Post-Twilight's Dawn and Lily Zen's "The Ghost of Insecurities". Will Surreal be able to be herself again as a mother, a wife and a lover? D/S
Fandom: Black Jewels Trilogy
Notes: This is the following of Lily Zen's great story "The Ghost of Insecurities" who inspired me this little story. She kindly accepted to correct and advise me for this first chapter. Thanks a lot Miss Lily :-)
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A step… Maybe two. That was all it took. That's all it should have taken. For her. For them. And she couldn't make it.
She couldn't even raise her head and look. Shame flowed through her mind. Pathetic. She was pathetic.
Shyly, Daemon's hand reached for hers, gentle and asking. She finally got the courage that she needed to look at her, the beautiful little girl with pointed ears and golden skin.
She froze. Her heart stopped in her chest.
She could see Little Jaenelle was scared. So scared. Not because of her, or what she could have done to her. No, she was scared to death to do something that would make her leave again.
Surreal looked at Jaenelle, stunned.
The little girl was hiding her cries and her broken heart so well behind her bright green eyes and her timid smile that her hand shook.
Surreal blinked and a single tear rolled down her cheeks.
No more than a whisper in Surreal's ears but there was a promise behind this single word. She was willing to do anything she could to make sure her mother didn't leave them. She would heal Surreal's wounds, her fears, and her tears in a smile; she would yield to her every wish.
Because there was only one thing that Jaenelle knew for sure: she was the reason why her mother had left. And there was only one thing she felt: she needed her desperately. Even if Surreal could never acknowledge her like her heart craved, she would do anything not to give her a reason to leave again. Never. Even fade into a shadow of herself if it pleased her mother.
She was just a little girl and in a single word, she was showing such a strong will. More than that, she hid all of these feelings from her father. For him, she was a young girl smiling at her mother's return. He didn't see this haunting beast that was feasting on her fears and crawling in her mind. He never saw the yielding and the promise in this single world.
Because she hid her wounds like Surreal always did.
Because she did exactly what Surreal used to do during these last years.
Because she was strong like Surreal was.
Because she was her daughter.
Surreal's heart cracked.
Was she such a bad mother that the only thing that her daughter would inherit from her was the ability to hide her feelings from Daemon? From everyone that counted in her life?
Time broke. In a heartbeat, Surreal remembered a glimpse from her past, words from her own mother when she was no older than the little girl in front of her.
Suddenly, Surreal felt the urge she thought she would never feel again: the need to protect what's hers.
Surreal took that step finally. The hardly suppressed shiver from Daemon and Jaenelle hurt her more than any physical wound she had ever received.
Without overthinking it one more second, she embraced her little girl, giving her all she was and all she could to her daughter. Surreal didn't see either the content smile of Lucivar, who stood just beside her, nor the release of her husband who was trembling to take them in his own arms, to erase with his hand the pain and the hurt that have shaken the world of the two most important women in his life.
Jaenelle, petrified, was struggling; too afraid that those tears that were so hard to keep down would end the warm feeling that she felt in her mother arms.
*Jaenelle, I will tell you what my own mother told me when I was no older you are,* Surreal told her on a distaff thread.
*What?* her daughter replied.
Surreal was so little when she understood who her father really was, and what the bastard had done to her own mother. Then she realized what Titian must see in her, a constant reminder of what he had done to her. She hated herself for that, so how could her mother feel anything else than disgust and pain? And she remembered exactly her mother's words, and how wrong she was.
*"Surreal, you don't have to fear anything from me. I'll protect you from everyone, even yourself. Because you're my daughter."*
*I've hurt you this much?* asked Surreal.
A convincing denial that could have fooled everyone, but she wasn't everyone.
*Yes,* Jaenelle finally admitted.
Not fighting it anymore, Jaenelle burst into tears, and Surreal firmly closed her arms around her daughter. With each tear, each cry, she saw the crawling beast that was ravaging her daughter's mind fade a little more into the darkness. It would never vanish, never leave, but she would never give it anything to grow this far again and would protect her daughter. From now to her last breath, she would.
As the tears ceased, Surreal released her arms from her daughter, but Jaenelle didn't let her go, and kept her in a desperate embrace. Suppressing an amused grin, Surreal stroked her daughter's hair.
"Sugar, I will need to breathe."
Blushing and still sobbing, Jaenelle loosened her arms around her mother, but not too much. She didn't want to lose too soon those warm feelings that were healing that big wound in her heart, and she was still afraid that her mother would leave her without warning.
"Jaenelle, I'm so sorry. None of this was your or your father's fault. It was mine, and you paid the price. I'm so sorry, Jaenelle," Surreal murmured.
After hours of reading, Surreal pulled the book aside slowly. Jaenelle had fought her fatigue with all she had, but finally surrendered to sleep after her mother told her that she really would be here tomorrow.
Suddenly, Surreal's heart stopped. She knew exactly who was standing just behind her.
Above all, she was afraid to see the deprecation in his eyes from one who knew what a bad mother could do to her kid. She had always hated Luthvian for what she had done to her own son, and never understood why Lucivar couldn't sever his link with that woman so full of bitterness and hate for what he was. She couldn't look to him and see what she had become in his eyes. She couldn't take it, and walked away. She flee from him. And she hated herself for that.
"Surreal, look at me," said Lucivar.
She was not prepared to see that glint of disgust in Lucivar's eyes. She couldn't take it. Not here, not now. She wasn't strong enough.
And now he's pissed at me, she thought, with a good reason; and his impatience grew like a sharp edge in her mind. She couldn't delay it anymore, and Hell's fire, she had never been this scared to stand in front of him.
But as she looked at him, all she saw in his eyes was concern and relief.
"I'm sorry, Surreal. Really sorry. Marian told me. She knew something was wrong. She told me that sometimes, when you were unaware of it, she would catch hint of sorrow so deep and harsh that she was unable to stop her heart from hurting, and it was always so furtive, so dark that she couldn't believe that was really from you. To be honest, I couldn't either; I didn't want to believe it. I should have listened to her and talked to you."
Surreal stared at Lucivar. Marian knew. She saw behind her mask and talked to her husband. She saw… For centuries, no one had ever succeeded in seeing though the mask she had always worn, an act she performed and sharpened from the first day she was wandering alone in the street. Mother Night, Marian was that good.
"You don't deserve her, you know that," said Surreal with a grin.
"Believe me, I know," Lucivar replied. "It's just a way to tell you that next time, I'm going to listen to her. If Marian has just the tiniest little doubt about you, I'll be the first to knock your head off until you get some sense, woman! You have no idea how your little girl and Daemon were lost without you."
Daemon, lost. She couldn't believe it; he was not lost enough to lose track of her.
"Mother Night, Surreal, I'm the only person who's known Daemon since he was as sweet and innocent as your child. We've crossed the worst and the best together, as slaves, as friends, as brothers. During all those years, I've never seen the man crying. And believe me, Surreal, your daughter was not the only one who was crying and ready to do anything to make sure you came back. Loosing you is more than he can handle right now. Surreal, I don't know what your plan is; I'm not even sure that you have plans. But…" Lucivar trailed off.
"I want to try. And whether it works or not with Daemon, I will never stop seeing my daughter. I've done enough damage to her heart to hate myself right now. I…"
Rage burst in Lucivar's eye and he took her hand, passed a few doors with Surreal in his path, too stunned to react, and opened Jaenelle's door slowly.
"Stupid woman," he whispered trying not to wake up the child.
Jaenelle was sleeping with such a content smile on her delicate face that Surreal couldn't help herself but to run gently her fingers in Jaenelle's hair.
"Look at your daughter," said Lucivar. "She forgave you the moment you took her in your arms. She loves you. That is a fact, Surreal, and believe me, you'll have to work very hard to change that."
Surreal looked at Lucivar with a weak smile. Did he really love Luthvian until the end despite her hate for what he was?
Seeming to read her thoughts, Lucivar said, "You're nothing like her and you will never be, for the simple reason that you don't want to be like her and you love your daughter."
"I thought you saw me as heartless as she was with you, that you…"
"Next time you say such a stupid thing, I'll make you regret it!"
"You can try, Sugar," she hissed.
Lucivar grinned. For the first time in years, the real Surreal was emerging from this woman he hardly recognized.
"To love her as you should, you have to be yourself again. So don't you ever talk again about hating yourself or trying to be forgiven for something your daughter has already forgotten. The only question you have to work on is this: do you really think you can be yourself again with Daemon?"
"I don't know," she said trembling as each word seems to stab her open heart.
It was the only honest response she could give him. Did she love him? Yes. She couldn't ever doubt her feelings. The pain that had driven her all these years was proof enough of how she craved Daemon's attention and love. She remembered like it was yesterday how it hurt her to see Daemon loosing himself in that bitch's arms after Jaenelle's death. Mother Night, it hurt like Hell.
She loved him too much for her own sake. And now she was completely petrified of the simple idea of being his wife again.
Her heart was pounding in her chest as she stepped in her room; Lucivar's words were still ringing in her ears.
You have to be yourself again.