Immortal Reborn - Arianna's Choice, page 5
To say she was extraordinary would not do justice to the fair-haired, angelic creature who danced through the manicured and meticulously planned garden which ran behind the large stone Manor House. She was the very breath that caused the flowers to sway and the boughs to sigh. Wherever she walked, skipped, or ran along one of the pebbled paths, anyone who witnessed her meander about found that they held their breath involuntarily until she passed.
It was as if they knew, subconsciously, that something or someone quite remarkable had just crossed paths with them, and in the face of one so – ‘other’ – than themselves, nature asked a still and immovable reverence be shown. In her wake, she always left a feeling of contentment and a smile lingering on each person’s face.
Alexandria, or Alex as her parents called her, was indeed a miracle child. Her mother, Lady Juliana, had given birth to two boys, Wallace and Conner, just two years apart, and then lost two more babies within a five year period. She and her husband, Lord Errol Fitzgerald Groaban, had resigned themselves to the fact that they were not to be blessed with any more children. They settled into a comfortable pattern with their sons and were beyond shocked when Juliana’s doctor confirmed three years later that there was to be another chance, perhaps her last, to become a mother again.
Lady Juliana received the best care, and after nine months a daughter came into the Groaban family. They all doted on her and vowed to watch over her – her older brothers more so than anyone else.
Through the years, Lord Errol served in various ambassadorial roles for the British government, and though the family traveled along with him, they always returned to the Manor House for holidays and rest. It was the one place that they felt they could truly relax and refresh their spirits. It was also a place for their beloved butler, Edmund Jameason, to finally feel his way around a properly organized household.
“Nothing,” he told them quite often, “is as satisfying as seeing everything in its place and order restored to the soul.”
Jameason traveled with the Groabans wherever Lord Errol served as ambassador, and he kept not only the household in order, but also served as a nanny, mentor, and at times, disciplinarian to the three Groaban children. Wallace and Conner gave him a good run for his money some days, as the two were constantly trying every new experiment or stunt they could to see if they were as invincible as young adolescents often think they are.
But Jameason seemed to be the rock on which the family was built and the glue that kept them bound together. He had not one, but several pairs of eyes in the back of his head, and try as they might to get things past him, Jameason always knew what his young charges were up to.
Wallace and Conner reveled in the travel and opportunities they were afforded. Tutors were always coming and going throughout the children’s lives, and each new home or country they lived in was a canvas for their global experience. As their father took up the position of ambassador to Egypt in the late 1990’s, Wallace and Conner were more than ready to explore tombs and scale pyramids.
Alexandria, however, seemed to eerily make instant connections to each new foreign land in which they found themselves. She would occasionally see an artifact or a painting and her brothers could tell from the gleam in her eyes that she was ‘hearing the echo,’ as that was what the two of them called it. For Alex, her remembrances and the emotions she experienced were all encompassing and took her completely to another time.
She would cease to see what was actually around her and find herself standing amid a world that had long since passed by and been forgotten. Alex never knew where the visions would take her, and she sometimes found herself standing in the midst of a very frightening scene of some past battle or she might find that she was witnessing the last moments of a person’s life. At other times she was simply a silent witness to a person’s day to day routine, almost seeing the people walk right through where she stood as she watched the scene play out.
Wallace and Conner knew the look well and made a deliberate point to circle the wagons and protect her until a vision cleared. When she was very young, Alexandria would actually talk her way through the visions and describe what she was seeing, alarmingly in whatever language the scene played out in. But as she grew older, she learned that this terrified anyone outside of her immediate family, and Alex became aware of the danger she placed them in when she allowed outsiders knowledge of the images, which even her mind could scarcely comprehend. So, Alexandria quickly learned to attune herself to the first signs of an impending recreation of the past and steel herself against any reaction within sight of possible witnesses.
She would feel slight vibrations in the air and begin to smell and taste the new environment that was bearing down on her. She had learned to school her face into as serene a mask as she could muster and then allow herself to be pulled away. It was not easy for her parents, her brothers, or for Jameason to see Alex suffer, and in an effort to protect them, she often would keep the most horrific details to herself. As she grew older, Alex began to keep more and more of the experiences to herself, much to the disapproval of her brothers. They honestly thought that it was not productive or healthy for Alexandria to keep it all bottled up within.
While in Egypt, Alexandria found she had to keep her hands in her pockets quite a bit because touching an object was sure to swirl her into the past, seeing into various images and scenes from the object’s history. While Wallace and Conner were always touching obelisks and stone passageways, Alexandria would try to walk around the stones, marvel at their size, and then step quietly into alcoves to witness history in her own way. Though this seemed the best way to avoid the encounters she experienced, she was dismayed to find that she really could not keep the old voices at bay.