warning; nonconsentThere is a mute sort of pleasure found lying in one’s own filth - defecation and urine leaving bodily imprints on the cold concrete floor. The whip marks are still fresh and open, raw gilded flesh hanging from the body like feathers from a dreamcatcher, slowly weeping blood.
The only constant sound in the swallowing darkness is that of a sentenced prisoner, somewhere in the dungeon's corner.
Like a reminder, it keeps Kairo's fading mind straight while he teeters on the brink of absolute insanity. A steep fall he knew he’d approach soon enough.
His body burns and aches in regions he did not know existed. The length of his back, which was once clothed in royal robes, is now bare and slick with divine blood; his torso is matted with blackening bruises and skin protrusions along the dome of his ribcage, indicating just how many bones had been fractured, the ragged edges now pressing against the barrier of skin.
The rise and fall of his chest is a labored stagger, like a pneumatic struggle to inhale oxygen. Each exhale leaves in a high pitched whistle, wet with a strangling gurgle of blood and mucus that clog his throat. There is a distinct crackle in his left lower lung.
The darkness is absolute.
So thick, Kairo cannot tell if his eyes are open or shut.
Touch your eyes, he thinks warily, then remembers with a vague sort of agony that he is missing all fingers.
The fingers, the hands that sinned.
Sliced clean before the council members. The pain had been so distinct in that moment, the terror like cold shards of ice pricking through his throat, swelling it shut as no sound but a high pitched cry left him. The vivid crunching of bones, one by one, lived eternally in his ears.
Ten stumps for ten fingers.
The blade had been dipped in boiling silver and laced with wolfsbane, denying his own body permission to heal itself. They wanted to prolong his agony, and so they had.
"Mother!" the prisoner wails and paces.
He had seen the prisoner once; when the guards were dragging his half-conscious body through the cellars hallway. Their lights cast sombre tones of gold forward like an offering to the misshapen forms hidden in the darkness. A transient gift, perhaps.
The prisoner had been calling for his mother in a state of pure delirium. As they passed his cell, Kairo had caught a glimpse of the man - then wished he had not.
It was an adult with the disfigured body of a child. His body resembled a wasted corpse, etiolated skin shifting over flesh so thinly Kairo could name every bone, and when he hunched over himself in the corner, his backbone surfaced clean like a fish's rippling spine.
The man stared at Kairo, eyes sunken in boundless cups of grime.
The Prince had been terrified of being abandoned in the dungeon with the man. Afraid that he would manage to slip between the bars and claw his eyes out, gnaw at his limbs, or simply watch and stare.
He’d begged, he’d pleaded, he’d commanded, but the guards stared unmoved and apathetic - not at a Prince, but a traitor.
Something scurries over his outstretched leg; its cool curled nails briefly dig into his skin, long, scaled tail brushing the curve of his calf, before darting into the adjacent cell.
Kairo blinks slowly. His stomach had ceased the demand for nourishment days before, perhaps succumbing to the inevitable conclusion that his death would be through starvation and nothing more.
But a peaceful death was something his father would never permit.
Punishments were meted and placed accordingly.
An eye for an eye.
A life for a life.
"Your mother is not here," the prince whispers, voice hoarse and throbbing.
In the space of three days, the dull anger that had risen beneath his skin to choke him now simmers as a conceding feeling overcomes him.
I deserve it.
"Mother," the hoarse, echoing cry comes. "Mum."
There is a long pause. A burning sensation slowly spreads behind his eyes, joining at the bridge of his nose, slipping down his swelling throat, and his chin trembles just slightly.
"MOOOTHERRR—" The voice comes drifting through the steel bars of the holding cells again, as mournful as a foghorn.
The sound of bolts groaning open echoes somewhere in the corner of Kairo's nebulous mind. Though his sense of sight was deprived, the vibrations on the clammy cement floor on which he lies are enough of an awakening - the harsh military pounding of boots.
Light floods Kairo's cell, so bright his eyes snap shut as his pupils burn from the sudden invasion.
"Rise," a guttural voice demands, then pauses at the sight of the immobile prince. He grunts disapprovingly, then works the cell door open, allowing two men to step inside.
Kairo sees their large silhouettes poise over him like a dark sun, lambent golden eyes staring down. Their gloved hands pinch at his bare biceps as each of them slip a hand under his armpit and lift him to his feet.
Kairo stumbles weakly and slumps against one guard, whose scowl deepens in distaste but does not move in avoidance, while the other locks heavy shackles across both wrists and ankles.
"I'll tell you what your mum can do," one guard snorts as they pass the cell. Kairo casts a furtive stare through his blond, overgrown curls at the man.
He still sits curled in the corner, cooing to himself, knees pulled tight to his chest.
But then Kairo’s eyes widen.
He stifles a cry of revulsion.
A larger, sleek rat is feasting on the man's toe. Its repulsive pink tail neatly coiled around its gray body. White whiskers flecked with red.
The man's glazed eyes watch him, and then comes his hoarse, hopeful voice; "Mum?"
They lead him out into the light.
Though it hurts to move, breathe and blink, the prince steadily does so. He forces himself to inhale the foreign fresh air, feel the sun's golden rays grace his maimed body with comforting caresses.
The palace hallway is desolate and opulent. Never had it been this silent, yet it is. As they pass rooms, Kairo notices the lack of people, the absence of servants.
Why would they be here? he thinks with bitter amusement, then sobers down as guilt settles like an anchor on his chest. They are mourning.
These were the halls in which he once tread on, adorned in fine princely garments; pride and confidence in each fleeting smile; bright, buoyant eyes focused on his siblings as they walked with arms thrown over each other's shoulders; past the garden beyond glass walls in which he played, he trained, he grew.
It would all end today.
Each memory held over a flame, and he would watch on helplessly as it lights and turns to ash.
The guards guide him down a final long hall. It is one he is sharply familiar with, from the golden embroidered frames on each side with images of Alphas who preceded his father, to Betas who stood loyally and died faithfully, to Lunas who fruitfully bore iron-fisted heirs.
One frame would be missing.
The guards draw to a halt as the doors are ceremoniously opened: a perverted inversion of a coronation, something supposedly glorious but this was anything but.
The Alpha, tall and broad-shouldered, sits on his gold-laced throne. He adorns a military outfit beneath a black mourning coat. Dark pitted circles shadow the silver solemn eyes that watch him, eyes that once regarded him with love and decided devotion now... empty.
His mother rests beside him on her throne wearing all black, her face hidden beneath a thin mourning veil.
All his siblings stand behind the thrones, hands clasped before them, gazes that once swimmed with infinite affection now hollow, endless pits that slide through him.
The hall curves around them like a dome, glass panes allowing rays of white light to filter through.
The room is warm but all Kairo feels is cold.
They lead him towards the centre where a stone table is set, clips for chains set on all corners. In the corner of his eye, Kairo sees the raging burn of flames, two branding sticks set within the sweltering heat.
His chest contracts and his pleading eyes rise to the stone figures before him. "Father," the boy whimpers, the aching stubs of his fingers begging in unison with his voice. “I’m sorry, mother. I’m-”
The Prince is cut off by a shudder upon reaching the table, the cold-cut edges pressing deeply into his waist. The Alpha's eyes flash like teeth in a wolf's mouth, dangerous and deadly.
“No-” His protest goes unheard, fear rippling along his arms like electricity. “No, please-” The guards waste no time in unfastening the clunking chain that connects his shackles, instead binding his wrists to the clips at each end of the table. His tensed abdomen hovers over the slate, arms stretched, eyes wide and desperately searching for mercy.
He was not deserving.
Kairo’s head swivels upon his wounded neck at the sight of both rods being buried deeply within the blazing coals, a loud hiss resonating within the palace halls. But it is when the guards slowly remove the pokers that he recognises the symbol burning like hot, unforgiving magma at each end.
“Please,” he whispers, but no one hears.
Cold sweat trickles down the curve of his spine, melted ice maneuvering through each crevice and soft plane of his body, but it is nothing compared to the heat that approaches.
And then reaches.
It shreds through his throat, tearing the cords into slithers of fluttering flesh as the silver singes the centre of his back and chest. It is the same place on both sides of his body. The bubbling of flesh attempts to enter the air, but the room is engulfed by his shattering cries.
Cries for his father.
His dead, beloved brother.
The shape of a traitor brands his skin - a mark of his crime that he would forever bear in shame, for he was unworthy of forgiveness and his father had ingrained the principle not only in his body but in his yielding, shattered mind. His ears ring, pain clouding his senses as the silver remains embedded for but a few moments more, but it feels like eons in the making.
They pull away.
Tears brutally blind him. His tensed arms do not lax, his body burning with flames of guilt as he sobs, curls matting his glistening forehead. They unclip Kairo from the table and for a brief, blessed moment, he perceives his physical suffering has come to an end. Blinking, he angles his chin just slightly upwards, the agony dulling at the sight of his mother once more.
But then he finds the gaze of his brother’s mate.
She stares at him. Shame crushes him like a wave upon a drifting ship, the force weighing his trembling shoulders until he almost shrinks. The pain in those eyes. The hatred.
The Prince is too consumed by her fiery, watering irises to realise that the guards had lain him down on his back, his burning wounds still prickling as they singe the rock beneath him. Warm tears still pour down his flushed cheeks as he registers the restraints locking each ankle and wrist to the table… like an offering.
He does not know who to.
The doors open.
Bewildered, excruciated, Kairo watches, vision blurred by the fresh influx of tears.
It is a woman, he realises.
She is hauntingly beautiful in the way that she carries herself, feet gliding as though some divine creature released from the heavens. Pale skin shells her slender body, veiled merely by a sheer, silken wrap that encases her shoulders and drapes down to her thighs. Her dark hair cascades down her breasts while her hips sensuously sway, hooded eyes connecting with his.
A horrifying cognizance bleeds into him in that moment.
Kairo begins to growl like a mad, feral animal. His body trembles in terror, eyes dilating to black as he jerks against the constraints wildly.
"Mother!" A terrified sob rips through his throat, the sound hoarse and tearing. He falls back, heaving, weeping as glistening rivulets of tears slip down his temples. "Mother, please—"
The Alpha's eyes remain sharp, desolate.
Kairo does not see the guard move nimbly behind him. A silver chain is looped twice around his throat in one, swift movement and wrenched tight, crushing his trachea. His voice dies in a high pitched wheeze as the chain is tugged down, slamming the back of his head onto the uneven stone, and the room sparks.
Kairo opens his mouth to cry out, but the chain jams against his windpipe and the sound is choked off.
He couldn’t speak. He couldn’t breathe.
He tries to fight off the chain but his limbs remain pinned to the stone, rendering him weak and vulnerable to the forces around him.
Fear rises past his chest in cold, shaking waves and he trembles violently. The chain tightens and a soundless gasp leaves his mouth as pressure increases tenfold under his eyes, pounding on his temples like an arrhythmic drum.
"He must be awake during the process," a voice whispers, and the chain loosens in the slightest.
It is too late. Each intake of air feels like splintering knives prodding his fractured throat, yet in his weakened state, Kairo feels far more.
The sudden weight of another body maneuvering above his.
The brush of silk on his bare limbs.
Soft palms settling on the curve of his hips, pressing, branding hot like an iron. They touch him in ways that reduce him to a vulnerable, weeping child.
The contact of her inner thighs settling on his outer thighs, caging him in. Entrapping him. The press of her pelvis on his as she begins to surreptitiously adjust her inner garment aside. The hands stroke him with practiced gestures, reaching each spot, constricting and relaxing. With another dribbling from the small aphrodisiac jar onto her palms, she continues.
Kairo's mind is still scrambled, disbelieving.
He feels his father's gaze on him, steady and unblinking.
The hand is back on his hip for anchorage as she rises on her knees and uses the other to adjust him, poised under her entrance.
Around, he hears the soft intakes of breaths from members all watching.
The dullness to their punishing gazes, void of any empathy.
Empathy for a child.
As she sinks, a pained, empty thought enters him, bare against the grinding stone: I am no longer his son, this is my punishment.
A mortal would have fainted, but he is awake for every moment.
She slides back, and his manhood pushes between her soft, yielding folds into the dark fissure where her thighs meet beneath the round hill of her backside.
She moves like a wave in the surf, gliding down before swelling, rolling and breaking against his banks, then flowing back away.
Her hands remain on his hips.
But Kairo remains numb.
Her lips part in little sighs as each undulation of her hips rock onto him, her serpentine-like hair rippling over bare breasts, flowing down her flat belly soon to swell with his seed.
At last, he feels her tremble as she comes undone above him. His throat is crushed inward like a rotted log. He could not seem to move. A drop of sweat falls from her hair onto his clavicle with a soft tap, and the sound is magnified.
She slides off him as another maiden hurriedly approaches, pressing a cloth between her thighs to trap his leaking seed.
Kairo becomes aware of men speaking around him.
Is it done?
Yes, it seems so.
Should the Alpha send another in case?
The dome above his head resembles a kaleidoscope of varying colors. Beyond, the sky is limitless and blue.
A face looms over his own. His eyes are open.
The guard that had choked him now steps back and spits at the floor. The jellied glob quivers on the stone. A drop of sweat slides onwards, carving its slimy furrow.
Another face hovers above his own, and this time he knows who it is. The Alpha watches him, silver eyes empty, all but reflecting his son prostrate and broken on the stone table.
The man that had loved and protected him touches his cool, wet cheek, swiping at a stray tear and holding the bead of glitter to the light.
"You, Kairo Xanthos, are hereby banished from the wolf realm for the murder of my eldest son. " the words should have felt like a blow; heavy and pounding on his chest, but all Kairo feels is void.
They deflect off his hollow chest like light on obsidian surfaces. "You will roam the mortal realm as a cursed beast, never a moment of peace, never a moment of rest for as long as I live." The thumb with his tear presses on his forehead, baptizing him. “For eternity.”
All is silent.
A long, mournful breeze sighs from the dome above and slinks down towards the prostrated prince, pressing gently on his skin.
The Alpha is waiting.
Convulsively, Kairo swallows.
His throat clicks.
He feels a space close in him - Kairo says nothing, for that is what he has become.
The wintry morning wind presses gently on Leya's numb red cheek, soft wisps of dark hair falling over her scrutinizing bright cerulean eyes. With a petulant huff, she blows the dark curl away only for gravity to place it back in position. Leya sighs into the autumn air, a small cloud of mist swirling tentatively over her flushed lips. She sniffs once and adjusts the heavy camo jacket she wears, snow crunching noisily beneath her figure as a result. For once, Leya does not mind the disruptive noise as she had been crouched on her belly in the same position for three gruelling hours. The Forest had been silent, so much so she checked her hearing aids just to confirm that they indeed still worked. The previous night's Blizzard had settled into a soft hiss of snowflakes falling sporadically and scarcely over the bare woodlands. Winter would be arriving and most wild animals, at least the large ones, would have either migrated or holed up i
The axe swings hard, flashing silver through the thin wintry air before making contact with the tree trunk. The impact sends a violent shudder up Leya’s arms, rippling like dark wings along her shoulder blades and meeting at the base of her spine.Her flushed lips part in an exhale of light air, doodles of faint clouds escaping into the afternoon air and she steps back to squint up at the tall tree. Precariously, it leans on one tenuous end before tilting backwards with a final groan of submission.It creaks whilst falling, the crashing sound thundering through the forest as birds squawk and soar from their nests in fright - but Leya doesn’t hear them. In such moments, she would have yelled a theatrical ‘Timber!’ as most lumberjacks do, but the silence she finds herself in is comforting and her body feels achy like a whipped dog, throat parched from the day's work.She releases the axe handle and treads towards the felled tree. The heavy
Leya knows she is hearing things, perhaps even seeing things out of the corner of her eye, for her power of observation developing fully in the woods is triggered by stimuli so slight as to be subliminal, nagging her nerve endings, forcing her to clutch the rifle even tighter in her cold, trembling hands.The snow is heavy, pounding on her drenched head like a hammer, beating down her clothes, trailing down her face and into her eyes.She blinks and purses her lips while slowly swiveling around; the rifle’s stock rests firmly on her shoulder, her clammy cheek pressing stiffly on the bolt handle. Leya trudges through shallow puddles of melted snow and rain, the wind a sadistic, menacing force that whips at her face with delight. Her boots step over wet leaves and crunching snow, and she uses the rifle’s muzzle to nudge aside low h
Lying beneath broken mosaic patterns of autumn’s withering leaves, Leya feels something rough brush on the tip of her nose. The dull, dappling sun spots purple and black hues under her dark eyelids. Her eyes shift back and forth restlessly, soot-black lashes fluttering when the rough tongue is replaced by an insistent, cold paw on her cheek, her nose, her eye. Meow. Mustard’s impatient noises pull her from her state of unconsciousness on the forest floor. He whines again, bending low to bop the soft crown of his face on hers, rubbing, purring, then meowing his demands for his unusually late breakfast. Leya stirs with a sibilant intake of breath, eyes peeling open just as the cat rubs his face on hers once more. He bares his teeth as if threatenin
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Holland’s worry-filled voice echoes from the other end of the phone. Leya sighs for the umpteenth time despite the slight fluttering in her chest at the prospect of him being worried about her. “I am,” she whispers although her mind isn’t entirely moved by the words that leave her. At his prolonged silence, she opts for a higher pitch in her voice, hoping to convince him and in turn, convince herself. “Really, Holland, I-I’m fine.” Shuffling sounds echo from his side, the opening of a door, ringing of telephones in the precinct. “Christ, Ley,” he sighs and although she cannot see him, his defeated tone paints a vivid picture of the man slumped in his seat, scrubbing a hand down his face. “I should have been there… if I was there-” “It’s okay,” she mumbles while movi
Kairo stands in the small white room that is unfamiliar to him. His rough palm skims over the cool walls, smoothing down the countertops and pausing to press fleeting fingertips against different, odd-looking machinery. His expression flashes from light to dark like schools of fish drifting and casting shadows upon his countenance; awe to intimidation, then slight vexation as he moves from one corner of the room to the next. Kairo pauses before a white looking box, square, with a shadowed glass as the screen. Curiously, he leans down and presses his face to the glass, lips parted and nostrils flaring as his lungs expand with each searching breath. It smells like… food. His wandering fingers press on the
Leya’s eyes flash in the door’s direction, then back at the naked man centred in her living room. He watches her, golden eyes darkening to that of glittering black, like raw hunks of mica under sunlight. “I know you’re in there, Ley!” More pounding on her door. Leya’s tongue darts out and circles her suddenly dry lips. The man does not move from his position, simply gauging her in a sadistic, taunting manner whilst his head tilts in the slightest, ear positioned towards the door. Her stomach clenches along with the rifle she holds. Caught between a hard place and a wall, Leya finds herself requesting of him something she did not think possible; “Don’t move.” Leya had slapped him. Hard. The intensity of her winding and falling hand had never been more brutal, such that even hours later the skin of her palm still stung. She did not reach for the gun this time around, perhaps realizing that her threats were as empty and baseless as a void drum. Instead, Leya rose sharply as the chair shrilled on the wooden floor and she had shoved him out of the cabin, face flushed in utter horror, body tingling in a manner of discomfort at his blatant, tasteless intimacy. Seeing her expression then - something akin to bemusement and curiosity - stopped the man from resisting her actions. He did not push back with his brute strength and instead let her jostle him out of the house and into the night. There, she slammed the door s
The Cursed Lycan 09
Leya had slapped him. Hard. The intensity of her winding and falling hand had never been more brutal, such that even hours later the skin of her palm still stung. She did not reach for the gun this time around, perhaps realizing that her threats were as empty and baseless as a void drum. Instead, Leya rose sharply as the chair shrilled on the wooden floor and she had shoved him out of the cabin, face flushed in utter horror, body tingling in a manner of discomfort at his blatant, tasteless intimacy. Seeing her expression then - something akin to bemusement and curiosity - stopped the man from resisting her actions. He did not push back with his brute strength and instead let her jostle him out of the house and into the night. There, she slammed the door s