thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Not your whore)
Samuel -

I’ve started this a million times, then crossed it out and thrown it away. Trying to put into words what you’ve done, what you doesn’t come, not easily, maybe not at all. Not truly. The words to grasp it, to wrap around it, don’t seem to do it justice. Then, I think, nothing could. It’s something that has to be felt, and I’m not sure you ever could feel it. I know you know what betrayal feels like, and I know you know loss, and disappointment, and what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, but...

Can you combine them all? Do you have it in you? Did you even realize, ever, what you held in your hands all that time?

I would have given you the world, at a word. My life, my heart, my body, my soul--they were yours for the taking, because I believed in you, believed you were special, believed you could rise above the limitations Joseph put on you, could be the savior you wanted to see yourself as. You wanted to be our Messiah, and I believed you had it in you. I wanted to help you make your dreams come true.

I was foolish enough to believe that maybe, just maybe, those dreams included me. Joseph would never have allowed it, but I thought in taking charge you’d finally claim what had been yours for the taking all along. didn’t want me. )

[Complete List Here.]
thepainted_lady: (The things I see...)

Contemplation is in Your Big Picture

It's likely that you have a lot to sort out right now, and your mind has already begun the process.
Things seem incredibly complicated at the present moment. You know you need to take a deep breath and slow down.

Whatever you are turning over will work itself out, and you trust yourself to come up with the right answers.
For now, you've pulled over from whatever journey you're on, but you'll be back on the road soon enough.

thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Not your whore)
Whatever she thought she'd felt inside him for her, for them, she knew now she must have imagined because no one who truly loved her could so callously send her against her objections to whore herself for his convenience.
thepainted_lady: (You need to listen)
[ooc: Noah Bennet is [ profile] im_exhibita and is used with permission.]

Don't know much about your life.
Don't know much about your world, but
Don't want to be alone tonight,
On this planet they call earth.

You don't know about my past, and
I don't have a future figured out.
And maybe this is going too fast.
And maybe it's not meant to last

Lydia wasn't sure what to make of the world she'd found herself in. The outside world had changed so much since she'd joined the carnival. With Samuel gone, she could go back, she knew. It was a possibility, at least. They were her family, and had been for near as long as her biological one, and she couldn't go back to that one. Carol had made that very clear in their last conversation. But back there, among them, around every corner, in each tent, in the smell of greasepaint and ink, lingered the ghost of the man who'd ruined everything, including her.

He'd thought she was going to take them from him, but with him gone, she couldn't find the heart in her to lead the family forward into this world. She took Noah Bennet's invitation instead, looking instinctively toward a new protector in an uncertain world, and as the days stretched into weeks, still she stayed, finding comfort in the steady presence of the man who'd mere name had once terrified her far more than a serial killer's could.

He was a mystery, and one she wanted to solve, though he shied a little from her touches, years of training and paranoia not leaving him very open to the brush of her hand and the intrusion of her gift. So, she tried to figure him out the conventional way, with questions over cereal, and deeper conversations as the nights grew longer, curled up on his sofa, her bare feet tucked under her skirts to fend off the cold of the New York winter, and still he eluded her with half answers and careful evasions.

She figured she couldn't be upset. When he turned the tables, she played the same game, skimming over the shadows of her past with half-truths and blatant lies, crafting a childhood out of figments of imagination and stories culled from others around campfires that once lit the night in a place she'd called home. But it annoyed her, all the same, as her curiosity became an ache to know him, to crack that unflappable facade and peer beneath.

I just want to start again,
Maybe you could show me how to try,
Maybe you could take me in,
Somewhere underneath your skin?

And I had my heart beaten down,
But I always come back for more, yeah.
There's nothing like love to pull you up,
When you're lying down on the floor there.

When she settled on his lap, she thought he'd rebuff her, push her aside however gently. He considered it, she knew, felt the urge rise up in him to compete with the other, more primal one. The woman he'd brought with him to the carnival had faded from his life, though, and it had been as long for him as it was her. In the meeting of their lips, the brush of tongues, she found some of her answers, and for a few moments she indulged her curiosity without shame, learning him as he surrendered, as men eventually all did, and let his hands learn her.

Somewhere between the sofa and the bed, though, questions about his past, his motives, his heart, his mind, faded away. It seemed she'd been cold for months, caught in the web of a betrayal, pierced by a kiss that had been nothing like what she craved, but killed more in her than any bullet could have. Noah's touches found those frozen places, and Lydia shivered, near pain slipping through her as his emotions slid into her as thoroughly as his body did, and forced her to feel her own, reawakening more than just desire.

She cried in his arms, after, the first tears she'd let herself shed since that day, and when the tears ran out, he was still there, still holding her, and she remembered what it meant to have hope.

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Cut your heart out with a spoon)
He'd betrayed everything she held dear, tried to have her killed, tossed her love and loyalty aside like they were nothing, and despite all of that, Lydia was forced to acknowledge that some part of her still longed for him, his touch, his smile, his approval, and, pathetic as it was and furious as it made her, she didn't think that part was ever going to go away.
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] The one who makes me smile)
Lydia knew he doubted her. She could feel it in the brush of her fingers over his skin, and when their lips met. He took her with a sort of desperation, each time they made love, as if convinced this time would be their last, as if he would wake and find her gone, back to Samuel, off to Sylar, away from him. It was her fault, she knew, her own careless affection and dangerous obsession he'd observed too well for too many years. She didn't know how to overcome the fear, overcome the doubt, the undercurrent of belief that he'd been her second choice. Words weren't doing the trick, assurances, tearful confessions, or clinging kisses he accepted, holding her close, but the doubt still lingered. He loved her, needed he, would never fail her, but she'd broken something somewhere, and she didn't know how to fix it.

Part of her said it would just take time. That he would see that she was here and not going anywhere the longer they were together. That, eventually, he'd see she was as committed to this as he. But part of her really wished she could share her ability with him so he could feel it and know now, and...Samuel's comment about how hard it must be for her just to have faith in people came back to worry at the back of her mind, poisoning things they had no business being near and she flinched away from it, because he had no place here in her life, not anymore.

Time might be the cure, but she was impatient. If words would not do, then she hoped actions would. She made her preparations carefully, up to and including handing Amanda a respectable amount of money and pushing her out the door and toward the Dave and Busters at the mall for the night. Amused, her daughter went, and Lydia went back to flitting around the apartment they'd tentatively settled into, wanting it perfect.

When Edgar came home, he stopped inside the door, blinking. The lights were low, with a candle here and there, but she'd been careful of those, not wanting to trigger any bad memories with fire for him. His favorite softer music was playing; his favorite food on the table; and she was wearing what she knew for a fact was his favorite of her dresses. She paid attention to him, specifically to him, even if he didn't think she did, and she was determined to show that.

It was clear he wasn't sure what the grand gesture was for, but he pulled her close for a kiss and Lydia nestled against his chest, arms winding around his neck, returning the kiss with a pleased sigh. Perfect love and perfect trust, and she tried to offer that up with each brush of her lips, something sacred to her, for him, for all the things he'd woken up in her and taught her it was all right to be, again. He must have sensed some of it, because he smiled against her lips before pulling back.

"What is it?" His fingers pushed her hair back in a softly tender gesture.

"I love you." She held his gaze, solemn, but with a smile curving her lips.

"I know," he agreed after a moment where the hesitation lasted a heartbeat too long for her mind's content.

"I love you," she repeated. "Now and forever." She shifted one hand to trail it along his, her fingers winding through his.

"I love you, too." He frowned a bit, as if not quite following why she was being so insistent about this.

"The answer is yes," she said, and he blinked, staring at her. "To the question you want to ask, but won't."

A slightly rueful smile tugged at his lips. "Got that, did you?"

"It's what I do, the way you run," she said, still solemn, because he hadn't reacted to her answer.

He returned the look, and then her words finally seemed to sink in. "Yes?"

"Yes." She repeated it softly, sliding her other hand to cradle his cheek.

"When?" He seemed a little dazed now, and she finally smiled.

"As soon as you want. I don't need anything fancy, and's just the three of us now. Vegas isn't that far, even...I don't care how. I just want to be yours, and for everyone else to know it, too."

He stared at her, then smiled, hands moving to cup her face as he kissed her again. Dinner got cold, but neither of them minded, and for the first time since he'd come back for her, Lydia felt the kernel of doubt ease and dissolve as she held him close, and she smiled. The past was over, but hopefully, now, they could work on building a future.
thepainted_lady: (Trusting soul)
Lydia had missed the last fourteen birthdays with her daughter. To be sure, sometimes she'd managed to send cards, but she hadn't always been able to get away, to send them, and to send too much would risk them tracking back to her. And letting the family know about her past, to be able to make the effort, wasn't always easy. Trips to the post office would be noted, possibly questioned. She'd tried, but she knew it hadn't nearly been enough.

This year, she was determined to do better.

That Amanda was turning fifteen, such a painful year in Lydia's own past, she was sort of trying not to focus on. It was going to be a good day. She was still getting to know her daughter, and had been uncertain what, exactly, she'd like, but she had one idea for part of spending the day she hoped she would approve of, at least, if the gifts weren't quite...right.

All gaily wrapped in bright paper, she had several packages. Inside were: a hand-woven charm bracelet; a brightly colored, butterfly hoodie; and a smaller box containing an aquamarine belly button ring. She has a matching amethyst--her birthstone--one in another a thought that, maybe, if Amanda wants...they could go into town and get piercings done at the same time.

She's let the right people know it's Amanda's birthday, and there will be a larger celebration later, but for now, she just wants to have some time that's just hers with the daughter she's spent too much time away from.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] What comes next?)
Lydia stood in the bathroom door, eyeing the bed in the middle of the room with an analytical look, nibbling on her lower lip.

"Something the matter?" Samuel asked from behind her, breath warm over the back of her neck where her hair was still twisted up from the shower. One arm slid around her waist, and she leaned back against him, still regarding the bed, though her lips curved more in a smile at the solid feel of him there.

"Even if we could get it through the door, which, mind you, is doubtful, I don't think the bed would fit in either of our trailers."

She felt rather than heard the chuckle that rumbled through him, and slid her hand behind her to brush through the wet strands of his hair. "Were you thinking about redecorating?"

"No," she admitted, "But just...I didn't know they made beds that big..."

She knew she was probably revealing a lack of worldliness that she'd rather keep to herself, but she'd never been in a hotel this nice, and she knew well that it wasn't even a resort, really, wasn't anything luxurious by the world's standards. Nice, yes; comfortable, absolutely; meant for vacation, sure; decadent, not so much. But they had room service, and a fireplace in the room, and the tub was big enough for both of them, and that bed...

Teeth scraped the shell of her ear and Lydia's eyes flickered closed on an indrawn breath, momentarily blocking the bed from view.

"Well," Samuel's voice murmured at her ear making her shiver. "If we can't take it home with us, maybe we should make the most of it while we're here, hmm?"

Lydia turned in his arms to catch his lips with hers in answer, smiling a bit at the unfamiliar taste of toothpaste masking that piece that was just him underneath, the little domestic rituals still unfamiliar to them, and took a moment to revel in it, and the feel of everything flowing from him and into her, before sliding her fingers down to undo the towel at his waist as she flashed him a wicked smirk. His smirk echoed hers before he moved again, sweeping her off her feet and toward the vast expanse of the king size bed, and she decided she could get used to this vacation thing.
thepainted_lady: (Leading Sylar off/Temptress at work)
Lydia hated the dogs. It was a visceral sort of reaction, and took her by surprise, given she'd always liked animals before. Or maybe she just disliked their owners that intensely. She tried to push that aside, though. She knew enough of what Sandra's life must have been, given the lies Noah lived within, to surely not begrudge the woman her joy in a dog. Except for the fact that she had children and Lyle, at least, seemed like he could have benefited from a great deal more attention.

Not that she was someone to give mothering advice, she supposed, but she hadn't chosen a dog over Amanda.

The children she was ruminating over had escaped the tension filled room, off to a movie, and Lydia wished, desperately, she'd gone with them rather than playing adult with the grown ups. She wasn't going to contemplate that she was closer to the ages of those who'd fled than those she was sitting with, making strained conversation, but as Doug cooed something else to his little Princess -- for fuck's sake, it was a dog -- Lydia closed her eyes briefly and prayed for strength to anyone or anything listening. She'd taken a serial killer to bed and stroked the ego of a megalomaniac for years. She could deal with dog-obsessed non-specials.

Maybe. )
thepainted_lady: (*amused*)
"Come on," Lydia said, watching her daughter as she was bent over a notebook, scowling. The homeschooling program of the children of the carnival was very loose, but there was some of it, and Amanda working with the teachers had been one condition of Lydia finally giving up fighting Samuel on her staying.

Amanda had not been exactly amused, but with Samuel and Lydia in agreement, there was really very little anyone would do to defy them. Even the teenager caught on to that, pretty fast.

"I have homework," she said now, not looking up, something of her resentment over school showing in a reverse determination to irritate Lydia.

Lydia just smiled. "It will wait. Come on."

Amanda looked up for a moment, then shrugged and shut her notebook, falling in to step beside her. Lydia paused just once, to get them both cotton candy, which made Amanda give her a suspicious look. "What's going on?"

"We're going in to town," Lydia said, ripping a piece of the spun sugar off. "I figured we could use the energy for the walk."

"And pure sugar was your idea?" Amanda still looked skeptical. "That's not very mom-like."

"It's not a day to be mom-like," Lydia said, glancing up at the sun in the sky, and flashing her daughter a mischievous smile.

"No?" Amanda asked, finally starting to smile.


"Did you tell Samuel where we were going?" Amanda asked, glancing back at the carnival.

"Nope," Lydia said.

"So we're both basically playing hooky."

"Yep." Lydia grinned. "It's a time honored tradition in the family. Or, well, it was for me."

"Aunt Carol..."

"...Never skipped a day of class and really disapproved when I did."

"But she's not here."


"And Samuel doesn't know we're gone...."

"Nope." He probably wouldn't have cared that they were leaving, honestly--but it was more fun to sneak off.

Amanda's smile grew. "What are we going to do, then?"

Lydia took another bite of the cotton candy, letting it melt on her tongue, turning it blue, then flashed her daughter a smile. "Anything we want." She glanced down the hill toward the town in the valley, then shot Amanda a challenging look. "Race you."

She heard the slight shout of protest as she took off, that she was being unfair, but she could hear her daughter's footsteps coming fast behind her, and the catch of her breath on a laugh, and she let herself laugh as well as they ran down the hill, trying not to slip and fall, and making their way to a few hours stolen freedom, together.
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Confidante)
There's a small package wrapped and sitting on the table in his trailer. Inside are a matching braided leather Celtic love knot choker and the matching bracelet. Subtle, yes, but she had her reasons for the knot she chose.

Attached is a note reading:

These aren't nearly as lovely as the piece you got me, but I wasn't sure what else you might need, or want. If you'd like, I thought we could have dessert in my trailer tonight. I'm sure the family will want to celebrate with you, but perhaps after...

Happy birthday.
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
Let me be your shelter
Let me be your light
You're safe, No one will find you
Your fears are far behind you...
All I want is freedom,
A world with no more night
And you, always beside me,
To hold me and to hide me...
Then say you'll share with me
One love, one lifetime
Let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you...
Anywhere you go, let me go too
That's all I ask of you...

She saves the voicemail message, even though it might not be the wisest idea. Samuel knows of the phone, now, knows she has it--he could come looking, searching at any time, to see if she's keeping any more secrets from him. But she keeps it just the same, as if in defiance of the danger, however small a defiance it might be. It's something she can play in the night, in her trailer, when she's scared of what's to come, scared for Amanda, scared for all of them.

It gives her hope, even more than the text message exhorting her to keep on fighting. She's never been much of a fighter, doesn't know how to stand up to Samuel, truly, without bringing down his wrath. How can she hope to sway him from his course, when he's so determined and in possession of such power? He seems to grow stronger every day, and more bent on a path that leads to ruin, for all of them. Part of her knows she should just leave. Pack Amanda up and go--anywhere. They could go back to Carol, surely, if only for a little while. Amanda wouldn't go alone, but maybe, if Lydia promised to go with her, maybe then she would go.

And Carol would take them in.  She'd have to.  If Lydia had to tell her about what they both were, so be it...but then what?  How would she support them?  How would she survive out there?  If she leaves Amanda again, she has no doubt she'll find her way back here, back to Samuel's influence.  There's no assurance, even, he wouldn't come after them, should they go.  Joseph never held anyone to the family if they wished to leave, but Samuel...Samuel needs them in ways she cannot understand. He's unreasonable about it, about building the family, growing it, "helping" all those lost out there, but they aren't all lost, not really, and underneath his words something rings false. He isn't outright lying, she doesn't think, but he's driven more by power than altruism, and he won't listen to her, not anymore.

She curls up at night, and she tries to think of a way out, and she knows she can't do it alone.  Moreover, she figures out, finally, listening to the message for the upteenth time, hearing the echo of his voice and the way it calms her, even from so far away--she doesn't want to do it alone. She misses him with an ache she can't deny, like part of herself has been torn away. She has her daughter, the person she channeled all of her longing into, but that hole she's lived with for so long is still there. Amanda's here, but Edgar is gone, and that's wrong, somehow, above and beyond everything that Samuel has done or is planning.  It's wrong not to see his face, wrong not to hear his voice in the morning, wrong not to have his strength to lean on.

The laugh in her throat turns almost to a sob, because she realizes she misses what she never had almost as much as what she did, and so she plays the message again, and she tries to draw strength and hope from it, for gaining back what was lost and something so much more besides.

"Lydia, it's me. I don't know when; I don't know how. But I'll come back for both of you. I promise."*

Edgar has always kept his promises to her, and she softly promises herself that when he fulfills this one, she'll make a few of her own, and neither of them will ever have to be alone again.

[*Quote from "Slow Burn" - Part 10/ Edgar is [ profile] right_handman ]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] You need to listen...)
It was such a simple thing, but without her sweater in the chill of the morning in Samuel's trailer, Lydia slid into one of his shirts instead of back into hers and wrapped her arms around herself to press it close to her skin, breathe in the earthy scent of him that lingered on it, and smile as she remembered the night before.


thepainted_lady: (Default)

October 2011

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