(Anna rescuing Linus in Chapter 10: Fans? from Book 2 – Skipped Beat)
I was standing outside in the cold watching the limo drive away through the condensation of my breath. I looked around expecting the night shadows to jump out at me and hurriedly turned to the door. I glanced behind me once more to be sure that vampires weren’t waiting to jump out at me then peered into the front lobby through the glass.
Lorena is trapped in an elevator and knows to climb through the escape hatch. Good girl. I opened the front door of the bank and waited for an alarm to go off. Nothing. Listening hard and hearing only the clicking my shoes made on the tile I walked back behind the teller stations and went towards the vault. This was a trap. I could feel it. To be so coldly abandoned in a time of war… Neimus you are on my permanent burn list, more so than usual.
Something is definitely amiss. Linus is bait for something, but nevertheless, I shall go for him. I love him too much not to go.
I hear heavy breathing and I am slowly tip toeing across the small patch of carpet leading into the next room. I don’t dare call out his name.
Babe? Is that you?
Yes. Are you in a bank?
Yeah. In a vault lying on a table in a room filled with safety deposit boxes.
Are you okay?
Just a scratch darlin’.
Yeah, you always say that. Even when your arm is falling off.
Just sit tight.
You got the purple stuff?
Yeah. About three cupfuls in a plastic container in my purse.
And the tuning fork?
More like four medium sized ones in my briefcase.
Okay. I love you.
I love you too. Missed you.
Let’s get me fixed up and get outta here. There’s something wrong. I can feel it.
Me too. I told him as I walked into the room. My heart dropped into my stomach and tears formed in my eyes. I retracted from the sight of him and he didn’t even see me. His eyes were swollen shut. He was a bloody mess. Literally. What had they done to him?
“Linus…” I whispered as I forced myself to walk towards the table he was laying on. He had lost his right arm. It had been ripped right off of him. His right leg looked like ground beef. His left foot was mangled and his face looked like acid had been poured on it. His left shoulder looked like it was merely dislocated and badly bruised.
“Baby. I’ve been through worse.” he whispered at me.
“Oh dear God please show mercy on him and help me heal him.” I choked out in whispered gasps as I started to take the sludge out of my purse. My hands couldn’t stop shaking.
I set the sludge by his feet and shakily took the tuning forks out of my briefcase setting them at all four corners of the table.
“You’re gonna be okay. I promise.” I told him choking on my own sobs and stroked his forehead. I took the sludge and scooped it into my hands. I began to spread it over his skin and exposed wounds as gently as I could.
“Hmm. You added something with mint in it.” he mumbled.
“Does it hurt?” I asked him worried.
“No. It feels like a cool summers breeze is blowing across my body. It’s soothing. Thanks Love.” he whispered.
“Linus how long have you been like this?” I asked him as I scooped out more sludge and let it drip into the flesh on his mangled foot.
“Oh, about three days. They finally decided that drowning me would be a waste and not a merciful act of putting me out of my misery. Then decided to send for you. Trust me Babe, after seventy-five years away from you this is worth it.” he said as his soft voice found volume. The resonance part of the sludge was starting to work. The sound waves from my voice were invoking it. The tuning forks will amplify the effect. “Will you sing for me as you do it Honey?” he said a little louder now. He was speaking at a normal conversational volume now. I wonder if his vocal chords had been damaged.
“Joy to the world…” I sang as I hit the first tuning fork at his right shoulder. His arm began to grow back. First bone, then muscle and blood vessels. “All the boys and girls…” I continued as I hit that fork again and his smooth cream colored skin covered his newly grown arm. I moved on to the tuning fork by his right foot.
“Jeremiah was a Bullfrog. Ha. You remembered Anna.” he said with lightness in his voice. I love hearing him say my name.
“Oh yeah.” I said as I hit the tuning fork next to his leg. “Does it hurt at all Sweetie?” I asked him hoping that the answer was no, but also knowing that even if he was in excruciating pain he still wouldn’t tell me.
“Naw. It’s all good.” he said as the ground beef consistency of his leg smoothed over to serrated muscle then muscle covered by flesh as I hit the tuning fork again.
“Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea…” I said as I struck the tuning fork next to his left leg and mangled foot. The bones in his foot reset into their proper place and the bloodied flesh resealed with only one stroke of the tuning fork. I had left the other two hanging off of the table slightly so that they could continue to reverberate as I continued on to heal the rest of his body. I struck it again and wafted it over the rest of his leg to make sure that no flesh or bone would be missing.
“Joy to you and me.” he sang as he smiled. The wounds on his face were gone and his dimples and bright green eyes that stood out from his dark black hair took my breath away. His voice had more of his British accent to it now that his vocal chords were healed. He tried to sit up.
“Oh no you don’t. I’m not finished yet.” I said sternly as I hit the last fork at his left shoulder. The bruises faded and the bones reset. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Linus sat up and hugged me tight. I just stood there in his arms happy to finally be in the one place that it seemed like I had been trying to get to for the last three fourths of a century. He was where I was trying to get to. I even half hoped that he would one day need my help and that they would have to send for me, but I knew that I never wanted him to be so hurt. We stood there and held each other and for the first time in nearly a century, I felt like I was normal and could breathe again.
He cupped my face in his hands. I had tears in my eyes. He so reminded me of Joston, but a much more gentle version of him. I had missed Linus. I cut off more than a finger when we were separated. Neimus wanted to have me committed and locked away. It was only after he figured out that I had cut my hand off and splattered blood all over his throne did he realize that I wasn’t crazy. Merely consumed by fury. He decided house arrest was a better idea.
“Mrs. Preston, I have missed you.” he said with tears in his eyes.
“Mr. Preston, I love you more now than I did then.” I said and started to notice the predicament that Lo was in.
Lo. I’m with him. I’m with Linus.