My mind was spinning, my body completely numb. I couldn’t focus on anything that was happening around me. All I could feel was Valerian’s hand gripping my upper arm in a bone splitting grip.
I watched as he pushed open a heavy wooden door, he pulled me in front of him and pushed me into the room. I stumbled, not expecting his sudden movements. I tripped over my feet and fell to the floor. I landed on my knees, my hands reached out to protect my fall. They skidded against the area rug. I let out a small hiss of pain as my skin rubbed against the fabric.
I pulled up my hands and looked down at my palms. They were scratched, red and burning. I cradled my hands against my chest, as I looked up at Valerian with tears in my eyes.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered.
He glared down at me, his dark hair fell against his forehead, he reached up and brushed it out of his face.
“You belong to me,” He started, I looked at him wide-eyed. “All you had to do was be a good princess and marry me, but you couldn’t do that.”
“What?” I whispered to myself, confusion rolling through my mind as I tried to figure out what he was saying.
“I watched that scum come out of your room last night. I was going to come to make sure you were okay, but I saw that you clearly were. You were more than okay.” He stepped towards me, his eyes burned into mine. He reached out and gripped my hair at the top of my head into his hands. He pulled me up, I let out a cry in pain. My hands moved to my head, I tried to pull his hands away as he pulled me to my feet.
“Our families made an alliance years ago, and your little puppy dog love will not stop me from getting what I want.” His voice was low threatening. “I will get the power I deserve and if that means removing a mark that shouldn’t be on your skin in the first place, then so be it.”
“You can’t -” I looked at him with wide eyes. I felt completely hopeless, I was alone and not strong enough to fight my way out of this.
“Oh, I can.” He smiled. “It may not be legal in your kingdom, but it is in mine.” He moved his hand from my hair and gripped my neck, pulling my body and face close to his. “You will no longer be bound to him, you will be mine, he will become an empty memory.”
As he spoke the door that we had come through was pushed open. Three guards moved in first, followed by a small woman wearing a black and silver dress. I let out a small gasp as my eyes connected with her bright gold ones. Her dress was ripped and covered in dirt, her hair that was pulled back into a beautiful braided bun had been pulled from its place. Strands hung against her shoulders and stuck to the side of her face, while the rest hung loosely in a messy knotted bun at the back of her neck.
She stared at me with shocked wide eyes, her lips were slightly open as if she let out a small quiet gasp.
“Nix,” I whispered as I tried to pull Valerian off of me. She shook her head, her lips moved as if she was trying to form words.
My eyes moved from Nix’s to look over her shoulder as more people followed in behind her. One more guard stood behind her, his sword pressed against her spine. Behind him, the King, Queen and a man wearing an all-black suit came in before they shut the door behind them.
The King and Queen smiled at us before they moved to the side. My eyes left them and moved back towards the man that had come in with them. His clothing attire matched the rest of his appearance. His black hair was cut short on his head, his dark reddish-brown eyes were narrowed as they moved over my body. His hands were in his pockets, he pulled them out, a small knife was gripped in his right hand. He moved towards me, a smile smeared across his face. I tried to step back away from him, but I couldn’t. Valerian’s hand was still gripped against my neck.
“I’m glad everyone could join us.” Valerian spoke. He removed his hand from my neck and stepped back. The man in the black suit took his place. I felt his hand grip my arm and the coolness of his blade press against my neck. He pulled my body against his, my back pressed against his chest.
“Don’t move doll, my blade might slip.” I felt his lips against my ear as he spoke. I cringed away from him, his voice and actions all too familiar.
“You,” I said as my mind brought me back to the night I had been dragged through the woods.
“I will come after you. I will make your death slow and painful. I’ll make you watch as I cut and pull pieces off of your little lover boy before I move onto your family.” He repeated those words he had said the last time we met. “Marry the prince and that won’t have to happen. I guess I will have to save my fun for another day.”
“Should we begin?” The Queen’s voice came from the far side of the room.
“I don’t see why we should have to wait any longer.” Valerian nodded his head in agreement. “Now, this ceremony requires someone quite powerful.” He spoke as he moved towards Nix.
“This is where you will come in handy. Perform this spell, sever their half-made tie and you won’t have to die.” He reached out and tucked her hair behind her ear. She glared at him, her eyes shining with rage. “Refuse, and I won't hesitate to kill you.”
I looked at her with wide eyes. “Nix,” I whispered her name as I shook my head. “Don’t.”
I felt the blade push deeper into the side of my neck. I let out a small wince as the tip of the knife pierced through my skin. I could feel the warmth of a small trickle of blood leak down my neck.
“I’m sorry.” I heard her voice crack as she spoke the words before she looked down at the book that had been placed open in her hands.
I could see the tremble of her hands as she looked down at the pages before her. Her eyes looked up once more, this time filled with tears.
“Tell him that I’m sorry.” I felt my shoulders shake as my emotions finally caught up to me.
“Shut your mouth, Princess.” The man hissed in my ear beside me.
I watched as the guard that stood with his sword pressed against Nix’s spine press it harder against her skin. She let out a small yelp before she looked back down at the book. She began to speak the words on the pages. Her words were quiet, but I could hear her stumble over the words.
“Speak louder.” Valerian stepped towards her.
She winced away from him and began to recite the words over again. This time her voice was loud and clear. She gripped the book, her knuckles were white, as she forced herself to say the words.
I watched as the silver and gold magic began to form itself around my body.
“No,” I whispered. “Please, no,” I called louder this time. I felt my body shaking against the grip of my captor.
The magic felt hot as it hit my skin and bounced away. The magic formed in a small orb around my body before it exploded into a blanket of light and collapsed down on my body.
It hit me with so much force that it took my breath away. My knees gave out from beneath me. I fell to the floor, my lungs gasping for air as my body tried to numb itself from the intense heat and pain that spread over my skin. I cried out as the golden magic centred itself against my chest. It pushed and pulled against my skin like it was slowly cutting my skin from my body.
“Stop!” I heard myself call out as I squeezed my eyes shut as I tried to focus on anything else but the pain.
I gasped for breath, my eyes slowly opened. I looked up at Valerian. He was staring down at me, a look of triumph on his face. My hooded eyes looked over at Nix who was still reading the words on the paper. Her eyes locked with mine. She had tears rolling down her cheeks as she watched everything unfold in front of her.
White dots speckled my vision as the pain began to numb. My body was so exhausted that the pain was no longer registering in my brain. The white spots slowly turned to gray before they turned to black. I closed my eyes and let the magic, once again, take me into the abyss.