Chapter 34: Behind Closed Doors
“You should really work on those amazing ‘sneaking up’ skills of yours.” I stated as I smirked and turned to look at Zeus. I crossed my arms beneath my chest, shifting my weight to a side as I eyed him and the annoyed expression on his face.
I’d say we had a fair round of the ‘so-called’ staring contest before a small smile broke on his lips and he chuckled on his way closer to me.
“I wasn’t trying to sneak up on you,” Zeus claimed as he threw his arm over my shoulder and pulled me to walk with him.
“Right,” I chuckled. “That’s what you always say.”
“It’s the truth, Gen.” He turned his head to look at me, lowering his lips to my ear as he whispered. “The day that I try to sneak up on you, I promise you won’t see it coming.”
I arched an eyebrow, giving him a long sideway glance before elbowing his ribs. “Get away,” I chuckled.
“Ouch,” he gritted through his teeth. He made it obvious that he was pretending to be hurt before taking a quick few steps forward and turning to me to block my way. “Alright. Talk to me, Gen.” He stated, forcing me to stop in my tracks.
“Talk to you about what?” I asked curiously, furrowing my eyebrows at him. At first, I really didn’t know what he was talking about. Zeus was just one of those men that liked to hint at things but never told you exactly what he meant or wanted you to know.
I would’ve ignored it and continued on my way...except that the minute that I was to do so, I remembered the details of last night and what had been of us for the past year. When I reverted my attention back to the man standing before me, I couldn’t help but feel guilty.
“Don’t give me that look…” I stated, referring to the look of disappointment in his eyes. “I said I’d think about it.” I added, hoping that it would make the situation I was in a bit better.
“It’s been a month,” Zeus insisted.
“It has?” I muttered as I lowered my gaze, shifting it to the carpeted floor.
I wanted to avoid confrontation as much as I possibly could, and I wanted to avoid the fact that keeping what Zeus and I had a secret was no big deal. However, I knew all too well that it bothered him that it was I who was holding back. I only wished that he knew that I was holding back, not because I didn’t want anyone to know, but because I was afraid of what making us ‘public’ would do.
“I’m sorry...it’s just, with everything going on...do you really think it’d be a good idea to come out and tell Erebus?” I asked softly. “What if he’s not okay with it?”
Ultimately, my biggest fear was that my King would disapprove and destroy one of us for it. I liked to think that we were more than objects to him for we had known each other since he was a child, but I had seen what anger did to him...and anger made him forget what was important to him more times than one.
“Why wouldn’t he be?” Zeus asked, drawing me away from my thoughts.
I sighed. “Because being in love is weakness.” I breathed out.
At the sound of those words, I wasn’t sure whether Zeus was angry, hurt, or disappointed at me.
That didn’t come out right...
“No, Zeus. That’s not what I —” I cut myself off, not wanting to say anything to worsen things. Behind the phrase, there was a different meaning. I never meant that Ithought love was weakness; I meant that Erebus might feel that our kind of love would weaken his empire. Because among the strongest of his direct followers, Zeus and I fell at the top of that list.
As I parted my lips to try to say something to make him feel better, my eyes shifted to that of the grand clock positioned at the end of the hall, hovering as a constant reminder that at with each passing hour, responsibilities were given to us that had to be taken care of to serve our King and Emperor.
“I’m sorry…” I breathed out. “I have to go.”
I didn’t want to look at Zeus’ face much longer, because the less time I spent looking at his face, the less guilty I felt for the things I had done and said to him that he didn’t deserve. With that, I didn’t hesitate to turn on my heels and begin trailing steps down the opposite end of the hall.
We were just two people that were too important for each other and I refused to allow our love story to be a sappy sob one. I hoped, everyday, that Zeus understood that when I felt that it was the right time to confront Erebus about us wanting to claim each other, it was because I truly knew that Erebus would have no choice but to be okay with our decision. And that day, I believed, would arrive soon for, I didn’t doubt that his beloved was as far away as everyone else believed her be.
With a deep sigh and a string of chills shooting down my spine, my steps ceased before the entrance of the dungeon. I gave the metal door a long stare, completely ignoring Dez who only stared back at me until I slowly shifted my gaze to meet his own.
“Are you alright, Genesee?” He asked.
I had nothing to say to him, giving him only an up-down look as I took the Black Lotus filled syringe from the long, pillar-like table beside the doorway. Everyday, since that witch—Doraime—was brought here, Mardel and Zeus had taken turns going into the dungeon and injecting her with her fresh doze of poison every hour or so. At first, it wasn’t given to her as often, but since she decided to attack Kevin, nearly killing Hope, Erebus decided it’d be best that we increased the amount of times we came face-to-face with that thing.
Unfortunately, for the next few months it would be I and Zeus who would see her as...Mardel was given the position of graveyard patrol leader until Erebus decided to hand it to someone else.
I would take lead of graveyard patrolling over this any day…
“Don’t worry,” Dez stated. “It doesn’t say much. It’s too weak.” With that, he opened the door for me, stepping aside so that I may continue with my duties as given to me.
I felt my heart sink to my stomach as I pretended that I didn’t fear what lied further ahead by lifting my head and shoulders and continuing my steps forward. Not a minute later, I heard the door shut behind me—an act of precaution.
“Well, if it isn’t another parasite…” Doraime’s voice trailed off as she came into my sight. She remained as I hoped I’d find her: weak, chained to a wall with nothing but the concrete floor to rest on. “Hello, Genesee.”
How do you know my name..?
I didn’t want to provoke her or do anything to give her any kind of power over me. For that, I took my cautious steps to near her and did my job as I was supposed to: I relentlessly took her arm into my hold and drove the needle into the vein covered with only a thin layer of skin.
“Sabes, eso no me detendrá por mucho tiempo,” she whispered in a flat voice.
(You know, that will not suppress me for long.)
I continued to ignore her, pushing the final drops of liquid into her bloodstream.
“Sé que me entiendes, Genesee.”
(I know that you understand me, Genesee.)
“Tell me,” she persisted as I drew the needle out of her arm. I took a step away from her, doing my best to continue to ignore her until I hear her speak again. “How is that little girl doing? Kevin, is her name?”
I had almost entirely turned away from her, but I wasn’t allowed to completely give her my back all thanks to my temper.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” I growled, clenching my fists so tightly that all that followed was the painful sting from the small shards of glass from the syringe that dung into the palm of my hand. Nevertheless, I ignored it, snarling at the woman sitting before me. “She’s just a kid. What could you possibly gain from killing an innocent child?”
It must have been amusing to her: watching me get angry. Sinister chuckles erupted from the back of her throat, reminding me that even in her weakened state, this woman only seemed to appear as nothing but an evil entity.
“Oh, the girl wasn’t my target,” she breathed out after her final round of laughter.
Whether she was trying to get into my head or not, it only angered me more. I didn’t believe a word that came out of her mouth, and it would’ve remained that way had she not said another word after.
“I truly wonder…” she hummed. “What will the Immortal Twins do when they find out that their precious daughter was almost killed because of Erebus?”
It was the first peaceful deep breath that I had taken in a long while and I had not the slightest clue as to why it brought me to the thought of Erebus. Perhaps...it was the fact that I had awoken to the warmth of a large, muscular body pressed against my own, hugging me as if to hold me in safety. It didn’t bother me in the slightest. Instead, I felt contentment—it was something I hadn’t felt since I left Celic.
It was something I hadn’t felt since I left home.
The pain my body was once in had completely vanished and I could feel the intense relief of my tolerance gift finally settling in a resting state. Everything seemed so perfect. I had not a thought of anything troublesome and it only drew me to further comfort myself by nuzzling my face into the strong chest of the body that held me closely. The smell of spearmint numbed my senses, a smile creeping upon my face as the pair of muscular arms pulled me closer to this...godly man.
My eyes snapped open, the smile I once held slowly vanishing. Hesitantly, I tilted my head back, the lighting from a small lap behind me cascading down on his face.
I wanted to drown in the fact that he appeared so handsome to me. Those strong features being put into a resting state were oh-so heavenly to me until they weren’t. He was oh-so beautiful to me until I remember just how much I didn’t like him and wanted him to get the hell away from me.
My hands rose to press against his bare chest, my arms pushing to try to get as much distance between him and myself as possible so that I may step as far away from him as I possibly could.
“Don’t. Move.” Erebus growled. His eyes never once even peeked under his shut eyelids nor did he make any efforts to move anything other than the muscles that beat my own and kept me right where he wanted me.
I should’ve known better than to trust his word...I should’ve gotten up when I had the chance.
I continued to push against him, hoping that he’d grant me this one wish by letting me go. I hadn’t meant to, but as I continued my efforts to get away from him, my hands slipped to his pecs, sliding further down until the palms of my hands rubbed his hardened nipples and I froze on the spot.
“Don’t touch my titties,” Erebus murmured, his eyes slowly fluttering open with a smirk curling his lips.
I wanted to believe that I heard incorrectly, but by the look on his face, I knew that I hadn’t and in that moment, I lost my composure. “What?” I blurted as I broke into what felt like an eternal torture session of noiseless laughing and hard snorting.
As I was coming around to trying to recompose myself, I could hear Erebus over my own giggles as he too chuckled in his own amusement. Though I was stuck in what felt like a very vulnerable state, I could feel his eyes staring at me, except I didn’t know what his eyes were trying to say.
He didn’t look at me angrily nor did he look at me with that look of frustration that he did when I did something to displease him. No...his eyes were just...different. And suddenly, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t laugh, smile, blink, or breathe. All I had was the warmth of his skin pressing against my own in what felt like a trance.
Oddly, I wasn’t frightened. In a way, it was soothing. Ultimately, I didn’t know whether I wanted it to end, but it did. And, when I finally snapped out of whatever it was...I felt nothing but fear: fear for the unknown.
It is because he is my King and I his inferior.
For a moment, just a brief moment, I believed that I should respectfully climb out of his bed and ask him to forgive me for any inconvenience that I may have caused him. Though he beat me half to death more times than I can count in one hand, tortured me, and toyed with me, the sick truth of nature dared demand I kneel before him and apologize for not wanting him to hold me or be near me a second longer.
I am no puppet...
“You said you’d stay on your side,” I growled, taking advantage of the fact that he had let his guard down by pushing him away from me.
I was quick—sitting up on the bed and giving him my back until my feet were planted on the floor beneath me. I turned to look at him, watching him as a sigh passed his lips and he effortlessly copied my movements using his annoying vampiric speed. Only, instead of getting off of the side of the bed that he should have, he moved across to stand just inches away from me.
“Well,” he stated lowly, “this is my bed.”
With that unforsaken irritated look in his eyes, he lowered to me and growled. “And, I did stay on one side. You, on the other hand, invaded my personal space when you continued edging on over closer to me with every passing half-hour of the day.”
That explains why there was a rather large amount of space behind me when I rolled out of the bed…
There was nothing I could say and he must of known it because, whether he was trying to give me mercy or trying to prevent me doing anything or saying anything else that would make his temper flare, he stepped away from me just seconds later.
His shoulder brushed against my own, I instinctively turning in my own efforts to avoid allowing him out of my sight—for defensive purposes. He walked over to the bathroom and calmly washed his mouth before walking into the closet and picking suitable attire for a King disguised as your ordinary Pureblood.
“I assume that you’re no longer in pain.” His voice echoed through the closet doorway before he emerged into the bedroom, already dressed up and ready to go about his day as he usually did—before the incident. “I’ll have Genesee bring you a blood bag and escort you back to your room so that you can change back into your uniform.”
“So, this means I go back to being your slave now?” I breathed out. I was surprised though I shouldn’t have been.
A part of me was hoping that things had changed or that they would have now that —
“You never stopped being my slave.” His words cut my thoughts off, my heart sinking to my stomach as I was reminded that as much as I tried to fight the feeling of denial by constantly reminding myself of all of the horrible things he did to me, I had foolishly let myself have a small light of hope.
Hope for what? Hope that I didn’t have to be his Hope anymore and that I could be more than what he had made me.
I had hope that I could be someone more than Hope or Silver. But, as he slammed the door behind him, leaving me to stand alone in his bedroom, I felt evermore hopeless.