It was the wee hours of the morning and the sun had not come up. Willie still had trouble sleeping at night and was sitting at the kitchen table, his hands wrapped around a large mug of tea, starring at an envelope sitting in front of him. Abigail had the big red blanket pulled around her shoulders and she came up behind Willie and nuzzled into his neck, pulling the blanket around the both of them. Willie swung the chair around, a gentle smile lit up his eyes.
"Ah… I will never tire of that smile." Abigail said as she smiled back at him, brushing the messy blonde sweeps from his forehead. Willie pulled her onto his lap and kissed her softly.
"Merry Christmas Mrs. Loomis" She giggled as he ran his fingers down her sides.
"Can I make you anything for breakfast? Are you hungry?" Willie shook his head. She had asked that question almost every morning but even after a year of being free from Barnabas his appetite had not returned. There were other remnants of the hell he endured in that house too. Willie would forever carry the physical scars, but it was the night terrors that bothered Abigail the most. They still visited him frequently; more nights than Abigail cared to recount. She would try to wake him but it was always in vain, so she would just hold him as tightly as she could and softly wipe the tears from his face as he wept in his sleep until eventually the nightmares released him. It broke her heart and she wondered what Barnabas had done to him in those first few months to cause him such gut wrenching anguish, but Willie refused to talk about it. Abigail would do absolutely anything to see him smile.
After the last terrifying days in Collinsport they moved back to Chicago and got a small one bedroom apartment together. With her knowledge of historical architecture and Willie's ability to fix and restore just about anything they decided to start their own restoration business and although they didn't make much money at first the business was slowly growing and showing promise. It wasn't until the fall, almost a year since she first laid eyes on him, that they got married, just the two of them in a tiny little chapel. It was simple and without fanfare and it was perfect.
She looked at those pale blue eyes that sparkled when he smiled and she leaned in and kissed him and then reached over and grabbed the envelope that he had been staring at on the table.
"So are you going to open this one?"
"No." Willie's tone went flat.
"Willie… he has sent one nearly every other week since we left. Aren't you just a little bit curious?" She waved the envelope in the air.
"No. I don't like the fact that he found our address to begin with." Willie lifted her off his lap and grabbed the envelope and threw it back on the table. "I think we should consider moving…"
"Not even a little curious?" She looked up at him and Willie grabbed either side of the blanket and pulled her in close to him. His face was serious.
"That man…thing…the things he did to me…and to you…I owe him nothing. I want him to just disappear, go away." Willie shook the thought of him out of his head and smiled back at Abigail. He kissed her on the forehead and tugged at the blanket "Come on…let's go back to bed."
"Okay…" She smiled back to him. "I'll be right there…" Willie walked back to the bedroom and she grabbed the envelope on the table. She pulled out a shoe box that was stashed on the top shelf in the closet and dropped it on top of the stack of unopened identical envelopes that was already occupying it.
Barnabas pulled out another piece of stationary and began to write, the opening sentence was the same as all the others, but this time the handwriting was messy and hurried.
There are no words to express the remorse I carry for the pain that I have caused you. I do not deserve forgiveness for the things that I have done.
I am writing to you for possibly the last time before she finds me. Angelique has returned and has vowed to revert me to my former state. If she succeeds I fear for you and Ms. Chilton.
Please take every precaution. I don't know what I will do if I am turned again into the monster I once was. I do not know if there will be any effect on you as a result.
If you do not receive any more letters it is because I am no longer a man and I have gone back into the darkness.
I pray you protect yourselves.
Humbly and forever remorseful,
Barnabas sealed the envelope and walked it over to Collinwood, leaving it with Victoria who dropped it in the mail for him.
He returned to the old house and opened the front door and froze.
Abigail crawled into bed and huddled down into the blankets next to Willie facing him. They just looked at each other for a while, almost not believing that they were really there with one another. Abigail snuggled in closer to him, resting her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. She looked up at him to find that wonderful smile beaming back at her.
"Are you okay?" She asked as she stretched up to kiss him.
"Abby…I-I'm more than okay…I haven't been this okay in a very long time." She put her head back down on his chest and wrapped her arms around him and sighed contently.
"My boy…I love you Willie Loomis."
A/N - This ends our story... for now. Many thanks to you for reading and following Willie and Abigail's journey with Barnabas.
The new sequel is out and titled "Return to Collinwood" It is M rated so you will need to make sure your story filter includes M if you want to see it show up. Thanks Again!