Gemma struggled to grasp what was being told to her. What was it exactly Orion had done? Something about a town, and water, and poison..... poison....
Oh, God.... he couldn't have....
Had her fiance really poisoned an entire town just to get revenge on some ignorant people for making rude remarks? Andrew had said that nothing would grow there, now, so obviously everyone had died, and swiftly. Maybe painfully, too. But.... why? What had they done besides be like most people?
She didn't know it, but her dark eyes were getting wider and wider and her face was growing paler and paler. Gerard, who looked rather shocked but still seemed to be in control of himself, glanced over and saw her. The next second, he had crossed to Orion and was shoving the taller boy towards her with all of his strength, which was a great deal for such a young boy. "Go," he ordered, "Go and talk to her. Now. Take her out and talk. Now. Or you'll lose her. I'll make sure of it..."
Orion found himself being manhandled by the smaller, younger boy. He almost protested, then he saw the look on Gemma's face. He took her, as Gerry ordered, and departed into the hallway. He couldn't think of what to say, but tried anyway.
"I'm...I'm not proud of it. There are many dark points in my life, but...you know what I'm capable of, now...I was young, and too smart for my own stupid good...Mother and father don't know...Andrew was too horrified to tell them about it. He had gone back to pick up a supply order we had placed and forgotten...I...I went with him. It was..."
He took a deep breath and steadied himself. His eyes went distant as he remembered the bloated bodies, the stench, and the buzzing of the flies.
Gemma barely even felt herself be led put into the hallway. She did her best to listen to Orion, but it was as if her mind was sliding away from her, still struggling to grasp the meaning of simple words and phrases. At the end of it, she looked up at him, her eyes still uncomprehending.
"But.... why?" she whispered, "Why would you do that? It... it makes no sense.... Tell me you're lying, Ri. Tell me! Please. Even if you're not, just... tell me you are, all right?" She threw her arms around him, trembling as her body fitted closely with his, feeling the beginnings of tears in her eyes. If this really was the truth, then she wanted none of it: a falsehood, any falsehood, was better than this....
Orion wrapped his arms around her, feeling like a kicked animal. His eyes, though she couldn't see them, were downcast and dark with sorrow. He hadn't known that they'd die like that, screams still stuck on their faces in the agony thoes of death. He couldn't think of anything to say that would qualify as a lie. Even if he could, he wouldn't have uttered it.
"I can understand if you don't want to be with me any longer. I've never felt-" He stopped himself. He couldn't lie and say that he'd never felt that kind of rage since then. Wasn't it only several weeks ago that he'd gone into a similar rage when he'd heard of Gemma's past?
"I've learned to control my temper since then. I can't offer you much more words than that...but thats when I became the closed mouthed, quiet, unemotional child who grew up into a quiet, emotionless, cold young man." He sounded bitter as he repeated words that Andrew had spat at him before.
Gemma pulled back again and her eyes flew up to meet Orion's. She could see the hurt there, the pain, the sorrow. Easy to read, plain to see, despite his words about having no emotions. "Not emotionless," she murmured, sniffing a little to hide her building tears, "Not cold. I can see that right now.... And earlier... that wasn't emotionless.... was it?"
She hesitated for a few seconds, then pulled away and began to walk along the hall toward the next room. If he really loved her, he would follow her, and that would be all she needed: his love. She would reward him for it, and they would move on. As simple as that... right?
Entering the room, which had a window-seat in the large window along one wall, Gemma sat down, the light behind her making her hair look like ice. She waited, her hands folded in her lap, to see whether Orion would come to her or not.
So had she learned to read through his facade or had he lost control of it around her? Either way, it was a quiet relief to know that she saw him as a complete person, not the broken mess that he sometimes, like now, thought himself to be. He watched her go down the hall and into the next room. Hurrying, he stuck his head back into Andrew's workroom.
"We'll be next door. Don't bother us unless its vital." He ducked back out and went to the next room. Gemma was beautiful in the indow seat, so Orion simply grabbed a stool from the work bench and perched upon it, observing her. He hadn't noticed that it left him almost gargoyle like in the shaded part of the room. He was too focused on Gemma to care, if he had noticed.
"So, now you know my darkest secret...I'm assuming you want others too."
He had followed her. So, in that much, he loved her. He was also offering to tell her more secrets, which was good of him, but the fact that he was so far away was unacceptable. Did he fear hurting her again? Maybe. Or maybe.... Gemma suddenly found herself blurting out the question that had been nagging her since the odd events that afternoon.
"What made you so nearly lose control earlier? What did I do to you? Or did I even do anything? I.... I didn't...." She felt herself blush, and tucked her knees up so that they were under her chin. "I didn't know I could do such things. At least, not to you. Others, perhaps, but.... please don't be mad at me for saying it, but I didn't even know you could feel that way, no matter what I did.... So, was it my fault? Or was it something else entirely? I fully expect it to be the latter, so don't feel bad for telling me the truth, that it was..." She looked down at her hands, which were folded on her knees, and waited for what she was sure would be the answer to her question.
Resting his elbows on his knees, Orion leaned forward with a smirk.
"Didn't think I could feel that way, eh? Hah...is that a subtle way of saying that I'm inhuman? I hesitate to say its your fault, but you were the..ahem...cause. I cast no blame however."
He leaned back and crossed his arms, still smiling like a cat with anchovies.
"You most definitely are attractive, and affect me as one would consider appropriate for such feelings, but that doesn't mean that you are able to ensnare my mind. So...hit me later if you wish, but I thought it prudent to hide the more...ah...physical signs to see if you were just trying to lead me like a puppy on a leash or if you were serious."
"Oh.... I-I see...." Gemma could tell she was blushing yet again as she awkwardly brushed her hair behind her ear. A cliched motion, she knew, but she needed something to do with her hands, and it was the only thing she could think of.
"I never said you were inhuman," she said slowly, "I just thought.... I didn't know... I couldn't tell you thought I was that attractive, all right?" Suddenly, words were coming in a confused torrent. "I mean, you've said I was pretty, but I didn't know you meant.... that you felt.... I just didn't know. And am I really that pretty? Sofi's much prettier, I'd say; she's a lot more...."
Gemma hesitated before putting her knees down and cupping her hands around her own small breasts. "You know what I mean. Boys like that better..... don't they? And I'm so thin.... I don't even have nice hips, or anything...." She broke off, biting her lip, unsure how or even whether she should go on.
Orion just stared at her for several long seconds while she disparaged herself. He listened intently, resting one elbow on his knee and then resting his chin on that hand. Finally, when even he felt that the atmosphere was getting tense from his lack of speaking, he spoke.
"What is a physical body? Particles and essences that make up the exterior of our being...it ages, gets scarred, and is never what we want it to be...the skinny girls want curves, the curvy girls want to be skinny...small breasts or large, no matter what a girl has she wants different. I've heard so much inane drivel about girl's bodies that it is almost to the point of driving me bonkers. What is attractive to me, more than the body, is the mind. You are sharp of wit and of tongue. You can hold a conversation. You drive me to be something more than what I aspired to be, or thought I could achieve. Sofi's body may be more what you consider the ideal, but...she's not the one sitting in the window having this conversation with me. She's not wearing my promise ring. She's not the future Miss Burgess, nor will she ever be. No offense meant in that statement."
Gemma listened to Orion's explanation with an odd feeling of lightness growing inside of her. So. He didn't mind how tiny she was, how fragle.... he still loved her.
Even if only for your mind, a part of her said snidely, but Gemma tried to ignore it. He'd said he didn't mind, and he always seemed to mean what he said. A small smile spreading across her face, she got up and walked slowly over to him, only stopping when her knees were touching his.
"Do you really mean it?" she asked softly, "You don't... you don't mind?" She knelt before him, putting herself more on a level with him, and took his hands. "Show me," she said simply, "Show me you don't mind. Do whatever you have to, just.... show me. Prove it...."
"I DID botch the words then..." He sighed and stood, pulling her up with him and into an embrace. He ran his hadns down her back, from her shoulders to her hips.
"I should have said that I found a woman with such backbone attractive,,,," His hands slowly went back up to her shoulders, digging into the muscles slightly in a light massage.
"One with the courage to square her shoulders to the world, and those same shoulders are strong beyond their years to bear responsiblity."
His hands then went up her neck, massaging the back of her neck. His fingers entwined in her hair. "And, of course, she'd need a good head on her shoulders, if she were to have any hope of understanding me...even to the point of seeing beyond the mask I wear..."
One hand traveled back to the small of her back and he pulled her into a strong kiss.
Gemma allowed herself to be pulled to her feet; she was smiling right up to the moment Orion began to touch her. After that, though, it took every ounce of restraint not to pull away and run as fast and as far as she could. She hadn't been touched like this since... since the terrible incident at Beauxbatons that had ended with her topless on a desk and helpless to stop the man intent on hurting her. This wasn't the same situation at all, of course, but her body had memories that conflicted with what her mind wanted.
She was gasping for breath as Orion slid his hands gently over her, and she whimpered, a pained little sound, when he kissed her so passionately. She couldn't help but rip away then, still gasping. "S-stop, Ri," she whispered, "P-please stop... just for a moment..." She tugged away, out of his arms, and went back to stand by the window, her body trembling slightly. "I hate that I'm so afraid," she went on finally, turning back to face him, "I hate it so much, but... I can't help it. But I don't.... I don't want to be."
She met Orion's eyes squarely, her pupils obvious in her dark eyes, huge with desire and fear. "I want you," she stated, her tone enough to make any man go mad for her, "But I don't know how to get what I want without losing my fear." She glanced away, and then back to him. "You could help me," she whispered, "Touch me again.... and then wait until I'm not afraid to let me go..."
Her breathing increased pace until Orion realized that she wasn't excited, the way he was. She was scared. The cut, emotionally, only deepened when she asked him to let her go, to stop touching her. He withdrew, physically and emotionally. Taking a step back from her, he watched with with little expression on his face. He bottled the emotions raging through him and showed nothing.
When she invited him back, he returned, but not as pasionately and openly as before. His touch was more tenative as he stood, emotionally, ready to retreat if she needed him to do so.
Gemma watched Orion carefully as she recovered from her burst of fear; she could see the momentary flicker of hurt in his eyes, which was quickly covered over by a neutral expression. This only made her feel worse, however, for it made her realize that she'd finally got what she'd been wanting all along: Orion had felt the passion she sometimes felt, had experienced the longing, the intense desire for more. She had taken that from him with her selfish fear, when so often it had been him pulling back from her.
I didn't know it felt this bad, though, she thought miserably, Or did he even feel bad, I wonder?.... She banished this thought from her mind as he approached her again, though this time it was noticeably different: he was cautious, not passionate, clearly wanting her to not feel frightened. This only made her more upset, for she was limiting him as well as letting him down.
He touched her, but so lightly she barely felt it; he seemed to be preparing to back off if necessary. Gemma choked back a sudden sob, throwing her arms around him in near despair. "I'm so sorry, Ri," she whimpered into his chest, "It's all my fault.... I'm so sorry...." She lifted her head to look up at him, tears streaming down her face. "Why can't I just get over this?" she nearly wailed, "Why am I afraid sometimes and not others? I wasn't scared earlier.... or a lot of times before.... what's wrong with me?" She pulled him close again and sobbed.
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Trevor Williams: And here's a shout box to use in the meantime, too!
Sept 4, 2014 20:16:38 GMT -8
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Nov 19, 2016 15:52:51 GMT -8
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