Onyx – 14
“Your father didn’t even want you! Did you really think I would want you back after all this time? News flash, brat: I don’t. Now go away before I call the authorities and have you hauled off again.”
Onyx Lauristen walked down the sidewalk, her cheeks stained with tears as her mother’s words ran through her head. Reaching into her shirt, she pulled out the necklace she always wore, holding onto it tightly. On her sixth birthday, right before he disappeared, her father had given her the heart-shaped locket to her, a picture of him and her inside of it. She hadn’t taken it off since, not even after her mother had found the goodbye letter he had left on the kitchen table for them just a week later.
A chill ran down her spine as the cool winter air brushed against her bare shoulders, causing goosebumps to rise on her arms. Unfortunately for her, she was still an assassin in training, which meant she wore nothing more than a tank top, tight pants, and combat boots. Not the most ideal outfit to visit her mother in, but she really hadn’t had a choice. Sneaking out didn’t allow you to think straight when it came to the assassin’s guild.
Sighing, Onyx wiped her eyes furiously. She was already going to be in trouble when she got back to the Chaos Blades, so there was no point in hurrying. By now, they would have noticed her absence and sent out a search party. She could already feel the beating she was going to receive and damn it, none of this was even worth it.
The sound of footsteps reached her ears, causing her to pause. Already, she could feel eyes on her back. Anger began to well up inside of her. She really didn’t want to have to deal with a bunch of thugs, but when she turned around, she knew she was going to have to suck it up.
Standing in front of her were three large men, staring at her like she was a three-course meal. She could only imagine what was running through their minds. She could practically see inside their heads. Though she kept her face blank, she felt sick to her stomach. She’d dealt with perverts in the guild, but they had never actually gone through with their threats. These men would.
Instead of running, she waited. She knew they would make their move soon. They quickly surrounded her, and she purposefully turned so that her back was to the wall. Sure, she was cornered, but she was able to watch all three of them. They wouldn’t be able to surprise her.
The first man leaned towards her, grinning. He was missing a front tooth and his chin was covered in little dark hairs, like a beard was trying to come in but hadn’t quite made it. Being so close to him almost made her gag at the smell he was giving off. His dark brown hair looked greasy in the moonlight. “What’s a sweet little thing like you doing out at this time of night.”
The second one watched her, his hands twitching like he couldn’t wait to get ahold of her. Though he was big, he wasn’t nearly as big as the other two. Compared to them, he was a stick. His brown hair was stringy and stuck to his head, almost like he’d been sweating for a week, and his eyes were a dark brown, almost black. He just looked evil.
Onyx almost sighed. She should have known what to expect in this part of town. Up until the day her mother had sent her away, she’d been warned not to go out at night because of all the bad people that lurked in the dark. It was almost ironic now that she was learning to be one of those people.
She looked up at the man in front of her, glaring. “Get away from me,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. She knew how to play the victim. The “acting tough but is really scared” kind. That was what they were looking for, wasn’t it?
They laughed, the guy grabbing her arm, causing her to wince. She knew already that she was going to have a bruise when she woke up. “Why don’t we take you home to your mommy?”
She looked away from him, feeling a small lump form in her throat. “Awe, she doesn’t have a mommy, boss,” the second one said, pretending to cry. “Boo-hoo.”
“Well then,” the man said, tightening his grip, “you can come with us.”
Though she knew it would do any good, she pulled back, practically yanking her arm out of the socket. The man stared at her like she’d grown a second head before laughing. “How cute. She thinks she’s tough!” he said. Pulling her up, he flung her against the wall, knocking the breath out of her lungs. She began coughing as she hit the ground, hoping he hadn’t broken anything. But she’d handled worse than this in the past. She’d be able to get out of this.
The first one to approach her was the third one, who made the mistake of reaching for her face. Growling low in her throat, she sunk her teeth into his skin, the metallic taste of blood running over her tongue. He screamed and pulled back, cradling his hand. She stood and glared at them, spitting the blood on the ground as some of it ran down her chin.
The first man patted the third on the back, laughing as he looked at her. “Oh, she is going to be fun to tame, boys!” The second one laughed with him, but the third one was glaring at her. Before anyone could react, he lunged for her, reaching for her throat. Pulling her dagger hidden within her boot, she side-stepped and dug the blade into his stomach, blood covering her hand as she pulled away.
The first two cursed as the third stumbled back, falling to his knees. “You stupid bitch!” the first screeched, bringing his fist across her face. She saw stars as she felt her lip split and she hit the ground, dropping the dagger. She rolled over just as the first straddled her, wrapping his hands around her throat. She gasped as his thumbs began digging into her skin. “Screw it. We’ll just fuck you once you’re dead,” he said, pushing harder.
She tried to gasp but found it nearly impossible. Bringing her hands up, she tried digging her nails into his wrists, but he didn’t seem fazed by her actions. Glancing over, she caught sight of her dagger. Gritting her teeth, she began reaching for it, her vision beginning to blur. Catching it with her fingers, she gripped it tightly and brought it up, burying it in his side. He hollered before letting go. She took a deep breath, coughing as blood splattered onto her face.
Without hesitation, she took the dagger and stabbed him again, pushing him off her and standing up. Bringing her foot up, she kicked him in the nose with the heel of her boot, knocking him back. She heard the sickening crack when she made contact.
Panting, she glared at the second man, daring him to come at her. At five feet, she wasn’t very intimidating. But at the moment, with her pale, freckled face practically covered in blood, her curly black hair sticking to her forehead, and her forest green eyes wide, she looked terrifying.
He stared at her, eyes wide as she spoke. “I’m going to leave now. If you so much as move before I’m gone, I will slit your throat. Do you understand me?” He nodded frantically, swearing up and down that he wouldn’t move. Tightening her grip on the bloodied dagger, she began backing away, keeping her eyes on him until she turned the corner, where she finally broke into a sprint and didn’t look back.
A week after she had snuck out and she was still babying the bruise under her right eye. When she had snuck back into her room, two of the leaders had been waiting for her. They’d questioned her until the sun had begun to rise, laughing in her face when she’d told them what had happened and leaving her on the ground to bleed.
She stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, gently nudging the bruise. It was finally yellowing around the edges, meaning that by the end of the week, it would finally be nonexistent.
Sighing, she turned on the water and cupped her hands underneath, splashing the cool liquid onto her face. She wanted to get away from this place. More than anything at that point. But she had nowhere to go, and even if she did manage to get away, the Blades would send someone after her. You didn’t leave unless you were dead, which meant the only other way out was suicide.
She gripped the sink and closed her eyes, listening to the sound of the running water. The best thing she could do for herself was graduate from training and do as they say for the rest of her life.
What a sad life it would be.
Hearing the door open, three voices reached her ears. She tightened her grip before turning the water off and grabbing a towel, drying her face as the three boys made their way inside. Already, her heart was pounding. She knew who those voices belonged to and she wanted to run.
“Oh, look at this. The little gem.”
Setting the towel to the side, Onyx turned to face Draven, narrowing her eyes on him. He was smirking at her, his two friends standing behind him.
The best way she could describe Draven was arrogant. He was a bastard who thought he could get away with whatever he wanted. Probably because no one ever punished him. It didn’t help that the was the son of one of their leaders.
The seventeen-year-old was well built for his age, wearing a shirt tight enough to show off some of the muscles his assassination training had given him. His tan skin complemented his blue eyes and blond hair, making what few girls they had in the guild swoon.
Onyx didn’t show any interest in him, which was one of the reasons why he targeted her so much. He hated it when he didn’t get what he wanted, and he wanted the attention from her that everyone else gave him.
Walking over to her, he grabbed her head to get a good look at the bruise. He let out a low whistle before laughing. “Damn, they got you good. Did you learn your lesson yet?”
Jerking her head away, she pushed past him, refusing to answer. She just wanted to get away from him. She felt his hand on her wrist and spun, glaring at him. “Let me go.”
“Awe, don’t tell me you don’t want to spend time with me.”
“I want to be far, far away from you.”
He placed a hand over his heart and feigned before hurt. “Oh, my heart is breaking.”
“You don’t have a heart.”
He laughed again before pulling her towards him. She pushed against him as he wrapped an arm around her, holding her against his chest. Whether she liked it or not, he was stronger than her. She finally stopped, staring up at him. She could already tell by the look on his face what he had planned. Her blood ran cold.
His two friends snickered before them and she took a deep breath, bringing her foot down on his. He grunted, but kept his grip, pushing her against the wall. She winced as the solid brick met her back, scraping against her skin.
Without a word, Draven leaned down and nipped at her collar bone, causing her to gasp. She could feel his lips form a smile as he began moving up her neck. Her face began to heat up as her legs trembled. “Draven, stop it!”
He pulled away and forced his leg between hers, keeping her hands down by her side. “Now why would I do that when the fun’s just getting started?” Letting go, he slid a hand up her shirt, grazing her skin with his fingers.
Gritting her teeth, she brought her hand up, raking her nails across his face. She could feel his skin underneath them as blood began to trail down his cheek. Hissing, he stepped back and placed a hand to the cut, blood staining his fingers once he pulled them away.
He growled at her. “You’re gonna pay for that.”
He grabbed a fistful of hair and yanked her away from the wall, throwing her to the ground. She let out a small cry and began getting up, turning just in time to catch his foot in her face. She saw stars as the healing cut on her lip split again, sending blood down her chin. Tears stung the corners of her eyes as she stood, wiping her lip with the back of her hand. “Fuck you,” she said, panting.
“If you had sat still, you would’ve.”
Onyx tried to control her breathing, keeping her eyes on him. At this point, his friends had stopped laughing, standing in front of the door. She was completely trapped.
When Draven came at her again, she side-stepped him and landed a kick to his side, sending him into one of the stall doors. She didn’t wait for him to get up before pinning him to the ground, hitting him in the face with a closed fist.
She only landed a couple of good hits before he reached out, punching her in the cheek below the bruise. She rolled onto her back and he rolled on top of her, wrapping his hands around her throat.
Reaching up, she grabbed his hair, pushing his head into the metal wall. The sound echoed throughout the bathroom as she did a second time, causing him to lose his grip.
Placing her hands on his chest, she shoved him away and stood, quickly bringing her foot down between his legs. He cried and placed his hands over himself, curling into a ball as she began kicking him in the side, tears finally running down her face as she did so.
She heard the door open as his two friends ran out, shouting down the hall. At this point, though, she didn’t care. She kept digging the front of her foot into him, not wanting to give him the chance to recover.
A pair of hands wrapped around her upper arms as someone pulled her away. She began kicking out, trying to get away, until she saw who it was.
Halting her assault, she allowed the man who ran the place to move her away, too terrified of what he would do if she kept fighting against him.
Compared to her, Zareth was practically a giant. And his height wasn’t the only thing intimidating about him. His arms were probably the size of her head, if she had to guess, and his almost-black eyes held a coldness in them that she didn’t even see in the best assassin.
Perhaps that was why he was the one everyone answered to.
She wanted to hide in one of the stalls and pretend nothing had happened. She hated what Draven had been trying to do, but she wasn’t sure if the punishment for her action would be worth it. It was a sad thought, really.
Turning his attention to Draven, he raised a brow. It was hard to tell what he was thinking. He motioned towards him before looking at her. “You took him down on your own?”
Onyx nodded slowly, sneaking a quick look at Draven. It was kind of pathetic.
Zareth let out a small sound and made his way for the door. “Follow.”
She hesitated, taking one last look at her attacker and smirking a little before following the older man. Her stomach was turning, but she didn’t want to show him how scared she was.
“You have potential,” he said as they walked down the hall. “Taking down a trained assassin all on your own?”
“I don’t appreciate having someone force themselves onto me,” she said her voice surprisingly steady.
“I think it’s time you moved up, Miss Lauristen.”
She frowned. She was far from graduating, and still too young to qualify for being an assassin. “But how? Who would train me?”
“I will,” he said without missing a beat.
For a moment, her fear subsided. The only thing she’d ever heard about Zareth was how ruthless he was. How he refused to show mercy to those he deemed unworthy or useless. He didn’t let his enemies escape, and if they did, it wasn’t long before he was making them suffer again. But here he was, offering to push her ahead of her training, even train her himself. She was beginning to think he may not be as bad as everyone had made her believe.
“That’s…a huge honor, sir. I won’t let you down.”
Glancing over her shoulder at her, he smirked, his eyes still void of emotion. “You’re right; you won’t. Because if you do, I’ll let Draven have you.”
Her heart nearly stopped and her face paled.
She was so dead.