Stone Warriors

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Chapter 21

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

That’s what I kept calling myself as I walked​ down the hallway that led to his room. Why was I doing this to myself? To him? It’s not like we could ever be together or ever be accepted by my father.

Still, I had a burning morbid need to see Zakyrik. Apparently torturing myself is my new hobby. Last time I was here, I told him I wasn’t going to come back and was rude about it. What if he doesn’t even want to see me and turns me away?

Fear swept through me when I rounded the corner and seen Rox, my father’s personal guard, standing at Zakyrik’s door. This cannot be good. As quietly as I could manage, I hid behind a section of the wall that led down another corridor.

Rox was speaking to someone and demanding that he come with him. I took a few steps backwards​ so I would not be spotted as they walked past. When two sets of footsteps started echoing off the marble floor I held my breath and hugged the wall.

Of course I was expecting to see Zakyrik being escorted by Rox so I received quite a shock to watch Axrenorian pass by my hiding place. Axrenorian has free reign in our estate so why is he suddenly being escorted? What’s going on?

Curiosity was driving me to follow them and find out what was going on, but my heart was trying to take over my limbs to make me march straight to Zakyrik’s room. Glancing at his closed door, I felt an ache in my chest. He’s just right there. All I would have to do is knock.

My mind replayed the other night when Axrenorian was drunk on the stairs. He mentioned that the outcome of Zakyrik’s battle could prove fatal to him. I have to at least try and find out what’s happening. It physically hurt to take my eyes off his door, but I appeased myself by agreeing to come back afterwards.

Carefully, I followed them to my father’s study. Rox and father were the only two that could unlock his study that I knew of and I have no clue how they do it. They are both extremely cautious, making sure no one is within visual distance. I assume it’s voice activated since they both have been seen by Senna putting their noses to the door and muttering. The walls were soundproof, so unfortunately I cannot determine what’s going on in there.

The stairs that led to my bedroom along with the rest of the second story were beside me and had thick columns attached to the hand rails. They hid me perfectly as I resigned to just wait for Axrenorian to leave. I planned to ask him what all this was about. Surely there’s a misunderstanding, because he’s one of my father’s friends, possibly his only friend, and his favorite business partner.

While I was pondering this, a figure appeared below me which made me cower down with fear. It was Axrenorian’s son, Trevalo. He’s supposed to be far away at some other land Axrenorian sent him to work at. Trevalo was wicked and had a heart of black ice.

He used to supervise the workers from the fields and was always whipping them for no reason, along with burdening them down with twice as many chores simply because it amused him. One day, he had gotten caught beating a worker to death with a shovel just because he kept whistling while he was pulling up weeds. Axrenorian was mortified at his son’s behavior and sent him away to work in some distant land, hoping the time away would do Trevalo some good. Poor Axrenorian was distraught and to this day had never known the real reason for his son to snap like that.

But I do. Trevalo’s true nature was already showing well before he left for the fields. I shuddered and wrapped my arms around myself as the memory I’ve tried to repress came flooding back with a vengeance.

Muffled shouting and sobbing could be heard from outside Xera’s door. I was about to raise my hand and knock when I heard it. Xera was pleading for someone to forgive her and she was sorry. Fear crept up my spine because I had never heard her utter those words a day in her life and there’s someone in there that has made her say them.

Backing away towards my room, I gave a small shriek when the door flew open and Xera was being thrown into the hallway on her face. Trevalo stormed out behind her with his face contorted into a mask of rage. Xera cried out when he pulled her up by her hair and threw her against the wall.

Trevalo’s body was flush against her and he had one hand around her neck, “Now, you dumb bitch, do you want to try and tell me again that I can’t tell you what to do or when to do it?” Xera’s face was red and she choked out on a sob, “No, Trevalo! Please, let go of me and I said I was sorry!”

He took his hand off her throat, but he still pinned her against the wall, “Good because if I ever have to remind you again you will not get off as easy as you just did!” Xera was still gasping for air, but she still nodded. The hand that held her throat traveled down her body until his hand was on her waist.

He bunched up a handful of her satin gown and leaned his head closer to her face, “When I come around, you are mine and are forbidden to go see your other lovers. Everything under this dress is for me to take and have whenever I damn well please. You do not get a say so in the matter or a choice. Get in there, take this off and wait on the bed for me right now!”

When he stepped back, Xera ran into her room, shutting the door behind her. Trevalo turned his heated gaze on me and I gasped, pushing myself farther against the wall as if that would help get me away from him. He looked like a lion stalking it’s prey when he made it to me. He placed his hands against the wall on either side of my head, leaned down to my neck where only the tip of his nose touched my skin and he audibly sniffed it.

A low moan escaped his lips as he pulled back to look me in the eyes, “Oh little Xori, what I wouldn’t give for you to be of age right now so I could drag you back to your room and take your innocence away. Your sweet smell will be on my lips, and on other places, in no time though as I know your birthday is coming in a few months. Keep in mind what you just seen me do to your sister when I come to you after your party though because I will have you no matter how I have to take you.”

A small whimper of terror was the only response I could give as he brushed his lips against my forehead, “You will be a much better submissive than Xera and you may even earn the opportunity of becoming mine permanently, sweetness. I’ll move you in to my house and we’ll have all kinds of fun.” He ran his thumb across my bottom lip as he ran his tongue across his, “I have to go back in and deal with your sister, but know that he whole time I am in her bed, I’ll be pretending she is you.” He dropped his hands and I didn’t hesitate to dart out of his reach.

That day has traumatized me more than I care to admit. Xera doesn’t know I was there and I have no intentions of ever telling her what happened. After Trevalo left Xera that day, he obviously must not have been satisfied, because he went to the fields and took out his pent up frustrations on that poor worker. Axrenorian sent him off and I could finally relax.

But now he is back. He stood outside the room with his arms crossed, looking bored. Father opened the door after a while and welcomed him in.

For what felt like hours. I sat waiting for any signs of someone leaving the study. Finally, Trevalo walked out laughing, which I’ve never seen him do, and shook hands with my father. The door shuts again and I developed a gut-churning feeling that I would never see Axrenorian walk out.

Just as I was about to get up another figure approached the door. It was the bulking form of Cicatrix. My stomach turned at the sight of him.

He was so disgustingly vile. My sister having relations with him is enough to make the most strong-stomached man upchuck his lunch. Xera doesn’t seem phased by his appearance and on the contrary she has said that she loves his scars.

Father opens the door for him to go in, but before he shuts it I seen a glint of silver with blood dripping off of it. Father’s assassination sword. He uses it when he has a business deal that doesn’t go the way he demands.

Pulling myself up on shaky legs, I retreated to my room. It was well past midnight and Zakyrik would be asleep so there’s no point in me trying to sneak down there. Besides, it’s best he doesn’t see me in the shape I am in right now.

My throat felt raw thinking about what I just seen. Tears poured down my face as I realized I would never again see Axrenorian Ranswits ever again.

“Morning sister!” I heard Xera call out. She was standing in front of my bed in a bright, canary yellow dress smiling as though she had the best news on the planet to give me.

“Guess what? Trevalo is back in town! He’s taken over ownership of Zakyrik and will be overseeing the fields now. Apparently Axrenorian is getting too old to manage his sponsorship and the poor laborers so he’s taking a vacation while Trevalo takes temporary ownership! Isn’t that exciting?”

Forcing a smile on my face, I nodded even though all I wanted to do was scream at her for being so heartless. I was definitely sure now my father killed Axrenorian last night. They weren’t even going to own up to it and act as if he’s gone away for his health. I should have known.

After she left, I picked out a light blue gown with a cream colored cloak to wear. I wanted to blend in since my sister was apparently standing out. She wanted to make sure she was noticed by everyone, especially Trevalo.

It is actually hard not to find a man in town who has not been a love interest of my sister. That’s probably a good reason for why no man has ever appealed to me, until I laid eyes on Zakyrik, of course. I have not even tried to talk to any of the men my age, because what’s the point when my sister is going to sleep with them anyway?

At the stadium, I watched as Jyrixi’s thin frame danced into the ring, “Today’s line up should be interesting. Zakyrik and Tesorian will be match number two, but first will be Cicatrix and Detro. Everyone on your feet for Evanyl’s favorite champion!”

The crowd went spastic as Cicatrix took his place on the left side of the ring. The man name Detro bravely entered with his chin held high even though I’m sure he knew he was about to be slaughtered. I admired him for that.

My eyes instantly searched the rest of the warriors on the sideline until I found the one who made my heart beat faster. To my utter shock he was already looking at me. He gave me a faint smile, which I returned, and made him smile bigger.

Quickly I looked away and searched for anyone who could have seen what just took place between us, but everyone’s eyes were glued to the fight. I let out a pent up breath and returned my sight to Zakyrik, but he was now watching the fight, too with a worried look on his face. This must be a friend of his.

Within a half hour, a broken and ripped open body lay towards the middle of the ring. Cicatrix had broken his legs and ripped open his belly, spilling out his insides all over the surface. Zakyrik had his head hung low with his fists clenched at his sides.

Cicatrix had his hands raised, beaming at the cheers he was hearing. I turned my head away from the grisly scene as two guards came to push the body to the side so the second match could take place. Even though it meant another life would be added to Zakyrik’s​ list, I was hoping against hope that he had yet another lucky victory.

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