Wicked Games

She was taught to survive but not to live.
She knows bloodshed
She knows victory
She knows torture
She knows pain
In the world she lives in she seeks pleasure in killing, the feel of adrenaline coursing through her vein as she swings her swords through men's necks, sending them to the ground beneath her feet where they belong; beneath her.

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1. My war

I've always wondered what it feels like to die. To have your soul separate from the sack of bones it's been bound to from the moment you left the safe haven that is your mother's womb. What would happen to my soul? Would it find peace like their or will the Gods not accept me for my impure blood.

My impure blood that was now becoming one with the soil I lay on. I could hear them sneer, saying I was poisoning the land, that if I bled on it, it would no longer be fertile. I suppose I should care but I was dying and no one could help me and even if they could surely they wouldn't. I just waited for death to come and drown me into oblivion like a drug.

Pain, I felt pain. Even in death my body ached, a sick reminder that I could never be as strong as them. Even in death I was a pathetic mortal. Beeping, steady almost like the monitors they hooked to wounded players. People would pray for them, hoping that they don't die before the Olympics ends. They were lucky they wouldn't have me as a burden anymore. 

Despite my efforts to work to the top and beat the record for slaying the most players, I was nothing but filth, a slave to others, a whore to others and some just a nothing. They said they didn't tie me to their beds because they found pleasure in it. They said they did so that I would be reminded, no matter how many I slay or kill, I shall always be filth.

It continued the steady beeping and then I could smell something. It smelt like those fancy herbs they used on injured players. I think they called them medicine. They said I didn't deserve medicine and if I was injured they would be happy to let me bleed out at the field, just like they did.

Now I could see, a foreign bright light glowed in the room. It had no scent; there was no orange glow like with flames it was just light. This must be peace. My soul is awakening here, my senses coming back to me like a cub. 

"Is she awake?" I heard a deep and worried voice ask. "I'm sorry but I can't answer that," a grim female voice said clearly annoyed by the question. I wonder who that unlucky male is. Females are scary, scarier than males actually. Males have the decency to look you in the eye as they run a sword through your chest. Females rip your heart out before you can even blink. Even though I bad mouth them I am one of them.

A door opens and a face hovers over me. A familiar face, I can tell by the golden stubble on his jaw and the blue eyes that glow like goblin stones. "Mia," he says his hand on my face trembling. Why is he trembling? 

He must be disgusted, touching an impure like you

I move away to give him some relief but he seems to tremble more.

You've disrespected him

I sit up and realise I'm on a bed. It's small with a thin mattress but it's a bed. I've always fantasized sleeping on one and now I was on one. No humans ever got to sleep on a bed; even whores were taken on the floor never a bed. A bed was meant for people to sleep on not trash like us. We were supposed to lie on the floor where we belong and even then we were unworthy.

They never burnt our bodies or buried us when we die. They said burial would be wastage of space and burning us wastage of wood. So they would just throw us away like trash or feed us to their pets. Only the poor did that, the rest believed our flesh was poison and would kill their pets.

I bowed my head to the blonde master. It is forbidden to call them by their names. Their names are sacred and not to be spoken by filthy tongues. They never told us their names; they said even if we recited them in our minds we would curse them. We existed for the sole purpose of their entertainment nothing more.

“Is she going to be okay?” I heard him ask. “It will,” the lady sneered and left. “Excuse her and her poor bedside manner,” he said sitting beside me on the bed. I kept my gaze on my lap. These people were pampering me; they had given me a bed and sheets.

“If you have a question you can ask it,” he offered. I had one opportunity to ask a question, I couldn’t waste it. I didn’t know what to ask. What if I asked something that set him off? I had already angered many masters today when I bled on their soil and now I should stop angering people. Maybe I shouldn’t ask a question. If I don’t he might think it’s an act of disrespect.

“Do you own me now?” I asked making my voice small but not too low. They said my voice should be audible but nobody who doesn’t have to listen to it should be burdened. “You are not owned Mia. You are woman and women should be free,” he told me.

My eyes widened in disbelief, I wasn’t a woman. I was human, being human meant I had no gender, I had no rights all I had was mercy from these kind people who me be a part of their word. I couldn’t question him, it was wrong to question any master, it was punishable and I didn’t want to be punished.

I held in my tears. I couldn’t cry I didn’t have the right to cry just like I didn’t have the right to bleed today. “I apologise for my wrong doing today and I will take myself to the discipliner,” I said. “No Mia, there is no discipliner, this is my land and in my land there are no discipliners,” he said.

A feeling washed over me like a blanket on a harsh winter night. It’s like I was preparing for the ice to bite my skin but suddenly I didn’t need one. “The emotion you’re feeling is relief,” he smiled. I could tell because my wide eyes were now trained on him.

“I apologise again for my indecency,” I whispered. I have no rights. I don’t know what made me feel like I had the right to feel emotions. Those were forbidden, those were rights and rights were only given to the deserving.

You don’t have rights

You don’t have a right to emotions be it anger, happiness or sadness

All you get to feel is fear because fear is not an emotion to you, it’s a lifestyle.

“Which indecency?” he asked tilting his head to the side in confusion. Were they many? Had I done so much wrong? Of course you are. “Mia?” he snapped his fingers in front of my face. I almost jumped as the snapping echoed in my head. They used to snap their fingers to summon me. I was right here why was he summoning me?
“Is there anything I can do for you master?” I asked. He eyed me in confusion before something dawned on him. “Mia,” he sighed taking my hand in his. My eye twitched as I tried not to flinch away from his touch. “Sorry,” he whispered moving his hand from mine.

He gave me an apology. I was the one who had to apologise for even existing and he was apologising for what? I wanted to ask, I needed to ask. “You are not a slave here,” he said. I was never a slave they said I was human, and being human meant I was lesser than their dogs shit.

“You are a person,” he said and I almost chocked on my own spit. I wasn’t a person but I couldn’t say that to him he was a master. Two people entered, both males holding hands. That was a taboo too; males and males should never be together. They said it was sick and it was a curse that we brought with us because we had cursed blood. It’s abnormal, its heathen it’s a horrible sin.

“Hey Ty,” the taller man smiled. His grey as twinkling as he did, his teeth were pearly white, a major contrast to my teeth that would’ve been rotten by now if I didn’t have to take all those men in my mouth. They said my mouth had to be clean so that they don’t get infected, so I was allowed to brush my teeth three times a week and if I did well at my job maybe even four times that week.

The taller master was different from the others I’d seen. Unlike other masters his hair was raven like mine and red at the tips and it fell to his shoulders almost like a girl. His eye lashes were thick and curly, his ears had metal on them and his lips were plump and full. “He’s human like you,” the blonde master explained.

He just said I was a person two seconds ago now he says I’m human again. Was this all foreplay and I would have to take all three men. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. I couldn’t ask all I could do was waiting for one of them to initiate something.

“My name is Philip,” he introduced waving at me. His name was human too. I waved back at him making sure to keep a stoic expression. He elbowed the shorter man, the one that looked like all master. He had cropped blonde hair and glowing blue eyes, thick stubble on his jaw and square shoulders. He even had a scar that stretched out from under his forehead to his lip. There was only one person who had a scar that long and he was presumed dead. He was the only master whose name we were allowed to utter.

He was named by the gods, his name was Ragnar. My eyes widened in disbelief as I eyed him. “It appears she’s taken a liking to you, Ragnar,” the master beside me said. “All of the females do, too bad they don’t know he’s mine,” the grey eyed master smirked. “Oh Phil,” the other master shook his head.

Ragnar was quiet the entire time. He didn’t seem chatty. This was also likely considering he was the only person who had ever made it to the finals and survived. “Phil,” the master beside me muttered tilting his head towards the door.

Phil kissed Ragnar who seemed to melt underneath Phil’s touch and left the room. He was making a point; Ragnar was his and no one else’s. Most females did that in front of me, they said that us humans had a knack of claiming what isn’t ours.

Ragnar stood straight again and his blue eyes pierced my brown eyes. It’s like he was trying to enter my mind or something. “I want to see your soul,” he said his deep voice resonating throughout the room. The rumours were true, he could see souls and his voice was lyrical even though it was rough and scary at the same time. They said he could tell his enemies to slit their throats and they would just because his voice was so hypnotic.

If your soul was shattered they said he could fix it but I was human, I didn’t have a soul. I was just a mortal coil waiting to be shed. “Every creature has a soul, even humans,” he told me. I wanted to believe him but I couldn’t, no matter how entrancing his voice was I knew I didn’t have a soul.

You don’t have a soul

If one has a soul they can have be passionate

If one has a heart they can love

If one has a mind they can think

You have neither

I wasn’t passionate about anything. I just did things because I was supposed to not because I yearned to. “You’re the first person to have ever beaten my record at killing,” he said. It was true, I was but unlike him I would never get a scar to symbolise it. I just played the game to survive and not for my country.

“Those games are hard yet you’ve managed to slaughter hundreds of those men with just a sword,” he said looking at me like a proud brother. “If you want we can have a scarring ceremony,” he said. My eyes widened in disbelief as my heart pounded hard in my chest. A scarring ceremony, honouring me for my kills, I couldn’t even fathom the idea.

I had attended a few scarring ceremonies and I remembered being envious. For twenty kills you would get a small nick. For fifty it was double, for a hundred it was just to the eyebrow. For five hundred like Ragnar it was until the top of your lip. Of course he’s the only one to have reached five hundred.

“For you it would be until your chin, for eight hundred kills,” he said. “You’re in my head?” I asked and he nodded. I wanted to ask for privacy but that was also a privilege. “I know the cruelty they treat you with on the camps and I know you are also going to argue with me for calling it cruelty but you’ve killed enough to earn you more than just a nick so I will host a scarring ceremony,” he said.

“Why are you showing me such kindness?” I asked. “It’s not kindness I’m just giving you what you have earned,” he told me and exited the room. If I deserved a scar did I deserve to feel? “He spent more than five minutes in here,” the other master said as he entered with the raven head.

“Call us by our names please, mine’s Tiberius,” he said and outstretched his hand. He raised a brow at me indicating that I should shake it. I moved my trembling hand to shake his. He gave it a firm shake then patted my back in greeting. I returned the gesture with timid movement.

He smiled then pressed his nose to my forehead and I did the same. “Now that we’re acquainted how do you feel about food?” he asked. I was about to tell him it’s his choice but my stomach decided to answer for him.

“I’ll take that as a big yes,” he chuckled. “Phil will leave you clothes and he’ll lead you to the eating place,” he smiled before disappearing. Phil materialised clothes in his hand and handed them to me. “You’re awfully quiet,” he stated sitting on the bed as I changed into a pair of black leather pants and a black tank top.

“I wasn’t spoken to,” I muttered. “I was once like you, you know?” he asked hooking his arm in mine as he ked me out the room. It was entirely different from the white room I was previously in. The walls were made from a rare blood red wood I had only seen in movies and had dim orange lights that managed to illuminate the way and let you admire the red and black marble tiled floor.

“I designed the house,” he smiled proudly. “It’s beautiful,” I muttered breathlessly. “You haven’t seen it all,” he smiled something glowing in his eyes. We went down three steps and we were in what seemed like a family room. There were plush red sofas and a black carpet in the centre and a coffee table made from the same red wood with a glass on top of it. There were black and red bean bags placed strategically and a couple of funny looking gadgets on the table.

We walked a little before turning right and entering a homey dining hall. A round table with six chairs and those automatic spinning things in the centre that dish for you, a big glass cupboard with plates and cups that looked like they were made from gold and finally the large man that was just standing there.

“You’re going to scare her Kai,” Philip chuckled. The big man turned around and he looked left then right. “Down here,” Philip rolled his eyes. He looked down and smile. “You’re the new munchkin,” he laughed his deep voice echoing in the house. He picked me up by the shoulders and kissed both side of my cheeks then placed his nose on my forehead. I mimicked the action and he smiled patting my head when he put me down.

“She’s so tiny come have a look at her honey,” he said and a gorgeous lady with blood red hair that put the tiles to shame entered. Her green eyes looked down and found me and she repeated what the taller man had done.

“She’s so pretty,” she smiled revealing a very lethal set of fangs as she pinched my nose. I squinted a bit and she pinched my cheeks then she turned to the older man. “I want a baby I mean look at this infant,” she smiled adoringly then kissed my cheeks.

Another male entered the room, he was fairly tall about 6’1 which made him the second shortest person in the room, the shortest being myself. His hair was dark and curly like mine is and he had dark skin and chocolate eyes just like I did.

Like all of them he towered over my 5’2 form. A lady entered who was exactly identical to him except her hair was straight and in a ponytail. She was the exact same height as him and her eyes immediately landed on me.

“You must be Mia,” she smiled pressing her nose to my forehead. She lowered her head so I could do the same. “I’m Anisha and this is Anishu,” she introduced. They shared the names of two old twins. They were said to be the most mischievous and caused havoc everywhere thus the names Anisha and Anishu, they both meant havoc.

“The twins were our great grandparents,” she smiled and moved to the table to sit. I noticed there were six chairs and if I could still count there were seven of them. “There are actually twelve of us but there other five don’t necessarily enjoy the company of mortals,” Anisha explained. “Give the girl some privacy,” Anishu frowned.

Anisha rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything. “You, Tiberius, Ragnar and I are going to eat in the family room because I can’t stand Anisha,” Phil smiled. Ragnar handed us two plates, mine was so full I almost returned it to him but he gave me a silent order to finish it all.

It was less than what everybody else got and for that I was grateful, I don’t know what I would do with a half a chicken. I had a chicken thigh, some pita bread and a little sauce. I was also happy there were no vegetable. Sometimes they were poisonous to mortals and if they got tired of us they would just give us vegetables for meals. I never ate; instead I got beaten for being ungrateful.

“The sauce is made from tomato fruit so you won’t die,” Ragnar said. “Isn’t tomato a vegetable?” Anisha asked. “It’s a fruit but you don’t put it in fruit salad,” Philip answered. “I’m pretty sure tomato is a vegetable,” she said and Philip rolled his eyes.

I was beginning to understand why she unnerved him. We went into the family room and we all sat on bean bags. I crossed my legs on the bean bag and sat with my back straight as I ate the food. It was so delightful I wanted to moan and roll my eyes backwards.

The bread was so soft and warm and the tomato sauce was divine. The chicken was also amazing and I did my best to finish it all. Ragnar gave me a nod almost as if to say he was proud but nothing more. We watched a movie on the glass screen and I almost cried at the cruelty of it all.

Tiberius led me to a room with a soft plush bed that was big enough to fit ten of freakishly tall guys like that one with a gorgeous girlfriend or wife. “If you don’t want to be alone you can call any one of us apart from my girlfriend she doesn’t really like you,” Tiberius informed.

“She’s the lady back at the hospital,” I stated and he nodded. That night I had a nightmare based on the movie we had just watched. The scene where blood had betrayed blood kept playing in my head. I don’t think there is a sin worse than murdering your own sibling out of envy. When I saw the scar across his eye I thought that maybe he had participated in the games. No amount of envy can justify what he did.

Taking the life of your brother is okay but betrayal is just wrong. Nothing can justify betrayal. I was woken up from my repeated series of nightmares by Ragnar. “This is when you train aye?” he asked and I nodded.

We trained together. He borrowed me his sword and we sparred. He won all times except for one. “Philip filled the closet in your room, put the clothes to good use,” he said. “Master,” I called out before he left.

“I will only respond if you call me by the name I was given,” he told me. He looked at me expectantly then turned to leave when I didn’t utter a word. “Ma-Ragnar,” I corrected. He turned to me and folded his arm across his broad chest.

“When will I return to the games?” I asked. “You’re never going to,” he told me and I almost cried. Was this why I was getting a scarring ceremony because I was no longer allowed to participate in the games? Perhaps I did have a passion, perhaps these games were my passion,” I sighed and slumped to the ground.

“You seem depressed,” Anishu stated. “Want to talk about it?” he asked and I was about to shake my head no but it was like he was giving me a silent order to talk about it. “Ragnar said I’m never going to return to the games,” I frowned.

“Philip rejoiced, why you are so sad?” he asked me giving me a hand to get up. “When I’m in the games even though I’m not allowed to feel I know they can’t tell that I feel this rush. It’s a good feeling, the way at the end of the games my muscles ache from all the work I did rolling heads off with a sword,” I confessed.

“You enjoy the killing?” he asked and I nodded. “Killing is wrong,” he said. “No it’s a game,” I muttered. I don’t know what gave me the confidence to say that. “It’s just a matter of perspective, there is no right or wrong,” I said again and had the urge to smack myself.

“What I find right you may find wrong and what you may find right I might find wrong. That’s why individuality exists because it’s all a matter of perspective,” I shrugged. I still had the urge to smack myself but I couldn’t. It’s like I couldn’t control my actions and I was just vomiting words.

“What they did to you is wrong,” he told me his eyes searching for something in mine. “It wasn’t wrong to them,” I told him and willed my legs to leave. The moment I left the immaculate training centre I had the overwhelming urge to go back and apologise. I had disrespected him so much and I shouldn’t have done that. I couldn’t have I don’t have the ability to disrespect anyone, well not intentionally.

“Mia,” Tiberius smiled approaching me. “What’s wrong?” he asks his eyebrows furrowing. “Nothing,” I lied. He searched my eyes just like Anishu did. His eyes flashed red. That’s what happens every time I anger them. They’re eyes turned red and they hit me.

My chest tightened and I could feel the tears fighting their way out of my eyes until they just started pouring. I couldn’t breathe; it was as if my lungs were on fire. I felt something I haven’t felt in a while, I felt scared.

My skin crawled as I relived everything they had done to me; all of it was to intentionally hurt me. It was never a lifestyle or how life should work they violated me. It was never showing me mercy for existing.

I couldn’t feel my body; it was like I was I a stranger’s skin. “What’s happening to her?” someone asked. I could hear again. “I don’t know, I just thought she would have a panic attack like Philip had,” another said, I think it was Anishu.

“She grew up with that life, you don’t just remove it. That life bonded with her she was the life with Philip it was like uprooting a weed for her it’s like soup. You can’t just remove the ingredients,” Ragnar told them sounding extremely calm compared to the rest.

“We’ll have to take her to the hospital room,” he said and I felt myself floating but I couldn’t feel anyone holding me but I knew someone was, I could hear the fast beating of a heart almost as if it was right next to me and breathing, I could hear loud breathing.

I woke with alarm but I don’t remember going to sleep. My breathing quickened and Ragnar began to recite something in his lyrical voice and almost instantly I was breathing normally. “What happened?” I asked in a raspy voice.

He made a glass of water appear in my hand and I almost dropped it. He gave me one of his silent orders and I complied drinking the water. “I was abused?” I asked the word sounding foreign on my tongue. “Yes just like Philip,” he nodded. “The only difference between the two of you is that Philip was aware you weren’t,” he told me leaning into his chair.

“I’m going to sleep now, if you want something Tiberius is just outside,” he informed. “Don’t stray too far from the room as you were told earlier not everyone here is pro-human,” he ordered. I state glued to my spot.

It was much more painful knowing what they did to me was wrong. Life was better when I didn’t when I thought that was the correct way to go about with life. Now that I do know it’s wrong I have no idea what to do with myself.

What if these people just told me it was wrong just so they could be crueller. What if this was just some sadistic game. Like the games I had killed hundred and I was proud of myself but was killing really wrong.

It was just sending a soul to its resting place. That’s why people like Ragnar were considered martyrs. They had shed so much blood in those fields. Just because the family would be deprived of that family member didn’t mean it was bad.

Grief is just selfish anyway. You’re only crying because it affects you in some way and you’re angry that this person left you. Shouldn’t you be happy for them that they got to die on a field doing something they love and now they get to go to their happy place? I was happy for my brother when he died on the field even though my mother went hysteric and committed suicide.

I remember he told me that I might never be as great as Ragnar but I should kill as many bastards as I can. He used to tell me this before his every match and put his necklace around my neck. It was a chain that had one of their fangs, for his first kill.

I took it and added my own fang for my first kill to it. They took it away from me, one day I had forgotten to hide it once I was off the field and when one of them took me to their tent they saw it and confiscated it.

O was devastated that night and made a vow to my dead brother. I would use his sword to kill more people than Ragnar did and I had accomplished that. Now I was going to have a ceremony to honour it.

Tiberius walked into the room and almost jumped when he saw Ragnar’s sleeping form. He tilted his head towards the door and I followed him out. I was glad I was still in the leather pants and tank top. I looked at all the scars I had on my arms. I adored these scars they were a reminder to everyone that I was a survivor.

“Is he asleep?” Tiberius asked me and I nodded. His eyes widened in disbelief but he dismissed it. “Anishu here wants to apologise,” Tiberius smiled. “Apology declined,” I said and Tiberius’ eyes widened.

“Everything was black and white for me until you came and you blurred everything and maybe one day I’ll go mad and thank you but for now I resent you,” I sneered. Anisha smacked his head and he pouted in response.

“I thought-” he started but I held my hand up for him to stop. “You might say something smart and I’ll forgive you I don’t want to be that person who can be easily wavered,” I told him.

My scars were a proof that I survived but they weren’t proof that I had lived.

“Ragnar talked about a scarring ceremony, do you still want one?” Philip asked. I nodded a yes and he hooked his arm with mine just like he had previously done. “We’ll throw you one to remember,” he smiled at me.

“Walk with me,” Philip said. “Ragnar ordered me not to stray too far from the room,” I said my voice suddenly losing all the confidence it had two seconds ago. I looked up to that man like a God. He was my idol and I praised him more than I praised the actual Gods.

“We won’t stray too far,” he assured. We started walking and he started talking. We ran into that blonde lady and a tall dark skinned man. “There she is,” the blonde sneered. Everybody here was significantly taller than me. I felt unsafe around this lady and I needed my blades to feel safe.

“You know we grew to stand you because Ragnar is madly in love you and you’re only half human but her on the other hand she is fully human,” the blonde said her long nail trailing the side of my face. “You want a scar I’ll give you one,” she sneered her nails turning into claws.

Philip had a knife in his holster but she was Tiberius’ girlfriend could I hurt her? I got over my nerves and snatched the blade but before I could do anything productive with it the big guy held my wrist. He squeezed my wrist so hard my bone broke. Pain is all in the mind. Apparently not for everyone because Philip was praying to Ragnar and making promises to never spank him again if he didn’t want to be spanked, he begged Ragnar to appear otherwise I’d be deader than a corpse and I didn’t know that was possible.

Ragnar appeared and the two big people were choking on their own breaths. Ragnar’s eyes were black. “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING PHILIP?” he growled his voice changing from lyrical to super intimidating.

Philip shrank and Ragnar’s features softened. “I’m sorry,” he apologised almost as if regretting everything. “It’s okay,” Philip assured stretching his hand out for Ragnar to take and he did. Relief washed over Ragnar and I was curious.

They seemed to have their own language, something that only the two understand. The two were knocked out called. Tiberius appeared running. He looked at his girlfriend and rolled his eyes. “What did she do?” he asked his voice rising at an alarming rate.

“Is she the one who did that to you?” he growled pointing at my hand. “No it was the big guy,” I told him. “She tried to stop him but he shoved her to the wall and when Ragnar came to stop him, his power overflowed and both of them passed out,” I lied. Philip gave me a questioning look.

“Really?” he asked relief washing over him and I narrowed my eyes at Philip daring him to disagree. “Yeah even I was shocked,” he chuckled. Tiberius carried his female and left the big guy on the floor. “Is no one going to help him?” I asked pointing to his big body that was slumped against the wall.

“No one was going to help either of them if you hadn’t lied,” Anishu said and left, Anisha following. I fixed my broken hand by replacing the bones and something flashed in Philp’s eyes.

I couldn’t carry him so I dragged him to the infirmary. Philip wanted to help but Ragnar stopped him and nodded at me continue. I smiled in thank and continued to drag the big guy. Tiberius was kissing his blonde girl and I smiled in satisfaction then once big guy woke up I helped him get to his feet.

He was leaning on me and I was leaning on the walls. I put him on a bed and he lied down. I started heaving because he was extremely heavy. “Why are you here?” I asked in between breaths. “What do you mean?” he groaned shifting to lie on his back.

“Anisha and Anishu won’t go to society because they are siblings in love. Ragnar is in love with a man not to mention he’s human. Tiberius is sick of the way his kind treat humanity so he came here and the blonde follow. Malachi and his wife can’t have children so what’s your anomaly?” I asked.

He looked at me with green eyes and that’s when I realised what his anomaly was. “You’re a hybrid,” I gasped. “Part angel, part demon,” he nodded. “Can I see your wings?” I asked. I heard they’re supposed to blood red.

He stood up slowly and I heard a few cracks before they spurt out of his back. I didn’t even have to ask and he nodded. I touched his soft blood red feathers. “They’re so beautiful,” I gasped. Something flashed in his eyes and what happened next shocked me.

“Want to fly?” he asked. I choked on my spit and stupidly pointed to myself like there was somebody else in the room. He nodded and I think I saw fear flash in his eyes. I nodded before he could change his mind.

He outstretched his hand to me and I took it. We appeared in field and he took me in his arms before flapping his wings and we were in the air. I was awe struck by the view and I didn’t understand why they didn’t fly everywhere but then they could teleport so it made sense.

We flew over a body of water and I couldn’t resist so I let my hand touch the water and I did something I didn’t even know I had the capability of doing I giggled. It was foreign do I stopped but then started again. He stopped by the shore and we were completely wet.

“That was so cool,” I giggled and he chuckled. “We should go back,” he muttered. “I want to stay outside a while,” I said and he nodded. I sat on the soft black sand of the beach. I enjoyed the way it felt in between my toes and fingers.

“Don’t your scars bother you?” he asked after being quiet for so long. “No,” I smiled. “They’re proof that I am a survivor,” I told him a proud smile on my face. “Your blood red wings are the same, not most hybrids survive after birth,” I said. He nodded and I left him to chew on my words.

It was slowly getting dark. “Ragnar’s going to think I killed you let’s go,” he chuckled outstretching his hand. I took his hand and we appeared in the family room where Ragnar was sitting with a book and Philip on his lap.

“Thank God you’re back, Ragnar started to think that maybe you killed her,” Philip rolled his eyes. Ragnar seemed extremely relaxed and it was Philip who seemed distraught. “Tell them Ragnar,” Philip said looking at Ragnar expectantly.

“There’s lunch for the both of you in the fridge,” Ragnar said flipping through his book. Philip pouted then went to sit on Ragnar’s lap. He closed his book and pouted in an attempt to get Ragnar’s attention. Ragnar was enjoying it but he didn’t give anything away. I shook my head at them and went to the kitchen where the fridge was.

The blonde was there sitting on the counter. “I can’t thank you enough for what you did Mia, and I hope that we’re now on good terms,” she said hopefully. I smiled and nodded. What she did next surprised me more than flying with the big guy, she hugged me then pressed her nose to my fore head and I did the same.

“My name’s Aphrodite by the way,” she smiled and left. “I don’t understand why she was named after the goddess of love either,” he shrugged. “My name’s Thanatos,” he said and I nodded in acknowledgement.

I got the two plates out and warmed them in the microwave. “Do you want to eat with me?” he asked and I nodded. “You haven’t talked in a while,” he stated as I quietly ate my chicken and bread. “I don’t have much to say,” I told him and he just nodded.

“Want to hear a story?” he asked and I nodded. I’ve always enjoyed stories; you got to live the life of another person and got to enjoy their happiness. You get to see different realms with different gadgets. I once heard a story of an old human realm they had things like laptops and cell phones, it sounded very in advanced but to them it was.

He told me a story of a boy who never listened to his mother. He said the little boy despised his mother so much because she never allowed him to go outside. So one day he thought if he had the disability to disobey all her other rules why couldn’t he disobey this one. So he opened the door and her voice echoed in his head ‘Don’t leave the house, for you are a pure gem and pure gems shouldn’t be tainted’. He opened the door and left. He walked for a while until he reached a little village market. The people spat at him and abused him. The poor boy didn’t understand so he ran home. He was crying and he told the mother what happened. She wasn’t furious with him instead she cried. She started throwing prayers to people and a man with a scar across his face appeared and answered her prayer. The boy never saw his mother again.

“That was tragic,” I frowned. “No not really, it benefited the boy,” he assured with a smile. “That was you wasn’t it?” I asked and he nodded. “You’re quite smart,” he chuckled and I shrugged in response. “You feel as if you owe your life to him,” I said and he nodded.

“Time for training,” Ragnar announced. I stood up and followed, Thanatos on my trail. Everyone was there for the training well except Philip who just sat by a chair and eyed Ragnar like a paedophile which I assume is wrong considering Ragnar is older so maybe a reverse paedophile.

We did the usual drill, the jogging then the sparring. I was paired up with Tiberius who was going way too easy on me so I had to remind him I had killed hundreds and I was capable of handling a little challenge. After me pinning him down with more force then necessary to rile him up he finally gave in and fought. I missed the rush of this, swinging my sword and the intimacy of having a one on one opponent. The only difference was that this opponent wasn’t leaking fear instead it was just fun for the both of us.

“You’ve got skills,” Aphrodite smiled. “Mind if I?” she asked rising up her sword. I nodded and we clashed our swords together then began. It was just a warm up just aimlessly swinging swords then it became competitive. My sword clashed with her multiple times then I accidently cut through her flesh. Her eyes flashed red and Tiberius rushed to her side. She hissed in pain and I dropped my sword I couldn’t hold it in my hands anymore it burnt my skin.

My breathing began to quicken and I did something I haven’t done in a while I ran. I ran away from the scenario I just run till my lungs burnt and my legs couldn’t carry me anymore which wasn’t a good idea because I ended up lost in a forest.

I had killed hundreds of people and felt an overwhelming sense of pride and I cut this one person and suddenly I felt filthy. “It’s confusing isn’t it?” I heard Ragnar’s voice asked. I jumped up and turned to face him.

“You can’t believe you hurt her and you’re afraid she might not make it,” he stated. “Are you still reading my mind?” I asked and he shook his head. “I was in a similar position once,” he sighed. “I hurt Philip,” he said and he sounded as if he was in physical pain.

“How?” I asked. “He had just come to our camp and he was being difficult, they told me to discipline him. I whipped him once and the moment he hissed and fell to the ground crying it just felt wrong. I felt shattered and confused I didn’t know what was right and what was wrong. I looked at Philip and realised he was just as much a person as we were and he might not have angel blood but that doesn’t make him a lesser being,” he told me.

“I could’ve killed her I wanted to,” I whispered out the last part. “I still have those urges too,” he admitted with a chuckle and ran a hand through his hair. “Sometimes I fantasise running my sword through all of them,” he smiled bitterly.

“All of them except Philip,” he admitted. I smiled at that, it was love in its purest form and I couldn’t help but adore it.

“I’ve been killing my whole life and it never occurred to me that it was wrong,” I muttered. “You know the worst part is, I still want that scar in fact I want to kill more so I get a scar that reaches the base of my neck,” I chuckled.

“I won’t lie to you that the bloodlust goes away, it doesn’t you just learn to live with it,” he told me. “I appreciate your honesty and your hospitality,” I smiled at him. “I take every chance I can to help,” he said. “Let’s go back,” he ordered and I got up to follow him.

I had actually run a long while. “Go sleep,” he said and I nodded. I got lost a few times considering how big the mansion is until I slammed into a hard chest. I looked up to see Thanatos towering over me an apologetic look on his face.

“Are you lost?” he asked and I nodded. He smiled and led me to my room. “If you ever get lost just say my name three times and I’ll appear,” he told me. “Really?” I asked in disbelief. “Yeah it’s a summoning so I might choose to answer or not,” he shrugged. I nodded and was about to go back into my room but he stopped me. He looked into my eyes with green eyes that held promise but promise of what I had no idea.

He pressed his lips to my forehead and my breath hitched in my throat. He waved me goodbye and left me to think about that for the whole night. I couldn’t sleep at all. He had just declared love for me and I had only spent a few hours with him. No one in their right minds does that.

Was he perhaps insane? All that abuse in his childhood must’ve affected him somehow maybe it affected him negatively. There was a knock on my door and I almost jumped out of my own skin. I chewed on my lip as I went to open the door; behind it there was Philip and wolf onesie holding a teddy bear.

“Ragnar can’t sleep because of the energy you’re radiating,” he informed. “Oh I’m sorry,” I muttered. “Is there something wrong?” he asked entering and making himself comfortable and laying on my bed. “He won’t be able to sleep until you calm those nerves of yours,” he muttered rubbing his temples.

“I’m sorry I just can’t,” I sighed. I was aware that he wouldn’t leave any time soon so I went to the walk-in closet and searched for something comfortable. I found a pair of dark blue cotton shorts and a big t-shirt.

There was another knock on my door and I went to open it. There was a dishevelled Ragnar on the other side who looked like he was crying. He was wearing the exact same onesie as Philip and I swear I would laugh if he wasn’t so distraught.

“It’s for you,” I muttered wide eyed. He just lied there until Ragnar sniffled and he rose up to go to him. “I’m so sorry I shouldn’t have left you,” Philip said now in tears. I was bloody confused and I don’t think I wanted to be unconfused.

I left giving the couple space. I went to the kitchen and almost jumped when I saw a figure looming in the dark. I switched on the lights and discovered that the looming figure was Thanatos. I switched off the lights and attempted to flee but he started talking.

“I must’ve made things weird huh?” he asked and I could see him moving up to sit on the counter. I wanted to lie and say no instead I just sighed and sat on a bar stool. I looked outside and rubbed my temples. “If I tell you it was an accident and I wanted to press my nose to your forehead, can we pretend it never happened?” he asked sounding extremely hopeful.

I wanted to but could I really just get over that? “Sure,” I said in wavering voice and I really wanted to slap myself. “Goodnight Mia,” he said and left the kitchen. I was left to look at the view the glass wall had to offer. The stars twinkling in the pool and the moon’s beautiful reflection.

I drank a glass of milk and decided to go back to my room. I wish I hadn’t because there were too naked fully grown males cuddling in my sheets. I closed the door and roamed the house until I reached the training room. Tiberius was there hitting the punching bag like it slept with his girlfriend.

The moment I entered his eyes snapped to me and I froze in my position. His hair clung to his face perfectly and his muscles bulged beneath his shirt. I’ve never noticed how attractive he was even though I lived with him half of my life.

“Can’t sleep?” he asked and I nodded. “I’m sorry about Aphrodite,” I muttered. “It’s okay she’s fine,” he said through gritted teeth. I should leave before he hits me he seems pretty vexed. “Don’t worry it’s not you,” he said slumping to the floor. He patted the space beside him an indication for me to sit.

I moved over and sat beside him. I scrunched my nose a little. “I know I smell,” he said rubbing himself on me. I shrieked and jumped away. He laughed at my reaction and sighed sadly. “She’s been cheating on me,” he choked out. My eyes widened in disbelief that was impossible.

They seemed so in love not as in love as Anisha and Anishu or Philip and Ragnar or Malachi and his wife but in love nonetheless. “When you ran the sword through her, her body had healed but she wouldn’t come back so I had to get inside her head and I saw her with Thanatos,” he explained a bitter smile on his face.

“I thought we had something like Philip and Ragnar have,” he chuckled bitterly. Nobody has whatever goes on between Ragnar and Philip that is just unique special and only befits them. For some reason I felt betrayed by Thanatos as I chewed on my lower lip.

“She denied it though until I used our bond against her and she just spilt everything. Tomorrow I’ll severe it but the sadder thing is I don’t want to,” he said now laying on the training mat. A bond between angels was sacred it meant they were to be together for eternity. Severing a bond was worse than cutting your leg off. Other people didn’t survive because they were still clinging onto each other.

“Are you sure?” I asked before I stopped myself. “No,” he said and tears fell from his eyes. He rubbed his face and chuckled sadly. “You can’t cheat in an angel bond unless you’re in love with another or you’ve stopped loving your other half,” he told me. This was something I knew. I just don’t understand I was pretty sure she was madly in love with him I could see it in her eyes.

“What if it was you who caused the rift?” I asked chewing harder on my lower lip. He frowned and it looked like something clicked in his head. It wasn’t Aphrodite, I was sure of that. You could tell she’s clearly in love with Tiberius.

“Maybe it was me,” he frowned. “Her hatred for humans,” he muttered then sat up to hug his knees. She barged in her blue eyes holding fear then her eyes landed on me and it turned into anger. “You’re with her?” she shrieked pointing at me. Was I missing something?

“What’s wrong with her?” he asked his eyes turning red. “Is that honestly a question?” she scoffed. “You’re the one who cheated,” he growled. Angels had two sides, the one in your dreams and the one in your nightmare with claws, fangs and a bloody tail.

I’ve only seen that side of an angel once and it was when I showed up at out camp and the instructor was mad that they sent him a human. It was rumoured that there was only one angel who didn’t have that side because he was pure angel, Ragnar.

“Aphrodite don’t,” Thanatos shouted entering the room. The moment Tiberius’ eyes met Thanatos’ all hell broke loose. Tiberius went for Thanatos, it was a bloody battle and Thanatos was losing badly. Aphrodite was now in tears trying to remove Tiberius from Thanatos but failed then she turned to me her eyes turning into slits.

“This is all your fault,” she sneered. Once again I had no weapon and the weapon’s rack was too far away from me and if I did take a weapon I might just kill her. “Before you came Tiberius and I were happy.” Her nails were now replaced with razor sharp claws. She had a weapon if she can get close enough with me I can plunge it into her heart and she’ll heal. That’s if her blades are made out of metal and not fire stone.

I couldn’t take the risk so instead I closed my eyes and tried the summoning thing.

”Ragnar”

“Ragnar”

“Ragnar”

I opened one eye and searched for him but he wasn’t there. I was about to try again but a hand clamped my mouth. “Never do that again,” I heard his threatening voice say. “I have two minutes before Phil wakes up and realises I’m gone,” he said.

I heard him grunt meaning he had seen the current situation. I popped up in my room with Philip still sleeping blissfully ignorant to what’s happening in the training room. “I’ll replace the beddings and teleport us out. Your door is warded and will only allow Philip and I to enter and leave.” He said then disappeared with Philip and the sheets. New sheets and a blanket appeared they were red with grey pillow cases and a grey duvet with red flowers that looked gorgeous.

I got into the sheets and laid my head on the pillow. To say I was shaken was an understatement. I didn’t understand what just happened out there. I closed my eyes and willed myself into a dreamless sleep.

Ragnar woke me up for training and we did the usual. I had breakfast with both Ragnar and Philip who chatted most of the time. I spent the whole day with them and then they said I could go to my room. I took the opportunity and rushed to my room. In my room Tiberius was sitting on my bed and I would’ve scream but that would bring too much attention to me.

“What are you doing here?” I asked. I was aware I was shaking. “You’re afraid of me,” he stated. “No,” I denied. It was true I wasn’t afraid of him I was afraid of what he could do if I angered him just like she had.

“Please leave,” I said trying to keep my voice firm. “We severed the bond last night, turns out she’s in love with Thanatos,” he frowned. “Please leave,” I said again. He sighed then vanished. I was too terrified to live in this house. I was beginning to wish I was still with the creepy couple.

Anything was better than this gut wrenching fear. She was out for blood yesterday, my blood. I couldn’t do anything about it. I would feel safer if I had a blade but Ragnar said it’s much safer if I don’t. At this point I don’t care if I went savage and murdered them all I just needed reassurance that I was safe.

Ragnar appeared in my room with Philip by his said. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Philip smiled lying on my bed. “We’re not here to stay,” Ragnar said mostly telling Philip who was now entering my sheets. He pouted and Ragnar just turned his attention to me. “Here’s a sword.” He handed me beauty, I pulled her out of her case and caressed the silver metal that made her that had gold in its centre, her handle made of a material I had only ever made of a material I had only ever dreamed of touching, goblin horns. They were priceless and gorgeous and extremely rare considering only one out of fifteen goblins had horns.

I was taken by this sword. I look to Ragnar almost as if asking for permission and he just nodded slowly. I stood and began to swing her. She already felt like an extension of me and I had bonded with the precious item. “I made her myself, dragon’s breath from Semiria, goblin horns from the north, the gold was from Elvelyn and the silver was melted from sun’s flame,” he said and for once I could make out the tone in his voice as prideful.

“I can’t except her,” I whispered. “You’ve earned her; if you had the opportunity surely you would’ve made a sword filled with more meaning than the one I made filled with riches.” That’s where he was wrong this sword did have meaning and I did not deserve her.

If I were to make a sword, I would make it silver with my brother’s ashes so that every time I take a life, he takes it with me. Family bonds never break even after death. “She is yours to keep, eventually over time she will become a part of you,” he assured and I simply nodded. “Thank you.” He just gave me a nod of acknowledgement and gave Philip a look that only he seemed to understand as he smirked wickedly and took Ragnar’s hand and they both disappeared from my room.

I admired my new sword and slashed at the air with her. There was crushed fire stone in here but he didn’t say it. I knew why he gave me a sword with the ability to kill his kind. It was an act of trust and warning.

I put her back in her case and slept with her close to my chest.

The next day was exciting. Ragnar and I sparred and I got to use my new sword and it was exhilarating. He let me win a couple of times but knocked me down most of the time. Tiberius entered the training room a few minutes into our fifteenth spar. He said for a human my stamina was abnormally high but he didn’t give me one of those pat on the back looks he just had his usual passive expression on.

I was serious this time, focusing on my opponent with a new set of eyes. I had observed his movements so I mimicked them to anticipate his next move. That was until the rush I had disappeared and my hand sizzled.

Pain was all in your mind

 An illusion created to remind you of your limits,

 To remind you, you are just a sack of flesh and bones and you have the ability to perish

 Just like your enemy

I almost tore through Ragnar but I was stopped. I dropped my sword and looked at Ragnar who maintained his usual stoic expression but Philip was freaking out. “Why did you just let her do that?” he asked. “She has no self-control,” he muttered. “She failed her test.” Philip rolled his eyes and punched him in the chest but Ragnar didn’t even flinch until he realised Philip’s hand was broken and that’s the real reason why he was currently biting his lower lip.

“Don’t touch me! if your suicidal I get to be suicidal too. What if Tiberius wasn’t here and she ran that sword through you?” he asked taking away his hand when Ragnar wanted to heal it. “You promised you wouldn’t leave, why would you do that to me?” he asked through tears. He rubbed his eyes furiously and left the training centre. Ragnar disappeared not short after leaving me alone with Tiberius.

But unlike your enemy

You will not be the one to bleed

Your blood will not be the one soaking the earth

Your blood will be the one sizzling with victory

Your blood will be the one coursing through your veins

Your blood will be the one singing with the Gods

 

 

 

 

 

 

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