Betraying the Heart
Summary: Serenity always knew her life wasn't going to go as planned, but she never imagined it would be this much out of order, especially not when he was just walking back into her life when she promised to marry someone else!
AN: This is one of those cheesy romance stories set in probably the early 90s and in Europe. It's a bit old-fashioned viewed though, so please don't think that it is in anyway my own views on life or society or marriage. There is one thing I don't agree necessarily follows, but it is a crutch in the story. Without it, it doesn't make much sense at least from Serenity's standpoint. I could always offer up other arguments in the other half of things, but that doesn't really work either with the way some characters are going to be portrayed. Or at least temporarily. So just keep that in mind if you want to flame me for any of the reasons given. It's part of the story and if it was written with a 2012 mindset then it would be a different story all together!
AN2: Its also going to be short, possibly five chapters or thereabouts. I have no interest in overextending this idea. If it was up to me, they'd always have it all out on the first misunderstanding and be done with it, instead always hiding it. But then, I realize pride gets in the way of disclosing everything, pain/hurt feelings and since they're in love, irrationality that makes the readers annoyed but it somehow makes sense in the context.
Oh. My. God. Serenity blinked at the image that was before her. She could feel an emotional upwelling as a panic about set in. She found it rather difficult to breath suddenly and she leaned heavily on the banister at the staircase that she was just coming down. She wished for someone to be there, to lend her a support she needed at this unexpected twist in her day.
Nobody told her he was going to be coming in a week early! Hell, she thought he wouldn't be coming in at all! Not with the way things were left. She couldn't take it, not this, not on top of everything else! She was still trying to contain the periodic spurts of tears that would crop up randomly. She always had to steal herself away to a bathroom and try to contain her emotions, fix her appearance before she thought it viable to face everyone again.
They didn't understand her emotional upheavals, they couldn't. Only one person knew about what was really going on except for the one involved! And those lapses in temperament were met with veiled annoyance. Not at her, but at the situation and maybe a little bit at her too, for not being able to tuck it firmly away and get over him.
He hadn't seen her yet and she wanted to turn and bolt back up the stairs, stay hidden until the very last possible moment where it would be too late, that things would be over and done with and then she could run away and never see him again. But that wasn't to be. Nothing in the last few years had turned out how she planned it, so she should just accept that nothing else she decided on or planned would turn out right either. This was just another on that long list of grievances she'd have to bring up to her maker when it became time.
He turned to her then, and she thought she'd prepared for any eventualities. Thought that she could handle anything he threw at her, but she wasn't. She could never prepare for him and what he did to her. She definitely didn't know what to do with a broad grin and opened arms. "Serenity! I didn't expect to see you here!"
No, she didn't suspect he would. It had been three weeks since he'd seen her last. Not a single communication between them except for the one that had rocked her foundation. He didn't know his family even knew of her existence outside being a family friend and not a very close one at that. Only due to the distance and not malice. Whenever she had seen his family, they had always been very welcoming and treated her as one of their own.
If that hadn't been the case, she would have insisted that he wasn't invited or even informed at all of the impending nuptials. But that wasn't fair to the families that had come and would be coming for this newest union.
His reaction had her swaying momentarily and he took a step forward, concerned for her, as if nothing had happened! As if none of it, all of it had been something out of her imagination. Well it wasn't, that was for sure! Then anger swamped out her other emotions and it transmitted in her gaze as she clung to that one like a life-raft. For too long she had been devastated and floored by his response to her. She had spent way too much time feeling sorry for herself and bemoaning her lot in life. Wondering what it was that could have caused him to treat her so callously and now she realized his treatment had been unforgivable.
He was still wearing a light coat and he had removed his driving gloves and scarf, the butler holding them for him and waiting patiently for the rest of the man's items to be put away. The man in front of her frowned thoughtfully at her reaction to him, not even a polite hello back, but Serenity's manners were the furthest thing from her mind! He turned and shrugged out of his coat, it was spring, but there was still a nip in the air. He handed it to George and turned back to Serenity.
Nobody was around now as George took himself off, with only a mild look of interest in his eyes at Serenity, wondering no doubt, if she were all right! She could feel her face pale at the notion of being alone for any length of time with this man. How she wanted to throttle and hit and slap and kiss him all in one go! She'd be just as happy pushing him out of a second floor window as she would to be taken up into his arms and made passionate love to. Though she knew she'd hate not only him, but herself in the morning and that's one thing she vowed she'd never do again, hate herself over anything he did to her.
He insured that no one was around before closing the distance between them and drawing her stiff body close to his, intending to kiss her thoroughly. She should have known that even now, he'd be disgusted by the idea of anyone knowing. Well in this case, she'd be only too happy to ensure that it was kept a secret!
She turned her face and he was surprised to come across the skin of her cheek. "While it is a nice spot to kiss, it has been too long-" He was teasing her but she refused to be goaded. Even before things got heated between them, he greeted her with a kiss on her mouth, in front of hundreds of people if it were. They were always doing that to her, and for the longest of time she thought nothing of it, that nobody thought anything of it, and it might have been the truth, once.
"Endymion!" Whatever else he would have said or however she would have responded, was cut off as others joined them, having heard that he arrived. Endymion looked reluctant to let her go and Serenity felt a pang somewhere in her heart, where was this reluctance two and a half weeks ago? Then again, he was always good at deceiving her when he wanted something.
The one who had spoken came up to Serenity's side and looped an arm around her waist. Endymion caught the stance with a critical action, especially as she didn't pull out of it right away as she normally would, with a playful reproach.
Endymion's lips flattened into a thin line as others also came to a halt before coming forward and giving him hugs all around. "Why are you so late?" Endymion's sister reproached softly as she stood in front of him. She was younger than the rest, only fifteen and adored her oldest brother like none other.
"Firefly." He teased her with the familiar nickname. "I was under a gentlemanly impression." His eyes shifted to Serenity. "I was going to pick someone up bring down here so she wouldn't have to make the trip alone."
"Serenity's been here since the beginning. You surely wouldn't think that we'd make her come only for the last week!" His mother chided ruffling Endymion's hair. "Come, have a bite to eat as you must be starved. We've only just finished our own meals. Tell us all about Japan!"
Endymion walked with his mother towards the kitchen but his eyes lingered back with Serenity, turning his head as they did, wondering what all of this was about. Serenity was as well, looking up at the man who still had his arm about her waist. When Endymion was out of view and the door closing behind the rest of the family, Serenity turned fully in his arms. "What's this about? He acted as if he didn't know I'd be here."
"He's tired. Perhaps he didn't get the letter. I only told him I was getting married next week and that the invitation would be sent to him with all the details. I was angry with him when we spoke on the phone and didn't want to delay too long."
His hand came out and he brushed his knuckles along the edge of her face. He leaned down to kiss her when Endymion was back. "Hey Sebastian, you coming as-?" His words halted as he took in their intimate position and though Serenity had no interest in kissing Sebastian at the moment or at all, Endymion had saved her from having to find a gentle way to rebuke him again, especially after all he'd done for her. Endymion's features closed down. "What's this?" He asked, thinly keeping his anger out of his voice.
Sebastian sighed heavily and turned towards his brother, unrepentant and placing himself slightly between the other man and Serenity. "What I am allowed to do, as my right as her fiance."
Endymion's indrawn breath was sharp and it seemed to suck all the air in Serenity's lungs. She was thankful for Sebastian being between them now, allowing her to not look at the man her heart wept for and hated at the same time. "This is a fast turnabout. Serenity? What do you have to say for yourself?"
She barely started a murmur when Sebastian's body seemed to straighten up. "Seeing as how only I know about your tryst with our family friend, I think you should shelve your condemnation until after the wedding. You wouldn't want to harm the other family members, would you?"
"To hell with the other family members!" Endymion growled and stormed forward, roughly pushing his brother aside and he grabbed up Serenity's arms. "I want you to answer me!" He shook her, none-too-gently and her head was tossed back in the motion. She was glaring up at him. "What is the meaning of this? How could you- and him?" He shook her again but Sebastian stepped forward and with a hand on Endymion's wrist, finally managed to calm his brother slightly.
"Unhand her. She is not in a state to deal with you right now rough-handling her. No wonder she capitulated-"
"Very carefully Sebastian, if you say one more word to me that will rile me into a fight, it won't matter that you're my brother. I will tear you apart."
Sebastian laughed. "Then what? Force your way on her again, have the entire family disown you?"
"Enough!" Serenity's sharp command had him stopping instantly. "You know that's not true, Sebastian! Whatever else my problems are with him, that was never one of the issues!" She couldn't let Sebastian slander Endymion in that way, not when there were worse true things to lobby at him. But when he had been with her, he had never forced anything upon her.
Then she burst into tears again and Sebastian gathered her up and whipped her upstairs, leaving Endymion gaping behind them. He started mounting the steps after them, this was clearly not over yet! But he was still in too much shock to be efficient, but the one thing he knew, he would not allow his brother to disappear with her!
"Please Endymion!" Serenity wailed seeing him in the doorway as Sebastian lowered her onto her bed. It had always been her bed. "Go away and leave me alone! You've already done enough!"
Endymion was reluctant to comply, but Sebastian was already heading for the door, to make sure he left and to leave as well. "Come on, she's tired and you're not going to harass her anymore tonight."
Sebastian propelled him away and Endymion was just too numb to stop his brother. Tomorrow he would lose one of the two emotions that had him stopping from going to her, and he imagined he knew which one it would be. The numbness over her betrayal would leave him and all that would be left would be the anger! Anger at both parties!
As it was, Endymion couldn't stop the fist from flying into his brother's gut. He held the other man for a moment until it passed, then he straightened him up and threw him against the wall, holding onto his lapels. "Give me one good reason I shouldn't smash your face in!"
"Serenity came to me." Sebastian replied simply and Endymion let go, his brother dropped along the wall to his knees.
Endymion didn't wait around to listen to anything else, he stomped towards a bedroom, this time it wasn't hers, but his own. He threw the door shut and locked it. He dropped himself on his bed and hoped that all of this was a delusion of his long flight home and that in the morning it wasn't Serenity in the other room but someone else entirely. That this whole thing was one big awful nightmare.