Word Count: 7,292
Warnings: Description of a panic attack, snakes, spiders, some blood
Summary: When Kris and Adam move in to their new house, small things start happening around the house to each of them until it escalates to quickly turn their fears against them.
Author's Notes: Merry Christmas, redkislington! I hope you like this - I know you mentioned a Halloween movie feeling and I ended up going for creepy rather than bloody. Hopefully, it works for you! It took many tries and a long while for me to find what felt right and now that it's done, I actually wish I'd figured it out faster so I could have taken more time with it and made it longer! LOL.
Kris took a deep breath as he finished hanging the last of his clothes and smiled. The scent of vanilla and the ocean mixed with cinnamon and grass and, to him, that scent was home. It was him and Adam, a combination that never failed to calm him.
His smile disappeared as he took another deep breath and noticed the sharp scent of sulfur beneath his and Adam’s scents. He’d noticed it periodically throughout the time he and other members of the pack had been remodeling the house but no one had been able to pinpoint the source. It made him uneasy just thinking about the different possibilities but not even Cale had been able to sense anything and he was the best out of the pack when it came to identifying scents and their origins.
Shaking his head at himself, Kris glanced out the window and bounced on his toes at the sight of the nearby woods, perfect for when he needed to change and run as the wolf.
“You’re like a little kid,” Adam said from behind him, a slight laugh in his voice.
Kris turned, a bright smile on his face. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had that much space to run around.” He closed his eyes when Adam stepped forward and wrapped his arms around him. Kris hummed slightly, pressing his face against Adam’s neck. Almost immediately, he felt himself relax even more.
“Planning on moving anytime soon?” Adam asked. When Kris shook his head, Adam snorted. “Then come on, we’re lying down because I’m not standing here while you sniff me.”
Kris snickered as they walked backwards until Adam collided with the bed and dropped down, pulling Kris with him. He looked up at Adam, his lips twitching up in to a smile. “Best pillow ever.”
Adam poked him in the side, eyes narrowed. “Pain in my ass,” he muttered.
Rather than answer, Kris buried his face in Adam’s neck again and inhaled Adam’s scent again. He sighed and closed his eyes.
“Where the hell are my keys?” Kris muttered to himself. He frowned as his gaze moved around the room, double checking that he hadn’t just missed them somehow. He blew out an annoyed breath when there was still no sign of them. There was, however, the faintest hint of sulfur in the air and his frown deepened as he followed the scent from the room and towards the back of the house. He stopped in the doorway of the kitchen because there, on the floor in front of the back door, were his keys.
“Aren’t you supposed to be meeting a client?” Adam called from the living room.
Kris jerked his attention from his keys and turned his head slightly. “Yeah,” he said, making sure his voice didn’t betray any of his confusion. “I just couldn’t remember where I put my keys.” He moved forward and snatched up his keys, shivering at the sudden chill that came over him. For a moment, he considered canceling the appointment that he’d made but he knew that he didn’t have an excuse for it other than his a gut feeling that something was off. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours.” He paused in the doorway of the living room and grinned at the sight of Adam with all of his sketches spread out on the table, scraps of fabric attached to some of them. “Did you forget that you have an actual room for that now?”
There was a few moments of silence before Adam’s lips quirked up slightly in a sheepish smile. “Yes,” he admitted. “But I like working in the living room or the kitchen.”
Kris shifted and glanced back at the kitchen. “Just...be careful, okay?”
Adam raised an eyebrow. “Are you expecting a shadow to attack me in our own house?” he asked.
Kris figured that saying maybe was probably a bad idea and might also make Adam think he was going crazy so he just shook his head instead. “No, I just have a weird feeling is all.” He sighed. “I’m probably just adjusting to finally being able to live here instead of working.”
The look that Adam gave him said that he didn’t entirely believe him but he was going to let it slide for now but if he had anything to say about it, they’d be talking about this later. Kris nodded at him before leaning down to press a quick kiss against his mouth.
“Go,” Adam ordered. “Snag a client. Talk about building things.”
Kris’s lips twitched. “And you design something pretty,” he replied, dodging out of the way of the pencil that Adam threw at him before he ran out of the house.
Adam groaned as he rolled his shoulders back and twisted to pop his back. He glanced around the living room and nodded to himself. It was definitely time for a change of scenery, he decided.
“Kitchen,” he decided despite the fact that he had a room just waiting for him to use upstairs. He couldn’t help it, it was a comforting routine, one that he’d had for years. It was going to take awhile before he remembered that he could actually just use one room to spread out in and not have to clean up after himself.
He began to move his things to the kitchen, setting up piles of sketches and fabrics. Eventually, he’d have to move upstairs no matter what since he’d need to use the mannequin once he actually started to make the outfits.
A thump from upstairs stopped him and he frowned. “Kris?” he called, knowing that even without having to shout, Kris would hear him. There was no answer and he shook his head. “Hearing things,” he muttered to himself, turning back to the sketches in his hand. Before he could do more than glance at them, there was another thump and Adam couldn’t stop the way that his stomach clenched.
Tossing the sketches down, Adam took a deep breath and called himself ridiculous even as he headed upstairs. It was most likely that Kris had come home while he’d been completely focused on work and now just hadn’t heard him calling for some reason, probably his music. The only time that he’d been able to sneak up on Kris had been when he had been lost in his music, trying to work on a song.
A smile already beginning to form, he walked in to their bedroom, fully expecting to see Kris sitting on the bed with his guitar. He paused when he saw that no one was there. Another thump coming from further down the hall had him moving in that direction before he had even made the conscious decision to do so. “Kris?”
When there was no answer, Adam couldn’t really bring himself to be surprised. He hesitated for a moment and then shook his head at himself and walked in to the room only to stop when there was no one there. Adam frowned and licked his lips. He’d have sworn that the noise had come from here.
The feel of fingertips trailing across the back of his neck had him gasping and spinning around. He shuddered and took a shaky breath. “Fuck this,” he muttered, squaring his shoulders as he left the room, fighting the urge to run down the stairs. He took a few deep breaths as he reached the first floor and headed back to the kitchen. He paused when he entered the kitchen, staring at the table for a few moments. Frowning, he headed back in to the living room only to find the sketches that he swore he’d moved to the kitchen spread out on the coffee table.
“I’m losing it,” he said softly, shaking his head as he began to gather up the sketches. The sound of laughter behind him caused Adam to fumble his grip on his sketchbooks and he closed his eyes.
You’re alone in a huge new house for the first time, a new house that’s right next to the woods. Of course you’re imagining all sorts of creepy things, he thought to himself. He’d done this all the time when he was a kid after watching horror movies that he wasn’t supposed to. Freddy Krueger trailing his knives-for-fingernails along his hallway walls. Jason breaking through a door. Chucky grabbing his ankle from beneath the bed. This was no different so Adam kept his eyes closed and took a few more deep breaths, mentally repeating his mantra declaring that this wasn’t real over and over.
Eventually, his heart slowed and he felt better. Nodding to himself, he smiled and gathered up what he’d been working on and headed back to the kitchen, determined to get a bit more work done.
A few hours had passed by the time that Kris walked in and he had to stop himself from doing what Adam had once called his “I’m such a dork” dance. (When clearly he’d been doing a happy dance. Adam knew nothing about expression through dance.) But any happiness that he felt disappeared once he took in the scent of fear and sulfur.
“Adam!” He practically flew in the direction of Adam’s scent, following it to the kitchen. He faltered when he saw Adam in the process of standing up, a look of concern on his face. He moved around the table, walking towards Kris.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?” he asked.
Kris shook his head, moving so that he was pressed against Adam. “I was going to ask you the same thing actually.” When Adam simply raised an eyebrow at him, Kris added, “I...you were afraid earlier. I could smell your fear but it wasn’t fresh.”
There were days where Adam still had to take the time to process the fact that the man he’s in love with was a werewolf who can actually smell emotions because, as he’d once explained, each emotion caused a shift in a person’s scent, alters it enough that it can be used to figure out how a person is doing or if anything happened.
“I’m fine. I freaked myself out earlier, hearing things and imagining things but I’m fine,” Adam assured him.
Kris frowned, thinking of the scent of sulfur. “You’re sure? Nothing weird happened?”
“I heard some noises and I could have sworn someone was there when I went upstairs but, no, nothing. I was just hearing things.”
It’s clear that he’s holding something back but Kris recognized the look on Adam’s face and it was the one that clearly meant that was all he was going to get so he should drop it.
“Okay.” Kris nodded and let out a long breath. He couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something wrong here though and vowed to keep an eye out for anything strange.
The next couple of weeks pass mostly without incident. Small things happen though; noises that can’t be explained, things being moved, and Kris can’t shake the feeling of being watched a good portion of the time. He can tell that Adam has noticed, that there are things happening when he’s not there but Adam never told what it was, just insisted that nothing was wrong and that it wasn’t a big deal.
Kris bit his lip as he stared out across the yard, wondering if they’d chosen the right place. There’d always been an odd feeling to the house but he and the rest of the pack had brushed it off.
Maybe they shouldn’t have.
He turned to go back inside and froze when he saw the snake coiled not too far from the door. His chest tightened in panic and he had to force himself to breathe calmly. Snakes had been a fear of his since he was six years old. He and his family had been on vacation and while he and his cousin had been goofing off, he’d fallen down a steep hill and managed to land on two snakes – he still, to this day, had no idea what kind of snakes they’d been but they’d both struck and he’d been bitten a number of times. The snakes had been poisonous and if it hadn’t been for the fact that he was a werewolf, Kris would have definitely died.
He was a werewolf, damn it, he should just pick the damn thing up and go inside but Kris just couldn’t bring himself to move any closer to it.
“Adam,” he shouted. He waited a few minutes and when Adam still didn’t show, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm himself. When he opened them, all sense of calm fled.
There was a young girl hanging upside down from the light near the door, her hands and feet wrapped around it. Her head was tilted far to the side, the angle completely unnatural. Black hair hung down and red eyes watched as he stumbled backwards. Her mouth was twisted in something that was probably supposed to resemble a smile and she laughed; the sound piercing through him like nails on a chalkboard.
Instinct had him shouting for Adam again, louder this time and with panic clear in his voice. He needed Adam, needed to see that he was okay.
The sound of pounding feet caused him to look away and he let himself look away from the girl in order to verify that Adam was there and okay.
“What is it?” Adam demanded, looking around. Kris turned back to look at the girl only to find that she was gone. The only thing that was there was the snake, which had begun to uncoil at the noise Adam was making. “Kris?”
“I—“ He looked down at the snake and then back at Adam, eyes wide as he tried to contemplate what the hell had just happened.
Adam stared at him for a moment and then gave him a small smile. “Hold on.” He disappeared for a few moments and Kris eyed the snake, jerking back when it started to move. Adam came back a few moments later with a broom in his hand. He turned it upside down and in a move that Kris had seen both his parents do, he slipped the handle under the snake and swept his hand outwards so that the snake was flung across the yard. He didn’t bother to watch where it landed before he put the broom to the side and moving to wrap his arms around Kris. “I never realized your fear of snakes was that bad.”
Kris sighed and took in the scent of Adam-mate-home. “Always has been,” he muttered. “I’ve gotten better. I used to not even be able to go near them at the zoo.” It was a little humiliating when Kris thought about it. “And I once had a panic attack when one got in the house.”
Adam tightened his arms around Kris. It was hard to imagine anything freaking Kris out that much since he’d seen what Kris was capable of when the pack trained together. There’d also been a few times when they’d confronted hunters who didn’t give a damn on whether something was evil, just that it was supernatural. Kris hadn’t hesitated to do what needed to be done when facing a crazy man that had a gun. So this, watching him freak out over a snake, was definitely surreal.
“Then I’ll make sure I’m the one that gets rid of any and all snakes,” Adam told him.
Kris smiled against his chest. “Just for that, I’ll kill all the spiders you want.”
“Good. Because those little fuckers are creepy, Kris. They’ve got way too many legs and don’t get me started on the fact that they have so many eyes. You know why something needs that many eyes? So it doesn’t lose track of you before it kills you.”
Kris let out a huff of laughter before he shook his head, considering. After a few moments, he decided the hell with it. “Adam, it wasn’t just the snake that freaked me out.”
“What else was it then?”
He looked up at the light next to the back door for a moment. “There was a girl,” he finally said. “A girl with red eyes.” He paused when Adam stiffened. “She was just watching me and then she laughed and when she did, it was like...”
“Like nails on a chalkboard,” Adam finished.
Kris’s head jerked up. “You’ve seen her.”
“No.” Adam shook his head. “But I’ve heard her.” He let out a frustrated noise. “I just thought I was freaking out over the big ass house we’ve got going for us since I usually hear her when I’m alone.” He pressed his forehead against Kris’s. “I didn’t want you to worry that I was going crazy. Which, for the record, I honestly thought was a possibility.”
“We’ll need to figure out what’s going on.” Kris stepped back, lacing their fingers together, the need to simply touch still there. “I don’t think Megan’s back in town yet but I’m going to call and see anyway. She’s the expert on these things, she’ll be able to figure this out.”
Adam rubbed his thumb along Kris’ knuckles, keeping the motion up until he could feel them both relaxing. Kris smiled slightly as he pulled out his phone and brought up Megan’s number. After a few moments, his smile widened and he nodded at Adam.
“Hey, Megan, it’s Kris,” he said. “Listen, I’m sorry to bother you but Adam and I need your help.” He went on to tell her what had happened so far, pausing whenever Adam wanted to add something. Eventually, he wrapped it up by explaining what had just happened on the porch with the girl. “So, what do you think?”
On the other end, Megan blew out a breath. “I’ll have to actually go to your house to get a better feel for what it is but I won’t be back in town until next week. Until then though, you’re going to need to get a few things. So I’m going to give you a list of ingredients that will go together and then just go to that Wicca store that I use and give the list to them. Tell them that I sent you there and they’ll not only give you a discount but they’ll make the pouches for you.”
“Protection, Kris. I don’t know what this thing is but it’s messing with you and Adam and I imagine it’s only going to escalate from here. So, yes, pouches.”
Kris nodded and squeezed Adam’s hand before letting it go and heading inside to grab a pen and paper. “Okay, shoot.”
“You’re going to need anise, bay leaves, betony, lavender, mint, black pepper, pimpernel and periwinkle...get some cinquefoil to hang over the door, it protects against evil. Coriander and hawthorn would be good as well. Rosemary, wormwood, and yarrow should be included. Those are all herbs that promote protection, clarity of thought, protection against evil or wandering spirits, and there’s some to augment power as well. That should be potent enough to last you until I can get there and see if we’ll need to do anything else.”
Kris closed his eyes and blew out a breath, smiling. “Thanks, Megan. I appreciate it.”
Kris waved the list at Adam. “Come on, we’ve got some shopping to do.”
The employees at the shop – Carrie and Ace – had been extremely helpful and that was before Kris had remembered to mention that Megan was the one to send them. After that, it’d just all sort of been one blur of instructions on where to put certain pouches and little mini pillows. There wound together a few ropes to hang over the back and front doors and then given them a huge discount.
Now, days later, things seem to have calmed down. Adam had confirmed that he hadn’t heard anything and none of the small things that had been going wrong had happened. The only thing that remained was the underlying scent of sulfur.
He rolled his neck as he walked in the house and laughed when he realized that, once again, Adam was sketching in the kitchen, window open to let in the breeze.
“I have no idea why we even set up a studio for you to work in. You’re always in here,” Kris said, leaning against the doorway.
“I’ll use it when I start pinning things together,” Adam told him, waving away the remark. He looked up and his eyebrows shot up. “I really hope you plan on a shower.”
Kris pushed away from the doorway and made his way closer to Adam. “Are you trying to say that I’m gross?” he demanded, leaning over Adam, making sure to be careful where he put his hands so that he didn’t mess up any sketches.
Adam hummed low in his throat as he slid a hand up and under Kris’ shirt. “Disgusting, really,” he said. “Sweaty.”
“I should take care of that,” Kris breathed, crowding in closer and turning Adam’s chair so that he could easily straddle Adam.
“Absolutely.” Adam nodded, even as he worked Kris’ shirt up and over his head, dropping it to the floor. He looked up at Kris and smirked before pressing a hand against the small of his back so that he was arched back slightly and flicking his tongue over Kris’ nipple. Kris’ tightened his grip on Adam’s shoulders, shuddering when Adam bit down lightly. He bucked his hips and laughed lightly when the movement caused the chair to shift. In retaliation, Adam bit down harder, satisfied when the laughter turned into a moan.
“Ass,” Kris murmured, low enough that Adam almost didn’t hear him. Adam grinned as he pulled back.
“We’ve established that I do, in fact, enjoy your ass.”
Kris rolled his eyes. “I have no idea why I love you.”
“Something about my ass, I think.”
Laughing, Kris nodded. “Yeah, that must be it. You’re right.” He reached down and began to work on the buttons of Adam’s shirt when Adam’s phone went off. Kris groaned. “Really?” He knew that ringtone, it was the one that Adam used for clients. He pulled back and made a face at the phone that was sitting on the table.
Adam sighed and tilted his head back to stare at the ceiling. “I better get that,” he said. Kris nodded and stood up, bending to pick up his shirt, lips twitching when Adam groaned again. He pressed a quick kiss to Adam’s lips and slid the phone closer to him.
“I’ll be in the shower.” Kris smiled to himself when he heard Adam answer the phone sounding completely unfazed as if he hadn’t been working his way towards kitchen sex.
The moment he was in their room, he began to strip, tossing his clothes towards the hamper and hoping that they actually made it in.
It didn’t take long for the water to get hot and he couldn’t help but sigh in relief when he stepped under the spray. Werewolf or not, he still got sore muscles after a long day on the site and the hot water felt fantastic. He simply stood there for a few minutes before he finally reached for the shampoo.
He could hear Adam downstairs still, something about how one color for a specific dress was better than another and he laughed a bit as he closed his eyes and tilted his head back, rinsing the shampoo out of his hair.
He was in the process of pushing his hands through his hair one last time when he felt something slide over his foot and froze. He tilted his head back down so that he wouldn’t be blinded by the water and opened his eyes, blinking rapidly. Already he could feel himself begin to tremble and he looked down to see multiple snakes slithering along the bottom of the tub and more coming up and out of the drain, all of them slithering over each other and over his feet, around his ankles.
He wasn’t aware that he’d started shouting, couldn’t do anything but shake for a few moments that seemed to last forever as his chest tightened. He stumbled back a step and let out a noise that was somewhere between a sob and a scream when all he felt beneath his feet were scales.
Out, he had to get out, now. He had to move.
Despite the nausea he could feel building up, he closed his eyes, praying that not being able to see the snakes would help and forced himself to rip open the shower curtain. He groped along the wall for a moment until he felt the place where the shower tiles came to an end and he pulled himself out of the shower only to feel the breath leave him when he once again felt scales.
He couldn’t stop himself from opening his eyes and the scream lodged itself in his throat at the sight of the biggest snake he’d ever seen coming out of the toilet with others following it. His breath started to come in short, shaky gasps and his eyes darted to the side only to see more snakes coming up out of the sink. He made a strangled noise, panic building when he couldn’t seem to draw in air.
He shook, frozen against the wall, watching horrified as the snakes seemed to start crawling up the walls, covering them. He couldn’t breathe, his chest hurt and it felt like he was being smothered. Vaguely he was aware that he was hyperventilating, he knew he had to find a way to focus and calm down or he was going to pass out but he couldn’t do it. Not when the snakes were everywhere. Rather than calming down, he got worse, unable to do anything gasp.
He could feel them winding up and around his legs, wrapping around him, sliding from the wall to his shoulder, down his arms, around his neck, and then everything went black.
“I promise,” Adam said, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “The purple is much better with your skin tone. Trust me.” He did a quick jazz hand with the hand that wasn’t holding the phone and smiled when Jenna finally agreed and stopped freaking out. “Good. Now, get back to your vacation. It’ll be ready when you get back.” Ha laughed at the suggestion that they get together for lunch before she killed herself on a diet to work off the vacation weight. “Of course. Bye, Jenna.”
He sighed and shook his head, switching to the sketch of her dress. He tilted his head and narrowed his eyes at it, mentally making adjustments before reaching out for a pencil to make a few changes to the sketch itself. Behind him, the lock on the back door quietly clicked in to place and the window slowly slid shut.
Adam frowned and was about to make another change when he heard Kris scream. The pencil clattered to the table and shoved away from it, his chair falling to the floor. Above him, Kris was still shouting, a litany of no and please and out, get out.
The house went dark at the same time that Kris went silent. It didn’t matter that it was still early enough that the sun was up, it was as if every speck of light had been sucked from the house. Nothing but pure darkness surrounded him and Adam fought not to panic as all the reasons for why Kris had suddenly gone silent shot through his mind. Forcing himself to take a deep breath and then another, Adam reached out and began to feel his way along the way, jolting when doors throughout the house began to slam open and shut. He bit his lip and tried to move forward but the noise had startled him enough that he’d moved back from the wall. The lack of anything to grab on to disoriented him and he couldn’t seem to get his bearings again.
The image of something happening to Kris, his Kris who was strong and had explained exactly what it meant when he said that Adam was his mate, who went out of his way to protect Adam while trying not to overwhelm him either, the image of what would make him scream like that had the frustration, fear, and panic building in him until he felt like screaming with it.
Just as suddenly everything stopped and he found himself standing in the middle of the kitchen, facing the back door.
Panting, he stared in shock and then he spun and ran up the stairs, shouting for Kris. He fought not to panic when there was no response. He didn’t slow down until he’d entered their bedroom and was standing in front of their bathroom door, which was shut for once. Kris never shut the door when he was alone in here, something that had always amused Adam to no end for some reason.
“Kris,” he said, trying the knob again. “Kris, I need you to open the door, okay? Please, Kris, open the door.” He paused for a few moments and when there was still no response, he shouted and slammed his fist against the door. “Kris!” He reached down, unsure of why he was even trying, and twisted the knob again, nearly falling over in shock when it twisted and then he was finally able to shove the door open.
The sight that met his eyes had him letting out a strangled moan and he dropped to his knees next to Kris, lifting him slightly so that he was leaning against him. “Kris, open your eyes. Please, Kris, for me. Open your eyes.” He curled an arm around Kris’s back, his fingers curved over Kris’ shoulder, and bent down to press his cheek against Kris’. He began to talk softly, begging Kris to open his eyes over and over for what felt like hours but was really only minutes before Kris shifted, frowning a bit as he murmured. Adam sighed in relief and then shook his head at himself. Stretching, he grabbed the towel Kris had brought in and tugged on it until it slid off the hook. Quickly as possible, he began to dry Kris off before tossing the towel aside. Carefully, he lifted Kris and carried him back to the bed, happy when he only stumbled once before he managed to adjust enough to make it the short distance from the bathroom to the bed.
“Adam,” Kris whispered, pressing his face against Adam’s neck. Adam closed his eyes and smiled a bit before opening his eyes long enough to yank the covers back and make sure Kris was stretched out. Kicking off his shoes, Adam stretched out next to Kris, pulling the covers back up over them and wrapping himself around Kris. He could feel the moment when Kris became fully aware and remembered whatever had happened. He stiffened and shot up in to a sitting position, gasping. “Adam,” he repeated.
“I’m here,” Adam told him, pulling him back down and pulling Kris against him. He ran a hand down Kris’s back, continuing the movement even after he felt Kris begin to relax. “What happened?”
Kris stiffened and then visibly forced himself to relax as he pressed his nose against the spot where Adam’s neck and shoulder met. He stayed that way for a few minutes before he finally said simply, “Snakes.”
Adam’s hand on Kris’s back faltered. “What?”
“There were snakes. They were coming out of the drain in the shower and the sink, coming out of the toilet, they were climbing up the walls and then they started to wrap around me and...” He shook his head. “The panic attack started once I realized what was happening. Once they started wrapping around me, it became too much. I passed out.” There just a hint of self-disgust in his voice and Adam jerked back, glaring down at him.
“Don’t you use that tone,” he ordered. “You’re...Jesus, Kris, you just got slapped in the face with your worst fear. Don’t you put yourself down for having a natural reaction.”
Kris stared up at him and then slowly nodded. “Okay.” He shifted. “How long was I up here?”
Adam hesitated. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I heard you shout and then I got up and then...then there was no light anywhere at all. I couldn’t see anything. I tried to feel my way out of the kitchen and then all the doors started slamming open and shut and I couldn’t hear anything but that. I couldn’t tell how long it went on but it felt like forever and then I was too disoriented to even get back to the damn wall. And suddenly the light was back and I was able to get up here.”
Kris’s grip tightened on him and he pulled back, running his hands over Adam. “Are you hurt?”
“No.” He shook his head. “No, I’m fine.” At that, Kris let himself relax again, taking comfort in his mate’s scent. “Kris, we should go. We should leave.”
Kris shook his head. “No. I mean, we can if that’s really what you want but if you’re doing it because of me, then no. This is our home. Ours. And I’m not leaving it just because some little bitch wants it all to herself.” Kris pulled back, his eyes glowing before he glared out at the window. “Yeah, I’m talking about you.”
Adam twisted so that he could see and sucked in a breath once he’d managed it.
She was outside the window, seemingly to stand on nothing but air as if it was solid ground to her. Thin black hair whipped across her pale face and her mouth opened wide, her laughter shrieking out as she danced back and forth. Then abruptly, she waved and twirled around once, disappearing in to nothing.
Unnerved, Adam turned back towards Kris and really thought about whether he wanted to leave because he wanted to or if it was just a kneejerk reaction to what had happened to Kris. While he thought about it, Kris said nothing, simply let him have his space. Finally, Adam spoke, his voice steady as he said, “We’re staying.”
“Megan, I’m telling you, that girl, whatever she is, can still influence things in the house. I mean, you heard what happened yesterday.”
Adam slowly opened his eyes and wondered when he’d fallen asleep. He and Kris had stayed in bed for the rest of the night and now it was apparently the next morning.
“When do you get back?” Kris asked. He paused and then walked out of the room. “Yeah.”
He’d been gone less than a minute when felt something tail over his hand. He frowned and shifted, shaking his hand. It happened again and he blew out a breath, his eyes snapping open to see what the problem was.
A spider. There was a spider on his bed and then another, then more spiders crawling up and over the side of the bed and he clamped his mouth shut. There were too many, he watched as they converged on the bed, crawling up and on him. The comforter was solid black because of the spiders instead of the dark red that he and Kris had settled on. They were everywhere, he could see them on the ceiling. He could feel them biting him and he whimpered. The sound drew Kris’s attention and suddenly Adam could hear footsteps approaching and then Kris was in the room.
“What is it, Adam? What happened?” Kris looked around the room and saw nothing out of the ordinary. “Adam?” It clicked when Adam whimpered and frantically brushed at his arms as if trying to get rid of something. “Spiders,” Kris breathed, realizing what Adam would see. He darted towards the bed and climbed on, settling himself on Adam’s lap. “Adam, it’s not real. Focus on me, Adam, it’s not real. They’re not real.” There was no response. Kris shoved a hand beneath one of the pillows on the bed and grabbed it, yanking it back out. He shoved it in Adam’s hand and made sure to close Adam’s hand around it. Lavender for clarity of thought, mint to augment power, the rest of the herbs for protection, he thought. “Adam!”
Adam’s body jerked forward and he sucked in a shuddering breath. “Kris, holy shit, Kris. They were everywhere. Spiders just crawling all over the bed and on me and biting me.”
Kris pulled him close and narrowed his eyes at the window, a low growl coming from him.
“Megan was at the airport when I called her. She just got back in. She’s stopping at her place to get a few things and then she’s coming here. She said it sounds like a demon, possibly attached to the house by a curse. So she’s bringing things to break a curse and also to do an exorcism.”
“What are we going to have to do?”
“It’s a Wiccan ritual. We’re going to have to bury more pouches at certain points around the house outside. I’m not sure if there’s anything else to it.”
Adam nodded. It sounded almost too simple to him but he wasn’t going to argue. “Anything else?”
“Believe. We need to believe that this is going to work.”
Adam fell forward, letting the rumble of Kris’s voice soothe him.
He woke up to Kris shaking his shoulder lightly. “Come on,” he said softly. “Megan’s here.”
That woke Adam up and he quickly stood, stretching for a bit before he followed Kris downstairs to meet Megan.
“Hey, Megan,” Kris said, voice tired. There’d only been the two major incidents, yesterday and that morning, but they were both exhausted.
“Kris, Adam.” Megan entered and shuddered. “Yeah, I can feel it. That little girl you keep seeing? Demon. Come on, let’s get started.” She held up two necklaces that were three stones hanging from a leather chord. “These are bloodstone, onyx, and tiger’s eye. They’ll help clean the energy as well as grounding the ritual and strengthening it at the same time.” She waited until they had put the necklaces over their heads before holding up four pouches made of white muslin. “We need to bury one at each point of the house, it helps focus the positive energy there. We’ll need to be inside for the last of it. We’ll form a triangle by each standing at certain points of the house. I’ll tell you what to recite once we’re in there. What you’ll do is light your candle,” she held up pure white candles, “while saying it and it’ll cleanse the house.”
Burying the pouches didn’t take long and then they were inside. Megan handed each of them a white candle and a lighter. “Now, the chant that I just had you memorize? We’re going to have to light our candles and then recite it three times. That’ll take care of it.”
Adam couldn’t help but voice his thoughts from earlier. “It sounds very simple.”
Megan smiled. “All you need is simple. Let’s get to our spots. Once you’re there, wait thirty seconds so that we can light these at the same time.”
He nodded in understanding and glanced at Kris before they all split up. Once Adam had reached his the area he was supposed to be in, he counted to thirty before he quickly lit the candle. He forced himself to keep his hands steady, cupping one hand around the flame to keep it from going out as a strong wind blew through the room. Furniture started moving, some of the smaller things flying at him.
“I shall confront and expel all evil, out of marrow and bone, out of house and home—never to come here again.” He stepped to the side as a chair flew towards him and repeated the chant two more times.
Almost as soon as he finished, the wind died down and the furniture stopped moving.
Kris stared as the girl appeared only feet in front of him. She shrieked in anger as he began to say the chant once he’d lit the candle and he braced himself as she flew at him.
“I shall confront and expel all evil—“ Kris cut off and cried out as her hand swiped out and what felt like claws embedded themselves in his stomach. He stared down at her, watching as her mouth twisted in triumph. The scent of sulfur was suddenly stronger than it had been previously.
He shook his head. Like hell. “—out of marrow and bone, out of house and home—never to come here again,” he forced himself to say. She twisted her hand inside him as he began to repeat it and it took everything he had to finish the chant twice more as she shoved her other hand in his stomach.
Once he finished the chant for the third time, she threw her head back and let out a high-pitched scream, yanking her hands away from him as she folded in on herself until she had disappeared completely.
Immediately, Kris could feel the difference in the house and he smiled even as he dropped to the ground.
He didn’t know what she had been, why she’d been there, but she was gone.
Adam grinned at Megan when she confirmed that, yes, the house was definitely cleansed now. She could feel the difference in the house.
“It feels lighter,” he agreed with a nod.
“Exactly.” Megan smiled. A moment later though, she frowned, her head snapping in the direction that Kris had gone. Adam immediately began to head in that direction, with Megan right behind him.
“Shit,” he said as he and Megan walked in just in time to see Kris forcing himself to his feet, blood spreading along his stomach. “What the hell happened?”
“She wasn’t too happy about being kicked out,” Kris replied.
“You saw her?” Megan asked. “You saw her go?”
Kris nodded. “Folded in on herself and then just vanished,” he confirmed. “Besides, the house feels different. It doesn’t feel...off anymore.”
“Come on, let’s get you fixed up,” Adam ordered.
Kris offered up a weak grin. “Going to play doctor, are we?”
Adam snorted. “Not until those are fully healed, we’re not.”
“So a few days then.” Kris nodded to himself as Megan snickered. “I can do that.”
Adam rolled his eyes as he helped Kris sit down. He pointed at him. “Stay,” he told him before leaving to find the first-aid kit.
Kris frowned after him. “Werewolf, not dog,” he muttered. Megan laughed and Kris grinned up at her. “Thank you.” He reached out and squeezed her hand, smiling when she squeezed back.
“Of course.” She leant down and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Rest up, Kris. I hear you’ve got a doctor to see in a few days.” She winked and gathered up her things, calling out a goodbye to Adam before she left.
Kris laughed and tilted his head back, eyes closed, as he took a deep breath. The smell of sulfur was already fading and he no longer felt like he was being watched. He smiled when he heard Adam come back in the room and then hummed in pleasure when Adam ran a hand through his hair, tugging softly. Sighing, he turned his head and pressed his nose against Adam’s arm.
Vanilla and the ocean. He smiled at the scent. Home.