Chapter Forty-Six: With or Without You
I hate the creature I am acting like right now, I think in agony. I do not like the accusations I have thrown at my Child, nor the fact I am being comforted by my newest progeny. I am two-thousand-years-old and should not be taking comfort from a fledgling. It is I who should be the calm in this storm. I should be their rock, but I cannot feel my Camilla and the pain is paralyzing, making me act irrationally.
“Godric,” Sookie whispers gently like she is trying to coax a frightened animal from beneath a piece of furniture. “Why don’t you take Cammie to rest in one of the bedrooms upstairs?” She offers to lead the way, gesturing toward the staircase.
All I can offer is a nod as I rise from the sofa and allow Sookie to lead me down the hall. She glances over her shoulder from time to time, giving me reassuring, beautiful smiles.
“Do you really believe Camilla will be all right?” I ask of Sookie when we arrive on the upstairs landing.
“I do,” she nods and opens a nearby door. She turns on the light, revealing the soft blue walls and brown and cream bedding. “I have the same faith as Jason.”
“What if she does overcome this…whatever it is, but she is not my Camilla any longer?” I voice my fears, hoping to receive better reassurances than Pam gave me. All Pam could offer was an insistence that I get to Eric… Or maybe she was telling me to get to Sookie. Run to the person who brings strength and comfort to our bloodline.
Sookie sits on the edge of the bed, stroking Camilla’s foot as she gazes thoughtfully at her best friend. It is difficult to fathom that my Bonded’s condition is hurting anyone other than myself, but I am reminded in this moment that Camilla is Sookie’s best friend, the one person who understands her life as first hand as possible.
“If that’s the case,” Sookie smiles sadly, “then we’ll have to fall in love with her all over again. There are some traits that inherently belong to Cammie, y’know? You cared about her that first night, right? I know I liked her immediately, in her first life and this one. I’ll love her in the third one if that comes to be. I don’t want that, but I know I’ll still love her and make new memories with h-her,” Sookie clears her throat, trying to dispel the emotion that is building. It makes me admire her strength and I offer her a consoling smile.
Before I can say anything, Eric leans into the doorway and grimaces apologetically, “Sookie-”
“You’re goin’ after Pam?” Sookie guesses my Child’s intentions.
“Yes,” Eric nods. “I have to be certain no war erupts prematurely and if Compton is not the culprit, I am the one who can confront Grissom.”
Sookie rises from the foot of the bed and goes to Eric. I see her hesitate to kiss him in front of me, so I cast my eyes to my own Bonded.
“You, too,” Eric tells her and I hear their lips meet briefly. “Please, stay with your brother at all times while I am away? Yes, that means letting him drive the two of you to work. Carpooling makes more sense anyway.” I am not unaware that Sookie is still a horrendous driver, which usually brings me amusement. “Please, stay home with Godric and Camilla when you are not at work?” he requests in that voice that tells me it is not really a request, but he knows better than to make commands on Sookie outside the bedroom. That is a conversation we have had in length, I think with the first burst of amusement I have felt since this afternoon.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else while my friends are like this,” Sookie replies softly and it makes my heart swell that such a young woman wishes to be the anchor to this ancient vampire’s drifting spirits.
“I will call you once I arrive in New Orleans,” Eric tells her and I hear their lips touch again. “It should only be about five hours,” he whispers softer and another brief meeting of their lips punctuates his promise.
“I’ll miss you,” Sookie murmurs.
“As I will miss you,” Eric chuckles before the sound of a long embrace.
After Eric departs, I look over my shoulder at Sookie who is leaning out of the doorway, staring down the hall longingly.
“Are you all right?” I ask as she finally comes to sit back on the bed and stroke Camilla’s feet absentmindedly.
“It’s silly,” Sookie blushes.
“I could use silly,” I encourage.
“It wouldn’t be silly to you,” she admits.
“I am waiting.”
“Eric and I haven’t been more than fifty miles apart since before we were married,” she mumbles, tilting her head down. “I can feel him flying away and I already miss him.”
My lips tilt into a small smile, “He has died for the day on many occasions. When that occurs, he is far more absent from you than he is now.”
Sookie frowns, “I really don’t have any right to be complainin’ right now, especially not to you of all people.”
As I am about to reply, Jason arrives in the room and goes to flop on the opposite side of Camilla on the bed. Before he can, I am up and snarling involuntarily.
“Fine. You flop on the bed and gimme your chair then,” Jason grumbles. “I may be a vamp, but it don’t mean I wanna stand around lookin’ like a statue or gargoyle, y’know?”
My eyes roll toward the heavens. How did I land such a Child?
Slipping into the bed beside my Bonded, I wrap her in my cool embrace. Her body immediately begins to warm me as I pull her closer. Jason takes my seat and one of Camilla’s hands while he looks her over.
“You called Ludwig?” Jason asks curiously.
“Ludwig can treat only the body,” I tell him in exasperation. “This is purely an affliction of the mind.”
“I meant so we can feed her while she’s down for the count,” Jason tells me and I flinch. “Maybe a feedin’ tube or somethin’?”
“I got it,” Sookie assures, reaching for her phone and calling the doctor.
“What is it?” I hear Ludwig’s voice answer Sookie’s call.
“Dr. Ludwig, it’s Sookie Northman,” Sookie answers the phone formally. “We have a situation here and I was hopin’ you could lend us some expertise?”
“I can arrive in two hours. I am with a patient. Will it wait?”
“It will wait,” Sookie replies sadly and I know it is not because of the doctor’s delay, but because she wishes the situation would not continue another two hours.
“I will see you around eleven,” Ludwig tells her and hangs up.
“She’ll be here at eleven,” Sookie announces.
“I know,” Jason and I say in unison and Sookie smiles.
We are sitting in companionable silence for an hour or so when I hear Jason chuckle.
“What is it?” I ask, surprised he can muster so much amusement under the circumstances.
“Cammie’s gonna be so pissed at you when she wakes up,” Jason laughs a bit harder. “She’ll say somethin’ like, ‘you flew us to fuckin’ Ohio just ’cause I took a nap‘!?”
Sookie giggles, “And then when I tell her how you came all the way up here to beg me to chop my wings off, she’s gonna say ‘over react much’!?”
Both Jason and Sookie are laughing at my expense and while part of me wants to reprimand them and say they do not know what this feels like, another part of me is laughing right with them. Those are words my Bonded would definitely say.
You flew us to fucking Ohio!?
I am going to throttle my Bonded when I can move again! I swear on my eternal life I will!
For now, I get to hang out and reflect on what the hell went wrong today.
“One-Twenty-Niner, Echo, Romeo, Alpha, Sierra, Echo,” I think bitterly. I may not be completely up to date on codes and crap, but the words that stranger shouted at me are obvious. One-Twenty-Niner is probably the serial number Grissom gave me and the rest of it is some sort of code that sends me into this state?
What is this state? I start to wonder.
Every once and a while I catch a glimmer of what’s going on around me, but, for the most part, my ears and eyes aren’t filtering me any information. All I know is I’ve definitely heard a word or two from both Sookie and Jason. So, either they came down to Louisiana or Godric brought me up North. I get the feeling he brought us up North. Sookie and Jason just started their new jobs today or what I assume is still today, so he wouldn’t make them come down South.
It’s scary, but my heart won’t race, despite the fact I feel terrified. My skin’s not feedin’ me any information, either. I don’t know if I am sitting or lying down. It’s like my brain is in a glass jar, still firing all these thoughts, but unable to do anything.
Oh, my God, if I could have an actual panic attack right now, it’d be one for the books!
Instead, I’m just existing in this dark, little, place in my mind, wondering if Godric can feel me or if that’s disconnected, too? I can’t feel him, so it must go both ways. My poor Bonded!
I really hope he only brought us to Ohio for support during this confusing time and that he’s not about to do anything brash. After all, I still have all my memories as far as I can tell, which means I’m still conscious of who I am. I can’t be glamoured anymore and vampire commands can only last three days. If I’m lucky, this is a one and done experience. Maybe it’s some sort of short-cut Grissom planted in my brain if I needed to be “reprogrammed” for my buyer?
I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about this long before now. Not to Godric, of course. He’d get overprotective and make me walk around in some sensory deprivation tank so no one could hit the reset button. I’ve talked about it with my magic tutor, Rose, though. Not specifically about me, but hypotheticals. I told her about a story I heard involving old human trafficking instances with vampires. I asked if she had any insight about the types of Dolls Grissom used to create.
Rose taught me a lot about vampire glamour and spoke about the terrifying genius of Grissom’s methods. Afterward she asked me if it was real and if so, she would need to be wary. I told her to be wary.
“You flop on the bed and gimme your chair then,” Jason’s voice rings through and I want to laugh. My big brother makes me laugh. He’s way more of a brother to me than Eric. Eric, weirdly enough, feels more like a dad to me, but that’s a whole can of what does that make Godric that I don’t like to think about opening!
So, I’m guessing I got three days of this nonsense if Godric doesn’t do anything brash and stupid. I haven’t felt so alone in my entire life, but I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone. My Bonded and best friends are beside me. I’m safe and all I need to do is focus on not losing my mind while I’m stuck like this and fighting like hell to get my senses back! I. Can. Do. This!
“So,” Jason murmurs thoughtfully, “I know I’m just a fledglin’, but Cammie don’t feel blanked out to me.”
I look up from where I have been staring at mine and Camilla’s joined hands and give him a glance that tells him to elaborate.
“It’s just… A feelin’,” Jason tells me a bit louder. “I mean, I can feel she ain’t right, but I can feel her mind. Like… When I do glamours, I can feel a person’s consciousness. It’s like their mind wants to fill me up and move in mine. With Sook, I get that same full feelin’, but I can’t will it either way. That’s how Cammie feels-”
“You have been trying to glamour Camilla?” I ask, trying to temper my frustration.
“No, I’ve just been tryin’ to see if she feels any different,” He assures me quickly. “And she does, but not in an unfamiliar way. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being optimistic,” Jason mumbles self-consciously.
Sighing, I bring Camilla’s hand to my lips for the millionth time in twelve hours before encouraging Jason, “Please, speak your mind.”
Jason looks at me nervously, “Okay, so from what you and Eric have told me about glamour… Y’know, what I can and can’t do and why, it’s not something easy to erase someone’s mind.”
“Correct,” I tell him. “You remember what we told you was done to Camilla to achieve this state-”
“But she’s not in the state Eric found her,” Jason insists. “That Camilla was conscious. She was awake, but only had the sense to blink. She didn’t have the sense to eat, even though she was awake. Even with food right in front of her! She didn’t have the sense not to piss all over herself. Cammie isn’t awake. She’s unconscious. Isn’t this more like a coma?”
He is right, I realize in surprise. Camilla is not conscious. She had been after Eric retrieved her from Grissom’s. That would mean that whatever state my Bonded is in currently, it is not necessarily as dire as I had feared.
“You are right,” I tell him softly, as I am still awed by the realization. “That would mean-”
“She’s under an imbedded command!” Jason whoops. “That means she’s gonna snap outta it in three days ’cause that’s how long a vampire command can hold! Boo-yah!” He raises his hands in victory as he rises to his feet.
I would join in his celebration if I were not stunned into silence. How did none of us realize this? How did I fly several hundred miles with my unconscious Bonded in my arms to beg my family to give up all their gifts so that I might kill my beloved and die myself?
“Godric?” Jason’s voice calls calmly and I feel his firm grasp of my shoulder. “Hey, it’s okay. You were worried about Cammie. It’s figured out now,” he tries to sooth me as I feel this terrible urge to sob like some human child.
What did I nearly lose? What did I nearly take from my family!?
“Love makes you stupid, y’know?” Jason tells me, still attempting to ease the burden of my betrayal and weaknesses. “Look at me and Sook. We’re just brother and sister and we ’bout killed ourselves for one another. I nearly lost my arm and Sookie ’bout starved to death. Okay, some exaggerating, but the truth is love makes you dumb. Whether it’s family or your true love, you’re gonna miss some of the answers. That’s why you got family, to solve shit for you while you’re bein’ stupid,” He tells me and laughs. “It’s okay. When it’s my turn to fall in love and Bond, you’ll have my back. Right?”
“Yes,” I agree, nodding weakly. I almost killed myself and Camilla!
“Now, no more Romeo and Juliet thoughts. Okay?”
“Yes,” I tell him firmly in agreement as I try harder to shake off the shock of what I had come here to do.
“Cool. Now, you wanna tell me what’s goin’ on with Eric and Pam? I can’t feel them,” Jason demands.
“Pam is in New Orleans. Eric is just flying along the Arkansas/Tennessee border. He should arrive in New Orleans in two hours,” I inform him. “Pam’s frustrated, so I would assume she has not yet tracked down Compton.”
“What do you think will happen if she finds him before Eric finds her?” Jason asks me with genuine curiosity.
Shrugging my shoulders, I confess, “I do not know either way. I have no idea what Eric’s intentions are any more than I know Pamela’s. For as long as I have known those two, they still surprise me regularly by their decisions. Pamela because she is spontaneous when not ordered by myself or Eric. Eric…he has a certain predictability about him, except when he decides to be unpredictable. He takes just enough risks to keep me guessing while not bringing me any concern. As long as Eric arrives before Pamela finds Compton, I have no worries.”
Jason nods at my explanation and sits back in his chair, having completed his victory lap after figuring out Camilla’s ailment.
We sit in silence until a sudden POP fills the air. The abrupt arrival of Dr. Ludwig causes Jason’s fangs to snap into place and he snarls in disappointment.
“Damn it, Doc! I ain’t popped these things unintentionally in almost two years and you gone and ruined my streak!” Jason complains as his lips curl and his fangs ascend back to their human façade.
“Quit your complaining and…” Ludwig pauses when she sees Camilla, “and explain why your Bonded is in a coma.”
I sigh, “We believe it is an imbedded command from when Grissom was erasing her memory. A glamoured human spoke strange words to her, and then Camilla collapsed and disappeared from the Bond.”
Ludwig frowns, “I see.” She comes to Camilla’s side and begins evaluating her, but thankfully does not command me to move. Instead, she considerately works around me. That takes me by surprise. “I have seen this before,” Ludwig tells us softly. “It is an imbedded command. A short cut, if you will.”
“Short cut?” Jason asks.
The doctor nods as she explains, “I had the displeasure of mending one of Grissom’s Dolls once. The poor thing had been so physically and emotionally traumatized that Grissom had to come and erase her memories all over again. I was setting a dislocation when he arrived. He spoke a code to the girl and she fell into a sleep just like this one,” She gestures to my Camilla. “It was a brief sleep, but when she awoke, she could not recognize her face… What Grissom said to her, I could practically see her mind breaking. When he tried to strike her, I stopped him. I told him I would report him and his techniques to the International Council of Supernaturals.”
“And they did nothing,” I whisper.
“And they did nothing,” she agrees gruffly. “Because she was a human. I told them I may be a supernatural doctor, but it is my creed to harm none, not to look the other way while harm is done to others. That was when I petitioned Endymion and the Pantheon to grant me neutrality. I am one of very few supernatural creatures not governed by most magical laws.”
As I listen to the doctor her words ring in me anxiously, “Does that mean Camilla will not know herself when she wakes?”
Ludwig frowns, “She will have all of her memories, but there is a possibility she will not recognize her face. If you handle that situation calmly, it will be far from the most traumatizing thing she has experienced.”
“I suppose if I warned her before she sees her reflection, it might help?” I wonder aloud.
“That would definitely be a good idea. How long has she been out?” Ludwig asks.
“About twelve hours,” I tell her.
“I will hook her up to an IV and put in a catheter. When she wakes up, keep her in bed for the first day with a few walks around the room every few hours, then straight back into bed. Sex as soon as she is willing after waking, but gently. She will be weak. Sex will help reaffirm your Bond,” She explains. “Light foods the first two days after she rises. Broths, fluids, and those protein drinks I have them on… Stuff like that.”
“Is that all?” Jason asks in surprise.
“Yes, because you have told me she cannot be glamoured. That means her mental state is in no danger and she has living immortality, so even if you don’t feed her, she can’t die. Still, there is no reason to let her come back from this in poorer conditions than she must,” Ludwig shrugs. “I will swing by in four days to check her over. I suggest you two remain here for the rest of the week.”
Jason leaves the room as Ludwig begins rolling up the bedding to insert Camilla’s catheter, and I hold my Bonded’s hand as she is given the most basic of treatments.
“Do you know… Could this be done to her again?” I ask of the doctor.
“I’m not sure. From what I could tell the code had to be re-imbedded, but that was because the subject’s memory was wiped. Camilla’s cannot be. However, depending on her current mental state, whatever is going on in that head of hers right now? Who knows? Her magic is growing stronger every day now. She may be able to erase the command herself.”
“… may be able to erase the command herself…”
I can erase the command myself!? I think with excitement and surprise. Does that mean somewhere in all this darkness, I’m actually just existing in my mind?
Whoa, that’s way too paranormal, even for someone married to a vampire!
That’s also the first voice I’ve heard in forever and it was Ludwig’s. It’s also the only time I’ve heard Ludwig’s voice, which makes me think I haven’t been out for very long. After all, Godric would have called Ludwig pretty quick, right? Then again, he did fly all the way to Ohio before he did… Ugh, I have no idea what’s going on and it’s annoying the heck out of me!
However, that is a thought for another time. Right now, I know I’m trapped in my own head and while I’m here, I got an imbedded command to erase! This task seems way out of my league. Maybe if I was studying to be a psychology teacher or brain surgeon I’d have a better idea of what to do, but I’m a freakin’ math teacher. What do I know about brain mapping?
“Mindfulness. Being aware of thoughts as they pass, but allow them to pass. Do not cling, merely be aware,” Rose’s words ring into my brain and I groan. Meditation isn’t really my thing, but my magic tutor has been rigorous about guided meditations. She has told me countless times that the natural ability to manipulate energy is useless if you cannot make it do what you want.
That’s why I’m still sitting in the dark, trying to figure out how to meditate when I can’t focus on my breathing or heartbeat. I’m not good enough at this yet!
“Don’t make excuses for somethin’ you know how to do. So, it doesn’t come naturally. That’s not an excuse to do it poorly,” Sookie’s voice rings in my mind, her words from back when I was first trying to understand my biology lessons. It was my worst subject by far and I hated it. Sookie’s solution was studying with me. Every time I got frustrated and shoved her notecards or books away, she would push them right back and say it would become easier if I worked harder. Everything couldn’t come easily. Some things had to be worked for.
Okay, Cammie. You had your entire memory stripped from you and you managed to get your GED within a year. You’ve had four years training with Rose. You. Can. Do. This! I chant my new favorite mantra several times before slowly stripping away thought after thought.
Unbidden by me, my memories swell with words my Bonded spoke several hours ago. They fill my thoughts and his voice becomes the breath, the heartbeat that brings my mind to focus.
“It is amazing, Mila meum,” Godric whispered in my ear early yesterday morning before my classes began, “despite the same predictability the day shares with the night, there is also a newness to every day. A new openness, a new beginning. These past five years that I have been an Impervious Immortal, I experience every day with wonder. There are so many things to be found in the daylight. Trust, love, happiness. Since being gifted with the day I have seen more of those beautiful things in the past five years than the last five hundred wandering only in the night. Those months in the sun before you were brought into my existence… I think they gave me the hope and faith I needed to let myself accept your love.”
“Really? I thought Eric still had to smack that sense into you,” I teased him.
Godric looked at me with that level of annoyance he only enjoys when I bring him to it, “Whatever the case, I am here now because I finally witnessed that those things still existed. That a woman like you could still exist in this world. I love you, Mila meum.”
“I love you, too, Godric.”
Suddenly this corner of mind doesn’t seem as dark or isolated. I feel free to wander and chase that memory deeper. Thankfully the darkness doesn’t return as I explore. Listening to memory after memory, conversation after conversation, like traveling back through time, through my five year past until I hit the edge.
No more whispers, I think as I have gone as far back as my memory exists and old conversations can no longer murmur to me. It is like hitting a wall.
“One-Two-Niner,” a vaguely unfamiliar, but most unwelcome voice snarls in my ear. “Echo, Romeo, Alpha, Sierra, Echo. When you hear these words, you will allow yourself to be rewritten. Your mind will not cling to its memories. They will be disposable to you. Obey.”
No, I think indignantly, they’re not disposable. They’re invaluable.
Then again, this memory is disposable. I do not want or need it.
“Echo,” I try to say out loud, “Romeo,” I hope speaking it myself works just the same, “Alpha, Sierra,” I’m going for it! “Echo.”
“Are Cammie’s lips moving?” Sookie asks with a frown as she stares at my Bonded’s face.
I look at Camilla’s plump lips and see them tremble ever so slightly. It is the first sign of movement she has given me in just over fifty hours. As I feel my emotions swell at this tiny sign of awareness, I hear a soft, “’Ko’,” sound in the back of her throat.
Suddenly her emotions burst forth within me. Fatigue, relief, love, and gratitude as her eyes flutter rapidly open.
“Godric,” Her weak hands reach for my face and I cup them with my own as I lean down to kiss her.
I see Sookie and Jason quickly withdraw from the bedroom and I deepen the kiss. “I missed you,” I say against her mouth.
“I missed you, too,” she tells me, sliding her hands behind my neck and pulling me tighter to her mouth.
“Camilla,” I try to speak against her lips, “there is something you should know-”
“What? Did you get over me already?” she teases in that way I have missed the past two days.
“Do not even joke about such an impossible thing,” I kiss her again.
“What is it, Godric?” Camilla asks calmly.
“There is a possibility that you may have forgotten what you look like, so when you look in the mirror, the face you see could be a stranger’s face,” I whisper guardedly.
Camilla pauses as she absorbs this information, “As long as it’s still the face you love, I’ll get used to it.” I smile and kiss her once more before she pulls away suddenly. “I’m sorry, I just gotta pee so bad-”
“You have a catheter in,” I tell her. “It is probably giving you a sensation of urgency to urinate.”
Her face scrunches unpleasantly and she whispers, “Can you take it out?”
Chuckling, I nod, “I do, in fact, know how to do that.”
I can feel her embarrassment as I slide down the length of the bed and push the blankets up. Despite all the things I have done to her body, none of them have been as clinical as this particular act. I suppose a part of her feels I should not witness her nether regions in such a state, but I do not dwell on her strange insecurities. Instead, I focus on my task and break the shackles of her comatose state with the removal of the catheter.
“Do you still need to pee?” I ask jokingly when she is free.
She pauses before answering, almost as if she is considering her body very carefully. “Yes!” she announces suddenly, flings away the bedding, and hobbles toward the door.
“Other door,” I tell her amusedly and go to assist her. She has not moved a muscle in over forty-eight hours, and I can see she is hurting from it. Soon I have her sitting on the toilet and she holds her head in her hands as she urinates.
“Go away,” she mumbles tiredly.
I laugh and shake my head. “You probably will not be able to stand up again.”
She finishes quickly and, sure enough, cannot lift herself off the toilet.
“Okay, help,” she admits defeat when she cannot find a surface to hold onto and haul herself back to her feet.
I smile and take her into my arms. She has me stop to let her wash her hands and I oblige. When she reaches for the towel to dry her hands, she pauses and stares at the mirror. I can feel her surprise and I look at Camilla worriedly.
“That’s my face,” she murmurs.
“Yes,” I agree gently.
“No! I mean, I recognize it! That’s my face!” She laughs and smiles and I hold her even tighter. “I must not have had that command!” She grins back at me from the mirror and I kiss her cheek before returning to the bedroom.
“What command did you have?” I ask of her and her face frowns.
“I don’t know… I don’t remember,” she confesses.
“What do you remember?” I ask gently as I set her back on to the bed.
“I remember being in darkness. I remember hearing you guys from time to time,” she thinks back. “I heard Ludwig once. She said something about overcoming the command myself and all I could think was, ‘I can do that?’ So, I worked on doing that,” Camilla tells me thoughtfully. “I don’t know. Maybe I succeeded? How long was I out?” she asks.
“About fifty hours,” I tell her softly.
Camilla nods, accepting that fifty hours of her life have vanished, “I should have been out for seventy-two. It was an imbedded glamour. It should have held me for three days. If I woke in just over two, then I probably erased the glamour successfully,” she states confidently.
“Why would you not know?” I ask.
She shrugs and offers, “I probably erased the memory of the imbedded command. If I did that, I probably wouldn’t remember erasing it either. That’s my best guess, anyway.”
All I can do is nod at her assessment, but my anxiety will not be quelled until her safety has been assured.
“You want to see if I’ll go back under, don’t you?” she guesses accurately.
“I do,” I confess.
“Go on, then,” she waves her hand with her consent. She quickly snuggles back into bed and looks at me expectantly. “Well?” she prods when I have yet to speak.
“What if you go back under? I will be without you again,” I whisper sadly.
“It will be fine, Godric,” she tells me confidently. “I know it will be.”
I let out a sigh and finally utter, “One-two-niner, echo, romeo, alpha, sierra, echo.”
My words barely hiss past my teeth at the last word and I stare at Mila expectantly. She blinks at me with her cocky, little smirk, then leans in and kisses my tight lips.
“See?” she teases. “I can take care of myself, too.”
My lips relax and I lean in to kiss her slowly, “I have missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too, Godric,” she says quietly as she wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me atop her. “Now make love to me.”