Home > Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(5)

Gypsy Truths (All The Pretty Monsters #6)(5)
Author: Kristy Cunning

The older, bearded man claps Damien’s shoulder, pride gleaming in his eyes.

“Good job. Our name will be too powerful soon enough, and we’ll crush anyone in our way without so much as lifting a finger,” his father adds.

He sneers behind him toward Dorian, who is still keeping his head hung low, patiently holding a large trunk.

“Go put the supplies in the carriage, boy. Do you need direction on how to do everything, or are you afraid you’ll cock that up as well?”

Damien smirks in Dorian’s direction, as though he’s reveling in the fact he’s the favorite.

Dorian never glances up.

Their father’s attention returns to Damien, along with the pride that replaces the disdain he shared with Dorian.

“Morpheous will be the name on every tongue. That’s a fine woman you’ve started dating. A real fine woman,” he tells him, winking to show he’s certainly proud of him for that.

“She’s everything I ever dreamed a woman could be. She’ll do so much for our family’s name, and she’s got a mouth on her that will keep things interesting,” Damien boasts, his smile only growing.

Idun.

They’re talking about Idun, I’m assuming.

In the back of the image, I spot Dorian turning around the corner, as though he lingered just to hear the rest of the conversation but can’t bear to hear anymore.

Damien laughs and chats with his father, insulting anyone and everyone who isn’t as amazing as the two of them are, as they merrily trail Dorian.

“Put your bastard brother to use. Don’t let him sit around with his dick in his hand. Put him to work on this trip. Come back with more good news,” he tells Damien.

He shakes his hand and doesn’t bother acknowledging Dorian again, as he turns and walks away.

Damien climbs into the back of the carriage, while Dorian shuffles around to shut the door for him. Then, the broken version of Dorian Gray heaves himself into place behind the reins—

The next stabbing wave of knives hurts almost as bad as the lightning on a day when the rain has already soaked me.

The image shatters, and Dorian laughs next to me.

“I heard you like pathetic men. Do you feel sorry for me yet?” he asks, yanking my head to the side, as reality breaks back into view.

He grins at the mirror in front of us, as tears leak down my cheeks. I’m struck with the sight of blood spraying from my mouth, as I choke on it once more.

My heartbeat won’t relent. It won’t slow down even one beat. Every time I try, he stabs me again, which only drives it up higher and higher.

“How about another blast from the past?” he chirps.

Before I can form a thought, another vision forces its way into my mind, and I cry out when the knives stab me, punishment for fighting against it.

Dorian is knocked to the ground by a rod of some sort, taking the blow to his face. Blood is coughed out of his mouth, as he cries out in pain.

“You dare disgrace and disrespect your brother like that in public?” his father demands. “You claim to be the eldest Morpheous because you think you have some right to my name after some miserable whore trapped my seed between her loose thighs?”

His foot slams into Dorian’s middle, and Dorian doubles over, crying out in both surprise and anguish.

“He’ll marry Idun Neopry. He’s doing something that breaks all the rules, but it will make this family more powerful than we’ve ever been, and you dare to threaten that by attempting to lay claim to the title of my first-born son? You dare?!” he shouts in disgust, before he spits on Dorian’s face.

Dorian cuts his eyes up at his father, his body trembling.

“You’re messing with the natural order of life. You’re going to—”

His father’s foot silences him, since Dorian catches a boot to the mouth. I’d look away if I could, because it hurts to watch the next beating he takes.

It lasts for minutes but feels like hours, as the rod comes down over and over, beating Dorian to instant bruises, as Dorian lies there and takes it.

“Weak. Fucking. Miserable. Waste. Of. Life!” the older man rages. “No son of a whore is going to represent my family,” shouts the man who sounds both offended and affronted by Dorian’s mother’s sexual past, even as he’s proud to own a brothel. “As far as I’m concerned, you can remain mortal with all your bullshit philosophies, because only Morpheous blood will live on eternally.”

He turns and stalks out, leaving Dorian on the floor to sob quietly all alone.

I watch as Dorian crawls across the floor to the door, barely managing to do so without whimpering every few feet. As he stares through the crack, I spot their father speaking to Damien.

“It’s handled. He’s not first-born of this family, nor has he ever been,” he tells Damien.

I see Damien look back, lips tense, as though he wishes to go to Dorian. Dorian scurries back out of sight, as Damien continues to stare on, barely visible through the crack.

“He’s of our blood whether you claim him or not, Father,” Damien says, sounding and seeming older in this memory. “It’s his birthright. This is bigger than family. This is gypsy magic and blood magic we’re dealing with. Not family skeletons in dark closets.”

There’s a loud snap, and the crack grows wider, showing more of Damien, as his head hangs to the side. A red mark is appearing on his cheek, and his father is lowering his hand.

“I’ll not take any lip from you over a bastard. You’ll make the sacrifice. If it doesn’t work, I’ll kill Dorian myself. Then, you’ll try again. It should work just fine after that. If you want him alive, you’ll do as I say. Understood?”

Damien’s jaw grinds. “Understood.”

His father puts his hands on Damien’s shoulders, and Damien turns his head back to face him.

“You’re a man of nearly thirty years of age. It’s time to stop acting like a weak child if you want people to learn to respect you. It’s time to become a man of true strength, instead of thinking with nothing other than the prick in your trousers. You can have your whores. You can have your wine. You can even have your debauched parties. You can have whatever you fucking want. But you won’t step down as first-born. I’ve spent too much time, energy, and money on grooming you to carry on our family’s name. Don’t disappoint me, Damien.”

Damien gives a small, almost imperceptible nod.

“Of course, Father. I’ll make the sacrifice. I’m your first-born,” Damien states as though he’s said those words before.

His father claps his shoulder.

“If you’re smart, you’ll kill Dorian yourself. A man as weak as he won’t survive in the new world we’re going to build. Our family’s legacy is just getting started.”

The illusion shatters, and I cry out in pain once again when I try to scramble away from Dorian’s hold.

He clutches my throat in one hand and shoves me against the wall, grinning down at me.

“Guess who’s Father’s favorite now?” Dorian asks me with eyes that dance with mischief. “Damien was the strongest. Once I’m done with you, there’s no doubt he’ll come for me. I’ve not been able to provoke him in too many centuries to count.”

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