Onyx Dreams Ch. 16bykitazkitten©
*****Somewhere in the South of England*****
Cyrus sat on a small wall outside his father's temple, looking out at the slowly setting sun and sighed gently. It had been a long month since he had left Brenna and he now felt a deep longing to feel her cool scales upon his skin once more. He lightly skimmed stones across the wide pond in front of him, watching them hop along before sinking into the murky depths. In his mind, thoughts of Kennice once more played across his vision.
Isaac looked at his son as he approached from the west. "Heavy thoughts again, my son?"
Cyrus nodded and stared at a pebble in his hand, slowly turning it over a moment. "Yes Father. I can't stop thinking about her, or about Brenna."
"Ah, the two women in your life. What exactly were you thinking?" Isaac inquired as he sat down and picked up a pebble.
His son was quiet a moment as he thought and spoke with what seemed like a tone ages old. "About how I should've treated them better, maybe then this whole fiasco wouldn't have happened and I wouldn't be ready to erupt like Vesuvius every time I heard that bitch Erykia's name."
Cyrus suddenly lobbed the pebble hard across the pond, his arm blurring with supersonic speed. There was a dull ricochet and the sound of a window smashing far off.
Isaac chuckled. "Do you feel better now?"
Cyrus sighed and let his shoulders sag. "Unfortunately not father. I find myself wishing it was her head I had thrown it at. I don't see why no one does anything about such injustice. Rhys is a rapist for crying out loud and Erykia is a torturer. Why can no one see this?"
"Have you learned nothing of this world, my son? Nothing is ever fair. You must remember that evil begets evil. The more violence you do, the worse things will get. Erykia and her kind thrive on the negative. You have to defeat the negative with positive."
Cyrus glared down at the pond, letting his anger cool a moment and once more sighed. His sighing was becoming a bad habit for him. "I know that father but it never works for me. I try to be nice and almost everyone stabs me in the back for it."
"Did Brenna and Kennice stab you in the back for it?" Isaac gently asked. He felt sorry for his son and wished only the best. But there was much corruption in the druidic circle and it was hard to stop it.
Cyrus shook his head slowly and turned another pebble over in his hands. "No father, they didn't. But many others have, and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to tell the difference."
"Trust your instincts as well as your heart. Your heart is usually in the right place and can help you. Just remember that you aren't alone, Cyrus. You have a bad habit of trying to take on the world by yourself and not letting others help that can do so."
Cyrus lightly tossed the pebble into the pond, watching the ripples. "I know father, but my instincts always tell me to do it on my own because that seems to be the only way things get done. Too many people today are either living in fear or are corrupt. Someone needs to weed out the corruption...like a cleansing firestorm." His eyes glazed a moment as what could only be called a vision crossed his mind. The demon on his shoulder was back and whispering in his ear, the link to his dark side.
Isaac felt the presence of evil surround his son and he did what he thought would work best, he decked him. He would apologize later. Right now he needed to save his son.
Cyrus was knocked backwards off the wall and cracked his skull on a large rock. If the air had been magically charged then it would've turned blue with the sheer volume of curse words erupting from his mouth.
"Cyrus, who are you calling to that fills your mind with so much hate and self-loathing?"
Cyrus sat up, his face scarlet with rage, his nose a flowing river of blood. He brought his hand forward from the back of his head, finding it coated in blood also. "What the hell did you hit me for?" He shouted and winced heavily for his whole head throbbed now.
"Am I talking to my son or to the evil one who decided to grace us with its presence?"
Cyrus shook his head a bit and frowned in puzzlement. "Father, it's me of course. What evil one? I don't see anyone but us here. Now why'd you hit me?"
"Ah, so you're oblivious to the evil that darkened your soul a moment ago. That is interesting. Interesting indeed. Come, my son, let's go get you cleaned up."
Cyrus was becoming irritated. The demon on his shoulder was now filed under less important matters, but its whispers could still be heard softly. "What evil? Like I said I don't see anyone but us here. Why did you hit me, father?"
"Cyrus, while you were in the middle of talking about changing the world, I felt an evil presence surround you, especially when you talked of destruction. It caused me concern and so I did the only thing I could think to do to snap you out of it. I didn't mean to hit you that hard but at the time it seemed like a good idea."
He gave his father a look of disbelief and shook his head slowly while feeling his nose a little and wincing. "And they say I don't think before I act. Did shaking me not cross your mind?"
Isaac gave him a sheepish look. "Actually no. I will remember that as an option for next time."
Chuckling a little, Cyrus shook his head and began to wipe up the blood from his nose with a tissue from his pocket. "Next time I'll remember to keep my guard up. Now I know where I get my temper from."
Isaac helped him to his feet. "Let's go. I do believe Martha has got lunch prepared and the other lads should be getting there as we arrive.
Cyrus nodded and gratefully took his father's offer of support as he walked. "New recruits eh?"
"Some yes. A few rich ones in the bunch who were sent here to learn the meaning of piety."
Another chuckle was heard as this sunk in to Cyrus' mind. Dark thoughts of pranks filled his thoughts for a moment, the demon on his shoulder whispering at a quicker rate now. "Oh really? This could be interesting."
"Cyrus, the intent is to teach moderation and tolerance, not hurt or scare people into following rules."
Cyrus couldn't help the next words that flowed out of his mouth. They seemed eager to come out with every whisper the demon on his shoulder spoke. "Oh really? So that's why you sent me to the monastery is it?"
"Nope. I thought you might like to travel and see parts of the country I didn't get to see when I was younger."
"Well personally I'd have preferred not to see those parts of the country. All they did was bring trouble overall."
"Perhaps it wasn't the scenery but the actions of some who didn't like the rules?" Isaac countered slyly as he opened the door that led to the kitchen.
"Well those rules were meant to be broken. I was there only to learn to use my powers not to become priest of the year."
"You shouldn't break the rules, my son. They are put in place to help mold and guide us. Sometimes the rules aren't very well written and cause trouble but that doesn't mean they should be broken."
"They are when they aren't supposed to be applied to you. Like I said, I wasn't there to become priest of the year."
Isaac sighed. His son was so headstrong and it worried him. He decided to change the subject for the moment. "Look, I need you tonight. We are having a special visitor that I would like you to meet."
"Who?" Cyrus paused a moment and raised a suspicious eyebrow. The last time father had a special visitor he had spent the rest of the night playing cribbage with his Aunt Samantha.
"My surprise. You just have to behave and leave my new recruits alone."
Cyrus spoke cautiously and agreed. "Alright Father...but if it involves cribbage I swear I am going to scream."
Isaac only laughed and turned to give Martha a hug. "Smells wonderful."
"I know. It has to for the men you bring here are bottomless pits," she teased.
Cyrus took a deep breath and let his feet guide him over to the large stew pot and tray of cookies lying on the counter to cool. "Mmm chocolate chip, my favorite." He eagerly reached out to grasp one.
Martha swatted his hands. "Oh no you don't, Mister! Go get cleaned up and ready for dinner. After you eat it, then you may snack." She shook her spoon at him but her eyes twinkled.
Cyrus chuckled, gave an innocent look and walked towards the door. "Of course Mother."
There was a breeze in the kitchen as Cyrus left and suddenly one of the cookies was gone followed by frantic blowing from him. He muttered, "ah, hot!" as he made his escape.
"CYRUS!" Martha shouted but had to laugh as she turned to look at Isaac. "I swear he is still full of himself."
"Yes, that he is," Isaac replied distractedly.
Martha frowned. Something in Isaac's tone worried her but she said nothing as she finished preparing dinner.
Cyrus wandered along the corridors to the front room to sit and meditate for a few minutes while he waited for dinner to be ready.
"Yo, Cyrus! What's up?" Allan Bradshaw hollered as he came around the corner and spotted his friend. "Finally decided to show your ugly mug?" he joked as he held out his hand.
Cyrus looked up as his name was called and smiled as he saw his old friend Allan Bradshaw. "Hey man, what rock did you crawl out from under?" He shook his hand firmly.
"I've been in America trying to learn how to communicate with werewolves," Allan replied.
"Werewolves? Well that is interesting. I can top it though. I've been dating a future high priestess and have a DRAGON."
Allan gawked. "No way! Are you serious?"
Cyrus nodded and stretched, "Yeah man, a big onyx girl."
"Dang, maybe I should ask to be assigned to your missions. Life would never be dull."
Cyrus chuckled as he stood up and patted his friend on the back. "Trust me you don't want any of what I've got. Evil high priestesses, evil sadist high priests and a damsel in distress and an evil dragon after my soul."
"Sounds like those fairy tales Martha used to read to us when we were small. I kinda liked those tales and if I remember correctly YOU were the one who said you were the hero charging to the rescue. I wanted to be the faithful sidekick. Man those were some cool times."
Cyrus nodded once more and grinned from ear to ear. "Well it's sort of working out like that. Almost killed the bad guy a few months back, pity Elizabeth caught that arrow..."
The demon on his shoulder was back again suggesting evil ideas and scenarios, running the scene through his head again but this time showing him how good it would've felt if Elizabeth hadn't caught it.
"Wait, you mean Elizabeth Davenport? THE Elizabeth Davenport? She shot an arrow! Man what shit are you into Cyrus?" Allan demanded.
Cyrus waved his hand to silence his friend. "No, I shot the arrow, at Rhys. Elizabeth caught it. As for the shit I'm in, I'm the soulmate to her daughter."
Allan's eyes threatened to bulge in shock. "You...her daughter," he sputtered and then began roaring with laughter.
Cyrus laughed aloud too and lightly shoved Allan. "It's true bro, I even got to take the one thing she only has one of in her whole life."
"No way. No bloody way! That was you that caused that uproar at the fertility ceremony? I heard about it from my village! What the hell were you thinking, Cyrus? Do you know that all the villages that had sent men to that ceremony are angry with the party crasher? And were demanding blood but the high priestess said that the interloper wasn't allowed to be killed."
Cyrus raised an eyebrow. "Oh really? Well am glad I can move at the speed of sound then. Plus I DID kinda save them from a dragon attack. People always seem to miss out the GOOD details of a party crasher don't they?"
"Um, actually they blame the dragon attack on you. Said that the interloper crashing the ancient fertility rite was sacrilege and that the powers that be were punishing everyone for the unwanted visitor's transgression."
Cyrus rolled his eyes and turned away from Allan. "I knew I should've let that bitch Erykia fry like a barbequed chicken wing. And Rhys too, I should've..." He fell silent as he tried to get hold of his temper, feeling the demon on his shoulder stronger than ever since he had fought off Kaie.
When he opened his eyes, he didn't see the calm warm front room he had been in. Instead a dark desolate wasteland of the north plains was in front of him and so was Kaie, her eyes glowing bright red, teeth showing, calling to him. Tempting him to join her. He heard her voice clearly making him sweet promises of revenge that made him feel warm inside at the thought of settling the old score.
Allan shivered for the room had suddenly grown cold. "Cyrus?" he glanced uncertainly at his friend.
Cyrus didn't respond, his eyes glazed, as he seemed to be staring at something far off in the distance.
In his vision he looked carefully at Kaie and softly whispered, "Why me?"
"You have the power to help me remake the worlds in our image," she said smoothly. "You have the power to decimate your enemies and free your lover from their grip."
Slowly Cyrus nodded, feeling exactly the same as the words Kaie was speaking. "Yes. But what if the world I remake is worse than this one?"
"How can it be worse than what it already is? They keep you from your lover. The other dragons and their riders hide secrets from you. In your world everyone would be honest. Wouldn't they?"
Cyrus paused a moment and looked away. "But what kind of world would it be where no one could keep secrets? No private thoughts? I don't like people in my head. Why should people like me in theirs?"
"Because you wouldn't abuse it, that's why," she cajoled.
His voice suddenly went cold, very cold. "No, but you did. You invaded my mind as a child, influenced my actions and decisions. Changed my life to the way you wanted me to be."
"Me?" Kaie feigned hurt. "It was Brenna in your mind, not I."
Cyrus' eyes narrowed and his voice took on a knowing tone. "I know how Brenna feels in my mind. And it wasn't her back then alone. You were there too, with your blood covered fangs and claws. Don't try to bullshit a master bullshitter."
"So what if I was?" her tone became silky. "You liked it, go ahead, try and deny it. You used my advice often enough."
"Times when I shouldn't have taken it. Times I should've listened to reason. Like the day Kennice returned. I should have ignored you back then."
"But you didn't and it was a good thing too. Then you wouldn't have met our enemy."
Cyrus' voice became angry. He wasn't going to let this beast speak of Brenna in such a way. "Brenna is NOT my enemy, Brenna is my friend. My best friend."
Kaie laughed evilly. "My dear sister is the enemy for she is father's lackey and would lead you into a trap. No, our true enemy is Erykia. It was she that got me banished from my own clan and world. It is she who holds your lover hostage. It is she who makes everyone miserable. Don't you think she needs to die?"
Cyrus swallowed and looked at Kaie a moment, thinking. "Yes, but not by my hand. If she does then...the consequences for myself...I wouldn't be able to weasel my way out of that one."
"Who said you had to be the one to kill her? Get your lover to do it," Kaie suggested and pressed against his mind.
He gasped and immediately began slamming down the barriers around his mind and shouted, "NO! I will not do that to Kennice!"
"Why not? If she loves you and wants to be with you then she would do that for you as your wedding gift."
He shook his head, trying to force Kaie from his mind. "No, I will not make Kennice do that, she isn't like that."
"Then she will not be a fit ruler. All rulers have to make hard sacrifices and choices. You've shown you can but any female by your side has to be the same way. And even though the current high priestess has to die she at least understands this rule."
He narrowed his eyes and tried to focus on forcing Kaie from his mind. "No, they don't...now leave my mind Kaie. Never return, or there will be consequences."
"I'll go and remember that I was your only, TRUE friend."
Abruptly she was gone and the silence from her departure was eerie. It was through that silence that Allan's words finally came through.
"Cyrus? Hey you're scaring me!"
Cyrus blinked, staring at the room in front of him, and prompted collapsed backwards.
"Aw hell.... HELP!!" Allan roared as he checked Cyrus' pulse.
Isaac stared down at his slumbering son. He could once again feel the taint of evil and it concerned him. He gently shook Cyrus. "Wake up boy, our visitor will be arriving soon."
Cyrus' eyes flickered opened a few moments after being shaken and he winced at the headache that had returned. "Ow, damn, what happened?"
"You passed out and Allan called for help. And I can once again sense the lingering presence of something evil."
The memories came rushing back to him and he groaned before sighing. "Yeah...just and old 'friend' of sorts."
"You need to lose the old friend. Each time they contact you the taint of evil grows stronger around you. I do not have great powers like yours, my son, but my meager powers are good at detecting evil and it is evil that dogs your steps."
"Believe me I've been trying. I even tried the stuff you taught me that I wasn't supposed to know. Didn't help much except make her angry."
"Her? Who do you mean?"
"The dragon that's stalking me, her name is Kaie..."
"A dragon is stalking you! How did you manage that?"
"I don't know Father! It just happened, I think she's after me to hurt Brenna..."
"And Brenna is?"
It dawned on Cyrus that his father had not been told about what happened at the monastery. His father assumed Brenna was human. "She's umm...my dragon Father. I'm a rider, didn't Anthony tell you what happened?"
Isaac's eyes narrowed. "I've not received any mail from Anthony since you left here and went there to train. You didn't write either. When did you get this dragon? What is going on?"
Cyrus frowned as he looked at his Father, "I was under the understanding that Anthony was giving you updates Father. She's been calling to me since birth. Anthony explained my nightmares to me and then I met Brenna at the...trial." He muttered the last word under his breath so it was difficult to hear.
Isaac's face had turned a very dark red. "No, I have received anything. I sent a few letters but stopped when neither Anthony nor you wrote back. I assumed it meant you were happy and doing well. What trial? Cyrus?" Isaac's gaze became probing.
"Don't look at me like that dad." Softly he sighed and sat down once again and began to tell the lengthy story of what had happened to him since he had left for the monastery, leaving out the sexual details.
When his son had finished, Isaac sat there stunned. "That's it, I'm contacting Anthony tomorrow! No one treats my son that way! Have they all lost their minds?" He came to his feet and paced. "Where is the girl now?"
Cyrus sighed and stood, gently placing his hands on his father's shoulders. "Still with Erykia. But please don't concern yourself with it Father, Hayden is doing what he can to help."
"And Hayden would be...?"
"Brenna's mate father, the one I described at the end just before I came back here?"
"Oh, right. I'm not as good as I once was at keeping names straight. So what is this Hayden's plan?"
"To be honest I have no idea but he has a month left to do whatever it is that he has planned."
"Well for your sake son, I hope he gets the problem fixed. Now, there is someone I want you to meet."
Cyrus nodded and looked down at the floor, biting his lip gently before speaking. "I umm also kind of, took Kennice's virginity too in the fertility ceremony."
Isaac stared at his son. "You took her virginity and didn't even make an honest woman of her?"