I walked into the emptiness of Romanus Manor. Cherry had gone back to where she belonged, with her husband. I felt the chill of the air that runs through the whole house more so than ever before. I miss him. With every fiber of my being, with every pore of my preternatural flawless skin, I look at my hands… my left ring finger that adorns several stacks of rings, all with such different meanings and capturing such memories for me. One in particular… an eternal band of small round diamonds… stands out for me. It was the ring he gave me when we adopted our daughters, Saralyn and Brelynn. Oh how I miss them. They humanized me in a way that no other had ever before, or after. I became a mother. My heart opened and embraced the very many facets of this prism of life because of my girls. Marius said to me when he gave me this ring…
“No other love will ever be like my own as the love of our twins… and the love of the many more we will have for eternity blesses us with this joy a thousand times over.”
He always did have a way with words. So I sit alone in this big house, without him… without my girls. Was I so terrible of a person? I really tried hard not to be. I know, we all know, that we have to live with the affliction that we were given — many against our own will, others in the name of love, and still others for the bloodthirst — but we maintain that we do not have to lose our humanity completely and utterly. That is the teachings of Maharet and Mekare, the teachings of my husband, Marius.
Through the opening of adoptions, we’ve created beautifully diverse families in this House. I am now grandmother to three beautiful girls, all so different yet so individually amazing, and one very smart and naturally talented, curious little handsome boy. Armand and Merida’s family shall continue to grow as well Va’lis and Cherry’s family, especially after Marius returns and continues his work on the Kickstart Serum, and my sons will experience the most human experience of their lives — the birth of their mortal children, completely perfect. I have faith that Maharet and Khayman will see no troubles with their current endeavor and that we will triumph over our own limitations. All at the hands and mind of my beloved. Talk about progress!
But I still cannot help but to ache over the departure of my darling and gorgeous Brelynn with her beautiful long blond hair and sparkling eyes. The loss of Saralyn was especially hard on her. Saralyn was the free spirit, the fearless, the accepting… Piper can tell you just how much she loved and protected her twin sister, but also helped her explore and discover. Without Saralyn, Brelynn had had no one to tell her things would be okay, to accept what she was, to embrace the power, to learn the ways of the mother and father that loved them. For Marius, Brelynn’s departure had been an open wound to his unbeating heart that never healed. She was “Daddy’s Little Girl” and I think she will always be. Saralyn and I had that special bond as well, but I too loved Brelynn just as equally. I simply could not be asked to choose between them… it would be impossible. Brelynn’s unique view of the world and her softness was what melted our hearts. I loved to curl up with a book and read to her. She loves to learn!
But the lessons that her love for Va’lis would teach her were… were… just too much for her then frail heart that was engulfed in grief for her twin sister. In Va’lis’ desperate attempt to belong to someone, he gravitated to Brelynn because she had a mother and father that loved her so much. He himself had been robbed of this. He knew no other way to go about attaining it than to… own… her. I saw this. I saw this coming away. And nothing I said or did stopped it from happening… it only served to encourage it. I blame myself entirely. My husband tried to accept the relationship and he and I would fight, fight hard. I saw it as him letting our only surviving daughter dive into a blazing fire. He saw it as me driving her away from her family. The strife was too hard to watch, to be around, to live with… so Brelynn ran away, far away. I wonder if her heart can feel my despair… my loneliness… can she feel the void of her father? Her father that loves her so completely? Would that be enough to return her to us?
I sat on the edge of Brelynn’s bed, as tears slowly escaped my eyes. I wiped them off, but of course the blood in them would stain my face. I knew I had to buck up, keep it together. Get up now Pandora, go wash your face, brush your hair, look the part. Just then, there was a slight tap on the door. “Domina est okhai omnia?” Cassius’ voice rung in my ears. Hearing that old familiar tongue, one that those of our time — like Flavius and Cassius — knew so well. It reminded me I am not alone in this big house and that brought me comfort. “Ego vero, cumi ex,” I answered and my face felt a warmth in that moment. “Ibimus verba vitae aeternae venari?” He asked. I smiled, “Sed scis mulier primum fieri.” I walked over and opened the door. I hide very little from my sons and Cassius was in fact one of my stepsons, created by Marius. His presence felt like having a little bit of him, as did Armand’s.
He followed me to the bathroom, where to my surprise all my hair products had been replaced. I mean a girl can’t go without her Paul Mitchell. Knowing Va’lis he’ll be over to have me do his hair. I give it 24 hours.