Monday, 12 March 2012

Bonds of Burden

Eyelashes fluttered slightly, wincing for the room seemed bright, more so after an entire day stuck down in the darkness of the catacombs. The low burning fire crackled gently nearby, almost down to the amber glowing embers alone which illuminated the space around her. Soft fur caressed at her cheek where she lay, carried up here by her husband the previous evening. She felt a suffocating dread surface from deep inside rising like the bile that had festered within her, result of her near drowning in the dark flooded tunnels.

She lay there a moment listening to her still erratic breathing trying to settle it with a hopeless calming sigh. With slight tilt of her head she glanced towards the window to see it was still dark outside, swirl of snow at the glass that made her curl tighter slightly even though she did not feel the cold. But she had down there...perhaps not on the surface but it had seeped through to her bones and it had been agony.

She wished she'd never gone, wished she'd not agreed to show Harry the way, wished she'd stayed at home to proudly watch over her husband as he threw himself into his new business. It's where she ought to have been and yet...

He'd become so withdrawn lately. She'd seen him lost on numerous occasions as he tried to find his path, balance his light elven side with the darker lycan within him. And always she had been there, supporting him, guiding least as much as he would let her for often he was stubbornly broody and in some strange way seemed to prefer to be caught in that same old trap feeling sorry for himself.

But she could only sympathise and understand for she herself had been there many times. Until finally she had found her way, embraced herself as whole and risen above those self inflicted shackles to pursue a path that felt right to her even if it made her seem cold to others, worryingly she often felt afraid of leaving him behind as he dithered with his own life but always..always loving him regardless. She would rather turn back to embrace him than ever leave him behind.

No matter what he did she would always be there. There was nothing she could not forgive him. The past was littered with examples. Yet seemed lately she was always the one saying sorry.

And yet...

She wanted adventure. She'd seen the small group gather excitable for what they might find. Yes there was likely danger but she was strong, believed she could take care of herself. Wasn't often she socialised these days...Alastair worried about her closing off from others, though she knew was as much his own insecurity as he needed friends more than she did.

Denied the running of the full moon, hating the divide that threatened between them as she found her strength whilst he seemed to stumble in deeper insecurity...a distance she'd voiced and though they had argued heatedly had such really been resolved as their passions got the better of them and they'd fallen together upon the apothecary floor?

She would have sent word, even run back to tell him, rosy cheeked she would have excitably told him they had found the entrance and would he come with her? Exploring together. How many times had she voiced her wish for them to snatch time for such things? Yet there had appeared Alabaster and everything had happened so quickly...instinct driving her to follow him down the dark shaft and into the catacombs below. She had to watch over him, keep him safe. She'd had no idea of the nightmare they were to face.

She could hear Alastair vaguely below downstairs moving around. Her heart ached for his embrace, wanted to reassure his fears but she was no fool. She knew how deeply this affected him, so attuned she knew his jealousy, his anxiety that he had a competitor for her care. But how much he forgot, how much he ignored to wallow in his insecurities. Still the guilt ate her up, weighed her down to the point she felt she would drown in it. She knew how much such jealousy hurt...she knew only too well.

The episode in the catacombs had only made things much worse...if only he could truly see that she would put no one before him. Nothing compared to the way she felt for him and nothing ever would. How could she get him to see? How could she prove herself when right now he had case for her proving otherwise...that she'd gone to the catacombs without him.

She curled tighter turning her face down to the fur felt eyes stinging for the unfairness of it all. She had not asked for this...imprint. She did not want to feel this way or do this to him, to either of them. No one was comfortable in this situation...what good was it for? She closed her eyes tight trying to find escape from her burden, she thought of her children but only made her feel worse as she missed them so much. But again was her own fault for their absence. With a troubled painful sigh she drifted off into fitful sleep...


The air was cold...colder than snow for it held an ominous sensation that froze deep at the soul. It was a frightening gripping cold, one that suggested no escape for it was tight and unmerciful. Even in the darkness she knew where she was..back there...laying upon stone as her body tried to revive from its ordeal. She could hear her slow laboured breathing as she tried to remain calm and not fall to paranoia and despair for being trapped back in here...was as if somehow on some deep level she knew she was dreaming. That thought kept her sane for now.

In the distance she could hear arguing. The voices were distorted and yet distinct in a way. She tried to push up onto one arm, head tilted blindly to where she thought it came from.

"You should never have come here! You knew she would follow you, she has no choice..her instinct forces her to keep you safe when will you see that?!"


"NO! I keep her safe...not you! Not you! She is mine, do you hear? She's mine...I won't let you lure her away for that she has."

"Did...not mean...harm"

"Shut up....just shut up! I hate this! I HATE IT! She's mine, only mine...I should be all that she has, all that she wants, all that she follows...YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!"

"Blaze..makes...own...choices!" eerie kind as if the world held its breath She frowned as she heard a furious yet desperate growl. It pierced into the silence instilling panic deep into her heart forcing her up from her watery resting place to waver uncertainly, spinning in circles in the dark until her scratched and bleeding palms found surface to cling to, stumbling along until she picked up the pace suddenly tearing along in the dark uncaring of her step or the unseen dangers. Bursting through the gloomy tunnel she had entered she rounded to a skidding halt as a pocket of light was seen to the side, entrance to a smaller stone chamber one she knew well for being trapped within it for hours.

"Brego!?" she cried out in shock and bewilderment at what she saw for there stood her husband looming tall and menacing in full lycan form over a crumpled body on the floor. the glint of familiar twin blades lay between them and she could see the defensive wounds upon Alastair's chest as he turned towards her teeth bared and snarling, near shaking with rage.

"You didn't...please tell me you didn't!" she stated desperate, furious and distraught all at once as she propelled herself forward away from the edge of the stone ledge that lay just behind them, the ledge to shadows and oblivion. As she neared she recognised Alabaster upon the ground, he was still breathing but he was covered in blood, deep vengeful claw marks all over his chest and his face, throat gurgling as he tried to breath. He'd been shredded in jealousy and rage.

"What have you done! What have you done!" she wailed feeling skin prickle with desperation, falling to her knees at Alabaster's side. She felt numb and yet weighed down by a pain she had not felt for a long time. Her hands reached out to her human, gathered him in her arms yet she knew it was too late...he would die here covered in blood at her husband's hand, her husband that could not stand to share, that was lucky his own imprint was upon the woman he came to love not placed in her predicament, forgetting he held not only her love in return but also supernatural bond of her own vampyric and as strong as any lycan imprint.

He seethed in reply, rumbling with bloodlust and a sense of morbid satisfaction as he gave a growl in reply. "He asked for it Blaze..he led you here to danger..he took you from me! You went with him when you should have stayed with me!" came his vibrating guttural response. For a moment she looked at him in dismay too shocked to reply. In her arms Alabaster grew still and heavy, life slipping away through cascading wounds and lungs filling with blood. There was no saving him now...only way was to bite and she knew he would not want that.

"Requiem! No..please! Requiem don't...don't leave!" she begged pitifully as it was too late. She heard his last gargled breath and the final desperate strum of his heart. She hung her head with a deep stuttered gasp, despair washing through her, threatening to drown her. She had failed, failed to protect him, she'd failed her bond. She felt worthless.

She lay him on the ground delicately a moment, closing his eyelids in a detached numbness. She felt broken. She stood up slowly not knowing what to do...she would not could not leave him here to rot in the darkness..she had to get him out, he deserved that at least...she'd have to tell Redy...she felt her life on edge of crashing down.

Suddenly there were arms around her, not lycan but elven. His skin was beyond warm, hot from the pumping fury that had moments ago flooded his veins. His grip was tight and at first she tried to get away, squirming and turning but he only held her tighter. "Blaze...I'm sorry...I'm sorry...Eleni...please...stay here, stay with me!" he spoke erratic, frightened almost as if he knew by his own love and his own bond to her that he had likely just caused her insurmountable pain, the very thing he was supposed to protect her from too.

All she could do was tremble, whether in rage or in despair it was uncertain as she stood there numb in his embrace. Her thoughts wandered to the future...they would be hunted for this, Redy was not the type of wolf to let her mate be murdered and not seek vengeance and she held much sway with people...they would be hunted, perhaps their children would be targeted, used as bait. Her mind ran ahead into paranoid delusions of what may face them.

"We have to leave" she mumbled holding back the urge to turn and rage on him, her bonds battling with each other within. Looking up to him with defeated cold eyes she suddenly began squirming again, thumping at his chest with her fists trying to get away but he did not let go, he stood and took it all. "You've ruined everything!" she screamed at him "You never lost me to him, I was always yours...why couldn't you see that!" managing to twist away and stumble back a few steps though look like she might launch back at him again.

"Eleni...I...I tried so hard. Do you know what it feels like to watch you pine over another?" his hand outstretched almost pleading. The change in him almost unbelievable from what he had been just moments before.

"Of course I know!" she snapped back "Or do you want me to remind you?!" she slithered back to him as if she was driven by more than will. "Brego...he never had my love...he never had my are my love, but now he's dead! Dead! I was supposed to protect him!" she burst into angry tears as she clung to his bare skin. "I failed him and have driven you away" she twisted from his grasp once more sharply and wandered to the edge of the stone platform, staring down into the abyss below. the way she felt was inexplicable..defeated and yet so much more. "I don't want to lose you too" she murmured feeling a cold breeze ripple past her skin. The dark depths called to her somehow.

But he was already gone. One moment there and the next vanished. She sobbed hearing the noise punctuate the eerie silence, looking back to where Alabaster's body lay she saw he was gone too. "I'm losing my mind" she mumbled to herself hugging her arms and staring back down into the darkness. She felt hollow and alone and the loneliness was biting, was like no pain she'd ever experienced before as it brought her slumped to her knees.

She clutched one hand to the other, trembling fingers gliding over her wrist, tracing the subtle bumps, tell-tale scars of her previous attempts at pitiful escape. No longer did sinking fangs provide the release she needed when life crashed down around her...she needed something else.

With concentrated expression she moved slowly closer to the edge, fingers felt where the stone lipped and a few crumbled fragments eroded against her fingertips and sifted, plummeted to the depths below. She wondered what was down there. Was there a cold bone breaking death awaiting all who fell? Would she perish with a simple crash? Or would she fall forever with time for regrets and time to suffer as only a vampire could, thirst driving her slowly to insanity and then coma as she plunged into nothingness?

"Alastair" she whispered eyes closing against fresh brimming tears "I never meant to hurt you, I never wanted that bond...I would do anything to have never had it and never let this happen. I can't live without you...wherever you are let me find you, forgive me and I'll forgive you and we'll find a way to survive...we'll leave Ambrea and we'll start a new life..just us and the children..we can put all this behind us, we can survive this, we can survive anything" she lamented and slowly got to her feet. She tried to imagine his arms around her, but nothing could ever compare to the real thing "I need you" she pleaded "And I'll find you...I won't give up, I promise. .." she turned from the precipice and walked forward with purpose back towards the tunnel and into the darkness.

"Khil'seith" she whispered voice savouring every intimate syllable hoping somehow, somewhere he would hear her "I know we've changed and it's hard sometimes. But we will always be one even if I can't be who you are. Our differences can help us thrive as much as our similarities. Let's keep it You and I...and leave out all the rest"


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