Vol 2. Chapter 8
3 years ago, when I met Zarcar for the second time, I sat outside a tavern, with two Sun Priestesses. Kendra and Salt. Precious Salt, only 12 at the time, charmed a daisy to hold a love spell, handed it to me – and then seconds after that, Zarcar and I met eye to eye. I think about her because I can smell daises now.
Such an inconsequential thought for what I was about to see.
As I walk down a colourful hall full of vibrant sculptures, Varkinya is keeping me steady. I pull from her only at the end, spotting the tail end of a decked out table holding all the friends and lovers of my past… and present... in the royal dining room just before me.
I don’t look at everyone right away but I watch Varkinya sweep past me, head held high as she leads the way.
“The Viperae has arrived,” Varkinya puts on a snarky tone, and I hear Torrent growl in displeasure from somewhere inside.
I hold up my head and I take in a deep breath.
“Chyronex?” Andoll calls out to me.
When I hear her call my name, suddenly I’m not walking slow. I lunge into the room, my eyes finding her by the head of the table near Torrent and Lixar. I pause when Varkinya snaps at Andoll to sit and then she looks over at me, nodding to my seat.
I see the table is set in such an odd way.
One chair on one long side; for me I assume.
At the head, Varkinya, Torrent and Lixar sit.
Opposite my lone chair, are all the visitors.
Rey, drinking blood, watching me with narrowed silver cracked black eyes… Holden… my old guard… he nods at me then looks at the food… a girl… that I sweep over… straight to Zarcar on one end, looking right at his plate, breaking bread with a rough gesture.
“Sit, please, Chyronex,” Varkinya speaks to me, “All is forgiven. You’ve been punished… thorough and through…” she chuckles to herself and I glance at Torrent as I sit.
He’s boldly staring at me, so is Lixar.
I take in their possessive eyes while it distracts me from the new girl.
I sit and grab some ale, filling a cup and gulping it down quick.
Over the rim of my cup, my gaze sweeps over the stacks of fruit platters, to the new girl who sits directly opposite I.
Brown hair like mine, but braided in two tails. Childish. And also weaved with daises.
“Dayarexna?” I speak, my tone is husky as I slam the cup down.
She’s… smiling warmly at me.
While I’m glaring.
“Chyronex,” when she speaks though, I nearly choke. That sweet voice.
“…Salt?” I blurt and blink rapidly, “…you’re a… Sun Priestess…”
“Turned Draconess,” Rey explains, smug.
“I did a spell,” Salt explains, “I made a simple deal with Lucifer. To become like you, I simply agreed to lose my willing… um…up… to...” she trails off and then tries to correct herself “My name is now Dayarexna –”
“Zarcar has been looking after her, since her first blood,” Rey smirks into his glass.
“I turned 16 a couple of months ago, I was hiding and Zarcar found me,” Salt explains, “He, um, keeps me safe. Please don’t hate me.”
I glance at Varkinya and she raises a brow at me.
When I look at Zarcar, he is snarling in the general direction of Torrent, who’s hacking into a roast.
“Dayarexna,” Salt explains, on repeat, because she’s nervous, “That’s my name. Chyronex… so… what happened to you… after all these years?”
“What happened to me?” I force on a smile and then I force my eyes to Zarcar, “How dare you sleep with a little girl –”
“I’m of marriageable age and I came to him,” Salt snaps, standing up suddenly. Aggressively, “Please don’t insult my Mystifyer.”
I try not to choke on my ale. This little girl didn’t know what she was saying.
“Salt, calm down,” I hiss, “Sit.”
“I aspired to be like you, what the hell have you been doing all these years? I hear grotesque things about you,” Salt sits with a huff and a disappointed gaze.
“Fucking mortals, warlocks and anything with a cock,” Torrent snaps, “Some women lose their way –”
“She’s just a whore now, Dayarexna,” Zarcar finally speaks; ice cold.
My heart clenches, but I hide any reaction from my face.
“Will you explain to us why Andoll is back from the dead?” Torrent asks, his tone tight.
“Pleasantly,” I put down my ale and grab up some grapes, popping them into my dry mouth and chewing as I speak with my mouth full, “3 years ago… during the Surge of Hemon… I made a deal with the devil too,” I look at Salt, “…would you like to know what I promised… and what I got in return?”
There is a sudden silence, but Andoll is clearly begging with me, her eyes wide, waiting for me to explain. Varkinya is also looking impatient to have me simply say it.
“The Devil?” Zarcar is the first to break the silence. I glare my way to him as he suddenly pushes up from his seat, he can’t look at me, “I think I’ve heard enough.”
I look at Rey for this next part, “I had to convince Zarcar that he wasn’t a worthy mate,” I explain, even as Zarcar is walking from the room, “Then, I had to convince Torrent to return to Hellfire… in return… Andoll would come back to life. All that trouble for me to get my Venatores back,” I watch Zarcar pause, “I couldn’t tell you, Zar, or the deal was off… and I’ve always been in love with you.”
I wait for Zarcar to turn.
To react, somehow.
“What a story,” Rey cackles over his wine.
“Come, Dayarexna,” Zarcar speaks, “Come for a walk with me. I have no appetite.”
So clipped and so cold.
“Neither do I. I will come, Zarcar,” Salt stands and flattens out her dress, “Why do you lie?” Salt leaves that question for me to consider.
All I see is a sweet 16 year old, totally in love with my mate. Fucking… shit. I can’t kill her. She was just naïve and stupid.
“I believe Chyronex,” Varkinya speaks, once Zarcar is gone. Her words have Torrent pausing over his lamb. Apparently, he didn’t believe me either, until Varkinya said something in support of me.
I really had lost all credibility, thank god I had Andoll and Varkinya on my side at least.
“After I eat, I’d like to bathe,” I explain, “Andoll? How about you?”
“Yes, we shall celebrate in a hot spring,” Andoll nods, smirking in excitement.
“You’ll remain in irons the entirety,” Torrent snaps, “And bathe here. You are not free.”
“She is free of my anger,” Varkinya explains, “Why does she need to be in a dungeon?”
“Feral,” Rey laughs, “She’s feral, that’s why. She was feral when I knew her… and worse now.”
I roll my eyes, Rey, as cruel and unforgiving as always. I hear him growl when he sees my glare.
“I’ll watch Chyronex, as a guard,” Lixar suggests. Now, he was just the tit-pervert taking his opportunity as it arose. I sigh.
As another awkward silence runs over the dining table, my fingers tap on the table and I break the discontinued conversation, by boldly asking, “Did Zarcar really sleep with Salt?”
“Her name is Dayarexna. And I commanded all of it to happen,” Rey chuckles.
“Of course you did –”
“Why does it matter?” Torrent silences everyone, his snarl rising as he glares at me, “You will succumb. To no one but I. Until I’m convinced you’re tamed for civilian life.”
“Believe me, Torrent, when I say, I used you to get back Andoll,” I explain, “I’m not a whore. I’m actually quite hard to please. You will not fuck me again. Mark my words. You saw a side of me that wasn’t even real,” I’m being brutally honest. That game was now over.
Torrent catches onto it and his gaze hardens. He glances at Lixar, who nods.
“…she’s being truthful?” Torrent asks his Commander.
“Yes,” Lixar nods, “Why do you think I came to Uldaya in the first place? She needed support. I didn’t expect her to whore about for 3 years while gaining the confidence to seduce you into her… I guess you could call it her trap, couldn’t you? Now you’re invested, Tor. Don’t worry, the darling has that effect on all of us… she’s just so pleasing to fuck around with… when… she succumbs…” Lixar pouts and drinks his wine while bumbling on. Yeah, he wanted me to hear all that. I just shake my head at Lixar and he smiles handsomely into his wine.
Torrent’s silver eyes focus in on me, alight with curiosity and a hint of betrayal.
“I wasn’t lying when I said you do not know how to tame a Draconess like me,” I send a smirk to Torrent. I’m rather provocative with it and I see his eyes flash, his jaw clenches and Varkinya covers her smirk with a napkin. She winks at me, pleased by my confidence. I stand up, just a tad wobbly, “Andoll. Come bathe with me. Lixar, if you so much as dare and try to force your cock down my throat now that I’m back to my usual… mind… I’ll boil your balls in the bath water. Come along.”
“Do not let Chyronex leave the palace,” Torrent commands Lixar, “And bring her directly to my chamber afterwards. Drag her if you must. We will be having words about all this, Chyronex,” Torrent glares at me, daring me to challenge him.
I lick my lips, “It’s a shame I don’t rule this Kingdom.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, sweet Viperae,” Varkinya chuckles into her wine, “Go bathe. Relax.”
“Where are your other Queens?” I ask Torrent, “Oh, wait. I don’t care.”
Andoll screeches out a laugh that has everyone wincing at how high pitched and demonic it is. Lixar stands up with Andoll and puts her into a tight headlock.
“Calm down, you cute nut,” Lixar rubs his knuckles into her head while she keeps screeching joyous laughter. She was a little insane.
I smile and walk from the table, still covered in dirt, but at least my story was now told.
The rest of them could deal with it.
I glance at Rey one last time and he watches me with a cunning look.
However, the only gaze that truly scares me is Torrents.
I have a feeling he’ll have more than just words with me, after my bath is through.
And then there was one other little problem.
I couldn’t hate her. But I would need to teach her; her place. Which wasn’t with Zarcar. It was in a school, or something equivalent. His ways were too harsh for a… a naïve little girl.
As for Zarcar himself, he was extremely cut off from normal emotion. I didn’t like it.
He seemed… broken in some way. Well, of course, it’s because I broke his heart. So, I had to find a way to mend it. I’d go slow and test the waters. In the meantime, I’d set everyone straight. But my biggest obstacle right now really was Torrent. He was too focused. And he was obsessed, Andoll wouldn’t have come back other wise. However, it was only well honed Mystifyer instincts, mixed in with his centuries of patience and learning on his part.
Unfortunately for Torrent, if he wanted into my Venatores… he was going to have to learn to share.
Zarcar was still my chosen mate. He was still the ‘chosen one’. Everyone else would come second.
I just wasn’t so sure if a King of Uldaya would fit in, which begged the question; what did Torrent have in mind?
Because I was not Torrent’s whore. And he was going to be sorely mistaken if he thought I was or could be. Not gonna happen. He had no idea what I was really like.
Only one person knew each side of me, how to manipulate me, how to please me and how to charm me… but right now, he was with another darn ‘woman’.
Hmmm. Torrent’s need to have ‘words’ with me after my bath would have to wait. I needed to have some words with Salt first.