Authors: Ashley Nemer
he looked at her phone, shock still in her heart. She had to find Zayn and fast. Running to her car, she got in and sped to the royal home.
“Zayn, come quick!” She yelled while running into the house.
Nasir stepped out of his office. “What is it Adara? Did something happen?”
“I need Zayn! Get him!” she shouted.
Zayn, hearing the commotion, came downstairs. “Adara did she call you? Do you know something? What’s happened?” He embraced her, his fear showing across his face.
Adara handed him her phone. “Derrik called me, told me he would text me the coordinates of where they are holding her. You have to help her; she is being hurt!”
Zayn’s eyes glow yellow immediately upon hearing this. “Who are they?”
“I don’t know. Someone named Hamza has her and is hurting her. Derrik said you have to save her. Why would he help us? What’s being done to her?” Zayn ignored Adara who was crying and in the process of a panic attack. He took her phone and hooked it up to a special device.
Nasir took Adara in his arms, trying his best to calm the shaken female. “Zayn, what is the location? Can we get there fast?”
“It’s our old training facility in the mountains, about 60 miles south of here. Bastard has her there!” He broke off as a servant came in to take Adara away while they finished their talk.
“Zayn, you know what we stored up there, what they have available to use on her.” He nodded, hearing the tone in Nasir’s voice.
“Yes, I know. We need a plan. Let’s make sure everyone is ready for battle. We don’t know what condition she is going to be in when we do find her. Let’s leave in ten; we will bring my okht home.”
Nasir nodded. “Yes, Sire, I will go prepare the men.”
Zayn flashed to his office, strapping various weapons on himself, before he grabbed Nikole’s sword and sheathed it in the holster. Attaching it to his belt, he swore he would kill the bastard with her weapon; it was the only logical thing to do. Walking out of the door, he headed to the vehicles, recalling the day the sword was commissioned.
“Abb, I think it’s time I have a proper weapon. How else will Zayn ever know I can beat him if I’m always fighting with a fake sword?”
Zayn started laughing. “Nikole, you will never beat me. Not only am I older, I’m better, I’m stronger, and I’m a man!’
Nikole lunged at Zayn, knocking him down and wrestling with him. Their abb sat back laughing, watching his two children fight it out. “Children, come on, you both have the ability to beat each other. Now stop and come here.” The two kids look at him while chuckling. Nikole sucker punched Zayn when he wasn’t looking, causing him to lunge at her. King Tamman grabbed Zayn and pulled him off of Nikole.
“Now, I’ve always told you both that the way to win a fight is by using your mind, not a sword. You have to be able to outsmart your opponent to gain the upper hand. Always remember that, it’s not whose sword is most powerful or whose arm is stronger, it’s whose mind thinks faster and sharper. Now Nikole, you want a proper sword do you?”
“Yes, one with a golden hilt, with violet strands mixed in.”
“Purple! Nikole, what kind of warrior has purple in her sword?” Zayn teased while standing up.
“I will Zayn! It’s not stupid. That way, when I am out fighting, the enemies will know who is coming after them. Princess Nikole, The People’s Victor!”
King Tamman liked the sound of that. “The People’s Victor? I like that Nikole; we shall have that engraved on the blade as well. Splendid design, my bent.”
So much time has passed since the day this was made, yet he remembered it like yesterday. Brushing a tear aside, he made his way outside to join the army to bring his okht home.
“Now, your team will take the south entrance. The King and I will take the north entrance. Remember, Derrik and Hamza we take alive. The King wants to deal with those two personally. Everyone else, slaughter!”
Zayn stopped listening to Nasir giving the orders and explaining the plan of attack. His body was numb from the pain of being without her. Nasir grabbed his shoulder.
“Now, let’s hear from our King, the powerful, Zayn!” The crowd erupted in loud cheers then a moment later turned silent as Zayn stood.
“My fellow Algula, a tragic event has happened. My okht, your Princess Nikole, was taken from us. It’s our job to bring her home. These men will not live to see tomorrow. They will all die. We will show Haydar that he cannot destroy us. We are whole, we are just, and we are honorable. Today, when you fight, you not only fight for my okht, your Princess, you fight for your existence. We are sending a message back to him, ‘We will not quit, we will not cower, and we will not be intimidated!’ Let the blood shed begin!”
Zayn and Nasir got in the first vehicle and the procession to the training center began. “That was a good speech; the men will be pumped up, ready to fight.”
“I didn’t say that speech for them; I said it for me. I had to declare my message to my amm. I can’t imagine what he is doing to her. Hamza has the worst reputation for mutilation of any other fighter of Haydar’s. We need to be prepared for the worst possible scenario. “Don’t think about that, Zayn. We won’t be too late. We will save her.” Nasir leaned back in his seat, the hot leather against his skin. He pulled out the blue print sketch of the facility. “If I was a betting man, this is where they will be holding her. This is where we are going to go in. Are you sure you want to be there when we find her?
Zayn looked at him with pure shock on his face. “Why would I not want to be there?” Confusion was in his voice as he wondered why Nasir would suggest he wouldn’t want to be part of his okht’s rescue.
“We don’t know her condition, and I just want to make sure you are prepared. It could be a very bloody event,” Nasir’s tone indicated his own level of nervousness coming through.
“I will be there. End of story. Until we arrive.”
amza walked into the room with his guard, looking at Nikole’s still body lying on the table. “Is she dead?” he questioned.
“No sir, she passed out while we were in the middle of the procedure. We were doing like you instructed and burning her body with the needles, when she went unconscious. We thought it best to come get you right away.”
Hamza looked over her body, placing his fingers to her neck and feeling only a small hint of life. His lips curved up in excitement as he anticipated what was yet to come. “Good, leave us alone.” He started to walk around the table, staring at her naked and bloodied body.
The room emptied out while Hamza continued to circle the table. He tried to decide what to do with this dead weight prisoner. Leaning over her body, he backhanded her jaw, the cracking of her bones deafening, in the silence of the room. He heard her moan in agony while she slowly came to consciousness.
“Nikole, I think it would be best if you just gave me what I asked of you. As soon as you tell me what we want to know, this pain will all stop.” Taking his knife from the sheath on his belt, he placed the cold blade to her cheek. “I will cut your pretty little face apart. Don’t think I won’t.” Taking the tip of the blade he broke the skin at the top of her left cheek and slowly cut lines into her face. Droplets of blood ran down her cheek, staining her flesh as he slashed her face. Nikole’s voice was gone from all the screaming she has done and all she could do was heave a cry. Her eyes were still forced open, not even tears could form since she couldn’t blink. “Come on, little Princess, just tell me where Zayn is so I can kill him. I promise this will all stop.”
She slowly shook her head to the left and right, not even an inch of movement, but the answer was no. She would never give up her akh. She would always remain loyal to him, to their legacy.
Hamza was getting frustrated with her lack of cooperation, but he could appreciate the loyalty she displayed for family. He needed her to have a reason to give up something as valuable as her blood. “Princess, do you know the pain of losing your fingers knuckle by knuckle? I have this pair of pliers’ right here, and I think we can start with the pinky finger, or maybe the big toe.” He took the pliers into his hand, running the cool metal down her naked body, and then pressed the pliers to her skin above her right thumb as she lost consciousness, again.
Hamza watched her eyes dilate, the changing of the purple as her coloring burned violet. He knew she was scared; their eyes only reacted like that with emotion. He had her where he wanted her. He knew he would be able to force her now.
He cursed under his breathe and called for help. “Someone please keep her awake! How am I supposed to get any information from her if she keeps passing out? IDIOTS! All of you!” Hamza stormed off, out of the room, running into Derrik in the hallway.
“What are you doing to her?” He practically shouted “Is all that really necessary?” Hamza sneered at him; the sight of this pathetic reaction, revolted him, made worse knowing that that Derrik would one day be on the throne
“What is wrong with you? Did you become a girl over night or what? You have feelings for your eben amty there?” Hamza laughed at Derrik, his displeasure with the questioning him, evident.
Derrik balled his fists and punched Hamza in the jaw, pushed him against the wall, and began to beat on him. Hamza jabbed Derrik in the ribcage. Derrik punched at Hamza’s diaphragm, knocking the wind out of him. The men exchanged punch after punch. Hamza’s head hit the wall as Derrik’s fist struck under his chin; he felt his brain swash back and forth because of the hard hit. Hamza pushed off the wall and charged at Derrik, wrapping his arms around his waist as he shoved him into the other wall. Hamza’s body bent over around Derrik’s lower half causing Hamza’s balance to wobble.
Derrik took his elbow and struck between Hamza’s shoulder blades. Hamza fell to the ground as bones cracked. Derrik put Hamza in a lock on the ground and pulled out the handcuffs he had found in his office. Derrik secured Hamza to the pipes along the wall swiftly before anyone else came in. Kicking him in the face with his boot, he took off for the room Nikole was being held in.
Walking into the room, Derrik looked over Nikole’s body, all the blood and bruises, the cuts. He cupped her face in his hands and placed a kiss on her forehead. “I am so sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t…” He coughed out an apology as his heart slowly beat to the tears that start to run down his cheek. He released the eye holders then started to work on her wrist restraints. Pulling against the metal, the right one finally slipped off. He heard Nikole start to murmur. He leaned over her body, his ear coming up beside her mouth so he could hear her frail voice and he heard her breathless whisper. “Thank you.” It was at that moment Derrik grabbed his own chest in pain.
He stumbled back away from the table. Unsure of what happened; he turned around seeing Dominic standing there. He could feel blood running down his body, his knees starting to go weak. He looked from his chest to Dominic, shock etched on his face. “Wha...what have you done?” The words barely made it out as he gasped for air before falling to his knees. Derrik tried to move back to the table, but Dominic kicked him back. His foot locked with Derrik’s stomach, sending him toward the ground.
“Abb told me if you ever backed out of a mission to kill you. I saw what you did to Hamza and you were going to free her. You had to die. I’ll tell abb that he only had one ebn’ worthy of his name.” Dominic leaned down, grabbing Derrik by the hair to look him in the eye. “He never loved you.” He took his knife, and with one smooth motion, sliced his akh’s throat, relishing in the river of blood pouring out.
Hamza came into the room after being freed by one of his guards, to see Derrik on the ground, bleeding out, while Dominic now held the knife at Nikole’s throat. “Stop, Dominic, we still need her.”
Dominic held back his disgust for Hamza then bowed in respect and began to leave. “Why did you kill him? He’s the boss’s ebn’,” Hamza asked.
“I saw him attack you and try to free her. Boss’s ebn’ or not, he was a traitor to the cause. I am sure Haydar will not mind.” It took all the control Dominic could summon not to slice his throat.
Who did he think he was, to question him?
Nikole laid there, listening to their conversation, wavering in and out of consciousness. Did Hamza not know they were akhs? She was having a hard time making out what they were saying; her ears were ringing from the pain and torture. She was starting to lose her senses. She began to think she could even hear Zayn in her mind, talking to her. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer for Zayn to come save her.
“Just let me kill her already. She hasn’t told you anything and isn’t going to. We have wasted enough time here. Eventually, they will find us,” Dominic argued.
“If you want to leave, leave, but do not tell me how to run my operation. Now you are excused from this room for the remainder of the time.” Hamza barked out.
Dominic left the room, not looking back at the pitiful site he had witnessed. It was no wonder things were never finished with someone like Hamza in charge. Back in the torture chamber, Hamza grabbed the pliers from the floor after making sure she was once again secured to the table. Nikole could see him approaching and frantically tried to break the metal cuffs off of her. “No use fighting; it’s time to talk, or you will start losing body parts.”
Weakly, she tried to come off strong but in a whispered breath said, “Leave me alone, I’m not going to ta...”
Hamza slapped her face to silence her; Nikole’s head bounced off the metal table, causing her vision to blur once again.
She couldn’t see who was in front of her, but she could tell that something was going on. Seeing two shadows along the wall, moving around as if wrestling, Nikole thought her mind was playing tricks on her. Hearing a noise and odd commotion in the room, she was unsure of who was actually fighting.
Nikole lay there, trying to focus her eyes, but all she managed to see was a blur of a man moving. The next thing she knew, someone was touching her and getting on top of her. She couldn’t move and didn’t recognize him; the panic rose in Nikole as she thought someone else was going to hurt her.
Nikole’s vision came back into focus as she saw the man free her arms and legs from the metal restraints. He wrapped her in a blanket and lifted her up off the table. Who was this man carrying her? He was unbelievable, his swiftness and precision. Surely he would be able to keep her safe. “Who are you?” she said, right before she passed out.