Dawning Skye -
Chapter 68: Hard Truths(Part Two)
***Warning: This Chapter Contains Trigger Material. Viewer Discretion Is Advised***
“How could he do that?! Jacob and I would’ve had to have consummated the marriage for the contract to be binding... He was just going to let that monster have me?!” tears filled Skye’s eyes as her own words tore her heart in two.
A tormented expression covered Tidas’ face as he looked to his wife and said; “I wish I could tell you what your father was thinking.. All I know is the minute that messenger reached him, he sent him back to me with word of you’re impending marriage. Our original plan had been centered around the Fowlers believing your father wanted to buy slaves. After word of my death reached everyone, Lord Fowler insisted on the match between you and Jacob. He wouldn’t consent to any deals with your father without his agreement on it.”
“I don’t agree with your father in any way on how he handled it, but you must understand Skye-” Tidas tried to continue, but Skye cut him off.
Fury edged her voice as she glared at Tidas and said; “WHAT exactly is there to understand?! My father was willing to let that beast of a man Rape me to secure the deal... I UNDERSTAND perfectly..”
Panic rose in Tidas as he tried to explain; “Skye, I don’t blame you for your anger.. I wanted to kill him myself, after he told me. But think about how many people he was trying to save...”
“I get it, Tidas! I understand what was at stake as soon as ye mentioned the slave trade.. But! He’s MY FATHER! My Father traded me! I feel shame because of how I feel.. I know how many lives he would’ve saved. But he’s my Da... He’s supposed to protect me...”
Tidas wrapped his arms around his wife as she cried. Her body shook with her emotions as she sobbed into his shoulder. He wished there was something he could do for Skye, but it wasn’t something he could solve. This was a matter between father and daughter. He’d been too afraid of his own reaction to ask Lucas the most important question: would he have let Jacob consummate the marriage?
After some time had passed, Skye calmed down. She slammed the whiskey Tidas had handed her before they’d sat down, and poured another. She sipped at her second one; already feeling the warmth from the first tumbler spreading throughout her body, and calming her nerves. Tidas finished off his as well, then poured another.
Now came the part that scared the prince the most: Angela. If he was being honest with himself, Tidas wasn’t sure how it had even happened. He’d remembered fragments of images, but never anything concrete. It had been Angela who’d claimed they’d bedded. He wouldn’t have believed her, except the evidence of her virginity had been left on him. She had to have told the truth about that small part..
“Skye... There’s something else I need to tell you...”
Finishing her cup, Skye held up her finger, then refilled and drank down the dark whiskey again. Tidas grabbed the cup from her hand and set both of the tumblers on the nightstand next to the bottle. He scooted to the side so he could meet her eyes.
The prince swallowed hard before confessing; “After I attempted to kill my uncle, I told you I’d been badly injured, correct?”
Skye nodded in agreement before he continued: “A girl that was nursing me; she’s the daughter of a noble family that’s been loyal to the crown for generations. She was assigned to take care of me while I was recovering-Skye?”
The moment Tidas had begun talking, Skye’s world began to spin. She wasn’t sure if it was from the whiskey, or what she knew Tidas was trying to get at. She’d gotten up from the bed, and was standing just a few feet from her husband. Anger and heartbreak welled up within her, but she kept calm.
“So this Angela... Is she to have yer child?”
“Gods, no! As soon as her father found out what had happened, he basically locked her away for three months to make sure. She didn’t get pregnant, and to be honest, I’m not even sure how it happened..”
“Ye stuck yer cock in her, that’s how!” Skye’s temper was at its boiling point, but the prince refused to give up.
Tidas crossed their distance in less than a second to embrace his wife. She fought against him a moment; trying to hit and kick at him. But she quit her struggles when he began talking again.
“I’ve Never wanted any other woman but you, Skye! Ye know that! I don’t know how it happened because I don’t remember! The medicine I was on knocked me out. I don’t even know how I Could’ve... you know..”
“Fucked her?!” Skye yelled with a quiver in her voice.
“I didn’t fuck her, Skye! She fucked me!” Tidas yelled back.
Skye bit down on her husband’s arm to force him to free her as he barked at her; “Wench!”
Skye took a couple steps back, waiting for Tidas to strike back in some way, but he didn’t. Instead, he turned towards the bottle of whiskey, and chugged about a quarter of the bottle in one go. Afterwards, he went straight to the bathroom.
Tidas grabbed the tub off of the fire and poured it into the bathtub. Steam rose up and begun to fill the room as the prince headed back out to refill the water tub. Once his task was completed, he went back inside. Skye was still standing in the same spot when he entered the room.
“Ima sorry.. f-for bitin’ ye,” Skye stuttered.
Tidas grinned half-heartedly as he replied, “It’s fine... It’s still better than how I thought you’d react.”
Skye huffed, not sure of how she should feel about it all. A sinking feeling filled her chest as she went over what Tidas had said. He didn’t recall the act, and he’d been unconscious from his medications. There are plenty of herbs that could make a man hard, whether he was aroused or not.
“Tidas, do ye know of the medications you were on?” Skye had walked back over to the bed where her husband was pouring another drink.
“Not really, no. I know they gave me something for the pain, and something to help me sleep at night. Plus all the vitamins and what not,” Tidas’ expression shifted to curiosity as Skye questioned him.
She asked him about the taste, texture, and smells of the medications. Skye also asked what times of the day he took them, and amounts. As they talked, Tidas recalled taking an extra ‘vitamin’ the few days leading up to when he had supposedly slept with Angela.
“Do ye recall having any..issues, those days at all? Like waking up a little ‘stiff’, so to speak?” Skye sputtered, trying to be delicate with her question.
“I don’t recall.. It was too long ago to remember,” Tidas expression was fixed as he tried to remember the time.
The feeling in her chest intensified as Skye tried to deny what she already knew to be the truth. She knew Tidas would never willingly cheat on her. They’d loved each other for too long, and respected each other too much. A deep, searing hatred began to build in place of her heartache.
Although Skye wouldn’t know for sure until she confronted the girl herself, she felt her hypothesis was the only logical answer. Tidas’ grief and self-loathing wasn’t unfamiliar to Skye. She’d seen plenty of women express the same unfounded guilt after they’d gone through what Tidas had. Their experiences were far worse, but the pain and undeserved guilt was the same..
“Tidas... I think Angela drugged you. I think she gave ye small doses to start. To see how much she should give you. But I think... I think she gave ye something to.. By the gods, how do I say this?!” Skye practically yelled in her fluster.
“You think she raped me?” Tidas asked with surprise in his voice.
“Do ye think ye would sleep with her otherwise?!” Skye’s voiced was slightly shrill as she extended her arms in exasperation.
“No... I’ve never wanted anyone but you. But is it really considered rape?” Tidas queried.
“Did ye want to?”
“Of course not.”
“Then it’s rape. Gender doesn’t matter. Only the fact that You Said No.”
Tidas thought on Skye’s words. He’d never wanted any other woman but her. Angela had made advances on him, but the prince had made it clear to her that his heart belonged to another. She’d thrown fits about it, even in public. She’d even accused Shasta of being his lover, which earned the girl a sound beating from both Shasta and her father.
Skye watched her husband process the truth of the matter. It was odd to think about a man being raped by a woman, but it wasn’t any less wrong. It was still a violation of her husband’s person, and Skye fumed at the thought. She wanted nothing more than to head straight to the capital to kill the bitch. But what good would that do? The only thing she could do was be there for her husband.
“I may not need to say this, but Ima gonna anyway. Just so ye understand. I love you, Tidas. I want to kill that scheming bitch, but I Love You. I know ye didn’t choose to be with her, and that’s all that matters to me. It’s not yer fault in any way,” Skye took a seat on the bed next to her husband as she’d spoken.
Tidas was taken aback by his wife’s sentiments. The whole situation was unreal to him. The victims he’d seen from the slave trade had been through so much worse than him. Skye’s servant had survived Jacob Fowler. In all honesty; it didn’t feel like he’d been raped when compared to the suffering he’d seen associated with the word. But the violation done to him wasn’t diminished by it.
“The only thing that worried me was that I might lose you due to..” Tidas trailed off as he stared at the floor.
Skye wrapped her arms around her husband and squeezed him tight before saying; “I love you, Tidas.. I love ye so much. I’ll always be by yer side, so long as ye will have me. My place is here, with you...”
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