A/N: Thank so much to everyone who voted and commented on the last chapter. I want to warn you again this book will have 18+ situations, but I’m sure everyone has figured that out after reading the last chapter, Enjoy!
Note: Watershed – an event or period making a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs
I WAS SITTING IN the cart while my father rode on the horse, driving the wagon towards the Leverton manor. Next to me was his favorite violin, the one he always used to play at parties. Father only used the best instruments when he got jobs. He’d tell me that appearances were important to keep up, and the better he looked, the more performances he would get hired for. I remember it being sunny, and the scorching heat making me sweaty in my elegant, soft white, golden puffy dress. The manor was in the distance – wide, brick white and standing like luxury. There were ivory columns on each side of the black double doors, and the gardens in the front were always tended too.
“We’re almost there, sweetheart,” my father said to me, smiling.
I was kicking my legs when I smiled back at my father. I was excited about going to the party that night and seeing everyone dressed in their fancy attire. After a few more minutes had passed, my father reached the house, and the Leverton butler came to take the carriage around back, out of view of the impending party guest. The butler was the same shade as my father, dark, with skin black as a coffee bean. We walked to the double doors after that, when another, lighter, milk chocolate skinned woman opened the door. I started up at her while my father smiled, greeting her with pleasantries. It was hard to for me to comprehend all those years ago – people who looked similar to father and I were shades of brown and black, and mostly worked as servants.
The milk chocolate skinned woman smiled down at me, wearing her colorless simple servant gown, cap and apron. Father then ushered me into the mansion, with his violin in his other hand. I’d been to the Leverton manor during numerous visits in the past, but the high ceiling, open-spaced lobby always managed to astound me.
“Elena!” Seidon called to me, running up to my side and looping his arm around mine. He stared at me with his different color blue eyes, with a gleam of childhood naughtiness pooling within them. “Let’s go play!” He urged me.
I remember my father’s strong, authoritative voice cut in. “Now, Seidon, you know Elena cannot play right now. She need to keep her dress fit for tonight.”
Seidon groaned, “But I want to play.” He pouted.
I took a step back, unlooping my arm from Seidon’s grasp. “If father says no, I cannot play.” I obeyed my father, like I always did.
Seidon huffed, and then jumped when he heard the footsteps of his father approaching.
“Seidon, you are well aware that is no way to treat a young lady such as Elena, am I correct?” Dr. Leverton’s voice was scolding and proper sounding.
“Yes, father, “Seidon mumbled, lowering his gaze to the carol colored marble floor. Dr. Leverton then bent down; his dark brown eyes started into Seidon’s with a fatherly love.
“Now, go cleanup for tonight, it is rude to keep the guest waiting for their host.”
“Yes, father.” Seidon replied, starting to walk away. Dr. Leverton then rose up from the floor, walked over to my father and greeted him. I was not able to follow the talk of grown men back then, but it wasn’t until Dr. Leverton mentioned I was to eat with the servants in the kitchen during the party like always, when Seidon turned around in protest.
“I want to sit beside Elena tonight. Why must she always hide during dinners, father? Elena is a guest, just like everyone else!”
At that moment I was shocked at what Seidon had purposed. I never sat at the big table with the guest before. Usually it was just mother that did from our family, while my father performed during dinners. I sat away from everyone – in the kitchen – with the servants who resembled me. Dr. Leverton was speechless, along with my father. Seidon’s father ran a hand through his short hazel hair, while my father glanced at him. He stroked the brown stubble on his chin, and looked thoughtfully at Seidon.
He sighed, crossing his arms against his chest. “You are correct, Seidon. Elena is a guest, and as such, she should sit at the big table with everyone else.”
Seidon’s grin extended across his face, while I stood in shock. “Really?!” He beamed.
Seidon’s father only nodded. My father smiled, placing his hand on Dr. Leverton’s shoulder.
That night, for the first time, I sat at the big table, right next to Seidon. My father was playing on his violin, while my mother was conversing with the noble women at the table, across from me. I attempted to speak to my mother, curious and nervous over how to act, but she mostly ignored me, telling me to stay quiet and sit still. The other girls my age didn’t talk to me- only mostly scowled, and acted like they did not hear me- but Seidon placed his hand on mine; reassuring me everything would be alright. During dinner, I noticed that Seidon would stare at his water glass, lost in the clear liquid like it held a spell on him. I figured he was just bored like me, sitting at a table full of adults and only a few kids. The men engaged in conversation about politics, and the women about fashion. I sat quietly, eating my food, and ignoring the hated stares received by some of the guest. I drowned my nervousness out with the sound of my father’s smooth violin, thinking how he’d play a song for me before I went to sleep at night.
Once the party was over, and the guest had departed – including my mother who left father and me behind, to continue her evening with the noble ladies – I stayed in the big room, with Seidon. We pretended to dance like the guest after dinner, with our tiny fingers lanced together, and his hand on my back.
“You are a bad dancer, Elena.” He stuck his tongue out at me.
I scrunched my face, “You are supposed to lead, you are the man,” I countered.
Seidon rolled his eyes, and then kept dancing. My father then walked into the room, smiling at the two of us. I waved to him; he waved back, and walked up to Seidon.
“May I cut in?” My father asked, smiling.
Seidon nodded, “She is a horrible dancer though.”
My father simply laughed, and I glared at Seidon. Seidon stepped back when my father took my miniature tan hand into his rough, calloused dark one. He picked me up, spun me around, and I laughed. My father smiled, and danced with me in the dimly lit ballroom.
“You’re finally awake.” That same, deep masculine voice cut through my thoughts like a knife cutting butter. I flutter my eyelids, pondering the dream I just had. A part of me feels like I’d returned to life after descending from this world, but I never died. I am in a horrible living nightmare, wishing the events that happened were all a dream. Back then, at the place of smiles and laughter, I want to return. My eyes are groggy, and stingy from all the tears I had shed. I attempted to hold back the liquid from my eyes, but the salty tears flowed anyway, after I was left here alone, abandoned by the mysterious man.
I’m huddled against the cave wall, with my knees pressed against my chest, and my arms encasing me. The glint of the moonlight reflects across the shimmering now dark-blue water, sending beams of light across the moist rocky walls. I raise my eyesight slightly to the pool of twilight cobalt liquid, seeing the man leaning back against the center wall, with his arms crossed against his chest. His gaze is on mine, when I avert my eyes from him.
He remains quiet for a second, and then says, “Tell me your name.” He speaks slowly, like he was ordering me to answer him. I do not move my lips, and instead press my body further against the rocky wall, feeling the cool water soaking into my gown. His sight still on me, he sighs heavily, growing agitated with my lack of response.
A growl erupts from his throat. “I told you, I don’t like wasting time.” He lifts himself up from the wall, swimming closer to the edge of the rocks. His raven locks still remain wet, but don’t stick to his skin like normal hair would. As he descends towards the bank, the feeling of dread and anxiety courses though my now trembling form. My heart thumps against my chest, increasing with every movement the stranger takes. Breaths becoming labored, I curl my arms tightly across my legs, wondering, fearing that he will come ashore.
His lean, muscular arms and tone chest touch the rim of the solid, damp ground. He looks at me with his midnight blue, and sea-green pupils, scanning the expression on my face. My lips form a thin line, as I am determined to remain wordless. Is he is going to kill me? Or force himself on me? He spoke of fifteen days before, but maybe he doesn’t want to wait any longer. I think to myself, succumbing to the overwhelming thoughts of fear. I blink for a second, recalling the dream I had. I miss my father, but he’s gone… I miss Seidon, my friends, and Joe. My eyes trail his gaze back at me, I ponder, and I’m surprised he hasn’t exited the water. Before my tears flowed, I remembered seeing a fin above the water, too large for a fish. Maybe in my shocked state I was hallucinating, my mind showing me deception and lies.
“I won’t ask you again, what is your name?” He demands, in a cold, harsh tone lancing his deep, masculine voice. His narrowed slits bore into my chestnut eyes, growing impatient with me.
If he wants an answer, why doesn’t he come up to get me? Confusion floods through me, as I stare at him.
I part my lips slightly and say, “Why don’t you leave the water?” My voice came out quietly, like a hushed whisper. There is no point hiding fear I feel under his intimidating gaze. It is obvious something’s off about this man; I have yet to figure out.
His uninterested gaze stares at me, as I try to study the expression on his face. He tries to hold back emotions, but a certain glint in his eyes says otherwise.
“It’s none of your concern…” he pauses, “now, answer my question!” He roars, causing the water to ripple around him, like an unknown source of power radiating from his body.
I tremble and flinch to the sound of his thunderous voice. I squeeze the slits of my eyes shut, wishing to become one with the rocks against my back, to escape this nightmare. He growls again, quietly, and then louder. Out of fear of what he will do to me, I snap my eyes open, looking into his. His toned, lean muscular chest was pressed against the damp edge of land, with his arms – that matched the sculpted of his body – rested on the ground, against his sides.
It doesn’t matter if he knows my name or not, I am going to die here, if not sooner or later.
“Elena…” I speak in a soft voice.
The ravenette, multi colored eyed man arches his brow at me, calming the expression on his visage.
“Elena…pretty name.” He smirks at me, relaxing his body in the water and resting his head against the palm of his hand.
Looking into his eyes I see something, amusement maybe, or lust – I wasn’t sure. A cool breeze blows locks of hair into my eyes, but I do not remove them, and instead stare at the man through a curtain of brown tresses. The shimmering beams from the moon glow in his dark-blue and sea-green eyes, causing them to sparkle with a sea like radiance. Again, I am drawn to those shinning pupils, and I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s his high cheek bones, or his build, but truth is he’ll use me, or kill me.
I squirm a little, unsure if I should even respond to him. Complimenting my name – even though compliments are rare for me to receive – doesn’t soften the situation between us. “Just kill me already,” I say, attempting to hold back the turmoil in my voice and the tears in my eyes.
He sighs and then I presume, stands up straight again. As I watch him, I can only wonder how tall he is, or the depth of the water.
“You’re a strange one, not only in looks, but you seem to have an eagerness for death, why is that, Elena?” For only the second time, his voice is calm and he puts emphasis on my name.
“You’re going to kill me anyway, why wait?”
He scowls, “I believe I made myself clear already, I need a child…”
“Then why me? Why not another girl!” I raise my voice slightly, and then realize what I’ve done. Immediately, I lower my gaze to the soggy rocks beneath my feet.
He grunts, “Don’t think you’re anything special, I just needed to find a human female, any human. And you happen to be the one I caught,” he snarls.
It was just coincidence, all of this…this feeling, it’s the same…I recall my dream, my father’s smile, happy and loving towards me. Then it all disappeared when he left – mother got worse, Joe then came along. I used to wonder, is it all coincidence the flow of my life has went this way. Now I would be like my father, disappearing. There is no fate, just the flow of life we are given, why fight it.
“Though, catching you was amusing,” he snickers darkly.
I look at him confused.
“Whoever the idiot was, he swam fast trying to catch up with me. I must admit, I was surprised, only a few can match my speed in water.” His voice was cocky and proud, with lead more to my confusion.
Swimming? What man spends his time swimming in water, beside Seidon? Not even sailors or pirates do that.I muse over his words, trying to put together the puzzle I had become a piece of. Seidon attempted to save me, of course he would. Even now I wonder what he’s thinking about. Did he miss me? Did anyone miss me? The only one I knew who would miss me for sure was my mother. The loss of money tonight will enrage her. It’s better for me to be dead than to return home, but then I would be like my father, running away, disappearing without a word.
“He’s my…friend,” I say, referring to Sai.
“Oh,” he says curiously, tilting his head. “You are intriguing. A woman of your…kind…it’s not something I see often.” He shrugs. “Especially with a friend such as yours.”
I grimace, “You mean my skin color?” I ask in a soft tone.
“Yes, but it doesn’t bother me. You could say, I love all colors,” he says slyly, twisting his lips into a lustful smirk.
My body shudders at the thought, the same thought I had earlier, as I prepared my mental state for what should have been tonight’s work. If this man enjoyed the company of different women, then why need a child?
“…why do you need a child?” I ask.
His smirk drops to a frown, “You need not worry about that, when the time comes, your life will end but until then…”
A growl from my stomach cut him off. After everything that had happened, providing substance for my worn out body didn’t disturb me. The empty pit inside me growls once more, and images of food plague me.
The man sighs heavily and says, “I suppose I need to feed you, humph, maybe this will be fun…a pet I can fuck.” A demented smile tugs at the corners of his lips.
My mind becomes hazy, as my body signals me to feed it. I realize no matter how much I question him, he won’t tell me the answers I seek. First I was a servant to my mother, and now I am pet, and breeder to another. If he won’t be truthful about his intentions with me, maybe he’ll answer other questions.
“Will you tell me your name, at least?” I ask, cautious of what his answer will be. If I ask any more questions, I may enrage him further.
He looks at me with the same uninterested expression, almost as if he is deciding whether to answer or not.
Crossing his arms against his chest, his eyes change, hinting with a seriousness glint. “Assan,” he says bluntly.
I lift my head up from my lightly soaked white gown, repeating his name under my breath. Assan…
“That’s my name…” He says calmly, and turns from my direction, starting to swim away.
Quickly, I unfurl my body from it’s tight, crouched position and stand up. I may know my captors name now, but it changes nothing between us, or the way I view him. Watching him swim anyway makes me wonder, thinking back to what he said. I shouldn’t try to escape, but why? If he is gone, this could be my only chance.
Taking a few steps forward, I contemplate everything up to this point. Above me, the circular opening in the cave reveals the glowing beams of light, reflecting down on the pool of water and making the surrounding rocks glisten. Seidon could be searching for me along with Lucas and Mika. What about Joe? Mother would never hurt Joe…but…
In the distance I see the man still swimming away. I take a few steps forward, slowly. “Where are you going?” I ask, wanting to ensure he’ll be gone.
To my question he spins his head around. “I can’t have you starve, can I?” He scowls.
In fear, I take a step back and simply shake my head. With that, he turns his head back around, and continues to swim away. I look out for the blue fin, but this time I see nothing. When he is finally out of sight, I walk up to the edge of the pool, staring into its murky waters.
Standing before the water, I think of my dream – my father, Seidon, and my life outside of this cave. I know if I return now, my mother will hurt me, blame me for her lack of income for the night, but I also think of Joe. I don’t want to be like my father, disappearing without a trance.
Is it worth trying to escape? Assan said: There is only one way out, but I wouldn’t advise it. Still staring down at the dark-blue liquid, I bend my legs, and dip my hand into the cool water. I can only wonder – should I try to escape, or accept this fate?
A/N: It looks like we’ve finally found out the mysterious man’s name, Assan. What do you all think of that name? Did you enjoy the little past revealing the relationship between Elena and her father? Does anyone wonder what Assan could need a child for? Do you think Elena will try to escape? Could there be something in the water? Hmmm I wonder, and also, where is Seidon and the others?
I hope you enjoyed this chapter! I know it was slow, but I felt we needed to see a slowdown and some interactions between Elena and Assan. Please comment and review!