Chapter 16:

Through Twisted Truths

Love and Destruction

     It was frigid and dark. Eyesight proved to be useless. The only thing he could hear was the deep patters of moisture in some distant, far off corridor against stone. Was the stone flooring there better than the rigid, unforgiving one he was chained to now? The joints of his knees ached in pain from being bent and carved into the near ebony stone for so long. Or maybe it hadn’t been that long at all, he wasn’t sure. There was no way to tell the time, and he had no way of knowing how long he was unconscious.

After losing his consciousness, he woke up to this: what could only be defined as a prison or dungeon of sorts, and even he wasn’t that daft to believe that this was some sexual fantasy of his love.

It had to have been a few hours at the least and already he was tired of waiting. His throat still burned from whatever he had consumed earlier and his voice proved to be a little hoarse, not that yelling for help would do anything. Even if it would, he would rather die than get help from anyone save Actavio.

Sylas’s emerald strands fell forward, as if trying to provide him some form of consolation in the damp cell.

The instant he heard the clatter of keys his ears and chin perked up with a glimmer of hope dazzling his amber eyes. And there he was, the love of his life, Actavio Meridaitus. A dim light from the hallway outlined his figure, radiating his presence.

Those eyes looked even more hateful now. Oh what did he do to deserve this? He wasn’t sure whether to pine or to be fearful.

As soon as he opened his mouth to speak, Actavio’s heel met with his cheek in a swift and sharp slam, shoving Sylas’s face into the blistering stone.

Terror started to set in. That wasn’t a loving blow. It was hate.

“Don’t speak unless I ask you a question directly. Is that clear?”

The tone lacked mercy and sympathy. It was Actavio Meridaitus at his core, the Head of the revered group which held deep talons in this fissured country. A callous leader, which Sylas had forgotten in all of his desire.

He viciously slammed his heel into his gut, erecting a croak and borderline vomit from Sylas at the lack of a reply.

“I Said, Is That Clear?”

“Y-Yes.” Sylas forced out in a muffled rasper, already barely able to speak from the newfound injury and previously consumed toxin, let alone his foot smothering him.

Actavio clicked his tongue.

“Fucking disgusting pig of a man.” He spit on the pavement by his eyes, knowing that spitting on him would just give him satisfaction.

The mob boss squatted down, keeping Sylas’s head to the floor by a constricted seizure of his hair.

“I should fucking kill you and get it over with, but my sister didn’t die overnight. She was intent on dying since she came into this world and then she met you. A boorish, vile, selfish creature that only accelerated her death. I did everything I could to keep her alive and you–” Actavio grit his teeth loud enough for them to snap.

He lifted Sylas by his strands and then drove his face back into the edged stone. His consciousness momentarily flickered again, but the instant subsequent assault flashed him awake. The right side of cheek began to sear and his head throbbed in raging alarms of pain.

“You don’t even remember her. You don’t even know who she is.” Actavio briefly paused, regaining only a modicum of his typical composure. “You were in your late teens. You met a young girl, younger than yourself, crouched and alone against the wall of an alley. She had dark eyes and hair, poorly dyed. She was unkempt and starved. You offered her some of your own food and she laid with you as payment. Do you remember her?”

The captive searched through the depths of his memories. For something that had occurred so long ago and such a common description…In this corpse ridden country over a quarter of the population could fit that guise.

In a blink Actavio hefted and viciously thrust his skull back into the debilitated ashen stone, doing anything but helping his memory as he became more and more dazed and delirious from the ruthless impact of Actavio’s unrelenting fury.


“NO!” Sylas’s vocals cracked. He couldn’t tell if his eyes were burning from the pain or from hearing his love roar at him in such a way. It felt as if his throat split from within and began to bleed and still he rushed to defend himself, “Actavio I have no idea what you’re talking about please–”

“Please what? Let you go? Let you live?”

He scraped his skin against the thorned pavement. A pool of scarlet started to form, seeping into Sylas’s orifices as he struggled to breathe from the saturated pond and Actavio’s added physical and mental pressure weighing down upon him.

“She waited her whole life for you. Wasted her life for you. Had three children with you and only you all in the hopes that you would one day remember her and her affections and return.”

“How would I know-?!”

“How would you know indeed? You use men and women like fabric ragdolls, tossing them aside after they fulfill your needs and I no different.”

“No-No! Actavio-you-I love you I–”

“What you have for me isn’t love, it’s a perverted obsession. You call violating me while I sleep love? Lacing and spiking my drinks is love? Placing cameras in my home and car is love?”

At the realization his eyes flare awake. It wasn’t possible that all this time that he-

“Do you really think I didn’t know? You really are daft, and even that is a compliment considering how careless you believed me to be.”

Actavio finally released his hold of Sylas but it was clearly not out of kindness. On the contrary, he knew that Sylas was now too decayed to even fully lift himself back up, let alone inch his cheek off the stone. And so, he laid there, limp and gasping for air in hoarse breaths.

“I promised her in death what she wouldn’t let me do in her lifetime, and that is to bring you to her feet should you reject your duties as a father.”

In a frail, barely audible voice Sylas muttered, “I-...didn’t even know…they were mine..”

“Not once did you ever think to check on any of the women you’ve slept with? Or men for that matter? Ignorance doesn’t excuse your actions. If I order my men to raid a building I believed to be filled with my enemies and instead innocents are killed am I not at fault? It was my responsibility to be sure and such their blood is on my hands. You’re more of a child than my children are. A greed and lust driven monstrous infantile beast.”

Sylas tried to articulate a response but his vocals failed him. Even without his mass of lacerations gradually fading his vision he would be unable to see what was once his love from this sunken angle. All he could hear was his voice. All he could feel was his brumal and blazing presence.

Blood started to seep into his right eye, rendering it bloodshot and completely unusable.

“I knew of your ill intentions with me from the beginning and still I gave you a chance. I let you prove yourself to me and you couldn’t even do that. And still I let my children decide if they wanted you in their lives and they rejected you. You know that the eldest two wished for a hand in torturing you? I declined, however. I don’t want my children to live the same life I did, the same life that Alivia ran her whole life from. This cycle of senseless brutality in this country and my family will end with you and I in this very room. I won’t let another person, man, woman, or child suffer the same fate she did.”

Speaking her name drove Actavio to grip his fists into a tight twist. He looked down upon the almost lifeless being before him, as if debating whether to inflict more pain but overall deciding against it. For now.

“You’re going to die just as slowly as she did. Not just for her, but for all the other lives you destroyed and nearly my own. Castration would just be the start of it. I’ll remove your eyes for even daring to look at my family with murderous intent. Then, your fingernails. If you didn’t hesitate to tear apart my body, the body of someone you believe you loved, then I could only imagine how you treated others, not to mention my sister. I want you to live as she did in death. Forlorn, forgotten, and forsaken.”

Finally Actavio stood in a slow rise, taking a moment to gaze at the dismantled thing beneath. Just seeing him made his visage contort in unparalleled animosity and revulsion. He forced his leer away, swiftly turning on his heel and unlatching the rusted steel door.

What miniscule amount of Sylas’s consciousness was left forced his frame to crawl forward on his face, disregarding the further scorching mutilation of his skin.

The words clawed at his throat as they left and through it all he brought all the strength he had left to make them audible enough to The Meridaitus Head.


He stopped in his tracks without glancing back.

“Was…any of it real? Every smile..every la-ugh…Did you..Did you ever…?–” His voice failed him before he could finish the statement as it came out in a butchered jumble of lamented text and cries.

Actavio didn’t turn around. Nor did he respond. He continued forward, shutting the gate as it screeched and thundered after him.

It would’ve been the last time Sylas would be able to see those hazel-blue eyes. Those dazzling blonde strands all accompanied by an astute posture and elegant air. And, he didn’t even give him that.

The distant patters of moisture were louder now. His own blood, probably.

Nothing gave him companionship anymore. He was left the same way he started. Alone with his affections.


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