On land, Ian sat in his car his eyes glued to the building across the street. It had taken him a long time to get here.
Who am I kidding? More than a long time. It had taken a month before I even remembered I was alive, cared to eat or breath. He raised his hand to rub his hand against his chest. I'm still not sure my heart beats.
He still remembered every detail of the day he took her back as if, after all this time, it was still happening now. Her blonde hair shadowing her face as she bowed head, her tears, his pain.
The pain that was always there, like a thousand blades slicing at his heart. It never stopped. And it never would.
Though he tried to control it, his mind wandered back to that day. It did that from time to time as if in punishment, as if to give him one moment of peace was too much.
He'd watched every slow step she had taken through the water, willing her to turn around, to fly back into her arms. But she didn't.
It was into her family's arms she went as he watched, unable or unwilling to break his last sight of her. He knew what it would mean for him. His happiness walked with her.
Ian ached as he saw her turn and look for him. Drank in the fact that she tried. But he stayed hidden; he knew another goodbye was not in him.
When the taillights of her car turned from the parking lot and all that was left was the emptiness, he broke. It was quiet, just a small snap somewhere inside him. He supposed it wasn't really audible. It was the feel of it that made it seem as though it had a sound.
After that, a black hole had sat where his heart used to be. She carried his heart. It took all he had not to let that black hole grow, to overtake him, or at least what was left of him anyway.
For the first time, he really understood the infamous Argos. The man's name was whispered in their halls instead of spoken if it was said at all. A man that had fallen so deep in grief he had lost the man he had once been and become a monster.
Argos had let that blackness grow until hate and destruction was all that filled him. That is what Ian fought.
When Ian had returned home that day, he'd entered his house, locked all the doors and buried himself in the quiet darkness. At first, it had seemed soothing.
His mother and father knocked and then pounded at the door in their concern. It was unusual for a door to be locked in Atlantis. Ian knew it fueled their worry, but he had no desire or will to move.
Finally, on his father's threat that he would send a few burly cousins to bust down the door, he opened it to them. But his family's pity was too much. The pity was bad enough when he hadn't found an Intended, but now to have found and lost her, it was too much.
So Ian started to turn away visitors, once again locking his doors to those worried about him. Once again, embracing the soothing darkness.
It was then the dark thoughts started to come to him, whispering their evil thoughts.
He was a tracker. It would be easy enough to find her. If he chose to drag her down her, she could do nothing about it.
If she watched her family die, she would know she had nowhere to go. It was a simple thing to kill a human. A quick twist of the neck. Then, this would be her only home.
What did it matter if she was unhappy? She would be here, it whispered to him. It would be enough.
Ian let the gloomy blackness overtake him until he almost could not see. Until he worried that soon he would not want to see. Then he shook it off long enough to seek out the ones who would most understand.
Though it was very rare for an Atlantian to lose a mate while young, there were older widows and widowers. They may not be as vigorous, but Ian knew that the darkness must also dwell within them.
They were his real source of comfort. The ones that felt the edge of the blade piercing their soul every waking moment, the ones that carried a black hole instead of a heart, the ones that ignored the whispers that spoke of death.
Ian listened to their wise words, and they soon drowned out the whispers. He found that every widower had their own way of pushing the black away, but there was one common thread. Keep your hours filled with something, anything.
In the beginning, Ian's puny efforts often failed, and he would end up lying on the couch, staring at nothing in particular until the whispers started him moving again.
Other days, he would sleep, finding the only way he could make it through the day was unconscious.
But as time went on, he found he could make it through most of the day as if he were some semblance of an Atlantian. More importantly, he became skilled at keeping the blackness at bay. Most of the time.
This is the best it would be, the way it would always be, the widowers had told him. There would never be an ease to the grief, as there sometimes seemed to be for humans. For Atlantians, it stayed as fresh as the moment it happened.
Ian saw the emotion in their eyes as the old men spoke, their words held a warning and a hope out to him. Though they did not say it, the widowers knew that though they could not change their own situation, all Ian had to do was reach out and take her to end his own suffering. It was clear that some would have done so.
Even now, as he sat in this car, he considered taking her. He was no longer in control of his emotions, his grief was, always would be. It was why he'd told her not to let him know where she was.
It was all I could do to get her home. I almost turned around a hundred times. If she stood in front of me now, I would drag her back kicking and screaming.
And she would kick and scream. Ian gave a sad little chuckle. But if I saw her...
What is it that lingers in Atlantians. We control ourselves so much better than humans, and yet, this darkness lies within us.
A movement at the door of the building Ian watched caught his attention, and he sat a bit straighter. He sighed, it was time to focus on his mission.
A/N: Sea Bound has reached over 2,000 reads thanks to all of you!! Thank you, thank you! Thanks for spending your time with Sonora, Ian, and the others. :)
Also, could I ask what character is your favorite? Is there any character you dislike? Please let me know in the comments below. :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...