Hello everyone! I know that it's been a long time since I last posted. 2 months, in fact and I do apologise. I've been very busy, with writing and parents and a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster, not to mention boss woes. So I do hope that you're all still hankering for a new chapter, because i've got one. It's rather long, though of course...not epically (For some reason, I just can't write epically long chapters) But the next chapter is coming alot sooner than this one did, I assure you. Plus I really hope you like it.
Thank you all for being so loyal and for bugging me to keep writing it. Seriously, the bugging helped, though don't spread that truth too far. LOL. So here it is ;) -
"Marguerite-" Roxton started, but stopped himself when she met his eye. He didn't know what to say, he didn't know how to say it and for the first time since he met her, he couldn't read her expression like a book.
"John," She turned her eyes away from his to meet those of the Baroness, as the woman slowly turned in her place, to face her. "-Isobel, the girls need their supper."
Without hesitation, John grasped his mother's elbow and began to lead her out of the room. He paused on his way, grasping Marguerite's chin, turning her head to kiss her temple gently. "We'll be in the kitchen." He whispered and she smiled warmly, patting his chest and looking away from him again.
He nodded, then glanced at the apprehensive Baroness before leaving the room entirely.
"Perhaps you should sit." The Baroness spoke timidly. But Marguerite's stiff spine and stern expression, was enough of an answer to tell her she was staying exactly where she was.
"You said that your destiny was to iraise and protect the new generation of guardians/i." Marguerite cocked her head to the side, cynically.
"I did what I did, to protect you."
Marguerite rolled her eyes. "Do you have any idea, what kind of life I've had?"
The Baroness swallowed. "Lord Roxton may have mentioned that your life has been difficult..."
"Difficult?" Marguerite scoffed. "Difficult doesn't nearly describe it, mother" The older woman's heart flared in her chest, beating wildly at the contradiction of that word, on her daughter's venomous lips. It was an accusation, a curse, a knife to her heart. For years she'd longed to hear that word from Marguerite's lips - to hear anything, from her lips - but never had she imagined she'd use that one word, her title, to hurt her.
"As a child, I ran from the police in Paris because I was afraid of going back to the cold, grey orphanage. While John was riding ponies and eating with a silver spoon, I was scrubbing the floor of the Mother Superior's office because I had the nerve to sneak in there and try and find my birth certificate, to see if there was anyway I could find you. I peered through windows on christmas eve, wishing, hoping that somewhere out there, there was a family missing me. For the longest time, I actually believed that there was a christmas stocking with my name on it, waiting to be filled." Marguerite could see the Baroness' eyes filling with tears. She hesitated and bit her lip."They gave me the finest education but never once, did even one of them, give me a hug. It's all I wanted. All i've ever wanted, was a family."
"You're sorry? You're sorry? You're not sorry you gave me up, you're just sorry that it's come back to bite you in the ass."
"That's not true!"
"I have spent my life, living with and listening to liars, cheats...killers. You think I don't know when a person looks me in the eye and tells me what they think I want to hear? I have been threatened, hunted, accused of murder." Marguerite pushed past the Baroness, storming across the room as thunder cracked, lightening struck and for a moment, all the lights in the house flickered off, save for one candle perched on the piano. "Damnit, I have killed; and loved and lost."
"Marguerite-" The Baroness lurched forward and grasped Marguerite's hands within her own before she could move away again. The lights flickered back on and Marguerite looked into her eyes. "-please, I am sorry for what you've suffered. I'm truely sorry that I wasn't there to protect you. I'm sorry that you've had to live with so much pain. I'm sorry, I'm truely, truely sorry." She was sobbing, gripping Marguerite's hands so hard that it almost hurt. Her whole body shook and all Marguerite could do was stare at her. All she could do was watch as her shoulders shook and tears streamed down her face. "I didn't want to give you up, I could never have iwanted/i to give you up. I had no choice, they were going to take you from us. They were going to kill you." Marguerite's brow furrowed in confusion and she tried to pull away from the Baroness, but the woman only held her hands tighter, pulling her closer so that she could look into her eyes. "We thought that we could keep you. We knew that your power would grow but we thought we'd have time to teach you how to control it...we never expected that you'd be so..." She let out a breath, unable to hold her gaze any longer. "We never thought you would be so powerful."
"But as a child, I never had any powers, the sisters didn't notice anything. I never felt anything. Even as an adult, I never felt it. Not until the Plateau and John."
Alice shook her head and shuffled closer to Marguerite."You had to have supressed it. When you were a baby, objects moved across the nursery. When you were upset, the lights flickered and the wind howled. At first, we thought it was coincidence-" She stopped suddenly, as Marguerite's attention was drawn to the dark clouds disappating over the hills. Both women watched the sky darken as thunder rumbled low, overhead. "-but you made those things happen, Marguerite."
Turning back to her, with an expression on her face that held more confusion than actual fear, Marguerite narrowed her eyes. "Why was giving me up, the only option?"
"It was the only way that your father and I could ensure that you would live. You may have lived in anger, in turmoil and in fear, but you lived." Finally she dropped her hands and Marguerite's first instinct was to jump away from her. The rain hitting the window-pane caught her attention for a moment. But she was drawn back to the woman before her. "My god, did you live. I don't know where it came from, your father was never an adventurous man and I could certainly never hope of survivng the way you have, but you - Marguerite." She breathed. "- you have a power inside you that far surpasses anything even Abigail ever dreamed of."
"And what? That's supposed to make it ok?"
Alice clasped her hands together in front of her. "No, Marguerite, none of this is supposed to be an excuse for what we forced upon you. But you deserve to know that everything we did, we did it because we loved you. I have loved you, every day that we've been apart."
Marguerite struggled with tears. She swallowed harshly and met her mother's face with a glossy sheen covering her eyes. Anxiously, she twirled her wedding band around her finger and bit her bottom lip. "I've searched for you, all my life." She whispered and hope returned to Alice's expression. Her eyes were more of a dull, grass green, rather than Marguerite's vibrant emerald. Nonetheless, any onlooker could see the similarity.
Alice choked on a smile. "I'm glad you're here."
"Are you, Really?" There was a long pause between lightening strikes and Alice breathed out.
"Even if we can never be close again; just to see your face-" Reaching forward tentatively, she touched her daughter's cheek and for the first time, Marguerite didn't flinch away. "- My life has been worth it, just to see you now. Just to see how beautiful your heart is."
"My heart wasn't always beautiful." She confessed.
Alice smirked. "Love changes people."
Smiling genuinely, Marguerite touched her ring again and looked up into her face. "True."
"I only hope he's willing to do the impossible to keep you safe."
Marguerite stepped back suddenly. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Marguerite, I was always afraid of this. That to see you again would only mean i'd have to send you away."
"I don't understand." Her brow furrowed.
"They've always been watching me. Your brothers and Claire have lived a sheltered life and a safe one because the Mordren stayed away. I fear now, that knowing you are back will only cause them to show themselves once more. I'm not without my own gifts, Marguerite, I can feel them. I've always been able to feel them."
"Then what are we supposed to do? You force me to know you, force me to realise who I am, and all the while you knew that it could bring the danger back."
"I've endangered the safety of this home, I - "
Marguerite cut her off. "You've endangered my children!"
"Marguerite, I - "
Marguerite stepped away from her, turned, and headed for the foyer. "Roxton!" She called up the stairs, knowing he'd be within earshot. Seconds passed and Roxton appeared at the top of the stairs, his shirt was un-tucked and his feet bare.
"What's wrong?" He asked as he made his way down the stairs quickly, seeing the frightened expression in Marguerite's eyes.
"We have to go. Somewhere, anywhere. We have to get out of here."
Roxton grasped her hands and held them firmly, calming her only slightly. "What happened?"
"Marguerite, I don't know yet, that they'll return." Alice caught up with her and Marguerite turned from her husband.
"But you said they might. You said that they'll know i'm back."
Roxton turned to Alice, unable to do anything but stare at her for a moment. "What is going on?" He demanded, holding Marguerite's shoulders tightly.
Marguerite grasped the side of his face. "John, it's Mordren. She says that if he finds out I'm here, he'll come for me."
Roxton stared at Marguerite, then turned to Alice with narrowed eyes. "I thought we got him, I thought we finished him on the Plateau. She and Veronica, they made the Earth quake, they made the sky darken and he died. I saw him die. It was the end of him."
"The end of one, perhaps-" They both turned to Alice then, confusion in their eyes. "- but the Mordren are a family, an ancient bloodline in opposition to the protector. There are far more men than one. And many who wish you dead, dear daughter."
Marguerite narrowed her eyes at the woman who claimed to be her mother. "Why?" She shuffled closer to Roxton, pressing her body into his in order to ground herself. "I thought the fight for the plateau was what they wanted to prevent? We overcame that, we beat them. What more could they want from me?"
"You're the balance, Marguerite. You'll always be destined for far more than a single act. If they were to take you out of the equation...If they could somehow tip the balance-" She turned her eyes down to the floor.
Marguerite continued to stare at her and Roxton swallowed. "We'll go back." He whispered and in an instant, Marguerite's fear was pushed aside.
"I knew getting off that god-damned plateau could never be that easy."
Laughing slightly, Roxton ran his palm over her shoulders. "I know you hate it, Marguerite, but chances are it's safer than here."
"I can't believe this is happening. Why did you even come to me, why couldn't you let us be?"
Alice clasped her hands in front of her and dropped her chin to her chest. And with a soft voice, she answered. "Because I hoped that a small part of you, was like me. I hoped that like me, regardless of the consequences, you would want to know. I did it for you, Marguerite-" She looked up. "-I've done this for you. You can go now, you can take your children somewhere safe, you can raise them to be strong and loyal and you can forget that I even exsisted. But you'll go knowing. I hoped that that would be enough."
Roxton watched the side of Marguerite's face as she stared at her mother. Her expression solid and her eyes, fixed. She swallowed deeply and on the verge of tears, nodded her head before pulling on his arms. "We have to go, now."
Roxton helped her up the stairs silently. Glancing back he saw Alice standing there in the foyer, just watching them. And he knew that it was done. Their time in the world was over.
It was time to go home.
To be continued.