Onyx Dreams Ch. 17bykitazkitten©
Chapter 17: A Father's Secrets
Isaac led Cyrus up two flights of stairs and another hallway before stopping at the last room on the right. He turned the handle and gently opened the door. He guided Cyrus inside and closed the door behind them.
"Cyrus please be polite," was the only warning Isaac gave.
Cyrus nodded at his father's words. Usually his surprises were good for him so he always did as instructed when one was sprung upon him. "Of course father, aren't I always?" A cheeky smile could be seen on his face.
Isaac carefully undid the blindfold. The room was semi-dark but a cloaked figure could be made out in the corner.
As his eye adjusted to the darkness, Cyrus blinked a moment and squinted around the room not seeing anyone at first. Once he saw them, however he bowed his head a little before speaking, "Greetings, I am Cyrus, may I inquire as to who you are?"
"It is an honor to finally meet you. Your father has been talking nonstop about you for a year now." The voice was pitched low but unmistakably female.
Cyrus glanced at his father a moment with a questioning look, "He has? I am curious as to why, normally he is not a man to boast."
She chuckled and rose. She was shorter than Cyrus and her features were still hidden by the hood of her cloak. "Well my parents and your father had an understanding when we were mere babies. I arrived last year to get to know you."
Raising an eyebrow once more Cyrus turned to his father this time, still with the questioning look. "Exactly how many things have you yet to tell me about?"
"Not too many more," Isaac replied. "This is Katherine Mahoney. She's your betrothed."
Cyrus froze on the spot, the color draining from his face. "Excuse me? Did you just say betrothed? Because uhh I'm assuming you were listening downstairs when I told you about what happened yes?"
"Yes son. And you also told me that you didn't go back for her. So I assumed that the feelings were fleeting and you're ready to move on."
The color began to return to his face as he cocked his head to the side again. "Ok which part of 'I'd just had the crap kicked out of me so I couldn't' did you misinterpret father?"
"Son, it's been several weeks and yes, I know you said a dragon told you to wait but if you really loved her, would you have left her this long without sending at least a message?"
Cyrus rubbed his temples a moment. "I'm not allowed to interfere in any way father, an oath that stabs into your head like a knife is not something to be taken lightly. Plus, if you think my feelings are so readily thrown away, what makes you think I'll stick to the woman you have appointed me?"
"No one said you have to "stick with me" only that you give me a chance to get to know you." Katherine smiled.
He turned back to Katherine and put on his best smile. "Katherine, I don't want to hurt your feelings in any way but I'm not too hot on the whole pre-arranged marriage thing. I prefer to find love BEFORE I announce the wedding."
"I understand. Perhaps we can be friends instead of marriage mates."
Cyrus nodded at this and held his hand out in greeting. "I'd like that very much Katherine, if my current love rejects me then perhaps one day we might turn out as lovers."
"And you are a charmer as well. You have much to offer your betrothed."
"Indeed, so Katherine, I'm at a disadvantage. You know much about me yet I know nothing of you, I have yet to even gaze upon your face."
"That much I can honor." She pulled back the hood to reveal features that were eerily similar to Kennice's face. Even down to the long curly eyelashes.
Cyrus blinked and stared at Katherine for a long moment, she was an exact duplicate of Kennice. Had they pulled a trick on him and this was Kennice?
"No, Katherine. Are you okay Cyrus?" she asked in concern and reached out to touch his forehead.
He naturally pulled his head back a moment and shook it a little, still staring. "Yeah...I'm fine, sorry. You just look remarkably like someone I know..."
She looked undecided. "Is that a bad thing?"
He had the same look as Katherine, his mind trying to calculate this very question. His voice was filled with concern. "I'm not sure yet."
"Will you then, my lord, allow me to assist you?" She held out her hand.
He raised a suspicious eyebrow and glanced at the hand. "Assist me how exactly? And you don't need to call me lord, Cyrus will do fine."
"You are a dragon rider are you not? Where I am from the riders are given the title of Lord or Lady. And I will help you to your room so you can rest, my lord."
His gaze took on a slightly icy tone but he spoke as normal. "Well I certainly didn't tell you I was a rider and father hasn't been up here since I told him. So how did you know?"
"Because I'm in training to be one. My partner hasn't made it across the dimension divide yet."
Cyrus was becoming increasingly suspicious now as he watched Katherine and began to walk slowly around her. "Oh really? I was under the impression that dragons weren't able to find their riders while across the divide."
Katherine rolled her eyes. "You really know nothing. Whoever your teacher was did a bad job. Even the most elementary of riders know that when the dreams start the mental connection is made whether through the divide or not. However the rider has to be ready. In other words he or she has to be of age. Then his or her dragon can cross. Now whether they find each other or not is a different matter," she patiently explained.
Cyrus paused behind her, leaned forward and whispered into her ear. "My teacher's name was Henry, and I've been having the dreams since birth."
"Since birth? You are one of the rare ones then. Most of us don't get contacted until our teens."
He chuckled softly as he drew back and walked towards the window. "Oh trust me, I'd rather have been contacted as a teenager. Having nightmares of two dragons calling to you can REALLY mess with your head when that's all you dream about."
"Two? You must be mistaken. Dragons can only call to one rider."
"That's true, but it's a situation of two dragons calling to me, not one calling to two riders. I've even had to metaphorically beat one off with a stick."
Katherine looked disturbed at the news. "Well, I'm not sure what to tell you but I'm starving. Can we go get something to eat?"
Cyrus nodded and smiled, holding his arm out towards the door. "Of course, there's plenty prepared downstairs."
Katherine smiled and bowed to Isaac before walking out the door ahead of father and son.
Cyrus paused beside his father a moment and spoke. "You intended to marry me to a dragon rider from birth?"
"Well," Isaac looked embarrassed for a moment. "Yes. Our clan's seer predicted you would marry one and she helped me pick the correct baby."
"Oh really, and you didn't take into account that it could've been a rider 5000 miles in another direction? No matter though father. I've been curious to meet other riders my age anyway to se if they too think their teachers to be idiots of the highest caliber."
Isaac shook his head. "I'm only going by what the seer's vision proclaimed. I'm sorry I did not take into account distance as a factor."
Cyrus smiled a little and gently patted his father's shoulder. "Perhaps next time you'll let your child choose his own destiny?"
"I can't leave anything to chance Cyrus. You are my only son and heir to all the secrets of our line. If you choose the wrong wife, you will not produce children and our secrets and heritage will die."
He froze in place when he heard his father's words and slowly looked at him with a long slow stare. "Excuse me? Heir to all your secrets? Since when? There must be a hundred other monks up at that monastery, why not choose one of them?"
"Because these are secrets of blood, Cyrus. It is in your blood. It's not something the others can learn."
He looked at his father as if he were crazy. "Ok, since when have I been a blood relation to you, father? I was adopted remember?"
"No, you were only told that to protect you from rival clans. Can you imagine what they would force me to give up if they had kidnapped you? I would have told them any and every thing they wanted to know."
Cyrus stood frozen as he tried to wrap his mind around this and looked at Isaac his temper rising. "Sooo for the past 20+ years you've kept me in the dark about who my real father is...? And just who in the hell would've wanted to kidnap me after they witnessed what I did to the temple when my powers first showed up?"
"Look, your manifesting powers only makes you more valuable. It doesn't inspire fear but greed."
Cyrus forced his temper down as he spoke softly, calmly and clearly. "Right now, I'd pity anyone who tried that because I'm liable to turn them into sushi. Great time to spring all this on me Father. Not that I don't have enough on my mind with dragons chasing me, idiot riders trying to tell me that ignoring torture is the right thing to do and not kicking the hell out of wife beaters is the right thing to do. Just perfect timing Father!" He turned on his heel before he said anything more and headed for the door, glaring now. The air was beginning to hum strongly around him. He was in the mood to break something, or someone.
Isaac sighed. Well it hadn't gone as badly as he was afraid it could have gone. He would give Cyrus time to cool down. He hadn't meant to keep the lie going for so long but it had been a necessary measure. Making sure that Cyrus believed he had been adopted had kept him safe from harm. He only hoped that Cyrus would realize that and not think to badly of him for the small lie.