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 Nine

 

I chewed on my thumbnail as the phone rang. It had been almost three months since I had called last. My plan had been to do so once I landed at the airport in New York, but I immediately boarded another flight back to Italy instead. Part of me hoped she wouldn't pick up. That I could leave another voicemail and put this conversation off awhile longer.

 

“Hello?”

 

Damn it. “Mom, it's Ashleigh.”

 

“Ashleigh! What the hell is going on?” she practically screamed in my ear, “There has been nonstop news coverage about your class going missing!”

 

I was going to play dumb. I gasp, “Oh my god.”

 

“No one has been seen or heard from since they left the hotel over there. You left with them, what happened?”

 

“I don't know, I didn't go with them any further than the hotel doors.” I said, chewing my nail harder.

 

“What do you mean you didn't go with them?”

 

“I told you, mom, there was an impromptu opportunity for me. I lost my phone and haven't been able to get a new one until just now.”

 

“What kind of impromptu opportunity, Ashleigh?”

 

She sounded pretty angry now and I didn't blame her. I glanced over at Aro, who was sat at the desk, staring out the window as the rain continued tapping against the glass. I started to shake, “Well, I...met someone.”

 

“You what?”

 

“I-”

 

“I heard you, Ashleigh. I can't believe this! I've been worried sick, not knowing where you were or if you were alright, and here you had run off with some guy?” Now she was crying.

 

“I'm sorry,” I whispered. Even though this wasn't my fault I still felt terrible, “I wanted to call.”

 

She sniffled, “Oh Ashleigh, I'm just relieved you're okay. Where are you now?”

 

“We're back in Volterra,” I looked to Aro to see if I made a mistake in telling her that but he didn't react, “He's taking good care of me. We'll try to come visit soon.”

 

I knew that was likely a lie, but it helped to calm her down, “Will you at least call me?”

 

“I will. This is my new number. You'll be able to get a hold of me now.”

 

“You promise me you're safe?”

 

“I promise I'm safe, mom. I'll call again later in the week, okay?”

 

“I love you, Ashleigh.”

 

“Love you too, mom.”

 

I hung up the phone and caught a tear that threatened to fall. I missed my mom... My phone lay forgotten on the bed as I crossed the room to Aro. He looked at me as I approached and smiled. I sat on his lap, and he immediately wrapped his arms around my waist and put his face in my neck.

 

“I'm sorry.” I told him.

 

He sounded confused, “What for, my dear?”

 

“For not being able to...” I trailed off. He'd be able to figure out what I meant. Aro's lips brushed my collar bone, “I should be the one to apologize, dearest Ashleigh. I'm trying my best but it's difficult. With the mating bond comes very strong emotional and physical attachment. You'll better understand once you've become one of us.”

 

Which wouldn't happen until after I've given birth. Aro continued, “You feel those as well, but lesser than what I feel, because you are still human. It's almost...painful...not being able to make love to my mate.”

 

I shuddered unintentionally. Not sure if it was from the guilt that now bit at me or from the phrase, “making love”. Aro kissed my neck, his cool breath swept across my skin, “But I will wait, my dear, as I should have done. I've caused you pain that has only deepened your fear. I will not do that again.”

 

We sat in silence for awhile, listening to the rain. It was starting to get a bit louder. Aro stood, putting me on my feet, “Come, my dear.”

 

With his hands on my shoulders he steered me in the direction of the bathroom. He closed the door behind us, then slipped around me to start filling the bath with water. Turning to me again, his fingers danced over the buttons of my shirt. His movements were slow and deliberate. The fabric slowly slid down my arms, his lips on my shoulder. My shirt fell to the floor. He unhook the front clasp of my bra, allowing it to join the already discarded garment. Aro took my breasts in his hands, massaging them gently as he kissed me. I briefly wondered if he liked to torture himself.

 

He smiled, then reached down to undo my pants. My chest began to tighten. A hand caressed my cheek as the other pushed my jeans and panties down. I felt self conscious standing in front of him completely bare. He pressed his lips to my forehead before indicating I should get in. I did so, quickly concealing myself below the water. A moment later he joined me, in front of me, facing me. He pulled me to him, our bodies touching. He tipped my chin up, kissing me slowly and carefully.

 

Aro turned me around, pulling me back against him with my head resting on his shoulder, “Just relax, my dear.”

 

His hands traveled across my skin. I couldn't help but do as he said, it was strangely calming. And though he came quite close a few times, he never once touched me anywhere I didn't want him to. He was trying very hard to win back my trust.

 

* * * * *

 

I woke to an empty room and frowned. Aro had been spoiling me with all the time together. Now I was unaccustomed to being alone when I got up in the mornings. But a minute later he came through the door, coming to sit on the bed beside me. He took my hand in his, “I'm afraid I must leave for a few days, my dear. There's a situation that requires my direct attention.”

 

He wasn't going to fight the coven from Russia, was he? He smiled, “A lesser situation, my dear, but serious nonetheless. I will not be in any danger.”

 

Aro placed his hands on my face and kissed me desperately, his tongue invading my mouth. It was usually the kind of kiss that escalated quickly. His hands moved to my waist, gripping my shirt, pulling me closer. Finally, he broke away, closing his eyes and taking a deep, mostly pointless, breath. He placed a finger on my lips and traced their shape, staring hungrily as he did so, “Unfortunately, I must be leaving immediately. Rosetta will be along shortly. She said something about a sleepover. I'm sure the two of you would like some quality time together.”

 

“I will miss you.” I hadn't meant to actually say it aloud.

 

“I will miss you, my dear. I will be back to you soon.” He kissed me one last time before disappearing again. I sighed, then decided I should probably take care of myself.

 

I had just finished up in the bathroom when Rosetta barged through the door with way more bags than necessary. I couldn't help but ask, “Are you moving in or what?”

 

She smiled at me, “The Masters will be gone for awhile, I figured us girls could keep each other company while they're away.”

 

So all three of them left, then. Aro said he wouldn't be in harms way, but I couldn't help but worry anyway. Rosetta began to empty her things onto the king size bed. She was very much a nineteen year old woman. Magazines, make up, plenty of chocolate, which I wouldn't complain about. She made herself cozy, “So, how are things with you and Aro? He's been hogging you for like a month now.”

 

“We're doing pretty well, actually.”

 

“Have you guys....” she trailed off and gestured with her hands.

 

“No! Geez, Rosetta.”

 

She shrugged. I figured it was normal “girl talk”, but not the kind I wanted to participate in. But since she had asked about mine...

 

“So, how's your love life nowadays?”

 

Rosetta looked horrified, “Aro told you?!”

 

“Told me what?” I asked, confused. She stared at me, “So, he didn't tell you?”

 

Now I shrugged, “All he told me was to ask about your love life.”

 

The red head snorted, and then sighed, “Alright. Since I'm sure he'll tell you if I don't. I've been seeing Master Caius.”

 

I squinted in confusion, not following, “You mean like, visiting him? Dating him?”

 

“I've been seeing him,” she repeated with strange emphasis. Then she added, “Aro walked in on us.”

 

Now it clicked, and that would explain why he had looked so entertained, “Are you serious, Rosetta? Caius? Isn't he married?”

 

“Isn't Aro married?” she asked in a bit of a mocking tone, “Well, was, anyway.”

 

“What do you mean, was? He isn't still?”

 

Rosetta smirked, “He didn't tell you that either, huh? His wife was in to see him last week. She asked for a formal separation so that she could marry her new mate. So he's now the vampire equivalent of divorced.”

 

I could only stare at her with my mouth agape. Why hadn't Aro told me this, if it was true? Suddenly, I wasn't so interested in girl time anymore. But she continued, “Anyway, Caius and I are just fooling around. He doesn't actually care. He was curious what all the fuss was about, with all these vampire men sleeping with human women. Frankly, I was curious too.”

 

I cringed inwardly, “So, how is it?”

 

Her eyes almost seemed to sparkle, “It's a-mazing, Ashleigh. A man who's been around as long as he has is quite experienced, if you catch my drift.”

 

Now I cringed outwardly. Thinking about Rosetta and Caius, and how good she thought he was in bed had not been something I wanted to do. I regretted asking. She noticed my discomfort and quickly changed the topic, “Oh, there was a message from Doctor Cullen. His arrival to check on you should coincide with Aro's return.”

 

I nodded as the skin beneath the cast began to itch. I was more than ready to be rid of the thing. Rosetta kept the topic of conversation on lighter things. We watched movies on her laptop, she talked about make up and tried to convince me to let her do mine. I never had much of an interest, but decided to humor her. I was actually quite impressed with the results. She squealed in delight, “Oh my god, if only Aro could see you.”

 

She snapped a picture of me on her cell phone. I was almost kind of glad he wasn't here to see. He struggled enough trying to keep himself under control. He didn't need anything to make it more challenging. And now that my mind was back on the subject, I decided to push myself a bit, “It's really that good? The...you know?”

 

Happy to revisit the conversation, she nodded vigorously, “Oh, yeah. Like I said, he's well practiced. I still don't understand why you keep saying no. You know Aro's miserable, right?”

 

First, I was pretty sure miserable was an overstatement. He was having a hard time, sure, but he could acknowledge it was partially his own fault and he could only be mad at himself. Still, I couldn't help but recall his expression that morning, when he had said it was almost painful not to have that kind of intimacy with me, his mate. His face had definitely reflected that. Second, I don't actually tell him no, I have a panic attack and he stops to avoid making the situation any worse.

 

I chose not to respond, letting my thoughts carry me away. I did trust that Aro wouldn't hurt me again. He'd proven that, I thought. So why did I keep letting my stupid phobia get in the way?



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