Unbecoming

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Chapter 5: Jason

It’s been months and I am still no closer to getting into contact with Victoria than I was back in July. It bothered me that I wasn’t able to connect with her, but I think it’s also a good thing. That old saying that time heals all wounds, I think it applied to me. After realizing that I might not actually be in love Victoria, and that it might have been just the power of being a Mated pair that was drawing us together, I was able to think clearer about my feelings.

I knew that I liked her as a person. Vee was caring, and she was smart and funny, and I genuinely liked being around her, but was I actually in love with her? I felt like I could be in love with her, but the fact that I knew the power between us could make us feel like we were, made me unsure of how I felt. I did a little digging about Mated pairs, and from all the lore that I got my hands on, it seemed like the strength of a mated pair resided in their emotional connection, so it could fabricate that feeling between a pair to bring them together, for the power to grow. I also learned that the more time a pair spent together, connecting emotionally and physically, the more powerful the magic grew.

The new year had come and gone, leaving me feeling restless. I had sent Pete with the intention of getting into contact with Victoria, just to talk things out and explain myself, but even he was unsuccessful. She had thought of everything. I was frustrated. I had finally quit my job at the marketing firm and was just trying to fill my time with anything that I could to keep myself from going crazy. I talked to Margo and Fenix from time to time, but she was not very forthcoming, and Fenix hated me for the simple fact that I was Victoria’s Mated.

I was being lazy today, just hanging around at home, and working on a painting. It was abstract and full of greens, blues and purples, with a few splashes of red dancing through it. Painting was my coping method. I wouldn’t say that I had any technical skill, but it was something that helped me fill time. I was listening to music and was letting the paint brush flow with the heavy beat of it when my phone rang, breaking me out of my train of thought, and I didn’t recognize the number. I almost sent it to voicemail, but I answered it anyway, intuition telling me that it might be important. It was Margo, so I sat up, genuinely happy to hear from her.

“Jason, you there?” Margo’s voice sounded happy, and even through the phone lines, it felt like sunlight, warm against my skin. After figuring out that she was Fae, I started noticing mild displays of power, just like this one, coming from Margo. It was like she didn’t want me to forget that she was powerful in her own way. I respected it.

“Yeah, sorry, I was painting. What’s up?” I hoped that she some information about Victoria. She did. Ask and ye shall receive.

“Painting? I didn’t know you painted,” she mused, but continued on before I could say anything about it, “Victoria knows. She Figured it out through Marcus.” I was excited until she mentioned one of the men that Victoria seemed to prefer over me, and my jealousy reared it’s ugly head. I tried to shake it off, since I was the reason she chose to be with them. I was trying to work through the different negative emotions and look at the situation objectively and not as Victoria’s Mate. I took a deep breath before I answered and tried to keep my tone positive.

“That’s great that she knows. You must be relieved. Have you contacted her yet?” I asked, hoping that she could give me a little news. I wanted to know how Vee was handling it.

“Yes, I have, and she knows who I am and what we are to each other. She was pissed at me at first because we had been friends for damn near eight years, but she was quick to get over it.” Margo laughed and I couldn’t help but laugh with her. She was happy and it was nice to hear instead of the usual harshness that I felt in her voice.

“Yeah, I’m sure she was but its good that she know and seems to be taking it well. It must be a relief for her to know who she really is.” I felt my tone start to fill up with my longing for Victoria, but I stopped talking before it could really manifest.

“She is. And so am I.” Margo paused and sighed heavily, “I’m sorry Jason.” He apology confused me for a moment. What was she saying sorry for? She hadn’t done anything to me.

“Sorry? For what?” I asked, genuinely confused.

“There are a few things that I am sorry for,” she said, and her tone was heavy, like each work had a ten pound weight attached to it. The happy tone that made me feel warm just a moment ago was gone. “I’m sorry that I took my anger out on you. I understand why you did what you did, and why you felt like it was your only option at the time. I’m sorry that you are not by her side like you are meant to be.”

I was shocked, and I had no idea what to say to her. My mouth had dried up and it felt like the air in my lungs had frozen. My heart squeezed painfully in my chest and I had to clear my throat before I was able to say anything in response.

“It’s ok. I… did this to myself. I wasn’t strong enough to be what she needed, and maybe I don’t deserve to be by her side because of that. I… just want her to be happy, and safe, and if that’s not with me, then that’s just something that I have to deal with.” I felt the tears pricking at the corner of my eyes, and I opened them wide, not wanting to let those drops escape in fear that they would open a flood gate, and I would start bawling. Each beat of my heart was painful, thudding dully as a sharp ache started to spread.

“There’s something else Jason, and I think this is the thing that I’m sorriest about…” Her voice faded, like she was thinking carefully about what she was going to say. “I can’t even tell you about it because I was sworn to secrecy. I think that it’s something that you deserve to know, but I can’t force Victoria to talk to you. She will never admit to it, but it hurts her just as much being away from you as it hurts you. She feels betrayed.”

“I know, and I know that it’s going to be next to impossible for her to forgive me, let alone trust me again. I told her once that I would never leave her, and that’s exactly what I did. I was afraid of the darkness and turned from her. That’s on me.” Margo had fallen silent, and I was in no shape to keep the conversation going so I said, “I’m going to let you go, I have some things I need to sort through and get done, so I’ll talk to you later.” Before she could say anything, I disconnected, added the number to my contacts in my phone, and then tossed the phone away from me. It landed heavily on my bed, bounding once to land in the middle of the mattress.

I sat there, just marinating in the negative feelings that were bubbling under the surface of my skin, self-loathing the most prominent thing I was feeling. My hand that held the paintbrush lifted of its own accord, slashing a dark line of black across my canvas, where it dripped down, obscuring the beautiful colors that I had been working with. I was mad at myself for basically destroying my work, but when I took a step back, it was pretty much the story of my life. It was ironic and I hated it. I wanted to burn it. I had something beautiful, and then let my own fears and insecurities destroy it.

I felt my power well up and I tried to keep it in, but the canvas lit up with blue flames. It engulfed the canvas the paint boiling and chipping off, leaving streaks of charred color behind. I flicked a bubble of power around it, containing it in a force field, letting the fire consume the destroyed painting until it and the easel it was on was nothing more than ash. I felt angry. It was directed at myself, at the destruction of my painting, at the destruction of the relation that had been just starting with Victoria. I was a destroyer.

I left the pile of ash sit on the floor and turned away, grabbing my phone and heading for the door. I couldn’t be still. I had to do something. Before I could even get to my keys my phone rang again. I stopped in my tracts when I saw the caller ID. It was Sophia, and I was confuse. As far as I knew, she hated me, and had no reason what so ever to contact me. It had to be something serious, so I answered.

“Hello?” I knew my voice was hostile, but I couldn’t help it. I was already worked up because of the conversation with Margo, and by what I had done to my painting.

“Jason, thank god you answered,” Sophia’s voice was low, like she didn’t want to get caught talking to me. “Listen, I know that we are on bad terms, and you probably do not want to hear a word I am about to say, but I couldn’t just do nothing.”

“What’s going on?” I knew my voice sounded rough, and I tried to tone it down. She was right though, I didn’t want to hear what ever she was going to tell me, but I had a sinking feeling in my gut that it was going to be something to do with Victoria and my father.

“You need to warn Victoria.” Her voice went even softer, and I could hear genuine fear in her voice. My adrenaline spiked and my world narrowed down to Sophia’s voice in my ear.

“Warn her about what? What’s going on?” I resisted the urge to yell, assuming that because she was being quiet, that I should be too, even though I was in my own apartment.

“Christian was talking to some of the people in his inner circle about Victoria, about how she is becoming greedy with her power, and not bending the way that he wants her too. I heard him say that the powers that worked through him suggested that he summon a demon to possess her, so that he could control her and her power.”

Demons. In this detention. I felt hysteria try to rise in me, as I remembered the dream I had of Victoria. The way her body moved, that was so unlike her, and the tone of voice. Maybe it had been a premonition of some kind, one that I never wanted to see come true. I felt acid creep up my throat as my stomach tried to force me to expel it’s contents. I swallowed convulsively and managed to keep myself from throwing up. A demon had been responsible for my mother’s death, and it had been something that I almost hadn’t survived.

“Jason, are you still there?” Sophia knew what had happened to my mom, so she knew what I was feeling, and her voice held genuine concern, and I felt it.

“Yeah, I’m still here.” I knew that I sounded strangled. I couldn’t help it. I was imagining Victoria going through the same thing that my mother when through, and my mind was spinning, and I was unable to latch onto a single coherent thought as they spun in a whirlwind through my mind.

“I’m sorry Jason, I know what this means for you, but I had to tell you. I can’t tell Victoria, because she doesn’t trust me, and Daemian and Marcus only ever come to the estate when Victoria does, not that they would believe me either. I… I don’t want this fate for her, and I know Christian is serious about it.” I could hear in her voice that her feelings about Victoria were different than before. She sounded like she really cared, and it threw me off.

“Why would you care what happened to her?” I asked. I felt like a dick for asking, but I was confused at Sophia’s change of heart, considering that the last time I spoke to Sophia, she was talking about killing Victoria herself.

“Things have been different with her. She shares her power, as if she has an infinite supply. And she has so much strength, like she was meant to be a leader, but she doesn’t use it to make others bend to her will like Christian does. All he ever does it take the little bit of energy his followers are able to gather, as weak as some of them are, and never shares his back with us. I’ve come to respect her. She isn’t evil the way that Christian is. I mean she’s scary because she has so much power that she could extinguish someone’s life without trying, but she doesn’t. I don’t know how else to explain it.” She was still talking quietly, like she was afraid someone would over hear her, but I could feel the truth in her words. It was a shock to me, but I was still reeling from the news that my foul, garbage father was going to summon a demon to possess my Mate.

“Thank you for telling me. I will do my best to contact her, or one of her guys,” I gritted my teeth, hating that I would have to reach out to one of them instead of Victoria herself, but it was what it was. “You should leave, if he plans to summon a demon, it could get out of hand, like last time, and I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone.”

“You’re welcome, and good luck.” She hung up, my phone beeping at me to signal the call ended, and I stood there, unable to move for a while. My head was spinning, and I could not think straight. And then it hit me. I didn’t have to contact one of the men. I could contact Margo.

I called Margo back and told her that she needed to come to my house immediately, that it was an emergency. Maybe it was the tone of my voice that concerned her, but maybe 2 minutes after hanging up the phone, there was a knock on my door. Margo and Fenix were at my door, power fluctuating around them, as if the had teleported. It was wild and made the air waiver around them, like heat off of asphalt. I ushered them into my apartment, letting the wards fall down around us and trap that shimmering power in the apartment with us. I did not give any preamble, blurting out what Sophia told me.

“My father plans on summoning a demon, and he plans to use it to possess Victoria, and try and control her and her power.” I was speaking in a rush, needing to get it all out, like I was spewing the poison that had started to make my blood congeal. Fear could do that to you, especial if it were fear for someone that you held dear.

“What the absolute fuck?” Margo was stunned, and her glamour slipped, showing me her fire eyes. I told her everything that Sophia said, and watched the horror of it fill her eyes. “I have to go tell her. Demons defile the body, devours the soul. There would be no coming back from that. There is no power in heaven or hell that would be able to restore Victoria to herself if that happened.” Margo had tears in her eyes just imaging the outcome, she had no idea how much I already knew how much damage a demon possession would cause.

“I know. A demon possession is how my mother died.” I said it with a cold voice, unfeeling, because I let myself feel the pain, I would have a hard time coming back from it. “You have to warn her. You don’t have to tell her that it came from me. I don’t think that she would believe it if you told her I was the one that warned you.”

“I’ll tell her. I believe you, so I’ll make sure that she believes it too.” Margo hugged me, and it was like hugging a heated blanket. I wanted on hold on longer, to maybe thaw the chill that had fallen over me from the second Sophia had said demon. I let go though, because the faster I let go, the faster she would go to Victoria, and maybe save her. I would endure any thing and everything, to keep Victoria from that fate.

Margo and Fenix left, the air shimmering hot with their departure. I was still frozen, unable to unstick myself from the place I was standing. I looked out the floor to ceiling windows of my apartment, out across the lights of the city as the flickered on in the setting sun. It was beautiful, but I was cut off from it. All I could feel was the chill of fear as it encapsulated me, and all I could do was pray that we wouldn’t be too late to save Victoria this time.

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