Chapter 5

I began to explore. Anything and anywhere in order to learn. I did not want to learn english, history, the things in the books I was permitted to read. No, I wanted facts. I wanted to know this world around me, understand this place I called my prison.

Sometimes I'd sit for hours next to a lamp, staring at it with hateful curiosity. Wondering how it was it created this thing, this light that filled the room instantly. How it created this wonderful untouchable, unhearable force that could banish the fears and dreams of a frightened child.

I felt stupid, seeing all the things I didn't know. I felt childish, in my want to discover them. Yet I also felt blessed, these men did not fully appreciate what they had surrounding them, never did they sit and stare and attempt to figure it out what made them tick, no. They knew those items worked, and that was good enough for them.

Egotistical, all powerful men know everything they need to know.

My explorations did nothing to quench my thirst for knowledge, nothing to satisfy my hunger. If anything, it made them worse.

I learned many a lesson in that place, not all of them relating to the basic knowledge I wanted. I learned that servant staircases afforded better transportation than main hallways. I learned that security guards are big, tough and fast, but not exactly noticing. If quiet enough, I could sneak past them. I learned how to not fall when shoved. I learned how to predict an attack. And most important, I learned that I could only rely on myself. Family wouldn't always be there, friends could be gone, the only person experiencing everything you do, is you.

There is, as always, one lesson I did not learn. It's the one I never learned. Perhaps the most life preserving of all of them.

I never learned, and most likely will never learn, to keep my head down and not resist.

The man roughly drove the whip across my back. I immediately bit my tongue to control the instinctive cry of pain threatening to escape my lips and snarled.

My back was a bloody mass of torn flesh already, part of me wondered how much more my body could take.

The man was a large, burly, security guard. As usual, I had talked back to him and he decided to punish me. Dragging me to the room where I was branded he strapped me face down on the medical bed and grabbed the first whip he could find.

Only ten minutes later, my back was all but destroyed by the cruel weapon.

Hot blood trickled down my body, seeped into my clothes.

"That's enough."

I grit my teeth to keep the instant gratitude away and spat, panting hard, "you sure? I'm pretty damn sure I can take more. I'm not some cry baby excuse for a male."

The whip collided with my back and sent a flare of burning pain up the cuts already there.

"I said enough. Let her go." Ah, dear master belrose. For some reason he always stopped his people from beating me too thoroughly. If he was trying to win favor, defending me like that would only win him hate.

The man grumbled and detached the shackles from my arms and legs. I struggled to try and stand but found my legs refused to move. My knees buckled and I had to grab the nearest wall for support.

The man sneered at me, "next time will be worse. Watch your mouth."

"Suck my-" My hair was roughly grabbed and "sir" began dragged me out of the room.

I staggered with each step, knees refusing to work for me.

Belrose sighed and turned grabbing me and picking me up.

I snarled, "I can walk! I'm not a child!"

"Obviously you can't and obviously you are." He responded cooly, carrying me to the room I had come to learn was mine.

I glared at him, tempted to shove off him but I knew there was a chance I'd land on a lash mark and hurt myself more

"Not going to thank me then? I did stop him."

"False kindness falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. Nothing you can do will ever change the fact you killed my mother and the only man I ever loved and respected. Or ever will."

I may have imagined it, but I saw him wince under my scathing words. I smirked, loving the idea that I hurt him.

He sighed, "stay here while i get medical supplies."

"No."

"Damnit Victoria!"

I snarled at him, "you have no right to call me that!"

"I have every right."

My anger was steadily growing, threatening to spill over. I attempted to control it. In a moment of blind, stupid strength I lashed out, slapping him with all the force I could muster. My hand stung and the echoing ring of the slap shot through the room like a bullet. The ring was deafening, surrounding both of us and consuming us in the aftermath of that one simple action that spoke many words.

He turned to me his face red, "if i have to tie you to the bed in order to treat your wounds i will. Stay here or I'll make you."

Then he was gone.

Hey guys!

SO sorry for this LONNNNGGG overdue chapter, School has been insane!

Well here it is! As always, review!

Love you all,

Hellantroy