How A Ghost Stole My Heart
Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:50 PM
“Are you really here or am I just dreaming?”
“I’m really here. What is it you want Amelia?” He looked so emotionless. Like a robot had taken over his body or something. If it was possible, his eyes looked even deader than he did. Those beautiful hazel eyes no long held affection and mischief, only grief and emptiness.
Tears welled up in my eyes again as I fought for control over my emotions. “Were you listening to what I said?”
He sighed angrily lighting up his eyes into dark pools of black. “Yes I was listening. That’s all I have been doing for the past month!” he started to pace. “Don’t you see? I have watched you hollow out…letting no one see your pain. I listened to you scream and cry in your sleep. I watched you try to get on with your life, watched you hide everything that reminded you of me away!”
I backed up against a wall as he stalked towards me, waving a finger in my face. All around me things started to soar in maddening twirls and flips.
“I watched in helpless horror as you shut yourself away from everyone. Finally I had enough and I went to your friend Kaylie and told her not to let you slip away.” Tears trickled down my face when he spat, “And now you have the audacity to tell me you’re sorry? That you are willing to help me?”
“I know what I did was wrong. I’m sorry and I shouldn’t have done it. But I was afraid! I was scared I would lose the only person I ever loved. You were going to leave. But I was no better than Lydia! All right, is that what you wanted to hear?! Is it?!” I was angry now, pushing myself against the wall and putting a finger in his face.
He stared at me in silence. It wrapped around my body in a tight grip, drowning me in silence.
“I don’t want your help. You think that I would leave you? How could you possibly think that?! If you had helped me I would have taken you with me! Don’t you see that? I love you god damn it!” I thought he might shake in an attempt to get some control.
I’m not sure if what I did next was on purpose or just a gut reaction. I slapped him. It felt really good so I slapped him again. And again. Finally I just started pounding on his chest, letting all my anger out on him. He loved me? How could he say that?
I sobbed and sobbed while I hit him. Eventually I stopped and sank to the floor, taking him with me.
“Are you quite finished?” he asked quietly. I wouldn’t look into his eyes for fear that I would see rejection there. He took his thumb and forefinger and lifted my chin to meet his gaze.
“I guess so.” I said lamely, sniffling slightly. His smiled gently, warmth spreading through his face to light up those amazing hazel eyes that I had fallen in love with.
“How could you possibly think that I could leave you? Even when you couldn’t see me I was around. I have always been there…waiting. Amelia, I love you. I have always loved you. That will never change.” He whispered so closely to my ear I shuddered.
I shook my head and pulled back, cupping his cheek in my hand. “But you and I…I thought we couldn’t…because you are dead. I thought maybe…if you turned back into a mortal then you would leave. I would have died if that had happened.”
Another tear slipped down my cheek, but he gently brushed it away with his thumb. That gentle caress was enough for me. Enough for forever.
“Darling, please don’t cry. I have watched you cry for so long and couldn’t help. Please no more tears…not now.”
I nodded closing my eyes, grasping his hand in my own. He loved me…that was enough. That was all I needed to know.
“Will you please kiss me now?” I asked smiling through trembling lips.
He laughed. It was a deep laugh that shook his chest and replied, “I thought you would never ask.”
His lips felt like heaven when they touched mine. I opened my mouth immediately allowing for him to sweep in and take control. It was perfect. We were sitting in a dusty attic on the floor, holding each other as if we never wanted to let go.
My hands raked through his hair and up and down his back. His own wrapped around me and brought me hard against his chest. I didn’t even feel it when he lifted me wordlessly into his arms and towards the stairs. He didn’t put me down until we reached the sunny warmth of my room. I need air, I thought reluctantly and broke out kiss to catch my breath.
He seemed to devour me with his eyes. I felt like a piece of steak, ready and waiting to be gobbled up by this exciting, magical man. It sort of scared me that I was excited and wanted to be gobbled up.
He stalked me, moving towards me with cat like grace, arms ready to wrap around me at any second. I laughed mischievously and shook my head.
“You have to catch me first,” I cried as I ran around my room and tried to get away from him. He only growled, almost sounding hungry, and chased me. He matched my movements easily, catching me in a corner and pinning me gently against the wall. His hands were placed on either side of my head allowing him to lean in dangerously close to my lips.
He gently nuzzled my neck, breathing lightly over that sensitive spot behind my ear making me shiver deliciously. But his lips never grazed my skin for more than a fleeting second, driving me positively crazy. I think I understand what Lydia was getting at when she said he had amazing talents in the bedroom.
My heart beat in an erratic rhythm, my breath coming in short pants, my eyes half closed in pure ecstasy. I reached for one of his hands and pulled it against my chest…right to my heart.
“Feel that?” I asked as he pulled away to focus on my heartbeat. “This is what you do to me. I love you Gregory McClain.” I whispered gently still holding his hand and reaching in for a kiss.
He sighed deeply, sounding incredibly happy and whispered back, “If my heart could beat it would only beat for you.” Seemingly of its own accord, my hand reached out to where his heart would be and felt…nothing. “Touch me Amelia.”
I was really hesitant at first, not knowing what to do, or what not to do for that matter. My fingers trailed up to the V in his shirt and slowly slipped inside.
His head lolled back in desire, moaning slightly. Suddenly he reached down and grasped my lips again, putting a hand around my head, locking our lips together. When his hands reached for the buttons on my polo I didn’t have the strength—or desire—to stop him.
My top was almost completely unbuttoned, revealing the lacy pink bra I wore. Oh goodness, he was going to have sex with me! The thought rushed through my head like a comet flashing across a star filled sky. The best part was I didn’t want him to stop. I wanted him just as much as he wanted me.
I don’t know when it happened, but it happened way too soon for my liking.
Gregory had just started to pull the strap of my bra off my shoulders when I heard a sort of quiet, “Oh dear Lord.”
My eyes snapped open and I gasped, pulling away from his mouth to look over his shoulder.
Kaylie was standing in the middle of my open doorway, hand on her hip and a very knowing look on her face.
“Bullocks,” Gregory muttered before pulling his hands away from my chest and closing my top firmly but gently. “To be continued.” He whispered against my lips before turning to meet our interrupter.
“Thank you for knocking,” I growled when Gregory and I had separated a few feet. I was busy buttoning my top and fixing my hair. I must have looked like something from a romance novel with my hair all tousled and my lips full and red from kissing.
“Oh I did knock. Several times in fact. I supposed you were a little…er…detained.” She smiled and closed the door behind her, stepping fully into my room. She turned to Gregory and said, “Good to see you again.”
He bowed and mumbled something. I could barely hide my laugh behind a cough when he blushed furiously. I never imagined him as being the blushing sort before, but I guess you learn something new everyday.
“Anyhoo, I just thought I would stop by and see what the rush for leaving earlier was, but I see that question has been answered quite sufficiently. I suppose this means you won’t be quite so depressed now.” She walked over to my vanity and checked her hair and makeup, giving us both a glance in the mirror.
I smiled and walked over to Gregory, wrapping my arms around his waist, leaning into the comfort of him for the first time in far too long. “Yes it does.”
“Good,” she said straightening to us. “Who’s up for a movie?”
I laughed out loud then. Of course only Kaylie could think of something so trivial as a movie, completely ignoring the fact that she had almost walked in on us practically having sex against a wall.
I looked up at Gregory with a questioning glance. “Have you ever even seen a movie before?”
He shook his head. “I have not, but I know what they are at least. In the one hundred and twenty years of being dead I didn’t sit around idly doing nothing.”
“Excellent. Let’s watch a good one then.” Kaylie was out the door and in the hall before I could blink. She popped her head back in to ask, “Are you two coming or are you going to have more sex against a wall?”
We both laughed and followed her into the den which was thankfully empty.
We put Failure to Launch into the DVD player and sat back for a couple of hours of Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker.
While Kaylie and I laughed away the hours, Gregory sat on the couch with a confused look on his face. He didn’t laugh at any of the funny parts and kept asking annoying questions like, “What is she doing?” or “Why did they do that?” But my personal favorite was his remark about the fact that Matthew wouldn’t marry the girls after he ‘compromised’ them so thoroughly. Kaylie got a real kick out of that.
When we finally finished the movie and turned the DVD player off I turned to him and asked, “So what exactly did you do for all these years?”
He thought about it for a few moments before answering, “Well, I have read every book in the library. I used to walk in the woods and in town, watching the people. And there was of course my revenge plots against your family and my wife. That took up most of my time.”
I nodded for him to continue. I had wondered what he had done to occupy his time for all those years and was extremely curious. Kaylie just sat back and watched the whole exchange with fascination written all over her beautiful features.
“For the first few decades I watched Lydia with an obsessive passion. Everything she ate, said, did I knew about. I was there the day she gave birth to her twins, Gregory and Thomas. I practically killed her when I found out she named one of the boys after me. I watched her children grow up and get married and have children and move on with their lives.” He stopped, a look of sadness crossed his features. In an attempt to comfort him, I grasped his hand.
He smiled and kissed my palm softly and went on. “You know, I was there the day she died. I could swear she could see me, though I only revealed myself to her in her nightmares. She was mad from fever, but she still cried out over and over, ‘It wasn’t my fault. Find the killer. It wasn’t me.’ She called my name out for hours before finally drifting into a sleep she never woke up from.
“It nearly tore my heart out that I still loved her after all that had happened to me. They buried her in the private cemetery at the very edge of the property. I listened to her children and grandchildren say beautiful words about what a saint she was.” He stopped on a very quiet note. I caressed his hand with my own; kneading away the pain he had suffered at my own family’s cost.
“I didn’t stop hurting the Van Allens’ until your family. Until you.” He smiled at me. Our gazes locked for what seemed like an eternity of bliss.
Somewhere in the distance I heard a little clearing of the throat. Kaylie, I had nearly forgotten about her.
She was staring at us in pure fascination, her bright blue eyes lighting up with passion and joy for life.
“So what kind of ghostly powers do you have? I mean to set the records straight of course. You know how the movies always mess up that sort of thing.”
He merely laughed and nodded.
“I can imitate your voice. I can lift objects without touching them.” He demonstrated both of these gifts by speaking in Kaylie’s exact voice and lifting a pillow off the couch simply by looking at it.
“I can also walk through objects. There is also blinking—that’s when I appear one place then pop up in another.” He demonstrated this too by blinking across the room and walking through a wall into the next room, then back again. I laughed at her amazed stares and gasps of surprise.
When he finally sat back down on the couch next to me she just shook her head. “So where did you find him and how can I get one?”
I glanced over to Gregory who wisely kept his mouth shut. I turned back to Kaylie and replied simply, “Check your room. That’s where I found him.” I turned my face to Gregory’s and quickly brushed my lips against his.
There was a flash inside my head and suddenly I was standing alone in the den, only it was not a den and simply a parlor. Someone was standing in a corner talking to me. A girl, I could tell that much at least. Someone else came behind me and put a blindfold around my eyes and tied it tight, making it impossible to see anything.
The woman’s voice came close to my ear. The other person wrapped a hand around my neck and pushed me back against a wall. I couldn’t breathe, but I tried to fight for my freedom, only making my captors angrier. My feet were lifted off the ground slightly as I grasped the person’s—a man’s I realized—wrist with my hand, trying to push it away.
“Now when I say jump you say…” the woman was on my left side, her voice angry and deadly.
“How high?” I gasped trying to get air into my lungs.
“And when I say kill your husband you say…”
My throat burned with the effort I made to breathe, but I managed to somehow say, “When would you like him dead by?”
My throat was released and I collapsed to the floor, each breath coming in sharp pants. Every time I sucked air in it burned worse than the last time.
I could hear her slippers across the Persian carpet as she knelt down to my height. “Next time you try to disobey me I will kill you first…and your little secret.”
I gasped as my lips broke free of Gregory’s. We were back in the den, sitting on the couch. Kaylie was looking at me with a worried look on her face.
My throat still hurt from where he had grabbed me. I went to touch it instinctively, knowing there would be bruises there and wanting to cover it up. Gregory noticed my distress and pulled my hand away, swearing under his breath.
“Oh My Gdd! What the hell happened to your neck?” Kaylie was at my side instantly and was trying to figure out how I suddenly had finger shaped bruises around my neck.
Gregory leaned in and examined the column of my throat and sighed, “What did you see?”
I shook my head. “Nothing. Someone blindfolded me before I could see anything. But we have a new problem on our hands.”
They both looked at me questioningly.
Grabbing my neck again I said quietly, “I think we may have more than one killer. A man…and now…a woman.” I looked up into his eyes worrying. What the hell had happened that night that would make two people kill the man I loved?
One thing I knew for certain. We had to find a way to make Gregory human again and figure out what happened that night at the Masquerade.
And we were running out of time.
Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:09 PM
The mystery just gets more and more complicated huh? Fabulous job!!!
~ Kiwi ~
Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:12 PM
That was brillant. i have two questions though. Do you just sit down and type that all up and then update or have you written this already?? Ohh and how old is Amy and Gregory. I loved the update. i'm glad they are back together.
The mystery just gets more and more complicated huh? Fabulous job!!!
~ Kiwi ~
I was wondering the same thing. Isn't Amy like 17 or 18 since she is in her last year?
AMAZING!!!!!!! still totally hooked possibly even more now.
Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:21 PM
I was wondering the same thing. Isn't Amy like 17 or 18 since she is in her last year?
AMAZING!!!!!!! still totally hooked possibly even more now.
yeah Amy is like 17 and gregory died when he was like 23 or so. cant make the guy too old otherwise that would be creepy.
oh you guys have no idea how happy it makes me to see how much you like my work.
and most of the time i do write it all up and just go along. yeah i spend like 2 hours a day writing and its usually two chapters at a time, then i brainstorm and stuff when i'm not writing full on chapters.
i'm going away tomorrow until the fourth, but I'm writing like four chapters ahead to keep you guys satisfied for a little while at least so i'll try to post those tomorrow afternoon!!!
get more people to read them too because the more opinions and tohughts i get the better it is for me!!!!!
love you all who reply!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:52 AM
I just started reading this a couple of hours ago, and haven't gone to sleep, since i can't stop thinking about it.
This has made me swoon, squeal, dance, everything you can think of.
Gregory is the epidemy of the way all guys should be like.
Romantic, nice, polite, charming, handsome, smart.
I have just fallen in love.
You are the best writer i have ever read anything by.
I can't wait to see why Gregory is acting so strangely.
-Frida, your #1 fan.
Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:01 AM
I can't wait for the next update!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 10:35 AM
gregory's so sweet!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:36 AM
There was gum on the bottom of my shoe. It was pink and still sticky, which meant that some shmuck had just thrown in my path. And it happened on the one day I decided to wear my really cute lavender heels that matched my lavender sweater perfectly. Only in high school, I thought miserably as I opened my locker and pulled out a pencil.
“Ew, ew, ew,” I muttered as I tried to scrape the gum off the heel of my shoe. It looked like I was at battle with a sticky piece of pink that totally clashed with my outfit—I was losing.
“Come on, stupid gum. Get off my shoe!” I was hopping around on one foot—like a loser freak I might add—yelling at my foot. What could possibly be worse? Well probably the stares and whispers I heard around me from the other people in the hall.
I gave it one last good tug and finally the thing came off. Smiling triumphantly, I threw the pencil and gum into the trash and closed my locker.
I shrieked in surprise when I looked to my left and saw Kaylie standing there with one of those big goofy smiles on her face. She looked so pretty today with a bright pink turtleneck on and her dark hair flowing around her shoulders. She had one of those flower pins that matched her shirt in her hair, and wore dark denim jeans complete with sparkling white sneakers.
After restarting my heart I smiled hesitantly and replied, “Hi.” Then it all became clear, she was up to something. I narrowed my eyes and pointed a finger in her face. “You are up to something. Whatever it is, I don’t care! I am not helping.”
She pouted and started to examine her fingernails. “Fine, I just thought that maybe you would want to help Mr. McDreamy, your 19th century hottie.”
My gaze snapped up and I smiled at the two girls who had just given us the oddest of glances. Snarling softly, I pulled Kaylie by her elbow into a little alcove near on of the stairwells.
“Is it really necessary for you to just go around talking about him in public like that? People will think you are crazy!”
She opened her mouth to say something, but along came Cole, her boyfriend.
“Hey Babe, how are you today?” he asked, not even giving her the chance to respond when he pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply, not even caring that I was staring at them.
But Kaylie didn’t seem as…responsive as he was. I noticed how she barely kissed him back, not at all like her usual self. This was odd, because she normally responded like an animal, letting her hands run all along his body. But today she just let her hand rest against his chest almost as if she was ready to push him away at any second.
I cleared my throat discreetly and waited for them to break apart. While Cole looked reluctant to separate, Kaylie seemed to be nothing more than a calm, collected person.
“So what were you two lovely ladies talking about before I arrived on the scene?” I always loved his British accent. It was so romantic sounding, almost regal. But I much preferred it when Gregory called me darling and held me close.
“Books,” I said at the exact same time that Kaylie said, “Homework.” We looked at each other and then back at Cole.
This time I said, “Homework,” and Kaylie said, “Books.”
I laughed nervously at Cole who seemed to sense something. But really, who could blame him after that last bit.
“We were talking about textbooks and homework. Right, Amy?” she nudged my elbow softly, making me slide a bit, but I recovered without him noticing and nodded fervently.
He nodded, finally coming to understand. The bell rang for the close of the day, signaling everyone that they were allowed to leave.
The halls became crowded with students rushing to their lockers, or their friends, or to the stairs. Everyone was excited about going home to relax after their long day of sitting in a desk with a pen in hand. I found myself feeling that familiar tug at my heart and that little flip my stomach did when I thought about home…and the ghost inhabiting it.
“Alright well I’m off, soccer practice and all that. Shall I have Mike call you later? Or are you still on bad terms with the old bean?” he quickly kissed Kaylie again and looked at me expectantly. My mutinous glare and silence was enough of an answer. Dear lord, I thought, the boy can be so adorable sometimes, but really he is an idiot.
After Cole had left and we had started walking back to my locker I asked, “So what’s the matter with you and Cole? Trouble in paradise?”
She looked at her feet intently as we walked. “No it’s just…well you know he is a dear but sometimes…I don’t know…I think I’m just a little antsy because we have been together for so long. Maybe it’s time to try something new…” she drifted off into her thoughts. For a moment I thought I noticed her smile to herself. A secret kind of smile, like the ones I sometimes wore on my own face when I thought about Gregory. I decided not to let her in on the fact that I knew about her little smile.
“Now what were you about to say before Cole came over,” I asked as I reopened my locker and grabbed some books and my coat.
She glanced over at me and replied, “I found something that we can use to help Gregory.”
I arched my eyebrow and watched her fish through her own locker for something. “What do you mean by ‘we’?”
“I said I would help you two and help you I will. Besides, I’ve seen too much. If I didn’t help, you would have to kill me…and you don’t want to kill your best friend now, do you?” I laughed as she gave me her best puppy dog pout while waggling her eyebrows.
“No I don’t want to kill you…yet. So tell me more about this thing to help Gregory,” I smiled.
Her smile diminished as she looked over my shoulder and frowned. “I would, but three skanks are approaching…I think they want to talk to you.”
I sighed and turned. Kaylie was right. There were not one, but three skanks approaching our lockers with alarming speed. Why did the three of them have to come together? Wasn’t it bad enough that they had all been with my ex-boyfriend while we were dating…no now they wanted to exchange words.
“Tell me which one I can claw the eyes out of.” Kaylie was at the ready, her fingers already curling into talons waiting to scratch.
I shook my head. “No need for that just yet. But don’t leave.”
I heard a snort and, “Yeah right, like I would miss a single minute of this.”
They all came to a stop in front of me. Melinda Williams, Laura Scott, and Audrey Andrews all stood before me, the very essence of pure *%^##dom. Together they ruled my school, taking what—and who—ever they wanted whenever they wanted.
“Amy, good to see you!” Audrey cried and rushed over to embrace me in a hug. My arms were stiff at my sides and every muscle in my body tensed. “I do hope that your stay in London was good. We are all so happy to have you back! Hello Kaylie,” she added like Kaylie was just a last minute thought.
“Hello Audrey,” I said coolly when she finally let go of me. She smiled back in a sickly sweet voice.
“How was London? Oh never mind it’s not important. I hear that your grandfather died…so sad…anyway, that means that your parents have inherited the old mansion on top of the hill, right?” she started jabbering away in that really high pitched British accent that drove me crazy.
As she talked I found myself wondering what Mike could ever have seen in these blonde bimbos. I looked a little lower down their bodies and found the answer: big boobs. All three of them had them, and not only that, but they were willing to spread their legs wide enough to give free tours. I was a little self conscious about my boobs, or lack there of as the case was.
I am only a 36 B and have been the same size since I was fourteen. Oops, I thought to myself, I should probably start listening at some point.
“…and we were thinking it would be a really great idea if you would throw the annual Halloween dance at your place.” She finished with a sickening smile. Somewhere in the background I could hear Kaylie start to gag.
I had no idea what to say. I remembered the annual Halloween dance, a tradition held every year on Halloween for high school friends. Audrey always held the dance at her mansion. So why was I getting picked to do it this year?
“Um, I’ll have to think about. Okay, thanks so much for giving me your blessing to host a party, but I have to go now.” I shut my locker door once again and grabbed Kaylie, towing her towards the stairs and out onto the lawns of the school.
“Okay, what the Hell was that?” I cried when we finally reached my car and slid into it, pulling out of the parking lot and onto her house.
“I have no idea, but are you going to say yes?”
I thought about it for a moment and remembered…Halloween. That was the night that we had decided to put Gregory’s body and soul back together. “I don’t know. I still have a lot of thinking to do on this subject.”
We drove in silence for a little while before I finally decided to turn on the radio. Some old 80’s song came on and we listened to the words, letting it smooth over us. It wiped away the stresses of the week and worries for the next one.
I dropped Kaylie off at her house and told her to call me later, then drove back up to the manor.
Gregory wasn’t waiting for me at the steps like usual and I began to worry. He wasn’t in my room, the kitchens, or the basement either. I was beginning to panic when I remembered the library. Sure enough he was sitting in an armchair by the window with the journal open in his lap.
“Oh thank God!” I cried rushing over to him and embracing him fiercely. I had been so worried. What if something had happened while I was at school? The fears ran through my head even as I held him, making sure that he was really here.
“What’s the matter? Are you alright?” he pulled away and felt my face for a fever, then added, “Your heart is pounding a mile a minute. What happened?”
I shook my head, trying to calm down and said quietly, “I didn’t know where you were. When I didn’t see you at the front steps I guess I panicked.”
He breathed a sigh of relief and replied, “Oh sweetheart, you could have just called for me. I would have answered immediately. I was reading the journal to see which entry you got the spell from.”
I looked over his shoulder to where it was lying, spine up on the seat of the chair he had just vacated. “Oh. Well did you find it?”
He shook his head. “No. Oh darling, I’m so sorry I forgot to meet you outside. I guess I lost track of the time.”
“No, no, I understand. I shouldn’t have worried so much. It’s just that…” I swallowed nervously and continued. “You haven’t been back for very long and I guess I thought…you weren’t back for good.”
I had been hesitant with my emotions around Gregory since he came back a few days ago. I guess I had been terrified that he would leave at any second and place me back in Hell. Gregory had noticed my hesitance, but hadn’t commented on anything. Until now.
“Is that why you have been so careful around me?” I couldn’t meet his gaze. He tilted my chin up with his forefinger and thumb and asked again, “Is it why you have been so careful around me?”
I nodded slowly. Oh God, I thought miserably, I hope I don’t start to cry. I had cried so much over the course of the past month. If I started crying now I might have died of it.
“Plus I had a really bad day. Well not all of it was bad, just the last bit of it. I got gum on the bottom of my really cute shoes, and then I think Kaylie is cheating on her boyfriend. Mike is still on the prowl and I’m freaking out about it. Oh yeah, and the three queens of *%^##dom are trying to get me to throw the annual Halloween party here at the Manor on Halloween!” I finished breathlessly. I didn’t really expect him to understand exactly how I was feeling because one: he was a guy and two: he had never been to high school.
He sighed and grabbed me in a fierce embrace, crushing his face into the crook of my neck. I shivered where his breath met my skin.
“First of all, I’m very sorry that you had a bad day with your shoes. Secondly, if Mike comes anywhere near you, I shall kill him. Thirdly, those girls are not worth your time. But if you really want to throw this party, then do so. Just remember what night it falls on.” He smiled down at me, reassuring me that everything would be alright. Then he added, “Amelia, I am not leaving…ever. I love you so much.” He pulled away and rubbed my cheek with his fingers. “How could I possibly leave you now? You’ll probably get yourself into some sort of trouble that I will need to get you out of.”
I laughed and smiled up at him. It felt so good to hear those words. It finally put my mind and my heart at rest. I reached up on tiptoe for a kiss. He grabbed me even tighter, almost knocking the breath out of me, but I didn’t care. I was too happy.
We were twirling around and kissing at the same time when I shrieked. My cell phone started vibrating in my pocket. Reluctantly, he put me down and let me catch my breath.
I didn’t recognize the number on my cell phone so the last person I expected to call me was Audrey Andrews.
“Hello?” I asked warily.
“Amy? Oh good, Mike actually remembered the right phone number! It’s Audrey!” she sounded way too happy for a normal person. It made me want to retch.
Gregory discreetly backed up. I put a couple fingers to my head like a gun and pull the imaginary trigger. He started to laugh.
“Yes, well good old Mike, always remembering things. How are the two of you doing by the way?” I bit back a scathing commenting about how she could accept Mike’s lack of monogamy skills.
She laughed and replied, “Oh, he fabulous, simply fabulous. Apparently some ass was talking about me and he got into a fight with Mike. You should see him with a black eye. The poor baby, he’s so brave.”
“Oh yes, Mike is so brave,” was my icy retort.
“Anyways, I was wondering if you had made up your mind about the party and all. You know Halloween is only a few weeks away, and we need to send the invitations out as soon as possible.”
I shook my head, trying to think of something. Should I have the party or not?
“Can you hold on for just two seconds?” I asked in an artificially bubbly voice.
She said something, but I had taken the phone away from my ear. I turned to Gregory who was discreetly listening, but didn’t want to appear rude.
“She wants to know if I should have the party! What should I do?”
“If you think you should throw the party then go ahead. Just make sure that you and I have time to go to the cemetery and get my body.” I paled at the last part so he added quickly, “I’ll dig myself up, but you must read the incantation. Understand?”
I nodded and remembered Audrey. As much as I would have loved to leave her hanging there for hours, she was wasting my minutes.
Sighing, I pulled the phone back up to my ear and said in an artificially friendly voice, “I think I will throw that party after all.”
“Super! I’ll have those invitations printed out and sent to the people invited. Just let me know if you have any preferences about who should come and who shouldn’t.” she said before she hung up quickly.
“Ugh, thank God that’s over,” I said as I threw my phone onto a chaise and walked over to Gregory, wrapping my arms around his waist. “Now, where were we?”
He smiled wickedly and leaned in. “I think your lips were right…here,” he smiled before his lips captured mine in a toe curling kiss.
“Mmhm, I think you are right.” I laughed against his lips. “I’m throwing a Halloween party.” I whispered right before all powers of speech were lost in a puff of smoke as Gregory resumed his kiss.
Posted 27 July 2007 - 01:04 PM
“He’s teaching you the waltz? That is so romantic!” Kaylie cried excitedly while we fished through the trunk in the attic for an appropriate gown for the party. We had brought it down from the attic and into my room so we could air them out.
“I know. He says he wants to waltz with me for the first time when he is human. How sweet is that?” I held up a red gown against my body, liking the way the crystals around the top of the bodice sparkled in the sunlight.
“Oh no, that is definitely not a good color for you. Try this one.” She pulled out an emerald green dress made of velvet. It had small sleeves that fell off the shoulders and an old fashioned V shaped bodice that trailed down to a flowing skirt. It was beautiful.
“Personally, I think she should wear the one at the very bottom.”
Kaylie and I shrieked in surprise. Gregory had popped up right behind me in the mirror.
Kaylie was already digging through the trunk to the bottom where the dress wrapped up in the cloth lay. She pulled it out reverently, almost as if she was holding a crown or the secret to life.
“Oh…my…goodness. This is gorgeous! Try it on!” She cried, showing it into my hands and pushing my towards the dressing room drawer.
I put the dress on, not surprised at all by the fact that it fit me perfectly. It was even more beautiful on me.
Whenever I moved the dress seemed to shimmer and turn icy blue. The bodice was tight, almost corseted and tied up the back with a silvery blue ribbon. The front trailed down into a V like the red dress and had a long flowing skirt. Its sleeves were small straps that fell off the shoulders. It had a single broach with a glittering white crystal.
As I walked out of the dressing room, I had a feeling of déjà vu, like I had done the same thing before. My reverie was broken by the sound of someone inhaling sharply.
I looked up and saw Gregory staring at me. Kaylie was smiling approvingly. A minute later she went back to rifling through the trunk.
I smiled hesitantly at Gregory, hoping he would like the dress. I realized then that it mattered a lot to me what he thought about me. I slowly walked over to him, stopping when we were about a foot apart.
“Well, what do you think?”
He smiled, taking my hand in his and turning me slowly so he could see the whole thing. “You look beautiful. It suits you.”
“Thank you,” I whispered. I would have started making out with him then, but Kaylie was standing over us, holding a peach colored gown in her hands.
“Do you think I could wear this to the party? It looks a little long for you, and I’m not that much taller than you.”
I nodded, pulling away from Gregory. “Yeah, of course you can. Are you and Cole going as a 19th century couple? You could be…the earl and countess of…” I looked to Gregory for some help. He looked up for a moment, thinking.
“Oh, what about the Earl and Countess of Kenwood? They were good friends of mine, Katherine and Calvin. How interesting that their names start with the same letter yours do.” He mused.
She smiled back at him and replied, “Well I don’t really know if Cole can make it. He may have other plans that night.” Why was she being so evasive whenever I brought the subject of her boyfriend up? Something was bugging her, and whatever it was, she wasn’t saying anything.
Nevertheless, I decided to ask her.
“What is up with the two of you? You have been really weird about him for a few weeks now.”
She shook her head and walked over to the dressing room door. “Nothing is wrong. I just don’t think that he’ll be able to make it. What’s with the inquisition anyway?”
As she disappeared behind the door, I turned to Gregory. “She has been acting really strange about Cole. I wonder what it could be.”
“Would you like me to spy on her?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think that’s the wisest of courses. Maybe if this gets worse. For now, I think you and I should worry about…nothing.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “You are having terrible, nearly fatal visions about my past, and still you say we shouldn’t worry about anything. Life with you shall never be dull I think.”
I pretended to offended, putting a hand over my heart. “Well, you certainly will never get bored.”
He rested his forehead against my own and whispered, “No, I shall never be bored my darling, brave princess.”
“Nuh-uh, Duchess,” I corrected.
He laughed again, and then leaned in for another kiss. Our lips had almost locked when Kaylie stepped out of the dressing room in the peach gown.
“Oh Kaylie, you look great in that! Like a real countess!” the dress really did fit her well, but it was just a hair to short, but who would care. It hugged her lean form well, tight near her breasts and stomach, then flowing around her legs gracefully.
“You think so? Can I wear it to the party?” I nodded again and she jumped up and down joyfully.
“Excellent. Are you going to wear that?” she asked, pointing to my dress.
“I am, after we turn Gregory back, we are going as a couple.” I turned back to face him and added, “Speaking of which, have you found the trunk with your old clothes in it?”
“I have, and I shall wear my best outfit, just for you.”
Kaylie sighed and clasped her hands together. “You two are so cute together. I wish Cole was still like that.”
“You two should go together! Then we can be like the four musketeers…only 19th century gentry.” I amended, remembering the time period.
But something happened to Kaylie. Her eyes turned positively deadly, and she started to scowl.
“Look, I said that I don’t think Cole can make it to the party! Stop pushing this! He’s not coming, okay?”
I was completely taken aback. Why was she acting so weird? It didn’t make any sense. One minute she had been fine and the next she had become some she devil.
“Okay, chill Ice Princess. I won’t ask again. But I just thought you should know that I already sent him an invitation. So he will probably be there.” I scowled in her direction.
All she said was, “Whatever.” Then she walked back into the dressing room and changed.
“Why is she acting so weird about this? Maybe you should spy on her.” I said quietly to Gregory in case she could hear us.
“Alright, I’ll go over there tonight. But for now…” he trailed of suggestively, his voice thick with emotion.
“Maybe you could use some help getting that dress off.” He smiled wickedly, tugging on the ribbon in the back of the dress.
I could feel my face start to flush and turn pink with innocent embarrassment. It seemed that ever since he had come back, Gregory was determined to finish what he started. And I was just as willing to let him.
“Maybe later, when we don’t have a grumpy PMS girl in the next room.”
He sighed and let his hand fall away from the ribbon. “Fine, but eventually I will help you out of this dress…and I will take my sweet time doing so.”
My breath caught in my throat. He was so sexy I could barely stand it. I could feel my knees start to buckle beneath me. Gregory swiftly grabbed me by the waist and held me against him.
We were still like that when Kaylie came out again. This time she was dressed in her regular clothes holding the dress across her arms.
“Kaylie--” I started but she held up a hand.
“No, it’s okay, I understand. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped. But don’t worry, this is something between Cole and I. I would tell you if something was up.” She smiled apologetically.
I smiled back and said, “Okay. I’m just worried about you, is all. You are both friends of mine. I just don’t want either of you to get hurt.”
“I know,” she said coming over and hugging me tightly. “I have to go though, or I’ll be late for dinner.”
I watched her go from the balcony, sighing as she went to her car and got in. “What am I going to do with you?” I asked myself.
Gregory came to stand behind me, placing his arms on my shoulders so that my back was against his chest and his chin rested against the top of my head.
“You are worried for her,” he stated simply as I watched her drive away. I only nodded, still deep in thought, wondering what she was doing.
“It will be alright.” He pulled me back into my room and towards the door. “Come with me. There is something I want to show you.”
He led me down the main stairs—still in my ball gown I might add—and towards the right side of the house past the library and two of the parlors.
We stopped in front of a set of double doors. I knew this led into the portrait gallery which was also the ballroom. This was where I would host the party.
“Why are we—” he stopped me before I could ask why we were here.
“Just relax. Can’t I have any secrets?” he laughed. Then he took a blindfold and covered my eyes so I couldn’t see.
“What is this?” I laughed, trying to feel around for him. He caught one of my hands and led me through the doors. He stopped me in what felt like the middle of the room. I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when he shows her the library.
All around me I could feel light pour in through the windows when Gregory pulled the shades wide open.
I heard his footsteps come to a stop in front of me once again, and the blindfold was removed.
We were in the middle of the ballroom and all around us were portraits of the Van Allens and McClains long since past. There was one in particular that caught my attention.
In the center of one wall hung a portrait of a beautiful man with the most amazing hazel eyes I had ever seen. Gregory.
“You put your portrait back up!” I cried, running over to it and studying the picture closely. “I always wondered why your portrait was in the attic and not with the rest of the family portraits.”
He nodded and said, “Yes, Lydia had it taken down and put in her special attic after I died. Her portrait hung here for some time. The one that I had commissioned for her. Once I was out of the picture—no pun intended—Robert had a new one commissioned. It’s right over there actually…right next to his.”
I walked over to another wall and sure enough, there was Lydia. Except in this portrait she was standing with a white orchid in one hand looking a little to her left. She was wearing a gown of sea foam green that had a ribbon just underneath her bust. She looked so pretty with her hair in an elegant, yet simple chignon and light wisps of hair framing her face. She looked so much like me…it was almost impossible to notice a difference.
After studying her portrait I moved on to Robert’s. He wasn’t as handsome as Gregory was, but he was still pretty hot. He had blonde hair in the same style as Gregory’s and the same style of clothing, but he looked…meaner, more arrogant than Gregory was. He was looking a little to his right, and if I stood back far enough it almost looked liked the two of them were looking at each other. It was very subtle, but now that I noticed it, each had a tiny, secretive smile on their faces, almost like they were smiling for one another.
“There is a family portrait of the four of them. Then another when they had their daughter.” Gregory said, pointing to the next couple of portraits along the row.
I moved along and saw the four of them standing together in front of a fireplace. Lydia was standing behind Robert, her hand resting possessively on his shoulder. Their sons, Gregory and Thomas were sitting on their fathers lap, smiling gaily directly out.
The next one was all five of them. They were in the same positions, except this time; at Lydia’s side was a little girl with red-auburn hair. She was so adorable, and somehow familiar.
“Gregory,” I asked, not turning from the portrait. “What was their daughter’s name?”
For a moment he didn’t answer. I turned to him with questioning eyes and waited for his answer. “Well?”
“Amelia. They named their daughter Amelia.” He was already turning back towards the other paintings. The moment was ruined.
I started to follow him but stopped suddenly. Another memory attacked my mind, rendering me paralyzed momentarily.
I was in the ballroom, staring at Gregory’s painting. It still hung where he had said it did. I was wearing a pale purple morning dress with matching slippers. I was also not alone.
Robert walked in quickly, his booted footsteps clicking against the marbled floor. He looked determined and I felt my heart flutter in my chest and my breathing become erratic.
“I cannot do this! I cannot kill him! Robert listen to me!” I grabbed his arm, trying to make him understand. Why couldn’t he understand what was happening?
“Lydia, enough! They will have both of our heads on a platter if we don’t! Do you not care about your future? Do you care about nothing?” he shouted down at me. Then he began pacing the floor, trying to think of something to do.
He stopped suddenly and grabbed my shoulders. “I will do it. We will get a carriage and I will spirit you away…tomorrow night. Just before midnight. We will go away from this place. Paris, Rome, anywhere you want to go. Anywhere but here. I will not let them hurt you if you don’t do this.”
I shook my head, tears running down my face. “Robert…I cant…Robert, I’m with child. It’s your baby…”
His eyes widened in shock, then fear. I said something urgently, trying to make him understand. But everything began slipping away from me.
My knees buckled beneath me as I sank to the marbled floor of the ballroom. Gregory was at my said instantly.
“What is it? What did you see?” he was feeling my skin for bruises, but there were none. Not this time.
I was shaking again. My hands trembled as I reached up for Gregory’s face. I needed to be sure that he was alright. If I saw his face then everything would be fine. I could erase the horrible thing I had just witnessed.
“Gregory…I saw…Lydia…she was…” I trailed off and looked down at the alien hands in my lap. Should I tell him about Lydia? I knew the father of her child. I knew that it was Robert’s baby. But if I told Gregory it would break him in two. I knew it would and then we would be right back to where we started. I would be with an angry ghost. Not the man I had come to love so much.
“What did you see?” he asked again, making me look into his eyes. They burned with an intensity that scared the living daylights out of me.
“Gregory…Lydia found out she was pregnant the day before the Masquerade. She was pregnant.”
His eyes seemed to light up for a second. I was so hopeful he would understand. Maybe that is what he needed to know to move on. But when I looked into them again, they were nothing more than angry pools of black.
Portraits began to fly around the room in an angry whirlwind. Everything happened so fast. He was on his feet, then in the air, levitating before my eyes.
He screamed so loudly I thought my eardrums would explode. I covered my ears in fear and shut my eyes against the paintings whizzing by my head. It was just like that first day when I had met him and he was so angry.
I finally got up enough courage to open my eyes and stand up. I had to save him…from himself. Everything depended on the next few minutes.
“Gregory!” I cried, not caring that my eyes were welling up with tears. “Please stop! Please…” I trailed off hopelessly.
But he started to let everything fall back into place and slowly sank down to the ground.
I smiled, starting to go to him but he held a hand up in front of me. “No.” when I started to come forward again he held me back with an icy
stare that could have stopped anyone in their tracks.
“I said no. Now leave.”
“But—” I started to say when he shouted, “LEAVE!”
I was so afraid that I ran from the room and left behind a crazy monster that had taken over the man I loved. I didn’t even hear the strangled sob that escaped his lips as he watched me go.
Posted 27 July 2007 - 01:49 PM
UPDATE!!! I need to know what is going to happen!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:19 PM
I changed back into my normal clothes quickly and decided to take some time to do my homework. Gregory and I needed some time apart. I hated making him feel so awful…even if it wasn’t my fault.
Wanting to take advantage of the last good weather days, I bundled up and took my books outside to the secluded garden and sat down on a bench to work.
As I worked, a light breeze started to move the turning leaves around on the ground. It was truly beautiful. I watched them twirl around in the air like a dance, perfected by the imagination, coming to a simple finish when they touched the water’s surface in the fountain.
A last gardenia petal floated over to the center of my notebook page. It was so smooth and velvety to the touch as I brought it to my face. I breathed in its heady scent, closing my eyes in pleasure.
Break time, I thought to myself gleefully. I stood and started to twirl with the leaves around the garden, humming an unfamiliar tune. Soon I had made up an imaginary dance partner with hazel eyes, and we were dancing around the garden, floating to the heavens above.
Something cold encircled one of my hands, and another thing wrapped around my wait. I opened my eyes to see two hazel ones staring back at me.
“I think you might do better with a real dance partner,” he laughed, twirling me gracefully around the fountain.
I kept humming and laughing at the same time. It really was like we were floating to the heavens and above. I let him guide me around, knowing he would never let me slip or mess up.
Eventually I opened my eyes to find that we really had floated around…and off the ground!
I screamed and clutched to Gregory tightly, seeing the seven feet that separated us from the ground. When I looked back at him he only smiled and twirled me again. My eyes were shut in fear, my mind screaming over and over “I’m going to die, I’m going to die.”
“Amelia, open your eyes. Look at what you’re missing,” he whispered seductively in my ear. Shivering from pure delight, I cracked an eye open.
“Open your eyes. I wont let you fall.” He said again and this time I knew he meant it for real. I trusted him and opened the other eye.
It really was beautiful. All around us the trees swayed and danced in a rhythm that seemed timeless. The leaves fell off the trees to join in the dance, twirling around our feet and drifting below.
The few petals left on the flowers were pulled off and swirled up to us, wrapping me in a blanket of scent. It was magical, and I wouldn’t have given any of it up for the world.
Eventually Gregory lowered us down to the ground gently and I found it was almost difficult to stand up at first.
He held me for a moment then pulled away slowly, turning around and picking up one of the flower blossoms in the fountain. Freesia, my favorite flower. He gently lifted it to my nose, letting me smell its scent, before placing it behind my ear.
“I am an ass.” He stated simply after a moment. It surprised me a little and I felt my eyes grow wide.
“No—” I tried to tell him, but he silenced me with a finger to my lips.
“Let me finish. I am an ass. I shouldn’t have behaved in such an atrocious manner earlier. I just...I don't know how to deal with emotions that have remained hidden and dormant for so long. It is no excuse for what I have done. Can you forgive me?” he looked so hopeful, how could I possibly refuse?
“Of course I can,” I started. When he smiled I decided to play with him a little. “On one condition.”
I laughed and started backing up towards the exit and cried, “Catch me and kiss me!”
Then we were off. I ran as fast as I could through the gardens, wondering if he would pop up at anyplace. I ran into the hedge maze and was confronted with dead end after dead end. Eventually I came to a stop after coming to another dead end. In a matter of seconds strong, cold arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me up.
I laughed and shrieked as he reached in for a kiss. He kissed me with reckless abandon, holding me even closer than ever. I wondered if he remembered that day against my wall…and if he would ever finish what he started because it seemed like he had kindled a fire in me that didn’t want to go out.
I would have stood there all day long if it hadn’t been for the pouring rain that started to pelt down on our heads.
“My books!!” I cried anxiously, pulling away from Gregory’s arms and running back to get them…only I was lost. Great, I thought to myself. My books are getting wet, and so am I!
Gregory called out to me in the rain and cried, “I shall retrieve them for you.”
Before I could say anything, he had disappeared. Ten seconds later I was still trying to find my way out, feeling once again that strange sense of déjà vu. There didn’t seem to be a way out and I started to panic. Every way I turned I ran into another dead end. After a while I couldn’t remember where I had turned and which walkways I had already traversed.
“Gregory!” I called out into the rain once I stopped to catch my breath. I was freezing. The cold rain, mixed with the cold weather did little to help my situation. The cold sank into my light jacket and was trapped there, chilling me to the bone. Plus I had forgotten my gloves along with my books so my hands were shaking from the cold.
I tried calling out to Gregory again with no answer. Now I was breathing harder, running faster, trying to find some way out of here. It was like a nightmare and all the while I felt as if I had done this before in another life.
The rain seemed relentless and it became slippery beneath my feet, but I wasn’t thinking clearly and kept running. I slipped in a pile of mud and fell. I was so cold now I could see my breath.
“Gregory!” I called out one last time, praying to God that he could hear me.
Arms scooped me up and carried me around two left turns and four rights until we finally came to the open area of the gardens. He quickly set me on my feet and we set off at a run trying to get back inside before the storm worsened.
Once we were inside the safety of the warm kitchen at the back of the house Gregory asked me, “Are you alright? Look at you, you’re freezing.” He started to pull articles of clothing off my person without so much as a by your leave.
I didn’t really care though. I was too busy trying to get feeling back into my appendages. “M-m-my b-b-boo-k-ks,” I shivered while he took off my scarf and coat and placed me on a stool near the fire.
“Are in your room drying. I got to them before they could be ruined. You however, my wet darling, seem to have come away a little less fortunate than your books.” He was trying to be funny, I realized. I tried to laugh, but all that came out was a strangled chatter.
He whispered soothingly, “Hush now. Sit by the fire and warm yourself.”
“Wh-what about you?” I asked belatedly, thinking that he must have been just as cold and wet as I was. But I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised by the fact that he wasn’t wet at all. Figures, only a ghost could come through a rainstorm without getting so much as a drop of rain on him.
He smiled and pushed me closer to the fire. “I’ll go and get you some dry clothing. What would you like?”
“Can you grab my sweatpants and sweatshirt?” I liked the way feeling trickled like a little stream through my fingers and toes. Good, I was getting warmer.
He nodded and left me alone for a few minutes. I sat there staring at the flames, marveling at how they flickered and danced with a life of their own. There was magic all around us, even in the little things that we took for granted. I wondered if this was how Gregory felt. He hadn’t felt the warmth of a fire on 120 years. He hadn’t eaten a meal in that long. He hadn’t been human. I suddenly had new respect for this man who could be so brave as to deal with the things he had for so long.
When he popped back in I gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
“What was that for?” he asked smiling down at me. The way the flame played with the color of his eyes, making them look like green amber.
“For just being you. Now vamoose, I have to get changed.” I motioned for him to turn around to which he reluctantly agreed.
I changed quickly, making sure that he wasn’t peeking. How ironic that I was so modest now when a few days ago I had been ready and willing to let him rip every stitch of clothing off of me.
“Okay, I’m decent. You can turn around.”
He did so immediately. His gaze raked over my body slowly, taking everything in. it made me flush with part embarrassment, part excitement.
“One of these days I am truly going to love taking those clothes off,” he said quietly, almost to himself. My face became bright pink with delight and modesty. I had never really thought of him as the sort of man who would be a rake. I only ever thought of him as a husband and a man. My man, to be specific.
I remembered the ballroom and a thousand questions filled my head, all vying for the attention of my tongue.
“Are you sure that you are alright?” I asked hesitantly. That seemed like the best question to ask first. Not too forward, yet not too subtle.
He nodded and smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes. He was lying to me…and doing a really bad job of it.
“Tell the truth. It’s okay to be mad. I’ll understand.”
He shook his head rapidly and replied, “That’s not it. I just wish…that we would make some progress on the journal. All we have so far is that she was having an affair with my best friend and hated my brother. What else have we got? Nothing.” He sighed, raking a hand through his gorgeous brown locks.
I moved to him and took his hand away from his face, holding it close against my heart, right where he would always be.
“Gregory…” I didn’t know what to say. What could I say? He needed answers that I couldn’t give him. I could only give him little hints and clues that either got us nowhere or made him angry.
“No, please…you don’t have to say anything. I just wish…I wish we could find out what happened that night…exactly.” He paused, starting to pace. “What Lydia did that day, why she killed me, everything.”
I shook my head. It was impossible. The most we could hope for is that I would have a memory of what and when it happened…or it was in the journal. Only one way to find out…
“Come with me,” I said, pulling him by the hand up the steps to the main floor and to the library to grab the book. “There’s only one thing to do on a rainy day, right?”
We raced up the stairs and to my room where we shut and locked the door. I sat on the bed and wrapped a blanket around me. Gregory lay down beside me, pulling me close so we could snuggle while we read.
I started to flip through the pages, looking for a date close to the night of the ball. It was a long shot. Lydia had been very cautious, even as she wrote in the book. The odds of us finding something were very slim.
When I got close to the end of the entries I noticed that a couple of the pages had been ripped out. Everything but the dates, well parts of them anyway.
“Gregory, look. Can you make out what that says?” I tried to look closer, but all I could make out was a smudge 8, 9, and what I thought was a 0.
“Turn to the next full entry,” he instructed me and I did so, not quite sure what he was getting at.
I turned to the next page and saw the date…the day after the masquerade and Lydia’s last entry in the journal.
“You don’t think?” I started to understand. He thought that someone had ripped out the journal entries of the two days up to the ball.
“Yes I do think. And without these pages, we may never find out what happened.”
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:34 PM
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:39 PM
this is getting really good!
I totally agree. I'm totally hooked and it just keeps getting better.
I know you work really hard but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE UPDATE!!!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:47 PM
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:48 PM
love to all!
Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:38 PM
Three days seven hours, and fifteen seconds until Halloween. Three days, seven hours, and thirteen seconds until I turned Gregory back into a human. Three days, seven hours, and nine seconds until I would have to face everyone at the Halloween party at my house.
I was sitting in a winged chair in the ballroom watching Kaylie rush around the room with tablecloths, napkins, cups, and a bunch of other party supplies. I was counting down the seconds until Halloween, dreading it while at the same time excited and nervous.
My dress was lying on my bed, waiting to be worn with the die to match shoes that we had found in the attic earlier that day. Gregory’s own outfit was lying right beside mine. I had purposefully placed the sleeves of each outfit next to each other, almost like they were holding hands. But Gregory had been very distant and awkward around me lately. And now he was missing.
“Where do you think he could be?” I asked for the umpteenth time that day. Kaylie groaned as she stopped pinning the tablecloth to its desired look.
“I have no idea. Are you just going to sit there and be lazy while I try and make your party perfect?”
I sighed again. I missed Gregory. The way he called me darling, and held me close. I had never thought of myself as the kind of girl who would need her man by her at all times…and I wasn’t. I just had gotten so used to him being around all the time. But still it nagged at the back of my mind until I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Do you think I’m too dependent on Gregory?”
She stopped and thought about it for a moment. Then she looked over at me with sympathetic eyes.
“I don’t think you’re too dependent on him. I just think…well he is always around. But I don’t think you’re two dependent. Just in love. And that’s fine.” She laughed a little. “Trust me, after a while you won’t want him around so much…and then you’ll start to think…maybe he’s not the one for you.” Her eyes grew teary as she went on. “Then you’ll start to look at everyone else…and then you’ll be so confused because you really do love him, but you don’t want him to get hurt.” She sat down on the floor when the tears started to fall. I pushed myself out of the chair and rushed over to her.
“Shh, it’s okay. It’s okay,” I whispered, hugging her tightly. She clung onto me as if I was her saving grace.
“Oh, Amy…I do love him. I do, I really do, but…” she was trying to convince me of something even she didn’t have the answer to. It broke my heart apart to watch my best friend in such agony. I felt like such an ass for coming down on her so hard about Cole.
“I want what you and Gregory have…the kind of love that even death can’t separate,” she whispered when the tears finally stopped flowing. She was wiping the stray tears away and looking at me.
“I know sweetie, I know.” I didn’t know what to do, and I began to wonder if Kaylie was so confused because there might be someone else. “Is there…someone else…and maybe that’s why you’re so confused?”
She was about to answer when someone asked, “Is she alright?” Gregory was standing in the doorway with a worried look on his face. I wanted to go to him so badly and kiss him with passion, but resisted the urge to do so.
“She’ll be fine. She’s just a little tired.” I helped Kaylie to stand and walked her over to the chair I had just vacated.
I walked slowly over to him, a hesitant smile on my face.
He smiled down at me at kissed me quickly on the mouth. “Hi back.” He was holding a paper bag in his hands, drawing my curiosity.
“Whatcha got there?” I asked, taking the bag from his hands. Inside was a stick of sage, thyme, some liquid thing in a vial, and a feather. Ingredients, I realized, for the spell.
“How…” I trailed off wondering how he had gotten these.
“Don’t worry it wont be missed. There was a new age store just outside of town that has been closed down for a while and many of the supplies have not been shipped out. I merely took what was needed.” It was a matter of fact statement that threw me off guard a little. He seemed so calm about stealing these things.
Naturally, all I could say was, “Oh.”
He laughed again and kissed my forehead. I really wanted to go to his arms and stay there forever. We hadn’t talked about the last journal entries in two days. I figured it was best if we try and leave it alone…maybe then it would go away.
That’s what I thought until he pulled a book from behind his back. It was—of course it was, I thought looking back on it—a book of spells. But not just any spells. No, these were, ready because I still couldn’t believe it, time travel spells.
Not only that, but Gregory had taken painstaking measures to make sure that all the important spells were bookmarked.
“Um, what is this?” I asked even though I knew what they were. The only thing I was still confused by was why he would want to bookmark these types of spells.
“What do you think it is?” he asked gently, yet in an annoyingly condescending tone.
“I think it’s a spell book with weird time travel spells inside.” I started to giggle nervously as I tended to do when I got nervous. “It’s almost like we are in a really bad science fiction movie.”
He didn’t really see the humor of the joke I had attempted.
Kaylie seemed to have gotten better and slowly pushed herself out of the chair and over to me. We sat in the middle of the ballroom, all thoughts of planning and decorating for the party forgotten, and read.
There was a spell on how to turn a lost love into a dog. Another showed how to make a creature out of frogs. One of my personal favorites was the one that dealt with glamour; you know, making extravagant things out of thin air.
After about five minutes we came across the first spell that Gregory had bookmarked. It seemed pretty simple, your average time travel spell, whatever that was, and it had very simple ingredients.
Then there was another where only one person at a time could go back and required several more ingredients and efforts than anyone was willing to take. I didn’t even finish looking at the one that required a bloodletting ceremony.
I was losing hope when we came to the last one he had marked. It was simple. The people who wanted to travel back in time needed five white candles and an easy incantation that they said. We would have to choose the correct time and place for when we wanted to go back and it needed to be incorporated into the wording somehow, but nothing either of us couldn’t manage.
“Is this something you really want to do?” I asked hesitantly. One would think that being turned back into a living person again would be very important, but then again maybe he really did need to know who killed him.
“It is. And I want you to come back with me.”
That one shocked me a bit. “Me? Go back…when?” did he have a time, place, where he wanted to go back. I wasn’t exactly prepared to go back on a spur of the moment kind of thing. And he was starting to freak me out a little. And I intended to tell him the truth.
Standing slowly, I placed the book in Kaylie’s lap where she studied it further, giving us a moment of partial privacy.
“Honey, I love you so much…” I started. How could I tell him that he was overly obsessed with this? It was almost like I was losing the guy I had fallen in love with to the ghost I had first met that day in my room. “But…you’re becoming a little obsessed don’t you think?”
He stared at me blankly for a few seconds before answering in a dead calm voice, “No I don’t think I’m being obsessive about this. If you aren’t in compliance with me on this then I shall go back alone.”
Oh he made me so angry. Here I was trying to be as supportive as I could and he kept acting like I was the one who was trying to ruin everything! I examined that last bit and realized I was trying to take away his happiness. If this was truly something he wanted to do then I would just have to suck it up and support him no matter what. But god, sometimes I just wished he would stop being such an arrogant ass!
“You know what? You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry, honey.” I hugged him quickly before turning back to Kaylie.
She was still studying the book with avid interest. It was a little surprising how well she was taking this. I still had a hard time believing it, but here she was, acting like it was no big deal.
I was going to ask her if she wanted something to eat because I was famished, but she seemed too interested to talk. Turning back to Gregory I asked, “Up for a little cooking? I’m thinking…eggs.”
He smiled and kissed me gently. Frustration gone, I kissed him back letting go of all my worries and pouring my love into him.
“For you my darling, I would make anything.” He smiled wickedly down at me before adding, “But I won’t tell you what is in it.” Drat, he had caught onto my plan to make him tell me what the sauce for the eggs was.
I smiled sheepishly and pulled him by the hand towards the door. Some alone time with my honey was just what I needed. Add food to the mix and everything would be perfect.
“Kaylie, you can take care of yourself can’t you?” I asked, belatedly realizing that it was probably bad manners to leave a best friend alone in a room. She did a little hand wave followed by an incoherent mumbling.
“Good. Meet us in the kitchen when you’re done doing…whatever it is you’re doing,” And we were walking arm in arm out of the ballroom.
I didn’t even notice that Kaylie had taken out a notebook and was writing one of the spells down in the journal’s notebook she always carried around. Later I would realize that she was writing down a spell to find a lost loved one.
“Okay so now that Kaylie is gone, you can tell me what is in the eggs right?” I asked hopefully, a giggly smile plastered on my face.
“Wrong,” he sighed, turning another egg in the skillet. I had been trying to watch him make the eggs for twenty minutes now, but my gaze kept wandering up to his face which gave him the perfect time to add the secret ingredients.
He looked up at me with a smile that told me I was never getting near that secret recipe without a ring on the fourth finger of my left hand. The thought of being married to Gregory made me incredibly happy for some reason. We could do this forever…and other things, the other wicked half of my mind thought mischievously. “Now, where has your dear friend Kaylie gone off to?”
I remembered Kaylie all of a sudden. I hadn’t been much of a friend of late, but then again, she had seemed pretty wrapped up in the book Gregory had brought home.
“I’ll go find out.” I hopped off the bar stool I had been sitting on and took the steps out of the kitchen two at a time.
She seemed to have left the ballroom, but had left the book on the floor where we had been sitting. “Hmmm, that’s interesting,” I said to no one in particular. I wondered what she had been looking at and went to pick the book up.
“To Find a Lost Love” was the title of the spell. Underneath the title was a little description of what the spell did exactly.
“To find a lost love spell helps a person figure out their feelings for a person. It will lead them to their true love, and help any other feelings for another. For best use, say the spell over a bucket of water with an apple peel inside. The apple peel will turn into the shape of your true love and will help you along the path to the fairytale ending you’ve always dreamed of.” I read the short paragraph to myself, laughing at how ridiculous it sounded. Kaylie would never do this because it was incredibly stupid. Only a fool would believe any of this mumbo jumbo.
But as I looked down I noticed a pen and some crumpled up paper. Oh no, Kaylie had written the spell down in her little journal and must have taken it home to try it.
“Crap,” I cried as I rushed over to the window to see if her car was still in the driveway. It wasn’t.
“Crap, crap, crap,” I said while I rushed from the room and straight into my dad.
“What’s the matter kiddo?” he laughed down at me, noticing my distress.
I needed a lie…fast. “Um, nothing I just realized I don’t have enough plates for the party on Friday.” Damn, I was good.
His eyes lit up with something and he smacked his forehead with the heel of his hand. “Shoot, didn’t your mother tell you? The boys are going trick or treating with their friends and we have a business party to attend.”
I shook my head in confusion. “So, I can still have the party.” He gave me a very disbelieving look. I sighed and added, “Dad, I’m eighteen. I think I can handle it. Don’t worry.” I needed to get out of here as fast as possible. There was an invisible ghost in my kitchen and someone could walk in on him at any second.
“But we can talk about this later, Dad. I have some eggs frying in the kitchen and can’t leave them too long.” Before he could answer I was running past him and back towards the kitchen.
I was breathless and disheveled by the time I finally reached the kitchen again. Gregory took one look at my appearance and burst out laughing.
“It’s not funny,” I grumbled as I sat down on the bar stool again. He pushed the plate of eggs towards me.
“It’s very funny, and you know it. I take it Kaylie has left?”
I nodded, taking a bite of the eggs. The taste was incredible, like nothing I had ever had before. I really did want to know how he did it. Was there anything he was amazing at?
After five or six bites in silence I told him about the book and the pen and how Kaylie was very confused about her situation with Cole. He nodded at all the right places and offered some good advice.
“However,” he said gently, “that doesn’t mean that she needs to run off with some spell to make everything better.”
I studied his face carefully. He didn’t seem to take into account the fact that he was doing the same thing essentially. I debated with myself as to whether or not I should tell him my opinion on the subject. But that would mean risking losing him again which I was not willing to do at all.
After another few moments of silence I asked, “So when are we going back in time?”
He smiled and replied, “Life with you is never boring.”
Posted 28 July 2007 - 02:34 PM
Thanks for answering my questions. Will they go back in time first then go and bring gregory back to life? I have a feeling this can only get more exciting.
~ Kiwi ~
Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:01 PM
Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:03 PM
Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:06 PM
I've just started reading it and i'm completely hooked!
You have to update soon!
what is up with Kaylie and especially with Gregory? They are so messed up at the moment, haha, they need to figure themselves out!
Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:39 PM
Wow! I love this story! Please update soon!!!
Posted 30 July 2007 - 06:04 AM
Wow! this story is amazing. I'm hooked and I love it! Please update soon!
Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:52 AM
Wow! this story is amazing. I'm hooked and I love it! Please update soon!
Took the words out of my mouth hahaha, keep going this story is fab!!
Posted 30 July 2007 - 12:51 PM
Took me ages to read it all but it was worth it!
You are such a talented writer and the story is so good!
..x.. Victoria ..x..
Posted 30 July 2007 - 01:42 PM
OLD READER (hehe) but I haven't replied in awhile. I love the story so far and...Gregory is so sweet. Yet he can have quite the temper.... Lol. Anyway, I hope you can update soon. It seems like you've put a lot of thought into this story and the plot is going great.
I've never been good at creating mysteries.
Posted 30 July 2007 - 05:00 PM
I am hooked.
Please Update when you get back!
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:28 PM
One hour and twenty, six minutes, and fifty-four seconds until the party. One hour, six minutes, and fifty-two seconds until Gregory was human. One hour, six minutes and forty-eight seconds until I traveled back to 1886.
I seemed to think in numbers and time a lot lately. There I was lounging about against the ruby red pillows on my bed watching Gregory rush around the room gathering supplies. He was really excited. I was excited for him…I think.
My dress was lying right next to his outfit. We had coordinated our outfits perfectly. He was going to wear a silvery blue waistcoat with a navy blue jacket with tight buff colored pants and knee high black boots. I had found a few masks in another trunk in the attic and there were two that seemed like they would match our costumes.
The rest of the time had been spent with several awkward moments, silent meals, and quiet nights. As I watched Gregory move about with his usual arrogant grace, I wondered why I was doing it.
Then he looked up at me and smiled warmly in my direction and I remembered. I loved him.
“Aren’t your parents leaving with your brothers soon?”
I nodded absently. There were still so many things I wanted to ask him. What would going back to the past mean for our future? Would I be going back as myself or as Lydia? Did I really have to watch him die?
When I looked up from staring at nothing in particular he was staring at me with a concerned look on his face. “Are you certain you are alright?”
I shook myself mentally. He needed me to be as calm as possible for this. “Yeah, I’m sorry; I was just thinking I guess.”
He cocked his head to the side and continued to stare at me. “About what?”
I shrugged and pushed myself off the bed, feeling like an eighty year old woman instead of an eighteen year old girl. I wasn’t really ready for any of this. This was one of those instances where growing up sucked royally.
“Nothing in particular. Just things.” like the fact that I was going to watch him die tonight. I padded over to him and wrapped my arms around his waist, wishing for the umpteenth time that I could listen to his heartbeat. Well, I thought to myself comically, tonight I would get my wish.
We stood there in the middle of my room holding each other silently for a few minutes. It reminded me of what the past couple of days had been like: quiet, contemplative, silently loving…perfectly simple.
He pulled apart from me suddenly, taking away the headrest I had made out of him. I nearly fell over when my mom walked in…dressed as a priest.
“Mom?!” I choked out. she looked positively ridiculous in her Roman church get up. The huge cross that she wore around her neck swung dangerously around as she walked into the room towards me.
She was smiling from ear to ear and laughing at my distressed look. Somewhere near the balcony I heard Gregory falling onto the floor with laughter. I wasn’t far behind him.
“Don’t you like it?”
I had nearly stopped laughing when my dad walked in…as a pregnant nun. My dad was pretty fit, but it was obvious he had slipped a pillow up his habit and was walking around like a waddling duck.
This time I really did fall to the floor laughing at the absurdity of it all. They were seriously considering going out in public dressed like that.
Rushing over to my bureau I grabbed my digital camera and started taking pictures. They were hysterical. Every so often I would glance over at Gregory who was still laughing on the floor and he would smile at me lovingly. It was great.
Eventually my parents had had enough of being made fun of. We walked out of my room still shaking with laughter and towards the front door.
“Now remember dear, if you need us we shall have our cell phones on at all times. The boys have already left and they are staying at a friend’s house tonight, so no need to worry about them.” My mom tended to rattle on when she was nervous about leaving me alone with a bunch of people. “Are you sure you’re going to be alright?”
I wasn’t really paying attention to what she was saying. Something about a phone and the brats from hell…I think. Somewhere in the library I heard the grandfather clock chime. Six o’clock. Oh dear lord, the party started at seven and I still hadn’t finished getting ready.
“Okay, don’t worry. Just have a great time! I love you, bye!” I cried in a bubbly voice as I practically pushed them out the door to their car.
Sighing, I shut the front door and leaned against it heavily. This was going to be a tough night.
I felt Gregory’s gaze on my face and I opened my eyes.
“So…” I started, suddenly at a loss for words. None of the teen magazines I read ever mentioned talking to your boyfriend about bringing his body back to life.
He rocked gently on his heels, placing his hands behind his back and managing to look almost as uncomfortable as I felt.
“Okay, I’m going to go get dressed and then I will meet you in the cemetery. Just remember to dig your body up first and then cover it with a sheet so I don’t freak out.” I said, walking quickly towards the stairs and to the safety of my room.
I had gone up three steps and turned back for one last look at him. His face was hidden behind a cool façade, but his eyes were worried.
I rushed back down the stairs and into his arms. “Don’t worry.” I whispered in his ear before leaning in for a quick, but hot kiss.
Flushed faced and swollen lipped, I rushed up to my room.
My long red hair would be curled tonight and then piled high on top of my head in a traditional chignon with tendrils of hair framing my face and neck.
Using a combination of rollers and a curling iron I hurriedly did my hair and swept around my room in a fury of flying clothes, makeup, and jewelry. Everything needed to be perfect tonight. Not only did I have to look the part of a 19th century duchess, but I also had to act like one.
Then there was the party that was occurring in my ballroom in the present time. My head began to hurt as I contemplated the time loops and risks involved with doing this.
“No,” I tried to convince myself, “You love him. you have to support him.” I stopped and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked no different than I had a few short months ago, but I felt different. My eyes had somehow become more vibrant, and my face more mature.
Setting my jaw and giving my reflection a little nod I added, “No matter what.”
Tonight, I would have to become the Duchess of Evington.
“She should have been here by now!” I cried angrily, pacing before a dug up grave. Gregory was below me pulling the lid off of a stone coffin.
I stopped my movements long enough to watch him in fascination as he hesitantly pulled his casket out. I guess being a ghost meant that you had super strength.
He seemed so careful, but then again I probably would be too if I was pulling myself out of my final resting place. The thought gave me chills.
Through the grunts and pants I heard Gregory say, “She will be here, this I promise you.”
I was still worried. Kaylie was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. I would have started jumping up and down in frustration if it hadn’t been for the haphazardly placed rollers in my hair.
I was wearing a sweatshirt and some ratty old pair of jeans that could get messy while we did this. The three of us had it planned out perfectly.
Everything was in place; the five white candles had been placed in a perfect circle in the gazebo, the spell book in the middle.
Kaylie was supposed to have been here by now to watch over us and make sure that nothing bad happened while we were gone. But of course, she was late.
“I need to change!” I cried angrily down into the grave. “How the Hell am I supposed to go back to 1886 when the person who is supposed to make sure that we are safe isn’t even here yet?” Then there was the whole issue of the party. “And, we have a party starting in an hour! I just hope that this works.”
I was more afraid than angry, and Kaylie’s tardiness was really adding to my stress level.
“Will you please stop worrying, darling?” he lifted himself out of the grave—completely clean, I might add—and draped an arm around my shoulders. “It will be alright. Kaylie will be here and everything will be fine.” He paused and smoothed a few stray hairs away from my face. “I need you to understand that we cannot change the past…no matter what. Lydia and my human self will still be there. We are going back to observe. Understood?”
I nodded numbly. Great this is just what I wanted to do on a Friday night. Go back in time with my boyfriend to watch him die.
“But Where the Hell is she?!” I fairly screamed again. What was even worse was the fact that I thought I could see rain clouds forming overhead. Great, just what I needed, rain to ruin my hair and make it even harder to do this thing.
If only certain members of the party would arrive at the appointed time and place.
I sighed, nodded blandly at him. “I know, but I really do want this night to be memorable for you…you know what I mean?”
He laughed as if I was acting like a monkey. Cupping my face between his cold hands he leaned down to rub his nose against mine. “Trust me…this shall be the most memorable night of my life.” He smiled sheepishly and amended, “Well after life.”
I hoped he was right. We were leaning in for another toe-curling kiss when I heard, “Hey! I’m here! I’m coming!”
Kaylie was running across the lawns as quickly as she possibly could, shouting the whole way.
“Don’t start without m—” she didn’t finish her thought because I watched in amused horror as she tripped over a thick root in a small tree and fall flat on her face.
Boy was it hard to control the laughter that threatened to be unleashed.
When she finally managed to get to us my laughter couldn’t be controlled anymore and I started laughing. Her perfectly straight hair was tangled and flying about her face wildly and she had bits of twigs, grass, and leaves clinging to every bit of her body. Not to mention the mud that streaked across her face like war paint.
“Okay, sorry I’m late. I had to get my dress to your room first and then I thought you guys were still in the house so that took even…” she trailed off and looked over my shoulder to where I heard Gregory cracking open the casket.
A horrid stench rose from inside the lid, almost making me lose my dinner. I covered my hand with my sleeve and turned around just in time to watch Gregory pull his decomposing corpse out of the box.
“Oh my God!” I cried in fright, nearly falling over from dizziness. Annoyed with him I called back, “Thanks for the warning sweetie!”
I heard him mumble, “Sorry,” and go back to his task.
After a few minutes I hesitantly looked up to where Kaylie was watching the scene like a kid in front of a television.
“Is it safe?” my voice was muffled by my sleeve. The air still stank of rotten eggs and…flesh.
She kind of nodded, her mouth falling open as she did so. Turning around slowly just in case it wasn’t completely over yet, I reached over and snapped her jaw shut. “Close that thing before you collect to much dust.”
She snapped back to life quickly. I could see her mentally shaking herself for getting so swept up in the sight of the corpse being pulled out.
“Ready?” Gregory asked, twining one of his hands in with mine. For a moment I felt better, just knowing he was nearby was enough to give me strength to do the otherwise unthinkable.
We made sure that the body was sufficiently covered and kept out of the way until we would come back and turn him into a human again.
The rain clouds I saw forming earlier seemed to get bigger by the second while we raced to the house to get dressed and ready for a party.
I was in my blue gown faster than I thought possible, forsaking the traditional corset all together. My hair could be finished when we reached the safety of the past.
Kaylie and I ran out into the gardens to the gazebo where Gregory was lighting the candles. I came to stand in front of him in the center of the circle.
“Ready?” he asked. I nodded even though my insides were turning into goo and my breathing was becoming labored.
“Okay, Kaylie hand me the book please.”
Kaylie went over to the bag I had brought, took the spell book out, and handed it to me opened to the correct page.
“Will you keep everyone distracted while we do this?” I asked her in a shaky voice.
“No problem. Good luck…both of you.” She added meaningfully in Gregory’s direction. He bowed regally to her and turned back to me.
Despite the growing fear in my stomach I locked my jaw and began to recite, my eyes never leaving Gregory’s.
“A night a century past this day,
Send us back, for this we pray.
Magicks, spells, and glamours too,
We seek the night that holds the truth.”
Everything happened so fast. There was a moment of fleeting pain, but I cried out trying to find Gregory’s hand. I couldn’t see, speak, or breathe. But then there was nothingness. Just black.
“Amelia, open your eyes.” Gregory was near me, I could feel it. I was scared and he could tell, so he gently took my hand and rubbed it soothingly.
“Open your eyes. And welcome home.”
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:42 PM
Thank you all sooooo much for the comments it was a great way to come home!!! I have updated another chapter because it's the only one i have typed up but I've written like 3. but I'm also working on about 3 other books as well, so the next book will be coming up to be posted after this one is done!!!
And I'll give you a hint...the next one might be told by our troubled friend Kaylie...
Love to all who read and reply!!!!!!!
Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:45 AM
Posted 04 August 2007 - 10:18 AM
update again soon!
Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:00 AM
“Are we really—”
“Then this is—”
“And that means that tonight is—”
I straightened and looked around me to gauge my surroundings. “Right. That seems to be all the questions I have.”
Looking over at Gregory he seemed hesitant, almost as if he couldn’t believe it himself. I touched his arm lightly, pulling him out of his reverie.
“Ready?” I asked for the thousandth time that day. He nodded and stepped forward into…sunshine?
“Wait,” I called, lifting the hem of my dress and stepping down. “Why is it sunny? When we left it was just past dusk.”
He seemed to have noticed it as well and looked just as confused as I felt.
“I don’t know…unless…” he trailed off in thought.
“Unless what?” I asked cautiously. Too many thoughts started whizzing around in my head, making my world spin a little.
What if the spell had backfired and we were not at the manor? What if we were nowhere? Oh God, what if…I didn’t even give myself a chance to think on it.
But as I looked around again I realized we had to be at the manor because we stepped down from the gazebo and to the right was the hedge maze. But that still didn’t explain the sun.
“We need a clock.” I decided, pulling him along around to the front of the manor and near the front steps.
All around us I saw servants bringing horses, saddles, and gardening tools to their places. Some of the stable hands gave me weird looks and I realized it was because no one could see Gregory. I immediately let go of his hand and continued up the steps to the front door.
“Amelia, wait!” He called behind me, but I didn’t stop until I reached the door which was immediately opened by an old, white haired man around the age of sixty. The always present butler, I mused to myself.
“Good morning, Your Grace,” he said coolly, bowing me into the shade of the grand hall.
I nodded back and continued on…until I saw myself walking down the stairs.
Something knocked into me from the side, pushing me against a wall in one of the parlors. Gregory’s icy breath chilled my skin while he held me tight.
“What are you doing?” I asked in a breathless voice due to the fact that he had knocked the air from my lungs.
His simple answer was, “Lydia was coming. I had to get you out of there.”
He sighed when the danger of being caught with a twin was over and backed away from me.
“Do you see why I told you to stop?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow in that arrogant little way he had.
Not wanting to fight anymore, I nodded and peeked out the door and into the hall. Lydia seemed to have gone into another room without running into me…thank God.
I turned back to Gregory, needing a plan in the worst possible way. We needed to get out of here and somehow make it up to my—er, Lydia’s—room and change before anyone could see me or her.
The window. I rushed over to it, enjoying the way my skirt swished against the Persian rug. After opening it and peeking out, I found that it had a small hedge garden just below it. Nothing that a little jump couldn’t handle.
“What are you doing?” Gregory hissed when I started to climb out of the window to sit on the sill.
I shook my head at him and retorted, “What does it look like? I’m climbing out the window so we can get to the servants’ stairs and get to my room before anyone can see us.”
I continued my climb out the window while he just watched me with amused fascination. When my dress caught on one of the sills, he did the gentlemanly thing and lifted it for me.
Once out into the morning air again I surveyed my surroundings. It didn’t seem like anyone had seen my less than lady like tactics.
After closing the window safely shut again, I ran around the house as fast as my slippers would allow and made my way past the curious servants who wondered why their boss was running around in an evening gown.
Everyone seemed to be getting ready for a party of some kind and I wondered if it was for the masquerade. What day was it? What time was it? All important things to find out before we made any move, I thought.
Thankfully, there were few servants on the stairs so my plight was quick and quiet, just as God intended.
Finally I came to my room. My hand seemed to move in slow motion towards the doorknob, utterly slow and hesitant.
Everything seemed the same while being not the same…if that made sense.
The furniture was exactly as I remembered; the pillows in their corresponding places, and the combs and brushes as I had left them in my time. Yet there were shoes and a trousseau inside the bureau where I kept my computer. There was no phone in its cradle next to it, and there were no posters or bulletin boards filled with pictures and people who didn’t exist yet.
I searched inside the walk in closet for an appropriate dress and rang for a maid. If Lydia came by I didn’t know what I would do but I would have to hope that those acting classes my parents had paid for when I was ten paid off.
As I waited for the girl to arrive to help me dress and prepare my hair I played around with a British accent.
“Hello,” “Good afternoon,” “Good evening Your Grace.” I looked at myself in the mirror as I spoke, hoping against all hopes that the accent didn’t sound to fake.
“It sounds fine. Don’t worry about it.”
I started and turned around to see Gregory standing there with a forest green morning gown in his hands.
“You should wear this. It matches your complexion and is close to the color of the dress Lydia is wearing.” He said matter of factly, tossing the dress onto the coverlet onto the bed.
It seemed so familiar to me. There was a green ribbon just below the bust according to the latest fashions in Europe of the time.
I remembered suddenly. This was the dress Lydia was wearing when she and Gregory had…my mind wandered over the memory with vivid images. I could feel my face turn a bright red and flush with heat. My only hope was that Gregory didn’t notice.
“What is it? Your face is flushed. Are you feeling ill?” he closed the distance between us in two large steps, his hands feeling my forehead for a fever.
“No. I’m sorry, I’m fine. Don’t worry.” I smiled reassuringly to him, pulling his hand away from my face to intertwine with my own.
His eyes still seemed a little worried to me so I put aside his hears and reached up to kiss him. It was a slow, deliberate kiss that was meant to brand him…to me. Forever. I could have gone on like that for hours…and maybe longer had the maid not knocked on the door, forcing us to break apart.
A small girl around the age of twenty slowly stepped into the room. She was barely older than me, but ten times as timid.
She reminded me of a mouse, and looked at me like I was a cat. One that was about to devour her.
“How may I be of assistance, Your Grace?” she tripped over the words rapidly, holding her hands together, almost in prayer. Geez, the girl was a scared little thing, I thought to myself.
Clearing my throat softly I said in my best British accent, “Yes, I have tired of this gown. Could you please help me into the one lying on the bed?”
She nodded quickly and disappeared for a second, returning with a white corset and forest green slippers that matched the dress.
I eyed the corset with wary suspicion. Those things had been made of whale bones in the 19th century…I mean now, I thought to myself with narrowed eyes. Gregory had discreetly left the room to allow us privacy. He was such a gentleman.
With carefully marked steps I walked towards her outstretched hands and lifted my own above my head. She unbuttoned the gown and slipped it over my head, making sure that it wasn’t wrinkled or creased in any unwanted place.
The corset came around my waist and I gasped as it was buttoned incredibly tight in the front and tied even tighter in the back. How the Hell did girls wear these back then…now, I corrected myself mentally again.
“Tell me…oh…what time is…ouch! It?” I asked between surprised and painful gaps. It seemed the only way to put a corset on properly was to tug and tug until the thing was as tight as it possibly could go. Although the effect it had on my breasts was kind of cool. It seemed like this maid was determined to give me a fifteen inch waistline with this thing on.
“It’s half past nine, my Lady.” She replied in that innocently squeaky voice.
“And tonight is…what party exactly?” I turned around to let her pull the green dress over my head.
She looked at me with eyes as wide a walnuts and replied in a shaky voice, “Why, Your Grace…it’s All Hallow’s Eve. Tonight is your masquerade.”
I nodded and said slowly, “Right.”
She finished dressing me in silence, working her way down my back with the buttons.
“Shall I dress your hair as well my Lady?” she asked when I was finally dressed.
I couldn’t exactly breathe so instead I nodded. Then for good measure I said softly, “Could you also do my hair in the style it was when I woke up?”
She nodded and motioned for me to sit down.
An hour later I was completely ready. And ready to bolt from the room. But I politely thanked the girl, Olivia I learned her name was, and watched her go from the room as quietly and timidly as she had come.
Shaking my head I looked at myself in the mirror. I really did look like the Duchess of Evington. Now all I had to do was follow her about the day without being caught and watch her kill Gregory.
Just one problem. Someone was coming down the hall and towards the room. And from the sound of it, it was Lydia.
“Just a moment, I seem to have forgotten something.” She called to a person who was too far away to hear. I needed a place to hide and fast. Where oh where could I hide?
There was the bathroom, but no place to really hide in there. Besides what if she decided she forgot something in there. Then I would be trapped. “Great,” I muttered, bending down onto my hands and knees and looking under the bed. It was too small and dusty for me to hide there without sneezing and getting caught. It seemed this day was just going to get more and more difficult.
That only left the walk-in closet. I could easily hide behind some shoes and dresses at the very back of the closet without serious risk of getting caught.
I was about to get up off my knees when I heard the door open silently on its well-oiled hinges. Damn, she was already in here.
By some mystical fate of the gods, she didn’t step into the room at first. In fact it seemed as though someone had distracted her.
Jumping up as quickly as I could I ran over to the closet door and rushed inside. I ran to the very back of the closet and slipped between a couple of the evening gowns that reached the floor so my feet would be sufficiently covered.
I listened carefully to what was happening outside the door. I heard a click that sounded like another door shutting and some shuffling around like the sound of slippered feet on the carpet. Then I heard what sounded sort of like a muffled sob.
Lydia was crying.
I slowly pulled myself out from between the gowns and made my way to the door of the closet to peek through the key hole.
Lydia was sitting hunched over at her vanity with her hands in her face. I could hear the crying more clearly now that I was closer to her.
She sat like that for five minutes before finally looking at her reflection and apparently disliking what she saw.
She wiped her eyes and applied some powder to her face to dull the redness. When she seemed satisfied with her appearance she stood up and grabbed a book from the bed and walked out of the room.
I stayed put for a few minutes, leaning back away from the keyhole.
“That was close,” I whispered to the darkness around me. “Too close.” Oh yeah, because that didn't sound like something from a James Bond movie.
I exhaled loudly and didn’t hear the door open again. my eyes were closed in silent relaxation.
But when sunlight poured in from the door that someone had opened my eyes snapped open.
A man immediately blindfolded me so that I couldn’t see his face.
“Hey! Let me go!” I cried angrily, striking out with my claws to try and swipe at my captor.
“Don’t fret. Just be quiet and come with me.” He pulled me up off my feet and practically dragged me out of the room.
I would have screamed if he hadn’t put a gag in my mouth.
The last words I heard before something hit my head with a powerful force were, “You Lady Duchess, are going to kill your husband tonight whether you like it or not.”
Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:17 AM
Posted 04 August 2007 - 01:01 PM
Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:08 PM
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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:03 PM
“So can you let me go now?”
I was propelled forward with a push to my lower back. “No.”
Another push forward. “No.”
Push. “Because. If you don’t then there shall be consequences.”
“What sort of consequences?”
Push, push. “I don’t know…bad sorts of consequences.”
I lifted a finger up and pointed it in what I hoped was the correct direction and exclaimed, “Ha! Even you don’t know. Therefore, you should let me go.”
A final push forward and, “I don’t think so.”
I sighed and waited. There was no way in hell that I was budging from this spot.
He didn’t like that idea.
I lifted my chin and crossed my arms across my chest. “No.”
The blindfold was suddenly removed. I was so stunned that I didn’t see the hand that swept across my face in an agonizingly painful slap.
I clutched my face with my hand. “Hey! What was that for?”
He shook a finger in my face and hissed, “Don’t be stupid. Next time you act like a spoiled three year old the slap will be much harder.”
I nodded solemnly, fighting back the tears of pain that stung at my eyes.
He was an angry looking man. He had chocolate brown hair that was tied back into a ribbon and the angriest blue eyes I had ever seen. He was almost as tall as Gregory, perhaps an inch or two shorter, but just as built. All in all a pretty handsome guy. Except for the angry set to his jaw and the menacing stares, of course.
When I still hadn’t moved, he grabbed me by the elbow, holding it high so that I struggled to walk. Everything seemed so familiar about this, but I couldn’t pin it down.
For the first time since the blindfold was removed I took note of my surroundings. We were…underground. Oh God, we were in the basement.
A quick glance behind me showed the ripped doorframe I had walked through only a few weeks ago. It seemed like a lifetime away now.
Trying desperately to keep my breathing even, we walked down the hallway just like in my dream. Even my slippers clicked against the floor just as I had seen it.
When we finally came to that dimly lit room at the end of the hall I was fairly gasping from panic. Everything was the same as I remembered and that is what made it all the scarier.
I was pushed one last time through the door and tripped on the hem of my skirt, falling to my knees. I let the tears fall where they would, not caring anymore what happened to me. Gregory’s death was about to be put into my hands and there was nothing I could do to change it.
I scooted back against the wall, barely able to see anything from all the tears. But I could see the man kneel in front of me and smile in an awfully menacing sneer.
A small vial was thrust into my hand with enough force to make the glass bite into the skin on my palm. I wanted nothing more than to smash it on the ground, but I was terrified of what he could—or rather would—do to me if I defied him.
When the words were spoken directly to me in person, they seemed three thousand times deadlier and evil than they had in my dream.
“You will take this vial…and pour it into your husband’s drink tonight. You are going to kill Gregory McClain.”
A sob escaped my lips. He let go of my hand and stood up. I was prepared to feel the aching pull when everything started to fade away, but there was nothing. This was reality, and I wasn’t waking up from it any time soon.
I heard him leave. It seemed like he was moving in slow motion, but that could have been related to the fact that everything around me seemed to start to spin. Oh no, not another faint.
I steadied my breathing before it could escalate to unconsciousness. I needed Gregory…my Gregory.
I was too afraid to even whisper his name for fear that the man would hear me and kill me right then. Everything seemed so much scarier than it had before. I felt like a little child still afraid of the monsters in the closet.
Silent sobs rocked my body while I fought for the courage to call out his name.
“Gregory.” It was hoarse and sounded alien like to my ears but I didn’t care. I couldn’t not when this was happening.
His boots appeared in front of me. I dared to look up into those hazel eyes that I had sought comfort from for so long.
“Oh my God, Amelia what happened? What are you doing down here?” he knelt beside me and cradled my shaking body against his, smoothing my hair and rubbing my back.
My stiff hand seemed to relax while I clutched to his shirt. I felt like that day when Mike had attacked me: vulnerable and small.
The vial slipped from my other hand and rolled onto the floor. I stopped sobbing for a minute to watch it come to a stop in the middle of a crack in the tiles on the floor.
We just stared at it, both knowing what was inside. Yet neither of us willing to pick it up.
I looked into Gregory’s eyes, my own feeling the size of walnuts. I ran my hand along his jaw line and over his lips, needing to make sure that he was here and safe. But dead. He was still dead.
“Oh Gregory…” I started, but couldn’t finish for the emotion welling up inside of me. It was too much to handle.
“Shh, it’s alright. I’m here now, no need to be afraid.” He rubbed my cheek with the pad of his thumb, the simplicity of the movement left me breathless and incredibly sensitive.
“Where the Hell were you?” I asked impatiently when I finally managed to get a hold of some of my emotions. He had been missing in action since I got dressed. He couldn’t even identify the attacker.
“I was following myself. I think I can possess my body for a time. Long enough to make it to the party. That way we can be together for how ever long we have.” It sounded like a farewell to me. But he couldn’t leave. Not now…he had promised he would never leave. Or was it all a lie? Had he just told me those beautiful things to make me happy? Maybe all he wanted was for me to help him become mortal again so he really could leave and forget all about the silly little child who had been so easy to seduce.
But one look in his eyes told me that my thoughts were wrong. I clung onto that look for dear life, never wanting to let go.
After another couple of minutes like that he looked me square in the eye and told me possibly the most horrific thing I had ever heard.
“Amelia, tonight…you have to kill me.”
I blinked. “Absolutely not.”
I tried to wriggle my way out of his arms that seemed to have form iron chains around my waist. “No I really mustn’t.”
He let me go and I was across the room in a second. He stooped to pick up the vial that I had let slip from my hands.
I shook my head and groped my way for the door, desperate to get out of the room which had become increasingly small.
“Please?” his eyes begged for my help but that didn’t mean that I was going to give it.
Nearly sighing in relief, my fingers found the door knob and I pushed myself through the portal.
I didn’t listen.
“No. You can’t ask this of me.”
I was so close to the ripped doorframe when I heard, “They were your memories.”
That did a good job of stopping me dead in my tracks. I turned around to face him, walking with forward with more purposeful steps.
He cocked his head to the side. “They were your memories. Not Lydia’s.”
I shook my head again, still not understanding anything that came out of his mouth.
“Yes. Think about it. This followed the exact path of your dream. They all will.” He brushed aside a curl that had fallen free of its pin. “It’s fate. All of it. Meeting you, falling in love…coming back here.” I began to understand and my eyes widened with fear. “It was fate.”
“I don’t want to do this.”
He nodded slowly, sympathizing with me. “I know. But there is no other way.”
I closed my eyes, deliberating for a moment. I could do one of two things: one, I could grab his hand and run with him back to the gazebo and say the return spell and bring us home. Or two, I could do the right thing and kill the man I loved.
“Okay… I’ll do it.” Resignation sounded throughout every word I said.
He smiled, his shoulders sagging with relief. We stood like that for a minute, then he straightened and said, “I have to go find my body and possess it for the rest of the day. I shall meet you in your chambers when I have completed my task.” He started to shimmer out, but then came into focus again to add, “You should change. Your dress is torn.” Then he was gone.
I looked down at the hem of my gown which had ripped when I fell. There was a huge tear long the ribbon lining the bottom.
Sighing again I turned back and walked out of the basement and up towards my room.
As I walked back towards the bedroom I remembered the other dream—er memory, I quickly amended—I had had. The one where Gregory and Lydia…oh goodness…where we had…
I couldn’t even finish the thought without blushing bright red. I could only hope that the servants who passed by didn’t notice. If they did they didn’t say anything.
Finally I reached the haven of Lydia’s room, which was really my room…wasn’t it? Time travel made my head spin I thought to myself as I stepped into the room and closed the door firmly behind me.
I was standing in front of the mirror, contemplating what to do about the next memory that would come up. Was I really ready for this? Did I really want this?
I knew in my heart that I did. I wanted this with Gregory…no one else but him.
The sound of the door clicking shut behind someone forced me out of my thoughts.
Gregory’s arms wrapped around my waist holding me tight against his chest.
“It’s done then?” I asked, already knowing the answer. His arms felt warm beneath my fingertips and beneath the cotton of his shirt, I could feel a heart beat against my back.
When I looked into the mirror at his reflection I knew what we both needed…and what we both wanted. I turned in his arms, wrapping my own around his neck and bringing my lips closer to his.
He was going to die tonight and I wanted everything to be perfect. Everything would be perfect.
“You look beautiful,” he whispered alongside my ear when we finally broke for air. His skin was warm on my skin, something I wasn’t used to, but it still left that familiar trail of fire where it traveled.
Without being asked, he lifted me into his arms and cradled me there, still kissing and nuzzling my neck. I was carried over to the four poster bed we had slept in so many times.
The shoulder of my dress had slipped when I tilted my head back for better access. A soft moan escaped my lips as I silently begged for more.
He gently lay me down against the coverlet, continuing to kiss and stroke me to ecstasy. The moans and groans were coming faster now and I was practically writhing with pleasure by the time he finally stopped and looked me in the eyes.
“I have to ask you something.” He said in a husky, but serious tone.
I laughed and reached up to kiss him again. No way was I letting him stop now. “You pick a hell of a time to do ask this.”
He chuckled for a second, but turned to me with questioning eyes.
“I will go no further…if that is what you really want.”
I looked back at him, seeing a thousand questions and fears run through his hazel eyes. It was the biggest thing I had ever done, but was I really ready.
This was the truest of tests for me. What would happen when I woke up from this dream and had to kill him? Would he still love me in the end?
Now was not the time to worry. My mom used to tell me to just ‘roll the dice and see where they land.’ It didn’t matter where I ended up. All that mattered was that I was happy. I was giving myself the happily now, and wasn’t going to cry if I didn’t get my happily ever after.
Reaching up gently I kissed him without hesitance, without the worries of tonight.
“I want this.”
And with those three little words that seemed so simple to say, I rolled the dice, and watched them land.
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