Torment

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Chapter 10

I think I’m dying. I know I’m losing my mind, and with each day that passes I grow weak. Ezra, and even Sky swears that nothing happened to me in the tub. I was hallucinating, they say. It was a bad dream. But I know what I saw. There was so much blood. Too much.

Not only that, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what purpose I’m supposed to serve anymore. On earth, it was survival. Even when I came here, I was with Remus and he gave me some kind of purpose. But now, I don’t know. Remus suddenly hates me, and wants nothing to do with me. So much that he removed the bond between us. That is the only explanation that I can come up with. And that thought is burning itself into my brain with a hot branding iron.

But I still can’t bring myself to understand why, when he was so nice to me before he left. There was no indication of what was coming. If I could just figure out where he went, and why, maybe I can piece this all together.

I’m sitting on the edge of the water with my feet under the cool surface when I feel fingers on my leg. I jump back, squealing but look and see a woman under the water. Except she isn’t a woman per se. She looks like the woman that was in the glass when Remus and I were on Earth. When he took me to the room with all of those beings from other worlds.

She looks behind me and swims away. I turn just in time to see Ezra walking towards me. I don’t understand this man. I thought he was like Remus, but he’s nothing like Remus. He’s been kind to me, and making sure I’ve been taken care of. And I see the way he interacts with Sky. He has strong feelings for her. He’s so focused when he’s around her, making sure to do things that make her smile. I can see that he gets happy when she smiles.

Nanseain.” He says. I look at him in confusion and he laughs softly looking at the water.

“The woman. She’s a nanseain. We found their world a few years ago. It was amazing. Nothing but water. Even the atmosphere had a layer of steam over it.” He takes a seat next to me, looking up as if remembering.

“It was amazing. The people were so peaceful. And Remus wanted nothing to do with them.” His smile slowly drops.

“But when we told them we would place them under our protection, well their true colors showed. They weren’t peaceful at all. They were evil. They put up a hell of a fight. Tried to kill us. Would have worked if Remus wasn’t there. Xion and I were still young, and reckless. Sometimes I feel like we only got in the way of Remus. He always seemed to have it together.”

“And once they pissed Remus off, well that was it. He killed them all, leaving a few for... well decoration I guess. Xion has a few in her palace. Remus kept a few, and I kept a few. Now they live in my ocean.” He smiles. I feel the same disgust I feel constantly.

“What is the point of this.” I whisper. My voice is hoarse, but healing.

“Just making conversation.”

“Where did he go.” I ask.

“I can’t tell you that.” He says.

“Why not.”

“Because, it’s... not for your ears.” He says. I laugh bitterly.

“He tried to kill me. How is it not for my ears, on the possibility of how this could happen. What am I supposed to do now, my world is gone and the man that took it from me wants me dead, now what am i supposed to do? Why are you taking care of me, and being kind to me. He wants me dead shouldn’t I just die now?” I ask growing hysterical. Instead of anger that Remus would show, Ezra shows pity. For me. His features soften, and he looks down.

“I’m sorry. I know that he would want me to take care of you. He wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you.” He says. I scoff in irritation.

“It’s been his mission since day 1 to make bad things happen to me. why is everyone so adamant about him wanting to not see me hurt, when that’s been his agenda since he ripped me from the streets he set on fire.” I hiss. Ezra looks out over the water.

“My brother is... complex. I never knew why, but he was always so... different than us. It was almost as if me and Xion had to teach him how to be emotional. It was tough growing up with him as a sibling. Up until we were teens, he would torture us. He was pretty evil.” He laughs.

“And when we were supposed to take over, he found more joy in the battle than the reward. He may have taken slaves, and prisoners for his collections, but he never took a servus. That’s what you were. A personal companion. Whether it be for bedding, or just for the pleasure of your company.”

“I’m telling you this because i want you to understand my brother. Something about him, makes him not trusting. He believes everything and everyone is the same. And he tests them to prove it to himself and to themselves. He becomes the lowest of the low to bring out your true nature. He always spoke of how you were different. You never gave in. And I think that is what caught his attention about you. No matter what he put you through, you always fought back. Always. And because of that he grew fond of you.” He’s full on smiling now. My eyes fall to those abnormall sharp canines he has. Just like Remus.

“Something isn’t right with him right now. But he’ll come around. He has to. You’re his first love.”

I look out over the water. I keep hearing that word, yet I don’t know the meaning behind it.

“What is love?” I ask. I’ve always heard about it. My parents used to say it to me when i was little, but it was so long ago that I barely even remember why they would say it. They would tell me before they left, before i went to bed. I don’t even remember their faces. All I have to remember them by is the necklace I own.

I have no idea what it is though. Ezra is watching me carefully, and finally responds.

“Love is... well it’s when you feel so much for someone, you would do anything to make them happy. You put their needs before your own. It’s an emotion, so it’s a certain inner feeling towards a specific being.” He sounds confused himself.

“Remus can’t love me. He did everything in his power to make me miserable. Not happy.” I say. Ezra laughs softly, leaning forward and running his fingers through his hair. It’s the most human thing he’s done.

“Everyone shows it in different ways. For Remus, it’s changing him slowly.” He explains.

“Then why did he try and kill me. Why did he do things he did with me to another woman.” I ask. Ezra’s face burns red.

“He’s just not his usual self right now.” He says quickly. I drop my head to my knees.

“And if he never comes around, then what. Then will you let me die.” I ask. He’s quiet.

“He’ll come around. He has to.” I look at Ezra, and he has a puzzled look on his face. Like he can’t accept anything other than that fact.

“Why are you being so kind. I know you hate us just as much as Remus does.” I say. He shrugs.

“Even though you are a planet full of fools, I found one that changed my opinion on that.” He smiles softly.

“Sky.” He says.

“It was your bravery that caught Remus’ eye. It was her kindness that caught mine.” He laughs.

“Well that and her curiosity. She was so genuine. So naïve. But in her I saw something that I had yet to see on that planet. And it was directed towards me. A being that was a part of the race that took her home from her. That forced her people into a mountain, never able to see the sun. Yet she still tried to ease my pain.”

“I know that she hates me now because of what i turned out to be, but I think I would rather have her hating me by my side than not hating me and dead. And that’s reason enough for me to deal.” He says. I finally look at him, and he has a soft smile on his face.

“You’re different from Remus.” He laughs, standing up and looking over his shoulder.

“While that is true, that is another discussion for another day. I came out here to get you. It’s time to eat.” He says. I slowly stand, looking back to the water and seeing the nanseian gazing at me in curiosity. She’s a prisoner to this world, just like me.

~

When we were on Earth, the Leviathin threw celebrations for everything. Remus’ arrival to the city, the day they were released, the day they won. And now, they are finally celebrating the day that the “Divine Three” returned home. I don’t know why they waited so long after they arrived home to decide to celebrate, but it’s happening.

I’m sitting on the other side of the transport pod, as we head to our destination. I begged Ezra to let me stay, but he insisted on taking me. He says it’ll do Remus good to see me. The fact that he plans on putting me in Remus’ line of sight is what terrifies me the most.

“Bring that thing back here and i will kill it on the spot.”

Those words make me shiver to this day. He was so serious. Deadly. I look over to where Sky and Ezra are. Sky looks beautiful. Well she always does. But tonight especially. Of course she’s dressed in white. It’s a strange white though. Everytime she moves it shifts with her.

Ezra is holding her hands close to his face as he murmurs something to her. I can see from her gaze that whatever it is, it’s making her scared. She nods her head and he smiles as if he hadn’t just been threatening her.

“Good girl.”

We arrive at the location in record time. It’s a beautiful place. A massive banquet hall that puts the ones on earth to shame. A man comes up to us, pausing when Ezra begins speaking to him in his language. The man nods and smiles, and motions for another to come towards us.

As we wait, Ezra turns to Sky. He traces her exposed collarbone, and looks her dead in the eyes.

“Remember our talk. I would hate to have to break anything on such a special occassion.” He says. Her eyes widen and she nods her head, unable to speak. His smile grows even wider, and he presses a soft kiss against her forehead.

“I will see you in a little bit.” He says before turning away and leaving us. The man comes toward us, and begins walking in a different direction motioning for us to follow, and so we do. Sky is silent the whole time.

“You look lovely.” I say trying to ease her fears. She looks at me, and smiles.

“Thank you. So do you.” She says. I nod in acknowledgement.

Of course we are placed in a secluded area so that normal Leviathin cannot get to us. I look around for Xion’s “mate” but he is nowhere to be found.

As the announcements begin, and the doors open, I watch and for the first time in weeks, I see Remus. He steps out ahead of his siblings, obviously the oldest. The leader. The king. He’s wearing all white. And his hair is pulled back with a beautiful pendant holding it in place. He looks cruel. But beautiful. The people erupt in applause and praise.

He doesn’t even acknowledge them. He keeps his gaze straight, and keeps walking. His siblings are behind him. Ezra giving at least a soft smile, and Xion gracefully gliding across the floor. They truly are the divine three.

Remus pauses at the head of the room, and begins speaking. My ears are ringing with the sound of his voice. I never realized how much I missed it. Or him. Or his smile. He looks so regal. So cold. So closed off.

I think back to the first time we met. He knocked me on my ass becuase I was about to stab one of his people. If I had just went on my way, and ignored that boy, I would have never landed myself in this situation. Remus would have snapped my neck and no one would have been the wiser. But becuase I couldn’t leave a defenseless person alone, I caught his attention.

The way he hated me then is the way he hates me now. The poeple around the room erupt in applaud. I wish I could understand what he was saying. He always seems to make his people praise him with his speeches.

After he speaks, they clear the area and the celebration begins. The night is in full swing. Even Ezra and Xion are around with their mates. I don’t miss the gazes of awe and shock people give Ezra when they see who is on his arm.

My gaze sweeps over the room and falls on Remus. He’s watching the celebration, but not joining in. He never did. Not even when we were on earth. He’s so distant from everyone except his siblings. But even now he isn’t speaking to them.

My eyes sweep across the room and my heart leaps out of my chest when I see a familiar face. Andrew. I’m out of my seat, moving through the crowd as fast as I can. I feel tears springing into my eyes, and my fingers are reaching out to touch him.

I’m so focused on seeing him that I don’t take note of the body that steps right into my path. I smash right into it, and stumble back. Steady hands grah ahold of me, holding me up, and when I look up I feel excitement which is quickly replaced by fear.

Remus is staring me down. His expression is blank. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out. So I immediately drop my gaze, staring at his chest like i used to on Earth. Before he changed his interaction with me.

He finally lets go of me.

“You’re the human that Ezra brought into my home.” He says. I’m shaking at this point. His tone is so different. I completely forgot what it was like to have him speak to me like this. Ezra was right about one thing. He had changed so much.

I nod my head, keeping my gaze down. I try and look around the room for Ezra to come and save me, but I can’t without drawi-

“What are you looking for.” Damnit. Remus has always been so calculating. I guess in our recent days he just kept his comments to himself.

“Nothing, sir.” I murmur. He’s silent.

"It seems my brother did well to improve your mannerism." He scoffs. If only he knew he's the one that beat me until I understood how to properly act.

“What are you called.” My head is ringing from the sense of deja vu at his words.

“Iris.” My voice is barely above a whisper. I feel cold air on my face and that’s when I realize I’m crying. The tears drop from my eyes, falling to the floor. I hear his soft chuckle above me.

“I haven’t even touched you yet.” He says simply. I look up at that word. “yet” meaning he will. He studies my face for a little longer. His face is like a statue. No emotion. No indication of what he is thinking. His gaze is so empty.

He then steps around me, leaving me in the center of the room. It takes me a moment to compose myself, and I release a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. I must have been a blinded fool on Earth to go against him the way I did. Now that I know exactly what he is and what he’s capable of, he must have really been engaged by curiosity when it came to me. How else would it explain the fact that he hadn’t killed me at the first sign of disobedience.

I finally remember what I even came out here for, and immediately look around for Andrew. But I don’t see him anywhere. I feel irritation at the fact that I was so easily distracted.

The night drags on and I can feel eyes on me the entire night. Remus’ eyes. He watches my every move. And I don’t know why. It’s scaring me. At one point, I see him speaking with another Leviathin woman. He’s actually flirting with her it seems like. She smiles and blushes and giggles. I feel jealousy deep in my gut.

That is, until he looks at me. The womans back is to me, but Remus’ gaze is locked to mine. The music changes overhead to a slow song, and I take note that people are stepping onto the dance floor, dancing with their significant other. Remus stands and pulls the woman out onto the floor with him, and breaks eye contact with me. But I don’t look away.

My mind wanders to the times Remus would dance with me. Or rather, he would dance and I would stand on his feet. He would always say something to make me nervous, or get a rise out of me. I think he enjoyed that the most.

I look out and see Sky and Ezra. Even Xion and Christopher. Xion has a lazy smile on her face as she lays her head against his chest.

It makes me realize how alone I am. I stand up, and move towards the open collums heading outside to get some air. I can see the massive neignboring planet from the atmosphere. It’s beautiful. But then everything about this planet is beautiful. I take a seat on the edge of the mountain, not caring if my dress gets dirty.

Death sounds like a good option right now. I couldn’t save my girls, I couldn’t save my planet, and now I’m beginning to miss the monster that tortured me and took it from me. How is that even possible? How does that even work?

Even though the view is beautiful, breathtaking. But I find myself not interested in the least. I hate how i feel. It’s as if I have no control over my own body. I blame it on the bond. In my head, I know that I should be happy it’s gone. And I am. But my body refuses to match my mind, and it’s mentally exhausting.

I look down from the edge of the cliff, looking out and watching the water crash against the wall below. And suddenly, it looks very inviting. I think back to the moment before I passed out. The images that flashed across my brain. The woman that was there, and the words I screamed out.

"She’s taking it from me.”

What did that mean? I felt nothing but panic in that moment. But why? And once I awoke, the bond between Remus and I was gone. Could that have anything to do with him not wanting me anymore?

I tense when I feel a chilling presence, and turn immediately. A woman. She’s beautiful. Stunning. I’m frozen to the spot unable to look away from her. I blink when I notice that she has Remus’ features. White hair. Bright purple eyes. She’s watching me with a blank expression. Just like Remus.

Her hair is almost glowing as well, flying around her in an uncontrollable manner. She takes a step towards me, and I immediately feel panic. Maybe it’s because she’s not giving me any indication of whether or not she’s hostile, or maybe it’s because my basic instinct is screaming at me how much power this woman radiates. I look beyond her and realize how far I’ve wandered from the celebation.

“You are a precious little thing. So innocent.” She smiles at me. She takes another step forward, and she is right in front of me. I feel like I can’t breathe. She places her fingers under my chin, and my skin tingles from her touch.

“Such lovely eyes. A beautiful shade of green. And so large. Like a doe.” She smiles softly, and begins playing with my hair.

“How beautiful. What lovely curls. And so dark.” Her hands move from my hair to my face, and she’s cupping both of my cheeks between her hands. I’m frozen in fear. But I tense immediately when I feel the familiar icy wave that rushes over me, and my strength begins to fade. She keeps eye contact with me.

“I wanted to see the little vixen that stole my sons heart. All these years I was able to keep him under control, and you come along and ruin all my good work. Who would have thought one of the weakest planets in existance would produce the one thing that weakened my hold.” I open my mouth to let out a scream, but nothing escapes me but a pitiful little squawk. Her smile disappears, and it’s as if I’m staring evil in the face.

So this is Remus’ mother. In my haze of fear I make out the connection of her words. This is the celestial being that Remus told me about. That founded this world, and was betrayed by the people.

“My son, may look like an angel. But he is death. Fear. Horror. And everything you could possibly imagine rolled into one existance.” She says. Her once warm voice is cold. I feel my energy being drained agonizingly slow. My legs are shaking and I collapse, but she keeps a firm hold on me. So I’m on my knees, staring death in the face. Tears fall down my cheek and pathetic whimpers escape me.

“I’m afraid even wiping his memory hasn’t helped. The fact that you’re still alive may be what’s tampering with him. So we’ll have to remedy that.” My vision begins blurring. and my eyes are closing. My skin is prickling and cold. It feels like there are needles all over my skin. It's the same feeling I had that night Remus almost killed me in his sleep. She's killing me.

“Don’t worry.. You will never have to incur the wrath of my son. Your death will mean our survival.” She lets go of my face, and I drop, unable to even hold my head up. I then remember that we’re on the edge of the cliff. And that’s when I feel my body being moved, and suddenly I’m falling.

~

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