**This week’s prompt is amnesia. Enjoy!**
“Don’t know what happened. Found him like this…”
“The Nyx got him, looks like. It’d been hours…”
Everything hurt. Every muscle and tendon. Hell, every molecule in my body screamed with agony. I was vaguely away of noises–voices–but I couldn’t open my eyes. If I opened them, my head would explode. I was sure of it.
“Let me see him.”
That rumble of a voice had me opening my eyes. I was in an unfamiliar room–dark but cozy–and three people stood at the end of the bed. The two smaller guys wore their worry plain on their faces, but the big man was staring right at me. He noticed me looking, and quickly rounded the end of the bed.
I blinked–even that hurt–and tried to speak. It came out as a croak, and I cleared my throat and tried again. “Where am I?”
The big guy froze, and concern washed his features. After a second, he approached cautiously. “Ben?”
“How do you know my name?” Panic flooded my veins, but when I tried to push myself out of bed, I fell back against the mattress, too weak to hold myself up. “Who are you? What’s going on?”
“Shit,” one of the other guys muttered. I didn’t turn to look at which one. “The Nyx wiped his memory.”
“Leave us.” The other two scrambled to do the big man’s bidding, and I heard the soft snick as the door latched closed.
Fuck. Now I was trapped in the room, too weak to defend myself, with a big man who looked like he could snap me in half. He was gorgeous, all shoulders and muscles and scowl. But definitely dangerous. I wanted to be elsewhere.
“You’re safe here,” he rumbled, never taking his dark gaze off me. “I promise. No one is going to hurt you.”
And just like that, I believed him. I didn’t understand it, since my brain told me I should be terrified. But I wasn’t. His words, his voice, just soothed me. I relaxed a fraction, but I still kept myself ready. I needed to be ready, just in case.
He crossed the room, and I tracked him, but he only opened a small dorm sized fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. He made a show of cracking the seal, showing me it hadn’t been tampered with. I took it from him when he handed it over, and gratefully swallowed some. It felt so good, I took a larger drink.
“Easy now,” he murmured, stepping close to the bed.
I took another smaller sip, and then wiggled a little until I could sit up against the headboard. He slowly lowered himself to the mattress, perching on the edge. I appreciated the courtesy.
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
Odd question, but I searched my brain anyway. After a minute, I realized there was a hole in my memory. Definitely something missing. Had I hit my head? I reached up and felt around, but there was no bump. Had I been drugged? Oh god, was that why I was here?
My name in his voice startled me, but I settled again. Something about this man comforted me, and I didn’t think it should be that easy, but there was no doubt about it. I took another tiny drink.
He frowned. “And what happened on Tuesday?”
I couldn’t help the small, proud grin. “I aced Professor Millhouse’s midterm.”
His breath whooshed out and he squeezed his eyes shut. Then whispered, “Damn.”
“Four years ago,” he muttered, half to himself. “Before the veil ripped and all the unnatural flooded into the natural world.”
“What?” I pushed at the blankets, suddenly desperate to get up. He was fucking nuts.
“Ben, stop.” His voice was a command and a plea, and I obeyed instinctively, my body going still.
“What in the hell is going on?”
“Two days ago, you went after a Nyx. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but we lost contact. Peter and Remy found you a few hours ago, nearly dead.” He leaned in just a little, and I could see the pain in his eyes. “We thought it killed you.”
I couldn’t deal with the raw emotion on his face, in his voice. “Nyx?”
“A soulless, blood sucking demon. Vicious, nasty things. You’ve dealt with hundreds, though, so I wasn’t worried. But then you didn’t come back.”
“I…” I had no idea what to say to that. Even though his words didn’t make sense, there was something about them, the way they settled into me, that I just knew it to be true. But how? Why? I still didn’t know what was going on, and the panic that had been bubbling under the surface spilled over. I started hyperventilating, the edges of my vision dimming, and my heart pounded so hard it hurt.
He touched my wrist, and I jerked my gaze to his. I was lost in his deep, dark eyes. The worry and pain and love and affection there. They were so familiar. I knew those eyes. I didn’t know how, or why, but I knew this man who was staring at me like I hung the moon.
Unbidden, his name came to my lips. “Lucas?”
The grin that bloomed on his face transformed his features. And like a flood, memories crashed into me. The past four years. When the veil between the worlds ripped and a host of unholy, terrifying creatures came racing into our world. How nearly half the humans had died in the first onslaught, but Lucas and I survived. Banned together with others, and set about protecting those who were left.
“Oh baby. There you are.”
I started crying, because I couldn’t do anything else. I’d nearly left him to this world alone, and that was the one thing I vowed never to do. I clung to him, and he held me just as tightly.
We’d be okay. There wasn’t any other choice.