Crested in Scarlet

Sexy and dangerous, eyes filled with dark mystery, and a type of fiery fight inside that wills him on, Skurin Noix is a violent criminal put on death row. And although a well-feared man, Ashley is having a hard time staying away from Skurin. And she'll risk anything just to be near him, even if she has to make a contract with Skurin to do it.

 I did it. I messed up. I was the one who pushed the prince down the stairs, not Skurin. But he lied for me. And now he's going to be the one to pay for it. And where was the proof?
 First he would be whipped, for committing an assault against the royal family. Then needles would be stabbed through his lips to bind them permanently together. That was the price you paid for lying.
 I ran quickly in the night, and even though I knew more than anything that the guards would be out tonight more than any other night, I had no choice but to risk being caught. The penalty for being caught out at night near the royal house was a night in confinement. 
 As I climbed over the brick wall connected to the main gate, my feet met with the cold earth on the other side. From this point on, I knew that the grounds would be absolutely filled with guards. I took out my cell phone to check the time; 11:45. Fifteen minutes until the punishment is carried out. So I started with a quick sprint between one of the many buildings that filled the area, most leading up to the sleeping quarters of the royal family. I pressed myself firmly up against the cold stone wall, and with great hesitation, checked around the corner. Four guards, each standing directly in front of the main entrances to the four main buildings. Luckily, that was not where I was headed. 
Watching steadily, I timed the amount of seconds it took for each guard to look left, then right. If it takes five seconds for the tallest guard to turn, then it would be seven for the shortest. I formulated exactly when it would be okay for me to run across without being seen quickly, then took a sigh as I waited for for the right time. Now. 
 I ran across the small clearing between the two rows of buildings, and hoped to God that I timed it right. But it was impossible for me to be wrong. I checked the time; 11:55. Five minutes. Then I followed the dirt path through the open cut field of the grounds, and didn't bother to look for any look-outs. You would have to be a fool to be heading out here. 
 The path led me to a rounded wall, attached to a much longer rectangular wall. These walls all made up a building formerly known as the Torture Unit. Skurin was inside of there right now. All I could think about was what was about to happen...
 Midnight. It was midnight. Was I too late?
 I ran to the entrance of the Torture Unit, and quickly realized that they'd already locked the doors. No one would be answering the door now, no matter how loud I banged on the door. I'm too late. But no, I couldn't just walk back home now. Instead, I went around to the side of the Torture Unit and found just one tiny window, covered by a coral coloured piece of translucent fabric. I could see them, but no one would be able to see me.
 Skurin was slouched over with his hands on his knees, and his entire back bare. And completely dark red with the remnants of fresh whip marks dripping blood. I almost couldn't bare the sight; Skurin down panting in so much pain. And I hadn't even heard a scream. But then again, they did have the option of silencing any screams within the building, although the royals liked to make it apparent to everyone by letting the screams of the tortured run through the night. It seems odd that they would silence him, though.
 Besides Skurin, there was a heavily muscled man wearing a black mask in there holding the bone-chilling flexible metal whip. It dripped with Skurin's blood. The man laughed.
 "That's what you get for messing with the royal family," He spat in Skurin's direction, "Pretty boy." The Torturer walked off chuckling. The moment he did, Skurin and I both let loose deep breaths. He stood with perfect posture, and presented himself with the same great strength he always held. The great pride and honour of the Noix family, long assassinated long ago. Skurin was the single orphan child left of that prideful family.
 A beautiful woman set foot into the room, with thick long black hair, tanned skin, and slim black clothing covering her body. A violet gypsy's bandana made of the same material as the fabric covering the window covered her lower face, but a fool would know who that was from the moment she stepped foot into the chamber; Princess Yarora. 
 She held a mysterious smile on her lips and held her hands behind her back, walking up to Skurin with a type of calmness most wouldn't dare. Sofly, she grazed Skurin's cheek with her hand, and I awaited Skurin's action. He did nothing but stood still.
 "Hello, Skurin." Following his eyes to Yarora's hand still held behind her back, she made haste to slap metal binds around Skurin's wrists. He looked up calmly, and just stared into her eyes. It was impossible to read his emotions, but he looked like he was open and waiting or something. Yarora just looked up at him with the same mysterious, now mischievous eyes, and cruel smile. She liked Skurin.
 Yarora broke away from his stare, "You know it's a shame," she walked around to the back of Skurin, studying him, then going to pull out a chair that was in hiding somewhere in the darkness, and pushing him down into it so that the shackles at the legs of the chairs would close around his ankles. Skurin did not resist in the least. Yarora was successful in bringing in another chair around in front of him, and then sat down in it. She stared a minute at the man, then took his chin in her hand and rested her thumb on his delicate lips. "A shame that we really have to harm those pretty lips of yours, but it's really your own fault." She brushed her thumb against his bottom lip, making me furious. 
 She took a needle from her pocket, threaded it with a long string of flexible metal, and broke off the end with a knife to tie it in a knot. 
 "Open wide," She said playfully, and I just caught the glimpse of Skurin hesitate, then drop his jaw down just slightly enough.
 "Scream at the top of your lungs, Noix." She said darkly.
 Yarora, needle in one hand, gently pinched Skurin's upper lip, raised the needle up, then stabbed it down with all her strength. I could have sworn I caught Skurin flinch, but that was impossible, too. Skurin had no fears.
 Eerily, she pulled the thread through, and continued with the bottom lip. Stabbing it through and pulling the thread, stabbing and pulling it through... 
 I couldn't watch any longer. I crouched down below the window, and leaned against the wall. That should have been me.
 But it wasn't.

The End

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