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The drive to Watford is a quiet one. I've grown accustomed to silence lately. Simon isn't as talkative as he once was. Even when I am in the vampire bars, I manage to zone everyone out enough to where it is almost like silence. The absence of sound has become like an old friend. We greet each other willingly. Happily.

I'm thirsty.

Not for blood. Just a really stiff drink.

My stomach is in knots. I haven't thought this through enough. What am I actually going to say to Nicodemus if I find him? All of this is starting to become hyper realistic in my mind now and I'm not quite sure why I am doing this anymore.

Sure. I have this sick feeling haunting me that there was more to the story about Nicodemus' connection to my mother. Why would she name him specifically when she appeared to Simon while The Veil was lifted? There has to be more to it than him just knowing that the attack on my mother was orchestrated by The Mage.

Could he have warned her about it? Absolutely. I'm not satisfied with that answer though. There has to be something deeper than that. It can't be that simple. Nicodemus knows something important. I just can't put my finger on what it is yet.

For a second, Simon's face appears in my mind's eye. Guilt overwhelms me as I realize that I haven't spoken to him since he left. I pull out my phone and see that I've missed his calls, texts, and the fact that he's left me a voice message. Like an idiot, I had put my phone on silent mode earlier when I knew that he'd be trying to contact me.

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck." I mutter to myself. I open the string of texts from him. He wants me to delete the voicemail before even listening to it. It takes all my willpower to follow that command and delete it but I do it. I decide to try to call him again. He answers on the second ring.

"Baz." His voice rings through the receiver and my heart flutters a tiny bit. Well, as much as it can.

"Simon. Crowley, I've missed your voice." I say, baring my teeth in a way that I don't do as often as I should.

"You're cute." He laughs. It's a beautiful sound. "I miss you too. Please tell me you're having loads of fun. One of us definitely needs to be having fun right now." Simon says. He sounds fragile. He has changed so much in the last year.

"Why? What's wrong?" I ask, wishing that I'd made the journey to Chicago with him.

"I'm not sure if anything is wrong, exactly. Well, no, there is something definitely wrong but not with me. Penny and Micah are taking a break."

"A break? What? You just got there a few hours ago, correct? They've already had enough of each other in this tiny amount of time?" I know that Simon complains about Penny and Micah quarrelling often but I didn't know that it was this serious.

"I don't know, Baz. Penny isn't really talking about it. She sent me back to my room as soon as she explained the situation to me. Said she needed to sleep it off. I don't blame her. I'd be the same way if it were us."

"It will never be us, Snow." I tell him this as tenderly as possible. I would give anything to be able to touch him right now. There is silence on the other end of the phone. "Snow?"

"Yeah. I'm here. Sorry. Just a lot of information in one day. Things are weird, Baz. You didn't listen to that message, did you?" He sounds so far away. I mean, he literally is very far away but this is different.

"I deleted it as soon as I saw your text. What is going on, Snow?"

"I'm not entirely sure what is real anymore." I think he is crying. I hate when he cries and he cries far too often now.

"Baby, what do you mean you're not sure what is real? Give me examples. Let's talk it out and I'll help you separate what's real from what's not." I pull the car over to the side of the road so I can focus on Simon's voice one hundred percent.

"It's stupid, Baz. It makes me feel crazy. Like actually crazy. Crazier than I already am."

"You're not crazy. Stop that." It kills me when he is this hard on himself.

"I've been seeing things. People. Hallucinating maybe."

"Okay. What kind of people? What makes them so special that they've gotten you all worked up?"


"Ebb?" What?

"Ebb." He says this with such finality that it makes me think he's absolutely certain that he saw Ebb. Like it isn't a question at all. I drum on my free hand's fingers on the steering wheel. I don't know what to say. "See? Even you think I'm crazy."

"Simon Snow. I could never think you are crazy. That idea is simply ludicrous. If you say that you saw Ebb, well, then I believe you. It's just confusing. The Veil isn't lifted. She is most certainly dead. I just don't understand how you could be seeing her. I'm not saying that you didn't see her. There just has to be some powerful magic at work for it to be possible. If magic could even make it possible." What is going on inside my poor boy's head? What can I do to help him?

"She told me that I am still in danger."

"Danger? Wait. You talked to her?"

"I blacked out when I saw her and realized, without a doubt, that it was her. She spoke to me some way when I was unconscious. Telepathically? I'm not sure how but she did. She told me not to trust anyone. Anyone." He sounds guarded now.

"Anyone? Including me, Snow? Why are you saying it like that?" I find myself growing defensive. What the hell is going on?

"She said, "You can't trust him." She said those words to me. I don't know, Baz." He is crying again.

"What does she mean by, "You can't trust him." You honestly don't think she means me, do you?" I am so angry that I feel like crying. This is all so unreal. The voice on the phone doesn't sound like it belongs to Simon. To my Simon.

"I don't know, Baz. I really don't know." I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do or say. I have half a mind to turn back to London and take the first flight to Chicago that I can.

"Simon, are you okay?" I ask, afraid of his answer.

"I'm just tired, Baz. Can we talk tomorrow sometime? When I'm feeling more like myself?" He sounds like he's drifting off to sleep.

"Of course, Snow."

"Thank you."

"Hey, Simon?"


"Are we okay?" I don't know how I've become this vulnerable in the span of a few minutes.

"I'll talk to you tomorrow, Baz." And the call ends. I don't even get to say a goodbye.

I sit on the side of the road for a few more minutes, processing the shit storm that just landed on me. I feel my palms heating up with anger. I pull a cigarette out of the carton and stick in between my teeth. As I light it up, I feel a sick and heavy rage grow in my stomach. I've never felt so helpless in my life. Not even when I was kidnapped by those fucking numpties.

I pull back onto the country road and continue on my way. I'll find Nicodemus, get what I need, and then I am going to Chicago.

I will not lose Simon Snow. Not now.

Not after years of waiting and wanting.

I'm not letting this end without a fight.

*Author's Note:  Please go check out my newest story, One By One!  It is a Simon Snow/Harry Potter crossover horror event where many characters from both worlds are being picked off one by one by a masked killer in the style of 90s slasher flicks like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer!  

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