Chapter 7.20 – Mistake

Many years ago, Corwin Barimen vanished from his hometown on the Baltic Sea (Author’s Note: see Chapter 1.21 – Guardian).
None of his rivals were saddened by the loss. And, not surprisingly, neither were any of his beneficiaries. Nothing was ever done to find out what happened to him for fear that he might actually be found alive.
As time went on, the name Barimen became better known for the good deeds being done in Sunset Valley. With their reputation of fear and power at stake, one of Corwin’s female heiresses made the decision to assume the name Logrus; the surname of her soon to be late husband. She eliminated her other siblings and cemented hold on the family’s Baltic Sea estate.
Barimen was soon replaced with Logrus, as the name that strikes fear into the locals. And as the generational march proceeded, it was eventually all but forgotten. That is, until a young man born into the Logrus family became interested in seizing power from his older brothers. He instinctively knew that information is equivalent to power, and so he went in search of answers. That is when he learned about Corwin and his own Barimen  ancestry.
Brand wielded the knowledge to eliminate his older brothers. The eldest brother made the stupid mistake of trying to kill Brand, but it didn’t turn out so well for him. The other brother had taken on the alias Jones, and moved to Sunset Valley with intent of laying claim to the Barimen fortune there. Thanks to Amber, it didn’t work out so well for him, either.
Brand sits back and shows his approval of Amber’s intuition with dramatic applause. He compliments her ability to put the story together with only scraps of information. After having been here only a few days, she has managed to infer the details of the account perfectly. She blushes and thanks him using the local language, which she has quickly mastered, and now speaks perfectly without accent.
Visiting this place has been like living in some kind of fantasy kingdom from the storybooks; complete with an ancient Baltic manor made from stone and mortar. Brand has treated her like a queen during her stay. And though he has not made any romantic advances, Amber feels herself being drawn to him in a way unlike any other sim before him.
He seems to have all the right answers when she subtly probes him for information. He talks about restoring the Barimen name to its rightful status here. And though he has never mentioned it, she understands it will require marriage to make it happen. She has no idea if this “feels” right or not. She has buried her feelings, along with the emotional tangle of knots that comes with them. Isn’t this how fairy tales end? It wouldn’t be terrible, living the life of privilege that Brand can provide for her.
So, at a formal dinner hosted by Brand one evening, Amber plays the part of the lady to his lord. She studies the other wealthy aristocrats. And she mimics how the husbands and wives interact socially together, and with others. Brand catches on immediately, enthusiastically playing along with her game. By the end of the evening, Amber has only one thought in mind. The last guests cannot leave soon enough.
Like everything else Brand does, the affair is wrapped in extravagance and painstaking elegance. Not wanting the appearance of being in a hurry, he entices her with a warm bath together in a heated, stone basin; surrounded by candles and drinking hundred-year-old nectar. Then, when he is sure that she cannot contain herself any longer, they retire to an amazing bedroom filled with the aroma of exotic incense. It is furnished with the most expensive linens and comforts she has ever seen. She feels no hesitation accepting his proposal of marriage. The silent ceremony of exchanged rings seems almost ancillary, as they sink together into the down-feather and silk pillows; where she is treated like royalty until the morning sun peeks through ancient windows.
Amber’s dreams are disturbed and troubling. There is a tiny cabin on a small spot of land; her land. She feels a sudden and desperate imperative to get back there . She has made a terrible mistake. Now something within cries to be returned to its home, but it cannot go there alone.  It needs Amber. It is dependent upon her. Amber is not pregnant, at least not in the ordinary sense. This is something altogether different, but at the same time, not. It occurs to her, that she is a kind of existential host for something very, very old.  It has been incubating and readying itself for a long time, and it is nearly ready to emerge. But it cannot; not without being at that place. And now, because of her, they may both die.
She wakes the next morning and knows immediately that something is wrong. Pain in her head pounds in rhythm with her heartbeat, and she cannot move her arms or legs. The indescribable sensations of ecstasy from last night have completely vanished. It was  as unnatural as it was arousing; like pure pleasure being fed into her soul by a fire-hose. It felt amazing, but at the same time, wrong. Now, those unnatural sensations have been replaced by panic and fear. She senses Brand standing over her and tries to reach out to him, or speak. But all that comes out is a cry of pain.
She focuses her eyes on his face, which, oddly, she finds to be smiling. He crouches so that she can see him more clearly, and she is immediately sorry that he did. Brand has transformed from being just creepy, into something demonic and evil. He informs her that the poison he has administered is going be excruciating, and that watching her suffer will be quite delicious.
A tear falls down Amber’s face and onto the silk pillows as Brand apologizes that he cannot allow her to live. He does reassure her that there is nothing personal against her at all, and that their evening together was quite memorable. He informs her that she missed a very important detail in her solution to the mystery. All he and his brothers ever really wanted, was the land her family owns in Sunset Valley. Now, with the marriage contract in hand, it is his. But there is one small, dirty job still left to perform.
Unfortunately for Amber, it requires that she fall victim to a very tragic ending.

9 thoughts on “Chapter 7.20 – Mistake

  1. I’m reminded of Dracula (the book, not the horrid movie). It might have been the lighting, though. I don’t think that Brand is a vampire. Amber really needs a white knight about now. Or a stroke of luck.


  2. Heh, nope …no blood-sucking in Amber’s future 🙂
    Though I will agree that Brand is pretty evil. Ironically, he actually will be pretty hot after everything is said and done…


  3. Oh my goodness, what has Amber gotten herself into?! Brand is more than evil… :[
    At last all in revealed about what everyone seems to want..and Amber is just a pawn in the whole game.
    I feel so sorry for her! How is she going to escape this?!


  4. Maybe he’s a thingummywut c:

    Back to more serious (?) topics, I hope Amber can find a way to get herself out of this pickle. I’ll just have to keep reading and find out more (:


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