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Subject: Chapter 228 - Part 1 (16 and above)

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Date Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 06:49:52am
In reply to: Katherine Gilbert 's message, "Dreams in the Dark (chapters 221--?)" on Monday, February 13, 07:24:07am

Extra warning: There's a very mild curse word here. I'll rate it 16 and above, just to be safe.

Dreams in the Dark (228/?)
by Katherine Gilbert

It had already not been a good day--all of it haunting her. She had had to tell her grandchild about the deception she had willingly--if sadly--taken part in, of the terror, the possible bereavement, the future held for her. The fact that that woman's husband had accepted the news with such strength and courage meant little. It was going to take Nikita far too long to get over this.

Adrian understood this truth, hated it, but had no way out anymore. The couple had departed about a half hour ago, little in the way of real detail conveyed. The thousand and one arrangements which awaited them all would have to be discussed another day. Only Michael could truly begin to salve the child's pain anymore.

She knew this fact every bit as much as she despised it--loathing Jones yet again, as she waited for her next guest, the night not over yet; it was impossible to get past. The "businessman" had now done his damnedest to ruin two generations of her family; her sigh was long. The fact that poor little Bobbie had been half-destroyed long before he had ever gotten his hands on her assuaged her little just now.

She couldn't help thinking about these facts, couldn't help hating him. As tortured as Roberta had been, she certainly hadn't deserved--hadn't been helped by--the presence in her life of "Mr. Jones." The actress shook her head, even the name ridiculous. She very much doubted if her daughter had even known his true one, the poor girl made into nothing but a whore yet again; the very thought sickened her--as much as it made her anger at herself grow. She really should have found some way to save her from that.

This truth went quite far back, to the day she had agreed to marry George--but that part of the problem went beyond all self-recriminations, far too large. There had just been too much pain and torture for her child--on every possible level--to even begin to make any of it right. No matter how deep her self-loathing, none of it could be changed.

She didn't examine these facts now--the effects of George's sickness on the girl far too well understood--focusing instead on another cruel man's role in Roberta's destruction. Of course, she could see, in a distant sort of way, the original causes of the attraction on the girl's part--if it could even be called that. He wasn't entirely lacking in looks, probably possessed a rather seedy sort of charm--much like the devil trying to attract a very virginal nun to his cause. But, even if Bobbie had been anything but untouched in those days--by her own decision and others'--he had still taken advantage of her; her mother's sigh lengthened. When compared to the multiple degradations the girl had learned to expect from men from the time of her earliest childhood, such supposed choice and charm had probably made him seem a very angel himself.

This thought made the woman's mother feel no better, her lingering horror over all of these facts quite great. Still, she could trace the girl's original attraction to the hideous man too easily. Roberta had been accustomed to men who used her without question or permission, to ones who considered her alone the one to blame if she didn't like what they did. Jones, at least, would have been more subtle than that. He had been looking for a mistress, had even wanted to believe that it was an affair based on love. And, even if it all came down to power in the end, he would have looked quite good in comparison to all the other men Roberta had been forced to know.

Such attraction could only be viewed in context, of course. But there *was* some up-side to the affair. Jones truly believed that Nikita was the offspring of the couple's love; Adrian sighed. Given all he had done to her already, it was difficult to imagine what he might try, if he thought he felt nothing for her at all.

She shook her head slightly, trying to dislodge such speculation--knowing it would only infuriate her. Delving too deeply into the man's mind was like diving into a sewer; she snorted softly. There was no need to aggravate herself any further today.

She tried to settle herself here, knew she had already seen enough. Her poor grandchild would be dealing with the repercussions of just their one, recent conversation for quite some time to come--its effects potentially devastating. And the fact that the older actress could do nothing for her didn't help her, either. But there was no way out anymore. It was only the woman's husband who had any chance of saving her now.

She gave a quick sort of prayer for the couple to whatever gods might be listening, having nothing more to offer. There were plans to come, of course, but they were very cold comfort. The woman might well lose her husband--certainly *would* lose him, for many months or years, depending on the length of the war. And there was just nothing that a very guilty conspirator could say in the face of that truth.

Adrian had already allowed the two to wander off--knowing they needed their home, their time to heal. But the fact that the pair were scheduled to be on a pre-Christmas tour with Shears so soon was also very little consolation; her breath slipped out quietly. But she supposed there was little of this quality to be found in the world anymore.

There was no way to be soothed by this fact, her mind turning quickly, needing to look into what lay ahead. The pair were already being prepared for Michael's departure by the studio, would be forced to face the inevitable soon enough; how Madeline had managed to talk Paul into it, she would never know. But none of that really mattered. All she could do was try to get everyone she loved through what lay ahead.

One of these tasks was her meeting with her soon-to-arrive guest. It had taken long enough, really--his silence to her rather worrying. For any of their hopes to work, she needed him to be what she thought he was; her heart thumped once. If she had been mistaken . . .

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Chapter 228 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 228)KatherineG.Wednesday, March 15, 06:52:04am

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