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 Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)

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PostSubject: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:37 pm

The Richardsons had been pushed form the house with as much grace as the staff could muster after Joshua had excused himself. Roman did his best to cover any offence that may have occurred from his cousin's sudden change of heart. If nothing else, Roman was hoping to savour what little favour he might have left with the family before they left.

But as he watched Verena slip through the Floo Network, Roman's gut began to knot up. The how was not something Roman was overly worried about. It was the why. If someone had seen them... why could they not have simply kept quiet. Christopher had dealt with it...

Moving up towards his cousin's study, Roman stole himself a steadying breath before walking in. Many men might have left, but Roman was not a coward. Even in the face of the formidable Joshua Murray.

"I asked you here because I thought you were interested in securing this marriage." Joshua told him without preamble, not looking up from his desk as he moved papers around and looked for something Roman could only guess about. "And yet, cousin. You seem to have stabbed me in the back. Or, rather, you have attempted to. Unfortunately for you, you're stupid, and this has backfired tremendously on you." Joshua continued, looking up at Roman for the first time. "You're to stay away from her, Roman. She is not the kind of witch either of family's require. I will be writing to your father about this."

Roman's jaw set. He could imagine his father's words already. Despite being older than his cousin, Roman felt like a child. Being put back in his place. But, he was not going to roll over. "And if I refuse to stay away from her?"

Josh's smile turned darker as he finally found a sheet of paper, dipping his quill in to the ink before looking back up at Roman. "If you refuse, I'm afraid you might fall ill to injury. A career ending injury. We both know Quidditch is your passion. And, if that isn't enough. Miss Richardson might... find her food laced with an unidentifiable potion. I do not take kindly to humiliation. Even from family."

Roman knew better than to doubt those words too.

Turning on his heel, Roman left, apparating home. And trying to work out what in Merlin's name he was going to do...

***

Dear Mr Richardson,

It is with the most saddened heart that I must bring myself to decline the marriage proposal as set out by yourself. The marriage between Miss Verena Richardson and myself has been one that I simply cannot fathom as reasonable.

I pray that you will forgive me the insult of declining your offer, however, there are rumours circulating the wizarding world that your daughter is not as you would have me believe. Such rumours simply cannot be afforded by the Murray family name - or it's close family.

Should things grow differently in the future, I would be willing to reconsider.

Yours sincerely,


Joshua Murray
Head of the Murray Family


***

The malicious rumours had sprung up in the wizarding community only the next day. Throwing Verena's name in the dirt, whilst leaving Roman as the innocent party. Verena was labelled a harlot, rumours were flying about the witch consorting with Muggle and Muggleborn men alike. Rumours of affairs with married men. Roman knew they were not true, but the Pureblood society took it up so easily. Crushing Verena's worth because she had dared to outsmart Joshua Murray and failed.

As he sat chewing himself up for it, though, Roman could not even begin to fathom how Verena was, which was why he'd done the reckless. After securing Verena a mobile phone, loading it with his number and things he thought she might like, Roman had waited for darkness to come over. Which meant it was quite late when he apparated in to Verena's room. It was dark, though, and with the aid of the light from the phone, he found Verena's bed empty. She wasn't here yet.

Thinking for a few moments, Roman slipped in to the en-suite. He could wait here for Verena to come up, and make sure she was alone. That was the best plan he had. And then he could explain everything to her.

For now, though, he simply had to wait and hope he did not get caught in her room.
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:07 pm

The moment Verena had left the Murray Manor, she knew, she just knew that this was the end. There would be no warnings or conditions. There would be no chances to make this right, come to an agreement with the Murray heir. No, Joshua Murray would end her life in seconds, and Verena was simply just not prepared for that. She didn't believe he would end up doing that much harm to her.
But she underestimated him. Because this was the infamous Joshua Murray. And he just wouldn't take this easily.

The letter from the Murray heir arrived shortly, confirming Verena's thoughts. She was there when her father read the letter, there to take it all. Every words her father said. What that letter wrote were pure lies, lies that reached the ears of the Pureblood society faster than anything. It didn't take her long to be labeled a whore, who seduced men. She had lost her name, her power, and every possibility of a good marriage that would help her family. She had destroyed everyone. She had destroyed herself.

Roman was free of charges though. His name was nowhere to be seen, and the young witch was the one that took all the blame. She could not believe how these rumors were believed by these people, but even if they knew they were lies, they would never stand against Joshua Murray. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to take her out of the picture. She was the strongest female of age. She opposed a threat to every other female suitor out there. And now, she was crushed.

Verena had spent the days in her room, crying, refusing to see anyone or talk to anyone. Serafina was one of the first who had tried to talk to her, but Verena had told the servants she wouldn't be seeing her sisters. Christopher had tried too. Verena was not prepared for him, though. After what had happened, she simply could not believe that he would want to talk to her ever again. She had destroyed her family. Her only chance of marriage. But she didn't do it out of selfishness. She was in love. In love with a man with whom she could never be with.

So even if her brother tried to talk to her, see her at least, Verena didn't give him the satisfaction. The witch believed that he would probably scream at her, tell her how she had messed up. How she hadn't listened to him and now she had destroyed everything . And she simply did not want to listen to the same things again and again. She knew her life was pretty much over with. No man would ask her for marriage, and her reputation had been destroyed beyond repair.

But it was unfair. It was unfair how a whole society could be controlled by Joshua Murray, when the Richardsons were the one with power. When Joshua was interested in a marriage with her, he wanted the money and the stability her family would offer. They were far more powerful than Joshua Murray could ever be, yet they were being cowards, hiding in the shadow of a blonde asshole.

The witch had not left her room at all, barely eating or sleeping. Most of the time she was crying, or drinking. A bottle of wine had been her best friend since the news arrived, and the darkness of her room. She only came out on her balcony during the night in order to cry alone with the silent company of the moon, while reading poetry. How painful love was. And they were right. Her heart was aching. It was breaking.

It was already dark when she finally made her way back to her room. Verena had sneaked out earlier today, making sure to grab just a couple of snacks and another bottle of pure red wine while her family was away. She paid a visit to the Library to pick up some books and as soon as she heard her family was back, she ran back to her room and locked the door. It was late, and no one bothered to check on her, thankfully.

Sighing, she didn't bother to turn on the lights as she waved her hand and the balcony doors opened widely, revealing the bright full moon outside. A beautiful yet sad view. Placing the bottle and the snacks the elves had secretly made for her on the bed, Verena allowed the nightgown she had been wearing to fall in a pool at her feet, stepping out of it and picking up the bottle and the snacks from the bed.

Moving towards the bathroom, Verena smiled just slightly as a bath had already been prepared for her. Yes, she looked like a mess, but that didn't mean she was not taking care of herself. Her blue eyes might be all red and puffy from all the crying, but Verena Richardson was still a lady, despite the things that had been said about her.
Placing the bottle and the snack near the tub, Verena pulled her hair up in a messy updo, and slowly allowed herself to sink in the tub, sighing loudly in content. It was perfect.

Closing her eyes, she clicked her fingers, leaning her head back. Assuming the elf had already appeared, even though she never heard it speak, Verena gave her order. "Please fill my glass and hand it to me, then you may go."
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:27 pm

At the sound of movement, Roman had moved to hide behind one of the low walls in the bathroom. He could only hear one set of footsteps, but he dared not to risk it. Merlin only knew what would happen if Verena's bastard of a younger brother was here, or her father? No, he could not be seen. The door opened, and the Quidditch star felt like he was holding his breath.

But still, he could only work out one set of feet.

Perhaps it was safe...

Roman continued to wait, though. With the gentle splash of water, it seemed whomever was here was set to make themselves comfortable. Seconds went by, but it could have been years as Roman waited, waited to know it was safe to reveal himself.

"Please fill my glass and hand it to me, then you may go."

Roman stepped out from the hiding spot he had, moving quietly to the bath. He didn't know whether Verena had seen him as she relaxed back in the bath, but he moved to her side and gently placed his finger on her lips. "Please don't freak out." Roman whispered, knowing that his presence was not expected and would likely make her jump. "I'm really sorry for intruding, but I had to see you. I know you're probably mad at me, for not contacting you. But... I haven't been able to get away. I know it's a lame excuse. I'm sorry..." Roman told her, his voice still hushed, but the emotions were clear.

Leaning over the tub, Roman placed his lips to Verena's. Oh, how he'd missed her in the days that had passed, having to listen to the obscenities his cousin had concocted for Verena. "I..." Roman started, pausing because he didn't know how to even begin to explain everything that had happened. Instead his lips met back with hers, hungry for her, but in a manner different to before. He needed the kisses to know that Verena was okay, that they still had a chance. That they could work this through, somehow.

"I love you, Verena..." Roman whispered shakily against his lips. "But I don't know what to do to make this right."
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:48 pm

As Verena was relaxing back in the tub, she allowed herself to think about Roman. He had not contacted her ever since, which meant two things. Either his love was fake, something she just couldn't believe, or Joshua Murray had told him a couple of things in order to make him stay away from her. But the rumors would not be enough, she knew of that much. That blonde jerk had come up with something more to make her lover stay away from her. But would he really stay away?

Roman knew the dangers of getting involved with her, and even after everything that had been happening around them, he still had not given up to her. He was fighting for her, in his own way, but it was not enough. Especially now. It would be easy for him to forget about her and about everything that had happened. After all, she had been the one to take all the blame. His name was not involved in this story. He was clean.

"Please don't freak out."

The feel of something touch her lips as well as the voice that appeared out of nowhere made the witch jump. Her eyes opened in an instant, immediately going to the source of the voice. Roman was standing there next to her. The witch was lost. What was he doing here? Was he crazy? If anyone saw him here... He was risking everything. What an idiot!

. "I'm really sorry for intruding, but I had to see you. I know you're probably mad at me, for not contacting you. But... I haven't been able to get away. I know it's a lame excuse. I'm sorry..."

Verena wasn't mad, surprisingly. His explanation had validated her trace of thought, though. Roman was not able to get away, which meant that Joshua had the upper hand in this tragic story. He was controlling her Roman, and Verena didn't like that at all. But he was here, and that was all that mattered. They didn't have much time, because in this house you just never knew what was going to happen.

But before she could speak, his lips were on hers, and Verena melted against him. Her wet hands reached up to grab his shirt, getting him all wet in the process as she pulled him closer, lifting herself a bit out of the tub and colliding her upper body against his. But he pulled back sooner than she expected, fumbling with words. He was trying to say something, and Verena was ready to listen to everything. But Roman's lips were on hers once again, and Verena understood. He didn't have to speak in order to make her understand.

"I love you, Verena...

Verena felt her heart skip a beat. The small mumble against her lips made her breath catch in her throat. She had been falling for Roman faster than ever, but she had no idea whether her feelings had been reciprocated. But now, in times of turmoil, when he could just leave her alone and continue his life, free of any blame, he was choosing to risk everything. To love her the way she wanted to be loved. To give her everything every other man would never give her.

Completely ignoring what he spoke next, Verena's hands tugged on his shirt, helping him get rid of it, before she moved her hands to his jeans. Looking up at him slowly, Verena bit her lower lip as she unbuttoned his jeans, leaning in to press a soft kiss to the newly exposed flesh.
"Get in here with me."
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:05 pm

No response came to Roman's explanation of absence. It was something that simply came with being him, he supposed. Perhaps something that Verena had come to accept. However, Roman had wanted her to chastise him, Even if only a little, but it never came. A small bit of anger would have shown him that his absence was not tolerable, but perhaps she understood it...

Instead of words, actions spoke, Verena slid his shirt off, discarding it on the floor, and then undoing his jeans. Roman looked to the door, hesitating for a moment before discarding them. Kicking off his shoes and socks as Verena asked him to join her, Roman did as he was bid, sliding in to the warmth depths beside her. His arms instantly moved to embrace the witch, bringing her close to him. He'd missed her so much...

Even a couple of days was torture.

Pressing another kiss on the witch's lips, Roman allowed himself to relax, only a little, in her company. They could not afford to be caught again, and yet he could not care one bit, either. He was with the woman who meant the world to him, why should he hide it. Roman's lips moved to deepen the kiss, one hand going to Verena's hair, drawing her closer to him, hoping that she would know what to do. He didn't have a clue...

And then Joshua's words rang through his head, and Roman's lips stopped, drawing away only as much as his lips would touch Verena's when he spoke. "He threatened me... Said if I didn't stay away he'd hurt both of us... My father is keen to keep you at bay with the current flood of rumours. I've been check mate'd. But, I had to see you. I had to make sure you were okay..." Roman breathed, pressing his lips back to Verena's once more. Roman's head was a mess. There was no denying that much, but he was not about to give in.

"What is your family saying?" Roman asked carefully, waiting with baited breath to find out what the Richardson's were planning.
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:41 pm

Verena watched as Roman hesitantly undressed before her eyes. He was scared, she could see that much, but as he sunk in the tub next to her, pulling her in his embrace, Verena sighed. His lips found hers for the third time in the last ten minutes, and Verena cupped his cheek deepening the passionate kiss, before pulling away and abruptly slapping him hard across the cheek. Yes, she understood that he wanted to contact her, even though he couldn't. But he should have found a way. He should have shown her he wanted her.

"Don't you dare disappear on me again, Hughes. Or I swear to Merlin you will regret it."

"He threatened me... Said if I didn't stay away he'd hurt both of us... My father is keen to keep you at bay with the current flood of rumours. I've been check mate'd. But, I had to see you. I had to make sure you were okay..."

"Of course her did... I was so sure it was not just the rumors that kept you away from me. Joshua Murray is a snake in real life, Roman. How can you be his cousin, I don't know. He is the most hated person on earth." The witch just knew that Joshua Murray would take things up a notch. But threatening their lives? This was a crime, and if they had enough proof, this whole thing could end in their favor. Joshua Murray would be labeled a liar, and her power would be restored.

But it was Joshua Murray. And this was practically impossible.


"What is your family saying?"


Verena sighed. Her features darkened and she softly moved away from him. She loved him. She did love him with all her heart. But she had no one to support her or help her.

"I'm nothing, Roman. A whore. A seductress. I have been labeled everyone's mistress when I haven't even.. When I'm still.. untouched. I have lost everything. And I am deemed unworthy, because no one can understand my love for you. Because they are scared. I love you, Roman. I won't let this slide. Joshua Murray will pay, mark my words. And you will be mine."
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:01 pm

The slap caught Roman by surprise as he settled in the water. The delayed reaction had not been foreseen and the wet slap stung his cheek for a few seconds before Roman could fully comprehend Verena's actions. "I'm sorry..." Roman replied softly to her words after the slap. Not pathetically, no, he was simply genuinely sorry for all of this.

"I know the rumours are simply that." Roman insisted at Verena's words, he couldn't comment on how unalike he and Joshua were. Though, it was not difficult when you had grown up. Joshua Murray was... not all there. Roman, however, would never voice that opinion to anyone, not even Verena.

Verena soon moved away though at the talk of family, guilt reeking through Roman's body because it was not difficult to see she'd been abandoned. "You don't have to explain that to me." Roman told her softly as she spoke of being untouched. Though that wasn't entirely true, Verena's virginity was still in tact. Which made all of this unbearable. "But we have to go careful, until we know who our allows are." Roman added, taking Verena's hand and bringing it to his lips. With soft kisses on her knuckles, Roman let out a soft sigh.

"I can't, I won't lose you because of a miscalculated action." He told her firmly, before remembering. "I bought you a phone so we can stay in contact, as well. It'll help... I need you to go careful, though, and trust in me. My actions. You know it's only you I care for. Don't you?" He asked, looking to Verena hopefully.
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:50 pm

"I'm sorry..."

Of course he was sorry, but the damage had been done and Verena had no idea how to fix this. They were doomed. Or well, she was doomed. She didn't even know what would happen with her anymore. She doubted a husband would come to ask her, and Joshua Murray would never take back what he had said about her. Her family would probably end up disowning her, she was sure.

"I know the rumours are simply that."

"You do, but they don't! And your cousin can influence so many! Roman, you are better than him, you have a name too! You must help me..."
Verena knew that what she was asking of him was one of the hardest things Roman would ever have to do. But wouldn't he risk it all for someone he loved? She had already risked everything for him, even know, she was putting herself in a very bad position again and again, just to be with him. Just to see him. There had to be a way for things to go back to normal. A way to get Roman to rise, and surpass the Murray asshole.

But Roman's words were true. They needed to know what they were up against before they made any other moves. Things were going to get out of hand faster than what they expected and they could simply not risk making another wrong move. They had to go careful. Step by step, in order to win this. And they would. Because they were in love. And no one could break them apart, even if they tried.

"I can't, I won't lose you because of a miscalculated action."

"It was my fault... But I wanted you so badly. I just wanted to be with your for a few moments. I should have known that his staff were everywhere. Roman, I can't lose you. I need my power back, and we need you to rise in the Pureblood world. If you gain power, you beat the Murray. We can still have a chance. My family would always want to have a connection to a powerful family with a name. And no one else would ask my hand to marriage except you. It's the only way."

"I bought you a phone so we can stay in contact, as well. It'll help... I need you to go careful, though, and trust in me. My actions. You know it's only you I care for. Don't you?"

Verena did trust him. But she was impatient. She had learned things to go her way, and now she had no control over her life. She was just a pawn in her own game. And it was destroying her.
"I do trust you, Roman. But please, we do not have time! I'm being destroyed!"
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:07 am

As Verena continued on her tirade, saying how they could beat his cousin. How they could be together, Roman simply stayed quiet. Verena had always been an optimistic woman, Roman liked that quality in her. But no matter how optimistic the young witch might be, Roman simply could not see how. His father had told him to keep out of the way of the Richardson family - for Joshua had kindly told him what had been going on. Joshua had threatened Verena and himself if they tried anything.

There simply wasn't a way that Roman could see.

Telling Verena that, however, was not something Roman wished to do. He knew that she was under enough stress at the moment. Maybe with time there could be a way, but for now... Roman couldn't do anything.

But, time was not a luxury Roman had. Power was not something he had, either. The Hughes could never out weigh the Murrays. It was a fact, a fact that Verena simply could not see, because she didn't understand. Her lack of understanding was the reason they'd been put in this situation, but they would find a way out.

"I just need you to trust me, Verena. And give me time. I know you said you don't have time, but I can't do anything without it." Roman told her, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear, affectionate in his touch as his hand cupped her cheek. "I need you to... pick yourself up from the mess you're in. Lift your chin with the confidence I know you have, and show the world that no one tries to take on Verena Richardson and wins. I need you to start making your name something people respect again, not one people snigger over.

"I need you to be the woman you are, and not a bottle hugging broken girl." Roman told her, because it didn't take a genius to know the bottle she'd instructed him to pour from was not her first. "Baby steps. Steps that change the world's view, so that... so that I can ask you to marry me without a scandal being formed. Not because I care," Roman added quickly, before continuing. "But because I want you to have the world, and I can't give you that if I ask you to marry me now. I could only give you a life on the outside."

Roman paused, reaching out to press a kiss to her lips. "But, I promise you now, Verena, I will marry you. Threats or not, you will be my wife."
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PostSubject: Re: Falling from Grace (Roman & Verena)   Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:15 pm

"I just need you to trust me, Verena. And give me time. I know you said you don't have time, but I can't do anything without it."

Verena sighed and flinched away from his touch as he tried to push some hair out of her face. She was angry. She was Verena Richardson, for Merlin's sake! She had a name and she had a reputation and now everything was lost. She was the best of the best, and now everything came tumbling down. And the witch was simply not ready to accept that there was no possible way to take back what had been done. Time was what Roman needed, but Verena could not see that this was the only thing she could do now. The witch was dying, her name was dying and she simply couldn't stop thinking about that.

"I need you to... pick yourself up from the mess you're in. Lift your chin with the confidence I know you have, and show the world that no one tries to take on Verena Richardson and wins. I need you to start making your name something people respect again, not one people snigger over.

"I need you to be the woman you are, and not a bottle hugging broken girl."


Wise words, yes, but it was fairly easy for him to speak them, but how easily were they done? It wasn't his name that had been destroyed, was it? Or his reputation. He was fine, he had remained out of all this. And now he expected her to be that dumb? Yes, the girl loved him, wanted him. But she was also selfish. How did he expect her to be all that, when she wasn't allowed to anymore? Even Serafina was being loved now. She was nothing.

"That's easy for you to say. I'd like to see you having them done, if you were in my place, though."

Verena turned her look away from him, trying to stay away from every possible touch. She didn't want him to touch her, not right now. He wanted to comfort her, but all he did was anger her more.

"Baby steps. Steps that change the world's view, so that... so that I can ask you to marry me without a scandal being formed. Not because I care, but because I want you to have the world, and I can't give you that if I ask you to marry me now. I could only give you a life on the outside."

At that Verena's eyes darted back to his, and she sighed, tears threatening her eyes once again. Words were so nice to hear, but actions were the hardest part. Empty words meant nothing to her, even if he was trying to show her how much she meant to him. What he wanted for her. For them.
"I need actions, Roman. Your words sound all sweet and loving but they are just words."

A kiss was placed on her lips after that, and Verena fell quiet for a bit, her lower lip trembling as tears threatened to run down her cheeks.

"But, I promise you now, Verena, I will marry you. Threats or not, you will be my wife."

A loud sigh left her lips, and Verena pushed herself up and out of the bathtub, grabbing her dark red bathrobe and putting it on, wrapping it tightly around her body as the tears finally started falling. She loved him. She really did. But she just couldn't wait. Because she was scared she was going to lose him.

"Roman, please, find a way.." The witch turned to look at him, eyes red and puffy. "And Merlin, do it fast."
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