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A Cold Heart is its own Worst Punishment



 
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Katherine Murray

January 24th

It had become clear that her husband was taken right away; there was no way that he’d be able to disappear so quickly and if he had been angry enough to leave, Nicolas would not have left his clothing behind. There was also the small issue of not being connected, that ever-present bond between them severed just as cleanly as she had done months before.

Not that she would think for one moment that her husband would leave her.

It was just the way he was IF he had made that choice on his own; the man rivaled his wife when it came to clothing, despite the fact that she had changed over time and preferred to wear simple things and bare feet. Nic, was definitely not the sort to run off with a nearly shredded shirt, even if he was obviously pissed off more than he had ever been with her.

Even knowing as she did, it wouldn’t take away from the hurt.

Day one had been intolerable.

The first couple of weeks she had rarely moved, barely ate.

Tante Marie was not having that though, which was why when she showed up to check on the blonde, who barely would set foot in the home that her and Nic had shared, she was taken, not to Marie's own home but instead the mansion. The place that made their decision so easy, the place that was riddled with such darkness that even without the crutch of her vampirism, Katherine’s other side should have been able to harness the powers there. The souls. It should have been easy to take them in, use them, and go to the Underworld and find her husband.

If it was there that he was residing; it was only an assumption; though, the Fae certainly could have made off with him, or any other deities that decided to come between them.

Katherine wouldn’t even think about how Marie could know that her nephew was missing and that Katherine had basically become a shell of her former self; it wouldn’t do to dwell on things that didn’t matter.

Not that much mattered to the woman right now.

Third and fourth weeks.

She was frustrated. Beyond that; Kat could not fathom why her abilities were so reliant on the vampirism that plagued her blood for near a century. This was her penance; obviously.

A lot of it would come from the fact that Katherine had never practiced those abilities without the aid of the curse in her blood; she had never known of the Fae magic ingrained in the very fiber of her being until after she had been turned.

Longer. It had been the forties; a time she’d rather forget. It was a different kind of blood on her hands at that moment in time, yes, she had been a vampire for twenty years by then but there was a difference in surviving and cold, blooded murder.

But was it really murder? No, it was more vengeance.

And in that time, the words that were succinctly stated before the woman she couldn’t even begin to understand lost her head, it would penetrate deeply and she’d return to her island. Home.

Oh, how she wanted to go there now.

If she could only get there, to her faery ring, Katherine swore she’d be able to shift the shadows around her, to move through space and find him; but she also thought that the amount of souls in this place that should be taken to the Underworld would be help her in that too.

She was completely wrong.

And so very frustrated.

Month two would see the very same thing. Increasing in frustration, anger, sadness. And then she’d bury it; cold, emotionless, and growing thinner, sharper.

If anyone had not thought she’d belong with the Fae before; it would be proven now with the sharpness of features, despite the fact that Marie was basically shoving food down her throat.

She had stopped letting the emotions get to her. He was gone and she had to bury every bit of what she felt to even get through the days; though, what she was doing wasn’t exactly living, merely existing, letting the mansion be brought to life around her as day by day a new room would be complete. It didn’t matter to her, but it was him that wished to fix it, to keep everything going forward despite the animosity of the ghosts surrounding them.

The Ghosts.

Her parents.

That was an entirely different story. They were helpless in this all. Except for the odd rude comment in the beginning they had been extremely quiet while they watched their daughter fall back into her old ways. Alone. Studious. Frozen. Though, not that Kat would even know, it would be because of them that the others in the mansion stayed away from the blonde as she rarely left the library her husband had done for her. For them.

Seventy-two days.

Marie had finally stopped coming by, the kitchen was fully stocked and she made it quite clear that if Katherine wished for her to stop meddling, then she’d take care of herself; humans had to eat and drink to live and to be honest, it wasn’t that fact that would have the lithe woman chewing something that she was sure was supposed to have some kind of spice to it, but generally tasted of ash to her, no, the only reason she’d be sitting in the middle of the library, lost in her own thoughts, would be because she was actually pretty fucking terrified of Nicolas’ aunt.

To be perfectly honest, it was probably the only real emotion she had felt in days. Weeks. Fear. And even then, it meant nothing to her really; it was quite easy for her to go back to this place, the place where she needed no one, depended on no one, cared for nothing.

That should have really scared her.

But over three months and she had not heard anything from her husband; not a single thing. She gave up trying to get to him and for a brief moment, blamed him; though, that wouldn’t last long, she wasn’t a stupid woman even if she had gone cold-hearted. She blamed the Fae. Hades. Everyone that brought him to her to only take him away.

Cold. Yeah, that was the word that the woman could use to describe herself.

Everything was just empty and... cold.
February 26, 2020 03:28 pm

Nicolas Murray

Three days.

One wouldn’t think that a person could change, or have their life altered, very much in the course of just 72 hours. They would, of course, be dead fucking wrong. It had been three days since he’d felt the connection of his wife, that part of them that was tied together in a way that no other living (or partially unliving, as the case may be) being could ever understand.

It was more than love. It was more than a promise. It was...everything. Parts of their souls literally intertwined. They could feel each other. Know, if not completely, at least an idea of what was on the other person’s mind. They could find each other no matter where the other one was.

Until they couldn’t.

Until he had been ripped away from the fight they’d been having into Hell.

Not Hell, exactly. Hades. The Underworld. At least the part of it in which the Gods lived.

The Gods, as it turns out, that just happened to be his parents.
It all sort of made more sense now. He didn’t just animate corpses, he could pull and manipulate the power of their souls. He couldn’t do it to still living things, just things that had already gone. That had already passed over, and taken that boat ride down the River Styx.

Or if they were caught in the middle, between the land of the living and the land of the dead, like his lovely wife. At least, that had been the case when they’d first met. But...she had changed. Now he could manipulate that energy more freely, toy with her in ways that they were both just starting to figure out.

At least...that was before he’d been buried down in this place.

It was a cage or sorts. Yes, a pretty cage with pretty pillows and delicious food. Food that he hadn’t eaten, because he wasn’t stupid. He knew the stories. It’s exactly how Hades had managed to trap Persephone down here in the first place.

Persephone.

His mother.

Things were more complicated. But, in a way, they started to make sense too. It explained why he looked nothing like the rest of his family. It explained why his magic was so much different than his old Tante’s.

Many things had been explained to him in the last three days. It was hard to stomach, though. Hard to pay attention when he felt like half of his heart, half of his soul, had been ripped right from his fucking chest.

The only comfort he could take was that while it was days for him, it would only seem like a blink of time for Katherine. He wouldn’t be able to take it if he thought she’d be suffering like he was.

Cold. Empty.

Hungry.

Willing to do whatever it took to get back up to his wife again, even if it meant spending time with the man that had Fathered him. Not his Dad, though the man that currently had that title was no better. Still…

Had they known?

Had they known he was out there, and the trouble that his life had been full of because he was different? Though the tests and blood would always come back that Nic belonged to the Marceau family, his father had never trusted it.

And always treated Nic as he didn’t.

Now he had been talking to Hades. He had been learning what he could, seeing the God in action. He’d been learning from him, taking urging from the God to know about where he came from. To learn more about his powers.

Though, Nic didn’t hadn’t really cared to begin with. But...in those three days...he was starting to learn so much. Most of which was that he hadn’t even begun to tap into what he could really do. He kept being told that Hades would send him back if he just...did more…

So he did.

To the point that, yes, three days had changed him. It wasn’t a huge change, but it was enough that he could feel it. It was like a coldness, a darkness that he’d always know was there, growing inside of him.

Hades, himself, wasn’t an evil man. Not by nature, though he was manipulative. Cold. Selfish.

Knowing what he did now, it was easy to see where Nic had gotten some of those traits from.

But Hades would most likely had continued to dangle the fruit which was Katherine Murray in front of him like a carrot to an ass, for as long as he got what he wanted.

That was, until, Persephone had stepped in.

If there was one good thing in this whole situation, it was his Mother. She was the one that had stepped in to save him. She was the one that had tried to reach him in the mortal realm before he could kill his wife. She was the Goddess of spring and growth. The complete antithesis to the man she was married to. With her, he felt something he had never felt as a child.

Warmth.

Love.

Even if he didn’t know her, or trust her, that didn’t mean he could deny the feeling that emanated from the woman. Goddess. Whatever. Maybe it was even the only thing that kept him from falling fully into that abyss that was his soul.

She was also the one that got him out of Hades. Even if he did have to make a deal. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

When he was put back, right exactly into the spot where he had been taken from, it was painful. Not because of anything that had happened to him, but it was like being in a dark room where you were cut off from everything. Everyone. And then, suddenly? You could feel it all again and full complete.

He could feel her inside of him again. Connecting to her once more in a rush of emotions and sensations that had him toppled over on the damp grass. The sun was down...a lot further than he figured it should be. But he couldn’t think about that. He couldn’t think about anything but the overwhelming intensity that was coursing through him.

Nic had thought maybe it had all been imagined at one point. That nothing could be as intense as the connection that they shared. But in that moment, that second when he was bent over and gasping for air, barely able to move his limbs no matter how hard he tried, he would know because he would feel it and need it just as much as the air he pulled hard into his lungs.

Palms pressed into the sod, feeling the mud seep over his hands and wrists, willing himself to be up. Stand up. Get up Nic.

But all he could do was feel the world spin before wretching on to the lawn.

Of course, it would be nothing but bile and water. That was the only thing he’d allowed himself in the underworld.

The disorientation made his head spin, but he had to get up. He had to be able to walk back to the shack and hope that she hadn’t managed to squirrel herself away back to Scotland again.

He just hoped he wasn’t too late.
February 26, 2020 07:59 pm

Katherine Murray

Katherine could have pretended to not know where her husband was taken, granted, she could have been wrong in her assumption, because just as the Underworld could alter their bond so could the world between, the land of the Fae. But, considering Kat also knew that the scent of death and flowers could only belong to one beloved goddess, it was easy for her to surmise where her husband was residing for the last couple of months.

It also would plague her just how he would be returned; time was so different between the world of the living and that of the dead. Could it be mere moments and he would be returned, unharmed to the very place he was taken? Would it be eons that had passed below while she numbed her pain, the loss, the cold?

Would her husband be changed?

Of course, he would.

It would be rather silly for Katherine to not expect his time away, their time apart to change him. Even if it wasn’t time in the land of the dead; they as a whole would be changed. There would be no escaping that, it had already happened. She had changed. After a time, blocking the everything that was severed, she no longer had to; that coldness had run deep enough to alter the bond between them, at least, at the time this was happening to her, Kat would think so.

She would be wrong.

It wasn’t like the bond was automatically that intense between them.

Sure, it was.

The moment they met, there was a connection between them, between the shared magic.

But the night they were truly bound into ‘wedded bliss’, it connected them on a level that no one would ever understand; to feel each other, to know one another to very core of themselves.

Well, it would certainly give a new meaning to separation issues.

But even more, it had grown.

Every day since, every moment spent with one another (as one or apart as it had been before he had disappeared); whatever was between them, grew and strengthened, so much in fact, that it was damn near impossible for her to survive those first days without him.

Now.

Everything had changed.

Even the house she stood in; though, Katherine was sure the passiveness of the darker inhabitants came from being scared, it was a strange feeling, but being that she could not live in small house she and her husband shared, mostly because it was his even before she existed in his life, Kat made the decision to live in the plantation home.

Nic had started it, but it was clear his wife had been busy for the last two and a half months; there wasn’t a piece of the hardwood flooring that didn’t shine with gloss, there wasn’t a room that wasn’t shining bright with new paint and so many windows opening up the entire house full of sunlight. And then there were the bedrooms, though not finished, it would offer a different way of living if any of their people so chose to reside in the haunted mansion.

Oh, but in that attic. Far away from any other living souls that chose to come and go in this place; Katherine had made it her own. It neither had the hand of her husband in it, nor would his scent or energy linger in this place, not like the shack; this was her sanctuary.

A sanctuary she would have liked to retire to after dropping her dishes into the sink; she would even contemplate washing the bowl but out of nowhere, without any guards up, the blonde would hit the ground in a similar fashion to that of her husband’s, though she wouldn’t know this obviously. It wasn’t like how their bond grew over time, constantly changing and adding depth to an already unwavering tethering of two souls, this was something that neither of them could really be prepared for.

To feel the full extent of love, of what made them perfect for one another, what made their hearts, their minds, their souls so completely entwined; it would wrench a sudden cry from his wife, stealing a breath and both pain and love would overwhelm her.

It was likely that being what she was; the Fae side of her, it would be the only thing that would save the woman from fully cracking under the pressure of said bond, especially when she could feel him, know he was here, know he was in the same amount of pain as she had been. That he loved her with the very depths of who he was; not that this was ever a question between them, they both know this. But to feel it gone and then suddenly back again, it was almost too much to bear.

It was too much to bear.

And just like that her need to self-preserve kicked in; it wasn’t so much that she didn’t want to feel him or know he was there, but there was no way she could handle this now.

Kat had preferred the cold to that overwhelming sense of him.

Yes, his time away had definitely changed them.

Changed her.

No, this didn’t mean she didn’t love him and it would never mean that. Which was why she was able to close off that part of her (she couldn’t jump through the between worlds but at least she had gotten some kind of magic to work for her) and from the way they were both feeling, maybe this was better.

Maybe letting it back in at a trickle wouldn’t cause any breaks in sanity.

Maybe she was just being a dick but regardless of that, Katherine was already making her way back through the woods, towards him, towards where he had disappeared, at least, she had hoped it would be where she could find her husband. At the very least, she wanted to make sure he was safe.

She was still pissed.

Didn’t change the fact that she loved him.

It was then she found him and seeing him this weak, struggling to find his stance, sick; it would give the blonde woman some pause and her rubber boots(shocking) would squelch to a stop, sinking into mud as a cerulean gaze took in the form of the man that obviously was no worse for wear.

He, at least, wasn’t turning to dust because centuries had past while he had been in the Underworld.

She knew time was altered at Hades’ discretion so there was no actual way of knowing how fast or slow things moved while Nic was away; but she also knew that being that of the living, Hades’ could not keep the man there. Katherine would have that lingering in the back of her mind while trying to keep a handle on her emotions as well the bond between them; the emotions certainly wouldn’t be helping things. Especially if her husband chose to stay away.

But Kat also knew that the King of the Underworld was tricky.

“I’m sure you can use a shower and a change of clothes. Everything of yours is still in the shack. If you’re hungry, Marie keeps everything stocked at the Plantation.”

She didn’t make another step toward him and she was just as a cold as she had been years ago, make no mistake, she ached to reach for him, to help him, to do something other than give direction. But there were words that have not been forgotten, things said that were too much, feelings that were best left alone; so, she’d turn on her heel and make the trek back to the plantation house. He’d eventually show up to eat or he’d disappear again; it seemed like his way of dealing with things.

Not that she wasn’t running away now.

She just decided to ignore it.

Despite the fact that she could hear the clear ramblings of a ghostly Scot and that, for the first time in months would bring a smile to Katherine's bow-shaped mouth; it was terribly mean of her, but a part of her enjoyed the fact that her husband would be chastised by someone other than herself.

Marie, that would be natural.

Her da... priceless.

“Yer aff yer heid if ya doona know how lucky ya’d be ta hae a bonny lass like my Katriona ta hae yor offspring, ya bluidy bampot!”

“Ours.”

“What’s that, lass?”

“Katie est notre fille.”

“Ya doona interrupt a man when giving another a man what for, woman!”

Oh, good grief; Katherine could have enjoyed it far more if she didn’t know that there would be a fight between her parents, who she didn’t understand were still sticking together even after one of them killed the other. But she also couldn’t let Nicolas be berated for something he felt. Or for leaving his wife high and dry.

Not that it was his fault. Not entirely.

Mostly.

“Maman, viens avec moi, s'il te plaît?” At least she could leave her father to do whatever he wanted when it came to her husband; though it was quite odd, usually her parents were on the opposite side of things. But for now, it didn’t matter, she would go and do the wifely thing, despite how cold her words and ultimately, how frigid she was, Katherine would put something on to reheat for her husband to eat if he chose to appear after cleaning up.

It was clear he didn’t partake of anything in the Underworld. At least he’s learned something.

No food in the underworld and stop making deals with Fae.

Though, with the oncoming storm, he might be thinking he made a mistake.
February 27, 2020 12:15 pm

Nicolas Murray

Though he would have hated to admit it to her, the coldness he found when he was finally able to pick his head off the ground and look up at the woman he was bound to. That bond had taken over his senses, making it hard to stand, to think...to breathe.

Now, he was able to. He could take in those first few breaths, washing away the tremors and the heaving he’d been doing a moment before.

This was worse. This was so much worse than when they just hadn’t been spending enough time together. He’d actually been physically gone, out of this plane of existence, for three days. By the sound of her voice, and her words, he would assume it had been at least that long for her as well.

Or…

More?

He was able to pull himself to his feet and watch her as she walked toward the mansion. Not their home, not their shack, but toward the place where all of this had started on more than one occasion.

She was thin. Now, she had always been thin, but still had the gently curved lines of a woman. She’d looked healthy, even if slender. Now? She looked gaunt. Drawn. A wisp of a thing that he was sure would blow away if he breathed too hard.

Pale.

She just looked...different. Obviously she was still -his- Kat, but she had changed enough physically that he could surmise that it had been much, much, longer than just a few fucking days.

Goddamnit.

No wonder she was pissed off.

He didn’t have to be connected to her to know she was angry. It was in the way she set her shoulders. The tilt of her chin. The coolness of her words. This is what she did. She got angry and tried to shut him out by being cold and distant. It was a defense mechanism that usually only worked for a small amount of time before they kissed...or fucked...and made up again.

It was different this time, though, and he wanted to do nothing more than to wrap her up in his arms and hold her. Feel her cool body against his. Kiss her and cherish her and tell her it wold all be okay.

The thing was, he didn’t know if it was going to be okay or not.

This wasn’t his fault. None of it was. In fact, he was the reason (and Persephone) that Nic was even back among the living again. Of course that conversation was going to lead to anger and fighting and possibly things being thrown. He’d made another deal, though this time it wasn’t with the Fae. And this time it was only a deal if she agreed to it.

Otherwise she’d stay as she was now.

He didn’t know if they could recover from this. Yes, he’d felt empty being gone from her...but it almost hurt more being this close to her, being near her again, and still feeling like there was an ocean between them.

It was better than worlds at least.

Before he knew it, there was mom and dad. Like he didn’t have parent issues already. Like he didn’t have his own set of Gods telling him that he should reproduce. That he would be a great father if he just let himself.

This is what had started the whole fucking thing to begin with, and he was too tired, too hungry, and too overwhelmed by warring emotions to deal with it right now.

But he wasn’t stupid, despite what the blonde wraith walking towards the mansion would say.

He wasn’t about to start defending himself, start an argument, when all he wanted to do was get a shower and get some real food in his stomach. “Can we...maybe put a pin in this conversation?” His green orbs settled on the ghostly figure of Kat’s father. He got a harrumph in return before the large man started to follow the woman he had sired so many years ago.

So, he did as she suggested, and tried to ignore the ball in the pit of his stomach as he felt her hurt through their bond. It mingled with his own and wrapped in to near physical pain he could feel through every inch of him.

Still, it was nothing like what she had endured. What she had felt. All those...well, he didn’t know how long, she was trying her best to keep him from searching her. She was trying to cut him off, though she would never truly be able to it all the way. Their connection was too strong for that.

So, he could feel the hurt and the pain with his own, and couldn’t do a damned thing about it.

Yet.

First, he had to shower and change. Not that he hadn’t been privy to those things in the underworld, but he was now muddy and foul breathed and he needed to clean up before he could let himself fall in to the fight he was sure was going to happen when he went to that house.

That house.

How was it he could be so terrified and excited by something as he was the energy that clung to that place. Well, if you look at the woman he was married to, maybe it wasn’t such a stretch of the imagination.

Nic made his way through the swamp to their humble abode.

It looked as if he was the first person to step inside in weeks.

A fine layer of dust had settled over the floors and the furniture. Just enough that a good swipe with a cloth would wipe it up, but enough to let Nic know that this was not where Kat had been spending her time.

So where? At the mansion, with all the ghosts? With another person?

Not romantically, obviously, but just another person that wasn’t him or her. In fact, he knew his wife well enough that any thought close to jealousy wouldn’t even tease his brain. They were the kind of love that made you impervious to the attention of others, that you didn’t just walk away from, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to start that now.

Nicolas rummaged through the closet and drawers to pull out some clean clothes before going into the bathroom.

Of all the rooms in the house, this had been the first to be renovated. There was actual running water now! That’s more than could be said when they moved in here in October. A shower, a bath, all things that don’t seem inconsequential until you’re without them.

When Nic disrobed, he took a look in the mirror as the water in the pipes warmed up. He had always been lean, broad in the shoulders, and well muscled. Well, he had been in his adult life, and he worked to keep looking that way. His time in Hades, or at least an offshoot of the place, had done it’s work on him too. Three days. Had it really only been three days? Because looking at himself now, he wasn’t sure. Time was...wonky...there. Everything moved at its own pace, and it was hard to judge how much time had actually passed.

Needless to say, Nic had lost weight that he probably couldn’t have afforded to lose. There hadn’t been much in the way of fat on his frame before, but the lack of food was showing in the way his ribs were visible through his flesh and the sharpness of the features on his face. Cheekbones pronounced. Eyes sunken just slightly. Skin clinging to the muscles of his body like it was stretched to its limits.
He didn’t want to think about it. He didn’t want to think about his parentage, his time away, what he had bargained to be released from their hold. Right now?

Right now, all he wanted to do was take a fucking shower and get back to the woman that was supposed to be happy to see him. Who wasn’t even supposed to know he’d been gone, but somehow that whole time crap had been working against them.

Time to face the music, Nicky.

His old clothes hung slightly on him, just enough to be noticed. For a man that had everything tailored to fit his frame, he could admit he was slightly annoyed by it. Probably more so considering it was one of those things that he could control right now. Nothing else in his life was in his control anymore, not even his time being pulled away from his life.

The muscles in his jaw twitched under his skin. Fingers gripping into his palms, leaving little half moon shaped indents in their wake. He flexed those fingers, then released, repeating a few times before he was able to put his shoes on and make his way…

Over the swamp and through the woods, to a haunted house we go.

Even this place had changed. Though, as soon as he put his foot on the first step up to the covered porch, he could feel it shifting. Just slightly. Like a timid pet that had gone too long without seeing its owner and was hiding, though tail was still slowly wagging until they felt more comfortable.

Honey, I’m home!

His footsteps sounded on the hardwood of the entry way. One that he would be impressed by. It spoke more of his time away, though. It looked...like a house. A massive, intricate, grandiose house that was haunted by dead slaves and masters. But a house nonetheless.

“Kat?”

He wanted to make his presence known, though in hindsight maybe he shouldn’t have. There was no telling what she might actually do when she saw him, and she was in the kitchen after all. All sorts of makeshift weapons could be found easily.

Nicolas didn’t know where to start. He didn’t know what to say, which was a position he found himself in quite often with his wife. Usually it was when he’d fucked up. With other people it was easy to find a laugh and a smile, some charming words and a joke or three. But that wasn’t him, not really.

She was the only one that knew him. That knew of that image he portrayed, and the darkness that lingered underneath it. She knew, quite intimately, exactly what that darkness could bring out in him.

At least, hopefully, all the bruises he’d left the last time they’d been here had faded.

Still...maybe if he tried to make light of the situation, it would make this heaviness that seemed palpable, thick and uneasy, between them start to ease. Just a bit. His arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the doorframe. Head canted to the side.

“I had no idea you could cook, Mon Chat. Don’t let the others know...they might expect an actual meal from us.” He grinned, half cocked and his damndest to be boyish under the beard that needed a good trimming.

“Il me semblait que je m'étais un peu perdu sur le chemin du retour.” There, switch to that cajun accented French that she usually made her melt. Maybe, right now, it would help to melt that ice that had formed around her. That he could nearly feel radiating in the space between them, through the massive kitchen, until it made the hairs on the back of his arms stand on end.

Yes, he was trying to diffuse the bomb before it exploded, but there was a good chance that timer was going to speed up if he cut the wrong wire.
March 02, 2020 01:50 am

Katherine Murray

It could be said that Katherine’s behavior toward her husband was unwarranted, hell, the Scottish woman would easily think this about herself and didn’t have any need for judgement from others when it came to her reaction to her Nicky and his return. It was true, she could have been happy and warm; reaching out with open arms to help him. She could have literally done anything other than act in the manner that she did; cold, unfeeling, distanced from whatever had made them so perfect for one another.

But would that really be Katherine?

In the past, there had been many times where she had chosen the path that would be the harder road to travel and being standoffish, cutting people out of her life, moving on without warning and if she didn’t practice the art of emotional detachment, those things would have caused pain, loss, things that she wouldn’t deal with even if she let the bad rather than burying for it to come out in the worst of ways.

Like now.

It was coming. That storm between them.

They both knew it.

Katherine Murray was just ignoring it.

Or avoiding the oncoming doom.

Both worked for the moment.

Who the hell was she kidding? Katherine was struggling with keeping that tether between shut off from herself, not because she wanted to block him, block them, cut off the very thing that made them... them. No, she wanted it. Needed that connection more than she needed air to breathe (now anyway). But because someone was in a bit of snit because it had been two and a half months since her husband disappeared during their little row, the blonde was absolutely refusing to accept the fact that she was doing this as both a punishment to him and the very real fact that it was (while an integral part of them) it was damn near painful to deal with all at once.

If it was this agonizing to her, she knew it would be to Nicolas as well; and despite the fact that she was pissed off, there was nothing she wouldn’t do to keep him from feeling what she did.

Not that it worked.

She could feel him buzzing around in her head.

Which both irritated her and made her feel something she had lost in these couple of months; loved.

Stupid man.

Yep, that was her singular thought as she flicked on the stove where the most recent Cajun delight Marie had delivered now sat waiting to bubble in the pot; any idiot could reheat something, right? If she were honest, there was a reason why Katherine didn’t say no to Tante Marie when she brought food, because it was already warm and there was no reason for Kat to work the equipment in the kitchen. Now, she really wanted to make sure he had some food, he didn’t look right and she was wondering if she had looked as badly, but on the flipside, his wife was just petulant enough to not care if the food burned while being reheated.

Someone was really put out.

Katherine wasn’t exactly sure why she was so mad at her husband; she knew that it was out of his hands, she was actually amazed at the fact that he was allowed to come home without there being some kind of ultimatum that would have been exacted upon her before Nic was returned.

Okay, maybe she needed to peddle back.

Fix him a bowl of the jambalaya.

Let him eat.

Then they could have a normal, quiet conversation like two responsible adults.

It was doable.

‘I had no idea you could cook, Mon Chat.’

She had heard her name called out; she had chosen to ignore it. And now, with him looking pretty damn pleased with himself and his jokes, the same harrumph that had come from her father earlier, would be repeated in the daughter before she’d finally blandly look her husband.

“You can thank Marie for this. If it was up to me, you’d be having boiled sheep stomach.”

SO OKAY.

Only ONE of them was an adult.

Whatever.

It didn’t stop her from putting the food in a bowl and hand it to her husband but it also meant that she wasn’t going to stick around for him to eat; looking at him was painful, being near him hurt, without him it was worse but right now she would find solace in the library he had built her.

Orrrrr not.

“Lost? Are you fucking kidding me?” He was adorable. And when he spoke the language of his people, it would normally make her melt. Right now, it wasn’t any different. Katherine might have been questioning, but she wasn’t yelling and she didn’t smack the bowl out of his hands so, it was progress.

She also wasn’t throwing things.

But it didn’t mean he was that cute.

She could see the ghostly forms of the Scotsman and his wife out of her peripherals because right now, of course, they’d show up.

Oh, for fuck sakes.

“Two and a half months. I’d say you were extremely lost.”

And then leave.

Good choice.

“Enjoy your meal. Go see your aunt. Go fuck yourself. I don’t want to talk to you.”

Yeah, now she’d walk away and definitely not toward the library; he’d expect that. Nope, she’d go straight for the little nook she had made herself in the attic; away from everyone and behind multiple doors that her husband would never find. Why? Because he had been missing for two fucking months while she built the house the way she wanted to. That’s why.

Fucking Gods.
March 05, 2020 07:24 am

Nicolas Murray

No matter how hard she tried to shield him from their bond, to shield him from the hurt that was roiling around her body, she just couldn’t. Maybe it wasn’t the full force of it, but he could definitely feel something between them still.

Because he felt the same way.

Hurt and distant, but trying not to let himself be pulled into it too long or too much. Otherwise, there was a very real possibility that he wouldn’t ever be able to pull himself back out. Hurt like that...well it could suck you in.

The ghosts of this house were the perfect example of just that.

So, here he was, trying to make light of this situation. Charming, boyish, and fuck it. It just wasn’t working. That didn’t mean he didn’t give it a valiant effort.

Kat was just too pissed off at him.

They’d been here before. But this time...this time he’d been gone for a lot longer than just a day or two. Even if it had only felt like three days to him, obviously it had been longer for her. He just hadn’t realized how much longer it had been.

Boiled sheep’s stomach. Fucking Scots.

He took the bowl that was offered to him, blowing on it before taking a bite. He would ignore the Haggis reference and take a bite. He was being civil, damnit, even if she was pissed at him for something that he couldn’t even control. Nic just wasn’t going to throw that in her face just now.

Instead he was very slowly going to start eating the food that his Tante had made for him. Well, technically for Kat, but he was going to enjoy every bite. When you haven’t eaten for a long time, everything tastes good. But Marie’s cooking? It was amazing on the best of days. Right now it was downright orgasmic.

He let out a low groan as it hit his tastebuds. He wanted to scarf it all down and go back for seconds, and it took his mind off of the current situation to just slowly savor it. Eating too quickly would make him sick.

Though, her angry words would make him feel even sicker.

Two and a half months? What the hell?

He nearly choked on the bite he had been chewing on, feeling some of the rice get stuck in his throat. Which, it seemed, had become uncomfortably dry all of the sudden.

Before he had time to process exactly what she had said, she was gone. Running off.

But this was Kat, and Nic was used to it. While he wanted to be mad, to scream at her that it wasn’t his fault that he’d been pulled into Hades for all that time, he put himself in her shoes.

Well, that was, if she actually ever wore shoes.

Plus, it wouldn’t matter because his wife, bless her heart, had a habit of holding on to things that probably shouldn’t make her angry. Sometimes she could even blame a person for something that they shouldn’t be blamed for, especially when they could just talk it out and figure out the problem.

But...Nic wasn’t exactly great in that department either.

No, he was going to hold his temper.

And he was going to follow her.

Thank Gods that he could carry the bowl with him.

Despite the fact that the emotions were downright painful, at least it was muted. At least she had done that much for them and they could slowly start to feel again, feel one another again. But...three days.

He’d changed in that three days.

Which he was starting to suspect was a lot longer for him as well, though it was skewed. He felt calmer. No, that’s not even the right word for it. He felt...darker maybe was it. He didn’t know. He didn’t necessarily feel like flying off the handle when he could try so many other ways to try to get his wife to see his side of things.

Maybe Hades had rubbed off on him more than he’d realized.

His footsteps were slow and sure as they made their way up the stairs. Up further than he’d ever been, in all honesty. He hadn’t explored the house as much as his wife had, and every step he took told him that. It was...responding to her much in the same way it did to him.

Maybe even feared her.

Goddamned if that didn’t pique his curiosity. Something to be explored later, obviously, but every single time they were together in this place, more and more ideas formed in both of their heads. This place had a way of getting to the both of them, and they hadn’t barely scratched the surface of what it could mean.
But now he had to wait to explore those feelings until his wife was better. Well, not better, but a hell of a lot less mortal than she was right now. Not that she wouldn’t make a lovely zombie, but he’d rather avoid it if he could.

She was quiet in this little room. And by little room he meant a massive space that she had obviously made her own. This would explain why the shack had looked so empty, felt so empty.

She hadn’t been staying there.

Now she was going to do her best to ignore him. He knew that already. So, he sat on the edge of the bed and ate a few bites from the bowl.

Silence stretched between them for those few moments before he started to speak, his voice low and gravelly as he carefully placed his spoon in the dish and set it on the floor. “Do you really, honestly, think that I would have left for that long if I had a choice, Kat? Because if you do...if you really do...then why should I come back.”

It wasn’t said meanly. It was matter of fact, calm, collected, and not exactly the way Nic usually handled these situations.

Three days.

Yeah right.

He leaned his body forward, resting his elbows on his knees and staring at the back of the blonde curled head, bright green eyes blazing in a complete juxtaposition to the passiveness of his face.

Fingers laced together, hanging between his knees. “I can’t even begin to understand what it was like for you, Mon Chat. I really can’t. But things happened down there, and I did everything in my fucking power to come back to you. So you can either try to understand -that- or you can continue being pissed off at me for something I had no fucking control over. It was three days for me, Katherine. Three days for me to convince him to let me go. There is so much more going on than just you and me but I’m not going to waste the breath to explain it if you’re just going to run off and pout.”

Yeah. He called her on it. And though his words seemed harsh, they still held that cool tone that you use with people when you’re trying not to make them rage out of control.

Which could have been the exact wrong thing to do in this instant, but for as much as the two knew about one another, that didn’t mean that they didn’t do the wrong thing once in a while.

Or maybe all the fucking time.
March 07, 2020 02:49 pm

Katherine Murray

Yes, of course, she was being an asshole.

Katherine knew this the moment she told him to fuck off and she had started making the two story trek to what she had called her room for the last couple of months; though, really it was closer to a month because it did take a little while before it was ready and by ready, she would mean livable. Sure, she could have stayed in the shack or even the library that Nicolas had so lovingly designed and for a while, she had done just that, the library, not the shack. From the moment he was gone, she didn’t step foot inside that place; definitely something that had irritated Marie, because she was the one that Katherine sent to get her clothing.

Funny how sinking into depression and not eating will make anyone do things they’d normally not do.

Except in Marie’s case, getting Kat’s things came with a price; if her husband thought she was thin and gaunt now, he should have been home weeks before. There was a huge difference in Katherine then and now; she had at least started eating under his Tante’s watchful eyes, reading, trying to not think about where her husband was and why.

Then came the whole finish the house thing; which came a lot easier once her parents had their way with the other presences lingering through the house and land, apparently a really angry Scot was the one thing they needed to keep the heaviness of the evil in this place to a minimum.

A ghostly Scot.

Because the angry blonde woman, really didn’t scare them all that much.

Mostly.

At first.

Threats of sage and exorcisms would keep most of the worst of them at bay.

Who knew?

It would have been nice to know these things months before, when they had first decided to turn this place into their home; though, with everyone having their own homes dotting the surrounding land, it really didn’t make a difference whether they finished the plantation house or not.

But it had given Katherine a purpose, something to do that didn’t involve thinking.

So, it was nearly finished, imagine, nearly three months left alone to her own devices and she could accomplish anything; not that it was something she would have chosen.

No, she’d rather have her husband.

Even if she was currently running away from the man.

Not shocking, to say the least.

It was a bad habit that both of them had, rather than talking like two adults they’d ignore the problem until it festered and they exploded; though, from the footfall that had echoed behind her own, she could only surmise that her Nicky would not be letting this go right now.

Okay.

She’d deal and listen when he spoke. Not as intently as she should have been because even looking at him hurt her, so instead she would constantly be moving about the room, rearranging things for no other purpose but to keep herself busy so she wouldn’t stop and look at him.

Until she did.

And that damn bowl on the floor would set her off.

“What makes you think that the floor is the right place for that?” There was a glare and a slim finger that stabbed at the air above the dish; was she really nitpicking this, because he dared to call her out on her bullshit, sure, why not? It was better than the alternative.

She really didn’t want to have a discussion about Hades and why he stole her husband.

God dammit.

“Fine, fine.” Bent at the waist, she’d at least scoop up the dish that clearly was offending her delicate sensibilities and place it on a sidetable before turning those stormy blue orbs back to her husband; a man that didn’t even look the same as he did the moment he disappeared.

Not just in appearance, but the entirety of himself had changed.

He was someone she didn’t know and had no idea how to come back from this.

Could they?

“You want to have this discussion, that’s fine, Nicolas.” Nicky in her mind, always. But she had yet to use that what she alone called him, something that was always said with love; she couldn’t do it right now.

She was struggling to be in the room with him.

Any more than that, was just not something that would be accomplished just yet.

Pain was an ugly thing and it was all she had felt until she learned not to; him returning brought it all back to the forefront and Kat was struggling.

Hard.

“No, I would never think that you’d leave like that. I knew from the moment the connection broke where you were. You’re right. I’m taking it out on you because you’re here. You see pouting, I see the only thing I can do to not feel... anything. So, go ahead, tell me, Nic, what is so much bigger than you and me? Because while you may feel that way about it, I have to tell you, there is nothing that has been or ever will be more important than you and I and if want to continue to feel that way, then yeah, I can see why the question of why you would come back would need to be said.”

Yeah, she was calm. And a dick. But it didn’t matter, the way she was thinking, there was never anything that would come above them and if he could chastise her pouting, claim things are going on that aren’t just about them, and question why the hell he should come back. Then he can damn well leave again...

She’d had enough.

From the last fight that wasn’t finished. Cruel words. Nicolas being gone for so long.

Sure, that wasn’t his fault.

But Katherine really didn’t like any of this. This was not her husband.

She’d sit, defeated, in what had been her favorite reading chair up until this moment; yeah, coming here had been a mistake, this fight was going to be one of the worst ones and she didn’t like that it was in her space.

Great. She was going to have to find another spot.

Scotland was seriously sounding good right about now.
March 09, 2020 08:43 am

Nicolas Murray

Nicolas pushed his still damp hair from his forehead, running fingers through it and letting out a long, low, groan as he watched her pick up his bowl (still with food in it, mind you, he wasn’t DONE with it) and start to chastise him about where he put his dishes.

It wasn’t one of those groans she was used to hearing when it came from him. No, there was some exasperation in that sound he made. Okay, let’s be fair there was a lot of exasperation in that sound.

He wasn’t going to lie to himself. There was a huge part of him that wanted to go over to that table, take the dish, and put it right back on the fucking floor where he’d had it just moments before.

While there was definitely a calmness to him at the moment, that didn’t mean that in just a few minutes of being in her presence that he wouldn’t start to feel that irritation start to bubble beneath the surface.

He straightened his spine and let his emerald gaze follow her as she fussed.

Cold.

Frigid even.

Yes, in those seemingly three days he’d been gone he had changed...but had he changed so much that she wouldn’t even fucking look at him now? She wouldn’t even talk to him? Not that talking was their strong point anyways.

Their way of working out their issues usually involved a lot less clothing and a completely different kind of screaming.

He wanted to have a discussion, one that she was doing her best to dance around and pretend didn’t need to be had. At least some things in this world never changed. Oh, he should be upset right now, but all he could do was watch her and let the corner of his lips curve up part ways in a half grin.

Smiling was exactly not what he should be doing right now, and he was sure he would pay for it. But come on...she was definitely pouting, and she was just so damned cute when she pouted.

Until, of course, the talking started.

“Katherine.” If she could go around using his given name like she did, he could do the same thing to her. Sitting there, on that chair, and as far away from him as was possible in this space. Not, it would seem, next to him. Where he had left plenty of space. “Stop it. You know that’s not what I said, and you know it’s not true. I didn’t say it was MORE important than us, or you. I said it was bigger than...you know what. Never mind. You’re just going to turn anything I say around on me right now, aren’t you?”

Did he know his wife or did he know his wife?

Then? Oh, then a wonderful idea came to him that would keep her from doing just what he’d said. He shifted on the bed, sitting upright more. “You want to be mad at me? Be mad at me. But you’re not going to say one more damned thing until I tell you what -I- need to.”

Did he love his wife? Oh, absolutely. This was the woman that was literally the other half of his soul. She was the reason he had fought to make his way back to this realm. That didn’t mean that she didn’t irritate the fuck out of him sometimes. The same could be said for him to her.

It also didn’t mean he wasn’t going to use his power to get her to just stop for a moment. Listen. He pushed his will into her, feeling that spark of energy that connected them both to the dead and to one another.

And it was stronger. Much stronger than it had been before, and that had been enough for him to maintain control over her body easily enough. It was usually with her consent, though, and this time he didn’t exactly have it.

She was hurting. He could tell that from their link, even if she didn’t want to say the words to him. She wanted to blame him for what happened, because it was someone and something to be mad at, to be able to blame.

She could get right back to it, as soon he was done. Back to that force, that power, pulling the muscles of her body. Her jaw, her limbs, forcing them to stay in place as solidly as if there were shackles there.

Kat was going to listen to him, like it or not.

“I am their son, Katherine. It’s a long, complicated, fucked up story, but I…” he couldn’t say it. Still. He knew that he was the son of two Gods, but he hadn’t really voiced it out loud yet. It was crazy. There was no way he was going to go around telling people, except for her.

He didn’t keep anything from her.

Even if he wanted to sometimes.

“Now, you can keep on being pissed at me if you want to, but at some point there’s some things we need to talk about.” He stood up and made his way, slowly, across the room until he was standing in front of the chair she’d taken refuge in and kneeled down in front of her.

Not touching though. She didn’t want to touch him, that much he could read in their link. “You don’t think I get it, but I do. It was painful for me too, Mon Chat, and it wasn’t nearly as long. But is this what’s going to happen? You’re just going to shut me out and pretend all of it was my fault?” Feeling all of it at once, though, was just as painful if not more.

But it was pain he was willing to bear.

He was willing to take on.

Because that meant he was home. He was with her. And that should be enough.

But, for some reason, it wasn’t for her and all she wanted to do was shut him out.

See, she didn’t have the monopoly on being hurt. His first thought, only thought, was getting home to her. It was wrapping her up in his arms and holding her, kissing her, making her feel him again. And all she could do was shut him out.

The pain, the pain they could have gotten used to. But this was so much worse for him.

Nic’s hands went on the arms of the chair, steading himself. Close enough to her that he could see the look in her eyes. His grip tightened on the wood, and he released his mental hold on her, that tingling sensation of power that he’d thrust into her to keep her still was now pulled back inside of his tall frame.

Then he could feel them again. The spirits of this house. Shifting. Moving. Curious and more active than they had been before.

Was his anger in check? Visibly, maybe, but there was still a low growling texture to his voice when he spoke again. “So, what do you want, Katherine? Do you want me to go? I’ll go. But you can bet your ass one thing, I’m not staying away. You’re mine, Katherine Marie Murray. Don’t you fucking forget that.”

Out of anyone else’s mouth that might have sounded like a threat, but to her? To them? No. It wasn’t a threat. It was a goddamned promise.
March 17, 2020 03:46 pm

Katherine Murray

It wasn’t like Kat didn't know she was being irrational about this whole thing, she knew her husband wasn’t at fault for disappearing like he did; hell, she knew that he, like her, would have fought tooth and nail to get back to where they belonged.

Not that she was thinking that at the moment.

Right now, she just wanted to be sullen.

And Nicky, well, he just wasn’t having it.

They had both changed while he was gone; she could feel more darkness in him, as if he needed any more than he already had, but for her, without the crutch of her vampire side, she had embraced something else, something colder. A thing that she had never thought would be part of her because she never had any use for that fae nature; but after months, it had taken hold. It had protected her.

Protected her heart.

And now, with her husband back, it didn’t want to let go of the stranglehold it had on her.

It would have been difficult to explain to Nic, though, if she would only try, there wouldn’t be this anger and hurt between them; she had relied on the vampire nature she had been cursed with to keep these parts of her at bay, she had relied on them for the power boost and despite the fact that this unknown had been in her blood from the day she was born, she still had struggled with using them.

Until he was gone.

It was a cocoon; it kept her safe, protected herself from the emptiness of her life without Nic.

It was a defense mechanism much like her attitude in this moment.

He was not having it.

Katherine could have laughed, probably would have if in that moment she didn’t feel him; that darkness sliding beneath her skin, holding her, keeping her silent. Her husband was a dick. This was known. But this, this keeping her from walking away or even speaking was a new low for him and then there was the bombshell; a part of her probably should have realized this from the beginning, but why would she think about that when she was already falling head over heels for the man.

A God’s son.

His Son.

Lovely.

As if being indebted to servitude to the King of the Dead wasn’t enough; she had to go and marry him.

Handfasted.

The Fae...

Oh God.

She wanted to speak, to scream; but noooo, the one power he could manipulate her with, there it was, preventing her from even reaching out to him, if she wanted to that is. Right now, touching him would be a bad idea, touching meant forgiveness for everything before and after, touching meant she’d never get words out and they’d fester.

Just like all the times before.

They really had a fucked up relationship, but it worked for them. The love alone kept them sheltered from the worst of themselves, even now, when they both wanted to lash out, that simmering anger underneath the veneer of cool indifference and easily stated words was kept at bay because they belonged to one another.

No one else would do.

Nothing else would come between them.

And the moment she could move, could talk; everything was thrown out the window, because not touching him was painful in itself; Katherine needed that comfort only he could give.

Even if he was just as pissed as she was.

Even if he had just used her entire name.

What.the.fuck?

Kind of rude, but okay.

She could deal.

Fingers that were held in her lap, knotted together so she wouldn’t fidget, wouldn’t reach for him, had a mind of their own, that would be obvious as they loosened their grip on one another and easily laid upon the hands that were gripping the wood arms of the chair. While most would not see it as a tender gesture; these two knew the difference, this was her way of settling herself, of calming; this man, this God(?), was her husband but more than that he was her rock, her light in the dark.

Even if he was darker than she.

Nicolas was everything.

“Of course, I’d marry the son of the God I want to kill. That makes sense.”

It was said with an ease that had not been in her voice for the last few months, shockingly, she was maintaining her composure, but just barely, much like the gravelly anger in her husband’s voice moments before; truth was, it was far easier for Kat to just pick one thing and focus on it, and make it seem lighter than it really was.

There were a lot of questions.

A lot of things she could say.

To begin with, there was a long-standing feud between Nicnevin and Hades; why on earth would she allow, no, not allow, she was the reason for the marriage in the first place, but if she knew who he was and let’s be honest, there is no way she wouldn’t, there isn’t any way she’d put one of her blood and the son of her enemy together.

So.Many.Questions.

But nope. Not gonna happen. Katherine refused to think of it.

And if there was anything that the blonde was... she was stubborn as fuck.

“It really should be Marceau shouldn’t it?”

Divert! Distract!

She had mad skills in this department...

Not exactly, but one could try. Right?
March 18, 2020 11:45 am

Nicolas Murray

For anyone on the outside and looking it, it might look...well...abusive. Especially for him to take away her control the way that he had, the way that he had time and time again. But it was never for long, and it certainly was never in any way to harm her.

Unless she was a willing participant, but that was another matter entirely.

Even through the energy he had pushed into her, making her still and quiet for at least one goddamned second so he could explain himself, he could feel her through his bonds. Angry. Hurt. Wanting to be let go.

So when he finally did it was a release for the both of them. He didn’t LIKE doing it.

Who was he kidding. He loved it. He loved being able to exert that control, that power, over her. Then again, Nic always did have a thing for control. Maybe it was because of that he’d gone there so quickly today.

He had been absolutely out of control for the last few days. Not only was he trapped, with no way to leave and find his wife, he had been backed into a corner of his own making just to be able to come back here. Back to her, to their land, to the life they were trying to build together.

Then, when he finally released her, the first thing she had to bring up was that whole fucking plan again.

Sure, let’s go kill us a God, Katherine.

But he’d known she’d wanted to do that for some time. Now, though, he was even more opposed to it than he’d been before. Not only because of how strong the God was.

It was his father.

His family.

And as fucked up as it all was, he wanted, no needed, to learn as much as he possibly could from the man who ruled over the Underworld. So much so that he’d agreed to come back if only he would let Nic travel to Kat again.

Well...that was part of the bargain. The other part he was trying to keep as far away from his mind as possible because then she could see it. Read it on him. If she wasn’t happy now? Gods above, below, and between she was going to be furious at him after that.

Like he didn’t have enough control in their relationship, this was just going to tip the scales further in his favor.

At least it wasn’t like she minded.

Usually.

“And of course I would marry the Fae that is trying to screw him over.”

It was said, though, not with coldness or irritation that he had felt prickling at the surface. It was said with humor. It was said with the slight quirk of his lips upwards at the corner.

The touch of her hands over his helped to quell that anger. Though Kat had put up those mental blockers to try to keep him out and to try to protect herself, it didn’t matter. As soon as their flesh met, that barrier began to melt away slowly. Surely. Enough to trickle in emotions and thoughts between the two of them.

At least it wasn’t painful this way.

At least he could move emerald orbs to look into the cerulean ones of the woman he had handfasted to.

Nicolas could feel all the questions roiling through her mind, pinpricking along his conscious. Some he had answers to. Some were things that he hoped his little trips to Hades would help shed some light on.

Despite the tension that was still filling the room and despite not knowing where this all would take them, at least he could feel some comfort in the fact that her fingers were laid over the top of his hands.

He didn’t know if they would ever be okay again.

But he was sure as hell going to fight to try.

Nic shifted onto his knees and leaned toward her, leaned into her. His damp head found its rest on her shoulder and he breathed in her scent. The smell of the bayou, of moss and mud and sunshine that she was able to walk in. She smelled of Tante Marie’s cooking, of old books, of water hyacinth.

Most importantly?

She smelled like home. As much as he -knew- he missed her, it didn’t really hit him until just now. His senses on overload, helped along by the fact that the pain that still webbed between them was thicker and more easily felt as the barriers worked themselves down.

This time, when she spoke, he couldn’t help it though.

He laughed.

Hard, and deep, and guttural. Despite everything, and despite the fact that they hadn’t really resolved a damned thing. Someday. Some time they would be able to talk about the things they needed to.

But now?

Now she was trying to distract him. And of course he saw right fucking through it.

That didn’t mean he wouldn’t play along.

His hands moved from under the comfort of her hands and dropped down to her long, sleek, frame, slipping behind her back and pulling her forward in her chair as his head buried deeper into her neck. So, when he talked, the bristle of his hair would rustle over her skin.

“Don’t tell me all it took was being gone for three months for you to finally decide to take me up on my offer. Though, I think the people at the courthouse might do a little head spinning. I suppose I can just bring them back when they die from the surprise.”

The laughter died down to nothing. Even though their tension had lightened, it didn’t mean it was gone, it didn’t mean it was still heavy and dense against them. Pushing them together as much as it was pulling them apart.

Then, he couldn’t help it. All he could think about was Scotland, about when they had become bonded, and handfasted.

They’d become one.

“Kat, where do we go from here?”

It seemed that fate, or magic, or something else entirely was going to answer that question for him. The whole world….

Shifted…

Hazed…

Darkened and swirled until there was just black.
March 31, 2020 04:58 pm

Katherine Murray

The moment she touched him, the moment those slim digits found themselves resting against the heat of his skin; all the walls came tumbling down. It should have pissed her off, like most things recently, though, to be frank, it was more the frustration of not being who she really was that put her on edge and then the disappearance of her husband. Seriously, who could blame the woman if she was a little put out by everything that had transpired the last few months and then this bombshell.

The son of Hades.

Like it could get any worse.

It probably would have been smart had the blonde not had that thought cross her mind, because when in doubt, especially when it came to the Scot, there was always a chance that it could get worse.

By a wide margin.

For now, she wouldn’t dwell; another good think about Katherine, she could compartmentalize things to death.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Sure, she could live with her husband being a God, it wasn’t like he didn’t already think that he was anyway; now, Nicky, well, he had confirmation that it was, in fact, true. There would be no living with him now.

Nicolas and his ego... and a wife that was feeling quite outnumbered.

Like it wasn’t already complicated enough.

And, of course, he laughs; how was she supposed to be angry when all that did was soothe the woman, make her own bow-shaped lips curve upward? She really could never stay upset with her husband anyway, but this really seemed petty of her, to take it out on Nic when it wasn’t even his fault. Partly. They hadn’t exactly finished the argument they were having when he was taken, but in the scheme of things, it really didn’t matter anymore.

He was here now.

Home.

Much like the way her husband thought of her, Katherine would always feel the same; they were home for one another, it was easy to blame the way she had been feeling on exactly this. He was gone, she was lost. It didn’t feel right being anywhere without him, but in the place, they had chosen for themselves, for the ones that dotted the swamp lands with their humble shacks, no, she definitely knew where her seclusion and irritation with the smallest inconvenience had come from.

Without Nicky, this was nowhere near to being close to what the word ‘home’ inspired.

Now, none of it mattered.

It did. It seriously did. She could lie to herself all day long about how much none of it mattered as long as they were together, but they both knew that not only was his absence an issue but the information on his parentage certainly put a wrench in her plans.

It wasn’t like she could kill her husband’s father.

But it also wasn’t like her husband didn’t destroy the mind of the one he thought was his father either.

So, I ask you... what the fuck is the difference?

She knew the difference. This was not fair.

Katherine Murray was far from stupid and knew her husband could effectively hear every rambling thought she had too; which would be an issue later if she kept thinking about killing the bane of existence.

Seriously. Not fair at all.

She tried to push it far out of her mind, to concentrate on the man encircling her frame and burying his face into her neck; it was actually easier than she thought, but it didn’t mean that death didn’t linger on the Scottish woman’s mind. It always did. Sometimes it was her own husband she wanted to kill. Sometimes. Not like she’d actually do it...

We think.

Okay, so it’s not like she actually could right now.

Besides, she wouldn’t really kill him. Maybe just a little maiming.

That was normal thoughts, right? Right.

Soooo. Katherine was actually pretty proud of herself, not for pushing the murderous thoughts from her scattered mind, but more because the tension lifted (mostly) and she was able to think a little clearer. Which was important, especially when her husband’s laughter died down and the question about them lingered in the air, something she was more than happy to answer.

Or tried to.

“We deal with it the way we alwa...” Lyrical burr would be cut short, she could feel the cold, dark embrace of what she had considered her greatest gift, shifting the shadows, stolen from her by Hades the moment she had plunged that knife deep. Sure, he took the rest of the curse with him too, which was fine but now it left her... Human. Well. Fae? Faerie Lite. Human-ish.

Whatever.

But this. This was not her. She couldn’t do that anymore. Sure, if she had tried, she’d have found that this wasn’t exactly the vampire thing, it had more to do with being what the Fae wanted but Katherine really didn’t want to think about that right now.

Not when the scent of home lingered in the air.

After she almost wanted to puke. No wonder people hated when she dragged them through the shadows.

She had wanted to call bullshit on so many people and no got a taste of it. She apologizes.

Happy to be in Scotland. Yes.

Pissed off her husband somehow stole her powers.

Indubitably.

“Seriously? I mean... that is so royally fucked up. You give them back right now.”

Bland (more petulant, but whatever) expression. Check.

Kind of green. Yeah.

Likely going to summon the Queen of the Fae and get everyone killed. Just try and stop her.
April 01, 2020 11:45 am

Nicolas Murray

There was confusion. Okay, there was a LOT of confusion, especially for Nic because he didn’t really understand what he’d done or how he’d done it. It was a lot like the first time he’d raised a dead person, Justine to be exact. He had just felt his body reacting even if he hadn’t had a conscious decision to do it.

Obviously this time was different.

He wasn’t raising the dead, he was squirreling them halfway across the world.

It was that same feeling he had when he’d been sent back from Hades, that roiling stomach and the sensation of the world spinning around him. At least this time he didn’t throw up what little amount of food there was in his stomach.

Maybe because it was from his own power, it wasn’t as bad as when Hades had sent him hurling back to his own plane of existence. Maybe because they were still in the same world as they started, even if they were at a different spot.

All in all, he kept his cookies right where they were supposed to be.

He focused on keeping his head clear, on taking deep breaths, and trying his damndest not to focus on the barrage of thoughts that his wife was currently letting run rampant through her brain.

All Nic needed was just a few seconds. A few seconds to get himself together and to put together his own damned thoughts, and not just the bouncing balls that were being thrown at him by Kat.

Then she accused him of stealing her powers.

All he could do was rock back on his heels. Somehow they were in the same position, though the comfortable chair that she had been seated in at the mansion had been replaced by an aged one that was covered in a not so fine layer of dust.

It had been months since they’d been there, since the day that they became what they are right now.

Handfasted.

Bonded.

Ready to kill each other and kill for each other in the same damned breath.

It was a little more of the former right now as he pulled back to look at her, letting his knees hit the floor completely so he could give her a leveled look that she should be pretty used to by now.

“Just, exactly, how do you think I stole your powers Kat?” I mean, who was he to do something as craaaazy as speak some sense. He really should know his wife better than that.

His hands were still laced behind her back, but he withdrew them so that he could lay them instead on the top of her knees. Staring at her. Emerald orbs meeting those vibrant blue, which were gleaming with that particular thought that was forefront in her mind.

The connection they shared, severed, and were now slowly reconnecting was a comfort. Even if it hadn’t caused him physical pain both losing and regaining it, he would still have missed it. There was a closeness that it gave them. An honesty. A link between one another that nobody he knew shared.

But it also gave him a window into that lovely, brilliant, questioning, studious, amazing, and so goddamned stubborn brain.

Thinking about calling the goddamned queen of the Fae.

Yeah, it was definitely a boon...and a curse. Though, if one thought about it, and he definitely was going to think about it, either way it was a good thing.

It gave him time to prepare before the proverbial shit hit the fan.

He pushed his tall frame back away from the chair, standing up in the same breath as he all but ran towards the door. He didn’t open it, or run out of it, or anything like that.

No, Nic locked it. Then he stood his frame right in front of it so that she couldn’t get out, and crossed his arms over his broad chest.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be close to her. It was the opposite, all he really wanted was for them to take a moment and enjoy the fact that they were back together again, despite the time difference for the both of them. He wanted to talk about all the shit that was confusing him, throwing him for a loop.

He was a God.

Fuck.

It explained so damned much, but he hadn’t really had time to process it all. And it led to so many more questions.

Maybe he should have let her. Maybe the best thing was to call the queen of the Fae and ask her all sorts of questions, like why they’d taken him. Where they’d kept him. Why they’d blessed this union between Kat and himself with that magic infused handfasting that had happened in the bathroom, just through a doorway that was less than a dozen steps from where he stood.

But, he knew all too well exactly what dealing with the Fae could do. That, and maybe he wasn’t as ready as he thought he was for those answers. Not yet. Not when they hadn’t even figured out this thing between them right now.

“No. No fucking way, Kat. I will tie you down to that fucking chair before you go tromping through the Highlands summoning some Fairy. I just got back, and I’m not ready for that shit.” He was feeling a bit more...well…

Himself.

He didn’t know if it was the memory of all the things that had happened here. His time with her. It was the start of all of this, of being together. Sure, it had all been quick, but when you knew, you knew.

And he knew.

He knew down to the bottom of his Godly soul that there was no other woman in this entire world or the next that could complete him.

Challenge him.

Piss him off.

The way that she could.

And he wouldn’t have it any other fucking way.
April 13, 2020 11:44 pm
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