.
Ever since the last time he’d spoken to Henrietta, he’d felt the pull towards Adalind so much more than before. It was pointless to deny it. He had no reason to but he had been practical about his situation, Accepting it as nothing more than more side effect that ultimately meant nothing. It was easy to compartmentalise, or else go crazy like the Grimm in Henrietta’s story. He had a theory about why he and Adalind hadn’t met the same fate as Margarete and her Grimm, starting with a kiss in the woods years ago; it was the only difference he could fine between them, apart from him not murdering his way across Germany. Perhaps his blood, coursing through Adalind’s veins had shielded them from death, he had thought as he laid awake on sleepless nights when and he needed a distraction. If only his distraction didn’t need distracting as Adalind consumed him.
He sold his house and moved into a loft north west of Portland. It was his way of starting fresh but how could he when a big part of his life was still missing and what was left of it was split down the middle between Portland and wherever she was. He barely had time to be resentful about the turn his life had taken as he was so focused on finding Adalind. And even though there’d been no change, Nick couldn’t shake the anxiety he felt when he found himself thinking about Adalind. It lingered in like a week old body in the Summer.
Wherever she was, he sensed the danger she was in. A part of him, the rational side of him told him to let it go, that it was none of his business. They were not friends nor lovers, despite their one afternoon together so long ago now. But another part of him wanted to get to her as quickly as possible….
Without her “talking” to him, Nick resorted to jotting down every piece of detail he saw through her eyes, taking full advantage of what little was left of his natural gift. He quickly determined she was in Vienna. But where? He thought about asking his Captain but shut down that idea immediately as he thought about Diana. He got the feeling Adalind had no interest of telling Renard of her whereabouts or that of their daughter and Nick wasn’t inclined to stick his nose in other people’s private affairs. He still didn’t trust his boss any more than Adalind did, even though Renard had been the one the sent him to Henrietta…at Juliette’s request, he thought angrily.
He approached the Captain one evening before clocking out for the day, “Captain do you have a minute?” Nick intercepted him as Sean was headed for the elevator.
Renard looked down at his wristwatch and heaved a heavy sigh before relenting, “What is it Burkhardt?”
“It’s about Adalind. You don’t happen to know where she is, do you?”
“No and honestly I don’t care. I know what she did to you but be grateful that’s all she took from you.”
“It’s a bit hard to do that Captain all things considered. I was hoping you could give me some idea about where she could be, any friends she had, family I don’t know about…? I know she worked for one of your family’s many business in Europe….” He saw the Captain’s eye twitch at the mention of his family. “Any info you have will help me a great deal.” He finished.
The Captain obviously knew something, but how to get that info out of him.
“I’m sorry Burkhardt but I can’t help you,” said the Captain.
“Yeah…I’m sorry to have bothered you.”
As if he’d just made the biggest faux pas, Nick apologised for going on about what he’d lost when Renard didn’t even know where his daughter was; another twitching of the eye.
“Is there still no word?” Nick
“No, not since the passing of your mother.” He said in a measured tone.
Nick surmised he knew where Diana was which was all the lead he needed to find Adalind.
“My mother died protecting her and with Adalind’s disappearance, I’m wondering….”
“You think Adalind had something to do with your mother’s death?” he asked incredulously.
Of course he wasn’t. Nick knew Adalind couldn’t have done and he didn’t need a direct link to her psyche to figure that out.
“Adalind is many things but she is no killer.”
Nick didn’t give a response
“…A piece of advice Burkhardt? Forget about Adalind. Start living your life because I assure you, her kiss is far worse than her bite. You probably think asking her to cure you will everything better, it won’t. I learnt that from experience.”
“Duly noted,” he said and bid the captain goodnight.
Several minutes later, Nick broke into Sean Renard’s office and computer
“Thank you Captain for all of your assistance,” Nick said dryly while going through his Renard’s personal files while keeping an eye and ear at the door.
He was lying. He had to be. She wasn’t dying any more than he was or else she would sense it. Six months. It was how long since the spell and five since the headaches and visions began, so why come forward now? Adalind had felt everything under the sun, from anger to desperation, peace and even some longing for Nick Burkhardt, against her better judgement but no sense of death clicking at her heels. What was he trying to do? What game was he playing at? After what she did to him, he should want nothing to do with her but she felt his desperation when she’d rather felt nothing at all and that confused her. They were supposed to be enemies….
In the dark, where it was safer to feel, she dreamed he’d come for her but then the cold light of day would come and the sight of Diana would remind Adalind never to let her guard down ever again. She had determined never to “speak” with him ever again, especially with Viktor’s increased vigilance where she was concerned. Nobody knew about her visions, that was her secret and she intended to keep it that way. The last thing she needed was Viktor discovering her supernatural link to Portland’s former Grimm. Unfortunately for her, Viktor’s was already on to her deception and when things finally came to a head, he’d cornered her in her room after one of her visions and demanded answers.
“You are hiding something from me Miss Schade and I don’t take kindly to people who try to deceive me.” He snarled at her.
“I am not deceiving you, I swear it!” she pleaded but to no avail. She was trapped and unless she thought of something fast, she stood to lose everything. Attacking Viktor wasn’t an option, not unless she was guaranteed victory and with Diana somewhere in the castle away from her, she couldn’t risk it.
“…And I have even less patience with liars. Have I not been good to you? You have your daughter back but you dare to test my patience.”
“Viktor, I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“This is your last chance to tell me the truth Miss Schade or suffer the consequences. These headaches of yours, what more is there to them and count your words wisely before you answer?”
“Viktor, they are just headaches from the curse I placed on Nick. I promise you I’m not lying. They are painful, excruciatingly so. They happened sporadically, lasting a few moments but they are getting tenser and I’ve tried everything possible to cure them and nothing has worked. If I had my mother’s Zaubertränke, I’m sure I’d have found something to make them go away but you’ve refused my return to the States and taken my passport….”
Viktor wasn’t impressed by that last statement, instead he pulled out a tablet, punched it several times before turning it over to her. Adalind rotated the device so she could better see. She wished she hadn’t. It was a video of herself in her room, hardly five minutes past in the throes of these wretched headaches. More than that, Nick had sent her another message and before the vision could end, she cried out “No!” collapsed clumsily on the marble tiled floor and with her forefinger, magically wrote two words that were too indistinct for the video to capture. A moment later, the words were vanished and her pain subsided as she came to herself. It was all caught on a camera she hadn’t been aware existed at all. Had Viktor been spying on her this whole time?
She’d been careful when passing notes back and forth with Nick, casting a spell on her writing so it vanished right after he’d read and Adalind had burnt every scrap of paper she on which she wrote. She knew how dangerous it was, her situation at the castle was precarious at best and didn’t want to risk her plans to escape with Diana and therefore stopped “speaking” to Nick altogether despite his many attempts to contact her. It was very negligent of her not to realised the castle had cameras everywhere, there was no way Viktor would have left her alone with Diana otherwise. How could she have been so stupid” she rebuked herself.
“Viktor, I can explain….” She cried but Viktor’s eyes and not much else had darkened beyond reason.
“I gave you a chance Adalind and like the hexenbiest you are, you spurned it and I have run out of patience.” He turned on his heels and proceeded to leave.
Adalind heart began to race. It was a second Her brain reacted a second too late as she heard the door open and shut, “Viktor WAIT!” she cried, she tried the door but it was too late, Viktor had locked her in. Adalind began to panic in earnest. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. She wanted to curse Nick Burkhardt and his insistence on finding her and now he could have cost her freedom, her life but worst of all, she may have lost Diana for good this time.
“Viktor, open this door. VIKTOR!” She screamed over and over as images of Diana being whisked away from the castle flashed before her eyes. Her face was awash with tears and anger, how could this be happening to her? She couldn’t afford to lose Diana, not again. It would surely kill her, she was certain. Adalind had worked herself into exhaustion when a second headache for the day hit her and the remnant of Nick’s mind melded with her own but she had no more strength to fight it. If only he’d let he be….
Adalind collapsed on to the floor, unconscious.
When she came to, she was no longer in her brightly lit quarters, but the familiar darkened dungeon and this time with both her hands and feet shackled to the floor. Adalind’s hexenbiest howled fiercely, the most bitterest of wails as the day she lost Diana in Portland but there’d be no glass shattering and car alarms blaring from the disturbance wrought from such anguish. She was alone in the dark and nothing or no one to hear her. Adalind’s tears pooled at her bared feet quickly turned into ash. She would not make it easy for Viktor to bully or torture her as he did before. She would get out of this prison find Diana and go home, wherever that was.
After what seemed like an eternity, Adalind managed to break the enchanted featherweight shackles around her bruised and bleeding wrists and turned to those at her feet. It had taken all her strength but she refused to give up. When she realised the chain around her feet weren’t enchanted so the practically fell off her ankles. She limped around her cage, she surveyed every inch of it searching for a weak spot. There was nothing. She walked that dungeon for what seemed like hours before her legs eventually gave out from exhaustion. Adalind, completely hopeless, stumbled down to her knees and wept.
Two days passed without any contact from the beyond those walls. Adalind had lost all sense of time. She was starved, dehydrated, from too much exertion from trying to find a way out. When she realised that not once since waking up in this place did she experience a headache or vision, neither did she ‘feel’ Nick creeping inside her mind like an unwanted guest, Adalind, tired and cold, closed her eyes and actually searched within herself, searching for him. It didn’t take long for her to realise that for the first time in six months, Adalind Schade was all alone. She sent out ‘feelers’ all around her but all her spells bounced right back. It seemed Viktor had gone to greater lengths to keep her locked up not just physically but psychically as well. The loneliness crept on her and soon gripped her in a vice to tight, she couldn’t breathe. And for the first time, Adalind allowed herself to actually miss Nick Burkhardt.
In a shocking turn of events, she willed herself to feel everything she’d held at bay for so long without shame. She felt her eyes water all over again and didn’t even try to stop the tears from rolling down her dirt stained face. There, in the darkness, she relinquished her pride, everything that kept her wound tight. She thought about Diana, rebuking herself for not trying harder or sooner to leave this place but how could she when she had no money, or passport, not to speak about Diana who likely had no papers to speak of, not with her accelerated growth issues. The whole situation was horrible and unless she could find her way out, it would get worse, fast.
To her relief, or so she thought, she didn’t have to wait long as she heard what sounded like a heavy lock glide open and watched Viktor and some old hag walk through the open solid metal gate. At first she thought it was Stefania Vaduva Popescu but she this woman was no gypsy and looked to be a hundred years older. Adalind, taking advantage of the moment when the gate opened, sent out a “feeler” spell to find Diana within the castle but Viktor quickly shut the door too quickly, pulling the shield back in place before the spell could return to her.
“Good, I see you’re awake so we can get right to it.”
“Where’s Diana?” Adalind asked him instead.
“She’s safe. That’s all you need to know. But we’re here to talk about what I need to know, specifically what you’ve been communicating to our mutual friend the former Grimm.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She lied.
“Wrong answer.” He replied.
He turned to the old woman, who then bore her little beady black eyes into Adalind’s and Adalind felt a tingle crawl up her spine and into her mind and the next thing, her entire head was in flames. She screamed. This wasn’t pain, this was what death felt like, Adalind thought. She tried throwing the old witch against one of the stonewalls but the hexenbiest was so much more powerful than she was, ripping Adalind in half without tearing any flesh.
“Tell me what I need to know?”
“Go to hell,” Adalind spat out; blood splattering on the vermin-infested cobbled ground.
“You first from where I am standing. I’m not one to sound like a tired old cliché Miss Schade but we can do this the easy way or the hard way, your decision.”
Adalind only screamed from more pain inflicted on her mind. What was happening to her?
“Alright, do what you have to. I want you to pull out everything, every thought every memory from her mind, tear it open with your bear hands if you must. I want to know.”
“As you wish,” said the hexenbiest hag.
Adalind felt sharp nails pierce the sides of her temples and a slithering snake weaving through her mind biting spreading its venom through the recesses of her mind. Whatever the witch was doing it was surely killing her. Adalind recognised the echoes of the spell. It reminded her of the day Diana showed her memories of Kelly Bukhardt, only it was Adalind’d mind that was being ripped open, her memories torn apart without care or remorse.
“She resists. If I push too hard, the damage she may suffer will be irreparable….”
“I don’t care.” Viktor informed the witch.
Adalind felt the walls she’d built in her mind crumble brick by brick as memories of her time with Nick spilled out like a pay per view movie scene for their perusal. Adalind tried to gather all her strength to block this invasive attack. Her time with Nick was private and for no one else, least of all Viktor and his crone. But all she managed to do was keep herself from falling apart.
“That’s too far back. I want to see what she saw some time after that…. Yes, that’s more like it but I want her most recent memories ending with the one from two days ago before this place.” Adalind heard Viktor’s triumphant voice as images of Nick appeared until the very last image Adalind saw before waking up in the dungeon, “I’m coming for you.” His note read, then the witch released her.
She heard Viktor’s cackle as she sagged back onto the ground completely helpless.
“Oh I must really thank you Miss Schade, your stupidity knows no bounds, it a true gift that just keeps on giving it seems. Never did I believe you’d actually steal the Grimm’s powers and condemn yourself to suffer a most gruesome death. Unlike you, I knew the full extent of what that spell meant. Detective Burkhardt wasn’t lying when he said you were dying. You signed your own death warrant, the only reason I even let you out of here in the first place was because of Diana, she was becoming quite a handful. And I knew it was only a matter of time before I could be rid of you for good but you surprised me when you didn’t die. But that no longer matters. The Grimm should be in Vienna by now and like Margarete and her Grimm, you will die together. How poetic….” He said but his words simply rolled over her as she tried to piece together what was left of her mind and that’s when she heard the most beautiful sound in all of the world echoing in her mind.
“Mommy, where are you?” It wasn’t loud or even audible but it was as clear to Adalind as the noonday cloudless sky.
“Diana?” she whimpered weakly.
“Adalind….” Another voice called out from a distance, Nick’s voice.
Adalind tried to rise from the floor but all her energy was spent as she laid at Viktor’s feet.
“Mommy?” Diana cried out even louder.
“Mommy! Adalind!” their voice called out together again and again, reverberating in her almost shattered mind and all she could do was wait for the darkness to claim her. But instead a bright light burst through the dungeon and she heard the old witch screech sharply for the longest time as the air around her began to boil.
“No…no-NO!” It was Viktor’s voice and he sounded frightened until she heard him no more.
Adalind felt a loud thud, like a body slamming against the wall next to her. Although nearly blind and deaf, she flinched when a hand landed on her shoulder. She tried to scramble away but then she heard a single word, “Mommy,” said a small voice.
It was Diana. She cast a spell to try and find her child but it was her baby girl had found her instead but Adalind was too tired to get up, let alone hold Diana close to her.
“Mommy please…don’t leave me….” Diana began to cry as she hugged Adalind possessively.
“Oh Sweetheart….” Cried Adalind pitifully., to be so close and somehow so far. “I…I’m trying my sweet baby. I’m just so tired.” She could feel the thorny tendrils of unconsciousness entangle her, pulling her further down into the dark abyss. No, she couldn’t go, not when Diana needed her, she thought as bloody tears poured out from her eyes.
“No Mommy, stay…stay with Diana….”
“Oh God!” A heavy voice said suddenly.
She heard a pair of feet stumble onto the dungeon floor on her other side her. “Adalind….”
“Yeah, it’s me,” was the last thing she heard before passing out.
His heart had nearly gave out at the first sight of her. She had been wearing what looked like a white summer dress but now matted with mud, rat faeces and blood, her blood. He barely recognised her at all, her eyes were swollen shut, in fact her whole face looked like it had been pummeled against the wall over a dozen times she was so bruised and had blood coming out of everywhere, her eyes, her nose, mouth and even her ears. Who did this?
Nick looked about him as the rage well up to a boiling point as his eyes landed on the only body in the dungeon, Viktor. He wanted to rip his heart out with his bare hands but Diana’s wailing snapped him back to reality. Nick remembered Margarete and for a moment, he actually feared Adalind had died in his arms, like Henrietta had warned him. He quickly placed two of his fingers against her neck and held his breath.
She had a pulse but it was too faint and very weak for comfort. He had to get her, including Diana out of the castle and as far away from the royals as possible. He looked at steaming pile of ashes a few feet away from where Adalind laid on the ground and Viktor, who looked like he wasn’t breathing anymore and for his sake, Nick hoped he wasn’t and then turned to Diana.
“Diana, Sweetheart? I am going to need your help in getting Mommy out of here and somewhere safe. Do you understand?”
She gave him a brief nod of her head in agreement.
“Good girl,” he smiled warmly at the little girl who was the spitting image of her beautiful mother.
He unclamped Diana’s little arms from around her mother’s limp body and scooped Adalind into his arms.
“Let’s get out of here.” He said firmly.
Diana walked beside him until they reached the spiralling staircase where she took the lead. Nick chastised himself as he watched Diana make her way through the winding stairs and down a very long passage. He thought of pulling her back behind him, he’d memorised the castle’s layout. But Diana would not be told otherwise. She knew her way and that was the end of it; forcing Nick to keep watch of his surroundings. He made sure Diana wasn’t more than a foot away from him, any attempts to ‘protect’ her were met with flashing purple eyes. He knew Adalind would give her life to protect her but it was apparent that Diana was more than capable of taking care of herself, having seen what she did to Adalind’s torturers and he was certain nobody would dare stand in their way if she was as powerful as he suspected.
When Nick arrived at the castle, he had slipped passed the guards, avoiding all detection and any servant he bumped into to, he faked his accent, pretending to be one of the many guards roaming the grounds. He was surprised at how easy it was to get past Viktor’s security. It was probably the element of surprise, he thought cautiously. He was lucky he didn’t even have to discharge his weapon, not once since entering the castle but leaving wouldn’t be so easy. He was carrying an incapacitated Adalind, Viktor’s prisoner and walking out with Viktor’s niece. He’d be lucky to reach the end of this corridor without incident.
As they walked down another long corridor, two maids stepped out of one of the many doors on his left and as spellbound, they stared at him with shock and fear when it dawned on them what was happening.
“Ladies, I suggest you keep quiet and return to the room and lock the door behind you for your own good.” He warned them but knew it was futile.
He watched as the lean one, nearer to him, inhaled before her attempt to scream but she made no sound. On closer examination he realised she was in fact choking as both her hands flew to the base of her neck, clawing at her reddened skin.
“Diana, let her go right now. The two nice ladies are going to let us pass without any more problems, aren’t you ladies?” he said in a rush.
The two maids nodded vigorously.
He breathed a sigh of relief when he watched the colour on the skinny maid return to normal and she was able to breathe again.
“Now get inside and lock the door. If anyone asks, you didn’t see anything.” He said grimly. The two maids, fearing for their lives did as told. It was after hearing the lock turn that he relaxed and turned to Diana. Who looked as innocent as a baby but Nick realised that looks were obviously deceiving where she was concerned. Perhaps he should have been a bit more specific when asking for her help.
“Thank you Diana for that but I’m going to ask you not to kill anyone from now on. I know your Mommy wouldn’t like that at all.” He said slightly nervous.
The weird thing was that it was true. He knew Adalind wouldn’t want her daughter leaving a trail of bodies behind her everywhere she went. And until Adalind woke up and he was satisfied she was okay, it was up to him to watch over Diana. So every way they turned when the saw maids or Viktor’s guards, Diana simply knocked them out or froze them temporarily, he made a point to make sure that that was all she did. And after a tense thirty minutes of wondering though the castle, gathering whatever necessities he could gather for both mother and child, they managed to leave the ground and into his rented car parked not far from the service gate. They bounded down the road and never looked back, over their first hurdle, now for the rest….
Nick drove all night and all of the following day trying to place as much distance between him and the royals. When he reached a small hotel south of Mailberg, he left Adalind in the car as he checked himself and Diana into a small hotel under a pseudonym, a father and daughter travelling from Spain. It would be easier to track an American man traveling with a woman and a small child and he didn’t want to pretend being German when he could barely hold a conversation. Before they could settle inside, he asked Diana to “distract” the man at the front desk, not to kill him, so he could get her mother inside.
Once he got her inside, he entered the tiny bathroom where he cut Adalind loose from her tattered dress and slowly lowered her into an already full and warm bath. Immediately the water darkened into a sickening mixture of dirt and blood and started to wash away the filth. His stomach lurched at the devastation before him he, he even kept Diana out of the bathroom from seeing her mother in that state her mother was. The swelling had subsided but Adalind had turned every shade under the sun, nothing that a small child should witness.
Adalind began to wake but her eyes remained shut. She flailed wildly at his touch, beating and spraying the murky water on him and all over the bathroom.
“Get away!” she mumbled in terror. “Get away from me Viktor, you animal!” she cried out.
“Adalind calm down. It’s me Nick.” He said although he wasn’t sure how receptive she’d be after everything.
“Nick?” he heard the confusion and mistrust in that small utterance of his name.
“You are safe now. Viktor’s dead, I think.”
“Diana…where’s my baby?” she asked as she tried pulling herself up from the tub but stumbled backwards into the water causing a wave of water to crash onto the floor around him.
“She’s safe too. She’s in the other room, watching television.” He tried to reassure her.
She began to cry.
“Adalind, please….” He begged and she muffled her cries to a stop.
After a moment, she turned in his direction, “You shouldn’t be here.” She stated flatly and turned her head to face the wall.
“I told you I would come for you.” He said softly.
He turned her head so he could look at her, she was crying but not salty water, streaks of blood made their way down the corners of her eyes, reminding him of the scene in the dungeon with her blood soaked face when he feared Viktor had killed. Nick wiped her bloodied tears away. She tried resisting him but she was too weak. She could barely lift her own hand mere inches from the surface of the water for more than a second. Without further incidents, he washed her wounds as best as he could. And after draining the filthy water, he removed his boots and jumped into the tub with her. Nick took off his shirt and got in the bathtub with her, lifted her up as gently as he could against his chest, supporting her lightweight frame in his arms as he turned the shower on and soaking them both under the soothing torrent.
It was awkward and cramped but he diligently washed away the last of the dungeon muck and then turned off the shower. Nick grabbed one of the hotel gowns, slipped it over her shoulders and round the rest her body. He lifted her into his arms, while her limp arms clung weakly round his neck as he moved into the bedroom and eventually lowering her as gently as he could on one of the twin beds.
“Thank you for coming for me.” She said before releasing him just as Diana slid between them to lie next to her mother.
Nick covered them both the blanket, tucking it firmly on either side. Once he was certain mother and daughter were fast asleep, he slipped into the bathroom to change his clothes into some tracksuit pants and a t-shirt while keeping the door between the bathroom and bedroom wide open and Adalind in view. Not even then could he let himself relax. It was a miracle he got to her when he did. He remembered hearing Diana’s cries as she begged Adalind not to leave her; it was enough to break his own heart. Instead of going to sleep, Nick deposited himself into a wooden chair with a plastic covered cushion by the window. He sat down, peering through the shades and keeping an eye on the door, not wanting any surprises. He rued the fact that it would be the second night straight since he slept, a recipe for disaster.
It was in the dark of night as he listened to Adalind and her daughter’s soft breathing that Nick realised not once did he have a vision accompanied by the headaches, not since he left Portland for Vienna, four nights prior. How had he not noticed? This was the longest time he’d gone without the debilitating pain. He’d long used up Henrietta’s ointment and wasn’t ready to go running back to her after their last encounter. As he looked at Adalind he wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that there were together. He remembered Henrietta’s story about Margarete and ‘her’ Grimm. Was he Adalind’s Grimm? Was she his hexenbiest?
Henrietta had called Adalind his “beloved”. At first, he’d balked at the idea but every day since, he’d seen things differently, even felt differently. Did this come from him or was this the effects of the spell meant to torment him? As he looked across the room at the sleeping pair, he didn’t feel tormented. In fact he felt at peace, like being home after a very long journey abroad. But then he remembered the rest of the story, that the hexenbiest and the Grimm died not too long after the spell. Was death really all that was left between them? According to his doctor, he should live to be a hundred and Adalind performed the spell more than six months to the date. Maybe it was foolish but Nick was hopeful, perhaps that’s what Henrietta was trying to convey the first time she saw him, “the connection” that distinguished them from Margarete and her Grimm. His mind drifted back to that bright early afternoon and he wasn’t surprised to realise it was no longer Juliette’s face he saw but the face of a certain blond hexenbiest. He eventually fell asleep a few short hours before daybreak.
They remained at that hotel another three nights as it was too risky to move Adalind before she got any of her strength back but once they were on the road again they kept going until the border. His plan was to cross the northern border into the Czech Republic, where he’d be able to get safe passage back to the United States. He’d never been more grateful to his best friend Monroe than he was when the three of them slipped past the authorities, with fake names and passports. Monroe had contacted one of his former associates who had apparently owed him a “huge” favour. He had bargained for Nick, Adalind and Diana to be transported as quickly as possible to Prague, onto a US flight and Monroe would consider the debt paid. Five days later, they touched down in Seattle.
“Good morning,” he greeted her with a smile.
“Morning…” she coughed.
He really should stop doing that if she had any hope of preparing breakfast. Adalind struggled to contain her blush from standing behind the stove, dropping her gaze to the pancake mixture slowly cooking in the pan. After touching down on American soil, it immediately became apparent to Adalind that she had no place to go. All her escape plans in Vienna fell through before she could set aside some money for herself and Diana and Viktor almost killing her hampered her movements much more than she had realised, prompting Nick to invite her and Diana to stay with him, at least until she got back onto her feet. Adalind didn’t know how to respond to such a gesture coming from him of all people. She still hadn’t reconciled with the fact that he did come for her and she was afraid to ask him why.
He gave up his bedroom for them and fashioned himself a bedroom in the cove section of the loft to the left of the elevator. Adalind couldn’t help feeling a little guilt for imposing on him when he had every right to hate her and kick her out. He probably did it for Diana’ sake seeing as Adalind had no resources and was still too weak to find full time work and still keep Diana safe and hidden from those who’d come for her, seeking the power she possessed and to use it nefariously. After a whole month of Nick’s kindness and patients with her moods and short tempers, she honestly couldn’t see herself anywhere else but that loft and it helped that every morning she got a front row seat to a sexy, dripping wet Nicholas Burkhardt with nothing on but a towel to stoke the fires within.
The first thing they did when reaching Portland was take Adalind to see a doctor, Nick had been worried about her condition since finding her in Viktor’s dungeon. Adalind did a battery of tests, a physical exam, MRIs, EEG among others. To her surprise, she was given a clean bill of health but was given a warning to take it easy because of clear signs of exhaustion but how?
How could months of excruciating pain and Viktor’s torturous invasive of her mind not have affected her even to a little extent? The fact that it was magic-based didn’t mean the physical symptoms weren’t there, she had felt every pain and at time felt she was dying and almost did if Diana and Nick hadn’t found her when they did. It was no question; Viktor would have killed her in her weakened state or would have died in her child’s arms, a thought that sent a chill down her spine.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” She asked him, they were driving back from her last visit to the doctor.
She’d been too caught up I her emotions and curiosity had gotten the best of her. She didn’t understand him and even though a very big part of her was appreciative of all his efforts to make things easy for her and Diana, It was hard to trust that it was all there was to it. She trusted Sean, he threw her out. She trusted Viktor to honour his word but he was only using her for his purposes. She couldn’t imagine Nick being nice to her for the sake of being nice. There had to be catch.
“You should hate me. I’m the reason you’re not a Grimm anymore and maybe even dying.”
“Everybody dies sometime.” He said flippantly.
“I’m being serious Nick.”
“Alright…for one thing, I did the same thing to you first.”
“…But that was because I went after Hank. You were only trying to save your friend.”
“…And you were trying to get Diana back after I stole her from you.” he added without any hint of sarcasm.
“So just like that, all is forgiven?” she asked him frankly.
“Honestly, I don’t know. You did terrible things. I did terrible things. Let’s call it even.”
She had been surprised at his candour.
“Don’t you believe me?” he asked her.
“It’s not that I don’t want to but trust no longer comes naturally to me. I have made so many mistakes and bad choices because I let others lead me. I’m not trying to make excuses for my actions; I know that I have hurt you badly. If I had known what Viktor’s real intentions were, I wouldn’t have agreed to take your powers.”
“You think I wasn’t angry after I realised I wasn’t a Grimm anymore? Oh I was angry, that and so much more. But these past several months, with everything else going on…let’s just say my eyes have been enlightened. I think I saw things clearly for the first time. Hm…now I sound like one of those gift shop post cards. When you’ve got nothing but time to do some introspection, it’s not so hard to see the other side. Plus there were other factors, I think.”
“Yeah…do you mind telling me?”
“I think when I’ve rapped my head around them, I promise you will be the first person I tell.” He said and sent sweet chills down her spine.
Another interesting development was how the headaches had all but disappeared. Nick assumed it had something to do with being close to one another. It made sense, too much sense. It was a theory neither was willing to test but they both knew their arrangement was temporary. Adalind’s strength had returned slowly but surely and the more awkward they became around one another and the reality of her moving was impossible to ignore. Neither Nick nor Adalind brought it up but it hung in the air like a thick cloud.
She didn’t want to leave and Diana had begun to settle and on the occasion she caught him gazing at her, Adalind could have sworn he wasn’t in any rush to be rid of her either. They quickly developed a pattern between the three of them she didn’t want to disturb, something as simple as having meal together or listening to him as he talked about his day, it was impossible not to cling to those moments and want them to last forever. It was on the evening after tucking Diana in bed and Nick had finished his story about a particularly violent criminal he’d apprehended earlier that day that a thought crossed her mind but kept it to herself.
After he joined them for breakfast, Adalind couldn’t help staring at his outward perfection and blushed profusely as a result. She crossed her legs as a distraction but that only made matters worse as her senses became even more heightened. He was simply too beautiful and her body reacted accordingly but she had to stop herself before she went past the point of no return.
“I hope you ladies slept well last night?”
“We did, thank you.” She said as she raised her chin to meet his eye him but the blueish protrusion beneath his left eye knocked the wind out of her sails.
“What happened to you face?” She asked him visibly shocked.
“Oh you mean this? It’s nothing plus I told you about it last night. You should see the other guy.” He said nonchalantly as he flipped through the morning’s paper.
Adalind wasn’t mollified. Now in the light of day, she couldn’t pretend everything was alright.
“Nick, can I ask you something? You can tell me to mind my own business if you want.”
“Don’t you miss being a Grimm? I ask because I don’t ever remember you bringing it up.” She added.
“Do I miss being a Grimm? Yeah, I do.” He said sincerely.
“How come you haven’t said anything this whole time? I remember when I lost my powers, I couldn’t think of anything else except how to get them back. I remember feeling empty for a very long time because I thought I’d lost a part of myself tha made me…me. I did things that I am not proud of to get them….” She said as she watched Diana play with her cereal.
“If you had a choice to go back, would you do it all over again?” He said with understanding.
“There are days when I regret nothing.”
“…But there are other days when you regret everything?”
“Precisely that.” She said, surprised at his insight but their situations were vastly different. Adalind had reaped the rewards of her actions and Nick wasn’t exactly an innocent bystander but she was the instigator of too much of their bitter and violent history.
“Let me help you.” She said.
“Help me what?”
“Let me help you get your Grimm back. I’m sure there’s a way There’s always a way, every curse can be reversed.”
She didn’t mean to sound too excited but once the seed planted in her mind, it sprout roots which dug down deep until the little shoot came forth from the ground. In this case, she determined to make that seed grow, she determined to help him, it was the least she could do for him and right her some mistakes at the same time. Plus the thought of him coming home broken and bruised because of some wesen with an axe to grind with the former Grimm made her heart flutter erratically with fear. She’d never forgive herself if Nick found himself on the losing end of a dangerous encounter with so many enemies around him. It was her fault she robbed him of his powers, it was now up to her to help him get them back.
“You want to reverse the curse?” he said slowly, almost like he was reticent of the whole idea.
“You don’t sound like you actually want your powers back. Do you want me to help you become a Grimm again?”
“You don’t know what asking me?” He said in a pained voice.
“Okay, now I’m confused. You just told me you miss it and I’m offering to help. You’re acting like I’m offering you half all of my organs. If you’re worried about what the reversal spell is, I’m sure whatever it is, is nowhere close to being as nasty and disgusting as what I went through to become a hexenbiest again.”
“That may be but what if there are additional consequences reversing the spell? It’s too much of a risk.”
“What could possibly be worse than you getting your Grimm sight back” She asked still confused by his hesitation.
“I can’t…I mean we can’t risk it, at the very least can we talk about this later when I get back? Today is my first day back, no more desk duty and I can’t afford to think about this right now.”
“Is there something you’re not telling me because this is how I expected you’d react?”
“I just have too much on my plate right now. It means a lot to me that you want to do this for me.”
“Of course, I lo…” She caught herself before making yet another big mistake. And Nick didn’t seem to notice the shocked pallor as he cleared his plate and grabbed his gun and badge.
“We’ll talk more about this tonight,” He said before kissing the top of her much to her surprise.
“I am going to hold you to that.” She said as he got into the elevator and watched the door roll shut.
“Let me get this straight. The woman who stole powers, and the only one within a hundred mile radius who can bring them back is offering to help you become a Grimm again and you’re having second thought? Huh? I don’t get it. What’s the problem man?” Monroe questioned him.
“Nothing. Everything!” he said in frustration. “What is wrong with me?”
“Do you want an honest answer?”
Nick was at the spice shop, an emergency pit stop before heading to the station like he’d told Adalind.
“No..” Nick said blandly.
“Well I’m going to give it to you anyway, my 2c if you will.”
“You have feelings for her, like real feelings.”
“No, it’s the side effects from the spell. Remember Juliette and Renard? Well, this is no different. Henrietta said just as much….”
“Henrietta doesn’t know everything. I’m sure that story of the hexenbiest and the Grimm happened but we don’t know what really happened to them after the spell. It’s all hearsay and speculation, these stories tend to be embellished over time and this is one of the oldest and I’m sure someone must have thought it would be pretty cool to add a little spice to it. Who’s to say that the Grimm didn’t hack Margarete’s head as he took his dying breath?”
“That’s really not funny.” Nick said, unimpressed with the imagery.
“Sorry.” His friend apologised.
“How do you explain everything that has happened since? Monroe, when she was in Vienna, I literally felt her, like she was a part of me. I felt everything she felt and I really mean everything. For months we’ve lived in each other’s head. There were times when I didn’t know where I ended and she began, like our minds were one, bonded, literally.”
“So what, you are afraid of is that even though you have these feelings, you think they are false?”
“Well…yeah.” Nick finally breathed as Monroe put words to his confusion.
“Do you think she feels the same way?”
“I’m sure of it but then it can’t be any more real than what I feel. Just this morning she almost told me she loved me. And I kissed her.”
“…Not on the lips but it was the first time we were more than cordial with one another, not since your wedding day.”
“That’s heavy man.”
"That’s what I’m trying to tell you. There’s simply no way what we feel for each other is real.”
“How can you be so sure? What happened with Renard and Juliette wasn’t consequences of a spell, it was the whole point of the spell. And you said it yourself that there’s connection between you and Adalind. It’s what saved you both,” said Rosalee as she stopped unpacking boxes of spice bottles.
“No again, that was my blood mixed with Adalind’s that probably saved us.”
“But how did she get your blood into her system in the first place? We told you what you needed to do to save Hank’s life that night but it was you who chose to kiss Adalind. Nick there were a million things you could have done that night but you choose….”
This gave him pause. He remembered berating himself for that kiss when it wasn’t necessary.
“Nick, have you perhaps considered that it’s because your feelings are real that you now have a problem with using Adalind to get your Grimm sight back?” Rosalee asked him.
“I never thought of that.” He said but he wasn’t encouraged.
“Does she even know how to reverse the spell, I mean have you told her?”
“God no, why else do you think I’m here. I don’t know what to do. Adalind found the spell in her mother’s belongings, she barely understood half of it but it did everything it was supposed to.
“Not exactly everything.” Rosalee pointed out.
“All I know is that I don’t want to hurt her, what if she reverses the spell and…”
“…The feelings between you two go away? Then you were right and we were wrong. Then you will finally be able to let her go and live your life free of Adalind.”
Monroe’s words felt like a swift kick to the gut. He didn’t like hearing them at all. It’s taken him this long but he didn’t want to be free of Adalind, not anymore. He went back to when he’d faced the same choice but with Juliette, the life of a Grimm or a normal life with the woman in his life?
He bid his friends goodbye, thanked them for trying to help him make sense of everything and made his way to the police station. By the end of the day, he realised that he needed to be honest with Adalind, to lay everything bare for both their sakes.
He returned to the loft much later than he’d hoped. The entire loft was dark except for the spot light over the kitchen; his dinner was in the oven. Adalind, he found, had dosed off on the couch, no doubt waiting for him, they had a lot to talk about and it couldn’t wait. Nick walked right up to her and gently shook her, rousing her from sleep and sat on the table across from her.
“You’re home,” she yawned.
“Yeah, sorry I’m late. It was a rough day at the station.
“Bad case?” she raised herself and plopped her feet on the floor between his legs.
“Yeah but I don’t want to talk about it…we need to talk about this morning. You asked me a question and before I give you an answer, I have to be honest with you and who knows after that, you might rethink your offer.”
“I won’t,” she said with determination.
“Don’t be so sure. Anyway, what do you know about the spell that took my powers away?”
“Not much other than the headaches and the visions and apparently, we’re supposed to be dead only we’re not.”
“Well I know that after each vision, I’d suffer peculiar mood swings sometimes for hours. I figured it was your emotions somehow being transplanted into me or something. And now the visions have stopped and it seems like so has everything else. I feel like myself again.”
“What would you say if I told you that last part wasn’t exactly true?”
“I’d ask you why.”
“Okay, I’ll start from the beginning….”
He told her everything, from the moment he went to see Henrietta, everything that she told him, about the ensuing connecting that would eventually lead to their deaths.
“So the feelings that I have for you; that you have for me are a result of the spell? So none of this is real, is that what you’re saying?” she asked rigidly.
Nick could already fell her pulling away so instinctively he grabbed one of her hands. It was the first time he’d touched her since the hotel in Mailberg and a bolt of electricity passed between them and their eyes met.
“That sounds crazy but then again I am sitting on your couch in your loft, so there must be merit to that.” Adalind slowly pulled her hand away.
“That’s not the end of it. Apparently, the spell can be reversed. I can get my Grimm back and no, no one has to day to make it happen.”
“Then why haven’t you done it?”
“Ah, now it makes sense, why you came for me in Vienna. You need me to reverse the spell?” her voice was curt.
It didn’t take a blind man to see that she was hurt by this revelation but she stiffened her lip and held her head high, looking him square in the face.
“Yes.” And with that one word he cursed himself for hurting her. “In the beginning,” he floundered.
“It’s okay.” Her lips trembled.
No it wasn’t.
“You have to understand, the first time I wrote you that note, I was at my lowest. Captain forced me behind a desk and I had wesen after me as word got out that I could see anymore. I thought death wasn’t far off and so I sought you out but that was then.”
“What? Do you think things are different now?”
“It doesn’t matter what I think…” She wouldn’t look at him anymore.
“…Well it matters to me, I love you damnit!” There, he’d said it.
“You don’t love me, you only think you do. You said so yourself.”
“I do love you.” He argued, as he pulled her chin so she could see the sincerity in his eyes.
It wasn’t lost to him how he’d switched sides suddenly. Adalind was merely repeating the same things he’d said to Monroe and Rosalee just that morning and it rubbed his insides raw to have it used against him.
“Stop saying that.” She said as she fought back the tears welling up in her eyes. Adalind push away from him, leaving him sitting by himself but Nick was on his feet real fast, took two strides and caught her by her wrist and faced her.
“…And you love me too. I know you do. I see it in your eyes every time you look at me, in every smile and in every flush of your skin.”
And without wasting another second, Nick kissed her catching her by surprised. She resisted him, pushing hard against his chest but then he tasted her sweetness when she opened up her mouth to receive him. The hands that warred against him now clung to him furiously, pulling him closer to her. He was like a man that was dying of thirst and that found a well in the middle of the desert, desperately drinking deep, pushing against her for more until the couch stopped them in their tracks. He kissed her until they both ran out of breath and had no choice but to stop.
“I knew it was you, that day. I think I always knew.” He said and then kissed her again while Adalind’s fingers fumbled with his belt buckle.
“Shhh! No more talking….” She said and unzipped his pants, slipping one hand inside. Nick nearly came so he pulled her hands away from him. He led her across the floor, to his ‘bedroom’ so they wouldn’t wake Diana. He was already aching for her touch. Adalind lay on his bed and lifted her shirt overhead, exposing her breasts. No bra, good, he thought while removing the last of his clothing and then kneeling at the foot of the bed with Adalind’s legs crawling up his torso.
“You can do the honours,” she smiled,
"God she was beautiful, he thought. Soon they were both naked, barely able to contain the excited. Adalind actually giggled as he peppered her neck and shoulders with kisses. When he looked up at her, her smiles had waned. She pulled him to her lips, kissing him softly.
“Just for one night, tonight, then tomorrow, everything goes back to normal.”
“It doesn’t have to.” He told her and he actually meant it which was quite cathartic.
“I’ve made my decision Nick. Tomorrow, we’re reversing, undoing one of my many and horrible mistakes. You get to be whole again.” She said with a finality he couldn’t shake.
“Now kiss me like you’ve never kissed in your life, a parting gift….”
It cut him to hear her speak this way, like she was saying goodbye for good but he did as she asked. Former Grimm Nick Burkhardt gave himself completely to Adalind Schade, a hexenbiest and he wouldn’t have it any other way. They made the sweetest love, so pure and perfect. She held him tight against her. He lost himself so deep within her. He couldn’t get enough of her, of her arms, of her kisses. He called her name, “Adalind,” over and over and over, it was like being high on a drug, he wanted more of her.
They eventually slumped together into a tangled boneless heap in the throes of an impossible passion fulfilled, their bodies glistening in the moonlight, wonderfully spent.
“I love you Nicholas Burkhardt.” She whispered against his chest.
“I love you Adalind Schade.” He breathed into her beautiful and slightly damp golden hair.
Adalind, with some guidance from Henrietta, quickly put together the reverse spell to bring back Nick’s Grimm sight. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult at all, it just involved putting together the ingredients step by step but only backwards and because she’d taken Juliette’s form the first time, but this time there was no need to change her form to look like another and had a few hours before the effects of the spell could wear off. They left Diana in the skittish but very willing hands of Monroe and Rosalee.
It was the strangest and most awkward two hours of her life. Adalind found she was more nervous than that fateful afternoon, months back, more nervous than the first time she had sex where she over analysed everything from the way she looked, the pimply boy that she snuck into her house one of the few times her mother was away. Her and Nick sat side by side on his bed, the same bed they made sweet passionate love the previous night and now she couldn’t stand to sit on it let alone make love to Nick one last time.
Nick took her hand in his, “I’m nervous too,” he said.
“Do you think we’ll go back to hating each other, it’s a reverse spell after all?”
“I don’t know. I hope n…”
“No, don’t. That will only make things worse than they already are.”
“We don’t have to do this.”
“Yes, we do and it’s okay. If nothing else, I’ll have one less thing to regret.”
He turned to look at her, almost pleadingly but she leaned her head and their lips touched. The kiss was chaste, devoid of the same passion she knew the night before. Her head was telling her what to do but her heart wasn’t in it. Everything felt perfunctory, mechanical, even the way he touched her but a familiar warmth began to pool in her stomach The hair at the back of her nick tingled with each sweet caress. No, she refused to give in to this joy. It wasn’t the same but it was okay, she tried telling herself. Soon he’ll be whole and they’ll both be free. If she was lucky she would never remember this time, the night before and every other night since they left Vienna, like the L’esprit ailleurs spell but she was never one to be so lucky.
She climaxed first and he, seconds later, their bodies dripping with sweat. When her heart eventually slowed to a normal pace, before his arms could lull her into staying, Adalind pulled herself free.
“I have to go.” She said and like that, she grabbed her clothes and ran out.
He chased her out, “This doesn’t change anything or how I feel.”
“You don’t know that.” She said as she put on her shoes. “You won’t know for a least a few hours or a day at the least. And I can’t stay here and wait to only watch the love disappear from your eyes. I won’t do that. Nick let’s not fool ourselves, this isn’t some fairy tale. I’ve always been the wicked witch and you the knight, never the twain shall meet. That’s just how it is, let’s accept it and move on with our lives.” She slipped on her jacket and ran her fingers through her tousled hair.
She walked right up to him, “This is goodbye Nick.” She said and pecked him on the lips and walked left.
It’s a boy.
That was the hardest thing she’d ever done in her life. Adalind sunk into the back seat of the cab as the tears wouldn’t stop falling. Hardly the day had passed before she missed Nick. She almost told the cab driver to take her back. Her whole body was aching for him, his arms and his kisses. She missed the warmth of his loft despite the fact that it was practically barren and Portland wasn’t exactly known for its warm sunny weather. For a month, that loft had been her home and to walk away left her bereft and hopeless.
Her phone rang but she chose not to answer it despite her itchy fingers and need to hear his voice, sweet like honey. The phone eventually stopped ringing but he was relentless but Adalind was just as stubborn.
She had walked out of Nick’s life without a plan, no job and not even a place to stay. She began to panic as she thought about Diana. This past year, Adalind had lived through the worst times of her life but Diana had known nothing but luxury and security. Suddenly her regrets turned multiplied exponentially over her daughter. She refused to contact Sean, not after his last betrayal and was even more tempted to answer Nick’s call and tell him she’d made a mistake but that would be unfair to all of them. He deserved so much more that a witch for a lover and using him so he could be a shield between Diana and the rest of the world made Adalind feel dirty.
The first thing Adalind when her tears stopped falling on the day she left Nick was to call Frank Ellis, her mother’s lawyer, and ask if he could help her.
“I need a place to stay and I need a job, I don’t care how small, anything will do right now, seeing as I am desperate….”
“Adalind, this is a surprise. The last I heard you were working in Vienna for the von Konigsburgs?” said the elderly lawyer.
“I was my contract came to an abrupt end and had to vacate immediately. I know this is very short notice but I’m rather desperate.”
“Well I have some good news for you. Your mother’s house, she left it for you but unfortunately, Catherine neglected paying her taxes on the property, so most of her furniture had to be auctioned off to pay off her debts. The only thing that’s left is her library which I placed in storage. And as for a job, there are no new positions open at the firm…”
“Please Frank, anything will do. I’m in a desperate situation and I have nothing but the clothes on my back.”
“Alright, you’ve twisted my arm long enough. What kind of a friend would I be if I didn’t try to help the daughter of my ‘good’ friend, Catherine?”
“You must be talking about another Catherine because that doesn’t sound anything like my mother.” She said dryly.
“Hm…that’s true. In any case it’s like I said. The house is your, come by my office to get the keys. And I can give you a consulting job, nothing fancy like your old job at Berman Rautbort Law, you’ll be doing mostly research for us….”
“It’s perfect!” Adalind jumped.
“…And pay won’t be much.”
“I know, and as they say, ‘beggars aren’t choosers’.”
“As long as you’re sure, we can talk more about it when you get here.” And they did, thus Adalind was saved.
Frank gave her an advance on her salary, which she used to furnish her mother’s house with essentials for her and Diana. When Frank asked her what had happened with her previous job, she debated on whether to tell the old man or not. Seeing how Frank had come through for her, Adalind decided to trust him with the truth and why she refused to contact Diana’s father and asking him for help.
“I understand. Well, you can always call me, if you need anything. I meant what I said to you about being fond of your mother. Your mother was a difficult person to live with but I…I loved her.” Frank confessed.
That was a new but then it didn’t surprise Adalind. Frank had remained very loyal to her mother since the day Adalind’s father walked out on them when Adalind was just four year old. Apparently, his loyalty was borne out of love. Adalind felt sorry for the man.
“If I can help you in any way I can, it will be my pleasure.” He concluded.
“I appreciate that”
“wanted to give you this before I left, a sort of ‘Welcome Home’ gift.” He said as he handed Adalind a manila envelope.
Adalind emptied the contents of the envelope and found papers, social security, passport, a birth certificate that said “--- ----” was four years old even though she was closer to eight months in reality.
“This is blank.”
“Yes, you can put Diana’s name, prints everything you need on these papers or else the spell won’t work. It’s a binding spell that links Diana physical growth to those papers, and not just these hardcopies but all records of her should someone be a little too curious.”
“Oh my….” She didn’t know what to say, she was overwhelmed.
“It’s really nothing. A former client of mine who deals a lot with this sort of thing did it for me. He left it blank for Diana’s protection. I figure you don’t want too many people knowing about her.”
Adalind quickly wrapped her arms around Frank’s round middle and thanked him, sincerely.
To celebrate, she offered to take Diana out for some waffles. Diana was particularly excited since her mother’s home wasn’t fun like “Nick’s loft” Diana would complain when Adalind chastised her for something.
“I want to go see Nick?” Diana would vent when Adalind was too strict with her.
Not a day passed without Adalind thinking about him. She’d find herself dialling his number but cancel at the last second. Had he become a Grimm again, she wondered? He had to be, it would explain him not contacting her after she left him and her headaches had disappeared completely so she couldn’t even see him in her mind’s eye. She missed him terribly, the way his husky voice said her name, the feel of his breath on her neck….
She was already picturing him undressing her with his eyes when her phone, still in her hand, rang, cutting her fantasy short. She looked down at the caller ID, there was no name but she recognised Sean’s office number. Ugh!
“Sean.” She huffed.
“What do you want?”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were back in Portland?” he asked.
“We aren’t friends. I don’t own you my daily itinerary.”
“But I am Diana’s ather and I want to see her. You should have told me.”
“Like you told me you gave her to Viktor, who almost killed me in case you’re wondering!”
“That wasn’t my doing by the way. I need to see her, she’s my flesh and blood.”
Adalind scoffed, wishing it were otherwise, at least Erik was dead and out of her life for good.
“I’ll come by this evening…” he told her.
“No. You will see her when I’m good and ready.” She retorted.
“Careful of how you speak to me Sean. I’m not the same weak Adalind you used at your will, after what you did to me I don’t owe you anything. But don’t worry, I won’t keep Diana away from you. However, I won’t let you use or hurt her like you did me. And don’t bother fighting me on this because you will lose. Wait for my call.” She said and then hung up without saying goodbye.
Adalind screamed, cracking the glass screen of her phone in half.
“Mommy,” Diana came running into the room. “Are you okay?” she asked softly.
“I’m fine Sweetheart, Mommy’s fine.” She lied. She learnt the hard way not to let Diana see her emotional. Diana had a very deadly mean streak where Adalind’s wellbeing was concerned, turning against those she feels have hurt her “Mommy” Adalind was grateful for the relationship Diana had with Nick, he’d wormed his way into her daughter’s heart and that shielded him from her daughter’s extreme tantrums.
“Was it Daddy?” Diana asked with her face expressionless.
“Yes, he’d like to meet you some day.” Adalind tried to sound somewhat not put off by the prospect but Diana wasn’t stupid.
Adalind realised what this could mean for Sean if he stepped out of line and continued to pester her.
“Diana I want you to know something. I love you so very much and everything I have done has only been for you. Do you get that?”
“I know Mommy.”
“That’s my girl. Now get you coat or else the waffles will be all gone by the time we get to diner.” Adalind gently nudged Diana in the direction of her “playroom” where she’d left her tiny beige, wool-lined jacket.
“Okay Mommy, I’m ready!”
Nick had to get out of the office after a brief, yet awkward encounter with Renard. Nick had been escorting a suspect to the interrogation room and somewhere between that and the elevator, the suspect broke free from his restraints, knocking Nick backwards and causing a lot of chaos as half a dozen police officers scrambled to contain him. A woged Captain quickly intercepted the suspect and jumped him, but not before locking eyes with Nick and a look of masked surprise crossed his half-marred face and then returned back to its normal features. It had been a month since Nick got his Grimm abilities back but that morning was the first time the Captain became aware it and Nick, not wanting to deal with the Captain, made himself scarce and returned to the scene of the crime and dragging Hank for the rise.
While Hank questioned the shop owner who’d been burgled about any enemies he could have had, anyone who’d purposefully target him, Nick turned to the the only employee still left at the shop. After asking several questions and reaching a dead end, Nick slipped next door to the diner to buy two cups of coffee; little did he expect to see a pair of violet eyes smiling in his direction as he entered through the door of the eatery.
“Nick!” Diana squealed with delight out and ran straight towards him.
“Diana, oh my…look how big you’ve grown since the last I saw you.” He smiled at the blond little girl after scooping her into his arms.
It was no lie. In one month, Diana had grown a lot since he said his goodbyes at Rosalee’s spice shop. He gave her the biggest hug to make up for the time apart and Diana seemed to appreciate it as she happily bounced in his arms. Satisfied she was satisfied, he spied Adalind from above Diana’s curled head, although he tried to guess her thoughts, he couldn’t read her expression. Nick walked up to her table and the deposited Diana on to her seat next to Adalind.
“Hello.” He said as he cleared his throat nervously.
“Hi.” Adalind said.
At a loss at what else to say, they just looked each other over. She looked more beautiful, that the last time he saw, if that was at all possible.
“How are you?” He asked.
“I’m good. We’re good, and You?”
“I’m better, everything’s in working order.” He added and immediately felt like an idiot for that last part.
“That’s good to know…Do you want to maybe…”
“Do you mind if I… what?”
They spoke at the same time, their words tumbling over each other.
“What?” she asked.
“You go first.” He said.
“Would you like to have a seat? Unless you’re in a rush and there’s somewhere else you’d rather be…”
“Yes thank you and no there isn’t.” he lied but now that she was in front of him and wasn’t running away, Nick wasn’t about to go without at least speaking his mind and hoping she still felt the same. The waitress came to take his order and he placed his order to go but told her to hold off until he was ready to leave and then grabbed an empty chair from an empty table and placed it opposite Adalind.
“Mommy, I need more syrup.” Diana turned to her mother indignantly and Nick watched as the syrup from behind the counter began to shake.
“No Sweetie, remember what I told, as long as we are not at home, we do not use our abilities,” was Adalind’s soft rebuke towards her daughter.
Diana sulked but listened to her mother.
“Instead, go over to the nice lady at the table and ask her nicely.”
“Okay, Mommy.” Diana jumped onto her feet and headed towards the counter while Adalind kept a watchful eye over her every move. He could see that she was doing her best with her precocious daughter.
“I’ve been dying to call you.” He said unabashedly once alone with Adalind. “…To tell me the spell had worked?”
“To tell you how much I miss you,” he corrected her.
“What about your abilities, are they back?” she asked with a sudden hitch of her voice. She was clearly concerned about him. He remembered her reaction whenever he came home from work black and blue. Perhaps it wasn’t too late for them just yet, he thought hopefully.
“The spell worked, but it’s not like it was before.” He said.
“What do you mean? She asked him fearfully.
“Adalind, I never stopped loving you.” He placed his hand over hers, curling his fingers so she wouldn’t pull back.
“Nick….” He thought he heard her protest but felt her hand curl tightly around his own and then smiled.
“Come home with me?” he asked, that question catching him by surprise as much as it did Adalind.
“I can’t do that.”
“But there’s nothing stopping you. I love you and I know you love me too so come home. It hasn’t been the same since you two left. The loft doesn’t even feel like a home to me anymore. It’s just cold and empty without your smile and laughter ringing throughout the whole place. There’s a hole right here I cannot fill and it’s pointless to even try when I know exactly what I need to make me whole again. We were wrong; it wasn’t my Grimm abilities that made me whole, it was you…and Diana.”
She could barely look at him as he spoke. When she looked up, she batted the moisture from her eyes, “Sean called me this morning. He says wants to see Diana.”
“I think that’s actually my fault. I never told him about getting my sight back. He knew I had been looking for you for months and then this morning I saw him woge.” Nick confessed.
“He must have put two and two together. Sean knew where Diana was this whole time. He had made some sort of deal with his cousin. I think he’s been searching for Diana since news of Viktor’s demise broke.”
“And what did you tell him?”
“I told him he couldn’t push me and I’d call him. I’m not going to let him order me around anymore. He’ll see Diana only when I deem it fit to do so, it’s my terms and nothing less.”
“I’m proud of you,” he smiled and she squeezed his hand in response.
“What about Diana, what have you told her?” he asked her.
“Not much. But she’s so much more perceptive and I like. I didn’t even have to say anything and already she’d figured it out.”
Adalind had realised that her daughter’s abilities were growing at the same rate as her physical body but clearly, that wasn’t her concern. He sensed Adalind was afraid of how Diana used her powers. Nick had gotten a glimpse of this in Vienna and it had scared the crap out of him, that that little girl had so much power and wasn’t averse to using it against people no matter what.
“Whatever you do, know that I am here for you both. Call me, day or night. I‘ll be there especially if Renard bothers you in any way…” he offered.
Adalind smiled at him, “Thank you.”
Diana soon re-joined them at the table with fresh maple syrup. They both watched her as she spread it around it liberally on her soggy waffle.
“Here you are ma’am.” The same waitress that took his order stopped in front of their table, depositing Adalind’s bacon and eggs and Nick’s coffee, placing two Styrofoam cups in front of him.
“I told you to wait,” He told the waitress.
“Oh sorry sir…”
“It’s okay.” He sighed in resignation and waited until the waitress was gone before he asked Adalind to come home with him once more but he never got a chance.
Adalind’s nose was turned up away from the table as if something on it stunk up her nose. She fidgeted in her seat and Nick watched as her face almost turn green.
“Are you okay?” He asked her.
“Yeah…I’m fine. I think I may have a stomach bug or something.” She said as she took a bite of her food but dropped the fork immediately. Spitting everything into a serviette, “I think I’m going to be….”
Before she finished her sentence, she was on oh her feet, running towards the bathroom.
“Mommy?” Diana asked looking at the back of Adalind’s as she disappeared behind the ladies, bathroom door.
“It’s okay, Diana. Your mother’s going to be fine. She’ll be back before you know it.” He said calmly.
“I know. It’s the baby.” Diana said while a deadpan expression.
“…The ‘what’?” Nick asked in shock.
“Mommy is carrying a baby in her belly. I’m going to have a brother!”
Adalind upended her whole stomach as she emptied its contents in the toilet bowl while holding back her hair from her face. She felt like a truck had ridden over her, twice. Her body was aching, like it was fighting her. This wasn’t a stomach bug she thought. Adalind cleaned herself up and made herself as presentable as she could and headed back towards the dining room. But didn’t get beyond the bathroom door as the suffocating smells from the kitchen assaulted her sense once more and she returned to her bathroom stall to vomit what little was left in her stomach.
Adalind groaned. She had no idea how long she’d hovered over that toiled bowl when she heard Nick banging on the main bathroom door asking if she was alright.
“I hope so…” she coughed wearily. “I’ll be out in a minute,” She assured him.
“I’m not leaving this door until I see it for myself!” He sounded like he was annoyed with her over something but she was rather preoccupied with her queasy stomach ruining her morning to decipher his sudden change in attitude.
Five minutes later she stared at her sorry reflecting in the mirror. She looked terrible. The first thing she would do when she got home would be to get in bed and sleep for a month. She’d had enough of excitement for one day, she thought as she willed hers stomach to behave. What was wrong with her?
After another touch up of her makeup, she opened the bathroom door slightly and saw an extremely agitated Nick pacing a couple of steps back and forth several feet away from the bathroom door and Diana, clung to his hand, watching him closely. The scene made her heart burst as she watched their closeness. They looked like father and daughter….Adalind gasped. She looked at Nick once more and quickly shut the door as she did the math. No, it wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be possible, she panicked. He was a Grimm and she was hexenbiest, surely, it wasn’t possible for the two to conceive a child together?It took her a couple of minutes to calm herself down. She simply couldn't believe it, she, pregnant again.
As she walked back to the table, she heard her daughter's jubilant voice call to her. They had returned to their seats after waiting for so long Nick got to his feet immediately upon seeing her but she couldn’t look at him. Instead, she flashed Diana a queasy but firm smile. Nick looked as pale as a ghost. His searching eyes demanding, yearning to know what was wrong with her? Unlike Diana, he wasn't pacified by her weak attempt to appear normal and add the fact that she was pregnant with his baby send her head spinning.
"Honey. I see that you've finished all your food." Adalind turned to Diana
"Yes I did. I'm a big girl now. I didn't have ask for help."
"She insisted that she was more than capable." Nick added as unaffected as possible but he couldn’t fool her.
She’d grown so in tuned with his emotions that not even getting his Grimm back changed that. It calmed her a bit, knowing he was so worried about her. Adalind wanted to take him in her arms, kiss him senseless to make up for the month they had been apart but she remained rooted next to her daughter. She had to tell him, she thought nervously but each time she opened her lips the words refused to come out. What if she was wrong and she wasn’t pregnant? What if this was nothing more than the worst case of indigestion, she hadn’t been sleeping well over the past few days with her attempts to perfect the spell for Diana’s records. Perhaps her sickness was brought on by latent exhaustion; it would be cruel to say something and for it to turn out false. Adalind’s hand quickly covered her abdomen protectively.
She was rescued by Nick’s phone ringing in his pocket. He took it out to see who it was, “It’s Hank. I guess that’s my cue.” He said but he didn’t want to leave her, his eyes told her just as much.
“Go ahead and answer, he’s probably wondering where you’ve been this whole time.”
“Hey…right now? Alright…on my way….” He said then hung up.
“You’re leaving?” she asked him
She didn’t want him to but had no idea how to say it.
“It’s time for us to get going as well. Sweetheart, get your things together.” She said as she left several notes inside her bill on the table.
“I guess I will walk you out.”
“I’d really appreciate that.” She said earnestly taking Diana’s hand and headed towards the door with Nick following closely behind him.
They got to her car and Nick, strapped Diana on to her seat before brushing his lips gently on her forehead.
Adalind smiled nervously at the sight of them and pictured him doing the same to their child. She realized that she badly wanted to be pregnant with his baby, more than anything in the world but that was asking for a world of trouble. It was bad enough to be in love with a Grimm and to have to keep those thoughts and feelings to herself. Bringing a hexenbiest-Grimm hybrid child into the world was unthinkable. She, or he would be hunted for the rest of his life by radical groups like the Secundum Naturae Ordinem Wesen, or Wesenrein for short, could she really condemn her baby to that life, no matter how much she wanted him or loved him?
“Addie? Are you even listening?”
“What did you say?” She snapped back to the present.
“You look like you’re million miles away. Penny for your thoughts?”
“I was just thinking….”
“About how crazy our live have gotten lately. I tried to kill you; I almost killed your friends and Juliette. I was a horrible person and you were right to hate me. And then I had Diana, lost her and got her back thanks to you. Then there’s you. I love you so very much it literally hurts. I didn’t mean to fall in love but I did. And now….”
“Hey, hey, it’s okay.” He said, circling his arms around her. She didn’t resist him, in fact she longed for him all the more but her mind warred against her heart more furiously.
“No, Nick it’s not okay. A Grimm and a Hexenbiest? It’s unheard of and there are people who are against any mixing of species, none more so than with Grimms. Pfft! We can’t even be friends let alone seen together in public. I know what happened to your friends, or rather what almost happened. The wesenrein went after Monroe. I will die if anything happened to you and….” It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him he was going to be a father, that he was tied to her once more.
“I can take care of myself and in any case, Monroe and Rosalee are okay and they are very happy. We could be too if you will only let us. There’s nothing to worry about” He said.
“I can’t help myself.”
“Then stop….” He pleaded.
“I’m pregnant!” She finally burst.
Adalind watched as Nick smiled.
“I know, Diana told me.”
“Apparently she’s known it for a while now.”
And with the speed of lightning, Nick’s lips were upon hers, ravaging her senses to naught. When he eventually pulled back, her lips were swollen red, cheeks flushed like a warm summer’s day and out of breath but Nick held her tightly.
“About what I asked you earlier…forget it.” He said abruptly.
“What?” she was confused.
“Adalind Schade would you do me the honour of marrying me and becoming my wife? I have long since given you my heart and soul, you would make me the happiest man on earth if you took my name as well and we can finally be a family, you, me, Diana and our child.” He said with his voice deep with emotion.
“God, a million times yes!” she confessed aloud “I love you so much!”
“I love you too.” He said as he peppered her lips with more kisses.
After several gloriously blissful minutes, Adalind turned to her fiancé and asked, “If Diana knew all along, do you think she knows the sex of the baby?” Adalind wondered.
“She said it’s a…”
“No, don’t tell me!” She stopped him before saying anymore.
However looking at the gleam in Nick’s eye, Adalind knew the answer.
There are no words to express truly the width, the height or depth of the love I feel for you. Before you, I knew not the true meaning of life, to be loved so completely and with such abandon, it takes my breath away. You are my perfect match, my better half, the love of my life. I give of myself wholly unto you my Beloved and without repentance, to love, to cherish, to protect and serve all the days of my life. I am yours as you are mine. We are one, bonded in this life and the next because you are my Beloved, my Sweet Adalind.”
They got married in a very private ceremony outside of the city with no other guests besides Diana, Monroe and Rosalee. Adalind had worn a simple but elegant off-white gown with a bouquet of white lilies. Nick could scarcely believe it as she walked down the aisle with Diana by her side. If anyone had told him two years ago that he’d live to call Adalind his wife, his beloved, he would have knocked them to the ground and now he couldn’t wait to start the rest of their life together.
Their son was born beautiful and healthy at a full nine months, with ten fingers and ten toes and not some hybrid monster. Nick had been there for the whole birth, holding Adalind’s hand and helping her to bring their son into the world. After a painful seventeen hours of labour, “Kelly Burkhardt” was born, the name, owing to Adalind who wanted some way to honour his mother for what she tried to do for Diana.
“This way, she will live on. You don’t mind?” She asked wearily.
“It’s perfect…he’s beautiful, like his mother.” He said as he held Kelly in his arms and kissed an already sleeping Adalind on her lips.
THANK YOU EVERYONE! I hope you enjoyed reading this story as I did writing it.