She reflected on the complete turn of life that had occurred in almost no time. She had abandoned everything and everyone, though she promised to herself and in her letters to those whom she was closest with, that she was still loyal, and that her life would merge with theirs again. Was it true? She hadn’t the faintest idea.
She did find herself missing them quite a bit… even Evan, who had been less than kind in his response owls. Alecto had been the most understanding, and so Bella naturally clung to the memories of her best friend with a startling clarity.
And what of Rodolphus? Did she miss him?
It was concluded, in Bella’s cloudy mind, that small portions of her time with her betrothed had been very nice indeed, and that a deep and shrouded part of her, would miss these times. But she was with Augustus now. He was tangible and loveable, and he loved her in return. He was what Bella had needed and craved, since her first intimate encounter with Miles Clapp more than three years previous. Gusty was the one who would give to her wholly and unconditionally. Perhaps if she had been Emilie Delancy, Rodolphus might have done the same for her. But Bella was not Emilie, and never would she be.
Did Rodolphus know or care where she had gone?
By now he must have realized that he hadn’t her body to please him. Bella wouldn’t be surprised if he’d replaced her presence with one of his whores. Of course, Bellatrix Black could never be replaced. She was one of kind, and knew it. Even their Dark Lord knew it. She hoped that Rodolphus cared, that she could hurt him in a way that he had unwittingly managed to hurt her. But she knew that it was wishful thinking, as he rarely cared for anyone.
Bella took a deep breath against Augustus’ skin in an attempt to release all of those troubling thoughts. “Wake up,” she whispered.