003. Prologue – ‘Broken’

Title: Broken
Genre: Undefined
Characters: Abigail Alexander, Eckhard Koenig
Story Origin: Prologue to Knock it Down, Wings of Steel
Prompt: 003. Broken
Word Count: 1,256
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Abigail decides.
Warnings: Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes

Eckhard entered, closing the door softly behind him.  Entering her chambers was a daring thing, but Libitina was preoccupied and it was a full moon, so Antonius was far away.  It was difficult to catch Abigail where she wasn’t constantly being shadowed by that dog.  Eckhard was determined to keep the plan moving.  He only hoped that Abigail hadn’t forgotten and gotten swept up in the werewolf’s charms.

The chill of the night still lingered in the room, telling Eckhard that the crackling he heard was from a freshly started fire.  Abigail hadn’t been in her room long.  It was very late into the evening… where could she have been?

Abigail turned suddenly, a gasp escaping her lips as she saw Eckhard.  Instantly, her cheeks flushed and she made a move to cover herself.  Without thinking, she blurted out, “Eckhard, you shouldn’t be in here!”

The look on his face was answer enough.  A dubious, raised brow followed by the quirking of his pale lips.  He could see nothing but darkness, denied of the lace and silk that adorned her figure, pale and glowing against the fire’s light.  What would be scandalous was otherwise timid.  There was simply no reason for shame when Eckhard was unable to even see the nose in front of his face.

“O-Oh, Eckhard… I’m… sorry.  I forgot,” she offered quietly, still feeling a bit uneasy.  His gaze was such that one could easily forget he was blinded.  Very rarely did he have that distant, glazed look to him.  His pale blue eyes always seemed to keen on everything before them.

Any other time, he would have found amusement in this situation.  Now, however, all he could think about was why she was so late in coming back to her room.  Antonius had left only an hour prior.  Had she been with him?  Using his preternatural abilities and strengthened senses, he sought her out, probing against her own energy, trying to stay hidden.  It was difficult, as a Seer’s very nature was to be constantly aware of the stimuli that surrounded them.

“Eckhard,” Abigail said softly, “what are you doing?”

Her senses were heightened, too, more so than usual.  What had she been doing?  Thoughts that he’d rather not entertain plagued his mind.  He groped for an answer, finding himself surprisingly speechless and without his normal, smooth charm.

“Why are you so late returning?”

She turned away from him, a simple movement that he caught only because he heard the shifting of her skirts and the change of her breathing.

He moved to her, unwilling to let her escape so easily.  His hand caught her arm, stopping her from moving even further away.  The heat from her skin was intoxicating and the closer he moved, the more he realized that she smelled faintly of the outdoors.

“I love him, Eckhard.” Abigail’s quiet voice said suddenly, shattering his reverie.  Her tone was apologetic.

It took a moment for the words to sink in, for their meaning to truly be revealed to him.  Love.  She was in love with that dog, that werewolf scum.  He should have known better, he should never have sent her into the jaws of the beast, for now she rested firmly in his belly.  She was lost to him now.

“That is not what was intended,” Eckhard replied finally, his voice uncharacteristically quiet.  His hand gently moved down the length of her arm, fingers caressing the thin layer of lace that coated her skin.  She was so warm, so earthen.  It was like having an anchor amidst all the chaos and even now, it was being pulled, torn away.  His chest tightened and the freshly hewn heat of anger rose up within him.  His grip on her tightened, his fingers encasing her tiny wrist.

“We are friends, Eckhard,” Abigail said, frightened, but diligent.  “I have always saw you as such.  There was no deception there.”

She was reading him, his emotions like an open book, words flowing out from the pages in waves.  Instantly, his walls erected themselves, slamming her out.  She let out a cry, physically responding.  He spun her around rapidly to face him, anger spreading across his face.

“Eckhard, please,” she begged, pleaded.  Her voice was so soft, so filled with sudden sorrow.  It was shallow, though.  Beneath that there was love, not for him, but for that creature.  Hardly a man, wholly a beast.  What made him deserving of her warmth and anchorage?  What made him worthy of her care?

“No deception?” Eckhard snapped, his voice a low growl.  It startled her, forcing her a step back, completely wordless.  “You are so privy to my every thought.  Could you not have said something sooner?  Perhaps this is what you intended… to turn us all against one another!  To drive us all mad!  What are you but a whore if you dangle such hopes only to steal them away with silly jests such as love!”

“Eckhard!”

“You will regret this, Abigail,” Eckhard hissed, advancing upon her.  She was helpless as he grabbed at her wrists, shaking her violently.  “How dare you insult me so!”

Abigail was unable to respond, too shocked and terrified.  She had never seen this side of Eckhard before, but knew that it dwelled within him, hiding beneath the surface of curteousy and charm.  He was as much a beast as Antonius, perhaps even more so.  Born into evil and bred to it, he could do nothing but harm and terrify.  In his wake, he left only destruction.  There was nothing Abigail could do to save him.

“A dog, Abigail!  A beast!  You think us similar, do you?  Perhaps you should better guard your thoughts.”

His hand connected hard with the side of her face, his other hand releasing her.  It seemed to take minutes for Abigail to fall, the world spinning around her, her cheek still sore from the strike he’d dealt.  She tumbled downward, landing harshly against the floor, tears flowing freely down her cheeks.  Her emotions were everywhere at once, her thoughts open to the world.  She knew Eckhard had taken advantage of it, had violated her trust.

Worst yet, he had forced her to betray Antonius.  His hiding places, his solitude, everything was now Eckhard’s to have and use as he felt it fit and she would have no chance to warn him.

“You will regret this.” Eckhard snarled, throwing the door open before him.

Abigail lay on the ground, her skirts all about her, hands cupped to her face.  Tears flowed freely as she realized the fullness of her folly.  Everything would be undone.  If only she could have kept quiet, kept distant.  No, even then, it would not have worked.  The darkness in Eckhard would have risen up eventually, engulfing him and everyone around him.  There was nothing Abigail could do.

She only wished she could warn Antonius, for she was sure Eckhard would seek him out.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these.  Well, now we’re getting to the conflict, but we still have some ways to go with relationship developments/etc.  But for all of you who thought that Eckhard was just some sort of kindly gentleman… hopefully you realize he was always kinda prone to violence, lol.  Beatin’ on the women folk, he’s  a bit of a prat.  But him being an ass is why he’s Eckhard.

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5 Responses to “003. Prologue – ‘Broken’”

  1. JMW says:

    Rawr! (First thing that came to my head after reading all of that, and then your personal comment. LOL Had to share.)
    I don’t feel anger, or disgust, or even shock for Eckhard and his actions. Any man, be him beast or devil, or the average Joe can and will break when the one he wants is with another. I’ve always assumed he loved Abigail more than he could handle, or at least thought he did, so I feel for him and his broken self now more than ever.

    And I feel for Antonius and the retribution that will come. I can understand why Abigail kept her feelings and desires to herself, but she should have realized it wouldn’t not last… the deception. Nothing like that can ever last with someone as strong and insistent like Eckhard. Mao, you’re awesome!

    Aww, thank you, JMW! I don’t dislike Eckhard, I just don’t want people mistakenly thinking he’s some kind of anti-hero. Nope. He was born a jackass, and he’ll always be a jackass. That’s why I love ‘em, LOL! Eckhard’s love for Abigail is kind of twisted… it isn’t really love, or rather, it turns into obsession with something he can’t nor ever could have. Eckhard doesn’t like it when he can’t control something, lol. Antonius can handle himself, Eckhard will need to hide when Antonius sees the marks he left on Abigail. The crap, it hitteth the fan soon!

  2. Chari says:

    I still like Eckhard. I think that stems from pitying him. I think had he had love, he might possibly have not turned out the way he had – that darkness would always be there, always ready to strike but I think it could have been better contained if he had had someone by his side, someone he could trust and who trusted him completely.

    I do think the shit is going to hit the fan now with those two. They barely stood each other before and now – well … now, all bets are off.

    I definitely don’t want to discourage anyone liking a character! I just want them to know that there is no changing Eckhard. A big thing with ‘bad’ characters seems to be people thinking they can or will be redeemed. Eckhard doesn’t want it and couldn’t get it if he tried. He’s happy with who he is, though he questions it sometimes. If had won Abigail over, he would have destroyed her and broken her heart. It’s what he does. Eckhard loves Eckhard most of all!

  3. Gayl says:

    Oh my…and there you have Eckhard. There is no trusting a man like him. Although I was a bit surprised that he struck her, I am not at all surprised that he used her vulnerability to his advantage. nor I am surprised that he did not expect Abigail’s feelings for him to be what they are. Surely he knew he would never have her and maybe that is why he finally lashed out.

    Brilliantly written and of course your images are fantastic. The tension and emotion here was palpable.

    Thank you, Gayl! Very true, he is hard to trust, but he also doesn’t trust, so yeah. How can you trust someone that won’t trust you? Eckhard’s lashing out is similar to someone taking a beloved child’s toy. Worse yet, he put her into that position. Backstory was included in WoS, this time. ;) Where he wanted Abigail to get close to Antonius so they could set up Libitina! Ahh, how the tides have turned.

  4. goodbye_sun says:

    Eckhard is such a brat in his younger days, well a bigger one, things are no longer playing out the way he planned so has himself a bit of a tantrum. It actually doesn’t surprise me that he can be quite vicious when he doesn’t get his way, and that he manages even to go stalking off with extra interesting tidbits is like being rewarded for his bad behavior. It did cost what little trust Abigail may have had in him, but in an odd way I can now see that not being able to have her is probably more fulfilling a pursuit that if she had fallen for him instead.

    Haha, he really is a brat with his tantrums! Thankfully, he gets better about it with age, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. ;) Angry or not, Eckhard always knows how to take advantage of a situation. He’s cunning, that’s for sure. I’m glad you can see that the pursuit is more fulfilling than the actual gain.

  5. ruby says:

    Eckhard! *swoons and fans herself* golly look how young he is…
    ah you hussy Abigail, you dont deserve my beloved Eckhard
    *laughs* he would break her if she tried to love him
    Oh snap… now that was some slap.. ouch.. i never felt sorry for Abigail.. I’m still not sure why he obsessed over her, maybe because she was one that didn’t fall for his charms? you know how it is, they want what they cant have.

    Haha, yes, plenty of Eckhard. ;) That alone should be enough to keep your interest. Poor Abigail! And yes, it really is thing of wanting what you can’t have.

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