The hit came from nowhere. Neffydd never expected Warder Sullens to act like this! Her confusion and anguish at being told to leave her home gave way to physical pain and panic at not being able to breathe... then his once-kind hands were on her neck and head, pressing her to the wall. Pain exploded through her skull and tears streamed down her face.
"I told you to leave..." His breath was hot in her ear; his tone made her stomach lurch. This was not her friend and lover... this was the demon.
"Stop!" She begged as he pressed her head, harder into the wall. "You're hurting me! The cops will arrest you, this time!"
"I will never leave a mark." His whisper was harsh and gloating. "No one will ever believe you."
The next day Neffydd went to collect her sons, after school, but Sullens' father was waiting for her.
"Don't come back." The huge demon snarled at her as he stood between her and the transport stop. "If I ever see you again, I'll snap your neck!"
He charged at her then, forcing her to retreat. She sat on the steps of a nearby house and sobbed as the school transport went by. She watched her minions trudge off the conveyance and toward their home, past their step-father's father. She wanted to call them to her, but feared that he would hurt them to teach her a lesson.
She looked up at him, just in time to see him make a warding sign against her. Pain lanced through her very soul at the sight of it. There was no way she could get to her spawn now... The tears came faster; blurring her sight and almost incapacitating her. She boarded the next bus toward the city center.
A couple days later she was curled in Shael's bed. Her heart numb and her body sore.
Neffydd rubbed her aching ribs, remembering the hatred in her beloved's voice and fresh tears began to spill down her cheeks. Her mind wound around a few thoughts as sobs wracked her body.
Why had he felt the need to hurt her like this?? All he ever had to do was ask and she would have given him anything he wanted! There was never any need for the violence and the lies.
She felt Shael curl around her back; stroking her arms and whispering things that Neffydd couldn't understand because her own thoughts were too loud and all-consuming. She slept fitfully in Shael's arms.
"There was nothing you could do, right then." Jedi cooed and rubbed the back of Neffydd's neck. "We'll get them back soon!"
More tears flowed from a supply that seemed to be never-ending. Neffydd was touched by her lover's conviction; but the loss of her children hurt like coals being pressed into her soul. He held her while she cried, then convinced her and Shael to get some food with him.
The next few weeks consisted of job searches, couch surfing and crushing set-backs. Any time it looked like she was getting ahead, something would go wrong.
One Tuesday, Neffydd walked into an interview for a promising job. The receptionist handed her a packet and Neffydd started to fill in the paperwork. After a few minutes a pleasant-faced young Pan walked in and asked for her by name.
"Hi...?" Neffydd said in a surprised tone.
"I have these for you." The Pan offered her a stapled stack of papers. At her quizzical look he continued. "You're being served." He handed the stack to her and left.
She sat there with the papers in her hands, stunned for a few moments. The receptionist called to her, breaking the spell and bringing her attention back to the present.
"FerchMaelgwyn?" Neffydd looked at the grim-faced Elf. "I'm sorry; can you hand those back? We won't be needing your application, after all."
Neffydd rose to her feet, gathered her purse and handed the application packet back to the receptionist. She was stunned numb again. She left the building and walked to Jedi's vehicle, slumped in and started to sob.
"What's wrong??" He demanded. She couldn't answer him, so she shoved the papers at him. "Oh... Are you kidding?!? He exclaimed.
"No..." She got the words out, around her heaving breath and tears. "They asked me to leave!"
He drove her home while, alternately trying to comfort her with his words and cursing everything about his erstwhile Metamour. Now that she had the paperwork, however, she could call about getting a lawyer for herself.
I'm sorry about the cliff-hanger, my dear readers. I, actually, started writing this a couple weeks ago but I realized two things:
1: The story wasn't finished yet, so I couldn't write the post.
2: I was still so emotionally wrapped-up in it that I couldn't think about the events enough to reshape them into fantasy or even remain dry-eyed enough to type.
This has been a harrowing month, but I'm working my way through it with the help of some VERY dear friends and my family. It's not over, yet! Look for part two in a couple days!