These Times



Louis awoke early to the bright sunrays of a new day. He took a calming breathe in before arising from bed. After properly straightening out his bed covers and sheets he moved toward the bathroom. This morning was a little more relaxed despite his night of nightmares. He awoke three times in the middle of the night shrieking but was able to get to a sounder sleep after the third time. He was a little tired but not enough to damper his newfound feeling of stability. He glanced carefully at himself in the mirror before attending to hygiene. He dressed and then headed out to his kitchen. Softly he glanced at his cell phone as he ate his breakfast.

"You think they actually care about you? You're a burden…you are weighing them down. If it hadn't been for you they would have excelled long ago. You are nothing, Louis. I'll be doing them a favor by getting rid of you."

The elder lawyer paused at the familiar sound of Lance's voice. He had come to a point where he silently accepted the voice in his head. He was pulling them down. He sighed heavily as he glanced one more time at his cellphone. Instead of following the general pattern of wake up, get ready, contact Mike…Louis decided on something new. He cleared his dish and headed out the door. It was time for him to get to work on his own. He stepped outside where Sheldon waited with the limo. He began to feel some kind of hope.

The ride over was quiet. He stopped conversing with Sheldon when he realized the youth wasn't interested in small talk. Louis didn't mind. The lawyer was tired of pretending to care anyway. He headed out of his limo with a bit of confidence that he hadn't had in months.

"Look what we have here," a slimy voice commented.

Louis closed his eyes softly as he thought over his daily mantra. Not all vampires are the same and even if they are I can fight I have a chance.

"It is Lance's, pet lawyer," the same voice sneered. "You know, I'm surprised you still bother to get up in the morning."

Louis gripped his briefcase. He was stunned as well as paralyzed. The two vampires circled him.

"Oh don't worry," the vampire cackled. "We don't plan to hurt you at all. Lance already left an impression…what more could we possibly give? You are already hopeless so it wouldn't be fun."

"That is enough," a familiar voice called from behind them.

Louis casually turned around and spotted Mike Ross coming toward them. He gave the younger an expressionless look which Mike seemed to understand.

"That is enough," Mike remarked. "You both can go now."

The vampires snorted. "Right the human follower has honored us with his presence…pity really…we heard you use to be something, Mike."

Mike laughed softly as he stood beside Louis. His taller frame shielded the elder lawyer from possible future shenanigans.

"I am still something," he commented easily. "You two were never anything."

Both vampires eyed Mike before jetting into the sky. Mike laid a hand upon Louis's shoulder.

"Hey," Mike stated cheerfully. "Another day huh?"

When Mike received no response he frowned. He looked to the shorter male and sighed at the sight of moisture collecting in his eyes.

"It is alright Louis, really," Mike comforted. "Those guys know nothing believe me…their minds are filled to the brim with stupid."

Louis laughed bitterly. "But they were right weren't they?"

Mike opened his mouth to protest but Louis powered on without a word. The younger sighed heavily.

"I don't know where any of you got the impression that this is the correct way to handle this assignment," Louis commented to the associates before him.

He noticed a few looked ashamed while others seemed mystified. A tiny smirk crossed his lips. Work usually brought a smile to his features. Here he could easily mask all his troubled feelings and thoughts with pure and strict criticism. It was his favorite thing to partake in as an employee of Pearson and Hardman.

"This is wrong," he stated slapping down one collection of research. "This is defiantly wrong."

He continued commenting here and there as he handed back work. Most took their work silently. Harold who usually expressed extreme anxiety with returned assignments seemed to be fine. Louis didn't know why Harold seemed so calm but he didn't dwell on it. After he passed back some research and writing assignments he sat back and watched their expressions.

"I don't accept this."

Louis paused and then slowly pivoted around to see the owner of the voice. It was a young male by the name of Travis. He was a first year associate, a newer member of Pearson and Hardman. There was a couple like him among the group, while the others were more experienced associates. He waltzed over to the younger employee. He narrowed his eyes at him.

"Excuse me?"

"I don't accept this."

"I heard you," Louis eyed the youth. "But what don't you accept about this? Your work was poor and should be redone."

After a few seconds of silence Louis smirked and then turned around.

"I still don't accept this."

Louis frowned deeply before returning to the youth. "Maybe you wish to rephrase your statement to "I accept…". My patience could suddenly run out."

The youth shrugged as if the matter of Louis's patience was a small one.

"You stated my work is wrong, but your remarks aren't logical in the slightest."

One of the other's standing next to Travis nudged him warningly.

"Logical?" Louis laughed. "I am nothing but logical."

"I mean," Travis stated with a tiny smile. "How can we be sure you…were…fully aware when you did this."

Louis mouth hung open.

"We aren't blind sir," Travis continued on. "We may not know the full story but word gets around quick here, I've learned. It is all they discuss in the break room…around the water cooler…anywhere you aren't around really. We know you aren't always submerged in reality these days. How am I to know that it didn't affect your judgment of my work? As an employee I have a right to know this."

Louis smirked. "So you do? Well…I'm your boss…so naturally…what I say goes."

Travis nodded softly. "Certainly…I see your point…but one can't be so sure if what you say…actually makes sense. Wasn't it just yesterday that you were running out of rooms looking…a bit wild. I am sorry Mr. Litt. I find it hard to believe that you are…all together. I think our work deserves to be reevaluated now. I say this from a professional stand point."

The elder lawyer couldn't believe what he was hearing. An associate was calling him out on his critiques…a young associate right out of law school. How dare he? Who did he think he was telling Louis that he wasn't stable enough to do his job?

"I should fire you right now for what you said."

Travis pondered a bit. "You could…but really…I have only stated my concerns. What am I being fired for? Speaking out? It is only a concern I have…and I don't believe I'm alone in this."

Casually Louis glanced at a few other associates. Some seemed a little curious themselves. This Travis was getting them to agree with him.

"You are nothing, Louis. And you always will be nothing."

The elder gulped quietly. He could fire the youth but what was the use? Sometimes his condition did get in the way of his work. After all, he was avoiding the calls of one of his vampire clients. Jessica scheduled a meeting with him later in the day which he knew would be to discuss her disappointment. Who was to say Travis wasn't correct? He steeled his features before ignoring the associate.

"Get back to work everyone," he barked out.

Everyone began to swarm frightened by the sudden order. He noticed Travis head calmly back to his work station. Louis straightened his attire before heading back toward his office.

"Travis what were you thinking?"

"I was thinking I'm right," the youth commented. "I mean think about it…this guy is totally out of it. You've seen it. The man spends most of his time whimpering up and down the halls. Why do I have to take his criticism? He has mental break downs every day, which isn't an exaggeration. Does it even make sense that he should still look over us? Don't they have a place he can go? I mean…I rather have Harvey yell at me then some guy that spends his days raving while, Mike pats his back."

"You sir are ignorant," the other replied. "Let's just get back to work."

"No I'm not," the youth pressed on. "I know people who have all the details…believe me…it is the truth…we are working underneath a mental case."
Louis was barely out of earshot when the conversation started. He winced a bit at the other's description of him. He began to walk faster if only to outrun the truth of his situation. The boy was sadly right. He took a seat at his desk not planning to get to work on the case sitting to his right.

"He isn't right you know," Mike commented.

Louis sighed heavily. "So you heard it?"

Mike grinned showcasing his fangs. "I'm a vampire remember? I can hear from anywhere."

The elder lawyer sighed heavily.

"Surprised you didn't fire him."

Louis laughed. "For what? Telling me what I already know. I don't have any right to talk, Mike. Just…get back to work…I don't need a counselor right now."

Mike sighed before nodding. "Okay."

When Mike disappeared Louis began to break just a little bit inside. He got back to work instead of falling apart. He had much to do and no time to wallow.

Louis stared at his ceiling. He had finished discussing his client with Jessica. He remembered the meeting with crystal clarity. She stated he should take another client. He felt terribly insulted but understood her decision. He reluctantly and gladly gave up the case. There was no way he would defend a vampire who believed humans were inferior. Victor Lunar had grown nastier since their last and only meeting. He was grateful for Jessica's decision. Who threatened a potential lawyer over the phone? Victor also filled Louis's email inbox with photographs of the vampire and his fallen prey. It was inappropriate and troubling. Victor knew all about Louis's condition. Louis knew what the vampire was doing. The vampire wanted to intimidate Louis into complying with certain terms. Even after the terminated case, Victor was persistent. He bit his lip feeling suddenly anxious about the whole situation but then began counting and breathing

"10, breathe out, 9, breathe out," he recited quietly as he awaited Mike's arrival.

He knew Harvey was giving Mike plenty of work just so Louis would be forced to leave alone. He didn't know if the male was trying to help him wean himself off of Mike's help or wanted him to walk out alone. This morning had been promising. He didn't call Mike over. He meditated in the morning and then was successfully able to leave his apartment, no major hallucinations or flashbacks plagued him. On his way to his limo he greeted Sheldon. The morning had been almost perfect. Night was looking to be the opposite experience.

"8 breathe out, 7 breathe out," he calmly recited already feeling a bit less anxious.

presented him with a stake at a previous session. The doctor told him he wouldn't need it but in case he felt anxious…he knew he had it on him. He tapped the wooden implement upon his desk. Harvey passed by suddenly which got Louis's attention. The other didn't bother to acknowledge his presence but he was okay with that. He arose and properly set up his office for tomorrow and then left. Mike sat cross legged upon the edge of his cubicle as if he practiced the martial arts. He smiled and waved.

"To think all this time I hid my vampire ability," he stated giving the other a fanged grin.

The fangs still made Louis flinch. "Are you ready?"

Mike nodded. "Harvey kindly gave me enough work but not to the point where I am here all night. Lucky day huh?"

Louis grunted as a reply. Mike hovered behind the elder noticing he was in a bad mood.

"Bad day?" he questioned as they entered the elevator. "It shouldn't be. You left your house on your own."

"Way to make me feel helpless."

The younger man sighed as he brought his body back to the ground. "It is a big deal though Louis. Despite what happened earlier with the associates it is a big deal."

Louis smiled. It had been a big deal. Two weeks prior to this day he had barricaded himself in his apartment again. Mike had to come through his window to snap him out of it, which he had been thankful for. He missed a week of sessions but he was happy to be back in his apartment and away from the terrible nightmare that played on repeat for the past week. They appeared outside only to find the area empty. Louis cursed under his breath.

"Sheldon, I forgot to call him."

Mike frowned. "Well…I'm sure you can contact him still. We can go back up and wait there."

Louis began to sweat.

"Just call him."

Louis nodded dialing up the driver. Sheldon came through loud and clear but had bad news. The limo was having some mechanical issues…and he stated he would be running an hour late. Mike overheard the conversation and frowned.

Louis's heart beat picked up.

"Okay, let us take a walk," Mike suggested no longer hovering like before. "Fresh air is good. We can stop by get some coffee…or not because you are shaking."

The elder didn't move from his spot but Mike grabbed his arm and slowly pulled him along. They passed by a few over towering buildings but continued on searching for an open coffee shop that didn't look shady. The past few had signs of "Vampires welcome...and serving it fresh positive or negative". Mike decided they weren't places for a human to have a warm cup. Down the sidewalk there was a good place open, human friendly. Mike beamed at the elder who was wheezing seriously.

"Deep breaths Louis, we aren't in danger."

Louis nodded softly still wheezing. They entered the shop where the kind hearted female behind the counter offered them both the last slice of cake each, on the house because "you dolls need it". A shadowy figure lurked in the corner of the shop eyeing them. Mike ignored the obvious threat.

Sweat accumulated upon Louis's brows. He noticed the figure in the corner as soon as they entered. The creature was staring intently at him. After the piece of cake Louis promptly walked to the trashcan and threw everything up. The female frowned about to call an ambulance. Mike waved her off with a smile and then led his companion out into the crisp night air.

"Try Sheldon again."

Louis would have loved to, but the smell of decay was overpowering his nostrils.

Harvey Spector should have been at his limo by now. Strangely Ray was not in his usual spot. He had just left Pearson and Hardman and was now making the longest trek of his life toward an open eatery where he planned to have a seat and make a phone call. He passed a few unsavory places before ending up at a nice open, human coffee shop. He took a spot on a stool and dialed up his limo driver. The female behind the counter gave him a smile which he returned but declined the last slice of cake offered to him. He didn't need sweets. What he needed was a nice hot shower and the sports channel.

Harvey glanced at the time knowing that Mike and Louis were probably just leaving the office. He left earlier than the duo. Mike remained with a few more assignments to go over. He didn't leave the younger with too much, he knew Louis was waiting on him. He snorted. Louis was becoming more and more unfortunate by the day. Apparently he came to work by himself but only weeks before he was locking himself in his place for a week, delusional and losing sight of reality, embracing nightmares. He didn't know when the man was coming back from PTSD but he hoped for the sake of his job and the firm it was soon. He heard they had to turn down a client because of Louis's trauma. The client was almost as influential as Mr. Augustine. Louis was driving his career into the ground.

The elder lawyer sighed heavily as he thought deeply upon the matter. Mike wasn't helping in the slightest. The younger vampire thought he was doing the best work. In retrospect, he was feeding a bad habit instead of starving it like Harvey would. Mike thought Harvey was being unreasonably hard on Louis but what the younger didn't know was there was a reason. Louis reminded him of a certain male he had come into contact with in his early years. Years ago vampires were just coming out of their caves. During this time Harvey had witnessed the most terrible situation. Harvey shielded this information from the youth carefully because he didn't wish to share such a story.

Harvey had been a Harvard second year when he encountered the same situation Louis was in. Like Louis, his fellow classmate had been attacked brutally by a vampire. Like Louis, friends had smothered the man with comfort, affection, constant surveillance…and like Louis he worsened…and worsened…until finally the male dropped out of Harvard. Harvey shook his head sadly. The once proud Harvard student never reached his goal of being a Harvard grad. He was sure the male still resided in the mental home suggested for him. Harvey wasn't close friends with the unfortunate man but he heard a lot about him until graduation. He learned from the situation. Over exaggerated help and smothering never leads to recovery…actually in Harvey's eyes it was a non-stop flight to an asylum. Mike's constant mothering would only send Louis right down the path of no return, just like Harvey had seen when he was at Harvard.

Harvey gave the night waitress a smile before leaving. Ray experienced some problem with parking in his normal spot. Now Harvey was going to meet up with him a few blocks ahead. After two blocks he was heated but he knew life sometimes happened so he schooled his features and turned to enter the limo.

"I wouldn't if I were you. We know how much you hate wild goose chases…you know we have heard so much about you."

Harvey smirked and turned around. He came face to face with a male who seemed to have a bit of human color still.

"Don't worry," the other purred. "I'm all vampire."

He recognized one of the vampires as Lance and he chuckled.

"Wow, Lance, I didn't think you'd dare show your face around here."

Lance smirked arms crossed. "Who said I couldn't? How is my pet Louis by the way? Is he still all together? From the look of your memories he is still struggling."

Harvey frowned at that. The male before him waved the other's side story away.

"So Mike is working for you now."

"Mike?" Harvey questioned.

"Mike Ross, the human lover," the male smirked blood painting his fangs. "You may know him…about this high. I must say I'm a little jealous. Mike and I had a little fallout."

Harvey eyed the other strangely. "I wasn't aware you were an ex."

"I like this one boys," the male announced. "He thinks he is a match…maybe he is. You know Harvey you are wasting your time."

"I am aware, I've been here looking at your face for a little too long. I am a busy man."

The male cackled. "One more joke and I may just crown you as the king of comedy."

Harvey smirked. "I already have my own crown."

"Like I said you are wasting your time as a human," he continued. "You are immoral, ruthless…insensitive. You don't care about anyone but yourself. Why do you still hold on to your humanity when there are so many better options out there?"

Harvey eyed the vampire. "I don't have time for this…I could dispose of you all but…I pity you…street life is tough. I'll throw you all a bone. Leave now…and all of you won't perish."

"Tempting but like I said," he grinned fangs wide. "You are wasting your time as a human…but congratulations I'm here now…and you have been invited personally to join our little group. See we plan to take over this little city one pathetic human at a time. We have important figures stationed in all the right corners just waiting for the right moment…and…since you won that case for Mr. Augustine…I'm eager to know what else you can do for vampires as a vampire."

Harvey shook his head. "I have a home to get to."

He turned back to his limo. "I said I wouldn't go in there because there isn't anyone there to go to."

Harvey ignored them and opened the door to find it empty.

"Don't worry the limo isn't yours. Precious Ray is at home asleep…let us just say…we gave him a day off."

"Who the heck do you think you are?" Harvey eyed him angrily. "Who do you think you are… interfering with my transportation?"

"You can call me, Trevor."

Harvey's eyes slightly widened but he didn't give them the benefit of his shock. Wasn't Trevor the vampire that even Mike wouldn't associate with? The lawyer thought carefully. He would have to fight. There were five of them but he was a boxer. Without hesitation he launched a fist at the younger's jaw. Trevor took the blow of the hit with a smile on.

"Come on now Harvey," he stated grinning. "I heard every little thought…want another shot? I'm feeling generous…no…well guess that makes it my move."

Before Harvey could make another move Trevor grabbed him and the gang disappeared deeper into the alley.

"Come on boys we have to initiate our new member," Trevor announced into the night.

Cackles filled the air.

Hey Internet Readers! Whoa, an actual late update. Sorry! It got pretty busy all of a sudden, but I have been working on this here and there. Oh no! Harvey…who would have thought that Trevor would come back? Interesting development. I want to thank Anonymous reviewer for the lovely review. Lol, I didn't realize your questions weren't answered…or did I? Again thanks for your review. Also want to thank my favoriters/followers as well as those just dropping in. It means so much that you've been staying with this story. It has been a while since I've written a fic of this length. I hope all of you are having a good day/night.

Any comments? Leave a review, if you please. Thanks a bunch.

Have a lovely day/night.

Until Next Chapter