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[BLACK JEWELS FIC] Warlord of Glacia- 7/12

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.



~~

It had taken Morton quite a bit to garner the courage to go in search of Wilhelmina. He had considered waiting until everything was resolved regarding the purge, but he knew there was too high of a chance that he would still not survive.

Or worse that she would not.

He finally found her, stroking Jaal’s head as he walked into a garden sanctuary at the Keep. He had to admit that he was surprised to see the kindred Warlord Prince, as many of them had retreated. He worried over just why, hoping they would not pull away from their human friends in a time when they all needed one another.

"Lady," Morton said softly.

"You should be resting, Lord Morton," was all she said, her fingers still lazily stroking Jaal’s head sorrowfully. Ever since Dejaal’s death, Jaal had befriended Wilhelmina and would seek her out to ensure she was doing well. He had come to care for the Lady’s sister and the young woman his son had died defending.

"I wanted to see you," Morton said.

"Why?" Wilhelmina asked. Her fingers had dropped to her lap. A quick nuzzle to her cheek had Jaal retreating and trotting out of the gardens. He knew that the conversation was one between the two humans. A soft smile tugged at the corner of Morton’s lips at how different father and son were. Had it been Dejaal, he would have remained, humans needing privacy be damned.

"I would say to apologize, but nothing I say can take away the words I said," Morton said. "I can only hope that you can forgive me such a heinous act and move past it."

"Why did you even say it?" Wilhelmina whispered. "Why cut me in such a way that you knew..." She bit her lip to still the tears that wanted to fall. She had thought that, perhaps, her tears had finally dried up. She was wrong.

"I was stupid," Morton said. "I was hurt."

Wilhelmina turned to him, tears splashing onto her cheeks, but confusion was clear on her face. "Hurt? By what?"

"After I woke, you never mentioned what I last said... I thought you were trying to..." Morton swallowed hard, realizing now how silly his rationale sounded. "I thought you were trying to avoid it, because you didn’t feel the same."

Wilhelmina slowly rose from the bench she had been sitting on, a single brow arching upwards towards her hairline. "That has got to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard," she said.

"I know..." Morton would have scuffed the toe of his foot into the dirt if he didn’t think his still weakened legs would give out on him and send him tumbling to an inelegant heap on the ground.

"How could you think, for even a minute, that I didn’t love you?" Wilhelmina asked.

"Well... you never really said," Morton said, practically mumbling.

"I’m not the most demonstrative person, Morton, you know that," Wilhelmina pointed out. "It took me weeks to even gain the courage to say hi to you when you said it to me, or have you forgotten that part?"

"Well, no, I--," Morton started.

"I had no idea how you felt or if there was a mutual attraction, let alone even love," Wilhelmina continued. "I never felt truly welcome here, why would I put myself on the line, so to speak, and admit that I love you?"

"Instead you would want to hide it?" Morton asked, indignation forming. "You’d rather--."

"Not get my heart broken, yes," Wilhelmina finished, her voice cracking and making Morton pause. "That’s what I was trying to avoid. When I heard you tell me..." She swallowed hard. "I needed to focus, Morton. When Jaenelle showed me what happened- the healing, how you looked after wards. I needed to focus. I had to focus on ensuring you were as well as you could be before I dared to..."

"‘Mina," Morton started.

"You still broke my heart," Wilhelmina whispered. "Those words broke Morton’s heart. "You used the one thing that I always knew I was lacking as a weapon with the intent to hurt me, and you did. You hurt me. You broke my heart."

Morton tried to catch her arm as she skirted past him, her head down and her shoulders already shaking. "Wait..."

"I can’t," Wilhelmina said. She paused enough to speak, but didn’t turn to him. "I don’t know if I can ever push away what you said, no matter how hurt you were. I don’t know if I can unfeel the hurt you purposely inflicted because of your own." Before he could stop her, she was gone.

~~

"Are you going to hide from him forever?" Wilhelmina paused, not daring to lift her head. That was a voice she was not expecting to hear, admonishing her. In fact, if she was honest with herself, she suspected that Lucivar would care less about what went on with her then anyone. She always felt that he saw her as being nothing more than a pawn to be used against Jaenelle by Hekatah and Dorothea. Or even by their own biological family. Hadn’t that been the case and had resulted in her falling in love with Morton, but also grieving the loss of Dejaal?

"I don’t know what you are talking about," Wilhelmina said.

"Yes you do," Lucivar said, stepping out into the gardens, the shadow finally giving way to his features. "You are hiding from Morton."

"I am not," Wilhelmina said. "Avoiding, maybe, but I am not hiding." She spun to face him, her face twisting into incredulity.

"And since when did you care?" she asked, her voice filling with a heat that Lucivar had never heard from her. From Jaenelle, yes, though that alone should not have surprised him in the least to hear it from Wilhelmina.

"I care," Lucivar said. "Because you are acting like a wounded--."

"Don’t you dare," Wilhelmina said. "Because you have no right. You have never cared about me and my emotions, so do not claim that any sense of care you are showing has anything to do with me."

Lucivar’s face screwed up slightly, not in anger, but confusion. "That’s not true..."

"Yes it is true," Wilhelmina said, the words spilling from her lips without pause. "You never cared. You made sure I ended up here only because I could be used as a tool against Jaenelle. And I almost was when our grandmother came here and Dejaal ended up dead, because of me. You can’t stand there and tell me you never blamed me for that."

Lucivar didn’t even get the chance to respond before Wilhelmina was continuing her rant.

"You kept me safe because it meant keeping Jaenelle safe," she snapped. "Well now what do you do? Why aren’t you with her? Why aren’t you preparing for whatever is to come so that people don’t end up hurt or dead? Where were you when Morton and Karla were poisoned?!"

"You are blaming me for that?!" Now incredulity was filling Lucivar’s voice. They had no way of knowing what would happen.

Or did they? Had they simply ignored any sign of what Jaenelle or Karla had seen? Had Saetan ignored his gut when Morton had asked him to teach him about poisons? If they had pushed, would they have been able to prevent everything so far?

"You blame me for so much, why can’t I do the same?" Wilhelmina said, the bitterness in her voice so unlike the woman he thought he knew. But there was such sorrow in that tone as well, that Lucivar had to pause and rethink his own opinion of her. Hadn’t his father even admitted to him that he had resented Wilhelmina because if not for her, Jaenelle could have escaped Chaillot sooner and never be faced with the vicious rape in Briarwood which led to his manipulation of thinking Daemon had been responsible? Hadn’t they debated over and over how if that had not happened, how Daemon could have been spared his long journey in the Twisted Kingdom; a trip he had been the catalyst of when he thought, and believed, that Daemon was capable of destroying the one person he was born to love with everything inside of him?

"We don’t--."

"Don’t you dare lie to me," Wilhlemina bit out. "I may be just a witch with no other caste and I may not be as dark jeweled as you, but I am no idiot despite what my grandmother tried to claim so she could control me. I can sense emotions as well as the next. I am unwanted."

"That is not--, Wilhelmina wait!" But even Lucivar’s quick reflexes weren’t quick enough. The pain in his chest and his gut were gnawing at him as he caught a glimpse of her face as she ran past him, fleeing into the Keep. Tears had been streaming down her face and the pain radiating off of her was a clear indicator of exactly what she thought of how most thought of her. And when Lucivar was honest with himself, it was his fault for not making things right in the beginning. Now with the storm coming, he only hoped he would be able to make amends when this was all over. If they all survived.

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