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Subject: And you thought Aralias was a psycho BEFORE this...

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Date Posted: 19:58:02 08/04/03 Mon

He yawned and stretched, cat like, the tips of his fingers brushing Faeirex’s hair. Aralias allowed himself a small grin of triumph before shading his eyes and peering into the murky morning. Fae had not moved but then he had not expected her to have done so and Arwen was breathing gently, a look of pain etched across her features, from where he had woken her continuously through the night detailing his plan. He smiled again now that it was clear no one could see, rolled onto his back and pulled himself into a sitting position. He glanced quickly at the sun and then back at the sleeping women. If his calculations were correct, and they usually were, Arwen would not regain control of herself for another eight hours. A faint step to his left informed him the elven search party were still moving softly through the forest. It was time.
“Wake up Arwen.”
Still within the potion’s trawl her eyes snapped open and he saw they were full of hatred. “Now that won’t do,” he chided gently, the mocking grin growing over his face. “Stand up.” She did so and he rose to stand opposite her. “What are you feeling?”
“Hatred. Despair.”
“Mmm, I thought you might be.” He reached out a slender finger and caressed the side of her face. “As I said Arwen, that will not do. Remember we were almost husband and wife.” He smiled again and ran his finger over her lips. “Do you ever think about it?”
“No.” The truth.
He scowled, removed his hand from her mouth then realised that she didn’t matter and his good humour returned. “No, neither do I.” He leaned forward and brought his lips to hers, crushing them against her, deepening the kiss. He brought his hands to her head and buried them in her hair; still she stood there, unmoving. Drawing back slightly he murmured, “come on Arwen respond.”
She pulled away.
He looked at her wordlessly for a moment then brought his hand up to his stinging cheek. She was a meter away, trembling with anger that he would not allow her to express. “Don’t…. touchm-” He stared in open amazement as she swallowed and tried again. Nobody had ever managed to fight it off before. “Don’t… touch meagain.”
Still fingering the bruise that was almost certainly forming over his cheekbone he raised his eyebrows, then lowered them again as his brow furrowed in concentration. “I must admit I’m impressed, my dear.” She was still shaking. “Yes,” he muttered moving back over to his packs. “Very impressed.”
He rummaged through the various vials before finding another identical to the one he had offered her yesterday. “Drink this.” Her hand stretched towards it though it was clear she was struggling against it. And winning, he realised in astonishment. He did not have eight hours, even with the second draught, which she was now finally taking. She handed the empty bottle back to him silently and Aralias pocketed it. “Alright. I’m going to lower the barrier now,” he explained needlessly. “When that happens your brothers and your husband will almost certainly find us within the hour. When that happens you must do as I have instructed or your child will never see the light of day. Understand?”
“You need him,” she hissed.
“Not as much as I value my own, preferably continued existence. Play your part well and Eldarion will live to a ripe old age.” There was no need for an if not, they both knew what would happen if she failed. “Ready for the family reunion?”
She nodded once.
“Good girl. Mount up.”
He moved to the other side of the fire and gathered Faeirex into his arms, placing her in Lemi’s saddle then climbing easily up behind her. He tugged the reins lightly and they moved away. “Oh and Arwen,” he turned back to face her. “Never hit me again, understand?”

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