He's home. He's home and beautiful and I didn't have to hold back this time. I could and did run to him as he got off the plane and kiss him. We laughed and cried and held each other, and no one could say shit about it anymore.
I didn't... I couldn't... We've been together for years and I was always afraid to so much as hug him in public before because of his job. Normally it doesn't matter, but after him being gone and not knowing if he'd ever make it back and all the madness with Slendy and Star and Wolf... All I wanted was to touch him and hold him and feel safe for just a moment. And thanks to that stupid rule getting finally repealed, I could.
It was like every mushy reunion moment from every romance novel. The world went away and all that mattered was the two of us holding each other hard. In the background I heard his squadmates whooping and Elaine laughing, but it didn't MATTER. They could have been shooting at us and it wouldn't have mattered.
We did hurry home, though. I spent the morning cooking all of Jake's favorites, and we all sat down and ate lunch. I'm glad Elaine's mellowed out because of her thing with Nick, because otherwise she never would have put up with how many times the conversation died because we were just looking at each other, or when I spilled the entire pitcher of lemonade on her when I got distracted watching Jake bend over to pet River. It seems strange to think that Jake and Elaine have barely ever talked in person, we all get along so well. It felt like home. The three of us, together. The way it ought to be.
After lunch, Elaine went to go meet with some people about the notebook, and Jake and I sat down to talk and cuddle and relax. I'd planned on perhaps saving the news about Slendy for a little later, because we were so happy, but after a few minutes of cuddling, Jake turned to me very seriously, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to put it off.
The conversation, as far as I remember it.
"Cam. What's that on your neck?"
I winced. That cut from Star's knife is still there. "It's nothing. Don't worry about it."
He frowned at me. "Cam, that looks like someone was trying to slice your throat open."
"Well, maybe. It's a long story, and I don't know all of it."
He frowned. "Cam, don't hide this from me. Tell me, so I can help."
I cuddled up, shivering a little. "There's something after me. Well, me and Elaine both. You have to swear to hear me out, hear the whole story, before you tell me I'm crazy. Deal?"
"Deal." He looked nervous, so I didn't delay any further.
"So, you know how you used to tease me when we started dating about believing in God and angels and supernatural forces? Well, I've finally proved you wrong. There's a thing hunting us down, and it isn't human. It's tall and nasty and fast and sprouts tentacles when it's pissed, and if you know about it, it hunts you down and I'm so sorry Jake that's why I didn't want to tell you but I would've had to leave to keep you safe and I just couldn't because I love you too much. Or not enough." I'm pretty sure I was crying at that point, because he gathered me close and stroked my hair.
I continued. "It's crazy, he's a meme, he's a meme, and somehow he's real and I see him at night after Elaine goes to sleep. I never told her that, because she doesn't see him, which means what she's doing is working and I don't want to risk her life so I can cry."
I could practically hear the confusion. "Okay, what? Does this thing have a name? Are you sure you're seeing it? And what do you mean, what she's doing?"
I sighed. "Slender man, yes, and she's doing all kinds of research and experimentation to try and keep us safe. It's been ages and other than a couple of proxies and Slenderman staring at me while Elaine sleeps."
"Proxies?" He asked, sounding concerned.
I nodded. "Humans who work for them. It was one of them that did this." I pointed at my throat. "And another one put Elaine in the hospital a few weeks back. Don't worry, she's fine."
He frowned and looked vaguely murderous. "What. Happened."
I figured he meant about the cut, so I sighed. "Elaine's made enemies with this proxy named Morningstar. For whatever reason, he's taken a liking to her, and she gives as good as she gets, because she's Elaine. He came to Texas last week. To hunt us down, as well as a few other runners. A couple of Star's minions were tracking Elaine when he came here and tricked me into opening the door. The guy is big and tough, and I can't fight, so it wasn't hard for him to pin me with a knife to my throat insisting I cooperate. That's where this came from. The rest..." I sighed and reached for my laptop. "Elaine and I are keeping a blog about the whole situation. Maybe you should just read it, it'll tell the story better than I can off of the top of my head."
He stopped me. "Later. What you're telling me is that a big scary nightmare thing and all his murderous minions are gunning for you two?"
I nodded. "Yeah. Do you believe me?'
He frowned. "You believe it. And Elaine believes it. So I believe it." It looked like there was more to that than he was saying, but I didn't question it. "So what do we do now?"
"Elaine's out doing research to help with all of this. The apartment is more or less a safe zone so long as we follow the rules."
"Keep the blinds closed at all times, don't allow yourself to get scared or depressed, it's easier for him to fuck with us that way. Oh, and I know you probably noticed we're a lot more fortified now. Elaine set up some traps I'll show you later."
He blinked. "So, we need to be staying positive?"
After that, you don't really need to hear the rest. Suffice it to say that it was a very good night. But yes. Jake knows now, and he's home, and he's snuggled up to me as I type this. For the moment, not even Slenderman himself could bring me down.
Anything Elaine has to say, she'll put up tomorrow while Cam and I are out and about doing last minute stuff before the wedding.
I wanted to introduce myself briefly, since apparently this whole blog thing is a big part of this. Hi, I'm Jacob, as Cam has mentioned, I'm in the US Army, and I've just come home from a deployment in Iraq.
More importantly, the man in my arms, Cam Hudson, is the love of my life and I am going to marry him in just a few days.
To any of the douchebags trying to kill him and our roommate, I have news for you. You've got a big angry man with a gun standing in your way. He is my lover and I will protect him with everything I have. Unlike Cam and Elaine, I have no problem doing whatever needs to be done to keep them safe. Consider this your warning.