With stealth from years of training he crept closer to the house. He had watched as the two dogs lounge on the lawn. His attention trained on the large dog. The Girl coming out almost startled him. He knew she was here but to have that confirmed annoyed him on some level. He watched as she talked to the dogs.
Ben, where are you?’ Elizer called as she stepped into the garden. ‘Oh, there you are. Damn, you’re a dog. Why what happened oh good grief,’ shaking her head as the large husky observed her. ‘You better not be laughing at me,’ taking a breath Elizer sank onto a garden bench. ’I need to go to the supermarket. I was going to ask you to watch the babies, but I will take them with me. The Huskie bumped her legs, and she scratched his ears.
‘I know you feel safer as a dog, but you know you shed something awful,’ Elizer brushed her skinny jeans while the husky placed his head on her lap. Letting out a giggle, she pushed him away as she climbed to her feet.
‘I will take that as a yes then,’ taking her teacup in the kitchen, both dogs following behind her. Connie watched the car drive away before turning on Ben.
‘Found your dog then.’
‘I am a wolf Spaniel and your superior,’ he growled, circling around Connie.
‘Yeah, sure you are.’ Connie jumped up on the sofa and got comfortable before closing her eyes and going to sleep. Infuriated, Ben changed back with a huff as he went for a shower.
Creeping into the kitchen he could hear the running of water assuming it to be the shower. A smile crept onto his lips this would be easier if the boy was in his human form. Pulling a syringe from his belt he incapacitated the spaniel before it could sound a warning.
Hunting through the cabinets, he found the whiskey. Opening the bottle, he took a swig, feeling the burn in his throat. This was going better than planned. He sat and waited.
Ben pulled on his jeans and a clean shirt. He intended to have dinner going for when Elizer got home. Entering the lounge he stopped in his tracks as he surveyed the man sat in the chair.
‘How did you find me?’ edging further into the room he checked on Connie dog.
‘Oh it wasn’t hard,’ the man smirked. ‘You must have known we would?’ he raised a brow.
‘Yes I knew you would eventually,’ Ben acknowledged. ‘Elizer she will be safe?’
‘Yes, the Synod cannot touch her or her children. They are human ,’
‘In that case can we leave before she gets back,’
‘Oh, you are not leaving here ever,’ he fixed his gaze on Ben as a cruel smile pulled at his lips. Ben swallowed. Knowing this could be the outcome was a far cry from its implementation.
‘No, I don’t want Elizer to …’ the man was on Ben with his hands around his throat before he could finish the sentence.
‘You are in no position to bargain. If you deviate from my instruction, I will kill them all. Stage it as an accident. Do you understand,’
‘Ye… yes,’ Ben coughed out. Reaching for the whiskey he started to drink.
‘So, this is how this is going to go,’
Stumbling back upstairs, he collapsed on his bed. He couldn’t even run away. He was trapped, nothing more than a bargaining chip. Taking another swig of whiskey, he glanced at the bottle on his bedside table. His eyes flicked to the man stood in the doorway.
Taking the bottle, he emptied the pills into his hand. Hesitating as he looked at the innocent white pills. Shoving them in his mouth, he took another gulp of whiskey. Dropping the bottle onto the floor, he curled into a ball and closed his eyes. Knowing he would never open them again.
‘Well done Ben,’ the man’s voice the last thing he heard.
The supermarket was as busy as ever, although no one bothered her. She just got the occasional curious look. Pulling out her list with a flourish, she smiled at both babies. Wandering down the isles placing bits in the trolley enjoying the normality that she could never achieve in London. She now stood in the dog food aisle as indecision filled her. She really couldn’t feed him dog food, as he wasn’t a dog. Putting Connie’s favourite, if slightly expensive, brand in her basket, she headed for the meat aisle.
‘I do not know how quickly you will go through this lot.’ Elizer gazed at her babies, as that was how she thought of them now.
‘Right well, no offence but you, young man stink,’ pushing the now full cart to the mother and baby room, she retrieved the items she needed along with the new baby bag and outfit. Laying him on the baby bench, Elizer quickly changed him, disposing of the stinking nappy in the bin.
‘That was nasty,’ regarding the infant. A smile teased her mouth as she held him close, the weight of his little body somehow comforting as she smelled his baby smell.
‘Right now, that is out of the way. Shall we resume the shopping?’ dropping a kiss on each of their foreheads, she pulled their blankets over them his with pastel cars hers pink with butterflies.
Turning at the sound of her name, Elizer had to stifle a groaned as a girl walked purposely toward her, Emily Carson.
‘Hello Emily,’ Elizer smiled in what she hoped was a friendly fashion. They had never been friends at school, mostly ignoring each other.
‘I heard you were staying at your aunt’s cottage and I am sorry for your loss,’ she looks away, giving Elizer the few moments to collect herself as the hollow feeling filled her as it always did at the mere hint at Robert’s death.
‘I see it is not all sadness,’ Emily gazed at the now sleeping babies. ‘You kept that out of the papers.’ she smiled at the two babies before focusing her attention back on Elizer.
‘Yes, and I would be grateful if it stayed that way, please,’ Elizer tried to keep her voice light and offered a smile. Turning at her name being called and grateful when Karen, Gavin’s sister, strolled up.
‘Well, nice to see you, Elizer.’ with a withering glance at Karen, Emily turned to Elizer. ‘Well, if you need help, just call me.’ Emily smiled as she thrust a card into Elizer’s hand.
‘Oh, err, thanks,’ Elizer tried to smile again, not quite pulling it off.
‘Well, nice talking,’ Emily quipped as she moved to a trolley laden with goods and moved off along the diary aisle.
‘Oh yeah, likewise,’ Elizer managed, while internally slapping her head while her inner voice called her an idiot.
‘Thanks.’ Elizer turned a grateful smile to Karen.
‘You are more than welcome, fancy a coffee,’ Karen grinned. ‘You know, she has been trying to get an introduction to you all week. Just wants a story for her precious paper and nothing good will come of it,’ Karen said in a rush, her voice indignant.
‘Well, thanks again and I would love coffee. I need to feed these two so that would be perfect.’ pushing the trolley after Karen.
‘Why don’t you bring those two over on Sunday for lunch? Have a bit of adult time. My brother Gavin will be there,’ Karen smiled as she winded her baby boy. ‘He still has a thing for you,’ giggling at the shocked look on Elizer’s face. ‘Diligently followed your career, although he would be mortified if he knew I told you that,’ Karen grinned.
‘Oh um thank you but I have a friend visiting.’ Elizer sipped her coffee. Time to introduce Ben. She had forgiven him after the BBQ. He had been right they had to do this carefully.
‘You know where I live?’
‘Yes, you married that hot young vicar my aunt was always telling me about,’ Elizer laughed.
‘That I did, had to grab him before you showed up.’ Karen reached across and put her hand on Elizer’s arm.
‘Are you okay? I mean really okay, you can say,’ leaning back, Karen surveyed her friend.
‘Yes, I am. I mean, I wasn’t for a long time but being here with the twins, I am better,’ Elizer smiled.
‘So, when will you return to work? There has been a lot of speculation in the. Media, luckily they still don’t know where you are.’
‘I have the premiere of the last film I made with Robert; I haven’t decided whether to go yet.’
‘Well, if you do and want a plus one, here I am,’ Karen laughed.
‘Really, it’s very boring.’
‘To you maybe, but I could do with some glamour.’ reaching over and taking Josh from Elizer so she could concentrate on feeding Juliana.
‘Ben, I’m home,’ calling out to the silent house as Connie scampered into the kitchen. Elizer put the babies down. Both asleep in their car seats. She went back out to the car and brought the shopping in. Placing it on the table with a frown wondering where Ben could be.
‘Ben, do you want some lunch?’ Pushing the door to his room open, she could see him sprawled on the bed. The smell of vomit made her gag. ‘Ben?’ venturing further in her eyes scanned the room the vomit on the carpet next to the empty whiskey bottle.
‘Ben,’ she brushed his hair to one side. His complexion was pale, a blue tinge to his lips. ‘Ben, please wake up.’ Pulling her phone from her pocket, she called Mark as her hand shook and tears pooled in her eyes.
‘Elizer, how can I help?’ Mark’s voice was cheerful.
‘Mark,’ a sob caught in her throat.
‘Elizer, what’s the matter, sweetheart?’
‘B… Ben, I think he is dead,’ her voice whispered down the phone.
‘Honey, stay there. I will be over. Have you called an ambulance?’
‘N… no, should I?’
‘No sweety just stay there okay,’
Clattering up the stairs had Elizer rush to the door. Relieved as Uncle Mark appeared.
‘In here.’ Moving to one side so Mark could get into the room.