Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 22 ( Chapter 22 )
Whew, obviously the plot bunnies are in overdrive, another chapter done and I’ve already started the next one. I think I need a life….
Darc forced himself to eat breakfast the next morning. Just as he finished Erik and two guards came in.
They went to Miko's cell and Erik unlocked the door then put shackles on her. Once that was done the guards took her arms and led her away.
Erik came over to Darc's cell and unlocked the door. "We have a date with the healer. Get up."
Darc shrugged and tossed the empty bowl aside, luckily it was wood, it bounced instead of breaking, then stood up. He extended his hands and waited, staring right past Erik as if he didn't exist.
Erik studied Darc then smirked. He snapped on the shackles. "You aren't fooling me with this sudden obedience, half-breed You still hope a chance to escape will come, but it won't. Believe me, there's no escape, you might as well accept your fate. Come along."
Tara let them in and carefully washed Darc's cuts and reapplied the salve.
Just as Tara finished Devon walked in without bothering to knock. "So how is my valuable merchandise healing?"
Tara wiped her hands on a towel. "Quite well, the cuts didn't get infected, in fact they're starting to close and there shouldn't be any scarring."
"Excellent, you've done a magnificent job, Tara." He studied Darc and nodded. "I've decided to leave early tomorrow morning instead of the day after. I'm overdue for a night of leisure. Make sure you give Jared his instructions, so he can handle things while you act as my escort." He went to the door and opened it. Suddenly he stopped and glanced over his shoulder. "Take him to the bath house before you return him to the kennel. He needs another bath, he's starting to stink." He gestured towards Darc then left, closing the door.
Darc snorted, glaring after him. After another chilling bath he was returned to his cell just in time for lunch.
The other two Deimos were sullenly eating their food. They made quite a point of ignoring Darc's existence. However the Lupine did bare his teeth at him and growl.
Darc returned the gesture just to show he wasn't impressed or intimidated. After eating the food the servants had brought he retreated to his pallet for a brief nap.
A couple hours later Darc was awoken when Miko was brought back to her cell and locked in. She managed to smile at Darc.
Darc walked to the front of his cell and sat down. "Rough day?"
Miko sighed. "Sort of, how about you?"
Darc snorted. "A visit to the healer and the bath house. If I didn't know better I'd swear they were trying to freeze me to death."
Miko burst out laughing. " Poor you, stuck with cold baths."
A loud rattling and banging sound startled them both. They looked towards it.
The Lupine had leaped up, seized the cell door and shook it, causing the racket. He ignored Darc and looked at Miko. "How can you lower yourself to converse with that half-breed?"
Miko frowned. "What's wrong with him? We're all going to suffer the same end."
The Lupine glared at Darc in obvious disgust. "Half-breeds are nothing, but scum."
Darc snorted. "Watch who you're calling scum, Rover."
The Lupine snarled. "I'll tear you to shreds for that!"
Darc sneered. "How? You can't even reach me."
"Lucky for you, bastard." The Lupine looked coldly at Miko. "Very well, bitch, talk to the thing, who cares."
Miko hissed angrily at him. "No one asked you to interrupt, dog breath, so back off!"
The Lupine glared at both of them and snorted in disgust then stormed off to the back of his cell.
Miko sniffed and turned back to Darc. "Hmph, so where were we before we were rudely interrupted?" She sat down.
A rare smile appeared on Darc's face. He liked this spirited young Deimos, he had to admit it. "I don't think we were anywhere in particular."
Miko tipped her head, studying Darc intently. "That's the first time I've seen you smile. You have a nice one."
Darc snorted. "Haven't had a reason to smile."
Miko giggled. "So why are you now?"
Darc shrugged. "Maybe I liked watching you put Rover in his place."
Miko giggled even more at that. "I like your name for him." She shrugged then. "I guess he can't help it, Lupines are always arrogant and stubborn. It's just the way they are."
Suddenly a new voice broke into the conversation. "And what would you say of me?"
Surprised, Darc and Miko looked that way to see the fox Deimos had moved to the front of his cell and sat down.
The fox grinned. "Well, my so beautiful feline, what would you say?"
Miko regarded him thoughtfully. "I'd say that the Fox Deimos tend to be flirts and rogues."
The fox laughed. "And right you would be indeed."
Darc scowled. "So why did you decide to speak up now?"
The Deimos looked at him, but gestured to Miko. "Because this lovely lady is right. We are all to be enslaved, fighting each other is foolish. It matters little in the eyes of Humans that you share their blood. You have Deimos blood and that dooms you. But I forget my manners, my name is Farin."
Miko nodded. "I'm Miko and this is Darc."
"A pleasure to meet you both," Farin said gallantly, "especially you, lovely Miko."
Miko rolled her eyes at that then looked at Darc. "See what I mean? Flirts."
Miko yawned. "I'm so sleepy. We'll continue this conversation later. I need to take a nap." She stood and went to her pallet. "Good night, Darc, Farin."
Darc shrugged. "Good night, Miko."
"Sweet dreams, love," Farin said.
The servants didn't show up the next day with food until lunchtime, but Erik wasn't with them.
A younger man with no scars and black hair and blue eyes accompanied the servants as food was put in each cell.
Once the food was distributed a servant bowed to the stranger. "May we be excused Commander Jared?"
"You may," Jared said He stood in front of Darc's cell staring at him, ignoring the servants as they left.
Darc stared back at him defiantly. There was something about this Jared that Darc didn't like.
Jared unlocked the cell and came in, locking the door again. "I've been wanting a closer look at you. Stand up, slave."
Darc considered ignoring him, but decided against it. He stood up.
Jared grabbed Darc's right arm and studied the birthmark. "Interesting."
Darc scowled and pulled his arm away without thinking.
Jared promptly smacked Darc across the face. "I don't recall giving you permission to move, half-breed."
Darc growled before he could stop himself.
At that Jared smiled cruelly. "Erik warned me you weren't properly tamed yet. Perhaps I can change that." He grabbed Darc's right arm again and spun him around then slammed him face first into the cell's back wall.
Darc managed to avoid a broken nose by turning his head, but he was sure he'd have a bruise on his face.
Jared pinned Darc, so he couldn't move. "Master Devon decided you no longer need the healer. He told me so when he left this morning. That's bad luck for you." Suddenly he punched Darc hard in the kidney.
The breath was driven out of Darc and the pain made his knees buckle.
Jared let Darc crumple to the floor at his feet. "Now that is the proper place for a half-breed slave, at his master's feet. I'll be back later, you can count on it."
Darc managed to struggle up to his knees despite the pain.
Jared kicked Darc hard in the ribs, knocking him down again. He turned and headed for the door. Pausing, he kicked the tray, sending it and what was on it flying. "Clumsy of me, I guess you won't be getting anything to eat until supper." Laughing, he left the kennel.
Miko had seen everything. "That pig! Rotten bastard!" She rushed to the front of her cell. "Darc! Are you alright? Darc, please answer me!"
Darc tried, but he was to busy gasping for breath.
Farin eyed Darc with concern. "Give him time, Miko, he had the wind knocked out of him."
Darc took a deep, rasping breath and slowly got to his feet. He winced at the pain in his back and ribs. "I'll be alright."
Miko gave him a worried look. She longed to help him but there was no way for her to do so.
Supper was brought at the usual time, but much to Darc's relief Jared just allowed each servant into the cell to leave the food then followed them out, relocking the kennel door.
Miko frowned after him, but she was relieved as well. "He must have forgotten."
Darc doubted that was the case. He took a bite of the stew and his eyes widened. He choked, spit out the mouthful and started coughing.
Miko frowned in worry. "What's wrong?"
Darc glared at the bowl. "Hot pepper." He cautiously tasted the water and spit it out. "Bastard."
Farin cocked an eyebrow. "What?"
Darc snorted in annoyance. "Pepper in the stew and salt in the water, hilarious."
Miko shook her head. "That's just plain childish."
Darc pushed the tray aside. "Probably remembered he can't damage the merchandise. Starving someone a day or two won't cause visible damage, but beatings will."
Miko sighed. "I'm sorry, Darc. I wish I could help."
Darc shook his head. "You can't, so don't worry about it." He had plans for the inedible food and drink in the morning.
Jared and the servants arrived at breakfast time the next day. Food was taken to everyone else then Jared led the last servant toward Darc's cell.
Darc casually pulled the tray within easy reach and waited.
Jared unlocked the cell door. "Wait here " he told the servant and entered the cell. He looked at the untouched food then at Darc. He smirked and started to say something.
Darc didn't give Jared a chance. He pitched the tray at him.
Jared tried to duck, but he wasn't quite fast enough. The tray hit him, splattering him with water and cold stew before everything clattered to the stone floor.
Miko gasped and covered her mouth.
Farin took one look at Jared's face, which was rapidly turning purple with rage, and knew things were going to get ugly.
Darc knew it as well and quickly got to his feet, watching Jared warily.
Jared's hand clenched. "Oh, you're going to suffer for this, half-breed. I'll make you wish you were never born." He turned to the servant. "Go tend your other duties."
The servant girl blanched and quickly fled the building.
Jared turned back to Darc. "You just forfeited all your meals for today, but that won't be all. I promise you." He left.
Miko glared at Darc. "You're insane! I get the notion he's not going to be so concerned about damaging the merchandise now!"
Darc shrugged. "Believe me, tossing the tray at him is a lot milder than what I would like to do. I would have been glad to go for his throat just like I did to that bastard Rejak."
The Lupine suddenly let out a low rumbling laugh. "You've either got more nerve then I thought or you're an idiot, half-breed."
Darc scowled at the Lupine and snorted. "Oh, thanks a lot."
The Lupine laughed again and retreated to the back of his cell. He began devouring his food.
Barely an hour passed before Jared returned with two guards. He led them straight to Darc's cell and unlocked the door.
The guards entered the cell, seized Darc's arms and dragged him out. They pinned Darc's arms behind his back.
Jared stepped forward and clamped shackles tightly around his wrists then he led the way out of the kennel.
Miko and Farin exchanged worried looks, fearing what would happen.
Miko paced her cell, to worried to settle down. Supper had been brought an hour ago. The servants had been escorted by a lower rank guard.
Farin watched Miko pace. "You're going to exhaust yourself."
Miko sighed and paused. "I'm so afraid for Darc. Who knows what that vicious bastard is doing to him?"
Just then the kennel opened and Jared entered with the two guards who were literally dragging Darc.
Jared opened the cell and the guards dumped Darc inside. The three men left without a word.
Miko watched Darc intently, much to her relief he was breathing. It was obvious he'd been severely beaten. "Darc?"
Darc groaned as he slowly regained consciousness. " Damn it!"
Miko gave her cell door a shake. "You were stupid to provoke him!"
Darc would never admit it out loud. He was to proud for that, but privately he had to agree with her.
Suddenly the kennel door opened again and Tara hurried in followed by two guards and a sullen Jared who let her into the cell.
Tara took one look at Darc then whirled on Jared. “You idiot, how could you do such a thing when you know Master Devon didn’t want him damaged. I need him taken to my home, so he can be tended. He’ll need to be watched in case the damage is more severe than I think.” She gestured to the guards.
The guards lifted Darc carefully to his feet and took him out of the building. Tara gave Jared one last disgusted look then followed.
After a while Jared cursed and left too, slamming and locking the door behind him.
Milo hissed. “I hope Devon has his hide when he comes back.”
Farin nodded. “So do I.”
Alright, I now have learned not to say something is going to happen in the next chapter. This is the second time the chapter hasn't contained what I said it would. I had to do it, Darc isn't one to be meekly submissive for long! R/R Please!