xhesika: (Caspius Van Dean)
[personal profile] xhesika
Texting dream officially makes sense to me. If I'm getting to a point in the story where one of the character's dialogue makes me want to cry and throw up at the same time it only makes sense that they apologize profusely in a dream.

None of the dialogue between Van Dean and Artemis is in the excerpt below, but it gives you a pretty good idea what bargains they're making. I'm leery of putting much of anything up on DA, or LJ at this point. The material certainly isn't as graphic as Chapter 50, but its crude and grim. Then there's the whole scene coming up where Van Dean does an excellent job of showing how serious he is over everything and I need to be careful with it or it could turn into another missing chunk of pages

Chapter Fifty-Four: Political Tool

Artemis was able to breathe a sigh of relief upon returning to Clovis, Kamen was not there to greet her at the pier, nor would he be present at her rooms when she retreated to them to wait for Delrocco to treat her bruises. Fosh would be stationed at her door for the time being, and she had agreed to let Pandomé remain at her side.

Artemis pulled her gown off, inspecting her body in the mirror and pushing at various spots of her slip for a better look before heaving a sigh and turning away from the object. She only had so many gowns that would manage to cover all of the marks, and even the slip she had now did an awful job of covering her; she could easily see the bites and bruises peeking over the top.

She needed Delrocco to heal the marks; the traditional dauphine attire would not cover her, and she needed for everyone to know that she was alright. Most of all she needed Kamen to think that she consented to everything, she couldn’t let him see her like this, his jealousy would spiral out of control and he would get himself into trouble that she would not be able to pull him out of.

There was a knock on the door, and she rushed to it, calling out as it opened before she could get to it, “Delrocco? Avery?”

Time seemed to stop the instant the door shut behind the man that entered, Artemis shut her eyes tightly and hung her head, wishing that her eyes were playing tricks on her.

Kamen stood motionless with his back on the door, having fallen back onto it at the sight.

She wanted to reach out for him, but held her hands back, “You shouldn’t be here.”

“The hell I shouldn’t.” He said softly, his eyes immediately drawn to the large purple marks. “What did he do to you?”

Artemis opened her eyes and immediately felt uncomfortable being so under-dressed with him, “It looks worse than it is.”

“It looks terrible.”

“It doesn’t hurt.” He reached a hand up to her and she jumped back the instant his hand grazed the bruise, “That one hurts.”

“D-did he….” Kamen’s voice trailed off, not wanting to speak his fears into existence.

“No, he didn’t.” Artemis swallowed hard, “I did.”

Kamen shook his head, “You don’t understand; he’s been manipulating you.”

“Of course he’s been manipulating me, but I did it for leverage. If he’s going to be underhanded then I’m going to have to rise to meet it.” She swallowed and let her eyes burn themselves into a patch of the door beside him, not willing to look at his broken expression, “Quid pro quo. This for that. I’m Dauphine, aren’t I? I’m just one big political tool, and I make deals, and I made this deal because I couldn’t stand to think of you dead somewhere.”

“Don’t tell me that.” He shook his head and took a step toward her, pulling her into his arms, “Don’t tell me you did it for some stupid selfless reason. Especially not for me.”

He took her head into his hands and kissed her. Not a desperate kiss like it had been the first time, nor devious as it had been when he tried to coax her to the haven, but softer. Soft enough for her to forget her charade of yelling at him and accept it, reaching up to grasp the front of his shirt.

“He’ll see us, and I won’t be able to protect you.” She said with her face still close to his.

“I don’t care.”

Shaking her head, Artemis forced the words out, “Don’t make everything for nothing.”

“I’m not; I’m kissing the woman I love.” He pressed his mouth back to hers. “I know the way to the Haven from here. Come with me.”

Artemis pushed him away the instant Delrocco shut the door behind her, offering a look of pity to the couple in the room as Artemis pressed her hand to her mouth.

Kamen bowed at the waist with his eyes focused on Artemis, offering a salute to Delrocco before leaving the room and starting down the hall.

“Covington!” Pandomé called out to him from down the hall, coaxing a questioning look from Fosh, still stationed outside the Dauphine’s quarters, “Stop right there.”

Kamen furrowed his brow and looked back at her, “Can I help you?”

“Aren’t you on a vacation?” She tilted her head to the side

“Am I not allowed to visit the Dauphine?”

“You made a threat to the Prince, don’t you remember?” She narrowed her black eyes at him.

Kamen swallowed hard and turned to her, knowing that she must have overheard him speaking with Van Dean only a few days prior. “Does that bar me from visiting the Dauphine?”

“As long as you talk of abductions, yes.” She gave him a hard look, “High General Covington, you are being detained under the…”

“Orders of Prince Caspius Van Dean.” Kamen continued for her, after hearing it once he doubted that he would soon forget it. He placed his hands on his head and began heading to Rei’s office, continuing the spiel he had memorized, “You will be detained under your superior until such a time when you are no longer a threat to the Unification, and the impending peace between Dalia and Clovis.”

Rei wrinkled his nose when he entered his office to find Kamen there yet again, “Are you fucking serious? Twice in the same week?” He turned and abruptly hit his head against the door he had just entered through, turning back to Kamen quickly, “I was High General for two thousand years, and do you know how many times I was detained?” He held up a single finger, “Once. Just once. And Nora Sybil immediately pardoned me.”

Kamen leaned forward in his chair, “Ask Artemis, she’ll pardon me.”

“Of course she would, but Van Dean isn’t letting anyone near her.” He made a noise that Kamen could only think was a disgusted laugh, “He said they were giving her the ambrosia to slow her breathing, I guess they were thinking it would be a temporary fix to the blight.” Rei said with a glare. He leaned against the wall and turned his head to glance out the window briefly, “Pandomé got you out of the way and now he’s ushered her away with him.”

“I can’t just sit here and let this happen. She doesn’t even know about the ambrosia, she thinks it’s her fault.” Kamen leaned into his hands. “Where are they?”

Rei’s eyes flickered to the window and back to Kamen, “The gardens, I see them now.” He gave a short huff through his nose, “I don’t like this Kamen. Not one bit. You’ve nearly destroyed everything Nora Sybil’s worked for.”

“She’s covered in bruises.” Kamen swallowed and clenched his jaw, “He raped her.”

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August 2012

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