He said he did not love me.
Did he mean it?
He said it. He told me so.
All I knew is that he did not want me anymore.
Cruel, cruel fate. I could do nothing about it, other then to feel the pain for what seemed to be over and over. He had me hanging on on purpose, it appeared, taunting me with the past and happiness I had so briefly and then torturing me by taking it away.
Cruel Horatio. I hated him.
Yet I loved him so much.
Winter passed and we all survived. Father and Andrew returned to our new home and we halfways appeared normal. Halfways we were a mangled, patched-up family of what we once used to be.
But we went onwards. We found joy out of the little things. Marie and Andrew's son was the light of all our lives. Father clung to him as if the child was his everything. The little Andrew was probably the one thing that always made him smile.
Lupin saw me each day. I was never what he wished me to be, I knew. Completely his. He pretended not to notice, it appeared. He doted on me unconditionally, more then ever placing his affections on me. It pained me further to see him so desperate for my love, so I continued to play along. Too he seemed to know that I was totally not true.
But we lingered in our fake bliss.
As time went on, the dreams of Horatio faded. It felt like he was drawing himself from me, every memory was fading, the ties on my heart loosening. I did not wake crying as I used to. Was it Lupin doing such things in an attempt to make me forget Horatio and love him, or was it Horatio.....letting go or pushing me away?
And as this happened, I found myself really laughing and smiling around Lupin, wanting to be around him, Horatio's face replaced with his in delightful, warm, lovely dreams. We would walk in his enchanted gardens and hold hands, he would seem to make me happy. As spring arrived, the gardens and trees bloomed and the weather warmed, my heart bloomed, the ice melted, it basked in the warmth of Lupin's affections.
He was my friend. He was my best friend. He made me happy.
When he asked me for my hand, in those same gardens, I accepted. He would make me happy.
We married in the center of Thornton. It was a wonderful day, just as I would have imagined. Perfect. Everyone gathered for laughter and singing and dancing, to celebrate our union. My family was glad with my choice in Lupin. After such a long time, he too felt like a part of our family.
The sun was shining and the day was crisp and clean, a fresh spring breeze to ruffle at my hair. Marie helped me to bathe and dress in Mother's wedding gown, a simple dress of white, and Father guided me to the alter. Lupin and I made our vows and he bent in and kissed me.
I accepted my fate.
And somewhere inside me, I was purely happy. Lupin was my friend, and we would lead a peaceful life.
Just what I needed. Maybe not what I wanted, I desired, in my heart, but I knew, in the end, I would have joy in my life after all the pain I had gone through.
We set up house just across the road from where Andrew had for Marie, their son, and even Father. We had a lovely little front garden, and to the back only we could step into Lupin's expansive flower garden. We all were finely settled.
"Evening, Lovely," he kissed me lightly on the cheek, making me jump and nearly drop the dish in my hand.
"Lupin! Do not sneak up on me like that!" I laughed mildly, setting aside the plate to dry to take another.
He put his arms about my waist, continually placing playful kisses on my cheek and hair. I giggled, still trying to finished cleaning dishes. "Come, you don't have to do that, Lyssa," he murmured, with a flick of his fingers having all the cups and plates washed and stacked aside.
"Hey!" I smiled, turning about in his grasp and smacking him gently with the damp towel. "Must you always show-off?"
"Just trying to help, Love,"
He fiddled with my hair, attempting to kiss me over and over. "Lupin! Lupin!" I cried out, pushing him away softly but not able to stifle a chuckle or two. "I must finish with the--,"
"I'll finish it later," he stopped me, the intensity in his voice making me freeze, making me shiver involuntarily. He leaned in, hanging his lips just over mine. He whispered, almost so softly that I could not hear, "Forget about it."
"Alright," I breathed, nearly enchanted.
"Morning, Lovely," he murmured, pushing aside my hair.
"Morning," I smiled in return. Golden fingers of light fell through the bedroom windows, warming the blankets as they danced across the room.
He kissed me carefully, and then moved to trace his lips over my neck.
"Alyssa?" He sat up, alarmed. "What's happening!"
I froze as he had brushed my neck, the heat draining from my skin. All feeling seemed to fade, I could not move, I was trapped....I was drowning....
I was falling....falling...falling. I was watching the reflection of stars in the lake with Horatio, flashes of color passed before my eyes as we spent that lovely evening in the meadow, he held my hand, he smiled at me, he kissed my face, my neck....I cried as he turned away, pushed me away....held my head under water, held his hands around my neck, choking me....he was beating me, torturing me....one moment he confessed his love...the next he was killing me....putting a dagger through my heart, my hope, my happiness.....
I knew not how much time passed. I flickered in and out darkness, of life and dreams. One moment it would be struggling, whimpering in my nightmarish slumber, the next I would look to my bedside and see Lupin all the meanwhile, holding my hand, talking to me yet I could not hear him......I saw Marie too, Father....days seemed to be flying by....one moment in would be day, the next it would be night...
He embraced me as he woke from that fearful sleep, he saved me from the soldiers...he tossed me into the flames and let me burn....he held me, he comforted me....he ripped at me, he tore at me....."Horatio, why?! I love you!"
"I love you, Alyssa.....but....
"I don't care for you at all Alyssa. Die, die, die! Go away and leave me alone!"
I lay, unmoving. I watched, listless, blank, cold as three figures garbed in black cloaks entered the room. I was just a spectator, almost a ghost. I felt as if I was watching someone elses' life....Was it a dream? Lupin stood and guarded my bedside. They exchanged words but I could not hear.....Was I deaf? Was I dead? They stepped closer, bearing long, glinting white swords. They pointed the deadly objects at him.
I screamed on the inside, but was chained. I could not move, I could not do anything.
"We want him....we want Horatio...," one hissed. I caught the words, yet they seemed far-away.
"Don't take her! I am not going to let you!" cried Lupin, raising his hands. They all laughed at him, and he then looked to his fingers, desperate as nothing happened as he chanted his magic words.
"Move aside, boy. It's not you we want!" ordered another.
"NO!" he answered defiantly. "If you want her, you have to get through me!"
"If you say so....," they raised their swords....
Blood, pain, screaming.....
They surrounded my beds, reached down with their black arms, their spidery hands, their bloodstained hands.....
"I'll come for you, Alyssa. I love you."