Onyx Dreams Ch. 07bykitazkitten©
Chapter 7: Crime and Punishment
Cyrus groaned as he awoke, his head was thumping and his ribs hurt like hell. Then the memories slammed back into him like a brick wall. Gasping at the intensity, Cyrus felt his powers release, but nothing happen. He opened his eyes and looked around, realizing now where he was. He was in a psionic proof cell and shackled by his wrists to the ceiling once more. Cyrus moaned softly as his head stated pounding again. This wasn't exactly how he had planned it to go.
There was a rattling at the door and then it was pulled slowly open. A hooded figure glided into the room and stood there silently not saying anything.
Cyrus took long, slow, deep breaths, his eyes still seeing dark spots and he assumed the worst as he heard the door rattle open and the hooded figure glide in.
"Come closer, Rhys, you treacherous bastard, so I can snap your neck like a twig." Cyrus shifted in his shackles, the height forcing him to stand on tiptoe, the shackles digging into his wrists, angry red sores forming already.
The figure glided closer and then a small petite hand reached out and gently touched his stomach.
Cyrus's stomach tensed, the small hand making him shift his position. "When the hell did you start using hand cream Henry, you dwarf!"
The hand dropped from his body and went up to the hood, pulling it back to reveal Kennice.
Cyrus' eyes became soft as he saw Kennice, a smile coming to his lips before he remembered he had shot her. Softly he spoke to Kennice. "If you're going to return the favor at least uncuff my arm first..."
Kennice looked at him in confusion. "Return what favor?" She did reach up and uncuff him.
Cyrus sighed softly as he felt the cuffs undone and winced as his weight went on his legs again. "Of me shooting you..." Cyrus looked into Kennice's eyes and spoke, his voice weary with sorrow. "Why are you marrying him, Kennice? He's a back stabbing low life who only wants you because you're going to be high priestess."
Kennice flushed and looked away from him. She wanted to confide in someone so badly but she was afraid, very afraid of what would happen to her and to those around her.
Cyrus gently reached out, his hand softly caressing Kennice's cheek, his calloused hands rough to the touch. "I've missed you so much Kennice...just being near you now makes me feel complete."
She closed her eyes, leaning against his hand. To finally be touched with gentleness and not anger made her feel loved. "Cyrus," she whispered and her bottom lip quivered.
Cyrus gently wiped away a stray tear with his thumb before drawing Kennice into a closer hug. "Kennice, my love...what's happened?"
Kennice could feel the weight of the secrets and lies pressing in on her. She felt like she had to tell Cyrus but she was afraid he would let his temper rule him and then all hell would indeed break loose.
"I, I can't," she whispered and buried her head closer against his body.
Cyrus cradled Kennice in his arms and gently kissed her head, his arms surrounding her like a warm protective shield. "You can tell me anything Kennice, anything, you hear me?"
"I don't want to marry him," she said and with that one admission she felt some of the weight lifting from her.
Cyrus softly nuzzled Kennice's hair. "Then don't marry him Kennice, tell him no and kick him in the crotch. Then, if I can find the first flight out of here you and I could be together..."
"It's not that simple!" she suddenly cried and pushed at him, wanting space. How could she tell him the secrets she had been forced to keep? She didn't know if she could. It was all too much!
Cyrus stepped back to give Kennice the space she pushed him away for. "Then explain to me why it's not, Kennice. What can be so big that you can't tell me why you're being forced to marry the world's biggest jerk?"
"He's the next high priest and I am to be high priestess. It matters not what I want," she said tiredly. And for a year she had resisted and suffered for it. It was only after she had agreed that she had even been granted the boon of being allowed to go home to visit her parents.
Cyrus gently stroked Kennice's cheek once more. "Is there no way out of it? No higher position you could try for?"
"No, I, why didn't you write me back?" she snapped, losing control for the first time since she had returned home.
Cyrus frowned as he looked at Kennice. "I didn't receive any letters from you, Kennice, I sent you many myself but got no return from them."
Kennice suddenly stilled, her eyes growing large. She had a sinking feeling that she knew what and who had sabotaged their letters. "I didn't get yours either," she said slowly.
Cyrus' eyes narrowed. "I have a feeling a certain person had something to do with this...I just wish I scored that last arrow in his head..."
"It wasn't him. It was the high priestess. She is the only one allowed to go into town to pick up the mail. She never mailed mine and apparently kept yours. I tried to let you know how I was doing. I'm sorry it didn't work out the way I had planned."
Cyrus sighed softly and stepped closer to Kennice. "There's no need to be sorry my love." A smile crept onto Cyrus' face. "Once you become high priestess I could easily enough arrange an 'accident' with your husband...right after the wedding."
"Cyrus!" Kennice protested, shocked by his words. "Don't you dare hurt him! Please, I beg of you! It will only bring more pain on both of us. Please?"
Cyrus gave a pained look. "I've already done it once, I just wanna finish the job before Brenna..." Cyrus' eyes went wide a moment and he immediately shut his mouth.
"Brenna? Who's Brenna?" Kennice demanded, her tone angry.
Cyrus let out a breath as he realized he had spoken of something he dared not before. "She's...the beast in my nightmares..."
"Oh really? You know, if you didn't want me, you should have just said so, instead of acting like you care!" Kennice couldn't believe what a fool she had been. She had almost poured out her heart to him and here he was talking about another girl and trying to pawn it off as something else!
Cyrus sat down, his courageous demeanor now gone, replaced by...something else. Something that made him tremble every time it hit him. "It's true, Kennice. Every night she haunts my dreams, over and over. Calling to me...Then I see her mate Hayden calling to you..."
"You're crazy! I shouldn't have come," Kennice said sadly and she turned away from him, pulling her hood up again. She left without a word, closing and locking the door behind her.
Cyrus drew his knees up close to himself and closed his eyes. Quiet tears rolled down his cheeks, his spirit finally broken.
* * *
Kennice had gotten halfway down the hall when a hand reached out and grabbed her. She started to scream but a hand was clapped over her mouth. She looked up in shock and then fear as she saw whom it was.
"You were told to stay away."
Kennice fought but was dragged away from the prison level. She fought harder but she couldn't get free. She blinked rapidly when the light hit her eyes. She heard voices and her heart sank when she saw her mother and father. She was pushed roughly forward and barely managed to right herself. She looked down at the floor.
"You were told to stay away from any male that was not your intended. Since you were determined, your punishment will be public and your intended shall choose it. I will be administering it."
Elizabeth squeezed Anthony's hand hard. She was suddenly afraid for her only child.
Kennice gulped but then said softly, "Yes High Priestess."
"Lock her in her room. And make sure that the boy she is so determined to see is there in irons so that he may see the show," the high priestess said coldly before sweeping from the room.
Elizabeth waited until the door closed before getting up going over to Kennice.
Kennice looked up and then let out a yelp when her mother's hand connected with her face.
"YOU have brought disgrace on us! Take her away from me before I add my own punishment on top of that of the High Priestess!"
Anthony grabbed Kennice by the arm and led her from the room.
* * *
The next morning dawned cold, yet beautiful but many in the monastery were whispering about the meeting that had been called.
Three of the more muscular students and teachers went down to the prison level to pick up Cyrus.
Cyrus slowly stood as he heard footsteps coming down the hall, his mood dark and dismal as the blackest clouds on the horizon. He stretched his muscles a moment and cracked his knuckles as the door opened, grinning like a man who had lost everything. "Playtime boys."
With that Cyrus launched himself at the muscular students and teachers, arms and legs moving in perfect position with deadly accuracy.
The youngest one jumped out of the way as the other two managed to subdue him.
"You've been summoned like the rest of us for a special meeting. It involves your girlfriend," the youngest one sneered.
Cyrus snarled and sunk his teeth into the nearest student's arm, taking a hefty chunk out of it, spitting the bloody chunk into the face of another.
The youngest one punched him hard in the gut, doubling him over. They gagged him and bound his arms and legs and carried him upstairs.
Cyrus oofed as he doubled over, sinking to his knees as he growled, struggling in his bonds as he was carried upstairs, muttering any curse he knew, insulting or otherwise.
The gathering room was filled. The center held a dais and in the center of it a post with shackles had been erected. Three high back chairs were to the left of it.
Juan gave Cyrus a sympathetic look before turning his gaze elsewhere.
Cyrus was dragged to what looked like a smaller version of the tall post. He was chained to it and his gag removed.
The guard whose arm he had injured slapped him. "Enjoy the show," he snarled before walking over to Maclued who bandaged his arm.
Cyrus growled as he was chained to the post and watched the student walk. "Oh by the way Jimmy, should I tell them about that little secret you divulged to me when you first came here? About a certain female friend of yours and how you couldn't resist her on prom night, even though she said no? As I recall I believe you said she screamed no." Cyrus smirked at the student with a look that said he would spill everything. "Then again, if you get your ass over here right now and let me loose then my lips stay sealed forever." Cyrus clenched his fists together behind his back, letting a charge build up in them.
Jimmy flinched but said calmly. "I have no idea what you're talking about. So typical of you to blame someone else for your actions."
Jimmy rolled his eyes for effect and looked down at his arm that was now bandaged.
Cyrus smirked at Jimmy, taking an odd pleasure in this since in his own mind, he had nothing left to lose. "Her name was Sarah, blonde hair, blue eyes, typical perfect woman for most. Yo'd been watching her all night, couldn't stop thinking about her, especially when she told you to go to hell because she thought you looked better AFTER her brother hit you in the face with that shovel. So you stalked her all night and then pounced upon her in that side alley when she went for some air. The screams still haunt your dreams, that's why you wake up in the night in a cold sweat and screaming...that's why your parents sent you here."
The gathering room had gone completely silent as the weighted gaze of the assembled filled the room. Maclued had stilled his hand and was looking at Jimmy then at Cyrus.
At that moment the side door opened and Elizabeth, Anthony, Henry and a cloaked figure entered.
"There will be silence. Cyrus, you are only making things worse for yourself. Hush boy," Anthony ordered.
Cyrus glared at Anthony and spat at the floor in disrespect. "Well what else exactly have I got to lose, Anthony, hmm? Nothing, that's what. So why not go out with a bang and reveal every secret I know?"
"Because you will harm the one person you claimed to love," the cloaked figure replied scornfully.
Cyrus' eyes softened slightly before looking into the hood of the cloak with dead eyes. "I see that making another suffer for someone else's mistakes seems to be a trend around here, is it just me or does Henry seem to be the only one actually willing to punish just me for what I've done wrong?"
"You always were the martyr," Rhys' challenging voice rang out as he entered through the main doors. "And your disrespect knows no bounds. My lady," Rhys said respectfully to the figure that slowly pulled back the hood to reveal the high priestess Erykia. She was the same height as Kennice but that was where the similarities ended.
She had short black curly hair and dark brown eyes that had a cruel glint to them.
Cyrus snarled at Rhys, venom lacing his words as he spat them out with force. "Why don't you come down here and uncuff me so I can show you JUST how disrespectful I can be hmm? Maybe a'll start with telling everyone all those little secrets I know about you too hmm?"
"I have laid bare my sins before the earth and the elements and have been cleansed. The high priest and priestess have given my punishments for my crimes and I am redeemed," Rhys replied serenely.
Erykia gave Cyrus a pitying look. "So much anger. It will cost you everything one day, but today is not that day."
Elizabeth gasped and clutched at Anthony's arm. Erykia's eyes had glowed which meant she had just uttered a prophecy. A shiver of dread ran through Elizabeth's body. She only hoped Kennice would not be involved.
Cyrus chuckled softly and looked back at Erykia. "And how could it possibly cost me more than hmm? I have lost everything short of my life, and right now, losing that doesn't seem like such a bad idea. So why don't you bring that pretty little behind down here, uncuff me and we can settle this once and for all..."
Elizabeth growled and then Cyrus head was rocked hard when Elizabeth hit him with a telekinetic slap. "Gag him," she ordered.
Erykia only laughed at his impudence. "Don't bother, Elizabeth." She looked at Cyrus. "You only think you've lost. You don't understand the true meaning of loss," she assured him before going to sit in one of the three chairs.
Cyrus's neck strained as he tried to move before closing his eyes and let out a breath. "This won't be the last you see of me...remember priestess, Karma can be so very nasty when it comes to evening scores."
Anthony and Elizabeth took their seats as well.
Rhys moved to the center so that Cyrus and those sitting in judgment as well as the assembled could see and hear him.
"I am here to call for the punishment of my fiancé for violating the pact she made that binds her to me as future wife and high priestess. I ask that the man before you," Rhys pointed to Cyrus, "Be made to watch the consequences of his actions against myself and my fiancé. He has tempted her instead of doing his duty and reminding her of her obligations to her family and to the druidic council."
Cyrus chuckled as he looked at Rhys. "You truly are a fool, Rhys. I have no obligations to this family or to this council. As everyone here knows, I didn't ask to come here and I sure as hell didn't ask to have an asshole like you put your filthy hands on a kindred spirit of mine."
"And that is why we are here today. Your disregard for anything that is not yourself is apparent and very sad." Rhys made his tone sound regretful and pitying. Rhys paused then snapped his fingers. The door was opened and a struggling Kennice was dragged in. Her hair was down and she was clad in a simple shift.
Cyrus yanked at his bonds, grunting and growling. "I see you have no honor either Rhys, is it just me or do you seem to like picking on women hmm? Not a very good attribute for a high priest is it?"
"I do not pick on women. I only do as I'm told. As you both should have done but neither one of you are very good at listening. This punishment is decreed by the high priestess as teacher and judge."
Kennice was dragged to the dangling shackles and shackled in. Her toes were the only things touching the floor and that was barely. Her eyes were red from crying. She gave Cyrus a look and mouthed, "I'm sorry."
Cyrus' eyes softened as he watched and silently mouthed, "I love you." Cyrus's fists clenched and he took long, slow breath, letting his mind become calm, thinking about what his next move would be...it would definitely cause a big enough bang.
Erykia stood. "For violating the terms of the agreement that allowed this visit, you will receive fifteen lashes."
Erykia looked at Cyrus. "Any attempt by you to interfere will result in more lashes for her and a steady diet of sedatives until you learn control." She turned to Rhys. "Since you are the one harmed by both their actions, it is up to you," she said calmly and gestured to one of the guards who stepped forward with a bullwhip.
Cyrus glared and pulled at the chain. "You'll have to kill me first...Bitch." Cyrus spat on the floor in disrespect once more. "You won't break me and I know you won't break Kennice. She is stronger than you could ever imagine..."
Erykia only shrugged. "Rhys, you may proceed."
At her words one of the guards walked over to Kennice and ripped the back of her shift so that it exposed her back. He stepped back and bowed to Rhys.
Rhys nodded gave the whip an experimental crack. He hid his smile of satisfaction when he saw Kennice tense. He stepped back, whirled it around his head once then snapped it out and heard it connect with her bare skin.
Kennice hissed but she didn't cry out. She was trying not to cry.
Cyrus winced as the whip cracked, almost feeling the sting across his back, his fists clenching as he watched, whispering softly. "Be strong Kennice, please be strong, take my strength and resist the pain, block it out...show them you're better than this..."
Rhys flicked the whip out seven more times in quick succession. Kennice had yet to utter a sound but a single tear slid down her cheek and her breathing was pain filled.
Rhys looked over at Erykia who inclined her head but said nothing.
Elizabeth was digging her nails into Anthony's arm. She hadn't wanted anything like this to happen but she was powerless. Everyone bowed to the verdicts of the high priestess.
Cyrus clenched his hands into fists and a tear slid down his own cheek as he made a decision and softly spoke in his mind for all who were listening to hear. ~Brenna...~
Outside a rumbling roar of thunder was heard. No one paid any attention at first. They were in Scotland after all and storms were a way of life.
Rhys sauntered up to Kennice, wrapped his fingers in her hair and pulled her head back. He whispered, "See what happens when you choose a mongrel over me?"
Kennice's gaze slid to him. "Go fuck yourself," she said clearly.
Rhys' eyes blazed and he stepped back and put all his strength into the last seven lashes. Each blow was harder than the last and Rhys succeeded in wresting a cry of agony from Kennice on the last two.
Tears were streaming down her face and she was tired, so tired. She wanted to just set her spirit free.
~You cannot leave me when I have just found you~ A strange male voice said in her head.
~Who, who are you?~ she cried, fearing it was another trick.
~I will tell you sometime. I will find you soon, be strong~ the voice encouraged before fading from her mind.
Cyrus clenched his fist with each hard lash that was given, his back jerking as each landed, a sting forming on his back as he couldn't help but imagine the pain.
Cyrus took a breath and shouted in his mind. ~BRENNA! Please.... I give in. I'll find you, I'll stop resisting, anything just please make this madness stop...~