Across Time: Book One
Chapter 7 [Revision #1:
08/08/04 | Revision #2: n/a]
He expected his father to hit him in the face as soon as he got him alone. Surprisingly enough, Relandreau only wanted to speak with him. "I don't care how you feel about that boy-" He spat this out harshly. "-and I could care less if he loves you, or if you love him. The only thing that matters to me is the reputation of this family and having an heir to keep it alive."
Kilan stared at him. "What do you mean?"
Smirking, his father began walking towards the door of his study. "Think about it. I'm sure you're intelligent enough to figure it out."
As the door closed, a thought struck the young man. Would his father do something drastic?
Was the sky blue? "SHIT!"
Heart pounding, he literally ran from the room and back outside. Most of the guests were still on the grounds; some chatting, others apparently bored. The unfamiliar man he'd seen before was looking very worried and distraught.
"You're Sen's friend?" he asked him so suddenly that the other was startled.
He nodded. "Y-yeah. I'm Thad." His eyes once again moved to the house. "What's going to happen to him?"
"What?!" Kilan grabbed him tightly by his upper arms. "What are you talking about?!"
"Some men took him somewhere after you left. I don't like the way they looked when they did it. I would have gone along, but he made me promise to stay behind and tell you what happened."
Thoughts ran through his head at top speed. Did they hurt him? "Do me a big favor."
"Run upstairs and get our things. My room's at the very top and Sen's is at the end of the second floor hallway -- on the left from the stairs. Everything's already packed. If you need help talk to Krea." He pleaded with his eyes. "Keep everything safe until we can come for it."
Thad nodded. "I will. Both of you stay safe."
Fury unlike any he'd ever felt before filled his body with white-hot fire. Trained and schooled almost from birth, Kilan's natural emotional responses had been suppressed. As a result of not being able to express how he truly felt, years of anger toward his father built up. Now it was seeking a place to go, a way to escape, and would not be denied any longer.
"This is the last time that ignorant, overbearing asshole is going to ruin my life!" He growled deep in his throat, tail curling protectively around his narrow waist as his body naturally prepared itself for battle. A completely new feeling of adrenalin rushed through him, causing him to believe that he could handle anyone and anything. Saiya-jin instinct uncoiled within him like a great dragon, well-rested and ravenously hungry. All thought was focused on Relandreau, all urges desiring the same thing. The shadow of Death loomed over the unsuspecting man and doggedly stalked his every move.
A dark, vicious look spread over his once-blank face. Those who saw it during the search for the Lord of the Manor felt icy chills run through their bodies and sweat trickle down their spines. "That is the face of the Devil," some whispered. "No," said others. "That is the very face of Death itself."
Vegeta stopped reading here, unable to continue. Too many times before had he experienced the very same thing Kilan was going through. The former prince had been unable to tame the beast that raged within -- maybe he hadn't wanted to! -- and many things had happened that were later regretted. Involuntary tears squeezed past his closely guarded defenses as he remembered the past, his hands coming up to cover his shame.
Knowing what he was going through (and maybe even understanding a little), Goku spoke with the intent of easing his pain. "You aren't the evil person you proclaim to be. In fact, you never were." He kneeled before his mate and forcibly pried his hands away. Red-rimmed onyx eyes stared down into his own. "I could never love someone like that."
"No 'buts'! You aren't 'Vegeta: Murderer of Innocents' any longer. That was never the true you. My Vegeta is caring, thoughtful, loving..." He suddenly smiled. "And, of course, sexy as hell." The weak laugh he'd drawn forth eased the tension mounting in his body.
Vegeta wrapped his arms around Goku's neck in an impromptu, heartfelt hug. Through it he conveyed untold amounts of silent emotion, praying to gods he wasn't sure he believed in for the strength to say how he felt aloud.
"What of Kilandreau?" he asked softly. He feared for the young man's soul. Murder placed such a heavy burden on it, one that was never completely eased. He felt the facial muscles in his mate's face shift beneath his neck as he smiled.
"He'll be fine. I believe in the power of Sen's love. Besides, I understand people like you two."
One eyebrow rose upward. "Oh, really?" he murmured. "I might just hold you to that."
Relandreau sat in the living room, conversing unconcernedly with several acquaintances. Eyes narrowed, Kilan approached him with the appearance of being very calm. "Where is he?"
He was ignored blatantly by all present. The internal maelstrom raged stronger. "I asked you where Sen was!"
His hands grabbed fistfuls of shirt material and forcefully pulled Relandreau to his feet. At first, the older man was only severely angry but the smoldering fire in his son's eyes slightly unnerved him. "It's too late, boy," he said coolly. "He's probably dead by now."
The flames grew hotter. "What did you say?"
A smile touched his lips. "I had him killed for corrupting you. No one nearly ruins this family and gets away with it."
Kilan shook him until Relandreau could swear his brain was rattling around inside his skull. Fitting payment for what he'd done to the young man before. "I'm only asking this one more time. Where is Sen?"
"I had him taken to Southgate."
He tossed the man aside like a rag doll. "You better hope he's okay. There are many fates worse than death, you know." The formerly passive young man left the room as silently as he'd entered, this time a deep red aura accompanying him.
Sen's emotions rapidly shifted between sadness for Kilan and anger at Azael. If only she'd shown up five minutes later! After Kilan had gone off with his father, a group of men surrounded him. They looked to be the sort of people commonly found in his old neighborhood: self-proclaimed 'badasses' with the muscle to back it up. He refused to look afraid.
"What's up?" he asked casually.
The one in front of him wearing a tight black shirt said, "Come with us." He appeared to be completely serious.
Sen looked into each of the three guys' faces. The one who'd spoken to him and the one behind weren't going to budge. But the one on his left, the youngest of the three, looked promising. Beneath this feigned tough-guy exterior was a nervous, reluctant teenager. "Why should I?" he asked. "I don't know you and you don't know me."
The expressionless face of Black-Shirt morphed into a smirk right at the moment Sen's arms were twisted painfully behind his back. "For some strange reason you thought you had a choice." Sen's mouth opened to protest and fire lanced throughout his body from his shoulders. Knowing that his chances of surviving this encounter would lessen the more he antagonized his abductors, the boy decided to keep his mouth shut.
They tossed him like a sack of potatoes onto the back of a cart, restrained him like a criminal, and covered his begowned body with a hot, itchy, foul-smelling horse blanket. The long ride through the city was bumpy and very uncomfortable. The feeling was fleeing his arms and legs while his eyes burned from the sweat that dripped into them. Overall he felt worse than any other time in his life, including those moments his sister had hit him with whatever was handy.
Eventually the cart's movement ceased. For one scary moment he thought that the guys had abandoned him in the lonesome darkness, but then the blanket was being pulled away and bright sunlight sliced into his eyes. Sen groaned and automatically tried to cover his face, but that only served to create fresh pain his body.
Black-Shirt threw him over his shoulder and carried him deeper into the filthy alleyway. Rats scattered as their hidey-holes were disturbed, squeaking indignantly at the intruders. Sen was thrown down onto an old packing crate, the weak wood splintering upon impact with his body. He groaned aloud again, no longer able to hold in his reaction to the pain, and wished. Wished that he wasn't weak, wished that he had a chance to escape, and wished that Kilan would come to rescue him.
"You don't have to do this," Sen said desperately. "I didn't hurt anyone!"
"This has nothing to do with you," he informed him. "Lord Relandreau's paying us top sizu to off you." He gripped the delicate fabric of the dress tightly and lifted him into the air. The blow came quickly and without warning. The older man's fist caught him in the nose, breaking it instantly and forcing a spray of blood to drip onto his clothes and those of his captors. The intense pain nearly caused him to black out but it was nothing compared to what he felt as more fists joined in. Blows landed on his chest, his stomach, and any place that didn't already bear the discoloration of a bruise or broken bone. Throughout it all Senneth never begged for them to cease, never giving them the satisfaction of seeing him cry. When he'd retreated deep within himself mentally, where nothing hurt or mattered, he faintly heard a voice ask them to stop. It was one he'd never heard before and Sen figured that it belonged to the third guy.
"We shouldn't be hurting him like this! Why should we murder for someone else?"
"Ethics don't have a place in this! Nothing is more important than money."
A new voice interrupted the argument. "How about your lives?"
All three men spun around to face the owner of those words. Who they saw failed to frighten them. Small, slender Kilandreau stood at the entrance to the alley, mouth frowning and eyes promising pain. The one who'd spoken up in Sen's defense backed away with his hands raised upward.
"I didn't do nothing," he said hurriedly. When the other Saiya-jin never glanced his way, he took it as the go-ahead to run.
The two remaining thugs allowed Sen to fall to the ground before facing Kilan. Knuckles were cracked and necks were popped as they readied themselves for battle. Kilan crouched low to the ground and allowed the innate power of a Saiya-jin to fill him completely.
Both sides attacked in unison. The thugs moved in from both sides, throwing kicks and punches to test his defenses. Kilan gamely kept up, knowing that the fighting skill he'd acquired as a child and as a teen, combined with the raw power of his rage, would be enough to defeat them. It had to be.
Suddenly he turned the tables and went on the offensive. Carefully placed punches and kicks found heads and abdomens, leaving behind painful bruises that would hurt for days -- if they lived. Not expecting him to be so powerful, the thugs hadn't fought at their full strength and were now at a disadvantage. Moaning in pain, and cursing fate, they tried to run away.
But Kilandreau would not let them.
Soon, the only sounds in the alley were the disturbing sounds of flesh striking flesh and the small, involuntary whimpers the two young men made.
Sometime during the proceedings, Sen had regained consciousness to a pain that stole his breath away. For long moments he lay there simply breathing in and out, trying to master the blinding pain that washed over his body. Through the red haze of torment that clouded his mind, he swore he could hear his beloved's familiar voice. It was rough with emotion, and saying things completely out of character, but deep down he knew that it was him.
'Open your eyes,' he ordered himself. 'Open them!'
The alley slowly came into focus. He could just barely see two unmoving forms on the ground... and a small figure above them. Someone carrying a lantern went past the alleyway and Sen could see the silhouette of the attacker's body. Several distinctive hair spikes extended upward to the sky, ones that Sen would be able to identify anywhere.
"Kilan," he whispered. "It is you!"
The small young man kicked the nearest inert body savagely. "Do you like how this feels?! Do you want more?!" The only response was a deep groan.
In shock at his behavior, Sen pushed himself upward into a sitting position. His ribs and shoulders protested the movement and screamed at him to return to his previous position. He ignored them and called out to Kilan instead.
"Don't kill them!" he said weakly. "You're better than that!"
Senneth's voice, though made soft by agony, carried over the cries of the victims to Kilan's ears. The small Saiya-jin looked over at him and swiftly abandoned his revenge to go to Sen's side. "Look at what they've done to you!"
Tears brimmed in Sen's eyes and slowly cascaded down his cheeks. "It doesn't matter, Ki. They didn't kill me and that counts for something, doesn't it?" He tried to suppress a groan when Kilan pulled him into a hug and wasn't at all successful.
"I'm sorry," he apologized quickly. "We need to find a healer. Can you stand?"
With Kilan's help he was brought full upright, but nearly collapsed again when he tried to put weight on his right leg. "Damn," he hissed from between clenched teeth. "One of 'em broke it."
At his words, the fires of Hell sprang back into Kilan's eyes. Sen stared at him until they died. "I really have to learn how to control that," he muttered.
"Well, I'll be here to help you," Sen assured him. He tried to take a few hopping steps and immediately regretted it. Something moved inside of him, something that really shouldn't have. "Okay, you'll have to carry me." He sank backward against the nearest building, panting.
It was awkward going (Sen had almost a foot of height on his almost mate) but they eventually made it to the place Sen directed: Thad's family's store. When he was carried over the threshold, the teenager giggled to himself despite his discomfort.
"What's so funny?" There was simply nothing at all humorous about what happened that night, in his opinion. The confused look on his face made Sen laugh even harder and clutch his abdomen when the movement did strange things to his broken ribs.
Thad took one look at his friend and ran to get Malora. The elderly woman patched him up expertly, all the while clucking over every single injury. When he was resting, Kilan suddenly said, "We can't stay."
Sen knew exactly what he meant. "Nope, we can't. As soon as I'm healed enough to walk, we're gonna leave."