Through A Nightmare, Darkly

BY : AlongCameASpider
Category: Twilight Series > Het
Dragon prints: 2980
Disclaimer: I do not own The Twilight Saga, or anything therein. This work is for recreation only. I am in no way profiting from this story.

Chapter One


I'd never known a touch so warm, yet so cold. So enticing, yet something to be feared. So sweet, yet so dangerous. A body of stone pinned me to the wall. A cold hand caressed my cheek where a tear should have been. And then came the pain and the nightmares.


* * * * *


I could see a face, familiar but strange. Something about it evoked some strange feelings in me. Like it belonged to a long lost lover. But it was frightening. Bright red eyes locked onto me, gazing at me like I was something to eat.


My feet seemed to move too slow, though the terrible pain in my lungs and throat suggested I was running as quickly as possible. But why was I running? Did I dare look to find out? A horrible feeling consumed me. The kind of feeling you got when someone was lurking in the shadows, following you.


The pain spread, swallowing me whole. That face...whoever it was that had been following me. My heart thud way too hard against my chest. Lips curled into a smile, the face was pleased, as my heart gave one final, very uncomfortable squeeze.


I could hear voices far away. Three of them. One was angry, one was bored, and the other...was the voice that belonged to the familiar stranger's face. He made a comment about me.


My name was poison on his lips, “Dearest Ashleigh.”


* * * * *


I rubbed the sleep from my eyes as I shuffled forward. That same dream had plagued me for my entire trip. It was to the point now where I didn't even care to sleep. At least today was the final day. Just this last place to tour in Volterra and then my flight home awaited me. I had to admit, the architecture of the building was stunning, much like our tour guide. But I couldn't admire it properly as it suddenly had sparked a moment of deja vu. Hadn't I seen this place somewhere before? The lovely blonde leading our group pushed open a large set of double doors. Intricate designs carved into the deep brown wood. Everyone filtered into an equally large room. What looked like three thrones sat in the center. A figure adorned each one. I unintentionally locked eyes with the man in the middle one, and he quickly rose. So quickly, I almost didn't even see it happen. As he held my gaze, his lips curled into a slight, almost wicked, smile.


The room erupted into chaos then. People were running and screaming, trying to get out of the room but the doors were suddenly closed. Before I could really get a look at what was happening, something heavy slammed into me and pinned me to the stone wall behind me. Stars swam in my vision, but I could see it was him. The man from the middle throne. The face I saw following me in the shadows. The familiar stranger from my dreams. He pressed his entire body against mine. Fear flitted through my mind. A slight moan escaped him as he pushed against me a little tighter. When had he grabbed my wrist? He held it above my head. The man's face was uncomfortably close to my neck. His cool, sweet breath sent a chill down my spine and I shivered. His smile turned a little more.


“You're mine,” he whispered.


My vision exploded and then blacked out completely.


* * * * *


I didn't remember the hotel's bedding being so warm. Or comfortable. At some point during my slumber I had cocooned myself in the thick comforter and silk sheets. Wait a minute... The hotel didn't have silk sheets... I opened my eyes just a crack. The room was mostly dark, with the exception of a dim flicker behind me. The stone wall I was facing looked a little too familiar for my liking. I began to untangle from the bedding when an unexpected voice startled me, “Buongiorno, dearest Ashleigh.”


That man was sitting in the opposite corner of the room, next to a small table adorned with a candle. The room's only light source. His smile appeared to be friendly, but the shadows dancing across the angles of his face also made him incredibly frightening. I struggled to free myself from the blankets, desperate to get away. And I swear I heard a slight chuckle. I gave up, “How do you know my name?”


He sat so still he could have been a statue, “I have a gift. You'll learn about it soon enough.” Trembling, I asked the question that should have been first, “What do you want with me?” His smile widened, “I'm happy you asked.”


Suddenly, he was directly in front of me, “First, though, I'd like to commend you for being so observant. It seems you had caught me. More than once, even. As intrigued as I was by you, I had no intention of keeping you. Mostly because the opportunity never presented itself. Lucky me, you ended up wandering right into my home.” I flinched, but he ignored me. “You see, it recently came to my attention that the men of my kind are still able to produce offspring. These creatures possess our strength, our immortality, our talents, yet are strangely human still. I must have one of these hybrids. To carry on my talent or, perhaps, produce something greater.” I wrapped the blankets around me tighter, feeling like it was the only thing protecting me now. The man's eyes burned, “I require a human mate to do so.”


He brushed his fingertips along my jaw, cupping my chin and forcing me to look at him, wiping a tear from my cheek with his thumb. Under different circumstances it would have been a sweet gesture. He leaned closer, his voice a reassuring whisper, “No harm will come to you here, I promise.”


This could not be happening. It had to be a dream. A nightmare. It didn't take long to figure out that he was a vampire. They were supposed to be the stuff of legends, of myths. Something you spoke about at around a campfire to frighten your comrades. But here I was, literally staring one in the face. Kidnapped by one. Forced to partake in some twisted science experiment. I'd already experienced his strength, witnessed first hand what he was capable of. Fighting would be pointless, could even get me killed. But as much as I was afraid of him, I was afraid of dying even more.


His smile shifted a bit, “Do this, and I'll make it so you will never have to concern yourself with death again.” I wasn't sure which was more uncomfortable, the fact that he seemed to read my mind or his proposition. “Otherwise,” he continued, with just a hint of remorse, “I'm afraid you will not be leaving here alive.”


All I could do was stare at where my hands were hidden and tremble.


“I don't think it will be as unbearable as you're expecting.” A breeze whispered by and he was standing at the door, “I'm afraid I have some business I must take care of, but I will return to you soon.”


He was gone, and I no longer tried to hold my emotions. I pulled the blanket around my face and sobbed. How the hell did he figure it wouldn't be as bad as I thought? I watched a group of innocents get slaughtered right in front of me, yet here I was. Being held prisoner, being forced to gestate his child. I shuddered. And how could he promise I wouldn't be harmed when he'd already bashed my skull into a wall? And there would only be more with the execution of his plan. Physical, emotional, or both. Maybe what he was really promising was that no one would eat me. Absolutely nothing about this situation was right. But yet...


A small sliver of me wished he'd come back. To hold my face and wipe my tears. Something in his touch did feel right. As if it was destined to happen. Was that small sliver of me actually attracted to him? Of course, vampires were supposed to be attractive. Made it easier to catch prey. But no part of me would ever be okay with what he was doing to me.


And it made the tears flow harder. Somehow, I felt as though I'd been betrayed.


* * * * *


I pushed the covers aside and stretched as I sat. My heart fell when I saw that my surrounding had not changed. It hadn't been a nightmare. The chair in the corner was vacant, but a bit of paper was now propped on the table. I stood, the cold floor biting through my socks, and took the few steps to retrieve it. My name was written on the front in looping print that I couldn't help but admire. I unfolded the paper and read the short message: 'Call for me when you wake.'


“Aro,” I read aloud, without really processing what I'd just read. The door clicked softly behind me. I turned around, and there he was.


“Feeling better?” he asked, cheerful, “You slept the best part of a day.”


Which would explain why I was so hungry. I shook my head slightly. Aro took a step forward, causing me to flinch, and took both my hands in his. I didn't bother trying to pull them away. His gaze appeared to be far away for a moment. He gave scoff of amusement, “You misunderstand, my dear. You will not be forced to do anything. The decision is yours to make.”


“Have your baby or die? What kind of a choice is that?” I asked the floor.


His smile was reflected in his voice, “The way it must be, I'm afraid. Humans cannot know of our existence. Should you decline I'd have no choice. Accept, and you'll be able to leave here afterwards, if you wish.” I continued to stare at my feet. “I must admit,” he added after a moment, “It would be a shame to have to kill you. I seem to have a strange infatuation with you.”


He had to be reading my thoughts somehow because he answered my question without my asking, “You're what we call a singer. Your blood is especially alluring to me. I don't mean to rush, but I do need an answer.” I didn't say anything. Obviously, I didn't have to. My mind was an open book to him. Aro finally let go of my hands, clapping his together, “Wonderful! I have all the time in the world, so we will proceed at your pace. Within reason, of course. Welcome home, my dear. I shall give you a tour.”



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