Kyra would have thought she would have enjoyed any moment of silence with Tiernan. But now the silence was worse than anything. The melancholy mood the song they had just listened to put them in a silent state. She was not quite sure what Tiernan was thinking. But then again who the hell ever knew what that mad Fae King was thinking.
But wherever his thoughts lie it didn't seem very vicious. His eyes seemed lost...perhaps in the past with Arianell, or perhaps more recently here? But as she quietly observes his green eyes, she noted he seemed to be taking much in. Much of the city and world she lived in. When he first spoke of this world, he seemed to hate it for the steel cities and not for the green villages of Arianell's time.
He was now seeing pieces of her life...old life perhaps. Evidence that she had been a real person before he had come to "collect" her. not a copy of Arianell waiting on a shelf for his picking. Maybe it was starting to register.
"Would you like a memento of your city?" He asked suddenly, causing Kyra to break free of her thoughts. Blinking her eyes, she looked up at him, curious.
"What do you mean?" At this he simply shrugged.
"I thought it was common practice for Mortals and Fae alike to take reminders of the places they've been. Not that you won't return, but perhaps something to mark the occasion.
"You mean a souvenir?" Tiernan looked confused at the last word. Kyra brushed it off.
"It is basically a memento. But, no thanks, I have way too many things already back at the palace." Kyra responded.
"Yes, but not a thing of the human world." He pointed out. "I can tell you love your home city, do you not? And you can only visit it ever fortnight and with limited time. So I thought to perhaps buy you something to remember your city." He then gave another shrug, "Remember that money isn't an objective here, and of course, you don't have too."
Kyra nervously licked her lips as she considered this. It did make sense, but at the same time she was letting Tiernan buy her something. Of course, he had already given her many things. She partly resisted the idea because she didn't want to look like some kept women being spoiled, or look like she was now enjoying her position.
But at the same time...it would be nice to have whenever she wondered if the mortal world had just been a dream. Something that she could just pull out and remember who and what she really was. Not some magical Fae Queen, but a young human girl who was still not ready for this.
Or would probably ever be.
"I think I would like that." She finally admitted. Something crossed Tiernan's face...relief, perhaps? Then it occurred to her that perhaps his suggestion of a memento had been his way to relieve the silence.
Without much thought, she started passing by some stores not sure what she was looking for, Maybe something perhaps normal to wear like a piece of country looking jewelry? She stepped inside one shop and was greeted by a plump older woman with a big smile on her face, around them where rows of cowboy boots and country themed accents.
"My, don't you look you just stole her off the school bus corner." The woman stated bluntly, causing Kyra to turn red. She began to shake her head.
"No...It isn't." Tiernan cleared his throat.
"I can assure you my wife is quite older then she looks, Ma'am." Kyra blinked in confusion. "I consider myself a lucky man that I didn't have to go to jail for her." He gave the older woman a bit of a smile. Kyra just blinked...as the wheels in her mind seemed to give out for process overload.
Tiernan was talking in local slang. He was making jokes. And he was smiling...at a stranger...a human nobody, at least in the Fae's eyes. While her mere mortal mind was trying to process what was going on. The conversation continued between the king and unsuspecting human.
She laughed in response to him.
"Now you are lucky especially since you got a country girl like that." She then gestured to Kyra.
"What are you looking for?" Kyra was too distraught to think straight, looking around she said the first thing her eyes spotted.
"A skirt maybe?" She said, unthinking. The woman gave a gesture and Kyra was lead back before she could say another word, leaving her to ponder what had just happened. Her mind flipped back to the bar where Tiernan had shown lack in any basic social graces, least of all Southern. Yet now he was all the sudden saying Ma'am and kind of making jokes...what the fuck? Just what the fuck?
She pulled a cowgirl skirt and shirt set from the rack without really paying attention before heading back. Maybe it had something to do with Fae magic? She thought, as she slipped off her clothing and the cowgirl outfit on. Perhaps Tiernan could somehow...absorb a culture? It was a weird thought...but in a way it made sense. Perhaps one of the Royal Fae Magic powers was too be able to easily absorb the ways and cultures of another people.
That would be a really handy skill for any kind of ruler. She thought back to her room at the palace where everything seemed to cater to her every whim. So perhaps it could be changed to cater towards a person's inner needs.
When she finally finished dressing she heard a knock at the door. She opened it to reveal the older woman with a set of cowgirl boots. She gave her a wink.
"Try these on with it. Those shoes just won't work with that." She shook her head. Thinking nothing of it, Kyra took the boots and thanked her.
When she started to come around the corner, she thought about how she was to ask Tiernan about his sudden knowledge of Southern Culture, when she entered.
Tiernan turned toward her...and she saw an expression she knew seen him wear. His green eyes widened...his face...flushed, and his mouth hung open.
Was he blushing? Tiernan quickly covered his mouth and looked away. It seems like whatever was embarrassing Tiernan was contagious because Kyra now found her own cheeks growing red and flustered.
"Tiernan...what are...why are you?" She couldn't get the words out. Tiernan still didn't look at her...making this situation more confusing...and awkward.
Then she heard a laugh.
"Oh, honey, looks like your Hon, just likes seeing his pretty wife in cowgirl boots." She whispered into her ear. "You know a lot of men like it when you wear the boots-and just the boots- to bed." At this she heard a great amount of coughing coming from Tiernan who at this point's blush was starting to now reach the upper levels of his face.
"I think...I'll just leave these here." She started to turn.
"Wait!" She heard Tiernan suddenly cry. She turned around to see Tiernan, still red faced, but managed to maintain control of himself.
"You can have those...boots." He got out. "It is no trouble. I did promise you something." Kyra held back a smirk.
"But, Honey, why would you want that? I like the clothes. Surely...you wouldn't want to hurt your wallet that much." But money had nothing to do with it and they both knew it. But the third party in the room didn't and they both had to keep up the act. Kyra was just making it a bit harder for him.
"You know...money isn't a problem." Tiernan had recovered. At this Kyra crossed one leg on the other, and slowly slid the other up against it, in an idle like motion, as though her actions weren't deliberate. But like the money thing they both knew it was.
"Maybe you...have a fetish?" Kyra finally got out. The look that then appeared on the Dark King's face caused the store owner to start laughing.
"Fetish!" He shook his head, "I am not a pervert. I am not sick or anything disgusting like that." The older woman, still laughing came up beside Tiernan and smirked.
"Oh, Hon, it ain't nothing to be ashamed of. Every man likes seeing his lady in a little something he find sexy. It ain't know pervert thing it is a man thing." Judging by the look on Tiernan's face the human's advice hadn't helped ease him at all.
"I don't have a fetish." He insisted, despite the blush. Kyra then gave him a mocking pout.
"Oh...well. I guess I'll have to return these." She started to turn.
"You look nice in then." Tiernan called out. Kyra didn't even bother to hide her smirk when she turned back this time. She gave a flip and shake of her red hair; she could see Tiernan give a visible shiver at this.
This stopped her in her tracks. What the hell was she doing? Was she sexually teasing and joking with the man who had kidnapped her? What had gotten into her? She didn't want Tiernan, not now, not ever. She turned and headed to the back to change into her regular outfit, not bothering to look back to see Tiernan's reaction.
Coming out of the store together was awkward to say the least. Kyra knew she couldn't put the blame on Tiernan really. She was the one who had begun to tease him about having a fetish. She had put on the show. He really...hadn't done anything wrong.
It was an odd feeling. She was so use to blaming Tiernan for everything, but to be fear it had always been his fault up till now, that it was hard for her take responsibility. What should she feel guilty about? This was the only thing she had done wrong up to this point. Tiernan had made so many strikes against her and had only now begun to make any of it up.
She bit her lip, as she wrestled with her pride. Then she gave a sigh and took Tiernan's hand.
"Let's go to a cafe." She said, softly. Tiernan gave a mere nod, as they went to an outdoor, but shaded care area.
Setting on the railed chairs…Kyra began to nervously move her hands.
"About what happened in the shops...?" She began unsure about how to word it.
"It doesn't matter." Tiernan said, sounding like he wanted to avoid it. Perhaps this could be a get out of jail free card...but curse her good girl side. She let out a deep breathe.
"Okay, but I will say now...I shouldn't have teased you like that. I put us both in a...weird position."
"Agreed." Kyra raised a brow. She guessed a part of her wanted Tiernan to ease her guilt, but it seemed the Dark King wasn't going too. Well...it wasn't like she needed his forgiveness; after all he had done to her.
The redhead decided a change of topics was needed.
"How did you suddenly know how to talk like that? Is it some Fae power?" Tiernan seemed to have now gathered himself.
"Do you mean how I picked up the mannerisms of your culture?" He asked for clarification.
"Yeah, like that."
"It's not by magic, if that is what you were thinking. I have been the king of an entire realm for over a thousand years. The Fae realm is vast and highly diverse, more diverse than any human country could ever be. There are countless races, religions, and traditions, and cultures. I had to learn quickly how to spot different cultural mannerism with my own eyes. You can learn much about cultures by reading books and asking the locals, but many cultural things are tiny. Often even the Natives of the culture don't realize them because they are such a subtle part of their lives. If I am to be their leader I can't risk to thoughtlessly and arrogantly offending them."
"But what if you make a mistake and offend them? Can't that be forgiven?" He shook his head. At that moment the waiter came by, halting their conversation. Kyra ordered her favorite, strawberry smoothie without dairy. Finally, something vegan to have after just going vegetarian while in the Fae realm.
"It can be forgiven in words, but culture is important to people and offending them, even if not meant too, can sting. While many outsiders can be forgiven for small mistakes, I am the High King. I can't afford to offend such a foolish risk." Kyra looked at him for a long time.
"That is actually pretty impressive." Tiernan's eyebrows lifted at the unexpected compliment. "It is just that you figured out my culture well enough to blend in such a short amount of time. Also...I figured since you are the all-powerful Fae King that you might feel...that you shouldn't have to follow the rules."
"I don't have to follow any rules. It is not rules I follow, but signs of respect. I have no desire to offend my Royal Vice-Roy families or their people. I honor each of them by showing respect for their loyalty and dedication to their races." That made sense, but something was bothering her. A part of her told her to leave it alone but, curiosity and the desire to know won out.
"But what...about the...Judgment Room. I saw what happened there." A shiver came over her...as she flashed backed to the memory of the man's tongue eating his face off.
"I punished him for breaking a law. If you haven't noticed I am not a tyrant who goes around beheading random citizens. As long as they obey the laws of the land I have no reason to lay a hand on them." Kyra's mind remembered the Inn Keeper. He didn't seem to have a problem with Tiernan's rule.
"What do you mean by High King and Royal Vice-Roy families?" At this the waiter came back with their orders, halting the conversation for a few more moments until he left.
"In truth I am more of an Emperor than a King, but we are traditionally called Kings. I allow all the races to have Royal families governed by their own race. It for many reasons because in the past my ancestors have overstepped their boundaries with other races causing civil wars over the Fae Realm. I also don't believe in micromanaging over Fae races. I know that most of the races prefer to be governed by their own kind." She blinked.
"Then why not just have the Fae Races become independent of the Empire and govern themselves."
"Because it is dangerous, not just to the Fae, but your realm, If a war was to start among the Fae chaos would reign over the lands and eventually spill into your world. And another reason is that if a Royal Family becomes too tyrannical towards their people, or just foolish, I can step in and end it before a revolution takes place and causes more chaos." Kyra wondered if she would regret asking the next question.
"What do you do if a Royal Family becomes tyrannical?" She gripped in smoothie, in a way she knew the answer before he even spoke.
"I murder them and put a new Royal family on the throne." He said no more than that. No explanation of justifications.
"You know out of your many faults...you never seem to make excuses for whom or what you are. You own up what you do...not in an apologetic way. You speak of things as they must be done. I can't agree with how violent your methods are though."
"As a human once said, might makes right. In the Fae World, peace and order can only be maintained by people who want it. If I let people slide and get away with things then the realm will become unsafe and fall into chaos." Kyra took another sip of her smoothie as she thought.
"You seem awfully concerned about there not being any chaos in the Fae World." She remarked. Tiernan's eyes seemed to darken.
"Because I have seen the chaos at first hand," He stated, and then bore his green eyes into hers. "And so have you." Kyra's mouth dropped a little. In her past life, as Arianell she had seen something very bad in the Fae World...was it related to why she feared Tiernan so much? The Dark King's eyes darted past her.
He then gave a groan, and put his palm to his forehead.
"Damn, not him." She turned around and saw a very pale skin man with jet black hair talking to a brunette girl. Kyra then started to listen in.
"Oh Vladimir, I am so sorry for how rough you have had it with your sister ruling. You should defiantly be King of the Vampires." Kyra stopped vampires? They were for real. Well considering...what she had seen she should think of them as more normal compared to Tiernan's realm.
The Vampire man shook his head.
"Thank you...Belle. You know...I always felt like an outcast among my own kind since I am so different than the other vampires, especially those among the royal family. I never thought I would open up to anyone...but you have seen right through all the pain and scars that had been going on in my life. I must admit...I never thought it would be such a beautiful mortal girl." At this the brunette began to blush. Tiernan snorted, and without a word got up and made his way towards the vampire.
He rested one hand on Vladimir's shoulder.
"Hey, watch it-" But when he looked and who it was his face turned to pure panic.
"Your majesty...it is so good to see you." He managed to get out. But Tiernan gave no heed, he simply looked at Belle.
"You are being lied too. This Prince Vladimir is a spoiled brat who has had a silver spoon in his mouth his whole life. Under the reforms that his far wiser sister has made, vampires cannot prey on humans. But that hasn't stopped them from preying in other ways." He gave Vladimir a sharp look. "He goes around the mortal world telling this stupid sob story about being an outcast vampire prince and different than the other 'evil vampires to mortal girls to get into their pants." Belle was stunned. She looked towards the prince.
"Everything you told me...was a lie?" Vladimir stumbled over his words, as he tried to regain himself.
"Prince, I know you are stupid, but not stupid enough to lie in front of the High King...are you?" At this the Vampire Prince nodded. With a furious expression on her face, Belle got up.
"Mom was right. I should have stuck with werewolves. I am calling Jake." She graved her purse, and in a huff walked off. Vladimir made a motion to go after her, but Tiernan's grip was still strong on him.
With a terrified expression, the vampire prince looked up. He tried to give a half smile, but was met with no humor in Tiernan's expression. But now Kyra was there, only a few feet away, her mind in a whirl. Vampires? Werewolves? What the hell...first she found out Gods actually existed and now Vampires? Well to be fair Vampires were a bit more plausible than what she had been seeing.
"Good day, your majesty." Vladimir got out in a small voice. Judging by the fact he was so nervous and using formal speech it seemed that vampires might have fallen under races that Tiernan ruled. But then again it could always be because of Tiernan's power.
"Leave now, Boy." The prince gave a large flinch.
"Please don't tell my sister." He begged. Kyra raised her eyebrows. This wasn't how she had imagined vampires to be. In the movies, books, and comics they were always these badass predators or at least alpha male love interest. But the first vampire she meets was a lying playboy, who was a coward. A very pathetic whimpering coward at that, her first meeting with a real vampire was...a disappointment to say the least.
"I gave you an order." At this the prince lowered his head and slowly got up, disappearing into the crowd. Tiernan didn't even try to hide his disgust as Vladimir vanished into the crowd. The Dark King massaged his temples.
"Damn idiot." Kyra slowly walked up beside him.
"Was that really a vampire?" A part of her hoped the answer would be no, maybe just one of a lower race or something. But Tiernan merely nodded, sighing.
"I am sorry your first meeting with a vampire had to be him since I know of your mortals views of them."
"Do vampires count as one of the Fae races?" She had never thought of vampires and fairies in the same since before.
"Yes, they do. They did belong about six hundred years ago, but a war brought the survivors here." He paused.
"I see….so his sister is different?" She had the image of a tall frightful vampire queen all covered in the blood of her victims in her mind.
"Yes, she is, but not in the way you imagine. All vampires must follow the laws of the Fae since they have migrated here. Queen Anastasia is one of the rulers I hold in the highest esteem. She is not what you would imagine a vampire to be in any way."
Her mind was a whirl because of her new discovery of vampires. Was there anything in myths that didn't exist in the Fae Realm? She wondered if so many creatures existing in the Fae Realm was either a boon or another horrible thing that came with being the Fae Queen.
"I get to show you another kingdom in my realm when we return. Would you like to see the Vampire Kingdom and meet the queen?" The redhead's throat went dry.
"Me...meeting...vampires….a whole Kingdom of Vampires?" She couldn't have kept the fear out of her voice if she had even tried.
"You have nothing to fear. All vampires must follow the laws of the Fae regarding not harming mortals without reason. And that law has never been a problem because any vampires with any wits can get blood for a human without resorting to force. And also you are the High Queen of the Fae. Despite what Vladimir might have made you think, vampires are actually one of the smarter races. They are not stupid enough to risk their home and security for the sake of getting the blood of just one human"
"I see..." A part of her knew that Tiernan logically made sense, and a bigger part of her knew that he would never truly put her in danger. But still wariness at the thought of being around so many creatures who were supposed to prey on humans didn't put her at much ease.
"Of course, I will not force you." He added, she relaxed at that and silently they went back to the table and finished without words.
Walking in the darkening streets usually made Kyra nervous, But the reality she was walking with something scarier than even the worse gang member put thoughts of fear away. So she had shown him her realm. Had he learned anything at all from it? Did he see these steel cities in a new way?
Maybe she should ask.
"Tiernan-" She began as she thought about how to word this. Then she heard it.
"Kyra!" This snapped her out, as she looked forward to see her parents rushing toward her, before she could get a word out, her mother already had her in her arms. Her father was at her right side (Also the side Tiernan was on, blocking the Dark King from her view) She smiled brightly and hugged her mother back.
"Sweetheart, what are you doing here?" Kyra bit her lip for a moment as she wondered how to word this.
"Tiernan let me see the city."
"But only with him." Her mother said, darkly. Inwardly, Kyra cringed, but for some reason she didn't like what her mother was saying about Tiernan.
"No, it was my idea. You see...I wanted him to see more of my mortal realm in hopes that he would-" Would what? What could she tell her parents...her mind became blank.
"Your daughter wanted to prove me wrong on my prejudices of earth, and she did." her father, turned to glare at the Dark King.
"Yet, you simply can't let her go."
"Daddy" The redhead warned, but didn't show fear towards the Dark King, and in return Tiernan didn't look frightened at all.
"Would you like to spend the rest of the evening with your daughter...alone?" Tiernan asked. Her father's eyes widened not expecting this, but then he narrowed.
"For how long?"
"Until Midnight or when she becomes tired." He answered, simply. Without a word to the Dark King, she felt her mother firmly grip her shoulder and start to pull her away, her father followed suit. Neither mortal looked back at the Dark King.
"Sweetheart." Her mother spoke in a gentle voice. "He hasn't hurt you has he?"
"No, Mom, I swear he hasn't. He barely lays a hand on me, I swear." Her father scoffed.
"Are you getting Stockholm Syndrome?" He questioned. Kyra's green eyes widened.
"No, of course not, He is a monster and took me away from you both. I want to be with you." She defended herself, honestly.
"But why are you defending him then?" That was the question of the century, wasn't it? It alone made Kyra stop her thoughts in her tracks.
"I am not defending him. I am only telling the truth. Besides it looks like I am stuck with him for eternity, so it is best not to fight along the way...besides one day you will be gone...and I will have no more ties to this world..." The words came out of her mouth before she could even think. Her parents would be dead. It would be decades, God willing. But once they were gone, they would be gone. Her friends would be dead eventually too. What ties would she have left to Earth?
Would Tiernan even let her visit Earth anymore once her parents were dead?
The dark thought she had voiced left the family in silence. Guilt filled her. She basically told her parents that they wouldn't be around to comfort her around the Dark King...and they could only imagine the rest of eternity of her being miserable.
The silence continued, and all the family was so lost in their thoughts that they didn't notice the streets becoming more and more deserted.
And they didn't notice the group of young men approaching them until one right hooked her father.
"Dad!" Kyra screamed, rushing to his side. She looked at the men. Her heart stopped.
"Leave my family alone!" Her father stepped forward, lip bleeding. He throws his arms to cover both her and her mother. "Do what you want to me, but leave my family alone."
At this a laugh that made Kyra shiver to the bone took over.
"It is them we want, not you." One snigger.
"Yeah, we not into that." Kyra's heart stopped.
"Run!" Her father screamed. Kyra felt her mother's hand on hers as they attempted to dash away. But she felt the presence behind her, faster than her.
"Touch her and you'll pray to every God in existence you were dead."
The gang stopped in their tracks and turned towards the figure of Tiernan, standing with his arms folded across his chest. The look on his eyes was more fury than she had ever seen him.
"Or what?" Tiernan raised his hand, and then flicked a finger. Without warning, the gang members were thrown across the street.
"What the fuck!" They started to scramble up, with the clear attempt of fleeing. But a wave of power overcame them, forcing them down. They were crying out in pain and failing their limbs over the ground. It was clear that Tiernan was putting them through excruciation pain. Neither of her parents or Kyra moved, as Tiernan stalked towards the men, his walk reminded her of a tiger about to leap onto his prey. At his approach the men began to beg.
"No, you will suffer the penalty of my realm for rape or attempted rape; death." The Dark King raised his hand. This snapped Kyra out of her trance; she leaped forward and graved her husband's arm.
"No! Please, do not kill them." This stopped Tiernan with a shocked look on his face.
"But they tried to rape you and your mother? What woman wouldn't want the men who tried to rape her or raped her to die?" She closed her eyes.
"I just don't want anyone to be killed for me."
"But they will just rape another girl once they are out of my path. Do you want another girl to suffer, so you don't have a guilty conscience?" Kyra couldn't get the words out. She knew he was making since, but still…
"Isn't there a way you can keep them from hurting another girl? I know you are very good at thinking of fates worth than death." That seemed to stroke his ego, as a smirk came over his face.
"Indeed I do." He lowered his hand, and flicked it and a pink wave over power came over the men. Then they started to get up.
"What the hell." One of them muttered, and to her surprise Tiernan stepped away from her.
"What the fuck did you do, Man?"
"Try to touch my wife, and you will see." Kyra's heart started beating widely. The gangster looked hesitant, but it seemed curiosity won over the fear of the Dark King. He then threw a punch at her.
Kyra's eyes closed on instinct.
But she felt nothing. She opened her eyes to see the fist only inches away from her face. The man then reared back his fist to try to punch her again, but he stopped before her face, again. He tried this again, but he never made contact with her face, like there was a barrier.
Before questions could be asked, Tiernan spoke.
"You have all been cursed for the rest of your lives. You will never be able to touch another woman again."
"Fuck, you can't do that man!"
"I can and I did. Now if you don't want me to make it to be you can't touch your cocks, I suggest you leave." He didn't need to ask twice, they all scrambled up, and ran.
Kyra could think of nothing to say. She heard footsteps behind her, her parents.
"After that would you like to return to the palace?" Tiernan asked Kyra just gave a nod, not speaking.
"Honey, are you all right?" Her mother asked.
"Yeah...I am, thanks to Tiernan." Her father looked at the Dark King, their eyes locking. Then he bowed his head.
"For the first and hopefully the last time, I thank you, Thank you for saving my wife and daughter."
"You are welcome, and I would like to thank you as well." Her father's eyes widened, not sure what the Dark King was getting at.
"For taking such good care of her, I promise that I will never allow any harm to come to your child. I am a father myself. I know how it feels. And I will assure you that Kyra will have the ability to visits Earth even after your deaths."
"I am holding you to that promise."
He just turned toward Kyra and kissed her check.
"I love you, Carrot Top. I will be there for you as long...as I can."