A short story inspired by Feux Follets' story Jones Paranormal Investigation Agency, written with their permission. It is not necessary to have read the story in order to understand this. That being said, however, I highly suggest you find some time to read it, due to the fact that it is fantastic. Based off of events from Chapter 11.
Here's hoping your eyes haven't bled too bad by the end of this.
He feathered a line of kisses up the smooth, pale throat, and grinned as he felt more than heard the badly suppressed moan of the other against his lips. As he raised his head from the other man's neck, his eyes caught and locked on something.
Eyebrows, he thought, staring at the things with a mystified expression. They looked soft and fuzzy, like the wooly caterpillars he used to find in the woods behind his childhood home.
His hands moved of their own accord, traveling from where they were at the small of the other man's back, up to his face where they cupped his chin gently. The thumb on his right hand moved and stroked one of his companion's eyebrows thoughtfully.
Ha, he thought, smirking like a Cheshire cat. They really are-
And that's when it happened.
The eyebrow that his thumb had been caressing shivered, then, amazingly, split apart down the middle, opening up and revealing rows of sharp, tiny teeth. As the monstrous thing bit down on his thumb, he felt the pain from the bite shoot up his arm and into his chest, and he parted his lips and screamed-
Alfred jolted awake, the scream from his nightmare carrying on into reality. He shot up in bed, casting wild glances around his surroundings.
Everything was just as he remembered; there were dishes from midnight snacks scattered over various parts of his bedroom, and all the posters were right in place. A relieved sigh escaped his lips.
"Just a dream," he muttered, scrubbing a hand over his face and waiting for his rapidly pounding heart to slow into its normal pace. Another part from his nightmare returned, and the blonde man jerked his hand away from his face to inspect his thumb. It was there, at least, and in one piece. No bite marks in sight.
It was a small relief, however, because Alfred sincerely doubted he would be able to sleep after a dream like that. Grumbling to himself, he swung his feet over the edge of his bed and stumbled out his door into the hallway.
The carpeted ground muffled his footsteps as he made his way down the corridor in the direction of the bathroom, wishing only to splash cool water on his face before attempting to drift back to sleep. He paused, however, outside the big double doors that separated the lobby of the building from his personal living quarters.
Call it paranoia after so many years of paranormal investigating, but Alfred had always been able the sense when things were wrong, or when something was out of place.
And judging from the tell-tale chills crawling up his spine, something was very, very, wrong.
The man studied the doors like a man sizing up a bigger opponent before a fight, clear blue gaze calculating as he wondered if he should go through. The building was locked up, anyway, so there was no way there could be a trespasser in there.
Then, with a groan of resignation, he made his decision.
Alfred pushed open the doors and slipped into the darkened lobby, casting his gaze over the contents. Everything was bathed in a soft blue light that did nothing to break up the shadows, and at this time of night even the occasional cars were locked away safely, so there were no brief flashes of light from the headlights of the vehicles to see by.
A soft noise from the other side of the lobby reached his ears, and the man turned quickly in its direction.
The sight that met his eyes nearly loosed another shriek from his lips.
There in front of the fish tank was a big, hulking shadow. Its back was facing him, so he couldn't see its features, but he saw that it was bent close to the glass of the tank. A soft string of whispers reached his ears, speaking in a language that Alfred could not identify. The shadow hadn't noticed him yet, and for that the man was thankful.
Suddenly, unbidden memories from the Hedgewood case assaulted his mind, spring from the dark corner he had locked it away in. It brought visions of shadow figures swirling all around, attacking, and screaming filled his ears.
It wasn't until the shadow crouched at the fish tank whipped around did Alfred realize that the shrieks were coming from him.
Now that the shadow figure was facing him, with the pale blue light from the tank of fish illuminating its features, Alfred finally had the chance to identify the trespasser.
"Hello, Alfred," the figure cooed. "How are you?"
"I'm fine, thanks fo-" Alfred cut himself off sharply. "No, wait, I am not fine! Ivan! How the hell did you get in here?"
A childish smile crawled across the taller man's features. It wasn't intended to look menacing, but with the minimal light making the shadows on the Russian's face intensify and darken, it looked like a murderous look, promising violent events in the future.
"Why, Alfred, the door of course! How else would I get in?"
Alfred sputtered with anger, stumbling briefly over his words. "The door was locked!"
"Was it?" Ivan questioned curiously.
"Yes, it was! I made sure to lock it before I went to sleep!" Alfred shook his head violently, took a deep breath, then tried to continue on in a calmer voice.
"More to the point, Braginski, what are you even doing here?"
The addressed man paused at the question, and tilted his head as if pondering something. Then his smile widened, and he turned away from Alfred to beam affectionately at the fish tank.
"I came to see my fish! They get lonely if you don't talk to them, and I'm sure you don't talk to them, Alfred."
"You were…talking to them." Alfred started inching his way backwards, away from the other man. "What were you saying?"
Ivan giggled, and the supposedly innocent sound sent a new set of chills up Alfred's spine.
"Why Alfred, I don't know how that is any of your business."
"…Yeah. You know what? Just…you do that." Alfred scrambled back to the double doors. "I'm going back to sleep."
As he pushed open the doors and slipped back through into the hallway, he heard Ivan call out to him.
Alfred sank down against the wall, huddling on the floor with his knees pulled up his chest, and for the second time that night willing his racing heart to slow down.
He really needed to stop eating before bedtime. It was starting to give him strange dreams.