Chapter 27: The Negotiation

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I woke the next morning naked and in an empty bed. The horrors from the night before flashed before my eyes and my backside ached. I carefully got out of bed, wincing as I walked towards the bathroom to investigate my wounds. I gasped as the scope of my injuries became visible to me. My bottom was dark purple with bruises of his handprints in welts on my skin. I experimentally touched the battered flesh and I had to keep myself from crying out at its sensitivity. I never thought that Jeremiah could hurt me in that way, I never imagined he was capable of it. But I realized that I didn't truly now this new version of my husband... Five years can do a lot to someone, and perhaps his opinions on some of his previous values had changed. I couldn't face him today, I was too ashamed and upset about last night. I attempted to get dressed, pants proving to be unbearable so I instead threw one of Jeremiah's t-shirts on, the fabric falling to my mid thigh. I slid the softest pair of underwear that I could find over my bruised bottom and I put my pale blonde hair up in a pony tail. I decided that I would take the day to myself, and I retreated to the living room on the second floor. I stopped by the cellar and grabbed myself a bottle of wine to act as a pain reliever. I sat on a lounge chair next to an elaborate bookshelf on the left hand side of the room. Jeremiah enjoyed learning, so it only made sense that he had his own personal library. I had to sit on a pillow to dull the sting of sitting down, a cruel reminder of Jeremiah's punishment. I poured myself a glass of red wine, which I quickly downed as I traced the spines of the various books on display. Once the wine kicked in, I felt myself relax a little with a sigh. Isn't this what I wanted? To be with Jeremiah, no matter the cost? I loved him so much that I had completely given my life to him, and yet he still treated me so cruelly. But was it worth it? The question was a dull ache in the back of my head, nagging me to investigate. It didn't help that he had a huge ass oil painting of himself in here, his cold eyes staring me down. He was right, I could never escape him. I just wish that he spent more time with me, that he would listen to me, that he would let me have some individuality. I wanted to talk to him, like we used to talk. He used to be so understanding... But now I was afraid that if I asked for a moment of his time he would dismiss me as ungrateful again. I didn't know what to do... I let myself get so caught up in my worries that I failed to notice that the one person I didn't want to see had entered the room. "There you are, doll face." Jeremiah said and I turned my focus to the fire across the room, the flames licking at the dark red bricks of the fireplace. The torment of the flames mirrored the torment within me. He approached me and I was about to take another swig of my drink when he took the glass from my hand and set it on the table. I glared at him as he kneeled in front of me. "Lilly, It killed me to have to do that to you... But you gave me no choice." Jeremiah said and I scoffed. "Yeah you really seemed upset about it." I jabbed back, the wine acting against my better judgement. This was the same man who had hit me just the night before. "Baby I was angry... Ever since the chemicals, I've found that I can't control it at times." He confessed and I blinked away the tears threatening to spill onto my cheeks. "Then learn to control it." I said tightly, sensing a a wave of emotions approaching. "Then don't make me angry." He responded quickly with a smile of impatience, and I was suddenly reminded of when he murdered a man out of anger in Arkham. I had seen this side of him before, so how could I be surprised by it now? I desperately tried to hold back a sob, but I was unsuccessful as the tears spilled down my cheeks. "That's impossible when everything I do seems to upset you!" I sobbed. I saw the annoyance within him crumble at my cries, and he opened up his arms to me and I gladly accepted. I wrapped my arms around his neck, burying my face in his shoulder as I broke down. This was all such a huge adjustment for me. This life, his rules, and even myself. Everything had changed so drastically in such a short amount of time that my head was desperately trying to catch up with my heart. "Please be patient with me... I'm trying to be everything that you want me to be, but I'm not perfect. I have needs, I want to be able to do what I want to do without breaking one of your rules. I need to be able to see my friends, I need to be able to make a name for myself in Gotham... I just feel trapped here, Jeremiah. And you of all people know how much I hate feeling confined." I said brokenly into his shoulder but I knew that he heard me. We were both trapped by Jerome's terror once, and then I was trapped by Jeremiah himself after his transition. I had grown to hate being caged in and he knew that all too well. "I'm sorry... I'm just trying to protect you. There are so many people who will want to hurt you, and it drives me crazy when I don't know exactly where you are." He revealed. He had always been protective over me, but given the chemicals and everything he had been through it had amplified to an unreasonable degree. I pulled away from him gently. "Then I'll tell you where I am, and I won't keep anything from you. I can handle my own if someone attacks me... Five years has changed me too." I told him hopefully and I saw him thinking it over in his head. "Please, trust that I can do this." I pleaded with him, gingerly stroking the side of his face. He lifted his eyes to meet mine, and I took a moment to appreciate how truly beautiful he was. His dark green hair was stark against his pale skin and unnaturally light green eyes. It was hard to believe that this man could evoke so much fear and pain. "Alright, you can go out... But, you must tell me your plans before hand and keep in contact with me the whole time." He said and I sprang up and hugged him excitedly. He laughed in response and I felt giddy with happiness. I pulled away for a second so I could kiss him properly, the kiss quickly growing heated as I gently pulled at his hair and suit. He hummed in response, our kiss mending the past day of tension between us. "Don't start something you can't finish..." He warned me playfully as he moved to kiss my neck. I gasped in response, moving so that I was strangling his hips as he sat on the floor. "Who says I can't finish this?" I whispered into his ear before nibbling on it a little. He growled and his hands went to my backside, gripping at the flesh there. I suddenly winced, squirming out of his hold as my bruised flesh throbbed. He chuckled lowly before placing his hands on my hips. "That's what I thought... Until tomorrow then." He smirked, standing up and he held his hand out to help me up. I felt embarrassment burn at my cheeks but I took his hand anyways. "Now let's go talk about your big ideas for Gotham..." He offered and I followed him. I felt lighter, like the weight that was crushing us had been lifted. I was his partner, not his prisoner. I was the queen after all... And it was about time he started treating me as such.
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That's the end of my crazy updating spree! I hopefully will update again in a week. If I skip a week when updating it's because I'm swamped with school and stuff. Thanks for supporting my story and for sticking around! Comment what you guys think and also if there is something you guys are interested in seeing in this story and I'll give it some thought! I love incorporating your guys's ideas! Love y'all!💕
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