I think of the scars of Salem’s back and I am curious of the stories behind them. I have never confronted the Queen about any of her actions, but here I am walking to her chambers to ask why she had to go that far.
Salem might not be what I wanted, looking at her might remind me of the brother I lost but to be honest; I am beginning to forget that.
Victor brought me reports of the hidden events that my brother apparently did even before going to war. It was a hard pill to swallow, that he was never the man I thought he was, it doesn’t change the fact that he was my brother. I can understand and at the same time not understand him.
If my father had found out that he was attracted to men, that would have been the end of his road to the throne. He must have felt lonely but that is no justification for what he did to those girls and what he tried to do to Salem.
I am mentally tired and disappointed in him. I used to think he was a man of high principles and fair sense of judgement. The more news Victor brought, the more I wish he was alive so that I can punch him.
My visit is announced and granted by the Queen. She sees me and smirk, this is the first time since I was 12 that I have personally visited her.
I bow, she signals for me to sit.
“To what do I owe this honour? Even when I call for you, you always have a reason not to come. This has to be really important to have you come here, the place you hate.” Queen Nuke raises her brows at me.
“I don’t hate this place, this is where my mother used to serve and that is all it is, you don’t like to look at my face either, it reminds you of her disloyalty to you.”
“As usual, your sharp tongue never ceases to amaze me. Why are you here Erin?” She smirks.
“My wife Salem, Did you have to go that far??? 50 strokes of the whip, not even thieves are beaten that badly.” I say as calmly as I can.
“Are you telling me how to run my harem?” She shifts.
“No, I am telling you not to hit my wife, before she’s your daughter in law; she’s my wife first, it hasn’t been a week and she already has whips, I am not even talking about the fact that you ordered the servants not to feed her. She is not your play thing and she is evidently not a tool you can use to avenge the death of your son.”
“How dare you talk about Brahim?! You are not half the man he was.” She fumes and orders the servants away from us.
I chuckle “Yes, Brahim was so much a man he preferred them to ladies.”
Queen Nuke freezes, she doesn’t look surprised at the information, she is more shocked about the fact that I know.
“W..what are you talking about?” She glares at me.
“Of course you knew, you know everything that goes on in and out of the palace. You have your spies everywhere, did you know about what he did to girls? The despicable things he did to his servants. There’s no way Brahim could have covered it up by himself , why didn’t I think of this earlier? How could you?” I run my hand through my hair.
“Hold it right there Erin, keep your voice down or god so help me, I will pull out your tongue!” She threatens me.
She sighs “I didn’t know at first, I tried to help him when I knew. If he would have let me. He hated himself so much for his sexual preference that he transferred his aggression on the women around him. He was my son!!! What was I supposed to do? He could barely stand me towards the end, do you have an idea how much pain I have been through? You were blissfully ignorant, you don’t have the right to sit there and judge me.”
It is the first time I have seen her sad, I know she is letting me see this side of her to manipulate me into keeping quiet. That is how she made it this far, she is one cunning woman.
“What about the victims? The ones he killed? The ones he scarred?! That doesn’t excuse him and you.” I say to her.
“He is dead now, what is the point?” She stares at me.
“He is being worshipped as the hero of Rale, whose life he gave for the kingdom. Do you really believe that? That Brahim was that selfless? I used to believe that but all these information is just too much!” I glare at her.
“The fact is Brahim went to war, Brahim did not come back home, Brahim died while at war! That is fact Erin, you haven’t been any good either, keep doing what you always do. Mind your damn business and stay out of mine.”
“Don’t touch Salem anymore, she won’t be in your way, leave her out of your schemes and games. Let her be!”
“No, I won’t… What are you going to do about it?” She grins.
“There are a number of things I can do, I can make sure the King hears about Brahim activities, you obviously still care about his image. Dead or alive.”