“You stupid fucking pathetic piece of shit!” Blinding pain ripples through me as Felix strikes me across the face. I lose consciousness momentarily, stumbling as my body collides with the nearest wall. I hiss in pain, my crushed shoulder colliding with the stone.
Felix’s hand is around my throat instantly, shoving me against the wall. I choke on my blood and the lack of air. His eyes are dark and filled with rage. Something I am used to at this point.
I'm pathetic. Useless. I deserve to die. I was supposed to protect her. But I failed. I failed miserably. The King already knows who she is. There's no telling how long he knew. But now... now he knows and he has told his war council.
“Felix. Let him go.” Felix instantly obeys his King’s command, letting me fall to the ground in a pathetic heap. Blood drips from my lips as I cough it up on the floor, my body battered and broken.
The King of the Beasts walks through the room, his steps sure and solid. Felix stands tall waiting for his King’s command. Felix is a terrifying Beast, but he doesn’t compare to the King. The pure aura that he gives off is enough to cripple me in fear. I can’t imagine what Anna has to go through with him.
He stands in front of me, using his foot to lift my chin.
“Look at me, welp.” He growls. I shiver from his tone, barely able to gaze at him. I don’t understand the friendship between him and Felix. He glares down at me with all the hatred in the world, his gaze giving off disgust. He scoffs lightly.
“As I stare at you, I have yet to understand her fascination with you. It’s pathetic, really.” He laughs. He bends to my level, his soulless depths swallowing me whole.
“What did you hope to accomplish lunging at me like that? If it weren’t for Felix’s claim over you, I would have killed you myself. But now, you have presented the perfect opportunity for us all.” He smiles. His smile is evil, and I have to look away. He chuckles at my reaction, walking away from me.
“Felix. Heal him.” He says.
“Yes, your majesty.” Felix comes near me and I can’t help but flinch as he reaches for me. His palms roam over my flesh with familiarity as he begins to heal me.
I look past him to the King as he watches us with an amused glint in his eyes.
“...Why...?” I manage. His eyes darken and his smile widens, letting everything click into place for me. I slowly shake my head, tears coming hard and fast.
“No... please, I beg you. Anything but that...” I whisper. The King doesn’t respond to me. He looks at my master with a knowing glare.
“Felix. You know what to do.” He says before turning away from us, leaving us both in the room alone. I take the opportunity to look at my Master. A Beast I fear more than death itself.
“Please... I’ll do anything... just, don’t make me do this.” I whisper. His evil eyes rise to meet mine, cold and heartless.
“You don’t have a choice, Dimitri.”
I drop my head as the tears come hard and fast.
“She’ll hate me.” I whisper. Felix is silent for a moment before a soft chuckle escapes him.
All I can think of is Dimitri. I have to save him. I have to help him. His agonizing scream as he tried to save me. The sickening sound of his bones breaking under the hands of that monster. Why did he try to save me? Save me from... what, exactly?
I jolt awake, sitting up immediately in the bed.
“Dimitri!” I scream his name unaware of the looming presence in the room. A loud crack echoes and the sound of dust and dirt trickling across the floor ensues. I jump, looking over to the cause of the sound to see the King with his fist lodged into the stone.
“Y-your Majesty... I’m sorry, I didnt-”
“Stop.” He snaps, pulling his hand out of the solid stone. My eyes widen at the sight. The sheer strength that he holds. I immediately look around the unfamiliar room as the King approaches me in the bed. I can see the clear rage in his eyes at my outburst, but I know not to speak after he just told me not to.
I drop my gaze as he takes a seat on the edge of the bed.
“Look at me, Annalise.” He says softly. I slowly raise my gaze to meet his. He holds the necklace my father gave me up, and my eyes widen as the memories come back.
The meeting, the necklace, the power that I felt...
He gauges my reaction so carefully, I don’t want to move for fear of giving him the wrong interpretation. He finally speaks, looking at the necklace.
"Even in your sleep you call for him. You crave that pathetic excuse of a human." He growls. A scoff escapes him.
"I don't know why you obsess over someone so weak, he couldn't do the one job he was given." He smiles. He looks over to the door.
"Enter." He says. My eyes travel to the door as it slowly opens. I don't think as a gasp escapes me. Dimitri walks through the door with his eyes downcast, his face bloody and beaten. Felix is behind him with a blank expression, looking as terrifying as I remember.
I can feel Cyrus's eyes on me as he watches my reaction. I have to bite my lip to prevent my tears from falling at his appearance. Felix shoves Dimitri forward, and he falls losing his balance. I immediately try to move but Cyrus whips his gaze to glare at me. So I sit still.
"All this time, you loved and defended him. When he has been lying to you your whole life." He says glaring at Dimitri. I look at Dimitri as well.
"What?" I whisper. Cyrus looks at Dimitri, an evil smile creeping onto his lips.
"Tell her." He says. Dimitri keeps his eyes down.
"Please... I'm begging you..." He sobs. My eyes widen as I take him in. I've never seen him so broken. Felix bends down to his level, whispering something in his ear. Something that makes him begin to shake and all the blood to drain from his face.
He finally lifts his gaze looking at me. His bright blue eyes filled with so much sadness and despair as he takes me in. Cyrus decides to step in at this point. Cyrus holds up the necklace my father gave me, eyeing it.
“Your father was very clever. But not clever enough, I’m afraid. From the moment you stepped into my Kingdom I sensed the power this little trinket gave off. My only question is, why would he give such a powerful item to you when you clearly know nothing of the world it comes from?” He looks at me with an amused glint in his eyes.
"The world you come from, my dear slave." His eyes fall to Dimitri.
"Though you may be unaware, this one here knows everything. And he willingly kept it from you."
I look at Dimitri with wide eyes.
"...Dimitri?" I whisper. He drops his gaze.
"I'm so sorry, Anna." He whispers. Cyrus's laugh fills the room as he walks towards Dimitri.
"Do tell her, slave. Tell her of the past you've helped conceal all this time. Tell her, or I will kill her where she sits. And I will make you watch."