Fade to White
Chapter Twenty Four
Every beat of her heart sent pain pulsing through her head, and Tryne groaned as her senses returned to her. Soft silk sheets rubbed against the skin of her arms, but the cords that bound her wrists together were hard and stiff.
“Good morning darling,” a male voice spoke, “or rather, I should say good evening.”
Opening her eyes, Tryne found that her vision was blurry and that she could see double of everything. The effect was nauseating and Tryne’s stomach churned, filling her mouth with bile. Closing her eyes again, she sunk back into the mattress, and after a moment, the feeling passed. Blinking and looking around, Tryne’s gaze settled on Nosaj sitting in an arm chair across the room polishing his sword, and her heart dropped.
Glancing at her, Nosaj chuckled. “Don’t worry my dear. I haven’t touched you at all.”
“What do you want with me?”
“In time you’ll know exactly what my intentions are.”
A lump rose up in Tryne’s throat and she forced it down with a swallow, then began wriggling her arms to get her hands free.
“I’m sorry I tied you up, but . . .” Nosaj tapped at the red lines on his face. “You’re a scratcher.”
“You deserve more than that for what you did to my mom!”
“Ah yes, that woman. What was her name again?”
“Alara, you swine.”
“I hope you realize that I did what I had to do. I felt so betrayed by her for deceiving me. All this time I thought she was running a business and helping out the economy, but then I find out that she was really a leader in a terrorist group. What’s more, she hid the fact that she had a beautiful daughter as well.”
“We are not a terrorist group! We are fighting against a corrupt dictator and working for the betterment of everyone’s lives.”
“Is that how you see it? Tell me, are my taxes too high? Is my justice system unfair?”
Tryne hesitated for a moment, before her answer came to her. “No one is allowed to speak what’s on their mind. Any person who speaks a word against you is thrown into jail for treason, and you have even gone so far as to destroy an entire village. Those are not the signs of a benevolent ruler!”
“Ooo, preachy.” Nosaj chuckled. “You must understand, my sweet, that there are actions a leader is sometimes forced to take in order to maintain peace among his subjects. Don’t you agree with me that there will always be people who are upset at the government, no matter what?”
Biting her lip, Tryne shook her head. “That does not justify what you have done.”
“I beg you to forgive me for changing the topic, but this is simply driving me crazy with curiosity. How did you manage to seduce Jerek? All his life he has never once shown any interest or desire in the amorous aspects of life, and now suddenly he’s supposedly in love.”
“I didn’t seduce him.”
“Oh, surely you did! You have accomplished in a week what our beloved Ramo had been trying to do for a couple years now. How did you do it?”
“I didn’t do anything! It just happened!”
“Tsk tsk, my dear. You aren’t going to give me a real answer? I’m disappointed.”
“Go burn in Hell. It isn’t even any of your business.”
Chuckling, Nosaj got up and crossed the room, grabbing Tryne’s chin with his hand and tilting her head to look into her eyes. “I think I understand a little now. It’s not that Jerek didn’t have in interest in sex at all, but instead his turn ons were different from the average man’s. I should have realized that sooner, since after all Jerek is far from being average.”
Glaring at Nosaj, Tryne recoiled away from him as he sat down on the bed next to her.
“Would you like me to tell you a story?” he said. “Well, even if you don’t I still want to tell it anyway. It’s my favorite story, after all. Twenty years ago I heard rumor about a young boy who had been born with hair as white as a cloud on a sunny day, and eyes that couldn’t decide which color to be so they were every color at once. I was intrigued. Did such a boy really exist? I wondered.
“I decided to personally investigate as an idea formed in my mind. If I could indeed find this boy, then he would make an excellent heir to rule over the Twelve Villages. He would be fearsome and mysterious, an enigma to all of his subjects and perfect in his unusual appearance as a ruler. I became enamored with the idea. I had to find that boy. Then finally, in the Garnet Village, I did. I regret to say that his parents wouldn’t give him up to me and I was forced to burn down their house with them inside, but I finally had my boy and I could start watching as my dream unfolded. Everything I have done with Jerek, my dear, has led up to this moment.”
“What do you mean?”
“Where would all the romance of the story be if I didn’t die? In order to pass on to becoming the perfect ruler, Jerek must slay me first. Only then will my vision be complete.”
“Yes, quite so.” Nosaj chuckled.
“And what did you want with me?”
Sweeping a lock of Tryne’s hair behind her ear, Nosaj patted her cheek. “I was going to rape you of course, but instead you got me story telling.”
Tryne jumped back away from Nosaj, falling onto the floor and scrambling to get to her knees. “Don’t you dare! I swear to God I will hurt you if you try!” she exclaimed as she began straining her hands at the ropes again.
Laughing, Nosaj stepped down and reached toward Tryne, but she snapped her teeth at his hand and he pulled away. “You have nothing to worry about, my dear. In light of once again vividly remembering my ambition, it seems that violating the girl Jerek loves would only corrupt the perfect story. Instead, we will wait here for him to arrive, and you will witness the events that take place, knowing that this was how I longed for it to be.”
“But what if after you die, Jerek decides he doesn’t want to be Commander and King?”
“Yes, I have considered that possibility, and at first it greatly perturbed me. But then I remembered the little rebel terrorist group that you belong to. He’d have two choices, either fight them or join them. Fighting them he’d be forced to take up my former position, and joining them they would regard him as a sort of savior and elect him to be their leader.”
“We already have leaders, that’s not going to happen.”
“Leaders like you?”
Tryne paused, pressing her lips together before replying, “Yes.”
Her answer made Nosaj laugh. “Just like your mother was?”
“I took over her old position.”
“Your mother was a pseudo leader.”
Blinking in surprise, Tryne mouthed to word “How.”
“She wasn’t in the loop, so to speak. She could barely answer my questions, and there were times she was blatantly lying. There’s a reason why I’m the Commander and King.”
“There’s a reason why our resistance group has existed for so long too.”
“I know. I have the nerve to collect taxes for the sole purpose of keeping the kingdom running. Bad me!”
“You destroy your own villages.”
“And this is where we come full circle.” Nosaj walked over and sat down in the chair, picking up his sword and starting to polish it again. “We don’t know how long it will be before Jerek comes, so if you feel inclined to take a nap go ahead and do so.”
Tryne glared at Nosaj as she leveraged herself to her feet then sat down on the edge of the bed. She felt confused. Nosaj didn’t seem to be the pure evil man she had always believed he was.