Justine Ch. 15bykalamazoo707©
Jeremiah found it hard to believe that he had been in the basement for only a few short weeks. During that time, he had seen a number of his victims half of whom only wanted to talk to him in an attempt to understand how he could so what he did. The other half of them chose to exact their revenge and none of it was pleasant. He tried to listen for information regarding the search for the "queen mother" as all of the guards had started calling Josephine and found out very little.
What he did know was that once the search went world wide, it would only be a matter of time before she was found. Once again, he wondered about his fate and if Justine would allow her mother to make the final decision regarding it.
He did get the opportunity to speak with Olivia before she was taken away but only because she asked to speak to him.
"I don't blame you for this." she said. "I blame myself for choosing to believe that you could love me. The queen is right; I am nothing more than a traitor to women. The sad thing is that as much as I hate you, I still love you as much. Take care Jeremiah."
He hadn't spoken the entire time she was there and when she was through, she left not giving him a chance to say anything. The one thing that he did find out was that there were new edicts placed by Justine. The new edicts allowed any abused being to go to any of the homes owned by her for safety. There they could tell of any illegal activities without the fear of repercussion if they were forced to take part in the activities and if they did so willingly, she would give them a chance to explain. If they were abused, the abuser would be found, brought in to face Justine and Quinn and sentenced.
Something that Mikhail said came to mind, "there's going to be a major house cleaning."
It had already started.
"Hello Sugar!" a husky voice said.
Jeremiah turned around to see Natalia lookin gat him with a big smile on her face.
"What do you want?" he asked.
"Nothing much other than to give you a message from the queen."
"What is it?" he asked wearily.
"You get a weeks vacation! It seems that there is someone who really wants to get her hooks into you and the queen has granted her extra time with you."
Jeremiah sat up straighter alarmed.
"Do you know who it is?" he asked.
"Sure do." Natalia replied.
"I can't tell you but you must have done something really bad to her in order for you to get a week's reprieve and for the queen to grant her three days with you."
"You're enjoying this aren't you?" Jeremiah asked.
"Believe it or not, no." Natalia replied, "But neither do I feel sorry for you. You brought this on yourself."
"Can you tell me anything?" Jeremiah asked.
"Have a good week." Natalia said and vanished.
Jeremiah felt his sanity begin to shred and began to give in to the peace of losing his mind.
"No you don't." Justine said watching him and pulled him back to complete sanity. "You still have women to see."
Jeremiah went back on his vow not to beg for mercy and began to beg.
"Please end this! What you are doing does not become a queen! It's barbaric! You allowed the women a chance to explain their actions to you, do I not deserve the same?" he asked.
Justine gave his request a moments thought before replying.
"Alright, I am going to ask you one question, how you answer that question will determine my response to your request." Justine said, "And remember, I'll know if you're lying. If you lie, your week of reprieve will be reduced to three days. Are we in agreement?"
"Yes!" Jeremiah eagerly agreed.
"Here's your question, have you ever regretted and do you regret anything that you've done? And that doesn't include hiring me at your firm or getting caught."
"Yes!" Jeremiah shouted forgetting another promise that he made to himself.
"What is it that you regret?" Justine asked, her eyes blazing daring him to lie.
"I regret what I did to all of those women! I cannot tell you how sorry I am about them and your mother."
Justine looked at Jeremiah, the flames around her eyes growing brighter as they danced angrily around the black pupils.
"Didn't I tell you not to lie?" she asked softly, there was no hint of the anger that her eyes held in her voice.
"I... give me another chance please!" Jeremiah begged. "I only said what I thought you wanted to hear!"
"Do you know what the correct answer is?" Justine asked ignoring his pleas. "It was no my queen, I don't regret anything that I've done other than the things that you just stated."
"Fuck...." Jeremiah whispered as his shoulders sagged.
"Fuck indeed." Justine said, "Your three days begin now but this wasn't why I came to see you. I came to tell you something." she said and waited until he was looking at her. "I'm sure that you know that we're looking for my mother. When we find her, and notice that I said when, I'm going to give her the chance to spend some time with you and after every woman that you've wronged has her chance with you, I'll leave it to my mother to decide what happens to you."
"If she says to let me go, you will abide by her decision?" Jeremiah asked as a little flicker of hope appeared.
"If she says that you have suffered enough, I'll abide by her decision." Justine replied.
Jeremiah looked at her not quite believing her.
"Have I ever lied to you?" Justine asked seeing the disbelief on his face.
"So why would I start now?" Justine asked.
She had a point, in the time that he had been here; no one had lied to him. They didn't tell him everything but neither had they lied. Just as he was about to thank her, Jeremiah realized that she wasn't giving him the information out of the goodness of her heart. She wanted him to hope, she wanted him to think that he had a chance at freedom and of a life even though he would be penniless.
"Thank you for telling me." he said with a bow of his head that made Justine laugh.
"Do you really think that I'm buying this act?" she asked, "You really don't learn." she said as she vanished.
Mikhail's head hurt. There were calls and emails coming as far as far away as the tiniest villages in Russia to as close as the house a mile away. Every call and sighting had to be investigated, if one were missed, chances are it would have been a legitimate sighting.
Stark, his mate and several others fielded the calls, monitored the emails and then sent out a team to investigate. The search had only been in effect for a few days and already hundreds of supposed leads had been followed and discarded.
The staff at the hotel had been interviewed and those who had moved or resigned hunted down and questioned. Out of all of them, only one remembered anything.
"I remember that there was a man, a vampire who didn't allow us in his room." the housekeeper who had to have been old enough to remember the Crimean War said.
"Do you remember his name?" Dante asked her.
"No sir... just that we weren't allowed in his room."
"Do you remember what he looked like?"
"What do you remember?" Dante asked trying not to snap at the woman.
"He wasn't from here." she replied. "He had a foreign accent of some kind."
"What was the room number? Do you remember?"
"It was... 118."
Dante stepped out of the room, called the team that had the guest list and asked the names of the guest who had stayed in that room. He crossed his fingers as he waited for the information. Three people stayed in the room that week, two female and one male. The male had been visiting from out of town and didn't have a discernable accent. However, just to be thorough, females were also checked out although the consensus was that it was a male that had found Josephine.
That lead had been yesterday and like the others had turned out to be a bust. Mikhail rubbed his eyes and picked up the phone to call Auggie. There had to be something else that they could do, but what? He had no idea. What he did know was that he needed to feed and he needed some time alone with Zoe. He missed her and realized that as much as he had missed the hunt, he missed her more. That decision prompted the decision that he would only hunt locally and if he had to leave, there had to be no other choice. His mind went back to the business at hand as soon as Auggie answered the phone.
The day after her escape/rescue Josephine spent the day in bed at David's insistence in spite of her assuring him that she was fine. She put her foot down when he tried to feed her.
"David! I'm fine will you stop coddling me?"
He stopped trying to feed her, but wouldn't let her get out of bed until the next day and only because she insisted. Whenever she could, Josephine looked in the mirror to see if her eyes had gone back to their normal shade of brown. It wasn't until the evening of the second day that she and David realized that it wasn't going to happen; her eyes would always be as they were. It was also when Josephine began to wonder if David no longer wanted her. Other than to hold her as she slept or to kiss her cheek, he hadn't touched her.
Before the kidnapping, she wouldn't have addressed it. She would have accepted it as one of his moods that would pass in a day or so but she needed him and they needed to talk. She waited until he had dismissed the staff for the evening to bring her concerns to him. She didn't even know how to bring it up so she went straight to the point.
"Why did you lie to me?"
Instead of being angry as she thought he might be at her tone, he was relieved. It was then that she realized that he was waiting for her.
"I told you how I found you." he said softly, "I didn't know who had done such a horrible thing to you or of they were still looking for you. For all I knew, they were going to double back to make sure that you were dead. My only thought at the time was that you were almost dead and that if I didn't do something that you would die. I fed you some of my blood there, it wasn't much but it was enough to keep you alive until I could get you to my room. You had no identification with you and you were unconscious so I couldn't ask. I was going to give you the bagged blood in the fridge but... I couldn't, it didn't feel right."
"So you fed me your blood." Josephine murmured.
"Yes." David replied, "But it wasn't until we are on the plane that I understood what happened and knew who you were. I was meant to find you... I had been staying at the hotel for almost a week and I never took that way back when I walked. However, I still didn't know your name, where you came from so I started calling you Jerri; it sounded better than hey you. I could have looked into your memories but I had no idea of what else had been done to you, I didn't want to risk making anything worse."
"Why didn't you tell me about my daughter?"
David shrugged, "There isn't a good reason for that other than I didn't want to lose you."
"You didn't trust me."
"I was afraid that you would leave me because I didn't tell you about your child. It didn't occur to me that I could have told you and that we could have raised her together... I was thinking only of myself. The times that I was so short with you was because of guilt and fear and I cannot tell you how much I regret the decision to keep you away from your child."
"But we're not talking about a year here! She would be in her thirties if she's still alive. She was three the last time I saw her. You've known about her for years but you still said nothing!"
Hot tears ran down her face but she continued.
"I understand why you didn't try to find out who I was in the beginning and I know that you cared for me and loved me but David, you lied to me. If I hadn't accepted you as my mate I still wouldn't know the truth would I?"
"I was going to tell you. I just didn't know how." he replied, "The mating made it imperative but I swear to you, I was going to tell you before we mated but the time never seemed right."
"What would have made the time right?" Josephine asked her tone a little softer.
"I can't answer that except to say that I began to realize several years ago that I needed to tell you. What stopped me? The fear that you would leave... selfish isn't it? I put my own fears and needs before the fears and needs of my mate and child. I'm not even going to try to defend myself because there is no defense. I can only beg your forgiveness and ask that you remember that I love you."
Josephine was quiet for several minutes keenly aware that David was waiting for her to say something, anything that would alleviate his guilt.
"I wish that you had trusted me enough to tell me the truth." she said softly. "I would have been angry but I wouldn't have left you either. We could have been far past this but the question is what are we going to do? As I told you, I love you in spite of everything but I have to know is there anything else that you haven't told me?"
"About your past? No, I've told you everything."
"When you looked for my daughter, did you find her?"
"I didn't actively look for her." David replied, "But at the time she was alive and living with your sister in New Jersey."
"New Jersey?" Josephine asked, "We don't know anyone there."
"I don't know why they moved there but they moved several years after you disappeared."
"What about my mother? Where was she?" Josephine asked not really wanting to hear the answer.
"I don't know," David replied, "she wasn't with them when they moved."
"I need to find all of them, will you help me?"
"Of course I will." David replied, "As a matter of fact, I've already started."
"Thank you... I want you to do something else for me."
"Anything." David replied.
"I want you to help me remember that night and before you say no, you really don't have any choice in the matter. I want and need to remember it so that I can deal with it and be able to concentrate on finding my daughter."
David nodded his head, he really didn't want her to remember what happened to her or know how he found her but she was right, he really had no say in the matter.
"Josephine, is it too soon to ask for your forgiveness?"
Josephine hesitated before answering; it all came down to whether she loved and trusted him. If she didn't, how would it affect the finding of her daughter and the relationship between her and David? It occurred to her that maybe this was why David hadn't touched her; he was waiting for her as he waited for her to bring up the subject of his lies.
David watched her trying to decipher the expression on her face and gave up. He could see the purple flames around her eyes flickering as she thought about her answer. He wondered what the change in her eyes meant but finding out the reason for it wasn't at the top of his list of priorities at the moment.
After what seemed like hours, Josephine spoke.
"I'm not going to pretend that I'm not hurt or angered by what you did because I am and I probably will be for a long time." she said. "But.... My mother used to tell me...."
She stopped, she remembered her mother!
"Josephine?" David called when she stopped talking.
"I remember my mother... when she got angry with me she would always tell me that no matter what I did that she would always love me. That even if she didn't like what I did, that the fact that she loved me would never change and I guess that's what I'm saying to you. I understand why you made the choices that you did but I hate the fact that you kept things from me for so long."
David could hardly believe it. While she was still angry with him, she would forgive him but he needed verbal confirmation that she was still going to accept him as her mate. If she said no, he would let her go without a fight but he would never be far away from her.
"Thank you for that and if your mother were here, I would give her a big hug and a kiss." David said. "But I must ask you a question... You accepted me as your mate before you knew about what I did, now that you know, will you still accepts me as your mate?"
Josephine started; she hadn't thought that the question of being mates would be an issue. She had assumed that they would remain mates and would work out their issues.
"When I was trapped with Eppi and Freddie, one of the things that I kept thinking about was you and how I knew that you were going to find me. The other thing that I kept thinking about was how I missed you and couldn't wait to be home with you again even with this thing between us so yes, I accept you as my mate."
David let out a breath that he wasn't aware that he had been holding but she wasn't through talking.
Her eyes flashed and the flames around them intensified as she spoke, David jumped as the heat of the flames touched him even though he was sitting across from her.
"Don't you ever lie to me again and if there's anything else that you need to tell me, now is the time."
David swallowed hard, he wasn't afraid of Josephine but surprised at the strength he felt flowing from her. He tried to think of anything that he needed to tell her and came up empty handed.
"There is nothing more to tell you and you have my word that I will never lie or withhold anything from you again no matter what it is."
As David spoke, the intensity of the flames around her eyes cooled until they were not quite diminished but a warm glow. She really had missed him.
"I believe you." she said after a moment and held out her hand to him inviting him to come to her.
Seconds later, David had Josephine in his arms and was kissing her eyes, nose and face murmuring how much he had missed her and how frightened he had been for her. With his arms securely around her, they vanished from where they sat ignoring the insistent ringing of the phone that had started seconds before.
Justine wasn't resting and Quinn was growing concerned even though she assured him that she was fine.
"Will you stop already?" she said after he asked her what felt like the millionth time what was bothering her.
In truth, she felt better than she had since she became queen, the lack of rest didn't concern her because in her human life she had episodes of sleeplessness and in her experience, it meant that something good was going to happen. It happened before she was accepted to law school and then again, when before she found out that she passed the bar and when she stopped to think about it, it happened just before her and Pam went out that night for dinner.
She took Quinn's hand in hers, brought it to her lips and kissed it.
"Quinn, I'm fine, I promise. This isn't a new thing for me and besides, you would know if I weren't fine wouldn't you?"
"Yes but you're not resting." Quinn replied kissing her hand in return.
"It happens and usually when something good is about to happen so relax and I promise that later I'll show you a new trick that I learned."
"That sounds... interesting, why can't you show me now?" he asked his cock already hard.
"Because we have a meeting with Violet and Edward and then with Mikhail for updates." she replied rubbing the front of his jeans. "But I promise, it will be worth the wait."
"You are such a tease!" Quinn exclaimed as he pulled Justine so that she was flush against him. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed against her. "Can we be just a few minutes late?"
He didn't give her a chance to answer before he picked her up, stripped her with a thought and was deep inside of her. Justine wrapped her arms around his neck and held on as Quinn lifted and then slammed her back down onto his cock until she came first and then him shortly afterwards.
Afterwards, Quinn kissed her soundly, set her on her feet and held her until she steadied.
"Now we can go." he said with a grin as he redressed them.