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The Brew

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The Brew

 

 

A spell conjured out of desperation is never a wise thing. You always lose the one you want.

 

I

 

How could he just walk by her as if she was not there? Was this a new game that she knew nothing about? They were no longer married but he could at least acknowledge her presence. Why was all his focus on Abigail when she was there in his home? All that she wanted was a show of emotion from him that she was free of the Horseman. Abigail was the only one who showed any soft emotion to her. She hugged her the moment that she and Jeremy walked into Ichabod's home. Katrina felt love and happiness from her unwitting rival. This woman wanted nothing from her not even her husband. Her heart was true; Ichabod's was not. Logic told her that it was not Abigail's fault for Ichabod's infatuation. She was a very gorgeous woman. She was strong and intelligent. She was single and had many suitors after her hand. Ichabod was not blind to her. He sought her out even in Katrina's presence. Whether he did it on purpose or not, it hurt her heart to see her husband....ex-husband after another's affections.

  

Abigail chuckled as she walked towards the kitchen with Ichabod following behind her.

"I don't need you to go with me to this policeman's ball tomorrow."

 "Miss Mills I have already promised Miss Jenny that I would and I quote keep that slimy Luke off your bacon unquote."

  

Katrina watched the Leftenant throw her head back and let a loud sound of merriment escape her body. She reminded Katrina of one of those dark haired beauties of her time that every man wanted in his life because of her carefree nature. Ichabod just stood before the object of his desire smiling and staring down at her joy filled body. He had forgotten about his marriage and his wife all this time that she had been away. Her absence had allowed him to seek a connection with someone else. Time would only bring him back to her. However, the way that Ichabod's eyes roamed over Abigail's body Katrina did not have much faith in time.

 "You know they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder." Henry turned from Katrina and watched his father sampling some of the meat that Abbie had prepared and pretended that it was awful. He received a punch for his play acting. Ichabod grabbed her hands and smiled at her as he gently rubbed her wrists with his thumbs. Abbie smiled at him and then looked over at Katrina. Ichabod had his ex-wife here and they were acting as if they were alone and he was not aware of the feelings that she still had for him. She and Ichabod were used to being with each other. She knew that their playfulness would have to end. Abbie did not want to cause Katrina any jealousy she had been through enough. Abbie's heart sank when she saw the sadness on Katrina's face. She pulled her hands away from Ichabod's grasp and returned her attention to cooking their dinner for tonight.

"Well maybe not in this case."

Henry smiled at Katrina when she looked at him. How could he be so happy with this development? Katrina thought that he had changed. He had helped Ichabod and Abigail rescue her from the Horseman and Moloch. She knew that he had not done it out of love for her, no; he still hated her. He had done it out of a debt that he owed to Ichabod and Miss Mills. His Hessian had marked him for death. His father and Miss Mills saved him. Katrina was starting to regret their kindness towards her son.

"Why do you think that this is alright? Ichabod is my husband and your father. I understand his attraction to Abigail. She is loyal and beautiful. They are witnesses and need to have a connection."

"True but his connection with Miss Mills is stronger than his connection with you. He is no longer married to you. Your plan to watch Abraham has cost you my father and you have no way of getting him back."

The soft sound of Abbie chuckling caused the two to look towards the kitchen. Ichabod was touching her again. His hand lay against her back. All he had to do was let it casually glide down Abigail's back and Katrina knew that she would burst into tears. The witch closed her eyes and let her inner voice speak. It told her to fight for Ichabod even if he seemed uninterested in her. She knew the reason and knew that she should stop kidding herself. She had chosen to stay with Abraham over him and Ichabod had never forgiven her. He loved her but was not in love with her at the moment. She had to find a way to get his love back before it was too late.

 "You cannot leave his cabin because Moloch will find you. Only my magic keeps you safe. It would be wise for you not to invoke any spells because they will not work on your favor."

"Because you hate me for giving you life?"

 Katrina walked away from her son and towards the two people in the kitchen causing her grief. "Is there anything that I can help you with?"

 Abbie's face showed happiness as if she were waiting for Katrina to do something to help herself. "Yes!"

 Katrina smiled as Abbie grabbed her hand and led her toward the potatoes. Ichabod stared at the two women as they talked and with each other. They could be friends; very good friends. However, he knew that would not happen. Such peaceful and good situations never came into his life.  Ichabod walked from the kitchen. Henry smiled at him as he approached.

 "You get to spend the entire night with the witch aren't you excited father?"

 "You need not call her that Henry,"

 "It is what she is first and foremost you must not forget that." Ichabod looked towards Katrina peeling potatoes. She looked up from her work and saw him staring at her. A smile graced her face that Ichabod returned before walking outside. Katrina's smile slowly evaporated as she watched Henry follow his father into the evening light.

 

"You don't trust him, neither do I but Ichabod still holds out hope for him."

 "He has always been that way with most things." Abbie knew her meaning.

 "I am sorry about …us and the way that it looks."

 Katrina gently laid her hand on Abbie's shoulder. "There is no need for you to be sorry for anything. I am happy that Ichabod had someone to help him. You are what he needs."

 "No, Katrina you are what he needs. He just has to let go of things."

 Katrina pulled away from the woman before her. "He still is angry over my decision to stay with Abraham. I thought that I could help you two but all I did was ruin my marriage."

 Abbie watched the red haired woman lower her head and make a sound of lament. Small but strong arms surrounded the sobbing woman in a show of comfort that Katrina did not repel. She was a good woman.

 

 

*()*

 

 

The long shadows on the wall of her bedroom made the witch's mind roam as she stared at them. Dinner was awkward to say the least. Ichabod barely looked at her the entire time. He spent most of his time in thought. Something Henry relished as he took over the topic at dinner. He offered to help Abigail with some of her cases. He even offered to get rid of the love sick demon stalking her. Why was he being so helpful to her? Did Ichabod ask him to watch over her? She was a powerful witch why not ask her to keep Abigail safe. She would keep her safe from all harm including her husband.

Katrina rolled over onto her left side and stared out the open window in her room. She loved him. She could not deny it. No matter what he did, she would love him. He had to see her love. He had to know that they shared a perfect love once. She had to make him see that he still loved her even now. Katrina closed her eyes and listened for her husband's movements down the hall... ex husband. He was still up getting information on a relic. She offered to help but he refused. He had no spark of love for her. He would not carelessly touch her as he did Abigail.

 "He needs help with his love." The light in the living room went out and Ichabod walked down the hallway away from her room towards his. There was no desire for him to see her. He tried to get Abigail to stay so that they could work on the case together but she said that she was tired. He did not wish to be alone with his own wife...ex-wife. Hot tears rolled over her eyelashes as thoughts of Ichabod telling her that he did not love her filled her mind.

"He needs help with his love for me."

  

 

*()*

 

"Mills you're here early. Did tall and pasty leave early this morning?"

 Abbie ignored Luke's dig. He was acting like a jealous man and they had been over for almost 2 years. He was the one still trying to get an emotion from her and not a good one. Why was he the bitter one? He left her. If anyone should, have a cause for hostility, it should be her. However, Abbie was okay with the break-up. He never wanted anything to take her focus off of him including trying to better herself.

 "I told you not to talk to me if you can't say something nice."

 Luke smiled at his former girlfriend as he approached her. She was still so beautiful. He was an idiot to let his male ego get in the way of their relationship. All he wanted was another chance. She had been alone for almost two years and no guy had cracked that Mills barricade. For that, he was happy. He knew that he could make her happy if she would just let him in again. "Okay how's this for nice. You are beautiful and I want you to go to the ball with me tonight."

 "No, I already have a date per my sister."

 Luke moved into her personal space and Abbie stepped back. She did not like his sudden aggressive streak towards her. Lately no to him was only a word. He was not thinking with his mind. He was running on pure lust and desire. Luke tried to touch the long hair hanging past her right breast but Abbie knocked his hand away.

 "Lieutenant, is there something wrong?" The voice of Leena Reyes filled Abbie's office and Luke moved away from her and turned to the door to see his superior there with Crane. Anger filled Luke's body when the tall British man sized him up as if he were nothing. The dark look in the tall man's eyes told Luke many things the most important being that he knew what he was trying to accomplish with Abbie.

 "Everything is fine."

 "Alright, Crane needs to talk to you. Morales can I see you for a moment." Leena left the doorway and walked towards her office. Luke watched her go and then returned his attention to Crane.

 "So I will see you tonight."

"Most definitely," The deep British voice made Luke's skin crawl with violence. He walked towards the doorway that Crane blocked.

 "Crane," Abbie sounded worried that the two would cause a scene in her office. She knew that they did not like each other. She did not need more attention on herself. Sheriff Reyes had just started letting Ichabod back into the station.

 As Luke came closer as Ichabod held his ground staring down at the shorter man with contempt and a few other unpleasant thoughts. He heard Abbie call his name again with the same worried tone. His gaze shifted to his companion for a second and then he moved aside to let Luke pass. The shorter man chuckled as he walked out of the office. Ichabod closed the door, looked out the window, and saw Luke staring at them as Leena talked to him. The former traitor to the British Redcoats smiled and slowly let the blinds down to block his view of Abbie. Once he turned around, he saw the frown on the lieutenant's face and smiled again.

 "You need your privacy."

 "That is not why you did that." Abbie walked around her desk and began looking for a file. Ichabod watched her rifled through the piles of disorganized papers on her desk.

 "True but it served as a warning." He watched as she snorted with amusement and shook her head. She raised her head and looked at him.

 "Why are you here? I thought that you and Katrina would rekindle your love."

 The crinkle in his brow told Abbie that that had not happened. "The only thing that we have rekindled is the reason that we are separated."

 Abbie walked around the desk with a saddened face. "She thought that she could help us."

 "I am sure that she did. However, her softness for Abraham played some part in her desire to stay. She never supplied us with any information as I recall."

 "It was dangerous Crane."

 "That is precisely what I told her but as you know my desire to keep her safe does not matter." Ichabod's frown deepened as Abbie stood before him.

 "I know that you still love her or else you would have left her with the Horseman."

 "I was obligated to save her. You made the suggestion Miss Mills."

 "Really Crane, you would have left her there because she once had feelings for her captor. You have to let that go."

 "I have but the time spent away from her has taken its toll on our marriage. I don't feel as strongly for her as I once had."

 "That is natural. You have to work at it. Find out what attracted you to her in the first place." Abbie placed her hand over his heart and smiled up at him.

 Ichabod returned her smile and placed her hand over hers. "I am the elder here by many years and you are the one giving me wisdom."

 "She loves you."

 Ichabod squeezed her hand and continued smiling down at her. "Enough about me I am more concerned about you." 

 Abbie sighed and tried to pull her hand away from his but Ichabod would not allow it. She stared up into his blue eyes and felt her heart flutter for some strange reason. His eyes did not leave hers as he leaned down towards her. He moved his body closer to hers and felt a rush of desire run through his frame that shocked him. Her deep brown pools called eyes would not allow him to turn away. He moved his lips towards her right ear and very deeply whispered. "You have something that I desperately desire to have."

 He felt her body tremble and then a breathy answer filled the office. "Wha...what,"

 Ichabod smiled. "he tickets for the Policeman's Ball, you tend to lose things."

   

Katrina set down the two-way mirror after watching Abbie try to push her husband away from her and him not letting go of her as she laughed. She had forgotten that Ichabod had a wife...ex-wife and he had forgotten that he had someone who love him. Time was not on her side. Time was her enemy and Katrina prepared to fight. The knock on the front door roused the witch from her thoughts. She walked from her room and towards the front of the house. Luke Morales stood there with a blank stare on his face. Katrina stared down at the small vile of clear liquid that she had brewed and cradled it in her hand. This potion would bring back Ichabod's love. She hoped that her spell was strong enough to protect the precious liquid as it passed from Henry's protection and into Moloch's eyes. His dark magic could destroy her last hope at love if she were not careful. This potion would bring her husband back to her and rekindle their love.

"You will place this liquid in Ichabod's drink and he will return to his love for me" Katrina placed the vile in his hand and the dazed police man walked away from the house. She knew that he would complete her mission his dislike of her husband made it easy for her to control him. Negative feelings made one weak to outside forces. He would stay close to Ichabod and Abigail.

 Luke walked towards his car and got inside. He started the engine and drove down the gravel road towards the highway. As soon as he passed the invisible barrier that Henry had made the potion in his hand began to change from clear to red. The good and evil forces fought for two miles until the power of the witch faded and Moloch's evil prevailed.

 

*()*

 

 

Ichabod walked up to the long moonlit walkway to Abbie's home fixing his tie and straightening his black jacket. He was not wearing his 16th century garb. He anxiously awaited her reaction to his new look. Henry proved to be quite the helper. He had many contacts and seemed very eager to help him with this evening's event. Ichabod touched his slightly gelled hair only to find it soft and not sticky. His natural waves flowed and glistened in the light said the woman who tortured him for 45 minutes at the salon. He wanted to leave but Henry talked him out it.

 Ichabod reached the big red door. He stood before it for a moment and then rang the doorbell.

Abbie jumped when she heard the soft bell. She was nervous. The butterflies in the pit of her stomach did not give her confidence that she would not betray Katrina. Crane seemed fine with crossing the line but she could not live with herself if she crossed with him. She was starting not to trust her judgment when she was alone with Crane. She found herself sinking deeper into the warmth that invaded her body when he touched her. Abbie smoothed down her dress and then walked towards the door. She took a deep breath and slowly tuned the knob.

 The tall, handsome man in the black suit staring at her with dark eyes was not the man that had lunch with her that evening. Her heart fluttered, as she looked him over from head to toe. He was beautiful.

 A ragged breath escaped her body as Ichabod's eyes raked down her form. Deep plum, he would always remember this color as he stared at Miss Abigail Mills with possession on his mind. The soft looking fabric hugged all her curves and her breasts even as she panted. Her hair up was up exposing her long neck to him. He wanted to run his lips slowly along the flesh and commit her scent to his memory. He wanted to touch her, grab her and make her his. She was a vision. She was a goddess.

 "If I die tonight it will be my time because I have seen the true beauty of this world." Abbie stood planted before him as he came closer to her. He lowered his lips towards hers.

 

 

 

Katrina placed the two-way mirror on her bed face down. She did not want to see them kiss. She waited until she heard the sound of the car that Henry gave to Ichabod that evening before she picked up the mirror.

 

 "I'm sorry."

 "I understand Abbie." He looked disappointed that she would not let him kiss her. He knew that she wanted to kiss him.

Abbie ran her hands across the soft leather seats of the Lexus and shook her head. "What does Henry want from you your soul?"

 "I am sure it will be some outrageous price. He called it a debt that he owed me."

 "I thought Katrina was the payment." Ichabod kept his eyes on the road as he drove along.

 "Please do not bring her name up tonight. I want this night to be about you and I having an incredible time." Ichabod looked over at her with dark eyes that roamed over her body. Abbie stared at him for moment and then nodded in agreement.

 

*()*

 

 

 

They had been there for three hours and had had dinner. Ichabod had had three drinks so far. He was the designated driver and only had lemonade and water. Abbie had wine. Katrina watched as everyone gawked at the beautiful couple. Everyone wanted to be around them. Ichabod easily controlled who would see them. His arm around her waist was too natural. The way his hand hugged her waist and his fingers caressed Abigail's flat stomach made Katrina whimper with hurt and anger. Where was her messenger?

 Luke walked into the party looking for Crane. He spoke to no one as he spotted his quarry talking with Abbie near the doors to the balcony. The two slowly stepped onto the balcony to continue their conversation in privacy. Luke turned to the bartender. "What is the British guy drinking?"

 "Lemonade,"

 "He's due for another one and can you mix up something special for his date."

  

They stood in silence on the balcony watching Ichabod's finger tracing circles on her flat stomach. She had goose bumps and tingling all over her body. She knew that he could feel her trembling ready to give in to him at any moment.

 "Hey you two hiding from everyone out here?" Luke set the tray on the table and handed Crane his lemonade and Abbie her special drink. Luke picked up his beer and raised his glass bottle in salute. Ichabod stared at him a moment and then drank some of his beverage.

 "What is this?" Her drink smelled very strong to Abbie.

 "Sex on the beach, we should try it someday soon." Abbie walked over to the table beside Luke and set it down. Ichabod took another mouthful of his drink and then stared at the shorter man. The need to throw this man off the balcony became stronger with every look Luke gave Abbie.

 "You are beautiful. I know British has told you that." Ichabod took another mouthful and the thought of ramming the beer bottle down Luke's throat took over his entire being.

"You need to leave us alone."

  

Katrina could tell that the potion was affecting him. She wanted him wild and virile when came back to her. She watched Luke smile and refuse to leave. Something was wrong with her messenger. Someone or something had changed his orders. He was not to anger her husband. Katrina gripped the mirror tightly as she watched Ichabod drink the last of the intoxicating lemonade and focus all his attention on Luke.

  

Abbie stopped Ichabod from advancing toward his target. "Then we will leave."

 Luke reached out and grabbed Abbie's left wrist. "After you and I talk,"

 The hidden rage inside Ichabod broke free from its prison and unleashed violence and carnage throughout the former captain's body. Mindlessly his right hand clamped down on Luke's neck and squeezed. The police officer released Abbie and tried to remove the crushing grip but that proved impossible.

 

"No!" Katrina shook her head watching the scene in the mirror. This was not what her spell was to bring forth. Evil had changed it. She watched Abbie feverishly try to get her ex-husband to let Luke go. She held Ichabod's face in her hands pleading with him. When Luke's knees touched the floor Ichabod released him. He grabbed Abbie's hand and they walked back into the ballroom.

 

 

Abbie walked quickly to keep up with the hard determined steps of her date. If she knew what was running through his mind and body concerning her she would have fought for her life to get away from the uninhibited man. They walked through the crowd of people and towards the front door leaving a wake of whispers behind them.

 He quickly led her through the crowd of people waiting for their car to get to theirs. Why was he rushing her? What was driving his rage? She knew that he hated Luke but this was something different. He drove as if he was on fire. Abbie started at him the entire time. They walked quietly from the car to her door. Abbie's concern for Crane grew when he could not tell her why he had choked Luke or why he could not stop. "He deserved it for touching you. You did not want him to touch you. I did not want him to touch you."

 Abbie stared up into his darkening blue eyes and felt her heart flutter. She reached into her purse, pulled out her keys, and opened the door. She stepped inside and Ichabod stepped closer to her.

 "One kiss is all that I require to send me on my way."

 Abbie trembled with her back to him. She slowly turned around as he stepped inside her house. She felt his strong arms surround her body and pull her tight against his hard frame. A gasp escaped her lips as his mouth devoured hers in a heated kiss. Her hands grabbed on to his jacket as the kiss grew deeper. Abbie pulled away when she needed air. She slowly opened her eyes and saw a flash of red roam across Crane's blue eyes. He felt her body stiffen and she began to struggle in his grip. He back kicked the door close, pressed her up against the wall behind her, and assaulted her lips again.

 Abbie screamed into his mouth. Her purse fell from her hands as she began clawing at him trying to escape. He pinned her to the wall with his body. His left hand grabbed both of her wrists and placed them on the wall above her head. He forced his way between her kicking legs and moved against her in a way that left no doubt what he intended to do to her.

 

 

 

Henry arrived at Ichabod's home later than expected. He wanted Katrina to stew in her jealousy and anger because she was not wanted. He wanted her to know what it felt like to be unwanted and alone as he had. He could not blame his father for his predicament because he did not know he existed. She was to blame for his lonely and unhappy childhood. He felt giddy with joy that she would hurt.

 "ICHABOD!"

 Henry heard the screaming coming from the house and ran towards the door. He threw it open expecting a fight but only heard the witch wailing in sorrow. Henry burst into her room and saw her staring into the mirror that she had stolen from Abraham. He grabbed the mirror from her hands and stared at the scene of his father carrying Miss Mills into her bedroom over his right shoulder. Her screams ran through the entire house but Ichabod remained deaf to them. He threw her onto the bed and pinned her there even as she fought him.

 Henry turned from the mirror and stared at Katrina. "What have you done to him? I can feel the difference in him."

 Katrina wiped her eyes. "I have tried everything that I know to stop him but I can't. Jeremy, PLEASE! Stop him!"

 "I CAN'T. He has ingested what you have brewed it must take its course. He will destroy her forever. You wanted a beast and you have turned him into a monster."

 The horrific screaming from Abbie brought Henry's attention back to the mirror. She was completely naked beneath his father as he began removing his clothing. He held her down roughly, as she fought and continuously sobbed his name. "If she does not fight him he will not be violent."

 Katrina grabbed Henry's arm. "No, you cannot do that. How is that better?"

 Henry ripped his arm away from her hold. "It will save her from a lifetime of pain and loneliness."

 He stared at the scene in the mirror as Ichabod grabbed her knees and pulled them up along his body. Henry began to chant to calm Abigail and force her mind and body to submit to his father. The screaming began to lessen and her fight disappeared. Ichabod noticed her submission and relaxed her brutal grip on her body. He watched her beautiful naked body move sensuously against his clothed frame. His eyes stared deeply into the pool of brown that did not hold hatred and fear for him. Her eyes were full of want and desire. Ichabod finished removing his clothing confident that she would not run away from him. He leaned over her body now completely naked and ready to do what the voice inside of his head beaconed him to do.

 Henry set the mirror on Katrina's bed face down and then walked towards the door. He stopped and turned around. "I would not look into the mirror anymore. You will not like to see the former love of your heart making love to another woman. He will hate you for all time for this."

Katrina watched him walked out of her room. This was not what she wanted. She had to fix this. Ichabod would not hate her for all time if he and Abbie did not remember what happened. Henry was another problem all together. She would have to convince him that he had used his power on Abbie. He would have to help her conceal this. If he wanted his father's trust, he would help her. She would make it hard for him to refuse her request.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter II

 

 

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."

"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.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter III

 

 

No words in English or Greek could relate the anger and putrid thoughts that filled his head. Ichabod Crane sneered as he glared at this woman named Katrina.

"Who are you?"

"Please Ichabod," her hands stretched out in front of her as if they would stop the coming tirade that would rip their fragile friendship apart.

 "PLEASE! WOMAN! you have almost destroyed a relationship with a woman that I care very deeply about. Rape her; you wanted me to rape her. The words curdle in my mouth as I say them. I cannot believe that you would do this to Abigail."

 Katrina placed on hand on her belly but still held her hand up as if to stop him. "I did not mean for you to touch her. I did not mean for you to want her. I did this for us. I thought that I could rekindle our love. I was so mistaken my love. Once the brew left the house Moloch's power weakened it and turned it evil."

 "You meant for me to touch you." She did not think that his anger could ratchet higher but his body trembled with it. She could feel the heat coming from his body and realized that he was still under the grips of the brew. He still had the power but now he controlled it.

 "Ichabod you must listen to me. The brew is still within your body. It will take several days for it to leave you. You must control your emotions or it will project what you feel."

Ichabod looked at his hands and felt the heat running through them. He returned his gaze to the red haired woman crying before him. "Is this how you show your love by controlling what I feel?"

 Katrina looked away from him and let the tears run down her cheeks. "I know that I was wrong. I cannot take it back and I want to so badly. I am sorry if Abigail was hurt."

 "She cried in my arms woman. She CRIED in my arms because she was happy that I did not rape her. You shed tears of joy for joyful things not spells conjured up by a jealous witch. YOU wanted her to suffer."

 "NO!" Her hands fell down to her sides in fists.

 "Admit it you hate her because she makes me want to go on with my life instead of sitting and waiting for you to decide if Abraham is who you want?"

 "She is the only one that welcomed me here! Why would I want to hurt her?"

"Because I want her,"

The loose red curls flew around her head as the witch shook her head not believing the words coming from her beloved's mouth. "No I would never hurt her. I only wanted you back and I did not heed Jeremy's warning. He...."

 "Henry, what does he have to do with this?"

"He told me that my spells would not work."

"He knew about this."

  

Maternal instincts told her to protect her son. He had not started this brew. He had nothing to do with its creation. All he wanted to do was save Abigail from isolation and pain as he had lived. However, this was Ichabod standing before her proclaiming that he cared for someone else. He was here telling her that he wanted someone else in his bed. He was here telling her that he wanted to make love to Abigail Mills. He was here to tell her that he did not love her anymore and would never love her again because she had hurt Abigail Mills.

"He wanted you back with me. I tried to soften the potion but Moloch's powers are too strong."

 When did she become such a lair? Ichabod tried to think of an instance when this was true but nothing came to mind. She was not as he remembered. She was not as he thought. She had changed and not for the better. She would harm anyone that came near him. He would have to be vigilant. He would not let this witch control his life.

 "He hates you. Why on earth would he do anything to help you win anything? He wanted us to leave you with the Horseman. He also supplied us with the information that Abraham had been away for a long time. You could have left at any time."

 Katrina shook her head. "He is mistaken Ichabod. I have wanted to return to you all the while. Jeremy will do anything to make me look guilty as he has with this brew. Ichabod had I known that this would happen I would have never agreed to do this. He has turned away from us my love."

 Ichabod stared at the woman before him with suspicion. "He would never ask for your help with a spell he would do it all on his own. To him, asking you for anything would be a mistake."

Katrina wiped her cheeks with her hand. "Why do you think that I would do something like this to Abigail when all that I want is you? You are so quick to believe everyone but me?"

 "No one is here but you. You are the only one that would do this in an attempt to get me back. I will never come back to you." Ichabod continued frowning at her and she knew that he would never believe her. He was all set to walk away from her and into Abigail's arms because of one mistake. She would have to fix this and there was only one way to do that.

 "You don't understand the pain that I feel when you laugh or look at her the way that you once looked at me Ichabod. All I want is your love and that need and desire drove me to...... do something despicable. I never wanted to harm Abigail. Please bring her in here and I will apologize."

 At the mention of Abigail's name, she saw him tense with anger. He did not like the sound of his new beloved on her lips. He had already replaced her. Katrina's heart shattered within her breasts. She had no choice now. She had to right this injustice no matter what the price would be.

 Ichabod shook his head as the woman before him stepped closer to him with sorrow for all to see on her face. She was truly sorry for her evil deeds but the damage was too great to ignore. "That would not be wise Miss Jenny is known for carrying guns and I doubt that Abigail would let you finish your apology before her self-defense class work kicked in. You will just have to live with your decision to and its aftermath without me. I have come for our legal divorcement. In my heart you no longer have a place in to dwell and I want it that way."

Ichabod reached inside his jacket and pulled out a paper. Katrina's hand shook as she reached for the white paper. "I had it drawn up two weeks prior to you coming here. I cannot live like this anymore. I want to move on with Abigail and this is the only way to achieve that. My telling you and showing you that this is over was not enough to convince you. Maybe the written words will show you that we are no longer married."

 Could one truly feel their soul cracking when the greatest love of their life walked away from you? Katrina stared at the folded paper and then raised her eyes to Ichabod. "You may stay here until I find suitable living arraignments."

 "Wh.....Where will you go?" Her voice was weak and broken.

 "I will find a place to stay. Do not concern yourself with me anymore Katrina. You need to move on with your life as I intend to do with mine."

"What about Jeremy? He is the cause of all of this. He is the one that made this possible. Why won't you believe me!"

 Ichabod closed his eyes and shook his head. He knew his son. He knew that Henry had a special place in his heart for Abigail once he got to know her. He saw himself in her. He saw her loneliness and wanted to fix it. He would never do anything to harm her. "You caused this and he only did what he did to save Abigail from isolation and pain. He sees himself in her and could not let that happen to her. He did all that could to stop your brew. In the end Katrina what did your brew get you?"

 She did not hear much after those words. She watched him walk around the house gathering things as if she were outside of her body floating somewhere between worlds. He was not in love with her anymore. He wanted that officer of the law. He wanted that dark haired temptress that had wormed her way into her Ichabod's life using evil means. She could not lose her beloved to this temptress. She could not lose.

 

 

"Katrina!....Katrina"

 Her eyes opened as she looked around the circle of her sister of the coven. They sat outside in the woods outside Corbin's cabin. She had called them here using the ancient ways. They had agreed to help her with her spell if she gave them eternal power after the spell was completed. Katrina knew how dangerous that was but agreed and they began the spell.

 "We will ask you again. Are you sure that you wish to continue? Your soul is at stake. You will forever remain in the time you control if you do not destroy the object of your pain. Your beloved will be no more and you will die. You must kill. You must kill Grace Abigail Mills."

Katrina stared at the rising smoke in the center of the circle and a small smile formed on her lips. "I will. I will have my beloved."

She would have all that she desired and in the time when her powers were at their peak. She would powerful, the most powerful. She would kill all of those who stood in her way. She knew that many would try to stop her and she would attack them first. She would make her world in her image. She would have her beloved at her side and they would live happily ever after..... forever.

 

*()*

 

 

 

The horse and buggy arrived at the appointed time and Katrina's heart fluttered with joy as the tall and handsome Ichabod Crane stepped from the carriage. He was one of the wealthiest men in the Americas. He had just arrived back from England to take care of some business there with Abraham Van Brunt. Katrina did not like this man and did not know how he got into her world but she knew how to get him out in pieces if she had to. She looked down at her soft pink gown and laughed with joy. All of her dreams would come true now. All she had to do was find Abigail and kill her. She knew that everyone from Sleepy Hollow had merged into her dream. It would not be easy to find her rival but Katrina already had her minions Luke and Frank searching for her and they would find her soon enough.

 A deep sounding voice outside raised the hairs on Katrina's body. She returned to the window and saw Abraham step from the carriage. Anger and fear filled her body. He was immune to her magic. Why and how did he come back with Ichabod? How could he penetrate her spell? Abraham was frowning at the house and already telling Ichabod that he should not associate with Katrina Van Tassel.

"I know that you don't like her Abraham but she is a wonderful woman."

 "Ichabod she has slaves for heaven's sake. You know how I abhor that practice. She is not a good match for you. She will only cause you misery and pain. She is not what you think that she is."

Katrina walked out of her house and towards the carriage. She smiled at both men. "Ichabod my love you are early."

Ichabod reached for her extended hand and brought it to his lips. "How could I stay away from your beauty?"

 A thrill ran through her body but it chilled the minute she looked at Abraham. He wore a smile on his face. Why was he smiling at her as if he knew something? "It is also good to see you Abraham."

"I would say the same to you Katrina if it were true."

 Ichabod frowned at his best friend. "Abraham please you promised that you would behave."

 Katrina looked at her beloved and saw his true anger. He truly loved her and would love her forever. Abraham returned Ichabod's frown.

 "I cannot hold back what is the truth my friend. But I will for your sake. I will explore this town while you and your.... beloved plan your purgatory together." Abraham smiled at the shocked and angry looks that he received. The wealthy land owner from England smiled as he walked away from them and down the cobbled street.

 "He is only angry because his family wants him to return home and run their business. He does not wish too."

 Katrina smiled and waved her hands at Abraham's retreating figure. "I forget what he says the moment that he opened his mouth. Shall we go inside." Ichabod linked his arm with her and they walked inside. Katrina looked down the street at Abraham's retreating figure and frowned. She would send someone to take care of her enemy.

 

*()*

 

 

 

Thick woods made it hard for Henry to drag Abigail from the dilapidated structure that surrounded them. Corbin's cabin had proved a good place to hide. She would send her men here first. Henry could feel it in his blood. Katrina had forgotten about her connection to him even if he had tried to remove it several times. After his fight with the witch over who was to blame for the possible rape of Abigail, Henry became enraged and went to the only person that could exact his revenge.

He went to the Horseman.

He wanted him to take her head. Abraham followed him back to Corbin's cabin but they encountered Abigail waiting in the car for Ichabod. Henry was unable to coax her out of the car so the Horseman ripped the door off and grabbed her. The amulet caused heat to fill the Horseman's body but he did not release Abigail no matter how much pain touching her caused. He pulled her into his body as she struggled. He began crushing her against his muscle and her fight waned until she fell unconscious against him.

Henry turned and looked around the wooded area feeling the disturbance in the air. He could feel the changes in the earth and time. Some sort of witchcraft was afoot...evil forces were alive and flowing. Henry looked over at Abraham.

"She is with the coven and they are conjuring something..... forbidden and evil against this time. She has lost what she had desired and has decided to punish us all for her deception and jealousy."

 The head of the Horseman appeared as Abraham faced the warlock. "Take the woman you will be safe with her. The amulet will protect you both. I will find another way in."

Henry wrapped his arms around the limp body of the lieutenant and watched Abraham walk towards the cabin. The warlock could feel the times changing and held the woman tighter and closed his eyes as the forces of evil ripped them from the current time into the past.

 

~~

 

Henry pulled Abbie behind a band of trees as Katrina's men walked through the darkness. They had no mind of their own. They were truly slaves of the witch. Her desire to have Ichabod had gone far beyond anything that Henry could imagine. She had thrown the world back into her time and now she wanted to kill Abigail.

 The soft moan from the sleeping woman in his arms caused Henry to tense as the wide eyed searchers stopped and listened to the silence. Henry held Abbie closer as he tried to silence her. After about a minute, the two men moved away from them. Even though the amulet protected him from Katrina, it stopped his power. He would have to separate it from her.

Henry brought her to the edge of the forest and saw a group of Nuns there picking the wild berries that they used to make the communion wine. Slavery was something that they preached about in their daily sermons. Henry smiled until he saw the faces of the women. They were hideous and contorted into a sneer. They were Katrina's sisters in the coven and from the looks of them, she had not kept her promise to them. They wanted Abigail just as badly as Katrina did. Henry ducked back into the woods.

"We know that you are there?"

 Henry turned back to the opening and stepped into the light with Abigail in his arms. "Give her to us and we will protect her."

 "Even I do not need power to see that you are lying."

 "We six can take her from you."

 A deep chuckled filled Henry's chest and filled the clearing. "I will not be embarrassed by old women. Come take her if you dare."

 The six witches stood in a semi-circle unsure what to do. Although neither could conjure magic, Henry was in better condition to prevail over them. "A truce must be between us then warlock. We will help you hide her from the betrayer Katrina. She has to kill her in order to keep her beloved."

 "No you will just hold her as ransom until Katrina gives you what you want. I will not give her to you."

 "How will you keep her safe? The amulet prevents your magic. The betrayer will find you and kill you both. She fears you as well as the woman. If you defeat her you must resurrect us. We will keep her in purgatory until the end of time Warlock. Make us this bargain and we will remove her from your sight forever."

 Henry nodded. The witches returned his nod and then faced away from him.

The six witches hissed in warning as the two wide eyes men sent by Katrina came back towards them. Henry ducked into the darkness when he heard their warning. The two men advanced on the witches with knives and objects of stone. Henry watched as they butchered the witches as if they were nothing. They posed a threat to Katrina's power. They could send her back into Abigail's time but now they were no more. He would have to tread lightly and find a place to hide Abigail until he could stop her.

 

*()*

 

Katrina smiled as Ichabod spoke to her father about his deals with some merchants in England. She loved this man more than anything and now he was all hers. She had sent her two men to find Abigail but they had been unsuccessful so Katrina picked a new target. Her sisters of the coven had to die. She had reneged on her promise to them. If she had given them power they would revoke hers. She could not let that happen. If they died here, they would weaken in the next world as time passed. She and Ichabod would be happily married by then and have plenty of children and grandchildren by then. The Horseman and Moloch would not exist and Sleepy Hollow would be safe. This was a good thing to have peace at the cost of one death or two.  No one would mourn for them.

Katrina's mind began working in a new direction. How did Abraham get into her world? She was careful in the time of day to perform the ceremony. Her coven was powerful. She had left no door open so how could he invade her world. His poison would turn Ichabod from her and ruin her dreams. He would have to die. His presence made her weary and unsure. She had to be strong and watchful for Abigail. The woman had to die in order for her to be happy. She deserved this one thing. Why was everyone so against her being with her husband.

The maid came to the door of the study and looked at Katrina. Miss Van Tassel excused herself from the room as the men stood. She followed the maid to the wine cellar. Frank and Luke stood there breathing heavily. Blood covered every inch of their bodies but they seemed not to notice. Katrina released them from her power and they fainted to the ground. She turned towards the two slaves watching her.

 "Clean them up and put them to bed." The slaves curtsied and began with her instruction. Katrina walked from the cellar and towards her room. She closed her door and sat down on her bed. She knew that this would get bloody but what she did not see was her strength to withstand the carnage. She wanted her beloved more than what was right. To her this was right and that was all that mattered. Ichabod would see that in the end and would forgive her for this. She had to make things right and this was the only way that she knew. Diplomacy had failed and now action was required and she was ready for it. She hungered for it.

 "The mirror, I can find her with the mirror." Katrina quickly got up from her bed and began searching her room for the trinket that she had stolen from the Horseman. She looked in drawers and under her bed. She knew that it could be anywhere within her room being an object of magic. She would just have to examine every crack and crevice for it.

For thirty minutes, she searched in vain for the mirror. Katrina threw her clothing onto the floor in anger and ran her hands through her hair. She knew that it had to be here. Katrina sat down on her bed and searched her mind for where the object could be but came up empty with an answer. She would just have to send her minions out again to find her enemies and destroy them. She could not attack Abraham yet but she knew that would get her chance. She was patient this was her world after all. She could do whatever she wanted and no one could stop her.

Katrina got off her bed and straightened her hair. She would continue looking for the mirror later. Right now she had a man downstairs that wanted to woo her.

  

 

He watched her tearing her room apart and smiled with joy. The witch would never find the mirror because he held it. This doorway into her world allowed the Horseman his only chance to save himself from damnation. He was going to stop himself from making his deal with the devil. He was going to right his wrongs and save his soul. Nothing would stop him from completing his redemption, not a witch, not a warlock and not even himself. He would kill if he had to, to make his redemption possible.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter IV

 

 

 

 

Henry looked down at the unconscious woman in his arms as he sat under a huge willow tree. She would sleep as long as she wore the necklace."This necklace keeps you asleep in this time. I must remove it or you will never wake. We must return this world to the right time. You will not remember anything. You will be as innocent as the day that you were born. You will be pure in heart, body, and soul as you are now. I will keep you safe from all harm."

Pain enveloped his body when he touched the necklace. Henry felt it draining his strength as he tried to pull it from her neck. He gritted his teeth and with one hard yank, the amulet's chain snapped and he threw the trinket to the ground. Henry leaned back against the trunk of the tree and rested to regain his strength. They would need shelter. Henry scanned the horizon and noticed the sprawling mansion across a sea of manicured lawns. He could see slaves working outside pruning flowers. They were smiling and talking as they worked. None of them looked ill-treated. They were readying the home for someone. Henry smiled that someone would be him. Henry picked up a rock and smashed the necklace lying beside him.

The remnants of Katrina's spell began to transform them. Henry's clothing took on the appearance of a wealthy land owner. The ripple of power ran over his body and to Abbie. Her clothing became a long dress of beige. Slave garb and Henry frowned. The witch's jealousy and anger enslaved Abigail to a life of hardship and pain. He knew this life well and despised it. Abbie moaned and slowly opened her eyes and blurry figure staring down at her began to take shape.

"Are you alright Abigail?"

Abbie raised her hand to her head and closed her eyes. "Wha..."

"You fell from your horse." The sound of heavy horse hooves made Henry raise his head as four men with guns came towards them.

"Who are you, speak quickly or you will be put in irons."

 Henry smiled as he stared up at the men. "I am who you are waiting for."

 His power flowed over the men and across the field towards the workers. "Oh my word! Please forgive me Lord Sutton I thought that you were someone one else."

 "Quite alright my daughter Abigail has fallen from her horse she will need attention."

 "Yes immediately!" He looked at the other man.

 A blonde haired man got off his horse, bent down towards Abbie, and lifted her from Henry's lap. He easily walked towards his horse with her as Abbie stared back at Henry as he stood and smiled at her.

 "It is all right Abigail everything will be fine."

 

After having Abigail rest for a day, she and Henry walked their newly built home to get familiar with it and the people that worked for them. It became apparent to Henry that none of these workers knew who Lord Sutton was. None of them had ever seen the man. He lived in England. When the family did appear, three days later Henry discovered that he did not like them. They were mean and rude people. Hate filled their bodies and Henry decided that they should serve him. Markus Sutton became his butler Fred. His wife Mildred worked in the kitchen. His daughter became a maid and his son a stable hand. He doubted that anyone in England would miss them.

He and Abigail overhauled the shipping business that made Sutton wealthy and made it run smoother and faster. His spell kept everyone under control except for the foreman Nick Hawley. Lust was keeping him from submitting to the power. His lust for Abigail would get him killed. He knew that the man would not touch her because he was his employer's daughter but it bothered Henry that Abigail only seemed to encourage his attention with her adventurous spirit. She rode horses at break neck speeds. She was always where she should not be and Nick was always there watching her. The time was right to bring Ichabod to him.

He had sent news to the people about his arrival and the need for a caretaker to oversee his house and business when he was away. He had also told some people in town about his desire to open trade with some of the merchants and landowners in town. He knew that he would draw greedy Baltus Van Tassel out of his troll cave because the man loved money. He had one problem everyone knew that Lord Sutton abhorred slavery. Of course, Baltus would think that he was less of a man because of his daughter"s mother. What he did not know was that the familiarity that Ichabod and Abigail shared was stronger than any spell that the witch could conjure. If they spent the time together, they would fall in love and break the spell. This could end Katrina's dream but he knew it would not. She would do anything and everything to have Ichabod to herself.

 

*()*

 

 

 

Katrina sat down on her bed after breakfast trying to remember where she put the mirror. She still had not found it five days later. A soft knock on her door made her heart jump. "Yes,"

 "Miss your father, Mr. Crane, and Mr. Van Brunt have gone to introduce themselves to the new Lord Sutton. He has just arrived from England. Everyone is thrilled that he has picked Sleepy Hollow to trade. He will bring much wealth here. If Mr. Crane can get a contract with him, it will only increase his wealth and power."

Katrina's excitement vanished. She wanted her love to come see her in her room. Although her father would not permit that, she knew that Ichabod had a reckless streak in him and the remnants of the brew would increase his need to act to meet the demand of his lust. "Thank you Helena,"

The woman left her door and Katrina pondered the woman's words. Who was this Lord Sutton? Was he an anomaly that sometimes entered a spell? Something in her subconscious, that she had not cleared before preforming the spell. She would have to meet this man and find out if he was friend or foe. Katrina laid back on her bed feeling the exhaustion taking over her body. She needed to rest the spell took a lot from her and she needed to stay strong to keep the spell going. As long as Ichabod was close, she would stay strong and this fantasy would last forever. All she had to do was find Abigail and destroy her. The nagging feeling in her heart made the witch frown. Abigail was her friend. She was the one that talked Ichabod into saving her when he wanted to leave her at the Horseman's home. She was the one that made her feel needed and wanted in Ichabod's home. She was the one th....

 "NO!" Katrina sat up in her bed breathing heavily and balling her hands into fists. She had to have Ichabod. He was hers and nothing would deter her, not even her own heart. Katrina closed her eyes and laid back down.

"He is mine and will always be mine."

 

*()*

 

Baltus Van Tassel was a hard man to love or even like. He was burly man with red hair. He treated everyone the same....as if he owned them. He knew that Lord Sutton had certain requirements that he could and would not meet. The man was one of those freedom people that Baltus wanted killed. He wanted them hunted down and tore to shreds. These people needed a firm hand and boundaries. They were property and no one had the right to take them from him. They were his slaves. He had paid for them and he was going to get his monies worth from them. Baltus turned his gaze from the scenery outside his window and looked across the aisle at his future son in law. This man would have to speak for him.

 "Ichabod,"

 Ichabod turned his attention to the scowling man. He always looked this way, happy, sad, and overjoyed. "Yes Mr. Van Tassel."

 "Please call me Baltus I know that your love for Katrina is absolute and unchanging."

 Abraham rolled his eyes as he looked out his window. He needed something from his friend. This man was so predictable. Whenever he needed something from you, he would bring out you can call me Baltus speech. Then retract it later when your services were complete.

 "Now Ichabod in the event that I cannot convince the Lord Sutton that Van Tassel is the perfect family to align with I will need you to speak in my behalf."

 "If I speak in your behalf he still will not want to do business with you. I think that I should speak to him alone if I have any chance of getting into business with him. You do want me to be able to support Katrina on my own stead don't you?"

Abraham turned and faced his friend. When did he suddenly get a head for business? Did he know what Van Tassel was trying to do? Did he know that Van Tassel wanted to own him as well as his slaves? He had seen his friend reading the paper about Lord Sutton. He knew how wealthy this man was.

 Baltus could only stare at the tall confident man sitting across from him. "We....well yes I do b..."

"Then you know that you cannot come inside because if he sees you with me this will not work."

 Baltus frowned at the man's words. "You think that you can convince this man to do business with you."

 "I am educated and he will see my worthiness to his company."

 Abraham watched the fat man protest Ichabod's decision by throwing his hands in the air grunting out sounds of rage. He hated anyone that bested him.

 The carriage came to a stop.

 "Abraham and I will go inside and speak with Lord Sutton." The driver opened the door and the line of carriages that led to the mansion made Ichabod lose his breath. Baltus smiled and laughed in the carriage.

 "Go show Lord Sutton what you are made of if you can Mr. Crane."  Ichabod recovered his breath and walked from the carriage with Abraham following. They walked towards the front of the mansion. The man standing at the door smiled at them.

 "Mr. Crane. Lord Sutton has been waiting for you."

 Ichabod raised an eyebrow. "I was not aware that he knew me."

 Nick continued smiling. "He has followed your works. He was most impressed with your engineering skills and problem solving ability with the shipping yards."

"All one had to do is pay attention to the details."

 "Well Lord Sutton hopes that you will do that here." Nick opened the door and Ichabod and Abraham walked inside the foray. Powerful landowners and Barons stood there staring at them as the door closed behind them. The looks of jealousy and disgust filled their faces. Why would a Lord as wealthy as Sutton want a man such as this in his company? He had no wealth of his own and no one of importance except his friend Abraham Van Brunt and he was a scoundrel of ill repute. Abraham smiled at their scowls. He knew what they were thinking and he did not give a shit.

 "Follow me," Nick led them through the sea of wealthy men that could go no further in Lord Sutton's home. He opened another door and let Ichabod and Abraham inside as the others crowded at the entrance to try to see more of the house. Nick pushed them back and closed the door. He walked on with the two men following him. He led them into a small sitting room and then turned to Abraham.

"Will you please wait here for Mr. Crane?"

Abraham smiled and nodded. Nick walked on with Ichabod through two more rooms until they reached the library. He let Ichabod inside and then turned and left him alone in the room closing the door behind him.

 The complete silence of the room was just what Ichabod needed to gather his thoughts. The man at the door said that Lord Sutton knew of all of his accomplishments but Ichabod wanted to show this man that he was loyal and honest. He wanted to have his own money and land. He did not wish to work for Baltus Van Tassel the slave owner. He had plans to take Katrina away from all this bondage. If he could make this man, see that he was trustworthy and perfect for his company all of his desires would come true.

The sound of the east side door opening pulled the former war veteran and scholar from his thoughts. He heard the soft footsteps and began walking around the massive bookshelves to see who had entered the library. He finally reached the last aisle and that was when he saw her. Something akin to pain but with a twinge of pleasure rolled through his loins as he watched the dark skinned woman dressed in deep red fabric turn to close the door. She wore no corset or mysterious hoops that Katrina wore under her gown. The fabric followed the curves of her body and the swell of her generous breasts. He could not turn his gaze from her and felt the need to say her name as if he knew what it was. Somehow, it seemed as if he should know but he could not speak it right now. Something was preventing him from knowing her name.

Abbie turned and gasped when she saw the man standing at the end of the aisle staring at her as if she were someone that he knew. His hand went up in a form of apology as he walked towards her. His shoulder length hair caught the wind as he advanced. His blue eyes traveled down her body and Abbie felt heat run up spine and deep within her body. She liked the less material in her dresses. The bulk made it harder to ride horses and run.

 

"My lady I did not mean to frighten you. I am waiting for Lord Sutton." Ichabod drew closer and the light of the sun shone on her dark eyes and revealed that they were alive with beauty and mystery. As he came even closer, he noticed just how flawless her skin was unmarred with powders and markers. His body began to react quickly to her beauty. He felt his flesh jump and harden in places that he fought to keep silent. These places only tingled around Katrina but here they roared with lust and memory. Something about her was familiar to him. Ichabod stopped before her and stared down at her as she kept looking around him to see if anyone was coming in the opposite direction.

 "Do I know you?"

 His voice was deep and soft. Abbie immediately looked up at him and a slow smile crept onto her face. "Are you flirting with me?"

The tall man's eyes dipped down her body and she felt as if she would melt there before him. He was so familiar to her but Abbie could not place his face. "I would very much love to know you."

The door to the right of them opened and Abbie ran behind Ichabod. He turned and faced the man who opened the door. Nick stood there looking around the library.

"Did a young woman come through here?"

 Ichabod raised an eyebrow. "Should I be concerned?"

 "She is supposed to be resting. She had a terrible fall from her horse a few days ago."  Abbie pressed her body harder against Ichabod's back. He wished that could feel her breasts through his jacket. He could only imagine how soft the dark globes of flesh would be.

 "That is unfortunate. Are you watching her?"

 Nick frowned. "She is a  beautiful handful to keep track of sometimes."

 Abbie's hands rested on his back and Ichabod took a breath to keep his desire to turn around at bay. "Is she?"

 "Yes, I sometimes wonder how or if any man could handle her. She fancies herself as running her father's company. However, not in this time she will have to marry to keep this wealth in the family. I am thinking of another way in. If I could woo her into my arms and if she were carrying my child neither could deny me and you would work for me."

 Anger filled Ichabod's body. This heathen would never touch her. He would never know her. He would render this man unconscious or worse if he ever talked about Lady Sutton again. "What is your name sir?"

 "I am Nick Hawley. I am the foreman in Lord Sutton's company, Mr. Crane."

 "Really because you speak as if you have accomplished something greater than just a foreman position. Don't you think that once I am hired I will let you go?"

 Nick took a step towards Ichabod. "Everyone talks about her like that. They want Lord Sutton's wealth too. She is not hard to look at and that makes it sweeter. She is a very sought after commodity."

 "I assure you her father does not think of her that way."

 "If he did he would never leave her alone." Nick smiled at his last statement.

 Ichabod smiled. "He certainly would not with you chasing after her trying to get her to carry your child."

 The blue in Nick's eyes darkened. "Are you threatening me?"

 "You will know when I am threatening Mr. Hawley. There will be no talking....especially from you."

Abbie tensed behind this man that she had just met. He was defending her as if she were his or going to be. No one had ever stood up to Nick Hawley like that.

 Nick glared at the man. "I don't care what Lord Sutton wants with you, Abigail is off limits. I would hate to see anything happen to you because you do not listen."

He wanted to advance towards his opponent but he would see the woman behind him if he did. So he stayed put and let his rage fester to keep her hidden. The breathing techniques that he learned from the men of Asia served him well here. However, he wanted to try other things that the warriors of the east had taught him in his five years there, he was a very good pupil. "It would serve you well to listen to your own words Mr. Hawley."

 Nick moved towards Ichabod with a quick movement of violence but when his rival did not even flinch Nick's confidence waned.

 "Just stay out of my way. I run this place when Lord Sutton is gone." Nick walked back towards the way that he came in and closed the door behind him.

Abbie backed away from the man shielding her as he turned around to face her. "You are his daughter Miss Abigail Sutton."

 "Abbie please, and thank you for not telling him that I was here." She stared up at him for a moment and felt a slow burn enter her body the longer that she stared. A smile crossed her lips as she turned away from him and slowly walked down the closest aisle to her.

 Ichabod watched her walk away. He liked the way the sunlight twinkled in her long dark hair. The beautiful curls swayed around her body in a sultry flare when she moved. He just knew that the thick strands were soft to the touch. After a while of staring at her body moving away his feet moved and he slowly followed her down the aisle. She looked over her bare shoulder and saw him following her. Weakness and joy entered her body as she turned around smiling.

"Why are you following me the danger is over?"

 "Is it?"

 Her soft chuckle lit a fire in his body that he knew would not quench until he was inside of her and maybe not even then. He watched her as she turned around and faced him as she backed away from him.

 "You are here for the caretaker position incase my father leaves for any trips abroad."

 "That I am."  He watched the vein on her neck quicken. She was experiencing difficulty with her current behavior. He could see the cracks in her confidence as he came closer to her. Abbie stopped and rested her back against the bookshelf behind her when Ichabod stood before her. She lowered her head when he stared down at her.

 "What makes you think that you are qualified? Your betrothed is a Van Tassel and my father hates Baltus Van Tassel."

 "I am not Baltus Van Tassel I am Ichabod Crane at your service."

 Abbie raised her head. "But you are to marry his daughter are you not."

 Ichabod felt a familiarity with this woman being this close to her. He watched her heaving breasts quicken as lowered his head so that she and only she could hear him speak.

 "I am."

 Abbie lowered her voice as well. She did not trust it to sound strong when she felt so weak. She did not know why but man caused storms inside of her that she had never known existed inside her body. She tried desperately to stop the rolling pleasure in her belly and lowering regions but it was impossible. "Then why are you here flirting with me?"

 His soft hair touched her cheek as he spoke. "You started this."

 She lifted her head and tried to back up but there was nowhere to go. He was so close to her but she was not afraid of what he would do. She was afraid of what he would not do. What was wrong with her? She should be frightened being alone with this strange man so close to her. His dark eyes made her body melt for him to touch her. He was familiar to her.

 "Do I know you?" Her voice was so soft that it almost sounded like a whisper.

 "May I introduce myself?" Abbie placed her hands on his chest when he moved closer to her.

 "You are betrothed." She squeezed her body from between his and the bookshelf and moved away from him. She slowly turned away from him with a smile on her face and continued slowly walking down the aisle. She looked over her bare shoulder to make sure that he was following and he was. Abbie returned her head forward.

"What is her name?"

 He stared at her curvy body from behind and marveled at how the seamstress figured out the perfect dimensions of this woman's backside. Why would Lord Sutton allow her to wear such shapely clothing? The man must have intense confidence that no man would to try to take liberties with this lively creature.

 "Beautiful,"

 Abbie chuckled as she looked back at him. "Her name is beautiful."

 His eyes raised to her beautiful smiling dimpled face. "No....yes."

 "Then what is her name?" Abbie asked turning back around as she continued walking away.

 "Ahh..... " His mind could only think of one name and it was not his betrothed. He watched her turn the corner as he searched his brain for the name. He stopped walking.

 Abbie continued down the new aisle. "She would not like that you forgot her name in mixed company, especially to a woman of my complexion. I hear that she is not very nice to her slaves of any color. Is this your choice of a good wife Mr. Crane?"

 She continued walking waiting for his response but none came. As she reached the end of the aisle, Ichabod appeared before her, towering over her body.

 "Are you a test?"

 Now Abbie began backing away as he advanced towards her threatening to overrun her. "A test for what?"

 He could see fear and mischief in her eyes and it only excited him more. "A test to see if I am loyal to her,"

 Abbie frowned at his words. "Can't you say her name?"

 "Her name is Katrina."

 Abbie smiled. "That is a beautiful name."

 Ichabod grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. "What is this?"

 "Why are you touching me?"

 "Why aren't you trying to get away from me?" His voice lowered. He could feel her heartbeat slamming into her chest. Her smell was soft and familiar. Had he seen her somewhere? How could he have forgotten such a spirited creature?

 Ichabod lowered his head as she turned hers away. His lips touched her ear and electricity shot through their bodies. A rumble in the sky informed all that the summer rain was on its way and would soon drench the parched earth.

 "Do I know you?" The hot breath from his voice caressed her skin and sent shivers all over her body. Ichabod's arm circled her waist and pulled her closer. The window blew open and Abbie jumped out of his arms as he released her. She began walking away from him. Ichabod stood there watching thinking that she was leaving until she looked over her shoulder at him to see if he was following her. A slow smile formed on his lips as he began following her.

 "You did not answer my question?"

 "Which one?"

 His smile grew deeper as he followed her down the aisle. "Do I know you?"

 "Why would I know you?"

"You play coy with me but I see desire in you to know me." Abbie's chuckling made his blood burn with lust. He needed to woo her.

 "Is that what you wish for me to feel?"

 "That is what Mr. Hawley and the others think. I know that you do."  Abbie stopped walking and faced him

 "You think that I am some loose woman."

 He held her gaze as he continued walking towards her. "You are as pure as sunshine and as mysterious as the night."

 She could not take her eyes from his as he raised his right hands and ran a finger over her bare shoulder. "You will not settle for less and I am not less"

 "No you are betrothed." Her long lashes slightly closed over her eyes as he lowered his lips to hers.

"I am....trying to decide about that Lady Sutton."  Abbie felt the heat of his body and then the coldness as he moved away. Abbie opened her eyes and saw her father standing there smiling.

 "Ichabod Crane I presume." Ichabod walked towards him and shook his hand.

 "Lord Sutton I am very pleased to meet you."

 Henry continued smiling, he knew the precise time to enter the room. He wanted to leave Ichabod frustrated with the need to touch her again. "As am I you Mr. Crane, I trust that my daughter did not cause you too much trouble with her adventures. She does like to cause an uproar."

Ichabod looked back at Abbie as she looked at him. "No she did not cause any trouble. I enjoyed her company."

 Abbie smiled at him as she walked by and towards her father. Henry held her hand. "Please come with us."

 

~~

 

They sat in the library discussing all of Henry's investments but he knew that Ichabod did not hear a word that he said. His attention was squarely on Abbie who sat on his left. The young man would look at her the entire time that Henry spoke. Ichabod could do the job in his sleep Henry knew. He always paid attention to the details. He knew that Abbie would excite him. She was something different and a mystery. "I would like for you to spend time here in my house to get to know the staff and the run of the house. We can go over the daily figures from the shipping yard and discuss what to do with Nick Hawley."

 The man's name pulled Ichabod from his fantasy about Lady Sutton. "I have ideas that I would like to try if you don't mind Lord Sutton."

 Abbie looked at her father. He normally would not allow anyone to touch Nick Hawley. What did he know about this man that she did not?

 "I will leave him in your care."

 

*()*

 

 

Baltus Van Tassel walked into his home shaking the water from his body as his slaves took his coat. Katrina walked down stairs expecting to see Ichabod with her father.

 "Where is Mr. Crane father?"

Baltus bristled at the frown on her face. Was he not good enough for her? Ichabod was not even half the man that he was.

 "It seems as if Lord Sutton has taken leave of his senses and hired Ichabod as his caretaker when he leaves."

 Katrina squealed and hugged her father. Baltus scoffed at her enjoyment.

 "He will be there for a few days learning the house and business. If I were you, I would not get so happy. Lord Sutton has no love for our family. He does not advocate slavery. You cannot go there."

 Katrina pulled away from him. "He is my betrothed."

 "Katrina it is just a few days and then he will return the same man as before." Baltus walked away leaving his daughter to ponder his words.

 Katrina turned and walked back upstairs to her room. Something was wrong. She needed to see what was at Lord Sutton's home. The soft knock on her door brought the witch from her stupor. She walked to the door and saw two of her white male slaves standing there. None would stop them and they were her best eavesdroppers. "Go to the Sutton estate and bring me word."

The two men left her room to do her bidding.

 

*()*

 

She was silent as she walked beside him towards his room. They found Abraham asleep when they walked out of the library. He agreed to stay at the mansion and one of the maids showed him his room while Abbie escorted Ichabod.

"Perhaps we will remember when we met if we see each other every day."

 "Or we will remember why we don't."  Abbie replied with a smile.

 "I don't believe that I would ever leave you voluntarily." Abbie stopped walking and so did Ichabod. She stared up at him.

 "I have never known a man. I do not ever remember seeing your face and yet you fee....."

 "I feel familiar to you. You feel the same way to me. I do not understand it myself Abbie but I do not wish to fight it." He moved closer but Abbie moved back.

 "You are to marry Katrina Van Tassel and I am not a woman to take one from another. I don't know why I feel as if I know you but I am not willing to find out why." Abbie laid her hand upon the door beside her.

 "This your room I trust that you have a good night's rest." She turned to leave.

 "What are you afraid of?" Abbie turned back towards him as he approached her. She moved back and her back hit the wall. She stared into his eyes until she lost her nerve. He moved even closer and she looked away.

 "I am not afraid of anything." She expected him to continue with his questioning but he quickly moved away from her. Nick Hawley went flying into the wall across from her. Ichabod had avoided the man's punch and connected with a palm to his stomach. Nick fell to his knees. Ichabod held Nick's right wrist with three fingers but Nick could not move it. A groan of frustration escaped the foreman as Ichabod applied pressure to his wrist. "I often wondered how fast I could put a man down from this position. Simple pressure to your neck and you will sleep. Shall we try it"

"NO!" Nick yelled. Ichabod released him and the foreman scrambled to his feet and took up a fighting stance.

 "Are you going to be a problem Mr. Hawley?"

 Abbie watched the man drop his hands and rub his stomach. He said nothing as he walked away from Ichabod.

 "Are you alright?"  He approached her as she stared up at him.

 "I'm fine are you alright? How did you know that he was coming? He likes to sneak up on you."

 "I heard his footsteps." Ichabod went to open this door but Abbie stopped him.

 "That is not your room. it belongs to Chester. He usually walks around in his underwear when he's in there says the maids." He watched her walk away with a smile on her face. He smiled and followed behind her.

 "Where is your room?"

 Abbie chuckled. "That is none of your business,"

 "We are connected I am sure that I will find out soon."

 She looked over her shoulder. "My father is not someone that you should upset."

 "What about his daughter? Am I upsetting her?"

 He saw the small smile on her lips as she turned around and knew that he was not upsetting her at all.

 

*()*

 

  

Henry stood before the large window watching the rain soak the ground below them. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath and then smiled and opened his eyes. "Abraham,"

 The rider of death walked from the darkness and stood beside the warlock. "He rests in the room upstairs."

 "I will let him rest tonight." Henry nodded.

 The two watched the rainfall for a while. "Why didn't you kill her? Why bring them together"

 "She caused this because her concoction did not produce a mad raving beast to mate with her. She will punish everyone to have what she wants. What I do not understand is why you don't just end it now and claim her head."

"I have demons of my own that I must stop. The witch is of no concern to me. I want to stop Moloch and I will stop the birth of me."

 Henry faced the giant creature with a frown on his face. "But you will cease to exist."

 The concern in his voice made the horseman face him and his head appeared. He gave Henry a small smile but said nothing. They both turned back towards the window and saw the two men walking along the tree line trying to figure out why they could not cross into Sutton land.

 "She is searching for the anomaly that she thinks is here."

 Henry smiled.  "Should I show her that I am here?"

 Abraham chuckled. "Why make her have sleepless nights this early I am sure that not having her beloved is killing her."

 Henry nodded. "What about yourself? What will you do to stop the meeting with Moloch? You would not listen before what makes you think that you will listen now."

 Abraham raised his axe. "Even a horseman of death has fears and I will bring every one of them to bear to free myself."

 

*()*

  

 

Well this was just a mess that he was in now. Ichabod stared at the ceiling in his well-furnished room. He knew where her room was she tried her best to mislead him but he asked Chester and he did like to sit around in his underwear. However, he would stomach that for twenty minutes to find out where she slept after the man told his life story. What was he thinking? Katrina trusted him without question and here he was trying to woo his employer's daughter? Ichabod sighed as lightening lit his room. He knew her. They knew each other. What was keeping him from remembering how he knew her? She felt it too so he was not alone. He would find out why because solving a mystery was one of his favorite things to do.

 Ichabod sat up in the bed angry at himself. "What am I thinking? I am to marry Katrina and that is what I am going to do."

He had to speak it out loud so that he could hear it himself. He did not know if he believed it. Where was his honor and loyalty? Where was the strength that he prided himself on throughout his life? Why did he want this woman?

His back hit the firm mattress as the question roamed through his head. He would not solve it tonight. He would have to wait until morning to get his answer.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter V

 

 

Henry walked towards the large window in his room and viewed the hilly countryside that was his land now. He was the supreme power here without his mother's knowledge. She was a fool if she thought that he would allow her to continue her ridiculous dream of trapping Ichabod here forever. She was just acting out of spite because she had destroyed their love by staying with Abraham who never had a desire for her. Katrina had overestimated her importance in Abraham's life. However, by the time she realized it Ichabod had moved on with his life. She was a cancer and had no business trying to harm Abigail because of her own misstep.

Henry turned from the window and walked towards the chair in his room. He picked up his jacket feeling the softness of the material and marveling at its construction. Sounds of laughter from outside his window drew Henry's thoughts back to his predicament. A smile filled his face because he knew that Abigail was happy here. She deserved happiness. She was like him in many ways. They both were at the mercy of those who had no concern that their actions affected them. Abigail's happiness should not depend on what Katrina wanted or thought that she deserved. The witch had no right to punish this woman. Henry placed on his jacket, walked towards the window, and watched Abigail and her black mare named Ember. She was War's mount. The smile on Henry's face grew wider. Why should Abigail have to wait to find love? They deserved peace and happiness on their own terms.

Henry knew that he and Abigail could live here without the threat of violence and rejection that he had in his life. Ichabod and Katrina had caused all of his sorrow and pain. Nothing good could come from either of them. Katrina did not deserve happiness but neither did Ichabod. They deserved each other. They deserved pain and misery. They deserved to live here together in torment, while he and Abigail deserved life here.

Henry turned away from the window thinking about his last thought. This was the witch's blood in his veins telling him this. The madness that she could not shake was threatening to envelope him and make him just like her. He could not allow that. He did not wish to hurt anyone. He only wanted justice for himself and Abigail. They did not need the memory of their pain every time that they saw Katrina or Ichabod. They deserved to be the masters of their own fates.

Henry rubbed his forehead with the fingertips of his right hand. Keeping Ichabod away from Abigail would not be a bad thing. His presence would attract his mother and she would bring pain to Abigail. He wanted to avoid that. His father was already smitten with her. How in good conscience could he keep them apart. He was not his mother and he would not let this madness inside of him rule over his good nature. He would let their feelings lead the way. He would protect Abigail with all the power that he could wield.

Henry closed his eyes and summoned one of his minions to his room. After a few seconds, he opened his eyes and returned his gaze back towards Abigail riding Ember.

 "You will thank me for keeping us here. Your life will be infinitely better. No one will ever harm you while I am here. Father or whomever you choose will always take care of you. You will never long for anything. I will give you all that you need. We deserve this time of plenty."

The knock at the door made the warlock turn and bade the person to come in. Nick Hawley walked into the room with a look on his face that said he was not in control of his body. Henry smiled at the man and walked towards him. "I am in need of your services, specifically of the digging kind. I need you to unearth the witches and wait for further commands."

Nick nodded and then walked out of the room as Henry turned away to look at his attire. He was going to meet Ichabod and Abraham today for breakfast. Ichabod would have to remain silent about his desire for lady Sutton. His betrothal to Katrina would be over if Abraham caught wind of Ichabod's wavering loyalty to her. Henry knew of Abraham's hatred for Katrina and he was absolutely sure that he would not waste any time telling Katrina that she had been replaced by a woman with brown skin.

 A feeling of another presence came over his senses. Henry smiled with joy that he had the power to detect the horseman.

"Abraham,"

The horseman came from the shadows and frowned at the warlock. "Why are you digging up the witches?"

"They have the power to contain Katrina if I resurrect them."

 "That will drain your power and that is very dangerous. She will know that you are here if you do this."

Henry smiled. "You are here."

The Horseman smiled. "I am,"

 "I will not preform the ceremony until the full moon in three days. I am hoping by then Ichabod has pledged himself to Abigail."

 The Horseman snorted. "He is but a nuisance to her. She requires better."

 Henry chuckled. "He can be better Abraham."

 The Horseman walked back to the shadows. "Let us hope that the brew in his blood wakes up and makes him that way."

 

*()*

 

 

Ichabod was up early the next morning wanting to take a solo walk around the Sutton home. He wanted to get the feel of the people that worked for Lord Sutton. He wanted to know details about the Sutton's that only a worker could or would reveal to him. He had made himself promise not to ask about Miss Abigail Sutton. He was not here to learn about her habits or what she disliked. He was here to procure his and Katrina's future. Miss Abigail Sutton was not his concern. His attention to her yesterday was a momentary weakness that he had corrected and would not allow to surface again. He was true to his beloved Katrina Van Tassel. He was a man of strength and honor. He was not about to let a beautiful, adventurous, mysterious creature steer him away from his beloved. She was not the woman for him. She was not.

 Ichabod stared at his reflection in the mirror and frowned. Why was he making this harder than it had to be? She was just a woman and he could avoid her if he wanted. She was not going to ruin his well-crafted life. Ichabod turned from the mirror and walked towards his door. The former military officer walked down the quiet hallway after closing the door to his bedroom. He could already hear and smell the staff preparing breakfast for that morning. The intoxicating aroma led him towards the winding staircase.

He walked passed Chester's room and stopped. Something inside of him tingled and Ichabod moved closer towards the door and placed his ear against it. He could hear the old man chanting but his voice did not sound old at all. His voice was much deeper than it was last night. The chanting sounded like those of the witches that he and Abraham had encountered abroad. He knew from experience that the words were not meant to bring goodness into this house. Ichabod pulled his ear away from the door. This man meant to bring evil here.  He wondered what kind of mischief this imposter was trying to conjure. The tingling inside of him intensified and he stepped back from the door with a feeling that he needed to protect these people from this new evil.

 Ichabod moved away from the door and continued walking as the door opened. Chester stuck out his balding head and smiled at him. "Mr. Crane you are up early."

 Ichabod turned and walked back towards the bent over old man. The man seemed to be struggling to hold his body in the bent position. Ichabod could see the strain in his face. He smiled down at him. "I am and so are you I see."

 "Yes. I like to give the maids a fright in the morning." Chester chuckled but Ichabod did not. He examined the man's face and body in the old nightdress that he wore. He could see a necklace hidden under the material. He had seen those kinds of trinkets before. Usually the leader of a coven wore them to shoe their position.

 "Does it hurt?"

 Chester lost his good mood and frowned. "Does what hurt?"

 "Bending your body over like that all day long. Does the chanting help with the pain?"

 Chester's face showed surprise and he tried to shut the door but Ichabod forced his way inside the man's room and shoved Chester towards the bed. The old man stared up at him with anger in his eyes. "Who are you?"

 Ichabod held him down and ripped the necklace off his neck. "Who gave you this?"

 Chester began chuckling. "It does not matter he already here. The witch has allowed him inside because of her hatred and he will complete what has already been done."

 Ichabod's hand closed around the man's neck. "Tell me who is he or I will kill you?"

 Chester gagged. "Abra.....Abraham."

 Ichabod released his hold and stepped back. "What...."

 Chester held his neck. "The Horseman will live. My master will have Abraham again as his one true rider. The witch will not stop him. She is blind to his presence and he is before her."

 Ichabod frowned that the man's words. There was no witch in Sleepy Hollow. He was mistaken. He would have detected their presence as he had Chester's. Ichabod stared down at the recovering old man.

"Abraham is not easily to tame and I will not let anyone hurt him." The fear in the old man's face increased as Ichabod pulled him to his feet.

"You will tell me all that I want to know or I will return to my former occupation of hunting down those not loyal to the crown. Last I checked that meant witches."

 The old man trembled. "I can't tell you they will know it was me."

 Ichabod frowned. "Then I guess you die."

 The old man gasped. "NO PLEASE! I don't know who the master is by face. But I can show you who his minions are. If you keep me alive."

 "Why should I believe you."

"I don't want to die. I have been alive for 200 years because of his power. I will help you if you don't reveal this fact. I will help you keep your friend safe and the rid the house of spies."

 Ichabod released the man. "I will know if you lie. You are not the only one with magic on the inside old man."

 

*()*

 

 

Abigail removed the saddle from her mare as the horse nuzzled against her. the farmhand named William watched her intently. He was so absorbed in watching the lady Abigail he failed to see that someone was watching him.

William sighed with longing as Abigail raised her face up to the sun as she let her hair down after her morning ride. Ichabod felt the tingling in his body and looked at the mark on the man's forearm and knew that this man was a follower of Moloch. Chester may prove to be very valuable after all. He would have never come into contact with this man. He only came during early morning hours.

 "Do you like watching her?"

The farmhand turned and tried to pull out the knife that he was going to use to use on Abigail from its sheath but Ichabod slammed his hand over the man's and prevented him from pulling it out. He then slammed the man to the ground and dragged him from the stables.

Abigail turned hearing a sound but saw no one. She turned back around and replaced her saddle to its resting spot. After a few minutes Abigail prepared to leave and turned into Ichabod's body. She looked surprise and then smiled up at him. there was a different kind of power running all over his body when she smiled up at him.

 "You are up early."

 "There is much to do,"

 She raised an eyebrow. "Like what,"

 Ichabod did not move from his position so close to her. She was still as beautiful as yesterday in the sunlight.

 "Saving horse riding maidens from harm."

 Abigail chuckled. "Who would touch me on my father's land?"

Ichabod frowned thinking of his actions last night in the library. "Who indeed would show such disrespect to your father?"

 Abigail smiled up at him but said nothing. "Why are you here?"

 "I have come to apologize for my behavior last night."

 Abigail raised an eyebrow. "Was it memorable...I don't recall you doing anything to cause me heartache."

Was this woman sent here to drive him mad? She played the pivotal part in their game in the library and now she acted as if it was nothing. He could feel the lust exploding within his body as she continued smiling up at him with those dimples in her cheeks. Before he knew it his arms had wrapped around her waist and lifted her from the ground. His lips claimed hers in a kiss that he did not remember ever wanting to give someone so badly. His soul was into it. He backed her into Ember's stall to get a tighter connection with her body as his lips sucked on hers, released them and then returned to them to make her whimper and lose all forms of fight or thoughts.

Ichabod pulled his lips from hers and stared down at the dazed female in his arms. He set her against the stall and lowered his face to hers. His voice sounded as if he had run five miles uphill. His hair was still back in the neat knot. "Was that memorable to you?"

 Abigail leaned heavily against the stall as she watched Mr. Crane walk out of the stables as if nothing had happened. He ran into her father and they walked towards the east garden passing Chester along the way. The old man nodded at Ichabod as they passed each other. He was on his way to get rid of William's body as per their agreement. He was going to give up his entire coven to stay hidden from Lord Sutton.

*()*

 

 

What had he done? Ichabod stared out the window in the small dining room waiting for the other guests to arrive. Everything that he had told himself that he was not going to do he had done. Something inside of him would not let him follow his own words. He had touched his future employer's daughter. He had kissed her. The mere thought of the softness of her lips sent his body into hysterics. Ichabod groaned and moved away from the window.

 He would not be surprised if she had told her father.

 "What did you do?"

 Ichabod turned hearing Abraham's voice. "What are you talking about?"

 "You have that brooding look on your face. The same look you had when you sold your soul to fat Baltus and his witch daughter Katrina."

 Ichabod frowned at his smile. "Can you not talk about my intended in that way."

 Abraham frowned. "Only if she were here.... she's not. So......"

 "Where did you get the jacket" Ichabod noticed Abraham's cleaned clothes and combed hair. Someone had seen to his comfort.

 Abraham looked down at his dark jacket and shrugged his shoulders. "Chester said that Lord Sutton wanted to see to my comfort."

 "He does not know you eat just how you roll out of the bed in the morning."

 A chuckle filled Abraham's chest. "I had the same reaction. Chester said I had to look presentable for the lady Abigail. I am only wearing this for you Ichabod. So that you can get the job and claim the beast …...Katrina as your wife."

 Abraham smiled after his words and Ichabod frowned.

 "What is bothering you? You seem different today. Are you worried about making fat Baltus van Tassel happy?" Abraham started walking around the small breakfast room admiring the artwork.

 Ichabod frowned. "No, I am not. I.... I just feel that something is amiss here. Lady Abigail and I......"

 Abraham stopped walking and faced Ichabod. "What are you talking about what happen last night?"

 "Nothing happened between us last night Abraham. She just seems familiar to me. She noticed the feeling too."

 Abraham chuckled. "This Lady Abigail must be everything that Katrina is lacking if you notice her."

 The blonde giant began chuckling as the frown on his friends face increased. up to him. "That is not it Abraham. Something is here. I can feel it in my blood."

Abraham continued smiling. "Don't you mean your nether regions. I hear that Lady Abigail is very beautiful and not easily captured. Does that excite you?"

 Ichabod glared at his blonde friend. "Are you friend or foe Abraham?"

 "She has taken over your mind and your body has already judged her as acceptable. I think that you made your engagement to that woman in haste. I will not say anything if you pursue this Lady Abigail woman. I am friend to anyone that keeps you from the beast.... Katrina."

Ichabod waved his hand and turned away from Abraham. "I am marrying Katrina Abraham, and that is that."

 

*()*

 

Abbie stared at her reflection in her mirror as she pinned her hair up as a true Lady of the house would to see guests. She had freshened up after her ride and decided on a light blue dress in contrast with her dark skin. She tried to ignore the aching of her lips or the heat in her belly as she got ready. He had shocked with his brazen attack that left her helpless as a newborn foal. She should have told her father but she did not. No one had ever touched her like that before. Her legs began to shake and Abigail sat down on her to steady herself.

 "What has he done to me?"  She placed her hands over her belly as the heat increased. She had to stop thinking about him. He was just another annoying man that she could control. Abigail closed her eyes and sighed.

He was not like the others. He was different. He would see through her ploys to manipulate him into doing what she wanted. Why would her father want a man like this?

Abigail looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was strong and she was not going to let this man defeat her. she was not going to show him that his kiss had weakened her. She was not going to let him think that he had some sort of power over her. she was the most powerful force here so said her father. Abigail gathered her strength and pulled herself to her feet. She smoothed down her dress and prepared herself for her guests that were waiting downstairs.