All of this was stirring things in her she didn't recognize. It wasn't normal for her to be this candid or vulnerable, it was uncomfortable, even if it was with Declan. Maybe now, especially because it was with Declan. Everything felt so serious and yet she felt like she could do nothing to stop the bubbling up of emotions.
It made her feel relieved to hear him say he too was scared. He too didn't know how to do this. He too was unsure about how to actually be married. Frustration mingled with the swell, if he'd felt this way for so long, why hadn't he said anything? Why hadn't he come to her after her engagement announcement and begged her not to do it -- or better yet warned her? Of course Farren knew the answer to these questions, she knew him far too well to actually seriously ask these things but standing here, in his arms, under his magic ceiling, being told he'd do everything in his power to make them work, she wished he had. Not that she would have listened.
Clive had been dead for 3 years and in that time she'd both failed to process how deeply miserable their year and a half of marriage had been and convinced herself that marriage for love was a joke. Even though she saw happy marriages in front of her eyes all the time, Bellona and even her own parents had married for love, or at least pretended to. Here she was, at the tip of it herself, and instead of running full steam over the crest of the peak she found herself sliding backwards, back tracking, scared and worried. She was frustrated with
The swell of emotion inside of her was coming on quick though. A lump had formed in her throat and she swallowed it down, biting her bottom lip, as he told her he didn't need her to be perfect, he just needed her to be here. No one had ever told her that as long as she was there, that was enough. Clive had not even wanted her around making it perfectly clear he was bored of her - always. Her own mother made it clear that even her best was painfully average, and as much as she loved him her darling Pyxis retained high standards for her on all fronts as well. It was surely going to be impossible for Declan to maintain this sentiment for the rest of their lives? Was it possible that everything he said was truly genuine and the fact that they were together was it for him?
Sighing heavily again she swallowed another lump in her throat. All the feelings were pressing on her like they were trying to burst out from inside her. Happiness, sadness, joy, excitement, fear, affection, everything was there and assaulting her in a way she'd never experienced. When he asked her how often Clive tried to make her happy and promised to try and try and try it was more than her cold little heart could take. Tears welled up in her eyes. Biting her lip harder trying to distract herself and disappear the tears she stared up at the magical ceiling, keeping her eyes wide, hoping the tears would just evaporate.
"Oh Dec," she said softly, quickly giving up on the tears drying. Shifting she turned to face him, staying close enough that he'd not have to fully let go of her, her body bumping and sliding against his as she turned. Sighing heavily she looked up at him, it was quite dark in the room, perhaps he'd not see the tears pooled in front of her bright eyes. It was not in her nature to be open and communicative about feelings or intimate things, it seemed logically the best thing to do was tell him all the details of where she was coming from. Then in the event she could not express herself at least perhaps he'd know where she was coming from.
Where to even begin though? Clinging to him, her arms wrapped around him she found the answer quickly. Leaning forward she pressed her lips against his. Her hand moved to cup his jaw, pulling him into her, allowing him no space to pull away from her or hesitate. Her kiss was deep, she wondered as she kissed him if it was possible to pull the promise he'd just made from his body and trap it. Probably with dark magic that was possible but somehow she was sure her kiss was more powerful than dark magic right now. Her tears slid down her cheeks onto his and she didn't even care, she just pulled him closer to her and didn't let go. Like someone had lit a match she felt herself burning to pull him and his promise into herself and trap both of them there.
She didn't know how long she kissed him, long enough that her lips began to feel smooth and tight, the hint of stubble on his face almost irritating them now. Her arms had a dull soreness from holding him so tight. The tears she'd shed had dried. In her core she felt something warm and tingly radiating towards him. It was so much to feel and think about she was nearly light headed. Slowly she pulled her lips from his, her grip on him easing but she did not let go. Affectionately she nuzzled her nose against him, an almost tired smile on her face, for a moment she just rest, cheek to cheek with him.
"He never tried much," she conceded finally. "I think, initially, he wanted to try. For the first couple months he at least feigned an interest in trying. But it became apparent quite quickly we were poorly suited for each other in every way. He didn't seem to mind not being in love, he had his women, the quidditch groupies, to adore and please him. I was a duty, a formality. I'm quite sure he grew to have resentment towards me. I think he wanted to want to try. But apart from being physically attracted to me he didn't care and I had lost motivation to try as soon as I'd realized that after but a handful of months he'd gone back to his girls."
"So soon we were just stuck, he was never cruel about it but it was clear within a few months, how it would be. Formal, political, unemotional. He was good at putting on the public show of it all, he never embarrassed me in public - thankfully. But apart from that our lives became rather separate, rather quickly. He kept track of my month and made sure to be home on the nights most likely to render us an heir. His efforts at those times were....vigorous. I came to dread these days, when he left after a handful of days I would fall into a depression, nothing to do because he'd expected me to quit working and playing publicly. No one in the house except our servants. I would try to go back to Dalemain for half the month and my mother and grandmother would send me back to Belgravia to wait for him. They told me if I made myself open and available and played to his better nature and interests it would happen, we'd fall in love. They assured me this was just new marriage difficulties."
"Ten months in we were successful. Things seemed to improve slightly. He spent more time in Belgravia. He started saying he loved me. We still had nothing to talk about, no shared passions, no passion for each other but at least we had done something right. Everything got better, instantly, I thought everyone had been right, that finally we were falling in love. Then I lost it. He was at first heartbroken, then just more annoyed with me than ever. They told me I had to try harder to please him and that if I just made it a job, a contract to uphold I would be able to bear it just fine. To make myself open to him, have four children as quickly as possible, then plan on spending the remainder of my days being a mother and individual in private and a happy, dutiful wife in public. So I did what I was told. Nothing got better. There were no other pregnancies despite extensive attempts. Then he died."
She sighed heavily pursing her lips before lowering her head to rest her forehead against his chin, eyes closed. "Surely you see why. I'm so bloody terrified I'll get it all wrong again. You have tried harder in the last twenty minutes to make me happy than he ever did. You're my oldest friend apart from those that are my blood. I can't stand the thought of us ending up like that. You're telling me nothing has to be perfect, that if I try and you try and we both want it that will be enough. But will it?"
Looking back up at him she tried to offer a smile but it was weak. "This is what I want too. But I'm petrified of it going wrong or us getting lost." For a moment she paused, thoughtful, her brow heavy with concern, "No one has ever told me just being was enough. It has never been enough before, for the people whose love I wanted so badly. You will have to be patient with me. I want this and I promise I will try but -- it's a lot. It's something I had not been preparing for. I'm not used to being unprepared, it will require a lot of learning curves, but this is what I want." Smiling more brightly she leaned forward and kissed him quickly, "I also want the plants gone before we live here but other than that, this is exactly what I want."