Through A Nightmare, Darkly

BY : AlongCameASpider
Category: Twilight Series > Het
Dragon prints: 1137
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 Four

 

I clutched my left arm to my chest as I stood in front of the full length mirror. There was a large, hand-shaped, purple bruise wrapped around my wrist. But the pain went beyond that. It radiated up to my elbow, down into my fingertips. So intense I had to consciously control my breathing in an attempt to manage. I was almost certain Aro had managed to break it. Though I was grateful that seemed to be all he had broken. Aside from the bed.

 

I had spent the better part of the last two hours in the restroom. By now I had taken three showers and a bath. Water dripped from my tangled hair, running down my back to get lost in the towel I held securely around myself. I still hadn't processed what had happened. Aro had forced himself on me... But hadn't I also had thoughts that suggested I may have wanted it? Had I consented or not? I guess I had told him I'd give him a child. My body trembled slightly.

 

There was a knock on the door but I said nothing. It opened just a tad, “It's Rosetta, may I come in?” Nothing. Rosetta slipped inside and closed the door behind her, “Master Aro wanted me to check on you. He said you had been in here for a few hours. Are you alright?”

 

After a moment, I slightly shook my head. No. I wasn't alright. She said no more as she quickly stepped back out. To report back to him, no doubt. Sure enough, not even a minute later, the door opened again and Aro appeared. I really didn't want to see him right now. So I avoided looking at him. Suddenly he was behind me. I flinched as he lightly trailed his fingers down my shoulder, matching them to the bruises, as well as using the opportunity to dig through my mind. But I thought nothing. I said nothing. Aro frowned in confusion as he carefully reached for my injured arm. I pulled away and, unintentionally, backed myself up into a corner.

 

I realized he hadn't said anything yet either. That's when I noticed the slight trickle of blood down the inside of my leg. I quickly wiped it away with the edge of the towel. Aro took slow steps toward me with a hand outstretched. We stood like that for an undetermined amount of time. It may have been only a few minutes. It could have been as long as an hour. I didn't want him to touch me. I didn't want to be in the same room with him. If I thought running would accomplish anything, I would have. Even if I could, somehow, escape the castle, he'd come find me and bring me right back. Right now, I hated him. But...

 

I threw myself into his arms and cried.

 

He held me like he had after my nightmare. Securely against his chest, my head on his shoulder. He pulled his fingers through my hair. No doubt he was trying to look through my thoughts. The man was always in my head. But this time I actually wanted him there. I wanted him to see what he'd done to me... His stance shifted slightly. I wished I could pretend that morning had just been another bad dream.

 

 

* * * * *

 

Once I began to calm down, Aro carried me back to the other bedroom so I could rest. Since the other bed needed taken care of. He sent Rosetta in to help me dress while he went to attend to urgent business, with the promise he'd return within the hour. Rosetta informed me that Aro had sent for a close friend of his to come care for my injuries, but it may be a few days before he arrived. She found an extra blanket that she rolled up to keep my wrist elevated, to help reduce swelling. She had also brought me some pain medicine she kept in her bag. Rosetta really was a sweet woman. I hoped she wouldn't be killed.

 

Aro returned promptly, as promised. I still had mixed feelings about this. I did feel protected when he was near, though he seemed to be the only one that was a danger to me. But, after having read my thoughts, he did seem almost, just a bit, remorseful. Maybe he hadn't been lying about being fond of me. Rosetta was dismissed, giving me a warm smile before closing the door. I had thought Aro would sit in the chair, keeping his distance. Instead, he sat beside me on the bed. He cradled my wrist gently between his hands, the cold of his skin easing a bit of the pain.

 

“I apologize, my dear,” he spoke softly, “It was never my intention to harm you.”

 

I hadn't actually spoken to him since this morning, before the “incident”. And I still wasn't going to. It was silent for a minute before he spoke again, “I see you have taken a liking to Rosetta.”

 

Wrapping the blanket around myself better, I snuggled against his arm. I still couldn't understand, especially after this morning, why I had any sort of feelings for this man. Maybe I was developing Stockholm Syndrome or something. I said through a yawn, “Please don't hurt her.”

 

Damn it.

 

Aro smirked. I went back to ignoring him as I closed my eyes. Physically and mentally, I was completely exhausted. He tucked my hair behind my ear, “She will be safe, my dear.”

 

* * * * *

 

“Rosetta, my dear. Come.” He didn't bother to stand, only gesturing to the vacant chair close by. She quickly crossed the room to him, her tight red curls bouncing with every step. The young secretary was just as terrified of him as most everyone, but she excelled at feigning confidence, “You asked to see me, Master?”

 

“I did,” Aro licked his thumb and continued to leaf through the book on his lap, not looking up while he spoke, “It seems dearest Ashleigh has grown attached to you. I have realized that she may never be able to forgive me, should you meet the same end as most our human help.”

 

Rosetta's facade faltered. He flipped the book shut with a loud thump, turning to face her with a smile, “I have a proposition for you, my dear.”

 

* * * * *

 

When I woke, I was confused. What time was it? Hell, what day was it? Whatever Rosetta had given me obviously hadn't been ibuprofen. I kept my broken wrist to my chest as I sat up. My entire body hurt and I felt like I was hung over. Aro stood near the door with his arms crossed, just staring at me blankly. Despite the lack of expression, it was unnerving. After what seemed like forever, he finally snapped out of it and came to sit beside me, taking my wrist in his hands once again, “I think we best discuss what happened the other morning.”

 

I was sure he was going to pretend he did nothing wrong. I opened my mouth to speak, but he raised a hand to keep me quiet. Pain shot up my arm as he turned my hand over, tracing the lines of my palm, “I stand by my decision to do what I did.”

 

My heart fell.

 

“That's not to say I'm proud. My dear, I never wanted to do something so cruel. Not to you.” he stroked my cheek, “After searching your mind, however, I was beginning to suspect you were playing games. Hoping you could put it off indefinitely, yet not be killed because you did, after all, agree.”

 

It was a thought I had once, and it was more sarcastic than anything. Wishful thinking, if you will. I knew it would never have actually worked. Similar to my thoughts of escaping.

 

“You may try, but it would be fruitless, I assure you. As for the matter at hand, you needed to be shown what I was willing to do, so that my plan comes to fruition. Thought, I think we would both prefer that you be a willing participant. Do keep that in mind.”

 

I swatted his hand away. Maybe he really didn't care. That feeling of betrayal leaked into my chest. Why did his actions and feelings, or lack there of, have such a heavy impact on me? He pulled me closer and pressed a kiss to my forehead, which made the pain worse. “I do care for you, my dear. Which is why I wish for you to stop refusing me.”

 

And just like that, I was alone once again. Leaving me with the odd feeling the last thing he said to me may have a double meaning...



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