Maria came to in a cell.
An actual cell with a small cot on one side of it and a toilet—at least it wasn’t a bucket. She stared at the thick iron bars, preventing her from her from getting the hell out of this place in disbelief.
She was actually being held in a cell. Preposterous!
Did that man know who she was? To toss her on the ground of this disgusting cell like some commoner? He hadn’t even taken his time to place her on the dingy looking cot that looked like it would snap under the slightest weight.
On second thought, she was glad he hadn’t dropped her on it. If he had, a landing on the floor was what would have woken her up.
She looked around the cell, rising from the ground. She wanted to dust the dirt from the ground off her body, but there was no water in sight and she couldn’t risk leaving her palms dirty.
“Hello?” She called out into the darkness. There was no response. The only light she could see, came from the window of her cell. Other than that, it was completely dark. Which meant that when night came, the cell was going to be dark as hell.
Maria couldn’t handle the dark. She fought down the panic before it could consume her. There was no reason for her to worry. She wasn’t going to be in here for that long after all.
She fought down a maniacal laugh. Did that man actually think that he could hold her here against her will? If so, then he truly didn’t know who she was.
Where was here anyway? She was obviously in a cell, but where was this cell? Where had he taken her? And what did he want with her?
Sure, she had done a lot of bad. Some intentionally and others, not. She was one of the few people she knew that actually hated killing, but still did it anyway. Nit because she wanted to, but because she had to. There was no other choice.
Was this man after her because she hd perhaps killed one of his loved ones?
Or had the teenage girl been his sister? Because he was too far older than her to be her lover.
That still wasn’t it. If the teenage girl actually was his sister, then he would have taken her as well. But he hadn’t.
Or had he?
She couldn’t remember a single thing that had happened other than the tortured look on Ariti’s face when his hand had been severed from his body. He had been in so much pain that he hadn’t been able to hide it from his soldiers, who he always pretended to be strong in front of.
The soldiers would have tried to attack the man after what he did to Ariti. Did they? She didn’t know, and the only way if finding out, was if she went back there.
Already, she knew that Ariti would be livid. He was an immortal and was definitely going to regrow the hand that he had lost, but that wouldn’t be what would eat at him. No. It was the fact that his power had been taken away from him.
He would be livid and he was crazy. Maria hadn’t done anything to warrant it. She had been taken against her will. But an angry Ariti was an unstable one. He might take his anger out on the one thing that she cared about.
The one thing anchoring her to him.
Shit. She needed to get back.
With renewed determination, she yelled. “Where the fuck are you, coward?” When there was still no reposes, she spoke again. “Too scared to face me?”
Anger and adrenaline running through her, caused power to flow through her, filling her body until she knew that channeling it, would cause great damage. She stared at the iron bars. They would be her target.
Her hands shot out towards the gate.
Frowning, she tried again, this time concentrating hard.
What the hell?
Just then, she heard the sound of a door opening in the distance. She straightened, checking to make sure that her red cloak was still around her and that her stance wasn’t one that showed weakness.
The door groaned open and a huge burst of light trickled in from outside into the huge corridor that led to the cells. Apparently, her cell was just one out of many. Too late, before she could bask in the light, the door clanged shut.
Shit. He was going to be in the dark talking to her, and she was going to be in the light.
Weak, powerless and helpless. An entertainment.
She heard his loud footsteps, which told her that he was coming closer. He stopped just outside her cell, but he didn’t say anything. He just stood there in the dark. The only way she knew he was there was because she felt his presence. It was impossible not to.
“Why am I in this cell?” She asked him, since he wasn’t ready to speak first. Asking him who he was would prove futile, seeing as Ariti had asked him the same thing and hadn’t been able to get an answer.
Yet, then he answered her question with one of his own.
“What the hell is happening to you?”
His voice, just like before, woke things in her that she didn’t even know still existed. It was deep and a bit scratchy around the edges. She hated what his voice did to her and yet, she didn’t want him to stop talking.
“What do you mean?” She frowned, refraining from running her hand over her body to check if anything was wrong with her at the last minute. That wasn’t something the Maria Hatzi feared across worlds would do.
But then again, that Maria wouldn’t also be seen in a cell.
She needed to get out of here fast.
“Your hair.” The voice boomed, the darkness somehow making it sound ten times more ominous than it should have been. “It was red.”
“It still is.” Then this time, unable to stop herself, she picked a lock of her hair and stared at it, terror gliding up her spine when she saw the curly black streak in her hand.
Her hair was turning black!
What the hell was happening to her? Had she somehow dropped her glamour spell when she passed out? Or was it this place that she was in?
She looked down and saw that her feet weren’t even as big as they used to be. Her glamour was wearing off for some reason. And she had to leave here right now to figure out what was happening to her.Just a few minutes ago, she hadn’t been able to blow the gate off its hinges.
“What do you want from me?” She snapped, her frustration and anger causing her voice to come out harsher than she had intended. It was not a smart idea to piss off her attacker, especially now that her powers weren’t working the way they should.
“There’s no hurry.” The man said after a bit. “You’ll find out soon enough. For now, just enjoy your new room.”
She got the feeling that he was walking away, about to leave her. He couldn’t! He simply couldn’t leave her in here. How the hell was she supposed to get out?
“Hey!” She called at his retreating back. “You can’t leave me in here. Come back.”
She was commanding him. Again.
“I know it isn’t what you’re used to, but it’ll have to do for now.”
The way he said ‘for now’ didn’t sit well with her. What did he mean by that?
“What the hell do you mean ‘for now’?” She panicked.
He waited until he reached the door and pulled it open, before he turned to her with a smirk that promised everything evil, but still didn’t detract from his handsomeness. “Oh, Princess. If only you know all the plans I have for you.”
With that, he walked out and slammed the door shut, cloaking her in darkness.
Maria was in a cell. Her powers—the one thing she had always depended on—were failing her. She had been abducted by perhaps the most good-looking man she had ever met and it wasn’t to play hooky.
He wanted her dead. Or even worse, to torture her until he got what he wanted from her.
She was dirty as hell and her glamour was wearing off.
She was screwed in the worst way possible.
Absentmindedly, she touched her hair, unable to believe that the red strands she had gotten used to seeing, were now a stark black. It felt alien to have black hair anywhere outside of her bedroom back at the palace. All her life, she had always worn the glamour. She couldn’t remember when last she had been seen without it.
And now, it was disappearing.
Her hand brushed a metal as she sifted it through her hair. Frowning, she felt the metal around her neck. She hadn’t been wearing jewellery other than her bracelets when she left the palace.
Her blood ran cold when she realised what it was.
A collar. And she would bet her life that it wasn’t an ordinary one.
The man had put it on her.
Now everything made sense! The reason she had not been able to fall the gate and why her glamour was fading.
The man had put a collar on her to nullify her powers.
It was then Maria realised that she was even in more trouble than she had initially thought.
BRAN “You have a call from Corey.”Bran turned towards the sound of the voice. Edgar stood a few feet away from him, cradling a phone a phone in his hand.Bran’s phone that was currently lighting up with a call from Corey.He sighed, walking over to Edgar and collecting the phone from him. He had wanted to call Corey and let him know the status of things after the first interrogation, but apparently, the son of a bitch was turning out to be even more hot-blooded than Bran.He wanted his own share of the Maria Hatzi. And he was going to get it.If only the fucker could just wait and let him have his own piece first.Bran had barely lifted the phone to his ear when Corey spoke.“How’s the witch?”“Still alive.”“Is she still in one piece?”“Yes, although not for long.”There was a pause. Then, “You sick fuck. What exactly do you plan to do to her?”“Hell if I know. What I do know, is that there’s going to be a lot more torture, and a lot less chit-chat.” Bran decided to answer truthful
MARIAA rat scurried over to the crumbs on the plate. Maria tensed, making sure not to move a muscle, so as not to chase the rat away. She waited until it had grabbed a piece of the food before she moved, then the rat ran away. Today was her fifth day in this cell. Her fifth day away from the palace, her fifth day away from Ariti and her fifth day away from her mother. She was in this dungeon left with nothing to do, but stare at the window, watching as the sun faded away, giving way to night and then morning again. It was a cycle that never ended and the longer she sat in the cell, the longer she believed that she was going to continue watching the sunrise and fall every single day of her life. At least until she died. She couldn't believe that she was actually going to die. She just simply couldn't believe it. She couldn't accept it. Maria Hatzi did not just go from being the most powerful sorceress in this world to being a common man's capture. And then to think that he had p
MARIA She wasn’t even exaggerating when she said that she was too tired to deal with him. The meal she had eaten—if it could be called that—was something she wasn’t even sure the servants back at the palace ate. But she guessed it was better than nothing. After all, the worms eating at her stomach walls has ceased for now. “Stand up.” He commanded. She would have rolled her eyes had she found the strength. “You realise I don’t have to stand for my mouth to work, right?” He squinted as if she had sprouted a second head within the space of five seconds. “You realise I’m the one doing the questioning here, right?” This time, she did roll her eyes. As if she didn’t know that. “So ask your questions.” He looked like he wanted to bite her head off, but then he exhaled and he returned to looking like his usual hot, annoying self. She absolutely detested how much she found him attractive. It was simply a fact, staring back at her everytime she saw him that he was good-looking. What sh
BRAN“Where’s my sister?” Bran barked. He did not come here to watch her have an internal debate with herself. It pissed him off because he knew that her delayed replies only meant that she was thinking about lying to him, and he wasn’t going to have that.“Your sister?” She had the audacity to look confused.“Yes,” He snapped impatiently. “My sister.”“I’ve never met your sister in my life.”“Funny. It definitely wasn’t a meet and greet when you and your father decided to come into my realm and kill every single one of my family members, save for my sister whom you guys took with you.”He watched confusion give way to understanding on her face. So she had actually been confused, not knowing who his sister was. How many people exactly had she killed for her to have to struggle to remember who he was talking about?He watched her throat work around a swallow, her eyes trained on a spot on the ground. “T-t-this is the vampire realm?”He didn’t answer her, and that was a reply in itself.
BRAN He would go to the horses, but he was too miserable to get himself to move. And that was saying a lot.Bran was a vampire. All he ate or drank, was blood, but sometimes, when he was pushed to it or when the occasion called for it, he drank wine. It was something only the oldest of vampires could do.He grabbed the bottle of whiskey, refilling his glass as he stared at the rich brown liquid absently. Filled with the feeling of helplessness, he had resorted to drinking himself into a stupor. It was the only option that had seemed the most pleasing at the time. One of those options was going down to the cells to have another round of questioning with Maria.All of them had proved futile so far. What was the point in going?She was intent on keeping her secret. Keeping his sister’s whereabouts from him. Everyday, when he thought that maybe he would get a bite closer to an answer, she proved him wrong by telling him that she didn’t know, taking him all the way back to the start.He h
MARIA Maria jerked up from her bed when she heard the sound of the door being opened. She couldn’t believe that she was actually thinking it, but damn, she was excited to see him. She was actually anticipating this round of questioning.He had not been here in the past four days and although Edgar had been giving her her regular meals, she still felt restless. She wondered if maybe her captor was starting to get frustrated by her answers and had decided to stop questioning her altogether.She wondered if maybe he had decided to kill her seeing as she was of no use to him. But he wouldn’t feed her if he planned on killing her, would he?But then when the door slid open, it wasn’t him that walked through it, neither was it Edgar—although she had not been expecting him. The point was that, it wasn’t anyone she knew.They weren’t people she knew.Two leanly built men traipsed into the cell, both blondes, and the looks on their faces told her that they hadn’t come to chat with her.She sa
MARIA It was in that moment that Maria realised she might actually deserve what was coming for her. Was this how her victims felt when she was about to take their lives? They had to feel even worse than this because it was her hand that was going to be chopped off. Not her life.How many times had she stood before her victims with her arms raised ready to unleash hell on them?Just last week, that teenage girl had sat on the floor of the palace courtroom with her head held high ready to receive her death blow. Why couldn't Maria find that boldness now? Why was she shaking life a leaf as she watched the blade inch closer to her skin? Before today, somehow, at the back of her mind, Maria had conceded that she did evil things to people. But not once had she actually seen herself as evil. Now that she was in this position, a position even more preferable to the ones she had put people in several times, she realised that she was an evil person. Any person who could make another person f
MARIA“What?”“Give me your hand, Maria.”“Why?”“Why else would I be asking for your hand?”She didn’t know why she was arguing, really. The only reason he would be asking for her hand would be to help her treat her injuries—or to inflict more, but from the look on his face, she was leaning towards the former.The question was; why did he want to help her? Wasn’t he the same person that hard ordered the man to cut her hand?Nevertheless, she couldn’t refuse him. Not because she particularly wanted to, but because she had no choice. She really needed it to be treated. Even if it meant being civil with the one man she couldn’t stand right now. Even if it meant that he would do the treating.Why hadn’t he just asked Edgar to do it? That man treated her better than any other person on this damn realm.Gingerly, she extended her hand to him, expecting him to smirk at her cruelly and mock her. Maybe she would find out that he didn’t really want to help her. Maybe he would throw her into he