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How A Ghost Stole My Heart


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#1 True Romantic

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:24 PM

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Chapter 1
The funeral home was nicely decorated. There were roses, and lilies, and tons of other plants that I couldn’t even guess what they were. People were surrounding my mom, but I had managed to escape for a second before being accosted by the oldies.

My moment of solitude was interrupted when my mom spotted me behind a potted palm, and sent me a glare that said ‘get your ass over here and help me!’ Sighing I straightened up and walked over to her where some little old lady was rambling on and on.

“…was such a kind soul. Richard always sent our family a Christmas card; such a terrible loss. Oh hello, and who might you be?” the little old lady said quietly, eyeing me up and down curiously when I walked up to them.

“Mrs. Bakerton, this is my daughter Amelia.” My mom said politely, hooking her arm through mine so I couldn’t escape.

“I prefer to be called Amy actually and hi nice to meet you.” An easy smile came to my face and I looked into her old blue eyes. They looked like they had seen so much over the years; I had a sudden vision of the old lady playing Rose in Titanic.

“Oh, how polite she is Marie! And so beautiful! You know dear, you remind me of someone…” Mrs. Bakerton exclaimed delightedly at my mom, shaking me from my thoughts. Then she turned to me and said, “I was a dear friend of your grandfather’s. He was our neighbor. Very sweet man. I was just telling your mother here what a terrible loss his death was.”

“Oh, well I didn’t really get a chance to know my grandfather, but I’m sure he was a great guy.” I said in a falsely cheery voice. Mrs. Bakerton seemed a little surprised by my statement. I was definitely old enough to remember him, but I didn’t.

“Marie, I was wondering if you would be taking over management of the manor now that Richard has left us.” She asked quietly. My mom went suddenly pale, like she was about to throw up or something.

“Well we really haven’t discussed that detail yet. After all Walter is still getting over the shock of it all.” She said, trying to sound pleasant and airy, but I saw right through her act.

“What manor mom?” I asked politely.

Mrs. Bakerton decided to pipe up right then with a little gasp. “What manor indeed! Your grandfather had a lovely stone manor just outside of Cambridge. Huge house with lovely gardens, fountains, and mazes. I’m surprised you didn’t visit it more often. But after all, your grandfather never managed to live there.” She finished rather dramatically.

“Why not?” I asked ignoring my mom’s little shove in my side.

“Oh well the house was haunted, by an old ancestor who the house rightfully belonged to. Gregory McClain, the Duke of Evington, I believe. Oh such a tragic tale.” She said looking past us as if remembering something hidden deep inside the recess of her memory.

“What happened to him?” I asked curiously.

“Amy, I really don’t think that’s appropriate for right now.” My mom cut in quickly, giving me one of those ‘knock it off we are at a funeral’ looks. Well at least I’m pretty sure that’s what her look said, but then again she had never really given me one of those looks, so it was anybody’s guess.

“Oh no Marie, I don’t mind at all. Your daughter has me feeling young again. Truth be told, I feel ancient around all these oldies.” Mrs. Bakerton smiled up at us using my oldies phrase which is really funny considering she had to be at least sixty-five. I really hoped I wouldn’t be as short as her when I was her age.

My mom let out a little “oh,” and I had to fight back the laugh that was rising in my throat. So she quietly detached herself from me and smiled politely as she went in search of my twin brothers.

“Now dear where were we? Oh yes I remember now. You had asked what happened to him. Well Gregory built a manor right on the edge of Cambridge for his fiancée Lydia Callaway, daughter of a wealthy earl. Oh he loved that woman so, but the sentiments were not returned by his young bride to be. But they had been betrothed by contract from the moment the set foot inside the nursery.

“So they married and were happy for a time. Until Gregory’s best friend Robert Van Allen started staying at the manor more and more. Gregory, a true gentleman, didn’t believe in straying from his marital vows. Lydia apparently disagreed. She and Robert had what would later be known as the “affair of the century.”

“A year after they were married, Gregory and Lydia threw a masquerade party on All Hallows Eve as it was called back then. Now in a traditional masquerade, at midnight everyone throws their masks in the air, kisses their spouse, and drinks to the health of their hosts. Well exactly at midnight just like in those good mystery books, Gregory fell to the floor dead after the toast. No one knew what happened to him, but it was obvious that he hadn’t died of natural causes. Well the police and the magistrate were obviously called in but for Gregory’s killer was never found. Not that they tried very hard to look for him, or her as the case may well have been.” Mrs. Bakerton took a moment to say a friendly hello to some old couple that was passing by. I looked around me at all the family members and friends of my grandfather’s. Some smiled at me, others gave me sympathetic looks, but then there was the guy standing behind the potted plant that I had just vacated.

Dressed in very odd clothes, he stood next to the potted plant I had hid behind moments earlier. He had the most amazing hazel eyes I had I had ever seen. It was like they could see right into my soul. I had a sudden memory of something I knew had never existed. A dance, happiness. Image after image passed through my head and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I felt connected to him, like I’d known him for forever. Then my mind reeled with pain, hurt, agony all there in his eyes. I shut my eyes against the pain, shaking with it. When I opened them again he was gone.

Fear gripped me as my eyes darted from person to person trying to find this mystery man. Mrs. Bakerton must have finished talking to whomever and looked at me with a weird expression on her face.

“Dear, am I boring you. I can stop if you’d like,” she said sweetly.

“Oh no, I’m sorry I just saw someone I thought I knew and was trying to find him.” The lie rolled off my tongue so easily and at once I felt guilty about lying to her.

“Oh of course. Should I continue then?” I smiled sweetly at her and nodded.

“Alright, now where was I? Oh yes, Gregory was dead. No one knew what had happened to him. His fiancée was apparently heartbroken over the accident and was the picture of mourning for the required year. But as soon as the year’s traditional mourning period was lifted, Robert married the girl happily, and since Gregory had left the manor to Lydia, he moved in full time.”

I felt awful for Gregory McClain. He had everything taken away from him, including his life. But I still didn’t understand how that tied to my grandfather not living in the manor. So I asked, “So why didn’t grandpa live in the house?”

“Well you see my dear; Lydia and Robert didn’t live in the manor long. It was said that Gregory haunted the place. About a year after they were married, Lydia and Robert were blessed with twin boys. But soon after, it was said that Robert lost his mind. He would rant and rave about being haunted by the deathly spirit of Gregory and how Gregory would show him terrible images of his wife and children. Two months later he threw himself off the roof, swearing that no Van Allen would ever live in the manor as long as Gregory was haunting the place.”

“And no one did, until your grandfather tried just after he married your grandmother, Allison. But things started happening the night the last box was unpacked. You grandmother had horrible nightmares about your grandfather. She swore to me that it was the house. Every once in a while she would see a ghostly figure standing over her in the bed. Well, sooner or later she had had enough and told Richard she couldn’t spend one more night in the house. So they left. There are caretakers who live just outside the property who watch over the place; you know tend the gardens, clean the house, but no Van Allen can seem to live in the place.”

“Wow,” was all I could say for some reason.

“Yes, well oh look there is your mother, I do believe I have kept you long enough my dear.” She laughed softly and got up to go see someone, leaving me to my thoughts.

When I looked down the hallway to see a familiar face, I saw my dad’s retreating form. I followed him out onto the patio behind the funeral home.

“Hey, Bug,” he said quietly without even bothering to turn around to make sure it was really me.

“Hey Dadio, how have you been doing?” I asked, slipping my arms around his chest to give him an awkward hug.

“Okay I guess. How’s your mother doing?” he replied smiling down at me. I could see that he was sad. I wanted so badly to wipe the sadness from his eyes, but instead I just smiled, hoping he would understand. I’d never lost someone I was close to; I didn’t know how to make it alright.

“Okay, she’s being attacked by old people constantly, and I’m sure the boys have destroyed something by now.” I looked out onto the lawns, seeing all the headstones, wondering where grandpa would be buried.

“Probably, but how ‘bout you miss Amy? How are you doing?” he looked down seriously. I gazed back up at him. I didn’t know whether or not to tell him the truth.

“It feels wrong somehow. I feel like I should be sad, but there’s nothing, just numbness. I didn’t know grandpa, so I can’t feel sad. I can’t cry like everyone else, but I want to.” I looked down at the stones shamefully. I felt miserable here.

“No, sweetheart, it’s fine you don’t feel anything. It was my fault that you didn’t get to know dad, I shouldn’t have kept you or the boys from him just because of our fight.”

I looked up, suddenly curious. “What was that fight about anyway, dad?”

I heard him sigh like he was bracing himself for something really ugly. “Well, your grandfather wanted me to marry someone in ‘society’s standards’ as he put it, but I was in love with your mom, and wasn’t about to let her go. So we fought, said some stupid things, and I haven’t spoken to him since. We would get the birthday cards, Christmas and birthday presents, but that was it.”

“Oh,” I suddenly wished that I hadn’t asked such a stupid question.

Father Dane came out just then. “Mr. Van Allen, we are ready to proceed onto the lawns.”

My dad nodded curtly, suddenly looking like he was about to do something terrible. So I followed quietly behind him, soon in line with the procession.

It was pretty warm out, and the sun was beating down, which is pretty uncommon for a day without rain in England in September. I followed behind my parents, the twins in tow, actually behaving themselves for once.

I tried to listen through the service, but found myself focusing on Mrs. Bakerton’s story. When I finally got down to concentrating, my dad was standing before the casket, finishing up his speech.

“…was a good man, I will never, ever forget him.” He went to sit down and my Aunt Claudia went to say some words. I looked across the casket to him, and though he wiped them away before anyone could notice, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks.

Finally we had all said our goodbyes, and were walking back to the car. Before I got in I looked back at the casket being lowered into the ground and saw him again. Standing alone on a hill near the grave was my guy. The intensity in his eyes as he watched the procession scared me. Then his eyes settled on me. Gasping I turned to my dad and asked, “Who’s that guy over there on the hill?” My dad looked past my shoulder and shook his head.

“What are you talking about? There’s no one there sweetheart.” I turned back around and he was gone. He must have walked away or something, I thought as I opened the door and got into the car.

On the way home I glanced around at everyone. The boys were sleeping in the back seat, my mom was holding my dad’s hand, and my dad just had his eyes on the road, but his knuckles were white against the steering wheel he was holding it so tight.

The London streets were unusually bare for a sunny day. I looked around me at all the things I knew so well, the pubs on the corner, the coffee shops, and the grocery store owned by a cute old couple. I remember moving to England when I was five years old. My mom and dad were born here, but they moved to the states after they got married. Eventually my dad’s job required him to move back to jolly old England.

When we finally pulled up to the house on Maybelle Drive I was just as exhausted as the twins. Our house was an old townhouse that dated back to Mayfair in the 1800s. My bedroom was on the third floor, and when you’re tired, it’s really a pain in the ass to walk up all those stairs.

After a thirty minute shower I changed into my comfy shorts and sweatshirt. I flopped down on my bed and closed my eyes. I guess I must have dozed off because suddenly I was walking down a hallway past a bunch of oak doors to the end of the hall. The door is locked and I can’t seem to find a way in. I jiggle and jiggle but nothing happens. The hairs on the back of my neck start to stand up and I feel lightheaded. Something is wrong I can feel it. The door finally swings open, but it’s dark inside and I can’t see anything. Someone screams; I feel sick to my stomach, then a pair of bright hazel eyes stares at me through the dark and I fall into nothingness.

I started awake. My phone was ringing on my desk. I scrambled to get to it in time.

“Hello?” I said groggily.

“Jesus, you sound awful!” I relaxed back onto my bed. Good old Kaylie able to wake me from any nightmare.

Kaylie had been my best friend ever since we were six years old. I used to be picked on for my American accent and Kaylie had always stood up for me. Even when she stayed in Cambridge and we moved to London we kept in close contact, spending every weekend, and break we had together.

After catching up on the usual dose of gossip in Cambridge, I hung up the phone and put it back in its cradle. I felt the early pangs of hunger and thought something really yummy but totally bad for me would do just the trick. I took what used to be the servants staircase that led into the back of the kitchens, but stopped short on the stairs when I heard my parents bickering.

“I don’t know. We’ve only been here for a year and that’s not long enough. Why do they have to transfer you?” I heard my mom say bitterly.

“Well this might be good for us. The kids can go back to their old schools, and see their old friends. I thought you liked living in Cambridge.” My dad argued back.

“I did, but Amy and the boys have just started to make friends here, in London. It just doesn’t feel right, and I don’t want to live in the manor. That house has always scared me. Your own father wouldn’t even live there!”

I would have kept eavesdropping but my foot slipped, and I did a sort of somersault down the stairs, and landed flat on my ass in front of my parents.

“Uh, hi,” I said, smiling sheepishly.

“Amelia, were you listening in on us?” my dad asked in a low voice. Great I had screwed up royally.

“Um, what exactly would happen if I said yes?” I asked as I stood and brushed myself off.

“Oh for the love of God, how much did you hear?” my mom asked as she began to pace the room glaring back at me every once in a while.

“Dad, you got a transfer? Back to Cambridge?” I decided that bypassing my mom all together was the best thing to do. Unfortunately she didn’t see it like that. That’s when the giggling started.

I turned around, stomped up the stairs, and grabbed two twin ears, and brought them back down with me.

“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow,” Tommy and Jake cried as they tried to wrench themselves out of my grasp, causing them even more pain. Honestly, how stupid can they possibly get?

“Ok, so apparently we don’t need to fill anyone in on the subject. Now how would you kids feel about moving?” my dad asked cautiously, stealing a glance at my mom who was, to say the least, not happy.

“Would we get a bigger house?” Tommy asked.

“Well, er, it is rather big,” dad said quietly.

“Then definitely!” they cried in unison.

“Guys, that is not the only reason you should want to move. I mean we’d have to pack all of your stuff, and move it back to Cambridge.” My mom tried to reason with them, but they just looked at her like she had five heads or something.

“I would love to get to see Kaylie more again.” I piped up. After all why should the boys get to decide everything? It was all because of that puppy dog face that they had perfected. Damn their annoying cuteness. If only my parents weren’t completely oblivious to the havoc they reek.

My mom growled in my general direction, she actually growled! I looked over at dad, who shook his head, and held up a hand signaling that he wanted absolutely no part in this whatsoever.

I guess that’s when my mom knew she wasn’t going to win the battle. I could tell that she was a little excited about moving back to Cambridge, and so was I, except for that one little bit about living in the manor.

“Wait the manor? As in the manor? The one that grandpa owned? We’ll actually live there?” I was blabbering; I always did that when I was nervous or scared. And thought about living in a house where a guy had killed himself, not to mention the creepy dreams. Wait what was I thinking? Ghosts don’t exist, so why was I worried?

“Well, er, yeah? What’s the problem with that?” my dad asked curiously.

“Oh Amy relax, I’m sure Mrs. Bakerton was only trying to scare you with that story about the house.” My mom nodded subtly to the boys.

“Oh right, I, I knew that.” I sputtered. Wow, that sucked.

“So it’s decided then. We’re moving back to Cambridge!” my dad shouted triumphantly.

The boys began jumping up and down shouting incoherent things. Half the time I don’t even know what they what they were saying anyway, so I didn’t really care. My dad had my mom around the waist and they started dancing, really badly in fact.

I shook my head and headed back up to my room with a small smile on my face. It was getting late anyways, and it had been a long day. After leaving a message for Kaylie telling her to call me on my cell phone in the morning so we could talk, I crawled into bed with my favorite stuffed animal and slept.

But the minute I shut my eyes I was walking down the same hallway to the door at the end. The pain gripped me like an iron glove like before and I was falling again. Those haunting hazel eyes staring above me the whole time I was falling. Suddenly I was in a room of swirling silks and satins. Flashes of people’s faces and smiles whirled around me as I twirled in the arms of someone. Hazel eyes connected with mine and I felt fear, like I was about to do something horrid, and the eyes knew as well. A name came whispered on the wind “Lydia.”

“No!” I screamed, sitting bolt upright I my bed. I was covered in sweat, and my bed was a tangle of sheets. The name whispered itself to me again and again. “Lydia from the story?” I said to myself.

I sighed and flopped back into the comfort of my duvet and fell back into a restless sleep haunted with hazel eyes that pierced my soul.

Edited by Ari-san, 12 November 2008 - 01:13 AM.
Winter (Awards) is here!

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#2 True Romantic

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:26 PM

okay so this is my first post on any sort of site like this and i really really hope that you guys like it. i'd love all the comments i can get and I'll try to update as soon as possible for all of them so yeah!

Thanks everyone!!

:a_smil08:
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#3 roni

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:35 PM

yoru story is really really good
update soon

miss hasta
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#4 True Romantic

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:43 PM

yoru story is really really good
update soon

miss hasta



thankss it's actually been a work in progress for like the last 6 months and i've finally got up the nerve to post it somewhere! get other people read it pleaase!!!! and i'll post the second chapter tomorrow!
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#5 Dauntra_is_me

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 11:18 PM

Hey there! It's interesting, it really is. You've got a solid beginning and that's always good. My only CC is that you may want the first chapter to, well, pop I suppose. Right now your story is fine but it needs a little pizazz to keep drawing readers in.
Other than that, post more soon, I'd like to see where it goes.
luv,
Maria
ps. It's not going to be like the Mediator series is it?

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#6 True Romantic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:56 AM

Hey there! It's interesting, it really is. You've got a solid beginning and that's always good. My only CC is that you may want the first chapter to, well, pop I suppose. Right now your story is fine but it needs a little pizazz to keep drawing readers in.
Other than that, post more soon, I'd like to see where it goes.
luv,
Maria
ps. It's not going to be like the Mediator series is it?



thnx for the advice. i think it needs some pizzaz too. and not it wont be like the mediator series at all. although that is where i first thought of writing it.
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#7 noleey

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 11:19 AM

I love the whole idea, update soon.,

Nicole
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#8 Ari-san

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:32 PM

Heya!

Welcome to the FP and congratulations on posting your first story here! Tephy (*HONEY*) and I are the moderators around here. So, if you ever have any questions, need any editing/locking/deleting/adding 'complete' done, discuss mature content within your story, etc., please don't hesitate to give us a shout in the Support sticky!

Please just remember that the FP rules clearly state that no chatspeak should be used (That is, chatspeak not within the actual story itself, but comments outside of it).

Once again, welcome and congratulations!

ali :D
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#9 True Romantic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:02 PM

Chapter 2

Three weeks later I was standing outside a giant stone house. The manor was about ten times bigger than I ever imagined it to be. The boys were already inside exploring. I, however wanted to look at the grounds before going in.

There were gardens all over the place with walkways, hedge mazes, and fountains everywhere. The lawns stretched to the edge of a wood, where my dad said there was a path that led to a small lake at the back of the property.

The windows were done in a French style with balconies on either side of the main house. Jutting out on either side were a north and south wing from an aerial view, I’m sure the house looked like a sideways U, only squarer.

I was in one of the south gardens looking at one of the balconies when I saw him again. The guy from the funeral. I was sure it was him even though he wore different clothes in the same style. His haunting eyes never left me even as I calculated which room in the south wing he was in. I blinked back to the balcony and he was gone. I shuddered visibly, officially freaked out by this guy.

My dad came up behind me and said, “Now I’ve told the boys they can have any room in the north wing. Our room is in the middle of the house, right in between both wings and right at the top of the stairs. You can have any room you want in the south wing. That should help with privacy.”

“Oh and all the bedrooms all have walk-in closets, private bathrooms, and if your lucky a balcony.” He added as he carried a huge box in past me. My mom was following behind.

When I walked inside I saw on either side of me a dining room, a parlor, an office, and down one of the hallways was what looked like a library. In the middle of the entranceway was a huge staircase. It split in two different directions and curved around to the upstairs. These were the kind of stairs girls dreamed about, the kind you could really make an entrance on.

“Wow,” I said to myself, and the whole entranceway echoed.

I was walking up the stairs, thinking that I could really get used to this kind of thing, when I heard my name whispered. “Amelia.”

“Whoa,” I whispered. Okay that good feeling I was having, yeah completely gone. In its place was stone cold fear. What if there really was a ghost? But I didn’t believe in ghosts, so why should I be afraid? They were made up after all…right?

I shook off my nerves, rationalizing with myself, and walked up the rest of the steps and proceeded down what I hoped was the south wing. I happened to be directionally impaired, and in such a big house I could easily get lost and not be found for several days. Luckily I had a packet of skittles in my pocket so I wouldn’t starve to death in case I did get lost.

There were so many doors on either side of the hallway, why not check all of them. There was a room decorated in shades of yellow, but it wasn’t really my style. There was a room decorated in blue, but it was too tomboyish for my taste. There was a forest green room, too masculine, especially the hunting tapestries on the walls. That was followed by a purple room, a pink room, and a white room, all of them not my kind of living space. I wanted my room to be kind of like my room at home which was a burgundy color with cream and white décor. The last door at the end of the hallway looked pretty much the same as the other ones. But as I walked to the last door I had a sudden sense of de ja vou.

“Oh Amy, there you are.” I turned around and saw my dad walking down the hallway.

“What’s up?” I asked when he finally came to a stop in front of me.

“Nothing, just wanted to see if you had found a room yet. The boys found rooms across from each other, and the movers are starting to bring their stuff up. Yours is waiting the entranceway.”

“Oh, um, well I was just about to check this room out.” I replied motioning to the door.

“Well honey, that door was always locked. The cleaning ladies just said that they couldn’t open this door.”

“Oh, well I’ve locked myself out of my bedroom enough times to have learned how to pick a lock.” I smiled at him and pulled a hair pin out of my hair. I always kept it there in case of emergencies.

“Well okay, then. Good luck.” And he walked down the hallway.
Why would this one room be locked? I decided to check the door anyway before trying to pick the lock. I was surprised to see the door swing open easily.

“Okay then,” I muttered and stepped inside.

“Wow,” I whispered as I looked around. The room was definitely one of the biggest in the house. The upper half of the walls were a deep red, while the bottom half of the walls were mahogany paneling.

Everything was covered in sheets, but I could still make out the four poster queen size bed with red drapes to match the walls. When I pulled all the sheets off the bed, I saw gorgeous silk pillows in reds and creams, and the coverlet was a ruby red duvet with a down blanket inside.

I walked over to another lump covered in a sheet and pulled it off. I gasped slightly as I gazed down at a vanity with sliver combs and brushes on the glass surface. There were perfume bottles that looked like they hadn’t been used in ages. I sat down on the cream cushion on top of the stool, and gazed at myself in the mirror. There were little drawers filled with makeup from what looked like the late 19th century. One of the drawers was stuck shut, probably from old age and disuse.

There was a divan in a beautiful off white on one wall, and a huge bureau kitty cornered in a far corner. I especially liked the windows seats on the outer corner walls, and the fireplace in the middle of one of them. But the best part was definitely the balcony that overlooked the south garden.

“Yes, yes, yes,” I sighed as I flopped down on the bed. “I definitely feel at home!” and the best part was I didn’t even want to redecorate! Maybe a few posters, and pictures, and this room would be perfect. I could use the bureau as my computer desk, and put a few candles on the mantle. Everything would be great.

I sat up and walked over to the French doors leading to the balcony. I stepped out into the warm summer light. I could see the south gardens with their hundreds of flowers, and beyond them was a hedge maze with a small gazebo in the center. I realized this was the room where I had seen that guy. But the door had been locked according to the maid, but then again I had no trouble getting in. he could have easily slipped out of the room without locking it back up.

“I see you found a way to unlock the door.” I jumped when I heard my dad’s voice behind me.

“Yeah, I did. Isn’t this a great room?” I asked, wondering why I had lied about such a tiny fact.

“I know. Well your mom and the boys wanted to drive into town, your mom has to register you guys for school, and we were wondering if you wanted to come.” He smiled looking past me at the gardens.

“Uh, no thanks. I kind of wanted to explore the house a little. If that’s okay, I mean.”

“Oh sure, no problem. We are bringing back Chinese, what do you want?” he asked before turning to leave.

“Chicken and broccoli. Please and thank you!” I smiled, turning back to the gardens.

“See ‘ya Kiddo,” he kissed my forehead, and walked back into the house.

I watched him go, and stayed like that for a minute, basking in the afternoon sun with my eyes closed. After a while like that I straightened up and walked back to my new bedroom. I assumed the north wing was a lot like the south wing, so no need to check that out just yet. I had seen the library, deciding to save those books for a rainy day. And now there was nothing left to explore, except the gardens, but the flowers could wait. Besides with my terrible sense of direction, I could get lost in the hedge maze.

As I was thinking, I noticed the huge portrait of a really pretty lady sitting in a chair in a weird place on the wall. It was a huge painting of a woman who was sitting in a chair. She had red hair and grey-silver eyes. She also happened to look almost exactly like me although my hair was more auburn than red.

She was wearing this gorgeous green gown that flowed elegantly around her legs, and in her lap was a red rose with a black ribbon around it. Her portrait was hanging crooked and I felt the obsessive compulsive behavior come out in me.

As I tried to fix it, the whole portrait tipped forward, and I just barely managed to escape with my head before the whole thing fell with a really loud crash to the floor.

But I wasn’t really paying much attention to the portrait. I was looking more at the door behind it. Although it matched the mahogany paneling on the lower half and the red on the top half, I noticed a little knob in the middle. Hm, now why would someone want to lock a room, and hide a door behind a portrait of a likely former lady of the house? Well naturally my curiosity take control and I found what I was going to do with my time.

Only one problem: the door was locked. I mean really did I expect it to be that easy? Well okay so I did, but big deal. After all, every girl should know how to pick a lock.

Problem number two: the bobby pin I had didn’t fit into the keyhole. Great, my one special skill, gone down the tubes. I walked back to the bed and sat down with a sigh.

Well at least I could call Kaylie. She would definitely want to help me find the mysterious key, if there still was one.

One quick call on my cell phone, and Kaylie was at my doorstep twenty minutes later.

“Show me this door. Oh yeah, hi!” she beamed at me, grabbing me into a quick hug.

“Okay, yeah it’s great to see you too,” I smiled back leading her up the stairs, down the numerous hallways, finally coming to a stop at my room.

“You actually remembered how to get to your room? I must say, I’m impressed.” She laughed, obviously remembering my terrible sense of direction.

“Yes I did, O Ye of Little Faith.” I said in a mocking voice.

“So let’s open it up and see. I can’t wait!”

I bit back a smile as Kaylie gasped upon entering my room. She immediately saw the door and rushed over to it. After a quick inspection, she turned to me and said, “You were right. It is locked.”

“Oh, so what you can’t even trust me to know when a door is locked?” I tried to sound upset, but a memory fluttered to my mind where I was locked in Kaylie’s closet only to find that I had been turning the knob the wrong way. I was fifteen then.
Kaylie obviously remembered that too. She smiled and walked over to the vanity and sat down.

“Um, what are you doing? Aren’t we supposed to be looking for a key?” I asked, walking over to the vanity where she was sitting playing with the various brushes and perfume bottles.

“I’ve recently discovered that when I do something else, I usually find what I’m looking for.” She smiled at me through the mirror. When she found the drawer that wouldn’t open she looked up at me.

“Hey why won’t this thing open? Oh I see, it’s locked. And by the look on you’re face I can tell you didn’t. Why doesn’t that surprise me?” shaking her head she reached up to her hair and pulled out a pin. Still feeling like an idiot for not noticing the locked drawer, I remembered that Kaylie had been the one to teach me how to pick a lock.

“Aha!” was the triumphant reply I heard when I snapped back to the present. She had managed to unlock the drawer.

“Whoa, check this out. A journal, and look a key. Imagine that.” Kaylie pulled out the very dusty key and journal. I took the journal, dusting off its red leather cover to reveal a monogram. LC was sewn elegantly on the cover.

“Lydia Callaway,” I whispered, to which Kaylie replied from across the room, “Huh? Did you say something?”

“Oh, nothing. I’m going to check out the journal.” I sat down on the seat the Kaylie had just vacated, and remembered the portrait. Could she be my ancestor? If so then I could totally see the family resemblance.
I heard some muffled reply from where Kaylie was stooped over the door. Excitement rippled through me as I moved to open the leather bound book.

However, when I heard Kaylie scream, the book fell out of my hand as I ran over to help her.

“Holy crap, what’s the matter?” I asked in a nearly hysterical voice. But when I looked over at Kaylie, she was jumping up and down with joy.

“The key worked!” she smiled over at me, obviously confused as to why her best friend was currently trying to restart her heart.

“Don’t scare me like that! I thought something had tried to kill you!” I panted, holding a hand to my heart, hoping that would help calm its pounding.

“Oh…well sorry, but come on! I wanna see what’s up here that’s so secret!” she cried, tugging on my arm towards the stairs, ignoring my worried looks.

Sighing in resignation, I let her pull me up through the cobwebs into the dusty darkness.
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#10 roni

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:09 PM

you are a fantastic writer!
i love this story!
update soon

miss hasta
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#11 noleey

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:24 PM

This is really good update soon!

Fantatic writing.

Nicole
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#12 True Romantic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 07:55 PM

Chapter 3

“It’s an attic,” Kaylie said when we finally climbed the dusty steps and into the even dustier room. I felt my shoulders sag a little. If someone was going to hide a key and the door it went to, then this room should be so much cooler, like a torture chamber or a sacrificial alter where past tenants would sacrifice people.

“Thank you Madame Observes A lot,” I muttered looking around at the clutter. There were old trunks, birdcages, furniture, and pictures stacked in enormous piles making it hard to tell what anything was. There were two round windows that had been covered with dirt, grime, and dust from years of misuse, making it hard for the sunshine to come through. I noticed both were latched tightly shut, and overlooked the north and south gardens.

“Oh look at that!” Kaylie exclaimed, and before I could look up she was hidden in some pile of junk. Something flashed out of the corner of my eyes. I turned around quickly to find nothing but an old portrait mostly hidden behind a trunk. But the eyes were clearly visible, hazel eyes.

Like I was in a trance, I turned around fully and slowly walked towards those eyes that had troubled my sleep. Kaylie said something from the other side of the room, but it barely registered in my brain. I had to know who this was. “Mhmm,” was all I said.

After an eternity of steps across the room I stood in front of a navy blue traveling trunk. The hinge was rusted shut and I had a brief thought wondering what was beneath that lid. I shoved that thought aside quickly remembering my task.

My hand didn’t seem like my hand. It shook slightly with either fear or anticipation, I wasn’t too sure. I could hear loud rasping sounds coming from close by, and realized with a frightened thought that it was me, gasping slightly.

My hand touched the top of the portrait frame and just as my hand closed around the edge to pull it up there was a loud crash and a sudden gust of wind. Kaylie shrieked and I looked up frightened. One of the windows had burst open and smashed against a wall, cracking on of the panes.

A blonde head poked up from behind something, a table I think, and glanced from me to the window then back to me again. “What was that?” she said quietly stepping out into the middle of the room.

“I don’t know,” I said looking back at the cracked window. If a gust of wind had knocked the window open the latch would have snapped off, but upon closer inspection, I noticed that the latch hadn’t snapped off, but it had been lifted.

“Amelia,” I soft whisper, wrapped in velvet drifted towards me, sending chills down my spine.

“Amy, come on! This is starting to creep me out.” Kaylie pulled on my sleeve, urging me away from the dusty window and the mysterious voice that seemed to haunt these walls.

We hurried down the stairs and out into the sunshine in my room. Kaylie and I relocked the door, and put the portrait back into place.

“Jeez, whoever put this picture here in the first place really doesn’t know how or where to place a picture. You know you could put it in that attic, and replace it with your promotional posters of all the Broadway musicals you have seen.” Kaylie didn’t seem as phased as I was about the whisper, but then again maybe she didn’t hear it. Maybe I was going crazy, and the voices were in my head.

So I nodded and walked over to the French doors stepping outside into the warmth of the sunny afternoon. I leaned back and let the sun cast warmth on my face and shoulders easing away the chill and fear of the attic.

“You know, you fit here. It’s like you really belong to this place.” Kaylie mused, leaning over the balcony to look down on the gardens. I almost told her right then about the voice, but then I heard the familiar banter of the twins.

And sure enough three seconds later they were running into my room shrieking until they saw the love of their life: Kaylie. Their mouths were hanging open and it took all my strength not to fall to the floor laughing.

“Hi boys,” Kaylie sighed with a small finger wave. I watched in utter fascination as the boys stuttered their hellos. This time I couldn’t hide my laughter.

“Why didn’t you tell us that she was coming over?” Jake cried as soon as they heard me.

“I didn’t know either. It was more of a surprise visit,” was all I could think to say. After all there was no real need to talk about the attic with two brats from the bowls of hell.

Tommy and Jake had started to talk to Kaylie, one trying to drown out the other, when my mom walked into the room. She stopped midway and turned around slowly, taking in the expanse of the room, then turned back to our little group and smiled.

“Oh Amy, this room is simply beautiful! Good choice. Kaylie dear, I didn’t see you there, good to see you. Thomas, Jacob, close your mouths before you gather too much dust, and will you stop gaping at poor Kaylie like she’s a piece of meat!” she exclaimed as she ushered the boys from my room. When they were safely gone, she turned back and asked, “Kaylie, will you be joining us for dinner? There is surely enough to go around.”

She smiled sweetly and replied, “I would love to but I can’t. It’s my night to cook dinner and I promised my mom.” she looked at her watch and exclaimed, “Speaking of which, I have to go if I’m going to get dinner on the table by 6:30! I’ll call you later Amy! Bye Mrs. Van Allen.” And she rushed from the room. A few seconds later my mom left to go grab her dinner and join dad in the library.

Twenty minutes later I was back in my room with a steaming plate of chicken and broccoli and a coke. I took my food out to the balcony and grabbed a stool to sit on. Kaylie was right, I did fit in here. I felt connected to this place, like I had known it forever. But that was impossible, I didn’t know the house, I’d never even been here before today.

After I finished eating and unpacking my stuff into the bureau I felt bored. Well there was always the attic. But did I really want to go up to a place where I had heard a voice, and seen those haunting hazel eyes? I had nothing better to do so, yeah.

I unlocked the door, and walked up the steps slowly. When I got up into the attic I went straight to the trunk that the portrait hid behind. But when I got there, the trunk that had rusted shut was open, blocking the picture all together. Who could have opened it? We both left the room together, and it definitely hadn’t been me who opened it.

As I wondered this, I noticed the clothing inside the trunk. There were fabrics of every kind piled high within its confines. I loved the feel of the muslins, silks, and satins as they poured out of the chest.

There were gowns in blues and green, red and pinks. There was a purple, a burgundy, and a white gown. But what caught my attention was the ball gown at the very bottom of the chest. It had been wrapped in a cloth so as to keep in good condition. When I unwrapped the cloth, a simply stunning dress flowed around me in a silver color that tinted to a very light blue in just the right light. The exact color of my eyes.

Even though I had never seen this dress before, I had a strange feeling that I had worn it in another time and place. Another memory I had never had surfaced to my mind, and as I remembered the music of a waltz I closed my eyes and let it wrap around me.

The silver slippers on my feet clicked on the marble floors as I floated around the ballroom. Though his face was clouded I could barely make out the smile on his face, bringing to life one of my own. We danced like we’d rehearsed a thousand times, like it was a part of our souls. There was something wrong here though, something wasn’t right.

I could feel the dark gaze of the man who could destroy my whole world in one single blow. It was too far away to make out his face, but I knew him. The world around me started to slip away, and I shouted into the fading room to no avail. No one could hear me.

The room went black and I opened my eyes. I was in the attic, but there were goose bumps across my skin, and my hands were trembling. I barely even noticed as the gown fell to the floor.

Somehow I came back to reality. I shook myself and rubbed my arms as I bent down to grab the gown off the floor. After carefully wrapping it back up and placing it back into the trunk exactly where I found it, I remembered the real reason I came up here: the portrait.

I slowly closed the trunk, making sure nothing was in the way or caught. I left the lid partly open so I could access it again if I needed it, and braced myself for the portrait. This time when my hand grasped the top of the frame nothing happened. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.

I closed my eyes as I stood up and grabbed the picture from behind, hoping desperately to prolong this moment for as long as possible. Well no use putting it off anymore. I had to know the face that these haunting eyes belonged to.

But my worst nightmare was realized when I opened my eyes. It was him! The haunting hazel eyes belonged to the guy from the funeral and from my window earlier today. He had the same dark brown hair that fell past his shoulders and tied back into a ribbon. He had very strong cheek bones that reminded me of Brad Pitt in a good way, and perfect, full lips.

His clothes were definitely late 19th century style; you know the usual waistcoat, breeches, boots, a jacket, and a long sleeve white shirt. I was mesmerized by his beauty and terrified the fact that I had seen him several times. Either I was losing my mind or…I didn’t really come up with a second option.

My heart pounded a mile a minute as I looked at the date on the bottom right corner: 1886. Oh God, this painting was one hundred twenty years old!

Suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I felt tremors rock through my body, scaring me half to death. I had to get out of here, now! I practically threw the portrait back into place and whirled.

“Hello Amelia. I see you’ve found my portrait.”

I felt lightheaded suddenly, and before the floor met my face I whispered, “Oh boy, that’s not good.”

***

I’d never fainted before. At least I thought I’d never fainted before, but who really knows. I could have just fallen asleep on my bed from the sheer exhaustion of moving, but I didn’t believe it.

I woke up on my bed on top of the covers; the drapes were slightly drawn making it very dark inside the bed. I pulled the curtains back gingerly and sat up slowly so the blood wouldn’t rush to my head and make me dizzy. My room seemed exactly the same as before, except for the fact that the door to the attic was closed but not locked and the woman’s portrait was back in place.

I walked over to the vanity and opened the drawer. The journal was still there, the key tucked away safely in my pocket. I looked at the reflection in the mirror and saw a stranger there. She had my face, my hair, and my body, but her eyes were alien to me. They darted all over the place in fear, making me look wild, untamed.

I had to calm down. So there was a guy who looked exactly like a painting done 120 years ago but still, I looked almost exactly the woman in the painting on my wall. But what if he was real? It was impossible I kept telling myself, but that didn’t quench the worry and fear.

My breathing returned to normal and my eyes became less panicked as I told myself there was nothing to fear. But when I started to turn around, I felt a cool breath on my neck, a whisper wrapped in velvet say close to my ear, “Are you alright Amelia?”

I gasped, my eyes darting around the room trying to find something, anything that I could hit him with. Finally my gaze landed on the fire poker on the side of the fireplace. I smiled slightly and walked slowly forward, turning as I went.

“Look, I don’t know who you are or how you manage to sneak past my family and get into my private room, but I think you should leave.” I backed up very slowly, as if frightened while inside, my entire body had shut down leaving only numbness.

He looked at me curiously and smiled. “I’m terribly sorry, but you are intruding on my life. So it’s you that will have to leave.” His gorgeous hazel eyes and beautiful sharp features took on a positively deadly look, stopping me in dead in my tracks for a moment. But I shook myself mentally and kept going.

“Really and just who might you be?” I asked. Keep him talking and maybe he won’t kill you, I thought to myself.

“Oh well I would have assumed you knew. I know you saw me at Richard’s funeral and here in this room earlier today. Then you found my portrait. Oh and we mustn’t forget when you found her things in the chest I carelessly left open.” He motioned over to the painting covering the door, a look of pure hatred, disgust, and utter grief passed quickly over his face, making him look so human. It was quickly covered by a mask of detachment.

I had finally backed up enough to subtly grasp the fire poker without him noticing, or so I hoped. I smiled nervously and asked, “So why is it you need us to leave?”

“Well, since you are a Van Allen I have to be rid of you. I know you heard my sad story from that old woman, Bakeston…Becker…” he thought for a minute, trying to remember her name.

“Bakerton?” I offered helpfully.

He smiled sweetly in my direction and nodded. “Yes thank you. Now, you have three days before I take action. Convince your family however you want, but make sure you are all gone. I have business to attend to.”

“Right…well see I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that anymore.” On that note I grabbed the poker, and thrust it over my head and straight onto his…and through it.

I felt the poker fall from my hands, my mouth open in utter shock. He looked at me with a look of disappointment and said in a matter of fact voice, “You know, I really don’t appreciate your attempt at knocking me unconscious. It is very rude to do that to a host.”

I had backed myself against the far wall, opening and closing my mouth, hoping something would come out, but nothing did. He was in front of me in the blink of an eye, putting his hands on either side of my head, pinning me to the wall, unable to move, unable to do anything but open and close my mouth.

“As attractive as that is," he sighed sarcastically. "I must ask you to stop that. It’s most distracting, and that is something I cannot afford to be right now.” His lips were dangerously close to mine, sucking the breath from me.

“What…exactly….what I mean is…who…no definitely what…are you?” I sputtered focusing all my attention on his nose as a way of avoiding his eyes and lips altogether.

“Of course how rude of me. I would have earlier, but I was a little distracted by the fire poker being thrust through my body.” he stepped back and bowed before saying, “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Gregory McClain.”

I blinked, and then blinked again. Finally I couldn’t help myself, and burst out laughing. I didn’t even take into account the fact that the fire poker had gone right through his body instead of knocking him unconscious like it should have. I just stood there laughing. Not because it was funny, but because it actually made sense. I laughed and laughed at the absurdity of it all, but it had to be true. There was no other way around that. I just hadn’t made myself believe it yet.

When I managed to calm down a little, he leveled me with a glare that would have stopped anyone in their tracks, but I had seen that glare a thousand times from my mom so it had no powers over me.

“If you’re quite finished, I have one more thing I need from you.”

“Wait, wait, wait, are you serious? You’re telling me that you are a 120 year old duke that has been haunting my family’s house since Robert Van Allen? Let me just make sure that I understand you, am I right?” I sat down on a window seat and pulled my legs up to my knees.

“Actually, it was my house first. And yes, I do expect you to believe that.” He said coming to stand in front of me.

“Okay, okay, I’ll play along. If you really are a ghost…then prove it.” I raised my eyebrows, daring him to meet my challenge, definitely not expecting him to.

“Alright, have it your way then. Run through me.” He opened his arms and kind of crouched, it reminded me of a football player getting ready to tackle an opponent.

I sighed and got up slowly. “Okay, but if I hurt you then you’ve been warned.” And I ran.

He was ready for me though. Instead of running straight into his arms and tackling him to the ground like I thought I would, I ran right through his body and fell to the floor.

I was still in shock staring at the floor when I saw his booted feet come in front of me. When I looked up he just shook his head and offered his hand to me.

“Oh yeah ‘cause that’ll help a lot.”

“Calm yourself, I’m corporeal; you can grab my hand if you want.” The hand lowered itself farther down to me.

I tentatively touched it and found, while it was not warm, it definitely was solid. My grasp became firmer, and I he helped me to stand.

“So, now do you believe that I really am Gregory McClain?” he asked once I had brushed myself off.

“What else am I supposed to believe? You’ve proven yourself to me. So what choice do I have?” I started pacing the room, nervous. Ghosts were not supposed to exist, although a small part of me had always wanted to believe in the surreal. I suddenly stopped short in front of him.

“That doesn’t mean that I’m leaving this house! And I don’t really care if it was yours first! You died, and left it to your wife! Don’t give me that look, you were obviously killed and I really do feel sympathy for your cause and the whole ‘This is my house, I will decide who stays and who goes’ thing but that doesn’t matter anymore. Read my lips Buster Brown, you…are…dead…as in no longer breathing, eating, or going to the bathroom.” I finished in a huff.

But my anger and frustration for this guy vanished in an instant when I looked at him. His eyes had gone from a beautiful hazel to a stone black and his hard features turned cold and too severe, making him look really dead and really scary. Pillows, combs, and perfume bottles started to spin around the room, several just missing my head.

“Hey, Hey! I liked that smell!” when I watched a perfume bottle crash against a wall. Okay now I was angry. So assuming he was still solid or whatever, I reached over and slapped him.

Everything fell back into place then and he slowly started to go back to normal. By now I was pretty nervous and didn’t know what he could do to me. I gulped nervously and gave him the most innocent of looks.

“That was uncalled for,” was all he said.

“Excuse me? You just broke what I’m sure was a really expensive bottle of perfume, that I’m sure you bought at some point in time! Forgive me for being a tad bit annoyed.”

His eyes softened into pools of pure sadness, making my heart cry out for him. He slowly walked past me to the broken bottle of perfume. He knelt down and grabbed a piece of wet glass.

“I bought this for Lydia as a wedding gift. She loved the smell of lilies.” He looked so sad. But he dropped the glass and turned to me with hard resolved look on his face.

“You have three days. Then I will take action. I bid you goodnight madam.” And he was gone in the blink of an eye.

“Great, my last year of high school in a new school and house, and there is a ghost bent on making my life a living hell…” I said to myself as I jumped onto my bed. Then louder I said to the room in general, “Stop giving me nightmares! I need to sleep if you want us out of here!”

Before I closed my eyes for some seriously needed relaxation I swear I could hear the deep chuckle of Gregory McClain.
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#13 roni

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:11 PM

ok i have to say something
you are a fantastic writer!
did i already say that
*goes and checks previous post*
yep i did
because its true!
update soon

miss hasta
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#14 noleey

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:17 PM

That was really good, update!

Nicole
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#15 True Romantic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:45 PM

Chapter 4

Rain poured down outside the huge French windows of the library. The sounds calmed my nerves and let me slip away with Emma and go on matchmaking journeys across nineteenth century London. I didn’t even notice Gregory staring at me until I reached up for my cup of tea.

After I screamed and spilled tea all over my white sweater he said, “Oh sorry, did I startle you?”

I gave him my most powerful glare, which is kind of difficult when covered with hot liquids. I reluctantly put my book aside and sat down on the sofa I had just vacated.

“That is really not funny, you know. I liked this sweater, and now it has to be washed which I really don’t feel like doing right now.”

He smiled and sat down in an armchair across from me. “Well I apologize; it was not my intent to frighten you. We have other matters to discuss.”

I looked up knowing full and well exactly what he was getting at. Taking action before he could start in on me I said, “Hey look, I tried my very best to convince my parents that there is a ghost bent on making our lives miserable if we don’t leave tomorrow. But they didn’t believe me. So roomy, what’s first on the welcome agenda?” I smiled sarcastically.

“You know that wasn’t your best. What exactly did you say? Oh yes now I remember, ‘Parental Unit, there is a ghost thingy in the house and it wants us to leave, so we better get packing!’”

My mouth gaped open. “Are you mocking me?”

A look of really fake shock crossed his way to hot features and he put a hand to his heart in mock horror. “No, I would never dream of mocking you, Amelia.”

“Uhuh, right, ‘cause I definitely put all trust in you. And what the Hell is it with you and this ‘Amelia’ thing. My name is Amy, always has been always will be.”

He shook his head disapprovingly and sighed, “I would really appreciate it if you could refrain from using such language. It really doesn’t become you.”

I stood up to go put Emma back on a shelf for another day when we could both run off with Mr. Knightly without the disturbance of the ever annoying antagonist, Mr. McClain.

“What word? Hell? Oops, did I say that? I suppose you’re right words like Hell, and crap really don’t become me. Oh dear, there I go again with that foul language. What ever will I do?” mocking him was just too easy. I might feel guilty if he wasn’t such a total ass.

But when I hand snaked around my waist I regretted coaxing his dark side out. He slowly turned me around so my back was in a very uncomfortable position against the bookshelf. My whole body turned to smoke when his face dipped so close to my neck I could feel his icy breathe tantalize my skin. He was so close I could feel the muscles move as he did. My traitorous hands wanted nothing more than to sift through his hair and kiss him desperately. I could even feel my hand tremble with the urge to reach up and wrap around his neck.

He knew the affect he had on me and he was using it to his advantage; that sneaky bastard. I was breathing really hard while his lips came even closer to my neck, my head lolled back against the shelf, my eyes closed in pure ecstasy.

“What will it take for you to listen to me?” he whispered slowly. Though his breath was pure ice, my skin felt burning hot wherever it touched my skin.

“Um…yes?” Um yes? What was I saying? Great now the hot ghost probably thought I was a total idiot, I know I would.

He chuckled deeply near my ear and I could feel the vibrations flash through my body. He pressed the lightest of kisses to my neck and whispered, “Don’t swear,” before pulling away.

After a million years-A.K.A. two minutes-I peeled myself from the wall and looked into his dark eyes. He only smiled.

Trying my very hardest not to fall into a puddle of goop on the floor I said, “Okay, so um…I’m gonna go…this way…so uh…okay bye,” and was out the door faster than you could say ‘chopsticks.’

I was in my room with the door locked in less than 60 seconds. There was no place I could hide where he wouldn’t get to me, but I did know a place where he would never dare to enter. The bathroom.

Which was huge by the way.

There was another vanity covered in toiletries I had unpacked. There was a huge shower in one room and a clawed-foot bathtub against another wall. The toilet was situated near the gigantic sink, topped off with beautiful French windows. The whole room was the shade of a light pink rose and white crowning that matched the curtains perfectly. Gotta love Grandma Allison for her fabulous taste in bathroom décor.

The shower felt amazing on my tired muscles. It got rid of the kinks in my back. And because I knew Gregory would never come in here without my permission, I stayed under the spray for an extra long time, meticulously shaving my legs and applying freesia body wash.

Thirty-five minutes later I was clean, fresh, and smelled great. I changed into some fuzzy shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt. When I finally stepped out of the bathroom and into my bedroom I found Gregory lounging about on my bed. How rude.

“You know that is really rude just sitting on someone’s bed. You barely know me. I don’t even know you!”

He sat up immediately and bowed before saying, “Well considering that you are currently living under my roof, all that you see before you is mine. Therefore I am allowed to sit wherever I wish.”

I stared at him openmouthed.

“Uhuh.”

“Don’t you have something to tell your parents?” he prodded, coming behind me and pushing me towards the door.

I laughed sarcastically and said, “Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. I really should go ask them what we are having for dinner.”

I was instantly trapped in an iron grasp. But when I turned around to look him in the eye and tell him what’s what the look on his face stopped me dead.

“Please, just don’t. Don’t do this, I beg of you. I need to find something and I can’t do that with you and your family here. So please talk to your parents. That is my one request.” He looked so sad, I couldn’t stand it.

I sighed, blowing a bang from my face. “One condition. I will try my very hardest to get us out of here…if you tell me what you are searching for.” It was a long shot and we both knew it, but I had to try. Gregory wasn’t a bad person; I could tell he didn’t want to make me leave. Deep down he had to like me just a little bit, right?

He paced the room, trying to decide what to tell me. I waited patiently while my insides were turning inside out for wanting him. He was so frigging hot. I hadn’t felt this attached to anyone since Mike.

Finally he stopped abruptly in front of me.

“How do I tell you? Lydia, the woman in the portrait, the woman who owned the clothing you found, the woman I lo-…the woman I loved…she kept something that is the key to finding out what really happened to me. I need to find it. I have to find it!” he acted as though his very life, or afterlife as the case really was, depended on it.

I knew what he was talking about! The journal! That had to be it. I could tell him where it was and help him, but then he wouldn’t need me anymore. Did I even want him to want me around? I felt an unspoken attraction to him that went much deeper than the fact that I thought he was hot, which of course he was but still. I felt like I had known him my entire life and beyond that. It was like the preface to Romeo and Juliet, Two star crossed lovers…

“I may be able to help you.” His eyes lit up severely at that. “But, you have to promise that you will let me help you until whatever end comes. Promise?” the butterflies in my stomach begged to fly the coop, but I kept them in, hoping.

“I swear. Do you know where it is?” he rushed to my side, practically tugging my arm off in his excitement.

“It’s in the vanity. The locked drawer.” I walked over and picked the lock quickly and pulled out the thin tome.

He just stood there; the silence around me was terrifying. I thrust the book into his hands, hoping this was what he needed. He sat down in the nearest chair which I noticed sort of drifted towards him. I, the puny mortal with no cool powers, had to walk over and sit on a window seat.

“Is that it?”

The only response I got was, “Yes.”

I mouthed the word “oh” and looked down at my hands.

“You open it first.”

I looked up, surprised. “Huh?” I asked curiously as he strode over to my and thrust the journal into my hands.

“Please, for me?” those beautiful hazel eyes had seen too much in his 120 years, it weighed him down, made him look to old. Why not help him out a little. It would help me too…I hoped.

I sat up straighter and braced myself for this. The book slid open easily and I flipped to the first page.
Gregory looked at me imploringly and said, “Well go on, read aloud.”

I nodded softly and turned my gaze back to the book.

November 18, 1885
The day is surprisingly warm for a November day. One would think that in England of all places, it would be cold and dreary. Needless to say Gregory and I have taken the lovely turn of weather for our benefit. He took me horseback riding in the back woods, and a lovely picnic by the pond. I cannot wait until the water freezes over and we can go ice skating like when we were children.
I only wish I didn’t view my husband as a brotherly figure. We have been together since we were born, and I love him like my sibling. For that’s what we really are. It is very difficult to keep up this façade because I can see that he loves me in a wifely way.
On a brighter note, I met Gregory’s best friend Robert today. He is most handsome. I have never been so attracted to a person in my life. However, I am married and Robert is my husband’s best friend. I’m sure there is a rule against that somewhere, however I cannot be certain.
As I lie awake in bed before Gregory comes to bed, I write down these most personal thoughts that I must never ever tell a single soul as I live. That is why I will lock away this journal in a secret place and hide the key.

Tomorrow I will begin redecorating my suite in a lovely shade of red. Everything will be perfect and hopefully it will distract me from my impure thoughts about Robert. Even now I can feel his presence here, although he is in the north wing.
Gregory is coming to bed now, I must hide this away for tonight.

I stopped reading where the page ended. I was almost too afraid to look up, but I couldn’t let my eyes wander to the next entry.
So instead I gently closed the book and tentatively looked up at him. His face a mask of coolness, a façade, I knew but would never let him know.

Slowly I stood and handed him the book. He didn’t take it, he just stood there motionless staring at a blank space on the wall. When I brought the book back to my chest and started to go around him, it was like his whole body suddenly came to life.

“I remember that day.”

I turned slowly to gaze into those eyes that I could drown in happily forever. I didn’t say anything, just let him tell me with his eyes.

“I remember how excited she had been about the sunny warmth that seemed to envelope her. She looked so beautiful in her green riding habit.

She never loved me. She always loved him, and I didn’t see it…I couldn’t…”

An idea came to me then.

“How much do you remember about your life?”

He gave me an odd glance but said, “Everything up until the night of the masquerade. Why do you ask?”

“Because maybe we can find out who killed you by recapping everything you did up until then. Well not all of it obviously, the first journal entry was a year before you were killed. But maybe in august of the next year we could find something.”

“It’s a long shot, but that just might work. But it is late; you really should be getting downstairs to your dinner. Your parents must wonder why you spend so much time in your room.” He smiled down at me, but it didn’t reach his eyes and his face was still covered with that coolness that chilled me.

“Um, yeah. Do you want the journal? Or should I put it back?” I motioned back to the vanity questioningly.

“Please put it back. I can’t face that alone.” He sounded so young for a second I doubled back.

Before he began to shimmer out I ran up to him and lightly kissed him on the cheek. He stood there utterly still, I almost regretted doing it. But then he sighed and kissed me back on the opposite cheek.

“I promise I will help you find your way Gregory McClain.”
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#16 princesskate14

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 09:21 PM

I really like this story. It reminds me of The Mediator series, but also it's different. But, you are an exceptional writer, and you should update soon. Really soon. :) Great job, and congrats on your first story!


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#17 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 12:13 PM

-drumroll- -kiwi walks out into the middle of the stage-

-smiles prettily...-

people point and gasp... news anchor asks "*new reader* what can you tell us about this fabulous story How a ghost stole my heart?"

"Well Diane it's a great story I really love it. It reminds me of this book The Haunted Heart by Cherie bennet, but only in the haunted house, little twin brother, amazing riveting story kind of way."

yeah soo i'm new to this site and to your story but i absolutely love it....

keep writing.

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~
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#18 JustlikeJess

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 02:25 PM

I like it. But I only got to read chapter 1 right now. I don't have time to read the rest.

Crystal
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#19 True Romantic

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:26 AM

Chapter 5

“Of all the arrogant, pig-headed, idiotic moves, this was really takes the cake Gregory!” I shouted as I walked angrily through the gardens to the gazebo. He kept trying to pop up ahead of me, but I would always turn another way.

By the time he could finally grab my arm I had already reached the gazebo and stopped.

“Please just listen to me.”

I turned slowly and glared at him, crossing my arms over my chest.

“I won’t give you the key back because it is something that should remain mine, and mine alone.”

I wanted to throw something at him. The arrogant jerk! How could he expect me to sit back and let him order me around like a puppet?

I was just about to say something when my cell phone rang.

“Saved by my cell,” I muttered before turning around and walking down the gazebo steps.

“Amy, its mom. Listen where are you? I’m in your room but you seem to be missing. Oh well, can you meet me in the front hall? I have to go into town for some things and your father’s at a meeting with the company so I need someone to watch the boys.” She hung up before I could even get a word in.

Growling in the back of my throat and turned back to Gregory.

“We are far from being done with this.”

He nodded arrogantly, as if to say that we really were done with this.

I ran back to the house just in time to see my mom running out into the courtyard and to her car. She kissed me quickly and said that she would be back in a couple of hours.

The twins had, thankfully, busied themselves with a movie in one of the parlors we had turned into a den. Popcorn, soda, and chips littered the coffee table. A pair of dazed blue eyes were glued to the television as some space fighter battled the galactic universe in search of the reptilian queen. Honestly how could they watch that garbage?

I decided to stay close in case they needed me, and walked into the library, locking the door behind me.

“Gregory McClain, get your ghostly ass in here now!” I said aloud, knowing full well he would hear me.

A voice from behind me called, “Yes?”

I whirled around to face him, no longer afraid of his popping in when and wherever he pleased.

“Give me the key back!”

He waited a minute before simply saying, “No.”

I stomped my feet on the ground, walking around the room to keep from hitting him.

“Why are you so annoying?”

He stopped me by placing his hands on my shoulders. I looked up into his eyes, wanting truth, and boy did I find it.

“If I annoy you, then you aren’t attracted to me as you so obviously are. And if you aren’t attracted to me…then I won’t be attracted to you. But it seems that my particular choice of action failed…oh well…now I can do this.”

And his lips were on mine. And my god, he was such a good kisser. Not aggressive, but not passive either. My ex-boyfriends had all been ready to suck my mouth right off my face, but Gregory waited for my reactions, taking as much as he gave.

I moaned softly, needing the air. His lips found my earlobe; I practically fell to the floor then. It was amazing, like heaven wrapped up in lips; wrapped up in man aged 120 years…just the way I liked it.

Oh, heaven felt good, or at least it did until he whispered, “Lydia,” in my ear.

It was like someone had just slapped me in the face, hard. I pulled away, shoving that hard, muscled chest from my body.
“You son of a *%^##! That’s all I am to you, isn’t it? Someone you used to know! A copy of the real thing! Oh God, and here I thought you at least liked me for being me! I want you the hell out of my life. Help yourself with that stupid journal. I wish I had never seen those eyes, or you for that matter.” I fairly spit in his direction, and then I went over to the door, unlocked it and walked out, calling behind me, “Go to hell Mr. McClain.”

An hour and a half later I was showered, shaved, and thankfully, red eye free. I spent the better part of an hour crying quietly in my bathtub, soaking in my own misery. Then I put some face goop on and a cool compress for my red eyes.

When I opened my door, I was relieved to find that Gregory was nowhere in sight. At least he knew I wanted to be alone. If he had been there

I might have hit him with something.

I needed to get away from here. Just for a day, but long enough that I could calm down over the ghost that drove me crazy. I convince myself not to play that scene over and over again in my head, but boy was it hard.

Thankfully my mom returned pretty quickly and I was free to leave if I wanted to. I called Kaylie, hoping she was up for a last minute crash.

“Yeah, of course you can come over. Oh and bring your bathing suit! We need to use the pool as often as possible with the nice weather,” she said happily. Not that the weather really mattered when it came to Kaylie’s pool because it was indoors.

I hung up the phone shortly after and went ransacking through my stuff in search of a bikini.

There was one in the bottom of a box I had yet to unpack. It was a black string bikini with a white rhinestone in the middle of the top piece. I hadn’t worn this one in a while, so I tried it on, hoping it would fit.

I have a pretty nice body, and am considered attractive. My skin remained fashionably pale, while my long legs and arms were muscular in a girly way. I had a flat stomach and pretty decent boob size, all in all a good catch for any guy.

I was still looking at myself in the mirror, checking for and poppage in the cleavage area when I heard someone knocking at my door.

I called absently, “Come in,” thinking it was my mom or the twins. Which is why I was incredibly surprised to find Gregory standing in the doorway, imitating a fish with his mouth opening and closing.

“Oh…My…Oh my GOD! What on earth are you wearing?” Gregory cried in what sounded like an anguished voice.

I hadn’t thought that my lack of clothing would upset him, but he came from a time when seeing a girl’s ankle would be enough to marry her.

I almost apologized and put something over my outfit, but the scene from the library convinced me otherwise. I walked slowly towards him, wanting him to suffer just as much as I did downstairs.

“Oh don’t you like it?” He continued to stare at me with an open mouth.

“Put something on, but please don’t keep coming at me like that! Are you going to wear that in public? No one should be allowed to reveal that much skin in public!” he started to back up still staring at me in horrified fascination.

“Oh all right. I’ll put something on.” I turned suddenly and walked over to the walk in closet and put on a skirt and top on. Then I grabbed my bag and pillow.

He watched me move around the room and come to stand in front of him.

“Um, you’re sort of standing in front of my door and I have to go.”

“What? Where are you going? Are you leaving? For good? Please don’t go I need to speak with you and I didn’t want to barge in by materializing. Please don’t leave.” He finished sadly, putting his arms on my shoulders.

“I have nothing to say to you right now. I’ll be back.” And I walked out the door, down the stairs, catching my mom on the landing. I told her where I was going, and kept walking. Gregory followed the whole way.

“Where does she live?” he asked following me into the courtyard.

All I said in return was, “In town.” And I drove away, not looking back the whole way.

It took thirty minutes for me to drive through the streets I had once grown up around. I had forgotten how much I missed this place, its simple beauty startling me a little.

Kaylie lived in a huge Tudor house with giant walkways, and beautiful gardens just on the edge of the town. It had been her parents dream home and they had gotten it for a startlingly low price, which was still a lot of money.

She was sitting on the swing under the big maple tree in the front yard when I pulled into her driveway.

“Hey! Long time no see, come on in my mom baked cookies!” Kaylie cried excitedly as she grabbed my pillow and pulled me into the house.

We ran up to her room after grabbing a pile of cookies and saying a quick hello to Kaylie’s mom.

Her room was incredibly feminine painted in different shades of purple, with lace curtains and pillows. Her older sister used to share the room with Kaylie, but now that she was gone there was an extra double bed on one side of the room.

I loved the posters, and collages Kaylie and her sister Lynn had made over the years, it gave her room a very homey feel. We listened to the radio on her sound system and sat on her bed talking about everything and nothing at all.

Finally she said quietly looking down at her feet, “Mike was asking about you when I went over to watch movies with Cole.”

My eyes went wide and I said, “Oh, well what did you tell him?” Mike was my ex-boyfriend. Kaylie and I had been dating the hottest fraternal twins in the school. Cole was captain of the soccer team and Mike was captain of the football team.

Cole and Kaylie had been together forever, and had been acting like an old married couple way before that. Mike and I had dated for over a year and just when I thought he and I were, you know, ready to get intimate, I found out that he had also intimate with Melinda Williams, Laura Scott, and Audrey Andrews. We broke up soon after that.

“I told him he could burn in Hell for being such an ass,” she smiled proudly. I laughed at that. I just hoped that he wouldn’t be too much of a problem in the near future.

For the next three hours we sat in the bedroom taking photos, listening to music, and dancing around like hot monkey puppets, as Kaylie so thoughtfully referred to us.

Then we ordered pizza and sat in her den having a Johnny Depp marathon complete with the movies, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissor hands, and Ed Wood.

“My God, he looks so good with those really tight pants!” we sighed, watching him crawling around on the floor in Sleepy Hollow. But as I watched him move around the screen, my thoughts kept creeping back to Gregory. I wondered what he was doing right now. Probably being an ignorant jerk in his special attic with my key! I wondered if he missed me.

When the movie was over and Johnny and Christina walked off into the sunset, we turned the TV off and went over to the indoor heated pool. I let the refreshingly water bathe over my skin, enjoying the feeling of little goose bumps rising all over my skin, prickling me a little, making me shiver.

We dove and swam and raced for a while, but finally Kaylie was so tired she was about to pass out in the water. She got out and grabbed a towel, asking if I was coming up to bed.

“Yeah, I’ll be up in a little bit. I just want to relax here for a bit.”

She smiled and walked up the steps and into the main house.

I loved the way the water played with my hair, making it sway this way and that as I floated on my back. I closed my eyes and started to hum a tune I’d never used or heard before.

Something hit the water near my head and I started up looking around the pool. There was no one around, but the floating ball near the end of the deep end.

“Up here,” someone called to me. I looked up and sure enough there was Gregory McClain, hovering above the pool in all his god-like glory.

“WHAT are you doing here?” I shrieked angrily.

His simple reply was enough to drive me to insanity. “I wanted to speak with you.”

I shrieked again and dove under water, not stopping until I reached the stairs and was getting out of the pool.

“How did you find me?” I asked when I was sufficiently covered with a towel.

“Well, you are not so easy to find. First I went through that blasted book of numbers you people all seem to have.” He floated towards me and sat down in a chair.

“You mean a phonebook?” I asked. Oh dear lord, he must have looked for every Kaylie he could find. That thought warmed my heart, knowing that he wanted to see me so much.

“Yes, that one. Well after about fifteen Kaylie’s I realized that none of them were your friend’s. So instead I went looking through your typing thing, trying to find an address where I might find you. When that didn’t work, I simply popped into town and wandered about until I saw the car you took.” He finished blandly.

I started to laugh, hard. “You did that just to find me? Why? I told you I would be back.”

He scowled at me and muttered, “But you didn’t specify when you’d be back. For all I knew you would be gone for weeks. I didn’t want to be on bad terms with you.”

I folded my arms across my chest and asked, “Is that supposed to be some sort of apology?”

“No, but this is.” He knelt down on one knee. I was just about ready to cry when he held up a single key in his hand. The key to the attic.

“I’m every sort of a monster. You had every right to hit me in the library. I want to share my memories with you. And if you would be so kind, I would very much appreciate it if you would still help me find the truth about that night at the masquerade.”

I could barely breathe, let alone speak. So instead I nodded and dropped down to him and hugged him with all my might.

“Thank you so much,” I whispered into his ear.

He hugged me that much tighter.

But he pulled away when he realized I was trembling. I groaned, wanting to go back to the haven in his arms, but he was right. Gregory’s icy body could very well get my sick.

He helped me stand and walked me back into the house and up to Kaylie’s bedroom door.

“I’ll leave you for the night.” He whispered bending his head down to mine, kissing me softly on the mouth. I wondered what it would look like to anyone passing by. I probably looked crazy, standing there holding invisible hands and kissing an invisible mouth.

“No, don’t go. What if I have a nightmare or something?” I moaned softly against his mouth.

He chuckled and pulled away, kissing my forehead.

“I’ll be nearby if you need me. Don’t worry love, it will be fine.”

“’Mkay.”

I sighed as he disappeared, but an invisible hand pushed the door to Kaylie’s room and me into it. She was reading in bed, propped up against a lot of lacey pillows. “There you are. I was worried you had drowned or something dreadful down there. As soon as this chapter was done I was going to go down and find you,” she laughed as I padded over to her walk-in closet to change into pajamas.

“Do you believe in things that are supposed to be just fairy tales?” I asked as I tucked myself into bed, looking over at you courageously.

“Sure, like goblins and vampires? I’ve always wanted to, but I don’t know, maybe.” She looked at me oddly and shook her head.

“Why do you ask?”

I thought about mentioning Gregory, but backed off. Why bring her into something that she probably wouldn’t understand.

“No reason. I’m going to bed. Good night.” I rolled over and closed my eyes, wanting the relief of sleep to envelope me.

But then the nightmares started.
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#20 noleey

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 01:01 PM

Really good! Update soon!

Nicole
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#21 roni

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:43 AM

will gregory be there to comfort her?
i hope so..
update soon

miss hasta
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#22 True Romantic

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:14 AM

Chapter 6

My heeled slippers clicked on the stone floors. We were underground, that much I was sure of. The man holding my arm gripped me tighter, pulling me along the corridor. His face was blurry again, but I knew he was the one who could hurt my family.

There was a door at the end of the hall directly in front of us. I started to drag my feet, but he pulled my arm even tighter. I wished Gregory were here to make everything all right.

He opened that last door and pushed me through. I tripped on the hem of my gown and fell to my knees on the floor. The room was dimly lit with sconces on the walls, casting the room in flickering light.

I crawled over to a wall and sat down, barely feeling the tears that streamed down my face like twin streams. He knelt in front of me, like a father would a little child, and took a vial out of his waistcoat pocket.

“You will take this vial…and pour it into your husband’s drink tonight. You are going to kill Gregory McClain…” the voice seemed to echo all around the room, and a sob escaped my lips.

Before the room spun out of control and I lost focus of everything, he shoved the vial into my hand, keeping it closed there.

“NO!” I screamed as someone shook me awake. I was panting, sweat dripping down everywhere. Kaylie was sitting at the edge of my bed, her hand on my leg. I sat up and wiped a shaking hand over my eyes.

“You were having an awful nightmare. Who’s Gregory? You kept shouting his name out in your sleep,” she said in a worried voice. I didn’t sleep well, I never have, and she knew that.

“No one I know.” I lied quickly. Then I said, trying to sound as calm as possible, “Hey, I’m just going to go downstairs and get something to drink. Don’t worry I’ll be fine.”

She just nodded. I didn’t think she believed me, but it didn’t really matter to me.

I walked down the stairs that led into the kitchen and I sat at one of the bar stools they had for the island. My hands were shaking and I was having a hard time breathing.

How could anyone do that? Those awful words kept playing over and over in my head. “You will kill Gregory McClain.” I tried hard to remember the rest of the dream, but like most of them, it seemed to slip away into nothingness.

A thought came to me. The man had said ‘husband.’ Lydia? He ordered Lydia to kill Gregory. I had always assumed that she and Robert had planned the whole thing on their own, but what if they didn’t. What if they were being blackmailed to kill him? Who would have enough reason to kill Gregory?

I took a couple of deep breaths and called out, “Gregory, I need you.”

He was in front of me in a second. His worried glance raked over my body, seeing the tousled hair, wide and panicky eyes, and extremely pale coloring.

“What happened to you? Why do you look so frightened? Who did this to you?” questions poured from his mouth while his hands roamed my face, trying to find a wound or scrape, anything he could.

“Relax, relax,” I whispered stilling his hands with my own on my cheeks. “I had a nightmare again. One about you.”

I remembered how Gregory had willed me to dream about the ballroom and Lydia’s dress and I was angry.

“Why would you ever want me to witness something like that? Are you still mad at me or something?”

He pulled his hands away from me and stepped out of the island, which I just realized he had been standing in the middle of.

“I didn’t give you any dream. I can only give you memories I have shared with a person. What happened in the dream? What do you remember?”

I looked down at my hands, feeling really guilty for accusing him of giving me a nightmare.

“Um, there was a dark hallway, underground, I think. Someone was holding my arm tightly, and pulling me along to a door at the end of the hall. I was crying, and he said that I have to kill my husband tonight, and he thrust a vial in my hands. Then Kaylie woke me up.”

He paced the room, he did that a lot I noticed, and rubbed his chin, thinking.

“He said husband? That means you were having one of Lydia’s memories. What did the man look like?”

I shook my head, trying to remember, but all I could see was a blurry face.

He sighed, walked over to me and grabbed me in a fierce embrace. I hugged him back, wanting to close my eyes, but all I could see was a vial that killed the man I really liked.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there to wake you up from that. I was reading…the journal.” He whispered gently.

I sat back and asked, “You were reading it without me?”

He chuckled quietly and shook his head.

“I was trying to find something, but my thoughts kept coming back to you.”

I was ridiculously happy when he said that. I had thought he was so cool and calm around me; it never actually occurred to me that he had real feelings towards me.

A yawn escaped my lips, and I felt tired suddenly. Without even asking, Gregory lifted me into his arms and cradled me against his chest. He carried me upstairs and to Kaylie’s door. Thankfully she was asleep with her back turned towards us, so Gregory could carry me to the bed and tuck me in.

He was starting to shimmer out, but I moaned and reached out for him.

“I’ll be right here all night long. I promise.” He kissed my forehead quickly and sat down in an armchair in the corner of the room.

Reluctantly I shut my eyes and tried to go to sleep, hoping beyond all hope that I wouldn’t have another nightmare.

Before I knew it someone was spritzing cool water on my face. Sunlight poured in through the window and onto my face.

“Rise and shine! Come on it’s already…8:15!” Kaylie was standing over me, spraying cold onto my face. I groaned, and started to roll over when I heard someone laughing in the corner.

Gregory was lying on the floor laughing and crying…at me! I couldn’t believe it, but I couldn’t yell at him either because no one but me could see him. I would be talking to nothing but air.

He seemed to notice me and immediately stopped laughing, or tried to at least, until I sat up and water dripped down my face from where I had been sprayed. He started laughing again.

I grabbed the spritzer from Kaylie and started spraying her around with it. Finally she couldn’t stand it anymore and ran into the bathroom to take a shower. Good, it gave me time alone with Gregory.

“Morning,” I said quietly when I heard the shower come on.

He smiled and opened his arms to me, welcoming into the comfort of his arms. I sat down across his lap and pillowed my head in that crook in his shoulder. It was perfect. My hair probably looked like a giant mass of poof. I was probably crusty eyed and bedraggled looking, but he didn’t seem to care. Oh, he was so adorable.

“So, do you remember anything else about your dream last night?” he asked quietly, rubbing my back gently.

I shook my head and sighed. I had to remember. There was the room, the door, the vial…the hallway underground. An idea came to me immediately and I sat up.

“Does the manor have a basement?”

“Yes, but my father boarded it up when I was a child. Why do you ask?”

I started to walk around the room in circles, thinking. Boarded up years ago? Where else could they have been? I wanted to see the boards myself…but Kaylie. Oh well she would understand…or would she?

I ran into the bathroom and shook her shower curtain.

“I have to go. I can’t explain why but I do. I’ll call you tonight! Thanks so much, bye!” I didn’t even give her time to try and talk me out of it before I was out the door, putting my stuff in my bag, pulling Gregory’s hand down the stairs, and out to my car where I drove insanely until we came to the winding driveway that led to the manor.

“Okay, show me where the basement is.”

He looked up and down my frame and started to chuckle, hiding it behind a very fake cough.

He pointed to my outfit and said dryly, “Don’t you think you should get dressed first?”

I looked down at myself. I was wearing my favorite pajamas, the ones with the lipstick and blushes, and mascara all over it.

“Oops,” I said and ran into the house calling behind me, “Meet me in my room in ten minutes!”

Jeans and a tank top seemed appropriate as I quickly French braided my long auburn hair down my back, and stepped into my room. As always Gregory was waiting for me, lounging on one of the window seats.

“What are you sitting down for? I have so much energy right now, let’s get going!” I pulled him through the halls until I remembered I had no idea where we were going.

He crossed his arms and stopped in the middle of the hallway we were currently standing in.

“Aren’t you hungry?”

I shook my head, casually lying, “No, why do you ask?”

He smiled that little arrogant smile that he always used when he thought he was right and said, “Because your stomach seems to disagree with you.” At which point my stomach decided to pipe up by growling loudly.

“You know you really should listen to me more often. I’m almost always right.” He stalked over to me and grabbed me tightly around the waist. He then proceeded to put me over his shoulder and carry me down the hall towards the kitchen.

“Gregory! Someone will see me…as in me alone remember? No one but me can see you and it would be extremely weird for my parents if they caught me like this.” I laughed.

The reply I got was, “I checked, your parents are out with your brothers. They left you a note in the front hall. Speaking of your brothers…did you know what evil things they are? Almost as bad as Alexander.”

My brow wrinkled and I asked, “Whose Alexander?”

“My younger brother. He used to love pestering my sister Francesca and I.”

I thought about that and we walked in silence until we reached the kitchens. He sat me down right side up in a stool at the island and proceeded to gather supplies around the kitchen.

“Um, Gregory? What exactly do you think you’re doing?” I asked watching him take out a skillet and start to fry and egg.
He looked up briefly and gave me one of the most dazzling smiles I’d ever had, and replied, “Making you breakfast of course. What just because I’m dead doesn’t mean I don’t know how to cook? Please Amelia, have a little more faith in me than that.”

I simply nodded and watched him in fascination.

“So I noticed the other day that you enjoy Jane Austen.” the break in the silence was a surprise, but I realized he had been stealing glances at me every so often.

“Um, yeah. I go through phases where I read all of her works. Have you read anything by her?”
He laughed a little, then his eyes took on a far away look when he said, “Yes I have read Jane Austen’s works. Francesca was much like you. She read all of them alphabetically once. It was rather funny, actually.”

He seemed so sad. I couldn’t imagine being dead and having to watch my family live through that. The twins would grow up and pass me in age while I remained the same, never eating, sleeping, and just being alone forever. It scared me to think about what Gregory did for the past 100 years.

“Oh, it’s done,” he said, flipping something in the skillet and put it on a burner that wasn’t turned on.

He sprinkled it with a little something that looked like paprika, salt and pepper and put in on a plate in front of me. It was an egg, but he had mixed it into a sauce I couldn’t identify.

I hesitantly took a small bite and exclaimed, “Oh my God! This amazing! What on earth did you put in this?”

He smiled and said dryly, “It’s a family secret. Unless you’re family, you won’t find out.”

I sighed and took another bite. Then another, and another. Two minutes later I was full and my plate was empty.

“What time did my parents said they would be back with the boys?”

He thought for a moment then vanished and popped back in holding out the note they left me.

“Dear Amy~
Dad and I have taken the boys out for the day. Tommy and Jake have a play date at Geoffrey’s house and are sleeping over for the night. When we get back we have a surprise for you!
Love, Mom and Dad”

“Huh, looks like we have the whole day to ourselves,” I smiled mischievously. I feigned a sigh and said, “Whatever shall we do?”
His smile turned positively wolfish as he stalked over to me and said, “I can think of a few things to do…”

I stood up and evaded his arms, grabbing my plate and the skillet.

“First I have to do the dishes,” I smiled and turned on the boom box next to the sink. Some artist I’d never heard before came out of the speakers as I turned on the sink and started to wash.

I must have started to dance because Gregory started chuckling behind me. I turned, a soapy sponge in my hand and asked, “Are you laughing at my dancing skills?”

“Never, your dancing skills are wonderful. You would be the toast of London if you did that at a ball.”

“Oh right!” I laughed as I threw the sponge at him playfully. It hit him squarely in the chest, leaving nothing behind.

His eyes gleamed with mischief and he stalked towards me, positively feral looking. “Oh, now you’re going to have to pay for that.”

I was laughing and spinning around in his arms after that, the half washed dishes forgotten in the sink.

After a while he put me down, but kept his arms around my waist. I had a fleeting moment of pain when I thought about him leaving me forever to move on to wherever it is that ghosts go. Though I tried to push the thought from my mind, it took root and started to grow.

What would happen when he could finally move on? How could we be together when I was the only one who could see him? I realized we couldn’t be together forever, and I felt my heart go cold.

“Amelia?” I heard my name register somewhere in the back of my brain.

I looked up and smiled, pushing those annoying thoughts from the front of my mind at least.

“Sorry, just…what do you call it? Oh yeah, woolgathering.”

He smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. He was worried, I could tell. He said quietly, “You were practically petting the sheep darling.”

He called me darling! That was enough to wipe away those awful thoughts that clouded my brain and threatened to destroy the happiness I’d finally found.

Clearing my throat I said in a cheery voice, “Let’s go basement hunting!”
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#23 roni

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:29 AM

ekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i love gregory!
please update soon!

miss hasta
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#24 noleey

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 12:34 PM

“Huh, looks like we have the whole day to ourselves,” I smiled mischievously. I feigned a sigh and said, “Whatever shall we do?”

His smile turned positively wolfish as he stalked over to me and said, “I can think of a few things to do…”



That was so funny! Hah. Update soon

Nicole
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#25 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 04:57 PM

Oh my(imagine this in all caps because were not allowed to put things in all caps)

this is soooooo good. Have you read twilight by stephenie meyer? well edward the vampire is one of the most wonderful male heros ever but your gregory...he's definitely battling him in my heart. though i'll have to finish this first.

I love how long your updates are and ohh i really wish i could be amy. my name rhymes with amy(well sort of and not kiwi my real name lol). and he calls her amelia. the plot thickens. I wonder who wanted to kill gregory so badly and how Amy will keep him on earth with her when they finish this because if you made him leave...that would be sooo inhumane. I would die just so i could go visit him..lol

well all of your characters are really good. i wonder if Amy is the reincarted form of Lydia and whether she's come back to help him find justice. if sooo i really hope another robert doesnt come along because i cant imagine anyone else stealing her heart. he's soo sweet how he looked for her throughout the phone books.

i can see i am rambling with excitement. it's because you are such a grand author. if this was a book in my hand I would be putting it down so i could dance around, then squealing.I would finish up my performance by reading again. lol like i didnt do that anyway...

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~

PS I loved the part about the bikini and Gregory seeing it :icon_lol:
PSS Update soooooon superbly soon fascinatingly soon every good word i can think of soonn :love7:
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#26 xxluv heather wells bksxx

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:41 PM

*New Reader!* Ohmigod. Where's the next update? Seriously. I've scrolled down to the bottom of the page and there is no update! Please update soon! I absolutely love this story! You have such a great writing style! Please update soon, your new faithful reader xoxo~Ione~xoxo
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#27 True Romantic

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 01:50 PM

Chapter 7

“It looks as if someone tore away the wood enough to fit through,” I said, studying the wood. There were jagged edges around the door frame, and they reached down to the floor. To get in the hall we would have to duck a little to fit through.

Inside it was pitch black, but Gregory had the foresight to remember a flashlight. What would I do without him?

He passed me the flashlight, lightly pressing his hand on the small of my back, urging me forward.

“Be careful,” he whispered, kissing my hand lightly.

I nodded and stepped through the door frame and turned on the flashlight.

There were cobwebs and dust everywhere; it made my nose itch just seeing it. I could hear my flats tapping on the stone floor, just like in my dream. Sconces that hadn’t been used in years hung on the walls on either side of me, following a trail of doors that led to the end of the hall…the one with the dark wood door on it.

I stopped, suddenly frozen in place, seeing only the dream. My arm hurt where he grabbed me. I was crying…Gregory was going to die tonight.

I whimpered in pain and fell to the floor, holding my arm tightly. I shut my eyes against the vision and came back to reality.

“Amelia, what’s the matter?” Gregory was holding the flashlight to my arm, trying to pry my fingers away from it.

When he finally succeeded, I heard him inhale sharply. I opened my eyes and looked down to see very large bruises on my upper arm. The finger prints were clearly visible, and couldn’t have been made by me because they were huge.

“Oh Amelia, I’m so sorry. Let’s get you out of here before you get hurt even worse.” He tried to pull me up, but I wouldn’t let him.

“No, we have to keep going. This is definitely the basement from my dream.” I stood up and looked at him, he was still worried about me so I added, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Let’s go.”

He sighed deeply, frustrated with me, but I didn’t care. He needed answers and I wanted him to have them.

I walked forward, still holding my arm, letting Gregory shine the flashlight ahead of me so we could see. We stopped right in front of the door, and my hand trembled as I reached out to open the door.

It creaked open loudly, just like in those old horror movies. You know, right before the monster jumps out at the heroine and tries to kill her? That’s what this door sounded like.

He shined the flashlight into the room to reveal…nothing. I really don’t know what I expected, but a bare room was what I should have been thinking of. No vial, no Lydia, no scary man with huge hands. And no answers for Gregory.

My heart ached to hold him in my arms and comfort him when I watched him stand in the middle of the room looking totally defeated.

Finally I couldn’t bear it anymore and I turned to leave the room. He made no move to stop me. I turned back only once to try and offer the little piece of comfort I could.

“I’m so sorry, Gregory. But we haven’t lost yet. We still have the diary.”

He only nodded, still facing away from me. I walked down the hallway and out of the basement, but before I ducked underneath the door frame I heard Gregory’s echo.

“Will I ever find the answers?”

***

Mr. Knightly was about to propose to Emma at any second when I heard my parents car come up the drive and into the courtyard. I had still seen no sign of Gregory and it had been over three hours.

I had eaten a solitary lunch in the kitchen. As I went to clean up, I nearly killed myself when I slipped on the sponge I had thrown at Gregory. It seemed like forever ago I was twirling around this room, happy as possible in his arms. Now he was miserable and it was my entire fault for convincing him to go down to that stupid basement I wished I never dreamed about.

I had put mountains of cover up over the bruises on my arm which had already started to fade, much to my surprise. Now there was nothing left to do but read about love and happiness overcoming all obstacles. Lucky bastards.

I heard mom and dad pull up into the courtyard and honk for me to come out. I walked out of the library and into the main hall where I saw my mom walking towards me with a blindfold in hand.

“Now you mustn’t peek until I tell you to, understand?” she asked, guiding me out into the sun where I heard my dad and some other people unloading something big from what must have been a trailer.

“Did you guys get me a car?” I had always wanted one but my parents had never given in to that demand.

“Okay, open you eyes,” the blindfold was removed and standing in front of me was an old, four-legged friend.

“Apollo!” I ran down the steps and wrapped my arms around my horse’s big neck. He whinnied, and tossed his head a little.

I had missed him so much because I hadn’t been able to ride him in forever. Now he was here at the Manor, all mine forever and ever.

I had gotten him at the age of ten when he was only five years old. I named him after the Greek god of the stars because of his exquisite coat. He was a black stallion with white spots that resembled stars across his back, legs and neck. Simply perfect in my eyes.

“Thank you so much,” I cried happily as I embraced my parents in a hug. They smiled and explained where my tack, saddles, and helmets were. They had apparently been planning this since the day we moved in two weeks ago. I felt like it had been forever since we moved here.

I thanked them again and swung up onto my buddy’s back, wanting to ride him bareback across the fields and into the woods a little.

We trotted around the courtyard for a minute or two, getting the feel for one another again. Then I nudged him into a slow canter and we rode off down the lawns until it was just us.

My hair flung out of its ponytail and flew around me as the wind whipped at my face in that familiar way. God how I missed this, that feeling of just being free.

I let him take me where he wanted, trusting my horse completely. We galloped around, past trees and hedges, just letting our true natures take us wherever.

We rode into the woods, over logs around bends, simply flying.

After an hour or two I slowed our pace and trotted back out of the woods and back onto the freshly cut lawns. I eased him into the stables and slipped off his back. Then I brushed him meticulously, picking the clumps of dirt out of his hooves, and making him look as gloriously beautiful as I thought he was.

“You know, you really work well with horses,” I heard a voice behind me. I finished putting the feed and water into Apollo’s stall and swung around to face Gregory.

“Hya’ stranger,” I said quietly, brushing past him to put the bag of feed away.

“Are you upset with me?” he asked softly, in an almost anguished voice.

I frowned at him, not knowing what to do. So I walked over and put my arms around my waist, hugging the pain out of him.

He stood still for a moment, then relaxed a little and wrapped his arms around me too. We stood like that for a few moments until I heard someone coming.

We pulled apart quickly and I acted as if I was doing something instead of hugging a really hot invisible ghost. It was my mom

“Amy, dear you have a visitor. How was your ride?”

I smiled and stole a quick glance in Gregory’s general direction.

“It was really great mom. Who’s asking for me?” I wondered who would want to see me other than Kaylie, but I had just seen her this morning. I started walking towards the house, discreetly motioning for Gregory to follow me.

“Well…” she looked like she was having a hard time getting the words out. “It’s…Mike.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. Mike? What the Hell was he doing here? Gregory looked confused and a little unhappy by this twist of events.

“Oh, okay. Which parlor is he in?”

My mom walked with me around to the front of the house and said, “The Rose parlor.”

I thanked her and walked the rest of the way with Gregory.

“Who is Mike?” he asked curiously. I didn’t know how to tell him that my ex-boyfriend was currently sitting in his parlor, waiting for God knows what.

Um, Mike was my boyfriend until a year ago.”

He stopped, looked at me then continued down the hallway saying, “Oh, I’ll leave you two alone. I’m sure you have a lot of catching up to do.”

I grabbed his arm before he shimmered away and sighed, “It’s not like that. I have no plans to pick up where I left off with Mike. Could you stay close? I don’t intend to keep him here long.” I started to walk forward again, but stopped to ask, "Hey wait! Which one is the Rose Parlor?"

He laughed and pointed to the second door on the right. I smiled back and nodded to him.

He nodded as well and shimmered away. I braced myself in front of the closed door and walked in.

“Van Allen,” I hear from a corner of the room. And there he was, sitting in an armchair, looking like he owned the place.

“Mike, I hated that when we dated and I hate it now. What do you want?” I crossed my arms over my chest, already frustrated with the ass for just being here.

“I heard you were back in town. I was wondering if we could go for a walk.” He stood up and smiled devilishly at me. That same smile would have made my heart flutter in my chest a year ago, but now it only made me feel sick. I much preferred Gregory’s innocently rakish smile.

“Sure,” I replied tersely and motioned for him to follow me.

We walked into the gardens and up onto the gazebo. I sat down on the railing and waited for what he had to say. But I was really surprised by what he did have to say.

“I’ll take you back.”

I blinked, then blinked again.

“Excuse me? You’ll take me back? Oh please Mike, you cheated on me…with half the pep squad! And you expect me to come running back into your arms? I don’t think so.”

“Aw come on Van Allen, get over it! Everyone cheats. Well except my brother and your friend but really, they are just weird. Give me one good reason why you shouldn’t.”

I was really angry now. How dare he come barging back into my life and expect me to act as if nothing had happened.

I did have a good reason actually, and replied calmly, “I’m seeing someone.” I just didn't add that he was someone no one else could see.

He threw back his head and laughed arrogantly. Then he stalked toward me, pinning me against one of the pillars. "Well, just let me know who he is and I'll make sure he gets the message to leave you alone."

As he reached in to kiss me, I slapped him and shoved him hard away from me. I was getting nervous now. We were all alone out in the gardens far from the house and I didn't like it.

"Van Allen," he said quietly as he came towards me again, his eyes taking on a hard glint. "That was really uncalled for. Not very sporting of you."

"Go to Hell, " I said angrily. he was blocking the only exit out of the gazebo and now I was really scared. I had no idea what he would do to me, but I knew it wasn't good.

"I don't think so," he sid as he lunged at me, pinning me against a support beam once again.

I was so scared and angry at the same time. I needed to fight, or maybe I wouldn't make it out of this in one piece. I clawed at his arms and kicked him and tried to scream, but he clamped a hand over my mouth.

"Oh, come on Van Allen, play nicely," he grunted as he tried to wrestle me to the ground. I kicked him in that oh-so-special place guys try to protect.

That's when he got really angry.

He headbutted me so hard that I hit the pillar. My vision was getting blurrier and I was seeing stars. My strength was waning. He was winning, and everything was fading. I would lose.

As I fell to the floor, I wondered if this was what death was like. This strange feeling of darkness surrounding you. The pain in my head was faint and I felt heavy, too heavy to move. Was this what it was like for Gregory? This sense of nothingingness? Would I become a ghost like him? I didn't even get to see my family one last time.

Mike's weight was suddenly lifted off of me, and as I lay there, unable to move I heard the distinct sounds of bone crushing bone, and punching and the faint whimpers issuing from someone's mouth.

"Amelia! Amelia, wake up! Please wake up." Someone was trying to shake me, but I was too tired to move. I just wanted to lay there forever in the black void.

"Don't do this, please don't." He whispered in my ear. Gregory. He was here, by my side. I suddenly felt safe and secure where I was, just being near him.

He picked me up and carried me out of the gazebo, begging me to wake up the whole time. As I slipped out of concsiousness he whispered, "Don't leave me. I love you...Amy..."
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#28 roni

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:01 PM

Oh. My. God.
he loves her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i knew it!
and i seriously want to hurt Mike.
can i?
and please let her be ok!
update soon
*waves*

miss hasta
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#29 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:16 PM

Wowoooowowowow

that was incredible. and sweet. I dislike Mike too. Shall we start a club roni?

Now there was nothing left to do but read about love and happiness overcoming all obstacles. Lucky bastards.

I loved that part it made me fall off my chair!!!

We pulled apart quickly and I acted as if I was doing something instead of hugging a really hot invisible ghost.


That part was funny too. Oh my you are the perfect author. you have a rolliking good story that captures your interest, hot ghosts, and humor. ohh and fear. We all want to know if she's OK. I mean I don't think he killed her but I simply must know if he hurt her.

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~

PS I wonder what it looked like to mike, having her carried away by someone he couldn't see...
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#30 True Romantic

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:41 PM

Chapter 8

“Amelia, open your eyes.”

Someone was talking to me. I kept my eyes shut; my head throbbed in too many places. I thought the dead couldn’t feel pain. Oh no, what if I was in hell and had screwed up my life so horribly I was destined for an eternity of pain…without Gregory. Or maybe I had moved on to heaven…without Gregory. Either way, it totally sucked.

“Amelia, open your eyes.” A cool cloth wiped across my forehead, easing away some of the pain.

I moaned and heard a deep sigh of relief. Gregory, he was here. I felt his cool hand take one of mine, holding on for dear life.

“Amelia, darling, please open your eyes.” This time I did, hesitantly cracking one eye open. Two bright hazel eyes stared back at me with a fierce intensity that made me jump back a little. Only to have my head reel from pain.

“Ow,” I murmured quietly, holding a hand to my forehead.

Gregory took my hand away from my forehead and rubbed it gently. Then he held out two small pills in front of me. “Open your mouth.”

I obliged without complaint and he handed me a glass of water that I drank to wash them down and to ease the groggy feeling in my throat.

I closed my eyes and relaxed against the pillows, waiting for the painkillers to sink in. when I opened my eyes again he was staring at me intently, his eyes darkening with anger.

“Don’t you ever scare me like that again! It was incredibly stupid for you to go off to a secluded area like the gazebo!”

I recoiled as much as my head would allow me. “Don’t yell! It hurts my head.”

His fuming reply was enough to make me want to kill him. “I’ll yell as much as I damn well please! Do you have any idea what he was trying to do to you? Do you?”

“Yes! Yes I knew what he was doing. I got sucked in okay? I’m sorry! I tried to fight him off…I did…he was just…he was too strong for me.” Tears started falling my cheeks quickly as I realized exactly what had happened. He could have killed me.

I started to gasp, trying hard to get the oxygen into my lungs. The more I thought about it the more it scared me. I could have died…oh god.

Sobs shook my whole body and I covered my face with my hands. Wordlessly Gregory lifted me into the comfort of his arms, cradling me there as if I was nothing more than a child.

“Shhh, I’m sorry. It’s all right.” He whispered in my ear, rocking me back and forth, rubbing my back trying to calm me down.

“I tried so hard. I hit him as hard as I could…oh Gregory. I was too weak…what if you hadn’t been there?” the sobs wouldn’t stop, they ripped my soul and shook me ‘til I thought I would fall over from the sheer force of them.

I looked up pleadingly into his eyes, searching for an answer he couldn’t give. He shook his head and held me even tighter against his chest.

“You fought bravely. I’m so proud of you for fighting back. If he had killed you I would have died…again.” He whispered into my hair.

I nodded, just crying in his arms for a while. The crying and shaking hurt my head. But I didn’t want to leave the comfort of his arms. Eventually the tears stopped flowing and I didn’t shake anymore.

He looked down at me with such affection in his eyes. I remembered what he had said to me earlier. “I love you, don’t leave me.” I didn’t know if I should let him know I had heard. Maybe I had made it up in my head, or maybe he had really said it and didn’t expect to hear it. Either way I decided to let him tell me when I was good and conscious.

My feelings for him were incredibly strong and I recalled the past couple of weeks we had been here. All the memories, it seemed like we had been together much longer than that. My eyes widened slightly when I realized…I loved him.

Slowly I lifted my face to his, my lips parting as I did so. It was like we were magnetically attracted, slowly meeting each other half way. When I pressed my lips lightly to his, there was a slight electric tingle between our bodies.

He remained passive for a moment; letting me coax him, seduce him like he had to me. Just when I was about to give up, he moaned and crushed my lips harder against his, kissing me with an aggressive tone, almost as if he was going to lose me at any minute.

His impatient hands ran up and down my arms, trying to get a piece of any skin that showed. My hands too became impatient and I ran my hands through his hair like I had yearned to do since that day in the library. It seemed so long ago now, looking back on it.

I nearly shrieked from pure delight when one of his hands ran up the length of my stomach to cup my breast. He didn’t caress it, but just holding it there in a way that was enough to make me scream. It was pure ecstasy; I had never felt such strong feelings for anyone before.

Since he was being inquisitive, I decided to do just the same. My hands reached for his chest, feeling that rock hard icy body against my palms made me tingle everywhere and I marveled in the way his muscles jumped beneath my fingertips where I touched him.

It was absolutely perfect, until his other hand accidentally brushed against the sore spot on the back of my head. I gasped into his mouth, stilling my hands instantly. He did the same, grimacing against my lips, pulling back slowly.

“I’m such an ass. Please forgive me.” He murmured, not even looking into my eyes.

I sighed and grabbed his chin, forcing to look into my eyes. “It’s not exactly like I pushed you away. It’s fine okay. My head feels better thanks to the aspirin. And that kiss really did wonders for me.” I smiled wryly, hoping he would stop making himself feel awful over this.
He smiled and gently lifted me back into bed in a sitting position. I had a hard time keeping my head up. It felt like a sack of potatoes balancing on a toothpick, ready to snap at any second. He noticed my distress and put a few pillows behind my head so I could lean back without any pain.

“Now, you need to sleep.”

Sleep? How could I possibly sleep after a kiss like that? “I’m not tired.” My body didn’t agree with me, betraying me with a yawn. He smiled that stupid, arrogant smile that melted my heart and kissed my forehead.

After quickly readjusting me so I was lying down on my side and pulling a blanket over me, he started to shimmer out. I reached out with my hand, trying to grab at his hand before he could leave me.

“No, stay. I don’t want to be alone.” I yawned again. “Could you just lie next to me and keep me company? Please?”

He nodded and crossed through the bed-and my legs-and curled up beside me, wrapping an arm possessively around my waist. I smiled and closed my eyes, letting sleep envelope me in the comfort of Gregory’s arms.

***

It was dark. That much I was sure of. I opened my eyes and surveyed my surroundings. The drapes around my bed had been closed halfway, making it look darker. Someone had turned on the lamps in my room, and cracked a window open, letting a light breeze cool the room.

Gregory was nowhere in sight.

I sat up gingerly, keeping tabs on my head. It felt much better; the throbbing had almost completely dissipated. I swung my feet over the edge of the bed, and padded over to my bathroom. Shower, I needed a shower.

The spray had made my head spin a little so instead I filled a tub and soaked for a little bit. When I was clean I changed into comfy clothes and went to my computer. At first the bright screen made my eyes sore, but eventually I got used to it. Kaylie had left me a bunch of messages, mostly wondering where I had disappeared to today. So I hadn’t slept through the night.

I left her a message explaining that my parents had brought Apollo over from the London stables and I had wanted to ride him immediately. I hoped she would buy my lie, which really was the truth in a manner, just not the whole truth.

The clock on the mantel over the fireplace said it was after eleven o’clock. Everyone would probably be in bed by now. I stood up slowly, avoiding a head rush. I made my way over to the door and into the hallway.

Someone was in the kitchen, humming an unfamiliar tune. I recognized the deep sound; Gregory.

He was cooking eggs again. The smells coming from the skillet wrapped around in a delicious blanket.

I was trying to watch him without him noticing. He was smiling a little half smile as he watched the eggs cook. Though he was intent on his job, he kept humming a beautiful tune I eventually recognized as a waltz.

“Having fun watching me?” he asked without looking up at me.

I moved from my hiding spot and smiled sheepishly. “How did you hear me?”

He looked up and smiled saying, “You, my darling, are very noisy. I could hear you all the way upstairs. Plus I have the added bonus of having remarkable hearing that comes with all the ghostly powers.” He looked down at the eggs, then back at me. “You still looked peaked, why are you up and about?”

“I missed you. When I woke up you were gone. How long have I been asleep for?”

He studied the clock on the stove and replied, “Oh about seven hours. You needed it.”

“My parents? They would have noticed I was gone for so long.”

“I can imitate your voice to sound just like you.” He said in a voice that sounded exactly like mine. I jumped back a little, completely caught off guard by his words. He went on in his own voice as if nothing had happened, “I told her that you weren’t feeling well and was going to take a nap, and that she shouldn’t wake you. She checked on you twice and then went to bed with your father and the twins.”

“Oh,” was all I could say. He seemed to have all the bases covered, but at this rate my family would probably think that I was becoming an anti social freak who wouldn’t come out of her room.

“Yes, now eat.” I just realized he had put the eggs on a plate and put it in front of me.

After I finished eating and pushed my plate away I said, “Will you please tell me what is in those eggs now?”

He shook his head giving me the same explanation as before. “Not unless you’re family.”

“Fine,” I said sadly. Then I heard footsteps above us on the first floor. Someone was coming down.

It was my mom. I was sitting at the island when she came down the stairs and into the kitchen. She was dressed in a bath robe and her hair was mussed from sleep.

“Amy sweetie, are you feeling any better? I smelled something like eggs coming from down here and came to check it out.” she asked coming over to me and feeling my forehead.

I nodded and smiled. “Yeah, I just had a really bad stomach ache. And I was pretty worn out from riding Apollo and that whole Mike thing.”
My mom nodded solemnly. “How is Mike, what did he want? We didn’t even hear him leave.”

“Oh he’s gone. He just wanted to see if we were going to pick up where we left off.” She gave me a worried look when I said that so I quickly added, “I said no way of course. I don’t ever want to be with someone like him ever again.”

“You’re such a smart girl. All right, well I’m going back to bed. Sleep well sweetheart. I love you.” She kissed my forehead and started back towards the stairs.

“I love you too, Mom.” I smiled sleepily and watched her go.

“Time for bed.” Someone behind me said, lifting me from my chair.

“But the dishes…” I started to murmur as Gregory pulled me up the stairs after my mom.

“Will be taken care of. You need your rest. I won’t have you swooning at a moment’s notice.” He said quietly, leading me to my room where he tucked me into bed.

“Are you leaving again?” I whispered quietly.

He shook his head and lay down next to me in the bed, pulling me against his hard body, keeping a blanket between us so I wouldn’t freeze to death.

As I closed my eyes for sleep, I found myself thinking about when Gregory would leave. I would be left alone. What would happen if I got hurt and he wasn’t there to save me like today? Tears stung my eyes as I thought about never being with him like this again. Who would hold me close at night when I helped him move on?

I felt a single tear trickle silently down my cheek. I wiped it away quickly, and closed my eyes again. This time I did get to sleep, but not for long…another dream started.

I was standing in front of the full length mirror, starring at my reflection. I looked dead inside, my eyes lifeless, my mouth turned into a frown. I was wearing an emerald green gown with a lighter green ribbon tied into a bow just below my bust.

Someone wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed my neck. Gregory…I recognized that little squeeze he always gave me when I was in his arms. I felt a small smile tug at the corners of my lips in an attempt to look normal for him. He mustn’t know that something was wrong…he mustn’t know he was going to die tonight.

“You look beautiful.” He whispered close to my ear, running a hand down my waist to wrap around it possessively. I wanted this last night to be perfect.

Turning in his arms, I kissed him passionately, wrapping my arms around his neck. He responded with alacrity and passion. He lifted into his arms and carried me to the big four poster bed. Clothing fell around us in fury of passion. He looked down at me with such love in his eyes, caressing my cheek.

“Tonight will be perfect.” He murmured, lowering his lips to that sensitive spot in the hollow of my throat. I didn’t let him see the tear that trickled down my cheek.

Everything started to fade away, the dream becoming hazier and hazier by the second. I clung on to it as if my very life depended on it, but nothing worked. It was gone in a matter of seconds, leaving nothing but black.

I started awake, making my head throb with pain. Gregory’s arm tightened around me when he felt I was awake.

“What is it? Did you have another dream?”

I nodded slightly, trying to get rid of the lump that formed in my throat. “Um, yeah. It wasn’t a nightmare though. Just stupid stuff.” I lied easily to him. I had seen a private moment between Gregory and his wife. It would have been incredibly weird and painful for the both of us to bring it up.

I clung onto the memory though, savoring the way it felt to have Gregory’s warm skin beneath my hands. To hear him need to breath from kissing me…no from kissing Lydia so much.

I turned in his arms and cuddled close to the hollow in his neck, fitting there perfectly. I told myself that tomorrow we would have to read the journal for something…anything that might help us get the answers we both needed. But as I fell into sleep, I felt a part of myself wishing we never found the answers. Then we could stay like this forever.

Was I really going to give up the one thing Gregory asked of me for a chance at my own selfish happiness? Even I didn’t know the answer.
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#31 roni

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:09 PM

that last part was so sad
you are a fantastic writer
updae soon

miss hasta
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#32 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:35 PM

-deep poetic sigh-

i never thought of myself as a true romantic but after reading that...i think i am changing

It was sooo good. i wasn't even expecting any updates but then wham there this was and i was like sweeet!!!

Please keep writing, this story fascinates me!!

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~
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#33 True Romantic

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:51 PM

Chapter 9

Two days left of summer vacation. Then it was the start of my last year of high school. I would get to see all my old teachers, all my old friends, but I was wishing I didn’t have to go back. Mike would be there…in most of my classes, and Gregory wouldn’t.

I was packing up my new backpack with notebooks, binders, pens, and pencils. Everything was set, except for the fact that Gregory and I had gotten nowhere with the journal. Not that we read it much.

He was sitting in a chair watching me rush around the room when I slipped on a pencil that had been lying on the ground.
After landing square on my butt I muttered, “Ouch.”

He laughed and walked over to me, offering me a hand up. “Why are you running around so?”

I looked at him like he had six heads. “Um, hello? School starts in two days and I have to get ready. Besides the faster I get ready the faster we can get to the journal. We need to get moving on it.”

He nodded and helped me to my feet. He tugged a little harder and I flew into his arms. He smiled devilishly and twirled me easily around the room. When we finally stopped and sat on the window seat he said almost breathlessly, “You, my dearest, need a break.”

I nodded in agreement and walked over to the vanity, pulling out the journal we had barely read.

“How about we enjoy the nice weather and read this in the gardens?” he asked gently. My eyes went wide a little and I remembered the last time I was in the gardens…near the gazebo. He must have recognized my anxiety and quickly added, “Away from the hedge maze.”

I let out a deep breath and let him tug me towards the door, leading me down the halls, and out to the open skies.

He picked a pretty secluded spot in the east garden. I had never been in this one, and I marveled at the beautiful grape vines that covered a stone archway and ivy covered walls. It was amazing. There were roses, lilies, lilacs, freesias, and gardenias, flowers of every kind arranged in gorgeous bouquets all over. There was a fountain in the very center of the small garden, spraying water gently all around. There were benches positioned around in a semi circle, allowing the viewer to see everything around them.

We sat down on one of the benches, and he handed me the book. I hadn’t read anything since that last entry, that first entry that tore my heart in two.

“Ready?” I asked gently, searching his unreadable face for some sign of resistance, a glance that pleaded for help. There was nothing, so I opened the pages and searched for an appropriate date. Surprisingly I found the exact date 120 years ago.

September 5, 1886
Robert is staying at the manor more and more. We have found several places and ways to be together. Gregory has become incredibly involved with the tenants and various estates we own, giving Robert and myself much time alone together.

Just yesterday when I was in the library picking out one of Shakespeare’s Robert joined me for an afternoon tryst. I have found myself becoming incredibly wanton around him, succumbing to the naughtiest of things.

However, I feel something is wrong. Two days ago, Alexander, Gregory’s little brother came home from Eton on a surprise visit. However he has changed…for the worst I’m afraid. With him came two of his friends, I believe their names are Richard and Eric. They have already left for a few of the small gambling hells in town.

I find myself wondering what happened to the sweet little angel Alexander used to be. I do not like this new, adult, gambling, drinking Alexander that seems to have come home. Though I have tried to talk to Gregory about my worries, he will not listen, nor will his sister Francesca, but she is only eighteen, and not much help with the advice I seek.

I am probably just being silly, worrying for nothing. But my heart and my gut tell me otherwise. However I will leave it alone for now unless I become more worried.

On a brighter note, I have told my husband of my plans to throw a masquerade on All Hallows Eve. He agreed heartily, saying that he thought it was a splendid idea. Then he proceeded with a marvelous seduction. That is something I truly love about him, he is a fabulous lover. Unfortunately Robert is not quite as skilled in the arts of lovemaking, not in the way Gregory is. The ways he brings pleasure on with a smile is remarkable and I find myself wishing Robert was like that.

Well, I’m off to bed for the night. I shall finish this entry for the evening, and then hide this book away in its usual hiding spot. Oh dear, what if someone was ever to find this. I should probably die of absolute embarrassment, and humiliation.

I stopped reading, smiling slightly to myself as my traitorous eyes skimmed over the parts about Gregory’s…er…talents in bed. ‘The way he brings pleasure on with a smile…’ I knew exactly what she meant by that. Though I had never been the recipient of his full lovemaking abilities, now I did begin to wonder what exactly would happen if he hadn’t stopped the other day. Would he stop? Would I have stopped him myself? Questions tumbled around in my head and I didn’t even realize he was starring at me until he cleared his throat loudly.

“Oh…sorry…just thinking.” I stammered, thinking of a lie quickly. He gave me a look that suggested he didn’t believe me.

I quickly closed the book and asked, “So…what do you think of that?”

He looked out across the garden, thinking hard, his eyes wandering over the numerous flowers as if thinking they had the answer he sought.

“It wasn’t as bad. I remember being very involved with the estates during that time. I often wondered where my best friend and Lydia had gone off to, but was always too distracted by everything else to really put the pieces together.” He paused, looking extremely guilty. “But I remember Alexander coming home more vividly. His friends came with him and dragged him off to town as soon as the sun went down. But then again I was extremely busy with the estates, and trying to find Francesca a husband, battering away her numerous suitors with a stick.”
He looked up at me and smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “I guess I wasn’t much of a husband was I?”

I shook my head furiously and replied, “No, you were trying to do so many things at once. It was near impossible for you I’m sure.”
“But you see it wasn’t. I could have given more of the responsibility over to my steward and spent more time with my wife. There were so many little things I could have done that I’ll never have the chance to do.” He sighed, looking down at his hands. I reached over with one of mine and grasped them. He looked up and I scooted closer to him, resting my head in the crook of his neck, my favorite spot.

“Well, it sounds like you did some things better than your best friend…that’s something isn’t it?”

He laughed and kissed my head. “Yes it is…thank you for reminding me.” He stood up.

“Are you coming?” he asked gently.

“In a minute. I just want to sit here for a minute. Is that okay?” I asked, raising my brows innocently. To tell the truth I wanted to flip through the journal a little more.

He nodded and shimmered away. I looked down at the journal in my hands and opened it again. More entries flew past my eyes, but I started to feel guilty and went to close the book when a slip of paper fell out from in between the pages and fluttered to the ground.

I picked it up and unfolded it. What I read on the pages made my eyes go wide with amazement, wonder, and a little fear. I had to tell Gregory what I found. It could help me help him.

I stood up and slipped the paper back into the pages and started to run out of the gardens, but a silhouetted figure stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Van Allen, funny seeing you here…all alone…no invisible thing to beat the crap out of me.” He stepped out of the shadows, revealing a sickening grin, a black eye, and a cut just above his left eyebrow.

“Mike,” I said quietly, cornered and afraid with no Gregory here to save me from the monster this time.

***

“That’s right Van Allen. I’m back, and angrier than ever.” He stepped further into the gardens. I stepped back instinctively, trapping myself even further.

“Mike, get out now. I’m not going to tell you again.” I pointed my finger at him, letting the anger inside me well up, fueling my adrenaline and pushing away the stark fear I felt towards him.

He only shook his head and came even closer. “Now, I’m terribly sorry, but I cannot do that. You embarrassed me horribly the other day; not very sporting of you was it?”

“You were going to rape me. You nearly killed me.”

He laughed, it was evil, and made me cringe like when you hear fingernails scarping against a chalkboard. “Yes I know, but that’s only because you wouldn’t give yourself willingly. Now who are you seeing? I’ll have my boys take care of it. Then we can be together.”

“Your sick!” I spat at him, trying to back up more, but found that I was against an ivy covered wall; right near the hedge maze.

“Get over it. Now why don’t we call your boyfriend over and we can work this whole issue out.” he pressed his body against mine, breathing against my neck, forcing me to turn away.

“Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “Gregory, could you please explain to Mike here the nature of our relationship.”

Mike looked at me like I was crazy and backed up a little. “Who’s Gregory?”

I smiled smugly as I watched Gregory tap on Mike’s shoulder. He turned around and his eyes widened in pure terror as Gregory pulled back his fist and said, “You can't have her. She’s seeing me.” And let loose.

Mike collapsed to the floor and started to cry and curse at the same time. Gregory offered me his hand and I stepped over Mike’s body and thanked him. Then I turned to Mike and kicked him…hard…in the stomach and said, “Don’t ever come near me again.” we were walking out of the gardens when I turned and looked at Mike’s limp body.

“Do you think that you could get rid of him? I don’t want him puking on my ground.”

He smiled and bowed to me then went over and picked up Mike in one hand and walked to the courtyard, tossed him into his car and shut it.

“Thank you,” I said lightly, hooking my arm through his as we walked up the steps and into the main hall.

“Now what were you doing before he interrupted?” he asked when I walked into the den and turned on the TV.

I remembered the journal still in my hands and I cried, “I think I found it.”

He made a hand motion as if to ask ‘continue’ and I sighed. “Look at this!” I pulled the piece of paper out of the book and handed it to him, practically jumping up and down with excitement.

“I don’t know if it will work but it’s worth a shot, right? I mean what have we got to lose?” I looked up into his hazel eyes curiously, hoping he approved of my idea.

He stared at the paper for a moment then looked up and said in an amazingly calm voice, “Amelia, you have found a spell that will make me human again.”

When he put it that way, it seemed to take on a new meaning and as I felt my head begin to spin and I fainted I said, “Right, bring back to life spell.”
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#34 bubblie130

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 09:09 PM

the last post was really good please post more
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#35 roni

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:50 AM

whats he going to choose!?
update soon

miss hasta
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#36 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 11:12 AM

That was certainly a cliff hanger!!!

I love how Gregory beat up Mike!! He totally deserved it!!!

Update soon!

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~
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#37 wind beneath my wings

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:14 PM

:hyper: *Warning new reader who is totally obsessed with this story* OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just have to say this story is absolutely amazing and you had me hooked on the first chapter. And now i'm totally in love with Gregory! I love how he's actually polite and charming like guys should be. Now Mike on the other hand totally got what he deserved! I will definetly keep reading this. I can't wait to see where all of this goes!!
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#38 xxluv heather wells bksxx

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:22 PM

Ohmigod, you have to update! That last entry was sooo good! I really wanna know what happens next! xoxo~Ione~xoxo
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#39 ~booknerd~

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:32 PM

Update!

*New Reader*

Emily :icon_flower:

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#40 a

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:58 PM

:hyper: *Warning new reader who is totally obsessed with this story* OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just have to say this story is absolutely amazing and you had me hooked on the first chapter. And now i'm totally in love with Gregory! I love how he's actually polite and charming like guys should be. Now Mike on the other hand totally got what he deserved! I will definetly keep reading this. I can't wait to see where all of this goes!!





same here!!!! including the new reader thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is a great story!!!!!!!!!!


well anyway... please update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

....lol...

Dorsemeimer :love7:


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#41 a

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:00 PM

oh my word! what did i do?! ahh!!!!!!!!!!!! well um... sorry! lol

dorsemeimer (again)
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#42 True Romantic

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:50 PM

Chapter 10

“You know, I think I’ve fainted more since moving here than I ever have in my entire life.” I muttered, taking the cool compress Gregory had given me off my forehead.

He smiled and kissed my hand, coming to sit next to me on the chaise where I had fallen. “I know. I seem to be the main reason you keep fainting.”

I laughed and took out the slip of paper again. In my hands I held the key to Gregory’s future. Talk about responsibilities. There was a list of ingredients on the top half and the incantation with directions on the lower half.

The paper started to shake slightly. My hand was trembling. A million thoughts whizzed through my head like cars on a highway. If I read this spell aloud over Gregory’s body, he would turn back into a mortal…and leave me. I realized it all at once. When he became human again he would leave me forever, finally able to move on and away…from me. I could do the right thing and let him go or I could keep him to myself forever.

He noticed my shaking, grasping my hand gently, pulling me from the evil corners of my mind. “Darling what is it? What’s wrong?”

I looked into his eyes, staring blankly wondering what to tell him. I didn’t even know until after the words left my mouth.

“If…if this works…” I paused inhaling a ragged breath. “What will you do? What have you always longed to do since you died?”

He looked away from me and stood up, walking over to a shelf and grabbed a book off of it. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. How fitting I thought to myself, feeling much like Juliet right now, being in love with someone I couldn’t have.

“I want…to be able to travel the world. Taste exotic food. Be…human. Get it right this time. I would do everything I have read in books. I would do the things humans take for granted. Take a shower…drive a car…sleep.” He sounded so wistful. He had 120 years to figure out exactly what he wanted to, but never getting the chance to do it.

And here I sat with the answer in my hands…and I couldn’t give it to him.

When he looked over at me I couldn’t even meet his gaze. But I had to. I had to tell him the truth. So I stood up and walked over to him, looking into those eyes that had bewitched me for so long. Those eyes that would haunt my memories long after Gregory was gone.

“I can’t…” I started feeling the tears well up in my eyes. “I can’t give this to you.”

He looked so confused, smiling a little, trying to figure out what I was getting at. He cupped my cheek in his hand, rubbing it gently, soothing away the worry that scrunched my face. I closed my eyes and reveled in the way his icy hand caressed my face, wanting to remember the feel, branding it into my skin.

“You can’t what darling?”

I opened my eyes, letting a tear drip down and said, “I can’t turn you back.”

His hand dropped away taking the goodness away. “What are you saying?”

“If I turn you human…then you’ll leave. I don’t want that. I know it’s so selfish of me…but I just can’t sit by and watch you leave. It would tear my soul apart.”

He started to get angry. “So you’re willing to sacrifice the one thing I truly want? For your own happiness? I don’t understand this.”

I grabbed his arm ready to plead for him to stay. “Please, understand…I just…I’m sorry.”

He turned back to me, his eyes completely black now. I wanted to die, but I just stood there in helpless horror as he said in the flattest voice I’d ever heard, “Fine. Then if you can’t watch me be happy as a human…then get used to a life without me as a ghost. I shan’t bother you again.”

He slipped my hand away from his and started to shimmer out. The last thing I saw of him was pure sadness in his face. He whispered gently, “Goodbye…Amy.”

I crumpled to the floor, holding the book Gregory had dropped to my chest. It was still chilly from his hands. Tears slipped down my cheeks like flooding rivers. I sat there and I sobbed for everything I had just lost; for being the inconsiderate *%^## I was.

I felt myself die inside right then. He was gone and I was in Hell. I felt my heart beat in my chest and the blood in my veins run through my body. I still breathed and I still moved, but I was dead. I had just pushed the one thing in my life that mattered most to me away. And I was never getting it back.

I don’t know how long I sat there and cried, but when the tears finally stopped flowing, the sun was setting outside the window.

Very slowly I picked myself up off the floor still clutching his book and wiped away the wetness in my eyes. I had to be strong. I had to act like nothing was wrong because as far as I knew, nothing was wrong. I hadn’t been dumped; I hadn’t had my heart ripped apart by anyone…because no one could see him.

And the worst part was…I had done all of this to myself. There was no one to blame but me, and I knew it.

***

The seconds turned into minutes, the minutes into hours, and the hours into days. Before I knew it the days had turned into a month. October had snuck up on me. Everyone started thinking about Halloween while I dreaded it. I watched quietly while others started to pick out their costumes, plan parties, and look forward to the night when spirits roamed the earth.

I hadn’t seen Gregory since that day in the library. I hadn’t been bothered by him just as he had intended. I went to school, parties, and went out with friends. I laughed and danced and looked happy when I was being tormented on the inside.

My dreams had been plagued with Gregory…his eyes, his face, that laugh and smile he had just for me. I had nightmares about his death over and over. Every time I would wake up in a cold sweat, I would cry because I knew Gregory wasn’t going to rub my back and tell me it was all right. The monsters still lurked inside my head. He never made those eggs, he never snuck up behind me…he never whispered in my ear at night when he thought I was asleep.

I couldn’t even look at the journal and had finally gotten so mad I threw it under the bed where it had stayed since, gathering dust, haunting me like everything else that reminded me of the ghost who had stolen my heart.

The key to the attic remained locked away in the vanity drawer I never opened. I wouldn’t go into the gardens anymore…I didn’t do anything at home. I was the shell of a person who had once been happy and free until she destroyed her own life.

Lydia’s picture had been taken down and was replaced with a bulletin board, pictures, and posters. She only reminded me of what I had become…just like her. She too had destroyed her happiness with foolish, stupid choices that probably plagued her until the day she died. Just like me.

I wouldn’t even let myself think of his name. It only brought on a panic attack and shallow breathing. But somehow I knew he was watching me. It was almost like he wanted me to suffer the way he suffered. Sometimes if I was very still and quiet, I could almost hear him sigh, or feel his intense gaze on my back. The thought that he was still watching comforted me and offered me the tiniest bit of solace.

Kaylie was the only one who could see through my mask and notice the pain the lurked in my eyes.

One day we were shopping in a little boutique in town and I had pulled out a dress that I thought might be cute.

“What do you think of this? Do you like it?”

She just looked at me completely dumbfounded. “All right, what is the matter with you?”

“So that’s a no then?” I asked, trying to be funny, but she wasn’t having any of it.

“Put the dress down and come with me.” Before I could even put it back on the hanger, she had done it for me and grabbed my hand pulling me out of the store and into the coffee shop next door.

After she ordered a cup of coffee she turned to me with frustration in her pale blue eyes and said, “You have been in a funk for a month now. What is the deal? You haven’t invited me up to that attic since that first time and you haven’t talked about anything important in a while. What happened?”

I sighed, trying to come up with a lie, but I didn’t have a leg to stand on. So I told her the truth.

“I was seeing someone.” She looked intrigued by that and smiled, but I shook my head and continued. “Someone no one else could.”

She sipped her coffee and frowned. “What like a hallucination?”

“No…more like…a ghost.” I said hesitantly. I held my breath, waiting for her to call the loony bin and have a straight jacket prepared. I was definitely not expecting the answer I got.

“So?”

I raised my eyebrows disbelievingly. “So? That’s all you have to say? I tell you I see a ghost and that’s the reaction I get?”

She nodded, sipping her coffee again. “Well, so what? I’ve seen ghosts before. They are all over the place. Is that why you asked if I believed in that sort of thing?”

I nodded, trying to comprehend what she was saying. ‘They are all over the place.’

“In fact, there was a very hot one recently. Yeah a few weeks ago, he showed up in my bedroom. Oh what was his name? Geoffrey? Gerald?” she was thinking of the name. My heart started to pound ferociously in my chest, seeming to come to life after so long.

“Gregory?” I asked, mentally crossing my fingers, hoping against all hope that I was right.

She smiled and nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah! That’s the one. He told me that I needed to watch out for you. That I couldn’t let you slip into the darkness. He said you were too important to lose. Before I could ask him what the hell he meant—and why he was in my room—he was gone.”

I sat back. Gregory had shown himself to Kaylie. He was watching over me. I realized what I had to do in an instant.

“Kaylie, you are the best friend I could ever ask for…but I have to go!” I cried as I ran out the door and to my car.

I drove along the streets, barely taking anything in. I had to get back to the manor. I had to find him somehow.

I was out of the car before it fully stopped—how I have no idea, but I did it anyway—and ran up the stairs and into my room where I shut and locked the door. I looked across the room and saw the pictures and posters covering the doorway to the attic. Lydia’s portrait was hiding in my walk-in closet near the very back where I rarely looked.

With shaky hands I got down on my hands and knees and looked under my bed for the journal. It had been covered in an inch or two of dust, making the monogram on the cover hard to read.

Everything was just where I had left it. Now all I had to do was find a way to get Gregory back to me.

I unlocked the drawer and pulled out the key that I had refused to hold for so long. There were so many things running through my head as I walked over to the door to the attic. Would he talk to me? Would he listen to what a complete jerk I had been? Did he still love me?

I had opened the door and walked up the steps and into the room that hadn’t changed at all.

I was walking through a haze, or that’s what it felt like, until I came to the trunk his portrait hid behind. It was like I was back at that first day here, seeing only his eyes, those eyes that had haunted my dreams since I moved into the manor. Like before I grasped the top of the gilded frame, closing my eyes as I lifted it out from behind Lydia’s trunk.

He looked different to me. The portrait must have been taken when he was happier, carefree. The face I had stared at, those lips I had kissed had worry lines around them constantly, rarely lifting to give me a glimpse of the man he used to be.

I felt my nose start to tingle and the tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t let myself cry yet. I needed to be strong for this if I had any chance of finding him.

I took a deep breath and said aloud, “Okay…I know you have been watching over me. I know I was a complete and total *%^##. I know that what I did was no better than what Lydia did. I left you just like she left you, and I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath trying my hardest to fight back the tears.

“I’m dead inside. Everything is working, but my heart won’t beat. If I really cared about you at all I would have helped you right away. I would have let you go…because you deserve to be able to do all the things I take for granted. With or without me it shouldn’t have mattered.”

The silence around me was deafening. The hope inside me dwindled, so I let the tears fall and continued. “There is a poem that says if you love something enough then you can have the courage to give it up and let it fly away and if it’s meant to be it’ll come back to. And I do Gregory, I do love you and I do have the courage to give you up now.”

I sat down on a trunk and put my head in my hands, sobbing silently. There was nothing. He wasn’t coming. He didn’t love me enough to come back. But I had to try just one last time.

“I need someone to chase away the monsters in my nightmares, and I need someone to make me eggs with special sauces, and I need someone to kiss in a garden or a library or a bedroom. I need you, Gregory, only you. For however long I have you, a day, or a week, or a year. I don’t care anymore…I just want you.” I put my head back into my hands and whispered, “Please come back…I love you.”

Five minutes later there was still nothing so I got up and I turned to put the portrait back. I made sure that nothing was showing. There was nothing left to remind me of him.

I had to move on with my life, and it had to happen the moment my hand left the gilded frame of that portrait. Gregory’s memory would be left behind in the attic I would never enter again. Not for anything in the world.

I didn’t even bother to wipe away the tears that stung my eyes. I would cry for him for one day and then leave everything behind. He would stay a ghost and I would stay alone…without him. that thought was the last thing that tore heart apart, leaving nothing but an empty space where something once beat.

My feet felt like lead as I turned and started to walk back to the stairs. But something was blocking my way. It was cold as ice and…soft? Suddenly my heart which had stopped beating came back to life as I looked up into hazel eyes. The eyes were attached to a face, attached to a body, attached to the man I loved.

“Hello Amelia. I do believe this is how we met the last time.” He smiled arrogantly down at me. It was not the grin I remembered, not the one that always had traces of good humor and laughter behind it. No this smile was malicious, cutting at me like a razor sharp knife.

“Gregory.”
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#43 a_kiwi_for_your_thoughts

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:11 PM

Argh what happened to gregory??? He's morphed! Like she was soo nice and sweet begging for his forgiveness and he was all chilly and malicious

I mean...I can understand where she was coming from..and ohh i'm soo frustrated. I want them to kiss and make up.

Anyway you must must must update immediately. that was an awful way to end the chapter..leaving us readers shocked and chilly and just saad

You're one of the best authors ever

~ :mgturtle: Kiwi :mgturtle: ~

PS i was having a crappy day and now it's utterly grand!!
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#44 wind beneath my wings

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:21 PM

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! It gave me chills!!!! I am totally hooked. I really hope he forgives her because she did feel bad. But what's wrong with him now? Is it just that he's still angry. I hope he gets over it soon.

I'm on the edge for the next update.
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#45 bubblie130

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:48 PM

WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM???!!!!!please update soon
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