Disclaimer: I own none of the characters except Theresa. I have nought to gain from this except the satisfaction of my muse.
A/N Hi there everybody! New readers and old! Yes, I am back. And delighted to be writing in this Cat. again!Before reading
This story is the sequel to Together, my first story. It might be a good idea to read it before reading this one or you might not know some of the characters or the references to others.
Well, what more can I say? The story is a little different from the last but I hope you enjoy it.
Lets start things off slowly:Fatally Yours
Chapter 1: Attempt
The moon was high in the sky as Gabriel Van Helsing leaned against the balcony overlooking Vaseria and sighed. Three months had past since he'd first come to Vaseria and his mind was spinning with all that had happened. He had fallen in love, killed Count Dracula – twice- and finally asked the gypsy princess Anna Valerious to marry him. In the weeks that followed, he and the friar Carl had moved permanently to Vaseria to form part of a new branch of the Holy Order while Anna began the monumental task of planning their wedding.
Gabriel cast his eyes into the room behind him to where Anna lay asleep in their bed. He turned and went inside, shutting the doors that led out into the balcony. It was cool inside the room and Gabriel noted that the fire had died to just a few glowing embers. He went to the large, four-poster bed and gazed at his fiancée. Anna was fast asleep, completely exhausted with excitement for the following day, which was precisely the reason Gabriel could not sleep. It was their wedding day and Gabriel's mind was reeling with the shock and excitement of realising that it had finally come.
He had promised Anna that they would plan it together, but with moving Carl's laboratory to Transylvania and the constant interrogations of the Cardinal, he had had little time and Anna had ended up planning almost the whole event herself. Gabriel felt terrible that he hadn't been there to help her but Rome had demanded that he return to organize the transfer and be briefed on his new responsibilities. As things turned out, he spent more time convincing Cardinal Jinette that he and Anna were right for each other than actually being briefed. Still, he had succeeded and the wedding was planned without too many problems. In fact, things went so smoothly that, in the past week, he and Anna had finally been able to spend some time together. They took full advantage of the opportunity, riding together in the mountains or simply lying in front of the fire in the den. Gabriel loved every second he spent with Anna and simply fell more and more in love with her.
Gabriel pulled the duvet up over Anna's shoulders and made sure that she was warm. He thought for a moment of getting into the bed and trying to sleep - Anna's warmth was usually a great comfort to him- but he knew that tonight he would most likely not be able to sleep. The anticipation was just too much. Instead, Gabriel decided to make himself a cup of Carl's soothing lavender tea and slipped from the room to head to the kitchen.
Outside in the darkness, a rope and hook flew over the balcony followed a few moments later by a dark figure carrying a small sack. The figure approached the window, looking in to see the sleeping princess, and smiled.
Anna awoke to a tickling sensation on her arm. She smiled, thinking it was Gabriel and swatted blindly at the air above her with her other arm, hoping to hit him. He hand found only air. The bed next to her was cold. Anna froze, jolted from her sleepy state. Gabriel was not there, but still the tickling feeling progressed up her arm. Suddenly, the same feeling started on her calf, slowly moving up her leg.
Anna's eyes shot open. She cringed and jerked the blanket off her legs. Her blood ran cold. Three huge, hairy spiders were in the bed: one on her calf, one on her arm and another on the mattress at her hip. Anna had dealt with spiders before, but never any as big as these. Her breath caught in her throat and when she finally regained it, all she could do was scream.
Gabriel leaned against the stove as he sipped his tea, taking in the various platters of food that had been prepared for the wedding. He licked his lips as his eyes fell on a particular favourite of his and he moved to break off a piece. It was all Theresa's doing. After Dracula's demise, Anna had not wanted the servants to return but after Theresa's constant insisting, Anna had relented. The old woman fell into the household quickly and now cooked all their meals. She acted like a grandmother to them and Anna had to constantly remind her that she was no longer a child. To prepare for the wedding, Theresa had roped half the women in the village in to help with the food. It was a good idea considering that there was not a soul who had not been invited.
Anna had initially wanted the wedding to be a small occasion but the people of Vaseria would not be excluded from the wedding of their beloved leader. So a small union was turned into the social highlight of the year in the small town. Gabriel didn't mind. It had been so long since Vaseria had had something to celebrate.
Gabriel smiled to himself as he swallowed the last of his snack. The tea was helping – he was finally beginning to grow sleepy.
Suddenly, a chillingly familiar scream echoed through the house. Gabriel dropped his mug and sprinted from the kitchen. As he ran, his mind frantically tried to think what could be wrong with Anna. Surely not another of Dracula's nightmares – no, he was dead. Of this, Gabriel was certain. But what else could have frightened Anna so?
Reaching their bedroom, Gabriel found Anna lying on the bed with the blanket thrown off her. Her face was pale and she looked at him with wide eyes. The door to the balcony was hanging wide open.
"Anna!" Gabriel yelled, "What's wrong?"
"Help!" Anna cried, "I don't know where they came from!"
Gabriel followed her eyes down to her body and a chill ran down his spine when he saw the spiders. Gabriel hated the creatures and the thought of them on Anna was almost unbearable.
Gabriel grabbed a throw pillow and swatted two off Anna before pulling her off the bed away from the third. Once certain she was away from the creatures, Gabriel brought the pillow down hard on them until the last spider lay in a twitching heap.
Turning to Anna, he wrapped his arms around her, offering comfort to her shaking body. Anna was deathly silent, quietly submitting as he led her over to a small couch by the now-dead fire. Gabriel noted her thin nightgown and pulled a blanket from the wardrobe to keep her warm. He knelt down in front of her and caught her gaze.
"Anna? Are you alright? They didn't bite you did they?" he asked. Anna shook her head.
"No, I'm – I'm okay," she said shakily. She looked up at him, "Where were you?"
"In the kitchen. I couldn't sleep so I went to make a cup of tea," he explained, getting up to sit next to her. Anna leaned over and lay down with her head in his lap.
"Are you scared for tomorrow?" she asked softly.
Gabriel paused, "Yes. But I'm excited too. I can't wait for you to be my wife." He began to slowly run his fingers through her hair.
Anna closed her eyes and smiled. "I'm scared too." She said, "but I can't wait."
"I love you Anna," Gabriel said, smiling warmly.
"I love you too," Anna said. She opened her eyes and looked lovingly up at him. "And thanks for the saving me from the spiders. I wish I knew how they got in here."
Gabriel frowned, genuinely concerned. "Yes. That is worrying."
After a moment's silence, Anna looked up at him mischievously, "I told you we shouldn't have moved bedrooms, even if this one is bigger!"
Gabriel smiled knowingly. He'd been waiting for that. Ever since they moved into the master bedroom, Anna had been finding fault with it. An incident like this was just what she needed to boost her argument that they move back to their old bedroom.
"Well, Theresa cleaned the room before we moved in, dear." He said chidingly to Anna, "She would never have left spiders like those in here."
Anna said nothing but frowned up at him. "Well… this room's too cold. With that door open it's freezing in here." She argued.
Gabriel looked over the back of the couch at the open balcony doors and something in his mind clicked. He had closed the door on his way to the kitchen.
He frowned. "Anna love, did you open the balcony doors?"
Anna yawned, "No, why?"
Gabriel didn't answer, instead getting up and walking to the door. He went out onto the balcony and his eyes fell on a small sack lying in a corner. He picked it up and put his hand inside.
"Ugh!" he cried, pulling his hand out. It was covered in spider webs. He looked inside the bag and found it filled with spider webs, but devoid of spiders.
"Well, that solves the question of how the spiders got into the room."
"Hmmm?" Anna asked sleepily.
Gabriel walked over to the couch and found her lying with her eyes closed, clearly falling asleep. He could see she was exhausted – she had to be to not have realised the implications of the spiders' mysterious appearance. He didn't want to worry her, not before their wedding day.
"Nothing love," he said softly. Gabriel took his gloves out of the wardrobe and pulled them on.
Wrinkling his nose in disgust, he picked up the squashed spiders with two fingers and pushed them into the sack. After making sure the bag was closed, he put it by the bedroom door and went to lock the balcony doors. He knew he should have simply thrown the spiders out but something about the whole incident bothered him. The spiders weren't there when he tucked Anna in: how did three of them get in so quickly when the door was closed. He made up his mind to ask Carl to have a look at them in the morning.
Gabriel checked that there were no more spiders in the room – just in case-, then returned to the couch to find Anna asleep. Carefully, he picked her up and carried her back to the bed, laying her down with her head on the pillow. Gabriel went around to his side of the bed and climbed in. He pulled Anna up against him and wrapped his arms protectively around her.
Anna sighed softly and Gabriel relaxed a little. Perhaps the spiders were just a coincidence. Realistically, who would want to kill Anna? The villagers were delighted with her after she killed Dracula. They wouldn't turn on her - would they? Gabriel's mind wondered as he slowly drifted to sleep.
A/N So? Please let me know what you think! I'm highly unsure of this chapter so let me know and perhaps i should give it another go. and...negative criticism welcome but please don't flame me- that just hurts.