These Times

Eight.
A day after the winning case Louis didn't show for work. Harvey dismissed the occurrence and stated it was good the man was getting some rest. Mike agreed. A week passed and Louis was still absent. Mike became skeptical but hesitantly adopted Harvey's idea that the man was on vacation. On week two Mike called Louis but the answering machine greeted him. Norma's instructions were to tell no one about his whereabouts. Mike was suspicious. Jessica was curious. Harvey was annoyed.

On the first day of week three Mike decided to take a trip to Louis's apartment. The man in the lobby stated that Louis was receiving no visitors. Mike read the man's thoughts. Louis paid him. He wanted to fight for it but he knew there could be possible repercussions. He left it alone. Instead he wrote a quick note and told the man he had to get it to Louis.

"It has been a month."

Mike looked up the confused yet curious eyes of his fellow associate Harold. The curly topped male seemed deeply concerned so he offered the male a pleasant and assuring smile.

"I am sure, Louis is just fine," Mike stated believing his own lie for a bit.

Harold nodded softly.

"It is Louis after all," Mike added in as if the statement summed it all up.

Harold smiled. "Yeah Louis."

Mike grinned. "Great talk but I have to get back to work."

Harold nodded. "Louis usually gives me a lot to do."

Mike sighed. "I know."

"But I do have some files to look over so bye."

Harvey walked up to Mike's cubicle as he watched Harold scurry away.

"He is an interesting one."

"Hey Harvey."

Harvey nodded. "I see you are almost done."

Mike nodded wordlessly as he scanned the web quickly. He already memorized every single bit of information written. Harvey knew Mike was worried. He didn't need mind reading ability to tell. He had to confess quietly to himself that he was curious of his rival's whereabouts. It was no tragedy to be out for a day, one thing to be out for a week, it was another to be out for three, but a month…and not answering calls or having visitors. That marked the signs of suspicious behavior.

Louis was loyal to the firm, taking sick days marked a sign of weakness to him. Harvey knew he felt that way. All the other senior partners, as well as junior partners were talking. Jessica just called him to meet with her and he knew it would be about Louis. After all they worked on the case together and though he had done most of the talking, Louis and Mike had unearthed many necessary jewels that won the case.

"Meeting with Jessica?" Mike questioned quietly.

"Mike."

"I know. Your mind is your mind," the younger male raised his hands in apology.

He smiled softly and Harvey couldn't help but return it. "Do you think Louis is coming back?"

"You are the mind reader," Harvey commented.

Mike didn't smile so Harvey assumed the worst. "I have a meeting with Jessica."

Mike nodded. "I know."

He slowly walked to Jessica's office. On his way he stopped by Donna's desk. He looked around casually before resting his arms upon her cubicle wall. She sighed heavily already knowing his question.

"No," she stated simply. "I haven't received any return calls from Louis."

Harvey nodded firmly. "Thanks Donna."

She smiled. "You don't have to make it a secret Harvey. You both use to be friends remember? Or at least had something that resembled a friendship."

"I have…"

"A reputation I know," she stated with a smirk and then sighed. "It is just…I have seen this before, Harvey. He is suffering alone…and that is never good. Believe me…it is never good."

Harvey thought about it and knew she was right. He told her he'd get back to her later. Finally he arrived before Jessica's office. He took a deep breath and then entered in with the same confident smile she was used to seeing.

"You rang."

She shook her head softly already amused by his clear confidence. "Have a seat."

Slowly he sat down.

"Harvey, I do not know all the details about what went on during that case."

"That case," Harvey leant back in his chair. "Jessica, the case we won."

She smiled. "Yes, and we have been receiving many calls from others alike. More humans, our regular target audience, see Pearson Hardman's potential. They say if you can win for a vampire, imagine the possibility for them."

Harvey smirked clearly pleased. "I can never lose."

She sighed. "Well, you are very talented…so is Louis."

Harvey knew the meeting was centered on the shorter lawyer and was prepared for the conversation.

"As you may know, I haven't seen him at the firm in a month."

He nodded. "We are on the same page."

She looked casually toward the window. "Harvey, what happened? I know he was attacked previously only a few feet from our firm. I know about the kidnapping due to Mr. Terrace but there is a gap between then and the case. What aren't you telling me?"

Harvey didn't know if it was his story to tell. Louis never mentioned it was something to share but his job was on the line. Louis was a skilled lawyer. Despite all the arguing they partook in Harvey admits Louis was talented in his sector. The younger lawyer reeled himself in from his thoughts and fixed Jessica with a serious look.

"He was physically assaulted Jessica."

Jessica features softened as she took on the expression of shock. "Robbed? Where was his transportation?"

"No, not out there and not natural but supernatural."

She paused before responding with a quiet "Oh."

"I don't want to say I had part in it, but I tempted fate. Lance, the nephew of Mr. Augustine, had from day one set his eyes on Louis. He was the original attacker. He was vile, ruthless, and stubborn. He didn't like being brushed aside so he manipulated Louis and… sadly enough me. Mike and I had to track Louis down in the shadiest part of town. By the time we arrived the vampire took what it wanted and more. Mike suspects Louis's mind was torn apart. I strongly agree. Now I won't go in to details on the attack or what we experienced there. I will tell you that I am certain that is the reason for his absence."

Jessica sat in silence for a few seconds. "Well."

Harvey smiled sadly. "I know."

"What do you suggest?" Jessica asked.

"I thought leaving him was the best option, but now I'm not so sure. I don't know about trauma of that nature but I just assumed it'd run its course but if Louis is vulnerable."

"We will have to make sure he doesn't hurt others or himself."

Harvey looked up after her statement. He hadn't thought deeply on the matter of Louis's state of mind. Could Louis possibly result to outward violence due to his inner turmoil? Could there be a possibility of self harm? Just the thought of it troubled the lawyer deeply.

"Harvey, I don't know much about victims of vampires but I do know that victims of traumatic assault out of all things should never be left alone. Terrible events tend to occur when they are."

"Right, Donna, stated the exact same thing."

Jessica smiled widely. "I always knew she was smart."

"Me too," he remarked softly and then arose.

Before Harvey made his move toward the door Jessica called out his name. He paused and turned to her.

"Bring him back Harvey," she stated softly. "He is hard to replace."

Harvey smirked. "I assure you it will be easy."

She shook her head before dismissing him. After he left she sighed heavily. Physically assaulted…she couldn't even think of the possible details Harvey failed to mention. She calmed her mind and continued on. Harvey would solve this, if anything he knew how to bring anything to a calming and victorious close.


"Get your coat."

Mike looked up from his work. It was around eight pm and Harvey was looking down at him seriously.

"Uh what?"

"I said get your coat."

"I didn't bring a coat."

Harvey rolled his eyes. "I don't have time for this Mike, it is getting late…and my generosity will be on the low by midnight."

Mike eyed the elder carefully. There was a few seconds of silence.

"We are going to see Louis?"

Harvey eyed Mike. "Sorry, your mind."

He ushered the associate to follow him. Soon they were at his limo where he began directing Ray once again to Louis's apartment complex. At the counter the lobby man recognized him right away.

"I'm sorry brother," he stated snidely. "But Mr. Litt doesn't receive any kind of packages, letters, and or visitors, which frankly is uber strange. That man is going to get evicted soon."

Harvey gave the man a shark like grin. "Here"

He looked down at the fifty curiously. "It is yours…no questions…just need to pass."

"Right," the male smiled winking. "Your brother is suddenly available."

Mike shook his head. "See no hypnosis necessary, Mike."

Mike chuckled. "To think he is the security man."

When they arrived on his floor they glanced around cautiously watching out for neighbors. Last thing they needed was gossip. He knocked upon Louis's door only to here shuffling inside but no one came to the door. Mike sighed.

"Louis will never come to the door Harvey. Not with how he probably feels."

Harvey nodded. "I see. Guess the trip has come to a close."

"Hold on," Mike grinned. "It isn't midnight yet. Stand back."

Mike gave a roundhouse kick to the door sending it open without breaking the hinges. Harvey rolled his eyes.

"My hero," he mumbled before stepping ahead of the youth.

As soon as they entered a terrible smell assaulted their nostrils. Boxes of TV dinners lay on the floor…Mike noted a few cabinets were open and bare. Louis left work for a month and also stopped traveling outside his apartment all together. The man probably ran out of decent meals by now.

As they combed the living area Mike thought he saw red stains upon the couch and floor. Instead of dwelling on the matter he walked ahead. He must have been thinking the worst. The chance of Louis expressing himself through self destructive means was preposterous. Mike hoped this was true at least. Questionable items littered the ground and the television blared in the living room with no one to entertain.

"At least he still likes television," Mike commented half-jokingly.

Harvey nodded as they scavenged the area. Finally they ended up before a door which had to be Louis's bedroom. There was deep breathing on the inside accompanied by soft and quiet whimpering. Harvey turned to Mike who frowned.

"I can't knock this door down. He is behind this one."

Harvey frowned. "Louis, it is us. Harvey and Mike. We just want to talk."

"Louis?" Mike questioned softly before shoving his hand forcibly against the knob of the door.

There was a jiggle and the door slowly opened. Mike stood before Harvey expecting Louis to be like a tornado coming to attack but it worried him the most to find nothing of the sort. Louis sat in the corner of his room staring at the two with wide eyes. The male failed to shave and lost some weight which was a testament to the seriousness of the situation. Mike and Harvey stood in the doorway slightly confused. Louis didn't move or dare defend himself…he just sat there watching them as if he knew it was over.

"Louis?" Mike questioned.

Mike walked up slowly to the human and sat beside him. Louis quieted his breathing. Mike ushered for Harvey who turned up his nose at the smell but entered closer.

"You haven't been at work for a while Louis."

Louis just stared at them. "Louis."

"Please," Louis breathed out. "Please."

"Please what?" Mike questioned softly.

Louis glared. "Get the heck out."

And then he lunged but Mike grabbed his arm and pulled him back. The other began fidgeting wildly arms flaying in the sky.

"Louis, listen to me. Louis we aren't here to hurt you okay," he whispered. "Louis look at me."

"No," he growled.

"Louis, stop."

The elder paused and relaxed his back to the wall again. "I am not a stranger Louis."

"You are not a stranger," he repeated softly.

"Good let us here it again."

"I was wrong," he stated softly. "I should have faced my own battles and not employed any others. I am not any stronger, smarter, or greater than you…I as a human should know my place."

Harvey frowned. "This is exactly what he said when he nearly attacked Donna."

Mike frowned. "He isn't here. Dang it, Louis focus on me…you aren't in that apartment…you are here with friends. Louis."

"I'm not going anywhere," he whimpered out. "I'm here till…"

"Louis look at me," Mike softly took his hand interrupting him.

The other stiffened which was a different response all together. Soon the sound and texture of Mike's voice changed. Mike's voice became a lot softer, pleasant.

"Louis, you are here with friends. Please come back."

Louis gasped for air desperately. His eyes averted from side to side trying to process his surroundings to the best of his ability.

"Louis," Mike called out softly.

Without warning the male began choking profusely. Quickly Mike grabbed Louis's arm and helped the older male into a kneeling position. There was a quick sound of retching which soon followed the sound of gurgling. Mike decided to leave Louis to sort out his emotions instead of jostling him any further. Recovering from his scare would naturally lead to such an upset stomach. A quick scan of the elder's mind only proved this.

"It is okay," Mike stated softly patting the male as he puked. "Just…let it out."

Harvey turned around before the scene unfolded. As soon as he began to see the strange yellowish slime he knew the next thing that would happen.

"You are just going to let him puke on his own floor?"

"Well, Harvey, he is coming down from a pretty high level of shock," Mike answered to his boss's back. "If I move him…I can imagine this would be ten times worse."

Soon the heaving turned to dry heaves. Louis slowly sat up and pushed his back to the wall. He took small quick breaths.

"Where am I?" he questioned softly trying to ignore the sour taste in his mouth.

Mike frowned. "Where? In your apartment."

Louis frowned before responding again. "I escaped."

"Escaped where?"

Louis looked around taking in his surroundings before his eyes widened. "I escaped, but…he said I wasn't going anywhere…he…"

"Who?"

"Lance."

"How long have you been there Louis?" Mike questioned as Harvey listened intently.

"I don't know," he stated tiredly. "Three weeks…a month?"

Mike looked to Harvey before looking back at Louis. "A month? No, Louis you've been here the whole time."

Louis looked terribly confused but shook his head in disagreement. "You left me."

Harvey sighed. "No Louis…we didn't leave you. You left us."

Louis opened his mouth to protest but instead he quieted.

"How about you get cleaned up." Mike suggested.

Louis got to his feet slowly. He winced at the mess perfectly covering a spot on his floor. Mike followed after. Harvey raised a brow. "I'm going to help him shave…I mean…he isn't quite stable yet…he was trapped in his mind for so long."

Harvey nodded and then took a seat in the living room.


After Mike tended to the mess in Louis's room he ordered take out for Louis and Harvey. Unfortunately after Louis's throw up session the idea turned out to be a disaster. Louis couldn't eat the take out. Mike searched the cabinets and found a decent can of soup to prepare. The elder male slowly ate the soup as the others watched.

"Looks like you haven't been eating, Louis," Mike commented softly as he took a seat.

Louis nodded. "Lance didn't feed me."

Mike wanted to correct him but stopped. "I just fed him."

Harvey nearly choked on his own meal but calmed himself.

"The place is a mess," Louis sighed heavily as he began to look around closely.

Mike snorted. "My place isn't any better I promise."

Louis smirked. "Of course, I bet it isn't as high class as here either."

Mike frowned at the insult but again thought of the positives. Louis was insulting him therefore he was healing. He was healing for the moment at least.

"Jessica asked about you."

Louis looked to Harvey but didn't respond. "She expects to see you soon."

Louis shook his head. "I can't. She won't want me after this."

Mike frowned. "Louis, you are an amazing lawyer. You and Harvey are practically her shining stars you can't leave."

Harvey grunted out a "smooth" before finishing his water. Louis didn't comment any further and they didn't expect him to. Mike helped clean up while Harvey reluctantly picked up a broom. They knew a cleaning lady would be out of the question. Mike was the one to schedule the appointment with the therapist/psychologist. Louis protested and stated he wasn't crazy.

"We don't think you are crazy Louis," Mike promised.

Louis glared at Harvey's face which clearly spelled out I disagree. Mike narrowed his eyes at Harvey.

"We just want to know what is wrong."

Louis frowned. "Nothing…nothing happened."

"Louis, you were gone for a month. You relapse back into the event and then you act like it was someone else it happened to. You say you'll quit your job and then disappear. Something is wrong."

Louis winced at the slight shouting but nodded. "She won't want me after they diagnosis me. No one wants a lawyer with a mental disorder."

Mike sighed. "You are going to get better…Jessica knows you Louis. There is no way she'll let you go because of this. We are all human…well you all are human."

Louis sighed thoughtfully. "He was right."

"About what?" Mike frowned.

"In the end Harvey will always win and I will always lose…"

Louis sighed. "My sanity."

Harvey sat beside Louis on the couch. "No…he lost."

Louis snorted. "Wow, Harvey Spector pretending to care."

Harvey looked at him sternly. "No, Harvey Spector, the one who organized this whole trip."

Mike smiled. "He did tell me to get my coat."

Louis smiled softly. "Don't think this means we aren't enemies anymore."

"Louis," Harvey remarked. "I wouldn't have it any other way. Now…that we are done…can we go Mike? It is past midnight."

Louis looked at them curiously.

"You go ahead…I'll stay back a bit."

Harvey nodded and as he headed back into his limo a small smile played across his lips. Louis wasn't leaving Pearson Hardman on their watch.


Hey Internet Readers! Sorry again. It got real busy, real fast. But here is the new installment and I hoped you liked it. I want to thank H and anonymous reviewer for their support and reviews. I really appreciate seeing written comments. Also want to thank all my followers, favoriters, and those who are viewing the story. Over a 1,000 views wow…maybe we could make those reviews? Anyway, I am thankful for all those who are giving this story a chance. You all are the best! Well any comments? Likes for this chapter? Leave a comment in a review.

Thanks,

Until Next Chapter

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