Seraphine has raided a secret room, decoding a coded lock, securing a couple of gadgets. She has secured the back of Sabir’s hands with orange rope, that incapacitates his ability to use magic. She also holds the same type of gun I had used to kill that soldier on Earth.
“Heal him back to consciousness,” Seraphine orders Celeste as we stand over Sabir’s body, his hands behind his back, he was also blind folded and gagged so he couldn’t call for help when he awoke.
Celeste and I were back into our slave outfits, so we didn’t stand out from the crowd when we escaped into the forest. Celeste kneels down at Seraphine’s words and heals the back of Sabir’s head, where Seraphine had swung a powerful kick.
Sabir wakes up with one hell of a struggle, trying to get to his feet instantly. Seraphine simply laughs and presses one foot down onto his back and gets down onto her hands to whisper in his ear.
“Do as I say and I won’t spank you, punisher,” Seraphine threatens sweetly, grinning as he calms down and she stands back up and away from him, “Get to your feet, we will lead you and you will follow.”
I watch as Sabir rises, his cheeks red with anger, but he couldn’t speak nor see where we were, nor could he use his magic. He simply attempts to growl through the gag, whereby I openly laugh.
His head instantly snaps to my direction.
“I’ve looped some rope around your neck, I will lead you, do you understand?” I question him far too smugly, my hands clasping the end of the rope looped around his neck. I can’t help but put on a cheeky tone. This was going to be so much fun and he knew I was going to enjoy it.
He scoffs into the gag and I see Celeste smile at his helplessness.
Seraphine winks at me and curls a finger for us to follow as she backs out of the door way, eager for us to be on our way.
Celeste smiles excitedly and hurries after Seraphine while I grip the rope tighter; Sabir’s leash.
“I’m in control now, Sabir,” I whisper happily to him, as I tug the rope and he initially resists, but then proceeds to follow.
I know why. Dark Gems were desperate to find our secret location in the forest and this was Sabir’s chance to secure some secret ancient knowledge. Hence he would follow.
We head down the stairs, and out a back entrance, moving quickly.
The men were still in the pool temple, so we had time to leave unnoticed.
The sun is hot today as I hop over some sand stone tiles, before sinking my feet into cool green grass. Next step was the forest.
“Quickly, girls,” Seraphine urges us to speedily make our exit.
Once into the trees, Celeste uses her magic to cover our tracks as we head deeper into our territory where the females all thrived. The various gems scattered in the earth enhanced all our magic, we were safer here than anywhere else.
As I am at the back of the pack with Sabir following silently for now, I look over my shoulder to see if anyone is following. I was paranoid that we would not get away with this so easily.
It was so hard to win against these guys, especially since we were in such a vulnerable position at the moment. We had no army in the forest, no one to save us, help us or back us up.
“When I say we’re stopping, I want you to tie him to a tree, got it, Sapphire?” Seraphine speaks up, looking over her shoulder, “I will then ask you, Celeste, to return to the Golden Palace to lead the Dark Gems to our location, where I will demand a trade. When he is tied up, Sapphire, feel free to take off his blind fold and gag, so you can indulge in some... revenge... if you like, he certainly deserves it.”
Seraphine is not joking and suggests this seriously to me. I give her a blank look for a moment, initially shocked by her words. Then I realise she just meant I wouldn’t have a chance like this happen often, if at all.
Sabir; completely at my mercy.
In fact, when I think about it, I had never had a chance in my life time, to be on top. In any sense of the word. I had always been at a disadvantage.
“Don’t worry, Sabir,” Celeste speaks up, while glancing back at our prisoner, “You know how gentle Sapphire is, she won’t hurt you.”
I’m already grinning at Celeste’s statement. She always built huge levels of confidence if Seraphine was in the picture. She was the real princess, not I. Everyone looked up to Seraphine for protection.
“Of course I’d have no intentions to torment my master,” I scoff sarcastically, and Celeste grins and wiggles her eyebrows.
“But there is so much you could do,” Celeste whispers and winks while Seraphine turns around dramatically to walk backwards and to glare at us.
“I heard that,” Seraphine reprimands Celeste, rolling her eyes. Seraphine then proceeds to scout the perimeter behind us, making sure we are still undetected.
She is about to turn back around, satisfied we are unfollowed, until she halts mid backwards-stride and we all come to a standstill in response.
Her eyes are focused and deadly.
"Run,” she suddenly snarls at both Celeste and I.
I see Celeste spin around to witness what Seraphine had spotted. So I do the same, morbidly curious.
I expect to see an army of Dark Gems trailing after us.
Instead I see something arguably worse.
Hraken is clearing a path through the forest with a sword in one hand, and a draining whip in the other. It was one of the worst kinds of depleting devices used against only the rebels considered the most dangerous.
It had barbs on the end, when they came into contact with any limbs, they would attach and draw out blood, making the draining process one hundred times faster.
“Do you remember how you fell to me, Seraphine?” Hraken calls out, smirking, his eyes only on hers for a moment. He looks at me next, a serious threat hidden in the depths of his eyes, “I certainly didn’t just brush a touch over her skin... princess... for someone so keen on rebellion – you are the most likely to get hurt.”
“And why is that?” I ask, trying not to feel so incredibly offended by his words as he approaches.
“You know why,” Hraken answers, “No one is as vulnerable as you. Perhaps your partner in crime, Celeste, in other ways, is even weaker, she may not have your pathetic magic but she certainly doesn’t have a backbone.”
I glance at Celeste and see her physically cringe from the insult, her eyes almost instantly tearing up. She hated it when people attacked how quiet she was. How submissive. It wasn’t a weakness, although many believed it to be.
“You don’t need to be here for this,” Seraphine interrupts my thoughts, glaring at me, “What did I say? If you want this to work I need you to run, Celeste can stay. I may need her help. She also needs to prove to Hraken how wrong he is.”
“I will look after the merchandise,” I agree, shrugging as I glance back at Sabir who is unusually quiet.
Although I do momentarily forget he is gagged. When I see him powerless to speak yet again, I grin. I’m about to do as Seraphine says until I notice Hraken focus on me, and he perks up, changing priorities. He didn’t want me to escape.
Seraphine quickly catches on.
The forest is swiftly alight in yellow and black bursts of fire, Seraphine controlling them, lighting up a tight circle of fire around Hraken.
“This will give you a slim margin of time to get out of here, do not hesitate, Sapphire, never hesitate,” Seraphine catches my eyes and lowers her tone, unblinking, she wanted me to remember her words.
I listen to her.
I pull on the rope and Sabir follows me.
I start to run and with thankful ease, Sabir willingly follows my tugs.
I hear Seraphine co-ordinating with Celeste to hold back Hraken, while I make my get away.
I didn’t know how long they’d be fighting and I didn’t know if they’d win. I could only hope they got lucky against the most quick witted warrior of all the Dark Gems.
I eventually reach a small stream maybe half an hour later, and lean down to drink the water. When I glance at Sabir, I see him kneeling beside me. I assess all my options quickly, but I’m too curious. I wanted to know his thoughts.
I reach up, while still on my knees, and I pull out the cloth gag and take off his blindfold, chucking them onto the ground. I was confident I could defend myself being next to the stream of water. Not to mention I didn’t take off the orange material surrounding his wrists, so his magic was still halted.
I stay by the water, giving Sabir a cheeky smirk as he continues to kneel beside me, taking in his surroundings before focusing on me.
“Would you like to drink, slave?" I ask him, curious to see how angry he would get, “Go ahead, I allow you to, just lean over and lap it up, like a dog,” I slowly move myself back to sit up on a log just behind me while I watch him watch me, his eyes slowly narrowing.
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he asks quietly, he doesn’t sound angry, he sounds curious and almost a little compliant.
“Oh yes,” I answer, truthfully.
“The Light Restraints were a smart move, now I can’t drain you even if I tried,” Sabir admits, referring to the orange rope, “We created it from the rays of Kiyr’s sun, it took hundreds of years of research in the Volcan Laboratories to produce such a restraint.”
“It’s almost a substitute for diamonds, but safer because you’re still alive despite it interfering with your magic,” I add, “Did you spend a thousand years, plotting your revenge?”
“I spent a thousand years missing your cheeky smile,” Sabir looks me up and down before abruptly looking away and exhaling slowly.
“Oh...” I mutter, I didn’t trust his words. He was probably trying to distract me.
“Thoughts of you helped me get through your absence,” he continues, “It was the only times I could smile. You have no idea, what waiting a thousand years can do to a person. Every year, literally searching the heavens with equipment designed to track down your magical signals. Female Royal Gems radiate signals that are more powerful than light itself. When we found out how to track those beams of magic, accurately, we found Earth.”
“So you’re an extra-terrestrial stalker,” I joke, trying to lighten his tone, knowing if he was too serious, he might get moody. If he was moody, he might just decide he was done being my compliant prisoner.
“I’m your lover, and a lover does anything for his girl,” Sabir slowly smirks as he gazes at me with a warmth he often didn’t show.
“I think these Light Restraints make you less of an asshole. I think I’ll never take them off you,” I mutter quietly, figuring out that must be why he seemed so calm.
Too bad it wasn’t going to last.
It was well known the source of a Dark Gem’s instincts to be a dominate force was connected to their need to drain, to take magic and to be full of another’s magic.
A silence slowly descends upon us both. He does not bother to drink water but he assesses me instead. He looks at me, so intently, that I lose my thoughts along a dark path.
That being the future.
What did it hold?
I can’t help but think it will just be more fighting... endless fighting.
“Do you really think that Seraphine’s return is all you need to succeed?” Sabir asks, his calm demeanour quickly slipping away at the mention of her name.
“I think... yes, she is a beacon of hope, of light, for all female Gems,” I snap back at him, my eyes furrowing as I think about her leadership skills, her confidence and her power. Incomparable.
“You are drowning in a lie,” Sabir responds, passionately, “She will create another war and this war isn’t going to be played by the rules. It’s going to be dirty, Dark Gems will not rest until our point is proven.”
“Power plays for the Gems have always been played dirty, no one follows the rules,” I’m slightly unsure of where Sabir will take this conversation. I was weary he was good at manipulating me so I had to be careful of falling for any of his traps.
“Leaving the planet. Leaving your other half. That’s way off the charts dirty, Sapphire, now you’re going to get a taste of what that’s like,” Sabir warns me, “I’ve already been thinking of new ways to punish you, handing you over to Hraken was one of them. Next time I might swap you with Celeste, give Traegr a chance to discipline you. Clearly more than one Dark Gems needs to get his hands on you to teach you the rules.”
“You’re not going to achieve what you desire, Sabir. You will not make me feel betrayed, as you felt when I left this planet. I will not fall for your stupid games anymore,” I hiss.
“Tell me they are games when you are begging me for forgiveness, begging me to take you back as my pet, as my slave, my subordinate little female, my toy. You’ll crave it,” Sabir is so certain of his words.
I just look at him with a sudden revelation.
That planet had taught me something I never knew here. A thousand years ago, Sabir’s words would have had a serious effect on me. Today, there was a difference.
I didn’t just feel rebellion. I felt a serious injustice. His words offended me to the point I wanted to slap him.
Instead I slowly blink, composing my fury... and I smile.
“I crave many things,” I whisper, “Right now? I crave justice.”
“Justice isn’t a term we understand here, sweetheart,” Sabir smirks, amused by my words, “You’re thinking of power.”
I know better, I don’t say it out loud, because it’s my little secret.
I knew how to win.
It wasn’t dominating the dominators. It was proving them wrong. It was about making your point even if you physically lost, because that still meant there was victory.
If we were never broken, they would never win.
We would earn respect.
Women on earth loved to joke that men only thought they had the control.
“Power is an illusion, my punisher,” I reply mockingly.
“Live in your fantasy, then, sweetheart. I’ll ground you to reality eventually,” Sabir growls and turns from me to look out over the forest, “Enjoy my temporary ‘servitude’, as it won’t last for long.”
“Your whole problem, is that you don’t see beyond the basic desires of your soul,” I snap at him, hoping he thinks about it, because I was done talking to him until Seraphine returned.
To my great relief, Sabir doesn’t answer.
He goes silent.
We sit by the stream, waiting.
It’s not long before I hear many footfalls in the distance. I stand up and my eyes widen.
Sabir copies me and he spots the onslaught of armed Dark Gems who were marching through the forest, with Seraphine and Celeste nowhere to be seen.
I grab Sabir’s rope, trying to pull him with me, but this time he doesn’t budge.
“This isn’t Earth,” Sabir suddenly speaks up, proudly, while giving me a calculating, lustful stare, “You were born on Kiyr, Sapphire. Here? Instincts rule, sweetheart."
“If you want to live, punisher, listen carefully,” Sabir and I look up to see Seraphine speaking from the top of the branches by the trees near the stream, Celeste by her side, Hraken no where to be seen. She is pointing her weapon at Sabir, fully charged and ready to fire, “Get down on your knees and hang your head, submit to the princess... or... I will stun you with the maximum charge. I doubt you’ll live.”
Sabir hesitates and I look at him, hopeful of his compliance.
“Do you want to die?” I ask him, “Do as she says.”
“Comply? Only to see you smile...” Sabir glances at me as he drops to his knees and slowly hangs his head to eye the ground.
“Don’t suck up to me now,” I choose my words carefully, “Do your knees hurt kneeling on those rocks? I hope they do. How does it taste?”
“The taste of what?” he growls low in response.
“I’ll say it again; that word means absoultely nothing here... you’ll always be mine, Sapphire,” he mutters.
“I’m not yours,” I snap automatically, wanting to prove him wrong.
“Tell me that again after this encounter is over,” he snaps.
“Feel free to humiliate him, Sapphire,” Seraphine calls down, laughing, “If he moves, he’s dead and he knows it... and we’re trying to make a statement here.”
Seraphine helps me smile.
Once Traegr and his Dark Gems closed the distance...
...I would take her advice.
And the real fun would begin.