Chapter Forty One: Ambush

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                                                                             Annalise 

Cassius stood rigid and strong, like a beacon flashing in the middle of the sea. Unfettered by the conditions. He looked directly at Annalise, staring her down. She was sure it was meant to be reassuring, but Annalise felt anything but. It was more unnerving than anything else. She gave him what she hoped was an encouraging nod. He nodded back and continued.

"Annalise, your friends and your body are in the same place. When we go there, we can get everyone back. This can be an opportunity," Cassius explained, in the cold detached way only he could do. Eugene inclined his head in agreement, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Why don't we go there now?" Annalise asked, hope bubbling up in her chest like the bubbles in a glass of champagne. There was a strain on Eugene's face as he gazed at her. He grasped her shoulder and squeezed it gently.

"We can't. We need time to prepare. Vitus isn't someone to be taken lightly. He probably has half of the clan guarding his house already," Eugene said with a grimace. "I know how much this means to you, but we can't,". Annalise deflated, of course, things could never just be that easy.

She bit back the urge to cry hysterically. Nothing had ever gone easy in her life, and things seemed to just get harder after she died. First, she spends years in an isolative limbo. Next she meets vampires. Then she finds out she's not even human, and her absent father was actually a demon who's in cahoots with some crazy vampire lord.

And now? Now she's even managed to drag her friends into this mess. Annalise looked up to the ceiling despairingly, in an attempt to stop the tears. She couldn't help but let out a chuckle at the absurdity of it all. Now they were probably gonna say her friends were some kind of werewolf or something.

That would just be her luck.

Without her hardly noticing, Cassius and Eugene herded her off into a separate room. Away from the enquiring gaze of the others. "Nothing can ever just be easy can it?" Annalise questioned nobody in particular. Eugene and Cassius gave each other a look, and then turned on her.

"I know this is a lot. But we know Vitus. I know Vitus more than anyone here, and he isn't going to make this simple for us," Eugene answered, brows knotting in concern. "Vitus Modesto is one of the original vampires. Not even I know how old he is. He's got centuries on us. And power,"

Cassius nodded his agreement. "If we want everyone to come out of this alive, we're going to need time to prepare," He added. Logically, Annalise knew that was the smartest option. But her friends, and even to some extent herself, were on the line here. She couldn't help but want to get it sorted now.

The wait was going to be agonising. It was something she would just have to cope with. She gave them a smile of false cheerfulness, praying it would be enough to convince them she was okay. Cassius seemed nullified by this, after looking at her speculatively. He made a grunt of affirmation, turned on his heel and left.

Eugene frowned even harder, and Annalise got the distinct feeling that she hadn't managed to convince him.

"It will be okay, we can do this," Eugene encouraged, nudging her with his elbow gently. "We'll get them back. We'll get you back. Together," His reassuring smile, eased the worst of the anxiety in her chest. She nudged him back, even though she couldn't move the man if she tried.

"Thank you." She paused for a moment, biting her lip in contemplation. She had no idea if he would like the name she was about to give him, but it had been on her tongue for ages. "Thank you, Gene." She said with a grin. 

Eugene's eyebrows rose up his forehead, as he let out a small laugh. His eyes softened as they stared at each other. "You should call me that more often," He suggested with a tilt to his lips. Despite the awkwardness of what had almost happened those days ago, it was easy to get back into step with him.

Annalise followed him out of the room and to where the others were lingering. Cassius and Eugene were right, they had to come up with a plan.

"So what are we going to do?" Annalise enquired when they rejoined the others. Dawn and Victoria stopped their rambling and directed their attention to her. Even Raul seemed interested, leaning forward on the chair he was sitting on.

Eugene coughed into his hand, and stood up to his full height. "We need to ambush, spread ourselves out. We know where he lives, so that should be easy." he contributed. Harvey looked entirely out of place, fidgeting this way and that, unsure of what to do. He jerked a thumb towards the door.

"If you don't need me, i'll just be on my way?" Harvey announced, turning around to make his way out. He was stopped by a heavy, almost painful grip. Annalise would have laughed, Eugene looked like hell froze over.

"You aren't going anywhere." Eugene ground out through his teeth, pulling him back towards the others. Harvey nodded somewhat frantically, agreeing with him.

"You'll be with me and Cassius, we'll take the front of the house. Raul, Victoria you'll be both going round the sides of the house. Take out anything you see. Immediately. Dawn, Anna, you'll be together. Go through the garden," Eugene instructed. He paused like he was thinking about something, then nodded to himself appreciatively.

"Anna, I know this will be difficult for you. But if you go round the back with Dawn, you can get to your body faster. The faster you get back the better. We can deal with Vitus and your friends. You and Dawn can recover your body," He explained, looking at her severely.

Annalise's insides twisted. On one hand, she did want to reunite with her body. To finally be fully alive was something she had only dreamed of till recently. But on the other hand, she wanted to get her friends out of the mess she had made. They were still looking for her, in some way anyway, after all these years. And the very thought made her spirit burn. 

Dawn wandered up to Annalise, as the others began to talk amongst themselves. If Anna was honest with herself, she was shitting the bed. She was terrified that all of this could go wrong. Putting it into plan, only made it more real.

"Why so glum," Dawn joked, poking Annalise in the cheek. Annalise frowned at her sarcastically. Dawn swung an arm over Annalise's shoulders, bringing them close together. Annalise could feel the ice cold gaze of Victoria on her back, and winced internally.

Dawn and Victoria were a conundrum that Annalise couldn't figure out. One minute they were tearing each other apart with their words, and the next they were talking to each other like they were old friends. Or maybe even something more.

Dawn interrupted her train of thought by swinging her around joyfully. "Come on! This is a chance for us to become better friends!' She babbled, still swinging Annalise around, "It'll just be you and me. I'll help you out!"

If only this whole situation was really as happy as Dawn was making it out to be.

Authors Note: 

Hey all of you! How are you doing? I'm still in isolation lol, man i just want to go outside. Get some fresh air! But no, just gotta wait a few more days lol. I hope you enjoyed this chapter! 

What do you think happened between Dawn and Victoria to make them this way? I'm interested to know your thoughts.

I linked the song above cause i thought it suited Annalise as a whole, and her experience with 5 years of isolation and being alone for so long. 

Hope you're all good. 

Love ya'll 

Sam.e

Word Count:1200 

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