Chapter 35: Against My Morals
The sound of my footsteps echoing down the hall seemed to be the only thing that I could hear as I made my way to Erebus’ office. I felt anxious—in distress. I felt so uneasy with the position that I was put in that I couldn’t even breathe.
I would’ve loved to image that I was sure that the witch was lying to me; however, the truth was that a part of me knew that she wasn’t. Because when all things came together and I saw everything from a different perspective, Erebus’ slave being Silver seemed more accurate than anything else I had ever came across that I was unsure of.
How does a Pureblood vampire as rare as one like her appear without anyone knowing she existed? Moreover, how does one bare the exact same gifts that only one other Pureblood has been known to bare and coincidentally look exactly like that other Pureblood?
It had to be true, and the only reason why no one had put two and two together was because it would never occur to anyone that a vampire as well protected as Silver would escape home and lie about her identity only to end up as a slave.
“Come in.” I heard Erebus’ voice loud and clear through the set of double doors just seconds after my knuckles rapped against the hardwood. I wanted to avoid this part of my duties; additionally, I wanted to go back and avoid ever going into the dungeon and talking to that witch.
It sickened me.
It sickened me to accept that for the very first time, I didn’t want to follow the orders that my King had given me. I didn’t know how I’d go about dealing with this situation and clearly processing what I knew, because if what I believed was correct...we would all be dead soon, if not already.
I opened the door, taking uneasy steps into the small office room. At first, my eyes had landed solely on Erebus, and for a moment, I thought the worst. However, after completely shifting my gaze away from him, I noticed Zeus was sitting on a chair stationed across from Erebus, a couple of feet away from Erebus’ desk. Then, my thoughts shifted to the incident that happened in the hall just a couple of hours ago.
“What is this about?” I curiously asked.
“What else could it be about?” Zeus responded bitterly.
I wanted to feel relieved, but if Zeus really had confronted Erebus about us, relief was the last thing that I could feel.
How could he go behind my back like this?
After I calmly shut the door behind me, I quietly made my way to the open seat beside Zeus and sat down. We all stared at each other for a good couple of minutes before Erebus exhaled a deep breath and leaned back on his chair with a very irritated look on his face. As he did so, I had parted my lips, ready to try to explain everything before he could scold at us both. Luckily, I held my tongue long enough to find Mardel quickly entering the room a couple of seconds later. He was clearly late for whatever this was, and I was partially thankful that the only reason that Erebus was silent was because he was waiting for him, not preparing what he was going to say to Zeus and I.
Then, I realized: if this conversation had nothing to do with Zeus and I, what else could he want to speak to us about?
What’s going on..?
“Now that Hope is doing better,” Erebus stated. “I want an update on the witch. Has she spoken to any of you?”
My heart sank.
I saw Zeus shake his head through the corner of my eye, Mardel quickly answering at the same time, “No.” Clearly, both of them were annoyed at the mere mention of the witch. It wasn’t just I who felt oddly tense all the time—since she was brought to us and held under the same roof that we all slept under.
When Erebus noticed that I hadn’t answered, he was quick to point it out.
“Genesee?” He questioned, having Mardel and Zeus too turn their attention to me.
My answer was yes; however, I couldn’t bring myself to speak. I was stuck with everything that I had on my mind sitting at the tip of my tongue and I was afraid that if I spoke even a little bit, I’d say more than I wanted to say or more than I felt comfortable saying.
How could I tell Erebus that I thought that Hope was actually Silver? How could I tell my King that he had actually enslaved a very important Pureblood vampire and I came to this conclusion by a comment that that…evil witch made?
He would think I was crazy. He would think that I let her get into my head.
Did I..? Did I let her get into my head? If so...then he should know. I could become a danger to everyone here…
“She spoke to me.” I breathed out.
Erebus furrowed his eyebrows, Zeus quickly questioning with concern, “When?”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Mardel interjected.
I stuttered. “I-It just happened—a-bout an hour ago.”
“Genesee…” Erebus hissed lowly. “This is serious.”
“I-I know that it is,” I tried to defend myself. “But I figured you’d eventually want to talk about the situation and I thought it’d be best to wait till then.”
“You thought?” Mardel emphasized.
“In situations such as these, I want to know today, Genesee.” Erebus dictated, clearly unhappy with my actions.
“And I’m telling you now. What’s the big deal?” I snapped. With that, I had earned a front row seat to the shocked and angered look on Erebus’ face. I was used to seeing it, but never had it appeared towards me. It made me want to get on my knees and beg for forgiveness. I had never disrespected my superiors—not even Erebus whom had I had grown beside.
“I….” My voice shook. I took a moment to gulp the knot in my throat, lowering my sight to the ground. “I’m sorry, Erebus.” I whispered. “Please, forgive me.”
There was a minute of nerve-racking silence before I realized that my reaction to a simple gesture Erebus made may have been a little too extreme and was more than likely as a result of leaning on the spin of what was actually bothering me. Truthfully, This would not be a big deal on any other day, but given the circumstances, I felt a burden of guilt continue to build up in my chest the more I thought about Silver—Hope—whoever she was. I felt like I would be partially responsible for our deaths because I didn’t come forward; with this, I wasn’t being myself. I was thinking too much into what could be and what couldn’t be that even in my mind, I was behaving like a completely different person.
“Are you feeling alright?” Erebus asked calmly.
I sighed, giving Erebus a pleading look before I began. “She s—” I paused, giving Zeus I sideway glance as if he was my ‘turn to for peace’. I only gave myself a second to gain composure, knowing that if I took too long, I’d go back on the little I had told myself to convince myself to speak.
“She said Kevin wasn’t… Kay isn’t the one that the witch was after.” My eyes shot up to meet Erebus as I added, “She said that it was….it was Hope who she was trying to kill.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Mardel was quick to opinionate. “Why would she go after a slave?”
I would’ve thought that Erebus would be the first to add to that, considering that he appeared oddly fazed. However, it was clear that it wasn’t what I said that bothered him so much—it was the last word of Mardel’s question that he really didn’t like.
Why is he—
“Because the slave is the only one who could see what we couldn’t,” Zeus stated, cutting off my thoughts. “It makes perfect sense.”
Then, even Mardel was very interested in Zeus’ judgement.
“If something was attacking from a place that we cannot see or come in contact with, the only ones who they could possibly hurt are those who can see and touch what everyone else can’t.”
“Right,” Mardel replied. “But why would she go after a slave? It’s a piece of entertainment; not something a King would mourn.”
I’d watch it, if I were you…
As Mardel continued to speak, all I could do was watch as Erebus greatly struggled to control his temper.
“Besides, that doesn’t explain why Kay was holding a knife against her throat. I think that the witch was just trying to get inside your head.”
“Are you suggesting that she fooled me?” I spat.
Oh… He is doing a fine job of pissing everyone off, like he usually does.
“Mardel,” Erebus called his attention. I avoided so much as glancing back at him, because I knew that if I got a glimpse of that arrogant face of his, someone would be forced to come in here and restrain us both.
Would it have been so bad? Hardly. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had to stop me from kicking his ass.
“She must have been bait—Kevin,” Zeus breathed out. “Because in reality, why the hell would the witch wait to attack Kevin until we were all present to see it happen and possibly be able to move fast enough to stop her? Moreover, why would she threaten and not actually follow through? Kevin wasn’t hurt.”
“And she did warn Hope before trying to hurt Kay, which would put Hope in the perfect spot to drive out her attack and cover up her real motives,” Erebus added. He too was clearly very interested in the concept and it made all the more sense when they laid it out and explained it this way.
Unfortunately, none of them would figure out why. They couldn’t figure out why unless they knew the whole truth.
“And go through all of that trouble to later on reveal the truth?” Mardel continued to insist against the valid explanation that Zeus and Erebus had came up with.
Me? I merely sat there as the messenger who could say everything that she knew.
“Something’s missing,” Zeus whispered. I had almost missed it, and maybe I wanted to. Because after Zeus realized that they still needed the why, Erebus pressed, “What else did the witch say?”
“Nothing. She said nothing.”
I didn’t know why I said that so boldly and so quickly, but I just did. I was thankful for it.
“She just said that Kevin wasn’t her target?” Zeus politely asked.
“Yes.” I lied through my teeth without even flinching.
Ultimately, I knew what was at steak. So, I wasn’t fazed by the fact that when it came down to it, it wasn’t so hard for me to lie to their faces. It was after I did it that I felt like I had dishonored everything that I stood for that I felt sick to my stomach.
I stood up, never allowing my eyes to leave the floor as I stepped away from the chair. Clearly, Erebus knew that I was attempting to leave, but he insisted I stay.
“Genesee?” He called.
“I….I really don’t feel well,” I stated. “I just….I have a lot on my mind. I’m sorry. Please, excuse me.”
I swiftly moved to the doors, taking the handle into my grasp as Erebus called out again, “Genesee.”
Please...just let me go.
“If it’s not too much trouble, escort Hope back to her bedroom.”
Hope..? She’s Hope?
My eyes flickered up, staring straight at the hall before me as I pushed the door open. I felt my blood boil at the mere mention of her name. I was furious for my people; so much so that I had moved through the halls, passed many of them, subconsciously finishing my movements to completely carrying out with the duties that I had to perform before I came face to face with the set of double doors that lead me straight into Erebus’ bedroom.
I had thought of nothing else and as I clenched onto the blood bag that I had to pick up for her, I reminded myself that even if she was who I thought she was and though I had every right to, I couldn’t lay a finger on her. Because then, I’d really be in trouble.
Because, not only did she bear the last name Synn, but she was clearly important to Erebus. And, she wasn’t just a slave nor was she just Silver or Hope. She was Erebus’ Hope.
Essentially—ultimately, there was a great possibility that that very same woman was also Erebus’ fated beloved.