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 Seven


The first thing I did when I finally woke was run to the bathroom to throw up. I felt like garbage. My head throbbed, my stomach still unsettled. I rubbed at my eyes with the heels of my hands as I attempted to make my way back to bed. Just outside the door I walked into something solid, that wrapped a pair of arms around me in comfort, a cold hand pressed against my forehead. I didn't try to fight him. I turned my face into his chest.


“Rosetta isn't allowed to give me pain medicine anymore.” I muttered, not sure if he'd even understand me.




Aro scooped me up in his arms and carried me back to the bed. He tried to lay me down but I locked my arms around his neck, forcing him to lay with me. I curled up against him. As much as I needed to talk to him, I didn't want him to speak. When he did, all I could ever hear was that one awful word. Submit. When he was silent, I could still pretend he was my safe place. I grabbed a fist full of his shirt as the pain in my head worsened momentarily. He held me closer in response.


I must have managed to fall back asleep. The next time I opened my eyes it was dark again. Aro still laid next to me on the bed, head propped up on an elbow, his free hand caressing various places on my face. His finger traced around my lips and I flinched away. He frowned, “I apologize, my dear. That's not what I was thinking.”


“Then what were you thinking?”


“This.” He grabbed my waist and tugged me closer, placing a passionate kiss where his finger had just been. Again, I didn't fight him. But I didn't return it either. After a moment he pulled back, “I'd never ask something like that of you when you're not well.”


I turned my head away from him, feeling the anger bubbling to the surface. I tried to blink away the stinging in my eyes. His words were empty to me. Wouldn't ask for that when I wasn't well... He wouldn't even ask at all. What I wanted, or didn't want, hadn't mattered to him. Either time.


Aro frowned again, “You agreed.”


I pressed my lips together, “Still wasn't much of a choice, though. You still didn't think about me. You're only concern is yourself.”


Now I turned my back to him as the tears spilled over. He draped an arm over my waist and pulled me back against him, “You're right, I was quite selfish. And I can never take back what I've done.”


I looked him in the eye, maybe the first time I'd done so of my own accord, “I'll never forgive you.”


“I didn't expect you would,” he brushed a tear from my cheek. He was right, despite the limited options I was given I had consented to performing oral for him. Maybe if I had put up more of a fight he would have left me alone. But that wasn't even the part of it I was upset about. The second time... I didn't even get an option. He had never hit me, never intentionally restrained me. My wrist and the bruises were an accident, I knew that. I couldn't even imagine what it was like for him. Being so strong, in the throws of such an intense physical and emotional experience, forgetting he was with someone so fragile. I could overlook the physical damage. The real damage he caused was, he knew damn well my fear went beyond just never having done it. He knew pushing it like that is incredibly unhelpful with coitophobia. Though they always say the best way to overcome a fear is to face it, I was pretty sure that didn't mean forcibly. The real damage was Aro had completely shattered my mind and my trust.


“I want to get over it. I want to get over it so I can get this over with and I can go home...” I said quietly.


“You won't be leaving here.” Aro replied carefully, as if he was expecting the backlash. I sat up too quickly and a wave of nausea crashed over me. I had to close my eyes and wait for it to pass before I could yell at him, “You told me I could! You promised!”


He flinched, “I'm afraid it's a promise I have to break. It was made before I knew what we were. And now that I do -”


“What are we, Aro?” I was probably pushing my luck by shouting at him but I couldn't keep my anger contained any longer. All of the lies were too much, “is this about that weird mating thing?”


Aro rolled onto his back, lacing his fingers together and resting them on his stomach, “It is. We are mates, dearest Ashleigh. Bound by fate to each other for eternity. For one to be without the other would be devastating. I know you feel the pull as well. Stop fighting it.”


I stood, shaking my head and mumbled, “I can't believe this...”


Silence consumed us. Aro remained where he was and I paced the perimeter of the room with my face in my hands, crying and fuming. I had been so stupid to have trusted him.


“You may leave.”


I looked at him in confusion, “What?”


“You may leave,” He repeated, keeping his gaze fixed on the ceiling.


“You just told me I couldn't. What kind of game are you playing?”


Aro stood and walked toward me, “For once, I'm not playing games.”


When he reached me, he took my hands in his, “If you truly want to leave, you may. I won't keep you here any longer.”


The man looked genuinely sad as he turned to walk away, “I will notify the guards, my dear.”


He slipped out of the room without another word and I could only stare after him, shocked.


* * * * *


True to his word, no one tried to stop me. Rosetta met me and walked me to the main entry, gave me a hug and enough money to get home, courtesy of Aro, and bid me goodbye. I immediately called for a cab to Florence. Just over an hour and I'd be able to finally get a flight home. I wished I had my cell phone so I could call my mom to tell her I would be back soon. I hugged my knees to my chest and stared out the window at the passing countryside. Italy was absolutely beautiful. It was almost a shame to leave. The clouds were thick and soon rain began to patter against the glass. How appropriate, I thought. The weather echoed my mood. Huh, I hadn't realized I felt sad at all until now. Why? I was free of my nightmare. I would be home in a day. So why wasn't I happy?


The longer we drove the heavier the rain became, the worse I felt. But I didn't understand why. What could possibly be pulling me down when I should be thrilled? For one to be without the other would be devastating. I laughed and the driver glanced back at me in confusion. That whole mating bond thing had been a bunch of baloney, I was sure. Something he made up in a desperate attempt to get me to comply. My arm was in a cast! Accident or not. But still... The two months I'd spent there, aside from that one time, I couldn't recall Aro treating me poorly. He did everything in his power for me; was there to hold me when I hurt, even when he had been the cause. He was affectionate...


No. I shook my head to clear it. It had all been part of his plan to get that hybrid he wanted. He didn't feel anything for me. I didn't feel anything for him. This mating bond wasn't real. By the time the car stopped in front of the airport it was a downpour. Thunder rolled overhead. I paid the drive and thanked him. After I slammed the door shut, the vehicle took off again.


Before anything else, I had to find a restroom so I could throw up again. I'd barely made it in time to hit the sink. I cupped my hands to catch the cold water so I could rinse my mouth and splash my face. I wished Aro was here. Once I felt a little better I went to check in on flights out of here. The next one wasn't until the morning, so I was forced to get a hotel room for the night. I put the plastic key card on the desk, threw my soaked clothing into the bathtub and crawled right into bed. It was strange to be in a room so bright and modern. I rolled onto my other side so I was facing the blank wall. Though I was exhausted and still felt ill, my eyes refused to close. Something was missing. After awhile the feeling got so bothersome that I gave up on trying to sleep. I sat and watched television until the sun tried to rise.


* * * * *


The corners of Aro's eyes burned. Occasionally he'd rub at them with a finger but otherwise sat unmoving at the table in the thrown room. He hadn't done anything else since she left. Only a few days had passed but it felt like an eternity. And it had been raining almost the entire time. His eyes had grown darker. The last few meals to be brought in had been ignored by him. It just didn't matter to him right now.


It shouldn't have surprised him that she had actually walked away. He couldn't say he blamed her. She told him flat out she would never forgive him. How could she possibly tolerate being near if she couldn't get passed it? Again, he couldn't say he blamed her. He made the mistake. And now he was paying the price. And what a price it was...


Marcus sat just a bit down the table from him, watching but never saying anything. Aro didn't want him to, anyway. His brother knew what the loss of a mate felt like. Though his had been murdered, she hadn't willingly walked away. Aro wasn't sure which would be worse. He had briefly entertained the idea of going after her, bringing her back, locking her in the room if he had to. But he couldn't do that to her. If she was adamant about not being with him, he had no choice but to let her go. No matter how badly it hurt to do so. He rubbed at his eyes again.


Of course, though he stated otherwise, it really was a game he was playing. Her reaction when he told her they were mates hurt him. Considering his behavior, maybe it shouldn't have. But it did, nonetheless. He wanted to teach her a lesson, prove a point. The pain that came from being separated from a mate was no joke. So he decided to let her go, counting on that pain driving her back. But taking into account the time that had passed, he was concerned she wouldn't return of her own accord and he'd have no choice but to send someone after her. Or go and bring her back himself. The law was the law, after all.


Marcus looked like he was about to say something, but closed his mouth and turned to look at the door. A moment later it opened, and a hint of a smile tugged the edges of his mouth.




* * * * *


He looked at me for a moment, confused. And then I was backed into the wall again. Him against me, his hands on either side of my head. He tucked his head into the crook of my neck, taking in my scent. For once, I wasn't afraid of him. He raised his head to look at my face and I caught his gaze. I sniffled, “I hate you.”


“I know, my dear,” he told me before placing his lips on mine. The way he kissed me was desperate, passionate. I put my hands on his face, the way he liked to do to me, and kissed him back with the same ferocity.

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