Harvey frowned deeply as he deleted yet another batch of hate email from the supporters of Mr. Terrace. He knew the man would have a strong fan base. He only thought their hate would be targeted at Mr. Augustine himself, but he guessed they were smarter than that. One had to be brave to harass a vampire so excessively. Mr. Terrace was a mixture of brave and terribly misguided. News of Greg proved Terrace had even greater reason to be apprehensive of Mr. Augustine. Unfortunately for Terrace he didn't quite know it himself.
The male looked up softly from his screen to take in the expression of his associate Mike. Mike looked a little paler than usual which led him to believe that the male was actually running low on food.
"Yes," he responded tiredly.
"Louis is here."
"You were able to convince him to come in?" Harvey questioned as he turned back to his current task.
Ever since last night he was certain the shorter male would avoid his work place like the plague. Mike ushered toward the door. Soon a male headed in softly. Harvey sighed inwardly he seemed fine.
"He is under a heavy kind of hypnosis," Mike explained. "He wouldn't leave his place otherwise. Though, I can ease it to calm suspicion."
Harvey nodded firmly as he carefully analyzed his colleague. "You do that. We can't have Louis acting so…pleasant."
Mike gave him a look. "He is under hypnosis. He doesn't speak unless spoken to. It is the heaviest kind."
Mike glared at Harvey before he turned to the quiet almost shy version of a once louder Louis.
"Louis, hey," he smiled warmly. "I am going to need you to come back okay? We are back at Pearson Hardman now…so you can't act this way all day? Am I right?"
Louis nodded softly but not completely hearing the younger. "Good we are on the same page. Louis you are ruthless, socially awkward, and a sore loser…you don't take no for an answer. You and Harvey have a rivalry that everyone here has seen in action. But deep deep down you care…so…remember what I said and wake up!"
Louis gasped as if he hadn't been breathing properly. Mike smiled rubbing comforting circles into his back. He knew what happened after being under hypnosis. He would be the only one of his kind to comfort the one being hypnotized.
"It is okay," Mike smiled. "Just take it easy. Slow breaths in and out."
"Get your hands off me Ross," he glared. "Who said you could touch me?"
Mike frowned. "You never ask my permission when you touch me."
Louis smirked. "The difference is I am your boss."
Harvey rolled his eyes. "Wow that was interesting. Can we get to the case now?"
Mike nodded. "All better."
"I scheduled a lunch with Mr. Augustine around noon. We have to prepare our documents and what we are going to say, Louis…you must not aggravate him."
Louis crossed his arms. "As long as I don't have to stay long then I'll even kiss his feet."
Mike raised a brow at the elder. "Don't look at me that way. I have other things to handle…I'll be back here in an hour."
And he stomped out the door. Mike frowned. "Maybe I shouldn't have said ruthless."
Mike kept glancing at the doorway where the shorter male just exited through. He wanted Louis to seem conniving to the other associates as well as members. Although he hadn't meant to make him seem too much.
Harvey leant back in his chair. "Leave him. This is the Louis we know."
Mike grinned. "Yeah…too bad it is temporary…it can only cover anxiety for so long…after a while it'll wear off."
"Right, then we should get prepared quickly."
And they quickly began crafting their plan.
Mr. Augustine's lavish hall housed a large stretch table. Louis couldn't fathom why a single vampire would need such a large table. He also couldn't fathom why he was sitting at said table with said vampire. Someone was clearly at fault. Before Mr. Augustine could dip into further conversation Harvey cut in.
"Mr. Augustine we understand you are very sorry," he began as he smoothed the napkin on his lap. "But we are just fine. No need for additional apology. We have come here for something important. With the case on the horizon we need to discuss an important…"
"I must apologize again for Lance he…he says things that are completely untruthful. There is no boy or vampire in my basement."
"Mr. Augustine," Harvey smirked. "I'm a lawyer we can tell when others are lying."
Mr. Augustine straightened his attire and stood erect in his chair. Mike could tell he was offended by Harvey's statement but he wouldn't comment yet. The 600 hundred year old vampire had a secret. Mike could tell.
"We need to hear this from you, Mr. Augustine," Louis finally spoke up. "After all…your nephew can hardly be trusted."
Mr. Augustine smiled softly. "It is quite nice to see you in a stable form . My nephew had no right to do anything to you."
Louis frowned deeply and didn't respond as if he were confused. This worried Mike. Harvey turned to the vampire male who was hesitating excessively.
"Mr. Augustine, when you get on the stand the plaintiff will bring up all the bad history. This, this could lose you the entire case. We have to know and see with our own eyes how serious this is."
The elder vampire sighed. "You needn't explain further. I shall tell you the condensed story. I am sure my nephew explained fully. I guess we should start with the visual. Greg!"
All three males turned toward the end of the large dining hall. A boy or teen stood at the far end of the room. He sported black slacks and a white polo shirt. His brunette locks reached his shoulders which led them to believe he hadn't been attending to personal hygiene as well. His cheeks were a little sunken in and he was pale which proved the tale was in deed true. In a few seconds the youth crossed the large room to where the guests and Mr. Augustine resided. The youth stood by the male's side. Mr. Augustine nodded to the youth before gesturing to a chair by his side.
"Father, am I to be a part of this meeting?"
"Yes," he remarked happily. "You seem stable. How do you feel?"
"Exceptional," the youth smiled broadcasting sharp fangs.
Mike glanced at the youth and then his companions. Louis fidgeted slightly.
"Good, please join us, Greg."
"As you wish."
After sitting down Mr. Augustine clapped for a server who brought the youth a generous amount of food. The youth glanced curiously at the plate before looking to the male.
"Are you ready for a full meal?"
He looked wearily at the food before nodding. "I can stomach blood father. Do not worry."
Mr. Augustine smiled before softly smoothing the youth's brunette locks down. "I've missed your presence. Hopefully you will remain above ground?"
He nodded as he partook in the meal. Harvey watched the youth.
"I know what you are thinking," the elder vampire commented softly as Greg ate to his side. "But you must understand. Mr. Terrace was a terrible man. Greg was different. The boy's father did not understand."
"So you thought you could do better?" Harvey questioned.
"I know I can do better," he remarked a little harshly. "This is the calmest I've seen him."
"He is under hypnosis," Louis muttered.
Mr. Augustine smiled. "Oh but Mr. Litt wouldn't you know all about being under hypnosis."
Mike eyes widened as Louis's frown deepened. Once again he looked confused as if he couldn't understand certain words. Mr. Augustine continued.
"There is nothing wrong with the initial hypnosis. Greg was shocked by my request. Think about this. You are destined for a position. Yet you are afraid of all it entails. Doesn't someone push you to your best? I simply pushed Greg. I gave him a kind nudge in the correct direction. Hypnosis was a part of that. I assure you he isn't under any kind of hypnosis now. From time to time I have to control his behavior but he is coming along nicely."
Mike bit his lip before commenting. "But he is Mr. Terrace's son Mr. Augustine. A son that they still haven't found."
"Who they gave up on," he shouted. "They stopped looking. What family ceases their search? When Smith was taken away from me I found the culprits and I made sure they knew the consequences of their actions."
Harvey shook his head. "Mr. Augustine. This is going to make this case harder to win."
"We are still going along with this?" Louis questioned eyes wide. "The man kidnapped the boy and conditioned him, what is that…operant or classical…I don't know some behavioral psychological bull…and now the boy so happily calls the vampire father. And we are going to win a case for him?"
"Mr. Litt," Mr. Augustine frowned. "I've been tolerant of you, for I know oh so deeply of your paranoia…but I will not continue this tolerant behavior if you continue to disrespect me. My deepest regrets for your terrible assault yesterday night but I will not be the one to receive your bad behavior."
Mike sighed. "Mr. Augustine…please."
The elder stomached his anger and composed himself. "Excuse me…I know what aggression and reality can do to a barrier like hypnosis. I do not wish to cause any kind of distress. I wish for justice. Mr. Terrace's obnoxious behavior will not continue on any further. Though I may hold his "son" in my possession…Greg no longer wishes to return back home. He has known me and only me and his cousin Lance for too long to return now. Am I right Greg?"
Greg looked up from his finished plate. "Yes."
"Well," Harvey stated while juggling the situation and his thoughts in his head. "We have the truth…and you have to be prepared to tell the jury and judge your reasons for this…outreach."
"We are calling it outreach? As if Greg was disowned or something?" Louis grumbled.
"Louis," Mike sighed. "Don't…don't over stress."
"Who the heck are you telling me not to over stress Ross?" he growled.
Mike narrowed his eyes. "Louis."
Mr. Augustine opened his mouth to speak but Greg opened his mouth. "Maybe it is time for me to venture out, father. You have spoken of Lance coming by?"
"Are you sure you are ready for a proper hunt, son?"
Greg smiled warmly. "Do not worry too much, pops. I have a handle."
Mr. Augustine raised both eyebrows in question. "Sorry, I know you like prim and pram…but I'm tired of acting like a prince all the time."
"But you are."
Greg snickered in such a human way that Mike knew for sure the boy used to be human.
"Thanks, I'm flattered. I'll call him over."
Mike smiled and then frowned. "I don't think that is such a good idea."
A few seconds Lance appeared as usual in a puff of terrible stage smoke. He laid his eyes upon Greg who had a phone glued to his ear. The youth looked questionably down at his device then up at the vampire.
"How many times have I told you?" he smirked. "You call I appear…no need for conversation. I'm like batman and my name is the signal."
Greg smiled. "I'm ready to hunt."
"Oh, so a couple months in the basement and you are ready for the thrill? I get it. Hey Uncle…wow…a full meal…what is the occasion…oh…the lawyers."
Mike knew something was going to change as soon as the male's eyes fell upon Louis. Lance scanned the large table before his eyes fell upon Louis.
"Hey cousin, have you met my new toy, Louis Litt Lawyer man."
Instantly Mike stood before Louis trying to shield him from the other. Lance and he were practically nose to nose. Greg frowned at the anger seeping from both the males in tons.
"Don't come any closer," Mike narrowed his eyes. "If you touch him…"
"Who said I had to touch him, his sanity belongs to me. I must say that's a cute little hypnosis you got on him," he purred. "But what is hiding underneath that? Wonder what happens when you put someone suffering from immense trauma under a false sense of normalcy for…hours…what they will look like when they come out."
"Don't, we are in an important meeting," he whispered harshly.
Harvey sighed heavily. "Listen, Lance. We are here to help your uncle. Do you really want to interfere?"
Lance smirked. "No harm."
And then they heard it. The faint sounds of someone hyperventilating. Mike bit his lip before turning to Louis quickly. His eyes were averting from side to side.
"Where am I?" he whispered softly.
"Louis, we are at a meeting," Mike stated from his side. "Just a quiet meeting with the client because remember our big case is tomorrow."
Harvey frowned. "Keep him under control now."
"Harvey shut up.
"What?" Harvey glared.
"Louis," Mike called out to him. "Louis look at me."
Mike growled deeply when he noticed Louis going cross-eyed. "Harvey, we have to leave now, we are losing him and my hypnosis is not going to work here."
"Blasted Lance is here. Why don't you think?"
"Why the heck am I here?" Louis shrieked.
Mike was taken aback from the outburst. He tried to reach for Louis but the male slapped his arm away. Harvey noticed the violent action and then turned to Mr. Augustine.
"Sir, I apologize for this…you should come by around six today. We have to leave."
Mr. Augustine sighed. "I'd offer my expertise but I do not think any further mind manipulation will be beneficial now. He is reliving it."
"He was attacked before," Harvey stated as they immediately left the area. "Why didn't he freak then."
"Harvey, he was bitten this time. Actually you can't even call it bitten, more like devoured. Do you even know what being bitten feels like?" Mike questioned the male who shrugged. "Louis, you have to cooperate with me okay?"
"No," he growled. "You are one of them. You are working with him."
"No," Mike smiled. "I'm not I promise…Lance is scum."
Louis's heart beat picked up. He felt like the world was falling around him and then suddenly all he could see was the rank apartment, the terribly torn curtains, the cracked ceiling…and the cool breathe of the vampire on him…smirking…dripping his blood.
Mike sighed as Louis's body stiffened. "Harvey, we need to get him away from here. Is Ray on his way?"
"Yes," he remarked getting off the phone with him. "What now? Are we dropping him off at the hospital?"
Mike laughed. "Are you kidding me? A hospital? Let us just do even better and drop him off at an asylum why don't you? This isn't a normal traumatic event Harvey. He was attacked and mauled by a vampire…who probably went in his mind and played around with his thoughts and emotions while he was drinking…hospital can do nothing except prescribe medication. We have to take him back to his apartment."
"No," Louis fidgeted. "Don't take me there."
"What?" Mike looked to the male who fidgeted in his grasp.
"He is there."
"No, Louis listen, look at me…I don't mean his apartment. I mean…yours."
Harvey sighed. "We can't take him back to work."
Mike sighed. "It may be the only place that doesn't remind him of Lance…we can't go to your office that is for sure…maybe…his office? We will sit with him for an hour…and I'll see if hypnosis will work for the rest of the work day. Just long enough for us to figure out this case for tomorrow evening."
Harvey groaned. "Fine."
When the limo pulled up by Mr. Augustine's grand mansion Ray looked curiously at the older male.
"Ray, Pearson-Hardman," he commented. "Louis is having some kind of panic attack."
Ray frowned. "Oh."
Mike sighed. "It is PTSD."
As they rode in the limo Harvey looked carefully out the window. "He'll need to be formally diagnosed before you throw around that word, Mike."
Mike looked up from holding Louis's arm. "I know."
"That vampire. I can't believe he is a favorite of Mr. Augustine…this is only pushing us further back."
Mike looked to Louis. He could feel his pulse thrumming much like an out of control drum solo. He was going to make himself physically sick with this. And then Mike noticed how green Louis was beginning to look.
"We should stop."
"Why?" Harvey asked.
Louis titled forward and began to relieve his stomach on Harvey's limo floor. Harvey's eyes widened. "Louis!"
He closed the door, closed the blinds, and covered the windows with a black cloth. Harvey stood by watching as Mike reformed the room. Louis was gripping tightly onto the other lawyer's arm. He never thought he would see Louis clinging to him so tightly before. It wasn't appealing in the slightest.
"I'd appreciate if you didn't cut off circulation, Louis," Harvey stated.
"Don't be angry with him," Mike huffed as he put the finishing touches. "Help me get him to his chair."
He led Louis to his chair and dumped him there unceremoniously. Mike stood by his side.
"Louis, we are in your office, and it is nice and serene, see, no bothersome light…just a single lamp and your good friends. Who are here to protect."
Louis didn't respond to Mike but physical signs of relaxing pointed them to the obvious
"Now, you are in your office, nowhere else…we are here to help and…"
Shuffling of feet caught their attention.
"Louis, I have the brief you wanted me to go over," a nervous voice called out.
Mike sighed heavily. "Harold. This isn't a good time right now."
"What?" Harold bit his lip. "I…see he told me if I didn't get the brief here on time, he'd fire me. And I don't want to be fired so I brought the briefs so we could discuss, because he said last time I did it all wrong and…"
"Harold, Harold," Mike cut in. "Stop please. Just relax…you are going to talk Louis under his desk…we can't deal with this right now."
"But," Harold bit his lip.
Harold took in his employer's form softly and realized the male looked a lot more nervous than him. He looked at Harvey and then Mike.
"What happened to Louis? What did you both do?"
Harvey sighed. "We, we didn't do anything, Harold. Now please leave before Louis fires you. I might even join him. And I'm sure you don't want both of us to fire you at the same time."
Harold gulped. "But the brief…we are supposed to discuss and…"
Mike stepped away from Louis and then headed over to Harold. He smiled softly before taking the brief from his hands.
"Harold," he whispered softly. "This is a really bad time for Louis. As you can see, he isn't feeling well. He just needs some time to himself…"
"But you both are in here."
"Exactly, he needs to talk to us about our client."
"Yes the vampire," he commented softly. "And we need to focus on this case because it could be a big deal for Pearson and Hardman. You don't want to be the reason that we lose do you? And then Louis will be extremely upset with you. And you don't want to upset him do you?"
"No," he nodded softly. "Good…so we are on the same page, aren't we? Yes we are. So, I'll take these pesky little brief…and you should take a breather, how about an early dinner? Hm…Alonzo's is nearby…you go there, get…maybe not a coffee but some nice meal…and come back in an hour…and Louis will be a lot more welcoming and ready for this. How does that sound?"
"I like Alonzo's."
Mike grinned. "I know. So see you in an hour?"
"Yeah, uh…tell Louis I hope he feels better."
Mike sighed softly. "Wow, Harold that is actually pretty nice of you to say. He'll appreciate that…in an hour."
Harold smiled awkwardly and then left. Mike turned to Harvey who smirked.
"No, I don't have to do that to everyone," he remarked. "Okay just a tiny bit…he doesn't need too much. I just need him out of the office."
Harvey grinned. "Hopefully the vampires will not get him on his way."
Mike frowned. "Thanks, Harvey. Nice way to get me worried and where is Louis?"
Harvey frowned and then smiled. "Guess Harold talked him under his desk."
Mike sighed. "Louis."
Harvey looked at his time. "An hour?"
Mike nodded softly. "An hour."
"This is why I could never be a psychologist."
"I thought it was because you were insensitive."
Harvey smirked. "You seem fit for this…maybe you are in the wrong career."
Mike smiled and then frowned. "Are you stating I shouldn't cross you because you hired me?"
Harvey grinned. "See you get it now."
Mike rolled his eyes before sitting on the floor beside the desk where Louis sheltered himself.
"This is too much," Louis whispered softly as he rested against wooden frame of his desk.
Mike sighed. "Take it easy okay. That was just Harold."
Louis smiled softly. "Harold is a clown."
Mike grinned. "Yes he it."
And then they waited in silence for an hour. Mike monitored Louis's breathing until he found it was steady again. Harvey monitored his cell phone for calls. For a while Louis looked silently out into nothing.
"I'm going to need you to look at me okay?"
He nodded a little nervously. "Okay."
"Good, we have a big case tomorrow so we need Louis back," he commented. "And the Louis we know doesn't hide under his desk. Can we see that Louis again?"
Louis bit his lip and his heart rate began to spike again. Mike touched his arm squashing any new anxiety.
"Please, Louis…listen carefully. We have a big case. You aren't going let Harvey win this case and take all the credit are you? You deserve some credit right? And you get that by standing strong…and showing others that you aren't going to take crap right? And you are the best dang lawyer in all of New York."
Harvey snorted but Mike ignored him. Louis nodded. "Alright, come back Louis."
Louis gasped before glaring. "Mike, why am I under my desk? And where the heck is Harold with that brief?"
Mike smiled. "I have no idea."
"You better stop with the vampire voodoo before I stake you for real."
He got off the floor and tore down the black cloth and opened his blinds. "Why is it dark in here? Am I being pranked? Harvey?"
Harvey chuckled. "This hypnosis thing never ceases to amaze me."
"Now if only we could use it in court," Mike beamed.
"That would be cheating and lazy," Harvey commented.
Mike shrugged. "Glad you are feeling better Louis."
Louis frowned. "If you are trying to make a fool of me Mike so help me I will fire you."
Harvey rolled his eyes. "Don't stress, Louis….Mike just helped you."
"Don't stress?" he glared and a vein began to pulse visibly on his forehead.
Mike smiled warmly. "Louis, be nice. Harold is on his way. You can't yell at him okay?"
Louis softly nodded breaking his otherwise intense character. Soon he sat down and grumbled about something. Harvey snickered.
"Louis has no idea that you keep doing that," he smirked.
"It is for his own good," Mike stated. "Besides…we need him on the case."
Harvey sighed. "Let's go."
Both males left. Louis watched them go but couldn't help feeling that there was something missing. There was something churning on the inside yet he couldn't quite grasp it. He glanced around his office softly trying to pinpoint where this troubling feeling was originating from. After all, he was a junior partner at Pearson and Hardman. The associates were in line for the most part. What could possibly be bothering him? His memory brought up a total blank. Suddenly Harold arrived. It was an hour past due date. Immediately he began to feel a whole new emotion, annoyance.
"Harold, tell me why this brief is being delivered an hour later?"
"I…it wasn't completely me," Harold tried to explain. "Mike and Harvey…"
Louis narrowed his eyes. "Enough, brief now."
Harold winced. Louis eyed the younger for a few seconds suddenly feeling remorse.
"Relax, have a seat I'm not really angry," he stated softly.
Harold smiled. The sudden change sudden change in Louis's behavior was odd but he decided to embrace it.
"No smiling," Louis grumbled. "You are still late."
But even Louis couldn't help but smile. The feeling of confusion vanished as both males reviewed the important document.
Hey Internet Readers! I know this is long! But I figured I'd give you a long one this time. The other one was shorter. Anyway, can I just bring up how much I liked the ending of this? Louis seems to like yelling at Harold or making him nervous. But here he starts that way and then suddenly the mellow switch flips and it is like "Oh don't worry Harold. We are friends." Ha-ha.
But as you can see Louis has a "feeling" something is off…but I won't go into all that. You will just have to read on to understand more. I want to again thank my anonymous reviewer. It makes me all smiles to see reviews. But I understand if reviews aren't like instant oatmeal. After all people like to drop in and view. And I say that is just cool with me. Anyway back to thanking. Thank you anonymous reviewer, favoriters, followers, and those just dropping by. You bring a smile to my face. So any comments or reviews? You know what to do…reviewJ.
Until Next chapter,