• Reign of False Kings
    Chapter Four: Pride

    The door opened the next morning. It was the young boy that had lead the pair to the bath the night before. The curly haired boy peaked around the edge of the door. Around his neck he wore a silver collar similar to those that Lucian’s newest captives wore. “Excuse me,” he managed to stutter, not quiet sure if the two of them were awake. His faded brown eyes wandered around the room to Aran sitting in the chair and to Luca who was curled up in the bed. To his surprise, the man in the chair had his eyes already open and watching the frail boy.

    “Does he ask for us,” he guessed, his voice tired.

    He jumped a little, moving all the way into the room and bowing his head. “I was told to bring you to breakfast…” He shrunk back as the young prince rose from his seat and stretched. He could only wonder what Lucian had told him about them.

    The prince drew his gaze away from the child, hands still picking at the flesh beneath his collar like he had been all through the night. The skin was torn and red, small flecks of dried blood here and there.

    Aran walked over to where Luca still snoozed in the bed and prodded her. She rolled over, trying to escape from the offending poke. She opened her eyes slowly then sat up almost immediately, trying to familiarize her surroundings. The memories of the past few days came back to her and she groaned and fell back into the pillows. “Why would you even wake me. I’d rather sleep through this whole ordeal..”

    “I imagine you would rather it me then our owner,” the royal replied.

    “He is not my owner,” she spat.

    The young boy shifted slightly. “We should really hurry.”

    The pair looked at one another before the grumbling general finally pulled herself out of bed. The boy turned and led them down the long corridor, three pairs of feet padding quietly on the hardwood floors. It was an odd change from being escorted by a burly guard to being lead along by this frail, almost sickly looking child. Lucian wasn’t worried about them escaping, Aran realized as he looked down to his still shackled wrists and ankles. Because he knew that they couldn’t.

    The child stopped in front of a heavy set of large doors. He opened them slowly and gestured for the two of them to enter. He, however, made no move to follow. “Master’s waiting for you in there.” With a twinge of apprehension, the pair stepped into the large dining hall. A grand table filled with sweet smelling foods was before them and at the head sat none other then the haughty slave owner himself.

    “Do sit down,” he offered with a grin, talking as if the two were normal people for just a moment. “I have a feeling the both of you must be starving.” He motioned at the chairs aside of him. They took the seats, Luca scooting away from the smiling man as she did. He looked up to the door where the young boy still stood.

    “Come,” he ordered.

    The boy scurried to his side, sitting with his legs beneath him at the side of his master’s chair. Lucian tousled the boy’s hair affectionately before looking back up to the former prince and general.

    “You’re welcome to anything at this table. I can’t let my favorites go unnourished.”

    Luca didn’t look at him, but instead fixed her gaze on the small boy leaning into his master’s caress. She grimaced. What happened to a person that they were reduced to nothing more then a household pet? It disgusted her that someone would submit their freedom to another. “I want nothing,” she said flatly. Her stomach pulsed as if on cue. It had been a while since she last ate but she wasn’t about to give in to this man because of carnal desires.

    Aran looked at the display before reaching out for a small loaf of bread. He had none of Luca’s fiery pride; it was lost the moment his exile was announced. It was foolish anyway. The important thing was to survive and that wasn’t going to work if he were too hungry to think or move.

    He began to eat methodically; bread then water. As he did, he glanced over at Luca. Her arms were held in her lap, eyes still tamed on the submissive child at Lucian’s side. “Your pride will cost you someday,” he whispered quietly. She looked to him out the corner of her eye, the look of disgust not leaving her features.

    “I’ll believe it when it happens. I’m not eating this b*****d’s food.”

    His gaze lingered on her for only a moment longer before going back to his food. If the general was fool enough to starve herself and weaken her body then it was entirely her own business. He, however, would give no more advantage to the sadistic man who watched him.

    “If you are done,” Lucian spoke. “I have other things I’d like to attend to.” He smiled as he spoke, amused at the curious and worried faces the two captives wore. The slave owner stood, kicking the boy aside who scurried out of the way and hurried to stand up right. “Come,” he addressed the pair. “Or I can have a guard ‘escort’ you, if you would rather.”

    Lucian turned and began to walk out into the hall, the boy following at his heels like an obedient little dog. Faced with no other real option, the pair followed as well.


    The young boy closed the door behind him as he left, leaving Lucian and his two new pets within his room. The pair looked around the room with wide eyes. It was elegantly dressed, though not a surprise. What caught both their gazes, though, was the wall on the far side of the room. It was decorated with various devices, chains, whips. The man laughed at the way they tensed. He moved over to the wall, grabbing a narrow rod and tapping it in his palm with a sastisfied look.

    "You two are such fun to watch," he cooed, his smirk growing as the pair moved back a step for every one he took towards them. Luca was the first to hit the wall, wincing when somthing prodded her back. She turned to look. There were metal loops built into the wall, a legnth of chain dangling from each.

    "Curious?" She whipped back around to find the metal tip of the rod pointing at her throat. She swallowed, much to her owner's amusement. He reached past her head with his free hand, hooking the end of the chain the the back of her collar. By the time she knew what was happening, it was too late. She jerked against the bonds but only succeded in nearly choking herself. She reached to remove it but couldn't thanks to the shackles. Aran could only stare with his mouth slightly agape, the fear from before slowly seeping back into his frame. He began to move backwards but was halted by the rod as it moved dangerously close to his cheek.

    "Hand it to me," Lucian commanded, sadistic grin only growing at the fear in the royal's eyes. But he couldn't move, the prince feeling his entire body start to tremble. "I said, hand it to me." his voice deepened, the tip digging into the boy's cheek. A small whimper escaped the boy as he reached up with shaking hands to grab the chain. Lucian laughed and seized it from trembling digits, hooking it on the back of his collar. It was then he noticed the scratches and marks along the boy's neck. He paused, tracing the scars with the edge of the rod. Aran hissed and tried to escape the painful sensations. Lucian merely clicked his tongue. "You really shouldn't scratch at yourself, my pet. Though, you'll grow used to it soon enough."

    He smirked stepped back to take in the pair, beyond amused by their contrasting expressions. Luca was at the end of her leash, glaring daggers at the man while sparing some to the weak prince who was still trembling, his head bowed while his hands scratched almost frantically at his chained throat. So, the young royal didn't like chains. It would be easier to break him then he thought. His friend, however...

    "I haven't figured out how I'm going to break you yet," Lucian purred, fingering the tip of the rod. "Though I'm sure that it shall be great fun."

    Luca's face changed completely at the snide remark. Her entire body tensed and her hand clenched into fists. She pressed forward until she felt the pull of cold metal around her neck.

    "You won't!" she shouted angrily. "You never will! You think just because you paid money for me that I'm going to obey your every command?! Well, think again because I will defy you at ev-"

    A loud, resounding smack interrupted the red headed teen's outburst as Lucian backhanded her abruptly across the face.

    "Silence!" Lucian snapped coldly, livid with anger. He towered above the youth who was now on the floor, a hand pressed to her stinging cheek. Luca was silent, but her downcast eyes still burned with defiance.

    Lucian's narrowed gaze trailed from the girl back to the trembling prince, his cowering immediately bringing the smirk back to his lips. "But it looks as if it will all work out nicely, doesn't it?" He cupped the boy's cheek, lifting his face too look at him. Scared, cobalt optics stared back at him. "I'll have somebody to amuse me until you're ready." He leaned in to capture the boy's mouth in his own, the prince clenching his eyes shut but still too shaken to fight back.

    The owner laughed in his throat as he released the boy's lips, his eyes drawing over to the red headed girl once more. "What do you think of that?" he questioned, using the tip of the rod to lift her chin. "I'll run you down until you break, let your head fill with silly hope," he laughed. "Then break you again." She shook visibly but her fierce gaze never wavered. He grinned. "Good. Let's begin."