So, Astoreth, when was it that you decided you did not love me anymore?
The moment you threatened to take my child from me, Bareris. Not a second before.
If I needed further confirmation that the man I first loved and married is gone, the man now wearing his face has provided it.
We met a week after I received the letters. He was largely calm, cool, collected… and utterly irrational. He truly believes that he can simply bluster me and Westel and the Silvermoon courts and the magistrate council into giving him what he wants irrespective of facts because… I don’t even know why. Because he’s General Bareris Fucking Darksworne, apparently!
He forgets who he’s playing with. He forgets who he married, and why he married her – because she was not some ingénue fresh from the Wayfarer’s who’d turn all saucer-eyed at his shiny armor and his ten-gold words; because she was a woman of passion and fire, who would fire back at him with a twenty-gold twist and a smirk and sashay. Because she was unlike any woman he’d known – a woman who could challenge him, and keep up with him, and keep him on his toes. Oh, the fights we had back then – passionate, volatile, intelligent and cutting! And gods, the sex! But now he angers that I won’t simply roll over for him –despite the fact that I never have – and my determination to hold my ground is seen as evidence of my hatred for him rather than the respect for myself that it is, and always has been. He rails at me for changing… when in truth, this is a part of me that has not changed. Only his perspective upon it has changed.
His case for nullifying the divorce and legally reinstating the marriage rests upon his assertion that he did not abandon me; he was simply unable to tell me where he was going due to military classification of his mission. Unfortunately for him I have witnesses and magical recordings of him telling me that he left because he ‘needed to go find himself’… and even if a judge accepts that he was deployed militarily, the fact remains that I conducted the divorce in good faith and I followed the procedures required by the law. As I’ve said before, the divorce is going to be made any less legal due to Bareris not liking it, and that’s exactly what that issue is going to come down to.
My name is in fact legally still Duskflame, though Bareris insists on calling me ‘Lady Darksworne’ to upset me. This fact is but one of many I’m adding to the bulging file of evidence I intend to present should Bareris somehow both bribe and intoxicate a judge to the point that he rules in Bareris’ favor, and I am forced to file for divorce again on grounds of emotional cruelty.
Bareris does not even know how much he does not want that to happen.
So tell me, what do you offer for me to simply drop the case, dear love?
Not a damned thing.
His reasoning for taking Laurelia appears to be based entirely on the allegation that it would be somehow harmful for her to be raised in my home so long as I am with a man other than himself – that in fact, I am doing her harm by remarrying. He believes wholeheartedly that a jury will award him – a now-single father renowned for his playboy lifestyle, who disappears for months at a time, who has been witnessed emotionally traumatizing his child’s mother, who has had sexual harassment claims levied against him by multiple women, who was known to bring whores to his home while he was married, who has yet to arrange a single proper visit with his daughter – that a jury will award him custody over… the girl’s natural mother, who commutes from Hyjal to Eversong on a regular basis so that she and her child are never apart too long, who is marrying a man of stable means and occupation with a daughter of his own.
He claims that he only wishes joint custody. Yet he’s filing for full. Why? Because he doesn’t want custody at all. He wants a tool, a bargaining chip. He wants me to know that he still owns me.
Of course the problem is, that he never did.
And so I have come to a vitally necessary, if unfortunately uncomfortable decision. If Bareris drops the case, he will get to see his daughter grow up. If he goes through with this, by all the gods, I will ensure that he never sees Laurelia again. And unlike my darling ex-husband, I do not make empty threats. He seemed to understand this by the end of our meeting. I only hope he remembers it.
He has not contacted me since our meeting. I am beginning to wonder if indeed I will hear from him again… or if he has lost interest in his daughter now that he knows he will have to work for her. I swear, there was a time I expected better of him… and there was a time I would not have been disappointed. Now I feel the best thing he could do for me is to quietly go away….