30] A Royal Reckoning
30] A Royal Reckoning
Blood. Everywhere. Screams – turning to moans. The Erebos rip out flesh and drink their fill of my friends while excreting orgasm inducing venom. The looks I receive from each Darv, each Servant of the Water’s Will – betrayal. Hopelessness. Vulnerability. Shock. Eros had gripped my arms and swam off at high speed. On route to his Ezili Castle, being followed by more Clan members.
A real tactic for war was being played out. A real King, on a royal and ruthless rampage to conquer and become the dominant power on the island.
Damn the consequences.
Even I had almost murdered Eros.
Instant guilt filled me, yet I felt desperate for the violence to end.
Now, the rest of the day passes and most of the night. Each Darv, confined to their own tank. I could hear their screams as they were tormented by their captors in other rooms.
My little dungeon chamber was guarded outside but empty in here, while I lay in a corner of the tank, deprived of food. I had eaten what little sea weed had been thrown my way. I had fallen asleep at some stage.
But this time, coming back to consciousness, I was not being dragged through the Deep.
There’s a constant tap at my glass tank.
I wake up to I find I am no longer alone.
First, I see Eros’ wide ocean blue eyes, and his even wider smirk. Behind him…
I slam my palm to the tank at what I witness.
Dragged across the floor with their tails visible, my friends are collared around their necks with steel, and a chain in each hand which leads to the leading male Erebos. Each Darv is owned by a Master.
“Until their true submission, Lily, they’re my slaves,” Eros explains, “When they kiss my feet… and swear loyalty… then, they may return to their Ruin.”
I glare at the chains and then each Erebos… but Eros is relishing in my confusion and my rising panic.
“They’re safe, sweetest,” Eros shakes his head in denial, despite his own statement, suggesting he is lying straight to my face yet again, “All you have to do, is submit to me in return,” Eros pulls up a collar and chain into my vision, “Think quick, half-wit. Aegir is about to see the show.”
I don’t know what he means, but there is only one way to find out. I swim up out of my tank and I climb over, shifting to my legs and squatting down opposite Eros.
I know now is not the time to scream and complain.
Now is the time to show strength.
“What show?” I ask for clarification, straightening up to face him, “Is this another strategy in your game of violence?”
Eros plays with the chain in one hand and squeezes the collar in the other, threatening me with the devices and looking rather sheepish as he glances from the restraining tools to my openly naked, defiant stance.
“Oh, sweet flipper… you are so very hurt from misunderstanding the King of Ezili,” Eros shakes his head.
“Uh, please, don’t speak of yourself in third person. It’s more terrifying than the usual snarling you do,” I murmur, narrowing my eyes.
“Oh, please, don’t attempt to murder your mate after I concoct a plan to save all your friends, yourself, including my friends… and myself,” Eros cuts me off with an amused snarl, “…your whirlpool is a chosen device, clearly. I would have been impressed if it wasn’t I, who was your target… now… sweet flipper… transform into your tail… kiss each toe of mine – show your friends the way. Come now, don’t delay.”
“And please, don’t start singing either,” I hold up my hand, worried by his rhyming. Eros holds up his hand too, showing the collar and chain at my eye level.
“Be adorned in chains… or, alternatively, I can present an equal royal partner by my side, either way, you’re seeing Aegir in a few seconds. Your choice, silly Darv which I have forgiven and saved from a life of mortal enslavement,” Eros is quite sly of his good doings today, his voice rumbling deeper and deeper with such pride.
“King Eros?” a female Siren appears in the entry way, “Aegir is waiting impatiently. He is becoming rather skittish.”
“Well, chains it is then,” Eros snarls under his breath and turns to me. His muscles coil, ready to chase me when I inevitably run or resist his devices.
Instead, I roll my eyes and step forward, brushing my hair over my shoulders.
“Do it then, and prove yourself a monster,” I tilt up my chin, exposing my neck. I don’t waver my eyes from Eros, who pauses in his stride toward me.
Not a moment later, he throws the collar and chain into the corner of the room violently, slowly snarling with his teeth.
“I hate word gambles proven thru such tasteless tests of the soul,” Um. Okay? While I’m staring at him in confusion, Eros lunges forward and roughly cups the nape of my neck, pulling me into his side, kissing my neck and my cheek and jaw, “Pest,” he hisses quickly in my ear and shoves me forward, “An equal pest today. By the sound of it,” Eros stands up right, trying to look taller even though he’s already giant, “Unchain the Darvs that are quiet,” Eros murmurs to the others, “Any that scream or protest, rip their heads off. I’m in no mood for patience.”
“Don’t be so dramatic,” I hiss and keep walking.
“Be good, little girls,” Bellus demands of the others, “Or pay the price with your blood.”
I pause and turn, watching the Darvs shift from tail to two legs, “Just… do as they say, okay?” I order it, catching Darya’s eye. Though she is the most shy, she looks the most disgruntled. I feel her energy, as if she is ready to complain; loudly. I glare at her a little longer, hoping the warning sinks in. The Erebos weren’t lying. They would rip into them without a second thought.
I turn and walk confidently to represent the strength they need to mimic to get through this, while Eros is at my side soon thereafter. He walks a few paces away from me. He ‘lets’ me remain naked while he himself wears suit pants.
“Throne room?” I inquire.
“Yes,” Eros seems impressed by my guess, “…you are smarter when under political pressure… Lily…”
“You convinced Aegir to come to your Ezili Castle, how exactly?” I ask, changing the subject, “Surely, he must have brought guards with him as back up.”
“He threatened your mother, so I stole his own today,” Eros half shrugs, “The old hag nearly stabbed me through with a kitchen knife. I tied her up, pet the old hag calm and sat her in one of the thrones. Heheh… she amuses me so. Once she complained of hunger and I hand fed her some sea slugs,” Eros looks disgusted, “She sucked them up and spat them right back in my face. Crazy. Reckless character. She shall stay. Don’t tell Aegir I’m stealing his mother permanently. Right now she is further leverage until our war comes.”
Eros was really messed up sometimes. I try to ignore everything he just said; it sounded like more of a joke anyhow.
“Follow my lead,” Eros adds, lightly, “I have this negotiation handled.”
“I’ll speak if I wish,” I state.
“That you will, as my Queen,” Eros wiggles his brows at me.
I note he seems rather content, even though I tried to kill him not long ago.
We finally turn into the throne room, and I halt for a moment when I indeed, see a wild red haired elderly lady, tied to a throne, guarded by some Sirens. Bloody Eros, he actually did this?
The Sirens look upon me as I enter with… terror? They seem fearful, yet respectful. I guess after killing the head Siren, Irsa, I somehow earnt their submission.
I note that Erebos in general were quite prone to the opposite of what is considered a normal reaction.
Before the thrones, Aegir the King of the Coral Clans is with Aegir Jnr, once more. They also have a small flock of supporters. Aside from the crowd as being summed up as elderly men and women of importance, there is one specific woman that catches my attention.
Darkest green hair flows in long locks to her waist, middle aged and dressed in highly esteemed opals, intertwined with wire, into a very elaborate dress. She meets my gaze for all but a few seconds then looks away.
But I know.
It is my mother.
And I suddenly take a step closer to Eros. Because if the stories were true… she bred with a mortal to have me and sell me off in some treaty to protect the island.
“What in the Water’s Will is this…?” Aegir holds up his hands, totally confused as Eros leads a procession of other Erebos, holding chained Darvs at their sides.
“I stole the pretty little slaves that you bred for mortal enslavement and I took them to be my pets!” Eros exclaims, laughing roughly and holding up his hands to match Aegir’s enthusiasm.
“You sick, sick animal, and look what you’ve done to my grandmother!” Aegir Jnr steps forward, glaring at me, “Lily, Erebos whore.”
I can’t even react because Eros doesn’t hesitate.
He side steps to Aegir Jnr, reaching for his throat with a sharp hand – however – Aegir dodges back and slips to his ass to get away from Eros’ attempt to clutch his neck.
“Say that again and louder, you little whale shit, I’ll crush your bones for sport,” Eros snarls with spit and I grab his arm gently.
Amazingly, Eros lets me pull him back slowly. I stand beside him, hand clasped around his elbow, hoping to keep him in place.
“Negotiations,” King Aegir tries to hide his blush of embarrassment at his son slipping while trying to avoid Eros’ attack, “I apologise for the insult from my son, today we come to find a middle ground, not to cause more tension.”
“We have quite the deal to bargain today –” Eros attempts to begin but King Aegir quickly over steps the mark by speaking over him.
“Actually. You’ll all leave the island in exchange for half our wealth of weight in gold,” King Aegir snaps proudly, “Tons of it. Collectible jewellery. Pirates treasure that we’ve obtained from the bottom of the ocean from shipwrecks. You can live anywhere in the world – but not here. That. Is your only option. Also, we’ll need the Darvs back, for that, you’ll receive the Drift Pendants, allowing communication to the dead. Which means you know exactly who you’ll be able to speak with; your precious parents. However, you must give us the Darvs first.”
“Drift Pendants,” Eros chews the words up, as if they mean something to him, “You stole them from my family?”
“Again. I repeat. Your Ezili Clan leaves the island and you also leave the Darvs to us, for half our wealth in treasure and your families Drift Pendants which your mother held lovingly against her breast on the very same chain she also once wore,” King Aegir uses his language carefully. I can feel Eros tense under my palm, “No war. We all leave with our lives. And you live too, richer. And connected to your mother.”
“Here is how it shall be,” Eros whispers very slowly and so deathly on the edge of violence, that I know, without a doubt, that he is about to murder everyone in this room that wasn’t a part of his Clan, with just one more push, a rampage could begin, “…a temporary peace treaty for the price of those Drift Pendants… for now… that is all…” Eros’s lips twitch and I see the fangs underneath, dripping a lethal kind of venom.
“Oh,” King Aegir is visibly distressed and in question of Eros’ offer of peace. He clearly didn’t expect it. Even with the price Eros attached to the deal, “One moment.”
The King retreats to his side and they discuss while Aegir Jnr stays between Eros and his father.
“Do the Clans have new Overseers yet?” I ask Aegir, despite his despicable nature.
“We’re seeing to get rid of that old island law,” Aegir Jnr shrugs, “No one likes superstitious and super suspicious old shelled women anyway, we’re forming the Clans into one. Under Aegir. A new order. It’ll make me a prince, in actuality,” Aegir smirks at this, “Being royal will be pretty neat, huh, Lily?”
“Stop moving that tongue,” Eros warns Aegir, “Or your head goes next.”
“We agree,” King Aegir rushes over, interrupting Eros eyeing the young and stunned idiot, “On one condition. You consider our original offer in this period of peace. You must also give me back my mother.”
“Fine,” Eros raises his brow, “In exchange for Lily’s mother.”
“How… wait… how did you know that?” the King snaps and I glance at the older woman in the back, who suddenly looks irate and annoyed that the conversation is about her.
She seems high handed and cold. I don’t like her.
“She’s the dead ring of Lily,” Eros murmurs, “So, you daft King of the Coral Clans, do we have a deal?”
“You want the Drift Pendants, but not now, you’ll receive them when you want the treaty to end, as a forewarning to us, you’ll come get them from a location in the forest that is safe and secure, where we can observe you fetch them. Once they’re gone, we’ll know the peace is over,” King Aegir suggests, “It’s reasonable. You keep on your ground, we keep on ours.”
“I’ll receive the Drift Pendants now,” Eros states, far too calmly for his nature, “…or I slaughter one of Lily’s sisters…”
“They’re not… they’re not my s…” I start off confident, but I glance over my shoulder and then back to my mother, who won’t meet any of us in the eye.
“We’ve agreed to the treaty, now you’ll be lenient in return,” King Aegir tries to push his point.
“Fine, I kill a Darv,” Eros turns and curls his fingers, choosing Darya to come.
I’m about to protest and I hear Darya scream out “No!”, but as she’s dragged over by her chain – we are interrupted yet again.
My mother comes forward with a clasped palm, she opens it and I see two white pendants set in driftwood.
“Take it, no blood today, please,” she says it politely and presses the pendants to Eros’ chest, rather than handing them to his palm. He takes them and she finally meets my gaze, stepping back, her dress of expensive opals clacking. I hold her cold icy gaze and she speaks quietly, “I love you… daughter, I do, Lily. I really do.”
“Fine then,” the King of the Coral Clans snarls over my mother’s false admission and he also glares at the Sirens who take their time untying his mother.
“With that kind of poor ungrateful response, she now stays,” Eros punishes Aegir swiftly and points to his elderly mother, “I changed my mind, how about that. Lily’s mother and your mother dearest are in the Ezili Clan now,” Eros steps around my mum to face the King, who’s going red and redder in the cheeks, his lips about to burst with convoluted protests.
“Then, but, no, the deal must be broken!” King Aegir tries to speak and Eros simply meets him nose to nose.
“The deal is on. Sweet little red fin. I allow you peace. Bye, now,” Eros slowly reaches a hand to the King’s neck, causing him to also skitter out of reach just like his son, “Drop by anytime for tea!” Eros calls out, “Ta ta!”
King Aegir, in a defeated grumble, gathers his crowd, and leaves while Aegir Jnr whispers a protest to his father.
We all wait for the rival procession to exit, before we speak.
“Now,” Eros turns back around towards me, “I want the old hag to be a jester. What do you want to do with your mother, Lily? Shall you consult with your fellow Darvs?”
I step backward from my mother, who stands without saying anything else. It is as if she is waiting… simply waiting… for my judgement.
“Are they my sisters?” I ask my mother, and she meekly nods, “Were we bred for a treaty where we’d be given to mortals as slaves?” my mother pauses but slowly, slowly nods again.
“Yes, Lily… but you don’t understand –” the moment she starts with an excuse, I jump in over the top of her.
“Put her in a dungeon,” I snarl, “And don’t let her out.”
“Of course, Queen Ezili,” Eros winks at me, and I see he’s already getting turned on. His thick bumpy cock rises and presses against his pant material, showing me his interest.
Freaking weird eel.
“To the dungeon with you, what is your name?” Eros asks my mother, leaning in her ear, curious.
“Fantasia,” she watches the ground as she answers, appearing submissive, even though I knew in her eyes, there was a hardness like mine.
“Oh… that’s interesting… because I know that unique name oh so very well,” Eros drawls, “…you used to be a Queen of the Clans, a long, long time ago, when I was a babe,” Eros glances at me, “I have myself a bastard princess for a mate, do I? How adorable is that. My sweet little flipper… special after all… ”
“Please. Eros. Just get her out of my sight, I don’t care about her entitled past,” I turn from them, my tears welling. All of this was too much, “…and release my sisters… please…”
I wait for Eros to laugh at me.
But he doesn’t.
“…let the poor souls free,” Eros growls, as if forcing himself to speak the order, “Only chain them up if they try to leave the Castle. Or better yet, rip their legs off. Generals? Watch them closely.”
“Don’t leave the castle,” I turn to the Darvs, ignoring my mother’s presence, “Just do as Eros says.”
“How are we safe here?” Halina asks me, even while they are released from their collars.
“You’re alive here, but you’ll be dead if you leave,” I just get straight to the point, “Deal with it for now. While the treaty is in place. Okay? I promise. It’ll be okay.”
I wish I believed my own statements.
“Bellus, take this ex-Queen to her new quarters,” Eros hands Fantasia over to his right hand man.
I look over my shoulder at the King of Ezili Clan; my mate. I want to know what Eros is thinking. He seems rather pleased with how things went, but it was also very emotionally impactful. Mentioning his mother and pendants she once wore. My own mother. The fact I had blood sisters. And now? What can I say, except after all this, Eros is staring directly at my ass.
A very… intense look of possession.
He’s also still, as hard as driftwood through his pants.
I’m also pretty sure that’s drool on his chin, dripping from his fangs.
His eyes? Ocean blue depths, totally eating up every part of me.
As if he was in a moment of deep fantasy of drinking my blood, hence the drool.
You know what?
Not right now.
I can’t deal with this predatory mood from Eros.
I inhale sharply then huff out a breath as I turn and stalk out of the throne room.
I needed a moment to scream.
Preferably somewhere private.