Chapter 58: Most Prized Possession
I stood silently, my arms crossed as my eyes gazed at the baby girl sleeping in the baby crib. It was just us, waiting for Erebus to return from dealing with a matter that he couldn’t ignore.
Ever-so-often, my eyes would wander away to the beautiful bouquet of roses that stood in a beautiful vase on top of the nightstand. Though we had barely said two words to each other since the fight between him and Enos, Erebus had the bouquet delivered not more than a couple of hours after learning that I spent my birthday watching as he was nearly killed before me.
I wasn’t sure if it was his way of apologizing or his way of saying ‘Happy Birthday’. Nonetheless, I appreciated the gesture.
It was odd…
...being in his room. There was a comfort that settled on my shoulders, though my chest still weighed heavily. I was left to wonder whether or not I had made the right choice...or if I would make the right choice.
Before coming back, my mother offered to give me her crowns—both, Queen and Princess.
I didn’t take them.
I didn’t want them.
Though I once wished to be as strong as my parents, I had learned to accept who I was. This was who I was born to be. I was raised as what I was and I didn’t mind staying that way. Yes, I knew that there would always be some that are far stronger than I, but I no longer craved to be like them.
And, though denying the status of a Queen meant that I could not have my freedom the way that I wanted, I thought I’d be much happier being as I was. I was only grateful I was given options—that was something that I never had before.
Still, my father made it clear that I only had two options with my decision: I returned home and I would be given more freedom than before or I stayed here, with Erebus, one that could protect me as his crowns gave him strength equivalent to that of a Seeker’s.
That strength only helps me if he uses it to protect me and not against me…
That didn’t seem to bother my father though. He didn’t worry that Erebus would lift a finger against me again because I was carrying his child.
Just like he never lifted a finger against Cam?
A sigh passed my lips, my gaze reverting to the baby girl as she cooed softly, her eyes gently fluttering open.
“Oh, sweetheart…” I whispered, lowering my hand to gently caress her pink cheeks with my finger. “I’m so sorry…” I said to her.
There were moments in which I felt that I was obligated to protect her, just as I felt obligated to protect Kevin in every way that I could. The reasons for that were simple: I was drawn to Erebus and therefore drawn to protect the things that mattered to him, even if he didn’t deserve it.
Just as I moved my hand to touch her small ones, I felt a shift in my belly, the very life inside of me moving within me. With my unoccupied hand, I touched my belly under my trench coat. A shaky breath passed my lips, my eyelids falling shut as I paused for a moment.
All I really need is to breathe.
The gentlest of touch wrapped around my finger, my eyes instantly snapping open to watch as Erebus’ daughter held onto my index finger.
My breath hitched in my lungs, my lips parting as I caught her gaze with my own. Her beautiful hazel orbs looked into my blue ones, my heart dropping to my stomach as I felt the world around me suddenly stop.
She has his eyes…
I could’ve stayed that way forever, but Erebus had a thing for stepping in at all the wrong moments, the sound of the door being shut snapping me out of my personal state of nirvana.
Gently, I pulled my hand away from the baby girl, grabbing the flaps of my coat to pull them together, completely concealing the baby-bump that Erebus hadn’t noticed since my arrival.
I crossed my arms again, turning to look at Erebus as he hesitantly walked toward me.
“Hey…” his voice shook in a whisper.
“Hi,” I whispered back to him, my gaze shifting briefly as he came to a halt but a few feet before me.
“I see you’ve met Azul,” he said softly, nodding at the baby girl.
I glanced at her, pausing for a moment before nodding and breathing out, “She’s beautiful.”
He offered me a small smile, pausing for a moment before reluctantly taking a few more steps toward me until he stood but a few inches before me. I flinched, catching his hand move to the side of my face out of the corner of my eye. The hurt in his eyes didn’t go unnoticed, but he didn’t stop, moving his touch to my cheek, caressing me softly.
“Yes, she is,” he said to me, his eyes capturing mine.
Why does he always do this to me..?
A shaky breath passed my lips, my gaze falling away from his as I tried to revert my attention to the baby girl that had shut her eyes and fallen asleep between the moments that I shared with her father.
“Why Azul?” I asked curiously in my attempt to stir away from the topic that I knew I’d eventually have to confront.
For a long while, he said nothing. He stood still before a sigh parted his lips and he said to me, “The bear that Kay carried around all the time, it...ugh...it was her favorite stuffed animal, if you couldn’t tell,” he chuckled lightly. “It was my parents gift to her on her twelfth birthday. Right after receiving the bear, she spilled blue paint on it.”
He sighed again, nodding softly before continuing, “She cried so much when I told her there was no way we could get the stain off and she would just have to get another one. The very next day, mother gave birth to Hunter and our parents were killed only a few hours after.”
He paused momentarily, my gaze shifting to look at him as he bowed his head. “It was their last gift to her…” his pain-filled voice trailed off. “I was afraid I’d ruin it by washing it myself, so I went to multiple dry-cleaners till the strain came off. I remember the look on her face when I handed the bear to her.”
I felt this knot form at the edge of my throat when his voice began to quiver. “She ugh…” He let out a deep breath, clearing his throat. “Sometimes she watched over that bear more than she did for herself, and she named her most prized possession Blue. So, I figured why not name one of mine the same?”
My eyebrows furrowed, still looking at him until I realized that the word “azul” was a translation of the word “blue” in spanish.
“It’s perfect,” I said to him, his eyes instantly snapping up to meet mine once again.
He looked at me with admiration, but I didn’t know how to look at him, so I looked away.
“Can you tell me what’s on your mind?” He asked me, his hand falling away from my face.
I don’t know..?
I swallowed hard, shrugging my shoulders as I shifted uncomfortably before him. “I...I don’t know how I’m supposed to look at you after all of this,” I whispered.
“Hope?” He called softly, his touch moving to my chin only to make me flinch again.
My body had grown to react on it’s own with instinct. Even when I felt that he wouldn’t hurt me, I feared him being so close to me. Even when I knew that he wouldn’t hit me, I flinched at his touch.
Still, his actions didn’t falter.
“Silver,” I corrected him, my eyes finding his. “My name is Silver.”
“Silver…” he hummed. “I am so sorry for all of the pain that I have caused you.” I could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes, he was being sincere.
It didn’t matter though. There was nothing that he could say that would ever make any of the things he did to me okay.
I may have been a liar, but I didn’t deserve what I got. Even if at some point in my life I believed that I did, I know that he had no right to treat me the way that he had, regardless of who I was or wasn’t.
“I’m so sorry for everything I’ve done to you…” his voice trailed off. “I know that I apologized once before and the things that happened after may have made it seem as if I didn’t mean it…”
He sighed, “But, I did. I meant every word. I know that I have done nothing to prove it to you, and although I don’t deserve it, I ask you to please give me a chance. Give me a chance to make it up to you. I won’t hurt you again, I give you my word.”
He never lied to me. He may have hurt me in every possible way a person could be hurt, but he was right...he never lied to me.
Ironic, isn’t it?
“Why..?” I tried to speak firmly, but my voice shook.
“Because you deserve to be happy and it would mean everything to me if you gave me the opportunity to make you just that,” he said to me.
The second that those words left his mouth, a knot formed at the edge of my throat. Releasing a shaky breath, I shifted my eyes away from him. I knew better than to keep my gaze on his if I didn’t want to start crying.
And, the last thing that I wanted was for him to see me cry.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop the tears from building in my eyes and before I could even attempt to hold them back, one of them slid down my cheek. And, after one slipped, another followed until they wouldn’t stop.
Why can’t I stop..?
“Hey…” he whispered as his hold on my chin tightened and he forced me to look at him again. Locking my eyes with his, I saw the same hurt he held when my father took me away. “You don’t have to hide from me. Silver...my little Hope...I know that I hurt you. Let me fix this…” He was gentle, his thumb wiping the tears from my face with his unoccupied hand.
His actions made the fear of showing him I was hurt slip away, and before I could catch myself, I began sobbing. I couldn’t breathe. The feeling was overwhelming—so much so that I gave in when he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into.
Unfortunately, what I thought would make it better, only made it worse.
His touch was warm, gentle, and comforting, but it bothered me.
It bothered me to find so much comfort in the man that abused me for months. It bothered me to find so much desire to be held by him.
“Silver…” he whispered. “I love you.”
...that made my blood boil.
“No!” I snapped, pushing him away from me. Above all, the most frustrating thing was that I knew I could never hurt him….at least not physically.
Still, I slapped him with every fiber of strength that I had in me.
He didn’t budge. He hardly shifted where he stood.
“You can’t say that to me! You don’t have the right to!” I yelled at him. “You don’t hurt someone you love!” I sobbed, hard. Everything I had been holding back demanded be released and without the desire to suppress it, I did exactly as it wanted.
“I forgave you for everything! Even after you claimed me while another woman carried your child, I forgave you!” I cried out. “You didn’t even give me the chance to try to defend myself...You looked at her and you believed her! Why?!” I punched him, my frustration only growing when he, again, didn’t budge. “ I never hurt you! Why did you do this to me..?”
He remained silent. His attempt to wipe my tears was quickly denied as I slapped his hand away.
“I fought for you… After everything, I fought for you!” I screamed. “I still am and still would… And, to top it off? You give up on me…”
He sighed, “I didn’t give up on y—”
“Yes, you did!” I cut him off.
“The minute you decided not to fight back, you gave up on me!” My voice had cracked, growing hoarse as I continued. “You know what really sucks? I don’t fucking hate you! I can’t hate you...I want to hate you with everything I have, but I can’t!”
There was a long pause, Erebus staring at me with pain and shame in his eyes as I looked at him with anger and pain—nothing but anger and pain.
“I’m so sorry…” his voice was filled with despair.
It was sudden, but in the next moment, the weight that once weighed heavily on my chest vanished and my knees buckled. Instinctively, one of my hands found my belly, and I prepared to be met by the cold, marble floor, but I never did. Instead, Erebus’ strong arms found me and held me so tightly.
It was...nice. It…
...it calmed me. He held me as if he never wanted to let go—as if he wasn’t going to—as if I was his most prized possession.
At least one of them...
Finally, my sobs muffled and my cries stopped. It was only then that he slightly pulled me away from him, just enough so that his eyes could capture mine.
“I hate that things turned out this way…” his voice was merely above a whisper.
“It gets better…” I mumbled.
It was something I had grown to learn as Elijah, Celic’s uncle, always repeated it to me. Somehow, he was always right.
It gets better…
For a while, a long while, silence filled the room.
That was until Erebus spoke again and my heart dropped.
“Are you cold?” He asked softly. “You haven’t taken your coat off since you got here.”
This is it… He deserves to know.
I held my tongue, shifting out of his arms to take hold of my coat. With that, I slid out of it, tossing it onto the bed and exposing my belly to him.
“I’m pregnant,” I whispered.