In Time Anger Took Over Him

Summary: One-shot – Steven will never allow Martin to win.

Author's Notes: Based on the 1985 film Flesh and Blood. Second part of the Circle Trilogy.

Disclaimer: I do not own any familiar characters/settings/plots featured in this story.

In Time Anger Took Over Him

"He took over anger to intimidate subordinates, and in time anger took over him." – Saint Albertus Magnus

Steven doesn't remember how it feels not to be angry.

He knows there was a time where he wasn't always angry of course. Back when he studied at the University—long before his father's devious campaign—he had been happy and optimistic. He had still been a scholar, an inventor, a scientist who wanted nothing more than to learn all he could about the world.

He had been such a naïve little fool then.

He thinks the anger started the day his father betrayed the mercenaries. When he had tricked them into storming the city with promise of riches only to go back on his word, he had been rightfully angry. It was a dirty and underhanded move to make, and he had been disgusted on behalf of the soldiers that had risked their lives for his father's honor.

Then they had stolen Agnes and he had learned of a new type of anger.

He did not love Agnes in the beginning so to say that it was love that had driven him to fight and save her would be a lie. He was fond of her, obviously, fonder than he thought he ever would be of a woman who was not his mother or sister, but it was not affection that made him want to help her. It was the anger, the indignation that the mercenaries would dare to pull such a stunt on an innocent woman. He was enraged on her behalf and by his father who refused to see justice done yet again. That vengeful anger was what pushed him to pursue Agnes until he found her in that castle dressed all in white.

It wasn't until he saw Martin wrap his arms around Agnes did he feel the final and most potent anger of all: jealousy.

That jealous fury was what drove him to storm the castle, infect the mercenaries with the Plague, and ultimately kill his first man. That sense of ownership he felt over Agnes had been intensified by the challenge Martin had presented for perhaps the first time in his life. The knowledge that another man—a filthy mercenary at that—had taken what was rightfully his made his blood burn and boil.

That jealous rage had never left him. Even after he defeated Martin and won Agnes back, the anger had simmered down in his heart but did not completely leave. And when he realized Agnes was pregnant with Martin's child, it began to turn burn yet again.

Steven could not lie and say that he did not hate Rocco in the beginning. The boy was a visible reminder everyday of what Martin had done. He hated the child as much as he hated the man, and the anger in him grew colder and colder until all he felt was an icy fury that dictated his every move. But it was while he was consumed in that fury that he found a way to finally defeat Martin for good.

He would raise Rocco up as his own son with all the love and devotion that he would have given his own flesh and blood. He would raise Martin's son to only love and respect Steven as his father. Martin would never be allowed to claim Rocco; not in name, not in love, not in life. Rocco was his son just as surely as Agnes was his wife.

Agnes and Rocco would always belong to Steven, and he was damned set on keeping it that way.