Yes. Unleash it, my pet.
I jolt awake with my hearts pounding out of my chest. For the first time since they severed, they seem to beat as one. I’m drenched with sweat, yet I feel icy cold. Like I jumped into Brarda river. I take a deep breath, tempted to lean closer to King so he can calm my riled up demons, but I notice a little yellow head lying between my body and King’s own.
It’s a startling sight to see when you think of us. James has the same prominent Death-Rose features I do. And Nicolette is blonde. To an outsider, James looks like our child. But that will never happen. I’m never getting pregnant. Ever.
Careful not to wake the boys, I lift James, cradling him to my chest. My brother slips his tiny thumb into his mouth and snuggles closer into my neck. I can’t help but smile as I slowly leave my bedroom. As much as I adore toddlers and children, I could never bring one into this world. I need to be the last. This torment has to stop with me.
I walk soundlessly to the boys’ room and lay him down on his soft snuggly bed decorated with pillows and blankets. After making sure my brothers are tucked in tightly, I walk over to Steph’s room to check on her. To my surprise, she’s sitting up in bed. Her amber orbs drift towards me, drawing a smile onto her lips as she beckons me forward. Rolling my eyes in the sweetest way possible, I walk over to her bed and sit down on the edge.
“What are you doing up, parrapino?”
“I can’t sleep. Will you sing to me?”
Stephanie smiles at me and holds onto my hands tightly. Her dimple winks out prominently as her small eyes crinkle at the side. I can’t help but smile back at the little girl and her cuteness.
“I don’t sing anymore.”
“Please, Zurya-bornyaz? Why won’t you sing for me like you did when I was younger?”
I think back to the time she’s talking about. This was before I met Edward when life wasn’t a piece of trash. It was the beginning of my life spiralling down the drain, yet I was still okay inside. I was satisfied. I sang to the children with my brothers and Ana. We were kind of close at the time.
I turn my head away, remembering all that happened to me when I left the Academy. The drugs, the addiction, the rape, the pain, the sadness. All of it merged and worsened with one boy’s touch. I swallow a lump in my throat and pull Stephanie close to my body, in a tight embrace.
“That was when I was happy. I sang when I was happy but now I’m not.”
“What do you mean? Aren’t you happy with your boyfriend?”
Stephanie’s small eyes peek out from the brown mess of hair on her head, her lips forming a frown. I smile at her accusation, remembering my sins from the past week. Everyone thinks we’re together, but it’s the complete opposite. Sure, we made up but it’s still too soon for anything to happen. We still haven’t dealt with his ex.
“No. He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Yes, he is.”
“What would you know about boyfriends?”
“I have one.”
I roll my eyes and tickle my little sister. “No, you don’t. You have a friend, who’s a boy. You’re not old enough to date.”
I lie straight through my teeth to the littlest girl in my life. Rubbing her messy hair, I lie her down on the bed and kiss her forehead. I tuck her in and sprinkle some sleeping sand on her head as she closes her eyes. I wait a few minutes to make sure the dust works to get her to sleep. Soon, Steph’s asleep, holding her stuffed animal close to her chest.
She’s cute to think she knows what having a boyfriend is like. I barely know what that means.
I shudder as Eddie’s face comes to mind. His blonde hair falls into his bright blue eyes. His lips turn into a scowl as I shut in the door to my sister’s bedroom. Leaning against the wall, I watch as the face that used to haunt my dreams contorts into the face that tortured me last night. I bite back a moan as I realize my mistake.
They look alike.
I couldn’t see it before but it’s the reason I was drawn to him. It’s the reason I allowed myself to be used. Closing my eyes, I slowly slide against the wall until I’m on the floor. Resting my chin on my knees and wrapping my arms around my legs, I sit in the dark hallway, hating myself for being too blind and ignorant.
I’ve fucked up badly.
And now, I’ve managed to drag my family into this mess.
But then, a thought crosses my mind. An ugly thought that would ruin me. I’d never let a man touch me if it was true. I claw at my throat wishing Alaric had never found me that fateful day. I wouldn’t have made the same mistake twice. Not with the same man. My venom stings me as I puncture the gland in my neck. I feel the thick black substance rise up my throat like bile until it drips out the sides of my mouth.
I fight the urge to scream as my sanity slips through my fingers. My dream comes back to me, haunting me as my demons get angry, forming a violent storm outside. I come to lie down on the floor, staring blankly at the ceiling as I relive this moment for the 3rd time this night.
We were out in the woods training. It was almost dusk when he appeared behind me with his hands on my waist. He rolled his waist against my back, pressing his hardness against me and implying the things he wanted. I let him lead me to the nearest tree and take control of me. He pounded into me and I just took it, giving him the satisfaction of a few moans from a mouth that didn’t feel like mine. The hazy sensation had been so foreign the first time but now felt normal.
The haze that came over me every time we finished a long night, hit me right then, blinding me to the dark gleam in his cold blue eyes. I didn’t see my next victim, a beautiful small wolf with a sleek grey coat, as she cautiously came towards me. He watched, silently, as I kneeled on the wet grass and pet the poor pregnant wolf. I summoned some food for her to eat, seeing her starved state.
He watched as I cared for the once elegant wolf. And then he decided to strike.
He kneeled next to me and pulled me away from the female I had just bonded with. He kicked the animal away from me with a dangerous look in his eyes. I knew it was wrong but, I did nothing about it. I couldn’t move. It wasn’t until he gave me those bloody orders that I stood up and approached the hurt and cowering wolf.
“Kill the overgrown dog.”
I let my demons out and sat back as they used my body to strangle the poor dog. She was half dead when I was done with her but it wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted her completely dead. He said I would get nowhere if I couldn’t kill something as insignificant as a mingy dog. So, I broke all of her bones. And I can’t deny it, I revelled in the sound of bone marrow breaking apart.
“That’s more like it, my pet. Kill with no regrets.”
And that’s what I did. I didn’t think about my actions after. I just smiled at the blonde devil standing in front of me. I kissed him and let him hold me as he whispered to me. He told me to darken my soul. To find the one that hurt me the most and kill them.
A blonde woman had popped into my head that night and I told him who I wanted to kill and who I wanted to make mine. I told him everything. I gave him the key to wrecking me. And he told me his plans
“I’ll help you get your revenge if you take me as your King.”
The word alone had sent shudders down my spine. I badly wanted someone who wanted me back. He encouraged me to go to the human world and wreak havoc. He wanted me to claim what I thought was mine. But what we never expected was for Alaric to bring me my knight in blackened armour. For him to bring me my one and only King.
I suddenly regain consciousness and movement in my limbs. I stand up and rub my eyes before stumbling over to my bed chambers. I sit down on the edge of my bed by the curtains surrounding the bed. Without disturbing King, I clean the venom from my shirt and neck before lying down. I’m not sure what I want with my life. I want to be close to the man in my bed, yet, right now, I don’t think I could possibly feel his touch.
I lie down at the edge of my bed, muscles taut, mind lucid, trying to avoid the physical contact that I need. I can’t let my mind roam wild or I will be swallowed alive by my misery. I need to talk to Alaric to get this dreaded feeling out. I think of my grandmother wondering if she was fooled. She would have told me. Warned me to stay away from that bar. Told my father to put a stop to the havoc I was creating.
Unless she wanted this to happen…
Who can I trust?
The answer is in the air I breathe in. It’s always been with me. I can’t trust a single person. Only Alaric-- maybe. But, that’s even questionable. He knows how to get what’s best for me. I’m on my own with this.
Slowly I move my hair out of my face and turn, moving my shirt higher on my body. I freeze when I notice someone close to me. His heart beats loudly in my ear. I open my eyes to see a familiar tattoo on the chest of the man that rules over my split hearts. A calloused hand slips lower down on my leg, squeezing lightly.
“Good. You’re up,” A deep husky voice enters my mind confirming my beliefs. My body instantly tenses at the thought of my episode last night. “Now I can ask you where these marks came from.”
I bite down on my lip and swallow hard as King props himself up on one elbow. His eyes trail down my body, lingering on every scar that rids my body. My body begins to sear under his gaze, and I suddenly want out of this situation more than ever. I try to get up and move away from him, but he pulls me down next to him, his palms sizzling at the contact. His lips trail the red lines on my neck.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Really?” He murmurs against my skin, causing me to shudder. His voice rolls like thunder over my body and my skin begins to goose up. “I think I should worry about it. I think I should worry about you. I was up the entire time, Aszurya. You left and didn’t come back for a while. And when you did, you went from lying close to me to struggling to sit in the bed. What happened when you left?”
My voice cracks so I turn away from the man holding me close.
“Baby, you gotta tell me. You’re not acting right.”
“I’m fine, King.”
“No, you’re not. And I care about you too much to let you suffer alone. I felt your demons acting up last night. And now, you have these marks on your neck.”
King stops speaking, drawing me closer to his body. His muscled arms envelop me, surrounding my body and insecurities as our bodies collide. I’m tempted to break in front of him. But I can’t. I can’t trust anyone.
“No… No. I c-can’t trust y-you. O-or anyone else.”
“What? Baby, you know that’s not true. You can trust me and Alaric. You know that. What’s gotten into you?”
“No!” I scream into his chest, shaking my head vigorously. Tears sting my eyes as I wrap my arms around his broad back, digging my claws in. Peeling my arms off of him, King stands up so he can hold me like a small child, and I surrender myself to him. I let myself fall into his trap, and sob into his neck. He pats my back, whispering words to reassure that I’ll be okay.
Once I’m done, exhausted from the weight of my sorrows, I let King set me down. He takes my hand in his, interlacing our fingers. I lean my head against his arm and he leads me out of my room. We walk together down to the foyer of the manor, bereft of any living beings. He stops me and turns so we stand face to face in the middle of the room. He takes my face in his warm rough hands to make sure my attention is on him. I stare at his lips as they form words meant only for me.
“Where’s Alaric, honey?”
I shrug my shoulders, muttering my next words. “His apartment?”
“What’s the fastest way to get there?”
“Can you open one for me, baby?”
Closing my eyes, I hug his broad body, placing my lips on his. I whisper the gyen against his lips, causing him to tense up. Closing my eyes, I rub my head against his chest. Again, he takes my head in his large hands.
“No. No. You can’t go to sleep yet.”
Nodding my head, I let King lead me through the portal I created. My knees buckle when I pass through and I fall to the floor allowing the darkness to enter my vision.
My mind is filled with fog. Someone-- no-- two people are talking. I don’t know what is being said. None of it is registered properly in my mind. I open my eyes slowly and meet the blueberry eyes of a ginger warlock. That’s when I notice I am lying down. Not moving, I smile at the warlock, taking in his bedraggled state. He’s wearing a light brown robe over his tan trousers. He’s barefoot and his cheeks are still flushed, not to mention his messy red hair. He winks at me, causing me to giggle to myself.
I’m lying on someone. Someone warm who’s playing with my ebony hair. He freezes as I giggle hysterically at the warlock making faces while sitting in his comfy chair across from me. The two voices, whose words became white noise, cut off and silence plagues the room. A light amusing twinkle settles in the warlock’s eyes as his name flies back to me.
Kitoshy. That was it.
“Did she just…?”
I shift at my King’s voice. Sitting up, I release a strong throbbing in my head from the sudden disturbance. Once the throbbing subsides, I become fully aware of everything and everyone. The scent of coconut bothers my nose and throat as I breathe in. I sneeze once. Twice. Three times, before sending a small gust of wind towards the window. It shutters open at my will, letting in natural pure air.
I turn around to see two of my male companions gawking at me. I furrow my eyebrows and wrinkle my nose, confused with their shock, before turning my attention to my dearest green friend. The warlock who made me laugh mutters something about cute sneezes from demonic creatures.
“Why does it reek of coconut?”
“I had to make sure you regained your sense.”
“You’ve had us worried, Aszurya. What’s going on?”
At first, I’m confused. But then a single gesture brings it all back. I breathe out an exhausted sigh, knowing I owe them all an explanation. King, more than the rest. Taking a deep breath, I stand and sit on the sill of the window, running a hand through my jet black tresses.
“Alaric… is it possible that…. Is it possible for Adrian and Eddie…” I trail off not being able to finish my statement. Alaric understands what my thoughts are, though, his gaze darkening like night.
“Aszurya… No. They’re not. I see where you might get that from but you’re wrong.”
“How can you be sure?”
“Because I did my research on Edward. From the time you told me of him, I became suspicious. They are, however, related. Distant cousins.”
This information should make me happy but it doesn’t. If anything, it makes me sick to my stomach as I stare off at the streets of Vistosa. A small breeze rustles through my hair, bringing with it the scent of paint and morning dew.
“I had a dream last night. It was a memory. One that Adrian didn’t want me to remember because of its importance. It was from when we were training. And as I recall it now, I realize that I can’t keep this from you anymore, King.”
I turn my head ever so slightly to look into his mismatched eyes.
“That injury you sustained at work in the human realm wasn’t a mistake. It was premeditated. Adrian planned the whole thing. He summoned a demon to distract you and your friend. While you were distracted, he launched a nuy-pra-gyen (paralysis gyen of high level). Luckily, my connection to the demon caused it to nudge you to the side. It didn’t strike bullseye. If it did, you would have been permanently paralysed and you would’ve never been able to save me.
“That memory was so revealing. I understand the depths of my actions and how they’ve harmed you. When Adrian found out about our connection, he was livid because it meant you could break any gyen put over me, no matter how strong his power. And because of that, you became his target. He wanted to get rid of you.”
“Wait, hold on. How do you know all of this?”
I look over to Alaric, not being able to bear the weight of my sins. His yellow eyebrows pull together and his thin lips form a straight line. I should have told him first but we’ve both been so busy lately. We’ve been doing our own… similar things, it seems. Though mine is for the sake of my family. And now, my King.
“My grandmother May showed me with her sight. I saw the whole incident. In my memory, Adrian told me how he wanted to take over this realm and wreak havoc in the human realms to eventually rule them both.”
I swallow down my fear, knowing that I’ll have to form a meeting with my family.
“Aszurya, you know what this means, right?”
I nod my head and walk over to King. Kneeling, I rest my forehead on his knees, the formal apologetic gesture. I feel him lean over, his fingertips trailing from my temple to chin. Gently, he lifts my head and looks deep into my dark soul.
“Stop. Don’t bow to me. You’re too strong and conniving. Seeing you like this strikes fear into my heart. It’s like seeing the sky you’ve always wanted to explore and discover, the sky whom you’ve always thought was the foundation of life, now falling apart at your feet. Don’t you do that to me.”
“I could have gotten you killed!”
“You weren’t in control of yourself.”
“And that’s my problem. I’m never in control. Someone’s always using me.”
“Aszurya, you’re stronger than you think. You are able to be in control. And you know what?”
I shake my head as King slides onto his knees in front of me. He smiles, setting my heart afire, and takes my shaking hands in his steady ones.
“I’ll make you stronger and together we’ll put that slimy bastard to an end befitting a traitorous rat.”
His words make my fire burn brighter. The words of a King. There’s a new light burning in his magnificent eyes flecked with gold. And I adore the darkness I’ve spurred.
“Well, if that’s going to happen, we’d better hurry with your training. And I’ve got the perfect plan.”
I wink playfully and lean forward to plant a kiss on his lips. Standing up, I feel a new fire burning ever-so-brightly inside me. Thanks to this man in front of me, I think I know a way to get ahead of the game.
“Come along, boys. It’s time for me to finally be in control of my life once more.”