Weeks passed without any catastrophic events that had been prophesied actually coming to pass. Though, those that knew of the prophecy were still understandably on edge, to put it mildly. That night, Claire had stayed back at the house to give Luke and Isabelle the blood they needed to continue to serve as daytime protectors. None of them quite ready to try and explain that oddity of their existence to Erica, Sean took her down to play at the edge of the ocean under the stars instead.
That was when Sean’s acting skill would be put to the test upon hearing the door of Haven’s home open as Awsha stepped outside. Sean forced his eyes not to turn back to meet hers, hoping that if he pretended she wasn’t there then maybe, just maybe he could will it into becoming the truth. Knowing though that it was a vain hope, his mind couldn’t help replaying Claire’s warnings about how long Awsha would truly be content with her sire’s supposed love instead of the love of the man she truly wanted.
“Evening” she greeted him in that permanently sultry tone she always seemed to adopt in his presence, forcing Sean to quickly hide a cringe at the prospect of having to fool someone whose psychic abilities nearly matched his own. At least Haven had the advantage of his own skills being stronger than Awsha’s. Sean could only hope that his age would manage to give him the upper hand over her, even if they were the same generation, meaning created by the exact same sire.
“Evening” he returned, forcing any emotion out of his voice as he kept his eyes glued to Erica out of not only parental vigilance, but also a desire to not have to try and meet his sister’s gaze.
Awsha narrowed her eyes as she watched him “don’t tell me you’re still upset about that little comment I made when Claire first left the house.”
Sean attempted to steel himself into finding some kind of response “I’m surprised you even remember. What with how close you and Haven have become of late” he then decided he had to add to that statement “I’d love to hear the story behind how that happened finally, after thirty years together.”
“You would?” she smirked.
Forcing a smile, Sean tried to hide his tension “it is quite an interesting turn.”
Awsha’s smile slowly softened as she answered “well, oddly enough, I guess I have the crazy little Malk to thank for that.”
“Really?” Sean returned, allowing the slightest glance in her direction while feigning ignorance of what she could possibly mean.
“Apparently, she had some crazy vision about me that convinced Haven of how important I will supposedly be to him. Whatever that means” she had to add, a trace of her own doubt showing through.
“Well, he must believe it then” Sean continued to play act his lack of knowledge in regards to that prophecy that had been running on a loop through his brain for longer than he cared to admit.
“Yeah, but how important, really?” she returned “I mean, you’re still the Primogen and still the heir, so” she just shrugged as she looked away.
“That could always change” he forced the lie to his lips.
“Why, because he likes the way it feels when he’s inside me? I somehow doubt that’s what requirement he used when he chose you” she returned wryly.
Sean couldn’t help looking down again, as it was now apparent that Awsha still was not fully content even in her role as Haven’s lover “well a lot of things can happen between now and eternity. He has plenty of time to change his mind about who he wants at his side and for what” he attempted to reassure her, despite all the words wanting to stick in his throat.
“He’ll never trust me the way he trusts you” she stated plainly, her own dark eyes turned downwards.
“Nothing’s certain, Awsha” he managed.
She was quiet a long moment. Sean could feel her eyes on him, though he couldn’t bring himself to return that gaze. Then, she finally spoke again “why all the sudden are you trying to reassure me of anything, least of all my own importance in this little family of ours?” she called him on his behavior that night, as he tried to force back another wave of tension.
Forcing his mind to react quickly to her question, he gave into an even larger deception then “guess some part of me still thinks there’s some part of you that is worthy of Haven’s love and respect” he forced the lies through his lips, despite how ill it made him feel to offer any encouragement at all to her, all things considered.
Though his statement did cause her to take pause as she looked over at him again, desperately trying to determine if Sean really meant the kindest words he had ever shared with her in twenty-nine long years “do you really believe that?” she managed, though her voice was barely above a whisper.
“It’s been thirty years Awsha. I’m tired of always second guessing and keeping my walls up. You’re here and Haven sees some value in you, so why would it be so strange that I would too?” he forced more lies through his lips for the sake of hopefully protecting all of them from whatever vengeance she may take it upon herself to try exacting someday.
“But the love of your life hates me. How can you not agree with her, if she really is the most important thing in the world to you?” she pressed, knowing exactly what his weak spot was.
“Loving someone doesn’t mean you always have to agree with them, does it?” he poured more deception atop what had already been tying his guts in knots.
“Careful Sean. You keep saying things like that, I might actually start to think you do want me the way I was always so sure you actually did.”
Forcing his nerves to turn to steel again, he added “I never debated wanting you Awsha. I just chose to ignore that, because I knew it would hurt her if I acted on it again.”
“Are you telling me you actually have always wanted me?” she whispered back, her voice shaking a bit.
“You were there on that stage. What did it feel like to you?” he forced one more lie in the hopes that just maybe it would keep her from ever taking out any of those dark impulses on the one who made them both.
It was then that Awsha leaned toward him to whisper against his ear “do you know what I’d do to you right now, if we were alone” she whispered passionately, as her eyes turned slightly toward the little girl playing in the tide a mere twenty feet away from them.
“I’m sure I’ll be alone sometime. Then I guess we’ll see” Sean told her, forcing his own sultriness into his tone before moving to stand, calling for Erica to come back to the house with him, while leaving Awsha there trying to regain her own composure after he had wrapped her in such pretty lies that night.
After leaving Erica in the care of their servants, Sean returned to him and Claire’s bedroom with a slam of the door, his agitation obvious. Claire was more than a bit jarred from the book she had been trying to distract herself with “Do I wanna know what happened?” she asked worriedly, as the book slid from her fingers, forgotten.
Sean just shook his head, glaring angrily at some random spot in the room “You know, Haven said that our powers lie in our skill as seducers and beguilers” a slight scoff “but he must be a lot more powerful than me.”
Claire’s eyes instantly showed her confusion at that comment “I’m pretty sure you’re the most skilled seducer I’ve met in over a hundred years. But I could be biased” she attempted to lighten his mood.
Forcing her words away, he continued “I don’t know how he can do it.”
“Do what, exactly?” Claire returned, giving into his refusal to be swayed back into a better mood.
“Make love to her every night like he actually means it” he supplied the answer.
Claire tensed a bit at his words then “go on” was the only response she could manage right then.
“Awsha cornered me out there. I tried to act like I was all happy about her and Haven’s new closeness. But then she started talking about how it didn’t matter and that he’d never choose her over me, etcetera.”
“And?” Claire asked, worry seeping into her tone.
“And that means she’s still… she’s still not happy with even being Haven’s lover. She’s still capable of taking out her discontent in some very bloody way” Sean added with obvious upset increasing his volume.
“So what did you say?” she asked, not sure she wanted the answer.
“What could I fucking say? I could either have told her, yes, you’re right; He’ll never trust you or give you any power. And I think we know how that would have gone. So my only other choice was to…” he braced himself “to try and convince her that maybe the other thing she wanted was something she actually could have” he confessed, voice breaking “so now she’s back to thinking she actually could be with me… and even just saying the things that would make her believe that… even that much… it made me feel ill, Claire. So now what happens when she wants me to prove the lies I told her tonight?” he finished, not able to add any more to his statement as he moved to take a seat at the edge of the bed, hands to his temples.
Claire could not find her own words yet either. It was true that they had to do what they could to convince Awsha she had no reason to act out against any of them. But the things they would have to do in order to so convince her? Those made her feel just as ill. Especially since the only other options would be to accept fate, or kill one of their own blood. Not that Claire would actually mourn Awsha’s death, but she would mourn the loss of humanity it would cost whichever of them actually did the deed.
“I see I’ve left you speechless” Sean added a moment later.
“What can I say?” she whispered back “either we let her win and take everything she wants, or else we kill her, on the basis of a prophecy we could all be totally wrong about. What is there to say to either of those choices?”
Still not finding any suitable solution, Sean went about trying his best to avoid ever being alone with Awsha, therefore being forced to prove that his lies were actually sincere. By March, his luck did inevitably run out though. Haven had taken Lissa and the Brujah Primogen, an austere blonde woman named Larkin, on their first official search for this so-called serpent whose shadow loomed over them all. Larkin wasn’t particularly keen to believe the stories of a child, but being the most hot-tempered of all the Kindred, she was never one to turn away from any fight.
This left Sean to look after the home in Haven’s stead, and that of course required him to actually be in the home. He tried to isolate himself in Haven’s office while the remaining Primogen went about their own business that night. It was slightly after nine when that luck of his ran out and Awsha invited herself into the study with a satisfied grin on her face as she tightly shut the door behind her.
“Well big brother, daddy’s not home. Whatsoever shall we do to pass the time?” she asked seductively as she pulled open her corset and moved across the room to where Sean uncomfortably sat at the desk, tensing immediately at her arrival, not to mention her greeting.
“There are others in the house” he attempted to reason, forcing his voice to remain even as she took a seat on the desk, breasts exposed already and now hiking her skirts up her legs to further expose and offer herself to him.
She just chuckled “a lot less than there were in that theatre” she teased as her long skirts finally reached her waist, where she was completely nude underneath, once again.
“And Claire could come over any moment as well” he attempted to further argue, though weakly, not able to stop his eyes from moving over her body,
“She got over it before. She’ll get over it again” she purred as she moved forward to attempt a kiss.
But hearing her so callously speak of what very nearly broke Claire’s heart into pieces thirty years earlier; Sean could no longer keep up his act. He could not do that to Claire, no matter what the cost. He brought his hands up to firmly grasp her shoulders moments before her lips could reach his.
“Put your clothes on, Awsha” he told her bitterly, accenting his words by pushing her roughly back into her previous seat atop the desk.
“Excuse me?” she asked, trying to hold her smile as she figured out what new game this might be.
“I said put your clothes on. I’m done with this” he told her curtly.
“Done with what?” she asked, her voice faltering as she allowed her skirt to fall back down to cover her from the waist down.
“You. This. It’s not happening Awsha. Just give it up already” he told her with a shake of his head, his expression dark.
“You told me that you still wanted me” she reminded him, her own anger bubbling to the surface “care to explain that, Sean?” she bit out as she angrily pulled her corset shut over her breasts again. Sean just scoffed in response, which only caused her anger and her voice to rise “Tell me!” she demanded more loudly.
“You really wanna know why I told you that?” he returned, his anger rising to meet hers.
“Yes, I would really like to know” she growled back at him.
He thought a long moment, pondering telling her the truth, but somehow knew that would probably help the situation even less than his rejection already had. He couldn’t let her anger touch Haven because of his own inability to pretend away his true feelings.
That was when he decided to tell her another truth that she would be just as likely to believe “You ruined my life thirty years ago. But I managed to put it back together. I just want to see how long it will take you to put yours back together” he told her with pure ice in his tone “are you really stupid enough to think that something like you could ever replace what I have with Claire? That’s just sad” he finished cutting her with that last shard of ice before waving her away “now get the fuck out.”