It was as if all motion had ceased. The forest seemed to give way as the shadow moved through. Running at breakneck speeds. He had to get away. That...place... was not where he was supposed to be. Ebon had to escape. His marriage to Feria was not of his choosing nor was it his intention to see it through. Feria was a beautiful woman, any man would be happy to have her. Not just happy, but fortunate. She was the daughter of Count DaChase, a man known for being the wealthiest in the land, also the cruelest. Those known to ever cross him or get in his bad graces either came up missing, maimed or murdered. Entire families wiped out and property burned or taken if deemed valuable by the Count. Ebon from birth had been arranged to marry Feria. Ebon was the bastard son of the Prince Koa, who could not bear children with his own wife, Queen Rideas. Prince Koa fell inlove and sired Ebon with a foreign beauty who had mysteriously come their lands. This woman, unnamed and desperate was given shelter by DaChase, who upon discovering the unborn child's sire hatched a scheme that would one day get him to the throne.
It all would have been perfect...had Ebon cooperated. He loved Feria, having grown up with her, she became more a sister to him throughout all of their adventures of youth. Feria had actually developed a crush on Ebon's trainer, Wake, A blind assassin with gifts in mystic arts. He was to train Ebon in combat and sorcery so that when of age, Ebon would overthrow the Prince and his Queen and rightfully take his place as ruler, bringing along DaChase of course as his advisor and Feria as his bride and Queen.
On this night, the eve of Ebon and Feria's union; Ebon could stand it no more. His feelings for Feria were not of man and wife. He had no such feelings for any woman in the Count's court. His mother had abandoned him as a child, opting to return to her lands. Ebon learned from Wake that only DaChase knew of his mother's lands and more importantly, her name. DaChase actually had this information available to Ebon, and would divulge it to him only upon his marriage to Feria. He also gave Ebon another option, to come to him and begin a secret affair unknown to all. That way he would teach Ebon all he needed to know about the workings of the government and the inner secrets of the royal family, in addition to revealing Ebon's mother's whereabouts.
Ebon always looked up to DaChase as something of a surrogate father. Now, at 17, he was confused as to his feelings for this man he knew as father. An unnatural attraction was there and Ebon also needed to learn of his heritage. His dark skin always made him an outsider to those in the community. The only ones who treated him as if he belonged were Feria, DaChase, and Wake, whom was blind and Ebon believed could not have known anyways. Ebon agreed to meet DaChase on this night. He did not divulge his plan to anyone of running off with this information after doing as DaChase needed.
Ebon neared a clearing in the forest beyond the Count's borders. It was the meeting place as instructed by DaChase. From his perch in the trees he saw nobody awaiting him. Dropping into the clearing, a circular formation of soft green grass illuminated by moonlight yet swathed in shadow, he continued to look around. Nothingness and darkness greeted him. Suddenly, from the night, a voice greeted him.
"Remove your clothes." Ebon did as he was told. Once fully naked, he turned to see a figure moving from the trees towards him. Ebon tensed up. He strained his eyes as to make out the figure of DaChase but only a saw a figure which he determined to be male. The stranger finally stepped into the moonlight of the clearing. It was not DaChase. It was Wake, his trainer, mentor...and lover. He stood there also naked except for his blindfold. Ebon was dumbfounded.
"Wake...what are you doing here? You must leave before..."
"So your need to know your mother is intense enough for you to stray from me and give yourself to that...man?" Wake's voice was hurt and angry as he interrupted. Ebon wanted to approach him but decided to hold back.
"You don't understand. I was not going to be his. I only needed to do what I had to in order to learn the information of my mother's whereabouts and her name. I was not to stay. I intended to leave after he told me.."
"And you figured it to be the truth? Why exactly would he divulge anything at all to you, especially the truth? He needs you in order for his plan to come to fruition. He would had taken carnal pleasure of you and had you start an unending affair with the promise of telling you your history. All this, while you are wedded to his daughter." Wake moved towards Ebon. Ebon always questioned whether or not Wake was truly blind. He moved as if he had sight.
"How do you know this?" Ebon questioned.
"I intercepted your would be suitor on his way here tonight. Through...convincing, I got DaChase to reveal his intentions. I also learned who and where your mother is." Ebon's heart jumped. He ran to Wake and embraced him.
"This is truly wonderous! Tell me! Who is my mother and where is she?"
"I will, not now though. We must leave. DaChase will surely hunt us down for betraying him. It is not safe for us here anymore." Ebon tightened his hold on his mentor's red skin. Wake was also a foreigner to these lands. Ebon felt a response to his hold on Wake. Wake started to move into Ebon but quickly withdrew.
"There is no time...we must go." Ebon took hold of Wake's hand, pulling him back.
"What did you do with him? Where is he?" Ebon questioned, looking inquisitively into Wake emotionless face.
"Tied and bound to a tree just outside the clearing. His mouth is gagged. Come we must go. He watches us even now." Wake motioned to leave but Ebon held him back once more.
"As much as I have longed to find my mother...right now..here with you. You risked your life to get for me what I could never get myself. You stopped me from making a terrible mistake. I ask your forgiveness for betraying you. But right now, we have time. The Count's men won't find him or even go looking for him until morning. By then we will be long since left this land of Tribeca."
Wake moved back into Ebon. Their naked bodies becoming one as the two embraced and kissed each other. Wake motioned Ebon to the ground as Ebon lie on his back. Wake moved between Ebon's dark thighs. The moonlight made Ebon's body appear to glisten in the night. Wake's own red skin seemed to glow from the heat within him. As they made love they both knew that they had gone too far to turn back. They would be hunted forever for crossing Count DaChase. Feria too would feel slighted as both the man she was to marry and the one she loved ran off together, rejecting her. Wake was also unsure if infact the information he had cut out of the Count was true. Wake could usually sense when one was lying but DaChase was a man that he couldn't read. He and Ebon would find out together though as he lost himself in Ebon's darkness. Count DaChase watched the two lovers from the shadow. Lust and anger burned in his eyes. He bled heavily from the right eye socket where Wake extracted the truth about Ebon's mother. The eye lay on the ground looking directly up at him. Revenge would be his for the taking.