He was a man of strength.
He was a man of honor.
He had always wanted to do right in his life.
He was throwing up at the moment for the sixth time within an hour. He had locked himself in the bathroom to keep Abigail safe from whatever lurked inside of him. This entity or presence inside of him wanted violence and rage perpetrated on her willing body. A wave of nausea came over Ichabod and he heaved whatever was in his stomach into the porcelain bowl beneath him.
She was not herself laying on her bed waiting for him as if in a daze. He was all set to do what the voices wanted until he looked into her dead eyes. Whatever had taken hold of her took the life inside of her. This was not Miss Abigail Mills that lay her beneath him. wanting him. Her actions were as if she were a marionette on a string being controlled by some outside force at the moment. The sight of her dead eyes staring back at him broke through whatever possessed him. a feeling of disgust and terror rose within his body. What was he doing to her? She was not here with him. The life within her eyes was not there as it had been before.
Ichabod summoned what strength the darkness inside of him did not control and dragged himself away from her. He fell to the floor in agony as his hard flesh struck the hard wood. The voices demanded that he return to the woman but Ichabod closed his eyes and slowly crawled to the bathroom. His fingernails dug into the floor as the muscles in his body pulled him away from the moaning woman on the bed. Sweat covered his body as he exerted all the strength and will he had to get away from Abigail and keep her safe. He did not know what kind of demon had possessed him but it would not defeat him. He would not betray Abigail. He would never hurt Abigail in this way.
Ichabod lay naked against the wall beside the toilet panting wildly trying to catch his breath. Love and hate warred inside of his body. He hated himself for what he was about to do to someone that he cared very deeply about but he also loved himself for having the strength to pull away. Ichabod lowered his head into his hands and whimpered as his body shook with anger and fear. He had to go back into the bedroom and save Abbie. He did not trust himself but he had to save Miss Mills from whatever plagued her soul.
Ichabod used the wall and slowly pulled himself up to his feet. He closed his eyes to clear his mind and body of the rampant voices and desires that ran through it. The voices were menacing and the desires evil and full of rage. He needed to find his strength again. He needed to save the woman that he loved.
The shaking of her body was not gentle nor was it meant to be. Ichabod gritted his teeth, shook her harder, and screamed her name as her eyes rolled back into her head. The thing that had her was not going to let her go without a fight. He was going to give it one.
"Abigail!" The blankets that he had placed over her slid off her body. Ichabod quickly replaced him so that her nakedness would not stimulate the voices in his head or anything else. He continued shaking her but it had no effect on her. The violent approach was not working. The evil grip that held her in darkness just became stronger with each violent tug on her body. He released her shoulders and stared down at this lifeless woman that he loved more than he ever thought he could. Ichabod gathered his strength and leaned over her still body. Her chest slowly rose and fell as he stared down at her. He gently held her face in the palms of his hands and leaned closer to her ignoring the desire to kiss her. His body shook he fought the demon inside screaming at him to rip the blanket from her body and take her as she wanted him too. Ichabod slowly lowered his forehead onto her forehead and closed his eyes.
"Fight, Abigail please."
Ichabod raised his head and looked down at her as she stared blankly at the ceiling above them. Despair filled his body as he returned his forehead to hers trying to will his strength to her with his mind.
"Come back to me. I cannot be here without you Abigail. You are all that I live for, all that I fight for. You must come back." Ichabod slowly raised his head and stared down at her lifeless body. His voice was but a whisper but she heard him. Her eyes blinked and Ichabod became excited and gently rubbed her cheeks with his thumbs.
"Come on Abbie fight. Come back to me." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Her body arched from the bed and then fits of crying began. Ichabod pulled her blanket covered body into his arms and held her tight. He closed his eyes and rejoiced that her soul had returned to her.
"I am here. I will always be here Abigail."
They sat quietly huddled together on Abbie's sofa under several blankets. They were freezing. The effects of the evil leaving their bodies took warmth from them as it struggled to hold on to its prey. Abbie laid against his body with her head on his chest. She had cried for at least five minutes before realizing that she was safe with him. She clung to Ichabod as they laid on her bed. She never wanted to feel that darkness and loneliness again. She heard him say her name with sorrow and held him tighter trying to let him know that he was safe too. She held no ill will towards him. She had and will always trust in him.
"What do you think did this to us?"
Ichabod laid the bottom of his chin on the top of her head. He was so joyous that she was all right. He wanted to kiss her because of that joy not because of the evil that had lurked inside of him. "I don't know. Some sort of demon I think. We are going to find out what did this."
Abbie closed her eyes and smiled. "You are far stronger than any demon."
The smile on Ichabod's face she could not see but she knew that it was there all meant joy and relief. "I was not alone Abbie. You were there. I had to be strong for you."
Silence filled the room again as both relived the attack at the same moment. Ichabod took a deep breath and tightened his grip around Abbie's waist. "I would never do that to you or any one."
Abbie laid her hand over his arm. "I knew that it was not your will to do that Ichabod. I saw the red flash over your eyes before whatever that was took over. I don't know what made me made me feel numb and darkness. I knew that you would never hurt me."
Ichabod smiled at her words secure that she would not have blamed him if he had not had the strength to stop. Everything was right with the world until a strange taste began to invade his mouth. Ichabod crinkled his brow. "I taste juniper berries. Why am I tasting juniper berries when I had lemonade at the party?
"Well you did throw up four times?"
"Seven, but I have not had that taste in my mouth since I was a young man in England."
Abbie opened her eyes."Katrina is the only person who is from England besides you."
The thought that she would do this made his skin crawl. She still had feelings for him. He did not think that she was capable of doing anything this vile. "Are you saying that she gave me something? I doubt that it would do this to me."
"I don't think that she would do anything to harm you. Who else could do this?"
Ichabod's mind began to focus on his estranged wife and a deep frown burrowed into his brow. "She did put a spell on me once."
"Crane, Katrina loves you she would not do this to you."
"You think that Henry had something to do with this. Granted he would be the logical culprit but he is in our debt."
Abbie sighed. "I know that he is your son but he wanted to kill us last week. It is hard for me to forget things like that."
Ichabod raised an eyebrow at her words. "I have not forgotten his ill will towards us."
"Maybe all of his gifts were a ruse to break us apart by using some potion."
"Maybe, I will ask him and then I will tell him that you have only made us stronger."
Abbie nodded and then fell silent. She looked around her house as if it was not hers. She did not want to be alone. She did not want to stare at the dark shadows in her bedroom and imagine all sorts of evil coming to invade her senses. "I don't want you to leave. I don't want to be alone. I...."
His grip tightened on her soft body. "I will stay for as long as you want me to stay. I will stay for as long as you need me to stay."
"Okay," Abbie smiled with dimples in her cheeks and closed her eyes again. His strength and warmth were constant and exactly what she needed right now. She did not want him to leave. She was afraid to be alone not knowing what had attacked them. He said that he would stay as long as she needed him to stay. He was strong enough for the both of them.
Katrina set the mirror back on the bed and exhaled the breath that she was holding. She did know what made her happier, the fact that Ichabod had not raped Abigail, or the fact that they did not suspect her but Henry. The red haired witch got off her bed and walked out of her bedroom. Henry was still there holding his glasses in one hand and wiping his eyes with the other. He was troubled with what he thought had happened. She could tell that it affected him deeply. She would not think that he had developed such a strong bond with Ichabod so fast after trying to kill him so often.
"You saved him."
The sound of her soft voice made his spine straighten and his sorrow disappeared. All she ever cared about was Ichabod. She cared nothing for the effects that her feelings had on others. She was a danger to Abigail because Ichabod loved her. She would hurt her for no reason but that Ichabod loved her. He could not allow that. Murder creeped into his mind as he began to speak. "There were two people involved....no let me rephrase that four people involved in this but it was all caused by you and your unwillingness to let time and memory collide. He would have remembered you and I would have made sure that he knew all the evil that you had done."
"I was desperate Jeremy. You would not understand the love that I have for my husband. I know that it was wrong but I was desperate. I did not mean to hurt him."
"What about Abigail? You hurt her. You did not even think about what could happen once your potion got out of these walls. You are dangerous to everyone....¦including Ichabod."
Katrina began shaking her head frantically as she approached her son. "No... I was trying to make him love me again. I meant no harm to him.... or Abigail. I was desperate."
"YOU WERE SELFISH!!" Henry's red tear stained eyes glared at her. She could feel the power inside the room grow and start to squeeze against her. She had never felt such power in her life. Not even Moloch could produce this wave of hate that she could feel now.
Katrina's body filled with fear seeing his pain and hate grow. He was sad because of the pain and loneliness he feared for Abigail. Had their saving of him turned him from his dark ways? "Can you tell the future, because I cannot? This world is far different from my world. There are so many forces here trying to pull us apart."
"What force are you? I cannot tell anymore but you feel like evil to me and I can't have evil in my presence anymore. I turned from that witch but you live in it. And soon my father will see what you are first and foremost." Henry replaced his glasses and walked towards the front door. He paused before opening it.
"It was father's strength and will that saved them. He is stronger than you think. He is smarter than you know. Pray that he does not look at you and see what you really are."
"And what is that?" Katrina looked straight ahead not wanting to see the fury on her son's face as he held back the power to kill her. She could feel it in the walls. She could feel it punching at her wanting to stab her in the heart and end her life. He wanted her to die and never see Ichabod again. Jeremy never wanted to see her again.
"Guilty," Henry walked through the door and slowly closed it behind him.
Her arms surrounded her body as Henry's words sank into her mind. She was guilty of loving Ichabod too much and seeing only what she wanted. She put Abigail's life in danger for her own selfishness. However, if she were guilty so was Henry? He had used his powers on Abigail. Katrina shook her head and tried to push the guilt from her body. It was her fault that Henry was even involved. She had forced him to act. She was the only one to blame and she would tell Ichabod of her evil.
Her legs became weak at the thought of her husband sending her away so that he could have Abigail honorably. Who would question their love if she were gone? They were safe now; nothing happened between them. Ichabod proved too strong. Why should she tell him if the potion failed? She already felt sorrow for what she had done. She did not deserve to lose Ichabod for her momentary lapse in judgment. She would make this better. She would be perfect. She would let time bring her husband back to her as Henry had said. Katrina loosened her arms from her body and stared at the door. If Ichabod refused Henry entrance into his house, waiting would be easier. Ichabod already suspected him of attacking them and Abigail did not trust him. Henry was a liar. They would not believe him no matter what he said. She would not preform anymore spells; she would not need to if he were gone. His constant ill will towards her could influence Ichabod. She loved him too much not to sacrifice Jeremy.
The bright sunshine greeted Ichabod that morning. The birds sang him a joyful song outside Abigail's window. A smile came to his lips as he listened to their cheerful chirps. The voices that had plagued him last night were all gone. Whatever he had ingested, his body had repelled it. Ichabod opened his eyes and looked towards the ceiling. He knew that he and Abigail were not alone. God would not leave his witnesses to such evil. He also knew that if he were patient that the evil doers would reveal themselves to him. He could wait; it was one of better qualities.
Movement beside him made the former captain turn and stare into the peaceful face of his bedmate. She did not want him to sleep in the other room. His heart fluttered with a very warm feeling. She had lost none of her trust for him. She did not fear him in any way. Another smile graced his lips and the hate that he felt for himself faded away. She did not hate him so why should he. The juniper taste returned to his mouth and Ichabod smacked his lips and frowned.
"Where would you find such a bush here" Ichabod laid there for a moment longer and then carefully slid from the bed. He wore only his dress slacks to bed the shirt was too confining. Ichabod watched her move and then settle again. He did not want to disturb her. She needed to rest more than he did. Ichabod quietly walked from the room closing the door behind him. He would make some coffee and then hunt down Abigail's computer. Nothing would keep him from discovering the truth about his poisoning.
Katrina set down the mirror with a frown on her face. Why was he still there with her? She was fine. Why had he not come home to tell her about what had happened to him so that she could help him. If he did not mention the incident, then how could she tell him about Henry? Katrina ran her hands through her hair as she paced her bedroom. Love should not be this complicated. All she wanted was his love back. Why was that so wrong to have? Why was it so hard to have? She had apologized endlessly to Ichabod but it seemed as if all her words had fallen on deaf ears. He could hold grudges for a very long time and time was not on her side.
Her hands fell away from her face as she continued to pace the floor in her bedroom. If only she could turn, back time and go with Ichabod instead of Abraham this would not be happening. She was a fool and she would pay for her foolishness. The sound of a vehicle outside caused the witch to go to her window and looked out to see a woman with thick curly hair walking up to the front door. Katrina walked from her bedroom as the front door opened.
"Excuse me, who are you?"
The woman's guard was immediately up. Katrina could see her mood change from happiness to one of aggression. "Who in the hell are you?"
The language from the woman caused Katrina to frown. "I am Katrina Crane; Ichabod's wife....ex-wife."
Jenny frowned for a second and then closed the front door and walked towards the room where Crane stayed. "Where's Crane?"
Katrina frowned at the woman walking around the house as if she owned the place. "He is out and I did not receive your name as common curtesy would demand."
Jenny stopped walking and faced the red haired woman standing there as if she were scolding a child or a servant. She knew who this woman was but she wanted to play with her. She stared at the woman for a minute and then walked into the kitchen. "Crane and I have business and he told me to meet him here."
He was returning home. Happiness flooded Katrina's heart again. Ichabod would return and speak with her about what had happened to him last night. She would get her chance to fix her misstep. He would come to her instead of Abigail once she steered him towards Henry. "Oh he did not tell me this. I apologize for his oversight and my curt behavior."
Jenny shrugged her shoulders and the statement. She really did not give a damn about her behavior. She opened the refrigerator and grabbed the water pitcher.
Katrina watched the woman move around the house with ease. She and her husband were together a lot. He probably found her I don't care attitude amusing. Katrina however, did not. She could not figure out why she could not read this woman. Something about her did not permit her any entrance into her mind. Even the thought of a spell disintegrated before she could think of it. someone or something surrounded this woman in protection.
Jenny took a long drink of the glass of water before she spoke again. "Abbie is my sister and I always look out for her."
Katrina smiled. "As do I. She is a good woman and knows right from wrong."
Jenny smiled as she took another drink. She was jealous of Crane's relationship with her sister. He did spend most of his time with her. Jenny set the glass down. "My sister is an honorable woman Katrina."
"Of that I have no doubt."
"Really because it sounded to me like you thought that she and Crane had a thing."
Jenny rolled her eyes. "Were in love or something. They have a connection and that is all. They protect each other. They are bound to grow close. Crane has that type of magnetism and Abbie....well she is my sister."
Katrina watched the woman chuckle and walked out of the kitchen and sat on the sofa. She annoyed Katrina. She did not want the woman here. She reminded her of Henry. She could influence Ichabod against her. If should read this woman's mind, then she would know her intensions towards him.
"Are you going to wait here?"
Jenny looked over at the woman. She would love for her to try to throw her out. "Yes."
Katrina watched the woman turn away from her with annoyance. "Henry mentioned Abigail's sister once and not in a nice way."
Jenny snorted at her words. "What do you expect he is a Crane? Well the bad part of being a Crane."
Jenny raised her head and looked up at the frowning woman staring down at her. She liked the annoyance and frustration that she saw on the woman's face. She liked making her upset. She did not like this woman around her sister. "So which one of you is he most like"
Jenny smiled but before she could answer the front door opened and Ichabod walked in with Abbie in tow. Jenny stood smiling at them. "So, what's going on?"
Now was her time to save herself. Katrina frowned as she walked towards the group. "What does she mean Ichabod?"
Abbie was about to speak but Ichabod interrupted her. "It does not concern you and it is probably best if you don't know what we are doing."
Katrina was about to protest but Ichabod walked by her with Abbie and Jenny following him. What was he doing excluding her? He should be asking her for help. She could not say anything until he did. She could not implicate Henry until he asked for help. "I want to do more than just be a burden to you Ichabod."
Ichabod stopped walking and faced her. "You are not a burden Katrina but your safety concerns me. Henry's spell protects you here. What you know could be dangerous if Moloch found a way to you."
"Henry is a very powerful warlock. He makes no mistakes." She hoped that he would think about her words and come to the conclusion that she wanted him too.
Ichabod stared at her beautiful face as she spoke. "No, Henry never makes mistakes."
Katrina walked closer to him. "I am safe and I want to help you."
Ichabod gently grabbed her hands and smiled. "Please let me take care of this. I want you safe."
Her heart fluttered. He had touched her and proclaimed that he worried about her. He did think about her safety. He had not forgotten her. She felt his warm touch slip away from hers as he took the Mills sisters to the back door. Katrina watched them as they walked outside but she had no worries. Ichabod's resolve was crumbling before her eyes. He cared for her and had shown the others by touching her. She was his first thought. She would still plant the seed of Henry's evil in his head to keep what she had done a secret. She could not risk this small breakthrough to fade away because of a potion that went awry.
Jenny and Abbie frowned at Crane as they followed him into the woods. Where was he taking them? "Look you said nothing about going camping."
Ichabod looked back at Jenny and frowned. "I want privacy."
Abbie looked at Jenny then at Crane. "What is going on?"
"Are you wearing that necklace?"
Jenny sighed and pulled out the white jewel that hung on a simple leather strap. Abbie reached up and held the jewel in her hand. "What does it do?"
Jenny smiled thinking about Katrina as she spoke. "It cancels out all forms of magic and spells, basically a witch and demon repellant."
"Give it to your sister,"
The Mills sisters looked at Crane as he rubbed his right hand over his nose. He wore a deep frown on his face. He looked as if he wanted to kill someone. Jenny wanted to keep the necklace and go back into the house and annoy Katrina some more.
"What is go....."
"Abbie put on the necklace!" He had never spoken to her like that before and the Mills sisters moved quickly to do as he suggested. Ichabod ran his hands threw his hair and then turned and faced the woods. He closed his eyes and tried to calm the rage that was running through his veins. There was always a reason for everything but he did not want those circumstances to involve hurting Abigail. This was what he should have done months ago but he wanted to try another route. He now knew that the gentle way would not work in this situation.
"You two wait for me here. I have to get something." Ichabod turned and walked back to his cabin leaving the Mills sisters wondering about his mood.
"Are you sure this thing works?" Abbie gently touched the jewel on the front.
Jenny smiled and looked down at the necklace. "It worked on the witch inside the cabin. I know that she was trying to read my mind. She is not nice Abbie. She will turn on you in an instance if she thought Crane would not find out."
"She does not act like that with me."
"She has not found a weakness in you yet but she is looking. I will put a bullet in her head if she does anything to harm you and you know that I am good for it."
Abbie snickered at her sister's serious face. "She loves Ichabod too much to hurt me."
"Yes she loves Ichabod too much and she will hurt you." Abbie frowned at her sister's words. Maybe she was giving Katrina too much kindness and she saw it as weakness. Maybe she thought about Katrina's feelings more than her own. Maybe Jenny was right about her looking for something to hurt her with.
"You know that I am right Abbie. She is not the kind that you turn your back on unless you know a powerful warlock named Henry."
Abbie shook her head. "So you two are friends now."
Jenny chuckled. "He hates her. Enemy of my enemy is my friend. He has all sorts of trinkets. He gave me that necklace."
"Why did he give you this?"
Jenny smiled. "You two aren't the only ones that fight evil things."
Abbie's frown grew deeper. "Stop hanging around him."
Laughter escaped the younger Mills and caused a smile to replace the frown on Abbie's face.
Katrina shook the mirror trying to clear the fuzzy and soundless picture. She could not tell where they were or what they were doing. Why would Henry's magic prevent the mirror from working now? Katrina set the mirror down and began pacing her room. What could they be talking about? She hoped that it was Henry and his evilness. They could not forget that he had tried to kill them on every occasion that they met. They knew so little about Henry. Ichabod had no knowledge of his son and yet he trusted him. Katrina hoped that her words chipped that trust away.
He had to see her as needing him and she did need him. She loved him and he knew that. Maybe his ego was in the way and he could not forgive her for staying with Abraham. However, the Horseman wanted nothing to do with her. She spent her days trying to improve her magic and spells. Abraham stayed away from her. She only left him because she was lonely and missed Ichabod. He did not want to divorce him but Henry filed all the paperwork and made it so. Her own son had broken her life apart because he was born to her.
Why didn't he hate Ichabod like he did her? She tried to love him but he refused to let her. She decided that if he did not love her then she should not protect him. She would give him up to Ichabod to save her chance at love. Katrina stopped pacing and held her face in her hands. The faint scent of juniper berries filled her nostrils. Katrina pulled her hands away from her face and gasped aloud. Fear leaped into her body. He knew. He suspected her from the start even if Abigail had not mentioned her. He still did not trust her. She had no choice but to tell him what she had done and pray that he forgave her. Katrina walked out of her room as Ichabod walked back into the house alone. He just stared at her with an anger that she could running throughout his entire body. The thought of love was not in his heart anymore and neither was restraint.