Prey

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Bloody and Gruesome

It takes me a couple of minutes to compose myself before I can continue.

"Lord Lothaire brought me here, and made me one of his slaves," I told Lady Leanor, finally able to speak.

"Did he hurt you?" Aric's mother asked, her face sad and concerned.

"Yes ma'am," I replied, unable to stop my tears, "in ways I wish I could forget."

"He was a terrible monster," Lady Leanor sighed, sipping from her cup.

"Yes he was," I agreed, wiping my cheeks.

"You know," I sniffed, looking up, "I wondered how a man, so vicious, could have a son as wonderful as Aric, and I think I know.

"He had you," I breathed, standing and crossing the small space to embrace the other woman. "Thank you."

"For what?" she asked, seeming confused.

"For your kindness and goodness," I explained, looking down at her. "I have the feeling that without you in his life, Aric would have turned out more like his father and my fate would have been far worse than what it was."

"What do you mean?" Lady Leanor urged, pulling me to sit down next to her.

"I care for Aric, more than I can say," I explained, trying to put my thoughts together, "but he has a dark side just like his father. More than once his rage has taken over and he's hurt me badly.

"If I'm honest, I fear that being made High Lord might be too much for him," I added, finally able to put voice to my worries. "That's why I'm so glad we have you here to help us."

"You're too kind," Lady Leanor said, squeezing my hand gently.

"Well," she sighed, rising to her feet, "if you want your mom to get here any time soon, I should go make the arrangements."

"Okay," I agreed, more than ready for to see her.

With Lady Leanor gone, I washed out her cup and grabbed a bag of blood for myself. When I was done, I found myself feel anxious, needing to do something.

Crossing the room, I knocked on the door to Aric's office. Not waiting for a reply, I pushed the door open to find Aric staring out the window, his back to me.

"Hey," I said, moving to wrap my arms around his waist.

"Don't," he said angrily, pulling my hands away.

"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to get a look at his face.

"You think I'm going to end up like my father?" he spat, turning angrily at me.

"No," I breathed shaking my head, not understanding his sudden anger.

"Really?" he demanded, his body shaking with rage.

"Then why did you tell my mother that you did?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

"I didn't," I said, trying to remember exactly what I'd said to put such an idea into Lady Leanor's head. "I told her I worried that the pressure of being made High Lord would be a lot of stress, and that I was grateful she would be here to help us."

"Get out," Aric said flatly, point towards the door.

"Aric, please," I begged, placing my hands on his chest, trying to make him understand.

"Get out," he repeated, shoving me away so hard I fell to the floor.

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