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ghosts will haunt my bones

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Jaesa Willsaam, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    JUNE 2, YEAR 7
    EARLY MORNING
    @Perrin Aybara




    There were still tears, wet on her cheek, as Jaesa finally returned to where her ship loomed over the abandoned warehouses at the edge of town. Although hours had passed since she'd left the hotel room and her former Master behind, she had spent all that time wandering the streets, sobbing as she tried to come to terms with what had happened, tried to wrestle away thoughts and memories of the previous night; of an almost violent harshness, hungry kisses and entangling bodies, long hair of light and dark mingling together against the sheets, of teeth grazing skin and hands pinning down.

    What had she done? Who had she become? Two years she'd fought against her former Master's influence over her, fighting to control the monster that he had made of her. Over time she'd believed she'd succeeded, that maybe she could do well out in the world without a Master, controlling her own fate. That maybe she could be a good person again.

    And then he had come along, toying with her for months as she believed him to be his doppelganger, one he'd likely killed to keep his identity secure as he played her. And the rage of finding out... In that rage, the control of her darker impulses had slipped, that monster howling free as she had attacked him. She'd tried to back away, but he'd known what to say, like he always did, his words getting under her skin, making her resistance crumble away until she had betrayed her loving, loyal boyfriend in the worst way.

    You enjoyed every moment, that pernicious little voice whispered in the back of her mind. All that hunger and need and pain... You'd missed that. You can't deny that to yourself, not after what you did. The voice had been picking at her for hours, reminding her how much she'd enjoyed it, how much she'd craved what she never got from Wolfgang because Wolfgang was decent while she was a mess. She'd never hated herself more than she had in those moments of betrayal, and the hours of wandering that followed, unable to stop crying.

    Her shoulder hurt, where she'd been injured by that beast earlier in the evening, but she barely noticed. What she couldn't shake was the way the rest of her body hurt, the exhausted soreness of muscles that had been spent in the throes of an entirely fucked up passion that should never have existed. He'd hurt her like he always hurt her, because he wasn't gentle, not when he wanted her the way he always had, for whatever reason she'd never truly understood, not when he was an ageless spirit and she just... just a mortal. She'd forgotten what it was like to be the subject of such an animalistic and savage desire. She'd forgotten the thrill of it. The terrible, hateful thrill that had gripped her just as surely as her fury and hatred had.

    Up ahead, her ship lay around the corner from the warehouse ahead, though she could see the top of it looming, seeming almost crouched like a red and white beast, above the top of the building. As she approached her ship, the sense of someone familiar up ahead brushed against the Force before he even came into view. Someone she'd been avoiding for months even without realising it. Perrin. She stopped, and she turned away, not wanting to face Perrin now, not that morning when she still wore bloodied clothes and hadn't showered since what she'd done with her former Master. But just as she could sense him, so too could he smell her.


     
    #1 Jaesa Willsaam, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  2. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Jaesa had been acting strange for months now, which Perrin had initially chalked up to another bad mood taking over her again. Considering everything she’d been through, her mood was never something steady. It ebbed and flowed like a river, twisting and turning in unpredictable ways. Some days Jaesa was talkative and cheerful, grinning from ear to ear. Other days she was soft-spoken and closed off, unwilling to share much. It was something Perrin had gotten used to over the years, even though he sometimes worried he came off too strongly when peppering her with text messages that went unanswered for days. But he’d already made the mistake of falling out of contact with Anna when she’d needed him the most, and now... now, they were no better than strangers. It wasn’t something he wanted to risk happening with Jaesa, so he always made sure to send her texts a couple of times a week.

    But he hadn’t seen her in person since the end of April, and he hadn’t gotten any texts back from her in weeks. Suffice it to say that he was worried, more than worried. What with all the issues concerning doubles running around over the past few months -- even though recent reports suggested they had abruptly stopped a few days ago -- Perrin couldn’t help but worry that something might have happened to her. He knew she had a darker side to her, one that thrived on violence -- had met her years ago, in fact -- and even though he knew Jaesa could take care of herself, how would she fare against herself? Light, anything might have happened to her in the weeks she hadn’t replied.

    First he went to her apartment, but he didn’t find her there and she didn’t come, even though he waited for a solid hour and then some. His next stop was her ship, but he didn’t find her there either. He waited for another hour or so, rubbing his bare forearms uncertainly against the slight chill in the air. But just when Perrin was wondering where to look for her next, he caught a familiar scent in the air and turned, his sharp eyes catching Jaesa walking towards him. Her movements were stiff, her face streaked with tears, her shirt soiled with blood and... and other familiar scents reached his nose, making his eyes widen and his breath catch in his throat.

    “Jaesa,” he gasped, leaping to his feet and running forwards. Blood and ashes, she was covered in blood, cuts and bruises. And that scent that lingered about her was... Sauron’s.

    This was worse than he’d originally feared. So much worse.

    “It’s okay, I’ve got you.” He hovered close, close enough to touch without touching her because he didn’t know how she’d react to touching, and led her towards the ship. “It’s okay, it’s going to be okay.”

     
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  3. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Even as soon as she turned and began to walk away, she heard his footsteps thumping against the asphalt as Perrin ran over to her. She could sense his shock, concern, and fear. Emotions that didn't fit with the circumstances. Anger and disgust, those were what he should have been feeling. They were what she felt.

    She didn't quite realise the assumption he had internally jumped to. While she knew about his ability to smell feelings, she had no reason to realise that he could actually smell the scent of sex that lingered around her, clinging shamefully to her skin and her clothes. Nor did she expect that he would actually remember Mairon's scent after two years. He had never impacted Perrin near as much as he had Jaesa, after all.

    As Perrin approached, Jaesa considered just running, not wanting to deal with this, but if she ran that would just make Perrin more concerned, and he would come after her. He was a tenaciously stubborn man, who would not simply sit back while his friend fled, bloodied and in tears. So she reluctantly drew to a stop, flinching not from how close he was but from his words.

    "No," she said, her voice little more than a hoarse whisper. Her throat hurt from the sobbing she had been doing over hours. It felt... raw. Painfully raw. "It's not okay, Perrin." How could anything be okay? She loved Wolfgang with all of her heart, and yet... and yet she had slept with another man.

    Not just any man, either. Mairon, the very same who was behind her masses of scars and the brand at her waist, that he had taken particular care in lavishing attention upon a few hours earlier. The very man she had given everything to only to be treated cruelly and tortured. He'd come very close to apologising for that, expressing genuine regret that he had treated her so and driven her away from him.

    She was going to have to tell Wolfgang. She couldn't hide this. Not from him. Tears trickled down her cheeks again as she tried to mask a sobbing noise deep in her throat. There was no way he'd look past this. He'd hate her. So would Perrin if he knew. "It's never going to be okay."


     
    #3 Jaesa Willsaam, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  4. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    She flinched when Perrin got close, so he stepped back to give her some breathing space. But he still hovered close and led her to the ship, his brow creased in a worried frown. Everything about her appearance screamed that someone had found her, had hurt her. If it weren’t for Perrin’s keen sense of smell, he would have never realized it was Sauron. His scent was all over her, all the cuts and bruises surely his handiwork. But her words made Perrin’s throat go tight, made his insides writhe with fear and anger in equal measures.

    “It will be okay,” he insisted, stopping in front of the ship so Jaesa could input the code to get them inside. His insistence wasn’t out of stubbornness, or any desire to pressure her. Perrin couldn’t understand what she was going through, no matter how much he wished he did, but her scent was a chaotic jumble of grief and loathing. What he did know what she needed to hear was that it would be okay, so that she didn’t get trapped in thinking that she’d hit rock bottom.

    Jaesa didn’t move, not at first. But eventually, she inputted the code and the ramp slid open with a hiss. Perrin led her inside, busying himself by ushering her to a seat at the table in the corner while he fetched a first aid kit he knew she had lying around. Sometimes, they would hang out on her ship, so he knew the lay of the land, so to speak. Keeping himself busy prevented him from asking questions he knew Jaesa was in no shape to answer just then, even though his fear at Sauron being back made him struggle to breathe evenly, like a cork was lodged in the back of his nose.

    He found the kit and poured her a glass of water, returning with both and sitting next to her, mindful of keeping some space between them. “I’m going to check over your injuries now, all right?” Just then, he noticed the bandage on her shoulder. Crisp, meticulous. Fresh. His fear ebbed, replaced by the creeping sensation of dread. “Where else are you hurt?” he asked, voice hesitant. Uncertain.

     
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  5. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    His insistence that it would be okay irrationally made her anger rise. She'd done something terrible, something awful - how could anything be okay after that? Bad enough that she'd betrayed Wolfgang, who had only ever been there for her, loyal and steadfast and reliable. But she'd been... She had lost control. All that effort she'd put into trying to be good, unravelled by her own fury and passions. She'd lashed out at Mairon, wanted to hurt him, wanted to... He'd told her to make him beg for her mercy only to deny it, and oh how she'd wanted to, to ravage him until he pleaded with her the same she had with him two years ago.

    That was not the Jaesa she thought she'd become. That was the darker Jaesa, who had come out of hiding so easily, as though all that time of fighting her back had never even happened.

    His words slithered through her mind, whispers that she could not ignore: "...Perhaps it is fear. Fear that they will abandon you if they knew what you still are. Oh if they saw what you were doing not moments ago...Shame. You are so much better than that."

    She had refused to acknowledge the words when he'd spoken them to her, but she was afraid, for that very reason. She feared what Wolfgang and Perrin would think of her if they knew what she'd done. They would abandon her. She just knew it.

    And wasn't that exactly what she deserved?

    Jaesa was aware of Perrin's questions, but she didn't answer immediately. "No," she said again after several moments, shifting where she had seated herself on one of the curved couches in the mess hall. The small cuts on her palms from where her nails had dug into her flesh stung as though to remind her of her lie, but she kept her hands still, palms down against her lap, hoping he wouldn't notice the blood that ran between her fingers and try to take a look. She didn't want the cuts looked at. She needed them. Needed the pain. Needed to hurt for what she'd done.

    She fell silent for what seemed like forever, staring ahead of her, clearly fighting with herself as she tried to figure out what to say. He would start the questions eventually, asking her what had happened, and she couldn't lie, not properly. "I... I shouldn't have..." She grit her teeth, shaking her head. I shouldn't have ever let him into my life. The damage was done. She'd slept with him, and he knew everything about her. He'd be back again soon enough. The question was what would happen when he was. "I did something... bad. Really bad."


     
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  6. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Perrin snapped the first aid kit shut, but he didn’t call her out on her obvious lie. The blood on Jaesa’s shirt and all the cuts and bruises were enough of a giveaway, and if she thought that placing her hands on her thighs was going to keep him from noticing the blood staining her fingertips, she was fooling herself. Maybe that was exactly what she needed, though. Some time to pretend that this hadn’t happened, that this was just a bad dream she was going to wake up from.

    As much as he wanted to give Jaesa the opportunity to indulge in such a fantasy, the looming threat of Sauron being back made Perrin shift in his seat, anxious. All this time, he’d assumed that Sauron had vanished, or else he’d have tried like this something sooner. But now he wasn’t so sure anymore, not with Sauron getting his hands on Jaesa like this again. Why had he let her go, then? Or had she been a prisoner to his whims all this time and only just managed to escape?

    Guilt churned in Perrin’s gut, close to nauseating. He should have realized something was wrong sooner, should have realized that Jaesa’s silence had held something more sinister behind it. But how could he have known? Blood and ashes, how could Jaesa have known? They had both believed that Sauron was gone, that he’d vanished the same as others had.

    Fools, the both of them.

    When Jaesa started to speak again, Perrin shifted his attention back to her. He leaned forwards, threading his fingers together to keep himself from accidentally reaching out to reassure her with a comforting touch. It would not be welcome after the hell she went through. But her last words made Perrin’s brow furrow in confusion, not understanding what she was saying.

    “If you mean what he did to you, that’s not your fault,” he told her firmly. Had the goat-kissing bastard gotten in her head again? He must have, for her to be spewing such nonsense. “You did nothing wrong, Jaesa. It’s all on him, it’s always been all on him.” Perrin leaned forwards, reaching for her before he remembered himself and drew his hand back. “We’ll figure something out, I promise.”

     
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  7. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    There were so many things Jaesa wished she'd done differently. She wished she'd never stuck around to speak to the warmer, purer doppelganger of Mairon the first time she'd met him in March. She wished she hadn't had a night of drinking with him, because making plain she didn't mind him in her life when he was so decent and pure and good had opened the door for her former Master to slip in and quietly switch places. She wished she hadn't started to trust the doppelganger enough to feel comfortable in his presence without continuing to check his true nature.

    If she'd just kept on reading him, she'd have caught him out... He wouldn't have had the chance to befriend her, or cause that little blossoming attraction she had ignored for weeks. He wouldn't have had chance to draw her to his hotel room, to masterfully speak the words necessary to start bringing down her walls.

    Most of all, she wished she'd just left. None of this would have happened if she'd just left.

    But what then? He had told her he wouldn't force himself on her, that he didn't find conquests by force fun, and indeed he had never forced her... But that didn't mean much. If she'd left, he would just have found some other way to wriggle beneath her defences. She knew him better than most, by virtue of her ability with the Force. This was what he had perfected. Even if she'd left him in that hotel room without doing anything with him, she wouldn't have been rid of him. She wasn't rid of him even now. His shadow seemed to loom over her, an ever-present menace. When would he next appear, she wondered?

    Realising what Perrin was saying, Jaesa blinked in confusion. "How did you...?" Her expression turned to surprise, and a little chagrin. "You remembered his scent? After all this time?" She shook her head. She could hardly talk on the matter. The moment Mairon had first kissed her in that room, she had been transported, remembering exactly how he tasted to know that he tasted the exact same. The way she had loved, once.

    She fell silent again, grimacing at Perrin as he tried to assure her that she wasn't at fault. Oh, she was so far at fault, he had no idea. Perhaps she could have been called a victim, a mortal at the hands of an ageless being so masterfully adept at manipulation. But she didn't feel like a victim. Not when she'd been just as rough with him as he had with her, just as hungry, just as needy, just as savage. A side of her she had completely hidden from Wolfgang.

    "You're... you're wrong, Perrin," she said, gritting her teeth and forcing the words out. "It's not all on him. He just said the right words, nudged me along in the right way." She looked at him, then, disgust and self-loathing flickering in her eyes and heavy in her voice. Did Perrin believe that Mairon had attacked her? Did he think he had forced himself on her? It would have been so easy to let him believe that, to drink in the sympathy instead of the inevitable disappointment. But she didn't want sympathy. Was there anyone who deserved it less? But she could not help her hope that Perrin would understand, the same way he'd understood that she'd done terrible things in the past. "He gave me an out. I didn't take it."


     
    #7 Jaesa Willsaam, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  8. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Perrin sighed, shoulders sagging. Wondering how to answer that yes, he’d always remember Sauron’s scent. He’d always remember how dangerous he smelled, because in the early days of Sauron — or Mairon, as he’d called himself — trying to get into Perrin’s good graces, he’d completely masked his scent. Perrin hadn’t really noticed its absence either, not when the forge always smelled like smelted metal. But he’d picked up on it eventually, had smelled it about Jaesa after he’d helped her flee. It was a scent he’d never forget, much like he’d never forget Philip Blake’s scent.

    “Yes,” he finally said, opting for the simple, direct answer. Leaving it at that as he went on to reassure Jaesa that it wasn’t her fault, that they’d find a way to get past this. Reassuring her was all he could really do at this point, especially when her emotions were such a jumbled mess. He ought to tend her injuries but the expression on her face and the twist to her scent made him clench his fingers together, made him hold himself back. Made him wait until she finally started to speak, started to explain. Her scent filling with the oily, greasy stench of self-loathing as she went on.

    “It is his fault,” he said, voice gentle but firm. “You’ve told me yourself, he’s a master at manipulation. Any fault you feel is just his influence, nothing more.” Perhaps Perrin was being obstinately stubborn about the whole thing, but he couldn’t picture a scenario in which Jaesa would willingly succumb to such an abusive situation again, no matter how much a part of her might still desire it. “Whatever out he gave you was orchestrated by him, you know this.”

     
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  9. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Despite her hope that Perrin would understand, the way that he responded simply... it infuriated her. This wasn't him understanding the situation as a whole, accepting what had happened but understanding why. No, this was Perrin stubbornly viewing things the way he expected, the way he wanted. Even though she'd said otherwise, he still believed that she wasn't at fault, that she'd been made - however indirectly - to sleep with Mairon.

    She knew she shouldn't have wished for that to be the case, but she really did. Maybe she wouldn't hate herself so much if she'd had no choice in the matter.

    But there was no changing the fact that she'd had a choice. Maybe there were other things she hadn't - maybe if she'd rejected him, he'd have kidnapped her like he had once before - but in what happened between them? Yes, she'd had a choice in that. And she needed to own up to it, not let Perrin sit there in his stubborn refusal to believe that she hadn't done anything wrong. Because she'd done everything wrong.

    "It was quite a clear cut out, Perrin," she said, shaking her head. What kind of out did he think she'd been given? "I could have just left, because he wouldn't have forced me. He's never forced me, in all the times we've--" She snapped her jaw shut with a click of teeth, not wanting to finish that sentence. But her point was there. Perrin thought she'd been forced into it in some way, but that wasn't how Mairon did it. Even when she'd rejected him in the last weeks of her time with him, after she'd first met Wolfgang and spent nights with him, Mairon had never forced the issue. She knew it wasn't through any kindness on his part, but that fact remained. She could always say no to him, at least where sex was concerned if nothing else. He didn't like it, but she could have said no.

    "Whatever fault it is of his, it's mine as well," she continued, her voice earnest and firmer than it had been, and heavy with that same self-loathing. That hatred she felt for herself because she knew she'd messed up. She blamed herself, and she needed Perrin to blame her too. Once he did, she hoped he'd understand, but she couldn't just sit there and let him pile all the blame onto Mairon when she had kissed him after he'd told her she could always leave. "I'm not innocent here, Perrin. I wish I could say I am, but I'm not."


     
    #9 Jaesa Willsaam, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  10. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Stubborn as Perrin was, he felt that Jaesa needed his stubbornness in this situation. She was full of so much disgust, so much self-loathing, that he genuinely thought that she couldn’t see the situation clearly anymore. That she was trapped in the past, trapped in Sauron’s masterful manipulations. She’d never told him everything Sauron had done to her, but she’d told him enough for him to know how devious Sauron was, how easily he could twist a situation to his favor. Jaesa had been in love with him for a long, long time. Still was, Perrin suspected. But it was still manipulation, still Sauron preying on her lingering feelings for him, twisting them to his own purpose.

    Why the bloody ashes was Sauron so fixated on Jaesa anyway? Even a new Sauron such as this? It made Perrin’s eyes narrow briefly, the only explanation he could come up with being Jaesa’s abilities. Were they really that fascinating to a creature like Sauron?

    Jaesa’s scent shifted to something angry, Perrin’s focus returning to her. But at her words, Perrin’s brow furrowed in confusion. Dread started to creep up his spine, his mouth slowly dropping open. Never forced her? Did that mean that she willingly slept with him? No, that couldn’t be right. Yes, Jaesa no doubt had lingering feelings for Sauron, feelings that must have been rekindled, but she knew Sauron’s ways. She knew how Sauron worked, knew that he’d twist the situation in his favor. Besides, she was happily involved with Wolfgang, wasn’t she? She loved him dearly, she wouldn’t have — couldn’t have — slept with Sauron without realizing what she was getting into.

    “But Jaesa, even if — even if he didn’t force you, didn’t keep you there against your will, he — he weaved it all in his favor.” He paused, searching her eyes, that same dread rising to his throat like bile. “Didn’t he?” he asked, voice a touch uncertain.

     
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  11. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    He was right on every count, of course. Her former master had preyed on her, preyed on every little bit of attachment for him that she had long ago buried, and preyed on her emotional fragility and difficulty to control herself once something happened that pushed her so far over the edge of rage that she just saw red. Something like finding out the truth about his deception. He'd preyed on her all along, and she was a victim in this situation.

    But she was not innocent. So much of this lay on her shoulders as well as his, and she hated herself for that as much as she hated him. She'd still betrayed Wolfgang, and she was still going to have to tell him. Only, she knew Wolfgang would never react this way if he knew Mairon was involved. If he knew Mairon was involved, he'd never forgive her because he didn't understand anything when it came to that creature.

    Jaesa blinked at Perrin's question, confused. "Of course he did," she said blankly, frowning. "He created the entire situation and knew exactly what to say and do to start knocking down my walls. It was completely calculated, all of it, I know that." She let out a sigh, running her hand up her face until her fingertips rubbed at her forehead.

    "But that doesn't change anything," she said, and as she continued, her voice thickened, until it sounded like she were on the edge of tears all over again. And sure enough, her eyes were prickling. "His calculations and manipulations don't change the fact that I didn't leave when I could have. They don't change the fact that I kissed him more than once, or the fact that god help me, I enjoyed it." The last words were all but spat out, but they were the truth. The nauseating truth. She'd hated what she'd been doing all the while that she'd been doing it, but the feel of it? The savagery and near desperation from him that she hadn't experienced since before? She'd enjoyed that.

    And she could never forgive herself for that.


     
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  12. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Well, since it was all carefully calculated on Sauron’s part, then that meant that it still wasn’t Jaesa’s fault. She was nothing but a victim in all this, even if she didn’t see herself as innocent. Even if she blamed herself, even if all she saw was her mistakes.

    Perrin’s skin prickled when Jaesa sounded like she was on the verge of tears, when she admitted to enjoying kissing and being with Sauron. It wasn’t a concept that Perrin could easily wrap his mind around, not when the only person he’d ever loved like that was Faile. But he imagined you could never truly let go of someone you’d loved, even if you knew that someone wasn’t good for you.

    Still, she’d been with Wolfgang for two years now, hadn’t she? Didn’t she love Wolfgang? If she’d loved him, why had the stayed with Sauron? Why hadn’t she taken the out when Sauron had given it to her? Why hadn’t she resisted, why hadn’t she—?

    No, thinking like that was dangerous. She was still the victim inn all of this, even if she hadn’t seen what was happening at the time. It was always harder to realize you were being manipulated in the heat of the moment, Perrin knew.

    “It’s not your fault,” he repeated firmly, seeking out her gaze. “He preyed on your weaknesses, that’s not — that’s not your fault at all. Don’t you see? He knew you wouldn’t be able to resist him, he must have been counting on it. He was even counting on your enjoyment, I’m sure. Probably so you could sit here and blame yourself afterwards.”

    But what was Sauron’s plan? Why had he let Jaesa go afterwards? Why hadn’t he kept her imprisoned, the same way he had years ago? What the bloody ashes was his endgame?

     
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  13. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She couldn't help the way that she stared at him as he spoke, incredulous and disbelieving. He was still stubbornly going on about how it wasn't her fault, about how Mairon preyed on her lingering attachment and how he'd known she wouldn't be able to resist him. But Perrin's own words betrayed just how much at fault she was. That she hadn't been able to resist him in the first place, that was on her. She was in a loving, stable relationship with a man who meant the world to her. And she hadn't been able to resist someone else.

    But that's exactly why you couldn't resist him, that very same insidious little voice that had whispered to her at other points the previous evening, egging her on, murmured in the back of her mind. He gives you things Wolfgang doesn't because Wolfgang is too much of a decent man to treat you that way, with such savagery. And that's what you enjoyed.

    Shoving that voice away with a deep breath, Jaesa felt her temper rising, at herself and that voice and at Perrin for being so fucking naive. Naive and faithful, when she wasn't, when what she needed was blame.

    "No, Perrin," she snapped, her hands curling into fists. She winced at the sudden shooting pains in her palms as her nails grazed those wounds they'd cut into her skin earlier. "Don't you see? None of that matters, because I should have been able to tell him no, I should have been able to walk away and go back to Wolfgang." Her voice cracked as she said his name. "But the fact that I didn't, the fact that I couldn't resist Mairon, says everything about me."

    Her hands were trembling, she realised, from pain and anger and self-loathing, and her eyes were burning with something similar to the rage she'd felt when she'd attacked Mairon, when she'd slammed him against the wall and pinned him there by the collar. When he'd kissed her even as she'd held him there, and everything had felt like it had fallen apart right there.

    "I messed up. This is on me," she growled. "I enjoyed it, Perrin. I wanted it, and I wanted him. He brought things out in me I thought were gone forever." That desire to hurt. She'd wanted to hurt Mairon so badly. He'd encouraged her, had wanted her to make him beg for her mercy and she'd almost done it. How much she'd wanted to feel his pain as they tangled together had been a feeling she hadn't felt in a long, long time. Just thinking about it made her feel sick. "He told me I could leave if I didn't want him, and you know what I did? I kissed him instead. It's my fault, Perrin. He told me I've been hiding who I really am for the sake of you and Wolfgang, and maybe he's right, because a good person wouldn't do what I did."


     
    #13 Jaesa Willsaam, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  14. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara The Wheel of Time

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    Mairon. Blood and ashes, she called him Mairon, not Sauron. Perrin stared at her, eyes wide. No, this was wrong. This was wrong, she couldn’t already be under his sway. She couldn’t already have been so thoroughly manipulated that she was thinking of him as Mairon instead of Sauron. He would have even pointed it out if she hadn’t gone on to claim she wasn’t a good person, that Sauron was right that she was — what, hiding who she was?

    “Then why did you do it?” he demanded, spreading his hands. “If you knew this was wrong, why didn’t you take the out he gave you? Why didn’t you — ?” He cut himself off, rubbing his beard in frustration. No, this was — she was the victim, he shouldn’t be blaming her.

    But blood and ashes, Sauron had weaved this all perfectly, hadn’t he? So perfectly that now the whole thing sounded like it was Jaesa’s fault for not taking the out he gave her, for being unable to resist him. Earlier, she’d even said that Sauron had never forced her into sleeping with him. Did that mean that if she’d refused, he would have let her go? That she wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place?

    It was an important distinction. No, it was a vital distinction. The difference between how much had been Sauron’s cold-blooded manipulation... and how much had been Jaesa’s own feelings, her own inability to resist him. Because she’d never stopped loving Sauron, had she? Never stopped wanting him, even after all this time. Thinking about Wolfgang made Perrin’s face twist, and he was out of his seat and on his feet before he even knew it.

    “So you’re saying that — what, that — that you’re a bad person for giving in?” he demanded, starting to pace. “That these past two years you’ve tried to get better, that you’ve tried to get over everything that monster did to you — what, that none of that even matters? That you’d just been — what, faking it?” Spreading his hands incredulously, he stopped and turned to face her. “That you’re bad because you were weak? Jaesa, if everyone was bad in their weakest moments when a bastard like Sauron — not Mairon — was manipulating them, then we’d all be bad!”

     
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  15. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She called him Mairon because that was who he had always been to her. He'd never been Sauron to her; it was habitual that she always thought of him as and called him Mairon. It was his name, after all. She had never thought of him as Sauron any more than she had thought of him as Gorthaur, another name she'd heard prisoners originating from his own world use. Maybe that said a lot about her and the hold he held over her. Maybe it didn't.

    There was nothing but silence in response to Perrin's question of why she had done it. She'd already answered to the best of her ability. Because she'd wanted it. Wanted him. Because when it came right down to it, she was still as weak to him as she always had been. Because he could still stir things within her that she thought were long gone.

    And new to that evening had been her desire, borne of rage at his manipulations, to dominate. To take from him the way he'd always taken from her. When they had wound up on the bed, tangling together, it had been violent, both of them seeking to simultaneously dominate and submit to the other, resulting in control being held in a tenuous and primitive balance between them for the first time.

    It had been a far, far cry from all the nights she'd spent with Wolfgang. And she'd liked it.

    How could she ever explain that to Perrin? It was too personal. Too terrifying.

    "Of course I am," she said blankly at Perrin's confusion. "Perrin, I... I was unfaithful to my partner. To a man who has loved me in a way no one else has. And I betrayed him. How does that not make me a bad person? What if it was Faile in my place?" If it was his girlfriend who had spent the night with another, Perrin would have been furious. Would he have been able to see past the betrayal? Jaesa didn't think so. Perrin was quite strict with his morals, where his Wolfbrother nature wasn't involved.

    "I wanted to hurt him," she continued quietly. "I wanted to really hurt him, to make him howl in ways I haven't done in so long. He wanted me to as well because he knows that's who I am. That it's in my nature and I can try and conceal it as much as possible but it will always be there." Her shoulders sagged, her hands lifting to cover her face as she took a shaking breath. "Everything I thought I'd taken control of, he just... he just brought it out again."


     
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