A smaller chapter than normal tonight guys. I haven’t been feeling the best in general lately, so I figured it best to stop before things got as dark as my mood (probably not as dramatic as it sounds), but just in case… A little update is better than none, right? As for NSGE there might not be a new update this week, Seastarr has been a very busy bee lately so I’ve been doing a good chunk of things, but again, with the feels… it’s harder to churn out lightheartedness. Fingers crossed though, it still might pop up! xo
“What do you mean gone?” I asked Amelia as she stood in my library, a look of fear on her face.
“I mean, I came up here thinking she was here, and she’s clearly not. She was up here, she was sent to Lord Niall… and she never came back down. So either she’s left or she’s hiding up here like a fool.”
“She’s not up here, I thought she went downstairs…”
“She’s not. She hasn’t been for a couple of hours.”
Something felt very wrong. I told her I would be outside the door waiting, and I did wait, until I saw Dawn and my need to discover why she had done what she had done too over.
“Dawn, I need to speak with you.” I said, spying her across the vast space between Niall’s wing and my own where she stood with towels in her arms.
She looked frightened, but I found as much as I hated intimidating women, I cared not for her feelings at that point. It was the same old song where she was concerned, and I was beyond tired of listening to it. When I got over to her side, I led her into my library.
“Explain yourself, now.”
“I’m sorry, Eric.” She cried.
“No, you’re not. You’re only sorry we caught you, otherwise you know Niall would never have named you. Now, tell me, why did you do what you did? Do you hate me… Sookie, that much?”
She shook her head before wiping her crocodile tears.
“I… hate that it’s not me. I want to leave it behind me and I want to forget my feelings… But I can’t seem to. And she just…I hate her You’re right, I do hate her…” She admitted, sobbing.
“Because you clearly love her, and I think, why could it not have been me? What is the matter with me that I am not lovable?”
“Jesus Dawn…It’s not about that.”
“Then what? I tried hard, Eric. I tried to make you love -”
“You should never have to try. Have I not told you that before? Just because I do not feel for you how you want me to, doesn’t mean that no man ever will. You are…” I touched her cheek, still weary to keep my distance. “You are a beautiful woman, Dawn, you are just so clearly misguided right now. I can’t forgive you for what you’ve done for Sookie and I where Niall is concerned…You’ve put us in a very difficult position.”
“You put yourselves there.”
She certainly had balls, I’d give her that.
“Dawn, how I feel isn’t going to change. Not for Sookie and not for what I do not feel for you. I’ve told you, time and time again, to move on, and yet you still fixate on this hatred, why?”
“Are you that bored? Is your life that empty?”
“Perhaps it is.” She pouted.
I nodded, pacing by the window, I looked out and saw Thor watching something by the side of the estate, it was in a blind spot though and I couldn’t see what he saw. It was probably another deer, he had a thing for chasing deer, and then getting himself in trouble because of it.
“Look… Dawn I think it’s time you started looking for somewhere else to work.”
That set her off again, the tears flowed and she started to weep.
“Please, Eric. Please don’t fire me…I need this job…”
“Should you not have thought about that before you decided to fuck with my life? If this had been in any other house, you’d have been out on your ear without so much as a word!”
“I know, and I am sorry, really I am…but she doesn’t deserve you.”
I closed my eyes, she really wasn’t going to change her tune, was she?
“I’m not sacking you, I’m warning you. I want you out of here…anywhere else that will take you, you go. I’ll even make some calls myself if needs be. But I need you gone. I can’t stand this tension, Dawn. I want the staff to have as peaceful a working environment as possible and you seem to be the opposite of that. Do you understand?”
“How long do I have then?”
“A month, or six weeks. Say six weeks. I’ll make some calls tomorrow, see if any households needs new staff.”
I swallowed hard, I felt like an ass, but I had had enough of everyone else dictating and controlling my life. Dawn’s little outburst proved she wasn’t a loyal woman, and I didn’t have to deal with that, not anymore.
By the time I got back to Niall’s room to check on Sookie, she was gone and Niall was in an extremely upset state, claiming she had stormed out furious at him. I had decided to give her time to calm down, Sookie was like myself in a lot of aspects, and when she felt anger, I knew it best to give her her space.
It wasn’t until almost eleven, when Amelia came looking, her face ghostly white.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, she was talking with Niall, then left… I assumed she went back to work.”
She shook her head. No. Sookie hadn’t returned to the kitchen. Then where the hell had she gone?
“Outside?” I suggested, though I knew as soon as I did it sounded stupid.
“No, she hates the cold, remember? She wouldn’t be out there alone much less in the snow alone.”
Right, the snow had started falling again that afternoon. It wasn’t even really Winter yet!
“Of course… I just…” And then I remembered. Thor. Thor was looking at something outside, by the side of the house. He never came to the side of the house unless it was with me… me and Sookie.
“Amelia come with me a second?” I said before I stormed out of my room and down the stairs, Niall was standing by his door and I knew he saw me. Amelia followed quickly after me.
“Sir? What is it?” She asked as I opened the side door, and there they were.
Tire tracks. Almost covered by the light drift of snow now, but there were definite tracks…and no one had taken the cars in our out all day.
“Amelia, tell Bobby to get the car for me, I need to grab my coat.”
“Wh- What’s wrong?”
“I think I know who has her.”
“Has her?!” She asked, alarmed as she followed me back through the hallway and up the large staircase again. “What do you mean? As if someone … took her, Sir?”
“Yes. I don’t think Sookie left here tonight. Why would she? She had no reason to leave.” I announced.
“Actually Eric, she may have had her reasons.” Niall commented as I got to the top where he stood, it stopped me in my tracks. I nodded to Amelia to go and hopefully do as I asked, before I looked back to Niall once more.
“Did you run her off then? Did you succeed?” I asked, my anger over taking me once more, teamed with the panic I felt, I really didn’t care what I said, or to whom.
“We had…harsh words, I admit I could have handled things better.” He closed his eyes, as if in shame.
“Better? How about not at all. Niall, I have given you all due respect in my time here, I married your daughter because I felt love for her, I wanted a life with her, but you know what? It wasn’t allowed. God, or whoever is making the rules didn’t allow it, and she was taken from us, both of us. And for a time we were united in our mutual grief…”
“But now you’ve found someone new is that it?”
“No, I found someone who pulled me out of the darkness I lost myself in for so long. A darkness I never thought would end. I mourn for Sophie as you do, but does that mean I am also to condemn myself to the grave with her?”
He sat down at his desk, his head in his hands.
“I miss her, I miss them all.” He whispered.
“I know you do, I do too.”
“Do you? You move on now, and what then? I wait to die alone here in this house filled with people I pay to be here? Is that my end?”
I did not want to be cruel, but I found myself still angry, no matter how much I pitied him.
“And what of me? Am I to be another of those ‘paid’ to be here? Is that what the fuss about the will is about then?”
He stood up, tossing the contents of his desk on the floor in a rage.
“Goddamnit man, NO. I just…Sookie…or whoever she really is, is a nice girl. But the pain my mother withstood was very real. My motives might not be so pure, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. I wouldn’t wish that kind of outcast horror on any woman, particular a woman you, my accidental son, deem to love. A boy I barely knew who has become like real family to me, and I had hoped I had become like family to you, since so many of your own are gone too. Perhaps I was wrong.”
I sighed. He could certainly get under my skin like family, that’s for sure.
“She would not just leave, Niall. I know her, and I think it’s time you heard the full story, I think with everything, you’ve at least earned that. I can’t lie anymore, and I won’t, but I want to do this calmly, for what follows, I feel will not be so calm.”
I took a deep breath before I opened my eyes, suddenly everything hurt and I was wishing I was still asleep. But then I slowly remembered what happened.
Bill, the car, the dog, the snow…then nothing.
I shot up straight, and regretted it right away. My head hurt.
“There you are, sleepy head. I was beginning to think you’d sleep your life away.” Bill said, but I couldn’t see him, I saw two windows, a couch, a chair, a wireless and another room. Then he appeared, plates in his hands.
“Just in time too, I’ve made us dinner. It’s not steak, but it’s as close as we’ll get with the border confines and the strict export around here, right?”
I blinked before I tried to touch my head, only one of my hands was caught in the bed frame, chained. I swallowed, my throat dry, rough, sore.
“Bill? Why… Why am I chained?” I fought the sob that crept up my throat, before I looked down and saw I was in my undergarments, my uniform and shoes gone.
“Oh that, that was just a…precaution, while I was out. I can let you out if you promise to behave.”
I said nothing, but I heard Big Ben chiming in the distance, so I realised we were somewhere central.
“I think you need to eat, my darling. You are so pale. You haven’t woken, not really, in and out but nothing real in three days, I was starting to fear whatever I gave you, was too much.”
“Why did you -”
“I needed to get you away, away from those people and that life. Susannah, or is it Sookie now? You don’t belong with them, Sus, you belong with me.”
He smiled. He honest to God, smiled.
“I…have to pee.” I admitted, because I did, something fierce. I guessed that after three days, I would need to. Three days, I knew Eric would know I was gone, I just hoped he could find out where!
“Alright, this is my place, and I have my own bathroom too. So you can just go through there and freshen up, and come back for some food okay?” He said as he took the key from his breast pocket and unlocked me. I sat up, slowly. Everything hurt now.
I stumbled slowly across the room until I got to the bathroom and closed the door. There was one window, but it was too small for me to fit through, even if I had the energy to run at that point, I knew I couldn’t. So I did what any self respecting woman would do in my situation, I turn on the water, and let it drown out the sound of my tears as I sobbed out my panic, my pain, my fear. Then I washed my tears away as best I could, and I fixed myself and picked myself up.
When I walked out, a small round table was in the middle of the floor, I hadn’t noticed that before.
“I thought you’d be in there forever, but I want you to be comfortable so it is understandable you wanted to freshen up.”
“Bill, where is my dress?”
“I will get you new clothes, soon. Sit. Eat.” He motioned to the chair in front of him, the plate sat with food that to my starving stomach, was amazing.
I sat and looked at the food. My mood somewhere between desperate, and furious.
“Well, we can’t have you running around in your -”
“Why did you do what you did?”
“I told you.”
“And I told you!” I yelled from where I sat. “Bill…” I fought the tears again.
“Susannah, you are my wife. Mine. You are mine, don’t you understand that? Did you really think I was going to let you go? You swore in front of God, Sus, that you’d love me forever… and forever means forever. You swore until death parted us, and guess what my darling? Death didn’t take me.”
I felt my insides churn.
“I have no intention of giving you up again, Susannah. You must accept this. When you do, things can start to…get back to normal. Now eat, before your food gets cold.” His tone was friendly, but with an undercurrent of what I knew to be his true meaning.
For three more days, things continued like that. He would sleep on the large sofa, assuring me that he wasn’t a ‘monster’, and would not ‘touch me against my will’, no, he’d just kidnap and keep me against my will, clearly they were different things to him. They were not different to me, and he was the monster he thought himself too good to in fact be.
I kept quiet, I read the books he had there, he read the paper and when it was time for him to go to ‘work’, I was restrained once more. Sometimes he trusted me not to scream, which I didn’t have the energy for anyway, and others, it seemed he was suspicious and I would receive the injection to knock me out, when I would wake once more, it would either be dark or the next day. I was quickly losing my mind. I felt hopeless. I was weak as anything from the injections, whatever it was he gave me when he left, it played havoc with my energy even when they wore off. I couldn’t run, even if I wanted to. He was there, being creepily kind, the kind of pleasing that you just knew was false, and I knew it to be false because, well, he was Bill. No matter how much he had told me he was a ‘changed man’ and that losing me had made him see things differently, I was not buying what he was selling, not in the slightest. Men at their core, don’t change, no matter how much we may want them to. And he certainly didn’t change, at his core Bill was as rotten as a fallen apple.
“When you face heals, then we can talk about taking you to get new clothes, perhaps.”
“Perhaps.” I said from my position on the bed, reading, but not really reading. My face was a mess that much was true. Having caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I would be healing for a few weeks at least. I had a purple eye, and a yellow bruise on my neck where he’d injected me the first time. Having been smashed up against the glass in the car also took it’s toll on my face too. All in all, it was obvious someone had gotten to me.
By the fifth day there, my eighth away from Eric and kept against my will, I realised there was only one way out of there.
I had to play along. And I would, because I wasn’t living my life like this. Not for Bill, not for any man, no matter how many injections he had.