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Chapter 21

My entire mind is focused upon Zarcar and Lixar colliding tonight, soon, once we started to dine. Maids and servants with the food were helping set up the experience on my rooftop. I had chosen the place, hoping the fresh air would help keep them calm.

But I would also have access to the moonlight.

I’m minding my own business in the crux of the roof top tower, which is a little stone bell room with no bell. I sit in the corner of the dusty thing and wait in the dark, wearing a neck high red dress, with no sleeves but at least my tits were protected from Lixar and his greedy hands. I had tied my hair back in little braids, my make up was angrily wiped over my eyes, creating dark sparkling arches.

I was glaring at the dinner, set and ready.

No Mystifyers in sight.

I was planning to watch from my position and observe their interaction without me, for as long as I could stay hidden.

Speaking of Mystifyers…

I duck my head down when I see Zarcar reach for the top, hauling himself up wearing his black hood, over the top of his forehead.

So, no formal wear for me tonight then.

I duck down and wait, out of sight behind my stone barrier. The outdoor garden with forbidden herbs also provided a bit of coverage.

I clasp my hands and fiddle with my thumbs as I wait a bit. I don’t hear a chair scrape, so I do a quick peep over the crumbling stone wall and all I can see is black.

A black robe; swaying as Zarcar quickly manoeuvrers his way into the small entrance of my hide out and finds me hiding on the floor. He traps me with his large form, towering over me as I see his eyes hooded by his black hood. I can’t see his expression, only his cruel lips, downturned and unhappy.

I scramble to my feet and dust off my red dress, pulling at the black ties around the waist, I try to appear confident.

“I’m certainly glad you showed on time,” I start with a double meaning. I was happy Zarcar was back safely but I was also relieved he showed to the dinner he was commanded to attend.

“Once?” Zarcar murmurs the random word, I only hear him by the wind carrying his voice to my ear.


“How many times?” Zarcar asks.

“I have no idea what you are referring too –”

“How many times… did you allow Lixar between your…” Zarcar can’t even make himself say it.

I take a quick step forward, grabbing the top of his hood – I slam it down over the back of his head so I can see his face. I stand back, I hold his consumed and intense gaze – only to slap him as hard as I can across the cheek.

“I never even touched him,” I snarl it, “I was sick for 3 months while he ran off and abandoned me. I had minimal human contact for 12 weeks you piece of horse shit! I don’t know who is worse, you with your strict manner or Lixar with his loose hands! He set me up to look that way when you came up the stairs!” I yell the entire explanation into Zarcar’s stunned face.

“…so you didn’t sleep together?” is all he can manage.

“Relax,” it’s not me who speaks. Zarcar spins to face Lixar, who has silently approached as if he has stepped out of thin air between dimensions. I stand closer to Zarcar’s shoulder to glare at Lixar, who watches his cousin with a very loose shrug, “Nothing happened. What she says is true. I wanted to have some fun. You’re the one who put me in chains and I’m just handing you back some dark energy. A promise of mischief, a splash of dishonour… did your heart ache when you saw her naked, held against me?” Lixar backs off, rightly so as Zarcar heads towards him then bypasses him for the set dining table.

I see Lixar dressed in the same uniform, no effort from either man to be formal with me.

Zarcar is silent as he takes a seat, while I watch Lixar barely pass me a second glance as he turns for the table next and takes the seat opposite to his cousin.

I take the final seat, violently scraping it out, I sit my butt down and shuffle forward with a set grimace.

“I think Rey wanted you both to form some sort of bond,” I start off, “Why don’t you both talk and I listen?”

“Nice try,” Zarcar quickly cuts in as he reaches for some lamb leg and starts hacking into it, “But you’ll not receive knowledge you have no use in having without my direct thought or permission beforehand -”

“A dumb Draconess… why?” Lixar asks, not rude – but truly curious. As am I.

I purse my lips and try not to say anything as I watch Zarcar pause and take in Lixar sipping a goblet of wine.

“Why?” Zarcar repeats, “Like this, I can control how Chyronex will progress. It will save her life. Our lives. Many more lives than just ours.”

“Safe travels?” Lixar changes the subject.

“It’s coming. The Surge of Hemon. When the earthquake hits, we know time is running out to contain it.”

What in the Moon was that?

“Perhaps that is why Rey desperately wants his own Venatores – instead of desperately trying to k-” Lix can’t get his response in as Zar cuts him off.

“Unnecessary,” Zarcar stabs his fork into the table to shut Lix up, “Be careful with your words around her.”

I am not the enemy,” I want to kill both of them now. Why had I missed Zarcar again? I didn’t even know.

“You’re a little sweetheart, that’s what you are,” Lixar puts on a tone, a fake one as he sips more wine and doesn’t eat. No wonder, he ate people, I almost forgot.

“What is your diet like nowadays? Hungry?” I ask Lix, only to have Zar fill my plate and try to distract me.

“Eat and keep your mouth shut,” Zarcar snaps at me and I glare at him.

“You let this man fuck you?” Lixar asks me, “Do you like being controlled, Chyronex?”

“He tricked me the first time,” I explain, “The second time was more… whatever… I enjoyed the attention and the distraction after he burnt my fellow Sun Priestesses at the stake.”

“Oh, no… not this again…” Lixar closes his eyes and lets out a dramatic sigh, “Who is Rey cursing this time, Zar?”

“Not a curse, or a spell… something else,” Zar trails off, glancing at me while I glare at him, “You’ll eat the Horse Root every day until Lixar teaches you how to make your first kill.”

“Kill what?” I snap.

“Tell her, oh wise one,” Lixar laughs into his alcohol while Zarcar eats and considers his words.

I wait patiently for his response.

“Demons,” Zarcar responds, lightly.

“But don’t we have a demon Dragon inside us?” I ask.

“Well… you have one specific tie to the Draconess… we have sub-powers,” Lixar juts in before Zarcar can stop him, “but we’re basically demons who kill rogue demons. Bad demons.”

“Oh?” like that made it any clearer.

“Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to feel and harness your instincts,” Lixar explains.

“By day,” Zarcar snaps, “That is your job. By night, I’ll take over.”

“You can consider our strange night lessons over, Warlord,” I reply, slyly, “I am done sleeping with you as a distraction. Now I will be a Draconess of independence and knowledge at the rate you both choose to teach me,” I add the last part in so he can’t disagree easily.

“You want to end my three month journey by refusing to bed me?” Zarcar asks, raising a brow, “…we’ll see about that later.”

“Cousin. Please. Desperation,” Lixar slouches in his chair, unimpressed by the Warlord’s lack of patience, “…Zar… perhaps she wishes for another.”

“I wish you would both stop talking about me as if I weren’t right here,” I explain, “Now tell me, Zarcar, you promised I could roam the city supervised if I stayed in this tower while you were gone. I followed through on my end… so?”

I wait while Lixar chuckles and watches Zarcar struggle to answer.

“…I will speak to Rey…” Zarcar barely manages the growl.

“Chyronex,” Lixar juts in again, “Just so you know, Mystifyers mate to Draconesses. You can choose who you bond to. Zarcar has had his way but that doesn’t mean you have to choose him. You might choose Torrent, his older brother – or me. I am fun too.”

“Please. I choose nobody, you’re all pieces of horse shit, I can do what I want and I may just leave this moon forsaken city and never come back if I get the chance –!”

You’ll be quiet and eat,” Zarcar snaps over the top of me, “You will be punished after this if you don’t learn to keep those kinds of thoughts inward. And if you keep pushing it too far… hell, Chyronex… I’ll let Lixar watch just to humiliate you further so you never disobey your orders again. So. Sweetheart. Shut your sly lips and trust in my promise. You will be protected and taken care of but only if you do as I say –”

“Stop telling me what to do!” I yell as I pick up my own goblet of wine and throw it at Zarcar. He raises a hand and the wine goes flying back at me.

I put up my hand and use the moonlight to also deflect, so the liquid splashes all across the dinner table.

“What did I say about using magic?” Zarcar asks, his lips twitching downward some more.

I’ve had just about enough.

I look at Lixar, who smiles over the top of his goblet.

“Kiss my ass,” I snarl at Lixar and then glare at Zarcar, “I am going to bed. You can sleep in the garden for all I care!”

I storm from the table.

I slip down from the rooftop to my own level.

I can hear the men bickering from upstairs.

I can hear the laughter.

I can hear the sudden desire to cooperate now that I am gone.

I do not like this.

I do not like this one bit.

I slam open my bedchamber door and take two steps in before my body freezes in the entrance as my eye catches a shadow. In my room, looking through my stuff, is the Immortal King.

Rey turns from the chest of draws to see my sudden entrance. He almost smiles, but keeps it is as the door slams shut behind me on its own accord from the wind.

He doesn’t look frightened or embarrassed that I caught him in my room. Nor did he seem to be snooping – but was rather bored looking around while waiting. Waiting for me.

“…tired already?” the King drawls so simply, while watching me with a far more complex expression.

I gulp.

I can’t time travel, but I suddenly wish I was anywhere but here. Even back on the rooftop was better than here. Anywhere but here.

But now I’m trapped. With Rey. So, I suddenly think back to Zarcar’s teachings.

Quiet. Obey.

Obey. Quiet.

I chant the words and I hope I have the will to follow Zarcar’s advice after the row up on the rooftop moments ago.

My instincts tell me to listen to Zarcar’s strict teachings, and Lixar mentioned he would teach me to go by my instincts… right? So… I do my best.

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