“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.”― G. K. Chesterton
Somewhere in Moonlight Mill
Coming out of seemingly nowhere, Michael grabbed Esmée by the upper arm, a grip like a steel claw, as he dragged her aside, slamming her back against a wall, pinning her in place, his face inches from hers as he growled the words at her.
“What are you doing HERE? Which part of ‘this place is dangerous for you’ do you have such trouble with?!”
“Relax, I am not here for you. And I thank you to not manhandle me like that. It was fun when we were dating, cos it usually led to pretty passionate moments, but now that we both are seeing other people, that’s off limits. Get off me!” Esmée informed him, pushing him away from her.
Michael’s reaction was subtle, just a brief narrowing of his eyes and a drawing of his brows, but Ezzy smiled on the inside noticing it. So, it fazed him. Good!
“So, whom are you visiting in Moonlight Mill?” his voice was more a deep growl.
“A friend. And by friend I mean … well … you would know. The type for naked action, not braid hair and paint nails with.” Esmée’s smirk was devilish.
And it had the intended effect.
“WHOM!” he roared, grabbing her again, then letting go right away as if remembering his manners.
“A nice young man, with a ferocious appetite.” a descript that would fit any male Werewolf.
“Ah. I see. Once you go wolf … His name?” his tone nearly a snarl.
“Would be none of your business. Thank yourself for that. You lost all rights to stick your nose in my business when you decided to unceremoniously dump me with no warning at all, Michael.” Esmée hated that her voice reflected the deep bitterness she still felt about this.
“Oh, but you are wrong. I am the leader here. This is MY kingdom. It IS very much my business. Everyone here answers to me. Give me his name!”
“You are the leader of ONE pack. There are others.” Ezzy bravely stood her ground. She knew Michael could be dangerous, but somehow, she also knew he would never harm her.
“No, there are not! There is only ONE other pack left, if you want to call those treehugging nuts a pack. Do NOT tell me …. Ezzy! Do not tell me you waste yourself on one of those hippies with that Moonwood Collective prayer circle bullshit group!”
“I am trying NOT to tell you, but you are one persistent moron, who dumped me out of the blue because you were doing what I always thought you might be doing. Cheater! Liar! Asshole!”
“I told you it wasn’t like that! Except for one single time when Nathan was created, I never ever touched Nicolette in that way! Never! She and I have been best friends because fate brought us together! No lies!” he roared.
“Oh, right, because all cheaters are known to always tell the truth! I KNOW you, Michael. I know you cannot keep your pants on around any pretty girl, just like you can’t control yourself during a full moon. I know you said Nicolette moving in with you was gonna be TEMPORARY – yet she never left! It’s been almost a year! How stupid and gullible do you think I am!? Of course you broke up with me because you wanted to be with her! I always suspected something going on between you, and I was right! You breaking up with me was the confirmation. I knew it all along, that this would happen. I KNOW it happened and when it started and how. So don’t try to insult my intelligence here.”
“Ezzy, it wasn’t like that! I know I haven’t been the best man overall, but I never cheated on you, once we were serious. I came to you to explain why we needed to break up, rather than just tell you over the phone or something.”
“We were serious? Really? Cos in retrospect I kinda look like a side-chick for the weekends. Just an afterthought. Someone to pass the time with. And do you expect me to thank you for delivering the breakup free house? Are you kidding now? You want kudos for coming to my home to dump me? Like that makes it better somehow. Either way it adds up to you not giving a shit about ripping my heart out! Still feels the same.”
“NO! No Ezzy – I love you! Ahem – loved you! You must know that! You had to feel that it was real.”
Esmée stood there, staring at him, wondering if it was a Freudian slip or just a genuine accidental slip of the tongue. Looking into his eyes, she realized how much she had missed him. The rough exterior masked a very passionate and emphatic human being. A human being with a dark secret.
“Who cares if it was real or not?! You broke my heart. Just like that, we didn’t even fight, everything was going well, at least I thought it was. I think you’re lying. I think you and Nicolette were always in cahoots, you strung me along for some extra-extra on the side until I became dead weight! Either you and I were a lie, or this is. You tell me. It’s one or the other, I am not buying that BS about you falling for Nicolette without wanting to. If you did, it was deliberate! Probably because she already lives with you, you don’t have to travel to get laid and maybe because you were sick of dealing with Connell. Like he was somehow my fault! I can’t control whom my sister falls in love with, I couldn’t even stop myself for falling for some undeserving asshole! I think you’re scared of Connell and I think you never really loved me. You just wanted to play with me, make me fall for you so you can step on my heart when you rip it out as you dumped me! To feel extra big and manly! It all was just a game to you! That’s what I think.” biting back the tears, Ezzy nearly spat the words at him.
“Do you now?” he challenged, angrily.
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
“Well, you’re wrong. You could not be more wrong about every single thing you just said if you tried really hard! I am not afraid of some fuckin’ Vampire, I don’t waste my time playing stupid catch-me-if-you-can games with chicks I meet at clubs only to work up to some explosive crescendo of a breakup! Maybe you are right about something I told you having been a lie, but it wasn’t what you think. It wasn’t what I felt for you, maybe still feel for you, or anything else. But maybe I did lie to you about the real reason I couldn’t be with you anymore. You want to know what my biggest turn off is with you? The absolute dealbreaker? Do you?!” his voice steadily increased to near ear drum busting levels towards the end.
“I am on the edge of my seat, please enlighten me.”
“It’s disgusting how a cat is a better mother than you! As a father myself, I would do anything for my son, and this is why I let you go. The way you manage to ignore your own flesh and blood the way you do with your precious daughter is disgraceful and disgusting! I could live with you not wanting another child, especially not with me, I could live with us never being some happy, sappy family of four, living together in perfect harmony. I could live with you never having my last name after saying ‘yes’ to me. But I cannot live with you being like that. I know you started seeing Aryelle more after we had some heart-to-hearts, even went to her father to get visitation, and that went well for a while – until you got bored with it and started slacking. The way you choose work over your little girl appalls me. And I am honestly afraid to leave my son alone in a room with you for any length of time, for fear he’d do something that annoys you and you’d unleash on that poor child! THAT is why I can’t be with you. Nasty, self-absorbed egomaniac!”
Esmée gasped, then without even thinking slapped Michael so hard that he face was flung to the side.
With a groan he glared at her, his eyes fiery, then he grabbed her and – kissed her.
A hard kiss, possessive, rough, demanding and dangerous – but also passionate.
Once he let go, both of them were breathless.
After both regained some of their composure, Michael shot a fiery glare at Ezzy.
“There you have it. That’s what you wanted to know, isn’t it? That’s why you really came here, am I right? To test me. Well, I fell for it. You still drive me crazy, woman. I still want you. Your body that is, because your heart is tainted, dark, darker than mine, but unlike you I have a good excuse for that, because of this virus inside of me which turned me into a monster, but at least I know what I am and don’t try to mask it. You are dark, just like I am, like Connell is, but unlike us, you pretend to be good. You’re not.”
With that he turned around and hurried away with long strides, leaving her standing there.
A few hours later Ezzy was standing opposite Rohan in his San Myshuno apartment, who was not even trying to mask his surprise.
“Is your … husband … home?” Ezzy asked unusually sheepish, Rohan shook his head.
“No, Harrison’s at work. Why are you here, Ezzy? Elle is at Nick and Addy’s, I can call them …”
“No, it’s fine. I am actually glad she’s not here. I wanted to talk to you. You are one of the kindest and most honest people I know, as sad as it is, I think you might be the only one who would answer a burning question for me honestly.”
“I’ll do my best, if you promise not to bite my head off if you don’t like my reply.”
“No, you’re safe, but that already is an answer in itself to one of the questions I have. Am I really a bad person, Rohan?” she asked, her voice cracking.
“Oh! OOF! Wow! Yikes! That’s a bit out of left field. No, I don’t think you are a bad person per se, Ezzy. You are certainly not an easy person to be around, a bit -what’s the word I am looking for? Rough, in-your-face, … abrasive I think is the best term here, sometimes, too blunt, you know, but I don’t think you are a bad person, no. Where is this coming from and why did you drive all the way from Windenburg for this?”
“Do you think I am a bad mother?”
“Oh, wow! Ezzy … why me? Nick’s penthouse is in the building next door, can’t you go over there and ask HIM such questions? He can handle you much better than I can.” Rohan clearly didn’t want to get into that.
“Rohan! Please. I know where my cousin lives. I need the truth. I am here for the truth. Rohan, I don’t have anyone else I could ask. My family would feed me some bullshit to make me feel better or bitch at me for hours about all the things I am doing wrong in my life – that’s not what I need right now – and I don’t have any friends. You are the closest thing I have to a friend. Do you think I suck as a mother? Do you think Aryelle cares about me at all? ROHAN – please – this is important. Very very very important. PLEASE!”
“Okay, fine. Since you made this about Aryelle, I will tell you what I really think. No, I do not think you are a good mother. Not even an okay one. I don’t think you are a mother of any sort, really. Not because you can’t be, but because you don’t WANT to be. I know there is a good, tender heart in there somewhere, I don’t know what happened to you or when, but you walled up and put blinders on, laser focused on work. I know how quickly that can happen, that we lose sight of the important things, I have been guilty of it, AG actually called me out on that back when she and I .. when … before … Anyway, look, I didn’t want to be a father, especially not the way this happened with us, but I am, I owned up to it and as hard as it was and still is, despite all the help of the best friends any man could ask for, I am living for it now. I am a father, first and foremost, and even Harrison had to understand that when he and I started dating. And he does, because he loves me, even though I know it can’t always be easy. Aryelle may have been an accident, but she is a blessing to me now. And while she has never been left wanting, she has so many people who love her and whom she genuinely loves, even mother-figures, she doesn’t have her real mother. Yes, I know you take her sometimes, you did really well for a while, but that stopped again. I think that stinks.”
“Oof, wow. Ouch. I know you are right. I just needed to hear it. Look, I want to be part of her life, believe it or not, I care about her. But she’s just so … little and … needy and I don’t understand her most of the time. Not the words, but her actions. I just am no good with kids. They are cute from afar; up close they are just loud, obnoxious, dirty, I don’t get them … I just prefer to stay away, thinking it’s best for both of us.”
“If you were talking as an aunt or a friend of a mother or a father, sure, that makes perfect sense. But you ARE a mother, Ezzy, so for better or worse, you don’t have that luxury of staying away without looking like a bad person. And you are supposed to do more than care for her. You are supposed to love her, like only a mother can. Like I love her. I would give my life for her, without even thinking twice. Just like your mother would for you. And even Jay, who’s not even your real father, but I have no doubt he would. A great parent doesn’t have to be blood, but those who are blood-related, should not squander this opportunity. Kids grow so fast, next year Aryelle will start school. She’s becoming more and more independent, get in, Ezzy, before she decides she doesn’t need you.”
Esmée stared at Rohan, then burst into tears. Genuine tears of distress, so Rohan caught her and held her, gently rocking her and calming her.
“Oh Ezzy, don’t cry. This isn’t beyond fix. I know you. If you want me to, I’ll try to help you, but you have to listen, you know I don’t like confrontation, especially not with you. You are not a bad person, and you could be a really good mother to our daughter – maybe even a great one – if you really tried. You and I would have never gotten into a position to create an angel like Aryelle, if you weren’t a warm, decent and loving person. I don’t date assholes.”
Through the tears Ezzy giggled lightly into Rohan’s shoulder.
3 thoughts on “Chapter 377) The Unlikely Ally”
Wow. Michael really let Esmee have it about Elle. I think it shocked her a lot. Then she had to hear it again from Rohan. She was right to go to Rohan for an honest opinion though. I hope she does get involved because he’s right, Elle will decided she doesn’t need her mother at some point. Poor Esmee. I suspect it’s probably too late for her and Michael though. 🙁
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Or is it?
That Freudian slip might have been a hint … 😉
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It could’ve been, probably was. But I’m not sure what it’ll talked to convince him.