The Holly and the Ivy

Chapter Eleven - Torture

Hurts. The slightest shift of my shoulders sends spikes of pain through my body, followed by waves of nausea. I need to calm down…breathe... But I can't. There is… I push my tongue against a rubber ball blocking my mouth. I'm gagged! My heart beats faster. Cold sweat is running down my body. Cold. I can't think, everything is so sluggish. My head hurts. Pictures flash through my mind… Everything slams back into my senses. Diarmad… he bit me… he fucking bit me! Then someone pushed me… I've been hit on the head. A gunshot! I heard a gunshot ─ Diarmad! I can't breathe. Okay Noël, calm down. Calm down. I simply need to breathe through my nose… deep, slow breaths… That will help.

Where am I? It's dark. I turn my head carefully, so as not to jostle my shoulders more than necessary… My arms are stretched and fixed somewhere over my head. That's why I can't move them. Why is there no light, not the tiniest bit? Blindfolded. Oh my God! Shit! Shit! Breathing in, slow and deep, and out, and in… Yeah that's better.

It's fucking cold in here. I shiver. I'm naked! Oh God! And my legs are strapped too. I try to lift my hips. Aww fuck that hurts. There is some kind of belt around my stomach. - I'm lying on metal. - It smells like disinfectant. Like a hospital. An operating table. I'm strapped on an operating table. Am I in a hospital?

I can hear a key being inserted in a lock. My heart is beating so fast all I can hear is blood rushing through my ears. I can't get enough air into my lungs... The door opens… "Doctor, what are you doing down here in the basement?" I know this voice…

"N-nothing...," a male voice stammers. This voice too…

"What are you hiding here?" There is some sort of scuffle and then the first voice gasps, "Oh my God! You stupid fuck! You were to kill him. What's he doing here? It's too dangerous! If he finds him here… If the Council ever gets to know any of this… You endanger everything we've worked so hard for. I have to tell my father!" Moira McGill!

"Your father knows that I have him. He gave me twenty-four hours with him… and if he still lives after that time you can kill him." A man cackles. It's that creepy doctor, who came with the two council members to check on us. Fuck!

A mixture of terror and anger surges through me. With sudden clarity, I know this means pain. Lots and lots of pain - and humiliation. I have to get through this. Diarmad bit me. He knew something was up. He drank my blood… if it didn't kill him we're one step closer to being mated. He will come for me. I just have to hold on until he gets me out of here.

"I don't believe you, my father is no idiot. He would know this is too big a risk, if anybody and I mean anybody ever finds out we had the king's mate, they'll know that we killed him. We'd be lucky just to be banished. Step aside, I'll kill him now, and then get rid of the body, no discussions."

There is more scuffling and the man yells, "No, you're not. This was my price and your father agreed to it. Go on, call him. Ask him."

"You bet… Father I'm in the basement. This moronic quack of yours claims you agreed to let him have the King's little mate for a special treatment session. What? No father! The risk is too great. I'm going to kill him now. Father… No!—As you wish."

"I told you." The doctor sounds smug.

"You're a sick fuck who should have been eliminated long ago! This is far too risky. You have twenty-four hours, not a minute longer." She's seething.

"If he lasts that long." Goose bumps are running down my arms. This man is pure evil. Diarmad, please, hurry.

The door opens and closes and I know I'm alone with him. Shivers run down my body. I can hear footsteps. He's coming over to me. "So my little mate-to-be, did you hear everything?" He's touching the back of my head, and bright lights blind me. I have to close my eyes, as sudden pain sears through my head.

Fingers at my temple, press down on the bruise and Fuck that hurts!

"Come on. Open those pretty peepers for me. I want you looking at me when I touch your body… What did he say again? Ahh yes, 'before you touch him I'll kill you.'" He laughs maniacally. "I think not my King, I think not…" He trails a single finger from my foot along my leg, lower abdomen, and chest up to my throat where he stops at my Adam's apple. I swallow involuntarily. "So beautiful… too beautiful."

Then he holds my phone in his hand. "What do you think your King will feel when he sees the progress the two of us are making in our relationship tonight, huh? First me touching you…" and he suddenly grabs my penis and testicles in a hurtful grip and takes a picture with my phone. Then he goes through my contact list. "Ahh here he is." That cackling laughter again before he sends the picture.

He takes another one of my face with the gag in my mouth, before he takes it out. "I want to hear you screaming my name, begging me, my beautiful prize." 'Ding.' He sends another picture, before slipping the phone in the pocket of his lab coat.

"So what do we do now? I heard you already have enhanced healing abilities due to the fact that you have Tristan's soul? An annoying creature he was this Tristan… Yes. I think we have to investigate this a little further. What do you think?"

"You're sick is what I think." I try to stay calm but I know there must be panic showing in my eyes and my legs start to tremble.

"Yes, yes so I am told." Humming, he rolls a small metal table closer. On it is a tray with an assortment of knives and saws and sticks. I close my eyes.

When the first blade pierces through the muscles of my right thigh, it's as if the leg is not mine. It can't be mine. Then pain hits me, a sharp, sudden pain - I hear a cry. Was that me?

"I know this hurts, little one, but it's all for scientific purposes. We need knowledge… all this is to gain knowledge," he murmurs and then stabs a second blade through my left thigh.

I can't is black.

I feel something wet dabbing at my thighs. "Awww you're awake again. You're amazing, do you know that? Your cuts are already closing. Are you sure you haven't mated yet? Hmm, hmm, truly amazing." He suddenly looks up. "Did he fuck you? Put his regal semen into your body?"

I can't help but blush. "Fuck you!"

"Ah, ah, no need to be rude… interesting… Do you know that some things in the seminal fluid can also be found in blood? Mm, hm, too bad I can't get my hands on a sample… Oh by the way, I already sent him a picture of your legs. He wasn't amused."

His cackling is grating on my nerves… Strangely, my legs don't hurt as much as expected. A clinking makes me look up. No! He holds a syringe in his hand, filled with blue liquid.

"Now we will test your pain tolerance…" Without warning, he plunges the needle into my right biceps. The force alone sends jolts of pain through my bound arms. From there it streams all over my body. I grit my teeth, but it's excruciating. I don't care any longer that my arms are bound and hurt with every movement. What I feel now is worse. So much worse... I can hear myself screaming, drool is running out of my mouth. …it hurts…it hurts I try to struggle, writhe against my bonds, but I can't get free. My stomach cramps, everything gets dizzy.

I wake because strong jets of cold water are hitting my body. An exceptionally strong one lands between my spread legs. "What the fuck?" I can't believe this is my voice.

"You got yourself dirty my little Lord. We can't have that now, can we? Everything has to be clean and hygienic." He continues to hose me down with ice-cold water like a piece of meat, until I can't feel anything anymore. Nor can I control the shivering or the chattering of my teeth. Cold.

"Now see what you have done! Everything is wet. We will have to wait until the water has drained away. I think I'll get something to eat in the meantime, maybe a hot coffee too. Somehow all this work is making me hungry. I'm starving." The maniac turns and leaves the room.

Everything is quiet, but for the constant dripping. It's driving me crazy. Drip, drip, drip. It must be from the water still running down my body and pooling on the table. These tables have drainage holes. Drainage holes? I'm going crazy. Get a grip Noël! Don't come back, don't come back. It's so cold.

I jolt awake. I'm still alone. I need to get out of here. Maybe I can convince him that I'm too weak to fight anymore and he'll untie me. I can hear the key in the lock again and instinctively tense up. Ahh! Fuck that hurts!

"Now we'll get you all dried up, and then we can continue with the experiments. We can't have water ruining my samples, hmm?" With that, he starts to dab me with a towel. "So quiet. Did you finally realize the hopelessness of your situation? Humans… such weak creatures."

When I look in his face, at those mad eyes, I know he's insane. "You're sick!"

"Who knows? If you please me, maybe I'll keep you alive…" He pats my head. "I remember our beloved King didn't want me to inspect your vena femoralis…" He runs his finger along my inner thigh until he reaches the spot where the leg meets the groin. "So that's what we're going to do now, test your reaction on blood loss." He takes my left foot in his hand. "I'm going to untie your leg, don't try anything funny or you'll be severely punished."

I can't help but scoff at that. But then… This could be my only chance. I try to relax and appear as docile and subdued as I can.

"Very good." Patting my leg, he gets the keys for the cuffs and some kind of elastic strap out of a pocket of his lab coat and opens the lock. Bending my leg at the knee, he says, "Hold this, will you?" Then he fixes my leg with the strap, so that my calf is pressed against the underside of my thigh. This thing will be off in a minute, I just have to stretch my leg.

Taking my cock in his hand and positioning it on my right thigh, he gushes, "This will make a great picture, don't you think? Everything so nicely exposed, ready to reap." And the next photo is sent right away.

I cannot imagine what these pictures are doing to Diarmad. He's not only torturing me, but Diarmad also. The only way they can get to him is through me. That's why McGill allowed him to have me. If I ever get my hands on him, I'll kill him.

I must have made a noise, because he suddenly gasps, "Your eyes… they are silver… how can this be?"

A burning sensation is surging through me. I'm going to kill you! Then a burst of energy leaves my body and the man crashes against the opposite wall with a sickening crack, before he slumps down in a heap.

Watching his distorted face, his twitching arms and legs, I feel distant, like an uninvolved observer. Strange. His skull is probably broken from the impact. I can see blood running out of his nose and ear. I feel nothing, no triumph, no remorse, nothing.

Then I suddenly remember what Diarmad said to me this morning, It's almost impossible to kill a Seraei. I watch his broken body more closely. He doesn't move. Shit, is he unconscious or is he dead?

I have to get out of here. Stretching my left leg, the strap comes off. That doesn't help much, though. I look over at the doctor again. He's twitching slightly. Am I imagining it or does he look as if he is starting to heal? Shit!

Somebody is at the door. It opens and a small, blond woman in a business suit enters the room quickly. Assessing the situation, she says, "We have to kill him ASAP and then we have to get you out of here. Do you know where he has the keys for your cuffs?"

"I-I think he left them on the tray over there." Who is she?

"Ahh yes, I can see them." Fumbling with the keys, she finally manages to remove the cuff from around my ankle. Then she releases the brakes of the operating table so that she can move it closer to the hook in the wall above my head. My arms aren't stretched above my head any longer and she is able to release the chain from the hook. I try to put my arms down. "Fuck!"

"Careful now, this will hurt. You have been in this position too long." She helps me down from the table. "You need to force your arms down, my Lord. We don't have much time."

I look over to where the doctor lies and immediately know what she means. As unbelievable as it sounds, he is healing. "What can we do? How can we kill him?" I ask urgently.

"We have to behead him, or at least destroy his head, and then we burn him. The problem is we can't get near the body. It's too dangerous. Look, see for yourself!"

"Fuck! How is this possible?" He has already moved his legs into a more natural position and his eyes are now open. "Shit! What do we do?"

She looks around the laboratory. "Do you see the cabinet over there? Some of the bottles inside should contain inflammable liquids. You're a telekinetic right?"

"Um… I guess, but I can't control it yet. I don't know how."

"We don't have time my Lord, you have to try. Concentrate on your powers; try to feel them within you!"

I look at the monster: he sneers at me, his fingers are twitching, and I know it will only be minutes before he can retaliate. I gaze at the cabinet. I won't be able to get a single bottle out of it; my powers aren't so sophisticated yet… It has to be blunt and brutal. Concentrating on the whole cabinet, I release the power I can feel humming inside me. What the fuck am I doing here? Somehow it works anyway. The heavy cabinet is shaking before it tilts to the side, burying the doctor underneath. His head should be thoroughly smashed. The doors spring open and bottles are crashing onto the floor. I can already smell that some of them contain alcohol. "What now, how do we get fire?"

She smiles. "That's easy. Come on. Let's get you out of here." Grabbing my hand, she drags me through the door. In the door frame she turns, raises her hand, and a fireball emerges from nowhere hitting the broken cabinet and smashed bottles. The fire spreads out fast and soon engulfs the whole cabinet.

A horrible screeching sound makes me stop mid-step. The smell of burnt flesh is nauseating. I'm rooted to the spot, not able to move. She drags me out of the room and hastily locks the door behind us.

We're standing in an empty hallway. I suddenly remember what Landyn said some weeks ago: 'The offensive power of the McGills is fire.' A horrible suspicion rises in my mind. "What's your name?"

"Andra McGill."

"What? Shit!" I'm standing naked in an unknown basement of an unknown house, together with a woman, who just told me her last name is McGill, the name of the very family who's trying to kill me by torturing me to death. My arms are still numb, my thighs hurt. I couldn't run away, even if my life depended on it.

"What sick game are you playing here?" I spit.

"I'm not—"

I can't hear her answer, because suddenly a dark figure emerges seemingly out of nowhere, pressing their hand on my mouth, trapping me with a constricting grip around my waist and useless arms, before pulling me against its large, steel hard body.

Shit! A trap! Moira wanted to get me out of there, so that she can kill me!