Heart of the Night Part 9
Quatre awoke the next morning to discover himself nestled in a warm cocoon of blankets. Poking his head out, he blinked in surprise at the strange room. Why was he in one of the guest rooms? The last thing he remembered was his face flushed bright red, following Trowa out of the study.
Sitting up he winced as a sharp pain shot through his ankle. Sliding his leg out from under the blanket he peered in bewilderment at the stark white bandage wrapped around it, tight enough that he could not move it very much. He wiggled his toes and decided it wasn't broken as memories of the night before crept back into his mind. The blonde groaned and buried his face in his hands. He had to be a complete fool... at the very least, Trowa must think that.
Without even thinking he'd chased the brunette out into a blinding snowstorm. He remembered falling... and being so cold his bones ached. Fleeting memories of being clasped against a solid chest and carried nudged at the dim corners of his mind. Did Trowa bring me into the house? He must have... 'Bastian was asleep and he was the only other person around.
Just as he was starting to search around him for his clothes, a sharp knock sounded on the door and Sebastian poked his head into the room. "Ah! I seen you are awake," The old servant said as he walked in, carrying a bundle of clothing in his arms. "I assume you'll be wanting these,"
"Thank-you," Quatre took the clothing from him and set them on the bed.
"You had us all pretty scared last night," Sebastian glared at the boy. "The Master was beside himself with worry. Whatever in the world made you go out in a storm like that to begin with... never mind that you didn't even bother with anything warm!"
Quatre flushed as he laced his fingers tightly together and stared at them with sudden fascination. Because I'm in love with your master... and I wanted to know why he pushed me away after what he did last night... after kissing me like that. "I'm sorry," He murmured not daring to look up at Sebastian, lest the older man see his inner turmoil in his eyes.
"I imagine you will be sorrier before you are recovered!" Sebastian leaned over and pressed the back of his hand against Quatre's forehead. "You don't seem to be suffering any ill effect, excepting your ankle and that will heal in a few days. Get dressed and I'll bring you something to eat." He straightened and walked to the door. "Then I'll help you to your own room, the mattress has been changed for another so it's dry now. At least there you'll have access to your studies."
"You'll not be going any further than that until your ankle is better and the Master sees you about what you did!" Sebastian cut him off and then stormed from the room.
Quatre fought down a rising sense of panic as he picked up a shirt from the pile and slowly slid his arms into the sleeves. He imagined that Trowa would surely have plenty to say about it all... and then he'd be lucky if the man had anything more to do with him after that.
"No!" Sebastian snapped at the blonde. "I was strictly told that you are to stay in your room until the master speaks with you and here you'll be staying!" He set a small tray bearing a small silver lid on the nightstand. "If I have to lock the door to make sure you do, then I will!"
Quatre paled visibly at the thought of being locked in his room. "Bastian, I've been up here for three days! It's obvious that he's going to have nothing to do with me! My ankle is a lot better. I can walk just fine. Please... I feel like I'm being treated like a child!"
The old servant's eyes softened and he glanced away from the boy. "A child is what you are still... even if you don't think so. You may think you are being punished, but the truth of the matter is he doesn't want you on the stairs until you are fully recovered." He turned and opened the bedroom door, pausing to speak quietly before leaving. "He's deathly feared of you falling."
Quatre stared wide-eyed at the closed door. Afraid? Trowa? He couldn't even fathom the concept. Shaking his head he sighed and walked over to the tray, lifting the cover and peering underneath. Thin slivers of glazed ham, accompanied by various fresh vegetables and candied yams steamed on a plate. In a small bowl were ripe, red strawberries, from god only knows where, sugared and swimming in a heavy cream. Leaving the food untouched he carefully set the lid back on the tray and walked slowly to his desk, showing only a slight limp.
Sitting down he pulled out one of his books and opened it. After staring at the page for several minutes he sighed and leaned his elbows in the desk and stared out the darkened window. He figured he'd be leaving soon. Trowa had already decided on sending him away to school... the events of a few days ago would probably just cause him to act that much sooner. It was obvious that the brunette would do anything to distance himself from Quatre.
"I just don't want to go." Quatre whispered softly to the dark night outside. "I can't bear the thought of leaving here."
"But you have too, for your own safety." A low voice drifted over him as a hand settled on his shoulder.
Jumping, the blonde spun around in his chair to stare up at the tall brunette. "T-Trowa!" He said shakily. "I didn't hear you."
"You were too absorbed in your own thoughts," The tall man said removing his hand from Quatre's shoulder and sliding them into his pockets. "You didn't eat." He commented as his eyes fell on the tray by the boy's bed.
"I wasn't very hungry." The blonde watched as Trowa wandered around him room, stopping to study various items that the boy had collected over the years there. "Trowa," He rose to his feet and then stopped as those green eyes settled on him with burning intensity.
"Look, Quatre," Trowa turned to face him fully. "I know you don't wish to go... and believe me when I say that if there were any way possible for you to stay, I would allow it. This was supposed to be your home, but you can't. It's not safe... I'm not safe." Coward! He closed his eyes and continued. "You could have died the other night, if I hadn't heard you calling for me!"
"I'm sorry... I wasn't thinking..."
"That's not what I mean. I can't blame you after what I," He gestured helplessly, "after what I did to you. What you don't realize is how dangerous that was for you... if I hadn't stopped when I did... I might have hurt you." His eyes filled with anguish. "I could have killed you."
"I don't understand. Trowa, I lo-" The blonde took a step towards him and Trowa held up a hand to stop him.
"No... don't say it. You aren't allowed... I can't allow it!"
"Why?" Came the whispered question, "Is it because I am a..."
"No." Trowa sighed and pointed to the desk. "Sit down, please." He sat on the edge of Quatre's bed and leaned his arms on his legs.
Quatre sat silently in his chair and waited, not daring to speak further.
"It has nothing to do with me being your guardian... it's not uncommon for those things to happen. There have been many marriages made that way... a young girl taken in by a wealthy man. Usually it doesn't happen unless the two families were close to begin with, but..." he shrugged. "It happens. And, it has nothing to do with you being a boy."
"You don't know how dangerous a man I am Quatre. And there's no way I can tell you. I've killed... there was a young girl that lived here a few years back. She's dead because of me..."
"You told me she killed herself,"
"Because she found out what I am... what I have done." The man said flatly, he could feel his heart breaking with every word. Sitting across from him was the chance at loving that he'd never had during life... and could not have even now in his death. The young blonde was everything he'd ever wanted in a partner and he couldn't have him, under any circumstances. "Because she saw things she never should have seen. She loved me, believed she could face anything because of it."
"Did you love her?" Quatre held his breath, fearing the answer even as he asked the question.
"No, but she was my responsibility and a very painful lesson in allowing some one to know too much ab..." He gasped as the blonde was suddenly kneeling on the floor in front of him, his bright blue eyes staring up at him.
"I'm not her, Trowa!" He said firmly, laying one hand over the man's clenched fingers. "I'm not her!"
Trowa started. No he wasn't. There was no doubt about that. She never would have been able to spark the feelings in him that this boy did. And Trowa had seen over time how much stronger Quatre was than her, but it still didn't change the fact that there were some lines he could not allow himself to cross. He shifted and reached for the boy, drawing him forward so that he knelt between his knees. With an inner sigh he pulled Quatre into a tight embrace, burying his face in his hair.
"I know that," He said against Quatre's bright hair as the blonde slipped his arms around his waist and leaned against him. "You are far different in every way." Pulling back he stood suddenly and moved to the other side of the room. Stopping in front of the fireplace, he leaned against the mantle and watched the flames silently.
When Trowa turned around to face Quatre his eyes were cold. "You will leave as soon as possible; as soon as I can make the arrangements. I won't discuss it further."
"Trowa!" Quatre cried as the brunette walked to the door.
Hesitating, he looked over his shoulder, the harshness in his voice betrayed by the emotion in his eyes. "There is no longer any place here for you!"
Quatre sat on the hard floor with a thud, his heart racing madly as he heard a door slam downstairs. Trowa was going out for the evening. He didn't understand. Why did Trowa seem on the edge of accepting him one moment and then turn so cold the next? None of his actions made any sense.
Creeping silently down the stairs from his room, Quatre peered up and down the hallway seeing no signs of Sebastian. Deciding that he was alone for the time being, he walked swiftly down the hall and into the main parlor of the house. Crossing the vast room, he opened one of a set of large double doors and slipped around the edge, closing the door behind him.
He was in the very center of the house; an enormous ballroom that he didn't think had been used in years. Looking around he never ceased to be amazed at the beauty of the room. Sunlight streamed in through the skylights, making the polished oak floor seem to glow of its own accord. The walls were lined with tapestries of blues and silvers and over head, mounted on the beams between the skylights, hung sparkling crystal chandeliers. When the sun hit one of them, a kaleidoscope of color would burst into the room and the satin wall coverings would shimmer with life. At night, if the candles in the chandeliers were lit, the room took on a soft silvery look... almost mysterious.
Standing in the center of the room, Quatre took a deep breath, drawing on the beauty around him for courage. He'd come to a decision.
After Trowa had left, the boy had sat up almost all night, lost in his thoughts. He remembered hearing the man return home in the early hours of the morning and head straight to his rooms in the other end of the house. That's when Quatre made his decision.
Something had to be done. He couldn't just sit and let things stay the way they were. He decided that the best thing to do would be to confront Trowa... and the best way to do that was to catch him off guard.
Clenching his hands he strode across the room and through another set of door on the opposite side. Closing the door behind him he leaned against it and looked around. To his right, the hallway he was in, ended at a door which he knew led to a small woman's solar... the room was used very seldom. Sometimes he went there when he wanted to be completely alone, but beyond that it always stood empty. He liked to read in there, with its huge bay windows that let in the sun, but he always felt that he was too close to the 'forbidden' area, so he didn't go there very often.
To his left the hallway met up with a set of narrow stairs that went partway up and then reversed to go up in the other direction. It was those stairs he headed for now. Reaching the top, he was face with another hallway, lined on one side with doors, identical to the side of the house his room was in. Moving slowly he tried each door, peering into the various bedrooms of differing styles and colors.
Reaching the end of the hall, he took a deep breath and slowly opened the last door, poking his head around the corner. It was so dark that he couldn't see a thing, but he was sure this must be Trowa's room. It was the only one left. Backing out he went quickly to the room before it and retrieved a small lamp from the dresser and lit it.
Everything in the room was dark... even the furnishings were made of a rich, dark colored wood. The chair sitting in front of a small writing table was covered in a material of blood red. The drapes hanging in the two windows of the room were of a heavy, black brocade and... Quatre frowned and peered closer... sewn shut. It was like great effort had been taken to create a room where there was a complete absence of light.
Suddenly a hand clamped down on his shoulder and spun him around. The lantern was snatched swiftly from his hand, before he could drop it in his surprise, and he found himself staring into the shadowed and very angry face of his guardian.
"What... are... you... doing... here!!!" The brunette ground out from between clenched teeth, his body shaking in his fury.
Quatre eyes widened as his courage fled and he discovered that he couldn't utter a single word. He'd never seen Trowa this angry before.
"I asked you a question!!!" The man shook the blonde. "You were expressly forbidden to come up here!!"
"I-I wanted... no... I needed to speak with you!" Quatre cried finding his voice.
"There is nothing left for us to speak about!" Trowa released his grip on the boy's shoulder and stepped away. "If there was before there is not now!" He stalked over to his dresser and slammed the lantern down on it. "You were asked to refrain from going in one place in this house! I trusted your word that you would not come here!"
The blonde flinched at the anger in Trowa's voice. What was so important that he wasn't allowed here? "That's not fair! I only get to see you when you send for me... I needed to talk with you! Trowa! I love you! I can't stand the thought of leaving this place and not seeing you again!" He gasped and fell silent.
The tall man went deathly still at his words, his body taut as a bowstring. He knew, without the shadow of a doubt that he could have this boy. One simple word and he'd be his, in every way imaginable.
"What?" Quatre asked, not believing what he had just heard.
"GET OUT!!!" Trowa roared whirling to face him, his green eyes ablaze with rage. "GET OUT!! You are not welcome here! Nor are you wanted! I want you out of my home... NOW!!"
Choking Quatre backed slowly towards the door. "T-Trowa..."
The brunette turned away. "I will not live under the same roof with someone who has betrayed my trust!!"
He didn't turn back as he heard a strangled sound from the boy and then the soft closing of the door. The heavy weight of exhaustion settled over him as he listened to the sound of Quatre's running feet down the hallway. He had sensed Quatre's presence as soon as the blonde had entered the upper level and had struggled his way to consciousness in order to prevent the boy from seeing him in his state of unnatural slumber.
If he'd been startled from his sleep... he would have killed him out of instinct.
The seductive call of sleep pulsated through his body and he realized that he'd never make it back to his bed. He sank to the floor, unable to keep himself awake any longer.
The next morning, Sebastian stood in the entrance to the house and watched as Quatre handed the last of his luggage up to the man on the carriage. Crossing his arms he huffed angrily to himself as the blonde looked back at him and with a sad smile climbed inside.
He couldn't stop Quatre from leaving... Trowa had ordered him away. He didn't agree with it though and he intended on making sure his lordship was well aware of it.
As the carriage pulled clattered away from the house, Quatre leaned against the window unable to hold back his tears any longer. If he had just come to him and spoken to him, at least once, since yesterday, then maybe it wouldn't be so painful for him. But he hadn't, instead he had sent a message from his offices that night to Quatre and Sebastian stating that the blonde would no longer be living under his roof, but he still expected him to attend the college that he had chosen for him.
Everything had been neatly arranged without the two ever really speaking of it. The school, a place for him to live, and a bank account along with a generous allowance... it was all waiting for him. No goodbye, nothing, just an added order that he expected a monthly report on his progress with his studies and whether he needed anything.
And that it was to be sent to Sebastian and not to him.
Casting one last glance back at the house, Quatre sighed and closed the curtain, leaning back in his seat. There was no way to know what was going to happen from this point forward, but he knew one thing.
Without Trowa, it wasn't going to be worth much of anything to him.
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