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 Twenty-One

 

About half an hour passed and, as usual, he entered the bathroom without knocking. I rested my head over the back edge of the bathtub, ignoring him. He knelt beside me, hesitantly reaching for my hand but deciding against it. He spoke quietly, “The reason I didn't ask Caius to leave was pure selfishness.”

 

Well, that was nice and vague. Also not surprising. I looked at him pointedly, “Why?”

 

My tone was quite harsh and for a moment he seemed taken aback. He was silent for a long time before looking down at his hands, “Several months ago, Caius propositioned me. Regarding you. I immediately told him no, of course.”

 

The thought made my stomach turn. Apparently Caius hadn't been playing when he said he'd show Aro “how it's done”. I would never be able to make eye contact with the man again. Or look at him in general.

 

“But?” I prompted. I could hear in his voice there was a “but” coming. He sighed, looking defeated, “But... The prospect seemed to ignite an overwhelming need within me to stake my claim, if you will. Allowing him to watch was me doing so.”

 

It was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. I processed what he had just told me. The anger I felt was so intense I couldn't even think of what to say.

 

“Are you being serious right now?” I asked in disbelief.

 

“Unfortunately.”

 

He reached out to touch my face. I swatted his hand away, “Please leave.”

 

To my surprise he didn't argue with me. He stood and did as he was told. All I could do was shake. What he had just told me was unbelievable. There was a lot I was trying to be understanding of. Vampires did, after all, experience things differently than a typical human, I knew that. Perhaps the confrontation with Caius really had sparked something in him that clouded his better judgment. But the fact he still became consumed by his selfish behavior was not something I could handle any longer. He should have known how I would feel. I'm sure he knew how I'd feel. But it hadn't been enough for him to control himself. I couldn't take his deception and selfishness anymore.

 

What choice did I really have, though?

 

* * * * *

 

Aro paced. Obviously his decision to be transparent had been the wrong one. Which he should have known, he had made that choice out of selfishness as well. Hoping he would gain some kind of favor with her by being open and honest. He'd just have to take the consequences in stride.

 

He felt a fool. After three thousand years, he had finally been united with his mate. A thing he had never expected to happen. And, despite what he had ever though possible, he genuinely treasured her. Ashleigh was the sun at the center of his universe. Everything would break apart without her to hold it together. And now she was giving him a child. Another thing he would have never thought possible.

 

Yet, he still couldn't change his ways, even for her. They had become so common place they were ingrained in his being. Incapable of being any other way, it seemed. Though he knew what the outcome of his behaviors would be, it didn't stop him making them. And all it was accomplishing was causing pain to the person he loved and cared about deeply. She had doubted his feelings for her before, and she was beginning to again. Why did he keep doing this to her? Was it because he knew it would be impossible for her to part from him?

 

Regardless of the reasoning, something had to change.

 

Aro left to find Corin and Chelsea.

 

* * * * *

 

Aro returned later that evening. He didn't speak to me when he came in. Didn't even look at me for that matter. Just sat at the desk and busied himself. So I said nothing to him either, pretending he simply wasn't there. All the things I felt just a few weeks prior had returned. Did he truly love me? I was beginning to believe it was all part of his agenda. His manipulation at its finest. I was stupid for thinking it was anything but. Tears threatened to fall, so I retreated to the bathroom. I turned on the sink tap and threw the cold water across my face. The icy temperature was jarring, helping to bring me back to my senses. But there was no denying the pain I felt right now. The decisions he continued to make were crushing me. Regardless of what he felt for me, I could say with confidence that I loved the man more than anything. More than once I had reconsidered his prior proposal. Marry me. As recently as the last few days, even. But now, I almost felt silly for having considered it at all. I turned the water off and grabbed the towel, burying my face. Wishing it could hide me from reality. When I put the towel down, Aro stood in the doorway.

 

His expression was vacant as he approached me. Again, he tried to reach out to caress my cheek. I took a step back but that was all I could take before meeting the counter. His touch was gentle as his fingers brushed across my skin and he cupped my cheek. For a moment, the turmoil I felt was reflected on his features. He pulled me into him, his mouth crushed against mine, tongue intruding. This was something he always did, too. Thought he could use passion and sex to fix everything. I'd had enough of that. He let me push him away, “Stop.”

 

The empty look had settled back in. His bright red eyes bore into mine, looked me up and down, taking me in. He was angry that I had told him no. Aro attempted to approach me again, and I pressed into the surface' ledge so hard it was painful, “I said no!”

 

He grabbed the backs of my thighs and lifted, sitting me on the very edge of the counter. He stood between them, pushing the small of my back so that I was pressed against him. Leaning in, he forced another kiss onto my lips, his other hand roaming inside my shirt. Panic began to rise inside me. I finally was able to wiggle enough to turn my face away, “If you rape me again I will leave! And I won't come back...”

 

That was enough to stop him. I had never used the 'r' word to address his assault. This was the first time I had called it what it had actually been. And my stomach knotted instantly, making me feel like I would be sick. He tipped my chin so I had to look at him.

 

“That was not my intent, my dear. Now or then,” Aro smiled, wiping a tear from my cheek, “Know that you cannot leave here unless I allow it. And I never will.”

 

He took a few steps back. I pushed passed him and ran out the door.



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