My father’s eyes had always been hard and cold. But right now I finally understood the fear he inflicted on people whenever he looked at them like he looked at me now. Those eyes, blank amethysts, constricted to narrow slits as they focused on me kneeling in front of him. He looked like a snake ready to strike, his lips set to a think angry line and I knew his hands, though spotted and gnarled with age were still strong as his long fingers clenched the arms of his throne. Something warm trickled down my cheek. I knew his heavy ring had left a deep imprint of his sigil where he had hit me, the left side of my face was throbbing, my eye slowly swelling shut. But I wouldn’t look down.
People used to tell me I looked like a younger copy of my father, with the same white hair and dark lilac eyes that ran in the family and had nothing to do with age. Back then I was young and gullible enough to consider that a compliment to be compared to him.
Now I couldn’t help but shudder at seeing myself become like him, that lean, almost skeletal figure sitting on the throne of Illyria, governing with an ‘iron fist’ as they called it, his whole demeanor an image of professionalism. The way he looked at me, with a face that would have made marble feel warm and alive in comparison, told me more than words that he would do whatever was necessary in the blink of an eye. His thin white eyebrows drew together, his white beard quivering with rage as he addressed me in that deep, resonating voice that I used to call his ‘state voice’.
“Now, have you forgotten what happens to those who betray me, son?”