Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Reluctant Love Ch 12.1

Chapter 12.1: Throw Back Thursday.

Being married to Cullen was the most amazing experience of Emily's short life. She felt invincible with him at her side. The honeymoon had been full of long hours of lovemaking before strolling along the sandy beach outside their secret hideaway on a faraway Island.

Emily hadn't wanted to come home but real life was waiting for them. Cullen had kissed away her slightly petulant frown, promising her they would schedule another holiday soon when their work schedules permitted.

It was only when they got home that both of them realised they hadn't discussed where they were going to stay now they were married. After a slightly heated debate, they settled on living at Cullen's house, though they kept the apartment on as neither of them could bear to sell it. Emily's logic was it would serve as somewhere to stay when Anton visited again.

Cullen was sitting in her office one day, watching her eat her lunch, when Emily turned around and said she wondered when Dorian was finally going to propose to Alice.

Cullen stared at her in shock as she sipped at her cup of coffee and then popped a bit of lettuce in her mouth.

"Propose?!" he repeated quietly. "Dorian hasn't said anything to me about wanting to get married."

Emily laughed and rolled her eyes. "That's because the thought never crossed his mind until our wedding," she said. "I was peaking through a gap in the screen when Alice was walking down the aisle. I wanted to see you. But all I could see was Dorian and the look of complete shock on his face as he watched Alice. Then one of his beautiful smiles crossed his face and I knew what he was thinking. He's going to propose, Cullen."

Cullen suddenly smiled. "If he is even half as happy with Alice as I am with you, they will have a wonderful life together," he sighed, his eyes shining as he watched her.

Emily laughed again and her face flushed slightly at his heated expression.

"You just stay on that side of the desk, Sebastian Cullen," she warned. "I'm getting tired of Dorian lecturing us on appropriate timing when it comes to our love life."

Cullen laughed with her. "He's just jealous," he grinned. "For so many years, I was always the responsible one and he got to have all the fun. Now the roles are reversed and he doesn't like it."

"You'd better get back to work," she smiled. "And me too. I've got a proposal to put to you and Dorian by the end of the week. I need to get working on it."

Cullen raised an eyebrow in inquiry but she just laughed and shook her head.

"No sneak preview, Cullen. This is work."

He grumbled good naturedly and blew her a kiss before he left her office.

Emily smiled happily and put the rest of her lunch in the bin. She wasn't very hungry today. She turned to her laptop and suddenly froze.

A feeling of total dread passed over her. It was so intense that she moaned softly and her hand went to her stomach. The last time she had felt like this was when Liam had discovered the attempted hacking into the computers at Karpathia's. But that feeling had been nothing compared to what she was feeling now. Something dreadful was going to happen.

She struggled up from her desk and almost flew down the hall to Cullen's office. She heard Dorian call to her as she raced blindly passed him. He followed her as she threw herself into Cullen's started arms.

"Emily, what's wrong?" Cullen asked anxiously, his hand coming to her face to pull her gaze to him.

"Something bad is going to happen," she whispered, her voice tortured. "Very soon."

Cullen gasped at her stricken expression and pulled her close.

Dorian shut the office door, his own face mirroring Cullen's concern.

"Do you know what, Emily?" he asked gently.

She shook her head. "I think it involves your kind," she said, her voice a bit stronger. "It's a more intense feeling of the one I had when Liam came here that day about the hacking."

"I'm getting her out of here," Cullen said sharply. "I'll take her to Anton."

"No, I'm not leaving," she moaned. "I can't leave, Cullen. I have to be here for whatever is going to happen."

"Out of the question," he said firmly, his beautiful face set. "Not after what happened the last time, Emily. You're leaving and that's the end of the matter."

"Leaving feels wrong, Cullen," she whispered. "It feels wrong. I have to be here."

There was a knock on the door and Alice entered quickly closing the door behind her. Her face looked frightened and Dorian automatically pulled into his arms.

"There's two really scary looking vampires here," she whispered. "They want to see you immediately."

Cullen and Dorian both stiffened and the Dorian went and opened the door. Emily didn't think she could have seen anyone become more still but Dorian did.

She gazed past him and saw two, tall vampires regarding the office. They were beautiful as all vampires were but there was something different about them. Their hair was short. They both had brown hair but it was cropped very short, almost to the point of having no hair at all. It was the first time she had seen a male vampire without long hair.

Cullen inhaled sharply and his hands tightened around Emily.

No words were spoken but Dorian moved aside from the door and the two vampires entered the office. The room suddenly felt very small with them in it.

Dorian crossed the room to stand beside Cullen, taking Alice with him. The tension in the room was so thick, Emily wondered if she would be able to physically touch the sensation if she tried.

"Your presence is required at the establishment known as Karpathia's," the vampire on the right said, his voice cold and hard. "His Majesty, King Alexander, will sit in judgement this day."

King! No one had told Emily about a King.

"What are the charges?" Cullen ground out, through clenched teeth.

"The human woman known as Emily Cullen is a witch and has been using magics to undermine and subvert the vampire nation."

Emily gasped in shock. "I'm not a witch," she cried out.

The vampires ignored her as if she wasn't there.

"My wife is not a spellcaster," Cullen said furiously. "This charge is absurd! Who levied it against her?"

"It is for King Alexander to determine the truth or falsehood of the accusation," the vampire to the left said, his voice equally as cold and hard. "You must come now."

"Philip, Hugo, you both know us well," Dorian said quietly. "You know we would never do anything to endanger our race."

The vampire called Philip turned to him, he was the one on the right.

"It is not our place to cast judgement, Dorian," he said, his voice a fraction warmer. "We serve His Majesty and do his bidding. You must come with us now. He awaits you."

Emily looked up at Cullen and shivered when she saw the hopeless expression on his face. Whatever was happening was something he was powerless to stop. She turned her gaze to the other two vampires and the sense that this had to happen was suddenly screaming at her.

"I guess we'd better go then," she sighed softly.

She thought Cullen would accidentally crush her he was holding her so tightly on the way to Karpathia's. She vaguely heard Alice and Dorian arguing about whether or not the little dark haired woman could come with them. She sensed Alice behind her so she gathered the tiny woman had won the debate.

Emily had never seen the room before which they were taken to. It was huge. The centre of the room looked like a huge dance floor. It was surrounded on three sides by rows of benches. At the head of the wooden floor was a raised dais on which sat what could only be described as a throne. The room was already full of vampires, all sitting silently as Philip and Hugo escorted them into the room.

Cullen balked when Philip and Hugo took Emily's arms but Liam was suddenly at his side. Dorian and Liam forced Cullen to release his hold on her.

"You cannot stop this, Cullen," Liam whispered urgently. "Don't make it worse than it already is. There is still a chance right now. There will be no chance if you go against the King."

Emily was terrified. If Cullen, Liam and Dorian couldn't protect her from this King then she was in real trouble. She let Philip and Hugo lead her into the centre of the room. She turned to see Cullen gripping the wooden balustrade, which surrounded the wooden floor, tightly. His expression was bleak, as was Liam's and Dorian's. She was in a lot of trouble and she had no idea if she was going to be able to walk away from it in one piece.

A loud bang caught her attention and she heard Philip announce the King. She turned and watched as an ancient Vampire strode purposely into the room. He was beautiful as was to be expected. His hair was long and loose and almost the exact same colour as Cullen's. His eyes were a darker brown and he was tall and lean. He wore some kind of ceremonial role. Emily felt the urge to giggle when she found herself admiring the shade of purple of the robe. She must be close to hysterics.

The King sat down on the throne and turned to regard the room silently. His expression was closed as his eyes fell on Cullen, Dorian and Liam. Finally he looked at Emily and she shuddered as it felt as if he was trying to peer into her very soul.

"You are the woman known as Emily Cullen?" he asked and she was surprised at how beautiful his voice sounded. It was quite out of place with the stern expression on his face.

Emily tried to swallow down her fear. "I am," she said loudly, her voice sounding more confident than she really was.

"You will address His Majesty with respect!" Hugo hissed loudly.

"My apologies," Emily said softly to the man on the throne. "I have not been in the company of royalty before so I do not know the customs required of me. Cullen did not have the opportunity to instruct me before we arrived here. If you would tell me how you wish to be addressed, I will do my best to comply."

There was a ripple of sound around the room and Hugo banged a large sceptre against the floor and roared, "Silence!" The room went quiet again.

"You may address me as Your Majesty," the King said quietly, his eyes thoughtful.

"Very well, Your Majesty," Emily said and inclined her head in what she hoped was a respectful way.

"A charge of witchcraft has been brought against you, Emily Cullen," the King announced. "What say you to that charge?"

"In all honesty, Your Majesty, I have been too astounded to discover that witches are real to have been able to think about being accused of being one."

"You are wed to a vampire and yet you find witches being real an astounding fact," the King mused. "How is this so?"

"I suppose I didn't really need to know until this moment, Your Majesty," Emily said quietly. "As I didn't need to know about vampires until I met Cullen."

He watched her thoughtfully for a moment and leaned forward slightly.

"A witch is very powerful and a determined one can bring our nation to it's knees, Emily Cullen," he said dangerously. "We execute witches on sight."

Emily gasped and paled and she heard Cullen growl behind her.

"Have you never considered coming to a compromise with the witches, Your Majesty?" Emily asked quietly.

"Heresy!" a vampire shouted, outraged. The room erupted in loud shouts and Hugo had to bang his sceptre sharply to restore order.

"Why would you ask such a question if you were not in fact a witch yourself?" the King asked, his voice icily cold and hard.

"I would ask such a question because I have a love of life so strong that it grieves me badly to see any living being die when perhaps there was a way to prevent it, Your Majesty," Emily answered.

"If you love life so much then perhaps you should work harder at preserving your own, Emily Cullen," the King snapped harshly. "Your words are condemning you."

"NO!" Cullen roared, breaking free of Liam and Dorian and rushing to Emily's side. He hugged her fiercely.

"I will not let you harm her," he hissed, his eyes flashing furiously at his King.

"Cullen, no," Emily groaned. "Go back to your seat."

"I'm not leaving you, Emily," he said, his voice hard and determined.

"Cullen, I appreciate you act out of love but this is totally unacceptable," the King said, his tone bored. "Return to your place now."

"I cannot, Sire," Cullen said, his face set. "I will not leave my wife to stand here alone to be falsely judged. If you must persist with this trial then I will stand with her. It was I who brought her into our family. I am just as culpable or innocent as she is, whatever your decision turns out to be."

Emily moaned in terror as she felt wave after wave of dread wash over her. This was wrong. It was so very wrong that she had to stop it. She saw Liam and Dorian step towards them, their faces set too. In her peripheral vision she saw her friends from Karpathia's also stand as if to come to her side as protectors.

"No!" she cried, wrenching out of Cullen's arms. She spun round to face him and made her expression hard.

"Go and sit down," she hissed through clenched teeth. "This isn't about you Cullen, this is about me."

"I will not, Emily," he growled furiously.

"You will or so help me God if I walk out of this room today alive, Sebastian Cullen, I will walk out of your life and never return!" she said coldly.

She winced deep inside as she saw the pain cross his face.

"Emily," he said, his voice full of pain.

She held herself rigid, refusing to go to him as she so badly wanted to do.

"Leave me, Cullen. Heed me now or face losing me forever."

She turned to Liam and Dorian who were staring at her in shock. "Take him back to his seat," she told them, keeping her voice hard.

She turned her back on them as she felt the mask on her face slip. She heard them all moving away until she once more stood alone facing the King. Cullen's pain was like a wave washing over her. She prayed silently that he would forgive her if she got out of this alive.

"Interesting," The King said thoughtfully. "Tell me, Emily Cullen, what is so important to you that you would break your husband's heart as well as your own?"

Emily lowered her head and didn't answer. She couldn't have spoken at that moment if she tried. She heard a whisper of movement and then suddenly the King was there before her, one long finger tilting her chin up so she would look at him.

"Why did you send your protectors away, Emily Cullen?" he asked gently.

"Because it felt wrong," she whispered.

"Felt wrong," The King echoed, puzzlement in his eyes.

She nodded as he released her chin but still stood staring down at her.

"I am not a witch, Your Majesty," Emily whispered. "But I have a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Cullen and Dorian call it my uniquely instinctual way of thinking. Sometimes I just know and I have to act accordingly."

"And now, is this moment wrong, Emily Cullen?" he asked softly.

"No, Your Majesty, this moment feels right once more. No matter what the end result is for me personally, it is right that I stand here alone before you."

He chuckled suddenly. "From the look on your husband's face, if you survive this day, you may receive a severe beating at his hands for your actions, Emily Cullen," he laughed and returned slowly to his throne.

"Tell me what was so wrong when he stood with you," he said as he sat back down.

"It is hard to put into words that will not anger you, Your Majesty," she breathed quietly.

"I am feeling tolerant, speak freely," he said with a wave of his hand.

Emily swallowed hard and tried to control the trembles that were starting to shiver through her body.

"If I had allowed him to stand with me then Dorian and Liam would have stood too. Alice would have come to Dorian's side even though she is only human and you probably haven't even noticed her presence in this room. I saw my friends from Karpathia's stand also. Soon half the room would have stood on my behalf. I had to stop it."

"But surely such a force of protectors would be something you wanted," The King said. "With such a show of support, it would have effectively halted this trial."

"It was wrong," Emily said desperately. "I will not be the cause of a civil war between your people, Your Majesty. I will not be the architect of the vampire nation's downfall. No matter what price I have to pay.

She sucked in a deep breath "If I must break Cullen's heart or offer myself up as a sacrifice, I will do so," she whispered. "The thought of losing the beauty of your kind is unbearable to think about."

The King regarded her thoughtfully for a long moment.

"Sacrifices. Making pacts with witches. You do say the most extraordinary things, Emily Cullen," he finally said. "I am ready to make my judgement."

The silence in the room was almost a tangible thing. Emily raised her head and stared at the King. She was frightened and she ached for Cullen so badly, even if he was mad enough to beat her right now.

"On the charge of witchcraft, I find the accused, Emily Cullen, to be innocent," The King said loudly.

The room erupted in noise, some angry sounds but mostly cheers. Hugo banged his sceptre and the room went silent instantly.

"It grieves my heart that some of us fear change so much that we seek to destroy something of such beauty when it comes to us when we least deserve it," the King said sadly. "Come to me, Emily Cullen," he continued, holding out his hand.

Shaking with relief, Emily walked towards the dais and walked up the steps until she stood before the King.

"Your work is complete, child," Alexander said gently, his eyes warm and glowing with approval. "When you join us, our nation will weep with joy that one so pure of heart and soul has consented to grace us with her presence. Have you chosen your protectors, child?"

Emily swallowed and tried to wipe the shock at his words from her face,

"Cullen stands as my husband, Dorian as my brother and Liam as my father," she said quietly.

Alexander smiled. "Have you room in your generous heart for a kindly grandfather, child?" he asked softly.

Emily eyes widened as she realised what he was asking her. Her heart banged loudly in her chest as she sucked in a deep breath.

"I've never had a grandfather before," she whispered. "They both died when I was very young so I have no memory of them. I have always wondered what it would be like to have one."

She swallowed hard again and the rightness of the moment was suddenly screaming at her. She smiled shyly at the King.

"There is room in my heart for one as noble and venerable as you, Your Majesty."

A hushed murmur race through the room and was quickly gone again.

Alexander smiled a beautiful smile and kissed her lightly on the cheek.

"Know this," he said rising and coming to stand beside her on the steps. "The human woman known as Emily Cullen is under my protection. Anyone who accuses her falsely accuses me. Think carefully before you seek to cause harm to this child again."

Emily glanced anxiously at Cullen and she heard Alexander chuckle lightly beside her.

"Are you in such a hurry to receive your beating, child?" he said affectionately. "If he is too hard on you, let me know and I will have words with him."

He laughed again as she blushed crimson and bit her lip, worriedly. Cullen's expression was cold and hard, his eyes flat and unforgiving. She'd be lucky if he talked to her let alone beat her.

"I will keep you but a moment longer, granddaughter," Alexander said softly.

He pulled a small vial from within his robes. He opened it and brought a finger to his mouth, pricking it against his fang and dripping three drops of thick red blood into the vial. He placed the top back on the glass bottle and held it out to Emily.

"When you become one of us and the rightness of the moment is upon you, drink from this vial, granddaughter. My knowledge and strength will flow through you and you will rise to your rightful place among us, as my heir. You will be Princess of Vampires until such times when I no longer walk this mortal world, then you will become Queen of Vampires. I know you will rule wisely, my child."

Emily's startled gasp was drowned out by the collective gasp from the room. She stared at the Royal being who was now her grandfather in shock.

"I never wanted this," she whispered hoarsely.

Alexander laughed. "To tell the truth, neither did I when it happened to me," he said with a conspiratorial wink at her which caused Emily to burst out laughing.

"It's the very fact that you do not seek this which makes it right that it happens," he continued, his face more serious. "What do you're instincts tell you, child?"

Emily closed her eyes and searched deep inside herself. Finally she smiled slowly and opened her eyes and took the vial from the King.

Alexander smiled broadly and gave her a gentle hug.

"This trial is concluded," he said quietly and turned and walked from the room.

Emily turned to Cullen and froze when she saw he was gone. She hurried across the room.

"Where is he?" she asked Dorian, her expression anxious.

"Maybe it's best if you give him some time, Emily," her adopted brother said softly. His expression was concerned. "All of this has been monumental, love," he sighed. "For all of us. It's going to take a lot of getting used to, more so for Cullen because you publicly rejected him and now when you join us, you will become Royalty."

"I had to do it, Dorian," Emily moaned, her face distraught. "For the reason's I told Alexander. I didn't want to hurt him. I had but a moment to find the one thing that would make him leave my side. I had to do it."

"We understand," Liam said softly. "Cullen will too, but you need to give him some time to calm down."

"I swore to him that I wouldn't run away if there was another problem. That I would stay and fix it," Emily said stubbornly. "I have to do that now, before it becomes too hard."

She hurried passed them and went looking for her husband.

Emily ran through Karpathia's looking for Cullen. He wasn't there. Heart pounding frantically she raced home, crying out his name as she entered the house.

She found him in the study. He stared at her as she entered the room, his beautiful face cold and hard. She flinched at the barely controlled violence she saw in his eyes.

"Cullen," she said softly, her voice trembling and her eyes pleading with him.

"I'm surprised you came home," he said coldly turning his back on her. "I would have thought you would have wanted to spend more time with your new grandfather."

"I want to be with you," she said quietly.

"How gracious of you, Emily. Does it make you feel good spending time with the peasants?"

"Cullen you're being ridiculous," she whispered. "I never expected that to happen. You must know that."

"Oh, must I?" he snapped, turning to face her. His golden brown eyes flashed with anger as he looked at her. "Is that a royal command wife?"

"Why are you being like this?" Emily moaned softly, her eyes filling with tears.

"Why indeed," he said softly, his voice heavy with menace. "I should be overjoyed that my wife publicly rejects me, makes me a laughing stock in front of all of my friends by sending me back to my seat like an errant child. I should be overjoyed that my wife breaks my heart by threatening to leave me if I do not obey her commands."

"I didn't mean it," Emily cried. "I just needed you to let me stand alone. It was the first thing that came to my mind. You know I don't want to be anywhere else but with you."

"I know nothing anymore, Emily," he hissed angrily. "I thought I knew you but I was obviously sadly mistaken.

He turned away from her again, his body language screaming his rejection of her.

"Get out," he said tiredly, his hands clenching at his sides. "Get out now, Emily, before I do something we'll both regret."

"We need to talk this through," she said, taking a deep breath and trying to steady her frantic nerves.

"What's to talk about, Emily?" Cullen asked coldly. "I thought Elizabeth's ambition was strong but you, well, you took ambition to a completely different level," he grated between clenched teeth.

She stared at him in confusion. Her fear was building steadily as she felt him slipping further away from her.

"I don't know what you mean," she stammered. "What has Elizabeth to do with this?"

Cullen suddenly whirled around and advanced on her menacingly. It took all her willpower to remain where she was as she saw the dangerous look in his eyes.

"Elizabeth's ambition was to be a vampire," he hissed. "She married me and used me to achieve her goal and then she tossed me aside as if I were nothing. But you, Emily, you seduced me with your sweetness and goodness, luring me into your little honey trap so that I would forget her deceit and marry you. So that you could rise high within the ranks of us to one day rule over us all."

"No," Emily moaned desperately. "That's not true, Cullen. You can't believe that."

"You clutch Alexander's vial tightly in your hand, even as the lies spill from your mouth," Cullen shouted, his voice harsh and alien to her.

Emily hadn't even been aware that she was still holding the vial.

"Take it," she cried, tears falling down her face as she thrust it out to him. "I don't want it, Cullen. I only want you."

"Liar," Cullen screamed, knocking her hand away from him.

Emily screamed in pain as she felt her wrist snap painfully. The vial fell to the floor as she stared at him in horror. Had he had just broken her wrist? He didn't appear to have noticed what he'd done or if he did know, he didn't seem to care.

"Cullen," she begged. "Please listen to me. I love you."

Her declaration seemed to incense him and his large hand wrapped around her throat, squeezing painfully.

"You got what you wanted, Emily," he growled furiously. "But you're still missing the last part. I'm sure you'll be able to talk someone into turning you, someone who hungers for power as much as you do. If you are waiting for me to do it then you will be sorely disappointed. The thought of being close to you sickens me to my very core. I want you out of my house by the time I return. I don't care where you go. Just get as far away from me as you can and I may not feel the need to hunt you down and break your beautiful little neck."

He threw her away from him and she fell heavily against the corner of the table. She cried out as her head connected with the hard wood. When she looked up Cullen was gone. She called to him frantically to come back. She heard the front door close loudly as she sank to the floor, clutching her damaged wrist. She felt wetness against her cheek and the hand she reached up came back bloody.

To be continued....


  1. OMG!!! What a killer of a cliffie!. Evil..... that's what you are. Pure torturing evil! ROFL! Now I must find something to distract myself from contemplating Cullen's demise. :o). :o)

  2. Aaaaaaaggghhhhhhhh.....

  3. Emily is a self serving b**** She most certainly had a choice; and, if Cullen was truly her soul mate she should have had him stand with her live or die She thought only of "herself" and the hell with Cullen who loved her with his heart and soul. She is not a heroine she is a narcissist. I am so done with this story.

  4. Wha?
    -- Geemeedee

  5. Sigh now I suppose you will make us wait for longer for the next installment, not to happy with this one with either her treatment of her husband or his of her. Ah well will wait for the guilt trips now I suppose!

  6. As others have said already, I can't say I like the way the story is going in this chapter. Unlike some others however, I will wait to see how you resolve the conflict.

    I saw similar issues in the Annie/Annakatrine character in the main storyline. She comes off as the BFG for the story, an all powerful character that does what she wants/feels is necessary and damn the consequence or anyone else's feelings.

    Sadly the male characters in BOTH stories have their pride and it wouldn't be at all unsurprising that they tire of her actions vampire queen or not.

    I would be willing to bet similar attitudes in the other story is what resulted in Annie getting killed the first time around and may well result in the same thing happening again.

    As for this version of Annie and Cullen it awaits to be seen.

  7. In all things, communication is the key. Pride is a prickly thing. I wonder in this version if death will bring about clarity. I learned a lot in this chapter. When a person stands on their own their seems to be a heavy price. When there is self doubt there is meticulous hateful self serving conversation. I think both Emily and Cullen need time apart because they clearly don't quite get each other. Blind love, conditional love, insecure love, love without respect or understanding is harmful. Emily was harsh in throwing those words at Cullen to make him back down. Cullen was equally harsh in not listening..., and reacting in a manner that tiredly is going to cause more pain than necessary. I actually want to throttle both of them, but I understand this situation. Sometimes when something is too good, it gets sabotaged. It may be a purposeful event or something quite accidental. But it can happen. When one partner is starting to be noticed outside of their marital or committed union, there can be some strife. It really is not a power struggle but actions based on fear and partial listening cause more harm than intended. More individuals are going to get involved in your "mess" and when calmer heads prevail there will be a lesson learned..., their just may not be a relationship to return to or grow from. If I am not mistaken, Emily's injuries may be fatal. Hmmmm.
    I am sadden by this chapter, it is a good story and I appreci your work, but I can't help shaking the thoughts that clarity may come a little to late. I hope I am wrong.