I watched Zinx and them fly into the land of eternal darkness. The man I was supposed to marry, Dirg Oina Zinx was carrying another woman in his arms. I didn't know if he was trying to carry her over the threshold for symbolism's sake or because she was dizzy from crossing the barrier. Frankly, I didn't care.
He was supposed to be mine! I was supposed to be the one in his arms, not that dark light trash. Sure, she was pretty. With her caramel skin tone, doe eyes, golden hair, and gilded white wings, she was an exotic beauty around here. The moment I first saw her at Dirg's side, I knew that my position as future queen was threatened. I tried everything to back him into a corner, to make him take me, but he never did. He fell for her. He married her. I didn't blame her, though. I blamed him.
I glared at him as he passed me without seeming to notice me. I knew what he was doing. He was ignoring me. He always ignored me unless I put myself in his way. I wasn't allowed to do that anymore, and it infuriated me.
Didn't he see that we would have been perfect together? We were engaged almost from the day he was born. We grew up together. He was hot; I was hot; we could have rocked the world and made amazing heirs to the throne. Instead he gave himself and the title of queen to my bastard, disowned half-sister. Forever, our throne will be tainted with golden feathers because he chose her.
I groaned in annoyance and stormed off to my room, where I slammed the door shut. I wasn't paying attention to the world around me, so I jumped when a smooth voice spoke.
"Mira? I take it my little brother is back?"
I relaxed and turned to the man reclining on my bed. "Don't scare me like that! But yes, he is. You should see those wings! Dis-gus-ting!"
He stretched languidly, wings curling up around him. He crooked a finger, and I came to his side willingly, ready for what he wanted.
He pulled me down on top of him and attacked my mouth with his own savagely, his tongue dominating mine. Soon, I found myself pinned to the bed and out of breath. He stopped and we both huffed and puffed, staring at each other. He grit his teeth, making his handsome jaw all the more pronounced.
"First, he gets the girl I wanted and dumps her like trash, then he gets the throne but only takes it because Dad made him. Now he's gone and made himself a damn lightsy. He doesn't deserve any of it."
I feel excitement rise up within me, a vengeful smile lifting my lips. "So what do you suggest we do about it?"
He nipped at my chin. "I'll tell you when I have it all planned out. Until then..."
By far, Tain was my favorite lover, but I couldn't help but think of his brother the entire time.
I stood behind my son with my arms crossed, a dark scowl on my face. We were in the Land of Eternal Darkness now, so the darkness I was emitting was nowhere near visible. If I still had that crown, it would be making even my fellow darkies blind. Instead Dirg was literally glowing.
"Can't you turn that off, ya glowstick?" I groused.
He shot me a glare over his shoulder from where he stood before the throne room doors. His wife stood by his side, shifting her weight from foot to foot with her head ducked shyly. Her golden hair covered her face in a tantalizing curtain; I could see why my son was attracted to her.
"The only way I can do that is to take off this crown." He tapped the small golden circlet holding down his long black hair. "And you know I'm not letting anyone else touch it."
I snorted. "You should have at least shaved for this ceremony."
He rolled his eyes before he looked back in front of him. His chin was covered in black scruff, and he looked like a hobo, even in his tailored black suit with holes in the back for those abominable wings. He didn't deign to answer me, instead waiting patiently with his hands clasped behind his back, chest out, chin up. If he didn't have the hobo look, I'd say he was intimidating. He was my spitting image, after all.
The nobles on the other side were taking a Hell of a long time to get situated. Then again, they took this long at my official coronation as well. I just didn't think I'd have to live through it twice. As soon as the doors opened, I had walked in and claimed the throne that was mine. At the time, I hadn't wanted to admit Oina was my wife. How my damn half-sister managed to seduce me and be the first one I laid with when I became an adult is beyond me.
Finally, the bang sounded from within and the doors started to open. My son seemed to get taller, or maybe that was the glow around him brightening. Either way, I stepped back, scowling harder. He grabbed Lucille's hand and squeezed it before walking forward. She lifted her chin, but her steps were still hesitant. I let my eyes rove over her curvy body and licked my lips in appreciation. Where Dirg looked confident and steady in his stride, she seemed to float nervously.
I stayed behind, at the door. As the first king to be relinquished of his title without dying, there really was no precedent for what I was to do. I could do whatever I wanted to. I watched my son stride to his throne, all the nobles sitting along the walls trying to watch him but failing because he was glowing. I scanned over the nobles, seeing looks of disgust directed at their new queen and king. Tain, my oldest and favorite child, was physically wincing from his brother's light. I understood how he was feeling. He was an oceanwalker, able to breathe and fly underwater, so he couldn't defend himself against the soft light coming off Dirg.
It seemed to take forever for my youngest to get his ass in that chair. I noted the glares sent at him and the calculating glances shot at me and sighed. I winced, knowing what precedent I had to set. What I needed to do. What my duty was to keep the peace and avoid a civil war.
Finally, he and his queen were in their thrones. I sighed and walked up to the base of the thrones, smiling grimly at the irony. Not two months ago, I had been sitting up there and he had been down here, with his then pet at his side. I had worn that ring and given him the ring of the heir, which I now had on my finger. Every eye was on me now, and half of them wore knowing smirks, thinking probably that I would challenge him. They didn't want the white-winged freak on the throne, same as me.
Yet, he was there. We had to accept it. It was my own damn fault.
For the first time in over 25 years, I went to a knee and bowed my head, my wings spreading out to my sides in a show of subservience. Nothing could be said; the entire ceremony was supposed to be silent. I stayed there for long minutes, my eyes on the ground. I wanted to stand, to scream that this wasn't right. That I would never bow, but I bit my tongue and remained still. I heard feathers and feet shuffle as one by one, the nobles joined me in homage to our new king, the son who didn't kill me.
"I refuse to bow to a lightsy," a voice I recognized too well spat out. I closed my eyes in horror.
It was too much to wish for this to go smoothly.
I spared a glance up to see my youngest lounging on the throne, his forest green eyes fixed on the one noble standing, High Prince Tain. He tilted his chin up.
"So do you challenge this "lightsy" to a duel, brother?" King Dirg asked, making quotations in the air for the word lightsy.
I closed my eyes tightly. Tain was a good duelist, but he hadn't beaten Dirg on record for the past five years. His power made him downright deadly.
"I challenge you to a duel, but you are no brother of mine, you traitor."
King Dirg barked out a laugh. "Traitor? My wings are white, not gold."
"But hers are. And I see no black on either of you."
"Fine. I'll beat the ever-loving shit out of you in thirty minutes at the arena, Tain."
"You better kill me. If you pussy out, you will regret it."
"We shall see. You may all stand; you are dismissed."
I stood quickly and went straight to Tain, who was stripping as he strode towards the arena. It was customary for a darky male to strip and stand naked until the wrong committed against him was righted.
"Tain!" I called as I hurried behind him. "What are you thinking?"
He stopped and glared at me, now completely naked but for the sword in his hand. "What am I thinking? What about you, Father?" He spat, rage in his eyes. "You just bowed to a man with white wings!"
I bristled, meeting him head on. Tain was a bit shorter than me and not near as intimidating as Dirg.
"Because he beat me, you idiot!" I ripped off my shirt, showing him the scar right next to my heart. "One centimeter to the left and I would be dead!"
"Then why are you still alive, huh Dad?" he seethed. "That pansy spat in the face of tradition and stole the ring, and you do nothing! Someone has to stop that lightsy-lover from taking over, and if you won't, I will!"
"Tain," I sighed, trying to calm him down, "you haven't beaten him in a duel in years. He'll kill you."
He jabbed a finger at my scar. "Oh yeah, then what's that? He won't kill me, and if he beats me to a pulp and doesn't kill me, then he's exactly what I say he is, a bloody coward not worthy of the throne. They will see that I'm right."
"And if that happens, you'll start a civil war!"
"Better a civil war than a lightheart with white wings sitting on that throne!"
I deflated. There would be no convincing him. Our family line was known to be stubborn, and Tain was no exception. Knowing it wouldn't deter him, I tried my last argument.
"Tain, he's your brother."
His eyes flashed, and he turned his back on me, deliberately striding to the arena. "I disown that freak as long as he has white wings."
I stared after my favorite son until he was gone. What had I done?
A/N: For those Curious Mask fans... I'm still stuck. And I recently had inspiration for this story instead... :) Some of you will be happy, some want to hunt me down and kill me because I have no new Finch... oops. This chapter isn't very long compared to other DL chapters, but eh. I conditioned myself to short chapters with ACM.