“I’m acting like a child? Me? You may be sixty fucking years old Emery but last time I checked I was the only adult in the room. You are the one throwing a fit because ‘daddy doesn’t love me’ boo hoo. I’m sick of it! If he doesn’t care then why are we here? And while we’re at it, no. I don’t understand. Maybe if you would care to explain to me why, oh I don’t know. Why I was fucking tortured by a phantom? Why you’ve been super paranoid for weeks? Or maybe why you’re locking me in the basement like I’m a god damn prisoner!”
Rose was furious, she spun on her heel and marched to the opposite side of the room away from him letting loose a string of whispered curses. How dare he. How dare he! After everything she had been through for him he had the audacity to treat her like a whiny child. The girl slammed her hands onto a small table and pushed off all of its items onto the floor with a frustrated groan.
Oh, did I? When was that again? I must have fucking FORGOT
Those words cut through her like a knife, everything he said had made her furious with him but this just hurt. She wanted to cry but the anger that blushed her face would not allow it.
“What is wrong with you? Why are you doing this? Do you enjoy hurting me? Do you like seeing me like this?”
Rose collapsed down onto the bed and buried her face in her hands, unable to look at him. She shook with a mix of anger and sadness as she willed her magick to stay below the surface in a false calm. She did not want to hurt him. Well, right now she did but deep down she could never bring herself to hurt him.
“Look at us Em. Enough. I don’t want to fight with you but you keep picking and picking and wont tell me anything. How and I supposed to understand if you don’t talk to me?”
Emery leaned against the door frame & watched with decently careless eyes as his Rosemary got upset. He huffed to himself & crossed his arms over his bare chest. He had always loved Rose most because of her understanding, but to what extent could she honestly expect of herself? Rose in the end was a human, she was going to age & in less than a century from now she was going to die. Emery had to accept that, & a part of him did. But what did a mere mortal know about Makers & their progeny? The tie between the two was stronger & more powerful than that of mortal kin. Sure, she could nod her head & say she understood, but she wasn’t a Vampire or any other specie that had progeny capabilities. She would never really understand.
Emery scrunched his nose at the names Rose was calling him & her demand for knowledge of the Phantoms. Of course he didn’t agree on the name calling but would never admit that out loud. To him it just proved further that she was blind when it came to Michael & Emery.
“I’m not telling you to be a goddamn prisoner Rose. I’m telling you that the reason we are here is because I won’t be able to afford to put us up in an Inn every night. Can you? Do you have any coin? I didn’t think so. Considering we don’t have a home to go back to, we don’t really have a choice. It sucks. I’ll have to deal. Fine,” Emery pushed himself from the wall. “Vampires are just a tad bit different than mortals, Rose. You know that. His home, his pub, his money, anything that belongs to Michael belongs to me. It’s unspoken, it’s just a bond. If we are to stay here then we need to lay low until I feel comfortable making some money of my own. In the mean time, no, I do not want you running around Athoria. I can’t keep an eye on you & I’m not going to loose you again. So you’re going to help with Thirst, it’s the least we can do for Michael & Iris for putting us up,”
Emery took a deep breathe & let it out slowly. Didn’t she see that he was just trying to protect her?
He walked over to the bed & joined her in it, laying on his back & staring up at the wooden ceiling. The odd couple stayed there for some time, just breathing & barely moving. Emery looked at the back of Rosemary’s head & wondered if she had fallen asleep. He didn’t know how hard it could be to completely turn your life around from being a creature of the day to a creature of the night. For Emery it was involuntary. But Rose had done that for him, she had sacrificed so much.
Even sacrificed herself, in a way…
With a gentle hand, Emery played with the dark strands, twirling them around his fingers & inhaling her scent. They weren’t exactly the cleanest people in the world at that moment, but Rose’s scent was forever something magical to the Vampire.
Emery traced his fingers from his companions hair to her slender shoulders, grazing against her skin. He rolled to his side & snaked his arm across her waist, then gently pulled her back against his body. Emery buried his head into her neck. “I love you,” he mumbled against her sweet skin, his breathe hot against her pale flesh.
The girl frowned as Emery pushed away from her, taking a piece of her heart along with him. She was trying, she really was. Rosemary wanted nothing more than to please her mate, but with all the growing tension between the two it seemed to be an impossible task. She was trying to be understanding, trying to stand strong for him so that he could fall apart in a rant. But the girls nerves were shot and her patience grew thin, she could barley hold herself up at a time like this let alone another person. Emery could throw a tantrum like no one else she had ever seen, some of his fits would put a two year old to shame and his child-like behaviour was one of his flaws that she still had not been able to dismiss with ease.
“I just think that you…” Rosemary sighed and shook her head, “You know what? Whatever. It doesn’t matter what I think, you’re going to do whatever you want anyway.”
Crossing one arm over her stomach, she held her face in her palm and tried to steady herself. A fight was the last thing they needed right now. Emery had a knack for building up stress then letting it loose to attack anyone and everyone around him and she was not in the mood to deal with his nonsense. He continued to spew venom about his maker, fiddling with the metal that held his old coffin together. Rose quietly stood to the side, allowing him to have his moment, and tried not to let herself take his angered tone personally. He slammed the the wooden lid down hard with a crack that shook the witch to her core, her irrational fears popping back up in her head for a moment.
“& you only think I’m the strongest man alive because I’m fucking you, Rose. You have no idea,”
Her jaw dropped. He he honestly just said that to her face? After everything that had happened? Her fists balled up as the irritation switched to fuming anger. She wanted to grab the chair next to her and slam it over the back of his childish little head but restrained herself. Rosemary glared at the vampire and shook her head in disbelief. The girl knew how she could get in these situations and they never ended well, she did not want to do something in anger that she would later regret. So, after taking a deep breath, she turned away from him and head back out of the room and into the hall. With every step she became more and more upset until finally she turned around to face him.
“No Emery. You are the man who used to fuck me.”
“Oh, did I? When was that again? I must have fucking FORGOT “
Emery groaned as Rosemary started to storm off & rolled his eyes again. The mood he was in was proving to be quite detrimental to his surroundings, which was usually the case. Emery had a nasty way of getting his point across sometimes. & as he had succeeded in getting Rosemary to shut the fuck up about Michael, now he would be faced with her being annoyingly angry at him for an unknown amount of time.
Plus, Emery did not enjoy that snide comeback. It made him tick.
“Rose…just stop, hold on,” Emery dashed the short distance to the door leading to the staircase, making it there before she did. He closed it shut & locked it.
Rose’s face was not thrilled, but Emery was in a place far to grave for anyone to understand.
“Don’t you fucking do that. We’re not doing this whole ‘he said something mean so I’m just going to storm off like a child’ thing anymore, Rose. You need to say something? Then say it. You want to be mopey in the corner because I hurt your feelings? By all means,” Emery raised his eyebrows at her, clearly not stepping away from the door anytime soon. “Or we can just fucking stand here the rest of the night. Either one!”
Emery wasn’t blind to the fact that what he said was wrong, he was just uncontrolled. Besides, that conversation wasn’t going to exactly be a thrilling one to have anyway. Emery hadn’t sexually touched Rose in too long…since before the raids, before she had left. He remembered how Rose was perched on his counter, legs wrapped around his waist, his hands caressing her everywhere…
“I’d appreciate it if you stopped talking about Michael. Just stop. It’s bad enough that I am here, in his fucking bar, smelling him & seeing him everywhere. Stop acting like you fucking understand, cause you don’t, so just stop,” Emery breathed in deep, hoping that his companion would leave it be. “& you’re not going anywhere. You’re going to stay right here & help Iris with the pub at night while I figure this shit out,”
It was Emery’s weak way of making sure Rosemary was safe. He had nothing else.
Rosemary’s heart skipped a beat as Emery spoke, a smile creeping its way to her face.
“You…You were looking to buy a house for us?”
A picture perfect image of the two wrapped in each others arms warmed her spirit. The thought of the couple having their very own sanctuary, a safe place that would always be filled with peace. A place that she could finally call home. Rose opened her eyes to find the hard wood floors and spacious rooms fade away, letting the dark drafty basement take its place. The thought was nice, but she feared that it was simply that. A thought. With the way things had been going in the country the very idea of living a “normal” happy life was out of the question. Nothing more than a fairy tale.
“Michael & I don’t have anything to work out. What happened is done & we can only move on,”
Emery’s harsh voice snapped her out of the imaginary world. She inhaled deeply and pushed the air out in a steady stream, watching a strand of her hair flutter around between her eyes. Ever since they had gotten back from Emery’s incident at the castle Rosemary could not ignore the thick tension that surrounded them. And although it pained her to admit it she knew that she only had herself to blame. Ever since she had been taken advantage of, Rosemary had developed a strong fear that practically paralyzed her. Crowded places and anywhere loud with lots of people put her off completely. Places she once loved she would no longer dare to go near. Whenever anyone accidentally bumped into her the girl would panic and shrink back like an abused child. This made romance strained, non existent to be more precise. She saw Emery’s frustration and completely understood. She was supposed to be his companion yet whenever he tried to show the slightest bit of affection he received a apologetic decline.
She wanted to hold him close, to love him like she had all those times before but the rape still stood strong in her mind. The dark bruises had faded away so that only her inner thighs and rib cage were slightly discoloured. Although the marks had faded the memories still glowed with powerful force. The man had not only taken her body, but her peace of mind. She was paranoid, frightened, and had taken to wearing the blade Emery had given her day and night. Rose stood from the bed and walked over next to the vampire, she held her hand out to his back wanting to pull him close but instead allowed her palm to fall to her side. The man had been nothing but understanding and never said a word to her about her being hesitant. This only cause the stress to build up more and more until they were either snapping at one another or giving the silent treatment.
“I think that Michael is never satisfied with anything in his fucking life & is always looking for the next best thing, whatever he deems in his eyes that is,”
“You expect so much of him. Sure, he is an elder but Em he doesn’t know everything. Even I can see that you miss him, that it physically hurts you that he isn’t in your life. You love him. And as much as you want to put out this tough loner appearance that doesn’t need anyone’s help, you know deep down that you want nothing more than to make him proud.”
Rose sighed and leaned up against the wall to face him, “You are so full of pride that it stops you from making the right choices. You want to be the good progeny, I know you do, but you don’t want to appear weak.”
The girl touched her hand to the mans cheek and gave a reassuring smile, “Em, you have changed so much since we first met. You have learned so much from him and it has made you stronger, not weaker. If Michael can’t see that and be proud than he’s a fool. You are the strongest man I know.”
Emery rolled his dark blue eyes & moved away from Rosemary’s touch once more. He unlatched the three hooks on his coffin & raised the cover open, holding it up with his arms. His own scent rushed at him as if it were trapped inside.
“It’s not a ‘tough loner appearance’. Where the hell are you getting that from? Of course I’m upset about what happened, yes. But it happens so often that eventually, given some time, the hurt starts to fade,” Emery hadn’t mentioned anything about the Phantoms to Rose. She hadn’t bothered him about it & he was perfectly okay with that. In addition, what really had happened between Emery & Michael was now a secret as well.
Emery pushed his lid up further so it stayed open on its own, then ran his hand across his fancy white pillow & fluffing it.
“For the record, once upon a time in Chile Village I had sucked up my pride & told another man that I loved him. That man is currently the Maker that practically slept with someone that I was intimate with, stopped me from trying to kill myself then turned around & did the same thing, kissed & fell in love with one of my exes, didn’t allow me to help save him for once, & told me I was a disappointment just because I did something that I felt was the right thing to do,” Emery ran his hands down his face. “He doesn’t want a progeny he just wants a puppet,”
Emery slammed his coffin lid down against the sturdy wood. The bang echoed throughout the basement walls, & Emery saw Rose wince out of the corner of his eye. Why the fuck were they talking about Michael? Couldn’t she just let it go?
“& you only think I’m the strongest man alive because I’m fucking you, Rose. You have no idea,”
Emery pushed himself off the coffin & away from his companion. He was agitated about having to hideaway in a place he didn’t even want to be. He was agitated that the Phantoms were currently still out there & probably watching him & Rose at all times, waiting to swoop in & control his life…
He stood with his back towards Rose & gently ran his fingers down the scars on his chest, closing his eyes & seeing flashbacks of both horrid nights.
Rose looked on at her companion with a solemn expression. She did not know much about Emery and his maker, but she knew that it was often a touchy subject. This place must have had loads of memories for the two, both good and bad. With a soft sigh the girl found her place on the edge of the bed next to the vampire and wrapped her fingers around his. The girl tilted her head to the side to try and make eye contact but Emery was lost in thought.
“Hey.” She spoke softy, “It’s not so bad. I mean it’s no villa but we can make the most it for now. It’ll be okay.”
Rose hated seeing him like this, lately he had been so withdrawn and distracted that the two had barley said two words to one another. Of course she had not been helping matters what with her own troubling issues. The couple had been through much over the last couple of day, too much, but she felt that with time they would be able to persevere. At least she had hoped so. Michael had been another issue entirely. The last time the two had met Emery had his hands wrapped around her neck, and now here they were seeking shelter in the mans basement. The witch dreaded the awkward reunion but was grateful for the mans hospitality. She laughed to herself remembering her first interaction with Michael. There she was, bleeding to death in the street, and the only thing she could think was how come this tall vampire looked so heartbroken. Sneaking a glance at Emery the girl shook her head. She did not understand it then, but she did now.
“Maybe this is a good thing. Being with Michael. You two have a lot of stuff to work out. Well, we all do.”
Rosemary’s hand was soft in his own, & Emery brought his other hand to wrap around both of them. His eyes stared at an uninteresting spot on the floor as if fixated. Michael was everywhere & how Emery wished he could crawl into his coffin & never come out. At least then he wouldn’t have to face the horrors that were unraveling around him, as if he was cursed.
Emery brought Rosemary’s hand to his lips & pressed them together. The Phantom’s had not yet been mentioned or brought up the past two days between them, & Emery was just fine with that. But even when Rose’s curiosity would get the best of her, Emery would have to explain to her what he has to do to protect the ones he love & gather the information that he so desperately needed. He imagined that Rosemary would run off. Emery was not well in his head at the moment & it wasn’t fair. Why did bad things always happen to him?
“Michael won’t be here. He said he’s going away, but that we can stay here until,” Emery paused only for a second before finishing. “until we buy a home & get settled. He didn’t want me wasting my money on a sleezey inn. Besides, I told him about those Knights…he said he’d take care of it if he could,”
Emery untied his boots & kicked them off as he spoke. “Michael & I don’t have anything to work out. What happened is done & we can only move on,” He spoke somewhat harshly even though it was unintentional. Emery pulled his shirt over his head & tossed it to the side. He eyed his coffin. “I think that Michael is never satisfied with anything in his fucking life & is always looking for the next best thing, whatever he deems in his eyes that is,”
Emery continued to avert his eyes from Rose & stood, walking to his closed coffin. It was jet black, no surprise, & the latches were a white gold. He ran his fingertips over the case, making shapes in the small layer of dust that had formed there while he lived in Brailston.
Iris greeted Emery with a light hug. Him & Rose walked into Thirst looking like a battered & confused couple, dressed in tattered clothing & skin dirty from lack of bathing. Iris looked at him with concern, tilting her head to the side.
“It’s good to see you, Em. Michael told me you were coming. Why don’t you go get settled in, I’ll prepare a meal for you two,”
Emery thanked her then put an arm around Rosemary’s shoulders, leading her towards the back hallway. Thirst was lively as normal & a few customers nodded at Emery in acknowledgement & greeting. Michael had always taken great pride in his little business, & his customers took great pride in being able to be a part of it.
While walking down the back hallway, the pair passed by Michael’s favorite sitting room. Michael’s scent was overwhelming to Emery, & he stopped at the door. Looking in, Emery allowed himself to be sentimental as the memories from that room flooded him. By the fireplace rested two armchairs & in the corners sat massive amounts of books about Demons for when Michael was seeking revenge on Ava.
“How did you know, Michael? How did you know where I was,”
Emery remembered the pain he felt when Ava shoved the blade deep into his stomach & cut him without mercy. Emery’s hand automatically traced the scar over his shirt.
”60 something years ago, on your birthday… On the trail… I mistook you..”
Michael’s voice raced through Emery’s head, the vivid movie from that night after Ava had nearly sent Emery to a permanent death playing in his head.
“I am your Maker,”
Emery blinked a few times & tore his eyes away from the chilling room. He reached inside the room & pulled the door closed.
“Let’s go love, right through that door,” Emery guided Rosemary towards the steps leading to the basement after sealing off Michael’s room. It would be bad enough having to walk by it every day & smelling his Maker, at least he didn’t have to see it as well.
Emery had spent days in the basement of Thirst plenty of times during his first wave of training after Emery had sought Michael to teach him. Walking into the somewhat drab room was just another excuse for nostolgia. His old black coffin was still resting in the same place, completely untouched as if it were waiting for him to return. Iris had brought down a mattress for the couple. There was a wooden table with two chairs & another seperate room off the side with books & storage from the tavern. There was also a small washroom.
“We shouldn’t have come here,”
Emery dropped his bag, abandoning Rose, & plopped on the edge of the bed. He rested his face in his hands & ceased his breathing. Being in Thirst was just a constant reminder of how much Emery was fucking up not only his life, but Rose’s & Michael’s as well. Would he really be able to protect Rose the way he thought he’d be able to? Would he be able to do it without the help from his Maker?