When Dagon left I opened my mouth to say something, something that needed to be said, but all that came out was another breath. The only thing I could do right now was breathe. I was so weak. And my whole body was stiff from not being able to move. If I even tried to move, my legs would get shooting pains down them, and they would throb for a few minutes after.
When I felt my back start to sting I realized it wasn’t coming from me. Dagon had gotten in trouble and they’re giving him the whip.
“Ahhh!” I cried under my breath. It was the best I could do, otherwise I would be squealing in pain right now. Feeling the fifth sting brought tears to my eyes from the abrupt burn. The tripled amount of pain Dagon must be going through hurt my heart.
I heard heavy boots pound down the hallway, and two unknown guards dragged me out of the cell. As they carried me I tried to hold back the obvious pain I was in. I didn’t want to give anything away that would indicate our relationship. Dagon and I, we could be mates. Who cared about how early the signs showed? We could be mates.
As another line of pain sharply hit my back I winced, and a tear fell from my eye.
“Oh look, she’s crying.” The guard with a tattoo up his neck observed.
The other one smirked like he enjoyed making girls cry. “Don’t worry honey.”
Did he just seriously call me honey? Something bee’s make. Gross! Don’t you ever call me that,” I grit out, as another sharp pain hit my back.
Tattoo guy responded, “Oh, we’ve got a feisty one here.”
I bit my tongue trying to hold back the insults I wanted to spew at them. But I held them back, because my mind wandered to another thought as we ascended the stairs. “Where are you taking me?” I asked, as they dragged me up the steps, my toes hitting each stair edge.
I couldn’t walk by myself, I was so weak at this point. Being positioned upright for so long made me dizzy. My neck went limp then, not being able to hold my own brains up. I huffed in frustration...well, more like sighed because that’s all I could get out. I was so damn weak. I needed someone’s touch or the wind to caress my cheek.
“To your boyfriend.” The tattooed man said.
I tensed up then. Did they figure it out? Do they think Dagon and I could be mates? I asked these questions and more as chatterbox over on my right continued.
"Oh, you don’t like that do you?” he snickered and looked over at the other guy, “What do you think, Donavan?”
“I think we should just get her to where we were told she needed to be.” He responded on a grunt.
Well then, someone’s in a crappy mood. I smirked at the floor. Even though I was in pain, I could still make jokes that only made me laugh. I wondered if that was a sign. Maybe it was telling me I have completely gone crazy, because of how long I was in the cell. I actually lost track of time after like the fourth day so...
We left the stairs, and as a new floor came into view, I had to squint. The natural lighting of this room was brighter than the dim ñ almost pitch black if it wasn’t for the torch ñ dungeon.
I didn’t have time to study my surroundings because both satyrs carried me through hallway after hallway. I never realized there was a mansion on top of the dungeon.
As we neared a giant room I began to wonder. Getting brave and taking in a deep breath I asked, “Is this where you guys live?” There was a small amount of awe that poured out when I was briefly able to look up, and see the high ceiling and chandelier. “Oh.” I gasped softly when I saw the chandelier. Huge magnificent archways held up the ceiling, and the calming colors that spiked away from the bowl shaped chandelier seemed to suggest the mood of romance.
I was still waiting for an answer to my question when we walked deeper into the ballroom, and a hidden door opened up in one of the walls. There was a long hallway that led to nothing but darkness. It looked scarier than the place they held me before, but it didn’t smell as bad. I heard a deep cry in the distance and at the same time felt another red line form along my back. I almost collapsed in their arms, in more pain now than I ever had been before.
“What are they doing to Dagon?” I wheezed out. Spots started to form in front of my eyes and I thought I was going to pass out all over again.
No response, just more walking.
“So, tattoo dude isn’t so talkative any more, huh?”
There was a long pause and then the other guy answered. Not what I freaking wanted. “It’s not in your best interest to try and talk like a little smart ass right now, so I suggest you shut it.”
“Are you kidding me!” I yelled as loud as my weak lungs could muster.
In the next second I felt a callused hand hit hard across my cheek. The cheek that was now red also had an eye that watered from the pain. We had stopped, and the guard stood towering over me with the tips of his horns almost scratching the concrete ceiling. “Listen, we don’t know why Dagon has become so attached to you like,” he waved a hand in the air finding the right words, the action making me flinch. “Like a drug or something. But we do know that you’re a nymph and can use persuasion. We intend to get you to persuade Dagon to never see you again.”
Getting back in place beside me and grabbing my bicep, they both picked me up again and started walking. My mind slowly processed what he told me, and I started to struggle in their arms. “No, please. You can’t make me do this!”
Both satyrs responded at the same time, “Oh, yes we can,” and kept on walking.
We were half way down the echo filled hallway, when the strangled cries and screams became clear. Not only did I feel how much pain Dagon was in, but I could also hear the sharp crack of a whip.
I started to struggle again, “please you have to stop them.”
“Its not our place to help Dagon, Baron gave him what he deserved.”
“But you don’t understand!” I felt out of breath now, and I sounded like it too. In my desperation to save Dagon of more whip lashes across his back, I didn’t watch what I said. “If you hurt him, you’ll be hurting me.” The words were rushed out in a frenzy to make the two satyrs react.
They both looked at me in that instant and their jaws dropped. “Oh no.”
Donavan responded. Then the other satyr chimed in. “That’s so not good. Do you know the danger of a prisoner mating with a guard?”
“Ahhh!” I jumped and my heart cracked when I heard another round of whipping and Dagon’s strangled cry.
I turned to both of them, as they kept me on my feet. “Will you help me?”
“No.” “Yes.” They both responded at the same time.
Donavan glared at the other guard. “Trenton,” his face darkened with anger and I had to look away. Okay, I thought, Donavan is scarier than I thought. It didn’t really help that he had a darker complexion to his face, and his horns jutted up in a jagged twist.
Once again Dagon cried out and panic started to wash over me. He needed me right now, and I needed these men to help me. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get to my...potential mate in time. My back was so numb from Dagon’s pain that I had to hunch my shoulders.
Trenton looked away from Donavan and answered for the both of them. “We’ll help.” In response to Trenton’s answer Donavan rumbled in displeasure. He turned towards the end of the dark hallway and grumbled, “Lets get this over with. You’re mate seems like he’s in lots of pain.”
Not even a minute later Donavan and Trenton were still holding me up as Baron explained to me what I must do. In that moment Zane, who was swinging the whip, hit Dagon again. Because we were both so close to each other we both yelled in pain and my back arched.
Baron squinted his eyes at me and then turned to Dagon, who barely comprehended that I was in the room. “Interesting,” he said, and it made me fear what he thought that meant. What would they do to me, no, to Dagon, if Baron figured it out?
He turned to Zane and demanded him to stop in a strong, firm voice, and it echoed down the tunnel of a hallway. We stood in a room that could hold about twenty men – satyrs – although only five were present. There were a couple weapons hanging on the wall, and targets were set up on its own wall as well. This must be a secret meeting room if ever someone tried to invade Nedra. As if, I thought, and wanted to roll my eyes.
Baron ordered Trenton and Donavan to bring me to Dagon so I could do my thing. Persuasion of course. Not that it would work, but we had to do something. I had to improvise; otherwise Baron would start to question some things that don’t need to be.
“Dagon,” I whispered, now on my knees and holding his cheeks in my shaky hands. “Look at me.”
He shook his head, afraid and defeated.
“Fine.” I said aloud so that our audience would think I was still agreeing to this thing. Not that I ever did agree in the first place. I leaned in still holding his face and brought my lips to his ear. “Dagon, listen to me.”
He tensed and then groaned when it hurt his back...and mine, thinking I would say something different.
“I’m not going to persuade you to do anything. I can’t.” he started to relax and breathe as even as he could. “I’m going to have to fake it. Donavan and Trenton promised to help get us out of here when the time came.” His response was a nod that only I could see. “Okay,” I finished, and my lips brushed under his earlobe intentionally. It wasn’t a kiss, but it wasn’t nothing either. I wanted Dagon to know...I wanted him to know that I was still here...with him.
Once again I said, “Look at me Dagon,” as I pulled away. He did as was asked, and I began to find his mind through his eyes. Enchanting dark eyes. Eyes I could stare into forever because of how richly brown they were. I finally found his thoughts and even though I knew this wasn’t going to work it started to feel so real. And a tear fell from my eye, one single tear. Worry showed through Dagon’s eyes, and I shook my head just enough to tell him it was still okay. Then I started to ‘persuade’, “You will never come and see me again. You will never come into my cell and comfort me. You will -” my voice hitched and it wasn’t because I was lightheaded and weak.
“Continue my dear,” Baron spoke with confidence, and I could tell he thought it was working.
I swallowed the feeling of this actually being real and tried to finish strong. Dagon played his part well, making his eyes widen as if he were transfixed, and I almost broke down then and there. I hated this. It felt all too real and it hurt.
“Dagon,” pausing for dramatic effect, “You will never ever come near me again.” and Dagon finished it off with a look of pure agony in his eyes.
Before Donavan and Trenton could take me back to my cell, I glared through the layer of unshed tears at Baron. I hated him.