Dark Tyrant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 25 (v.1) - Problem

Submitted: October 03, 2013

Reads: 139

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 03, 2013



Chapter: Problems

The quiet inhale was like a pendulum swinging upward, and then swinging back down with an exhale before rising up again with a following inhale. The repetitive process let me think—on something other then what my thoughts had paralyzed on. It was as if all of my imaginary voices had their little imaginary mouths hanging, eyes wide—some with shocked joy, others with horror and even disgust. The world was only him and me—it didn't matter where we were, or why we were there or how we got there and who we where with.

Only the quiet, unsynchronized whispers of our breathing and beating. His gentle, calm puffs tickled my hair, his cool, soft yet strong palms supporting my head as it leaned against his palladium breastplate. My eyes strained and stung slightly as the pupils tried to focus on the intricate patterns and images, but it’s failed attempt made me close my eyelids to save my eyes the effort of trying again.

“Angia…” Brutus’ quiet whisper was soothing, like water cleaning the cut. The cut was my past, full of pain and torment. When it was cleaned, I felt a strong kick of joy and safety that I’d never felt. My lips met his breastplate, right in the middle. He returned my affection by kissing my hair. Using his shoulders as leverage, I hauled myself up to sitting on his straddled legs, legs on either side, purposely tugging myself closer so that both of our torsos brushed. My king noticed and smiled, his fingers trapping my head. I met Brutus’ gaze, heat caressing my cheeks. “Don’t get killed on the battlefield, please.”

Surging forward, I slid my hands behind his smooth neck, gripping some stray, untamed hairs. Kissing him felt like drinking water after I’d been parched for my whole life. Brutus was like that—like I’d been an empty, useless, neglected, ignored bottle that he had finally filled, even overflowed. He leaned into me, welcoming my enthusiasm, his hands pushing my head in gently. No, I thought, second-guessing. His grip is gentle, but his push is firm. I hooked Brutus even closer, pulling myself as close as was physically allowed. I trembled as though his intensive kissing was electrifying me. But, I mentally frowned as I realized he wasn’t. Does Brutus not feel it the way I do? Is he not pleasured by this intimacy? Does he not feel the electricity or know that he’s causing this? Does he not know that he’s everything to me? My lips slowed with this brooding, and Brutus finally caught my troubled worrying. I answered his unspoken question. “Do you feel anything? At all?”

He rested his head on my shoulder, breathing into my ear. Quiet, yes, but clearly ragged. Even his usual calm tone could not escape the desire seeping through. “Every touch, every breath, I feel it all. One-hundred percent.”

“And what do you think of it?”

He nuzzled my neck with an mmm at my temperature and heartbeat shooting up, thumping in my neck—I didn’t even know if that was safe. I was both having a fever and shock at the same time.

“I think it is wonderful.” He left my neck, kissing me gently. I bit his lower lip lightly, tugging on it as he pulled slightly away, licking my lips. Brutus rolled his eyes in his expression, but his eyes themselves were focused right on me. “I think you are wonderful. It’s a shame I’m too good.”

Someone snorted. Disgust only wished itself onto my lover’s expression—I allowed my use of the term because that was what he was: Someone who, with all their heart, and their strength and their soul loved me.

You sound like a love letter, a Voice noted in a groan.

I looked over Brutus’ shoulder, to the limestone wall behind him. Miss Obnoxious leaned on the castle’s stone wall, glaring furiously at me. Only the safe touch of my king kept me from shirking away from that stare of absolute loathing and was that…jealousy? Her gold armor against her coffee skin reminded me of spices: cinnamon and paprika. Her hair, curled into tight spirals reminded me of toffee. I scoffed at an old saying: Girls are the nicest, full of sweet and spices.

This girl wasn’t sweet or spicy, and she definitely wasn’t nice.

“Well, look at you. Necking right in front of me. ‘I had my doubts, but now I’m sure, I’ve just added ‘heart-less pig’ to your score.’” Quill recited, her tone arctic, quoting a line from Four asses in a barrel.

If she’d read such a vulgar book, then I could understand why she was such a scum bucket.  I shook—but not from desire. This was hot, angry, venomous fury and hurt. Yet again, only the safe touch of Brutus’ hands clamped on my shoulders kept me from charging at Quill. I made a mental note to pay Brutus back for ignoring her, even when her glare turned to my lover.

“And look at you.” An eyebrow rose. “Protecting your little puppet like a child would.” She finished the sentence with a sneer. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing—and that Brutus was allowing such rude words to even register in his mind. He just leaned forward and continued kissing me. I heard Quill’s faint hiss of outrage. Brutus cupped my face in his hands, leaning down onto the bench, not breaking away. I was receiving multiple shocks now, each more powerful then the rest. I moaned, my breathing equivalent to that of a pant, rapid and raspy, breathy and hoarse. My hair draped over our faces, closing off the world like a curtain—it was just me and him, once more. I dug into his lips, and each time I wanted more. The back of his scalp resting on my fingers, I felt his hands slip to my kidneys. Brutus’ rough breathing was easy to hear now, and I could feel his heartbeat vibrating his breastplate. My king gripped my chainmail tightly as I enwrapped my legs around his, entwining them, our lips like melody and harmony, creating one beautiful effect. All my worries slipped away, all my fears were banished when Brutus was with me. He was my shelter, my protection, and my sanctuary.

Even so, I jumped at the loud yell of Quill. “And here is the disgrace. Seducing our king with her vile thoughts and actions!”

Brutus pulled away to snicker and grin from behind my curtain of hair, eyes a light olive as they twinkled with amusement. “Should I answer her, love?” he asked, carefully lowering his voice so it was only for my ears.

“Though I hate her, I think you should.”

And I tucked the curtain behind my ear.

Hidden before, the scene Quill had dragged up to humiliate me was definitely overkill. The whole remaining three hundred and forty-seven soldiers all stared at us—Marius, Maximus and Amaria at the front, Quill leaning against the wall as if she hadn’t left. Brutus sat up and I leaned into his chest, listening. “Tell me, my commander, is it not my right to love who I wish?”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her hold on pride shaken. “Yes it is.”

“And, tell me, my commander, does your king not have full authority and power, bestowed on him with the promise of protection and justice?”

She looked down, shamed with a blush. Several soldiers snickered while others just smirked. “Yes, sire, you do.”

“And then, tell me, my commander why you are holding grudges, threatening Angia’s safety and insulting me and my authority?”

Truly embarrassed now, there was nothing to say. He hooked at finger at her, and Quill did the walk of shame, kneeling at our feet.

Brutus’ feet, Angia, my logical side corrected matter-of-factly, somehow suggesting that I was getting my hopes up.  

“Forgive me,” she said to both of us. My cheek rested on the cold armor, staring intently at the soldier begging.

His eyes bored into her with a soft harshness. His lips brushed my ear. “What do you think, Angia? Have you forgiven her?”

I looked with pity at someone so proud brought down so quickly. “I have. You are forgiven Quill. Please don’t give me cause to forgive you again."

Brutus laughed softly into my ear. “That’s my line.”

All the soldiers suddenly kneeled. “Uncle, I see that we are not needed. We have fifteen minutes until departure, is that correct?”

Brutus gently pushed me off and stood. “Yes. Rise.” And the soldiers did just that, in obedient silence, before turning and leaving our hidden courtyard.

Ha, I thought. Courtyard.  

My eyes followed the king’s hand as he knelt down and placed it on Quill’s shoulder. She didn't look up, only pursed her lips and waited. “Leave us.”

I looked around to see who was left, but came back empty and baffled.  Brutus’ eyes flickered to mine with gentle irritation. “That’s you, love.”

My heart sunk, but I curtsied and left, following my comrades around the corner and down a long gravel pathway lined with a low hedge. I continued down it, my ears straining to hear something it never will.

I wonder what they’re talking about?

 My ears looked harder, but instead heard the crunching of gravel and the distant sound of swords clashing and horses whinnying. My hand absentmindedly hovered over the trimmed shrub, thin branches slashing across my sweaty palm. In fact, I was sweaty all over, and I felt like my armor should be creaky from rust. My hair was sticky, my battle-dress stuck to my thighs and my feet slipped in my leather boots. I hugged my sides, still having little earthquakes on my skin. My eyes watched my shoes with boredom as they took turns propelling me forward, before skimming my surroundings: The estate’s limestone walls on my right, the hedge on my left and the other side a fairytale garden, with apple trees fruiting, wildflowers blooming and butterflies fluttering.

“Hey. How are you going?”

I jumped, yelping as Quill caught my elbow. Her grin scared me.

What is going on? I thought, my imaginary voices in panic.

Her grin was still there as I stared in shock at her friendly greeting. “Well?” She prodded.

I blinked. “I’m…uh…good.”

Quill’s toffee eyebrow rose questionably, setting off. Unfortunately for me, she dragged me along. “The king’s affection isn’t just good. Gosh, you’re sweating like a dog!”

I flushed, mentally trying to kill my sweat glands. “Yeah,” I mumbled. “He’s…fine.”

She laughed, light and joyful, a huge smile glued on. “Don’t be modest. I saw how you reacted. It’s like…”

Quill’s frustration to find the right word was obvious. But I didn’t need her analysis. He’s everything. My life source, my hope and dream. My shelter. He’s mine…

I jumped at the commander’s babbling. “—so I told him that I was sorry and that I hope he’d forgive me. I’d promised him that I’d make some effort.”


Her hazel eyes rolled. “I said that I’d make some effort to be friendly to you. Here it is.”

I was very aware of her fingers tightening on my arm, of the scar on my right wrist. Sweat stroked down my forehead, and my skin felt boiling.  “Well, that’s…great.” I mumbled helplessly, lost, as she towed me closer the end of the allée.

“Don’t get your hopes up…” Quill grumbled.

“I never did. What did you—no, why where you spying on us?”

She looked at me, restraining a snarl. Her fingernails broke skin, making me wince. “It’s…” Her face turned to stone. “None of your business.”

“Yes it is! I have every reason to know!”

She sighed angrily. “This is why I hate you: I’m jealous. Very. I wish it was me. I have an infatuation for the king. I…” Her curls were like little springs as she shook her head.

The blow wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. I actually felt pity. “He understands, right?”

Quill stared at the gravel, finding no one else to accuse except the ground she stood on. “Yes, but that doesn’t change anything. He loves you, not me.”

I scowled at myself for my joyous reaction—it felt selfish.

So? One voice protested. Be happy for yourself!

 I mentally glared at the suggestion, or more the voice who suggested it. We both sighed at the same time, and I nearly slipped as Quill tugged me powerfully to the right, walking into the stables. Nearly all of the horses were gone, including Nightmare. “Fives minutes to one: That means get your arse on a horse, now.”

“Okay,” I mumbled, tired of Quill’s attitude. Suddenly, in a streak of graceful white, Glayds fully equipped bounced with an urgent, playful joy at my voice and sudden presence. I jumped up, hooked my leg in the stirrup and swung over, and in one smooth movement, I was sitting on a horse, grinning from my easy success. Traces of burning envy in Quill’s hazel eyes made me drop the smile, and I twirled my finger around strands of hair to somehow relax the awkward tension, watching her ease herself up on a light-brown horse. As a sign of respect, I let my commander race off into the huge yard first, just managing to catch a smile of approval. And then it was my turn to face the army. But, like a mind-reader, Gladys was already galloping out, bubbling with excitement after no action for at least half a week. But the huge yard was empty, quiet within its walls. My eyes widened with horror as I stared with shock at the huge portcullis being lowered. Gladys charged on, almost glaring at the metal barrier, challenging it. Even so, I had my doubts as we pelted on the gravel. The grating was one-quarter closed—if we made it, it would be by a hair. As we honed in, with a millimeter to spare the gate was suddenly behind us, the rolling hills and flat plains of The Rolling Plains ahead. Even closer was the settling dust from horses pelting across the fading gravel track. Gladys continued down, but even at full gallop, there was no army in sight. Panic seized me, but my horse held his own and veered off the worn grass, heading up a large hill. At the top revealed—I choked holding back sobs of fear and panic—nothing, except more rolling hills and long grass. Glayds whinnied fearfully and shook his alabaster mane, the afternoon sun beating down. Yet, my sweat was suddenly whipped away by a hot, strong breeze. “Angia?” Asked an irritated voice that was relief to my worry. Gladys fed off my joy and basically jumped a full one hundred and eighty degrees to face a majestic, slick and lithe black mare with a majestic, strong, amazing-and-beautiful to the core king riding her. I was so relieved to see him that I didn’t even wince from his infuriated scowl. We both yearned for them, and Glayds rushed forward, nuzzling his irritated mother. Nightmare locked her teeth, mimicking her master’s annoyance. I however thought better and just looked longingly and with thanks into Brutus’ dark eyes, wishing he would take me into his safe arms. That he’d tell me it would be all right and promise it with a kiss that made my heart sing. Instead, all I got was a cold, hard glare.

“Brutus! You’re here! I didn't know what happened, I couldn’t find the army, I was panicking and afraid that you’d all abandoned me and…” I trailed off my rushed blurt after his glare intensified. Out of the corner of my eye, Nightmare attempted to bite her son.  I looked down in shame, my horse scurrying back in shock. “Angia, do you know how exasperating this is? Why must I have to fetch you like a small child?” Brutus snarled.

The intensity of his anger made me wince, a tiny whimper escaping me. “I don’t know, sire.”

He sighed irritably. “It was a rhetorical question. Sometimes you are absolutely hopeless.”

Tears were now welling up, the shock of his criticizing making my emotions unstable with hurt. I shut my eyes, my lip trembling. “You don’t mean what you are saying.” The liquid of sadness stroked my cheeks, and I sniffled, the wind whipping heat around me. Suddenly, I felt his thumb wipe my hurt and tears away, felt his lips kiss both of my eyelids. Even so, I still felt like crying. My eyes opened to meet his apologizing gaze, his smooth fingernail soothing and stroking my trembling lips. “I’m sorry. Am I forgiven?”

My hand instinctively touched his cheek, cool and perfect—he leaned affectionately into it.

“I love you,” my mumble replied, tears of now joy filling my eyes and wetting my red, flustered cheeks.

Brutus smiled—something that made his face turn beyond glorious. “I love you too.” And his tender kiss sealed the deal. Another random gust made my long hair slash at our faces, my tears and sweat evaporating quickly under the sweltering heat. As per usual, when he pulled away, I wanted more.

The more one takes, the more that is taken. The more one wants, the less they get, the angel on my shoulder reminded me. So I let my desire go and just stared into his lush, intelligent green eyes, being shocked senseless by his astonishing beauty, even with windblown hair. My fingers explored his face, searching for any hidden imperfections, anything that shouldn’t have been allowed on Brutus’ perfect features. Relieved when I found none, I drove my hands through his hair, but watched his eyes as they studied me, dark with evaluating interest and pleasure. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw both of our horses displaying the same kind of affection, more of a romantic interest then mother and son. I didn’t even have a vague idea on how the animals were so talented and intelligent.

Duh, Angia. They’re the king’s horses. THE KING’S. My thoughts answered immediately, sounding bored at my naïveness.

So? The king isn’t totally perfect. I shot back, feeling crazy by answering my own thoughts.

I heard my imaginary voice choke with disbelief. Angia, you must be blind to believe what I know you just thought. Even now, you can't find any imperfections!

Bet you a kiss with the king there is at least one thing he’s not proud of or what I consider an imperfection.


Finished thinking and exploring, my hand pulled away, eyes focusing on a huge smile plastered on Brutus’ gorgeous face, his hand still on my cheek. Nightmare started to do a U-turn, and my king dropped his hand, before leaning down to whisper in the mare’s ear. She perked up, and whinnied excitably. Brutus eyed me, grinning. “Catch me if you can.”

One moment they were there, the next I was left in the dust. I snapped my reins, and Glayds gladly took off down the hill, the wind blowing in our faces, rippling through our hair. Long, straw-like grass shook in the wind, but the landscape soon turned blurry as Gladys flew joyfully down the worn-grass path, probably de-rooting the vegetation as his legs settled into a familiar, quick pace—each stride started with a lean forward, and completed with a lean back, before repeating itself. In distance, I saw the behind of Nightmare, barely a speck.

Not good enough, I snarled, and with a yell, Glayds bulleted, so much so that I had to lean into him. I saw the ground move so fast that it hurt my eyes. In fact, the ride was now so smooth it was like Glayds wasn’t moving but the grass underneath, an emerald blur. Wind whipped at me from two directions, the effect confusing. Cold steel burned my skin, yet the surrounding epidermis burned warm. My eyes wandered, seeing the wave-like effect of the grass as it leaned away from the wind, only to bounce back, and the surrounding, dirty-green hills. Something black blocked my vision as I rested on Gladys neck. My eyes trailed up to see the king lying back-to-back on Nightmare, smirking, hands locked behind his head. “Tired?”

I was amazed at his position, but the rolling of several imaginary eyes and groans made my face turn sour. “Show-off.”

He laughed, and rolled over, sitting up. “It’s hard not to when one is so…let me quote, if you will: “Sexy.””

I stifled a giggle, sitting up too, but veered Gladys closer, so that, with a lean, I could touch his arm. His raven brow rose, and Nightmare shot forward, way out of my reach. “Brutus!” I complained, flicking the reins, but my steed had other ideas, and Glayds skidded to a sudden stop, rearing in protest as I caught a short glimpse of a huge gravel desert at least fifty meters below. A few connections later my logic informed me that Glayds had just saved my life by stopping at the very lip of a cliff. Down below, the remaining army waited patiently, but I could basically feel their glares of annoyance.

“Angia, please, could you keep up?” My head snapped right to see the king riding lazily up a steep slope, rolling his eyes.

“Could you not be so full of yourself?” I hissed back, satisfied when Glayds whinnied in agreement.

“My army is waiting, and I will not tolerate intruders in my empire.”

“Oh, so I was unwelcome when I became a slave? Huh Brutus?”

The angelic, tempting lips released a sigh. “I won’t have this conversation. You either come to battle with me or you leave and sulk at my palace until my army and I return.”

“And what if you don’t return?” I muttered bitterly under my breath. I had choices but Glayds didn’t and he sped past the king, descending down the rocky slope. I barely made it to the bottom before Nightmare shot past and ran down the ranks, the army soon following with the roar of horse hooves.

Glayds blended in, and we both got infuriated glances and long stares. As I rode my horse across the desert, I immersed myself with the hypnotic, bare, flat landscape and the drum-like beat of horses running. It was all too close to many months ago when I’d been locked up in cage, like an animal, thinking the world was against me.

Now, basically no one could hurt me with my king’s undoubted love and protection. Time and distance seemed to fly on this specially trained wonder-horse, the desert landscape quickly changing to flat grassland. It seemed that the Jarmanish terrain was either desert, flat grassland or mountain ranges—all three had soon become boring and too familiar.

Once again, my mind made the automatic comparison: Brutus, with his pale flawless features, muscled, toned body, intelligent emerald eyes and silky, long, messy charcoal hair. He was perfect, as was everything ever made or done by him. His beauty and talent never ceased to surprise or shock me, never bored me or was dully familiar. And he was mine, as I was his. I made another, glanced-at comparison: Brutus was my sun. He was my life-source, my warmth and light. In the light, you could see and live, feel safe.

But not in the dark.

The dark was my slavery, my tormented months in that wretched cage with my fears and crushed hopes, knowing I was alone. The dark was cold and sinister, with unknown twists and turns of harm and hurt. It was like when I’d first met Brutus night had finally ended and dawn had come. Or perhaps the overwhelming relief and sense of security when you’re stranded in a raging storm at sea and a lifeboat appears, a haven in the desolate, destructive waters. More grasslands rolled past, horses on either ranks of me, wind blowing and lashing at my face. Time became meaningless and unnoticeable, blending in. And so, I let my mind wander, constantly doing shuttle-runs from Brutus and where I really was in this world.



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