Character Gauntlet Challenge Day Fourteen
|While Ido awaited his trial before the Council of Magic he reflected on how he got there. He could blame it all on Onyx, but that would not be fair some of the blame he knew belonged to their father. If he had not left the pack to be with a human female none of this would have happened. Ido was certain of that fact, just as he was certain that the only reason Kyo allowed himself to be removed as pack leader was so that he could start his new life with his new family. The very thought of it made Ido ill.
It all started the day Kyo came back from an unusually long hunt. Ido and his mother were just about to dig into a kill that Ido had brought home when Kyo entered the home he shared with Yurai. Ido stayed in a home with other young males, but when his father was away it fell to him to make sure that she had what she needed. Yurai jumped up from the table when Kyo entered, and ran to embrace him. She froze just before she reached him and glowered.
“You carry the scent of another female into our home,” she hissed. “A human female!”
“Yurai I can explain,” Kyo looked nervously from Yurai to Ido. “Perhaps later?”
“No!” Yurai growled. “Now!”
“I have been with a human mage,” Kyo admitted. “She is carrying my child.”
Yurai howled in anger, and threw herself at Kyo. Ido managed to restrain her, but she continued to hiss and spit at Kyo. The coward left, Ido recalled. After that Ido did not see his father again until the next meeting of the pack elders. It was there that Ido called his father to account for his actions. The elders agreed that Kyo would have to be punished, but they were not so quick to banish him or remove him from his position as pack leader. Ido decided to take matters into his own hands. He challenged his father then and there for his position, and one. If it had not been for the outcry of the other elders he would have killed his father. However, Kyo manage to escape with nothing but an injured leg.
After Yurai left for the shadow lands Ido made it his mission to destroy his father’s happiness. His first act of sabotage was to alert the Council of Five that one of their own was carrying the child of a shape changer. It did not take them long to discover that it was Kairi the council member whose focus was fire. He received word from one of the guards at the Council Hall when Kyo and Kairi would be expected to receive the Council’s judgment. That was when he laid his ambush. It would have been successful had the Council guard not interfered. Just another instance of his sister’s charmed life.
While Ido recovered from the wound the captain’s lance had left he worked out a plan to kill his father’s new family. He had planned to kill them after the baby was born, but Kairi had died during the birth. In Ido’s mind her death was enough justice, and that should have been enough to send his father back to him with his tail between his legs. Kyo surprised Ido when he decided to stay among the humans to raise his daughter, Onyx. In the shape changers’ society the women raised the children, and the men were kept at a distance so as not to be tempted to kill their own offspring.
Ido watched from a distance as his father raised the small half-breed child. He actually would have found her quite endearing if he did not hate her so much. As she grew she would enjoy playing hide and seek with Kyo around the palace grounds. When she started being good at it he would actually have to resort to using his panther senses to find her. Ido would always find her first because he would stalk her as she searched for a hiding place. Once he was careless and she discovered him in his dire panther form. Ido estimated her age to be about six at the time. She fearlessly ran up to him not realizing that he might not be as friendly as her father.
“Hi!” she exclaimed in the high squeaky voice of a six-year-old girl. “I’m Onyx! What’s your name?”
Ido considered snarling and snapping at her to scare her away, but then decided this would be an opportune time to find out what she knew. He shifted into his human form not bothering to cover himself. Shape changers did not hide their nakedness from each other, and the notion of shame never occurred to them. He was not about to put on heirs to satisfy some notion of human decency. He squatted so that he was eye level with the small child.
“I’m Ido,” he introduced himself. “Are you out here all by yourself?”
“No,” Onyx answered. “I’m playing hide-and-seek with my papa.” She moved a bit closer to him, and said in a loud whisper, “he’s still looking for me.”
“You must be really good if he hasn’t found you,” Ido smiled mischievously. “Would you like me to show you a good hiding place?”
“I’m not supposed to go anywhere with a stranger,” Onyx admitted. She looked around guiltily. “I’m not really even supposed to talk to strangers.”
Ido could not help chuckling at that. Humans were so over protective of their children. It seemed that his father was becoming more human every day. He smiled kindly as he reached out and rubbed one of the round panther ears sticking out from between long strands of silky black hair.
“We are not really strangers, Onyx,” he soothed. He allowed his ears to show. “See, I’m just like you.”
He lowered his head so that she could touch his ear. A purr escaped him as she massaged his ear with her small fingers. He pulled back realizing he was letting his guard down around her. Quite the charmer aren’t you, Ido thought as he stared into the child’s large green eyes. He stood as Kyo’s scent hit his nose. It was filled with worry and concern. He watched as Kyo approached them at a run. Onyx squealed as Kyo scooped her into his arms, and held her to him. The two men stared at each other in surprised recognition.
“Ido, what brings you here?” Kyo asked as he moved an arm under Onyx to hold her.
“I was curious,” Ido folded his arms over his chest, and stood at his full height. “I wanted to meet my sister.”
“You do not have to sneak around to do that,” Kyo stated. “I would have you here any time you like. You only have to ask.”
“Are you sure that’s alright with the lord of this castle?” Ido inquired.
“Lord Kiru has no reservations about having my family in his home,” Kyo stated. “Come join us for a meal, and see for yourself.”
“I suppose I could spare some time for a meal,” Ido smiled at Onyx who smiled right back.
“You’ll need to wear clothes,” Kyo advised, setting Onyx on the ground. He removed his sir coat and put it on Ido. “Hmm, It is a bit small, but I’m sure I have something that will fit.”
Ido allowed his father to dress him in human clothes. He sat at a large dining table with his father, and Kairi’s parents. Onyx sat between him and Kyo, and talked his ear off about her grandparents, and her papa, and her friend Kaela whom she told everything. After a while her incessant chatter became a dull buzz in his ears. How could father stand this? He wondered.
After the meal Ido followed Kyo as he carried Onyx to what they called a study. Kyo sat on a sofa, and cradled the small child in his arms while he told a story that Ido recognized from his own childhood. After the child fell asleep Kyo handed her off to a woman who carried her out of the room. Ido felt his blood simmer as he watched his father lounge happily on the sofa, watching the woman carry the child away.
“Do you remember that story, Ido?” Kyo asked.
“I do,” Ido nodded. “You tell her our stories.”
“I tell her our stories, and those of her mother’s people,” Kyo motioned to the books on the shelves that lined the wall. “I’ve been learning to read from Kairi’s mother.”
“I see,” Ido could not understand how his father could be so content with his situation. “Is this how you plan to live now?”
“Until Onyx is able to fend for herself,” Kyo nodded.
“And then what?” Ido inquired.
“I’m not sure,” Kyo admitted. “I’d like to see her marry and have her own children before I die.”
“You really have become one of them,” Ido snarled. “You have forgotten who you are.”
“I have not forgotten anything,” Kyo stood. “I have just made room for something else.”
“At what cost?!” Ido exclaimed. “I did not want to take your position this way!”
“Ido, calm down,” Kyo reached for his son.
“I am not a child you can cradle in your arms!” Ido snapped. He turned to leave.
“Ido, wait! We will be having a celebration in a few years when Onyx turns ten, and I turn one hundred. I would like it if you would join us.”
“I will think about it.”
After he left Ido returned to his home in the dire panther lands, and tore his father’s clothes off of himself. He took his mate in the most animal fashion he could, and roared as he released inside her. His father needed to be reminded of what he was, and Ido would make sure that it happened.
When the day of celebration came Ido arrived at the palace after sunset. He knew Kyo and Onyx would be returning from the Council of Five, and they would be surprised to see him. After killing every male in the palace he settled in to wait for their return. Everything went to plan except Onyx’s sudden outburst of power. Ido had not expected her to be so strong at her age. He realized then that his assaults on her would have to be more indirect.
It was shortly after the death of Kyo that Tomas challenged Ido’s position as pack leader. After defeating his father’s old friend Ido chased Tomas off of dire panther land, and threatened him with death should he return. Ido was informed later by scouts that he sent to watch the borders of Onyx’s land that she had taken Tomas in, and tended to his injuries. There were also rumors that Tomas and Onyx were having an affair. Ido confirmed those rumors himself when he used his own magic to conceal his presents, and snuck into the palace. There he found the two nestled cozily in Onyx’s bed, and the room smelled distinctly of mating.
Ido led his forces to invade her land. Though they were driven back Ido still gained the satisfaction of killing Tomas in front of Onyx, and bringing his body back to the dire panthers as an example of what would happen to those who defied him, and allied themselves with Onyx.
Kidnapping someone close to Onyx was the next part of his plan to punish her for ruining his life. He could either kidnap the mage Lao whom she was bedding, or her close friend Kaela. Ido decided Onyx would value Kaela more. He had not intended for Kaela to be harmed, but his male pack members had gotten carried away. His letting Onyx know what was happening was his way of telling her she needed to hurry. Unfortunately, she did not get there until after Kaela was dead. That’s when her dark side emerged. She became a savage beast more violent than a dire panther. Ido found himself desiring the beast, but held himself back as she was still his sister. He followed her after she killed his pack members, and carried Kaela’s broken body out of his land. He waited with her through the night as she returned to her normal human form. He could have killed her at any time, but he did not. His excuse being curiosity, but also there was a fraternal desire to protect his sister. He was not sure where it came from, but he would have to work to suppress it the next time they met.
It was after the slaughter of his male pack members that Ido turned to the Council of Five to exact justice. He hoped they would kill Onyx for her savage behavior. Instead all they did was revoke her status as a recognized mage. True that would make her existence more difficult, but it did not hurt her as much as the damage she had done to his packs numbers. The Council took pity on her because of her loss of Kaela at the hands of his pack.
When Ido did not receive the justice he hoped for he turned to Lao who was shaken by reliving the memory of Onyx slaughtering the dire panther males. The creature she became frightened him to the point that he considered ending their affair. Ido convinced him that he could use his relationship with her to get close enough to kill her, and rid the land of the savage beast. When Lao tried to collect his reward for killing Onyx Ido killed him out of a sense of family honor. Though he had asked Lao to do it, he knew it would be his place to avenge his sister’s death.
Ido began to relax, thinking that his revenge was complete. His hopes were dashed when a few days after her death Onyx strolled unbidden into his land. Once again the siblings faced off, but neither one could kill the other. Ido used the services of a black cleric to imprison Onyx in an ideal reality. She managed to escape the cleric’s power, and closed herself into her palace. Ido was satisfied with that.
A few months later Onyx and the new captain of the Council’s guard Hitaru arrived in Ido’s land in the dead of night, and captured him. Ido endured the ride back to Onyx’s palace naked, and tied to the saddle of Hitaru’s horse.
“I should have let you kill me,” he muttered.
“You will stand trial before the council for all of your crimes,” Onyx stated.
And here I sit, Ido thought as he came back to the present. In a cell beneath my sister’s palace awaiting the trial before a council that until recently had ignored my people altogether. My how times have changed.
Word Count: 2,484