Through A Nightmare, Darkly

BY : AlongCameASpider
Category: Twilight Series > Het
Dragon prints: 1135
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 Twelve

 

Aro sat alone in his study.

 

He may have told Ashleigh a slight lie. There was something that needed his immediate attention. Perhaps it wasn't much of a falsehood. He needed his immediate attention.

 

It was unlike him to show weakness. As a matter of fact, he couldn't even think of a handful of times when he had done so. A leader wasn't meant to. But wasn't that one thing having a mate was supposed to allow? Shouldn't his mate be the one person he could show such vulnerability to? Yes, she absolute was.

 

What worried Aro the most was how much the mating bond was affecting his ability to do what needed done. It had been enough that his mind frequently drifted at the mercy of his suddenly high sex drive. A near constant need to be physically close to his mate. He felt that no matter how much they were intimate, how much they touched, how much time they spent together, he could never get enough of her. Remaining well fed only helped so much. Now he had something else to distract him.

 

Athenodora is gone!

 

She had given her word to Caius that she wouldn't leave. Ashleigh had promised the same. Though he was closely connected to her at the time, easily seeing she was sincere in her words, he still couldn't help but be scared. An emotion he absolutely hated. It made him feel powerless, because he was. Ashleigh had already left him once. Even if she came back of her own accord, who was to say she wouldn't do so again?

 

Ashleigh had given in to the mating bond, just as he had. She knew she couldn't fight it but...what if she could? It wasn't something she displayed outwardly, but there was still much resentment toward him. She still hated him for forcing himself on her, and he didn't expect her to feel otherwise. She hated him for tearing her from her life, making her remain in Volterra, never seeing her family again. She hated that she had no control over who her lover was. But Aro hadn't either. Still, it caused her to harbor so much negative energy directed at him. What if it was enough? He knew he could never rectify any of the things he had done to her, and she knew it too.

 

Aro rubbed at the corners of his eyes.

 

Admittedly, scared was an understatement. Absolutely terrified was more accurate. Were she to leave again, he wouldn't be able to make it without her. He knew that. He had witnessed first hand what permanently losing a mate, or even thinking you had, can do. Marcus. Edward. Both had become suicidal. Edward had been able to reclaim his mate. Marcus only still existed because Aro had intervened. Would anyone do so for him? He didn't think so. Ashleigh couldn't leave him again.

 

He would not allow it.

 

* * * * *

 

“Aro has been acting really weird lately,” Rosetta stated. She had come up for lunch, and now we just sat, talking. He definitely had been. Though he had managed to regather himself, mostly, it was obvious he was still bothered by what happened with Caius' wife. Still worried I'd run like she had. It seemed he continued to overlook the fact that we were bonded. And that when I did leave, I came right back.

 

As if to prove her point, Aro had suddenly arrived in the room with us. Rosetta jumped when he spoke, “Ashleigh, my dear, I need to speak with you. Rosetta, you may leave.”

 

She knew better than to argue. Rosetta waved at us with a smirk before closing the door behind her. Aro sat where she had previously, “My dear, I think it's time we spoke about the agreement we had made.”

 

My brows knit in confusion, “I didn't think that applied any longer?”

 

“Correct,” he crossed his legs and smiled, “But you know it's still something I desire of you.”

 

He reached out and caressed my cheek.

 

“And I know,” he continued, “That it is something you would like to do for me.”

 

Sometimes I really hated that he could read my mind. “Okay. So...”

 

“So,” Aro leaned toward me, taking my hand in his, “I think it's time we begin to actually try.”

 

I couldn't keep from twitching, “We've only been together for, like, four months. Five?”

 

“Yes, but, while my biological clock may not be ticking, yours is. I've been researching,” he made a face as he pat the book I hadn't noticed resting on the table, “Optimal time for a woman to conceive is before age thirty.”

 

“That's still ten years away, Aro.”

 

He stared at me, not appreciating that I was arguing but also trying to not scold me for it, “Peak fertility is roughly half way through the woman's month cycle. I need for you to let me know when that is, so that we are intimate at the appropriate time.”

 

“That will be the only time we...”

 

“Of course not,” he had gotten closer to me, now twirling my hair around his finger, “I still intend to have my way with you in the meantime.”

 

I hoped he meant that playfully and not literally. Aro smiled and leaned into me, gently catching my lips. It was soft, loving. Much different than it had been for awhile. He held my face as it got a little deeper. One thing he wasn't good at was being subtle when it came to what he wanted. His hands dropped to my knees, running up the inside of my thighs. A shaking breath escaped him. Suddenly he was kissing me again with a bit more force. He dropped from his chair onto his knees, lips traveling down my shirt, to my stomach, above my pants. He tugged at my waist.

 

“Aro!”

 

He flinched, making a face like he was in pain, and backed away. I got down on the floor in front of him, to get a look at his eyes, “You haven't fed recently, have you?”

 

They were much darker than they should have been. Why would he skip it when he knows how important it is? He pressed his lips into a line, briefly shaking his head. I huffed before getting to my feet, offering him my hands, “Come with me.”

 

Aro stood and let me take him to the bed. Oh god, what was I doing? “Lay down.”

 

He did as I asked, resting against the pillows to remain somewhat upright. Odd, he didn't seem the type to take commands from others. I got on top of him, sitting on his hips. I trailed a finger down his stomach, “If you want this, you need to behave.”

 

He licked his lips and nodded. A hunger burned in his eyes, but not for blood. I leaned forward so I could kiss him. He put his tongue in my mouth, held my hips securely and bucked against me. Yeah, he wasn't going to behave. I began to rethink my decision. Though I didn't think it was possible, his grip tightened. He whispered into my mouth, “I won't hurt you, I promise.”

 

I hoped I wouldn't regret this.

 

Not wanting to be in my current position any longer, though, I attempted to climb off him. His hands now held my upper arms, “No, my dear. You will be staying there.”

 

He brought me back into him, reclaiming my lips. Hands slid down my sides and around to my back. Holding my shirt in both hands, he tugged. It ripped straight up the middle. Ruining clothes was not a concern to him. Once it was free of my arms, Aro moved his hands up my stomach to my chest, rocking his hips the entire time. He was getting himself pretty worked up which made me hesitant to participate much. But that didn't really seem to bother him much. He let go of me to remove his own shirt. He moved on to his pants.

 

“Up,” he nudged me. I got up and decided I should probably take mine off as well before any more of my clothing got shredded. Though he paid for them, I supposed he could destroy them if he wanted. My hands trembled slightly as I shimmied free of them.

 

“To where you were, my dear,” he commanded. His tone was a bit too familiar to me. Submit. A bit reluctantly, I did as I was told. For the most part. I remained on my knees, and he stared at me expectantly. When I still didn't move, he returned his grasp to my hips, leaning forward to run his tongue along my shoulder and collar bone. He gently pulled my hips toward his.

 

Aro made that strange sound in his throat again as my body took him in. Once my thighs touched his he placed his forehead against my chest and blew out a deep, shaking breath. He then inhaled sharply as he pulled my hips forward as he pushed in as far as possible. Without really pulling out at all, he repeated his movements. The bed lightly bounced under us each time. His trivial panting began to pick up as he started going a bit faster. Mine did too, my hold around his neck tightening. The sound he began making was somewhere between a growl and a moan.

 

I drug my fingernails across his skin and gasped louder than I meant to as I contracted with pleasure. Part of me still hated that Aro was capable of making my body react in such a way. He groaned and bared his teeth as he tensed, holding me still. His grip didn't loosen once he was finished. Instead, he kept me close and nuzzled my chest, taking in my scent.

 

* * * * *

 

There was a knock on the door. Since when did he knock? Before I could answer the door opened and he slipped inside, “How are you, my dear?”

 

The question paired with his expression confused me. There wasn't his usual, cheerful smile. It almost seemed like a look of guilt. I answered sincerely, “I'm okay.”

 

Aro shook his head before coming closer. He sat on the floor with his back against the bath tub and sighed. I leaned a bit closer, “You can join me if you want.”

 

I heard a hint of a smile, “No, I don't think I should.”

 

“I'm alright, Aro,” I tried to reassure him, “Well, mostly.”

 

Turned out I hadn't been the only one to utilize their fingernails. The scratches across my hips were not very deep, luckily, but they sure stung when they hit the hot water. But I did need to find out, “Why haven't you been feeding?”

 

He was quiet for awhile, “I've been distracted, my dear. I apologize.”

 

“You need to stop, Aro,” I sank into my bath a bit further, “I'm not leaving. You know that. I've promised you that.”

 

“You're promise isn't good enough.”

 

Now I sat up straight, feeling a bit frustrated, “How is it not good enough? What more do you want me to do, Aro?”

 

He didn't say anything for the longest time. I wasn't really sure what to take from his silence, so I decided to just let him be and relaxed back into the water. When he did finally answer, I wished I had just left it alone.

 

“I want you to marry me.”



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