impertinences: (falling is like this)
you're too young & eager to love ([personal profile] impertinences) wrote on November 7th, 2014 at 10:33 pm
Trying out a new character!


Augusta was twelve the last time he crawled invited into her bed.
She remembers it because his eyes were wide and fearful – the eyes of a child – instead of hard and cruel. He had always been mean, and she suspected even then that Maximus indulged her brother’s peculiarities because he preferred cruelty to weakness, so the sight of his fear startled her because of its foreignness. Even by ten Harrow had begun cementing himself, furnishing his personality with savagery and hatred. He was never a child, not really, except for these occasions when his dreams forced him to reveal his age.
She was two years older than him, and she knew they were getting too old for such things, but she pushed aside her covers and let him slide his cold hands around her waist. He buried his head into her neck, his breath hot on her throat, and she felt the way his mouth twisted as he struggled to contain his tears.
If Harrow cried, he would never forgive himself; he would be horrible in his shame and angry with her for witnessing it, so she stroked the back of his neck to sooth him. “Do you remember your mother?” She never asked him about his dreams. It would be pointless. Intimate conversation was an art form, a skill to be mastered, a strategy to be implemented. It was not meant for siblings.
He shook his head. He was quiet when he was vulnerable. Quiet usually implied the possibility of an emotional outburst, but even Harrow would be punished if he was caught out of his rooms at this hour. Perhaps he was sulking instead – even after all these years, she could predicate his moods only occasionally. They came and went with the tides.
“Well, I remember mine. They say father fell in love with her the first time he saw her, but her family wouldn’t let her marry him. She was better than he was. She was too good for him.”
Harrow’s voice was soft but angry, a drizzle of heat on her collarbone. “Your mother was a whore. … Everyone knows that.” He sounded like a serpent when he whispered.
Augusta tsked, chiding him. “She was royalty.”
“Was not. Father said he found her on the side of the road. Father said he cut off her head because she couldn’t have a son.”
“She had me.”
“You aren’t his son.” He was using his mean voice, but it was intentional. Instead of sounding flustered, his t’s and n’s were sharp, blade-like.
Augusta preferred his mean streaks to his fear. She was more accustomed with his sense of entitlement. Her voice was soft, like a conspirator, as gentle as butterfly wings, and she kept stroking his neck. “But I’m still his first.”
Harrow pinched her side, twisting her skin. His voice raised two octaves. “Father doesn’t need you! He tells me all the time.”
Quickly, stifling the yelp of a wounded puppy, she dug her nails into his shoulder until he squirmed. “Don’t be ungrateful.”
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