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[BLACK JEWELS FIC] Warlord of Glacia- 4/12

Title: Warlord of Glacia
Author: Jourdana Standish/queenmidalah
Fandom: Black Jewels
Pairing(s): Morton/Wilhelmina Benedict
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Mentions of violence; language
Word Count: 16,241
Summary: A tangled web is changed when a certain Warlord takes matters into his own hands; he finds himself fighting for his life instead of embracing death. He also finds love, but could lose it by a few careless words.



~~

Chilled to the bone, Saetan listened to Lucivar’s and Daemon’s reports. He would have liked to believe Lord Hobart had hired a company of Eyriens to help him seize control of Glacia, would have liked to believe the attack on Karla and Morton were strictly a Glacian concern. But he’d had other reports in the past seventy-two hours. Two District Queens in Dharo had been killed, along with their escorts. A mob of landens had attacked a kindred wolf pack that had recently formed around a young Queen. While the males were dealing with that threat, some Blood had outflanked them, killed the Queen, and vanished, leaving the landens behind to be slaughtered by the enraged males. In Scelt, a Warlord Prince, a youth still not quite old enough to make the Offering to the Darkness, had been found behind the tavern in his home village. His throat had been slit.

Now he sat with his sons, both wanting to know what needed to be done, but also why Morton was not amongst the demon dead. Why he hadn’t joined the ranks of their eldest brother. There was such a fine line, at times, when it came to what could and could not be revealed. The problem was, he had two Warlord Princes in front of him that would call bullshit if he dared to attempt and use Court phrases to avoid revealing too much of what Morton had told him. The same phrases used between himself and Morton as his training had begun so the younger man had not felt as if he were betraying his Queen when revealing why he wanted said training.

"High Lord," Daemon said, his voice too smooth and knowing.

"You realize that much of what I know I can not reveal," Saetan finally said. While they may not like it, sometimes honesty was the easiest approach.

"Why?" Lucivar asked too calmly.

"All the years you have known Jaenelle and how closely she keeps her secrets as a Black Widow and you need to ask?" Saetan questioned him. Lucivar cursed softly, starting to prowl across the floor of his father’s study.

"What can you tell us?" Daemon asked.

"I have been giving Morton private lessons on the Hourglass Coven’s craft," Saetan said.

"You’ve been turning him into a Black Widow?" Lucivar asked, pausing his pacing movement.

Saetan steepled his fingers, glancing at his sons. He still would not divulge too much, but he would tell them this. "In a sense," he said. "He requested information on poisons, I have been helping him in that regard. The outcome has been that he is becoming a Black Widow."

"Mother Night," Lucivar murmured.

"That’s why he didn’t succumb to the poisonous arrows," Daemon said.

Saetan rubbed his fingers against his chin, carefully wording his next response in his mind until he spoke aloud.

"That is why his body was able to hold out until help arrived," Saetan said. "But whether he succumbs to the poison is still yet to be determined."

That gave Lucivar pause, his head turning to look at the High Lord. "You don’t think he’ll survive even still?" he asked.

"How a Black Widow handles a poison is depending on their own natural poison," Daemon said.

Saetan slowly nodded, his eyes getting a slightly distant look. "And most Black Widows can handle milder poisons, those used to kill any other person not of the Coven," he said, his voice cold. "Sometimes those same poisons can kill a Black Widow in training."

"Which Morton is," Lucivar said, a chill stealing over him.

"Worse," Saetan said, finally leveling a gaze on his sons. "He is not a natural Black Widow who has only had a few months of training in a Craft that he was never meant to be a part of. The very poisons he was consuming in order to adjust his body may end up working against him in the end."

~~

The moment she heard that Morton was at the Keep, Wilhelmina had not hesitated to catch the nearest Sapphire wind and head straight to his side. She had dropped from the winds and was through the door swiftly; just as swiftly as her sister was stopping her.

"‘Mina," Jaenelle said quietly.

"Where is he?" Wilhelmina said, her voice frantic. Jaenelle was the only person, besides Karla, who knew how she felt for the Warlord.

"‘Mina, listen," Jaenelle said again.

"Jaenelle, where is he?!"

"Lady Benedict, listen!" Wilhelmina fell quiet, hearing urgency in her sister’s tone.

"Morton is okay, so far," Jaenelle said quietly. "But it’s bad. I... I don’t know if he is going to make it, even with all I’ve done."

Tears immediately filled Wilhelmina’s eyes. She swallowed and shook her head. "No," she said quietly. "No, he has to."

"I just need you to be prepared, sister," Jaenelle said. "He looks near death now, but if he is taken care of and if he rests as he should..."

"I’ll take care of him," Wilhelmina easily said. "I know Karla was injured and with all that is going on..."

Jaenelle smiled softly, squeezing her sister’s hand. "Come," she said. She led the brunette through the halls of the Keep to the bedroom they had arranged for Morton, which was just down the hall from his cousin. She allowed her sister a moment to gather herself before letting Wilhelmina into Morton’s room.

Wilhelmina immediately felt her stomach drop at the sight she was met with. The vibrant, but quiet man she loved looked gaunt and gray, close to death. Tears formed in her eyes as she slowly walked over to the bed, almost afraid to touch his hand.

"Tears won’t help him," Jaenelle said softly. "Your love will."

Wilhelmina swallowed the lump, a tear slipping onto her cheek. She slowly lowered herself, reaching for his hand. She could feel the warmth of her fingers pulling out of her body in response to warming his. She had a vague memory after Jaenelle left and Daemon had released the Black in Chaillot of touching the fingers of a dead body. It came rushing back to her as her fingers closed around Morton’s fingers. She pushed it away as quickly as she could. She refused to believe that Morton would die, not when they had too much to live for together. Finding more strength than many gave her credit for, Wilhelmina slipped her other hand beneath Morton’s and let her own body heat warm him even a little.

"Come back to me, my love," she whispered. "You have too much to live for. Fight." Though silence was all that answered her, she refused to give up. She lowered her head, pressing her lips very lightly to the back of his hand, ignoring how the smell of death clung to him. He wouldn’t die, couldn’t. Not yet. They had a future to live for, a future to create together. She would not allow Morton to give up without a fight.

~~

The entire Dark Court was in an uproar. Targeted attacks had been occurring in various territories ever since the revolt in Glacia. The trusted members of Karla’s court were currently holding most of the revolters at bay that weren’t strong enough to do much more. Those responsible had been predominantly handled, but Hobart had not been found. It had been determined he found a good place to go to ground, that even Jaenelle was unable to find him.

Yet.

She had become increasingly quiet and shut herself away more often than not. When she did come out of her solitude, she was so quiet that Saetan and Lucivar had briefly wondered if she had sent one of her elaborate shadows in her place.

Sorrow had quickly filled Saetan as he listened to the males of the Court talk of battle plans and what needed to be done next to protect their own. How easily the centuries could melt away when the same evil that had permeated the blood created a festering wound that had never fully healed. It scared him that he could let his eyes unfocus and he would see the males of the territories of yesteryear making the same plans, his once living son amongst them. Andulvar and Prothvar, too, had been in the thick of it all.

He had hoped they would never be in this place again, but as reports had continued to roll in from varying territories, he knew that the situation in Glacia had not been isolated. Something that had been further driven home after Kalush had been attacked while walking in her own capital city, only the Ebony shield in the Ring of Honor she wore keeping her and her daughter from being killed. They had almost lost Aaron, who had bordered on insanity upon arriving riding the killing edge with such intensity that the slaughter had been brutal.

They faced the destruction of all they held dear once more, just as they had so many millenia ago. Those who fought now, caused the case did not remember as they were of the short-lived races. The few long-lived that did remember mourned for the loss they would face once more.

Saetan suspected that the outcome of this destruction would cost the Blood more than they could ever realize, and it made his heart ache with such pain that he didn’t even know where to begin to heal it.

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