Chapter 10 - Apologies & Lamentations

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"Damn it all!" Adrian seethed, scattering the contents of his desk across the room in one swift sweep.

"Stephanie was here?" Lucille questioned quietly, bending to pick up the items now littering the Persian Rug.

"What gave you that idea?" Adrian asked bitterly, sarcasm filling his words as he plopped into the plush seat that moments ago Kora had occupied.

"She's changed her mind about the separation?" Lucille prodded further as she gingerly began to put everything back into it's proper place.

"It wouldn't matter is she had." Adrian bit. "She holds no sway over me." He grumbled.

"Mmm, I found her brazier in your quarters." Lucille rebutted, raising a thin brow at the God.

"Well, she stayed the night, but I wasn't myself." He spat, his guilty gaze dropping to the floor.

"What is wrong with you, Adrian?" Lucille asked, bewildered. "Clearly you have some inclination for this girl and you're going to ruin it for a night with a woman who betrayed you with your own brother?"

"Watch it, Lucy!" Adrian hissed, leaning forward to fill the space between them. "I had my fair share of ambrosia while discussing business with Enzo last night, none of this was my intention." He admitted although his perfect brows were still furrowed angrily.

"So you get intoxicated and take your ex wife home?" Lucille scoffed at him.

"No, she followed me home. We kissed but I passed out before anything nefarious happened, much to Steph's offense." He laughed darkly. "She slept in my bed but I didn't sleep with her. Trust me she would have been in a much better mood if I had." He mused.

"So, the undergarments then?"

"Do you know any woman who takes pleasure in sleeping in bra?" He asked dryly. "She probably left it there to make it seem like more happened, she saw me kiss Koraline after all and she loves to stir up trouble."

"Oh, goodness." Lucille chuckled. "She's still jealous after all this time."

"You have no idea." He smirked.

"I believe you Adrian but you're story sounds like total rubbish, Kora isn't going to buy it, you know?"

"Yes, I figured as much." He sighed heavily.

"So what are you going to do then?" She pushed.

"I suppose I'll just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. To be at the mercy of a mortal, what have I come to." He shook his head, scolding himself.

"Oh, come, Love. A little humility will do you good. Now go grovel." Lucille rushed, her laughter wicked as Adrian turned to vapor.

* * * *

I tried to fight back the sobs racking my body as I collapsed onto the familiar furs draping my bed.

I felt like an asteroid had struck me, the pent up emotions I had been fighting since my arrival swallowed me up and I inwardly cursed Doren, and Mel, and Adrian. Questioning why I would so foolishly believe that any of them had been true to me.

"Kora." Adrian's silky voice called for me and I glared from my position curled up on the bed to see the god starring at me, a sad look in his eyes. "It's not what it seems." He said, and his voice was soft. Coaxing me like some scarred, trapped animal.

"Yeah, and it's the first time I've heard that line." I growled at him.

"I didn't sleep with her, I know that's what you're thinking." He urged me.

"Then what exactly where you doing with her all morning?" I hissed, the anger unfurling in me silencing my grief.

"I kissed her, I wasn't myself. It was a mistake but that is all that happened and it will never happen again."

"Whatever, Adrian." I said bitterly.

"Koraline, you have to belief me. I hate her." He spat and I could feel his genuineness but I refused to buy into it so easily

"I don't belief you." I seethed.

"You don't have to. I understand your doubt, but I have nothing left for her. Only you."

"You barely even know me!" I laughed harshly.

"I know you, Koraline." Adrian said softly, moving around the side of the bed to sit gingerly at my side.

"I have watched over you since your birth, protecting you until the time came for you to be at my side."

"Oh, so now you're a guardian angel. How touching." The words where bitter even to me.

"I guard all of my charges, all of your lineage and you became my favorite."

I looked at him skeptically.

"I won't betray you like your little human boy." Adrian insisted.

"You already have, you kissed your ex wife. If that isn't betrayal then you really need to just keep your lips to yourself instead of groping the whole Underworld." I growled.

This made him laugh, a musical sound that even in my anger I couldn't deny was lovely.

"You are the only charge I have ever been romantically inclined with." He said, raising a smooth brow at me.

"Seems like your pretty free love to me, pal." I said, the words snarky.

"Think what you want, Little One, but I think you know deep down that isn't true."

"Uh huh." I said.

"Koraline, you are lovely. You don't have to return my favor, I don't hold you to any expectation beyond your family's oath but I have eyes for only you, Love."

"I barely know you, I can't even explain these feelings I've been having for you. You're a stranger to me."

"Maybe in the sense that you can understand but I have been with you your entire life. I am no stranger. I just want your forgiveness." He said softly.

"I'll think about it but I don't know about this anymore. Maybe involving myself with you was a mistake." I said, the words mingled with doubt.

"Maybe, but you won't know unless you try." He purred and with ease he lounged back against the blankets, filling the space beside me.

"I didn't invite you to bed." I scolded.

"Mmm, no but if i waited for that even an immortal lifetime wouldn't be long enough." He chuckled. "Relax, Love, I just want to lay with you for a while." He cooed, pulling me near him and wrapping me up snugly in his arms like a small teddy bear.

I opened my mouth to protest but his lips crashed down on mine. Kissing me softly as the sobs resurfaced. I lost track of how long we laid there, Adrian brushing back my hair and kissing away my tears as I lamented the shambles my mortal life was left in.

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