|4.| ▪A Tainted Kiss▪
A passing groan, the shuddering of walls, moaning sounds, and an oppressing feeling mixed with the croaking of frogs; was the only sound I could hear right now.
Unable to sleep in this state, I sat up and looked down at my waist.
Zion’s arm was wrapped around me, stopping my movements.
After he struggled with himself for a while, he was able to doze off somehow. It’s like he turned back to himself, and with my presence, he finally got the deserved sleep he needed.
I slowly pushed his arm and got up. I needed to find clean sheets and clothes to make him change.
The entire place was full of dust and dirt. Even leaves from the nearby trees swiftly moved down the halls.
Has it been this way all these past years?
I opened some drawers where I knew Rosa used to put clean clothes. I grabbed the first things I saw and took them back to the bed.
Now I needed the bedsheets.
Quickly looking around some cabinets, I finally find what I need.
With Zion’s way of acting, I would need to be careful on how to approach him. Things could go wrong if I don’t know my way.
Whatever was tormenting him needed to be appeased and released from his body. But how could I do that?
I sighed and rubbed my temple. Approaching Zion, I softly caressed his face. He grumbled and turned over.
I’ve missed him so much.
“Zion,” I called as he grumbled something. “My love, please wake up for a moment.”
I waited for him to wake up, but instead, he turned to the side. I sighed tiredly, and without waking him up, I started undressing him.
I carefully removed his ragged shirt. Then, gasping, I gripped the shirt and stared at his body.
“Zion…,” I mumbled in shock.
Black veins protruded from his skin like snakes wrapping around his torso and arms. Some even wrapped around his neck and went back.
It covered half of his body with the stone as well; though it should cover more of his body, it seems like it has slowed down somehow.
Gracing my finger over one of the black veins, I see them move like they are alive. I pulled back, scared, confused with this strange thing. Was this how he used to look before?
I closed my eyes and bit my lip. Tears threatened to escape, but it was not the time to cry.
Letting out a shaky breath, I undid his fly and pulled his pants.
My cheeks heated as I tried not to look at him. But Zion needed a change of clothes. I didn’t know how long he had been wearing this.
Struggling alone, I manage to put the clean clothes on and let him sleep. Maybe since he was asleep, I could figure out what happened with the knights and Bishop Archer.
I looked behind one last time before leaving Zion in his room.
I had rushed down the stairs and straight out. The fog moved around, distancing from me, but why?
I didn’t have that odd necklace with me. I left it hidden in Zion’s room which he wouldn’t be able to find it.
As I approached the gates, I got on my tiptoes and stared at one of the watching towers.
I grasped the handle and pulled. Thankfully the doors were opened, so I could go to the top and check on everyone. Hopefully, Zion didn’t hurt them.
I pushed on the second door; the door slammed against the wall with a loud bang. I rushed and leaned on the window.
I scanned the area with hopes of seeing someone.
“Hello?” I called not too loud. “Bishop Archer?”
My eyes moved from side to side, but it was too dark to get a glimpse of anyone.
“Hello? Is someone out there?” I said a bit louder.
“Mila?” I heard Bishop Archer’s familiar voice say. “Mila, is that you?
“Oh my, you’re all right?” I asked as relief washed over me.
“Are you all right? What happened?” Bishop Archer asked.
A loud bang on the gates has him taking a step back.
“I’m fine. I need to know that everyone is ok,” I said. “Did Zion hurt anyone?”
“Zion? As King Zion? The sinner?” Bishop Archer said with a frown. “He did this?”
I nodded and looked back to the other window.
“Give me a moment,” I said and moved to the other one. My eyes moved around for any movement in the castle.
It seems Zion was still asleep, so I rushed back to the opposite one.
“Mila!” Bishop Archer called worriedly as I leaned on the window again.
“I need your help,” I said. “Looked into this thick fog.”
“Isn’t it black magic?” Bishop Archer asked.
“Yes, but it seems alive. Like it’s afraid of me,” I briefly explained. “I don’t know why but it has stayed out of the castle.”
“Are you sure?” Bishop Archer asked.
“Yes, I don’t have too much time to explain, but I know a place we can find clues,” I explained. “Go to my old house and search for anything. We might find something there.”
“What about you?” Bishop Archer asked as another loud bang came.
I needed to rush back in. It could wake Zion up.
“I can’t go, not right now,” I lied. “I need to help Zion and know what happened here.”
Bishop Archer looked hesitant.
“I don’t like this Mila,” Bishop Archer whispered.
I gave him a reassuring smile.
“I will be fine. Zion won’t hurt me,” I said. “Meet me here tomorrow at the same time.”
“All right. Take care, Mila,” Bishop Archer said as I nodded and waved goodbye.
Rushing back into the castle, I halt and gasp for some air.
Everything about that fog felt wrong. But I needed to know how I could make it disappear.
Did the necklace have anything to do with it? Or was it Zion?
The rustling sound coming from the bed has me shifting my eyes. I didn’t get an inch of sleep and spent the rest of the night staring out the balcony while Zion slept.
I smiled as Zion’s eyes fluttered open and focused on me.
My head rested over my knees as I smiled softly.
“Morning,” I said softly.
Zion stared at me intently. His enigmatic emerald eyes moved around.
It was like he didn’t believe I was here, so getting up from the chair, I walked to his side and sat next to him.
Zion’s eyes were still glued to my face, studying me.
“Morning,” I repeated. “Did you sleep well?”
Zion blinked before answering, “Yes, it’s been a while I’ve been able to sleep.”
His voice sounded hoarse, so I chuckled softly.
Moving my hand to his ruffled hair, I smoothed it to the back and leaned to kiss his forehead.
Zion wrapped both arms around my waist, pulling me closer.
“I can’t believe you’re here,” Zion whispered. “I thought you had left.”
I didn’t answer and instead sighed.
“I will prepare you a warm bath,” I said, standing, but Zion grasped my arm.
A shiver ran down my body as Zion pulled me closer to him. His head was resting on my shoulder.
“Take a bath with me,” Zion mumbled against my skin.
I gulped as my heart beat fast. His breathing tickled my skin, so I abruptly stood up.
“L-let me get it ready,” I said, dashing out.
I’ve been waiting for some water to boil. Then, shifting my eyes to the counters, I noticed the mess there was.
Organizing and cleaning some of the shelves, I quickly make a mental note on what is eatable and what isn’t.
Thankfully beans and some vegetables looked good and could be eaten.
While I waited for the water to boil, I chopped some vegetables and prepared a soup.
I didn’t know if Zion had been eating, but it seemed like he did eat by the looks of this place.
Once the water had boiled, I set everything aside and left with the water.
Zion stood on the door of his room with his arms crossed. His hair was ruffled, and he seemed to be thinking about something.
“I’m back,” I said, pulling him out of his trance. Zion stood straight and grabbed the water from me.
I didn’t stop him and allowed him to help.
While he set the water down, I fetched some cold water and filled the tub. But, of course, not before washing it and making it look clean.
The place needs urgent cleaning.
I waved my hand inside the lukewarm water. A smile on my face as a memory comes into mind.
“It’s ready,” I said and stood. But before I could move, Zion wrapped his arms around my waist.
“Stay,” he whispered near my ear.
My chest rose as he reached for my belt and undid it, letting my dress lose.
“Zion,” I whispered, but he only hummed.
Reaching for my bottoms, he slowly undid them until he let my dress fall on the dirty floor.
The only thing left was my small top and underwear.
I stood there nervously when Zion suddenly let go.
Blinking in confusion, I wrapped my arms around my body.
What in the world was I doing?
Realizing this isn’t correct, I pick my dress and try to flee, but Zion grabs ahold of me, pulling me until his bare chest is against my back.
“Mila!” Zion called with worry. “Don’t please.”
I hugged my dress against my chest, hiding my face and trying to remain calm.
It was useless; I was getting shudders from his touch.
Getting some courage, I slowly turned and met his beautiful eyes.
Zion smiled and leaned his forehead on mine.
“I’m so happy you’re here,” Zion whispered. I gulped and stayed silent.
I waited for him to say something but Zion reached for my hands and slowly intertwined his fingers until my dress fell on the floor.
I felt shy as his eyes moved from my face to my body.
He didn’t utter a word. Just his sharp inhale, and his ragged breathing made me know how he felt.
“Come,” Zion said as he pulled me into the tub with him.
I kept my eyes on him.
Taking a seat on the warm water, I unconsciously sighed.
Zion sat behind me, his legs on each side caging me while his arms wrapped on me again.
It was like he was afraid of letting me go.
“I missed you,” Zion repeats. “I’ve missed you so much; I’ve been going crazy without you.”
I stared at our reflection in the water. I know I had to mention this.
“What happened to everyone?” I asked. “Where is Noah and Rosa, Zion?”
His body tensed behind me as I looked over my shoulder.
“Where are they?”
Zion looked away as I completely turned around.
“What did you do?” I asked, fearing his answer. “Say something, Zion.”
“They’re dead,” Zion answered. His face with no emotions.
“What?” I muttered in disbelief.
“They’re dead, Mila, dead as anyone could be,” Zion said with anger this time.
He looked at me, his face contorting.
“I killed them like I killed my parents,” Zion smirked.
I involuntarily moved away, but he pulled me against his chest.
“I opened Rosas chest while she was alive,” Zion whispered while kissing my cheek.
I started to feel sick.
“And while she looked at me and bled slowly, I pulled her heart until her eyes rolled back,” Zion chuckled. I tried to wiggle my way out, but one of his arms stopped me, and the other gripped my chin. “She screamed Mila, she cried, and begged.”
“Stop it!” I said as tears rolled.
“I tainted the walls with her blood,” Zion continued. “You don’t know how it felt.”
“Zion!” I cried. “Please stop!”
I didn’t want to hear him.
“Zion!” I yelled, but Zion groaned and turned my face.
My eyes widened as he kissed me hard. His tongue tried to push its way, but I forced my mouth shut.
“Should I make you bleed?” Zion said against my lips.
I was crying as he gripped my jaw and forced his way.
“S-Stop!” I said and bit him.
Zion winced and backed his face away from mine.
The taste of his blood on my mouth made me scowl. It tasted awful.
“You are stubborn,” Zion said and let go.
I tried to run away, but he grabbed my hair, yanked it hard until I screamed.
“No, don’t leave, please,” Zion begged, but it didn’t sound sincere.
I worriedly glanced at our reflection and saw his eyes. It wasn’t Zion but someone else.
“I’m sorry, Mila,” Zion muttered. His eyes focused on our reflection. “I’m sorry, all right? Stay?”
I nodded frantically as he lets go of my hair and kiss his way down my neck and body.
My only thought was that I should hate it, but it had the opposite effect.
“Z-Zion…,” I breathlessly whispered.
Zion kissed my back while his fingers dug into my waist.
“Mila,” Zion whispered.
He trailed kisses back up until he found my lips. I moaned his name and wrapped my arms around his neck.
Carrying me to the bed, Zion lays me down softly.
This should be wrong, but I wanted him as he wanted me. The feeling was mutual.
Gasping, I let him kiss my chest. His lips sucked and bit on my skin, leaving red marks.
I opened my eyes lazily as he stopped right on my belly.
Confused, I furrowed my brows. Why was he frowning?
“Zion?” I called, but he stood up suddenly and dashed out of the room.
I sat up, confused. Why did he run away?