View Full Version : Never In A Thousand Lifetimes Did We Expect This (Victor/Celeste 4/4 late)
03-13-2011, 11:08 PM
Victor closed the door behind them and carried Celeste to the bed. Laying down his wife, he sat down next to her, certain she had already lost herself in some other world. He ran a finger through her hair. This wasn’t fair. Not even for her. Not even for all their hate and troubles and issues and fights. If she had done anything right in Victor’s eyes, it had been her skill at being a mother. The boys adored her. Their daughter loved her. And if Victor had loved anyone in his life, it was his children.
“Celeste,” he said softly, his face still tear stained, eyes still puffy, voice still cracking with pain. He remembered her question from the other room. Remembered and knew, no matter that it would crush her, that she deserved to know. “Rilynn is gone. Missing. There was no sign of her in the nursery.”
He prayed that meant she was unharmed. “Whoever did this will suffer the most gruesome death imaginable. I promise you that.”
03-13-2011, 11:42 PM
Celeste felt numb as Victor had gathered her into his arms and taken her back to their bedroom. Had he ever done that before? Had he ever expressed such a tender gesture towards Celeste in all these years that surpassed the one he did now, as their daughter was missing, their son on the brink of death... and the other, his body now stiff and cold somewhere in the castle?
"Gone," her voice cracked, as though unused after all this time. "I don't understand how this happened..." she whispered, to no one in particular, her watery blue eyes unable to catch on anything in the room.
Save Victor's face.
"Who could have done this?" she whispered, begging. Truth. Give me the truth.
03-15-2011, 11:57 AM
To see Celeste hurt like this, from the death of their son, was painful to Victor in a way he’d never expected. She deserved this moment to cry. She’d earned it. She’d been their mother. He reached up and wiped away one of her tears, as his own began to roll down his face again.
Ryndor would never run around the halls with his wooden sword. He’d never play with his brother. He’d never come ask his father questions on how to hold a lance. He’d never grow up to joust, to wed, to bring honor to House Castell.
“Someone has meant to hurt us. This was an intentional attack. We are lucky,” he ran his hand over her stomach, “That they did not think to take you with them.” His voice was angry. What if they had thought Celeste carried a son? What if they wanted her too? He leaned down and kissed her tear-stained cheek, realizing that no matter their relationship, after seven years, she was still his faithful wife.
“I promise you, Celeste. I promise. The man who did this will die for it. If I’ve promised you anything, this one I will not turn back on.”
03-16-2011, 03:38 PM
Celeste felt numb, and she watched Victor's face, before glancing down to her distended abdomen, covering his hand with her own where it lay upon her belly. She thought briefly of the child who lay within, and the carnage it had already experienced without even being born. Would this baby harbor a dark Castell heart as well? Or would Celeste be given a chance to protect this child, unlike Ryndor?
"Death. Always death," Celeste murmured as she listened to Victor's fervent words. He wanted revenge. Always, he wanted retribution for wrongs enacted. Her mind briefly flashed to Ramira, so young, her pale throat gaping to the world, her wedding dress stained with her own blood. At what point were they to go on living instead of waiting to die?
"I don't understand. How could we let this occur? What wrath have we drawn upon ourselves that our children --" Celeste's voice caught in her throat. "I don't feel lucky at all." Part of Celeste wished she were growing cold instead of Ryndor right now. If only for the life she was carrying did she still feel the will to survive, in that moment.
03-18-2011, 01:21 AM
“Death is part of the world we live in, Celeste,” Victor replied, but his voice was not ice cold. “But that death should not have come to Ryndor. A man on the battle field, a woman in childbirth, a child with scarlet fever, but this? This was nothing but cruelty. The man who could take an innocent child is a man who deserves the hells of Amaltha.”
He pulled her up to hug her tightly. “Celeste,” he whispered softly, his hand still on her belly. Their child. Gods, he wanted the child to be alright. The future of House Castell lay in their children. “We are the second most powerful house in the land, and you know we should be the first. We should be the first!” She would not agree but he didn’t care. “We have enemies because of who we are. Who are are born to be. You have them too, and your brother, and every other major House. There are some who would kill to be where we are. And whoever they are. Whoever did this. I will find them and drive my sword into their heart in the name of Ryndor. My son will not go unavenged. I will not lie to you my wife. I have always had plans. But now, everything I do will be for Rydnor and Bradyn and Rilynn.”
03-19-2011, 12:10 AM
Celeste fell into his embrace, closing her eyes, trying to feel comforted... but at his next words, Celeste pulled back, her blue eyes icy, confusion flickering across her face. This again? This conversation? About what Victor deserved, about what he so obviously was owed and was being wrongfully denied -- now, at the hour of their son's death?
"Why is this always your thought?" Celeste began to cry anew as she pulled away from Victor, moving across the bed away from him. Tears slipped down her face. "Why are you always so hungry for recognition? Our son is dead, my son, is dead -- why can we not grieve? Punishment needs to be meted out. But why is this fuel for your fire for power?"
03-19-2011, 12:28 AM
He reached for her and pulled her back. She would not grieve alone tonight, nor would he risk that the killer would return to take her too. “You asked and I gave you the most honest answer I could. You have asked for my honesty, for me to trust you.... I started in Orqua and I will not stop now.” He wrapped his arm around her, holding her tighter than before. She wanted to be away from him, but Victor wanted her close.
“Our son,” he emphasized. She of all people knew he loved his children. “And Our son deserves the world to know that what was done to him was wrong. Our son...” he paused, thinking of Ryndor, a new set of tears washing his eyes. Gods, he couldn’t believe that Ryndor was truly gone. It was like a bad a nightmare.
“Do you think I would choose this over the crown I have always desired?” he hissed. He had to know, did she truly think so low of him?
03-19-2011, 12:36 AM
She could not struggle away from him again -- Celeste was too tired to move now, and did not have the will to fight with Victor as such. Instead, she remained uncomfortably tight within the embrace of his arms, and her golden hair fell about her face as she cried and shivered.
"I think that I do not know you," Celeste gasped between her tears, the liquid clinging to her eyelashes even as she tried to blink them away. "And I think you would gladly toss me to the wolves if it were to give you what you always wanted."
There. She had said it.
03-19-2011, 12:51 AM
Victor grabbed her, his hand moving to her chin and he tilted her tear filled face toward him. “It has been seven years, Celeste. Almost eight that we have been wed. And I have been lord well long enough to divorce you. Your brother would have signed those papers in a heartbeat to have you back and away from me. No, I have never once thought to ‘get rid of you.’”
He let go and wiped the tears from her eyes. “I will not lie. I hated you for a long time. For Malic. For what my father did to me as a young man. For things your fault and things not your fault. But that time has past. That time is over. We stand now on the threshold of change and I need you.”
He looked at her for a long time. “You are my wife!”
03-19-2011, 01:03 AM
"But living here has been torture. You have treated me worse than a common servant in your household - I have never been Lady, it has always been Evelyn. Only now, recently, have you given me thought - and I believe that it is because you were scared. Scared for what I am capable of. Scared of the strength I have now found in myself." Celeste knew her words were bold. Dangerous, even. But if she could not speak openly with Victor now, when could she?
"You have never treated me as an equal. You punished me for things, events, I had no control over - over something I said once, as a young girl, terrified of you. I am your wife... but I should be more than that to you by now. And I wonder if you can ever even feel those emotions. You bring me so much shame, Victor - do you think I haven't known about all the women, all the moments you were unfaithful? Whereas I have never been anything than dutiful to you. You will never bend for me, Victor. So how can I not think these things?" Celeste's eyes glittered with fresh tears. "How am I supposed to go on living like this? When my children were all I had. And now..." She gasped, caught again by her reality.
03-19-2011, 02:05 PM
“I am not afraid of anything. Certainly not this new you, Celeste. You were treated with disdain because you cowered in the corner. Have you ever seen my sister or my aunt cower? Has Loralynn ever lowered her head and let the beating come? No, I didn’t trust you to run my house because you could not keep the other women in check. Now...” He trailed off, pushing a hair behind her ear. She was not the same girl he’d wed seven years ago. She was more mature now, more determined, with a better view of who she was and who could she be. “You are a different woman. One I believe could run the kingdom if asked.”
“I will never bend for anyone. Not even your brother. This is who I am and if you wish to be dutiful you will accept me as who I am.” Could he be faithful to her? Victor doubted it, but in this time of need, with their son dying in the other room, his mind would only be on two things: his family and his revenge. And that revenge would include a crown. “You may have been faithful,and dutiful, but you have never truly devoted yourself to me either. You’ve held back, you’ve kept your thoughts and feelings shrouded. You chose to push me away the same I did to you. Do not blame me for all the flaws in our marriage, Celeste.”
He kissed her forehead, “They are not all you have. We will find Rilynn. Bradyn will live. And we will have more. And I will take my armies and destroy our enemies until whoever did this to Ryndor suffers.”
He felt like a different man. The death of his son stung his heart. How would he feel if they had killed Celeste? Would he have waved it off and taken another wife? Or would he hurt inside the way he hurt now? Would his heart cry or dismiss her? He took her hand and pulled her up, looking into her eyes. “I will do all these things for Ryndor and for you. Be my Queen Celeste. Be the woman who should stand by my side always.”
03-19-2011, 03:42 PM
Celeste's eyes narrowed. This was always Victor, through and through - pushing the blame off of himself, too pompous to admit he did wrong. Worse than that, perhaps, for Victor did not believe any of actions were perverse or incorrect. He was beyond reproach. She slid away from him and off the bed, standing on her shaking legs. For a moment, Celeste had to steady herself, one hand on her rounded stomach. She closed her blue eyes and saw Ryndor.
"So to punish me for being afraid of you, for being subservient like you wanted - for not wishing to share my feelings with a man who would just as likely turn around and throw them in my face, use them against me - you have been entirely unfaithful, all these past seven years of our marriage? Does the punishment truly fit the crime, Victor? Had I acted in kind, I would be dead in the ground, perhaps with less care than you showed Ramira. But you knew I wouldn't. You know me."
"I have given you everything - my time, my devotion, my body. My children, my support. My heart. I have ostracized my friends, my family, all for your happines. And what have you given me back, Victor? What have you given me back to show me that it was all worth it? Nothing. You can't even be faithful to me. How can I stand by your side when you will not do the same in return? You wonder why I believe you would cast me aside at the blink of an eye. What have you shown me to believe otherwise? I have given you everything, Victor. What more can I give to you? I have made every sacrifice you have demanded, and still, you want more - and are unwilling to give in return."
She looked back to him now, one hand still laying gently upon her abdomen. Her blue eyes were hazy but confidant. "Be my King, a real King, Victor, a man worthy of the title - and I will be your Queen. But do not deceive me any longer."
03-19-2011, 05:46 PM
He listened to her words, but he didn’t respond. In that moment, when she turned to face him, her hand on her stomach, her eyes confident, her words spoken in perfection, she was the most beautiful he had ever seen. Was this the Celeste he’d always wanted? Had she finally become what he needed? Could he do this thing she asked, in return for the loyalty they both needed in this moment?
He crossed around the bed, but his eyes never left hers, even as circled around the posts and curtains that surrounded the bed. He reached for her, one hand covering hers on the belly, the other to the small of her back.
“I will be your real King,” Victor replied, looking down in her eyes, “If you will be My Queen. Not your brother’s princess. Not your father’s daughter. But the true Queen of Forsilvra, as you should have been the day my father passed away. History does not lie, and neither do bloodlines. Our children are more royal than anyone else in this land. Tonight, tomorrow, for the rest of our lives, I promise to fight to to protect their rights... and yours.”
He lowered himself to one knee before her as he’d never done before. He’d never seen her this way, this woman, who emanated so much power. He wanted her in a way he’d never wanted her before.
He pulled her hand out and kissed it lightly. “It is a shame that it took the death of our son to make me see clearer, Celeste, but these things I want to do.. I cannot do without you. Be mine, and I will be yours.”
03-20-2011, 01:59 AM
Celeste not expected this reaction. Rather, she had no idea what to expect from Victor - only that she knew she had to say what she did, now, in this moment. Because if Celeste couldn't tell him the truth, if she couldn't be honest with her husband now, when could she? Part of her expected reprimand - another didn't care if she was given it. This was a chance for them both - an opportunity to bridge the gaping chasm between them these last eight years. And as Victor moved around their bed and to Celeste, slipping his arms around her, his dark eyes locking with hers, she felt the distance fall away, and for perhaps the first time in their marriage, Celeste felt like her husband was actually looking at her. Not what she represented, not what she was valued to him for, but as a person - as Celeste.
And then to her shock, he bent down on one knee before her, and in this grandoise gesture of unprecedented care and desire from her husband, Celeste almost began to cry anew. "I have always been only yours," she said softly as he kissed her hand, and then she reached down of her own accord, slipping her hands on either side of her husband's face, pressing her red lips to his own.
03-20-2011, 12:05 PM
She leaned down to kiss him and Victor welcomed her lips. He returned the kiss, soft, needy, a way to express how much Ryndor had meant to both of them. Breaking the kiss, Victor rose, and for the second time that night picked Celeste up in his arms.
She was a different woman than before, and Victor could see that in her eyes, in her posture, in the way she spoke. And he found all of that desirable. There had only been one woman who had ever been his equal, ever completely deserved him, had him, and he wondered now if Celeste had the strength to the do the same.
Victor laid her on the bed and then sat down next to her. “I am sorry, Celeste, for what transpired between us. Perhaps if we’d been stronger, this would have never happened to our children. I will take the blame for that. But no more. House Castell has always been strong but our internal strife had weakened us. Aunt Blanche warned me of this. I did not respond fast enough. But now,” he laid his hand on her heart, “You and I must heal. We must lead. Not just our family, but the kingdom.”
03-20-2011, 12:32 PM
Victor laid Celeste down amongst the cushions of their bed and this time, she would not rise up. She was exhausted - from this experience, from the weight of the conversation she just had with her husband. Everything was changing. Everything. And while more than anything she wanted to be out there, searching for her daughter, or beside her son, or making arrangements for Ryndor's burial, Celeste knew Victor wouldn't let her attend to any of these things. She was too weary, and this was added strain upon her unborn child.
She reached to cover his hand with her own before speaking, Celeste's blue eyes upon her husband's face. "I have all the faith in us that one might be able to. Too long have we let this division between us, continue to tear apart our union. No more." She sighed, and closed her eyes. "Please... see to Bradyn. I need to know he is doing well. And tell me what you plan to do for Rilynn. I can't just lay here and think --" she murmured, tears springing to her eyes once more.
03-21-2011, 02:57 AM
Victor watched her, so fragile right now, but not because she was suddenly missing her inner strength, but because the loss of their children had truly ripped their hearts into two. No one could understand how this felt. People lost children to Amalthia all the time, from the fevers and the illnesses, from the accidental horse-riding incident or a joust gone wrong. But this? This was a horror. This was not Amalthia’s way. Not even the goddess of revenge would abdicate the killing of innocent children.
“I will search the ends of the world for Rilynn. If they meant her dead, they would have done so, Celeste. She was taken for a reason. I know she lives. And I will find her, even I if I have to tear Forsilvra asunder. She is a Castell. She belongs here, in the arms of her Castell mother and her Castell father, with her Castell Aunts and cousins.” He brushed a hair away from her forehead as he spoke.
“One thing you may have noticed about our family, Celeste. We do not take lightly to the murder of Castells.”
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