Through A Nightmare, Darkly

BY : AlongCameASpider
Category: Twilight Series > Het
Dragon prints: 2538
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-Two


“Aro,” Doctor Cullen greeted, closing the door gently behind himself. The other man stood at the window, staring at the swirling snow beyond. He didn't respond, too lost in thought. He had been to see Chelsea in hopes she could repair his relationship with Ashleigh. She had informed him that her gift cannot be applied to the mating bond. It was too strong, even at its most damaged point. He had returned to their quarters afterward, not bothering to speak with Corin. This would be something he would need to take care of himself.


Carlisle took a few steps forward, “Ashleigh came to see me last night.”


That got his attention. He was across the room in the blink of an eye, “For what? Where is she now?”


“She's asleep. I kept her with me for the night.”


Aro's face flickered. Carlisle held out a hand, “Before you get angry. Nothing happened, I assure you.”


Aro tensed and relaxed his fists as he gazed at Carlisle's hand. It felt like a test. Did he trust his mate enough to believe only the spoken words? Should he take the man's hand to read his thoughts, he would only be continuing to do the exact behaviors that were driving his mate away. He nodded slowly, folding his hand together behind his back, “What has she told you?”


Carlisle folded his arms across his chest, “Nothing specific. She said the two of you had been fighting. I convinced her to sleep on it before making any rash decisions.”


Aro swallowed hard, “What was it she was considering?”


The doctor's voice dropped, “She wanted to leave, Aro.”


There they were. The exact words he hadn't wanted to hear but knew were coming. He shook his head as if to clear them from his mind. The elder Cullen continued, tone more critical, “I don't know what it is you've been doing, Aro, but if you don't stop you will lose her.”


“I'm well aware of that,” Aro resisted the desire to snap.


“So do something about it before it's too late.”


“I am trying, Carlisle,” it wasn't a lie, he was trying. He just kept slipping back into old habits, “I do not wish to continue putting her through this.”


The blond pat him on the shoulder reassuringly, but his words were urgent, “You're going to have to do more than try, my friend.”


* * * * *


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.”


I whipped around to find Aro occupying the chair in the corner, smiling kindly. This was just like... Had it all been a nightmare? An odd feeling rolled through my stomach. He was sitting on the edge of the bed now, one hand on the small of my back, the other pressing against my swollen womb. His smile was pure adoration and wonder, “The baby is moving.”


None of it had been a dream, then. He leaned in as if to kiss me. I turned away and my posture stiffened, “Where's Carlisle?”


“Mmm, he's taking care of a few things, my dear. He will be out for awhile,” he answered, looking back down at my belly, “He came to speak with me this morning.”


I wasn't surprised, though I had hoped the man would have kept what I had asked of him between the two of us. Not knowing who else to turn to, I had gone to Carlisle. The man was so warm and easy to talk to. I told him about how Aro approached me just before, about the fight we had been having. I had told him I wanted to leave. And I had asked for his help. The mating bond wasn't going to let me go. If I were to leave, Aro would find me and bring me back. I needed someone to keep me safe.


It shouldn't have been a shock when the doctor declined. He didn't dare stand between Aro and his mate. Although a friend, Aro wouldn't hesitate to dispose of him if it came to it. Doctor Cullen had allowed me to stay the night here, so that I could have some space and time to think everything through. And I had. I did love Aro. I was pregnant with his child. I didn't really want to leave, but I didn't want to keep putting up with his selfish and controlling ways.


“My dear, I can never right the things that I've done. All I can do is try my best to improve,” he said after some silence. I shook my head, “I can't keep doing this, Aro.”


“I know, dearest Ashleigh,” he glanced at me before returning his gaze to his hand, “But it is difficult to change one's ways after so many years. Thousands, to be exact. I don't mean for you to excuse all I do, I just ask for a bit of your patience.”


I figured I could do that. Maybe. Assuming he really put the effort into rectifying his behavior. Real effort. He looked at me, brushing his fingers across my face. Holding the back of my head, he claimed my mouth with his. Not like it had been last night. This was more deep and passionate. I tried to pull away from him but he didn't budge. Instead, he leaned into me, pushing me down onto my back. He kept his weight on his forearms beneath me. His hands held my shoulders so that I couldn't squirm away as he pushed his pelvis against mine. My body betrayed me as his erection rubbed me between my legs, making me crave him instantly. I hated that he could make me feel so good.


And then he broke away, placing his forehead against mine. He had his eyes closed as he took several deep and ragged breaths in an attempt to calm himself. I was still very angry with him and I wanted to refuse him again. But he had sparked desire within me, and now I wanted him as badly as he wanted me. I tipped my chin up so I could catch his lips again, lifting my hips to him. The clothing I wore would allow him easy access. A shirt Carlisle lent me and only panties underneath. He pulled an arm out from under me and reached down, pulling my underwear aside so that he could put two of his fingers inside me. I gasped at his touch. After only a few strokes he withdrew his fingers so that he could take care of his belt, pushing the front of his pants down just enough to free himself.


I moaned as his manhood filled me, slowly and deeply. A sigh of contentment escaped him as he pulled back and thrust again. He placed his hand under my lower back, lifting me so that my back was slightly arched. Which earned moans of pleasure from us both as it drastically changed how he felt within me. He pushed in as far as he could. This was probably the calmest, yet passionate, intimate time we'd had. Usually he was so wrapped up in the physical enjoyment he seemed almost in a frenzy, oblivious to anything else. But this time, it felt like we actually were, though I still hated the phrase, making love.


He kissed me again as he rolled his hips against mine, making noise in his throat. My fingernails raked the back of his suit jacket as he adjusted me again, so that he was hitting the pleasure spots inside and out. His thrusting got just a bit faster, my body responding by tensing. I was close. The motion grew shallow, barely withdrawing at all. Rocking against me faster, I moaned louder, arching my back and digging in my fingernails. I tilted my head back as my orgasm exploded through me and his lips were instantly on my throat. After a few proper thrusts he was pressed against me as hard as he could, his breathing shaking as he released.


Aro whispered, “I do love you my dearest Ashleigh.”


“I love you,” I whispered back. His lips were on mine again.


* * * * *


Not even five minutes later the door opened and I jumped, immediately growing embarrassed. Aro was still on top of me, so it was obvious what we had been doing. At least Carlisle was kind enough to look away from us, “I see the two of you have reconciled.”


“Indeed,” Aro replied. He leaned in and briefly kissed me with his tongue one last time before climbing off me. I tugged the shirt back down and tried to hide beneath the blanket. He finished tucking in his shirt, “You may turn around now.”


Carlisle faced us with a sigh, “I'm afraid I'm going to have to return to Washington for a few days. There's certain supplies I'll need for the deliveries, and I'm unable to acquire them here.”


Aro nodded in acknowledgment. The doctor pulled the chair closer to the bed and sat, “So, I'd like to give you an exam to make sure everything's fine before I leave.”


Carlisle pressed two fingers into my wrist and stared at his watch. After a moment he announced my pulse was normal. Then he checked my blood pressure, which was also fine. He pressed on my stomach, then put his stethoscope to it, “Baby has a healthy heartbeat.”


Aro smiled at that news. The doctor listened to mine next, along with my lungs. He declared, “You seem to be progressing perfectly.”


He smiled warmly at me before looking to Aro, “May I speak with you in the hallway for a moment?”


“No.” was Aro's clipped reply. The blond sighed, “Very well. We'll discuss this with Ashleigh present then.”


My lover bristled, “I know not what there is to discuss, Carlisle.”


Doctor Cullen shook his head, “You're playing games with her, Aro. If you truly care about her, it needs to stop. Now.”


I looked to Aro, who glared at his friend as he spoke, “I don't know what you're meaning.”


“Yes, you do, Aro,” despite his obvious irritation, he spoke calmly, “Last night you approached her in a manner that had her terrified. And now, here you are.”


“And that means, what, exactly, Carlisle?” Aro's tone was growing dangerous.


“It means you're intentionally frightening her, then charming her into getting your way while she's in a mentally weakened state. You're taking advantage of her. I'm sorry, my friend, but this mind game is only going to cause more damage. It needs to be brought to an end.”


Narrowing his eyes, Aro all but growled, “I am not playing games. And I don't appreciate your accusation.”


“Then prove it to her, Aro. Stop doing this,” Carlisle gestured vaguely but we all knew what he was referring to, “Don't coerce her into forgiving you. Earn her forgiveness. Let her have some of the control.”


It dawned on me that Carlisle was right and pain flooded me anew. True feelings aside, he was toying with me. His way of sinking his claws into his pray. Just as bad, I was letting him get away with it. I continued to submit to him. I looked to him. His brow creased in anger, flexing his fists as though he could strike. My gaze moved to Carlisle, “Take me with you.”


Aro's head snapped my direction, looking slightly hurt, “Absolutely not.”


I shrank back under the intensity of his eyes. He turned back to the doctor, “You will not take my mate from me, Carlisle.”


The poor man looked torn. Wanting to keep me safe but not wanting to incur the wrath of his friend. Carlisle returned Aro's stare, “What's the harm, Aro? She'd be gone a week at most.”


Aro spoke slowly, punctuating every word, “You are not taking my mate, Carlisle.”


Doctor Cullen sighed in defeat, shaking his head, “I'm sorry, Ashleigh. But I cannot.”


* * * * *


“You promised you wouldn't leave,” Aro stated harshly, closing the door harder than necessary behind us. I spun around to face him, “I wasn't trying to leave, Aro! I just wanted some space.”


“Your sincerity is questionable, my dear,” he took a few steps closer, eyes burning, “Carlisle told me your request of him last night. It seems you had no intention of returning.”


I couldn't say anything. Aro walked away, rubbing his forehead like he had a bad headache. He stopped at the window, leaning on its sill. I wrapped my arms around myself, to hold myself together when I whispered, “Then give me a reason to stay.”

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