That last heated kiss, it felt different, almost like a good-by kiss.
Something deep inside me is screaming, making it hard to focus. I feel sick with worry. I am at least dressed now, with basic pants and a black T-shirt that I threw on in a wild frenzy. My hair still wet and I am shaking with fear, apprehension, utter panic. I can feel my eyes cramp as I glance at a soaking wet Ajax, his face intense as he gazes at the locker room door, fixing his pants.
“Red,” he whispers, jaw flexing, “No matter what happens after this, you stay strong. Don’t let them break you, because they will try.”
I squeeze my eyes shut, tapping down my anxiety. “Who’s out there? They know what we did? Is it really that bad?”
We had sex?! What’s the worse they can do to the crown prince? Slap him on the hand?
Ajax’s pale stare shifts to mine, chest rising and falling. “Boron must have called the World Council. This is worst case scenario; I can sense it. I am not sure what we’re going to walk into, but I bet it’s not good. But, yes, I think they can gather what has happened between us. It’s a big deal Red, you should know that.”
Humans and Fey do not mix.
How could I forget.
I can feel my mouth quiver as he walks over to me, taking my face in his hands. “Red, I do not regret any of this, understand? Do not blame yourself because I have a feeling you’ll want to later. I made my own decisions and I was helpless against your green eyes and red hair.” He winks at me and I want to cry, my voice frozen in my throat. “Not to mention a body that stuck me like lightning and hell-fire,” he murmurs. “So, you see? It’s not your fault but only my weakness for you.”
Tears are falling down my face, still in some version of shock. “Maybe they don’t know.”
I clench my jaw. “Now what?”
He leans down and kisses my trembling lips, his breath filling me, his tongue sweeping into my mouth. I softly moan. “Ajax,” I breathe.
Ajax pulls back, his eyes seeing too much of my soul. “They are waiting out there for an ambush, I’m sure. I have seen it happen before. To my brother, actually.”
“They can’t harm you, right?”
He looks down then back up, hands lowering to my waist, softly squeezing. “They can try, but I am the eldest, so they won’t do me much bodily harm, at least.”
“What harm then?”
His gaze looks pained and he looks away. “Just tell me you will be strong for me and compete with vigor. Let revenge drive you, I still believe in closing the gap between humans and the Fey. You have Fey blood in you being a Feno. We are not much different.”
“Ajax,” I say slowly, heart beating. “Why are you not telling me the truth.”
“Because I am a dead man walking,” he murmurs.
I suck in a breath.
He walks away from me. “We have to go before they barge in here come and take us by force, that will be ten times worse.”
I wipe my eyes, not wanting to play this game anymore. It hurts too much, F this Fairy Godmother shit. This is not a happily-ever-after fun romance. This is heavy stuff, stuff that break your soul. “Ajax, what will they do to you?”
He flexes his fists like he wants to punch the wall, he is breathing hard. He turns to look at me before he leaves. “No matter they do to me, nothing can erase your eyes from my memory. You will always be mine, Red. They can’t take away what is burned into my soul. Never forget that you once had my heart,” he pauses like he is getting choked up and it instantly rips me apart. “I am willing to do this for you, never forget.”
I am hysterical, not understanding what he is telling me. “What do you mean? Why are you talking in past tense! They’re not going to kill you?!” I can’t breathe as he leaves with hands up, I feel dizzy, sick to my stomach.
This is so messed up on so many levels, I want to talk to Pierce right now.
We need to rewind the shower scene and this next time I will not pull him in but push him away. I will be smarter, watching out for cameras better. I will beg Pierce.
I hear loud shouting like the damn SWATT team is out there. I see Flix flying around me and I barely register men coming in and seizing me violently.
Red, say calm, Flix here. Keep your life-lines handy.
Tears stream down my face as I am led out to face a very intimidating group of Fey. They look like troopers in glossy white and black armor. There are about fifty of them, glowing guns pointed at Ajax and I. A tall fey woman stands in front of them, grinning at Ajax, a long knife in her hand. She is very severe with her tight white bun and thin lips. Her gaze is dark and beady, extremely creepy. This woman could provide nightmares for me for the next year.
I shiver as I watch her glower at Ajax, her eyes roaming over his wet appearance, licking her lips. She laughs and walks up to him. “I have been waiting so patiently for you to mess up Ajax, you and your degenerate team.”
Ajax is getting cuffed from behind and a glowing neck collar being secured on him. He does not say anything, just gazes back at her, jaw flexing. He looks like a powerful lion being caught by poachers, retrained by a lesser people.
The woman glances in my direction. “No response for your rebellious actions? Theodluin, your father has given me the orders to take you in. Boron has quite the claim on you, and I think we all can agree on what audio the camera’s picked up. Quite damning.” The way she looks at me makes my skin crawl, the level of hatred. “My, my Ajax. You let yourself get caught with a human? A Feno?” Her eyes roam over my breasts that are pressed tightly to my T-shirt. “I see why you were so weak, the Feno is...over developed.” She laughs and glances back to Ajax’s rageful expression.
“Leave her out of it, it was all my doing,” Ajax barely says over a whisper, anger and fury emitting off him.
She shakes her head and sighs. “The Feno had nothing to do with it?! I seen the clothes she wears, flaunting her body in front of you like meat. Her hips swaying and tits on display making a shameful presentation in front our Fey men.” She continues as I try and keep my fear in check, heart pounding. “I’m sure she was loving taking down the famed Ajax, the man next in line for the throne of Thunia. Her secret plan to cause an uprising, and the powerful Ajax fell weak to a pair of large tits.” She laughs and I want to slit her throat.
She walks up to Ajax, her knife grazing over his muscles chest then down to his abs. “I wonder how victorious she felt having brought someone as powerful as you to his knees.” Her knife gliding over his bulge.
Ajax muscles flex. “Coren, you touch me again and I will not be responsible for what happens next,” he hisses the threat loud and clear, his chest rising and falling.
I cringe, the creepy woman looks turned on sexually. She smiles and licks her lips, removing the knife from his package. “I always wondered what it would be like to have sex with someone like you. So much raw energy and stamina, so much passion and hunger. I’m sure that anger could be transformed into something quite erotic.” Her eyes are wide, her breathing escalated. “But you waste it on a Feno!”
Ajax looks like he is two seconds from breaking that woman’s neck, every muscle in his body looks tense and ready to lung.
I shiver in disgust, feeling violated for Ajax.
She looks at me and I hold my breath. “She will still compete, I cannot change that, but she will be punished for her seducing ways. The little slut, I will make it hurt.”
I can see Ajax eyes start to glow.
Coren glances at Ajax with a shocked expression, confusion written on her features. “I don’t believe it,” she hisses. “Your eyes.” She shoots a horrified glance at me, the revulsion turning her features pale. “You love her,” she whispers.
My heart pounds as I glance at Ajax, my chest tightening.
“You love her, I don’t believe it!” she shrieks, breathing hard. There are murmurs everywhere, the Fey looking appalled. “I’m sure your father will love this betrayal. And here I thought you were just fucking her because she had big tits,” she laughs, beady eyes protruding. “Don’t worry Ajax, we will fix you right up. We will fix this little glitch in your brain.”
I feel dizzy and sick, what does she mean by that?!
She looks at me. “And the little Feno slut. I want the red hair removed and her tits!”
Ajax’s eyes widened. “You can’t fucking touch her Coren, she is still on my team and mutilating her could affect her performance,” Ajax breaths, eyes glowing with dark hatred.
Coren glances back to the Fey members behind her. “Is that true?!”
A tall white-haired man walks up behind her, brown eyes flickering over me. “He is right, but you can get rid of that offensive hair color. Once the games are over then it can be up for debate. I also want the rest of their team delt with. I will not have an uprising on our hands, this team is like a virus.”
What evil creatures.
I am so horrified, my stomach wanting to lurch. I glance at Ajax and he mouths to me, eyes glowing and intense. ”Be strong Red.”
I am hauled away, my soul cracking.
I am in a small white room, no more tears to be shed at this point. I feel broken and hopeless, needing to see Ajax to know he is okay. I feel my hair with a shaky hand, and I gasp, so short. They butchered my famed red locks, my pride and joy. I have not seen it, but I am sure I look horrendous.
“Red,” Flix appears in front of me.
“Flix,” I breathe, my eyes glassing over. “I am not red anymore, am I?”
He stares at me and tilts his head eyes going wide before he starts laughing, holding his belly. “Wow,” he breathes.
“Flix, don’t be a dick, I am broken,” I say, upset that he’d make fun of me.
“No, I am sorry. I am laughing because you look killer-hot in short black hair!” He puts his hands on his hips. “Dang girl, I’m sorry about your hair but damn. Pierce will have to do some trimming to clean it up, but you look like some sexy assassin. They all tried to make you ugly but just made you hotter!” He snickers, laughing harder
I wipe my eyes. “Mirror?”
Flix sits on the ground and starts typing and blinking. “Pierce wants to know if you’re okay?”
“Right, well he says it’s not over till the fat lady sings. And as you can see, all the bitchy Fey are pretty skinny.” He says with a diva head-bob. “Having Peirce fix your hair before I show you.”
I stand up on shaky legs and start spinning.
My head tingles and prickles and I take a large, calming breath. Flix stands up and gazes at me, a smile on his little mouth. “Hell yeah girl, you own the shit out of that.”
I take the mirror and my eyes widen as I stare at myself, not recognizing me. “Whoa.”
“See, one step back then two steps forward.”
My jet-black hair is short and edgy, making my lime-green eyes nearly glow like a cat. They even dyed my eyebrows giving me this sexy, badass appearance. With this haircut and my tight body suits, I will look like some sexy Russian killer on a 007 movie.
“Flix, what are they doing to Ajax?”
Flix looks down then back up. “You want it sugar coated?”
“He loves me Flix. Isn’t that enough to win the game?” I ask, wanting a way out of this mess. I want the Fairy Godmother to make everything perfect.
“Pierce is thrilled about that, knowing you were the right choice in the very beginning. But you must last for three months and it’s only been a month an some. A lot of things still need to be addressed first.” Flix looks sad. “You want this next part sugar coated?”
“No,” I whisper.
“The good news is that Ajax will still be team leader. The bad news is that you have to start from scratch,” he says carefully.
“They will erase his emotional memory of you and replace them with distant negative thoughts. He will not know he ever knew you on a deeper level. He will think he just went through some mind training, not mind swiping.”
I am sick, my face draining of color as I sit down. “How could they?” I whisper, my eyes stinging once again. “Monsters.”
“Your plan?” Flix asks me.
I close my eyes and remember what Ajax told me. “They will not break me. I will be strong.”
I will be strong.
I will still rise up and make this a place worth living in.